Archive for the ‘Ian’s Posts’ Category

Music Bio – by Reuben Fogg

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The writing was on the wall when Ian learnt classical clarinet at school and kept getting told off for playing the bass line of a Bach fugue in swing style. They said, “That’s not how it’s written”. He told them, “It sounds better that way.”

When he bought a beaten up old saxophone in a junk shop, his music teacher wouldn’t speak to him for a while, so he taught himself to play it, with the help of a tattered copy of the now-famous Tune-a-Day instruction book.

Growing up as a teenager in the 60s he managed his first band The Trojans in Birmingham, UK where he acquired his first acoustic and electric guitars. This time it was the late Bert Weedon’s Play in a Day book that helped, as it did for many other aspiring young guitar players in those days.

After selling his instruments so he could afford to eat while at University in Leeds, he set up one of the early mobile discos, entertaining at parties and small clubs, continuing in London in the early 70s and then Australia. He still has all the records.

While teaching English in an Adelaide high school, he inherited a piano and began to tinker around with it, teaching himself a few chords. He promised himself that one of these days, he’d work out what the black keys were for – and why there was one missing in each alternate group of three*.

There he became friends with the head of music – the late Bob Davies, former swing band leader – who recruited him into playing vibraphone (didn’t see that coming) and later doubling on sax in a teachers’ jazz band.

After a career change and a break from playing music, he was lured back into it when an eclectic “work band” formed within the Government’s Office of Science, Technology & Innovation. The drummer was Ivor Hay, former member of the legendary Australian punk band The Saints. On bass was the late James Tizard of the former Adelaide punk band The Spikes. The lead vocalist was Jeremy Phillips, currently entertaining folk in Reverend and Mrs Rowdy‘s honky tonk revival shows.

Inspired by the Australian touring rock show “Long Way to the Top”, Ian took up guitar again in 2004 (now where’s that old Bert Weedon book) and joined the Weekend Warriors Program in Round 3, playing in his first Warrior band Soul Riders.

For the next couple of years, he played in a regularly changing line-up with various other Warrior members. That line-up eventually became The Iron Chefs for a few shows before morphing into Wis’n Up in 2007. When Wis’n Up folded, some of its members formed a new band Johnny and the Walkers in which Ian played until mid 2013.

He gatecrashed a Wound Up rehearsal at the end of 2012 and much to his and everyone else’s surprise, has continued playing with them.
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* Ian says he’s now worked out that the main function of the black keys is to stop the white keys rubbing together. They are the same as the white keys but play a bit louder and faster. They are supposed to be in groups of twos and threes. Keyboards with black keys that go 2, 3, 2, 3 are for right-handed players; those that go 3, 2, 3, 2 are for left-handers like himself.
Source: Blog feed

Star Child

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

My grandson and I are walking round the garden at dusk after his third birthday party, searching for lost toys with a torch.

Suddenly he says, “What’s that little dot?”

“Which dot? Where?” I ask.

“That little shiny dot up there”, he answers, pointing to the sky.

“That’s a star,” I tell him, “it’s a long, long way away”.

“I will have to go on my bike then,” he says thoughtfully.
Source: Blog feed

No more teacher…

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

This day, thirty years ago, was my last day as a teacher.

On the final day of Term 1, 1987, I walked out of my classroom for the last time after 17 years as a teacher and Head of English, Drama and Film Studies.

I’d had a ball and enjoyed just about every minute of my time at John Kelly Boys High School in London and Gilles Plains High, Salisbury High and Para Vista High in Adelaide, South Australia.

I worked alongside some extraordinarily dedicated and enthusiastic teachers and met some astonishingly talented young people. I think we did some good stuff together, and it was a privilege to share some of the subjects I love with hundreds of students. Several of them still keep in touch and now that we are all nearly grown up, I count them among my friends.

And I’d like to reassure Daniel Cullen that I wasn’t leaving because of him, even though he had convinced himself that I was. I had simply decided that I didn’t want to be a teacher any more, around the same time that an interesting opportunity had arisen.

Daniel, as the symbolic representative of all the students I’ve ever taught, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I wish you all well and hope life has treated you kindly.
Source: Blog feed

Bouncer

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

“How would you like to earn a few quid for a couple of hours work?”

