Thursday, 25 September 2008

An Ethical Dilemma

Whilst Michael Phelps Challenge Day came and went without a serious attempt at smashing the 10,000 calorie barrier there have definitely been a few days of serious ingestion – returned to a Brazilian meat fest at Churrasco's in Coogee (or, more accurately, went there for the first time as the last time we tried to go there forgotten bookings meant a relocation to the far swankier [and much more expensive] Wildfire version) – a Boy's Night In™ became a Boy's Night Out™ after various negotiations with various parties.  A slight ethical dilemma in planning of the evening – started out with tentative planning for a Tuesday night in with Messuir Gray which usually involves pizza and half-hearted attempts at work.  A late invitation to take up some spare tickets for a West End Musical (near Central Station) meant I got rid of the ladyfriend and miniature ladyfriends for the evening but a separate tentative invitation for a farewell dinner @ Churrasco's (which had been made before the original tentative plan had been firmed up) put a slight fly in the ointment.  Attempted to combine the Boy's Night In™ with the Boy's Night Out™ to create a pure and simple Boy's Night™ but there was half hearted enthusiasm for the idea from the Boy's Night In™ crowd.  Excuses were made, none of which were very convincing (yes, I know you diet sometimes but you wouldn't be having a milkshake if you were over at my house!) but a blessing for a graceful exit was made although there was still some guilt.  There would have been less had my hump not been ridden concerning the end results of the negotiations which were definitely in my favour.  In the end, managed to out-eat everyone very satisfactorily which did mean that I suffered the next day but if that's the worst that can happen it's still pretty good.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Labours of Love

In my role as The Good Boyfriend(TM) I've done many things to incur favour with my ladyfriend but none have been potentially more excruciating than attending a high school musical show and a sweet 16th birthday party - the idea of watching a hundred nubile post-pubescents sing, dance and play awful top 40 hits that would be more suitable for Abu Ghraib than Aberdeen is not what I normally plan for an evening - that said, despite 2 hours without intermission (and not even a bottle of water for sale), it was not that bad and the one we went to see was surprisingly good (although one would presume there's a bias) - birthday parties the next day involved considerable effort and stress - the least of which was trying not to burn down the house with some particularly fatty greyhound sausages - the flames wouldn't have been that bad had I a network of manly man to laugh and roister about it with - but with an audience of a dozen 15-16 year old girls you don't want to be showing too much incompetence.  I hope my efforts have been appreciated.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Battle of the Egos

Three days away from the confidential world in the middle of an important project was probably not the most sensible thing to do but I wasn't the one who faffed around so I can't feel too guilty about the timing. A brief stint as the odd bod in Episode 3 of the latest pilot offering of Rock Chikz was a very entertaining way to spend the middle of the week - despite having to deal with a couple of slightly over inflated egos at times and a script which could have done with a bit of nitpicking I have to say that filming with professionals, even if they are all still on the verge of making it, is a far cry from working on a home financed short.  The jargon I picked up from the Metroscreen course paid some dividends as I actually knew what MS, LS and ECU translated to, I knew what to do when asked for a white balance and I knew where to go to get a cup of tea as well as the obligatory free meal.  And despite the early starts meant missing the morning rides (which are surprisngly addictive) the locations were spaced out enough to ensure a decent amount of riding in each day - pancakes beat petrol in the evening (even though it was a dodgy veal schnitzel) with an unplanned race from Newtown to Centennial Park and all seemed good in the world.  I suppose.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A Man Of Principle

