Thursday, 27 December 2007

No Internets

That's right folks after the move and Christmas we still have no internets so this site will be a while in the hiatus state...

Stay tuned I will be back... just as soon as AAPT gets sorted.

Saturday, 1 December 2007


I am at work today... like every other day :) not that I am complaining - I thought to myself the other day was I working only to have bragging rights to complain about it?!?!?! Sometimes I worry that I do things only to have the opportunity to complain about it. I don't trust me on that - I do things A) because I canna say NO B) I really worry about money and having not enough C) I don't actually dislike working... Anyhoo this was not what I was writing about.

I nearly feel asleep at work today in the small lunch room we have here (more like a coffee cubicle!). I went in and made my sandwiches, got the paper and read and ate, taking my time to have a relax when I felt my eyes drop, and my breathing get shallow, and I thought "Crap I am about to fall asleep!!" So I got up and went back out to work early just so I would not sleep.

We talked about that for a bit and I remembered I had seen somewhere people having power naps at work and I thought would that be something useful to me? So I wiki'd it and it might be a useful tool especially as I am a little busy atm.

  • Caffeine nap
    A caffeine nap
    is a cat-nap that was preceded by the intake of a caffeinated beverage such as coffee, tea, or an energy drink. A caffeine pill can be used as well.
    To be most effective you must take the source of energy quickly and be able to fall asleep within minutes afterwards. Otherwise the energy source will begin to work and will prevent you from falling asleep. With this in mind, the energy pills will get absorbed slower than the energy drink and might be the best choice.
    Once asleep the energy source will begin to enter your system and will wake you up in the normal time frame of a cat-nap (20-30 minutes). Once woke you will have the energy from the nap and a boost from the energy source as well.
This interests me the most - hehehehe Caffeine and sleep in the same step!!! Occurs I would then need to find a place to sleep at work...

In the mean time I am using the time old system of burning the candle at both ends whilst in taking large quantities of caffeinated beverages. Of course this has the side effect of making me a grumpy bum - but in the interest of the capitalist lifestyle we live in - I AM A GOD!!!

Thank you good night...

Wednesday, 28 November 2007


Last week i got a job offer for a short term contract at the main admin building for the Council I work for... I took it.

The contract is for 4 days a week in the executive support section, minutes, meetings, advertising and other admin stuff. It is all very interesting and I do enjoy the new work - I can see though that Admin stuff really sucks as "everything is the same, just different" is my new mantra. Oh this committee is the same as the last one, just different... I would prefer to be a dictator and just say this is the way it goes DEAL with it! But I canna as I am too low down... but just you wait... yes one day I will be the all powerful one who will say when all meetings are held and pooey to everyone else.

I still maintain my original job of 3 days a week (Fri, Sat Sun)... which means I now work 7 days a week until mid January. Which is all good as in the Christmas week the Admin Building is closed until after New Years...

I also agreed weeks ago to work over Christmas for the Manager at the Visitors Information Centre (where I do the 3 days) so that means I will have Christmas Day off (V.I.C is closed) and I think New Years Day... so that is two days off until January 21st.

Oh and we are moving into our new house on the 16th... so I got that day off work (up to three days off). We also need to paint the house after we get the keys on the 6th Dec... so we will have 9 days or so to paint the inside before we move in. Oh and we need to finish packing and getting everything ready and I need to get EVERYONES Christmas presents and such.

I think I might just forgo sleep for the next month and see how all that works out. At least we will not have to stress too much about money if I am working more!! Anji gets a few weeks off at Christmas so that'll help.

I am off to bed now as I think that I need to have save up some sleep for the weeks ahead. At least the play is nearly over only 8 more shows to go (I only have to be at 6 of them Anji at all as she is in it - I am doing sound FX for the night performances).

Oh so if I am not around in the coming weeks please don't despair I will get back into the swing of things again soon!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Stupid grab for Money

One of the newest shows from the US has caught my attention. Californication with David Duchovny in the starring role. I like it, it is different harder then most shows and really really funny. What isn't so funny is the Red Hot Chili Peppers suing over the shows name.

The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is "inherently distinctive, famous ... and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I say here WTF!!! If nothing else it helps your music by having something else associated with it. Some people (ie me) will like the show and those good thoughts may cross over to RHCP album of the same name. You may be a fan of RHCP and hate the show - which means you'll bring more favourable comments to the album. Or three you hate both and that'll be that - ie people that would never be Chilli fans in the first place.

This whole copyright thing on names really shits me. It is a word therefore it is anyones. You make an item ie an album and someone copies that or uses it without your permission go sue them. I don't see anything in this show that would make me even think of the music by RHCP. In fact this action has made me want to get rid of my RHCP albums. Grow up and get a life!

If you have to read more go here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The Chaser

Great comments from Morrow on the race for funniest show on Australian TV.

The Chaser v Today Tonight

See more here.

I must say as far as shonky reenactments go The Chaser one tonight was one of the best. Go boys go!

And Justice for all...

No not a homage to Metallica - the greatest Garage Band in the world.

Remember back a few months to when I mentioned the Judge in USA who sued a dry cleaning business over some missing pants - sued for $60 million!! Well some more good news on that case - not only was the case thrown out but it seems that Payback kinda sucks...

The Judge, one Roy Pearson, will not be reappointed when his term runs out.

Read all about it here.

Finally something good out of the news...

Monday, 12 November 2007

Geek In Review

Well Wil Wheaton's article this week is just so right for so many reasons. See it, experience it, feel it, play it - here.

I can relate to everything he has just written, I too hate the 'going to the movies' experience - they have to offer me something I cannot get from a DVD at home. Better seating, clearer picture, uninterrupted viewing pleasure. Mostly of which at the local cinema is a poor mans version so a good theatre experience. I am talking Gold Class, big recliners with sound that moves through you... alas that all costs me WAY to much and is too far away to do all the time. So I either suck it up and go to the low budget cinema complex near here - or wait for DVD.

TV... I hate watching TV live... does anyone really do that anymore? Well OK we watch CSI last night and the 25th Just for Laughs comedy special - but the ads... I turn off (mentally) and I really don't care about these products - in fact I wonder if I am developing a negative reaction to the companies and products because of these ads. I wish I had a DVR then I would watch more TV shows - and skip the ads... NEXT year I am so getting one...

Books... I have too many wishes and too many re reads and NOT nearly enough time.

Games, well I have lamented about this topic too many times and yet I still love to play them - I have the same problem of choosing a game to play and how much time I have to play it. Sometimes I wish I could be more focused and just play the same thing over and over until I was KING OF THE GAME. But I have an attention span of a 3 year old and love to change and do different things - Wii is great for that with virtual console - so many games and all different

And yes the lure of table top gaming still attracts me - the time to play does not, maybe if I forgo sleep for a few years... Hmmmm

Anyhow read Wil article and this will all make sense and make me smile...

Things gone wrong

I just read this article which basically tells about how a young woman died during a ritual to remove a curse.

A very sad end to something that was ment to bring an end to pain and suffering inflected apon someone through a Maroi curse.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

William Gibson...

SF Diplomat has a lot to say about the new William Gibson Novel, read all about it here.

If you are a Gibson fan I would like to know what you think about the comments made here - I have to date only read two Gibson's Neuromancer and The Difference Engine (with Bruce Sterling). I have heard good things about Pattern Recognition and Spook Country is the sequel to that one...

