Sunday, March 23, 2008

shaggy dog story

Meet Rufus.
Yes, he is part muppet.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

open the pod bay doors

RIP Arthur C Clarke. He was arguably the most important single person to the early days of space exploration - a position roughly analogous with that of Alan Turing's to the genesis of computing. Incidentally he also had a fascination for the ocean and was a keen diver.

If you've not read any of his I recommend The Songs of Distant Earth, Rendezvous with Rama, Childhood's End and, of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey. His short story collections Tales from the White Hart and The Nine Billion Names of God are also essential reading: the latter eponymous story ending with a line that always gives me goosebumps.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

travels and tribulations

So the taxi to the airport was interesting. Hopped in and said "to the airport!" (just like in the movies, only I added "mate" because it's Australia and everything ends with mate mate).

The big African dude driving asked where I was off to and on learning it was NZ said "Kiwi! You like this then!" (not a question - statement) and proceeded to wind all the windows down and put on Bob Marley at about 120db. Which, luckily, I did like. Very much.

As is always the case when running late for a flight there were road works, detours, jams and all manner of delays. Which the driver dealt with by alternately singing along with Bob (good voice) and driving bowel-looseningly fast in mid-afternoon city traffic. I wonder what he drives like when listening to metal.

Then the flight. Ahhh, yes... Things Jetstar should do:

* Put more than three people on the the check-in counter for a flight of 200+ people.

* Allow more than 15 seconds between 'boarding' and 'final call', especially if they've only just checked your bag in 2 minutes previously.

* Don't give the captain a microphone if he's going to rabbit on for about 10 minutes about wind speed and - significantly - forget the name of the destination.

* Apply more superglue to their aircraft when assembling them to prevent the all-over disconcerting rattling on take-off and landing.

* Not give beer and bourbon continuously to the loud guy who seemed to think he was the life of the party but had apparently modeled his personality on that of an Aussie cricketer. With the cultured nuances of a League player added.

But in any case: here I am in Christchurch again. Where it has, apparently, been beautiful weather - sunny, high 20s temperatures - up until I arrived. Of course.

Still, it's nice to be back again. But now I must go put on a hat and find some thicker socks.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

not Bodhi too!

This just in: Patrick Swayze only has weeks to live...

Best reaction quote:
Oh no! It's almost as bad as losing the Hoff!

Update: Not dying - just very, very sick.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

save vs death


Sad news for geeks everywhere.

More here, here and here.