Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Battle plan???

The USA military have a plan. Being 'careful to avoid civilian casualties' is no longer necessary. 300-400 cruise missiles per day are to hit Iraq in the first two days, double what was used in the whole gulf war (40 days). How can the governments of Australia, Britain and the USA support such an atrocity, against the majority of public opinion which does not support a war at all, much less this plan of terror!?

Lembas

A Tolkien fan has worked out a recipe for lembas. I'm going to have to try this!

Friday, January 24, 2003

Operation Update

My operation has now tentatively been scheduled for April 14th, one week before Easter. If all goes well, then I should be recovered enough to return to work two weeks later. If all doesn't go well, worst case would be several months before I could work/study again. Still have a plethora of tests/appointments before then still to do.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Naivety

I am appalled at the naivety shown by some members (and the some of the most vocal ones) on the amithlonopen yahoo group.

Many expect the law to work the same in all countries, many of those same people expect it to cost nothing, and some expect that whoever is right wins! None of those three things are ever guaranteed, and most often do not happen. Many also don't care at all about the pain, harassment, stress that the people involved in the conflict have already gone through, and will further go through if the product Umilator was released. They also think that releasing something under freeware rids those involved of legal repercussions. Another thing thing I don't understand, they know there are several third party licenses, that if not included would completely stop the product from working. To release the product under freeware would require those third parties to also release their code under freeware, something that the author of Umilator has no right to do.

I could only describe the people who are reacting angrily to the inevitable 'can't release' as naive fanatics, who refuse to see and care about what other people are going through, and that the whole world is not the same as the small part where they live. Perhaps someone should also explain that the world is not flat, and that sometimes pets will die, even when you don't want them to.....

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Change of heart?

For the first time ever, we had feedback from our demonstrators that nearly everyone in two classes were actually preparing for their tutorials! This has never happened before, and I have no idea why it's happening now. The other 6 or so classes couldn't report anything that good though, so perhaps it's just a couple of groups of friends that will actually work outside their classes.

Fluey

Last night after videos, Bernie looked shocking, but he said it was just a very bad headache. Today I'm feeling really sick, stomach is playing up, digestion is playing up, my head is all foggy and heavy, my sight is foggy, my sinuses are throbbing, and my throat is sore. I just hope the lecture goes ok today. Don't think I'll be sticking around much after it, it would probably be best if I went home and rested. I hope it's nothing to do with me pushing myself at the gym yesterday.

Bungeee!

I have just heard that they have the bungee ballet rig as seen in Tomb Raider at Federation Square (Melbourne) today, and wish for a number of things: that I was well enough to go, that I could get over my crowd-phobia, and that I could get over my hate of being watched. I really really really want a bungee-ballet rig of my own! (And, of course, the house to put it in!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

More exercise

I had my first review at the gym today. So far, so good, but due to the break over Christmas, my second review and the addition of weight training is put off until March. In any case, I have more exercises to do: ankle training (stretches/wobble board, resistance training), more ball work for my back, two sets of weights for my back, more cardio, and more stretches. This will probably bring the routine up to about 2 hours, meaning the total exercise I do in a day (cos of walking) is about 2.5 hours minimum on a gym day! I have actually put on weight, lost fitness and lost flexibility due to the break over xmas, and it's hard trying to get back into it. I've hit a limit of 10 minutes on the cross-trainer, so now I am going to do 'bursts' of intense/fast movements and incorporate the arms to try to get past it. The next review will put in weights, more/different ball work, more stretches and change the cardio to be more varied. I'm dreading the stepper! I'll see how the new routine goes after work tonight.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Blogging authors

Author William Gibson has a blog. Anyone know of any other blogging authors?

The Day it Rained Forever, by Ray Bradbury

This collection of short stories was interesting for a number of reasons. The stories are very old, and were talking of somethings that have since come to pass. They stories were generally very short (I am used to much longer 'short' stories). They were mostly science-fiction rather than fantasy (another sojourn from my normal reading), and they were fairly easy to read. However, many of the stories in this collection were very much the same, similar plots and settings. Some were excellent.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

K19

I'm not sure what I thought about this movie. Perhaps it's because I haven't been in an up mood for a while, but I didn't enjoy it, and felt very nit-picky. Harrison Ford found it impossible to keep a consistent fake-Russian accent, which distracted a lot from the movie. There were very obvious digs at the Soviet Union throughout the movie too, which seemed to be put in as it was an American movie. I have been told that the survivors of the real disaster were not impressed with the movie, and can understand why. I do wonder though, if it showed real reactions to radiation poisoning, that part was fairly horrific.

The Two Towers

I had been looking forward to this movie for a very long time, but due to moodiness wasn't in the best mood to enjoy it. I found it did not hold together so well as the first movie - perhaps as there were three distinct storylines, in addition to flash-backs and prophecies. The music was good, but I still prefer the BBC version of the ents going to war. I couldn't help but sing along to Gollum's song in the credits (very softly!). I was very pleased with the ents themselves - they were close enough to my imagined characters. The grittiness/dirtiness of the movie still struck me as being so true, yet so un-Hollywood, and it made the whole film seem much more real. There were many changes to the original storyline here, probably in the name of movement and trying to hold onto three storylines. I'm looking forward to seeing the extended edition, to seeing what was cut out story wise. I will be seeing it again (duh!), but probably not another gold-class viewing. Especially not in a gold-class cinema with 2 large groups who were quite noisy.

