Archive for December 2005

… in the Domain – advance plans

Just by-the-by…

Symphony this year is on the 21st of Jan. It sounds spectactular and I rather want to go..

unfortunately, I’m scheduled to be working that weekend, so at this point, I don’t think I can.

Opera should be one week later, but I can’t find confirmation of that online. I should be free that weekend, so I’d like to go to that.

I’d also like to see Blue Invasion at some point, so let me know if you’re interested in that.

Cabbages and..

Saw “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” tonight. This came hot on the heels of Little Britain yesterday.

One of these had excellent writing, competent directing, wonderful character development, sympathetic characters and a coherent plot. The other was, unfortunately, a full-length movie.

I’m not going to say much. The movie was awful, that’s all you really need to know.

There was one moment that was moderately funny – or would have been in late 99, anyway. This was, of course, the brief instant where Peter channels Neo.. if only that particular shot hadn’t been given homage by so many other movies since The Matrix.

Meh. Waste of $16, waste of a night that I could have spent watching paint dry.

G’night!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Summary: Best plot-synopsis-converted-to-visual-feat evah!

Umm. yeah. I’ve read the book, so I was able to follow the action and found it fantastic – it took some of the highlights and rendered them visually, which adds depth and flavour to the book.

If I hadn’t, I don’t think the movie would have made sense. There were huge swathes of story arc that didn’t get on the screen at all.

It was great to hear some real theme music (rather than John Williams’ One Great Track revisited) for a change. Visually I thought the film was a little better than I’d expected – I have fairly high expectations for a HP movie, and this slightly exceeded those expectations, so that was nice.

So.. yes, that’s about it really. Great visual interpretation of a synopsis, don’t expect it to make sense on its own.

Other remarks: Ron is getting rather phwoah, just a few more years to ripen and he’ll be scrumptious. Harry likewise, although in a different way. Cedric Diggory more than made up for the lack of Oliver Wood – but I was a bit dissapointed with Krum.

Also: one of the things I quite liked about Peter Jackson’s LotR adaptation was that he really did make an adaptation – he didn’t just try to put the story on-screen exactly as it was, he changed things where neccessary to ensure that what you see on screen is internally consistent – you don’t need any outside information to make sense of what’s going on. Seeing this movie – and seeing what happens when a film sacrifices coherency for the sake of remaining faithful to the book – just confirmed that Peter Jackson made the right choice.

What does Christmas mean for me?

Lots of public holiday days – in which I can earn lots of extra money by being oncall.

A few days off work to rest and recover from the stresses I’ve put myself under lately.

Umm.. that’s about it, really.

The few days off really is nice though. I’ve had a hellish few weeks and haven’t had time to rest since.. well, not since late october. I’m very much looking forward to taking time to do nothing for a few days…

On Marriage

From a comment on Larvatus Prodeo.

My point is, it’s an institution that has constantly evolved and changed over all the years of our western civilisation. These days western girls have inheritance rights. Women don’t defer to their husband’s authority as they used to. Infertility does not invalidate the union. We believe love, and not property transfer or business partnership or political union, is the basis for marriage. In fact, we believe it’s the only basis for marriage. So marriage has shifted mightily. It’s an institution that can, and I’ll dare say will, accommodate the notion of gay marriage (or ‘civil union’), especially as property is now owned by individuals, rather than families (Packers and Murdochs excepted), and so the right of transfer is an individual choice.

Go read the rest of the thread. In amongs much nonsensical rambling from conservatives (seriously – just trying to parse some of their sentences gives me headaches. Every now and then I try to take it a step further and analyse their logic – fortunately, I have aspirin kept on hand for such folly), there are also other good comments that you should be reading as well.

[edit] I’m still reading more of this thread myself (thank you, LP, for your wonderful comments feed).

The contrast between the two sides of the argument really is startling. On the one hand, we have posters such as Naomi and Mark, links to samples of whose work I’ve already posted. On the other side, we have.. well, names (pseudonyms?) aren’t neccessary.

Mark and Naomi in particular are fantastic: their points are logically consistent, well made, and on-topic. Those on the other side… well, one comment describes the idea of marriage being “between a man and a woman to the exclusion of others” as being:

the traditional institution as laid out in our Constitution

I’m astounded. I’ve not seen a better example of irony in almost a year.

[/edit]

PS. yes, I just put multiple sentences inside a set of parentheses, even but inserted taht set of parentheses into the middle of a sentence. Is that valid? I hope not – all grammar flames need at least one major error

PPS. I’ve long had a habit of posting pointers here to things worth reading elsewhere. Now that I’ve got ads on the site – and just possibly might make profit (Ha! I raff and raff and raff!) from traffic… well, I’m concerned that people might think I’m just trying to draw traffic. What do you think?

PPS. I posed that last question to myself and decided it’s probably not a problem – I’ve been very clear that the material wasn’t written by me, and I’ve encouraged you to go and read the source… also, I really do think it’s worth reading.

Podcasts, anyone?

Dear Lazyweb,

The holiday season is upon us, and I’m not prepared. I’m shortly going to have a lot more podcast-listening time than I’m used to, but I’ve only 20 hours of podcasts stored on my iPod.

This would barely last me through a normal week, let alone through a few weeks without net access to update.

I desperately need interesting content to add to my list now so I can start leeching in preparation for the time I’m going to be away from the net.

Please help!

Thanks, lazyweb.

Site==assimilated

Those of you who view the site directly will no dobut notice that much assimilation from the Borg (aka Google) has taken place.

Ummmm… yes. Hopefully this will be unobtrusive, and maybe even slightly useful….

The feed, of course, is untouched…

Why am I doing this? Certainly not in hopes of earning huge $$$… mostly out of curiosity.

