Why I will never buy Sony products again


I have had it with Sony equipment. Not only do I hate how this multinational juggernaut is taking over the music industry and sticking their products into the film clips made by their artists, but they’re products are crap.

Why the rant? I own two expensive Sony cameras— the DCR-TRV20 digital Handycam and the DSC-F707 digital still camera. They are four and three years old, respectively. Apparently, despite the amount of money they cost me ($2,000 for the Handycam and over $1500 for the still camera), they are now long past their Planned Obsolescence date, because I am starting to have continual problems with both of them. Of course, past the warranty, Sony don’t want to know you, so you are forced to go to one of the very few registered repair shops with your problem; people who also could not care less, since they have a steady revenue stream from schmucks like me. So far I’ve spent $330 having the still camera repaired and over $330 on the video camera. I’ve also had to wait weeks and be treated like an inconvenience during the process. Plus the still camera apparently has one of those ‘intermittent problems’ that crop up magically when I’m using the camera and not when it is being checked for repairs.

I don’t think I’m being out of line in asking for two cameras costing a total of over $3,500 to last more than a few years, though I’m sure Sony considers me part of the throwaway generation that should have long since upgraded to the latest, grooviest Sony product. I mean, some annoying American rap star has it, so I should too, right?

Greedy bastards


I’ve spent the last twenty years of my life paying rent to landlords—and the last eight or so for both a place to live and a studio in which to work. And once again, I’ve been forced to get on the rental house search merry-go-round. I’ve spent a lot of depressing Saturdays looking at overpriced slums, but this morning has the distinction of being the most depressing of them all.

Sydney is a city obsessed with property and obsessed with money. But even I was surprised at the absolute shitboxes some people are attempting to rent at the moment, and the outrageous amounts of money they are asking for them. For a start, prices seem to have jumped 20% in the last nine months. What most amazes me however, is the complete lack of effort these landlords put in to make a house liveable before trying to get tenants. Houses smell, have plaster flaking from the walls, have shoddy built-ins made of unpainted chipboard and interior windows covered with brown paper. And this crap is described as ‘charming’. I saw a tiny passage which would hardly fit a chair described as a ‘study’. I’ve seen bathrooms that you wouldn’t let a dog use. There was a time that some attempt to make a place liveable was necessary to rent it; that time seems to have gone.

Sydney is trapped between obscenely high prices and the lack of a long-term rental culture. And for a couple trying to find a decent house to live in and unwilling to spend the ridiculously huge sums of money needed to buy a place, it’s a getting to be a hard place to live.

Update: Well, that weekend was the proverbial straw; it’s time to give landlords the finger and buy our own place. We’ve already seen the mortagage broker … and it’s not quite as scary as I’d imagined. Now, in defiance of the Sydney zeitgeist, I’ll try not to mention property again.

Back to Latin


I recently did business with someone on eBay, and in response to a query of mine I received this email reply:

hi peter,
it may b coz u put it thru ova tha w/e it may take 24hrs 2 process from the next working day. i definetely wil let uno wen it comes thru.
thx mel

I’m all for saving a little time when you’re in a hurry, but what’s going on here? When I sent this to a friend of mine who is equally annoyed with the demise of the English language in these times of email and SMS, and he had this to say:

Christ! Is there any genuine saving of time in the typing of this? There’s certainly a sensible diminution of comprehension in the reader!

My brain hurts… just look at this stuff:

‘ova’ hmmm, huge saving of ONE letter there

‘wil’ ditto

‘wen’ I’m seeing a pattern here

There’s not even any consistency, as we find ourselves lurching from “b coz u put it thru ova the w/e” to almost a phrase of complete words: “process from the next working day”. It’s like a beam of sunlight shining through dark and murky clouds.

As for ‘tha’: this person needs to be tied over a barrel and whipped with wet birch branches until they can show evidence of being able to spell. Mind you, with ‘eBay’ spelt that way, it’s no surprise these people are confused.

Bring back compulsory Latin I say.

” … whipped with wet birch branches …” Now that’s English!

Meet the new Pope, same as the old Pope


Let me see … European? Check. Doddering old man? Check. Thinks gay people have a ‘condition’ (euphemism for they’ll burn in Hell everlasting)? Check. Would see women as priests over his dead body? Check. Wrote to priests in the US telling them not to vote for the Catholic John Kerry because of his stand on abortion? Check. Rejects the marriage of priests? Check. Rejects all other forms of religion as deficient (even other Christian ones)? Check.

Hmmm … welcome to a new era of tolerance, humility, Christian values—oh, and and millions more dying in Africa because Catholic priests teach condoms cause AIDS, rampant overpopulation in Latin America due to lack of birth control, no freedom of choice for women, the covering up of child abuse … Chosen by God? Chosen by a pack of conservative old men desperately hanging onto their power more likely. Wake up world!

