Net, Toxic Custard newsletter

The end of Toxic Custard

Before blogging and the web, there was email and Usenet and FTP sites. Just over 29 years ago I started writing online, sending out literal undergraduate humour to mates at Monash University and beyond mostly via email, under the truly ridiculous name "Toxic Custard". It got into the student newspaper, then in 1996 it went onto the web and became the early version of this blog. Along the wa

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter, Working life

Does your super match your values?

The wave of climate protests (the Climate Strike a few weeks ago, and to a lesser extent the Extinction Rebellion last week) are a good reminder that although our current political masters (especially at the Federal level in Australia) are keen to do nothing, pretty soon a large mass of people who want action will be joining the electoral roll and voting. Oh, the politicians may claim they're

Going green, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

Wall insulation

Improving my house's heating and cooling and energy efficiency is an ongoing project. 2008 Solar hot water2012 Ceiling fans and roof insulation2015 External blinds2017 Air-conditioning (a backwards step for energy efficiency, but a giant leap for comfort on very hot days) This week it was wall insulation. Obviously this is best fitted when the house is built, but in a house built circa 1

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Old photos from April 2009

Another in my series of old ten year old photos. This turned out to be a bit of a bumper crop - a few months before I'd got the Nokia N95 phone, my first with a decent camera, so perhaps no surprise the number of photos was increasing. Melbourne's first wind-powered tram had launched in 2008. Note the "Gone With The Wind" reference, and the pre-platform "safety zone" Elizabeth Street (at Bo

driving, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

The monetary cost of driving

One of the issues that contributes to excessive car use is that it's not straightforward to calculate the cost of driving. Once you have the car, the cost of each additional trip you take in it is obscured. Apart from tolls and fuel costs, many might see an already-paid-for car sitting in the driveway as "free", making it an easy option. This is why good alternatives are not based around park

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from December 2008

My regular post of ten year old photos... The smiley in the sky (first posted here) Tram of the beast (First posted here) The next station is Connex Back when the trams were battleship grey, and they used obscure route numbers like 47. In December 2008 a brand new bike parking cage was under construction at Bentleigh. It would be demolished just 7 years later as part of the rebuilding of

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Desire lines: signs of bad design?

Desire lines are where authorities intend for people to go one way, but people (especially pedestrians) quite logically ignore them and go a different way. Often they indicate poor design. Here are some quick examples from my neck of the woods. You have to wonder whose bright idea this was. Try and divert the pedestrians away to a crossing. Why do it? The worn grass indicates not many people fo

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from November 2008

Continuing my series of ten year old photos... The coal industry trying to pretend they're good guys. I don't know if they even pretend these days... note yesterday Adani announced it would press ahead with its new coal mine, in the middle of a state bushfire crisis -- nice touch. Warrnambool holiday! This was fun. Should go back sometime. Unprotected level crossing somewhere near War

Politics and activism, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Election wrapup

Many people have written about the state election result. I thought I'd add my two-cents worth... noting that as of Wednesday night, some seats are still in doubt. The Coalition crime fear campaign didn't resonate. The stats don't match the rhetoric, and while the accounts from actual victims could be harrowing, Melbourne is not a crime-infested cesspit. That's no comfort to those who have been

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Low bridges in Euroa

Family business took us to Euroa on Saturday. The station is on the western side of the town centre. The main street goes over the railway line to the south of the station -- Wikipedia notes that the the road overpass was built in 1960 during the first round of standardisation. The second round, last decade, converted the other track to standard gauge as well. North of the station the railwa