See You Next Wednesday
Wednesday, February 24
Thirty-one million, five hundred and fifty-six thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two seconds.

Sam the Eagle is in charge of editing and publishing the schedule of rehearsals and performances, and the promotional season calendar, amongst other things. He has done the job for over a decade. Today he asked Scooter:
"Can you tell me, please, was 2008 a leap year?"
"And how do you know that?"
"It's divisible by four."
"It's divisible by four. With no remainder."
"So it would have 366 days, not 365."
"Okay, thank you."

How does he not know that?
Tuesday, February 23
Reanalogizing... now!

I was going to redecorate the U.S.S. Swinetrek for the rebooted Pigs in Space, but the costume department hasn't come to a design decision so it's been put off until spring. I was selected because of my experience with redecorating and not my familiarity with the Swinetrek set, so I have been doing a lot of reverse engineering to catch up. Fortunately, this means nobody else's time has been wasted for the last three weeks, just mine.

I will probably be redeployed to Muppet Labs, but meanwhile it's back to the maintenance roster for me. There are problems with the Family Season Tickets, Children's Season Tickets, Adult Concession Season Tickets, Family with Adult Concession Season Tickets, and Resubscription Discount Season Tickets. However there isn't anything wrong with the Single Adult Season Tickets which means each of the ticket problems has to be fixed separately so as not to disturb the small part of the system which works.

In Real Life.

The house market has been very slow since Christmas. I am led to understand a house on land in Canberra is currently overpriced by around fifteen percent, and the local prices will continue to be met by investment buyers because [political rhetoric and individual anecdotes sprinkled with economic jargon], but we should keep looking.

I found a group on the Internet which meets for coffee once a fortnight so I went along to three. About a dozen people showed up each time. The loud people monopolized the conversation with the interesting people leaving the nice people to entertain the dull people, as you might expect, but with twelve people after a while there was some circulation. Sometimes the conversation was interesting - I heard about a pod of orcas which cooperated with the whaling station at Eden on the New South Wales coast; I learned what you can throw in the recycling bin in Canberra; and I was told where lap dogs like to defecate when it's too wet to go outside - sometimes it was not interesting. There were some people who were new to Canberra and felt very welcome, which was nice. On the last occasion, after coffee, I went to see Valentine's Day on the day and I was invited to an English Second Language conversation afternoon which was alleged to have a website I have completely failed to find.
Monday, February 22
Phone Phreaking.

(Not as exciting as you might think.)

My phone seems to be using a stockpile of old timestamps on my outgoing messages. On Saturday afternoon I sent seven messages within a few minutes. The first four were a minute or two apart up to 14:42 20/02; the next three were dated 13:41 26/01, 16:33 26/01 and 08:21 27/01. Later on Saturday two messages sent within minutes of each other were dated 12:43 27/01 (inaccurate) and 16:30 20/02 (accurate). Only one of the next twelve messages was correctly dated. Messages sent minutes apart had time gaps of five to seventeen hours. The incorrect dates have been applied in chronological order, progressing from 13:41 26/01 to 21:21 30/01 over the last forty-eight hours. The timestamps on incoming messages are okay, and as far as I know the clock has been correct.
Sunday, February 21
Emma-Jean victorious.

Emma-Jean went to Melbourne to talk about linguistics and received the necessary and sufficient acclaim to make it impossible for here to deny her cleverness. And she's my friend. She's my clever friend.

Gang a-gley.

Narayan was still in India on Thursday so the consensus was there would be no Werewolf on Saturday. On Friday there was no Vampire due to illness - but nobody told me until Saturday. Even then Shy told me and she doesn't even play in that game, but someone had told her it wasn't on. I was going to see Up at the cinema today because I missed out when it was released - but it turns out it's not on until Sunday 28th... of March.

On the other hand I was free to give Liz a hand wrangling Asher when her horrid fever got the better of her maternal coping powers. We also watched the first season of Venture Brothers on a jolly big television screen, which was nice.
Thursday, February 18
Muppet epistemology.

"Everyone remembers Galileo as being right; but he wasn't, he just said he was. At the time, all the mathematical studies agreed with an Earth centred universe. It wasn't until more recently that they showed the Earth goes around the Sun and it just happened to agree with Galileo."

