Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moving sucks

I would just like to announce to the world my opinion in general that moving house sucks.  Moving house into a house you just built really sucks.  Moving fish tanks also sucks.  I mean really, really sucks.  It did go off pretty much perfectly though, thanks to planning, logistics and three >12hour days.

I theoretically got to sleep in until 7am today, as opposed to the 5am starts of the last 2 days.  Theoretically.  Both cats took poorly to being incarcerated for the whole day yesterday, and the Siamese recovered nicely last night and showed it by wanting to play at 4am.  Seriously, the little bitch thinks it's fun to get under the covers on one side of the bed, burrow down to your feet, slide across and bite the other set of toes, then escape before the victim can wake up.  Repeat.  Conduct find-and-kill mission for cat at 4:15 fucking am.  Very, very am.

On the plus side, everything appears to work.  The hot water is hot, the heating and cooling could (in order) cook and refrigerate your dinner, the pathways and driveway are all in and the landscaping starts tomorrow.  Hopefully, in another week NO BARE DIRT, and the remaining hassles are to get the final fence gates done, buy a new barbecue (and get a plumber out to fit the gas point with a QD), and buy an outdoor setting.

I also have an 18 metre archery range from 2 metres inside the garage door, for the first time in 4 years I have decent TV reception across all channels, and the internet is OK too, despite being Dnopgib.

I also just scored a nice 4:1 DVI/USB KVM switch for $70 which will geatly simplify my office mess.  RDC is all well and good, but I swear computers can smell lack of physical connectivity like a dog smells fear; as soon as it knows you will have to haul out a spare monitor and connect everything up to discover why RDC doesn't work, bang - lockup.  I like my new KVM. :)

I hired a van from rent-a-piece-of-shit today to move the fish tank and shed, scored a fairly tired Ford Econovan with an 8 foot bed.  I have driven worse vehicles.  Twice.  Ever.  Impossible to shift from second to third, and I don't care WHAT you try - jerk, gently pressure, ride the clutch, double declutch, use bad language, ram the bastard - not going to happen.  The only solution I found was to rev the freckle out of it in 2nd cog, double clutch to 4th, then shift back to 3rd.  Very popular on the highways.  The difference between 4th and 5th was theoretical at best, 1st was good for about 10 feet then 2nd was a slow lug through a gutless powerband, and the cab was so narrow it was damn near impossible to turn right as there's elbow room to crank the decidedly NON power steering.  Highlight of the day was dropping the thing back, and discovering on the way that like a ute these things weight next to nothing in the back end, so with a touch of handbrake you can power drift them around the corner off the Westall Road Bypass onto Dandenong Road.  It certainly clears the commuters out of the way.

My DVD-HDD PVR died the other day, so I have replaced it with a Panasonic unit that makes toast, ties to my WiFi network (via 802.11n thank you), does streaming IPTV, Bluray, and will stream damn near anything off my NAS as well.  I only hooked it up an hour ago to make sure the BCO worked in the media room, full report later.

I plan to spend the next four days pottering, arguing over where to store stuff in what cupboard, making sense of my garage, and possibly constructing a garden shed if prevailing winds suggest it's not a suicide mission.

Right now I plan to lower the blood content of my alcohol stream and go to bed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Greeks are revolting - more than usual, too.

I see that the head of Greece's main union, GSEE has announced a two day general strike in protest at austerity measures in the country.

It's a good job he did too, because it apparently started yesterday and nobody had noticed any difference between them being on strike or not.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Terminal velocity

Fired up the new Velocity link this afternoon.  Surprisingly for Bigpond, it actually worked first time, too.  I probably have a bad viewpoint of Telstra’s sales and activation areas in general coming from a faults background, but I still regard it as luck when it works out of the box.


You have no idea how painful it was to have to subscribe to Bigpond.


Got sent the Netgear EVG2000 router which was lobbed into the cupboard in favour of a Linksys E2000 which seems to perform very well so far.  I was hoping to get a look at the new Technicolor unit so I could sneer at it, but apparently they still have old stock on the warehouse so ah well.


