Purchases – iWoz and Hairspray

Today saw an early trip into the city for a spot of breakfast at the “Street café” on Lygon Street in the city. Breakfast was OK and we only made it to Lygon Street after walking up and down Smith Street in Collingwood and noting that NOTHING there seems to open before 10 on Saturday. Heaven forbid we should go hungry.

The Street café also seems to be very popular with cyclists and some very opinionated locals.

The shop next to the Street café (actually I think they are related) is Grinders Coffee, who have a cute little sign on the door which reads “Never mind if you don’t speak Italian. We speak a good broken English”. Great to see a sense of humour so early in the morning.

The walk back to the car saw us duck into Readings Book store, where we picked up our very own copy of iWoz, “Computer Geek to Cult Icon: Getting to the core of Apple’s Inventor”. Having just flicked through it, and having heard interviews with Woz before, I’m sure I’m going to enjoy the book. Oh and boys in US… Woz will be signing copys of the book in October in Seattle and one of them is at a Microsoft Research Group.

After breakfast we went off to Knife point, I mean Low point, oh wait it’s Highpoint. Were we visited JB HiFi and purchased “Hairspray” for the low price of $15.98. See I don’t just write about these things, I get them too.

And meanwhile, there was an acrobat performing high-rise stunts in the area of the stage in Highpoint… and David and I agreed that she should have put the “Crew” up on stage instead… hubba hubba.

After these little escapades we thought we would check out one of these “Designer Warehouse Sales” – Where everything is slashed by “up to 90% off”, first of all nothing was 90% off, the brand of jeans I had never heard of and can’t remember the name for now were reduced from $599.00 per pair to the low price of $399.00 per pair.
Now I know I’m getting a little cheaper in my old age, but FU%K who can afford or even think to spend $399 for a pair of mass-produced jeans? I would have said “who can afford or even think to spend $599” but clearly no one could cause they had LOTS of pairs of these jeans.

Other than that everything was size 28-32 (good luck to you if they fit) or 5XL (holey crap if they fit), there was NOTHING in between… guess they were just trying to off-load the crap no one else wanted.

This afternoon we watched “The Da Vinci Code” – YAWN, don’t know what the church was worried about, it ends with a “Let your faith decide” line and Tom’s character believes in the story of Jesus. Jeepers churches can be uptight. Other than the controversy in a teacup the only other thing in the movie that made me cringe was the “Self Flagellation” and other methods of self mutilation one of the faithful performed. Ouchy.

iWoz Here

Go Woz… a new book called iWoz published this week. Guess I’ll have to pick up a copy. The Apple story is one of those that shows the geek with the idea should keep it to himself and run… but then would I be typing this on a PowerMac G5 if Woz had? Probably not.

“Every computer before the ‘Apple I’ had that front panel of switches and lights. Every computer since has had a keyboard and a screen,” he writes.

Wozniak, variously known as “Woz” and the “Wizard of Woz”, put together circuit boards for what would be called the Apple I, and Jobs sold them for $US500 each to a new computer store, the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California.

“There are stories that Steve [Jobs] and I engineered those first computers together,” he writes. “I did them alone.”

Apple co-founder tells his side of the story – Laptops & Desktops – Gadgets

A Whole Lotta Hairspray

HairsprayNot the Musical… a John Waters classic, heck a classic in its own right (more about the musical versions further down).

About a year an a half ago, I rented Hairspray on VHS video from Out Video. I dragged the Video Player out of the cupboard where it has lived for many years now and sat down to enjoy a movie that is so John Waters and was so so right in its sentiment.

Of course it is now available on DVD (and probably has been for a while), I swear though I couldn’t get it on DVD back then.

For the uninitiated; We follow the quest of Tracy Turnblad who wants to be part of a teenage Dance TV show, but she’s a little on the large side and is laughed at for even trying. But like all good movies, Tracy get’s her own.

The story is a commentary on the sanitization of TV through the exclusion of non-thin and non-white people. A challenge that still continues today, I’m sure you’d agree.

Devine plays Edna Turnblad mother to Ricki Lake as Tracey. The movie also features Deborah Harry, Jerry Stiller and Sonny Bono.

There is also a musical about Hairspray, but make no mistake, the movie came first but the Hairspray the Musical is no less a fantastic production, soon to be made into a Hollywood version. A very very bad thing has been done though with the 2007 Movie Musical… John Travolta has been cast (and is filming now) in the roll of Edna Turnblad, made musically famous by Harvey Fierstein. Harvey is a fantastic actor and could just have easily taken on the role in the movie musical. Maybe they should have just done a RENT and gotten the entire Broadway cast to do the movie.

Having checked out the IMDB entry for Hairspray the Musical Movie, I do note that Corny Collins is to be played by James Marsden, so I guess it’s not all bad ;P Oh no, the little dude (Zach Efron) from High School Musical is playing Link Larkin. People; he’s supposed to be a heart-throb! Other than that the cast has some other heavy weights, like Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken and the ever impressive Queen Latifah.

I kind of love the recording of the musical I have (yes I know some of you do not even like musicals at all), I’m a little scared now this big screen making will ruin the whole thing… I suppose only time will tell.

Below is a clip, from YouTube, of what is apparently the Original Broadway Cast… note though that they seem to mime… that’s a bit of a shock to me, someone who has never been to a Broadway musical. I’m certain however I’d not want to go if it was just gonna be a bunch of people miming.



Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah

Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah

Yep they’re back, the Scissor Sisters in all their glory. Since I’ve actually had Ta-Dah for quite some time now I’ve listened to it more times than I care to admit. And while on first listening my thoughts were, “Oh-no” subsequent listenings have reeled me in.

I LOVE this album. There’s not a song I skip and I reckon this is the future of music.

