December 13, 2006

brown tinted spectacles

The bushfires raging through Victoria and South Australia are having their effect here in the city. There is so much smoke in the air that the sky looks brown and you can look directly at the sun*.
Deb tok the phto below on the way to work:

She didn't take this one:

I'm at home at the moment and can smell the damn smoke when I open the front door, it's really eerie.
Deb and I are flying back to NZ on Saturday morning and there have been a number of delays because of poor visibility and smoke alarms going off at the airport. Fingers crossed we get away ok.

* don't look directly at the sun

December 11, 2006

stupid fruits of the world #27: pomegranate

I bought a pomegranate at the supermarket the other week. I'd heard of them, but never actually seen one before, so thought I'd give it a shot.
What a shitty, messy waste of time that was! Ignoring the bright red juice that I had to wipe from the walls and scour from my hands, I couldn't eat much because it was sour and made my teeth furry.
What kind of person wants to pick hundreds of corn kernal-sized fleshy seeds out of a leathery husk while waiting for the juice to somehow migrate from the kitchen to the lounge carpet?

December 07, 2006

fart brings down a passenger jet

Well, not directly, but the woman who droppped one was lighting matches to hide the smell.

BBC News

stop motion fight

This is bloody fantastic

December 06, 2006

john so is my bro

John So took out the World Mayor title for 2006. He is, hands down, the most popular person in Melbourne and the title is well deserved.

I saw a quote recently saying that he was a rockstar in a mayor's body, which I can vouch for after seeing him on stage at Parklife a few months ago.


December 05, 2006

catch up

It's time for one of my irregular catch-up posts, whereby I try to cram in two weeks of detail into two paragraphs. The last update was just after Deb's birthday, so since then:
  • Went for a Sunday bike ride up the Moonee Ponds Creek bike track. Discovered after an hour and a half that I'd forgotten to put on sun screen and my legs and arms were turning a tasty deep pink colour. Got home just in time with no real damage done
  • Picked up the framed pictures, which look pretty good. During the hanging, discovered exactly how far you can drill into concrete with a cordless drill and a standard bit: not far at all. I'll take some pics soon when the sun's out.
  • Went for another Sunday bike ride, this time south down the Gardiner Creek track. Put on sunscreen, but I guess not enough. The backs of my shoulders have proper old skool sunburn, like an Englishman abroad. It looks like I'll score some blisters out of it too. I hope it scars. Chicks dig scars.
  • Got up to 34° today. The hottest temperature of the day is always at the mid point of my ride home.
Hmm, boring fortnight. That may be why there's been no updates.
I'm off back to Kiwiland TM in a week and a half. I'm looking forward to that, not just to see the folks, but to have a decent break from work...

damn, I'm going to have to figure out how to sign these things off. I always end up rambling on for much longer than is necessary and #comment deleted#

December 01, 2006


November 21, 2006

deb's birthday -supplimentary

I dashed off to JB Hi-Fi on Saturday morning to get a couple of DVDs for Deb. She was hungover again, so I probably didn't have to rush but I wanted to have something to actually give her on the day.
Later we went down and ordered a frame for a print that Deb's had lying around since London. That was the main gift and I think it's going to look pretty cool once it's up on the wall.
A professional hangover can last all day. Ours did, so we went out for dinner on Sunday night instead.
Wagyu beef carpaccio (with truffle oil of course) is probably the ponciest food I've had this year. It's also the tastiest which just makes me question my masculinity.
After dinner, we went to the poker room at the casino for a quick look. It's a very serious place and just made me more nervous about the poker night I have for work tomorrow. There's going to be a number of tables playing off for a single winner so I think I'll be spending most of the time as an observer. I guess that means more time for drinking and food, so it's win-win really

November 16, 2006

deb's birthday

So, it's Thursday the 16th of November. I have roughly 34 hours to organise a birthday present for Deb and I still have no fucking idea what to get her.

I thought I had a great idea a few months back, so I rested on my laurels. When I finally looked into it, I discovered that it was about 4 times the price I expected, so that idea was shelved.

It's hard because Deb doesn't even know what she would buy for herself, letalone what I could get.
I do have a sort-of-idea, but there's no way I could get it to her in time for Saturday. I'll have to get a stunt double to stand in for the real gift until it's ready.

