Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ho Ho Ho Merry Xmas

And a Happy New Year.

Hope to catch you all safe and sound in the new year for more fun.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Part of the Public Transport Service - Kind of

A while ago I commented on the very average taxi service in Melbourne compared to Brisbane. Well today I have a follow up post.

As I type I should be in a different office. Attending a meeting that started over 30 minutes ago via a cab that was booked yesterday. So what happened?

I and some of my colleagues just spent 45 minutes waiting for a taxi. Calls were made every 10 minutes to find out what happened. Apparently taxi services cannot guarentee a cab can be available even though it was booked a day in advance. WTF?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Xmas Lights Should be Done

If you are going to do something you may as well do it to the extreme:

It picks up about half way through.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I did not have sex with Tiger Woods

Just to make sure everyone is clear on that!

I find it interesting that the sexual exploits of a golfer make such huge headlines around the globe. But really:

I highly doubt that "Celeb Smut is Real News".

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is This Thing On?

Last Friday was my company's Xmas Party. Don't even try and call it an 'End of Year Function' to try and be PC. Call it what it is.. or in this case what it should have been.

Things had changed this year in comparison to the previous functions:

1. Stand up party with buffet and finger food vs sit down meal;
2. A venue that seperated people rather than a large room combining them; and
3. bad accoustics

I can understand the first 2 points are due to a combination of financials and room availability. The last one is beyond me.

Every year during the xmas party the state manager or one of the senior managers gets up and does a brief presentation on how the year has gone, thanks a few people, draws the winning tickets for the fundraising raffle and wishes everyone a merry xmas. That's it. 5 minutes. Then back to it.

At a more formal sit down dinner this is achieved easily as everyone is about to sit down to the main meal. It is also quite obvious if there are groups of people not sitting and they tend to shut up as well. In comparison at a Cocktail style party where everyone is standing and:

a) 80% of the people are drunker than the state manager;
b) 60% of the people are taller than the state manager; and
c) 92% of the people don't give a shit;

then it becomes a little bit more problematic. Imagine 300 odd people who had been ushered from another area, all standing around talking amongst themselves while a short man with a microphone tries to talk over them. Not much respect commanded or given.

It was very strange seeing a man laughing at his own jokes when he was the only one who could hear them. A man who had prepared notes on a few things that no one heard.

It truely a level of management.

That aside it was a reasonable night. Food was ok, beer was ok, room was ok. None of which were outstanding but serviceable. After the drinks finished at midnight a large number ventured to a nearby club where the latest I heard anyone got home was 5:30am. My time was 2:30am.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Long Day in Brisbane

Saturday was a long and enjoyable day for me.

The festivites started at around 10:40am at Melbourne airport and ended at around 3am Sunday morning at the Treasury Casino in Brisbane.

The reason for the trip was a Gentlemen's Trip Away coinciding with the Melbourne Victory playing Brisbane Roar on Saturday evening.

Some things I have learnt:

1. Brisbane has weather that is very condusive to drinking a lot;
2. A casino at 3am is a strange creature;
3. Vodka and Coke is a refreshing change;
4. Beer before noon is allowed; and
5. Apparently it rained in Melbourne.

So a few thanks have to be said to:

a) Ming the fabulous BlackJack dealer who turned my $100 into $200 in 10 minutes;
b) the 3 gentlemen who joined me on the trip and organised most of it;
c) The Caxton Hotel for somehow being able to be a sports bar and nightclub;
d) The casino bouncers for breaking a punters wrist just so the crowd at 3am had something to watch; and
e) My liver for still functioning today.

And if you are wondering the standard of cabs was excellent. And there were plenty of them still driving around at 3am compared to what happens in Melbourne.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Brisbane Taxi vs Melbourne Taxi

I have a theory. Yes another one. As you may have read previously I have some concerns with Melbourne's Taxi services.

On the weekend I was in Brisbane for a family function and had the pleasure of a few trips in the local taxi services.

What I found were professional drivers who:

  • did not speak on mobile phones while driving;

  • had spotless clean cabs inside and out;

  • knew where they were going;

  • spoke very good english; and

  • were polite to the point of offering to carry luggage to and from the sidewalk at the airport and destination.

I discussed all of the above with a couple of the drivers and they could not believe that a driver would not keep up a standard as they did.

My thoughts on the taxi services in Brisbane will be confirmed in a couple of weeks when I am up there again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Odd is This?

On the Monday before last someone decided to break into my car.

Now those who know my car realise it is not exactly the sort of vehicle that would contain GPS's, DVD players, Laptops or anything else of significant value. Or so I thought.

Last week I got the window that was broken repaired for what I thought was due to the sum total of about $9 of stolen coins from the glovebox.

Fast forward to this week and last night when I went to get something out of the boot only to realise that my spare wheel and jack have been stolen as well!

Seriously who needs a wheel and jack and decides to break into a car to flog them?

It certainly makes me wonder what other strange objects people have had stolen...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Magic Dam Returns

Not sure if you noticed but September had above average rainfall. It is only the 3rd above average month of rainfall in Melbourne over the last 3 years. I hope we get a lot more.

But in my view more importantly we have not had above average annual rainfall in Melbourne for 12 years:

So what happens when there is a bit of rain around.....

Yes you guessed it. Bolt uses his tried (or is that tired?) argument regarding the construction of a dam to capture water in lieu of any other options. It is a simple argument he uses, if it rains build a dam to get that water, if it doesnt we should be building one in case it does.

Ted Baillieu (you know the state oppostion leader) is in on the news today and is trying to make some mileage out of the situation. Remember Ted? thats right he is the guy who suggested we should build a dam on the Marybinong River in 2006.

Now I have done many posts about Bolt's incorrect use of estimates on the Mitchell River and I have posted here and on other blogs about his wrong use of statistics and the out dated cost estimates. There is no need to go over old ground there again. What I wanted to comment on was the common use of the Magic Dam by those opposed to anything being done.

So what is the Magic Dam?

As stated earlier the magic dam is used mainly by those in oppositon to claim any current government policy is wrong. The weather climate in Victoria and especially the rainfall is becoming more variable and as a result the run off into rivers is not as consistent. So those in opposition have to rely on the Magic Dam to chase any flood flows wherever they may occur.

Where has the Magic Dam been proposed?

In today's column by Andrew Bolt he rattles off the following rivers:
  • Yarra
  • Upper Yarra
  • Macalister
  • Mitchell

as locations where the Magic Dam could be built.

Funny. So based on Bolt logic (please do not try this at home!) we should build a handful of new dams in any number of different locations depending on what the forecast says, a few pumpstations some pipes and then rely on rainfall that has been below average for the last 12 years.

Sounds to me like Andrew has been eating too much of the magic pudding to me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Friday night was a big night:

Saturday was bad... Very bad.

The reason for the drinks was a going away and a good chance for a few of the old team to get together for the first time in ages. You know at the age of 35 you would think I would know better?

It was a good night (from what I can remember).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Melbourne Architectural Review

SO I’ve just flown back from marvelling at the Coliseum in Rome, Schoenbrun Palace in Vienna and the Duomo in Milan with its hundreds of extravagant spires, each topped with a statue.

