Archive for April, 2009

Frost Levi

No, that’s not the sequel to Frost Nixon.

It’s the thin layer of frost that settled on my Levi’s jeans and all my sundry that were strung out last night.

Is this normal in April? According to The Age, it’s not.

Guess we’re all part of history. And some of us slept through it.

Meh

Comedy Festival Redux: Bea Arthur

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Bea Arthur at the Melbourne Comedy Festival / Credit: David Knox

David Knox from TV Tonight posted this great picture of the late Bea Arthur at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Bea Arthur, who played Dorothy in The Golden Girls, died last week aged 86.

Back in the 90’s, in the heyday of The Golden Girls, Bea toured around the country including a show at the Comedy Festival. She came back in 2002 and performed again in Melbourne.  How did we pull such a big comedian back then and now we can barely get B list American celebrities? Kudos to a funny lady. Might hit channel #bittorent for some Golden Girls episodes.

TV Tonight: Remembering Bea

Melbourne Awards 2009

melbourneawards08logoThe City of Melbourne runs the Melbourne Awards every year to honour individuals, businesses, and community groups that contribute to making Melbourne awesome. Unfortunate for us, that doesn’t include blogs but it does honour people who really go above and beyond to promote our city. Judging is done by a panel but nominations are done by the public via their website.

Looking at some of the past winners, they all seem to contribute to groups that help the underprivileged or the environment.  Some  interesting mentions from last year are Flexicar (the community car share program), The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival,  and the Chill On Ice Bar, a bar that I’m amazed it is still in business.

The nomination process seems like a daunting process involving up to 5 pages for your submission,  a 150-word overview of the project,DVDs, supporting materials, and industry testimonials among the many things recommended but is probably worthy of a good cause. Nominations close Friday May 15.

City of Melbourne: Melbourne Awards

Google Maps Typography

alpha-map670Rhett Dashwood sent me a very cool Google Maps mashup he made of typography around Victoria.  Rhett spent time between October 2008 and April 2009, clicking through Victoria searching for places that look like letters. I recognise J and O but it’s pretty amazing that there are that many places in Victoria shaped like a letter.

Google Maps Typography

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A reminder to all, if you want to send me an email, you can send it to image or follow me on Twitter.

Costco Melbourne

Melbourne's Costco A couple of months ago, I had a bike ride on the Capital City Trail. The trail loops from Carlton North  through to Flemington down to the Docklands, and along the Yarra back up north again. On the way down to Docklands, I spotted a sign for Costco. Costco, for those not in the know, is a huge bulk buy store for food, alcohol, clothes, electronics and everything in between. Why buy a half litre bottle of tomato sauce when you can buy a 5 litre bottle? When I travel to the US, I make a point to stop by a Costco to pick up pain killers (96 for a few dollars) and gum in bulk.

According to the AAP, Costco Dockalnds will open in July and the company plans to open up a Sydney store at a later date. Any shakeup to the duopoly of supermarkets in Australia is great for competition and will hopefully mean lower prices for Melbourne.  When I first heard that Costco was going to open in Docklands, I thought it was not going to work due to lack of parking and accessibility for cars. I stand corrected as it has positioned itself in an area with ample parking located on Docklands Highway just near the Citylink on ramp. Incidentily, it happens to also be on the Capital City Trail. At least if they can get Costco open it will make up for the debacle that is the Southern Star Observation Wheel. .

Tram Woes and Myki

The media loves to jump on a good public transport bashing, even when unfounded. Yesterdays article in The Age, was about Melbourne’s 59 Combino trams having major cracks that needed to be repaired.  So you assume it’s going to be like our train systems, and trains will have to be canceled, people left waiting but…

“The cracks pose no risk to safety,”

“Siemens will fix the trams at no cost to the Government.”

“An increase in maintenance scheduling by Yarra Trams means that no tram services will be cancelled while the trams are being repaired. Two of the 59 trams have already been fixed and a third is under repair.”

So, it won’t affect services, it won’t affect safety and the government doesn’t have to pay for the repairs. Where’s the story?

“Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said the repairs raised questions about whether the trams should have been bought.”

Sure, but if they are going to fix it for free then who cares? Speaking of Daniel Bowen, he recently tried out the Myki system on one of the buses down in Geelong. Watching the video he took and reading some of his observations, it seems that this system still has a long way to go before it is ready to be deployed. The scanning system seems remarkably slow and at a cost of $1.3 billion, you would have thought they would have developed something better.

links:

The Age: Latest model trams found to be cracking up

DanielBowen.com: I got a Myki, and it only cost $1.3 billion

Comedy Festival: We’re halfway there

comedyfestposterWell, we are half way through the Comedy Festival and I have mixed feelings on this year’s festival. It’s sort of like asking halfway through the season last year about the Geelong Cats. Most would have said, they are great and are going to win the premiership. You can’t say the same after last year’s Grand Final. With sporting teams and comedy festivals, your impression can be changed by the last thing you saw them do.

I started out the festival with seeing Steven K Amos and was not disappointed.  The comedy was simple. Steven K Amos and a microphone on stage, telling us stories, interacting with the audience, and even talking about the current events of Melbourne.  The entire audience was continually laughing. I laughed so hard I cried. That is good comedy.

