MMTB and NTS: Old and new manhole covers

Ah, the fascinating world of manhole covers. For you youngsters, the MMTB (Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board) ran the tram system from 1919 to 1983 when it was merged into "The Met". NTS (New Ticketing System) was the working name for Myki. It still shows up in internal literature, and in things like URLs on the web site (eg the Myki logon takes you to "

Home life

Renovating the roof

Got an attic ladder put in a while back. The bloke did a lot of chopping and cutting, and an electrician moved one of the lights to make way for it. The result is very pleasing, and it makes a real difference to getting up into the roof space. Stage 2 was getting some of the crap cleared out of there, including an old water tank. Yesterday some insulation removal people came to take out the


Southern Cross Station as viewed from above

Before last week I'd never seen this view of Southern Cross Station. It looks quite unworldly. CL was giving me a quick tour of Media House -- as he commented, it looks like something from Dune. What you can't see from the photos (not even zoomed-in) is that some sections closest to the edge, and between the lumpy bits, are actually inflatable plastic. Presumably it's some essential part of


Yesterday’s morning commute. Not good.

8:17 or so, boarded train train at Mckinnon. Not my usual station. Long irrelevant story. Happily got a seat. 8:36. Train stops at Hawksburn. Driver on PA tells us that the train will be delayed at least ten minutes due to signal failures near Richmond. He advises us to go to platform 3. 8:37. Most (perhaps 80%) of passengers on the train get out and switch. Large numbers of people means


Are the trains getting less crowded?

Here's the good news: the October 2010 Metro Load Standards Survey (released to the Greens under FOI) shows that overcrowding has dropped markedly. Measured in terms of (deep breath) Rolling Hour Average Loads Above Desired Standards, the number of breaches has dropped from 38 in October 2007 to 6 in October 2010. Part of this has been through putting on more frequent services, particula


Quest for the ultimate umbrella

Thankfully my umbrella was not in as bad a state as this one, but it was in need of replacement. And of course via procrastination it was only on Thursday, when it had been raining, that I got motivated enough to go out and look. This is in part because I'm a terrible shopper. Or rather, I'm a terrible buyer. But I decided I wanted to find out if there was some marvellous mega-brolly to