Tuesday, July 26, 2005

homophobe housemate

Homophobia rears its big head on Big Brother with Housemate Kate launching a swinging attack on (male to male) gay men affection in public.  During a game of truth and dare, Tim was dared to kiss Greg. After much laughing and a few quick pecks, the girls weren’t satisfied, telling them to get a bit of tongue in there.

Kate said the small amount of kissing between the two boys so far was more than enough and that she felt physically ill after witnessing the sight. “I’ll vomit. That was disgusting. I’m homophobic.” She explained. “That really freakin’ scared the shit out of me.”

Kate then shocked even further, when she went on to say that she only hates men who are gay. “If I were to kiss a chick, it wouldn’t matter. Two guys, yuck. I hate it and I fear it.”

Kate even attacked Greg and Tim personally, saying that they should have just pretended, rather than subject her to the disgusting sight of two men kissing. Tim and Greg were quick to defend their actions, Tim saying it ‘wasn’t in the spirit of the game’ to pretend and both boys arguing that there’s nothing wrong with guys kissing each other.

The revelation of Kate’s nasty homophobic side has left housemates and BB fans dumbfounded, some of Kate’s most loyal supporters now saying she’s lost them.

To make matters worse for Kate is that she is  now up for eviction this week after Tim used his points to save Greg, throwing Kate into the nomination ring. With the unwarranted outburst by Kate on Day 75, this will make the perfect opportunity for people to boot Kate out.  I've already placed my votes.

Information from BehindBigBrother.com


Friday, July 22, 2005

questioning smartcards

The most annoying I've had to put up with during my last 9 days at work was the constant question from people in regards to the new smartcard ticketing to be introduced in 2007.  First of all if people were paying attention to the news or to any other media that this was just an announcement by the government that they had awarded the tender to the Kamco consortium.  Nothing had indicated whatsoever the full details of how the system would work or that you would find out the very next day on what every single detail the new system would entail.  On the presumption that the travelling public think that Public Transport staff would know every single detail of the new system and that they would be complete expert and would put their minds at ease or just complain that it's a waste of money and what use would it be to them.  Just put your brakes on!

I ended up going to the DoI's website to find out some information about the new system, even though I knew I wouldn't find a great deal but would know that the general basics of the system would be available for viewing.  The best place to look was in the Frequently Asked Questions, this is the place that would actually answer the basics for the system.  The rest we would have to wait and see to the trial process begins.  But now since I know about what's on that page, does that mean I'll share the information to my lovely commuters.  Of course not.  I made the effort to go look for the information and they can do the same in whatever means possible for them if they don't have online access.

Yes the current format of the ticketing system will remain, but you will not be using the magnetic strip tickets.  The new system will ensure that you do get a better value from your journey if you clock on and clock off, but will penalise you if do not clock off.  How everything will work will be revealed later, but at this stage there's no point in asking any PT staff member.  The ticketing system is the responsibility of the Transport Ticketing Authority and not of the Public Transport Operators and many people should keep that in mind as the same with the current system.

Stay tuned and be patient.  All will be revealed in time.  The same response will be given by me even at work. 

Monday, July 18, 2005

marketing safer eggs

Last sighted many years ago in a children's storybook and the last time in pieces.  Humpty Dumpty has come out of retirement and is assisting Connex in their next segment for their "A Safe Way to Travel" marketing campaign.  To be shown on all commercial channels and to make his debut in the mainstream papers, Humpty will demonstrate the various safety initiatives that have been introduced on trains and on stations. "We felt that Humpty was a character that most people were familiar with," Connex CEO, Bruce Hughes said.  "As he is well known for being fragile we thought that his need for caution provided us with a perfect scenario to demonstrate the updated safety options that are now available on the train network."

