Archive for December, 2006

Nuts About The Newsagent

This time last week Nattie and I were having a walk from our house to Civic Video in Braddon to return some DVDs. The DVDs were not due back until the Monday, but as that was Christmas day we took them back a day early.

We decided to take a longer way home, which involved passing the newsagent near the corner, about halfway up Lonsdale Street.

There was a woman standing outside the newsagent (probably about 65 years old, looked a bit like the woman in the pensioner’s insurance ads…just with more exagerated glasses and makeup) staring at one of the newspaper billboards. As we walked past she turned around, started waving her arms in the air and exclaimed at the top of her voice “Ooooh Aaaaah Glenn McGrath…who cares?”, she then repeated herself in a more muffled way a couple times and I struggled to contain the laughter that was trying to force its way out.

She walked off around the corner, and Nattie and I followed at a distance as we were going that way too…just after the corner she encountered a couple who looked like they were going out for lunch, and started the whole performance all over again…the couple walked away very quickly in a state of shock (she must have less than a metre in front of them when she started), as Nattie and I left the scene I called out to her to wish her a Merry Christmas…it might have been the most amusing and strange thing I had seen all day, but it certainly put a smile on my face, and I thought she looked like she could use someone to wish her a Merry Christmas. She echoed my Christmas sentiments.

Samuel

December 31st, 2006 at 10:28am

Astrologer Milton Black predicts a tough year for ACT Chief Turnip Jon Stanhope

Just before 3am this morning, 2UE’s John Kerr chatted with Canberra based astrologer Milton Black, one of the most notable astrologers in the world, about the year ahead. During the conversation they discussed the year ahead for ACT Chief Turnip, and it is with great personal pleasure that I can announce that Milton did not like Mr. Stanhope’s prospects.

John Kerr: What about the man…you’re in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, Mr. Stanhope the Chief Administrator of the ACT…good year for him in ’07?

Milton Black: Uh no, not a particularly good one, and I think a lot of this would be basically because of the findings in the report over the Canberra fire three or four years ago, and also the fact that Canberra seems to be running out of money and it seems to be running out of a lot of water, now it’s not his problem with the water but they are blaming it on the Chief Minister for not preparing dams and using other means of conserving water in the past. But I do feel that’s completely out of his hands too, but his popularity is dropping.

I would say Mr. Stanhope will find it very difficult to maintain his premiership or leadership as the Chief Minister in the next election.

Among Milton’s other predictions on John’s show this morning:

On the international front:

  • Very extreme and unusual aspects in the astrological calendar for 2007 causing a rather difficult year globally, including dramatic political changes.
  • Governments around the world making more of an effort to exist peacefully.
    More pressure for governments to provide more aid to underpriviliged parts of the world, to little success.
  • Global stock markets will be very volatile.
  • Kyoto protocol to lose a lot global popularity.
  • Much more rain (hooray!), amazing rain and snow storms, and plenty more cyclones, typhoons etc.
  • An increase in air disasters.
  • Oil prices to rise in February, but mostly stable for the rest of the year.

On the national front:

  • Major political and economic events to be influenced by solar and lunar eclipses on the 4th and 19th of March, 8th of August, 11th of September.
  • John Howard to have a good year, but June and July could be bad months for him.
  • Kevin Rudd to have a slow and frustrating year, and move into a very bad time in 2009-2011.
  • The federal election to occur in September or October, with John Howard winning.
  • A generally good year for the Australian economy.
  • Inflation will increase in January and February.
  • Interest rate rise in March to be one of up to three rises in 2007, with general acceptance from the public.
  • Real Estate prices to level out, and drop slightly.
  • A year of major corporate takeovers.
  • Peter Costello to have a hard year, and will not be the next coalition Prime Minister.

Samuel

2 comments December 31st, 2006 at 05:07am

A Space Odyssey

Hi John,

The name of the computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey" was called "HAL", which is actually one letter in the alphabet back from "IBM"!

Douglas Rain was the voice of HAL.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

5 comments December 31st, 2006 at 02:00am

Your first song of the night

Hi John,

That's one of my favourite songs (and one of the many I can't put a name to!), thanks for playing it!

Regards,
Samuel

Update 12:30: It turned out to be KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up”. End Update

2 comments December 31st, 2006 at 12:30am

Rain again!

There has been more rain in Canberra today, but thankfully it appeared to be void of strong winds and hail.

Today I’ve recorded another rain video, I’m going to see if Google Video can handle it properly.

Samuel

Update 6:20pm: I had a nap and came back to the computer to find my face staring at me from a Google Video upload successful screen!

The rain is now gone and there is a bit of blue sky. The rain is good, but we, along with many other parts of the nation, need more.

