The Weekly Pedant Report

In which our hero battles the forces of political correctness and defends the individual’s right to insist on pointlessly detailed historical accuracy.

(I really should have blogged about this yesterday, but I forgot πŸ™‚

Yesterday – as all should know – was the 60th anniversary of the Japanese surrender that marked the end of World War Two. An important date to be sure (particularly here in Australia, since the Japanese were quite keen on invading at one point and bombed various bits of the country up quite badly), and worthy of rememberence. But there’s one thing about it all that’s been driving me nuts – the insistance on calling it “VP” day.

“VP” stands for Victory in the Pacific – a clear analogue for Europe’s “VE” day. But that’s not what it was called. If you jumped in your handy time machine and took a jaunt back to August 20th 1945 and asked people what they got up to on “VP” day, they wouldn’t know what you were on about. Because in 1945 it wasn’t “Victory in the Pacific” – it was “Victory over Japan”, or “VJ” day.

Now, before anyone accuses me of raking over old wounds (sounds painful) or cultural insensitivity or other such negatives please let me make the point that I don’t object to refering to the commemoration/anniversary as VP Day. Japan after all is our friend (not to mention trading partner) these days, and constantly reminding them of what their forbearers got up to is not only counterproductive but downright rude. But by the same token let’s not pretend that people in 1945 were running around celebrating “VP” day either – because they damn well weren’t. To make believe that they were is nothing but historical revisionism of the highest order.

So, yesterday wasn’t the 60th anniversery of VP Day – it was VP Day – which is the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, which just happened to be called VJ Day at the time. And anyone who says any different is a liar.


(Well done to ABC News by the way who neither bought into the revisionist “VP Day” or the potentially upsetting “VJ Day” and just referred to “the End of World War Two”. Eminently sensible and responsible journalism there.)

(And before anyone starts going on about how we should call it VJ Day and the feelings of the Japanese be damned and I’m too young to remember how evil they all are yada yada yada I’d like to point out that my Great Uncle was beheaded in a Japanese run POW camp – so I reckon I do have a personal stake in the issue, and a right to express an opinion about it. It was 60 years ago – we shouldn’t forget, but we should damn well move on.)

What I did on my Weekend – By Denys, age eight and a half

Pointless detail for future biographers.

Things I got up to over the weekend…

Cleared up my unit to a point of never before witnessed organisation and cleanliness – which will last all of five minutes.

Read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Considering Harry Potter and the Never Ending Franchise (or whatever it’s called πŸ˜‰ is now out I figured I’d finally better get around to reading the last one.

Went out to dinner with Andrew, Travis and Katie at That Food Company, where the servings were so large that no one actually finished, despite the fact that the food was excellent.

Completely failed to hit “record” on the video before walking out the door with Andrew, Travis and Katie – meaning that I missed the season finale of the new Doctor Who. I’m planning to raid the ABC Shop as soon as they see fit to release it on DVD.

Did some more work on my scratchbuilt scale model of a Return of the King siege tower – thus neatly fulfilling my above prophecy regarding the state of the unit by covering the loungeroom table with wood shavings and cocktail stick offcuts.

Not bad for only two days really.

On another point I seem to be developing a bit of a crush on Katie – which is annoying. Not I hasten to add because there’s anything wrong with Katie – she’s lovely – it’s just an unecessary complication that I could well do without. On top of which I strongly suspect the main reason I’m developing said crush is that there’s no one else in my life at present for me to actually have a crush on, and my hormones are getting bored. In any case I’ll manage to wrestle it down sooner or later and just get on with being friends – hopefully I won’t make too much of a fool of myself in the meantime.

(Said statement is in line with my newish policy of just plain coming out and admitting it when I find myself in such situations – because that way things will reach a conclusion one way or another a lot faster than if I just sat around worrying about it.)

Da-da-da-dada-DAAAAAA! Da

In which our hero writes a small number of uninspired words then links to someone else’s work.

Best. Thread. Ever.

About best CSI reference in a comic strip ever.

Best quote from best thread ever about the best CSI reference in a comic ever…

“CSI was made by God himself to bring joy and wonderment and more William Petersen, Eric Szmanda, Paul Guilfoyle and Robert David Hall to the world. When you crack open the DVD box sets butterflies and fairies fly out and turn lint into kittens.”

Good lord I’m easily amused aren’t I?

Verbum Sapienti (or why I ain’t been around much lately)

Why web design is not a sensible career choice for any sane person.

Advice on working nine days straight – Don’t.

I did so the other week – Monday through to Tuesday of the next week – and it almost killed me. I had to take Wednesday off to have enough energy to work Thursday and Friday.

The reason for this sudden burst of endeavor was two extremely annoying websites. The possibility of legal action prevents me from naming or linking to either of them, or even mentioning what they sell *cough-paper-cough* *cough-medical-stuff-cough*, but they’ve both proven to be major, major pains in many and varied parts of my anatomy for the last three months or so.

