Thursday, July 28, 2005


Things That Make Me Smile

Copyright Gordon 2005

At lunchtimes on Thursdays was do yoga at the dance studio across the carpark. It's a fantastic was to remove all desire to work for the rest of the afternoon. But that's another story.

The dance studio has two toilet cubicles. Each has several stickers and signs stuck around the walls. Most are about body image and staying healthily, but there are a couple that always make me smile.

The first is a very helpful diagram showing guys how to not miss the bowl when urinating and cover the floor in wee. One day I'm going to grab a photo of it.

The second is about the disposal of "feminine hygiene products". Sure, not very funny in itself (unless you're a 12 year old boy). But what always makes me smile is the company name. Rentokil: Hygiene Division. If I headed an evil organisation of assassins, I'd call it Rent-o-Kill, and I'd definitely have a hygiene division.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


WoWing Conversations

In the spirit of the last post, I thought I'd chuck this up as well. A mate and I were talking about setting up a guild on World of Warcraft. We quickly came to the conclusion that we didn't know enough people we could rope in (you need nine people to set up a guild).

Will: The problem is, there isn't anyone else. I think your going to have to make some random internet friends Simon.

Me: Hey, why do I have to deal with the scary Internet people?

Will: Because you are so much nicer to them than I would be. Plus, you know l337 speak better than I do, so you can communicate with them. If I had to do it, it would be like talking to a French or Spanish native who didn't speak english!

Me: It wouldn't go well. I can just see it now:

Will Whispers: There's one. That gnome with the fish and the giant shoulder pads.
You Whisper to Will: Hang on, I'll check his stats
Jullian Level 57 Gnome Warrior. 1 characters in group
You Whisper to Will: Looks good. Okay, here goes...
You Yell: EXCUSe M3, U J01n 0ur g1uld!!1!
Will Whispers: Good job man. Has he said anything?
You Whisper to Will: No, not yet. Hey, he's leaving
You Yell: joIN oue guild!!11 W3 *heart* gn0me5 & r 7otz fun
Will Whispers: He's still going. What's happening?
You Whisper to Will: Don't worry, I know what to do
You Yell: gN0mer,wh3r3 r u g01ng? ojin GUIld oar u r gay
You Whisper to Will: There, see, he stopped
Will Whispers: Good work man...
Jullian makes a rude gesture at Simon
Jullian picks his noise at Will
Jullian points at Simon
Jullian laughs heartily at Simon
Jullian challenges Simon to a duel
Will has logged off
You Say: ...
You have died


Mikal's Inbox

Since apparently StillHQ has "standards", I need to put this up here for the public to see. It's an email Mikal just got from "".





(a fine use of one of my gmail invites if I do say so myself)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


CDs in my Collection

I was really interested in Ian's "CDs in my collection" post. If nothing else, I was impressed/surprised by the number of albums from Jason's list that I have. Since I'm a sucker for these sort of lists (I blame my friend Shantha - but that's another story), I decided to take his Internet wide tag and run with it.

Five Recent CD Purchases

Five CDs You Have Had For a While, and Still Play Regularly
(Achtung Baby only just missed the cut...)

Five CDs You Might not admit to owning, or having ownded, unless your conscience makes you fess up on a blog:
(I'm struggling to think of any more. It's probably not because I don't have anything more embarrassing, but because I've repressed the memory. Some of my friends would be shocked I'm not putting any of my Live CDs in this list though)

First Music You Remember Purchasing on Each Format:

Monday, July 25, 2005


Firefox Popups

Firefox is pretty good at blocking popups, but occasionally one gets through. Making the popup look like an actual windows message is hardly a new tatic, but the window I just discovered is probably the best I've ever seen:

Friday, July 22, 2005


More Than Meets The Eye

Oh, and there's going to be a live-action Transformers movie.


If You Don't Know, Ask

For the last few days, Stilly's been going on about how Robert Scoble used the term "circle jerk" in his blog. I figured that surely it must have a different meaning in the US. Fortunately for my sense of curiosity, we have some people visiting from the US office at the moment, and one made the mistake of sticking his head into our cube this morning.

"I've got a US culture question for you" said I
"Sure, what is it?"
"Okay, so the term 'Circle Jerk'..."

Let's just say it does mean the same thing in the US as here. And I don't think Craig will be coming over to have a chat anytime soon...

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Dear Stupid Driver I Saw This Morning...

I agree that following closely behind an ambulance to get through the peak hour traffic was a really smart and cool idea in Die Hard. However, when you do it in real life, it does not make you smart or cool. It just makes you a jerk. I hope you get a flat tire next time it rains.


Google Moon

To commemorate the moon landing, Google has launched Google Moon. It's pretty cool, but I was especially impressed by the quality of the images, especially when you zoom in all the way (trust me, try it).

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Nee mun doh BEE-jway...

...'cause this is important. I've discovered a site that translates the Chinese in Firefly.


I Met Mr Punch

Yesterday morning before I left for work I grabbed my copies of Good Omens (off the bookshelf near the door of my Den) and American Gods (from the stack of books against the opposite wall). Around 4pm, I vanished from work with my books and headded over to Gaslight Books. Why? Well, Neil Gaiman was doing a book signing, and I'd figured it would be interesting to go.

