Saturday, September 2, 2023

Catching a Robotaxi

What a laugh this story is, unless you've been the victim of one.

The California Public Utilities Commission extended the trial period of robotaxis period in San Francisco and the period of times each day they can operate. The slang name of the service, robotaxis, is self explanatory but if not, there isn't a driver. The cars are self guided. Locals are not amused and nor are a number of elected politicians. 

There are issues. One evening near a music concert venue ten of the taxis blocked a main street, stationary with hazards lights flashing. This was because of a overwhelmed phone network due to the numbers of people at the concert and the cars could not communicate.

One taxi nearly cleaned up a group using a pedestrian crossing. At times they will randomly stop without obvious reason. An emergency vehicle may approach but the cars can't see a safe place to stop and so do not yield. 

There is an anti robotaxi activist group that's discovered by placing a traffic cone or road bollard on the bonnet of the car is enough to stop it from moving and the car will sit there with its lights flashing until the object is removed. 

All very amusing to me. I'm sure there are lots of online clips to view, which I may well do.

What I heard about later was that without a driver looking the rear view mirror, people are falling in love in the taxis and respond in a natural way as when two people like each other very very much. The whispered sweet nothings might be 'I love you long time, well until your hour is up', but with the robotaxis being free at the moment, and no need for a need for a hotel, why not. (Always check the seat for a wet patch before you climb in)

Friday, September 1, 2023

Crook as a dog

Before Mother's funeral I had started coughing. The coughing worsened over the the following days. My stomach muscles were protesting. It was clear I had lung infection. The coughing started to ease off last weekend and has almost gone now. But for days this week I did not sleep well, waking at 3.00am and then tossing and turning, sleeping for 30 minutes then waking up and ever so slowly go back to sleep for 15 minutes at a time. A few times I woke up with minor leg cramps.Sometimes in a hot sweat.  I was constantly adjusting my sleeping position to prevent arthritic pain the next morning.  And wind oh the wind. I think on the worst day I could have inflated a dozen balloons. I had no appetite. I was often up before my alarm went off at 7. I should love my bed but it became my enemy. 

I was lethargic and worst of all I became bored. I am never bored but nothing interested me. I did not want to go out because there was no reason to go out. Bugger my list of places to see, photos to take. I didn't care. I was feeling very mortal, like this is the way I will one day die. Coughing, lacking oxygen and so weak. 

Thursday night I woke at 4am and used the toilet. I went straight back to sleep and I did not wake until my alarm went off at 7. What bliss, a proper sleep and I felt so much better for it. 

So I am nearly ok, but not so R who much later has the lurgy. He is barely functioning. I had to drive to South Melbourne today for shopping. I did a lot more when shopping than I normally do. After Aldi, we needed some Lee & Perrins, milk and some roasting lamb from Woolworths. The shopping bag was heavy. I did the self check out and I am not stupid. I know how to do such things, but of course the Supervisor was critical of the way I did it. It is pointless trying to defend your actions, so I just say nothing and press on. 

In summary, a few days ago I felt like I was near death. Now R feels like he is near death. Of course we've taken RATs, negative. 

It is quite close to what we experienced as we arrived in London in 2019 from Dubai. 

Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Tasty Raid

Tasty was a brilliant nightclub. Fortunately we were not there on this night. The raid was an utter disgrace as under the evil conservative nasty Premier Jeff Kennett, the police thought they had carte blanche to do what they wanted, and they did. It cost the government a lot of money in compensation, yes that means us, the taxpayer. 

Someone I worked with back then received AU$11,000, quite a lot of money 39 years ago.

A couple of weeks later after the raid,there was a role reversal as a pair of female cops asked me for directions, which I was easily able to give them. They thanked me and I replied, 'I can be nice in spite of Tasty'. One rolled her eyes and muttered something I didn't hear. It was one of those rare times that I knew what to say and didn't regret saying nothing later.

This was published on FB by Monty BB.

Today, the 7th of August 2023 marks the 29th Anniversary of the Tasty Nightclub Raid.

