Thursday, September 29, 2005


Just got back from seeing "Serenity", a movie I've been looking forward to since, well, the day I heard they were making it. It's been over a year.

Not many people read my blog that aren't friends of mine, and most of them are well aware of what "Firefly" is, so I won't go into my full Browncoat spiel here. (There's one in the comments to my "What Firefly Are You" blog entry if you're curious... or ask me and I'll tell you!)

Likewise, I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't seen it. I just wanted to say "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

That was friggin awesome! I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I cheered!

And, gorramit, I'm gonna see it again.

In the meantime, here's an explosion of banners and avatars I made last year while I was waiting! ;)

The Times, They Are Changing

Two weeks ago I had to put a new battery in my watch, which I've had for maybe ten years. All seemed well until last Friday, when it stopped again. Given that the watch was fresh, this didn't bode well for my trusty old Pulsar.

After some consideration, I decided that I might as well get a new watch. I shopped around and settled on something similar to the watch pictured to the left - it has a slightly different band and face, but this was the closest I could find in a quick ten minute Google.

I like the new watch, and every time I see it I get that "ooh, a shiny new watch on my wrist" reaction, but... I'm feeling a bit weird about the old watch. Think about it - a wristwatch is something that you wear almost everywhere with you. It's there for work and for play, it even goes on holidays with you (my watch wasn't that well travelled but imagine how much sightseeing the watches of people who make regular overseas visits would get in).

I know it may seem a bit weird, but I am a bit wistful about my old watch. I haven't thrown it away yet. I wonder how long before I will?

Monday, September 26, 2005

What Firefly Character Are You?

What Firefly Character Are You?

M. got Mal.

Unfortunately I can't do it on this computer for reasons of firewall-y goodness; I'll do it at home and let you know what I get. :)

Edit - Here's my response:

You scored as Zoe Alleyne Washburne. The Soldier. You are the second in command, and that is fine. You like a chain of command, but only when the one in charge has earnt your respect. Those who earn your love or loyalty will find no one better to guard their back.

Zoe Alleyne Washburne


The Operative


Capt. Mal Reynolds


Simon Tam


River Tam


Inara Serra


Kaylee Frye


Hoban 'Wash' Washburne


Jayne Cobb


Shepherd Derrial Book


Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Gorram It!

Today I tried to do something for the right reasons, and I think it came out totally the wrong way. Now I wish I could just take it back and pretend it never happened.

Damn. I could choke on the irony.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Harry Potter and the Devil

I was Googling on mandrakes today (the plant) and I found this site, with the eye-catching title "HARRY POTTER'S CHAMBER OF SECRETS DEPICTS KILLING, CUTTING UP, AND STEWING HUMAN BEINGS!"

I remember reading the book and seeing the movie so this was news to me. I thought I'd better find out more.

It turns out that because Rowling describes the young mandrake roots as babies, and later talks about them going through puberty, and then being cut up and stewed, this was a direct example of human sacrifice. The fact that the babies were ugly, mottled and not human was an attempt to dehumanise them and make the human sacrifice ok in the same way that people refer to unborn babies as "fetuses" so as to justify abortion.

"These Mandrake humans had the same appearance as humans, the same maturing cycle, the same emotions, and the same problem called acne. As my Daddy used to say, 'If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it is a duck'! These are human sacrifices, which we should expect if the plot of the novel revolves around White and Black Magic Witchcraft!"

The author then goes on to say that (based on an email from a "Satanist") Rowling clearly has a clear understanding of witchcraft, which she advocates in her books. So therefore witches, even "white" witches like the students of Gryffindor, advocate human sacrifice and that all witches are Satanists, and that good Christians shouldn't be letting their kids read the devil works of Harry Potter.


I am lost for words!

Friday, September 23, 2005

1d6 To A New You

Some of you will be aware that M has been talking about changing his surname. His name on his birth certificate is his mother's, but he uses his father's, and confusion abounds.

His new work area (a public service department) got very confused, so they've said he needs to change it so that he is using one name instead of two. Which is fair enough. He came up with a big list of names, which I helped him shortlist. We got it down to three that he likes.

So how is he going to settle on the final one?

1d6 / 2

A Very Doggy Week

Last night M and I took Jinx and Tasha to the vet. Jinx was due for her 12 week vaccination - she was a bit anxious about the whole thing but generally well behaved. She did bark her head off at all the other dogs, though. (The vet was a bit horrified that the RSCPA had already desexed her given how young she is, but what you gonna do?)

