Saturday, May 05, 2018

Handsome stud photos found on the internet

Someone once said about me, so sad that he is gay as he is really nice bloke. He was wrong on at least one count. I say to you, so sad that this hot guy whose photos I came across on the internet is straight. Excepting the last, I haven't seen these photos before.

Ok, all I have time for today,  is my excuse.

Liz is clearly very happy and excited as her imagination runs riot. Je suis remember vous Papa Pierre. Vous et plus Papa Pierre. For a certain Francophile, just imagine him whispering in French naughty sweet nothings into your ear.

Friday, May 04, 2018

I see and I hear

I am sitting on our balcony. A warm gusty northerly wind is blowing. Our balcony does not suffer north wind turbulence. Tree branches are bending and swaying in the wind. The crackly dry brown Autumn leaves are dancing in patterns on the street. Occasionally one will rise and perform a mini ballet in front of my eyes before it shoots upwards or falls to earth. A lad is running at speed down and across St Kilda Road and not to catch a tram. I wonder what's his story, his life. Is he a fleeing thief? An indulgent sculpture in front of a residential tower glows pink. A former blogger who worked nearby described the sculpture as an overengineered slug. One of the many authorities in charge of our street has replaced the warm glow of orange street lamps on one side with much superior bright white LED lighting, yet I like the warm glow that I can see on the other side of the street. Soon the trees will be leafless and and our sixteenth year of having a better view of heavy traffic in our street will reappear.

I close my eyes, and I can hear things. Above the white noise of our busy street, I hear a tram air conditioner running, confirming that it is warm evening. I can hear the thud of skateboard wheels on the hard paving of Illoura as lads launch themselves from ground level over steps to land and break up the soon to be redundant paving. I hear trams grinding to a stop as their wheels lose traction on the juice of Autumn leaves. There will be lots of visible sand dust tomorrow, as the succession of steel wheels grind the braking sand to a powder. Unless my sleep is interrupted by the sound of the tram track cleaner sucking, nay roaring up the sand at 4am. I shall keep my bedroom window closed tonight. I hear the rattle of a metal fitting on a flagpole at the Malaysian Embassy.  I like the rhythm. I can hear a young female voice, the well spoken voice of one who speaks much too loudly in company. How many of the Oh My God phrase can be fitted into one sentence. I can't pick which private girls school she attends by her voice alone, although I have my suspicions. I hear the birdsong, as studies have revealed they sing much louder in noisy city environments. It must be getting late now, as I can hear road signs being dragged across the road, as work will go on tonight within the Metro Rail/Tunnel/Whatever construction zone where we live.

I can always see, but at times I don't. My world is never silent, but at times my ears make restorative silence.

I will wear any comment that says, what a load of un-edited self indulgent wankery.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Blogger and barbeque

Well, we met someone today who is not a blog writer and rarely a commenter, but he is certainly a blog reader. He and his partner reside in the lovely Perth suburb of Maylands and were on a semi regular visit to Melbourne for his partner's work. We met J for coffee near where he is staying and of course he was as pleasant and amusing as I expected he would be. You may not remember but we visited a very nice cafe in Maylands a couple of years ago with Grace of Perth Daily Photo and her husband. The cafe is named Chapels  on Whatley and of course as a local resident, J was familiar with the cafe. Hmm, gays own the cafe. Who would have thought.

Anyway, the meeting yesterday was very nice, although only for coffee as we had something else to attend to and it is always best when meeting someone new to be a little cautious until you can ascertain they are not axe murderers or even that you just don't communicate well. Next time we will be more generous hosts.

This photo taken from our balcony is meaningless to anyone except to who we met yesterday.

So, from there it was shopping time and no not boring food shopping but for a new barbeque. While the direct replacement for our old one is available everywhere and discounted, not the model with the temperature gauge. It is only available from a few specialist Weber dealers and is never discounted.

I gave the old barbeque a major strip down and clean about 18 months ago and with only half the gas jets clear, which I fixed, and a serious build up gunk removed, it was working well enough, although the ignition switch no longer worked and I had removed it. There were a couple of things that steered us strongly into buying a new one. Firstly our friend T in Launceston cooked us a lovely roast pork and vegetables in her larger Weber with a temperature gauge. While it not essential to know the temperature, it helps. Also you have to cook the roast sitting on a trivet which then sits on a special disposable foil tray and the trivet would not be available to fit our old model, plus the lid is a little higher on the new one to give more clearance for a large piece of meat, and who doesn't like a large piece of meat. Also, I checked on the net and barbeque gas hoses and regulator are supposed to be changed every five years, although I suggest that should be longer, but our hose came with the barbeque and was fifteen years old. Just to replace the hose and regulator was going to cost $50.

