Onwards and Upwards! (if I don’t die first :)

It’s a brave new world. With such cute people in it.

OK, a while back I said I was doing crazy and wild things, and would blog about them at some point. As the craziness and wildness have stepped up a notch (comparatively speaking) I figured the time had come. So, last night, I went on a date (amazing! πŸ˜‰

So how did this thaumaturgical prodigy*Always wanted to use that phrase πŸ™‚ come about? Glad you asked.

A few months ago Rebecca (as part of her long term plan to completely restructure my life πŸ™‚ went behind my back and signed me up on RSVP – allegedly Australia’s largest singles and dating site. She then badgered me for weeks on end until I logged in and filled out my profile. I finally got this done to my satisfaction about three weeks ago and was shortly afterwards contacted by a really nice girl (whose name I will withold for now because, well, I suppose I don’t know if she wants to be mentioned by name in such a geeky medium :). One thing led to another and we ended up going out for dinner and a movie last night.

Despite my general social awkwardness this seemed to go quite well. Very well actually :). I know I had a good time, and considering that she didn’t flee off into the night and was very polite about my insanely nerdy apartment I think she had a good time too. And on top of that there was kissing involved, which I guess means we were both having a very good time πŸ™‚

So yeah, hopefully we’ll be seeing each other again soon.

The one downside to this is that my sleeping patterns have got even worse. Nervous anticipation kept me awake most of Wednesday night, and I didn’t sleep very well last night either meaning that I’m only staying awake right now through sheer willpower. My stomach is also churning rather nastily, which at least means I’m not hungry and might lose some weight. I think it’s all down to severe existential/ontological shock. A week ago I was a pathetically single geek, scorned by the women of the world (let’s get overly dramatic now shall we? :). Last night I find myself kissing with a cute/hot/cool/really nice girl who seems to think I have some of those qualities too. It’s a paradigm shift of epic proportions and I think my worldview (not to mention self image) needs some time to adjust.

Not too much time I hope though. Sleep deprivation psychosis isn’t exactly the most attractive quality to take on a second date. πŸ˜€

The West Australian (everywhere else can go to hell)

Disgruntled rumblings about the state’s monopoly news source.

Blazoned across the front page of The West Australian today is a graphic picture of a butchered sea turtle accompanied with text in large letters saying how Indonesian fishermen catch them, flip them over, cut out their eggs and dump them overboard to die.

Now, while this is undoubtedly cruel and barbaric treatment of a protected species, it’s interesting that we’ve known about it for ages (the photo dates from 2001 apparently) without it being front page news. I say – it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the diplomatic relationship with Indonesia is a bit strained at the moment?*Some West Papuans have recently sought asuylum, claiming genocide by Indonesian troops. We’ve given them temporary visas, and Indonesia has recalled it’s ambassador in protest. Surely the state’s only daily newspaper wouldn’t stir up racial/nationalistic hatred to sell copies, would it?

Sigh. Sometimes I think it would be nice to live in a world where newspapers told the news, rather than selectively filtering it. And while we’re at it, free energy, a cure for cancer and weekly shuttle trips to the moon would also be nice.

Gothic Horrors of the Blogosphere

Pauley Perette has a Blog. And apparently it’s horrible.

Prompted by my razor-blade-injury-inspired musings of last week, my good friend Rebecca has pointed out that Pauley Perette has a blog. She’s also pointed out that it’s exactly what you’d expect a goth actor blog to read like and is hence horrific πŸ™‚

Arguably the most interesting thing about Ms Perette (that I know about anyway) is that all the online sources I’ve seen (not that I’ve been looking very hard mind you) say she was born in 1968 – thus making her just shy of 40. On NCIS however she looks at least 10 years younger. I figure this is down to either…

  1. A really intensive health regime possibly involving restricted caloric intake and lots of running.
  2. A complete inability on my part to judge age from physical appearance.
  3. Heaping on tons and tons of age concealing makeup looks perfectly natural for a goth πŸ™‚

I’ll stop this subject now before I start showing up on Google as some kind of NCIS/Pauley Perette/Abby fan blog πŸ™‚

Be it ever so crumbly…

Finally a creative punishment for MMORPG wrongdoers

No updates for while because I’ve been busy doing wild and crazy things, which will probably get a write up sooner or later. But I thought I’d jump on to point out this.

Not only is Roma Victor the kind of MMORPG I’d be likely to play (the Romans were a bunch of militarily obsessed fascists but you gotta admit they had a hell of a lot of style – not to mention aqueducts) but this is the best online punishment I’ve ever heard. Break the rules? We don’t lock you out of the game for a week – we tie you up on a cross and leave you there for all the other players to gawk at for a week! Now that’s justice! πŸ™‚

How long before this concept appears in World of Warcraft I wonder?

