What Australia will miss without an NBN

4 03 2013

The NBN confuses a lot of people, but it’s not that hard to understand.

It’s all about light, light is the fastest thing we know and it’s light which gives the NBN all that amazing speed.

OK, but surely the cheaper version the LNP are suggesting will be cheaper and better?

Not really, the new internet the LNP are suggesting will let us down in a few areas, for instance.

Very soon a new kind of TV format will be launched, called Ultra High Definition, The clarity of these sets is going to be amazing, and should make current HD TVs look like a portable colour TV from the 70s.

But there’s a problem, the only way stations can transmit the UHD TV signal, is over fiber. The signal cannot be sent through the air like standard free to air television which we’ve all been used to.

If Australia does not have the NBN in place, there will never be UHD TV in Australia, it’s that simple.

And that’s just one of the big ticket things we will miss out on, if we don’t have an NBN.

Wikipedia article on Ultra High Definition TV

Five reasons why Australias NBN is better than Google Fiber

Wolfie!

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Love comes quickly

20 02 2013

A good friend of mine was missing his dog called Zed who died fifteen years ago today.

I fully understand that, I’ve had five dogs, which were mine, as in not one of my parents dogs which lived with us, but one of mine.

Tina the Fox terrier, who I had in my childhood. Who survived being run over in front of our holiday house when I was somewhere around five or eight and she had a scar on her side for years where the hair never re-grew. I loved Tina, but didn’t connect with her as much as with the later dogs, I was only a small boy then and my feelings were still developing.

Bobby the cross… probably German Shepherd and Greyhound, Who would go roaming in the evenings and joined a pack of vicious males in the early 80s, one night he ran away and we never saw him again.

Laddie the German shepherd and Collie cross, He was the dog I really connected with, He used to sit with me while I played my records, or listened to the high energy disco show on RRR-FM in the 80s. He’d go to the park and bring back gifts. a kids squeaky rubber hammer, a pair of mens red undies, an entire bag of rubbish, and massive branches which had fallen from trees. Laddie would amuse himself by bouncing a ball on his own, He was mad for all kinds of balls, even his own.

Laddie was the last dog which we allowed to roam, although Laddie would only go to the park and come home again, I think he went out one day and didn’t come back so that caused us all to fret.

Then Benny came along, the only dog we had ever payed for. He was our beautiful Alaskan Malamute, You all know Katie of course, But Benny was our first. It took me years to love Benny as I was still loyal to, and still missing Laddie… it took a long time to really love Benny, although perhaps I did anyway and just couldn’t admit it. Oh I was proud of him, He was a beautiful dog, and he loved us madly in return. Bennys breeder is Italian and suggested feeding him pasta, which we did. Benny would get his own Spag Bol and devour it with gusto and would drag the spaghetti all over the verandah while he did so. Benny hated the heater and would sleep on the verandah all night if we’d allow it… we wouldn’t because one night, while Benny was still a pup, someone tried to steal him, but we caught them in the act.

Then Katie came alone, and of course loving her was hard too, because now I had loyalty for Benny… and still missed Laddie too. But She has been such a loving, and grateful dog, that of course she wormed her way into my heart.

Anyway I wondered, they say you always remember your first love, but perhaps we also remember our first special dog too.

But in my case, there was no human love, perhaps because I had been bullied so much during my teenage years that I could never really trust anyone my age.

I still can’t trust people that much, I adore my friends, but that part of my heart is and always will be reserved for someone with four legs, not two.

People are strange and you’re never sure where you sit with them, and I really can’t be bothered trying to figure them out.

Yes Brad, I do, really understand your grief for a dog who passed away fifteen years ago.

I think sometimes having the lifetime a human has, is quite a torture to bare.

As for love of the human variety? They say that sooner or later it happens to everyone… it’s not true.

Wolfie!





