Sunday, January 27, 2008

When "The Lot" is not actually "The Lot"

Why is it that my local fish and chip shop charges extra for pineapple on all it's hamburgers, including the "Hamburger with The Lot"? Obviously if you have to pay 60 cents extra for something you are not actually getting "The Lot". I don't know if this happens at other Fish and Chip shops, I'll have to take note next time.

Food for thought...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Plane Spotting

Spent some time this afternoon at the airport. First of all we parked around on the Sunbury Road under the approach to the north-south runway (runway 16). The first thing that struck me, wasn't a Boeing 777, but the apparent turf war going on between two ice cream vans. With the cool weather we're currently having (an icy 22 degrees C) business can't be too good, but two vans in the one spot must be professional suicide for purveyors of fine ice confectionery.

Gelati Turf War in the carpark

In the short time we were there a number of aircraft flew over, mostly Virgin and Qantas 737s, one Jetstar A320, and a Qantaslink (Qantas' regional brand) Dash 8.

Virgin Blue 737 on approach to Melbourne Airport
The winglets (upright bits on wing tips) are available
as a factory option, but I believe that Virgin Blue have
fitted a lot of their fleet with after market versions.

"When I grow up I want to be a Boeing 787 dreamliner"
Qantaslink Dash 8 coming from somewhere like Devonport,
Mildura or Canberra "shudder".

After a short drive to Sunbury and back we made our way back past the terminal, and around to the opposite side of the airfield near the control tower. Along the way we passed the new expanded long term car park, the taxi holding area complete with prayer room, numerous parts of airport land that are being sold off and developed (goodbye extra runways!) and the maintenance hangers at the southern end of the airfield.

Joining the throng in the car park (not an ice cream van to be seen!) along side the north south runway which sees most of the action we settled in for our afternoons entertainment. The car park is situated almost directly opposite the terminal buildings. It started off pretty quiet, with the odd departure or arrival, but things soon began heat up with the afternoon rush hour. While probably not busy compared to what goes in other places there was a fair bit of action. The highlights for me were Singapore and Qantas 747-400s, the Thai 777, and my first sightings of the rare Tiger A320s. Special mention must go to the Skywest Fokker F100. Skywest only recently began direct flights between Kalgoorlie and Melbourne.

A Qantas 767-300 leaps into the air

Singapore Airlines 747-400 rotates as a Qantas aircraft
of the same model taxis to the runway.

Now it is Qantas' turn, also flying to Singapore, but its
ultimate destination is London's Heathrow airport.

Confucius say that man who go through airport metal
detector sideways is going to Bangkok, as are the
passengers on board this Thai Airways
Boeing 777-300.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The tale of the bent bike

This morning before I got up I was lying in bed thinking about something that happened probably 7 or even 8 years ago.

I was out riding my bike one day and I decided to stop at a local service station to refill the tyres. The service station was an old fashioned independent service station (actually I think it was a Liberty at the time) that serviced cars in a mechanics workshop. At the side was a sort of ramp/driveway that went up to a parking area on an upper level (it may have been the roof) where they stored the cars they weren't working on.

I put my bike on the ground at the air hose and began to fill up the tyres. I had probably only filled one tyre when someone over near the door to the shop yelled out to get my attention. They wanted directions to somewhere or other local, which I gave to them. On the way back to my bike I watched in slow motion as a car reversed out of the driveway at the side of the service station and over my bike. It was one of the mechanics from the service station moving a car to be worked on. Luckily he only got the rear wheel, which was crushed and bent. I can't recall exactly what was said, but the man was not very interested in paying for the damage, he was pretty blase about the fact that he had ran over my bike full stop. Not being very confrontational I let it go and wheeled/carried my bike to the bike shop, which just happened to be located in the group of shops next door (right next to my then Dentist).

I think the new wheel and tyre ended up costing maybe $60 or something like that including a service to the bike, which at the time was a lot of money for me. If it happened now I would make more of a noise and get the service station to pay. Needless to say I never went back to that service station again. I think I eventually got my revenge as the service station has since closed and become part of the car yard next door. Karma?

I still have the bike. I hate it with a passion. The main problem is the quick release on the seat is defective and as a result the seat never stays up in a comfortable position. The other major problem is that it is just so damn heavy. After riding my brother's bike a few months ago, which is a newer model of the same bike, I'm now convinced that this bike is the reason I don't ride much. Ironically I bought my bike from my brother's wife's brother when he moved overseas.

I would like to buy a new bike.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Over the Christmas/New Year period I've been to see two films, the first was The Darjeeling Limited, and the second was Death at a Funeral. I highly recommend both.

The Darjeeling Limited (Trailer on YouTube) was great, although the beginning was confusing, but that was explained after snooping around on imdb for a while. It is about the reuniting of three estranged brothers on a train in India after not seeing each other since the death of their father a year earlier. Directed by Wes Anderson, to me it seemed less off the wall than his previous film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I really liked it. One particular scene made me cry, not because it was sad, it was, but it was just really beuatiful, not many films do that to me. I should also mention the great soundtrack mainly consisting of famous Bollywood music along with some Kinks ,Rolling Stones and classical.

Death at a Funeral I also really liked. It is nothing but a classic British farce. Just go along for the ride, and do be prepared for some toilet humour. I can honestly say this is the first film I've been to where the whole (almost full) theatre has been in uncontrollable fits of laughter. Go see it.

Back to normal

Well my brother and his girls departed for the sunny climes of NSW this morning. He moved back in to our place after 2 or 3 nights away. Their time away did everyone the world of good, stress levels were non existent for the last few days. We didn't do much together, which probably helped a lot.

We had a cheap and cheerful meal with the whole family at La Porchetta on Thursday evening, it was good, although the kids really started to gang up on me, kids can be so cruel. It was sort of a parting of ways, as my Melbourne based brother and family were off to a beach in Northern NSW the next morning. Three weeks of sitting around in a caravan waiting for the rain to stop is going to be fun, not...

It's very quiet around here now, although at least I can get a go on the Wii or the computer. Back to work on Monday too.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas with the cranky brother

After a short unplanned break from this blog, and pretty much the Internet in general, I'm back.

Had a pretty good Christmas - new year period with family. My oldest brother stayed with us for about a week, so I had my nieces to entertain. I spent a few days with all three nieces and nephew doing various things. Christmas day was great. New years eve was pretty good too, sitting around with both brothers and mum until 3am reliving the old days, most of which seemed to occur before I was born. We all found out a few things we didn't know.

Probably the biggest downer was on Sunday with me loosing my temper at my oldest brother and unleashing an ill chosen barrage of swear words. We were in the car so I had to walk the rest of the way home (not far). Although it was a petty argument, the tension had been building inside of me for a few days and I blew my top. After this he claimed he couldn't stand staying with me at mum's house any longer, so moved to our other brother's house (just the excuse he was looking for I suspect). I appologised, but he's still a bit cold with me, which is nothing unusual, the moody bastard. I have yet to appologise to my neices who witnessed this though, but picking the right time with my other niece and nephew around is a bit hard as they won't leave their cousins alone for 5 seconds. They head back north in the next few days, so I'd better hurry up and do it.

Even though things went a bit sour it's been good to have all the family together.