Tasha, who has come down with Jinx's Kennel Cough, was even better behaved (she loves the vet), but because she was contagious we spent the time we were waiting - about 20 minutes - in quarantine in one of the consulting rooms. The vet gave us a cough suppressant for her and also some antibiotics.

The whole thing was damned expensive, though.

This Saturday is Jinx's first day at school. We've booked her into the six week "Life Skills Training" (doesn't that sound wanky?!) class at the RSPCA - it's basically puppy class. Socialisation for puppies stops them turning into neurotic shits, which is why we enrolled her.

My only worry is that because M is off to Sydney this weekend, I have to take her in the car on my own, which means that she won't be being nursed. Last time she threw up all over the upholstery. :(

And Tasha has a dogwash booked for Saturday afternoon. I hope that they still do her even though she's sick because she needs it.

As you can see, it's been a very doggy week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Not Another Quiz!

You are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(16% permissive)

You are best described as a:

You exhibit a very well-developed sense of right and wrong and believe in economic fairness.

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Thursday, September 15, 2005

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19th. Apparently talking like a pirate is the ultimate aphrodisiac, at least according to

(Left: Even the Leader of the Free World supports International Talk Like a Pirate Day: "This podium be high, says I. Yar.")

Some pirate pickup lines, if you want to try it, include:

* Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
* Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
* Well ... blow me down? (This worked for Bill Clinton. Allegedly.)
* Prepare to be boarded.
* They don’t call me Long John because my head is so big.
* Wanna shiver me timbers?
* Is that a belayin' pin in yer britches, or are ye ... (this one is never completed)
* So, tell me, why do they call ye, "Cap'n Feathersword?"
* That's quite a cutlass ye got thar, what ye need is a good scabbard!
* I've crushed seventeen men's skulls between me thighs!

There's also a handy translator, if you want to talk about recent politics in pirate-speak. You can be intellectual and take advantage of the horny-making language of the pirate.

See? (From the ABC news link I posted last post.)

(Left: Mark "Arrr!" Latham) The pirate speaks,"Opposition Leader Kim Beazley be considerin' takin' legal action after t' former leader o' t' ALP, Mark Latham, launched a scathin' attack on him ahead o' t' launch o' Mr Latham's highly damagin' diaries.

"As part o' a series o' interviews t' promote t' diaries, Mr Latham has told t' ABC's Lateline program tonight that he does not think Mr Beazley be fit t' be Labor leader. "I wouldn't make him t' toilet cleaner in Parliament House, let alone t' Leader o' t' Opposition," he said.

Mark Latham attacks nearly every one o' his former colleagues, but be particularly critical o' Mr Beazley's character, describin' him as a scurvy dog, and he dismisses Mr Beazley's image o' decency as a sham.

He has told t' ABC's Enough Rope program that Mr Beazley ran a six-year campaign o' smear and innuendo. "He tried t' fit me up with this sexual harassment slur for six years," he said. "T' old Sergeant Schultz thing about, he knew nothin' about it, doesn't wash with me. He was starboard into it."

Mr Beazley vehemently rejects t' allegations. "They be completely fanciful, absolutely wrong, absolutely untrue," he said. Mr Latham has defended his decision t' publish his tell-all diaries, arguin' they be a frank account o' what happened durin' his leadership.

Enough Rope

I was all set to watch the early screening of the Enough Rope interview with Mark Latham tonight, but it's not on because of a legal injunction. I wonder whose?

If you haven't heard (it's been on the news all day), you can find an ABC article about it here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What D&D Character Am I?

I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Cleric Bard

Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else. They will work to make the world a better place, and will do whatever is necessary to bring that about, whether it goes for or against whatever is considered 'normal'.

Elves are the eldest of all races, although they are generally a bit smaller than humans. They are generally well-cultured, artistic, easy-going, and because of their long lives, unconcerned with day-to-day activities that other races frequently concern themselves with. Elves are, effectively, immortal, although they can be killed. After a thousand years or so, they simply pass on to the next plane of existance.

Primary Class:
Clerics are the voices of their God/desses on Earth. They perform the work of their deity, but this doesn't mean that they preach to a congregation all their lives. If their deity needs something done, they will do it, and can call upon that deity's power to accomplish their goals.

Secondary Class:
Bards are the entertainers. They sing, dance, and play instruments to make other people happy, and, frequently, make money. They also tend to dabble in magic a bit.

Lathander is the Neutral Good god of spring, dawn, birth, and renewal. His followers believe in new beginnings, and work for the betterment of all. They have no preferred weapon, but they typically wear plate mail and a shield, with red and yellow tinting. Lathander's symbol is rosy pink disk, typically cut from rose quartz.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?

