Bendigo 2009

Sending my kids down the mine

(Posted 2nd October. Backdated to the day it happened.) Originally the plan had been to go to Canberra for 4-5 days, possibly driving up via Lakes Entrance and perhaps back via Kelly country. One of the reasons for wanting to go to Canberra was that I'd been keen to see a display at Old Parliament House: the Living Democracy: Power of the People exhibition, because part of it highlights communi



Please note that I'm away for a couple of days, and may not be able to approve comments that fall into the moderation queue while away. I don't drive as much as many people, but one trip I do regularly is from my place to Marita's (in Footscray), generally with a big box of fruit+veg from her favourite green grocer in Ripponlea. There are two principal ways of doing it, to avoid the CBD:

Consumerism, Food'n'drink, Home life

Aldi product reviews

So, in my quest to become a cheapskate, I've tried a few Aldi products. Having pretty-much restricted myself to Aldi products made in Australia (food miles, though it's something of a generalisation), and ruled-out some categories I've been warned about (fresh fruit and veg, meat), here's what I've found so far: The Weetbix clone -- I'm a Weetbix snob. I have in the past rejected Vita Brits

books, transport

The Example

The Example, by Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson (published by Gestalt Books), might be the first graphic novel to be set entirely within the confines of Flinders Street Station. It's a short but thought-provoking read, combining a most-of-Western-world issue -- paranoia over terrorism -- with a more decidedly local Melbourne issue: the trains. Speaking of terrorism and paranoia, the other bo

Geek, Health

How I discovered I’m a bit colourblind

I'm a bit colourblind. It only affects certain ranges of colours. I first realised this when I got a Vic-20. No, really. The default screen colour was white, and the default border colour was cyan. I thought cyan looked like green. People tell me it's really a light blue, indeed I remember reading an interview with some Commodore engineers who had debated about whether to call it light blue or

Food'n'drink, Health

No more boiled lamb’s brain for me

I recently had a bunch of blood tests done, a kind of overall health check thingy. It was quite funny actually. M coincidentally went in as well for something, and while waiting in the Pathology place we observed what looked at first glance to be the most unhelpful receptionist ever known to mankind. A lady sitting in the chair, ignoring absolutely everybody, reading a magazine for the entire h

Video games


One of the fun things with the Wii is creating your "Mii" -- that is, an avatar used in some of the games. While the kids got busy creating some favourite fictional characters, my avatar looks like me. Here's mine, seen in Wii Sports Resort, playing table tennis. Guitar Hero doesn't use the standard, cartoon-like Miis, but has its own rock music-oriented avatars. They look more realisti


No, Public transport should not be free

Some people believe public transport should be free. I'm not one of them. I will admit that twice (so far) this month I've taken advantage of the Free Weekend Zone 2 Buses deal. It's been enjoyable, and fairly relaxing, but only after doing way too much work (more than most normal people would do, I'll wager) checking timetables and researching alternate routes to avoid the long waits between s