Archive for April, 2006

Samuel In Dolgnwot: Series 2, Episode 9

Here comes episode nine of series two!

With the Dolgnwot Assay Office closed due to the apparent lack of gold in Dolgnwot, Samuel travels to the nearest assay office, which happens to be in Ballarat. The assay officer seems to think that it would be a good idea to re open the Dolgnwot Assay Office.

The Ballarat Assay Office has a clock much like the one we saw in Samuel’s truck in episode four, and it is displaying a time of 10AM.
Samuel In Dolgnwot, Series Two, Episode 9: Samuel visits the nearest assay office, in Ballarat

Samuel

11 comments April 30th, 2006 at 11:35pm

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

This week I am awarding the Musicians Of The Week award to The Kinks, and am featuring one of their more amusing songs, “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” (and if you don’t see why it is amusing then you just don’t see things from my perspective).

They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he’s got to buy the best,
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

And when he does his little rounds,
‘Round the boutiques of London Town,
Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
There’s one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
One week he’s in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
In Regent Street and Leicester Square.
Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on,
Each one an dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
His world is built ’round discoteques and parties.
This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
‘Cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Samuel

1 comment April 30th, 2006 at 06:48pm

Barking at the kittens of the 20 million year old dinosaur

Last night I had a dream where I was in a room which looked similar to my year two classroom, but had windows on walls on both sides, and was about half the size. In fact it was closer to being the width of the library office in my primary school.

Anyway, I was in this room with two other people and Nattie, Nattie started barking and I looked up at the window where I saw a kitten, the kitten then jumped from that window through the window on the other side of the room. I looked at the first window again and there was another kitten, it also jumped through the window on the other side of the room.

One of the people in the room said “I wonder if it was the same kitten?”

I walked over to the second window and looked out, the scene was one of a T intersection, where the building I was in was on the road free side of the intersection, and the road had a grass median strip, on this media strip was a stegosaurus and the two kittens, the stegosaurus appeared to be the mother of the kittens.

The other person in the room was a dinosaur expert who looked a lot like Richard Attenborough, he declared that it was impossible as the stegosaurus had been extinct for 20 million years, he then looked out the window and declared that the stegosaurus was 20 million years old and had just given birth to baby stegosauruses which looked like kittens.

The stegosaurus then walked down the road with the kittens.

Samuel

7 comments April 30th, 2006 at 11:35am

Photo of the Coffee-Cup-O-Meter

In the recent Coffee-Cup-O-Meter series I kept a record of every cup of coffee I had so that I could ensure that there wouldn’t be any memory lapses. Here is a photo of the daily record of the Coffee-Cup-O-Meter.

Photo of the Coffee-Cup-O-Meter

Samuel

47 comments April 29th, 2006 at 04:24pm

Samuel’s Footy Tips

Due to unforseen circumstances, I’m a bit late with these this week, so I’ll just have to leave out the Friday night games.

AFL Round 5
Demons V Kangaroos
Crows V Bulldogs
Swans V Cats
Eagles V Lions
Saints V Dockers
Magpies V Power
Hawks V Bombers

NRL Round 8
Warriors V Bulldogs
Broncos V Raiders
Storm V Dragons
Sea Eagles V Eels
Rabbitohs V Knights
Cowboys V Roosters

Samuel

3 comments April 29th, 2006 at 11:42am

Letter From Supabarn

As you may recall from this post and this post, Magnus Advertising sent the wrong receipt paper to Supabarn, presumably by accident.

I wrote a letter each to City Supabarn and Magnus Advertising to inform them of the error, and in today’s mail I received a reply from Andy Vaccaro, Store Manager presumably of City Supabarn.

The letter reads:

Dear Mr Gordon-Stewart,

Thank you for being a valued customer of Supabarn.

Further to the issue you discussed in your letter dated 19th April 2006, we have since been in contact with Magnus Advertising, who is working to fix this issue.

Once again I would like to thank you for shopping at Supabarn and for alerting us of the printing error on our receipt rolls.

Yours faithfully,
Andy Vaccaro
Store Manager

It’s nice to know that I made a difference, and it is extremely nice to know that my letter has been acted on.

Samuel

27 comments April 27th, 2006 at 03:26pm

Page Views

Whoops, we exceeded 20,000 page views again. This time it happened at 2:52:32PM on ANZAC Day. This severely skews the blog view stats collected by Webstat for the month (free Webstat accounts stop counting after 20,000 page views), and as such I will be using the AwStats report generated by my webhost (Bluehost) as the basis for just about everything in the Blog View Stats which would normally be handled by Webstat this month. I will still provide the Webstat PDFs.

