Saturday, April 07, 2018

Stupid old man

This Friday evening after the funeral I feel like some humour, so here is some at my own expense. Ok, not funny, just a silly old man.

R for a birthday present once bought me a nose and ear hair trimmer/body shaver. You change the heads on the unit. I use the ear and nose hair trimmer but I still pluck as well. My plucking is better really. Yes, I do use the body hair trimmer, but only for area the down below. I like a neat bush, or little bush really.

I had the unit stuck up a nostril and I wondered how often it should get oil. It came with a little oil bottle. I must google that, I thought. Perhaps I should take it apart and shake out any hair? I did. A bit of the appliance fell in the basin. Oh, I think I saw something go down the drain plug. The main bit had fallen out and could have gone down the drain, but it didn't, but what if I am right and a saw one little part go down the drain? As soon as any water goes down the plug hole, it will wash through. I need to check now.

I looked under the unit. Ok, this is where the water level sits in the drain. I will remove the pipes and there will be a little water spillage, so I will put a face washer underneath. I loosened the plastic rings off and then undid them. The water was was absorbed by the face washer.

I never use the plug for the basin, but I do have one and so I put it in the plug hole and tipped the contents out into the basin. This sounds simple but it was an senior citizen getting up and and down from the floor. Thankfully there was no spare bit of unit. I reassembled the hair trimming unit and it still worked fine.

Then what did I do? Well, the water from the drain pipe was bit manky and so I lifted out the plug and ran some tap water to rinse the residue away.

And the drain pipe was still sitting on top of the vanity unit. While it wasn't a bad flood, a towel was needed.

Friday, April 06, 2018

The Stolen Spoke Rather Proper

It is all too hard for me to understand. I am getting old and I struggle to work out the world, least of all our Aboriginal problems. Everything that was once black and white to me when I was younger, no pun intended, has turned to grey, a very wishy washy grey.

But didn't the Stolen Generation who were educated in religious missions speak rather well, especially the women. I have heard so many of these older and usually mixed blood Aboriginal women speak over the years, and they are so eloquent and well spoken, with excellent diction. Sadly they are now dying out.

I am really not saying anything about what I think is a shameful history between whites and Aborigines in Australia, but the contrast between how the mission educated Aborigines spoke and many of those now speak, tells loudly of the importance of education.

Photo from ABC.

Motor Cycles on Footpaths

Victoria is the only Australian state where motorcycles can park on footpaths. There would be no political pain to any Victorian state government to ban them, so why doesn't our government just do it?

Political donations from The Bandidos and Comancheros?

No Title 2

Since I met R we have lived in Milton Street Elwood (flat), Waverley Road in East Malvern (semi detached house), Prosper Parade in Glen Iris (big house), Station Street in Burwood (large unit), Rosamond Street Balaclava (small house), and now here for over fifteen years in St Kilda Road Melbourne (large apartment).

Tradie Brother did a lot of work for us at mates rates in Glen Iris, knocking out walls and making good along with building decking. In Burwood he built us a wonderful timber decking around a fantastic crab apple tree and removed the interior fireplace.

In Balaclava, our exposed brick lounge room chimney had a serious lean. Can you fix that Bro? A badly leaning exposed brick chimney could be a big problem but it seemed to have stabilised its lean. I expect the chimney still has the same lean, but Tradie Brother covered it up with vertical sheets of plasterboard. There were other leaning aspects to our Victorian period house in Balaclava, that could not be so disguised.

Just a day

Monday 5th March.

R quit his volunteer job at the end of last year. A couple of weeks ago the organisation called him. We are really short of drivers. Could you help out at least once. R agreed and worked last Monday and this Monday, and as next Monday is a public holiday, Labor Day, he has agreed to do a drive a bus run on Tuesday. He had been looking at volunteer jobs on Seek. One really interested him me. That is as a volunteer driver of an electric vehicle to transport the elderly and infirm around Spencer Street Station.

So, for my last day off before I go back to the hard grind, I was home alone and free. I caught the 16 tram to St Kilda to take a photo of a mural, the 16 to Chapel Street in Balaclava. I just missed the 78 tram so walked back one stop to the Port Phillip Library and rinsed off my hands in the drinking fountain of tomato sauce which accompanied my sausage roll and coffee in Acland Street.

It was then up Chapel Street to Chemist Warehouse for medications. I was ready for the next 78 to Toorak Road. I walked to South Yarra Station and caught the train to Richmond and took some photos.

