Saturday, August 28, 2021

Needs a little edit, or a lot of edit

I need a new label for this post such as What a Load of Shite.

Instead of being driven furiously with much gonging,

our trams are quietly drifting along,

with the rare passenger silhouette visible, 

with our trams having all the time in the world,

with little motor traffic and barely anyone on board.

Blasts of car horns against offending motorists are now rare,

just a gentle toot to alert the phone addicted to move on from a green light.

Walking, walking, walking. There is no end to it from dawn to dusk and later. Two hours of exercise out in public per day is allowed.

From young to the old, walk they do, trudging the same streets and parks with great boredom.

Unmasked huffers run past the walkers, as they jog and run, inhale our polluted air and then exhale a vast quantity of saliva droplets.

They never smile or see people with their eyes. How is such exercise really good for you?

You look exhausted and unfriendly. 

The walkers, the runners and the cyclists expended such energy, 

that could have powered many computers to solve our disease.

Two little pricks is all it takes,

to make you pretty well almost safe.

Yes, we can't associate, but don't be a tosser,

believe in the almost world wide scientific opinion. 

You and I will be in a better place if you take the pricks. 

Do you want me to die?

I don't want you to die.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday Funny

It has been a very long time since I have posted a M. Hulot clip, this one from M. Hulot's Vacation. Jacques Tati's attention to detail was amazing. I loved most of Tati's films. Even if you speak French, you probably won't understand the public announcement, as it was here in Melbourne in earlier decades where those who made live train platform public announcements had strong foreign accents and the platform announcement speakers were very basic. Not so much now but in the past passengers at Flinders Street Station would have to change platforms for their trains, possibly more than once when there was chaos.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

New York to Seattle in circuitous trains

I mentioned Dylan's Travel Reports YouTube videos before but without much detail. He is UK based and most of his his coverage is of UK trains with some travel in Europe. He is a very good presenter and only in one clip have I heard him verbally commentate. Otherwise the videos are subtitled, which I quite like. 

Dylan must have visited the US in 2019 and caught three Amtrak Trains. The first leg was from New York to Chicago in a roomette via Philadelphia, Washington DC, Charlottesville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis  using The Cardinal train, It is not the fastest way to get to Chicago by train but is more scenic, especially as it crosses the Appalachian Mountains. The train runs three times a week and in 2019 saw a large increase in passenger numbers, something like 15 percent. Amtrak trains are not really high speed as you would find in Asia and Europe, but it seems to operate a very good service although time keeping doesn't seem to be its strong point. Hey, you're probably a tourist. Does it really matter if you are a bit late? It does at times if you feel a little travel worn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5H_KR-xLTc&t=142s

The next leg of his journey was from Chicago to Los Angeles using the Southwest Chief where he again took a roomette. It runs through the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. What a  tour! I know nothing of New Mexico but the scenery from the train of rock formations is stunning. The train arrived in LA about five hours late, mostly to with it hitting a car on a level crossing in a fatal accident. Details are here. The train was a double decker. At least watch the first few minutes of this video to see the stunning Chicago Station.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTTeIBc9gkE

Dylan's next and it seems final Amtrak journey was by a train I already know about, the Coast Starlight from LA via San Francisco and Portland in Oregon to terminate in Seattle, Washington, not too far from the Canadian border. There is some very nice coastal scenery. Again the train was a double decker and at the last minute he upgraded his seat to a roomette. I can't imagine sitting up all night. I would only doze, not sleep as you do in a bed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAEQrEtwtdk

I'd love to take these train journeys but a combination of R's age, my apathy and COVID means it is very unlikely, so thanks Dylan for allowing me to a vicarious traveller. 

Here's a teaser photo of Chicago's Union Station. Photo credit: Chicago Architecture Center. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Bi-sexual

I confess to in the past having mixed views about bi-sexuals but as I have come to see much more grey than black and white in my older years, I have become a believer in that they desire a person rather than a specific sex. It is not me, but I understand. How very tolerant of me!

This was confirmed today when I drove to the beach in the afternoon for coffee (allowed, food) and exercise (allowed to drive within your five kilometre limit) a walk along the beach. I am tired of trudging our local same old streets.

