Archive for September, 2005

Table Cloth Sized Catalogues

One of my pet peeves are those highly annoying table cloth size catalogues. Unlike most catalogues which are in book style, these ones open up, and then open up again, and then again, and usually another time as well. By the time you’ve opened them up you might as well stick them on the wall as a poster, ring the advertising company and request a second copy so you can stick that on the wall as well…then you can see both sides.

These things are quite annoying, they are virtually impossible to read, and if you want to see the other side you almost have to fold them up again to turn them over.

Here is a photo I took of one them:
Table Cloth Catalogues
I have placed a local tabloid newspaper (The City Chronicle) on top of the catalogue to provide some perspective.

I know some people despise junk mail, but I don’t…I actually enjoy reading some of it, mainly as it allows me to check the prices of various items and often arrives around the time when I need to think about buying a birthday present or similar, some of the catalogues I just glance at the store title and cast aside as I have no need to see what they offer, but most get at least a once-over. I do, however, draw the line at tablecloth catalogues, they don’t get read, end of story.

I suppose I could put a sign on my letterbox saying “No tablecloth catalogues” but that could be misinterpreted as “I don’t want any catalogues which offer tablecloths”, which wouldn’t be very useful as I don’t think I get many (if any) catalogues which sell tablecloths.

Samuel

September 30th, 2005 at 02:44pm

Samuel’s Tape Highlights: 2cc

Alrighty then, time to start a new category and in the process a new series.

At the moment I am working on restoring the many audio cassette recordings of myself, which are all circa 1993-2000, these all vary in content and I am working through them in alphabetical order. As I get through each one I will put together a highlights package from each one and put it online for you.

The first one is circa 1997 and was titled “2CC”, this is probably the most ridiculous trademark infringement of all time, and I gladly accept that I do not own that name and so I shall explain why I used it.

This was around the time that 2CC (the radio station) were moving into talk radio in a serious way, and it also was a time in which I began to enjoy talk radio an awful lot…so much so in fact that I produced a series of tapes which contained me running my own talk radio show where I did all the voices (even my somewhat loopy callers, and my panel op, and the very high pitched newsreader) on the ficticious radio stations “1385AM” and “392FM” (The first of which doesn’t fit in with a the 9Khz stepping system used in Australia, and the second being so far out of the FM spectrum it isn’t funny). I suppose the main reason for using the 2CC name was to honour the station which got me interested in talk radio in the first place.

2CC (the tape) spanned two 90 minute tapes (although the TDK tapes were usually slightly overtime, so they were probably closer to 95-100 minutes). Here I have picked a bunch of highlights and MP3ed them for you.

Firstly we start with one of the many themes for the show (0:13)
Then we go and take an excerpt of one of my favourite callers, Bang, who just had to sing a song about his name, and I joined in (3:45)
After this we have one of my many “Walkie Talkie Time” segments where I got out my Walkie Talkies and used them, these were those kids Walkie Talkies which you can find in most toy shops which operate on the 27Mhz frequency, this one just happened to be an airport report. (2:15)
And then finally we go to Mr. Walk, another one of my loopy but loveable callers who happened to enjoy walking…due to somebody else in the house overhearing this and bursting into laughter, I promptly did the same and had to take a break…this is the pre-break section of the call. (1:52)

In total the whole highlights package goes for 6 minutes and 7 seconds and is just under 3MB in size.

Click here to listen to the “2cc (the tape)” highlights package

Samuel

September 30th, 2005 at 01:41pm

Can Government Cars Get Away With Anything?

This is just something I’ve noticed lately, it would appear that government cars are immune from road rules, and the people driving them are free to drive in whatever manner they like.

This morning, for example, while I was taking Nattie for a walk, a government car went by, the driver was using a hand-held mobile phone and drove straight past a police car, the police weren’t in the least bit interested.

