Friday, November 30, 2001

we had a little excursion this morning; me, Andrew and Bilbo, walking down Smith St checking it all out. sometimes it's good to get out and mix with the common people. Bilbo was, as usual, much admired.
we popped into the Kathmandu sale just for a minute and I ended up buying a new (half-price) backpack for the great Cradle Mt excursion in January. there was never any question of taking my 70L purple pack - it never did fit me properly, it's heavy and clunky. but I had meant to borrow or hire one for the walk. never mind. I'm still a bit unsure whether the one I've got has too much volume (52 litres compared to 45 litres) but apparently the fit is the same on both, so I'll just have to be restrained about what I actually put into it. might do a test pack tomorrow. (having looked it up on their site, I see it's 400 grams heavier; bother! I always do this when I buy stuff - I can never get it right the first time. will have to go back down there on Sunday...)

not satisfied with that shopping, I did a secondhand shop crawl of High St. I found a box full of old Analog sci-fi magazines from the 1970s and 80s and bought half a dozen. am finding the trashy contents curiously compelling and of course there's that great cover art of spaceships and google-eyed aliens. might have to go back and get another armful.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

I got me an Amazon wish list!
but realistically, I guess I have to decide whether I have a spare AU$200 for books. maybe I should just go to the lecture. at least that's free.

struggling with whether I want to drag myself in town tonight to go to thedis(locations) conference. apparently Lev Manovich, who is speaking, is a terribly significant thinker on new media. and I care about this stuff, I really do. it's just that it's Friday night and all.

yesterday I went to a session where expat Australian Jeffrey Shaw, who now works at the ZKM centre in Germany, was showing some of his stuff. it's pretty cool, really; I liked the one where you are inside a dome and the robot projector points a "window" of an image on the wall where you are looking. much more interesting than just projecting the whole panorama over the whole inside.

Jeffrey said it was analogous to real life, where there are narratives everywhere, but you only see the ones you look for. well, he said it better than that, but it struck a chord with the writer in me. I think we have a natural tendency to create narrative even when it isn't there.

also on media art: went to the AIM annual students screenings last night. the students are always such cool funky young things. what I love about it is the diversity of work in the same batch of students. there were a few unfinished pieces, tho', which may be because they got distracted by some new computer toys. but again, it was the ones with a little story that I liked best (and cute creatures like half-dog, half-sheep babies!). although there was one with no story at all called "drive" that totally captured the mood of being in a cab from the airport after a long trip, staring out the window at things as they go past, with the streetlights sending moving shadows across your face.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

BlogOn. as usual.

Proving that the Internet isn't just a young folks' game, these older bloggers strike a blow for diversity in more ways than one. For more, visit the Ageless Project at

The Mousetrap
The Mousetrap is written by either the coolest septuagenarian on the planet or an utter fraud.
Its supposedly 71-year-old author, Lorraine, writes about her "granddogs" (and grandchildren) and reminisces about where she was when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
She has a healthy obsession with the joys of cats, especially one named Rambo - but also likes to quote the lyrics of James Brown and uses words like "humongous". Her self-portrait on the home page doesn't clear up the mystery; too much make-up and fish-eye lens to be sure of the age.

My Life After Near Death Experiences
Freestone Wilson, 60, claims to have had "over 100 dreamvisions of places in the afterlife worlds" .This blog details what those visions showed and Wilson's "conversations" with people in the afterlife.
This has been going on since childhood, according to Wilson; most people will be sceptical (one assumes) but it seems to be his reality. He says he is autistic, has a profound faith in the afterlife and certainly has an unusual take on the present life. This is one to read for the experience of looking through a different person's eyes.

Doc Searls' Weblog
Doc Searls was born on July 29, 1947. He probably has a Weblog because he's one of the most experienced elder statesmen on the whole darn Internet, differentiating him a bit from the what-my-grandkids-did-today brigade.
He mixes commentary on the technology industry with links to the latest thinking on D.H. Lawrence, and notes from his "astronomy freak" side. He also keeps track of the general development of the blogging scene.

Hot Flashes
This is how "Momma", 57, planned to celebrate Thanksgiving: "The turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress 'private' meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win."
When a woman names her blog "Hot Flashes" and decorates it with a pair of bright red lips, you know the fight hasn't gone out of her yet.
"Momma" is not above posting cute photos of her new kitten, either. Which is not a bad thing, you understand.

now I know where the cute NaNoWriMo logo came from: Sam
we now resume our scheduled silliness:

0% - 10% (Britney)

Oh dear, oh dear.
Far from being a world destroying DeathKiddy, you appear to enjoy kittens, bunnies and boybands.
Not a cloud enters your sky and all is sweetness and light for you.

Take the DeathKiddy Test!

enough silliness. this blog will now get deep and meaningful for a while. feel free to come back later.

