I was duped by a microparty

My first real job after high school was working for a mail order porn video company. It was a great job, management was very professional and I got really great opportunities after showing aptitude in my work.

I was recently approached by my old boss there to help with digital marketing for the Sex Party, where he's running the national campaign. I've been a Greens member for many, many years so helping another party isn't something I'd normally do, but as a favour I agreed to help sort out the party's web analytics.

Now the Senate preference tickets are out, which is the list that determines where your votes go if you vote Above The Line in the Senate. To my dismay, I discover the Sex Party are preferencing One Notion and the gun nuts above the Greens. That's it for me, no more support whatsoever.

What appears to have happened is that serial microparty deal maker Glenn Druery cut a range of deals that resulted in Sex Party and Wikileaks ultimately passing preferences over to One Notion. Pauline Pantsdown has done some fantastic analysis which describes how the game is played.


Polly Morgan also has some interesting insights. Really interestingly is it seems one person was responsible (and failed) for submitting the voting tickets for five parties, which kind of puts the lie to it!


More disappointment comes with news that anti-gambling campaigner Nick Xenophon has preferenced the two major parties, who have worked together to stymie his proposed gambling reforms, ahead of the only other major party that has supports his goals.

The safest approach this election is to vote 1 Greens above the line in the Senate. If you want to have complete control over your vote, try out the Below The Line site, but be sure you don't mess it up and end up making your ballot informal!

Underbelly Arts

We went out to Cockatoo Island on Sunday to the Underbelly Arts Festival. It was a stunning sunny day and the kids had a fantastic time. Kids seem to immediately understand that "art" just means "play" and get right into it.

No Marque, you can shove your environmental "concerns"

"Due to environmental concerns Marque Restaurant no longer uses bottled mineral water. In this regard we have installed a chilled, filtered, carbonated water system. To support this initiative $5 per person will be added to every bill."

Marque menu

Environmental "concerns" that give you an excuse to add $5 to everyone's bill. Riiiiight.

This is a restaurant that charges $245 per person for food + matching wines, yet they think adding a mandatory $5 so the pampered diners can have water a grade above Sydney's perfectly fine tap. No, you can shove that right up your clacker Marque. I can't stand bottled water, but paying for tap water is even more outrageous. Can I order un-wankified tap and get it free?

Shopping around for a fancy restaurant for our 15th anniversary. Marque just moved off the consideration list.

Our new local: Young Henry, The Cure's a Forest, brisket sandwich and a kid play room

The Henson opened tonight in the old "Henson Park Hotel" premises around the corner, after a short hiccup with their license. They've done a great job, stripping back some of the covers over the original art deco features, installing a kiddie play area, opening out the old back room as a great bistro. We were walking back from the park and thought we'd check it out and decided to stay for dinner. I think we were the first official customers in the place. This is probably the first blog post reviewing it.

Excellent beers on tap: we sampled the Young Henry's Real Ale and Matilda Bay's new Minimum Chips golden lager. Delicious. Dinner for me was a "knuckle sandwich": brisket, pickles, coleslaw on rye. Holly went the brown rice kimchi goreng and the kids had real fish fingers and chips. Yummo! All excellent.

Smokers are confined to a small section of the outdoor area, so you can eat outside without having to breathe that. What's more, the tables in view of the kiddie play area are smoke free and heated. Brilliant!

Welcome to the area Henson. We'll be back for sure. Possibly even tomorrow night if you're gonna have the Australia vs Japan match on...

The photos below are from the Powerhouse Museum and show the pub in 1936.

Awesome weekend camping

We had a fantastic 4-day  weekend camping with our kids down in Bundeena. Bit of a risk this late in the season but we got extremely lucky. 26 degrees every day! Our kids were a bit unwell at times, with bad colds and Louis seemed to have a short bout of gastro. But we still had loads of fun.

Snorkelling photos

I've been getting into snorkelling a bit recently. I've always enjoyed it but recently I bought some good quality gear, replacing the toy shop crap I've been using. It's another world with good equipment! It's not easy to get time, but so far I've snorkelled Jervis Bay, Bushrangers Bay, Clovelly and The Haven in Terrigal.

My son has been asking what it's like, so I bought the Kogan waterproof camera case for $19. Took it out last weekend for a spin at The Haven but the visibility was terrible. The camera case works a treat though, and I'm looking forward to using it some more. Need to work out a strap to attach it to my arm or something though.

Alternatives to Posterous?

My blog has been on Posterous for some years now and it's been awesome. The best thing about it is that you just email a bunch of stuff, with whatever attachments in whatever format are relevant, and they just work.

Sadly they're shutting down following their talent acquisition by Twitter. That's a real shame. Now I have to find an alternative.

Requirements:
  • Hosted. I'm not going to maintain a server just for blogging thanks.
  • Allows custom JS. I'm always testing out new analytics tools on my own sites.
  • Post through email
Squarespace is lovely but pretty expensive for what I need, unless I can consolidate all three sites into one platform while keeping the domains (waiting on their ticket response).

I had high hopes for Markdown-based blog tools like Jekyll, but I find them a bit clunky. Posterous has got me used to a really easy blogging workflow that works well for me.

Any suggestions? I'm happy to pay.

Camping on a soggy weekend

I took Louis camping this weekend in Bundeena. Train, ferry then a short hike to the campsite on the edge of the Royal National Park. The weather outlook before we left was pretty shaky, and it lived up to the forecast: heavy showers and strong winds pretty much the entire time. Louis was so excited about the idea of camping that I had to take him, and we had an excellent time.

It's an astonishingly beautiful spot, on the edge of a lagoon that adjoins Port Hacking, so you're camped amongst mangroves and birds with a view across the water of Cronulla. So close to civilisation, but you feel like you're a million miles away.

Saturday after arriving at the camp site, we pitched the tent just in time to shelter in it from a shower. Next we pottered around the low-tide lagoon and big spit of sand that divides the lagoon from Port Hacking. We found some pretty interesting things along the sand including a cobalt blue piece where a chunk of seaweed was attached to the sea floor. Any seaweed experts know what that's about?

Dinner was interesting. The BBQs were fortunately sheltered from the frequent showers. We got the sausages on and Louis announced he needed to use the loo, so we headed off. As we came back we saw a murder of crows on the BBQs eating our dinner! We ended up with just a single sausage between us for dinner. Fortunately I'd over catered on snacks so we didn't go to bed hungry. (PS, yes I've always wanted to use the term "murder of crows".)

Next morning we pottered around the sand dunes then hiked back into town for coffee/babycino just in time to meet up with Holly and Ruby who'd driven to meet us. Lunch was with RichDebs and their kids for an amazing cooked lunch at their place. Sadly we didn't get to stay as long as I wanted, Holly and the kids were knackered so we popped home.

Lovely weekend, despite the weather! Thanks again to Debs and Rich for an amazing lunch.