Saturday, October 12, 2019

Bye Jon Faine

The excellent retired broadcaster Terry Lane was briefly interviewed by ABC Melbourne radio station's Jon Faine AM (honour) during Faine's penultimate broadcast. When Faine started broadcasting between 8.30 and noon five days a week some 23 years ago, Lane said to Faine that it was unsustainable to be on air for such a length of time, given the concentration required.  I've always thought so too but Faine has been doing it for 23 years and he has now resigned as of Friday.

To give you and idea of how he is liked and respected, his last broadcast was live from Melbourne Town Hall, with a capacity of over 1500 to attend and thousands entered the ballot to be there for his last broadcast. I thought about entering the ballot, but then it occurred to me that I would have to get up early to be there before 8.30 and 3 and half hours is a long time to be seated no matter how well entertained. But as I said, thousands wanted to do so and 1500 did.

I listened to most of the entertaining broadcast with a huge guest list of politicians, former and current, voices regularly heard on air with Faine, former broadcasters, the terrific comedian Sammy J along with many others.

Faine has educated me, alarmed me, made me laugh, irritated me at times, made me tear up, made me angry, made me despair (usually about politicians), impressed me with his coverage of 9/11, the terrible 2009 bushfires in our state when so many lost their lives, the Singapore state murder of one of our citizens. This list too is long.

Faine is in the light shirt and Lane is in the black shirt.

Like many genuine high achievers, Faine has a wide range of interests outside his former area of work and I expect he will live a interesting life after broadcasting.

It's probably only of interest to listeners of ABC Melbourne, but his final broadcast from Melbourne Town Hall can be found here.

Good luck Jon, and thanks.

Well, out with old and in with the new, well the not so new Virginia Trioli as Faine's more than adequate replacement. Big shoes to fill, but I can't think of anyone who could do it better. Good luck to you Virginia and I am sure that you will hate me for remembering sports broadcaster Dan Lonergan calling you Trigger Trioli oh so many years ago when you were a radio broadcaster before you television career.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Some personal amusement and a question

When government organisations are closed down or privatised, there can be a huge loss of expertise. At times in my opinion, it is almost a criminal offence to lose these very experienced people. However, in the case of Sydney's trams with the system being closed down in 1961 and trams not reappearing until the 1990s, it is understandable.

It greatly amused me to read that while Sydney tram tracks were covered over or pulled up after the closure of the system, existing tracks occasionally pop up as a road surface wears thin.

Not all the infrastructure was removed. There are plenty of tram remnants in Sydney and I have covered them before. But I recently heard about some of which I was unaware and also amused me. So drawing this whole post together, tram tracks need drains and of course Sydney tram tracks had drains. There were also metal plates in the road to be lifted to clean out the muck that would flow into the drains.

According to someone interested in Sydney's old trams, and there are quite a few left and they have great knowledge, many of the metal plates in the roads were never removed after they became redundant and are still in situ. While those interested in tram history might know what they are, road workers and other contractors do not and treat them with respect and make sure they don't interfere with them or cover them over when remaking a road. They don't know what they are, but they are there and need to be protected, when in fact they don't.

Well, that was supposed to be brief and I wanted to ask you a question.

There are only perhaps three posts to go about our UK visit. I have posted differently this time after our holiday by stringing them out with lots of other posts interspersed.  In the past I posted the holiday reports almost sequentially when I had the week off after our holidays to recover, recuperate, sort photos and post. Now with the luxury of time, I can string them out. Future holidays in The Highrise are being discussed. Cambodia to Vietnam mostly by river boat? Big ship cruise in Alaska? Hawaii?

The question is, if you haven't worked it out, is do you prefer my holiday posts to be almost one after another or strung out over a longer period?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Newcastle Day 5

R's middle sister lives in a rented highrise apartment. I think again it was taxi to get there when there was quite viable public transport, but we were not in control. Her daughter and grandson were there too. This sister of R's has been to Australia three times, her daughter once whereby she celebrated her 21st birthday about fifteen years ago at our late friend Dame M's grand house on St Kilda Hill. (I've given my Cast List top right of my blog a well needed update. They are the people in my life, or as time goes on, were). Her three year old son is just so gorgeous. R's middle sister cooked us some lunch and then another niece turned up and then R's nephew who kindly drove us home after we had been to the shops down below.

No idea what we had for dinner. Here a couple of photos from the day and a video from R's sister's apartment, looking over the Tyne Valley.

There is a photo of our Hippie Niece sitting under the coconut owl when she stayed with R's sister for a few days about three years ago.

