## I am Pythagoras! I have inside me blood of Kings!

That was fun. I just spent over half an hour trying to solve algebraic equations for some programming I’m doing. It was to do with scaling right angled triangles up and down -keeping the same angles but making the sides longer or shorter. Essentially I had the length of all the sides of the larger triangle and the length of hypotenuse for the smaller triangle and needed to find the length of the rest of the smaller triangle’s sides. So I started messing around with Pythagoras’s theorem to see if I could come up with a nice simple formula to do it.

After covering several sheets of scrap paper with frenzied scribbling I managed to come up with the following, where x and y are the non-hypotenuse sides of the large triangle, and a and b the corresponding sides of the small triangle…

x = ((((b*b)-1)/a)/b)*y

(That may not even be correct π

After struggling for quite some time trying to get this into slightly more manageable format (hey, it’s been over a decade since I did any hard-core algebra π I realised that I was basically trying to single handedly derive sine and cosine – no wonder my head was exploding!

So as soon as I go online and look up how to use sine and cosine (it’s also been a decade since I did any geometry or trig OK?) my problem will be solved.

Anyway today is my birthday. Boo! Hooray! Boo! Hooray! (call me when you’re finished). So, what did I get? A coldsore. Well OK, I didn’t get that specifically because it was my birthday – not unless my own body really is out to get me – but one did pop into existence mid Thursday, just in time to look all ghastly and embarrassing at the Red Orchid tonight. I’ve been treating it with Zovirax at about twice the recommended dosage, but it’s still hanging around dagnabit.

Actually the mini pump pack of Zovirax I was using ran out last night, just before I went to bed. I didn’t want to go to bed without putting some more on, so I decided to cut the pack open with a craft knife and scrape out what little was left. Unfortunately this didn’t work, so anyone breaking in last night at about 10:30 would have been greeted by the bizarre sight of me standing in the loungeroom in my pyjamas attacking the thing with a hacksaw π

I eventually managed to cut it open – and frankly I was shocked. A pump pack of Zovirax is a cylinder five centimetres or so long with a diameter of about one centimetre. On cutting it open however you discover that most of that space is solid plastic, and you’re paying \$13.95 for a tiny vial suspended in the middle that can’t possibly contain more than about 1.5 cubic centimetres of the stuff. Rip off!!

This vial was completely empty, however the change in air pressure caused by my cutting into the internal cavity allowed the last few dregs caught up in the pump mechanism to escape – meaning I could put some on before I went to bed and then again when I got up this morning. Then I walked into Maylands and bought some generic Zovirax for \$10.00 which I’ve been applying all day. The coldsore’s still there though – I’ll just have to hold a menu up over my face all night or something π

Anyway, in addition to turning 28 and trying to re-invent trigonometry I’ve also burned a music CD today and covered it in mouldy tomato juice. No, I haven’t gone insane (or at least if I have it didn’t start just today) I’m trying to replicate the research of this guy. Well, when I say “replicate the research” I actually mean just create some weird and freaky sounds. I can’t remember exactly what I put on the CD, but I know the following tracks were featured…

• Alec Eiffel – The Pixies
• Debaser – The Pixies
• All for Swinging You Around – The New Pornographers
• 99 Luft Balloons (German Version) – Nena
• Reseda Casino – Shivaree
• The Cheesecake Song – King Missile
• Brandenburg Concerto Number 2 Allegro – J.S.Bach
• The Triple J Breakfast Pigeon Song

So, the results should be interesting. For the mould primer I’ve used using a mixture of sugar water, the juice of a mouldy tomato I found in the fridge and some dregs from the bottom of an old vegemite jar (for those extra b-group vitamins). The CD is currently resting on top of the fridge, and if I get a good growth of mould – and if it’s actually playable at the end of the process – I’ll probably post some sound files.

Shanen Noll is at number one? ARRRRRGHGHGGHG!!!!! Worst – Birthday – Ever!!!!!! π

## From the school of Extreme Sarcasm…

Recipe for a hit R’n’B song

1. Hit the pedal of a base drum once, and record it. Loop this at a rate of 30bpm.
2. Select a hit song of the last forty years. Fast forward to a section with either horns or piano. Select a two or three note sequence at random and loop this incessantly over the base drum.
3. Hire some guy who couldn’t make it in the hip-hop scene to mumble lyrics about sex and money over the top, punctuated (seemingly at random) by strange grunting noises.
4. If it’s still missing something, hire a female backup singer to make high pitched warbling sounds and orgasmic moans at appropriate intervals.

Congratulations! You’ve just recorded your first top 20 R’n’B hit!

## Fu-Bar’ Says it all really…

You know, I’ve come to a decision. I am no longer going to watch The Secret Life of Us.

