Sunny Breaks salutes: The Stout Scarab

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8839778438/” title=”scarab by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5349/8839778438_72a4dd6c37.jpg” width=”500″ height=”295″ alt=”scarab”></a>

There was actually a drivable version of this in <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.A._Noire”>LA Noire</a> but it never occurred to me that it was a real car until I recently read an article about great cars that died an early death. It’s worth reading the whole wiki <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stout_Scarab”>article</a> about it because there’s so many amazing things about the design that I won’t rewrite them all here. In 1935 it must’ve looked like what a UFO floating past would look like to us today. I’m really surprised no one has tried to revive this design in some way.

Other stuff that’s fallen by the wayside:

1. I love stumbling across websites like this -> <a href=”http://www.drive-insdownunder.com.au/default.htm”>Drive-ins Down Under</a>. Someone has narrowed their focus to one thing and spent a long time researching and digging up info on it. Very interesting.

2. Ford. I guess I wasn’t under any allusions that ford was anything other than an american company that made cars here but it is disappointing to see them shutting down completely here in geelong, essentially because they couldn’t give a fuck. The last innovation they came up with was the factory mass-production line back in the 1920s and since then it’s just been about keeping the status quo. Maybe if they’d started repositioning australian production 20 years ago into the smaller, more affordable/efficient car sector then maybe it’d be a different story.

Star Wars Imperial Briefing Room Action Figures Box Set

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8762467639/” title=”whyisitcalledbriefingwhenitsrarelybrief by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3779/8762467639_a270732336.jpg” width=”500″ height=”178″ alt=”whyisitcalledbriefingwhenitsrarelybrief”></a>

I was surprised to read that the Kenner merchandising of the original Star Wars trilogy continues. This scene, from Star Wars 4: A New Hope, set in a briefing room, best remembered for Darth Vader saying, “I find you lack of faith disturbing”, and also doing the invisible choke on one of the meeting participants, is the subject of a whopping 7 figure set, costing 80-90bucks! I remember when they were $1.50 each! Apparently, someone out there out there in the sci-fi community, imaginative and with too much time on their hands, made up an 8000 word story about the guy wearing white, who in the film was completely uncredited.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8762606523/” title=”doyouknowthisman by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8277/8762606523_13d9fdc247_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”242″ alt=”doyouknowthisman”></a><br/>_Do you know this man?_

So Sunny Breaks is putting it out there. PSA. Is this your grandpa? That old guy who lived next door with the great lemon tree who used to get the odd bit of work here and there as a film extra? Tangentially, doing a google image search for ‘do you know this man?’ gets a bit sketchy – but <a href=”http://manolomen.com/2010/10/04/do-you-know-this-man-9/”>this is interesting</a>.

*In other news* Flickr is finally doing something about updating itself. Unfortunately it’s not the right thing. Flickr is owned by yahoo! Yahoo! is like the GTV Channel 9 of the internet — everything they do seems to reek of crapiness.

Heat (1995)

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8744037878/” title=”deniro-in-heat by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7289/8744037878_5d78de7f34.jpg” width=”500″ height=”207″ alt=”deniro-in-heat”></a>

I don’t know how but I missed this movie up til now. Maybe it didn’t too well at the box-office, but has a pretty good storyline and a big cast. I have said it before, I really don’t know what good acting is. Maybe it’s this -> ^ when Robert De Niro does his brief side-glance thing. (This can also be seen _Goodfellas_). Anyway, very different from the Miami Vice TV series that Michael Mann is best known for, featuring De Niro as the criminal, Al Pacino as the cop and a whole bunch of other people including Val Kilmer and Henry Rollins.

The only reason I came across this film is that one of the heists set ups gets borrowed and drafted into the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 5 which’ll be released this year.

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I’ve really been meaning to try and get around to putting a bit of individuality into this wordpress template layout but the more push-button they make them, the harder they are to modify and my html skills aren’t what they used to be.

Also, probably like most weblogs, I get the odd hand-delivered attempt at slipping some SPAM through the net (how miserable must these people’s lives be, finding weblogs to cut n’ paste spam into each day?) and most of them are lame-o nonsense but I have to note the below example as one that made me pause for a second, thinking it might’ve been a real commenter.

‘Hello there’ writes:

Hi! I understand this is kind of off-topic but I had to ask.

Does managing a well-established website like yours take
a large amount of work? I’m completely new to running a blog but I do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can
share my experience and feelings online. Please let me
know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.
Thankyou!