I ended up getting the 30/1Mbps service (down from 100Mbps) as a tiny sacrifice for going for the 200GB plan, which should be more than aqueduct.  Unfortunately it does mean my torrent seeding days are about to be severely limited, as while I believe in seeding, I don’t while it is actually costing me significant money due to the pricks double dipping, so adjustments will have to be made.


Performance seems OK so far.  Getting full 1492 byte MTU with no frag, 32Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up which is a couple of percent above spec.


Luckily, I have only recently discovered that my domain host’s mail server accepts SMTP on port 587, so I will be able to continue to use their mail server for everything, as opposed to the horrors of

This OWS thing just keeps getting better.

In the funnist event of the whole OWS farce so far, the American Nazi Party and USA Socialist Parties yesterday issued endorsements of the OWS movement.

If any of the angry (well, miffed at their lot in life, anyway) children ever needed any further evidence that they are sheep being manipulated, I reckon the following bit should convince even the thickest person:

Produce some flyers EXPLAINING the ‘JEW BANKER’ influence — DON’T wear anything marking you as an ‘evil racist’ — and GET OUT THERE and SPREAD the WORD!”

And the funniest of all?  The authorities knew about the whole thing anyway.

Monday, October 17, 2011

But not *that* angry, apparently.

It seems that even the most vehemently held principles have their limits these days.

Interestingly, just one single day after the Sydney OWS encampment at Martin Place, numbers have apparently dwindled to 70 people who ran hard up against the nasty reality of just where the real world just keeps rolling on with impunity, regardless of whether it crushes your dreams or not.

Apparently the local police confiscated a bunch of camping gear and tents on Saturday, and one true believer chained himself to a garbage truck.  Personally I would have driven off, and I would have had the ideal place to put any remaining bits when I got where I was going.

"Our numbers are a lot less than yesterday and that has an effect on people," protest spokesman Mark Goudkamp said in Sydney, admitting many had work, study or family commitments.
About now, if you listen carefully, you can hear the thin, keening screech of those dreams going under the wheels, Mark.  Surely the principle is worth the sacrifice?  After all, aren't you rebelling and protesting against "the system", you're part of the angry 99%, nobody owns you and you're not the boss of me?

Oh... so it seems that there's a bit of... flexibility? built into that after all.  Because while showing up and acting like a hippie for a day or so is all very trendy (and you can get a Facebook status out of it, which you will post using your corporation-built smartphone), you're not actually willing to risk your job, because that would mean you would risk your house, and your car, and your smartphone, and... all those things you actually kind of like, really.

But it's the principle of the thing!

Weak.  Weak as piss.  Lame, lightweight and weak.

"I think we have to be realistic - it's going to become largely a symbolic kind of presence rather than a mass presence."

About the only thing it's symbolic of is the utter hypocracy of the participants who were willing to come along and wave their little signs and chant their little slogans while it was fun, while everyone else was doing it, while it didn't actually, you know, like cost them anything personally, and while it was trendy to be one of the sheep.

Fail to maintain the rage?  I think most of them went home because their phones were almost flat.

Indigo Davis-Sparke spent the weekend at the Sydney protest, and while she will not be able to maintain the vigil this week - she has to return to acting school - the 20-year-old believes the sit-in has already achieved its aim.

Now there's commitment and dedication for you.  This one isn't even risking their job - they're not even prepared to risk the possibility of a future job.  Because dog forbid we won't be able to afford the latest iPhone in the future.

"It's an awareness campaign as much as anything," Ms Davis-Sparke said. "So many people don't know about the unequal distribution of wealth across the world, and the damage it does."

I suggest Ms Davis-Sparke drop the acting school classes and think about some economics classes, just myself.  Or at least get some experience in retail, or maybe the fast food industry, because that's where she is going to be working for the forseeable future, I expect.

In Melbourne, first-time protester Phil Stallard said he expected the Occupy Melbourne movement would continue until mid-November.

"I'll be here, not every day, but I'll come when I can," he said.
"I'm here because society is broken on so many levels. Now is the time to push the revolution."

Well, Phil - personally I'll be surprised if it makes it through another 24 hours, because even a Blackberry will have gone flat by then.

