Dylan Moran is surly, yet eloquent.
I went to see him with Bice tonight at Wrest Point. The halls, both Tasman and Plenary, were packed with people who have some sort of appreciation for churlish Irish humour.

I get the impression from his comedy that Dylan Moran shares some key similarities with his television persona, Bernard Black. His penchant for alcohol, smoking and picking holes in the human condition leave me concerned for his family. I hope, for their sake that he is somewhat more laid-back in the home.

All in all, it was a hilarious and fun night.
Hopefully this will inspire me to break my blogging drought.


This year, we will not be getting an Anzac Day long weekend.

Due to the fact that Anzac Day for 2009 falls on a Saturday, the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) believes that it would be inappropriate to move the public holiday to the following Monday because it might encourage people to leave town for a break, instead of participating in the Anzac tribute ceremonies.

Is it un-Australian not to go to the ceremonies? Anzac Day is important for remembrance, though I have never been to a ceremony. At least, not since I moved out of home. Does that make me un-Australian? I still care about the sacrifice that the Anzacs made for our freedom and safety. I still think about it and thank God for it, but apparently I can’t do that were I to travel across and appreciate the country that they fought to protect (lets face it, you’re probably not going to go overseas for a three-day long weekend).

The RSL has also lobbied to move the Salamanca Market from the Saturday to the Sunday for similar reasons. Not only does this potentially financially damage the stall holders, but tourists (who probably don’t read local newspapers) will be wondering where our market went when they arrive on the Saturday morning. Not to mention the tour organisers, cafes and other businesses that rely on the custom generated by the foot traffic that the market brings to Salamanca.

Moving the market: Unfair.
Taking away our public holiday: Un-Australian.


As the more observant of you would have noticed, I’ve recently started using Twitter. On Japh‘s recommendation I signed up for an account and followed a few people I knew were using it.

Then I waited for the awesome.
The awesome didn’t come.

Initially, I was quite confused – “What is the point of this? I only know of a few people who use this service and subsequently the stream of information is very very slow. Less of a twitter, more of a dribble. Isn’t this just Facebook with less functionality?”
I stuck with it though. I looked through the list of people followed by friends of mine and slowly my own list grew. I was adding more and more people I knew, thought were interesting or who were famous.

I wasn’t sold on the service until this morning. I checked Twitter and found a ‘Tweet’ from Mike Krahulik (aka Gabe of Penny Arcade fame) letting his followers know that he was broadcasting live on UStream. I followed his link and was able to watch him drawing the upcoming comic live while he responded to our sidebar chat questions by handwriting answers in the whitespace, then erasing them. He followed all of this up with a Q&A session which entailed us asking questions, while he typed his answers into a blank Word document.

The thing that Twitter affords is a connectedness to people who you previously considered unapproachable. I assume this won’t last – you used to be able to do the same thing with email. Perhaps it will? I don’t know.

If you care (unlikely), you can follow my updates by signing up for a Twitter account yourself, or by checking my sidepanel right here on my blog. If you’re a feed reader and haven’t seen the sidepanel, you can even sign up to Twitter RSS feeds on a per-account basis by viewing the desired person‘s profile.

I’m not 100% sold on it, but I’ll give it more time. Impress me, Twitter.


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.