Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Previously Postponed Anniversary Post

As you may already know if you read my previous post, today is mine and M's one year anniversary. Sort of.

Like a lot of adult relationships, which don't begin with a "will you go out with me" delivered by note or friend messenger, we don't actually have an "official" start date to our relationship. But we figured it must have been some time in November last year. Because at the time he still lived in Sydney, we saw each other on two or three occasions in November, the latest of which was Technohorror's birthday.

So we rather arbitrarily picked that date. M figures that so long as Technohorror keeps sending out birthday party emails and stuff, he can't forget our anniversary either! (Hmm.)

He ordered me the "Lost" Season 1 DVD boxed set (which doesn't come out till next week), and I got him "Ninja Scroll" on DVD (the TV series). I had also bought him the "Ravenloft" 3.5 players handbook but after I did he went and ordered a boxed set that had it and a bunch of other books off MilSims for cheaper than I had bought it at Logical Choice. I can't really blame him (and I was able to take the other one back) but that was a little bit disappointing.

We went over to Technohorror's place this morning for the Breakfast of Champions, and tonight we're going to go out somewhere for dinner. We haven't decided where yet, but so long as it isn't the local football club bistro (or a drive thru) I am ok with it. :P

It's funny how a year can simultaneously go so fast and at the seem time feel like a lot longer. He only moved down here in March, and I can't imagine life without him.

I'd better go before I get all sappy... :D

But I wanted to post something he had up on his LiveJournal a while back. I know that some of you have read it already, but some others that read this have not, and it's cool enough that I think it bears repeating. It's sort of long but it makes me smile ... so deal!

My name is Matt, and I am your father. I know you're not born yet. I'm not even sure who your mother will be. But I wanted to tell you that you can not necessarily do anything if you just set you mind to it. That's a load of crap.

Someone once told me that I could do anything if I set my mind to it and I spent that entire Chirstmas holiday period back at school trying to make my brother's head explode. I've got much more practical advice for you: if you don't actually pursue your dreams instead of just dreaming them, you'll end up working at K-Mart. In the pet food aisle. At night. On weekends.

You are not entitled to success. You are not entitled to happiness. You are not entitled to have a better life than your parents. You are not entitled to anything beyond breathing. And even that, you kind of owe me for.

You will have access to video games and DVDs and the internet and action figures, but I don't have to buy any of them for you. I probably will, but only if you're not a terrible person. If you're one of the shopping centre kids who shrieks that you're not loved because your parents don't buy you every last TickleMeSpongeBobWiggleRanger, you will be reminded that I may put you up for adoption at any time and start over.

You will have access to a free primary and high school education, but I don't have to pay for you to go to Uni. I probably will, but you can help with good marks and extra-curricular activities and the loans you take out based on your future earning potential. If you get Ds through high school and wonder why you ended up paying your own way through Uni or TAFE, it's because your future earning potential is $8 an hour. And that's only because the minimum wage will probably go up by then.

You will have access to unlimited information about politics and world history. And I will help you interpret it. But if you choose to form your opinion of your country's socioeconomic climate based on five minutes of Video Hits, you will end up electing politicians that only care whether or not you buy what's being advertised during the next commercial break. If you're even smart enough to vote.

Remember that you are lucky to be born in an era when you have more to play with than a rock and a leaf. Remember that you are lucky to be born into a country that sends you to school instead of to work. Remember that you are lucky to be born into a mindset in which you will not be killed because of your political views. In most parts anyway.

Uni will not be waiting for you when you finish high school. A job will not be waiting for you when you finish Uni. And a old age pension will certainly not be waiting for you when you retire. That last one kind of stings, doesn't it?

The phrase "you can do anything if you set your mind to it" is misleading, because you also have to put in the work. Most people who feel they are entitled to something are entitled to nothing, twice. No one is entitled to anything. Also, those who base their lives on a sense of entitlement are tools. And no one wants to give anything to a tool.

I will prevent you from watching inappropriate television so you can not blame your temper on anything but being human. I will ground you so you learn that listening to appropriate authority is the fastest way to get what you want. I will even hit you once - but only so a stranger doesn't hit you much harder.

