Melbourne, Photos, Toxic Custard newsletter

New camera

Obviously the best camera you have is the one you have with you. Normally that's my phone. Sometimes I'll also have my ~4 year old Canon IXUS 115, which is compact, but takes some great photos. But for my birthday I treated myself to a DSLR, a Canon 700D (spotted on sale + cashback offer + birthday contribution from family + birthday present to myself = hard to resist), and have been snappin

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from September 2005

Another in my series of photos from ten years ago. Bourke Street (at Swanston Street) tram platform stops just being completed, it looks like. Note the old "The Met" tram stop sign -- in a mix of brands with the then-new Metlink and Yarra Trams. The realtime display must have been pretty new. And of course, lunchtime trams were crowded some ten years before the Free Tram Zone was instituted.


Burke Road crossing removal progressing

On Saturday I took a look at the Burke Road level crossing removal -- it's being done as part of the same package as the North/Mckinnon/Centre Roads crossings, but is well ahead of them in terms of progress. The official web site has details of the project -- because there's space available, the new rail line and new station are being built parallel to the old ones, similar to how Springvale wa


New blog template

I quite liked the old blog template, but I know there were a few issues with it on mobile devices, and I didn't have the time/energy to fix it. So as part of trying out new web hosting, and making sure Wordpress is all updated, I'm trying out a new template. Again, I don't have the time to write a template myself, so I've downloaded a few that looked okay, and am testing this one ("Clean Journa

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Design: It probably won a prize #SoCross

Back at uni, in one of my subjects we read a great book called The Design Of Everyday Things. In it, author Donald Norman highlights bad designs, often noting: "It probably won a prize". One of the hallmarks of good design at railway stations is being able to see the information that you need to find your platform and find your train. For instance, information screens on the platform should


You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs

I think everyone accepts that public transport is worthwhile, but not perfect. The Age today highlights rail capacity problems. The source document is a presentation from PTV, and page 5 summarises the bottlenecks: (This is similar to a diagram in the 2012 rail Network Development Plan) So, change is needed on the public transport network. But because there aren't unlimited resources, i

Consumerism, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

How long does a dishwasher last?

Just on five years ago my dishwasher door spring broke. In that instance a secondary fault also affected the actual washing of dishes. Now another door spring has broken. It hasn't affected the washing - it's just the door is heavy, and needs to be opened very carefully. Repair from Fisher And Paykel is expected to cost $135 for a call-out fee, excluding parts. I actually have the second


Just another #Myki issue: V/Line default fares

Default fares kind of make sense (an assumption about where someone travelled if they don't touch-off), but the way they're implemented under Myki leaves a lot to be desired. An example from Saturday, when I zipped down to Geelong and back on the train. Summarising the official history: 12:15 Touched-on at Footscray (zone 1). The train was just arriving, so almost no waiting time.


View of the city from the outer west

If you catch a train towards Geelong, just after Deer Park, where the train branches off the Ballarat line to head south, you'll see a great view of the city on your left. (View it larger) Against the bluey-grey skyline, the wheel stands out of course, as do the silos in Kensington-ish. In the foreground is lots of housing from the Derrimut area, and obviously construction going on. I s

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter


Sorry, few updates this week due to general busy-ness and a web hosting issue that prevented posting. Last year I dipped my toe in the sharemarket: I bought shares in Xero, the cloud accounting service. They were about $25 at the time. Since then they have dropped in price by about half. If only I'd bought them back when I got a tip-off to do so, when they were at about $6. Oh well, I