Lexifabricographer - Where good concepts go to die
Words that go together, although not necessarily terribly well
Sometimes I like to pretend to be other, better people
Stands for Play By Mail, or possibly Postal Brutality Mongers
Yes, of course I have one. Doesn't mean I'm not prepared to trade for yours, though.
This is where the bodies are buried
Talk to me
Get me the hell out of here!


Monday, March 31, 2003

Blogging for Momma and Poppa

Talked to Mum on the phone yesterday for the first time in weeks (I'm a bad, bad son) and learned that she and Dad have had really bad colds for a fortnight now. I also found out that Mum reads Lexifab, so I should update it more often so that she knows what's going on in her ingrate son's life when he's too busy to pick up a phone and talk to his poor, bedridden parents. And I should probably stop swearing so much.


The Garden

Nothing's died yet out the back, so we are taking that as a sign that our efforts thus far have been successful. I'm still a little dubious about the alpine moss we've planted in between the pavers to fill in the gaps, but it's early days yet. It might come good. Over this weekend we put in most of the rest of the watering system and hooked it up. In the grassed area in the corner we have a popup sprayer that we had great hopes for but which has proved a little disappointing in its coverage. It does, however, pop up, as advertised, so yahoo.

We still have a fair bit to do, but we're closing in on the home stretch. The bed up the back behind the clothesline needs to be planted, and to have the watering stuff installed. Then all that will be left is clearing out the piled-up dirt and building rubble in the middle of the yard and replacing it with lawn (of a hardy, drought- and neglect-resistant strain). We should be done by the end of the Easter break.

Fiona's talking about getting stuck in over Easter and throwing the pergola together as well. It remains to be seen whether we'll have that sort of time and enthusiasm, but it would be nice to have everything done and to have a shiny new outdoors "extension" just in time for us to spend the entire winter cowering indoors and cursing the freezing weather.


The Job

Necessity and the apparent unlikelihood that I will be invited to take a position elsewhere have conspired to get me a bit more interested in work again. I am way too busy to contemplate how much I dislike what I'm doing, and am therefore able to concentrate on it and work much more effectively.

(Of course, that could all be due to the fact that I am sleeping much better now that Fiona is back too. Finally had the first proper sleep in over a week on Friday night.)

Progress towards the promotion is slow to the point of being ridiculous. Despite the fact the queue ahead of me is down to just four or five people, the prospects of getting the APS 5 nod seem as distant as ever. Part of the problem is that the 5 level has been a target of real cost-cutting within the Agency in the last 18 months. The number of positions at that level has been cut by half to about 35, which means it's a highly competitive bottleneck on the way up through the ranks to the far more populous APS 6 level. Since there's every chance that I will once again miss out for a 5, I have no choice but to try instead to jump two levels to a 6, because if I am found suitable at that level, the chances of me actually making it off the waiting list and into a position are much better.

The advantage is that both the 5 and 6 levels share identical selection criteria, which means that I don't have to do much to my application to bring it up to date (mention Bali, mention the war, mention humanitarian crises in the Middle east and elsewhere). The main problems are that, nice as the money would be, I have no real interest in the level of responsibility that I would expect to be given at the 6 level, and moreover I don't really feel that I have the experience, let alone the interest, to produce consistently good work at a high level. My career is not very important to me at the best of times, and I don't want to give it any more power to demand my time attention than it already has. If I become a 6, I might suddenly find that there is a far higher level of expectation on me and scrutiny of my performance. Okay, I'm not at all afraid of scrutiny (and in fact would prefer a higher level of monitoring to help me stay on track at the moment, not that I'm going to seek that out) but I'm not looking for any greater levels of trust and responsibility either. On the first hand, though, lots more money would be nice...

Might be time to buy another lottery ticket. This whole thing is getting out of hand.


