First school day

With most kids going back to school this week, Andrew was blogging about the first day of school.

I don’t remember much about my first day either, though I do have a photo that I believe was snapped that morning:

db-school

Long-haired hippy. It was the 70s though. And I was obviously in a good mood… or it may have been my usual “I’m being photographed” face — lots of kids have those.

What I do remember is that (possibly on enrolment day rather than the first day of term) I decided that I wasn’t capable of spelling “Daniel”, and went by the name “Danny” instead… that lasted for 9 years, until I switched high schools to Melbourne High and decided I liked “Daniel” better. (My surname changed at the same time.)

I also recall early in that first term of Prep an older kid bullied me about something (possibly race-related, or perhaps about the odd appearance of my right eye), but I can’t remember any of the other details. Hopefully I wasn’t too upset about it. Back then there wasn’t a school buddy programme, which probably would have helped.

But as far as I recall, no other issues in Prep, and most of my primary school years are filled with happy memories.

There goes my August spending money

Yowzers. It’s been 7 years since I bought the house.

And it’s been four years since I bought the car.

At the time I bought the car, the dealer I bought it from had just paid the rego, so it’s due every August. This year it’s $696.50.

Obviously because I bought the car in August, the insurance is also due every August. $369.05 (It can be paid monthly, but this is 15% more expensive.)

And… you guessed it… the house insurance is also due. $673.35

Can someone remind me, when/if I decide to upgrade the car at some stage in the future, not to do it in August?

  • I also just got a rates notice… happily the next installment for that isn’t due until late September.
  • A reminder why, despite their groovy advertising and the promise of cheaper premiums for people who don’t drive much, I don’t insure with Youi

Actually do plan to use a little spending money: to help fund From Bedrooms to Billions, a documentary on the beginnings of the UK video game industry. Nostalgia ahoy!

I’ve donated $100. And that was before I discovered the music they’ve used for the trailer — which starts at the 3 minute mark in the following video:

From Bedrooms to Billions – Teaser Trailer from GRACIOUS FILMS on Vimeo.

The view out the front window

When I was a kid, I liked to kneel on the front seat of the (W-class) tram, looking out the front, and watching the driver, trying to figure out how it all worked.

I reckon the front still gives you the best views.

View out the front of a W-class tram; Latrobe Street

Back in the day I recall a control to apply the power, another to brake, with a big wheel as the backup brake (akin to a handbrake I suppose — I was once on a tram whose main brake had failed, and we rolled slowly up Carlisle Street, with the wheel being used to bring us to a halt at every stop).

Many trams didn’t have doors, but those that did had an extra lever to open and close them. These days there are various other newer controls in the cab.

W-class tram controls

Retro Gamer edition 100

Yes, it’s true: I paid extra money to get a magazine about old video games sooner. I truly am a sucker for nostalgia.

Retro Gamer edition 100

But hey, it’s the 100th issue, with a reprint of edition one as a bonus!!!

PS. 8pm Saturday: Spotted today at my brother-in-law’s birthday barbecue, this tattoo of Rik’s:
Rik's Space Invaders tattoo

My usual stations (part 5)

Murrumbeena/Carnegie, 2003-2005

The move to Carnegie in 2003 gave me two local stations, because the house was almost equidistant between them. It was slightly closer to Murrumbeena, so I usually used that. But Carnegie had better access to shops, so that got used sometimes too.

I’ve mentioned Murrumbeena already. Carnegie hasn’t changed much recently, but the surrounding area has, with the new library being built — and opening just after we’d moved away. D’oh. On the corner of Dandenong Road, a multi-level shopping centre rose from the (figurative) ashes of the old Betta Electrical/Billy Guyatts that was once there.

I still sometimes go back to Carnegie. There’s a great pizza shop (“Herbs”) on the corner of Neerim and Koornang Roads.

Bentleigh, 2005-

Bentleigh station
Bentleigh station

My final regular is Bentleigh.

Since I moved here, it’s had upgrades to the level crossing (but not actual grade separation), and parts of the local Smartbus 703 route have been added into zone 1, which I think has added to the number of people using it. It’d be nice if this was all done in the name of removing zone anomalies, but in fact it appears the motivation was the Myki system, which needs stop zoning to be consistent between all the routes using an individual stop — so parts of the 703 had to be added to zone 1 to fit in with other routes around Brighton and East Bentleigh. No matter, at least it got done.

Shame the 703 still doesn’t meet the Smartbus service standard.

In the station itself, which isn’t exactly beautiful no matter how clean it is, there’s an ongoing battle of wills between Metro and local vandals, with the gents’ toilet door receiving many coats of paint in the past 12 months or so. Given the graffiti that decorates the ex-State Bank/Telstra store down the street, it’s fair to say there’s a local graffiti problem.