Archive for May, 2007

Money or Lifestyle

Good evening Stuart,

Just in reply to that email you read out a few minutes ago from the person whose son turned down a $90,000 job in the mining sector in Western Australia as (I'm pretty sure you said dump truck driver, but I'm not sure).

To be perfectly honest, I would have turned down the job as well. I earn significantly less than $90,000 per year, but I mush prefer my job and conditions over a job where I work for a week on a twelve hour day shift, followed by a week on a 12 hour night shift, followed by a week off. I work all sorts of hours on a rotating roster, and even though the WA job would have a much higher pay rate, there is no way I would accept that job…even if it was doing something I would enjoy.

That being said, if they have a job involving a crane, I'd be happy to pay them for an hour in charge of a crane…one of my life ambitions is to spend some time driving a crane.

By the way Stuart, if people were to vote based on haircuts, don't write off John Howard just yet. John Stanley has even less hair and plenty of people seem to like him!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

May 30th, 2007 at 11:29pm

What goes around comes around

Good evening Stuart,

Well they say what comes around goes around…earlier today I had whinge about how I have an irrational fear of overhead power lines and how I think power lines shouldn't run through backyards like they do here in Canberra due to my safety concerns…so guess what happens…a freak rain storm and a power failure! Followed by the security alarm trying to deafen me…twice.

It's certainly dark at night when all the lights go out.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

3 comments May 29th, 2007 at 08:30pm

Blueberries

Good afternoon Stuart,

After more fruitless (pardon the pun) searching for fresh blueberries, I have given up and purchased a box of frozen blueberries…a bit over $7 for 500g is a pretty good price, but the real test will be in the quality of them. I'll give you a brief report later on.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

May 29th, 2007 at 03:26pm

The Fact Of The Matter Is…I Don’t Like Power Lines

If there is one thing I have an irrational fear of and try to avoid like the plague, it’s overhead power lines.

I don’t really know why I am so antagonised by them, but whenever possible I try to avoid walking under them. In Canberra, where most power lines run through backyards, this isn’t too much of an issue as I can quickly pass the ones that cross from one side of the road to the other (although the poles which have feeder lines running up them petrify me). On occasion there are power lines which do actually run next to and above the footpath, I have two methods of dealing with this, firstly walk on the other side of the road where possible, and secondly, if I have to walk under the power lines, walk quickly.

I do remember walking home from Dickson College one day along the equestrian track behind the houses of Ainslie, on the edge of Mount Ainslie. The urban power lines (to differentiate from the high voltage lines in a similar area) ran the same way, but a bit closer to the houses…unfortunately due to the way the whole area undulates, at one stage this meant the power lines were level with, although a safe distance from, my head…this made me want to turn back and walk home another way…in the end I just walked as quickly as I could until that section was over.

On the subject of urban power lines and backyards…I’ve never quite understood the logic behind that. I believe it has something to do with having to run less cable, but power lines occasionally have faults, and they run along the line of the back fence…an often flammable object, usually surrounded by the least maintained, and driest, section of the garden. With so many people not being home during the day, it wouldn’t take much for a fault in a power line to start a large backyard(s), and possibly house(s), destroying fire. It makes much more sense in my opinion to run power lines along the street where any fault is far more visible.

I clearly remember in late 2003 (possibly early 2004) a house near where I live, which is owned by some people I know who were having some renovations at the time, had a faulty power line. Basically what happened is that one night it emitted a series of bangs, however no damage was evident at the time. Unbeknownst to the person who heard the bangs, a small fire had started and was smouldering overnight. The next morning as I was taking Nattie for a walk, just after we past the house we heard a large bang come from their backyard…we rushed back to investigate and noticed that the tradesmen had all stopped work and the power was out…the lady who owned the house came out to see what was going on, only to notice that the power line was on fire. One tradesman in his infinite wisdom decided to spray it with water, resulting in more bangs, a larger fire, and stuff on the power pole melting in to the compost heap on the other side of the fence.

The fire brigade arrived a short time later and dealt with the fire, including preventing it from travelling further along the line to the house (it did come close) after ActewAGL cut the power further upstream. ActewAGL then spent the majority of the day replacing the entire power line, apparently it is something they have to do quite often.

The other type of power line that I really dislike being anywhere near is high voltage power lines, for some reason the absolutely scare the living daylights out of me. In fact, earlier this year when I walked up Mount Majura (an exercise I plan on repeating with a camera in hand) I had to walk under two sets of high voltage power lines, it took me a good minute to compose myself before I could do it, and even then I had to do it quickly. Coming back was worse because it had started to rain, and despite all logic saying that nothing was going to happen, it took me even longer to prepare to walk under the power lines.

So, there you go, my most irrational fear, power lines. Would anyone like to share one of their irrational fears?

Samuel

May 29th, 2007 at 12:59pm

Peter Leonard Returns

I’ve had five people email me this story, and a further half a dozen point me towards RiotACT’s coverage of the story (where they somehow manage to link it in with the really old news about Bert’s Family Feud being cancelled), so thank you to you all, but you may now desist.

