Changing names

Ever decided to change the way people know you? To use an alternative derivation of your name? Don’t. At least, try to avoid it. Unless you act like a fascist about it to the people you already know, it’s just too much hassle. New people who meet you will be okay. But anyone who already knows you will still know you by the old name. When you ring them up, you’ll be torn between opening with "Hi, it’s Daniel" or "Hi, it’s Danny."

Yes, I am a sufferer. I don’t mind that a few people that I’ve known for more than ten years call me Danny. I just decided I didn’t like it anymore. Okay, to be honest, I first used Danny when I started primary school, because it was easier to spell than Daniel. So ten years ago I switched. I reckoned Daniel sounded more grown up. <Insert the shoulder shrug of someone who will not vouch for anything they did during their childhood years here>

Of course, being known by different names makes it easier to remember people who re-introduce themselves to you after a long period of time. But the ultimate solution for names would be, when introduced to someone, to introduce yourself as having exactly the same name. It goes something like this:

PERSON: "Hi, I’m Mike Cardigan."
YOU: "Oh really? What a coincidence, I’m Mike Cardigan too!"
PERSON: "Oh really, that’s amazing…" (etc)

<10+ YEARS LATER>

PERSON: "Mike Cardigan! G’day mate, I haven’t seen you in years!"
YOU: "Oh hi, how are you! Mike Cardigan, isn’t it!"
PERSON: "Yes it is! You remembered!"
YOU: "Well, I never forget a face… Especially with the same name as mine…" (etc)

Easter Weekend

All right, Easter weekend! Just about the longest of the long weekends, except for Christmas. Four days of unadulterated bliss. Okay, considering what’s being remembered on Friday, it doesn’t quite make sense to call it "Good", but I can live with that. Jesus gave that we might have a long weekend. Hmmm, doesn’t quite have the same kind of ring to it, does it?

But let’s face it, is there any better thing to do over a long weekend than stuff yourself with chocolate? No, I don’t think so. I can just see the dentists and the confectioners rubbing their hands together with glee, actually. The week before Easter is probably when Darrell Lea justifies their existence. Organised chocolate binges are one of the true signs that we are living in an advanced civilisation. (The other one is making use of class 1 laser devices to listen to music).

Speaking of chocolate companies, can anyone name the creepiest building in Melbourne? Gotta be 636 St Kilda Road, right? The Cadbury/Schweppes building. It’s the eye at the top that does it, looking like it’s spying on the surrounding suburbs. Even worse at night; it glows purpley-blue. Spooky. Was the architect smoking some very well mixed illegal substances when he thought that up? Or was he just extremely paranoid? Or maybe he decided that instead of Cadbury’s image being all sweetness and light and chocolate, it should be dark, foreboding, intrusive and creepy.

"The goodness of a glass and a half of milk in every family sized block. And remember, WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!"

Concerts

We just saw the remains of ELO in concert. The special effects at concerts are getting more impressive. The laser shows, formerly designed to impress, are now designed to partially blind you, and contain subliminal messages telling you to buy the band’s new album. The lights and lasers can be incredibly bright. You wouldn’t want to be an epileptic.

But then, you wouldn’t want to be one anyway.

Any band that’s been around more than about 10 years are desperate to expose some of their new songs to the crowd. The crowd, of course, just want to hear the oldies. The ones they can sing along to.

I think there’s now an unofficial competition for the biggest band, with the most 747s, bringing in the biggest concert sets with the most tons of equipment. U2 vs Rolling Stones vs Madonna vs Nick’s Cabaret Act. Every time a big act comes to town, you see reports on the news saying that "XXX arrived today, with more than YYY tons of equipment, filling ZZZ semi-trailers. We talked to head engineer Jock McScaffold (because the band themselves were too stoned to go on TV)…" Bloody hell, the Rolling Stones even got a story on Beyond 2000! Perhaps this is twisting that programme’s format of showing new technology just a bit too far.

The curse of the late night joke

It’s late at night. You’re tired and/or tipsy. Your brain is powering down for the evening. And you are the FUNNIEST person in the world. Whether or not you’ll think so the morning after is another matter.

Some musicians are not all that popular with the general public, but known and respected through the music industry. These are described as "musician’s musicians". But suppose a number of musician’s musicians agree that they admire the work of another musician. Doesn’t that make that person a musician’s musician’s musician?

(Further discussion concerning a musician’s musician’s musician’s dog will not be entered into at this stage.)

  • Originally this entry contained some other… erm… rather unsavoury entries. You can still find them in the old archives. Just be prepared for immature and coarse language, if you decide to venture in to find them.

To baldly go…

I saw "Star Trek – Generations" over the weekend. Great movie. But I’ll tell you what I want to know: Why do none of the spacecraft have seat belts? Whenever there’s a battle, whenever a ship crashes into the ground, all you see are people being thrown all over the place. They may have made great advances, with wondrous medical gadgets that can heal wounds in seconds, but they wouldn’t need half of that stuff if they just used seatbelts.

The amazing thing about Star Trek is the guy who operates the "Red Alert" button. He is incredibly quick. Next time you watch, note the time delay between Riker saying "Red alert" and the alarm going off. Milliseconds. And no, it’s not the computer – I saw Worf do it once.

And never, ever, have I seen better automatic doors than on Star Trek. People go to walk through them, change their minds, pause to say some last few words… none of this throws the door. The second the person has finally gone through, it shuts. Imagine trying that with 20th century automatic doors. You’d end up with your nose sliced off.

Technology is getting smaller and cheaper all the time, of course. I reckon the first person to develop a combined Walkman/mobile phone will be onto a winner. Okay, I admit it, I have a mobile phone. Not really because I’m important enough to be contacted anytime. Just ‘cos I like having it. Hey, if I want to lie on the beach and phone the speaking clock in Nairobi, I will! (Yeah yeah, sure, shout Yuppie at me).

But I’ve rediscovered the Walkman now. Keeps me occupied on my way to work. You know, in the ol’ green and yellow limousine. But if there’s one thing that will advance portable sound more than anything this decade; one thing that they should be concentrating on beyond all else, it’s an unlosable battery cover. These things must disappear through the same wormhole as all the biro lids.