In a world of digital downloads, where we can pick and choose the tracks we want to purchase, the onus is on the artist BIG TIME to produce an album full of hits, rather than one or two strong tracks and a whole lotta filler.

Take Jessica Simpson (sorry David) for example, her new Album “A Public Affair” has in my opinion, one good song (a public affair), a bad reworking of an old 80’s classic (you spin me round…) and a whole lotta not much else. You’d buy the single and move on.

Scissor Sisters on the other hand… brilliant! Every song is a keeper. Some will have you grooving (don’t feel like dancing, she’s my man, kiss you off, ooh, lights etc) some will have you loving the one your with (the other side, might tell you tonight) and at least one (intermission) will have you thinking what the heck were THEY thinking, but be so infectiously weird you’ll bopp along anyway.

Get it, get it now and enjoy. Speaking of getting it, Janet’s new album 20 Y.O. is available today… must be off.

A World That Never Ends

Blue Dandelion by Emily Quinton Flickr… an amazing place, I can get lost there for days, if only the days would let me.

I LOVE taking photos and also seeing what others see through the lenses of their cameras, now, while my camera needs some work to get it back to peak condition, it is still my favourite possession. Closely followed by my iPod for similar reasons.

The camera lets me take a snapshot of the world as I see it, though somewhat restrained. For me, the taking of photos is a private thing and while there are group meets via Flickr groups etc I tend to prefer to be alone when I’m out with the camera. The photos are afterall an extension to my being. Did that make sense?

Spose what I mean is; I don’t want to be taking photos and worry that my time spent is boring someone else who has to wait around for me to get the shot I want, nor that my methods and madness in getting the shot right will be seen as me being crazy, randomly lying on the ground or staring at a reflection in a building, or sometimes, lying on the ground AND staring at the reflection of a building… too self conscious for my own good I guess. It’s something I’m working on.

I also don’t want to explain to someone WHY I am taking a certain shot, I just am, some shots you can look at and think “I see what you were doing here”… others require a little more viewing time to ‘get’ what I was after.

Half a weekend of viewing images on Flickr has opened my mind to different types of photos I COULD be taking, differnt angles, perspectives, framing, close-crops etc. Now I just have to find some time to get out there and act.

Watch this space for more shots coming soon.

Image above “Blue Dandelion” by Emily Quinton. Emily has a fantastic photostream of beautiful and sometimes moving images.

Off and Running

The Bunyip CafeIt has been an early start to today, we’ve been out for breakfast at “The Bunyip Cafe” across from the South Melbourne Markets, had our hair cut, had some stupid problem with the Laser fixed, been to check out the Toyota Prius and have now had lunch and am ready for a nanna nap before heading out to Sue Z’s tonight to play with her 24 inch iMac.

Reminds me I have to transfer some more music to my iPod before tonight.

But more about the Bunyip, it’s a great little cafe at 313 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, an old house turned cafe it is decorated with a lot of early 70’s kitch and some great glow decoration to make it look even better. Bit of a step back in time. Great food, great service.

And while I’m mentioning great service, I have to say thanks to the guys at the Valvoline Service Centre on Old Geelong Road, Hopper Crossing. The Laser has been doing this annoying thing, kind of surging at the oddest times. They jumped in the car to take a look and nothing happened while they tested it. But they said bring it back if anything happens, not 10 metres away it started again, we did a U-turn and off they drove again… for them, nothing unusal happened again!!!

But they still took time to have a look at possible causes for such things. Took of the distributor cap and scraped some crap of some parts in their and said that “could”  be the problem, but without experiencing it didn’t know if it would do any good.

So far we’ve been a fair way and it problem has not recurred. It cost us nothing for them to look at it and do the magic and they were nice guys about our problem that, for them, didn’t exist.

New iStockPhotos by me

My Entries to iStockphoto.com have been somewhat limited of late due to continuing problems with my camera. Fortunately with recent visits from Family I overcame the reluctance to use the failing camera and have produced a few photos that have been accepted by iStock.

Now istockphoto is no great way to make money… in the entire time I’ve been on there as a photographer I’ve made exactly USD$9.60, not a great fortune, but I usually just turn any money made back into credits for use on the site. There again, it’s also not bad since I only have 23 active images and none of them were taken with “Stock Photography” in mind.

iStockPhoto is a great resource for small buisness and designers. And with recently seeing a couple of bigger global businesses using images from iStock it makes sense that Getty purchased them last December in a way of capturing some of the revenue they may have been losing to the fantastic site.

Here’s the comparison – image on iStockPhoto cost between 1-20 credits depending on the size you’re after (1credit = $1) and they can be bought individually, image from Getty or other paid stock photography site will set you back a MINIMUM of USD$100 and I’ve seen quotes of up to $4,000 for single use.

So the new onese are the Lioness (seen below) and Razorback Rock (which has already received two 5-camera ratings and the comment, “great atmosphere I like it!”).

So a little happier today to see the photography back in swing after a long absence. Now I just have to get the camera repaired.

Royalty free stock image | Lioness | iStockphoto.com

Geek What Tha?

Apple Store Delivery NoticeI preface this by apologising to all the non-geeks out there… My Friend Sue has just take receipt of her fabulous brand new 24inch iMac, jeepers they are huge.

She has it here in the office today, cause that’s where it got delivered and of course we had to take it out of the box and check it out. It amazes me how many people are looking at it and saying what a huge “monitor” it is, and then to see their jaws drop when they find out the WHOLE computer is in there.

But back to the “What Tha?” The image attached to this post is Sue’s “Apple Store Delivery Note” from “Apple Computer Australia Pty Ltd” and check out the bottom left hand corner… that sucker was not generated from a Mac. Bloody… Word on the Mac can do Mail Merge too guys!