And now for something, completely different.
And now for something, completely different.
My good friend Seb informed me this afternoon that he'd had a dream involving me last night. I'll admit, I had a dream involving him too recently, and for his convenience I shall regale you all with it here to the best of my ability.
It was a particularly chilly and frosty morning, evidenced by the fact it was rather chilly with plenty of frost around. Also, it was morning.
The UTS anime club (and two people I knew from other places) had been living in a shared apartment in town for the better part of a few months, give or take the days when we'd been in cryogenic status to avoid having to deal with flus and other irritating illnesses. We'd saved a small bundle in public transport fares, which we used to pay the rent for a shared apartment in town. Cue Elton John's The Circle of Life here.
Given the temperature, Sebastian and I had ordered everyone to remain in bed on this chilly Sunday morning, while we braved the cold to procure sweet pastries of a highly unhealthy nature, and several large thermoses of tea. It would be my job to carry the food, while Seb wielded a rather large wand made of dried apricots to fend off the swarms of flying toasters that would feast on pastries and burn them, if they got their way.
Turning a corner as we rubbed our hands, we somehow found ourselves in a little side street off the Champs-Élysées. As you would expect walking around inner-city Sydney. Walking down this idyllic street with its rows of trees and buildings that all looked the same, we chanced upon an adorable café nestled in the ground floor of a turn of the century apartment building. The bus stop out the front had a giant advertisement for the Panty and Stocking anime, which I sheepishly admitted I'd never finished, but that I liked some of the art. Besides, someone who loves eating cake all day can't be bad, right?
Entering the café in order to get out of the cold and purchase foods of a warm nature, we strolled towards the counter to inspect their wares. It was a difficult maneuver, requiring us to climb a ladder on the side wall, the walk upside down across the ceiling.
Despite the classical French feel with blue and white awnings outside, the smell of traditionally baked bread and freshly roasted French style coffee permeating through the café, there was something not quite right about it. Seb agreed; for one thing the counter on the ceiling we had to climb a ladder to reach had a black marble top. It was just out of place. Then there was the Korean pop music playing lightly in the background.
The owner of the shop approached us while we were raising these concerns with each other. She had perfectly white hair and a large red hair band with red bows, as if someone had thought her hair was so wondrous, it deserved to be gift wrapped. Speaking in our finest German to her (wait, what?) we ordered what we'd come for, and soon after we left carrying several large bags of baked goodness. The bags of course being made out of old ThinkPads, which we had to keep closed.
Our next challenge lay in the bridge we'd crossed to get there. Somehow, a large alligator with the tail of an... alligator had swallowed it, as if it were a Parisian pastry of some description. Of course, the Seine only has one bridge crossing it (wait, what?) so we did the next best thing. Taking a few large steps back, we ran towards the river, jumped with all our might, and sailed gracefully back to the street corner some 100 metres away. I lost a Danish in the transit, but figured we'd bought such a vast quantity of sweetness we could afford to lose a few.
Turning the corner back to George Street, Seb took us to a basement book store that necessitated us spending 15 minutes in a lift. I wrestled with the implications of having a bookstore in the centre of the Earth, for one thing, wouldn't the books singe in the heat? And wouldn't the location have shockingly high rent?
We arrived back at the apartment having only left for a minute or so, as evidenced by the clock which had been mounted sideways and displayed its time in multiples of 4. We gathered up the food, spread it out across the loungeroom floor, then called everyone in to feast. Naturally everyone brought their blankets, quilts and other bed coverings, which we used to huddle up while we talked and watched a wood fire video loop on our large circular television
Usually my dreams don't end so clearly, but the last I remember was batting a toaster with my left hand back out the window while we laughed and talked.
So I was making my way to the espresso machine in the kitchen for a much needed break. I'd been whittling away at a spreadsheet for my father for several hours, and the increasingly complex equations were beginning to make my head spin. Right?
I donned my slippers, slid out of my computer chair, gave an almighty stretch, paused my relaxing music on iTunes (at least, I thought I did, more below) and made my way to the hallway. The late afternoon sun had begun to bathe the house in a warmer coloured light which seemed almost friendly, and reassuring.
I reached for the shelf below the espresso machine, and began pouring the beans from the current bag of Columbian Light Roast into the top of the DeLongi. I could already feel myself waking up and feeling happier just at the smell of the freshly roasted beans.
While the machine was turning itself on, I poured fresh water into the tank, then stared outside into the garden. As far as Australian houses go this half-lot doesn't have much, but still enough for some full bushes and a gigantic old tree on the far side. They were all swaying lazily in the afternoon breeze, themselves turning a warmer shade of green in the same light I saw streaming through the downstairs window before.