I suppose once I read them I too can make comment.

But I can see from reading the Raymond E Feist Riftwar series that it gets a little old as time goes past - what was once a great series full of adventure and new exciting polt twists becomes a little boring and stale... but the first books are still great reads after a few times. Why is that? Is it the writer getting old or the material?

Food for thought I guess.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Just cause John did it...

Ok John did this Aspergian test... and yes before anyone says it if John did then I must follow... go jump off a bridge John I am "sure" to follow... :)

Here is what I got, if you want to try go here...

Your Aspie score: 22 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 179 of 200
You are very likely neurotypical

So I am like John and Krissy neurotypical... woot!!


Something to think about in our short lives - they don't even know how long this clam 'could' have lived! If only it could talk!

The ocean quahog clam was dredged from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Iceland.
Researchers from Bangor University worked out the clam's age by counting the rings on its eight-and-a-half centimetre shell.
The clam's life started in 1602, when Queen Elizabeth I was still on the throne of England, and William Shakespeare was in his prime.

This comes at a strange time as I am reading Heinlein's Time Enough For Love, the story about Lazarus Long the man who is over 2,500 years old. So what would you do, could you do in all that time?

Imagine knowing that time was not fleeting anymore that you can learn what ever you want to survive and thrive no matter how long it took and still have time for all the other things - or will you learn that none of that matters and it is living in the present RIGHT NOW that is really the most important...

Thought for the day... do you think you would cope with eternity?

I don't think I would - I would have used the suicide button long before... especially if everyone I knew and loved had gone away... or I would be so set in my ways that no one could ever be expected to 'fit' into my life...

Sunday, 28 October 2007

YouTube silliness

Something frun from the Sk8tr boiz

Silly fun for all the family...

(note for some reason I cannot work out how to add a Youtube file to this post - I have done it before but now it does not want to work - boo so follow the link instead slackers)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Just for a Laugh

OK is you read Scalzi you'd have seen this already but for the 1 person who reads this blog that doesn't go to this link.

Basic premise - get a bunch of guys to go shirtless in an Abercrombie and Finch store (a store famous for it's depiction of shirtless men) and basically see what happens... a fabulous look at how a large store reacts to such behaviour...

Now as a Marketer that is someone with a degree in marketing and an interest in marketing the store manager (or duty manager) at this store HAD a great opportunity to use resource to increase it's marketing potential. Take this as a win for the store - hey they have a large statue of a semi naked man, posters everywhere and now shirtless men in the store.

Get on the PA and say for the next 30 mins any man in the store without a shirt can have a 10% discount on all shirts. Or something similar. Come on lets face it these stores have one reason for being and one reason only - to sell stuff. So as a manager your role is to sell stuff from your store. I can see that the upper management may have a problem with this - but show them your bottom line, your sales for the day and frankly anyone who would be upset by an increase in sales should probably not be in the retail game.

Corporate image blah blah, the marketing for A&F is buff semi-naked men, a model at the front door, a statue posters etc. If upper management didn't want this image then they should not have these images as there selling point.

Take Aussie Bum for instance - hey they go out making viral adverts for YouTube and similar sites but getting guys off the street to stripe and get on there undies. This is what Aussie Bum is, basics that are both sexy, fashionable and make you (the wearer) look good. If they had store fronts I am sure they would love to have guys walking around showing off there products - even just showing the waist band.

I feel sorry for the store manager of A&F he is only doing what his limited knowledge of marketing and sales tell him. He is probably worried he will get the sack for allowing something like this to happen - but did you hear the people outside, see the reactions the crowds... that is what sales is all about.

Anyhoo enough of a rant - good going to the team behind this stunt and I will have to check out more of their work!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

They have my vote just for this!

I wonder what the response will be from this statement from Labor in the lead up to the election 07...

The Opposition's Stephen Conroy says Labor will build a high-speed national fibre network that would lower prices and deliver 40-times faster broadband as part of its "education revolution" if it wins office.

I wonder what out Internet friend Senator Helen Coonan will say to Australian's getting faster cheaper broadband? Something she has clearly been against since she came to office. Why should we expect to pay less for something that all the other developed nations take for granted? Why we should all be happy to just put up and take it like good little children - eat your sprouts they are good for you!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Weekend Assignment 187: You're Late!

Well it has been a while so here we go...

Weekend Assignment #187: Share a story about when you were once memorably late to something. Late to a big event? To a date? To a wedding? Your wedding? If you were late, and it made for a good story, that's what we want to hear.

Extra Credit: How many times do you have to hit the alarm clock before you get up in the morning?

*Note this may sound similar to John's but I wrote it before reading John's own story - which you can either believe or not - your choice! But why I would just copy his story then post to his blog I do not know! Although mine has a happier if more deviate ending.

This was back when I was at Uni - for the second time...

End of semester - exam time - I took the day off work to do my final exam for the semester and the year... got up at a reasonable time (8:30 - at the time I worked 6am -2pm so i could go to class in the afternoon evening) and went about my business of getting up. Made toast, coffee got that all together and sat at the computer to review some stuff and check what room the exam was in.

You see I thought that I had an afternoon exam hence my apparent "at ease" state. I was wrong.

I clicked on my exam timetable and was horrified to see that my exam had started 10 minutes previously. My throat closed, I saw stars, I saw the whole semester of work being shoved doen the drain. I was in a state of panic. I ran around thinking WTF do I do???

You see the exam wasn't just down the road at the local campus, no the subject I wanted to do was held at the main campus a full hour drive away! So no chance that I could get there and have any hope of doing anything worthwhile for the exam.

The only thing left for me to do was - lie!

I rang my doctor, faked bad hayfever and astma and got a certificate, sent in all the paperwork and had the exam rescheduled for another time. I was back home by the time the exam was offically over.

After a few drinks I had a close to normal heart beat - and then checked (about 20 times) the date and time of my next exam - which was the afternoon exam I thought this one was.

I learned and made sure I knew all my exam times and still checked them a hundered times the night before...

Extra Credit:

I set the alarm at least 30 minutes before I really want/need to get up so I can do 3-4 snoozes... I like a good snooze. Although when I need to get up early just get up no snooze ( i.e. 6am or earlier)

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Want other on line stories... I have found Darryn Mason's story of post Bird Flu epidemic Sydney - chapter one can be found here... I will review the first few chapters in a day or so to get the feel of the way it is panning out.

Take a look and see what you think!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Second Chapter

The second chapter is up for "The Lost and Broken" check it out, here.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Story Time

A challenge from Jeff and my own wish to get something writen and out in the world. I have created a blog for a story I am writing - I have the first chapter up and running so go check it out here.
It is a style I am trying where I have each chapter from a different prespective which in turn tells the story from other people's POV.
I hope you like it.

Friday, 28 September 2007

story to read

My Blog buddy Jeff wrote something new and posted it on his blog. A great little story in the form of letters home to mother. Check it out here, I was very drawn in to the story - it might have been predictable but it is so easy to read and the people are believable which in my book is worth more.

He makes me want to write again and really get out something new. Maybe I will post something old to get the juices flowing again.

Sunday, 23 September 2007


Ever wanted to know what a Writers room really looks like... well go here and see.

I will grab a shot of my room and post it later just to show you what mine looks like compared to famous proffessional writers... hehehe Connie what's yours like?

