Saturday, June 06, 2020

Dropping like flies

While my sister believes in a great state education for all funded by the taxpayer, her daughter attends a non religious private school and Sister teaches at a private religious school. Perhaps a case of do as I say, not as I do.

For the past twenty years there has not been a suicide by a student at Sister's school, then in the last 12 months, three boys have committed suicide, the last I learnt about on Sunday. I think he was fourteen and a year seven student but she teaches older boys, so not one of her students.

Of course I asked Sister why. She did not know. Sexuality issues I asked? No, she said. I am not sure why she can be so sure.

The year seven boys were called back to school on the Monday even though they were still supposed to be home learning, to be officially informed and receive counselling or just a chat if required. Casual chats can go a long way where official counselling might not reach.

Meanwhile Elephant's Child probably does save lives, actually I know she does because I asked her. She saves lives at her Life Line volunteer job. She helps people. She makes a difference in the world.

Meanwhile in Oregon, Strayer does wonderful things for stray and non desexed cats and kittens, often without homes. It is not an easy volunteer thing she does. I donate a small amount each month to her cat charity fund raiser. Think about doing the same. Strayer is an honest and hard working person who makes a huge impact on stray and non desexed cats.

Former blog mate and now friend Victor volunteered as a visitor at a nursing home and also was also  meet and greet helpful person at a major Sydney hospital until suspended because of his age, as R was also from his volunteer work where he also makes a difference to people.

Our building neighbour has volunteered for 25 years as a tourist information person. She too has been put off duties because firstly of her age and of course there aren't tourists anyway..

Our Friend in Japan does volunteer work.

Which does remind me that I did once volunteer to teach English to immigrants, and I did, so maybe I made a small difference so many years ago.

While I have tried a bit at times including a bit of foot work and more recently from the comfort of my desktop chair, I've never changed the world like the aforesaid to be a better place in a practical manner and it seems unlikely I will.

Those poor teenage boys who killed themselves. What a waste and tragedy. Is there something wrong with society that led them to such extreme action?

Well, that  is a bit of a downer. Hopefully something a bit brighter tomorrow.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Change my deodorant?

There are five three bedroom and one two bedroom apartments on our level. Over the past week two of the tenants of the premium front apartments have moved out. One was occupied by Asian students, the Window Wanker if you remember, and the other by a couple with a three year old son. Hey three year old, I hope you know how hot your daddy was when you were three. The latter is up for rent at the incredibly cheap price of $600 a week. I am not sure if it has aircon, but if it does and it does have two tandem car parking spaces, it should be about $850 per week if it is in good condition.

The two bedroom was owner occupier, a nice Asian couple In spite of searching on the net, we cannot find anything at real estate sites about two of the apartments.

That just leaves us three owner/occupiers on our floor.

What is going down?

Postcodes and ZIP codes

Australia generally uses a four digit postcode. Each state is designated by a different first number and then the last three indicate the area. This gets a bit more complicated in our territories. The ACT generally begins with 26, the 2 being for New South Wales which surrounds the territory. I am imagine it is similar for Jervis Bay. Northern Territory post codes start with 0.

My own post code is 3004, 3 for Victoria and as I am close to the city, my post code is not far off the Melbourne postcode 3000. Mine denotes St Kilda Road Central and the parallel Queens Road in Melbourne. The capital city post codes generally end in the first number for the state followed by three zeros.

US ZIP Codes work in a similar manner I think. I once had to use a US ZIP Code for some reason in the early days of the internet, and the only one I knew without checking was 90210. Who of my age doesn't know why I would know that?

Japanese postcodes are quite complex. Here is an example. 020-0867. I expect the code is loaded with information, and need to be as street numbers are not necessarily sequential.

English postcodes are very specific. They take you right to the street and to which side of the street you live. Taxi drivers ask for you postcode to take you to your home. At some point, I can't remember, they will ask for the street number, but with often complex street arrangements, it is very helpful for them to know what side of the street you want to be delivered. Here is an English postcode example, NE15 6RL. NE would denote the north east of England, the rest, I wouldn't have a clue.

What is your postcode style where you live and how much does it tell about where you live?

Thursday, June 04, 2020

A trip to Town

We ventured into the city yesterday for the first time since early March, I think. Were we nervous and uncomfortable? Oh yes, we certainly were. The tram was fine, with plenty of spare seats. We walked down Flinders Street to DeGraves Steeet and along there to where we have our hair cut.

There are normally people waiting and up to four hairdressers working, but there was only one today and no one else there. We had our hair cut by a masked woman who has cut our hair before. She only slipped on the mask while cutting our hair.

