by simon baird

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wii web browser works with Youtube!

Did you ever wish you could sit on your couch and browse YouTube?. Now you can with the Nintendo Wii and the Opera web browser (released today). Check it out:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wii Weather Channel Hits Australia The World

I updated my system tonight and the weather channel appeared. It includes a Google Earth style globe! I had no idea it was going to be so cool. It looks like this: Actually I started uploading my own video for this post then I noticed someone already put one on YouTube and I cancelled. Damn if I was quicker I could have made the front page of digg... :P.

Wii have a wii

If you asked me a few weeks ago I probably would have guess an xbox 360 would have been first to arrive at my house but my friend John got one on launch day and long story short we picked one up plus Zelda on the Saturday. I think they are just about impossible to get now so I'm glad I didn't wait. Some notes:
  • When you first start to "get" the controller it's kind of mind-blowing. Believe the hype, this is an entire new level of gaming.
  • A group of people (four is best) playing wii-sports for the first time is quite possibly the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
  • Zelda - it's good (well, it is Zelda), definitely better than Windwaker so far, but the graphics will make your Gears of War owning mates laugh at you. This is partly because the game started as a gamecube game that was delayed for release on the wii.
  • Tennis - totally cool, you have to try this.
  • Baseball - at first I didn't care for it much, mostly because I sucked at it, but it's grown on me, the feeling when you crack one out of the ground is brilliant
  • Bowling - it's a crowd favourite. make sure you have a lot of room in your lounge.
  • Golf - totally cool, instantly better than any other golf game ever made. You take a few practice swings then step up and, whack. There is a chance this could improve your real golf game.
  • Boxing - so far it seems the least cool but it's insanely hilarious a party.
  • Miis - you create little cartoon versions of yourself and your friends and these characters are in the sports games. It sounds lame but actually it is super cool.
  • Training - you can do little mini-games to improve your skills, three for each sport. Pretty neat.
  • Fitness - you do a set course of tests and get a score to show you how good you are. Also pretty neat.
  • Wii play - this is a bunch of mini-games you get almost for free when you buy a extra controller. There are a few gems on there that make it definitely worth owning. Try the cow race.
  • Overall impressions - the hardware is so small and lovely you just want to pinch it on the cheeks. All the little touches are pure joy, eg the fact that you can put your Miis on your controller and take them to your friends house, the little speaker in the controller that makes tennis racket sounds, the rumble pack feedback when you mouse over buttons. Operating the menus with the pointer is literally fun. Imagine your computer with no mouse. That is every other console except the wii. Only with the wii you can twist your mouse pointer. Why? Because it's fun. The disk slot is the best I have ever seen. The top opens up and you can use your Gamecube controllers and memory cards. Of course it plays all your gamecube games.
  • Internet - The wifi worked for me as soon as I entered my wep codes. It spent about 10 minutes upgrading it's operating system as soon as I got online. I was able to browse some retro games, eg Sonic 1 and Mario 64. I downloaded Gunstar Heroes to try it out. I found the wii-mote sideways doesn't work too well but the good news is you can use a gamecube controller or buy one of the retro controllers for only $29. The news and weather channels don't seem to be going yet for Australia. Also I think you can send messages from your wii to someone elses wii. Not sure why you'd want to but it can be done.
  • Upcoming prospects - Well I suppose Mario Kart, Mario Galaxy and Metroid are going to be out eventually. Hopefully some surprise hits that utilise the controller but time will tell.
  • Injuries? - Well it's easy to see how it could happen. I have observed a few accidental shoulder whacks and near misses of knuckles agains the edge of our glass coffee table. So be careful OK! Here are some freaks who weren't.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Kevin Rose leaks ipod phone details

I like this because I'm a fan of Kevin Rose, he's the guy who bailed out of attack of the show before it completely turned to shit and then founded and b. iPod phone! yeah baby!!
Via TechCrunch via CrunchGear.

Friday, December 01, 2006


This is fun little game. It's relaxing and beautiful. I only played for about a minute but I can't want to get deeper. Via Slashdot. Oh they mention giant squid and manta rays so maybe it gets more intense.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

King Arthur

This movie happened to be starting on Movie One last night just as we arrived home. Yadda yadda, here's my review:
  • Premise: This is the true story of the dudes who's tales were told and exaggerated to become the Tales of King Arthur. Arthur and his knights are under Roman command. They generally don't get on with the natives who refuse Rome's command. The Saxons are coming and the Roman Empire is not as mighty and good as it once was.
  • Keira's accent: Why did Keira not have some kind of Woad accent? I don't care what it sounded like just please not her posh tea and scones english voice from Bend It Like Beckham.
  • The Saxons: At least you know where you stand. You and your family will be put to death and your village will be burned. But you probably won't be raped. They have standards.
  • The cracking ice scene. Seems a bit unlikely. Plus the cracking seemed to go on way too long.
  • Keira shooting arrows in blue paint and a leather boob-tube: Thumbs up.
  • Clive Owen's range of vocal and facial expression: Thumbs down. Seriously, he is the English David Duchovney.
  • Romans: Boo
  • Woads: Yay
  • Merlin: Yay
  • Saxons: Yargh
  • Unrealistic lighting of outdoor scenes: Huh? The Saxons had a green spotlight in their camp apparently.
  • Lame dialog in romantic scenes: Boo
  • That aussie guy from that show with a beard: Yay
  • The knights: Cool as shit
  • The story: It kept me well interested even though it was on late and I was pretty tired. Thumbs up.
  • Enya rating: not enough Enya! The one time you actually want a bit of Enya...
  • Magic rating: Actually there is no magic or fairies or anything like that, which is a bit different for a King Arthur movie.

damn now I have to by an xbox 360

It's called Gears of War. Here's some gameplay.