I've been thinking about decisions and turning points and interdependency. It's true that if a certain man hadn't walked into a bar at a certain time when I was 17, I might not have spent the next three years of my life hanging around with him; but then I wouldn't have gone to uni when I did, and therefore probably wouldn't have been in Finland in 1995, on the phone to a certain other man who subsequently broke my heart.
you see what I mean?
other moments stand out for what didn't happen. I distinctly recall myself standing on a street corner in New York, reading a poster advertising for roommates, thinking about the seeking-a-friend ads in the Village Voice, thinking "I could just stay here, start answering ads and make myself a completetly different life."
in retrospect, I kind of wish I had; but at the time I was still learning my trade, insecure, not to mention too poor to set up shop in New York (and I'm a terrible waitress).
It has come to my attention that certain other bloggers
are claiming to have "discovered" Hoopty "first".
I would like to say that on August 25, I had the temerity to offer Hoopty coding advice. he took it in good grace. I have proof of this, having saved his precious words in my overflowing inbox.
so he's MINE, you hear me? MINE!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

the onion strikes again: Report: Economically Disadvantaged Men More Skilled At Communicating Attraction To Women
don't you love whacky new-style digital artists? Exhibit A: carrots in bizarre shapes.
I want a NightSurfer (tm) keyboard so I can blog in the dark.
my god it just might work
the Hoopty project: go to blogdex, add your site, and then link like mad to Hoopty
let's see if the Z-list can make him # 1 - on top of Ru Paul! (not to mention the Tourist Guy video)

Monday, November 26, 2001

you go, hoopster!
finally reading last December's Wired and this article from Jaron Lanier: "Trips on Manhattan streets were faster a hundred years ago than they are today. Horses are faster than cars."
He's talking about overall fx, of course. but I would like to footnote it: unless you're riding a pushbike or even running. To go against the general flow, or to slip through the interstices, is a highly efficient strategy.
I have no idea how this applies to his actual topic, which is the fallacies around Moore's Law; but I wish I'd read this article before my uni subject last semester, in which half the class seemed to be techno-utopians, and the other half seemed to just flatly deny things without having a good argument. he's a clever man, Jaron.
ahem. as an Australian taxpayer, could I kindly request that you at GET BACK TO WORK!!!
Hoopty's #13 on Blogdex!!
WOOOH HOOOH!!! if we all link him really, really hard, maybe he'll make top 10!

(yes, I know this is the same msg I left on his comments. I'm lazy, OK?)
You know what? I'm glad Uruguay won. more of that soccer obsession would have been just too much for me.
but on more important matters: WE HAVE HOT WATER!!!
my planned week:
Monday night: long bath (broken only for new episodes of South Park)
Tuesday morning: shower
Tuesday night: wash lots of dishes in warm soapy water. long bath. wash hair repeatedly.
Wednesday morning: extra-long shower
Wednesday night: wash the built-up pile of delicate wooly, silk and otherwise high-maintenance hand-wash-only clothes. have a shower
Thursday morning: shower. stand at the sink watching the warm water run over my hands for, oh, 15 minutes.
Thursday night: double bath (the new system is continuous flow so it won't run out. damn the expense. we've saved enough gas this past fortnight to power Crown Casino's gas jets for at least a minute. )
and so on.
hot water, hot water, hot water.
tralala, hot water....

Sunday, November 25, 2001

Human (embryo) cloned.
meanwhile, the Australian news seems to be all about who won the soccer in Uruguay...
fact: by filling up several yogurt containers with warm water and pouring them over yourself in rapid succession, you can almost simulate a warm shower.
oh god, please let the plumber come tomorrow...

Saturday, November 24, 2001

4.30 Sunday afternoon: am I relaxed yet?
I feel just about ready to do something constructive, towards the end of my 3rd day off work.
So far this weekend I've: ridden my bike. visited R & H and their baby and wandered vaguely around the Preston Market with them. Talked fast and cheerfully and drunk a lot at the office Christmas party and known (just) when to simply walk out the door and go home. Bought and cooked a Greek-style marinated lamb grill. Watched Sea Change.Slept. Walked the dog in the bush along the Yarra and mistook a very large lizard for a snake (my heart has stopped racing now). Slept some more.

Sometimes the number of constructive things I could do: cleaning the house, finishing reading No Logo, planning the renovation, spring-cleaning my wardrobe, filing away all my uni documents, etc, are so myriad that I become frozen: to choose one is to rule out all the others. so I mooch about the house all day catching up on my back issues of Wired and never achieve very much at all.

Friday, November 23, 2001

the plumbers say they "can't" get anyone to install the hot water on a Saturday. this is code for "we can't be bothered".

