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area man frequently reminds friends he doesn’t own a TV

You know I don’t watch that much TV but when I do I find myself lamenting the state of television commercial advertising. Problem one is that I guess networks offer companies deals like ‘if you only advertise with us we’ll give you a discount’ so, if you only happen to watch one or two channels then you see the same lame ads over and over. And I mean that literally sometimes. I saw the same 15second ad being played twice in a row the other day, multiple times. Man that’s sad. That reminds me of country TV when I was a kid.

The second problem is that there’s little creativity evident.There’s nothing memorable. Even if you don’t remember the product and just remember the ad then that’s a win in my book. The only locally made ads that are worth mentioning are “compare the meerkat.com” and this one below, which I just found out is pretty old (2011) and I only saw during late-night programming. I like to think of it as, “Ohh, Fail!”

Alcohol companies are the only ones that seem to have money for advertising and the key concept of all of them is nostalgia. An ‘Ohh Fail!’ of a different kind is the Carlton Draught “beer chase” commercials (featuring Dr.Julian Bashir from Deep Space 9) because unless they’re going for a global market why would they film Australian ads in LA?

On the other hand I do really like the two Southern Comfort ads. Great choice of music.

, , — YS @ 11:06 am, October 9, 2013

take another step back

I’ve been battling away with the procrastination and getting a bit of study done of late. It’s related to music and occasionally there’s tracks I want to listen to for reference that I don’t have on any computer here and so I go take a look at youtube. It’s pretty amazing that when you type in artist name – album name – “full album” almost always it’ll show up and you can stream-listen the whole thing. Most middle class people have an internet connection that is capable of that these day. And it strike me that this is probably one main new way that kids are discovering new (old) music now. It’s quicker than illegal downloading and actually it strikes me as odd that the corporate music nazis don’t consider it illegal. Posting 10 seconds of a Simpsons episode will earn you a take-down but as long as it only has a still-image attached you can upload pretty much any album you want and it’ll stay there. Last night I was listening to The Rolling Stones December’s Children. I really like that song Blue Turns To Grey.

, , , — YS @ 9:31 am, September 25, 2013

On his inevitable demise

The last two nights I have woken to the sound of a bell. A bike bell but not one of those new unsatisfying ‘ting!’ bells, it’s the old ‘brrring!’ kind. It would be reassuring to know that it was a real bell because then I would know that I wasn’t going crazy. But there is no bell here. The first time I thought someone was stealing the bikes but we only have the ting bike bells. The sound is not part of a dream, although admittedly could be signalling the end of a dream. Two nights in a row, at roughly the same time (2:30am) is a bit weird though. I shall have to investigate all devices to determine if there is some alarm set that I am not aware of.

edit: night 3, no bell. Sanity: returning.

double edit (16/9) – I think it’s something in J-e galaxy tablet. When it’s turned off there’s no bother.

, , — YS @ 1:32 pm, September 12, 2013

sunny breaks tells you how to vote and how to eat

Well this is exciting. I missed, what… the last two(?) elections but here I am all ready to vote. I was actually thinking I might get slapped with a nice big fine when I rock up to the booths on Sat. but I’m sure the DFAT told the AEC I was OS.

“Humanity Is A Flawed Creation”

I’ve been rewatching the 2000s ‘reimagining’ of BattleStar Galactica and really enjoying it. Edward James Olmos is a great actor. And in one scene he uttered the above pullquote. That’s pretty much how I feel when I think about politics, and parliamentary politics in general. It’s far from perfect but it could be worse.

parliamentary politics
Will we ever be free?

This website below the line is useful for figuring out senate stuff. I wonder how many people out there properly understand how preferences work…? I mean, you can control  where the preferences go completely if you want, but if you want to be lazy and just vote “1” above the line on the senate paper then the above website shows you where each party send their preferences. I heard some misinformation a while back that the wikileaks party were sending their preferences to the shooters’ party but I am glad to see that’s not true.

It would be good to see Assange get into the senate even if only for the fact that it would mean that he could legally get out of the .ec embassy. I read most of this a couple of months ago and he is really an intelligent fellow, perhaps too much so for Aust. govt but maybe that’s how you drag its IQ up.

Broccoli : good

This is the biggest broccoli head I have grown. I stuck my hand in there for size comparison but I don’t think it worked. If there was some sort of petrol and fertilizer crisis I think I’d end up a lot thinner because we had to wait quite a while for what will be enough broccoli for part of one meal. I don’t know what they grow broccoli in to get it so big. I didn’t use any fertilizer.