I am not currently in a financial position to throw money at upgrading the Webstat counter (which is, in my view, technically superior to the web server log analysing statistics tools (such as Webstat), but when I am in that position, it will be near the top of my priorities.

Samuel

2 comments April 27th, 2006 at 12:07pm

“I want to live on your roof…and I will!”

Yesterday afternoon I had a nap, and during that nap I had a very peculiar dream. It started with me walking down a non-existent (in reality anyway) street in Woden, when this angry blonde woman came over to me and told me quite bluntly “I want to live on your roof…and I will!”, I tried to ignore her but she picked up a shopping trolley and threw it at me, and missed, she then started ranting, raving and screaming about how she was going to live on my roof, during which she picked up boxes of cereal and threw them at me. Needless to say I fled the scene.

The dream then continued with me at home looking out the wire door and seeing a car pull up. The angry blonde stepped out and walked towards the house, she started being abusive and demanded access to the roof. I closed the door and ignored her. She walked away from the house and rang somebody on her mobile phone, this was followed by an Indian man appearing at the door with a pizza, I tried to explain to him what was going on and that I didn’t order the pizza, but he insisted that I had to pay, constantly repeating “you must pay for the pizza”.

The Indian pizza delivery man then started talking about pizzas and the lack of them in India, and was interrupted by police cars appearing out the front of my house. The police turned up with every Blonde woman in Canberra and handed me a notepad containing sketches of them in the hope that I could identify the crazy woman who was standing on the footpath outside my house when they turned up.

This is where the dream ended…pity, I would have liked to see her get taken away.

The interesting thing about this dream is that earlier in the afternoon, Naturopath of the 2CC Drive Show, Rebecca Bowman, was talking about vitamin deficiencies, vivid dreams, and the feeling that we have had dreams, a topic which I rang in to talk to her about.

I remember meeting Rebecca once, although I don’t remember what she looks like. If she is blonde, I hope she doesn’t want to live on people’s roofs, as that would just make the dream scarier.

Samuel

8 comments April 27th, 2006 at 09:03am

Kris is back, the transmitter is acting up (again), and the Pye leaves the Sky

2CC had a busy day yesterday. Firstly newsreader Kris McKenzie is back from holidays, even though they are still looking for a senior journalist. I really did think that Kris was gone, the job ad and his lengthy absence almost added up, although I have to admit that the constant changing of afternoon newsreader didn’t. It is great to have Kris back, as I’m sure a lot of listeners would agree.

Speaking of listeners, plenty of them would have noticed the strange actions of the 2CC transmitter from about 2:45pm onwards, it really sounds like it is having power issues (of course with Canberra’s electricity infrastructure that could be ActewAGL’s fault) as it seems to cut out at random, sometime not transmitting at all for a short while, other times transmitting a very weak signal, and always returning with a signal that fades in from static. Thankfully the problems seemed to be contained to the hour after 2:45.

And as previously reported, Andrew Pye has left, his final day was yesterday, prepare for Mike “Frame In The Plane” today. I received a letter on Monday from the Australian Traffic Network informing me that I was an unsuccessful applicant for the position (no real surprise), which probably indicates that they have appointed someone to that position, and there is a very good chance that it is Mike Frame. None the less, I will keep my ear to the ground and let you know if I hear anything, as it is quite feasable that Mike is just filling in.

Incidentally, in Andrew’s last traffic report he denied being the Carpet Court Jester, Dave Hughes, the bloke from the AMI Nasal Spray ads (don’t ask), and a multitude of other people and characters which people have accused him of. Regardless of what he says, I still think he is the Carpet Court jester and just won’t own up to wearing that hat.
Is Andrew Pye the Carpet Court Jester?

Oh well, best of luck Andrew, enjoy your copywriting at 2ST Wollongong.

Samuel

3 comments April 27th, 2006 at 12:27am

Samuel’s Persiflage Statistics

Before you get your hopes up, no this post does not contain download statistics, they will be delivered in the monthly blog view stats.

In the last few weeks I’ve received a bit of correspondence from the guests who have been on Samuel’s Persiflage, about the monthly statistics I send out. You see, not only do I post the download statistics each month in the blog view stats, I also send statistics letters to all of the guests, with details about the downloads of their episodes.

In general the response has been very good, the guests are pleased to know approximately how many people have been listening (these are download stats, they don’t prove exact listenership), and are looking forward to the monthly updates.

This is pleasing for me as I decided that it would be a good idea to do this from the start. Basically, when you do a radio or television interview, you can find out pretty easily the approximate number of people listening/watching. TV ratings are published daily, and radio ratings come out to a set schedule. Unfortunately the same is not true for podcasts, and as this is a relatively new form of media, some people are skeptical of there being any point in appearing on a podcast.

