Saturday, August 04, 2018

S'Cuse I

Andrew Highriser is unwell today. Normal posting will resume tomorrow.

This is about the third time I have posted such. Does anyone get it? No need for get well soon comments. I will be ok by 10am..........well maybe 11.  By 7pm, I will be looking fabulous* and going out for dinner with friends.

*Oldest niec posted a photo on FB taken by a professional photographer when we were at her engagement/housewarming party, of myself R and Tradie Brother. I replied, What a handsome trio. R's sister agreed, so there!

Friday, August 03, 2018

Farewell to Lee Lin

So, it is farewell to Lee Lin Chin who has read the news at SBS for 20 years and worked at the station for 30 years. Along with other great SBS news readers such as George Donikian, Mary Kostakidis and Anton Enus (he is coming back after an illness), Lee Lin is moving on. Anton gets a bit a bit wordy in his tribute, so you may want to skip on to 2:40 after the introduction. Do note what happens at 5:20.

A snip from her entry in WikipediaIn July 2018, Chin announced her resignation stating that "...working two days a week didn't give me enough time to devote to the pub and re-reading the complete works of Shakespeare. So now that I work zero days that issue has been addressed".

Thursday, August 02, 2018


What an absolute mess is recycling in this country and the blame is not on the individuals but with with the way our rubbish recycling is set up.

Our first visit to England in 2008 one day involved, before a lovely Sunday pub lunch, was a stop off to leave bottles at a bottle deposit depot. Green glass in one bin, brown glass in another, clear glass in another.

Our Friend in Japan has to micro sort her recyclables before putting them out for collection.

What do we do in Australia? We chuck anything that is recyclable into one big bin and much of it was exported to China for sorting. China paid us for the recyclables with the money going to whichever company sent them, who in turn paid a modest amount to our local councils who are responsible for the collection of recyclables.

Pollution of recyclables is when there is something in the recycling that should not be there; say used disposable baby nappies, or plastic bags. I can't vouch for these figures but off the top of my head, I think China likes the incoming recyclables with a pollution rate of no more than 8%. What was arriving from Australia had a pollution rate of around 13%. Is it any surprise that China said, no more! We will no longer pay you money to take your polluted rubbish.

Why is this so? Most people here take recycling seriously. We certainly do, but not everyone does. These photos in our building's basement were taken a few years ago and used in a previous post.

Later more signs were added saying 'no plastic bags' and the number of plastic bags did drop. Each time I take the walk of shame down to the basement with the contents of the plastic bag clinking away, I remove any plastic bags from the general recycling bins. I don't go through all the bins, about 14 are filled each week, just if I happen to notice any bags. I tip out the contents, which is normally appropriate for the bin, and put the plastic bag in the plastic bag bin. Why do people do this? It would be better if they just dumped the bag down the rubbish chute on their level.

I believe the US State of California with its high standards and tough laws does recycling pretty well, but not so in most other states, which is rather a shame. If found this rather interesting Youtube video explaining the workings in the Carbonlite plastic bottle recycling plant in California, where they turn plastic bottles into....plastic bottles. I don't know how common this is in the world, but it is a very impressive set up. You can watch the video here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Lighting of Flinders Street Station

BAD is in Greenland.

"Dad, why is VR engraved on the teaspoon?"

"It belonged to my mate Victor Richards."

I believed him until one day some years later I learnt it stood for Victorian Railways. It had been 'acquired' by a person unknown.

In the photo below you can see Flinders Street Station illuminated to celebrate 100 years of Victorian Railways in 1954, and also a royal visit. It must have been a huge and expensive job to light it as such, and imagine how much power would have been needed for all those incandescent lamps. Quite impressive for 1954.The station stretches for a full city block, from Swanston Street to Elizabeth Street, and a bit beyond.

I think they station facade was floodlit during a 1980s renovation. The lighting was crude but effective enough, just floodlighting from a distance. The most recent renovation had lighting much improved and I think it looks great. Not Victor Richards but another Victor, Victor in Sydney, who makes frequent flying visits to Melbourne to see performances and art, took a couple of good photos of  the effect of  the most recent lighting job.

You simply must click this link to see the current lighting.