I thought you might want to see this. It's a dude with an oxygen tank doing a version of a coldplay song. i know that sounds like crap but seriously take a look. via stereogum.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dear Nora and Kate 'Katy' Davidson

Okay Kate has a blog about her tour/etc. It's here and it's pretty good. On it I found some photos from the gig I was at (not the first one obviously). The blue shirt guy is the bass player. Did I mention I didn't like him much? It may be because he reminded me of me. Except less skilled on bass and with better hair... ;) He played with Dear Nora also. And the drummer was the drummer from The Go-Betweens. For real! Also I found some pics of Bree Van Ryk (scroll down) playing charades I think. Can you guess...?

darren hanlon plays the ukulele

By sheer good luck I was in Sydney the weekend Darren Hanlon was playing at the Metro. Of course I got tickets. Here is a treat for you. A ukulele song. You don't see that every day. It's called Hold On, from Darren's new cd, Fingertips and Mountaintops. The concert was great. I especially like the drummer, her name is Bree Van Ryk. She's a very talented drummer and plays in a sexy way with her head back and mouth open a little. The bass player was pretty crap I thought. Keyboard guy, okay. Darren, brilliant. Also remind me to tell you about Kate from Dear Nora sometime, she was good. And remind me to never speak of Caxton ever again as I try to eliminate all traces of them from my memory.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

coolclock now has a google gadget

A guy named Bonstio has created a Google Gadget for my CoolClock. That means you can put CoolClock in your Google Pages page or in your Personalised Google Home Page. That's cool. He also made some Google-ish skins to go with it. The gadget is available here.

polar bears... polar bears with frickin' layzers

Actually no lasers. And the second video isn't actually mine but it was taken just under where I was standing in the first video. I was lucky to see this. The rest of the day the polar bears were mostly hiding in their airconditioned lairs watching Ice Age 2 or something like that. Upon request I may post videos of dolphins jumping.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I got tickets

..for Joanna Newsom. Oh sweet rapture! She's playing in a tent!

A poo poo with one leg and a belly button

Click the link for some art by my talented nephew.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Joanna hates the lamers

It's been way to long since my last post about Joanna Newsom. Via Stereogum:
I think some people perceive me to part of a movement or something that I don't really associate myself with. I think there's a lot of fakery, a lot of monkeying and posturing, a handful of kids who just latched right onto what they saw as a scene, and set themselves industriously to the synthesis of a particular vibe, and I'm pretty insulted when I occasionally get credited in the press for having anything to do with the dissemination of that vibe... I'm not part of some epic, bracelet-clanking, eyes-rolled-back, blasé, nihilistic scenester cult or anything. I've seen some awful displays, let me tell you. I've gone to some shows that have left me feeling heartbroken about the state of music. A soulless, mindless, watered-down, image-obsessed, artless stab at John Fahey or Marc Bolan or Karen Dalton or Donovan or Vashti Bunyan is no less lame than, like, Nickelback or whatnot. There are so many kids who have this energy, you know -- you can tell they were into, like, electroclash five minutes ago, or whatever was big in Williamsburg or Berlin at the time, and now they've grown their beards out and they're doing this thing that they think they understand, but they don't understand at all, and I just find it exhausting to have to consider what they do "music."

Ooo SNAP. I hope she doesn't turn bitter.. :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Google Docs

The thing that's new is the url and the fact that the documents and the spreadsheets are nestled in together. Also take a look at Zoho (the company bravely competing with google in this area).

steve kilbey's blog

Via a commenter on my post over here I learned that Steve Kilbey has a blog. He writes quite a lot, poems mixed with in a stream-of-conciousness style journal entries. And he sometimes calls himself nevets yeblik. O-kay. Here's a little snippet:

oh i dont know
im backstage at the tivoli
they got wi-fi here
im blogging
gee i cant remember too much about eumundi
i kept my head down n i did my gig
it was good someone said...
we stayed ay a lovely bed n breakfast joint
with a huge sloping garden filled with plants n flowers n birds
spring sunshine n blue skies
i did yog n chi on ye olde verandah

He also does paintings that you can buy on his web site.

Top 5 reasons you know you're a nerd...

Okay I ran out of ideas after 4.

4. You spent the weekend updating your TiddlyWiki plugins to use the new features in version 2.1...

3. You are fluent in both Javascript and Klingon...

2. You spent the weekend updating wikipedia with the technical errors in the World of Warcraft South Park episode...

And the number one reason you know you're a nerd:

[drum roll]

1. You spent the weekend removing the updates from the nerds who updated wikipedia with the technical errors in the World of Warcraft South Park episode.

See this article for details.

I think I'll be fetching the torrent for that one. Speaking of cool shows, here is David Bowie on Extras.

Friday, October 06, 2006

(not) doing bike license training

So I was filling out the paper work you have to do I was entering the expiry date on my license. Oops. Expired two weeks ago. Sooooo long story short, I have a new license but it's nothing to do with bikes.

I have trouble making a face for ids. They should give you a mirror to practice. I try to smile and it comes out a weird closed mouth smile that makes my lips look puffy. And my eyes are open too wide for fear of looking droopy-lidded. Plus I have a five day growth. Maybe next time I'll shave and try a non-smile photo... IN THE YEAR 2011.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

movie reviews

Nacho Libre
Probably would have been better if Jack Black didn't forget his accent now and again. The er, corn scene should have been cut. Despite all that the ending had me in tears of joy. See it if you like Napolean Dynamite. Don't see it if you'd prefer to remain unfamilar with Jack Black's nipples.

Shop Girl
Sounds okay, right? Clare Danes, Jason Schwarzman... Maybe Steve Martin is the next Bill Murray? No. Oh boy that was painful. Then you realise it's probably semi-autobiographical about Steve Martin. That makes it WORSE. Don't see it.

Penny Arcade's take on Zune's so-called WiFi support

See comic here. For more see Tycho's commentary here and the Engadget article here.

Ps, here's a feed for your Google Reader subscriptions.

