The Last Weekend

Well, with the exception of yesterday’s rant it’s been a while between entries. I put this down to two factors. Number one is the fact that Dale is back from Rottnest and making us actually work which leaves me too tired to make entries during the week. The second is that I had a very busy weekend last week, which prevented me from making an entry on Saturday or Sunday. But this weekend has been fairly relaxing (with the exception of a major clean-up which I’m still in the throes of), and so here I am.

The main reason for the business (in the old sense of the word busy-ness, don’t tell me you never learn anything reading this blog!) was Katie’s birthday. Saturday was spent finding a present for her (I’m going to quote fairly extensively from an email I wrote to Ali yesterday now, not something I usually do but why write the same thing twice? πŸ™‚

The first order of business was to get some money to buy the present with. I usually get paid in bank cheques, which I can instantly cash at the bank down the road from work, so I do most of my buying of things with cash – my bank accounts are things I use for paying bills and buying online. But as that week Dale had been away and couldn’t sign the cheque, I’d been paid with direct deposit into my Bendigo Bank account. This was fine, except it meant that I had to go to Bayswater to get my hands on any of it (OK, I could go to an affiliated ATM or buy stuff by EFTPOS, but then I’d have to pay transaction fees and have to remember my PIN number, not things I can really be bothered with). I also had to pay my rent, another thing I usually do with cash but couldn’t that week.

So I caught the bus to Bayswater, and arrived outside the bank about 8:45, at which pointI remembered it didn’t open until 9:00. Drat.

So I sat outside and tried to figure out what I’d get Katie. Andrew (my brother for those who came in late) had mentioned she’s learning Italian and so suggested I get something along those lines. I had no idea what though. Just as the bank opened I decided that I’d have a much better chance of finding something in the City rather than the Morley Galleria (where I was initially heading), so altered my plans accordingly.

My banking business went rather smoothly (with the exception that the teller obviously thought I was insane for getting them to transfer money for rent just once) and I caught the same bus back in the opposite direction, which dumped me quite effectively in Northbridge. I walked across into the city and headed for the discount book stores in the hopes of finding something “Italian”.

However on the way down to Murray street mall I passed the new “Crazy Clarke’s” next to Myer. I probably don’t have to explain that “Crazy Clarke’s” is a discount store (discount stores are always run by insane people, reasonable people set up antique stores instead). I would have walked straight on past but sitting in the window was a framed print of M.C.Escher’s Hand met spiegelende bol. Escher is my favourite graphic artist and I’d been intending to get some prints of his work for ages, so against my better judgment I went in to see if they had a copy of Dag en Nacht.

They didn’t. Or at least they may have but there were about four hundred framed prints randomly piled on the shelves and I wasn’t prepared to search through them all. I was going to leave empty handed, but the only way out was through the checkout and I’m always paranoid that if I try to slip through a checkout without buying something I’ll be arrested as a shoplifter (hey, I don’t mock your neuroses! πŸ˜‰ so I decided I might as well buy the print anyway. Which I did. Now I’ve just got to find somewhere to hang it.

Anyway then I hit the discount bookstores. The first one, in the old bank at the east end of Murray street mall didn’t contain anything in the least bit Italian, but it did contain a lot of maps and books on vexillology, and I only managed to escape with some of my money intact by a supreme effort of will (I still bought four of them though :).

Next stop was the store in the old Boanes building at the other end of the mall. Unfortunately it had completely vanished, which left me rather annoyed as I’d managed to find a lot of bargains there over the last few years. This left only one discount bookstore in the city for me to try and find something Italian in. The one in the old Angus & Robertson’s on Hay Street. So I headed up through Picadilly Arcade and hung a left.

Much to my continued annoyance, this one had shut down too. I prowled up and down the mall a few times to see if any new stores had opened up, but none had. So, admitting defeat discount-wise I changed course to the new Angus & Robertson’s back on Murray Street.

On the way however I spotted the city branch of Elisabeth’s Second Hand bookstores. So I dashed across the road (neatly dodging a large truck) and started browsing.

Nearly inevitably I didn’t find anything Italian. But I did find a copy of Thor Heyardhal’s Aku-Aku which I’d been looking for for years, and a 1923 guidebook to Torquay and South Devon, which I bought because it was cheap and would give me something to talk to Ali about *g*.

