Saturday, December 12, 2020

Australians all let us rejoice

You know kiddies, back in the mists of time there was a time when our television stations shut down overnight. There was just fuzz on the scree if you tuned in after midnight or maybe even earlier. I am not sure about commercial stations but Our ABC TV used to play our National Anthem at the conclusion of programmes. To my present day embarrassment as an Australian republican I can remember standing when God Save the Queen wrapped up the evening television. Dance evenings, films, in fact almost everything in my childhood ended with God Save the Queen and everyone did stand. A non royalist? Even those of Irish heritage used to stand for God Save the Queen. It was drummed into us at a young age and it was just how we automatically reacted

I am only guessing but in the 70s God Gough Whitlam changed our national anthem to Advance Australia Fair. The next PM changed it back to God Save the Queen. The next PM changed it back again to Advance Australia Fare. Do your own research.

You can hear our anthem here. 

The anthem is contentious to our Aboriginal people. Let's see why. We will just look at the first two verses as that is usually what is sung and what everyone knows. Very few people would know the subsequent verses.

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Well, the bleeding obvious problem quickly arises with For we are young and free. Australia has been populated for over 400,000 years. Hardly young. No wonder those whose ancestry go back that far object to Australia white people's idea of being young. And then many newcomers to the continent were hardly free, sent as prisoners for punishment from England.

Girt? What on earth is girt? It could be a form of girded by sea. But really, can't we find a word people actually know the meaning of?

In history's page, let every stage......nah, problematic. There is much about Australia's history stages we should not be proud about.

At a recent sporting event our anthem was sung in both English and an Aboriginal language, but this did not solve the problem our Aboriginal population have with the the directly translated words.

While our anthem can be sung brightly and with vigour and enthusiasm, it can also be sung very dirge like. I suppose the basics won't be changed, but a little fixing up wouldn't be a bad thing, and while I can't recall how, it has been fixed up a little in the past.

The best to be said about our anthem is that we don't put our hand over our hearts as we sing it. I've remembered it now. The first line used to be, Australian sons let us rejoice. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Friday Funnies

Ex Sis in Law's husband had barely began work as Santa in a shopping centre this year when there were incidents.

The first was family of two parents with two young children. In a reversal of roles the children had brought a present for Santa. Neither parent had checked the contents of the box . What the box held caused the mother to go bright red and the father to laugh hysterically. The kiddies had raided the bathroom cupboard and filled the box with feminine hygiene products (a phrase I really dislike but it's an easy description). Yes, the worst you can imagine. Absolutely the full works.

People book appointments to have photos taken with the shopping centre Santas. Years ago it used to be free, but now it is a money making business and the photographic session is quite expensive although normally the photos of young children cuddling Santa are very good. This COVID year, the children must sit on a rather horrible plastic mushroom next to Santa when having their photos taken.

The next family incident again involved a couple with a couple of children. As people do, they had brought their home pet with them to be included in the photos. On this occasion the pet wasn't a dog or a scared cat, but a chameleon sitting on daddy's shoulder. You know, one of those small lizards that change colour very quickly depending on the surrounding background colour. 

Santa asked the daddy if the chameleon might escape from his shoulder. Daddy assured Santa no. He always stays on my shoulder.

But then the seriously large and decent portrait camera flash fired. The chameleon was so startled, it jumped from the daddy's shoulder into the huge fake Christmas tree next to Santa and immediately changed its colour to the same shade of green as the tree and could not be found. Guards, shopping centre staff and Santa searched and searched but could not find the chameleon. 

Santa could not go ahead with his entertainment of children and so went home early. Much to his annoyance, he discovered a few days later his pay had been docked for lost time at work. 

Of course gentle reader, I would not tell you this story if it didn't have a happy ending. Santa's  pay was reinstated after he protested. Just as well as Santa knows some unsavoury types. While meek, mild and loving with children, you would be unwise to cross this Santa.

Ah, sorry, you are worrying not so much about Santa's pay but the poor little camera flashlight frightened chameleon. It was found alive and well two days later in a staff frypan kitchen. A happy ending, so to speak.

This chameleon photo is from Wide Open Pets.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Cool as?

We are nearly into two weeks of our first summer month. The last couple of days it has barely reached 18 degrees, say 65F. I don't mind really. 

The thermal mass warmth of the building has cooled and so while it could be a defective memory, I really can't remember having our heating on for two consecutive nights in December. We have used the cooling too and that was only three days ago.   

Seasons becoming later? I think so. Of course it is nothing to do with climate change.