Lets hope this exceeds Connex's eggspectations that it can have fun in showing people the lighter side in safer train travel or this campaign may be beaten buy the opposition and whisked away.  Makes for a good omelette.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

cafecruise : red star

Here I am once again running behind with cafecruise since I have visited a large string of them in the past 3 weeks, so I will be doing some catch up on here in the next week as there are a few good cafes to share with you all.  I was anticipating reviewing 2 cafe's in this cafecruise, but unfortunately the first cafe that I was going to review didn't have a business card and I can't find them listed in the White Pages.

Upon a recent visit to the Daylesford area, my first priority of the day besides having a look around at the antique shops and the other knick knacks also including places such as Puppy Phat and Feline Groovy, I was also doing the cruise to find a suitable cafe to start my day off and have my first caffeine fix.  I've noticed the cafe on the corner for quite some time and I remember when the building was also under renovation for quite sometime before they managed to finish it and open up for business.  But alas I will not be able to do a proper review of Koukla cafe since I don't have the address, and so I will not give them the credit of doing a review.

Now that I'm refreshed and that my stomach has now been satisfied, we drove down towards Hepburn Springs.  Apart from pointing out where a friend of mine lived and then discovering later one that a couple of my friends were actually there when I drove past unbeknownst to myself, we continued on towards the Hepburn Springs Reserve.  Not too far away, I noticed a cafe on the right hand side of the road that I've didn't notice last time I was here and thought that we would check it out later on.  After our walk, and driving back towards Daylesford, I decided to stop and check out the cafe.

Red Star Cafe

Only been open for a couple of months, this makes it a new addition to the area and also located on the same block as the Palais and a rainbow stickered Motel.  On the left side on the front of the cafe, you'll notice a quaint little display of a red framed picture with a table and chairs with a cup and saucer resting on a newspaper and a stainless steel milk pot.  Walking inside, there is a little tourist information area to the left and you continue on to walk into a large room with tables and chairs laid out and an interestingly red painted arch directly ahead.  All along the left wall are book shelves filled with books.  If you continue on to the small back room, you'll notice an immense large solid wooden coffee table and along the wall are old theatre seats.  On wondering where to make ourselves comfortable, I noticed that there is a little alcove at the front of the cafe.  In this alcove are two different styles of sofas. Both being made of leather, you have two black, straight top sofas facing each other and on the left side of the alcove and on the right two right curved top sofas facing each other.  Both with coffee tables against the wall with a vase of flowers.

I only ordered a cafe latte, which was a lot better than the one served at the previous cafe and the milk was doing done a lot better, but there could have been improvements which would add to the style of the cafe.  The only disappointment I had inside the cafe was that when we first arrived it was absolutely perfect, nice and quiet with the perfect atmosphere to relax in.  Well that theory went out of the door when some noisy kids came in.  Oh well!  Take out the equation of the kids and you'll notice that the cafe has a certain peaceful atmosphere about itself.  Interesting thing, I did end up counting 7 different types of light shades in different parts of the cafe.  It was pretty cool. The counter located at the rear of the cafe next to the kitchen.  It seems that the cafe is operated by two people, who I may presume that they may be a couple, far from myself assuming that. Being a quiet time, service was very good and the two chaps quite friendly.  I didn't get to have a chance to have a proper look at the food menu, but they do offer a variety sweet and savoury treats.

Seeing the traffic going past in this lovely country atmosphere, and the feel of the cafe with the means of just relaxing and taking it all in, I found it rather worthwhile and a good finish to a good day.

