Going green, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

Decarbonising my home

While my most pressing home renovation need is the bathroom (planning to do this the next time my sons are away on a trip), I was also thinking: Governments should be doing a lot more on climate change, but what are the major emissions in my home, and how could I decarbonise? The car. I recently bought a petrol car, because given how little I drive, I couldn't justify the cost of hybrid or e

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from October 2008

My monthly post of ten year old photos... My day job had me working in Collins Street, and occasionally we'd get to go to the upper levels and check out the view. That's Manchester Lane at the bottom left, and near the top left you can just see the Shrine. Newspaper House dates from a 1933 revamp of an 1884 building, and at the time was owned by Herald and Weekly Times. The renovation also adde

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter

Thirty years on

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. This is especially so for school reunions. My eldest son is pondering whether to even go to his - the people he wants to stay in touch with, he does via Facebook. Fair enough. I however do go to my school reunions. Melbourne High School has an active Old Boys Association which is very well organised for them. The 30th (gulp) reunion was on Friday nig

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from August 2008

Here's my monthly post of photos from ten years ago. For a while I was waging war on ghost tram route numbers via this blog post and then this Age article. Numbers like 7 and 9 were pointless because nobody outside a few gunzels knew them. This was tram route 7 to Malvern Depot. In 2011, all the obscure route numbers got renumbered to something people can actually understand. Route 7 f

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Mernda rail extension opens this Sunday

On Sunday I went out to see the Mernda rail extension. The Level Crossing Removal Authority, who built it (well, it does involve new stations and grade separation of an existing disused rail corridor, so it kinda makes sense) ran a community open day, with free shuttle trains between South Morang and Mernda. After catching a regular train to South Morang, I found a big crowd waiting for a sh

Culture, Melbourne, Photos, Toxic Custard newsletter

Don’t be a jerk

I was looking through some old photos, and found these from November 1996. I've scanned them from the negatives. As you can see, they provide some good advice... (Click on either photo to view it larger in Flickr) Things to note here: "Don't be a jerk" is a work by Barbara Kruger, originally from 1984 Some of the well-known CBD skyscrapers are visible in the background, b

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Traffic light programming, and the tale of the Magic Laptop

The Magic Laptop One evening many years ago some PTUA bods and I were meeting with a Vicroads bloke about traffic light priority and other related issues. He had a laptop with him, and it displayed a diagram of a major intersection; I think it was somewhere out on Burwood Highway. While pondering topics such as tram priority, he talked us through how the traffic light sequences worked, an

Consumerism, driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

Retail therapy

Just a quick few points while I work on a more complicated post that's (inevitably) transport related... Shopping bags Many major retailers are phasing out single-use plastic bags. Or to be precise, they're phasing-out free bags. Woolworths: 20/6/2018 Coles, Target, Big W: 1/7/2018 Aldi never gave away bags. K-Mart is phasing out free bags during 2018-19. This is not the f

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

What, yet ANOTHER rebranding?

Although it doesn't involve removing level crossings, the Mernda rail extension is being built by the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA). This LXRA tweet last week got some attention, and not just from those who have been long awaiting the project's completion: A sign of things to come #Mernda 🚝🚝🚝 #transformingMelbourne pic.twitter.com/nUc8lt4ZiF— Level Crossings (@levelcrossings)

driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

I finally bought a new car

Apologies for the following long ramble about buying a car. The costs of cars (Do I even need one?) My prolonged hunt for a new (used) car got me thinking about how much they have cost me... and how long I've kept them. My first car was a 1993 Mitsubishi Magna (pictured above), which I bought in 1998 for, as far as I remember, $11,800. (In 2018 dollars this is about $19,600) In 2008, b