Halo 3

I am not really that excited about Halo 3, maybe because I do not have a 360 - or it may be because I have not finished Halo 2 - yet. BUT I am excited to see the full capabilities of the 360 and if Halo 3 doesn't do it nothing will... well OK Bioshock is fantastic and really showcases the story telling side of the 360, but graphics, engines, 3D etc etc should all be brilliant with Halo 3 or else... (got that Microsoft). So on Tuesday I have booked in with Dazza to spend the day (or at least a large amount of it) playing Halo 3.

I will post here my findings as to my thoughts on the latest and greatest from Microsoft...

Stupid Sayings

First up I am guilty of these... so very guilty yet it is only when you hear it from someone else that you realise just how stupid they sound. I am ofcourse talking about stupid sayings.

Take this for example; I just heard a lady, well lets call her elderly... of the grey hair brigade... a doddering old doll... a geriatric... Alrightly then, an old fart come up to the counter at work telling us how she had just come in from a local market and that it was "as cold as" out there. Wait a minute as cold as... what? A freezer? The fifth floor of the Sydney Myer building? As cold as the weather is outside the office right now? I do not understand this saying, if it was followed up with a reference point it would make more sense but with nothing it means nothing to me. For example "At the market it was as cold as the freezer section in (local supermarket)". I understand how cold that is, I have a reference. I may not believe it as it is sunny today with little cloud and the weather site on line tells me it is 20 degree C at the moment which to me if far from the freezer section. But I have a point at which to understand her precept ion of the temperature at the market.

I am sure there are more sayings then this one that would annoy me or you, so get the debate happening either on your blog (and link in here) or in the comments section. Attached stories are worth more points (what these points are... I dunno just points in general I guess).

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Sex Pistols

I do not know how i feel about this news sex pistols reforming??
Punk legends the Sex Pistols announced that they will stage a one-off gig in November to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their controversial album Never Mind the Bollocks.
Can they still be the Sex Pistols and be as old as they are - mind you they have more Punk in there old bones then any of the newer semi-punk bands we have today...
Would be good to see though - now where is my passport? Or cheaper where is my copy of this album... crank it up loud!!!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Future dreams and wishful thinking

OK Neil Gaiman was asked if he had a rider when he signed books, did a speech or say opened a movie version of one of his books... here it is. In response he linked to a wonderfully witty and very much tongue in cheek rider from Iggy Pop... found here. I loved this so much I had to share it with you all. Iggy you have a biggie indeed!

Great reading!

So what would I want if ever I cold have a rider and that could be anything in the world...

Well I know what Frank wants - and I might meme Constance to let us know what that is... it is one of best riders I have ever heard of - but for me...

I want a spa... big enough for 10
The usual food and drink - what ever I am into at the time
A bed with a feather doona that spins (the bed not the doona)
A big screen TV with the latest video game console and games
Access to the Internet - fast access not dial-up
If I am playing music then I want a bin full of sticks to use during the show
If for theatre or movie then a bin full of stick to use after the show on my
DRUM KIT - whatever the best is at the time!
And a little ride on train!

not mush really!

OK then Meme time, Constance, Anjel, Jeff, John Scalzi there you go you are a Super star what will your rider be??

Saturday, 15 September 2007


I have a big question to over come in the next few days... well Anjel and myself do...

Do we buy a house?

The place we are looking at is a little old and run down BUT very livable, that saying we do not need to renovate to move in which is a plus. It is in town - close to everything - and in our price range...


Well we have a lot to think on in the next few days and budgets to work out!

Wish us luck and all that goes with it...


OK so normally I am not like my good blog friend Jeff a Ranter... well mostly I am not - but today I will be!!!

I was in the City earlier in the week - we spent two days there while my better half was doing a course for her work - all good there I spent one day walking around the shops at the biggest Shopping Centre in Australia !!! Whoa - only problem was it is so hard to find your way around I ended up going past the same shops half a dozen times and probable missed out on heaps that I never saw... stupid shopping Centres!

Anyway the next day I planned on seeing a friend of mine approx 30 minute drive from Anjels course... So I dropped her off and headed off to Dave's...

IT TOOK ME 1 HOUR 30 to get there... A WHOLE hour extra then it should have - and why???

Because some nutjob told a bus driver he had a bomb in his luggage!! A nutjob that looked from the top a lot like Dan Rutter... but the less said the better about that... I hope that wasn't you Dan I would be very disappointed!

So OK I had to go a detour and the police where very good at setting us up to go a different way and avoid the potential explosion! Go Police yay! (seriously they where very quick to set up alternative routes and direct the traffic etc)

So in order to go the alternative route we had to merge lanes - all good and well. The cars in front of me did the proper and polite think of one car move one car in one car move one car in... except the RUDE IGNORANT SO FAR UP HERSELF SHE IS THE RIGHT WAY AROUND woman who pushed in behind me to take the spot the truck was making for me. AND if that wasn't RUDE enough another driver (female as well NOT that I think that is the reason why) pushing in FROM THE OTHER LANE - THE LANE THAT DID NOT HAVE TO MERGE AT ALL. Thank fully the nice truck behind them still let me in to the spot he was making for me. A Big thank you!

When we are all in a difficult situations such as these circumstance the BEST in people should come out - like letting people merge easily, waiting your turn, and understanding that we are all in a rush or late but there is NOTHING that you can do about it. So sit back relax and be patient.

This makes me welcome the fact that our rush hour here revolves around school times and in over in 30 mins... flexible work hours fixes that for me...

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Ending and Begining

I am a little sad at the moment - the show I was in "Old Time Music Hall" has finished so the rush of a live audience every Friday and Saturday has vanished from my life... It was a fun show to do and although it is not all my 'Cup of Tea' I did enjoy doing it - I did not thing that I would...
Oh well off to other adventures I guess - I am producing the next production at the Theatre "The Witches" adapted by David Wood from Roald Dahl's book of the same name - a very nice little play with some lovely parts and a good deal of Puppetry work... So I am busy designing some kind of puppets and how we will adapt the set and them to work with what we have etc. We start to build the set this week as we have got the stage model off the set designer. It is a big job but fun all the same, and at least something I can get to do while I am not working...
I only work 3 days a week at the moment with a few extra days here and there, at least my sig other is working 5 days and we are not on the bread line - but a few more days would put my mind at ease!
So that is really all for the moment - no rants I'll that to you Jeff!!
Oh we are off to the City tomorrow Anjel has a meeting up there so as I am not working I am going along as the token other half! hehehe Caio!

Monday, 3 September 2007


I have been TAG to go this meme by Anjel...

