Run Lola Run/Dance Dance Karnov

OK, Run Lola Run kicks some serious backside. This is easily the most intelligent and compelling film I’ve seen in ages, and I suggest that everyone with even half a brain goes out and rents, if not buys a copy. It takes about five minutes to get used to the dubbing (asuming you’re not watching it in the original German), but after you’ve made the adjustment it’s brilliant. First Das Boot, now this – those Germans sure know what they’re doing.

(Yes, let’s define the whole of German cinema on the basis of two films made almost 20 years apart shall we? πŸ˜‰

So I now have five favourite films, Ghostbusters, Clerks, The Blues Brothers, Run Lola Run, and the other one I can never actualy remember (Groundhog Day? I have no idea). Huge thanks to Rebecca, who gave it to me on DVD for my birthday. I’m going to have to find you something really good now aren’t I? ;D

On a similar (or at least similarly named) subject, everyone should check out Dance, Dance Karnov, one of the oddest online games I’ve ever seen. Use the arrow keys to make Karnov dance and defeat Green Fish Guy With a Bag and Hand Down Pants! Disco music! Wigs! Pointy shoes! It’s all here people!

Finally a word of advice to female R&B artists – keep away from the Caribbean for the forseeable future. There’s something going on down there.

NTSC: The Television

Well it is pretty much official. Come May 10th, I am moving out of this dump (which is a very nice way to refer to the only home I’ve ever know I must say) and moving into Rebecca’s flat. This will be very cool and will perhaps go some way to actually getting me some kind of life (if I don’t starve to death πŸ™‚

The flat is completely unfurnished, which isn’t too much of a problem as this place has far too much furniture anyway, and I’m taking a fair swag of it with me. What is a slightly larger problem however is the lack of certain electrical appliances. So, yesterday I went out and bought me a TV, a washing machine (second hand), and put a deposit down on a fridge (also second hand). I figure that’s all I need in the way of major purchases, with the exception of a PAL/NTSC compatable VCR, which I’ll probably buy after my next pay cheque and finally be able to watch that KiTH/Twitch City video Stephanie send me long ago in the mists of history πŸ™‚

I don’t actually have the washing machine around at the moment, they’re holding it at the store until it’s ready to be delivered, but the TV is great (in a way that a washing machine could never be, American sitcoms aside that is). It’s 51 cm with a built in game (which is pretty poor version of that one where the little man pushes blocks around a room but hey, that’s got to be better than no game at all, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚ and most importantly PAL/NTSC playback. This means that I could finally watch the NTSC format Kindred: The Embraced DVDs I bought on eBay a good year ago. Damn that was a good show, even if it was by Aaron Spelling and Vampire purists object to much of the content. It’s such a shame about Mark Frankel (his death in a road accident meant the show was axed after only 8 episodes). Anyway I spent a good chunk of yesterday and some more today watching the entire series, and am now madly in love with Stacy Haiduk, a state that I am sure will pass as soon as I can catch up on some more normal TV (such as, I dunno, Parkinson πŸ™‚

In addition to Stacy Haiduk (who was also in Seaquest DSV, in which if I remember rightly I was also madly in love with her) I was surprised to see that the series featured Patrick Bauchau (as Archon), who played Sydney in The Pretender. A nice little co-incidence, considering Helen is making such an effort to get it back on UK TV in some form. If you’re a Pretender fan in the UK, you should go along to her site and check it out. And eat lots of Pez.

(The series also heavily features Brian Thompson, best known to most people as the alien bounty hunter from the X-Files, and Brigid Conley Walsh who seems to have a recurring role in Angel. Fantasy/Sci-Fi TV in the states seems to be getting dangerously inbred these days πŸ™‚

So, that was the highlight of my week. Watching eight hours of an axed Aaron Spelling series from 1996. As I said, I badly need to get a life πŸ™‚

The lowlight (is that even a word?) of my week was Wednesday, when I worked nine and a half hours straight making changes to the Prochem website in order to get them all done before Thursday, which was the Anzac Day public holiday. We decided to take Friday off as well and have a four day weekend, great, but it meant the Prochem stuff had to be done. So I sat at my computer in the office typing, mousing and scanning from 8:15 through to almost 6:00, with only one five minute break to go to the bathroom. I didn’t even have time for lunch, which may not be unusual for some workaholic types, but not for me πŸ™‚

It didn’t help that the whole site had been done in Adobe GoLive, meaning it was all graphics based. Including the text. Why anyone would use graphic files to put up text rather than actual HTML text is beyond me. Unless they’re completely anal about their anti-aliasing or something. Designers, sheeze!