Then it all went wrong. Should I get the train to the city and a St Kilda Road tram home? Should I get the 70 tram to the city and a St Kilda Road tram home? Should I get the train back to South Yarra and the 58 tram home?

A tram came along as I was nearly at the tram stop. I assumed there would be someone getting off the tram at Richmond Station so I did not skip along to get to the stop or hail the tram, but I was wrong and the tram did not stop. Ok, it is the train then.

I went into the station to catch the train to South Yarra and the tram home, but for some reason I forgot that I was doing that, and caught a train to the city.

We could have a palace in the outer suburbs for what it cost to live here, but I do like that I am spoilt for public transport options. Unlike driving around here, public transport is generally stress free and at times interesting.

R Rant

WTF are we doing in this horrible windy place (Cowes, Phillip Island), said R. Why aren't  we sunning ourselves in Queensland?

Step forward to a day or two later to an overheard conversation on a tram covering the same period. "I was in Queensland and it just rained and rained. We were at (I forget which one but a big amusement park on the Gold Coast), and it just rained the whole day".

A whole day of raining is rare in Melbourne. Sydney has more rainfall than we do.

The male ache

As the majority of my readers are female, they may not know about a serious male problem, known by a couple of names, one being blue balls and the other, well I forget, but let us call it the unrequited passion of love.

The cause is prolonged sexual arousal without release. It is horrible. It manifests itself as a pain deep in the male guts that comes from the testicles. The trouble is that men can become very aroused just by walking along the street and seeing women or men and thinking about having sex with them. Men think about sex way too much for their own good. You think your man doesn't? Don't be mistaken, don't be misled, your bloke thinks about sex, way too much for his head.

Ideally a bit of jiggity jig or rumpy pumpy will cure the problem but a hand held  release also gives a  cure or time will take care of the problem in the manner of pubescent lads. Ok, it is nothing like the pain of childbirth, perhaps just 90%.

No Title 1

From the tv muder mystery series Phryne Fisher. Don't be remorseful.  It only confuses me.

Hated words

My old favourite remains, oriented v. orientated, or disoriented against disorientated. Why extend the word? If you are trying to paint yourself as speaking better than your basic social standing by using the longer words, it is a fail for me and I think less of you.

But why say passed on or passed over when someone is dead or has died? Your father passed on? Why not just say your father died?

Gifted. No, I simply will not wear that your child is gifted. He or she may be instinctively clever, but that is not gifted. People can be smart in many areas. Some are

Flood Friday

Yes, there is a backlog of unfinished, badly written, and I can't be bothered posts.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Why did our friend die?

I will tell you more about him personally in the future, after the funeral tomorrow. He was a high achiever.

I am only relying on memory, but I think at the end of 2016 he was admitted to hospital with a diabetes related leg ulcer. In 2017 a skin graft was done and he seemed to be ok and went home. But the graft was not completely successful. In the interim the hospital had picked up a heart problem and not too long after he collapsed in his local supermarket. Always one for publicity, he made the front page of the local newspaper with his thanks to the supermarket staff who saved his life.

A heart restarting device was inserted into his chest. In a queue at an airport, it went off and he did not travel. Yes, airline queues can be stressful.

His unhealed leg continued to trouble him and by the end of 2017 he had developed another ulcer on his other leg. Before Christmas he was admitted back to hospital for treatment.  He was allowed to go home for a few days over Christmas but was back in hospital as the New Year of 2018 arrived. To his sadness, he was on the wrong side of the hospital to see the city fireworks.

Since he has been in hospital, R has visited him twice weekly, and myself once weekly. In January and perhaps into February, he would always message R via Facebook and have an online chat in the evening. However to talk to him when we visited was hard as he continually dropped off to sleep for a minute and then rewake. The conversations were stilted and disjointed.

He had further treatment for his leg ulcers and contracted Golden Staph infection. He was hit very hard with a massive antibiotic attack, to which he did not cope with well and ended up in the Intensive Care Unit.

He came back but was quite unwell. His partner had to find the medical power of attorney at home to take control of his care above our friend's brother.  Another rather out there friend went directly to hospital management and outed our friend and pointed out that the Indian bloke was his long time partner. Our friend was not impressed at being outed. I cannot understand how it was not obvious anyway. The Indian guy who visits every day and is twenty five years younger is not just a mate?

