Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category

Look what was staring at me.

Monday, February 26th, 2024

On our trip north last year, we were having dinner in our apartment near Torquey, Queensland and I got rather a shock. 

I went to serve myself some salad and this little feller was staring at me from the bowl. 

I doubt a really good food stylist could create this, even if they tried.

It was just a freak of nature.

You Don’t Own Me.

Saturday, January 27th, 2024

 

At night, we very often listen to Spotify and most often we listen to the songs of our era.

These I regard as the soundtracks to our lives.

Just recently Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit single ‘You Don’t Own Me’ was playing. As I listened to the lyrics, I thought just how far ahead of its time this song was.

It was Gore’s second most successful hit after ‘It’s My Party’ recorded in her debut album of 1963, when she was only 16 years of age.

‘You Don’t Own Me’ was also a winner in the pop charts, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964, where it stayed for three weeks.

Its rival for the top spot was taken by the Beatles ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’.

Surprisingly it was written by two blokes, David White and John Madara.

I wonder what their mates thought of this song back then.

Since its recording the song has been hailed as an early feminist anthem. It has been seen as a deciding factor in influencing the Second Wave Feminist Movement, that started in the early 1960s.

In 2016 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Better late than never. 

Gore was very much our contemporary, being born in New York City in 1946. She unfortunately died, at a relatively early age in 2015, aged 68.   

Just read the lyrics and you will understand what I’m saying about the song.

Lyrics: 

You don’t own me

I’m not just one of your many toys

You don’t own me

Don’t say I can’t go with other boys

And don’t tell me what to do

Don’t tell me what to say

And please, when I go out with you

Don’t put me on display ’cause

You don’t own me

Don’t try to change me in any way

You don’t own me

Don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay

I don’t tell you what to say

I don’t tell you what to do

So just let me be myself

That’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be young

I’m free and I love to be free

To live my life the way I want

To say and do whatever I please

And don’t tell me what to do

Oh, don’t tell me what to say

And please, when I go out with you

Don’t put me on display

I don’t tell you what to say

Oh, don’t tell you what to do

So just let me be myself

That’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be young

I’m free and I love to be free

Surprisingly, I’m agreeing with the church – again.

Friday, October 6th, 2023

 

Back in 2013, I wrote a blog in support of a poster on the facade of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. 

That message has remained up there for the last ten years. 

However now it has changed and the new one, again wins my applause. 

This one is in support of the ‘Yes’ vote. 

Good on you St Paul’s, you have hit the mark once more. 

Vote yes.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

Surely the original owners of this country, who have been here for over 65,000 years, should have a say in how it’s run. 

I just couldn’t help myself.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2023

So many people around the world think it, I just had to visualise it.

This logo stands for nothing, just like the company.

Monday, June 26th, 2023

PwC or Price Waterhouse Cooper, is a company that is well known in financial circles.

But now it’s known nation-wide – for all the wrong reasons. 

I had heard of PwC but never been exposed to their corporate identity, until now.

However as this visual abhorrence keeps on featuring nightly in the news, I realised that there was a real connection between the logo and the company image – both are bad.

Below is a quote from the ABC’s business reporter, Daniel Ziffer, that really sums up just how rotten they are:

(PwC) “…..being involved in shaping secret government tax plans and then creating and selling a scheme to thwart them to multinational companies dubbed the ‘Dirty 30’.”

Now, in a last minute act of guilt, they have sold off all their government business for $1. 

Of course this doesn’t take into account the millions they have already made fraudulently.

PwC is a large company and I am sure they would have paid a respected design firm a good price for this logo disaster.

I can only speculate that the client got their way with the design and the designers just took the money and ran.

If I were them, I’m not sure what I would be more embarrassed about now.

The logo or the company it represents.

When a good idea gets compromised.

Saturday, May 27th, 2023

Supermarket trolleys have been around for quite some time.

The first one was invented in June 1937 by Sylvan Goldman, the owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oklahoma, USA.

He simply took a folding wooden chair, attached wheels to the legs and a basket on the seat. He had already pioneered the idea of a self-serving store, so this was a natural progression.

Sylvan saw it as a way to get customers to purchase more, because they could carry more, on each trip to the store.

They were also seen to be of benefit to the customers, especially getting around the store and then to their vehicle or whatever form of transport they used to get home.

However now, because so many are abandoned, they are seen as nuisance.

And the supermarkets only have themselves to blame.

When some supermarket chains introduced the ‘pay to borrow’ concept the number of abandoned trolleys reduced dramatically.

The refundable $1 and $2 coins was enough incentive for people to return them to the racks. 

