Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from May 2008

Another in my series of old photos from ten years ago, this time from May 2008... Petrol prices shot up this month. This would be about $2.06 in today's dollars. More amazing is that just four years earlier, the RACV had predicted prices wouldn't go above about $1.08. ACMI has put on a lot of great exhibitions, but this one might have been my favourite: basically the history of video games


What we know about the Myki mobile phone trial

The State Government has announced a trial of a mobile phone app for Myki. The Age: Farewell myki cards? Trial for app to let you touch on with your phone PTV: Mobile myki trial State Government: Mobile Myki Trial To Begin Here's what we know about the trial. Will it mean the end of Myki cards? No. Despite the fascination of headline writers with Myki being replaced, a pho

Sydney 2018, Toxic Custard newsletter

Cruising home like a rock star

Backdated. Posted 26/5/2018 Last morning in Sydney; almost time to go home. After checking out of the hotel, we headed back to the gallery to see if Sunday morning was a better option for looking at the Archibald Prize finalists than Friday had been. On the walk, the last of the half-marathon runners were coming through, including one old bloke, jogging along to the encouragement of passe

Sydney 2018, Toxic Custard newsletter

The noise of art

Backdated. Posted 24/5/2018 Sydney getaway continued. First stop: a bakery in the Queen Victoria Building, the spectacular 19th century shopping arcade, where we grabbed some croissants for breakfast. Then to Town Hall Station to hop on a train to inner-city Redfern. A short walk from Redfern Station is Carriageworks, a former... well, railway carriage workshop, where there's a farmers ma

Sydney 2018, Toxic Custard newsletter

Sydney on shanks’ pony

Backdated. Posted 23/5/2018 Hotel buffet breakfast at the Sheraton is an eye-popping $44 per person. This is no big surprise - hotel breakfasts are always expensive. But they'd said at check-in that we had a $50 credit, so that took the cost down to $38 for the two of us, which is probably cheaper than if we went out somewhere for breakfast. So we dined in -- and very nice it was too. Thr

Sydney 2018, Toxic Custard newsletter

Mini-break in Sydney

Post backdated. Published 21/5/2018. M wanted to see the Lady And The Unicorn tapestries before they head home to France from their exhibit at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. No big holiday likely this year, so how about we do a short break in Sydney? Booking the flights After looking at frequent flyer points on Virgin, mostly from last year's Europe trip, we went ahead and booked.

Geek, Toxic Custard newsletter

Beware of fake email bills – and how the corporates are letting the side down

There are warnings of fake Telstra bills being sent by email. They look like the real thing. The only clue that they're not is that the View/Pay Bill button goes to a non-Telstra web site. The lesson here is: check where the link goes. If it doesn't go to an address that is clearly on the company's web site (, be suspicious. ...Which is why I've been asking South East Water ab

Toxic Custard newsletter, walking

Bushes and trees blocking footpaths

We all like some greenery in our neighbourhoods. But as I noted in this rant blog post, one bane of pedestrians is bushes and trees overhanging footpaths. They're not really obvious unless you're walking, but bushes and trees like this are everywhere. I'm sick of having to duck out of their way. This is especially difficult when it's dark. You can easily not spot the hazard as you approac


Airport rail

Good morning! I'm over in The Age today writing about airport rail: Ever wondered why we need airport rail? Catch Skybus in peak hour Go read it. Hopefully the two typos I've just spotted aren't too jarring, and can be fixed online soon. (Too late for the paper -- argh!) Update 13/5/2018 A couple of people asked about the source for these numbers: There are at least 24,000 worker


Which has more trains? The Upfield line or the Geelong line?

I can't remember who asked the question, but it was a good one: Which has more trains? The Upfield line or the Geelong line? They're quite different rail lines. The Upfield line serves Melbourne's northern suburbs, and runs via the City Loop. It runs electric Metro services through 16 stations (plus 3 City Loop stations). The route is 23km long, and takes about 36 minutes. The Geelong