1. Total number of books I own....
Crickey you want me to count all of them... umm let me see novels close to 300, text books close to 80... so we'll say conservatively 360 total books...
2.Last Book I bought...
On the infamous Connie, Anjel and myself book run I got William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's "The Difference Engine" (Steam Punk - should be good) and I also got Robert Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love"
3. Last book I read...
Robert Heinlein's "Farnhams Freehold", my first Heinlein's and I thought it was really good... that is why I bought "Time Enough for Love"...
4.Book you intend to read next...
Well I am part way through "The Day of the Triffids" by John Wyndham so I intend to finish that then read "Metal Swarm" by Kevin J Anderson the next in the series of the 'Saga of the Seven Suns'
5. Five books that mean a lot to me...
"The Colour of Magic" Terry Pratchett - it was the introduction into the world of comic fantasy.. brilliant, my copy is falling to pieces I have read it so many times... (by the way I am horrified by the changing of the spelling of colour in some of the US releases... that is why I search for a copy that had the right spelling from amazon... hey we put up with US spelling on our versions of US books... you should do the same - grumble!)
DragonLance Series - OK so these are not the best books ever written but they got me into fantasy and that has lead me to great things like...
My Illustrated copy of "The Hobbit " - JRR Tolkien... the link isn't the version I have although I wish I did!!! The Hobbit was given to me by my Dad and I have always love to flick through the pictures and relive the story again - I don't like to read it as I do not what to wreak it...
"Magician" Raymond E Feist - and all the Riftwar sequels after that - brilliant read great story and I loved all the characters - not so hot on the later books I think he should have moved away from the world and done other things but it is a cash cow sooo... First probably 9 are the best!
"Nightmares and Dreamscapes" Stephen King - in fact any of Stephen's short stories - I love them all, I love to sit down and read a whole story in am hour - when I have just that amount of time to spare... and he is one of the best at writing stories that you can relate to... he brought me into the world of Horror fiction...
Well that is five but I must say there are a whole lot more that I could talk about... I will have to post some other thought on books at a later date...

Hey Jeff - your turn now...

Sunday, 2 September 2007


OK I have read a few books in the last couple of months and I have not really mentioned them here. So I shall fix that problem - oh and I don't propose to do an in depth review of them just give you my general thoughts on the readability of the books and my over all feelings etc on the stories themselves.

Raw Shark Text - by Steven Hall.
Conceptual fish... feeding on our memories and other thoughts and ideas... A great concept and a really brilliant read - well for the first 3/4 or so. I got dragged into the world very easily and I really enjoyed the concept behind this novel and the ideas that it brought up. The ending turned into a cliche and a Jaws tribute. Maybe that was intentional and it just goes to prove that in the end we all turn out to be a cliche of modern culture... or is all art just a derivative of other forms of art...
Aside from the ending which, didn't spoil the read just seemed to be a little rushed and maybe not as well thought out as the rest of the book, it was an engaging and thought provoking read. I really wish someone else would read it so that I could talk about it with them... maybe I can convince someone soon.

Old Man's War - John Scalzi
First try at John's published work, well aside from a chapter or two found on the net. I held this book up to some really high standards. Having been a fairly long time reader of his blogs I heard a lot about his work, mainly from fans and blog fiends, so I kind of expected something really good. And I got what I wanted - this book I could not put down! Not only was it so readable but the world he created and the characters where believable and interesting, it reminded me of many Sci-Fi worlds but was not the same as one of them. A great blend of Sci-Fi and general fiction (speculative fiction is the term for this fiction I don't understand why we need to place people into genres but there you go Scalzi writes speculative fiction!) Anyway aside from my rejection of genres and terms this book is a must for all fans of Sci-Fi (and Spec-Fi) I really recommend this read both as an introduction to John and to this particular take on Sci-Fi.

Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
OK yes this is Stephen King's Son, so what! I bought it not because of that, well OK maybe a little because of that, but also due to the great reviews it had. Horror novels can be so hit and miss with me, some of the greatest horror authors (at least those spoken about the most) don't really do it for me. But Joe did, it was just a great read and I really attached myself to the characters and the situations that they went through in order to survive the ordeal or a ghost in a suit. Maybe I just connected with the main character - a rock legend just like myself ! (lol) Other people I have spoken to about this book have told me it scared the bejezzus out of them - not so with me, I mean I liked the book and the way the characters where slowly driven to more and more desperate acts, and yes I was a little shocked by the events, but not scared like I have been by books (or even movies and games).
So what did I think? I thought this was so good that I would buy it as a present for all my friends and make them read it - although some of them might get a little too scared if the others I have spoken to are anything to go by! Brilliant and a great read!

Neromancer - William Gibson
Some people might be wondering how I could if I enjoy Sci-Fi so much have not read William Gibson until now... well I live in Australia remember that - and we do not get that many good books at good prices like our North American and European Cousins. So I have had to be frugal in my book buying - but with a friend who recently went to the US of A I got her to grab me some books and William Gibson was one of them. OK now that I have gotten over the blurb about book availability in Australia (and I didn't even mention the price differences like that it costs me as much to get a 2nd hand book as it does a brand new one in the US!! and new books cost more then twice as much as in the US).
Ummm now I should mention the book... The first thing that hit me was the writing style, it was short shape images, almost like I was watching a movie that had pieces missing, it didn't take away from the story line infact I think it sped everything up and got the point quicker. Also I loved the way the technology was just taken for granted - a lot of Sci-Fi writers over explain the new wonderful technology but Gibson just tell us what it is - no explanation as to how it works because the characters are all ready intimate with the technology - it would be like a person now explaining how a light switch worked before turning it on. We already know so why would characters in a book do it to each other with things that they already know.
This story was really good - I loved the way that all these new technologies, which I take for granted as I have played Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, where introduced and if I read this before I knew about all the other things it would have shaken my world up! The characters where very well writing and very engaging and the story had enough twists and turns that I keep interested into the very end. I have the sequel Mona Lisa Overdrive and I intend to read that in a little while I might even re-read this one before I go on just to get back into the world again. Great read a must for all.

Well I guess that is enough for the time being! I have read a few more books then this in the last few months but I just wanted to mention ones that really hit it off with me and ones that are topical to me at the moment. More to come later!

Friday, 31 August 2007

News News News

Well it has been a while since I dipped my net into the murky waters of Australian News sites... but I have found a few gems.

First up - imagine a time when a device the size of an iPod nano can hold 30,000 movies! Well it seems that scientists are looking at ways to manipulate atoms... makes sense it would be great to make storage devices smaller - although they need to remember that the device you view it on needs to be larger then say a needle point!!!

Second... OK so I am not a big fan of them BUT I still reserve the rights of individuals to wear whatever they like. This article is regarding a BAN of saggy baggy pants, in some cities in the US. Ummm isn't this the land of the free?? what about the Bill of Rights?? Ummm anyway moving on. I think that things like this are a social issue not one that should be legislated. I think that if we paid no attention to them then like most teenage fads and fashion fads they will eventually die out - but alas this kind of action will just make more people aware of the injustice. Just because I don't like the fashion doesn't mean that people should not be allowed to express them selves.

Three... OK burning rubbish is that a good idea? If a place is over filled with rubbish and raw sewerage why not burn it all away? Does that sound like good environmental practice to you? Well no! but if you where to super heat the rubbish and destroy the harmful contaminates and then employ the poor people of the community to run the furnace and harness the heat from the burning for things such as heating water then you have a sound way to rid a place of rubbish and make something useful for the local area. Check it out - the thing that amazes me is that it was harder for him to make a low tech furnace. That is something we need to think about as we enter this ever changing world... what do we do with all the jobless if everything is done by machine and is automatic... something for a longer entry me thinks.

Four... You think your head is worth a lot... how about encasing it in diamonds and calling it art! $100 million for a skull - hey I could get you one from the local boneyard for less... of course you'll have to arrange the diamonds...

Five... Good news regarding horror books from Australia - it seems that the trend of decent horror novels are growing in Australia with independent Publisher Tasmanic releasing a range of new authors and books. More about the upcoming range and the collaboration with British Horror write Paul Kane here. I admit that my taste in books lies firmly in the range of Fantasy and Science Fiction although I do love to wander in the world of Horror Fiction and really loved Joe Hill's novel - even if it didn't scare me as much as some people. I have Joe Hill's new short story book on my wish list at Amazon and I really do think that he will develop into a author that I can read again and again. Now a horror Sci-Fi that would be something... Hmmmm

Well five is all I have time for so have a looksee and let me know what you all think about them or send me links for things that might interest me or people who read this blog.


