I want to write and tell stories.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Anyone doing a medical show spec?

I came across, what I thought was an interesting medical story, here in Oz. I am not sure if it would suit House, but you never know. I am not up on latest hot spec shows, so not sure if ER spec's are still being written. Could even suit Scrubs actually.

Shoot me an email if interested in reading the article. I wont post it here, otherwise there is a chance that more than one could use it, which would not be of assistance to anyone.

First email in gets a look. If that person does not want to use it, let me know, and I can pass it onto the next email, that is if I get more than one email. :)

Also, bit of parenting advice we learnt yesterday(My daughter never did this).

If your two year old ever walks into the kitchen, grabs a tea towel and walks out.

Follow him!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

They actually found someone?

I would have thought this would have been the same as asking whether you wanted to be the Social Director on the Titanic.

TONY Snow, a commentator and radio show host on the Fox News broadcasting network, has been selected to be the new official White House spokesman, Fox News reported today.Mr Snow would replace outgoing press secretary Scott McClellan, who announced his resignation last week as part of a shake-up of US President George W. Bush's top staff.

A career journalist and columnist, Mr Snow did a stint as speechwriter in the White House for Mr Bush's father President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

It's a great ship, don't worry about that huge iceberg sitting in the harbour, no-way we'll hit that.

Isn't that two different "CJ Craig's" he's gone through now?

Wonder if post-position counselling is included in the employment contract?

Where's Scooter when you need him?

Monday, April 24, 2006


I managed to fit in Kokoda last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I always have an uneasy feeling when saying that, in relation to a war movie that depicts the action realistically. I don’t take pleasure in the vivid image’s of young men and women being killed or maimed in combat, but I think it is important that people see what previous generations went through to ensure we have the freedoms we enjoy nowadays.

Nowadays, unfortunately, CNN shows these images in real-time.

Back to the movie.
The movie is timely, and this was planned, as tomorrow(25th April) is Anzac Day (Anzac: Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.). The day that Australia remembers the men and women who have fought and died for this country. I believe that the equivalent in the US is Memorial Day.

Is it similar to the breathtaking scope of Saving Private Ryan, where you criss-crossed miles of well known battlefields. No. Is it a good film, yes. Could it be a better film. Yes, however that applies to nearly every movie.

The main criticism of Kokoda I have read so far, is that it does not tell a large enough story, there is not much backstory to the main characters(therefore you don’t get to see their motivation), and that the Japanese are faceless(literally, I don’t recall actually seeing one face of the Japanese), therefore you cannot see the enemy as human.

Okay, fair criticism, but I believe it is also only true, depending on your point of view.

Not enough back story.
They were drafted and/or volunteered and ended up there as chocolate soldiers. That is covered in the VO at the start. Yes, of course it would have been nice to have more back story on each main character, but that would have led to more locations, more cost. Have I mentioned the budget they shot this on? $4.5 million. How much did SPR cost to make? $70 million. Did the director/writer want to put in more back story, possibly. Could he. I doubt it on that budget, when you consider all the action scenes and the number of bodies (I am not referring to dead bodies either, just the actual number of actors) in the film.

Drafted? Bad luck, no motivation, but it happened, that was the reality. Volunteered? Australia was definitely perceived as being under threat of invasion, and this was addressed during the movie. Yes, you could go on and on about each individual and give that as well, but, in most cases, every person who fights in a war does not particularly want to be there, they just are, and they deal with it, and that is what this movie shows, how they dealt with absolutely horrendous terrain, and an equally horrendous enemy.

Not a big enough story.
Again, see budget. Also, guess what? The director/writer picked this particular story to tell. If you want to criticize, go make your own(talking to critics here) huge sweeping saga. Just better make sure you can pay the bills at the end.

Faceless Enemy
You could relate it to the propaganda at the time, how the government’s portrayed the Japanese and even German’s as vile monsters who had no regard for human life. Again, you can look at the budget and think, well if you don’t see their faces you can use these same ten actors in every scene.

The only two criticism’s I think are justified, is that I could see was that some of the exposition covered with the VO at the beginning was rehashed (not expanded) during some conversations early on in the movie. If anything, the director(he was one of the writers) could have used this time better. Also, once or twice the dialogue was sounding forced….and I must admit, it seemed more so the actual words used, rather than the actor, was the problem I was having with it.

