Saturday, September 23, 2017

Transdev Disgrace

In the early 1980s in Melbourne, the newish state Labor government, new public transport department, took over Melbourne and Brighton Bus Lines, under the auspices of the Melbourne tram system. Melbourne's tram system already ran many bus services, based at depots in Doncaster, North Fitzroy and Footscray. Brighton Bus Lines had taken over closed tram lines and ran some newer bus routes. It used to compete with trams, offering a cheaper fare to the city where its bus routes intersected tram routes. The tram system cut their fares at these points to match the buses.

Brighton Bus Lines buses looked modern and smart enough, yet as soon at the tramways bus mechanics looked at them, they were put off the road immediately as being unsafe. They were unroadworthy to the extreme. The government had taken ownership of the former tram depot, now a bus depot, in Elwood.

Trust unregulated capital and private enterprise? I don't. Trust governments to enforce regulations? I don't.

Then came the evil Jeff Kennett conservative government who privatised the operation of our trains, trams and buses. I have never seen any good come from that. So, Brighton Bus Lines changed to The Met ownership with nice new air conditioned buses, government, then let the routes out to tender by private bus operators under the Kennett government.

Many years later in this year 2017, Transdev is the current operator of the same bus routes, combined with other routes. Some three decades later from when Brighton Bus Lines buses were condemned, I've heard 59 of Transdev's buses that travel the same routes have been put off the road as being unroadworthy. Many services have been cancelled, and very old substitute buses from other companies, hopefully roadworthy, are helping with the shortfall.

This is an utter disgrace. I believe Transdev runs buses in Sydney. I hope they are checked. Nothing on Transdev's website that was obvious about the problem.

PS This really needs a heavy edit, but I don't have time today and by tomorrow it will be yesterday's news.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Tomorrow night's grub

We are dining at a Malaysian restaurant in Elsternwick tomorrow night. We have been there once before and it was not great. The food was fine, but the service was rubbish. There is a vague connection between the restaurant and an acquaintance. I think he is non hands on part owner.

I hope the restaurant now knows to not put an young inexperienced Asian student lass with poor English onto a table of grumpy old gay men. Of course, we are always perfectly pleasant to our wait staff, no matter how stupid and incompetent they are. We are more likely to overlook the shortcomings of a cute young Asian student male waiter.

Nagging about the 'Yes Campaign'

This piece published in New Matilda set me thinking. At least I more or less had parental acceptance and I think Mother will vote 'Yes'. As a young person I was quite overwhelmed by subtle and not so subtle homophobia but I've only recently realised how much. The piece is not terribly long so have a quick read if you would like

Support for marriage equality can be seen all over the city and inner suburbs.

The Australian Marriage Equality group has quite a number of short videos on You Tube, featuring people of all walks of life, from people in the street, sports stars, mothers, fathers and so many others. Even grandmothers are in on the act and this video rather appealed to me. There is a list of the You Tube videos here. The closest anyone can get to understanding of what homophobic is like to experience, is if they are not white westerners, especially years ago. You can't change your colour and you can't change your sexual orientation. While your colour is on your sleeve, your gay identity can be hidden, but at what cost.

I've seen a picket fence in front of a Victorian house painted in rainbow colours. I have seen a large shop with each window panel with a sheet of different coloured tinted film, to make up the colours of the rainbow.

The Australian Football League says 'Yes'.

Regardless of the vote outcome, you know the battle is won when someone like my Tradie Brother told Sister he is very proud of his poofter brother and lezzo sister. Even his pets Cobber, Thelma and Betty want a yes vote. Seems also that his Gernie has made yes, on his coloured concrete, exposed to the street. 

Our voting papers finally arrived yesterday and have been returned. If you don't receive yours by the 24th of this month, contact the ABS.

I have just kept adding and adding to this post. It was originally only going to be the You Tube video. Maybe six months or more ago, the airport bus company that runs services from the city to the airport, because apparently our state is too poor to build a train line to the airport, started a new service, direct from St Kilda, back packer heaven, to the airport with only three stops along the way, Carlisle Street, outside XBase where Fire Fighting Nephew once worked, Alfred Square and the public bus stop in Fitzroy Street. It then goes by the fastest variable route to airport. It has a permanent destination headboard that alternates, St Kilda, Airport. I saw one bus last night that was different. St Kilda, Airport, Vote Yes ✓.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Self Conscious

Another old post edited slightly and posted.

While I am quite perfect in my mind, I know I am far from being so. In some ways R and myself are quite alike, but in many ways we are not.

It has been quoted back to me that I am a bit difficult to begin with but once you know me and I consider you a friend, I am ok. R is much more spontaneous and far more instantly likeable. But down the track when there is a danger of us falling out over something, I am far more forgiving. Not so R who will take things very personally as being directed against him, while I will look at the person and their motivations and reasons for their behaviour. My way is better.......umm, that is until I can't understand someone's behaviour, their reasons and motivations..

