Monday, 31 July 2006

Encouraging a deceased equine

When one finds that one is not being heard, the best strategy is to stop talking. This is much like the saying about finding that you are riding a dead horse. Unfortunately, when most people find that they are not being heard, they speak at greater volume.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Some take the strategy of speaking for longer periods.
PPS - The really misguided ones use bigger words.

Sunday, 30 July 2006

The Sunday Mok - Seaworld

Sunday - There was a barbeque lunch after the morning church service, but I skipped it. In the afternoon, I took a nap and played City of Heroes a little bit. I sang in the evening service, then I had a good night of comedic responses at supper at the Coffee Club.
Monday - Work was all appraisals database and timesheets (which didn't go quite right). At Alpha in the evening, I didn't participate much in the discussion after dinner.
Tuesday - The day at work was much like Monday. Karate in the evening was all combinations, kata and sparring, which was good. I watched TV afterwards and talked to Deb on the phone.
Wednesday - Mostly performance appraisals database work at the office, and dinner at Deb's afterwards. We watched some Arrested Development, thanks to Sam. I liked it.
Thursday - I got questioned by four different people about a single problem at work, so that felt a bit overdone. Dad, Ug, Deb and I had Thai for dinner, then Deb and I watched two episodes of Angel.
Friday - I finished some navigational overhauls of the performance appraisals database, but Paul didn't have time to review them. At youth group in the evening, we played a game where we pretended to live in a country that was persecuting Christians, then let the kids have a go at running it. They were far more oppressive than we were.
Saturday - Deb and I spent the day at Seaworld. We took about 80 photos of marine animals and went on Deb's first rollercoaster. We finished the day with dinner at Southbank and a couple of Angel episodes.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This post is way later than usual because I finally installed my digital TV card today.
PPS - The recordings are much larger than I was prepared for.

Friday, 28 July 2006

It's not me, it's you

If we're going to make progress towards standards and usability, we have to change our thinking just a little bit. If my browser isn't supported by a particular website, that website is broken, not my browser. If I can't figure out how to use a particular piece of software, then that software is broken, not me.

As long as someone big is out there saying "Screw standards, I'm doing my own thing" then we get problems. As long as we assume software users are incompetent when they need something explained, we'll never fix anything.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I get to be on both sides of this problem.
PPS - It's not always fun.

Friday Zombie Blogging

Did you know you can be arrested for dressing like a zombie and carrying bits of wire? It's true.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This news has been reported by several sources so far.
PPS - All with a different angle, too.

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Today's bus ride brought to you by the letter Crazy

I've had my share of odd bus drivers over the years. Heavy-brakers, who try to hurl you through the windscreen, curb-riders who want to get the bus up on two wheels and Enforcers who are real sticklers for the rules like not standing in certain places, keeping the aisle clear and leaving your llama at home. But an informant tells me that I have not yet met the craziest bus driver in Brisbane. Yesterday he called in a replacement bus because the driver's seat was "just not good enough". This caused a ten minute delay in the trip.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - So, you know, if you want to ensure a quick trip, bring a cushion for your driver just in case.
PPS - "Not good enough" was all the detail available.

Wednesday, 26 July 2006


A short time ago I decided that I could start using my Creative Zen Micro to listen to podcasts on the bus. I haven't used it for a while, because I tend to just read, talk or stare while travelling. So I pulled it out this morning, got a couple of tracks, put it in my bag ... and completely forgot to grab the headphones. If I could pick up sound from the device in some other way, that might not be a problem. As is, I need to use my ears and headphones are essential to that.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I could take home the ones I use at work.
PPS - But then I'd probably forget to bring them back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006


My Windows desktop background should change at least with the seasons. I'd love to see, say, an orchard that grows fruit, drops leaves and so on according to the season, but I'd settle for an automatic once-a-month picture change, like a wall calendar.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I dug this post out of the draft archives and forgot to change the date.
PPS - I must be more tired than I thought.

Monday, 24 July 2006

A quadrilemma

I woke up this morning and immediately thought:
I want to keep sleeping.
Then I thought:
But I'm supposed to have installed my new digital TV tuner this weekend. Maybe I should try to do that.
That was followed by
But if I have time for that, I should probably try to watch some of the old programs I've recorded and make some more room on my hard drive.
Well, the whole reason I haven't installed the card in my PC yet is that City of Heroes had a double-XP weekend on. It's still on. Maybe I have time to get in a quick mission.
So, in summary, my brand new digital TV tuner is still in its box.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I ended up watching about 10 minutes of TV.
PPS - Yes, sometimes my thoughts have hyperlinks in them.

