Friday, May 06, 2005

Height Limits

I am puzzled. Your elected council puts into it's laws a height limit, say four stories. A developer wishes to build something eighteen stories high. It should stop there. The developer needs to look in another city area that allows eighteen stories. But no, the developer lodges the application which the council naturally is obliged to reject.

The developer takes the matter to VCAT and although often VCAT goes against a council decision, in this case they did not. The matter ends up in the Supreme Court which has yet to make a decision. In the meantime, the developer lodges an ammended plan for an eight story building, still above the height limit, but this is his fall back position.

But no matter which way the court goes, why does it get past an automatic rejection by council? I know the legal reasons why, but where is the logic?

We have heard so many promises from our state government about planning issues, but until they stop this nonsense, who is going to believe them?


Dame M decided it was time to harvest this year's less than plentiful crop. She was having as much success learning to roll her own cigarettes.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I thought I was very clever when we at Williamstown and watching a huge container ship sail past on its way to the docks to unload. "Oh, look at all those plasma tvs arriving", said I.

It has turned around and bitten me on the bum and the wearing down process has started.

R says very casually last night that we should get a new big tv. He means plasma or LCD of course. I point out how financially irresponsible it would be. They only last five years. They use a lot of power. The technology will be quickly superseeded. Have you got cash set aside to pay for the Darwin holiday? I can think of lots of reasons why it would not be a good idea to buy one. But I would not mind having one either.

I would give it six months and I expect we will have one.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


I have been sorting out some old papers and stuff. I had kept an insert from The Age’s Good Weekend magazine dated 21st January 1995. This was no doubt a reference to help us when we bought our first pc.

Here are a few gems I found.

“By 2000 we reckon that 60% of Australian homes will have pcs.” Perhaps correct in 2000.

“If space allows, try to give the computer it’s own room where the children can fully explore it’s educational benefits”. Now days the advice is to keep it in public area where you can see them searching for big boobed Betty and chatting online to Daddy46.

“Programs may only need 386 processor, but they will run considerably better on a 486”. Imagine the potential of a Pentium 5!

“The ideal starting point is 8mb of ram”. I think our present one is 512mb or close to that.

“Hard disks are getting larger and cheaper and most retailers recommend no less that 400mb for a pc”. Our present one is 80gb, that is over 160 times that size. But for once, I think it might be enough for a long time to come. Only because you cannot trust a pc, so must burn stuff onto cds and so reduce what is stored on your hard drive. Now when the have crash free, loss free pc, then we will need even bigger hard drives.

From The Age Extra in December 1994, Charles Wright, who still writes a computer column in the Green Guide, suggests that the amount of information on the information super highway is immense. I wonder if he has an adjective for what is on the net now?

“A 14,400bps modem will transfer a 200kb file in 2 minutes”. That is just one picture folks and not even a very big one. Imagine sitting there for two minutes waiting for a picture to download…………umm, we did, head, chest, navel..............

“To enjoy the new range of games and information programs on CD ROM, you will need at least a double speed CD ROM drive”. I think our present one is 40 speed.

I have never really been a pc game player, but for those of you who are, perhaps you remember some of the advertised games. Killing Moon? Theme Park? Outpost? Myst? Air Warrior?

Lastly, the top selling CD ROM for 1994 was Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia. I had that CD, but when Windows 95 was reloaded onto our first pc after a year of use, it would no longer work. No matter, the net quickly did away with the need for it.

Sunday outing

Lysterfield Lake is a lovely place for a family barbecue and we have been there a few times. Today it was a bit sunny, but a cool breeze was blowing and often clouds covered the sun. It was nice to get into the warm car to come home. Click on the pic for a better view.

We were wrong

Not a little bit wrong, but so terribly, terribly wrong. It is thirty years since the American Embassy in Saigon was evacuated and so ended a miserable piece of history. Obviously I can remember some of the Vietnam war, but I can't really distiguish between my memory of it and what I have learned since.

Did I say 'ended a piece of history'? Well, not quite. The photo on the front page of yesterday's Age shows it is not really over. The repercussions continue. The picture is of a disabled 25 year old son of Vietnamese soldier, a victim of Agent Orange, in a roofless cage.

But it is not just the physical. Mostly for mental reasons, 43% of Australia's Vietnam veterans are on TPI (totally and permanently incapacitated) pensions. These pensions are not given out easily.

If anything good came out of the whole nasty business, it might be Vietnam and Australia have a close connection. Well, maybe.

The real good is that never again will young Australians be conscripted and sent off to an unjust war by politicians. Yes, I expect we would fight to protect our country, but we won't interfere in someone elses. We will leave that for the politicians and professional soldiers.

Vayze, varze, voize. It is still just something that holds a flower. R had the day off on Friday, as did I, and so we decided to vistit Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. It is a while since we have 'done the shops' there and many have changed. It used to have a bit of a gay feel to it, but that has long gone. There were some obvious dykes, but very few, unlike ten years ago. I could not even find where my fave little place, The Angel, was. Mind you, I don't know that my head was ever quite clear when I used to go there with a dyke/workmate/prostitute friend. But we had a lot of fun.

Anyway, R got his hair cut at GI Joes and we then have a very nice lunch of foccacia and coffee. Foccacia is still very popular in Brunswick Street. We did the shops and found the pictured resin vase. We are not sure if we really like it, but it was reduced from $50 to $10, so it was worth taking a chance on. Maybe you disagree! Ah well, it amused us for a few minutes.