Saturday, February 26, 2022

A question

I've been spending less time on the internet in the past six months. However, I watch a couple of hours of YouTube videos each day on tv, an hour in the morning when I get up and an hour in the afternoon. My question is does that count as using the internet or just watching tv? The lines are becoming blurred.

My YouTube subscription list is diverse but by a small margin, train travel YouTubers would be at the top, followed by drainage YouTubers and then English narrow boat YouTubers. 

One that really stands  out for me is Mike Downey from Vancouver with the Downie Live channel. He clearly stood out to others as his last two episodes of his travels through each province of Canada from east to west are being broadcast by a Canadian television station. 

On the Rocky Mountaineer (I don't think part of the tv series),


Nova Scotia,

His energy and enthusiasm are quite infectious. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

When two tribes go to war

Whatever the colour of your skin. Whatever your race. Whatever your religion. The mournful alarms that sound in a city in the early days of war must be terrifying. Just to hear them on tv chills me to my spine.

Apparently the Soviet Union broke up some decades ago, yet Russian President Putin seems intent in putting some of it back together. Hello Vlad, it is broken plate. Ukraine will quickly be conquered, which is not a bad thing as a quick victory won't lead to such a loss of life. A puppet government will be installed. Overt dissenters and protestors will be taken into custody, hopefully to not be too badly tortured.

Citizens of Kiev will be relieved when the conflict stops, no matter the result. But will the citizens of the Ukraine ever accept Mother Russia as its overlord?

Sadly I can see years ahead of civil rebellion against Russia in the Ukraine. Military forces can crush countries, but they can't change what people think.

As also happened during the Bosnian War and the annexation of Crimea, the west will stand back and wring its hands in impotent frustration and helplessness, mouthing off but not actually doing anything significant until it is all too late. 

PS Our Prime Minister has soundly criticised President Putin for the invasion, causing poor old Vlad a sleepless night because of Australia's displeasure. 

PPS Our supermarkets have yet to embrace the new spelling of Kyiv and are still selling chicken kievs, and so are our pubs. 

Kyiv is a beautiful city. I feel so sad. 

Men holding hands in public!

Not much of a post but it will do. In the FB group Lost Gay Melbourne someone posted a message that one of the first things they saw when they arrived to live in Melbourne from Perth, was two gay guys holding hands. I was one who responded with a comment. 

"On a St Kilda Road tram in 1990s two older men kissed each other goodbye as one left the tram. While I and my long time partner are not physically demonstrative in public, it was great to observe. 

A few years later in the early noughties my man returned from a month overseas and we had no hesitation at hugging and kissing at the airport. While it is not for us to hold hands in public, it great see same sex couples do so in public and no one really seems to notice." 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Anglesea 3

It must be Friday. Already I am forgetting the order of things. Google Maps Timeline is very helpful.

Brunch was with our caravan friend at Bumblebeez Cafe. While I have praised the cafe in the past, R's chilli scrambled eggs were disappointing with just chilli sauce squirted on top of the eggs and no chilli in the body of the meal. 

There is an Anglesea Weir and park, I proclaimed. Anyone want to see it? In my mind it was a large body of fresh water with a dam wall and a spillway. All agreed to visit, just on the edge of town. In two cars, we naively drove down Weir Street to get there. No, enter the car park by a different street. 

It was nothing as I imagined, more like a tidal swamp wetland with a series of large ponds and heaps and heaps of boardwalks. It was quite interesting. 

But...while there are serious works happening there, it was lacking any seating (shaded please) and there wasn't an information board to tell anything about the weir. Here are a few photos from the day.

RAT is Rapid Antigen Test for Covid testing, perhaps called an airflow test in England and I am not sure about North America or Europe. I liked the cute little rat added to the chalk board.

Unfortunately I didn't take photos of the multiple boardwalks heading in all directions. 

Spiders, ho hum but I am terrified of snakes. I kept a keen eye out.

Behind me on a grassed area school children were making rafts with old drums and timber by lashing them together with rope.

Public monitoring of the weir. What a great idea. I was going to send a photo but our friend was quicker off the mark.

This chimney seems a bit out of place. It is at the site of a former power station burning dirty brown coal mined on site to supply some of the electricity to power a nearby power hungry aluminium smelter. The site has been rehabilitated but I like that the chimney remains. 

Ho hum opening stone erection. That's a willy wagtail sitting atop.

Later we visited Ex Sis in Law at their caravan for a drink. Fire Fighting Nephew joined us after he just passed his work fitness test. He and his wife are having twins, and while the first scan revealed one is a boy, the sex of the other could not be determined. We assumed, nothing to see here, must be a girl. Au contraire. Two boys are due, which will balance things out. 

It was back to our digs for rest and then later we on to see Fire Fighting Nephew n Torquay, his wife and their daughter Little Ju. Ex Sis in Law was baby sitting for them and we joined her and her husband for take away pizza. Very nice. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Brumby Rant

Let us call them what they are, wild horses. For those who love horses and are perhaps sympathetic towards those trying to save brumby horses from being killed by the Victorian and New South Wales governments, you rather remind me of anti vaxxers and I suspect quite a number of you may well be anti vaxxers.

Fact: Australia is the oldest continent in the world.

Fact: Our indigenous population has lived here for over 65,000 years. 

Fact: Before colonisers arrived, there were not cloven hard hoofed animals in Australia.

Fact: Aside from sparrows who may crap on your cafe chair, just about every critter imported to Australia has been problematic.

Fact. The Australian environment is very fragile.