I'd heard from people who'd met him before that Neil was a really nice, cool guy. While I was standing in line, I could tell that they were right - he was taking the time to have a bit of a chat to everyone (it was probably a bit easier since it wasn't super busy). What really convinced me was what happened just before I got to the front of the line. There was a rule about how you could only get three things signed - fair enough, or else everyone would be there all day waiting for the guy who wants *everything* signed. The woman who I assume was Neil's minder/tour manager/geek shield ducked outside for a minute. The next guy in the line put his three things down, and Neil signed them, complete with little messages. And then he offered to quickly sign the other couple of books the guy was holding.

When it was my turn, I had a bit of a chat while he was signing my stuff. I complemented him on his blog and how it had been really interesting reading it as he got closer and closer on his tour. He told me that he really enjoyed keeping it, but had found that the problem with a blog is that when things start to get really interesting, you don't have time to blog about them. I smiled when he was signing Good Omens (read this) when he paused for a moment and then wrote "And burn this book" as if he'd just remembered it.

And you'll have to read through Neil's blog to work out the post title.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Can You Zoom In On That?

I was talking today at lunch about a game I used to play. The guys who wrote it set out to make a game where hacking worked just like it does in the moives. So you can bounce your connection around the world to make it harder for people to trace you (you even get a map that shows how far along your connection the tracer has come). When you decript a file it shows random numbers that keep changing until they all lock into the right position. When you search through a social security database it flips through photos of everyone.

It's called Uplink. Mac version is here.


Cat Jacking

A quick reading of some of his other posts makes this guy seem a bit strange, but this is pretty cool


Dog Jumper

Bella (the dog) has been very cold lately. I'm fairly sure that's the main reason she's been not letting me sleep in on the weekends - she wants to get to that nice warm bed. If we have one of the little heaters on, she'll lie directly in front of it and sleep for hours.

So we decided to get her a jumper of coat of some description. But in the mean time, I whipped this up from the sleave of one of my old jumpers. She seems to like it...


My Dad

Friday was my Dad's last day at work. Ever (well, probably). Having done his time in the Public Service, he got let out early for good behaviour (he doesn't actually retire until September). It's a pretty special event for my family. My Dad's a fairly quiet, calm guy who doesn't get worked up no matter how bad things get, and will always get the job done. The sort of guy that you might not notice next to your prima donnas and praise seekers, but who probably would have been the only reason your project got finished on time. He's amazingly patient - as in "get on quite well with Gandhi" patient.

A favourite quote of my Mum's is from a work dinner to celebrate completing a fairly long and painful project. They were giving joke awards to various people, and they called my Dad up. The comment was "and we knew the project had all gone to hell when we heard Peter mutter 'oh poo'".

He's also probably the most modest person I know. As an example, I didn't know for probably 3 months that Dad had been acting Director General, and then it was only because Mum told us.

Dad was the one who first showed computers to me. He was one of the very early members of the ACT Apple Users Group (for years we had the BBS sitting in our study). I wrote my first programs (using Basic!) with his advice and encouragement. Fractals, Chaos Theory, Quantum Mechanics and physics in general I know about because Dad introduced them to me. The whole "engineer mindset" thing I pretty much got from him.

Most people seem to be scared of ending up like either of their parents. But I can honestly say if someone told me that I reminded them of my Dad, I would be thrilled. Of all the people in the world, it's him I want to be more like.

So yeah, happy retirement Dad.


Google Recruitment Process

I meant to do this last week...


A WoWing Weekend

Over the past few days I've been doing some serious WoWing. Yesterday I spend most of the day playing (with a few breaks for food and chores). I've put all of this time into my first character, the Dwarven Hunter Turnin. Since Thursday night he's gone from level 14 to half way through level 19 (and is now my highest level character). I've also boosted his Mining to about 100, his Engineering to about 120 and taken his First Aid, Cooking and Fishing from 1 each to about 50, 25 and 10 respectively.

I finished off a chunk of quests, fought my way to the bottom of a mine a few times (with a friend and then by myself), mined lots of tin and even some silver, had some fun the the auction house and I've finally discovered the bank. I decided to try out the trading chat channel, and had two very nice, cool people give me the stuff I was after for free. I've made myself a new gun (a blunderbuss even), and a pair of nice shiny goggles.

Basically, I'm still having a ball. This is probably the most fun I've had with a game since I was 15. Except for the fact that it would probably be very boring, I'd be blogging in much greater detail about my WoW exploits...

Friday, July 15, 2005


Friday Afternoon Quiz

I just got a call from a friend of mine. He was at a work lunch, and apparently there was a quiz. So he decided to cheat by ringing me. He needed to know two albums based on their covers (I'm assuming with the text removed...). See if you can guess what there were from the descriptions I got (Googling is allowed, unless you work for them now).

Number 1:
Clue One: "What's the R.E.M. album that's kind of yellow?"