Procrastination got me through high school, and since then I've never learned to organise my time properly. Next year maybe...

customer service does exist...

I had a spare minute on Tuesday, so I called Dodo (our ISP) with the intention of getting some money back for the lost week of broadband. I expected to get the runaround with them saying Telstra was at fault etc.

The call was answered within the first minute. Two minutes later and I'd got the refund from an account overpayment in September and a refund for the lost week.

I'm stunned.

November 13, 2006

no internet

On Sunday, November the 5th, our internet connection fell over. I called our ISP who (as usual) was so busy that I had to leave my phone number on their voicemail system so they could call me back. I managed to speak to a real person on Tuesday, which was also Melbourne Cup day (a public holiday here). After running through all of the obvious tests (I guess they have to do that as a lot of people wouldn't be comfortable factory resetting their modem), he put me through to the next tier of technical support who in turn said that Telstra would call me on Wednesday to book in a technician to come round on the Thursday. No phone call until Friday evening when they said that someone would be around on Monday morning.

The Telstra guy was in the house for all of two minutes, then went to the exchange, fiddled around for a second and it was fixed.

Why didn't Telstra just try checking their end first? Why make me take half a day off work to wait for someone to verify that the problem wasn't at my end just as I'd told them from the start?

I don't really know where I was going with that story, but I just wanted to put the details down for when I try to get someone to pay for my week of missing broadband.

October 27, 2006

world record set in dunedin

A new world record was set at my old primary school today.

Dunedin can now claim to hold the record for "The longest human tunnel for a dog to run through"

I feel so proud.

October 26, 2006

bird food

A pelican in St James Park, London ate a pigeon in front of a bunch of tourists.
There's something about this that is both hilarious and really creepy at the same time.

Read the article

October 24, 2006

cabinet part xxii

It lives!
And like Frankenstein, it is also a bit patchy, parts are unfinished and it takes up a hell of a lot of room. It also smells funny, but I never met Frankenstein, so I can't vouch for his odour.
I'd planned to put pictures up today, but I took them late last night and forgot to bring the memory card to work. I'll stick them in when I get home.

Putting the rubber t-molding on was harder than I expected. I considered buying a rubber mallet to help, but decided that I'd be able to do it by hand. What should have taken 15 minutes, took over an hour, using a shoe and rolling pin combo.

True to my word, I played The New Zealand story for a couple of hours and discovered that PacMan with an 8-way joystick just isn't going to cut it. I'm either going to have to fix the joystick so it's easily changeable, or get a dedicated 4-way (the preferred option).

As the budget has blown out, I think I'll be making a cheap bezel out of black cardboard to see me through until I can afford a piece of safety glass. It looks pretty rough at the moment, so anything will be an improvement over the gaping hole with paint slopped around it. I'll also have to sort out a temporary fix for the marquee, as that also looks untidy.

Speakers will go in this evening, which will tidy it up a little. The sub is just sitting on the floor at the moment, but that will be getting replaced with a proper amp and volume control at some point soon.

I still haven't sorted out how MAME will actually run either. I need to prevent the monitor from switching resolutions when loading a game, or the poor thing will get worn out really quickly.

So, in short, the whole thing is playable, but quite a way from being "finished". Once I've paid off the current spend, I'll start getting things tidied up.

edit: Here's some pics.

October 23, 2006

yanks crack down on aussie drug of choice

In yet another example of the fucked up bureaucracy in the US, Aussies are being searched for Vegemite on entering the country. Apparently, it falls foul of food laws that allow folate to only be added to breads and cereals.
To be honest, I never eat the shit myself (I'm from the Marmite camp), but to interpret the law to the extent that you can't even bring it into the country for your own use puts it in the same league as cannabis.
I suppose Vegemite could be seen as a gateway food, leading people to try harder foods, like peanut butter, or even that scourge of the American diet: honey!

Read the article here

Verdict: The FDA are dicks

nes online

Remember the old NES with cartridges the size of a video tape? You probably also remember having to blow dust off the pins to get them to load up.
vNES has almost 300 games you can play online, without having to install any emulators before playing. All you need is Java 5, which most people should have by now anyway.

