Thursday, September 30, 2004

AVP

Just came home from seeing Aliens Vs Predator at the local cinema. Definitely a movie that could have been a lot better. Should have known it was going to be nothing more than a shameless attempt by the studios to cash in on the successes of the previous movies that have so generously lent their names to this abomination. I'm not sure why I expected better.

There seems always to be a discernible difference between films shot with a certain degree of artistic concern and those made purely for profit, yet sometimes these movies must actually be viewed for their artificial nature to be recognised. It's impossible to tell from the trailers. Perhaps they should come with a clear warning.

I never was a really big fan of the Predator movies, but I liked all the movies from the Alien quadrilogy. Even though some might say they declined in quality after the second film, I think that because each of them had different directors, they each possessed their own individual qualities that made them unique.


How far can we stretch this franchise?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Messages on the Airways

We are endlessly bathed in the warmth of long-wave electromagnetic radiation passing through our bodies from the television towers churning out message after message, waiting to be decoded into words and pictures.

For a while now I've suspected the outdoor antenna to be the culprit for the terrible television reception on the little idiot box in my room. It didn't really bother me too much though as I haven't really been watching TV lately. Most shows these days are rubbish anyway and the endless commercials can really get on my nerves at times.

It wasn't until a few days ago when I finally decided to venture outside to check, that I looked up and saw that the coaxial wires leading to the antenna were disconnected, broken off, just hanging there, who knows for how long. Had to get up there, on the roof after work, to see what could be done. My first assumption was that it would be a relatively easy job to simply reconnect the two wires. I was wrong.

Last night I couldn't sleep. It was late and I had work in the morning, but just wasn't tired, so I put on Donnie Darko to watch while trying to induce sleepiness. I hadn't seen it before and didn't really know what to expect. Putting forward and exploring some interesting ideas, in the end, I thought it was quite good considering its hurried shooting schedule and relatively low budget. Apparently they're going to re-release the film in theatres sometime in the future now that it has become somewhat of a cult hit.

There are many interpretations of Donnie Darko floating around the net and in people's minds. It's nauseating just reading a few, but I think that's what makes this movie so good, the ability to present messages that provoke interpretive thought, to allow new connections to be formed from pre-existing ideas.


Donnie, Gretchen and Frank at the movies

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Corporate Person

For lunch today, I left work and headed for Chermside Shopping Centre. We were in desperate need of a new battery for one of the nurses' mobile phones and also another pack of CD-Rs. I was contemplating the thought of getting sushi or perhaps Subway, but then from the corner of my eye, I spotted the infamous golden arches of McDonald's shining in the distance and through some bizarre function of my mind, the mysterious inner logic of my head, decided that a Big Mac meal was strangely, the best choice for my lunch time purchase. The corporate battle had been won.

Tonight, The Corporation, a documentary exposing the many transgressions of corporate organisations against life and humanity, was playing to a small audience at the modest Schonell Theatre over at the University of Queensland. It was all the usual stuff, multinational companies disregarding human health, animal suffering, environmental issues and everything else, in favor of the almighty dollar. To a corporation, everything is secondary to profit and proliferation.

One interesting thing I learned from the film that I didn't previously know, is that a corporation in the eyes of the law, owned by many different shareholders, is considered to be a 'person' in its own right. The corporate person enjoys all the financial rights and privileges of a human person, yet is not bound by any moral standards, not bound by anything really except the objective to gain more capital.

Callous unconcern for the feelings of others, incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, reckless disregard for the safety of others, incapacity to express guilt, failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors. The film's "Personality Diagnosis Checklist" makes it clear that many of today's corporate persons are undoubtedly not quite right in the head.

Perhaps I'll think twice next time I'm out to lunch, waiting to consume. The corporate war is not over yet.


The next step?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Cryptography

It wasn't until after midday that I awoke to realise just how much I had overslept. With the faint memory of dismissing my half past nine alarm that morning, I contemplated the peculiar need for sleep that seems to exist throughout the animal kingdom. A chance to recondition the complexities of the mind perhaps, back to optimal performance, resetting the cryptic plugs and rotors. Why then do I often feel so far from peak mental capacity when I rise?

