Archive for October, 2011

A Letter To Main Roads Western Australia

October 31, 2011

Main Roads Western Australia

The following is a submission I made to Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) via their website. As you can see, it started out as they probably expected but I couldn’t help myself the further I got in. I see a real problem developing on the roads I travel every day. Ok, I dont think MRWA have their head in the sand, but I think if they get some feedback from drivers like you and me they might be able to focus their efforts in areas that really count. If you read this and believe (legitmately) that MRWA might benefit from your observations then go to their website and let your views be known.

Submission as follows :

Potholes appearing on Gt Northern Hwy around SLK142, also at Bindi Bindi T intersection Gt Northern Hwy (unsure of SLK). My main concern is the lack of room at the Wubin roadtrain assembly area. I use the assembly area 2 to 4 times a week and am frequently frustrated by the lack of room despite the last upgrade.This is also a major problem at the Newman roadtrain assembly area-I have been unable to access this area on my last three trips to Newman and have utilised the Turf Club parking area as well as the first parking bay north of the Newman townsite (on the Gt Northern Hwy) for the purpose of splitting triple roadtrain trailers for the delivery of freight to the Newman townsite. I am aware that plans are in motion for upgrading the Newman roadtrain assembly area but are there plans to further extend the Wubin roadtrain assembly area? As I see it roadtrain traffic on the Gt Northern Hwy stands to increase by a significant amount before anyone could reasonably expect it to plateau and eventually decrease sometime in the far distant future when the iron ore mining boom finally loses it’s momentum. Until that time the road infrastructure must keep pace. That also includes the many inadequate parking areas dotted up and down the Gt Northern Hwy-inadequate because quite often only two or three trucks can fit in each of them. In fact, some of the parking areas are so restricted that if three trucks fit into them then they must leave in the precise order they arrived in – there is simply no room to get around the truck in front. Hopefully the first truck “in” doesn’t expect a sleep-in. This is an age when more and more responsibility is being forced upon the driver and as a driver I am being forced further and further into a corner. To get out of this corner I need the freedom to stop in a parking bay that has room for my truck when I need it, I need to have spacious roadtrain assembly areas (with night lighting-pretty please) to assemble and disassemble triple roadtrains, and I need to know that “those-who-must-be-obeyed” have some concept of the hurdles we face. Until then, catch phrases like “fatigue management” and “safe work practices” are just…well, they’re just bullshit.

Well, I hope that gives some context to my more recent tweets. If you want to follow me on Twitter there is a “Follow” link on the sidebar.

Cheers, Mike.

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A Bird In The Hand…

October 21, 2011

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Yeah, that old saying that goes “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” comes to mind as I call it a day and do a bit of prep for a early start tomorrow. A week after the release of the iPhone 4S, and even longer since I went on line and dutifully submitted my preorder, I still haven’t received my own little slice heaven in the shape of the aforementioned mobile phone.

So I picked up my trusty 3GS and spoke to a lovely lady in India and told her I was no long interested in waiting for Telstra to “get around to me” especially when another Telstra employee told me that “we’ll be getting some more in a couple of weeks”. A couple of weeks!? Isn’t the whole idea of preordering to tell someone that you are really interested and are prepared to take care of some of the paperwork and other hoop-jumping exercise well in advance of actually receiving said phone, in fact, to guarantee a sale?

Maybe that was my mistake. Telstra thought they had me. They thought that I would just sit by my letterbox day after day waiting for this mythical phone to turn up while what they where actually doing was SELLING IT TO SOMEONE ELSE! Yep, they reckoned they had my money in the bank so they looked about and thought “That fella over there looks like he’s the type to buy a new iPhone if we can wave it under his nose, we’ll sell him this preordered, pre sold phone and double our money!”

So I joined the ranks of people buying these preordered and already sold phones. I drove down to a local shop, got exactly the iPhone I was looking for and was home shortly after lunch. I pity the poor bastard that misses out on this phone…well, not really. Sucker!

Cheers, Mike.

Waiting For The Knock On The Door

October 14, 2011

20111014-080832.jpgYep, I’m at home on the morning of the 14th of October 2011 and I’m waiting for the knock on the door…from the courier delivering my new iPhone. A few days ago I went online and preordered the new iPhone through the Telstra website in the belief I would be out on the road. Well, I’m home and wishing I had just decided to go to the Telstra shop to get my new phone because there is no guarantee it will be delivered to me today (release day) anyway.

When I purchased my current iPhone, the 3GS, I and one other person showed up at the Telstra shop in Carousel Cannington just before opening time and had our latest and greatest in hand in double quick time. It’s not that I’m impatient to get my hands on it, well ok-just a little, but I want time to set it up and make sure it syncs properly with all of my music and apps intact and to make sure my non-standard data plan transfers across undiminished. More importantly, I need to resize my SIM card to the smaller size used in the 4 and 4S with a device that looks like a stapler. If I stuff this up and damage the SIM card I have to be able to get to a Telstra shop pronto and get a new one-a feat next to impossible if I’m up the road in the truck. That would leave me without a phone, email or podcasts until I got home in five or six days time-hell on earth?

Ok, I can upgrade my 3GS to iOS5 as a consolation prize if the 4S doesn’t show up but I’m not sure some of the apps I use will work with the new OS yet. What I’ve got right now works and I don’t want to break it.

So I sit here twiddling my thumbs. If I go and do some food shopping the courier might turn up while I’m away. Who needs food anyway. If I go into work to wash the truck the courier will definitely turn up. Clean truck or new, shiny iPhone? That’s a hard one!

Cheers, Mike.