There is also a problem with the fact that traditional broadcasts are generally instant or mildly delayed, but are usually broadcast once, with no ability for the end viewer/listener to replay what happened if they didn’t record it. Basically, you speak, people hear you, the world carries on. With podcasts though, you speak, a bit later the podcast is published, and for the rest of eternity people may hear/see your message. This obviously isn’t any good for a message you need to deliver right now, but for non-urgent messages this can be quite effective.

This changes the way ratings need to be measured though as you can’t just say “250,000 were listening when you spoke”, you effectively have to say “250,000 heard you on Monday, 75,000 on Tuesday, etc etc”, and of course you can’t really measure the exact size of the audience due to the very nature of downloads, so you measure downloads and call it an approximate audience size, which it is with the law of averages (some will download part of a podcast, some will download a full podcast and share it with others).

As podcasting matures, I think we will see more and more podcasters providing download statistics, as it is something which interests most of the audience, is useful for future guests, and good information for previous guests.

I’m by no means the only podcaster doing this, but I am one of the leaders in providing statistics, and I get the feeling that one day I will be able to say “I helped to start that!”.

Samuel

1 comment April 26th, 2006 at 11:14am

ACTION Timetable Change Delayed By A Month

You may recall that earlier this month I informed you of some changes at ACTION Buses, including a timetable change scheduled for August.

According to my sources, this has now been put back to September, and may be further delayed as these changes require careful negotiation with affected unions, and a lot of time and resources need to be spent on getting the new timetable ready, which not only means generating new driver shifts, but also preparing bus timetables and informing people of the change.

What most bus travellers are not aware of, is that bus drivers have different shifts during the school term and the school holidays, to accomodate for the school bus services (which obviously don’t run during school holidays). This generally means that it is easier to launch a new timetable, and effectively new shifts, on the Monday that schools resume. In that case, I will say right now that the earliest we are likely to see a timetable change is Monday, October 16, and if we don’t see it then we will just have to wait for next year.

Samuel

April 26th, 2006 at 08:27am

Samuel’s Footy Tips: Results

Another long weekend, another 3 in the NRL and another 4 in the AFL.

AFL Round 4: 4/8 (50%)
NRL Round 7: 3/7 (42.86%)
Week Total: 7/15 (46.67%)
Graph of the weekly results

Totals:
AFL: 18/32 (56.25%)
NRL: 20/49 (40.82%)
Total: 38/81 (46.91%)
Graph of the total results

Samuel

April 26th, 2006 at 12:26am

Caz Stops Blogging

Caz from The Spin Starts Here has announced her retirement from blogging. She says that she has made this decision because in the last few weeks she has

received some extremely nasty and threatening emails directed at my family – including my baby daughter. I have not published the contents of all of these communications, but let’s just say I have reason to be concerned by them.

Caz also says that

In the process an innocent woman has been targeted and “identified” as me on another site with “anonymous” folk people threatening to “pay her a visit”. I can’t tell you how disturbing that is – and I’ve had to contact the woman in question explaining what has happened and why she should be careful. Let’s hope she doesn’t think I’m a crackpot.

I doubt that anybody who has been on the receiving end of one of her campaigns (for lack of a better word) will be surprised that she receives threats, I personally (and half-heartedly) threatened her with a defamation lawsuit last year when there was an extensive campaign against me, and I can’t really say that I’m surprised that somebody snapped and started “real” threats, but the two are in very different categories, and the threats of physical violence are quite simply appalling.

I do think that Caz has brought this on herself to some extent by under estimating what enraged and annoyed people are capable of. Some of the things she has written have been quite nasty, vicious and demeaning, so I doubt that anybody can be honestly surprised that she has received a lot of hate mail, but there is an important difference between hate mail and threats of physical violence.

Let me take you back to the time when I was at the centre of her flamethrower of attention. A lot of nasty things were said about me, but they were only words. Sure it hurt for a while, but at the end of the day I realised that it wasn’t the end of the world, life would go on, and I would eventually leave the spotlight and carry on with my life. Ultimately this meant that somebody else would become the poor sod in the middle of her flamethrower, and that made me a bit nervous, as I realised that the entire purpose of her online presence was to annoy one person or another. Caz probably took things a bit too far, and she eventually landed on the inevitable person who would reach the end of their tether and do their best to inflict pain and misery upon her.

I’ll admit that I have had communications with people who are very annoyed with Caz, I think it comes with the territory…it’s just what happens when you’ve been “featured” on her site, it’s a club of sorts, but I have had no knowledge of any person actually threatening harm against her or her family, and if I had known about it I would have done what I could to prevent it.