So then it was on to Angus and Robertson’s. I ended up buying a quite interesting illustrated guidebook to Italy, on the basis that Katie might visit the place when she’s learnt the language well enough, and a gift voucher on the basis that she might not and the guidebook therefore wouldn’t be a very good gift. Then I went across to Forrest Place to join in the anti-war rally which I’d heard about on the radio they were playing in Crazy Clarke’s.

OK, I’m going to break for some politics here. Our esteemed Prime Minister John Winston Howard is currently completely kow-towing to George Dubya and promising him anything he wants in regards to Iraq. He’s dispatched a whole load of our troops to the Persian Gulf, without a debate on the issue in Parliament, and despite the fact that about 60% of the population don’t want us involved in a war with Iraq without a UN mandate, and about 20% don’t want us involved at all. In common with the rest of the world there were vast protests around the country that weekend (100,000 in Melbourne for instance, the largest since Vietnam) and Saturday was Perth’s turn. In the end about 10,000 turned out here in Perth, the largest protest in over 30 years and not bad for a sprawling city of only two million.

Oh, and John Howard’s reaction to all these protests? First, in complete defiance of theevidence of his own eyes he said that he “doesn’t think the people have made up theirminds about the issue yet”, and then he followed that up by condemning the protesters foroffering “comfort” to Saddam Hussein. Yes. Well.

Anyway I attended the rally. It wasn’t too bad. The speeches went on a bit long, particularly from a member of the Kurdish association who apparently decided to give us a full history of the Middle East since world war one (his particular beef was a conspiracy theory that the ‘Imperialistic Powers’ deliberately divided the region up in such a way as to cause the current conflict and allow them to seize all the oil. Sorry but I don’t buy that. The Imperialistic powers weren’t that a) smart or b) patient. They deliberately divided the region up in such a way as to cause conflict right away so they could seize the oil then – the Arabs getting uppity, throwing them out and creating independent nations was an unplanned complication). The best speaker was easily the leader of the Socialist Alliance who summed up the issues quickly and concisely and who’s oratory was so good that he totally got the crowd on side. He managed to get the biggest cheer of the whole event by saying “we have to tell the international community that the Howard Government does not represent the wishes of the Australian people in this issue!”, which doesn’t sound like much, but it took about two minutes to quiet the crowd down.

As I said the speeches did go on a bit long, but at the Murray street end of Forrest Place they were made bearable by a bunch of musicians who started up before they were all finished. First of all a rogue trumpeter started randomly blaring out a Spanish fanfare that had the crowd starting around in concern that Zorro might be swinging down on us on a rope. Then a bunch of drummers started up and, well, ten or so hyperactive drummers with everything from bongos to bases pounding out really catchy rhythms at ear pounding levels will always catch a crowds’ interest more than some guy dissecting the Catholic doctrine of “just warfare” on a stage that 90% of them can’t even see.

Not long after this the march began. They were only marching around the city block, which seemed a bit weak really, you’d expect a march on Parliament at least. I declined to take part I’m afraid – it was a hot day, I was carrying far too many books in my backpack, and my Escher print was proving a bit of a hazard in the stationary crowd – if I’d tried to march with it I probably would have taken someone’s eye out. So I caught a train home instead.

Sunday was spent preparing for the party, washing and ironing clothes, wrapping the present and so on. Happily the event was taking place at a Café/Restaurant in Mount Lawley, only twenty minutes or so walk away, so transport wasn’t a problem. I walked up there on time and managed to be about the third person to arrive. Katie loved the book (or at least claimed to, which is the main thing πŸ™‚ and overall things went pretty well. I had a very tolerable time, which is a quite acceptable outcome for a person who’s not really in to socialising, particularly with a bunch of people I don’t really know.

In fact things went very well because I actually managed to meet this great girl named Clare. She was bright, and witty and flamboyant and seriously into Monty Python (to the extent of knowing exactly which skits were on exactly which video tape) and just really fun and well, frankly, very very attractive. She also kept breaking into spontaneous song (with a really good voice, apparently she’s a drama student) for no reason at all, something that I think there should be a lot more of in the world (chiefly because it would mean I could do it too πŸ™‚

(And OK, to be honest there was a reason she kept breaking spontaneously into song – she’d had a couple of vodka shooters before coming, but still πŸ™‚

Anyway she basically had me completely enchanted for the entire evening. There was only one problem – she was there with her boyfriend (c’mon, you mean you didn’t see that coming? ;-). He was also witty and bright and flamboyant and into Monty Python and breaking into spontaneous song for no reason at all. Frankly the two of them were so obviously meant for each other that even if I was the kind of person with the skills (not to mention complete lack of scruples πŸ™‚ to consider breaking them up, I wouldn’t do it because to do so would be going against the forces of nature. So I just enjoyed her performance and concentrated on my stuffed tiger prawns instead.