Anyway I got it all done, and have not had my weekend disturbed by Prochem calling up to complain, so I guess I must have done an adequate job.

So that’s been my week. I’m going off to watch Run Lola Run now.


It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I’m watching Rage. How is this possible? I taped it (well duh). Why did I tape it? Because my favourite band of all time They Might be Giants were the guest programmers last night. Yeah! So I dug out a three hour tape, put it on long play and pretty much got the entire show, apart from the bit at the end where they play the top 50 (no great loss there).

So far there’s been some pretty freaky stuff, but nothing beats O Superman by Laurie Anderson, which is so surreal I’m struggling to even try and describe it. The ‘song’ is a looped sample of someone going “ha” with Laurie sort of moan-chanting a bunch of strange non-sequiturs over the top in an electronic voice to rival that of Cher’s “Believe”.

As for the clip, well, don’t give someone in the music industry a video camera and primitive digital editing suite in 1980 (or thereabouts) and expect anything that makes any kind of sense. I’m watching it as I type and I’m having trouble describing what I’m seeing in front of my own eyes. There’s a big glowing disc, and a silhouetted arm. Then it goes all dark, and the inside of Laurie’s mouth glows, not unlike the terror dog in Dana Barret’s fridge. Then there’s someone doing sign language, and it’s snowing. And the disk turns into a globe…

This makes no sense at all!!

Oh cool! Kraftwerk!

Anyway once they get through all of the Giants’ selections they’re going to play a whole load of their clips, so overall I’m pretty chuffed.

What I’m not chuffed about on the other hand is the current top 40 chart. Yesterday I discovered (much to my horror) that the current Australian number one is Hey Baby by DJ Otzi. OK, it’s a catchy tune and all, harking back to the hits of the 50’s and early 60’s in its essential simplicity, but number one!? What is this? Gah!!

All right! Plastic Bertrand! Ca plane pour mia! Ca plane pour mia! Ca plane pour mia! Mia! Mia! Mia! Mia! Ca plane pour mia!

Worst miming in the known universe. Not to mention the clothes. Or the dancing. Or the ersatz-psychedelic background. OK, let’s just consign the whole clip to the trash heap and save the bother then.

Apart from Rage it’s been a pretty boring week, hence the lack of updates. About the only interesting thing to occur was on Tuesday, when we had the wettest April day since records began. Not too shoddy, particularly with the current drought. Too bad it didn’t continue, although it’s looking pretty threatening out there at the moment.

We can only hope.

On a sad note I have to mention the passing of the great Thor Heyerdahl. For those not in the know Mr Heyerdahl was an anthropologist/archeologist who theorised that ancient cultures were able to undertake sea voyages far longer than archeologists gave them credit for. In particular he was keen on the idea that Polynesia was colonised from South America, rather than Asia as orthodoxy insists. Rather than abandon this theory when the establishment informed him that an Inca-style balsa raft wouldn’t survive more than a few weeks at sea, he proceeded to build one (the Kon Tiki) and with a team of international volunteers sail it across the Pacific. He followed up with two voyages across the Atlantic in papyrus reed boats (the Ra and Ra II) to test the theory that Egyptians influenced the cultures of Central America, and a voyage from Iraq to India to the Red Sea in another reed ship (the Tigris) to test the validity of sea trade between the Tigris/Euphrates and Indus Valley civilisations.

Heyerdahl was one of the pioneers of re-enactment archeology and while his theories remain unproven his work has inspired dozens of similar voyages and reminded everyone in the archeological establishment that ancient humans were just as intelligent, resourceful and adventurous as their modern descendants are. I encourage everyone to get hold of one of his highly entertaining accounts of his expeditions (The Kon Tiki Voyage, The Ra Expeditions and The Tigris Expedition) and read it in honour of this great 20th century original thinker.

