Saturday, June 04, 2022

70 years in one job

Happy 70th reigning anniversary to Her Majesty, Queen of Australia. While I may be a republican and not a monarchist, I do admire her for her devotion to duty and to the people of her realm.

Her Maj has barely put a foot wrong during her 70 year reign, just a couple of times, once when she sacked our Prime Minister in 1975 and the other time when she was not there for her people in the days after Princess Diana's shocking death. 

However, I really do her admire her as a steady figure who has been there for the whole of my life. She has visited Australia a number of times and I did briefly see her in 2011.

The Jubilee Line train line in London was named in her honour in 1979 and now there is the newly opened Elizabeth Line, with many preferring to call it Crossrail and some trying to call it the Liz Line, which sounds wrong to Australian ears and we would call it the Lizzie Line.

I wrote this in 2015 and after review, it stands up quite well.   

Well done HRH Liz, from a person who respects you but is not a fawning subject.

Friday, June 03, 2022


Fire Fighting Nephew's twin boys were born at 16.24 today. Mother and the boys are fine.

I only find babies interesting at about the age of 18 months when they begin to develop a personality. Nevertheless, I am very pleased and a wee bit excited. We probably won't see the newuns until late this month and we will have to invite ourselves for coffee. 

Friday Funny

It has become increasingly difficult for me to cut my toenails. My big toe nails are so tough and I struggle in a crouched up position. I need a pedicure so I asked Google. 

Such searches often generate quite stupid questions.

What is a manicure for a guy? Well, male and female nails are so different and there is not enough statistical data yet with male nails. 

How long does a normal pedicure last? How long does it take your nails to grow before they need cutting?

Are pedicures painful? Only if the person performing the risky pedicure slips with the knife.

How much does a pedicure cost? That rather depends what the pedicurist gets paid. In the US, you will have to add a tip.

Are pedicures unhealthy? See above about a knife slippage. 

Why do nail salons prefer cash? So they can dodge paying tax on what you have paid them. 

Is $5 a good tip for a pedicure? Must be an Australian living in America who asked that question. The answer is how hot is the person doing your pedicure and where do they place your foot while attending to your toenails. 

What is a deluxe pedicure? You are served a glass of sparkling wine with your pedicure. Not enough men are having pedicures yet to warrant stocking beer in the salon 'fridge.

How long does a male pedicure last? Time taken for the pedicure or the time before you need the next one? I don't have an answer to the first but for the second, until you toenails begin angling down at 90 degrees.

How do men pedicure at home? After pondering their exposed toenails with their feet sitting on the foot cushion in front of their arm chair during ad breaks while watching football and drinking several beers, men decide to attack their feet with a vengeance. There will be blood...

What kind of pedicure should men get? One that fixes up all external foot problem areas. Just ask for the standard.

How long does a male pedicure take? A legitimate question and I will let you know after I've I had one.

Do male pedicures remove calluses? I hope so.

Should I shave before a pedicure? Shave where? If your toes are hairy, perhaps.

Should I cut my toenails before a pedicure? Most definitely. The pedicurist will fix up your bad toenail cutting.

What sort of pedicure should men get? Go for the top of the range and with subsequent visits you can work your way back to what you really need. NB Top of the range probably comes with a pretty nail polish with embedded jewels.

How do guys get perfect nails? Turn gay or find a cushy office job. 

How often should a male get their nails done? When they see blood on their partner's back.

How often should guys clean their nails? Wow, this was presumably a question asked by an adult male.

Why should calluses never be removed? Because it is manly to have feet calluses. 

Can I shower after getting a pedicure? I wouldn't if you have open wounds after the pedicure.

How long after a pedicure can I wear socks? I'd give it a week until your feet heal.

How can I make my pedicure last longer? Simple. Stop your toenails growing. I think there is a drug for that.

Why should guys have their nails painted? To make them look pretty of course.

Do you tip the owner of a nail salon? Noooo. You tip underpaid staff, not the rich fucker who owns the chain of salons that underpays the foreign student workers.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Six to eleven

Tonight it will fall to 6 degrees and tomorrow rise to 11 degrees. That is very cold for us. Australians are never well prepared for cold, and I certainly wasn't. I didn't feel the cold so much when I was working and I can't remember really feeling it in 2020 after I retired but I did in 2021. We were back then in and out of lockdowns, so I probably wasn't out and about like I now am.

My winter clothing is a long sleeved collared shirt and and a jacket for my upper body. Usual black jeans below. We caught up with a friend from the country in town yesterday. We ate an outdoor brunch with a couple of electric heaters burning above us. We took a wander around the Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square and then had cake and coffee in DeGraves Street. I froze, even in DeGraves Street with the gas stand heating alight. Even once home in the heating, it took me forever to warm up.

Years ago I used to wear Bonds tee shirts under my normal shirts but for some reason I stopped doing so, maybe because of improved heating at work. I have one lightweight jumper, a pullover that was once R's. I last wore it about four years ago. I wore it today and it kept me cozy when I was outdoors, but it's too hot for indoors.

