Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Rebecca Black

Consider this kind of like the old TS/SU Snippets posts….


It’s been a week since I’ve last blogged. I think this is quite possibly the longest unenforced break that I’ve had from writing in seven years. It felt a little strange, yet somehow quite relaxing.

That’s not to say I’ve been idle the whole week. Not at all!

I’ve actually been working hard on another automotive website. It’ll be launched in the next few weeks and it’s been a pleasure to work on. I didn’t create the content, but the people who did aren’t native English speakers so I’ve been helping them out with some editorial work that’ll hopefully make the whole site comes across a bit better to the English speaking audience.

A fun job.


The title of this post comes from the Question of the Week: Why the hell was Rebecca Black at the Grammys?

If you’re asking “who’s Rebecca Black” right now, then consider yourself fortunate enough to have never heard this (and I urge caution before you hit ‘play’):

Ms Black got her 15 minutes of fame by recording something so bad that it became popular, mostly for its “eew!” value. There were a lot of cruel remarks made, stuff that a young teenage girl shouldn’t have to bear, to be honest, but it is a mediocre performance of a terrible song. Her notoriety is based mostly on the negative reception given to her ‘work’.

So why did she score an invite to music’s premiere awards night. Aren’t there boundaries for this sort of thing? Can anyone just write in and request a seat or is it actually for people in the music business (as opposed to people in the Youtube business).

Some will opine that the Grammys became a cliche some time ago but we’re still usually happy to see one of our favourite artists lauded there. And for good reason, too. There should be something like the Grammys to reward musicians who are gifted and do their best.

I wish the girl well, but I’m also thankful she wasn’t nominated for anything.


I feel kind of dirty now, having written that. But after hearing that she was there, I just had to get it off my chest. Some institutions should retain a minimum entrance level, shouldn’t they?


Back to more familiar ground….

I went and had a look at my first prospective 2012 car purchase this evening – a Subaru Brumby. It’s fairly agricultural compared to what I’m used to driving, but that’s part of the attraction. This is meant to be a purchase with a purpose, to get something cheap, basic and utilitarian for the dump-run, etc.

Not the Brumby I looked at. This one is much redder:

It’s quite basic – no power steering and a flat-four carby engine. The tray is actually quite a bit bigger than it looks and whilst I wouldn’t want to drive it for hours on end, it’s comfortable enough for the short runs I do around town here in Hobart.

I’m looking at another one this weekend and will decide between the two after that.


And finally, the conclusion to the Sanding posts!!

I actually completed the cabinet some time ago. The intention was to use some other furniture here at the house as a base for it, but that turned out to be too much of a compromise, so I had to make a base with the leftover timber, one that would suit the cabinet itself and enable it to sit at a more appropriate height.

It’s actually still a little unfinished, but it’s probably as finished as it’s going to actually get (and yes, I ran out of Huon Pine, which is why the pattern on the base is missing one piece).

For those who might be wondering, the big box is made from MDF on an oak frame and covered with a veneer made of individual lengths of Huon Pine and Myrtle (both native to Tasmania). The base is made of Tasmanian oak, three lengths with simple butt joints, and then veneered with the same timbers. The legs are 3/8th-inch threaded rods with tee-nuts in one end and standard bolts in the other, with square aluminium covering the threaded rods (for looks and to provide a standard length).

It’s not perfect, but I made it myself. And that feels good.


And now for the bad news – I’m back at my regular 9-to-5 this week.

It’s good to be home and I’m very fortunate to have had a job to come back to, but geez it’s boring compared to my work with Saab. I’m going to miss Saab and the car industry in general, very much.

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  1. And now for the bad news – I’m back at my regular 9-to-5 this week.

    The bad news in the bad news is that you’re not getting to and back from you 9 to 5 in a 9-5… That would have made the suffering of commuting to a 9 to 5 job a lot easier. Why not get a cheap 9-5 saloon, in order to remenisce on your adventureous year abroad…

    1. That will happen eventually Jos, probably in the next 18 months or so, to replace our 9000. An Aero wagon will do nicely.

        1. I wish I had the space to just keep on collecting, Jos, but I don’t. We have a house built to accomodate 3 cars in relative comfort and by the end of the year, we’ll most likely have either 4 or 5.