I have some friends who work for the government and have made use of government cars from time-to-time, and some of the stories I have heard are quite amazing. I feel compelled to share one of these stories with you.

This apparently took place on the Tuggeranong Parkway (for those of you who are not familiar with Canberra’s roads, the Tuggeranong Parkway is a long road with a speed limit of 100 km/h). A number of people I know were travelling in a government car which was travelling at 110km/h or more, there was a police car beside them, they waved to the police who simply waved back and then sped off with no use of lights or siren. Not only does this show just how much government cars are able to get away with, it also shows the general lack of observence of road rules that the police also seem to participate in. (This may also be the only known case of Government cars having more than one person in them at a time in the history of mankind…excluding politicians chauffeur services).

I find it mildly amusing that the police can produce press release after press release informing us that we all need to slow down and adhere to the road rules when they don’t do it themselves, and nor do they attempt to enforce the rules equally.

Despite what they may think, the road rules are there for all road users, not just private vehicles.

I suppose this raises an interesting question, if a government car gets booked, who pays the fine? The person driving it or the government?

In my view it should be the person driving it, although I think you will find it is often the government who end up paying the fine, and it is therefore fairly obvious why the police don’t bother to enforce the road rules when it comes to government cars…it isn’t going to have any effect on the driver, and the money from the fine would just go in a little circle…from the government to the government.

For some reason I am reminded of a time when I was on a bus on Antill Street in Dickson, I can be pretty sure that the bus wasn’t speeding, but it was going faster than the car in the left-hand lane…so the driver of the car starts hurling abuse at the bus driver, informing him that he should slow down and that he was an f***ing idiot, to which the bus driver replied “have a nice day”. It is interesting to note here that the car driver had to travel at a higher speed than the bus to catch up with it, and yet it was the bus driver who should slow down….anybody else see the problem here?

Anyway, back to government cars. In my view they should be treated just like any other vehicle on the road (with the obvious exception of emergency vehicles in emergency situations) and it should be the driver’s responsibility to pay for any infringement notices they may recieve.

Samuel

6 comments September 30th, 2005 at 01:03pm

Samuel’s Coffee-cup-o-meter

The Coffee-Cup-O-Bean-O-Count-O-Matic device provides the following report

Thursday:
4 x Standard Mug (1 point each) = 4 Points
Total = 4 Points

Samuel

1 comment September 30th, 2005 at 02:10am

Samuel’s Coffee-cup-o-meter

At the request of a person which John B1_B5 refers to as “our mutual friend” the Coffee-cup-o-meter (or coffee bean counter as they wanted it called) is now making a temporary return.

Wednesday:
6 x Standard Mug (1 point each) = 6 Points
Total = 6 Points

Samuel

3 comments September 29th, 2005 at 02:26am

Radio In Your House

During a coversation I was having earlier today, a rather unusual idea came up. The conversation turned to having people from a talk radio station in your house 24/7 following you around.

It would be rather interesting, and odd, having the host of the show walking around with a speakerphone talking and having a band play little bits of music in between calls and having the station voiceover bloke constantly announcing the name of the show.

It would become more interesting when the ads started, as all of the people in the ads could appear in the room.

The news would also be interesting, as you could have a newsreader standing under a “News” sign talking and playing audio clips of various people talking.

I’m not sure if the housebound people would appreciate having people talking constantly while they sleep…especially if a noisy ad started.

There would probably be numerous problems if the house owners went shopping…having a bunch of people following them through the supermarket talking and singing and advertising would probably drive an awful lot of people nuts.

I’m sure the people who owned the house would also be rather annoyed at all the studio guests who walk in and out of the house.

It would probably be a bizarre menagerie of noises and people, and I think a lot of the ads would be quite entertaining. For example, one of the current ads would go something like this:

The host of the show finishes the call they are taking, the band starts playing and the station voiceover bloke makes an announcement. Suddenly some woman walks in the door holding a computer and a canoe and says “How am I supposed to get my computer and canoe safely to Darwin?” and then some salesman could walk in with a sign for the company (which I honestly can’t remember) and start talking about the company.