I am probably coming across as justifying the movie, rather than showing my appreciation of it, however, the criticisms I try and explain away above, bugged me, as I believe they attack it in the wrong way. The critics all agree the movie is enjoyable, the acting well done, the story interesting, the action believable, etc. so why try and tear it down. It just gets my goat. If you look at it from a purely dollar point of view, for $4.5 million, it is nearly amazing that it is this good.

The cinematography, fantastic. Beautiful scenery(ironic as that was one of the most horrendous parts of fighting there), realistic, gritty and seemed very authentic. The movie was shot at the back of the Gold Coast, rather than PNG as the budget would not allow the logistics involved in shooting in the Kokoda area. It is that bad an area. However, the back of the Gold Coast is one of the Army’s main jungle training areas in Australia and the director visited Kokoda and believed that the GC was a fair match for the Kokoda area in terms of beauty.

I thought the actors did a great job, both with the dialogue and the action sequences. The lead actor Jack Finsterer fitted his role. and should be popular with the ladies. Aussies will recognise some familiar faces in there, but all give a good account of themselves as actors.

Is it as good as Gallipoli? I don’t think it is quite there, but more so because it is different. Kokoda is telling a different, smaller story overall, and the director is mainly trying to give the audience some idea of what a hellhole it was to fight in over there.
Definitely worth seeing at the cinema though.

I give it 3.5 out of 5, and for any of the people who fought over there, they get 11 out of 5.

Tough buggers, my hat goes off to them.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm a SNAG......

You can see by the following email conversation I'm a SNAG.

Me: So Kokoda (see below) is on this weekend, when are we going?

Ex-Army Friend(top bloke): possibly...will let you know...in perth (edit for info: couple thousand clicks away) now, and have a big weekend ahead...frankly, im tired just thinking about it...

Me: It's Kokoda...suck it up

Ex-Army Friend(still a top bloke): you know what....good point.....I'll clear it with the Adjutant, but yes, i'm in.

Kokoda is opening today, and I have high hopes for it. Shot on a $4.5million dollar budget, it looks great. Waiting to see what the story is like, but it is based on an actual event. These guys were known as chocolate soldiers, the regulars expected them to melt in the heat of battle.

Kokoda is a trail in Papua New Guinea that the allies battled the Japanese along. The story at the time was that the Japanese were going to fight to Port Moresby the capital and then use that as a staging post to invade Australia. Based on new information, this may not be true, but at the time, these guys believed they were fighting off a possible invasion of Australia.

Many claim it was the worst conditions for fighting in WWII. I cannot confirm that as I was obviously not there, and for me any place is a horrible place for a war. However, from what I have seen of the conditions they fought in, if it wasn't the worst, it had to have been in the top 5 suckiest places to fight. Steep hillsides, muddy, tropical, disease, etc. horrible conditions.

Here is a link to a map to show you how close Port Moresby is to Australia.

Will let you know what I think of it. It is a big change to the type of movies that have been made lately, as these have mainly been indie type productions that are more well, non-mainstream, drug addicts, people infatuated with death, etc.

Here is the link www.kokodathemovie.com

If you liked Gallipoli or The Lighthorsemen, you might like this one as well.

PS just read the tagline on IMDB for the Lighthorsemen....."They did what they were told...They didn't know it was impossible" great movie about an amazing bunch of blokes, last great cavalry charge in history, and first under machine gun and artillery fire.


Just found this article. Sums it up well.


Unlikely heroes who turned tide on Track
By Julian Lewis20-04-2006
From: The Daily Telegraph

FEAR of invasion by Japan was a reality for Australians in early 1942. Darwin had been bombed and the only remaining Australian garrison outside Australia, at Port Moresby, which had also been bombed, was under grave threat.Australian Major-General Basil Morris, who had recently assumed command of Papua and the territory of New Guinea, told war correspondent and novelist George Johnston: "I suppose the Japs will try to capture Port Moresby because it would give them a marvellous striking base for air blows against the Australian mainland".
He said Australians must be prepared to defend the city valiantly.

But by the end of 1941, most of the experienced soldiers of the all-volunteer Australian Imperial Force, or AIF, were in the Middle East or Malaya, leaving only 168,800 troops to defend Australia.

