Saturday, October 30, 2004

Solar/Water-powered car

Great! More kids doing stuff to make me feel I've wasted my life...

Alternative fuel car

(I've killed off my LiveJournal blog, since I think one is enough for me, but wanted to keep the entry above).

Sunday, October 24, 2004


After starting back into weights yesterday, after a 3 or 4 month break, I remember why I wasn't keen to go back. The "best" part is I know it's going to hurt more tomorrow, just in time for basketball. Hooray!

Wash damn you!

Turns out it was just a loose pipe underneath the machine. Works fine now. Quite the anti-climax!!! (Although those exclamation marks really liven up the ending... will have to remember that...)

Too much time

Looks like polarbear had too much time on his hands yesterday? Work harder scum!!!

Seriously, though, good to see comments(1) on my page... Means someone's pretending to care!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Washing machine blues

I love owning my own home, don't get me wrong, but there are times when I just want to absolve myself of all responsibility for maintaining my house. One such time was this morning, when I was cheerfully browsing RSS feeds, only to be interrupted by one of my housemates saying "The laundry is flooded". Grrrrr. Ok, it wasn't quite flooded, but something was obviously wrong. Hopefully when I tip the washing machine up to see what's broken underneath (because it couldn't be something simple, like a loose pipe on the back, oh no...) it'll be something obvious. I bet everyone will be waiting eagerly to find out what happens next in - The Mystery of the Leaking Machine... stay tuned!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Food report

Hmmm, I noticed I haven't written anything about what I've eaten for months. Yeah, sure, it's been lots of tuna and rice still, but I've branched back to chicken/vegetable stir fry this week, and enjoyed it (although I still crave tuna when I don't have it for more than a day... something very wrong with that... I don't think my palate will ever recover from this diet).


After a terrible week health-wise, I've made it to the weekend, and am actually feeling not too bad right now. I'm hoping to do 3 or 4 hours solid work tomorrow, to make up for the short days I've been confined to recently.

The brightest spots of the past couple of days?
- visiting Kam, getting a little whingeing out of my system, and getting a new Hellboy comic for my troubles (OK, he took my money and ignored my complaints, but it's the appearance of the thought that counts...)
- Liv's adventures in Europe (vicarious travelling is definitely my best option right now)
- my work team. Not suckered in by my self-pitying mood of yesterday, and able to provide me plenty of opportunities to help with tasks as my brain came back on line today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Valiant Loaded loss

Oh, for another set of young legs...

Despite an awesome first half effort, being down by only 4, we came up short in game 2 of the new season, mostly due to only having 5 players. Spud and Shak both had great games again, running the whole time, despite ankle and shoulder injuries respectively. Sergeant Swish was dominating on the defensive boards as well as managing a spectacular tip-in and a "white chocolate" move in the second half. Batto didn't quite live up to his Rain Man reputation, going 0-11 from downtown. And Bertie simply died with 13 minutes to go. Or did he? Yes, he did.

So really I'm just happy to be walking today, admittedly with my knees, ankles and feet all painful. I'm waaaaay too old to be attempting 40 minutes, and I'll be overjoyed to spend some time on the bench next week, when we should hopefully have the In Blue dogs back.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Asking questions, searching for surprise

Another one of my pet dwelling topics, seeking a return to child-like wonder. This article ties aspects of that in with writing. A couple of paragraphs to give you the flavour:

"How do you find surprises? Well, therein lies half the work of essay writing. (The other half is expressing yourself well.) The trick is to use yourself as a proxy for the reader. You should only write about things you've thought about a lot. And anything you come across that surprises you, who've thought about the topic a lot, will probably surprise most readers."

"When it comes to surprises, the rich get richer. But (as with wealth) there may be habits of mind that will help the process along. It's good to have a habit of asking questions, especially questions beginning with Why. But not in the random way that three year olds ask why. There are an infinite number of questions. How do you find the fruitful ones?"

Money don't buy happiness

An article which ties in with my point about the Howard government's view on $$$ above all else as a measure of success:

Wealth does not create individual happiness, build a strong country


I've been thinking a lot about my leadership style, team management, and personal motivation recently. While the drain of being sick so much the past year or so has certainly played a part in my occasionally flagging enthusiasm at work (and elsewhere), I've felt there's more to it. Struggling to become part of a team again, when I don't even know day to day whether I'll be able to get out of bed, has been exhausting. And much of my work, at first glance, requires me to do things myself. Which isn't what makes me happy anymore (maybe it never really did).

Here are a few thoughts I jotted down around midnight when I couldn't sleep.

  • I've realised I crave group situations, working with teams, chatting with friends, interacting.
  • When I'm undertaking a solo task, I spend a lot of time thinking "How can this be transformed into something collaborative?"
  • It's not enough to be doing things for people, it has to be with people too.

My extended illness(es) have served to isolate me from group situations, as well as shifted me to a me-first thinking necessary to try to get better.

  • It's hard for me to go out for food/drink with any confidence of avoiding a relapse.
  • It's hard to make plans, when I'm quite frequently struck with illness unexpectedly.
  • Its hard to avoid talking about my health problems 'cause of how largely they've loomed over me for 15 months.

Hard, but not impossible, and it's this (fairly) recent realisation that I actually don't like being alone that helps me drag myself through some really bad days (sometimes ending in the "disaster" of a rapid retreat from work to bed).

