Monday, December 11, 2006

It is officially the Christmas season

I have just listened to Merry Christmas by Bing Crosby. It's not Christmas until Bing sings for me, therefore Christmas has begun.


Other random Christmas albums I own; A froggy Christmas (frog song, owl hooting and synthesizers), one from Harry Belafonte and a Celtic Christmas (don't like this, bagpipes are not something I like to listen to. Got it from my sister.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Interesting game question of the week

I have recently discovered Gamastutra.com and in particular, the question of the week. The two questions I've read through were Does size matter? where they asked a number of game professionals about length of game play. Another question of the week was "Are game professionals buying PS3 or Wii?". Both are long articles but the content is quite interesting.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Baen Free Library

Baen free library is an interesting concept. This publisher of sf and fantasy is making a number of titles available for free. Having been to the site, it's a great idea. They are offering one or sometimes more titles by a number of their authors. This means that you can read something new at no cost. Like the author? Baen may well have more books by them, which you may want to start buying. So you win, you find something new to read. And they win if they get more fans for their authors.


Happy reading. Link via Userfriendly

Funny ebay spoof

Part of the ebay spoof


titaninc5orx ( 82)  
Positive Feedback: 100%
Member Since: July-15-07
Location: PA, United States

Obviously a time traveller, been a member of ebay since 2007? Still 2006 last time I checked.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas gift giving approaches

Wired Magazine has picked some of the best products for 2006 and posted the results. So if you are looking for something to give or get, you might want to check this out.


I do believe that Toshiba Gigabeat would be a welcome sight in my stocking this year. ;)

Monday, December 04, 2006

True confession

There was the annual workplace Christmas party on Saturday night. There was karaoke. This time, I actually sang up in the karaoke group. MUCH better sounding up there where you hear the music louder than your fellow singers. A couple of the group can sing but not all of them.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Great Animation

Animator vs Animation. This is a very very cute animation and the real reason only professionals should ever create Flash animations. Via the Userfriendly link of the day.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ouch! That hurts!

Looking through my stats log and found a new referer. The game reviews have a mention in GameRevolution in an article entitled "Mind Over Meta".


The ouch? Here is the paragraph linking to my site "In some cases, half the scores Gamerankings included in their aggregates were from small, unheard of fan sites with terrible writing and ghastly design, and we were certain the opinions of these amateurs were inflating aggregate scores." Yep, I am the example of a small, unheard of fan site with terrible writing and ghastly design.


Now let's see, small - yep that's ok. Unheard of - well, I do get 1500 page views a day - is that unheard of? Fan site - not by my definition of fan site but I'll let it pass. Ghastly design - matter of opinion there but mine is very basic. It's the 'terrible writing' that I object to! In a world where spelling is optional and complete sentences rarely seen, how can they point to my site and say it is 'terrible writing'?


On the other hand, I think their site has ghastly freaking design. White text on a black background is very difficult to read. And they have a set width which looks silly on my nice big monitor.


As a side note, I believe that Gamerankings has never used my site for aggregating scores.

Friday, November 24, 2006

More clips from Extras

First there is Patrick Stewart describing a script he is writing.. Pretty funny.


Second is Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter), as a 17 year old interested in any female. Extremely interested.

I have a long way to go

A report from Wired that iTunes library fails when faced with 90,000 songs. My little Nomad box says it only has just under 4,000 separate pieces of music. I obvious need to build my library more.


Oh, and to the writer of the article, that bloke wouldn't be the only one. I have a friend, Henry G. who would have that much music at least. Your 500 tunes would never do for me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Harry Chapin Verities and Balderdash

For those that don't know about the folk singer/songwriter Harry Chapin (I read your comment!), this is a great album to start with. The album has three songs I love to listen to: Cats in the Cradle, Six String Orchestra, and 30,000 pounds of Banana. Mind you, Six String Orchestra - I always see Robin (the nephew of Kermit the Frog) singing because Muppet versions of songs tend to stick well. All of the songs on the album are worth listening to though.