Pps, I just realised the problem with the new shuffle. You have to carry this when travelling so you can charge.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

two words. and a letter

Tenacious. D. January.*

No, I'm probably not going. :(

My third bike lesson

Lesson 2 was zig-zagging and doing figure eights around orange witches in the car park. That was okay but I left feeling like I was progressing too slowly for my liking. Yesterday for the first time I went out on the road. I wore a bright orange vest and followed the instructor around trying to remember what his hand signals are supposed to mean. Basically I was awesome. I got to try third and fourth gear for the first time. Everything seemed much easier than before. We cruised around the back streets of Mundingburra for a while and even went on Ross River Road for a little bit. Rob (not the guy with the Rocket 3, that's Peter, he was away yesterday) said I was ready and I booked for the day long QRIDE course on Friday. So since I'm pretty broke my actual budget to get a bike consists of what I can trade in the scooter for plus what I can raise by selling my clock radios on ebay. But anyway I think this one would be nice. Mmm... yellow.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

my retro clock collection

I realised a little while ago that I quite like 70s/80s style bedside clock radios. Perhaps it's the fake wood panel or the funky retro metallic trims. They seem to be better quality that the kind you get now. Anyway here is my collection. The big one was my first. It's a Sanyo RM5300D. It has a totally cool fast/slow setting mechanism. The "lock" button is, get this, mechanical. Unfortunately the alarm on/off slider is a little faulty. You kind of have to grab it with two hands, one on the clock and the other on the switch. So that's why I bought the second one. It's an ALTA A814. The main thing I like about it is the cool metallic cylindrical knobs on the top. And I think the overall shape is a little more appealing than the Sanyo. The little one I just bought today. It's a Radio Shack 63-757. No wood or metallic trim and no radio but I like it's retro space look and it's size leave more room on my bedside table for books, glasses, wallet phone etc. My collection was posed for the photo. I don't have all three running normally (I'm not totally crazy...) The two big ones are going back up on top of my wardrobe. I never listen to the radio and I actually use my phone for an alarm so they are really just for admiring and telling time. I hope you like them too. :)

Ps, you might be able to tell from the photos that my camera has got some kind of internal problems. It's less than 18 months. That's the Casio EX-S500. Next time I will get a Canon or a Lumix.

today's op shop scores

Got a few nice things today. The worlds nicest flanny. A mambo satchel bag (I have a thing for bags. Will tell you about that some other time). A Steve Kilbey looking 80s style shirt. Last week I got a genuine Resident Evil 4 t-shirt the kind you only got if you pre-ordered the PS2 version at EB. Also a shirt that says this:
Got your tickets?
<-- For the gun show  -->
If you've seen my arms you will apreciate the irony. Also an beautiful clock for my collection. (See next post).

Friday, September 29, 2006

The new Google Reader

Google reader has been my choosen reader for a while. I had grown accustomed to it's only-a-mother-could-love interface. Today I found it's been fully rewritten and looks totally different. It even has a new logo. My first reaction was "Hey wha happened. It's different. I don't like it". Thirty seconds later I was like "Oh yeah this is brilliant". Bad luck all you hopeful rss reader dot coms. All hail etc.. If I was any kind of quality blogger I'd tell you about the new features and put in some screen shots etc. Instead I will just say it is sweet. And then some.

If you are still reading your favourite blogs and news sites the old fashioned way give the new google reader a try. It's worth it. You can start by subscribing to my blog.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

eat this

I realised that this blog has been sorely lacking in recipes and cooking tips. To make up for it here is my guide to making mashed potato.
  • Go to Woolworths freezer section
  • Buy the Woolworths Select brand frozen mashed potato
  • Tip half the bag of frozen potato pellets into a clear glass type microwave dish
  • Microwave on high for 5 minutes
  • Stir with a fork
  • Microwave on high for another 5 minutes
  • Eat
Add meat, vegetables, gravy, etc to taste. Serves 2.

But seriously the frozen mashed potato is truly delicious and super convenient.

Monday, September 25, 2006

running, cycling, gmap-pedometer routes

This morning I rode to work. I've done it three times now, starting a few weeks ago. Here is the route. The path along the river is very pretty. This morning I had a detour. I stopped at Sam Bratton's to get a new pedal. Yep, he's still there. He called me sonny, or young fella, something like that. I think his eyesight is going because he asked me to read from the pedal if it was left or right before he attached my new pedals. Anyway Sam Bratton is cool.

Some guys at work are have been going for a daily run. I've joined them a few times. The first time I wasn't sure if I would make it but actually I did okay. The route is this. My best time so far: 16:46.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Read this new blog

This is my friend's brand new blog. Check it out, especially if you like .NET, Lotus Notes or Korean stuff. He's off to a great start. His first ever post? Ppung Ppung ee the cuddly magic farting creature. I've seen this show and yes it is great. Ppung Ppung ee has a home page.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I just found Poderosa. It's a terminal program similar to Putty, TerraTerm etc. I've been using it for close to a day I totally love it. I have been a Putty user for many years and I like it but Poderosa is so much better. Why?
  • Tabs. Like firefox tabs you will wonder how you lived without them
  • Split screen. tail -f /var/www/logs/error_log in the bottom pane and vim in the top pane. Outstanding.
  • A UI from this decade. Ok Putty is a good program but the interface for creating and storing sessions is a little wacky. And suppose you want to change your font? Do it in every stored session.
  • Remember passwords and auto login. Maybe putty could do this but I never figured out how.
  • Connect to your local cygwin bash shell. Ever try to run cygwin bash in a cmd window? I have and it's HORRIBLE. Now you can use a proper terminal. (Also works with serial port if you need it).
  • Extensible with plugins. Well I don't know what you might need but if you need something then you can do it.
Here's a screen shot: The only downside so far is that it's pretty new and there is almost no documentation. But you probably won't need it. Also I guess you still want to keep putty on your thumb drive because of the .NET runtime thing.

