Melbourne

Would it have killed them to design this playground with some drainage?

For some time I've had my doubts about the competence of the City of Maribyrnong engineering department, specifically the people who design and manage drainage. This is because in the eight years I've known Marita, the section of street in front of her house has always flooded at the merest hint of rain. These doubts have not been quelled by the sight of this brand new playground near the Fa

transport

The Ombudsman’s report on Myki (and other IT projects)

Last Wednesday the Ombudsman/Auditor General report into government ICT (Information & Communications Technology) projects was released. Included in the list of projects gone bad that it investigated was our old favourite Myki, with some interesting findings on the timings and costings: The TTA business case dated 27 April 2004 had forecast total expenditure of $741.9 million over the life

Movember

Four days of Movember to go (and a bit of Monty Python)

Four days to go, and here's this morning's picture (in the rain). The whole moustache business reminds me of this Monty Python sketch... skip to 30 seconds in for the relevant line. At this point I'm looking forward to the end of Movember. From a maintenance point of view, it's easier to just be clean-shaven, and I thought I'd got used to the itching, but it still bugs me from time t

Consumerism, transport

Coke ads on the sides of trains

It was bound to happen once they started putting advertising on the sides of trains: Coke ads. Given trains are seen not just by passengers but also by motorists and pedestrians at level crossings, it could be quite lucrative for Metro. One can only hope the money goes into better services. My guess is we won't see these on Comeng trains, due to the fluted sides. Too hard to stick ads on

transport

How much does a train cost?

Sometimes when the media or politicians want to highlight what they see as massive government waste (particularly in the transport arena, but also in other areas), they compare it to how many extra trains could have been bought instead. While it may seem a little myopic, I think overall it's a good thing. It's a sign that public transport is at the forefront of what's seen as important for the

Film

Can you name the man on the couch?

...and if so, how many seconds did it take you? Update 8pm: Yes, many guessed, some didn't. I came across it when I was at home on Monday. Unfortunately I didn't stay tuned... apart from George Cole (better known as Arthur Daley), Sid James and Joan Sims, there was another familiar face somewhere in there, a one-time associate of the above gentleman. IMDB: Will Any Gentleman...? (1953

General

The prepaid phone saga

A while back I gave eldest son my old (but quite capable) mobile phone, and got him a SIM card that looked to be a reasonable cheap basic prepaid phone service: Woolworths Everyday Mobile. This worked fine until early October when the phone stopped working. Or to be precise, the SIM stopped working. We tried the usual stuff: turning the phone off then on again, trying the SIM in a different

transport

Some reasons why the east-west road Eddingtunnel makes no sense

Some reasons why the Rod Eddington-proposed east-west road tunnel makes no sense: 1. Eddington's own study showed the road tunnel would have a benefit/cost ratio of just 45 cents in the dollar. 2. Even including the rather wobbly "wider economic benefits" only got it up to 72 cents. (Only by lumping in other projects including the rail tunnel with the road tunnel were they able to get a resu