Monday, December 31, 2007

two unusual signs seen today

One, on a pallette of ice at the Gladstone Park service station, in texta on cardboard:

'Ne pas toucher. Voir Gerard'

Two, on the side of a building in Tullamarine:

'Rod's hand held snacks'

Sunday, December 30, 2007

ode to 2007

Hey 2007
you were a pretty good year
a pretty good year
a pretty good year
overall
if I forget the terrible things that happened
and concentrate only on the pretty good bits
you were a pretty good year
unassuming, sensible,
(terrible bits notwithstanding)
I was in the main impressed
and would have liked to see you extend your tenure
jus' a li'l longer
2008 will be grim and false, with poisonous spikes, like the VW in The Cars that Ate Paris
Many will perish, and those that remain will think back fondly to a more innocent time, f'rinstance, 2007

hobart dream

I dreamt we were moving to Hobart in three weeks' time. I suggested to Mia it would be hard to maintain a North Hobart lifestyle in South Hobart but this is what we would attempt to do. I had already been to Hobart to register us as electricity users and we had been each given a bonus piece of bread which was to be our first toast made in Hobart. The bread slices were tucked into the back of a folder which contained all the periphery of moving. I said 'let's move everything', indicating the furniture in our bedroom which was actually my bedroom 1973-1983, and she said 'of course'. I realised then this would be a big move, and no going back.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

roseanne

A few days before christmas we were in JBs and lucked on the Roseanne DVDs. I'd just been thinking about it a bit lately, and something in my mind let me know that it was season 5 I particularly liked, so we got that, and it's been fantastic. What a groundbreaking show. It even broke ground in little ways I never thought of, like when Roseanne says 'what part of shut up don't you understand?' and it gets a big laugh. But also with the gay/domestic violence/etc etc subject matter. I guess the big dichotomy with Roseanne is that for supposed white trash (I cannot tell you how much I despise that term, but I'm using it with 'supposed' so it's 'supposedly OK') they are extremely liberal in the Conner family. I suppose that connects with my liberal fantasies about honest and noble poor people. Of course knowing that doesn't stop me loving the show.

Now I'm bothered that I got rid of myspace because Roseanne is on myspace!!! (And so are the Numbers - another current obsession of mine! Check out the video for Big Beat with Polly Newham and John Bliss in it!)

Warning: contains a kind of spoiler re: new Cohen brothers film.

Last night we went to see No country for old men. Shane and I had pretty much the same response to Tommy Lee Jones' final monologue: we zoned out waiting for the film to go on. Then it ended. I'd go and see it a second time, but I know I'd just zone out all over again.

from my diary, 27 Jan 1998

Went to see Will Oldham on Saturday it was really hot in there, there was a thunderstorm going on out in the street. That followed on from four hours or so at the Builders' Arms for Ellen's 24th birthday. We gave her the Kinks' greatest hits. I have to see B--- L--- in two days and get over this fucking literature survey hurdle. Or my thesis is screwed. Just spoke to G-- on the phone. J--- F--- died on Friday. He was just talking and fell unconscious. I read about it in the paper on Saturday. Having left a message on Friday night dithering about how we couldn't record on Sunday...

Looked after Alice for a hour and a bit last week. She told me silly people had spiders' webs for wallpaper 'and spiders for their toys'. Tamsin said Alice has a lot to say about silly people.

Friday, December 21, 2007

desert island

5.If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…


This question is still bugging me. If you are going to a desert(ed) island, well, firstly, why? But secondly, what's the point of taking one book? One anything? You will get sick of it very, very quickly. Face it, you are adapting to a whole new life, a life where you are not going to be spending time reading books, or should I say, a book. You will most likely forget how to read after a while. And thirdly, why?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

(sigh) the good old days


Remember election night? We were all so happy and innocent. Blogger keeps crashing when I try to upload pics. This one will suffice for now.

stolen from galaxy

1. Hardcover or Paperback, and Why?
I have no strong opinions.

2. If I were to own a bookshop, I would call it...
‘Dave’s Books’

3. My favourite quote from a book (mention the title) is...
Come on, you know I can’t remember anything, quotes particularly.