To the Poderosa developers, great job, amazing product, arigato gozaimasu. Maybe you should work on the icon though. The logo looks a little weird at icon size.

Well after a few days I've noticed a couple of things:
  • It doesn't save passwords for you. I was mistaken because it does remember the last password you used. Actually via the mailing list archives I found you can manually put a password in a "shortcut" (.gts) file but that's probably not a good idea for security reasons. It will negotiate the login prompt automatically though.
  • Panes would be much better if there was a keystroke to switch panes. I don't want to reach for the mouse to switch pane. I haven't found that yet.

Funny story about dolphins

At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean.

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans.

Her cunning has not stopped there. One day, when a gull flew into her pool, she grabbed it, waited for the trainers and then gave it to them. It was a large bird and so the trainers gave her lots of fish. This seemed to give Kelly a new idea. The next time she was fed, instead of eating the last fish, she took it to the bottom of the pool and hid it under the rock where she had been hiding the paper. When no trainers were present, she brought the fish to the surface and used it to lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish. After mastering this lucrative strategy, she taught her calf, who taught other calves, and so gull-baiting has become a hot game among the dolphins.


Maybe you heard this rant of mine before but I am constantly perplexed by the apparent state of denial the exists in science about the intellect of animals. On TV documentaries I constantly hear things like "Humans: unique amongst earth's creatures as the only animal with 'conciousness', or an awareness of itself", or "the octopus used the socket set and wire cutters to dismantle the apparatus and gain access to the food pellets, purely instinctual behaviour that gives the false appearance of some kind of reasoning power", etc etc. I suppose it's rooted in religious ideas about the specialness of humans. And yes I know what anthropomorphising means, but come on! Read the story again. Dolphins are underwater hippies without opposable thumbs. Only smarter. Bah!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The one legged robot

I thought by now I'd have a witty remark about the one legged robot. Maybe something about a butt-kicking contest. But alas, nothing. Here it is, the one legged robot. See also the one balled robot.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Some updates from previous posts in headline format

Well that will do. Since I'm filling this page up, here's a list of stuff I was going to blog but decided it was too dull. If you want to see/hear any of this then let me know in the comments:
  • A video of a 3D rendered flyover of the new motorway they are going to build from the new bridge in Condon to the northern highway.
  • Video of kids playing the rainbow perspex water gun powered musical frogs installation at the Thuringowa Riverway opening festival.
  • Photos of the lagoon, arts centre, bar etc at Riverway
  • Boring store about how I lost my keys
  • Video of myself performing "Forever Young" lounge music style on the organ with a bossanova beat and auto bass (actually the video doesn't exist yet but I have been preparing.....)
  • A photo of my new door
  • More Joanna Newsom lyrics!
Ps, did you know there's such a thing as board game geeks? Look here. Via the blog of my ex comp sci lecturer. John's was my favourite subject. Functional programming with Gopher, or something. I got an HD. Btw, where is Trouble? You have 400 board games and you don't have Trouble???? Tsk.

The new iPod Shuffle

I like that! In other ipod news the nano now looks like the mini and the regular ipod has a brighter screen and more games.

iTunes 7 is hot. Get it. 'Download missing artwork' is awesome. The cover browser is SWEET.

Also get it for gap-free playback for your iPod at long last.

all horns and thorns, sprung out fully formed, knock-kneed and upright

From "Ys", the new Joanna Newsom
though my wrists and my waist seemed so easy to break
still, my dear, I would have walked you to the very edge of the water
and they will recognise all the lines of your face
in the face of the daughter of the daughter of my daughter

darling, we will be fine, but what was yours and mine
appears to be a sandcastle that the gibbering wave takes
but if it's all just the same, then will you say my name:
say my name in the morning, so I know when the wave breaks?

I wasn't born of a whistle or milked from a thistle at twilight
no, I was all horns and thorns, sprung out fully formed, knock-kneed and upright
so: enough of this terror
we deserve to know light
and grow evermore lighter and lighter
you would have seen me through
but I could not undo that desire

I wanted to put the whole thing in but thought that might be a bit over the top. ;) Read the rest of the song here if you want to know what she was on about.

But the worst thing about Joanna is I can't really recommend her to you. Her voice is probably going to piss you off. You will probably find it unbearable. Oh well.

The new album is a little different. Ys (pronounced "ees") has five songs averaging 11 minutes each. The material and scope of has gone to a whole nother level of "Joanna-ness" which is a delight for Joanna fans like me but possibly makes the album a little less accessible to new listeners. Then there's the orchestration. It may grow on me but my first thoughts were, 'this would probably sound better without that orchestra'. Sawdust and Diamonds (excerpted above) is my favourite so far and that's the one with solo harp. Anyway, I still give it a double quadruple thumbs up. Have a listen if you can find it and remember to buy it for real in November. Joanna, please back come to Australia, I missed you last time.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin is dead

He was killed in a freak stingray accident while filming a documentary near Cairns. A stingray's tail spine stabbed him in the heart and killed him. OMG!!

Milly was telling me literally last night about how totally awesome he was on the Frank Skinner show when Frank tried to set him up to look stupid over his baby/croc incident. It went a little like this:

Frank: So croc's are quite dangerous unpredictable right? [Shows video of croc eating one of Steve's cameras off a pole]
Steve: Oh absolutely yeah, crikey mate!! Never trust a croc for a second!!!
Frank: So what are you doing here? [Show's baby dangling video]
Steve: Oh yeah jeez, crikey, I got into more trouble than Michael Jackson over that!!!
Crowd: [Huge laugh].
Frank: [Unable to suppress grin].

Frank's not an easy guy to impress but by the end he was totally won over by Steve and they parted with affectionate back slaps, etc. Something like that anyway.

