Thursday, November 26, 2009

HEY!

This has been out since 2006 and no one told me!! I'm particularly annoyed it was not shared with me. I'm going off in a huff and I'm taking the Kahlua and the pecan pie with me. I hope an apology will be coming my way soon...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Web Browsing or the World's Biggest Text Adventure?

I spend way too much time in the internet. It's a fact. I know it. The size of my arse knows it. It's one of the few things that gets me all the information I crave. In fact I didn't even know I craved so much information before the internet came along - boy was I an ignorant chit in my youth! I was so gullible! You could tell me something, sound all serious like you know what you're on about and I ate it up because I knew I didn't know anything about it. I seriously hate researching in a library and wouldn't bother to fact check. I don't like the way libraries smell, I don't like the forced eerie quiet and I don't like the snooty older gent who hogs a whole table, has elbow patches on his wool cardigan and smells faintly of moth balls. I think those guys are a unique library-bred species of human because I never see them out in the real world. If I was canny with my Latin I'd make up a name for him.

I find web browsing to be the modern equivalent to a text adventure game. Long ago before Nintendo made consoles there was Zork, Adventure and the like. Games that were exclusively text based and understood only the most basic instructions. North, South, East, West, Up, Down, Take, Drop, Attack, Stab, Kiss... That was pretty much it. Yet one's imagination created a wonderful world from the simplest script. You had to create your own maps. It was Fun!!

Web browsing is just like that but unfortunately there's no end to this game. There's no reason for it. You simply start in one place and end up...you just don't know where. It's Urban rambling at your desk.

Today I was trying to find a particular skit in a UK TV show and I can't remember the name of it - not unusual. It's the big guy shouting into his huge phone. Just remembered his name! Dom Joly - how could one forget that name??? Anyway I couldn't at the time and googled "Hello?? I'm on the phone!!!" because that's what Joly shouts on his enormous phone. Yet I get a hit for an article that talks about how people are now being buried with their mobile phones and their family members are still paying their phone bills so that they can keep calling and leaving messages to them - in the grave!! Is there no escape?! Can you imagine in 2000 years when the archeologists dig those people up what they'll be thinking about our society?? I keep thinking about how people used to be buried with a string attached to their hand which was then attached to a wee bell above ground so if it turned out they weren't really dead they could ring for help. Will they think it's just a modern version of that? That medical science was still so shit that they couldn't be trusted to diagnose death. That they would still need to be buried with their phones to call for help?? Wild.

Anyways. Internet. Great way to waste some time.

This is the bit I was looking for before the corpse calls distraction...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27aVPqpnL7Y

No embedding allowed. Nerds.

...now imagine you've buried your loved one, and they actually do call you "Honey...why am I in a dark box? I'm down to one bar...you're breaking up..." or worse they get your voice mail, and you're like me and never check voice mail for months.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ray Comfort needs a dictionary...

Ray gets his knickers in a twist and makes a wee mistake.




First of all Ray here's the definition of plagiarism:

–noun
1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
2. something used and represented in this manner.


That's from Dictionary.com but I'm sure if you look around you'll find they all include the words "As one's own work" which obviously, from your video, Richard Dawkins doesn't do. He openly confesses that the ideas are yours and then does an admirable impersonation of yourself. That's not plagiarism, that's mimicry, mockery and even apery. All wonderful words which you can also look up in the dictionary. After all, Ray; imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Now get off your high horse and stop annoying the busy people who have something useful to give to society.

Twilight Resistant

I've not read any of them, I've not seen any of the movies. This has amused me however...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Husband Rocks!

A RCA phono lead with 3.5mm headphone jacks; one for the Mac, the other to my mobile phone, a free download of Audacity and I've got my homework done.

He's the best.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why do Atheists care about religion??

Here's a few reasons...



...and that doesn't even go into the despicable shame of blasphemy laws in Ireland, Finland and...did the U.N. pass that blasphemy resolution set up by all those, mostly Muslim, countries?? No. But don't think the OIC isn't still trying.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Free Day

Thursday is now my free day. The wind down after the Wednesday night. It went pretty well last night, I got some good feedback on my radio technique. I'm still not coming across in a natural way, and I'm speaking way too fast at the same speed. Although there's voice fluctuation, there's no pace fluctuation. During my reading I didn't make one mistake...until the end when I kept pushing the end button instead of the start button to play the last song. I've got it down as to when to talk over the end and beginning of songs - something which used to bug the shit out of me as a teen who would tape songs off the radio and not want the damned DJ talking over the song, but we're supposed to do it. I guess it's to stop people doing just that - stop recording off the radio. If folks want the song, they should just go buy it, but tell that to a 12 year old who doesn't get an allowance.

Next week's assignment is I have to record an hour of radio and transcribe the formats. Each of us has a different station to listen to (I got Vega 91.5, which you can listen to online. although it's not a top station. We're to choose a time between 10am-4pm. Here's my problem: I don't have a cassette recorder! I can't figure out how to record live stream radio on the Mac and GRRR! Who owns cassettes anymore? I'm going to have to pop out and buy a cheap radio cassette recorder just to do my homework. I'll have another go at trying to find a program for the Mac, because most of them are free and would make life much easier, but if I've not found one by the weekend, then I'm going to have to buy an outdated POS cassette recorder.

