Archive for July 15th, 2008

Scott Burgess from Water Rats

Good evening Stuart,

I'm sorry to hear that Scott Burgess from Water Rats is going through marital problems, but to the same extent it doesn't really bother me, just like almost every other "celebrity" story. I do hope that his problems are sorted out quickly.

To answer your question, the show ended on the seventh of August 2001. It was a great Australian drama and I was sorry to see it go, but it was also good that the producers were informed that Channel Nine wouldn't be renewing the program and they therefore had a chance to write a good conclusion. The show ran for six years.

Channel Nine have been repeating the show in the wee hours of the morning in recent years, and I believe that it will be on at some stage tomorrow morning. I try to watch it when Nine repeat it, and I'm slowly building up a collection of the DVDs of the series.

I also noticed that a couple weeks ago the New South Wales police named their newest boat the "Nemesis", which just happens to be the name of the main police boat on Water Rats. All they need now is a "Harpie" and a car named "Water Police 200" and they'll have the full set!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

2 comments July 15th, 2008 at 09:30pm

Please move the comma

WIN News anchor Jessica Good happily showed off the perils of putting commas in the wrong place on the autocue during this evening’s pre-recorded weather update.

“Hello again isolated showers, [forecast continues]”

Whilst it was much more amusing than the correct “Hello again, isolated showers [forecast continues]”, unfortunately it sent me in to hysterical laughter and as such I haven’t the faintest clue what the weather forecast is. I don’t even know if “isolated showers” applies to us or some other region.

That said, if you know somebody named Isolated Showers, you might want to ask them to watch WIN Television for the rest of the night. Jessica Good seems to have a message for them.

Samuel

1 comment July 15th, 2008 at 09:14pm

Ten More Reasons To Be Paranoid

All ten of them are marked police cars that were in the same place as me at various times between 2:30pm and 5pm today. I think that seeing four marked police cars per hour over a two and a half hour period, when I would normally be lucky to spot one marked police car per day, is as good a reason as any to be paranoid.

Where did I see the Police cars? I’m glad you asked:

Three of them passed me in rapid succession as I was walking down Ainslie Avenue shortly after 2:30pm.

Another one passed me on Northbourne Avenue (and turned on to the cross road that I was using the footpath of) as I was walking towards West Civic.

A fifth police car did much the same thing as the fourth one as I was heading back to the Civic bus interchange.

A sixth police car drove through the Civic bus interchange while I was having coffee at a coffee shop a few metres from the interchange.

A seventh police car passed the bus that I was travelling on as it headed down Athllon Drive towards Tuggeranong.

An eighth police car passed the same bus just as it was about to turn in to the Tuggeranong bus interchange.

The ninth and tenth police cars passed the bus I caught back to Civic as it was travelling along Athllon Drive, a few minutes before 5pm.

And people wonder why I’m paranoid…

Samuel

July 15th, 2008 at 06:24pm

Twitter – failed experiment

It was worth a shot, but I haven’t used it for over a week now and I can’t see myself using it again in the near future.

It was useful for a little while, but ultimately it doesn’t fit my style of blogging, and so it is gone.

Samuel

July 15th, 2008 at 05:26pm

Yes I’m Tony, that’s why I call myself Samuel

That was odd, I missed a call on my mobile around 12:20pm today, and it went through to my voicemail. What followed was quite extraordinary.

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If you listen to the sound file you will note that my voicemail greeting contains my full name, so why the caller (by the name of Matt) decided that leaving a message on my voicemail would be the best way to ensure that their message got through to “Tony” is beyond me.

When I fist heard the message, my phone cut out during the word “Tony”, so I called Matt to ensure that the call wasn’t actually meant for me, which he confirmed…in fact he seemed to be able to work that out simply from my voice, perhaps he remember leaving the erroneous message on my voicemail, in which case I have to wonder why he didn’t hang up without leaving a message, did he really feel such a strong urge to make the flagfall on the call seem worthwhile?

Samuel

1 comment July 15th, 2008 at 02:20pm

Good Signs for Canberra’s AM Commercial Radio Stations

I’m almost certainly going to be howled down for this post…I can see the usual suspects dismissing me as a fanboy already, but hear me out because there is actually some substance to this.

This year, from the perspective of somebody like me who happens to like the two commercial AM radio stations in this town and takes note of what frequency various radios are tuned to, has been fairly disappointing. Apart from my own, I’ve struggled to find a radio which isn’t tuned to an FM commercial station. I’m not sure where all of the 666 ABC Canberra listeners are though, because I’ve barely spotted any of them.

