Sunday, October 30, 2005

What Anime Girl Are You?

Inkling put me onto this very simple but mildly amusing quiz...

Your anime girl has black hair, blue eyes, and is
very fashionable.

What does your anime girl look like?(girls only)
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tuesday's Headline

Acronyms and Initials

M. and I were just discussing acronyms that have the same letters as people's initials (as you know, he's thinking of changing his surname). I found a cool acronym website here which you can type your initials into and see what acronyms it comes up with (this might be an advantage as far as determining whether new babies etc are going to get picked on because of an unfortunate acronym similarity).

I rather naively didn't expect to have any for my initials, but I got the following list:

CLV C'est La Vie (French: That's Life)
CLV Carnation Latent Virus
CLV Ceiling Limit Value (highest acceptable average content in inhaled air during 15 minutes)
CLV Centro Liturgico Vincenziano (Italian: Vincentian Liturgical Centre)
CLV Clave
CLV Code\Length\Value
CLV Compact Low-Voltage
CLV Composite Lab Value
CLV Constant Linear Velocity
CLV Crew Launch Vehicle
CLV Customer Lifetime Value (marketing)

I also have the added advantage of being a roman numeral - clv - being five more than one hundred and fifty. Go me! :)

(But wtf is Carnation Latent Virus?!)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pump Up the Volume

Mikey was asking about people's favourite movies, after he and TechnoHorror got to talking about "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".

I won't talk about that particular flick for fear of having mobs of 80s generation people come after me with pitchforks, but it got me thinking about the movie that moved me the most as a teen - "Pump Up The Volume".

This movie stars Christian Slater as a high school (year 12?) student in a new town. He has no friends there and is painfully shy, so he gets out all his angst and frustration using the amatuer radio set that his parents bought him. Thus "Happy Harry Hardon" is born.

This film blew me away. It's all about trying to survive as a teenager - dealing with bullies, sexuality, suicide, teen pregnancy; it's all in there. And I think that the best thing about the movie is that it doesn't end with a soppy, happy ending where every thing is fixed (though the major plot is resolved) ... because you can't fix those things.

If you haven't seen it, you should.

As an aside, I remember that not too long after I'd seen the movie I had my wisdom teeth out. This required a general anaesthetic, and I distinctly recall waking up in first stage recovery with both poems from the movie by the character known as the "Eat Me Beat Me Lady" in my head. Like, I'd somehow memorised or recalled the whole things while I was out.


Eat Me Beat Me Lady Poem I

"Come in.
Every night you enter me like a criminal.
You break into my brain, but you're no ordinary criminal.
You put your feet up, you pop a Pepsi.
You start to party; you turn up my stereo.
Songs I've never heard, but I move anyway.
You get me crazy, I say 'Do it!'
I don't care what, just do it!
Jam me, jack me, push me, pull me - talk hard!"

Eat Me Beat Me Lady Poem II

"You're the voice crying out in the wilderness,
You're the voice that makes my brain burn and my guts go gooey.
Yeah, you gut me.
My insides spill on your altar and tell the future.
My steaming, gleaming guts spell out your nature.
I know you; not your name, but your game.
I know the true you.
Come to me or I'll come to you."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tim Update

I was thinking about Big Brother last night - the Australian Idol franchise reminded me of it - and about Mikey's declaration of manly-straight-love for Tim, the lefty intellectual hero of BB (who M accused me of having the hots for). So I Googled to see what Tim was up to since his BB days, and found this article, from 14 October:

To say that Tim Brunero, this year's Big Brother runner-up, is making the most of his 15 minutes of fame would be an understatement. But unlike some of the reality TV show's contestants, he has managed to keep the ball rolling without getting nabbed by the police for indecent exposure or public drunkenness.

Brunero, who became bit of a messiah to many young left-wingers while on the show, has been on a non-stop crusade to help the union movement since returning to the outside world in August.