AIR FM – Transcript. Melbourne, Australia

12 02 2013

Werewolves of Melbourne – Lesley Jones
Broadcast: Monday 11 February 1986.

Werewolves have been a part of human folklore for centuries, and later
took the starring role in many of our books and films, filling us with
fear late at night, and giving us blood curdling nightmares… If we could
sleep at all.

Many of us thought that the Werewolf would remain a fictional character
forever, until Australian born rock singer Wolfie Rankin “came out” during
the “Aurora” concert in 1983.

Has it changed our perceptions about who and what the Werewolf really is.

Wolfie Rankin, Thankyou for coming into the studio tonight.

It’s a Pleasure, Thankyou.

I began by mentioning horror movies, and wonder if you think that there’s still a tendency for people, your fans included, to think about the werewolf as a blood thirsty creature of the night? and does it bother you?

No, not really, I mean it has been discussed among some of the other werewolves but we’re not generally worried about it, many of us grew up watching those movies, I certainly did…

You didn’t know you were a Werewolf until you were fifteen, right?

That’s right.

When you first transformed, what was that like? Was there any warning?

Well I remember having the odd twinge in my body and not worrying about it all that much, it wasn’t until after the fact that I looked back with Twenty-Twenty vision and went, Oh, So that’s what that was.

On the day that it happened, I remember being very stiff and sore and my fillings fell out.

It happened during the day?

Yep, Two PM on a Saturday afternoon, so pop goes that cliche. *laughs*

Would you mind taking us through what it was like?

Happy to, I know there are others out there who haven’t changed yet, and while I took it fairly well, others have a really hard time with it.

I’d been out walking Laddie, our Dog, with Dad after lunch and my body began to ache, it wasn’t too bad, but I remember sort of limping around and once I was home, I told Mum who was fairly concerned, especially after me going “Oh look, another filling popped out”.

She straightened my bed and made me lay down, and filled the hot water bottles up for me.

Good old Mum.

Yes exactly, Dad was worried too, I remember hearing him in the kitchen asking Mum if She wanted him to drive me to the hospital, Mum didn’t know what to do, but I’m glad they didn’t do that or it would have made things so much worse.

Anyway, once it happened, there was no pain, it was almost like my body let out this big sigh and all the tension left, and then it was like I had an erection over my entire body, and all the fur sprouted.

It felt lovely, really… but I also felt strangely drunk.

Then I noticed my arms, and my hands and just thought “Oh that’s nice”, and
about five minutes later it started to occur to me that I’m going to have to tell someone.

I thought of Teen Wolf…

So the movies got some things right then?

Oh, It’s generally accepted that if any movie got things right, that Teen Wolf came the closest. *Laughs*

My whole life is basically a better version of Teen Wolf, except the costume is better and I have a Guitar rather than a basketball.  *Laughs*

So what happened then?

Well I wanted to panic a bit, but I couldn’t get up, and Mum came back and
that was that.

How did She take it?

It was difficult, She wasn’t sure what I was, or maybe even who I was, I think she had thought a few things which she still hasn’t told me… but there I was, all seven feet of me, with my legs sticking out at the end of the bed.

She wasn’t prepared for it, how could she be?

I’m grateful that she didn’t watch horror films, I think that would have made things worse, she had none of that imagery in her head so, perhaps, it was easier for her.

Dad was a different kettle of fish, I remember him coming in and looking at me, and his mouth dropped open, and then he said “You alright Son?” and  I said “Yeah, I think so”… although my mouth wouldn’t work properly so I sort of mumbled it. and he nodded and that was that. It’s funny how some people react.

He wasn’t fussed?

Not at all, There’s a part of Dad which never grew up, which I think we all have, but I could just see that sparkle in his eyes that said “Cool!”.

I’m glad because I think it made everything easier for Mum.