4.The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…
George Orwell, as long as there weren’t any wasps about

5.If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…
Hopeless. I mean whatever I brought, what would be the point? I suppose if I brought something in a foreign language I could waste my life away trying to decipher it.

6.I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…
had the internet in it

7.The smell of an old book reminds me of…
work

8.If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…
Mark in Marianne Dreams

9.The most overestimated book of all time is…
The Bible

10. I hate it when a book…
is by James Freud.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

happy deathmas

glenorchy market, wtf?

I missed out on Salamanca Market and South Hobart Market because I was working yesterday morning, so I made sure to hit the Glenorchy Market this morning, and while it would be an exaggeration to say I was disappointed, I wasn't particularly appointed either. There was - you won't believe it - a lot of crap being sold, at least it wasn't for lots of money. I did a dumb thing, because I already have stuff to take on the plane anyway, but I bought a couple of LPs, which was stupid, and had one of those dumbarse lectures from the vendor regarding how valuable and unavailable they now were (no doubt vintage toilet paper collectors have the same raves). I absent-mindedly asked him how much the LPs were, and first of all he feigned ignorance of the term 'LP', then I got the rarity spiel, then he got the ones I was looking at, a double reissue of the first two Alice Cooper albums, and a Col Joye greatest hits, and he made great show of examining the Alice records, and now I realise that he actually noted that one of them was the wrong record anyway - when I said I was looking at them, I hadn't got as far as looking at them. Anyway one is not Alice Cooper but Spirit, a band I had always intended to get around to thinking about listening to, and now I can cut out the middle man in that equation.

The only other great thing at Glenorchy Market was a knitted teddy I picked up - this one reminds me of Leunig's take on cuddly Kevin07 crossed with, I don't know, a teddy bear - and although the plastic meerkats were on display for 50c, there were no meerkats left and I was the third person today to ask for one mate. Oh, and an immense half-giraffe, half-spider totally-jumping castle seemingly contemplating its own overleggedness philosophically as Eeyore might.


I saw great bands last night, which was really exciting, but I'll tell you about that later, when I put up the night-time pictures from election night and everything else I was always meant to do.

of course i'm happy

What the hell, you can't be too miserable these days.
Particularly if you're me, so that's handy for me.
After all, a great breakfast at one of my favourite cafes (Retro), Salamanca Place outside the window (later, I notice a delightful breughelian hand in that phoneshot - and those things on pogo sticks? Soul eaters), and plus, I am still in that not-since-Malcolm Fraser-cried afterglow and even the wicked Australian is happy to reinforce my desire to read about where it all went so freakin' right.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

under pressure

I admit I am under some pressure, this is probably why at the Pony on Friday night I was even more cheerful than ever, until I cracked on the subject of one insignificant individual who has been getting my goat very significantly in '07 and about whom I even used the c word. I apologise to those who had to witness that and who were clearly affronted. I suppose I was a bit like the woman in that Cars film clip, the deranged one. I daresay my mood swings have something to do with christmas.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

kinda cute when a 42 year old man does it

1. Are you dating the last person you kissed?
Kind of

2. Pretend you've had 10 beers. what you would be doing right now?
Sleeping

3. What do you want?
A job

4. Who was the last person you shared a bed with?
Mia Rose Schoen

5. Do you talk to yourself?
Kind of

6. Do you drink milk straight from the carton?
That is more repulsive than eating turds

7. Who knows the latest secret about you?
Nobody

8. How long is your hair?
Acceptably not

9. Do you like Batman?
Well, he founded Melbourne - I dig that

10. Who was the last person who told you they loved you?
Hmm

13. Do you like anyone now?
I like a lot of people.

14. When was the last time you lied?
Probably when I dumbed something down for the sake of a casual conversation with someone I didn't actually know, like in Pascoe Vale Road Market today.