Back to top of page

 


Thursday, March 27, 2003

Jimbozelbub - Bringing terror and glee to the web since 2003

Jimbo's art page is up and running, with Linda's help (by which I mean, designing, coding and maintenance). It can be seen somewhere in the vicinity of here [Animated thingummy not activated at time of blogging]. If your browser does not look at frames with anything other than the most disdainful eye, try this page instead.

But where are all the zombie pirates, I ask you? I demand zombie pirates!


Nuts

Went on a spree of doing massive amounts of work this week, but karma has repaid me in 24-carat irony. Having now waded through a pile of reports and proposals that I have to comment on, I am now unable to pretend that I don't actually have three times as much work to do as I thought I did. Gah! And nearly all of it is work that is beyond the scope of my level or my position description, although the exploitation of staff at cheap employment levels is nothing especially new at AusAID.

I'm fighting this bloated and corrupt system from within by ensuring that nothing productive ever actually gets done.


Back to top of page

 


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Ogres and kobolds and drows, oh my!

So I finally convinced myself and then somehow the rest of the gaming group to take a shot at playing the "new" edition of D&D on Friday night, in the much-derided Forgotten Realms, and you know what? It was fun! Sure, we struggled a bit with some of the weird restrictions and the curious vagaries of the tactical combat system, but we also reacquainted ourselves with the pure and simple joy to be had in whaling murderously on kobolds and other lame monsters. There's probably an analogy to be made with certain other world events involving one party brutalising a massively outclassed opponent, but if I were to make it, it would only be to support my thesis that many people could more fruitfully relieve their barely sublimated tendencies towards mass murder in a harmless fantasy environment rather than in a strategic command centre. And that would be a facile thesis, so I won't bother.

Anyway, I made up a plot as I went along - my notes consisted of hastily scrawling down the stupid NPC names I came up with [1] - and injected just enough motivation to get the characters from Point A to Point C and back again. Point B consisted of a bunch of fights, including an amusing confrontation between Chris and Jimbo's characters and a curious and innocently malevolent baby dragon. He got away, so I'll have to bring him back. Baby dragons are cute.

But yeah, it was lots of fun. We used combat maps and Jimbo drew a heap of counters for the various characters and monsters. It was cool, it was undemanding (except for trying to work out the combat minutiae, but that will come) and it was comfortable. We played again on Saturday. Meagan came by at one point and watched an amusing scene as the characters tried to navigate a broken bridge while an elf peppered them with arrows. Normally an audience makes things a bit awkward, but I have to say I didn't find this at all uncomfortable. Mind you, we couldn't convince her to have a go at it herself, but maybe soon...

Since the game I've been trying to resolve the various dangling plot threads that came up (a dead Harper with an incriminating letter, a dream about an ancient vampire, drow incursions) into slightly more coherent framework. Next session should be fun - spies, torture, an army poised to invade, and talkative tavern drunkards are all part of the fun. Oh, and more ogres. Because who doesn't love ogres?


Home alone update

Fiona is still away. Back Friday. I need to do some washing up and vacuum the living room, but whattaya gonna do?


Paint

We have a painter in at the moment, touching up the gutters and window frames in those hard-to-reach high spots. When he is done, the house will be considerably more blue and yellow, which will be nice. Hopefully he will be done by the time Fiona gets home on Friday night. I am even more hopeful that this will distract her from the fact that I have done uncharacteristically little housework while she has been away.



  1. In my own defence, the names I came up with were only marginally more stupid than the names that the players rolled up for themselves: Okum, Yday, and two others too odd to recall. I may have to ban that method...

Back to top of page

 


Thursday, March 20, 2003

Urgh

My weekend of excess and general stay-up-too-late-watching-cricket-ness has caught up with me. I have a doozy of a cold clawing savagely at my throat and lungs like some ravenous feral magpie. I may also have some sort of fever, if that simile is anything to go by.


