January 31, 2008

Horse 850 - It's a UTE!


I always like to compare badge engineering of motor cars and Holden is no exception. Thanks to GM Americas handling of the GTO which effectively killed off our Monaro, I'm wondering if Detroit is accidentally going kill off our Ute as well.

Pontiac already intend to start selling the Commodore under the highly emotive nameplate G8 which if anything conjures up all the excitement of a heads of government meeting. Maybe GM didn't wan't to sully the memories of people not yet born by not reviving an old name like "El Camino", "Caballero" or something equally as weird as "El Caballo Blanco", instead all America gets are two crappy suffix letters "ST" for Sport Truck.

What the heck is a "Sport Truck"? It's not a truck, it's not a "Pickup Truck", and it's certainly not a "Coupe Utility" like someone at Americocentric Wikipedia would have you believe. No way, if you want to be all high and mighty, it might be a Utility but if you're a True Blue Dinky-Di chuck lamb on the barbie, it's a Ute mate. If your long-haired, dole bludging, soap-avoiding, pot-smoking hippie vegetarians might disagree with me, they can get stuffed. They know the way to the airport, and if they don’t, I’ll show them - they can go for a ride in the back of the ute with the dogs.

It's likely that it will most likelty get the stonkin' 6L V8 under the bonnet and charge out for US$31,000 or if you wish A$34,900 which is about 5 grand cheaper than what we can get them, yet from what I've read on forums, they're still having a bleat about the price. Look, it's built in Oz by blokes who know what they're doing; we're just sending back you're engines wrapped in a better car. You get what you pay for, quality.
The current 5.3L V8 Grand Prix sells for $33,000 and the V8 G8 is going to undercut that by 3 grand. It must be said that the ST also undercuts this as well and not only this, it's a vehicle which hasn't even existed in concept in America for over 20 years, so there's nothing to compare it to.

The Ute, as quinesentially Strayan as a hot pie while watching Collingwood and Melbourne at the G and then running over a stray roo on the way home. Somehing about Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars? Maybe; maybe not in the land of Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet... except it's a Pontiac (isn't that a potato?)

Keep your hands off our Utes Jardine!

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


Just like your disposition eh?

January 30, 2008

Horse 849 - ABC1


Rumours abound this morning that Aunty intends to drop her "squiggle" logo after 50 years. ABC TV is to be renamed ABC 1 whilst ABC 2 remains, er... ABC 2. ABC 2 we've known about for a fair while now, meanwhile the rebranded ABC 1 will have to do better if this is its logo. I think it looks downright gumby.

Because of Digital TV and the opportunity for extra data-casting, the big four networks have each been allocated three channels with the ABC getting four. I can however see a problem in this though - in the UK, the BBC's main rivals are ITV, Channel 4 and Five. The Beeb brands itself as BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Four. ITV is ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 3 and ITV 4. Channel 4 has Channel 4, E4, Film 4 and More 4. Five lines up as Five, Five Life and Five US. What happens in Oz?

The ABC is set up as ABC 1, ABC 2 and ABC 3 but Channel 7 can't very well brand itself as 7 1 can it? 7.1 perhaps? Maybe one insipred idea would be to run backwards through their own archives and call on of their channels 17. Or possibly this is merely a shameless excuse to put a picture of Dick Johnson's 1983 Falcon up. Either way, the logo still looks cool.

Personally I think that ABC 1 should take a leaf from BBC One and rebrand itself ABC One. That way, Aunty could retain it's "squiggle" logo and as the national broadcaster, retain a touch of class. Right click the following to see what I mean.


And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


Yes Mr Mandela, it's a very dark day indeed.

January 29, 2008

Horse 848 - Let's Train Fat People

I steal the following from the Sydney Morning Herald:

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a second bridge across Iron Cove looks set to join the Iemma Government's long list of troubled transport initiatives as construction costs blow out by $100 million - all for a 50-second saving on the time motorists wait in traffic.
In a mid-2006 report on the proposed upgrade of Victoria Road - one of the most congested routes into the city - the Roads and Traffic Authority estimated it could spend $44.8 million building the second four-lane crossing, with a city-bound bus lane from the western end of Iron Cove and better access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The report, just released under freedom of information laws to residents campaigning against a second bridge, said the extra lanes would improve bus times. It would also cut the time taken by traffic heading to the city in the morning peak by an average of more than 50 seconds per vehicle.
Since then the Government has expanded the project to include wider improvements to Victoria Road from Drummoyne to Rozelle, new traffic arrangements in those suburbs, bus bays and an outbound bus lane.

That, and higher construction costs and underwater surveys, have lifted the bill to $150 million, says the RTA. It says the 2006 report was a concept only and never endorsed by its executive. However, the Victoria Road Community Committee said that after spending $150 million, the Government would have done nothing to improve overall traffic flow on Victoria Road by 2011.

If you then flick your eyes less than 3 inches to the right you find the following with the headline We're fat because we have to drive:

AS Morris Iemma released a shame file yesterday exposing the fattest areas in the state, some of his targets blamed his Government.

Exercise more, the Premier urged families, as he revealed the extent of the worsening obesity crisis in NSW, but residents of the fattest urban area in the state pointed to a chronic shortage of public transport as a reason behind their sedentary lifestyles.

Back in June 2001 the then Carr Government, published a report called the Christie Report which tabulated and detailed suggestions and costings for an integrated rail network to be built by 2010. That can be found here: http://www.aptnsw.org.au/christie/

To date, we've had a half-arsed attempt to build half of one of the proposed railway lines and no attempts to build the other 5 suggested in the report. Since then we've had the M7, The M5 East, the Cross-City tunnel and the Gore Hill freeway open; all with tolls on and none of which have actually solved any traffic problems but shifted them from richer to poorer suburbs.