Bowie on Extras

Brief video clip of David Bowie on Extras Looks like he was having fun.

Blog has been updated

I've made the big switch to the new Blogger, and with it picked out a new template and started doing some labeling. So what do you think; Simon, Daniel, Friendless? (I know all three of my readers ;) )

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Babooshka - Kate Bush

I'm fond of Kate Bush's music and Babooshka is one of her songs I've always enjoyed. But now someone has done a remix. It is just so irritating. Chopping up the song ruins the effect and all you get now is a lot of Babooshka without realising that there is a story behind the song. I hate that.


The last time I had serious problems in the remaking music vein was when Ugly Joe Kid covered "Cat's in the Cradle". After hearing a part of that once, I would turn off the radio if the cover started and bought Harry Chapin's original because that is a great song.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Very odd trend

My normal web site has had a feature for years now allowing visitors to post info about their favourite game and why they like it. There are comments dating back to 1999.



Lately, people have suddenly been putting guestbook type comments in it. There may be a few general comments about my web site in previous years, but this is the first time I've ever had multiple comments about the site left here in such a short time frame.



Make me wonder if maybe I should open a guestbook again. I killed it when almost all entries were to advertise someone's porn site. Now that my script a) hides new entries until reviewed and b) doesn't permit urls to be posted, a guestbook might not be too painful.

Monday, October 09, 2006

IE 7 starring in Toolbar Mayhem

Witness the thrills and chills as someone adds lots of toolbars to IE 7 and then does a reset to see if the original state of IE is restored. The screenshots of the final stages are just so funny, there is barely room for any web content.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A couple of interesting sites

The first is create your own Fire breathing dinosaur. You start with one of the recent robot dinosaur toys and just add a few things. Looks very cool (or is that hot?)


The second is an interesting article on Top mistakes geeks make when starting a business. Nice summary of some of the assumptions a geek can make when starting a business and why they are wrong.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Can you solve this puzzle?

Start here. How far did you get? So far, I've made page 13, but Userfriendly reports that there are 30 pages to do. I'll make it by hook or by crook. :)


In other news, the Google News Reader interface has improved dramatically. If only some day they would let me order news oldest first, I'd be a happy camper.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bush Stone-Curlew and chick


Bush Stone-Curlew and chick
Originally uploaded by Nicarra.

Alas, this is an under appreciated photo. I suspect that the problem is that the thumbnail doesn't really catch the eye. And catching the eye is the main thing to get feedback or to get added to favs.

So the bird is well defined. There is a baby and few people ever see these. And yet this photo will end up neglected within the Flickr environment.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Excellent article from a gamer

A Gamers' Manifesto is an excellent article about what gamers really want from games. Things like AIs that can actually act intelligently. Many good points are raised in this article about things that are annoying or destroy your immersion in the game.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Memory can be a scary thing

A coworker reported that his first grandchild was named Zephyr. The scary memory is to suddenly remember a key line "Zephyr winds that blow on high, lift me now that I can fly" That's scary because it's something that I saw broadcast in the '70's and haven't seen since. Isis. There was a brief spat of live action kids shows during that time frame, I think they mostly failed because the special effects were so noticably horrible. Why did this line stick?


A not quite as useless thing stuck in my memory is that the highest point of the state of Florida is 345 ft above sea level. I got to surprise someone once who was reading a book and asked if we knew it. I said, yep, I know and quoted it. Stunned him fairly nicely.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Interesting - further phishing

I have started a new personal campaign against phishing scams. When offered to update my account I go and use a false account number 5*5 and tell them that the password to the account is "iamafraud". Usually after I send them this information, I get forwarded to the real site.


Today, I got forwarded to this page (please note, this is a phishing scam site. Enter at your own risk!) Not satisfied with my online account (faked) details, now they want my answers to security questions, pin numbers, birthdate, mother's maiden name, driver license number and more.


