Wednesday, November 26


Memories of a Lost World

I grew up on the outskirts of Sydney, just across a dirt road from Kuringai Chase National Park. That's where they filmed Skippy, by the way. Nine months of the year it was a million adventures waiting to happen; then every summer it turned into a 45,000 acre fire hazard.

You didn't need to go far to find another world in those days. There was a little stream down the block - a storm water drain further up, but at that point it opened out into the original streambed. And then fell - splish splash - over a cliff. A waterfall, not a big one, maybe fifteen feet high.

Once my younger brother got stuck trying to climb down it, and my mother had to climb up from the bottom to rescue him.

There were ponds that filled with water when it rained, and tadpoles as big as your thumb. There was a tiny natural stone bridge on one of the trails, with a span of just three our four feet, carved by the water of an equally tiny streamlet.

There were nasty spiky bushes, there were birds, probably there were animals, though you never saw them. Twice I met echidnas - spiny anteaters - but not in the bush. One wandered into our school one day; another I met on the footpath leading to the railway station.

Even then I was more likely to be found lost in a book than lost in the bush, but it was wonderful to have that outlet.

Now it's all gone.

Kuringai Chase remains, intact for all purposes but my childhood memories, but the F3 Freeway has long since obliterated that narrow strip of bushland I once explored. Which makes me wonder - what was there, before the Warringah Expressway, fifteen lanes wide where I cross it every day on my way to work, blasted its way through towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge? What tiny marvels would a child have found there?

It's not a call to stop building roads. And if you were to tear them up, as Bob Brown suggests, all you'd be left with is bare earth, dust in summer and mud in winter.

It's just that... Just that... No more tadpoles. No more tadpoles, ever.

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Tuesday, November 25


He Shoots! He Scores!

More and more people are getting it every day, at least in terms of the lawsuit SCO v. Right-Thinking People Everywhere. Read this article by Rupert Goodwins on* Scoring SCO's legal games:
With SCO spraying out threats of legal action like a tomcat on diuretics, this latest piece of territorial widdle might seem like an attempt to put the legal frighteners on a competitor rather than a justifiable defense of SCO's core business--unless SCO's core business now is taking people to court. The company is handing over hunks of shares to its lawyers: this can't be ruled out.

But is there anything to it? One may be expert in the details of Linux and Unix, and perhaps understand half what's going on: one may be a commercial lawyer and be comfortable with the other half. Trying to untangle the chimera at the interface of technology and law is enough to send anyone off to take up a simpler job, like quantum chromodynamics.

But hold on before you brush up your Feynman: there is one good thing that's come out of all this. The unofficial nexus of the SCO affair is Groklaw, a bulletin board turned into a Web site. Here, you can find lawyers and code hackers busily engaged in pulling the bones out of every pronouncement that falls from the mouth of Darl McBride, CEO of SCO, and his merry men. SCO says it's sent IBM all the examples of the code it claims IBM infringes in Linux? Well, here's a Unix guy who's shown the 'infringing code' so produced was produced by a simple text search for certain words in the Linux source--and proof of nothing at all.

So, micturating cats, quantum chromodynamics, Feynman and Groklaw, all in three short paragraphs. There is hope for computer journalism after all.

* Are they part of now?

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Trying to Grok

Don't you hate it when you lose a web site? You visited it just the other day - maybe even just a few hours ago - but now it's not in your browser's history any more. You can't remember the site's name, and the few phrases you can remember and feed into Google throw up 3,560 unrelated hits. But you know you got there from a link, and the link was on a site you visit regularly... Or maybe on a site linked from a site that you visit regularly. So all you have to do is visit all the usual suspects and see what shakes loose.

And there it is! From behind the sofa cushions comes trying to grok:

I've been sitting here for two and a half hours, and I haven't even made it through reading all of my Heroes yet. Nor have I showered, brushed my teeth, or paid any attention to my husband as he got ready for work. Sigh. The sphere grows every day.
This is no great surprise, for her Heroes are:
Hey! Mozilla has this "View Selection Source" thingy which lets you see the HTML for part of a web page! That's so cool!

