Tuesday, November 30, 2004


"Loch Lomond" - The Celtic City Sons

Picture a Folk Festival. Picture a big tent. It's a really bit tent. There's a stage down one end on which a group of 7 scruffy-looking fellows are playing a variety of instruments. We have a few guitars (including a bass), a fiddle and an accordian (essential at any Folk Festival) and a drum kit. This very large tent is packed with people (who are also mostly scruffy-looking). And the band just started playing "Loch Lomond". It's mellow, it's swaying and the people are digging it. There are some grins and a few people are singing along.

And then the drums kick in and the tempo kicks up and people whoop and holler and start to dance about like muppets on speed.

And it's 3 o'clock in the morning.

The Celtic City Sons are a fantastic celtic rock group from Sydney and their version of Loch Lomond truly goes off! 3 in the morning and the whole joint was jumping. Not a single person was sitting down, the ground was vibrating and holy crap it was fun.


If you don't want people to take up your valuable bandwidth, then don't share your fucking files! Seriously, people, I grow tired of thinking 'hey, what do they sound like?', clicking the link and then being disconnected by the other user. It doth piss me off.

Oh, and have a gander here. Graham had it linked and it's hilarious.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Mixed day.

So yesterday started well, then we had an extremely busy lunch - doing the business we normally do in an hour in about half an hour - and the last couple of hours of my shift sucked arse, but then I got to the show and that was fantastic! For a wednesday audience they were brilliant and lots of the gang were there. Gordon and Dogbox and Michael. Everyone had much fun and the show went pretty damn smoothly, as it usually does. Oh, and the guy from the Tea Shop was there and promised me a discount for my good work, so it all ended up okay.

And on the way home, I didn't run over a possum. Now I know that many of you might not find that very impressive, given that you probably go days without running over a possum, but given that I saw it disappear out of sight under my bonnet, I guess it's not bad. Proves the brakes work on my car work, too.


Because pirates are always funny...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Think about it...

I was thinking t'other day and something ocurred to me.

The Rosetta Stone.

Just a little too convenient a discovery if you ask me...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Long time no talk...

So On The Razzle has opened, and it went very well. I only jumped on one other person's lines and only fumbled a couple of mine. The crowd seemed to enjoy themselves and the feedback in the lobby was great! Lots of compliments and all round kudos. Kath didn't kill me for kissing womeone who's not Carmen. Ian and Louise stole the show with their Coachman/Lysette bit, as I suspect they shall every night, but the rest of us somehow managed to make an impact.

I had my bi-monthly comic binge on saturday, and did my usual thing of reading them all in a couple of hours, so now I have to wait for ages and ages until I get my next batch. Oh, and the people that write 100 Bullets are horrible, horrible people with damaged psyches and troubled pasts. Seriously, read the latest issue and you'll agree with me.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Halo 2, baby!

Apparently, Microsoft sent out a big list of stuff reviewers weren't allowed to write in their articles before the game's release. Something about not spoiling the storyline. I have to abide by no such rules and, for those of you who haven't played the game yet, I shall now spoil the storyline:

You're the Master Chief and you fight aliens.

I know. I was as shocked as you are, expecting as I was some kind of "gotta catch 'em all" or "can I have a Red Elite and a Grunt live together and meet each of their life aims" sort of game. But, no, you're running around with guns and shooting bad guys. Who'd'a thunk it?

And what guns! John Woo-ing SMGs or plasma rifles is seriously fun. The new additions - , the aforementioned SMG, a Covenant sniper rifle (which will be strangely familiar to anyone who's played UT - lightning gun, anyone?), homing rockets for the launcher - fit in beautifully. And the sounds! The soundscape is fantastic, with echo-y tunnels and crisp, metallic gun noises that are just a treat. In fact, just play around with brassing up the room with the SMG, my personal favourite sound. Oh, and everyone must have been taking their chatty pills. Even the Elites will taunt you.

The physics and environment have also had a seeing to, with explosions now effectiong the crates that are lying around, and if you see an abandoned car, pump some lead into it and watch it blow up!