Can anyone else see a problem? These are the facts:

1. We have a government that supposedly wants to encourage public transport use.
2. That same government has encouraged less public transport use by building four private motorways.
3. We have a public who wants to use public transport.
4. The results are obesity.

Let's fill you in on something from another government institution - CityRail. In one advert they proclaimed that "every 8-car train helps to keep up to 2000 cars off the road". If those 2000 cars (or 10000 cars and hour) weren't on the road in the first place, then the road bridge would not have had to be planned in the first place. This was subject to a plan that was made 7 years ago!

Dear Mr Iemma, this is your spineless fault. If you'd done what your own damn planing ministers had suggested then there wouldn't be a problem now. Not only that but we'd have a decent train service by now but no... someone needs a decent smack upside the head. Build the damn railway line!

For shame! BOO!!!

And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


It's a pity you only have one word Mr Mandela. I'd add "very" to that.

January 25, 2008

Horse 847 - Caring About Australia Day is UnAustralian

The Mosman Daily which is famous for its constant ragging of Mosman Council, and its latest rip is to label the council as Un-Australian for not organising any special events for Australia Day. I would argue however that taking the public holiday without caring what it's for is very Australian indeed. It's the most important reason why we still haven't become a republic - we'd lose the Queen's Birthday weekend.

The following things are decidedly UnAustralian:

1. Knowing the words to the second verse of the national anthem
2. Promite
3. Drinking wine at a BBQ
4. Having receipts for the first $300 of your tax deductions
5. SUVs

6. Being a call centre operator
7. Having two footy teams in the same code
8. Shrimp (they're Prawns!)
9. Not understand the intracasies and finer point of the LBW law
10. Putting the score the "correct" way round in cricket
11. Not going in the office Melbourne Cup sweep
12. Actually doing any work at all on Melbourne Cup day
13. Putting z's in words like colourise
14. Calling them "zee"
15. Not putting a 'k' on the end of everythink
16. Bashing someone with a baseball bat (you should use a cricket bat)
17. Not knowing "The Don's" average
18. Having no dogs in your ute
19. Tofu, Rocket, Alfalfa and Wheatgrass
20. People who label others as UnAustralian based on spurious assertions

This Australia Day is already very Australian, the Australian Open is on telly as is the Test Match with India (by the way, happy Republic Day India), so let's celebrate the day by doing the most Australian thing that we can think of... taking the public holiday without caring what it's for!
And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


Hmm, me thinks I should get a coat.

January 17, 2008

Horse 846 - In Love With Chu

In November of 2005 the Pussycat Dolls in their badly misspelled album and series of singles proclaimed:
Nobody gonna love me better, I'm gon' stick wit Chu forever.
Nobody gonna take me higher, I'm gon' stick wit Chu..
You know how to appreciate me, I'm gon' stick wit Chu my baby!
Nobody ever made me feel this way, I'mma stick wit Chu...

In December 2006, Fergie (also of the Black Eyed Peas) told the world:
You got me slippin', tumbling, sinking, fumbling
Clumsy cuz I'm fallin in love
So in love wit Chu.

Apparantly the Queens of the Stone Age have some sort of building project:
I wanna make it,
I wanna make it wit Chu,
Anytime, anywhere,
I wanna make it,
I wanna make it wit Chu,

Someone who has the mental capacity of a 3 year old and refers to themselves simply as Da Brat, infected the airwaves this morning with the following gem of wisdom:
And it's the brat tat tat y'all
And its another album
Uh huh and its so phat phat phat y'all
Ooooh Im in love, Im in love, Im in love, Im in love wit Chu.

Popular music over the past 2 years has taken a decidedly strange turn. It has often been said that Eastern and Western Cultures collide in rather magical ways, though I tend to wonder why the music industry has a sudden interest in a 10th Century Southern Chinese Kingdom.

It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense really.

And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


Oh come now Mr Mandela, cloudy weather isn't that bad is it?

January 15, 2008

Horse 845 - Big Brother Corporation - We are the BBC

The World Service's classic signature tune Lillibullero is broadcast just before the top of many hours, followed by the Greenwich Time Signal (five short and one long pips) and the hourly news. Modern trailers featuring a variety of international broadcasting centres sometimes replace Lillibullero entirely on themed weeks. Until fairly recently, the hourly sequence was preceded by the announcement "This is London" — it is now followed by a more promotional "Wherever you are, you are with the BBC" or "With world news every half hour, this is the BBC".

In recent months, Lillibullero has been shortened by extra trailers. It has been suggested (by World Service staff) that the reduction in the use of Lillibullero is firstly because of its background as a Protestant marching song in Northern Ireland and secondly as, in modern branding terms, it is somewhat out of step with a modern, global news organisation.

I will freely admit though that the observation that the BBC's television music has gone rather too far the other way though.


Comedian Bill Bailey makes a rather humorous rant about the theme tune to BBC News. This is heard all over the world both on domestic TV, BBC News 24 as well as on BBC World; sneakily they've also snuck the pips into their theme song one way or another. I'm not sure if the BBC is as dastardly as Bill Bailey would have you believe, but they produce 120 hours of English Language services every day across all seven continents. No other news service is that big or banned with such ferocity from various countries. It is not allowed to be viewed or listened to in Iran, Burma or Zimbabwe, all of which have denounced the BBC as a terrorist organisation. Almost literally "Wherever you are, you are with the BBC" whether you want to be or not.

And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela


Hmm, I suppose that the weather today is a bit "Yeah".

January 10, 2008

Horse 844 - I Can Has A Cheeseburger

Wat I thunk Id do wuz start 2oo8 wit a lolcat cuz they iz a gud wai to start 2oo8. Kthxbai.

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