So, all in all not a bad evening.

Anyway that’s why I haven’t written anything in a while. I’ll probably write some more over the next few days responding to things other people have said in their blogs. Maybe πŸ™‚

As the KLF say – Over and Out!

Severe Attack of Spleen!

OK, please bear with me while I vent my spleen πŸ™‚

From the GTP Guestbook…

I placed an order with [client] on February 3 for delivery to an address in Bicton. After a followup fax and phone call, they say that you have not passed the order on to them. What a “Mickey Mouse” outfit you are!
— Graham

We are not the ‘Mickey Mouse’ outfit here. The Mickey Mouse outfit is [client], who rather than apologising to the customer and trying to find what actually went wrong, just fobbed them off with a completely bull**** explanation (an explanation putting all of the blame on us by the way) and then didn’t even have the courtesy to inform us of it. And then the customer, rather than contact us to complain, goes and puts this message in our guestbook – making us look like a ‘Mickey Mouse outfit’ for anyone passing by.

We did not ‘not pass the order on to them’. The system is completely automated. An order is placed, it goes into the order table and is there for the client to process. An email is sent to the client, telling them there’s a new order, and just in case that email gets lost for some reason, an additional email is sent to them each day the order remains unprocessed. And even if every single email gets lost somehow, all the client has to do is put aside two minutes every morning to go and check their orders, something that you’d think someone who was serious about running a web-based business would be doing anyway.

If there’s any ‘Mickey Mouse’ outfit involved, it’s [client]. They bought the company off of the original owner (who was brilliant by the way, he ran the website properly, had regular promotions and competitions and was increasing his profits ridiculously on a monthly basis) and have pretty much ignored the website since. No website maintenance, no special offers, no competitions – they even have the gall to call us and complain when they receive an order for products they no longer stock, because they can’t be bothered to put in the effort to keep their database up to date. Sales and profits have collapsed, and [client] has gone from our flagship site to an embarrassment.

So, what happened in this particular case? Well, given that there’s no order from ‘Graham’ in the order table (and never has been) it’s quite obvious that the weak link here is Graham himself. It seems most likely that he went through the order and checkout process, then got to the final summary page that presents all the details for final inspection and completely failed to click the large prominent button marked “SEND ORDER THROUGH SECURE SERVER”.

The fact that he stuffed up should have been blindingly obvious to him anyway, as the site clearly states that the customer will receive an email confirming their order as soon as it’s sent, and if they don’t receive one they should contact us immediately. Apparently Graham found this all too difficult to understand.


Anyway, we removed the entry from the guestbook. We would have contacted him to clear the whole mess up and exonerate ourselves, but Graham declined to leave an email address with his entry. So he can frankly go and [expletives deleted for the sake of common decency].

OK, now that’s out of my system, I’ll vent my spleen on another issue. Shane Warne. For those not in the know he’s an Australian cricketer who’s just been banned from competition or a year for failing a drug test. And everyone seems to be very upset about it.

Time for a bit of background for those unfamiliar with the game. While many fans would shoot me for saying this, on a world scale (that is compared to every other sport humans play) cricket is actually almost the same game as baseball. A ball is thrown by a bowler/pitcher at a batsman/batter standing in front of a wicket/catcher. If they hit the ball they run between creases/bases to score points for their team, although if the fielders hit the wicket/them with the ball while they’re not at a crease/base, they’re out. If they miss the ball, it may hit/be caught by the wicket/catcher. The chief differences are that in cricket there are two batsmen on the field at a time, there are only two creases and they’re pretty close together, if the wicket gets hit by the ball the batsman is out, and there’s not limit to the number of points scored by running between creases – the batsman keeps on batting until he gets out (there are some other differences but if you’re that interested go read Wisden’s). So that’s fundamentally cricket.

