Saturday, January 09, 2021

Because I can

I caught a bus for no other reason than I could. I am so pleased at being able to roam Melbourne again on public transport. I will mention the bus trip in a future post. 

I also caught a VLine train, well three actually. The first left So Cross (Southern Cross) Station from platform 8S. I didn't have clue where that platform was, but I found it in time. I did know about platforms A and B but not S platforms. Is there only one S (south) platform?

The next I had so much time up sleeve to catch a VLine train and I with some knowledge, I thought I was fine to be there in plenty of time. I mistakenly left the 58 tram at Bourke Street rather than Collins Street and walked down the slope to Spencer Street and then to Collins Street, the main entrance for the station. Plenty of time to catch the train I wanted. My train was leaving from platform 16B. I headed towards the regional train platforms and briefly paused to look at an information screen. I had plenty of time to catch the train. No rush at all. I know what I am doing.

A helpful customer service person offered assistance. I said I need platform 16 so I will just walk along the platforms until I come to 16. No, he said. You need to go back, take the escalator up, walk along and then the escalator down. Oh, I have time but I better walk smartly. 

The train was on platform 16B. That was a decent walk along the platform to get to the B platform. I couldn't see why it could not have been closer at 16A. Had I had known or checked, I had walked about half a kilometre so unnecessarily from Bourke Street to the main station entrance in Collins Street and back to Bourke Street.

By the time I boarded there was a minute to spare. I was in the last carriage and I found a forward facing seat on my own. The diesel powered electric train noisily powered out of the station. Vlocity trains are so smooth and quiet running with really comfortable seats but the motors are quite noisy but I love hearing them rev away from a standing stop. I think they can reach speeds of 150 km/h but are restricted to 115 km/h. According to my phone, the train reached 115 km/h. Ok, no one in Japan or Europe will be impressed by that.

I think only the last carriage on such trains is a Quiet Carriage and that was the one I was in (duh, that would depend on which way you are travelling). A young boy in a family group was watching a video on his parent's phone. Not so quiet. The train conductor ignored the noise. I moved to the other end of the Quiet Carriage and some bloke was playing radio through his phone. The train conductor said nothing to him either, although she did tell a man to pull up his mask.  What is the point of non quiet Quiet Carriages if the rule is not enforced?  This would not happen in Asian countries, and nor would people be on the train with a takeaway coffee cup and stinking hot food smelling up the carriage. I was so annoyed, especially at the radio player, I was thinking of standing up and pointing to the sign that said Quiet Carriage, but the noise was behind me and I couldn't see who it was. The noise did stop after a while.

I've been to Sunshine by train before and it is rather uninteresting. I continued on to Deer Park. I left the train and suburban housing and a carpark stretched in both directions, as I had noted when the train approached the station and decided there was nothing here for me and with a snap decision I caught the train sitting on the opposite platform back to the city.

I am a curious train traveller. Questions arise in my mind about things, such as what is this bit of water. It turned out to be the Dynon Road Tidal Canal and this blog post was interesting. Of course I wonder about tracks branching off here and there and wherever and the perfect answer to my arisen questions can be found at blogger Marcus Wong's,  Rail Geelong which covers trains west of Melbourne too.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Friday Funnies

I like Jewish humour. Maybe I have posted this before. I better delete it in case I post it again. While I heard it ages ago, I had forgotten where the story went. 

Years ago I posted this and it is a bit risqué. Then I reposted about the same movie last year.

The Yiddish are Coming.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

#45 rallies support in Oz

A gaggle of 'the deplorables', #45 supporters, marching down below with one shouting through a megaphone, Four More Years. What fantasy world do they live in? Police were monitoring the whole 30 of them. Thirty people from a city of 5 million is not impressive but nevertheless I am so disappointed in my fellow citizens that any would support that criminal. I can't wait to see him before the courts. 

Oh wow. This photo is a whole lot more interesting because I just noticed the 2CV in the photo. I didn't see it at the time. Way cool.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Burrowing down

I become very frustrated with Google Maps on my phone and it is my fault as I expect it to be so easy to do things that I think should be instinctive. I hear bits at times about what Google Maps can do. I decided I needed to actually sit and learn more. 

We needed direction once in New York City once after coming up from the Subway, but I soon worked things out. Not so lucky in London when we exited Old Street Tube Station into an under renovation massive roundabout. There weren't street signs and I just could not work out which of the five streets or which way to walk. I could see on the map where we were and the hotel where we would stay in City Road but which way was it? I just could not work it out. I did by walking along a couple of streets and Google Maps indicated I was going the wrong way.

Thinking about it logically now I should have just asked Google Maps for directions but I wasn't feeling logical. R was weary, about to explode and ask why we didn't catch a cab and I felt stressed. 

Even more logically, why didn't I just ask directions from someone on the street? Hey, I may be gay but I am still an Australian male and we just don't do that.

What I could have done as I learnt today is touch my blue dot location on Google Maps and scan the surrounding scene, the buildings. Maps will indicate with an arrow which way I was facing and I could have easily worked it out from there. Should we ever travel again, I need to remember this. 

While I know I can see where I have recently travelled with Google Timeline, and as a person in his sixties, I have no problem with being tracked, I was surprised to find on Google Maps a history of countries and cities I have been in for the last six years. All I can say is wow! Here is a screenshot. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Only One Cock a Year

Still no offer from a major media outlet to me as an attention grabbing headline writer.