"Basically it's been a roller-coaster. I've been addressing all sorts of events, MCed an ACTU conference, joined the union bus in Lismore and Grafton," Brunero told Spike. "Big Brother was quite a brain-scrambling experience so the main thing I need to do is get my head together."

Next on the itinerary is a trip to East Timor in November with the humanitarian organisation Union Aid Abroad. He's hoping a TV station will be interested in a union-based road movie about his travels.

Do you think he's thinking of becoming a politician? :)

Do you want to marry him even more, Mikey?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stanhope No Longer Invited to the Party

I've been listening with horror to the news today that John Howard has elected not to consult with the ACT any longer about the new terrorist legislation.

For those of you that don't know the backstory, in a nutshell, the States and Territories have been working together with the Commonwealth on this legislation, which gives ASIO more powers to detain, investigate, etc, people connected with terrorism. (The reason the States and Territories need to be involved is because, Constitutionally, the powers required in the legislation belong to them, not the Commonwealth.)

The Commonwealth provided an in confidence copy to the premiers and chief ministers for them to look at a week ago, and our chief minister, John Stanhope, posted it on his website for people to look at, his theory being that he was a co-author of the legislation and he'd go through his normal consultative process, including with his constituents.

John Howard has now had a tantrum and, because he only needs the approval of four States or Territories now to pass the legislation, he's opted not to send a copy of the latest draft to the ACT ... or if he does provide it, it will be under strict security restrictions.

I find this absolutely galling, and it confirms to me how patronising this government is. They say that people who don't have anything to hide won't have anything to worry about, but if that's the case, why are they hiding the legislation? And how dare they just cut us out of the loop?

I'm so mad I could spit. On John Howard.

Work Choice

Carrier Pigeons

Anyone who's turned on the news at all today probably knows that three pigeons in Melbourne that were imported from Canada tested positive to bird flu antibodies.

Not the actual flu, just the antibodies...

I feel sorry for the pigeons. They've had a flu, or been exposed to one, and gotten over it (little feathery battlers, they are). Just when they think that they have triumphed over adversity, they're shipped to Australia and then "euthanased".

Apparently there are 15 types of bird flu, and only one of them is a possible threat to humans. I note that the media has yet to say which type of flu these poor pigeons had antibodies for. It's much more fun to scare people!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Benefit of the Doubt?

I've been thinking a bit lately about where the line is between giving someone the benefit of the doubt versus being a bit paranoid and expecting the worst from people. It's a debate that's obviously relevant to the new terrorist legislation that is currently being discussed, but what triggered it more for me is an individual I encountered on the internet, on deviantART.

It started with me posting a collaboration picture that me and a friend of mine in the States, B., did. She took the photo and I did all the post work to pretty it up a bit.

Left: The picture in question - larger version can be found here.

deviantART has a system whereby people can "favourite" your individual pieces so that they appear randomly on their own user pages. A dA user calling himself "Stargate1" was one of those that favourited this piece. Normally when someone favourites one of my pieces I go to their page to leave a little message thanking them, and if I have time I check out thier galleries - it's a good way to find new artists who presumably have similar taste to you.

Now, Stargate1 doesn't actually have any art uploaded. That's not unusual in and of itself, but I noticed that his list of most recent favourites included not only my image but four others posted by B., of the same little girl, her kid sister.

That weirded me out just a bit, so I had a bit of a look at his favourites. What I found disturbed me more than a little. In and of itself each picture is inoffensive, but it builds a very creepy picture: either anime girls partly or fully nude, photos of young girls, or occasionally photos of older women who are either nude or dressed up to look like little girls.

I also looked through his activity log to see what sort of comments he's posted. They range from "She's cute" to asking what the little girl's name is to "nice panties any more picsjust with panties?" (sic) and "Looks like shes just got out the bath" (sic).

After thinking about it for friggin ages, I decided to report him to the help desk at dA. The thing is that technically he's not broken any of their rules, so I am not sure what they can do. The help desk person escalated it to the head of their Policy Violation team, who has escalated it to management of the site. I don't know what they're going to do about it, if anything. (I suggested maybe they could keep an eye on him, or maybe even report him to some sort of hotline in his home country, assuming that it has one.)

