Saturday, November 18, 2023

Saturday Scandal 2

The damning photos below show the confluence of the North and South Santiam Rivers in Oregon, US.

Strayer writes a little  about it here and you can read more detail in this story I came across. DEQ stands for Department of Environmental Quality

Australia has plenty of environmental problems of its own and perhaps I should be writing about them instead, but these photos are just so shocking. Photos by Brian Clift.

Saturday Scandal

Apparently (string that word out) back in the day Romans used the mineral known as asbestos. There was  reluctance by Romans to buy slaves who had worked with asbestos as they were well aware they tended to die at much younger age. 

Thousands of years later the use of asbestos had been banned and thereby preventing people, not just workers, from a long and slow death. Asbestos mining and its common use happened in my and your lifetime. Isn't it just so amazing that the danger to lives by asbestos exposure was known about so many thousands of years ago. 

Just for fun when I and ABI Brother were young, we broke up asbestos sheets, along with pulling apart asbestos pipe insulation. In the 1980s I replaced a cracked asbestos sheet on the garage of our first home with what was then called 'cement sheet'. That along with being doused with DDT from farm weed spray outfits and covered with superphosphate dropped from a plane, well it is wonder we are alive. 

Sadly asbestos is still mined and used in some countries and Australia has been vigilant at not allowing products into the country that contain asbestos. Hopefully Australia does better with that than it does was drugs and illegally imported cigarettes.

When we moved to the Highrise, it came with lovely black marble benchtops. Unfortunately  the benchtops only looked good when cleaned as you would clean clear glass. I can't remember now but between five and ten years ago we had a kitchen makeover. How we hated the faux timber finish on the cupboard doors. Gloss white is so much better. This was a breakfast bar but we never used it as such and so shallow cupboards installed there instead. That cleared food from a shelf in the linen press cupboard, leaving a large empty shelf, which of course has stayed empty ever since. No?

While it looks impervious, Caesar Stone will stain if care is not taken.

Behind these doors,

this brown was the external cupboard colour.

When we changed the benchtops to Caesar Stone, the measurements were taken by a laser device and the benchtop fitted perfectly. Well done to those who cut it to fit, and I hope you don't prematurely die because of our bench tops.

The disease silicosis has been known about for a long time, just not quite as long as asbestos has been known about. The precautions in place are inadequate and those who cut stone benchtops are showing silicosis symptoms and in some cases dying at an early age. Even with huge precautions, still the dust gets into the workers' lungs. I first heard about this perhaps four years ago yet the cutting of stone benchtops continues. Our big green hardware shed will stop selling stone benchtops by the end of the year, and the big Swedish furniture company is doing the same. 

In my opinion our Federal Government should have banned exposure to stone cutting of  home stone benchtops years ago. Given the long process for asbestos to be banned, why wasn't this health danger quickly stomped on? 

But it is a curious thing that while the measurements of a stone benchtop could be taken by laser a number of years ago, that it now can't be cut by a laser equipped robot in a dust proof room and then sluiced down with with water to remove any dust?  That's somewhat like cars are spray painted after and accident repair.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Sydney Supplement

Steve asked a question about where we stayed in Sydney, the Oaks Sydney Hyde Park Suites

I don't fully understand how the building is divided but as I can understand part of it is a normal hotel, where we have stayed, but where we normally stay are individually owned apartments. There are permanent residents there, and a number of suites are available via a business woman who manages them. She meets and greets you and introduces to your suite. You cannot use the hotel desk for anything. They as for your room number. You're accommodation has nothing to do with them. If we have any issues, we contact her. It is a strange setup, but we do like the hotel. 

We had no problems with Sydney public transport. It was easy to use, to understand, with good wayfinding signage and with a fare cap of $2.50 a day for old people like us, very cheap. However, there are issues with Sydney's eastern and south eastern bus services, and I am well informed about them and what appears to be disastrous privatisation of Sydney buses. But as tourists, it was all good. Its modern double deck trains are most excellent.

These are quite comfortable ferry seats, with removable coverings that can no doubt be laundered. We were on the ferry for twenty or so minutes. If we were on a train, tram or bus, the seat would be awful. Public transport seat comfort has gone so backwards. Why can't public transport have comfortable seating like on the ferry?    

Sydney people seem more friendly. As a couple in Melbourne, we might seem unapproachable but in Sydney, anyone in a bar will talk to you, individually or as a couple. It is a very nice aspect to the city. 