I’ve always liked those words. And having gone back to study after a year in the foundry they were especially welcome.

“Sure. What do I have to do?”

“One of my offsiders is sick. I need someone to help me with security at a dance tomorrow night.”

“You want me to be a bouncer?”

“Yeah. It’s just a dance. You’ll be fine.”

“OK, count me in.” Anything for a laugh, I thought.

“Great”, Terry said. “Oh, and wear a suit.”

Next evening I put on my one and only wedding, funeral and interview suit and turned up half an early for my instant training session on how to be a bouncer.

“Mick, this is Ian; Ian, Mick”, Terry said as he introduced me to the third member of the team. Mick had no neck and his shoulders brushed both sides of the door frame. He grunted and held out his hand. It was like grasping a log.

“Take off that tie and put this one on”, said Terry, handing me a slightly greasy, ready-made, clip-on bow tie.

“Why?” I asked.

“If someone grabs your neck-tie, you’re trapped. Or they could choke you with it. With the clip-on, all you have to do is pull back and it comes away in their hand.”

Had the temperature just dropped?

“Look, just watch me and Mick. Do what we do. Try to stop anything going off before it starts. Talk them down or laugh them out of it if you can. If you see me make a move towards someone, you come round behind the guy I’m talking to. I’ll do the same for Mick, Mick’ll do the same for you. He’s got your back, you’ve got mine, I’ve got Mick’s. OK? Then let’s get out there.”

“Oh, one more thing. Chew this.” Terry handed me a packet of gum.

“I don’t like gum.”

“Just chew it,” Terry said. “It stops your lip trembling when you’re scared and it keeps your tongue away from your teeth so that when someone hits you, you don’t bite off a piece of your tongue.”

Ever noticed that the crowd on a packed dance floor usually seems to rotate, very slowly, anti-clockwise? Terry, Mick and I took up well-spaced positions near the edges of the crowd, in a triangle formation covering the whole floor, moving slowly clockwise against the gradual rotation of the dance crowd. Each of us had a view of half the dance floor and the bouncer in front without turning our heads.

Thank goodness for the gum. I have never been as terrified in my life as I was in that first half hour.

Over the next three hours, the fear gradually settled into a sort of anxious wariness while the skin on my back prickled and crawled.

At six foot, I was taller than most of the teenagers in the hall. I was a couple of inches taller than both Terry and Mick. Both wore dinner jackets. Terry looked a lot like a young Sean Connery in the early James Bond Films. He’d laughed when he told me that he’d been mistaken for Connery a couple of times. “You’re not as tall as you look in the movies”, someone once said to him.

Terry was solid muscle. Mick could have got a job as a boulder. Between them, I looked like a greyhound between two mastiffs.

Terry looked relaxed and friendly. I saw him acknowledge some people and exchange cheerful words with others as he moved around the room. Twice I saw him move quickly towards someone and, as instructed, I moved just as quickly behind the guy he was talking to. I don’t know what I would have done if things had got ugly. I didn’t need to find out. Standing behind the punter I could see the look that Terry was giving him. It was not a friendly look. It was a look that said, ‘Go on Sunshine, give me an excuse to tear your limbs off.’

The guy backed off. Five seconds later the cheerful Terry was back, smiling and nodding at various folk.

The second time, just before we moved back to our stations, I noticed a black cylindrical object tucked into Terry’s waistband. It had a knob and wrist-strap – a cosh or maybe a truncheon?

“You didn’t tell me you were expecting trouble”, I said accusingly, nodding towards the handle. He pulled it out. It was a folding umbrella he’d picked up during the last circuit and he was going to drop it off in lost property when he went past.

It’s strange walking through a crowd as a bouncer. Tiny gaps between bodies widen as you approach and close behind you. I glided through them with the merest hint of a body turn. It was almost like dancing. After all, I was a dancer not a fighter. I wondered what the people would think if they knew that the skinny bouncer with the long hair had won a Twist competition on this very dance floor only a few years earlier.