I will not get you a mobile phone when you turn twelve. I will not get you a new wardrobe when you turn fourteen. I will not get you a car when you turn seventeen. What I will get you is a personality, forged by years of actually having to put work in to achieve results. You will thank me when you're old enough to know what I've done for you. When you are old enough, your spoiled friends will still be whining that they have tons of angst. And they'll do it over their mobile phones during the drive home from clothes shopping.

I will, however, love and support you in all your efforts, as long as they are efforts. You will be great kids. I know that because I will raise you to be. I'm going to set my mind to it, but I will also put in the work. That's how you get things done. And If you disagree with me, there's a cleanup in aisle four.

Oh, and if you get the chance, tell your mother I say hi. I bet she's really hot.

(Danger) Mouse

I logged on a little while ago to write a blog entry about the fact it's mine and M's one year anniversary, but I didn't get that far, because my stupid freaking mouse wouldn't work properly.

I used to have a mouse with a cable, until Jinx (the now five month old puppy) decided that the cable was fun to chew on, and proceeded to do so. She was quiet stealthy about it - I was using the mouse at the time and the first I noticed of it was when the screen scrolled all the way to the top and the keyboard locked up. No little tugs or anything.

In a way, I was proud of how stealthy she was. And it's the only thing she's destroyed that wasn't hers to destroy in the first place, so I can't complain too much.

So I bought a fancy new wireless mouse. $50 worth of mouse - not even a cheapo brand. But sometimes my mouse (perhaps in protest over the new IR legislation) decides to stop work. It'll take me six clicks where one would do, and three or four attempts to move the cursor in whichever direction I want before it does so. Sometimes when it works it over compensates, and the mouse I wanted in the middle screen ends up in some random corner.

It is a teensy bit frustrating. I know this to be true because I had to turn the computer off so that I didn't accidentally put my fist through the monitor.

And then I took the dogs for a walk.

Which is sort of like rewarding bad behaviour, now that I think about it...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Serenity DVD release date

I've been very excited for the past week or two because I found out that the DVD release date for "Serenity" was 20th December.

Then I found out on Friday that it's actually not coming out in Australia till some time in February. And I know that I can order it from Amazon or something, but I was planning on buying a bunch of copies and giving them to all my family and friends as Christmas presents, like I did with "Firefly" last year.

And now I can't. :(

Stupid stupids!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I Want One!

Robert Jovicic - Unlucky Bastard

I was listening to AM today as I was driving to work (as is my wont) and heard a story about a fellow called Robert Jovicic that brougth tears to my eyes.

This poor bugger was born in France to Serbian parents who moved here when he was two (he's 38 now). He's spent his entire life in Australia. He became a heroin addict and spent some time in prison for burglary.

After he did his time, our warm and fuzzy government deported him to Serbia (he was "only" a permanent resident, not a citizen), where he's never been. He doesn't speak the language, and Serbia doesn't currently acknowledge him as a citizen so he can't get work or welfare. His money has run out and now he's been sleeping outside the Australian Embassy in Belgrade, on the frickin street, because he just wants to come home.

From the transcript:

LYNN BELL [reporter]: The Immigration Department says the Former Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, used his discretion to cancel Mr Jovicic's visa and he is now permanently excluded from Australia.

In a statement, the Department says the Serbian Consulate in New South Wales issued a travel document allowing Mr Jovicic to return to Serbia and Montenegro and further, the indications are that this person can still avail himself of citizenship in Serbia and Montenegro if he wishes.

But Robert Jovicic believes that could take years, and doesn't know if he'll survive long enough to make that happen.

ROBERT JOVICIC [sounding like he's fighting back tears]: Look, you know, my hair is falling out. If I don't lay out the front of the embassy and try and get back home, I'll die here. Just on medical grounds alone. Within a short time. I don't even know if I can last the winter.

That poor bastard - imagine being forced to sleep on the street in a country where you're entitled to nothing and can't speak the language.

I am ashamed to be Australian.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Kevin Andrews - Quote of the Week

I heard this pearler last week - would've posted on it at the time but it took a while for the ABC to upload the transcript.

In response to a question about a submission written by 150 academics (professors and associate professors who are specialists in business and industrial relations), Kevin Andrews gave this pearler of a reply:

"You know, a group of academics is no substitute for commonsense proposals."