If I filled in this form, they would have enough basic information for some serious identity theft, not merely one bank account. Yet more evidence that it's a dangerous world online. Be very very careful where and when you divulge things like driver license, pin numbers or your complete birthdate. Don't help them steal your soul.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cafepress and Doodle Monsters

The cafepress experiment as yet another method of marketing as been a failure. Being an Amazon Associate has worked out reasonably well. People regularly buy things from amazon via my site. Adding google ads has worked well. People click those ads regularly and while many of the ads attached to the game reviews earn .01 each, some of the ads on other parts of the site bring in much more money. But the cafepress site earns nothing.


Part of that was that for a long time, you simply could not find my cafepress store from the main cafepress site. You could find it by searching for "Doodle monsters" in google quite easily. But it never came up when searching or browsing the cafepress site.


At some point, this changed. So from here on out, it's simply that no one needs doodle monsters in their life. I'll just have to cope. :)

Another cute link via userfriendly

The Warning label generator


Your choice of a very wide variety of warning images, and you write your own text.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Music of the week

Best Film Classics 100


This is a massive 6 CD collection of classic music that has been used during films. If you've been pondering the idea of purchasing some classic music and have no idea where to start, this is a good sampler. A number of the classic composers are represented in the collection (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc.) Plus newer composers who write classic style music are included. John Williams has a number of pieces on the CDs.


The pieces vary in length from about 2 minutes to 7 minutes. Each cd contains 15 to 18 different tracks. There's one CD that I don't imagine I'll listen that often to, it's Opera and I'm not much of a fan of that.


My copy was under $20 from JB HiFi in Brisbane. Definitely an excellent deal for this much music.


BTW - welcome Friendless, the third regular reader of this blog that I know of.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just to keep some perspective on this

On the anniversary of Sept 11, Wired News analysed accidental deaths amongst Americans to show how great terrorist threat really is.



So primary causes of accidental death are roads and work. Sounds good, no more driving into work for me!

The Crocodile Hunter would not approve

Apparently some people are hacking tails off stingrays in retribution for Irwin's death. Given he spent much time trying to protect wildlife, he would never approve of this. The news article says his is the third recorded death from stingray in Australia in 100 years.


Treat wildlife with respect, that's what the Crocodile Hunter would say. It was tragic but definitely a freak accident that the ray happened to get the poison to the heart.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Frodocam


Frodocam is a webcam in Brisbane of nesting Peregrine Falcons. They are raising two chicks in the centre of the city.


For a series of screenshots from feeding time, go to my new Flickr account and see the series of pics I saved.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Carrying on in the Music Theme

I realised this morning while driving into work that if I wrote a post a week about each music CD we own, I'll have posts for the next 4 years (give or take a bit but we own a lot of music.) Without further ado, let's get this puppy started.


Eagles The Long Run


The Eagles music is fairly old style classic rock. This particular album is their final album, and demonstrates their well-established style. I love the tracks "I can't tell you why", "Heartache tonight" and "The Long Run". All of the tracks are enjoyable to listen to for me. Your mileage may vary, if you don't enjoy old style rock, you probably won't enjoy this album.


As a side note, if you really want to get me to sing, The Eagles and Billy Joel songs are good for that. I'll sing along without quite realising that I'm doing it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This will be a good start

I'm fond of music, and in our house, there are a lot of cds. But you still get the occasions when you want to try someone new. Or add more albums of an artist that you like but you don't know where to start.


So it's nice to see top album lists like the Rolling Stones magazine top 500 of all time. We own some of these albums on cd. There are a few we have that are on that old-fashioned large black format... ;) But there are many that we don't own. Some of the list are useful because if you want to try an artist, start with one of their best albums. Others are useful because I want to expand a collection (David Bowie for one) where there are many albums and you want to add more of the best.


It's obvious that the compilers of this list are big Beatles fans. The top 100 has a number of Beatles albums.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This is scary

In Canada, identity theft might cost you your home.

Cute game of the day

Tilt - how good is your sense of balance? I got to level 12 once so far.



And just to make your day brighter, Sandy the Dog has a web site. Just piccies of a cute dog and their human.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Adopt a pet




adopt your own virtual pet!


