Friday, May 30, 2008

Mood: Lathargic

Busy, busy, busy.

Doing some freelance work for a variety of different people plus getting everything locked down at home. Nothing overly interesting to report at the moment other than the weeds have been mowed. I should get some pics of the trip up soon, just sorting out a few final details.

Hopefully I'll be working again soon and I'll be able to settle into a nice routine.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And back in Perth once more...

Well, the trip was fine. Had a few interesting events, mainly due to train maintenance but other than that, not much more to report. Gonna take a few days to get settled before I can do too much more here, just need to dot a few i's and cross a few t's and it should all be good.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Mexican't

For the last couple of weeks I've been mostly eating either my own food or the occasional visit to the local take away and dine in asian restaurants (plus some US style junk food like Hungry Jacks).

However, I've noticed that a lot of the asian places that I've been to tend to have a more subtle, understated flavour. Unless it's covered in soy sauce. But other than that, the dishes, the rice and the desserts especially tend to be more subtle than other types of food I've had.

Yesterday, I went to a Mexican restaurant.

Ow. Mexican food is not subtle. It punches you right in the mouth and lets you know that it's there. I loved it. I had a mess of food and was thoroughly satiated plus my tastebuds got a real workout.

So it was a fun night. The place was the Baja Cantina in Glebe, Sydney. Good place.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Everything tastes like chicken ... except chicken

I don't why people say that everything tastes like chicken except that they must mean "this has no particular taste of its own but the consistency is the same as chicken".

That seems logical to me.

I'm vegetarian, but I don't have a problem eating chicken if the situation calls for it. It's an easy way to get a nice slab of protein without a lot of fuss. But earlier today I had some chicken-flavoured crisps (which I've had before) and realized that chicken flavoured crisps don't actually taste like chicken.

And it's not just a little difference, it's a lot different.

Now, there's a man outside the window so I'm going to log off...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I've had enough of Lost

Sigh.

What started out as a promising and intriguing show descended into a horrible morass of crossed storylines and inconsistent plot mish mash. I like a complex series. I like it when the audience is kept guessing, when the characters have a lot of depth and when a story goes beyond ‘real life’. That’s half the point of watching television – it’s about forgetting what you see every day and watching something different.

Lost, however (and apologies in advance for the horrible pun) has lost the plot.

I don’t mind having to suspend my disbelief. I like it. It makes me think of things that I wouldn’t normally have thought about. But this series seems to have a set of writers who are having a constant tug of war about what the plot will be. Maybe they flip a coin for each episode to see which will be the dominant element that week.

There are so many damned contradictions – especially when it comes to The Others. First, they are superhuman. Then they are normal humans that need guns. Then they know everything to the point of being psychic. Then it swings over to them using surveillance equipment even though they’d have had to rig thousands of cameras and microphones all over the island in order for them to be of use.

It just goes on and on. There is no internal consistency. It seems like the writers just add new features for each episode according to what they need – and plot be damned.

And the repetition! Oh my, the repetitious repetition. Either people in the US are so feeble-minded that they can’t remember what happened two episodes ago or the writers / producers think that. There’s reminding the audience so that they can follow the story, then there’s beating them over the head with it screaming, “remember this? Remember this!” and then there’s padding just to make the series longer.

I just tuned out and stopped watching after the first few episodes of Season 3. There’s one island, no there’s two. The crash was an accident, no, it was deliberate – no! it was an accident after all. Ben is a psychic superhuman genius who orchestrated everything. No wait; he’s a feeble dying wretch who just wanted a doctor (to perform surgery that could be done relatively easily at any one of thousands of hospitals). Oh, Eko is a tough guy who can be exploded (by being about seven feet from two sticks of dynamite in an enclosed concrete hallway), then imploded (did the hatch implode, explode or just abandon the series in disgust?), then mauled by a bear (and polar bear no less) and after all that he goes running through the jungle for hours only to be thrown around by a black cloud.

And that’s the best that they could come up with for a monster? It’s like they started the series with either the intention of never showing the monster or simply neglected to come up with one because they didn’t think the series would take off like it did. Then they found themselves painted into a corner and said “oh nuts, now we have to show the monster, what is it?”

Urgh, I could go on and on, but I’ve wasted enough of my life on this drivel. After I type this, I’ll be happy not to watch, read or have anything to do with this show.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pure Woosh

This is so far beyond bored it has reached excited

Well, it's been an interesting day. And by interesting I mean frustrating.

I've been helping someone setting up their server and it's been a most frustrating experience. The instructions are cryptic, the support is more of a hindrance and the connection is unreliable at best, downright mean at worst.

On the plus side, it's now stable and running fine.

In unrelated news, I'm hungry, so I'm going to go grab something to eat.

