April 27, 2006

Horse 539 - Bugs In the Software

In the early days of computers, I'm talking way back when they would take up entire rooms to be able to calculate German mechanical code and when someone at IBM proudly proclaimed that there "may be a market for maybe 12 computers in the world". Because of the size of componentry, certain environmental factors came into play. The term bug all the way back then quite literally meant that some sort of insectoid had crawlen into the machine and had fried itself.

I think to the old server that we had when one fateful day in 2004 if failed without warning. All of the software updates had been made and a check to the backup menus revealed that there hadn't even been a power spike. Open up the box however and a roach had crawled in and was now computing in glorious 16-bit. We magically had the most intelligent roach that ever roamed the earth.

'tinternet around here crashed quell' catastrophe on Monday and has been patchy since then. We phoned up Optus after much yelling and they ran various speed tests and we decided that the cable modem was working properly. They tried to blame our computer saying that we had spyware running. This was not the case and we told them as much.

Optus sent round a man this morning and after checking our cable, they sent around a few more chaps and they held a tea break with a little white tent out the front before looking at the lines themselves and guess what? There was evidence of BITING. Something had decided to eat our internet.

It reminded me of my Kindy teacher who warned us about electricity and the boy who bit into electricity and DIED. Assuming this story was real (grownups don't tell lies do they?) then we should find a dead obglobits somewhere... it remains to date unfound and tasty I wager.

April 26, 2006

Horse 538 - Geburtstag!

I'm donating my parts to science,
To increase the human knowledge.
If we all know more than we did before, we could...

1. Work out time travel
2. Go into space
3. Find out why Whoopi Goldberg has no eyebrows
4. We could do stem cell research
5. Find a cure for cancer

6. Find out what chicken nuggets are made of
7. I could break the world record
8. I could be the King
9. Work out what that thing in the back of your throat is for
10. Invent an electronic water unraveller

11. Annoy Greenpeace
12. Stop paying tolls on the M7
13. Build an actual light sabre
14. Poke a tiger with a stick
15. Vacuum clean the dining room
16. Dance the Charleston of top of a flag pole
17. Eat pumpernickel
18. Set fire to important documents
19. Knit your granny a jumper
20. Dance in the living room without instructions

21. Speak Esperanto
23. Leave out number 22

22. Put 22 and 23 in the wrong order
24. Build an archology and a giant arboreum
25. Wish Katja a Happy 25th Birthday...

...feeling old yet?

April 25, 2006

Horse 537 - ANZAC Day

Since the end of the Vietnam War the total number of Australians killed in combat situations is not as high as what you'd suspect considering that Australia sends troops as peace-keepers to wherever the UN/US demands.
This number is a grand total of 17 Quite unexpected isn't it? Only 17 soldiers killed on active duty since 1975. What's even scarier is that of those 17, 15 of them were accidents including this last chap who was cleaning his rifle when it discharged.

It does make you ask a very interesting question; that is "what is the point in spending all this money in having a standing army if clearly there's not really a need?"
The answer to this is actually entrenched into the culture of the Defence Forces of this country, and bears witness especially today.

I suspect that the reason why the number is so few has very little to do with the danger/lack of danger that the troops have been sent into but rather with the way that soldiers are trained.
During WW2 Australians were still for the most part considered to be British Subjects and as such were trained as such. Even today that discipline of the Australian Defence Forces is literallt second to none.

The people who work for the Defence Forces of this country ARE the best trained in the world. They keep on being asked to do difficult and dangerous jobs because everybody knows that the job will be done properly. If you look at places like East Timor especially, not one troop was killed or injured and why? Because the soldiers sent there retained their unique charm and still did and excellent job at not only restoring peace but rebuilding a country. In the Solomon Islands at the moment, it is Australians who have been sent there and a situation has never been allowed to develop.

So why today may be a chance to remember the fallen and those who graciously gave up their lives in stupid conflicts all over the world that Australians didn't start but were sent to anyway, it's also a chance to reflect on those people in active duty who truly are the very best in the world.

April 24, 2006

Horse 536 - The American Job

Compare the following The Italian Job 1969 and The Italian Job 2003 and you'll soon discover that one scrubs up as an absolute classic and the other... well it just isn't.

Even I had misgivings about it before the film had even screened. Well guess what? I saw it as a first run film in the cinemas and thought it was... alright. Tonight it's appeared on Channel 10 and I still think it's only... alright.

