How many paragraphs until they admit it?

From The Age: ‘Beachgoers attacked, robbed, glassed at Chelsea as teenagers run riot’.

Even foreigners would have picked the keyword in that headline, but let me fill you in on other facts: Chelsea beach is renowned for occasionally being a bit rough as it is just south of two high-immigrant suburbs, Springvale and Dandenong.  Just how rough it is at any given times depends on who’s living there – Vietnamese, Afghans etc.

Second, the nature of the attack is a dead giveaway – Read More

Don’t fuck up

In prehistoric times, there were endless ways of fucking up.  You could zig when you were supposed to zag while hunting woolly rhino.  You could get an infected cut.  You could get caught sleeping with Og’s girl and have your skull cleaved in two.  You could fail to adapt when your world suddenly freezes over and your previous food sources disappear.

Even in the agricultural age a lot of things could go wrong.  Most of them related to Read More

So happy I can’t feel it

[Ed: this was written six months ago, at the end of the first year of my two-year African contract.]


The toughest year of my life.  Wee hours spent thinking, shall I go to work tomorrow?  Or head to the airport instead?  And being held back mostly by the need for an exit visa and all that that entails.

Days of thinking, this is beyond bad.  This has reached Read More

Techies needed – what computer should I get?

I am low tech.  You’re about to find out the extent of my Ludditism.  Don’t judge me.

My 2012 MacBook Air is starting to creak.  Some updates and new software are no longer working, the memory’s running out, and occasional bugs scare the willies out of me because out here in the jungle I cannot back up automatically to the cloud.

Let’s face it.  I love this little machine, most of the time, but one day soon it’s going to go to that big, polluted, Nigerian recycling and data-stealing slum in the sky.

I’m going to run this baby right into the ground, but I’m already starting to consider what to replace it with when it finally gives up the ghost.

My needs are so minimal as to be laughable to you tech guys with your fancy games and marketable skills.  Some wag will no doubt suggest Read More

Volunteers requested to test-read my books (updated)

Hi lads,

I’ve completed two books and I need some feedback before I get too far into starting another.

The first is a non-fiction work called The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual for Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.  It is very much a beginner’s guide to personal finance and covers such basic requirements as eliminating debt, establishing an emergency fund and a budget, investing in bonds and shares, and how to find a good financial advisor.  It is 24,000 words.  It started as a series of blog posts but once I got to 10,000 words I decided to just make it into a book, instead.

There are two types people who might make suitable reviewers for this book: Read More

It’s all your fault

There was an article in The Age bemoaning the fate of a couple of older women in Reservoir (povo northern suburb of Melbourne).

They were living in a dodgy rooming house with a leaky roof and rotten footing.  They survived on the dole and struggled to pay the rent.  The article was all about how the government should give them more money because Read More