As is always the case, there were still lazy buggers who couldn’t be bothered and didn’t mind forfeiting their money. However this was counteracted by the people who couldn’t see the money go to waste. They were very happy to get some free cash and would willingly return other people’s trolleys, even if it meant a short walk back to the supermarket racks.

Then the supermarkets introduced plastic tokens, to replace the real money, and the entire system started to fall apart.

And they gave the tokens away. 

Now there was absolutely no incentive to return your trolley. Which is surprising, from the supermarket’s perspective, as a trolley can cost anywhere from $300, for a basic model, to $600 for a large child enabled one.

Some local councils put the onus of retrieving abandoned trolleys back onto the supermarkets. But this is just a bandaid and doesn’t take into account the inherent laziness of many people.

Apparently Coles are currently trialing the use of a QR code on their trolleys.

Firstly you have to download the app, then sign up to a Coles account. Once that is done you then have to scan the trolley and purchase a refundable digital token worth $2.

Once you have returned the trolley and rescanned the code again your money will be refunded.

So paying for a trolley has come full circle.

However this also has its downside.

With more and more personal data being compromised, just look at the Lattitude Financial debacle, people are unwilling to sign up to yet another scheme. 

Then there’s the fact that we still have a large group of ‘Boomers’ who just don’t get the digital age. They still visit a bank, carry cash and post letters to their friends.

They are being left out of so much and now the simple task of getting a trolley might yet be another example of contemporary life just abandoning them.

Why the supermarkets don’t just return to the old system of ‘cash for a trolley’ is beyond me.

Whatever happened to original architecture?

Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

In domestic architecture the ‘Hampton Style’ is popping up all over Australia, even in Hampton, here in Melbourne.

But it’s not from here. 

The current iteration comes from The Hamptons, on the East Coast of Long Island in New York.

Even this style was influenced by Colonial India.

The Indian Bungalow, known as a ‘Bangla’ originated in Bengal between the 1760s and 1850s and was developed to house British colonial officials.

This style was first introduced into Australia in the 1840s and became known as the ‘Queenslander’.

In the past, the United States had Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and Australia had Robin Boyd (1919-1971). However in the last 50 years, no one seems to have stepped up to leave their mark on domestic architecture.

I have always bitched about the lack of originality, especially in the US. 

However now we seem to have adopted their boring approach of just copying the past.

The best of both worlds.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

On a recent ‘overseas trip’, well it was over the bay to Queenscliff, we visited the Queenscliff Brewhouse for lunch.

This is a great craft brewery and restaurant, just a short walk from the ferry terminal.

There I had an IPA (India Pale Ale), which isn’t unusual, but the beer certainly was.

It was described as a Chardonnay IPA.

I got chatting to a guy, who was sitting at a table near by, and he believed it was matured in Chardonnay oak barrels, which made perfect sense.

Then I got talking to the manager and got the full picture. He took me behind the bar and showed me the ‘Barman’s briefing notes’ that were attached to the beer tap.

And sure enough, it was matured in Chardonnay barrels but it also contained 7% of the wine itself.

It was a great American, West Coast style, IPA with a fruity character, obviously helped by the inclusion of the Chardonnay.

If you like your wine but want a beer, this is for you.

This one came out of the blue.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

While having coffee at Le Capucin in Portsea, I noticed this rather lovely bit of art in the window of an antique shop near by.

I felt it was perfect for our house in Sorrento, so I decided to buy it. We have owned the place for over 30 years so this was going to be a celebration of that.

The following day, when I looked in the shop again, it was gone. I then asked the owner, Sally, if she still had it and this is where it got interesting. She told me she did and then gave me some background information to it.

It was based on a Reckitt’s Blue poster that was produced in the 1930s’ and signed by the artist Rowles. Unfortunately I can’t find any information on this particular illustrator.

I recall my mother using a Reckitt’s Blue Bag in our copper (yes, back in the 50s we had a copper). The ingredients of the blue bag was synthetic ultramarine and sodium bicarbonate. It was put in the boiling water to help whiten the washing. As most sheets and shirts were white and not synthetic back then, it was used a lot.

It was also used as a remedy for bee stings and bull ant bites. My mother used to just rub a wet Reckitt’s Blue Bag over the affected area and magically the pain would disappear.

The original Reckitt’s Blue poster, used for this piece, has been reworked to delete the ‘Reckitt’s’ and the baseline, ‘Freshness out of the Blue’ and customise it for Sorrento.

Sally then admitted that she was the artist and had created it in 1996.

I love art but when it comes with a great story, it’s even better.