A Word to the Wise and Geeky

Pauley Perette + Ronald Searle = Stabbing Hazard

Note to self: Do not carry out scratch-building work involving unshielded razor blades while watching any TV show featuring Pauley Perette. Particularly any where she’s likely to turn up dressed in a St. Trinians uniform.

(I wouldn’t normally consider myself into the whole uniform thing, however I managed to brutally stab myself in the finger at the exact moment she appeared on screen – coincidence? πŸ™‚

Well so much for that plan…

My glorious attempt at turning this blog into something worth reading fails at the first hurdle.

Hmmm, didn’t I say something about blogging on a daily basis this week?

Mind you, you can’t blame me. It’s all Ryan’s fault for coming over and distracting me by giving me birthday presents – can you imagine the nerve? πŸ™‚ Thanks to his generosity I’m now up one Best of Live album (yey!) and one Radagst the Brown model (yey! again!). He on the other hand is up one impromptu lecture on English history – this is what happens when (while talking about V for Vendetta for instance) you make the mistake of asking me “What’s the deal with Guy Fawkes anyway?”

Wyrmworld – educating the masses one person who’d rather be watching the Simpsons at a time! πŸ™‚


From the CBS News article Rewriting The Science

Hansen is arguably the world’s leading researcher on global warming. He’s the head of NASA’s top institute studying the climate. But this imminent scientist tells correspondent Scott Pelley that the Bush administration is restricting who he can talk to and editing what he can say. Politicians, he says, are rewriting the science….

Right, so he’s not a scientist right at the moment, but he will be really soon!!

(It’s called ‘proofreading’ people – look it up some time)

Chick Chick Chick Chick Chick Chick Chicken, Lay an Egg for Me

Potato chips. And Chickens. And the usual inane ramblings.

Well I said I was going to write, and write I shall – even if I’m too tired to write anything but appalling gibberish. So, be warned!

So, why is chicken green? “Green?” you say, “What sort of strange drugs have you been taking man?!”*That’s a plummy colonial British ‘man’ by the way, not a stoned San Francisco hippie ‘man’. Just thought I’d make that clear.. “None!” I say for I’m talking about chips*That’s “potato chips” for you Americans and “crisps” for the Brits. Just thought I’d make that clear too..

I don’t know if it’s the case elsewhere in this world of ours, but here in Australia bags of chips are colour coded according to the contents. By reason of law, tradition or old charter all the brands ahere to the same ancient colour system, which is as follows…

Ordinary salted chips are dark blue. Salt and vinegar chips are red, or (for those companies who like to flirt with heresy) reddish purple. Cheese flavoured chips are yellow, with variants such as cheese and onion also yellow – although of a lighter or darker shade. But chicken is green. WHY?!

In the far distant past when the Government gathered together to draft the “Potato Chip Packaging Act 1834” (or whatever) why did they light upon this particular hue? Did they have some kind of sinister underhand motive? Were they perhaps insane? Or were they colour blind? Were they referencing some badly done aquatints or – even stranger – a now extinct 19th century variety of poultry with iridescent green plumage? Or was chicken the last flavour on the list and they’d simply run out of colours? Where, oh where does the truth lie?

I’m sure I can’t say. But I still think about it every time I pass the chip rack at the supermarket.

Call me a Browncoat (I’ll be back for Breakfast)

Musings on Joss Whedon’s Serenity.

Wow, so much to write about, so little time. Well, plenty of time really, it’s the weekend. More like so little energy. I’ve been feeling incredibly run down for about the last month. I feel exhausted all day, go to bed dead tired, then wake up still dead tired. I went off to the doctor’s on Tuesday and had some blood tests done, although he seems to think it may be sleep apnoea (I was suspecting the same thing actually). To confirm it I’d need to have a sleep study done. This of course is prohibitively expensive, so I’ll just have to try and lose weight. As if I’m not trying to do that anyway πŸ™

There are a number of things I’d actually like to write about – assorted birthday stuff for instance – but I simply don’t have the energy right now. So I’m going to try and write a small amount each night and see if that clears the backlog. Hmmm, we’ll see how long that lasts.

OK, so to start, Serenity. Serenity as all would know is the movie that continues on from Joss Whedon’s axed TV sci-fi western Firefly. I have never actually seen Firefly – mostly because the networks down here treated it with the utter contempt that they treat all sci-fi with and put it on at about 2:00am every second Tuesday – but have been hearing extremely good things about it for the last year or so, so put the DVD set on my Amazon wishlist. Naturally I then neglected to actually tell anyone about said Amazon wishlist, so was extremely and pleasantly surprised when my cousin Greg and his wife Antionetta turned up to my birthday get together with a copy of Serenity.

I didn’t watch it right away. In addition to my general malaise it had been a really hot week so I was fairly wiped out. I decided to wait until I could get some semi-decent sleep and actually appreciate it, a circumstance that came around last weekend.

