Archive for July, 2006

Clothes Folding

Usually I fold up and put away my basket full of washed clothes once every week or two, but lately I have taken to just pulling things out of the basket…unfortunately the basket was overflowing and it isn’t particularly convenient to find matching socks in a jumble of clothes, so I unloaded the basket onto my bed (plus the items which had overflowed onto the floor), but before I could get started Nattie made herself comfortable.

Nattie and Samuel next to the pile of clothes

Nattie then moved to the chair at the end of my bed, and I found some socks I hadn’t taken out of their packing. They were made by Ausiie workers.
Sock made by Aussie workers
Sock made by Aussie workers

They were added to the pile of clothes to be sorted.
Pile of clothes to be sorted
Pile of clothes to be sorted
Pile of clothes to be sorted

Nattie observed from the chair.
Nattie on a chair

The items were then sorted into appropriate piles to be placed in the cupboard. The piles were socks, jumpers/shirts/skivvies, pants, pillow slips, hankies, pyjamas, singlets and underpants.
The sorted clothes
The sorted clothes
The sorted clothes
The sorted clothes

Nattie was quite comfortable on the chair.
Nattie on a chair
Nattie on a chair

The clothes were then placed away in their respective sections of the cupboards.

That was my main activity yesterday afternoon and was done whilst listening to the AFL on 2CA (3AW feed).

Samuel

6 comments July 31st, 2006 at 03:22pm

2CA Giving Away $75,000

On November 14, 1931, 2CA started broadcasting on the AM dial with a frequency of 1050kHz (they subsequently changed to 1053kHz when the industry changed from 10kHz stepping to 9kHz stepping…radio historian Wayne Mac talks about that during Samuel’s Persiflage #2)

Anyway, 2CA will be 75 years old on November 14 this year, and as such they have decided to have a birthday promotion. The prize they are giving away is $75,000. So, how does it work? Well the 2CA website explains that quite well:

“What would you do with $75,000? Pay off the rest of the mortgage? Finally take that overseas holiday? From Monday, listen out for 2CA’s $75,000 Birthday songs, as soon as you hear one, be the first caller through on 62411053 and you will be in the running to win $75,000! It’s 2CA’s $75,000 Birthday songs, on the new sound of Canberra’s 1053 2CA.

I get the distinct impression that they are just copying and pasting radio scripts on to their website, but it seems to work.

Today is Monday, so for your chance to win, tune your dial to 1053AM and keep an ear out for the “birthday songs”…I’m sure there will be plenty of promos giving you more explicit instructions.

Incidentally, John B1_B5 wrote an article, not all that long ago, about the early years of 2CA in which he stated that 2CA started off in a shop in Kingston, with a 50 watt 4 stage transmitter employing a mercury vapour Rectifier, the antenna for this device was mounted on the roof above the shop. For more information about the early years of 2CA, see this page on John’s website.

Also of interest, John Kerr was 2CA’s breakfast host from 1960 to 1965 (or 1966), he was also the breakfast host on 2GO Gosford for 13 years starting in 1973…2GO are celebrating their 35th birthday on November 19, a mere five days after 2CA’s 75th birthday. I get the feeling John will be kept quite busy and excited during that week. With any luck he will be in Canberra for a day or two…it would be nice to meet up with him here in Canberra, even if only for a coffee.

Samuel

July 31st, 2006 at 12:52pm

Is the ACT branch of the Labor Party about to implode?

Well that depends on who you ask…the messages from within the Labor party are very mixed.

A couple months ago I had a couple people from the ACT Labor Party tell me that they didn’t think Jon Stanhope would face the next election as party leader, at the time I more or less discounted this as a speculative rumour of little significance, but the events of the weekend have shown that there is more to this than I thought.

Over the weekend the ACT Labor Party held their (Annual?/Monthly?/Sporadic?) party conference, and the internal squabbles and rifts were apparent…a Labor backbencher joined a protest against school closures outside the conference, and almost half of the 196 party members who could be bothered turning up (a quote from one of my Labor Party insiders “I was going to go…but then I didn’t) voted against the school closures, including five MLAs (two of which were cabinet members).