I would like to think of myself as someone who would maintain their standards through terrible privations; but I suspect I'm not.

one of the wonders of Africa last year was that while we (Andrew and I) got dusty and dirty and frankly smelly after only a couple of days away from showers, the Kenyans seemed to manage to be clean and in fresh clothes almost all the time. and we're talking about people who was their clothes in the streams by hand, if they're lucky enough to have a stream.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

office Christmas party tonigh: do I go or not?
Upside: free alcohol
Downside: free alcohol

if I don't go, I'll feel like I've missed out on something. if I do, I'll wander around all night realising how many people in my workplace I've never seen before.

I wonder if they'll have showers there?
I don't know who Brad Lucas is, but he's linked me. hi, Brad.
some mornings I just don't feel like going for a ride. sometimes I give in to sloth. other days, like today, I compromise by taking the shorter, easier route up the Merri Creek path rather than climbing the hills of Kew Boulevarde.
and it seems that whenever I do this, I am rewarded by some little gem.
the creek is a sad, degraded thing in parts, but attempts have been made to replant and rejevunate a waterway that has even served as a sewer for the factories of Brunswick and Coburg at times.
not far from our house is a place called Ceres, and tomorrow night this organic-hippie-alternative power-collective farm thing has its big night of the year: The festival of the Return of the Sacred Kingfisher. I've never been to this rite of spring, but I understand it involves coloured banners, children's choirs and blessings of the earth, all centred on a mythical bird that returns to the creek at this time of year; or something along those lines.
this morning the Ceres alternative types were all out and about, hanging long swathes of white cloth from the eucalyptus trees and doing inexplicable things with bamboo poles, getting ready for the festival. fine.
but as I rode past on my way back, something small and green caught my eye in a tree on the other side of the creek. it looked like a bird, but I wasn't sure. to satisfy my curiosity, I doubled back for another look. When I stopped, I could just see it was a bird - and then it took off and flew down the creek with a flash of teal in its wings.
I don't think the hippies saw it at all. but I did.

I'm getting all the foot fetishists: three searches today were for "sockless boots", "MANOLA BLAHNIKS" and "pics of sarah jessica parker in high heels"
maybe switching to glamorous shoes would change my life, after all.
him: "it's very invigorating"
me: (from the other room) "oh shut up"
him: "it makes you feel all warm afterwards"
me: "so does a hot shower"
yes, our hot water service is still broken. the plumber came yesterday and did some pipey things, but for some reason they cancelled the order for the heating unit. they are "seeing" if they can get one today. it's Friday. I rely on hot showers and baths to get me through my busy weekends. on Sunday it will have been two weeks of cold water.
my shower-led tour of my friends' houses continues. at lunchtime I'm off to R & H's place for lunch and a nice dose of warm water.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Daniel, mentioned below, has helpfully scanned in a clipping from my column so you can see it's real.
blogon, 22/11/2001:

Australians are great yarn-spinners, and the blog offers an opportunity to tell stories without interruption, as these home-grown versions show

Anthony J. Hicks' Weblog and Australian Blog Webring
About 140 blogs are listed at Anthony J. Hicks' Australian blogs webring, the common thread being nothing more than some kind of link to Australia.
Hicks himself is a "music loving, technology obsessive, gadget collecting, aircraft enthusiast and science fiction nut" who decided to create a webring bringing together all the Australian blogs he could find.
His personal blog is pretty much as described, being an insight into the life of your average Australian geek, including his online flight training logs and regular commentary on the burning issues of typical geekdom: Linux, the specifications of the computer he wants and assorted other technical toys.

Diary of an Average Australian
The first blowfly of the summer. Buskers in the Bourke St Mall. Paul Kelly playing at a pub in Richmond. A childhood spent entirely on Map 58 of the Melway.
Maybe Daniel Bowen really is "an average Australian". His blog stretches all the way back to 1994 - although as archives are gradually being put online, it's possible it was more of a diary than a blog to start with.
For Australian blog browsers, it's a welcome change to read references to local television, politics ("my ugly git of a local member") and trivia, all in dinky-di vernacular. Lively and insightful, Toxic Custard is highly recommended to any homesick expat Aussies.

I Hate Married People
Anything but average, former TripleJ radio host Helen Razer has found a new home on the Internet with her blog, "my salon of bombast".
Razer's trademark style of long, obscure words where short, simple ones would do and her slightly pompous, undergraduate sense of humor translate well to the Web. The blog incorporates audio from Ms Razer, and she appears to maintain some of the code herself, if a recent skirmish with the layout tables is anything to go by.
Her media-junkie, always-on approach to blogging - throw it up online, include a link and what's next? - makes for lively, eclectic reading indeed.