Sunday, 23 July 2006

The Sunday Mok - Goths need love too

Sunday - I only started getting tired halfway through the morning church service. I had lunch at Deb's then took a nap in the afternoon. After the evening church service, we went to the local Coffee Club and they gave my iced mocha, with the last of the cream, to Stu by mistake.
Monday - I found that my bus ticket had been washed in one of my business shirts, so I had to buy my way to work with a $10 note. The driver was not too impressed. We had the first Alpha session at the church in the evening.
Tuesday - I spent the day at work looking through timesheet records to see if we missed anything. We didn't. Karate in the evening was fairly standard, then I played City of Heroes.
Wednesday - I had some differences of opinion about my priorities at work, so I made sure to get those involved speaking to each other. I had dinner at Deb's, followed by some Stargate SG-1.
Thursday - I spent the morning studying for an exam at lunchtime, which I just passed. After dinner, Deb and I finished season 8 of Stargate. There are some good episodes around that point.
Friday - I was worn out before I even got up in the morning. I fixed bugs and planned a new feature for our performance appraisal database. It still needs work. Youth group in the evening was a long chalk chase. My team gave up near the end and still only arrived a short time after the first team.
Saturday - Shopping, mostly for birthday presents for Erin. We had her birthday party in the evening and stayed with everyone else until after midnight. I dressed a bit gothic and found that it was next to impossible to look friendly.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I may post a photo of that sometime.
PPS - Maybe.

Friday, 21 July 2006

The valve is up-river

I once had a friend tell me that they turn Niagara Falls off at night. The reason I didn't believe her when she said so is this: it's exactly the kind of lie an Australian would tell a tourist, just to mess with them.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - That's pretty much the only reason we talk to tourists.
PPS - Or maybe it's the only reason I talk to tourists.

Friday Zombie Blogging

Wesley Snipes set to star in a zombie flick.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - His character is the son of a nun.
PPS - That's either divine intervention or a pretty bad nun.

Thursday, 20 July 2006

Are you?

A friend of mine at uni once saw me reading "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", by Philip K. Dick, and asked me "So, are you a Dick fan?".
Even though I enjoy reading the works of PKD, I was forced to answer in the negative.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Ah, the delightful nuances of English!
PPS - Perhaps this could have been worse.

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

Domestic design failure

I don't like doors with the knob in the centre. Typically, they come from the 70s and you never know whether to push or pull or which side of the door will open. Also, it eliminates much of the force you can apply to the door by putting your application of force at the centre of gravity, denying the lever principle its glory.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - In all, the one thing these doors bring to the table is some visual style
PPS - And if you need style that badly, perhaps the rest of the house is flawed.

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Window cleaning

With the retirement of Microsoft support for Windows 98, the question is raised: should unsupported software be made open source? Since Microsoft does not plan to make any money from Windows 98 anymore, and since its code is about a decade removed from the brand-new Windows Vista, it could probably be safely sent out into the brave new world as a gratis+libre code base. I suppose the main motivating factor against this would be fears that it would cut into the sales of Vista. It's also possibe that someone might show up the in-house Microsoft talent by cleaning up the Win98 code, patching the leaks, speeding it up tenfold and then releasing it under a heading like "Windows 98: The Way It Should Have Been".

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It will probably be a very long time before we see OpenWindows come from Microsoft.
PPS - Even for one of the old versions. Where's version 3.11 these days?

Monday, 17 July 2006

You need a break from this

Radio station 96.5fm is currently running a series of ads in which they use bad childrens' music to say "You need a break from this". The problem is that the bits they're using are stuck in my head, along with an image of a toddler doing that uncoordinated bobbing toddler dance. You know, the one where the arms flap up and down just a bit and the knees bob out of time with the music? Yeah, that's it.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's tough to reproduce once you've learned how to walk fluidly.
PPS - And once you know how to find a beat.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

