Tuesday, 27 September 2005

random acts of dairy propulsion

Mick got jipped on buying a domain for his simple-x work a while back, so did the obvious thing and instead bought fromage-trebuchet.com. Diverse hilarity ensues.

screen. more screen.

Saturday games. Sunday TV.

Little more detail, I guess. I burnt Saturday playing Madden, then stepped out in the evening for Avenir's first home game. There were promises of storyline, like the fact that the crazy Polish girl was lining up against Liz, but it didn't pan out. Avenir trailed at 1-0 and never after and won by godknowshowmany, let's say 40. Liz had her ankle strapped to kingdom come having spraining her ankle Wednesday - god knows how she got up and down the court.

Sunday I watched teev: Entourage, Sopranos, Anger Management, pap.

Today I'm at SPLC attending tutorials, more through technical assistance (read: lock and unlock doors and show people to and from rooms) than interest. It's all rather dull - not my field.

Monday, 26 September 2005

footy final

I managed to avoid news of the footy during Saturday so that I could watch the game on Sunday. Going into it, I was a little indifferent, but probably more for the Eagles than the Swannies, just because the games I'd seen through the year made me think that te Eagles were a team put together the wrong way, whereas the Swans were a team that played the wrong way. In the end, the eagles' lack of anyone capable of taking a mark was clearly their downfall, whereas Sydney's defensive, tactical and, in my view ugly game, stood up. One opinion I did change was of Barry Hall, who I had thought of as basically a harmless thug, but who I now consider just a thug. He clotheslined Wirrpunda in the first half in a really cowardly display. Anyway, the commentators called it a great grand final, but I thought it was a pretty ugly game - low scoring obviously, but also with a lot of stoppages and clogged forward lines almost all game.

Wednesday, 21 September 2005

I am not the walrus

*Sigh*, yet another one. I'm gonna suggest that there's a little wishful thinking and dialogue obsession in this one. On a more brutally honest day I could equally come out as Donny, I think.

According to the "Which Big Lebowski character are you?" quiz:

Why don't you check it out? Or we cut off your Johnson!

Tuesday, 20 September 2005

no more

Jamie's had enough, and I hear that. I think coming back to being a student in close contact with academics has pretty much convinced me that I don't want to be an academic. That said, I don't want to abandon research holus-bolus - if I could find DSTC-style secondary research or corporate resesarch, I'd go straight for it. The team thing is important though - I really need the structure.

Monday, 19 September 2005


Yeah, well, so much for the whole posting every day hypothesis. I'll plead long weekend. OK, perhaps it wasn't every day, just more spontaneously, and I think I can meet that.

By way of update. The long weekend was due to Irisa deciding to rip up all the electrics this weekend, the RTT day coming via August, a change that annoyed some of my workmates, but suits me just fine. To profit, I caught up with Liz, friday, for lunch at the wine bar where we go from time to time for tarte. I did some shopping in the afternoon, too, though as per usual the lack of car prohibits a shop for more than a few days' worth of food.

Saturday I bludged the morning away and gamed the afternoon - tennis and BG. Soso called me out for an apero in the evening with a friend of hers, but conversation was as sparse as sparse can be, so I bailed after a couple of hours and came home and watched another 6-ft under episode, the penultimate. The other reason for my now-standard abandonment was the smoke. Its a well-observed fact that all single attractive women in Europe are smokers, but it really becomes a problem when every other person in the bar (in this case the Webb) is as well. My jumper, hibernating for 5 or 6 months now, took about 2 hours to become thoroughly imbibed.

Oh, between the gaming and apero I braved a roast lamb - I didn't really know what I was doing, so I just tossed it in the oven with a bit of water, some garlic, rosemary, onions and potatoes and hoped for the best. It was OK, not enough blood in the juice for a good gravy - too pale - and the potatoes didn't cook, but I'll grade it a C+, with promise.

Sunday was gaming day - got up early and all - before the sun, which has gone all lazy and isn't up before 8 these days. Slacking in the heat department too - was mid-single figures Saturday night, and felt it. Anyway, the gaming was good; Dan and Jules rocked over to Paul's, and once we eventually got it all going it was fun.

This evening I finished a couple of my TV series - s2 of Curb Your Enthusiasm over dinner. Pause. Every now and then I manage a proper dinner. Tonight, even if it was last night's effort, I had roast lamb + 3 veg, with gravy, cracked pepper, green tea (no wine in the house - too heavy for shopping), then camembert with fresh baguette and a still-in-progress short nightcap of calva. I'm way getting old, but if the calva fits, wear it.

The other series was 6ft under s5. Best. Show. Ever. Not the final show, but just the whole series, or rather 5 series. You know, the show. I was a big sopranos fan, and there are bunches of others that I've really liked. Firefly might be the closest, but it had no closure - it finished a good 2 or 3 seasons short of that, and so suffers as a result - maybe the movie will help. The sopranos goes the other way, and maybe should have wound up after 4 or even 3 seasons, but 6fu finished at just the right time. And its quality - really pathos in just about every episode, and not just cheap soap pathos, but well-made. There's a real identifiable sense of style to it, that starts with the obvious things like the fades to white but goes further. Example, in the last episode Brenda is talking to a doctor, and one of the dead folks takes his place. The change was so seamless I had to go back to see whether they'd cut or done some tricky morph, but on reflection the morph would have been way wrong for the whole way the show's shot. That's probably bullshit, but there you go. Good show. Will be missed.

Brain. Empty. More to follow another day.