Chantal called and left a message while I was sleeping, asking if I would like to come around for lunch and watch a DVD. We picked up lunch from the shops down the road and came back to watch Enigma, a World War II movie about the German Enigma code and the allied code crackers - the geeks of the forties - who unlocked its secrets. Cracking the Enigma code, what took the most sophisticated cryptographic machinery of the war around fifteen hours to do, can now be done in just a few minutes on a modern computer.

Cracking the enigma code of existence is the real challenge.


The Enigma Cipher Machine

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Waking the Wind, Rescuing the Girl

The shallow splashes of my midnight shower, subdued by the calm of the night, remain steeped in insignificance. There are times when, in my imaginings, I wish to escape this paltry place, out to sea perhaps, sailing the ocean waves.

Finally got my GameCube back and am continuing my conspicuously outlandish quest to rescue the Princess and save the land from evil, from where I left off in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I am very hopeful that this will be enough excitement and adventure to satisfy my appetite for now. In games and movies of late, I've noticed a trend that although there are still damsels in distress waiting to be rescued, they seem to almost always have another side, a stronger side, an implication that they could almost fight their own battles, rescue themselves from distress. I wonder...

Went out yet again tonight, recreation replacing adventure; seems life sometimes is strung together, one trifling bead after another, broken at either end. While walking from the bus stop, down an alleyway that leads to home, I pondered the probable course of events had it not been just an ordinary walk home in ordinary real life. In a movie, something would happen in that alleyway, I'm certain of it. I continued walking... nothing happened.


Pirates of The Great Sea

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Breakfast Club

Wow, it's getting pretty late, almost time for breakfast. Tiredness tonight, it seems, is sluggishly taking its time to set in, but I'm certain it's not far off. It's just beginning to become light outside.

The bus to the city was late as usual. There was a couple there to keep a look out, so while waiting, I busied myself a little way off in the park with some careless wanderings and investigations. Boarding the bus, I noticed John sitting, listening to music. Not noticing me at first, I think it struck him as odd that I sat straight down right next to him when it was clear that many other seats were available.

Turns out we were off to the same place, meeting Jerry and some other friends in the city. The night progressed with its usual steady flow. After the house light came on and last games of pool were called by the bar staff, we somehow managed to end up at Jerry's place, playing cards until the thought of sleep got the better of a few people who had work in the morning.

Wasn't really tired at all when I got home. Decided to watch The Breakfast Club, which I thought I hadn't seen before, but while watching it, certain parts seemed awfully familiar to me. I think I may have watched it late one night when I was younger. Almost totally character based, it's interesting to see the exterior contrasts matched against deeper similarities in the characters.

I sometimes wonder where exactly in the brain, the experience of a movie goes when we watch, patterns of neurons firing, rearranging. I can remember the movie, so a part of it must be in there somewhere. What happens to it when more and more movies are amassed on top, compiled and compressed? The information is not lost, not entirely; it can't be. A little of the original experience must linger somewhere, ready to be heaved up from the subconscious upon similar stimulus, the deja vu resurrection of memories thought long departed.


Saturday detention club

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Cheap Australian Satire

The days they seem to fly past and all of a sudden you're here now, wondering what happened to then.

Only after arriving at work did I notice that I didn't have my wallet with me. Must have left it at home in the rush to get ready in the morning. Before I knew it, it was five o'clock and the backup was still burning to disk, with ten minutes to go. For some reason I didn't feel like just going straight home after work and while waiting, I decided to give Jerry a call to see what he was up to.

Arrived at Jerry's soon after leaving work, we sat around for a bit and watched the first episode of Frontline from the series one DVD he got not long ago. First produced ten years ago on a shoestring budget, by some of the people who now appear on Wednesday night's The Panel, it wasn't too bad, pretty good actually, I thought. Jerry lent me the DVD so I could watch the rest of the episodes.