While I do like seeing men's legs, I am of two minds of how many young and old men wear shorts. There was a severe lack of nicely fitting shorts, mostly men looking like they were wearing their boxer shorts underwear, boxer shorts being for me a real passion killer. The internet is full of advertising guys wearing nicely fitting and flattering shorts. Get with the programme guys. 

Note, in no Sydney post did I complain about the standard of coffee. All good. Sydney has caught up.

A few days around 8.30am I sat on one the beautiful designed public seats where Oxford Street begins and watched the stream of workers walking to their city jobs or to Museum Station. It seemed such a contrast to Melbourne where such walkers would have their phone in one hand and a cup of take away coffee in the other. Oh gosh, there were some some very attractive people among the throng.

As we travelled to the airport I wasn't concentrating on our journey and I heard the name Mascot from  the automated announcement system. Now, I suspect you have to be of a certain age to know that Sydney airport was once  referred to as Mascot Airport. I am not sure if that was official or not and I doubt young people would really connect the name Mascot closely to Sydney Airport Domestic but there you go. I did and so did R and off the train we went. As I was doing so, I thought why wasn't there an announcement that this was the stop for the domestic terminals of the airport. Of course it wasn't the station we needed, being one station too short. We had plenty of time...

During our one hour late flight home, we wondered about the purpose of these clip thingies that were on the seat backs in front of us. I've no idea. Do you know or make an intelligent guess? 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

You'll get much more, with a roller door

Yesterday we saw a matinee performance of La Cage aux Folles with our Hairdresser Friend. It was simply brilliant, and I am not a great one for musicals. The audience generally loved it too. An afternoon out means I am short of time. 

JabBlog has by now had a new garage door installed. Her post reminded me of the Australian company B & D Roller Doors and its tv commercials using the toreador song from the opera Carmen.  

There was a more modern version but YouTube is not being helpful, so I will use this very old one.

But omg, I also came across this commercial which I don't remember. I really can't believe how... sleazy? ads could be back then. Maybe once the new door is installed, JabBlog will be out washing her car like the lass in the commercial. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

It's beginning to look a lot like....

No, no. It's only mid November Too soon. Oh no, say it cannot be...

Hairdresser Friend visited on Sunday. She laughingly said she looked like a bag lady pushing a trolley as she travelled on the tram. She looked rather too glam to be a bag lady but we did play on her being a bag lady.

The occasion was for she and R to make Christmas cakes. They didn't last year but did the year before. They make a joint mixture and then divide it into two. Oh look, the bag lady with a trolley has her own cooking pots and pans in her trolley.

R once owned a sandwich shop and I had little involvement with the shop, aside from about every three days making a boiled fruit cake. The cake was sliced and put on the shop counter and it would sell like hotcakes, whatever that means. In eighteen months, I must have made many many boiled fruit cakes and I did refine and perfect the process and the cakes. I used to make our Christmas cake but I can't be bothered anymore. One year I made small individual Christmas cakes to give as gifts, totally unappreciated. After the lunch time Christmas dinner pudding with cream and brandy custard, who wants to eat more cake? I gave the cake making process away. 

But clearly I do know about the making such cakes, so I offered helpful advice from the sidelines, mostly ignored, including 'no pineapple in the Christmas cake', and 'less almond meal'. 

Cocktails were made and drunk and I wonder if there is name for a cocktail made of prosecco, Aperol and soda water, with a slice of orange. Something spritzer I guess. Empty glass, no brie and biscuits left, only a few olives and some humous dip.


In spite of cocktails, the mix look pretty good to me. The hands are a bit old but they can still cook.

It was a fun afternoon. With the guidance of the expert fruit cake maker, me, so far as is it cooked enough or not, the cake is just perfect. It will be fed brandy every week until Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Blog disappointments

As a nigh on  twenty year blogger, I've experienced it all. Bloggers fade away. Some stop abruptly. I can feel strong connections to some and then without a puff of smoke, they are gone. Some even die, as Debby has recently experienced. 

Blog hurt level at the lowest level is someone you thought was close to being a good blogmate and then suddenly it all ended, in spite of your commonality. It does hurt when you feel a connection with the person, but clearly I must have written something they must have thought was wrong. A blogger in Spain comes to mind

In the early days of the highriser blog I warned a commenter so many times about his inappropriate comments, even though he had a fantastic historical knowledge of inner Melbourne. Other bloggers at the time were a bit scared by him.  I no longer accepted his abuse and threatened to report him to the police. Thanks to another blogger I knew where he lived. 