Bunnyhero labs allows you to build your own pet. This is my new wolf puppy. Cute?

Finale The Boy from Oz

The Boy From Oz really was a great show. Hugh Jackman can sing and dance with the best of them. The start of the show is Hugh being lowered to the stage lounging on a piano in a mirrored suit (sort of extra large sequins). When you see this you realise that you are in for something different. The cast all gave excellent performances. Peter Allen's most important songs were covered during the performance.


I think that the Virgin Flight from Townsville Friday afternoon was mostly made up of people who, at least in part, were going to see the show.


It was actually a small group of people who used to work together who went. That the four of us made it, three flying down from Townsville, was slightly amazing in itself. We may even decide to go to another show at some point.


It is nice to get out of town and to a big city. We did some shopping in stores with far more variety then you find locally. Bought books, cds and ate lots of food.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

One day closer

The Boy from Oz is one day closer. Saturday, the 2 pm performance is the one we have tickets for. To say I'm pysched for this is a bit of an understatement.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Boy From Oz

Only a few more days until we travel to Brissie for Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz show. I've been looking forward to doing this for ages now.


Gets a bit expensive; plane travel, hotel costs, show costs. The hotels are expensive that weekend because it's also Riverfestival time. Going to be crowded.

Dogs and vets

My dog must love the vet. He was back again Monday. This time, we could tell that there was a little blood coming out of his eye. Tiny amount, but eyes are not something you wait to see how it goes. So rang vet, was told "Yes, you should bring him in. If you can get him here in the morning, if he needs surgery, he can get it today." Took him in. He needed surgery (small tumor on inner eyelid). We find out in a week if the tumor was benign or not. The vet was pretty reassuring though.

Monday, August 28, 2006

An essay on human stupidity

The First Basic Law of Human Stupidity asserts without ambiguity that

Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.



The Second Basic Law states:

The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.


If the above sounds right to you, then The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity is a must read. Originally published in the Whole Earth Review in 1987 by Carlo M. Cipolla, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley.

Friday, August 25, 2006

User r*23 I *hate* you

Clever enough, posting spam comments to the 3 month and older posts on my blog. And many of them as well. I think I got them all. With any luck, your account will be gone and when you create the next one, you will have moved to different blogs to leave your trash in. Go away and don't come back.


To other bloggers, check for comments in your older posts. These are very obnoxious and I had to delete over a dozen of them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Goof of the day


Spell check everything you put online. Or you will end up looking as silly as these people.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Google fun for today

I went to google to find a convertor for weights from pounds (which I grew up with) to kilograms. What I found is that google has a little calculator which you can use by simply typing in your conversion values in the normal google search box and hit search. The top search result is google calculator.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

That was a mistake!

My car has just been serviced. The service started on Friday but they realised some major work needed to get done and it wasn't until Monday that I could get the car back. Steering column, front struts, worn tires all fixed up.


The mistake wasn't getting the work done, the car is driving better than it has in ages. It cost a packet getting it all done, but now the car should be good for another couple of years.


The mistake was that at some point in the process, the passenger side window (completely electronic) was fixed. But wait, you say, how can a window getting fixed be a mistake? The window has been permanently shut for a couple of years now. I once inquired about getting it fixed, but they told me that to fix it would require replacing the door panel and would cost $400-500. It didn't seem nearly important enough for that kind of money. Now some mechanic fixed the problem without replacing the door panel and I didn't get whacked the price of a door panel.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why did men's apparel get so boring?

Finally went to see Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest last night. The movie is lots of fun with some pretty amazing special effects. But watching that brings up the question, why has men's clothing gotten so dull?


Historically, it wasn't that long ago that men wore ruffs, lace, and colourful clothing. I find guys with shoulder length hair and knee high (or taller) boots to be quite appealing. And yet the standard business suit is just so boring. The tie is the only allowable splash of colour.