According to RiotACT, the MLAs who voted against the school closures (or more accurately, voted to not close any schools this year and also extend the consultation period) were Katy Gallagher, Simon Corbell, Wayne Berry, and Karin Macdonald. The fifth MLA is either Mary Porter or Mick Gentleman…not that it really matters, as the real surprise is that Katy and Simon voted against the wishes of the Chief Turnip.

Katy and Simon have, up until now, been virtual mouthpieces for the Chief Turnip, and if I remember correctly Katy is also Deputy Chief Minister (The turnip title is reserved for Stanhope for now). With the opposition now calling for a full inquiry into education in the ACT, it looks like the next round of sittings of the Legislative Assembly will be most amusing and entertaining.

It was also interesting the way the Chief Turnip and his subordinates deflected the internal criticism of his “unpopular magic safety fairy” stance. The Chief Turnip was quoted on the ABC news website as saying:

We, of course, have always been aware of the range of views and the fact that this is a very emotional and difficult debate…It was a difficult decision and the issue is significant and it affects each of us as Canberrans, and certainly members of the party have a view.

Pity he doesn’t actually care about the party members’ views.

The Canberra Times had a very interesting article about the meeting:

REVOLT FAILS School closure plan survives narrow ALP conference vote
Markus Mannheim
Sunday, 30 July 2006

CHIEF Minister Jon Stanhope narrowly avoided a humiliating defeat at yesterday’s annual Labor conference when party members attempted to block his controversial plan to close 39 public schools.

The party’s dominant left faction led the revolt, which would have prevented any school from being closed before 2008.

Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and fellow left frontbencher Simon Corbell broke cabinet solidarity to vote with their faction against Government policy.

The motion was defeated by just four votes – 96 to 100 – after a bitter debate during which MLAs hurled abuse at each other.

Legislative Assembly Speaker Wayne Berry said he was embarrassed by what he described as the “shock and awe” policy of school closures, saying it left party supporters confused and upset.

“If there was one thing that rocketed Labor into office in 2001, it was education,” he said.

Brindabella MLA Karin MacDonald said that her fellow backbenchers had only been told of the policy on the morning of the June 6 budget.

She said she had still not received a full and substantial briefing to allay her concerns.

“I do not believe that this process … could have been handled any worse than this minister [Andrew Barr] has done,” she told delegates.

In response, Territory and Municipal Services Minister John Hargreaves said he found her speech disgusting.

“To find that one of our elected representatives has the temerity to stand up here and criticise the minister in such a personal attack is something that I have never experienced in all my time with the Labor Party in the ACT,” he said.

The motion had been expected to pass, but was blocked at the last minute when most of Ms MacDonald’s right-wing Unity faction decided to support the Government.

Mr Stanhope acknowledged the vote was close, but said he was pleased to have the party’s formal support.

“The issues were aired, views within the party were expressed and, at the end of the day, the branch conference has supported the Government in its school closure program,” he said afterwards.

Opposition education spokeswoman Vicki Dunne said it was now up to the five Labor MLAs who voted against the closures to do the same in the Assembly next month.

“Cabinet solidarity went out the door today,” she said.

“It shows that the Labor Party knows what it is doing is wrong, and that most caucus members know that it is wrong.”

An earlier motion criticising the Government’s funding of private schools was also narrowly defeated by a margin of five votes.

With the current state of affairs it would appear that there are enough people against Stanhope in the parliament to have an effective no-confidence motion…now that would be interesting. Perhaps that is what my sources inside the Labor Party were hinting at.

Samuel

July 31st, 2006 at 09:27am

Samuel’s Footy Tips: Results

A much better weekend of footy tips, I’m quite pleased with the results.

AFL Round 17: 4/8 (50%)
NRL Round 21: 5/7 (71.43%)
Week Total: 9/15 (51.25%)
Graph of the weekly results

Totals:
AFL: 70/136 (51.47%)
NRL: 74/145 (51.03%)
Total: 144/281 (51.25%)
Graph of the total results

Samuel

July 31st, 2006 at 06:55am

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

This week’s award goes to The Lovin’ Spoonful, and the feature song is Jug Band Music

I was down in Savannah
Eatn’ Cream and Bannanas
When the heat just made me faint
I began to get crosseyed
I thought I was lost
I’d begun to see things as they ain’t.
As the relatives gathered to see what’s the matter
The doctor came to see was I fine.
But the doctor said give him jug band music,
It seems to make him feel just fine.

