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Showing posts from August, 2007

Branded for Life

Zeitgeisters,

Here at the Tract we are all about Brand management. Complacency is the enemy of Brand recognition. One day you’re a refreshing bottle of Sprite, the next you’re a can of Gest Lemonade with a ring-pull tab. One day you’re a Nissan Maxima, the next you’re a Datsun 120Y. You know what I mean?

You gotta be on it. You gotta bring it. You gotta be all you can be, 24/7. It’s all about protecting the integrity of your Brand. And of course you have to create an awareness of your Brand and build a preference for your Brand.

Mr Trivia’s old alma mater Perth Modern School in Subiaco, is doing exactly that. According to the Perth Mod Intranet and the Wikipedia, the school is now a centre for academic excellence. You have to pass an exam to gain entry – ie new students are selected academically, rather than it being a “comprehensive” high school, which it was for the previous fifty years of its life. During this time, also known as the post-1958 dead ordinary era, I spent five years…

Not In My Backyard

Zeitgesiters, part of this hamburger rant is written up on my new site - mrtrivia.net. It, like me, is a work in progress. Please travel there often to check out a site that I hope will win online awards for the most inert and least changeable and most infrequently updated site in all of cyberspace.

So they’ve named the MacDonald’s “nameit burger”. They’re calling it the Backyard Burger” . I was all set to enter the comp. I even had a name. The ‘Besty’ Burger. In my heart of hearts I always thought the winning name would be something pretty poor. And therefore my “Besty Burger” was deliberately naff and ordinaire - "Besty" meaning that it's your best friend and it's also a burger. I felt my concept represented the paucity of imagination that would break through the excellence and originality that was sure to sully the contest otherwise.

Why? The answer, Dr Phil, lies in my childhood.

When my brother and I were kids, the Perth Electronics Show was held one year at th…

I Have Not Brought My Specs With me

Zeitgeisters, its coming. My eyesight has been a little off for awhile. Not as bad as my friend Ned who is frequently thought of as aloof because he can walk within ten metres of someone he knows well and not recognise them. My eyesight is at the ”can’t read a telephone book needs more light to see the names on a road map” stage. – as the medicos call it.

I’ve always imagined that the next step would be an eye-test from an optician which would then help me to find the correct prescription for my eyes. My parents separately gave me some unexpected advice which boiled down to: Opticians are just in it for the money, go get some supermarket glasses they’ll be fine.”

Somewhere along the road to adulthood, my parents concern for my wellbeing has shifted from a top-of-the-line healthcare viewpoint to a more K-Mart approach. I could get my first pair of specs at the same place that I purchase toothpaste and broccolini – but do I really want to?

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

Insomnia Pie

Zeitgeisters,

I don’t sleep well sometimes and that means I am apt to be at my local 24 hour Dingo Fuel* at 1am, buying a carton of milk from Ravi and Dean*. I’ve just been through there and had that moment where I thought…do I go a meat pie or not?

Most sensible people will think twice before dismissing the idea of the service station pie, but I was just in the mood. What swung it was that the new pies came out of the oven and went into the Baine Marie as I was contemplating. New pies, yeah.

If you’ve ever eaten one of these and thought, “Yeah, I guess it was better when it first went in”, then you’ll be tuned in to the scientific curiosity I was feeling. Surely if it’s just come out of the oven (okay, the super-hot warmer) then this pie will be okay…

Well, although my steak and mushroom pie tasted just the same as it always does, it was 10% more moist and surprisingly, not a lot warmer.

Mr Trivia, risking his tastebuds so you won’t have to.

Elevate the Insignificant,

Mr T…

Mr Trivia vs Kirk Cameron

Zeitgeisters,

The idea that Kirk Brings Religion to the Internet is patently stupid. So stupid that I slammed it in a very snarky blog post. Then I did my checking. Kirk Cameron doesn't claim to bring religion to the Internet. Yahoo News makes this claim on his behalf. And I fell for it hook line and sinker. Because I don't like proselytising of any kind I just went to town.

