Friday, 31 December 2004

An excuse note

To Whom It May Concern,

Please excuse Mokalus from blogging the past few days as he took a spontaneous 250km trip to Rainbow Beach to help out with the Scripture Union Rainbow Beach Holiday Program. Rest assured that he got a little sun and met a nice girl.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Actually a few nice girls.
PPS - But one in particular.

Wednesday, 29 December 2004


I have trouble sometimes believing that my ideas are original, unique. That is something I want more than most other things in life - to create something new, whether an idea, an invention or a son or daughter. When I construct an idea I am only rarely convinced that it is original, and am usually persuaded that I have lifted it in whole or in part from another source.

Is it possible that constructing ideas from pieces of other ideas is true originality? Can we, indeed, fashion new thoughts out of pure chaos in the sense that all parts of it are new? Our thoughts all come from somewhere. We are all part of the great chain of unbroken cause and effect of this universe, however many distinct quantum bubbles we divide it into. Our thoughts, then, are all caused by something, and another person in our position would have had the same thoughts. That person, I submit as an aside, would also be us, me, you, in the simplest and perhaps most profound sense of the word. Words.

It seems harder to create thought when subjected to a constant influx of other people's thoughts or the world around you. This is why meditation and solitude has often produced the purest thought known to us.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I only philosophise rarely.
PPS - And it's usually about this long.

Tuesday, 28 December 2004


When I hear about "sustainable building design" (the latest term for buildings that don't mess stuff up and use little electricity) I'm all for it. Clever uses of excess heat, high-efficiency ventilation and building materials that don't create tonnes of waste during production: that's super. I love it. Behind you all the way. The second someone mentions "no-water toilets" or any similar euphemism for "crap goes into a stinky hole in the ground" you lose me. I have yet to encounter any toilet of that variety that actually performs to a comparable level as its traditional sewer-connected counterpart. A building that includes even one of them drops to about half of its potential liveability, in my mind.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I've been told there are composting toilets that don't stink.
PPS - As I say, I've yet to see one.

Monday, 27 December 2004


I've often wondered what it would be like to live on a nocturnal cycle for a while, and I've never been able to try it out. During university was probably my best opportunity, and I passed it up because my inner nerd was unable to handle missing lectures.

The main obstacle to the experiment is the rest of the world and my commitments in it. These simply keep going, and demand my attention and presence at specific times of the day. I imagine I could argue my way into odd working hours at the office if I so chose. Other things like karate, youth group and church are not so flexible. Also, if I tried to get to work at 8pm and leave at 5:30am, I might have trouble getting public transport.

All these considerations aside, it's still something I'd really like to try sometime for, say, five or six weeks. I imagine I'd feel pretty isolated, since I'd never see my workmates, and communicating with them would be a little difficult. I'd probably get bored quickly, too. There'd be nothing on television at the right times, so I'd have to record it while I'm out. That's if I still cared.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Changing phase would also be a problem.
PPS - It would probably take week or so by itself.

Sunday, 26 December 2004

The Sunday Mok - Back away, not today, Disco Lady!

On this day three years ago I fell in unrequited love. I'm really trying to let it go now. Happy anniversary, eh?

Last Sunday I had one of the worst performances of my amateur acting career. This is because I got the six-page script on Friday night. I still managed to remember all but one of my lines and do some convincing characterisation of "His Majesty's Secret-Service Angel Double-Halo-Seven", but I was still unhappy with the whole thing.
On Monday at work I felt like I should have taken this week off, too, even though it was only three and a half days long. It's tough to get back into the swing of things after a week off, and I was really in no mood to be there.
Tuesday I was just killing time at work, which is bad. I felt out of sync with everyone, like we're all dancing to one song and I'm the only one who's got the beat wrong.
Wednesday night was when I decided to back way off. LRHG was almost certainly feeling uneasy in my presence, and she doesn't need that.
Thursday I stayed home instead of going to a party for two reasons. First, I'm an introvert and had five parties in the past six days. I was mentally exhausted with people. Second, my main reason to attend would have been LRHG, so this party qualified as one of the things I need to stop doing.
Friday I helped out with two nighttime Christmas services - the "service of solace" for those people to whom Christmas is not such a happy time, and the near-midnight service for everyone who can't wait. Reading Psalm 22 in the solace service, I nearly lost it. I've still got pain, both mother- and LRHG-related. At the late service I saw three friends I hadn't seen in ages. Since it was after midnight, however, everyone was eager to get home, so the socialising was relatively brief.
Saturday, Christmas Day, I saw my uncle & aunt, my cousins and their kids, though the younger ones had to leave early. I got bored later in the day, mostly due to the net connection being tied up by one of Ug the Caveman's epic Final Fantasy XI sessions. He was on from about 2pm until midnight, if I figure correctly.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Merry Christmas, everyone!
PPS - The gifts I gave seemed to be well-received.

Friday, 24 December 2004

It's "desserts" backwards

It's a bad feeling to wake up stressed, especially on Christmas Eve. It's probably comparable to waking up covered in blood, only slightly less traumatic than that. I could tell I was stressed because my foot was jittering, which is what happens to me under stress.

I realised that I'm now involved in three church Christmas services and have not started preparing for any of them, so my morning, despite being at home, is going to be full of work.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'll probably take a few breaks to play City of Heroes.
PPS - And, silly me, I thought I was going to be able to sleep in.

Thursday, 23 December 2004

Balanced online economies

Some regular readers may have picked up on the idea that economics holds a passing interest for me, as do video games. Where these two worlds converge is the auction house in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. Keeping these economies balanced is as delicate and involved, and I wonder if the game suppliers employ people to keep it so.

It's a job prospect that attracts interest, because it implies a tremendous amount of power, and also because it's exactly the kind of management task we all like to think we could do. It means constantly monitoring prices, wages, cost of living and all the other factors that contribute to the economic health of the virtual world, and can mean macro-management one day and micro-management the next.

I wouldn't mind giving it a go.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This all sounds like a good idea for a game in itself.
PPS - Perhaps I'll get to work on a design over the Christmas break.

Wednesday, 22 December 2004


Occasionally at emailcash they host a survey for a marketing company. Usually this involves sifting through pages of marketese where they assume (a) that I care about brands enough to base my life around them, (b) that I know (and care) what they're talking about and (c) that they've provided adequate options for me to express my opinion.

Often I'll find that the survey asks me to express a specific opinion on a brand that I don't know about and don't care about, but provides only options like "this is my favourite brand" through "just one of the brands I like" down to "I detest this brand and everything it stands for". Usually there's no point to select "I just don't care about brands at all".

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Of course I can choose not to participate.
PPS - Then they offer me the equivalent of $2.50 for it.

Tuesday, 21 December 2004

More Star Wars conversation

This little snippet of conversation has just made my day:
Angry Brad: You say anything to bring it back to Star Wars, don't you?
Me: Everything does relate to Star Wars, doesn't it?
Actor Adrian: The Force is all around us.
Me: I feel it in my fingers.
Darth Gerard: I feel it in my toes.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Okay, yeah, we're nerds.
PPS - But we're having fun.

Who wears loose shorts?

Recently I noticed that my collection of shorts and trousers was dwindling simply due to wearing out. My options, of course, were to go around pantsless or seek out new leg coverings. Option two seemed to be more socially acceptable. This is when the trouble started.

I have a habit of buying clothes without trying them on first. Couple this with an apparent inability to remember my own waist size and I've now got quite a few pairs of shorts that are entirely the wrong size for me. I have to wear belts around the house, and this is a situation that is almost as distasteful to me as having to wear a tie.

Taking all of this into consideration, last night I measured my waist properly and committed the numbers to memory so that I can confidently buy clothes without trying them on.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's 79 centimetres.
PPS - Or 31 inches.