October 22, 2006

cabinet part xxi

Went for a bike ride down by the Yarra to Port Melbourne, then down to Brighton and back today. I thought it would take ages, but we got back in time for me to put this together:

It got too late for me to test it out, but it passed the fume test: Deb couldn't smell the paint, even though it was inside for 8 hours or so. This means I should be able to bring the rest of the beast upstairs tomorrow!
I played the New Zealand Story using the keyboard for an hour or so last night, so I think I'll have to make that the first game I play.


October 21, 2006

cabinet part xx

Laid down the second and final coat of paint today. All I need to do before I can start playing games, is wait for the paint smell to mellow and drag the bugger upstairs. I'm going to treat myself and put the t-molding on once everything is inside, i.e. no more working in the garage! Woop!

I've been playing with the monitor, and I think the brightness will look fine. It's definitely a lot more like the crappy old fish and chip shop machines that I used to play. Mitch actually suggested I call it the Chippie, since that's where most of the machines are these days. It's something to think about, along with the artwork that will eventually cover up the cab's imperfections. I've gone off the silver fern idea, I think I must have been feeling patriotic that day or something. I drew a few New Zealand Story characters a month or two ago, but I think they look a little Japanese. It's a shame, because as vector graphics you can scale them to any size without losing details. I'm sure I can find another use for them.

Also, I just added up all my receipts so far. Everything from tools, sandpaper and paint to computer, speakers and joysticks has cost $2787.49. Around $2000 is materials and the other $700 odd is the tools.
There are definite disadvantages living 2200km from your parents!

October 20, 2006


So, this is the 100th post since I started this blog journal thing. It hasn't been the critically acclaimed success that I expected, but my parents don't know anyone else that would be interested in reading it.

Fair enough.

edit: Mum just kindly pointed out that my blog has neither an attractive title or a correctly spelt web address which may explain the lack of traffic. I guess irony is wasted on some people, but it makes the above picture even more relevant.
Good night, and good luck.

October 19, 2006

cabinet part xix

Quick update: This morning I picked up the monitor that I won on eBay.
I thought I did really well: I printed off evidence of who I was, a map of how to get to the place, biked into the city in the rain, went to the gym, dropped my stuff off at work, caught the train to Victoria Park, walked to the PC place, got the monitor, caught a cab home.
The only problem was when I went to open the door, I realised that my house keys were at work. Bugger.
It's now on a table, outside, sheltered by the barbeque cover. I hope that thing's waterproof!

edit: it didn't rain again today. Rumour has it that it didn't rain for more than 5 minutes anywhere today. I seriously think I had a grey cartoon raincloud over my head, because I was being rained on continuously for at least 30 minutes this morning.
The screen is nice and big, but it's overbright. It basically means that any black pixels look grey because the light is too bright. I'm sure that old arcade monitors look the same, so maybe it'll make it look more authentic or something.

Deb said I'm not allowed the cabinet inside until it stops smelling of paint. The way I see it, I have two options:
1. Leave it outside in the fresh air for a couple of afternoons
2. Make Deb stay at work for a two weeks while the smell dissipates

It's a close race, I'll let you know who wins.

October 15, 2006

more saddle sores

Today Deb and I (and almost 15,000 others) took part in Around the Bay in a Day bike ride. We took the softcock option and only signed up for the 42km ride with some of Deb's workmates.

When we finished we discovered that they'd changed the route and we'd ended up doing 50km. Add to that the 10km ride to the start line and the 10km trip back again, we clocked up a fair bit of distance considering we've only been on the bikes for a few weeks.

The best part for me was being able to ride over the West Gate bridge. We both powered up there, passing loads of people and panting like dogs locked in a hot car. It was bloody hard work, but really satisfying once we reached the top.

We were rewarded with a fast run down the other side, I didn't have any lower gears to change into, so I must have hit top speed. If my gut was a little more aerodynamic I might have been faster, but I'm working on that.
Geez, my eyes are tired. It's been a long day. I might update this if I think of anything interesting, but don't hold your breath.

cabinet part xviii

It's now black.

I had a good think about it and decided to go with a gloss topcoat. After seeing some samples of paint at Mitre 10, I realised the finish wasn't as shiny as I was worried it would be. Also, I went with enamel paint so that I could paint the control panel and have it put up with a bit of wear and tear until I figure out what to cover it with. I think a thin sheet of plexiglass with some artwork under it would be cool, but I'll wait until it's all put together before I design anything.