Secret Life used to be on at 8:30 on Mondays, but for some reason they’ve moved it to 9:30 on Wednesdays. This isn’t hugely inconvenient – I mean if I was feeling tired I could always tape it – but it’s enough of an inconvenience to start me questioning whether the show is actually worth it. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not.

Alex (Claudia Karvan) has gone. Miranda (Abi Tucker) has gone and – in a reversal of my usual policies regarding hair colour – I thought she looked better as a blonde anyway. Gab (Sybilla Budd is it?) has turned into a politician. Evan (Samuel Johnson – the guy who does voice overs for Hungry Jacks) has turned into a complete prat (ummm actually I think he was always a complete prat, I just hadn’t noticed before). Christian (buggered if I know who plays him) has become a Scientologist. Richie (ditto) has turned all arrogrant and keeps running around in a dog suit. The Fu-Bar’s been completely redesigned and the only character even worth bothering with anymore is Kelly (Deborah Mailman) – and as likable as Kelly is she’s just not enough to keep me watching.

Of course there’s a whole bunch of new characters to replace everyone who’s left, but I really can’t be bothered putting in the effort to get to know them. Particularly given that the only notable thing about them seems to be that one of them has a particularly large schlong.

So, I’ll just find a copy of Death Defy on CD and reclaim an hour of my life each week π

Oh, and on another note I’m getting a lot of spam advertising ‘Super Viagra’ that ‘lasts all weekend’. Wouldn’t that be a bit…. um, inconvenient? π

## Cyclones, lightning, black dogs and ammunition

This week’s particular weirdness all comes down to the weather. Starting on about Sunday we got into one of our standard summertime north-easterly air streams. This of course meant that (since the air in question was coming out of the central deserts) temperatures started to rise. Nothing too unusual about that, it’s fairly normal summer weather here in Perth. What was unusual was another factor that combined with the standard pattern to…. well you’ll see.

The other factor was Tropical Cyclone Fritz (that’s Hurricane Fritz or Typhoon Fritz depending on where you are in the world). This comparatively mild cyclone had hit the north west coast earlier in the week, and it’s remnants were smeared across the middle of the continent, right in the path of the air stream heading for Perth. This meant that rather than picking up its usual allocation of hot dry desert air, the easterly grabbed hold of vast amounts of hot, moist tropical air, and dumped it all on the city. The result? Instead of just the temperature shooting upwards – as is usual under these conditions – the humidity started to go up, and just kept on going up to absolutely insane levels.

I don’t have exact figures on the temperatures and humidity reached, as I spent most of the week in a heat and sleep deprived induced trance, but I can say with certainty that Monday and Tuesday were over 40

## Counting Up the Spoils

Three things I hate…

• Perth Summer Weather (37 yesterday, 37 today, 35 tomorrow with high humidity)
• Train Strikes, particularly when combined with item 1
• Internet Explorer 5.2.3 for the Macintosh

Three things I love…

One thing I’m terrified of…

## Take that Cupid! (Bop shoowap waaa-ooo!)

JOHN 2/14 – Shivaree

It’s so romantic,
The neighborhood’s littered with white gloves,
The flowers were hand picked,
They’re taping up paper doves,

And it’s hard to think,
When everything’s red and pink,
It’s hard to eat,
When everything’s sweet,

I guess it’s just the perfect time to send some roses,
And touch their noses,
Because it’s such a tender time for all the ladies,
With all those babies,
Wearing their wings,

Could you be mine?
And hot stuff and maybe and foxy and fine?
And order the fancy wine,

Just bring me some honey I’ll send for the bees,
It feeds the mice,

I guess it’s just the perfect time to send some roses,
And touch their noses,
Because it’s such a tender time for all the ladies,
With all those babies,
Wearing their wings,

You’ve gotta run,
They hate it when you’re too quiet,
And it’s always fun,
To close up until they buy it,

I guess it’s just the perfect time to send some roses,
And touch their noses,
Because it’s such a tender time for all the ladies,
With all those babies,
Wearing their wings,

For reference purposes….

John 2/14: And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting

You figure it out π

## Bitter Diatribe :)

The month of February always reminds me of the family holidays we used to go on down to Bunbury.

Way way back in the dim past we had some family friends living down there – the Fields. The parents were both librarians and they had two kids – Katherine, around the same age as my brother and I, and Toby, a few years younger. Their sprawling house on the outskirts of town was absolutely packed to the gills with books, and had a huge overgrown yard, complete with a pond full of ducks and geese. We’d eat fresh duck eggs for breakfast, go to the beach, sit around and read, and listen to possums crawl around in the roof at night. It was great. The only thing that wasn’t great was the journey down.

To get to Bunbury from Perth you need (or at least used to need) to go through Kwinana – the industrial strip along the shores of Cockburn Sound. This wasn’t too much of a hassel – it was ugly sure, but it only took an hour or so to get through – apart from one brief stretch where the road went past a fertiliser plant.