Anyway Shane Warne is our best spin bowler – many would say the world’s best spin bowler. And now he’s been caught using a prohibited substance and been banned from playing for a year. And the nation as a whole seems to be in an uproar about it.

The substance in question isn’t a performing enhancing drug, it’s a diuretic that could be used to mask performance enhancing drugs. Warne’s explanation is that he took it accidentally in a diet pill while trying to lose weight. And I for one believe him. He’s had a perfectly clean record to date, and frankly I think he’s too smarter an athlete to mess around with drugs. So, do I think he should be let off and allowed to play? Hell no!

It doesn’t matter that he broke the rules by accident, he still broke the rules. OK, the diuretic wouldn’t have helped him perform and it was all an innocent mistake, but too bad. As a top level athlete he should be double checking everything he takes to avoid exactly this kind of problem. He didn’t, and now he has to pay for it.

Some may say it’s not fair. Well, how’s this for fair? We let Warne off because it was all just a mistake. Then along comes another athlete who’s caught taking the same drug. He claims it’s all just a mistake, and we let him off too. But, he’s actually been taking steroids or testosterone or some other performance enhancing substance, and using the diuretic to mask it. So the drug cheat gets off scot free.

Masking substances make it impossible to say whether an athlete is clean of other more serious drugs or not. This is why – despite the fact that they don’t enhance performance -they’re on the banned list. And this is why any athlete caught taking them for any reason – even by innocent mistake – must be punished. Warne knew this, and he stuffed up, and now he must suffer the consequences, even if it means the end of his career.

As for the people making a fuss about the penalty, grow up! We can’t have one set of rules for people we like, and another for everyone else. Would they be making the same uproar if some other, more obscure member of the Australian squad was caught in the same way? Unlikely. Or what if a Pakistani or South African player failed a drug test due to diuretics? Hell no! Oh there’d be an uproar all right, an uproar of people demanding the maximum penalty for the ‘drug cheat’. Well, this situation is no different.

And Warne should grow up as well. He’s already come out saying he’s going to appeal and poutingly whining that he’s a victim of ‘anti-doping hysteria’, which is a very responsible statement about the problem of drugs in sport isn’t it? You knew the rules Shane, now admit you screwed up and accept your punishment like an adult.

And that’s my two cents πŸ™‚

Long complicated conversation meandering across Blogs

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!

Well, it’s not actually the end of the world, just the day before Valentine’s. And I don’t feel fine, I could actually use a good lie in. But, apart from that (ie: not at all) the lyric is appropriate.

I actually don’t feel too bad about the looming 14th. I think this is because Dale is off on his yearly Rottnest vacation, meaning that Bevan and I have been able to do pretty much whatever the hell we want at work without him breathing down our necks. In Bevan’s case this has involved bringing his own Linux box in and networking it to the rest of the office computers (I have no idea why he seems happy messing about with it so I’ve let him be). I’ve been doing “development” work, which is programmers code for just mucking about and entertaining oneself by writing programs that may prove to be useful to the business at some point in the future. Maybe. I tell you, it’s as good as a holiday.

We have been doing some real work mind you. In my case, mainly sorting through Dale’s email each morning. It’s axiomic that the longer you have an email address, the more spam it attracts. And if you’re foolish enough to sign up to marketing websites or reply to spam, you get even more. Dale’s email address has been around since 1996, and well, when it comes to the promise of marketing information, he tends to click before he thinks. So he gets between 100 and 300 emails a day, of which maybe 8 or 9 are actually valid. And it’s my job to sort through them.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s actually fairly interesting. With such a large volume of spam coming in, even over a period of four days you can actually spot patterns and trends as they emerge. For instance, the Nigerian bank account scam. On Monday and Tuesday Dale received numerous offers from various Government officials and relatives of deceased Nigerian dictators, offering him millions of dollars in misplaced moneys, illegal slush funds and embezzeled investments. On Wednesday morning the flow dwindled, as if the Nigerians were gearing up for a new assault, and sure enough that afternoon one came in from Benin. Then this morning (the Nigerians apparently having got their new Eastern HQ set up) three appeared claiming to be from Taiwan! Fascinating stuff. I can’t wait to see where they come from tomorrow.

