Category Archives: Random


Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Why malignity? More than 5 years ago I registered and now, honestly, I don’t remember why I chose “malignity”. Maybe I was going through one of my phases of angst-ridden annoyance at society. Or it could have just been contrived evilness designed to somehow upset the apple-cart of the Establishment (not that it could care less). In reality I rarely feel truely malignant, and in history it isn’t a common theme in my life. Sure, society still annoys me, I still turn my nose at anything with a whiff of Establishment about it, but my reactions are more reflective, more latently sociopathic. Malignity? If I was malignant in my reaction to the world about me we’d be talking Fight Club, not mere grumpiness.

In short: I’m redirecting to the more logical URL of Honestly, that makes far more sense. I’m not going to consider finding a new word to inaccurately describe myself and my babble, my name is correct and sufficient and unlikely to change (neither is the fact that I’m Australian). Anyway, a quest for a new “word” would require the dictionary-of-eye-wateringly-long-words, or looking at new and obscure top-level-domains.

I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll renew the domain in the future, however doesn’t expire until mid-2012 so there is some time to mull over that one! I have no intention of trying to change over the huge number of emails tied to the domain anyway, so I expect it is a keeper — just in a reduced capacity. For now all all old URLs will just return 301 to, but I expect I’ll turn that off in a month or two. (In other words: if you care, update your bookmarks or readers.)

Now for the waffle. Best served with bannana, maple syrup, and double cream.

Even for people like myself, who really don’t have much time for the whole “Christmas thing”, this time of year is marked with indelible ink. When it comes to traditional Christmas and New Year I can take it or leave it. To me, one is a solstice festival commandeered by popular religion. Christianity owned it for centuries, and Commerce seems to be the major stakeholder now. The other is a mere side-effect of the ridiculous concepts of “clock” and “calendar”, I try not to think about time too much as it upsets me[1]. That’s how I feel, but it does not represent how I think anyone else should feel! It’s been a long while since I last thought the world should conform to my point of view. What a mess that would be!

Now I write, delete, write, and then finally suppress a sequence of words that tries to adequately describe my position on Christmas. It’s too difficult for me to explain in a succinct manner. I’m not against it, not for it. It is just a concept after all. What gets my hackles up is other people, and that is a truly endless source of material which can all be boiled down to “they are not me”.

Me? I can’t escape the season, it’d be like trying to run away from my own shadow. My family did the Christmas thing and even took a day or two off, and as a restaurant family time-off in the high-season is a big thing. So from before I remember it was part of my life. Religion wasn’t though, the only dose of religion in my childhood was a devout Christian (Methodist maybe, I’m not sure) baby-sitter who didn’t really push the subject but read us a lot of old testament stories for bedtime. That and my father’s occasional claims of being Catholic, which I always thought a bit absurd. He had it whipped into him by nuns or something though, corporal punishment does tend to drive the message home[2].

Anyway, despite the usual Grinch-like posturng, there’s a Christmas shaped hole in my year and what better to fill it with than Christmas? But what shape is this hole? It isn’t relaxation shaped, it isn’t shaped like a glass of beer, nor a church. Maybe it should be family shaped, it probably was once but eight years of being nowhere near family at this time of year has morphed it into something else. The shape is one of reflection and speculation. I have to laugh at myself on thinking this: no religion yet I immerse myself in quiet contemplation of the metaphysical.

I don’t travel at this time of year, it’s the worst time to try. I don’t even go out much, for much the same reason. I stay at home and try to get some of the wrinkles ironed out of my thoughts. Small things I’d normally be forced to dismiss get more time. Small things such as “malignity”, I’ve been uncomfortable with it for quite some time now. I thought about it for a good couple of hours just now and decided there’s no reason not to switch to my namesake domain. So it is done.

I’ll have more time to myself than usual this year. Traditionally I work on the on-days over the period, but the calendar is inconvenient this time so I’ll probably have the entire block of 11 days as a break. Kathlene on the other hand has to work on the on-days, bummer. So, what’s going to happen? More reflection and speculation or will hoped-for personal-productivity actually occur? This time right now is certainly the former.

I have a very long list of things to dwell upon, haven’t we all?

[1] For a sociological headache read up on the history “standard time”. Especially daylight savings and the insane emotion and politics around the subject. Physics is another issue entirely.

[2] Proof: In year-1 I was smacked by the principal for biting a classmate on the back (he pushed into the line!) and I’ve not bitten anyone since (well, not against their will).

British Uselesscom

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

BT, oh BT! I called them today, after three redirects to the “right department” the fourth person was able to tell me they have no record me trying to cancel two accounts a month ago. I have arranged cancellation again, effective from today. They said final bills will be in the mail shortly.

We’ll see…

Every time I try to get something done with these morons it’s the same damn story. They have no record of previous attempts, the reference numbers I have are meaningless, let’s try it again. Another near-hour of my life consumed by BT!