I noticed today that someone else had commented on his page accusing him of being a pedophile too...

Anyway, all of this got me to thinking. How do we draw the line between natural caution and giving people benefit of that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing? Does anyone have any thoughts?

(PS If you have a dA login please don't flame the guy on his page. If I'd posted this stuff in my journal at dA I would've gotten banned for inciting abuse against another member, and I am not sure if they'd extend it to me posting stuff about him here.)

Puppy Tummy Learns to Jump

(Jinx sleeps on a pillow on the couch. For the larger photo, look here.)
Puppy Tummy (as M. has taken to calling Jinx) last night figured out how to get on the couch. Sometimes. She's pretty small, and normally she tries to jump up from the carpet right in front of the couch, which leads to lots of scrabbing but not any actual success.

Last night she took a mad run up (I believe I had food - my food - in my hand, so there was incentive) and cleared the edge with no worries.

The funniest part is that she didn't even seem to realise what she'd done. :)

So now we can't put things on the couch to keep them out of her reach, which isn't so cool... :|

Sunday, October 16, 2005


There's been a lot of these tags going around at deviantART recently, so I was familiar with the concept when I got tagged here by Mikey.

Twenty random facts about myself? Gotta try and think of something I haven't already said here... Hmm.

1) My very first celebrity crush was John Farnham. My second was Jason Donovan. Yes, this was in the days of the "Especially For You" duet with Kylie. I still remember most of the words, too - I had it on record. Ah, records... It actually wasn't till I finished uni that I realised that commercial stations and their mass produced wares aren't worth my time.

2) I have a three bedroom house (I am mortgage-bound) and one of the bedrooms has floor to ceiling bookshelves in it. There are five of them (the room's not that big). My books are in alphabetical order by surname of the author. Most of them are fantasy but there's a smattering of horror and sci-fi too.

3) I dislike people who say they are writing a novel. This is partly because it sounds so pretentious, but also partly (quietly) because I don't believe I'll ever write a novel myself, and I'd really like to. My preferred sort would be set in the real world with a supernatural twist, like the Anita Blake books ... but with less sex. But I have yet to think of an idea that I feel is sufficiently original that I wouldn't have huge amounts of guilt if I wrote it.

4) I am a very emotional person. I cry easily, I get angry easily, I laugh easily (I am a typical Aries, actually). I tend to drive those I love mad with it. As a flip side to this, I hate confrontation. If someone starts yelling at me or if I have to think fast to outwit them in a social situation, I freeze up. This is bad in both LARPing and real life.

5) My favourite childhood book is "The Stone Cage" by Nicholas Stuart Gray. It's an old book which is a re-telling of the Rapunzel story where the main characters are the witch's cat and owl. I read it in primary school and then again in year eleven as part of my children's literature studies (I went looking for it because I remembered how much I enjoyed it). A few years ago I got myself an Amazon UK logon so I could buy it from the UK. On 18 January 2003 during the Canberra bushfires, when I was throwing together the things I wanted to take with me in case I had to evacuate, I threw in that book but forgot the degree hanging on the wall.

6) Even though I am not Christian, I love stories with demons and angels in them. I think it's because of the sense of tremendous backstory and weight that they have. For the record, my religion is probably closest to a non-practicing Wiccan.

7) When I was a teenager it struck me that I was the daisy of the plant world - I'd never be a rose like some of the girls I admired and hated so much. Daisies, on the other hand, are common and considered a weed, but they're also hardy ... and I like yellow. To this day a smattering of daisies all over someone's nice even lawn brings a smile to my face, and I consider them my favourite flower.

8) I am almost blind in one eye. When I was born it was turned, and even though they operated to correct it (more or less), my brain never really learned how to see properly out of it.

