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Determined to do something....!!!

The Beast 2013
So even though I finished work a little before 6am this morning (got a bit of an early mark, as all the drivers on morning shift had turned up), I had set my phone on a manual Do Not Disturb, to turn off at midday, where upon Steve would call me to wake me up.

Even though it had been POURING, and the planes coming in just after 6am were very noisy, I made myself get up when Steve called, had a quick bite to eat, and then showered, before hopping in the car and picking him up. We then headed up the coast to Woy Woy, to visit John & Frank, for afternoon tea. I popped in to Woollies (Woolworths), and bought a chocolate sponge cake, and their "home brand" of ice cream, which was a Salted Caramel and Fudge flavour.

We got to their place around 2.45pm, and stayed until around 5.15pm. I thought Steve had met the boys before, a long time ago at one of Bill & Al's famous pool parties in Erskineville, but I must have been mistaken. It was nice to get out of the house, and also take the car on a much needed long drive. It's about 85kms, and the traffic wasn't too bad, as it took us only about an hour and a 1/2. The boys made tea and coffee for Steve and themselves, and I had a Pepsi Max. They also had some donuts and tea cake, and then we had the sponge cake, which had fresh cream in it, and was delicious... but the ice cream was ASTOUNDING... VERY delicious indeed! Oh my!

Buzzing on the sugar rush, we then hopped back in the car for the drive home... It was dark, and raining lightly, and the traffic was a bit heavier, but the car hummed along beautifully. Had to stop and fill up with petrol, and then dropped Steve home before coming back to my place. I was SO pleased that I utilised what was really a 1/2 day off, and got out and DID something!!!!

Steve enjoying the 2 or so hours of sunshine we got...

Happy Frank™ is Happy. :-)

I can be such a poser! LOL

Afternoon tea time...

Lucrative Saturday Overtime!

Rain Pussy
I actually woke up at a reasonable time this morning.... and didn't actually languish in bed. And strangely enough, after a dream that included working overtime, I turned on my phone almost straight away, and within 20 minutes, got a call from rosters offering me a 10pm overnight shift start on standby!

Wow... whoever had that shift must have been REALLY sick, as that's 2 hours of Saturday time + 1/2, and 6 hours of Sunday double time... Or else they had an urgent family matter that they had to attend. Whatever the reason, I was very grateful to them! And even though it's a standby shift, it HAS to be covered, as it's an important shift. The drive is there, so that if anyone calls in sick early morning, they have someone there to prep one of the first trains for the day. Of course, being a Sunday, not many people DO actually go sick, so I didn't do anything the whole shift... I ALMOST had to do a City Circle, but another driver was bored, so he jumped at the chance to do it... Only 16 minutes of driving through the underground, so he must have been REALLY bored! LOL

So, after getting the phone call, I actually got up, and did stuff around the house - mainly laundry, and doing stuff on the computer, involving scanning documents for digital archival, and then shredding the paper copies. I hate paperwork!

I did actually go and pick up Steve, as he was getting his new (second hand) car fixed, and we went and had sushi for lunch. Om nom nom... I then drove him home, and came back to my place to chill out and relax a while, before getting ready for work. It had started raining, but I needed to go up to Newtown to meet Seumas. He was in town from Tamworth, and I had still yet to give him his autographed copy of Drew's (bootedintexas) book, "Brethren", which was a signed first issue, that Drew gave to me to pass on to Seumas... Finally managed to do so!

We had a chat at a cafe... Seumas had a coffee, and I actually had a much needed freshly squeezed juice, whilst we discussed Ingress tips and tricks. Seumas is Resistance, and I am Enlightened... :-)

Then it was off to work to enjoy a relaxing evening... But a VERY late one, of course!

Seumas finally has the book!

Before I head off to work....

A Post for the 15th of August

Crazy Train

Today I started work at 1.01pm. Very precise, I know...

My first job was from Central to Cronulla, and I had another driver, who had finished his work for the day, travel as a passenger home to Sutherland with me. Funnily enough, when I pulled in to Kogarah, I saw Claude, and his "boyfriend", Mark, on the platform. They hopped in just behind me, so when I got to Sutherland, and the driver hopped off, I was able to say "hello" to them.