Of these, 132,000 were members of the Australian Military Forces, or AMF, a militia of generally older citizen soldiers and new conscripts seemingly to be stationed on the home front. The AIF men called the AMF "chockos" - chocolate soldiers who would melt in the sun.

When the Americans applied pressure to the Australian government to extend the operational area for the militia, the "chockos" became liable to serve in New Guinea. In early 1942, the only force available there to mount the first effective stand against the Japanese comprised a brigade of three inexperienced, ill-equipped and poorly-trained infantry battalions, a battalion of Papuan infantry, the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (white expatriate workers and administrators), an artillery regiment and an anti-aircraft battery.

However, many of these militamen were to excel in the theatre; in August of that year, hardened veterans of the 7th Division, who had returned from the bloody fighting in the Middle East, combined with elements of the militia, the RAAF and a small number of US army engineers to inflict, at Milne Bay, the first defeat of the Japanese on land in WWII. The Japanese landing force was destroyed and the victory boosted morale for Allied servicemen in the Asia-Pacific theatre, and particularly for those Australians who were still fighting the rearguard action against the Japanese along the Kokoda Track.

Many militia men had faced a baptism of fire. Some of the troops sent to New Guinea had never fired a weapon in training and arrived without rifles, mess tins or mosquito nets in a place rife with malaria.

Another of the under-strength battalions had seen 100 or so men virtually press-ganged in December 1941, rounded up around Sydney and taken to the docks without time to farewell their families.

The third battalion's mainly older officers had less than 10 weeks with their young troops and within five weeks of their arrival dysentery had reduced their effective fighting strength by a third.

Fortunately, however, the Battle of the Coral Sea, in early May 1942, turned back a Japanese convoy intent on attacking Port Moresby. The Japanese later landed troops on the northeast coast of Papua, and took the Allies by surprise by landing near Gona in late July.

They easily forced back the outnumbered Papuan Infantry Battalion and the Australian 39th Battalion, which had been sent earlier over the near-impassable Owen Stanley Range to the Kokoda area to prevent the Japanese setting up an airfield or moving on Moresby.

After capturing Kokoda, which was temporarily re-occupied by the Australians before the Japanese forced them to withdraw to Isurava, the outnumbered Australians dug in and awaited reinforcements over the mountain track.
It had an annual rainfall of 250cm and became a quagmire as thousands of soldiers tramped along it.

The track included the "golden stairs", where engineers cut more than 2000 timber steps and men got what they called "laughing knees" before climbing to about the height of Mount Kosciuszko, then descending into a nightmare world of mud and jungle to face an unseen enemy.
Four months of fighting in these rugged mountains, hampered by poor supplies and reinforcements, would result in 625 Australians killed and more than a thousand wounded, with the heaviest losses sustained in the early days.

For every battle casualty, perhaps two or three times that number were hospitalised by illness.
For many, the only way to medical help was to walk out of the jungle or be carried by their native comrades.

The gratitude of the Australian soldier was expressed in a poem written on the track by Sapper H. Beros that concluded: "May the mothers of Australia when they offer up a prayer, mention those impromptu angels with their fuzzy wuzzy hair". The name Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels stuck. Only days after battalions of the AIF began to arrive in Port Moresby in August 1942, they, too, were sent up the Kokoda Track as desperately needed reinforcements.

They carried the soldier's standard load of more than 27kg and were left shivering in their khaki shirts and shorts until warmer camouflage "jungle green" uniforms were issued in September.
Most supplies dropped from the air landed in the wrong place or smashed on impact. The weary men at Isurava, already weakened by dysentery, hung on for weeks without proper food or shelter until they were forced back in late August, with as many as 172 Australian soldiers missing in a single day.

The 39th Battalion, which had numbered 460 weeks before, was now reduced to below 200, while the AIF battalions had shrunk from around 1100 to half that number.
Further severe fighting saw the outnumbered Australians pushed back within 50km of Port Moresby.

But the tide of battle turned as the Japanese, hungry, exhausted and suffering from the same supply problems as their enemy, retreated back over the mountains. Back in Australia, though, US General Douglas MacArthur, who commanded the Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific, believed the Australians outnumbered the Japanese. In fact, at one stage there were about 400 Australians facing a force of about 5000 Japanese.