On the 7th August 1994, Victoria Police conducted a raid under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 on the Tasty Night Club, a predominantly LGBTI venue held at the Commerce Club, Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
Four hundred and sixty three (463) patrons and staff attending, were strip searched for drugs. The raid attracted a large degree of media and community interest and criticism and sparked public debate of the legality and reasonableness of such a search.
Allegations of discrimination by police against LGBTI persons were made, both in terms of the targeting of this Night Club for a raid and the overall conduct of the raid itself.
The Deputy Ombudsman (Police Complaints) conducted an investigation which focused on the question of whether the raid could be viewed as discriminatory or indicative of prejudice against the LGBTI community; whether there were reasonable grounds and adequate evidence to justify a raid strategy; whether planning of the raid was appropriate; whether the strip search of individual persons was lawful; whether there were reasonable grounds for the search of all 463 persons; the conduct of the strip searches and a number of allegations raised by individual complainants regarding the attitude, conduct and demeanour of members in the course of the raid.
During the investigation, 20 police members were interviewed and 55 civilians were questioned or supplied statements.
A summary of the findings of the investigation indicated;
(a) The raid was discriminatory but was not, insofar as can be ascertained, based on prejudice against the LGBTI community. However, the appropriateness of adopting this strategy in the circumstances is seriously questioned.
(b) The contents of the affidavit on which the warrant is based are inaccurate and appear to be embellished. The affidavit should have been subjected to more rigorous appraisal by senior officers.
(c) There were deficiencies in the planning for the operation including the estimate of crowd numbers and the numbers of police involved, the estimate of female attendance and the lack of adequate numbers of policewomen and the supervision of and guidance given to the planning and execution of the raid. Planning did not include provision for strip searching of all patrons. This was a decision made by a senior officer after entry to the Club.
(d) Legal advice has been received, that generally speaking, Section 81 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act allows for the strip search of individuals and to that extent the strip searches were not unlawful. However, it is considered to be totally unreasonable to strip search 463 individuals. It is clear that the operational decision to do so was not practical. The conduct of the searches, in particular, the lack of privacy afforded to the individual, contravened Police Operating Procedures. A large number of innocent people were caused distress and inconvenience.
(e) The investigation of complaints against individual members in regard to demeanour, abusive language, rough handling and other matters raised by complainants has been inconclusive. There were no allegations of serious abuse against police. There is no doubt, however, from complainants accounts that patrons felt threatened and intimidated and that some members acted in a discourteous and unprofessional manner.
The incident led to a successful class action law-suit against Victoria Police with damages running into the millions awarded to patrons. This sum would have been considerably higher had all affected parties come forward—a large number of patrons, fearful of the repercussions of "outing" themselves in a public forum or reluctant to relive the traumatic experience of the raid, did not participate.
The class action law-suit was conducted by Gary Singer, who later became the Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne.
Ms. Sally Gordon was the test case complainant, which in turn allowed the class action to take place.
Thank you Sally for being such a brave and wonderful woman; for having the courage to take on such a monumental task and for representing your community with resolve. You have left an indelible mark on the history of the LGBTI community.
An historical moment in Melbourne's LGBTI history.
I Will Never Forget
We Will Never Forget.
Always Remembered.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Disconnecting from the old ways

A few months ago, sick of nuisance calls, I unplugged the phone line from our phone. I left the power on to keep the stored numbers and the phone charged.

Mother was the only person who called our landline as she didn't like talking to people on mobile phones. This was sister's fault as she calls people handsfree from her car and it can be very hard to hear her properly. What Mother didn't like was Sister's phone calls. She happily spoke to everyone else on their mobile phones. I told ABI Brother that our landline was disconnected but he forgot of course. 

That was a few months ago. About four weeks ago I decided to unplug it from the power supply and take it away. For two days R did not notice it was missing. I mentioned it and he said I did that ages ago. No hon, I've removed the phone altogether. R was not sure about the wisdom of this. I assured him I could plug it back in to the power, which I did the next day. Two days off the charger, the stored phone numbers were lost and the batteries must have been just worn out as they would not recharge.

R put the modem up where the phone used to sit but still expressed concern about not having a mobile phone alternative. We could buy new rechargeable batteries but ah, under my bed there is landline plug in phone from the 90s. I would have had to move my bed to retrieve it so here is a photo from the internet.

So a  little more to add to the e-waste pile for disposal at the council tip transfer and recycling station. 

Of course if the power is off,  with 'fibre to building' the fixed landline phone won't work anyway.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

We'll study the wheel

Our state government has announced one minister will be sent to the UK and another to the US to study the effectiveness of wheels. Taking their findings into account, we will then set up our own tests and trials to judge how wheels perform in our climate and how safe wheels are for the general public. We expect to announce our results in 2026 and in 2028 legislate the use of wheels in our state.

The above is nonsense of course. 

Patients can now be prescribed medicinal cannabis by some doctors. It is incredibly helpful for some people who suffer various ailments. 

Yet if they drive and are roadside drug tested they will register a positive reading for THC, a component of the drug, and risk losing their driving licenses. The positive can stay in their systems for days, weeks even. I hasten to say their driving will not at all be affected, in fact with reduced pain levels they will probably drive better. I've heard on the quiet that police are being very pragmatic about these low level positive drug tests registered by older people and some younger.

While the state of Tasmania has behaved in a very practical manner, Victoria has not. We are going to run trials on closed roads to see how THC levels effects motorists. The results will come in and maybe  next year some changes to the laws could be made. I am quite sure this has been studied all over the world but our stupid state must make its own studies.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Monday Mural

I'm joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural. The poor woman appears to have been asphyxiated by a large object being placed on her neck. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sunday Selections

Nothing too special this Sunday as I join with Elephant's Child and River for Sunday Selections. I need to get rid of some old unused photos, which is what Sunday Selections was all about.

I can't remember where this was taken but clearly it is no longer a bakery.

I think I was in the north west of the city when I took this. Have you heard anyone on a street look up to the skies and say, what a fabulous building. Me either.

The usual smooth evening traffic flow in the evening peak down below.

And up Toorak Road, but don't worry. A new road is being built and we all know how they solve traffic congestion.

Someone made a bad.

It doesn't matter how many warning signs there are about a street being closed, people will ignore them and like lemmings, others will follow.

They then ignored the U turn traffic lights and each car turned into Degraves Street, then into a short laneway from Degraves Street, reversed back and then drive out again, facing the opposite direction they wished to travel.

If a sign reads Flinders Street closed, it probably is. While there are some traffic thoroughfares in the city, why people want to drive around within the city, with obvious stress levels showing on their faces, I do not know. Trains, trams and buses serve the city so well.

Bumping another car

I once had a bit of an inappropriate laugh when I read in the online Fiji Live electric newspaper that someone in Fiji was killed after two ...