Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Car lover's droolathon, part 2

Sorry if I’m puffing and panting right now. I have just been viewing car tail-light collections on the net. Back in the 60s, a psychologist – or whatever he was – made a great target for headline writers by saying the designers of the Ford Falcon, pictured above, had made the tail lights look like breasts to attract buyers. The report delivered my adolescent mates and me into headsplitting hysteria. We made a close inspection or two but still preferred our Man Magazines. The Classie Corner car lover’s droolathon continues, this time focusing on Ford for the sake of balance. Today’s post is from the Redland Times, August 25, 2006.
A DEEP division once ran through Australian society. It was so deep that arguments broke out in pubs and family gatherings.
The division, however, had nothing to do with politics, religion and the usual catalysts for a bit of push and shove with the kid from down the road.
In the 1950s and 60s, splits such as Left versus Right, Protestant versus Catholic and Public School versus Private were pussycats compared with Ford versus Holden.
Spirited interchanges between my dad and my uncle would erupt over the Christmas roast.
We were a Holden family; they were Ford.
Standard analyses aside, a CCFT (Classie Corner Flashback Test) has shown the state of the Ford-Holden debate in 2006.
Internet search engine, Google, gave 5,260,000 Australian references on "Ford" and 2,320,00 on "Holden".
Okay, the totals include different meanings of the two words but a recent edition of our Motor Vehicles Classifieds featured three pre-loved Fords for sale and no Holdens.
This research comes about because our Classifieds manager, Kylie Hogan, is married to a lifelong Ford enthusiast.
Kylie and husband Scott are often seen in the front seat of their Ford Explorer with Lincoln, 6, Mackenzie, 5, and Ford, 15 months, in the back.
Lincoln takes the name of a prestige vehicle. Mackenzie Valentine has the initials, "MVH", for motor vehicle hire.
[Kylie explains the initials this way but my research reveals they make the acronym for a Ford engine].
The glossary will increase after the couple's fourth child is delivered by caesarian in Redland Hospital on September 8.
Kylie says Scott is keen to name a boy, Cleveland, which is a Ford engine.
Mum believes Daytona, the site of the famous US international speedway, may suit a girl.
The spirited debate must be settled before the birth notice appears.
NOW for a little navel-gazing in our Classifieds department where three of the six sales consultants are pregnant:
Sally Smith, already the mother of Jackson, 6, and Cooper, 3, expects the birth of No 3 in September and Miriam Ackroyd is due to become a first-time mum in December.
The non-pregnant consultants - Julie Burton, Sharon Parkinson and Jackie Eggins - wonder who will be next.
"It's getting to the stage where we don't drink the water here," Julie said. "Something must be causing this."
Classie Corner has always said the Classifieds have everything a community needs, from maternity hospital onwards, but never thought it would be taken so seriously.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Love runs on four wheels

Back in the days a gallon of petrol cost just a few pennies, this distinctive tail light glared at Aussie motorists who happened to follow a certain model of Holden.
Today’s launch of a Classie Corner series on cars features the EK Special Sedan.
The picture comes from a devotee’s blog, Sheldon’s EK Holden Special
, which shows the attention to detail in the car lover’s world.
Before you perve on Sheldon’s love life, here’s a Classie Corner EK edition which first appeared in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin about five years ago.