Monday, 20 December 2004

It'll rot your undead teeth

While on camp, I found these chewy bars called "Zombie Chews". Since it was such an unusual name, and since I have a bit of a zombie interest, I thought I'd pick up a few - some to eat and some to collect.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The grape ones just taste like bubblegum.
PPS - None of them taste like brains.

Sunday, 19 December 2004

The Sunday Mok - Bumper Edition

I was too rushed last Sunday to do my regular post, so here's a summary of the past two weeks:

Sunday the 5th was just church, sleep and Buffy DVDs. I tried to make a phone call I'd forgotten about, and got no answer all afternoon.
Monday was just a regular day at work. Nothing worth mentioning.
Tuesday, while considering some further Amazon purchases, I wished there was a place from which they could ship in Australia which would be quicker and cheaper for me.
Wednesday there was a last-minute decision to send one of us to a Microsoft event and I drew the short straw. It was a pleasant enough way to spend the day, just extremely pointless in the end.
Thursday I bumped into an old school friend at the supermarket who I hadn't seen for about 8 years. She gave me her contact details and I still haven't had a chance to call her or drop by.
Friday I thought about seeing a movie after work, then decided against it.
Saturday was supposed to be really busy, with a meeting, shopping, packing, rehearsal, dinner and bag drop-off. The meeting was low-stress, shopping was easy, as was packing, rehearsal was cancelled, dinner was quick and the bag drop-off took way less time than I anticipated.

Sunday the 12th I arrived at Youthworx camp, and my mind was still buzzing, so I found it hard to relax just yet.
Monday I had to buy a writing pad so I could clear my head, and started to relax.
By Tuesday I'd already forgotten what day of the week it was. It's only a holiday once you forget the day of the week. Around other people, I sometimes tend to think I'm a bit boring.
Wednesday night I was up just a little later than usual. I realised that trying to spend time around LRHG was just making me feel bad, which is a crazy way to live. I decided I should seek out people that make me feel better than that and also to change my expectations. I started feeling better right then.
Thursday was just a lazy, relaxing time, especially in the afternoon. You know those times when you absolutely cannot believe your luck? Like buying a fantastic jacket at a quarter of the usual price, then finding a winning lottery ticket in the pocket? I had one of those moments on Thursday.
Friday I got up for the early-morning swim because it was the last day. The waves were real dumpers, though small. I returned home tired and emotional.
Saturday I woke up feeling quite terrible and walked around moping, feeling sorry for myself. It might just have been a post-camp letdown. In the evening when I got to a small party and was able to relax again, my mood picked up. I left in a good mood.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm not sure what to feel about LRHG right now.
PPS - I'll sort it out soon enough, I'm sure.

Friday, 17 December 2004

It returns

I just got back from camp at Ballina, New South Wales, and it was a pretty good week. I'll give a more complete run-down in a bumper-edition Sunday Mok in two days' time.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I just wanted to let everyone know I'm still alive.
PPS - Although someone appears to have cunningly replaced my arms with slightly browner ones.

Friday, 10 December 2004

Just a big rectangular magnet with a photo-sized hole

I'm never quite sure how bad I'm supposed to feel about some things. This morning I neglected to hold the lift for someone, so they had to catch the next one. I know I'm supposed to feel bad about that, but am I allowed to let it go after an hour? The same thing goes for how long I'm allowed to feel good about doing a good deed, like buying some food for a homeless person. I need a pocket-sized guilt chart to carry around.

My Zombie Peanut Butter shirt made its debut last night, and sparked a little conversation. I would have liked to be able to use the words "rave reviews" here. Alas, I expect t-shirts as a species have ceased to be the spectacular fashion items they once were.

Last night in a Secret Santa feeding-frenzy I netted myself a magnetic photo frame. The reason I am less than enthusiastic about this gift is because I have no photos and our fridge is not the place to share any that I might take now. This current fridge has been a magnet-free zone since purchase a few years ago, and the blockades are still up. All hell could break loose if I attempt to demilitarise, say, the freezer door. I do still have some non-digital photos to be developed, and I should probably find a way to organise or display them - I've just never had the space for photo frames.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Next week I'll be off the net, so probably no posts.
PPS - The Sunday Mok should still go ahead as planned, though.

Thursday, 9 December 2004

Just faking

Playing Heroes last night I came across a "Freakshow" boss called (seriously) "teh PwnZxxOrz!". Anyway, I spent the time to knock him down, including the extra time it took to deal with the extra hit points he got by using the "Dull Pain" power that all Freakshow enemies seem to have access to. He goes down. I walk away.

Then the dude just got back up, like it didn't even tickle. Ding ding! Round Two! Exactly the same guy, back again with full hit points and another shot at Dull Pain. I had to run away and rest.

Finally I managed to put him down again, and I was a little worried that he'd come back a third time. This time, though, he stayed down.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - And that's how I earned a badge, completed a mission and rose to level 22.
PPS - I didn't get the girl yet, though.

There's no "I" in Team America

I saw Team America: World Police last night, which was about five days later than I originally planned. I thought it was really funny, and well worth the time and money. It's hard to be offended by these puppets, even on their worst behaviour. I imagine that Kim Jong Il and Alec Baldwin can't say the same thing, though. I wasn't laughing the whole way through, and I've certainly laughed harder at other movies. Still, it's very funny, and you should see it if you haven't yet.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - "Matt Damon!"
PPS - I promise I will never die.

Wednesday, 8 December 2004

Hair, memory, books, dimensions

I'm currently experimenting with a hairstyle that is best described as "Luke Skywalker on a bad day". Depending on how I treat it and what time of day it is, I'm either sexy or I look like I just fell out of bed. It's tough to hit the good spots.

I keep having good ideas while I'm away from a keyboard, then hoping I'll remember them later. The truth is that I'm likely to forget it unless I'm able to write it down immediately. I have a smaller-than-average short-term memory, but I make up for it with massive and reliable long-term storage. I've got a big hard drive, but no RAM. Actually, that sounds dirty. Think of your own metaphor for that one and pretend I said it.

I've been shopping for my own Christmas present on Amazon, which will probably end up being more books. Years ago I borrowed one of the Spider World series from Michael, a friend who now lives in England, and I thought it was terrific. I've tracked down a motley assortment of the four books in the series, and that's probably what I'll end up with. Then I've got a few more presents to get, for Dad and Ug.

I've been thinking multi-dimensionally recently, thanks to Flatland (another Amazon purchase) and trying to come to grips with four-dimensional space. That doesn't need to include time as a dimension, you understand. Space of four dimensions can be just as real as three. One of the concepts I've really struggled with, though, is pieces of dimensions. There are occasional references to things like 1.25 dimensions which sounds as odd to me as 1.58 computer bits. I've got a digital mind, and analogue abstractions like that take a while to squeeze in there.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I have more, but this is plenty for one day.
PPS - Maybe some of my other ideas will come back to me.

Tuesday, 7 December 2004

Microsoft Date 2005

Is it just me, or does this invoke ideas of a Microsoft personals service?

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I don't think I trust MS to match me up with anyone.
PPS - And they'd blame a no-show on a crash.

Monday, 6 December 2004

Rain Traffic

The greatest t-shirt I'll ever own arrived yesterday: Zombie Peanut Butter. This surprised me a bit, because the last I heard from Domination Distribution was that the product was on back-order. It's like an early Christmas. With zombies and peanut butter. And now I think I have to write a movie script called "A Very Zombie Christmas". Actually, that could be kind of cool. I'll let you know how that works out.

Traffic this morning has been affected by rain and tiny thoughts. I imagine that the average commuter thinks like this: "It's raining today, so traffic will be bad. I'd better drive." Then again, it seems like everyone knows this, so who are all these people in their cars making traffic worse? Anyway, this bad traffic has brought me in to work about half an hour slower than usual, which means I'll probably be working through part of lunch. I don't like doing that.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I expected not to be the first in today.
PPS - Apparently I was wrong.


