Archive for March 23rd, 2006

Scarecrow Laundry Robot

Here we have an unusual object which I have dubbed the “Scarecrow Laundry Robot”.
Scarecrow Laundry Robot

In reality it is a basket on wheels, designed to hold a laundry basket so that you can just wheel the laundry basket along with you whilst hanging washing on the washing line, it has been moved whilst its normal location gets cleaned up a bit, the rake was also from that area. It is currently holding some wire and some wood.

Samuel

9 comments March 23rd, 2006 at 06:36pm

Sydney Airport Refuellers On Strike?

I’ve got an unconfirmed report from a reliable source here, that the refuellers at Sydney Airport are on strike. It is unlear if this means just some of the refuellers, or all of them…or what the story is, but the bottom line, if this turns out to be true, we could have aeronautical delays and madness on our hands.

Again, this is unconfirmed, but from a reliable source.

Update (10:11PM): Turns out it was true, but by the time I posted it the drama was almost over. According to news.com.au:

The meeting was called this afternoon by staff of Airport Refuelling Service, a Qantas subsidiary.

The workers met for a few hours to discuss their concerns with job security and entitlements.

Flights resumed about 5.30pm (AEDT), a spokesman for Sydney Airport Corporation said.

“It’s all over now,” he said.

He said three flights had been affected but the delays were short.

Samuel

2 comments March 23rd, 2006 at 05:27pm

A phone call from Campbell High School

Regulare readers would know about the recent Campbell High School P.E. Class story (see here and here if you would like to catch up). Well yesterday, at some time between 2PM and 8PM while I was at CIT, Gai Beecher, the principal of Campbell High School rang and left a message on my answering machine.

The short summary of the message is that she thanked me for the recent letter of praise, saying that it was nice to receive positive feedback from the public…or something to that effect, I don’t remember the exact words and the message has since been deleted.

I can quite honestly say that it was my pleasure to be able to send a positive letter, especially seeing as they had worked on fixing a problem.

This does highlight a couple things though:

  1. People (myself included) are most vocal when they are critical of something. I was quite critical of the initial problem, due to the unsafe nature of the problem, and the fact that it showed a (probably unintentional) drop in standards since I was last at Campbell High School in 2003.
  2. It is important to give credit where credit is due. It’s fine to be critical, but it is pointless to not give credit when you see a change for the better in whatever you were critical about. I often raise concerns about this, that and the other, but I like to be able to follow through to an outcome of some sort. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is not, in this case it was, and I am happy about that.

Campbell High School (and all schools for that matter) probably don’t hear from the public very often when they set a good example, but I’m sure they hear all about it when they don’t. It would have been all to easy for them to ingnore my gripe as being “just another angry letter”, but they didn’t, and for that they are very deserving of praise.

I must say that Mrs. Beecher’s phone call was a very nice gesture, and one which I have taken the time to return. I rang her office earlier this afternoon, she was unavailable at the time, but I left a message for her, assuring her that I received and was very grateful for her message.

Hopefully we can now close this chapter and move on, with the knowledge that everything turned out for the best.

Samuel

3 comments March 23rd, 2006 at 03:47pm

2CA/2CC Advertising For A Senior Journalist

According to a job advertisement on radioinfo, 2CA & 2CC are looking for a “Senior Journalist”. Does this mean that either Kris or James are leaving us? The ad certainly makes it sound that way:

You’ll be responsible for all operational duties in our small newsroom – as well as a weekday news shift. There will some occasional overtime weekend work.

It seems that most of the 2CA/2CC journalistic talent gets snapped up by 2UE, and in some cases television stations (Aela Callen went to Seven, James Goodwin went to 2UE and then WIN). None the less, if somebody is going I will miss them, and I’m sure I represent most, if not all, of the listeners in wishing them the best of luck.

Of course it is possible that 2CA/2CC are just adding another person to the news team now that they are producing seperate bulletins for 2CA and 2CC.

As has been said by many people on many occasions….”Only time will tell”!

And before somebody suggests it, the timing of Editorial Echoes ending and this job ad appearing are purely coincidental…besides, I don’t fit the criteria in the job ad.

Samuel

1 comment March 23rd, 2006 at 08:06am

Editorial Echoes #8: The Final Episode

A final look at the HECS and TAFEs issue, before Samuel spends some time explaining to the few of you still listening, why the podcast is ending….yes, with much regret I must inform you that this is the final episode.

The episode can be downloaded from here.

Edit: Link corrected

Further edit: Here is a transcript, so that those of you who aren’t listening can also know why Editorial Echoes has ended.

This is Editorial Echoes, episode number eight, for Thursday March 23, 2006…the final episode.

Yes, you did hear it right, this is the final episode and I’ll explain the reasons why just a little bit later on, but first, yesterday I did say that I would be out in force to gauge the public opinion on the idea of HECS fees being extended into TAFEs.