Dad helped me get out of bed, and was somewhat surprised when he saw how big I was,

I wrapped my arm around him for support because I was still wobbly on my feet, My Dad is this big truckie and I think he was straining under the weight, so he’s trying to hold me up without falling over and I’m trying not to knock him over or run into anything, it was a mess. *laughs*

My whole body had changed into something new and I had to re-learn how to do everything.

I was getting around the house awkwardly, trying to walk without falling over and I was saying “Look at me, look at me” and then at some point I remember thinking “Oh crap, I’m naked”, so I went to the bathroom and put a towel around myself, and that’s all I could wear for a few days.

You didn’t change back?

No, I was like that for a solid month or more, so I was confined to the house. and you know, I’m generally an inside person, but not going out wore thin, I snuck out a few times, late at night to walk the dog with Dad.

I had no idea if I would revert to my old body or not, and I was worried that it might hurt if I did, or something would go wrong, if I’d die.

What kind of difficulties did you face over that month.

You begin to realise how much of this world is made for “normal people”, You don’t really get it until your body changes in such a drastic way and things which were easy to use can suddenly be difficult.

The first night I changed, I couldn’t use a knife or fork, so Mum cut things up and fed me as though I was a baby, I think she quite enjoyed doing that even though she was also still really worried about me.

It was difficult to use a toilet, I had to really think about that one but
eventually everything worked out well.

What about playing the guitar.

If anything, that seemed easier, for which I was grateful. Having claws at
the ends of my fingers was a real asset there.

Except I couldn’t sing, It took me a good few months to understand how my voice worked.

I remember reading an article earlier on where someone suggested you weren’t really a werewolf, and that it was all some sort of publicity stunt.

Oh yes, I’ve read a few of those too. *laughs*

They cited your ability to form words with a “dog shaped mouth” as impossible.

Well there you go, that proves it then *laughs* Fake as…
I do understand though, there’s a lot of things which shouldn’t be possible and people think well, logically, that can’t be right.

When you went on The Don Lane Show shortly after coming out on stage, didn’t that help?

Not really, I think a lot of people still think the whole thing’s as fake as the moon landing, I’m not fussed about it really, But the Doctors and Vets who examined me that night, were convinced that I wasn’t fake. but then they had difficulties with their workmates and patients so in retrospect although I wasn’t just trying to clarify my position, it wasn’t good for them and it came across as a bit of a stunt.

I know you’ve spoken about it many times before, but what was it like to come out on stage like that?

Difficult, I was more worried about the other Weres than myself, I’ve done well for myself over the years and have a nice big home with security, but not everyone else does.

Although we’ve never been all that secret, people just saw us but would keep it to themselves, people aren’t worried about Werewolves at all which sort of flies in the face of everything… it’s like “Oh, You’re a Werewolf? <pause> cool” and it’s a kind of a let down really *laughs*.

Certain People in Melbourne, the vagrants, the ladies of the night, the cops, always knew we were there..

So when….

But you know the band had no idea, and I just told them I’d make this big announcement and not to worry too much, just keep playing. it was ok, but it got a bit complicated later when we had to have a long talk about it, but after a month or so, we were just us again.

You mentioned the other Werewolves, are there many of you and where do you
gather?

There’s perhaps around thirty of us at the moment, others always show up. We have a place which has been converted into a sort of pub, we hang out there and then go for a walk if we feel the need for a lung full of smog… But I’m not going to say where it is.

mind if we dispel a few myths?

Not at all.

Full Moons?

It’s bollocks, although I find I can’t sleep very well when there’s a full moon. I can change at any time, and so can all the others.

What about Silver?

Well I’ve been to a few lovely evenings where silver cutlery was involved, nothing happened. I can’t say anything about silver bullets as I haven’t been shot at and neither have any of my friends, I hope that remains the status quo.

Is it a curse?

*laughs* Definitely not, it’s incredible, I love it.

Next Album?

We’re still working on it, but it’s getting close to being finished, We’re hoping for a release date of around May or June and another concert in June or July we think.

