Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Building's Newsletter

We were quite proud of our newsletter effort. We checked it many times, pulled sentences apart, arguing over points of grammar and style and finally we thought it was ready to go to the proof reader. (and no, I am not going to do any of that for my blog posts)

The proof reader, a retired school teacher who is a resident, took it away to her holiday house over the weekend and returned it the following Monday with a nice note and a 10/10 mark.

It went before the committee last Tuesday night for approval of content. A tick there.

R emailed it to the building managing company Wednesday morning for printing. Email back saying printing was under way. A few minutes later, an email from the secretary of the Owners Corporation who had found two mistakes, a mistakenly repeated word and a 'the' that should have had a capital letter.

I was angry with myself for missing it, surprised that our proof reader did not pick it up and surprised no one else noticed.

If no one noticed it when checking it, except for one who has someone in the OC secretary's office who is a very good proof reader, then not many others will notice......we hoped.

131 copies of the newsletter were delivered, for us to distribute, by the building management company and there was an ink smudge on every page in the same place and it was printed on very cheap paper and looked awful. They are not obliged to print it, so we can't insist that it be redone.

It was the straw that tipped the donkey's broken back over the edge, so we have decided to re print it ourselves at our expense on expensive bright white paper.

Now the extra delay has resulted in our piece about the about to be commissioned new bicycle storage room being redundant, as the room has opened.

There were some serious lessons for us to learn.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jounalists making a stand

Journalists come up with the excuse that if a public figure won't answer a question then it is pointless to press the issue. I disagree. If more journalists pressed home points like this, we might actually get some answers.

This is not about the subject matter particularly, but how England's Channel 4 reporter would not be fudged off. He was due a round of applause for his efforts, and those of you in Australia who saw the Denton interview with the retired US reporter may remember her doing something similar. Of course that I liked his voice and accent has nothing to do with it.

Well done Alex Thomson of Channel 4.

The audio is great and can be found here on August the 14th. You can read the full transcript here.

Here is a paste of the relevant part. Karen Barlow was the reporter.

ALEX THOMSON: I'm asking the IOC if they are in any way embarrassed about the manifest failure on behalf of the Chinese Government to keep their promises?

It's a very straightforward question. Are you embarrassed?

GISELLE DAVIES: We are very proud of the fact that these games are progressing with spectacular sport, spectacular sports venues, operationally running very smoothly. And that's what we're here focusing on.

ALEX THOMSON: I'm asking you whether you're embarrassed, I'm not asking about how well the Games have been run or how wonderful the venues are. Are you embarrassed?

GISELLE DAVIES: I think I've answered your question by explaining.

ALEX THOMSON: I don't think anyone in this room. I may speak, I may be stepping out of line but I don't think anybody thinks you've answered the question.

Is the IOC embarrassed about the Chinese Government not keeping those promises.

KAREN BARLOW: The journalist Alex Thomson from the British Channel 4 news had to bat away volunteers trying to take his microphone away from him.

He was left with no answer about the IOC's possible state of embarrassment.

Wang Wei from BOCOG stepped in.

WANG WEI: I think a few, a very few people come here to pick, to be critical, to dig into the small details, to find fault with that. That does not mean we are not fulfilling our promise. So I think the whole country can see how China is progressing. How China is genuinely welcoming the world to China, to enjoy everything with us.

Missed tv #42

I would have liked to have seen this tv show. Bit bloody late when it is now 9.41 in the evening of the 14th and the show was on at 6.10 pm. Get it off the daily paper website! If I didn't know I missed it, I wouldn't be missing it.

Buildings that Shaped Britain.

Today's Eats

Today I had for lunch acidophilus and bifidus cultures. It said so on the pull off foil seal. It didn't hurt a bit, and I thought I was just eating some strawberry yoghurt chockers with sugar, along with flavourings and colouring.

It is a big tub, so I can have more acidophilus and bifidus cultures tomorrow. With names like that, it must be good for me.

Idiot pompous gits at Ski. I don't think the cultures outweigh the sugar content.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bashing away at the Remington

This is for my young readers who don't know about typewriting machines, or typewriters. Am I nostalgic for typewriters? Not in the least. I don't want to go back to mistakes that could not be erased, and if a perfect copy was needed and you made a mistake, you would just have to retype it. Kind of like when you have half written the bestest blog post ever and Windows crashes. No, that is worse. God invented the computer for very good reasons.