Yep this is seriously how Andrew Bolt returns from his holidays. I too have also seen those same buildings and marvelled at the size, scope and complexity within the structures. But, sadly I do not recall hundreds of spires at Milan's duomo.

Bolt is trying to comment on why Melbourne does not have Architectural wonders to draw tourists. Without dismissing the argument lets look at the statistics relating to tourist activities in Australia:

What Bolt forgets in his reasoning is that Australia's tourism drawcard does not rely on buildings (other than say the Sydney Opera House). It utilises Australia's natural assets and culture. Keri on her blog covers the discussion about culture and soul of a city.

The fact that Melbourne does not need to rely on buildings or gimmicks to attract tourists is a credit to the people and the place. This is something Bolt forgets. If tourists want to see historic buildings why would they bother flying from the UK to Australia when they can see the three buildings listed by travelling a fraction of the distance?

SO what of the three buildings Andrew listed as highlights of his European tour:

Duomo of Milan: Started 1386, finished 1965
Colosseum of Rome: Started 72AD, completed 80AD
Schoenbrun Palace in Vienna: Started 1696, completed c1918

Does Bolt seriously think the government should spend such massive amounts of funds, time and effort on a building as a tourist attraction? Seriously? Take what is considered Australia's most iconic building the Sydney Opera House.

Originally quoted to cost $7 million and finally costing $102 million as well as taking 10 years longer than expected. I wonder what Bolt would say about a Government spending so much more money and time on a tourist attraction?

Bolt cries:

What’s with us? Why can’t we build a single thing to impress? To delight? To announce that we dare dream?

I say we have any number of things to impress. I say we do dare to dream. I say our city is a delight otherwise why would we live, grow and love here?


I see today that the Herald-Sun's own Mike Sheehan has had a go at Bolt ove rthe column. Sure he is mainly commenting relating to the MCG but he has some valid comments on the theme.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So he is an Architecture Critic as well?

And just when you thought it was safe to read the Herald-Sun:

For those who do not know Andrew Bolt has been on holidays for 5 weeks in Europe. So when he starts crapping on about Melbourne's icons expect references to "nothing like what they have in Europe" or "would only be found in the likes of Euro-Disney" or "If only our politicians and developers had the foresite of those in Europe".

Andrew likes commenting on things he has no idea or qualifications such as climate change or water resources and now architecture. I personally cannot wait to see how he goes. Expect a follow up report.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Normal Service to Resume Shortly

Due to work commitments and a hectic life the current program is not being broadcast. Normal services will resume shortly.

All of us here at UHIC (well me anyway) apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Knackers Rating - Addams Family Pinball

After a previous post about games I got to wondering about my favourite arcade games ever.

Released in 1992 this pinball was the best seller ever and with good reason.

This pinball had it all, great variety in shots, an awesome multi-ball, clear instructions on what to do next to maximise scores, automated flippers and most importantly humour.

I spent hours playing this game and if one still survives in a pub I go to I have to play it. Last time I played one was in the Rob Roy (when it was called that) years ago. While at Uni I put a large amount of Austudy into the machines in the Carlton area.

So my Knackers rating:

no knackers - shockingly bad
one knacker - as bad as hitler because he only had on ball
two knackers - normal and average
three knackers - above and beyond the normal
four knackers - incredible
five knackers - as rare as five testicles

4.96 out of 5.00. It would get 5 out of 5 if I had a machine of my own. But at around $7,000 they do not come cheap.

My pinball top 5 would be:

1. Addams Family
2. Terminator 2
3. Getaway
4. Hook
5. Rocky and Bullwinkle

notable mention to Lethal Weapon 3.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WTF 33 - Barking Mad

Dog given parking ticket by inspectors in Darwin

September 02, 2009 09:42am

A BLUE Heeler has been booked for illegal parking after inspectors taped a ticket to the dog's leash at a shopping centre.

The blue heeler was tied to a fence outside Darwin's Rapid Creek market when it was approached by two city council traffic wardens, the Northern Territory News reports.

One of the inspectors wrote out a ticket - and taped it to the dog's lead.

Witness Ray McEvoy said he couldn't believe his eyes.

"I watched an elderly lady and her very faithful blue heeler roll up at the market," he said.

''Then two traffic inspectors came along. They had a bit of a talk and, to my amazement, wrote out a warning infringement notice for the dog and taped it to his lead rope.''

Council spokesman Grant Fenton said a dog was considered to be ''at large'' if the owner was not there.

Here is the now homeless Blue Heeler in question:

Although looking at that he doesn't look short on a feed.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Record Smashed

Great news from the world of computer gaming:

Aussie smashes arcade video game world record

August 31, 2009 .

IN A back room of his Braidwood cottage in the NSW Southern Tablelands Phil Day has just broken the world record on the 28-year-old classic arcade game and successor to Space Invaders, Galaga.

Passing the previous mark of 2.7 million set by an American, Andrew Laidlaw, in 2007, Mr Day's score of 3.44 million is the culmination of six months' training and practice.

There were few signs of celebration at 12.30am on Saturday when, after playing for two hours and five minutes, Mr Day finally passed the score.

"There was no one else around. I wanted to signify that I had reached the 2.7 million mark for the video recording of the attempt, but I couldn't get too excited and I was pretty exhausted," he said.

Galaga Tournament was released in 1981 by the Japanese game creator Namco as an update to 1979's Space Invaders. It quickly became one of the most popular games of the decade and appeared in arcades around the world.

I have to admit I used to play this game as a kid but was never as good at it as my older Brother who I reckon with some practise could have given the record a shake.

There used to be a version of this game at Tessie's milkbar along with other classics like 1942.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confirming Thoughts

It appears today is the day to tie up some loose ends and to close up some things I reported on previously.

Commuters starting to cram Melbourne Trams

The Herald-Sun is reporting today about the increase in tram patronage and includes reference to Route 112:

Crowded trams also make it more difficult to validate tickets.

During the morning peak, commuters struggle to board trams on route 112 along Brunswick St and the 96 along Nicholson St.

Trams along St Kilda Rd and Collins St are frequently packed.

The 112 travels along Collins St and is often crowded. In 2008 it was announced that new tram services would be included on the route. Of course these trams consisted largely of the older single length trams that fill way too easily and slow down due to the time it takes for people to get on and off.

I just hope that the increased patronage results in some more funding and increased services as well as faster services.

Grade 3 was the best 3 years of his life

It has been a while since I have reviewed a bit of Andrew Bolt's work. So I was not suprised when I saw this today:

Crisis! Rain returns to normal

Again as per 3 years ago Bolt has used the national average rainfall as 'proof' that things are all normal and fine. Of course I looked at it before and the results are the same. Higher rainfall in the north of Australia and lower in the remainder.

SO here is his argument broken down:

Rainfall has decreased substantially since 1950 on the east coast, and in
Victoria. This decline is less marked if measured from 1900.

