Ten years ago: the Games

Ten years ago this month Melbourne was in the grip of the Commonwealth Games.

As I noted at the time, it was a good excuse to Blame The Games for any delay or anything else going wrong. (Including crowded trains.)

Blame the Games

But it was also a lot of fun. These photos are from the baton relay as it went down my mum’s street.
Commonwealth Games Baton Relay, Melbourne, March 2006
Commonwealth Games baton relay

Here’s a short video… note the lack of lots of bystanders holding up phones, taking photos/video. Ah, those were the days, pre-smartphone. (Mobile phones did have cameras, but they weren’t very good.)

These are from our day at the athletics.
Commonwealth Games Melbourne, March 2006
Commonwealth Games Melbourne, March 2006

Crowds at Richmond Station on the way home — an enlightened policy of no car parking at venues, and public transport included in Games tickets, as well as extra services, meant things actually flowed pretty well. Plus everyone seemed to be in a good mood.
Commonwealth Games Melbourne, March 2006

To get official vehicles around quickly, they had “Games Lanes”. See, it is possible to provide on-road priority… now, why can’t we do more for trams and buses?
Commonwealth Games "Games Lane" Melbourne, March 2006

Finally, a non-Games photo: I must have found this old pre-privatisation (1999) map at a station somewhere. Looks like it might have been South Yarra.
Met rail map, outdated but still on display, 2006

Evidently car sharing is getting more popular

…judging from these four lined up next to Flagstaff Gardens.

Share cars in William Street

From the front:

Unfortunately while they might be plentiful in the CBD and inner-suburbs, it might be a while until they reach spots further out.

I suspect that there’s not that many people in Bentleigh who would get rid of their own car and join up. I’d certainly be tempted.

Sunday Life

Sometime last year one of the magazines that came with The Sunday Age, Sunday Life, changed its formula. I used to find at least something interesting while flicking through it. Since the change, nothing.

I was thinking that it had turned into a women’s magazine. One only has to look at the author names of letters they’ve published over the last four weeks to know it’s almost entirely women who are reading:

Sunday Life letters, last four weeks

(The unisex names were Hilary — almost certainly female I suspect — and Sam.)

But here’s what clinched it: I found the blurb to prospective advertisers:

Sunday Life is a magazine which delivers our readers a distinctive point of difference on Sunday and a fresh approach to a discerning female audience not found in any other newspaper inserted magazine.

and:

Sunday Life knows what women care about.

So… any of you blokes out there — don’t feel guilty for not even glancing at this mag anymore.

Good Friday: Closed

How is it that this happens every year, every Good Friday? Almost every shop in the country is closed. And yet there’s a continual stream of cars into the supermarket car park, driving up to see if it’s open.

Safeway is closed

It’s not open guys. Almost nothing is open on Good Friday. The empty car park should have been a clue — the lights being on are just a red herring.

It was the same last year, it’ll be the same next year. Plan ahead and live for 24 hours without spending money.

Or go to one of the few places that is open: some bakeries, convenience stores, etc. I got fresh bagels and challah at Glicks.

And have a happy Easter.

Update Sunday: Same today, Easter Sunday, though it appears more things are open today, so perhaps it’s understandable.

When the rain comes

You know, there’s a reason they’re called golf umbrellas.

It doesn’t make them suited for crowded CBD footpaths.

And why is it that smaller people seem to like them so much? You’d think they had less body mass that needed rain protection.

Fair enough if multiple people are cowering under them I suppose. But more often than not, it’s just one person.

By the way, I reckon parking inspectors could write loads of tickets if they just turned up to schools at drop-off time (especially when it’s raining) and fined those clueless/selfish people who treat the drop-off zones as regular parking spots.