Sagittarius, The Milky Way, Flickr and My Photography

Here’s a bit of irony for you. Anyone who’s read my blog regularly, would realise I don’t often include photos with my posts. This is mainly due to time constraints. It’s like, I just want to write this and get it out there. I can’t be bothered putting up an accompanying photo. Okay, so it’s a bit of laziness, too! If the post is specifically about a photo or an image, I’ll obviously included it but in general it’s been about the writing, and ideas, etc. Now, the irony is I actually love photography!

Years ago I let my Flickr account gather weeds. It had some slightly above average (IMHO) pics in it. They are still there. Recently I’ve been getting back into trying to up my mediocre photography skills by actually using my 7-year-old Nikon D60 properly. With some success. I bought the DSLR because I wanted to take shots of the night sky. There’s a great Digital Photography School page on Facebook which has some very useful tips and has been encouraging me to get back out there with the gear.

Sagittarius in the Milky Way

Milky Way toward Sagittarius. Nikon D60, 18.3mm, 15 Sec, F/4, ISO Hi 3200. Click the image to see the far better version on my Flickr page.

Here is a condensed version of a shot I took the other night of part of the Milky Way directly over my house. It’s looking in the direction of Sagittarius which is toward the centre of our home galaxy. Just imagine this awesomeness: The Milky Way is the largest visible structure in the sky and we’re in it.

Anyway, I hope to get more practice in and I’ll be putting the less embarrassing attempts at pic-taking on my Flickr page. Most photos will go up there without fanfare but if any have an interesting story or background I might write a post about it.

To the right in the widget bar is a link to more of my photos if you’re interested. Don’t expect too much in the way of quality or skill just yet. Looking at some of the Milky Way photos on Flickr, I’ve got a long way to go!

Myki: How to Make the Most of the New 2 Hour Fare

Myki’s 2-hour fare will now last exactly two hours. Yes, for the out-of-towners, a 2 hour ticket used to last you up to 2 hours and 59 minutes. As of Sunday 10 August 2014, a 2 hour ticket will now last exactly 2 hours.

A Typical Myki card

A Typical Myki card

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking the PTV have come to their senses and removed some absurdity from the system. But from now we will actually have less value for money and possibly more confusion, stress, revenue collection and possibly more inadvertent fare evasion.

Previously you could touch on your Myki any time and know you have two hours of travel in Melbourne from the next hour. For example, if you touch on (begin your journey) at 8:10 AM, your two hours effectively doesn’t start till 9 AM. So  you can travel from 8:10 to 11:00 am. This made it easy to remember when your two hours expires.

From August 10 when you touch on at 8:17, your ticket will expire at 10:17. If you touch on again at 10:30 another 2 hour fare will have started. However due to the daily cap of 2 x 2-hour fares this second 2 hour block will last till the last service that day.

What does this mean to the average traveller?

  1. Less value for money.
  2. Overall increase in the use of more 2-hour fares.
  3. Potentially more fare evasion if people reply on their Myki’s having just enough for a 2-hour fare but use the 2:59 time to their advantage.
  4. People will pay more to travel, on average.
  5. More difficulty in remembering exact time of expiry, despite this being displayed on the Myki reader each time you touch on and off.

Remember These Tips:

  1. With trams and buses you touch on when you enter the vehicle so it coincides with the start of your trip. Trains, however require you to touch on when you enter the station which may be a while before the train arrives. If you wait for the train to arrive before touching on you will not be paying for wasted minutes before it arrives. Of course, we can see a big rush of people touching on at the gates just as the train pulls in. This might be an issue at busier stations.
  2. Remember to hold your Myki on the reader until you’ve finished reading the expiry time. The display will remain while your Myki is present at the reader when you touch on and off.
  3. Another point which becomes more important is that the 2 hour limit only applies to the touch on time. If your last trip for the day begins within the 2 hour window, you’re okay. You don’t have to complete all your trips within 2 hours. You only have to start all your trips within the 2 hour window.
  4. Touch on after 6 PM and you can travel the rest of the day for a 2 hour fare.

Reference (as at 9 PM AEST August 9): Changes to 2 hour Fares announcement on the Myki Website.


How to Solve the Gaza Conflict

About ten years ago on one of the rare occasions I was dragged along to Mass, the delusional priest of our local parish decided it was time he solved the middle east crisis. His solution was simple. He said all they had to do, that is, ALL they had to do, as if it’s as easy as putting on your underwear in the morning, was to accept Jesus as their saviour. This would quickly and easily solve all the problems. Just imagine all the Jews, Muslims, closet atheists and everyone else just dropping everything and switching over to Christianity without question.

–cking idiot.
Continue reading

Considering LinkedIn

Over the years I’ve received lots of invitations to join LinkedIn.

The first time was from a boss who had moved on and I thought it was a scam because I’d never heard of it. It was early days.

The next one was from an old school acquaintance (we were never really what you would call friends) who didn’t work in the same industry as me. We’d already caught up through other channels, I worked in software development, he in finance, so I wondered what would be the point of connecting on LinkedIn. Continue reading

Meet My Character

G’day! This week Goran Zidar was kind enough to give me this opportunity to introduce you all to one of my favourite characters. Thank you Goran. Before I launch into my character’s bio, here’s a little more info about Goran and his work. Continue reading

Craig’s Cross-Dress Dare

My old mate Craig made a ludicrous statement at the beginning of the AFL season. He said “If the Hawks lose more than 2-3 games this year I’ll cross dress and walk down Bourke street – seriously we might just be that good”

Last weekend the Hawks lost their fourth game of 2014. True to his word he got into the gear on Thursday at lunch time, and here he is in Bourke Street, Melbourne.

This is Craig. He lost a bet.

This is Craig. He lost a bet.

He’s aiming to raise $1,000 for the EJ Whitten Foundation for Prostate Cancer research. If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, or just to pay kudos to Craig for the effort, click the picture to go to the donations page at Don’t feel guilty if you don’t.

Well done Craig. Good Effort!



How to Block Tumblr at Your Router

Ever tried the simplest way to block a website your kids either shouldn’t be seeing at all, or need to spend less time on, and found that it only works for a short time? This method involves finding the site’s IP address using ping or tracert, and add it to your blocked list in the firewall of your router. Easy. And it does work – for a few minutes.

I tried this with Tumblr (because someone in our household is getting less homework done because of it – nothing against Tumblr) and found exactly that.

For the short answer, feel free to skip to the Final Answer. If you’re curious about how to work it out yourself, please read on. Continue reading