“Less marked” is another way of saying rainfall levels are around what Australians
lived with for decades, long before “global warming” got blamed for anything and
everything. Check the graphs yourself on the second link above. Or here:

After which he inserts the national average rainfall graph which shows not a lot of movement. This is reflected in the more interesting or relevant anomoly graphs:

Yes I know there are a few graphs but what they show is that Victoria especially has suffered from less than average rainfall for an extended period of time even though we are meant to have experienced the wetter La Nina conditions. Victorians have lived with similar levels of rainfall in the past, that is true. We have never lived with such an extent of below average conditions for so long.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief Rob Freeman was asked recently if this was an indication of a climate change.

The section of the above article quoted by Bolt is in bold.

Speaking at a water summit in Melbourne yesterday, Mr Freeman took aim at doomsday climate predictions that have followed the driest three-year period on record for the Murray-Darling Basin.

''Some commentators say this is the new future, I think that is an extreme position and probably a position that's not helpful to take,'' he said.

Mr Freeman acknowledged that average inflows to the river system might be lower than in the past, but he was adamant they would be higher than those measured since 2006.

''We are always going to have droughts and floods, but to suggest the future is this, I think is misrepresenting the situation … while it's nice to have a burning platform on which to implement reforms, we've also got to be very honest,'' he said.

Of course when you take out the other parts of the quote it is aparent that he has been taken out of context by Bolt. Freeman has implied that things will get better but may never get back to average. Isn't that what climate change is?

So getting back to the original post by Bolt, in one article he has succesfully:

  • mis-used the statistics;
  • fail to understand any of the implications; and
  • mis-quoted someone who has more knowledge than he.

Nice one Andrew, keep up the good work.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Training Days - Come for the Course, Stay for the Food - bonus Knacker Rating

First of all let me apologise for not posting over the last little while. Several reasons including being in an all day training session yesterday.

Having been on a few training sessions in the past in various forms I was astounded that yesterday we had it at the Langham Hotel. Lunch was in the Melba Restaurant. To give you an idea about what was on offer:

A unique interactive dining experience, diverse flavours from different cultures and a friendly, informal atmosphere are the shining stars of Melba restaurant.

Create your own entrée from an amazing variety of fresh, seasonal ingredients ranging from the sashimi and sushi selections to a mouth watering variety of gourmet cheeses. And at centre stage, a display of seafood and salad bar offerings will surprise and delight.

Then it’s time to browse the main attraction - Melba’s colourful open kitchens, where passionate chefs prepare the dish of your choice as you watch. With cooking stations offering Sushi, Asian stir fries and dumplings, Italian pastas, Indian dishes, tandoori oven specialities and a classic carvery, you can enjoy flavours from around the world.

Desserts are totally decadent. Choose from a tantalising array of miniature treats, ice-creams and a fountain of luscious warm chocolate to create your own dessert to die for.

Melba restaurant, at the Langham, Melbourne has panoramic views across the Yarra River to the city skyline. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed with an upbeat vibe. Melba is the perfect place to enjoy the pleasure of dining at your own pace with as many intervals as you please.

The afternoon session was very hard to get motivated for. Got to say 4.089 Knackers out of 5. It would have scored higher if I could have stayed longer to eat more. Safe to say I did not have any dinner last night.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Does he deserve to move up from Number 8?

As you may well know I have a certain cretin in at No. 8 on my list of Ten people I do not want to hear about again.

After the Stuff up last week does he deserve to move up a peg or two?


Oh Joy of Joys, he has been sacked from Idol Judging. Not that I watch the show anyway.

WTF 32 - $15.00 maybe

Warwick Capper forges new career as male escort

August 03, 2009 03:15pm

WARWICK Capper, former AFL show pony, is forging a new career as a $1500-a-night male escort. Quite what he's offering for the full amount is anyone's guess.

The flamboyant ex-Sydney Swans full forward says he’s now a gun for hire off the field, after finishing his days as a professional player in 1991.

He’s 46, but as a man who has posed for Australian Penthouse and produced his own x-rated porn video, the man once best known for the tightest shorts in footy, is not shrinking from the challenge.

Seriously? Would anyone hire him for the conversation? To do a presentation? Well I guess that only leaves one thing....

Idle Hands - Part 3

Now to the naked eye it is a bit hard to read what it says. Step closer, take a look. Ah now you get it?

This has not been installed yet. Locations are still being scouted.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Brett

Today I am full of mixed emotions. It is my second cousin’s 37th birthday. He is riddled with cancer.

My second cousin is my age and has had a tough life, some of it due to circumstance and some due to his own doing. Being a similar age to me and being the product of a single parent family Brett would often stay with my family for holidays. In fact he stayed with us for months on end while my cousin (his mother) sorted her life out. He was very nearly formally put into my parents care.

Before he would visit my mother would tell myself and my two brothers to hide our change jars. I always wondered why but I have to give my parents credit for recognizing something. Comparing a kid who grew up in Dandenong to me as a naïve kid from the country, no wonder my parents were keeping an eye out.

Brett went off the rails at an early age. At 16 or so he ‘broke’ into his own house and stole his step father’s tools to hock at the pawn shop.

I am unsure if you recall but in the late 80s and early 90s the Herald Sun (The Sun in those days) used to publish wanted criminal’s pictures on page three, like the crime stoppers section now. My cousin turned up in that section a few times as he jumped bail and was wanted in connection for a few crimes. My mother still has the cut out section of the paper. I remember as a teenager reading the paper over breakfast saying “Brett’s in the paper again Mum”.

After that he went off the radar. I would hear through the family grapevine that he was in Sydney, he had somehow found a lawyer who got him off the charges, and found a job.

In 2001 he turned up at a family wedding in Melbourne and appeared to be back on track. He would keep in contact with his grandmother (my Aunty). Things looked like they were on the improve. Things went quiet again and the next I heard he was in treatment for cancer in 2004.

After successful treatment all the news I heard was positive. He had a partner, a job, a normal life for once. Things were looking up.

Last year over grandfinal weekend it was his grandmother’s 80th birthday. It was no surprise to have Brett turn up out of the blue. It was the first time I had seen him since 2001 and he looked happy and healthy. It was good to see he finally had his shit together.

Then over the last month things have turned for him again. Follow up scans revealed he had brain cancer and possible lung cancer. Further tests revealed cancer is throughout his body and it is no use doing any surgery. He is currently undergoing chemo and the outlook is not great.

It really makes me wonder about life and what is left once you go. What is his legacy? What is mine?

It also gives me a reality check about health and what can happen to you.

A birthday should be a happy day. A time to reflect on things and to look forward to another year. Today I am reflecting on Brett’s life and wonder if he will have another year. I hope he does.

Happy Birthday Brett.

Monday, July 27, 2009

You Never Know Unless You Ask

Megan Fox refuses offer for sex tape with fan

At this year's Comic-Con...

This year, Johansson was the headliner, promoting Iron Man 2, but it was an appearance by Megan Fox which had the geeks talking after one fan approached the star during a Q&A to promote her new supernatural western Jonah Hex.

"My question is for Megan," the man said. "I have a Sony HVR (video camera). It's not a true HD, but it gives a pretty good image.

Anyway, my question is: I just graduated film school and I'm trying to help my career. I was wondering if you'd be interested in some kind of, like, celebrity sex tape?"

With that, a couple of security guards grabbed the fella and took him to an undisclosed location.