9) I have the dubious privilege of being the youngest person that my doctor has ever put on cholesterol tablets. It seems I have genetic high cholesterol. The doc said that if we didn't reduce it I'd have a heart attack by the time I was forty. Yay.

10) I am a moderator at the Elijah Wood Fan Network website, in the forums. I joined there in January 2004 after seeing Return of the King and developing a mild celebrity crush. I got over it pretty fast, but still go to the boards about once a week to catch up with people.

11) I used to use a ouija board a lot when I was in my late teens and early 20s. For some reason I could never do it on my own but when I was touching the glass and others were there, it worked beautifully. I didn't even have to be looking at it for it to work. We stopped doing it after one time when we had a series of very freaky experiences (dogs barking, doors banging, the glass going crazy and "something" threatening to kill people). It turned out that one of the people at the party had brougth a Satanic Bible with him - seriously.

12) I had my first kiss at the age of 16. I was drunk at a party, which was the only reason I was brave enough to even talk to the guy. I'd never met him before; his name was Simon. I found out the next day that he had a girlfriend, and felt very shitty about it.

13) Thirteen is my favourite number. I consider it lucky.

14) In college (that's year 11 and 12 of high school for those of you that think "college" means university) I got four As and one B every single semester. In the first three semesters, the B was in drama. In the fourth I tried so hard at drama that I got a B in computing instead. D'oh!

15) I am terrified of turning 30 next April. I always thought I'd have done a lot more by the time I was 30 - getting married, having kids, etc - and facing the fact that I haven't is going to be hard.

16) My favourite punctuation mark is the semi-colon. I even wrote a poem about it once.

17) I like filling out surveys and quizzes. That is probably why I am responding to this tagged thing at all, and why I thought the census was fun last time they did it. It's presumably the part of my brain that likes to compartment things taking over.

18) I am left handed. I know that they say that this means a person is meant to be more artistic or whatever. But I have a vague suspicion that it doesn't apply to me even if it is true and not an old wives tale - I broke my right arm when I was in kindergarten and therefore learned to write with my left hand. But I tend to do some other things with my right hand. It's not that I am ambidextrous - more that I use specific hands for specific things.

19) I am underambitious. I know this to be true because a psychologist test (a real one, not a dodgy internet one) told me so. Also because every single job I've had I've pretty much fallen into, from the nightfiller job I got in year 11 (I applied because all my friends were) to the one I have now (I applied for a different job because it sounded like fun, got it, and then got offered a change of duties). My boss (who is a senior executive in the public service) told me a month or two ago that if I wanted to I could be a senior executive in a few years. I told her I was underambitious. Was that a mistake? O_o

20) I hate the sound of a nail file being used. It makes my hair stand on end and my teeth ache. This dates back to reading an article about a pacific island tribe that filed its teeth to points. Consequently, I use nail clippers rather than a file.

Miss April

I am, as most of those who read this will be aware, a member of the Camarilla. It's a live action roleplaying club that uses White Wolf's World of Darkness (or whatever they call it in these new-edition days). I've been a member since January 2000 - how sad is that?

Anyway, I just found out that one of the fellow members of our local game, Rachel, is Miss April in the White Wolf "Women of the Camarilla" 2006 calendar. Apparently they paid her $100 US to pose for photos when she was over in the US of A for a convention last October.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hypocrisy, thy name is...

Last night I heard a doorstop interview with John Howard on the Channel Ten news. He came out with a pearler of a quote about how the Labor party was engaging in scare tactics with regard to the new Industrial Relations "reforms", and how this was typical of them.

Little Johnny tries to edge into a picture with more important people

I suppose that Johnny would recognise said behaviour when he saw it. Scare-mongering, I mean. Does the name "Tampa" ring a bell? Apparently we were going to get swamped by waves of baby-hurling boat people.

Or, if that's going too far back, what about the last election? If the Labor party were elected, we were going to return to the heady days of 18% interest rates on our mortgages (never mind the fact that it's a completely different economic climate than it was then).