I was told a little tail about a skinny as a rail
L.A. put cowboy with a headache
He was hung up in the desert swappin’ rats
And tryn’ ta get a drink of water with his knees gettin’ mud caked
And I’ll tell you and exceptance how he stumbled into Memphis Tenassee
Hardly crawling gettin’ dust baked.
We gave ‘im little water; a little bit of wine
he opened up his eyes but they didn’t seem to shine
And the doctor said give him jug band music
it seems to make him feel just fine

So if you ever get sickly
get sister run quickly to the dusty closet shelf
and pull out a washboard; and play a guitar chord
and do a little do it yourself.
call on your neighbors to put down their labors
and come and play the hardware in time
cause the doctor said give him jug band music
it seems to make him feel just fine

I was floatin’ in the ocean
greased with suntan lotion
when i got wiped out by a beach boy
he was surfin’ when he hit me but jumped off his board to get me
and he dragged me by the armpit like a child’s toy
as we staggerd into land with all the waitors eatn’ sandwiches
we tried to mooch a towel from the hoi poloi
he emptied out his eardrums; i emptied out mine
and everybody knows that the very last line is
the doctor said give him jug band music
it seems to make him feel just fine

and the doctor said give him jug band music
it seems to make him feel just fine

Samuel

July 30th, 2006 at 07:24pm

Canberra Radio Ratings: Survey #1 for 2006

In mid-June the Canberra radio ratings were released…I then analysed the figures and promptly forgot to write anything about them. Regular readers may recall that in early May, when the ratings period started, I made some predictions. I am pleased to be able to announce that I got quite a few things right.

So without further ado, here are the results for Canberra Radio Ratings Survey #1, 2006, for Sunday May 19 to Saturday June 3 inclusive

Let’s start with the overall picture of the ratings:

Position (Last
Survey)
Station
Name
Score (Last
Survey)
Change
1 2 Mix 106.3 (Music) 21.5 20.7 +0.8
2 1 FM 104.7 (Music) 17.6 21.0 -3.4
3 3 ABC Local Radio (Talk) 15.9 17.6 -1.7
4 6 2CC (Talk) 8.5 6.8 +1.7
5 4 JJJ (Music) 7.8 8.5 -0.7
6 5 ABC Classic FM (Music) 7.4 7.0 +0.4
7 7 ABC Radio National (Talk) 6.4 6.7 -0.3
9 9 2CA (Music) 5.0 4.4 +0.6
10 10 ABC NewsRadio (Talk) 4.0 2.5 +1.5
8 8 Other 5.9 4.8 +1.1


As predicted, FM 104.7 lost top spot in favour of Mix 106.3, and as stated, FM 104.7 are going downhill rather quickly (largest audience loss in Canberra). It was quite interesting (and not in the least bit surprising given the quality of 2CC programming, their excellent coverage of the ACT Budget, and the ads they ran on buses) to see 2CC gain the exact percentage of the market that their direct competitor, 666 ABC Canberra, lost. 2CC also jumped into second place in their market (talk) and had the highest audience gain of any radio station in Canberra.

JJJ continued their topsy turvey results, this time they lost a few listeners, ABC Classic FM gained a few listeners (seems to be quite popular in doctors’ surgeries), Radio National lost audience as predicted…they just aren’t local enough to maintain an audience now that they podcast almost all of their useful programs.

2CA and NewsRadio were the real surprise packets of these ratings.

2CA, with no advertising, managed to gain a decent bit of the market, probably due to two factors. Firstly they have the best playlist in Canberra and the word is spreading, and secondly they are the only music station on the AM dial…the 2CC advertising helped, as some of the people who saw the ads and decided that they would check out 2CC probably didn’t like it, and then found the best music station in Canberra…it sounds similar to Mix 106.3 these days, but it is better…much better.

Daniel Gibson did very well for 2CA on breakfast, so I do find it curious that they launched a new breakfast duo right after the ratings were released, but Paul & Leighton do appear to have hung on to Daniel’s audience and then gained some more…I’m overhearing their names more and more around Canberra, 2CA are more than likely on a winner with them.

