Friday, January 30, 2009

Knackers Rating - Terminus Hotel North Fitzroy

Now to start with I used to drive past this place all the time and think it looked a bit of a dive. Oh how wrong I was.

The Terminus is an interesting little local pub located next to the Epping Line and near Rushall station on Queens Pde. It is easy to get to via train, tram and bus making it a nice spot to have a few without worrying about who will drive.

The front bar is big enough to get a table but not too big and they have a great array of boutique beers including little creatures and the local 3ravens.

Food rocks. Great pub food. Little bit pricey for the normal menu for the area but they are targeting a different crowd. If you are in the area and want to go somewhere different, I suggest popping in for a few brews and a feed.

SO to the score, based on:

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

I am going to give it 3.5 knackers out of 5. It is above the normal and a great place. BUT, it isn't SPEEEEEECCIAAAALL like Bruce McIvaney. I need to go there more and have a few more meals to re-assess.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Here's an Idea - Accept the Blame and Work Together

Breaking News - Trains are being cancelled because it is hot.

Ok, it isn't really breaking news as it is becoming an all too common event. Epping and Hurstbridge lines effectively closed. 100 cancellations in a day and more to come.

What I don't get is that so far the following have been listed as reasons:
  • train drivers;
  • vandalism;
  • dodgy air con
  • buckled tracks
  • not enough infrastructure spending
  • Jeff Kennett
  • Brumby, Bracks, Kosky et al

But none of the main players in this saga are willing to get together and sort it out. Finger pointing and blaming each other is not going to get those poor bastards sitting on platform 9 home any earlier.

Too Hot to Blog

The weather is insane out there!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Raccoon bites off man's penis

January 27, 2009 11:00am

A RAGING raccoon has bitten off a pervert's penis as he tried to rape
the animal.

Alexander Kirilov, 44, was on a drunken weekend with friends when he
leapt on the terrified animal. “When I saw the raccoon I thought I’d have some
fun,” he told stunned casualty surgeons in Moscow. Now Russian plastic surgeons
are trying to restore his mangled manhood.

No wonder the Raccoon was "raging". He could have taken it out to dinner and a few drinks first.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Iceskater exposes breast midway through routine
January 22, 2009 11:00am

RUSSIAN iceskater Ekaterina Rubleva has suffered the ultimate wardrobe malfunction midway through her routine at a competition in Finland.

The 23-year-old dancer was being twirled by her partner, Ivan Shefer, when her breast fell out of her teeny sequinned dress.

See the YouTube video here

With her hand raised above her head by his hand, the strain on the backless pink dress proved too much and her right breast popped out.

As absolute professionals, the skaters continued with their dance at the European championships in Helsinki, Finland. The tiny dancer, who lives in Moscow, even managed to keep smiling throughout.

The extent to which it helped, or impaired, their score with judges will never be known, but with a score of 29.04 they skated away with a perfectly respectable 12th place.

Connex Customer Feedback?

Ticket machine explodes at Rushall station, delays trains

BOMB squad police are investigating after a ticket machine exploded at Rushall station early this morning.

The explosion, which police said was an act of vandalism, caused tens of thousands dollars' damage and delayed trains on the Epping line for 90 minutes.

The steel frame of the ticket machine remained intact, but the internal workings were destroyed, as was a card reader.

"The ticket machine itself is still intact. They have created a hole or cavity at the top where they have entered something in it, causing the explosion or fire," acting Sgt Matt Bell said.

They said Rushall station would be closed until at least 10am while the bomb squad checked the area for explosives.

A local resident called police about the explosion, telling them her windows had shaken with the force of the blast.

"We got a call for several explosions around 3.30," acting Sgt Bell said.

"She lived 200 metres away from the train station so we were extremely concerned as to whether it was actually a bomb."

Dozens of early-morning commuters had to find other ways to get to work because of the explosion.

Michael Moo, 63, of North Fitzroy, was shocked after finding out what had happened.
"Jesus, I won't be able to get to work today," Mr Moo said. "Sounds like some crazy silly kids."

Lucky I caught the tram this morning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Knackers Rating - For the Love of Pizza

Thanks to the people at Google for the map and street view.

In an attempt to convey my love of various things in the North of the City I will be giving the Knackers Rating based on:

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

So to kick things off I thought I would start with my now favourite Pizza shop - For the Love of Pizza at 487 High Street in Northcote. It is north of Seperation Street near Gladstone Avenue.

This place honestly gets the five knackers treatment.

Friends of mine put me onto it a while ago and I am addicted.

Yes I know I am starting off on a high note but hey this place is really worth it. I have had pizza's from other places that have often been in the top ten pizza places in Melbourne. Establishments like I Carusi in East Brunswick come to mind.

I am constantly amazed at how good the Pizzas are at this place. Top quality ingredients, an awesome crust recipe and consistent cooking. I have been dissapointed yet.

Now, I wouldnt really bother eating in as there is only 4 tables in the place but, it is worthwhile sitting and chilling to the great music selection they normally have going while the food cooks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Herald Sun vs Kosky and Connex

You know your newspaper is getting pretty low when:

YOU know you've lost popular support when the city's main newspaper runs a
huge unflattering picture of you with your eyes closed.

On reading the rest of Susie O'Brien's opinion piece she says a few truths. Mainly regarding the stupidly complex manner in which our transport system is managed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mitchell Dam - Part 2

Previously I created a post outlining the main reasons why a dam on the Mitchell River in Gippsland is not the solution to Melbourne's water supply.

The latest information from the BoM outlining the lack of rainfall has reinforced that relying purely on rainfall is not a solution for Melbourne. It would be a case of having one's eggs all in one basket, or in this case, a couple of baskets sitting side by side.