Now, the majority of people that I spoke to did not want to have their answers recorded which, I don’t know, I can’t really work that one out, I mean it’s not as if they were going to be personally identifiable from it, it was just going to be random voice clippings of random voices, it was hardly going to be able to identify anyone but “No, not interested, don’t want to be recorded” whatever. Of course the people who did want to be recorded, they all seemed to think it was such a bad idea that it should never happen.

Now, I was very surprised to find that a number of these people were in fact TAFE students. I just can’t get my head around this, maybe they’re in some gallant financial situation where they can afford every single little fee that comes up to them but, apparently for the rest of the people who might not be able to do that, the scheme just doesn’t have merit. In fact, one person said this to me:

“Yeah I don’t think it’s applicable, CIT fees aren’t that exorbitant where you can’t sort out a payment plan or something else.”

That was pretty much the opinion of most of the people who were willing to be interviewed. There were a few people who did agree with me that it was a good idea and I still think it’s a good idea, I mean OK admittedly TAFE fees aren’t as high as uni fees, but students still do have trouble and seeing as they’re not anywhere near, according to some people, anywhere near the university fees, certainly they wouldn’t provide as much of a challenge to the government in terms of funding them, in fact it would be fairly small in comparison.

But, I don’t know, the one thing I do have to wonder…the TAFE students who were against the idea today, if the scheme is introduced, as is being seriously considered, if it were to be introduced, would they be willing to use it?

Anyway I did say that this is the final episode, and well I’m afraid it is. The podcast started off quite well, it was, there were quite a few downloads, the first episode was very successful, and to start with on iTunes it got up to, I think it was…I can’t remember the exact graphic, I don’t have it right in front of me, but it was up there in the top twenty of its category on iTunes which was very good. Then over the weekend it kinda disappeared, which I suppose, that was to be expected, it would sort of drop down a bit, because there weren’t new episodes over the weekend, which was always the plan, it was a weekday podcast, but, it never returned, and having a look at the download statistics I can tell you why.

It seems people lost interest, now I know there’s a few of you out there listening to this, and to the few of you and I think there’s about six, seven of you who have been listening right throughout this, to all of you I say thankyou very much, your support is greatly appreciated, but for the time and effort that I am putting into this podcast, it’s just really not worth it, especially with declining numbers, it’s just gradually dropping. Maybe people just aren’t interested in hearing a few minutes of my opinion each day, I don’t know what it is, I was thinking this might actually be a little bit more successful than this, but we’re struggling to get even ten downloads a day at the moment which basically means to me that it’s just not worth the effort because, let me run you through the production process.

I record the episodes either when I’m out and about or I record them when I’m at home, and it’s something that I’ve thought of, I’ve thought through mostly, I mean on occasion I haven’t quite thought it through properly and it’s coming off the top of my head a bit, but for the most part I’ve thought it through, and so I come in and I record it or I record it on the spot, then I put it on the computer, I have to convert it from the digital notetaker format into a wave file, I then have to import that wave file into Audacity, I have to put in the intro and outro music, I have to increase the volume on the, well I pretty much have to compress the, this bit, the spoken bit so that it’s a fairly consistent volume, I have to play with the volume of the intro music and the outro music so it doesn’t go bizerk, and overall it just, it takes a lot of time.

Then I have to export that, I have to make sure I get the ID3 tags correct, I have to write the changes to the RSS file,I have to write changes to the blog sidebar, I have to write the post that goes with it, and then at some stage, later on after it’s released, so after it gets automatically copied into position which was another bit of tedious work, a bit of automation I was very proud of and very happy with but it turned out to be a bit of a waste of time really, sometime after the episode appears I have to go and update the Editorial Echoes page with the information about the episode so it’s quite a bit of effort and quite frankly if only six or seven or eight of you are actually listening it’s really not worth the effort. I do apoligise for that, I mean I was really hoping this would be a success, I know a number of you were, but ultimately it wasn’t, and that does sadden me to some extent, especially when it started off so promisingly, such consistent download figures, and suddenly it just fell into a big black hole.

So yes, this is the final episode, there shall be no more Editorial Echoes, and that’s a pity, I’ve enjoyed doing this, I have, but, well I’ve already explained why it can’t go on.

Thankyou very much for listening, I do appreciate it as I keep saying, and I’ll keep updating my blog of course, I suppose this means I’ll have a bit more time to devote to it, and Samuel’s Persiflage, my other podcast, will continue as always, the march schedule is sadly behind schedule at the moment and will probably remain that way until one of the people I have asked for an interview actually takes me request seriously, I just don’t, I don’t know, that seems to have stalled, which is a problem, but we’ll see what we can do about that.

Anyway I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart, this has been Editorial Echoes, the final episode, I hope you’ve enjoyed, I don’t know if it’s possible to enjoy this one, I know I haven’t, none the less this has been editorial echoes, episode number eight, we had eight episodes, it was good while it lasted. I’ll say it again, I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart, until we meet again, tada.

Samuel

20 comments March 23rd, 2006 at 06:00am


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