around the traps

around the traps

quiz time

You scored as Industrial/Rivet-Head. You're a rivet-head. You like industrial music, warehouses, and you are a minion of the machines.

Anything-Goes Goth
Perky Goff
Fantasy Goth
Old-school Goth
Romantic Goth
Death Rocker
Understanding Outsider
Ethereal Goth
Confused Outsider

What subcategory of Goth best fits you? created with

one sodding point? argh!

Can anyone tell me why Thurston was feeding that last scrum instead of setting for a long range kick for field goal?? :)

Still, what a cracker of a match. Had a bit of everything, just a pity that the one point went to the blues...!

Looking forward to Origin 2 :)

go karting

Went go karting today (kingston park) as part of a team building thing. It was a lot of fun, but now I hurt in some odd places (heels of my palms..? how the hell did I bruise those? not to mention a huge welt on my back...). My advice if you end up go karting - grab a pillow/cushion and pad that nasty plastic seat. I did two sessions on the plastic and two on the pillow. I know what I'll be doing at all times in future!

Did four sessions (practice and three heats) before deciding to sit out the final. Too tired and sore and needed to leave something in the tank to drive the real car back home afterwards. My best lap was 1:01 and a top speed of 80km/h; which was the 6th best time out of 12 drivers so respectable enough. Best of the day was 0:58 and not a hell of a lot quicker from memory (more about driving well than top speed).

I didn't get my goal of a sub-1:00 time but hey not many of us did :) I steadily improved every single lap through the first two sessions; ran consistent 1:01-1:04 times in the third; then spun out a couple of times and stalled once in the last heat.

80km/h in a souped up dodgem car with your bum about 10cm off the ground? I'm glad I didn't think too hard about it at the time! :) The twin engine 105km/h karts must be insane.

So anyway... yeah, fun! Ow.

around the traps

around the traps

ipods and taping the footy to become legal

Transferring music ruled legal - Technology - TRANSFERRING music from CDS onto iPods and other MP3 players will no longer be illegal after federal cabinet agreed to make sweeping changes to copyright laws. ... The new laws will also make it legal for people to tape television and radio programs for playback later, a practice currently prohibited although millions of people regularly do it. ... Schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions will, in the future, be free to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes.

Hoo-bloody-ray! For a long time I actually didn't think we'd see the day when this happened.

This bit is a little confusing though: Police will be able to issue on-the-spot fines and access and recover profits made by copyright pirates. Courts will be given powers to award larger damages payouts against internet pirates. Civil infringement proceedings will apply to copyright pirates who make electronic reproductions or copies of copyright material. At what level are they talking about? Is the intention to target organised, large scale piracy outfits; or are they going after twelve-year-olds sharing music, like the RIAA in the US?

Still, it's a step forward. It was ridiculous for taping TV to be illegal; and it never made sense to consumers that they couldn't copy music from their CDs to their MP3 players. Record companies liked the idea of charging people twice, but humans didn't really think that way ;) In addition, freeing things up for educational use will be a big relief for libraries. A huge amount of resources are sucked away from having to track usage under the current system. This way maybe people can concentrate on the subject matter and maybe even learn something.

Hurrah for the government actually doing something good...! Although I suspect there are a few points in the changes which are vulnerable to being Used For Evil, that seems par for the course.

around the traps

miners finally freed

Russell, Webb walk from gold mine. 09/05/2006. ABC News Online: Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb have reached the surface of the Beaconsfield Gold mine, 14 days after being trapped by a rock fall.

This really is a remarkable story, after the first man's body was found I don't think anyone truly thought the other two were alive. Since then the wait has been agonisingly slow, although easier once the mine officials refused to give time estimates. Even the media eventually learned to stop harassing them for information they couldn't supply.

Now I imagine the questions raised by the late Richard Carleton will be revisited: did officials know the mine was unsafe? Is it worth working on this seam any more?

No doubt the miners will be interviewed soon. They've probably got the current affairs shows beating on their door by now. The media coverage of this whole event could support entire theses, I'd say. It began with an embarrassingly botched Channel 9 live news cross when the miners were contacted and dragged on with endless 'breaking news' updates telling us what we already knew.

At any rate, good to see the miners out.

what the fuck was that crap?

Going past channels L just noticed a song put on during the Logies. People dressed up in bodysuits to look like aboriginal bodypaint, waving kiddie-prop spears and singing some inane shit about "indigeridoo, indigeroodon't". Before we switched channels in defense of our mental health, there was some kind of reference to Eddie Mabo and an embarrassed-looking Cathy Freeman got carried out on stage to pretend she was running.

No matter what the subject matter, it was an affront to the intelligence of anyone watching. The Logies are supposed to show off the best of Australian TV and that piece of immature shit was the best they could come up with? Thinking about it, insulting aboriginal culture was probably about the only way they could have made the whole thing worse. They accomplished that, with the most condescending portrayal of a corroboree I've ever seen.