Detailed Results:

Lawful Good ----- XXXXX (5)
Neutral Good ---- XXXXXX (6)
Chaotic Good ---- XXXXX (5)
Lawful Neutral -- X (1)
True Neutral ---- XX (2)
Chaotic Neutral - X (1)
Lawful Evil ----- (-3)
Neutral Evil ---- (0)
Chaotic Evil ---- (-3)

Human ---- XX (2)
Half-Elf - XXXX (4)
Elf ------ XXXXXXXX (8)
Halfling - (0)
Dwarf ---- (0)
Half-Orc - (-6)
Gnome ---- XX (2)

Fighter - (-7)
Ranger -- XXXXX (5)
Paladin - (-4)
Cleric -- XXXXXXX (7)
Mage ---- XX (2)
Druid --- XXX (3)
Thief --- (0)
Bard ---- XXXXXX (6)
Monk ---- X (1)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Kicking Hell's Ash

I love this image, which is on dA (not by me - I wish I was that cool!). You can see the full size version here.

You can see other works by that artist here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Random Thoughts on Advertising

Sometimes I wonder what on earth the advertising consultant was thinking when they came up with a particular strategy ... and what on earth the company was thinking when they agreed to it.

For example, the latest Woolworths ad, where they are bragging about how there is only one Australian supplier of baby corn, and how they sell it (or something to that effect). We see the Woolworths spokesperson standing beside a weatherbeaten Aussie farmer, with his arm around him in a pally sort of way. The Aussie farmer then tells him to step back a bit because the spokesperson is making him uncomfortable. The overtones are blatantly homophobic. What a great idea for an ad!

Another favourite least-favourite ad of mine from times past is the "Fanta fizzed by Frank" ads, where they showed a large man (who'd clearly been drinking too much Fanta) in an orange and white bathing suit dive bombing into a huge vat of unfizzed Fanta syrup. Apparently this is what gave Fanta its bubbles.

WTF?! I for one don't like the idea of anyone, let alone Frank, swimming around in my softdrink, putting bubbles in it through what I can only assume is some sort of bean-assisted process of gas production.

I'll never drink Fanta again...

Ads I do like are the ones where the ad takes the piss out of the advertising process. A local example is the recent string of ads for a company called Carpet Court. Their logo is a jester's hat. The ad I am thinking of shows a very dorky looking guy with a nasal voice wearing the jester's hat - he starts his pitch with something along the lines of, "Hi, remember me? I'm the advertising gimmick that's here to tell you about Carpet Court's latest... " etc.

Other ads I approve of are those beer ads that make fun of beer ads. Quality stuff!

Get That Dog Some Codral

It seems that, despite being vaccinated against such things, little Jinx has come home to us with a case of Kennel Cough. For those that haven't experienced such a disease in their pets, it involves them having bouts of coughing followed by the attempt (futile) to hack something up. It sounds horrible.

Kennel Cough is some sort of doggy bronchitis, and so like the flu it's impossible to vaccinate against every strain of it. It has the added benefit of being highly contagious, so even though Tasha is also vaccinated against it, we can probably expect her to come down with it just after Jinx gets over it. Oh joy.

This diagnosis has yet to be confirmed; the vet won't be back at the RSCPA till tomorrow. I'll call then and see whether they want me to bring her in for a checkup. (Puppies have a two week warranty from the RSPCA - if they get sick the vet will treat them for free.) But from everything Google has told me, I'd put money on that being what she has.

I told Matt that the meaning of her name was a bad idea!

Other than that, she's settled in fine. She only sooked the first night for about ten minutes, and she gets on just fine with Tasha - the sight of them playing chasies around the loungeroom makes me giggle every time!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meet Jinx

At 5.30pm today our newest member of the family came home - Jinx (the puppy formerly known as 314).

Matt picked the name and, despite my cautious words about its meaning, wouldn't be swayed.

I hope that we don't have the same discussion if we ever have kids! :|

Friday, September 09, 2005

What Simpsons Character Are You?

I remember doing a Simpsons personality quiz a couple of years ago that came up with the result that I was Edna Krabbapple (HA!). I was just trying to find it, and either I wasn't successful or my answers have changed.

I did five seperate Simpsons quizzes (there are buggerloads) and for four of them I got the result that I was Lisa Simpson. O_o

I'm just like Lisa!
I'm Lisa, who are you?

For the fifth... I am Wayland Smithers...! :|

What minor Simpsons character are you?


Yes, sir. Right away sir. Yes.