We went on to see Mamasan at one of our regular cafes and she was so pleased to see us. We discovered the young man there is not her husband nor son, but her brother. Now it all made sense. Gay, as we already suspected but couldn't work out their relationship. He too came out to greet us. It was really nice to feel some sense of normality, even though the usual crowd of gawping at graffiti tourists weren't passing by and many of the eating places and a few of the other businesses were still closed.

Our department store Myer reopened last week and I needed some clothes and it was stocktaking sale, but then there is always a sale on of some kind. I bought a new pair of jeans, two shirts and a jacket, all 30% off. R bought a couple of polo shirts. A very obvious gay man behind the counter when we paid? Who would have thought that at Myer. He was very friendly, as were all the staff.

Hand sanitiser was in abundance, though of course as we always do when we leave home, we had our own in pockets.

I don't know why I get picked on. On our way to Myer in a lane, a couple were approaching from the other direction. As I neared him, he cleared his throat and opened his mouth as if to spit at me. I felt like I did when I was in the city more than a year ago and called an 'effing old c' by a beggar for no reason that I knew.

But then something really nice happened as we left Myer. I didn't really notice him but for some reason R is very good at celebrity spotting. He met someone's eyes and he said hello to the man and the man said hi back. He looked familiar to me, but I couldn't place him. It was nerdy super brain Issa Schultz from the commercial tv quiz show The Chase (Australia). R said their eyes met and he just felt compelled to say hello. He looks better in real life than on tv. Issa is 36, not married and doesn't have a girlfriend. Issa with presumably a friend is on your right. Photo from Twitter.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Suddenly busy

Last Wednesday we went to see our friend in Kyneton. Freeway driving. Thursday was Mother Day. Freeway driving. Friday shopping day. Saturday, well, what a blow off. Freeway driving. Sunday return Jo to her Mums, freeway driving. I have an appointment this week on Mother Day, so no freeway driving for me this week, thank goodness. R will take Mother out.

We don't normally celebrate Tradie Brother's birthday but this year on Saturday we were all so pleased to get together. at his home. We had party pies, sausage rolls, saveloys, salads, foil wrapped potatoes cooked in the warming fire in a drum and served with grated cheese, sour cream and bread, followed by birthday cakes, one made by our nearly 13 year old niece Jo.

We did a bad. We weren't supposed to gather until two days later on the 1st of June. It was the 30th of May. No police attended our family gathering.

For the record, myself and R. Mother and ABI Brother. Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo. Fire Fighting Nephew and his very pregnant wife. Oldest Niece and her two daughters and baby son. Hippie Niece and her twin daughters. Ex Sis in Law and her husband and an older female neighbour.  It was so nice to see everyone again after such a long time.

Jo performed with her amplified electric guitar. She played on the guitar and sang Eye of the Tiger very well, along with a Billy Idol song. Little M tried a finger glove puppet show but there was not much interest.

Jo came back with us and stayed the night while her mothers went home.

Jo was not so interested in the matters of internet but very focused on tv. She and R watched a few shows, including the movie Charlie Wonka's whatever, Gruen and some other stuffs.

I showed her our giraffe and bird painting on the walls. She loved the giraffe. Not so interested in the bird but I expect her mind will retain the word Hindi (writing). She is such a sponge.

After pancakes, Sunday morning we walked to the corner of Domian and Park and my god, was it so busy. As you can see it was a sunny morning. I insisted we walk on the far side of the road to avoid the crowds. The cafe where I usually buy coffee, that will $4 plus the 6 or 7 cents that our boss told us the card machine adds had crowds waiting for coffee.

We sat on a electricity substation seat watching the throng for a while until eventually Jo said, what about 7/11 coffee? It is not so bad. I have a short black and add some hot water but rather embarrassing to be seen with a 7/11 coffee cup in such a posh area. Jo had drinking chocolate.

I went to pay the older Asian man who I think probably owns the franchise. He was suspicious for some reason and grumpy, as he watched Jo pouring her chocolate. He was quite rude to me and I've not encountered that since we bought ice cream in Edinburgh last year.

Apologies for the crudity, but I think the next time I encounter such rudeness, I will say, Man, if I suck your c***, will that put you in a better mood? I can just imagine the shock on their faces. You reckon I won't be game to do that? Embarrassing R in public is my forte.

Once home we called Sister and Bone Doctor and arranged to meet at a Red Rooster take away chicken place in Geelong and then went down to the banks of the Barwon River to eat the chicken. They then took us for a walk on the great trails and boardwalks.

