Categories
history pushing the sky

retrospective

Going on the point I made just before, I went back and looked at what I had written oh so long ago, back when this used to be the dke project, all the way back on friendlygrocer :)

The first thing I picked up on was that my designs overall have probably been slipping :) Back then, each page, each post was carefully crafted by hand, for without script-enabled hosting, what other method is there? And the other thing was that it wasn’t just a blog, it was a whole personal site, and that’s something that going down the blogging platform path takes away from you, I think. It does make a lot of other things a helluva lot easier (no need to FTP in every update, for one).

Categories
asides

In the spirit of one-upmanship

The Yankee Prankee: probably one of the ultimate pranks you can ever pull.

Categories
the daily column

Belated

Beep-beep. Beep-beep.

The SMS tone woke me from my reverie. I glance down at my phone, wondering who it might be, whether it was ok to check it at work or not. Bugger it, everyone else did.

“Can you make some time for me tonight? I will be home about 9.”

Shit. Guilty conscience twigged. Had she found out about something I didn’t realise? Was she angry with me? Was I about to be chucked out? I don’t know what I’d done wrong, or that I’d done anything wrong, but something about the words doesn’t sound right.

“Sure, hon. Should I be prepared for anything? =P” I reply, angling for a light-hearted tone. Who knew, maybe I was entirely on the wrong track.

The reply was swift.

“Not at all ^^”

Well, that didn’t help.

Categories
the daily column

20 hours in a thin metal tube at 30,000 ft

Flying on September 11th, over Pakistan and Afghanistan? Only mildly terrifying.

20 hours is how long it takes, all up, to get from Sydney to London. It is much too long to be in that tiny metal tube; business class would have helped, but to sit idle for so long is mind-numbing, and I can only imagine that any move to sell internet to the trapped would be hugely successful – I would pay, even if I didn’t have anything to actually do, if only for the fact that it’s something that changes, or you can do stuff with.

Jetlag is that awesome feeling of falling asleep halfway through an e-mail at 2:30 and waking up at 8:30 in the dark and wondering what happened, then rolling over and being mildly alarmed that the time has now jumped to 10:30. Most satisfying sleep evar.

Categories
asides

Saltwater on fire!

Man trying to discover a cure for cancer comes up with possible cure for fossil fuels: a way to make salt water burn. You’ve almost got to say “Well why hasn’t someone else come across that already?”

Categories
review

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Deathly Hallows? What on earth is Rowling on about?” was roughly the first thought through my head when I heard of the last Potter book’s title. The second was how massive this book would be given how large the previous one had been. Rowling is many things, but concise is not one of them.

Indeed, even having read the books, I don’t get why it’s “The Deathly Hallows”. All credit to Rowling though, she’s good with coming up with names and the like.

However, she’s also good with coming up with plot tangents, and this book definitely doesn’t feel like it truly wants to wrap up right until the final few chapters, when things suddenly come together all in a rush. And that’s precisely the problem lies – right to the end, Rowling introduces new characters and revisions of plot that aren’t “ah ha! that earlier passage makes sense now,” so much as “what? but that… ok ok let’s move on before we get too tied down.” It’s as though she went back over all the previous books to find any gaps that would allow the completely new convolutions of the final plot to fit.

Characters are for the most part black and white, and even the few grey ones fall to one side or the other when it’s all told – there’s no room for moral ambiguity here. Deus ex machina raises its ugly head many a time to resolve sticky situations.

All said though, it does wrap the series good and proper – the final climatic battle truly does shape as a final fight of the desperate – it is tightly focused, and Rowling isn’t pulling punches, with favourite characters readily dying, and while the final twist remains a bit of an unexplained cop-out, it’s not too bad all considered. This will make for a spectacular movie finale (as long as they leave out the “19 Years Later”).

Categories
travel

How awesome is Singapore?

Let me count the ways: free showers, free massage chairs, cinema in the airport, hotel in the airport (for those really long layovers), perfect-place-to-relax banana chairs, laptop charing points, and oh, free wifi. Man, I don’t think I’ll travel through anywhere else ever again if I have the choice.

Yeah, I’m here for about 4 hours all up – flight delay leads to flight delay and our next slot is at 3 AM Singapore time (conveniently enough, 8PM London time and thus just spot on to getting internal clock aligned. As long as I can avoid napping here…)

Categories
the daily column

two-two

This one feels real alright.

Categories
tech

New iPods

Apple unleashed the new range of iPods overnight, including the iPhone-esque iPod touch.

  • My take on the new range, especially the naming of the “classic”: over on karan on everything.
  • It looks like they got the headphone jack on the Touch right.
  • No games on the Touch; probably pending update for touch & phone?
  • Wifi iTunes store. Meh.
  • US$200 price drop on the phone! Whoa. Brings it closer to a reasonable price here in Oz =)
  • The price of phone functionality? US$99. That means phone, mobile internet, and bluetooth basically.
  • Apple’s stock dropped 5% from the announcement – clearly, the markets aren’t enamoured of the new range.

Has the iPod jumped the shark? Maybe, just maybe.

Categories
the daily column

Deja-vu all over again

Last minute flight to Melbourne – $300
(very) Last minute hotel booking – $200
Lunching, brunching, dinners, cakes, and 7 coffees – $200-ish

Realising your friends are more awesome than you’ve ever given them credit for?

I’ve felt this way before, and the earlier feeling returned stronger than ever, as I moved from one friend to the next; I didn’t spend nearly as much time as some of these people deserve, and didn’t meet nearly as many people as I should’ve, but the doubts I had Saturday night proved to be baseless. Some friends you can never let go, and I think I’ve found my few.

In a sense, the diary-esque nature of this is blog is parroting a tradition going back millenia, I’m sure. The difference is, of course, that here I can search instantly on a few key words to find those key moments. I don’t take nearly enough time to re-read my own ramblings – indeed, I hardly even look at the post after posting.

And thus I learn and grow.