We called some more people to come around for some pizza, a game of handball downstairs and to play some cards. All in all, an enjoyable evening and thankfully an inexpensive one as well, seeing as without my wallet, cash was a little tight.


Frontline, Series One

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Adaptation

"We're all one thing, Lieutenant. That's what I've come to realize. Like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell." --Cassie from The Three

Watched Adaptation this afternoon for about the 150 thousandth time. Noticed this little quote right at the end of the credits, said to be from The Three, the fictional screenplay from the movie written by Donald Kaufman, Charlie Kaufman's fictional twin brother.

It is often difficult for people to adapt when circumstances are altered, to stay afloat in a changing environment, relentless time darting past, situation and surroundings forever flowing by. Somehow though we seem to manage.

When you think of the body as an ever-changing community of cells, each with its own part to play, millions upon millions upon millions, living, dividing, multiplying and dying, pushing life forward with unfathomable interconnecting complexity, the trivial things in life become almost inconsequential.


They cloned Nick Cage for this movie

Sunshine Trip

It was a reasonably long drive to where we were staying on Friday night, a couple of hours, interrupted only by a brief fast-food dinner at a large truck stop on the way. We had organised a trip to stay at our friends' new house at Coolum Beach, which they had moved into not long ago.

The night was long and very enjoyable, a barbecue and some drinks with good friends. Still can't believe we all managed to fit into their heated spa afterwards. We all went out for breakfast the next morning and then to the beach and up to a few lookout places.

Sometimes I think it would be quite nice to live out by the beach, a very relaxing and simple existence. Though somehow I feel almost bound to the city, a strange comfort in its complexity. A periodic escape from helter skelter however is always welcome.


Looking out over Coolum Beach

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Life is a State of Mind

I'm not really sure what to make of Being There, the Peter Sellers movie I've just finished watching; hasn't really had the time to sink in yet I don't think. I enjoyed the story and the performances were flawless, especially from Sellers.

I hadn't seen much of Peter Sellers' work before, except from a few Stanley Kubrick movies and I think I may have seen The Pink Panther once when I was very young, too young to remember. In The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, the only movie that Peter seemed genuinely passionate about making was Being There.

On the surface it's about a gardener, obsessed with watching television, with the mind of a child who, through a series of accidents and coincidence, becomes involved with a wealthy and politically powerful family, but I think may be more to it. Perhaps it is saying that modern human society, life as we know it is a mere state of mind. Brought up on television, we learn pre-programmed responses by mimicking what we see. Reality is created by our individual perceptions.

I've had a headache all day. It seems to be getting worse. Think I might make it an early night tonight.


Being There

Do Android Cats Dream of Electric Mice?

It's amusing to see the contrast between the first and last seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's probably the same for every long running television series. I enjoy the subtle, self-referential humor found throughout many of the later episodes of TNG that's missing in the early seasons. They seem to have matured over the years.

Just finished watching an episode called Phantasms from the seventh season, where Data is experimenting with a dream program and begins to experience a series of nightmares. He decides to have his dreams analysed by Sigmund Freud in the holodeck - hilarious - and the rest of the story unravels from there.

In one scene, Data is watching his cat Spot while asleep, observing the slight muscle twitches that indicate Spot is dreaming. I've noticed this sometimes with my own pets as well. I wonder what it is that they are dreaming of. Are dreams the royal road to understanding the unconscious mind, as Freud puts it, each object symbolising some hidden sexual desire or repressed memory? If a cat dreams of chasing and catching a mouse, what would that symbolise. Perhaps sometimes a mouse is just a mouse.


Lieutenant Commander Data

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Butterflies in the Mind

The influence of every object extends out in all directions, infinitely into the universe. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Peking, then in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine. That's what they say in Jurassic Park anyway.

Went out again tonight, seems to be becoming a regular occurrence on a Wednesday night. There was a local band playing, The Butterfly Effect, seemed to have increased the usual human traffic for the night.