I've been wondering a bit exactly what makes these head cold things go away. Possibly some kind of voodoo charm, because nothing else is having any effect. I wonder if voodoo witch doctors are listed in the Yellow Pages?

I go to two churches on Sundays: one (Ashgrove) in the morning and one (TGUC) in the evening. Last night I had to go to Ashgrove for the evening service, too, and the young folk there just happened to want to hang out at the same coffee club as the young folk from TGUC. Do you follow? Trust me, there's a point. Anyway, I'm sitting over with my less-acquainted friends from Ashgrove and getting leers and good-natured funny looks from my TGUC friends like I'm cheating on them or something.

I started thinking about jealousy and what makes it tick. I came up with this: the prerequisite conditions to make me jealous are that I love you and want you to love me, which usually come together anyway, like pizza and garlic bread. The trigger is an act, event or just a perception that makes me feel like you love someone else more than me. I get afraid that you don't love me at all, and out of this fear is born jealousy, like some dark, fire-breathing phoenix. It's unpredictable and wild. I'd really recommend against trying to incite it to get what you want out of someone, unless unpredictability is what you want.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - In me, jealousy tends to manifest as quiet anger.
PPS - I don't expect that to be a desirable outcome.

Sunday, 5 December 2004

The Sunday Mok - 5 December 2004

It's hard to sum up this week in a sentence without saying that I've been sick. As a result, I've probably been a bit less aware of my surroundings and friends.
Sunday morning, after the church service, Tavia apologised for an incident about a month ago when she inadvertently ignored me. It made me wonder whether the Little Red-Haired Girl does that accidentally or on purpose, and whether she's aware of it, because she's never apologised for ignoring me. I played a bit of City of Heroes, too.
On Monday morning at work I was working on a data transfer application and Brian, my supervisor, kept coming back to me for status updates or to tell me about problems. The fact that this kept happening every five minutes brought me to the edge of losing my temper, and I don't like it when that happens. It's vaguely Hulk-like, only without the green skin. You don't want to see it.
Tuesday I was vaguely concerned that I'd spent way too much time talking at work rather than working. It's just hard to stay focused when I've been chasing the one bug for over a week with little progress. I skipped karate in the evening in order to rest and quicken my recovery from this annoying head cold.
Wednesday I stayed home sick from work and was glad for the time off for several reasons. I'm looking forward to the week after next when I'll be away. I played Heroes and watched Buffy DVDs and generally took it easy.
Thursday I went back to work and, though I had to blow my nose every five minutes in the morning, I felt alright in the afternoon. I stayed up later than I intended to that night playing City of Heroes. It's incredible how much time it can take up. Bachelor Brant at work is right: it really seems only possible to sustain a relationship either with a girlfriend or an MMORPG.
Friday night we took the youth group kids to Dreamworld for the 96.5fm Mega-Rush. I missed out on the new ride, "The Claw", but did get to go on the Tower of Terror, the Giant Drop and the Cyclone for the first time each. I couldn't believe the tiny restraint used on the Tower of Terror - a little padded bar across the lap. I had a great time, and so did the kids.
Saturday morning I helped washed cars to raise money for the church project we've called "Opportunity Knox". We're going to do some renovations on the Lower John Knox hall, to make it a more usable space for youth activities. I got home just in time for lunch, then slept until dinner. After that I headed out to Bridgit's 21st birthday party and met all of her workmates. Bridgit warned me that they were "on the prowl", but they all seemed to be engaged, so I'm not sure who to believe. It wasn't an especially wild party, and I was home by 00:30.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Bridgit's brother is a bit strange.
PPS - I guess I was just as strange at his age, though.

Friday, 3 December 2004

Heroics Etc

If you will indulge me for a short while, I have some items to report about City of Heroes.

My main character, Dire Sun, is built to take damage, since that is his Archetype: a Tanker. I neglected, however, to take a power that provides resistance to heat and cold. I was wooed away by other powers, promising big damage-dealing ability and cool effects. I often think that I'll take that power at a higher level, but last night I had a little thought. Every superhero has some kind of weakness, right? Spiderman has Mary-Jane, Superman has Kryptonite and Batman is an idiot. So perhaps I'll leave it out as a kind of loophole in my powers, and I can imagine thugs everywhere cleaning and testing their flamethrowers just for me.

On a similar note to that, the few hardcore roleplayers I've run across in the game are some of the most annoying people I'll probably ever meet. Creating an avatar that looks like a robot is fine, and I'd even accept writing an elaborate backstory for that character. However, trying to interact with someone like that who answers some questions with phrases like "Unknown Data" and "Affirmative" rather than "I don't know" and "yeah" is just irritating. That's usually as far as I get when interacting with these people.

I had assumed that my brother Ug had been playing Heroes alongside Final Fantasy XI, as has been the case for some time. Apparently, his top-level character is now at level 20 while mine is 21. I'm ahead like that tortoise in that story. He's asked me how long it will take me to get to level 50 to unlock the so-called Epic Archetypes so he can create a "Kheldian" character for himself. Apparently this is what it would take to re-invigorate his interest in the game. I imagine that will take some time yet, though I am surprised at how much experience I can rack up in just a few hours of play. I gained probably three quarters of the necessary experience for me to get to level 22 last night alone.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I estimated last night's session at three hours.
PPS - This post could have been more entertaining.

Thursday, 2 December 2004

The Error Message Awards!

And the award for the Least-Useful Error Message of the Year goes to:
"Unspecified error or incorrect password."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - So you're either not telling or I try my password again.
PPS - Yeah. Super.


I was wrong: it's a head cold, and it kept me home from work yesterday. Despite feeling just a bit worse today, I've decided to come in and tap away at the keyboard. Hopefully I'll be able to do more than pretend to work.

As I stepped over a squashed lizard on the footpath this morning (just a little one) I wondered whether any city has been designed with animal considerations in mind. There's a kind of ecosystem that goes along with every city, but most of the time it's sort of tacked onto the side. We build some parks, plant some trees, tolerate the pigeons and poison the bugs.

Naturally our built environments aren't designed specifically to serve the needs of animals above our own needs, but I'm sure we could accommodate them too. Perhaps even do better than we currently do. Think waste management for a second. There are numerous creatures in the wild that live to eat, bury or process the waste of bigger creatures. If we found a place for them, we might not need so much space for dumping our rubbish and processing our sewage.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It was just a thought.
PPS - Admittedly a slightly strange one.

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

Gimme an 'I'! Gimme an 'N' ... 'SPIRATION'!

Knights of the Old Republic is, by most accounts, more fun to play with the dark side than the light. This is either a searing indictment of the game or of humanity itself, and I can't decide which. Perhaps it is best just to say that it is a searing indictment of something and leave it at that.

KOTOR is still among my regular rotation of secondary games, and these have been getting more of a look-in recently. This is not because City of Heroes has lost some power over me (it hasn't) but because we have one internet-connected machine capable of playing that game, and it seems to be currently given over 100% to Final Fantasy XI.

My gaming off-season currently involves The Sims 2, KOTOR and Myst IV. I've also been watching Joan of Arcadia thanks to a friend and BitTorrent, wallowing in a legal grey area that's about to turn black tonight when Joan premieres on Australian television.

These longer daily entries are the result of an unusual wave of inspiration that can hit me at unfortunate times. Last night it hit me at almost 10pm when I was getting ready to sleep due to my slight illness. It's getting worse. I blame Tycho for this bout of inspiration, as I mentioned earlier that I aspire to reach some level of comparable greatness as him. Obviously, I will be far lower in the popularity ratings. I'd still like to think I can reach some low-down ledge of the towering pedestal on which he lives.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's about rich metaphors.
PPS - Original rich metaphors.

