Sunday, October 29, 2006


18 walks this month and a new personal record! I was tempted to slack off yesterday, and take my chances that I'd walk a couple of times before Wed, but braved the cold winds (wearing a jumper and jacket, after being in shorts and T-shirt 3 evenings previous).

The record's made sweeter by the fact that I only walked once in the first 6 days of the month, while searching for some motivation, so I've only missed 6 days since then, half of which have been my Thursday off.

Is that enough walking stats for everyone?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Now that's irony

On Media Watch during the week, which was covering the possible impact of new ABC guidelines on impartiality, I heard this hilarious quote from Alan Jones (well known radio imbecile):
"I can't give any credibility whatsoever to anything Media Watch say. They are an outfit with unbelievable agendas and have lost any sense of credibility in the wider world of the media."
I'd say pot... kettle... but there's really only one indefensible side to the statement. Self-delusion can be funny after all.


I've had a (admittedly cursory) listen to Robbie Williams' latest - "Rudebox" - and agree with kuka that Bongo Bong And Je Ne T'aime Plus is the best track on the album, the only one making it to my illustrious "Top Rated" playlist (for 4 and 5 star ratings). For the rest, the hard edge of some of the lyrics are weakened by the lack of any drive in the electronic backing. I expect even my pop to be more rock, I guess. And the repetitive swearing in the hidden track seems, to someone who enjoys blink-182's Happy Holidays, You Bastard and What Went Wrong, gratuitous without the redeeming humour I usually associate with RW.

So, basically, I continue to enjoy Robbie's attitude more than the majority of his music. I can't dismiss anyone who so clearly enjoys what he's doing :) And when he gets it right, it's classic pop, such as earlier releases like Me and My Monkey, Hot Fudge, Rock DJ and Let Love Be Your Energy.

I give it 6 Take That reunions out of 10 :)


More new music that I've been listening to, largely triggered by another podcast covering independent bands with female lead vocalists:

Krill - a 5 piece from Sydney, with a token guy guitarist. Just an awesome rock/electronic sound.

Jaed - young Melbourne punk band.

Beangrowers - from Malta, with a lot of Chrissie Amphlett in the vocals.

You can check any of their stuff out either as streamed tracks on the various linked sites, or previews in iTunes.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What a view!

This afternoon the first noticeable step in the demolishing of Cameron Offices occurred, as evidenced by this series of photos, as taken from my window. I spent my first 6 working years in that building (well, actually a few wings along). I can't say I'll miss it, but it had at least been blocking some of that dreaded sunlight which will now come flooding in... aaargh! It burns!!!

Going... going...


Monday, October 16, 2006

The Trundler

This is now officially my best start to a walking month - 9 walks total, helped by walking 8 of the last 10 days. (My ADAC is even up to 2.00!)

Helping to keep me company as I attempt to break my March record of 17 are some new music-related podcasts:

The Sounds In My Head - generally softer stuff, with just some back announce and a little bit of backround on the songs/artists. No artsy/fartsy analysis of themes, just the facts. One I just listened to had a couple of tracks from the movie Happy Endings sung by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who has an amazing voice (in addition to her obvious acting chops).

The Bang Music Hour - lots of excellent, driving rock music with minimal talk.

Eclectic Mix - focuses on a single artist each week, none of whom I've heard of, let alone heard, before.

Add to this the hilarious Hi My Name Is Mark, put out by Mark Hoppus from blink-182, which helped get me through my nasty illness of last month with its mix of great new punk tracks and lowbrow comedy. If I can just get the latest damn episode to download...

Hey presto!

In a masterstroke of misdirection, I ended up with a totally different double play. The second movie? Dodgeball. The link? Ten Bertie points for the correct answer! (1,000 Bertie points redeemable for a free can of Coke).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Micro-wave goodbye

Not the best start to the day, as the act of pressing Start on my microwave (to cook my morning porridge) was met with a resounding phttt and the death of my nuke-machine. So I got to spend my morning traipsing into Fyshwick to buy a replacement (which was at least a good chance to hang with my Dad). After that, though, all has been good.

I've spent time listening to some new music podcasts, as well as re-watching The New Guy for the umpteenth time, and finding it just as laughtastic as ever. I'm tossing up whether I'm going to make tonight:
  • a Zooey Deschanel double with either Elf or HHGTTG,

  • an Eliza Dushku double with Soul Survivors,

  • a DJ Qualls double with Road Trip, or

  • an Eddie Griffin double with Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.
What a cruel dilemma! Or is it a quadlemma? I bet you can't wait to find out how this one turns out!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Virtual tour

I realised the other day that some of the people who read this blog have never actually visited my house, despite being regaled with envy-inducing stories of it being paid off, 5 bedrooms squandered on a lonely single guy. So here's a brief tour (and not one of those tarted up misleading ones which Liv pointed out).