At another stage MacArthur's headquarters ordered the Owen Stanley Range be prepared for demolition, causing the Australian commander in New Guinea to ask wryly if it was "this week's funny story". Senior Australian commanders in New Guinea were replaced on the verge of victory - unjustly, as history now shows.

Australia's most senior commander, General Thomas Blamey, in a speech to the surviving members of the 21st Brigade at Port Moresby, gave some men the impression he was accusing them of being beaten by inferior troops in inferior numbers. This nearly caused the parade to erupt. But others who heard the speech believed Blamey had been misunderstood.

By October, fresh Australian troops had advanced along the track, where the Japanese had begun to retreat.

Despite further heavy losses, the first Australians entered Kokoda in early November, with the Australians beginning to attack the Buna-Gona area on the coast towards the end of November.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Blimps are Cool, Blimps are Gone?????????

Stu, what happened? Where'd you go? Did the Scotch Monster get you?
Don't go, stay and rant. I enjoy your rants. They make sense to my muddled mind.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Further to Bill controlling Disney

Just found this bit of info that follows on from the story by Disney the other day. I imagine if this is how the foreign model might work in Oz, Canada and the UK might be similar.
Except for cricket. The Pom's probably wouldn't want that shown this way. They wouldn't want their thrashings made so easily available to OS audiences :)

Seven to trial hit TV shows over net
By John Lehmann17-04-2006
From: The Australian

KERRY Stokes's Seven Network is putting aside fears that the rise of internet television services will fracture its audiences by drawing up plans to launch its own shows in cyberspace.Executives at Seven are preparing to make hit shows such as Dancing With The Stars and All Saints available to be downloaded over a broadband internet connection for free.

Seven is also eager to strike a deal with US media giant Walt Disney, with which the network has an output agreement, to enable US hits such as Desperate Housewives and Lost to be able to be downloaded through Seven's joint-venture online portal, Yahoo!7.

Under one model being considered, all of the shows would be embedded with advertising and available online soon after each episode had been broadcast on Seven. One source said trials were likely within a year or earlier if broadband speeds quickened.

Disney's ABC Network announced last week a two-month trial through which episodes of Desperate Housewives, Lost, Commander in Chief and Alias would be able to be downloaded in the US for free.

Only people with an American ISP will be able to download the shows, however, to protect the value of international output deals with broadcasters such as Seven, which screen episodes weeks after their debut in the US.

Yahoo!7, set up in January as a competitor to James Packer's ninemsn joint venture, has been increasingly building up video options available for download.
In recent weeks, Seven News video, Sunrise segments, preview reels of upcoming episodes of Desperate Housewives and Lost and behind-the-scenes segments from Dancing With The Stars have been made available.

It plans to add more video content to its site, including old footage from TV programs such as The Great Outdoors.

Yahoo!7 says it distributed 2.3 million video streams in February and 2.7 million in March.
Yahoo!7 interim chief executive Rohan Lund has declined to comment on the possibility of entire shows being available.

But he said this month that he believed video online complemented rather than threatened free-to-air by allowing viewers to watch shows at a time of their own choosing.

"Rich media (such as video streaming) is the new battleground on the internet," said Mr Lund, who is also Seven's digital media and strategic investments director.

Seven executives believe the only "speed hump" to putting shows online is the strength of Australia's broadband network.

Broadband speeds of about two megabits a second are needed to allow movies and TV shows to be downloaded quickly, but Telstra reportedly caps the speed of its digital subscriber line network at about 1.5 megabits.

But hopes are rising that negotiations between Telstra and the Federal Government will be completed soon to finally enable the building of a $3 billion high-speed broadband network.
Australian network bosses will be closely watching the Disney experiment, particularly to gauge the reaction of the 10 advertisers taking part in the trial.

Mr Packer, executive chairman of Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd, has also been pushing for further integration between the company's Nine Network, its magazine stable and ninemsn.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Someone's listening to Bill :)

They are listening Bill , now, can you just tell them to open it up to overseas as well?

Disney shows free on web
By Michele Gershberg And Kenneth Li11-04-2006
From: Reuters

WALT Disney Co's ABC television network will offer some of its most popular shows, such as Desperate Housewives and Lost, for free on the web in a service supported by advertising, the company said today.US media companies have been experimenting with ways to deliver programs through new technologies while maintaining revenue as viewership for prime-time television schedules slowly erodes.