The last month of so has seen a rather interesting turnaround though. Mix 106.3 lost Mark Parton, one of their rather popular breakfast hosts (the rumours have been flying about that ever since then). It’s fair to say that Mark had a unique style…he was never my cup of tea but a lot of people liked him, and his replacement, FM 104.7 presenter Cam Sullings, is a very different presenter. The two stations, despite a few similarities, really attract two rather different and mostly incompatible demographics…replacing Parton with Sullings has had a predictably mixed reaction from the audience, sending some in search of something else. Some of those listeners will be back simply because they like the rest of the station’s format, but others who desperately dislike Sullings won’t be back…and if they dislike Sullings then they’re not likely to enjoy FM 104.7, which doesn’t leave them with a lot of other possibilities. In music radio it leaves them with 2CA and a couple community stations who want to emulate a lot of Mix’s format.

In the short term Mix aren’t likely to gain as many listeners as they lose due to the breakfast change, mainly due to the fact that people who are listening to other breakfast shows don’t have any incentive to change. In the long term the changes at Mix may work well for them, but in the short term, with a survey period only a couple weeks away, the timing isn’t great.

In my opinion, if any station is likely to gain from Mix’s change of breakfast lineup, it’s 2CA as they have the closest music format to Mix 106.3 of any Canberra station, although where listeners end up will depend on their individual music tastes and not which station has the closest match.

Moving on to a few practical examples. In recent weeks I have spent more time in other peoples’ vehicles (be they private or public) than I have done in a very long time. With the exception of one bus driver who was listening to ABC NewsRadio, another who was listening to FM 104.7 and one who didn’t like the radio at all, all of the bus drivers (the number in this category would be close to twelve) have been listening to 2CA and 2CC. I’ve noted that the Steve Price Morning Show on 2CC is particularly popular among Canberra’s bus drivers, and it seems to be difficult to catch a bus between 9am and midday and not hear Price’s voice emanating from a speaker.

I also never thought I’d see the day (I was going to use the phrase “live to see the day”, but given recent posts on this blog, it may convey the wrong message) when people on The RiotACT would write about how much they enjoy listening to 2CC’s breakfast host Mike Jeffreys, and how 2CA’s playlist is enjoyable. (See the comments on http://the-riotact.com/?p=7932, http://the-riotact.com/?p=7831 and http://the-riotact.com/?p=7849). I was also surprised to see a YouTube video of a 2CC program end up on The RiotACT. For such a long time RiotACT has had a habit of attracting an awful lot of 666 ABC Canberra listeners…perhaps that’s the real reason for former (and now once again) RiotACT editor Johnboy returning to Canberra and the site, he wants to steer them all back to the ABC.

Another example of good signs for the commercial AM stations in Dickson Seafoods, (not surprisingly, a seafood shop in Dickson). For as long as I’ve been frequenting there (late 2004) they have been a Mix 106.3 shop. Their radio has been virtually araldited to Mix 106.3. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I walked in and heard a voiceover from Ron E. Sparks informing me that I was listening to 1053 2CA. I didn’t probe the staff on why they changed station, but it did occur to me that, considering the number of students from Daramalan College and Dickson College who frequent the store, this change of station is a mini-coup for 2CA.

A few paragraphs ago I mentioned that the next radio ratings survey period is about to start. It runs from August 3 to August 30, which means that each calendar week of the survey period contains the Beijing Olympic Games. There are only two stations in Canberra with the broadcast rights to the Games, 2CC and 666 ABC Canberra. The news services of both stations (which also serve 2CA and the ABC network respectively) have access to the Olympic broadcast material, but the FM commercial stations are lumped with the usual onerous broadcast restrictions for non-rights-holders. Whilst they are allowed to report scores and results, they have to deal with some pretty hefty restrictions on what else they can broadcast.

2CC and the ABC on the other hand have full access to commentary and pretty much whatever else they want from the games, which will make their news services much more appealing, not to mention the fact that the stations will be the place people will turn to for coverage of the games in many vehicles and offices around the city. This survey will be skewed in the favour of 2CC (and 2CA to a lesser extent due to their access to news and being the only music station near an Olympic broadcaster on the dial) and the ABC, and because of the way radio ratings work in Canberra, that skewing in favour of 2CC, 2CA and the ABC will be “official” until at least February next year, probably later. When you consider that the ABC don’t accept advertising, the only people to truly benefit from the skewing of this survey are 2CC and 2CA, and that of course will be at the expense of Mix 106.3 and FM 104.7 who make up the rest of Canberra’s commercial radio market.