An attempt to have the lines redirected early in the year was aborted after five calls, several “reference numbers” (one of which I was assured couldn’t possibly be a BT reference number), and almost a full day’s worth of hours. I think I ranted about that at the time.

I don’t understand how a company can be so completely incompetent? It is beyond belief. The individuals I speak to on the phone all seem very friendly and helpful (and often apologetic), I’m always assured that it has been looked after and given one or more reference numbers. Then, it is as if it never happened. Thi is their business service.

Alas, my BT shenanigans are not over for the day. Now I have another account to try and track down, this time Openzone, who’re sending wireless roaming bills to who-knows-where while charging me late fees and not accepting calls. What’s more, the support number listed on their website is a toll-number! Utter bastards! (Yay for

Death of Captain Midnight

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Capi: 1986-2007
Capi on the verandah at Thomas Street, Busso, in 2000.

Today I heard the sad news of a death in the family. I still remember the day we bought “Captain Midnight” at the pet shop round back of the cinema in Busso. It was my choice of kitten and my choice of silly name, but I was only about 6 at the time. It wasn’t long after we learnt that “he” was a “she”, the name “Capi” stuck but there was never any agreement on what it was short for, if anything. Her death is not unexpected, she was old, a recurring topic of conversation on my infrequent calls home was “So, Capi still around is she?”

Capi lived through many an interesting time, children trying to bathe her, at least 5 house moves (between rural and urban settings), dislocated hip from a fall (cat’s don’t always land gracefully), and maybe even a snake bite? Not sure about that last one. Like many pets she racked up the vet bills over the years (starting with the fact that it costs a lot more to sterilise a female than a male). She out-lived some; Minty, our other cat, lost twice but rediscovered the first time after an absence of many months; Zeus, a German Shepard we inherited from an employee who moved away, he died in his sleep one night. And will be outlived by many, all the humans in the family, thankfully, and Ollie, a German Short Haired Pointer and youngest in the family.

Sometimes I thought of Capi as “my cat”, but this is disingenuous as over the years it was Mum who fed her and put up with her. After all, I moved to school when I was 14 and barely lived at home again after that (there was that year between high-school and Uni I guess). So in the end I was part of Capi’s household for less than half her life.

Capi was always there, on every one of my semi-annual trips home. Often the first person I’d meet when I got home. Every year a bit scrawnier, this year more a bag of bones than anything. We knew it wouldn’t be long. It’s hard to imagine she won’t be there next time I visit though. I always liked to believe that she remembered me, but I guess this is unlikely.

Wont Wont Wont

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Gah, I can’t help it. I just cannot put the apostrophe in wont. This isn’t a subversive political movement against the word, though I (clearly) don’t particularly care much about language “purity”. So, as I am wont to do, my wonts will probably remain wonts no matter what. (Yeah, I could s/wont/won’t/g. Or, as wont is a word I rarely use, I could just blacklist it from my spell-checker.)


Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

A few years back, not long after I reached an age where I had the supposed privilege to vote in Australia, I realised that voting was little more than an inconvenience. In Australia voting is “compulsory”, if you choose not to vote it’ll cost you 50 bucks (fine), so as a student I voted for the Greens because I thought Bob Brown was the least annoying party leader and 50 bucks was a lot of money to me in those days. I can’t say that I particularly cared for half the Green agenda, but hey, it doesn’t matter who you vote for (and in almost all cases a Green vote was essentially a Labor vote due to preferences).

The Australian election shenanigans viewed from my new outside perspective are far more entertaining than they’d be if I was still there and forced to indicate I had some preference for one buffoon over another. All I can think is that I pity anyone having to choose between the two dorks on offer (I think most “swinging voters” vote for the figurehead and not for the party, that’s why there’s so much ALP engine focus on “would you really want Costello to be PM?”). I’d be exercising my $50 right not to vote. A saving grace of the UK is that you’re not coerced into picking one ugly, old, lying pollie from another.

Anyway, much of what I think is summed up neatly in an old NYT article that Mr Dilbert linked to today Why Vote? (2005). I particularly like the parallel they draw to lottery tickets: “for the price of a ticket, you buy the right to fantasize how you’d spend the winnings — much as you get to fantasize that your vote will have some impact on policy.”

Anyway, please vote in whatever your next election is … deluded masses make the world go round.

Radio(head) Kills The Music Mafia

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Check out the new Radiohead album. They’re self-distrbuting and seemingly not involving a big label. The deal is pretty sweet too, the “discbox” contains a nice swag of stuff (but I’m not into things so I’m less likely to go for that) and the “download” comes with a checkout page where you choose the price.

It’ll be interesting to see how this experiment goes.

The “music industry” might have more to worry about than filesharing. In a couple of decades they might not have any new music to sell.