I can't believe such crap could still be produced in 2006. We have enough problems with race relations as it is, without airing pathetic shit like that at a relatively high-profile event. Flicking back, I was disappointed to see a huge round of applause being given.

I've no idea what the Elders can say - it's barely worth dignifying the Logies' effort by mentioning it ever again. But something would have to be said about trivialising the Mabo case or even Cathy Freeman waving both flags at the Olympics (I can't help wondering if she knew what she'd agreed to?).

I don't know what to say. Maybe it's presumptuous for me to be angry, but I actually feel embarrassed at my own country (or at least the supposed cream of the crop of entertainers).

Update: I've heard later (from people who wouldn't admit whether they were intentionally watching or not ;)) that it might have been intended as a parody. If that's the case at least the intentions weren't so bad; it just didn't come across as a parody. It's a fine line between playing it too straight and overdoing it.

Update 2: OK, so yes it was a parody. I still don't think it sold properly. In hindsight I guess I should have given Australian TV Just a touch more credit. It's sort of disturbing that I think so badly of Aussie TV that I would ever think that shit was serious.

bloody ref!

[Footy whinge follows, skip if you're not interested ;)]

A hard and close loss for the Broncos today (Knights home in cliffhanger - League - Fox Sports). It certainly didn't help my opinion of NRL referees. It's the close ones where it's most obvious the effect a referee can have on a game; and Tony Archer should have just pulled on a blue and red jersey.

Obviously there is nothing to say the Broncos would have won if certain calls had gone differently. It's just incredibly galling to see a close match won by a dodgy penalty goal.

There were three crunch points that really got decided by Archer; passages of play turned by his calls:

  1. With the Broncos attack nearing the tryline, Archer mistakenly calls 4th Tackle and Webcke goes to ground with the ball. The turnover pushes play well back in Newcastle's favour, then moments later a dodgy penalty gives Newcastle a prime chance to score a try. Nobody can ever criticise the ref for fucking up the count though, if you criticise you get fined. There is no accountability.
  2. Later there's a bullshit penalty against Lockyer for a "high tackle" - for any other team the ref would say "his arm bounced off the ball" or "around the chest". I've seen endless high tackles on Broncos players explained away (think of David Stagg's season, for example). So anyway it's a gift two points for the Knights, putting them into the lead and ultimately winning the game for them.
  3. With the Broncos just metres from the line there's a one-on-one strip just before a second player arrives. It's a close call, so naturally the ref calls play back; preventing the Broncos from regaining the lead.

There's a stack of other moments throughout the game where the ref pushed close calls to Newcastle. About the only bit of luck to go the Broncos' way was when he missed Tate's knock on... even the Broncos get some luck once in a blue moon ;) Fate balanced that out though when the ref missed a dropped ball by the Knights.

So anyway, there's always next week :) We're coming up on the Origin series too; hopefully the two byes around the same time will help the Broncos get through without too many injuries from rep footy. Thankfully with the Cowboys in such hot form, the Broncos probably won't be supplying half the Origin team this year. Plus there are plenty of young guys coming through with everything to prove, the so-called Baby Broncos are hardly a team to dismiss.

melbourne thoughts

Heavy wheels trundle
Sparks flashing blue overhead
Melbourne tram bells clang

Sleek café hustle
The façade crumbles above
The Brunswick Street row

Sudden rain outside
Cold air rushes in the door
Jackets go back on

Through the rain I see
Umbrellas and golden leaves
Across the river

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team random shave for a cure

Well ok, it's only Relapse who's shaving for a cure. Liana and I are colouring.

You can sponsor us at

For those playing at home, yes Liana is a new randomite. She passes the requirements based on doing the colour thing, but she would have got in anyway based on running a shelter for border collies.

Border collies will get you everywhere ;)

[Update: I should mention that we are participating in an event on Monday 8thTuesday 9th, which is outside the specified Shave dates but was outside our control.]


So, Melbourne.


