Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Happenings around the world

The French voted against ratifying the constitution for a more united Europe (wikipedia article). I can't say I agree with them, but it is their own country, so I don't think my opinion really counts for all that much. I have to say that I do think the whole united Europe is something I think should be worked towards. I think the desire to join has hastened improvements in some of the former Warsaw pact nations. I think greater interaction and freer exchanges will help prevent conflict. I think the important lesson to take from the French result is that a lot of the European integration has been happening because the governments want it to, and the people do not necessarily agree with everything that's happening. I'd like to think that most Europeans think that the EU is a good thing, but I can also understand that some may feel that it's being imposed not something that they're asking for. Depending on how other referendums go, I think perhaps the best course of action is to perhaps let things stay the way they are for a bit, before making further changes.

Schapelle Corby was found guilty of importing drugs to Bali. The Australian media has been all over this, not only with a kind of presumption of innocence, but almost taking it to the point of being an axiom. I don't think it's a big enough deal to warrant live coverage of the verdict, or some of the outcry that has arisen among some of the press that the government ask the Indonesian government for a pardon. I think the best way to encourage other countries to establish a proper justice system is to respect those countries who do have a system in place and in let it run it's course. If the trail had of been a farce, or in any way unfair or impartial, sure complain, do something, but if she got a fair trial, as seems to be the case, then respect the result. If an Indonesian got caught smuggling drugs into Australia was tried and found guilty, I think a lot of Australians would be upset if we let them go just because the Indonesian government asked us to, and rightly so. The best was to establish respect for the rule of law is to respect the rule of law when others apply it.

Today is World No Tobacco Day. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one. Sure smoking's bad for you, everyone knows that. But if someone wants to kill themselves slowly, so long as I don't have to smell the stuff, I can't exactly stop them. As Lord Vetinari would say, freedom includes the freedom to accept the consequences. I don't think anyone in western countries can reasonably claim not to be aware of the consequences, so who am I to force them to change their minds.

The other day I had a bit of a browse around the channel nine website. It's quizzes were pathetic, the content insipid, the link that said 'send your friend a cosmo babe' went to a picture of a guy. And if you wanted to watch any of the videos they had, you had to have internet explorer. I suppose I should expect too much when they're aligned so much with Microsoft that the URL is ninemsn.com.au. Bunch of punk bitches the lot of them.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Lots of talking recently

We'll start with a bit of followup from a previous post. There was a bit where I said I'd be applying for three jobs a day. Well I haven't. Although I had kind of meant that this was only until someone actually decided to employ me. Anyway, I'm now going to revise that. From now on I will apply for three jobs a week, and these will be jobs that I actually want to do and think I would enjoy doing, not just things that I can do and will pay the bills.

So I'm back at GE again, working in the inbound call center. Today was busy to the extreme. We recieved approximately 5000 calls today. I personally took a little over 125 calls in 10 hours, which amounts to 2.5% of all the calls. That's a fuck load of talking. I can say with very little fear of being contradicted, I have never done as much talking in one day. By the end of the day I was having a hard time talking. On the plus side, it does mean I don't have to put up with much bullshit from centerlink and it's associates anymore, just hand in a form every two weeks saying I don't need any money. I'm already 3 days late with the last one, but since they're not going ot give me any money, I don't see why they would have a problem with it being late.

A friend came over last night, feeling upset about some of the stuff that's happening with his PhD. For the past few months, he's been doing stuff that duplicates some research that's already been done, and he's been telling his supervisor that he's really concerned that this isn't the most useful of things to be doing, and the supervisor hasn't been paying any attention to his concerns. We had a few drinks. Well I had a few drinks. He had a lot of drinks. One of the things we talked about was the stuff about my housemate.

Talking about seemed to help. Now it's not entirely bottled up. I've been thinking about talking about my thoughts on the matter (I'm a bit wary of using the term feelings, mainly because I'm not used to the idea of me having them) with her, but I don't know how to bring up the topic, or even how to discuss it once it's brought up. A semi-prepared monologue only really works in plays and films, and while observation from film and tv may provide some insight, I know enough to know things don't really work that way. A dialogue also doesn't look like it would work well as the topic doesn't really lend itself to much contribution from the other side. And I'm in no way fucked up enough to consider a written statement, although I have been occasionally leaving my browser open to this blog while I'm absent and my computer is left on, so perhaps I'm trying to do so in a roundabout way.