, , — YS @ 3:18 pm, September 5, 2013

goodbye old man: winter

For some reason australia says that the seasons start and end with the month but the 21st that follows seems more real to me, ie. Sept 21 is the end of winter. Either way today may as well be the beginning of the warmth since here we are down on the corner before nine in the morning and it’s got that feel—windless, cloudless, dry and ready to bake.

August 31 2013

So if that was winter then no wonder I had trouble adapting to korean winters. I think we turned the heater on a total of 4 times, two of which were when mum was here. I’d often see people walking around the shopping centre footpath in t-shirts and shorts and wonder if it was just because they were senseless idiots or because they’d come from 30° hot cars or houses and that they were running heaters hard all winter.

— YS @ 10:36 am, August 31, 2013

why are people so fanatical about their smartphone choice? and other pressing questions

In the comment sections of tech websites I have noticed the alarming regularity of people getting rude, fanatical and bananas about their chosen variety of smartphone. Why does this happen? My theory includes: 1. All smartphones are essentially the same. Standard functions like phone calls, text messages, take a photo or check the weather—they all do that. 2. They are a luxury ie. fairly useless. One could argue that toilet papers are all fairly similar but (in modern society at least) it is considered an essential and so we don’t feel the urge to populate comment threads with our ravings on toilet paper, which leads me to my third and final point. 3. We do in fact feel like suckers for buying these things and desperately need other people to agree with us about being correct in owning “X” phone.

overpriced

I have to say app prices have really jumped the shark too. They used to be 99cents if not free. Then a few came in at two bucks. And now I keep seeing the price $5.49 pop up. It’s not the minimum price, there are still free and cheap ones but developers seem to think they can get away with a five dollar price tag for what can often better utter shit. Then there’s the odd one that asks forty dollars or similar, for a computer program you’re going to look at on a tiny phone screen.

Yesterday I was looking at an app called, “Zombies, run!” which is a fitness program that encourages you to go jogging and if you don’t keep your pace up you’ll get infected by zombies. Apparently there are little story bits and encouragements that you listen to on earphones that give you the hurry up. I like stories. I’m trying to get a bit fitter and if I ended up wasting $2 on this thing then it’s not the end of the world is it? But the last time I tried to do sustained running – about 6 years ago – my knee started to get really sore. And if there was a zombie apocalypse why couldn’t I ride my bike to escape them? I didn’t get the app.

, , , — YS @ 10:07 am, August 30, 2013

suburban nerdburn

I haven’t been to the footy since I was 15 but with J-e’s yen to try all things Australian and to spend some time with mum, we went to the Geelong vs Sydney game last Saturday at Kardinia Park. Sitting behind the goals is not my favourite spot because half the time when the play comes toward you, you’re excited to be able to actually see what’s happening but also wanting it to go away because it could mean the other team getting a goal.

HipstaPrint

(Correct me if I’m wrong but) it’s strange to think that Kardinia is one of only three (MCG and Docklands too) stadiums currently being used by AFL in Victoria. It’s a shame that more teams don’t still have their home ground.

I was a little surprised at how orderly and polite the crowd was in general. And you know, I didn’t see one meat pie there. Not one! Maybe they don’t even sell them any more. I saw people walking around with buckets of chips, sometimes with some kind of “fish” fillets on top, hot dogs but no meat pies.

On Sunday we went to Bunning’s to get a few gardening supplies. It’s pretty amazing how many different kinds of garden hoses there are. Every colour except red/pink. I didn’t get a hose. I got a few plastic pots for vegetable growing projects. Also a cheap footy to kick in the local park. Interestingly none of these plastic things were made in China. Two pots from Italy, one made here, (plus a buck made in NZ) and the footy was made in India.

I should be working on my study but it’s damn hard to concentrate.

YS @ 11:32 am, August 27, 2013

Rebel without a trumpet

I was listening to this radio mix on ninjatune=solidsteel (get in quick because it’ll only be there for a few more days) marking 25 years since Public Enemy released the album, “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”. It’s pretty good. There’s some interviews in there with (I think?) Terminator X—I didn’t know he could speak…

Anyway, I was washing the dishes at the time and it got me thinking down memory lane. Vague as the memory is I did actually buy that album back in 1988. We, the family, had travelled up to Geelong from our country station one saturday and I was looking around in Brashes (remember Brashes?). Rather uncharacteristic of me, I slammed down my hard-earned pocket money for the cassette of ITANOMTHUB without ever having heard it, or knowing who Public Enemy were or even what kind of music it was.