NewsRadio had a very surprising jump in the ratings…admittedly they were broadcasting the federal budget proceedings and other parliamentary excitement…but a jump of 1.5% of Canberrans? We’ll have to keep an eye on them for the next ratings.

“Other” also had a decent jump, other of course being the measurement for non-listed stations, and (I think) people who are not listening. Apparently there is a new station called Raw FM or something which is gaining popularity in the target demographic of JJJ and FM 104.7.

For the record, the top three single station gains went to 2CC (+1.7), NewsRadio (+1.5) and Mix 106.3 (+0.8). The top three single station losses went to FM 104.7 (-3.4), ABC Local Radio (-1.7) and JJJ (-0.7)

Now, the market vs market summary:

Position (Last Survey) Category Score (Last Survey) Change
1 1 Music 59.3 61.6 -2.3
2 2 Talk 34.8 33.6 +1.2
3 3 Other 5.9 4.8 +1.1


Quite interesting to see Talk closing in on Music, and “other” also making a gain.

Now the same comparison, but with station averages instead (other cannot be included in averages due to the ever-changing number of others):

Position (Last Survey) Category Score (Last Survey) Change
1 1 Music 11.86 12.32 -0.46
2 2 Talk 8.70 8.40 +0.30


Now for the overall ABC vs Commercial figures:

Position (Last Survey) Category Score (Last Survey) Change
1 1 Commercial 52.6 52.9 -0.3
2 2 ABC 41.5 42.3 -0.8
3 3 Other 5.9 4.8 +1.1


Everybody is losing out to the “other” category.

On average per station:

Position (Last Survey) Category Score (Last Survey) Change
1 1 Commercial 13.15 13.23 -0.80
2 2 ABC 8.30 8.46 -0.16


Despite the ABC category having a larger overall fall, the commercial stations had a larger average fall.

Somebody I know said the following very patronising statement in a group setting I was involved in a few weeks ago “…it’s like the “AM” button on the radio…you never use it, but it’s good to know it’s there!”

How accurate was this person I wonder?

Position (Last Survey) Category Score (Last Survey) Change
1 1 FM 58.3 59.7 -1.4
2 2 AM 35.8 35.5 +0.3
3 3 Other 5.9 4.8 +1.1


Not very accurate by the looks of it…35.8% (and climbing) of Canberrans prefer to use the AM button.

On station averages:

Position (Last Survey) Category Score (Last Survey) Change
1 1 FM 11.66 11.94 -0.28
2 2 AM 8.95 8.88 +0.07


So there you have it, the Canberra Radio Ratings for Sunday May 19 to Saturday June 3 inclusive. The summary from Nielsen Media Research can be found here

At this stage the date for the next ratings has not been announced.

Samuel

2 comments July 30th, 2006 at 06:24am

Blog View Stats for May

With the end of July fast approaching, it’s as good a time as any to catch up on the backlog of Blog View Stats and other statistical posts. Over the next few days I will catch up on the Blog View Stats and Radio ratings posts, and then, once I have caught up on them, it should be just about time for the next Blog View Stats post.

This post, as the title suggests, contains the stats for the month of May. Towards the end of May I started a new job and subsequently had minimal time to write any posts, let alone the lengthy Blog View Stats, and now as things are settling down, I can bring you these long overdue stats.

The webstat reports and the Persiflage download stats can be found at http://samuelgordonstewart.com/wp-content/blogstats/2006/may/

There were 14,259 page views in May, down from 20,002+ in April, and 4,787 visitors, down from 5,476 in April.

There were 5,934 views of the front page on all of its URLs.

The most popular articles were:

Google once again remained the most popular search engine with 93.05% of all search engine referrals coming from Google. Yahoo was next with 5.72%, and MSN was next on 0.88%.

