Saturday, September 29, 2007

... oh, brother! (part 2)

well, (touch wood) my computer is up and running again. over the next day or so i'm going to be running diagnostics on it, maybe some tests on the video card, if i can find something that will yield results i can understand.

i also managed to get the software for the brother dcp-130c installed. i haven't scanned anything yet, but (again) it's something i'll be working on over the next day or so.

it's about 1:35am on saturday morning but it's still kind of friday night. i'm going to post this and go to bed. good night! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007 brief

* eating salad(!) for lunch
* listening to one-hit wonders through itunes on my computer
* feeling not too bad/sore after fitness training last night
* not very happy that my computer is stuffed - one long beep and two short ones apparently means there's a monitor/video card problem (grrr)
* got some more rivers socks (yay!)
* listening to video killed the radio star (double yay!)
* ... i should finish my lunch and go back to work

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

... mooks on trains

i was very saddened to see the pictures of and hear about the tram collision on st kilda rd yesterday. i am always surprised when i learn of how many tram accidents there are in melbourne. given the high profile trams have in this city, i suppose i shouldn't be. i heart goes out to all those injured and i hope against hope that their experiences do not deter them from using trams again.

i was, however, very annoyed by my experience on the train this morning. boarding the sandringham/flinders st train at elsternwick i sat down on a backwards-facing seat and began reading the latest addition to my 'zine library. we arrived at ripponlea and i spied with my little eye two women standing in the doorway on the left-hand-side (facing forward, so my right hand side) of the train. i thought, perhaps they're getting off at prahran or windsor, since they were dressed quite niftily and might well have worked (although more likely shopped) along chapel st somewhere. they didn't - they ended up getting off at richmond, after deciding moments before the doors closed that that was actually where they wanted to get off and had to plough through a vestibule full of commuters to get out.

at the same time, a man who boarded at ripponlea took up station a third of the way down the aisle. he could have quite easily kept moving down the aisle to make space for additional boarding passengers but chose not to, caught up as he was in reading his "timeout: berlin" guide. one particularly determined woman squeezed past him and was eventually (two or three stops later) rewarded for her efforts with the seat of another alighting passenger.

what is it about commuters - especially rail commuters - in melbourne that makes them cling to the vestibule/entryway of train cars and trams like drowning sailors to life rafts??? there were seats aplenty when these two friends-esque women got on the train; granted there weren't any both facing forward and side-by-side but that's not really any reason to make moving on and off the train difficult for people for the rest of the journey! martin merton i'm not but i don't think it takes a phd to realise that affording fellow commuters a bit of courtesy and thoughtfulness actually contributes positively to everyone's commuting experience.

it pains me to see the gradual transformation of chatty, friendly melbournites into chilly, solipsistic sydney book- and newspaper-readers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

... oh, brother! (part 1)

i got a new multi-function centre today. it looks a little beat up - and i'm going to try to post pictures so you can see how it arrived at work today, although i may not do that tonight - and if i hadn't ordered it for myself i could have asked that we send it back straight away. it came to us in melbourne from sydney via perth - classic freight company snafu, though not the first and not the first by this company - but it did finally arrive.

it's an inkjet-based brother dcp-130c mutli-function centre, which does colour copying, printing, scanning, and which can also print direct from camera and memory card. wow. i bought it because i wanted a scanner.

so i'll be taking a progressive series of photos of me unpacking it and setting it up and if it doesn't work, the pictures will help back up any claim for replacement. as it stands, our supplier has also asked for photos, just so's they can see how badly mangled the box is. i guess we'll see what happens.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

... slightly addictive

i have a tendency to become addicted to different things. i went through a phase at school where i had to have vegemite and lettuce sandwiches for lunch. (a little bit scary, i know.)

i've always been addicted to solitaire and other patience games. i have several programs for playing patience and the myriad games one can play but my favourite is called free patience. it has a wide assortment of games to choose from, you can play with or without stats and the help file that comes with it is a wonderfully simple and concise introduction to each game.

my housemate is mildly addicted to spider solitaire. i don't mind it, although i find it frustrating to play for long periods of time. my favourite on free patience is a game called "aunt mary", which i currently have about a one-in-six success rate in getting it out.

the question is, can i get it out before i go to bed or will i have to throw the towel in?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

... thoughts while at work

today i'm at the shop i volunteer at on the weekends and i gave the web address for where i get my favourite fonts to a couple of young whippersnappers who came in: tom's fonts. i got hooked on tom's new roman almost ten years ago now and it is still one of my favourite fonts. tom's handwriting is another one i love; i used it in a 'zine title i've been making the last couple of years and one reader actually thought it was my own handwriting (kind of scary and complimentary at the same time!).

i've hunters & collectors playing on the imac here and it's been quite a busy morning. i'm interested in seeing how the afternoon turns out.