Coffee : Grinders

Red Star Cafe : 115 Main Rd Hepburn Springs 3461, T : (03) 5348 2297

Rating : 4.5 out of 5

Saturday, July 16, 2005

lack of understanding with driving

Driving on the roads is becoming more hazardous as the days go by.  It is still very easy for people to obtain their drivers licence even with the 120 hours campaign being enforced by Vic Roads.  The major concern I have for when people have the need of obtaining a drivers licence is the many language options that are available  for those who don't speak or have a proper understanding of the English language.  Far from me with the inkling of sounding racist, but from my experience the night before of a situation that could have turned into a very serious accident.  I had now had enough and will now spill out some of my thoughts, particularly those of a certain community.  For those who wish to migrate to Australia or even declare themselves refugees, they have already made the choice to leave their homeland and go to another to start a new life.  But when they do arrive here, regardless of their status, they will try in every effort to continue their existing life that they had packed up or were forced to pack up and take with them.  Australia is ripe of the picking, it is a wonderful country that will offer the individuals and families freedom.  Freedom to do whatever they want by whatever means possible.  When they cannot do what they want to do, then it is time to rort the weak legal system of Australia, a system riddled by an abundance of loop holes.  It's a perfect opportunity to go to your local representative, who could also be a friend of the family, or is related some where along the family chain and make use of such situations and opportunities. 

Australia is a melting pot for a immense range of cultural diversity.  There are a large number of people who set out to achieve the most they can of their new found freedom and these same people do the best they can to help educate everyone about the many talents and skills that they have brought over and they also learn from all the other cultures and the general community in itself on how to best still have pride with their own culture, but also make the effort to change and adapt to the new surrounds and environment.  It is understandable that driving through cities such as Brisbane and Sydney and you observe some street signs in dual languages, and that likewise in other countries, including Asian countries that you will also see English in their road signage.  This goes to assist visitors to help move them on their way to where they are going to.  Understanding road laws is one area where this has also been carried on to.  The official language of Australia is English and that it should remain so in regards to road laws in every state and being able to obtain your drivers licence.    This however is not the case, and is being scrutinized by certain communities. 

Everywhere you go on the road in the State of Victoria, and you'll notice all signage is in English.  Your drivers licence is also in English and all the legislation and paperwork relevant to it.  However you don't grasp the understanding of the English language, but you wish to have the means to drive on a road.  I understand that there should be "guides" in other languages explaining certain aspects of understanding road laws and being able to obtain a drivers licence,  but to do the majority of the test "not in English" (no I don't know what happens when the Vic Roads Officer is in the car), defeats the purpose in properly understanding the road laws and the laws of the individual states and the Commonwealth of Australia.  It is a requirement that you do understanding what you are getting yourself into in the first place and you must take responsibility of any, if not all of your actions.  You've completed both tests, practical and theory and you now have your licence in hand.  Let's get ready to wreak havoc!

I live in an area that I have observed over the years that I have been living here, a community changing rapidly.  From not much of a presence, to a rapid expansion of a general presence.  Walking down Alfrieda Street in St Albans 10 years ago and I would have found a different variety of shops or many nationalities that were present in the area.  Now you'll find a majority of the shops are of Vietnamese decent and not a lot of difference unfortunately between them.  A similar case is in Footscray, in that you would find a large variety of shops which were owned by Greek and Italian families, as the tide change, so did the demographics of the area and you'll find a large majority of Asian own shops and restaurants.  This can also cause problems on the road.  Sure you find a lot of idiots on the road, but I have found that these are always the ones who can cause the blatant disregard to the other motorists.  Unfortunately, more recently I have come across more problems with drivers of a certain community than I have with others.

Without myself rambling on too much now, since if I wanted to expand on other issues on the road, then I would and could, but I'll finish off with my experience last night, which is very similar to a few more that I have encountered, especially around my area.  Driving home from work along Dynon Road, I thought I'd go into Footscray and pick up a couple of items of clothing before meeting up with a friend later.  Since I thought I'd go to Forges, I knew the simple way of going to the car park where I would find plenty of parking and it would be easier for me to drive out and continue on my way home.  So I'm at the lights and turn left into Irving Street, railway line and Footscray Station to the left and the Footscray Market to my right, just as I had a clear signal to go straight through the turn, only 5 metres away, a blue Commodore does a u-turn from the parking strip on the side and cuts right out in front of myself.  I slam the brakes on, quickly changing my gears to control the car and stop only half a metre from the drivers door.  I slam the horn and notice a female Asian driver, who then ways and drives off leaving me to continue my way and pick up my heart.  This situation could have been different and could have had a more serious response which could have resulted in that driver being seriously injured or worse killed.  But as I know how my car works and how to control it, being 50 km/h down that street, I had already reached that speed prior to slamming my brakes.  From my observation, this was also a full licenced driver and I just thought it was entirely not acceptable but it's what we have to put up with driving on the roads.  I don't mean to be picky on a particular culture, but I have had enough, especially from the same culture in itself.  But I know, nothing will be done to help improve it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

