I went to see Birds of Tokyo with Jolly, Matt, Simon, Jim, Dave and Drunk-Girl on Friday night.

Well, I say Drunk-Girl, but I guess Baked-Girl, Stoned-Girl or Bored-Girl would have been better descriptions. I have no idea what she was on. Matt made the mistake of leaving our prime position on the single piece of seating in the Tas Unibar to go and get a drink. His spot was unashamedly taken by Drunk-Girl who summarily fell asleep on Dave’s shoulder. When asked if she was ok, she slurringly told us that she was just tired and really bored. At a rock concert. Watching one of the best (and loudest) bands ever to grace the stage at the Unibar. I call shenanigans.

The band rocked and also rolled, as they are wont to do.
At certain points, the singing of the crowd drowned out the band. The vibe was fantastic – the band responded to it as well, they appeared to be having a great time. I guess the fact that this is their second gig in little ol’ Hobart in three months says a lot.

Yay for crappy phone pics
This is the first gig that I’ve attended carrying good earplugs. These things are well worth the purchase. I paid $30 for a pair of Hearos Hi-Fidelity earplugs, which meant that I was able to hear the concert without sacrificing sound quality too much. The mean attenuation across the frequency spectrum is quite flat. The only disadvantage was that I needed to take them out of my head whenever anyone wanted to talk to me. Including morons offering drugs.

This is the first time I’ve come across this in Hobart – a guy was wandering about offering people small white pills from a folded up piece of paper in his pocket. We told him to piss off, but I can only assume that he got to Drunk-Girl before he got to us.

At the end of the gig, we offered to call a cab for Drunk-Girl. She said “NO. My ticket was free anyway.” Then stormed off.
If you happen to be reading Drunk-Girl (if you can read that is), I wasn’t offering to pay for your taxi ride, only to summon it for you. Perhaps next time you should just enjoy the concert rather than getting baked on whatever crap is being handed out.

Next time, sit on someone else’s ledge.

Mr T. Dibley

The transformation is complete!

From this:

To This:

It isn’t too late to give some dosh to a great cause. I imagine that Mr T pities fools that don’t give money to charity.

At this stage Bice has raised seventeen hundred wing-wangs. Lets keep it up!


Gillette have officially jumped the shark.

Their grooming products might still be great, but their marketing department must have suffered some serious cutbacks thanks to the global financial crisis. I imagine that it is staffed solely by a guy named Leroy who was just promoted from custodial services.

They have recently released their Fusion Gamer series of shaving vendibles.
(Unnecessary-amounts-of-flash-based-crap warning)

Razors for gamers.

I visited their horrid site today.
My first (and last) port of call was their FAQs section. If it truly was a list of frequently asked questions, then shouldn’t the first question on the list have been “WTF”?

Penny Arcade weigh in.
(language warning)


Mini Review:
Wanted is a film about a secretive group of Assassins called The Fraternity. These assassins take out targets with the justification that ‘To kill one is to save one thousand.” They employ a skillset that is undoubtedly awesome, but not particularly realistic.

When I first saw the trailer for the film, my natural geek defence mechanism (scepticism) kicked in. There is a section that shows the protagonist firing a bullet from a pistol at a target, curving its trajectory by swinging his arm up from his waist as he fires. The first thought to cross my mind when I saw this was “Sif”, but the more I thought about it the more I came to understand the pure awesome that was literally seeping from the screen. Months later, I decided that I had to see this film.

Fiction in which the protagonists have some sort of super-human power is fun. Let’s face it, it’s Science Fiction bread and butter. Unfortunately for those of you with great ideas, you need to put some thought into the “science” behind those powers. If you leave things like this unexplained, you risk shattering your audience’s suspension of disbelief. I found that Wanted suffers from this. We never really did get a clear explanation of the origins of the powers the assassins utilised, the source of their contracts or the rules around what they can and can’t do.

This means that when a character gets shot or misses a target they’re aiming at you are left wondering “Why they didn’t use their I-Win ability?”