Fact: Kosciuszko National Park and the Victorian high country are extra fragile.

Fact: Wild horses are trampling these high lands to death, destroying the banks of creeks, ancient old beds of moss and native grassland and not allowing native animals to breed.

Fact: In time of drought these wild horses suffer terribly, often starving to death.

Fact: There is an emotional attachment to the wild horses and their history in Australia. 

Fact: The horses before they became wild pests were important in Australia's history.

Fact: Call them what you like, brumbies, wild horses, Walers (I am doubtful about them have a connection to Australian horses who were sacrificed in Africa during WWI) they are a pest species in Australian and need to be culled out of existence.

Like with anti vaxxers, how can a right minded person not think otherwise? Of course the horse defenders use lots of cute horse photos on Facebook. They are not logical people and so arguing logic with them does not work, in spite of the evidence of the damage before their eyes

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Pink Waters on a Sunday

Hippie Niece, her partner and her twins visited us Sunday. The partner's fear of heights had been oversold. He just didn't want to go onto the balcony and look down. We reminded the twins of the balcony rule of always two feet on the balcony paving. The twins are no longer a nightmare, just nightmarish. Why do girls squeal so loudly frequently and often?

Hippie Niece asked if they could have lunch here at our place as they were 'out of coin', meaning R would make them something. I've put my foot down with a firm hand and told all family that R will no longer cook or make food for visitors. It is too stressful for R because he is a food perfectionist presenter. 

Hippie Niece knew full well we would pay for lunch out somewhere, and we did. Last time we were on tram she and a former partner did not have public transport cards to scan and they were both fined $245 each. Ring, ring. Uncle R, we've tried two different places to buy Myki public transport cards and they don't have them. This meant, Uncle R and Uncle A, can you pay for them and get them? I was caught unawares and needed time to think. But R went off in the car to the South Melbourne 711 and bought them cards. $30 kerching. One of us could have hopped a tram for three stops to buy them from a machine at a tram stop.

We were up and organised early on Sunday to be ready for their arrival at 10.00am. They arrived some time after 11.00. Hippie Niece called to check our address. She has only been coming here for the last twenty years.

Phone rings again. Uncles, there isn't parking at the front of your home. R went down and sorted them out with parking around the corner. 

We trammed to the National Gallery of Victoria for the four year old twins to wade in the pink pond at the rather nice rear of the gallery. They were going to do this some weeks ago before Hippie Niece caught Covid. I went there a couple of weeks earlier to if it was going to be hard work or not to wade in the pool. 

This fully clothed bloke had no problem going to completely under in an attempt to find coins thrown for good luck in to the Arts Centre moat. A guard came out and spoke to him and he hopped out and walking dripping wet towards Princes Bridge.

This was rather cool. A patterned floor was reflected in ceiling mirrors and of course you could see yourself. 

Out under the Leonard French ceiling.

The twins loved the experience in the Pink Pool and even Hippie Niece went in too and had fun. There were many hot young daddies there with their children. Father parental access day?

I didn't know what to make of the traditional sculpture that was made a little non traditional.

Southbank from the NGV.

This very poor photo is of Messenger, formerly in the moat in front of gallery.

Plenty of coins in the heavily supervised moats at the rear of the gallery.

An interesting exhibit. The day I visited on my own, I went on to take in a rather good Japanese precious objet d'art exhibition. Photos of that later.

We trammed up to Collins Street in town and had a not too expensive lunch at a cafe and then home. The twins went down for a swim in our pool, strongly supervised as the pool is two metres deep. They had noodles to keep them afloat. 

They left mid afternoon, R passed out on his bed and later we met up with with a few friends for a pub meal. Great day, but rather stressful. Any interaction with Hippie Niece is chaotic.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Monday Mural

Sami is Monday Mural leader. See what she posts here

No, I am not walking a couple of kilometres from a train station to take good photos of this mural between Footscray and Seddon train stations. Instead you get what I have taken from train windows. Yes, plural. I have tried a couple of times. Actually, one photo captures the work quite well. I'll make that the last photo.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Anglesea 2

Thursday morning we were ready for breakfast by 10.30. We arranged to meet our friend outside Bumblebeez Cafe. It is closed on Wednesday/Thursday. So this Thursday we can't eat there. We found another place to brunch by this time further along the street which was nice enough.

Poverty in Anglesea? I don't think so. However, food donations were welcome as long as they were within use by dates. 

Most of the animal sculptures were outside these glamping tents. Each tent had an outdoor functioning bath. Very strange, but maybe to do with regulations about what can be inside a glamping tent. The tents so far as we saw were unoccupied until the weekend.

The indoor pool.

One of two kiddies play areas.

There wasn't a time restriction for parking, so we left our car in the main street and went with our friend towards Aireys Inlet. We passed through Aireys Inlet and I did not want to travel too far, so questioned our friend about where we going. He replied Aireys Inlet. We have passed through there already, I answered. He turned around. We called in to see the rather nice Point Roadknight beach, replete with lifesavers. I am standing on the boat ramp when I took this photo. It's such a nice sheltered beach.

Aireys Inlet lighthouse.

I believe this is called Castle Rock.

We paused for a cold drink at Lighthouse Cafe, but where are my photos of the cafe? Buggery phone camera. This house is way weird. 

A few more critters in our caravan park.

Ex Sis in Law and her husband invited us to theirs for a barbeque dinner. Unfortunately the nearest barbeque in their park was our of order, so it was cooked on their caravan hotplates. Very nice, and a pleasant evening.