After the ad the band could start playing again, the voiceover bloke could make another announcement and the newsreader could start talking…during the news a studio guest could walk in and stand opposite the host.

Maybe I should go and do something useful…

Samuel

2 comments September 28th, 2005 at 02:31pm

My School Term Ticket

My school term bus ticket arrived in the mail yesterday, but this one appears to have come from a stockpile of tickets, which is much different to the last two term tickets I have received, which were somewhat sequential.

The term two bus ticket had serial number 05 -270704- 02522
The term three bus ticket had serial number 05 -270704- 04819
The term four bus ticket has a very different serial number 05-100505-00946

Unlike the other tickets, this one appears to have had the words “Term Ticket” stamped on it.

I could make astronomical assumptions and calculations about the number of ticket sales, but the serial numbers are so different that I think this latest one is from an entirely different series of tickets.

Samuel

September 28th, 2005 at 01:35pm

An historically strange dream

I didn’t have any strange dreams last night, so I thought I might share the story of and older one with you.

This dream started off in an unusual version of my house, which for some reason had three storeys (floors, levels, “A complete horizontal division of a building, constituting the area between two adjacent levels” depending on which part of the world you are from). The bottom storey was a basement.

On this particular day, we (mum, me) decided to walk to Civic, so we went down to the basement and walked through a tunnel, the tunnel ended in the food court on the lower level of the Canberra Centre, we then proceeded to walk upstair to the roof of the Canberra Centre where Floriade was being held, the flowers on the glass atrium were quite spectacular.

There we have yet another strange dream…and there are plenty more where that came from.

I might just clear up one thing here…for some reason I have always referred to the levels in a house as being “storeys” (eg. “A three storey house”), and I have always referred to levels in a commercial (or other non-residential) building as being a “level” (eg. “It’s has three levels”). On occasion regardless of building type, and usually when giving directions, I refer to them as “floors” (eg. Go to the top floor and turn right). That probably just made things more confusing…

Samuel

2 comments September 28th, 2005 at 11:20am

LCA 2006 in 2007?

At this rate Linux.Conf.Au 2006 might not get underway until 2007 or later. The dates have just been pushed back again, Speaker Notifications don’t start until October 2, Speakers & Program are now being announced on the same day as each other, October 6, and the rest of the dates are as they were

Samuel

September 28th, 2005 at 10:54am

More Of My Unusual Dreams

It seems that I’m going through one of those phases where I am sleeping lightly enough to remember some of my dreams…and lately they have been pretty weird. I remember two of them from last night.

The first one involved me being in a place which resembled the kitchen of my godparents old house, for one reason or another the place was filled with people, and I am under the impression that it may have been a pub, although I’m not sure. Anyway, I walked to the other end of the room and there were three people sitting in chairs next to each other (the chairs were somewhat taller than usual) and I recognised them. One of them was Nigel from loadedog.com (who I have met briefly), another was Beth from the same website (not that it looked like her) and then another was Johnboy from The RiotACT (not that I know what he looks like or anything). Suddenly someone else appeared and I started to introduce them to the three seated people…and forgot Beth’s name, called her Gertrude (another person from loadedog.com), apoligised and burst out laughing.

The second dream had me in some local (and probably school-based) sport team. I have no idea what the sport was (although I do remember a scene with us playing) and I know we lost. After the game we had some kind of team meeting on the playing field (which I think was indoors) and during this some pompus female international government minister came over and told us that we should have played better because we are supposed to be role models, I asked her who she was and she started some strange rant along the lines of “Don’t you know who I am…I am very important and you should know who I am”, this developed into a rather nasty argument between herself and me, she never identified herself. The next thing that happens is that I am in the change room and the assistant of this international government minister walks in and says that she is glad somebody finally put the minister in her place.