The last time I saw him, late March on a Thursday, he was supposed to be moved to rehabilitation that same day. He told me it had been put forward by a week to the following Thursday. He had just received skin grafts to both legs which were healing well. He wanted the procedure to go ahead. His brother tried to stop it. Perhaps his brother was right, although ultimately the alternative may have been leg amputation and I am not sure how he would have coped with that. R saw him the day after, and while still dropping off to sleep all the time, he was ok.

Infection set in again the following week and he was back in ICU. His partner called us Wednesday the 28th and told us it was serious. His brother also called and suggested that the end was nigh. His organs were all shutting down. Such drama people, we hoped. The following day just as I arrived home from work, his partner rang again. There was no problem about seeing him in ICU now. It is open to everyone who knows him. He is going to be taken off life support and will die shortly afterwards. We hopped a tram to the hospital. Someone had just died in the ICU, so it was frantic, but eventually we were let in. He had a breathing mask on and we said our goodbyes. His nurse kindly asked if I was ok. Yes, I sniffed. We only stayed for about ten minutes. He died the following day.

All so sad and we are grieving badly. One day it is me, the next day it is R. The funeral tomorrow will help. If there is anything to learn here, it is avoid Type 2 diabetes at whatever cost.

But to end with a little uplift, he was once a conservative politician and is a member of our oddly named conservative Liberal Party. While our friend was unconscious in the ICU, his brother said to his own wife, Lynny, watch his pulse, and said to him, Turnbull has been sacked as Australian Prime Minister and Tony Abbott is back as Prime Minister. Any pulse change Lynny? Of course the reply was no.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Up, Up and Away

I haven't taken any balloon photos for a while so here are a few. It was quite dark when I took these and they are little blurred, but good to see the flames. Very hard to get both balloons firing at the same time.

Another day dawned and I clicked straight into the rising sun.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The British Plug

Australia uses a quite simple electric plug for our appliances. North America and most Asian countries use even simpler plugs, but not Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong, all former British colonies.  In 2008 R bought a phone in Singapore. It came with a British plug and and an Australian adaptor plug, making it even bigger and uglier.

The British plug is big and ugly. Why is this so? The quite attractive presenter tells us why, and it is impressive. Yes, both R and Pants remember having to wire up a plug for a new appliance for whatever their electrical plug system was in Britain at the time. Who would have thought so much could be learnt about an electrical plug.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Monday Mural

I did not like this mural initially. It is nothing wonderful. I don't like the footballer image at all.

However I do like that the artist captured something. The figure is a Richmond team Australian Rules football player. The team is nicknamed The Tigers, no doubt because of the yellow stripe on black. Richmond supporters are very passionate. Pity the kicked ball is shown as round when it is actually oval.

The inner eastern suburb was predominantly Catholic working class, with the wealthier people living up on Richmond Hill. At ground level of the mural you can see the factories, including a nice sawtooth roofed building, where the workers would have laboured. Much of the housing was of slum standard and cheek by jowl and this has also being captured. The building to the far right may look like a mosque, but is of the clock tower former cheap department store Dimmeys. This photo is from Tripadvisor. 

From our balcony we can see St Ignatius church atop Richmond Hill. It is a pity it was not included in the mural and nor was the Yarra River which is the southern border of Richmond. The river waters were once extremely polluted by Richmond industry run off, originally being the tanning of hides, soap making and abattoirs. 

I think the concept of the mural illustrating Richmond was good, but not the execution. One mural photo left for next Monday. It is bit of a mystery and I must sleuth. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Gippslander

It is beyond belief that a once electric train fed by power from overhead wires from Melbourne to Gippsland was changed to diesel electric. That the de-electrification happened under a Labor Government is even worse. The concrete staunchion pads for the wires along the way are still in place. As a teenager, quite a few times I travelled on the old electric Gippsland train. No cooling apart from open windows. No heating aside from chemical reaction foot warmers, that may or may not have been preheated.

Anyway, I am reminded of a question from back then, that seemed to have an obvious answer to me, vertical, but did not really make sense.  If an electric train is travelling at 80km/h in one direction, 50 mph in the old money, and the wind is coming in the precisely opposite direction at 80km/h, 50 miles per hour, in which direction does the smoke from the train engine blow? The young me said vertically, but I am not so sure now and I can't remember what the correct answer was. The same could apply to ships at sea, and I've seen smoke from ships out in the bay going one direction or the other, especially the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.

Is your brain or maths better than mine? If you know the correct answer, make a note of the time and please hold off for a bit and see what other people say.