Fertiliser plants stink. They stink like you could not possibly believe. All the nitrates create an unholy, nauseating stench that threatens to bring up your lunch. Even with all the windows wound up and the vents closed the foul odour would fight its way into the car and hang around for a good half hour before finally vanishing. It was a part of the journey we dreaded, but was necessary to get down to Bunbury and see our friends.

So why does this remind me of February? Because in order to get to the pleasantness of my birthday at the end of the month, I first have to get past Valentines Day, which while it may not actually stink is certainly just as unpleasant and unavoidable.

Of course this year it’s not too bad. The dreaded 14th is a Saturday meaning that I can stay indoors and listen to MP3s all day and not have to put up with every single shop window and radio station reminding me of the fact that while the rest of the world has a fantastic time I personally have absolutely nothing to celebrate. As always. Bah!

I think I’ll spend tomorrow emptying the bins and updating my details on the electoral roll. I might even defrag my hard drive again. That’ll teach that little bastard cupid! π

Anyway, with that dealt with onto other stuff. Like Charmed for instance which returned to our screens last week.

Well, I suppose firstly I should admit that I was wrong. They didn’t kill Leo. They just banished him to Valhalla, which against all pre-existing evidence appears to be an uncharted tropic isle somewhere in the Indian Ocean (surprisingly close to the British Indian Ocean territory actually, which may explain why the Yanks don’t like anyone visiting Diego Garcia). There the Valkyries stuck him in a flimsy bamboo cage and made him dress up like Russell Crowe in Gladiator and fight people, which is kind of weird for a suposed pacifist (he kept saying things like ‘I’ve changed’ as if it explained anything). Apparently there’s some kind of conspiracy going on between the girls’ new white lighter (…some white lighter the guy can’t even heal sounds like a warlock if you ask me…) and a valkyrie, which led to all this. I’m as baffled as anyone.

In any case the girls eventually managed to track him down, and get him out of said flimsy bamboo cage, although that supposed white lighter had to kill three Valkyries to get them there (not that they realise this, he’s keeping all the evil stuff under wraps). They also had to temporarily kill Darryl, without his permission I might add which is frankly a bit towards the dark side if you ask me. Anyway all this killing let them grab Leo and escape – although Piper went all weird (or at least weirder than normal) and got left behind. Some warriors also escaped from Valhalla and started killing people at random for no good reason at all – this lead to a whole lot of confusion and running around and Piper becoming not just a Valkyrie but a biker Valkyrie (this was pretty stupid, but at least the soundtrack guys had some fun with it by scoring them roaring down the street like Hell’s Angels to Ride of the Valkyries :). In the end of course everything turned out OK, although it’s hard to say exactly why. Piper kicked Leo out of the house, Phoebe’s now an empath and Paige is dating a dog – you know, normal Charmed type stuff.

Um…. what else? CSI is back! Hooray! Grissom (not ‘Grisham’ as I was spelling his name previously – my bad) apparently grows a beard this season. No sign of it yet, but it’s early days. Personally I think William Peterson did it so people would stop mistaking him for … um one of the guys running for the Democrat endorsement – Howard Dean maybe? There’s a banner add floating around the net for him anyway and the resemblance is just uncanny. Grissom for President I say! π

(A CSI Administration, now that would be cool. Catherine could be VP, Sara could be Secretary of State, Warwick and Nick could be Presidential Advisors or Press Secretaries and Greg… well I dunno he could head up the CIA or Pentagon or something. Couldn’t do a worse job than they’re doing already)

OK, going to shut up now π

PS:

## I have *no* credibility as a film critic…

Last Sunday I went and saw Underworld with Ryan and Fabian. I’d actually been wanting to go and see it because… well frankly because Kate Beckinsale looked so great in the adds. I mean let’s face it, we’re talking about a gothic themed movie where the lead is a short haired brunette who (because it is a vampire movie after all) is doing the whole pale skinned, dress in black thing and goes running and jumping around shooting at things – is this a film I’m not going to go see? Yeah, right π

So we headed over to Morley on Sunday afternoon to see it. We got there a little bit late, but we only missed a few adds, so that worked out OK. We managed to catch all three previews which was fortunate because they all looked pretty good. The first was for One Perfect Day which looks like an Australian production about a guy trying to find and record some kind of universal music and turn it into a dance track. Or something. I thought it looked OK, Ryan and Fabian apparently thought it looked awesome *g*.

The next was for Once Upon a Time in Mexico which is apparently Desperado II. They didn’t say this in the preview, but we figured it had to be just from the look of it. As action films go it looked not bad, plenty of blowing things up and machine guns, and guitar cases that turn into flame throwers – the usual mindlessly entertaining violence you expect from that kind of thing π

The third was for Hellboy. Frankly it looks a little derivative (X-Men, Men in Black anyone) but I reckon I’ll still go and see it. There’s this one character who looks like some kind of alien and I’ve got the weirdest feeling that it’s played (or at least voiced) by the guy who plays Niles in Frasier. I suppose I’ll have to check over at IMDB or something.

