Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Evil little game

Try this.

It had me giggling, but that might be because I'm a wee bit warped.

Didn't see this one coming...

What type of Fae are you?

Moving Pictures

As I said before, my cleverness at hurting my shoulder gave me a chance to catch up on some of the films I'd missed in the last few months.

I've finally seen Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow and it was pretty cool. It was one of the first films shot entirely on green-screen, with a whole bundle of CG sets and landscapes. While it wasn't exactly Mr Law or Miss Paltrow's finest hours in their respective acting careers, it was a fun bundle of popcorn and shiny lights. The style was of the 40s and 50s movie serials, with lots of retro tech and giant robots and things. My main criticism is that a lot of the movie was just too dark. Not thematically, but in the actual "where's the light? I can't see what's going on!" sense. I really liked the naff sensibilities of this one, the sense of fun that everyone was having was clear and Angelina in vinyl is always welcome, especially with a nifty British accent. The technical achievement of the film shouldn't be overlooked, but overall this one was a fun diversion, effective but flawed.

I'll give Sky Captain 3 amphibious planes out of five

And on to the next highly-stylised bit of weirdness. This time I whacked Corpse Bride into the player and I was enthralled. I'm going to steal a concept from a review I read (I cannae remember where) and say that the stop-motion they've done for this film is phenonmenal. It's orders of magnitude smoother than that in The Nightmare Before Christmas. There are times when it looks as smooth as CG and just as awesome. The voice actors and character designs have been perfectly matched and the production design itself is awesome! The storyline resolves around a timid young man whose wealthy but working-class family are arranging a marriage to the equally-timid daughter of a dirt-poor but upper-class family as an in to the nobby life. When out in the forest practicing his vows, he accidently puts the wedding ring on the finger of the corpse of a woman betrayed and lured to her death with a promise of elopement. Hence the title. The stoic, boring world of the living is a stark contrast to the colourful, whacky and a little creepy world of the dead, to where the corps bride (huzzah!) drags him. This is a wonderful tale that is far too short. I wanted much more, especially of the underworld scenes!

Four skeletal midgets out of five.


A couple of random segues in my brain led me to this question;

Do the Americans look down on tattle-tailing as much as Australians look down on dobbers?

I know that tattle-tailing is a no-no in the US, but I'm not sure if the it's viewed with the same vehemence as dobbing is in our wide, brown land.


Friday, March 24, 2006


Taking advantage of my two days off to rest my shoulder, I've been watching lots of DVDs. I'll put in some full reviews later, but I just gotta say, after re-watching the first bits of The Bourne Identity; how down and dirty hard is the fight in his Paris apartment? With the pen stabbing, and the hands-free spring-up and all the up-close sticky hands stuff.

All right, I know it's Kali, rather than Wing Chun, so the term 'sticky hands' may not be entirely appropriate, but jeez it's still just so frickin' cool!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pure Genius

I've gone and activated my Super Mutant Idiot gene again and I've managed get hurt playing another non-contact sport. This time it was touch football during lunch today. I was running after David (who, BTW, is a lot faster than he looks) and reached to tag him. Of course, I failed (see previous aside) and over-balanced. Attempting a neat, clean Judo tuck-roll over my left shoulder, I instead speared straight into the ground, leading with the aforementioned shoulder. There was a gristly noise and my forward motion stopped.

So now my shoulder hurts, but not all the time and not moving in every direction, just most of them. The up side is that as it was during a social game with work people, I'm covered by Workers' comp. I think. Either way, my shoulder hurts and I'm not the happiest Euan on the planet.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More fun

Given one of my previous posts, I thought I'd link to Virtual Paintball game.

Book 5 1/2

"The Lost Continent" by Bill Bryson

Another rambling, amusing and - at times downright tetchy - book from Mssr Bryson.
In this one, he's looking for the perfect small town in America and during the course of the book he finds crappy tourist traps a-plenty, lots of astonishingly dodgy roadside food. One moment he's found the best little motel in the mid-West (which, BTW, he seems to think is much nicer than the West), the next he's found a crappy baseball cap with a plastic turd on the brim.

If you haven't read any Bryson before, I'm not sure if I would recommend this as a starting point, but I would say that if you're a fan, then go right ahead. I'm not saying it ain't a good book, but it's a very Bryson Bryson, if you get me, and his tone might put the unintiated off. There are moments in the book where his... let's be charitable... his frugal nature comes out. But then there are other times where his sense of nostalgia and anger at the way America is getting so same-y and cheap makes you want to blow up a mega-corp.