Most people ignore you, easing out of your way as you pass by. Some eye you off warily, maybe weighing up their chances against you if they decide to have a go, but they avoid catching your eye. A few are obsequious and a bit fawning – members of a temporary fan club who want to make friends with the bouncer, buy you drink, have a chat, like sycophants round a school bully. It’s a bit creepy.

I found out later that Terry had dropped a word here and a hint there and a rumour had got round that I was black-belt karate expert who had just got back from studying in Japan. Back then karate was still a mysterious, little-known area so maybe it was just plausible enough. Luckily, no one decided to put it to the test.

The one time I moved towards potential trouble and faced off with the offender, Mick appeared behind him as if by magic, moving surprisingly nimbly for a big man. He did more than appear; he loomed menacingly – end of problem.

The dance ended with no major dramas. When the punters had gone and the band was packing up, the three of us took off our ties, loosened our top shirt buttons and collapsed into chairs in the manager’s office. The manager handed Terry a grubby envelope. Terry slid out some creased notes and passed them to Mick and me.

As I slipped mine into my pocket he said, “Thanks, Ian. You did all right tonight.”

“Thanks, Terry. It was an interesting experience.”

“Ken will be back on deck next week. But I’ll give you a call if ever I need an extra body sometime. See you around.”

The following Friday, Ken was stabbed as he crossed the car park after the dance.
Source: Blog feed

Happy 20th Birthday, South Australia Central

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Twenty years ago today, we launched South Australia Central, the pioneering, whole-of-government web portal.

Groundbreaking in its day, SA Central (Mark 1) was a pre-Google directory and catalog of every South Australian website and all online information about SA from government, business and community sources.

One of the very first government portals to provide a single point of entry to government information and services, it used library-standard cataloguing to ensure that people could easily find the information they needed. That led to the subsequent development of website metadata to accurately describe websites and their contents.

In parallel, our e-Business team also began to work with government agencies to help them develop and transition their services to online delivery mode, so that SA Central could become a one-stop shop for government information and transactions, evolving over time into today’s online government presence and services.

Launched at the former Ngapartji Cooperative Multi Media Centre in Rundle Street, it helped position South Australia in the global ICT scene.

Source: Blog feed

Facebook Scam – Second "Friend" Requests

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Have you received a Facebook Friend request from someone who is already a Friend? 

Or maybe some of your existing FB Friends have told you that they have received a second Friend request that you know nothing about. 

Has your Facebook page been hacked? Probably not. 

It happened to my friend – let’s call her Helen. I received a second Facebook Friend request that looked like it came from her.

It’s fake; it was part of a Facebook scam called “profile cloning”.

It means that someone set up a fake page using Helen’s name and copied some basic information from her real page into the fake page. No one hacked or gained access to her real page. 

The owner of the fake page then sent Friend requests to Helen’s real friends in order to “harvest” friends for the fake Helen’s page. 

Why do they do it?

At the simplest level, the scammers are trying to collect email addresses or contact details that they can sell to spammers or use themselves to send spam. In this scenario, the next thing that happens is that those of us who innocently accepted the fake requests and thus became friends of the fake Helen start receiving Facebook messages or pop-up adverts with dodgy links promoting dodgy websites or dubious services, or we are bombarded with spam emails.

At a more sinister level, the scammers are trying to collect any scraps of confidential information about real people that they might be able to use to access their target’s other accounts or to steal their identity.

More likely they are setting up a “con” where we start getting worrying messages from the fake Helen a few weeks down the track. “Helen” is begging for help to rescue her from a desperate situation. Her urgent plea for help might say something like she is sick in hospital overseas. An elaborate one might say she is on holiday in somewhere like Thailand or Russia where her bag has been stolen containing all her money, credit cards and tickets; she can’t pay her bill at the hotel where the manager is threatening to call the police and he won’t return her passport until she pays up and she is stranded with no one to help. It often sounds fairly plausible, especially if the real Helen is a frequent traveller. The message then asks if you can help her to get out of the mess and get back home by sending some money which she promises to pay back as soon as she returns. It gives details of “her” bank account where to send or deposit the money. Needless to say, anyone sending money will never see it again. 

What to do about it?

