Home life

It was a good day, except

I had a day off. It was a good day, except... Worried about my dad, in hospital Chicken curry dinner took ages to cook Slight tummy ache. Hope it's not Bowen Belly (tm). I think I ate too much chocolate Eldest not yet done nearly as much school holiday homework as expected A tad stressed about something coming up later in the week Large cockroach crawed across the kitchen counter

Going green, News and events

Hour without power

After a little cynicism, I did in fact join in Earth Hour. Over at Marita's, we shut off all the lights for an hour and survived by the light of the TV, candles and a torch. In fact there seemed to be few lights on in the street, and it was hard to tell how many of the neighbours had joined in. Hopefully most of them. The whole thing did get me thinking more about my energy consumption, and aft

Going green

More solar

Now the solar hot water is installed and happy, I was pondering further solar installations. The question is: is it more effective to get my own solar panels, and get green power for whatever I can't generate myself, or just switch entirely to green power? First thing to do is reduce my consumption. My previous bills indicate it's generally in the range of 8-10 kWh per day. And thanks to Josh g

Going green, News and events, transport

Sitting in the dark

I'm not convinced that I'll participate in Earth Hour. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a terrific idea for raising awareness of climate change and energy issues. But I'm already well aware of those issues, thanks, and I'm working on reducing my emissions every day, not just one hour per year. And besides, I'm enjoying watching Big Love (and, I'll admit, Top Gear -- Jeremy Clarkson may be an id

Melbourne, News and events

Thoughts from the last few days

Given how their parliament occasionally carries-on, I wonder if the Taiwanese politicians campaigned on how good they are at hand-to-hand combat? That level crossing smash near Geelong is tragic, and the government should do more on improving crossing conditions. But one radio jock was almost making excuses for the car driver, not just missing the Stop sign, the Railway Crossing sign and the ru


Not the 6 o’clock news

One night last week I was flicking between the six o'clock news services and I came across a Channel 9 story about someone's wedding dress being delivered late for the wedding. WTF? Look, I feel sorry for them, but THIS IS NOT NEWS. You don't want your journos to be aloof and distant from the people, and reporting only on stories that don't affect anybody. But to run a fully-fledged two minu

Consumerism, News and events

Good Friday: Closed

How is it that this happens every year, every Good Friday? Almost every shop in the country is closed. And yet there's a continual stream of cars into the supermarket car park, driving up to see if it's open. It's not open guys. Almost nothing is open on Good Friday. The empty car park should have been a clue -- the lights being on are just a red herring. It was the same last year, it'll


Cars again

The solar hot water upgrade meant I postponed the car upgrade for a few weeks. But I've been looking at what I might get. My current car, the aging and increasingly unreliable '93 Magna, has a theoretical City consumption of 10 litres per 100km. Although I don't drive much, downsizing should reduce consumption a little bit. Despite GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz's remarks about global warming bei

Consumerism, Melbourne

Not quite 7-11

When they first arrived in Australia, my mum used to call 7-11 "4-7-11", because the TV jingle went "Thank heaven... for Seven Eleven!" In Swanston Street, just a few doors down from the 7-11 on the corner of Flinders Lane, is a fake 7-11: the 24-7 Cafe, with a colour scheme that is similar, but not identical to, a real 7-11. I wonder how many people walk into the 24-7 without looking carefully

Home life, Retrospectives

The garbologists

Nowadays I have a camera in my mobile phone, so virtually anywhere I am, I can take a picture. There was a morning, back in 1993 or so, when I wish I'd had a camera with me. I was waiting for a tram to work outside my old flat in Power Street, Hawthorn. That place was what you'd call "handy for public transport". The city-bound tram stop was literally at the end of the driveway; to Camberwell a