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Toxic Custard Guide To Australia
All those niggling questions you've always wondered about Australia...
Doctor Who - Revenge of the Unrealistatrons
See the Doctor do battle with the deadly Unrealistatrons from the planet Mothball 6!

All the sights from our USA holiday... find out how miserable air travel can be when Richard and Oliver are in the seats behind you..

Probably the world's silliest reference work.

What if Romeo had gone to the wrong balcony?

Backspace (n.) - the most used key on the keyboard.

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How did your desk get that messy?

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[Daniel]Diary of the (very)
Average Australian
Saturday 8th Mar. We're homeless. We're software development nomads, roaming the building in search a home we can call our own.
Number 338, 24/3/97 The latest Just about every Monday night
Toxic Custard

Due to unavoidable and reasonably embarrassing circumstances, RADIO CUSTARD is off the air while some vital equipment is repaired... Only the service department at Billy Guyatt's knows how long it will take. But you can listen to previous weeks' broadcasts.

Diary - Fri 21st March

With the accommodation and hardware situation not resolved at work, I've been working at home most of this week. Haven't done this since last year when I sprained my ankle. It's got its bad and good points.


  • Less interaction with my fellow deskless sufferers and others. It's probable that if I were locked in a room with a computer and no means of real time communication for the rest of my working life, I would go stark raving mad. But there's always the email and phone.
  • No hot chocolate from the bistro. Okay, it's a good way to blow $1.20 in a hurry, but to miss out on regular chocolate drinks is wrong.
  • Have to fit in with the surrounding family chaos. Even a door can only block out so much noise.
  • It's costing me extra in electricity and net connection fees! And a 14.4Kbps modem seems just a tad pathetic compared to your average corporate high-bandwidth something-bloody-impressive-Kbps "our staff can surf at any cost" connection.


  • Can dress any way I want. Hey, if I want to sit at the computer in my underwear, I can. (Not that I do, but I could if I wanted to.)
  • Can work any hours I want. As it happens, I've been working reasonably "normal" hours. I haven't yet got into the habit of waking up late, working until past midnight. I can have long lunches, read the paper, watch some TV...
  • No commuting. Saves me about an hour a day, and it'd save me money too, if I hadn't just bought that monthly ticket.
  • If you're facing a deadline and being grilled by your boss over the phone, you can use all those excuses that off-site graphic designers always seem to use (not that I would, of course)...

Excuses off-site graphic designers use...

What they say What they mean
there was a power failure I haven't done it yet
my hard disk crashed I haven't done it yet
I'll email it to you first thing tomorrow morning I'll email it to you some time tomorrow afternoon
I'll email it to you before close of business That's my close of business - around 4am.
I'm working on a number of things right now You're the lowest priority
  • I can swear as much as I want when I make a mistake.
  • I can safely go into one of my "thinking sessions" without members of senior management walking past and thinking I'm not doing any work.
  • It's not a ten minute walk to the Coke supply.

Might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Hopefully they'll have got us all desks and PCs by... well, hopefully sometime this century.

For more from Daniel's diary, see the Diary of an Average Australian.


Scott McLellan wrote: Why is there such a big controversy over hunting ducks? We do it in the states all the time and there's only a few people who complain.

Every year at about this time in Victoria the Men With Big Guns get government approval to go into the wetlands and blow the crap out of some ducks who are quite innocently flying around.

The Animal Rights Activists turn up too, to confront the Men With Big Guns and generally cause a fuss and get on the TV news. The activists take the position, which has some merit, that the ducks themselves would prefer to just fly around, and not have the crap blown out of them by the Men With Big Guns. Which seems fair enough to me.

The other thing the Animal Rights Activists do is to collect some of the shot birds that are plainly not ducks - swans, for example. I'm not sure how on earth the Men With Big Guns can confuse a duck with a swan, but most years a few of them manage it.

Maybe the solution is for someone to engineer robot ducks, that don't mind having the crap blown out of them. But the Men With Big Guns wouldn't think it was so much fun, so it probably wouldn't work.

This year, most of the ducks have actually flown to other states (where duck shooting is not allowed). Maybe someone explained the different laws to them. With a bit of luck the Men With Big Guns and the Animal Rights Activists will all go home and take up gardening or ballroom dancing instead.

To ask your question about Australia and read the question archive, see the Toxic Custard Guide To Australia page..

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  • Last updated 24th March. Copyright 1997 Daniel Bowen, Melbourne, Australia.

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