So the New Mini isn't the classic it should have been; and Marky Mark is no Michael Caine which means I'm probably highly predjudiced against it, but it's still no stunner any way including up.

Either way, it's an excuse for me to use a stock photo of jumping Minis - which is very very tres cool.

April 21, 2006

Horse 535 - Bris-Vegas

This post comes from the jewel of Queeeeesnlaaaaaand and literally a gnat's spit from the Vulture St end.

The Brisbane Cricket Ground colloquially called the "Gabba" after the suburb Wollongabba in which it resides is a towering ring that little resembles last time I was here.

The Brisbane Lions AFL club have poured millions into the upkeep of this place and it is now a far cry from the canvas and string affair that was here before. Lang Park across the way is equally impressive and now resembles the San Siro more than the bit of dirt that King Wally called home for so long.

Actually the Gabba is a strange ground. Originally built for cricket, for a period from the 1930's until the current re-development, the ground used to have a sawdust dog track going around the outside. As a wee lad I remember on the radio throws to the Gabba for the results of greyhound racing much to my annoyance because Mr Packer would disturb the gentleman's game of cricket just to display these results.

The Gabba is one of those rare instances that "went to the dogs" and yet prospered, what a relief that it's no longer a caudlron of mutt.


And one last thing before I leave. The Zone 1-2 tickets in the centre of town allow you to hop on and off trains at will without buying a new ticket. To Mr Iemma of the NSW State Government - you could learn from our backwards neighbours oop noorth.

April 20, 2006

Horse 534 - Missundaztood

I am worried about this concept of 'being understood'. It's all anybody wants these days, and it can't be healthy. Whatever happened to mystique?

I don't want to be understood. For example: I'd like a friend to think I was funny. I don't need them speculating that I grew up in a household of competitive proto-humorists, that I fear I'm not clever enough to make serious points, that I suffer from that irritating social neurosis where I feel responsible for filling awkward silences. I'd rather they just laughed.

Besides, a comprehensible personality is surely a bad thing. If you can be summed up in a paragraph, there's something wrong with you. Shakespeare's greatness lies in the incomprehensibility of his characters. Why does Hamlet pretend to be mad? Why is Iago so jealous? Why does Lear issue a 'love test'? In the original source materials, Hamlet is nine years old, Iago wants Desdemona and there is no love test. Shakespeare is deliberately introducing gaps and mysteries to suggest a world beyond the play. Real people are not immediately explicable. If Desdemona 'understood' Hamlet, he would be pointless.

Nevertheless, people these days want a summed-up personality like they want an iPod and Ugh Boots. The holy grail is a snappy account of 'Who I am' in a five-minute audition tape for Big Brother. Poor old David Hume wasted all those years explaining that there is no such thing as personal identity, that the mind is 'nothing but a collection of different perceptions, succeeding one another with inconceivable rapidity in a perpetual flux and movement'. Three centuries later, everybody is setting off to 'find themselves' in therapy or on foreign holidays. It's like looking for a yeti. Turn back, travellers, before it's too late! There's nothing out there but a blizzard.

Have you noticed how often you hear the words 'That's just me'? It's a reality TV catchphrase. 'I like to muck about - that's just me'. It isn't you, it's simply the way you're behaving. Whence this desire for constant self-assertion?

The more we yearn to sum ourselves up, the more information we put out there and, of course, the more fragmented 'we' become. Dig around the human psyche a bit deeper and you won't find 'identity'; at most, you'll find motives. Motives which are better left unspoken if you want a decent life anyway.

The last thing I want is for people to say, 'Ah, I see you are over-compensating for the fact that you were a lonely teenager and didn't get a driver's licence till you were 21.'

But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please let me be misunderstood.
- Apologies to The Animals

April 19, 2006

Horse 533 - Fashion & Ties

Women will often complain about not having a thing to wear. This may be true in a lot of circumstances because as we all are aware either overtly or implicitly, women's fashion is more varied and often more involved, and therefore harder to match; harder to plan. Perhaps quite rightly so, considering that in terms of the actual equipment, men have a far less interesting set of kit. Let's be honest here, blokes are for all intents a couple of drain pipes attached to an oil can whereas the ladies are more inny and outy and therefore more suited to hanging fashion off.

As a member of the less visually interesting sex, I have the double whammy of being in a even more less visually interesting job. The standard office commando uniform is black trousers, a white shirt and if you're not in IT, a tie.

