To Blog or not To Blog
Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Review: Howl's Moving Castle
On a whim, I decided to take the sis out to a movie last night.
Seeing as though there is crap-all on at the big cinemas, and I am still saving seeing Wallace & Gromit and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I thought I'd see what was on at Electic Shadows.
There's a new film from the maker of Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki. It's (weirdly) called, Howl's Moving Castle. And seeing as though I enjoyed the first movie, I thought it might be nice to see this one. Even better was that Wednesday night is tight-arse night at Electric Shadows, so only 8 bucks each!
It's a beautiful movie. From the start to finish. The animation is gorgeous. The landscapes and sceneries are so well drawn. The colour is great and the story is wonderful.
It's hard to describe, but it's a fantastical story with a big dose of imagination and it makes you smile, laugh and tear up.
I mean, really, what more can you want from a movie?
Japanese animation has probably gotten a bad wrap and is not seen as a mainstream form of entertainment, but this is not Manga, and it is not Pokemon. The movie is even distributed by Disney!
There are the voices of Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall and Billy Crystal (in the dubbed version). Perhaps the original Japanese version would give it a different feel, but once you get used to hearing Billy's nasally voice as the fire demon Calcifer, the dubbed voices work well. There's even the voice of Jena Malone. She's the cute girl in that, 'oh-so awesome' film, Donnie Darko.
So, anyway, if you find yourself bored with the usual tripe trotting out of Hollywood at the moment, do yourself a favour and go and check out this movie. Let your imagination go with it and you'll smile.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
It was a good weekend.
I'm still getting over it though.
And don't give me any of this, "There's always next year" stuff.
Bring on the cricket...
Friday, September 23, 2005
It's a big weekend of sport, kids, Bendigo and (hopefully) sun coming up!
I will be in Victoria for the AFL Grand Final. But there's no Victorian team in it for the 2nd year running!
Not that I really care who wins, but
GO THE SWANNIES!
And of course, the NRL Grand Final Qualifier is on Sunday. I'll be sitting there in my jumper with my son cheering them on to victory! They are HUGE favourites with the bookies, but I am afraid to count my chickens just yet!
Anyone have some good songs for a soundtrack in the car to Bendigo? It's about a 7 hour drive or so including the obligatory stop at Maccas!
I have the new Jamiroquai, Kanye West and Gorillaz. Hopefully they will entertain me for a while and I can avoid playing 'I like to move it' from the Madagascar movie that the kids like to play over....and over....and over again. I mean, I like Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G), but there's a time when it becomes a little too much! (maybe after the 4th time in a row)
So, hope y'all have a great weekend, and GO THE EELS & SWANNIES!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Bored? Try "The Grow Cube"
I have no idea what it is or how it works, but give this cute little game a go.
You have to add the bits to the sube in a specific order to achieve some sort of result....
I dunno. Just fiddle and play and you'll get the idea.
Here's the best I could do....
Good luck! Let me know how you go!
[Some time later....]
YAY! I did it :)
Monday, September 19, 2005
Arrrr! Say hello to MAD William Bonney!
I always wanted to be mad!
No U: Drive? No worky!
And we're off and racing on a Monday morning.
No U: Drive.
Dunno what's happened from Friday arvo to this morning, but where there's supposed to be a green light on my network card, there is nothing.
So instead, I'm logged into the PC that belongs to the 'Enigma'. The contractor that never sits there and instead likes to work in the client area.....or in the Plaza somewhere..
So, I thought I'd write a blog entry. I have a full week this week, but it's the last full week for a couple of weeks. On Friday I head down to Bendigo for 4 days to visit my sister and Mum with the 3 kids. The 7 hour drive should be interesting, but I am looking forward to it. I have never been down there, and it'll be nice to see where the Sis and Mum live.
A bonus about being in Bendigo on Monday is that the last of the NRL Grand Final tickets go on sale, and I will be able to (hopefully) buy my tickets at the crack of 9am at the sole Bendigo Ticketek agency without a queue. However I will have to forgo live coverage of the NRL Preliminary Finals because the pathetic coverage of Rugby League in Victoria means they replay the games at 9.30 and instead show such classic movies as 'She's all That'.
[Editorial Note: Due to lack of research, I wrote this before actually checking the guide for the 2nd Preliminary Final, which indicates that it will be shown live in Bendigo. Yay!]
After I have my hot little ticket in my hand, I will be heading up to Sydney to following weekend for a twin family christening and the NRL Grand Final. Can't wait!
As you may have guessed, I am presuming that my team, the mighty Parramatta Eels, will be in said final. Ok, so maybe I shouldn't presume anything, but I like to live my life with the glass half full as people know :)
Well, I suppose I should try and do some work this morning, or at least look like I am, instead of writing a long unstructured email, like this one...
Friday, September 16, 2005
It's nearly knock-off time!
I am looking forward to a nice weekend away from work in which I can spend time with the kids and hopefully get a little sleep.
This is the last weekend in a few where I will be in Canberra the whole time, as I go to Bendigo next weekend, and then Sydney for a christening (plus an Eels Grand Final hopefully!).
The weekend after in the Bathurst 1000 which will hopefully involve lots of drinking and merriment for the annual drinking game.
And if I feel the need to urinate I will be sure to follow GFH (Guess the acronym, otherwise known as George Dubya), in requesting leave to relieve myself...