Still no progress on The Thousandth Son. I'm going to email part one to myself at work, and have a burl at it while I'm at work. At the moment I'm only actually doing work about two thirds of the time I'm there, the other third simply being spent being ready to work when a call comes in. I'll aim to have part two up by the 3rd.

In all of this I've failed to mention a greater than normal family interaction in the past week. My mother came down to Brisbane on Sunday, my sister got back in town a few days before that, and Mum's boyfriend was down for Tuesday and Wednesday. Last Sunday, Mum, Sarah and my uncle came around for dinner and I cooked a roast chicken. All went well. On Monday I saw a movie with my sister (H2G2 for those who know what I mean).. On Tuesday we all went for dinner at the Story Bridge Hotel, which seems to be a favorite haunt of my sisters, but it's just another pub to me. On Friday I had lunch with my sister. Next Friday my sister will be going to the Tripod show I'm going to with a few other people (My female housemate, her boyfriend, the friend who came over drinking last night, his girlfriend, and that's about it). Should be an intersesting night.

I saw on slashdot the other day an article about two english people who decided to stage a light saber duel by filling some flourescent tubes with petrol mixed with soapand setting the inside alight. Given that this mixture behaves much like napalm, doing this and then waving the fragile glass tubes around and hitting each other with them seems to be a spectacularly stupid thing to do, on the Darwin arward level.

Well I have to say I'm quite impressed with what I've written so far, so I think I'll leave it here, add a few links and call it a post.

End Post

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Small snippets make up a whole

My knee hurts. It's been doing this for a while now. I'm starting to think I should see a doctor about it. Although last time I had some sort of long term medical type problem that after a while I saw a doctor about turned out to be nowhere near as dangerous as I was worried. Heart pains in someone only 24 is scary, once you actually acknowledge that there is a problem.

I tried to write some more of The Thousandth Son earlier today offline, but didn't get far. The second part is going to focus on the anti-monarchy argument. I got as far as the first line, but got no further. I'll have another go tomorrow.

Still looking for work. During the next week, I'm going to up the number of jobs I apply for. A minimum of three a day (each and every day, no averaging bullshit) is what I'm going to try and do, with one of those being something I'd like to do as opposed to something I can do. I will report back on my progress, although I think a few late night application rushes may occur.

Last night some friends came over for a lan session. We played some Diablo 2 and Quake 3. It was reasonably enjoyable. Quake 3 was a lot more fun than I was expecting.

I'm not sure these shallow posts with just a few sentences on a lot of things is good or not-so-good. At least I'm writing stuff, but as a means of expressing true feelings, I think the longer posts contain more. Although it seems I don't go into much detail with them either.

Significant Random Fact: It took me almost a week to work up the courage to ask Kylie out. It was the first time I'd asked any girl out. Her answer was "I'll think about it".
Another fact: the previous fact is the first time on this blog I've included Kylie's name, and not just made oblique references to her existence.
Yet another fact: I gave Danielle the same answer a few years later when she first asked me out. My later response was not as positive though (waiting until after the last session of the particular movie was in hindsight not the best way of doing things).

It does seem that the continued writing of things is making further writing easier. Hopefully the next post will be even more interesting.

End Post
Writing time: 26 minutes

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A whole lotta stuff just came out

Apparently the following two things are obligatory in a blog so let's see if it motivates anything

Current mood: Mopey
Current music: Journey of the Sorcerer, Toxic, So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

Once there was a girl. She was a good friend and I thought I wanted to have a more significant relationship with her. Over the course of several months I tried in a haphazard way to court her. This did not work out. With the advantage of extra knowledge gained in the few years since, and a bit of hindsight, part of this is probably because at around that time she got together with someone else, to whom she is now engaged and has moved in with. My inability to express myself probably didn't help either. But for quite some time after she told me it wasn't going to happen, I hurt quite a lot. A few months later I went to a party at which she and her boyfriend also went to. This affected me more than I expected. I ended up not eating for about 3 days, and scared some of my family into thinking I was on drugs or something.

That was about 4 years ago. It's only in the past year or so I've been open again to the prospect of some sort of romance. This was brought about by the realisation that not only was the bitterness I was still bearing making me unhappy and leading me to avoid other relationships that may have been worthwhile, it was also causing me to hurt others who tried to get involved. I still owe one person an apology for the unjustifiably rude way I treated her.

Well, it's amazing what one can do when trying to avoid the unpleasant current. I've been putting off writing about the above stuff for about as long as I've had a blog. I haven't gone into as much detail as I originally intended, but something has been written, so perhaps I can further elaborate later on.