Yes a tie! That once useless bit of cloth which would have been used a mere 300 years ago for wiping one's nose is virtually the only flag of individuality in a sea of cut-lunch commandoes in their black suited boredom. Like the maker's nameplate, it's sometimes the identifier (since no-one except my good self appears to wear hats anymore) that we have to tell the office black-and-whitegoods workers apart.

Now then (hooray for my introductions! Sometimes they're brilliant in themselves. Can I have a Booker Prize please?)...
Since a tie is to displayed against a white backdrop of shirt, do you know which kind of tie works well?...


Having said this, the most favourite tie of mine of all is: A Black Tie with White Pinstripes pitched Per Bend down right and 5 to the inch. This Alfani tie is interesting to look at because it plays nasty tricks with the eyes if it moves and because it's black, is still conservative enough to hide behind a red vest.

Not even my three British Airways Cabin Crew Ties for Coach, Business, First & Platinum classes with their double Blue and Red Pinstripes pitched Per Bend down right and every 3 inches, come close to the optical wonder of the Alfani.

I have the official tie of Garbage Version 2.0, and even the famed Egg & Bacon of the MCC* (which I pay my £140 a year for the upkeep of therein - If Hitler had invaded the UK not even he would have got into the Long Room at Lord's, and why? He wasn't a member)

I'd like to be either Harrow'd or Eton'd by means of tie, and sadly the last post of old world pervayors of ties Gowings has ceased to be, so this means that for the moment I can't even buy a replica.

No, the Black Alfani is my most precious tie; it came by means of the sunny coast of California. Dare I say it, Katja knew damn well what she was doing. The simple things in life are often the best... and treasured.

*Thomas Lord's bit of dirt is surely amongst the most hallowed few acres of lawn on the planet. Lord's has nothing to do with viscounts or vicars, though by the sounds of it probably should.

3am Pondering... (need sleep)

Does God hold back things so that we properly appreciate them?
Does He give us things that we think that we can't handle to work harden us?
Why is it that seemingly unconnected events sometimes line up exactly?
How come some of the most interesting stories in people's lives happen purely by chance?

What is chance anyway?
Is there really such a thing as a random event?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." - Psalm 139:16

Maybe if I knew everything then there wouldn't be any wonder left. Would my brain explode if I knew every detail? Maybe not, but some things may be easier. Someone bigger than I already has everything worked out anyway, so I suppose my worry is pointless.

April 18, 2006

iFive - Apr 16

For technical reasons, iFive now moves to Mondays.

I was taking my friend's sister home from working at the local fried chicken joint and happened to have the iPod on in the car like normal. She got in half way through "(Probably) All In The Mind" by Oasis and made the comment that the orchestration of this song sounded really beautiful and that it was a pity that this wasn't released as a single (not that we got the last two in Australia anyway but that's a different issue).
This song features strings, a mellotron, and even the sound of a vacuum cleaner a cello along with the standard overblown guitar sound that's an Oasis trademark. I concur, it's a truly beautiful and difficult bit of music to listen to because you'll need about 6 plays to appreciate and even find everything contained within.

If you think about the most covered song in the history of pop music, it was track 13, on the B-side of an album and also never released as a single. When it was released it broke a lot of rules by including a string quartet as well as an acoustic guitar. Literally the establishment was shocked that you could not only get away with this but produce such a well-crafted and accepted pop song. I of course refer to "Yesterday" by the Beatles which incidentally is just over 40 years old now.

1. Girls Aloud - No Good Advice
2. Tom Lehrer - The Old Dope Peddler
3. Tom Lehrer - Silent E
4. Oasis - (Probably) All In The Mind
5. The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

Last FM Stats

April 17, 2006

Horse 532 - Music @ Last.FM

More to follow on this on Friday; in the meantime:
Last.FM is a website that monitors what people listen to and makes the results available for ready posting. Over a large scale it could be used to determine what's actually being played out there rather than the uptake of new music. If I was ARIA I'd be worried.

Yahoo! Music had offered a similar service about when I was thinking about my own iFive lists but didn't consider it powerful enough at the time. About six months later I've now found this on the Prawn's website where perhaps it could now be employed to some effect.

However, I have however noticed major glitches. It doesn't actually recognise half of my music library nor is it aware of records that have either never appeared in Gracenote or those which for conctractual reasons will not appear.

Suppose an artist is signed to a label which isn't supported by iTunes, MSN Music or another associated online store. Potentially, these will never be reported. The record labels themselves have often been accused of manipulating sales charts to better promote their music and even recently Sony Music was being questioned particularly by Hack on Triple J over music which had been released overseas but was being prevented from being bought by Australian consumers. Freedom of choice which is the big drawcard of the internet and online marketing is most definately not on the list of priorities of record company execs who wish to maintain their iron grip of control over what we buy.

