Today is a very exciting day for me because tonight, at 7 o’clock, I will be attending The Seekers’ concert here in Canberra.
When I was a child there were a few bands which I particularly liked and wanted to see in-person one day, although I didn’t really understand that many of the songs I was hearing were a good thirty or forty years old. There are a few bands and singers who are still on that list, but The Seekers have always been right up there at or near the top. I could barely contain my excitement when I found out last year that they were coming to Canberra, and I snapped up tickets as quickly as I could. Months have passed and the entry on my calendar has drawn nearer, and finally it is here.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful evening, and there are many songs which I am looking forward to hearing. These are but two of them.
And although I’m not expecting it, at the 1994 AFL Grand Final they performed a few songs which they wouldn’t normally perform (and Georgy Girl which they do normally perform) and it would be lovely to hear one or two of them. It would be particularly lovely to hear them sing the national anthem as they sing it with a level of dignity and respect which is wonderful and rare, but I don’t imagine that it will happen.
I can’t think of a better way to re-emerge from my latest blogging hibernation, than with a video of a recently-hibernating groundhog having a chat with a bunch of grown men in funny hats.
Yes, legendary weather forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and has decreed that winter will last for another six weeks in the northern hemisphere. It’s no wonder that PETA launched a loopy objection to the use of a groundhog the other day and suggested replacing him with a robot (their reasoning included something about how we’ve replaced dinosaurs with robots and people still come to see them)…not enough global warming for them!
Seriously though, does that mean another six weeks of heat down here in this hemisphere?
And with that, I’m back. The whole catching up on sleep and getting my energy back thing has been a limited success, but I am now back to being able to put my thoughts in to writing without having to spend a week working out how to word it, so we’ll call it a success.
I’ve got a lot to get through, and seeing as blog posts with multiple short stories in them seem to be the flavour of the trimester on about half the blogs I read, and it’s convenient in this case, I’ll bite and run such a post here.
Sleep? Hmmm, well it’s 3:32am as I type this and I last finished sleeping at 8am yesterday. You do the math. That said, in the last few nights I have had dreams where I:
1. Was in a repeat episode of Third Watch. Nobody could be bothered attending to the emergencies as they all knew that the people survived the episode, so why bother risking injury doing the stunts again?
2. I plunged to my death in a taxi, on a wet night where the left half of the road had been washed away. A very vivid and disturbing dream.
3. KXNT’s Alan Stock was elected as Chairman of the Nevada Action Committee, although what this actually achieved is beyond me, because the only thing he was required to do as part of this job was take five minutes out of his show each morning to read the KXNT phone number over and over and over and over and over (we’ll come back to this in five minutes when he’s done with the phone number)
Speaking of KXNT, their traffic bed (the music they play under their traffic reports) is one of the bits of music which I managed to get stuck in my head this week. I also managed to get the First Option Mortgage jingle stuck in my head for three excruciating hours, and get it stuck in somebody else’s head simply by mentioning it on Facebook. Apparently it’s called “ear worm”. I also had another song stuck in my head, but I dare not try to remember what it was lest it happen again.
Frasier and Seinfeld repeats at 7:30pm and 8pm weeknights respectively on Go! Channel Nine receive my perpetual thanks for this.
There was some Bollywood movie on SBS Two the other night. I watched ten minutes of it near the beginning during which time the married couple managed to patch up their differences, and the wife declared that she didn’t really care about her husband’s flaws anyway. How they could drag that about the next three hours is beyond me, and I’m glad that I didn’t stick around to find out. The ten minutes was good for a laugh though.
Cisco have calculated (which is probably code for “guessed”) that the average broadband Internet user downloads 11.4 gigabytes per month. I average 20-25GB per month and will probably start doubling that in the not-to-distant future if one of my household projects gets off the ground.
Facebook have decided to preserve the accounts of deceased members, minus status updates and other “sensitive data”. This intrigues me as I have often thought about what would happen to this site and my other online data if I were to cease existing for whatever reason. I would like to keep it all online permanently, but am yet to find a viable solution. The National Library’s PANDORA project archives the essence of this site, but seems to have a lot of broken links and missing data, which is hardly surprising given the sheer size of this site (6.97GB and growing). Preserving this site is a work in progress…I suppose I’ll just have to stick around for long enough to ensure that it happens.
