General

New Year’s Eve thoughts

This NYE, I'm not out and about. So instead, amidst the chaos and heat of today, here are some random thoughts (including some attempted ideas for blog posts during the year that never got past embryo stage). I've seen two Dymocks bags disintegrate after being kept for a few months. It's great that they biodegrade rapidly, but don't try and reuse them for long-term storage. Why do some peopl

News and events

Death and destruction

A few weeks ago an Age Saturday crossword question about Anwar Sadat brought back some memories. While I remember well news of the deaths of John Lennon and Princess Diana, Sadat's assassination was sitting there in the back of my mind. I recalled footage of chaos at a grandstand, which I suppose I'd seen as an 11 year old when it happened. This morning I woke to the news that Benazir Bhutto ha

Consumerism

The horror of Highpoint

Well I haven't quite finished my Christmas shopping, but I have at least got over the hump, thanks to a few fruitful hours spent at the very noice Highpoint yesterday. It wasn't half as crowded as I expected -- and the beauty of Highpoint is you can easily get there without the car, and the endless pain of looking for a park. It was a tad annoying though that their automated Directory thingies

Consumerism, transport

Bah, humbug!

Happy Gravy Day. Last night I saw the Bourke Street decorations by night for the first time. But I was in a bad mood this morning. After a recent good run, I had two hassle-filled commutes in a row -- last night at 10:30 the trains were still stuffed after the storms, and this morning, well dammit, I was just about at the station three minutes before the train was due, but then another t

Home life

A load of rubbish

I have a 240 litre bin for general rubbish (emptied weekly) and a 240 litre bin for recycling (emptied fortnightly). Usually I put one kitchen bin bag out per week, and the recycling bin is about three-quarters full when emptied. So our weekly household waste comes to about: 30 litres of general waste 90 litres of recycling (paper, cardboard, bottles, cartons, cans) The latter has

Friends and loved ones

From primary to secondary

In the past I've seen pictures of an American preschool graduation -- in which they ludicrously dressed kids up in gowns and (mortarboard) caps. I've only worn a cap and gown once in my life -- for my university graduation, after three years of (sometimes) hard slog earning my bachelor's degree. This type of academic dress dates back to medieval times, and is steeped in history. Maybe it's just

Morons on the road

Dear moron

I may not be the world's foremost expert on driving, but even I could see you made two critical mistakes driving out of the supermarket carpark. 1. You drove the wrong way around the one-way system. 2. Your baby was on the lap of your passenger. I hope that you were pulled over and booked on the way home. But if not, I hope you didn't collide with anything. You, sir, are a thoughtless

News and events

Kevin Conrad, you da man

The news from the Bali conference reminded me a lot of the machinations during international negotiations on The West Wing. No doubt things would have progressed further if it was Jed Bartlett, not George W Bush, running the White House. But you've got to hand it to the delegate from Papua New Guinea, Kevin Conrad. Report in The Australian: Then the head of the US delegation, Paula Dobria