In related news, I've been doing a bit more work on loneverse.com, and it feels good to be finally doing something a bit more proactive for it. I had been seriously considering buying a graphics tablet but decided against it, at least while I'm here in Sydney. I might pick one up when I get back to Perth though.

And I saw someone wearing a t-shirt that had "Pure Woosh" on it. I have no idea what that means.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cheap apples =/= good apples

I've been buying a lot of apples lately. They're tasty and a good pick-me-up.

Well, not a <i>lot</i>, just more than I normally would. Sundowners, Royal Gala, Cameo and a bunch of others that I've been trying out. Yesterday when I went to do a spot of shopping, they had the regular apples at around $4 a kilo (more or less) and they had some Red Delicious for $2 a kilo. So I figured I'd give them a go.

Yuck. Soft, powdery, flavourless - I'm glad I only bought a couple and not a whole weeks worth. I'm mighty tempted to just chuck them out, but I hate wasting food. So yeah, cheap apples are not always good apples.

Also, last night there was a barge in the harbour shooting off fireworks. It was pretty cool because I'm so high up, I was pretty much level with the fireworks. They weren't too far away either, probably about two hundred meters. It was really loud. Pretty short display, but was still okay. I think they may have just been testing or something because there wasn't a crowd and there didn't seem to be a reason for them to be setting them off.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Found a Fountain

Walking around the city, I found this really spectacular fountain / water feature out the front of a hotel. Anyone who has seen it will recognize it:

Beautiful blue water feature with naked blue lights
(Click image to see bigger version)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Powerhouse Museum - lots of pics!

Yesterday I went out to the Powerhouse Museum here in Sydney - and I loved it! It's such a massive place, with all sorts of interesting stuff. I was like a little kid in a candy shop running back and forth looking at all the exhibits. I took loads of pics, but I'll only put up the more interesting ones.

The plasma ball - always a favorite hair raiser

This is one of the biggest plasma balls I have ever seen. I was sooo tempted to touch it but a) I have short hair and b) they had signs on it "beware with electrical devices" and I didn't feel like frying my camera and mobile phone. Not that it would have happened, I just prefer to err on the side of caution.

The plane from Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome!

This one was neat. The above photo is of the one of many aircraft they have hanging from the ceiling. This one I liked because it's the same model that the aviator used in Mad Max - Beyond the Thunderdome. I didn't realize that it was a production model. So I learned something new...

These next three pics are of this HUGE seaplane they have hanging in one of the main spaces. I have no idea how they got it in there without pulling one of the walls or the roof out. It really is big, and you get a bit nervy standing underneath it. I'd have loved to be able to get up inside it.

The seaplane, suspended from the ceiling.

A better view, from the front of the seaplane

Got this great pic during a lightshow - the seaplane looks great.

And one of my "favorite" displays: technicians at work.

Repairmen work on one of the exhibits at the Powerhouse Museum

These two chaps were technicians working on one of the displays in the robotics section. I don't know why I found it so intruiging. Maybe because when I first saw them it didn't click that the door was open and they were working on the display. I must have thought for a moment that they were part of the display... oops.

Sputnik! Or at least a model of it.

Sputnik! Well, I assume it's a mock-up. That's not the sort of thing that Russia would let out of the country very easily. Although I did find it interesting that the museum had a lot of Russian space stuff - loads more than they had American stuff. I wonder why that is...

Whatever you do, don't exceed the speed limit.

One of the displays is a "zero gee simulator" which is quite disorientating. You get a really curious feeling when you're in there. On one of the walls was the above sticker - not sure why I liked it so much, I guess I just like that type of humour.

Danger Will! Beware of my flaying arms!

There are so many jokes I could make about this robot... :o)

I took heaps more pics, but I wouldn't be doing the displays justice. It's a lot better to see them in person. They have steam engines, cars, construction gear, nuclear accelerators - too much stuff to mention. If you're in Sydney - go visit this place. It's not free, but it's damned cheap.

Oh, and that night there was a great sunset to boot:

Cloudy sunset over the Blue Mountains in Sydney

Thursday, May 1, 2008

owww

Earlier today I ate some subway sandwiches and had the toasted.

Nice hot sandwiches are fun and all, but I must have bitten a part of it badly or something because I tore a bit of the roof of my mouth. Never even felt it.

In other news, I went to the Powerhouse Museum today. That was an absolute blast! It's great. Took loads of photos, I'll have some and a proper report up tomorrow.

Also, I now have a whole bunch of movie to go through. I'm all set for the return to Perth in the middle of the month. There'll be a four day gap where I'll be off-line because I'm taking the train. And obviously there's no wireless connection in the middle of the desert (not that the train goes through the desert, but you get my point).

Fun, fun, fun.