16. Is your birthday on a holiday?
No

17. What instant messaging service do you use?
Don't understand the question

18.Last thing you cooked today?
Hot dog

19. Did you have a nap today?
no

20. Who's house did you go to last?
You mean 'whose'. I went to Julian, Nicole and April's front door, but just left some menus and a fridge magnet there. The last house I went into (aside from my own) was my father's.

21. What do you wear more, jeans or sweats?
Neither, I think, though I don't know what sweats are.

22. Why is the sky blue?
Something to do with air and light or something

23. Do you like green beans?
Yes

24. Do you swear a lot?
Yes

25. Where did you get the shirt you're wearing?
Op shop somewhere

27. Do you use an alarm clock?
Usually

28. Where was your default MySpace picture taken?
At home, but if I could access the function to change the default picture, my answer would be 'Montmorency', or if I could actually delete my account, I would have another answer.

29. Do you ever snort when you laugh?
It's possible

30. Whats the first thing you notice on the opposite sex?
Intelligence

31. Is cheating ever okay?
Hardly

32. Do you want someone you can't have?
That would be ludicrous

34. Do you wear underwear?
well duhhhh

35. Do you wear a bra?
oh see thats what the underwear question was leading up to

36. What Size?
Size with a capital s! Now you're talking

37. Are you a social or an antisocial person?
social

39. Do you have a tan?
no

45. Are you afraid of the dark?
no

47. Do you miss someone today?
Not really, I was moved to miss my grandmother earlier today.

49. Do you still have pictures of you & your exs?
not that I know of.

50. Who's always there for you no matter what?
my real friends

Sunday, December 02, 2007

quelle raconteur


Shane wowed 'em at Toby and Suze's wedding yesterday at Brunswick Bowling Club. I hope he puts his toast up on his blog. (Later: yeah he did)

Friday, November 30, 2007

costello is on lateline tonight

I spent the first five years of the Howard government, at least, because I remember expressing it in or around ' 01, being sort of groundhog dayishly surprised all the time that Howard was the PM. Not because it was like waking up and having Billy McMahon as PM again, though actually it was, but because Howard seemed so incongruous and pathetic in and of himself. Well, given that, it's not so terribly surprising that I find it so bizarre to think that six days ago, we were all facing the apparently realistic prospect of 3 plus more years of Liberal-National Coalition Government, much the same as the previous eleven but probably more smug and gross. That was only six days ago! It seems like about six years ago. But Costello is actually technically still the treasurer, with admittedly not much to treasure, and Howard is still the PM, for the moment. Unless when it comes time to hand over something other than the Lodge (a place he 'knows' but doesn't know) he cries 'shan't', then I don't know what'll happen.

Reading The Australian over the last week, I mean the Howardophiles in it, has been so delicious you wish you could put it in a bottle and put it under your pillow to flavour your dreams.

As I have already confessed on this blogge, my politics cast the world in rich shades of black and white; as per the complaints of some Andrew Bolt supporters (not complaints about me, but about the joy felt by Laborites), I am a good hater, of Conservative politicians in particular, and to a slightly lesser extent their followers. So of course I am totally gleeful (more like gleeeeeeeeeeeful). There's no nuance or whimsy to me in this regard. It has been a wonderful honeymoon this week, even if I did spend the first half of it recovering from alchohol consumption and the rest feeling like I am about to develop a cold.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

millie 4 ruddy


Millie is the biggest Kevin Rudd supporter at our house. Here she is assuming a commanding position to survey the territory of the seat of Calwell at which Maria Vamvakinou increased the ALP's standing. She (Millie) is imbued with a confident and powerful spirit, the spirit for change, leadership, and apologies.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

possibly the worst british film ever



Bruce Beresford's Side by Side is a 1975 comedy about two clubs, the Golden Nugget and Sound City. The first is owned by Max Nugget (Terry Thomas) who is both contemptuous of and dependent on his nephew Rodney (Barry Humphries), and the second by Gary (Billy Boyle). When it is discovered that the borough of Sludgley can only have one 'clubbe', the magistrate gives Inspector Crumb (Frank Thornton) the job of deciding which of the two clubs will have to close.