"Dude, I can't wait to see what you look like in 30 minutes," Fox's co-star, Josh Brolin, quipped as the man was dragged away.

Really the guy deserves credit for trying.

100th Post for the Year

Yep. You got it. 100 posts so far this year. Of course I have not posted in a few days, mainly due to work commitments

What does one have to say on such an occasion:

  • So what?
  • What next?
  • Who cares?

Well bugger it, I will go on. Like Jason Gillespie:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Aahhhh the Memories

I was reminded by this:

of when you bought a CD you got artwork, a booklet, sometimes lyrics or a story to go with the album. Not just a download bar on i-tunes.

Now you go online and download the single, the ring tone etc. What happened to artists creating an album? A catalogue of 10, 12 or 15 songs they have put together. You would listen through them finding what might be the next single or what you think should be the next single. Not just listening to the one song on high repeat on commercial stations.

Is it not suprising then that the early 90's featured so heavily in Triple J's Hottest 100 of all time?

Have a look through the list. You will be humming tunes for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

World Exclusive - Michael Jackson Coffin Revealed

And that is all I am going to say on the matter.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Idle Hands - Part 2

The original (with the word 'tea' in it) was on the wall for over a year. It was replaced by the above 10 weeks ago and was only removed last week.

As you may gather some people in the office are fond of signs. More to come.

WTF 31 - Isn't this from the Simpsons?

Chester Zoo evacuated after chimpanzees escape 'Chimp Island'

July 06, 2009 07:46am

A ZOO in northwest England was evacuated after about 30 chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure.

The animals escaped from 'Chimp Island' and found their way into a keeper area where their food is prepared, the zoo said.

More than 5000 visitors were asked to leave Chester Zoo, near Liverpool, shortly after the break-out on Sunday as keepers rounded up the chimps.
I am sure something like this did happen on the Simpsons.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dodgy Taxi Services

If you read this article you will see why:

1. The Victorian Taxi Operators Group are a bunch of frauds;
2. The Victorian Taxid Association is a toothless tiger; and
3. How corrupt some taxi operators/drivers really are.

Some portions of the article

The Victorian Taxi Association said taxi drivers were effectively "subleasing" their licences to untrained drivers.

"A driver (will rent) a taxi off an operator, and then he might have a rest and give it to his cousin or someone like that, who is not accredited," association chief executive Neil Sach said.

Drivers would take the licence and log-in codes for legitimate drivers and pretend to be them, Mr Sach said.

Geoff Bell, of the Victorian Taxi Operators Group, said the industry was aware of the problem of unlicensed drivers using other drivers' licences.

"All the evidence so far is only anecdotal, but there is not a very secure system of logging onto the system, so it's not hard to do," he said.

Obviously Geoff Bell has not caught a cab after 10pm when a number of cabs are driven by unlicensed drivers. Or tried to catch a cab a short distance and been refused (which of course is illegal).

Taxis are a part of our Public Transport system. They need to be considered as such and legitimate drivers and standards upheld.

If taxi drivers want respect then they need to repsect the system in which they operate.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Idle Hands - Part 1

The following mysteriously appeared on the toilet wall at work:

It has been modified to take the company logo off.

This is what happens when the 'fun' is taken out of a workplace.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hands Up Who is Surprised?

Anyone? ... No I didnt't think so.

New train, tram operators for Melbourne
Clay Lucas and Mex Cooper
June 25, 2009 - 11:13AM .
Connex has been stripped of its contract to operate Melbourne's train system, with Hong Kong-backed company Metro Trains Melbourne to take its place.

The city's trams will also have a new operator with Keolis Downer EDI ousting the incumbent Yarra Trams as the government's preferred tenderer.

Yarra Trams is a small suprise but Connex was a no-brainer. Of course also the opposition are asking for Kosky's head on a spike as well. Always tough when you make a big change like this as a minister. If you leave the status quo you are seen to be inactive, yet if you do change you are seen to have made a mistake.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Quandary

Say you were walking along on the way back to the office after lunch and you noticed an elderly (and possibly homeless) woman taking a dump in a laneway and her sheet of newspaper (toilet paper) blows away, what do you do?
  1. pick it up and hand it back;
  2. avert your eyes and keep walking;
  3. suggest to your workmate that he should pick the paper up and give it back; or
  4. any other suggestions?
Seriously this is what happened today. Sometimes you cannot make this stuff up.

Why I Drink Beer

Somehow I think the theory may have some flaws in it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Knackers Rating - Tim Winton Breath

Now before I start my review this is in today's paper:

Tim Winton wins Miles Franklin award for Breath

Blanche Clark
June 19, 2009 12:00am

TIM Winton last night won Australia's most prestigious literary prize, the Miles
Franklin Literary Award, for his novel Breath.
Winton is the only writer to have won the award four times in his own right. Thea
Astley has won it four times, but was a joint winner twice.
"I'm stoked, but also mindful that there are terrific writers who will be feeling pretty stiff tonight, because their books are more than good enough to have won," Winton

So obviously there are some people out there who like the book. As for me? well I have read a fair few Tim Winton books in the past such as Cloud Street or the Turning. This book to me is like unfinished work.
The main theme of a boy coming of age is an excellent and interesting topic especially as a male reader. Being able to relate to characters and themes also helps.
But the book just stops. 90% of the book is about a couple of years in the central characters life and the other 10% covers another 40 years or so. Even then vast tracks are glossed over in a paragraph.
There was a lot more opportunity to explore the theme he developed about the way we are and the way we turn out as a result of our teenage years.
It annoyed me as i wanted to know more. It was as if Winton was saying "well you know that much you should work out the rest, it is obvious isn't it?". Sorry Tim, not so obvious.

SO what's the rating?

no knackers - shockingly bad
one knacker - as bad as hitler because he only had on ball
two knackers - normal and average
three knackers - above and beyond the normal
four knackers - incredible
five knackers - as rare as five testicles

Today I am giving Breath by Tim Winton a rating of 3.2765 knackers... Above and beyond normal but by no means incredible.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Darebin Historical Information

Firstly apologies for the lack of posting over the last few days. IT issues.

Anyway a news article in the Preston Leader the other day about how the Darebin Libraries are now listing a lot of the historical information about the city and localities.

So this all leads to the following website:

It certainly has some interesting facts and history about various locations in the are of Northcote and Preston. It even has the history about how this blog gets it's name.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Erotic 'daggering' dance craze causing bodily harm

By Kate Schneider
June 03, 2009 08:10am
AN erotic dance craze is thought to be the cause of a recent spate of broken penises in Jamaica, and now faces a government crackdown.

"Daggering", a lewd dance style where couples simulate dry sex in various positions to the beat of the music, is characterised by over-the-top gyrating, heavy pelvis-thrusting and daredevil leaps.

Many couples have taken the “rough” daggering dance from the club to the bedroom, with disastrous consequences.Jamaican doctors were prompted to issue a warning on the dangers of daggering when presented with a range of fractured penises caused by rough intercourse.


Ouch. This is why I do not dance.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Knackers Rating - Northcote Social Club

Ahhh the Social Club. Once a bikie hangout and now a pivotal part of the High Street Strip in Northcote.