Thursday, 30 August 2007

Thank Wil

Wil you gave me something to laugh at... and scratch my head...

WTF indeed!

Zebra v Croc

The Church of Ank!

The Church of Ank!

Ank Ank Ank!!!

Worship the Zebra God!

Meditate on the Holy mystery of Ank!

Deny the Crocodile god of blasphemy!

Ank, Ank, Ank!!!

Join with us now as we watch the Zebra God in physical form defy the evil Crocodile god...

Worship the one true form of Hope - and go for the eye!

See above for the Video of our God in action. (youtube didn't seem to want to paste into this entry - obviously the Evil Crocodile god is against me - save me oh holy Zebra of Holiness!!)

Thanks to Connie for that one!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Oh boy I have found a cool new band! and they are Australian - from out of Sydney.

So check out the clip and see what you think... Very Cureish so I am hooked - easy really! great little guitar riff at the beginning really caught me!

Yes something new and all through a single of the week at iTunes! would've thought it!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Tarot - which one and I...

I am equal parts the Emperor and the Magician... something in that for all of us

You scored as The Empress and The Emperor, The Empress stand for a strong woman or strong female influnce such as mother, sister, girfriend/wife. The Emperor stands for a strong man or strong male influnce in life such as a father, husband/boyfriend, brother ect. Both are very strong willed and are influencal to someone. They take on many responsiblities sometimes to much, love toi lead the pack. Both a reliable and are ready for action at any moment

The Empress and The Emperor


The Magician




The Lovers


The Devil


The Hierophant


The World


The Fool


The High Priestess


The Hanged Man




The Hermit


The Moon




created with


OK time to get all practical and environmental on you all. I have just been visiting Todae and checking out there impressive catalogue of low power usage items, solar and wind power generators and assorted other items. Go and check them out if you have the time, I have selected a few items that I think are both useful and easy to use and install into your everyday house - then I get into the bigger and more fanciful items.

The picture above is a shower saver which can be viewed here it is really just a switch which turns off the water so you can soap without wasting water then switch the water back on to rinse off. This is something that I think would easy to use and something most homes could easily install.

LED lights, basically use put in LED light instead of Halogen globes or use them in the normal Bayonet or Edison Screw sockets. Prices range from $14.95 and they can

longer then normal globes. Go here to check out all the styles and types.

Portable Solar Charges, for anything from your Laptop to your mobile phone, all through the use of the Sun. The price point of $149 is steep for the initial costs but I guess you will make that back with use of the charger - as it can charge a range of items and has a USB port a standard Car Charger port and a lot of adaptors for popular phones etc it can be used to charge almost anything. Something to think of a special gift or purchase with the tax cheque. More info here

OK so you want to save 50% of your electricity bill - install one of these! At $17,000 it will take a few bills to save the initial cost but it is effective and very efficient! I worked out that own electricity bill is approx $1000 a year (give or take) so if I saved 50% that'll be $500 a year so in 34 years I would make back that initial cost. It seems a little extreme and I guess if I were building a house and installed this as part of construction the cost would seem less... I am not sure though $17,000 is a lot of low power usage items that I could buy for my house and reduce my electricity usage through that... If costs are lowered on such items then I guess it could get better in the future.

But at least they are coming down in price and like all new technology as we get better making them the costs are reduced. So I say if you can afford panels on your home get them so people like me can one day actually afford to buy them...

I guess like most things it is do what you can, we really must look at ways we can change our behaviour and our usage of things like oil and power. I do not believe that nuclear energy is the way to go we can use Wind and Solar energy to create better sources of power.

I heard a scientist on the Morning Show on Triple J this week talk about the MANY uses of Oil other then burning for energy and I wonder if we will find ourselves at a point in the future unable to comprehend why we burned a resource that is so useful. Maybe then we will realise that sometimes economics and business are not the answer to our needs, maybe then we will kick ourselves for being so damn stupid. I doubt it though.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

I took a quiz...

Well it didn't paste so well... So here is the results of 'Which author's fiction are you...


William Gibson wrote your book. Technology terrifies and delights you.

Which makes me laugh as I am just reading my first Gibson 'Neromancer' at the moment - nearly finished. Looking forward to reading more of his stuff as well. hahaha such is life sometimes.

10 random things about me

1. I play drums in a band - Stover [lame I know, you all know that one already]
2. I have travelled to Europe, USA, Asia but never to Western Australia or the Northern Territory. Although I would like to, but here I can fly to an exotic OS country for the same price as flying to Perth (WA Capital)
3. I have written about a quarter of a comic book story line - although I cannot draw or know anyone who can so it will probably stay that way. Similar with short stories and a novel idea I had. I would love to be able to say I am a writer even if I only publish one book - and never make money from it.
4. I tend to do much; then when I have nothing to do I am like a lost child who just wonders around in a daze. I need to be doing something and hence write lists of things to complete just so I can tick it off and feel that I have achieved something with my time off. I even put fun things on the list like * play video game. If I feel I have achieved nothing in a day I get upset with myself and depressed.
5. I have smoked drugs but aside from once having a bad trip (I think it was laced with something) I really don't get that effected. Although somewhere in the back of my mind I am afraid that if it did really feel good I would get addicted very easily - I avoid drugs now - aside from alcohol... even then I limit myself (I know some of you wouldn't believe that but I really do).
6. I cook. I love to cook. I love to eat different things. I love to learn how to make new things and then do a dinner party for friends/family and make them something special. I would love to own a restaurant and cook whatever I wanted!
7. I don't like letting people down.
8. I find it hard to be happy in the moment instead I relive things afterwards and am happy about it then. Most of the time I am too busy worrying about too many things to be happy when I should be.
9. I always thought there would be more in my life then there is - I probably look too much at what I am missing then what I have - I have to remind myself all the time that I am lucky and I have people who love and care for me.
10. Dream house is some kind of mansion (I have the plans in my head) with a large amount of space between me and my neighbours (I am talking 5 minute drive). Yet my dream car in a early model Landrover.

Thanks Jeff - Constance and Anjel have put this up already so I'll send this out to the next person who reads this - post in the comments that you posted this and I'll edit to your name and link!

Resident Evil 4 - Wii

OK so I have become a little game Obsessed at the moment... It must be the cold weather and the extra time I have from work atm... I need something to do with my days and gaming seems like a good idea. Hey at least I am not wondering the streets - although I could really get into writing - which I do plan to do - Scratch that I WILL TOMORROW write at least something.
Anyway I was going to write about RE4 for the Wii which I bought on a whim last week and BOY it is cool! Very much a FPS (First Person Shooter) with a little bit of a difference and that comes through the Unique Wii controller. You can aim with the Remote and you move with the Nunchuk - but it all seems so much easier then say when I played Bioshock the other day on the Xbox 360 - is that me or is it the Wii controls? I can't answer that without further study. But friends of mine whom have played all the RE games for the PS2 said straight away that this version was faster (in turning) and possibly more easier to play due to the aiming and use of the controllers.
So what do I think? Well the story line is really good and the games play really well although I sometimes get a bit arressive and shoot too much and run out of ammo! I think that sometimes I am suppose to just run or what for a timed cut scene - I guess I just have to realise that I canna kill them all - they just keep coming!!!
So what will I give the game being that I am only up to chapter 3 - 9/10 atm - that could go up as I get further into the game.
Anyway If there is one reason to buy a Wii then this is the game !!! It does everything that the Wii is capable of doing and offer the best type of game play that the system offer - in the realm of hardcore gaming that is.