I visited the Bonds Outlet store in Chapel Street, and bought two white and one black close fitting tee shirts as I used to wear. Then I saw the sign, 25% of the second tee, so I bought another black tee. Not $80 for four, but just $60. The tees have elastic hems on the short sleeves, so they really show off my bulging biceps when I wear them as outer garments in summer. Sorry, but was it really necessary to twist your face like that? 

I am very happy with what I bought. I feel properly warm. Now I can start worrying about our heating bill, but I refuse to compromise in any way about that. I didn't work hard for 45 plus years to really bother myself about heating costs...but I can't help doing so. 


This is the old State Treasury now used as a museum. My last visit was in 2015 which you can skim through here. It is a very handsome building.

From memory the basement holds the permanent collection and display while the ground floor is used for changing exhibitions. One I saw was Lost Jobs: The Changing World of Work. 

It was interesting enough with a number of memories rekindled. I liked this photo below, even though Princes Bridge gas lamp glass cleaning was before my time. That's St Pauls in the background. I also learnt that the not all lavatory pan collectors carried the pans on their shoulders. Some carried them on their heads with their caps stuffed with newspaper. 

The other exhibition is Behind the Lines: The Best Political Cartoons of 2021. Here are a few that really grabbed me. This one could be described as how to get the anti vaxxer protestors off the streets.

Peter Dutton is the new leader of Her Majesty's opposition in Australia. He comes with a lot of quite terrible baggage, one being for a couple of personal mates who Dutton as Minister for Immigration saved their au pairs from deportation.

Parliament House in our Federal Capital, Canberra. Rather too blokey for some. 

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison behind the desk, just one of many reasons why he is former. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Meddling in foreign politics

Doug Ford, or as he is unaffectionally known DoFo, is Premier of the Canadian province of Ontario, its largest city being Toronto which is also the largest city in Canada. Information below is from various online sources and Canadian blogger opinions.

Ford inherited wealth from his father. 

Ford entered politics in 2010 as a local councillor in Toronto. He soon voted to privatise garbage collection in one direction from a central city street, reduced the budget of the city council and eliminated some taxes for the rich.

Ford was on a board that failed to build a planned Toronto subway extension.

Ford promoted a new development on old port land, including a huge Ferris wheel, a boat hotel, a monorail and a monster shopping mall. Nothing came of that. 

Ford got into a messy business with the Toronto Police and eventually had to retract and apologise to the former Toronto police chief.

He opposed a house for disabled people, saying the house would ruin the community (not in my backyard).

His brother Rob who DoFo continually supported in Rob's own political career entered drug rehab.

I didn't know this below. Canadian prices and income is similar to ours and while it has changed of late in Canada's favour, for a long time it was AU$1 for CN$1, but it seems wages are a little bit lower in Canada and if the rates are mentioned are for Ontario, then it is not a national wage system.

Ford confirmed what sources told Radio-Canada late Monday: that the government will also hike the $12.55 minimum wage for workers who serve alcohol and receive tips to $15.  

So I take it that wages are lower for workers in hospitality because they receive tips. Ok, this distinction will soon disappear, as it should. The minimum wage for all will soon be $15.20. The Australian minimum wage is $20.33. Part time work here has employment benefits on a pro rata basis. Casual worker's wage is about one third more as they don't receive any benefits beyond superannuation.

Back to Ford himself. The Washington Post describes his four years in office as 'bungling, buffoonery and cruelty'. 

Right, the more I read the less I like Ford and that is from a low opinion base anyway. That he could possibly re-elected as Premier of arguably the most important Canadian province just amazes me.

Another snip from the Washington Post.

The man who should have resigned a year ago — the man who should never have won in the first place — could remain in power. Ontario could face another several years of disastrous government.

The Guardian: Outcry after Doug Ford wrongly claims Indigenous lawmaker jumped the vaccine queue. 

How Ford could possibly be re-elected is beyond me. Ontarians, just don't'. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Monday Mural

I'm joining in with Sami for Monday Murals

Jordan Porter was a graffitist and I don't like graffiti so I have mixed feelings about giving his graffiti persona Sinch any publicity. However note Porter 'was'. He got naked, climbed on top of a train at Balaclava Station and was fried on top of the train by the electrics.

I gather this one is the work of Sinch.

The words to this one were added later. Something will soon be built here and the murals may never be seen again and while I am not at all impressed, I have recorded them for history.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Thank you Australia

After the destruction wrought on Vietnam by Western forces and the South Vietnamese Army I am not quite sure why Australia would be thanked. It is possibly for taking in so many refugees at the end of the war.

Aside from a few drug issues with the first Vietnamese Australian generation born here, they have generally done well in this country. Perhaps a few have done too well without any visible means of support, but that happens with all races.

This is the Saigon Welcome Arch in Leeds Street, Footscray.

Pigeon photo bombing. The arch is quite elegant and clearly represents a bird of some kind, maybe a crane. I think I saw cranes in Vietnam but the holiday was a long time ago, 2001.

I have shown a photo of the sculpture in the past from a distance and at the time I did not know about the writing and art on the arch.

This intricate art work seems to be on bronze. 

Sorry but I really couldn't do anything about the backgrounds without photo manipulation tools.

There, I killed a few minutes and it was now time for my dental cleaning appointment.