Saturday, April 15, 2017

My, what a large muriel.

Grace from Perth Daily Photo is back in Perth after visiting family in the east and is missing them already. Here is something a bit special for you Grace. I was passing in a tram and I saw a man on a cherry picker working on a mural. After some time, I went back to see the finished product. While I have no idea what it is about or who the artist is, there may be a clue in that it overlooks the carpark of the Italian club Abruzzo in Brunswick. The building on which it is painted is about ten storeys high, which gives you an idea of the size of the work. How can an artist translate what he or she is thinking into a work of this size, with quite a bit of detail?

Friday, April 14, 2017

A successful cut and extract

Two girls each weighing 3kg (7lb) were extracted at 8am (14th and Good Friday) today after Hippie Niece went into labour at about five weeks premature. Both are well, as is Niece. No humidity crib required. They have nice names, even though one is gender non identifying and the other a slightly hippieish  name. I like the names.

Tradie Brother's dog broke the news to his neighbours.

Tribute to the late John Clarke

The satire The Games was partly written by and starred John Clarke shown by the ABC tv broadcaster before the Sydney Olympics in 1998 and 2000. 1:55

He originally appeared with Brain on the current affairs show 7:30 Report, again on ABC tv. I can't decide which clip I like the best, so here are both. 2:48

This one is very relevant and cutting, and was only screened in March this year. 2:36

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Clarity of thought

R was saying nothing about Mother's situation but underneath he has been stressing big time, as am I. It is not so much about the money to rewire her house but why would we spend $9000 on a house that will be demolished as soon as it sold. It is about Mother's future. Her hotwater service is very old and may need replacing. Her water pipes are also old and have already began to break up and have been patched up. Where does it end?

From friends to professionals, all say she needs to be in a care place and not living alone. As oldest son, I putting my foot down with a firm hand. I have spoken to both my brothers and there will be a family conference at Sister's at Easter. Mother still talks about a bungalow in ABI Brother's back yard, but no, she is past that.

Tradie Brother is going to rig up some temporary fluoro lighting over Easter for Mother and there will be family conference on Easter Sunday.

The next step is to find somewhere appropriate for mother. Her house is worth about $350,000. What might be her options? Mother tried some extreme manipulation on R by asking him to put this device into the car sans basket and was using it to walk around home. She was being ridiculous.R refused and took her shopping as per normal. She now uses a wheeled frame, quite difficult to fit into the car.


The clincher came when Mother moaned about about cooking her evening meal by torchlightand she also said, maybe it can wait until you return from holidays.

In my last post about Mother, I really appreciate all you have offered and I have taken it all seriously on board. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday Wonders

I thought this was a plant when I first saw the photo. It only took one stingray to do in Steve Irwin.

The question on earth??

Ah, Aussieland at last. I  think if you fly to or from Bangkok from Melbourne you go over a lot of inland Australian desert and it is quite spectacular to look down at from a plane.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

He's Chinese. He won't complain.

Did you see the story about the outrageous actions of United Airlines in the US?

He was clearly injured when being removed from the airplane, through no fault of his. He had legitimately booked a ticket and was sitting in his booked seat. Random selection of passengers to be removed after the plane was overbooked, with the airline not allowing for seats for their own staff, led to him being selected to be removed from the flight, along with three other people. Two offers were made to passengers to give up their seats and when none would, the random selection was put in place. So what were the offers? Future travel vouchers, I expect. 

Random selection should not happen. Airlines should offer enough that people will agree to a flight change. We once received flight vouchers as compensation and when we used them, it cost us nearly the same in airport and travel taxes as we could have booked a cheap airline flight. No, I don't understand that either, but I do understand airline vouchers for future travel are a rip off. Don't accept them.

It is quite simple. Airlines wrongly overbook and when it goes wrong, they need to offer proper compensation to encourage people to inconvenience themselves by changing to another flight. 

There are some bad things that happen with camera phones, but in this case, that the actions were widely recorded really makes the point.

Mother Matters

When we get heavy rain, Mother's lounge and kitchen lights go out. She resets the circuit breaker after a while and they come back on. Her house was built in the 1940s and the wiring is old and the coverings are crumbling. This all began about a year ago. She called a big company who seemed to make it safe and paid the bill herself. However, he said the house is dangerous and needs rewiring. He quoted $11,000. Mother's children decided we were not paying and she needs to consider her options.

The recent storms and heavy rains have wreaked havoc. She now only has bedroom lights. A local electrician has quoted $9000 to rewire and says the old wire is crumbling. Of course in times of crisis who does Mother call? Yep, R. R then gets stuck in to me to 'do' something. This is unfair. She has four children. Why is it always down to me? Ok, I am the oldest. I spoke to Sister and she said you and I will pay $5000 and our brothers can pay the remaining $4000. I will wear that.

I then called Tradie Brother and said to him, do you still have any electrician mates? Can you seek advice? In spite of the decaying wiring, why can't new wires be run from the sound electric board to the lights that are not working.? Tradie Brother agreed. This could be done, he reckons and he is seeking advice. In his words, we can stick up a couple of fluoros directly wired to the fuse box.

Unlike Sister and myself, Tradie Brother and ABI Brother don't have any spare money, and ABI Brother has already borrowed $1500 from me. I don't have much cash on hand and never have, and nor does R. No doubt Mother thinks, but what has your forthcoming holiday costing. It is a point, but R is approaching 70. He wants to travel now, while he can. He has been generous at times with me and extremely generous to Mother. If R wants to travel, then I will do so, while he still can. It costs big money and that is where our money goes. Otherwise we live quite cheaply.