Friday, September 21, 2007

... new faces

i don't know how many of you reading this follow the links i have in my sidebar. i know that one or two people link to some of those pages solely through this blog (and i appreciate that, really i do!) and i thought i'd share some thoughts on one of the links, piled higher and deeper.

i got hooked on these comics while i was on holidays visiting a friend in the states, which probably worked out well because i could safely be left next to a computer to amuse myself until i'd read all the backlog of strips... now that i'm sharing a house (again, actually, now that i think about it!) with someone doing (kind of) postgrad study, i read the strips with an ear for what she tells me is happening at uni.

recently, jorge cham was in australia. i don't know if he thought he was coming here for a holiday or not because the few events initially pencilled in for his stay seemed to blow out quite quickly. however, i was extremely disappointed to hear from my housemate that the talk at monash was limited to actually postgrad students and fellows(?), staff and researchers. i would have paid money to hear jorge talk about his experiences doing the strip but alas, it was not to be, neither for me nor for my housemate.

that was disappointing. what is encouraging is the introduction of new characters into the strip and the setting up of tension (maybe?) between mike and professor smith... i can't help visualising a godfather-esque storyline emerging here - "power cannot be given - it can only be taken..."

the most recent strip - the exodus of new characters unwilling to stay in the strip for no pay - had me reflecting that if i were of a particularly suspicious nature, i might think that jorge cham is setting our other female regular (tajel) up with a partner now that cecilia has broken up with her boyfriend. i think tajel and gerard would make very entertaining reading.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

... i knew i'd be saying this


my legs are killing me. i didn't think that going up stairs could hurt so much... until i had to go down stairs and see just how much that hurt. the muscles on top of my thighs, just above my knees, feel like they're being knuckled by some 8 year old with a killer punch every downward step i take.

surprisingly, that's about it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

... never thought i'd be saying this

you know, there's a lot of things in my life that i've done that i'm not necessarily proud of. my friends know the kinds of stupid things i do - the closer they are, the greater the number and magnitude of my stupidities that they become aware of - but anyone who knows me will say that i have a love-hate relationship with exercise.

i don't love it - i hate it.

pretty simple, really. that being said, though, i do enjoy walking, long walks, especially, and i really used to like walking from the house i was living in in chatswood to the rocks or the sydney cbd. it was a long walk, ignoring the fact i can be a bit of a dawdler if i'm just in my head and without distraction, and i tended to average about 2.5, 3 hours to do it. i haven't walked from where i am now (caulfield-ish) into the melbourne cbd but it's all a damn sight more level than around sydney. if i could stay away from prahran and richmond and st kilda, i reckon i could do it in at least 3 hours.

anyway. i'm a little ashamed to say it, but here's the truth. for the last three weeks - three wednesday nights including tonight - i've been participating in fitness training after work.

i know, i know. fitness training? (gasp) but you hate exercise! and do you know what? i hate it even more because i can actually feel it doing me some good.

don't say that too loudly, will you?

i won't bore you with the details of what we've been doing - i'll get the details wrong, anyway - but suffice it to say that if i can actually walk down to the bus stop tomorrow it will be a deadset miracle. i'm in a bit of pain tonight. i've got the electric blanket on, so my sore muscles don't lock up into cramps by morning but i'm a bit cold already because i'm watching the making of kenny on channel 10.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

... it's the little things

i was thinking today about how much i like where i've moved to. the weather is totally more agreeable here to me than sydney's ever was. people on trains and trams seem friendlier and more inclined to have a conversation with a stranger (i was actualy talking with a couple of guys on a tram the other night about the pros and cons of the clive barker canon)...

there's not much about melbourne i don't like... but one of the few things that really makes my teeth itch is the bovine approach so many melbournites take to walking around their lovely home. they wander around like farmer brown's cows and what translated while i was on holidays as "everyone's really laid back here compared to sydney" i have now concluded is actually "i don't think half of these people know where they're going..."

it's only a little thing... but it's usually the little things.

Monday, September 17, 2007

... falling in lamb

just a brief note - i finally found an online version of my new favourite television commercial, "falling in lamb".

following on from the "lâmb" advert (parodying the "j'adore" perfume advertising campaign), "falling in lamb" is a parody of british romantic comedies like love actually and notting hill.

watch the advert - it's great. there are also links to the "vote lamb" adverts with sam kekovich, also very cool ads.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

... just a few things

it's been about a month and there's no marvel in that at all. while i take comfort in knowing i'm not the only one amongst my friends who's not very... diligent about updating their blog, i continue encouraged and challenged by those other friends of mine who manage to blog several times a week. by turns i feel less distant from some and more distant from others all the time.

for a period a year or two ago i attempted to blog every day while i was at work. i'm pretty sure i only managed it for a week but this time around i would like to manage it for a month. a big step? perhaps. i might put some poetry up or maybe serialise a story i'm playing around with. (crikey, i almost spelled "serialise" with a "z"!) we'll see how it goes. the trick will be to work out exactly when during my day this is going to happen.

there was a 'zine writing festival held several months ago here in melbourne, similar to one which will soon be hitting newcastle in the next couple of weeks, and one of the many things i bought that weekend was a diary for writers. it has buckets of information in it about places to send your writing, some stuff on competitions and whatnot and on each week-to-a-view opening it has a small grid with "word tally" printed next to it. one space for each day. i don't use the diary yet - quelle surprise, i know - but i have a sneaking and not entirely unfounded suspicion that even if i were using the diary those blank boxes would be probably remain almost entirely blank. i suppose i'm thinking that if i can blog every day for a month, perhaps i can turn that time investment into a regular investment in time spent in disciplined writing exercise or even actual creative writing. who knows?

for anyone who's interested, the diary is "the 20xx australian writers diary" published by flat chat press. of the 232 pages, only 118 are given over to diary- and calendar-space; the rest is information for writers from a whole gamut of sources and order forms for the 2008 edition are available online at the website.

my housemate and i went to go see hairspray last night at pinewood in mount waverley. it was lots of fun, more entertaining than i would have expected and john travolta surprisingly short of pork products in his portrayal of edna turnblad, mother of the heroine of the film. a marvellous array of nods to john waters' original film and the broadway production as well.

for me, i'd have to say that the best part about the film was finding out that my housemate still has the song "good morning, baltimore" stuck in her head this morning.