But, on the subject of the end of the world (the first paragraph, remember?) I just have to comment on the Let’s look out for Australia booklet that arrived in my (and everyone else in the country’s) mailbox the other day. This is the Government’s response to terrorism, a booklet telling us all to “be alert but not alarmed” and listing things to look out for like people filming Government buildings or packages left unattended in public places. All fair enough I suppose, but there’s a section in the back saying what you should do in the event of an attack. The section on chemical, biological and nuclear attacks pretty much goes…

We can’t tell you what to do in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack because we don’t know ourselves. But…. um…. just watch your TV and….. um.. we’ll tell you what to do when it happens. If it happens, if it happens, that’s what we mean… of course.

I mean, honestly!

Hmmm, Ali got attacked by a tick. That’s no good. Actually I wasn’t even aware they had ticks in the UK. I mean we have them here, I picked up two at Joondalup TAFE alone, I’ve still got a lump on my leg from one of them in fact, but you don’t really associate blood sucking parasites with England’s green and pleasant land (#and was the hory Ramb of God! In Engrand’s preasant pastules seen!#). Well, you learn something new every day.

And still on Ali, she’s decided to quote Mark, quoting Helen, refering to me, in an attempt to create a “long complicated conversation meandering across blogs”. What can I do but continue the trend? πŸ™‚

Right, this next bit could get slightly confusing here, I’m quoting from one blog which is quoting from another which links to another. Right, okay, so on Mark’s Blog he said:

Read the following on Helen’s blog:

Like James am contemplating chances of receiving anything on Feb 14th. Chances are not good.

Grandparents think Mark will send me something. They called him my “young man”. Heh…

I’m inclined to wonder what the “Heh” was for. It could be hard to tell. I accused Helen of sounding sarcastic in chat on Saturday night and she’d only said two words. Maybe I think she’s more sarcastic than she really is. But what of the “Heh”? Hmm…

So anyway, what did I have to add to this whole little blog conversation? Well, not much really, I just thought it’d be interesting to have a long complicated conversation meandering across blogs. Though I am interested in how Mark was interpreting the heh.

Well, I chose to interpret the “heh” as a bitter, humourless laugh of despair at the innocent folly of the elderly and their simplistic interpretation of relationships in this, the fractured and post-modern 21st century; but that’s just because I like rendering things as dramatic as possible *g*. I suppose it could be sarcasm, but to my mind sarcasm is far better expressed with a hearty “Hah!” than a trailing off “heh…” – of course that could just be an Australian thing.

Anyway, got to go now. This is my complicated TV night with ER, Charmed, The Dead Zone and Scrubs all on at almost the same time. I have to get the VCR set up πŸ™‚

It’s Entry Number 100!! Like… wow.

Someone stole the roof off the railway station!

It's Gone!

It was there this morning, and now it’s gone. Typical of the powers that be to remove it in the middle of a heatwave. It’s not like anyone actually needs shade at the moment or anything. Hrumph!

I watched the first episode of Skithouse (Channel 10’s new sketch comedy show) last night. Not bad all up (the fact that it features Corinne Grant, on who I have to admit a bit of an ongoing crush no doubt helps :). But there was one skit in particular that almost had me in hysterics. This probably says much more about my state of mind at the time than about the sketch, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. So there πŸ™‚

Two plain clothes cops are looking through a one way mirror at a suspect in an interrogation room. “He’s not cracking” comments one. “Yeah” says the other “I think it might be time for a little ‘good cop/bad cop'”. “You sure?” asks the other “Yeah”.

Cut to the interregation room. The door bursts open and in leaps the first cop. He’s dressed all in black, has a sweeping black cape, little devil horns on his head and a big twirly ‘bad-guy’ moustache. “MWAHAHAHA!!!” he cackles “You’re in my POWER now!!! NOOOOObody can save YOU!!! MWAHHAHAHA!!!!”. He sweeps his cape around dramtically and desmonstrates a number of over the top villanous poses and facial expressions.

“PLEEEEAAAASEEE don’t hurt him!!!” wails the second cop, staggering in through the door and collasping against the wall, one hand held to his throat and the other extended pleadingly. He’s dressed all in white, and has a halo of silver tinsel held over his head on a piece of coathanger wire. “PLEEEEEASEEE!!!” he wails even louder. The bad cop laughs mockingly at him and continues sweeping his cape menacingly, glaring at the suspect and waggling his eyebrows.