And isn't it amazing that it's always that people define "revolution" as "I get more money and stuff without having to do anything more than I do now?"

But maintain the rage, children.  There's probably a Facebook page you can subscribe to.  I'm sure that if a million people sign up, the revolution moves closer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The children continue to be angry

Following on from the realisation that the world's economy is basically in tatters from spending far more than we earn for far too long, I notice the idiotic "Occupy Wall Street" protests have now spilled out worldwide, demonstrating not only a lack of understanding of economics of the participants, but a woeful capability of geography as well.

Late last year and earlier this year we had the student riots where the self-empowered snowflakes of the work stamped their collective feet at the idea of having to actually pay the cost of the education that would provide them with BMWs and smartphones in the future.  In the last few months we have seen the rabble (rabble most foul, in the Greek variety) protesting that their free ride is over, and that all of a sudden there aren't any more handouts, there are no more artificial guarantees, and that basically - the party is well and truly over.

The OWS protesters are as much victims of manipulation by the organisers of the rallies as they think they are by the corporations they are protesting against.  Their basic protest seems to distill down to "Hey, why are other people making more than we do?  That's not fair!".  Gee, the last time I looked, that was called Socialism, morphing into Communism depending on how far you take it.  But if you look around, the protesters are all wearing Adidas shoes (made by corporations), designer clothes (made by corporations), and they're all clutching the latest iPhone/Blackberry/Whatever smartphones (all made possible by smartphones).  If you suggested they get rid of the latter they'd all just shrivel and die if they couldn't check their Facebook page every five minutes (ooh, another corporation).

In effect, the OWS protesters are the ultimate hypocrites, protesting about the evils of something when their actual complaint is they don't own a large enough slice of the evil for themselves.  As my fellow blogger says here, their "solutions" to the "problems" all come down to "give us more money".  Blacklistednews points out that the protesters are actually espousing concepts that create precisely the situation they are complaining about, due to a combination of being managed by the coordinators of the protests, and the protesters themselves having no idea whatsoever.

Mind you, not all the protesters are camped on public property, cover the place in crap, feeling virtuous because they're wearing Birkenstocks (ooh, another corporation - couldn't be seen in something not trendy, could we?) and waving mindless slogans on bit of cardboard.  (BTW, I particularly like the sign in this photo that says "Turn off TV" - presumably it's a form of mind control for the masses?  Yeah right, the same scruffy clueless would storm the local TV station the first time they realised they were missing Survivor.)  No, some of them are blogging too.

"The real enemies are the faceless oligarchs behind the Federal Reserve and the other central banks of the world. The real enemies are the wealthy families who understand how the central banks are destroying the middle classes and concentrating more power in governments and more wealth unto themselves."

What a load of socialist commie twaddle.  If the western world didn't have an effective banking system we'd be stuck in the pre industrial revolution, because nobody would ever have been able to invest in anything, nobody would ever have been able to finance an idea, and nobody would ever have been able to do anything more than they could afford here and now at this point in time.  The concepts of long term planning, development and progress wouldn't exist, we'd all be buying something for dinner tonight - if we could afford it - because we'd be living from hand to mouth.  Even if we could afford to buy food for several days, the refrigerator would not have been invented to store it, because nobody would have ever been able to start the company that would build them.

By the way, it's the 21st century, where's my flying car?

The 99% need to internalise the fact that society compensates leaders for leading.  That while they're happy to consume the benefits of organised society like iPods and Nikes they are also espousing precisely why society works the way it does - because they want it to.  They all want the new iPhone 4S, but don't see why they should have to pay for it.

This pathetic, confused, and easily manipulated mob of sheep are to be both pitied and despised for their cluelessness, lack of independent and skeptical thought, and willingness to be manipulated at the thought of a few trinkets.  After their smartphones go flat, and they haven't had a decent sustainably grown and ecologically friendly harvested latte with skim soy milk for a few days, they'll all go meekly home to the creature comforts provided for them by the very corporations they claim to despise, and post proud little messages of rebellion on Twitter (another corporation) about the evils of a corporate imperialist society.  They'll all go to work the next day wearing designer clothes (made by corporations), in their nice airconditioned car with stereo (made by a corporation) and made possible to buy by a bank who was willing to extend them tens of thousands of dollars of credit so they can have their little luxuries now.

