MI: Scientology - Reloaded

Go Jerry O'Connell! And thanks Merujo for pointing this one out. Popcorn at the ready folks, but don't drink the coke unless you want to snort it...


How much chook would a chook cook cook...

We have a neighbour who still is a little old school in that he/she thinks it's okay to incinerate their rubbish on occasion in their back yard. While this was fine a while back when everyone had space, in closer quarters, not so much. So we have the smell of smoke hanging in the air... and it makes me think back to a funny incident when I was about 4-5. [cue wavy screen borders]

My first years were lived in Dunedin, New Zealand. My (maternal) grandparents had a really nice home out at a place called Waihola. Macracarpas lined the driveway and formed the hedges, there was an apple tree orchard, verandahs, a lawn tennis court (believe it or not - my fam's not well off by any means) and all sorts of stuff a 4-5 y.o. brat could get into trouble with. Anyways, the smoke here reminds me of this one time (at band camp) where I was trying to do the right thing. That day it was my turn to take the rubbish out to the incinerator and burn it. Said incinerator was a simple besser block-type affair, about 1m high and .5m on a side with vents say 15cm high underneath, and a grate was at the bottom of the incinerator for draft. Mum used to keep chickens (still does to this day!) and this was part of their range... lil' Baily chucks the rubbish in the incinerator and lights it, then steps back to idly watch... yes, you guessed it, a short time later...


Sure enough, unbeknownst to me, a chook had settled in the gap under the grate of the incinerator and had come barrelling out - feathers alight - in an absolute panic (as was I.) Cue many family members chasing said chook down, dousing it with water.

So you could say I started cooking early.


Happy Australia Day.

I'm not really sure it's possible to describe Australia Day to an outsider. It's not like the US' 4th of July where everyone (forgive me if this is wrong, just looking in from the outside) seems to try to out-patriot each other (though some really cool people seem to get it right), it can be celebrated as quietly as a barbie in the backyard (prawns and or lamb are, I believe federally mandated as compulsory )and a quiet reflection. It's also a really cool time to appreciate what a cultural mixing pot we as a country - as a community - are. I was in a bit of a quandary about what song to offer here, it ended up a tie, so here they are.

Oh and what are we having? Lamb. Lamb yiros to be exact. Happy

Introducing, Great Southern Land by Icehouse,

...and the other anthem, Sounds of Then by Gangajang:

Happy Australia Day.


AoW 26 Update.

When I showed Kathy my 26 pick, the Potbelleez' excellent single Don't Hold Back, she kinda nodded knowingly. Y'see, she runs rings around me when it comes to music knowledge. Did I mention she's a cool chic? Happy Here's the Potbelleez. (OBTW, where possible, I'm going to start embedding YouTube clips of my picks because I know a few of you aren't quite into the whole iTunes Music Store thing.)

...and here's what Kathy already knew about. Since she knows how I bawl at the drop of a hat when it comes to moving art - hell, she watched City of Angels with me - she warned me in advance. Sure enough, the following had the expected effect. Introducing Paul Van Dyk. Striking similarities, and just beautiful. Hang on, got something in me eye...

Update: the link I originally had here has been pulled, the official (non-embeddable, dammit!) clip is here.


AoW 26: Don't Hold Back - The Potbelleez.


Okay so this is an EP/single but it's worthy. This track in all it's incarnations rocks. Really good production - play it as loud as you like and it doesn't break. And the louder you can make it the better. It has acoustic guitar, powerful vocals, and a killer 'dude where's my glowstick?' dance track. Seriously, I've not been this impressed with a single since Oakenfold's Ready Steady Go.


R.I.P. Heath Ledger.


DRM can kiss my shiny metal ass.

Incidentally, when I went to take the screenshot you see in Talking of gears I hit this little gem, not sure if it's new to Leopard:

Picture 1

Bite me. Go go gadget VLC media player!


'round here we have both kinds of music!

You know you've stayed up a little too late when you run across a channel showing the tail end of a live country music gig and you like it. Happened to me last night. Freaked the living daylights out of me.

Just sayin' is all...

Familiar? I have no idea what you're talking about.

If only we worked for someone as inspiring. Wait, what?


Ob disclaimer: don't ask me why I think this, but I'm pretty sure Ms. D is actually a pretty normal, sincere, well-meaning person. No really, I'm serious. Hey stop laughing.


When does this get easier?

A day or so ago, a very dear friend of mine half a world away lamented that that day would have been her brother's birthday if he were still alive. And I could do or say nothing to comfort her from this distance. M, please know that I was there by your side in spirit even if I could think of nothing comforting or even coherent to say. I think I know something of this too. The sense of loss is an insidious, sneaky beast. When you think you have things pretty much dealt with, when you think you can cope, said beast taps you on the shoulder. And you remember. And you cry. And you cry. And you cry. And you worry all the more that in trying to cope, the lament might fade over time; you may even start to forget things. And you cry again.

I don't have an answer. No-one does. No matter how surrounded by love and friendship you are, this is something everyone has to deal with in their own terms. And it's hard. All I can say is that with my dad I try to remember the times when we truly connected - and I'm lucky enough to be able to say that was often - my Dad was cool in that American Pie dad kinda way. Someone who would believe in you, and would stand by you regardless of how ridiculous he thought you were being.


Miss you dad.

Nice part of the world.

Saw a country TLD yesterday on a geek list that I hadn't run across before. .nu - it's for a tiny island nation in the middle of the pacific called Niue. Total population of about 1600. Have a look at it in Google Earth, very nice place by the looks.