A good example of this done right is the (brace yourselves) Star Wars and Star Trek universes. The amount of work that is put into the stories of every race, extra, character and piece of technology used is painstakingly detailed. Take the Star Wars Incredible Cross-Section books for instance.

So in short, this movie is worth a watch but don’t expect it to blow you away.
3 stars.


Amy’s father John, has sent me a comment via email to my post Asinine.

I’ve decided to give it it’s own post in order to highlight the unquestionable volume of Awesomeitude present in the text.

I would attempt to come up with some sort of rebuttal, but I don’t think I could match the following in either length or eloquence.

Hi Jason. With respect … (politicians say this when they are about to totally disagree with what you say) I take a very different point of view of the English language. My view is that, yes, the English language is indeed a wonderful and remarkable beast .. but for a number of reasons separate from any focus on “good grammar, spelling or useage”. The extraordinary feature of English is its anarchic freedom.
1. There are many “Englishes”. Throughout the world a multitude of people .. from nations, races, cultures, sub-cultures, special interest groups and industry/occupation groups have taken the beast and modified,personalised, mutated, added to, invented and reinvented small or large parts of the language to produce quite separate and unique derivations. Carribean,New York, Irish,Computer,Scientific, ghetto,rap, sporting to name a few. Insiders to each English view their English as natural and understandable. Outsiders sometimes just shrug their shoulders and admit “no understand”. Noteably, in the home of English, each town and region of England has its own distinct style, grammar, common words and accents. The “Queen’s English” is rarely heard on the street. Even in the media, various distinct variations can be observed as one jumps from TV to radio to newspaper, to blogs etc.
2. Because of its place in history, English has been adopted as the universal language (bad luck Frenchies) and so has been taken on as the starting point for describing huge human advances such as the computing, science and industrial world. So, the enormous expansion of words and concepts which has accompanied these exponentially growing human endeavors have been mainly in English, to the detriment and fossilisation of other languages. The English of today is vastly bigger and different to what it was a few decades ago.
3. That aside, it is said that the day-to-day vocabulary used by the average person is limited to about 600 words. So the vast store of words in the total human dictionary is relatively irrelevant to most people.
4. English is forever changing. Read a book from 50 or 100 years ago and the experience can be uncomfortable … .. the grammar stilted, the words strange and era-specific. Go back to literature from 300 years ago and you can hardly understand it. Go back 800 years and it is barely recognisable. English is in a constant state of rampant change. The human experience is always changing. How humans view themselves and their world is always changing. So the words and grammar has to change too.
5. The “correctness” of English is a mythology. The publishers of dictionaries claim that the dictionary is “descriptive”, not “proscriptive” .. ie. at any point in history the dictionary describes the way the language is being used, not how it “should be”. I often hear callers to talk-back radio complaining loudly about how such and such a word is misused, or lamenting the loss of certain aspects of the language. They miss the point. I would term them “language Luddites”.
6. The beauty of “correct” language is a myth. As language is time and function specific, the correctness or attractiveness of a given selection of English is directly relevant to its area of application. For instance, I recently made some comments on an IT forum and was accused of using language fitting of “an employee of a penis-enlargement factory”. The rude replier didn’t appreciate that one could view software in terms of its relationship to lifestyle and freedom. He clearly expected contributors to that forum to discuss issues in language specific to programming etc.
Poets are viewed as the angels of language. But try to read modern poetry. Either one gets totally lost or one struggles to follow the words, meanings or grammar, So are the poets wrong.. is their abandonment of grammar and vocabulary a big mistake.. or are they in fact, celebrating the inventiveness and joy of an anarchic medium. Perhaps poets are just playing with speeding up the process and challenging us to perform language change and invention in areas remote from the “cultural changes” which are happening around us day by day anyway.
7. For me I celebrate English’s diversity and inventiveness. So I am fascinated by the emergence of texting language. If Shakespeare was alive today he might text his friends such propositions as …. “2B or not 2B ??” …. they might text back “KK gd1 S”
Playing WOW … the dexterity and functionality of abbreviated English is necessary to the game. When your health is at 20% and mana at zero and cool down on evocation has 2 minutes to run, mana shield is down and the boss in UBG is hitting you with a spell with a crit certainty of 80%, try asking politely for assistance in traditional words and grammar. Because I can’t remember the abbr. I die. So I watch the pros do their thing and wonder and marvel at the correctness and, yes, beauty of their new dextrous language. They survive. I res. …. John

Also, “Anarchic Freedom” is now my new favourite phrase.

