Friday, July 03, 2020

The old and the new

The old to begin with. I received a cheque today, something to do with demutalisation of our health fund. I'd like the money sooner rather than later. What do I do with a cheque? The bank was already closed so I went to the ATM, the Electric Bank. You used to have to deposit by putting cash or a cheque into an envelope that a drawer opened for you to take out and put your deposit into. Now, quicker than a slot machine, the ATM swallows your deposit and amazingly read the cheque and asked me to confirm the amount being deposited. I think the last cheque I received would have been about 15 years ago and the last time I wrote a cheque, about 30 years ago.

The new. I Zoomed for our building's AGM. It all worked pretty well. I was using the desktop so no one could see me or hear me, but I could type in comments. It was longer than the usual AGMs and quite informative.

I have no plans for future Zooming, but I learnt a lot about self presentation when Zooming. Even the most glamorous fell apart after an hour. And just keep your hands away from your face.

We are away for a few days. See you next week.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

ISO Walking

Gosh I have come across so many thing interesting to me during my ISO walks. Indulge me with more photos. Summer memories of aggies in bloom.

Not far away the Metro Tunnel construction was well underway.

OMG, after checking on Google maps street view, this place replaced a single story old house.

I sat and drank my ISO take away coffee at the MacRob Fountain.

Nearby Metro Tunnel Panels.I want to ask something about the premade tunnel lining concrete panels from one of the workers. But of course as a shallow gay man, I will wait until I see a cute worker.

The lorikeets were being fed.

This area is fenced off. Why? More will be revealed in the future.

A fail as an arty photo.

What do you think about these sculptures?

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Disaster east of the north Pacific

I like that Travel Penguin generally avoids the C word but even he is pushed to rant as he did yesterday, although not particularly about COVID.

What is happening in the US is extraordinary and of course it is coming from the very top down. I truly despair.

My greater city's COVID cases have sky rocketed over the past week, from a couple of days of one new infection to today's figure of the high 60s. On a world scale this is small but it makes us very worried. We are out of step with the rest of Australia and now some areas will be locked down. The figure of high 60s reflects what happened a week or more ago. Unlike Trump who wants to slow down testing to reduce the COVID numbers, yes go figure, it is being done door to door now in these Melbourne suburban break out areas, and yes, cases are being found.

You don't have to study anything much more than these simple graphs to see what is happening around the world. The small Australian rise reflects what is happening in Melbourne suburbs and seemingly mostly brought about by large family gatherings.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Restaurateur George Colombaris' restaurants went broke after he was convicted of underpaying staff, being made to repay the money and fined $200,000. But as his company (companies?) has no money, the government, that is we taxpayers, have had to stump up one million dollars to pay out staff entitlements. 

Meanwhile Colombaris lives in a house worth nearly five million dollars and has a property portfolio worth around seven million dollars. Of course his home is in the name of company owned by his wife.

While I wouldn't want it for small business people who have a try at business and fail, for these high flyers, bring back debtors prisons I say.

Crooks, thieves, liars and charlatans. We are surrounded by them.

What scum.

A little history

As I have mentioned Metro Tunnel is a huge Melbourne rail tunnel project under construction at the moment. On the construction hoardings in The (King's) Domain, are a series of interesting panels.

You will need to embiggen these to see properly. This one shows local areas now and also the blue at the bottom is our bay, while the dark line shows a much older line of the bay. The Yarra River is in bright blue.

West Melbourne Swamp went on to become a dock working area and is now a new office, sporting and residential area called Docklands. Although mostly drained by the 1930s depression it was also known as Dudley Flats, at the end of Dudley Street where mostly homeless men set up tents to live.The shape of Albert Park Lake is superimposed on what was South Melbourne Swamp. Batman's Hill was flattened and is the site of Southern Cross Station and what was the Victorian Railways head office. The Pond was known as the Turning Basin where ships once turned around in the 19th century. Yarra Falls was the edge of tidal salt water and river fresh water. It is a very interesting map for me.

While Melbourne did have some horse trams, in the 19th century cable trams were at the fore, like as still remains in San Francisco. Between the the tram tracks is a slot where a grip grabs hold of a moving underground cable and the tram was simply towed along. While motor cars and horses must travel each side of the tramway officers' box near what we now know as St Kilda Junction, cable trams ran on one side of the box.

Early 1920s it was decided to convert Melbourne's tram system to the new electric model. St Kilda Road undergoes conversion.

This photo is interesting. It was taken by an aviator who took many Melbourne photos from the air. At the top you can see the bay, a little below is  the bare looking Gunn Island in the middle of Albert Park Lake. The island is now overgrown and very important to the ecological lake environment.

Government House, where the Governor of the State of Victoria lived and still lives is on the far left. The flag is flying, so the Governor is at home. The Shrine of Remembrance  features upper centre with The Domain and Alexandra Gardens below. Very bottom is Yarra River and the Flinders Street railway yards.

St Kilda Road and Albert Road toward the beach dominate. The Shrine, our major war memorial. BP House is under construction, later to become the posh apartment block Domain, full of rich and famous and politicians. Go a bit further to the south, that is towards the upper part of the photo and there is an eight storey building, the Victorian (horse) Racing Centre, now where our monstrous building is and where we live. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Musical Monday

Thanks to all those who helped with an answer to the question about the name of the most wonderful English tv show Beautiful People. As I remember the lead character, I think gay Simon, had wonderfully accepting parents and you can see him performing a duet with his mother. Actually, I can't even remember if he and his black friend were gay, but they were certainly theatrical.

It wasn't generally heavy, just great fun, with a terrific cast including the blind South Asian/English lodger played by the brilliant Meera Syal who I have mentioned in the past. The acting was terrific and the writing very good.

Here is a music number from the series. Great fun.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Jo's Phone

Youngest niece Jo referred to her emergency phone as a banana, perhaps because of its shape. I never saw it. She carried it for emergencies and she never had emergencies to worry about, so it was not used. It was a dumb phone.

While I think I mentioned about her wanting a smart phone at nearly the age of 13 I don't think I showed you the Pro and Con Board.

She wrote the Pro side and could only find one Con item. Sister filled in the Con side for her. Jo now has Bone Doctor's old smart phone and Bone Doctor has a new one, but being iPhones, Jo's phone is terribly hard to disassociate from Bone Doctor iPhone account. Just another reason I like Android.

Jo stayed with us for two nights last week after visiting Hanging Rock and the Organ Pipes. Wednesday we took her to the city and bought her a book for her birthday, lunch at Mammasan's in Centre Place then after making a carrot cake for her visit to her nanny, Mother, the next day, we took her to visit Princes Pier and then a Port Melbourne bakery for cake and iced coffee. I think she may have been a little bored at times with the old aunties but she said not and naturally spent a lot of time on her not new smart phone.

Later in the night after Sister and Bone Doctor dropped Jo off here, Bone Doctor sent a text, 'Just to let you know, Jo knows how to look after herself but she does have her period happening'. I'm glad she did as I would have been puzzled the day after she left when I found a small piece of paper in the spare room with some witty sayings and marked Libra. Gee, she is not quite 13 yet.

Anyway, here are the Pros and Cons, and as I said, Sister added in the Cons bar one.