  • Grossi Florentino Cellar Bar - best antipasto ever and the veal papardelli was incredible.
  • Lounge (downstairs) - one of the most memorable eats, cheap and very good. Amusing but attentive service, (mostly) great music. Risotto so packed with prosciutto I couldn't finish it and some of the best turkish bread & dip we've ever had... The other night we were trying to work out what we wanted for dinner and all I could come up with was "Well there's a great place on Swanston Street..."
  • Ortigia - After arrival on our first day we set in search of coffee ("my kingdom for a latte..."). Ortigia is just outside the hotel, so we took a punt and walked in to what turns out to be a Melbourne Institution™. Awesome single slice pizzas and great coffee, plus a chandalier worth some ridiculous amount of money. A simple marble bar seats about six people and they serve out the window into the alley. Not to be missed.
  • The Mitre Tavern - Grabbed a meal here the first night since it was right next to the hotel; turned out to be a good tip. I'd say "cheap and cheerful" but that would be downplaying it - a cozy pub with good food.
  • Cafe 97, St Kilda - coffee, muffin and pancakes... we were almost too full to take a walk around St Kilda afterwards.
  • Cafe Sweethearts - voted by L to be the best breakfast ever and that's not a review to be ignored. Boring decor (in my opinion) but good food and coffee.
  • CAdeVIN - A tiny alley with a tarp thrown over it... in what seems to be true Melbourne style if you can fit a kitchen and at least two tables, you set up a cafe. L conquered a truly impressive pizza and I enjoyed a great pasta. In Brisbane you get Jimmy's on the Mall, in Melbourne you get CAdeVIN...
  • Don Vincenzo - I can't really review this fairly, since we know the chef :) But my steak with kipfler potatoes was great!
  • Retro Cafe - sort of like Brunswick Street's answer to Betty's Soup Kitchen on Oxford Street, Sydney. Maybe. Not notably cheap but the vibe is nice and I can understand the desire to take a laptop or good book and just camp out by the fireplace.
  • Supper Inn - Another institution, we went here after another restaurant kept us waiting for 40 minutes and lost our order. We'd seen the line at Supper Inn and decided not to wait. As it turns out it would have been faster, but no matter:)
  • Assorted cafes we forget the names of.... In one of life's shitty jokes, I was well off my food for a few of the days; thankfully usually rallying to enjoy dinner (phew! :)).


  • Ross Noble - Holy crap. He went for three hours and our guts hurt from laughing. I think you could see him two nights running and get two entirely different shows.
  • Arj Barker, after an extremely long period of standing in line in the cold. Damn "general admission". Damn it to hell. Arj was funny as all hell, although completely unfriendly afterwards to anyone who wasn't buying merchandise. Pity really.
  • Dylan Moran - He is Bernard Black. Need I say more? The show seemed awfully short though. Maybe we were just spoiled by Ross Noble :)
  • LanoWoodley (oops), Daniel Kittson and various other comedians in the street...
  • Spruikers for comedy shows, wandering the streets. If you're ever in town during the comedy festival and you have an evening free; just go stand out front of the Town Hall. Lesser-known comics are likely to be giving tickets away for that evening!
  • Melbourne Zoo - Meerkats! Unfortunately all the big cats were proving that they really are cats... it was chilly so they all went to sleep.
  • The Espy - Didn't have time to go in, but we did take a few shots of this institution so beloved by Melbournians.
  • St Kilda Pier - Too packed to walk out onto it, unfortunately. We would have persevered but we had to hot foot it back into the City to catch Dylan Moran that day.
  • Trams, including every twelve minutes on a public holiday.
  • People complaining about trams - dearly wanted to smack them out, the pampered little princesses. If you live in Melbourne, don't complain about your public transport. Come and try Brisbane's bus service, then get back to me.
  • Flinders Street Station - It has clocks! ;)
  • Federation Square - It has some ugly buildings but it's an impressive space. We did see some crazy people in marching band uniforms (in the freezing cold) playing Do Ya Think I'm Sexy and Sex Bomb on whistles.
  • Queen Victoria Markets - The food market was great but the "craft" market was actually disappointing, although we did cut our visit a little short so maybe it got better if you last the entire way through. We mistakenly ran off to Hamer Hall on the wrong bloody day. Both of us could have sworn the tickets said Sunday when we bought them... but apparently not ;)
  • Melbourne Central - Took obligatory photos of the shot tower, which was one thing I remembered from my last visit to Melbourne many years ago during a family holiday.
  • Almost no street art, bollocks to the Comm Games organisers for that one!
  • Seas of people wearing black. How could I not feel at home? :)


No doubt I forgot some other places. My credit card is not speaking to me.

things i'd prefer not to know

"This is your Captain speaking. We have climbed to our terrifyingly high cruising altitude. We have one hell of a tail wind and are now travelling at just under 1000km per hour..." (I may be paraphrasing...)

Fucking what? Nearly 1000km/h in a commercial airliner? Are these tubs supposed to go that fast?? How the fuck do you plan to slow down at the other end? (As it turns out, the answer to that last one was "by diving during the approach then landing with about three inches to spare").

overall impressions?

Melbourne appears to be entirely composed of Institutions™ :) Every alley has fifteen cafes; the cold is all about the wind chill; trams rock...

People seem to think Melbournians are inherently more stylish than, say, Brisbanites. This is bullshit. It's just that in Melbourne people quite literally wear more clothes. It's too fucking hot here to wear what is worn down there... and there's only so much personality you can inject into a tshirt and shorts.

The general standard of coffee is definitely higher. The general standard of building maintenance is lower (eg. look above street level on Brunswick Street). There are heaps of wonderful old buildings.

We had seven nights. I think it's fair to say that we comprehensively scratched the surface :)

I could get used to Melbourne.

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