Posts Tagged ‘Dick Smith’

I’ll have TV with Sound-bar, please.

April 7, 2016
Milo at peace with the world

Milo at peace with the world

The latest to hit the commercial world is a sound-bar. I heard people talk about it in the Bowral Strawberry coffee lounge. ‘How is your sound-bar going?’ The question was put by a lady in her late fifties bravely wearing tight white jeans and a floppy top with those hanging wings that at times can conveniently hide the possibility of a bulge here and there. The receiver of the question was a man wearing a bright pink striped shirt and a hat shaped a bit like a Dr Livingstone helmet. I had seen him before. A well know Bowral eccentric, of which there can never be enough.

The conversation got lost with the embarrassing and unashamedly endless high-pitched barking of our Jack Russell, Milo. Despite all our efforts, Milo still goes nuts at the sound of a Harley Davison. We have asked several motor bike riders, before they mount their bikes, to allow Milo to have a good sniff and total freedom to whatever he might want to engage in. Bite the muffler or attack the pistons etc., even the rider. Milo does nothing he just stares at the bike. What goes on in his wise little brain? However, he does know we don’t like this behaviour and tries to be extra nice afterwards. He kind of wags his tail and settles down, but only after he has disturbed the serenity and peace of all the other latte sippers.

But, back to the issue of the sound-bar. Some months ago a large electrical retailer went belly up and into liquidation. No buyers could be found to try and rescue and save the hundreds or so retail shops scattered around Australia. There are now big signs on the Dick Smith shops ‘Closing Down,’ all items MUST be sold. This draws in the bargain hunters. We have been, for some time now, contemplating buying a larger TV, especially one with a better sound. The ears are getting worse with the approaching station’s terminal.

It wasn’t really urgent. We rarely watch TV much, prefer the sound of silence, as they say. If sounds are sometimes heard, they are most likely be our domestic voices; ‘How did you sleep’, or,’should we go for a walk now or later?’ Sometimes a more pertinent question;’Does this rubbish go into the red-lid bin or is it for the yellow one?’ Of course, the Danish-Swedish productions we always watch. ‘The Bridge’ we would stay home for, and perhaps even our own ‘Janet King’ with Marta Dusseldorp.

After all the weighing of the pros and cons we walked into our own Dick Smith shops. The atmosphere somewhat gloomy. The shop looked as if it had been visited by bandits. The salesgirls looking sad with dust now allowed to settle on empty shelves previously occupied by IPhones and ear-attachments. A computer cable resting listlessly on the floor. Where would they now find another job? Business is all so reckless now. Consideration for alive people seems to have got lost lately. Have you noticed that too?

We stared at a row of special 40″ TV’s with the DICK SMITH logo emblazoned on the carton boxes featuring a brightly coloured Italian village hugging a steep cliff on the Mediterranean coast somewhere. Perhaps it was the Amalfi Coast! One could almost just have the box on a stand in the living room? Anyway, we asked for ‘the best price’ which came in at $399.-. ‘How is the sound, I asked?’ ‘Oh, not bad really,’ she said, looking sideways. ‘Ok, we will have it.’

After unpacking, and almost giving up on trying to wrench it out of it’s carton box, we turned the TV on. I thought I was hearing a message from the Station Master or my IPhone. The sound was like an announcement through the speakers on the platform of Bowral rail-station, ‘stay in front of the yellow lines, please.’

We had to go out and ask if anything could be done. My brother who inherited the same lack of hearing gene from our mother, spent $ 1200 on a ‘surround sound’ system to supplement the squeaky TV sound. The google machine was cranked up and after much research, a Phillips sound-bar was chosen. We bought the thing from Bing Lee for $ 299.- including a sub-woofer. It was a revelation. The sound superb and TV watching improved greatly.

A long story! Aldi is now selling 40″ TVs and separate sound-bars. Can you believe it? No wonder Bowral is excited and people ask each other; ‘How is your sound-bar going?’

The Iphone salvation.

July 15, 2014

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It finally had to happen. After weeks of absence in more ways than just physical, I took the plunge. I bought a ‘refurbished’ Apple IPhone from a large toy and game shop. Perhaps they were called a B and D games shop. I could look up the receipt but won’t in case I lose the impetus to go on with this tale of woe and joy.

We were overseas and as I needed to contact urgently some of my contacts by e-mail, I was looking around for a techy device I could use. Most tourists still doing the usual clicking, swiping and tweexting. Why could I not enter that same sort of world? I have a mobile phone that is a phone and doesn’t allow e-mails or give location maps.(Tweet and text) I had been warned not to get caught in an outrageous mobile bill and had taken the precaution in switching off my ‘roaming capability’ believing that I could still use my mobile but without the exorbitant high charges. It turned out my phone was switched off. It took five days for my brother in Australia to get my phone back on roaming with much relief of woe replaced with a drop of joy.