I remember someone saying that the ending on the DVD version of The Butterfly Effect movie was different to the ending shown in the cinema. I have yet to see the DVD version, but it seems rather strange that the entire ending would have been totally changed, just from the transition to DVD... unless. Is it possible they were trying to show that a minor change in initial conditions can have a dramatic impact on the outcome? Maybe, maybe not, whatever.

Butterflies in the mind bring rain and sunshine to your world.


Chaos in Hollywood

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Waiting For Uncle Sam

Waiting outside the cinema after work I noticed all around, the ever so subtle anticipation in the faces of every man, woman and child I saw, the expectation of future events, waiting for the future to become past. It seems that everyone is waiting for something, if only the next tick of the clock.

Steven Speilberg's latest, The Terminal tonight reminded me slightly of Samuel Beckett's classic play Waiting For Godot, mostly because Speilberg seems to run with the theme of waiting throughout the entire movie. But unlike the characters of Beckett's absurd play, Viktor Navorski played by Tom Hanks seemed to be waiting with a purpose, waiting in line, waiting for his pager, waiting for the war to end in his country, waiting for his joke appointment, waiting for Catherine Zeta-Jones's next flight in, waiting in the cue each day to be declined his temporary visa and waiting for Uncle Sam, the powers at be to decide his fate in the caged existence in which he finds himself trapped.

While waiting day after day in the halls of Gate 63, Viktor realises that some things you can't sit and wait for. They lie hidden in transparency and emerge spontaneously only as a product of your waiting for the more trivial things in life, but in the end, seem to help you the most in the ultimate pursuit of your dreams.


I'll wait

And I shall call him...

Sid Willow, was the name for my window sill plant as suggested by Jerry the other day at the summit of his imagination and infinite fascination with wordplay. And so I shall call him Sid, Sidney Willow. Didn't really have the inclination to think too much about it anyway.

So anyway, Sid seems to be going pretty good, growing some new roots, photosynthesising a bit and basically busying himself with being a plant on the window sill at work, the simple things in life.


Sid Willow

Monday, September 13, 2004

Singing for Absolution

absolution: An absolving, or setting free from guilt, sin, or penalty; forgiveness of an offense. "Government... granting absolution to the nation." --Froude.

We watched from the hill as Muse took to the Brisbane Riverstage for their final show in Australia before abandoning us to continue their world tour.

I was ready with avid anticipation that afternoon for the night's concert, had just organised with Jerry which bus to take into the city and was anxiously waiting for the bus to arrive, which evidently was running late. Standing there semi-patiently in wait, a sudden panic came over me when I realised the tickets for the show were still sitting in the drawer at home. Lucky my place is right across the road from the bus stop, as I rushed back, returning in perfect time to flag down the bus emerging over the hill.

Muse put on a brilliant performance and it was a genuinely great night. I even saw a few people I knew amongst the vast crowd, including one of the guys I sung with on Saturday's recording. Jerry and I were down near the stage for the first part of the set, fighting the crowd for a spot at the front. I found however that a much better view could be had by standing a bit back from the stage crowd, a little way up the hill, freed and absolved from the sweaty, raging madness of the of the pit below.


Going Up?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

My alarm clock had gone off yesterday morning and had been providing a lovely musical accompaniment to my dreams for about fifteen minutes before I actually realised it was time to rise. It was recording day for the small vocal group I'm in, put together by a friend from university choir.

I'm not sure what it was, but after seven hours of standing around a stereo pair microphone setup singing, I could really feel the tension in my back and neck beginning to build up and the tiredness of my legs weighing me down. The day was long and exhausting and we all felt rather weary and worn-out by the time we had recorded take after take, but overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging experience. We will hopefully be rehearsing and recording some more songs soon and also preparing for public performances.

I arrived a few hours late for Shantell's twenty-first bithday party, but made it in time for the speeches and cutting of the cake. It was good to see everyone together having a good time, but I was feeling a little tired and run-down and so left a little earlier than I would otherwise have.