So, what did I think? I was pretty impressed. The setting is really clever (one planet-dense, highly terraformed solar system so you don’t have to worry about fudging the physics for FTL*Apparently this was never actually stated in the series, they only explicitly confirmed it in the movie, but it’s still damn cool), the effects are pretty good for the budget (the reaver land-speeder thingie is a little dodgy at times but apart from that I didn’t see any problems), it’s well acted with a really sharp script and (probably most importantly) it’s funny as hell. Nathan Fillion in particular has a great comic turn and the script gives him some great lines to work with. And the plot is pretty good – as someone who’s never seen the series I was able to jump right in and know what was going on.

And as if all of that’s not enough the DVD has some great extras. Like the out takes. I said Nathan Fillion is funny – the out takes prove it because most of them involve him goofing off in some highly entertaining fashion. The very best has to be the – shall we say – “variation” on the “modify the ship” scene, which almost had me in hysterics. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but the phrase “takin’ a dirt nap with the baby Jesus” may well be entering my vocabulary (assuming I could ever find circumstances to use it in that is πŸ™‚

So, my final opinion? Well in the last week I’ve watched the film three times (once with the commentary, twice without), ordered the complete series from Amazon (I looked at JB’s in the city but couldn’t find it) and found myself with a strong desire to swear in Mandarin and call things “shiny”, so I’d have to say that Serenity is fantastic. Too bad they axed the show, cynical, ratings obsessed liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh bun ur-tze.

Oh, and I suppose now I’d better do that personality test linked from Ali’s blog hadn’t I?

Kaylee (Kaywinnet Lee) Frye - The Mechanic

You scored as Kaylee (Kaywinnet Lee) Frye. The Mechanic. You are a natural mechanic, and you are far too sweet and cheerful to live out here. How you can see the good in everyone around you boggles the mind occasionally. Still you don’t seem to be any crazier than that, and it is a nice kinda crazy.

Kaylee (Kaywinnet Lee) Frye   81%
Zoe Alleyne Washburne   69%
Shepherd Derrial Book   63%
The Operative   63%
Simon Tam   56%
River Tam   56%
Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne   44%
Inara Serra   38%
Capt. Mal Reynolds   38%
Jayne Cobb   31%

Which Serenity character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Well there you go, exactly the same result (hmmmm, as for the natural mechanic thing does the fact that I just spent 20 minutes rewriting the HTML to make that result nice, clean and standards compliant count? Natural engineer then maybe πŸ™‚

Lead your army of penguins to glory!

If only real computer games were this entertaining. And if only advertisers understood English.

Best. Computer. Game. Ever.

(Just a shame it’s not actually real)

On another subject there’s one of those SMS idiot-baiting add campaigns on at the moment (the ones where they try and make you pay good money to message the answer to a fairly inane question for the miniscule chance of wining a prize) that’s really annoying me. Well, more so than they usually do anyway. It’s offering the prize of a motor scooter and the rather inane question you have to answer to go into the draw is “What does a scooter run on?”. The options are “A: Fuel” or “B: Gas”. Frankly, neither of them is particularly well thought out.

First of all anything a machine runs on (including gas) is fuel by definition. If you built a scooter that ran on fluffy little kittens (as one guy in Germany seems to have done recently I seem to recall) then it’d still run on fuel wouldn’t it? It’s just that the fuel would be fluffy little kittens. So you’d think that would be the obvious answer.

But – the word ‘fuel’ is a blanket term for any substance that can be converted to energy, which by definition would include gas. So, if you answer “Fuel” you’re also answering “Gas”, since gas is a kind of fuel. You can’t actually separate the two. Making matters worse there’s the American meaning of ‘gas’. Now, OK this isn’t America, but it’s still a recognised usage. So, if we assume that you’re using American English, then yes – scooters run on gas.

So, do scooters run on fuel, or gas? Yes. Scooters run on fuel (an energy source) – by definition. They also run on fuel (petrol). But they don’t run on gas (gas), which is a fuel (energy source), so they don’t run on a specific fuel (gas) (unless they’ve undergone an LPG conversion in which case they do run on gas (gas) which is of course a fuel (energy source)). However they do also run on gas (petrol) which is both a fuel (energy source) and fuel (petrol). It’s a semantic nightmare of epic proportions.

I wish advertising people would actually think now and then. But I suppose that’s asking too much. After all if they were able to think they wouldn’t be in advertising…

The Power of Mozart

Reflections on power company hold music.

I phoned up the-soon-to-be-non-existent Western Power to make a late credit card payment today. To get to the credit card payment section the phone system rapidly routes you through about five different departments, each playing their own Mozart CD as hold music. It’s like listening to the Mozart Mega Mix.

Sleep deprivation and work stress levels approaching critical. I’ll explain later, assuming I don’t die first.

(Oh, and I have to work tomorrow – Serenity now! Serenity now!)

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