AHA! A Scoop!

Yes indeed!

Wolfie, Thanks for coming in, and good luck with the next album and tour.

Thankyou for having me and for your wishes.

I’ve just been chatting to Wolfie Rankin and as he says a new album around
May or June, Sounds good to me.

It’s five o’clock here at Air FM.

Archival:

Copyright Air FM 1986

Air Digital, Melbourne Australia.





The hard drive of insanity

14 12 2012

Dear reader, the advice I have for you tonight is simple, write notes.

I was about to go on a lovely holiday with a friend who had asked me if I’d like to take a few days off and stay at the farm with her, Katie was allowed to come too, She’s my Malamute.

We had a few days before the trip and I was preparing to leave, I packed my bags slowly and made sure I had everything, clothes, dog food, dog blankets, harness, electronic gizmos, cameras, chargers, keys…

And I also took care to hide special things I would be leaving behind, the kinds of things which may appeal to a thief, there is some security here, but still, a little extra care couldn’t hurt… and this is where it all turned sour.

To me, a hard drive is not so much an electronic device, but a place which houses perhaps the last ten years of your life… photos, videos, documents, artwork… and to have one of these stolen, well it would seriously upset my apple cart.

I have too many hard drives, you know how it goes, the original, the backup, the backup of the backup, the backup backup of the last backup (or something), not that all the drives are synced, there are more things on some drives than the others, it’s a headache, I want something a lot more stable, please science?

I have a super secret location where I put two, it’s a place I’ve used before, which works, and um… I think I put three there, or so I thought.

There is a vague memory involving me thinking about putting a note in my iphone about where I put the third drive, but I didn’t, I was sure I’d remember… however I’m more certain that I forgot where I put it almost instantly.

I do that a lot, I’m using something and just put it down, two minutes later I have no idea where the thing is and have to frantically search for it.

Holidays were had, things went well, and Katie and I came home.

I have had an illness years back and although I can mostly hold my own these days, my energy can drop like a stone… when I returned home, I was happy, but totally rooted and spent a few days lazing around the house, not being particularly concerned about anything.

Katie was just as happy to lay around the house as I was, she spent a lot of time catching up on sleep.

I think two weeks had gone by when my Macbook suggested that it might be time to run a backup, so I went to pull out these hard drives… and there were two.

Two?

Now the place is a bit dark, and hard drives are black, so I placed an arm down there and felt around, but felt nothing resembling a hard drive, just some sort of dust and a spiderweb.

Then I got the torch out, a friend gave it to me as a Birthday gift, and I love it, it could light up the Eiffel Tower from here, and I’m nowhere near Paris.

I searched around with that, and found nothing, I couldn’t quite believe it and repeated the routine a few times until the FACT sank in that the other drive was not there, and would not simply re-appear like Schrödinger’s cat might.

That’s when I began the hunt, the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedrooms, I peered into every nook and cranny, I reached, I poked, I prodded… the more I looked, the more I found fragments of a past life which I had forgotten, old faded photos, and objects I hadn’t seen for a decade or more… but no hard drive.

For the next few days, I slowly tore my house apart looking for the stray item, I was ok at first, it had to be there somewhere, but then yesterday the worry hit its peak.

My mind began playing tricks on me.

Had I only thought I had three drives, did I only have two? I couldn’t remember!

This thought haunted me for a while, I recalled some star trek episode where someone goes missing, but nobody could remember them… but they still had a feeling of loss.

I tried to remember when I last saw it, I had taken it next door to save some things to it, using my neighbours computer, as I was having a technical difficulty with my iphone… oddly I couldn’t save my photos from my phone to my macbook, I knew I could do it on PC, but my PC was down.

Had I simply left it there? unlikely, but plausible.

Then I began wondering if it had been stolen, but by who? The house had not been broken into, and even if it had, then why would someone steal the most hard to find object when there are easier things to take?