A loud, high pressure steam hisssssssss let me know the espresso machine was ready to make the coffee. I tapped the single shot button, motioned my chipped Starbucks mug that friendly barista had given me for my 16th birthday (or was it my 14th?) under the outlet, and watched the goodness stream down.
I wonder if she still worked at that Starbucks? Was that Starbucks even still there? We hadn't gone to it that often in Paragon since the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf opened. My friend Felix and I would often meet up there after school and dream of all the things we'd be doing after high school. The infocomm. The photography. These newfangled podcasts people were starting to get excited about. Where we'd be living. The accessible artists studio I was designing in my mind for my mum. Budgeting. People we liked. Books. Our IT consultancy plan where we'd dress in tailcoats, bowlers hats and walking canes.
I didn't know how long I was staring at that full cup for, but long enough for the timer on the espresso machine to shut itself off after a certain period of non-use. I shook my head gently, rubbed my eyes, then took the mug.
I was about to trudge back downstairs to the computer room again, but decided instead to walk outside and feel the sun on my back. I could hear the flute music I had been listening to on iTunes downstairs; I was surprised it could carry that far. Maybe I'd left the window open down their. In any case, it was lovely.
I'm a friggen lucky guy, more than I can ever appreciate.
Here's some random stuff that fell through subspace into this Trekkie's browser over the course of the last few days and thought deserved more than a frantic bookmarking on del.icio.us, et al.
We start with the cast of the original series chibbified! Obviously I'm arriving at this party seven years too late ;). As my sister quickly pointed out, these were clearly based on the original cast not the remake. I like the original Trek timeline, she only likes the 2009 Star Trek film, enough said!
I've since lost where I got this image from, if I find it I'll link to it here. Danbooru has a copy, but it hosts some NSFW material.
I only just found out about CustomMiniFigs, but already I've poured through a ton of their posts and am loving the creativity! This is a minifig of everyone's favourite Vulcan, complete with pointy ears and a combadge!
MiniFig customization is an art, and whilst they can be as simple as mixing and matching logo body parts, they can also be as complex as creating entirely new minifigs and minifig accessories, not necessarily using Lego pieces.
You know those Christian fish that some people feel compelled to put on their cars, along with the same fish with legs that Darwin supports use to poke fun of the former? Here's one for Trekkies!
The ratio of the warp nacelles to the rest of the graphic and the shape of the fish saucer section suggest to me an Intrepid class, but the nacelles aren't mounted in the right position. Its an Intrepid Fish! I'll stop now.
There are at least five things wrong with that picture. The most glaring thing is... there's an Outback Steakhouse in Millenia Walk [sic] in Singapore, and it has American flags outside. Then again that could be a mistake on the restaurant's part, in which case there's nothing wrong with this picture whatsoever.
Photo from FreakingNews.com. Another photo and site for which I have no recollection on how I found it. Like a boss, most likely.
While attempting to find information on the dietary requirements of dust bunnies, I came across perhaps the most epic website of all time.
Firstly, may I say, just straight off the bat, out of left field, out of nowhere, right off the cuff, putting it out there, shouting out loud, mentioning in passing, that I've never been that dusty before. That is enough dust to cover someone from head to toe, or toe to head as the case may be. In this case it could be both, judging from the degree of dust coverage.
Needless to say, that's a lot of dust, and I've never had so much on me before personally. Dust is fairly soft I've been lead to believe, but from experience I can attest to the fact the stuff contains a fairly high degree of materials that cause me convulsions of the nasal cavity. That's what a sneeze is, right?
To think it causes that with just a small amount thrown into the air from vigorous activity like vacuuming or dusting, if I were covered from head to toe as this poor gentleman is I'd be sneezing so violently and regularly I'd probably start setting off security alarms in cars parked around the block.
Fortunately through the use of some Dustless Technologies, our friend Darren here seems to be dust free which is a tremendous relief. I hear its really hard to wash and keep dust clean, easier to just not have it I've always thought.
If you're all alone
With dust on 'ur phone
Who ya gonna call?
I digress, but some of this stuff on the Dustless Technologies website is pretty cool. Their flagship product appears to be a vaccum cleaner device you can attach to hardware such as angle grinders. That way, while you're... grinding... the dust and splinters that are generated get sucked into the vaccum cleaner instead of going into the air that you're breathing as you're dong this stuff.
My personal favourite, because of the name, is the DustBuddie:
The DustBuddie Dust Shroud captures up to 99% of the dust created by a hand grinder – before it escapes into the air. Designed to be used with the Dustless Wet Dry Vacuum, this dust control shroud fits most hand grinders and is quick and easy to install. With its brush skirt, adjustable height, and removable front lip, the DustBuddie performs smoothly and accurately.
See, I go to their website and have every intention of just talking about a guy covered in dust, but I end up talking about their products. Shrewd geniuses. They even have a link which at this stage I have no choice but to include now, you see.