Takes one to know one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Large view here.)

A present for Mikey. I hope you like it! ;)

Gary Humphries and Waterskiing on Lake Burley Griffin

M and I have to go grocery shopping, and because I'm out of my normal breakfast meal of choice (a mango yoghurt), I had to buy a "breakfast pide" at the coffee shop in the foyer at work. As I was standing there waiting for it to toast I perused the front cover of The Canberra Times. Normally I don't read the newspaper much - I get my news from the ABC (radio or internet, usually).

Anyway, I was skimming over an article about a new proposal to trial "limited water-skiing" on Lake Burley Griffin. I have mixed feelings about this - the trial is apparently going to be training of elite waterskiiers only, so there won't be that many of them and presumably they might be interesting to watch... but if the trial is deemed a success and they open the lake up to more power boats, that wouldn't be so cool.

(I should explain here for those interstate or overseas who may not know - Lake Burley Griffin is in the middle of the centre of Canberra.)

About halfway through the article, I found this quote by Gary Humphries, Liberal Senator for the ACT:

"For too long we've regarded it as an object of beauty in the middle of our city, a reflective pool almost, that we can look at and use in a very limited way but not particularly engage in, in ways that other Australians would certainly use water for.

"I think this trial, particularly of water-skiing, is a very important step psychologically towards viewing our lake as a more eclectic asset for the people of this city and other people who come to Canberra."

This raised my hackles pretty bad. It seems to me that his first statement is a brilliant explanation of why the second paragraph is crap.

The lake is, in fact, an object of beauty. People quite often do sit beside it and reflect, eat their lunch, contemplate the view. They walk, ride or rollerblade around it. All of this is true.

But I disagree that this means we don't particularly "engage" in or with the lake.

And saying something that people use in all these ways ought to be more of an "eclectic asset"... Sounds like smarmy politician-speak for turning the lake into a free-for-all, so long as the all doesn't include people who want to sit there, enjoy the peace and quiet, feed the swans.

Now, I repeat, the trial in and of itself doesn't sound too terrible to me. But it's the thin edge of the wedge.

I do have to admit that I am automatically highly suspicious of anything Gary Humphries supports. This is because he's the only politician I've had the privelige of being lied to (by omission) by, personally and face to face.

(Gary stabs himself in the chest with a needle.) When I was all of about thirteen, our high school was one of those slated by the local Liberal government for potential closure. At the same time, we'd just had a brand new computer lab installed, back in the days when this was rare and a big deal. I remember them - clunky old Macs that we got to play classic educational games like "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiago?" on.

Good ol' Gary came out to the school to open the lab - I think he was Minister for Education in the ACT at the time. It was on TV and everything. A few of us got picked to meet him, and I remember that I made a comment to him along the lines of, "Well, I suppose at least with this new computer lab, we are less likely to be closed now." He did that politician double talk that they do so well, where they don't answer the question but leave you (if you happen to be young and/or not a particularly critical thinker) thinking that they've agreed with you.

When I heard later that year that our school had been announced for closure, I felt personally betrayed.

That's why I always put ol' Gary last on the Senate voting forms. Of course, he still gets elected.


Monday, October 10, 2005

AM IR interview

I love my ABC to bits. I'm a huge fan of both Triple J and 666 (local AM station), as well as the TV station itself. I really like listening to AM (the half hour news burst on 666) as I'm driving to work. Usually, it rocks hard. Their interviewers are really intelligent and it's fun to see them leave people flat-footed.

But this morning they were playing an interview with Lil Johnny Howard about the Industrial Relations reforms, and I just wished I could reach inside the interviewer's head and get her to say the things I was thinking. Lil Johnny, although I despise him, is a very savvy interviewee, and he seemed to be catching her flat-footed a lot. That ain't how it's meant to be.

