Seconds from death!

Some people really manage to re-define “bloody idiot”. As we were walking on Saturday afternoon, a tray truck with those stupidly big tyres came around the corner and along the opposite side of the road. He must have taken the corner too fast (from a standing start mind you), and was skidding all over the […]

Melbourne music


A couple of weeks ago we were having dinner on a Saturday night in Bourke Street. Something was wrong, and we remarked as such: it was about 7pm and Gaslight Music wasn’t open. For years, Gaslight has been a haven in the eastern end of the city, particularly when waiting to meet someone on a […]


Reloading the pod

After living for some time with my iPod only holding a dozen or so of my favourite CDs (plus that great Billy Bragg paid concert download), I’ve finally embarked on loading everything up, in alphabetical order. So far I’m up to B. Thus my iPod currently has an inordinate amount of Area 7, Bragg and […]

Clothes Here is my

Here are my newest and oldest clothes

Here are my oldest and newest items of clothing. (Well, if you don’t count the socks I bought last week.) The red jumper is an Exacto brand windcheater which dates from probably about 1989 or 1990. It still gets an outing on cold evenings at home, and when painting (note the paint stain, a fairly […]

Politics and activism

Energy efficiency

On William Street, some Jeep promotional girls (amusingly the Jeeps all had P plates) gave me a brochure for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. I can’t think of anything I am less likely to buy. There are few less efficient ways of getting around the place than in a hulking great juggernaut like that. Meanwhile, […]


Quick reviews

A Series of Unfortunate Events — This was a paradox worthy of the appearance of Doctor Who’s reapers: Jim Carey in one of his rubbery face roles, yet not annoying. Who’d have thought? Nothing deep, but funny and suspenseful (well, a little) in the right places and totally fantastic set design. This turned out to […]

Geek PTUA transport

Smartcard ticketing: Sometimes IT isn’t the answer

I’m a bit of a geek, but even I can see that sometimes technology isn’t the answer to a problem. The Victorian government has announced a $494 million deal for a new public transport ticketing system, to run for 10 years from 2007. Question is: does it solve the number one problem with the old […]

News and events

Tragic anniversary

Flashback to ten years ago: Srebrenica massacre. See also coverage on Google News.

Home life TV

TV bad, computer good

As reported in the Age last week, there’s new research indicating that excessive watching of TV is associated with leaving school without qualifications, not getting a degree at university, and — oddly I thought — smoking. Particularly bad is a TV in kids’ bedrooms. I had a TV in my bedroom when I was a […]

News and events

This is London

Helping to make stoicism the media’s most over-used word of the week, Londoners continue to show their defiance against terrorism: I’ve been asked several times by members of the public whether I’m scared to drive my train now. I answer that we can’t allow ourselves to be beaten. — a District line tube driver A […]