Tuesday, 30 November 2004


An office conversation that occurred after discussing the New Zealand accent:
"You're a racist."
"I hate racists."
"Does that make you a racist-ist?"
"I hate you."
"Now are you trying to be a racist-ist-ist?"
"Racists are people too."
"You're a xeonophobophile."
"I hate xenophobophiles. What does that make me?"
"A xenophobophilophobe, I guess. It just goes on and on."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This is what we do when we should be working.
PPS - Which is pretty much all the time.


I finally finished Uru: Ages Beyond Myst last night, with much help from a hint file. I'm actually sure there's more to explore, but it's bugged me for so long that I might not bother for a very long time.

Overall, I have to say that Uru turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I did like some of the exploring, and the environments were interesting, but the puzzles were just plain bad. They weren't designed with the same principles in mind as the other games in the series. I remember in-game hints strewn about the original Myst with such frequency that you could hardly fail, in truth. Uru's hints were a bit more sparse. The depth that one needs to immerse oneself and the amount of in-game text was too much to demand from me. I can do it. That I chose not to is, to me, an indictment on the amount of fun that can actually be had with the game.

I also had some gripes with the control system that felt syrupy when running and maddeningly slow when walking. Stepping sideways was infuriating to say the least. This is all very old news to anyone who has played the game. I suspect, since this was originally supposed to be an online game, the single-player content is a little under-developed. Now that it is never going online, the shortcomings of these offline ages makes up a far greater portion of the game.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I won't be buying any of the upcoming expansion packs.
PPS - I've got other things to do.

Salad Fingers

Some of the youth group kids were going on and on about some cartoons called Salad Fingers, so I went to check them out. For the love of all that is sane, don't click! Essentially these cartoons seem to be about a slightly sado-masochistic hermit with schizophrenia. The kids just love it and tell me that it's "Soooo random!" as if it leaves a delicious taste in their mouths. They love stuff they don't understand and stuff that can't be understood. The difference seems unimportant.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - My problem, if I understand the situation, is that I got it.
PPS - I mean, to the extent that such things can be "got".

Monday, 29 November 2004

The battle-lines are drawn

Brother Ug the Caveman picked up a new virus or bacterium and brought it home to share. This particular invisible nasty is, I believe, a chest cold. While that's clearly more fun than a head cold, I'd rather have neither, thankyou. I know I've picked up the infection, so I've also stocked up on vitamin C and throat lozenges.

I can never tell how long these things will last. About the only constant seems to be that Ug stays sick longer than I do, and any nasties hit him a bit harder than me. So now I'm fighting against an enemy that's already established a beach-head inside my nose and throat.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Hopefully I can win before Friday.
PPS - I don't want to be sick while I'm at Dreamworld.

Sunday, 28 November 2004

The Sunday Mok - Decaffeinated

This week, in one sentence, was a long upbeat mood coupled with caffeine withdrawal.

Sunday was pretty cool. Casey won Australian Idol and I was complimented on my singing by Michelle, who actually knows what she's talking about. I got into such a good mood on Sunday that I was talking and relating to people like a normal person. I was filled with energy and also relaxed enough to come out of my shell. I like times like these.
Monday I quit caffeine cold turkey, along with flavoured milk drinks and snacks. I switched to salad sandwiches for lunch, because I'm trying to drop just a little bit of weight before I get to the beach in a couple of weeks. Although I stuck to the plan at work, Dad kept buying assorted pastries, buns and fatty foods for home. I have now asked him to stop doing that.
Tuesday evening I was at a church meeting. While the debate raged on about whether we'd be the nine hundredth institution to get a sign out the front with interchangeable letters, I started to sketch randomly. What came out of me were all images of sharpness, darkness and screaming. Apparently, I have issues.
Wednesday my energy lasted until about 15:30 at work, which was pretty good. I went to another church meeting, this time regarding a Christmas event for kids. I'm not much of a planner, so exactly what I was doing there I don't know. I stressed heaps about planning the Friday night youth program which was still up in the air at this point.
Thursday I'd sorted out just about everything to do with Friday, which was a great relief. I spent most of the day at work trying to chase down some undesired functionality in one of my programs. It's not exactly a bug, which makes it a little difficult to find and fix.
Friday we successfully ran a progressive dinner for the youth group kids. In the end, I had to do only very little. I hope this didn't mean too many others picked up my slack, because I do that a bit too often. It felt a bit underplanned and slightly rushed to me.
Saturday was one of those lazy days - I played City of Heroes, slept, shopped briefly, watched a bit of Buffy and went to a youth group leaders' break-up party. In all, a rather good day.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - How bad is it to almost forget someone's birthday to their face?
PPS - I did that on Friday night - I recalled a date that was two days too early.

Friday, 26 November 2004

Lunchtime conversation

"Is human flesh red meat or white?"
"We'd be red, wouldn't we?"
"Zombies would be white meat, though, right? They're all pasty and stuff."
"Man, I wouldn't want to eat a zombie."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The awkward silence means we're done talking.
PPS - Thankyou and goodnight.

You are a unique and beautiful snowflake or something

I am just now discovering the power of positive reinforcement. Spreading around the genuine compliments, congratulations and thanks has a tremendous impact. They say words can wound forever, and the opposite is also true. I never say anything I don't mean, but I often leave unsaid certain things I probably should say. Since I started saying these positive things (and since others started saying them more to me) everything is getting better.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm still off caffeine, and feeling better every day.
PPS - It's kind of scary, really.

Thursday, 25 November 2004

Should have used a squeegee

How often do you do things that make you feel especially stupid? I just noticed a strange discolouration in the lower left corner of my monitor and spent a moment trying to rub it off the plastic. As it turns out, it was actually light refracting through my water bottle.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I can't blame caffeine deprivation for this one.
PPS - I also can't blame Microsoft.

Moose Gestures

For a long time (since I started using Opera, then migrated to Mozilla Firefox) I lamented the lack of mouse gestures in Internet Explorer. Not too long ago I set out to locate and install an IE plugin to enable them, because I cannot avoid using IE sometimes. My life is, once again, relatively complete.

For those of you who've never experienced mouse gestures, I'll explain. The civilised people among you can skip ahead. If I want to close a browser window, I don't have to hit any keys or hunt for the X button in the title bar. All I have to do is right-click on the mouse and drag it down then right. Down then left will minimise the window instead. Go left for "back" and right for "forward". Circle a group of links in an anti-clockwise direction and they all open in new browser tabs. It's really amazing how useful they can be.

Mouse gestures are not included in Firefox by default, which is one of the reasons I was initially a little disappointed with the browser. However, an extension is readily available to add gesture support. I also use an ad blocker extension to avoid seeing any annoying ads online.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Seriously, if you've only ever used Explorer, give Firefox a go.
PPS - It's better in so many ways.

Wednesday, 24 November 2004


I've hit the wall again. Usually by this stage of the afternoon I'd already have my daily 80mg of caffeine inside me, and I'd be happily hacking away. Right now I'm literally nodding off at my desk. I tried Berocca and loud music to keep me awake, and they've failed so far. I honestly had no idea I was using this much energy in an average working day. Or perhaps my body's ability to store energy has been depleted, or just my natural reserves.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Whatever it is, I'm losing it.
PPS - It'd be nice to go home and sleep or even just to rest my eyes for ten minutes.

Sensory Substitution

This article describes a "new" technology for restoring lost senses. I've always wondered what it would be like to touch magnetic fields or see ultra-violet and infra-red.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - While we're at it, I might like to smell fear, too.
PPS - And maybe I can get super-sensitive hearing without blowing out my eardrums.