So what exactly is it that makes dealing with past pains easier than trying to deal with it.

One of my housemates is a girl. By virtue of this fact, she probably has the highest time spent together to time known ratio of any woman not a member of my family. A while ago I decided that if something of a romantic nature developed, that would be ok. But it wasn't going to be something actively pursued, but more not provided a hostile environment to. And since then as I've got to know her better, I've learnt that it's not going to happen, and have accepted that.

The night before last (May 9, it's taken a long time to write this all up) a short conversation occurred in which the conclusion I'd already come to were stated explicitly, and it affected me more than I thought. And so I've spent the past 24 hours or so all moody. Plus it caused a really upset stomach, which with me tends only to happen with affairs of the heart. It's odd, it would seem that the physical indicator, my gut reaction if you will, that I like someone is nausea.

Anyway, that seems to be all. More details will perhaps come later, but at least it's got me writing about stuff I've been putting off writing.

End Post
Writing time 18 hours 52 minutes (please note that this time includes sleeping, watching tv, playing games, talking to others and various other uses of time and is not almost 19 hours of straight typing.)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Thousandth Son: Part the First

As per a previous post, here is some fiction. We'll see if I eventually get some sort of conclusion. And be warned, I suck at making up names.

The Thousandth Son


Brilthang the Gruesome and his band of warriors stormed into the throne room of Frimbar, the evil tyrant of the land. Despite the chaos of the uprising outside, Frimbar's bodyguards stood ready, but were unable to stop the warriors. Brilthang himself charged straight at Frimbar, and though the two dueled for some time, Brilthang was ultimately victorious. As his comrades finished off the surviving bodyguards he sat down on the throne of Frimbar. As the warriors knelt in front of him, he proclaimed: "From this throne shall I and my sons for a thousand generations rule this realm."

One Thousand and One

Crown prince Sintius stood on the balcony of his suite in Brilthang Castle wearing the traditional purple robes of mourning. A week had passed since the death of his father, King Amlas the 53rd, and now the prime minister of the Extended Kingdoms of Antarius and the Outlying Systems came bearing troublesome news.
"What do you mean, there is opposition to my coronation? I am the sole heir, and my father died of old age. Where exactly is the problem?" Sintius asked. "It's your generation, sire", replied the prime minister. "I don't need to tell you the story of Brilthang the Founder. 'From this throne shall I and my sons for a thousand generations rule this realm.' The genealogy of your family is quite well documented, and your father was of the thousandth generation."
"And there are those who would use the founding of our kingdom to destroy it forever more?"
"Well not destroy it as such, sire. But for almost as long as the kingdom has existed, there have been those who felt the monarchy was no longer needed. A group of them is making a fuss of things now because they think they can use the Brilthang's words to their advantage. And unfortunately, it seems that they are finding the people receptive to their ideas. This is a very awkward situation that isn't going to go away. We have to sort it out, or larger problems will emerge."
The prince considered this for a few moments. "Very well. Bring the leader of this group to me. Let us see what he has to say for himself." he commanded.

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Sorcerers Journey

The other day I learnt the artist and title of the theme music to the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy: The Journey of the Sorcerer by The Eagles. It's a very cool piece of music, with a nice combination of the banjo with more modern elements.

In other music related news, it would appear that there is a Britney Spears song that I do like. No further comment on this at this time

I'm back on centrelink money. It went pretty smoothly. I had to fill out an extra form because one of my housemates is a girl. The form seems to be mostly checking to make sure couples don't pretend to be separate to get extra money from the government.

New episodes of Family Guy have started being shown.

As you might be able to tell, I haven't been out much since I got back to Australia. Part apathy, part can't be bothered (another form of apathy), part can't be damned (yet another form of apathy). I did do a little bit of shopping today. I got fed up with not having enough coathangers, and so decided to buy some more. I also got some new drinking glasses, as the ones I used to have mysteriously disappeared during or soon after our housewarming party. The new ones aren't so large, but there are six of the as opposed to the surviving two of the old ones.

Almost distracted myself with a game of nethack, but resisted temptation.

I've started thinking about writing some fiction. I've had ideas in the past, but never really developed them in the past. Perhaps I should write some up as entries here and then patch them together when something gets finished. Could make for some very confusing reading. In fact I will. The question is do I restart my Buffy/The Phantom crossover story, or my philosophical piece on the merits of the monarchy. Why not both? Look forward to many (well a few) interesting characters.

On blog related notes, it seems Darth Vader has a blog. It's very well written, but it is a slightly different spin on the character.