Did I mention the visuals! Mmmm... textures... lighting... detail... *drool*

A couple of criticisms, though. The initial "here's what you do" level is good, but given that new things are explained by a large line of text appearing in your vision, and given that one of the times new things happen is when you are attacked and given when you are attacked, you want to see as much as possible... you get the idea. Maybe a little more subtlty in updating you would be good. And some of the cut scenes have odd graphics glitches that look like the layers for the characters are being added as it plays. Very odd.

Basically, Halo 2 is what every game sequel should be, an overall improvement on the original with some excellent touches and a few odd moments.

And who'd have though that the Green Elite was really the Master Chief's father?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Well... gosh...

Saw Hero yesternight and holy crap.

It is a truly beautiful film, a stunningly beautiful film. The use of colour and scenery are amazing, as is the fight choreography (courtesy of Wei Tung, fight coordinator for films like Hitman and Bulletproof Monk). The entire cast are excellent, with Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Broken Sword) and Maggie Chung (Flying Snow) particularly impressive.

So what's it about? Well, the Nameless Warrior (Jet Li) has killed three assassins from the Zhao province who are out to get the King of the Qin province (Daoming Chen). No one has come within 100 paces of the King in 3 years (since Snow and Broken sword tried to assassinate him), and so the Nameless stranger sits 100 paces from the King and tells him how he killed the assassins. With each story, the king lets him move a little closer. But then the King starts to doubt Nameless's story, and so each tale is retold, with a different predominant colour and from a different point of view.

Not to labour a point, but this really is a beautiful film, with brilliantly underplayed performances by the entire cast and I'll tell you what, no matter which version of the story she's in, Moon( Ziyi Zhang) just gets done over. The soundscape is also well done, with a great score by Dun Tan and - stop smirking Tim and Charlotte - a crisp foley track that has the arrows whistling past your head and thudding satisfyingly into walls and swords whining through the air. It's breathtaking. And, yes, maybe sometimes the visuals are favoured over the narrative, but that's because the visuals are just so bloody beautiful. And, yes, they fly through the air and bounce of water, but that's a cultural thing, and you've got to accept it.

Rating: Five beautifully choreographed fight sequences out of five.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Stupid Bastards

They went and did it again, didn't they?

Don't pretend you don't know who or what I'm talking about. The bloody yanks. Or, more accurately, the bloody American Right. And I think I know how they did it. Remember every "big shock" when someone popular is voted off Australian Idol, and how the people that liked them are all "we would've voted, but we figured she/he was safe anyway". That's what I reckon happened in the US. People thought; "I don't need to bother voting. There's no way he'll get in again".

But he did. It might be annoying sometimes, it might mean you have to take time out of your busy saturday, but compulsory voting at least means that everyone does vote. The numbers on people *not* turning up to vote in the US elections are just fucking scary. I know I'm not there and maybe it's not that simple, but for God's sake people, if you want to get rid of him, then you have to frickin' *vote*, you eejits!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Social Gaps

There are gaps in acceptable social training. I mean, I know a thing or two about proper decorum in a variety of situations (even if I choose to ignore most of it). I know the correct order in which to use my cutlery (something a certain young lady very close to my heart needs reminding about every time :) ), I know that you don't call a non-comissioned officer "Sir" and I know that you shouldn't face-fault at stupid customers. However, I'm pretty sure there is no socially acceptable way in which to congratulate someone because their partner/spouse is hot. You can't just go up to a guy you don't know and say; 'Excuse me, sir, but I just wanted to point out that your wife is a horn bag. Nice work'.

What is the proper reaction when someone of the opposite gender gives a gay friend their phone number? Do you cough politely and shake your head, giving the number back? Should your gay friend call them and tell them that they aren't really interested because the person has the wrong genitals? If a total stranger has the tag of their clothing sticking out, why is it wrong to poke it back in and inform them as they round on you for inappropriate touching that they were, in fact, a Tag Dag?

We need to address these and other issues. There would be less awkwardness and stress all round, I think, if you were able to stop wearers of muffin pants in the streets and remind them that mid-riff tops are a privilige, and not a right.