It was then home. Monday the 1st was the second stage of unlocking us. With excitement we drove to South Melbourne only to find where we were hoping to eat, Degani, was closed. Even the place that we consider the best place for coffee in Melbourne, Brazil, was not serving proper food and had no seating. We decided we would buy what we had to in the supermarket and have a sandwich at home.

Tuesday, Bay Street, Port Melbourne and the bakery was open with seating. I expected it would be busy and hard to get a distanced seat, but it wasn't. I think people are still quite fearful. Nevertheless we sat at the distanced outdoor tables and enjoyed our food and coffee.

Look at the crowds of people. We saw one woman go off her tree at people spread over the footpath. While she was right, perhaps she should have walked in another area.

Walking along the Barwon River in Geelong.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020


More distressing scenes in our media from the US and sadly one event here too in Sydney.

Today I watched a 15 minute compilation video of peaceful protesters marching in the US being beaten, smacked around, kicked, slammed, thrown around and pushed over by police.

A well respected gay pron star, Austin Wolf, showed his massive bruise when he was shot by something by police when peacefully protesting.

In Washington DC police shoved a shield into the camera and face of an Australian tv news camera man who along with the female reporter, were well out of a forbidden zone.

One observant news watcher mentioned on the radio this morning certain tv footage showing looting, that people were stealing food and leaving the alcohol on the shelves.

Desperate people. Desperate times.

Now President #45 has threatened to call out the armed services against his own people, many of them sympathetic white people. Let me think. When can I remember the last time that happened? Oh yes, China, Tienanmen Square. The BBC says over 10,000 people were killed.

As happened in my own state Victoria under the leadership of the evil Premier Jeff Kennett, the police suddenly thought they have vastly more rights to 'do things their own way', and abuse the rights of citizens and the process of law.

I expect the same is happening in the US. Welcome to Trump's America.

Transport Tuesday

It just makes sense. But people have to be heading in the same direction which they so often are as they head used to head to the city centres from the suburbs to work.

We love using Melbourne's trams and have missed them terribly as we have been driving everywhere of late. This has been partly because the city has been virtually empty with our premier department store closed, our barber closed and where we sit and eat also closed. This has changed this week as we slowly emerge from lock down. Trams have been trundling past our building with perhaps four passengers on a good day. I expect this number of passengers has increased this week. It has been similar for trains and I expect buses.

There is one inherent problem with trams, and it has affected us at times. If one stops, all trams behind the stopped tram stop and there is no way around. While the Operations Centre is skillful at diverting trams when it can, it is not always possible. This photo by acquaintance Richard Youl, once a Melbourne tram driver, now a retired Gold Coast resident illustrates the problem well. There is probably hundreds of people delayed. I would guess the photo was taken in late 1980s or early 1990s. Except for these historic trams being used on the tourist City Circle route, our trams are now much more modern.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Monday Mural

Nothing too great but good to put these murals on the northern side of Richmond Station on the record. Pity about the graffiti scrawls. I don't know the artist and I can't be bothered finding out.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday Supplement

I almost burst into tears when watching the riots and destruction in the US on our commercial and ABC tv news. I can really be a drama queen at times. But the way that a policeman killed that black man who may or may not have passed a counterfeit $20 note was horrendous to see.

Did I see a figure that 70% of COVID deaths in the US are black and Latino people?

At a certain site you can see the actual video of the white father and his son shooting dead a black man who was out jogging.Were they ever going to be charged with murder if not for public agitation?

While I am sure most US police do a difficult and at times life threatening job well, what is happening to black people is just too awful and it has to stop.

You comfortable middle class white people have to protest and tell your leaders that it is just not right. While my country's treatment of its first people is not something to be proud about, I care not and I will lecture you. You need to get off your asses and make America not great again, but a civilised country for everyone.

What is happening to innocent black people in the US is horrendous and it must stop.

Sunday Selections

Joining with Elephant's Child and others for Sunday Selections.

The 21 storey office building BP House (British Petroleum) was built in 1962. In 1995 it was converted to apartments with rich and famous along with politicians buying apartments at the now called Domain. Rather cool that the name BP House lives on some 25 years later.

A lovely gift for R's birthday from our Friend in Japan. The paper is 100 years old and the upside down Hindi script was unreadable to my Indian friend who can read Hindi. While it costalot, the framing of it was very well done.

Autumn photos go stale very quickly. Here are some local trees when I was out ISO walking.

Speaking of our Friend in Japan, she lived in this lovely apartment block Kia Ora when she was a youngun. Kia Ora is and informal greeting in New Zealand with Maori origins.

Looking down the length of the block.

Some of the early highrise apartment buildings in St Kilda Road have wonderful gardens. Here are a few.

A couple of very early highrise apartment buildings in St Kilda Road.