Um, anyway, most of those are daily reads for me too... I wonder where my time goes? But it's not just those Sarah honours that set her apart; any right-thinking person can put up a blogroll like that. There's a hint in the description of her blog:

if you're not angry, you're not paying attention
And Sarah, though not given to ranting, is angry. A cold, focused, laser-like anger:
It sounds better to say that you're for peace instead of war, as if that were a true dichotomy. But sometimes we get the distinct feeling that the Left sees it that way, that if you're not out marching for peace, you are some sort of bloodthirsty raving lunatic. We who back the war back it as a last resort. We were attacked two years ago, and we've had to get tough so that we're never attacked again. Yes, that means war. Yes, that means no "heaven on earth." But it also means less burning buildings and shoe bombs. It means less mass graves and plastic shredders. It means looking realistically at the world and trying to do what's right. We may not have a catchy slogan like No Blood For Oil, but we're on the side of good.
There's so much good stuff there... But it would be rude to cut and paste the whole thing, so I'll leave you with one choice quote:
Cake mixes and frosting, on sale: $6
Time spent mixing and baking: 3 hours
Delivering 75 cupcakes to stinky boys who have been living in a tent for a month: priceless

The husband is officially back, though I have no proof of this yet. He tried to call my cell phone, which was in my bag inside a desk drawer. I was sitting here and thought, "Huh, something sounds like it's buzzing. It sorta sounds like a cell phone. Oh crap, it's mine." And by the time I got to it, he was gone. But at least that means he's here.

Ack. Phone...ringing...again!

He's at the unit, cleaning up. No one is allowed to touch any of the food or cupcakes until all of their inventory is accounted for. So 70 guys are staring at 70 cupcakes and can't have any. Poor things. But I'll get to see him in about two hours. Yay.

Yay! trying to grok is Blog of the Day.

And - I swear this is true - I wrote the whole post, and published it, and went back to leave a comment to let Sarah know, and then I discovered that she has me blogrolled:

My Comrades
But dammit, she's married!

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As my long-time readers will know (hi Susie!), I have this thing I do called Blog of the Day. Every day I find a blog, a good blog, but generally not a big or famous one, a blog I think my readers might be interested in, but might not have run across themselves. There are, after all, something like three million blogs out there, and there are thousands that I would find interesting and worth my time if I only knew where to find them.

That's why blogrolls tend to grow without bound: There really are that many good blogs. Blog of the Day is my attempt to push some of the shy bloggers out into the light. Of course, many of them have their own circle of fans, indeed, probably have more readers than I do. But I don't think it will hurt anyone's feelings to be told that, yes, here is another person who appreciates what they are doing.

My last Blog of the Day was The Patriette on September 6. Shortly after that, as - again - long-time readers will know, the Earth opened up and swallowed me. Yes, I posted something, somehow, every day, but really I was down there somewhere in the Mohorovic Discontinuity desperately trying to find my way home.

Well, I'm back.

And the Blog of the Day is Nowhere. There's not that much on the main page, because Jeff posts when he has something to say, not when he feels he should say something. But look at the archives. Look at that! Four years.


Simple, classic layout: Check.
Elegant photographs: Check.
Anti-Idiotarian: Check.

This is important to me, these days, more important than it would have been had I been blogging at the start of this year, before the Idiotarians truly forced themselves into my (then) largely apolitical worldview. Now, I can't even link to a blog for an anime review without asking myself What if this person, seemingly sane, is in fact a member of Democratic Underground or (shudder) Indymedia? What am I, really, linking to?

So, to the blogroll, which is a window to the blogger's soul: Most of those here are unfamiliar to me, though my first click takes me to Radical Bender proclaiming the wonder that is Kiki's Delivery Service. Since Kiki is my second-favourite anime film of all time, that's encouraging.

Further down, yes, we find USS Clueless, Sgt. Stryker, Instapundit. No Lileks, true, but solid evidence that this is someone with their head on their shoulders, facing forwards. Is it right to judge someone this way? If a person never says a word about politics, should I judge them by their politics at all? I don't know; I've become politicised by events this year, and it doesn't seem to be wearing off. And even before that I was finding that a person's political views were often bound inextricably into their wider worldview...

But I'm getting off the topic.

The Matrix Revolutions was a steaming pile of you know what.
There. Now where the heck was I?

Anime fan: Check. And then some.

Take a look at these little reviews of the highlights of some series: Bottle Fairy, Scrapped Princess, Popotan, Stellvia of the Universe. They're all done blog-fashion, with the most recent entry at the top, so you'll need to start reading from the bottom to avoid spoilage.

