Saturday, April 28, 2012

out and about

Apologies for my absence. I've been out in the wilderness collecting fish with one of my students. It was quite the road trip. A few notable highlights/lessons: 1. Driving the 4WD. I'm pretty much crap at driving anything other than an automatic. 2. Dingoes. Here is an important lesson for camping...dingoes like to dig up (and consume) human poo. 3. Adelaide. What a quaint little city (We saw advertisements warning drivers to watch out for 'drunk walkers'). 4. Vegetarianism. The concept doesn't exist in rural Australia. This was not a problem for me but it did bother my student. 5. Flies. They breed 'em small and mean in the bush. A fly net really helps. 6. Baby wipes. Not only good for wiping baby's arses. 7. Man skills. It helps if one can do manly things like (b) strap a jerrycan securely onto the top of the hilux, (b) put up a tent, (c) light a camp fire, and (d) not squeal like a girl every time a road train comes flying past in the opposite direction.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


To the student who wrote me an email on the weekend asking if he/she should write out the answers to the assignment in pen or type it out on their computer, please use your initiative. You are not a child anymore. You are at university now and are expected to exercise some initiative.

My gosh

My very last metcard finally ran out on the weekend while I was in Canberra.

Today will be my first day back at work after the weekend and I'm going to have to use my myki.

Although I got a myki card over a year ago, I have resisted using it because of all the problems that have beleaguered the electronic ticketing system. I hope it doesn't fail me today.

I've used 'smart cards' for public transport in other cities. In Helsinki, commuters are assumed to be honest and public transport authorities have abandoned gates at stations and do not require people to 'touch off' at their destination.

I think similar initiatives here would stop bottlenecks like this:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ripponlea estate

We took some friends to the Ripponlea mansion the other day. The building was donated to the national trust in the 1970s and is quite spectacular. Unsurprisingly, it is frequently used in films and is a popular wedding venue.

We went on a tour of the mansion itself. It seems that the last owner made a lot of changes...but not necessarily for the better. She painted over the original gold-leaf wall paper and the marble columns, removed the french doors, and knocked down adjoining structures to put in a pool. Some of the other people on the tour were quite critical.

My friend Pete

My friend Pete went to a gay sex on premises venue. He is doing research for his second novel. It was his first time. He tried to get me to go with him the last time I was in Canberra but I told him it wasn't my thing. He tells me it was quite a confronting experience and that he felt very uncomfortable (not surprisingly). I can't help but wonder what his girlfriend thinks about it all.