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Friday, June 02, 2006

This is hilarious

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I like being a Dad


Especially cos Felix and Abbie are asleep. Shhhhhhh. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I haven't really blogged about it, but I'm a gamer as much as I am anything else. I spend a lot of time playing computer games and pen and paper role playing games. I bought a computer when I was about 8 years old in order to play Elite. With a friend I developed a board game when I was about the same age that we had a lot of local kids playing. Other than a brief period in my teens I've been interested in games for as long as I can remember.

What's been interesting in the last few years is that while PC games have gone through the roof in terms of popularity, role playing games have been obliterated. And when I say obliterated, I really do mean it. This analysis of the pen and paper gaming industry over the last few years discusses how sales fell 45% in 2005. While it predicts that there will always be a gaming industry in some form or another s some one who is hoping to be playing games well into my 80s, not to mention at least having a little play with my kid, I find this all a bit depressing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lazy? Me?

So it's been 3 months. Crazy. In my defence, there's at least two people in my links section that haven't blogged for even longer. And to think my last post was only after a month gap.

I'm now around about 5 weeks from becoming a father. That's quite a full on thing and it's resulted in my brain working in about two modes: serious, life mode and total escapist mode. The blogging thing falls into a third mode - thinking about the outside world. And that's something I haven't had much time for.

That's only sort of true. But I do a lot my thinking about the outside world while at work and I can no longer blog from work. That thinking also tends to be focused on work type matters rather than idle musings and idle musings are mostly what this blog is about.

Anyway, this is the most interesting thing I've read lately. It's all about rational choice and future planning and economic assumptions. Read it and I'm sure you'll find yourself reflecting on your own behaviour.

In other news the new Australian workplace laws come into affect tomorrow. They scare the hell out of me and I'm not sure I trust my new place of employment entirely enough to think that they won't affect me. And part of the whole fatherhood thing is that I start wondering what things I have taken for granted in my life little Peanut will grow up never knowing (eg. minimum wages, unfair dismissal protection and the like).

The other issue is the solution. The Labor Party is looking increasingly unelectable and unworthy of election as well. The Greens have an understanding of economics that differs severely from mine (not that the Labor Party doesn't but I can at least sympathise with where they're coming from a lot of the time). There's still no party that's of the left and not stupid. No surprises there, but it's depressing. Of course, there's no not stupid party of the right either, but that doesn't seem to stop them from winning.

Hopefully it won't be as long again until I post. I suspect it won't be, but the next thing I post will probably be pictures of Peanut so hopefully that won't be too boring for everyone.

Reading: Looking for Jake by China Mieville (very slowly)

Listening to: Anything by The Bug

Drinking: Anything by Emerson's (right this second it's their Pilsner)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sorry I've been away so long.

Given that the main point of this blog was to rant about the little things that I found interesting on line, it's suffered since I haven't been able to have much time on line. Buying a house, working full time in one job and having a kid will eat into your spare time like no one's business.

Anyway, check this stuff out:
grime with Pictures: Cool little photo montage over grime (anyone recognise the track?)

My new free MP3 mix that's been rocking the headphones is this one: Heatwave studio mix. Heatwave is a dancehall, hip hop, reggaeton night in London and this mix makes me want to book a ticket tomorrow.

Anyway, I'm tired and I want to go to bed. Hope everyone's all good...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Well, I'm not so sure about the Halmark cards...

Just a little thing, but this short essay on believing there is no God by Penn Jillette, half of comedy magician duo Penn and Teller, sums up the way I feel on the matter in a simple, positive way.

So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."

Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Onward Academic Soldiers

Those who have been involved at some level with Australian Research Council funding applications over the last few years know the blood, sweat and tears that people at all levels put into this process. Very few applications are successful, and this is fair enough to a degree, as not all the applications are any good and there isn't enough money to go around. But what isn't fair is that some applications are being denied not on their merits as judged by a panel of the peers of the applicants but by political hacks judging on the basis of their ideological biases.

In the Age this week, Professor Stuart Macintyre, Dean of Arts and Professor of History at Melbourne University, as well as (full disclosure) the host of a Labour History reading group I am a regular attendee at, wrote a wonderful piece decrying the political interference of Education Minister Brendan Nelson in the funding process. According to Macintyre

A committee appointed by the minister, meeting in secret and applying mysterious criteria, is vetting academic applications. Those with applications rejected by the committee never find out what was wrong with their application or have an opportunity to argue their case. A minister who intrudes his own political ambitions into the country's research arrangements is unfortunate, but his exercise of power without accountability is unacceptable.

Right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt, who is mentioned in passing in this piece as a sort of mouthpiece for this policy, responded today in a typical fashion. His opening sentence, "PROFESSOR Stuart Macintyre, the former communist" is sort of "When did you stop beating your wife?" line. Bolt goes on to completely disregard the argument that Macintyre put forward, claiming that suggestions that people should be able to know what happened to their grants were "a system under which he and fellow panellists spent public money with little explanation to taxpayers." some how turning the Minister's complete lack of transparency into a situation where things are actually explained.

Once again, Bolt has demonstrated that when you've got no case you should leap head first into smear tactics, not reasoned argument.