Another week at the confidential place which was mostly a week of stress with a slight ray of hope near the end followed by a crashing reality check on what happens when you faff around too much - can't say I was too surprised but am relatively confident that disaster won't strike too badly.   A new box of bike toolz was purchased and a fair whack of zen and the art - made a couple of mistakes of which I must admit there was no real excuse (taking out a pin of the master link in a chain is a no-no) but others were just pure frustration (is it ever possible to properly clean a chain?  Every time I do it it seems to get worse - that dude in Vancouver once told me never to ever use any solvent on a chain - I think he may have been right).  Still, my hands have been filthy with grease for the past five days straight which is never very pleasant.  The month of Credtember is clicking along - almost halfway there and still not a coin spent - it's caused a few issues thus far - managed to escape buying rounds of beer at one pub but made up for it by purchasing a round (or two ... due to a badly negotiated exchange) of cocktails at the infinitely toffier second drinking establishment, due to minimum transaction rates a $4 essential purchase turned into a $20.20 purchase of things which will be used but were more a want than a need, am continuing to annoy the ladyfriend by sponging coffees (pretty sure she's doing alright by the whole thing though) and also found myself with nothing to warm me at the halfway mark of a mammoth 140k ride through torrential downpours and blustering headwinds.  I even had a fair chunk of change that I always keep in my tool bag but my vow dictated that I must not spend it.  Man, it's hard being such a principled man. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Meredith Who?

Very interesting ... pardon my political ignorance but Meredith Who?  Is she like Madonna or Cher?  Not once in the entire article has Ms Farrelly mentioned a surname.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Worried About The Large Hadron Collider?

So Much For Loving The Fans ...

The arrogance of this woman continues to astound me ...  if Roddenberry/TPTB at Star Trek had taken her tactic of quashing fan developed supporting material then it would not have the juggernaut of an army of die-hard fans it has today (and that may be a good thing).  The Harry Potter books are a publishing, not a literary, phenonemon - they've made her a millionaire a thousand times over (so I hear).  Yes, they've introduced millions to the magic of reading (excuse me while my stomach settles), many children who would otherwise not be reading anything found themselves translating the words to images in their heads but that doesn't mean the books are great (sure, the 4th and 7th were pretty good but LOTR they ain't).  Appealing to the masses doesn't make you great.  Suing anyone who hopes to make a profit from their hero-worship of her doesn't seem to me to be a great way to reward a fan base. 

Will it make her more money?  Probably.  Will it disillusion her legions of fans?  Probably not.  Is it a bitch of thing to do?  Absolutely.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Cheat To Win

... or to come third.  A credit card behind the bar can do wonders for the perception of a little social experiment in a cashless existence.  Zeb's eagerly awaited race turned out to be much later than planned and therefore not only was it in the gridlock of peak hour but also in the dark and in the rain.  Considered being a mere checkpoint but thought ... f**k it, you're only young once and the fact that the race was reduced from a cross town alleycat to an 'Urban Keirin' meant it didn't seem that bad.  Still, first time I've raced on Chevette since the removal of her front brake and that's never good in the slickness of rain soaked streets.  The course was simple and short - around Hyde Park North a few times - Elizabeth was packed with buses, trucks and cars (including several from the police and fire brigade) but Park and College was pretty empty, which meant kicking it was not a problem.  The SCC may have helped with the endurance, what little was needed, but the time out from the urban grind of day-to-day deliveries meant I wasn't really up for flying between buses that were coming together like the boats in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (do you remember that scene?  Where Indy and the girl fly between the two boats and the protectors of the grail who are following them get blown up when a tug boat knocks the two ships closer to each other?  Do you remember?  It wasn't that long ago).  Still, no ping ponging required - a bit of medean strip riding and a bit too much skidding - but hey, for right or wrong, I was declared third (which is better than second, which is better than first, at least I remember telling myself that sometime long ago) and that's got to be a good thing.  No need to explain myself too much - Southampton Paul finally got his jersey (still waiting for the right race for me) and I got drunk.  Don't completely remember how I got home but I think Burgerfuel was involved.  Hurrah.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Change Is Coming?

If McCain says that change is coming I can only assume that means he's predicting his own loss.  Either that, or it's a very thinly veiled attack on the current guy in charge, someone who's supporters he's supposed to be representing.