Birthdays of note

It's one of those times of the year when several birthdays all come along at once. Nola's was a couple of days ago, Evan's will be next Wednesday, and Sonia's is the day after that. Dave Astley's might be coming up on the 29th, but I have this sneaking suspicion I have the month wrong… Anyway, happy birthday everyone. Wish I could be there, because you might have cake, and I like cake.


Are we at war yet?

Hmm, still an hour and a half to go to Shrub's deadline. I guess I'll have to wait [Cue Homer voice: "Awww, but I wanna go to war nowwwww!"]. Since it looks pretty much inevitable at this point, is it too much to hope that one or more of the foaming hawk psychos in the White House suffers an ironic heart attack from all the excitement (Cheney being the obvious frontrunner)? Please? Just a little hint of irony? C'mon.


Some things I ought to be doing instead of writing this blog


My CIT assignment
I'm about halfway through the HTML course work (next exercise is merging table cells using the ROWSPAN and COLSPAN commands. Oooh, exciting!) but I have yet to start work on the fairly easy assignment. It consists pretty much of using the internet to research a topic and then recording the methods used and links found. I could do it in about an hour, but I haven't decided on a topic yet. If I'm sensible, I'll pick a subject that will help me with later courses (like computer privacy or security or some such). If I'm not, it'll be about some gaming related thing.
The Lexifab redesign
I've been planning to expand this site for about three years now, but I have always managed to find something to distract me. The links on the sidebar used to go nowhere, until Amanda got fed up with my tardiness and added new (and quite amusing) pages there. I really have to get around to doing something about that, and this HTML course is the perfect excuse. But am I doing anything about it? Nooooo...
My Water Policy Research Paper
I have all of the research material here at home. I could start on it any time I wanted. Sadly, I have been procrastinating long and hard in the hope that I will get another job, or promoted out of the section, and I won't have to keep up the pretence that I have the desire to become an expert on anything. Pretty pathetic, huh? I mean, this paper would probably take a couple of days' work at the most - it's not as if I have to do any real analysis, just gather the relevant information into a couple of pages - but it just doesn't seem to matter whether it gets done or not. Without any kind of arm-twisting, I am utterly unmotivated. Tsk.


Back to top of page

 


Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Too much weekend for this little black duck...

...or so a great prophet once said. Yesterday was a public holiday to celebrate Canberra's founding 90 years ago, although since this year it happily coincided with St Patrick's Day, I rather suspect that more people spent the day sinking green-tinted lagers than in sober contemplation of our great nation's capital's settlement.

My weekend was spent in the pursuit of transformation of the backyard from dirt pile to garden. Fiona and I put in some hardcore labour, breaking only on Sunday for six hours of (equally laborious) cricket, about which more anon. We started by building a level dirt area at the end of the shed, installing a popup watering system as we went, then sowing grass seeds. We then extended the side garden bed out by a metre and bordered it with log segments from the pine trees that were chopped down out the front about six years ago. Next we nailed trellises and wire mesh to the fence to keep the dog next door jumping over the fence onto our new plants. Finally, we bought several hundred dollars worth of climbing jasmine, hebe shrubs and spreading ground covers. Phew!

It was a big job. Even with three days to get it all done, we still wouldn't have managed it without Jimbo's help yesterday. We took him away from valuable green beer drinking time, so we were doubly grateful. We probably owe him more beer.

The yard has been transformed, though. Although the remnants of the big pile of dirt remain in the centre of the yard, at least until it can be levelled and transformed into a lawn, the rest is basically unrecognisable now that there are plants growing all over it. We still have to finish up the bed on the far side of the clothesline, I haven't connected up the watering system yet, and there are still some succulents to put in around the edges, so there's a good few days work left to do. But it felt awfully satisfying to get as much done as we did. I'm tired now, but it was worth it.


Cricket finals

We played Treasury on Sunday for the finals of the public service competition. Long story short, they won. We didn't get quite enough runs batting first. In spite of that we were looking pretty good in the middle of our bowling innings, having taken six wickets. After that, though, their seventh wicket partnership pretty much batted through, and we didn't have enough runs to put them under pressure.

