Monday, 17 December 2007

Christmas, Bobby McGee's Conglomeration, and Locale in Gentoo

Canberra Centre Animated Displays
I went for a walk around Canberra last night to see what it was displaying to celebrate Christmas. My first stop was the Canberra Centre shopping complex. Being from Melbourne I was used to seeing Myer display Christmas windows. Canberra Centre had some displays set up with animated elves doing different activities. While the display looks great, each time I've passed it, I hardly notice anyone looking at them.

Canberra Christmas Tree 2007Next on my walk was the Christmas tree in the middle of the city. Well actually, it was not exactly in the middle of the city, but it well decorated anyway. The base is surrounded by large boxes, some as large as small coffee tables. There are angels and christmas decoration balls covering the tree along with christmas lights. As far large festive trees go, I do remember the ones in Melbourne last year being more decorative, but not as large. Might be worth a visit if you're in town.

I next wandered over to Bobby McGee's Conglomeration at the Rydges Lakeside. Bobby McGee's hold a special place in my memory. It was the first job I got that was fully taxed. I was going to uni and working as a character waiter. For those that do not know much about Bobby McGee's, it's a concept restaurant where the waiters would dress up in different characters. I worked at Bobby McGee's in Melbourne, which was open in the early 90's, but was closed by 1998. I'm a big fan of "Americana Junk food", and I enjoyed many things about Bobby McGee's. The food, the atmosphere, the fact that you'd be working, but you'd be having fun - literally playing games and sharing jokes with the customers. Bobby McGee's was also unique in the fact it had a nightclub attached to it. The original concept was that you'd have dinner in the restaurant, and then party in the nightclub - a night's entertainment under the one roof. I joined Bobby McGee's in the mid 90's. This was when it was at its peak. Then came the scythe of cost cutting, and literally Bobby McGee's was "slashed to success" - except it didn't work. My personal observations was that they let the food quality slide, and decide to make as much money by marking up the drinks - and profiting off the nightclub. While there was nothing intrinsically wrong with this, management did just start hiring anyone - hoping that their core crew of staff would carry it along. It wasn't long before the only times Bobby McGee's was busy was on the weekends, and people were only coming to be entertained by the staff. Through no fault of the kitchen staff, people were not leaving being totally satisfied with their food experiences.

This brings me to Bobby McGee's in Canberra. It is the last Bobby McGee's in Australia. Melbourne and Sydney are closed. This was partially due to the passing away of Rich Morris, who was the Rydges Corporation Food and Beverage General Manager. It was his idea to bring back Bobby McGee's to its peak. It was a sad loss when I heard he passed away due to a household accident. I was even more saddened to hear his replacement was attempting to shut down all the Bobby McGee's in Australia and turn them into cafe / bistros. If you don't think Bobby McGee's was something appreciated by patrons - have a look at Hard Rock Cafe or Planet Hollywood. Both are similar in concept - but without as much fun. The latter is another great concept ruined by bad management.

I doubt the last Bobby McGee's will be around much longer after I write this post. After speaking with staff at Rydges Lakeside, they've already mentioned it will be closed and be renovated into another venue. Gone are the character waiters - and they don't even serve dinner in there. Do pop in if you get a chance, otherwise, have a look at the photos.

Main bar - Bobby McGee's NightclubCartoon theme alcove - Bobby McGee's NightclubBobby McGee's Restaurant - with trademark bathtubBobby McGee's Restaurant dining area

Lastly, I got around the configuring Locales in Gentoo. I initially set it to en_GB, but changed the settings in /etc/env.d/02locale to just en, and /etc/locale.gen to en_AU. While easy enough to configure, I don't fully understand what it has done to the machine, with the exception of change the format of the clock. It's just another thing on my system I need to get around to configure, but I'm still at loss to figure out what benefits it brings to my system. Ah... Gentoo... like the bastardized motto of Ubuntu: "Linux for human beings - who have too much time on their hands".


  1. Many of us BMC old timers miss Rich. He was a great guy.

  2. Termi is that you lol from dan