Back to ARIA. ARIA often accuses downloading and piracy as the leading cause of falling music sales. I had a look at the global playcount on Last.FM for the last week and found that of the top 50, only 3 had been released within the last two years. Is this an admission based on actual plays that ARIA's whine is invalid. That's 6% of songs actually being played that could conceivably be construed as new music, much less when you consider that singles themselves only have a run for 9 weeks.

Perhaps if record companies started producing music that we actually like, then the issue would never arise.

April 16, 2006

Horse 531 - God is Selfish

Selfish, adj -
1. Concerned chiefly or only with oneself
2. Arising from, characterized by, or showing selfishness

What right do I have to make such a statement? You may even think that I've gone stark raving bonkers. But please follow me on this little excursion and by the end, you'll end agree with me.

A selfish heart is one that is primarily concerned with themselves. They will do actions for chiefly their own benefit, and appear to have no regard for anyone else. Let's apply this to God, shall we? Frequently we are told of God's qualities and His motives.

Consider the first two commandments and apply them to God himself. I'm going to pinch these from Deuteronomy 5 because of something said in there that isn't in Exodus.

No1 - You shall have no other gods before me.

Fairly straight forward. Who is God's god? Obviously himself. Think about it, if He weren't his own God then there must be some other higher power, in which case this entity would be more important and therefore God. But there isn't, so He doesn't, so there.

No2 - You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

What has God got to be jealous of? If there aren't any higher powers than himself, then why should he bothered. We're told that he punishes children to even the fourth generation for people who worship something other than him. This is obviously serious.
Jealously is primarily the act of intolerance that someone else has something which you don't. In this case God demands worship, and when this isn't paid to Him, He openly tells us that He wants it to the exculsion of anyone else... selfish? Then the charge is proved guilty.

If you want to prove someone guilty of someone, then the most admissible evidence is a confession. Unless the defendant is lying, then a confession that they actually did something is pretty good proof.

Isaiah 48: 11 - For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.

Confession? Guilty as charged?

I have another question. If you create or build something then what is it there for? The answer is to fulfill some purpose. A drill is there to put holes into things, a painting is there to be looked at, a motor car is there to provide transport. What are we here for?

Ecclesiastes 12:11 - Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

People often ask what the meaning of life is. You can't get any more plain than this. Esentially where here not for own good but for God's.

Ephesians 2.10 - For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Even today, Easter Sunday was not for our benefit. The whole point of Easter was that God wanted to make His creation useful again for the purpose intended, and that is to give glory to Him. He's prepared to sacrifice His own son not only to save us from our sins (which is actually the secondary purpose) but more importantly to give glory to Himself. Selfish? I think so.

When you think about it, the only thing in all of creation... scratch that. There's only one thing not part of creation and that is God Himself. If he isn't the point to anything and everything then this by definition would be a denial of himself and therefore bring Him into idolatry.

God is the most important "thing" that ever existed and one of his biggest points is to give glory to Himself. If you can find a bigger case of selfishness, then I'd like to hear it.

April 14, 2006

Horse 530 - Abandoned

Most Christians when considering the events of today will have looked at the phyisical suffering of Jesus and what it would have been like to be whipped, beaten spat upon, nailed through the flesh and then hung on a cross to suffocate for several hours.
We can relate to the phyisical pain quite easily because it's something that none of us would want to go through but even more shocking are the other events in this horrible story.

This day starts because Jesus had been accused of crimes which he has not committed. He answers to calling himself the "King of the Jews" which both the Pharisees and the Romans dislike, and they set about to have this man disposed of.

Luke 23:4 - Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."


Luke 23:14 - You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.

And a third time,

Luke 23:22 - For the third time he spoke to them: "Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him."

The man charged with the responsibility of finding Jesus guilty finds no charges by which he can force punishment, yet still yields to the will of the people. Jesus is the victim of a corrupt and dispicable justice system. Usually we jump up when a judge hands down a penalty that is too lenient, only occasionally do we pine for the justice of an innocent man, but here the penalty is capital and yet we don't even bat an eyelid.

Luke 23:23-24 - But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Pilate being a weak judge, gives into the people's demands and releases a murderer. Where's the justice in this?