Also… there’s a skunkworks project or two floating around the back of my head that knowledge of how to do this would be useful for…

Comments, criticisms, complaints etc welcome – use the comment link below (if you’re viewing this on the site that is. If you’re on LJ, no doubt you’re very confused.. and if you’re in an aggregator, you won’t have noticed anything)

A mixed week

Lookee here! A post that’s actually personal, and about my life, for a change!

I’ve had a mixed week so far.

Actually, not the week – let’s start with last Thursday..

No. Let’s even go back beyond that..

Around 6 weeks ago – a week prior to the 28th October, whenever that was – I met up with a guy “off the net” for a shag. I was quite excited about this – we’d been chasing each other online for almost a year but never managed to find time to meet up, due to our very different work hours…

Long story short, I’ve now been seeing him once/twice a week. I go all gooey whenever I’m around him, and life is just nicer when he’s around. I’ve met some of his friends, he’s met a few of mine..

Last Thursday I was in a terribly bad mood. I’ve been working looong hours, I hadn’t had a chance to see anyone outside of work in about two weeks (aside from the foam party last friday, and seeing Glen (for such is the boi’s name) on the weekends of course..). On Thursday, I was feeling terribly tired, lonely, grumpy, and generally wanting to curl into a ball and die.

I was scheduled to go to a vendor’s christmas party, but I’d been at work past the time the party started, and I really wasn’t in the mood. In desperation, I decided to call around all my friends to try to arrange to meet someone, anyone, that night. Eventually I found someone who was free and arranged to meet up with them..

*snip*

Anyway, a few other friends had heard from my phone calls how lonely I was feeling, so a group of us ended up heading to the city for dinner. I suggested one of the restaurants at which Glen works (for he is an executive chef in all but job title), as I know it’s a nice venue, the steaks are cheap (but they’re good – if they’re not, I’ll be delivering complaints to the chef by hand), the atmosphere is good.. so we headed there.

The night was great – it had been weeks since I’d seen so many friends together (ignoring, again the foam party – really, it doesn’t count!), and it was nice to just relax with friends. Even Trent’s bitchy little barbs just made me feel warm and loved 🙂

The absolute highlight of the night though was introducing Glen to my friends. I’m fairly sure I’d introduced him to anyone as my boyfriend…. it’s the first time I’ve been able to do that for years. In fact, it’s really the first time ever – at the time when I had previous relationships, I didn’t have many other friendships happening, so I didn’t really have anyone to introduce them to. Quite possibly this had a lot to do with why those relationships didn’t quite work..

I was quite surprised to realise that I really did think of Glen as a boyfriend though. I hadn’t been looking for one – the single life suited me fine – but.. well.. it’s here now, and I’m not going to throw away treasure just because I hadn’t been looking for it.

Friday night was the staff christmas party. Champagne flowed freely (although it wasn’t fantastic champagne), as did the chocolate fountains, the dancing… and the fags, of course. I felt like I was on the scene – the music was scenelike (same songs, different (dare I say it – inferior) mixes to what I’m used to), and most of all, I recognised half the crowd as stonewall/arq regulars. I even ran into a few people I knew as friends-of-friends, but didn’t know worked at the same company.. Anyone who knows me will know that all my previous staff christmas parties have been rather small dos, generally involving boats – this was quite different.

Saturday night I went clubbing. Originally, I’d assumed a certain group of people would be going to Stonewall and planned to spend time with them. At the last moment, I discovered they were actually going to Arq; I was briefly tempted to follow them, but I decided that my night was about me, and I’d go where I wanted to go because it’s a place I like.

This turned out to be a good choice; I ended up meeting up with two people who I get to spend far less time with than I like. We also did some unusual things – we went up to Grumpies and had coffee, which was fantastic as we got to have a good chat and made some interesting discoveries about each other. We later went back to Stonies and stood laughing at the queens for a while, before we headed off around 2am.

This week at work has been mostly a downer; I’ve felt like I was drowning under a deluge of work. I’ve had a list of things-which-must-be-done-before-I-leave-work-today for the last week or two. Nothing has so far left that list, it’s only been added to. Instead, I’ve had last-minute priority projects monopolising my time, with support work stealing what’s left over.

My own appraisal of my own work has been rather negative; I’ve felt that I’m not getting anything accomplished, I’m not moving any projects forward, I’m not performing as I should. It’s not that I haven’t been working my arse off – but I’ve felt that I wasn’t getting anything more done than a mouse running on a treadmill.

That perception changed today, for several reasons. Partially, it was because one particular urgent last-minute project stole all my time. This meant that I actually made some progress on something today – even though it was at the expense of everything else that I’m meant to be working on.

Partially, it was because I managed to compile a list of the things that are not getting worked on and mailed it to various people who manage my time. Nothing has come of this yet, but at least I’m not the only one aware of how badly these things are being stalled. It’s not just my problem any more – if my boss/es feel that they need to be worked on before I’m going to be able to do it, they’re now empowered to make sure that this happens.

Mostly though, it was from a very brief conversation with my boss. He told me that he feels I’ve been performing excellently, achieving much more than he’d expect of me. Apparently all the things that I have been doing – last-minute projects, support for dead load balancers etc – actually count for something.

It’s amazing how good such a small piece of encouragement has cheered me up and changed my perception of my work…

Democracy or tyranny?

I’ve mentioned machinegunkeyboard before, but I’m mentioning it again now because you should go and read this article.

In case anyone needs reminding, government in a first-world representative democracy exists for the service of the people, not the other way around. When government has the power to act with no justification to the public, without any means for redress of grievance, it has the power to act arbitrarily and capriciously for politically motivated ends. This is otherwise known as tyranny.