End Update

Update 6:44pm: And for those who prefer the original video, click here. (One reason that I place the original video online is that it is otherwise impossible for the video to be preserved by the National Library’s PANDORA Archive, as Google and YouTube videos are not “on site”).
End Update

Update 7:54pm: ABC’s Television news had pictures of hail in southern Canberra…it looks like the hail situtation was reversed today. Yesterday the hail was up my end of town, with virtually no rain or hail in southern Canberra, today it was hailing in southern Canberra, and merely raining in northern Canberra. Incidentally the rain started again while I was taking Nattie for her evening walk, we enjoyed it, although I didn’t start “singing in the rain”! End Update

6 comments December 30th, 2006 at 05:17pm

Text Message Greetings

And Hello yet again Glenn!

I'm with you on the text message greetings, I can't stand them, and I never send them, I think they are a waste of time and money.

I personally can't think of a worse way to welcome in the new year than to be pressing tiny buttons on a phone to send a cryptic text greeting. Actually, most text abbreviations drive me mad as well. I always write text messages in sentences and proper words.

As for your offer of being a Harbour side correspondent for your show tomorrow in the lead up to the new year…if I was in Sydney I would jump at the chance, but alas I'm a good 300 kilometres away, and I doubt I can see Sydney harbour very well from here!

Have a great afternoon Glenn…I can hear the thunder starting down here in Canberra!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

15 comments December 30th, 2006 at 04:00pm

Here We Go Again

The Burea Of Meteorology has just issued a storm warning eerily similar to the one they issued yesterday.

The Bureau says the storm may produce large hailstones, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding over the next several hours.
Residents are advised to put cars undercover, secure loose items, move indoors and shelter any pets or animals.

As per usual if you require assistance from the ACT State Emergency Service they can be contacted on 6207 8444, but for life threatening ememgencies please contact 000.

Samuel

December 30th, 2006 at 02:17pm

Paris Hilton

G'day Glenn,

Can you imagine how confusing it would be if Paris Hilton was the manager of the Hilton Hotel in Paris?

Have a happy new year Glenn!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

December 30th, 2006 at 01:00pm

National Museum Declared Safe, But More Storms To Follow

AAP have announced that the National Museum did not sustain structural damage during yesterday’s hailstorm.

The National Museum of Australia has no major structural damage .. despite a ceiling collapse during a freak hailstorm yesterday.
Museum spokesman .. DENNIS GRANT .. says a structural engineer had assessed the damage and says it can be repaired without any major affect to the structure of the building.
During the storm yesterday the ceiling collapsed on an administrative block .. with some paintings on temporary display soaked.
The Museum is still assessing the exact cost of the damage.
The popular tourist destination will be closed for the day as clean up operations continue.

However the Bureau Of Meteorology have an ominous forecast on offer.

A high pressure ridge in the Tasman Sea combined with a low pressure trough over central NSW is resulting in a moist east to northeast airstream and unstable conditions over the region. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast over the south coast and local area today. It is possible that any thunderstorms that develop may become severe this afternoon and evening. This moist airflow and instability is forecast to persist for several days with continued shower and isolated thunderstorm activity into the New Year.

No warnings are currently in place, and we can only hope that no warnings will need to be put in place.

Samuel

December 30th, 2006 at 11:56am

Random Internet Conversation

A random Internet conversation I seem to be having right now:

[4:15:09 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: hello
[4:15:53 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: hello
[4:16:15 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: what’s up
[4:17:35 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: well I don’t know, you wanted to talk yesterday and I summed you had a reason for it
[4:20:10 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: yes I just want to get a freind out of my country
[4:21:28 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: ??
[4:21:49 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: I see…you’ll have to forgive me, but I am a bit cynical about people who want to talk to me via instant messenger services like this one when I don’t know them and they provide minimal information in their initial request.
[4:22:15 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: I am sorry but I am not the best person for your quest, but I wish you all the best in your search. Have a happy new year
[4:22:32 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: the same to you
[4:22:43 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: how old are you?
[4:22:46 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: 19
[4:23:42 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: can you send me your pic please?
[4:24:13 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: No, but if you google my name you can find a few dozen of them
[4:24:39 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: real?
[4:24:44 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: yep
[4:24:51 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: ok
[4:24:57 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: let me do it.
[4:25:04 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: ok
[4:28:58 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: I got dem, but I don’t believe is you.
[4:29:21 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: How would you like me to prove it?
[4:29:56 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: I have an idea…the first result when you google my name…why don’t I copy this conversation to that website?

Update 4:57am: Unfortunately the conversation continued, after which I blocked the unusual gentleman who was obviously not going to end the conversation without a blocking.