The pub is like what used to be found closer in to the city in Fitzroy and Calrton before they were bought out and turned into Yuppie bars and chic restaurants.

Having been a patron to the pub for a few years now the place feels comfortable when you walk in. With a real mixed bag of patrons everyone is welcome making for an atmosphere hard to manufacture.

The good points about the place include:

The band venue. The northern suburbs have had a reduction in decent band venues with the closure of the likes of the Punters Club and pressure on others like the Tote. With a medium sized room the place has really gone out of it's way to make it a great experience to see bands up close. It has also always been a non smoking room as well whic always made for an interesting (cough) experience when the crowd came out between bands.

Front Bar. The front bar is like most others around in the older pubs. A big long bar where people can sit and others can still get service.

No pokies. Say no more.

Different Zones. With the front bar, dining area (beer deck), side hall and pool area there is usually a spot to get some space to enjoy the joint.

The negatives are really minor in comparison.

Drink Prices. Are probably slightly higher than another pub but this is negated when the prices in the band room are the same as the front bar.

Toilets. Ok I had to thin kof something. all of Downstairs is via a set of small dunnys in the deck area often resulting in queues or upstairs via the drunken ankle wrecker of a staircase. The bonus with the men's upstairs is the accoustics from the band room are fantastic up there.

SO what's the rating?

no knackers - shockingly bad
one knacker - as bad as hitler because he only had on ball
two knackers - normal and average
three knackers - above and beyond the normal
four knackers - incredible
five knackers - as rare as five testicles

Today I am giving the NSC a nice rating of 4.273 knackers... Huzzah!

So let me know if you have been there and what you thought.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some Ideas Worth Considering

You may know I have a vested interest in things relating to Water. So seeing some results of a committee could lead to further developments. Some key points include:
■Wider use of "water offset" schemes, such as the one that allowed Flemington Racecourse to use extra water because it paid for water savings to be achieved at a third-party business.
■Promised environmental flows be delivered to rivers such as the Yarra "as a matter of priority".
■Contracts for the Wonthaggi desalination plant be designed to allow for water production volumes to vary each year, ensuring excess water is not purchased in wet years.
■The Auditor-General should review the effectiveness of water restrictions.
■Installation of water-saving devices such as shower heads and dual-flush toilets should be mandatory every time a property is sold or leased.

Also mentioned is the fact that:
the volume of stormwater running off central Melbourne each year was more than the city's annual consumption, yet policy decisions and planning rules remained the major barrier to increased adoption of rainwater tanks.
What it means is that as a community we should be looking at further ways to reduce consumption, replace supplies and to recycle. Personally I feel that the recycling part is where there could be the greatest benefits.

To give you an idea the Kraft Vegemite factory in Port Melbourne discharges in the order of 300,000 litres per day into the sewer system. That is equivalent to a population of over 1,900 people using their 155 litres per day.

There needs to be more effort invested into Community scale systems that allow for economies of scale compared to isolated systems resulting in a cheaper and more reliable source. Also with the upcoming increase in water prices, such schemes would become more economically viable.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time for some changes?

To my avid reader(s), please accept the changes to the blog display as a token of my appreciation.

If you don't like them then:

Is It Too Late?

To change or add to my list of ten people I do not want to hear about anymore?

Friday, May 29, 2009

More Trains to Werribee

A good sign on additional services for the overcrowded Werribee Line. They get an additional 225 services per week. Sounds a lot. But when you do the maths it isnt that many.

225 per week even if they are only on week days equates to 46 per day. Now Connex counts a train going 'to the city' and 'from the city' each as a service. That means there will be an additional maximum 23 services in one direction each day between 9am and 4pm.

I guess if you live on the line it is good news that you now have 10 min between services throughout the day. I hope they wll be undertaking a similar expansion to other lines soon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

TEN People I DO NOT Want To Hear About Anymore

I have had enough. These people or stories have had their 15 minutes of fame. Now go away, I do not want to hear about you anymore.
  1. Schappelle Corby - Why does a convicted drug courier still make front page news?
  2. Clare Werbeloff - Who signs up a Media Agent 5 minutes after being interviewed for the news? Amply aided by so called 'Journalists'
  3. Corey Worthington - All I can think of is the Cruel Sea: "Better Get a Lawyer Son"
  4. Madeleine McCann - As sad as the whole story is I am tired of seeing sketches of dodgy looking bogey men.
  5. Mercedes Corby - "Hello i'm Mr Ed". You and your family have lived off the publicity of your sister. Oh How wonderful your life is.
  6. Lara Bingle - You know my thoughts there.
  7. Roberta Williams - She is still trying to milk her husband's history.
  8. Kyle Sandilands - Like Sam Newman without the sporting ability.
  9. Gretel Killeen - Was Big Brother about the contestants or her? I am sure she knows which one she preferred. After this years Logies I think she will be dissappearing soon!
  10. ????? Hmm

So who should be number 10? Any suggestions?

UPDATE: 10. Annice Smoel - Can someone take her passport off her for gross stupidity?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

WTF 29 - Japanese Edition

Hiroshi Osedo
May 15, 2009 12:00am

JAPANESE women hoping for a marriage proposal should try Triumph International's new husband-hunting bra.

The "konkatsu" model has a countdown clock beneath the bra cups that shows the time at which the wearer hopes her beau will pop the question.

If engaged before the clock hits zero, she or her fiance can insert the ring into a slot.

The bra will then play The Wedding March to celebrate her engagement.

What will happen if she fails to get engaged before the time is up? Never mind, the clock will reset automatically.

The new bra set was exhibited at the Triumph Autumn-Winter Collection show in Tokyo this week.

Would-be brides will have to be patient because the konkatsu is not on sale yet.

Hmm I can imagine this would make any man run.

Richmond Sack Coach (or do they?)

Wow they are taking things pretty serious at Punt Road these days.

UPDATE: Who says the HUN gets it wrong... Well OK they did this time. Apparently he isn't being sacked after all. Oops.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WTF 28 - Ba Humbug Wowsers

Sex theme park Love Land torn down
Article from: Reuters

From correspondents in Beijing
May 18, 2009 10:57am

CHINA'S first sexually explicit theme park has been torn down before it even started, after an outcry from officials.

Love Land, set to open in October in the southwestern city of Chongqing,
featured exhibits on sexual history and how-to workshops, the China Daily newspaper reported last week.

A picture of the park entrance showed a signboard with the park's name straddled by a giant pair of women's legs topped by a red thong.

and here is the picture:

Other than the local conservative community not wanting it, what this article shows is the ease that online news services such as news.com.au can reproduce a 'story' or 'news item' across the globe.
UPDATE. The Age is not immune.

It Looks Easy on a Plan But Will Never Happen

Below is a story that appeared on the Age website calling for an extension of the train line that ends at the Showgrounds to be extended to Highpoint Shopping Centre and the proposed suburb to be developed on the old munitions plant in Maribynong.

Here is the report:

Call for little-used line to service new homes
Jason Dowling
May 18, 2009
THE dual railway line to Flemington Racecourse and Royal Melbourne Showgrounds is being wasted and should be extended three kilometres to a planned new suburb on the Maribyrnong River, a former lord mayor says.

