Archive for July 21st, 2008

Emergency Chicken

KFC have me concerned with their latest television advertisement (mirrored locally here for archival purposes as I’m sure KFC will remove it from their site in a matter of weeks).

The commercial talks about how all of their chicken is fresh, not frozen, when delivered and cooked on-site. However the fine print about five seconds in contains the disclaimer:

Excludes emergency stock.

It’s probably a very prudent practice to store some frozen chickens for the next time the chickens get visited by Rocky Rhodes and build a giant aeroplane in order to escape from captivity…but seriously, emergency chicken stocks? Maybe it’s perfectly safe, but it just doesn’t sound right…I wonder what the rotation rate is for these frozen chickens (eg. how long do they keep them frozen before discarding them)? And more importantly, I hope that they are discarding of near end-of-life emergency stock and not slipping it in with the daily fresh chicken batch.

I suppose that, ultimately, it’s just as the chefs say: if you knew what happened in the kitchen, you wouldn’t eat there.

Samuel

July 21st, 2008 at 08:06pm

What’s good for the travel agents, isn’t always good for Virgin Blue

An interesting story from news.com.au that I missed a couple days ago

VIRGIN Blue has been left red-faced after being forced to scrap an advertising campaign which urged people to “chuck a sickie” and jet off on holidays.

The controversial online “chuck-a-sickie sale” campaign urged frequent flyers to take time off work and take advantage of “top sale fares”.

But Virgin Blue chief Brett Godfrey moved to axe the campaign just 29 minutes after first seeing it, following a media inquiry over the slogan.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t see the difference between this advertising campaign and a similar one which was running inside Canberra’s buses for over a year, not all that long ago. The advertising campaign that I’m thinking of was run by a travel agent, from memory it was Sta Travel but I’m not entirely sure of that, and basically contained a transcript of a fictional phone call from an employee to an employer, explaining that they aren’t coming in to work, and won’t be for some time, due to an exotic illness. In the advertisement, it is quite clear that the phone call was being placed from a payphone in another country. The tagline on the ad was something about going on a holiday and working the rest out later.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the ad, but it was running for quite some time. I suppose the only plausible difference between the two campaigns is that Virgin Ble were running their campaign online and are a higher profile company. The campaign was therefore more noticeable, and for a company which relies fairly heavily on their brand being prominently and positively placed in the minds of people, I would imagine that Mr. Godfrey was concerned that negative publicity could work against the company.

I don’t think the campaign or potential negative publicity would have done Virgin Blue any harm, in fact I think most people would have seen the funny side of it and known that it wasn’t a directive or recommendation. As a campaign, it was quite clever and was probably designed to stir up a bit of controversy. Nothing makes an advertising campaign more effective than letting the media turn it in to “water cooler conversation”.

That said, the company is adamant that I’m wrong, and that they weren’t trying to cause controversy.

“It wasn’t some form of provocative advertising, it was simply a debatable advertising slogan that slipped through the cracks,” [Virgin Blue Spokeswoman] Ms [Heather] Jeffrey said.

It could be a move which will cost Mr. Godfrey though, because the news about Virgin Blue which has been getting media attention in the last few days is almost all about them increasing fares and lowering baggage weight limits. A bit of controversy to increase public awareness about something amusing they are doing, instead of something which hits the hip pocket, might be just what they need at the moment.

Oh well, it’s their (or should I say majority shareholder Richard Branson’s) loss.

Samuel

July 21st, 2008 at 01:59pm

Halting Urban Development Is As Simple As Getting Dressed

That’s what Eugene Williams, Mayor of Lynwood, Chicago would have you believe.

Village leaders have passed an ordinance that would levy $US25 ($A25.72) fines against anyone showing three inches (7.62cm) or more of their underwear in public.

Eugene Williams is the mayor of Lynwood. He says young men walk around town half-dressed, keeping major retailers and economic development away.

It’s not the first time such laws have been considered in the US, but this is the first time that I’ve heard anyone try to blame visible underwear for a lack of urban development. Usually such laws are considered either for reasons of personal taste (eg. the mayor or a lobby group don’t like looking at underwear) or “safety” (although I’m not sure how that argument works…and I’m pretty sure it’s a cover for the personal taste reasoning).

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have trotted out their usual line about the ban having to do with racial profiling and being an attempt to discriminate against young black males (oddly referred to as “young men of colour” by ACLU)…it’s entirely possible that the media contact number for ACLU diverts to an answering service on weekends as their argument doesn’t seem to address the reasoning provided by the Lynwood council and sounds more like a recorded response to “press four if your town has just banned visible underwear”.

I think that 21-year-old Lynwood resident Joe Klomes hit the nail on the head when he suggested that, instead of banning visible underwear, the council should “spend money on making the area look nicer”, an idea which might just spark that urban development which Mayor Williams seems to be so concerned about.

Samuel

July 21st, 2008 at 10:41am

On the road again

Willie Nelson may sing about how he “just can’t wait to get on the road again”, but thankfully for me, the wait is over and has been since Saturday.

I picked up my new (used) car from Barrack Heights near Shellharbour on Saturday afternoon, a day which I can only describe as long. It’s probably a good thing that calendar days change without regard for whether a person has slept, as a calendar based on my sleep cycle would be quite difficult to use. I woke up on Friday around 11:30am and was awake for the remainder of that day. Between midnight and 5am on Saturday I did a number of things including preparing something to listen to during my journey to Barrack Heights…my original plan was to put a few podcasts and a handful of songs on an MP3 CD, but that plan had to be scrapped when I noticed that my portable CD player doesn’t work. I then switched to plan B, prepare four playlists of approximately forty-five minutes duration each and record them to tape. This plan also failed as I discovered after recording Side A.

