Me Lego

In which the author waxes wroth concerning marketing of audio-visual adaptations

I just saw something which irritated me enough that I had to vent about it somewhere.

I was at the video store and saw DVDs of the TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel, Hogfather. So far, so good.

But the DVD case has a tagline "In the tradition of Lemony Snickets and Harry Potter!"

In the tradition? In the tradition?

Hogfather is the 20th book in the Discworld series. It was published in 1996.

The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997.

The first Lemony Snickett book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" was published in 1999.

Now, I realise that Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett made it to the cinemas, which Pratchett still hasn't done, and a few years before this TV adaptation came out.

But seriously: give the guy some damn respect. It wouldn't be fair to say that Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett are in Pratchett's tradition; after all they're children's books. But it sure as heck isn't fair to make Hogfather out to be some derivative work riding in Rowling & Snicket's coat tails!

  • Current Mood
    irritated irritated
Me Lego

Of times past & the tinted lenses of history

I visited a fascinating town called New Norcia. (Note: the section on the Abbey's history at the end of the Wikipedia article is... well... outrageously one-sided, apologetic and racist. I might try and do something about that later... but the photos are still good.)

This town is the only purely monastic town in Australia. It's composed of a monastery, a church, a number of schools, and at one time included a convent and a number of cottages intended to house Aborigines who had converted to Christianity & the European lifestyle. The convent is still standing, and now houses a museum and art gallery, but the cottages are long gone.

The local Benedictine monks own the whole place, including the local hotel & its attached liquor licence. (Apparently, the monks sometimes refer to it as "their house of sin"). The hotel was apparently built as a component of the monk's compliance with the Rule of St Benedict, which includes a heavy emphasis on hospitality... but I'm sure that they are well aware of the value of the income it generates as well.

Nowadays, the place is intriguing but also slightly sad. Most of the buildings are no longer used for their original purposes; of the four schools built at the site, none now operate as full-time educational institutes. The closest they get is hosting conferences and music camps. The population of 70 monks at the monastery's height has declined to a population of around 9 to 11 (sources conflict) with an average age of 65. The eldest is 96. While the monks have over recent years done a fantastic job of restoration of the fine buildings and conservation of the artwork, the town reminds me of a butterfly being "preserved" - flapping its wings for the last few times before being pinned to a board and put under glass. With the way the Catholic Church is going in the West, it's hard to imagine a resurgence in the monkly population any time soon.
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful
Me Lego

In which we discuss the twin joys of non-surgery and household appliances

Well I had a follow up appointment with the orthopaedic doctor. He made scary noises about surgery (to prevent loss of joint movement & development of arthritis in later life), but decided to send me off for a CAT scan of my elbow before deciding. In the end, it seems that no surgery is necessary. Ah, no surgery - my favourite kind of surgery!

I got a short appointment with a physio who gave me some exercises to do. They hurt, but I suppose they're necessary and therefore worthwhile.

In other news, I bought a vacuum cleaner. It was expensive (a Miele) but nevertheless good value, I think - I got it for 10% off RRP and also a free extended warranty. I am also considering buying a Miele combination washing machine/tumbledryer that is currently available for about $900 off. However it is $900 off a very expensive appliance and I have some doubts about whether combination units of that type are a good idea. It is a lot cheaper than a Miele washing machine and a Miele dryer.... but it is definitely more expensive than Miele washing machine + no-dryer, and might even be more expensive than Miele WM + other brand dryer. Hmm. Not sure what to do.
Me Lego

(no subject)

Coulda been a better weekend.

On Saturday, a pedestrian stepped out at very close range while I was riding down hill, causing me to fall off my bicycle and land rather heavily on my arms. I have fractured a bone in my left elbow and sprained my right thumb.

So, no viola playing for a few weeks...

Anyway, it's more inconvenient than painful.
  • Current Mood
Me Lego

In which we announce the end of the Nova FM Hegemony

Well, I went out and bought some Sennheiser ear-bud type headphones, so Nova FM need no longer mar my workday!

Incidentally, I thought up a new slogan for them:

"Nova FM: Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect!"

Because I don't know about you, but I know what it gives me... :)
  • Current Music
    Philip Glass Symphonies, mmm
Me Lego

In which we attend a Harmonious Musical Event

Went to a rehearsal of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra + some random choir, courtesy of my generous hosts & some free tickets from Alcoa. They did a run through of Rachmaninoff's "Bells", which was very nice apart from having classical operatic soloists in parts (still haven't acquired a taste for that). I love orchestral music; I love massed choirs (usually); still not a fan of classical solo singing. Too much vibrato, and the demands for volume/projection of sound mean a rather unnatural sound IMO; I prefer a more naturalistic singing voice (when I listen to singing at all, which is rare).

After the interval they did some detailed rehearsal of various parts. It appears that the orchestra is being conducted by the Swedish Chef in disguise as a middle-aged man, as far as I could make out from the conductor's instructions. I think I would have found this part of the rehearsal much more interesting if I could understand what the conductor was saying; then I could have treated it as a sort of master class. In practice, about the only things I could make out were references to bar numbers. Oh, and he said "viola" once. The rest was pretty much "bork bork bork" :D

On the way to the rehearsal, the bus was 10 minutes late (or so), turning a gentle 20 minute stroll into a hectic 10 minute run/jog that left me coughing a bit for the first half of the rehearsal - very embarrasing & annoying. My lungs & throat do not respond well to such "vigorous" treatment, which is a major reason why I rarely do it. I don't mind running so much, but I hate the aftereffects. I think me & cycling will get on much better...

But despite everything is was still a good evening. I hadn't heard Bells before and a lot of it's really good. And, of course, it has lots of bells in it, which adds something quite special to the sound.
Me Lego

In which Our Hero comments on a curious phenomenon in the elyctromagnetick æther

I was setting up a set of powered speakers on my desk at work yesterday.

I plugged them in to the power supply and turned them on. At this station, the signal jack was still disconnected.

And the speakers started playing Radio National, loud and clear.

When I put them down, the radio stops. But, whenever my hand is near the volume control, I pick up Radio National again, thanks to the miracle of capacitative coupling turning my body into a radio aerial. When I move my hand away, the speakers play whatever signal I'm putting down the wire (ie music from the computer).

This is probably due to the fact that the office is just down the hill from the ABC transmission mast. It's still quite wacky, though. Note to self: ensure that any headphones I buy for my mp3 player don't do the same thing!
  • Current Music