If 2CC and 2CA can not only retain listeners after the Beijing Olympics but also use the extra advertising revenue effectively, then the games could be precisely the lift they need to be a very strong and effective competition against Mix 106.3 and FM 104.7

The next few months in Canberra’s radio landscape could be very interesting indeed.

Samuel

July 15th, 2008 at 12:23pm

Is there anything that can’t be used as a weapon?

Stories like this one make me about as sure as I can be that I don’t ever want to work in a petrol station or convenience store, especially overnight.

Police are searching for a man who robbed a Brisbane service station armed with a fluorescent light bulb.

The offender, who’s been described as chubby, walked into the Shell service station at Breakfast Creek in Brisbane’s north about 4.45am (AEST) today [Monday] and demanded money, police said.

He used the fluorescent light tube to threaten a female worker, before fleeing the scene on foot with a sum of cash.

He is described by police as caucasian, about 180cm tall with a chubby build and blue eyes.

He was wearing a singlet with white stripes down the sides, shorts, white sports shoes and a dark balaclava at the time of the robbery.

I would imagine that getting whacked over the head with a fluorescent lightbulb would be quite painful and I can see why it would be an effective “scary weapon” for use in an armed robbery…but it really leads to the question of what can’t be used for that purpose?

If I was working in a petrol station overnight, I think I’d have a nervous breakdown within a week as I would end up looking at everyone who entered the store with some suspicion…not just because the bag that they’re carrying might be filled with lead and could be used to injure me, but because they might be concealing almost anything potentially painful under their clothing.

Of course, they don’t even have to conceal a weapon, let alone have one:

Police are appealing for public assistance in relation to an armed robbery at Campsie overnight.

About 7pm the victim, a 26-year-old Campsie man was walking along South Parade talking on his mobile phone when he was approached from behind by two youths.

One of the youths punched the victim to the head area and he dropped his phone and a sum of cash which one of the youths picked up.

Perhaps I’m just naturally paranoid…a number of people have told me so over the years. All I can say is that with lunatics roaming the streets wielding fluorescent lightbulbs and sums of money from petrol stations, and more lunatics punching people in the head, why wouldn’t you be paranoid?

Samuel

July 15th, 2008 at 08:23am

That was predictable

Yesterday I wrote a rather long blog post titled “So, a week is gone, and another one is here“. Since then I have received a handful of emails from people who were concerned by my references to suicide in that post.

Firstly, I should point out that I have no intention of committing suicide. Admittedly, people who have tried to commit suicide at least once are statistically more likely to try again than those who haven’t tried at all, but I don’t actually want to try again. I have a number of reasons for that, but I think the memory of how ill I made myself and how lousy I felt afterwards will be enough to dissuade me for quite a while.

Secondly, yesterday’s blog post should have contained at least three more paragraphs to spell this out. I decided not to include them because I got stuck whilst writing the second of those paragraphs, couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted to write, and came to the conclusion that they weren’t really on-topic anyway.

The basic gist of the paragraphs was that a few weeks ago a friend of mine wrote a rather long blog post which reminded me slightly of what I had written. It was basically a summary of where they believed they were in life, why they weren’t happy with their position, and what they thought they needed to do in order to move on. When I read it, I became concerned that they were close to suicide. It turns out that they weren’t, but I was concerned anyway.

Because my blog post reminded me of their blog post (although they didn’t actually mention suicide in their blog post), I came to the conclusion that people reading my blog post may become concerned for my welfare, even though I didn’t intend on making any rash decisions, or intend on alarming anyone.

It looks like I was right. I alarmed a few people, and all because I couldn’t make a few extra paragraphs make sense.

I’m sorry if I concerned you; that wasn’t my intention and I want to make it clear that you have no need to be concerned.

I should also thank the people who were concerned enough to write to me. It is very moving to know that there are people out there who, even though in reality they barely know me, are concerned enough about my well-being to write to me and offer their support. Thank you.

In a way, I’m glad that I couldn’t work out what to do with those paragraphs yesterday. If I had worked it out, I wouldn’t have seen one of the better sides of human nature, which is something I think I really needed to see.

Samuel

1 comment July 15th, 2008 at 05:23am


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