In general, TDK audio cassettes marked as being of ninety minutes duration, usually have about 95 minutes of usable tape…in this case it was quite clear that something was wrong when my 48 minute playlist (the last few minutes of which were a piece of instrumental music) finished, and yet the stereo was still recording. I let it run for a couple more minutes before pulling the tape out of the cassette deck only to find that there was at least a sixth of the tape waiting to be consumed. I then played some of the recorded content back to find that it was a bit higher pitched and faster than usual…I would estimate that it was between 15% and 20% faster than usual. I’m not sure whether the tape was being run at a slower than usual speed during recording due to the tape being dubbed from a virtual cassette tape which may have confused the stereo due to the weight discrepancy between the virtual cassette and the real cassette, or if it is just a recently-developed fault with the recorder. I will have to investigate that and report back to you.

Anyway, with that failed experiment abandoned, and with my other tasks completed, I decided to go to bed for half an hour…as it happened I slept for an extra half an hour and had to bolt to the Jolimont Centre on Northbourne Avenue to catch my 7am bus to Sydney.

The run to Sydney was, as expected for a run I’ve done too many times to count, quite uninteresting, especially without the expected stimuli. Sydney itself was busy (also as expected, but this time due to World Youth Day…I doubt that Sydney would be expectedly busy simply because I didn’t have a CD or tape to listen to) and the bus was unable to set passengers down at Central Station, stopping about three blocks away instead.

I had lunch at Central Station and used the hour or so that I had to spare watching some of the trains, involuntarily learning the stations that the train on platform two was planning to visit (thankfully I only remember Dungog now), having a stroll around the streets surrounding Central Station, and spending about ten minutes on an awfully slow Internet terminal.

Around 11:40am I caught the South Coast train and enjoyed watching the world go by for a while, and I arrived at Oak Flats station a bit before 2pm. By 2:30pm I was leaving the area and heading down the Princes Highway in order to ensure that I stayed within radio range of the AFL coverage. I wasn’t able to pick up 2EC and the Geelong Cats V Western Bulldogs match until about 3:45pm but I did manage to stay in touch with it via the “around the grounds” reports during the ABC’s coverage of the Richmond V Essendon.

I was able to pick up 2GB by about 5:20pm and stayed with them to hear the NRL (the ABC’s signal was stronger in that area, but why would I want to listen to their coverage when I can listen to Andrew Moore and Steven Roach instead?) and, due to a deliberate detour within Canberra, I arrived home around 7:30pm.

I then, for whatever reason, despite being tired was unable to get to sleep later that night, so I stayed up until about 6:30am, which totalled 43 hours awake minus an hour in the middle. I’ve been awake for longer on previous occasions, but I’m not used to it at the moment and felt quite drained by the end of it…something which was cured by 14 hours of sleep, unfortunately requiring me to miss an engagement without notice.

Anyway, it’s good, and a relief, to be on the road again. Needless to say, I will be doing my best to make it much less eventful than last time.

Samuel

2 comments July 21st, 2008 at 08:17am

Alan Jones’ Surgery Successful

Livenews.com.au brings us some good news written by Alan Jones’ fill-in presenter Jason Morrison:

The prostate cancer operation for broadcaster Alan Jones has been a success, according to his family.

A statement released by his niece Tonia Taylor says;

“Alan’s operation has been successful. His surgeon, Professor Phillip Stricker, is happy with the way it went.

“Alan is comfortable and resting.”

Mr Jones remains in Sydney’s St Vincents hospital.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May and decided to go public with his medical condition to encourage men to take the threat seriously and have regular checks.

He will be away from his 2GB radio show for several weeks to recover from the surgery.

Mr. Jones went under the knife on Saturday according to 2GB rugby league commentator Andrew Moore and I’m pleased to hear that the operation went well. I would imagine that he will be housebound for a few weeks while he recovers, so I wonder if his doctors and the management of 2GB will entertain the idea of having him broadcast from home towards the end of his recovery period if he requests it.

Samuel

July 21st, 2008 at 04:06am

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

This week the award goes to Supertramp, and the feature song is “Dreamer”.

Dreamer
You know you are a dreamer
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
I said dreamer
You’re nothing but a dreamer
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
I said “Far out, – What a day, a year, a life it is”
You know, – Well you know you had it comin’ to you
Now there’s not a lot I can do

Dreamer
You stupid little dreamer;
So now you put your head in your hands, oh no!

I said “Far out, – What a day, a year, a life it is!”
You know, – Well you know you had it comin’ to you
Now there’s not a lot I can do

Work it out someday

If I could see something-
You can see anything you want boy
If I could be someone-
You can be anyone, celebrate boy
if I could do something-
You can do something
If I could do anything-
But can you do something out of this world?

A-aah-aaaah
Take a dream on a Sunday
Well take a life, take a holiday
Take a lie, take a dreamer
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream along…

Dream on, dream on, dream along
Come on and dream on, dream along
(Move it on)
Come on and dream on, dream along
Come on and dream on, dream along

D-d-d-d-d-d-dreamer
You know you are a dreamer
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
I said dreamer
You’re nothing but a dreamer
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
OH NO!

Samuel

July 21st, 2008 at 01:30am


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