Peter LeonardIt’s not terribly exciting news but it is interesting to note that Peter Leonard has not retired, but has instead returned from a lengthy and well deserved break. Jessica Good, who, for the most part, did a good job filling in for Peter, has now returned to the weather.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am currently working during both WIN News bulletins, I did not see it.

I do have a question for anyone who was watching it on Friday though. Phil Small was hosting 2CC’s coverage of the Raiders V Dragons match at Canberra Stadium on Friday night…was he presenting the sport on Win News on Friday? If so then that was either a pre-recorded segment, or some very nifty work to get between venues, and find parking, so quickly.

Samuel

2 comments May 29th, 2007 at 10:12am

Samuel’s Footy Tips: Results

It looks like I forgot to score a weekend again…

Weekly Results
NRL Round 10: 3/6 (50%)
AFL Round 8: 5/8 (62.50%)

NRL Round 11: 3/8 (37.50%)
AFL Round 9: 5/8 (62.50%)

Total Scores
NRL: 38/84 (45.24%)
AFL: 42/72 (58.33%)
Total: 80/156 (51.28%)

Samuel

May 29th, 2007 at 09:10am

Words from Clive Robertson

Here is what Clive Robertson had to say about this website:

“You have a strange website…you should see a physician about it.”

He later added “the fact that you can’t see what is strange about it is a worry”.

Thanks Clive!

Samuel

4 comments May 29th, 2007 at 05:44am

The webcam

Hi Stuart,

I see those scientists have worked out how to make people invisible…

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

2UEWebCamWith Stuart20070528.jpg

May 28th, 2007 at 10:56pm

Ad Breaks Confirmed

Hi again John,

I don't know how they managed it, but 2CC have somehow scheduled a 2 minute ad break, a 4 minute break, a 1:30 break and a 30 second break.

They got the total right but the only break which is the right length is the first one in the hour…the second one means we miss two minutes of your show, and the rest deliver us the emergency tape.

The joys of automation.

Samuel

I wonder what happened to the other email I sent? It had photos from Manuka Oval on Sunday, I suppose I’ll just have to post them later.

May 28th, 2007 at 03:26am

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

This week I am giving the award to Fats Waller, and I have a special surprise for you. The copyright has expired on the feature song which means I am able to publish the audio version of it, and not just the lyrics.

If you’re wondering why the copyright expired, it is because Fats Waller passed away in 1943, which means that under Australian copyright law, the copyright on all of his works expired at the end of 1993. This 50 year provision changed to 70 years in recent years due to the Free Trade Agreement with the US, however the change did not revive the copyright on expired works.

The feature song this week is one Fats Waller made very popular in 1935, and one that has recently had a lot of people awake in the wee hours of the morning asking 2UE’s Clive Robertson for the artist and title due to him using an extract of it to introduce the email “sub program” hosted by his producer, Abe.

Perhaps I should name it…I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.

Warning: This song is provided under the provisions of Australian copyright law. If the copyright on this song has not expired in your jurisdiction, do not download it.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download link

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe it came from you
I’m gonna write words oh so sweet
They’re gonna knock me off my feet
A lotta kisses on the bottom
I’ll be glad I got ’em

I’m gonna smile and say
I hope you’re feeling better
And close with love the way you do
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe it came from you

Gonna smile and say
I hope you’re feeling better
And close with love the way you do
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe, make believe, make believe it came from you

Samuel

May 27th, 2007 at 05:24pm

Samuel’s Blog Weekly Poll: Two Party Preferred

Who needs Newspoll or a Galaxy Poll when you can have a Samuel’s Blog Weekly Poll?

I’ve had just about enough of the constantly different twice weekly “x will win the next election according to the latest poll” headline news story, so I’m taking action, I’m going to run this poll, and the entire media can refer to it until the election…well OK, I’m joking, but it would be interesting to see how closely (or differently as the case may be) the audience of Samuel’s Blog resembles the sample groups of the various national polls.

Who would you vote for if the federal election were to be held today?

Total Votes: 41
Started: May 27, 2007

I’ve decided to go with the two party preferred (with an “other” option) model as it would be almost impossible for anyone other than the coalition or Labor to win, but it would be interesting to see what percentage of the seats could belong to other parties and independents.

I’m not going to publish my opinion, or cast my vote just yet, as I don’t want to swing the vote too much. If you really want to know what I think, I will post my thoughts in a comment a bit later in the week…although I get the feeling that a number of you already know what I think.

Last week’s result surprised me.

What sort of plane should David Hicks have come back to Australia in?

Total Votes: 17
Started: May 20, 2007

I actually thought there would be stronger sentiment one way or the other…however it is possible that the low number of votes is the true indicator on this matter…it probably indicates that people are tired of David Hicks, and the less they hear about him, the better. I can honestly say that after correctly predicting that the media would be waiting breathlessly for David to emerge so that they could tell us what colour shirt he was wearing, I can understand why people are bored with the matter.