Personality Test Results

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Well, after after making a complete nuissance of himself at the RSPCA for the past three days, M managed to scam his suitability interview for the puppy yesterday afternoon. He passsed, and the lady decided we didn't need a yard inspection because we already had a dog and clearly know what we are doing (in relation to dogs, anyway).

So we can pick up little 314 anytime we want. We're going to get her on Friday afternoon on the way home, though, because we both have work today and tomorrow. M is planning to spend all weekend with her (I feel vaguely disgruntled), and I have applied to have next week off work so that I can make sure she gets settled in properly (M feels majorly disgruntled, but he can't get time off because he only just started a new job this week).

Thank goodness the process is over. I know why they have instigated interviews, but it seems to me that they ought to get more people doing them so they stay more on top of the applications. If M hadn't pestered them, we probably wouldn't have had the interview till at least Friday. It seems as though the process penalises the people who try and do the right thing and rehome a dog from the RSPCA as opposed to getting a "free to a good home" puppy from the newspaper.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My Goth Name

(Left: "Infected") On a whim, I decided to find out what my Goth name is. I used the generator here.

I got Twisted Illusions (if I used "Cassandra") or Velvet Vamp (if I used "Cass"). I was thinking I could call myself Velvet Illusion! ;)

My boyfriend M is either Violent Sex Addict or Fetal Mind, depending whether I use the contracted or full version of his first name. O_o

What are you?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Best Laid Plans...

Today M. and I met the family at the Hellenic Club for a father's day lunch. As anticipated, my sister, K, started telling us about all the puppies at the RSPCA and how gorgeous they were. "Two of them are Schipperke crosses," she said.

Right-o. Off we went to the RSPCA.

One of the two Schipperke crosses, a tan coloured doggy that would give any breeder a heart attack (they are meant to be black), was a three month old boy named, um, Boy. He was in one of the runs they put the dogs in so they can have a bit of exercise, with a male, black and tan terrier pup - the same age, but with no name. The terrier was a sook and took a liking to M immediately.

Unfortunately, some other people had confirmed that they wanted the pup that same day. We could have put our names down on a waiting list, but M decided it would be too heartbreaking if it didn't come through.

One of the ladies in the Adoption Centre told K that one of the other black and tan terrier pups, number 314, had had names on it but they had all fallen through. Little 314 was a personal favourite of both K and my mother, who K had brought in to try (unsuccessfully) and convince her to buy 314. So we went to meet her.

314 is a female, again three months old, but smaller with medium hair. She was in a cage with two little white and tan pups, both male, who seemed a bit skittish. She, on the other hand, is adorable.

So we've put our names down for her.

The way that these things work at the RSPCA these days is that you register your interest. You then have to ring back before midday the next day to confirm (it's a cooling off period). Then you get a call for a phone interview where they ask you things like why you want a puppy and what sort of lifestyle you lead. Finally, they come out and do a yard inspection, looking for hazards or ways to escape. (We're hoping we can skip the last part based on K's word our yard is safe. What's the point of having contacts in an organisation if you don't use them?)

It's all a bit intimidating. But, all things being equal, little 314 will hopefully be coming home with us next weekend! And all my careful plans of getting a puppy at Christmas so I would be at home on leave to look after it at first went right out the window...

PS 314 is going to be the working title. We're going to keep the name a secret till she comes home! :P

PPS Tasha practically flattened me trying to get all the interesting smells on my clothes when we got home. It was funny!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Why Ergonomic Office Chairs Are Evil...

Some of you will have heard the first half of this story already. Please bear with me; I just need to have a rant.

As part of my job, I have the dubious privelege of processing the financial approvals for people that have had a workstation occupational health and safety assessment that has recommended the purchase of an ergonomic chair. This includes ensuring that all the appropriate approvals are sought and that no one will get thrown in jail for any reason.

Recently, there have been a spate of chairs that have needed to be purchased. For the most part, this happens very smoothly. Get report, get quote, get approval, get chair. It's not rocket science.

But then there's Bart. (Note: Not his real name.)

At first it seemed to all go swimmingly. The chair was on order, and arrived. I collected it and it was sitting near my desk. I emailed Bart and told him his chair was in. The reply? "It already arrived last week, thanks." I beg your pardon?

It turns out that Bart (boo! hiss!) had gone out to a second chair supplier - not the one we bought the chair from but one of the prestige ones that makes the chair custom for you - and had a personal fitting for a chair. This second supplier had then delivered the extra plush - it was described to be by a third party as "like something out of Star Trek" - chair to Bart.

Bart came down to look at the chair I had sitting near my desk. He didn't want it... strangely enough.