When this mob can actually demonstrate the principles they claim to believe in for a lousy five minutes I might be impressed, in the meantime send in the water cannons.  Hippies were dealt with in the 60's, and this is simply the same mentality fifty years on.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Power to the people

If the slow motion train wreck of the Greek financial crisis has confirmed any of my beliefs at all, it is these two:

(1)  Your average Greek could not average a pissup in a brewery, nor reliably locate their own arse with both hands and a torch.  As an example of a shambolic inability to organise anything, they make the Italians look methodical by comparison.  Your average Greek's primary abilities are talking loudly, being arrogant, testiculating (that's the act of stand there waving your hands about while talking bollocks), selling fruit and dodging income taxes by only dealing in cash.  Driving full sik and hektik WRXs and getting about the place in tracksuit pants are also defining characteristics.

I love this bit from the article: "state workers make up a fifth of the country’s  workforce and are guaranteed jobs for life as the constitution bans firing of government employees in almost all circumstances".

I can't see how that would ever cause a problem, can you?  Nah.  But of course "Greece's finance minister Evengelos Venizelos said his country would not be made a "scapegoat" for wider debt troubles" - gee, so it's not your fault you've totally screwed your national economy after all then?  (Granted, Ireland has done much the same thing, but you don't expect the Irish to acheive much at the best of times.)

(2)  Popular government doesn't work, because people don't give a damn about anything other than their own short term expediency.  That's both natural and expected, but it does mean that you can't base a system of government on it.  This morning's paper carries a story that the foul rabble are blockading the Greek finance and labour ministries because they don't want vital austerity cuts that are the only way that Greece can meet their budget deadlines to qualify for the next bailout package payment.  Anybody but us, eh?

Personally I think this simply highlights the idiocy of the EU ideal.  Currency pegging *never* works in the long term, because individual economies perform at different rates depending on the productivity of the country, the natural resources available to it, and how efficiently it is run.  That's why Germany runs at a profit and Greece and Ireland are in the shit.  The idea has certainly been mooted but as usual the opposition to it comes from those for whom the subject is taboo for reasons of simple self-interest (again!) -  "discussion is dominated by propaganda and scaremongering, often by employees of banks that stand to lose from such an eventuality".

This paragraph is especially interesting: "there is little doubt among economists that the easiest mechanism for a country to gain competitiveness is to have its currency depreciate... Greece having its own currency is the easiest path to gaining international competitiveness. Cars and iPhones will become more expensive but food might actually become cheaper and employment will pick up within a few months".

Hands up who thinks that the village idiots protesting outside the finance and labour ministries are willing to give up their WRXs and iPhones (and designer Adidas trackie dacks) in the short term to assure the long term survival of the country.  Another show of hands for who believes that your average arrogant Greek would see his national pride slump by having their currency depreciate in the name of national survival, as opposed to carrying on regardless and sailing into armageddon?  Anyone?  Last call, anyone?  Tough crowd, even a Melbourne real estate auctioneer would be hard pressed taking bids from trees around here.

Of course, what's everyone's solution for this?  Germany should pay for it!  They've got plenty of money, after all.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is unpopular with Germans who hold investments in the banks that about to take it in the arse by effectively writing off Greek loans as bad debts, so what do you reckon the chances are that the next pressure will be for Germany to leave the EU too, as it's sick of subsidising the running cock-ups of the incompetant and arrogant?

International monetary politics aside, the other news of the morning is the iFail - nice one Tim, your first effort as CEO was to drop the company's share price by 5%.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ah, irony

Unfortunate music choice of the weekend apparently as Julia Gillard arrived at the footy yesterday, the music playing was Under pressure by Queen.

It was then followed by the Split Enz classic Six months in a leaky boat.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Some stuff I found on eBay

Really, the mind boggles at this one.

Items for sale: boring.  But the dress sense of the seller is worth a look.  Check the embedded video.