Digital TV

I had a dream last night that hundreds of new TV channels showed up on digital TV tuners. Weird.

I haven’t yet upgraded to digital TV. I’m in the unfortunate position of:

(a) having bought a 4:3 CRT TV at precisely the wrong time, about 7 years ago, just before the prices plummeted when widescreen LCDs and plasmas went mainstream, and apart from occasionally having a flickering line at the top (I think due to a bump while moving), that TV works admirably;

(b) not particularly wanting Yet Another Box and Yet Another Remote to have to deal with; and

(c) not having huge amounts of cash to throw around just now to buy a shiny new telly.

So I’m umming and ahhing. I suppose at some stage HD set-top boxes will become cheap enough that it becomes a no-brainer just to get the extra channels. Alternately a Digital Video Recorder might be the way to go.

I find the whole Freeview push amusing. All those ads. More than one person has asked what it actually means. They seem underwhelmed when I tell them it’s just digital TV. (And Freeview’s insistence that it’s all free is undermined somewhat when you point out that well, they’re not giving away set-top boxes, you do have to pay for them.)

The analogue signal won’t get switched off in Melbourne until late-July 2013, so I guess there’s a fair bit of time to continue procrastinating, but it would certainly be nice to get ABC2, and solve my slight ABC1 reception problem.

Dream machine

The other week, in one night, I had a trio of ridiculous dreams. So ridiculous that you half know it’s a dream, and it’s a ridiculous situation, but you keep on dreaming it anyway.

I’ve forgotten the first.

In the second, someone was knocking at my front door and trying to look through the frosted glass while waiting to be let-in, and I, then undressed and taking cover at the corner, kept calling out “Who is it?”, but they wouldn’t answer. You can’t actually see anything more than abstract shapes through my front door anyway. Ridiculous.

And in the third dream, my car (which has worked perfectly in the almost-year I’ve had it except for an electric window going kaputsky — ch-ching!) was behaving really sluggishly, and accelerating ludicrously slowly, especially up hills. Ridiculous.

Then last week in real life it started happening. On cold days, 5 degrees and below. Stalling. Shuddering. Sluggish. Blah.

See, life is full of gambles. I gambled my money away when I bought the car. I’ve gambled that it’s worth trekking across town to the dealer I bought it from every six months to keep the warranty up-to-date. Even though it seems like the warranty is worded in such a way that there are so many exceptions that they might never be liable for any repair costs.

So yesterday morning I woke at sparrow’s fart and headed out the door just after 7am, which is normally about the time I’m getting up, in a failed attempt to beat the traffic. At least I may have beat some of it; it took about 45 minutes to get to the dealer. I’m glad I normally avoid driving in rush hour.

Dropped it off for the six month checkup and so they could look at the stalling/shuddering.

The verdict? A bill of $245, of course — and that included no charge for the fault. On the one hand, just part of the exorbitant cost of personal motorised transport; on the other, quite low for a visit to the car dealer for a service.

According to the receipt (which is mostly made up of the usual mechanic gibberish) they checked the car’s computer history for misfires. Yes, apparently this humble 9-year-old Astra has a black box recorder. Apparently it gave them enough information to tweak things.

Just hope it worked. I hate those early mornings.

PS. Lunchtime: Rae has a rant about her drive to work.

Quick stuff

Vague news

Dear national news programme: Don’t just say something happened “in eastern Melbourne”. Use a couple more words and tell me what suburb. Do the same for other cities too.


I had a dream that I’d gone back to my old primary school, and was being shown around by a lady who said she’d taught me. But I couldn’t remember her name — maybe she had been one of the early year teachers that I don’t really remember very well.

Rather than embarrass myself, I looked for clues, and then I noticed a name tag which said she was Bronwyn Pike — who is in fact the Education Minister.


Is doorstop in the media sense only an Australian term? It’s not in Wiktionary or Wikipedia or other online references, and only seems to return Australian hits in Google.

In Australian English it means, strictly, an interview with the media held as the subject is entering or exitting a building, but it’s also come to mean generally a press conference held outside, often spontaneously.


Lexus is introducing talking cars.

Gawd no. I can hear it now.

“You look like you’re driving somewhere, would you like some help?


A few nights ago Marita had an interesting dream… She was walking around in a gallery. The pictures hanging there all had big writing, saying things like “Fail!” and “Failure!”

She’s not sure what it refers to. (I could suggest blogging, but why now?)

For myself, I haven’t had any interesting dreams lately. Not that I can recall, anyway.

PS. As far as I know, she hasn’t been reading the Fail Blog.

Another dream

Dream the other day: Dreamt we were thinking about converting the (small) spare room into a bedroom, and someone pointed out the house has a whole upstairs section that for some reason none of us had never noticed. We went up and found three more bedrooms (one tiny, with very narrow bunk beds) and a bathroom as well.

Something seemed funny about the stairs going up there, and when I looked, I realised they were very steep, but made of Lego, so they could be adjusted.