Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Winding Down 

Karma County have a new album out called Pacifico and I'm going on holidays for two weeks. Bye!
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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Books Ahoy! 

Erin captured a book today. She found it while cleaning one of the cabins at Swansea Holiday Park. Daisy Miller by Henry James came to Tasmania with someone from Melbourne, who gave it to some backpackers in Hobart.

According to BookCrossing, in the last two days books have been captured in every Australian state as well as in the ACT. One Balingup resident left a copy of Piggy by Sheilah Ward Ling in the chocolate biscuit section of Woollies in Manjimup.

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Friday, October 08, 2004

Downside Up 

Judith will be singing to strangers in a lift when I visit Melbourne. She's performing in Outside In, a theatrical performance piece and installation for the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The performance venue is the Atherton Gardens Estate, a high-rise public housing building in Fitzroy.

Three thousand people live at Atherton Gardens, three times as many as live here in Augusta. I'm sure many non-residents will be curious. The high-rise buildings stand out amongst the mostly single- and double-storey houses or low-rise flats in inner-city Melbourne. Entrances are set back from the street and usually surrounded by lawn and low fences. Unlike in the suburbs or the country, you can't take a Sunday drive past people's front doors. For Outside In, you'll have to pull up and introduce yourself.

Meanwhile, I'll be eating nachos in Bentleigh with Dylan.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Coruscating 

Fire Brick, Fuchsia, Purple, Blue, Royal Blue, and a brighter, deeper, richer Green than the sighted among you can see here all appeared in a sparkling sphere under my eyelids on Sunday night. RP fireworks. Set on black with the usual foreground of static. An electrical colour storm.

But not electric banana yellow. Wondering if my mind could suggest a colour, I thought about yellow and gold. Turns out my eyes don't take requests. However, when my mind wandered on, an intense blotch of Orange burst in. Retinal migraines, dying photoreceptors or a bored visual cortex? Who cares, if I enjoy the show?

Well, me. Yellow is the colour of our neighbour's flowering cabbages (or whichever vegetable he's fortunately left to seed). Here's a grainy digital photo of the cabbages' elegant stalks. And here's a sign placed outside the local Supa Valu that most locals found amusing.

And you know what I've learnt from all of this? That Spring Green shows up rather nicely on black. And that some guy in New Zealand's called his blog Electric Banana.

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Monday, October 04, 2004

She's Gonna Ride On.. and On 

Way back in August I wondered what Perth infrastructure-type bloggers might blog and suggested railway stations or rubbish bins as possible subjects. Today I discovered a Web site that catalogues railway stations and sidings - History of Western Australian Railways and Stations. No rubbish bins but the owner also maintains sites on Water Towers of Western Australia and Coal Stages of Western Australia. Now I feel totally justified in having a big rave about public transport. I haven't caught PT for months and suddenly it's all go.

Gill's noticed advertising along Freeway north that progressively gives the message that perhaps commuters might prefer to be on the train. She reckons it's good to see, even if the train can't swing by daycare on the way home from work and she therefore must continue using her car. At least she's heading north when everyone else is going south and vice versa. On the positive transport side, Gill and Caelan took the train to the Perth Royal Show.

Meanwhile, a friend and I recently discussed the branding of the private companies that initially held contracts to manage Melbourne's trains. Not like you need to earn brand loyalty when you're the only company offering a particular service. I think that discussion stemmed from working out how I'll get from Portland to Melbourne on public transport.

My trip from Adelaide to Mt Gambier was easy to plan using the Premier Stateliner site. VicTrip is the official site for information on public transport services in Victoria and I took much longer to plan my trip with them. Planning was complicated because Portland is not on a direct V/Line route and I am not familiar with south western Victoria. VicTrip gave details of a private service between Portland and Hamilton but did not mention it connects with a run through to Melbourne.

The people who designed the site must be very Melbourne-centric because the form only asks for a destination. If that destination happens to be Melbourne (fancy that, country people wanting to go to the city), then all of the city's train, bus and tram services, including Nightrider buses, are mentioned before the country services. And this is on the regional services Web site, Viclink. Lucky I don't use a screen reader.

Eventually everything dove-tailed. My friend can hopefully drop me off at a bus stop before work, and I can catch a bus to Hamilton then on to Warrnambool, where I can catch a train into Melbourne. A happy ending!

Wow. I just queried the Transperth journey planner, giving it a friend's address and a nearish landmark. I forgot to adjust the times and because it's a quarter to midnight, the only option given is to 'Walk 1908 metres Arrive approximately 24:08.' Now I know how far I walked in boots with heels to go to a WARP Foundation do. Also discovered that West Midland will now be called Woodbridge - which will save all that confusion over Guildford, East Guildford, West Midland, Midland. Clearly someone a long, long time ago wasn't having an inspired day at the office. And all train rides were free today to celebrate the opening of the new Clarkson station. Not that I was in Perth to celebrate or that I'm not entitled to ride for free anyway. If by some remote chance you read this and you live in Perth, you can win a ten-ride multi-rider from Transperth by filling in a survey about their Web site before 25 October. Any luck I'll have finished this blog entry by then.

Time to get off.

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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Mac And Cheese 

A friend sent me a recipe for mac and cheese. I've spent the last little while converting pounds, ounces and sticks (of butter) to grams, and degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Celsius. The Donna Hay Magazine Conversion Page came in handy and it was here that I confirmed that red bell peppers are indeed red capsicums. Any day now I'll be eating macaroni with an awful lot of cheese.
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