Saturday, June 25, 2005

Busy working

Been working a lot. While it's nice to have money, and I've managed to save more than I've done in the past who knows how long (a whole $240, so don't get to excited), it does get frustrating. I mean pretty much all my shifts are 8 or 10 hours long, which basically means that's all I do in the day. Besides getting up, eating breakfast, having dinner, maybe watching a little TV and then sleeping, and all the other stuff that needs to be done each day. I sort of tried when going back into it that I was simply doing it to get money to do the stuff I actually wanted to do, but I find I haven't got that much time to do stuff.

A few days ago I got the urge and cleaned my bathroom. Ultimately it simply entailed dusting off everything and giving the toilet a bit of a scrub with the toilet brush. It pretty much just convinced me that such actions are only necessary only once every few months. About a half hour of not much effort and the place looks almost good as new. All it needs now is a vacuum to get rid of all the hair on the floor.

I'm currently acquiring the first season of the new Battlestar Galactica. I've heard good things about it, and so hopefully it's worth the wait.

End post:
Writing time: 15 minutes

Sunday, June 12, 2005

No Jobseeking, Buffy and Third World Debt

I haven't been looking for jobs. Back when I started back at GE, I said I'd apply for three good jobs a week, where good was defined as being something I wouldn't mind still doing in a few years. Partly this is because I'm lazy, partly because I'm too tired after work, and partly that I don't really feel a need to do so. I am saving some money, which is good.

Today I bought a box set of Buffy DVD, season 6 part 1. I'm currently watching the first episode. Season 6 is one of the darkest seasons, being more focused on the darkness within the regular characters, rather than the machinations of some big bad scary thing.

In good news, it has recently been announced that the G8 nations are going to write off a shit load of debt from third world countries, with a bit more to go from some more countries once they sort out corruption from within their governments. This is a really good thing, as Burdening third world countries with inordinate amounts of debt was never a good way to solve things. I'll be happier when I find out that there are no nasty strings attached, but this sounds like a positive move forward. The only bad thing was that as part of the news report Bono from U2 was interviewed. Just why the fuck a singer is the person to talk to when the topic is third world debt and politics I don't know.

I've got a headache now so I'm going to stop typing.

Edit: I originally put that the person interviewed was Sonny Bono, when in fact it was just Bono. As someone has commented, Sonny Bono was congressman and so perhaps might have had something to contribute on a more governmental position, but he actually died in 1998. I actually checked up and found out that Sonny Bono and Bono from U2 are not the same person. This does clear up the mystery of the naming of the Sonny Bono copyright extension act, as naming it after the person who introduced it to congress is pretty much par for the course, whereas naming it after some unrelated foreign singer is pretty odd.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A few notes on the Extended Kingdom

So, as I've completely failed to get more than two paragraphs into part two of the Thousandth Son, I've instead compiled a few sort of background notes describing how things are in the society, what the legal systems are, tech levels etc. Here it is

A few notes on the Extended Kingdom
The Extended Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy ruling over a small group of close by star systems. The ruling family has reigned for a thousand consecutive generations, with no major disruptions in the succession. Interstellar travel is practical but not convenient, travel between systems in the kingdom is comparable to traveling between parts of the British empire in the late eighteenth-early 19th century, a major undertaking not to be done lightly, and usually a long term move. Top speed is maybe ten to twenty times the speed of light.

The government is a constitutional monarchy, again, a lot like England. A major difference is that the monarch has a lot more ability to influence policy, and openly does so. This is done so with consultation with the people, and in the spirit of doing what is best for the kingdom as a whole. In general this is a setting of general policy, with actual implementation being the responsibility of the elected representatives.

The representative part of the government is bi-cameral. One house is directly elected representatives, much like the house of representing in the Australian parliament. The upper house is two-thirds the size of the lower house, and is elected by the whole population in a proportional representation system. There are three or four major parties, and a number of smaller ones. It is rare for any two parties combined to be able to control both houses, and usually a convoluted minority government is in power.

Society is generally pretty ok. Suffrage is universal, discrimination pretty much non-existent.

The history of the Kingdom is a long and convoluted one. Starting from little more than the city state conquered by Brilthang, it grew first through military conquest, then through economic and political maneuvering. By the time the Kingdom started exploring space, it was a centralized world government. As first their system, and then other systems were colonized, the new colonies were integrated into the Kingdom as semi-autonomic entities. Local matters are dealt with locally, but within the overall legislative whole. Regional governments are responsible for the provision of services. The parliament for the whole kingdom establishes a general legislative framework, while regional governments enforce and administer the law.

There is some contact with other species, although this is infrequent and very limited. Most other contacted civilizations are socially similar, but all have directly elected heads of state, making the Kingdom somewhat of an anomaly in the local region.

Genetic technology is still limited in what can be achieved, but what there is is common place. Most major hereditary problems have been removed from the population by means of prenatal screening. There have been a few attempts to do more, but these have generally not been successful and are looked down upon by most of the population.

Anyway, that's what I've got for now. I'm still going to work on part 2, but it may take longer than I thought.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The quintessesntials

I'm currently listening to the first episode of the quintessential phase of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's ok. They've taken a few liberties, but capture the feel well. Good on the BBC.

I enjoyed the comedy stylings of Wil Anderson and Tripod last night. Pretty good night out.

Work has been mentally exhausting. I've been working some long shifts recently. At the moment I have a bit of trouble being sympathetic but intransigent. For you see I have to tell people that no they can't have credit, no you can't make a purchase, etc. Quite frankly, the company is letting people spend money that isn't theirs, I think we can be a bit arbitrary about who we give money too.

jingleberry tybetrons trindlethrop the gramtings,
while frilty vorms bling and ming
grance and pring and trine
pregrempting porthise do trun
into the breding crine

It would appear I'm not going to create the next Jabberwocky. It's a lot trickier than you'd think. Perhaps next time I try some verse I'll stick to real words. Work on the Thousandth Son has progressed, but I aven't done what I want to. I had been planning to do part two, which was to be an exposition on why a republic is noble and worthwhile, but instead have merely put together a bunch of background work, creating a rough history, current society, what technology level they've reached etc. I haven't gone to the extent of creating a language, but who knows. I'll try and polish it up tomorrow and post it.

I can't really think of much to say. The past week has mostly been work, sleep and a small amount of leisure time. I hope that if they keep me on for next month the give me at least one day in a weekend off during the month. While it's nice to have a day off during the middle of the week, some things can only be done on a weekend. I'm going to have to miss the next warhammer meeting of the university games society. OK so I don't have awild and varied existance, It would be nice to be able to do the things I enjoy every once in a while.

There's a huge pile of washing up in the kitchen. I really don't know how it grows so quickly. It's exacerbated by us having gotten out of a regular cooking routine due to the pressures of end of semeter assessment, but when I'v e contributed a bowl and maybe two plates, I don't know how the others can generate so much more dirty dishes. True, the bowl is a metal bowl that I reuse after a good hot rinse, but even then, I washed up on Tuesday, I'm sure of it. Maybe Brett will do it tomorrow. It is still his turn to cook, and hence wash up before cooking.

Anyway I'm not writing anything too meaningful, so I think I'll try sleeping instead.

End post
Writing time: 45 minutes