I love a sodden country
A land of sweeping drains
Of floods floods and torrent rivers
And moisture that doesnt change
I love her weather warnings
Of cyclone and torrential rains
It seems the plains before me
Have become an inland sea

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This is a picture I’ve been meaning to take for some time now, to document some of the features of the City of Melbourne’s most heavily trafficked bike route.  In recent times there has been much controversy over Swanston street, a couple of items coming to mind:

  • The death of Carolyn  Rawlins in 2008
  • The 12 months it took to remove the busses from the “Middle Section”
  • Robert Doyle floating an option for Swanston street that would reduce discourage or even remove cyclists from Swanston street
  • The recent cyclist police blitz, that could be seen as revenue raising instead of awareness raising

The City of Melbourne seems to have a strange approach to cycle safety, providing lip service on their website, and installing some proper infrastructure however for me and many others who come into the city from the South, there are many hazards and death traps to negotiate each day.

So ride with care, and your peril for it seems nothing Changing on Melbournes busiest cycle path – and look out for the new hazzard, the Cops.

Sam,

@samotage

That’ll take just 2 seconds. We’ve all heard it before, we’ve all said it before. In fact it may even be true?  Just about all tasks take 2 seconds. Just that big jobs tend to take many many 2 second tasks, all strung together over days, weeks, years.

Put together enough of them, and something fantastic may just be the result?  Some things that take about 2 seconds:

  • Write this tweet.
  • Butter a piece of toast.
  • Say I love you – and mean it.
  • Realise that big idea.
  • Make that big decision
  • Get on with doing it, one task at a time.

So if you want to do something, or just add extra awesomeness to whatever it is you do, think about what you do between each 2 second task, every day.

1 million seconds elapse in just under 12 days.

Sam,

@samotage

Good Morning,

I cycle into the city, most days of the week and often I take a northern route along Elizabeth street in the morning, where the traffic is generally sparse.  Along this route, I often encounter one of your smaller Skybus coaches, the ones with the left hand mirrors mounted about the same height as a cyclists head.

I write to you not because of any specific incident, however to bring to your attention the nature in which some of your drivers use the road. At some points along Elizabeth st, because of tram infrastructure, parked vehicles etc, the available space for cyclists decreases.

This morning marks the third occasion where a Skybus driver has passed quite close and I’ve very nearly been struck by the left hand mirror, luckily for me on this occasion like the others, all I’ve suffered is a scare.

I write this morning to request your drivers take a greater awareness of cyclists with whom they share the roads, and perhaps avoid overtaking when the road is constricted?

I’m sure both cyclists, and Skybus would like to avoid an incident where somebody was avoidably hurt.

If you have any questions, you may contact me on return email or telephone, 0403 245 139.

Many thanks,

Sam Sabey.

@samotage

Perhaps the 2010 Australian election is a sign that we need to consider de-legislation?

In the industrial era, Governments were formed, they organised, they built, they developed. They pulled together resources, people, initiative and made the societies we live in today. They did great things.  Along this journey, policy was formed, that in turn made rules and became legislation – our law.

This process gave birth to the bureaucracy, as a child it grew, became effective, delivered. It resisted change buy governing (defined as control, preventing runaways, maintaing order ) it’s bubble of influence expanded through adding new laws, regulations and legislation.  Unsurprisingly, we’ve developed processed that works pretty well when we want to add new legislation. In fact, it could be considered that adding legislation is the hallmark of a successful Government?

Perhaps we are at a time of legislation saturation? Existing rules disqualify, contradict or make impossible new rules that could otherwise help the change we need to make, as us as a society needs to make to survive. Remember, Nature bats last.

We can’t change without de-legislation as rules already in place contradict, disqualify or annul new rules that would make for a better society.  Some examples:

  • Fringe benefits tax laws that encourage people to drive more to pay less tax on their cars, and turn them over more frequently.
  • Subsidies to the coal industry in the form of clean coal and other lending supports the generation of electricity that is killing out planet.
  • Housing policy which encourages the consumption of increasing amounts of farmland in far away places known as “Springs” built from cookie cutter homes.

Is it possible that we’ve reached a time where our government can’t make change because the existing rules prevent it?  Do we need to find new ways to de-legislate, clear the cobwebs? Perhaps then we may be able to actually move forward.

Sam.

@samotage

If our water supply was contaminated by a poison or other harmful toxin or comtamination this is what would happen:

  • The public would be told to stop drinking the water, and instructed in what circumstances we could use the water, e.g. boil drinking water.
  • The waterworks engineers will test the water, and find the cause of the toxin – usually by travelling upstream from the reported location
  • Steps will be taken to stop the cause of the toxin, and return the water supply to safety.
  • When the water was safe to drink again, we would be told when and what to do.

In fact, this happened to Sydney in 1998 when their water supply was found to be contaminated.

Compare this to the internet.

We all know there is objectionable, undesirable and even illegal content inside the inter-tubes. Other governments around the world tend to follow this approach, they seek out the host servers and shut them down.

Contrast this to how Senator Conroy and his mates would act on a water contamination problem:

  • Allow the contaminants to continue to be released into the water system.
  • Ensure everybody’s kitchen drinking tap is fitted with a filter, that only works on low pressures.
  • Permit unfiltered water use in other parts of the home, e.g. bathrooms, laundry’s and gardens.
  • Force everybody to record and tell the government what water they drink, just in case somebody drinks some bad water.
  • Insist this is the this is the best approach to protect ourselves from the contamination, even when the water experts protest.

Kinda scary really, that in they year 2010 politicians can think they can actually filter our internet.

Sam,

@samotage

#nocleanfeed

Sweating on a database script, the telephone rang. It was Sara (my wife) distressed, something was wrong with our dear little cat Penelope. I came inside, and I was given the hurry up – something must be really wrong.

Under the bed was Penelope, on her side saliva drooling from her mouth, limp and barely breathing. Fuck.

And then it was action stations, the Children were all sleeping – so I was going to the Vet immediately. As I got ready to go, Sara called our Vet of 8 years, a kilometreA down the road.

As I carried poor little Penelope out to the car, Sara, on the phone to the Vet tells me they can’t see Penelope – in her greatest moment of need. And if we wanted assistance, we would need to wait an hour for an “appointment” while they tended to their routine injections.

At the height of the confusion, little Penelope died, expiring her last breath in my arms as I tried to resuscitate her. I hope she felt loved in her final moments. We all loved her dearly.

So today, all the boys, my wife and I will say goodbye to our loved little Penelope, now in heaven, and I will dig a hole.

Perhaps, in the hindsight – there was nothing that could be done? We won’t know what caused the death, and can only guess. Perhaps it was best that the confusion delayed things so she could pass with those that have loved her all her life?

Perhaps our Vet could have been a little more accommodating? If you live in the St Kilda district, I’d recommend you don’t contact the St Kilda Veterinarian clinic, because if you have an emergency, their friendly staff won’t want to help at all…

Sam,

@samotage