My new drive

So anyway, over the new year period, the registration on my much-loved Land Rover Discovery expired. I'd just crashed it and had the body repairs done, only to be told that to get registered for 2011 would cost me a tad more than it was actually worth.

So I cut my losses and let it go for spares money. My local Land Rover specialist took it off my hands for a fair price, and I commenced searching for a new car.

And here's where it got complex. I wanted to buy a Mitsubishi Triton GLXR crew-cab ute, a quite capable four-wheel drive with a reputation as a solid, affordable workhorse. New, that was about $37,000. So I asked for finance.

They said "no".

Long story, involving arcane finance stuff meaning I can't count a substantial chunk of my income (rental for two houses)), but they can count me as paying my entire shared mortgage.

So I asked for $20,000 for a second-hand Triton.

And they said "no, same reason as before and by the way you live in Sydney therefore you spend more than you earn and according to our computer you're currently eating your own boots and begging on a street corner in Canterbury".

So I said "bollocks", and had a sulk, as I do when I can't get my own way.

Esther got pissed off with this sulking in short order, and knowing me very well, tempted me with a car that I could afford to buy in cash. 

Now, I have a policy which I've held for four or five years now. As a closet petrol-head, I don't allow myself to buy small fast cars any more. I get speeding tickets. I get pulled over by the police and I scare my passengers. But Esther wanted my sulk to end, so she exploited my weaknesses and sent me off to look at a small, fast, red car. And I, wanting the sulking to end, bought it. I handed over the cash, haggle-free.

It's a 1992 model-year Toyota Celica ST184 SX, sometimes termed the "Mark V" Celica. It's a 2.2L DOHC, petrol injected lightweight sports coupe, and it's my second Celica, having bought a throwaway wreck of a MK IV ST162 a few years back for less than $1k.

I quite like it.

It's battered and bruised, with several dents. The paintwork is a little faded, as befits a 20-year old car, the aircon is broken and the gas struts no longer hold up the boot. But the engine was entirely reconditioned about 30,000kms ago, the suspension is still stiff yet lithe and it's been kept inland so there's no tinworm from sea air. The upholstery is intact, the stereo works and the gearbox doesn't whine or drop out of gear. It also has this "please throw me into corners very fast" feel. Which I like. Dave The Happy Singer is already calling it my mid-life-crisis car and screaming when he gets into the passenger seat.

Downsides? Well, it's as old as the hills. It has no bluetooth, yet. The cupholder gets in the way of my phone charger and it's front wheel drive. Celicas went over to FWD at generation 4, with a 4WD GT4 model introduced at the same time. Shame, because I think this car with RWD would be immense fun.

So I'm going to fix the aircon and the boot struts and see if I can keep it out of roadside ditches until next year, at which time I'll reconsider my options. Now that the small fast car rule is broken, who knows what I'll get next time round.

Meryl Dorey and the AVN: Copyright hypocrites

A few days ago, I posted a screenshot to Facebook.

Meryl Dorey reported this to Facebook as a copyright violation. It's not the first. She's been abusing the Facebook system for several weeks now, but this is the first time she's reported one of mine.

That she reported it at all is odd, considering the picture is not owned by the AVN, and neither is over half the text,which was pasted wholesale from an online journal syndicating "Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology". It also doesn't actually say what she thinks it says, discussing as it does the outcomes of low-level, non-obvious trauma, not vaccination.

All up, less than one third of this is Meryl's own work, and it is actually moderately libellous - though it does not identify a particular person by name. Because Meryl is a coward.

I, however, am happy enough to identify Meryl Dorey of Bangalow as the fraudulent reporter of this "copyright violation", which was in fact covered under fair dealing provisions of Australian copyright law. Here, in fact, is how I posted it

The law requires attribution, so I of course screenshotted it with the AVN logo and "Australian Vaccination Network" byline intact. Attribution covered. It's clearly from the AVN.

But Meryl still reported it, because she's a worthless facebook copyright troll. On top of everything else.

I've been trying to invite Meryl to take me to court. Here's another invitation. Meryl, if you think I've violated your copyright, take me to court. Go on. Your lawyer may contact me through this site. Do it now. Every moment you delay in taking me to court further cements your reputation as a copyright fraud.

For Facebook's part, they have not even had the decency to respond to my counterclaim. I have provided chapter and verse of Australian and US copyright law, and invited them to inform Dorey of my intention to defend myself in court. Not a peep. So Facebook's system is woefully broken and Dorey is cynically exploiting it in a fraudulent manner and failing to back up her claims with substantive action.

Meryl Dorey: Take me to court or shut the fuck up.

Oh, and I'll see you at your ADT/OLGR appeal. I'll very much enjoy your scowl as yet another government acronym smacks you down.

Urge your employer to run pertussis vaccinations

I wrote a little note to my company's Corporate Responsibility team, HHH, a few days ago.


To: All HHH Contacts

I’m not sure if you’re all aware of the recent pertussis (whooping cough) death at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Australia is now in the midst of what is quite justifiably being called an epidemic, and children are dying.

Two years ago, 4-week-old Dana McCaffery died from Whopping cough at Lismore Base Hospital. Shortly afterwards, and as a direct consequence of the media coverage of Dana’s death, a group called “Stop the AVN” was formed.

We at Stop the AVN are focused on, and dedicated to, a two-pronged attack on Australia’s vaccination “debate”. First, we oppose anti-vaccination groups through regulatory oversight and reporting, as well as direct engagement. Secondly, and most importantly for the subject of this email, we advocate for vaccination and attempt to raise awareness of vaccination and infectious disease issues in Australia. Our aim is to make tragic headlines like the one above a thing of the past.

So, how does this relate to HHH?

I propose, in the wake of the urgent pleas of infectious disease experts, that we at [redacted] offer, underwrite and facilitate booster shots to [redacted] staff and their immediate families, and also that [redacted] take a leadership role in spreading this message to other businesses in Australia.

If our adult population are immunised, the chance of them passing an infection to an infant is drastically reduced. Pertussis immunity wanes quickly, from near 100% in its first year to around 50% in its tenth, and most adults are more than ten years from their last booster.

I can offer my time and contacts to help get this done.

Let me know if you can help with this initiative, or pass this on to your colleagues

Jason Brown


On Tuesday I was informed that budget is being allocated and that my employer will be funding and encouraging pertussis boosters for all eligible staff at the same time as the next flu shot round - slated for March/April.

I think this is a great result, and I think other people can easily do the same

You can help. If you work for a reasonably-sized corporate, hunt down your corporate responsiblity team and send them a message similar to the above. Ask to get pertussis boosters rolled out, ask the team to encourage staff to get boosters themselves, ask the team to help in any way they can to bring Australia's pertussis situation under control.

If you work at a smaller company, ask your boss to do whatever he or she can to raise awareness. Grab some posters and put them up in the break room. Talk to your colleagues. Pay special attention to any parents you work with, and ask them to spread the message too.

As importantly, ask people to spread this message to other organisations.

This can only be achieved by people power. Please help.


Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program