Over and out.

How do you want to go nuts today?

Computers hate me.

I have come to this conclusion after an extremely frustrating weekend attempting to transfer files from my old Win95 computer to my new WinXP machine. This is supposed to be a relatively simple task, due to the fancy file transfer wizard the crew at Redmond have bundled with the XP CD.

Simple my arse.

The first thing I required was a serial cable, so I got up nice and early Saturday morning to go down to Discount Computer Supplies and pick one up. So I did (after completely baffling the bored teenager at the desk with my requests for a “null modem” cable, I mean what kind of training do they give these kids?) and walked home, only to discover that in my haste I’d actually purchased a 19 pin joystick extension cable.

Good one.

I was going into the city that afternoon anyway so I decided to buy a serial cable then, rather than go back and weather the scorn of the bored teenager. So this I did, buying it from the new Dick Smith Electronics store which was having some kind of opening celebration complete with a guy standing out the front handing out ugly yellow balloons. Then (because as it turned out the line was closed for repairs) I had to catch a hot, smelly bus home instead of the luxurious (in comparison), air conditioned train I was expecting. So, I arrived home somewhat sweaty and smelly but triumphant, ready to transfer all my files across.

I plugged in the cable, started up the wizard on both machines and worked my way through the seemingly endless series of menus. Then, finally, I clicked the “autodetect” buttons on both machines, and waited for them to link up.

And waited.

And waited.

The dialogue claimed that it might take “a minute” for the machines to find each other, so I left them alone for half an hour and sorted my CDs, knowing that Microsoft’s interpretation of time is somewhat different to that of mere mortals. But still, after getting all my albums neatly in order, there was no change. I disconnected, and thought about what to do.

The next three to four hours were spent trying various com port combinations, devising intricate methods to determine if said com ports were actually working (they were) and swearing. This achieved absolutely nothing and at the end of the day I went to bed extremely frustrated, and $40.00 in the hole from the cables.

Today I decided to try again, after installing all the lastest Microsoft upgrades. Still no dice. Then I decided to try transfering a few vital files via the floppy drive option of the wizard. Unfortunately it seems you can’t transfer “just a few” files, you have to do the lot all in one go, and since I don’t have 2.5 gig worth of floppies hanging around, I had to scratch that idea as well.

Finally I reluctantly decided to do the obvious, and transfer those important files smaller than 1.4 meg over via floppy disk. This at least would allow me to get some work done. So I dug out some blank floppies, and got to work, swapping disks back and forth.

Then the floppy drive on my old computer died.

There are days when I wonder if the whole universe isn’t some kind of gigantic farce with me in the central role. If in some kind of parallel dimension my life isn’t a high rating sit-com. If people aren’t gathering round the benzene cooler at work, clutching their morning cups of amonia in their seven fingered hands saying things like “Did you see Denys last night? It was hilarious! He was trying to copy files between his computers and everything went wrong!”. It’s probably billed as “The show about a nobody with something for everybody”.

Anyway after a lot of cursing I went and borrowed dad’s computer and did a drive transplant, cutting up my right hand rather nastily on some sharp edged support struts in the process. So I am now sitting here typing this, in between shuffling disks and files back and forth between my new computer, and the extra floppy drive hanging out the side of my old computer like some kind of hideous growth.

I’m not a happy chappy.

My best theory is that the cable I bought from Dick Smith’s is faulty. I could go into town and get a replacement, but frankly I’m too annoyed to even bother. I’ll stop into Discount Computers tomorrow on the way home from work and see if I can get the joystick cable exchanged for another serial cable, and see if that works. If it does, I’ll demand my money back from Dick Smiths. I don’t care if he’s flown a helicopter over Antarctica, I want a refund!


In other news I’ve added some links to the upper right of the Wyrmlog so you can jump straight to various parts of Wyrmworld, and send me emails. This last one in particular has been long lacking, I can’t believe I missed it before. So send the flames rolling in!

Oh, and we’ve put up a new website for GTP. You can most clearly see my influence in the sample text in the “Basic HTML” page under “Client Support”. Nothing like the classics to spruce up a website!