[4:30:19 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: oh that’s true
[4:30:39 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: ok let me trust you
[4:30:56 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: hmm, what are you
[4:31:03 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: OK
[4:31:06 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: It’s there now
[4:31:34 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: last time I checked, I’m human.
[4:31:49 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: are you a star?
[4:32:04 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Not really
[4:32:15 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: tell me now
[4:33:14 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: No, I am not a “star”. I am an Australian blogger who attratced a bit of attention last year when a popular Australian website decided to ridicule me
[4:34:13 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: wel, I undurstand
[4:34:25 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: that’s good
[4:34:36 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: yeah.
[4:34:50 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Any reason why you wanted my picture?
[4:35:04 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: just to see you
[4:35:20 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: i like pictures
[4:35:30 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Oh OK, fair enough…I like pictures too
[4:35:44 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: Do you want be a friend of mine?
[4:36:10 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: I have freinds who liv there
[4:36:20 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: in Obart
[4:36:43 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: As I think I said earlier (perhaps I didn’t get to the point earlier), I rarely have time to chat, I don’t think it would work out
[4:37:10 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Hobart is a nice city…on a different island to me though
[4:38:22 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: ok.
[4:38:28 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: God bless.
[4:38:35 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: you too
[4:38:38 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: bye bye
[4:38:51 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: bye
[4:39:49 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: sorry , could you find a g.f for me?
[4:40:06 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: or a freind of your island
[4:40:30 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: um, well I’m not a dating service
[4:41:10 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: I suggest that you just keep adding random people to your contact list…surely at least one of them will be your friend
[4:41:32 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: I don’t tha’s a good anwer.
[4:41:44 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: How many have you added so far? 5000? 10000?
[4:42:09 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: How many for you?
[4:42:22 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: 8
[4:42:35 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: 9 if I include you
[4:43:03 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: includ now me
[4:43:19 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: why?
[4:43:40 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: bcause I wanna be your freind
[4:44:26 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: That’s very nice and flattering, but for the third time, no.
[4:44:40 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: why not??
[4:44:58 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Because I’m just not interested
[4:45:28 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: why you no interested?
[4:46:05 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Because generally I rarely have time to chat
[4:47:16 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: Oh, I think that can the reason for you to include I
[4:48:06 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: huh?
[4:48:23 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: hehe
[4:49:31 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: This is a joke to you isn’t it?
[4:51:12 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: I don’t think, maybe you.
[4:51:36 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Well obviously you don’t think…
[4:52:17 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Anyway, I must go, it has been an unusual experience chatting with you…enjoy your friend and picture hunting, but I think you’re looking for a girl friend the wrong way.
[4:52:21 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: Goodnight
[4:52:25 AM] KWIZERA Bruce says: just what you think
[4:53:18 AM] Samuel Gordon-Stewart says: This must be payback for calling random spammers in your country and wasting their time in the same way they waste everyone elses

Random Chat with KWIZERA Bruce

Hooray for random people who want to talk about nothing (I wonder if he would have tried to sign me up to some “find the love of your life” spam distribution scheme if I had kept talking to him?).

End Update

3 comments December 30th, 2006 at 04:30am

Blue Warning For ACT and Surrounds

The ACT Emergency Services Authroity has issued a “Blue Warning” in response to storms which have swept through Canberra and surrounds. 2CC is reporting that a section of roof at the National Museum has collapsed and that there is localised flooding in sections of Canberra. The SES have received 10 calls for assistance.

If you require assistance from the ACT State Emergency Service they can be contacted on 6207 8444, but for life threatening ememgencies please contact 000.

The storm caused heavy rain, some wind, some hail and plenty of thunderstorm activity in my area. I captured the action on video. At the time of writing this article the video was still being processed by YouTube and should be available in a couple minutes.

(Broken YouTube video removed and Google Video added–12:08am December 31)

Update 5:34pm: The number of calls for assistance to the SES has now jumped to 22. The damage to the roof at the National Museum isn’t too bad, emergency services are currently assessing the situation. Still waiting for YouTube to catch up!End Update

Update 6:48pm: Well YouTube is taking an awfully long time to process the video, so I’ve uploaded it here. It can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here. End Update

Samuel

10 comments December 29th, 2006 at 05:19pm

Brain Swap

This week’s Friday Funny comes courtesy of Rhonda (location withheld), who also asked that I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year on her behalf (yes, the joke was sent in a bit over a week ago).

A young girl had been suffering from severe headaches and had tests run by her doctor. The doctor said, “I’m sorry miss, but you have a massive brain tumor.”

The girl started crying and said to her mum, “I’m only 15 years old. I don’t want to die.”

The doctor said, “Well this is modern medicine. There is an experimental technique for a brain transplant, but it’s expensive and not covered by insurance.”

The girl’s mother said, “Don’t worry, dear. How much does it cost?”

The doctor replied, “Well, a male brain is $1,000,000 and the female brain is $25,000.”

The mum said, “No problem. But why is the male brain more expensive then the female brain?”

The doctor replied, “Because the female brain has been used!”