The black finish is a bit rough at the moment, but I'm sure the second coat will look great. It just needs a little sanding first.

I was a little hungover last Saturday morning and while Deb was in bed, I spent the morning on eBay. It's quite relaxing, but you should never do it with alcohol in your system. Anyway, I found a 21" monitor and put a few bids down. I started at $25, then $50, then $90 (but still couldn't beat the highest maximum bid), so I put down $150. If I'd waited for 5 minutes, I would have found a much better (and slightly bigger) screen. I didn't want to risk winning both auctions, so I sat out the second one. Lucky, because I bloody won the first monitor, but only ended up paying $102, so it won't be a huge waste of money if I upgrade it in the future.

October 12, 2006

cycling into a hair dryer

I'm due to bike home in about 90 minutes and it's pretty damn windy. That wouldn't be so bad if it's weren't almost 36 friggin degrees!

edit: I spent an hour at the air-conditioned gym before going home in the hope it would cool down. It ended up being 36.5° when I met up with Deb for the ride home.

October 10, 2006

toxic waste now available in strawberry!

If you saw jelly at the side of the road, would your first concern be that you would gain super mutant powers like x-ray vision or stretchy arms and possibly glow once the sun went down?

Jelly mistaken for toxic waste

What's wrong with the world when a well known dessert brings fear and panic.

Now banana cake, there's some scary shit.

October 07, 2006

cabinet part xvii

You'd think that living with my dad, the handyman, for 20 odd years I would have picked up a few tips here and there. I hate realising that I had this valuable resource living in the same house as me and I never took the time to learn anything. Actually, I'm sure I've picked up a lot from osmosis, but it wasn't intentional. Until today, I'd never picked up a paint brush. Before July, I'd never worked with a piece of wood bigger than a hand mirror. The only part of this project that I'd ever had experience with is the wiring, and that's the easiest part of the whole thing!
Anyway, after getting long overdue advice from the old man, I've slopped on the undercoat. His suggestion to tint the undercoat grey makes perfect sense. If you're painting black over white it's going to be much harder to cover than black over grey. I've taken the liberty of preparing this handy diagram.

It was a race against the heat though, as the stuff was almost dry before it hit the wood. Nice day to work in, but not really ideal for learning to paint.
No matter, the undercoat's on. I'll have to shoot back to Mitre 10 tomorrow to get some fine grain sandpaper to give it a good finish. Man, I really need to start an account there as I've been down at least dozen times in the last 6 weeks.


Tomorrow, weather and Debbie permitting, the first coat of black paint is going on. It's finally going to start looking complete. How exciting!

October 03, 2006

the end of the day can't come soon enough

So, I'm in the middle of a pretty serious project at work and I really don't want to be involved. Without giving out any potentially sackable information: we're changing banks and I'm part of a group of people that is supposed to make the transition seamless for our business.
Considering the size of the project and the potential impact (on both staff and customers) I'm really not comfortable having to read through lengthy business requirements docs to see if they suit.

The problem is, I'm just a pleb.

I joined the company as an Accounts Officer 2 1/2 years ago. I picked up the skills pretty quickly, as it was pretty linear kind of work. I was quick and accurate at my job and knew how most of our processes worked, so when a team senior role became available I jumped at it. The role made sense, as I was still doing the work, but was able to apply my extra knowledge to help other people. Nobody who knows me could've guessed I would enjoy that part of the role! Anyway, as part of the senior role I taught myself a bit of vba and made some Excel macros to help simplify our processes. After 9 months or so, I was offered a role as a "Continuous Improvement Officer" alongside Travis (another long suffering employee). Dorky friggin title, but basically it meant I could concentrate on building Access databases and other tools to help my department manage their workload. It was great fun building/coding these things then seeing 40 odd people getting a lot of value out of them. I like to think my skills in this area have progressed a hell of a lot in the last 9 months, to the point where I can throw something together in an afternoon what would have taken me a week.

Please note, that none of the learning I've done since 2004 has ever been about the company itself. I'm the last person to ask about who the big players are at IAG, or who is marrying whom, or who got fired for copying and selling DVDs on work time. I'm not interested, and to be on this project just pisses me off. I now have to know who else is involved, who they work for, how we interact with them… I've discovered too late that I don't like the high level stuff. If I didn't actually have to do anything and just had to offer my opinion, I reckon it would be fine. When I'm sent out to discover something like "Business Impacts", with nothing more than an email, I really worry that I'm going to fuck it up. What if I don't look at things in enough detail? What if I miss something obvious that will impact on this multi-million dollar project?