First check whether any FB Friend appears twice in your own Friends list. If so, look at both profiles. The fake page is usually easy to spot. Often it has very little content; there is little more than the person’s name and profile picture on it. (Remember though that some people might have two separate Facebook pages for perfectly good reasons, e.g. one personal and one for business.)

If you find you are a friend of a fake page, then “unfriend” the fake person. (In your own Friends list there is a button labelled “Friends” next to each profile picture. On the fake friend’s profile, point to that “Friends” button with your cursor and a drop-down menu appears – the last item is “Unfriend”.)

To make it harder for such scammers to do the same to you, first go through your own list of friends and unfriend anyone that you don’t actually know or recognise. Then go through your Facebook privacy settings and make the different types of information about yourself visible only to yourself, or to friends only, or to friends of friends as appropriate to your level of comfort. If you set your own friends list to be visible to “only me”, it will prevent a profile cloner from seeing that list and sending fake friend requests to your real friends. If you set your friends list to be visible to “only friends”, it will have a similar effect, unless you have already inadvertantly accepted a fake friend request – then the scammer can see your list and send them messages.

Don’t accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. When you receive a friend request from someone you recognise, check to see if that person is already on your Friends list. If they aren’t, check the person’s profile to make sure it looks genuine before you accept the request. However, please note that some genuine profiles, depending on the owner’s privacy settings, are largely hidden from public view and visible only to people who are already friends.

And if you ever receive an out-of-character message, a plea for help or a request for money from a “friend”, contact the real person by some other means such as telephone or SMS to see if the message is genuine or not. Do not hit “Reply” to such a message and don’t click any links in it. 

What to do if your page/profile has been cloned

If you are the victim of a cloned profile, you might not be able to see the fake page yourself because cunning cloners sometimes block the real person from the fake page to delay their finding out about it.

If it happens to you (e.g. your friends tell you they have received second friend requests from you) tell Facebook that someone has cloned your profile and ask Facebook to remove the fake page.

This is a link to the Facebook help page that explains how to report various Facebook misdemeanours: https://www.facebook.com/help/181495968648557/. On that page, the item you need is the first one, “Profiles”. In essence, it tells you to go to the fake page and click on the “three dots” button next to the “Message” button in the bottom right of the header image – this reveals a drop-down menu with an option “Report”. However, if the creator of the fake profile has blocked you, you might want to ask two or three trusted friends to report it.


Source: Blog feed

New Adelaidia Web Site

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

I’m excited about the new web site http://adelaidia.sa.gov.au/. Presented by History SA (of which I’m a Trustee), Adelaidia is an interactive way of finding out about and engaging with our city’s past and present. It tells the stories of the city’s people, places and events, the city streets and the buildings and monuments that line them, and the events that enliven them. And we want your help to tell the story, to share your stories of the city, your favorite images and your responses.

Weekend Warriors

Saturday, December 7th, 2013
WWagm3A

Ian chairing the Weekend Warriors Club AGM

It was an honour to be re-elected as Vice-President of the Weekend Warriors Music Club (SA) at the club’s AGM today.

Weekend Warriors is a club for recreational musicians and singers to meet like-minded people, form bands and ensembles, find gigs and perform live.

If you’d like to join a band for fun and have opportunities to perform live in a range of gigs and venues, please visit www.sawarriors.org.au.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Rees Photography.

James Nash House Gig

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Just returned from an enjoyable gig with Wound Up at James Nash House to help celebrate World Mental Health Day. What could be more authentic than playing rock and roll in the gym?

Thanks to the patients and staff for making us welcome, feeding us a great lunch and helping us put on a good show through their support, encouragement and, importantly, their dancing.

Tall Ships on Fathers Day

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Oosterschelde and Europa

The Dutch Tall Ships left Port Adelaide on Sunday 1 Sept en route to Kangaroo Island. I was a guest on the racing yacht Alliance which accompanied them on the first part of their journey along the South Australian coast.

Thanks to Skipper Jim for the invitation and to the crew. I took many photos of the magnificent Tall Ships. This one shows the Oosterschelde (left) and the Europa off Glenelg. Please follow this link for many more photos of the ships.

Header Photos
The page header above shows a random selection of travel photos I have taken over the years. Please click here to see the list of locations.