People are such damn slobs

City of Melbourne have announced a change to the fines for littering smokers, with the fine going up to $234 for throwing away a lit cigarette. Smokers or non-smokers, it just staggers me that some people are such slobs. Regularly, I see footy-goers at the Parkside Edgewater oval (Maribyrnong) rock up to watch a local footy game, sit in their cars eating, and throw their food wrappers an

PTUA, transport

Myki doesn’t always give you the best fare

One of the selling points of Myki is that 'Myki Money' will charge you the best daily fare, if you touch-on and touch-off on every trip. It turns out not to be always true. There's at least one specific set of circumstances where it doesn't. The PTUA got asked a while back about travel around the zone boundaries, and specifically on a scenario similar to that outlined below. (I think the lad

Health, Working life

The health check

Apparently there have been some alarming results from the workplace health checks underway at the moment. Victorian workers have been given a scare by a State Government-run health program which has found a high percentage donโ€™t exercise enough with a number of people asked to see a doctor within 24 hours. We've had ours on Friday (everybody opted-in, I think), and we seem to be a pretty hea


The moral quandary of the self-serve checkouts

At the local Safeway, the renovation (and eventual transition to "Woolworths") is underway, and the self-service checkouts are now operating. There's five of them, compared to three express checkouts, and eight "normal" checkouts. From memory there used to be more normal checkouts, though as at most supermarkets, I don't ever recall all of them being in use at once. I suppose there's somethi


Blast from the past: found on the train

Found this on a train this afternoon: I'm guessing a bookmark that's been sitting inside someone's book for fifteen years and they decided to re-read the book, and subsequently left it behind on a seat. These scratch tickets were used before Metcard was introduced in the late-90s, and were notorious for fare evasion. They didn't indicate a year (so some people went to the trouble of keep

News and events, Politics and activism

Fewer than 5% of asylum seekers arrive by boat

I was following a link in a comment on The Australian's amusing story about a Federal government media adviser accidently leaving an email trail on a media release (reminds me of the Windsor affair), which led me a document with some interesting factoids about the arrival of asylum seekers from 1976 to the present: Boat arrivals only make up a small proportion of applicants. Estimates vary, but


Flagstaff station turns 25

Next Thursday marks 25 years since the completion of the City Loop. Flagstaff Station was the last loop station to open -- on the 27th of May 1985. It's the only station in Melbourne that is closed on weekends -- being in the middle of the legal precinct, it's a bit quiet around there on Saturdays and Sundays, though there are increasing numbers of residential buildings in the area. It's pro

Politics and activism

The perils of public speaking

(Let's see if I can make all this week's posts nostalgia-based.) My uni course (Bachelor of Computing -- Information Systems) included some business-oriented subjects, and I remember studying and practicing public speaking. I don't remember specifically what lessons I learnt from it, though I suspect like much in the course, the knowledge sifted into my mind in subtle ways and has been usefu

Friends and loved ones

Flashback to 1993

My old uni buddy Brian recently emailed through a copy of a photo from graduation day at Monash Uni, from 1993. It was at the main Clayton campus, which we rarely actually went to in our student days, though I do recall one memorable session in the campus radio station recording a demo tape of us being comedy DJs with Nick Marvin (then student newspaper editor, now CEO of the Perth Wildcats