Mother is 83 and frail and always moaning on about what is wrong with her, but her organs are quite hale and hearty. We, her children, pay for many things for her as she is hopeless with money. Most of her money goes on cigarettes and a huge amount of cures for her diseases of old age from the chemist, even though she pays little for her prescribed medication.  She says we will get the money back when she dies from the sale of her house, which her father bought for her. That is not necessarily correct. The money could be eaten up by care at some point. She is terrified of leaving her house where she has lived for about forty years, and I understand this, but she could be living a good life somewhere with house being worth about $350,000. She has options and choices, but she won't take them. We will prop her up to a point but I am not sure about us paying $9,000 for her house to be rewired is one of them. As she succinctly put to R, even if I sell the house, I do need lighting until it is sold.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Vale John Clarke

It is so easy for us to take potshots at politicians. God knows, they deserve it. But it takes a lot of very clever talent to satirise politicians. Since my age of about 30, John Clarke has been in my life, amusing and entertaining me with his clever wit in whatever area, be it a comedy tv programme, a serious tv programme, on radio, on tv, or in a film and of course he wrote.

I was shattered when I heard today that he has died at the age of 68, the same age as R. How the bejesus did we get so old? It is not fair.

John, I am a better and smarter person from having you in my life and you are a huge loss to Australia. Bye bye John.

"His name was Lola

He was a showgirl. With yellow feathers in his hair and a dress cut down to there."

Subtitled Musical Monday.

Maybe Lola was a drag performer? Barry Manilow has finally come out as being gay. He is not someone I have given great thought to, but the news is no surprise. Copacabana is a classic track that will get people onto the dance floor and I will not be snobby about it. I like the fun song.

In my mind I think I have always disassociated high camp from being gay and I need to be hit on the head that a male celebrity is a proper gay, that is his preference is for sex with men.

From Manilow, to Freddie Mercury with a band named Queen!, to the Village People, confirmed because a late friend had some fun with the leather man from VP after they hooked up at Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda, to Liberace. They were all or are so camp. But what does that have to do with men wanting sex with men?

I suppose he was too, but once a patron of the Oakleigh hotel where I worked for a year or so in my youth asked if I was camp, I said no. I didn't really know then, but I had a pretty good idea I liked men for sex. I remember him so well, small, blue eyed curly haired blond. I think he was gay, but he mixed with straight blokes in the pub who were mostly concrete workers. The cement dust that fell from their pockets onto the beer sodden carpet and then dried and set made carpet cleaning a challenging job.  Of gay men mixing in straight male company, I have known a few. But no, sorry, I am not camp and never have been. My preference WAS for sex with men. Now I just don't care too much, well maybe just a tiny bit, at times. I think I have mentioned Jakol, the gypsy in Bulgaria with a really big.......muscle on each arm. How far do Aussie dollars go in Bulgaria?

Just kidding and being theatrically camp, if you like.

This montage clip is quite fun. Sit back and sing and shake your...........boozies?

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Sunday Selections

A bit of a mix here with some of my own photos and some found on Facebook without credit. River nearly always uses her own photos, so check hers out as well as others.

"I'm leaving on a jet train. Don't know when I'll be back again." Russian turbo train.

Some machines now accept the new $5 note, that is not so new now, but plenty still don't. Later this year we will get a new $10 note.

Sydney disaster 1. I can't remember where this was, except it was on southern side of Sydney Harbour and is one of the expensive suburbs.

Sydney disaster 2. Wish I had made a note. I have a feeling, Paddington, Sydney.

Sydney disaster 3.

Isn't this just a lovely photo. I reckon Queenie might be wearing a very tight girdle. I believe she was visiting Australia. The photo may well have been taken on her own yacht, Britannia.

Marie from After 60 - The next 10 has not long returned from the west coast of the United States with some wondrous photos. Of course she visited Yosemite Park. While some things will have changed since 1940, the beauty of the wilderness will not have. Photo from the marvellous historical US photo site,

Is there an Acland Street near you? Taken with my phone camera.

Ready to travel. We have very small amounts of Singapore dollars, New Zealand dollars, US dollars, Canadian dollars, Japanese yen, Malaysian ringgit, Vietnamese dong, Thai baht, English pounds and Hungarian forint but for some unknown reason we do not have any Euro whatsoever. We had to buy $200 worth, and put $800 in Euro on our travel card.

As best I could understand, the power outlets on our cruise ship will be American and European. R convinced me to spend a bit more and never have to worry again. The plug plugs into the charger unit and then into the wall socket. The first one is Australian and you see how it clips in. The next is US/Canada/Japan, followed by European and last Britain/Singapore/Hong Kong. While we used to carry a six plug power board, technology has moved on and saved us that bother. Four USB charging points for two tablets, two phones, camera and an ebook reader. Still a couple of weeks to go, but we are seriously preparing now.

Sometimes modern phrases can be more descriptive than old ones. We once called it 'burning off'. Now it is called a 'fire fuel reduction burn'. Whatever the name, smoke blanketed Melbourne for two days. I love the smell of burning gum leaves in the morning (a slight adaption of I love the smell of burning napalm in the morning, from Good Morning Vietnam). A northerly breeze arrived and blew all the smoke away to northern Tasmania. Very sorry, Margaret but I believe you are about to send us one of your freezing winds in return.