Claude is 75, and was the ex of Bill, of Bill & Al, who I used to live with many years ago in Erskineville. Mark is a younger gentleman (I think he's my age), who Claude started chatting to online. He's from Oklahoma originally, but lives in Denver, but he and Claude are doing a co-dependency same-sex visa, so that Mark can live here permanently (and work). Mark actually loves trains, and Claude used to work on the railways MANY years ago, so they were out having fun for the day... They're actually off to the States, as Mark now has a multi-entry bridging visa, and Claude is off to some Mature Age Gay gathering, at the Habana Inn at OKC, where I was just over 2 years ago, for the IGRA rodeo! Yaaaay!

Other than that, it was just another day at work... Nothing else exciting to report....


Fix the LJ App!!!

Computer Problems
Bloody hell...

I hope they fix the LJ App soon... It was pretty much PERFECT. Now, there's errors when trying to post pics, it won't go in to landscape mode on the iPad, and there's no buttons for italics, bold, etc. And it won't let you access the iPad menu to change those settings.... Gaaaaah! If it ain't baroque - then don't fix it! Looking at the open tickets on the LJ support page, I think they've been INUNDATED with irate LJ users... and seeing as how I pay for it, and probably many others, I can understand why!

Anyway.... just another work day today. Started work at 1.38pm... Whilst in-between runs, I was sending iMessages to the gorgeous Matt in Seattle, to see if he liked my hair longer, and parted on the side... I'm worried that it looks a bit silly, because my sides are receding so badly... I wanna be a hipster!

Of course, later in the night, I sent him another pic to see whether he preferred that look... LOL

It looks OK from this angle...

But I worry about this...

Maybe I'll just wear it this way... ;-)

A Post for the 11th of August

Computer Bear

Started work at 1.04pm today, and as usual, there's nothing else in iCal to indicate me doing anything before work - or after it, for that matter.... I took a few selfies - but seeing as LiveJournal is having problems with posting pics from the App (and automatically putting them in to the LJ Scrapbook), it's too long to upload them to Flickr, copy the embed code, and add them here.... So, I'm afraid you'll just have to do without.... Can you cope!!!? ;-)

Here's one of me already on Flickr... At Watson's Bay / The Gap, with Sydney in the background...


After yesterday's general laziness (except for my domestic duties), and this being the second day off work, I decided that I would MAKE myself get out of the house, no matter what.

Now, bear in mid that it was a Saturday, so most other people I know, who work Monday to Friday, would have had the day off. Now, I'm not trying to make people feel sorry for me, but perhaps I am just a little too sensitive in this area....but not ONE person contacted me, to see what I was doing. *sigh*

So, close to 1pm, I finally got my arse in to gear, and hopped in my car, and drove to the Broadway Shopping Centre, where I parked. I then walked along Broadway, towards the city. On the way, I passed Central Park, a fairly new residential (and shopping) district, that has been built over the last 2 to 3 years on the old Carlton United Breweries (CUB!) site. They've actually had to leave the old original entrance gates, as well as a few of the old industrial buildings, but the rest made way for a VERY modern, and glamorous building, that's architecturally exciting.

It's truly green building - not just in it's efficient energy saving design, but also die to the fact that it's COVERED with flora - quite literally, as you'll see from the photos. There's whole blocks of colour-coded shrubbery planted, and it looks pretty bloody awesome! I compared this building, as it was slowly being erected, with another one that was being built at the same time, next to the Burwood Train Station. I'll have to get some photos, because it is one of the UGLIEST modern buildings I've ever seen. White / opaque glass and windows that open (but no balconies), and because Burwood has a large Asian population, a lot of people are having their washing out of their windows, so it actually looks like a horrible high-rise shantytown. It's quite awful, and a complete polar opposite of the stylish buildings you'll see in the pics below...

