Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Random: Marble Penis

Being a bleeding heart liberal, this sort of stuff makes me more cranky than the stupid SUV driver who decided to make a u-turn right in front of me while I was driving to work today (my car is fine, thanks to my brakes, power steering and the horn (stop, dodge, deflect)).

So, take this SmartFilter!

(I bet that's got them scared!)

Monday, February 27, 2006


Random: M4 Message Breaking

Since I'm reading (and loving) Cryptonomicon at the moment, this seems especially cool. It's a project like SETI@Home, trying to break the last 4 enigma codes. And they've already cracked one of them...


Random: Secret Doors

You know how in movies, there's the bookshelf where if you pull out just the right book, a hidden passageway opens up? Well, these guys can build you one...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006



This took about 5mins. And I used Paint, so excuse the crappiness...



Fuzzy just noticed the funky GoogleTalk emotes. And yes, they are pretty cool (try the ;-) smiley!). Except for that fact that they don't work for me. If I type a :-) (or if someone else types it), all I see is that it turns blue. No groovy animation, no nifty effects. Just a blue emote.


Monday, February 20, 2006


Random: Google Is Making Us Lazy

Hack (Triple J's excellent current affairs program) recently did a segment on how Google is making us lazy. While to me Gideon Haigh (the guy getting interviewed) seems to come across as a bit of a luddite (hey, this is the Internet. I'm allowed to make wild claims on very little evidence!), he does make some interesting points.

Either way, it's kind of interesting to hear from someone who doesn't worship at the altar of Feeling Lucky.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Dear ACT Parking Inspectors

Yes, I know I did the wrong thing. The sign quite clearly said "2 Hours", and my car was parked there much longer. I did intend to come back and move it during the day, but being totally honest about it, I knew I'd probably forget about it. I deserved to get a parking ticket.

So thanks for just giving me a warning.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Work: It Finally Happened!

Wow! On Friday, for the first time, the SDK wiki was edited by a non-TOWER employee! How fantastic is that!

Of course, if you go by the standard competition rules that "all employees and their immediate families" can't enter, then the competition is still going. But still, we're getting closer!

Monday, February 06, 2006


Work: Non-Budget Funded Work

Stilly's idea of a non-budget funded work day sounds good in theory. But that would require my to have the time to spare on a non-budget funded work day, and really, that's part of what got me into this mess in the first place...

And I think that's the first link my blog's had in a while!

Friday, February 03, 2006


Work: My Almost Freakout

I figured I should probably do a bit of a follow-up post to Wednesday's brief effort. The short version is I think it was a combination of my brain needing it's yearly re-boot and too much coffee.

The long version is that all week I'd been feeling worse and worse. I haven't been anywhere near as productive as I've needed to be lately (there are excuses I could make, but excuses don't really count for much). I've got at least three projects on my plate at the moment - none of which I want to give up - and a selection of other stuff various people want me to do. During the first half of this week, I managed to spend a massively long time and a massive amount of effort achieving absolutely nothing. Build problems, computer crashes, environment changes, random "can you do this now" stuff, etc. Normally I can cope with this sort of stuff - I'm not typically someone who gets stressed very much. But not this week.

Wednesday was the peak. I just wanted to throw my hands up, scream, and run out of the place. And I felt like that for most of the day. It was my first example of what should have been a mental health day.

Fortunately I realised that I was not in a good place. I had a nice relaxing Wednesday night, had a good chat to a few people, sorted a few things out in my head and had a good night's sleep. Yesterday I felt much better - I managed to get a good chunk of something done, I asked for a laptop to help me deal with some of my other work and didn't have any coffee. And today was even better.

So yeah, hopefully I've got that out of the way now for this year...

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Just Read: January

I'd been planning on doing a "Just Read:" post for each book I finished this year, but a month in, the best I have so far are a very draft posts. So to steal an idea from Faerye.net, I think I'll try for a combined, monthly post.

So, here's the list for January!

The Lamplighter by Anthony O'Neill
Discovered: Post-Christmas loot
About it: A professor of philosophy and a grave-yard night watchman team up to investigate a series of murders seemingly unrelated aside from their strangeness and savagery. Oh, and there's also a mysterious young woman who dreamt the murders as they were happening.
I really enjoyed the first half of this novel - it was a great period mystery. I found having a philosopher involved made for a slightly different but very interesting story (much like throwing a mathematician into Jurassic Park).
Unfortunately, I think I missed the point slightly - I had assumed the professor was the main character. That meant I was disappointed with who the killer turned out to be, and with the ultimate fate of the two investigators. But that's more a problem with me than the book - it just wasn't what I was expecting.
My Rating: 2.5/5

Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward
Discovered: Lent by Gordon
About it: The story is about a neutron star that is drifting past the solar system, the humans who go to study it, and the alien race that has evolved on the star's surface. The book is really two stories told in parallel - one from the human's view point, and one for the cheela's view point. It was a great, hard-science sci-fi story. I found it just as interesting reading about how the humans were planning to study the star as it was reading about the evolution of the cheela society. Robert L. Forward did an excellent job of crafting a different race of aliens - these guys certainly aren't your humans in rubber suits. It was interesting seeing how human experience ended up shaping the cheela culture.
The end left me with one thought - "well, I'm guessing mankind now puts a global effort into cryptography", but maybe that's just my solution to the final problem.
My Rating: 4/5

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Discovered: Post-Christmas loot
About it: Two magicians are trying to return magic to England in the 19th century. The language suits the story perfectly - I'm assured it's written in the style of Jane Austin. I found both Strange and Norrell to actually be quite fleshed out characters. They could have been very 2-dimensional (you've got the cranky old wizard, and the young wild wizard), but they both seemed more than that. I wasn't too impressed with the very end (what? You'd rather hang out with Norrell?), but it was such a tiny thing that it certainly wouldn't stop me from recommending the book.
My Rating: 3.5/5

Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis
Discovered: 2 years after reading American Psycho, I felt I was ready for some more Brett Easton Ellis
About it: Clay comes home to LA for Christmas, and tries to pick up his life where he left off. His friends and family all have their own problems, and combined with far too much coke and a general lack of empathy makes it very hard for Clay to relate to anyone. Clay alternates between being the most human, normal and sympathic character to just as messed up, selfish and sociopathic as everyone else. I was thinking that it there weren't going to be any seriously messed up scenes (unlike American Psycho), but turns out I was wrong.
My Rating: 3.5/5


Random: Devil Cancer Breakthrough

This is good news. Well, at least potentially.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


How I Feel Today


(for true effect, imagine arms waving wildly around as the noise is made)

I really wanted to say that, but I figured no one here would really appreciate it.

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