The Sunday Mok - Full

Sunday - I handed out the bulletins before the morning church service. It's a skill job. Deb and I had lunch at Dad & Beth's, then went to Bardon to book a restaurant for a family birthday dinner. The evening church service was the national assembly of the Uniting Church at Brisbane City Hall.
Monday - The birthday. The day at work was ordinary, except for an automatic text-to-speech phone message that I received wishing me happy birthday. It was from me, and I forgot that I set it up, so it was a surprise when it happened. Family dinner in the evening at Bardon Oriental. It was too big for the 8 of us to finish off.
Tuesday - Work felt hectic and stressful. There were too many things going on, and they were all top priority. I had to skip karate in the evening to get to a youth group planning meeting at Erin's place. We planned out the next term in full, which was good.
Wednesday - We began a "development freeze" on our performance appraisal database by adding a new feature. That's not how it's meant to go. I had dinner at Deb's and we watched three episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. When I got home, I found that my habit of recording television on my PC and not watching it had finally filled my hard drive completely up.
Thursday - I spent the morning cramming for my exam in the afternoon, which I passed with flying colours. Not bad for a morning's work. Dinner at Dad & Beth's in the evening, and we left a little earlier than usual because Ug wasn't feeling well.
Friday - I had to update our bug tracking software to a new version, because the old one didn't quite function as advertised. Youth group in the evening was combined with a welcome dinner for an Alpha course the church is running. Most of the boys at my table got bored.
Saturday - A very long training day for an Emmaus weekend coming up in mid-August. I got up at 6am and got home again at 10:30pm.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - My schedule is full, my hard drive is full, my brain is full.
PPS - I should do some spring cleaning.

Friday, 14 July 2006

Geeky Christmas tree

I had a brilliant idea for a Christmas tree, geek-style: program a laser projector to show a tree outline on the wall. Once that's done, it's easy to switch on and off when you want it, and you can move it around without much hassle at all.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm sure this has been done at least once.
PPS - I should go searching for it.

Friday zombie blogging

Day of the Dead Remake starts filming July 23rd
Via MoviesOnline. Can't wait!

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I haven't seen the original yet.
PPS - It's still in my Quickflix queue.

Thursday, 13 July 2006

The silent phone experiment

I have discovered that the ringer volume on my company-supplied landline telephone has a "silent" setting, so I immediately activated it. My theory is that some people will consider it broken and some will leave messages. My operating principle is that the telephone on my desk is for my convenience, not yours, and that it is most convenient for me to decide for myself when I should answer its call.

I have heard other people say that they don't use email because, if it was really important, someone would use the telephone. I just substituted technologies into that decision, saying that I refuse to use the phone, because if it was actually important, you'd come around to see me in person. This may prove that both statements are fallacies.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I don't listen to people in person, because if it was really important, they'd write me a letter.
PPS - I don't read smoke signals because all the really important messages arrive via jungle drums.

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

A Poem

I'm a little teapot, short and stout
Here is my handle, here is my hyperdimensional energy flail.
When I get all steamed up, then I shout,
Tip me over, your guts come out.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's been a rough couple of days.
PPS - Why can a project never be FINISHED?

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Status symbol

I don't like that one of our cultural indicators of social status is the ability to drink very large amounts of alcohol without losing consciousness or dying. Conversely, the choice to stand out against that trend and deny that alcohol is an essential part of life is viewed with curiosity or confusion.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Sometimes teetotallers are met with hostility.
PPS - I hereby assert that most of Earth is alcoholic and unaware of it.

Monday, 10 July 2006

Level Up!

In this massively-multiplayer game called Life, I have just hit level 27! Excitement ensues. I think this is the level where you get a jetpack, but I haven't seen any yet. I'm planning to spend my level-up points on speed and agility to counter the yearly random penalty to those particular character stats.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This all translates to "I turn 27 today".
PPS - And apparently I share my birthday with Schapelle Corby.

Sunday, 9 July 2006

The Sunday Mok - Enough calamari to end world hunger

Sunday - We drove out to the Tahune Air Walk, a treetop forest walk. It was nice. When we were done, we drove to Hastings Caves, but they were just about to close for the day.
Monday - We finished what we could of the food we'd bought for the week, then caught our plane home. Erin drove us from the airport, then in the evening we went out to see Over the Hedge, which was fun.
Tuesday - Our section at work moved to the ground floor, thankfully waiting for me to return before doing so. Karate in the evening was a basic class, and at home I tried to catch up on my online news. I gave up after 300 articles.
Wednesday - Work as usual. I'm trying to generate summary pages for the vast amounts of info stored in our staff appraisals database. I had dinner at Deb's, followed by disc 1 of Star Trek: Enterprise, the first rental from online service Quickflix. Quickflix is just like Netflix, with the added benefit of actually being accessible in Australia.
Thursday - More summary page work at the office and dinner at Dad & Beth's. More Star Trek at home before going to bed a little bit early.
Friday - Summary pages. It gets boring, so I also took steps towards automating our website deployment procedure. In the evening, Deb and I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. We planned to see it in Gold Class cinemas, but we hadn't made a booking.
Saturday - Deb and I had brunch at Miv & Julia's place, which was certainly more of a feast than I'm used to. Took a nap in the afternoon, then just lazed around the house, watching Star Trek and Stargate, and cooking dinner.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The promised Tasmania trip Sunday Mok is also up now.
PPS - It's hard to complain about the cold in Brisbane anymore.