First, a rough plan, as drawn by my sister, which gives an overview of how it all fits together.

The lounge room in which I spend time reclining in front of my DVD collection.

The kitchen and adjoining bar, which for years saw no culinary adventure greater than heating up of tuna and rice.

My "sun room", which is starting to turn into a furnace already, and the computer room which opens out from it, meaning that I'll be driven to the relative cool of the front of my house momentarily.

So now when you envision me (and I know you always envision me) composing another enthralling blog post, making a bowl of cereal or just relaxing in front of my latest DVD acquisition, your mental picture will be sullied by the grim reality which is my house enlivened by the radiant wonder which is my house :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well, the Apocalypse is on its way now, as SBS goes the way of the unwatchable commercial stations, filling Mythbusters with in-show advertising. I can understand why, since a 'tween-show ad block doesn't actually reach viewers - hello, toilet break! - and it's hardly insufferable in practice, thanks to my hard-drive recorder. However, I feel morally obliged to complain about ads, if only in principle.

Praise the ABC, last bastion of free uninterrupted viewing!

[TV] Time Team

I've been watching Time Team (Tuesdays at 6pm on ABC) for the past few months, and it's one of the few shows on my must watch schedule. Why?

Well, for one thing, I feel like I'm actually learning something just by tuning in each week. I chip in with words like tesserae, as evidence of Roman occupation, before it's spelled out for me, and am even starting to get a feel for the timing of Bronze Age -> Iron Age -> Roman Occupation. I was never into human history much when I was younger, although I did love prehistory, but have found in recent years that I've been missing out on some really interesting stories because of dismissing it as a topic to dwell on, in preference to the "hard" sciences. All that said, though, I think the main reason is that I love seeing the enthusiasm of everyone involved in the show. They clearly love what they do, and a number have been involved for a decade (which I only just discovered when finding the link above). It's the same reason I enjoy DVD outtakes/bloopers and commentaries. They make it obvious that these people are doing exactly what they want with their lives.

Now that could easily be depressing, with my persistent, recurring uncertainty and aimlessness, but I actually find it energising, knowing that it's possible to find that Holy Grail of happiness. It's a little part of my attempt to find joy in the things I do right now, even if I'm not sure they're part of my ideal future. And it lets me know that I shouldn't settle for so-so, but can (and should) continue to push myself, without making myself miserable with dissatisfaction along the way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Graphic content

I had hoped to avoid the need for scanning these, since there are 128 pics on 8 unwieldy, large sheets but, since B requested them so insultingly, I figured I'd go to the trouble of showing some of my $'s at work.

What are they actually showing? I'll leave it up to the biologist to explain... Sadly I couldn't find the gallstone, but hopefully these are interesting/gruesome enough to satisfy those foolish enough to ponder about my insides.

Watch out, Radioactive Man!

14 hours with nothing but a muesli bar, half a litre of what I assume was barium sulfate solution and an injection of another contrast material, along with stacks of X-rays and a $900 bill. That sums up my morning, so what do I have to tell? Basically, all appears to be well with my insides and back except for a "4mm diameter gallstone in the gallbladder neck". Sounds like fun, huh? I'll hopefully visit my doctor soon to see how I need to treat it, and it'll be back to "normal" for me.

Before you go rushing our for your own CT scan, after I've sold it so compellingly, keep this little factoid in mind:
The effective radiation dose from this procedure is about 10 mSv, which is about the same as the average person receives from background radiation in three years.
I'm not sure that's as reassuring as the website I read it on intended, but just one of the downsides to being in a machine which speaks with calming Enterprise-style tones to "Breathe in. Hold. Now breathe normally."

I must admit the disruption to my eating routine hasn't left me feeling too great, but I still went for an evening walk around 4.30 and, although it was more of a struggle than usual, I felt better for a little while afterwards. Plus the sense of accomplishment helps me feel less like an invalid, when I see that gallstones are much more common in obese people over 60 :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ignorant beatniks

Is it cross promotion if I link to another of my own blogs?

Ever wondered what I'd look like as a muppet? (a bit too much like Bert methinks). How 'bout a quick sketch of the fancy case for my Battlestar Galactica DVDs? Or even a random comic face?

