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Showing posts from 2010

My Bank is Nothing Like This.

I've written about the inappropriate levels of customer service at my bank before in My Bank Doesn't Understand Customer Service. That time I didn't name them but there's no avoiding it this time.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been running a TV ad campaign with the slogan Determined to be different. Their latest ad on high TV rotation I've embeded below. Take a moment to watch it as the rest of this article will be referencing the ad.



The first thing that struck me as odd was the Banking Concierge who meets you at the door?

The closest my bank has come to a Concierge is when I wrote previously about my banks Customer Service staff (see aforementioned article link above) accosting me with a "Hello, how are you? Just going to the Tellers are we?" greeting.

They didn't greet me at the door but kind of spoke to me from the Customer Service Desk before I could get past to the tellers. I can only imagine most people gave the same some what confuse…

This Blog Post Could Change Everything

I was watching the TV promos for next week's episode of Junior Master Chef and they made the bold claim that 'this episode could change everything'.
Unsurprisingly Junior Master Chef isn't the only show making this claim. I've noticed other shows, particularly character driven drama series, declaring that this is the episode that could change everything.

The keyword is 'could' because I've gone on to watch these so called series changing episodes and invariably nothing much actually changes. There may be some surprising event during the episode but by the end it's pretty much the status quo.

I understand that promos have to get you hooked into the next episode however the technique of claiming the next episode could change everything is becoming some what over used. Some shows even make this claim every week.

Imagine if Junior Master Chef's next episode did change everything. All the contestants came back and were told from now on it's a spel…

USB Typewriters - Possibly the Coolest Retro-fit Ever!

Possibly one of the coolest retro-fits I've seen in recent times is the USB Typewriter which you can purchase as a complete typewriter already retro-fitted or you can buy a kit to retro-fit yourself.

I have to say the typewriter looks particularly cool when paired with an Apple iPad (as per the video below) but the conversion effectively turns your type writer into a USB, computer keyboard that can be plugged into any compatible computer that recognises a USB keyboard.

I reckon it's the ultimate gift for writers who dream of locking themselves away in some beach side cottage with nothing but an old mechanical typewriter and a romantic notion to write that ultimate best selling novel. Just be careful you don't get so nostalgic that you start using Liquid Paper on your iPad's screen!

What - that isn't the Oven?

Let it be said that I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself. Just now I've prepared a roast chicken, put it in the oven, set the temperature and picked 'delicates' from the settings dial.

Okay, I didn't do that really. A roast chicken is too much work. I was actually just heating up a frozen beef pie.

Not sure why it took nearly two hours and I had to scrape up all the soaked, mangled pieces from around the oven's interior. So much for the 'delicates' setting. The pie wasn't even hot!!

Roast Chicken image: Freedigitalphotos.net

A Siamese Cat Called Shakira - Art by TET

Shakira
the Siamese Cat
Acrylic on Canvas, 90 x 60cm, 10 June 2009.
Purchase prints of this artwork.

Shakira is created from a rejected sketch for one of my cat commissions. The client chose a different sketch but I liked this one so much I just had to paint it (with the luxury of painting it exactly how I wanted it to be instead of with the client's input).

The name 'Shakira' came about simply because my partner saw the finished painting and suggested that name for the cat. I hadn't yet thought of a title and 'Shakira' sounded like the kind of name you'd give a Siamese cat so... 'Shakira' is now the cat's name.

I can only imagine what this artwork may have been like had my client chosen it as their first preference from the three sketches I sent. Their colour scheme and concept was very different, preferring an early evening, dusk kind of scene (as you can see in the final client's painting below).

Evidently the Siamese cat, called 'Sabu…

An Afternoon at Semaphore Beach, South Australia

Enigma and I spent our Easter Saturday at Semaphore beach, South Australia. That's our little spot on the beach pictured above where Enigma is actually reading a book, whilst keeping the sun off her face - in case you thought she was sleeping.

It was an almost perfect day. Just a touch too cool with the breeze for swimming but Enigma did venture out into the water for a dip whilst I wussed out and didn't go any deeper than below my knees near the shore.

I was never that great a swimmer and I've gone right off swimming as I've gotten older. I've particularly never been that confident swimming at the beach - even one as relatively harmless as Semaphore which doesn't face onto the open sea. It actually looks out into the Gulf of St. Vincent. As a result it's not really a great surf beach. I've never seen actual waves there - well nothing you could surf.

However it is great for wind surfing, kite surfing and is the home of an annual, international kite fest…

Help Save Tigers in the Wild - Adopt a Tiger

[Note: this is a duplicate post, from my animation blog, reproduced here so it will appear on my web sites homepage. This post will be removed from this blog at the end of the competition mentioned below on April 15th.]