Anyway, Underworld. Well it looks spectacular. Everything is appropriately dark and gloomy and gothic, it’s always raining (if not actually water, then shell casings), the sets are magnificent, the costuming is spot on (the vampires of course all wear trenchcoats – but what else can we expect after The Matrix? Although to be fair Dark City did the trenchcoast thing long before Neo even thought of it) and the entire production oozes so much style that it’s just plain awesome. So awesome in fact that you can completely ignore the fact that the plot has more holes than a swiss cheese factory after a drive-by.

How can a vampire pass out from excessive bleeding? How can a vampire almost drown? How can a vampire get pregnant? And even if a vampire can get pregnant, how could she get pregnant to a ‘lycan’ (that’s werewolf to you and me) if vampire and lycan cells attack each other even on a cellular level? Do the lycans actually control the police? Why are there no female lycans? Or are female lycans so butch that no one can tell the difference? Isn’t Selene pronounced ‘Seleenee’ not ‘Seleen’? Doesn’t silver nitrate turn black on exposure to light? If one bite from either a vampire or lycan turns you into one, then why isn’t the world completely overrun by them? If the vampire elders are immortal, then why are they “leapfrogging through time”? Do all the vampires have blue eyes (or was I just imagining that)? And why do they all seem to have British accents? Has Craven been working with Lucian for all the hundred of years since they faked his death? Why does Craven look so much like Ron Moss when he’s played by Shane Brolly? And why does he do a Scottish accent for just one scene (a nod to Deathstalker perhaps)? Who are the two houses of vampires and why are they separated? How come the vampires can use mirrors? In all his years of unlife has Marcus seriously never tasted lycan blood, even by accident? The list just goes on and on and on.

You can put up with all this because the film just looks so damn good, but it really does start to go all pear shaped towards the end. Most of the plot revolves around the lycans trying to combine lycan and vampire blood to create a sort of super being greater than both of them. They eventually manage this and Michael (Selene’s love interest, although it should be noted that there’s absolutely zilch chemistry between them) turns into the much vaunted hybrid. So, is it cool? Is it powerful? Well frankly it’s pathetic.

lack of chemistry…

Remember the old Incredible Hulk TV show? The one where when Bruce Banner gets mad he turns into body builder Lou Ferrigno in green body-paint? Well imagine Lou Ferrigno, but painted dark grey instead of green. Oh, and give him black contact lenses and sharp teeth. that’s it. No pointy ears, no wolf like muzzle, nothing to suggest that this creature has anything in common with either vampire or lycan. And how does this superbeing fight? By snarling a lot and slashing with his fingernails (you can just imagine the Scout Master standing to the side shouting “Don’t be afraid to use your nails boys!”). And how strong and superior is it? So strong and superior that the vampire Elder Viktor can completely beat the crap out of Michael without raising a sweat, and Selene has to come to the rescue by somehow slicing Viktor’s head in half with his own sword. I mean if it’s that easy to kill a vampire Elder why didn’t Selene do it earlier? And how come Michael couldn’t do it at all? Sheeze!

And on that point Viktor’s sword is a big heavy broadsword (or at least a longsword – hey do I look like an SCA member? OK, maybe I do but that’s beyond the point). Selene somehow manages to use this to cut through Viktor’s head so finely that he stands there for a few seconds gaping like a fish before the top half slides off. I could maybe believe that if she was weilding a Japanese katana, but that sword was about a centimetre thick in the middle. Unless of course it’s some kind of magic sword, which hasn’t been established in the plot up to this point.

Oh, and while on the subject of Viktor, they so should have reshot his line “I loved my daughter!!”. Performed as I’m sure it was intended this would have given us a real insight into Viktor as a character and how he fell when torn between his personal feelings and his self appointed “duty” to the vampire race. As it was performed it just made everyone in the cinema crack up. Did they honestly not pick that up in post-production? Could they honestly not get the actor back to reshoot or at least loop it? For crying out loud!

Gorgeous blue eyes and snub little
nose. Trust me, they are actually
blue. It’s just not a great shot
that’s all π

With all that said though I thought it was a highly, highly enjoyable film. Stylish as all get out and well worth a couple of hours of Sunday afternoon. Of course I’m unable to actually be objective on that score – if the entire film had just been Kate Beckinsale done up all gothic and running around in subway tunnels I still would have though it was fantastic *g*. Watching her running around subway tunnels shooting at werewolves and speaking with an upperclass British accent (along with plenty of close-ups on those gorgeous blue eyes and snub little nose) is well worth any number of ridiculous plot holes as far as I’m concerned ;D

Roll on Underworld II! π