After getting a quick something to eat, we dropped Jerry off and then went to Chantal and Meg's place to watch the rest of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which I had started watching the other day. I had never seen it before, but it was one of Chantal's favorites as a child. A light-hearted Disney musical reminiscent of Mary Poppins, but with witches and magic and set during World War II.

The human fascination with magic, fantasy and the super-natural is quite astounding. Demonstrates the extraordinary power of the imagination, the desperate need to push past reality in our minds, or perhaps it just proves how crazy we all are.


Football on the island of Naboombu

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Masterplan

Just arrived home from the valley. Walked halfway home, but then a taxi driver found it in his heart to stop for me when it seemed none of the others would. Even though it costs a few extra dollars, there's nothing quite like the luxury of being personally driven home, especially when you've endured the experience of walking the whole way a few too many times before.

Jerry was supposed to come out with me tonight, but he was feeling sick and also didn't have much money. He decided to stay at home, leaving me to find other meeting arrangements. We all played pool in the city for a while, then Peter and I left to meet a friend of a friend for a short while before heading off to the valley.

Met up with some friends at a place new to me on Brunswick Street called Faith. Lots of people dressed in black, something to prove I guess, making a statement, a real production. Nice people though generally. Had a good night. A friend brought a classmate from uni, a real introvert, hasn't been out much, never been on the dance floor. With much persuasion we managed to get him up and having a good time.

Sometimes I wonder whether there is any point, any real meaning to the seemingly random series of events we call life. What if we are all just various irrelevant entities floating in a shell of existence, with no purpose but to simply be? But then again, perhaps we all play a vital roll, shaping the destiny of the universe, perhaps we are all part of the masterplan. Who knows? We have a lot to learn.


The young teaching the old

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Dodging Balls

I have resolved to stop this constant procrastination, to stop putting things off, dodging the disagreeable tasks just because they require a little effort, and start focusing on the things that simply must be done, grab the bull by the horns. Think I'll start first thing tomorrow.

We saw Dodgeball tonight, our little group of friends, a light-hearted typical American-style comedy, good for a laugh. Definitely the perfect sport for a bit of slapstick humor.

I was going to pay some bills today, but decided to put that off until tomorrow. I was going to go shopping for a new shirt. I can do that tomorrow while I'm out paying the bills. I was going to have a proper look at some other postgraduate courses that I might like to do next year. I'll do it tomorrow. I was going to fill out some forms that have been waiting to be done for a while. They can wait at least another day. I was going to start shaping some ideas into a proper script today. I might see if there is time tomorrow to fit that in.

Putting off life, one day at a time.


Words of wisdom from White Goodman

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Life goes on. Didn't post last night because it seemed Blogger's publishing system was down due to a simple technical glitch or as they put it, a massive simultaneous server failure across multiple machines.

Caught the 353 bus into town yesterday afternoon, possibly the slowest bus route in Brisbane because of all its twists and turns. Jerry had finished work and was waiting at the bus stop when I arrived. We met up with some others and played pool until the locks were put back on the tables.

After that we decided to take a walk around the city, stopping to have a look around at a few other places, but mostly just walking. On the way up Edward street, Jerry jumped up to playfully tap one of the store signs overhead. A loud "Is that your sign?" came abruptly from a passing police car, which had stopped, presumably with nothing better to do with their valuable time than to ask people passing on the sidewalk painfully obvious questions. They soon drove away, no doubt to find another tough case of sign hitting to solve. We suggested that Jerry should go to the sign outside his dad's office, where Jerry works, and start hitting that sign for a while. After a few hours of walking around the city and the valley, legs aching from the journey, we eventually ended up back at the same place we started.

Sometimes it seems all I do is travel in circles, such is life.


Happy ever after in the marketplace

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Blowing In The Wind

Woke early this morning, for no apparent reason and couldn't seem to fall back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. Can't seem to manage to get much sleep these days. Sleep is overrated I think anyway.

