Lest we forget: ANZAC Day 2012

I was passing Bentleigh RSL in early March when I noticed a new sculpture being installed out the front. (The bloke installing looks a tad grumpy…)
Sculpture at Bentleigh RSL being installed

Nearby on a truck were some more of the figures, ready for installation.
Figures for sculpture at Bentleigh RSL

The completed sculpture nicely captures representations of all the services.
Sculpture at Bentleigh RSL

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Lock up your motors

Unlucky pictogram manMy neighbour Bob had his car broken into this morning. He said he heard noises outside and went out to find a bloke smashing up the steering wheel and console, apparently trying to hotwire it.

When the bloke realised Bob was out there he shouted “I’m coming out mate, I’m coming out!” He did so, pushed past Bob and ran down the street. Sounds like the bloke wanted to avoid a physical confrontation.

Bob says he inadvertently left his car unlocked overnight, and suspects the bloke was just an opportunist. He also thinks he may have been affected in some way by drugs, alcohol, or something else.

I’d have to assume a pro could have hotwired a car in seconds, and not made enough noise to rouse people. Bob’s got an older Commodore — perhaps it doesn’t have an immobiliser, though it’s unclear if the bloke would have known that.

The police CSI team came and took fingerprints, but one would guess they won’t have much luck finding anybody… more likely they might pin that on him if they find him for something else.

I thought nobody would try and break into a car in a driveway, because the assumption would be that somebody’s home. The Lady Cop said you can never assume your car in your driveway is safe. Some people will notice an unlocked car and grab gold coins from the coin tray — you wouldn’t even know anything had happened.

Bob’s okay… he was just a little shaken. But his car will need some repairs.

It reminds me that although Bentleigh is a pretty safe, low-crime suburb, it’s good to take care. I sometimes leave my car open, windows down, doors unlocked if it’s a hot day and I’m expecting to go driving somewhere. The lesson I’ll take from this is to at least ensure the doors are deadlocked (which should also activate the immobiliser, hopefully preventing hotwiring) whenever the car is unattended.

Anti-pigeon defences

And now for something completely different: anti-pigeon defences.

Pigeons can get everywhere, making nests, leaving droppings. These ones seem very interested in the next trains from Caulfield.
Pigeons 1, Metro 0

It’s probably gone mostly unnoticed, but over the past few years, various methods to prevent them roosting have become commonplace.

In the case of Caulfield station, they’ve put in a lot of netting that cordons off parts of the platform roof areas, including the tops of the signs. (I haven’t checked if they’ve fitted the sign above, which is in the subway.)

Solar-powered road signs now often have spiky bits on them, as do increasing numbers of shop signs, including big ones like this. (I think it looks a little odd up close.)
Anti-pigeon defences

On this building in Centre Road, Bentleigh, there are fake owls around the top. I’m not sure how effective they are.
Fake owl

But despite these methods, sometimes the pigeons still win.
Pigeons 1, Shop sign 0

Coin deposit reduces dumped shopping trolleys – why don’t they all do it?

Since Woolworths introduced gold coin deposits for trolleys at Bentleigh, you almost never see their trolleys abandoned in the streets. The same can’t be said for Coles Bentleigh, who appear to have some trolleys requiring a coin, and some not — I don’t understand the logic of this. On a walk last night, we passed three (non-deposit) Coles trolleys in quick succession on a single block of Jasper Road.

Abandoned Coles trolleys

It seems pretty clear that (like the drink container deposits used in some states), coin deposits reduce the problem. I wonder why Coles don’t go ahead and implement it fully, especially in suburbs like Bentleigh where their major competitor already uses it.

Abandoned trolleys can be reported online for Wesfarmers/Coles group chains (Officeworks, K-Mart, Bunnings etc) here or for most other chains (Woolworths/Safeway, Target, some IGA) here.

A steam train passes

This afternoon I heard steam train whistles, and after some digging, discovered it was R-class R707 headed down to Frankston, and that it would be coming back a little later.

Happy to take a break from the sorting out of paperwork that I’d been doing, I took a punt at the time it would pass back through Bentleigh, and headed down to find a vantage point, settling on a spot near Patterson station.

The train seemed to be coasting through here; it’s probably downhill from the Patterson Road bridge to the Brewer Road underpass.

You’ll note the people on the bridge; they were some of the (other?) trainspotters in attendance nearby.

Steam trains regularly run around Melbourne and Victoria, generally organised by Steamrail and 707 Operations.

Yes, some mornings, it does feel like I’ve left my brain in Bentleigh

Yes, there are some mornings that it does feel like I’ve left my brain at home in Bentleigh.
Dare Iced Coffee ad, Richmond station
(The various ads at Richmond have different stations named depending which platform you’re on.)

I’m not sure a Dare Iced Coffee really will fix this screen.
Richmond station screen broken

We spotted ourselves on Google Street View

In January 2010 we spotted a Google Streetview car passing the post office in Bentleigh.

Spotted ourselves on Google Streetview

Google Streetview car, BentleighGoogle Streetview finally updated its pictures, and it includes imagery from that day. Alas, it wasn’t shooting when the car passed us, but it did once it entered the nearby side street — that’s why you can see it turning. So while we’re in view, it’s only from a distance. Still, myself and the boys are recognisable — gotta like that!