Anyway, if and when I shuffle off this mortal coil, I’m happy for my Facebook account to be preserved as some sort of shrine, but I don’t want anything to be removed from it. How does one go about sharing this wish with Facebook. One’s will?
Speaking of the dead, Yahoo have finally killed off Geocities. I’m glad that I was reminded of this imminent death the other day, as I had one page on there which I needed to save. I’ll republish it on here at some stage.
Monash Drive has been removed the ACT “National Capital Plan”. The proposed road had been slated to run along the foot of Mount Ainslie behind Hackett, Ainslie and Campbell, roughly in-line with the already cleared sections which the high voltage power lines use. Politically, the road was never going to happen, which is a pity because it could have reduced a lot of congestion, especially in the years ahead.
We’ve been following Barack Obama’s approval ratings here for some months now using the figures from Rasmussen, who had the polling figures closest to the outcome of last year’s election. That said, the other polls are interesting as well, especially when you consider that in the Gallup poll, Obama has recorded the worst third quarter of an elected president in recorded history. A nine point drop in his approval rating in the space of three months.
The White House have declared war on FOX News, claiming that they’re not a news organisation. The White House clearly can’t tell the difference between news programming and opinion programming, even when it’s pointed out to them. Funnily enough though, the other networks have defended FOX. Late last week, White House officials tried to ban FOX from a White House Press Pool interview session, but the other networks wouldn’t have a bar of it, quite clearly telling the White House that “if Fox can’t be a part of this, then none of us will interview your chap”. It worked, and the White House backed down, for now.
Here’s the point. FOX out-rate every other cable news network consistently, partially because of their news programming, and partially because of their opinion programming. People want to watch it. The White House don’t like the opinion programming as it is often critical of the Obama administration, unlike others such as MSNBC whose opinion programming often favours the Obama administration. The other networks know that if they let the White House exclude FOX, then they are all trapped in an unwritten “do as we say, or we cut your access” agreement. It is an attack not only on FOX, but on every other network, on freedom of the press, and on freedom of speech.
Glenn Beck, on one of FOX’s opinion shows, put together a rather amusing piece on the War On FOX which had me in hysterics when I first watched it.
One wonders if people would have voted for Obama’s “new era of bi-partisanship” if they had known that “bi-partisan” is defined as “the other side will do as we say, therefore we all agree”.
The ANZ Bank have a new logo, and a TV ad which looks strangely familiar…I’ve seen the whole “life juggled above head, but we can make it easier” ad before, I just can’t remember where. Anyway, the logo, is it just me, or does it look like somebody chucking a tantrum after being kept in line for an hour?
Channel Seven have announced their new digital channel, to be called “7TWO”, on (you guessed it) channel 72. I’m not in the least bit surprised that regional affiliate Prime aren’t putting it to air straight away, I mean Prime own the “6” channels in digital TV land, and it would look rather silly have 7TWO on channel 62. I suspect that Prime are working on their own branding of the new station…PRIMExtra perhaps?
RIP Don Lane, one of the great entertainers, who passed away at the age of 75.
Remember when the Large Hadron Collider was about to be turned on for the first time and people were afraid the world was going to end? It amazed me how many people who believed that, were subsequently placated when it was turned on, broke down, and the world didn’t end. The whole cause for concern was for when it would finally reach the actual colliding stage, which it never did.
733-KXNT, 733-5968, 733-KXNT, 733-5968 (Alan’s still going…)
Clive Robertson filled in for Tim Webster on 2UE and 2CC’s afternoon show yesterday. What a relief! Tim Webster, as much as like him personally, has bored me to death of late…I can not listen to his show any more, I just can’t. Tim is much better suited to a news-based show than the lifestyle-amalgam show that he is now presenting. Clive, however, suits the format perfectly, and is brilliant afternoon entertainment.
Memo to 2UE for next year’s lineup: Breakfast with Mike Jeffreys, Mornings with Stuart Bocking, Afternoons with Clive Robertson, Drive with John Stanley, Nights with The Two Murrays, Overnights with Jim Ball.