I really did enjoy this one, and read it in about six sessions (three of which were baths. How nice is it to lie in a bath and read for ages?). I'll give it four cheap Iowans on a mission out of five.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Massive party! Huge. BBQ. Many, many people at our house. Lots of different groups (theatre, work, Bunnies, family and misc). They started arriving around 630 or so and it was awesome! I didn't spend much time with any one person (or one group, really) 'cause there were so many people here. I was bouncy and happy and just had so much fun! Also, I consumed a large amount of alcohol too, so that helped. :)

I also got 6 bottles of really good red of very different varieties, a kung fu hamster from Sass, a whole bunch of lollies from Sofie, a Flippy plush, a flapping pig form Meredith and a journal from Stu. A great haul and thanks to everyone, present-bringing and otherwise, for helping me celebrate my birthday! You all rock!

I have the best friends.

There he is! *thoomph* *splat* OW!!!

Yesterday saw me continuing and culminating the celebrations for my birthday.

During the day, we headed out to Paintball Sports for a day of fun and carnage. With 16 people heading out, we had good-sized teams that were - for the most part - evenly matched. It was amusing that all three couples that were in attendance (myself & Carmen, David C & Emily and Iain & Leia) shared the opinion that couples should be split up, so we put all the girls in one team and all the boys in the other. The basic breakdown of the teams was: Armbands; Carmen, Sass, Leia, Barry, Nick Akhurst, Emily, Owen and Juanio from Gaudi. Non-armbands were myself, Callum, Leila, David, Iain, Nick Linehan, Sam IV and Gaudi Sam. Good, even teams that made for an awesome day. There was no aggro. All right, there was minimal tetchiness that was dealt with quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

It really was one of the better days of paintball we've ever done. Everyone had fun, no one recieved any lasting wounds (although some of us are a bit sore today), and the Bunny Hunt was a lot of fun. The refs were especially cool, giving lots of advice and assistance to people while they were pinned down or in a position to move forward or whatever. No huge bruises, but some very colourful ones and just a great day all 'round, really. I even had hats made for my Bunny Guard. :)

Oh, and for those that don't know, a Bunny Hunt is when - if a paintball trip is for a birthday or buck's/hen's night or whatever - the birthday boy/girl, the buck or hen or whoever is the focus of the day, gets to wear a white overall (as opposed to cams or just khaki) and some bunny ears and they go out and everyone goes after them. Depending on the size of the group, they usually have one or two people on their side (I had 3, two of which were Gaults, so I wasn't that worried) and the Bunny and his/her friends are immortal. The only limit to how much they can be shot is the ammo of the opposition and their pain threshold. The others, when they get shot, have to run to the far end of the field and touch the tape line, then they're back in. When I expressed my intention for the Bunny Hunt, and volunteered to be hunted, the ref actually asked if I was the full quid. That said, I didnae get hurt that bad. Although Cal did hit me right next to my nipple.

Fun Stuff!

Ratti had this and after marvelling at how much grey LEGO this guy has, I had a wee poke around the rest of the site and founs much fun.

From the "awwwww", to the just plain weird, there's a little something for everyone.

Paranoid much?

It's the "they'll neve know it's there" aspect of this one that scares me.

Small, pink braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains....

A groovy, virtual life simulator for a zombie outbreak. Read the instructions and just have some fun. :)

Friday, March 17, 2006

What car are you?

Another quiz.

Turns out I'm a Ferrari 360 Modena, just BTW. Lucky me.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!

A quick interruption of my (albeit very gradual) catch up with an account of last week, the main feature of which was my birthday!

The fun started, however, on Wednesday with a "bring in something and share it" lunch at work (not specifically for my birthday, of course, just cause). I made pizza dough and pizza sauce the night before and brought them in. The room we had the lunch in has a real oven in it, and so I cooked fresh pizza and it was a hit! The other foodies in the group were most impressed, as was the Deputy Registrar! :)
The other stuff that was brought it was fantastic too. One of the ladies gave us home-made tandoori chicken and god it was good! Also, Keir made a fig and raspberry cake thing that was amazing. Lots of yummy goodness!