PublicEnemyItTakesaNationofMillionstoHoldUsBack

I just liked that cover and the name ‘Public Enemy’ sounded really cool. And I liked the little silhouette in the crosshairs logo, which on the back was connected to the phrase ‘public enemy no. 1’ I think.

Anyway, upon getting it home and listening to it I found that I didn’t like it at all! There was too many repetitive loop samples and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I actually took it back to the shop the next week. The usual practice with tapes like this is that there is no returns because, you know, you could just dub it to a blank tape—and that’s like stealing music, but I guess I must have had such a genuine disappointed confused look on my 14y.o. face that I did get an exchange for something else (fucked if I can remember what now).

These days I do appreciate PE’s place in history but not enough to listen to whole albums of their stuff on a regular basis. And a quick look at the track listings of It Takes A Nation, and its successor, ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’, the latter really does have a lot of classic hits on it.


I really like this mash up of Rebel Without A Pause with a bit of Herb Alpert

But I think my favourite PE track is one that Flava Flav takes the front for, Can’t do nuttin’ for ya man. I like his sing-song delivery. I’m going to try and learn how to play this one on the Telecaster.

, — YS @ 10:38 am, August 6, 2013

WHO MOURNS FOR THE DEAD?

I was up the hill takin’ a stroll through the cemetery this afternoon. The oldest section looks like it was established around 1850. The oldest resident I happened to notice was born in 1810. Man imagine that – a teenager in the 1820s.

Cemetery

Some of those really old headstones and monuments are broken or falling over. It’s all so fleeting and pointless.

— YS @ 3:49 pm, July 26, 2013

Shock Corridor (1963)

Third up in the list of Film Noir is Shock Corridor. Total spoilage: it’s not a happy ending with this one but otherwise is just as strong a story as Blast Of Silence. And what do you know, Larry Tucker aka Big Ralphy is in this one too. He must’ve done the rounds of early 60s noir and then hung up his acting hat.

larrytucker

So anyway this film was showing us the whacky and grizzly insides of an insane asylum a good deal before Jack crazied it up on One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. You could probably do a great Intro to Film Studies essay about this movie because there’s three characters that represent different parts of the shadow that the US cast over itself and other parts of the world, including the very fresh over-hang of racial segregation.

shockcorridor
Trent cracked up after being hounded out of the university he was in theory entitled to attend.

The main character gets shock treatments but they don’t scramble his brains immediately and there’s one scene where for a moment he loses the ability to talk. It uses voice over to tell us what he’s thinking and he’s wanting to open his mouth and wondering why it won’t work. That was a great little bit of visual story-telling.

*  *  *  * 

I also watched a couple of ‘70s science fiction movies: Logan’s Run (1976) : kind of weird but had some great ‘70s breasts in it (they just seemed kind of different back then) and Silent Running (1972) which I remeber seeing when I was real little, as in back in the BTV6 cargo cult days. Maybe I was 7 or something. This was the first time I’ve watched a movie and felt ‘this seemed much bigger when I was little’ in the way that a town where you grew up might. My memory of the ship Bruce Dern was floating around on was that it was much bigger and I can remember being quite tramatised when one of the little walking-boxes (robots) got his foot stuck in the railing and got blown away in a space storm. I guess that sense of ‘hey this could be much bigger’ is a good thing because maybe this is one film-story that could be re-done successfully but I guess it’d have to be done outside hollywood, a la Moon.

* * * *

One photography app I’ve been mucking around with recently is VSCO cam, which free but that’s just to lure you in to get you to spend some money. I didn’t mind so much since these little, invisible things are all I’m spending money on now (other than food). One thing I do really like is the VSCO Grid idea. This is exactly what Hispstamatic should’ve done instead of piss-farting around with Oggl; an instagram clone. A nice minimal, arty-lookin’, centralised webfront for people to show off their hipstamatic shots. Again, free at first and then charge for enhanced services/features later. Like leading lemmings off a cliff. Here’s my grid.

Hey you there, with the glasses

withtheglasses

Just read ‘All the young dudes: Why Glam Rock matters’ by Mark Dery. Kind of interesting but very short and defintely not worth the three bucks (whaaa? get out of here) I paid for it on amazon. I’ve read longer Wired website articles and they’re free. I got it for my studies.

YS @ 12:37 pm, July 23, 2013
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Sunny Breaks -> what your mother is reading.


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