Archive for March, 2008


So, a green bag just walked half a metre across my bedroom, and a brown blob decided to peep over the shower curtain. I think this proves that I’m not getting enough sleep…it’s a pity that I can’t get enough sleep, because I really don’t want the ceiling to fly away during the night.


4 comments March 31st, 2008 at 11:21pm

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

This week’s award goes to Alannah Myles and the feature song is Black Velvet, a song apparently about Elvis Presley.

Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell
Jimmy Rogers on the Victrola up high
Mama’s dancin’ with baby on her shoulder
The sun is settin’ like molasses in the sky
The boy could sing, knew how to move, everything
Always wanting more, he’d leave you longing for

Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring ya to your knees
Black velvet if you please

Up in Memphis the music’s like a heatwave
White lightening, bound to drive you wild
Mama’s baby is in the heart of every school girl
“Love me tender” leaves ’em cryin’ in the aisle
The way he moved, it was a sin, so sweet and true
Always wanting more, he’d leave you longing for

Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring ya to your knees
Black velvet if you please

Every word of every song that he sang was for you
In a flash he was gone, it happened so soon, what could you do?

(Guitar Solo)

Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring ya to your knees
Black velvet if you please

Black velvet and that little boy’s smile
Black velvet with that slow southern style
A new religion that’ll bring ya to your knees
Black velvet if you please

If you please, if you please, if you please


2 comments March 31st, 2008 at 01:11am

Samuel’s Bright Earth Hour

I must say, I quite liked having the lights on between 8pm and 9pm. It was a good way to spend Earth Hour. The full set of photos can be seen on the photo gallery at

Earth Hour coincided with half an hour of The Bill, so I recorded The Bill and watched it on a half hour delay.

A few choice photos:
Earth Hour 2008: The lounge room to the dining room, kitchen and laundry
The lounge room to the dining room, kitchen and laundry

Earth Hour 2008: Looking the other way
Looking the other way

Earth Hour 2008: Power Dog models a rather busy power board. I deliberately waited to charge my mobile phone until Earth Hour, and likewise with the laptop which was also plugged in.
Power Dog models a rather busy power board. I deliberately waited to charge my mobile phone until Earth Hour, and likewise with the laptop which was also plugged in.

Earth Hour 2008: The outside lights were on
The outside lights were on.

Earth Hour 2008: As was the light in the oven, which was cooking dinner at the time
As was the light in the oven, which was cooking dinner at the time.

Earth Hour 2008: Power Dog enjoys three light sources
Power dog enjoys three light sources.

Earth Hour 2008: The main light, a lamp and a torch
The main light, a lamp and a torch.

Earth Hour 2008: Whilst it wasn't open for the whole hour, the glow of the fridge is still appealing
Whilst it wasn’t open for the whole hour, the glow of the fridge is still appealing.

Quite frankly, I think I prefer having all the lights on, the whole house looks quite nice when it’s bright.

I hope you enjoyed Earth Hour as much as I did.


11 comments March 29th, 2008 at 11:52pm

Earth Hour

Resounding success! A lovely bright house during Earth Hour. Photos coming later tonight.


2 comments March 29th, 2008 at 09:09pm

Earth Hour’s cost to your appliances

Plenty of people think I’ve gone near-enough to completely mad with my post about turning on all of my lights during Earth Hour…somehow I don’t think the organisers would mind as it just proves that even people such as me who see almost no sense in the theory of anthropogenic global warming are thinking about Earth Hour and giving it more publicity.

Anyway, the reason for this post isn’t to try and convince people that I am sane, rather it is to show the perspective of Michael Carden, somebody who has spent an awful lot of time fixing broken electronic devices.

Most modern pieces of electronics make use of a switchmode power supply. Everything from TVs and DVD players, to computers and kitchen appliances are likely to have one, and in general they are a wonderful thing. Small, light, cheap and able to run from the mains power in most parts of the world without caring whether they’re plugged into 110, 115, 150, 230 or 240 volts. They (mostly) just work.
If you have this device plugged into power all the time, a small part of its switchmode power supply – the part responsible for kickstarting it from completely off – never gets used. And this part almost always contains a handful of tiny electrolytic capacitors that play no part in the running of the device until it’s disconnected from the power outlet, and then connected again. Then it’s their job to get the power supply started. These little beasties don’t like heat very much, but they usually live in a hot place (the switchmode power supply) and so as the months and years go by, the heat slowly kills them. They can die completely and you’ll never know. Unless you unplug the device or switch off the power outlet.

