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Friday, 29 June 2007

End of the month

We're just about at the end of June. The weather has been miserable here this week. Cloudy, cold, windy and wet, but it steadfastly refuses to snow. I could live with the rest if it would just snow every now and then, but some sleet/sago snow has been the best on offer.

I posted off an entry to the 2007 National short story competition today. A thousand word limit, first prize $3000. I don't expect to win it, but one has to enter these things to have any chance. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

The horror, the horror, otherwise known as FF2

We went to watch FF2: RofSS last night. We were running a little bit late but only missed the first couple of minutes so we settled down into the virtually empty theatre to enjoy ourselves.

Some indeterminate amount of time later we left. I walked out into the bitterly cold wind hoping against hope that the icy gale would shred the memory of the steaming pile of drek I just witnesses. To no avail, so here's a very brief review of FF2.

Shite. Don't bother.

If there was any ridiculous cliche left in the Hollywood playbook after the making of this film I would be highly surprised. The acting was generally flat, Julian McMahon sounded nothing like he did in the first film (he sounded like he'd inhaled helium for 90% of his scenes) and the special effects were ok. Those are the good bits.

The ending is by far the worst part of the entire film. Be aware, spoilers exist from this point forward.

Apparently it's been known for a while that Galactus appears in the movie as some giant space cloud. Ok, the comic original would be hard to reproduce, but geeze, what they came up with was just plain boring.

Here be big spoiler: Silver Surfer apparently destroys Galactus. In 10 seconds. Why the hell, if he was that powerful, not do it ages ago and save all the other worlds? Oh, of course "he had no choice". Perhaps staring into Jessica Alba's anime-like eyes made him realise he could, after all, choose to do as he wished. Maybe it was after she took a spear in the chest and died "to protect him" he decided he could use his powers to bring her back from the dead and go and blow up Galactus as an encore.

Other points: as one reviewer said "what is a bunch of US special forces doing torturing a bound figure in the middle of a Siberian gulag?". Oh, and the line "I'm not supposed to do some things to you because they would be human rights violations. But you're not human, are you?" Spare me, please.

The entire things was juvenile. Doom, Surfer, Galactus, all were miserably wasted. The FF were no more developed than before. Any interplay was mediocre at best. The "relationship" between Johnny and the soldier girl was hideously telegraphed. They came up with a badly contrived mechanism to get Alba "naked" and Michael Chiklis (sp?) out of the costume. The four-into-one power borrowing idea was kinda neat, but that's about it.

To summarise - avoid. I only hope that P3 is better than this. From Steph's comments I'm not getting my hopes up too much.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

You know it's goign to be a long day when

It's going to be a bad one when you barely get the key in the office door before you've got two people telling you that systems are down. Then you get inside, put your bag down only to have different people tell you that the systems are down and the coffee machine is not working. So I go over and reset the coffee machine, which for some strange reason was delivering too much coffee.

I get back into the office to take my bike boots off and put my normal shoes on in preparation to head to the server room when the next two people come up to tell me our main server is down. So I finally get into the server room, shut the door and put on the earmuffs (we've got a couple of VERY noisy rack mounted servers in a rather small room) and find I've got to hit the kill switch on our main server. For whatever reason it kernel panicked last night and froze. So a quick power cycle and it boots up nicely.

Hmm, I wonder what will be next? I've already got a highly defective printer/photocopier that refuses to print off the network and another machine that has had gremlins for weeks now. I can hardly wait.

Oh, and the forecast for today is windy with the possibility of snow.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

It's enough to make you eat the walls

We've had a computer that has had a problem with locking up for some time now. It's been at the shop twice now without a solution. The last time they said they had ran all manner of hardware tests and found nothing, so "it must be incompatable with linux. Install windows on a partition and see how it goes".

Graah. Especially considering we have an identical machine that has been running linux flawlessly for the last two years.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

You've got to be kidding

So I'm kicking back last night, watching a bit of cricket of Fox 2. A wicket falls, so I decided to channel surf a bit. I end up flicking to a show called Dr 90210. Yup, it's a docu-reality show about plastic surgeons in Beverley Hills. They've got the usual lift/tuck/inflate stuff, one immigrant guy with the worst cleft lip and palate you've ever seen. I'm about to keep going when a woman comes on and says she's going to have a "g-shot". What? No, couldn't be. A few seconds of morbid fascination later and yep, it's what it sounds like. An injection to "enlarge the g-spot".

It lasts for 4 months.

It costs $US1800.

Bloody hell. I knew people in Beverley Hills had more money than sense, but this proves it.

Back to cricket. I can understand that.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

5pm vs 12pm

What a difference 5 (or 19, depending on how you count it) hours can make. 5pm Monday evening I head down to the gym and it's packed. The squat rack, power cage, smith machine and 45 degree leg press were all in use (and a woman was using the squat rack for squats - a truly rare occurrence), three out of the four bench press benches and all of the free standing seats and benches were occupied. The upstairs cardio gear was all going full pelt and the various pin weighted exercise machines were well used.

12pm today rocks around and I wander in. One person was upstairs on the cardio gear. One other person was doing some ab exercises and left about 5 minutes after I arrived. Which left me with all of the free weights, machines, benches and racks all to myself for the rest of my workout.

