Archive for the 'random' Category

29
May
11

My grandad in police pursuit

My grandad used to drive a purple Holden Statesman. When I was a child I remember on trips he would always drive 10 km/hr faster than the highway limit (which I tend to do now). Later is his life though he took to driving at a more leisurely pace. He’d be wearing his brown corduroy hat, Nana would put on an Irish folk cassette, and they would cruise. He was probably conscious now of his slower reflexes, but I always wanted him to hurry up.

Men's Vintage Hats

There’s a funny story regarding his purple Statesman. One day in the pouring rain he was driving back from the west of Melbourne on the Westgate freeway near Southgate. He was cruising in the right lane well below the speed limit. A sedan sped up and closed right behind him. It started flashing its headlights, and as grandad explained later that it looked like it had Christmas tree lights on. He thought someone was playing a prank.

And that’s the way it went for kilometres. My grandad in the fast lane, going slow, in the pouring rain, being pursued by an unmarked police car.

It’s always since been a matter of curiousity to me. If an unmarked police car is trying to pull you over, can you ignore it, and claim later that you didn’t recognise it as being a police car because it was unmarked. I probably can’t use that defence anymore, but I hope somebody tries it for me!

Eventually grandad figured it out and pulled over. The policeman was very frustrated. Tough luck copper! He probably realised he’d pulled over a lovely, old,  yet slightly confused couple, and he’d look more of a tool if he booked them! Go grandad….

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04
Jun
09

Marysville, bikies and coffee

Since the bushfires devastated Marysville earlier this year I’d been keen to visit. We were up there last July staying in a mate’s place, and Anna’s relatives had lived and run a shop there. We’d been to Marysville many times.

(Also, I was interested to see what a bushfire could do, having been a protected suburbanite all my life.)

When we arrived, the place was buzzing, or at least rumbling. Bikies everywhere! There’s a great ride through those hills I hear.

The bakery cafe is still intact and open, and a little cafe up the road has set up on the nature strip, so I had a choice when it came to coffee! The main street has been otherwise cleared, the rubble removed.

Going up a side street the remains of houses still lie waiting. There are green shoots. The destructive force has left. There is an indifference in the landscape. I don’t feel shocked?

I imagine the commerce of the town will get back on its feet quickly. Portables will be brought in for the ski season. Accommodation will be tight; people will daytrip from the city instead. But you’ll get a decent coffee, maybe even some booze by then. You’ll get ski-hire, and some pottery.

But I wonder if the people who lived in the rubble away from main street will be back. Perhaps this is the Marysville visitors didn’t know. The people who lived in a little slice of heaven.

As you ride back through the Black Spur, there are blackened areas, slightly blackened areas, and completely untouched, green areas. You wonder at a force, that on its day forced a wide front of fire by fluke of timing and wind changes through a small township and valley, wiping the township out as though it were a fleck of dust on an old roadmap.

01
May
08

Whatever happened to globalisation?

The protesters, the politicians, the corporations, the sweat shops, the headlines. Where did they all go? The products of globalisation are still with us, but the term has faded.

It came up in conversation tonight with a former colleague. My take on globalisation had been mostly indifference, as long as individuals could have the same benefits as multinational companies.

We pondered why Australian mortgage holders couldn’t transfer their debt to the US where interest rates are lower?

I recanted a story I’d read once of a US software developer who outsourced his tasks to India and kept pocketing his wage. (Google for it, I don’t want to dob the bugger in!)

There was interesting case recently in Australian Federal Court. The issue was whether genuine Ralph Lauren clothing purchased in the US could be ‘parallel import’-ed legally into Australia and sold here. Polo/Lauren claimed that its copyright had been infringed. However, the proceedings were dismissed with costs. My take is that if clothing producers can swan off to the cheapest place for production, why can’t consumers, or importers on their behalf, swan off to the cheapest place to buy the goods?

I picked up this book five or so years ago: The Collapse of Globalism: And the Reinvention of the World” by John Ralston Saul. I literally picked it up off the bookstore shelf, just because I found the title cheeky and confronting, but I didn’t buy it. The word “globalisation” was everywhere at the time. The title seemed fanciful. Fast forward a couple of years and I found myself flicking through it again, and found myself agreeing with its tenets. I bought it.

Today national interests are to the fore. The US is at war. China and India are ascending. There are oil and food shortages and there is no common and binding economic consensus…. yet!

13
Feb
08

Suicide at Glenferrie station?

Passengers on Lilydale, Belgrave and Alamein train lines had to find a different way home last night.

Announcements at Flinders St Station described an “accident” at Glenferrie station. The Connex web site described an “incident”. Parliament station advised a “girl” being “struck by a train”.

The two Melbourne newspapers (online versions) have no articles I can find with the words “glenferrie”, “lilydale”, “station” or “passenger”.

So we guess that someone committed suicide at Glenferrie station.

Either it is not reported because the reporting may encourage copy-cats, or it is not reported because suicides on train lines aren’t newsworthy. Maybe both…

Update: Read comments section for further information from people who were closer to the incident.

Update 2: More information at http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1006685.htm

Update 3: Not entirely comfortable with this. I blogged because there was nothing in mainstream press. I must have been up in the google searches so people have posted some comments here which I think are appropriate and suitable – to my standards anyway. Please let me know if you think any part of this blog distasteful or unsuitable.

Update 4: There’s a thread here speculating on the deceased, and possible motivations, if you are interested.

29
Jan
08

My Australia Day Weekend

I reflected on our lack of identity over the weekend. Who are we Australians? I read a few news articles which were anxious to define us. I think “big media” needs to catagorise us though, purely to sell ad-space. It probably riles them a bit that we defy definition.

Saturday consisted of cleaning the backyard for a BBQ, riding my new scooter down to the shops, cooking some meat, then going to the local civic centre to watch the traditional fireworks. They were also traditionally late. Whilst waiting in the service road across the way, we copped some passive smoke from a pregnant mother. Hubby was watching their two boys (who didn’t seem to too stunted). “Come here Jordan”, he yelled. I was reminded of this old, entertaining, despot’s quip about us being the “white trash of Asia”. Continue reading ‘My Australia Day Weekend’

01
Dec
06

Movember Done

Last chance to give guys… Here’s a pic of the final ‘tache for you.

The Mo’ City Rollers (our work team) did over $1100 which is a bloody good effort so many thanks to all who gave.Mo and the dawg

16
Nov
06

Half way through Movember

Mo Mo

As some people might know, I’ve been growing a moustache for Movember. Here’s my effort so far.

If you haven’t already, please donate as it’s going to some great causes. My Mo Bro number is 13260

(Update: I’m up to $320 in on-line donations plus about $70 in cash. My team at work is up to $710 so thanks to everyone who has given thus far)




Craig’s twitter


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