I just love the way that conservative governments constantly portray intellectuals and academics as some sort of snobby, unrealistic, head-in-the-clouds elite, thereby enabling them to dismiss them out of hand. Don't you?

A Lassie Moment

I had a Lassie moment with Jinx (our five month old puppy) a few days ago that I thought I'd share.

I was sitting at the computer and I heard the sound of something being dragged across the carpet. Being a veteran puppy owner I turned around ready for trouble, expecting to see Jinx with something forbidden in her mouth.

She was standing there with her head cocked to one side and an envelope in her mouth. I took it from her (without a struggle - yay!) and it turns out that it was an unopened letter from a friend in New Zealand - a letter sent back in March that I don't remember receiving and had never read. I presume I must have lost it the same day I received it down the side of the computer table or something.

What a clever puppy. Yesterday I bought her a "giggle ball" (a doggy chew toy that makes a weird noise when it's rolled) as a reward!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When Lefties agree with the Christian Right...

... is it a sign of the impending Apocalypse? Can we expect Death, Famine and the rest to come riding over the hill on their skeletal horses sometime soon, carrying their copies of the IR legislation?

Just curious.

What made me start to wonder is a news article on AM today - "Christian lobby unhappy with IR changes to penalty rates".

The bit that really made me do a double-take was this bit:

CATHERINE MCGRATH: In your submission to the inquiry, you also raised concerns about the bargaining power of people going for jobs under this new regime. What point are you making there?

JIM WALLACE: Well I think it's simply irrational to think that someone who's entering the workforce for the first time is going to have the knowledge and skills to be able to negotiate on an equal basis with a new employer. And so we would like to see that there's some protection in there, in either the representation that the new employee has, or in the length of the AWA that a new employee is negotiating.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: Jim Wallace, you've been lobbying a great deal on Christian issues around Parliament. Normally, have you found the Government receptive and how have they been on this issue?

JIM WALLACE: The Coalition has normally been very supportive of Christian values and of family values.

CATHERINE MCGRATH: But not in this case you're saying?

JIM WALLACE: Well in this case, I think that they've acted against family values, in that this will inevitably mean that families will spend less time together, and that over time, we'll see Sundays, Saturdays and public holidays treated just like every other day.

Of course, they're taking a different tack on the whole "we're getting screwed" thing than a lot of lefties - guess they don't like the threat to the Sabbath Day or something - but it's just weird for them to be on the same side as the Democrats and Greens for a change!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Peter Jackson gets a Halo

Maybe I am a bit slow, but I was just looking at the IMDB profile of Peter Jackson (director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and it says that he's been announced to direct a movie based off the Halo game:

In the war against an alien race known as the Covenant, Master Chief and the crew of a battleship known as "The Pillar of Autumn" crash land on a mysterious structure known as "HALO", the ring world. Now, Master Chief, along with help from The Pillar of Autumn's sentient computer A.I., Cortana, must unlock the destructive secrets of "HALO" before the Covenant does.

I haven't played it but I know a bunch of people who have and love it, so it'll be very interesting to see how this develops.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Which LOTR Character Are You?

You are most like Frodo. You're very friendly, and you have a great personality. Although you like to have fun, you can also be pretty serious at times. It's pretty hard to get you mad, but once you're mad...everybody better look out! Keep that temper under control and realize that you're better off than you may think.

What LoTR Character Are You?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

Laurence Binyon, "For the Fallen" (21st September, 1914)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is a music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncountered:
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.

Ahh! He's doing it again!

Pissing me off, that is.

Another reason to hate Gary Humphries:

ABC supporters reject ads-for-drama idea

The Friends of the ABC says funding for drama production at the public broadcaster should come from the Federal Government, not advertising.

A member of the Government's communications committee, Gary Humphries, says he will formally raise with the Communications Minister the possibility of allowing advertising on the ABC.

Senator Humphries says advertising revenue should supplement government funding to pay for more drama production.

But Friends of the ABC spokeswoman Margaret O'Connor says that is not the answer.

"The Friends believes that amending the ABC Act to allow advertising of non-ABC products would damage the public confidence enjoyed by the ABC," she said.