Mark's Terrific Weblog
Melbourne musician Mark O'Meara is an inner-city type, filling his blog with his plans for gigs at Collingwood pubs and tales of hanging out with other musicians after the show.
O'Meara likes every post to contain a lesson: on November 9 it was "there are goldfish with better memories than me".
For those who want to delve deeper, he has a main site with downloadable MP3 files of his music. Bonus link? The one that takes you to the collaborative blog/storywriting site, Barry the Fat Puppy.
I'm walking through the subway under the river to get to lunch. there's a busker sitting on the ground, singing that (Neil Young?) song "horse with no name". nothing unusual there.
an hour and half later, I walk back the same way. he's still singing the same song
Park life two: closer to work there's a formal garden that all the office workers come to at lunchtime to eat their sandwiches and play impromptu ball games.
this morning I saw six people having a meeting there, on their fold out chairs, arranged in a circle in their dark suits like they were in the boardroom. I wonder why, if they are going to meet in the park, they don't go all the way and at least sit on the grass.
Park life one: there's a guy who has been living in a park I ride through on the way to work for months now.
I think he sleeps under the playground equipment in a sandy hollow.
He's in his early to mid twenties, and is always exercising: doing chin-ups on the kid's swings, pushups, yoga. He seems pretty harmless - well, he doesn't shout or hit people like some homeless people I've seen around. and he looks clean. his hair is now down to his shoulders, sort of straggly blonde. today he was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the open space in the morning sunlight, meditating and doing yoga stretches.
I wonder if he's Jesus.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Momma is fighting the turkey. and she plans to win.
this is what I get for opting for not being vaccinated:

Take the Affliction Test Today!
this page cannot be displayed. read carefully. do not try this at home.
via someone or other.
miguel has forgotten his real name.
the perils of blogging...

I fixed my other blog, btw. when in doubt, spring-clean your html. every. single. character.
aargh! the reason I haven't been here much today is I've been fighting with my second blog. this is my post to the Help page (hope that long link works)
do feel free to mail me or cruise on over and help. I know I'm not the only one.

This thread is for people who get this message when they publish:

Error 506:Unable to contact view generation service: (server:page)[more info]

I have been getting it on for at least a month, maybe longer.
blogger tells me I've published, and the posts appear in the edit box, but nothing gets through to blogspot.
I have looked at every thread I can find that mentions it. This is what I have found, and been told by helpful other bloggers:
-it could be an empty post. find them and delete them.
-it could be ugly nesting or other html errors: run your blog through and it will show you all your errors, some of which may matter. or at least go into edit mode and carefully check the html in all your posts.
-it could be your template: save it somewhere then try a new template.
all of these things have worked for other people, so if this is your problem, go try them. BUT: none have worked for me. I have even tried changing the URL within blogspot. the only thing I haven't done is change to ftp to another site altogether. I will try that at the weekend when I have time.
if you have another solution, can you post it here for all of us?

Monday, November 19, 2001

there haven't been as many tourists as usual about; but today, suddenly, the Vic Market is full of British accents and Welsh T-shirts. then I realise: it's the football

heard yesterday as I cycled past two men sitting in the park: "She just wanted to ... to hear me say I was wrong."

and has anyone else noticed that men no longer wolf-whistle? instead, when I walk past building sites, a harmless-sounding random tune may start up. I think it's more of a signal to the other men that there is a female about than a direct message to me. and I guess most of them have had their ears chewed by now by women like me, who are not averse to turning on their heel at the sound of a wolf-whistle and confronting the offender.
it's not a compliment. it's harassment and it makes us feel unsafe.
speaking of shoes: so I get to work for my shower (no, the hot water is not fixed yet) and discover that I have not put my shoes in my bag. today I have an interview with the new president of the Australian Computer Society, and a session to attend on business-to-business electronic markets, which will be held in a room full of suits.
Adding insult to injury, I find I have hastily grabbed a pair of dark blue tights instead of black ones. I never wear dark blue tights. I don't know how I got these. And I don't know why they don't develop runs and die, like all my black ones. but they persist.
I have also left my nice black-framed glasses at home. so I can wear sunglasses to this afternoon's session (I can manage with face to face things; I'm nearsighted), or substitute my reading glasses, which are a little too bright red and funky for business use, and which, combined with my old bike-riding sneakers, blue tights and otherwise formal business attire, will make me look quite loopy. and no, I don't have time to go buy some more shoes/tights. and yes, I do normally keep spare tights in my desk drawer. I used them last week. talk about starting off on the wrong foot...

Sunday, November 18, 2001

so I open this serious-looking book on how the law of defamation applies to the Web and the first thing I see is "Foreword by Lord Bingham of Cornhill."

is that funny? or is my migraine just scrambling words on me?