Nothing very exciting, but another small step along the path to more consistently drawing.

Where does the time go?

By popular demand, a continuation of my series of pointless charts...

First, a new look at my walking progress, showing my September lameness (2nd last column). As well as having the first 11 days written off entirely by bedridden-ness, I was simply bored with the whole walking thing. I'll do much better this month, as the weather (and hopefully my health) improve, giving me renewed enthusiasm.

Next come a couple of pictures illustrating my new "Action-O-Meter" (TM) scale of judging whether I'm doing anything.

I'll leave it to the reader to work out what it all means, and how I can have a negative action count (as lazy as I am that seems a bit extreme!). Since I know you're interested, my average daily action count (ADAC) for August was 1.82, dropping to a sad and sorry 1.21 in September. Stay tuned for more ADAC updates! King of the nerds!!! (And before you ask, drawing graphs doesn't add to my ADAC, so my actionosity is dropping as I write this...).

Time to grow a ponytail...

Triggered by the master quizzer herself...

Which Star Wars Character (Episodes 1-6) Are You?

You are Obi-Wan Kenobi! You are almost as good as Yoda, but not quite! You are extremely brilliant and an accomplished fighter, plus you look good while kicking ass! When you get older you will be very distinguished looking!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mendelevium snaps

Typically for me, I woke up at 6am this morning with no pain and feeling pretty good... no, wait a minute, that's not typical at all... Of course that now means total uncertainty over my need for a CT scan next week, as I'm a bit dubious about miraculous recoveries (although currently grateful).

Anyway, I wasn't going to let that unaccustomed health go to waste, so went for my first proper hour-long walk in weeks, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did realise that listening to comedy podcasts while wandering supermarket aisles is a good way of having people look at me strangely, as I attempted to stifle laughter.

Upon my triumphant return home, I watched Star Wars: A New Hope, the original theatrical version with 2.0 sound and grainy film stock now on DVD, and realised that it remains an awesome movie, having aged much better than me. Unlike the legions of fanboys who turned their homemade lightsabers in George Lucas' direction when he tinkered with the originals, I didn't have a real problem with the new versions, other than the fact that the old ones weren't available. Now that's solved, and everyone who managed to wait 10 years before owning the original trilogy can rest easy.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Arrested Development quiz

Just to show that kuka's not the only one who can fill in quizzes... I have no idea what the numbers mean, since I got 30/30 right, but what the hell, not everyone can be a statistician (not even me!).

You scored 96 Bluthism!

Incredible!! You even spotted my trick question pitfalls! You are without a doubt the biggest Arrested Development master who has ever walked the earth!

My test tracked 1 variable - How you compared to other people your age and gender: You scored higher than 99% on Bluthism

Link: The Arrested Development Test written by HibachiTheHutt

Whoops shebang

Actually, my last fortnight wasn't totally uneventful. I had a visit from Liv on Monday, which was muy excellente; the aforementioned work goodness, where I'm finally starting to feel like I can make a positive difference, after being unmotivated for a couple of years; and the biggest news is that I'll be travelling to Melbourne for a week at the end of November.

"Big deal!" you say disparagingly, comparative jetsetter that you no doubt are, but this is total-way-hella-cool news for me, having travelled away from Canberra only once in the past 30 months (Road Trip 2005). My flights and accommodation are all booked, I have a few friends to hang out with while I'm there, and the rest will be making things up as I go. (Although if you have advice on must-sees/dos for Melbourne in late Spring, feel free to suggest). Only 47 days to wait!

Nothing happening blues

Two weeks with nothing I felt like writing about, so I'm resorting to my ever-present fallback of new health problems...

Basically I've been having some serious back and stomach pain for the past few weeks, and eventually decided it wasn't one of the many things I know to be wrong with me, so I ventured to the doctor. Turns out I was right to check, since the treatment I've been trying the past few days to rule out just a back problem has been ineffective, meaning on Monday I have to book a lumbar/abdominal CT scan, to rule out (or confirm) a problem with my pancreas.

As briefly entertaining as it was to quote The Simpsons with an "Ow! My pancreas!" line, I was seriously hoping that it was just a minor back thing which required some rest and stretching... but that would have been far too simple for my stupid body.

Luckily, work has been excellent and energising in recent weeks, and so I haven't been tempted to stay in bed feeling sorry for myself. I said a number of times while ill with persistent nausea that I would much prefer old, faithful pain, as I could cope with that. I got what I wished for...

So, in summary, mostly happy with a dose of frustration thrown in.