A Nepalese lad was waiting for his coffee to be made, as I was. He did tell me his age but I forget now. I guess late twenties. He engaged me in conversation and when our coffee was delivered we stayed chatting (possibly not allowed. No one has ever said anything about a casual chat with strangers). He was a nice bloke and quite easy on the eyes and my eyes did not glaze over as I heard his life story. He married his wife five years ago, and his nephew lives with them. No children. Unusual but I didn't ask why. He lived in London for two years and received his bachelors degree from a London university. So although newish to Australia, he knows how things work in the western world. He is not yet an Australian resident but probably will be accepted as I judge it.

He eventually asked me about my life, wife, children, grandchildren. I hate such questions but it is a natural curiosity. At times I am honest, at times I am evasive, at times I just lie and it rather depends on how I judge the person. However I made a snap decision to educate a recent immigrant that we 'Are not all straight in the Garden State'. This was before he told me he lived in London.

I told him I have a male partner and we have been together a long time. I waited with bated breath for his reaction. He replied, although I am married, I am bi-sexual and while I try supress my feelings, I've had some experience with men. Immediately I replied you are hot, come with me young man and we will have some fun. His eyebrows were raised, awaiting my reply. I know there is huge pressure by families on males in Asian and Indian countries to marry and have children. Not just those countries really. I've known many Indian and Asian men who if brought up in the west would be openly gay and never consider marrying a woman.

Kind of phrased like this, I said to him, it is unlikely you will be able to control your urge for sex with men. You have proved this already. You will do what you do. But always remember who the most important person is in your life, your wife and never cheat on her with your heart. He smiled and said back, yes she is and I never would. 

He told me how he had never met anyone like me before and I had made him feel happy about himself. With little in common, we parted ways. It was for me quite a remarkable experience too.

Undoubtedly it is contentious and you may not approve of my advice or thoughts at all but we live in the real and practical world and I've known many foreign born men who have sex with men and are otherwise good husbands to their wives and fathers to their children. Thankfully passed now, but I also know how incredibly strong the drive for sex can be for some people.

I really wonder what an experienced volunteer help line person would advise if they received a call from a person with such a dilemma and conflict in their lives?

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Doom and Gloom

Not much to say. Nothing much happens under lockdown.

I can still amuse R at times. When he said how much he enjoyed the dinner he cooked tonight, a simple meal of sausages and vegetables he said "I do like a nice sausage", he proclaimed. "Yes, so I've heard," was my reply.

Funnily Debby in the US mentioned about heavy localised rain yesterday and we had some just after dinner. It absolutely pi... pis... err, precipitated down, beating against our south and west facing windows and causing a minor road flood for a short time. I went to step onto the balcony with my socked feet, but it was fully wet. "R, I need to put on a thong to go outside".  Normally I would have said thongs, which here are footwear, flip flops or whatever. A thong singular as many of you would know it is something rather different. "No", he replied. "Don't do it". He is wise at times. Better I don't wear a thong on the balcony. I put my thongs on my feet.

Not much to laugh about at the moment, not much at all.

A friend sent me this yesterday. It gave me a laugh.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bM_SKWzpzFo" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

It doesn't look like the embed link will work, so see the quite funny clip here at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM_SKWzpzFo

Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday Mural

I am sure there is a message in this mural that makes sense to someone, but not me. As is obvious, it is quite old and I may have shown it before I began participating in Monday Mural, picked up from mural photographer Sami, in Perth WA.



Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday Selections

Elephant's Child and River are participants in Sunday Selections. What will they show us this week? Here are my selections and I am fast running out of photos with this lockdown.

From a young age men are obsessed with their bits. I don't think women have the same obsessions, or maybe I am wrong, but they certainly don't put tattoos on their bodies like this.


It amazes me that Mick Jagger has lived to such an age. He is still very fit. What grabs your eye in the photo?


I think I stole this from Sandra. Lockdown is so good for procrastinators. Procrastinators have so much more time to do what they do well. I am a prime example. I am planning and looking at every contingency. 


Clearly posed and a wonderful photo I found at Shorpy.com


A coal depot is so useful in 2021.


Hamer Hall from Flinders Street Station. Princes Bridge takes vehicles, trams and pedestrians across the Yarra River.


Looking downstream. A small bar is at the left hand foot of the arched pedestrian bridge named Ponyfish Island. Yarra River can flood and this has been flooded at least once. It has good evacuation plans. On the right is On the right next to the station is the Arbory cafe and bar, and I believe Abory Afloat is what sits in the river. I am really not sure about a private business setting up and taking river space.


The lamps to illuminate Princes Bridge could do with a coat of paint.