The top ten search keywords were:

  1. schnappi video
  2. samuel gordon stewart
  3. samuel gordon-stewart
  4. magic 1278
  5. 2ue studio
  6. kelly underwood
  7. www.samuelgordonstewart.com
  8. Schnappi video
  9. riotact
  10. race caller tony campbell

Among the odd keywords were

  • how do you make a good radio jingle
  • loudspeakers making
  • people dressing up as vegemites
  • 203.129.37.
  • cats following path of powerlines
  • $”Moira Brooker”, “pregnant”$
  • australian driving licence tests in the 1940\’s
  • mows jcdecaux
  • samuel gordon-stewart pineapples
  • peep holes melbourne
  • american elephant
  • Newsli .au
  • melbourne cricket ground siren music feature:audio
  • strange jewellery
  • Sing Hallelujah to the Lord dots
  • dockers siren decision diagrams
  • extra week in 2006
  • TRANSLATION OF 机场建设费
  • win television westfield woden feed

Internet Explorer gained slightly and remained the most popular browser with 59.5% of the readership, Firefox also gained and was next with 31.15%, Safari gained again to have 6.91%, Opera had a small rise reaching 1.76%. Netscape and Mozilla Suite were under 1%, with Konqueror & others all being under 0.1%.

Windows was the most popular Operating System, despite a very minor drop, with 84.15% of the readership, followed by Mac, which recorded a gain, with 13.69%, and Linux which more than doubled, to be on 2.08%. All others were under 0.10%.

The vast majority of readers were in Australia, 83.82% of them to be precise. Next was the US with 5.19%, Japan with 4.18%, the UK with 2% and Canada on 1.07%. The rest of the 78 countires were under 1%.

The most popular files for the month were:

The top referring sites for the month were:

Bandwidth
May 2006: 14,680MB
April 2006: 32,130MB
March 2006: 12,350MB
February 2006 9,280MB
January 2006: 14,240MB
December 2005: 14,010MB
November 2005: 2,870MB
October 2005: 657.85MB
September 2005: 519.89MB
August 2005: 82.93MB

Samuel’s Persiflage Statistics

RSS Feed Downloads
Month Downloads
May 2006 1546
April 2006 1501
March 2006 1392
Febrauary 2006 815
January 2006 1661
December 2005 150
Total 4018

Downloads in April
Episode High Quality Version Low Quality Version Total
5 (May 2006) 47 20 67
4 (April 2006) 79 48 127
3 (February 2006) 67 51 118
2 (January 2006) 147 N/A 147
1 (December 2006) 79 N/A 79
Total 419 119 538

Episode 5 Downloads
Month High Quality Version Low Quality Version Total
May 2006 47 20 67
Total 47 20 67

Episode 4 Downloads
Month High Quality Version Low Quality Version Total
May 2006 79 48 127
April 2006 146 75 221
Total 225 123 348

Episode 3 Downloads
Month High Quality Version Low Quality Version Total
May 2006 67 51 118
April 2006 115 83 198
March 2006 84 43 127
February 2006 81 39 120
Total 347 216 563

Episode 2 Downloads
Month Downloads
May 2006 147
April 2006 171
March 2006 125
February 2006 98
January 2006 144
Total 685

Episode 1 Downloads
Month Downloads
May 2006 79
April 2006 100
March 2006 71
February 2006 64
January 2006 291
December 2006 80
Total 685


Samuel

July 29th, 2006 at 07:10am

Transcript of Samuel’s Persiflage #5

Samuel’s Persiflage #5 is the lucky first episode with a transcript. The transcripts are in HTML and PDF format.

HTML Transcript
PDF Transcript

These transcripts have been made possible by Tech-Synergy

The rest of the transcripts will appear without this fanfare.

Samuel

4 comments July 28th, 2006 at 02:38pm

Funny Food

Here’s another one from Irene in Brisbane…looks like somebody had a bit too much time on their hands.

Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food
Funny Food

Do you have something you would like to contribute to Friday Funnies? If so, email it to smoothwallsamuel@gmail.com. All contributions welcome!

Samuel

5 comments July 28th, 2006 at 10:34am

Samuel’s Footy Tips

NRL Round 21
Panthers V Warriors
Roosters V Cowboys
Rabbitohs V Raiders
Broncos V Tigers
Eels v Sea Eagles
Dragons V Storm
Sharks V Knights

AFL Round 17
Magpies V Hawks
Saints V Tigers
Eagles V Crows
Bombers V Lions
Power V Swans
Kangaroos V Cats
Blues V Dockers
Demons V Bulldogs

Samuel

July 28th, 2006 at 06:15am

Middle East Conflict

It has certainly been interesting to watch the latest middle east crisis develop on the news from all the way over here in Australia, but it is even more interesting to here directly from people in the middle of it all over in Israel.