I still had more than 36 dollars of re-charge left so managed to make the necessary calls including to Telstra not to ever switch off my ‘roaming’. If nothing else, aimless roaming is the essence of life, surely! Is there any other way through life than to roam?

After our return to Aus and the grim reality and horror of Abbott’s gaping mouth on TV and the triumphant Chris Morrison regaling his killing of refugees, I took the plunge and with total disregard for the state of my future mental health bought the IPhone. It was very sunny. There was a blinding reflection from the concrete parking lot in front of the toy shop. After entering the shop one was greeted by lots of pink coloured wares. Most of the shop was bathed in a pink halo and I am sure that would have added to this lapse in my mainly purposeful directional sanity. The salesman was aware of my diminished being and knew there was the perfect customer. I had entered his lair openly and without hesitation.

He addled up to me and asked if I wanted anything. Was I perhaps after a computer game or a good game console? Do you have grandchildren, he asked sweetly? He had a broad smile and pearl white teeth, perhaps of an Afghan ascendency. I have noticed that endless wars seems to bring out the best in smiles and white teeth. No amount of indefinite detention seems to diminish their good cheer and friendliness( there is lesson for us here, surely)?

I now have the device and it works. In public I make a show of swiping and acting out the world of the esoteric and well informed, of all that is IT and has a coloured screen showing Apps. What next? Should I get a gleaming white pair of ear phones and walk past a Dick Smith store?

I am one of them now!

A present of IPod for Grandson

April 20, 2012

 

The promise was rock-solid. The nine year old grandson was to get an IPod which he had saved up for with the help of grandparents who lived in self- denial. The denial was to do with unselfishly depositing money in little carton boxes at regular intervals so the grandkids could buy electronic things with buttons and batteries. The carton money boxes had names on them were well hidden especially when one of the boxes had been found with less money than before. After this discovery one of the grandsons was unusual emotional and getting very teary. He wasn’t the one who had less money in the box. He seemed all of a sudden full of goodwill and even made his bed and picked flowers for his Oma. Where did all this benevolence come from?

We held council and instead of holding an inquisition decided not to push the matter. The one whose carton box had been pillaged had become unusual philosophical and somewhat sanguine. We felt that the little brothers had come to a satisfactory financial agreement between themselves and with harmony and order returning between each other felt that our intervention would indeed have been superfluous.

The next stage for buying the IPod was to investigate all available options. I had heard of different IPod/Pad but as with most of those fashion items was totally an ignoramus of what they entailed or indeed what they did. I know that the grandson with a Pod was forever flicking the screen and clearly things were moving on the screen. They could play games, if pushing or touching a small screen can be called a game.

In my days we would lay small incendiary devices on tram-rails made of match heads and hollow metal pipes. My younger brothers had burnt down a disused town-hall in The Hague and another one had whacked frail old ladies with an even older umbrella while riding pillion on the bicycle. They were the games of former times. We were made of so much sterner stuff.

We thought a fair start would be to go and pay a visit to Dick Smith. He was after all the man of ‘buy Australian’. Didn’t he try and safe vegemite from being taken over?  Even though, personally, I was never enthusiastic about smearing brown stuff over a piece of white Tip Top, I was patriotic enough and supportive of Dick in trying to safe this iconic true Australian delicacy.

The blond girl at Dick Smith wasn’t too helpful and decided to; rightly so, put me in the geriatric section of IPod buyers. She kind of looked me up and down. I retaliated by staring over her shoulders at the same movie that was being played on about twenty screens against the back wall. Twenty green monsters, deep in a forest, were all blowing smoke from their nostrils, all in perfect time. I asked her earnestly if an IPod would support a shopping list and if it had a smoke alarm in case of forgetting about the pizza in the oven.  I think she got the hint that her sales service was somewhat lacking.

We then walked across the usual parking dessert of a major shopping centers, through a food court in full swing with dozens of hungry shoppers bent over their Big Macs and slurping slushies and walked into a BigW store. Now, there was a service. A sharp young man of about 17 explained very crisply the how’s and why’s of an IPod. It turns out it is an Apple product and that there are other similar products which are different and have different names. He was resolute in his explanations and ,above all, kept the information simple and precise.

This coming Sunday we will return with our grandson and his carton money box and buy him the Apple IPod.

There is hope for all of us.