This is the third time I've mentioned industrial cleaning product on this site, for no reason.
From the Department of Passing Interests comes a message from a person claiming to be the comedian, writer and entertainer Andy Kaufman, someone whom I admit I did not know before listening to The Overnightscape, but then again I suspect that was the point.
Here it is, straight from AndyKaufmanLives.com which has more redundant HTML than even my site here has. Microsoft Office products should not be used to generate web documents!
I have spent the last 15 years haunting the internet. People ask when I am going to “return”. You do not seem to understand. You left me 25 years ago. I have no use for you now. My message to the world is this… f*ck every last one of you.
I also really love frosty chocolate milkshakes.
Do I know of whom I'm talking about? Not really. If you read my blog, you probably don't either. Come to think of it, do we "know" anyone? What's the definition of "know"? Is to know to have met them, talked to them or intimately know details about their life that perhaps at times you could even remind them of? Is it more of an issue of acquaintance, or perhaps something deeper than even friendship?
We're all looking for answers in life and have met challenges we've either taken by the shoulders and knocked senseless, or have accepted the feeling that it's the inevitable and not worth fighting against. I admit I've felt far too much of the latter, less of the former, and from the sound of it Andy has as well.
Making lemonade when life gives you lemons is tough when life hasn't given you any sugar to make it with.
In an ironic twist, in his message discussing the world's ignoring of him, he is ignoring those who were born after the fact, say less than 25 years ago. Like me. Like a not so statistically small percentage of the world, many of whom I suspect would have been his target market. That's fine.
The water goes under the bridge, the grilled cheese sandwiches get cooked, the world keeps spinning and the people who've decided life is precious and beautiful don't just try to live through another day, we appreciate the fact they've been given the opportunity. When I see how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, plenty of food to eat and several dozen people who give me some of their time every day to read my posts here because they think I'm interesting, I feel darn lucky. I'm 23, still haven't finished studying and I don't have a mum, a girlfriend. I have nobody to hug. Some days it's tough. Other days I just think of those other things and in the words of Michael J Fox I just "think it'll get better from here".
You can take the phrasing of this next part however you wish. I'm a rationalist so I'm going to take it literally as it sounds. Andy Kaufman died 25 years ago. The hardest part of getting over something isn't the anger, the lashing out at the very people online who were interested in you and who could have helped a revival, it's the acceptance. Acceptance is tough.
This person claiming to be Andy Kaufman (I'm old fashioned, I need evidence) seems to have worn our his patience. Well to be fair my curiosity was piqued but not overly aroused. Frankly I'm just worried that when I die there will be someone who says they're me and claim that my death was staged. What a scary prospect.
Philosophy goes in circles doesn't it? Lots of things do. Car wheels, the reasoning of so many politicians, conspiracy theories. Some are essential to the success and function of our planet and our lives, some are superfluous. It's up to us to make that distinction, but given our shared past it seems it's not so easy to reach a consensus after all.
AndyKaufmanLives.com. So does the alien in my basement, the supposed replacement of Paul McCartney, the apparent lie that we landed on the moon, the mind control chemicals spewing from every air conditioning unit. I guess if we keep telling ourselves something is true, eventually to us, it is. If he really does exist though, I wish him all the best and hope he finds a better group of people than us that he clearly deserves. Deserves sound like desert, like a big cheese cake. With strawberries and turkey gravy.
You take the good, you take the bad, and there you have... my Sunday philosophy post. In the eternal words of Mr Mackey: "mmmkay".
From Adelaide: On Saturday nights some young people go binge drinking at nightclubs. Ruben does the hardcore thing by releasing a ridiculous, disjointed, repetitive, mildly irritating podcast episode with little cohesion or rational thought. And some people say he's a loser, can you believe it? Including vintage audio from Not Only but Also!
This also serves as a crossover for Rubenerd Unplugged, the cheap knockoff of the Rampler which is coming soon. This will be the only episode where Unplugged material is played here, unless someone uses an effective form of persuasion against Ruben such a gun, or grilled cheese sandwich.
Another one of those "why didn't I think of that?" things:
First introduced last year, the Tweel sports a flexible spoke/wheel design that replaces the need for air pressure, deforming to absorb shocks. See it in action after the jump.
"…vertical stiffness (which primarily affects ride comfort) and lateral stiffness (which affects handling and cornering) can both be optimised, pushing the performance envelope in these applications and enabling new performances not possible for current inflated tires."
Adhesive hooks, Australian Medicare national ID card, call from Microsoft, new schedule and website (WWR wiki style!), The Top 5 (signs you listen to too much commercial radio), listener mail (Richard of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA), and a Whole Wheat Radio site update.