Then, came Thursday the 9th of March and my birthday!!! It was a great, skivy day! I got to work late (cause I had X-rays of my teeth to pick up, more on that later) and my desk had been birthdayed by Shellie. It was a mild birthdaying, but there was still a banner and presents (a couple of little LoTR figures from Shellie and a wind-up walking Stegosaurus from Meredith. Then I had a long lunch at Babar's with some of the gang where I had pork ribs in a coca-cola sauce and they were frickin' gorgeous. Tender and tasty. After lunch I knocked off early and lazed at home until Carmen got back and gave me her pressie (which was Serenity on DVD and 2000 watt cafe sandwich press) and Mum and Dad took us (and Cal) out to dinner. We went to Four Rivers Sichuan in Dickson. The food was great - especially the roast duck in spicy beer sauce - but the service was a little... um... patchy. Don't get me wrong, they were perfectly polite and very friendly, but when Cal asked for a Scotch and ice, it seemed to confuse them for a good couple of minutes. Kinda funny.

On Friday me and the intake gang had lunch at the Hellenic club. The cool thing is that Monday is Tash's birthday (and yesterday was Shellie's), so friday's lunch was for Tash's and my birthday. We gave Tash a bright, bright orange fountain pen from Pepe's papiery and the gang gave me a Darth Tater and a Spud Trooper. Very cool! :)

A great week and my birthday celebrations aren't even over, cause this Saturday we're going paintballing, and that'll rock!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Not a great shock, really...

Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

I scored an average of 1.1

01 2 3 4 5 6


This result can also be related to the Kinsey Scale:

0 = exclusively heterosexual
1 = predominantly heterosexual, incidentally homosexual
2 = predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 = equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 = predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 = predominantly homosexual, incidentally heterosexual
6 = exclusively homosexual


The idea of this excercise is to understand exactly how dynamic a person's sexual orientation can be, as well as how fluid it can be over a person's lifespan. While a person's number of actual homo/heterosexual encounters may be easy to categorize, their actual orientation may be completely different. Simple labels like "homosexual", "heterosexual", and "bisexual" need not be the only three options available to us.

Take the quiz

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh, my!

Guess what we did on the way back from Broullee? That's right, we finally went to Mogo Zoo and it was pretty cool. The some of big cats and the bears seemed a little sad. The Sumatran Tigers, for eg, were in a comparitavely small enclosure. Not, I believe, actionably small, and I know that hunting animals don't need huge amounts of space if they're being fed regularly, but it just looked to me like they might want to have a bit more room.

As for the rest of the zoo, it was pretty cool. Lots of Red Pandas. I mean, lots of Red Pandas! And man small, cute primates. Like Cottontop Tamarins and Emperor Tamarins (which Carmen is pretty sure are plotting to take over the world. You have been warned). Very cute. And it's possible Carmen is right, although the fact that their attention span appears to be somewhere between mine and a hummingbird on a whole bunch of crack means that we're probably safe. For now.

Also cool to watch were the Meerkats. Disney really got Timon's character design perfect. They do look that cute and intense. And neurotic. :)

However, the highlight of the visit were the Saimangs. Apart from the fact that they were interacting exactly like a human family - complete with middle child making the youngest child's life difficult and picking on him - there was one of them (the oldest child, I think) who made everyone watching jealous. As is usual with primate enclosures, this one had a large collection of ropes and poles to climb over. It also had a large square of netting that was slightly raised on four poles (two short-ish ones at the front, two long-ish ones at the back) where there food was placed and the oldest child was lying back on this netting like a hammock, with his arms stretched out across the back of it. He looked very comfy, like he was just chilling on a couch, but what made it perfect was that he was also eating a carrot that he was holding with his foot. All the time he was doing this, he was looking at the crowd of humans watching him and obviously thinking: "if this was a beer, you'd take two steps down the evolutionary ladder in a heartbeat". And he was right. I have rarely - if ever - seen any creature looking more comfortable or self-satisfied. :)

On the way out, I got myself a soft-toy of a Sifaaka (a kind of Lemur) and all in all it was an awesome day.

Shame about the sad bears, tho.

Oh, and I totally want one of these as a pet. So very, very, very cute!

Wanna know how weird I am?

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!


And I opened the third seal.

And I beheld a man slow to read others' blogs and, yea, slow to catch on to trends.

Here's my Johari window, what I done stole from Ratti, a thingy where you all get to pick a few words you think describe me. I get the feeling they're largely positive words (good for the self esteem), so hopefully you'll all be nice. And honest. Nice and honest. :)

Here tis.

Yay! Look what I did!

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

New Year's Eve 2005-2006

It's March, right? So it's about time I actually caught up with all the stuff I've done this year (and, judging from the title of this one, at the end of last year), so here goes;

Coast Trip 2005/6

It was decided around halfway through last year that the coast house of Nick's Dad would be a perfect place to spend New Year's Eve and a couple of days either side. To that end we got in ealry, booked and finally made our way down to Broullee. The weather was ludicrously hot, but fortunatley not too hugely muggy. 'Cause we got in early, Carmen and I got a room with 2 single beds which, when pushed together, were that little bit too big for the sheet we brang. So a quick trip to Bateman's Bay and we soon took care of that.