Friday, 17 August 2007


OK I had lunch with a friend of mine yesterday and we got on to talk of games and the console war and all that jazz. Now I am looking (wishing) to own one of the more powerful next gen consoles in the coming future the choice is whether I go for a 360 or a PS3. We chatted about the benefits of both and I must say that I agree with Dazza and believe that the main reason to buy SHOULD be based on the Games that are on offer and which console will meet the needs of the games that someone like me has. To that end I have been looking at the games on offer.
And I found BIOSHOCK I have yet to play a demo but this looks like one fun and full on games something that I could really enjoy. And the 360 has some other features and games that I really do like - but then again so does the PS3 and with the deals going around at the moment both of them seem like a good buy.
Not that I have any money to buy either - so this is all just some kind of fantasy and I am enjoying the thought of maybe one day getting my self all sorted to be able to purchase one of these systems.
Oh well!
Nuff said

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Back from the Dead

Well perhaps not dead as such - just been a little busy...
OK what have I been doing that has kept me away from here, well Work for one thing - I have been working on a major project and it kinda took up a lot of my time and energy - I did a 7 day week then worked my normal week straight after so I guess that was a 10 week really and that also was the week I started rehearsals for the next production I am in - OLD TIME MUSIC HALL. I am the Chairman and the Villain in the Melodrama - for those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Music Hall check out this or this they are really a lot of fun and I suppose for the US readers your Vaudeville is taken from Music Hall. Anyway so I am busy with that - I had to write my speeches and am still editing as we head into the final week... at least I can have the script with me on my podium.
The band also did a small gig for friends and such so we had to do a few rehearsals for that and the gig went well although one of our friends was so late we ended up meeting him at McDonald's after for Sundaes!
Then I think I just needed some down time and I wanted to get my toon up to level 70 on WoW - which I did just the other day!! WooT!!!! Now the server is down for 48 hours and boy I would have been pissed if that had happened before I got to 70!!!
So I have some time back again and am settling into a new routine - although I have already worked two extra shifts this week - Hey I get all day tomorrow off!!! WooT! I hope WoW is back then because I am really itching to play again! Now that I am 70 I need to get cash for my flying mount that everyone else seems to have! :(
OH well I hope that you are all well in Blog land and I do intend to keep up to date now and write a little more often - hey I have to reach 100 posts! hehehe A little competition never hurt.
OK then see you all later!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Games games games

OK folks here is my new 'puter gamin' list!

First up is a little number I downloaded today and YES even finished - the demo version - today as well (OK so you can only get to level 7 and that took all of an hour or so... but still!)

Puzzle Quest is the must have for all the old retro style gamers - Gem puzzle game mixed in with a bit of old style RPG action = Awesomeness in my book. Go here for the home page and here to download... have fun! Warning VERY addictive...

Second up is an upcoming release I know I am excited about and a few friends of mine are looking to buy a Wii JUST for this game...

To Quote from Gamedaily...

Gamers don't buy this game for Wii. They buy a Wii for this game.

What game is it I hear you ask... Resident Evil 4. Go here for more info!

Looks like the next few games head our way are going to be fun and so what scary...

Have fun!

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Old Tech

Oh boy... This article is a MUST read for all tech heads... Mind you, you'll probably know about these but it is fun to remember them - or at least remember a time when things like
  • The Lisa
  • the Psion
  • Commadore 64
  • Atari - before they where just a publisher
  • and many more

I loved the Nintendo Game and Watch - I had some driving game, but my friend had the TWO screened Donkey Kong and I used to play that as much as I could... of course he loved playing outside so we never really got to play it as much as I liked (he also had all the big Transformers - but I had Optimus Prime, so that was OK)

To think we are now in an age where our hand helds are joining up with our consoles and we can play against each other, or in co-op with hand helds... I love how technology makes all these things possible and there is still so much more to be achieved.

What ever will be THE next things... will iPhone really be the way ahead or will Nokia come out with something more spectacular...

Sunday, 15 July 2007

AVG Broke my WoW

I thought all hell had broken loose the other night... my worst fear, a Trojan on my PC.

"Oh noes" I cried to the Gods of PC protection, "Please, please make it go away" The error message from AVG told me that in my WoW files there was a Trojan pretending to be a WoW sound file - the hide of it all.

So off I went like a good boy and ran just about every anti-stuff program I had... I even did a Windows Update, just to be sure (not sure why but I was lost in the heady clouds of fear and terror brought about by the threat of VIRUS)

After all the anti-stuff programs had finished, purged my poor machine of the malicious nastiest I went to run WoW...


I clicked it again, up pops the loader, hit play...



So after much contemplation and thought (a day later) Frank suggested I run the repair.exe in the WoW directory (before I uninstall and re-install WoW) - Thank the Gods that one worked!! I can play WoW again... but what of the Trojan... did I kill it? Did it wreck my WoW loader? Was it to blame for all this?

It would seem not.

AVG did it! Yes that is right Grisoft's anti-virus software program killed my much loved WoW. A False Positive they call it... a False Positive... They thought that WoW was bad, evil and nasty... How can AVG sleep at night? How can it heartlessly murder my WoW and sit back and say... "ops False Positive... Gotta watch those ones... hehehe"

Of course WoW is so terrific that it rebuilt itself, pulled the broken limbs back together and reformed into bigger and better WoW... but it was the guardian, the safe guard of all things (at least on my C, D and E drives) that was the culprit, not some evil Trojan thought up in the mind of a drug abused 13 year old - who was told he couldn't play WoW because it was a school night (it could happen - right?).

Joystiq told me the news today... I will now have to sit in judgement on what I shall do to AVG in response to this most horriffic of crimes...

I weep for the millions that have had similar problems and for the few that probably did a full re-install... you will never get those gaming hours back... I trully weep for you.

Weekend Assignment #174: Humiliate Your Pet!

Weekend Assignment #174: Humiliate your pet! Show a picture or tell a story that features your pet doing something that's goofy or silly, even for dumb animal. If you don't currently have a pet, you can tell a pet story from a previous furry pal of yours, or pass along a pet humiliation story someone once shared with you.

Extra credit: Do you think your pet is actually humiliated?

Well really why should I bother when Anjel has already gotten our darling dog so humiliated with that darn life saving cap! ... well I guess I missed out on this weeks challenge...

Oh well there is always next week...

Well Someone has to... Right?

Well little Miss Connie is having a small break I suppose it falls down to me to mention this article I found on our local State Newspaper site...

The fear and the misunderstanding is abundant due to Mr Potter and his magical friends. I don't have the knowledge of Miss Connie but it would seem to me that this article is fueling more fear about the "evil" occult books series and the influence that it has on our children.

At least this article asks for the other side, getting an interview with a Pagan who rejects the idea that Children would be welcomed into a coven and taught all they needed to know. But in my opinion the article seems to push the idea that Harry Potter will influence more interest into the Occult and that that is a bad thing... Well I guess they are right in one sense, if more books are written like the ones reviewed at Spooked, then yes it is a bad thing. But if people are interested in looking at the history and the beliefs behind a religion like this then I support it. People need to have the ability to look at things like belief and theology in an objective manner and asked to argue against it, push the boundaries and see if they like it, believe it, understand it and even want to be what it represents.