The worst things played through my mind, who had been there? friends, a friend was a thief? but who? I contemplated this into the wee hours, it was a truly awful thought. I was still awake at dawn. it had been a hot night and I had been naked in bed with just a sheet over me.

There was another missing object which made the situation worse, a radio, about the size of an iphone, given to Dad as a gift from Mum in the 70s. I have no idea where that went either, but why would someone steal that? had someone just seen it laying there and pocketed it?

Not really, I was sure that I had just misplaced it, but It was about 5am, I was hot, stressed, worried, feeling vulnerable and the paranoia was growing.

I was not being as sensible as I should be.

A question popped into my mind “When was the last time you saw the watch your Mother gave you?”

I knew exactly where that was too.

I got out of bed and had a look, it wasn’t there… things began to get worse, I told myself I’d been robbed, I wondered how many other things, small things I didn’t see every day, were missing.

I tweeted that I’d been robbed, I e-mailed a friend and sent a few SMS messages to others, I was having my Daffy Duck moment.

The drawer which contained my missing watch had another watch in it, I wondered why the thief had taken one but not the other, I decided to examine the remaining watch, I’m not sure why… guess what?

The missing watch was at the back of that drawer.

Oh the relief!

I began to come back down from a possible crime, to simply misplacing something.

It was light, I hadn’t slept, there was stuff all over the loungeroom floor, I started getting messages and phone calls from people who were worried about me.

I left Katie out for a pee, and fed the cat, then went back to bed… where I finally went to sleep.

I slept lightly and woke up often, but finally got up about 3pm.

My neighbour had said that I should go into his house while he was at work and have a good look around, he’s not the technical type and had no idea what the drive looked like.

I thought that was a good idea, and got dressed and ready to do that.

But I remembered the thought that I may have only ever had two drives, and the solution I came up with during the night… while I had hidden the drives, I had not hidden the cables fro those drives, it was only a matter of counting the cables and I should have my answer… it should be easy because the cables were branded with a white sticker.

I walked into my Mums room, where I had left the cables… I put one foot in there and saw something black on the carpet.

It was the hard drive.

I must have stepped past it many times as I hauled stuff out of there and covered the lounge room floor in baskets and drawers and suitcases… it was over.

If I had only found it last night, it would have saved me so much stress, but if I had simply written a note to myself, none of this madness would have happened.

Write notes, folks, for your sanity… write notes.

Wolfie!





Review: TARDIS Tea Pot and Biscuit Jar.

26 09 2012

So, here’s a quick review of my TARDIS Tea Pot and Biscuit jar.

The Products are made of ceramic, and come from Zeon (UK)

Well, I liked what I saw straight away.

I had the mugs before and liked the fact that they felt heavy and solid, and maybe I like that because I’m a bloke.

However the teapot had a fragility about it, so I’m a little nervous about handling it, the sides don’t look all that thick, But it’s not too thin, it should be fine really, and isn’t china supposed to be like that?

Questions had been raised about how well it would pour, but I can assure you that it doesn’t spill and pours quite well.

I noticed a small scratch in the lid, which I was a little annoyed about, but that could have happened at any time from manufacture to shipping, and as Mum would say “I wouldn’t stop a horse to look at it” call it “character lines”? yeah, I think so.

The Biscuit Jar was smaller than I had imagined, but was absolutely huge on the inside! oh come on, I had to say it.

Actually it was smaller than I thought it would be, but during testing proved to be large enough, even for my larger home made bikkies, so the verdict here is there will be plenty of room for your Tim Tams.

It felt a fraction more solid than the teapot too.

There’s a nice tight seal on the lid, so the cockroaches are definitely going hungry, and it should keep the air out too.

Popcultcha had been waiting for orders from the UK for months, but they sent out their orders on the very day they arrived, they took photos of staff packing them up for delivery and posted them to their Facebook page.

My orders arrived a day after they posted their packages, which was great!