I miss being on the tools and being able to solve problems at the grass roots level. It's too late to back out of it now I suppose, but god I can't wait till it's over.

October 01, 2006

cabinet part xvi

There's finally a light at the end of the tunnel: I laid down the first coat of paint today! I discovered too late that the drop-kick at Bunnings gave me a roller designed for use with gloss paint, not matt, but I'd already put my old clothes on and wasn't going to put it off any longer. It was only the mdf primer, so it doesn't really matter if it's a rough finish. I'll give it a light sanding next weekend and take it from there.

God, It's hard not to get impatient with this thing. I've been working on it (on and off) since the start of April and I still haven't got it to a playable stage! As long as I don't have any major distraction next weekend or the one after I should be able to... ah fuck it. I'm going on a charity bike ride with Deb and some of her work mates on the 15th. I guess I'll just have to pull my finger out next weekend and do one coat of enamel on the Saturday and one on Sunday. If I manage to get those done to an acceptable standard, I should be able to cart the whole thing upstairs during the week.
I also just realised that the last paragraph was a total stream of consciousness. I only seem to do that when I'm tired and my internal monologue is already asleep. If I was to stop typing, would I stop thinking as well? Let's see

September 30, 2006

cabinet part xv

I've almost got the damn thing ready to paint. When I was sanding everything down this morning, I realised that I'd mounted the fluorescent support too far forward. Once the marquee went on, the light would only have about 20mm clearance, which I reckon would be too close, fading the artwork really quickly. I'd already bogged up the screw holes from that, so I had to dig them out and move the whole thing back another 60mm.
Another minor setback, but hopefully I'll be able to finish sanding tomorrow, get the primer coat on and get the first coat of matt black done. The forecast is for 26° tomorrow, and the shed is shaded, so it should be perfect weather for the paint to dry.

I'm still trying to decide what front end to use for the MAME interface. Once choice is a 3D arcade where you can walk around an arcade with the original cabinets and artwork. It's more of a novelty thing really, but would be good for when people come over as it looks pretty cool.
Mamewah is probably the most common one, but it does look a little plain and I'm having trouble setting up "favourites" lists. Maybe I should just read the manual.
Deb is in town at the moment, so this is probably a good time to try a few things out.
Off I go...

September 29, 2006

saddle sores

Two weeks ago Deb and I bought bikes with the intention of cycling to work 4 times a week. This Tuesday gone, I managed to have breakfast, bike to the gym, workout for an hour, get myself cleaned up then get my ass to work well before 9am. I really enjoyed it, so I should be able to keep it up.
We're going home for Christmas, so the plan is to get myself in shape before then. I was pretty soft and overweight when I went home last year, so hopefully this time I'll be a bit tidier.

September 25, 2006

parklife: after the djs went home

We had fantastic weather on Saturday. The sun was out and there was barely any wind. The rain that had been forecast during the week never arrived and by 12.30pm I was drunk. You couldn't ask for a better start for a dance (music) festival.
Hmm, I was going to leave a review of the evening here, but my memory of it all is strangely fuzzy. The bits I remember:
  • I had a great time and drunk loads of beer (+ a bit of miscellaneous)
  • I only had to pee twice (or was it three times?)
  • We saw Ash & Rox after a 12 month hiatus (woo!)
  • Stanton Warriors were flat (I think there was only one of them)
  • Trav bought a cheese-cutter
  • John So (the lord mayor of Melbourne) came on stage to say hi (the crowd went ape-shit!)
  • Krafty Kuts played a get-the-fuck-out-of-my-club set that really dragged and at the end played a DnB remix of Golddigger that the sound system distorted almost out of recognition
  • I wore out part of my shoe dancing on the temporary plastic flooring
Here are some pics.

Trav and Me. Possibly munted at this point.

Deb and me (or is it Deb and I?)

Some random Jamaican dude (hehe, it's Ash)
Geez I've got a big head!