Civilised People

You know, over the last few days I’ve been thinking that there are a number of simple skills that any truly civilised and cultured western person should really have. Just in order to be truly civilised and cultured. So, in leiu of anything else to write about I thought I’d share the list so far…

Swiming – We are land mammals inhabiting a planet that is 60% covered in water. The ability to cope with said water without drowning is essential. When you add in the fact that we have numerous adaptions that seem intended for a semi-aquatic lifestyle (we’re virtually hairless compared to other mammals, we have big prominent noses to use as snorkels, etc), being able to swim is just common sense. The only excuse is to be living in a desert or on the tundra where’s there’s nowhere to learn.

Cutlery – There are two main types of cutlery in the world. Knives, forks and spoons on one hand, and chopsticks in the other (I challenge anyone to find cutlery that can’t be fitted into either of those categories). A civilised person should be just as adept and comfortable with chopsticks as with knives and forks. It’s not that hard!

Waltzing – The waltz is the most basic of western formal dances, and it behooves any civilised person to be able to at least manage it. It’s pretty damn simple too, as long as you can count. Now sure, I would never recommend learning it the way I did, but if there’s any silver lining to that particular horror it’s that I would be able to handle myself in a formal dancing situation. If I was ever forced into one that is.

CPR – Cardio Pulmonary Resucitation. A simple procedure that can mean the difference between life and death. And that’s the point it’s so simple. If every supposedly civilised person knew it, the death rate from cardiac arrest would plummet.

So, that’s my list so far. Naturally I have all of these skills, and hence consider myself to be truly civilised.

And consider myself to have an overly swollen head too πŸ™‚


I’m pretty annoyed. In fact I’d go do far as to say I’m actively pissed off.

First of all I stayed up to watch The Mummy last night. Pretty darn good, in fact one of the funniest films I’ve seen in quite a while. And it has that guy from Stargate in it. Whatsisface, Sha’re’s father, ya ken well who ah mean. Anyway I enjoyed the movie, but could seriously do with some more sleep.

But that’s minor. The real kicker was in the shower when I was washing my face, and my hands came away covered in bright red blood. I HAD A BLOOD NOSE!!!!

OK, what’s so bad about that? I am 26 years old, and before today have never had a blood nose. Never. Or at least not as far back as I can remember.

I’ve been proud of this record for years. For instance in 1987 when I got into a fight with the bully at my primary school (elementary school for Americans and other aliens), the first thing I though of as he pounded away at my head was “Oh no, I’m going to lose my record” (as it happened I managed to preserve it by screaming for help and running like hell). But now it’s all come to nought!

Now, sure this was a pretty pathetic thing to be proud of, but it was all I had. AND NOW IT’S ALL GONE!! ALL GONE!! OH WOE IS ME!!

So now I’m gonna have to come up with another record. Suggestions cheerfully accepted.

Development Status Report IV – Adrian’s Revenge

Two entries in two days. Amazing isn’t it? I blame the chocolate.

Anyway I’ve made some much needed changes to the Wyrmlog. First of all the Previous and Subsequent Rant links now actually work. Which they haven’t done for months as it turns out. Rather embarrassing all things considered. But they’re fixed now.

Secondly there’s now another box down at the lower left that lists the last 15 entries in a nice clickable format. This makes reading said past entries a lot easier, and will probably motivate me to make entries more often as it shows up just what a lazy bastard I am (only 15 entries since November 2001. Ack!)

The next step is to hack up the quotes files into nice, easily digestible chunks, as the current one is 100 odd k and accounts for most of the download time when you first load up. As a matter of fact the actual chopping up is done, it’s just coding to get the program to select one. I’ll probably do that next weekend.

As if you really care πŸ™‚

So, I’m off to have lunch now. Hmmmm.

Later – OK, I did it today instead. So there.

Lunch was good.


Well the weekend is once again upon us here in the antipodes, and increasingly it seems like the only time I actually have the time to make entries in this thing. Or if not time, energy. Most days I’m not even switching on the computer when I get home from work, I’m so wiped. You wouldn’t think sitting in a chair coding all day could be so exhausting. Of course the truly heroic quantities of Easter-related chocolate I’m consuming are probably playing havoc with my sugar metabolism, which could have a lot to do with it.