And now at 6:18 it’s time for KXNT’s traffic and weather together on the eights, here’s Tate South (finally, Alan’s morning Chairman task is finished, which means that I can wrap up this blog post).
There was an ad on TV last night for that boat from Victoria to Tasmania and back, in which they advertised the rate for taking your car with you as being an “each way” rate (eg. “x dollars each way”). Sorry, but does that mean it’s the return rate (you can travel each way for this amount) or the one way rate (each way costs x dollars)?
Congratulations to Chris Matlock, KXNT’s Radiostar competition winner for this year. I listened to the entries of the 20 finalists when I was last in Deniliquin, and Chris was my favourite from the start, so I was very pleased to see him win. Chris will have his own show soon, apparently, and will start off co-hosting with Ciara Turns on “Sundays with Ciara” on Sunday, November 8 between 10am and 1pm. That will either be 4am-7am or 5am-8am Monday, November 9 in Canberra, depending on whether daylight saving has ended in the US by then.
And finally, Lord Christopher Monckton spent much of the latter part of last week and the start of this week outlining the issues with the proposed Copenhagen climate change treaty which, don’t forget, is designed to stop a warming which hasn’t happened in about the last decade. The main points:
1. The setting up of a world government, with binding power over all countries.
2. Some peculiar scheme to send all the money from the western countries to the developing countries, to pay for some supposed “climate debt”.
Glenn Beck interviewed his lordship last week, which makes for very interesting and enlightening listening.
By now you have probably heard that Jerry Seinfeld has filmed an ad for the Greater Building Society of Newcastle (which, I should note, has many branches across New South Wales and Queensland), only the third business for which Seinfeld has ever done an ad, the others being Microsoft and American Express.
Well, this just isn’t the sort of thing you can keep under wraps, especially when you film in on the streets of New York. Back on the 11th of May, YouTube user Jchief117 noted that “Jerry Seinfeld was in Cedahurst, NY filming a 30 second commercial for Greater, a bank in Australia” and recorded two videos to prove it:
And yet it still takes a press release two months later for the media to notice.
If The Greater Building Society were an American company, the gossip magazines and tabloids would have been all over this on May 12.
I am also saddened today by the passing of Farrah Fawcett at the age of 62. I’m not particularly familiar with her work, but do recall seeing her appear in the television series I Dream Of Jeannie, and I sympathised with her over her battle with cancer.
Farrah Fawcett, the multiple Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated American actress best known for her role as the vivacious Jill Munroe in the 1970s television series “Charlie’s Angels,” died in a Santa Monica hospital. She was 62.
Her spokesman, Paul Bloch, confirmed that the iconic actress died Thursday morning at 9:28 a.m. PDT. [2:28 AM AEST]
Her long-time partner Ryan O’Neal told People magazine Thursday, “She’s gone. She now belongs to the ages … She’s now with her mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night. I told her how very much I loved her. She’s in a better place now.”
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006 and, despite going into remission and enduring extensive chemotherapy and surgery both in the U.S. and Germany, it was revealed earlier this year that the cancer had spread to her liver. She stopped receiving treatment in May.
Fawcett documented the trials and tribulations of her battle with cancer in the NBC documentary “Farrah’s Story.”
Without doubt, this is a very sad day for the entertainment industry.
Music icon Michael Jackson, whose fame spanned from his childhood with the legendary Jackson 5 to a superstar solo career that earned him the nickname ‘King of Pop,’ died Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital, a source close to the family told FOX News. He was 50.
Debra Opri, a former Jackson family attorney, confirmed the singers death after other media reported that he had fallen into a coma. He reportedly was taken by ambulance at 12:30 p.m. local time to UCLA Medical Center, where he died at 3:15 p.m.
Multiple reports said he had gone into cardiac arrest, though the official cause of death wasn’t immediately known. A news conference is expected later Thursday at the hospital, where fans have gathered to pay tribute to the singer.
Jackson’s death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music’s premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.
I was also most disturbed to see some people harping on about Michael Jackson being a paedophile. These people need to keep one thing in mind.
