Monday, May 29, 2006

Let's swap Puzzle game

Tetrod is a small puzzle game which is highly addictive. You swap the puzzle pieces until all the edges match up. There are four levels of play, 4x3 is pretty easy. 5x5 is pretty hard and takes some serious concentration.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Australia Post - 5 star effort!

I have to give Australia Post 5 stars for todays mail. It was addressed to 15 Lennox Crescent, Paluma. While we own the house, it is a holiday house, not a normal residence. In large orange letters someone added "Not Paluma Try JCU". Obviously when the mail got to JCU someone else added a circle with ITR? All up, with some effort on several people, I got the mail.

It's pretty funny though. All that effort and what is the content? "My name is David Rhodes and in September..." Yes, Australia Post put in an extraordinary effort for a classic pyramid scam letter! I will profit from the transaction - someone attached a 5 cent piece to the letter.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reflections on Levels of Fame

I think that in our house, you can identify 4 levels of fame of actors

Have seen before

Pretty certain we've seen this person before. Not sure where or in what context.

Oh that person played so and so (in such and such)

Can identify actor by some key role, but still don't remember their real name. Just the names of the roles. Sometimes the name of the show/movie has to accompany the role name.

That's XXX YYY. They played so and so (in such and such)

Can identify actor by name. Still needs some extra information about key roles to remember them properly.

That's XXX YYY

Actor is known by name. No need to refer to any extra information.

Not all actors have to pass through all stages. Michael Wincott went from 'he was in Three Mustketeers' to Michael Wincott after two more movies. What a lovely voice he has. Other actors never move out of the first stage of 'seen them before'. A lot of actors get stuck in stage 2 'he played General Burkhalter in Hogan's Heroes.' It takes something special to past stage 2.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Reflections on Hogan's Heroes

This is a longish story that begins with a great crime fighting show Inspector Rex (Kommissar Rex) specifically an episode titled "Bring mir den Kopf von Beethoven". There's a brief appearance by one actor in that episode who looked a lot like the man who played General Burkhalter (IMDB reveals the actor's name is Leon Askin).

When trying to determine if Askin ever appeared on Inspector Rex, first I had to go to IMDB to find the actor. IMDB does not have any credit for the Rex for this actor, but I did find that he had returned to Vienna (where Rex was filmed) and had died in 2005. That was a bit of a surprise, he was quite obese and lived to 98! The official site for Leon Askin does not mention Kommissar Rex either but the actor was in the right place at the right time to be on the show.

So back to reflections on Hogan's Heroes. I had previously heard that Werner Klemperer was Jewish German and his family made it out of Germany in the 1930s. Further investigation shows that John Banner was also from Vienna. While I never thought about it as a kid, no wonder the Germans on Hogan's Heroes sounded authentic. Three of the key Germans on the show spoke German as a first language.

Oh, and the credits of that episode of Inspector Rex do have Leon Askin as the last of the guests. So in the end, I was right. He was looking pretty good for an actor in his 90s.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Theme for the week - drinkies

A subject near and dear to almost every Aussies heart. Today's subject - red wine. Australia has many fine large and small wineries. Townsville is located fairly far from any of them. So a while ago now, I joined the Australian Wine Selectors. Once every 12 weeks, we get a dozen mixed red wines. We belong to their regional series plan. This means that each dozen bottles comes from one wine growing region, but the next box will have wines from a different region.

This works fairly well for us. We have one nice bottle of red/week without needing to angonise for ages in a bottle shop. All the bottles have been from a good drop to a great one. And the prices for the dozen are quite reasonable.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Little flash sound toy

Jig-Sound is a very cute little idea. There are a number of small sound snippets. You use a pencil to connect the sounds in any way you like. Left to right connections play the sounds sequentially. Top to bottom connections play simulataneously. Cute