Saturday, November 09, 2019

Cold Snap

I suspect it is quite unusual for us to have such cold weather in early November, and cold it was yesterday and will be again today if the forecast is correct. Icy winds, a series of rain fronts with strong winds and snow on 'dem 'der hills.

The last four Thursdays when we have taken Mother out; week 1, hot and high 20s, week 2, cold, squally and wet mid teens, week 3 mid 30s and hot, week 4, cold, squally and wet mid teens. Nothing to do with climate change though. However, I think it must be record variations for November and I am convinced that our seasons are moving later. I  switched the air con from cooling to heating this evening.

I became bored by rainbow number seven yesterday. This one is the best of them.

Friday, November 08, 2019

How can this be?

Still in one of most first world countries in the world human excrement is still dropped onto train tracks. Yes, Great Britain. Imagine if you are a train track worker. Ghastly. The target set was the end of 2019 and will not be met. Date set for all British trains to have sewerage storage tanks? 2023. I would have thought that from about 1960 new trains would have stored sewerage and I think our trains do. I wouldn't be surprised if India isn't doing better.

The wog accent

The word wog is perhaps now pejorative but in my younger years it was just a word to describe immigrants of a certain origin. Of course if you called someone a filthy wog, that is different and offensive. Wog as a word on its own is ok. Those described below took it onboard and hence many years the tv show Wogs Out of Work.

It is a strange thing that the first generation of people born here of Mediterranean and Middle East parents often have this cross accent. I rather like it and where I worked a number had such an accent. Can I even confess I find it arousing? It comes with so much promise.

Watch as much or as little of this video by Superwog as you are up to. I particularly like his put down of the passenger who asks about free range chickens. The video is the perfect illustration of the Australian 1st generation wog accent and manner of speaking, and probably attitudes too.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Growing Pains

Via my blog I have heard many of you mention how large world cities are growing at a frenetic pace, and without the infrastructure to support the population, and therefore reducing our quality of life.

Auckland, New Zealand is no exception. It is so worth your while to click on this link to see a luscious photo taken of Auckland from a plane or drone and published by The Guardian.

Well there is no turning back to scenes like this looking up Queen Street, Auckland, from the port side of Customs Street with trams going in all directions, providing part of a very good public transport system. Photo from Getty Images.

Good to see the old buildings are still there in a photo taken by me earlier this year. The old distant and dominating building is behind the crane arm. The closer one was the General Post Office.

What no city wants to end up is like this. This was retweeted on Twitter, so I am unsure who to credit. Duh, ABC broadcaster in the US, as the mark in the video said. The video is of a Los Angeles freeway and was captioned:

1970: One more lane will fix it
1980: One more lane will fix it
1990: One more lane will fix it
2000: One more lane will fix it
2010: One more lane will fix it

Do you think in 2020, one more lane will fix it?

It never did and was futile. While our freeways are just as congested, as is London's M25 ring road we don't have quite as many lanes, but as you can see, the more lanes, the more traffic. Better public transport in our big cities is what we need.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Off and Racing

After a discussion with R about the morality of horse racing because of the shocking exposure of Queensland abattoir workers treating horses about to be killed very cruelly, along with the fact that horses are whipped while racing and often have to destroyed after falls, and being tortured with electric shocks, we were doubtful about having our annual bets on Melbourne Cup Day. It is probably not viewable overseas but here is a link. It is only for the strong hearted to watch.

I can't say I've thought much about it in the past. I had no idea of the huge numbers of horses being bred for racing purposes and fail to ever run a race. I suppose I thought there was a rather limited number of race horses and it wouldn't be hard to retire them to life on a property somewhere.

Not so. Many many horses are killed after their racing careers have ended and most who don't succeed in racing at all are too. It seems such a waste.

I don't have a problem with animals being humanely killed for meat consumption and so my argument is that if this is to continue, there must never be scenes again as was shown. I can't see any real distinction between a winning horse or one that is useless at racing, but perhaps it is like being attached to pet. God knows what happens in some countries where race horses are bred.

This is purely anecdotal and just a feeling I have. Something has changed in Melbourne on this Cup Day holiday. We did end up placing bets and when I collected the blank tickets to mark, there was one person in the TAB (betting shop). We returned with our tickets to lodge our bets and there was one person in the TAB. This is unheard of. One more arrived as we left.

I wanted to go to town to absorb some of the atmosphere such as I have photographed in years past but R wanted to go to Prahran to pick up his new contact lenses. I decided to go with R. I remember years past our foyer would have people dressed up and waiting around for others, so many at the tram stop heading into the city to catch the train to the races, trams full of women with beautiful hats and outfits and some very well groomed and nicely dressed men. This year I saw one race day dressed man leave a taxi and head to the tram stop and we saw three women in South Yarra dressed for the races. Not one person on the tram on the way home heading for the races. I suggest it is a rather subdued Melbourne Cup this year.

