Over the years I have had a lot of Ideas(tm) about how the existing public transport system could be improved. For anyone who isn’t from Melbourne or one of the handful of other cities around the world which take public transport as seriously, please ignore these ruminations: Melbourne has great public transport, and we have no right to complain.

I was thinking though… I know a number of people who avoid the Melbroune trains and trams because they don’t like sharing their personal spacewith an unfiltered random slice of humanity. Some of these people have adopted some fairly extreme solutions to the whole getting to/from work thing, many of them expensive.

Methinks: were I such a person, and compelled to drive to work every day, I would now be paying something in the vacinity of $500 per calendar month in fuel, repairs, registration, tolls and parking. That’s a very conservative figure, and I own my car…

Suppose instead, I booked a ‘sleeper’ ticket for the train every morning: my ticket would entitle me to one of the nice comfy individual sleeping compartments on a special carriage of every commuter train. For this privelege I would pay, say, $450 per month. A system built into my phone would estimate my ETA at the station from my movements, book a sleeper on the next train I was likely to make it to, and advise me if I was going to have to wait for a space. The sleeper car would have a whole series of small compartments, somewhere between a TokyoCapsule Hotelexternal link and and a conventional long-haul sleeping berth in size. Each compartment would require a ‘sleeper ticket’ to open.

The complexity of the cost structure involved boggles my poor mind, but I’m sure someone here has the train-geek/logistics sense to determine if this is feasible.

Even a more conservative option might work: first-class commuter tickets and carriages: bigger comfier seats with more personal space, and the assurance that your carriage-mates had to pay extra too, for whatever that’s worth.

We will need to get more of these people on the trains in future, what with the steadily climbing price of fuel. It might be a good idea to get the fussy commuters on-side before you go, for example, banning internal combustion engines within the Central Business District. biggrin

Anyhoot. Should probably be working… *grumble*

BFHLAN, Double Vision, Sickness and Health, Phoniness, Mice

Unable to wring any greater sentience from my enfeebled brain, I resort once again to bloggery for a bit.

As many will already know, I have finally settled on a date for my LAN dayexternal link, after many months of procrastinating. It will be this Saturday, the 9th of September. Organizational details can be found hereexternal link. I look forward to filling my house with geeks and loose cabling, once

Speaking of loose cables… Doubleexternal link is still creeping forward, very slowly. For reasons which I will go into in a sec, I have made nearly zero progress on it in the past fortnight. The short story is: Building a web/mail/stuff server is easy. Migrating anything to or from one is bloody hard. At least there is now a Gallery applicationexternal link (BINSexternal link). Although it is still only ~50% functional. Gotta work some glitches out of that directory permission stuff, and make things generally slightly prettier.

E and I have been very very sick for the last little while. Last week it was me, bronchitis and a chest infection courteously donated by my brother, who got hauled off to the Alfredexternal link at one point with his illness. This week it was E, and she too had to make a visit, this time to Caseyexternal link in the wee small hours. Be ye warned: if you haven’t had this latest virus, it’s a monster. sad

I have also had the …good?… fortune to recently learn the importance of knowing one’s IMEI numberexternal link. This is a longish number that comes with any new phone and uniquely identifies it. If you have an Australian mobile phone, you can get your IMEI number by dialing *#06# on it. You can then write it down. If you haven’t written it down, and you can’t find it on the packaging or anywhere else, you will find that you can’t report it stolen!

Finally, I have a minor quandary at the moment about Mice. My new house seems to have a slight infestation of them, judging by the rate at which I am losing instant noodles and cake mix (only those two things, no rice, flour, pasta, etc.). I have bought a pair of non-lethal mouse-traps (which clearly do not exist: I can’t find ’em in Google). They are little elbow-shaped plastic boxes with a simple trapdoor mechanism at one end: the mouse enters the tube through the trapdoor and climbs the raised bit to get at the bait, tipping the assembly onto its other side, and closing the trap-door. this would all make much greater sense if I had thought to include a picture. Maybe I will.
All of that aside, the issue is simply this: If I trap mice in a non-lethal manner, having caught them, what do I do with them? So far, all my solutions to this problem have involved one kind or another of lethality for the mouse, none of these satisfactorily humane. My best idea so far is to buy a mouse cage, keep it stocked with grain and water, and periodically release said mice into the Clayton tip, wherein I expect they will find ample food and bother no-one.