So I’m wondering what will happen if thousands or millions of people switch off everything at the power outlet all at once. I think that there’s an excellent chance that quite a lot of stuff won’t come back to life when the power goes back on.

Michael goes on to point out that the percentage will be quite low, but if you’ve never turned off the microwave, the DVD player or the cordless phone at the wall, so you really want to risk it?

My other thought on the subject is this. The electricity suppliers have their systems set up to expect a certain minimum load that never goes away. While I’m sure that their systems are designed to cope safely with the sudden loss of load when everyone switches off, I can’t help but wonder just when they tested this.

Hmmm, it’s one thing to be voluntarily without power for an hour, with a switch to turn it back on at any time a couple metres away, but if enough people take part in Earth Hour and something does go “bang” in the power grid, how many people are actually going to enjoy Earth Week?


March 29th, 2008 at 02:29pm

Offsetting Earth Hour

I’ve been debating whether or not to post this. On the one hand I don’t want to give Earth Hour any more publicity than it already has, however on the other hand I would like to publicise my plan for that hour of climate-change-alarmism induced insanity, and then there’s the fact that I haven’t written much this week and need to write something.

Anybody who has been reading this blog for a while would know of my stance on climate change…basically I think it is almost entirely natural, and I see Earth Hour as a rather strange stunt. For those of you who don’t know, Earth Hour is an event where people are invited to turn off all of their lights for an hour in a bid to save energy (and theoretically cut down on the amount of greenhouse gases produced) and raise awareness of energy use and the theory of man-made global warming.

My plan for that hour (8pm to 9pm tomorrow) is to turn on all of my lights in an effort to offset the people who are turning off their lights. I may also decide to use other appliances such as the kettle or the washing machine during this hour…anything I wouldn’t normally use during that hour. I would like to invite you to join me, either turn on all of your lights or perhaps go for an unnecessary drive (with the price of petrol at the moment, that one could be a bit too expensive), or just use electricity that you wouldn’t normally use during that hour.

Update: Knowing that I wouldn’t be the only person with this idea, I did a Google search for “against earth hour” and found the blog of Samantha Burns who has this rather useful list of appliances that you could turn on during Earth Hour if you want to help offset the madness:

-all household lights
-air conditioner
-automobiles (your ride)
-automobile headlights
-put on oven’s self-cleaning cycle
-any/all kitchen appliances
-dvd player
-game system
-and any other electrical equipment you can think of

I’m struggling to think of more appliances…anybody have any suggestions?
End Update

The really good thing is that because most people (anecdotally at least) don’t have any more than a quarter of their household lights on at any given time, one household turning on their lights can offset at least four households turning off their lights.

I’m looking forward to turning on all of my lights, who wants to join me?


9 comments March 28th, 2008 at 07:45pm

Samuel’s Footy Tips

I have a half-finished post about my results from last weekend. I’ll complete it eventually. In the meantime.

AFL Round 2
Lions v Magpies
Demons v Bulldogs
Crows v Eagles
Dockers v Hawks
Saints v Blues
Swans v Power
Cats v Bombers
Tigers v Kangaroos

NRL Round 3
Eels v Knights
Broncos v Cowboys
Roosters v Storm
Raiders v Dragons
Titans v Sharks
Panthers v Rabbitohs
Bulldogs v Tigers
Sea Eagles v Warriors


March 28th, 2008 at 07:22pm

Glenn Wheeler?

Update: Unfortunately I now have confirmation of this story. Glenn was indeed fired this afternoon, I don’t know why. I just can’t see any sense in it. End Update

Further update: Clive Robertson has been appointed to the weekend afternoon shift. End Update

There’s a rumour doing the rounds that 2UE have fired Glenn Wheeler.

Sounds very odd to me, but it would fit with the change to the weekend schedule which starts this weekend. From an outsider’s perspective, I can’t see the logic in it.

I suppose the other rumours which could fit in with this are one that Clive Robertson is getting a daytime shift, and one of 2CC’s many Mikes is moving to 2UE. Clive made a lot of noises about it being the last time he would be on-air after his last shift (could just be his sense of humour), and I can’t see one of 2CC’s Mikes leaving a full time position to take up a weekend shift, especially a week out from the release of the latest ratings.