The good cop turns away in horror and staggers across the room as if his heart is breaking. He collapses onto the suspect, who is by now looking extremely startled. “PLEAAASEEEEE don’t hurt him!!” he howls, clasping the crim to his chest with one hand, and stroking his hair with the other. “HE’S JUST A LITTLE BOYYY!!!!!!!

OK. Maybe you had to see it πŸ™‚

PS: Wow! This is Wyrmlog entry 100! Too bad I didn’t find something more edifying to write about hey?

PPS: Here, check this out. And this. That should raise the tone a bit πŸ™‚

Camarilla Inspired Ravings

(39 deegrees today. I’m melting! Melting! What a world! What a world!)

Once again Valentine’s rapidly approaches like a bird of doom (cue descending scale of doom -DA Da daaaaaa!!!). But I’m not too concerned.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to let the dreaded 14th get to me too much this year. I have better things to do than get depressed over a stupid date on the calander. Or at least better things to get depressed about *g*. I still intend to be in a foul mood on Friday, but it’ll be one of general grumpiness and ill-temper rather than bleak despair and bitterness. You can have fun with grumpiness – glaring and muttering darkly at people from beneath your eyebrows, or growling softly at anyone who aks you to do anything even slightly inconvenient, that sort of thing. To be honest I’m almost looking forwards to it. I even bought some new black shirts πŸ™‚

Probably explaining this upbeat (for me πŸ™‚ mood at least partially is the fact that Katie has invited me to her birthday bash on the following Sunday. It’s the first time anyone’s invited me to anything in ages (well, since Rebecca’s party in August), so it’s cheered me up somewhat.

(Well actually it’s not entirely true that I haven’t been invited to anything recently. In fact I regularly get invited to various Starwon events, but that’s because the company is co-located with them so hardly counts. The most recent was “New Year Drinks” last Monday. I didn’t go because a) I don’t drink, b) I only found out about it on Monday morning and, c) the invite included not only me but my “partner” which is a concept so hilariously asumptive that it makes me want to kick something πŸ™‚

Anyway while feeling bored the other day I decided on the spur of the moment to do a vanity search on Google. You know, where you type in your own name? I’ve already done plenty on my real name (for a while there the number one link actually was about me, which was pretty cool :), and on “wyrmworld” which produced a few sites linking to mine, but I suddenly had the great idea to search on my user name, “dpwyrm”. The results? Well, to shove in another obligatory Stargate reference, chel nak!

I cannot express how immensely gratifying it is discover that people you’ve never met are not only using one’s creations, but holding entire message board conversations about them. It seriously rocks. True, the creation in question is only my fairly dodgy Camarilla test, and the people involved are only Vampire: The Masquerade fans, but hey, an audience is an audience, and for a week or so some months back I WAS THEIR GOD!!!!!!!

Ahem. OK, I’m sane again now. Goes right to my head it does *g*. Anyway a whole bunch of people on a whole bunch of Vampire message boards1 were doing my test and discussing the results. Which was highly gratifying. What’s also remarkable is that although a number of people disagreed with what the test told them (“I’m a Ventrue! Not a Toreador! A Ventrue!!” sheeze, get a life!2) I could not find a single person complaining about it being inaccurate or skewed. Which given that I based it on the free, downloadble PDF version of the game3, which contains some very simplified concepts, seems to imply that I did pretty well with it.

One of the things that helps, I guess, is that the code behind it4 isn’t just a simple teen magazine type of thing where a choice from column A gives you 1 point towards one result, column B towards another and so on. Each choice affects any or all of the possible results, positively or negatively. For instance if you say that you avoid social gatherings whenever possible, it won’t only give you points towards clan Nosferatu (who couldn’t get in to any respectable social gathering even if they wanted to), but take them away from clan Toreador (who would rather face final death than miss a party – depending on who’s attending of course). Then there’s some fancy number crunching going on to calculate the final outcome. I even made it use appropriate terminology for the result, so if your highest score in any category is 15%, it won’t tell you that you are that category, it’ll say you “might be” that category. People seemed to appreciate that little touch from what I could gather.

