Consumerism, Video games

There goes my August spending money

Yowzers. It's been 7 years since I bought the house. And it's been four years since I bought the car. At the time I bought the car, the dealer I bought it from had just paid the rego, so it's due every August. This year it's $696.50. Obviously because I bought the car in August, the insurance is also due every August. $369.05 (It can be paid monthly, but this is 15% more expensive.) An

Retrospectives, transport

The view out the front window

When I was a kid, I liked to kneel on the front seat of the (W-class) tram, looking out the front, and watching the driver, trying to figure out how it all worked. I reckon the front still gives you the best views. Back in the day I recall a control to apply the power, another to brake, with a big wheel as the backup brake (akin to a handbrake I suppose -- I was once on a tram whose main

My usual stations

My usual stations (part 5)

Murrumbeena/Carnegie, 2003-2005 The move to Carnegie in 2003 gave me two local stations, because the house was almost equidistant between them. It was slightly closer to Murrumbeena, so I usually used that. But Carnegie had better access to shops, so that got used sometimes too. I've mentioned Murrumbeena already. Carnegie hasn't changed much recently, but the surrounding area has, with the

My usual stations, transport

My usual stations (part 4)

Hawthorn, 1993-95 When I finally moved out of home, it was to Hawthorn. Initially I was still working in Burwood East, and the commute was an easy tram ride, from the flat we rented which was midway between there and the city -- which became useful once work moved into town. Cutting through the back streets, it was about a 6-7 minute walk to the station (ditto at the other end to work in

My usual stations, transport

My usual stations (part 3)

Murrumbeena 1987-89 We moved into a flat just across the street from the Dandenong line. The noise isn't noticeable after a week or two, apart from missing dialogue on the television when a freight train goes past. It was a short stroll (if one took the short-cut along the train line) to Murrumbeena station. By year 11 I'd regularly meet school mates in the back of the 7:40am stopper fro

My usual stations, transport

My usual stations (part 2)

Balaclava, 1974-1982 We moved back to St Kilda, settling in a flat in Hotham Street where we lived for many years. Well, almost. We were in flat 7 on the ground floor, before moving upstairs to flat 11. Later on we moved around the corner onto Inkerman Street. During this time, Balaclava was our local station, though for going to the city or to Prahran, it was easier to catch the Hotha

My usual stations, transport

My usual stations (part 1)

Here begins a series of blog posts on every (suburban) railway station in Melbourne that's ever been my usual. Of course it more-or-less tracks the places I've lived, and I've touched on some of this stuff in Commutes of my Youth. (Dates may not be exact.) St Kilda, 1970-71 When I was a baby, my parents moved into a flat in Fitzroy Street. That part of St Kilda might be hipster grungy no

Retrospectives, transport

In the good old days

One of the persistent myths is that in the "good old days", before trains and trams had locked doors, nobody ever fell out. When the old VR ran the suburban network trains, and stations were manned and had barrier gates, trains had a lot of doors and it was never a problem. Nobody fell out either, people were RESPONSIBLE for their actions way back then. -- "The Don" comment, Herald Sun web s