If there is honest debate about these kinds of things we would all grow and learn something, the knee jerk reaction is not only going to push children's excursions into the Occult underground, but make it harder for them to find out the truth, and we all know what lies tells us.


Friday, 13 July 2007

Dr May....

Find. Me. Somebody with a PhD. Find. Me. Somebody with a PhD...

Brain has finally done it... After years (30 odd) and quite a few angst posts on his soap box Brian May has handed in his PhD paper... The icture here is him getting gowned and sitting next to him where Ade Edmundson and Jennifer Saunders... what a great crowd to be in... at least Ade didn't look like last time I saw him in Uni garb...

Rock on Brian and I wish you all the best... as a Doctor...

Calling Dr May, Dr May, we need you in the studio...

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Listing The Day Away

OK so I did get a few jobs done over my two days off... yes you heard that right TWO DAYS OFF in a row no less...

So the list thing worked - I did all the jobs yesterday and I put up one side of the fence - ran out of materials for the other side but my Dad dropped around and made some suggestions on that side as to how to do it properly. So next week I have another assignment... darn I should get a picture of the great fence... it is almost like the great wall only smaller and more insignificant!

I'll grab a shot in the daylight and post it real soon!

Just got back from taking the terror (aka our puppy- Cookie) for a walk - thought I would go to the park where I can let her off the leash and try to persuade her to not only chase the ball but bring it back to me. Alas it is soccer training night and I didn't want her to be off leash will all these kids and balls and stuff flying around. We did find a quite spot and do a bit of training and she is a good girl - just too much else going on around her. She is now crashed out in her computer room bed between Anjel's and my computer, such a sweetie...

Well must off be I have rehearsal for another play I am in at 6:30 and then I think we are meeting friends from the Big City for dinner - prop some kind of takeaway - and then work starts again tomorrow, oh the joy of it all! (bitching about work here not all the fun things)

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Listing away those jobs...

I got this one via John Scalzi at By The Way a great little article on

How to Actually Execute Your To-Do List: or, Why Writing It Down Doesn’t Actually Get It Done

I am sure that we have all been there and experienced this, you have a list of things to do and no motivation to get any of them done, then at the end of the day you are stressed and annoyed with yourself because you have done nothing and still have the list in front of you.

I find that without a list I forget what needs to be done - so I use the list as a guide to make sure that I at least remember what needs to be done... somethings don't need to be completed urgently other things might need to be done to a time frame - either way I have that satisfying moment when I can cross of items and move on... If there are more items crossed off then left on - I have had a good day.

Funny thing to note here is that I even put "fun" things on my list, for example today's list is:-

*Vacuum floors
* Mop floor
* Do 1 load of washing
* Empty Bins
* Clean out microwave
* Play WoW

And tomorrows list has the all important

* Do anything you missed from yesterday

hehehe Hope I can get through today with nothing passing over to tomorrow so I can have a day off household stuff and build that puppy fence I promised to do...

Have a good one

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Geometry

Monday Photo Shoot: Picture something that shows off something geometrical. Squares, cubes, vectors, right angles, tangents and so on; basically, any picture that shows geometrical forms and shapes in an interesting and obvious way.

This one a friend of mine took in New York

I thought he captured a great shot... I could find anything of my own so I'll use his and hope you all enjoy it


I found something of my own that is a little geometric... a cute sculpture from the studio my band records in... well it is kinda geometric... note to self get geometric pictures for future postings...

Dalim's Current Affairs

It has been a while since I did I how heap of news links so here they back with a vengeance

First cab off the ranks is our old friend the Judge who likes to sue over some missing (and returned) pants, here he tries to get the verdict over turned and the Immigrants lawyer has a few words to say about it.

The shop owners' defence lawyer, Chris Manning, said the lawsuit already had created enough distress for his clients, Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Chung. He is pleading with Pearson to drop the case and move on.
"He does not appear to be giving up anytime soon," Manning said.
"This is very unfortunate for the Chungs, the DC taxpayers and for Mr Pearson himself."
Meanwhile, Manning has filed a motion in DC Superior Court asking it to require Pearson to pay for the Chungs' tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer's fees.

When will people learn that something stuff happens and hey they are only pants after all, when the law is treated like an ass it is an ass... just like this judge... who should be disbarred and made to run naked through the streets... don't ask!

Number 2: Misdirected Judge, well this judgement left a sour in this mans life. When told by the Catholic Church that his son couldn't attend school because of his last name. What the hell is wrong with the world?

Three: These following people also had a question to authority's, "Is that bad smell a dead body... or worse?"

Four: If that smelled bad this one will leave a bad taste in your mouth. This one intrigues my marketing mind... offer something really cheap... have a time limit so you can only get that deal in a two hour period... have it via the Internet... then make sure your ISP cannot handle the flow... sit back and watch it all happen... oh and as for the bad press, well NOW more people know that you offer great deals, Oh the Internet breaking down ops sorry we'll look into fixing that for next time - and make sure you join our club so you too can have the opportunity to get these great offers... let fly!

Five: Some are flying fast and benefiting from cutting costs it seems, also, that the kings of Consoles are cutting there prices, is this in time for the Christmas period? E3? Or just to gain more market share. As they loose ground across the board to the tiny and capable Wii, Sony and Microsoft are heading to battle each other with bigger Hard Drives and more features. The console wars continue.

Six: Speaking of battling it out, it seems that the divide between the fortunate few on Broadband and those on dial-up are getting greater by the minute.

That is all we have time for tonight... I wish you all the best and if you have story that we should hear about contact us here at Dalim's Current Affairs and we'll look into it for you.


Saturday, 7 July 2007

Microsoft Woes

It seems that the Xbox 360 is not doing all it can for Microsoft, here it seems that repair bills for the "red ring of death" might push the 360 off the map by way of charges etc. Of course this article does not say that like most consoles the money made is not through the console itself but through the games they sell.360 seems to be selling a few games with quite a few good titles to choose from, of course it is not sell as much as the Wii or even the PS3 in Japan. Whilst I enjoyed playing the 360 the other day with Dazza I do still quite enjoy the Wii for its simple fun and ease to play... On that note I must be off to work...

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Criminal Resturants

This was one of the top stories in the local news bulletins tonight

The Chili's restaurant at Wollongong is being investigated by the NSW Government and the Workplace Ombudsman, Nick Wilson, after it was accused of asking staff to pay the bills of customers who left without paying.

Not only have ex-staff mentioned things like the above but they have said that they have been told to start there shift at say 5pm but not sign on until customers come - management making them stand/sit around for up to 45 mins, not being paid and not being able to leave.
Such things can not be allowed to happen - I know that I will not be going back to a place like Chilis.

Here in Australia we have recently had a major change in our industrial Relations Laws, which now make it possible for employers to have employees sign individual workplace agreements, curtailing the Unions and the agreements that they have traditionally made with workplaces. The Unions in Australia have been one of the best methods of protecting the rights and conditions of our workforce - if we loose them then we risk losing all our rights as employees and becoming nothing less then slaves to employers and big business.