Why is this all so?

For as long as I can remember, right back to being very young, I have been extremely self conscious, as my mother is, as her father was. What I remember my grandfather mostly for saying, was 'shh, the neighbours' and 'don't eat like you haven't been fed'. Along with that gene that was passed down, so was the hand trembling and shakes. What will this person think of me is always on my mind.

Extreme self consciousness is not going to kill you and in the bigger picture, is not a high priority for funding of studies. However, it is at times quite debilitating. In some ways I have overcome it in that mostly when meeting a stranger, I do ok, but it is certainly a struggle. And it does ease as you age and you realise that no one is particularly interested in whether you wore the same shirt last weekend as you are this weekend.

One of our cars is almost the oldest car in the building's car park. It barely gets used but when it does, I feel so embarrassed to be seen it by neighbours or even people out on the road. That it goes well, its air con and heating works and two of the four windows still work and is quite zippy and I don't mind driving it, why should I feel like that? R feels even worse about being seen in it.

At times when I was a lad, my father embarrassed me. For my whole life my mother has embarrassed me. She talks too much and too loud. She has even embarrassed R, who is quite used to the embarrassing things old people do and say.

I know this won't be published immediately, Sunday 23/07, but I know I will be embarrassed tomorrow by our balcony glass, windows and balcony door being dirty when men come to fix our balcony door. Somehow I will slip in, sorry, nothing looks so clean. The cleaner did not want to clean the balcony in the cold wind. No, the cleaners, us or one of us, did not.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The lighting

It's a post I've done before, but I am sure some of the lamps were different.

If we are working in the kitchen and at night, we always have these two LED lights on. There is central circular fluorescent tube as well, but it is seldom used, possibly only when we drop an old man tablet on the floor and need extra lighting to find it.

This is the dark corner of the living/dining area and needs plenty of lights.

The turtle uses an oven pilot light. She is made of iron and very thick glass and weighs a tonne.

One of those salt crystal lamps. It was a gift and of course we don't believe there is a health benefit, but it is a nice enough lamp. It too uses a oven pilot globe.

Some Christmas lighting that was never taken away. Very low power use.

This is made from pieces of glass and wire and is also very heavy and you need gloves to pick it up. If the wires don't spike you, the glass will cut you. It has a halogen light bulb. It must have the right light bulb to sparkle.

The chain lamp. It used very expensive 50w light bulbs, AU$8 each and was too bright so from foil wrapped around a cardboard tubes, we dulled its too bright light down. Then 25w bulbs became available, still at $8. The light was subdued, but still the bulbs blow often. It now has very expensive LED bulbs and they are lasting a long time.

Another corner lamp. Both the top and the bottom lamps have dimmer switches rather than on and off buttons. It can really light up the lounge area if turned fully up, but we have no reason to. I have no idea what sort of bulbs it has.

The tv backlighting does not show so well here. It also illuminates the print above the tv.

It is the second lamp we have had behind the tv, both from Ikea.

Of course the lounge and dining area has overhead lights. I bought a dimmer switch for them and installed it myself. There were sparks and a very blackened dimmer switch. Clearly my electrical skills weren't what they used to be. I never charged R for half of the cost of the dimmer switch. I did wrong. But later when our electrician was here to do something else, I asked him to install a dimmer switch and his cute apprentice did so without even turning the power off!

Stockpiling bulbs was a total waste of money. Well, actually a friend gave them to me. Who knew how light bulbs would advance? Not me. I stock piled old incandescent light bulbs, so in the overhead lounge light, there are two 40W incandescent bulbs and in the dining area are two 100W bulbs and I have spares for them.  We have bright lighting if we need it, but we never seem to need it.

I think the overall effect with the various lighting of our living area is warm and comfortable and kind to older faces, but you would have to experience it for yourself, and you are not invited. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Erotic Dream XX post

I used to post some quite risque posts, but I haven't much of late. I think there is something somewhere on my blog about not adding me as a friend, because there is always a danger of me posting something like below.

I am not much of one for dreams and rarely remember them if I have them, and of course if I don't remember them, I haven't had them, but I probably have.

But just as the alarm went off one morning, I was in the middle of a very erotic dream. He was faceless but nice looking, maybe 35 years old. He was wearing tight black skinny jeans, but I can remember no more about him except his hair was dark, curly and foppish. I am not sure where we were, but it was a packed place and we were crammed together, probably on public transport.

