Finally used up my gift voucher for a defensive driving course. The day-long course was held down at Oran Park Raceway and I found it very informative. A great deal of the day was spent practising emergency braking – straight line, around corners and swerving, which is not a huge deal if you have ABS, but pretty interesting when you don’t, like my car. The aim is not to jump on the brakes (which is intuitive), but to quickly squeeze the brakes as much as possible without locking the wheels and skidding. To illustrate the point, the instructor did a neat demo where he showed that he could apply the proper braking pressure using his hand instead of his foot to hit the brakes. It takes a few goes to get the pressure right, and it’s not the sort of thing you’d try out by yourself – not to mention that the car smells of singed rubber afterwards! Saw a lot of demonstrations showing rear wheel lockups (and subsequent spins), front wheel lockups, oversteer, understeer, and what not to do in such situations. Then we got to try it all out, which was the fun bit.
It’s a bit pricey, but I would recommend one of these courses, they are surprisingly worthwhile and you pick up a lot of extra info about your car and how to handle it.
Went to see Michael Bublé’s final Sydney concert with Denise and Jenny on Friday evening. When you fork out dosh to see a live performance, you’re really there to see the performer perform – not just a repeat of what’s out on their latest CD. Michael Bublé is great with the crowd and a surefire hit with the girls, at one stage jumping into the crowd to steal a kiss or ten from a particularly good looker in the front row. Her boyfriend took it in stride and ended up cuddling Michael. The girl, finding herself suddenly ousted from the action, leapt back in and threw her arms around the two of them, making it a threesome. (As Eddie Murphy said in his classic Delirious: “Being a comic though ain’t like being no singer. The singers get all the pussy.”)
Most of the stuff was from his CD (including two of my favourites, That’s All and The Way You Look Tonight), with some other great pieces thrown in. There were also a few short bursts of George Michael and Michael Jackson thrown in for laughs (no moonwalk, but he did sing Moondance). Good mix of slow and snappy songs. At the end he stepped away from the microphone and gave an acoustic rendition of a verse from My Funny Valentine. The hall slightly echoed his voice giving it a really rich, resonant quality. I don’t know what it’s called if it has a technical label, but like all good singers, he has the ability to finish off a line holding a sharp, crisp note that gently introduces a softly pulsating vibrato before gradually fading away cleanly. Terrific stuff.
Another view from a concert-goer at Kazzart.
Well if you’ve seen the first half of the movie, you have to see the second half. There have been complaints by certain individuals with limited attention spans that the movie was boring, but I found it very good.
Caught up with an old high school teacher for lunch on Friday. He left the school in the same year I finished to work for Apple, so I drove up to Apple’s Australia HQ in French’s Forest to meet him. Back in school they had these old Mac SEs and other assorted Apple paraphrenalia. I always used to trash Macs whenever I got the opportunity (I still do :). It was good when they switched over to Pentium-166MXes because that meant we could occasionally play Quake during lunchtime.
Anyway, Apple has grown leaps and bounds over the last five years. I still enjoy bagging out
Macs because, well, they’re Macs and they only have one mouse button. Nonetheless, Apple’s industrial design is second-to-none in the computing industry. Although the Apple HQ is pretty much just a corporate venue, the reception area is decked out like an Apple store with a range of Powerbooks, iMacs and so on on display just begging to be played with and touched (and they can be). I got a brief tour of the place and there isn’t much there, but it very much has a dot-commy feel to it. Techies in jeans, funky furniture, weird walls, crazy chairs and lots of translucency. The call centre there, which handles tech support for the Asia-Pacific region is called the “green room”. The floor is done in a lime green (garish or soothing, it’s a matter of opinion) and the walls are ceiling-to-floor blackboards. Not a CRT to be seen.
My eyes lit up when I got to play with what was alleged to be the first and only non-imported Mini iPod currently in Australia (its April release date was delayed). It’s tiny. It’s sexy. It’s cool. It’s fun to use. I want one. Unfortunately, for someone a poor uni student like me, just a bit too pricey (especially compared with the 15GB model) to justify forking out that much cash for it. I was assured that Apple was in fact making very slim margins on the iPods, but if you want to be cynical, I guess this is counteracted by the limited battery life of them requiring a repurchase after a year or two.
Shish, he says hi to you as well.
It’s Sunday arvo and after only two days and handling a few thousand megabytes of data, our ADSL routing modem has gone bust. Like, seriously: claim the warranty, RMA, return to manufacturer, scream obscenities at Netgear, bust. I know what I said about frying the modem, but this is ridiculous.
I’m currently connected to the net on dialup again. Stop laughing.
There’s an Indonesian restaurant in Maroubra called Kampoeng Rasa. The Ikan Bandeng Presto (softened milkfish) there is amazingly tasty.