These have to be some of the strangest dream I have ever had.

Samuel

September 27th, 2005 at 11:21pm

RIP Don Adams

I am deeply saddened by the news that Don Adams (aka Maxwell Smart/Agent 86 from Get Smart) has passed away aged 82.

Get Smart wasn’t one of the TV shows of my era, but its reruns touched me, and it became one of my favourite TV shows.

I had a couple lighthearted stories to run today, but I am going to hold them in honour of Don Adams. May he rest in peace, and be in our hearts always.

Samuel

Click here to hear the Get Smart theme music

Maxwell Smart
Maxwell Smart

The New York Times has this report

Don Adams, Television’s Maxwell Smart, Dies at 82

By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Published: September 27, 2005

Don Adams, who played Maxwell Smart in the 1960’s sitcom “Get Smart,” combining clipped, decisive diction with appalling, hilarious ineptitude, died on Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 82.

Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone from the TV show “Get Smart” was displayed in 2002 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation in Simi Valley, Calif.
Readers
Forum: Television

The cause was a lung infection, his friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld said, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Tufeld said that Mr. Adams broke his hip a year ago and had been in poor health.

Maxwell Smart – in a way, his name was the show’s biggest joke – was a bumbling secret agent for Control, the good guys, who weekly foiled the plans of the evil cabal Kaos for world domination.

Inevitably, Smart’s ham-handed detective style landed him in hot water. Luckily, his faithful and beautiful sidekick, Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), was as bright as he was dense, and could bail him out. (Smart was Agent 86: bartender’s code for cutting off service to a drunk.)

“Get Smart” twice won the Emmy for best comedy series, and Mr. Adams won three Emmys for best actor.

“Get Smart” ran on NBC from 1965 to 1969 and on CBS from 1969 to 1970. Years later, producers tried to recapture the show’s initial spark in the 1980 film “The Nude Bomb,” the 1989 television movie “Get Smart, Again!” and a revival on Fox that lasted seven episodes in 1995. Mr. Adams appeared in all the incarnations.

The original show spoofed the James Bond movies in an innocent, if sophomoric way, and one of its most winning characteristics was the seriousness with which Maxwell Smart again and again did and said things that were really stupid. Several of his lines became popular catchphrases, particularly with young people:

“Would you believe?” (Used when someone did not believe one of Smart’s prevarications and he was about to suggest another.)

“Let me handle it, 99.” (And then he would, and botch it.)

“Sorry about that, Chief” (When he reported to his boss, played by Edward Platt, after the inevitable failure.)

But Smart’s charm lay in his utter humanness, the opposite of Bond’s preposterous competence. In an interview with The Saturday Evening Post in 1966, Mr. Adams analyzed Smart: “He’s not superhuman. But he believes in what he does and he wants to do his best.”

His best was rarely good enough. Smart called into work with a dial phone on the sole of his shoe, and often got a wrong number. He wore jet shoes that shot him up, often into the roof. He was so security-minded that he would often swallow secret messages before reading them.

Donald James Yarmy was born on April 13, 1923, in Manhattan. He said changed his last name to that of his first wife, Adelaide Adams, because acting auditions were often done in alphabetical order.

His father ran a few small restaurants in the Bronx. Mr. Adams grew up hating school and playing hooky at the movies. During World War II, he joined the Marines at 16 by lying about his age. On Guadalcanal, he was shot and contracted blackwater fever, fatal 90 percent of the time.

After the war, he drifted into stand-up comedy, always refraining from dirty jokes, presaging the almost ludicrous uprightness of Maxwell Smart. He cut back on nightclub work to support his family with jobs as a restaurant cashier and as a commercial artist.

His first real success as a comic came when he won an Arthur Godfrey “Talent Scouts” competition in 1954, which led to television variety show appearances on “The Steve Allen Show” and elsewhere.

