Is it time to buy a Yearly Myki fare?

Generally every January, public transport fares in Victoria go up. This year it's expected to be a 4.3% rise -- this is CPI of 1.8% 2.8% (for the year to September), plus a 2.5% 1.5% rise that was first announced by the Coalition in December 2013, to be implemented in January 2015-2018, and dutifully followed by Labor each year. (Did the Coalition plan that rise to cover the Free Tram Zone a

Consumerism, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

How do I pay the electrician?

A couple of years ago I got a ceiling fan fitted in the kitchen. The electrician was pleasant, competent, and did a good job. He said he'd send me an invoice. He never did. A couple of months later I emailed him and asked him to send it. He acknowledged the email and said he'd send it. He never did. A couple of weeks ago I got a ceiling fan fitting in one of the bedrooms. The electrici

Sydney 2015, Toxic Custard newsletter

Short stay in Sydney: day one

(Back-dated. Posted 24/11/2015.) Booking hotels When I book hotels, I treat location as the highest priority. I'm aiming to make it easy to get around the city we're going to without a car. For this trip, I was aiming for easy access to: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney CBD, and the airport. Anything else was a bonus. We're talking about a situation where being 500 metres further from a railway s


Charity auction: Travel like it’s 1999 – buy this pristine unvalidated Zone 1 Metcard

Back in June, when you could still buy unvalidated Metcards (eg at railway stations) I bought a Zone 1 adult daily and popped it away. I am now selling it for charity, either for those of you who want to take one last train ride with one (yeah even though you can still buy one on a bus or tram) or people who want an unvalidated Metcard for their ticket collection (and were foolish enough not to


Can you name the man on the couch?

...and if so, how many seconds did it take you? Update 8pm: Yes, many guessed, some didn't. I came across it when I was at home on Monday. Unfortunately I didn't stay tuned... apart from George Cole (better known as Arthur Daley), Sid James and Joan Sims, there was another familiar face somewhere in there, a one-time associate of the above gentleman. IMDB: Will Any Gentleman...? (1953


Eastlink’s snarls are by design

From today's Herald Sun: Eastlink labelled a disaster A NEW report has told us what motorists already know - the southern end of EastLink is a traffic disaster. ... Toll company ConnectEast is suffering a $227,000 a day shortfall in EastLink tolls it expected to rake in. Trading in the company's shares remains halted ahead of a company announcement expected today. Massive traffic

Home life

Summer is coming

Summer is coming. You can tell because it's baking hot in the sun, the flies are much more plentiful, and outside in the evening when all should be still, instead you can hear the hum or household air-conditioners echoing across the 'burbs. Yesterday I spent most of the day at home, as one of the kids wasn't feeling well. I'm pleased to say that while outside it peaked at around 36 degrees, ins

News and events, Politics and activism

Making poverty history

The streets were closed to traffic, the barricades went up. Yes, the Bentleigh festival was on again. But 15km away from the sausage sizzles, roaming families, showbags and Humphrey B Bear, some streets in central Melbourne were blocked-off for the third day, for the G20 meeting. Hearing about the violence in Collins Street on Saturday, it seemed like a world away. I can't for the life of me


The key box

The locksmith last week mentioned a product he sells for people who regularly lock themselves out of their house. It's a locked box that sits in your garden, which requires only a PIN(*) to open. Inside you keep a spare key. A kind of high-tech version of hiding a key under the mat / in a flowerpot / in a fake rock in the rockery. Personally, I don't lock myself out. It's only ever happened onc

Here is my, Photos

Here is my TV (etc)

Here is my TV, and assorted other home entertainment paraphenalia. Post a picture of your TV etc... Link in the Trackbacks or comments. As usual, move your mouse over the picture for descriptions of various bits (note Firefox may abbreviate. Apparently you can fix it with this extension if you turn multi-line tooltips on.) Past photos in this series Notes on creating the image map/ho