On a personal level, I got out first ball, which wasn't at all a disaster, as we were running out of time to get runs, so I was there to get a score or get out of the way. It would obviously have been better if I'd done the former, but at least I didn't run myself out, like half the team seemed to. I didn't bowl or get much to do in the field, so in the end my impact on the match was pretty minor. I'd probably have been more disappointed about the result if I had had more opportunities, but as it was I took the result in a pretty sanguine fashion. We did our best, they did slightly better, oh well. Better luck next year, if I'm still working for AusAID then.


Home without anyone else

Fiona left this morning for two weeks of touring around the country working with ACCC intranet teams. Today's she's flown to Darwin, after which she will head to Brisbane and Townsville. Such an exciting itinerary! Oh well, at least she'll get a chance to see my nephew Flynn (and Ian and Sonia) over the weekend, and hopefully she'll remember to take lots of photos so I can (sort of) enjoy her trip vicariously.

In her absence, I will undoubtedly be alternating between staying up late watching DVD rentals that I know she would not be interested in seeing (shoddy horror, artsy rubbish etc) and staying up late working on my CIT assignments, which I neglected over the long weekend. First order of business tonight, though, is staying up late watching the semi-finals of the World Cup (Australia vs. Sri Lanka).


Ars Freebica - The Art of Freebies

Atlas Games are giving away their soon-to-be-revised 4th edition of Ars Magica at RPG.Now, in PDF format. It's free, although since it's quite sodding huge, it may take a while to download (especially with their nigh-constant "We are expreincing [sic] high server load" problems) and cost a small fortune to print out/staple/bind/giftwrap. But it is one of the best roleplaying games ever produced, so it's worth snaffling if you are that way inclined.


What roleplaying game am I?



Which RPG system are you?

by Mr. Vimes

Hmm...

I guess it could be worse. According to this survey, I could have been GURPS or Rifts.


Back to top of page

 


Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Productive day

Well, sort of. I wrote two get me the hell outta heres job applications.


Back to top of page

 


Monday, March 10, 2003

Illin' 'n' bitchin'

I've started feeling pretty sick since lunchtime, but I don't think it's anything to do with anything I ate. It might be related to the sneezing fit I had this morning. Occasionally I have episodes of insanely violent and rapid sneezing, usually presaging the onset of a cold. It could also be something virulent atmosphere at work. Nobody in my immediate area seems to have anything at the moment, but one of the joys of a large open plan office is the ease with which it is possible for an epidemic to spread.

But I don't think it's either of those, actually. I think it's purely psychosomatic, brought on by the fact that I just do not want to be here. It's getting harder with each passing day to focus on the work asked of me, or care at all whether I produce the required outcomes.

Instead, all I can think about is the guilt at not working harder and the self-disgust that I cannot overcome my inertia and either get over it or get another job. That makes me angry, because I have never defined myself by my job, so why the hell should I beat myself up for not meeting the expectations of my employers (especially when they don't appear to care enough about my productivity to notice when it is in sharp decline).

On the other hand, that's an obviously indefensible rationalisation for what amounts to idleness, especially when I so far demonstrated an unwillingness to stand up for myself and take any action, whether it be resigning, getting another job, asking to be transferred, or even just talking with someone in a position to help me with my problem (as opposed to whinging about it to my wife or blathering about it here).

But one way or the other coming to work is starting to make me feel sick, and that's clearly not a good sign. So sooner or later I am going to have to bite the bullet. Dammit.


Highly domestic weekend

In between outbursts of studious diligence, wherein I pursued my academic aspirations by laboriously typing out HTML code to produce extremely elementary web pages (rote learning is alive and well and living at CIT), I spent an awful lot of the weekend in the kitchen, one way or the other. On Saturday morning I made lots of cups of coffee and tea for the WIMA crowd, who assembled at our place before roaring out to terrorise the town with their annual Frock Run, to celebrate International Women's Day. Then I spent a lot of time washing up cups and saucers. Then there was a cooking frenzy, then on Sunday came oven cleaning and general wiping-down of grotty cupboards.