Naturally Gary gets on his motorbike and rides to London to find some new rock acts to book for the club. And equally naturally Max calls his niece Julia who works in a booking agency called Three Rs (rock 'n' roll representation). She is also apparently making an album at Abacus studio in her lunch break. Gary turns up at Three Rs as well and by grim coincidence becomes friendly with Julia, to the extent that before the end of the day he's telling her he loves to kiss girls' necks. He also tells her he can get a comedian to play at her uncle's club, though at this point he doesn't know that her uncle is his sworn arch-enemy Max Nugget. She plays him a video of Fox performing their second single 'Imagine Me Imagine You', and by the time it's over they have apparently gone off to root. The next morning, they try to eat food at Biba's but when Gary discovers that Julia's Max Nugget's niece he throws a cream pie at famous comedian Joe Baker and runs out of the shop, just runs out.

Meanwhile no-one really knows what to do at the Golden Nugget but there is a woman called Violet, who just hangs around with no real purpose except to lavish attention on Rodney, who she adores passionately but who can't bear to be touched. She keeps trying to ravish him.

The film is full of people putting paste on posters, from enormous glue pots, which they then only seem to stick out the front of their respective venues. Sound City is full of kids, presumably bored young foxy kids, who help out. Julia has booked all the hot young bands for the best show ever, and these bands are Hello (who we have already seen performing 'Bend me shape me' and who Wikipedia informs us had a drummer, Jeff Allen, who was actually born Jeffrey Allen) and Desmond Dekker (he sings 'Israelites'. I notice that in Peter Coleman's book about Bruce Beresford's career he says that some of the songs in the film were hits. He doesn't actually say that they were hits because they were in the film, but I reckon there's an implication of that. 'Israelites' was a hit in 1968.

Then the two clubs put on the shows, and there is a riot for no apparent reason but it does involve cream pies, including one in the face of Joe Baker, who I forgot to tell you is performing at the Golden Nugget, and who does a very, very short act about pneumatic drills. In the conflagration the walls are smashed in and so there is now one club, Julia and Gary get back together and someone sings a song. Violet does a striptease as Madame Lash and whips Rodney, curing him both of his hayfever and his asexuality. At almost the end there is a caption on the screen to say:

'The clubs were renamed GOLDEN CITY and are now the centre of Sludgely's cultural life'.

Jokes:

Rodney: 'Who else do you know who isn't dead or Australian?'
Max: 'What's the difference?'

Rodney: 'I think I will have that massage after all, Violet, I do feel a little stiffness.'

One of the places named amongst the locations is 'Sludgely'

Max Nugget reels off a short list of all the 'greats' he knew in his day, including 'Terry-Thomas'.

I wanted to see this film because:

(1) everyone who has seen it derides it. Coleman says Beresford did it for money and because, after the Barry McKenzie films, it was hard for him to get work.

(2) I thought it would have some good things about gentrification, performance spaces etc

(3) I thought Noosha Fox had a role in it

Now I can say with confidence to (1), it's justifiably derided (2) nah (3) nuh-uh.

new times

Millie is becoming increasingly badly behaved on walks. There is a body of thought that suggests beagles aren't that intelligent. I think this is actually a matter of beagles not being very trainable. But Millie has always been quite well-trained, because we took her to Wagging School early in her life and she has always been quite responsive and has learnt quite a few commands (sit, lie, wait etc, even a 'piss now' command which is handy). However this year on walks she has been much more likely to ignore me entirely and go off by herself, extending the walk by 20 minutes which can of course be annoying of itself but also make me late for work (if I could get her to understand me going to work = her dinner, that might make it all a lot easier). Anyway, we had put it down to her deafness (easy to believe in as she has a truly repulsive growth in her ear which the vet says is totally benign and common in older dogs). But this morning I tried to reign her in and she all but disappeared. I approached the bush where she was last seen and found her standing motionless behind it. When discovered, she bolted. She was being devious.