I couldn't find the words to say "what is planned for (column X)?" just now. things seem remote and words seem slightly disconnected from the objects to which they refer. background noise is dominating my consciousness. someone behind me is talking about Web sites for job recruitment. I need a dark, quiet room.
darn! the most spectacular meteor shower for years, 500 an hour, blah, blah, blah. slept right through it. have never got over the small fuzzy dot that was "Halley's Comet". and now this.

Saturday, November 17, 2001

nothing to say today. all my files, which mysteriously disappeared when the main fileserver was changed again (this is at home, not work, btw), have been recovered. my bookmarks, however continue to languish in a stand-alone file. sigh.
here's some Australians in Hong Kong (via that guru of all things Hong Kong for Westerners, Big White Guy)

Friday, November 16, 2001

A Eureka!* moment:
My continuing failure to be quite totally fabulous is not due to my lack of silver stretch velvet miniskirts, access to a sexy white sportscar, or inability to play reggae radio on a Saturday afternoon loudly enough to really annoy my unit-building neighbours while grooving around the house. Nor is it caused by my age - at 35 I may be getting on, but I can also still turn it on if I feel like it - or by any lack of a new bright red hairdo or too-cute dog.
No. It's the shoes. These are my favourite shoes:

The ones I'm wearing now are white shiny patent leather sandals I bought in Spain. Could be sexy, but really, they're rather flat and sensible, and incredibly comfortable.
The boots above have taken me dancing at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, walking through markets in Kenya, climbing to the 5th floor of youth hostels in New York, been worn sockless to the pool on hot days, and just about everywhere else.
I just can't get my head around the idea of a $350 pair of spiky, not-quite-there Manola Blahniks (I'm not even sure I can spell them right.) My highest pair of heels are pretty high, and they are kind of sexy - they're also black, with chunky heels. But every fashion icon I see interviewed in the paper (like Carine Roitfeld, editor of French Vogue) has a cupboard full of Blahniks, pointy little objects with lots of sequins and a chiropractor's warning on the sole. Sarah Jessica Parker can RUN in them (then again, she also started that silly flower thing).
So there's no hope. I am doomed to being able to walk more than 10 metres at a time, and to permanent uncoolness.

(*this is in no way related to my recent visit to Ballarat, home of the Eureka Stockade)

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Friday. Sunny day. 23 degrees celsius outside. My husband's Honda Integra at my disposal. 100 kilometres of open road between here and Ballarat.
"I'm going outside now. I may be some time."
I can't understand why there are still fewer than 30 pics at the wonderful project chopsticks.
are you all fork-users out there?
but one last thing: I am not convinced by talk of structural weakness and the wake of previous flights. the fact it occurred in New York is still too much of a coincidence for me. and why are tails suddenly falling off good American planes now?
3:00:00 am, huh? funny, I thought it was just after 10pm. either way, it must be time to sleep. and maybe have more weird dreams
we have now been without hot water for four days.
it looks like going on for some time, while features and benefits of solar, on-demand, etc, are considered ad infinitum by someone else who lives here.
I have refined my boil-water-on-the-stove bath to a two-step method. I find a brisk crunchy towel is also useful.
my next innovation will involve a soup ladle or camping foot pump shower to achieve a true rinsing effect.
I am flexible. I CAN COPE!!!
person of the day: the tall girl with the bright red bob, red beret, bright blue tunic, black under-skivvy and platform-heeled red leather lace up boots, wearing an expression of narrowed-eyed cool contempt for the world, who sashayed past me at Grattan St this afternoon.
of course, you'd be using your returned q-bit to talk to a future version of the q-bit that was still with you, in your time.
I didn't say time travel was simple.
Andrew has asked if you couldn't just send one round and round very fast, say in a particle accelerator. But I don' t think that works. I think it would have to go away - something about "Time And Relative Dimensions In Space."

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

a quick time machine blog before I go home:
1) quantum computing theory says you can entangle two q-bits and they will stay synchronised as long as you don't look at them. this effect can be used for long-distance, instantaneous communication. it has been done.

(btw, I have no references etc for all this. it's Big Picture stuff. that will come later.)

2) objects that travel away from the Earth long enough, for fast enough, come back slightly less aged than their counterparts on earth. in theory, something that went far enough, long enough, would be well into the future, relatively speaking.

so what happens if you entangle two q-bits, & send one into the future? wouldn't you, once the second one arrived, have a q-bit that could "talk" to something in the future? it might taken a thousand years for it to start to work, I don't know. and you could maybe talk to the operators of the future device by leaving, say, sticky yellow notes in a safe place for future operators to read.

I admit this is rather sketchy. but dammit, so were da Vinci's helicopter drawings.
my life is ruled by the sticky yellow notes on my computer: "Who Hates Microsoft?" "Call Pollyanna" "mail Kylie", they scream.
well, it beats writing things on the back of my hand.
well, it's not really a time machine. more a device for communicating with the future. but it's still pretty cool.
today's BlogOn from The Age's Green Guide. Gawd, I wish they'd put them online so I wouldn't have to do this every Thursday.