The great thing about the festival is its ability to give anyone a chance. The whole city turns into amateur hour for a month. This is great and has seen many comedians excel in comedy. Unfortunately, there is no licencing or guidelines for comedies, and what you can get is a mixed bag.

So due to different sets of circumstances, I ended up seeing Jokey Joke Time and Accidental Identity. I had the same feeling for both shows: is this the Comedy Festival or is this the Fringe Festival? JJT was well presented in the courtroom of the Melbourne Gaol and featured  Eric Hutton performing standup comedy mixed in with the occasional rap, saxophone playing by Jennifer Wong, and pictures/sketches to accompany some topics. As a presentation or something fringy, it was good, as a comedy it failed to make myself or the audience laugh. It reminded me of  PowerPoint presentations I had to do at uni with myself making the speech and my partner controlling the computer. An ability of a good comedian is to connect with the audience and while the content of the comedy was funny, I don’t feel like the audience or myself connected with him. He did make me realise one thing; it really grosses me out when someone talks with a mouth full of food.

Accidental Identity was definitely far from what I expected from the comedy festival. This was a full length play with an intermission, that happened to be in the comedy genre. As a comedy I found some parts of it amusing but as a play I found the show very interesting and well acted. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of plays in fact the only thing resembling a play I’ve seen in my years is the Lion King.

Maybe I set my standards too high? Do I expect too much to just see either standup or improv that can make me laugh? Has Youtube ruined me? Maybe, but I think you have to keep it simple. The most sucessful comics at the festival are people who can connect with audience, who can talk about things that relate to the audience, and appeal to people of all ages and interests.  But what do I know? I would have picked “Man getting hit with Football“.

Buy one get one free!

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Hello readers,

after a short hiatus, I’m back.  As I sat in front of my telly yesterday evening, wondering how I could re-introduce myself back into the Melbourne Metblog fold, I chanced upon this wonderful ad. In light of our dire spending power in the last six months, it couldn’t be more apt!

Paul’s Sports Warehouse has just one outlet in Victoria. Now there’s the good news and the bad. The good? It’s in Melbourne. The bad? It’s in the western suburbs. If any of you west of the Maribyrnong or south of the Yarra fancy a free pair of runners and are willing to dust off your flak jacket, bring your life policy along with you and check out what the wonderful deals available. If anything, purchase them runners and hit the track. Lose the weight before the brunt of winter beckons!

Paul’s Sports Warehouse is located in 77 Wright Street, Sunshine, VIC 3020. To come at the safest time where stabbings or shootings occur the least, make an appointment with them at (03) 9310 2044. If you truly believe the western suburbs are as dangerous as the media makes it out to be, you’re an idiot.

Beware of Putpocketers

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In all of my years in Melbourne and beyond I have never been pickpocketed. I never flash my cash anywhere and I try to be keep a close eye on the contents of my pockets. That said, I experienced a putpocketing at a pub this Monday night. A putpocketing, is the opposite of a pickpocket where someone puts something into your pockets. No, unfortunately it wasn’t money but a anonymous blackmail attempt against a random male patron in the form of a folded up index card.

Whilst getting ready for work the next morning, I changed my pants and thus emptied the contents of my pockets to put them in the wash. This is where I found this lovely note next to my mobile phone. For the record, my left pocket is strictly for mobile phone and keys, never have I put a receipt or anything else in that pocket. Whoever put the note in my pocket was banking on the fact that my significant other would go through the pockets in my pants thus creating a possibly not so fun situation.

Everything about the note screams inflammatory and vague. There is no “To:” name , good for slipping into anyone’s pocket.  “Happy 9 months”, a long yet short enough time period into which a suspecting partner can analyse.  The majority of the note makes it sound more than just a fling but a full fledged relationship, probably worse than a fling if you had to compare it.

So there ya go, word to the wise, watch out for people slipping things into your pocket in crowded situations. There was no benefit to this person doing these things, other than some weird hatred of the male race (perhaps she got cheated on).

Happy 9 months baby!
It has been the most challenging and yet rewarding nine months of my life.
I cannot wait for our very bright and promising future together.
I will always love you.
Your Jess xxx .

Exclusive John Brumby News

<i> Credit: Policespeedcameras.info</i>

Credit: Policespeedcameras.info

I really would like to get out there and report on Melbourne things first hand but like most of us, I have a job and other commitments loosely known as a life.  I’m in awe of other blogs who go out there everyday and take pictures, report on issues including interviewing stakeholders in stories, for free. Bravo.

Well, I have a John Brumby scoop that no other press organisation has…where he shops for underwear. Yes, I saw the premier shopping at David Jones, Bourke Street for some underwear. What was more surprising was how well he blended in with DJ’s customers.  Sorry, I rarely see any Megan Gale looking people at DJ’s but rather people who look like they belong in the Long Room in the MCG.

While I did briefly consider quizzing him on some pressing issues this city is having, I’d figure he probably just wanted to be left alone to do his shopping. Although, I could have let him know that Target is having a 20% socks sale. Maybe next time.

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