This means that I'm very fond of movies with pirates, musketeers or other period pieces of similar style. It's the only time you can see guys wearing great clothes without fear of being thought a poof or an artist.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The problem with FAQ

The few times I've been involved with an FAQ, I find it's not really Frequently Asked Questions. It's actually one of two things.



EQEANMW
Every question ever asked, no matter what. This style of FAQ is a record of every question from any level of user. Questions from novice users to questions from advanced users, all go into the pot as absolute equals.

SBAFQ
Should be asked frequently questions. This is the executive style of FAQ where someone decides that the follow questions are important and answers will be provided. Has no bearing on whether anyone has ever been known to ask the question at all.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Breadcrumb trail gone wrong

If you are going to implement a breadcrumb trail, don't follow this example of using it. It should stop at 2006 which is the year of interest in this case. Instead it keeps on going until it hits the year 1996. Bad, very bad.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Update

If a blog a day kept the doctor away, no wonder I have shoulder problems. :) It's been ages since the last post.


Good news for poor Merlin. He went to the vet, who was pleased with his progress and he is finally allowed to go for full walkies again. The walks are a bit on the shorter side just now, we certainly aren't about to risk his leg getting stressed. But he is a much happier dog now.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Don't ignore pain

I've had a shoulder that's been a bit painful for a couple of weeks. I ignored it.


Saturday night, I put just a little more stress on the shoulder by hyperextending it and wham, PAIN. Lot's and lot's of pain.


Sunday morning, to a clinic. Doctor has me do a few movements and confirms the pain is based in the shoulder. "Do you do anything that might lead to RSI?" Hmm, computers -- RSI, yes I believe they have a few known connections.


A couple of days off work, a shoulder ultrasound to be done this morning. Another chat to a doctor with the possibility of needing some physio.


The extreme pain probably could have been avoided if I had gone to a doctor for exams and a scan while it was just a shoulder ache. The rest of it probably would have been true anyway.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Pixar Studios

Went to see the new Pixar movies Cars on the weekend. Up to the usual Pixar standards, the end credits are particularly funny. But there are many jokes based on car names (they must be obvious enough, I'm not that into cars and I noticed lots) and a good story line. Well worth seeing.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Merlin the day the bandage was removed


This is Merlin the day the bandage was removed. Unfortunately for him, the bandage stuck to his fur more than the vet hoped. His leg is still a bit pink in places getting the bandage ripped off. But his leg is once again something in can move instead of dragging around that huge bandage. We had been decreasing the dose of painkiller for him but on this night, he got a full dose. It will be some weeks before the fur grows back, in the meantime, he has one very odd looking leg.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Merlin with his bandage


Merlin had Cruicate repair surgery. He has had the surgery done on the other hind leg a couple of years back, and it turned a perpetually limping dog into a happy rarely limping dog. We hope that the surgery this time is the same. The recovery is slow, to give the joint a chance to thoroughly heal. But the results should be worth it.

That is a bandage and not a cast, though the size of it suggests the latter. It weighed enough as well, but did provide a lot of support for the first 2 weeks after the surgery.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Merlin pics coming

I have photos of our dog with the huge bandage after his surgery and a nearly naked leg when the bandage finally came off. I just need to download the photos from the camera.

He is recovering well, and doesn't understand that the vet is very clear about he is not to get exercise for some time yet. We are getting a lot of weight training by carrying a dog down then back up the stairs a few times per day.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Poor Dog


Our older dog, Merlin, a labrador cross is at the vet's for surgery today. We won't get to see him again until tomorrow.



He's getting a doggie equivalent of knee reconstruction surgery. He had an op like this on his left hind leg a couple of years ago. This time it's the right hind leg. We know that in the longer term, this surgery works quite well. He feels cold weather a bit in the left leg, but he was almost at the point of never using it.


In the short term though, this is quite traumatic for all of us. Limited walks to very short and only on soft surfaces (no walking down the street for several weeks). Dog gets carried up and down stairs, which is quite a job with 27 kilos of dog. He'll ache and whinge more than usual.