Mr. Adams created the comedy character Byron Glick, an incompetent house detective, who was a precursor to Max. Mr. Adams tried comedy writing, producing material for Garry Moore and Mr. Allen. When Mr. Adams’s friend Bill Dana got a comedy series, he hired Mr. Adams to regularly play Byron Glick.

“Get Smart” was originally the brainchild of the producers Dan Melnick and David Susskind, and was then refined by the writers Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. ABC passed on the show, but NBC loved it. The writers first thought of Tom Poston for the Smart role, but Mr. Adams was under contract to NBC.

The program was immediately a success with viewers, though Jack Gould, reviewing the new show in The New York Times, fretted that Mr. Adams was trying too hard to be funny. Mr. Gould, however, heartily approved of Ms. Feldon, fondly recalling her appearances in Revlon’s “Tiger Girl” commercials.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today Show” in 2002, Ms. Feldon gave Mr. Adams credit for much of the show’s success. “When you got in a scene with Don, it was like stepping onto a surfboard, and you just flew over those waves,” she said. “And it was exhilarating.”

Mr. Adams took a much smaller salary when offered a chance for a 33 percent piece of the show. “Get Smart” has been popular in reruns for decades, making for steady annuities.

After “Get Smart,” Mr. Adams did a short-lived comedy series called “The Partners.” After that, he pursued many things, including a very successful voice-over career, speaking for the cartoon character Inspector Gadget. (He was also the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo in the early 1960’s.) He directed and appeared in commercials, and made many guest appearances on shows like “The Love Boat.”

Mr. Adams was married and divorced three times and had seven children. His daughter Cecily Adams, an actress and casting director, died in 2004. His brother, Dick Yarmy, an actor, died in 1992.

Writers have noted disarming similarity between Mr. Adams and Max, his most famous character. The Saturday Evening Post told a story of Mr. Adams looking for money in his pocket to tip a young man who had parked his car. He had no change, no bill he thought was small enough and could find nothing when he rummaged in his glove compartment.

“And so motorists began sounding their horns, the kid shifted from foot to foot and an audience gathered,” the magazine wrote. “It was pure Don Adams. And pure Maxwell Smart.”

3 comments September 27th, 2005 at 01:34pm

49 Years Of Australian Television

I suspect that Channel 9 can’t perform basic mathematical operations. Last night they ran a special presentation about the top 50 shows from the last 50 years of Australian television. The only problem is that we have only had 49 years of Australian television. It started in September 1956, as considering that Channel 9 were the first broadcaster, you would think they would know that…apparently not…

Samuel

September 26th, 2005 at 06:59pm

A Clock Observation

I’m one of those strange people who like all of their clocks to be on time (and I mean exactly on time…to the second). All domestic clocks count slightly fast or slow, and the clock radio in my room is the most accurate clock in the house. In the last six months or so it has gained half a second, however today it gained another half a second. It could just be a strange coincidence, but I am putting the extra half a second down to the thunderstorm activity today, which may have made the clock count a bit faster than usual at one stage.

I suppose I should probably explain this a little bit more, my understanding of a quartz crystal clock is this:
An electric field is applied to the crystal of quartz, which then oscillates at a certain frequency. This oscillation varies depending on the current applied to the quartz, and as such, a temporary increase in current (which would occur when a lightning strike is spread through the electricity grid) would temporarily appear to speed up the time count.

I think that more or less explains the way a quartz crystal clock works and how the thunderstorm activity may have added half a second to the time.

Samuel

5 comments September 26th, 2005 at 06:26pm

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

It would be very hard to go past this part of the alphabet without stopping to hear Bob Dylan, and this song is one that always springs to mind when I think of him.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

Samuel

September 25th, 2005 at 11:55pm

Schnappi Reaches 8

Schnappi is now 8th on the ARIA singles chart…I could have just typed the title of this post an left it that but I didn’t.

Samuel

September 25th, 2005 at 09:50pm

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