(I should analogize these things - someone may recognize themself one day.)
Wednesday, February 17
Blog for Noly.

Today I spent a significant part of my day at work* teaching a new staff member how to use an application I have never used myself. It was my job because I'm his "workplace buddy" and someone (else, higher up) told him he has to use it. (Did I mention I've never had to use it.) Also, the system was slow to the point of timing out - which simply confounded any diagnostic algorithms. And finally his access became denied, and his password was reset, and his new password was too long for the password field.

Fortunately Emma-Jean was visiting my house when I got home so now I feel much better.

*If I tried to make this a Muppet-analogue it would never get posted. The Muppets are ridiculous; this was just stupid.
Tuesday, February 16

Nearby cubicle asks, “Did you hear about the guy who was running around assaulting mothers by rubbing chili powder on their kids’ faces?”
Neighbouring cubicle replies, “Yeah. What kind of person does that sort of thing? You couldn’t call them a pædophile.”
Nearby cubicle says, “No. I would do it to teenagers in the [mall], but not babies.”
Wednesday, February 10

Jimbo caught a cold: neither dungeons nor dragons were played.


My electronic devices are working properly again. Peace and hugs for everybody.
Tuesday, February 9
Pub Quiz.

I went to a pub quiz I found on the Internet. I met Dave, Dave, Desleigh, Doris, John, Lyn and Mary Anne who organised it. Three of our answers were complete guesses. We tied for first place and won the tie-breaker, which was nice.

Military Christian Fellowship.

No, not really; Multi-Cultural Festival actually. I went along for a few hours and met up with Emma-Jean, Gavin and Shy, then they went home. I also saw Angela, Bela and Mike there. I saw Polynesian dancers, belly dancers, a South American pipe band, African drumming, flamenco dancers and an escape artist. Then I got a bellyache and went home to bed.

Fey blood.

Last week my mobile phone stopped ringing and my (electronic) diary stopped reminding me about appointments. (Some people might think this is a good thing, but if I didn't want to be reminded I wouldn't put them in my diary.) My phone rings for phone calls now, but not SMSs yet, and my diary has resumed reminding me of appointments - but only up to the last one, who knows when it will happen again. Today, at work, my phone calls and e-mails are not being answered. Perhaps I am a hobgoblin.


Tonight I will probably play Dungeons& Dragons with Dave, Emma-Jean, Gavin, Jimbo and Simon. That should be fun.
Wednesday, February 3
Where did everybody go?

No meeting; no coffee; no game; no movie; no rescheduled meeting. Everyone is busy or just not up to it. That's why this post is all about me (count the 'I's*).

I saw Up In The Air which I liked. I like airports and traveling, and I liked the snappy editing. I think I missed something in the confirmed bachelor's speech to his new brother-in-law, but it served its purpose to mark the turning point in the story anyway. I also saw It's Complicated which was poor. By the end of the movie the three adult children of the 'complicated' relationship are huddled together in bed crying and yet nobody is the bad guy. I thought there was a loathsome, despicable guy; but he was childish and comical, everybody loves him and ultimately he goes unpunished - so the movie didn't think he was a bad guy. I liked the children; I wish they had more story.

Emma-Jean's game of Lexicon (Eternity·8) has made it past Round L which proved to be the final round of the other Lexicon game I played. Hooray! Emma-Jean has the unenviable task of herding the cats playing Eternity·8. Players constantly miss deadlines, turns now take a week, and I don't think there is a single rule which hasn't been broken. I am constantly amazed (well, on a weekly basis at least) that people selected for their creative output, who made an informed decision to participate in the project, can't seem to produce a hundred words in a week. Some Lexicon games have a daily turnaround, or run concurrent rounds. So - you can blame them for making me think I could write in my weblog more often.

This may not sound like the snappiest line from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but it evidently caught the imagination of John Landis, who has worked references to a mythical film of this name into most of his own movies - memorably as the grotty British skinflick watched by an assortment of lycanthropes and zombies in the climax of An American Werewolf in Paris [sic] (1981). Ghastly Beyond Belief, Neil Gaiman and Kim Newman

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Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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