The specific things he said that I had particular issue with were:

1) When Lil Johnny said that we had a skill shortage and a worker's market, meaning that workers would have more bargaining power than employers, I really wanted her to come back with, "What happens when the worker's market goes away?" Changing it now while everything is (apparently) rosy and saying that therefore everything will be rosy for ever and ever is complete bull.

2) When he used America of all countries as an example of a place where the unemployment rate was really low because they had a deregulated IR market, I nearly punched the stereo. America also has a shocking number of full time workers who live below the poverty line because the rate of pay is so low. I'd personally rather we had a higher unemployment rate if it meant that a lower percentage of the population lived in poverty.

*shakes fist*

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Puppy Update

I just got back from taking Jinx to her second puppy class at the RSPCA. I've now successfully gotten her to sit and drop... both with food lures, of course. I doubt she'll do it without the immediate prospect of food for some time yet.

M. was meant to be taking her to these classes. He's been away for the first two - I'll probably have to go with him to the rest because otherwise the instructor will get pissy at having to repeat everything to him. Sigh. I hate getting up early on the weekend. There ought to be a rule against it.

Both dogs are now over the kennel cough. I have to try and get Tasha booked in for a bath again because the lady wouldn't do it last time - something about her being highly contagious or something! ;) Of course, I didn't actually expect her to do it, so that was no surprise.

Went past my parents place on the way home. It was the second time Jinx has met my mother's dog, Tara. Tara is a grumpy old foxy/jack russell cross who is a good example of why you should socialise your dog at a young age, but, to my great surprise, Jinx brings out her inner puppy. Last time they played consistently for an hour with no break. This time Tara really wanted to play but Jinx was tired - all that sitting and lying down is hard work - so Tara kept trying to grab her fur and pull her off my lap.

When my parents go to the coast over summer we usually board Tara here, so I hope her new benign attitude keeps up. I was imagining that between Jinx and Tasha she'd fret herself to death or do someone an injury.

Anyway, I am just rambling so I will go now. I want to do a photomanipulation with a theme of "lust" for a contest on deviantART.

It probably won't have fairies in it...

Friday, October 07, 2005


For those of you that don't know, I am a bit of a Photoshop addict. I spend maybe 20 hours a week on Photoshop a week, taking bits of pictures and putting them together with other pictures to make whole new pictures. :)

That's the reason I wanted to go to Floriade and went so mad with the photos. It is much easier, from a copyright and permissions point of view, to make photomanipulations using either free photos or photos that you own in the first place. And for some bizarre reason, I tend to do lots of manipulations with a strong childlike fantasy element. Even though I have a strong contempt for adults that decorate their houses in pictures of fairies and princesses and unicorns, that (the fairies at least) is mostly what I make! I know it's hypocritical, but there it is...

For example, here's a pic I did using one of the Floriade photos that I took last weekend:

(Larger image here)

The reason that I am so conscientious about copyright is that I actually bought myself a print account at deviantART and am trying to sell my art. So far I hae sold one picture (not counting the ones I bought at cost as gifts) for a total profit of $7. Woo, go me! I'll be paying off the mortgage in no time...

Uh huh.

My Lack of Updates

For some reason I haven't updated this thing in more than a week. I think that maybe "Serenity" was such a big deal for me that nothing seemed important enough to mention for a while afterwards... (I've also been busy with deviantART, and the net connection was down for 24 hours for some reason, which didn't help.)

I have now seem that most excellent movie twice, and will probably see it again a couple more times before it disappears from the cinema. I also bought the novelisation, which I started to read today. I'm hoping for a little more depth in the character reactions to the momentous stuff in the movie - not that the movie sucked or anything, just that it is obviously much harder for Joss Whedon to show the same level of character development in a film that you can show in a TV series.

Anyway, last weekend M and I went to Floriade so I could take photos. Came home with over 60. Here are two of my favourites:

(Larger image here) The street organ was playing its evil clown music. The song currently on was "It's a Small World After All", and this little girl was standing there conducting the music with great enthusiasm. It was so cute I had to snap a picture.

(Larger image here) My favourite flower photo.

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