Archive for September, 2008

Melbourne sans car #3: Bicycling Melbourne safely

A common misconception about cycling is that it’s dangerous. Well, getting on a bike may expose you to some danger, but so does doing anything. Bicycle Victoria has an article comparing cycling to other activities and the likelihood of injury to put it into perspective. It also talks about the dangers of “not cycling” if you have a sedentry lifestyle. What about the danger of not having the fun of cycling in your day? You might explode. That’s dangerous. But seriously, the benefits far outweight the risks, and the more cyclists there are out there, the safer it is.

Cycling in a safe way (no, not the supermarket) will ensure that any risks you take getting around on two wheels are dramatically reduced, and this blog entry aims to cover the ways to do this.
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hawthorn hawks: premiership team 2008!

the premiers, hawthorn hawks.

the premiers, hawthorn hawks.

a bleak day for all geelong fans. the hawks deserved it though, considering how geelong were unable to capitalise on their chances.

overall, a win for the afl. a far far more exciting game than last year’s grand final. but to be fair, it is hard to beat last year’s lopsidedness.

one for the history books :
HAWTHORN 5.2 8.3 14.5 18.7 (115)
GEELONG 5.3 6.12 9.18 11.23 (89)

image from theage

Today’s the day

To do all those things you wanted to do without having to deal with crowds. Go shopping, visit the library, or even bargain for that house (because no one is there to counter bid your offer) or even enjoy a day outing at the Royal Melbourne Show. Everyone else will be stuck in front of the television somewhere watching the AFL final.

Nightmare!

My worst fears have come true: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/18/2367847.htm

Is it not just the least bit terrifying how accidents like these are just waiting to happen?

And hearing people getting “car-doored” is a once-a-month thing here. My friend was the latest victim – he found the door of a pickup smack in front of him one second before he ran into it, flipped over the door, and landed on the asphalt of the tram tracks. The driver of the pickup was apologetic, but I don’t think he is entirely to blame – the roads ought to be better managed in the first place.

Maybe cyclists should be protesting nude outside Flinders Street Station next.

How did Petrova Hammond come in third…

…when she’s always experimented with fierce, kooky designs and colours? Or does the fashion industry just pay homage to the safe and commercial look?

Above from left: 1st Runner-up Leigh Buchanan, 2nd Runner-up Petrova Hammond, Host Kristy Hinze and Winner Juli Grbac. Inset Winning designs from Juli Grbac. Image from Brisbane Times

Wait don’t answer that, ‘coz the first winner of Project Runway Australia, Queenslander Julie Grbac played it safe the entire season and won the competition based on the strength of her beautiful but nothing ‘out of the box’ women’s wear.

Monday night’s season finale left a bitter taste in my mouth. Granted, Melbourne representative Petrova was voted out earlier in the show and threw a high dice roll to return to the show. Fate smiled on her and I thought it was down to Petrova or the very stylish Lui Hon (who I thought brought minimalistic style to a whole new level) to win the competition. Had the judges any sense of what a reality fashion show-cum-competition is, our cute-enough-to-eat Petrova should have won by a mile. Why give these designers a chance to show off what they can really do i.e avant-garde, risky and leftfield when all you’re really doing is finding the safest choice?

But kudos to the three finalists. I was an avid (even rabid) fan of the show and did not dispute the credibility of the final three. After putting all the ‘passion in your fashion’, multiple plot twists and ridiculous deadlines, you’d have to applaud them for getting that far.

Petrova Hammond’s boutique Lady is located at Shop 3, 237 Flinders Lane Melbourne 3000. Drop in to say hi, congratulate or even tell her what you really thought of Mark Antonio’s hairdo. Or visit the MySpace website here.

Cranbourne Saga

I have been trying to follow the stories about the gas leaks out of the closed landfill in Cranbourne. And the more I read, the more confused and perplexed I am about the entire situation. I mean, this is what I have gathered, so far,
1. The Council of Casey as well as the EPA opposed the building of houses too closed to the closed landfill. The developer Peet wanted land as close as 200m from the landfill to be subdivided for development. So, the Casey Council rejected the development plan.
2. The developer, Peet, appealed to VCAT and they were successful in having that decision overturned, with certain conditions attached (whatever they were, we don’t know).
3. So, now, there are houses built as close as 50 metres from the landfill, in the area known as the Brookland Greens Estate.
4. Methane gas has been leaking from the site for quite some time now. It is only in recent days that the situation had become quite bad.
5. So, the EPA has stepped in, and not quite ordered ( but encouraged) people to move out of their homes, and had installed monitors in homes.
6. Some residents had moved but some are staying put. The State Government are providing $8500 per household towards relocating the residents. Residents do not have to pay council rates up to a year.
7. Class action being considered by some residents, using the law firm, Slater & Gordon.

Like everyone living in Melbourne, we all want to know who is in charge of this whole mess. At the moment, nobody, because nobody wants to be blamed. Not the council, not the developer, not the EPA, and of course, not the residents.

I just have one hypothetical question: In the event of a fire, say, started in a house or on the street, accidentally, and the entire estate is almost destroyed, due in part, to the leaking methane. Will the insurance companies covering the house and content of all the households pay up? Surely, the insurance companies, are the best people, to find whom is to blame?

News Links
The Age “Questions over checks on gas leak estate
Herald Sun’s “Cash help worth $8500 …”
Herald Sun’s “Probe into methane …”

Sssaaaaave yourselves!!!

I’m at home at the moment and the winds are gushing wildly, pounding the trees and breaking off small branches. It’s quite scary looking from the ‘comfort’ of your own home. I don’t know if it’s safer inside or outside! As I speak, I can hear the roof tiles rattling too.

On a lighter note, my fiancee just mistook a plastic bag floating five meters in the air for a bird. “Look at the poor bird trying to fly!” she exclaimed.

The damage in Texas after a Category Three Hurricane Ike rips the state apart. Melbourne's not anywhere near a Category One, but it's a scary thought.

The damage in Texas after a Category Three Hurricane Ike rips the state apart. Melbourne's not anywhere near a Category One, but it's a scary thought.

Yes honey, you’re just as silly as this sub-Category One ‘hurricane’. I shudder to think what hurricanes in excess of Category Three are like. Scary as hell.

One hell of a strong gale force. Stay safe, warm and dry Melburnians.

Image from Getty Images

Business as usual… *sings* Fire in Myer! */sings*

Definitely back to the usual with regards to Myer and the rather surprising afternoon scare yesterday. I haven’t been able to stop saying it. Repeat after me. “Fire in Myer. Fire in Myer.” There’s a nice ring to it. Some ingenious rapper should make a hit song out of it.

Then again, no news is good news. Am just glad the fire wasn’t anything as news-worthy as the fire that broke out in Myer Hobart last year. Now that’s one hell of a fire.

Videogames domination!

Do we really need another EB Games outlet? I spied this extra-large shop along Swanston Street (opposite The Westin Hotel) on my way to check out business at post-fire Myer. The overpriced, ubiquitous, fluorescent-lit and in your face advertising console and PC gaming shop is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. They’re flooding the market with significant mark-ups that’s not doing other independent videogame shops any favour. Down with EB!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo…

Its never too early …

to think about the Royal Melbourne Show. One of my favourite events of the year, I look forward to all the fun (showbags) and of course, all the animals I miss out on by living in an urban jungle.

I presume, the 10 day event, 18 – 28th September, is being held over the school holidays. Tickets are being sold, discounts are available to groups as well as members of RACV.

Check it out! I know I will.

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