Went to the shops for a few things this morning, got something to eat and then went for a much needed haircut. I noticed the girl cutting my hair wasn't the friendliest of hairdressers. She looked as though she really didn't want to be there at all. Can't really blame her though. I wouldn't want to be stuck cutting people's hair all day.

I have a few things to do at home first, but then I'll most likely go into the city to play some pool and see where the wind will take me.


Gum tree in the wind

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Enthusiasm

I sense my enthusiasm is gradually declining for this little blogging project of mine and find at times it takes quite an effort for the words to emerge when before they came so easy. I will in any case persevere and continue documenting the inconsequential chronicles of existence, sure in the knowledge that avid enthusiasm will return before too long.

The next season should be out soon, season five of Curb Your Enthusiasm has a lot to live up to. In my eyes, last season was the best yet of Larry David's brilliant series. Earlier tonight I watched The Shrimp Incident where the president of HBO steals Larry's shrimp after they get their orders mixed up. I may watch the next episode before falling asleep tonight.

Perhaps everything is just one big television programme anyway, the world on show, the cosmic stage, waiting to be cancelled.


Curb your enthusiasm

Office Flora

Work was better today than yesterday, not sure why though. We had a problem with the system database this morning. A few tables had been accidentally deleted by someone and we couldn't get them back. To make matters worse, when we attempted to restore the database from yesterday's backup file, we found that the automated script that was set up by the database developers to back up the data files wasn't working and hadn't been backing up for a few weeks.

We were in a bit of a bind, but eventually we managed to get everything sorted out. It turns out that the data from the tables wasn't actually deleted and we were able to restore everything to its rightful state and also fix the backup script problem, which may well have gone unnoticed for much longer, possibly resulting in much more severe data loss problems.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet, filled with trivial tasks. I noticed that the plant in the glass on the window sill was beginning to get low on water, so I gave it some of the water I got from the cooler. I hope it wasn't too cold. I think I'll continue to provide periodic updates on the office plant as I have become quite fond of it. At the moment it seems to be doing very well. Perhaps I should find a name for it.


Window sill plant

Monday, September 06, 2004

Butterfly Effect

In physics, an attractor is a set of physical properties or certain state which a system is naturally drawn to or tends to evolve towards, regardless of its initial state or conditions. A strange attractor emerges in a chaotic system where erratic physical properties do not settle down into a predictable pattern. The attractor's influence on the system is forever changing, but still remains restricted on its determined course. When plotted in multidimensional phase space, a strange attractor will never cross its own path, yet will stay in relatively fixed bounds. It is the order found within all chaos.

Just arrived back from driving Dad home to the other side of town. Now separated by a city, we carry on lives as before, content with the time we've shared. He's returning home soon, flying back across Bass strait. Tonight was quite possibly the last time I'll see him for a long while. It was a good night, dinner, a bit of computer car racing, some singing with guitar and a game of chess to top off the night. As I prepare for sleep, I wonder where our separate fates will lead us.

I find it strange how delicately each present state of existence sits atop the shoulders of the past. When the tiniest of changes can be of profound significance to future events, the world becomes even more tumultuous than before and you find yourself struck with a turbulence that overwhelms comprehension.


The Lorenz Attractor

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Desk

It's almost time for bed. I can the feel now the fatigue of my eyes creeping over me with each hesitant blink. The fluorescent light from the small desk lamp casts drooping shadows that splay out across the lonely room making it seem somewhat sombre and a little unreal.

The new computer desk stands tall in its newfound residence, looking ominously upon the other inanimate inhabitants of the room, almost as if it has something to prove. Standing there unmoving, unfeeling, it finds its place in the world, in existence. Chipboard with a fake wood finish, yet beautiful, divine perfection in all that it is.


Desk

All Around

Was setting up the DVD player and sound system in my room before. Just to test everything out, I put on Love Actually and somehow I got caught up watching it again. I actually think it's a terrific movie, up there with the best, well written and just an overall great film, at least for a romantic comedy. Makes you feel all warm inside.