You know what this means of course:
It’s been over ten years on dialup, but finally broadband is mine. This connection is so going to be raped. The ADSL modem is going to be a smoking pile of ash before the week is out.
Apparently the 4 gig Muvo2 arrived in from the States today. It arrived in Camden and is with Dad so I have to go back to disassemble and extract the microdrive from it. Mmm, 4gb goodness for my digicam. That’s like, around 1200 photos.
The Nokia 6600’s camera owns my crappy T610’s camera. Alcohol also owns Dave and Aris, but I’m sure I’ll hear more stories when he gets back from Melbourne. Last time they ended up halfway to South Australia after trying to, uh, save money.
ADSL provisioning is meant to be completed today, but knowing Telstra, it might still take a couple more days before the line goes live.
Ok, trying to finish off this damn annoying Legal Theory essay tonight. I just need to find a formalist judgment that is bad/anachronistic, and it’s frustrating me because I can’t find one. Then I have a Constitutional Law essay to do afterwards, but that will obviously have to wait for another day.
I hope the Easter break was a good one for you. I went to the gym for the first time in a while, overdid it a little and was hobbling around for most of the weekend. Very sore.
Not many people have complained about putting our public holidays on Christian-centric dates, but I found this article about religion making its way into politics again interesting. This is far from relapsing back into the darker days of a theocracy. However, it does seem that Churches are beginning to realise that if they want to do something about legislating according to their beliefs, they have to get people with similar convictions into power.
As late as 2000, blogs weren’t even a blip on the radar of mainstream media. Now they’re getting regular mentions. Like this article: New Kids on the Blog (from AJH). My opinions about blogging haven’t changed that much over the years. I figured that media coverage would come sooner or later, but I still have my doubts about (personal) blogging becoming a “serious” form of communication in the same way mainstream media is. The signal-to-noise ratio is just too high. On the other hand, blogs are still dying out after a couple months like always, but we’re beginning to a see a community of long-term stayers which is a good thing. I still dislike the term “blog”. There are many who started a site long before the label was conjured up and maybe feel that the label imposes connotations on them that may be true today but not back then.
I wonder if the major motivation for blogging in 2004 has changed when compared to say, 1999? After all, proliferation of the idea of blogging (it’s certainly entered popular culture when you get a lot of non-techies starting up blogs) must have done something to this.
Yeah baby! It’s finally coming! Counting down the days…
Service Type Personal ADSL Line Number 02——– Initial Data Entry Date Mon Apr 5 2004 Overall Status Provisioning is in progress Detailed Status: Confirmed: Carrier has confirmed service as deliverable, provisioning work is now being undertaken Telstra Advice Current ETA: 14/04/2004
I would never have thought it, but I’m really enjoying Property & Equity Law this session. It’s a pretty analytical and technical subject with 1001 rules and technicalities, but it’s all practical. The history of the development of property law and land law is pretty interesting. Our lecturer is fantastic as well. (He co-wrote the textbook which is still waiting to go to press. We’ve had to download and print our readings from PDFs that Lexis has put up on their site. Which is less than ideal given that this comprises a couple hundred pages that we’re going to have to buy next month anyway.) Nonetheless I came across in the readings this week what has to be the most completely and utterly incomprehensible Statute I’ve ever read (granted it’s from the 16th Century):
Where any person or persons are, or shall be seised of any lands, tenements … or other hereditaments, to the use confidence or trust of any other person or persons or body politic these other person, persons or body politic that have the use, confidence or trust in fee simple, fee tail, for life or years, or for any estate in remainder or reverter, shall be seised of the like estate as they had in the use, confidence or trust, and the estate of the feoffees shall be in them that have the use for such estate as they formerly had in the use.
I could spend 10 minutes decrypting that mass of … whatever it is … but it’s just not worth it.
I think law textbooks should get with the times and start adding in diagrams to help visualise relationships between parties. Explaining complicated facts in one huge chunk of text just doesn’t cut it.
Ok, Telstra never called me about whether the transposition request was successful (surprise surprise). However, given the sudden dialup speed boost last week, I reckon that the only explanation is that the request actually went through! So I put through an ADSL order with Internode. They haven’t rejected the order yet, and the status currently says that provisioning is in progress. This is the closest I’ve been to getting broadband since Telstra cable came out last decade. My fingers are crossed…
Luck must balance out, because in other news, I lost 14 consecutive games of Big 2 against Kev last night. I also lost four straight games to Dave of the Three Corridors War3 scenario. Not happy!! In my defence I did win the two games of snooker I played a few days ago against him and Aaron.
I hope Gmail isn’t an April Fools thing… Today is a bad day to be handing out press releases.
Update: Looks like it was announced a little while ago, so it’s safe. There are other uses for Gmail other than for an online archive of webmail, such as an online hard drive that can be used for collaboration with others (just share the password).