Off the Wagon, Day 3

I feel alright this morning, except for a dry mouth. I thought I'd pick up a fruit juice between the bus and the office this morning, and I looked for one with no sugar as well as no caffeine. I'm well aware that I'd have to be pretty unlucky to find a juice with caffeine, but I had no idea how much sugar is actually in bottled juices. Most of it is probably fructose from the fruit itself, and I doubt any juice company spends the time and money to get rid of that, because nobody would really notice.

The juice with the least sugar I found was Grove Orange, with 15 grams. I haven't done my fact checking, but I think that equates to about three teaspoons which would classifies as "slightly indulgent" when put in a cup of coffee or tea.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I expect to have more energy problems today.
PPS - It's a rough ride. It had better be worth it.

Tuesday, 23 November 2004


I just got my second decaffeination headache. It's less intense than the one from last night. Of course, it's still a headache, which is unpleasant no matter how mild it gets.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I think I've been making more typos than I used to.
PPS - For instance, I just wrote "Mokalus of Brog" up there.

IE no longer

I just opened up my Windows XP Start Menu to attempt to open Internet Explorer from the frequently-used programs list. It has disappeared due to disuse. This makes me happy.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I just remembered that I had yet to set Firefox as my default browser.
PPS - Now that's done. Cool.

Decaffeination, Day 2

As the title says, this is my second day off caffeine in my little experiment. I feel terrible. Last night I got a headache and had a weird lump in my throat. This morning I can taste bile and it feels like I've burst a tiny blood vessel or two in my nose. The computer monitor hurts my eyes and I feel a little sick. I'm not sure exactly how much of this is related to caffeine deprivation; I'm just saying it because it's true.

Up until yesterday I was living on about 80mg of caffeine per day. That's only two cans of Pepsi MAX, and it's still been enough to hurt when I'm off cold turkey. I've been wired for about 18 months, I think.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I expect to remain tired today.
PPS - Also I'm not used to my mind being this sluggish.

Monday, 22 November 2004


What a day to quit caffeine - after a late night (~01:30) I'm ready to nod off at 08:50. I need a hit. I've got the shakes man, come on! Don't hold out on me like this!
Of course, it's caffeine's fault I was up late in the first place.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - "To caffeine! The cause of, and solution to, all of a programmer's problems!"
PPS - To misquote Homer Simpson.

You go, girl

I have renewed faith in the intelligence of Australians at large after watching Casey Donovan win Australian Idol over pretty-boy Anthony Callea. Honestly, I didn't expect it, but I'm so glad. I do believe she's the better performer and has deservedly won, and I'll certainly be buying her album when it comes out in a few weeks. The voice on this girl and the emotion she puts into her performances is truly inspiring to a lover of music. More than once during performance shows on Sunday nights I've been drawn completely in - I'd just close my eyes and feel the music flowing through me. She's spectacular. Well done, Casey.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I can't actually remember if I voted or not.
PPS - I hope I did.

Sunday, 21 November 2004

The Sunday Mok - There and back again

I've been down and back up again this week, emotionally. It happens. I've got a bit of a Charlie Brown Syndrome, minus the "world is picking on me" idea. I guess that leaves being in love with the little red-haired girl.
It all started going downhill on Sunday. LRHG ignored me a bit. Actually, she ignored me completely. It probably wasn't even on purpose, but it got to me.
Monday I saw Taxi. If you must see it, walk in three-quarters of the way through. Some little problems at work, like not enough to do. Still, I'd rather have too little to do than too much.
Tuesday I settled into a good, solid anger about LRHG and the Sunday Snubbing. I had to write it all down to get it out of me, because I don't want that stuff eating me up inside. I debated briefly whether I should write her a letter about it. Pretty much decided against that.
Wednesday I started to feel better. I wondered about taking a day off work to rest, which sounded very silly because (a) I currently feel underworked and (b) I've got a week off in mid-December.
On Thursday I had just about finished off an upgrade to one of my programs that means it can run in a more restricted environment without crashing. That's all Microsoft .NET mumbo-jumbo that means users can still run the program before they've set their machines up correctly. It can't run completely perfectly in those circumstances, but it can still perform its basic functions. I skipped bible study to rest, which I did by playing City of Heroes and practicing drumming.
Friday we took the youth group kids to a local swimming pool for a swim and barbeque. There was so much chlorine in the water that my eyes were on fire until Saturday morning. By the time I got home, I was feeling pretty good, except for the burning eyes. LRHG is once again a positive rather than a negative.
Saturday was a lazy, relaxing day, full of television (Stargate SG-1) games (COH again) and sleep. Low-key party at night, involving more barbequeing and more swimming. At least this time it was a salt pool rather than chlorine. I had to leave the party a bit early due to a lack of rides going back my way. I should really get a car.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Part of the plan was to buy a car before next year.
PPS - But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.

Friday, 19 November 2004

Big sigh

You know those moments when a passing comment or event reminds you of a time in the past that was good, but never went anywhere? I just had one of those.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's a sweet regret.
PPS - Like the very last mouthful of a fantastic cake.

Business Plan

In response to the Sacred Grilled Cheese Sandwich, I have formulated a plan: I will produce sandwich grills that stamp the image of the Blessed Virgin in every sandwich! It should be pretty easy, plus I'll be able to sell the sandwiches and the grills. I'll make millions.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Patent Pending.
PPS - Also from Icons Incorporated: The Shroud of Turin steam press!

Switching to a garlic aftershave

Don't tell anyone that I told you, but our new receptionist apprentice, Kelly, is a vampire.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Just kidding.
PPS - No, seriously. Vampire.

Thursday, 18 November 2004


I wonder if auto-pilots will ever be advanced enough that real human pilots' job titles become "Advanced Free-Thinking Error-Correction Device".

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
PPS - Except perhaps the "device" bit.

Cable out

Our internet connection went down last night for no readily-discernible reason. It was not until this event occurred that I realised just how much I had become accustomed to an always-on, high-bandwidth net connection. I sat for a good ten minutes just watching the computer trying to log on.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Sad, I know.
PPS - It's back on now, so I've had my fix.

Wednesday, 17 November 2004

They won't let me have my toys

There are any number of fascinating programs I'd like to download and play with and I just can't get them. I remember one from my university days: my Artificial Intelligence lecturer (that's the lecturer that taught AI, not an AI doing teaching work) mentioned a program that had a set of rules governing mathematical reasoning and exploration. It (apparently) discovered several well-known constructs like integers, prime numbers etc. and a new mathematical concept, then they pulled the plug. I'd like to see that, but this is all the information I have.
There's also HANDS, a programming language/environment built for kids around natural problem-solving thinking. It's available by "special arrangement" which probably means I'd have to be doing research to get my grubby little paws on a copy. I suppose I'll just have to read some of that research and try to produce a similar system at home.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - There have been many others through the years, too.
PPS - Most of them I have forgotten and given up on.

The News Mokalus Rejects

I've built up a bit of a backlog of draft posts for this blog that will probably never see the light of day. Here are some of them, in summary:
Mouse gestures
An explanation of how great it is to get mouse gestures into Internet Explorer.
A long (caffeine-driven) tirade on the benefits and potential pitfalls of Microsoft's next-generation file system.
Management confusion
If my supervisor has asked for the correct tools to do his job properly and has been refused, is he really to blame if the job isn't done properly?
Digital music
Online music shops here in Oz don't seem to be quite as extensive as their overseas counterparts. The Apple iTunes store - the online music shop - doesn't even operate here.
You Might Eat Too Much Pizza If...
A list of humourous ways to tell if you're ordering too much pizza. I came up with only seven.
You Might Be A Hardcore Programmer If...
As above, but with the geek level kicked up a notch. Same result.
CEO Deathmatch
A suggestion for a way to make the corporate arena a bit more interesting.
Second Chance Draw
A suggestion for a variation on the Big Brother format, where nobody ever actually leaves the house until the end. We just vote people out of the running for the money, and then they have a chance to be voted back in, too.
Mokalus of Borg

PS - I could potentially be persuaded to elaborate on some of these.
PPS - Whether that's a worthwhile exercise is another matter.

