Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tsunami set to wash away dead wood

What is that pompous fool talking about now? A recession? If a recession was threatening to hit Australia, now, after more than a decade of Peter Costello being Treasurer, how could that possibly be a positive for him?

Is this a tsunami we had to have?

My thinking is that a tsunami of irritated voters threatens Costello and if I were he I would be ringing all my mates on Collins St hocking my CV around.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Getting it all wrong

We split at the supermarket. Beloved and Bear headed home for a feed, I went in, with my pottering mother, on a mission to buy just two things- muesli and cat litter stuff. Half an hour of pottering later we emerge laden down with random items.

I got the wrong muesli. They didn't have the preferred brand (Lowan Tropical, since you asked) so I picked up something that looked nice. I mean, it is birdfood and all, is there a difference? Oh, how I've learned about birdfood, sorry muesli, this evening.

It was wrong, all wrong. It has clusters that dissolve too quickly. It is too high on simple sugars. It's made clear I've made a major stuff up and this will need to be rectified by beloved going herself the next day.

I'm a failure.

So, after I drop my mum at a random church we found for her, hidden away between a couple of quiet suburban streets just where you expect a huge brick monolith to be planted, I head back to the Supermarchet for round B.

I painstakingly read the contents of each and every muesli packet there is. I make sure the leading contenders have no nuts (in case we then touch Bear), are called muesli, look completely like birdfood with no novel features like clusters, and have markedly less sugars than what I bought before.

I note in the process that what I bought before has less sugars than almost all the 'proper' mueslis, but, mine is just to do or die.

I get the rolls royce. It's the better part of $10 for a tiny pouch. I cannot go wrong.

Scroll down...

You know it's coming...

Just about there...

I fucked up royally. This muesli has a code word in the title. Apparently bircher is lithuanian for 'needs soaking overnight or in the microwave like some sort of lumpy porridge.'

Do I give up? What do you think? I'm actually so far past my wits end generally, covering a 1.9 FTE load at work, trying to keep up with what's going on at home, that I just coast on from issue to issue. Flatlining. Not at my best.

Monday, October 01, 2007

This corner of the Planet too Lonely for some

Met by a roar of indifference, Lonely Planet has caused a quirky individual cultural icon based in a struggling suburb in a small nation in the South to be swallowed up by a vast British media beast:

Lonely Planet, which is famous for its international travel guides, is being sold to BBC Worldwide by founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler, and advertising magnate John Singleton who became a shareholder in 1999.

Cue vaccuous weasel-word tripe:

'Joining BBC Worldwide allows us to secure the long-term future of our company within a globally recognised media group,'' the Wheelers said in a statement. ''In our discussions with (BBC), we felt that BBC Worldwide would provide a platform true to our vision and values, while allowing us to take the business to the next level.''

De da da da. They can publish 500 titles but can't come up with a sentence free from inane jargon to explain their decision. I mean, the next level? Does Maureen want to be Secretary General of the UN?

With significant operations in Australia, the US and UK, Lonely Planet publishes about 500 titles including specialist activity guides, shoestring guides and phrase books in various languages. The company also produces and develops factual programming for international broadcasters through Lonely Planet Television and online.

Times are tough.

I know, I'm not making any real point, they're entitled to do whatever they want and no-one has any dignity in business. It's just a shame.

They lead their field, they are already global. They have built so much out of their warehouse digs in Footscray and are an exemplary Aussie start-up and exporter. Despite the considerable handicap of not being based in one of the two nations who think they are entitled to completely dominate most aspects of publishing and the media, they've managed to go round the world and back and completely change travel publishing. If they can't stay here, how can anyone?

Hey Tony and Maureen, would it be that hard to drop the drivel and just say "we did it for the money"?