I continued walking to Chinatown, as I had the intention of going to Paddy's Markets, to find a cheap 2-port USB charger for my iPhone / iPad. (I keep the official one in the box, so that when I sell it, I'll get a better price. The original earbuds are still unused.). I had a 4-port charger, but that burnt out the other day. I'm surprised they're still selling the cheap ones down at the markets, as in the last month or 2, TWO people have apparently died from being electrocuted by a cheap, poorly made and flawed charger! I even heard of police raiding the cheap stalls down at the markets to make sure they were sealing ones that met Australian regulations. The ones down there were still cheap looking Made in China ones, but they wanted between $15 to $22 for them. So, I ordered TWO 2-port charges from eBay, which, including delivery from Hong Kong, cost me AUD$14! So what if I get electrocuted! LOL

On the way there and back, I was playing Ingress and stealing portals, etc. It's quite an addictive and fun game, but boy, it SUCKS up the battery (and uses quite a bit of data, as well). I can also see it being a fabulous way of Google / Niantic Labs / FBI / CIA / ASIO / etc., to keep tabs on where people are! LOL

Anyway, I returned home, and then contacted Oz and Craige... I needed some company, and someone to hang out with. Craige was working until 6.30pm, so around 7pm, I headed over to their house. Craige just put together some dinner from stuff in the fridge and freezer, and we ate, and watched TV... Afterwards, I wanted to head down to Marrickville Metro, to pick up a roast chicken, so I could make sandwiches for my lunch, to save money, as I tend to buy my lunch and/or dinner every day - and it's normally not that healthy, either. I got the roast chicken, but afterwards, that's where I unravelled, and my night fell apart, and sent me in to another deep funk... I'm not going in to details. Those of you who know me will know the story, I'm sure... But again I find myself being SO annoyed at my behaviour... *sigh*

I think this building is stunning!


A Post for the 8th of August


I finished work just before 2am this morning, and by the time I got home from Flemington in my taxi (supplied by work, as I was doing an out-of-depot job that finished after train running times), it was around 2.30am.

I actually woke up fairly early-ish for getting to bed so late, but most of my day, once I awoke, was taken up by doing laundry. As expected / suspected, I didn't really achieve anything on my day off.

To be honest, my depression has been really bad lately... These afternoon shifts don't help, as I tend to be lazy, and allow myself to languish in bed well past lunchtime, and will then get up, get ready for work, go to work, come home, play on the iPad, go to sleep, rinse, and repeat. But lately, the Black Dog has just been lingering... Just that general feeling of being overwhelmed, because I have so much I should be doing / could be doing, but have no motivation to actually DO anything, other than sit around, playing games on the iPad.

I suppose it would be considered a general malaise, if that's the right word to use. But my true introvert has made me quite anti-social as well... I don't like to use that word "anti", but more NON-social. I'm not actually against being social, it's just that I'm choosing not to be. And there's conundrum / Catch 22 situation in all of this. I allow myself to browse through Facebook, and see all the fun things that people are doing, and when it's people I know, I think "Why didn't you think of inviting me?". Of course, it would be more than likely that I'd pass on the invitation, but it's the feeling of being left out, and not being thought of that gets me. In fact, for pretty much all of today, I didn't really get a single text message or call / e-mail / etc., to ask me what I was actually doing... It kind of hurts.

And this is the weird thing... it's good, but weird. I DO have suicidal thoughts. But I think because I'm scared of death, that I could never actually go THROUGH with killing myself. Well, that's how it seems to me, anyway. I think of all the ways that I could possibly do it, and most of them scare me... The only one I think I could possibly consider is gassing myself in the car. Pills scare me, drowning, hanging, etc. Nothing messy. But then comes my saving grace - if I killed myself, I would never be able to read what people wrote about me on my Facebook page. Yes, I'm serious... how friggin' weird and ridiculous is that...!!!? But, at the same time, it's my saviour...

But I do often feel like I want to "disappear"... That is, gather up some belongings, drive out to the mountains somewhere, and just disappear. For a year or 2. Away from society, away from everything... Is that bad?

I know there's lots of things that trigger this... Trying to control my gambling addiction... Not having great self-esteem or body image... Not owning my own house, when I know people 1/2 my age who do... Not having a partner, yet at the same time, knowing I need to fix my OWN problems before I can let anyone else in to my life...

You just have to wonder why life seems to be so hard. And how, just HOW, can a chemical reaction of hormones, etc., in our body, affect our moods / feelings and thoughts in such a powerful way?