Luke 23:26 - As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

Who is Simon of Cyrene? You'd think that if Jesus was being crucified then his own disciples would have the common decency of at least saying goodbye to him, but where are they? They spent three years following hime around the place and at this juncture even they've abandoned him.

Who else abandons Jesus?

Mark 15:33-34 - At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" — which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

I suspect that the world turned dark because God turned his back on his own son. Since God can not stand to exist in a place where sin lives and Jesus became sin for us, God literally forsook his own son.
If a father abandons his own son or tells his son to go to hell and actually means it, then this will be remembered forever. It is a horrible thing to tell your own children to go away because you can not bear to look at them.

Luke 23:50-56 - Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Did Joseph of Arimathea know what was going on or was he just being nice to the man who he'd seen die. Remember we're told that he didn't agree with the decisions of the corrupt judges and despite the Passover celebrations only a couple of days away he still does what is only proper. Again no mention of the 11 at all where were they?

Jesus - Abandoned by His nation, the priests who supposedly were waiting for His coming, His disciples who been hanging around for 3 years and abandoned by God. And he didn't complain about this? He went wilingly? What sort of man is this?

Luke 15:12-14 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

There's the essence of this. A man who loved the people of the world, despite knowing that they'd abandon him, laugh and mock him, then kill him.

How much does that hurt? How much pain and suffering does that entail?

And we have the nerve to call this Good Friday. Today is a day when collectively we should be both thankful and ashamed that the reason any of this happened is only because we abandoned God first.

April 12, 2006


standard texty text

Horse 529 - Can't Fight The Moonlight

Last night I saw a production of Twelfth Night by the Bard. This is one of those confusing plays where there's cross-dressing involved and people accidentally falling in love with people of the same sex because they think that they're in reality of the opposite and only to find that in some cases they're being betrayed by the same person who they think is someone else... put it this way, if you were to draw a chart of who loves who and who thinks who is who in the play you'd end up with a twisted scribble on the paper that looks like Junction 6 on the M6 outside of Birmingham or more commonly refered to as Spaghetti Junction or officially the Gravelly Hill Interchange.

After I'd left the theatre I had to walk across a public park with what once would have been gaslamps. I would have taken a photograph except that the light meter told me that it wasn't worth the effort given the slow speed of film I was using.

Under electric light the world was bathed in a softness that you don't get with the blinding flash of daylight. Rows of lights on board ferries plied their way across the harbour and the Harbour Bridge takes on a steely green hue and is surrounded by zillions of birds and bats.

Even the Opera House begins to look like some fandangoed object of homemade art you might find at an agricultural fair. Set against the giant Christmas tree of winking lights they call the city, it's positively serene.

No wonder Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night set against the scene of twilight. It's a convienient backdrop to set up a case of confusion because people can't see very well, but by the same token, if you step into such a world it is real purdy like.

Moonlight is only 1/5000th the power of the sun. It conjures up images of horse-drawn carriages in the park or perhaps those frosty driveway lights leading up to some country estate. A cosy cottage nestled out in the crook of a valley of a windswept moor, the glistening of splish-splashes in a calm sea.

"Swear not by the inconstant moon who monthly changes in her circled orb"

April 11, 2006

Horse 528 - England's 2006 World Cup Song

Usually about this time every two years before the start of a major tournament we have to endure the latest song for the England assault on another football trophy. Tunes like Three Lions (1996) found their way onto the terraces and there's always at least one version of The Great Escape running around; we've also had to endure things like We're On The Ball (2002) by Ant and Dec and who can forget (even though we try) World In Motion from 1990 with both Gazza and John Barnes rapping away.

In 2006 the England official song has fallen to the group Embrace with Danny McNamara and they've written a ditty called World At Your Feet. I heard this and I thought that it sounded vaugely familiar, and then I thought... it's a blatant rip-off of:

Think of a Number with Johnny Ball.

It is isn't it? It jolly well is. They've decided that the best way to showcase England this time around is a kids show from the early 80s. I get it now - it's retro kitsch innit? Think Of A Number was a kids maths puzzle type program that ended circa 1984 (sic) and I bet that half of the current England squad would have seen it themselves as children.

If they get Wayne "Shrek" Rooney to rap on this one then I'm afraid that it will really have come full circle. 6 year old kids (or those with the mentality of 6 year olds) singing songs for 6 year olds.

April 10, 2006

Horse 527 - Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo

It is the 31st Century, and the Earth has fallen into dark times under the iron-fisted rule of the Marugarita Empire. The Marugarita Emperor, Tsuru Tsururina the Fourth, has instituted a policy of "hair hunting" as a display of his ruthless power. Feared groups of Hair Hunters roam the land, shaving the heads of the entire human race until they all become bald!