San Valentín

Valentine’s Day is a thing, but not really.
Amy and I don’t get into the ‘tradition’ or commercialisation of it, but it is a good excuse to spend a day together.

We don’t give each other gifts on the day (although flowers can sometimes make an appearance), we don’t count it as a special day of the year. Well, no more special than any other day that I get to spend with my beautiful wife.


People should be able to spell.
I can forgive the occasional accidental mis-spelling, but some things are simply beyond help.

On a road sign: “Look 2WICE – You only live once.”

2WICE? 2WICE?! You haven’t even saved any letters! That is not an abbreviation!
My name is Inigo Mantoya. You killed my language. Prepare to die.


Family is super-important.
If you have a family that you get along with, you should work hard to ensure those relationships are protected and maintained.

Why can it be so difficult to have a heavy conversation without things being said which can hurt people’s feelings?
As soon as a conversation becomes emotional, people become fantastically adept at misconstruing comments. It is so easy to assume the worst about a comment that was made, especially if it hits on a sore spot. I’m a recent culprit, I was fairly sure that the comment that really upset me wasn’t meant in the way that I took it, but I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I realise that these are disconnected thoughts/sentences, but it is something which really frustrates me. I can’t put enough thought into the grammar and sentence structure without becoming angry about the topic.

This is more of a thought dump in order to get some of this off of my chest.

I guess my point is that it happens so often that a simple conversation can snowball into a massive family-rending feud. Why do we let it happen? Its depressing to think that a conversation about a simple idea could have potentially ended in a huge years-long rift.

I don’t know many people who have an extended family that get along famously. There is almost always an ongoing feud between two parties. Aunty Judy said something about Nanna Ethel to Uncle Jack which was communicated through a third party to Aunty Sally who is a huge gossip. Sally told her friend Sarah who, unbeknownst to Sally happens to be good friends with Ethel. Ethel hears the information as it arrives from the Chinese Whispers News Line. Ethel confronts Judy who, in an attempt to clarify her position, dredges up a problem from years ago. Ethel storms off. Years pass.
Judy moves to Darwin in order to be away from the horrid family politics. They never speak again.

A neutral party would hear this list of events and say things like “Why don’t any of you get those two in a room and attempt to work this stuff out? It was only a misunderstanding!”

Unfortunately, it usually isn’t that easy. The rift has become so huge that neither of the parties are interested in sorting it out. Its too hard.

ARGH. Sometimes I hate stupid human nature.

Australia Day

What does Australia Day mean to you?

For me, the Australia Day long weekend is one of the most anticipated long weekends of the year.
It has become tradition for Amy’s family to head down to a shack at Clifton Beach for a long weekend of BBQs, loud music, tennis, swimming, noise complaints, card games and beach cricket.

Let me paint you a picture:
The “shack” is incredible, it was recently built by a member of the extended family and affords all of the modern conveniences of a home, whilst somehow keeping that shack-like feel. Directly outside of the front sliding doors there is a patio-ish area with a table, chairs and two BBQs. Yes – TWO BBQs. The meat:mouth ratio leans very much in our favour. A few feet further forward stands a fenced tennis court which is for the exclusive use of the shacks that sourround it, and the beach is but one sandy minute’s walk over the dune.

We bring a PA down with us into which we plug a radio. On Australia day, we bring it outside for yet another BBQ and listen to JJJ’s Hottest 100 with the volume on 11. This has netted us some very un-Australian complaints in the past, but the music cannot be stopped.

Standing around a hot piece of metal which is covered in spitting, oily meat, beer in hand (the last case of James Squire Sundown Lager in Hobart, I’ll have you know) with friends, family, the sun, flies and sport – all while taking part in an Australia-wide celebration of music are just some of the privileges of being a resident of the best country in the world.