"And it might risk editorial integrity or influence program-making decisions.

"All the ABC needs is a restoration of base funding which has been depleted severely over the last 20 years under both Labor and Liberal governments."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Obligatory Blog Rant

I gather that there's some sort of stereotype associated with blogs (especially LJ) that they are the place for people to angst and rant. I haven't really done either nearly as much as I should have - I'm letting the team down.

So now it's time for a rant...

Where I work, I report directly to a sort of important person. Her boss' office is in the same building, and he has his own staff. One of the members of his staff - let's call him Alvin - is a relatively junior person (I get paid more than he does) but he's got the arrogance of kings. Every time I see his smarmy face I want to punch him... and I am not a violent person.

Alvin from the Chipmunks, who represents a lot of the qualities that "Alvin" lacks: cuteness, humility, manners, the ability to play a golden harmonica, etc

Now, I know that there are some personal assistant types who adopt a cloak of importance directly related to the power of their boss. It's the sort of power that can be used for good in the aid of the organisation they work for: their boss will quite frequently ask them to get someone else to do a particular task, and having a sort of conferred power means that they will get less arguments from people who get paid more than they do for giving them work.

But it can also be used for evil, to push people around and give them shit.

For example, today Alvin came to see me. He asked if I'd received a particular email that his boss had sent me three weeks ago. I said no - if I had received it, I would certainly remember. I suggested that maybe he should re-send it.

Alvin asked me to check my inbox just to make sure. In the interests of keeping the peace I did so, and, surprise surprise, no email. I told him this. He then peered at my screen as though to check if I was lying, made a comment to the effect of, "Well, he said he sent it," and walked off saying he'd ask him to send it again.

This is the latest in a long stream of derogatory and insulting little encounters. He's offended not only myself but the people who work near me (over completely different matters) and people I liaise with in other buildings (who have phoned me to complain about him!). The guy is a condescending little freak.


...aaaaaand I'm spent.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Waiting for Santa

I took a photo of Jinx last night and prettied it up for submission to deviantART. Thought that you guys might be interested in seeing what a darling she is!

I called the pic "Waiting for Santa" because of the slightly long-suffering look on her face. I took about a dozen photos in the space of five minutes to try and get this picture, and this is the only one where she's looking at the camera - she wouldn't sit still.

Never work with children or animals!

If you want to see a larger version of the pic, look here.

Monday, November 07, 2005

New Hellsing DVD

(Aaargh. I wrote a post and when it finally uploaded it was blank!)

"You are less than inhuman. A pitiful defect, a failed science project. Sending you to your maker would be an act of mercy. Your regeneration power's impressive, but I bet if I put enough bullets into your skull you will stay down for good. So let's cut to the chase. Start begging." - Alucard, Hellsing

I just found out that there is going to be a new Hellsing anime series, which everyone is referring to as the OVA. Wiki tells me that stands for "Original Video Animation", which basically (in anime-speak) means that it goes straight to DVD instead of TV or anywhere else.

The official site for the new release is here, but all I can glean from it is that the DVD will be out on 9th December. Can't figure out any more because the rest is in Japanese - so that may well be the Japanese release date and the rest of us have to wait ages more.

The only other thing I've heard about it is that apparently Seras' breasts are even bigger than in the original series! 8-|

Friday, November 04, 2005

I Choose to Tag...

...I was really slack and never tagged anyone in the 20 random facts quiz. This is because only three people regularly read this blog (M. doesn't) and I figured that Inkling would be tagged by her Hubby (which she was, but I still feel slack).

So now I will be good and tag some people. I tag Ice_Phoenix (if he ever reads this, which I don't think he does), Sarah (who sometimes drops by and seems really nice!) and Baby Bob. The last of the three will need help from Mummy and Daddy to write her answer. :P

Tagged - Food Quiz

I got tagged by Mikey with the food quiz. This time it's specific questions...

1. What's your favourite food of all time?

Fresh mangoes. Or fresh mango smoothies. Mmm.

2. What's your favourite comfort food?

Lindt milk chocolate.

3. What's the most you've ever spent on a dinner per person?

I don't remember. Probably $100, but I don't often spend more than $50.