In this dark age, a single ray of hope shines brightly through the clouds: a man who has dedicated himself to protecting the peace and freedom of hair everywhere by standing up to the dreaded Marugarita Empire. That man is BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo, he of the golden Afro and the power of 5 foot long nostril hair!

Now, BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo, master of the infamous Nose Hair Karate techniques, and his sidekicks Beauty and Captain Don Pacci, set off on a journey to save the world from going bald... no really, that is the premise of this anime.

BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo is a martial arts expert who's main techniques revolve around the use of his 5ft long nostril hair. When he learns that a girl called Beauty is about to have her head shaved, because he can hear her hair cry out for a saviour, he decides to go and save her hair - not her, YES, he decides to go and save HER HAIR. Also we meet a man made entirely out of jelly and something that looks like the sun (I have no idea what it's supposed to be).
To accuse this anime of posessing even a thread of sanity is a lie. There's frequent use of hammer-space and the heros will even beat each other up for no reason other than because its fun.

Originally this was meant as a 6 episode filler over the dead rating period in the summer but someone at NHK obviously thought that the best way to spend Japanese licence-payer's fees was to give approval for another 72 episodes. I so hope that we get this in English, I've watched fansubs at anime conventions and have been fabulously confused; that's brilliant.

Kameha-meha-camera open-shutter-special earwax and newspaper ATTACK!!

April 09, 2006

Horse 526 - From Ancient Grudge Break To New Mutiny


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Chelsea remain in the driving seat to win the title despite pressure from Manchester United. The Gunners travel up to M6 to Old Trafford on Sunday knowing a victory would not only keep up their hopes of finishing in the top four, but also virtually end United's drive to catch league leaders Chelsea, who should pick up a simple 3 points against West Ham Utd at home at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal and Man Utd have no love lost between them. This fixture has often ended in spite. In 2004 several players came to blows and even last year there were recorded incidents of soup and pizza being thrown in the players tunnel.

Sir Alex Ferguson has for the vast majority of his career been trying to outshine the great Bill Shankly. Whereas Shankly will be remembered for putting into place the conditions that created the greatest trophy run in England, Fergie knows that when he leaves there will be no-one to replace him. Shankly is known for his wit whereas Fergie is roundly thought of as a halfwit.

Arsene Wenger was the perfect manager for Arsenal. Both he and the club share the first four letters of their names, and those four letters are apt descriptors for both. "Boring Boring" Arsenal have the record of being one of only two clubs in history to go through a season undefeated. It is their "Boring Boring" football under "Boring Boring" Wenger that will mean that apart from the niggle that every referee is obliged to favour Utd at home for fear of being either assaulted or knifed in the car park, that this will be a "Boring Boring" fixture.

I hope that for Arsenal's sake they win. Not because I want them to secure fourth in the title but because I'd rather see Chelsea despite throwing £35zn at the title, it would mean that Utd doesn't win the Premiership.

Let's hope Va Va Voom slots one home.

April 07, 2006

Horse 525 - Following the Rules

Occasionally you'll see reports on television of off the rail kids who have been sent to some form of extreme discipline school where as if by magic they learn how to fit in and become productive people. The kids themselves also often tell you that the experience was good for them... huh?
If you look at a herd of wild orangutans and remove one of them from the group, eventually the one that's been removed without a social structure by which to define themselves will resort to really strange behaviour like banging their head against trees or even (dare I say it) consuming their own scat. Why is this?

21st Century post-modern society that can't be bothered to read or even learn to cook for itself has taken the general philosophy that whatever you want to do is right for you, and then it wonders why crime statistics go up and there's a prevalence of fat kiddies who either have ADD* or discipline problems. Do people realise that they're a product of their environment?

Rules and regulations usually have associated penalties that occur when you break them. Speeding in a motor vehicle carries a fine, but more importantly unregulated driving if people didn't keep to their side of the road or obey traffic lights would result in death.
Adultery before the invention of abortions and the contraceptive pill would result in an unwanted pregnancy in some cases which is a heck of a change in life. Remove the consequences and we see other bizarre circumstances like this week the statistic that children of a single parent are 77% more likely to engage in cannabis use. The surprise here is that anyone was surprised.