No wonder I use lunch time to hit the gym.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Saturday night was green and white

Ohh, a touch of poetry. Very classy.

Saturday night was our soccer club's Green and White Night at the St Kilda Hotel. It was a good social night for the club with the back room decked out in the club colours. You were supposed to wear the colours as well, and virtually all the players had the club shirts on. Plenty of "other half's" there as well. Big feed, $1 beer and wine (and soft drinks for drivers/under agers) so there was plenty of revellry going around. Of course, the first person to break a glass was one of the very few non-drinkers there (not me, I did partake of the fermented beverages, though no where near as much as some).

When I left things were still going strong and looked like they were going to do so for quite a few hours more. Good times.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Done and done

I had my LS240 (equity and trusts) exam today. 2 hours, 3 questions to answer out of 4. All in all it wasn't too bad, but I could have done a fair bit better with more study. That's pretty much the student mantra.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Hmmm, yummy

It's quite peculiar how the human mind works. I was just sitting at my desk, having mixed up a batch of the new protein powder. Now, I know this stuff is good, having now had it a couple of times. Yet sitting here, looking at it stirs up faintly nauseous feelings, as if I'm about to attempt to scoff down a batch of the old, feral, bitter combos that I used to have. My subconscious refuses to believe that such a concoction could ever be truly drinkable and tries to warn me off it entirely.

So I beat it into submission with a large mental baseball ball and drank deep.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

It's (almost) a miracle!

A number of years ago I decided it was time to try to bulk up a bit, so I figured that a protein supplement would be a good way to go. I tried any number of different powders, and they all had one thing in common - they were bloody awful. Bitter, some of them undrinkably so.

So I gave up on them for a fair while. A little while back I started to try the premixed, UHT milk varieties. Generally they were a bit the same, not as bitter but still not as great.

Then I tried one that was brilliant. Drinkable, very tasty, no horrible after taste. Great! Except that at around $3.20 as they are now each, they add up. Fortunately the same brand and formula is purchasable as a powder. So today I give that a go, with a certain amount of trepidation. A $3 drink that is bloody awful is a waste, but not of the same magnitude of a $40 tub of powder.

So: scoop, scoop, add milk, shakeshakeshakeshakeshake...[no FOOM, sorry Cav] .

Open lid.

Sip carefully....

BLISS! Finally a powder that is drinkable. It was, as the title suggests, a near miracle.

Now, if the company that manufactures this supplement sees this blog entry and offers me squillions of dollars, then I'll give you the name of the mystery super-powder. Are you listening, Mr Multi-National Corporation?

Monday, 4 June 2007

Drunken Darts

Look, I've no objection to people who want to get off their face. That's their choice. I've no objection to people who want to just get together and throw a couple of darts in the general direction of a dart board, rather than being super-competitive about it. That's fine by me. But if you're going to turn up to the game essentially off your face already, then continue drinking and attempt to play darts; if you're someone else who goes up and misses the entire board 4 shots out of 5 then requires R&C to start aiming straight; if you're going to be the team captain and obviously not give a toss about organising you team or hanging around for the entire night; then odds are I'm not going to enjoy the evening terribly much and will be quite happy to not have to hang around and play my singles games as we have more than enough players. There's no way that I'll throw my doubles games, I'll try my damnednest to win despite a severe lack of practice. Just don't expect me to appreciate any other part of the evening.

Though the chips & gravy were not too bad - thanks Tim.

Saturday, 2 June 2007


Rise and shine, good and early. Quick coffee, bike gear sorted, out the door at 7:30am. Down to the bike shop, keen as. We get there and it is strangely quiet and deserted. We hang around, getting increasingly worried, until 8:25am (ride day was supposed to start at 8) when the G-M arrived. we ask, "hey, what's going on?" to be told that IT'S NOT ON!

Apparently Kawasaki central has been dicking them around with the ride bikes and they've known for a few weeks that it wouldn't happen this weekend. Now, I had been surprised that there had been no lead-up advertising in the papers and radio, but since I rarely listen to local radio and i only get the freebie papers I wasn't too worried. I'd even been in as recently as last Wednesday and spoke to one of the girls there, who gave zero indication that there was no ride day today.

I was pretty pissed, and bummed, I can tell you. Even more so for my mate who had come up from Inverell specificially for the ride day that I had assured him was on this weekend. He got to have a ride on a Vulcan 900 they had there anyway, so it wasn't a complete loss. Unfortunately the odds are that when the ride day does come along I will still have a soccer game that afternoon. If I'm even more unlucky it'll be an away game. If it is then I'll simply have to tell them that I can make the trip. I am not missing the ride day when it does (eventually) arrive.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Two down...

The oven was fixed this morning after it blew it's fan-forced element a few weeks ago. The dishwasher will be fixed soon, once parts are ordered in, after a mouse had its way with the power cord and water pipes. So that's two major household items that have broken down very recently. Fundamental Law Theory states that "bad things come in threes", so I'm waiting to see what will be next on the list. Fridge? It's pretty old. Washing machine? Around 7 years old, lots of work done.

If we are really, really lucky the third one already happened when the computer failed. As it was not an essential item I'm not too sure if it counts. Stay tuned.