If you consider the water supply an investment, why would you invest in one asset type alone? Sure when that asset is performing (excess rainfall) things are good, your stocks go up (dams fill). But when the stocks underperform (drought), your portfolio looks quite sad.

So diverify the supply, invest in alternatives so that one can be used as an income source when another is underperforming.

I am not fully convinced that the desalination plant is the best option. On the positive side it is a diverse supply, it is not dependent on rainfall for supply. The negatives communicated in the media relate to the huge amount of energy required, the potential impact on the coastline and the capital costs associated with the works.

$3.1b is the listed estimated cost of the project. Compare that to the $1.35b published for the Mitchell project. The cost difference looks huge, when in fact when the dam estimates are updated to current dollars the dam construction cost is over $2b (see my previous post on this matter). Not included in that estimate are a great number of un known costs that would certainly push the dollars up (they never make them go down).

The issue that Melbourne Water will be facing very soon is the growing negative PR that is being generated by various bodies. Almost daily protests are being held in the Wonthaggi area that are visual and well organised. If they are not careful there will soon be a significant backlash generated on emotion rather than fact or science that will overwelm the project.

So, the more important question is - How does Melbourne diversify it's water sources?

The usual suspects include:

reducing demand - Melbournians are pretty good at this but it is not a long term solution; or

demand replacement - use recycled sewage or stormwater runoff to replace some supplies;

The first option there is well known. It has been going since before the Thomson Dam was completed with the "Don't be a Wally with Water" and now the target155 campaign.

The second option is in my mind more interesting and more viable long term.

There has been a reasonable history of water recycling through the farm at Werribee and more recently the Eastern Irrigation Scheme.

Melbourne Water has committed $300m or so to improving the quality of water discharged from the Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) to Class A which is suitable for a number of things other than drinking or direct contact with humans. This water after being treated will be pumped to Boags Rocks for discharge to Bass Strait.

I find it short sighted that Melbourne Water has not pursued the use of this water as a substitute for potable water in the south east, especially for industry.

There was an ideal opportunity for a pipe to be constructed as a part of the EastLink project to carry water northwards along the Dandenong Creek Valley to service industry, golf courses and basically anyone else who wanted the water.

Another system that is starting to be considered is the use of excess sotrmwater runoff as a re-usable resource. The Essendon Football Club has just completted such a system under the Windy Hill Oval.

Similar systems are incorporated into the MCG and Etihad Stadium. This type of central recycling system could be built into retarding basins and be used to water sports ovals, golf course, school ovals, parks, gardens, or used for suitable industrial processes.

By having a commitment to finding solutions to the problem that are not just based on damming a river of desalination, Melbourne will have a more stable and diverse water supply in the future.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2008 Climate Summary

It is that time again when the BoM release their annual summary on the previous year in terms of temperature and rainfall.

Key findings:

  • The mean annual temperature across Australia for 2008 was the 14th warmest on record (0.41°C above normal).

  • A warm year was recorded in most regions, apart from Queensland, northeast New South Wales and the Kimberley (Western Australia).

  • Above average annual rainfall was recorded across the Top End, eastern Queensland, northeast New South Wales and far west parts of Western Australia. Rainfall was average to below average in the remainder of the country.

  • Low rainfall over the southern Murray Darling Basin during 2008 further exacerbated the long dry spell in this region.

other key quotes:

Australia has experienced a background warming of about 0.9°C over the last
Rainfall during 2008 was insufficient to break the long dry spell in the
southeast (including Tasmania). Across much of Victoria and adjacent areas of
South Australia and New South Wales rainfall has been below average for most of
the past 12 years.

Pity Andrew Bolt is on leave. As the data shows how wrong his 7 graphs were. In fact if you go to the BoM site and look at the historical long term data it is evident there are some concerning trends. For example, we are meant to be in a La Nina cycle that is meant to bring more rainfall to South East Australia, yet large portions of are well below average.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why Melbourne Water has lost the PR war on the North South Pipeline

It certainly has been in the media lately and it is a controversial project. The north-south pipeline has created protests, arrests and now court action.

The argument that has been placed by the protestors is that the project is taking water away from farmers north of the divide. This is not entirely true. The project can only take water once the irrigation modernisation project around Shepparton generates savings.

Part of the water bill from all Melbourne residents and businesses is funding the improvement of 100 year old irrigation systems so that they run more efficiently. in return melbourne gets 1/3 of the water saved. The remainder is split between the farmers and the environment.

This of course is lost on protestors and farmers along the route of the pipeline. Melbourne Water (as with other authorities) does have the right to enter land to conduct their works. It is in the water act.

It is also a requirement that Melbourne Water adequately reinstate the farmers land and compensate them accordingly. I can understand people not wanting all their paddocks ripped up for a pipe. I do bet that all of them have other services already buried such as gas, town water and telstra somewhere on their land.

Melbourne Water and the pipeline alliance have lacked the ability to show the positive side of the project. the farmers federation approve of it subject to extra water for the farmers.. and why not?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Issues with 'Super Trams'

Not sure if you caught the papers and the news the other day regarding the tram incident near St Vincent's Hospital?

The Age reported it online here.

There can be issues with the longer trams at some interstections where they cross divided roads suach as the one in the photo. With the tram length they cannot stop in the median, resulting in the trams having to go through the entire intersection without stopping resulting in the trams travelling faster and potentially more accidents.

No doubt the investigations will result in some findings but, this highlights the need to ensure adequate light sequencing to allow free, priortised tram movements.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year

Yep I know I am a week late. Get over it.

Anyway I am enjoying a short break from work (longest holiday in about 4 years) and trying to watch the end of the cricket.

Normal posting will resume next week.

Hope you all had a good xmas and a happy new year.

catch ya