Once we were all arrived - all being myself, Carmen, Nick, Eliane (eventually, she had to delay her arrival), Jared, Ingrid, Sean, Kath, Matt, Liv and Kettie - we soon settled into a routine of get up late, cook a couple of kilos of bacon for breakfast (and other stuff for vegos), laze around the house doing very little until around 4pm then heading to the beach for a bit and making our way back home to drink beer and have dinner, then go to bed at an alarmingly reasonable hour and starting the whole thing again.

We had a couple of special nights, like the trip to On The Pier, which is an awesome restaurant with great service, great food and these totally evil vodka, vanilla, celery and oyster shots. I had one and was a bit queasy but Carmen and Sean had about three each. The seafood platter Nick and I had between us was really good. Not quite as huge or nice as the last one we had there (after the house boat trip), but I believe that was more a case of being totally spoiled last time, rather than any fault with this platter.

New Year's Eve itself was so comfortably mellow. Good food, lots of chatting, my unintentional insulting of Ingrid (which she took advantage of her third-dan black belt in deadpan reactions to make me think she was more offended than she was - I think) and a bed-time approaching granma levels. Like, 1am or so. Still, it was awesome to get away from it all, swim every day and just hang with some mates. I thoroughly enjoyed the time and hope to do something similar this year. Although maybe we could hire two houses this time so we're a little less squished in. Maybe even a house with aircon. :)

Friday, March 03, 2006

2006 Book 4 1/2

"The Assassination Business: A History Of State-Sponsored Murder" by Richard Belfield

The name pretty much says it all with this one. It's a non-fiction, well-researched run-down of how assassination functions and has functioned since the Hashashin started conducting their assymetrical warfare around 1090. It runs through some of the basics of assassination and how governments impliment/order these actions. It looks at some of the more famous assassinations through history and analyses them in regards to their success or failure.

As far as the writing is concerned, Belfield's prose is smooth, if not always page-turningly engrossing. He has obviously done a lot of research and seems to be honest and forthcoming where conclusions are his, rather than directly from his research. I learned (was informed?) that, for example, Yitzhak Rabin's assassination has some genuine Kennedy-style conspiracy theory elements. For example, he was shot in the back by his assassin and yet the fatal wound seemed to have originated from in front of him. Interesting, n'est pas?

Taken with a grain of salt, the information in this book is genuinely interesting and definitely worth a look for all those "the truth is out there" people. And anyone even vaguely interested in how things work behind the scenes. Belfield does seem to be one of those people who see Al Qaeda as a huge, amorphous beast that is centrally controlled by two or three people, but apart from that, most of his conclusions do make sense, given the evidence he has collected.

Three and a half targets out of five.

2006 Book 3 1/2

"Thud!" by Terry Pratchett

How happy was I when I finally snagged this one from my Dad? Very happy!. New Pratchett and it adds to my 50 book tally? Get me more of that!

Another Guards book and this one is a beaut. The basic storyline is the usual shenanigans between Dwarfs and Trolls, this time mainly focussing on a big anniversary of the Battle Of Koom Valley. It's getting so the Dwarfs and Trolls might just re-enact the battle on the streets of Ankh Morpork and that is something that Vimes and the gang are not happy about. So it's up to the City Watch to find out who murdered an important Dwarf before things get really exciting.

The writing in this, as in almost every Pratchett book I've read, is phenomenal. The need of Vimes to get back home by 6 o'clock to read to his son (a picture book called "Where's My Cow" for which Vimes has learned to do the sounds of the animals) is an underlying theme, as is the notion of racial intolerance. The book overflows with humour (as you would expect) and action (as we're getting used to) and has a few truly awesome sequences. I won't actually describe any of them, because that would spoil it, but suffice it to say you should all go out and read this book. And if you haven't already read much Pratchett, go out and get as much of it as you can.

Four and a half fighting-breads out of five.

50 Books from 2005

Just to gather up my entries and clean up the side bar.

I'll do the one by one thing for the 2006 books and then give them a shiny new single link when I've finished and so on...

The Challenge[TM] and #1, #2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #8, #9, 10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #31, #32, #33, #34-36, #37, #38, #39, #40 (& gun rant), #41, #42, #43, #43 1/2, #30, #44 1/2, #45, #46>, #47, #48, #49, #50.