In 2005, he was cleared of charges he molested the 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003. [..] The case took a fearsome toll on his career and image, and he fell into serious financial trouble.
Jackson was never convicted, in fact he was acquitted, and if he were still alive, such accusations would be considered slander.
The important thing on this sad day is to remember Jackson for his wonderful talents, and to a lesser extent, his interesting personality.
Jackson will receive my Musician Of The Week award on Sunday, and today receives the Samuel Salute.
May you rest in peace Michael. The world misses you.
the classic children’s ditty Kookaburra and the Men At Work hit Down Under are set to go head-to-head in court amid accusations part of the rock anthem is a rip-off, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Music publishing company Larrikin owns the Kookaburra song and claims the melody that accompanies the line “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree” is reproduced in Down Under. The case is due to start in full within days.
A fresh battle erupted yesterday, with lawyers for Down Under songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, and music giants Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sony DADC Australia, EMI Songs Australia and EMI Music Publishing, claiming Larrikin doesn’t actually have copyright to Kookaburra – the Girl Guides do.
The entertainment giants, along with [Colin] Hay and [Ron] Strykert, have lodged a counter-claim against Larrikin alleging misleading or deceptive conduct.
The part of the Down Under song that is alleged to have breached copyright is the distinctive flute riff.
According to court documents, lawyers for the songwriters and the record companies will argue “the Down Under work does not incorporate the whole or any substantial part of the Kookaburra work”.
As this is before the courts, I should refrain from comment…I’ll just foam at the mouth in disbelief instead.
I note that Rush Limbaugh, the most listened to radio host in America, heard by approximately 13.5 million people on 590 radio stations, has made his way on to Time Magazine’s “Time 100” list of the world’s most influential people, apparently in position number 38 (although I can’t find an in-order list of the people, just category listings).
Rush’s entry in the listing is written by fellow broadcaster Glenn Beck:
When Rush wants to talk to America, all he has to do is grab his microphone.
He attracts more listeners with just his voice than the rest of us could ever imagine. He is simply on another level.
Rush, 58, saved the spoken-word radio format from obscurity and paved the way for thousands of broadcasters, including myself. His career serves as the most successful stimulus package in radio history. All without a government dime.
Knowing firsthand just how hard it is to hold an audience’s attention for a few hours makes it that much more amazing to have seen Rush do it for more than 20 years. To say that he has set the standard for success in broadcasting would truly be an understatement.
Barack and Michelle Obama also made the list (the former I understand, the latter, other than people furnishing their wardrobes based on what she wears, I don’t), and I find it interesting that Sarah Palin made the list, but John McCain did not. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Sarah needs to run for president again.
It’s day 98 for Barack Obama, surely he’s worked out how to use the Obamaprompter™ by now…
Or not…a quick hint: if you read what it says rather than making up your own lines, things will be much easier…oh, and your staff will be happier as those vetted speeches tend to be more consistently in line with an administration’s message than ad-libbed speeches. They also give people like me less ammunition. Sticking to the Obamaprompter™ is a win-win for you King Obama.
Seeing as I would like to know as well, I’ve checked the UK TV guides for Channel “Dave”, and here it is:
Episode one will air at 9PM Friday April 10 London time (GMT+1), which is 6am Saturday Canberra time.
Episode two will air at 9PM Saturday April 11 London time (GMT+1), which is 6am Sunday Canberra time.
Episode three will air at 9PM Sunday April 12 London time (GMT+1), which is 6am Monday Canberra time.
The “making of” special for the three episodes will air at 9:30PM Sunday April 12 London time (GMT+1), which is 6:30am Monday Canberra time.
I’m not going to post the synopsis of the episodes here as I don’t want to read any details before seeing the shows. No Australian network has purchased the rights to the episodes as yet, however I’m sure there will be downloads (legal or otherwise) of the episodes shortly after they air on “Channel Dave”.
Is either a lack of top rate actors, or a reluctance to find other top rate actors. Regardless of which one it is, the fact that the same actors seem to crop up over and over and over in leading roles, with a very small amount of variability, makes a large number of otherwise good or great films feel like they’re the same film you watched last week, just with everyone in a different costume.