By that time I was really over it. So much so that even studying seemed like a fun alternative. Fortunately we ate at Fiona's Dad's place on Sunday, so I was spared more cooking.


Reading angries up the blood

After hearing about it in the paper this morning, I went to the closest bookshop and bought David Marr and Marian Wilkinson's Dark Victory, about the government's handling of the refugee crisis and how it helped them win the November 2001 election.

I plan to read all about it tonight and get incoherently angry, like a good little quasi-Green hand-wringing bleeding heart very-small-'l' liberal.


Back to top of page

 


Sunday, March 09, 2003

Update

I think it's only a small one. For me, anyway - not sure about the rest of the site...

Back to top of page

 

Some sort of problem at Otherleg

So this is a test to see if it's a small problem or a big problem

Back to top of page

 


Friday, March 07, 2003

Stagnant

Work continues to continue without much active interest or participation from me. At last count I have a field study to prepare, a design document to review, another design document to appraise and secure ministerial approve for, a policy paper to write and a financial system to monitor. I am uninterested in all of these to the point of brain seizure.

Currently I am anticipating one of two possible paths to resolving this situation: either something will happen that actually requires immediate attention, snapping me out of this unmotivated fugue (likely, sooner or later) or I will be promoted and moved into another job.


Prospects

The possibility of this second, far more desirable outcome actually coming to fruition appears to be growing. I learned yesterday that I am now sixth in line for appointment from the interminable APS5 promotion queue. Moreover, the APS6 list is about to expire, and the human resources area will shortly need to run a selection exercise to get a new list for that level. This is good in that not only do I have the option (with a not unreasonable chance of success) of applying for that round, but most of those with whom I am competing at the 5 level will also try for it, and some of them will undoubtedly succeed. This will free up positions at the 5 level, which means I should benefit irrespective of whether I get found suitable as a 6.

I'm pinning rather a lot of hope on this, so if you happen to see a logical flaw in my thinking I would be obliged if you would refrain from pointing it out.


Back to top of page

 


Thursday, March 06, 2003

Book learnin'

I've picked up the workbooks for my Internet/HTML course. The major assignment is, not unexpectedly, the creation of a web site with linked pages and evidence of use of style sheets and so forth. Looks pretty straightforward, and should be a doddle to complete. I have a few half-conceived plans to create a sparkling new Spit page (to replace Andrew's functional-yet-visually-unarresting page) for my assignment, in the age-old tradition of killing as many birds with a single stone as possible.

I've also ordered the Advanced Word textbook, but it has to come from Sydney or possibly the States, so it won't be here for a week or so. The sensible thing to do would be to use the spare time to vigorously attack the Internet course in the meantime. More effective (though less sensible) would be to use work time and facilities to do it, but I suspect that even given my current boredom levels, I won't go quite that far.


The Return of the Thing

Or more specifically, Jimbo. He's back from his three week northern sojourn. Amazingly, his car is not only still in one piece, it actually appears to be running better than ever. It is still, however, obviously not waterproof, which is a pity given the monsoonal weather up that way for about the last three weeks.


Back to top of page

 


Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Gah! It's the new Elite - and it's Microsoft!

I don't ask for much from life: loving relationship, comfortable home, rewarding job (d'oh!), about two or three dozen different hobby activities and, oh, say 40 or aso hours in the day to enjoy them all. Hmm. So, anyway, back when I was young, in the days when the Amiga had recently supplanted the Commodore 64 at the cutting edge of games technology, there was this game called Elite.