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Taxi? Mo' like SUXI!!!!1!! lol roflmao ymmv

Caught Taxi last night. It started well, with a speech by Obi-Wan and some lightsabre duels, then it just lost direction.

Seriously, though, this movie was incredibly bad. Halfway through I couldn't even look at the screen and I was ready to walk out. Only in the last quarter did I even start to get into it, and that was way too little way too late. It had its moments (two of them, if I counted correctly) and that's nowhere near enough to hang a movie on. Weak characters, weaker jokes and cars that, honestly, hardly feature at all.

1/5 - see The Fast and the Furious instead

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I can't quite imagine anyone enjoying this whole movie.
PPS - Not even drunk.

Monday, 15 November 2004

Zombies vs ???

What are the natural rivals of zombies? Anyone on the net is probably familiar with such topics as pirates vs ninjas, Alien vs Predator, Kirk vs Picard and Baywatch vs Baywatch Hawaii, but I've never seen anything relating to zombies in that realm. I'm guessing it's something like robots.

I spent a little time last night beating up some zombies in City of Heroes and had to cut the mission short. This particular story arc involved me getting infected with a disease that the game engine implemented as a "temporary power". The excited message (You got a temporary power!) didn't quite fit the mood of being infected with a fatal wasting disease carried by zombies.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - CoH has robots, too.
PPS - I don't think I've ever seen them fighting with the zombies, though.

Sunday, 14 November 2004

The Sunday Mok - The Musical (starring Mokalus as himself)

I think the primary feature of my life recently has been music rather than movies or games. I may be wrong.
Sunday we had New Zealand band The Lads play at our evening church service. This was their second trip to our suburb and they were a little apprehensive. Last time they were here (playing at the high school) they opened with a cover of a Blink 182 song and received a round of "boo"s in return. It went much better this time around. I bought a CD and had the band sign it.
Monday at work was ho-hum: some work on a news system for our section website that's woefully out of date and uncool. After watching Australian Idol I went to Bridgit's to see "Duplex".
On Tuesday I finished off the site news system and set it loose, though it's still unpolished. Good thing we'll be the only ones who can see the ugly bits. Our Bible study group went to visit the Toowong Early Adults to see how they do things differently over there. The answer is "not very much differently".
Wednesday at work I (figuratively) smacked my head against the wall repeatedly just trying to figure out what was making my program fail. I have an answer now. I just wish it could have been easier to come by. I had expected Tim around for Java tutoring, but he never showed, so I made the most of my night off by watching The Simpsons and Joan of Arcadia. I wondered where my time goes. I blame television.
On Thursday I started on a personal project that had been nagging at me for a while. It's a program that can download regularly-posted files from the 'net, remembering when the last successful download was and looking from there. I plan to use it as a way of creating a personalised webcomics page every day. I swapped Bible study and karate nights this week, so I trained under a different sensei. He took a bit of a different approach, teaching mostly through games. I think that's come from the fact that he also teaches the children's class.
Friday I solved a major problem in part of our project that had been bugging me for ages and I thought it was going to be way hard. As it turned out, it worked rather easily once I let go of the idea that a database query would have to be generated automatically. Now the query is stored in the database and everything works wonderfully. That's going to win me some points, as long as nobody finds out how easy it turned out to be.
Saturday was a bit of a rest day - City of Heroes and sleep, followed by a CD launch concert at night. Soulframe launched their new album "Escaping Entropy" and were backed up on the night by Jazz band Scat and a semi-acoustic set from Rookie. There wasn't much room to move down near the front of the stage, where I was. That was fun, though I'm a bigger fan of punk than Soulframe's straight rock.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Well, it felt like more music.
PPS - I guess you had to be there.

Friday, 12 November 2004


Just informed by Messenger:
"Stu { sleeping } has just signed in."


Right. This is one reason I'd like Messenger to allow name changes before sign-in. I'm also still waiting for the ability to make notes next to contacts.

I'm starting to demand a little more from my machines, because I know we're capable of taking computers to a whole new level of usefulness. It's time they stopped pretending to be advanced typewriter-calculators.

I find the interaction with my computer to be extremely limited. With the mouse and screen I am essentially poking icons with a stick. By remote control. I think we're ready to outgrow this mode of operation, but I'm certainly not the person to design a new one. For the moment, though, picture this: a screen approximately 1.5 metres wide and 70 cm high, laid almost flat on your desk. You can move icons around and interact with them by touching them directly, and maybe this giant touch screen even provides some tactile feedback. Now there's no translation to make between the motion of the mouse and the cursor, and you can move multiple items at once, because you have two hands with five fingers each. It needs some work, of course, but I'd like to give it a go.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - "Remember the Gorilla Arm."
PPS - As the old saying goes.

Thursday, 11 November 2004

It continues

Now with no water to run the evaporative air conditioning system, the office temperature is rising. At least they've stopped loudly turning it on and off every four seconds.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Not an exaggeration.
PPS - We timed it.

Lab Rats

Our building is currently experiencing a water outage and now the air conditioning is being experimented with. It feels, just for a moment, like it might all be some big experiment where they see how long we can last without water and air.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If they shut off the lights or internet, that would confirm my guess.
PPS - If the power goes entirely, I'm going home.

Rent Control

After seeing Duplex a few days ago, I've been thinking on and off about what exactly "rent control" is. What's mentioned in the movie is that the tenant can't be evicted, and she pays a rental price that must have been set decades ago and now cannot change. I always get a bit suspicious when I hear about privileges without responsibility or vice versa, and this sounds like irresponsible privileges to me.

Responsibilities without privilege makes you a fall guy: someone to take the brunt of the damage when something goes wrong. You had no power to avoid the problem, but it was your responsibility. Privileges without responsibility makes you a baby who can only sit and cry "gimme" and never has to give anything back. Any time these situations come up, there's trouble.

As for the movie, I laughed. Frankly, though, some parts were frustrating. At about three points in the movie the old lady's life was literally in her landlords' hands. If they had done nothing, they'd have everything they wanted (plus a massive tidal wave of guilt, I guess).

2/5 - wait for it on TV

Mokalus of Borg

PS - There seems to be an opinion that rent control is economically unsound, too.
PPS - I'm sure it feels good for the tenants, though.

Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Semantic Web, Take Two

Recent discussions on the Semantic Web seem to emphasise the downside, which is quite valid. Some people seem to think that "Semantic Web" means "more links". Some others are of the opinion that this is either too much work or not human-friendly. Some have emphasised the fact that the web is easy enough to use right now: we have plenty of external resources to consult for further information if we want. This last one is true enough, but I'd like to rebut it anyway.

The point of the semantic web is machine-friendliness. With the current web data space, if you want more information, you follow roughly this procedure:
  1. Locate an external resource to consult
  2. Determine its reliability
  3. Learn to use it
  4. Search for your extra information
  5. Consume information, repeating this procedure as required
These are all labour-intensive, time-consuming and tedious. With a fully-functional semantic web, your procedure for finding extra information is as follows:
  1. Ask

Mokalus of Borg

PS - That's the difference, friends.
PPS - It's still a very long way off, though.

File Not Found Exception

It's days like these that make me really love working in IT. And by "love" I mean "despise with every deepest fibre of my being". I am trying to run a program from an internal website. It runs fine on my machine. Copy it over, try it there, "File not found". The file it's looking for exists. It's there. I can download it. I can see it in the directory listing. Try again. "File not found". Cue shouting and throwing of heavy objects.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I've been doing this particular dance for over an hour now.
PPS - Not even the slightest bit of progress.