But I am not so keen on the effect when I discovered these photos at the Herald Sun electric newspaper. I hope the coloured lighting is used sparingly, perhaps just for special occasions.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


If you find scenes of car accidents very distressing for whatever reason, then move on and don't watch this, but it is very worthy.

ANCAP is the organisation that tests cars for safety in the event of a car crash in Australia and I think New Zealand. I don't know what the letters stand for, nor who funds the body who does the testing. It gives cars a star rating system and only cars that reach five stars are allowed to be sold in Australia. But if you are looking at buying a car a few years old, and you note it has a five star rating, that is just not the same as a five star rating for a brand new car. Safety standards are improving constantly.

You can see the headline to the video, 1998 Toyota Corolla hitting a 2015 Toyota Corolla. The result might be more dramatically different if a 2018 model was used fitted with side airbags. At work I often drive a 2016 Toyota Corolla. While on the ANCAP website, you see real people behind the steering wheels before switching over to the crash test dummies, still the video with only the crash test dummies is frightening for those of us who drive an older car, like our second car. It goes on a bit, so if you are in a hurry, skip to 30 seconds and then on to 1:40. Actually, it worth watching the first part, as you see the multiple airbags inflate.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Mural

Check out the Monday mural posts by Sami, Jackie and Grace.

Somewhere north of the city in Nicholson Street, I suppose Brunswick, is a building with a ground level car park and these murals within. The artist seems to have the name Lushsux. It was a little dim so some of the photos are not so good. Should I look up Lushsux and find out if Lush does suck or not? Ok, here we go. Well, I am not sure what to make of this site. Let's just enjoy his work.

I really like this one. I wonder if it is a self portrait.

I feel I should know who this character is.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Selections

BAD is bound for Reykjavik from Ireland.

Joining in with River and Elephant's Child for Sunday Selections. That is, photos that don't really fit anywhere else and are just kind of random. Well, that is my version of SS.

Palm trees for Gosia, at Station Pier.

Pretty bottles. The champagne sparkling wine is probably awful.

I'll just park here, block a lane and a pedestrian crossing. No one will notice.

From Early 1960s and it looks so modern.

Years ago I wrote a blog post when I replaced all my dry cleaner supplied wire coat hangers with white plastic coat hangers. The white plastic coat hangers have become yellowed with age and a few have broken. I have now replaced the old white plastic coat hangers with black plastic hangers. I don't think I learnt any lesson about plastic.

This kitchen photo is from the 1950s. Almost more modern than the 1960s photo. I really like the radio.

We were with the 11 year old Little Jo for her birthday lunch at Sandbar, Middle Park. Sister decided she needed the lav after we left the cafe and crossed back over the road, while we drummed our feet. 'Tis a pretty nice palm tree, hey Gosia, and not a bad scene for the middle of winter. It was a cold but clear winter day.

Prime real estate at somewhere north of Melbourne, featuring a duplex public housing pair. The land is worth how much??? A lot. We desperately need more public housing.

Are we all excited about the new American Embassy in London? As we can see there are nicely hidden bollards along with a moat. What is the address of the drawbridge to get in and sort our visas and make our feelings about Trumpet quite clear to the ambassador?

Ah, gay vodka with the rainbow flag. The extra ingredient in gay vodka is ???

This idiot who thinks tram lines are a road had either travelled about 1/2 of a kilometre down a tram line or bounced over a raised guttering to get where it is.

I think I shall never see a thing as beautiful as a tree. Never depend on your sat nav. It only took me a couple of years to notice the error on my twice daily work drive. But then I don't really look at the sat nav during my daily drive.

Look up into the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane. Is it ??? It was so exciting when I was a kid to see a plane flying overhead, let alone a helicopter. With glee we ran out under the path of the small plane dumping fertiliser on our paddocks, inhaling lots of fertiliser goodness to mix with DDT spray we also ran under, and the asbestos fibres as we played with as we broke up old pipe lagging and sheets of asbestos. Along with cars and homes filled with cigarette smoke, we siblings should all surely be dead by now.

Isn't this such a contrast to the misery of today's flying experience. I'd like to fly like this, but with a seat belt and a USB charging scoket.