CYC Forest Edge: how not to get lost on the way

From Melbourne, Google maps suggests that the quickest way (time-wise) to Forest Edge is via the Monash and Princes Freeways, before taking the road to Neerim. Following these directions, you see a sign that says “Neerim East Road” and since this is the next turn in you directions, you think that this is your turn. This is incorrect. As you can see in the picture, Neerim East road loops. You want the other end of the road. I got very lost and explored a lot of the country side and forest roads before working out where I was and why all the roads were “wrong” to what I was expecting.

[ Map of how to get to Forest Edge CYC ]

It is possible to go up Sheffield Road if you take the first turn onto the Neerim East road.

You might be headed to The Forest Edge Music Festival, or to a camp there; and find these directions useful.

October 4, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

an interesting evening

Blooding again! Number 6. An interesting experience- the needle rolled over or something, and the blood flow was really slow. After 11 minutes 50 had elapsed, I had only managed 430ml of the 470ml that they go for. They’ll still be able to use my blood- after 12 minutes they can’t use the platelets so it was best to stop. I’m a bit disappointed though! Haemoglobbin 13.4 (down just a smidge) and BP 117/74 (from memory.) See if you can do a better job- give blood.

Next I went out to get in my car and go to Girls Brigade- only to find that my car was being petulant again. It has had some issues, but has just come out from a service! After a good rev it started again, and I have parked so a roll start can happen tomorrow, if needed.

Then I found out that only one girl had come to Girls Brigade, so I could go home. So instead of driving to church, I drove home, and wrote this. I hope tomorrow is a bit less interesting!

August 11, 2009 | Leave a Comment |

blooding #5

I just got back from giving blood for the fifth time, after a break of over a year (due to travel). It was just about the same as usual, I had to wait a long time in the chair (stuck, elevated and my arm in the blood pressure cuff) while they sorted out my paper work. I didn’t feel faint this time, which is a plus. On to the stats!

So why not? Give Blood.

April 15, 2009 | 5 Comments |

potential visitor increase

Dear Stephen Conroy,

I read today in The Age that you are planning to start monitoring blogs as part of a new “media monitoring strategy”. You particularly mentioned Whirlpool, a site that has been critical of your proposed “Clean Feed Internet Filter” (as I have been.)

As a blogger, I’d love to know that what I write about has a wide audience. If your proposed monitoring does indeed spread its net wide over the internet, (though I would question whether this is effective use of tax payer funds) you may well be visiting this website. This would be a boost to my visitor count, which of course is the goal of most websites. (Isn’t it?). I encourage you to read around- maybe you would be interested in a List of the 13 dwarves in The Hobbit? (one of my more popular articles.) Or perhaps, you could introduce bean bag skills for those rowdy back benchers.

Sincerely yours,

No, I wasn’t game enough to send this to Minister Conroy directly!

March 23, 2009 | Leave a Comment |


I’ve been pretty tired lately. It’s been for a good cause as we have been running a kids afternoon program, and a cafe for the community at our church this week as part of the urban summer program. We have also been doing some community service and mentoring about 25 young people (aged roughly 12 to 18) who have been our team.

Friday night, our last night of cafe, we ran the cafe from 2pm till 10pm, instead of the usual 2pm til 5pm. This is a total of 8 hours and is more than anyone in these kind of things usually runs. To cope, we made sure we took some time out to chill. I took a 20 minute break, and as part of that had a little doze.

As I lay on the floor, I had a conversation with an imaginary spider that had crawled up on my shoulder.
Surreal. But I felt well rested and went on to enjoy being useful for the rest of the evening.

January 24, 2009 | Leave a Comment |

Why I am against the filter

The proposed “clean feed” internet filter:

After all that, the internet still has the same websites out there, even if it’s a little bit harder for Australians to see them. Resources would be better spent in tracking down the creators of the objectionable content and putting them in jail, and shutting down their websites.

And that is why I am against the proposed Australian Internet Filter.

Further reading:

Lobbying for the filter will not protect our society, our children; it will not “clean up the internet”, as much as I would like the internet to be cleaned. The best way to protect children on the internet is to supervise them and give them rules for its use. Put a filter on your own computer, to prevent its users stumbling across unwanted material.
The filter is flawed. People are the real solution.

December 9, 2008 | 2 Comments |


So, after working at Eastland all morning, I walked out to my car, in the staff car park, and thought, hmm. something looks funny. The bumper is a bit skew. Some person had hit my car on the curb side and crunched my head light. My guess is that it was done when reversing for a car space.