The boxes were well packed and as delicate as the contents were, everything was in very good order.

I’m very pleased, I think any #doctorwho fan would love to have these,
so a big thumbs up!

And well done to the people at @Popcultcha too!

http://www.popcultcha.com.au/

Wolfie!





A little pudding thing

24 08 2012

I saw this very nice recipe for what was supposed to be a bikkie but sort of turned out like a little pudding instead, but that didn’t matter, it was completely delicious.

Now I’ve tried these three minute cup cake things in the microwave before, and the results have been terrible, so my expectations were very low, but instead I was delighted.

I’m going to Ozzie-fy the recipe here so that it makes sense, although it wasn’t hard, and give you a few extra suggestions.

You need:

Two Tablespoons of Butter (The original said unsalted, but please!)
One and a half Tablespoons of Sugar (US = Granulated)
One and a half Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
Five Tablespoons of Plain Flour (US = All Purpose)
One Beaten Bum Nut (or Egg)
A few drops of Vanilla Essence (Use the real stuff, please!)
A quarter of a teaspoon of baking powder (Not Bicarbonate!)
Pinch of salt (So why did the original ask for unsalted butter? Skip this)
One snack pack of sultanas (I like fruit)
A Dessert spoon of Choc Bits

Sift the flour into a bowl and add everything except the egg

Beat the egg and add it to the dry stuff.

Mix everything together till it’s nice and smooth.

Pour into ramekins.

Bung it in the Microwave for two minutes on high.
(You may have to adjust this for your microwave)

I used a ramekin but found the mixture bubbled up and over in the microwave,
So use two, and share one with a friend or save it for later.

Here’s a converter for Australian/US Food, which was useful

And here’s a link to the original page, with photos.

Wolfie!





Little black boys

19 08 2012

This post is probably going to annoy some of you, but I hope you understand its context… it is pretty racist.

There was a bizarre meme in our family which began with my Grandmother, as far as I can tell.

My Gran had died before my birth in 1965, and I understand that She married her Husband in 1900,
She grew up in a gold mining area near Ballarat, Education was very limited and of course She had God pushed into her from an early age.

My Gran, as far as I can tell, was a good Woman, although apparently fairly strict, but wasn’t always the most logical person.

Before I go further, I have wondered if she had been exposed to the same sort of education as myself, would she have said particular things? I think she would have been a different, and better person.

Anyway, She used to say this thing, which became a meme in our family, and whenever it was said, it was done in a kind of sarcastic way, recalling my Grandmother and her odd ways.

Eyebrows were raised, heads would shake, there’d be these rye smiles and a chuckle.

Whenever a new pot was bought into the house, a bottle, a jug, a new set of mugs, anything which could hold liquid, the meme would be uttered.

“Make sure you wash that first, a little black boy might’ve peed in it!”

Are you shocked? I totally agree if you are, it’s quite awful.

Mum used to wonder why the pee of a little black boy might be worse than the pee of anyone else, and why anyone would have peed on, or in, these containers at the point of their manufacture anyway?

Where did the phrase originate? Someone must’ve told my Gran, and I wonder by who and when?

And I wonder now, whether my Gran wasn’t the only one to utter those words, have you heard of it before?

On a side note, My gran also used to say “Don’t stand on that cold floor with your bare feet, the cold will go straight to your kidneys” Well we always thought that was odd, but years later I studied Chinese medicine and found, in that, the belief is a meridian line to your kidneys ends in your feet, and that standing on a cold floor is indeed bad for your kidneys (at least in Chinese medicine).

There were a lot of Chinese around gold fields, and herbalists… So the saying came from there.

I hadn’t thought about our mysterious little black boy, whoever he was, for quite some time.

However, I bought a nice green bowl today at Coles for when I have Thai Takeaway, and yes Gran, I washed the bowl thoroughly and raised an eyebrow in your memory.

Wolfie!