We also have two dogs, and the second is healthy and is going to need lot's of exercise. Always fun trying to balance the needs of the healthy vs that of the injured.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Let's swap Puzzle game

Tetrod is a small puzzle game which is highly addictive. You swap the puzzle pieces until all the edges match up. There are four levels of play, 4x3 is pretty easy. 5x5 is pretty hard and takes some serious concentration.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Australia Post - 5 star effort!

I have to give Australia Post 5 stars for todays mail. It was addressed to 15 Lennox Crescent, Paluma. While we own the house, it is a holiday house, not a normal residence. In large orange letters someone added "Not Paluma Try JCU". Obviously when the mail got to JCU someone else added a circle with ITR? All up, with some effort on several people, I got the mail.


It's pretty funny though. All that effort and what is the content? "My name is David Rhodes and in September..." Yes, Australia Post put in an extraordinary effort for a classic pyramid scam letter! I will profit from the transaction - someone attached a 5 cent piece to the letter.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reflections on Levels of Fame

I think that in our house, you can identify 4 levels of fame of actors


Have seen before


Pretty certain we've seen this person before. Not sure where or in what context.


Oh that person played so and so (in such and such)


Can identify actor by some key role, but still don't remember their real name. Just the names of the roles. Sometimes the name of the show/movie has to accompany the role name.


That's XXX YYY. They played so and so (in such and such)


Can identify actor by name. Still needs some extra information about key roles to remember them properly.


That's XXX YYY


Actor is known by name. No need to refer to any extra information.


Not all actors have to pass through all stages. Michael Wincott went from 'he was in Three Mustketeers' to Michael Wincott after two more movies. What a lovely voice he has. Other actors never move out of the first stage of 'seen them before'. A lot of actors get stuck in stage 2 'he played General Burkhalter in Hogan's Heroes.' It takes something special to past stage 2.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Reflections on Hogan's Heroes

This is a longish story that begins with a great crime fighting show Inspector Rex (Kommissar Rex) specifically an episode titled "Bring mir den Kopf von Beethoven". There's a brief appearance by one actor in that episode who looked a lot like the man who played General Burkhalter (IMDB reveals the actor's name is Leon Askin).


When trying to determine if Askin ever appeared on Inspector Rex, first I had to go to IMDB to find the actor. IMDB does not have any credit for the Rex for this actor, but I did find that he had returned to Vienna (where Rex was filmed) and had died in 2005. That was a bit of a surprise, he was quite obese and lived to 98! The official site for Leon Askin does not mention Kommissar Rex either but the actor was in the right place at the right time to be on the show.


So back to reflections on Hogan's Heroes. I had previously heard that Werner Klemperer was Jewish German and his family made it out of Germany in the 1930s. Further investigation shows that John Banner was also from Vienna. While I never thought about it as a kid, no wonder the Germans on Hogan's Heroes sounded authentic. Three of the key Germans on the show spoke German as a first language.


Oh, and the credits of that episode of Inspector Rex do have Leon Askin as the last of the guests. So in the end, I was right. He was looking pretty good for an actor in his 90s.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Theme for the week - drinkies

A subject near and dear to almost every Aussies heart. Today's subject - red wine. Australia has many fine large and small wineries. Townsville is located fairly far from any of them. So a while ago now, I joined the Australian Wine Selectors. Once every 12 weeks, we get a dozen mixed red wines. We belong to their regional series plan. This means that each dozen bottles comes from one wine growing region, but the next box will have wines from a different region.


This works fairly well for us. We have one nice bottle of red/week without needing to angonise for ages in a bottle shop. All the bottles have been from a good drop to a great one. And the prices for the dozen are quite reasonable.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Little flash sound toy

Jig-Sound is a very cute little idea. There are a number of small sound snippets. You use a pencil to connect the sounds in any way you like. Left to right connections play the sounds sequentially. Top to bottom connections play simulataneously. Cute

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Prize patrol

At least one of our local radio stations (4TO) has a regular event known as the Prize Patrol. They have a vehicle which may appear anywhere in town and they give away merchandise to anyone who fronts up. I've stopped a couple of times over the years when I noticed the vehicle on my way past.


