Dandyism Incarnate

Archive for the 'Danger' Category

Meeting the Lost in Space Robot

Today we took Kazuki to the Powerhouse Museum. On the way we stopped at China Town to eat Yum Cha. The restaurant we went to was quite good…

The highlight of our visit to the museum was our encounter with the ‘B9’ Robot (usually known as ‘The Robot’) from ‘Lost in Space‘. Having watched this show religiously as a child, it was very exciting to see the robot up close.

The information card for the robot display…

We also saw some white people in a train. Apparently this is what people looked like 150 years ago…

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New Bridge of Death?

Could this be the new Bridge of Death???

The newly expanded Library has been open for a few weeks now, but today was the first time we’ve had a look at it. We were impressed by the vast expanse of books and the other stuff found in libraries.

Yuko liked the fact that the study desks have power sockets for charging your electronic devices. It looks like a good place to go and blog on a hot day…

In the afternoon, Yuko suddenly announced that she would go to Japan tomorrow! She then corrected herself – she will go the day after tomorrow (Sunday). So she went out at 4.30pm to go to the city to buy her ticket…

This trip will be for photographic exploits and dentistry.

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Deadly Substance II

Sam and one of his hired goons came yesterday to demolish the shed in Mother’s back yard. This time the dude had a ‘licence’ for asbestos removal, which Yuko photographed for the record. Today I went to inspect their work. It looked like they had succeeded – the shed is gone, and there are two piles of waste material. One is harmless timber, and the other is deadly asbestos wrapped in plastic and taped up.

I later learned that while they were working, a council inspector came to check on them! I assume the neighbour saw them working and called the council. As I heard nothing, I guess the inspector was satisfied.

Where once was a shed

Deadly asbestos - wrapped for disposal

After work, I met Yuko at Aristocrat and she demonstrated her new technique for eating brushetta…

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Deadly Substance Debacle

Yesterday afternoon at work, I got a call from the woman who lives next-door to Mother’s house. She was somewhat agitated and told me that she had told the men working in Mother’s back yard to stop work because they were demolishing the fibro shed in an unsafe manner. She said they had not been wearing protective clothing, were not using water spray to suppress dust, and they had chosen to do the demolition on a windy day.

I was shocked by this news. Sam (the magnificent gardener) had assured me that he was aware of the requirements for removing asbestos and could do the job safely.

This morning before work, I went around to have a look. One wall of the shed was missing and sheets of the material were lying uncovered on plastic sheets on the ground. Fortunately it was now raining so at least the spread of deadly dust particles would be minimised. I covered the sheets of fibro as best I could with the plastic.

in the evening, Yuko spoke to Sam and he apologised for the debacle. He said he would obtain the services of a qualified dude next week to complete the job.

Partially demolished shed

Deadly asbestos

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Wind Damage

It was windy last night, and this morning I emerged from the house to a scene of devastation. A piece of lattice on the top of our fence had been blown down. A piece of the framework still dangled precariously with nails protruding – ready to gash a wound in anyone venturing too close…

The dangling piece fell to the ground when I touched it…

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Roof Maintenance

Today a dude came and climed onto our roof. It looked dangerous…

He was trying to sell us a product to keep leaves out of the gutters.

After he had measured the roof, he came back down and told us lots of stories about his escapades on other people’s roofs. He even had photos of stuff he’s see up there such as snakes and birds’ nests. Yuko kept asking him how much it would cost, but he just kept telling his adventure stories.

Eventually he wrote down some number. As I predicted, he tried to pressure us into agreeing to buy on the spot by offering a discount for deciding today. He said that he could offer this dicount today because they are doing a bunch of other houses in the area – which makes no sense.

Despited this obvious scam, the product looked good, and the price he quoted was much less that we had anticipated. So we bought it!

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Blackout at Riverview

I was watching TV at about 8.10pm when there was a blackout! A few seconds later I heard two loud buzzing sounds (at about 50 Hertz) followed by bangs and a bright flash visible through the front window. It sounded like it was just outside in the street. 

I located a battery operated light source and went outside to investigate. At first I didn’t see anything unusual, but within a couple of minutes, a police car arrived. A police dude got out and shone a powerful light at the power lines, revealing that a tree branch had fallen on the wires…

Police dude shines light on fallen branch

 

After another couple of minutes a fire engine arrived with its siren on (which seemed unnecessary) and parked right across our driveway. As a small crowd of local people began to gather and gawk, yellow tape was strung up around the site to prevent people walking under the suspect power lines.

Danger area marked with yellow tape

 

A second police car then blocked off the road with a flashing “Do Not Pass” sign on its roof. The police and fire dudes then waited for Sydney Electricty to arrive so that the power lines could be made safe for the removal of the tree branch. It was taking them a long time to arrive, so I gave up and went back inside.

With no TV or Internet, I decided to go to bed early.

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Diminutive Inferno

At lunch time I wandered aimlessly around to the Quay. But when I looked back towards the Harbour Bridge, I saw a big cloud of smoke rising from somewhere in the Rocks (where I had just come from).

Smoke

 

I immediately headed back towards the smoke. It turned out that it was coming from the Park Hyatt – rumoured to be the most expensive hotel in Sydney…

By the time I reached the scene, the smoke seemed to have almost stopped, but there were seven fire engines in attendance…

 

There were also a lot of firemen standing around…

It was very exciting indeed!

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Taiki Roof Collapse Averted

In the evening we went to Taiki…

 

We talked about rain. It rained today and it will rain tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day. After that we didn’t speculate.

 

As we were leaving we asked the owners about the barriers which are on the footpath outside the restaurant. They said that the council came suddenly and placed barriers across the whole path, blocking access to the restaurant. It was only after they protested that the council moved the barriers to allow people to enter the restaurant.

The reason for the sudden action was the fear that the awning outside Taiki was about to collapse. They have therefore installed temporary supports to hold up the awning. The barriers are to prevent people bumping the supports or otherwise contributing to the collapse of the awning.

Yukiko and the Chef point at the damaged awning

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First Blackout of 2009

I have written many times before about blackouts. For example, there was the  blackout 2004. Then there was the blackout of 2005. There were also blackouts in 2006 and 2007 (which was otherwise a lean year for blackouts). And of course there was the blackout of 2008.

Today we had the first blackout of 2009 (if you don’t count Earth Hour). It struck at about 4.35pm while I was still at work. The groan of anguish when the power failed suggested that a few people had lost their buffers! After about 15 minutes, I decided to go home. When I exited the building I noticed that other buildings were also affected with all the nearby shops in darkness. I saw some tourists trapped in the foyer of a hotel, unable to get out because the door was electrically operated. I also heard sirens, so I decided to walk around to try to find the source of the problem. 

All the traffic lights were out, but the trains were still running.

 

I saw some emergengy vehicles, both stationary and speeding through the streets. However there was nothing spectacular. I later learned that the emergency vehicles were mainly responding to calls from people stuck in lifts.

After not finding the cause, I proceeded to the carpark. The exit gate was open and the pay machine was inoperative and many people were taking their cars without paying. However, I paid the dude in the little glass box. He told me I would have to walk down eight floors because the lifts were out. The walk down the stairs was OK as the stairwell had good emergency lighting. But when I emerged onto my level, it was quite dark and I was disoriented. It took me a while to find my car, and even longer to get the key in the door.  

After exiting the carpark I had to negotiate three busy intersections with blacked-out traffic lights, before getting onto the Harbour Bridge. After that it was a fairly normal trip home.

I later learned that the Harbour Tunnel and “Mr. ED” had been closed, which would have made the SHB a traffic nightmare soon after I crossed.

Overall it was a harrowing experience.

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