  2. Regarding Ms Black; her video was the most viewed video on Youtube last year. I guess that’s a pretty good excuse for an invite to the Grammys. Though I completely agree with you about her otherwise.

  3. Nicely done on the cabinet! You are too modest.

    Re: Ms. Black at the Grammy Awards: I’ve been told (and it makes sense) that many of the “invitations” are really just tickets with a chance to walk along the same path as the ‘real’ artists. They are generally trade-offs with a publicist or agent that represents many different people, some of whom are important to the Grammy Awards. Thus, the agent will say something like, “I’ll make sure that Katy Perry wears a blue wig, and in return you have to let my D-list people walk the carpet.” And she’s in.

    The song is truly abominable, and the representatives of the company that wrote it and produced the finished product were quite clear in saying that Ms. Black really needed that Autotuner. A lot.

    1. The mechanics of her getting there are understandable, but still unpalatable. It’d be nice to just preserve some dignity for a few of these occasions. Then again, maybe I should just ignore stuff like this when it crosses my radar.

      1. Preserving the dignity of the Grammys? I’m afraid that ship sailed a long, long time ago.

        And to the extent there is any dignity left to damage, Chris Brown’s involvement in the show was far more damaging than Rebecca Black’s brief photo op.

  4. Swade, I envy your carpenter-skills.
    I considered you allways as a man with vision, ideas and a lot of words.
    I guess you’re more than just that. Translating ideas into reality gives a lot of satisfaction. Good you enjoyed working on that cabinet.
    Looks like a job very well done.

    1. Oh, that explains why he was lately rushing through Belgium so rapid, catching a boat, in a hurry for a job interview somewhere in Worcestershire. 😉

  5. I made it through 1:03 of the young lady’s video. “Eeew!” is right. Also “Blechhh!”
    Not so your carpentry work. More like “ohhh! and “ahhh!” 9-to-5? Man’s gotta work if he wants to eat on a regular basis and pay his bills.

  6. Beautiful work with the cabinet Steven! She will be thrilled about the gift. You are truly a multi talented guy. (He said without being too brown nosed)
    That Huon Pine is yet another great excuse for me making true that promise about coming to see you on home soil.

    I’ve got a new project idea for ya’… Veneering your 9K’s dash! A monster task but hey, you would be the only one in the world with a Huon Pine dash 😀


  7. About your job… It’s probably an ok job but I hear you mate. Nothing can compare to your job with Saab.
    As I believe Saab will continue as a manufacturer of cars and the owner will be to your liking it is my firm belief that you will work in Saab social media again.

    Unrealistic? You be the judge… The dream came true once before.


  8. You go get that car! 🙂 Besides that thing is so far from a Saab it’s possible to go, it is damn interesting to look at. Is that thing a cabinet for a air-condition unit? It sure looks to weird to be a home built sub-woofer. The wood work looks like something out of a 50’s design exhibition -nice- but you have not glued all that yourself, or have you? Its comforting for me that there are other guys in their early 40’s that still has has a sharp ear for teenagers singing badly (with the help of Autotune turned up to 11). There are more of them here

    1. you did all of the woodwork yourself i see now when i read all of it. But it is a air-cooler intake isn’t it?

  9. Good for Rebecca to get out there and do her thing and get some attention (deserved or not) for it. We should all be willing to do that to some extent.

    That said it highlights something that continues to bewilder me in this life: everywhere you see people making an honest go at creating something of quality and getting it out into the world with no results. I’ve seen this with many artists, entrepreneurs, etc. who have truly had a gift to offer and somehow it just never got the attention it deserved.

    Same goes for my love of Saabs. What an amazing car on so many levels. And the more I discover each model, the more I love each of them for their unique qualities they bring to the table.

    But somehow the coolest car company I’ve ever known continues to battle just to exist while the manufacturers of sheer mediocrity continue to blossom (and get bailouts to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, etc., etc. etc.).

    And the videos like this of the world get over 20 million views.

    What am I missing?

  10. Nice work with the cabinet and all the best in your new work! I hope there will soon come a day when a reborn SAAB will require your services!!