This morning was a bit different. I think that the Prize Patrol was waiting in our neighbourhood before setting up close to the beach. I went past the Patrol walking the dogs to the beach and was on my way back home when I was offered prizes. So I have flavoured milk, a loaf of bread, voucher for a local bakery, an ink pen and a couple of stickers for walking the dogs this morning. Since they weren't officially doing prizes yet, that was a nice little surprise.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Flash game

Don't shoot the puppy. Can you learn the secret to not shooting the puppy?


I only managed by reading the user comments below. Level 14 was a real giggle.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ultimate Geek Toy

A genuine Computer on your wrist. Now this has to be the ultimate toy for your favourite geek. I want one.

Evil thought of the day

How to get even with someone who has done something vile to you.


Assuming they have an email address, the answer is simple. Start subscribing them to spam. Newsletters that say 'we give your information to third parties'. Actually, much spam is simply getting that email address posted on a couple of web sites. Once it is out there, the spam bots will find it. Your victim is doomed.


Even more evil would be to subscribe them to a porn site mailouts, but that's probably more than anyone deserves.


Obviously, this is pretty nasty and should be saved for extreme measures.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Family recipes - cole slaw

Cole slaw


Finely shredded cabbage, mayo and pineapple pieces. Mix together and serve. Pineapple is not optional in this house.


Carrot slaw


As above but with grated carrot. Can use greek style yogurt in place of mayo. Pineapple is required.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Family recipes - Potato salad

Family recipes are an art and not a science. It's generally mix x, y and z with no quantities specified.


Potato Salad


Boil until done some potatos and hard boil a few eggs. Allow to cool. When cool, chop the potatos and the eggs. Chop some bread and butter pickles and celery. Mix in a large bowl with a bit of mustard and some mayo (roughly 1 spoon of mustard to 4 spoons of mayo). Additional pickle juice may be used to create the right consistency. Refrigerate until time to eat.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

An update on the ebay auction

The guy who put for auction a rock to warn people about an ebay scam ended up with a bid for $21. He decided at some point that he'd send a nice little carved rock rather than just one from the drive! Kind of interesting to see.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ebay and spoofs

In checking the contents of a spoof email (proported from ebay but really from a scammer), I went to see if the people named in the spoof were active in ebay. One is, and is currently selling a rock so they can warn others that there is a scam in progress.


The real trick is to ignore all emails that claim to be from Paypal, ebay or a bank about your account. Unless it is an email you expect (information on a bid from ebay you do expect.) Never ever use a link in any of these emails, type the correct url in the browser yourself! Remember, someone out there is hoping to steal your account. Nor should you ever type full credit card information into emails. That is very dangerous.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Green (Usable) Shopping Bags

I was an early adopter of green bags in Townsville after hearing about them from a morning interview (ok, it was Cheez TV, you got a problem with that?) I realise that the green bags are made of plastic themselves, but they are strong, large and can be used for years. How many years is yet to be determined for my bags, I haven't needed to recycle any of them yet. And they have saved me *hundreds and hundreds* of small plastic bags.


Now the main trick to this is you have to bring the bags when you do a major shop. If you don't bring the bags, then either you'll buy more or you'll end up with plastic bags. I started with one bag the first time, just to ensure that I would bring it back. I have a set of 5 bags (and one 'chiller' bag) which I bring regularly when shopping.


I switched because we never would bring the little bags back for recycling and we had heaps and heaps of bags stuffed in cupboards in the house. Hundreds of bags vs 5, it makes sense to use those green bags.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's show time

I can't even get tickets yet, but I'm excited about going to The Boy From Oz. It's coming to Queensland in Sept and should be a splendid show.


Hugh Jackman - live - so cool


My last major expedition of this type was to see David Bowie in concert. That was a lot of fun, even if we were about as far from the actual stage as you could get.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Learning from Spam

I PRAYED OVER IT AND SELECTED YOUR NAME
AMOUNG OTHER NAMES DUE TO IT'S ESTEEMING NATURE


My name has an esteeming nature? Perhaps esteeming nature means 'looks like you are the kind of idiot who falls for one of these'.