Nice social-engineering you got going there. Close but no raisin toast.

reverse-engineering nostalgia

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8709156758/” title=”Ford Galaxie by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8539/8709156758_13b1f13069_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”320″ alt=”Boardwalk”></a>

It was initially nice to get hands on my banana-boxes full of old records, tapes and CDs that have been sitting in mum’s garage for the last 8 years. It was specially nice to have a little look at the CD cases of albums I’d listened to _a lot_ during the different parts (places, friends, adventures) of my time in korea–soundtracks. I bought several (not a huge amount by my own standards) CDs while I was there, ripped them to computer then brought them home to mum’s place for safe keeping on holidays.

I’ve already mentioned how artwork, liner notes and that concrete sense of possession are terribly, badly lacking from music in the MP3/Internet medium. But sometimes old stuff isn’t as good as I remember it either. The CD “jewel case’ was probably designed by some coked-out ’80s executive who obviously wasn’t thinking of longevity when they decided on brittle plastic for flimsy hinges and those little circular clippy bits that are supposed to keep the CD in place.

My re-experince of tapes was worse. I am from the cassette tape generation. The first albums I bought were on tape. I started taping the radio right after I discovered radio. I had a whole load of tapes of stuff I’d taped off 3PBS and RRR during the early-mid 90s that I’d been itching to get back to listen to. Stuff that is obscure enough that I have very little chance of ever finding on CD in 2nd hand shops. Because it was taped off the radio there were all these big FM scratchy sounds blasting through intermittently which I’d forgotten about. Plus there was this HUGE slab of white noise which was really, really noticeable and hard to ignore. I haven’t given up — I need a better tape player with clean heads.

I haven’t found a record player at all yet so I don’t know how the records will sound. I did have a hi-fi (now there’s a relative term..) here for a few days that had CD, tape players and a record player with no needle but I got rid of it again thanks to freecycle.org (the digital place where real people come together to pick over eachother’s junk) mainly because I kept noticing how much space it was taking up. I thought about the functions it could perform (tape, CD, radio etc) and the electronic components needed to make those things happen and I kept think what’s all the rest of the space in there for? I guess that’s caused by a combination of living in an age where a song now takes up the space of a few electrons (or nothing at all, in my house at least, if I was streaming the music) as well as living in shoe-boxes in korea where home-space is at a premium. It still is a bit here in the new place.

Streaming music, not even radio stations, just music services is much more common in Korea, and from what I can gather in the US too. And it makes me wonder how this younger generation (the millennials or whatever they’re called) will experience musical nostaligia if they’ve got nothing to hold onto. Very few people keep their old mobile phones when they move onto a new one and the phone is really the only physical site that I can think of that a person might be able to go back to to remember how things were. But then, these things always find a way (even if it seems in diminished form to an old fart like me). Just the other day I was surprised to find that my girl J-e, who I’d always thought was dead against computer games, used to play a game called <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTUYPmFBLYM”>Princess Maker</a> when she was a kid in the  early 90s. We found some clips of it on youtube and the music from it brought back memories for her.

I don’t see radio station bumper stickers on the backs of cars like I used to.

In conclusion, Steve Jobs and Jony Ives have, and will continue to, destroy society as we know it.

 

*edit* – <a href=”http://blog.bandcamp.com/2013/05/07/rewind-the-cassette-is-back/”>article on revival of tape format</a>

*edit 2* (21/05/13) – <a href=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22533522″>BBC article on tapes</a>.

L1CKME

That’s a license plate on a mr.whippy van I just saw. Nice.

Apparently there <a href=”http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-02/earthquake-rattles-geelong-residents/4664200″>was an earth tremor</a>  around here last night. I didn’t feel anything, although I didi wake up at 3am. But it’s always like that. Something like a loud car or a yobbo yelling could wake me up but then by the time I’m awake and conscious of the fact I have no idea why I’m awake — and usually it’s just because a dream has finished and I need to go take a leak.

 

My favourite meal used to be fish and chips but I’ve had it a total of three times in the 2 months I’ve been back. I think I’m just a bit too old for it now — it doesn’t feel that healthy. And I’m a bit dismayed to find that the unwritten rule of potato cakes is no longer being honoured. It used to be that if you ordered two potato cakes they’d give you three — and so on. Not anymore. Two is 2.

In the war of slugs v. me, I’m winning. It’s made easier by the fact that they only seem to like beetroot and lettuce seedlings. I put coffee grounds around the beets and that stopped the slugs, but I thought it might be caffeine-blasting the seedlings. They’re looking better after a couple of days and I’m going belt and suspenders by adding crushed up egg shell around the perimeter.