Kevin Chamberlin said extending the line would allow it to service 3000 homes planned for the suburb and the Highpoint Shopping Centre, potentially taking thousands of cars off inner-city streets.

"This section of the railway line is scandalously under-utilised given it is dual track and it is used two periods a year at the spring racing carnival and the royal show," Mr Chamberlin said.

Last month, Premier John Brumby announced plans to build a new suburb on the 128-hectare former Department of Defence explosives factory site next to the shopping centre.

"If there is no public transport into the city, good developments like this will falter because there is no direct rail link to the city," Mr Chamberlin said.

He said that with an existing rail line for 60 per cent of the distance to the city, a rail link to the new suburb was a prospect worth considering.

New stations could be situated at Victoria University and the shopping centre, and the line could be extended to East Keilor.

A rail link would improve the value of the Government-owned housing site at Maribyrnong. "They would actually earn more money out of the development," he said.

The suburb is expected to be built in 10 years.

Maribyrnong Mayor Michael Clarke said extending the rail line was an an excellent idea.
"To better utilise a poorly utilised piece of rail infrastructure is going to be to everybody's benefit," he said.

Cr Clarke called on the State Government to conduct a study to test if the extension was viable.
Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said extending the line made sense.
"Highpoint Shopping Centre, like most of our major shopping centres is flooded with cars — shoppers driving round looking for parking," he said.

"For a rail line, it doesn't get much use, it would make sense to open up those suburbs to the rail network and get more people out of their cars and on to trains."

He said an extension of the line should be incorporated into the construction of the new suburb.

"People need those transport options when they move in, not 20 years afterwards, otherwise they will buy a car for every adult in their household and they will drive everywhere, adding to congestion," Mr Bowen said.

OK. I can tell them the answer now. Nope. Some reasons why:
  • Highpoint and the proposed development already have several tram routes in the area;
  • The cost of the rai line would be massive. A bridge over the river, tunnel through the hill, land acquisition;
  • The delay in time between an idea and implimentation (Sth Morang has been kicked around for decades and only now is to be constructed)

So as I said. A nice idea but it will never happen.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WTF 27 - On the Nose

Hmm I wondered what happened to that Tuna sandwich...

AP | May 13, 2009 - 1:50PM

An office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent seven co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill.

Firefighters had to evacuate the AT&T building in downtown San Jose on Tuesday after the fumes led someone to call emergency services. A hazardous materials team was called in.

What crews found was an unplugged refrigerator crammed with mouldy food.

Authorities say an enterprising office worker had decided to clean it out, placing the food in a conference room while using two cleaning chemicals to scrub down the mess.

The mixture of old lunches and disinfectant caused 28 people to need treatment for vomiting and nausea.

Authorities say the worker who cleaned the fridge didn't need treatment - she can't smell because of allergies.AP

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Drive Thru Art Work

To be installed on the Westgate Freeway at Montague Street:

Yep that is correct. You will potentially be driving through a structure that is about 10 storeys tall.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

100th Post

Thanks Boony for helping me out to the ton.

WTF 26 - I wonder if there is any Shane Warne Porn in there?

Revealed: national stash of red-hot blue movies
Mex Cooper
May 5, 2009

It may not be hidden under a mattress but many Australian taxpayers would be unaware they are part-owners in a major stash of pornography.

The erotica collection held by the Government-funded National Film and Sound Archive includes 108 films ranging from soft to hard-core pornography, according to a media report.

Many of the works have been donated by pornography makers over decades with the Archive only paying for one of a list of works obtained under a freedom-of-information request.

Titles held by the archive include True Blue, Manly Beach, Down Under, Taken Down Under, Outback Stripper, Sydney Boys Go Off and Aussie Rules, according to the report.

Archive senior curator Graham Shirley reportedly defended the collection, which he said was a legitimate contribution to Australian cultural history.

It is believed the erotica collection includes films dating back 80 years, documentaries, silent films and some that would now be considered art movies as much as pornography.

The Archive has more than one million images and sound recordings in its collection
dating back to 1890.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Is this the Strangest Ad on TV?

I hope you have seen it and think it is as strange as I do:

That is some truely odd shit there people.

Connex - OVER 1 in 10 late

More trains running late: report
Posted Fri May 1, 2009 3:09pm AEST

More than one in every 10 Connex trains ran late last month. The latest figures
from Connex show that only about 88 per cent of Melbourne's trains ran on time
in April.

Last April about 91 per cent of trains ran on time.

Connex spokesman John Rees says the key reason for the poor punctuality is the speed restrictions on its Siemens trains entering platforms.

But he says a solution is imminent.

"We now know that the brakes on the Siemens trains are not at fault, it is something to do more with the adhesion factor between the rail and the wheels of the train itself," he said.

"We believe it is only isolated incidents, we think we have a solution for it but we need to tick all those boxes - a 100 per cent guarantee on safety at all times."

OK, So it wasn't the train drivers, sick passengers, trains, the government, too many passengers, vandalism, dodgy brakes, or trains. This time it was slippery tracks.

Note to Connex - Accept some blame once in a while.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Delay of the Day

Bugger! 4538 Cancelled trains in 3 months! That is unreal!

Maintenance problems behind major train delays - Terry Mulder
Matthew Schulz
April 28, 2009 03:13pm
SEVERE delays plaguing trains over several hours today were caused by the State's failure to replace creaking infrastructure, the Opposition claims.
A points failure about 8am at the crucial East Richmond junction caused “several hours” of delays on four rail routes, with the problem worsened when the points failed again at 8.15am, Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said.
Routes on the Alamein, Glen Waverley, Belgrave and Glen Waverley lines were all affected, with delays of over half-an-hour on some lines, causing major frustrations for commuters.
Connex spokesman John Rees confirmed the delays at East Richmond today at the “extremely important” junction, but said services returned to normal by 9.45am.
About 11am a separate power surge saw a further string of cancellations at nearby Richmond station.
The signal relay fault slowed trains for up to 15 minutes as trains were forced to travel through the station at low speeds.
Cranbourne, Frankston, Pakenham and Sandringham trains were all affected.
Mr Mulder said the problems were the latest symptom of “Labor's neglected metropolitan rail network”.
“There have been severe delays to eight of Melbourne’s 15 electrified lines today,” Mr Mulder said.
And he blamed the government’s failure to replace crucial rail infrastructure for the troubles.
He said Victoria’s rail asset strategy showed 22 metropolitan points and crossings a year should be replaced.
Instead, just eight a year had been replaced under Labor.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky should wear the blame for the East Richmond points failure because of Labor's refusal to spend sufficient money on fixing the basics,” he said.
He said commuters were paying more for less since ticket price hikes in January, with 4538 trains cancelled in the first three months of 2009.
“Minister Kosky should resign or be sacked by John Brumby,” he said.
“She never wanted the job of Public Transport Minister in the first place.”
Connex said they were so far unsure of the cause of the points failure.
“At this stage Connex is waiting for a full report back from its maintenance crew as to the exact cause of the fault. No cause has yet been specified,” Mr Rees said.
A spokesman for Ms Kosky this afternoon said the government was committed to properly maintaining the rail system.
"The Government invests $80 million for maintenance every year on the metropolitan rail network.
“The Government is getting on with the job of improving the rail network through the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan."
Meanwhile, Ms Kosky has denied suggestions by Mr Mulder that had been delays in providing off-peak train services from next month on the Sandringham and Frankston lines.
Those trains would be introduced in July, she said.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'll Call your 328 and raise you 370

Connex can say all it wants. Hell I'll tell you what, lets have trains every 1 min on every line. Does not mean that they can deliver on it:

Off-peak trains plan put on hold
Clay Lucas
April 27, 2009
A CONNEX plan to increase off-peak services on overcrowded train lines has been delayed at least two months because the Government doubts the operator can deliver the changes.