Steve, the world is a little less bright without you in it. Condolances to his wife, children, family and friends.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lisa Mitchell

She is good. Probably shouldn't be on Australian Idol though. I can't see it being good for her career, especially if she wins.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Freaky Albert Einstein robot video

I've never seen a humanoid face look this real. The future is coming fast. And this is nearly 12 months old.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Op shop scores

Here's what I got this morning... Diesel Jeans (fit perfectly, $12), Country Road pants (ditto, $9), Abercrombie and Fitch shirt (NEVER BEEN WORN, $9), a few other shirts ($3 or $6). Click photo for a closer look. The book is organ music including Blur (Country House), Pulp (Common People), Bon Jovi, Oasis. Hang on.. It's this. Now I'm not sure what I was thinking with the stripey one with the zipper. My judgement may have been clouded by an overdose of caffeine.

See here for previous scores.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Interesting article about YouTube phenomenon Lonelygirl15

I just read this article about YouTube video blogger "Lonelygirl15". Is she real or fake? I haven't seen any of her videos but either way it seems cool. Via stereogum.


We live in a world where you can buy this. At Costco...

(Via Neatorama).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Killed The Prom Queen coming to Townsville

All ages gig, this Saturday, 26 of August and the Aitkenvale PCYC. Not really my musical cup of tea but they're pretty hot right now I think. I think I have to go. It will be weird since that's where I go to circuit class.

The poster was gone later that morning. I think some screamo* fan has it in their bedroom.

* i think...? or maybe they are metalcore. or post-hardcore.

okay, it's metalcore. See here...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Spam poetry

Weird huh. Could it be that the supreme beings are sending me messages through spam emails? What if I miss something important? OMG!!! Lycurgus???
Well, as I say, I was a little dazed when I came up and she wasstriking about and screaming so. We went out for a row after we got there. And then she began to cry, and I decided I couldnt talk to herany more about it there. Dont be so much of a moral and mentalcoward. Newcombs build to show what would follow in the caseof a girl of the size and weight of Miss Alden? Ever hear of people being resuscitated after they have apparentlydrowned? Well, you left her to wait until she had to threaten you becauseof her own terror and misery. I told you that afterwards I realized thatthere was nothing else to do. But you wanted to get rid of her just the same, didnt you? Why, Miss X and my life in Lycurgus, and what wed be up againstin case we did go away this way. Besides I was afraid if I went near her . And then I decided that if I wanted to save myself Ihad better swim ashore. But with that particular incident the court was adjourned for thisday. How was it that you couldget so calm and calculating the moment you set your foot on land? As far as from here to this end of thejury box or that end, or half way, or what? I dont know whether I did or not, replied Clyde, catching aglance from Jephson. Themoment she was dead to run away to that other girl. Well, then I thought I might run away, but I didnt like to thinkabout that very much. Besides, it had my camera withthe tripod outside. It seems to me that any one might ask that. And a perfectly good boat, strong enough to hold three or four up,within fifteen or twenty feet! You mean your lawyers have explained it foryou! And asthey did so Clyde chilled and stared. You received one on an average of every two days, didnt you? I wasnt exactly gay, I guess,but I thought it would be all right whichever way things went. Her bag was packed full ofthings, but there was room in mine. Well, I had thought about her too, but I thought she was betteroff and could stand it easier. About as far from here tothat end, I guess, he lied, stretching the distance by at leasteight feet. About asfar as from here to that railing beyond your table, I guess. Yet cautiously replying,I wouldnt be able to say.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Get Dancin'

Thanks to an anonymous Disco Tex and his Sex-o-lettes fan for this treat. As he says, ignore the video and Get Dancin'!!!!! Turn it up loud. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This morning I went for a lesson on one of these: It's called a Honda 400cc something-or-other. My one was blue. The instructor was very good. I basically rode around in circles in a fenced off area of carpark for about an hour in first and second gear. For variety I threw in some stopping and starting. I managed not to drop the bike or cause any major catastrophy. At one point I had to dodge a forklift that was cutting across my track. I don't think that was supposed to be part of the lesson though. My instructor has one of these: It's called a Triumph Rocket III and is the biggest and most powerful motorcycle ever produced. It has a 2.3 litre engine! I wonder if I can ride that for my next lesson. Probably not.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I added a post about some of our gigs over on the web site. You can read it here if you like. Photos coming soon.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The groundskeepers at Rowe's Bay are real turkeys

I played the par 3 course. I scored two fours and a three right here (yeah baby) plus quite a few fine 7s and 8s. Kept the same ball for the entire nine holes. This bush turkey was raking leaves near the carpark. It was very methodical thorough and looked like it had been working for a while. I don't know why it was doing that. Perhaps it was hiding some incriminating evidence.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I made this totally sweet javascript analog clock. Geeky types like me can design their own clock just by editing a little bit of javascript. Works best in FireFox. To use in your blogspot blog you can add this to your template in the <head> section:

<!--[if IE]> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <![endif]-->
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>

Then do something like this to make a clock:

<canvas id="c2" class="CoolClock:chunkySwiss:65"></canvas>

Also available as a TiddlyWiki plugin. For more information go to CoolClock.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mark Ryden

I learned about him from tonight's episode of Miami Ink. Check out his art, it's cool. If you like it then you can buy his coffee table book for just US$495.


Certain other bloggers have recently posted photos of themselves or indeed their pets, perhaps implying that themselves or their pets are in fact cute. That may be so but as everyone knows the true measure of cuteness is fluffiness. Take for instance Dazey. Now she is cute. But paradoxically she's also sassy. I try not to let it show but I do have a favourite. Don't tell Zooey (and I do love her too) but if the house was burning I'd rescue Dazey first.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

random youtubing: caterpillar with fur and giant robot suit

It's a caterpillar! It's got fur! A bug you can cuddle! It's so cool! It could be your pet. Plus look at it's legs. It walks exactly like Catbus! OMG it's a baby Catbus!! And here is some stoner guy's thoughts on the furry bug and another bug he once found. Brilliant. (I love YouTube...)