Writers and journals are almost synonymous; these blogs give an insight into the creative process

Robert Olen Butler
Until November 20, Robert Olen Butler will be performance-writing: producing a novel on the Internet, with real-time views of his screen, and audio and video of his hair-pulling and out-loud musings about plot and character.
It might sound goofy, but as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a professor of English at Florida State University, Butler has some serious reasons for his project.
He believes the Internet is a perfect medium for seeing into each other's lives, citing Jenni of Jennicam fame as a true pioneer and role model for the new way of living.
Butler is also answering questions online about his writing process.

(National Novel Writing Month)
It's more like Global Novel Writing Month at this tongue-in-cheek site, tracking the efforts of more than a thousand wannabe novelists to produce a book, no matter how bad, in one short month.
Actual text is not posted, but there are nifty counters so you can watch the progress of what really matters: sheer volume of words written.
Several Australians have joined this mad quest "To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from your novel at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work."

Journal of a Writing Man
Old Grey Poet
With a vaguely Ernest Hemingway-like photo and a couple of cool titles, John Bailey's journals promise tough but deliver a pleasantly soft and contemplative view of life in the British countryside.
There are several years worth of journals, and Bailey manages to do what many blogs don't: bang on about the trivia of his life without being self-obsessed or boring.
It isn't clear whether Bailey is a published writer, but that's part of the point of the Internet, isn't it?
the bloogity blog of bloggerness is no relation to Bloggety Blog
did I mention I've invented a time machine?
don't you hate it when you go to a conference session, realise they've switched speakers on you, and that the next two hours are almost, but not completely, useless to you: and the organiser is standing at the rear door watching and knows you, so you have NO CHANCE of sneaking out.
I now have some fine hand-drawn redesigns of my blog to show for my morning. just have to work out how to do a background image.
it's hard rubbish night in North Fitzroy
this is the night when everyone drags their unwanted junk onto the kerb, and everyone else walks around collecting it.
it's very environmentally sound, really.
by the time the rubbish collectors come, there will be nothing left but some wet phone books and unidentifiable bits of wood.
I personally have harvested a new roll of fencing wire - at least ten feet of it - a 12" terracotta pot and a keyboard that doesn't fit my pc.
the keyboard is going out. now.
Andrew won't let me go and get the fine 1960s, only slightly ripped, recliner chair that is just begging to be rescued.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

I don't wish to sound negative here, but sometimes lately my job is like walking - you know how walking is actually a process of constantly being about to fall, and catching yourself?
well, I'm constantly setting up things I have to do - appointments, promised stories - then having to actually fulfil my promises. and that's what's keeping it rolling, not any inherent joy, not right now.
but I'm not always this down on it. it comes and goes.
check out BobtheCorgi's cool new look
And while you're there, the link to Keith at mental emissions seems worth following. A nice chap who hasn't died yet, apparently.

(anyone wanna buy me for Christmas?) searchable by airline, date and country
looks like 1993 was the year to fly according to this table

Monday, November 12, 2001

I suspect that's that for my travel plans.
Not to underplay the horrible consequences for those affected, but given that Qantas's US partner is American Airlines, and that I don't really need to go to New York, I think I might not after all, despite knowing it could be a very long time indeed before I get another chance.

I would just feel so DUMB if I found myself about to crash...
I note that someone came here looking for the Mercedes Benz song.
it's almost permanently stuck in my head. which is not so bad, when you consider that this morning the theme from Grease (is the word) was bouncing around in there.
on Sunday night I got up during the night, and was disturbed by a strange gurgling sound from behind our house.
the hot water service was gushing water. Woke Andrew up (well, he's the one who knows how to turn it off), then went back to sleep.
since then it's been a case of boiling pots of water and very shallow baths. there's a shower here at work, and tonight I will go for a swim and WASH MY HAIR at the pool.
but what will I do at the weekend? am awaiting a decision in due course from the household expert in all things technical.
until we choose either standard or on-demand, there will be no hot water.
I don't know if I can stand another three years of the phrase "Prime Minister John Howard."

Sunday, November 11, 2001

this blog is too rude to put into BlogOn. but it's definitely Australian, and contains images of fluffy toys with ENORMOUS penises. (I'm sure I will regret that phrase when the weirdos start visiting).

a typical joke, for Australians only:

Saturday, November 10, 2001

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Friday, November 09, 2001

quick blog: $192 worth of pizzas are on order, the good wine is sitting out on the bench, the kitchen is semi-clean, the folding chair are in the lounge room, the newspaper election liftouts are on the coffee table, the computer is set up in the lounge, pointed at the election stats site and about 15 people are on their way over here, due to arrive in half an hour: it's party time!