RESIDENTS of Queensland's small country communities get to know each other pretty well.
They also get to know their cars.
After 40 years in Jericho, former shearer Henry Masters traces the history of his 1962 Holden EK Special sedan from the day George Cole drove it new from Longreach.
Henry can tell how, for the 25 years before he bought the car about 10 years ago, Kevin Ryan used it daily to "run about a mile and a half out to check on George's bores".
"And that's about all it done; it's got low mileage," says Blackall-born Henry, who hasn't worked for eight years since "my ticker caved in".
Henry advertised the EK for $1500 or "swap for 10-12ft caravan" because he and his wife Shirley want to do some travelling.
He must see his Brisbane doctor, "and when I get back we will leave".
Anyone seeking a swap has missed out. Henry bought a van in Rockhampton last weekend.
It will be a big trip for the couple who met at the football in Alfa and married 55 years ago.
Shirley was born and bred in Jericho "but she came to Blackall -- I think she was chasing me", Henry says.
Henry said he decided to move from Blackall after the 1956 shearers' strike and headed north to Innisfail but came back to Jericho in the 60s.
He looks forward to first stop at Dalby, or Jondaryan, "then I might get down to NSW to see Blayney. I have never been to Blayney''.
And Roma, where he went as a shearer, is also on the itinerary.
Henry says his sons Gavin ("call him Baldy"), driving trains at Mt Isa, and Daryl ("Spot") will be sad to see him sell the EK, which he had parked in a shed for a few years but then had to move outside.
Henry pulled out the seating when he planned to work on it and proudly announces it's still free from rust.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Name drops across cultures

Look closely at the hat this pretty girl holds beside beautiful Moreton Bay, the shimmering entry statement to the new force in the Australian economy, south-east Queensland.
The picture is just one of those family snaps, and certainly not a surfwear PR shot.
There’s no denying, a clothing item with the name, Billabong, certainly makes Aussie kids smile.
The magical nine letters seem to pop up everywhere, even in the marvellous community of classified advertising.
Today’s post is the penultimate Classie Corner "thank god winter’s nearly over" edition before we have a change of season, hopefully with a bit more humour in the column. So stay tuned, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this story from yesterday's Redland Times.

TWO good reasons are behind Redlands mum Tina Sanders’ appeal for work she can do from home.
They are her daughter, Dakota, who will turn four in October, and son Jett, who is now a terribly demanding two-year-old.
The young pair, like all energetic youngsters, claim a big helping of Mum’s time and energy.
But while many women are keen for any type of work they can balance with the demands of motherhood, Tina, is specific in the call she made through our Classifieds.
Dakota and Jett must be among the best dressed tots in their home suburb of Thornlands.
Any child would be proud to tell their mates, "My Mum made this for me, she used to work for Billabong and Cobra Clothing."
Tina, who grew up in the Currumbin-Palm Beach-Elanora district, left school during her Year 11 to join surfwear company Billabong, where she worked for 10 years until the late 1990s.
"I was one of the last machinists to be retrenched when the company finally decided to get all its work done overseas," Tina said.
"I finished up at Billabong and a day or so later I started at Cobra, who used to supply Byrning Spears. I was there for two and a half years.
"Just about all the Australian clothing manufacturers eventually have taken their sewing work overseas.
"I have been out of the game for a while now and I want just regular plain sewing work, nothing fancy."
Tina alludes to quality in her advertising, which labels her as a qualified industrial sewing machinist.
She said she had not been particularly good at sewing during her school years.
"My sister-in-law worked at Billabong and was getting good money, so that’s what got me there at first," Tina said.
"I found that I liked the sewing after a lot of casual work in fruit barns, a deli and a newsagency, and other part-time jobs."
Tina moved to Brisbane in 2001 to be with her partner, Nigel, and settled at Thornlands more than two years ago.
Nigel works in the IT industry.
Tina’s precision sewing already features on the soft furnishings of Redlands firm Every’s Curtain Gallery but the machinist still can find more time for the skills she honed under the export-level quality controls.
"I have made a lot of things even flags and I am eager to keep learning," she said.
THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. Email:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cultures mix in 'the Classies'

In the dead of winter on beautiful Moreton Bay in Queensland, Australia, I can sit in shorts and shirt as I write about the recent European summer heatwave. Today’s column appeared yesterday in the Redland Times, which serves the bay community. More than anything else it shows how classified advertising creates a marvellous community of people from many cultures and origins (picture from