6 comments March 26th, 2008 at 07:38pm

Boycotting Beijing

Good evening Stuart,

I agree with you that our athletes shouldn't be forced or coerced in to boycotting the Beijing Olympics, I think it is entirely their decision, but to the same extent the rest of us have a choice and I have made mine. I will be completely boycotting the Beijing Olympics, I will be ignoring and switching off all coverage and reports about it. I am considering attending the torch relay here in Canberra wearing a t-shirt which reads "Boycotting Beijing". The ludicrous claim by China that the Dalai Lama is creating the violence as part of a plot against them was the final straw for me…such an action would go against everything the Dalai Lama believes in.

I hope you had a good Easter weekend, thank you for your email last week, I enjoyed my Easter weekend even though I didn't have running water for most of Sunday.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

March 25th, 2008 at 10:30pm

Power Failure in Weston Creek

The power has been out in Weston Creek for about the last twenty minutes. From what I can see, it looks like most, if not all, of the business district has lost power. Other areas may be affected.

Update 3:45pm: And it’s back! End Update


March 25th, 2008 at 03:42pm

Canberra Radio Ratings delayed by Nielsen

If you’re waiting for the Canberra Radio Ratings to be released, I would suggest not holding your breath as Nielsen have announced that they are delayed until next week, due to a delay in data processing (probably code for “two or more households didn’t return their ratings book on time”).


March 25th, 2008 at 08:20am

And I thought I was hearing things

I could have been certain I misheard this story this morning:

We could see graphic warnings on alcohol bottles .. and a ban on under-age drinking at private parties .. under a national plan to curb binge-drinking.

Prime Minister KEVIN RUDD will ask state and federal leaders meeting in Adelaide on Wednesday .. to consider labels warning about the dangers of excessive drinking.

The graphic warnings I don’t really mind, but the “ban on under-age drinking at private parties” is the part I thought I misheard…did anybody stop to think, before issuing the press release, that it would be a ban on something which is already illegal. I would have thought the term “underage” would have been enough to work that out.


March 24th, 2008 at 11:54am


Paul B. Kidd on 2UE this morning referring to the Rudd government’s promise to do something about petrol prices:
“They have done something, it’s gone up!”

For the record, I think that the ACCC sound like they will soon have enough information to do something constructive, but to the same extent, I got a good chuckle out of Paul’s comment.


March 24th, 2008 at 07:40am

Public Holidays and Water

It’s Easter Sunday, and a water main has burst near my house, and it is going to take all day to repair. Thankfully some friends a couple blocks away were nice enough to allow me to fill some buckets with water, and the supermarket is open with its supply of bottled water.

Burst Water Main

This all seems rather familiar though because on Christmas Day in either 2003 or 2004 the hot water service stopped working and had to be replaced. We were able to get a plumber in on Christmas Day, but the hot water service wasn’t able to be replaced for a couple days.

It doesn’t matter though, it just makes the day a bit more memorable.

Update 3:22pm: The Water is back! End Update

Happy Easter!


March 23rd, 2008 at 10:23am

The conversation with John Kerr from last year

You may recall that on Wednesday I posted some rather overdue audio of a conversation I had with 2UE’s Stuart Bocking while I was in Sydney in April last year, about the supermarket barcode scanning code of practice.

In that post, I mentioned that I would publish the audio of my conversation with John Kerr from around 4am the following day, on Thursday…but I never quite got around to that, so here it is.

To recap, last year in April I went to Sydney for a couple days to attend John Kerr’s lunch at Liquidity Restaurant. The lunch was on the 24th of April, and I spent most of the 23rd and 24th in Sydney.

On the 24th of April at some time just after 4am I called John Kerr because I had woken up and wasn’t going to be able to get back to sleep. I don’t remember the exact reason I called, as I was instantly sidetracked by John losing the caller ahead of me due to a computer problem, which prompted me to regale John with a story about the hotel’s computer systems not working properly, preventing me from checking in at the time I arrived, and how I subsequently managed to get lost in an area of Chatswood I should have known very well, John was fairly sympathetic, referring to Chatswood as a maze.

Strangely, I didn’t debate John on whether Sydney is up or down from Canberra when he mentioned that I had “come down from Canberra”. I think I’ve debated him every time since then on that point.

John and I also discussed my apparent insomnia, and I somehow miscalculated the time until I would see John at the lunch, incorrectly referring to it as “just under six hours”…that would have been fine if I wanted to be incredibly early.
Download MP3

From the lunch later that day, John Kerr and Stuart Bocking:
John Kerr and Stuart Bocking at Liquidity Restaurant in Sydney

I have one more recording from that morning to share with you, however it can wait until Monday or Tuesday.


March 22nd, 2008 at 02:56pm

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