Thursday, 15 September 2005

goddamn penguins

What the hell is going on with these goddamned penguins? Apparently now "La Marche de l'Empereur" is the highest US-grossing French film ever. I won't even attempt to list the myriad French productions that surpass it. Personally, my opinion might best be recapped as "fucking awful". Perhaps the explanation comes at the end of that BBC article:
In the French version of the film - which was shot by a four-man crew over 14 months - actors' voices speak for the penguins.

However the US version has been reworked, replacing the actors' voices with a narration by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

I gotta confess, though, that I would have thought it would take a lot more than just re-doing the narration. Perhaps one day I'll check out the US version to see if its better. Or I could just gouge out my eyes with my bare hands.


Today I feel like shit, and am inclined to run home to Australia and hide for a month.


Not only did they start destroying an apartment in my building, without telling me beforehand, at the ungodly hour of 8am this morning, they blocked the entryway with their little debris truck. I had to lift my bike bodily over it and squeeze through a small gap.

Went out for crepes last night with Jacques, Sophie and Estelle. After getting home I queued up a couple of episodes of six feet under. It would have been one, but I can't help myself.

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

mea culpa

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said during a news conference.

Well, um, der. And about bloody time. Still, better late than never I guess.

change in transmission

I had occasion to use the wayback machine to revisit one of my old blog (by name, not tech) entries from 2002, and its interesting to note how things have changed. My writing style now is more formal but, perhaps by consequence, I blog much, much less often. I've decided to try and change that. Prepare for more posts, with more dropped subjects. Example follows.

Hooked up with Paul last night for a quick bout of NWN, continuing the game we started on the weekend. Its frustrating having to run over the same ground again and again, a condition not helped by my deciding to launch a single-player game at the same time. In the meantime I'm going to grab a copy of BG1, a game that I haven't played through before, that might offer some more story novelty satisfaction. I also continued ploughing through my TV stash, watching another episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and another couple of Six Feet Under. So well made, that show.

Today, at work, I'm mostly doing jack shit. Forecast has that continuing into the afternoon and into tomorrow.

Monday, 12 September 2005

meyer-briggs all over again

Like many in my field, I suspect, I'm INTP, although INTJ might be more common. My details:

  • moderately expressed introvert

  • moderately expressed intuitive personality

  • moderately expressed thinking personality

  • moderately expressed perceiving personality

Although I've seen this result before, the results were more moderate than I remember. Perhaps I'm getting soft in my old age.

(Test via Anna, Kerry)

Thursday, 8 September 2005

the last week

Its been a fairly quiet week. Last Thursday I went for a drink at the Webb with Soso and a friend of hers who's going to Australia soon for 8 or 9 months of working holiday visa goodness. I told him about the absolute necessity of doing the Cairns-Sydney or at least Cairns-Brisbane coast over a couple of weeks, all with not a small tinge of jealousy. Later on a bunch of familiar faces - Liz, Sandy, and a few others - joined us.

On Friday Liz and I went to Soso's folks' house for gallettes. Good gallettes, and nice to chat to Soso's dad. I also met her brother, who invited me to a basketball training on Tuesday.

The weekend was given over to playing cricket - on computer unfortunately, but still better than nothing. The game, EA's contribution, has a fairly steep learning curve, particularly in batting, and despite having played a game with the same controls a couple of years ago, it was only after a few hours that I managed to start registering scores in excess of 20.

On Tuesday I went out to Vezin le Coquet for basketball training with Jeremy. There were about 13 of us, with myself and one other guys the only newbies. I struggled with the early drills, my inability to hit a jumpshot somewhat of a hindrance. I also came to realise that I'm not as fit as I could be, and was blowing pretty hard at times. Later we moved onto some 3-on-3 games, and I did better, getting a nice tipback and generally not feeling too out of place playing in the post. We moved onto 5-on-5 and, likewise, I thought I was doing OK, but my calves started cramping up pretty badly and, despite a break to stretch and rub them a bit, I basically had to sit out the end of the session.

Since then I've been pretty sore. My back was tender after the game, but a little stretching down sorted that out. My calf, hip flexor and groin muscles are still tender a couple of days after though, despite my efforts to stretch them a couple of times each day. I probably need to start going for some runs if before I think about going to another training, or my fitness is going to be a problem.

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

homesick again

Chris has been taking awesome, awesome photos of Australia, and it's making me homesick. The country around the Herbert river reminds of a couple of camping trips we did when I was little, the stuff from Mt Mulligan really captures the burnt-out, desperate scrub/forest country around Mareeba, and the shots of animals (redclaw, lizards, birds, etc) really serve to remind that the tradeoff for 500-year-old churches found in Europe is an almost total lack of wildlife.

Friday, 2 September 2005

natural disaster madness

Ricky wonders about the madness following the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, and whether the same thing would happen in Australia. I guess the closest thing we've had is the destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy in '74 - obviously a much smaller storm in area, if not intensity, and mitigated by Darwin being above sea level - which basically levelled the city. Now obviously one can't compare a storm that killed 65 and evacuated 30,000 to a storm that will likely have killed thousands in a city of 1.3 million, but I've never heard of any great level of lawlessness in the wake of Tracy, and everything I've heard and read suggests the government response was much more immediate (effective too, but that's again of less viable comparison given the scale - immediacy is fair game though). I'm sketchier on other big Australian natural disasters like Black Friday or Ash Wednesday, but they're of even less direct comparison being fires.

Now, Australia's a country very prone to natural disasters. Cyclones and large-scale bushfires are an annual risk, and droughts are fairly regular and frequently followed by floods. However, so is the US. Hurricanes and tornadoes happen every year, in predictable regions, so there is really no excuse for unpreparedness or for tardy reaction. (Talking to people in Bretagne about natural disasters is silly; there aren't any, and I don't care what they say).