This week’s You Are The Guest podcast (episode 49) is an absolute “must listen” for anybody who wants a better understanding of the current conflict, or just wants to hear about what’s happening from people who are right there on the spot, and have lived there for many years.

This week Bill Grady interviews Charley and Carol from Israelisms Podcast, and it is compelling listening. If you listen carefully you can hear some fighter jets flying overhead around the 26 minute mark.

The show notes from Bill Grady:

Charley and Carol from Israelisms Podcast are back and give us an amazing insight to what is going on in Israel during the current war with Hezbollah. You’ll find out what your not seeing when you watch the American and international news networks, who’s is covering the war the best and who is the worst. Charley and Carol also describe how worthless the U.N. is, what everyday life is like since the war started, how they see the connection between Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, and why you shouldn’t be considered a civilian if you have bombs in your basement. Charley and Carol also have a special message for Americans and to our listeners around the world. Charley and Carol ask me what is my favorite rock group of all-time, what daytime talk show host I would like to interview, and who I thought did the best news interviews.

Download episode | Visit YouAreTheGuest.com | Visit Israelisms.com

Samuel

July 27th, 2006 at 12:55am

New Camera

You may recall that the camera which served me well for quite some time developed a nasty “black semi-circle at top left” fault recently. The camera was sent off for repair, but due to warranty complexities and the nature of the fault, it was not repaired. The camera may still be repaired at some stage in the near future, and then sold, but there are some difficulties due to the fact that Konica Minolta have ceased their camera business and handed support and servicing over to Sony.

The black semi-circle fault can be easily seen in this photo:
2006 Autumn Cleanup in Canberra: Great big pile of leaves

Anyway, a new camera has been purchased on Flexirent, a Panasonic DMC-FZ7, and so far I must say I am very impressed. The photos are excellent, the focus and flash systems likewise, and the video mode would most likely be suitable for budget short videos (gives me ideas for January…more on that at a later date).

I’ve taken some photos for your enjoyment and perusal, clicking on them will enlarge them.

First up we have Nattie in her bed
Nattie in her bed

Nattie after getting up to sniff the camera (perhaps it looked tasty?)
Nattie after sniffing the camera

Nattie and the camera box
Nattie and the camera box

My main radio sitting on a box in the computer room
My main radio

The map of Australia mentioned in Samuel’s Persiflage #4 and Samuel’s Persiflage #5
Map of Australia

Still to come, pictures of the new pond and the goldfish who reside in it, and the next photographic tour of the constructions taking place in Civic (the underground cabling building is nearly complete, and the Section 84 developments are coming along nicely).

Samuel

July 26th, 2006 at 12:06pm

AFL Umpires…The Traditional Uniform Is Best

There are two things that really irk me about the AFL in recent years, one is that they left Channel Seven (thankfully they are going back), and secondly, and probably more importantly, they have been abandoning some of their common-sense traditions, such as having umpires in noticeable white uniforms.

When the umpires were in white, they were noticeable and they looked professional, no team is dressed fully (or even mostly) in white, and there is no logical reason for changing the colour of umpires uniforms. I really hate seeing them in a different colour every single match, they just don’t stand out. Sure, they aren’t the same colour as any of the competing teams, but they just look like players anyway. The white uniform was obvious, noticeable and made sense…the AFL was stupid to remove it, and I hope they change their mind soon.

I was prompted to write this article after reading a similar opinion in yesterday’s Crikey newsletter.

27. AFL Heritage Round does more than remember the good old days

Nick Place at the Crikey sports desk writes:

Brave or stupid? So often it’s a fine line, and that’s how it was for the AFL with the 80s-themed Heritage round. Why? Because by showcasing some of the old fashions and how footy was played not so many years ago, the League accidentally turned the spotlight on some of the worst of the changes to the “modern game”.

I’m talking about the cosmetic but significant changes that have all helped to bland out the AFL. Like putting goal umpires in smart coloured polo shirts and baseball caps, instead of the traditional white painter’s coats and broad-brimmed lawn bowler hats. They were back on the weekend, and looked sensational.

Or like having umpires wearing white, as they did for 100 years, before some genius at head office decided that their uniform clashed with team guernseys also featuring white. Somehow Collingwood, Geelong and the Kangaroos all took the field on the weekend, along with an umpire in traditional white, and nobody died.