September 22, 2006


It seems like only yesterday that we ordered tickets to Parklife down on Birrarung Marr. Tomorrow it actually happens, and I have to say I'm a little excited. Since moving to Melbourne I haven't been to many dance events, sticking mainly to pubs playing top 40. We've managed to see Ed Rush, Rennie Pilgrem, Grooverider and A.Skillz at different nights over the past few years, but with Krafty Kuts and Stanton Warriors on the same stage it reminds me of Fabric where you could see half a dozen top notch DJs for the price of a couple of pints.
except this time it's $80...
and outside..
and I'm so out of practise that I don't think I'll be on my feet for a lot of the time.
whatever doesn't kill you huh?

Trav is taking his camera, so I'll be able to steal some pics off his site and post them here once they're up :)

Will update on Sunday, as I'm pretty sure I'll be at home for most of the day.

September 21, 2006

intestinal bypass

Yesterday I ate a dodgy chicken sandwich. I'm pretty sure it was the chicken sammie, but Deb had one from the same bird and felt fine.
I didn't feel fine.

I've spent most of my time in the toilet since 2pm yesterday and I've got to say I'm over it! My arse is red raw, proving that the all seeing all knowing "Intelligent" designer, royally fucked up when she designed my insides. Surely there's a better way to digest food than to melt it down with acid, and if not, why not make your sphincter a bit more bloody resilient? I would happily transplant the calluses on my heels onto my butt hole if I thought it would give me a bit of relief.
I mean what's the deal with designing me to enjoy eating curries and spicy food but punishing me when they come out again? Sometimes I swear that my insides see the vindaloo coming and rearrange things so that my intestines aren't even part of the equation. There's no chance in hell that curry can make it through 9 metres of twisted flesh tubing without losing any of it's heat!

Artist's Rendition:

September 17, 2006


The big hand on my biological clock clicked over again today; one more shuffling step towards grey hair, wrinkles and bladder control problems. There's something debilitating about being constantly aware of your own mortality, it's just not a nice way to live. My brain is still young enough to remember the invincible feeling of my early twenties, but my body aches just thinking about what I used to get up to.

I guess 29 isn't a bad age to be, you can stop drinking whenever you want without falling victim to peer-pressure. Although it's probably not because you're more mature, it's merely because you can't stay up late enough to drink that much any more. When I was 21, going out at 11.30 was the norm. 8 years later, if I'm not back by 11.30, you'd better start calling the hospitals, because I must have been mugged to have stayed out that late.

Anyway, so that I can watch the seconds tick over in the year before my 30th, Deb got me this cool watch:

September 15, 2006

hangovers are fun

The day is finally drawing to a close and not a minute too soon.

I represented my team at our divisional awards dinner last night (we won "Team of the Year" at our business unit's awards night a few months ago). We didn't win, but I got a whole team's worth of wine down my gullet.

Today I was hungover.

God only knows why they chose a Thursday night, but I made it to work on time and lasted all day. I could've done without the 2 hour (or was it 2.5 hour) workshop in the afternoon, but I guess whatever doesn't kill you....

I should probably do a little more work before I go home.

September 13, 2006

cabinet part xiv

Built the computer on Monday night and it's got to be the easiest part of the project so far! I had flashbacks to my polytech days where we had to change jumper settings depending on the chip speed we were using, create boot discs so we could install the cdrom drivers, which would in turn let us install windows, but only after manually partitioning the hard drive...
That last paragraph will probably only make sense to a few people I know, so don't worry if you're not one of them. All you need to know is that this time it took longer to install Windows than it did to build the PC.

Tonight, I hope to get all of the MAME software installed so it runs seamlessly. Hopefully you won't see any Windows screens at all before you're presented with a game list to choose from. The one problem I'm having is that you can't turn the PC on using just the mouse, even though I've selected it in the bios settings. Maybe I'll just wire up another control panel button to be used as the comp's power button....
Shit, I don't have any spares and it's not worth ordering just one button. I'll have to think of something else.

Update: Picked up a flourescent light fitting for behind the marquee. I guess I'll have to start thinking about what artwork I want up there.

September 12, 2006

fatty fat fat fat fatty fatty fat fat

There was a fat guy on my packed train today with a bag in one hand and a pack of Twisties in the other. He could have put away the salty snack treats to have a spare hand to hold on with. He instead chose to put his backpack down so he could gorge himself on crap. He almost fell over twice before Richmond, but only once he'd upended the Twisties, spilling the last crumbs into his gaping mouth (and down his front) would he wipe his hands on his jacket and grab a handle.