Not that I'm some kind of technology geek. I only found out last night my mobile phone has a radio tuner in it. How cool is that?!

My friend Jill sent me an E-mail asking me a Four Thing Meme but I didn't fancy forwarding it on to tons of folks, so I thought I'd post it here, and anyone who wanted to play along could put there answers in the comments.

Four places I go Regularly: School, Grocery store, playground, garden.

Four Favourite Smells: Baking bread, fresh coffee, jasmine*, lily of the valley*

Four Favourite TV Shows: Glee, Border Patrol (Australia Airport customs show. In the UK it's called Nothing To Declare), CSI, Samantha Who?

Four People Who'll Respond: This is a wasted question. I'm going to make a new one instead.

Four Favourite Place to be: Lakeside (any lake will do so long as it's free of man-eating beasts), Campfire, City center at X-mas just as it goes dark and the lights come on, busy café with chatty friends.

*The real plant not fake scents.

I feel like I have a cold coming on. It's going to be hot and stormy for the next few days and I'm wiped out. But I have to go and get this radio and something for dinner. Onward!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Killing time before the panic attack!

I seem to have not quite yet gotten over the adrenaline rush surge flood tsunami that gets me as we line up at the radio station to present our homework in the studio. This week's homework I started two weeks ago to get myself a real head start and get as comfortable as possible because this is thrown in the deep end stuff. It's been all about copywriting this week. I've had to write two scripted commercials, two "live read" commercials, a radio promo for another show on our station and and community service announcement. Then I have to perform all, save the scripted commercials. So I've written out my own script which includes station tags, artist and song information, weather updates, news teasers, my live reads and...well it's a lot of work for what amounts to five minutes speaking! I'm sure eventually a lot of the stuff becomes second nature; the radio tag, music tag, news and weather stuff should be habit. I'm damned lucky I have 10 years reading out loud experience from bedtime stories and adventure games otherwise I'd seriously be in the shit. But it's all done, and I'm kind of farting around today trying to keep my mind off it, trying to resist the urge to re-read the script for the millionth time...

So here are a couple videos I found that broke up the crazy and made me forget my nerves:





Anyone else hear about Mikey, the kid from the 70's Life cereal ads, who supposedly ate pop rocks and cola and DIED?! No? Could be a New England thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yet More Proof FOX is Shit...

Jon Stewart mocks Hannity on Fox for inflating attendance numbers (lying) and using older footage to mislead.

What a bunch of dickheads.

Grrrr!! The video won't embed! Here, go to HuffPo, they have it up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Radio Gaga

I'm on the fourth week of the radio course and it's going pretty well. It's a lot more sales/advertising focused than I previously expected. I genuinely thought it would be about learning how to use all the technology, but they seem to think that's such a small part of it. Radio as a whole is a mega-business. All the advertising is either prerecorded or read live and is an amazing amount of hard work. There's one person responsible for scheduling all of that stuff and keeping it all flowing and keeping track that KFC isn't advertise next to McDs etc. and at the moment it's all a bit overwhelming when trying to fill in those small spaces of time between songs with; radio tagline, introduce yourself, weather, time, advert, short laugh, intro next song and go. It's high energy stuff and yet when listening to the radio it all goes so seamlessly. The traffic supervisors here in Oz all tend to be women, as well. Hardest job in radio, women dominate. I like that.

I'm still stuttering and stumbling and forgetting to turn off the mic while I call myself a fucking dingbat - but it's ok as there are no regulations against swearing here. I could say cunt a dozen times on the radio and not get fined. People would complain and I may get fired, but it's still completely ok! Also, I'm not on live radio, yet. I've been booking in a lot of time in the studio to practice getting used to talking in that way. I keep trying to imagine I'm just talking to my frineds, but then I don't normally update my friends on the time and weather every 10 minutes.

This is a writing job, something I'm feeling a bit more confident with - although when it was introduced that the station does a majority of the advertising following a slim brief from the client, I was a bit ARG!! But chilled out again because - I Can Write! I write a blog for fuck's sake. I've spent years trying to a write a novel that I struggle to edit and yet radio advertising is 100% edit to fucking essentials or else it'll run over time. So maybe this will be great practice.

I've got to write four 30 second commercials; roughly 70 words each and then present them in a mock radio show in which will be sprinkled some gossip and local events and public service announcements.

