Saturday, December 14, 2019

Visiting the dead

While they can be quite sad, I like visiting cemeteries, both old with headstones only and newer ones with more space and those with huge expanses of lawns.

This one sits in the middle. Not too many headstones and a good bit of grassed area and walls for ashes. I can't remember why our friend, the widower of our friend who died in March 2018, asked us if we would come with him and visit the cemetery to pay our respects to his late partner and then have lunch at the rather good nearby Rapture Cafe in August.

I had just bought my new camera.

I couldn't believe how dry the bush looked in August, our last month of winter. My maternal grandmother recounted to my mother of watching The Dandenong Ranges on fire. It will happen again and it will be a terrible disaster.

Ferntree Gully Cemetery is not large and quite a nice place to visit.

Dry, so dry, in the last month of winter.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Time puzzle

I find these picture graphs so interesting yet how reliable are they? Microsoft, meaning a Windows operating system, resets clocks according to which country you live in. Here our clock resets to a twelve hour clock. I know that clock time well, am or pm. Because of my former work, I also know the 24 hour clock very well. I may not know two languages but I do know two time systems and I am versant in both without thought.

This map seems legitimate and without surprises until you look at England, Scotland and Wales. Are the English really so conversant with a 24 hour clock? It is not my experience.

Stayin' Alive

Doctors have a vested interest in keeping you alive. The more patients they have, the better.

Real estate agents and car salespeople have a vested interest in keeping you alive. They want sales.

Google, Blogger, Ebay, Twitter etc want to keep you alive.

Who wants you dead, I hear you ask, or not?

Obviously funeral places want you to die. That is how these now mega funeral companies make money. Bonus for them if there is a terrible natural disaster. So many people dead and so sad, so many need funerals, how sad, and we will make squillions!

Way back in 1963 the British aristocrat Jessica Mitford (Decca) wrote The American Way of Death, an expose of the American funeral industry. Among other areas of the business of death, she wrote about how funeral parlours play on emotions to extract more dollars. They still do, 55 years plus later.

I am not talking about the financially poor old person who will probably be looked after in a modest manner by paid staff by the state. Where it gets very nasty is old age care homes and retirement villages for those who have a little money, mostly from the sale of their family homes. Whether you are a high care person in a home or a low care in a retirement village, there is a vested interest in you dying or moving on to higher care and turning over your property for the private company to make a profit. Dead out, new in. New in, become old. Dead out, new in. Each time this happens the company makes money, significant money at times if I understand it correctly.

What a disgusting model, yet that is what we have in Australia.

PS I thought this was going to be I Can't be Effed Friday, but I have this already cooked.

PPS Oh, another Friday the 13th. Didn't we have one a few months ago? I am not superstitious but I really don't like Friday the 13th.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Out and about

I can't remember what I was doing in Footscray but I do remember I couldn't find the entrance of the Bunbury Street freight railway tunnel. I now know where it is and I did find the exit, but of course that depends on which direction you are travelling. It was a nice wander and combined with another photo shoot. Looks like it was winter by the bare trees, but I think very late spring.

This standard gauge? line is about to cross over the Maribyrnong River after exiting the tunnel under the multiple Footscray train lines. and will go on to the Port of Melbourne and the docks, or on other lines where freight needs to go. Note, no electric overhead. All diesel engine generated electric. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


What a terrible thing has happened in New Zealand, that is the a volcano exploding and killing many Australians and other people who were on the island when they were visiting from a cruise ship. Whether it was a safe ship excursion is yet to be judged and of course all will have signed a disclaimer by the ship tour documentation. More will die from burns in hospital, and what a horrible way to die, a terrible lingering death. A friend once visited an active volcano in Hawaii and was very close up, yet he took his chances and survived.

Meanwhile back on this big island west of New Zealand we have the most terrible bushfires, especially in the state of New South Wales. Numbers numbers. I can't remember but did I hear 650 homes destroyed? 2,000 koalas killed? Innumerable other animals both large and small, along with farmed sheep, horses and cattle. This has not been a disaster fire that happened in one day, but one over a number of weeks.

I am a little reluctant to criticise Prime Minister Morrison as media shows what they will show, but he does rather seem to be missing in action during this fire disaster, perhaps spooked that the fires are so bad because of the suggestion of climate change which he and the Liberal Party seem to be completely ignoring. Within the party there are expert politicians with some kind of weird instinctive knowledge of  climate change and that it isn't happening and they know better than climate scientists. 

R's sister's wedding was held in Sydney a decade or more ago and we were the wedding planners. It was a wonderful day with a photo backdrop of the sparking blue harbour water, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I feel so sorry for whoever had their wedding yesterday in Sydney.

Ferries, a major form of public transport in Sydney, were using foghorns in the smoke before they were cancelled entirely because of poor visibility. Smoke alarms in office towers were going off, leading to innumerable fire brigade call outs. Photos from The Sydney Morning Herald and if you haven't seen it already, take a look at Merle's post with the weird reflected fire.

Nothing to do with climate change! Move on.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Crime in 'da hood

The resident of this building  a few doors from us who recorded this said that before this event happened, a police car came through with lights and sirens. Can we assume this stolen car dodged off St Kilda Road into the Metro Tunnel works area to avoid police in pursuit?

It took me a while to work the video out so to briefly tell you what is happening, a black SUV appears on the left in the Metro Tunnel works area. It pauses on the far right, perhaps faced by a barrier it couldn't break through, reverses and pauses again before crashing through the fence, taking some fencing with it, and as the traffic stops and banks up, I guess the fencing fell off on the road and people leave their cars to move the obstruction.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Monday Mural

Imagine Trumpet and Arnie discussing what is good for America.  Quelle horreur! Somewhere in Richmond and again by an egoless artist who hasn't signed the work but my skillful research prowess discovered in about five seconds that it is by Lushsux, I like his name.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Couple a bits

We saw The Good Liar today. I can't say anything about it because I feel I will give it away, except with Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in lead roles, how could it go wrong? I highly recommend you see  a well made film. The trailer gives nothing away. Watch it for what it is.

The beautiful Swiss city of Montreux where the late Freddie Mercury once lived on the shores of Lake Geneva is one of the most expensive places in the world to live, yet it is place for conferences, where investigators of crimes against humanity hold inquiries. It's even a gathering place of those VIP activists who fight against violence towards women. Conferences and investigations in luxury and I expect stay in very nice accommodation.

While I am not suggesting conferences and investigations are held in Bokoro in Chad, I don't think it is a good look to hold conferences in Montreux. 

Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable as Prime Minister as the leader of the the English Labour Party. When the working class say kiss my arse to a Labour leader, you know how it will end. Well we don't really know but it won't be  Labour victory. Yet Corbyn does say some sensible things, like as he Tweeted today.

The people telling you we can't solve the climate crisis helped create it. The people telling you they won't sell off our NHS can afford private healthcare. The people telling you we can’t scrap tuition fees went to university for free. They are not on your side.

And parliamentary votes.

6x against the Iraq war
7x for the hunting ban
12x for laws to promote human rights
23x for equal gay rights
16x against bedroom tax
5x for raising welfare with inflation
15x against disability cuts
47x against welfare cuts #JC4PM