In a business plan handed to the Government in October, Connex said it would add a small number of off-peak services next month. But the changes have been delayed, probably until July, because the Department of Transport wants to be certain Connex can deliver the extra services without mass cancellations or a big jump in late trains.

Extra services were added last November, but the additional trains were swamped by a surge in cancellations, leaving passengers worse off.

Connex added 328 weekly services in November, but this was quickly overtaken by a corresponding increase in cancelled services, averaging 370 a week in the three months to March.

This month, the number of trains being cancelled has fallen, after the train drivers' union signed an enterprise agreement with Connex.

The Connex business plan, obtained by the Opposition, states that Connex planned to increase off-peak services on sections of the Werribee line next month, to a train arriving every 10 minutes. It also planned to put extra off-peak trains on the Frankston and Dandenong lines.

The Government and Connex have disagreed over whether services should be increased during the mid-morning off-peak window, or during the mid-afternoon (the extra services are now likely to be in the afternoon).

A spokesman for Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said she had been "briefed on some minor changes to the timetable and has (asked) the department to do some more work on the proposal".

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said far too many public transport projects had run late while Ms Kosky was minister. "Like everything Lynne Kosky touches, this is running late," he said.

Another recently leaked Connex business plan showed that the State Government had been warned of a chronic shortage of trains on Melbourne's rail system for the past four years.

Connex had reported to the Government that, since 2005, it regularly has not had enough trains to meet its plan for coping with morning and afternoon rush hours.

Despite this, the Government will not deliver its first new train for Melbourne until December.

Connex also announced last week that it failed to run 14 per cent of its trains on time in March.

So the Connex tact for this week is to blame someone else again. And to have 14 percent late trains is hopeless. That means that around 1 in 7 trains is late! not good enough.

Bingle Effect Worse Than First Thought

You know i have a theory. Well it appears that the effects are worse than first thought.

Today I recieved an email which states:

After the Aussie Shield Final the Bushrangers and Bulls were having a beer.

Young Vic player was chatting with Andrew Symonds who’d had plenty to drink. He asked what Lara Bingle was like. Symonds said that he was bonking her when he was in the UK and introduced her to his roomy, Michael Clark so they could "double team."

The 3-some relationship went on for some weeks until Clark said "she's mine."

What happened in Darwin, when Symonds went AWOL was that he was again very pissed - and trash-talking Bingle to other team-mates. Clark apparently went nuts. They’d been very close friends but when Symonds was told he was out of line he said "fuck you" and went fishing.

Most Aussie players backed Clark cos he’d decided to marry Bingle and they’d already bought a $5.5 million house in Sydney. However, insiders know what a tart Bingle really is........remember the Fevola incident?!

Big friction over Lara contributed to crap team performance in Australia v’s South Africa. Clark as next Australian Captain = plenty of baggage.

Theory is that Symonds is pissed off and once his career is over he’ll spill the beans to the press for money.

Yeah Yeah each day we all get rumour emails like this. But add to it some background stories from news sources:

January 15, 2007

Bingles for puppies

Michael 'Pup' Clarke seems have run into red-hot form. Of course he made 57 in the CB series opener at Melbourne but here's what matters: according to news.com.au he's "emerged as the latest casualty in model Lara Bingle's pursuit of champion sportsmen". Clarke's girlfriend of nearly eight years Erina-Lea Connelly confirmed that "the man I thought I was going to marry'' had called off their relationship.

Now starts the fun. Connelly's comments were in stark contrast to what AFL star Brendon Fevloa's wife thought. Mrs Fevola said that her life had been "turned upside down'' by Bingle's behaviour. She said Bingle had continued to call her husband after news of their alleged affair broke. A snippet from last week adds further tension to this nail-biter: Bingle was among the guests at the Ashes-winning party on James Packer's luxury yacht on Sydney Harbour. She boarded with allrounder Andrew Symonds. Her car remained in a hotel car park, her coat and handbag inside it.

and then:

Sept 12, 2008

Bar brawl with Michael Clarke ended Andrew Symonds’ career

Australian Vice Captain Michael Clarke and all rounder Andrew Symonds allegedly had a blow-up in a hotel bar in the Caribbean when Clarke chipped Symonds one night when he found him drinking in the bar with former West Indies great Brian

Clarke is said to have suggested that Symonds had better be in good shape to take the field the next day, a suggestion not taken in good humour, Fox News reported.

Symonds blew up and the pair had a very heated argument. They later patched things up, but relations have again become strained with Clarke leading the charge to have the belligerent all-rounder sent home from Darwin last month and placed on notice about his cricketing future.

The Australia team has been concerned about Symonds for some time, but things have grown worse of late and missing a team meeting for a fishing expedition was the last straw. When disciplined by his peers, Symonds showed no contrition.

“I have had some time to reflect on the events that took place in Darwin. I would like to say thanks for the many messages of support that I have received over the past day or so. I appreciate your best wishes. I''ve been asked to think about what is important to me and I will take this time to do that,” Symonds said a few days after his ejection.

Symonds went as far as to suggest that it would be nice if he was left alone. He was sent away to work through a “process” before being readmitted to the side but has shown little interest in it.

. . .

So the story goes on. So far Bingle has sabotaged the Australian Tourism Campaign, Clarke, Carlton, F1 and Symonds.

Friday, April 24, 2009

WTF 25 - How Loud?

Sex-crazed housewife arrested for loud love making

Staff reporters
April 24, 2009 12:45pm
A SEX-CRAZED housewife banned from making too much noise during sex has been
arrested for breaching the order.
Caroline Cartwright, 47, was served the anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) in the UK last Friday following 25 noise complaints to police.
The Daily Mail reports the order came after magistrates found her guilty of breaking an initial noise abatement order.
But Mrs Cartwright was arrested by police just two days later after her loud love-making breached the Asbo.
Despite the threat of a prison sentence for the continued breaches, Mrs Cartwright remained defiant and vowed to carry on with her love life.
"I'm not going to stop," she told the Daily Mail. "I've been making the same noises since the Asbo was imposed, and this morning, we were making noises for three hours. "I can't stop making noise during sex, it's unnatural to not make any noises, and I don't think that I'm particularly loud.'"

Sex crazed? c'mon she isn't sex crazed.

The DailMail in the UK has the better headline:
Oh, oh, oh not again! Woman is given Asbo against noisy sex ... but lasts just two days before breaching it

right... and here she is:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why The Current Transport Model Does Not Work

I have mentioned on this blog and on others that the current public transport model does not work. there is too much finger pointing between the various operators, maintainers and asset owners over the current situation on Melbourne's train network.