Having caught her, I considered doing what Wagging School told us to do eg put your dog on the lead and let her go, a couple of times, so that being on the lead wouldn't signify The End. But I wasn't going to be made a fool of by someone I can't argue with. So we came straight back.

Monday, November 12, 2007

control

Well, Control was pretty much all I imagined, with the rock myth, the rock de-myth, the good acting, and the songs I really liked a lot when I was 15. I saw it in the same place, virtually, where I bought my copy of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' in 1980, from Readings, they were also selling that flexidisc that you were supposed to get for nothing for $10. After the film I recalled two lines from 1980, both extreme reactions to IC's suicide:

NME reader's letter: 'Ian Curtis died for our sins'
Vox crossword clue: 'The band was overrated, but their singer was well hung'

On another topic, I am going to Wollongong today, for about 11 hours.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

australian films

One feels that one often has to start afresh every day with an explanation of where one is coming from. I so often find myself talking about/reminiscing over/referencing films with people and getting a blank, 'oh, is that an Australian film?'

I put this comment, incidentally, in the category of almost-but-not-quite-as-annoying-as 'Are you vego?'. (Aside: on Friday night we were on the train quite late and a guy styling himself Aussie Tom asked a young man he had just been introduced to, 'What nasho are you?' A piece of crap abbreviation, incidentally, because of course the nationality is not the issue but the ethno or the cultro backgro possibly could be...)

Anyway, back to the first paragraph, my point is that there is an assumption (often comes with the usual 'I don't know anything about Australian films') that Australian film is a genre in terms of style, approach etc. I was actually teaching a course in Australian film a few weeks ago, and we had sat through 8 or 9 when we got to The Bank about which one sassy camp student sneered 'Not bad for an Australian film'.

At the end of the day, I am reconciled to the idea that people don't have to like what I like, and it often comes very close to not giving a loose root if they do or not (an acquaintance of my father's believes everyone on earth would be friends if they only all played Aussie rules; I used to have a similarly missionary impulse about various insightful cultro artefos). But it does bother me that - particularly of course in Australia - there is still that little badge of pride some can wear, of ignorance about one's own culture.

Admittedly I come from the POV that a lot of my favourite films are Australian films. I don't think I like them because of that, I am not sure if I've turned into some kind of patriot or not, shoot me if I ever do. But I genuinely don't see, even given this country's proud multicultural tradition, how it can be good for any Australian who likes films to 'not like' (i.e. be deliberately ignorant of) Australian films.

By the way, three local productions I have recently admired:
Noise
Burke and Wills
The Jammed

Sunday, November 04, 2007

helicopter friday night

On Friday night at about 1:30 am a police helicopter went up and down the creek valley about three times shining a spotlight around the top edges of the valley. At about the second time, while the helicopter was down the south end, a car started up on the bike track and drove along the track in a northerly direction. Apparently the helicopter was looking for a 'missing person', the car was irrelevant, though presumably its occupants thought they were being searched for.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

where does the crap come from?

In the most irritating scene in one of the most irritating films I've seen, I'm talkin' bout American Beauty, you've seen it too, the weird fascist teen demonstrates he is a sensitive soul by screening the girl a video he made of a plastic bag blowin' in the wind. And I agree it is true. Plastic shopping bags blow in the wind. It's not actually that beautiful, however edgily you want to try perceiving it.

