Tuesday, August 17, 2010

That's Ridiculous

Some things that have got my goat.
  1. Encore Edition. Tonight on ABC1, before the start of Foreign Correspondent, a little disclaimer came up saying "Due to our election coverage, tonight's Foreign Correspondent is an Encore Edition". Come on ABC - if it's a repeat, just say its a repeat.
  2. Faux Republican. Julia Gillard, supposedly a republican, says that the time to talk about an Australian republic is when this queen has passed on. But, ahem - then there'll be a new monarch. Possibly a younger, more exciting one. There'll be dancing in the streets, bunting, a big coronation, new coins and stamps throughout the Commonwealth. The tradesperson with the paintbrush will just be heading out to re-do the monograms on all the letterboxes, when Julia will say "Excuse me - can I have some shoosh - sorry everyone. Hello? OK. I'm ready to ditch all this anachronistic rubbish now! Who's with me?"
  3. Hazard lights. Quite often in traffic I see a truck by the kerb indicating, and I think "I'll just help out that fellow by letting him in" - then I see that the fellow has actually just run into the shop for some fags, and does in fact have his hazzies on. Is there any electro-mechanical reason why the same lights that go "blink... blink... blink" to indicate, couldn't go "blink blink.... blink blink.... blink blink..." to say "look out -  I really just needed some fags" or "I have broken down" or "I think I just ran over a quoll, I've gone back to check"?
  4. My new phone. I lost my mobile some months ago and have just got around to getting a new one. The cheapest handset you can get with 3G coverage cost about $65, and includes a video camera, still camera, audio recorder and MP3 player. Which is pretty amazing really - even cheapskates like me are now carrying around the equivalent of a radiogram, a telephone, a Betacam, a tape deck and an Instamatic, in their pocket. That's why whenever Paris Hilton, a fatal earthquake or any other hideous phenomenon happens, everyone in sight gets out their phone and points it at the action. I have started using mine to take happy snaps and, yes, OK, I have shot a bit of sub-Dad-with-a-borrowed-Betacam-in-the-80s footage of the dog, sure. Yesterday I tried to get all that stuff off the phone onto the Mac, using the included Mac-compatible software. Wasn't happening, so I emailed tech support to ask why their "How To" bore no resemblance at all to what I was seeing on screen. The answer today: actually, the Mac version of their software doesn't do any of those things. I think it lets you back up your phone book, full stop. All that other "media" is there on your phone forever! Although I can send it to other people, so if you want grainy footage of a substantial labrador, let me know.
  5. Trivial Medical. I had to have a medical today - all fine BTW. I have been trying to get an appointment to see this guy for months. My appointment was definitely for 10, but when I arrived, reception told me to come back at 12. Never mind, I had a nice walk. At 12 I was back - doc took my blood pressure, all good, then asked me my height and weight. And that was it. So, two nice walks.
  6. A cafe write-up in The Australian last weekend. It's a vegetarian organic cafe, and the article talked about their winter comfort food. Restaurateur: "People often cry when they try our food - the flavours remind them of when they were little". People often cry? I simply do not believe you, sir. Someone, slightly imbalanced, may have cried in your cafe, once. At the end of a really bad day. Your polenta may or may not have had something to do with it.
  7. Flag proportions. The US flag should correctly be in the ratio 19:10. Come on - is 2:1 really too long, America? Meanwhile, if you don't mind, Denmark would like to be 37:28. Well I'm telling you now, Denmark - it looks ridiculous. (Even though I can go to jail for saying that, since Princess Mary is actually in town as I write, visiting her Dad. I like to think he's cleaning out the garage and is making her take back home a carton of old Dolly magazines and mix tapes).

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