Talking of gears.

Got home last night with my cranky pants on. Y'see the Dragon had a major service (~$260) and they identified around another $1000 of other stuff that really needs attention so I had a bit of mental sticker shock.

Just needs a little suspension work... maybe brakes...

I actually caught myself thinking "geez I just don't get a break." then mentally slapped myself. Hard. (Telekinesis is cool!) I'm one of the luckiest people alive. I have the love of a beautiful woman, live in a beautiful part of the world, have a steady job at a pretty cool place with very cool people. If the worst I have to worry about is just car troubles, I think I should STFU.


Sage advice: PSA on backups.

Have a read here. "It's funny because it's true!" Happy

Shifting gear.

Y'know, one of the (few!) things I miss from when I smoked was heading out the back to the patio, watching the evening stars (and a little satellite spotting!), and just generally listening to silence or better yet nature settling in for the night. Kathy would often join me out there too. 'twas a nice gain perspective time. I'd talk to myself a little too. Nothing manic, mind, just vocalising thoughts, maybe sending wishes out to the Verse, chewing cud, or mulling story ideas over.

I think I need to get more into regularly blogging about stuff that matters and stuff that just doesn't. Y'know, the everyday stuff that everyone deals with. A bit more like Doogie Houser without the cheesy MIDI piano soundtrack, or better yet like Wil Wheaton (more on this guy later, just finished reading his books, he thoroughly rocks!)

So, dear reader, apologies in advance, but I'm giving up on trying to be one of few pithy words, razor-sharp astuteness like John Gruber and co. (like I'd ever come close!) and I'm just going to be a little brave and talk to myself. Big Wil style.

We can still be friends though, right?


AoW catchup.

Yep, behind again, shall fix that shortly. In the meantime have another watch or three of the clip below. Happy

Browser wars. (Now with working link goodness!)


MWSF Day one.

Soo, let's see how the predictions stacked up:

1. Subnotebook. Yes, the MacBook Air is a reality. Jaw-dropper that it is. Insanely thin and light, aimed at those who travel a lot and/or use the homebase/light traveller model. It's almost as if someone left a MacBook and an iPod Nano in a dark place together and piped in some Barry White to see what might happen. Unfortunately the rational part of me says this one's not for me unless I was that cashed up I was running short of things to spend money on and world poverty was a thing of the past. etc. I love the new form factor - they're exploring sensual curves again rather than sterile lines - but I'm a take-it-all-wth-you kinda guy; the MacBook Pro is all I could want.

2. Video rentals on iTMS. Again yes, and big hats off to Apple for getting all the major content cartels onboard. That's a pretty awesome achievement! A tad pricey, but those agreements must have been hard negotiated so could have been a lot less equitable, or not happened at all. I think the market will show us in a few months whether this is acceptable and a readjustment may or may not take place (case in point iTunes Plus tracks.) Of course, we in the OBoTW (Other Bits of The World) won't see this for at least a few years... for some reason... remind me why that is again?

3. Fire and forget NAS. Yes! Time Capsule. Take an Airport Extreme Base Station, add a thumping big hard disk and here you go.

4. AppleTV with fangs. Not so much. Yes there was a software rev to it untethering it from a Mac which, as I understand is a welcome change - and bonus points that said software will also be a free upgrade for existing AppleTVs. Alas, no tuners, no PVR functionality, but then again what do you expect from a box that's half the size of a Mac mini!?

5. iPhone in Australia. Sorry, still laughing. Computer says no... for at least a few years... for some reason... remind me why that is again?

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...MWSF, aka second Christmas for us Mac fan boys/gals starts at about 3am tonight when the keynote begins, and as is typical of the occasion pundits, pro's, and amateurs are whipping themselves (er- ourselves) into a speculative frenzy.

As Chairman Gruber astutely observed, when Apple goes quiet on public and private channels, you know something big is going to happen. Update: take another look at Daring Fireball and the gentleman has a slew of predictions, And this is a gentleman you should listen to because he's a frood who really knows where his towel is.

FWIW, here are my predictions:

1. Killer subnotebook. This one's long overdue. Apple used to own this part of the market; to this day I hold a longing admiration for the humble PowerBook Duo 280 and the Duo Dock.

2. Video rentals on iTunes. Well, yes, probably in the US, but with the content cartels over here in that pesky OBoTW (Other Bits of The World) we won't see this for five years. We don't even have video at all in iTMS yet.

3. Fire and forget wireless NAS that my Mum could use. I have to admit to being sceptical when I saw "sneak preview" screenshots of the ad copy (memo to fakers, impo's are usually done in Illustrator, not Photoshop: thanks for playing...) That said, when Leopard came out sans Time Machine syncing with other wireless NAS, there was something in the -er- air? The time is ripe for this to be done right. And you know who does Right, right?

4. AppleTV Reloaded. An AppleTV with fangs? Big enough to take it to the DVRs? Gawd I'd love to see it, but I just don't. It wouldn't fit in the iTunes model - more's the pity.

5. iPhone in Australia.

5a. ahHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAA! Just kidding!


5c. Try again in 2010. ahHAHAHAHAHAAA!

Any cardiologists or dietitians in the house?

If so, you may want to not visit this page.

It's just... wrong.

[thanks to Merlin Mann over at 43 folders for the link.]

Happy New Year!

Where the hell did 2007 go!? Happy

Hello 2008!

Hope NYE was great for you (Kathy & I spent a quiet post-holiday one at home) and that 2008 is chock full of extra crunchy goodness for you and yours!