In my now-daily walk round the reserve, I have marvelled about the amount of packaging rubbish I see. Some of it is still the legacy of the February 06 (or was it 05?) floods, plastic bottles stuck between rocks, etc. Since there is always never anyone in the reserve - or, two or three at one time max - most of it, eg lolly wrappers, chip bags, bits of paper, the ubiquitous bags etc - must have blown there. Are big empty parks like ours kind of vacuum cleaners for the surrounding area? Or is it just that, being a big 'empty' space, this is the only place where you see the stuff that is otherwise hidden by houses, walls, etc? We never find old chip wrappers in our back yard.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

dishes and interview transcripts

I can't even think of anything to say about dishes and interview transcripts, except that i have to do both.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

if life were a musical

mine would be pretty sonorous at the moment. From where I sit I can hear Mia doing something with a saw out the back. I should do something? Well I offered but obviously I don't really want to that much. I have nearly finished reading Suzi Quatro's autobiography (is this her second?) and Mia and I are both reading Madame Bovary which is yeh not bad. My friend Saul perfected a way of saying 'not bad' that sounded like 'knobhead' and that was pretty good. It was the seventies. Speaking of the seventies, fuckin' Facebook... never thought they'd perfect anything above myspace for putting you in touch with (or potentially in touch with) people you didn't need to be in touch with... christ. And of course even a straightforward statement like that is a minefield.

It is my grandmother Mavis's 98th tomorrow and my niece Niamh's 2nd, so, together 100. It's my father's next week (69) and Mia's too (35, but that's not old by the way). I assume there is a crash-through point where you stop going on about how old everyone is, and how you used to think they were old and now you realise they weren't but are now... I went through the ARIA nominations this morning and there were about 3 acts I'd never heard of, a couple I'd heard of but never heard, and a couple of records I knew and liked... Silverchair and Powderfinger (actually that's far from their best album), Operator Please and Architecture in Helsinki. I bet I'd like Gotye if I ever heard him/them/it. Anyway, that's no sign of age, really, even when I was working at Smash Hits there were a lot of records and groups who meant nothing whatsoever to me and I was being paid then for them to mean something. Should I give some of my wages back?

I added some good links at the right there to other blogs/etc I recommend. I took Prawnwarp off because I think it's kind of died. I'm into pruning right now. Other things I'm into:

seaside daisies
frogs
cinnamon
promoting myself
controversy
flaxseed oil
gankok bulbogi or whatever it's called
the jammed
the believer

Thursday, October 25, 2007

jacana station: a review of the facilities














catching up with me

Too many early mornings, well, late nights I suppose, as well, Summer Heights High ended last night, that was a show I laughed at twice, the one time I remember is when Jonah said 'Sorry if I said fuck you', otherwise Jonah in particular, his disruptive, bullying way, was disturbingly realistic, on Tuesday we went to see The Jammed, being the Nova of course they started playing the wrong film, needed to be told, there were 6 people in the cinema including two who were either kissing or eating soft food close to each other's faces, but it was a tremendous film, I loved in particular the subverted plot arc, last week also we saw Noise, what a classic, I am looking forward to Closer even though I would rather see a film about Ingrid getting sacked from Tactics.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

pictures

Here are four pictures from the last 8 days which I thought you might like to see. If you wish, you can make a story that includes ideas suggested to you by these pictures.




poor grandpa

So I looked at how the BBC covered Howard's announcement, and then I wanted to see how Yahoo's main page did. Now I've accidentally got myself the local Yahoo page for Melbourne, Florida.

This shows double decline, because (1) I did it, and (2) I seem happy to let others know I did it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

what people are searching for when they land here

Alright ignore my comment on the previous post. I figured out how to find out what people are looking for when they end up here. Some examples:

'You are scraping through'
'Trippy tree drawing' (post in question was about a tree drawing, not a trippy one)
'what would be the first day of winter in Australia' (?? the day when the water in the plughole changes direction?)
'mum the good old days' (good luck - sob)
'put you finger in the dyke' (no, you put you finger in first)
'fuck john howard' (high concept)
'blowfly disco'
'the character cartier in neighbours'
'warwick thai sydney road'
'melbourne royal dog show 2007'
'phallophilia' (a word I was sure I'd never used or even heard before, but it looks like I did!)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

25!