So, what did I get up to this week? The highlight would have to be Wednesday night when I went out to dinner with Becca and Dom. We ended up at Funtastico in Subiaco, a long, thin restaurant built in what used to be a long thin shopping arcade next to the Subiaco Markets. Or rather I ended up there, because they were stranded getting Becca’s car serviced by a bunch of incompetent hillbillies down in Melville. They said to have the car in at 10:00, and it would be ready by 2:30. As it turned out they didn’t get away until about 5:30 (there was “paperwork” apparently, and they didn’t actually start working on the vehicle until about 3:00), exactly the time that they were supposed to be meeting me.

So, I sat at the table for the next hour sipping ice water and being pestered by the staff who kept asking me if I wanted anything. What I wanted was for them to leave me alone (it’s strange that when you actually get good service you find it so irritating). But they turned up eventually.

Advice for people eating at Funtastico Number 1: If you’re calling to leave a message saying you’re running late and an old Italian man answers, hang up. Unless you’re looking for a girl in a short skirt.

So we had a very enjoyable evening devising ways to firebomb the car service center, and eating various Italian dishes. And sipping ice water, which the staff continued to swoop in and replenish whenever the glasses dropped even an inch below their rims.

The state of my stomach the next day wasn’t quite as enjoyable though.

Advice for people eating at Funtastico Number 2: Don’t order the prawns.

After our main courses we sat around for a good hour hoping to be able to fit in some desert. However the pizza we’d had for an entr

Senatus Populusque Romae

Ah Easter! The time of year when we celebrate the death and resurrection of one Yehoshua ben Yosuf* by giving each other a fattening, brown, alkaloid laced paste† (known by the Aztec words for “bitter water”‑) moulded into the form of bird ova and rodents. What a strange, strange people we truly are.

So what, all are probably wondering, happened to my promise of more frequent updates? Well my time this long weekend has been spent locked away in the Geek Cave, feverishly typing out the conclusion of Part 2 of “The Pathetic Circle of the Dance Class Damned” over in the Tales. I have also put a big dent into Part 3, which (with a bit of luck) should be up in only a few months. In addition, I’ve gone through the rest of the Tales and not only corrected the horribly inept and antiquated CSS (they now look pretty much as I actually intended them to from the start), but made numerous spelling corrections, and even added a few extra bits and pieces here and there. So if you were looking for an excuse to reread the Tales from the start, now might be the time.

In other news I was rather surprised, nay, flabbergasted to notice a brand new bit of graffiti down at the local railway station the other day. It wasn’t the presence of the tag that blew me away, the local delinquents have some kind of sophisticated roster system running to keep the station nicely decorated, with new tags appearing within ten minutes of the Westrail maintenance workers coming and painting over the old ones. It was what it said…


SPQR, standing for Senatus Populusque Romae (The Senate and People of Rome) was of course the insignia of the ancient Roman Empire. So it was rather suprising, if not disconcerting to see it roughly spray painted across the wall just behind the Multirider machine. My contemplation of this strange anomaly on the train ride to work led me to a number of possible conslusions…

1: A tagger somehow managed to read a history book (or more likely watched Gladiator), and decided SPQR would make a unique and interesting tag

2: A crew of taggers somehow managed to read a history book (or watched Gladiator), and have decided to model themselves after an ancient Roman Legion, dressing in armour and togas, carrying swords and spray painting SPQR everywhere

3: An actual Roman Legion or Cohort was caught in some kind of time storm, pulled through to modern Australia, and on finding a spray can and figuring out how it worked, decided to claim the railway station for the Emperor

4: It was a particularly inept spray painting of the (typically badly spelled) tag “SPORE”

I have to admit the last is the most likely, albiet the most boring. In any case I’ll be challenging any likely looking types down at the station with “Quo vadis?”, and keeping an eye out for any golden eagle standards lying around the place.

Of course, given that the Eagles just won the Western Derby, I’ll probably find hundreds.

Historical research is fraught with such perils.


* The Greeks, who couldn’t leave well enough alone, decided to call him Jesus for some reason

† In the southern hemisphere Easter occurs at the end of summer, so if you leave chocolate out of the fridge for more than a few minutes, it very rapidly reveal itself to be a paste.

‑ “xoco latl” in case you were wondering

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