Did I detect he ever so slightly pressed against me in a way that suggested he might be interested in an assignation (I would have said hook up if I thought I had any young readers). I responded, also ever so slightly in case I was wrong. I wasn't wrong and he pressed back hard. We're on! And it was hot, steaming hot. The arousal levels were 100% plus. I remember that much but not much more.

Sadly the alarm woke me before we did anything but my very last memory is of seeing, to use a trash novel expression, his rampant member. It was a monster and he was obviously not Moslem, Jewish or old time Anglo Australian.

That damned alarm clock!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Note to Victor and John

Today we saw the movie Victoria and Abdul. Even when the introduction was on the screen, we were warned that it would be historically inaccurate. Who cares. It was a great and easy movie to watch. Dame Judith Dench played Judi Dench ever so well, along with being Queen Victoria.. Her acting skills are glorious. None could question the ability of the actors, the sets, the filming.....the writing? Maybe, but as I said, it was just so enjoyable.

Now, John Gray of Wales, you reviewed Victoria and Abdul, and your review was rubbish. Pessimism, sanitised, opportunistic; and your point was? It was a great and simple movie.

Victor saw the movie yesterday, but has yet to write a review. Will he be similarly churlish?

But look, both of you dudes need to include a tissue box index in your reviews. I horrified myself by almost coming to the point of blowing my snot into my sleeve. Tears can we wiped away. Snot is a bit harder to deal with. Please, just an indication of a need to take tissues?

How to make steam come from my ears

Many things people do on the roads annoy me and have me at times wishing I was a cop but I generally overlook the annoying things and don't go on a murderous rampage. There is one offence that happens that could tip me over the edge though.

Here is the scenario. You are fourth car back waiting to turn right at a fully controlled intersection having patiently waited for two minutes while the lights go through their cycle. Finally you see the green arrow and nothing moves because the person in front is not paying attention. After a blast from someone's horn, they will shoot around the corner at speed, knowing they are guilty of the most heinous crime (probably playing with their phone).

Because you are the fourth car, you have missed the green arrow when you could have caught it had the first car moved once the green arrow came up. You sit there for another two minutes at the traffic lights, all because of the inattention of one tosser playing with their phone. I really could go on a murderous rampage. Crush, kill destroy.

I have decided to 'improve' this post with some personal. As far as I can remember, I have not been guilty of not noticing a traffic light had turned green, except for one occasion. I was in an unfamiliar area and queued to turn right behind other cars facing a red arrow. The arrow turned green and the cars in front moved forward. The arrow went red as I arrived to turn, so I stopped, thinking I would be there for a full cycle of traffic lights. I was gazing around at what there was to see and I failed to notice that the red arrow had gone out. I should have then moved forward into the intersection to turn once the way was clear. Just as the lights turned amber, the car behind me tooted and I realised my mistake. Well, it was too late go now. The car behind should have tooted me when the red arrow went out, not when the lights were changing to red.

PS Some of my recent posts have been a bit iffy. If you don't know what iffy means, you can probably work it out. Perhaps a synonym is doubtful. But, I have reduced my my backlog of posts from 30 to 16, and so there won't be a Flood Friday of half written posts in the near future.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tony Cant

It is not a word I use or like and nor does the New South Wales police force. They charged Danny Lim over a sandwich board. The Tony referred to is our former far right and strongly religious Prime Minister who did not last too long in office.

This looks harmless enough.

Sweet. Apparently he is a very nice guy. Maybe Victor has run into him at his local station or on the streets.

This is the offending sign over which Danny Lim was charged with offensive behaviour. It is not as bad as the now blanked out letter might indicate. It said "Tony you can't", but the A was upside down.

The same word is used on this sandwich board. It is a bit of wordplay, and I do like word play and as the world is becoming unpunctuated, the words on the sign shows the importance of capital letters and punctuation. Mr Lim was convicted and fined $500. Through his solicitor he appealed to a higher court and the conviction was quashed.

What do you think? 

The Breakings 2

One of our two matching milk jugs broke, probably from that fatal disease that all crockery and plastic materials eventually succumb to, dishwasheritis. Strong detergent and very hot water takes its toll.

It is terribly difficult to find a suitable replacement. Too big, too small, very ugly, neck too narrow. R has bought one but he hates it. It does the job but is big and clunky and not attractive. We are still looking.

The Breakings 1

As I said the non working element to steam off water that our air con unit produces is saving us heaps on our power bill. I expect when it first caused problems, the element was cracked. Now, the problem has become quite visible. The element is now broken through, visible in the middle of the photo, slightly up.

I have learnt while looking at stuffs about air con units on apartment balconies, that the inside unit only produces water in the summer when it is cooling. The outside unit can produce a lot of water in a short time when heating if the weather is humid. It seems it has not been humid of late here, as there has not been any water in the tray for weeks.

Melbourne's summer weather is generally dry,  but at times we do have humidity.