Friday, 7 July 2006

Friday zombie blogging

The Dilbert Blog: Night of the Living Ant
Scott Adams compares ants invading his home to zombies.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I like his writing most of the time.
PPS - Sometimes I could do without it.

Thursday, 6 July 2006

Evil = Nigel

Evil has no friends. Anyone evil is aligned against everyone else for one reason or another, leaving them completely alone in the end. There may be an alliance, and it may even be for mutual benefit, but you cannot count on an evil ally to knowingly stand up for you to their own peril. Evil is out for number one all the time, and altruism is just nonsense to them. Given that, when faced with a choice of saving themselves or saving an ally, evil chooses itself.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm still thinking about what would attract minions to follow evil orders.
PPS - Possibly stupidity or power.

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Tasmania in a nutshell

Tasmania is cold, but you get used to it and as long as you've got a warm jacket and two pairs of socks, it's fine. There's a fair amount of old brickwork from convict settlement days still standing.
Our adventures were punctuated by making wrong turns on the streets about every five minutes, which was caused by a combination of factors. It wasn't until day 3 that we managed to get a decent street directory.
We took a ghost tour around Hobart, saw the old prison settlement at Port Arthur, two museums, a zoo, the Cadbury chocolate factory, a Derwent River cruise and the Tahoe Air Walk.
Pick-of-the-bunch photo below:

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I can provide further details on any of these if required.
PPS - The photo is out over the water at Port Arthur.

Tuesday, 4 July 2006


If your job is propaganda, disinformation and deception, you don't need everyone to believe all of your lies straight away. You just need to sow enough doubt that people no longer know what to believe. If you have the time, then, you let them grow up believing nothing and teaching that to their children. Those children will then swallow whatever blatant falsehoods you point in their direction, because they've got nothing else.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Summary of the Tasmania trip and a (belated) Sunday Mok should be up this week.
PPS - Hopefully tonight if I don't have too much housework to do.

Sunday, 2 July 2006

The Sunday Mok - The Trip

Sunday - After church in the morning, I ate lunch at Deb's, then counted out my money box in which I have been storing 5 cent coins for many years. We watched Stargate SG-1 at my place in the afternoon.
Monday - My time off work started, and I took the chance to pack my bags for Tasmania. Deb and I drove out to Brookside to shop for a few travelling essentials, too. Bible study in the evening wrapped up our series on ministry.
Tuesday - We flew to Hobart via Virgin, hired our car and drove to Woolmers Inn. We did make a few wrong turns, and this pattern of navigational mishaps was a common theme of the trip. We ate at the relatively local Ball & Chain Grill for dinner.
Wednesday - We slept in, thanks to late sunrise and electric blankets. We wandered around the museum and art gallery, then headed to the maritime museum. We browsed shops around Salamanca Place until evening when we took a ghost tour around the city. We saw no ghosts.
Thursday - We drove out to the Zoodoo Fun Park, which was more like a farm, really. I took many photos of monkeys. After we were done at the zoo, we drove to the Port Arthur Historic Site, arriving just in time for a twilight pass and an hour of daylight.
Friday - We took a double-decker bus to take the Cadbury chocolate factory tour, but saw no Oompa-Loompas. In the afternoon, we wandered around the botanical gardens. After the sun went down, we watched movies at the Inn.
Saturday - We browsed the Salamanca Markets and took a short cruise up the Derwent River. We also watched my first episode of Iron Chef.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The only penguins we saw were on the river cruise.
PPS - And they only surfaced for a moment.

Saturday, 1 July 2006

When the blogger's away...

Seems I've attracted the attention of another spambot recently, which is especially unfortunate, since I'm semi-offline at the moment. No biggie - all its comments are gone now.

Tasmania continues to be quite awesome. I'll post the choicest of photos when I'm back, and hopefully an amusing anecdote or two. TTFN.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We're about to embark on our third attempt at a harbour cruise.
PPS - The other two were cancelled.