Some data connections, like the one our office has to the company's Sydney office, work slower than the post office. By that I literally mean that it's quicker to ship two dual-layer data DVDs overnight than to try to electronically transfer the same data. The one reason we don't like to do that is the reliance on people who might forget or grow tired of performing the same actions repeatedly.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck full of CDs.
PPS - As the old saying goes.

Monday, 8 November 2004


I wondered if anyone had already thought of my Dawn of the Dead game, and a quick Google search turned up this. Not quite what I imagined, but interesting nonetheless.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Killing zombies is always fun.
PPS - I've got to stop thinking about this, though.


The trailers portray Hero almost as The Matrix in China. That's not the case, though it is a visually impressive film. Colour is a very big part of the effect and helpfully distinguishes between different versions of the same events. I am told that the Chinese war legends are usually tales of "one warrior worth one thousand" and from this point of view it is easy to accept scenes of heroes on both sides of the conflict, say, fending off a storm of arrows with their bare hands or fighting through a massive army three or four soldiers at a time with relatively little effort. Nobody ever looks worn out from the fight, either, but I can't say I noticed at the time.

In summary, Hero is more like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon than The Matrix (and unsurprisingly so).

5/5 - well worth it.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I probably missed some of the symbolism
PPS - That's simply due to culture differences.

Sunday, 7 November 2004

The Sunday Mok - 7 November 2004

Late once again - this is a Final Fantasy XI-related delay. I've really got to buy a wireless broadband router one of these days.
Last Sunday I did a bit of trick-or-treating inside City of Heroes and made a new character I called "Zombie Slayer" in honour of and inspired by Buffy. I grabbed my copy of Uru and a hint file and started pummelling the thing into submission because, frankly, I was sick of it sitting there taunting me. Now I'm going to finish it, hint file or not. I realised that one of my main complaints with this game is that the puzzles are decidedly unlike puzzles (eg "it's dark") and the solutions are so bizarre as to render their discovery almost pure chance. I think I failed in part because I had no idea there was even a puzzle to be solved.
On Monday at work I was helping with a data transformation and import that I didn't quite understand. I didn't need to, either, so when it went a bit wrong later in the week, I was almost completely unable to offer any further help. I also concluded that I am, at times, a one-man love triangle.
During Tuesday night's karate class, I got a bit angry and focused it into training. I suppose that is from the Dark Side. Most of the day at work I was just tinkering with things, making minor improvements here and there, and getting my hands into the CW Manager code left behind by Matt.
Wednesday, apparently, all I could think of was girls. Or one girl. Maybe I should just leave it at that.
On Thursday I started using a wiki to keep some of my project documentation. I doubt we will start using it for everything, though, because we already have a large legacy of documentation in regular Word documents that would take lots of time and effort to successfully copy in. I did it mostly for my own amusement. I started preliminary testing of my transaction approval system, to work out any prototyping bugs.
Friday I gave co-worker Adrian a brief introduction to the transaction approvals system to let him start to work it into his dashboard user interface. He'll still be coming to grips with it on Monday, and I think I'll be making some improvements. For the youth group program that night, we went to Live at the Princess, a regular Christian music event at a spot in Woolloongabba. It was pretty cool, especially since I got to see Gerald play for the first time in a while. They rock, by the way. I also won tickets to go see Soulframe and Rookie next Saturday, and I have two friends, Michelle and Bridgit, who are into one of those bands each. They'd probably both go anyway, so I guess I'm just deciding who gets to save some money.
Saturday was just a relaxation day. I went for a run before breakfast, played Heroes in the morning, slept a bit in the afternoon then saw Hero in the evening. After that I went to Mia's place to hang out with Muz, Bridgit, Ashleigh, Stu, Mia and Sam, which mostly involved playing competitive Tetris and some Jenga. It was fun.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Review of Hero on Monday morning.
PPS - The short version is that it's quite cool.

Friday, 5 November 2004

goats: the store

I have just ordered myself a Zombie Peanut Butter t-shirt from goats and expect the item to arrive within four weeks. At that time, there will be no stopping me.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm pretty sure the appeal was just the word "zombie".
PPS - Most of the time, however, I don't get the goats comics.

Now I'm conflicted

Taxi, undoubtedly a below-average movie, has been saddled with the honour of displaying the Revenge of the Sith trailer in Australia. Do I want to see Taxi just to see this trailer, or should I wait until it's (legitimately or otherwise) available online? Honestly, I just don't know.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I actually can't find it online yet.
PPS - I could subscribe to Hyperspace, I guess...

Thursday, 4 November 2004

What Badgers Eat

Someone at the Simpsons offices was thinking. Lisa mentions a website address:, and somebody is going to check it out, probably immediately. It's basic, but it's funny that it's real.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I would have liked some sounds in the game, though.
PPS - That is all.

The Mathewhatsit Computer Something

The Australian Institute of Mathematics has recently been advertising a program to teach maths to primary and high school students. The radio ad mentions its full name: "the Mathemagic Computer Tutor" at least a dozen times. I've only heard it twice and I can't get that phrase out of my head.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It would be successful advertising but for the fact that I have no school-aged children.
PPS - I have no children at all, just in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

It's called a horror show for a reason

Most of my friends are fascinated by the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and will jump up gleefully to dance the Time Warp any time it's played. I always cite "childhood trauma" and sit it out, much to their disappointment. I think I should elaborate on my sparse story a bit more.

Our primary school used to have a costume ball every year which, among other activities, included modern "freeform" dance to popular music of the day. This was where I first encountered Rocky Horror in the form of the Time Warp. I was probably 7 or 8 years old.

Strange music started to play - I did not recognise it, but everyone else immediately sparkled with glee and ran to the dance floor. Their faces locked into a manic mask as they gyrated to this bizarre song that everyone seemed to know but me. Friends, teachers and complete strangers urged me to join in and perform the steps I was unfamiliar with. The dance continued for what seemed like ages, and the dancers all the while looked like grinning, mindless zombies to me.

When the music faded and the spell was broken, there was no aftermath as I had thought. Nobody fell down as if magically sapped of strength. Nobody shook their heads clear and wandered from the floor confused as to what just happened. I seemed to be the only one aware of the powerful and continuing effect of this music, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

So that's it. I can't join in with the Rocky Horror singalong, thankyou, because I like my mind in it's current shape.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Earlier in my life I had a similarly traumatising experience with the Hokey Pokey.
PPS - Don't ask.

Tuesday, 2 November 2004

They swear to me it's important

The Melbourne Cup is, supposedly, the horse race that stops this nation for a minute or two. I've never fully understood why that is. It just happened now. The horses ran around and someone won. Some people won some money and most people lost, because that's the way of these things.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We'll do it again next year.
PPS - It'll still be pointless.


Honestly, I'm not all that bothered by Hayley's departure from Australian Idol last night. She was, no doubt, a good singer. I just think she needed to be much more comfortable on stage to stand a chance of winning. During the group performance she seemed stiff and unnatural, and I think that's what beat her in the end.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The only one I'd be happy to farewell now is Anthony.
PPS - And, barring some freak accident, that's not going to happen.

Monday, 1 November 2004


I've found Will Ferrell's comedy to be a bit hit-and-miss, frankly, with moments of near-brilliance among some pieces of amusing idiocy. I liked Anchorman quite a lot. Much of the time it was that kind of movie where you're just embarrassed for a character (Ron Burgandy). The abstract aspect provided by "Brick Tamland" (played by Steve Carell) was also great:
"Brick, where did you get a hand grenade?"
"I don't know."