Also check out the ultimate nerd toy. I like his guns and his target practice setup.

Update: That damn cute mini catbus is totally poisonous! I'm serious:
... venomous spines ... extremely painful reactions... numbness, tingling, rashes and blisters, ... chest pain and anaphylaxis.
Okay, no cuddling the mini catbus.

Miami Ink

This is my new favourite show. It's on one of the Discovery channels. It's a "reality" show about a tattoo shop in Miami. Nothing much happens except people come in and get tattoos. Once they went fishing. The guy on the right is the coolest. Also I like Yoji the apprentice. If you have pay tv then check it out.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Aw... my first real inject

It's a special moment for any ruby programmer when they create their very first real inject. I don't mean in some sample code but in a real live program. It just happened to me and I'm very proud. :) Here it is:

require 'uri'
require 'net/http'

LINE_MATCH       = /\/\/DATA\|\|\|/
FIELD_DELIM      = /\|\|\|/

url = ''

data = Net::HTTP.get(URI.parse(url)).to_a.grep(LINE_MATCH).map do |line|
  line.strip!.sub!(LINE_MATCH,'').split(FIELD_DELIM).inject({}) do |hash,pair|
    name,val = pair.split(NAME_VALUE_DELIM)
    hash.merge(name.to_sym => val)

p data
I'm writing a hack to scrape timetable data from an existing web app and convert it to iCalendar format. I have the ruby iCalendar gem so I think I'm almost done. ...happy dance...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Speaking of poker, this is cool. More info here.

Poker Night 3

The night went on later than previous poker nights. The third game finished about 2am. First game was won by me (the best one to win since it had the most players), second by my brother Nathan, (visiting from Sydney), third by my brother Daniel. Some may claim there was some family collusion going on. To this I point out that Nathan knocked me out in the second game (pair of kings vs pair of queens) and I knocked him out in the third (flukey straight on the river vs two pair). Despite some email sledging neither previous winner Michelle or Alex C made it to the winners circle, though Alex came second twice (second wins your entry fee back) and took home two bags of salty plums, so he wasn't too far out of pocket. Michelle had some bad luck when she bet hard on a four card "straight". Oops! Derek picked up a second place against Nathan, and Alex S was chip leader for a while in the final three on the last game, but she couldn't close the deal. Losers enjoyed a game of (erotic) 31 Bustop. We now know the rules governing when you can re-raise and also are getting a bit better at handling side pot confusion. So all-in-all a good time was had by all and blah blah etc. Next poker night some time in September maybe.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hail Google Overlords

I just tried Gmail Mobile. I read some email and sent a message from my phone. It's pretty cool. The page says you can view attachments like pdfs, images and word docs on your phone. Wow. I wonder if I can send a photo as an attachment.

No sending attachments. I tried viewing pdf and word doc. Works nicely.

Monday, July 24, 2006

zune, regina spektor

Microsoft is going to launch an iPod competitor. It's called Zune. More here. But I really just wanted to show you the little cartoon and music here. The sweet tune caught my attention. It is Regina Spektor. Conan likes her. So does Julian Casablancas, so she must be good. Hang on a sec... Try this. Note to self, still haven't found any Françoiz Breut. She doesn't exist on iTunes, YouTube or my usual torrent fetchers. Might have to (gasp) purchase a cd...

Friday, July 21, 2006

The wonderful expressivity of why the lucky stiff

Oh rapture! Oh, delicious zesty snacks! Oh, steamed uncles in a cabbage display! OH, LAMB MEDALLIONS!

If you like that try some more of why's prose.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oracle PL/SQL function to split strings into tokens

I was trying to find how to split or tokenise (tokenize) a string in Oracle SQL. Technically you can do it directly with just instr and substr but your statement becomes very long and hard to read, mainly because you can't reuse the result of an instr. I found this which was interesting but not what I needed, so I wrote my own function to do the job. I'll post it here in the hope that it will be useful to someone.
create or replace function get_token(
   the_list  varchar2,
   the_index number,
   delim     varchar2 := ','
   return    varchar2
   start_pos number;
   end_pos   number;
   if the_index = 1 then
       start_pos := 1;
       start_pos := instr(the_list, delim, 1, the_index - 1);
       if start_pos = 0 then
           return null;
           start_pos := start_pos + length(delim);
       end if;
   end if;

   end_pos := instr(the_list, delim, start_pos, 1);

   if end_pos = 0 then
       return substr(the_list, start_pos);
       return substr(the_list, start_pos, end_pos - start_pos);
   end if;

end get_token;

Example usage:
   get_token('foo,bar,baz',1), -- 'foo'
   get_token('foo,bar,baz',3), -- 'baz'
   get_token('a,,b',2),        -- '' (null)
   get_token('a,,b',3),        -- 'b'
   get_token('a|b|c',2,'|'),   -- 'b'
   get_token('a|b|c',4,'|')    -- '' (null)

  • Remember that the index starts at one not zero just like strings in PL/SQL.
  • Empty tokens are counted. You get null if you ask for an empty token.
  • You also get null if you ask for an index greater than the number of tokens.
  • The delimiter defaults to a comma but you can specify any delimiter. A delimiter of more than one char should work also.

Update 22/8/12

When I wrote this I didn't know about regexp_substr. (Or maybe the version of Oracle I was using didn't have it). You can do this much easier using the regexp_substr method. Have a look at the regexp_substr docs or see some examples in the comments below. For example:


==> ghi.

would you take $1000 a month to do what you were already doing?

