Saturday, December 3, 2022

A Result for progress

I am loath to call our conservative party by its proper name as it can cause confusion. Our conservative party is called the Liberal Party. In spite of the anti vaxxer tossers and freedom protestors, very vocal but a tiny minority, our Labor Party has been soundly returned to office in the State of Victoria. 

Interstate people have asked my opinion of Dictator Dan, Premier Daniel Andrews. Perhaps they are readers or viewers of Murdoch media. The tabloid Herald Sun vociferously campaigned against the re-election of the Andrew's government but it was seemingly ignored, as was the nightly tirade from Fox News shock jocks.

Our lockdowns were extreme and life changing for some people. R says he has never recovered from the lockdowns, now as he constantly complains about how many social things we have happening. 

It is my view that the Andrew's state government heavy restrictions saved thousands of lives and even more illnesses. Some are now saying back when we had Covid...wrong. We still have Covid and people are still dying.

I am pleased the oh so very tainted leader of conservative opposition Matthew Guy has resigned, for the second time. I have a little faith that a progressive member of the conservative party will be elected leader, rather than the old style right wing leader. 

Anyway, here is map from The Age of how Melbourne voted. Red is Labor, blue is Liberal conservative and green is Green. I am in Prahran, firmly Green. The local Prahran third time elected Green Sam Hibbins is a great local member.

The conservative party blue areas are wealthy beachside suburbs, extending into the leafy green eastern suburbs. The first blue blob below is long time aspirational immigrants. To the far right the other blue area has farm land and some very comfortable people, many rich retirees.

To note though, the Labor Party's vote fell a lot in what is the large western voting areas. They are our workers and lockdowns affected them badly and many of those hands on workers in those areas had no chance of working from home.  

Haha, the state of Victoria used to be seen as jewel in the crown of the conservative Liberal Party, It doesn't look like that now.  

Friday, December 2, 2022

Bad trams

Yarra Trams is the operator of our trams in Melbourne, the ownership being a joint French and Australian company, Keolis Downer. Just today I overheard someone complaining about the route 72 tram and I endorse his remarks as I too was waiting for a very late tram. He said 'the route 72 tram service just continues to deteriorate'. Spot on. 

Aside from one route with a 15 minute service no where near us, every other weekday Melbourne tram route runs to a tram every 12 minutes, with some routes being better than that.

Here is a collection of screenshots and note, there weren't any reasons for a serious delay to trams at the time on Twitter by Yarra Trams. Keep in mind a minimum 12 minute service. These were all taken during the day and evening peak times.

Ok, this one was an exception as there was a reported delay. Operator skill should quickly sort this mess out. Three route 5 together. Three route 6 almost together. 

A 22 minute wait for a 3 and a 16! A 40 minute wait for a 72!

Next three route 58, shocking with a 13 minute peak time gap.

25 less 9 is a sixteen minute gap.

33 less 11 is 22. It is supposed to be a minimum 12 minute service 

A 17 minute gap on a very busy route with a better service level around 10 minutes or less.

23 less 6 is a 17 minute gap on a very busy route.

When you see two trams together that means a large gap in the service somewhere. Two route 16 trams together, two 72 trams one minute apart.

I've experienced both public and private operation of our tram system. Private ownership is about maximising income by meeting government set benchmarks, no matter how much passengers are inconvenienced. Public ownership was far from perfect because of weak, poor and powerless management, but at least then the system was run for public benefit and operation for the greater good.   

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Gladys Kravitz reports

I suppose the expensive, back then, apartment block was built over ten years ago, possibly more. We lost Kings Cross Plaza, a nice paved outdoor sitting area with a large 711, dry cleaner and second hand posh school uniform shop.

We watched who we could see clearly move in to the apartment block. It was interesting. We noticed a balding man perhaps in his fifties who had a pair of West Highland White Terriers. We had one from the age of a pup to a premature death at 11 years old. Jessie had so many health issues, but she was such a lovely dog. So as once Westie owners, we were interested. We saw him out walking his dogs at times. Once when we were walking and although we pretty well knew, it was obvious by the company he kept when we passed him and his 'friend' that he was gay.

He is a stereotypical gay man with a great eye for his balcony style. I am the unstereotypical gay man, without an artistic eye. We've seen him entertaining on his balcony often enough.

On his balcony are three large bushes in pots. They normally so very green and lush but as you can see by this photo taken over a week ago, they are not looking at all lush, in fact are dying from lack of water. They are even worse now. Out of character.

Something has happened to the man and I feel a bit sad.  

Later edit: This was written on the 30/11. By 01/12, the trees have been removed from the pots and the two plastic orange dogs are gone. With such abruptness, I think he has died. He wasn't that old. I feel sad.

Little M's visit Pt 2

It must be a month ago when Little M visited, but here is a wrap of what we did.

We took her the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, ACMI. Children love it as there are many interactive displays where they can play with things. Adults seem to like playing with the same things. Some old dude is reflected in the beginning of the video. Sorry about that. The Zoetrope works simply by spinning and strobe lighting. Brilliant and fascinating.