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

Samuel

December 29th, 2006 at 10:31am

Belconnen American Tornado

I’ve had quite a few dreams recently, so I am presenting one each standard weekday until I run out of dreams, and as I think about them, driving, theft and police seem to be recurring themes, which is mildly distrubing.

In this particular dream I am driving a car on a road which looks an awful lot like Kingsford Smith Drive in the Belconnen area and I see something up ahead, a few seconds later it becomes obvious what the “thing” is…a tornado, small enough to fit on one side of the road, but powerful enough to hold the car back. After a few moments the tornado dissipates and I continue along my way, until I hit another tornado, which has much the same effect, except that when it ends I get out of the car and look at a large road sign to see where I am.

The sign says that I am about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (my apparent destination), and apparently I am 90 “m” from San Francisco…I break into a panic trying to work out what this “m” could be, thinking that it might take me all week to get there and I only have two hours, after a while it becomes obvious that it means “minutes”, and quite relieved I continue on my way…it would appear that for the purposes of this dream, Americans drive on the left hand side of the road.

Samuel

December 29th, 2006 at 07:44am

Public Logic

It is said that common sense isn’t very common, that might be true, but I think the real problem lies in a lack of logic from an awful lot of people. We are all guilty of it, some more so than others, and that in itself poses a problem.

Every day we hear stories which defy either common sense or logic, a good example might be a motorcyclist getting caught travelling at 220 kilometres per hour, we hear the story and consider the person in question a goose, somebody without logic, we wonder what was going through their mind, and we convince ourselves that we would never be silly enough to do something like that, and yet somehow, the stories keep cropping up.

Admittedly, most of us would never do anything as silly as that, but we also have our own logic issues. For example, suppose you have a pile of dishes on the sink and you want to add a spoon to the pile, you are in a hurry and just plonk the spoon down wherever you can find a space, the spoon falls from on top of whatever slanted object you placed it on, and crashes to the floor. You then pick it up and place it on a flat surface.

That was a momentary lack of logic, caused by not having your mind on the job, and as a result, not thinking through the consequences of placing the spoon on a slanted surface. Such momentary lapses in logic and concentration are human nature, we are not truly designed to multi-task, and we can only actively apply logic to one problem at a time.

The trouble is that we har about these massive logic failings, like the motorcyclist getting caught travelling at 220 kilometres per hour, and we think that, as we would never do anything that silly, that we don’t have logic issues, we delude ourselves, and the more we do that, the less we notice these small logic issues, and the bigger they can become as we simply brush them off as “one of those things” or “silly me”. Stamping on, or at least recognising, these small logic issues, helps to make us more aware of our thought process, and the reality of the world around us, and can help prevent the big logic failings.

I’m not suggesting that dropping a spoon one day means that you will attempt to jump from a plane without a parachute the next day on the assumption that you can alter the force of gravity, as you would need other contributing factors to make you think something as far-fetched as that, but understanding your own thought process can help you to prevent smaller problems from occurring.

Large logic failings such as the aforementioned motorcyclist are almost certainly a willful abandonment of logic, but other cases really do just leave you scratching your head.

Suppose just for a moment that you want to die for one reason or another. You have in your posession a loaded rifle, and 30 rounds of ammunition, what is the logical course of action here? Obviously it is shoot yourself. However logic is not always on hand, and according to a Sydney teenager who had allegedly just been caught travelling at 182 km/h (logic failure), the obvious way to be killed was to allegedly open fire on the police and a bus so that the police could shoot him dead.

Whilst most of us will never get quite that far into not having logic on our side, and if we do then we need professional psychiatric help, it’s the little logical things like making sure that the power switch is turned on when we want to use an electrical appliance, that can help us avoid getting to that stage.

Samuel

5 comments December 28th, 2006 at 09:04am

Another ACTION Bus Driving Dream

Just over a year ago I had a dream where I found an ACTION bus and ran an intertown bus service, this is becoming a strange annual event it would seem as the other night I had a very similar dream.

The dream starts at the Civic bus interchange, just near platform nine in front of the newsagent. I am walking towards the platform, I board the bus which is sitting there, and before I know it I am sitting on a chair on top of a very tall pole, driving the bus to Belconnen as part of an Intertown bus route (the fact that the Intertown doesn’t use that platform is irrelevant).

Once I get to Belconnen I seem to realise that something is wrong, so I rush home (in the bus), park the bus near my house and hide inside, which proves quite futile as the police turn up very quickly. I then hide behind a mattress, but the police break down my front door in full riot gear…and then the dream ends.

This, as I mentioned, seems to be turning into an annual “dream theme”, and is a very disturbing dream, especially seeing as driving (let alone stealing) an ACTION bus isn’t even on a list of things I would like to do.

Samuel

December 28th, 2006 at 07:43am

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