For a list of all previous results, see the Weekly Poll Results page.

Samuel

2 comments May 27th, 2007 at 05:20am

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Unless you’ve been avoiding the media in the last week, you would probably be aware that in July, ABC Television will screen an excellent documentary from British film maker Martin Durkin called “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which quite brilliantly proves, with the aide of many prominent scientists, including some from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that global warming is not caused by carbon emissions, but rather by variations in solar activity. In fact, the history of global warming and cooling drives the changes in carbon levels in the atmosphere, not the other way around.

It also shows that, far from being an apocalyptic disaster, we have been through many much warmer and much colder periods, and somehow all the polar bears and humans managed to survive.

Unfortunately the version which will be screened on ABC Television in July will be a shortened version of the 75 minute documentary screened by Britain’s Channel 4 in March, and unfortunately I really can’t see how they will achieve that without leaving out important parts of the documentary. They will still prove everything, but leaving bits out may leave a few holes in the story, which would be most unfortunate as this documentary is very comprehensive, even going so far as to explain where Al Gore’s peculiar “documentary” “An Inconvenient Truth” went wrong by skipping important facts and figures.

Thankfully, the full version of The Great Global Warming Swindle is doing the rounds on Google Video and bittorrent, and a DVD with the full documentary and even more information will be on sale soon.

For your information, here is the full version as provided on Google Video. It is quite long for a web video at 75 minutes, but it is well worth the investment in time, and I would urge you to watch it when you have some spare time.

It’s about time that there was a documentary showing the logical side of the global warming debate, and it has arrived.

I would like to thank 2CC’s Mike Jeffreys for bringing this fantastic documentary to my attention, it’s good to have something like this to confirm my long held belief that global warming being caused by human activity is a complete and utter nonsense.

Samuel

19 comments May 26th, 2007 at 03:03am

Samuel’s Footy Tips

These are a bit later than usual today. I don’t expect it to help improve my score though.

NRL Round 11
Bulldogs v Cowboys
Raiders v Dragons
Eagles v Storm
Sharks v Roosters
Titans v Rabbitohs
Broncos v Knights
Panthers v Tigers
Eels v Warriors

AFL Round 9
Dockers v Saints
Blues v Crows
Hawks v Eagles
Lions v Magpies
Tigers v Bombers
Bulldogs v Swans
Demons v Kangaroos
Power v Cats

By the way, I’ll be at Manuka Oval on Sunday supporting the Bulldogs against the Swans.

Samuel

May 25th, 2007 at 05:36pm

Stuart Bocking gets a 2CC Promo

Fresh from his appearance on a rather peculiar beat-up of a story on Media Watch earlier this week, Stuart Bocking is the latest 2UE based presenter to get a 2CC promo.

It’s great to see 2CC putting in the time and effort to promote their programs as I’m sure there are plenty of people who tune in for one show and ignore the rest, and it’s good to see 2CC finally recognising that.

The logical next step, and one they may undertake closer to the next ratings period, is promote their programs in other media. One does have to wonder if we will see a few ads here and there on commercial television for 2CC. It would be quite a stretch from the usual budget, but would be a good idea, especially during news and current affairs programming.

Update: Add Sharina’s Psychic Boredom to that list. Looks like 2CC aren’t sparing any show from the promo extravaganza. End Update

Samuel

7 comments May 24th, 2007 at 02:42pm

The RiotACT Offline Two Days In A Row

As I write this, relatively popular local website The RiotACT is offline. Normally a website going down for a while wouldn’t be even remotely worthy of me posting it here as a news story of any significance unless there were special circumstances applying to the site, however in this case it is newsworthy because a similar thing happened yesterday.

I didn’t actually notice RiotACT go offline yesterday as I spent a few hours in the morning getting Samuel’s Persiflage online, slept most of the day, woke up, had something to eat, and went to work. However when I went to check RiotACT I noticed that there was a short message from site admin Johnboy mentioning that the site had been offline for a while due to a database issue, the site had been restored from a backup, and most things from that day had been lost.

This morning RiotACT is down again, and whilst I didn’t see what happened yesterday and therefore can’t compare the two incidents, I can say that it really doesn’t look like a database issue this time, as visiting the RiotACT home page prompts me to download a file, which turns out to be the WordPress standard index.php file:

<?php
/* Short and sweet */
define(‘WP_USE_THEMES’, true);
require(‘./wp-blog-header.php’);
?>

Visiting any direct links to articles, which in theory should direct your request to index.php for processing via an Apache mod_rewrite rule, is returning a completely blank page…no headers, no nothing!

It will be interesting to see what explanation is provided if and when RiotACT is brought back to life this time.

Update: Apparently this time they were offline due to a botched upgrade. End Update

Samuel

May 24th, 2007 at 03:42am

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