Many's the wonderful hour I spent in my yoof attempting to match the rotation of my Cobra Mk III to that of an implacable and implausibly dangerous orbital space station (prompting perhaps one of the earliest and greatest standards of gamer proficiency: "Can you dock in Elite? Yes/No") until I could afford a docking computer that would knock about 10 minutes and roughly 90% likelihood of horrible scraping noises followed by explosive decompression. Anyway, the game was about interplanetary trading and shooting pirates and aliens called Thargoids. Apparently there are plans for another sequel. Oh, and look, for those former hardcore nutbags who actually achieved 'Elite' status (I know of at least two), here's an Elite Purity test, as disturbing a questionnaire as any Purity Test I have ever seen.

Anyway, I told you that story to tell you this one: Microsoft, of all the Western industrial hegemonies, has just released the similarly-themed Freelancer, which looks horribly like it's every bit the game that we all desperately hoped Frontier (the third Elite game) would be. Goddamit. Much as I hate for Bill Gates to get any of my money, I may need to get this and spend the rest of my life with it.

Don't tell Fiona. She'd just worry.


Back to top of page

 

Another game I've suddenly decided Must Be Mine

Bruce Baugh, designer of Adventure!, is line developer on the newest version of Gamma World. Here is an incredibly cool essay providing a bit of background colour for the setting. I could so see this actually happening... (Chris, you should be writing for this!)

I have very fond memories of playing lots of Gamma World with Chris Fellows in high school. As I recall I once played a mutated possum who wielded an unstrung tennis racquet in his prehensile tail and wanted to rule Magnetic Island. And I remember that Chris GM'ed a war between Jamie Storrie and Sandor Kovats (I think) that I believe went Storrie's way because his character was an intelligent banana plant, and he spawned tens of thousands of offspring and overwhelmed his opponent. Ah, the good old days, eh?


Back to top of page

 

The mossies here are worse than we thought

So, having decided that the world and in particular my job were too much to cope with yesterday, I decided to chuck a sickie and work from home. At least, that was the original plan. I was going to knuckle down and do the research on the water policy paper that I was asked by my former Director to put together (I suspect the new one could care not a whit whether it gets done or not, but it would serve as useful practise and could actually be of benefit in some policy decisions, so I've kept it on my "To Do" list).

Knowing my usual at-home productivity, however, I decided that I had better guarantee that I was going to achieve at least one useful outcome for the day, so I went to give blood at Canberra Hospital. Before every session, donors fill out a questionnaire regarding possible sources of blood contamination - ranging from the innocuous, like "Have you used aspirin or suffered from joint aches in the past week?" to the amusingly intrusive, including "Have you had male to male sexual intercourse/had unprotected sex with a prostitute/spent time in a jail or lockup/got any new piercings or tattoos?"

Those are all standard. This time, though, there was a new question stamped at the bottom of the sheet: "Were you in North Queensland in October 2002?" Huh? Why, yes I was. When I asked what that was all about, I was asked whether I went to Cape Tribulation in October 2002? Well, yes, I was there sometime around then. "Did you visit Noah Beach at that time?" I couldn't remember, but it certainly rang a bell.

Apparently there was an outbreak of malaria there around then, and five tourists were hospitalised. Somebody who had spent time in Papua New Guinea had brought it in and the local mossies had got hold of him and spread the vivax love around. Bummer. The upshot is that my red blood cells represent a (microscopic) health risk, so for the next 12 months they can only use my blood plasma.

So, having ironically avoided a visit to a high-risk hyperendemic region on my Philippines trip, I make one lousy trip to a popular tourist resort in a malaria-free country and become a contagion risk. Go figure.


Close the door. I'm matriculating

The next thing I did was to attend the information and enrolment session for my software development diploma at Canberra Institute of Technology. They only run them on Tuesdays at lunchtime, which meant that I pretty much had to do it then or waste another week. After the session I had to take my signed admission form to the IT Business Centre, where I was given an invoice and a schedule. But I couldn't pay the invoice there, I had to do that online or at a Post Office. So I duly drove about two kilometres to the nearest PO, paid for it, got my receipt and returned to the Flexible Learning Centre, where I was given my password to access the course documents online.