Have a great weekend all!
Monday, September 12, 2005
The Big Issues
I'm not that big on the big issues.
Sure, I like to keep myself informed about current events, and I try to make sure that I read the papers and watch the news and check out my daily news emails from time to time. Sometimes certain things catch my eye, and 2 of them have done so today.
Firstly from Crikey, I caught a portion of a speech from Senator Natasha Stott Despoja from last Thursday. It inspired me to go and grab the full speech from Hansard.
She is referring to fact that she, and other Democrat and Labor senators want the Senate to support universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, in the lead-up to next week's 60th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This would be done via a motion posed by Democrats leader Lyn Allison to recognise that "access to sexual and reproductive health is also a critical strategy towards achieving gender equality and women's empowerment".
Here it is. It's not your usual babble...
Senator STOTT DESPOJA - Well, I withdraw it then, Senator Boswell. But the point is that you of all people - through you, Mr Deputy President - know how to read a motion and an amended motion. So look at (a) to (d) in the Notice Paper and recognise the difference between that motion and the amended one. The so-called offensive words are in both. The version that we have before us is no more difficult to read. it is easier and it is not radically different. So in terms of precedence, if that is the best excuse that some senators give for denying formality or for even voting against
the suspension of standing orders, it is pretty pathetic.
One thing I do take from Senator Boswell's speech is when he says that this is a test for the chamber. He is not kidding. This is the first. This is the flag. This is the first signal to some of us in this place, men and women, that this is what the next three years - potentially longer - are going to be about. It is about seeing everything through the prism of women's rights, particularly women's reproductive rights, and it is the first king hit. It is the first test for those of us who believe that men and women are equal and that women have the right to 'sexual and reproductive health services'.They are the words that some blokes in this place today find offensive.
That is what we are voting on today: a basic statement of principle. And it is not about abortion on demand; it is about sexual and reproductive health services.
It is about things like prophylactics, condoms and all those other bad words that some people cannot cope with in this place. It is about issues like health
and poverty. This is what Senator Allison and I were talking about: how do we talk about alleviating poverty, honestly and realistically, without talking about
sexual and reproductive health - women's health - not just in countries like ours but in the developing world?
If we are going to squirm at those words and squib on those issues then we are not good global citizens. And if that is the case then I want our Prime Minister to take that message to the UN next week and make it clear where Australia stands. I will be embarrassed - but I do not think it will be the case, because I know that the minister himself and the government, through the whip and through the coalition today, have indicated their support for this motion. Yes, they are supporting
it! So who does not support it? Who is defying their government on this? Who are the anachronistic, outdated conservative people in this place who will deny women their rights and indeed will not put forward positive, constructive ways of alleviating poverty, death, disease, AIDS, HIV - the works? Stand up and be counted now, gentlemen, because I am ready for this debate. If the next three years are going to be seen in
this prism whereby you are going to vote down a motion like this - a motion that is inoffensive, progressive, constructive and supported by government - bring on the fight, guys!
The motion to allow the Democrats' motion go ahead without debate failed.
Fucking hell is the first thing I have to say.
Barring some intervention from some almighty spirit (religious or secular), the Ashes will be returning England tonight.
A sad day for Australian cricket?
The end of civilisation as we know it?
But what pisses me off is the poms. They want these Ashes. They want them BAD. They would go to almost any length to get them and now that they are close, they won't get any sort of technicality like bad-light get in their way.
Last night for example, it was dark, sure. But so dark that they would be in danger of getting hurt? Surely not from the bowling of Michael Clarke and Shane Warne.
Sure, a Brett Lee bouncer in twilight could tickle a little, but I fail to see how a leg spinner that raps into your pads is going to leave a mark.
Ok, maybe it's sour grapes, but Come on Umpires! We've had 5 tests of exciting cricket and you're going to let it be decided like this??
The sight of Michael Vaughn virtually sprinting off the ground after being offered the light makes me want to punch the closest Englishman (apologies to any near by).
There's wanting a decision to go yoachieveo help you acheieve a result, and then there's pleading for a decision to go your way to make it easier for you to get your result the shortest and easiest way possible.
Bloody Whingeing Poms....
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Letter to Bush from Michael Moore
Dear Mr. Bush:
Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.
Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?
Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!
I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?
And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!
On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.
There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.
No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!
You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Gotta love live TV
Live on the very reputable Fox News in New Orleans as a man is walking his dog.
SHEPARD SMITH: You're live on FOX News Channel, what are you doing?
MAN: Walking my dogs.
SMITH: Why are you still here? I'm just curious.
MAN: None of your fucking business.
SMITH: Oh that was a good answer, wasn't it? That was live on international television. Thanks so much for that. You know we apologize.
Hehehe....Good on him.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Feeling human is very underrated...
I woke up for the first time this week today feeling human, and actually happy to get up. I felt sick all week but knew I had to get up and get to work because of how busy it is, but Monday was just too hard.
Today I actually feel decent and had a nice big lunch and am ready for the weekend.
So...tonight. Regurgitator at the ANU Bar! Similar to last time, I have no-one to go with, (unless Rowan gets back to me!), so if there's anyone who wants to go check out the Gurge tonight, let me know!
Oh yeah, I am taping the Eels v Broncos game for the minor premiership. So no-one let me know the score until I get home and watch it!!
Graphics and design by Ann Stretton 2001