My question is this: if the AFL felt so moved to make the “Men in White” the “Men in Multi-Coloured Hues” as some kind of workplace safety measure, why can they carelessly ditch that concern for an entire round for marketing reasons?

I know this is all low-level stuff, but it matters. You want to hark back to the 80s? I interviewed some Americans at a VFL game back then who had only come to that game to stand behind the goals and marvel at the goal umpire in the white long coat and big hat. They actually had fan clubs devoted to these idiosyncratic officials on the college circuit back in the USA. I’ll bet nobody has a Goal Umpire Fan Club these days, now they’re dressed like every other ho-hum official.

Is the AFL gutsy enough to admit a mistake? Put the umpires and goal umpires back in the clothes they belong in, and only bring back the coloured shirts and baseball caps as a chuckle in a future Noughties Heritage Round? Let personalities like Akermanis have their head, instead of slapping them down for breaking team ranks?

Not likely. Which is a shame.

From memory the umpire colour change only occurred after Seven lost the rights to the AFL…I hope Seven put pressure on the AFL to revert back to white.

Samuel

July 26th, 2006 at 08:20am

Technorati have been busy

The last week has been a busy one for Technorati from my “outsider’s point of view”. Firstly, Technorati are now indexing this blog properly again (it only took about 100 days and two emails), but I forgive them because it all works now, and is even indexing scheduled posts after they appear, which sounds like they’ve either setup periodic RSS feed checking, or are taking notice of post timestamp (if that gets sent in the “ping” when I click “Publish”).

The other day (July 20 to be precise), I received the following email from Janice Myint from Technorati Support

Hello Samuel,

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delay in getting back to you. We’ve been experiencing a backlog in support and
are working hard to address everyone. I’ve taken a look at the issue regarding picking up your pings for
“samuelgordonstewart.com”. After making a small adjustment, I’ve sent our spiders to revisit your page and your blog has been
indexed with your most recent posts.

http://technorati.com/blogs/samuelgordonstewart.com/

Everything now appears to be working as it should, but please let us know if you experience any problems in the future. Do
not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for using
Technorati!

Best Regards,
Janice Myint
Customer Support Specialist
Technorati

I’m very pleased about this, and I even replied to Janice’s email to express that sentiment.

Dear Janice,
Thanks for fixing that, I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to do so. I hope you get through the backlog of support tickets soon.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

The other thing that appears to have been keeping the staff at Technorati busy is a redesign of their website and an upgrade of their backend software, as a means of celebrating their third birthday (happy birthday by the way).

The new site is much easier on the eyes, faster, and much easier to use and navigate. Quite a bit of work appears to have gone in to it, and it looks like that effort has paid off.

All in all, a busy and redeeming week for a company I had almost given up hope on.

Well done Technorati!

Samuel

July 25th, 2006 at 03:07pm

Transcripts of Samuel’s Persiflage

I have recently been thinking about the idea of having transcripts of Samuel’s Persiflage, there are multiple reasons for this, including making the content of the podcast easier to find (search engines are good at reading text), making it easier to quote where needed, providing a means for people with hearing difficulties to access Samuel’s Persiflage, and even as a means for avoiding distraction whilst listening.

I generally listen to podcasts whilst in front of the computer, this unfortunately makes it very easy to become distracted, and I find that I follow podcasts with transcripts better than I do podcasts without them…in fact some podcasts which occasionally become complex and technical (such as Security Now!) are even easier to comprehend and understand when following along with the transcript.

I quickly dismissed the idea of writing the transcripts myself, as I am very slow at transcribing audio, and quite frankly I don’t have the time to do that, so I went in search of a transcription service, and after trialling a few of them I have settled on Tech Synergy’s podcast transcription service.

There is a small cost involved, and as such I have decided to stagger the production of the transcripts of the older episodes. The current plan is for one transcript to be delivered per week (starting with the latest episode and working back). Episode six is being transcribed as I write this, and I will have it online later this week.

This is very exciting for me, and I think it will provide a valuable service to existing listeners, as well as a more efficient way to attract new listeners. I will probably include the transcript download stats in the monthly Blog View Stats.

Samuel

July 25th, 2006 at 01:30pm

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