The Sun Came Back

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

The 2006 Summer here in the UK was stunning, endless long sunny days. I was won over for certain. This Summer, however, has been abysmal! Grey, rainy, and even rather cold some days! For a touch of good luck though all three days of the past “Summer Bank Holiday” long weekend were bright and sunny, perfect walking weather. Brilliant timing since Saturday was Kat’s b’day.

It was overcast again today 🙁


Supermarket Divorce

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Has the spark gone out of your marriage? Ready to give in to the modern virtual inevitability of separation? Then pop down to your local Tesco supermarket and pick up the Separation & Divorce kit for only £14.99!

I wouldn’t even try to venture a guess as to what surprising product I find on offer from Tesco next.

[I came across this while trying to find out if Tesco will sell me some potting mix online, surprisingly one thing you can’t get from is dirt!]

London Sunday

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

For the keen slave of capitalism London is rather disappointing on a Sunday morning. I fly out on a work trip at 14:30 today from the city airport so we came in to the city in the morning to do a bit of shopping. Now, because none of my clothes fit very well and our washing machine has packed it in I need some new garments. Clearly Oxford Street in London would be the place to go!

We got into the city just before 09:00. Upon tunnelling our way out of Oxford Circus station we noticed Oxford Street to be pretty dead — but it’s before 09:00 so fair enough. We popped around the corner and had an unsatisfactory type of coffee from one of the usual trashy coffee chains. At around 09:15 we headed back to Oxford Street… still dead. Look at the opening hours, open from 12:00pm (and 12:00am on several shops that clearly don’t know their AM from their PM).

Shopping on London, Oxford Street, on a Sunday morning? Stay at home. You can have a coffee, even have a few beers in the pub, but to buy items of apparel you’ll have to wait until noontime hours.

So I now sit in a nat little café on Neal Street (since Monmouth is closed on Sundays, the bastards) and drink some adequate espresso. Bonus points for insecure wireless networks.

Goth Keating

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

I dream more often than I used to, or maybe it’s more that I’ve become better at remembering my dreams. The other night has to go down as the strangest for a long time, seriously strange.

My memory of the dream starts off with some flickering glimpses of some sort of legal proceeding involving Paul Keating and a woman who we know (I’m always intrigued how there often seems to be a taken-as-fact back-story in dreams, knowing things to be the case with no reason or experience of them) is his wife (though in reality this older blond woman certainly isn’t AFAIK, and is certainly unlike Anita, his ex). They’re sitting next to each other behind a simple desk and I think they’re being questioned. The woman is crying in some scenes. That’s about it for that thread.

The scene shifts in a patchwork manner, I think there might be a gap in my memory here but ultimately we come to our namesake. The viewpoint from one side of a busy room, a high-society soirée, women wearing colourful and extravagant gowns and men in three piece suits. The view focuses on the far side of the room and seems to zoom in on one figure — it’s Paul Keating wearing a single breasted suit. But there’s more, our Paul has full white face-paint on, heavy black eye-shadow and mascara, and blood-red lipstick. This is Goth Keating.

Some time passes, I’m not sure if this jumps or something happens — all I have is a sense of time passed.

We see Goth Keating exiting the venue hand on the shoulder of a young tan skinned woman of indeterminate origin. Unlike most of the women in the room she wears a very simple dress, though it has a glittering metallic sheen.

Now a sudden shift of scene.

It’s dark, Goth Keating is being chased by a large hairy man wearing a dirty polo top. We know this is because Paul’s been getting it on with his pursuer’s daughter, presumably the woman we saw earlier but this is not known as fact (no obvious family resemblance either). The scene is outdoors, green grass, low light (dusk I suspect) and some low stone walls reminiscent of the foundations of some ruined monastery.

Scene shift again.

We’re in a building. The architecture is known instinctively, we’re familiar with this building. It is octagonal (or thereabouts) with two, very high roofed, stories. It’s a giant lecture theatre (or something like a parliament of former times?), with a standing podium space in the centre and stadium seating on all sides. Lots of wood and wrought-iron. The second level of the building is a wide circular gallery providing entry to the top tier of seating, there are also small lecture rooms off the second level though I’m not sure how they fit into the physical space (they remind me of the little tutorial rooms between lecture theatres back in the Carslaw building at USyd). The outer wall of the second level features a huge barn door on each edge of the octagon. Why do I know all this about the building?

Immediately, in this new scene, we see Goth Keating running up the stairs to the second level, large hairy man not far behind. At this point things get skewed, there is an effect of the viewer (me) and Goth Keating merging. We’re seeing and experiencing from Goth Keating’s perspective now. We run around the upper level full circle, at some point the hairy man tears some piece of woodwork from a railing and throws it at us — it strikes us hard on the shoulder and we stumble. Next we round the bend of the hall and make for a barn door (is it open already? I don’t know) and leap through — to fall 20 feet to the ground and suffer a jarring impact, the knees and feet hurt considerably.

At a stumbling run we continue into the darkness and it’s at this point that I wake up, or the memory ends.

Analyse that one.