As society moves further away from respect of the laws and regulations it ironically becomes a nastier and more unsafe place. Also ironically and I'll use the example of our road scene again, people despite not obeying the rules still feel aggrieved if someone else violates them. We feel annoyed that someone cut in front of us in line, or that people get off lightly for serious crimes like murder and rape, we feel saddened if people are wrongly accused.

If whatever you want to do is right for you, then it should follow that murder, rape, theft and lying are perfectly right for the murderer, rapist, thief and liar to commit. We all know that it's not and guess what, it's inbuilt.
Humanists will argue that if we're violated personally then that's a survival mechanism, but it still doesn't explain why the aggrivement if we're unconnected. That is unless...

You can tell who drew a picture by the style of the drawing. People hold a pencil differently and will have slightly different techniques. You could almost say that the drawing itself in an oblique way shows proof that the artist in question drew it. Take this to its extreme and yes handwriting analysis is acceptable as forensic evidence in court.

Now either this inbuilt sense of justice we have either proves the existance of a creator or it doesn't. If it doesn't then I fail to see what evolutionary purpose it serves because if its right for the person to do whatever they want and not follow any rules at all, then it follows that if everyone was built exactly the same way, then no-one would be aggrieved when the rules are broken.

Is our inbuilt sense of justice one of the hallmarks of a just creator?

iFive - 7th Apr

I was in Micky D's yesterday morning mainly because I'd run out of revs and found a coupon in the local newspaper. Whilst I was in there, I saw a kid of about 8 years with an iPod of their own. Being in Neutral Bay this didn't surprise me in the slightest but it made me think, "what sort of music does an 8 year old girl listen to?"

She'd be to young to understand the highly sexualised music that record companies want to jam down our ears these days and I very much doubt that she could relate to the mysogenist hip-hop and rap music that makes it's way to the top of the charts; nor do I suspect she'd be listening to Punk/Ska/Rock/Metal either. I remain mystified myself.

When I was 8 years old I was either listening to 60s Rock'n'Roll on vinyl (do kids these days even know what a record is?) or Ska which was on JJJ.

1. Place Young Children In The Bins Provided - City Rail
2. Poisoning The Pigeons In The Park - Tom Lehrer
3. 1994 The Big One - Radio 1
4. Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
5. Fall To Pieces - Avril Lavigne

April 06, 2006

Horse 524 - Form Fours

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Curriculum Writer
2. Warehouse Assisstant
3. Bank Teller
4. Sound Engineer

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Amelie
2. Breakfast At Tiffany's
3. The Italian Job
4. Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines

Four places I have lived:
1. Seven Hills
2. Toxteth
3. Godalming
4. Glenferrie

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. English Premier League Football
2. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
3. Samurai Champloo
4. The Chaser's War On Everything

Four places I have been on Holiday:
1. Perth
2. Stanthorpe
3. Monza
4. Number One

Four of my favourite foods:
1. Lamb Vindaloo
2. Pecan Pie
3. Yorkie Bar
4. Kraft Cheese Spread

Four people I've seen today:
1. Ralph - My Boss
2. Neve - The lady at the record store
3. Rick - Our next door neighbour
4. Jodee - At the coffee shop

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. San Diego
2. Liverpool
3. Saitama
4. Port of Spain

Four things I'm wearing right now:
1. Blue Shorts
2. 2006 England Football Strip
3. Watch
4. Red Underdaks

Four cities I've been to:
1. Brisbane
2. York
3. Westminster
4. Tokyo

Four schools I've attended:
1. Meadowbank TAFE
2. UTS School of Business
3. School of the Air
4. Girraween High

Four stores I'd spend my last $50 at:
1. BP
2. Lord Adbul Latif's House of Curry Hell
3. Phantom Zone
4. HMV

Four of my favourite CDs:
1. Don't Believe The Truth - Oasis
2. Under My Skin - Avril Lavigne
3. More Specials - The Specials
4. Funky Dory - Rachel Stevens

April 05, 2006

Horse 523 - New Newness

Just between you and me and the gatepost and the whole world because this is on the net, I have thought for a long time that the prefix of "New" in a town's name is simply tacky and doesn't show any forethought. It's as if the people in the new place were bereft of imagination and couldn't come up with their own name at all. These then are just a few of the New names that aren't really New at all.

New Zealand - Our friends across the Tasman in their all-black shirts who like nothing better than to steal the Bledisloe and Melbourne Cups probably don't realise that Zeeland is actually one of the Netherlands.
Zeeland is a confabulation of a few islands and a bit bordering Belgium so perhaps when Abel Tasman sailed around he thought that naming them after something back home would be good... bit silly.