Check out my great quote on proselytising.
"Personally I despise proselytising with a fiery passion and invite everyone of all creeds, faiths and religions who Know the Truth about Creation, Life and the After-Life, to keep it to themselves when we meet. I don’t claim to know the eventual destination of your soul, so kindly don’t presume to know where mine is headed."
Good stuff. That's all that's left of the post I wrote and put up for five minutes before I did my checking. Then I discovered the headline had nothing to do with what Kirk Cameron said or his philosophy. I picked the wh…

Siblings

ABOVE:Neil & Tim Finn

Zeitgeisters,

SBS has been showing a program called Great Australian Albums at 8.30pm on Saturday nights. Already screened;Silverchair’sFrogstomp. Crowded House’sWoodfaceThe Triffids’Born Sandy Devotional and this coming Saturday (18th August), The Saints(I’m) Stranded.

I’ve liked what I’ve seen of the series, but I was particularly taken with the Woodface edition because it showed Tim and Neil Finn speaking reasonably candidly about their sibling rivalry. Although this story has been beaten up considerably over the years, both had interesting things to say about their relationship. The first thing I thought as I was watching was that I had to make sure my brother saw this, too.

Whether you work with siblings or not, your sisters and brothers (usually) occupy a particular place in your emotional landscape. They can be the only other people who really get what’s “wrong” with your parents. Or sometimes they’re the favoured one and you’re the outsider. Someti…

Opening A Dialogue

ABOVE: Danno and Steve keeping Honolulu safe in the 1970s.
Zeitgeisters,

You know I get a mysterious joy from the CSI series. I was watching CSI:NEW YORK this evening, also known by me as CSI:So That’s Where Lieutenant Dan Went. Nelly Furtado had a guest-starring role which involved her wearing great clothes as she played the part of a high-end shop lifter. I don’t believe she had any lines (I did hit the clicker a couple of times, sorry) but she was required to pose with that chiselled profile of hers. Show business, huh?

I am not so much interested in the frippery of guest-stars, rather it is the terrible dialogue that all the various CSI Lab Rats have to deliver that keeps me chuckling. The Alpha Dogs of the various CSIs (Gary Sinise, David Caruso, William Petersen) get some of the ripest lines. There is more than a whiff of old Steve McGarret-Five-O portentousness about them. I will share my favourite Five-O exchange in a moment. However all the players on CSI eventually get to s…

File That Under "J"

Zeitgeisters,

Just browsing through my Yahoo Mail and I discovered this delightful idea on the welcome screen

Create a Joke folder
Organize those joke-of-the-day messages into a separate folder you create and name.
Right. Because those jokes you get via email are so memorable and hilarious that you’d want to go to that kind of time and effort.

I can envisage separate folders for political jokes, mother-in-law, working blue; whimsy; Britney Spears; as the Bishop said to the actress – the list goes on.

Nice one, Yahoo. That’s what I’ll be up to while the rest of youse are wasting time on Facebook.

Elevate the Insignificant.

Mr Trivia

Uh-Oh

Zeitgeisters,

At my local IGA Supermarket in South Perth when an item isn’t scanned properly a little voice goes “Uh-Oh!” When its really busy there might be something like four or five of these every minute from all five checkouts. So there may be as many as twenty-five of these exclamations in a sixty second period.

My question is this: why do people who make things, think that an electronic voice repeating any phrase or sound is cute, funny or necessary? Don’t we have years of experience that demonstrates that any synthetic voice is annoying from about the third time you hear it?

To take an obvious example, don’t we all hate the synthetic voice on the ‘phone that directs us to press 4 if we wish to speak to a consultant?

Yes. Yes we do.

Elevate,

MT

Medical Terminology

Zeitgeisters,

I’ve been sick for around a fortnight. Boo hoo, me, sure. I’ve been subject to what is technically known as the Dreaded Lurgy. This is something my father and others of his generation (the Pre-Boomers) say. If I keep using it, then maybe Gen Y will eventually follow suit. Or at least say, “Quit it , Old Man.” If I can’t instruct, then annoying The Youth of Today will have to do.” The motivation of the Curmudgeon and your five-year old offspring aren’t that dissimilar. If I can’t get positive attention, then I will settle for negative.

Everyone down here at MultiMedia DellArte, where I work, has had this Creeping Sickness, Croup or Influenza. And if this feels like the first you’ve heard of my workplace, that’s because in best on-line style, I’m fictionalising the truth to fudge reality and to distract. Down here at good ol’ Multi Dell we are funded by the gov’t and mining interests to facilitate culture (cull-cha) to the people of Western Australia. Our next project will …