Archive for July, 2008

There’s no need to be winter wasteful

Energy we purchase, such as electricity and gas, is quite cheap at the moment, but this is likely to change in the future. Both cost savings and reducing the impacts involved in sourcing and using energy (such as from finite, fossil fuels) are just two reasons to look at reducing your household’s energy use. And it doesn’t mean you need to make big changes or spend a lot of money. If you change your attitude towards energy so you don’t take it for granted, you can easily change your behaviour using it as well.

Heating and cooling your house or unit is on average the largest part of your household energy use – on average 38%, but it can be up to 60% of your energy bills. It is possible – in most areas of Melbourne, on almost all days of the year, and for most people – to be comfortable without any heating and cooling bills! This can be significant saving.

BlanketPhoto by breibeest

When it is cold, simply putting an extra layer of clothing on makes an amazing difference to your thermal comfort. Dig out comfortable warm clothing for around the house and wear thermals if you’d like the most warmth for the least bulkiness. Put an extra blanket on your bed during winter and you’ll be snug within a few minutes of hopping in. Your body produces heat anyway, so why not insulate your body? Its like a free heater! I haven’t turned on my unit’s heater in the last two years simply by wearing two or three layers when the temperature drops, and by adding a spare blanket to my bed in winter… and my small utility bills show it!

If you have the money or opportunity, look into adding insulation to your ceiling. Ensuring your hot water system and pipes are insulated can be a inexpensive exercise. Glazing your windows if you can is also a smart step as heat escapes easily out of unglazed windows. There is even plastic film you can use on windows to insulate them with a pocket of still air, for a low cost “glazing” alternative – you could even do this if you rent. It’s easy to help keep drafts at bay by using a door snake or looking into adding draft strips and door sweeps.

Regardless of your finances, everyone of us in Melbourne can use less energy without much trouble once we are aware of how we use it and what alternatives we can try. Dedicate a bit of time to looking at how your home can be more energy efficient by finding a book in the library, doing a search on the web or talking to people like energy auditors. The Your Home Technical Manual has sections on insulation, glazing and energy use if you’d like to read more.

And don’t be afraid to talk about the changes you make – in conversatons with your friends and family – so they are also more aware of their options for saving energy and money, and can make their own informed choices.

Nursing homes

These days, all we hear on a regular basis are news about how Australians and everyone else are getting fatter, with obesity and related health issues all dominating our news. So, to me, it is really sad to hear about people living in nursing homes who are malnourished, constantly being underfed.

I doubt if we will ever hear the complete truth. The operator Kirralee Residential Aged Care alleged that they failed only 33 out of 44 basic standards due to poor documentation and not due to poor care. Looking at their website, I quote

Our onsite cook prepares fresh, delicious and nutritious meals daily. A seasonal menu is provided with also caters for any special dietary requirements.

Still doesn’t explain how or why some residents are considered dangerously underweight, a couple weighing less than 25 kg. The food must be quite inedible if residents are not eating it, despite being hungry.

Where are all the Gordon Ramsays in Victoria to give the onsite cook some tongue lashings?

News Link
Herald Sun “Ballarat nursing home faces charges for malnourishment

Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!

Anyone panic buying yet?

Has anyone noticed that there is a truckies strike at the moment? Supposed to last for the next 2 weeks. Some of those interviewed on the news say that the strike will affect retailers. I think that might just translate to items running out on the shelves.

The strike action had been organised by two group, the Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association (ALDODA) and the National Road Transport Forum (NRTF) but the largest truckies union, Transport Workers Union (TWU) are not part of the strike.

So, I went shopping today and the shelves are still being replenished. I guess the effects are not going to be felt until much later or when everyone decides to panic buy.

I’ll be curious to see what happens if there are no more petrol at all the petrol stations …

News Links
Herald Sun’s “Renegade truckies begin strike action …”
The Age’s “Truck strike won’t hit us: Woolsworth

Introducing The Hub


If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

Connex reports = Racist tripe

So our stations are dangerous coz it’s the State Government does not care enough to upgrade our woeful Third World public transport system. Wow thank you Captain Obvious; I’ve been telling my missus to watch herself as those small unmanned stations are a magnet for terrorist bombs, gangs, unseen assailants or something tragic waiting to happen. Other than stations in the City Loop and major stations, it’s a free-for-all out there. Giant canvass for criminals.