Case in point, I caught the last half hour of Lantana on Movie Extra last night and felt like I was watching an amalgamation of about three or four Australian television shows and movies, all of which have had a few of the actors from Lantana in them.
This isn’t to say that actors should be excluded from working on more than one production…far from it. I just think that if the Australian film industry wants to be taken more seriously by the international film industry and wants to make films which have more international appeal, then they need to nurture a wider base of talent. The writing is good, but you can’t have an almost identical set of leading actors in every production without them all feeling the same, and people losing interest.
I have a handful of far-left blogs on my regular reading list, mainly for the amusement value, and partially so that I can get a better understanding of views that I probably don’t share, and the reasons behind them…on rare occasions I learn a thing or two from them.
Today isn’t one of those days. Today is a bipartisan day of amusement courtesy of Qed
Ah, well that would explain how I manage to continuously find new problematic situations for myself!
I was watching Terminator 2 last night and noticed something which I haven’t noticed before, and I’m amazed that it took me this long to notice it.
The character Tarissa Dyson was played by S. Epatha Merkerson, who I know much better as Law & Order‘s Lieutenant Anita Van Buren.
Image credit: NBC Television
I suppose the thing that really threw me off until now is that in Terminator 2 the character Tarissa Dyson spends almost her entire time looking absolutely terrified, whereas Lt. Van Buren is a generally authoritative figure who usually looks to be in control. She also used her voice quite differently in T2, using almost none of her trademark deeper voice which she uses to such great effect in Law & Order, and she was also about as skinny as me in T2.
She is a great actress, I’m just surprised that it took me this long to connect the dots.
On that note I should probably mention that I’m enjoying the current series of Law & Order, which recently started screening on Channel Ten and has been screening for a while on NBC, a lot more than the last couple of seasons, and I think the writing has improved significantly. Lt. Van Buren has a much-needed stronger presence in the investigations, the two detectives work very well as characters which is probably helped by the on-screen chemistry between the actors Anthony Anderson and Jeremy Sisto.
Jack McCoy’s (Sam Waterson) promotion to District Attorney and his love-hate working relationship with the clever but stubborn Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) adds a strength and complexity to the District Attorney’s office which seemed to be lacking for a while. I dare say that Alana De La Garza was well cast as Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa, quite possibly the character which prevents the DA’s office from falling in a heap.
I also note that Law & Order: UK debuted on ITV last week. I watched it with some interest, although I nearly switched off after about ten minutes due to the cardboard acting of the two Detective Sergeants which severely detracted from the show. Thankfully they got better, and the rest of the actors hit the mark in a rather complex and intriguing storyline. I hold out some hope for this series, it was a good start overall and will hopefully get better as time goes by.
It’s been a decade since we saw the mining ship Red Dwarf being consumed with virtually no hope for the remaining crew. Thankfully, many stalled movie plans later, we finally have confirmation that Red Dwarf will return at Easter time:
The cast of hit sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf are to reunite for a new two-part storyline which will see them finally return to Earth.
Red Dwarf: Back to Earth will air on UKTV digital channel Dave over the Easter weekend.
It will sit alongside two further new episodes – the improvised Red Dwarf: Unplugged, which will feature the cast dealing with no sets, effects or autocue, and Red Dwarf: the Making of Back to Earth, a behind the scenes look at the new production.
The new two-parter will begin a decade on from when the crew of the Red Dwarf were last seen, with a “shock development” throwing Rimmer, Lister, Cat and Kryten back to Earth.
Naturally there is no news about when the ABC will screen it (and I’m assuming that they will considering that they still have the rights to the original Red Dwarf episodes), but I, for one, can’t wait.
Or what? 20th Century Fox will cancel the movie and ban Luhrmann from ever having anything to do with any movie ever again? Well, it would be nice, but I don’t suppose that particular dream will come true. I reserve the right to hope though.
That said, the sooner that he finishes it, releases it, and it goes away, the better.
If I am ever forced to sit through his “interpretation” of Romeo and Juliet again, then The Powers That Be should prepare a padded room for me, because they won’t get any sense out of me at my trial.