Another crazy coincidence


Nice picture!

I’ve spoken of coincidences before, but I had a doozy on Saturday night.

One of the movies on TV was Hotel Rwanda, and one of the stars in that is Don Cheadle. I’ve seen that movie before and didn’t want to watch it again. Instead, desperate for something to watch, I went back through the programs saved up on my hard disk recorder. One that I recorded more than two years ago is The Guard, a comedy about an Irish poloiceman (hah! I just accidentally misspelled that word, but I think I’ll leave it with its forrtuitous Irish accent. Hah! There’s another one, an Irish burr.)

But I digress. I picked this movie quite at random. Who’s the star? Don Cheadle!  Maybe I had a deep unconscious memory that he was in it and was reminded by the Hotel Rwanda. I don’t know.


Another tilted picture:

3872And the corrected version:

3872untiltIsn’t that better? A full 2.8 degrees. Why do they not fix it before release?


Abraj-al-bait Towers MeccaAn example of Saudi Arabia’s good taste. This is Mecca. This is a city where we infidels, we Western unbelievers are not allowed to go. We would be arrested and held without charge or trial. A fine example of Muslim tolerance.

Muslims can’t be trusted.

They can protest all they like, but we can never relax. We can never be sure some Muslim won’t pull out a gun or knife and kill us in the name of Allah. It’s been proven time and time again.


Interesting map:

1-Q38Gk9GYlbvHyibX4IwqiwThe coloured lines are their High Speed Rail lines, capable of 200Km/h and above. Wow. I went on one short run from Shanghai to the airport, but here we have the entire country connected by these high speed trains. The context is that China has the capacity to very quickly move troops anywhere in the country in a matter of hours. The article said China has borders with 14 other countries.

Interesting that they show Taiwan in this map, and with a blue line, capable of 300Km/h or above. Meanwhile, we can’t make a decision on anything, not even light rail in Perth. Hopeless.


Speaking of motorbike riders, as I was last week: a few days ago I was coming home on Marmion Ave, on the section where it narrows down to a single lane in each direction. There’s a 2m wide cycle path on the left, but no gap on the right next to the grassed median strip.

There’s no gap, but that didn’t stop a motorbike rider from trying to push his way through the stopped line of traffic on the right in this narrow gap between cars and the median strip! Amazingly, cars were edging left to let him do it. Luckily he got stopped a few cars behind me. I would have considered edging right or opening my door to check my tyres if he’d reached me. We were stopped, after all.


Last week I also lamented having blown up that laptop power brick that I’d rewired to run a Betacam SP recorder … Well, my face is red.

I had another look a few nights ago (just before I went to bed – doesn’t everyone do electronic repairs just before bed?) This time I noticed that the mains AC power plug was a little loose on the socket. I pushed it in and bingo – I had +12V again.

On Saturday I tentatively plugged it into the recorder and with fingers crossed, switched on. Hey hey, lights on, whirring noise and all good. Exercised the mechanism a little, then put a cassette in and it threaded up. Hit PLAY, and it played.


Is this clutter, or what? That’s the Betacam SP machine on top of the computer. That recorder would be over 30 years old by now!

That’s where the good news ends. I have a monochrome (black and white) picture but the chroma is all messed up. I’m guessing it’s an adjustment, but which one, I don’t know without the manual. I phoned a Channel 7 mate but he confirms that all the manuals were thrown out in the dumper bins when they moved to Osborne Park earlier this year. So I’ll have to search on the web for a manual.

STOP PRESS: manuals found easily on the web today. One for the BVW35P shown above — AU$7.36 for the PDF download. I also bought the two volumes for the PVW2650 rack mounting player also at AU$7.36 each. Done.


Interestingly, my mate says that they do absolutely no fault fixing in Perth now, not even module swapping to isolate a problem. If something goes faulty, the management rule is that the entire piece of equipment, e.g. a studio camera, goes back to Sydney, to Sony or Bosch or Quantel or whoever the manufacturer is.All servicing is to be done in Sydney.

That means that no-one in Perth is getting any experience on the equipment any more. Some guys have had training in the past, but they’re the older guys nearing retirement (the last real training was 20-30 years ago!). There are only about six guys left in Engineering at Ch 7 Perth, and about three of them are nearing retirement. My mate is 63.

That’s Aussie management – don’t invest in people, cut costs in any way you can, so that the top guy gets his bonuses. Even at the risk of future problems, don’t plan that far ahead. Thank goodness I’m out.


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