Then it was a visit to Sandpark where there is a marvellous machine to amuse Auntie Andrew whereby you turn a heavy wheel to pump out water into a sluice with a gate you can leave open or closed to cause a build up of water. Release the water and it flows into a large dish before emptying onto the sand. If you pump enough water, it will flow and dam on the sand. Otherwise it quickly soaks in. Unfortunately some kids put sand in the machine which annoys me no end. We were close to two cruise ships at Station Pier, but the less said about the disease ridden cruise ships at the moment, the better.

Once home it was swim time. R is in the spa and Little M underwater having just taken a dive.  

We took Little M home and had a few minutes to wait before her mother returned from work. Across the road is this very curiously un-Australian house. I can't find any information about it aside from sold prices. It looks American to me, somewhat barn like.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Dog kicker fined

Little distresses me more than cruelty to animals. The dog kicker at an anti lock down protest, Stipo Cicak or Stephen Cicak kicked a dog for no apparent reason beyond because he was an angry man. He has gotten off lightly with a $2000 fine without a conviction. There should be a conviction recorded.

"Great Grand Pa, I saw on the internet that you once kicked a dog. Why would you do such a horrible thing?"

Cicak, is forever damned as a nasty dog kicker. 

Embracing Cultural Diversity Part 2

This Monday night last, while watching the ABC tv evening news, there was a story about the legitimacy of Aboriginal ancestry of a candidate for our approaching state election.  Let's get our Aboriginal reporter to report this story, and so our ABC did.

We have a disabled story, let's get the disabled reporter to report on this one. But which one? No, not the vision impaired one, the other one. 

We've got a gay story. Let's get the openly gay reporter Mark Reddie onto this one. I believe Mark Reddie has now left the ABC and it is loss as he was a very competent reporter, especially good during NSW fire disasters. But let's get Mark on this gay story, a report on PEP, a daily drug that prevents the catching of HIV. Mark's report was excellent, on a subject I didn't really know about.

I think I would like to see Aboriginal, disabled, vision impaired and gay reporters report on other things and not just their areas of knowledge. 

But at least they are on our screens and our ABC is employing them. I dunno. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Bees, not the birds

Last week it was about the birds, ravens. This week it is about the bees, but not real ones. 

I saw and photographed these many years ago but then lost their exact location. I made a little effort to find them again and I did. There are more than I realised last time. The bees adorn the Eureka Tower in Southbank. Rather good aren't they.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Mural/Music

Joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural.

I'll keep it topical with our recent visit to Geelong. In McLarty Place off the super trendy and popular Little Malop Street is a mural of the late and great Chrissy Amphlett. I pointed it out to Hippie Niece and she did remember her for some song that I did not know. I added, there was of course her most famous song, It's a Fine Line between Pleasure and Pain. Haha, Auntie Andrew. You never surprise me.

And now to the Divinyls video clip featuring the locally Geelong born and fabulous talent Chrissy. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Geelong 2/2

Up above the caravan park were some buildings. You can see an old chimney peaking above a modern building on stilts. The old mansion's views were built out. There is also a huge home dominating the hillside. How the rich live...

I see and older place to left. 

These same looking houses above the park fascinated me and of I course I had to look them up. They are old enough to have chimneys. They are the Alexander Miller Memorial Homes, paired buildings with each containing two one bedroom flats. They are owned by a private charity housing trust under State Government supervision. You can read more about them here

A permanent cabin within the park with a colourful garden.

So, what shall we do on this Sunday before meeting up with family? We will go to all three lookouts in Geelong and have brunch somewhere. This his is the Newtown lookout.

There is the Barwon River in the beautiful Queens Park. 

Zooming in, you can see how flooded the river is.

Hungry and need proper coffee! We went to the Old Paper Mill on the edge of the river for a sandwich and coffee. There are artist workshops within the old buildings. We perused what was on offer at the main gallery. We couldn't see much of the what was at the whole site. You really need to take the walking tour around the complex to learn its history, as a large group were.

We drove for about 15 minutes to visit another lookout to see Buckley Falls. I don't think the Barwon River normally looks like this. It is in flood.

Goodness, there is the Old Paper Mill across the river. So near but so far by road. 

Don't trust me, but earlier I said to R about the Old Paper Mill, paper mills need water, so it will be near the river and so it was. I did read that there was a water race at the Old Paper Mill, so I will speculate that Buckley Falls is a constructed weir to dam up water for the paper mill water race. 

Downstream from the falls, the river is flowing high.

We are now at the Wandana Heights Lookout.

The fly swatting lighting at the football ground Kardinia Park and the city centre are just visible.

Back to cabin for some down time before meeting Sister, Hippie Niece, her partner and the five year old latte coloured twins for and early dinner a place called The Hot Chicken Project, or something like that. The owner was very nice and it is a good place to take children.

We had some time to kill before seeing Jo on stage so we walked the streets a bit. Jo was fantastic on stage and the one hour show was entertaining. The twins were fidgety but engrossed in the show. Afterwards we crossed the road to a gelati shop.  

Next morning we drove further down the peninsula to see Fire Fighting Nephew, his wife and their two year old daughter and 6 month old twin boys. Hippie Niece, her partner and their twins arrived soon after us. It was lovely catch up. Between their apartment and the beach, there is a huge international volley ball competition about to start. Apparently there will be millions of viewers around the world but not so many in Australia. We arrived back home around 2pm and collapsed.

Sydney Day 7, the end

Having had dishwashers for most of my life, I hand washed dishes while we on holiday and it was revelation. Each morning after R's showe...