Now a bird drinking container but formerly a party ashtray. Do you remember them, full to overflowing with cigarette butts? 

A pan at R's middle sister window. English towns, well certainly Newcastle, are interesting in that there are vast amounts of green space with housing quite tightly packed together in a very orderly manner. The River Tyne can be seen. It used to freeze over as did The Thames, but no longer does. Nothing to do with global warming. Move along.

Why is the rain not falling and it is so warm?

Like waves wash over rocks, so did stories about climate change wash over my ears. I was alert but not too alarmed. We will fix it in the fullness of time. That is until we were at the beautiful Lake Louise in Canada.

At the Fairmont Hotel where we stayed were some old photos, showing Victoria Glacier in the 1920s. Victoria Glacier feeds into Lake Louise. I was shocked by the comparison between how far the glacier stretched down to the lake in the 1920s compared to the 2014 photos.

We have had days of city and inner suburb disruption because of the Extinction Rebellion. The disruptions aren't too serious and don't last too long, but have received a lot of publicity. I would therefore say they are effective.

But how much better to get your point across with humour, as we came across at the Arts Centre.

The conversation between the dining coal barons was as you would imagine. "Don't worry about that uneducated rabble up the back. They have no idea about how economies work". It was all about profit as they handed the mesmeric piece of coal back and forth between their hands. It was very funny. We lunched and returned to the nearby tram stop and they were gone. There is a limit to standing in cold water.

I came across this photo on the internet. A woman being manhandled  by gendarmes in Paris as she protested against the Vietnam War in the 1970s was once again manhandled by gendarmes decades later as she protested against climate change as part of the Extinction Rebellion. Sitting on your arse at a computer and signing petitions won't change the world but it may help.

While the real polluters now may be third world countries, we in the West need to take a lead. Per head of population we in Western countries are the worst polluters on our planet. Individuals can't do a lot. It has to come from our governments and it is now up to them. Our Federal Government has no obvious plans to reduce our emissions or help other countries. It has no passion for the environment at all. It is appalling and only concerned with economic growth, via a high migration level.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

No post today

Yes, one of those days when I feel disinclined to post anything. It is not that I don't have anything prepared but I thought you would enjoy a rest. I am so kind.

You could help me with one thing though. As of late there have been the odd days when I haven't posted anything. Ah, you must have blinked and missed them. I think I may do this weekly, like really not posting unlike this fake news no post. If we have nothing to thank Trumpet for, at least he added to our language with fake news.

Ideally when I don't post, I would like a catchy title for the post even if there is nothing in the post. I love alliteration but no day of our week can work as No Post ***** in any kind of alliterative sense. So what I need from you dear reader is a suggestion of something to work with saying I am not posting on a certain day of the week. Sunday Selections puts Sunday out. Mural/Musical Monday precludes those. I've haven't posted a Friday Funnies for a long time, so F is open for use. I've meant to post Throwback Thursday but I never have, so that is open too. I only have so much time to sit at the computer and so have never participated in Wednesday Words on Friday, not matter how interesting the posts may be.

Some of you are poetically talented. Regardless, I am sure you can come up with something.

Later: I did think of Can't be Effed Friday.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

So far, so good

Great to see the falcon chicks thriving this year high on a city building. Last year's hatchlings sadly all died after their parents fed them poisoned meat, possibly pigeon (sorry Merle) or rabbit meat.

You can see them live here,

Monday, October 07, 2019

Monday Mural

Joining with Sami and many others, here is my Monday Mural effort, well a few, all on an electric substation in Albert Park. They aren't brilliant but rather intriguing and much better than blank walls.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Newcastle Day 2

It was a slow start without reason to rush, and after feeling rushed for a couple of weeks, it was luxury. Eventually we, R, myself and R's sister were showered and dressed. We went by taxi to a supermarket at a shopping centre and bought stuffs. We caught another taxi back home. Taxi drivers in Newcastle are incredibly friendly and chatty but only if you want to chat. There is an infrequent quite cheap non normal public transport bus that passes R's sister's house but the service is infrequent and the bus is often late, as I noted. Not enough time allowed for walking sticks, walking frames and shopping jeeps.

We lunched at the shopping centre and R's sister cooked us an evening meal. I didn't really take photos that day, so here a few from another day.

Modern England. Mosque?

Photos of some remains of Hadrian's Wall built in Roman times 128AD, to protect the area from the Scots to the north. That is quite some old history we passed by on the 39 bus along the West Road.