THE four daughters of Sheldon couple Elsbeth and Daniel Bakker should develop mobile minds.
Authorities on learning have touted learning languages as a good way to get the brain working.
If this is the case, Abigail, Naomi, Joanna and Sarina can look forward to a bright future.
Abigail and Naomi were both born in a village near Lucerne, Switzerland, where the family lived for five years in the early 1990s.
The two elder girls – Abigail is about to turn 14 and Naomi is "almost 12" – delight in practising their Swiss-German language skills on their grandparents.
Elsbeth’s parents, Verena and Friedrich Streiff, have made regular visits "down under" over the past decade.
They enjoyed their most recent Aussie holiday this year, returning in April to their home near Zurich.
While the girls learn Swiss-German from Nan and Pop, the two seniors admit to learning from their grandchildren, Elsbeth says.
Verena takes regular English lessons in Switzerland , perhaps to improve her conversations with Joanna, 10, and Sarina, 8, who both were born in Australia and speak little Swiss-German.
Elsbeth, meanwhile, has launched through our "Tuition" column a home-based business teaching German.
A qualified primary school teacher, Elsbeth hopes the advertising will tap a perceived need for German tuition in the Redlands.
"Basically, it all started because school kids asked for tuition, so I thought, ‘Let’s see if there’s a demand’," she said.
"My girls attend Redlands College, which teaches German. I think it has been difficult for some students to find tutors close to home."
In the mid-80s, Swiss-born Elsbeth was travelling in Greece, when she met Tasmanian-born Daniel.
The couple married in Brisbane in 1986 and later settled in Switzerland.
Elsbeth can smile over recent reports of Europeans sweating through several weeks of temperatures in the mid 30s.
"That’s very hot for them and two to three weeks of it, that’s unusual," Elsbeth says.
"I would have liked to be there; I am fine with it (hot weather)."
Nevertheless, she can sympathise with her former village neighbours, who at the other extreme must suffer winter temperatures as low as minus eight.
But back to the issue of getting the brain working: Daniel works for an IT (information technology) company so computing languages may also be on the agenda in the Bakker household.
THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Business taps demand reservoir

WATER is a hot topic so former software company section manager Ian Tragis is delighted to have found a marketing pipeline for his new water tank business.
Ian retired from the Brisbane technology scene about six years ago, weary of staring into a computer screen and keen to build up an outdoor business.
He and wife Sheryl set up Garden Magic to specialise in "soft" landscape gardening, which means working with plants and irrigation rather than concrete and paving.
Then the drought and south-east Queensland’s water supply crisis bit hard.
The couple diversified just a few months ago into "water storage solutions and drought proofing".
With the south-east Queensland water crisis in the news daily, Ian placed a notice in the Redland Times and Bayside Bulletin Trade Services Water Tanks column.
Redlanders rushed their phones to find out more from the Daisy Hill business.
Ian joked this week he was now a little weary of scooting around the Redlands to give quotes.
He had made three trips to Alexandra Hills, two to Wynnum West, two to Alexandra Hills, two to Capalaba and one each to Birkdale and Thorneside – all thanks to the Trade Services notice.
After returning home from McTaggart St, Capalaba, Ian said 5000-litre tanks were outselling the smaller tanks.
"A tap uses roughly 25 to 30 litres a minute, so a 3000-litre tank may give you only about 100 minutes of water use," he said.
"It doesn’t get far. Most people want a bit to splash around. But we are into managing the water through irrigation systems as well as supplying the tanks."
Ian’s brother, Stan, who is building a house on Russell Island, will need to place his tank order soon.
The tank specialist expects to get busier in months to come.
IT almost rained fridges after two mates who grew up in the Redlands moved back to Victoria Point to end their taste of the Gold Coast lifestyle.
The budget-conscious young women placed a Classified ad, "Wanted. Fridge in good condition, up to $100…"
The pair, who asked for their names to be withheld, bought a $50 Simpson bar fridge and may now advertise for new mobile phones after their batteries ran flat from a total of more than 40 fridge calls.
This column appeared yesterday in the Redland Times, based in Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.