Politics and activism Toxic Custard newsletter

Election wrap-up: Counting continues, East West Link, and Pudding!

A few thoughts post-election… Bentleigh As I write this, the seat is still too close to call. Counting is continuing, but it would seem we are destined to remain a marginal seat for the next election — in fact some voters reckoned they were deliberately voting to stay marginal. Elsewhere, some sandbelt (or as I  ... [More]

transport Travel

The old railway line to Rutherglen and Wahgunyah

On the road to Rutherglen a few weeks ago, we came across this: the old railway. Some photos below. Apparently it opened in 1879, with passenger trains running until 1962, and freight trains until 1995. These days the nearest operating railway is at Springhurst a few kilometres away, on the main line to Albury and  ... [More]


The Age’s Liveability survey – and where it fell down on transport (Service quality matters more than infrastructure)

The Age last Friday released its liveability survey of Melbourne suburbs. Top five were pretty predictable: South Yarra, East Melbourne, Armadale, Hawthorn East, and Toorak. From what I can tell, it’s an update to a survey done in 2005, using the same methodology. This time however they didn’t put out the full breakdown of figures,  ... [More]


Do cars = freedom? Maybe not as much as they used to

Interesting stuff: There is also growing research that younger generations do not relate to the automobile as enabling “freedom.” Instead, their electronic and social media devices–whether a smart phone, small lap top computer, music player, etc.–provide an alternate means for self expression and being free to do what they want. In the United States, kilometers  ... [More]


The mathematics of school textbooks

It’s all easy in primary school. You send the money in, you get a box of goodies. There’s few textbooks, and almost all are kept at and owned by the school. It gets more complicated and expensive in secondary school. So here’s the scenario: Two kids, two years apart. The school has a secondhand book  ... [More]

PTUA transport

CPI and your Metcard

The Consumer Price Index for the year ended September 2008 was 5.0% — unusually high, for Australia. As the ABS says: This is the largest annual change since December quarter 1995, excluding the period associated with the introduction of the GST. This figure is used as the basis for the increase in public transport fares  ... [More]

Working life

Stupid machine

Stupid damn printer/fax machine/copier. I put a document in to fax, and punched in the fax number. 7010 2168 (or something like that). But I hadn’t set it to Fax mode. It decided it was in Copier mode, but will only allow three digits for the number of copies, so it started printing 168 copies  ... [More]

Consumerism Home life

Basic needs

I was just out fulfilling some of the most basic human needs. 1. The need for physical activity. I went for a walk. 2. The need to communicate. While on my walk I attempted to return a friend’s call. Alas he was otherwise engaged, but I left a message and he rang me back, but  ... [More]


Restaurant review: Livebait

Astoundingly quick restaurant review: Livebait, Docklands. Yum. PS. My ETag beeped four times. Does this mean it’s about to self-destruct?


Judging a book by its cover

There’s always the odd one(s) out. At 9:30 this morning on the train into the city, it was the couple with the baby. Something about them was different. If you were to have categorised everybody else in the carriage, they would have fallen into: professionals going to work – many of the blokes in ties,  ... [More]