So, anyway I’m pretty chuffed. I’ve though about updating the program to include the other clans, but given that most internet users5 don’t go around wallowing in gore, communing with snakes, assasinating people for their blood or even worse things6, I don’t think there’s much point. Only inmates of high security mental hospitals would actually be getting the extra results. I’ll stick with the path of humanity for now I think πŸ™‚

Anyway, I’m going to go and put counters all through my site. I know who’s linking to my homepage, but if I get this kind of rush from people using a stupid little test then I want to track down all my deep links damnit! πŸ™‚

1 Well OK, about three. But come on, allow me my moment in the sun will you? πŸ™‚

2 This from the guy who spent hours programming the test mind you πŸ™‚

3 I now own a copy of the full game. Sheeze! I should get a life! πŸ™‚

4 Pretty much the same code as the Stargate Date-o-Matic, although that’s an earlier version and seems to have a few idiosyncracies. I must go back and have a look at upgrading it.

5 Most internet users πŸ™‚

6 I’m not even going to mention clan Giovanni!

Post Scripts Galore

Well, I’m back.

Not that I’ve actually been anywhere mind you. I just haven’t had the inclination or energy to write for the past few weeks. I’ve been coming home from work and just watching TV. Or playing Spider Solitaire. Or reading. Or sleeping. Or analysing the Oh Alexander I see you standing beneath the archway of aerodynamics bit of Little Eiffel by the Pixies (it sounds so weird because it defies the base four nature of western music even at a sub-phrase level – Go Black Francis!).

So yeah, I haven’t written anything. But I’m writing now, which has to count for something, even if I don’t have a whole lot to say πŸ™‚

Hmmm, yes, so what’s been happening? Not a lot. Rebecca stayed for a few days as I mentioned which was great because it allowed me to get a really big shop done (no, it was great because Rebecca’s cool, the shopping was just a bonus ;). In addition to driving myself and large amounts of groceries around in a very unreliable motor vehicle, she also demonstrated the fundamental honesty of my neighbours here at The Gables by leaving the door to the unit wide open before going out one morning, after I’d departed for work. This turned out to be no problem at all, nothing was missing, and it gave me ample opportunity to tease the living daylights out of her, until only minutes later I locked us out of the building by leaving my keys inside. Talk about irony. We had to hike down to the hospital to find a payphone to call my parents for the spare keys πŸ™‚

It wasn’t all irony and spring onions though, Rebecca did have a bit of a rough time of it getting horribly lost on her way back to the flat one afternoon, and discovering (care of the extras on my Fellowship of the Ring DVD) that out of his Aragorn costume Vigo Mortensen looks like an aging Californian surfer-dude. Quite broke her heart it did, and I shouldn’t joke about it because it’ll just upset her. Sorry πŸ™‚

To change subject completely, my backside is killing me. Yes, yes, I’ll pause here for off-colour remarks and suggestions from anyone reading this who is insufficiently mature enough to let such an obvious opportunity pass <-- PAUSE -->. OK, the actual reason my buttocks are so sore is because I took my bike out last night for the first time since I was struck down with labyrinthitis. Before that I hadn’t taken it out in months anyway, so understandably mine body protesteth most mightily. The occasion was a dinner at my parent’s place with Elvine, who is… OK I’m going to have to go into some family history here.

There are three branches of my Dad’s family. One branch consists of his sisters Faye and Beverly, and Faye’s sons Greg and Michael (my aunts and cousins, obviously). We’ll call them Branch A. Branch B is my immediate family, Mum, Dad and my brother. We’re Branch B. Finally there’s Branch C, who I know almost nothing about because we have nothing to do with them as the result of a long running feud that makes the Capulets and Montagues look like amateurs.

(This is of course an exaggeration – to the best of my knowledge we’ve never taken part in running street battles or drawn swords on each other. Some Great Uncle or other got shot in the foot, but that doesn’t really count because he did it himself to get out of the services.)

By the way Branch C are the rich branch. Did I fall to the wrong side of the family tree or what? πŸ™‚

Anyway, Branch A hate Branch C. Branch C hate Branch A. We of Branch B don’t bear any particular animosity towards Branch C, but when the battle lines were drawn up Dad of course had to side with Branch A, they being his sisters and all. So Branch C, while not actually hating us, like to pretend that we don’t exist, and we thus never hear or see them at all.

Well not strictly never, they do occasionally descend from their financial utopia to mingle with the rest of the family. Like at my Nanna’s funeral for instance. It should be noted however about this solemn event that the wake had to be held at our house, because Branch A wouldn’t set foot in any home owned by Branch C, and Branch C refused to enter any house owned by a member of Branch A. That’s the level of enmity we’re talking about here.

