News and events, Politics and activism

Sounding authoritative in your jocks

The other week at dinner with friends, we got to talking about being a spokesdude. Michael was describing his experiences doing media on behalf of an organisation, as I just sat there nodding in sympathy. He was describing being rung up by 3AW at half-past-six in the morning, to be quizzed on his particular expertise, trying to sound authoritative to however-many hundreds of thousands of people

Consumerism

A punt on Cup Day

I've taken a punt on Cup Day, even though I'll be flying back from Adelaide about the time the race is on. The hot tip is that the Reserve Bank will decide to up interest rates on that day. In fact, the doom-and-gloom merchants at ANZ are predicting up to three rises in the next year, and some of the banks are considering raising their rates on top of that. So I've done what I probably should h

Melbourne

Footpath rage

After all that neighbourly togetherness on Saturday, it was almost a moment of footpath rage yesterday. One of my pet hates is cars parked across footpaths. So when I saw one such a car while we were walking down to the library, I made a point of walking around it by going via the offending house's driveway, while silently fuming. Half-an-hour later on the way back, it was still there. A lad

Consumerism, Home life

In your neighbourhood

My goodness it's neighbourly out there today. All I did was go for a walk to the supermarket, and on the way back had a chat with the bloke next door, taking his young kids for a short walk, who thanked me for last night letting him know his car lights were left on; the bloke across the street, sweeping the leaves from the gutter; and we both got a wave from the people next to him, driving off som

Consumerism, Friends and loved ones

When less is more

My sister and I recently bought our dad a microwave. Dad's not a big technology fan. He's at home with a typewriter and a telephone and a television, but that's about all he needs and perhaps all he can handle. Jeff Atwood has illustrated perfectly the problems of microwave ovens: most modern models have a heap of different buttons. People who can't handle technology find this bewildering, and

Home life

Getting into hot water

The water bill arrived, and gives me the first chance to see the difference the efficient shower-head I installed in July makes. Water consumption is down 20% compared to the same period last year, down from about 250 to 200 litres per day. And according to the little charts, we're apparently using less water than a two-person household with no garden. I think it might be high-fives all round.

Melbourne

Couple of pics

Passed the scene of a scaffolding collapse on Thursday afternoon on Collins Street. Apparently nobody was hurt. But it all fell onto a 4WD. See what you get for driving your Toorak Tractor into the city?* On Friday morning I found this giant Christmas tree being assembled by Santa's helpers disguised as construction workers... seems Christmas really is coming. PS. *Okay, okay, shouldn't

PTUA

There’s an election on

In case you hadn't heard, there's an election on. From yesterday's Sunday Age "Heckler" page: THE DIRT: Politicians are trying to stack the outspoken Public Transport Users Association. The association is facing elections and there has been a flurry of nominations by Labor and even Liberal political staffers. What happens if Team Brumby takes over the PTUA? First press release might read som

Memes rule, pass it on

Animal meme

I was tagged by Clay for an animal meme. Though I suspect these answers won't be terribly interesting. An interesting animal I had... I don't currently have any pets. In the past it was goldfish and cats, and when I was very young, budgies. The one I had the longest was Sooty the cat, who was around from about the age of 12 until a few years after I left home -- we got her as a kitten, to ac