I threatened to forward the hateful, vile and homophobic email another commenter sent me to his personal friend who did blog and still does. I didn't tell the person directly but she had a good idea of what he was like.

That was all so long ago. 

There was an Australian blogger, who I found interesting and we had some good interactions. I don't think she liked my political and social views and her comments on my blog eventually led to me saying to her, if you have such issues with what I write, then why bother reading what I write. That was the end of that connection. 

After the destruction of the highriser blog, one European/English blogger did not renew his 'fellowship'. I would guess because I am of a very different class, educational level, wealth and our politics are just so different, and so he seized the opportunity. That's fine. He was never offensive or unkind.

But now an English blogger has been rather unkind to me as she replied to what I thought was a nice enough comment, with me showing some concern for her health. It may well be for the same reason as the person in the comment above. Class differences in England are rigid.

But you know, when you read someone's blog for a time and occasionally comment, such rejection and a nasty reply to a comment really hurts. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Monday Mural

I am joining with Sami and others for Monday Mural. I hope I haven't used this photo before. I only just  realised that on three different days I have taken photos of the same mural in Collins Street, in the city.

Sunday Selections and moths

It has been a while but I am joining in with Elephant's Child and River for Sunday Selections. I have quite a backlog of photos saved for this purpose.

An ever so unobservant tosser who has ignored plenty of signs, following a tram where cars should not be. 

Little yachts for little people to learn to sail on Albert Park Lake, paid for by their rich daddies who I guess would have a full sized yacht moored at a nearby marina. 

Is the tower block on fire?

Has it exploded in flames? No, it is just reflecting the dying sun. I reckon I could have started a War of the Worlds or terrorist type scare with these photos. 

Not so timely, taken in the Queen Victoria Gardens.

Wind did not cause the daffodils to fall flat. I suspect the yoof had a bit of a roll around in the daffs.

These figures have been removed, and I remember a blogger, Steve?, showing something similar. Aren't the figures just so creepy? 

Except for the Autumn harvest festival time?, I really like City of Melbourne's annuals planting outside the town hall. 

As I type this the last horse racing meeting for the Melbourne Cup season has been run. This is some appropriate footpath paving near our second most important race course, Caulfield. 

This is not it but Tradie Brother with the deaf white dog called Dog has built his own public dog library in a public place.

I've yet to Guggle it but I read that my new phone has optical zoom rather than just digital zoom. It can't be much zoom as nothing mechanically protrudes from the phone and I know the best feature of my proper camera is it x40 optical zoom. I was trying to take a photo with my phone of bug on our balcony door and the camera would not focus at all. I was so annoyed by why it wouldn't switch to macro. I turned it on the petunia in a pot and it did switch to macro and the photo is fine. To go off topic a bit, I think petunias have emotions. Give a well watered and drained petunia some hot sun and it basks in gratitude and its blooms' pleasure is visible. That is what happened this morning at 7am with the temperature at 25/80. By 8am the wind had changed to a cold southerly blaster, straight from the Antarctic and I saw it change to distressed and miserable looking as the temperature dropped to 17/64.  

The bug was on glass and either that or the reflections caused my phone camera to not focus. This morning the bug was down on the balcony paving and I am quite impressed by the macro photo. You can see that one of its antennae is quivering, hence the blur. 

But hey, I hear you cry, the moths. Friday was around 31/92 and for the whole day cabbage moths streamed past in the gap between us and the next quite tall building. Thousands might be an exaggeration, but a couple of thousand would not be. It went all day until about 6pm as the day cooled down. This morning by 7am when I rose, the stream of cabbage moths was back up and running. As soon as the afore mentioned wind change occurred and the temperature cooled, the stream stopped. I took photos and naturally enough, photos of moths from a distance were a fail. 

We've lived here for twenty one years and we've never seen such a thing, well except for similar a few years ago when a mass hatching down below of monarch butterflies that are programmed to go north happened, so they fly up the side of south wall of our building to get over the top to fly north. 

Clearly something is up with cabbage moths, as Marie mentioned in my last post and photos I've seen on Twitter of gardens being invaded by the moths. Maybe The Birds is not the scariest film. It could be the moths that get you. 

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 ...