Things I don’t get


I don’t get men who were their floppy polo neck shirt collars up. I don’t get gangsta rap. I don’t get people who name Dirty Dancing as their favourite film. Or George W. Bush supporters. Or people who think the world was made in 7 days and is only 6,000 years old. I don’t get very overweight girls who wear really tight midriff tops; guys who drive around in bright yellow ‘modified’ cars playing loud doof-doof-doof music; shops that use price stickers that don’t come off; property developers; those trucks and bikes with advertising signs attached to them that drive around the city; skywriters; fundamentalist Christians; people who only read magazines and not books; people who borrow books and don’t return them; people who talk really loudly in restaurants; parents who think that ignoring their kid when it has a public tantrum is good parenting; fluffy toys on car dashboards; Oprah Winfrey; Starbucks coffee drinkers; people who don’t drink any form of alcohol just because they got pissed on Southern Comfort and threw up once when they were 15; Australian Idol; water features; greed; waiters who think being rude to you will somehow put them above you even though they would get much more respect by doing their job well; pokie machines; nightclub bouncers; people who buy a house next to a pub that’s been there for twenty years and then complain so much about the noise that the pub has to close; the bullshit sincerity of late night infomercials; and the fashion for pastel T shirts with bad graphics that look as though they all came out of the same factory. I don’t get forcing your beliefs on others. Or people who talk in cinemas.

What do you not get?

Crazy life …


Right now, I’m trying to get my head around understanding which tag is which in Movable Type so I can work out how to format this blog to my satisfaction. For a non-programmer like me this is, as usual, like fighting a giant octopus in a vat of slowly congealing treacle.

I’m also working on print ads, web banners, computer game packaging, websites, mapping artwork and a corporate identity.

In between I’m trying to get the CD artwork finished for my band The Telltales so I can send the golden master CD and the artwork off for the printing and duplication of our second CD release.

I’m also rehearsing with the band, playing squash on Wednesday nights, thinking about revamping my business site at Universal Head, occasionally creating reference sheets for my huge collection of boardgames, wanting to start scuba diving on weekends again, spending time with my wonderful girlfriend, sneaking in a frustrating hour on the xBox now and again playing Thief, updating my Cinema4D resource site, determined to find the time to write a story for the writing club I’m in which meets in a couple of weeks, reading the last book in the incredible ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy by Philip Pullman, trying to save a few bucks, watching Lost in Space Season One and planning to get Sleepy Hollow on DVD, and beginning to think about this year’s Christmas card design for my business.
Sometimes I think I purposely give myself too much to do …

It’s simple, really, you’re wrong

1 comment

I read in the paper this morning that there is a book on the main shelves of the bookshop at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, that presents as fact the idea that the Canyon was created 6,000 years ago by the biblical flood. All efforts by intelligent human beings to have the book moved into the ‘inspirational reading’ section have apparently been thwarted by Christian lobby groups who see such an action as book censorship. The book remains a bestseller.

Is it any wonder they voted George W. Bush back in?

More: relevant article in the New York Times (via Antipixel)

America fucks up again

Comments Off on America fucks up again

Congratulations America, good choice! Four more years of spiralling debt! More innocent lives lost on both sides of a pointless war begun on lies! Sex education and HIV programmes based on the latest in ‘just don’t have sex’ faith-based logic! World-affecting decisions made by a man who doesn’t know not to eat a raw ear of corn and can hardly string a sentence together! Straight to hell for anyone who doesn’t accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour! Another 98 days of the year for Bush to holiday on the ranch!
If he didn’t affect the rest of the world so much, I’d say America deserves him. Unbelievably, the majority of Americans have declared themselves supporters of the actions of their government over the past four years. Obviously being a half wit is no block to becoming the President. Good Morning President Schwarzenegger! Let’s bomb the green bits after lunch!

Some other comments from blogs and places I visit: Maniacal Rage, Andy Budd (more subtle than me), What Do I Know, Never Forget, It’s the American People, Stupid.

For the love of [insert preferred deity here], vote


I certainly can’t recall a more important election for America and the world. If you’re American and reading this, please vote. And—while far be it from me to impose my political and social beliefs on your—oh bugger it, just do the right thing and vote for Kerry willya? No one could possibly be worse than the idiot in the White House right now.


Comments Off on Mushrooms

What a depressing weekend. Howard and Liberal back into power with what looks like the balance of power in the Senate (oh, with the help of a new church-based ‘family values’ party), and Australians prove that as long as their mortgage payments don’t go up a few bucks and Australian Idol keeps churning out the episodes, they don’t give a shit that the person running the country is a deceitful weasel incapable of admitting when he is wrong and slowly turning back the clock on this country until we become a conservative, selfish little isolationist country in the pocket of America.

Look, I don’t claim to be an expert on politics, but it is obvious even to me that the government of a country is responsible for more than running the economy. It sets the ethical tone for a nation. And I’ve never been so depressed by an election result in my life. It’s quite obvious Australians have become soley motivated by money and fear, gripped by a growing conservatism that will slowly intrude more and more into our personal freedoms. Now watch that idiot Bush get back in and the trend continue.

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