Thursday, November 08, 2001

My blogaholic score: 60/100. The average: 45. Is that good?

"963 people have taken this silly test so far.

143 people have scored higher than you.

751 people have scored lower than you.

69 people made the same grade as you."
it's a very good one.
doesn't anyone want to hear about my cunning plan?

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

the many runtime errors explained: it's the Webrings
well. well, well, well.
it seems I am subject of yet more complaints, and my traffic is off the scale. this particular post above is pretty reasonable, but I'd like to say a couple of things from my soapbox.
I didn't say anyone was contentless. I said "content? who cares?" this was because I was blinded by the fantastic images and design and that's what I was rocking on when I was surfing around this particular bunch of sites. No, I didn't even bother reading the content.
One person thought I was sitting in judgement. Yes, I was, as much as any individual who sees some other sites and comments on them is. But hey, I'm a 35-year-old Australian woman who gets manga and amime mixed up and whose opinion probably doesn't matter much to you anyway - or so I thought.
The comment about engagement was fairly tongue in cheek, made in the full knowledge that the person engaged to HTW was in fact male, or says so in his new "gender" stat. I try not to assume gender, sexual orientation or even that people have any orientation at all, because I have experience of gayness, straightness, bothness, drag queen-ness and no-interest-at-allness. But I still catch myself making all sorts of assumptions all the time. If I was in America, you could sue me, but I'm not. Which is probably lucky for me right now.
ultimately, I'm cool with all this. There is no way I am going to be able to convince everyone that I am a reasonable human being.

btw, my email address is over there on the left. you're welcome to use it.

ps: I still think it's really absolutely totally amazing design. and I so fully intend to do an incredibly carefully worded column for my newspaper on some (checks) a-n-i-m-e fan sites. at which point I will email some of you asking for permission to reprint an image. won't that be fun for me?
Today's BlogOn (and to clarify some recent confusion, this is a column I write for the media guide of the Australian dead tree publication known as The Age)

Eat, eat, eat! A few food blogs to whet your appetite

The Joy of Soup
The Soup Lady invites you to come in, sit down and have a nice hot bowl of virtual soup.
Her site mixes a fascination with old cookbooks and soup-eating accessories with petulant defences of the worth of beef jello plus, of course, a goodly lashing of actual recipes.
Not content with just one soup-related site, The Joy Of Soup has nominated itself as the first site in a project devoted to bringing together Soup Logs (or Plogs), everywhere.

Nirvana of Peristalsis
There must be something about food journals that invites neologism; Mike calls his obsessive recording of his diet a flog (food log) but it may not catch on.
"Dinner: steamed yellow squash, sauteed radishes and scallions in a chicken broth, curried chicken with sauteed onions and red peppers." Well, you could read this blog for the recipe ideas ¤ or it could be useful for future historians interested in what we really ate in the 21st century.
Mike does note other daily doings, like the view from the restaurant and his dining companions, giving readers a uniquely food-related perspective on his life.
There is a reason for all this: Mike has Crohn's Disease, a potentially debilitating bowel disorder, and he uses his journal to help keep it in check.

The Veg Blog
The unbearable heartiness of eggplant, new things to do with tofu turkey and distressing details about the use of animal bones in processing white sugar.
The Veg Blog ranges from the author, Ryan's, attempts to woo his wife to vegetarianism to digests of Web articles about vegetarianism-related issues.
The Veg Blog has been running for a year, ever since Ryan gave up his former Big Mac habit; he's ovo-lacto but covers all kinds of vegetarianism in his blog.

The Kitchen
The Kitchen sticks resolutely to the topic - recipes, calls for advice and hints on removing foreign objects from lentils.
It's run by 13 women who get together online and talk about food, proving once again that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The blog contains mostly recipes, each tested by the contributors, making it a reliable (albeit Imperial-measure) source of cooking ideas.
It's a cunning plan.
I have a plan.
sometimes, only commercial-grade stimulants will do.
what did we do before Italian coffee? sometimes I think it was the one defining thing that changed Australia from a nation of boring tea-swilling wannabe Brits into the fine, neurotic human beings we are today.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