If it ain't broke...

The automatic Windows Photo Download worked well enough for me. I had to click on something after I had plugged my camera or phone into the desktop to delete photos after downloading. It would have been nice to be able to set this to default, but that wasn't possible.

I would then select the photos I wanted to download. I could select a week's worth or a month's worth or just individual photos. By default they were sorted into dated folders in my Picture folder, with the yyyy-mm-dd format, the sensible international system. I would right click on the folder and add a meaningful name or names to the dated folder, so say yyyy-mm-dd/SouthYarra.

It wasn't broken but it was fixed and the delete after downloading option disappeared. Such a nuisance. I then had to go to the camera or phone folder and choose what to delete. While I delete everything on the camera, on my phone I only want to delete what I have downloaded, so it takes more time.

Yay, the delete after downloading returned to where it was and all was well...…for a time.

The latest is the delete after downloading option has appeared as an immediately seen check box on the programme. Great although it still needed confirmation after downloading. I wonder why you would check the box if you weren't sure about the deleting.

But the worst thing is with the latest change is that the programme just dumps all the photos into you Pictures folder without any option of dated folders. If this isn't changed back soon, I will look at  an alternative programme. 

I am not happy Microsoft.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Studio 54

I knew about Studio 54 in Manhattan, a night club at the time; a place for the rich, famous and celebrities to attend and be seen. I think the late and very beautiful River Phoenix was often a customer as was Ma Margy Trudeau, mother of Canadian PM Jussy.

What is a busboy? Whatever they are, at work in Studio 54 they wore gym shorts and little else when serving customers. Settle Andrew!

Here are some Studio 54 photos I came across on the information super highway.

I see Rod Stewart but who are the other two? Is he Elton?

Michael Jackson? before his skin changed colour? Who was he with?

Is that Cleopatra, Liz Taylor, being fed a grape?

Is that Andy Warhol? 

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Paris, San Fran and Herefordshire

Riots in Paris again. A legitimate reason for protest as I see it. Protesters went too far as is often the case. But France is what it is from brutal protest. It's complicated. 

The US COVID nightmare just gets worse and worse. I forget what the San Franciscans  hate being called San Frans or Friscans and so note, I have used their correct title. Frisco has gone into nearly full lockdown against COVID. That is what is needed all over the US. The former President should be charged with criminal neglect. But I'm sorry to the people of the US that their former President was shown such disrespect in Australia. Ok, I am not really, not at all. If there is a dissenting opinion in Australia against #45 being awful, I've not heard one. 

Meanwhile over in the green and peaceful land of England with strong environmental and heritage laws, this has happened to River Lugg in Herefordshire! I am appalled that this could have happened. Was no one watching? It is just too late after the destruction to talk about prosecutions. The deed was done and someone will reap immense profits.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Monday Mural

I'm joining in with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

I am not sure if this lane in Prahran has a name. I can't see one. The mural is I think in the lane I am thinking of and depicts a sultry woman with large sensuous lips and heavy eyelids. In spite of the tagging and graffiti and the mural being a little faded, I think the face is terrific.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Sunday Selections

Joining in with Elephant's Child and others for Sunday Selections. This Sunday I am not posting random photos.

One of the earliest releases from COVID lockdown was being able to get a haircut. While we had to queue outside for maybe twenty minutes, the salon was open and we had our haircuts. The owner, who we had never seen before, was there organising and taking names while trying to amuse her toddler. 

The salon is in the very popular DeGraves Street in the city and while we were so grateful to have our haircuts, it was a rather sad place to see. A month later we returned for another haircut and it all seemed very much back to normal, with tables slightly further apart.

Normally this lane is packed solid with tables with umbrellas overhead and it is rarely quiet as people eat and drink and chat. You can see the barber pole in front of where we have our haircuts.


Pretty clever.

Really? It reminds me of the old joke, Bill Posters will be Prosecuted. Why? What did he do wrong?

How many bills have been posted here. Decades worth actually. Down towards the bottom is a poster advertising a concert by the group Led Zeppelin whose only tour in Australia was in 1972, and you can see a year of 1971 above it. Just to the left a flight of stairs connect to what is known as the Degraves Street Subway, a connecting tunnel to access the train platforms at Flinders Street Station. While there would normally be lots of foot traffic, until the underground City Loop train tunnels were built and opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1980, Flinders Street Station was much busier than it now is so the pole has always had a high volume of foot traffic passing by. There's such a lot of cultural history covered over that will never be seen.