I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

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Archive for November, 2006

Mmm… Examinalicious

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I have my first exam of the semester in about an hour and a half. Thankfully, I only have two in total, and the other one’s tomorrow. At least it’ll be over with.

I’ve done a fairly paltry amount of study, but I think it’ll be enough. Besides, what I have on my side is the power of sugar and fat. Since time immemorial (some time between the start of year 11 and my TEE, that is), I’ve had a couple of cinnamon doughnuts before each exam. I maintain that it’s no coincidence that I’ve never failed an exam when I’ve had a doughnut beforehand. Clearly it fires up my brain.

That, or I’m just a sucker for a tradition that involves eating deliciously unhealthy food. Either way, I’m going to tuck into a couple of doughnuts momentarily, and then I’m going to pass this exam, lack of study be damned!

Laughing, Not Crying (Honest)

Monday, November 20th, 2006


I have read the XML Schema specification and felt as though I understood it. Read into that (and my mental state) what you will.

The Wonders of Late Night TV

Friday, November 17th, 2006

I used to love late night TV. Sadly, what was once the domain of weird and bad television (LA Heat, Largo Winch, Lexx, take a bow) is now dominated by tacky, cheap to produce game shows which feature a disturbing number of reality TV contestants.

Thankfully, every now and then it still manages to throw up a real winner, and Power Rangers: Time Force is certainly right down there. (The mere fact that Power Rangers apparently has spinoffs amuses me, actually.) I happened across this gem of a show in the wee hours of this morning, and let me tell you that I thought it was great.

By “great”, I mean “failed on every level”, of course. For one thing, I can’t see who it’s actually aimed at — even the kids I know would think it was tacky, shoddily produced and banal. Personally, I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s as though the production company found half a dozen crack addicted hobos, put them in a writers’ room, and didn’t let them out until they came up with a TV show. Saying it’s clich├ęd is an understatement.

As the piece de resistance, I give you the villain from the episode I watched:

Apparently this is called a Fatcatfish.

You can blame Youtube for the poor quality of the image, but the blame for the poor quality of the villain on the people responsible for the show. Still, it’s entertaining as hell — just not in any way its makers intended, I suspect.

Bedroom Masterpieces

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Do you ever record yourself?

Vocally, I mean. Get your minds out of the gutter. Just talking, or narrating, or singing, or whatever? Occasionally, I do — it’s probably one of those things that’s a hangover from spending years yelling at taxi drivers and inebriated punters, but it’s interesting to hear yourself recorded. Often, it reflects more of who you are than you think. If you’re nervous, that always comes through a treat. Yet, reading something in a way that seems to be full of nuance and feeling often comes over flat, or clipped.
One of the things we did in scriptwriting class this semester was something that I’m sure happens in every writing class: we read the scripts of our fellow classmates out, much like a read-through. Apart from hearing your script read out, which I’m sure is an interesting experience (due to my usual do-it-at-the-last-second ways, I didn’t actually have a script at any point that was in a fit state to be read silently, let alone aloud), it’s a chance for everyone else to have a crack at voice acting, in a way. People (and by people, I mean me) really get into it at times, doing accents, trying to emote using nothing but their voice, trying to make the narration of scene descriptions and the like sound interesting.

Yet when you do it by yourself, it seems dry, and flat, and passionless. I don’t quite know how that works. Maybe it’s the setting. Maybe the nuances and subtlety that you think are there all the time really aren’t. Who’s to say?

All I know is that I prefer the inferred emotion of speaking without dwelling on it to the boring monotone of trying to sound interesting. I think it may be better just to leave the speaking to the classroom and the microphone to the odd Skype call.

My Favourite IDE Ever

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

ERROR: null
I’m taking this blatant failure by Netbeans’ installer as further proof that Vim is all the IDE I need.

Stay a While. Stay FOREVER!

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

I’m in the twilight zone at the moment. Although classes have finished for the year, exams aren’t until next week, and I don’t jump back into full-time work until the week after. So I’ve found myself — without really planning it — having five days off a week.

I don’t quite know how to handle it, to be honest. Since January, it’s been all go, all the time, between work, university, going to Mongolia, cricket, and myriad other demands. Suddenly it’s come to a screeching halt. Don’t get me wrong; there’s still stuff I should be doing — some coding I’ve been putting off for a while, some writing that keeps demanding to get out, transcribing journal entries from Mongolia, that sort of thing, but my mind seems to have decided that I need a break, and hence I’m completely unmotivated to do anything besides finally playing Half-Life 2 (yes, I know I’m two years behind the state of the art), reading some books, and seeing just how many commas I can put into a sentence.

Five years ago, in my near four year twilight zone between… erm, leaving Curtin and making the decision to get my shit together, I lived this sort of lifestyle week in, week out. It seemed natural then. Now, as much as I’m enjoying and apparently needed the break, there seems to be a point around 3 pm where I start feeling as though I should be doing something productive, not reading, playing games and listening to music.

Bugger. I think I’ve started to turn into my parents.

Hehe, U Gt Fld!

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

New Zealand students may ‘text-speak’ in exams

So, what is the text-speak for “come on over tonight for exam study, baby… and bring two sheep”, anyway?

Like a Cat, Tied to a Stake

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Thankfully, as of about an hour ago, I’m done with assignments and classes for another year. Two exams and I’m home free for a few months.

I wonder if I can spend them all sleeping…

I C Weiner

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

With thanks to iinet.general, I give you the best White Pages entry ever.


Thursday, November 2nd, 2006