But ABC's venture, which starts as a two-month trial in May, goes a step further, potentially bypassing cable operators by bringing top shows straight to the consumer, analysts said.
"Going direct over a broadband (internet) connection is a very smart business and I think you'll see other broadcasters follow suit," said Rich Greenfield, analyst at Pali Research.
"This just continues to bolster our view that you should be investing in content and programming over pure distribution" like cable operators, he said.

ABC already sells digital downloads of its highest-rated TV shows for the popular iPod music and video player. Other networks have also tested digital and video-on-demand formats for airing shows soon after they first appear on broadcast TV.

Rival CBS Corp last month carried streaming video of the March Madness NCAA college basketball playoff games on a subscription-free, ad-supported basis, with much success.
"It's really an opportunity for us to learn about a different model," Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC television group, said at an annual cable industry convention in Atlanta today. "It's more importantly recognising that none of us can live in a world of just one business model."

Top ABC shows such as Commander in Chief and Alias, along with Lost and Desperate Housewives, will be available on the web at ABC.com in May and June, starting the day after they are first broadcast, the network said.

They will only be available to users with a US internet address to protect foreign broadcasting rights.

Viewers will be able to pause and move between "chapters" in an episode, but not skip ads that are technically embedded.

Advertising revenue will support the trial run on ABC.com, with 10 advertisers, including AT&T Inc, Ford Motor Co, Procter & Gamble Co and Universal Pictures, already signed up. Some will insert video ads into the content, while others will sponsor shows, with the idea of tailoring commercials to the internet experience.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Half Way There

My son is saying all the right words, wee and poo, so we thought we would start toilet training. With those skills he could also chair the UN Security Council, but one thing at a time.

Anyway, so this morning my wife calls me. He was playing with his sister, he said wee, and hopped on the potty. Very clever, we are halfway there.

Next time he might take his pants off.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

TV influencing torture concerns?

We have all seen the discussions online about the methods the govt’s are using to torture suspected terrorists. Maybe fly them over to another country or use sanctioned torture methods at Gitmo, etc, etc.

There is a school of thought that, hey, they’re terrorists, who the f**k cares. While I can often understand, and sometimes even sympathize with that view (generally when you hear of suicide bombers killing dozens of innocents), IF they are definitely terrorists. I am definitely more along the lines of thinking that we shouldn’t stoop to their level. It would be a lot harder for the people actually charged with that job of getting information if they have seen kids blown up, friends killed, etc. I am sure their viewpoint would be very different to my nice little safe, suburban view, I fully acknowledge that.

However, I have been wondering lately if, (and this is a pretty long bow to draw, I know), some people are viewing the torture as acceptable because they watch 24, and are swayed by the scenes where Jack has tortured people. They see the stakes that Jack is playing for, and he makes that decision to cross the line, for the greater good.

Is this influencing some of the public to then morph this into accepting/approving governments performing these acts in real life without questioning it too much, because it is for the greater good?

I am in no way having a go at 24, its staff, writers, etc. It is a show that is there for entertainment, and anyone who lets it blur their judgment definitely needs a reality check, as with any show on TV.

It was just a thought that has been bubbling away their for a while and thought I would put it out there.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The What Golf Club

I really can't remember if I have posted this here before, and can't find it in the old posts, but my job is selling property management (PMS is it's short form, yes, I must be a good salesman if I can sell PMS :) ) software to hotels and resorts. Yes, it is a terrible job when you have to go onsite and demo. Spent 5 days in Samoa, a year or so ago. Someone has to do it you know.

Anyway, came across this golf club while researching, and I reckon it has the best name ever, I just can't pronounce it. Nor could the Kiwi who works about 2 metres away from my desk, so I am pretty okay about it.

I ain't even typing that.....go here .

Can you imagine how much extra sheets of paper would have been required in the call sheets for LOTR if they had filmed there. The mind boggles.

This is so Star Trekkie....

Further to my post about cool gadgets for movies, I can't believe this hasn't turned up in one as yet. Would suit something like The Bourne Identity, where your guy/ girl has to be highly mobile, and perform lots of cool computer hacking type stuff from their tiny PDA's, Blackberry, etc.

Much cooler than plucking away with the little stylus you normally have.


It is not much bigger than a pack of gum. Scroll down to the bottom of page to see photo.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Very, very cool.


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