I did my research online and so we bought it from a small local company, BBQS Plus. We also bought the trivet, the foil roasting trays, a wire cleaning brush and a new cover. Steak tonight!

This is our second barbeque cover. The first lasted eleven years, the second only a couple of years before it started to break down.

After fifteen years, we both felt we had our money's worth from the old one. The new one weighs about half the weight as the old one, so I don't if the new one will last as long. The question at our age is will it last for the rest of  our life. I think we paid about the same in dollar terms for the old one as the new one, so that is a decent price reduction.

God help you if you touch anywhere else than the lid opening handle and the control dial. You will get black grease on your hands.

About half an hour to remove the old one and set up the new one and get rid of the packaging.

The grill bars are enamel whereas the old one had cast iron grill bars. These with be easier to clean.

All ready to go for tonight.

Later: The steaks were brilliant, just like the steaks on the old barbeque......ah, did we really need a new one? Yes, because hopefully we can roast with the new one and not stink out the place with the smell of roasting meat that can last for two days, never mind the subsequent oven cleaning. But there is no reason really that we could not have roasted on the old one. Bah, we stimulated the economy with our spending. It is the duty of the older to provide for the younger.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

A river diversion

R told me he had once taken me to Pound Bend in the very outer suburb of Warrandyte. I did not deny it, but I didn't think so. A search of my blog tells me he did, back in 2006. It was early days of my blog and there were no comments. I didn't have blog love back then. It is so funny that today's experience was so like the one twelve years ago.

So, our visit to Warrandyte (misspelt in the old post. Spell checker is much better now), was much the same, except the sat nav took us by a scenic route, but no longer timewise. I would have had to look at a map back in 2006, I think.

We parked the car at a riverside carpark in front of this shell. Once the home of Taffy Jones, it survived floods in 1934 when the water reached the second level but did not survive the Black Friday bushfires in 1939. Taffy was rebuilding when he suffered a fatal heart attack. 

Something to eat and coffee among the trees at the riverside Warrandyte Bakery.

A stroll along the riverbank back to the car.

It was very peaceful.

Because of the different direction we came in from, R was a little confused and could not work out how to get to Pound Bend. Eventually I stopped the car and entered the info into the very complicated and non instinctive sat nav and Madame GPS got us there. The water flows out from the tunnel here.

I could never live up there surrounded by gum trees. You would really struggle if a bad fire came.

Pound Bend tunnel photo June 2006 taken with my first digital camera.

Pound Bend tunnel taken 29th April, 2018, three or four cameras later. Very disappointing.

There is something wrong with my camera. I am ditching about a quarter of the photos I take because they are out of focus. The rotary dial keeps slipping from one setting to another. The lens is marked. It is getting close to 10,000 photos. While it can do marvellous things that I have never investigated, it has become a problematic point and shoot camera. Diane, it can't even put a grid on my screen to get my photos level.

Our acquaintance at Beacon Cove chatted to us at the wake after our friend's funeral. Back when he had a Samsung 5 phone, I had a Samsung 6. I now have a Samsung 8 from Kogan, aka Dick Smith. It is good. I like it. He went one better and bought a Samsung 8 Edge. He asked me what struck me about my new phone? I tried to second guess him, but could only answer everything is better. He then said, the camera is just brilliant. Well, R with his Samsung 7, told me I should forget about the camera and use my phone. While I have never really investigated my phone camera, on the odd occasions I have taken photos with it, they were good. It would certainly be much easier than bothering with taking a camera.

The clincher seems to be that my phone copes better with hand shakes and trembling than my camera does. So, I am going to give it a go and learn about the phone camera. Mind its file naming and downloading of photos is not good. Perhaps there is an app???

I better tell you a bit about Pound Bend. The Yarra River from there winds it way around to get to Melbourne with a 175 km circuitous route to cover about 30 km by road. Pound Bend is a misshapen horseshoe in the river, as you can see here.

The 200 metre tunnel was constructed in 1870 between the two close parts of the river through the narrow land neck, leaving the water level lower in the horseshoe and so easier to mine for alluvial gold. It was all very much a failure. Even without much rain of late, the horseshoe bend and the tunnel both seem to flow.

My god, the traffic coming home in Hoddle Street. What a congested city Melbourne has become, turning our old easy Sunday drives into a miserable and overcrowded traffic choked experience. Too much Missy. Too many people.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Edited out

This was a bit of a laugh. A Channel 7 tv reporter boarded the train I was travelling on and filmed a piece to camera about extending the time of train  arrivals to the city from whatever time the free train trip begins.It was a nonsense piece of reporting, a filler.

He is a nice enough looking guy and he engaged really well with people on the train. He had not studied the script the night before and was memorising from his phone screen.

Take 1, he said 6:13 instead of 6:30.