4. What's your favourite gourmet food?


... do they count as gourmet?

5. What's your favourite non-alcoholic beverage?

See question one. But I am also a fan of some coffees, and peach flavoured iced tea. Lipton brand please.

6. What, if any, foods are you allergic to?

Does being nauseated by liver (lamb's fry - urk!) count?

7.What food do you hate the most?

See question 6. Also McDonalds burgers.

8. Do you eat meat?


9. What is the earliest food you remember eating?

I remember making a vegemite and jam sandwhich for myself as an experiment, and when I found out how nasty it tasted, I tried to make my little sister eat it! >:)

10. What is the last thing you ate?

A white role with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber on it. I got cucumber because I don't like the lettuce they use in the canteen.

11. What's the last thing you ate that made you vomit?

Last time something I ingested made me vomit was red wine. But I'd just eaten a nice roast dinner, so that made me sad. :(

I don't think food has ever made me sick on its own - not without some other cause.

12. What's your favourite kind of pie?

Umm. Anything with berries in it.

13. What's the last thing you cooked?

Lasagne. From the shops.

If pre-made food doesn't count, then it'd be pancakes.

14. What is the weirdest thing you have eaten?

I chew straws. Drinking straws, not the "I found it in a haystack" kind.

15. Have you ever had food poisoning?


16. Favourite cheese?

The one with the little bits of pickled onion in it. *drools*

17. How do you like your eggs?

Soft poached. I am now disillusioned because I've been told that soft eggs are a potential source of avian influenza... so if we start getting the bird flu in Australia I will have to start eating hard eggs. Ew.

18. What cuisine do you crave RIGHT NOW?

Really hanging out for some fresh oysters actually... *shakes fist at question four*

19. How far have you travelled just to get a certain food?

To Bateman's Bay (so about a two hour drive). For cheap fresh oysters from the fish n chip shop there.

Of course, we went to the beach too, but that wasn't my primary motivation for going...

20. If you were to be eaten, how would you like to be served?

In a manner that didn't involve slow cooking in any way.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What Vampire Character Are You?

You scored as Marius. You are the quiet cool. You are so mellow people are lulled into a false sense of security. When you are pissed god help anyone who crosses you?













Deacon Frost








Whose your Vampire personality? (images)
created with

Angel of Ruin

I just finished reading a novel by an awesome Aussie writer, Kim Wilkins. Her publisher calls her the "Australian queen of the supernatural". I don't know about that, but she tells a really good story. Very cool.

(Left: My "Day of Rest" manip.) The one I just finished is called "Angel of Ruin". It's really interesting - devils and angels and all that stuff I really enjoy reading about.

The bit that made me smile is that it ends like a chain letter, almost. The whole thing is about a Wanderer, a person cursed to wander the earth till they find someone to listen to their story, thereby passing the curse on. The novel is the story of a person who hears the story.

So of course it had to end with something along the lines of advising the reader they better find someone else to read the book and take the curse off them.

Hehehehe. Love it.

So... anyone wanna borrow the book? ;)

Financial Reports Can Be Fun!

They can! No, really!

I find the financial reports on the news as dry as the next person. I have no shares so I don't understand or particularly care what the gold and the dollar did today. But I still don't mind listening to these reports because I can just imagine the newsreader, prior to the story, sitting there with a thesaurus to come up with twenty different ways to say the same thing.

Let's face it, share values either go up, or they go down. But it'd be even more dry if that was how they described every single share and currency that they were going to mention.

The share goes up. It therefore:
Rose, Climbed, Recovered, Grew, Hiked, Surged, Gained Ground (or Gained), Increased, Advanced, Soared, Crept Up, Edged Up, Heated Up, Forged Ahead, Skyrocketed...

The share goes down. It therefore:
Fell, Decreased, Dropped, Slid, Tumbled, Shrank, Lost Ground (or Lost), Bottomed Out, Declined, Ebbed, Waned, Cooled, Shrank, Retreated, Plummeted, Slipped, Slimped, Plunged, Collapsed, Yielded...

There are heaps more, of course (though more for when things are bad than when they are good, I notice). Keep an ear out and let me know if you hear any corkers!

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