Attack of the space station snatching jellyfish!
Curse him for being ahead of me in watching these shows! Given my copious lack of free time (CLFT) of late, it's no surprise, really; except that it's the same shows I'm watching!
You know, this show makes me feel like a perv. Really cute episode, though. I mean, when everyone bowed to the ferret...classic.
I haven't had the time to do justice to the anime I love, so it's good to find someone who has - or makes - the time, and does a damn fine job of it too.
Who put Kururu in charge? After all, Sarara's smarter and Chiriri's cuter.
Nowhere - a love song halfway sung, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nowhere - anime blog, are thoroughly deserving of attention and a worthy addition to Blog of the Day.

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And Never a Thought to Think...

I care about the environment. I like having air that's fit to breathe, water that's safe to drink, green trees to look at, cute fuzzy animals and all that. I hate scumbags who dump waste straight into rivers to save a few dollars or throw their empties out the car window.

But I've never voted for the Greens because I considered them a single-issue party, and there are many priorities that need to be balanced in running a country.

Turns out that I was wrong: The Herald Sun reports that the Greens have a wide-ranging agenda:

[Bob Brown's] Greens want higher taxes for all, but particularly for business, whose taxes will leap from 30 cents in the dollar to "at least 49 cents". Bye-bye jobs.

But that's if those businesses are allowed to exist in the first place. The Greens want to ban smelters, end uranium mining, "phase out old coal-fired power stations", "dramatically reduce . . . use of fossil fuels for transport", stop genetic engineering and limit mining exploration.

Dams will be made to hold less water, and farms will be abandoned and roads dug up until the land they occupy is "below 1995 levels".

So, with no uranium, no coal-fired power stations, no water in the dams for hydroelectric power, no farms, no jobs, and no roads, we're all going to sit at home and starve in the dark. But at least we'll be happy:
This will help "people to fulfil their real . . . social needs", which the Greens believe may include taking drugs.

Yes, the Greens say drugs should be decriminalised, heroin handed out and softer drugs made "more freely available" because people need "the opportunity to achieve personal fulfilment" and that "may, for some people at particular times, involve the use of drugs".

I'm in favour of decriminalisation, at least of marijuana. But as a path to "personal fulfilment", drugs rate up there with the Greens' defense policy:
They plan to give "non-violent civilian resistance training" to a civil force which can help defend us should we be "militarily threatened".
I feel safer already.

(via Tim Blair)

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To Sleep, Perchance To Drink

The Coke machine at work is out of Coke. It has Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lemon, Cherry Coke, and Pepsi Max* - but no plain Coke.

Which may be why I dreamt last night of a new Coke flavour - White Chocolate Coke. Well, it tasted great in the dream, anyway.

* Um...

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Monday, November 24


In Good Company

Tiger's first Blogotarian Awards go to:

Dean Esmay for the Blogspot Jihad
Kevin Aylward (that's Wizbang Kevin) for general helpingness
NZ Bear for the Blogosphere Ecosystem



And look! I get a shiny thing!

I've been slack lately, due to an acute case of bleckyitis, but I have some pills for that and expect it to clear up soon.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:11 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, November 23



Is that a ferret in your blouse, or are you... Uh, on second thought, never mind.

Update: Wow, this has to be, hmm, probably the seventeenth or eighteenth weirdest anime I've ever seen. What with the ferret-girl and the dancing dandelions and all.

Update: Link for Tiger: A review of Popotan is Nowhere to be found. Favourite quote:

Oh, and everyone does the butt-wiggle dance in the OP sequence this time!
And indeed they do!

It's a blog, so read it from the bottom up to avoid spoilers. Another review:

For all that, though, Popotan is still a warm and cuddly little bit of nothing. It'll make you smile, it'll make you sad. It made me wish for more episodes, and when a show can do that then the creators did their job.
And a warning:
A word of caution, though. The opening and closing themes are infectious. I'm not kidding. Don't say I didn't warn you.
The closing song in particular - which is where the dancing dandelions come in - is what LeeAnn would call an earworm.

Little details: One of the dancing dandelions is half a beat behind all the others.

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Look! Up In The Sky!

It's... Well, it's the sky.

When Neverwinter Nights was first released, one of the shortcuts the designers took to simplify things was that the locked the "camera" - the viewpoint of the game - so that it was always looking down (at an angle, not straight down). That meant that the sky was never visible, so they didn't have to program for that.

Now, the second expansion, Hordes of the Underdark, is about to be released, and as you can see, this limitation has been corrected. Thoroughly so.


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Saturday, November 22


This Is The Title Of This Entry

This entry no verb.


Colourless green entries sleep furiously.

Maybe -

The entry distims the doshes.

Sorry, it's been a long week.

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