Netscape is reportedly offering money to lure successful digg posters over to post at the new a digg rip-off. There are some interesting comments on the article. Would you take the money? I would...

theory on movies

I have a theory that a movie based on a play has a higher chance of being good. Plays have to work without action scenes. The dialogue must be sound and snappy otherwise the play will bomb. This is obviously not the case for movies, eg [insert example bad movie here]. Here is a list of movies that helped me form my theory:
  • Hurly Burly
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
  • SubUrbia
I have another theory that states that any movie with Parker Posey in it has to be good, at least when Parker is in a scene. (See third example above). This leads me to believe that Superman might be worth seeing. It hits one out of two of my good movie indicators.

I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. It was pretty good. The action scenes have taken a leap towards the completely ridiculous but it didn't bother me like it did in Charlies Angels II. And the voodoo lady... wow! How is it possible that a woman with back teeth and red eyes could be so incredibly beautiful? I don't know but the voodoo lady was worth the price of admission for me. My one gripe: Davy Jones had too many tentacles. Surely he would have had just eight.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Animated music thing

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thom Yorke - new song live

If you're like me and the sound of Thom holding any tuneful vowel sound longer than 4 seconds has a reasonable chance of inducing involuntary goosebumps no matter how unlistenable the song then click here to see Thom live and accoustic on the Henry Rollins internet TV show. (Did that sentence need commas?) And it's almost listenable. Apparently he has a new solo album coming out soon. Via Stereogum

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Jack Black's Talent

I'm a huge fan of Jack Black and Tenacious D. School of Rock is one my favourite movies. Let alone his comedic talent, his musical talent truly would slay demons. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I'm sure I hummed this tune for days after just one listen. It's his song about King Kong from his spot on SNL (a show that, thanks to the miracle of bit-torrent, I no longer have to watch via three year old repeats on Arena TV). Brought to you by some guy on youtube.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Disco Tex and his Sex-o-lettes

There's a Pet Shop Boys song on their 1996 album, Bilingual, that goes "It's the greatest show with the best effects since Disco Tex and the Sex-o-lettes". Well I never really knew that Disco Tex and the Sex-o-lettes were real, until Saturday when I found this: I don't have a record player so I can't tell you what they sound like. But judging by the cover and the Pet Shop Boys lyric it's going to be pretty special. Probably better live though. I don't generally dig through op-shop records. This one was on the top. So it's quite lucky that you're getting to see it. :) Check out the Amazon Reviews.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sure-fire get rich scheme #127

It seems like Christian rock bands don't have to be that good to sell records. I know this since a certain now-closed Salvation Army store in my neighborhood used to tune regularly to Live FM. I would listen carefully while browsing the shirt rack on a Saturday morning. Live FM will play below average quality music if it mentions loving Jesus. Hollywood is not unfamilar with the Christian dollar. For example Narnia - I would suggest (without any evidence mind you) that the marketing of that movie involved strategically engaging the backing of influential Christian groups and spokespersons. And that Mel Gison movie about torturing Jesus made $611 million. I wonder how many people went because their pastor/TV evangelist recommended it? (Once again speculation. For quality, researched articles please try another blog.. ;). Anyway my get rich scheme is to make Christian video games. I only wish I'd thought of it first. These guys are going to be very rich! Daniel is trying to download the free demo. Stay tuned for a mini-review. Via The Raw Feed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

one last thing

Go socceroos. I'm recording the 1am game. I figure I can watch it at 7am and still make it to work roughly on time. And if it's a slow game I can watch on double speed, though I must remember not to turn on the news.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Oh that was horrible.

Scooter fuel economy

My fuel gauge is coy. It's a five LED display that prefers to give gentle hints about how much petrol I have left rather than just come right out with it. So I noticed last time I filled up that my mileage was exactly 17000 kms. I thought, "Aha! I will remember that, and use it to calculate my miles per gallon or whatever the youngsters are calling it these days". So I rode for a while until the gauge intoned to me that just maybe it was that time again. When I pulled in to Shell on the way to work my mileage was exactly 17200 kms. "How about that" I thought. "This will make my sums a little easier". The tank seemed pretty dry. I filled it right up so the fuel was a couple of millimetres from spilling out. It was exactly 7.00 litres. I was a little startled by this. I thought perhaps God doesn't trust me with decimal arithmetic. So anyway, I crunched the numbers in Excel, double checked with Matlab, and I can now reveal the following analysis:
Distance: 200km
Fuel:     7 litres
Economy:  3.5 L/100km
I also discovered my round trip to work is 13 km, so that means I should fill up every 15 work days, with a 5km margin for error, (unless I take trips to the shops or the video store). Now that's some applied mathematics. A Honda Jazz is supposed to get 5.7 L/100km. A Prius is supposed to 4.4 L/100km so my scooter beats them by not by that much considering it's a scooter. is a brand new web site that Daniel and I put together, starting last Friday. It's a little hard to explain. First you need to know what a wiki is. Yeah? Ok. Then you have to know what TiddlyWiki is (not too hard, it's a wiki that runs in your browser). Then I can explain that is a easy, free service for creating and hosting a TiddlyWiki. Stay tuned for more on this later. Trust me, it is extremely cool. Plus I am getting to learn ruby which is a bit like trading in your crappy analogy for a really awesome red one with a top speed of say 300 km/hr.

geeky stuff

Long time readers might have noticed my super home media thingy in the photo in my previous post. A slight update on that fine piece of kit is that I fixed by bandwidth problems between upstairs and downstairs. I can now watch any video and share iTunes libraries from upstairs. I will try to explain with a diagram. Old configuration (problematic): [Upstairs PC] <--wireless--> [ADSL Box (kitchen)] <--wireless--> [SHMThing] The wireless card in Upstairs PC was a bit flakey and causing drop outs in connectivity. Now I have this new configuration: [Upstairs PC] <--good old wired ethernet--> [ADSL Box (study)] <--wireless--> [SHMThing] I moved the ADSL box from the kitchen to the study with Upstairs PC. If I position in right I can get a good signal strength to downstairs. And now everything is cool. Except I need to get some more disk space upstairs (more room for mp3s, torrents and dvd rips) and down (more room for recorded tv shows).

