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.

Thanks for reading!

Archive for the 'General' Category

It’s Not Too Late To Ship It! Ship It Good!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Dear Lazyweb,

Does your hive mind1 know why ThinkGeek want US$30 to ship one solitary T-shirt to my inconveniently located postbox here in Perth, yet Threadless manage to ship two T-shirts here for US$9? There’s rather a lot of stuff I’d like to get from ThinkGeek, but the shipping costs are a bit too prohibitive even for me.

Having said that, since I already have close to fifty T-shirts, it may be a good thing that I can’t justify buying any more at the moment.

1 Hmmm. I wonder if I can just ask Wolfram Alpha when it gets launched, since it’s supposed to answer questions with the power of the Internet, a new kind of science, and most importantly the power of Grayskull.

“Hey, You Know Where the ‘Hooters’ Is?”

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

(I wrote this post this morning while eating breakfast and waiting for my hire car to be readied, but haven’t had Internet access until now. I’ve been in Brisbane since Tuesday evening, for the record.)

First things first: yes, I really was asked the question in the title last night while walking back from the Muse gig at the Riverstage. Apparently when I’m with my mate Ian, his sister and her partner, I look like the sort of guy who (a) is a local and (b) would frequent Hooters. Maybe a career playing the sleazy guy in porn awaits.

Before the Muse concert last night, I spent the afternoon hanging with Ian and checking out Brisbane City and Southbank. The last time I was here was in 1993, and although my memories of that trip are more focused on the Gold Coast portion, I remember enough of Brisbane to know that things have really gone ahead since then, particularly in Southbank. The progress is a lot more pronounced than Perth’s over the last fourteen years, too, and it reinforces just how much we’ve wasted our mining fortune and our foreshore to date.

Muse were awesome! As I mentioned last week, I thought they were a little off their best in Perth, but they were astonishingly good here in Brisbane — I’d say it’s the best set I’ve seen them do. Bonus points for the esoteric set list: Fury, Microcuts and Ruled by Secrecy in rapid succession confused some of the teenyboppers.

Other bits and bobs:

  • The very first conversation I heard when I got here was while perusing the menu at an Italian restaurant in Fortitude Valley: two young women were discussing Oxford Street. In Leederville. In Perth. At that point, I wondered why I’d just spent four and a bit hours on a plane.
  • Be careful when organising hire cars through Webjet. Although I was careful to select Brisbane CBD as both my pick-up and drop-off point, they managed to book me a car on the Gold Coast. I got lucky — the Hertz in Brisbane was flat out, but the helpful woman behind the counter was able to rustle up a car that I gather wasn’t even on their computer.

Numfar, No Longer Do the Dance of /away!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Shockingly, Telstra have managed to fix my phone line in one day. This is a new record for me when dealing with their residential arm. Hell, I once worked for a company who had a contract with Telstra that boiled down to we will fix any possible problem with your bundle of regular lines and fixed landlines within four hours, guaranteed (don’t ask how much it cost — suffice to say that I could have had a small army of minions with the money that was spent each month) and they still once suffered a fault of three days duration. At least the compensation could also have paid for the minions. (It didn’t, sadly. Volunteer minions are surprisingly hard to find.)

That said, their definition of fix isn’t all that reassuring, since it basically involved replacing one temporary line (complete with bite marks — the finger of suspicion is pointed squarely at the two rabbits that have taken up residence on our block) with… another temporary line. Great.

Ended up going to the Pinnacles this afternoon to spend a sunset there, which has been on my list of things to do for a while. It might have been more impressive without the cloud cover that swept in late in the afternoon, but it was still seriously cool in a way that I’m sure my mobile phone camera has completely failed to reproduce. Still, I got a bit of writing done for next semester’s film units, so at least today wasn’t a complete wash.


Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Courtesy of Telstra, who have finally succeeded in their ongoing quest to kill our phone line, it looks like I’m going to have a couple of days without Internet access. This is, of course, as inconveniently timed as possible, given the work I need to do on the GSWoC project and said work being about ten times harder without the aforementioned Internet access.

So, I’ll be back in a couple of days, give or take. Guess I’ll take it as an enforced break.

Odds, Sods and Procrastinat… ods?

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Odds: My university marks should be out in the next 24-48 hours. I’ve got the whole bag this time: one unit for which I already know, give or take a couple of percent, what I finished with, one unit for which I have a rough idea, and one unit for which I have no clue whatsoever as the exam was worth 70% of the mark. I’m not particularly worried about any of them, but I’m still nervous. I’m always nervous at this point in the grading cycle.

Sods: My car decided not to start tonight when I wanted to go and pick up a pizza. It’s definitely an electrical problem and the battery’s definitely fine, so I can already feel part of my tax refund slipping away getting it fixed. (Well, that or the Google Summer Winter of Code mid-term payment.) Will probably spend part of tomorrow morning looking at it myself before coming to the inevitable conclusion that I’m going to need to get some sort of professional to do so if I actually want it fixed.

Procrastinatods (which I’m claiming as a word, dammit, if ginormous made it, so can this): I resolved to write my short film script for next semester during the break, along with a rough outline for the documentary proposal I have to do. Thus far, I have done neither, and classes start again in two and a half weeks. I also have plenty of work left to do on the GSoC project (more on that later). This isn’t looking good. Guess I’ll have to revise my estimates of sleep for the rest of the year down from two hours per night to 90 minutes.

One Down…

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Gentlemen and, uh, gentlemen, I think we have a final cut.

– Me, three and a half hours ago

After one of the most insane months (eh, no one of about it, on reflection) of my time at university, the visual cut on my film project is signed, sealed and delivered, which means that my role as editor is done. I’ve now handed the project off to our sound man for music and foley work and it should be in bright and early on Monday morning. That is, before the due time. Which, considering I thought we were toast four days ago, is nothing short of miraculous.

Therefore, I go to Albany for a four day weekend with some friends. Back next week, when I will bitch about having to write a full-blown television script and start serious work on my Google Winter of Code project.

Peace out, y’all!

Digging Into the Past

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Like a lot of people, I have an interest in my family history, compounded by the fact that it’s actually pretty blurry before my grandparents’ generation. The National Archives of Australia launched a service yesterday which provides service records for everyone who served with the Australian Imperial Force in the First World War. It’s been slow, flaky and there’s been the small problem that the search link on the aforelinked page doesn’t actually work, but I’ve finally been able to get a service record for my great-grandfather, Private Martin Allen, who served from 1917 to 1919 in the 11th Battalion.


For a Sense of Perspective, Just Look Up

Friday, March 16th, 2007

There’s almost no ambient light around tonight, and it seems to be exceptionally clear. Looking up, the Milky Way stretches out like a beautiful set of tendrils and diaphanous sheets.

It’s eerie, beautiful, something I don’t look at enough, and really hard to describe. I hope we get out there someday and explore its wonder.


Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Note to self: always make sure that you know the names of the people you’re addressing a card to, lest you end up in the situation of the giver of the card seen below…


Farewell from the World of Tomorrow!

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Last day at the office, so I guess I won’t be seeing my desk again in its natural, paper-covered state. Behold!

My desk, such as it is

Also, bought a new mobile phone, which took the above picture and then (after a bit of jiggery) even managed to transfer it to my laptop via Bluetooth. Sweet.