The damage doesn’t make me too angry, I mean, it will need to be fixed, but it isn’t a brand new car with delicate paint work. (I hope theirs was.) No, what makes me maddest, is the fact that they didn’t leave a note. Nothing! So inconsiderate.

But I feel better now after expressing my anger and letting it go.

December 5, 2008 | 3 Comments |

on books and reading

I once wrote a paper (an essay for university) that touched on why books are special. I argued that because the most important and most common books in the Middle Ages were sacred ones, that as a culture we have learned to revere all books. Books contain knowledge, messages, and are timeless. I think this is why book-burning is such a powerful and terrible act- the destruction of something special.

I love the hum of a big library- all those books, calling out to be read. I love teaching children how to read and to love books. Cuddling up with a good book is one of life’s pleasures. Reading builds brain-muscle: knowledge and imagination. Reading enhances life.

Of course, there are other kinds of reading that you can do: newspapers, cereal packets, web pages, movie subtitles. These are all exercises in processing the printed letters and words into meaning. However, I find that they don’t quite compare with a book. I wonder why that is? Is it the comparison of screen printed page? Obviously reading street signs and cereal boxes rarely reaches the narrative depth of some Jane Austen or Tolkein or even JK Rowling, but why does the web not have that kind of emotional grab? Is it inherent in the medium or is it simply because I’ve been brought up to love books?

Where does something like Project Gutenberg fit in? It specializes in books on the screen- books distributed in an electronic format. Sure, you can print a book out, but I think the intended/expected use is to read it on some kind of screen. I have tried reading books from a screen, but reading a paper book seems to be a more enjoyable experience.

What makes me sad is that I have not read a real book for enjoyment for a long time. When I was small, I expected to read every book in our school library. This wasn’t a goal, I just expected to be able to do it. It seems pretty silly now, when I have so many things on I don’t have time to read. Or at least I tell myself I don’t have time to read. Something that perhaps stops me from reading is the compulsion to finish a book in one sitting. This, obviously, requires large blocks of time that isn’t helpful when assignments need finished, chores completed and reasonable bed times to be kept. I might as well not pick up the book, if I have to put it down again unfinished, I would think.

I’ve come to the realization that you are never too old (or too young) to read. Maybe, tomorrow, I might go to a library. What about you? Are books something special? Do you enjoy reading the screen as much as you enjoy reading the page? As always, leave a comment in the box- I love reading them.

November 20, 2008 | 7 Comments |

5 tips for better ipod battery life

[a battery indicator with green juice half way along it.]You know the feeling- you’re grooving away to your favourite tunes, and happen to notice that your little juice-meter is awfully low. What to do? You decide that prolonging battery life is your priority. Here are some (purely anecdotal) tips that might help.

  1. Turn it off, put it away. (Did I say these were useful tips?)
  2. Turn down the screen brightness to as low as you can bear- I hear 0% is brilliant for boosting battery life.
  3. Similarly, turn down the time the back-light is on to the lowest setting.
  4. Don’t play the games, watch photos or browse through album art. These are more intensive and thus probably use the battery juice faster.
  5. Plug it in. This is a fantastic way to boost battery juice.

Now, I know that I have specifically dealt with the Apple Ipod in this article, but I am sure that many of these tips will apply to those MP3 players sold by other Manufacturers also.

This is humour, in case you haven’t picked it up yet…

March 23, 2008 | 2 Comments |

queen of the republic

In this post, I’m going to spout my opinions on whether Australia should a) become a republic (with president or whatever) or b) still have the Queen as our head of state.

What my opinion boils down to is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and here’s why.

The every day lives of every Australian is not affected whether we have a Queen or not. We can make our own decisions about international policy, without interference from a monarch, as the British can. We are pretty much independent, with the added bonus of being able to romp it in at the Commonwealth Games (unlike the Olympics, which has big countries like China, USA, etc. that usually manage to thump our medal count.)

People seem to want a republic for the simple feeling of freedom. We have freedom already, and changing the head of state will not change that.

In fact, look at the world. There are places where basic freedoms are denied. The freedom to turn on the tap and be able to drink the water, even get water at all. The freedom to eat three meals a day. The freedom to say what we like, talk to who we want to, and the freedom to choose many trivial and non-trivial things.

Comparing our situation to that of other nations makes me ask whether the Australian Republican movement’s efforts couldn’t be devoted to somewhere where it would matter more.

No, I’m not a monarchist, nor a republican. I think the current system works, and there are other problems out there more worthy of our attention.

One of our problems is the rabid republicans and mad monarchists… Come on Australia, choose to leave it alone.

November 27, 2007 | 2 Comments |
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