I imagine the winner of this year's truncated Cock of the Bay yacht race is known as Cock of the Bay, as in the boss rooster fowl. The race as far as I know for the first time started from Port Melbourne. 

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race had been CC'd, COVID Cancelled, as had the Melbourne to Devonport and the Melbourne to Hobart along Tasmania's wild west coast so there was a lot of focus here on the Cock of the Bay.

While not great for yachting at speed, the weather on Boxing Day was delightful for spectators and yachties who weren't really focused on winning.

They seemed incredibly slow from our balcony. The photos are cut to not show too much building in the foreground. I wonder if I can load them full size, and I suggest you click on them to see them properly, and with a decent sized screen.

Albert Park Lake is in the foreground and is used for training child yachties in small sailing craft. Shape in Queens Road used to be called ISIS but for obvious reasons changed its name. The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre is mid right.

I mentioned the brown brick highrise you can see in in this photo,

Monday, January 04, 2021

Not Monday Mural

While I have a couple of murals up my sleeve, I am not in the mood.

Indulge me, if you will and some of this needs to on the record of the online diary.

Christmas Day at Tradie Brother's was great. The whole family was there at various times with the exception of Oldest Niece, her partner and their three children who had his family to see. Gifts were lavished on the children, far too many and of course we contributed to the avalanche. It was great but exhausting. Bone Doctor changed Mother's leg wound dressing. 

Repeat and rinse at a different location on Boxing Day, this time at Ex Sis in Laws, her husband and Hippie Niece and her twin cafe latte girls. Golly they are going to be stunners when they grow up. Absent was Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo. More of an avalanche of gifts for the children. Great fun for the kiddies on a downhill plastic water slide, and fun by some not so young on the same.

The day after Boxing Day Mother took 'a turn' and summonsed an ambulance and told the paramedics she wanted to go to a public hospital this time. They obliged and she received excellent treatment and care at a very busy emergency department, but was eventually transferred to a private hospital covered by her health insurance, which we of her children pay. But as her house is sold, that won't be for much longer.

She has remained in hospital since, even they wanted her out for New Year's Day. She will soon turn 87 and wants to feel like she is 45. It won't happen but her medications have been drastically altered. 

Both Christmas Day and Boxing Day we were caught in heavy stop start freeway traffic. Christmas Day was expected but not Boxing Day. I must remember to be careful what I wish for. Empty roads did happen last year at the extremes of our lockdowns.

New Year's Eve was spent at home. R went to bed at 10.30. I fell asleep in the chair in front of the (I just checked yesterday) 75", 191cm tv. Illegal fireworks woke me a bit after midnight and I went to bed.

Fresh faced and rosy cheeked on New Year's Day, we decided to lunch down the bay somewhere. Mordialloc I suggested? Ricketts Point? I showered and in the mean time R remembered near there is where the COVID outbreak happened. Fortuitously Ex Sis in Law rang wondering if we were free for lunch and so we joined her and her husband at Sandbar Cafe, Middle Park Beach. Chilli mussels were yum.

Saturday the 2nd we went to visit Mother in hospital, visiting hours 10.00 to 12.00 and 16.00 to 18.00, two visitors per day, only to be turned away because of COVID the hours had been changed that morning to 17.00 to 18.00. No problem. Only three hours out of our day wasted. Household management went on strike that night and not a meal to be seen, so we crossed the road in the rain and had a very nice meal at Giro d'italia. It was our first time visit and it was good. We ordered too much food and so have a large box of food in the fridge to eat another time. 

Today on my own I visited Mother in hospital. Traffic light until a car accident had five lanes of freeway traffic cramming into one lane. Three lane closure would have been enough for a nose to tail. I must have felt stressed as I left my phone in the car as I walked from where I had parked and how can I make a hospital COVID check in without scanning the QR code? Maybe you can sign a book or something but I went back to the car for my phone. There was now only a thirty minute visiting window, which was quite enough of hearing Mother's woes. I left for home just after six, expecting a 30 minute journey home.

It is not often I explode in the car but I did when the freeway was restricted to 40 km/h with five lanes merging into two lanes for road maintenance. After what I put up with going to the hospital, this is how you treat me on my way home, you effing aholes. Totally illogical, of course.

Not my doctor, not my cardiologist, not hospital cardiologists but a hospital pharmacologist worked out there was conflict with one of my heart medications and my anti tremor medication, so I had to stop the tremor medication. It took well over a week for it to be noticeable that my hands were increasingly unsteady. I arrived home from the hospital and poured myself a glass of wine before a late dinner. I had to hold it with two hands lest I spill it. I was back in the pre retirement days of stressful work and an even more stressful drive home. There is a newer medication I may be able to take. I'm going to follow this up next week.  

Ok, I do have a mural photo, nothing grand and on the wall of Victoria University in Napier Street, Footscray. 

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Sunday Selections

Is it Sunday? I am so confused this week. If I have the day right it must mean I am joining with Elephant's Child and others for Sunday Selections with the penultimate South Yarra ISO walk photos.

As far as I know this is the only remaining gas lamp outside of the city. It broke in two, whether by a car bump or just rust. It has been repaired but as yet has not been fitted with the business part.

How sweet. 

Not a bad building even it was naked, but its smart accessories dress it up well.

Stunning. I am thinking $2.5 million.

How many millions behind this fence? Who knows. If you told me this is a diplomat's residence, I would believe you.

And the same for this one.

Some beautifully framed aw shucks. 

I think the corner house may quite new. 

Very nice symmetry.