It was moving day today and I think I've finally got almost all of my things from Chantal's. I helped her move today as well so I've basically been on my feet all day carrying things up and down stairs and now I'm exhausted. Looking forward to getting some much needed sleep tonight. My messy bed is looking increasingly more inviting with every passing minute.

We had to get a few extension cords and things this afternoon, so while there I also looked around for a Father's Day present. Dad is coming for dinner tomorrow, which should be a nice treat. I hardly get to see him now that he's moved to Tasmania, so I have to make the most of his visit this time. I'm glad that I can see him for Father's Day.


It's all around

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Rain

A brief shower this afternoon. The light storm could be herd rolling over the hills to the west and was soon overhead. All through winter we've had hardly a drop of rain, so now that spring is well under way, a bit of water is always welcome to help return the withered grass and trees to their original healthy green, though today's rain was barely enough to soak the ground.

I'm just about over my cold, just a slight headache this morning. Now that the tingling in my throat is almost gone, I am again able to practice playing and singing the few Beatles songs I've learned so far, which is a lot of fun on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Oh yes, and the CSS problem that mysteriously disappeared in Internet Explorer is back again with the last post, yet the others seem ok. Very strange Mr. Gates.


Rainbow in the distance

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Village Idiot

The afternoon was spend trying to figure out what I should do, both in the immediate sense of what could be done that afternoon and also looking to the future, which at the moment seems considerably hazy, more so even than before. Might be a good thing I suppose. Life is an uncertain journey, with never an indication of which direction it will take you, or the twists and turns along the way.

Luckily my wandering thoughts were interrupted by a message reminding me that some friends were going to meet up for dinner and a movie that night. We were going to see The Village based on the book by M. Night Shyamalan. A few people didn't want to see it because after watching the trailer, they thought it would be too scary. It wasn't scary at all, in fact people going to see it who are expecting a good fright will sadly be disappointed; it's more of a love story than horror. I could hear the cries of "come on..." during the drawn out dialogue, from a few teenage boys sitting behind us and "finally!" when some of the few bits of action burst on to screen.

I haven't yet read the book, but I'm sure it must be better than this poor excuse for a film. I find that I tend to dislike movies that use steadicam shooting to begin with, but this movie almost reminded me of some of the student films from my days doing media production at university. It was also very plot driven, with none of the characters showing any real change throughout the story and the small twists and changes to the plot could easily be guessed. Some obviously liked it though as you can see from the many quotes proudly displayed on the movie's website, that is of course if those glowing reviews weren't purchased.

After the movie, in an attempt to save us from sitting around for ages doing nothing, we decided to visit The Brook Hotel. We sat around there for a while... doing nothing. I got one drink, but no one else it seemed was very thirsty. We soon left.


Noah, the fool

CSS, Linux and Rock 'n' Roll

Setting up Linux on my old computer... again, so I can run it as a web server etc... exciting stuff. Now I guess I'll have to re-remember the commands to make everything run smoothly again. Suppose it will be useful for work if we decide to put in the Linux mail server.

I've been noticing a few anomalies in the page layout of this blog when viewed in Internet Explorer. Especially when navigating through different pages and back again, sometimes the background image or certain other images disappear. Also Internet Explorer sometimes seems to ignore some of the font styles from the template. I tried some other browsers and found they did not show the same problems.

Through a little research, I discovered that it has to do with the way Internet Explorer handles CSS Styles. Instead of adhering to the set internet standards like every other browser, the good people at Microsoft decided to do things their own way. I emailed Microsoft regarding CSS in IE yesterday and today I curiously found that one of the problems, the font colour of the title links, had mysteriously fixed itself. A coincidence most likely, but still interesting.

Finally got to see School of Rock last night. I had wanted to go and see it when it was out at the cinemas, but various things kept coming up and eventually it slipped off the screens onto video and DVD. I was actually quite surprised at what a good movie it was, consistently funny, with a great story; one of the best comedies I've seen this year. Jack Black also was absolutely perfect for the part and did a great job working with the children. It seemed like it would have been a very fun movie to make.