What ticks me off is the mention of race. I understand them offenders were caught on CCTV, but surely Whites are involved too? In an everyday scenario, am I right to say that a bunch of Blacks/Asians/Islanders hanging around constitutes a gang and police will tell them to break it up and disperse, while a bunch of Whites sitting around minding their own business aren’t seen as a potential time bomb?

I would like to believe the article I’m reading, but all credibility and fingers pointing to non-Whites goes out of the window coz ‘exact figures are not contained in the reports.‘ How convenient. I’m sure if exact figures were given, the pie chart sitting in the Police Head of Staff will indicate a spike of crimes commited by Whites.

Of coz, the author’s a White too. Now, surely readers of The Sunday Age aren’t all White too yeah? After all, they’re just minding their ‘own business’, reading the papers.

Where Art Thou Week 16: John Darling & Son Flour Mill


Brett scored top points for correctly guessing (and really quickly too) this week’s locale. I took this picture on this Tuesday morning after a quick stop at Bunnings. Was bored waiting for the train, so I thought why not rekindle my Where Art Thou post.

An iconic building for the best part of a century, John Darling & Son Flour Mill is located along the Sunshine end of Ballarat Road, right next to Albion station. Listed on the Victorian Heritage Council’s Heritage Register, the building is one of the most elaborate brick mills built in the early 20th century Victoria. The Darling family also played a large role in the Australian milling industry.

Bible-toting-Vietnamese-names-waiter-attired-gospel-preaching shit

You must have seen these boys. They’re young White boys, clad in a smart white shirt and black pants. In winter, they’ve got a pair of black jacket. They’re easily recognizable with their Vietnamese and English name tags proudly emblazoned across their shirt/jacket, and they go around preaching the word of the Bible. They’re quite prevalent in some parts of Asia as well, as my brother (who lives in Singapore) can testify to that. They harass you on trains, invade your personal space and try to sell your their brainwashed doctrine.

I like to think that they’re pimping their God to the wrong demographics i.e Asian as they target ONLY Asians to spread the ‘good word’. Are they insinuating that all Asians are non-Christians?

Here’s their standard Operational Procedure: they come up to an Asian, a friendly ‘Hi! How are you?’, and if the Asian was originally from Asia or doesn’t speak fluent English, they’ll add the proverbial ‘Your English is very good.’ comment. Well so is yours too retard!

A couple of them got off the bus at Doncaster Shoppingtown bus depot this evening while I waited for Bus 307 to get me back to the city safe from bible-studying freaks. I’ve had lots of experience with them, mostly because I’m Asian. I’ve always been civil to them, but they don’t seem to get the message. When these two kids (one of them an Asian, which surprised me), came to me and said hi, I eyeballed them and told them I know what they’re up to and to go away.

“Where are you from?”

“Fuck off you Jesus talking people. Why don’t you ask the White boy sitting there?” I pointed to the teenage White kid sitting in the bus stop.

“Have a nice day.”

They walked away, but not before stopping an old Asian lady with her shopping bag. She just shook her head rigorously and walked away.

Who the hell are these kids? Is this how the ‘one great religion as God is the one true God’ shebang has degenerated into? People working the streets, working in tandem and feeding off people’s ethnic appearance or ignorance to other races? I don’t need people to sell their God to me. If I needed a God, I’ll sign up for one on my RSS feeds. I don’t need a Footscray-loving non-Christian basher to tell me why religion IS the reason or why hate and war has always existed or why we are the spitting image of him. If I needed to know that, I’d pick up a book or watch a relevant documentary.

Okay I’m done venting.

Where Art Thou Week 16

Here’s a tough cracker for you readers. Neil’s been kind enough to pick up from where I’ve left off and since it’s been over a year I thought I might just spice things up a little.

One point if you can tell me what building this is, and two if you know where I was when this picture was taken.

Answers on Friday.

White Australia!

In other news, racist Pauline Hanson-supporter granny Terri has won Big Brother 2008. Oh it’s a good day for all bigots out there. Including the voters. What were they thinking?

Feel free to flame.

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