Sitemeter tells me 25 people visited this blog yesterday alone, so I feel I really should be more productive here, but I have been doing a lot of academic writing right now and it's taking its toll. Can I just say however I got ahold of three great albums this week:

1. Hand Hell - Phonography
2. Red Krayola - Sighs trapped by liars
3. Kush - Snow white and the 8 straights

The first two are brand new, the third a reissue (that's a poem with resonance).
I also got Red Krayola's Japan in Paris in LA but I haven't listened to it yet.

Oh, and since I'm here I should say that even though Kevin Rudd is my friend in myspace I disagree with him re: capital punishment (I was about to make a joke based on something I recently saw again - 'except in the case of people who dramatically shake imaginary moisture/oil from their hands when eating' - but I'm over that slacker-styled culture jamming of flip commentary supposed to both veil and expose a greater truth. Veil and expose? Yes, that is what that kind of humour tries to do. But you can't veil and expose something. And plus it's not funny.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

deep south of hume

There is a finger of (what I think of as, though at that stage it might officially not be) the Jacana Reserve that comes to the smallish bridge that crosses the Western Ring Road into the City of Moreland where marvellous things are happening. One is this



An actual seat, as far as I know the only one in the entire area, which is ridiculous in such a vast parkland space, and the only time one is encouraged to sit contemplatively rather than whatever else one is encouraged to do in the park - I dunno, ride trailbikes, or teach your five year old to ride trailbikes, or perve on kids from your 4WD, or drive your ute up the hills, or walk around with an oddly-held stick as though you were lord of the manor out for a spot of black swan shooting - so this seat is all rather wonderful, and I condone it.

From a distance it looks like it is a good place to view the sward; what is revealed when you get up close and sittery is



a little more of the western ring road than one might have wanted to see, but you know, it's the truth, the naked lunch, the crux of the matter if you will. If you can't handle the crux then don't sit on the seat.

Also in the region is this marvel:



That's right. This new unit gives every impression of fronting directly on to the park space. I love this kind of thing and as far as I am aware - with a few half-way versions, eg the houses in Eaglemont that have their mail boxes in the reserve but their street addresses on the Boulevarde - there is only one other comparable example, in Glenorchy (West Moonah actually) in Hobart. That is, if that is what this is. I hope they get a proper wall/fence and genuinely face into the park. This would be a great precedent. I would like to see a lot more of this in the Jacana region if it could possibly be swung.

Another thing I love is urban agriculture. There is a little bit of this just near the above:



And once again I endorse it, not just because it brings people into that scariest of states - contact with the neighbours - but also encourages local activity, food production (in this case I'm sure of an extremely limited sort, but that's OK) and productive use and beautification (I find it lovely) of underutilised suburban space. It's grouse and there should be more of it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

more on lockers

Essentially the issue with the lockers (i.e. at the SLV – see below) is that there aren’t enough of them, you have to pay for them, and it can take time finding free ones. I think those are the three main problems.

Basically, the area at the front of the SLV where once you would go to leave your bag and be given a token which would tell the bagchecker where the bag was, is now a cavernous hall half filled with lockers arranged in open-ended squares. Each bank of lockers, three high from memory and three banks per square of course, has a touch screen that enables access to a locker.

First problem is that if you have a lot of locker users, some whole banks of lockers may be booked out, a fact that is not immediately obvious until you spend time interfacing with the screen (which itself may involve queuing). So you may have to go to a few screens to find a bank of lockers with free lockers.

Second problem is you have to pay, which just sucks.

Third problem is there is a little area between the main part of the locker and the locker door which, for some reason, cannot have anything in it or the locker will malfunction. Being the tetchy shit I am, I can never see the reminder not to let things stray into this space without being reminded of one of my first experiences of these lockers, when I could not get the locker to open and had to get assistance from, you guessed it, an assistant. As she opened the locker with a thingummy she told me that what had probably happened was some part of my bag or whatever I had in the locker (actually it was a dismembered baby’s head) had strayed across the line. When she opened the locker, it was clear that this had not happened and my stuff was stashed securely up the back of the locker. Nevertheless little miss smugarse (or, to use her official title, Little Miss Smugarse) saw fit to point to the line and to inform me that things could not cross it or the locker doors would not open. No wonder I hate those shitty rubbish lockers when I get patronised meaninglessly like that.