Today we have another example:

'It's too hard to fix this mess', says Connex

Ashley Gardiner
April 22, 2009 12:00am

RAIL operator Connex has admitted it can't fix the train system's woes.

In a stinging rebuke to the State Government, Connex said that its reputation had been ruined by recent woes, and called on politicians to fix the mess.

In its 2008 business plan, sent to the State Government, Connex said it could not fix the train problems.

"Connex can only partially mitigate the impacts of heavy loads, network congestion and projects through its own endeavours," the document says.

"It is clear that the ultimate resolution of these issues will also require continual strong support from the state in a number of areas."

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the Government had failed to properly plan to make the transport system cope.

"Connex are trying to say that, 'our number one priority was to increase patronage, and we did that'," Mr Mulder said. "The role of the Government was to support the operator with sufficient rolling stock and rail infrastructure, and the Government hasn't done it."

The Connex name will disappear from trains, with a new brand with a Melbourne focus to be adopted after this year.

In its business plan, Connex said overcrowding had risen because the number of users had risen 40 per cent in three years.

Connex's parent company, Veolia, is competing against two international rivals for the right to run Melbourne's train system until 2024. But the bidding process has been rocked by the leaking of more documents despite strict secrecy requirements.

Sources said the confidential documents had been leaked to the State Opposition, which had already obtained the 2008 business plan.

Connex spokesman John Rees said the company had already made major improvements, with 660 new and extended services a week since 2004.

"But only long-term and major infrastructure investment will provide the capacity required to meet record patronage growth," Mr Rees said.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky attacked the Opposition when questioned about the content of the documents.

"Again the Opposition ignore that this Government has $1 billion worth of public transport projects already under way," spokesman Stephen Moynihan said.

A couple of points of interest in the article:
  • Connex said it's reputation had been ruined and asked Politicians to fix it.
  • The Connex brand name will dissappear.
The other issue I have with the whole sorry state of affairs is still the buck passing and finger pointing. Now the train drivers have a pay rise there are less cancellations.

Personally I feel an Alliance model where all parties invest in the system and share the returns will result in more co-operation and a consistent approach to managing and operating the system.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WTF24 - Polly waffles?

A bit of a round up on what is making Noos on News:

If it was dog poo would the headline say "Pooch Poo in Pool"

Why First Class is better:

Nothing like a bit of cross promotion of Ralph via Hi 5:

and Dick Branson somehow forgets which way he should be facing:

Good old news corp. Sex sells.

Friday, April 17, 2009

WTF 23 - You are Shitting Me?

If you have ever wondered "How much do I get paid to go to the toilet?"

Here is you answer.

There are some at my work (me included) who do not use the work cans to poo. In fact I went for 18 months without having to go here. So the website is not too much use for me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mt Stanley - Barwidgee Bushfire Part 2

This is the map of the area directly around Uncle's Farm:

View Larger Map

The farm house and sheds are on the right of the 'C527' tag located closest to the Myrtleford-Stanley Road.

The initial fire front came from the north west (top left of map) from the pine plantations and Mt Stanley. It moved across the bushland area on the bottom left of the map. This was when the wind changed and it travelled across the open paddocks towards the farm house in a North Easterly direction (from bottom left to top right) straight over the farm house and then continued over the hill.

Houses on the western side of the Barwidgee Creek were destroyed and in some odd coincidence cubby houses were spared. 3 houses burnt, with shed etc gone and all that is left in some instances is the cubby house.

The following picture is from the farm gate on the C527 looking north across Barwidgee Creek towards where a house used to be. You will note the white things are plastic hot houses that were not damaged. Go figure.

Looking towards Mt Stanley where the fire came from.

A view of Stanley Creek after the fire showing some re-growth but nothing left on the ground. Normally you cannot see the Creek from the road.

Benefits of water project 'inflated'

Interesting news regarding the food bowl modernisation project. The results of this 'fudging has direct impacts on the the North-South pipeline and water security for Melbourne.

From what is reported it looks like they decided more water was going into the system before the works which meant that it was operating at a higher efficiency afterwards 'creating' more savings.

Measuring flows into systems and out of systems is quite difficult but it appears strange that the pilot study was not more conservative in the estimates. Questions should be asked why this is the case.

Was it pressure from GMW to modernise ageing assets?
Was it private entities wanting a chunk of work?
Was it government pressure to make the N-S pipeline more viable?

Benefits of water project 'inflated'
Melissa Fyfe April 12, 2009

A SENATE inquiry will hear damning evidence this week that casts further doubt on water savings from the $2 billion Food Bowl Modernisation Project, a key part of the Brumby Government's water plan.

A Government insider has provided the Plug the Pipe campaign with documents that appear to show that data in a pilot project was changed to inflate water savings.

The irrigation technology tested in the pilot, called Total Channel Control, is now at the heart of the Government's food bowl project.

Ken Pattison, a Plug the Pipe member and former director of Goulburn-Murray Water, will present the documents, also obtained by The Sunday Age, to the Senate inquiry into the Water Amendment Bill 2008 when it sits in Shepparton on Tuesday.

Mr Pattison told The Sunday Age that the evidence would show the pilot project set a pattern of overestimating water savings from irrigation upgrades. "We believe we are going to put a crack in the wall," he said.

Mr Pattison will present the evidence on behalf of the Government insider, who has decided not to appear. One of the documents, by the pilot project's consultants, URS, says the project working group — which included the Department of Sustainability, Goulburn-Murray Water and Rubicon Systems Australia, the makers of Total Channel Control — met in Melbourne in April 2004 and "assumptions" about losses and flows were agreed to.

But in an economic evaluation of the pilot, it appears the average yearly flows into the area have been bumped up by more than 4000 million litres to 17,400 million litres.

Other project documents show the historic average annual flow to be about 13,100 million litres. The effect of this change was to make the percentage of water saved look better than it was, the Government insider believes.

Another document, prepared by project manager Clive Luscombe, describes how it was expected that the technology would boost the efficiency of the channels to 93 per cent, but in fact the pilot achieved only 79 per cent.

"Clearly this result was not to be expected based on the pre-pilot information," the report says.

Mr Luscombe puts the problem down to "pre-pilot conditions" and the difficulty in manually measuring the outfall, or excess water, coming from irrigation districts.

A spokesman for the State Government said it would not comment on evidence it was yet to hear.

The Government has claimed the food bowl project will deliver up to 75 billion litres of water to Melbourne each year after 2010.

Rubicon Systems Australia's contract to supply its irrigation modernisation equipment to the project is believed to be worth several hundred million dollars.

Plug the Pipe and the Government insider believe the alteration of the data in the pilot project led to an overestimation of water savings that has never been properly audited.

The Government has been under pressure to prove the project will deliver the water savings to make the $750 million north-south pipeline worthwhile.

Last year the Auditor-General criticised the Government for the "inadequate rigour applied to estimate costs, benefits and risks of some of the key component projects" of its water plan and called on it to "publish the detailed analysis underpinning the estimates of water savings and costs for the Food Bowl Modernisation Project".

The Government has refused to release its business case under freedom-of-information laws.