Clue Two: "Actually, it may not even be R.E.M"

Clue Three: "It's yellow box, with a kind of ribbon underneath it, and kind of orange background"

Clue Four: "Yeah, it's like a sign. Kind of like a street sign"

My Guess

Number 2:
Clue One: "What's the Blondie album with them all in black and white?"

Clue Two: "No, it's not the Greatest Hits"

Clue Three: "It's got the guys in all black suits"

Clue Four: "And the girl in a white dress"

My Guess

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I *Heart* World of Warcraft

Ah, World of Warcraft. It makes my little gamer's heart fill with joy. I was running around with my Hunter last night, doing some quests, killing some monsters and generally having fun. My pet bear and I seemed to be able to deal with most things we ran into (well, one on one anyway), although having Windows periodically minimize the game to ask if I wanted to restart my computer proved very annoying.

It's kind of strange that my Hunter seems to be the richest of all my characters, even though he was the first one I started playing (so I had the least idea of how to make money), and it's not like he's the highest level character either. Last night I got my first ever gold piece. And, since I finally decided to check out the Auction House, I'm well on my way to my second.

Oh, and speaking of gamers, this is funny.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


The King of Sardinia

Lindsay and Grant kindly offered to grab me my very own copy of Firefly when they went to Galaxy Bookshop over the weekend. I thought about it, but figured I couldn't really spent $60 on DVDs this week.

On Saturday night I was at a party (well, actually I was at two parties, but this was the second), I was telling a friend about how I'd been hooked. He told me that I could grab the boxed set from EzyDVD for $30.

Luckily, Grant and Lindsay heard the same thing (from the Galaxy Bookshop people no less), but none of the shops in Canberra had the DVDs in stock. So last night I logged on, whipped out my credit card and ordered away.

I made some comment to Lindsay that with a bit of luck I'd have them by Friday. She laughed at my optimism, since she didn't believe the online store had any in stock. Well, take a look at this:

I love ordering online.

Friday, July 08, 2005


The Good and the Bad

Bad things about having yesterday off sick:
Good things about having yesterday off sick:


Stupid Grant Part II

On Wednesday Grant gave me a copy of the first disk of Firefly. For anyone who doesn't know, Firefly is a series by Joss Whedon (the guy who did Buffy). It's basically a cross between a Sci-Fi show and a Western. I'd heard only good things about it, and have been keen to see it for ages.

So having devoured the first disk, I need to watch the rest of this show. I'm so hooked that I've been seriously considering rewatching the first 3 episodes since yesterday afternoon. And now Grant tells me I'll have to wait until Monday for my next fix!


Book Signing

Digging through my pile of blog posts, I discovered that Niel Gaiman is coming to Canberra in a couple of weeks. Woo hoo!

If anyone's interested, here's his schedule:
Tuesday 19 July-Canberra
4-6pm Signing event:
Gaslight Books, Fyshwick
Unit 10/83 Wollongong St
Enquiries: Gayle Lovett, 02 6239 3633

7-10pm Lecture introduced by Colin Steele, Q&A, Signing:
Manning Clark Lecture Theatre 1
Union Court, Australian National University
Enquiries: Diane Whitehead, 02 6125 4144

I'm thinking I'll go to Gaslight Books on Tuesday (and get American Gods and Good Omens signed!), but if the lecture sounds interesting, I might save myself a bit of a drive. Hell, maybe I'll do both.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Thanks For Asking

I had a great weekend, except for the fact I didn't get to play any WoW. We've been working our way through all seven seasons of Buffy (since I love the series and Karina hasn't seen it). Friday night we watched the last two episodes of Season Two, which are probably the best two episodes up to that point.

Saturday night I had some friends over for an evening of pretending to be other people. Kung-fu demi-gods to be exact. It's a game called Exatled - one of those "strange roleplaying games with the weird dice". I had a bit of a George Costanza moment when someone said it was the most fun he'd had playing Exalted for ages - why weren't the other sessions fun? What was wrong with them? But then got over it when we started playing Starfares of Catan. It included these large rocket ship things called motherships that you could clip guns and thrusters to, and had to "roll" at various times. The game ended up lasting until about 1:30am. It was lots of fun - I was coming last for quite a while, but in the last little bit managed to fight my way to second place.

On Sunday we bought a buffet, and came very close to buying a coffee table and side tables. We found a nice set on sale, but unfortunately they only had one side table. We were pretty sure we'd seen the same design somewhere else, so the nice woman in the shop let us steal the side table, take it to the other shop and compare (they didn't match).

In the evening I discovered that I actually can't write a C++ app yet, especially without a book (this is something I feel I need to correct). Then a friend came over who'd been away for a few months. She'd forgotten to bring the CD of her photos, but randomly had the memory card. So I got to impress everyone by hooking my new camera up to the TV.

So yeah, I had a great weekend. How was yours?

Friday, July 01, 2005


Stupid Grant

I got invited to a P.O.D. lunch today with Lindsay and Grant - mostly because I was the only one willing to supply the transport. While enjoying our Guiness and Beef pies, Grant told me about his Lego Mindstorm set.

Now I need to get this. I think it will go nicely with my lack of free time.

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