new camera

I now have a new toy to play with and it's quite large and heavy in my hands.  But sorry to disappoint some, but it's actually a new camera.  It's a slight bit heavier than it's predecessor and it has higher and sharper resolution.  With a couple of changes where some buttons are placed with a few extra editions.  I gave the camera a test on Saturday and had cafe latte at Fed Sq, took a shot of the book market and the sheds.  Moving off to the Tramway Museum at Hawthorn, unfortunately some pictures didn't turn out properly, but it is part of the learning process of a new camera and getting use to the size, weight and capabilities.  Upon returning back into town I did test the camera out on a few night shots.  I hope to show many pictures later from this camera.

Friday, July 08, 2005

London Attacked

Thursday morning on the 7th of July and the London Underground and Central London is rocked by a series of attacks by terrorists. Three bombs affected the London Underground and one attack blew the top off a Double Decker bus in Central London. On the opening day of the G8 Summit and 24 hours after the announcement of London as the Host City for the 2012 Olympic Games. 32 People are reported dead at this stage, whilst hundreds injury and many people still unaccounted for.

A timeline of information is provided here.

Images provided from BBC.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

cafecruise - street exchange

Rising from the ashes of the Old Queen Victoria Hospital is the new shopping precinct of QV.  Apart from your assortment of shops and a decent sized food court, you'll also find a range of restaurants and cafe's.  One particular cafe that exists in the complex is Street Exchange.  The cafe exists as part of the trendy male and female clothing store.  Whilst you may find clothing at interesting prices, the cafe tells a different story.  I have frequented this cafe numerous times and always enjoy coming back, well mainly because they serve very good and pretty cheap coffee and most of the time there is always a good looking staff member working there.

It is interesting to note the change of trends these days in regards to shopping.  Book stores started the trend incorporating cafe's into their business plans and allowing patrons to read a book from their shelves whilst enjoying their meal or beverage.  Now that has been expanded with clothing stores such as Street Exchange starting to do the same.  On offer at the QV Street Exchange, is a range of light snacks such as rolls and pasta foods.  They also stock a range of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.  As you walk into the store from the Swanston Street entrance, the cafe is located to the right of the entrance.  With tables and seating arranged around the counter and outside the cafe from the second entrance.  If you're in the need of filling in some spare time, you can also play the selection of board games that they have on offer displayed above the counter. 

I'm always happy when I receive my coffee, especially since they also adorn the latte with two chocolate coffee beans on the side, but this time the barista played a bit more attention to detail.  Unfortunately this was the time when my phone decided to have a fit and not co-operate, but I did manage to take a picture of my friends latte, even though mine was similar.  But by then, the phone had decided to work properly, which was a bit late.  I had also ordered a ham and cheese croissant which was nice and light, and that was my breakfast.

Service is normally quite good, and there is ample staff to be able to assist you with your needs (keep it clean).  Whenever I am on my walks around town, Street Exchange is one place I do like to frequent and there is a different type of atmosphere as you watch the trams scooting past and the people going to and fro along Swanston Street and also into the QV Precinct.  If you're a student, or you smile nicely to the lovely staff then all you'll have to play for your cafe latte is $2.  

Coffee : Genovese

Street Exchange : Shp 30- 40 Red Cape La Melbourne 3000 T: (03) 9639 4484