There's something about seeing big fat people eat that makes me nauseus. It's like watching someone stab themself in the chest with a knife, except you can't do anything about it without offending someone. Only about 2 percent of obese people can actually claim they have a glandular problem. The rest of them eat too fucking much. True story.
There should be a fat tax, where the higher bmi you have, the higher medicare surcharge you have to pay. People talk about taxing things like McDonald's and Coke to try and get people off the junk food, but has that worked with alcohol and tobacco? No. People drink more now than they used to and it's the health risks, not the cost that makes most people stop smoking. (I realise that booze and fag tax is just a cash cow for governments, but let's pretend you understand where I'm coming from)

Taxing products won't work, but if you're made to weigh in when filing your tax return, people might think twice about licking a chip packet to get the last grains of sugar and salt out of it. The fuckers that let themselves get too fat will end up getting stung at the end of the year. At the very least, they'll be too short of cash to impulse buy a couple of Snickers, at best they will look at changing their lifestyle to avoid the hefty tax bill every 12 months.

verdict: food for thought

September 10, 2006

cabinet part xiii

It was a bit of a slack weekend this weekend. I had a bit of a hangover on Saturday, so it took a while to get downstairs. All I ended up doing was a bit of bogging. At least that puts me a step closer to painting.

I also got the keyboard drawer door done, the latches and handle are on (the handle will be painted wood, so should hide the drawer a little)

Sunday, I was in town with Deb and decided to get some new speakers, as my old desktop ones are shot, and didn't have any speaker grills to cover the holes. They were only $50, so didn't break the bank and run fine off the old desktop amp too. I might upgrade that one day, but not till I've recovered from everything else.

September 08, 2006

another aussie icon gone

Bloody hell, they're dropping like flies over here!
Reports are saying that Peter Brock has died in a car crash in WA.

September 07, 2006

new job

Deb's been a bit jittery the last few weeks, waiting to see if she'd get a job she applied for. I've had to put up with a nervous demeanour, late night "can't sleep" episodes, mild depression and complaints about all sorts of crap. She finally had her interview yesterday, and I'm proud to say that she got the job! Woo!!

Hopefully that means plenty of restful night from now on.

cabinet part xii

I ordered the computer parts for the cab today :) It's probably a little over spec for what it'll be doing, but when they create a 64 bit version of MAME, I'll be ready and waiting. It's a little sad that the machine I'm building to emulate Pacman and Space Invaders will have ten times more grunt than my main computer. I'd hate it to feel neglected, so I'll have to make sure I upgrade that soon as well.

September 04, 2006


This just in:
There is a rumour that Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin has met his maker.

Update to follow

Update: It's now on The Age website which lends a little credibility to the rumour. It sounds like he got a stingray's barb through his chest.

I guess he was always going to go out doing something a bit different. I can't see him being satisfied with a simple car crash, or falling down some stairs.

He was definitely a character, I'll give him that.

September 03, 2006

disapproving rabbits

The title says it all.

Disapproving Rabbits

cabinet part xi

All of the woodwork is now done (except for that damn speaker panel, which I forgot to do again). I spent hours working on the housing for the control panel (and the control panel itself), but I think it paid off. I'm a bit more comfortable working with wood than I was a few months ago, but there's no way I can afford to rush things as there wasn't enough wood to start another panel if I stuffed it up.
The panel slopes slightly, and it's at just the right height (for me anyway. Screw the rest of you!). It turns out that the trackball did have leads to hook up mouse buttons, so the two black buttons above the ball are them. The two above those are MAME function keys.
I think I'll set up one as ESC (to get back to the main menu) and the other as a shift key. With that one held down, you can map anything you want to any of the other buttons (Volume up/down, pause etc)

As the budget is pretty much blown out, I don't think I'll be buying fancy speakers and an amp at this stage. I'll just use the old computer speakers and sub that I have lying around. They're not anything amazing, but that will probably add to the authenticity of the game sounds.
Next weekend: bog up all of the screw holes and prepare everything for painting. (shit, and finish that damn speaker panel!)
This week: Think about how to tidy up the controls. I'm thinking a thin sheet of plexiglass with some artwork under it. Failing that, a piece of self adhesive laminate would work just as well.