Tomb Raider - Various

This was cheap - Borders currently has a heap of CDs and books going cheaply. I had meant to buy this one day anyhow, so this gave me an excuse. An interesting mix of music, that I would have to be in the mood to listen to (currently I am that mood). One or two of the songs will make it to my frequently listened to list though, once I find a reliable drive to rip them from that doesn't ruin the start of tracks.

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Exercise/thoughts

They say that exercise helps pain, especially chronic pain. I'm beginning to believe them. I felt horrid yesterday after the gym, and developed a nice fever and headache at the end of the night. Gym itself was incredibly hard, my fitness seems to be worse than when I started, thanks to the break over christmas, and believe it or not, my flexibility is much worse! But I'm feeling much better than I have for a while today. I still have sharp crampy pain, but it seems to happen less often, and my overall feeling is much better, albeit tired. I think it also helps that the lecture went well today. If only I could sleep better :-\

Jar-Jaromir

*giggle* The half-brother of Faramir and Boromir digitally edited into the Two Towers? (On a related note, the directors commentary made reference to an out-take by Gandalf commenting on the spies of Star Wars (the ravens)) . I so want to see the out-takes!

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Easter Eggs in Fellowship

Thank you very much to Kornerites who posted the easter eggs to be found in the extended edition of the Fellowship of the Rings. The spoof of the council by MTV can be found on the last page of the scene selections menu on disc one, the" * new scene" is actually a link to this spoof. It's quite amusing, and strange to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in there! The second easter egg is on the second disk, again on the last page of the scene selections menu. There is a blank space under the link to the "members credits". which is actually a link to the teaser trailer to Two Towers. I hadn't actually seen the trailer before (I don't watch TV, I don't have decent reception), so I was very happy to find this :>

Monday, January 6, 2003

Health update, operation cancelled

I just saw my gynecologist today, having finally got the reports and photos from the previous three operations done by a different gyno. The feedback from the gyno was quite incredible.

Firstly as I have a duplex renal system (2 ureters on the left) she said they were very brave (and quite mad) doing the operation without checking that all ureters were ok afterwards.

She was also not impressed at the reports - the 1st operation had all the major disease on the left, and the other 2 had basically nothing on the left (incompetence). One thing that has really angered me, in one of the biopsy reports, a sample had been sent that was a chunk that had been cut out from the back of my vagina. It required stitches, and I was not told about this at all.

I guess it is not surprising I had to fight to get those reports and photos from the hospital (the Mercy in Melbourne). Anyway, my specialist decided that she was out of her depth (even though she is an endo specialist) and has referred me to an 'expert'. As the endometriosis is likely to be on the bowel, she would prefer a bowel surgeon to be present. So my next operation is going to have present, a bowel/laparascopic surgeon (the expert), current specialist, another specialist surgeon and urologist (to find the ureters).

I'm doing the run around seeing them all before I go in, hopefully sometime this side of June. For those who are dealing with endo in Australia/Melbourne, I would strongly recommend that you do not go to the endosurgery clinic at the Mercy.

Saturday, January 4, 2003

Josie and the Pussycats

Not what we expected, but fun nonetheless. Bernie was amazed that with all of the product advertising and the negative light that was in, that all those companies agreed to have their products in the film. Don't expect anything serious. Maybe I'll get the soundtrack, I don't know yet.

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

2002 is over

It seems like everyone is writing a wrap up of 2002 in their blogs, naming favourite things of the year etc. Seeing as I don't actually get that much new music/new books/go to events/watch tv/watch many movies, I can't really do this. Personally, 2002 sucked. Too many things went wrong, and consistently got worse. The start of 2003 is going to be worse still (at least until I've recovered from my operation at the end of February), so I didn't actually want the date to tick over. I feel like I didn't do much, but I really did, (and now to convince myself, a list of 10 things that entered my mind:)

  • bought some pretty big, expensive and necessary things, on a very low income (medical and household)
  • got my garden built, planted, and am eating from it
  • taught more than 300 students first year programming
  • got over a HD average on half of my honours subjects
  • got half of my project done (the easy half, well more like a quarter of the work)
  • gained a lease in my name only
  • started going to the gym and doing belly dancing regularly
  • went on a holiday to the high (hot) country
  • started this blog ;>
  • survived my family from hell (again)

I still look at the list (incomplete), and think that it is not much. But I know it is when I have to constantly battle pain and depression :-\ I just can't convince myself of it. I hope 2003 looks a bit better at the end of it.

Happy New Year everyone, and hope it's a good one for you (and me)!.

The Two Towers soundtrack

Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers soundtrack, Howard Shore

This seems more experimental than the first CD, including a lot of non-symphonic instruments and unusual harmonies, which at times clashes a little, but hopefully it will fit in with the movie (I haven't seen it yet). I absolutely loved Gollum's song at the end, originally thinking the singer (Emiliana Torrini) sounded a lot like Bjork, but her voice is a lot clearer. The song reminded me of one in Les Miserables (I can't remember the name of it though). This will be one that I will sing loudly :> The rest of the CD has some great moments, however, I'm not thrilled at the interpretation of the Ents marching to Isengard, having gotten very used to the music for the BBC radio play, performed superbly by a bass/baritone male choir and various instruments. I very much wish the lyrics were provided in the language they were sung, but I guess we can't have everything. Overall I love the CD and am greatly looking forward to seeing how it fits with the movie.