Cheap Is As Cheap Does

The first fly in the ointment of Credtember - apparently coffees purchased on an account do not accrue loyalty stamps that lead to free kaffirnation.  Most disappointing when one is expecting double stamps on two purchases but will have to be a bit more strategic in purchasing from now on.  A fair night of free entertainment with a short film debut that was followed by a bar tab (admittedly a gold coin donation was required but was shuffled off to a fellow citizen) and then by a free ticket session of 'Not Quite Hollywood' in a virtually empty cinema.  Hurrah.
Less desirable addictions were also adequately purchased by plastic - do it in the right place and do it in bulk and you'll be fine.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Obama The Elitist?

Amusing. I am aware that not being an American means I can't vote in their election but I'll be damned if anyone says that the results of their election won't affect me.

Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans

Ah, Chrome ...

Can't use it at work 'cause of the firewalls; can't use it at home 'cause it's only on Windows ...  Still, it's the best browser to date.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Cultural Sensitivity???

The didgeridoo is a great contribution to the music world by the Aboriginal people but for a doctor (!!!  I can only hope it's that he's an academic PhD and not someone of the medical profession) to make the claim that playing the instrument can lead to infertility in girls is sheer idiocy.  Was Harper Collins being a bit insensitive to Aboriginal culture here or is Dr Rose being incredibly insensitive to women?

Now, I believe in respecting other cultures - to the extent that they're not talking out of their arses.  I respect Islam but I don't respect their intolerance of apostates, homosexuals and the subjugation of their women.  I respect the right of Evangelical Christians to believe whatever the hell they want to believe but not at the expense of denying the realities of evolution and forcing their children to grow up in ignorance.  I respect women but I don't respect them riding my hump for supposed transgressions with doing my share of the household chores (that is a joke).

Well, Dr Rose has asked Harper Collins to treat the issue a bit more seriously, but I think if he wants anyone to take this issue seriously he should do the same.

Credtember - Day 3

Still no issues in the month of Credtember - am abusing my priviliges by sponging off co-workers for coffee despite having tab at local cafe.  Luncheon has been brought thus far - eliminating need for petty cash transactions at the noon hour - so far so good.  Potential issue coming up on Friday with a cash-entry alleycat but am presuming that entry can be paid off with beer.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Cashless Society?

In a world of credit cards and bank transfers, vouchers and buses you can't even get on unless you've pre-bought your ticket it seems we're closer than ever to living in a cashless society.  But, is it possible to live a normal existence free of the bounds of paper (well, plastic paper) and metal tender?  We shall see.  The ninth month of 2008 will be Credtember (for lack of a better name) for me - all monetary transactions throughout the month will be virtual.  Obviously, the bigger transactions will be easier - nobody thinks twice about buying big-ticket items with a credit or debit card but the little things may well prove to be an issue.  To that effect, IOUs and tabs will be a valid form of purchase for Credtember (as long as the vendor agrees - the first tab secured is the morning coffee from Platos, the 1 Market St cafe that produces a very serviceable piccolo late and I'm hoping that their generosity will extend to the occasional sammich although I'm planning to minimise such inordinate expense by making my own luncheon which is usually preferable anyway).  I've also decided that little purchases can be made in cash, as long as it's not with my cash.  This may mean pushing the limits of various friendships for the month but most of my friends are aware of my strange and varied principles so they shouldn't be too perturbed.  Let's see how we go.

Yes, very special ...

Interesting chat at a right wing think tank on Monday's evening - the MD of our very Special Broadcasting Service was spruiking his network and explaining how they do so much with so little.  Was interesting to note the breakdown of income for the second "public" in terms of government funding and commercial revenue - although I think I may have flustered him when I asked him if SBS would ever consider rolling back the commercials if they were to get the additional funding from the government that they required.  No.  I seriously think that despite SBS having a much lower income from commercials than the major networks from a consumer point of view it's very hard to sympathise with a group that calls itself public when the programs it shows are constantly being broken up by ads.