Stickin' it to the man

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Goon Radio

This afternoon I listened to the first episode of The Goon Show. The recording wasn't too clear and at times I had a little trouble making out some of what they were saying, but overall I enjoyed it. Also it gave me some ideas on how I should go about writing my own little project, which I'm still not sure I'll even continue pursuing.

I was thinking about writing it before too much as though it was a conventional theatrical play, but realised that the two mediums are quite different. Each scene must be constructed from scratch inside the listener's head using only sounds and words. It can have a discontinuous narrative made up of many different scenes, stories and ideas. It's very spontaneous and I think would greatly benefit from having a team of people working collectively on it. Maybe some day.

I find I often get all these ideas of things I want to do and get all excited about something and then find I slowly lose interest until the next big idea comes along to take its place. Perhaps I'm just looking, looking for something that I can become really passionate about so I can focus solely on that. I'm not sure if I'll ever find it.


A Bunch of Goons

Computer Cars Don't Impress the Girls

A few weeks ago I went to visit Dad, who has come up from Hobart to stay in Brisbane for a while. He's really into racing games and he bought me a copy of V8 Supercars 2 so that we could race online. The game is called Race Driver 2 everywhere else in the world. I guess they were trying to target a specific audience here in Australia.

I received an email today from Dad with a few of his best times for various tracks. He's one of the top racers in the online world and knows all the tracks, very impressive. I think I have a little way to go before I can safely challenge him to a race and be confident that I'll be able to at least keep up.

With so much simulated driving at tremendously high speeds in such powerful machines, I sometimes feel I am traveling ridiculously slow when driving my humble Camry around in the real world. Incidentally, she goes by the name 'Cameron'.


Speedy Automobiles

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Queen Street

Should have been resting in bed, but was feeling a bit better and craving a little adventure. Some friends were already in the city playing pool. A few of them were even more afflicted with this bug that's been going around than I was and yet they still wanted me to come in and enjoy a few games with them.

The place we went to in Queen Street, the place they always go to, had free pool tonight. We won a few games, but mostly lost, a bit out of practice perhaps. After they had returned the locks to the pool tables, we left to get some food. I was quite hungry by then and astonished a few by finishing off three burgers, a large fries and a milkshake. Those of us who were sick were eager to call it an early night, although the night in all was relatively enjoyable.

I watched an episode of Star Trek this afternoon called The Inner Light where Picard's mind gets taken over by a space probe and he lives through a whole lifetime as another person on another planet, all in twenty minutes of actual time. I sometimes wonder what it would be like, what I would be like, if the surroundings and circumstances around me were drastically different. What if I were born a hundred years ago here in Brisbane? From what experiences would my perceptions have been shaped? Would I be me at all?


The Queen Street Mall, 1893

Let It Be

I'll probably postpone any serious writing until I'm feeling a little better. It seems everyone around me is becoming ill in some way or another; it hasn't hit me too hard though. Had lots of ideas for the script, a few of those have been good ones, which I'll scribble down soon and start thinking of more character ideas.

Listening to Let It Be over again after realising the sound wasn't going through the subwoofer. I saw the movie the other day for the first time and was surprised, but somewhat pleased that, unlike their other movies, it had more of a documentary style, following their journey from rehearsals, then into the recording studio and lastly up to the famous final concert on the rooftop of the Apple building in London. The rehearsal sessions also comforted me to the fact that even The Beatles can sound pretty average when they're just playing around, makes them seem a little more real.

I had to post off my old keyboard this morning and while walking down the shopping centre, was almost caught by one of those charity stalls that are always there in the middle of the hall, every day. It makes me wonder how much charity money actually goes towards the people in need, if a comfortable living can be made by keeping up people in a hurry. They act like they're your best friend, really interested; it's unbearably phony. If I do decide to give to a charity, I would like to know that my money is going to the people who really need it.


Playing on the Roof