Food'n'drink, Home life

We lost power last night in the storm

Things I learnt when we lost power: Take-away pizza by torchlight a bad way to have dinner. A Smart Meter won't keep the juice flowing if there's problems in the local distribution network. I don't have enough torches. At least one per person would be good. The Dolphin mini LED torch I got recently is really good. Will get a couple more of these I think. Thank goodness for mobile in

Geek, Photos

New camera

After much procrastination, I got a new camera. It's a Canon IXUS 115, to replace the old Canon A70 I got way back in 2003. The old one still just about works (with minor problems), so I figured Canon was deserving of my loyalty. (My 4-ish year old Canon MP610 printer/scanner is going strong too.) At the time I bought it, I thought the A70 was small. This is much smaller -- about as small as I'

Melbourne, transport

What can’t you buy in the city? Petrol.

The CBD (to be precise, the Hoddle Grid) has just about every business imagineable, except one. Petrol stations. At least, as far as I can tell from searches of Yellow Pages and Google Maps, though the latter incorrectly identified one at 114 Flinders Street. To fill up a car, you have to go to Victoria Parade, just outside the Hoddle Grid, or to City Road or Kingsway. Everyone seems to m

Retrospectives, transport

In the good old days

One of the persistent myths is that in the "good old days", before trains and trams had locked doors, nobody ever fell out. When the old VR ran the suburban network trains, and stations were manned and had barrier gates, trains had a lot of doors and it was never a problem. Nobody fell out either, people were RESPONSIBLE for their actions way back then. -- "The Don" comment, Herald Sun web s


Nine carriage trains – could they work?

Today's Herald Sun raises an issue that has been pondered for some time: 9 carriage trains to relieve overcrowding. This would seem like a good opportunity to dig out my Bargearse remake video. The reasoning behind adding carriages is that it's close to becoming impractical to add more trains in peak onto the busiest lines, such as the Pakenham line, so they should make the trains longer

Home life

The gamble of fixed interest rates

In October 2007 I switched to a fixed interest rate of 7.85% for five years. It turned out to be a terrible punt. The Global Financial Crisis hit the following year, with interest rates dipping to record lows. I shudder to think how much money I might have saved if at that point I'd locked in a low fixed rate. Maybe there's an alternative universe version of me who held off in 2007, and took ad