books, Melbourne, Net

Some silly things

A fire in Springvale, to which the CFA responds. C'mon, Springvale. What is this, 1960? East of Westall Road isn't paddocks anymore. Surely it's time to re-draw the MFB/CFA boundaries? The metro/country taxi boundaries are similar, aren't they? Time for an update. Odd. I found a quarterly magazine that retails for $7, but is $44 per year by subscription?! What's with those fake Tintin t-s

books, Melbourne

Flat Stanley’s visit

I'd completely forgotten about this until M reminded me of it last week. For some reason I didn't blog about it at the time. Better late than never. A couple of years ago (actually, 2006, when the kids looked much younger than they do now) Flat Stanley (this one from friends in the USA) came to visit us. Rather than just chuck him back in the mail with a postcard, we showed him about the place


Print’s not dead yet

If you've wondered how many people read the magazines you see in the newsagent, here's the figures. The only magazine I subscribe to, Australian Personal Computer, is sitting at 34,111, down 8% in the last year. Perhaps IT-related mags are more likely to be dropping with competition from online, though what caught my eye was that the one that's lost the second highest percentage of readers in t

books, Net, News and events

A buncha brief things

Some brief thoughts and half-arsed things that I can't be bothered developing into fully-fledged blog posts: Luz Station in Sao Paulo. Looks externally very similar to Melbourne's Flinders Street Station, well if you don't look too closely. Coincidence, or is one modelled on the other? Probably the former. I haven't seen anything that suggests Luz has something similar to the front of FSS. (Mor


The last Tintin

We all did stupid things when we were young. I'm ashamed to admit that one of the sillier things I did in my teenage years was to dispose of my Tintin books. After a while I realised my mistake, and started collecting them again, book by book. (I decided I preferred the full-size versions, not the 3-in-1 small editions.) It's taken me a few years, but last week I finally got the last one

books, Film, TV

Books and TV and movies and stuff

I used to give either thumbs up or thumbs down. I'm switching to thumbs up, thumbs down, or neither. Microserfs -- This is the kind of book I should just lap up, isn't it? A geek novel? But I didn't. It dragged. J-Pod -- More enjoyable than Microserfs. Douglas Coupland's self-referential bits were a bit hard to take, but overall I enjoyed it a lot more. Torchwood series 2 -- Less gratuit


Funniest book I’ve read in ages

Bill Bryson: Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid -- I've finally read it now it's out in paperback. I know I was never going to be disappointed, but it was a great book. Hilarious in parts, poignant in others. Mostly hilarious though. The description of the Dick and Jane books and the characters' robotic dialogue had me laughing out loud. Likewise the high school gym classes, where all the white


Tramps like us

Tramps Like Us by Kristen Buckley -- Kristen emailed and asked if I'd like to read and review this book, as its Australian launch is coming soon. I'm glad I said yes, it's smegging hilarious. Kristen's better known for being a screenwriter for movies that... well, frankly, I wouldn't go out of my way to see. Thankfully the foreword makes it clear that this is no 102 Dalmations. The book is Kris

books, driving, Home life

A few things…

Dishwashers: On the subject of water (I think Andrew or somebody mentioned this a while ago) in last Sunday's Age M magaziney thing, there was an article noting that dishwashers generally use less water than handwashing. Dishwashers are in the 13 to 20 litre per cycle range, whereas handwashing is up around 40 to 60. Yay -- for once you can be lazy and environmentally friendly! What they don't

books, Culture, Film


I've heard from two completely independent sources of Pastafarianism in the past week. Could it be that the age of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is upon us? RAmen. Anyway, here's some quick reviews. Michael Palin's diaries 1969-1979 -- Very interesting, especially for a Python fan like me, giving the background story behind the group coming together, making the TV shows then the movies, an