So, what do I need to do? Get involved with more groups: volunteer, discussions, study, whatever. As long as it's collaboration.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Heroic Loaded win

Shenanigans Loaded began our 3rd season on Monday night, having moved up from A3 to A2. Tired and sore from our basketball of the Moruya weekend, we only fielded 6 players. And came away with the win! Batto "the Rain Man" knocked down a trademark 3-pointer to stretch the lead at a key time, I grabbed plenty of rebounds, and the fit young guys did all the rest of the work (i.e. running, jumping, scoring) to produce a convincing win. Hooray!

Moruya, baby!

OK, on a less serious note (if I think too much about John Howard and his cronies, I'll continue to be a big ball of rage), here's a little taste of the Moruya weekend (which I've only just recovered from, and I behaved myself).

Day 1
Shenanigans arrived at our three awesome cabins, overlooking the river, on Friday afternoon and settled in to relax, drink, and talk crap. Eventually someone complained they were hungry and we headed across the 1km bridge to town and ordered pizza (plus cashew chicken for picky me). G and Spud proceeded to eat far more than should be humanly possible, before we all went for a drink or three at the Air Raid. One offering to the dolphin later and we headed for home, nominally to be ready for tomorrow's 9am game.
Day 2
Everyone (except me) struggled up and off the stadium (I conveniently stayed in bed) to lose by a single point. A Batto power nap, and some rice cakes for me, later and we were off to play our two afternoon games. Two more losses by 5 points and 1 point respectively, and the basketball was out of the way. Time to get drinking (OK, to continue drinking).
Day 3
Finals time. A 10.30 game gave us time to ease into the day and pack up, the trip over all too soon. We lost again, by 2 points in overtime, to complete a perfect weekend. A lunch of fish and chips and a detour to Batemans Bay, and we were headed home. A few stragglers wound down the rest of the day at Shenanigans Central, not wanting the weekend to end. But end it did, and our livers, stomachs and brains were all very grateful...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The dictator is back

By reinstating the Howard dictatorship, the voting majority of Australia have once again displayed they are insular, selfish and short sighted. Here are a few reasons why:

  • International opinion of our country is at an all time low. Human rights abuses of refugees, failure to sign the Kyoto Protocol and continued insults of our Asian neighbours illustrating the solely US-centric view of the world the Liberals hold.

  • Those least able to support themselves will continue to struggle. An ever widening class divide, which is the antithesis of everything I love about Australia, due to economic decisions made with no social conscience. Education opportunities only available to the rich. Victimisation of legitimate welfare recipients, due to poorly outsourced welfare functions.

  • Anything not tied down will be sold off to build a better "bottom line", e.g. Telstra, our forests, our economic sovereignty.

What good is a surplus when Australian kids see education options drying up, the health system is barely functional, and thousands are homeless. I've always been proud to be an Australian in the past, but the destruction to the essential goodness of my country, reaped by a heartless, unaccountable government over the past decade (and now set to continue, due to what I can only consider hopeless ignorance) has me ashamed of my nationality.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Scooby Doo 2

In my review of Doo 2 for the (eventually to be released) next issue of the Shenanigans Files, I was uncharacteristically harsh. But I've had a change of heart. I wrote the earlier review before actually watching the DVD, based entirely on my negative cinema experience. Much like The Matrix Revolutions, I found Doo 2 was better on the small screen (strange for special effects movies). Maybe sitting in a cinema on my own isn't conducive to enjoying comedy?

I've decided that the key reason why I enjoy almost every movie I see (or book I read, or play I go to) is that I know how much effort everyone involved has put into it, and it'd be wrong of me to pooh-pooh it simply because it's not perfect. If I had to live with expectations of perfection in my job, I probably wouldn't be sitting quite so pretty, so I'm willing to give points for effort. And making a living in a creative field only makes it more personal when there is (inevitable) criticism.

Watching the brief special features on the Doo 2 DVD (along with the dancing Scooby Doo I now have on my PC) gave me an appreciation for the care and attention that went into making the film, and a little of that enthusiasm has carried across into my impression of the movie. And, to be honest, it's certainly no worse than the original cartoon, the best bit of which was always Scooby himself, much like the movie.

So anyone who thought I might have grown a critical spine... 'fraid not.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I, Robot (the movie)

OK, anyone that knows me also knows I'm not-at-all-critical... of anything... except certain political stances. So you can take this "review" with the associated grain of salt.

I've never seen a Will Smith movie I didn't like (even Wild Wild West entertained me), and this is certainly a Will Smith movie, not an Isaac Asimov one. If you've read the short stories you'll recognise a character or two, e.g. Dr. Susan Calvin, but there're a lot more explosions than philosophical discussions about why a robot seems to be breaking one of the Three Laws of Robotics. Having said that, it's not all shallow, and the whizz-bang factor is high (and I just love watching action movies on my new TV... Have I mentioned that?... Several annoying times, you say?...)

I give it 4 winks out of 5


I remember playing this when I was a kid on my neighbour's Microbee, or maybe it was on my first XT computer (with 512K of RAM and a 5.25" floppy drive!). I was bad at it then, I'm still bad at it now (lack of patience and concentration being large barriers). But if you think you have what it takes to survive past the bulldozer, try out the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Game.

Testing my new blogging tool

This will hopefully allow me to compose new posts, and edit existing ones, without needing to log in to Blogger. Not that that's such an imposition, but when were new toys not good?

Try out w.bloggar for yourself (it's free!). I'm sure Web interfaces are lovely, but this seems much easier for me.

Working comments!

OK, apparently I'm too "smart" for the ' how to add comments to your blog' instructions :) But, after looking in minute detail at Liv's, I finally have a working version that removes all (non-laziness-related) barriers to me blogging(-a-rama).