And the cause of this feud? Well to be honest, I’m not entirely sure…

You see, it’s not the kind of thing that’s really talked about in the family. But I do know one thing that if not the original cause, certainly made matters a lot worse. Grandad and Nanna’s divorce. Grandad and Nanna’s divorce precipitated by Grandad’s affair. Ouch.

From what little I’ve gathered (it’s another subject that isn’t really discussed) Grandad had been seeing another woman for quite a while, and then one day came home from work to find all his possessions out on the verge, Nanna having found out about it. Being a particularly practical (and one must suspect somewhat cold) man, he collected it all and left, to all intents and purposes vanishing off the face of the earth, and leaving Nanna to raise their three children by herself. No one had any idea what happened to him.

That is until the mid-eighties when Dad asked a friend of his in the military records office to look up his (that is Dad’s) service records for some reason (Dad used to be in the Air Force Reserve). He came back with two sets of records for Western Australia under the same name. This anomaly was quickly sorted out when Dad explained that his father had the same name as him, so the older set of records were Grandad’s. What was completely unexpected was that the records not only indicated that Grandad was alive and well but that he was living on a military pension in a country town only five or so hours drive south from the city.

There was a fair bit of backing and forthing but eventually Dad decided to contact him, and we all headed down to visit. It turned out that he’d re-married a woman named Elvine, the same Elvine who came to dinner last night.

Grandad passed away probably close on ten years ago, and Elvine had been living in their house down south even since. But in the last few months she’s sold up, and moved up to the city. So it was only polite to invite her to dinner.

Things went pretty well over all. Faye and Beverly actually came as well, which was surprising because they (Bev in particular) have always taken a rather dim view of their father and everything he got up to from the affair onwards (not surprising really). Dad isn’t too fond of Elvine either, since she gave Grandad’s war medals to a museum rather than handing them on to him as standard protocol demands, but he managed to remain polite all evening.

Two things about her did annoy me though. The first was that she repeated things over and over again. I don’t know if this is just because she’s old, or if it’s a personality trait she’s had all her life, but it’s very annoying. For instance she was talking about a man who left his wife to raise their seven children, then came back once they’d all got married, and she took him back (slightly rich, given the circumstances, but still). The thing is every second sentence she said for a good five minutes was “it’s the worst case I’ve ever heard of!”. I don’t mean she said things like “As I said, that’s the worst case I’ve known” or “It’s a very bad case”, she literally just kept saying “it’s the worst case I’ve ever heard of!”, occasionally varying the stress, so “it’s the worst case I’ve ever heard of!” or “it’s the worst case I’ve ever heard of!”. And she kept doing it all evening. I honestly felt like grabbing her around the neck and shouting “ENGLISH HAS MORE WORDS THAN ANY OTHER LANGUAGE ON EARTH!! USE SOME DIFFERENT ONES!!!”. I didn’t of course πŸ™‚

The second annoyance was when we got onto the subject of the recent devastating bushfires around the country. She made a point of saying (several times) that back in her day the Government didn’t give “handouts” to people who’s houses burnt down and “I think we were better for it”. Yes. Well.

Anyway, apart from that it wasn’t a bad evening. Even if I did have to grit my teeth from time to time πŸ™‚

OK, I’ve written more than enough. I’m off to watch Mysterious Ways. They’ve gone to repeats now, but I don’t mind because this is the episode where Miranda gets dragged against her will into the office of a money obsessed investment banker who suddenly realises that this annoying woman investigating him is Miranda Fiegelsteen of the Seattle Fiegelsteens. It’s quite amusing…

Hey, it could be worse. At least I haven’t set up a website about her πŸ˜‰

PS: That could be taken as a jibe at either Helen or Ali who run websites devoted to Christopher Judge (Teal’c from Stargate) and Peter Deluise (any number of characters in any number of things) repectively. It’s not. Christopher Judge and Peter Deluise are real people who indisputably exist. If they were setting up sites devoted to Teal’c and oh… Tom Piccolo (from Seaquest DSV) for instance, then it’d be a gibe πŸ™‚

PPS: No comparison is intended or should be implied by the proceeding post script between my intentions vis-

Close Bitnami banner