I got approval to take the Star Trek chair off him, because it wasn't approved and, what's more, bore no resemblance to what the hardworking OH&S assessor had recommended. But by this point Bart had written his name on the chair in white out and it was well outside the trial period. We had to pay for it. So I gave it to a very happy senior executive, who didn't mind the stray smudges of white out that I hadn't quite gotten out.

Bart still refused to take the original chair, so I got approval to issue it to someone else who'd had the same model recommended. Waste not, want not. You snooze, you lose. Etcetera.

Bart was also - supposedly - told off for going off and spending funds without approval.

His supervisor, presumably seeking to shut Bart up, went back to the OH&S assessor with the dimensions of the Star Trek chair, seeing if that would be ok for Bart. No, it wouldn't, came the reply (so if we'd let him keep it we would have been negligent!) - but a chair that had some of the features of both might be ok.

So I got a quote for a chair that matched those specs. It was twice the price of the original (though still less than the Star Trek chair). We requested that they prepare and send us a trial chair.

That brings us to today. Today two different people told me that they saw Bart accepting delivery of a chair in the foyer. I rang my contact who was actually processing the order of the chair to confirm that was our expected trial chair. No, it wasn't.

My contact then rang Bart (because I knew if I did I'd scream obscenities at him) and found out that the chair was from a different supplier - in fact, the original supplier I'd bought a chair from.

As far as we know, he has no approval for it. Again.

Best of all, it turns out that it's the exact same chair that we purchased for him in the first instance, the one he refused to take because it was "uncomfortable"! Of course, Bart refuses to acknowledge that it is the same chair. But given that he only sat in the original chair for two seconds (I counted) I'm not entirely sure that he is the best person to judge that.

And of course, none of what I've written here conveys the arrogance with which this person has dealt with me, with my contact, and with the system.

This is the straight jacket I am soon to be issued. How stupid can people possibly be?!

(As an aside, if you want to laugh at some very poor taste senior citizens humour, check out Info4Pensioners, which is where I got the straight jacket image from.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Diet Dawg

I found this article, which made my head spin. Here's an excerpt:

A scientist in the United States has designed a robot dog that monitors your daily food intake and pleads with you to curb over-indulgence, the British weekly New Scientist reports in an upcoming issue.

The canine coach, a souped-up version of Sony's Aibo, is programmed to exhibit four different behaviours, representing lethargy, energy and two stages in between.

If you have stuck to your daily calories, the dog will jump up and down, wag its tail, play cheerful music and flash brightly coloured lights that stud his 50 centimetre high body.

But if you have splurged on the cheesecake, it will move ponderously and play sorrowful, low-energy music.

The pooch gets its information from a pedometer, bathroom scales and personal digital assistant on which the owner is supposed to truthfully record his or her food intake.

Can you imagine this dog with an owner that has the eating habits of Homer Simpson?

It starts with moving ponderously; progresses to shouting insults ("Hey, fatty, that's your fifteenth doughnut today!"); bites them on the ass repeatedly to try and pull them away from their supersize fries; and finally, realising with despair the futility of its existence, drowns itself in the supersize Coke.

Poor doggy.

Legacy Badge Day nerves

It's Legacy week. According to the Legacy website, "Legacy is a uniquely Australian organisation, established in 1923 by ex-servicemen dedicated to the task of caring for the widows and dependants of their comrades."

It's a pretty awesome idea; very Australian in every positive sense of the word. Once a year we have Legacy Badge Day, when they sell these little plastic badges with torches on them and huge long pins sticking out the bottom, that presumably you're meant to put in your lapel to show that you support the entire concept.

And every year, I feel guilty that I can't jump 100% behind it.

The reason is sort of embarrassing and makes me sound very neurotic: I am slightly phobic of Legacy Badges. Not scream and run away phobic, but shudder and avert my eyes phobic, certainly. It meant that when I was asked if I'd volunteer to sell them this year, I had to do a quick duck-shove to push it onto someone else.

The reason dates back to my childhood. I have this memory of my mother telling me how dangerous these pins were. More specifically, the kid across the road (who I hung out with all the time, playing in the street in a way I guess kids probably don't do so much anymore) had tried to stick a Legacy Badge pin through the power cord of the vacuum cleaner while it was on.

Of course, my little kiddie mind seems to have latched onto the pin as being the source of danger rather than (as would have obviously been the case) the electricity in the power cord...

So when I was asked if I wanted to buy a Legacy Badge this morning on the way into the office, I said that I'd give them all the change I had, but that they could keep the badge. They told me I was very generous.

If only they knew!

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