New South Wales - The south of Wales is a grey bleak part of the world covered in what seems like perpetual cloud and driving rain. The differences are stark as New South Wales is a sunny somewhat dry land with fluffy white clouds, surfing beaches and flat mountains.
Was James Cook taking the mick out of Wales when he named here? South Wales would have been a more appropriate place for a gaol than the penal colony at Port Jackson 18 years later.

New York - The Big Apple is famous for tall buildings, financial markets, massive crowding and big productions on stage. York the capital of Yorkshire is famous for... village cricket and slow people?
The white rose county is steeped in history with cathedrals and evidence of Vikings and Romans. The only Roman you're likely to find in New York is Roman Abramovich doing oil trading.

New Caledonia - This is a French territory that is names after something in the UK. Caledonia was the Latin name for Scotland The differences between Caledonia and New Caledonia are even more stark than between South Wales and New South Wales.
In New Caledonia, one might find one's self on a deck chair beside a swimming pool in the tropical sunshine sipping daquiris. In Caledonia, you might also find people in varying states of undress but rest assured the circumstances will be more daft. The French have this habit of kissing each other on the cheek as a form of greeting, but the only kiss you're likely to get in Caledonia is a Glaswegian one.

Maybe denoting something as "New" is a form of irony. Maybe that's what Mr Howard meant when he told us of a "New" Tax System with the GST.

April 04, 2006

Horse 522 - In Distress?

The flags are flying at half-mast today because of the state funeral for artist Pro Hart in Broken Hill. Traditionally, flags are flown at half mast if someone has died or to indicate some other mourning such as the Tricoleur being flown at half mast from most public places whilst under Nazi occupation.

Not only is the flag on the council chamber at half mast, but it's also upside down. This is sometimes done to express a state of mutiny which in the grand scheme of things, isn't likely because technically Mosman would still be part of NSW ergo Australia, who's flag is upside down.

Flags are sometimes flown upside down for other reasons. If a crew abandons a ship in distress to save their life, the last thing to do (if they have time to do so) is to turn the flag upside down. This means that they give up any right on the vessel or cargo and anybody who manages to rescue the ship afterwards could keep it.

Some navies in the age of sail apparently inverted the ensign of an enemy ship after they captured it, although the normal procedure was to hoist their own ensign above the enemy ensign aboard the prize. On the other hand, it would obviously be useless to invert the French ensign as either a distress signal or as a sign of capture, while the fact that some others were inverted (Spain, Libya, Portugal) would only be visible at very close range. Not to mention that there are a few flags whose inversion would simply make them someone else's flag as in the case of Ireland.

Could it be that Mosman Municipal Council is in distress or is free to capture? I would very much like to be Town Mayor through minimal force, then maybe I could get a parking permit.

April 01, 2006


There's a horrible farty smell in here and it's definately not coming from my bottom.
They must have got it on lay-by from the cat.
It's rank.

Horse 521 - They Have Changed

We've all see those ads of the blokes barbequing and then they zoom out to like a bunch of identical blokes barbequing and then they zoom out even further with music going and the blokes turn into dots of flavour on a Barbeque Shape.
They've got Pizza Shapes and Salsa Shapes and even Chilli Shapes but my contention is that Barbeque Shapes have changed.

I reckon if they did that advert again but this time made it true to life, and zoomed back in you'd find three blokes on the biscuit going "Sorry, they didn't employ enough of us. Johnny Howard and his IR reforms mean that we're too expensive now" The point is that they're just not full of flavour anymore.

When Maggi had it's Flavour-Flavour-Flavour Maggi-Maggi-Maggi noodles advert all those years ago, I wonder if they considered that to re-do the advert now and keep truth in advertising it should now read Flavour-Fl..whatever Maggi-Maggi-Maggi-Maggi? I bet not.

Even Iced Vo-Vo biscuits aren't as flavoursome as they used to be. I'm sure that once upon a time all of that iced bit went all the way to edges. Do you think I don't notice? Hello? The Iced Vo-Vo isn't worthy to be called Iced Vo now; in fact it's almost in danger of becoming so boring that it might turn into an Iced Volvo biscuit. Put a hat on those blokes, bung them in a 1976 244 Estate and tell them not to fall asleep while watching The Bill.

Food companies, don't think we don't notice. There used to be days when you'd look forward to sticking your fingers into the bottom of the back and getting all those bits that fell off but now, it as though they thought of that and they come pre-fallen off for you.