On the Internet, no one knows if you're a girl or a boy, it seems
or if you exist at all, in human, animated, AI or other form, of course.
to be fair (to me) Zeruel does have a rather gorgeous and slinky-looking illustrated woman as his main feature. but anyone engaged to HonkyTonkWoman is presumably male.
sheesh, you lot are more critical than my RL readers. I think I'll go back to work now, where I have subeditors to keep my wilder flights of fancy from taking off.
but haven't you heard the journalists' motto?
"Never ruin a good story for the sake of the truth."
(truly, I first heard that from a yarn-spinning shearer I used to know rather well. but that is so another story.)
hehe. one of my manga, sorry, anime, girls got really offended by my post and flamed me. I haven't had so much traffic in yonks.
but she's right. I didn't read the content. I just looked at the amazing designs.
and I do get manga and anime mixed up. anime is the stuff that moves, right? Perfect Blue, Ghost in the Shell, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 being my personal favourites, along with that one I can't recall the name of where the girl who lives with the wild cats saves the guy who's been infected by the evil gunk from the giant wild boar, even though the deer king is dead...gimme a break here, I'm an old fogey @ 35, and it's all I can do to keep up with who's President, let alone all this newfangled tech stuff, y'know?
I've submitted another word to Psuedodictionary: AniMe, being a self-portrait in anime style, usually done by 17-year-old Grrrls.
see third post down for examples. can't be bothered doing them again, I have linkitis.
Welcome to the Apostrophe Protection Society.
my pens are all running out of ink, one at a time.
this has never happened before, but for the past few weeks, every time I pick up a pen, it dies.
I own many, many pens, ranging from high-quality freebies with gold lettering on the side, to Biros with chewed ends.
they are all dying. I feel anxious every time I pick up a pen now.
there really are some amazing designs around.
Content? who cares?
the unifying theme seems to be a power-girl logo with funky, yet readable use of colour, fonts and page segmentation, a love of Manga, and lots of runtime errors.
I want to look like that. who am I kidding? getting a few pix up was the zenith of my Web design. trying to come up with a cyber-grrrl version of self (let alone get it posted) would surely be the nadir.

(one more because I'm sure I'll come back to these for a work column. this one claims to be a 17 year old girl whose hobby is design, and is Islamic)
yeehah. won a whole $6.40, plus my $2 bet back, minus the other $13 I bet on other horses, in belowblogged horserace.
let's see, that means I'm only $6.60 down.
no, I am not really a high roller, am I?

Monday, November 05, 2001

paint the toenails red:
what possesses a grown woman, at 9.45 at night after a hard day's work, when she should be reading a book in bed, to sit around painting her toenails?
vanity, that's what.
tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day, and although I won't be going (having turned down two free media passes), I will be at my mother-in-law's 60th birthday lunch.
1/3 of Melbourne - literally - had the day off work today, and they were all in the city doing lunch and buying new dresses to wear to the Cup. so I joined them, spending too much on a lovely pea-green sundress with black stripes from the amazing Alannah Hill shop.
most of her stuff is a bit too flowery for me, but this one is kind of 20's style funky.
very tired. must apply more nail polish before sleeping...

Sunday, November 04, 2001

this campaign advocates setting up fake porn sites to trap surfers, whereupon they will be lectured about using the Net for porn purposes.
I don't mean to be horrid, but have these girls thought about this? what earthly difference will it make? porn and associated nasties are a problem, sure, but is saying "don't be naughty" going to fix the problem?
I don't think so
maybe they should be spending their time helping out people like the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan instead. Now there's a real social problem.
2001: the Lego version!
having seen the movie again the other week (stunningly good considering when it was made, but also quite funny, especially the "futuristic" furniture), I laughed at this.
via Helen

Saturday, November 03, 2001

isn't it funny how bright sunshine shows up the dust in the corners?

Friday, November 02, 2001

to me, it's a new garden, constructed with hours of backbreaking labor.
to my dog, it's a lovely new sandpit in which to bury his bone.

Thursday, November 01, 2001

This is how New York haunts me.
I descend the escalator to Platform 2 to wait for the 1.20 train to Frankston, via Caulfield.
The banal musak and the empty platform disappear; instead I see the 125th A station, an ancient steel-framed subterraean space, shot through by rattling trains.
Here in Melbourne, I'm on my way to see some Art (as I do in New York, too.) It's Friday lunchtime and the last chance I'll have to see this e-artist's show.In New York, I rode the subway everywhere, at 7 am to Century 21 (emerging from underneath the World Trade Centre to get there), at midnight home from CBGBs.
New York's and London's streets and trains are everything Melbourne's are not.
They say better to have loved and lost - but I never believed them, not before or afterwards.
Comparison and awareness of choice, knowledge of what else there is, strip me of peace.
I love Melbourne. Yesterday, at the Victoria Market, just walking up the organic vegies aisle made me happy - all that joyful, eat-me fruit. And I thought "this is my place."
But I miss New York, and I know it is the place.
Love and loss.
Last time my heart was broken, I decided it just hurt far too much.
But love is not a choice. It is, inside us and beyond us.
Sony try to muzzle the Aibo! Outrageous!
I got to hold one of these squirmy little critters once, at the world robot soccer games. I went "aah, ooh, eek" like a 6-year-old with a new kitten. they're too cute.
Sony should lay off.