Consumerism, Geek

I need a new phone

On Thursday night my phone, a Nexus 5 that I got about three years ago, finally started playing up. It would continually boot, with a buzz, and a proclamation on the screen of "Google"! Then repeat. Bzzt... Google! Over and over. Scouring online, I discovered this is a reasonably rare, but not unique, situation. The power button was jammed down. The next morning, before work, I went l

Bentleigh, Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

The chains of Bentleigh

My local suburb is increasing in density, and (not entirely disconnected from that) it's also interesting to see how the retail strip is doing. The shopping centre has grown around the railway station, which is still the epicentre, though the east side of the tracks is where most of the busiest shops are located. The chain stores (often referred to as "anchor tenants") have maintained their

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Signs blocking bike lanes and footpaths

This is not the first time I've spotted something like this: real estate agent signs blocking bike lanes. I'm not sure why anybody who thought about it for more than a second would think it was a good idea to leave signs there. Cyclists would either be forced out into traffic, or if they didn't notice the signs, collide with them. In this case, I decided to move the signs out of the way. The

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

The perfect, durable, compact umbrella

Melbourne's rainy season is upon us. It's been a few years since my blog post about good strong compact umbrellas, so here's a quick update. A good umbrella is vital for a dedicated walking/PT person. The brief: an umbrella that, folded, can fit in my work bag (eg a maximum length of about 35cm) and go anywhere. And -- this is the hard bit -- as durable as possible. Foldable umbrellas tend n

Consumerism

Stamps going up to $1

What can you buy for $1? You certainly can't buy a newspaper. The Herald Sun costs $1.40 on weekdays; The Age costs $2.50; The Australian is $2.70. So I'm finding it difficult to be too outraged at standard stamps going up to $1. In fact this letter in Saturday's Age perfectly sums up how I feel about it: For $1, I can send a letter from the most out-of-the-way PO in the local store in Vi

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

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

Investments

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

Consumerism, Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

The ABC Shops to close

Warning! No transport content! If you only want to see transport blog posts, you can use this URL, or sign up to the email alerts! My first recollection of the ABC Shop in Melbourne was a small space in their then Lonsdale Street radio HQ, which was where the County Court is now -- on the corner of Queen Street. I think it's where I got the 1983 Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special book (a lo

Consumerism, Culture, Geek, Toxic Custard newsletter

Oz Comic-Con 2015 – and marriage equality

Science fiction and fantasy conventions used to be a homespun affair, run by the local clubs, featuring broadcasts of rare episodes and out-takes (before it all got released on DVD) and fan films. If there were guest artists, often they would appear only if they happened to be in the country at the time, and fees for photos and autographs were unheard of. These days it's big business. Not that