Monthly Archives: July 2008

Enough Rope with Andrew Denton

Sometimes, some programs are quality and don’t get promoted and at other times I want to watch a show but don’t get into the habit of watching it. One such example is a TV show called “Enough Rope” hosted by Andrew Denton. Andrew is one of Australia’s best media interviewers, if not the best. However for one reason or another, I hadn’t caught the show until a couple of weeks ago.

A month or so ago, I was looking around iTunes for more podcasts to listen to when I stumbled across the podcast for Enough Rope. I knew the premise of the show but I wasn’t sure at what format the podcast would be. I was expecting an audio version of the program which would have been fine in itself.

However, the podcast pleasantly surprised me. Not only is it an audio version of the interview, Andrew adds extra content when relevant including commentary about the episode, extra highlights, things that don’t make it to air and feedback received about the interview after the program aired.

I find the audio podcast format to be very relevant and convenient for this particular promo. If you are Australian, you are probably familar with Andrew Denton’s interviewing style. But if you aren’t, sit back and relax and enjoy these interviews with both famous and not so famous guests. Apart from the well known guests, there is another style of interview that Andrew calls “The 3 Butchers” where he gathers 3 guests from the one occupation or industry and he asks them about the industry, myths and misconceptions about the people’s jobs, funny stories and more. In fact for the next Erk Pod Round Table, I might ask some questions about this as well about jobs that panelists do or have done.

I really enjoy this podcast version. It is convenient for me but also features behind the scenes information about the show and the guests. If you like interviews where you just don’t want to hear the same old thing, do yourself a favour and have a listen! For more detail about Enough Rope and to subscribe to the podcast, visit the show’s website here.

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A disturbing incident – The Crap Express

This morning, I was driving an express train (well, as express as a train from the south to the city via Granville can get) driving a train load of people to the city during peak hour. I was on the City Circle line halfway between Circular Quay and St James stations when I got a call from my Guard. He explained to me that station staff at Circular Quay told him that someone had done a crap on the train and the carriage really smelt bad.

My train was due to run to Central and then terminate before going to a turnback before it’s next trip. All I had to do was to get to the turnback and back to Central then I could have a meal break. I called the signal box to ask for assistance from station staff to clean up the mess at Central. I have no idea about what happened or where it happened or how long ago it had happened but one has to wonder. The train I was on is fitted with an Emergency Help Point system in each carriage where passengers can talk to either me on the Guard. No one called. No one informed the Guard at a station but thankfully someone did report it to station staff. It makes me wonder though as this would have been a crowded peak hour train and the carriage would have been packed. I would have thought that if someone had of taken a crap in the carriage, someone else (or everything lots of people) would have told the crew or staff as soon as it happened. Who knows when it happened? It could have even have occurred on the previous outbound trip where the train was less crowded. If this is the case, that means that the train would have have been in this state for at least one hour, if not more.

I realise that the system and the trains aren’t perfect. I should know, I drive the things and I’m on them a lot more than the average commuter. I see what state they leave the depot in and what state they come back into the depot in. I know the staff have a role to pay and have to do their jobs but sometimes some of the blame does have to rest with the public. So if you are on the train and you see something that needs attention, please tell someone!

After this incident, the Guard and the station staff at Central could not handle the situation and it was sent empty to a depot for a heavy clean instead of providing a passenger service. This means that the train would have been out of service for at least 40 minutes in travel time in total to/from the depot plus the time that needed to be taken to actually clean the carriage. And this situation is repeated (for different reasons) on a daily basis many times a day.

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BJ the Research Guy is alive!

This morning, I was during a rare morning shift and I had a disturbing incident that I will touch on in another post. But in other news, I had a rare morning meal break at Central. Most of my depot’s meal breaks are at other locations rather than Central, especially during the peak hours. So I was walking through the meal room in my own little world and I went downstairs to get something to eat. Suddenly my phone rings and it is BJ the Research Guy.

BJ the Research Guy is still what we call a swinger. A swinger is a nickname for a person who does not have a line of the roster allocated to them but someone who swings from line to line relieving other people who are on holidays, on sick leave, secondments, training etc. So if you are a swinger, you don’t know what you are doing from fortnight to fortnight and if you are anything like I am when I was a swinger, you tend to do what you are rostered to do. So this morning when BJ called, I didn’t know if he was working or it was a random call.

It turns out that I had passed him in the meal room (he was sitting in the corner of the room) in my own little world. So I got something to eat and joined BJ in the meal room for a chat. He has Erk Pod Round Table 7 loaded up on his iPod for his trip home (and dare I say, the next trip to work!) so he’ll be up to date with all things Erk Pod, if not anything else.

It just goes to show that you can see people on the job when you least expect it. After all, I was not supposed to be working at all today. I swapped with another driver so I could have last Sunday off for the Round Table so today was the day I had to work instead. Mind you, BJ isn’t the only person this seems to happen to with me. Arthur was in my driver’s school and almost everytime I bump into him, it is when I have changed my routine (or had my routine changed for me), we bump into each other for a chance meeting. The same thing can happen with Squeak and other people as well. Sometimes in these situations you only have a chance to say hi/bye. But at other times, you can chat longer so it is usually a case of sharing war stories from recent times.

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The holiday adventures of Girl Clumsy

Erk Pod panelist Natalie aka Girl Clumsy is having a rather excellent time on holiday in Europe (lucky thing!) and you can follow her adventures on her blog “The Bruising Adventures of Girl Clumsy”. On this page, I have featured a couple of my favourite videos that I have seen – there are many more videos on her site.

I haven’t seen any bruising (yet!) but then again, the first video on this page might have led to some bruises! Example #412 of why not to work with children? And the second video of people jumping off a boat into water is another favourite video that I have seen so far. Obviously there is more to these videos but I’ll have to wait until Natalie gets back home to hear about them in detail, I presume.

If only my videos were this good!

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The “Bruce” sketch

As referenced by Tee on the Round Table, here is the “Bruce” sketch by Monty Python.

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Erk Pod’s Double Trouble interview now on the Tee Network

As a direct result of the Double Trouble interview with Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine on Sunday, subscribers to the following Tee podcasts can now hear the interview on their feeds:

If you are a new visitor and/or listener to Erk Pod, welcome! Have a look around and have a listen and I hope you subscribe to the Erk Pod Maxi feed via this website or iTunes.

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And sometimes Erk is like a 13 year old boy

That’s right, sometimes Erk can think like a 13 year old boy. I saw this advertisement for some washing powder at a local store and the inner 13 year old boy had a huge laugh to himself as the 33 year old boy took the photo. So how much is 3 kg of ass then?

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