Then I went home and watched The Sopranos, because that had taken nearly three hours and I was a bit sick of running around with bits of paper. I'm glad I didn't waste a real lunch hour trying to get all that done.

Anyway, as of today I have 20 weeks to complete the coursework on Advanced Word 2000 and Web Page Creation and the Internet. Judging from the course outlines, neither of them looks tremendously difficult, but I was surprised by how heavy the workload appears to be. Certainly the assignments demand quite a high level of detail and demonstration of practical skills.

It's obviously not going to be the lightweight back-of-a-Weetbix-packet diploma that I feared at first. Someone that graduates from this sucker will have useful, practical skills. I'd like to be one of those, but I can see that it's going to be quite a few years of pretty hard grind. This is the sort of test of character that I traditionally have a bit of trouble with (my stick-to-itiveness gland is notoriously underdeveloped) but at the moment I am very positive about the challenge.

So that's my evenings and weekends sorted out for the next 5-6 years. Now all I have to do is find something to do during the day that doesn't piss me off.


Permanent record

Fiona and I picked up our wedding album yesterday. It's beautiful. Each page worked out just how we had planned it (and together with Meagan, we planned it meticulously). I have it at work today, ostensibly to show to Fiona's dad, but also to show off to anyone that happens by. So far everyone has been very impressed.

Drop by and have a look, if you can. If you can't, send me an email and I can send you a copy of the mockups that Meagan did in Word (it's a pretty large Word file, I gather. I'll find out the file size if anyone asks).


And Now for a Word...

Ooh, they've released more information about the contents of the Babylon 5 roleplaying game. Can you tell I'm inordinately excited about this?


Back to top of page

 


Monday, March 03, 2003

Home Alone

Fiona and Meagan spent the weekend in Sydney for Mardis Gras, which meant that I had the place to myself. I had planned to lie solidly in front of the television watching a pile of movies and episodes of 24 and The Sopranos, but in the end some as-yet-unquashed spark of guilt inspired me to at least interrupt that routine with bits of housework. But happily, I mostly lay around doing nothing. I didn't even notice that the neighbours (not, unfortunately, the intolerably awful ones) had spent the day moving out until after dark.


Firefly

I watched three or four episodes of Joss Whedon's now-cancelled science fiction show Firefly. What I like most about it is how obvious it is that what he wanted to make was a post-Civil War Western series, and what he thought he could sell was a spaceships and gun battles action show, so he just made both. It wasn't bad, though. I would certainly have watched it regularly had it made it to a regular series. It had a lot of interesting characters with clashing personalities, dark secrets and a hidden agendas - not a hundred miles removed from what was appealing about early Blake's 7, come to think of it (no smartarse computers, thankfully). One of the episodes I watched also featured one of the most gruelling torture sequences I've ever watched, so it wasn't at all one for the kiddies. Shame it tanked. Still, never mind, for every thoughtful science fiction series with resonant themes and believably flawed characters that gets cancelled, there's plenty of unwatchable crap that gets renewed year after year.


Cricketing domination

Yesterday was a good day for Australian cricket. The national team beat the Poms at the World Cup (after first letting them think they were going to win) and the AusAID team crushed its Foreign Affairs portfolio-mates in the DFAT team 106-62. Ha! We're on our way to the finals!

I think the thing that really got us over the line was the possibly-inadvertant lunch-time sledge when, having restricted us to a score of just 106, the DFAT captain was loudly discussing the makeup of his team for the finals. I was personally very satisfied when their first wicket fell on the fourth ball, and we didn't much look back from there. One of my teammates managed to pick up 6 for 17 from 7 overs. Awesome. So we're now a fortnight away from AusAID's first final since this version of the competition came in about six years ago...

Once again, Ickwee the Inner Competitiveness Weasel dines well on the flesh of my enemies! Yay, Ickwee!


Back to top of page

 

Powered by Blogger Back to top of page