Anti-pigeon defences

And now for something completely different: anti-pigeon defences. Pigeons can get everywhere, making nests, leaving droppings. These ones seem very interested in the next trains from Caulfield. It's probably gone mostly unnoticed, but over the past few years, various methods to prevent them roosting have become commonplace. In the case of Caulfield station, they've put in a lot of netti

News and events

Australia Day thoughts

Happy Australia Day. Some thoughts: 1. Spotted this morning, some glorious Australia Day supermarket multiculturalism: 2. I was a Flag Monitor in grade 6. Along with my mate Mark, we put the flag up on the school flag pole. Apart from a minor hitch on the first day when it went up upside down for a short time, there were no issues, though I'd imagine doing the same job for the Elizabeth

music, News and events

Happy Australia Day (and make sure you have a ticket)

The words on the left are from I Am Australian, by Bruce Woodley: We are one, but we are many And from all the lands on earth we come We share a dream, and sing with one voice: I am, you are, we are Australian Wikipedia says the song was written in 1987. I'm pretty sure either that year or the year after, we sung it at Speech Night at Melbourne High School. (Woodley, like his fellow s

Geek, transport

Lego Myki and Metcard readers, from Brickvention

I didn't make it to Brickvention this year, but Adrian O'Hagan did, and sent me this photo. It's a Lego Myki reader... and on the back of it is a Metcard reader. Adrian says when a Myki card was presented it beeped and displayed a balance (which may or may not have been the real balance; I'm assuming all the information on the card is encrypted). The Metcard version would take a presented M


The Myki rollout continues – some details that probably aren’t in the papers

I remind any journalists reading that as ever, my personal blog may not represent the PTUA's views. In the papers today, news of the continuing rollout of Myki, and moves to get more people switching off Metcard: Herald Sun: When it comes to myki, like it or lump it The Age: The end is nigh for Metcard More detail of what's happening Here's some more detail from the information I've

Bentleigh, Consumerism

Coin deposit reduces dumped shopping trolleys – why don’t they all do it?

Since Woolworths introduced gold coin deposits for trolleys at Bentleigh, you almost never see their trolleys abandoned in the streets. The same can't be said for Coles Bentleigh, who appear to have some trolleys requiring a coin, and some not -- I don't understand the logic of this. On a walk last night, we passed three (non-deposit) Coles trolleys in quick succession on a single block of Jasper

transport, TV

Proof that you can get a big-screen TV home by public transport

Proof that you (with the help of a friend, at least) don't need a car to take a big-screen TV home... at least not since the advent of flatscreens. Panasonic, 50 inch. Appears to have been bought at JB Hifi (which is nearby). Note the lady with her Metcard ready. They caught a 908 bus. (No, this is not what they were talking about when it was flagged there'd soon be video ads on buses.)


Walking between carriages on a Comeng train

I've long thought the signage on Comeng and Hitachi trains about walking between the carriages was unclear. Going back a while, they talked about using them for "communication" but not "travel" -- confusing to most. Recently they've said "Please do not travel on platform between carriages", which implies people should not use those doors to walk between the carriages at all. That's not quite ri

Film, TV

DVD vs Blu-Ray picture quality

I never quite believed I'd see much of the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray on an 80cm (32 inch) TV. But with brand-name Blu-Ray players now below $100, and releases such as the complete set of Star Wars movies out on Blu-Ray, this past Christmas seemed like the right time to jump in and try it. One of the presents I got was the Blu-Ray of Tron: Legacy, which also included the original Tron m


Gunzel heaven: Parallel run

If there's anything that gunzels get excited about, it's a parallel run -- two trains running in parallel. It must take an enormous amount of work to organise such a thing: running two heritage trains on two tracks in the same direction (only possible in specific locations), and having them overtake each other repeatedly so that everyone in each train gets a good look at every part of the other