If places like Chilis can pull the wool over the eyes of young employees and make them do things like not clock on (even though there roster says they start at X time) and pay for such things as 'walk-outs' (which is surely the managers responsibility) we will end up in a society that allows more and more corruption and a degrading of the rights of the workers.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Wii Wii Wii all the way home

I got a message from a friend of mine - the subject read "Darth Dalius" I opened it to find this link here.

Star Wars - Lightsaber - Wii.

All I need to say... I am so looking forward to that. I like to play the Wii because it is both fun to do, moving the remote and get involved with the game. As well as being a very social console - whereby I can get my friends and family to be part of the game easily and without much training or skill required.

I played the Xbox 360 the other day with Dazza, that was good fun - we played some demo games - Shadowrun looks to be a really good game, and Colin McRae DIRT was also pretty and a decent fun driving game. The real game we got into was Gears of War a real guts to glory war game. Just like a movie only you play in it. We had fun doing the first chapter on co-op. I still have a little trouble using the controllers - probably too much time in PC FPS, I still reach for the mouse! But by the end I had it all under control and really enjoy our afternoon off... Little too boys let loose with there parents away... except it was our partners that let us loose and we knew we still had things to do once we got home. Fun though I must say.

Also went to see Transformers with Dazza on Sunday night. OK I love the Cartoon back in the day (80's). I was also lucky enough to have gotten an Optimus Prime for a birthday and I love to transformer him and fight the baddies or drive his big rig around my bedroom. Happy days. Of course friends of mine had bigger and better transformer toys... but they really did make for some fun play time especially when I link it all up with my large collection of Lego and build cities for them to play in.

The movie was good - although I really hate the CG fight scenes where you cannot work out who is fight who and what is happening. I think they need to use real people to model the fights and make them more realistic and not so jumbled that you can't work out who is fighting who and what is happening (just my rant - I found it the same in Alien vs Predator). Aside from that I liked the storyline - I didn't like Optimus Primes new colours, and what happened to Bumblebee being a VW...? Money - GM sponsored the movie... I did like the Decepticon being a Ford against the GM Autobots... :) All in all a good enough movie 3/5 from me.

For those who want a trip down memory lane go here and enjoy.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Weekend Assignment #172: Travel Under Own Power

John has done it again... forced me to write about something... well forced is a harsh word to use... but he did I tells you... can you look into these caring eyes and Not do what he asks? can you? I think not!

Weekend Assignment #172: Talk about a time in which you moved or traveled a significant distance under your own power. That means walking, running, swimming, biking, hiking, and so on -- in some significant way your muscles were involved. As for the distances involved, think miles; we're talking some real effort. It doesn't have to be a marathon or a triathlon (although those would count), just a time when you got to the end of what you were doing feeling tired but possibly triumphant as well.

OK my story starts when I was first at University (long story but the cut it short I went twice and got one degree - somehow I feel cheated!) I had it in my young mind that I wanted to be an environmental scientist when I grew up. So I was doing a Applied Science degree majoring in Environmental Science. In my second year I was asked by a post grad student to help with some survey work in the East Gippsland of Victoria. Basically we where working in the major Logging distinct of Cairn River, surveying frogs, gathering numbers and checking which species where around and if any where endangered. It was fun work and we got along really well. Simon the post grad student was about 5 years older then me and helped me out with some troubles I had at the time, girl friend (turned fiance), life, money and all that crap. It was nice to be able to escape into the bush and do some really cool exploring type stuff, drive around in a 4-wheel drive and really Go Bush!! (not in the political sense so calm down Jeff!!)

A 4-wheel drive I hear you say... I thought this was about going under your own power?? Well yes it is, and that part of the story goes a little something like this.

For most of our trips out and about we used a Toyota Land Cruiser, a big long wheel base vehicle, roof racking, wench at front and back, a real machine with an extra tank attached for long hauls. We drove that thing everywhere - I remember a time when we came across this HUGE tree that had fallen across the track, its circumference was taller then the truck, so there was no way our little chain saw was going to cut through that baby. So, we made a path around the tree and even though truck was at a slight angle (so much of an angle I got out and walked) we made it around OK. We really trusted and like that truck, so when we went to the Universities Vehicle Centre to head out again, we were sad to learn that somewhere else had booked out our baby and we where left with a Toyota Hilux. The Hilux was an impressive truck, high wheel base and some Monster tyres, the tray had a hard top canopy on it and all looked really good, so off we went.

The Vehicle Centre always filled the trucks up for us before we left and we always did a quick fill up at the last service station before hitting the real bush. When I filled the tank I noticed that the fuel gauge hadn't moved, we had travelled 3 hours from Canberra so we both expected to see some drop in fuel. This worried us greatly, how could we tell how much fuel we has left if the gauge didn't work? A little concerned we drove to our main base camp, unpacked, set up and had a quite drink to discuss our plans for the week in the bush.

Getting our maps out we worked out we would be travelling nearly 600 kms in the week - would the tank last for that amount to distance, with some 4-wheel driving and up and down hills and still get us back to the service station? Re planning our priorities we worked out a system whereby we would drive to a point and walk the rest of the way, conduct our surveys and walk back to the truck or camp over night.

Now as part of our surveying we had to walk a long way as it was. We first would walk from the track down to the creek or stream, walk up the stream, measuring out every 50 metres for at least a kilometre, whilst also conducting a day light search for frogs, spawn, tadpoles and frog habitat. Then at the end of the survey section, we would set up a small afternoon camp, maybe have a swim in the water (down stream) and cook up some dinner and wait for dusk. Then we would walk back along the section with head lamp and hand torch, looking for those little amphibian critters. Catch, id, measure and release those we saw. Detect and count those we heard and avoid the swimming Red Belly Black Snakes (once i encountered one that was at least 5 feet long, we came to an agreement whereby I went right he went left - I think he ended up eating the frog I heading towards - such is life in the WILD. I have more stories to tell of the nasties we found over the summer, leeches, Copperheads and others).

So here we are, already walking quite a bit, with the extra mileage clocking up as we park many kms from where the creek/streams start, doing over night hikes down rough tracks. All in order to save fuel because we thought we where really close to running out. So after that week so hiking almost everywhere, putting off some streams and area because it took us so much longer to get to them. We finally decided to head back to the service station, fill up and go home. Tired and very weary looking we must have been a site for the operator behind the counter. That was the single best tasting cold beverage I have ever had - and it was only Coke (beers came after we got back to campus - before we showered even... hehehe nothing beats the sink of a week in the bush like the beer soaked carpet of a campus bar!). After we filled up I was responsible for filling in the trucks log book, I grabbed the receipt off Simon and entered all the details, kms travelled, litres of fuel and the cost... I noticed that we had travelled less kms in the bush then we had driving down from Canberra... man we must have walked a lot in this week. I made this comment to Simon who said that next week when we came down again we where going to take it easy and just do some call boxes (a recording device that samples frog calls over a period of a few weeks, a few seconds recording at a time, these are then listened to and records kept as the what frogs called and how often etc), much to my relief.

Simon had a chat to the vehicle maintenance guy, saying that the fuel gauge was not reading right. The guy laughed and said "long range tank"'. Both Simon and I where puzzled by this response and said in unison "What?".

"The Hilux has a long range tank, the gauge doesn't register until you use up all the fuel in the long range part... hey you guys didn't even get to half a tank.." to which he then had to stop ridiculing us 'cause he was laughing so hard.

Needless to say that beer went down well and the few after it... we never took the Hilux again.

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