First thing was to insert your paper. You lifted the back rest for the paper, like you do on a printer and then wound the paper in either by a knob on either side of the roller that the paper went around, or with the carriage return bar, kind of like the enter key now.

Remarkably the key board was much as it is now. The shift key either lifted or lowered where the striking keys rested to give you the alternative character, although my Hanimex portable used to lift the whole carriage, that is the thing that held the paper. Really good typewriters did this smoothly, but my portable had a very heavy shift key.

You could type at quite a high speed on a good typewriter, but a cheap model would end with the keys getting in a tangle. Yes, my keys often got tangled up.

When you wanted to move to the next line, you hit the carriage return lever. It could be adjusted to jump more than one line. A little bell used to ring when you had seven spaces left at the end of the line. This was crunch time when you had to decide if your next word would fit on the line, and if not, could it by hyphenated? For an experienced typist, the call came automatically.

One of the funniest things I have ever seen on tv was on Candid Camera, of the 1960s I think. In a professional typing pool, the typewriters had been altered so that when the typist hit the carriage return lever, the carriage shot off the end of the typewriter and across the room. It sounds so simple but we rolled on the floor with laughter.

Making a duplicate copy was easier than clicking a few keys on you pc. You just put in two sheets of paper with a sheet of carbon paper in between. The carbon sheet could be used a few times, although what the carbon sheet produced was quite blurry and it only worked when you put the carbon in the right way and not back to front. Yes, I did that many times. Handling carbon paper was a pretty messy business too.

My practise if I made a mistake when typing, and it was not a really important document, was to over type with x. But in the seventies along came liquid paper, invented by the mother of a member of the pop group of the time, The Monkees, and also a small piece of paper that you would insert over the paper and retype the mistake to blot it out. Of course there was always an eraser, but the bottom of your typewriter ended up full of little rolls of rubber.

I left out that the keys struck an inked ribbon, and this made the print. Ribbons needed changing every so often, a messy job. The typewriter auto changed direction of the ribbon running from spool to spool........mostly. Some times the spools needed help to change direction.

You could even get dual coloured ribbons and type red as well. I can't recall how it worked on decent machines......I think there was a little lever? On my portable, I had to take the ribbon spools out and turn them upside down.

My portable sounds like it was crap, but in the mid nineteen seventies, it cost $80, second hand. That was a lot of money, like a few weeks wages.

There would be plenty of people, probably women, who are still around and who were excellent typist, fast and no errors.

Electric typewriters appeared in whatever year, and they were much faster. I think they used the golfball method of printing. More speed and no danger of key entanglement.

For us in the late eighties, along came the word processor/typewriter. You could type, read on a screen what you had written, correct it, save it to.........I can't recall, and then when it was correct, print it. This was modern technology and it was brilliant.......until the pc arrived.


By the time I had frigged around trying to find the stitch feature on the camera, the vividly strong full and double rainbow had started to fade. The stitch worked about as well as my normal sewing does.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Belated Games Opening

Nothing like being topical. Actually, being late does put you at an advantage when some interesting news comes out.

While R napped during Poirot, I did my napping during the Olympic Games opening ceremony. I managed to nap until the end of it at around 2am, and then went to bed. From the transistor wireless, I have learnt that this was the practice of many Melburnians of my age and even younger.

I did tune into quite of bit of the opening ceremony though. I thought it was a most wonderful computer generated show with the occasional real person superimposed. Yep, a very slick computer production.

We may see a show like this again, perhaps when an Olympic Games is held in a country where people can be hired for ten cents a day, but I doubt it. The Olympic Games opening has reached its zenith and London cannot possibly compete.......unless they work out a different and more human angle that does not cost so much.

Of course there is little else to watch on tv at the moment, no City Homicide, no All Saints, and news and current affairs full of Olympic news. Ditto radio. I have caught up on quite a few things.

Tap, tap, tap

I wasn't surprised that keyboards were slightly differently arranged in Singapore. I was very surprised that English keyboards are arranged differently, and not in an insignificant way.

What I had great trouble with was that the @ symbol was not where we are used to it being. Now if you have been used to hitting the @ symbol above the 2 going back to the days of huge Remington typewriters, like forty odd years, you can guess that I made a lot of use of the backspace key correcting. I think the @ was about where our full colon is.

I also forget where the £ symbol was, but I expect the differences come from the need to have a £ symbol. I suppose there was a € for Euro on the keyboard too, which we don't have.

Fortunately the qwerty part was the same.

The Hoppins

Something big was happening in Newcastle, England while we were there. I kept hearing about the Hoppins but also the Moor. I sat back and waited for it to become clear.