Take 2, he totally just screwed it up.

Take 3, he brought the house down when he got it all absolutely correct until he said, 'for your drive home' when he should have said your train trip home.

The cameraperson/sound recordist then exploded with some unkind words including some eff words. This is your last take or we are going to fucking well end up in some outer suburb. Given we were in the city on our way from Spencer Street to Flinders Street, that was unlikely. He then got it word perfect and I saw it on air as was recorded.

The back of my head would have been seen in the first take. I am always edited out of anything important. Such is life.

Channel 7 Melbourne tv reporter Paul Dowsley.

Monday, April 30, 2018

I is culcharal

I might meet an opera lover and say, I love Carmen, well actually and really The Roller Door Song. If you are Aussie, go on. Sing along.

I might meet a lover of paintings and say, hey, isn't Van Gogh's flower painting just wonderful, but so  small when we saw it in the National Gallery in London. (yes, I am a name dropper)

I might meet a ballet dancer and say, I just adore Swan Lake and has none been better in the ballet than Nureyev, and did you notice the bulge when he lept into the air. (I hope Nureyev did perform in Swan Lake. I read a biography a long time ago and I think he did)

I might meet a country and western fan, and say, isn't Twania Twain just brilliant. (One hit wonder for me)

I might meet a hard rock fan and say has then ever been better that Led Zeppelin. (I can't actually remember any of their music)

I might meet someone who likes crooning and mention, what about Michael Buble. Never mind Bing Crosby. How good were they. (I have heard both and they are good, but aside from a Crosby duet with Bowie for I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, I can't remember much else)

I might come across a disco fan, and mention Love to Love you Baby, and add 'what a pity she ended up being homophobic'. (and therein is a another future post)

I expect I would be despised by all experts in the aforesaid areas for liking the cliches.

What music is missing? Classical music, and I will be dismissed here too.

With a friend I attended in the 1980s a Sunday afternoon quintet performance at the Toorak Uniting Church of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I loved it and I still do love the music, and I make no apologies for loving it. You may well think less of me for liking the ever so common musac but I don't care. I just love it, from Summer back to Summer the next year. I close my eyes when listening to it and immerse myself in the music, rather like I do with The Doors, Riders on the Storm. Well actually, I like to watch Riders on the Storm to see the delectable Jim Morrison. He looks like a wickedly bad boy.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Launceston Day 2&3 Pt 2

We called in on T's sister in Invermay to swap cars. We are now back in T's car, the one I took her to pick up in Melbourne ever so many years ago. Child seats were detached and put in the other car.

You simply cannot visit Launceston without a visit to Cataract Gorge. We last visited in 2003 and also went upstream of the the South Esk River to see the historic and disused hydro electric Duck Reach power station.

It is a wonderful recreational space and scenic place. So many failed photos, but here is the pick of the bunch. As you can see, we are high off the valley floor.

The chairlift takes you across the floor of the valley to the far side where there is a cafe and lovely  gardens.

There are various walking trails and this bridge is only for pedestrians.

We are off, on the chairlift to the other side. R and A were in the chair in front of me. I was on my own and took the photos. T stayed on the ground.

You can walk back into Launceston using the cliff side walkway.

Not a lot of water flowing today, but as you can see in this photo, the whole area was underwater when the river flooded in 2016, including the pool. Margaret took some great photos of the floods in Launceston.

I don't believe we used the chairlift when we were last there 15 years ago but walked like these folk.

T had a good therapeutic swing and fought off kiddies who wanted to swing while snapping us with her phone.

An inclinator, or cog, or rack and pinion lift up and down the side of the gorge.  I don't think that was here the last time we were here, but back then we had no need of it. It was appreciated for this visit. We helped some rather confused Indian born tourists with getting back up to the top.

The cafe on the far side of the gorge. Can you see the peahens on the ground?

And one on the cafe roof.

Two tame wallabies were on this far side of the valley.

Can you imagine what this bank of rhododendrons look like when in flower? They must be nearly 20 metres tall.

Return journey.

Who gets to live up there?

Strange kind of pine tree as we dismounted from the chair lift.

Finally a peacock rather than a peahen, but where is its display? The cute bare topped guy in the next peacock photo was so out of focus, I just deleted the photo. He was rather nice looking, smooth, muscular, long haired blonde and displaying his body for all to see. Ok, I have settled now. He was a show off pony.

But here is a photo I prepared earlier, of a peacock in Cataract Gorge back in 2003 when we were last in Launceston.

Yes, delayed flights the next morning. A made us toast for breakfast as T had to go to work. Although the fog on the lowlands of the airport was not nearly as thick as it was higher up where we were, it was the fog in Melbourne that totally screwed up Jetstar flights with its just in time commercial model.