I know that today was a nothing day... there's NO iPhotos, or anything in my iCal... *sigh*


A messy day at work...

Crazy Train
Today was Day 10 of my rostered 10 shifts in a row, and thankfully, it was a fairly easy shift. I was to go to Redfern, walk to Eveleigh, and take over as the driver on a standby train, on call, ready to go in case another train had a problem, and we were needed.

When I got to work though, the system was in quite a mess indeed. Apparently, it was an act of vandalism. 9Kv major overhead cables fell down, right across the 4 major western lines near St. Marys. The reports were of a grass fire, an explosion, and a electricity pole on fire... Whether the fire was caused by the electrical cables coming down, or someone purposefully lit the grass fire / pole, is unclear. But it certainly caused major disruptions, which meant the standby train was already out.

The poor Assigners were frantic, and couldn't deal with me not having a train, so I was asked to go in to the meal room, and wait being called... And there I sat, for almost 4 and a 1/2 hours, before they FINALLY got hold of me, and told me to go to Eveleigh, as that standby train had finally returned from being out in service.

So, down there I went, to relieve the other driver, who was actually the driver who should have relieved me for my meal break, had I actually BEEN there in the first place....

Then, when it came time to depart, and take the train back to Mortdale, where it was to be stabled for the night, it becomes a slight comedy of errors. I drove out of the yard, to the platform at Redfern Station, where I changed ends, to await the signal to send me back along the main Illawarra Line, to Mortdale. After about 5 minutes, the guard calls me to ask if I had received a call (I had not), and that we were continuing to Central, and changing trains...! So, back to the original end I went, and upon cutting in, the signaller was already on to me, giving me instructions as to what was happening.

When I arrived at Central, a new driver took my train, to go to Hornsby, and then I went to another platform, to meet the train that was actually right behind me at Redfern, to drive that empty around the City Circle, and then to Mortdale. But when the train arrived, it was already a Mortdale driver, who was running late for his NEXT planned job (which had obviously been covered), and he needed to go back to Mortdale he just stayed on the train and took it for me. Funnily enough, it was a friend that I used to work at Ansett with, at Sydney Airport!

I then reported back to the Train Crew area, until the end of my shift, but they didn't find anything for me to do....


Welcome to August

God as my Waitress

I'd been pretty good lately, making my lunch / dinner every day, to take to work, to save money. But today, I was a little bit disorganised, so needed to buy something when I had my dinner break, close to 8.30pm, at Central. I started at 3.18pm today.

So, off to Hungry Jack's I went - which is EXACTLY the same as Burger King, except for the name. I try to avoid eating this sort of food, but when I'm on a short break, I need something fast and close, and this is pretty much it, at Central Station. Also, I avoid it because they're normally disorganised and untidy - and tonight was no exception. In fact, I snapped a pic, and tweeted it to Hungry Jacks.

I've been to other very busy fast food restaurants before, and they were nowhere near as untidy and dirty as this. Staff were obviously stressed, so just dropping rubbish on the floor - and no one was tidying it up. They'd changed their counters to an "order" side and a "pickup" side, but it had made no difference, as people taking orders were still fulfilling them. And they were literally throwing stuff in to bags, ripping bags... It was mayhem. Almost 15 minutes from order to fulfilment...! A few other staff were there too, and all were commenting on the standard of service. It IS a small, cramped space they're in, but still...

Other than this, my night was a normal work night... :-)

It looks a lot worse in person, to be honest!


End of the month...

Crazy Train

Started work at 3.30pm today...

My friend from Melbourne, Matt, who was over in the US and Canada on holiday, had been in Montreal recently, and called me via FaceTime from there... He was with 2 friends who had been to Australia before, but one of them is a major train geek / buff, so he asked me to take some pics of my train for him... So, here's what my controls look like on an A-Set / Waratah, our newest trains in the fleet. They're simply beautiful to drive, I have to say. And VERY comfortable for the passengers, too!

Other than that, not much else to report on the last day of July for 2014. :-)

The driver's seat

Lots of knobs, dials and switches - all quite self-explanatory, really...

Monitoring my speed, brake pipe pressure, etc.