I know this all comes back to a character fault I have previously identified in myself, that I feel like I own the library because I have been going there since I was a pre-teen (also it was where I wrote Monkey Grip). So that I really should have a gold card access allowing me special privileges in the library and the executive washroom and the executive sharps deposit box. But it also comes down to a character fault easily identifiable in the library, via which commercial enterprises are allowed to leech onto an enterprise that should by rights be allowed entirely to fund all its services through the perfectly rational and reasonable tithing of the mentally ill (i.e. gamblers) rather than tugging at the change purses of ordinary decent taxpayers, blah blah I’ll stop now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

turmoil

Well, it seems like the railways can't handle the addition of two new stations, since every train on our line I've caught since Sunday has been late. The screens at Melbourne Central



apparently can't accommodate new information either, though Specs in IT managed to knock this one up for the time being. I have already seen one example of two young NESB women thoroughly confused by this who tentatively got on the train at Melb Central and then panicked and got off at Flagstaff (I don't know where they were intending to go).

Last night it was business as usual inasmuch as the Craigieburn train had all the wrong information on the in-carriage indicators and as we pulled into North Melbourne we were told by the indicators and a recorded announcement that 'the next station is Melbourne Central'. Two ESB people got off in a hurry, once again I don't know why but considering a lot of people are obviously confused about the Craigieburn destination and the lack of detail on the platform indicator screens, this conflicting i.e. false information can't help. (This happens a LOT incidentally so it's not surprising it happened yesterday).

Anyway I did finally make it to C'burn yesterday morning just for a look round. It was swinging. One teenage girl addressed another as 'Faggott'. There was still some very loud building work going on. People on the line between Broady-Craigy actually stand and watch the train go past in amazement, I'm serious. Mind you I saw some kids doing this in Kensington yesterday too.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

dogs

Mia and I accompanied my mother to Kilmore where she was to choose a puppy, which she kind of did - she chose the puppy the other person who had first dibs, wasn't going to choose. But they were both great, I reckon. I suggested to Mia that maybe Millie and Charlie might also like a border terrier puppy to rear but she baulked.


Blissfully unaware, M&C were mainly only interested in getting out onto the oval once again, where the wind blew their ears around. In this picture, adding as all dog pictures do but particularly pictures of our dogs to the greater value of human civillisation, Millie is thinking 'if I run towards this person they will give me a small piece of kibble', and Charlie is thinking, 'my ears are blowing around or whatever'.

line to craigieburn

Annoyingly we didn't get it together sufficiently to make it to Craigieburn station at 10:30 this morning for the official opening. But we did get to Roxburgh Park to see a little bit of behind-the-scenes John Brumby excitement when the Premier plus Lynne Kosky boarded the train going north (this is how they 'arrived at the official opening by train' as per The Age 1 Oct 07 p. 4 - rode a few km of line) .


A couple of boys were there and though I didn't hear the initial statement from one, I heard the reply, 'Nah, Brumby's already got a ticket!' And indeed he did, and validated it twice for the cameras (he volunteered to do it a second time, which in my experience gets a bad result from the validator, but I'm not the Premier).



On the station he just hung out with his crew though he did try to talk with real people i.e. the same boys, he asked them if they were going into the city to see something or other and was surprised (?) to hear they were actually just there because he was and/or the rail line to Craigieburn was being opened.



The station itself is stylistically interesting, a kind of brutalo-



modernistic



style, though as Mia pointed out the shelters on the platform were too high for effective protection from anything, and there wasn't much wind shielding either.

That said I am very pleased the electrified line has extended to C'burn and I think a lot of locals will be too. It's been at least 40 years in the making, or rather, it was first announced in the late 60s and probably not much was done until the present government or a version thereof did it, and hats off to all included, including of course Bettsy.