No matter how nasty some of the things Caz wrote actually were, I don’t think she ever intended to make people feel miserable, she may have desired to portray it that way to her audience (in much the same way as Big Brother seems to drum up interest by having controversy), but I don’t think she ever intended to inflict misery. She was probably very naive to think that people would see it as a joke when they were on the receiving end, and it is probably a good thing that she is stopping, but I think it is agreeable that the means to the end were not desirable.

To explain my point more clearly, I will bring up something I don’t think I ever mentioned to anyone. Regular readers of her site might recall Troydanger having one of his phrases misinterpreted as a death threat against Caz’s baby late last year. Well following that Caz and Troydanger exchanged emails, and Troydanger informed Caz that I had received threats of physical violence after being featured on her site. After that, Caz sent me the following email:

Dear Samuel,

I don’t do this kind of thing every day, but I am writing to you to apologise if you have received any real threats as a result of my post on TSSH.

You may be aware that my baby received a death threat from Troydanger this week. After contacting him about this, he told us he had heard from you that you yourself have received such threats from TSSH readers. If this is the case I apologise as it was never my intention. It does not excuse Troy’s behaviour either though.

I have to say my opinion of you has changed since I wrote my original post. In the comments on that first thread that started everything, you came accross to me like one of the many radio wannabes we had hanging around when I worked at 2CC many years ago, who quite frankly were annoying. There was one boy at the time in particular – about your age – who used to come in all the time and would tell staff that he was “going to take my job away from me” etc. I thought you might be like this boy, but I was wrong. You seem to genuinely love 2CC. I honestly don’t understand why – they tend to treat staff similarly to what you have blogged about your previous employer doing to you – but so be it.

I would never have posted about you if you hadn’t put up that original post on your site, but I think it’s important for people to have a right of reply, as I am sure you would certainly agree. We were only taking the piss out of you to start with, and there was never meant to be any malice in that.

That being said, after reading your blog since then you have kind of grown on me, and you seem like a nice kid. I think you’ve handled everything really well and with maturity. The readers seem to love you too (most of them, but hey, not all of them like me either) and who would have thought you’d become a celebrity? I’ve never seen anything like it in the time I’ve been blogging. I don’t know about you, but when you get past the weirdness of it, it’s actually pretty cool that they can’t get enough Samuel.

If you’re ever in Melbourne (the Australian coffee capital) we’ll shout you a cup of the city’s finest.

Caz.

As I said earlier, Caz probably brought this all on herself to some extent, but that doesn’t excuse the threats of violence against her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that there won’t be anybody receiving her flamethrower ever again, but I think there would have been much better ways to sort this all out than to have people threatening Caz with physical violence.

I understand that quite a few of my readers will be surprised to see me semi-defend Caz, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you turn on me now, but I’ve been honest about my thoughts and feelings on this matter, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s all that matters.

Samuel

56 comments April 25th, 2006 at 09:54pm

ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC Day, those of you within the countries that commemorate ANZAC Day will be well aware of its importance. Those of you who don’t might like to read the Wikipedia article about ANZAC Day.

I think the best way to briefly summarise what ANZAC Day is about is to bring you the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia article:

Australia and New Zealand commemorate the ANZAC Day public holiday on the 25th of April every year to honour the bravery and sacrifice of the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and of all those who served their country.

The poem “For The Fallen” (circa 1914) by Laurence Binyon is very appropriate for this occasion, and the fourth verse is usually read during ANZAC Day services.

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

May you all have a solemn and dignified ANZAC Day.

Update (11:07PM): Chuck A. Spear has sent in some photos of the dawn service in Melbourne. (Captions provided by Chuck)

Weary Dunlop. Looking fresh at 7am.
Melbourne 2006 ANZAC Day Dawn Service
Dawn Service @ Shrine of Rememberance.
Melbourne 2006 ANZAC Day Dawn Service
On my way to Gunfire Breakfast at Governor Generals.
Melbourne 2006 ANZAC Day Dawn Service
Senator Stephen Fielding from Family First doing a video blog. I kept interrupting him so he had to start over about ten times.
Melbourne 2006 ANZAC Day Dawn Service

Samuel

18 comments April 25th, 2006 at 01:43am

Samuel In Dolgnwot: Series 2, Episode 8

Episode eight of Series two has arrived!

This week we join Samuel a few hours after last week’s picture, at 5:15pm, and Samuel is checking how much gold he found. As it turns out, Samuel found 35,280oz (1,000.17118 KG) of gold and a golden microphone.

Samuel also has a cup of coffee waiting for him on the table.
Samuel In Dolgnwot, Series Two, Episode 8: Samuel has a good day on the goldfields of Dolgnwot finding 35,280 oz of gold and one golden microphone

Samuel

22 comments April 24th, 2006 at 11:21pm

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