My new recliner

Once I had the idea of writing a blog called "op shop treasures". In it I would describe and photograph all the beautiful stuff I've found at local salvos, endos, vinnies, lifeline, etc. Milly and I love to tour our favourite spots on a Saturday morning. There are so many amazing things we've found. I think Townsville is probably better than a capital city since there anything slightly cool or valuable is likely to be picked up fast and resold by professionals from trendy used clothing/furniture/bric-a-brac stores. Nearly all my clothes (and I only buy top quality), a lot furniture, my drum kit (incl Zildjian cymbals and a Ludwig snare, $100 total), etc, etc, have all come from the smorgasbord of delights that is Townsville's op shop world. Yesterday we found: blue recliner, excellent condition with matching love seat; a large glass topped coffee table. I can report the recliner is extremely comfortable. I'm trying to demonstrate this in the third photo. The recliner and lounge was $220. I know, seems like a lot but keep in mind that they in very good condition. And the colour matches our dark blue wall perfectly. The coffee table was a bit expensive for a coffee table, $150, but it is cool because you can display small items under the glass. Milly has put her collection of Japanese plastic miniature thingies under the glass. The effect is very artistic especially when you scatter various remote controls and coffee table clutter on top of the glass.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

How to catch fish

This is how to catch fish! This video shows a small boat on a river. Hundreds of quite large fish start leaping up around and into the boat. The guys on the boat are ducking a dodging to avoid getting whacked in the face by fish. Very weird.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My house now visible in Google maps

Woohoo! At last. Also they have street maps of Townsville! To date the Townsville photos, take a look at the bridge. The bridge was finished sometime in 2005 I think.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Your very own robot

So you like the robots and have some spare cash? Now you can buy one! You can order one of these for just US$1000! Buy two so they aren't lonely when you're out. Teach them to fold your laundry and carry your books. Have them beat up your bullies. Dress them in your team colours. Sweet!!! But seriously if you have a cool science teacher tell him that your school needs one of those. I bet they'd spend a thousand dollars on sports gear in a second. Here's a gang of them trying to convince you to whip out your credit card. You can get it assembled or build it yourself.
"Your ROBONOVA-I kit was designed for easy assembly in 6 to 8 hours using only a screwdriver."

Still want more? Okay here's a very short clip from a fight featuring robots that you can't buy. The robot on the right delivers a knockout handstand kick to the head.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

the sad decline of Attack of the Show

What the hell happened? Calling that "thing" Attack of the Show is an insult to the old Attack of the Show. "Selling out" does not begin to describe what has happened. I knew it was all going to go bad when you were forced to plug "The Man Show" and do the alchohol segment. The first time a movie premier or some celebrity magazine crap made it to the opening segment I shed a tear. Last night's "The Feed" tore my soul. It came on slowly as though the producers thought they could convince viewers to eat shit if they just slipped a little more on their plate each week. Maybe Kevin Rose could buy back the show and turn it into a podcast. He's got some money now. :) Kevin Pereira, you have my sympathy. I still respect you though I guess. You have bills to pay and I dunno perhaps you signed a long contract with G4TV. And what happened to Sarah? Did she jump or was she pushed? Oh well, thanks for all the good times. Brendan, Chris, Blair, I'm gonna miss you all.

I just learned that Sarah and Brendan got married and are doing a 12 month world trip blog and video podcast. Holy crap I never even knew they were dating. Here is their on-show farewell.

reasons to wear safety goggles #49

My unfortunate brother writes about his experience with Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome. Ouch...... I mean OOOOWWWUCH!!!! I gave him an iPod shuffle stuffed to the brim with sweet tunes and geeky podcasts. I think it helped him through his long sensory and sleep deprivation. Who needs an iPod video when you can hallucinate your own video clips. Thinking it might help I included a meditation audio book by Alan Watts who's WikiPedia bio says he was quite fond of the pschedelic drug, DMT, which I'd never heard of until yesterday. I don't know a tryptamine from a histamine but damn it's fun to browse the Erowid experience vaults. If you find stuff like this interesting (and who wouldn't) then google for Terence McKenna. And always wear safety goggles.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Juggling to Fatboy Slim

Juggling = Big yawn
Juggling + Fatboy Slim = Awesome!

Via stereogum.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No it's an elite special forces dude with carbon fibre wings. This has to be in the next James Bond movie. Via The Raw Feed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Captive cloud

I discovered this delightfulness in my garage this evening

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Broken Flowers

About two thirds of the way in I started fear there was going to be a "clever" ending that tied it all together and made sense of everthing. But I should have had faith. The movie is slow. Nothing is resolved. Nothing makes sense. And it is extremely satisfying. Four and a half stars. I wonder if anyone other than Bill Murray could have made this movie as good.

Australian Big Brother 06 thoughts

  • Anna's eviction: Why Australia, why??
  • Jade as the insider: Jade is a train wreck. Jade as the insider is a train colliding with a bus load of sick orphans. With puppies. But, who doesn't love a train wreck...
  • Gretel: Please give her job to Mike Goldman. Or Bree. Somebody. If it's too late this year, then next year. PLEASE SOMEBODY!!! Gretel is unbearable. I literally can't stand to hear a second of her voice. She is wearing out my fast forward button. Actually if you hire a decent writer things might improve. But I doubt it. Who the hell writes her lines? And who the hell picks her clothes? Blind hobos? The goat? Nooo!!! Make it stop.
  • Jade in general: She makes Camilla seem like a normal human being. And that's saying something.
  • Katie and Jamie: The new Brangelina. "Katiemie". If that word takes off I'm claiming it with this post as evidence.
  • David: I think he has a crush on Mikey. Here's a scenario that I would like to see. With Rob's help David convinces Mikey to experiment with his sexuality and make out with him in the spa. Perhaps some alchohol is involved.