Well, one of them has been a pain for three months anyway. What started out as a quick cosmetic upgrade has turned into a nightmare of epic proportions based on an ever dwindling budget. The client has generally had no idea what she wants, meaning that I’ve had to keep making change after change until I stumble over something she likes by pure chance. Also, in the cases where she actually does have some idea what she wants she seems completely unable to articulate it effectively over the phone or by email – so the only way to get things done is to schedule meetings. And then when we’ve actually had meetings I’ve been useless because – well, to be frank – there’s just something about her in person that I can’t pin down but which I find extremely distracting. So I sit there nodding and smiling as she explains things while concentrating on concentrating on the job, as a consequencence of which I’m unable to concentrate on anything. So the job has bloated out on time, cost and stress, and my life over the last three months has been fairly hellish.

The other job is for a perfectionist client who knows absolutely nothing about computers or websites. The kind of client who wants the site to look exactly the same on all platforms and screen resolutions, who wants to know why the ‘print’ button doesn’t result in an exact facsimilie of the screen dropping out of his printer, who complains that (after you’ve moved heaven, earth and budget to set up a print only stylesheet) his huge long page of blather won’t fit on a single sheet of A4. You know, your standard client from hell. It doesn’t help that he’s a big guy (quite tall, a little on the heavy side and with a big frame to start with) with a booming voice and a tendancy to drop into the office unannounced every single day. It’s like being the Bursar (or is it the Dean? I always get those two mixed up) at UU when the Archchancellor decided all he needed was a good shock to sort him out. If the office had any dried frog pills I’d be mainlining them.

Anyway, finally both clients seem to happy with their sites, and both should go live this week. So now I’ll have more time free to devote to all the things that have been on the backburner for months. Like all the other websites that have been collecting around me like planes waiting for a runway at Heathrow. *sigh*.

Of course I have managed to fit some non-work stuff in as well. Like spending far too much money on CDs. This is because there’s quite a few CDs I’ve been wanting to get my hands on, and I’ve finally had the money and a reasonable excuse to do so – throwing together another mix-cd for Helen and Ali. Of course I’ve gone a bit overboard (as usual) and it looks like it might end up being a double CD to fit all the songs on. Which could be a good thing or bad thing depending on how you look at it. In any case my recent CD purchases (which total in excess of $150) include albums and singles by such luminaries as Magic Dirt, The Waifs, Darren Hanlon, Shivaree, Architecture in Helsinki, Charlotte Hatherley, Missy Higgins, They Might be Giants, the Dresden Dolls, the Caesars, Soulwax, Moby, Clare Bowditch, The Delgados, The Bravery, Mylo, Halogen and the Greenskeepers (hey, it could be worse, at least there’s no My Chemical Romance πŸ˜‰

(I have no idea who My Chemical Romance are by the way, they just seem to be mentioned any time anyone’s picking on Emos so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon πŸ™‚

(Not that I have anything against Emos – ten years younger and I might be one)

(scary thought)

(I’ll stop putting everything in brackets now)

I’ve also been wasting time on the computer (no, really?) compiling a definitive Hellboy timeline, designing a Dalek army for Warhammer 40k and writing a Clacks Tower simulator in Javascript (you know, type in a message, hit “transmit” and watch it clack away). I did this last one for the challenge, and the rest because I’m a lonely and sad individual who needs to get out more πŸ˜€ None of them are ready for release to the public yet, but the first one did result in me rewriting Wikipedia’s BPRD article, since the one they had up there (uncovered during research) was rather dodgy and had some truly awful grammar. So you can go and marvel at my prose – assuming no one’s written over it yet.

(And will Dr Who/40k purists at least wait to see the results before hunting down and killing me? Thank you.)

Of course, speaking of the good Doctor there was the Inside the Tardis event at Burswood a few weeks back, which was pretty awesome (I did say lonely and sad before didn’t I? ;D). Colin Baker in particular was hilarious. And he had funky red shoes. Oh, and Tim Fegurson wasn’t as objectionable as one might expect. I’m not going to carry on about it here because it probably deserves it’s own write up – if I ever get around to writing it that is.

Since the last time I did a decent write up I’ve also seen some movies – specifically Star Wars Episode III with Katie, and The Yes Men with Rebecca. Everything that can possibly have been said about Star Wars has no doubt been said by now, so I won’t carry on about it except to say that it was pretty damn good πŸ™‚ Actually I may carry on about it a bit, but later. The Yes Men was also really good – but then any movie where people travel across the world to impersonate World Trade Organisation delegates, complete with a giant, inflatable, golden phallus has to be good, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

So, that’s a pretty comprehensive round up of the last few months. How about that then?

Close Bitnami banner