It's a surprising fact that there are actually more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild. It's not that wild tigers aren't prolific breeders the problem is that they're being hunted and their habitat is being destroyed faster than the tigers can cope with.

Some subspecies of the tiger, such as the South China Tiger, are already considered 'functionally extinct' - meaning they haven't been seen in the wild in over 25 years and therefore are most likely extinct.

I've always had a soft spot for charities like the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature a.k.a. World Wildlife Fund) so when GoAnimate launched it's Creating for a Cause competition I thought this was a great opportunity for me to actually support one of their projects.

2010…

Sherlock Holmes: Ritchie reclaims the original Dynamic Duo

I got the opportunity to see Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes recently and, about a day later, it occurs to me that, with only a little bit of tweaking here and there, this could easily be a killer Batman and Robin movie. More on that later.

Fan's of the icon of what the character of Sherlock Holmes has become over the years will get quite a surprise at Guy Ritchie's take - which I'm informed is much closer to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original vision of the character but probably not your vision.

Like most people I've always thought of Sherlock Holmes as a stuffy, upper class, Englishman, solving crimes largely from the comfort of his own drawing room. Yes I know he does get out and about too but when I think of Sherlock that's what comes to mind - Deer Stalker cap and Callabash pipe not withstanding.

Unlike some of you I haven't seen a lot of Sherlock Holmes on TV or in movies but I have read one or two of Sir Arthur's short stories which, from memory…

No I don't want to buy Gold Options!

Every year or so some investment company based in Hong Kong rings up my phone and asks for David Arandle of The Extraordinary Tourist web site. Sometimes the first call is merely an introduction to the company asking if their manager (or some other financial investment advisor) can ring me back in a few days time.

Each time they give me the same spiel about buying gold options that will make me a lot of money quickly (well I think it's the same spiel because I only half listen to it). They always refer me to the web site futuresource.com to illustrate their point (note that the previous link will take you directly to the page they referred me to).

In order to take up their offer I need a minimum of US$10,000 to buy ten Gold options that will gain me a guaranteed quick return if I sell the options shortly after buying (because the value of gold is increasing that fast apparently).

If I say I don't have the money for that, they'll immediately assume it's probably because…

KFC Ad - Racism and Fried Chicken?

Sometimes you have to wonder about the 'battles' over racist issues the American media gives attention to and whether they're really worth the air time given to them.

For example, over the last few days much furor has been made over a KFC television advertisement that was intended for an Australian audience but found its way onto Youtube where it has been labelled as racist by American viewers.

I think the point of view of the Americans is best summed up in this video (below) by The Young Turks, an American Internet News Show that claims to tell the news without any pretenses.

The video includes the full KFC advertisement and the American stand point is best summarized towards the end of the commentary which essentially is the ad perpetuates a derogatory American Stereotype that suggests all 'black' people love fried chicken.



Note that this is their second 'response' video on the subject after receiving a lot of negative backlash from their Australian viewers o…

Feral Juicer Plots World Domination

Last night my partner, Enigma, informed me that she was going to start using the Juicer again. This morning I got to thinking that maybe this wasn't a good thing?

Although our juicer has been sitting quietly on the kitchen bench top, it hasn't been used in a long time. Perhaps it's turned feral?

Our juicer (pictured) is not to be messed with. It can juice whole apples, your fingers, hand, fore arm, elbow and... well you get the idea.

In all this time, it may have been sitting on the kitchen bench... waiting.

Waiting for the opportune moment when we plug it back in and the sudden surge of power goes straight to its motorized head! Ah ha... now it's connected back into the grid and its plan for world domination can begin!

Yeah, you might think those power cords your appliances use are harmless but there's technology out there that will hook you to the internet through your home's power grid.

How do I know our juicer is not going to communicate with an army of juicer…

US$330,000 Paid for Crystal Palace Virtual Space Station

Back in 2005 I was inspired to write a series of about nine 'poetic monologues' (for want of a better description) themed around the idea of a future where people were addicted to Virtual Reality Worlds in which they spent excessive amounts of money on virtual products. In essence buying things that don't exist in the real world.

Money for Nothing was my working title of the series which is still bubbling away at the back of my mind. Some day the ideas may inspire a Science Fiction novel. For now you can watch me recite one of the monologues, called Rachael in my Animation and Video Blog. The accompanying post, Shopping at Marcy's, is the start of a story that didn't eventuate.

Back to the topic, noting that my inspiration for the monologues was an observation I made about people increasingly paying for products that have no physical form in the real world. For example, buying ringtones for your mobile phone.

When you buy a ringtone, no physical product is exchanged.…