Friday, September 16, 2016

Time capsule on the wall

The function room here at Red Jelly was once a bunch of small offices. Back in the 1940s people pasted newspaper clippings on their walls. They are mostly sports photos; cricket, horse racing, football. There are a couple of bits of war news, and some movie star chit chat. One photo shows the elaborate double staircase that was made by staff at the Hobart Technical College asa demonstration of skills and presented to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. It was used for over 60 years but is now suspended from the ceiling as an exhibit. When things are quiet here at work I like to go and look at the wall and let my mind slip back to Hobart in the 1940s.

Monday, July 25, 2016


I am now trying to cover as much ground as I can in my lunch hour each day. One good walk is up to the Huon Valley Butchery on the edge of West Hobart. It’s pretty fancy, I won't be buying meat there a lot, but they are friendly and I know they have their own abbatoir at Cradoc and take animal welfare very seriously.

This corner is just nearby. It's a beautiful group of three houses on the corner. 

The other day after dropping Marcus at soccer (he has to be there 45 minutes before kick off) I went for a wander through New Town, where I hadn't walked for years. I saw this amazing bus stop.

You can hear the bzzzzt bzzz bzz bzzzzt just looking at the pic can’t you?

Friday, July 22, 2016


Being downtown for an extended time, I am walking past this facade a lot. I haven't been in a position to take a photo myself, so I have scooped this pic from here, thank you to whoever is responsible.

Fitzgeralds was a statewide department store chain that was just ubiquitous in my life growing up. The Burnie Fitzies took up half a block of town, and I bought most of my clothes and records there.

Later after I moved to Hobart I worked at the ad agency who did all of Fitzies TV, press and catalogues; where I made my notorious typo in a cosmetics ad; “come in and talk to one of our beauty conslutants” which was 100% accidental.

Fun fact; for a time there was a Fitzgeralds at Forest Hills in Melbourne! But shortly after that the parent company based in Adelaide rebranded the whole lot as Harris Scarfe and the whole chain fell into a bit of a snooze. The Hobart store is a poorly-patronised rump of what was once there.

If you have any great memories of Fitzies I'd love to hear them. I liked how you could buy a leg of lamb, a Soundgarden CD and a six pack of Rio underdaks not just under one roof, in fact inside a 10m radius.

Back to the sign; the shape of these characters are fascinating. That's a G in the middle below. Talk about minimal.

And look at this R below. Its common to build an R from the P but this is brutal!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New job

I am writing this at my new job, at a place called Red Jelly. It's a big ad agency in Hobart but its kind of a secret - not many people know it's here and what it does. There's about 50 staff, 4 of whom are named Chris. Half the place is dedicated to the national liquor chain Dan Murphy's. Dan's generates a hell of a lot of press ads, outdoor ads, point of sale and odds and sods, and it is owned by Woolworths (as is another liquor chain BWS but that's another story). There are dozens of other clients but the big ones seem to all be Woolworths subsidiaries, including Countdown which is the name Woolworths uses in New Zealand.

Before starting here about two months ago, I had been working from home for about three years, long enough to get right into a groove. The days flew by every day, punctuated by meeting the kids after school, walking the dog, meeting clients, and doing the work. Although business varied between quiet-ish and brisk-ish, I never found that I was sitting around with nothing to do. If it was sunny I did washing, and if I felt like cleaning toilets I could do that too. Or take the wave ski out.

For my first 6 weeks here I was working on the Tourism Tasmania spring campaign at a manic rate, with no downtime at all. Once that was finished I was shifted into the Dan's room, where all around me Whisky Guides and outdoor ads for Far North Queensland are being created. There is a rhythm to the week in here and lots of flat spots.

It feels different to browse the net when you should be doing something, versus doing it to fill in time. One is a guilty pleasure and the other is just ... not something I usually do. Feels weird.

So, I am going to give myself a range of things I can do while I wait for the ping of email or the approach of the account manager. Such as – blogging.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Michael's Opinion Triangle

The Opinion Triangle is very useful in deciding opinions. It is a triangle and not a square, because instead of just showing where they are on a scale which the square would show, a triangle shows the relative differences between choices. As you care less and less, the variation between positive and negative becomes less and less as well causing the possible choice window to be smaller. And when you don't care at all, there is no difference! You might as well save having to choose where on a line to put a point, so just make one place to put it!

Interpretations of your position on the Opinion Triangle
Creative Commons License

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Important List! #12 - Fanta Flavours

"Fanta originated as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo." - Wikipedia

Despite losing the war, Fanta has gone on to be popular worldwide. The flavours available vary from region to region but include;

Peach Mangosteen (Albania)
Spider Chocolate Orange (Australia, retired)
Red Cream (Bahamas)
Madness [Grape] (Bosnia Herzogovina)
Madness [Elderflower] (Bulgaria)
Green Apple & Cherry (France)
Vanilla and Lime (Germany, retired)
Herbs  (Germany, retired)
Banana (Grenada)
Moo Moo White (Japan*)
Cassis (Netherlands)
Cinnamon Rum (Romania, retired)
Toffee (Taiwan)

*There are a ridiculous number of flavours in Japan

In 2015 the 75th anniversary of Fanta in Germany was was celebrated with Classic Fanta in original design bottles, and with the great original logo.

According to TV ads this was intended to bring back "the feeling of the Good Old Times" ... of Germany circa 1940. The ad had a mixed reception.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slogans for Andean Tourism

I came up with a new slogan to attract tourists to Peru.


But they rejected it, so I gave it to Ecuador, where it immediately produced a spike in tourist numbers. At the expense of Peru. Of course they whinged about it so I gave them my second best slogan which is