There are so many places I would like to see and people to meet, after I have already been to England and may never go again. I missed the Hoppings, as it is correctly called, even though we were there. Seen one fair, seen them all.

Here is a cut and paste from Wikpedia

The Hoppings is held on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne during the last week in June. It is said to be Europe's largest travelling fun fair.

What it is, is a coming together of all the fairs in Europe in one place. I think they are mostly operated by Gypsies, except in England, they are called 'travellers'.

One niece of R's took her three kiddies and spent £130.

While we were there, there was a bit of a ruckas between the fair and the council over clean up costs. The previous year it rained and the moor ended up a quagmire. Who pays?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Up the Ali

In Australia, this bloke is the acceptable face of the Moslem religion. I wouldn't mind doing him. He is quite acceptable as a Moslem to me. Quite hot actually. He is pretty smart too. He grew up in Australia and talks the talk, and walks the walk as an Australian and just because I desire his body in a way unwanted by him, he won't throw stones at me.

I don't like religion much, least of all the Moslem religion, but he is Moslem, but not of the really preachy type. People like him break down the stereotypical mental image some of us have about Moslems.

Should you ask him, mate, have a beer, he would say no, but if you said mate, want a cuppa, he would say, sure and you could chat to him about footy, or architecture, or family matters. All good.

But he is passionately Moslem. So, can we establish that it is not really the Moslem religion we have a problem with, but a racial and immigration problem and get rid of the nonsense, 'I don't like Moslems', aside from the face covering women who will never fit into so called western society?

That should have been a wrap, but I go on to my own detriment. These face cover women, don't they realise that human interaction is dependant on seeing facial expressions?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Evil Kennett

There is one person in our fair state of Victoria who I really detest with a passion and that is ex Premier Jeff Kennett.

He and his privately educated ilk, with their huge bank balances, bullying and overbearing manners and born to rule attitude without a stuff in hell for anyone less fortunate, and that is all it is, the luck of the draw, deserve more than a bullet in the head. Something much slower and painful like a twenty four hour acid bath.

However, in his time in public life and all the evil things he did, I do not recall Kennett as being overtly homophobic. Perhaps you can provide me of instances that I have forgotten, and of course the Tasty night club raid happened under his government. Hah, the cops thought they had free reign under his government. At the end of the day, it was taxpayers who paid the compensation to the victims.

I digress. The gay, so called community, has been up in arms over comments Kennett made about the sacking of a bi-sexual football coach/trainer. It would seem that Kennett linked homosexuality with paedophilia by saying , not a precise quote, that having this bi-sexual football trainer having interaction with young men was like leaving a paedophile in charge of children. I am sure any of my regular readers knows what nonsense this is and that there is no connection between homosexuality and paedophilia.

After hearing the accused interviewed at length today, I think the bloke is a victim of homophobia (I don't use that word lightly) and country towns can be very homophobic. I know.

You know, in these omnipresent media times, it is all about appearances and how you are seen and what you say. It is not about what you really think. I don't know what Kennett really thinks, but by his public performance on this matter, he is unfit to hold public office and should immediately resign his public positions, especially as a leader of the Hawthorn football club, but most importantly as a representative of Beyond Blue, an org to lobby and educate on the mental illness of depression.

As for Kennett fancying his chances as Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, I will lobby and activate like I never have before to prevent it.


Boy Alert

I often worry when I hear the phrase, 'political correctness gone mad'. It often prefaces a prejudiced rant of some kind which is not based on facts. Of course, I have no prejudices and would never rant about anything. But here is a fine old example of the above.

A lad has gone missing in Melbourne. He is nine years old and his name is Yadav. It has been suggested here that if he was lost in the western suburbs and not the eastern, that there would not be such a fuss. I don't like to think so, but this is possibly correct.

The lad enjoys riding on public transport, especially trams, so it is thought that he could be just riding around.

On a tram twice today I heard a public announcement from the tram control centre, at the request of police, along the lines to be on the look out for him. The gave his name, his age, a description of the clothes he was wearing and that was about it. Now have a look at his picture if you have not seen a photo yet. Is there something else about him that makes him at all distinctive in a country with a predominantly Anglo Saxon Celtic population?

To omit the bleeding obvious almost makes me think that the authorities are not even serious about him being found. I wonder if it was Yarra Trams or Victoria Police who omitted what might help identify him, or draw the attention of a member of the public?

Oh yeah, if you see him, best to call the police, as if you wouldn't.