Here are a few photos from years past. Two are from Oaks (Ladies) Day on a Thursday, while Cup Day and Oaks Day are all about colour, Derby Day before the Cup is all about black and white, but there often some rebels or ignorant who attend in colour. They won't be in the posh areas if they are in colour.

Oaks Day punters heading to Flinders Street Station.

Waiting for friends.

Waiting for the train.

Ready to surge on board. Cup Day attendances are usually around 100,000 people and the majority travel by train, perhaps for the only time each year.

Centre Place.

So the enjoyable experience of putting the bets on went ahead and watching some races but neither of us has contributed to the coffers of the racing industry as even before the cup has been run, we are ahead, in my case substantially. Ok, it is not moral, but at least we have taken money from the industry. Now we will just await The Cup attendance figures and hear all the reasons why numbers were down, ignoring the bloody obvious. It was a wonderful day weather wise, coolish and sunny.

$2 for the win and place on each horse for each race, and an extra horse in The Cup. Total $44. Check back a few hours later and I will up date with a brag or lament about my winnings.

Such a serious matter. Let me end with something I found rather funny. We were about to watch the fourth race when R asked me to check which horse he had put his money on. Ah, I said, we both chose the same horse, Accrued Value. He replied that he was sure he didn't choose that horse. I rechecked. Have you worked it out? Accrued Value was the progressive total moment amount as the bets were put through the machine that takes the slips at the TAB. I is idiot.

Later edit: Profit for me $27 Profit for R, about $20

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Daily Mail AU

That is Daily Mail, I think a UK publication which has a presence in Australia, rather like The Guardian has. I contribute financially towards The Guardian in a modest manner. It calls out the crooks, high flyers, thieves, cheats and charlatans. Its reporting on the awful London Grenfell Tower fire has been brilliantly relentless, without fear or favour.

On Twitter I have just began following the openly gay Australian Gary Nunn who is reporter for The Guardian. I found his story about wives left behind as older men suddenly come out as gay to applause and approbation quite interesting. I do feel empathy with the woman who do not understand what their husbands have been up to during their marriage. I've seen it too often and it has happened in our extended family.

If Twitter is to be believed, the Daily Mail openly stole part of Gary Nunn's Guardian writing. I've never liked the sound of the AU Daily Mail and I feel no compunction to read it if the best it can do about a serious matter is to steal someone else's writing.

Shame, shame, shame.

Andrew, the benevolent world dictator

1. Severely restrict the arms industry which sells to both the goodies and baddies and those who we cannot decide are which.

2. Take away guns from every American with the exception of licenced pest species control shooters. If the citizens don't have guns, there is no need for the police to have guns.

3. Develop a world health care model probably based on a European system that really works. Care from cradle to the grave, and money sensibly spent on viable outcomes.

4. Stop the Earth's population growth which is at the expense of all other animals on this planet. How? Education, the enemy of despotic governments whose citizens have many children to secure their own future.

5. I am thinking of a line from the tv show I think The Six Million Dollar Man. We have the technology. We have the technology to have environmentally sustainable lives. Sit back and wait to see what happens in the next ten years. We have the knowledge.

6. People driving around in huge personal metal boxes and taking up huge amounts of public space must end and become a luxury. All countries will put huge investment into public transport.

7. Stop forcing your 'correct' religious beliefs on others.

8. Correct the huge imbalance of inadequate food for some in the world and more than enough with huge wastage for others.

9. World wide effort to stop the extinction of any species.

10. Cease to pretend to not see corruption in governments because it is politically or economically convenient.

I could go on, but am I not just writing motherhood statements?

Ok, one more. More lovin' and less fightin'.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Monday Mural

I had spotted a mural as I passed by on a tram and when going to photograph it, I found this one, along with another for the future.

The noses are a bit strange, but otherwise it is such a joyful scene.

I misread "homes" the first time, substituting an o for an e. Just off Chapel Street, Balaclava.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Up for sale

While the salesperson talked wankery about tendering out our old car to various buyers of second hand cars, the dealership has obviously decided to sell it itself. It is a five year old car with only 67,000 km on the clock. It is a good car. It will go off at that price like a new groom's jocks.  Trust what car sales people say? No way.

Late Sunday Selections

A small offering today. We have just returned from seeing Judy, the movie about Judy Garland. To my surprise for me it was only a three tissue movie, and I remembered to take a packet. I think it was a good movie rather than a great one. Renee Zellweger was brilliant in the role of Judy, and it was very well cast.

Well, this is supposed to be about photos. There was sumo rapper in Bourke Street Mall. The weather was cool but I think his style of dress should be copied by other performers.

This man seemed quite fascinated by the performance, or the performer.

Probably my favourite city building, the Manchester Unity Building.

Characters on the terrace of an apartment in Chapel Street, South Yarra.

We bought our cheap Aldi rashies yesterday so there is no excuse for us not being down in the pool. Tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday. We can check if anyone is down there by looking at the reflections in the building next door. We are happy to share the pool but we like the spa to ourselves.