Fortunately, due to the various spam filters and killers around, I see far fewer of these emails than I used to.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gym Just one of those things

A few years ago now, I realised that I was due to have bones of glass at some stage in my future. I work at a desk, don't use many muscles at all. So I decided it was time to join a gym. I've been a member for some time and go 3 times a week. While it hasn't changed my overall weight, it has prevented any more of that dread girth expansion. And it has increased my strength and aerobic capacity quite a lot. So all up, a gym is an excellent thing for a middle aged female who spends way too much time at a desk.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Good Reads - Jasper FForde

Another of my random bookstore purchase finds. He has a series of books about Thursday Next, literary detective. I actually started with the second and loved it. There was a series of people following Thursday like Lamb and Slaughter, Cannon and Fodder all of whom die very quickly after being introduced. And two henchmen, Chalk and Cheese who were indistinguishable from each other. I found it all funny, your mileage may vary.


Thursday Next books in order are:


  • The Eyre Affair

  • Lost in a Good Book
  • The Well of Lost Plots
  • Something Rotten

Monday, January 30, 2006

Game of the day

Death Jr and the c4 Hamster challenge. Cute game, I can get the occasional 7000+ points with one hamster, but my average is more like 3000 to 4000.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Finally some Rain!

Weather wise this time of year is supposed to be the wet. The past several years, the wet has failed to happened, and so the area has been suffering quite badly from lack of rain. In the past three days, we've finally had serious rain. In fact, the official total yesterday was 170 mm. Jan 2005 there was only 216 mm for the entire month, so in a day we recieved nearly as much rain is in a month last year. Our total rainfall for Jan up to the 27th is 428.4mm which is much more like a proper wet season.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Things that would be great

There is an XML conference in Prague. I've been to Prague, it's a great city to visit. I'd love to go back. Unfortunately, I doubt my small Uni can afford to send me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Doggy house rules

The rules. Our poor dogs are mistreated. They never did get past rule 6 "Dogs are not allowed on the furniture." Mind you, they do have special doggie furniture (bean bags for dogs) just for them.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I've had enough

I play rather a large number of Adventure and RPG computer based games (see complete review list). And needing to swap in and out CDs when you want to change games just gets maddening. And so, I'm trialing BlindWrite and Daemon Tools. BlindWrite creates a 1 to 1 copy of a cd. Daemon Tools allows you to mount a cd image as though you just put it in the drive. Between them, I should be able to make cd images of my games and not have to swap disks just cause I want to play a different game.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Interesting online games

Start with this game. When you finally solve this one, try the other games on the site. They require some observation and careful mouse use.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Years Resolution

I don't usually bother with this, but this year, I have resolved to lose 10 kg. Should be possible, that is less than 1 kg a month. The combination of working a bit harder at the gym and eating just a bit less food should do it. We'll see.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Edge Annual Question

The Edge specialises in asking controversial questions and selecting answers from some leading thinkers in the world. The question for 2006 is "What is your dangerous idea?". There are some fascinating answers for that like "No More Teacher's Dirty Looks" about closing public schools and "Free will is going away. Time to redesign society to take that into account." Each answer is accompanied by a short essay with an explanation of the reasons for that answer.



The 2005 Question What We Believe But Cannot Prove.



Found this web site via Userfriendly.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Web site visits

I always find the first couple of days in the month to be the most interesting for web statistics. Over the course of the month, the same 5-7 pages will always end up in the top ten. But the first 2-3 days, different things can be at the top. Last month, Doodle Monsters made an unexpected move to the top. This month, the review of a game called Luxor is in the top five. Will it become like the Snood review and always be there?


Watching this also shows how easily a statistical survey could be flawed. Short term trends can be very different from the long term results. A snap shot of the most used pages over only a couple of days may have very different results than a longer month or two of compiled results.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006