I'm a constant adrenaline rush from the second I get there. Ignoring the panic attacks. I'm told it's normal, and the rest of us are all exactly the same. We're all, also, about the same level of crap. I began to read ahead in the and have been practicing for assignments we'll be doing in 2-3 weeks time because I want to be good. Really good. I like being top student. Well, maybe second top student. Top students are often crabby. I need to be high energy and chipper to a fault! At least confidently laid back and fun. I've even gotten into the habit of cruising the Celebrity news online in the morning because the statistics say that Melbourne has far more women that in men
in population and that their number one favorite thing (in the 25-40 demographics) is celebrity news and gossip. True true. Scandalous and a bit shame worthy - only to me because I don't think I'm a gossip whore and I find celebrity gossip vapid and dull, but apparently I'm in the minority. So this morning I was talking about JLo's 11 hour long sex tape (It's not really 11 hours of sex, some of it is her fighting with her Mom which I would find far more interesting than seeing her shagging someone, but again I'm aware I'm in the minority on that) and also about Fergie Ferg who's been married a year and her husband has already been caught cheating with a stripper. *eye roll at cliché* What kind of thrill do women get from this??? Is it really that we like seeing famous people put on pedestals and then knocked off again? What kind of sick people are we in society?

It's fun, I'm enjoying it. It still scares the shit out of me, but I hope that will fade soon. The more practice I get in the studio is better. Shame I have to take Shorty with me. she is a bit of a distraction and she gets bored pretty quick even though she's got crayons, colouring books, Nintendo DS, iPod you name it. She's just not one of those kids who can spend time on her own. Today she was such a distraction I left early, which was dissatisfying as I'd had trouble with the computer in the studio and it wouldn't playback the audio and it took a total reboot to get working again (Damned Windows machines are utter shite). I have that trouble with computers all the time. They love to crash and burn when I get near them. Coincidence, purely!

Have I told you how hot it is here? It's been in the 90's since Saturday. Scorchio! I just thought I'd share that.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bugs!

Just sharing...

Cicada nymph shell. It was about 2inches/5.8cm long and I thought at first glance it was a big hermit crab. Found this morning while walking to school. i'm now looking forward to hearing the cicada song! We have no cicada is Scotland so it's been 14 years since I've heard them. I used to love hearing them as a kid.

Cicada Nymph shell
Cicada Nymph shell

And I shared this one on Facebook but seem to have left my blogging friends out on the delights that is Spider eating Spider!

Young White Tailed Spider (with dinner)

I saw these two late one night and what I saw was a huge black spider eating a bee, but as it was late I left them to it. In the morning, they hadn't moved, but I had things to do and didn't get back until the afternoon when I noticed they were still there and yet it was a very different scene. The black spider was...smaller. The bee was more visible. Then I realised it wasn't a bee. It was in fact a white tailed spider - nasty wee beastie that does eat other spiders but has a nasty bite of its own that may lead to skin ulcers. So once I figured out what I was dealing with I took pictures, google searched, realised the White Tail is actually a juvenile, then I squished it. The black spider is a timid and harmless black house spider but they are big and scary looking.

Have a nice weekend! (Is your skin crawling? Mine is.)

Roller Coaster of Life

Let me start off, for those who don't already know, by saying that I fell off my brand new scooter on Monday and sprained my wrist and elbow. that was a great day. We were in the ER for 8 hours. Bring me back the NHS, please! But at least nothing was broken. I had pretty much assumed I had broken my wrist seeing as I'd done it twice before (granted, as a child once at 5 then again at 7, but if felt like yesterday) and it felt just the same.

Class is rather tough, especially for me as I don't know all the local stuff and I'm having to put in extra hours learning all the radio stations, which ones play to what demographic, which are government run and which are commercial. Right now it's a foreign language where thy just talk numbers and letters at me. I imagine foreigner coming to America would be equally confused about the K/W thing for radio stations (K is west of the Mississippi, W is east....at least that was what I what told) but still, when moving anywhere, you have to reaccustom yourself. UK was easier because there wasn't so much variety, at least not until they went digital and then the flood gates opened and there were hundreds to choose from but then they had blurbs like RainbowFM was GBLT, Shaddi was Indian music, etc. and it was part of the signal to get a description. I don't get that here. I've got to figure out the difference between 3AW, JJJ, Nova and FoxFM (Fox is epidemic out here. They run the cable and have the top radio station. It's nauseating.) and then there's the community radio to try and understand and my timescale is limited. (I'm listening while typing via live stream)

We took some time over the weekend to drive down to the Mornington Peninsula and went to a couple of beaches, watched surfers and enjoyed the sunshine (got a bit pink on the back of my neck) and played in the surf a bit. The kids had a blast. They'd never been allowed in the water at Scotland because it's not clean enough, full of glass or sharp stones and just unpleasant for waders. Other people had no problem with it, but I think when you share your beach with washed up baby wipes and tampons, it's best not to risk it. No such issue here - didn't see one tampon. We did see some cool tide pools, and a rock that was full of fossils which may have been an old coral. It was foggy on one side of the peninsula so we'll have to go back again and see it again on a brighter day.

I need to practice my celebrity news skills. I'm not overjoyed about this, but stats say women aged 24-39 are most interested in celeb news than anything else by a far margin. Women! Cut it out already. Celebs are just people. But no joy for me, I have to do it because if it's what people want then I have to blend and mingle in the shallow pool. Wish me luck and sanity.