...Well, it makes more sense in context. Anyway, I do recommend it if you're a fan of Ferrell, SNL, or other similar humour. Of course, if you're a Saturday Night Live fan, it's probably already on your list or in the past.

5/5 - I laughed.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The news team gang fight was quite cool too.
PPS - "I love desk. I love lamp."

Sunday, 31 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Unexpectedly Busy

Towards the end of this week I got a bit snowed under. You'll see what I mean.
Sunday was the second day at the Gold Coast Indy and we spent most of our time outside a Red Rooster that had adjusted their prices specially for the event. After the final race we walked along a length of the track and got stuck for a while in a crowd of drunk males, which is never a good place to be. We moved on before the growing crowd got too big to let us out.
Monday started with a blind beaurocracy demand: I work in an engineering firm, and thus I must have a Construction Site Safety Card for all my site visits. I write software. I am rarely, if ever, more than ten metres from my desk on business. Nevertheless, I must be trained. Four hours later, I am certified safe to visit construction sites and I return to my desk.
Tuesday was the day that I realised how busy the rest of my week was going to be. I had yet to do my taxes for this year, in addition to tutoring on Wednesday, leading a self-prepared bible study on Thursday and running the youth program on Friday. None of it was even started yet. I had to make a schedule to make sure I fit everything in, which is always (in my life) a sign that I am stressed and too busy.
Wednesday was definitely the first day of Summer: hot and humid in true Brisbane style. It'd be nice to have air conditioning. Tutoring went fine. I just hope I'm articulate enough to get Tim really ready for his exam.
On Thursday I finished off the second revision of my subscription list software module just in time to figure out a third design that would be more powerful and simpler. Sigh. I also had to fix some regularly-scheduled FTP tasks that had been failing. We blamed the remote server administrators, they blamed us until we proved that their servers were shutting down our connections.
Friday I ran the youth group program and, as is usual when I plan things, it could have gone more smoothly. The other leaders have grown used to picking up a little organisational slack from me which is good in a way, but it won't make me grow. I also blame the fact that I had little time in my schedule to plan it well.
On Saturday I saw Anchorman (review tomorrow) and also bought Myst IV: Revelation to add to the growing list of games I am currently playing. So far I am suitably impressed by it, though I need to move my relatively noisy computer further away to get the full atmospheric sound experience. I also checked out the City of Heroes Hallowe'en event, which involved trick-or-treating and a giant pumpkin-headed monster. It was pretty cool, but that monster was enormous and I couldn't kill it with the team I had.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Gotta go quickly now.
PPS - Seeya.

Friday, 29 October 2004

A learning experience

I've learned some things about flour:
  1. It's pretty cheap
  2. You don't need much of it to cover a large group of kids in gooey gunk
  3. Once you've done that, it's hard to clean it off again
This is the game we play. It's called "Scumbags" and mostly involves throwing water balloons and messy foods. It can be either fun or horrifying, depending on your attitude.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We had one girl who covered both the fun and horrified sides.
PPS - This is what you miss out on if you don't work with kids.

Wiki is The Way

An article I saw linked from Slashdot, "Championing a Wiki World", sparked a thought. Our company has long struggled with a very poor intranet based on Lotus Notes that must be costing hundreds of hours of lost productivity per employee per year. That really adds up. If we set up Wiki servers, we might be able to provide, say, 80% of the functionality better and faster. On the other hand, I don't know how well such a system would handle the database applications we run, nor how well they would encourage collaboration.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I suppose this is a half-formed thought.
PPS - Or half-baked.

Just a thought

I bet that big black egg Darth Vader sits in is his toilet.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - That might explain the "Do Not Disturb" sign.
PPS - And the air freshener.

Thursday, 28 October 2004


I've occasionally considered building a new PC into a used Pepsi Max 24-can box. The pros and cons, as they run through my head, tend to be as follows:
Pro: It would be easy to carry, because it comes with a handle.
Con: I rarely have to carry a PC anywhere.
Pro: It embodies caffeine, the lifeblood of programmers like me.
Con: It's cardboard, providing very little structural integrity. Also the internal mounting for anything not directly on the floor of the box would be tricky.
Pro: It would be a fun project and give me an excuse to work with a Mini-ITX motherboard.
Con: I don't actually need a new PC.
Pro: Plenty of space inside the box.
Con: Probably too much space. I could get two optical drives and four hard disks in there with no worries.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If anyone asks me to build a system for them, I might give it a go.
PPS - Nobody has ever asked me to build a system for them.

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

Tuesday, 26 October 2004


This article, linked from Slashdot, reminds me of David Brin's Earth. In that book, among other things, video cameras are everywhere and are in the hands of citizens. Most of the video vigilantes are elderly folk with nothing better to do. If I recall correctly, a pair of TruVu goggles retails for under $10. That book, plus my previous experiences and subsequent thinking, placed in my head the idea that a camera is more powerful and dangerous than a gun. That, I guess, is the modern meaning of the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword".

Whatever you think about it, cameras are getting cheaper, smaller and more popular. It's easy to imagine that they'll be everywhere soon enough. This probably leaves you in one of two positions: screaming about privacy or adapting. Fight it or embrace it. The new thought today is this: I wonder if our great-grandchildren will have a lowered sense of privacy? Will the invading camera hordes desensitise them to the fear of being watched? Will their walls come down because everyone lives in glass houses? I don't know if there's a balance that way. It's possible there's some kind of equilibrium we could reach down that end of the scale, but from our point of view there is still some information that belongs only to me. Such a total breakdown of privacy would also mean a breakdown of identity and individuality.

I don't know where it ends. I don't know if it even starts, or if we swing back the other way eventually into a world full of big black curtains where pieces of me don't know what the other pieces are doing.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - In any case, the cameras are coming.
PPS - Only the most totalitarian governments will be able to regulate and control them.

We don't need no stinkin' levers!

Heard on the radio this morning from billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch:
Give me a place to stand and I'll move the world.
Call me crazy if you like, but since the un-mangled quote was all about levers, omitting them pretty much constitutes a full violation of the metaphor code. Red card. You're outta here.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Perhaps he needs a more realistic perspective on his power.
PPS - Or a lesson in the simple machines.

Monday, 25 October 2004

A note to telemarketers

Although your script may tell you to say "there is no catch", if it goes on to describe some responsibility I will have or something else I have to accept, that's a catch. You can save us both the embarrassment if you just admit it. Unless our conversation goes something like this, I'm not interested:
You: "We want to give you something for FREE!"
Me: "What's the catch?"
You: "There is no catch!"
Me: (waits in silence to hear the catch)
You: "Are you still there?"
Me: "So there's seriously no catch?"
You: "That's right!"
Me: (waits in silence just a bit longer)
You: (reverting to the previous script line) "Are you still there?"
Me: "Yes. I will take your stuff for free with no obligations or catches."
You: "Great!"

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I've just got to stop answering my phone when it says "Private Number calling".
PPS - If only I didn't have friends with private numbers...


This weekend was my first trackside experience of the Gold Coast/Lexmark Indy 300. From what I can tell, people go to Indy for any of three reasons:
  1. To drink copious amounts of alcohol
  2. To yell at [Ford/Holden] supporters because, clearly, [Holden/Ford] is better
  3. To encourage women in the nearby apartments to take their tops off

Apparently there was also some car racing going on. I could write for ages about the stupidity of any of the three points above, but I've got better things to do with my time.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I am rarely impressed by big noises and shiny things.
PPS - I doubt I'll be back next year.

Sunday, 24 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Late Late Edition

Having been at the Gold Coast Indy this weekend, I was away from an internet connection, so this Sunday Mok post comes to you from the office on Monday morning.
The Saturday night housewarming party left me with relatively little sleep to get through Sunday, but I made it through fine in the end. I had my first actual Java tutoring session that afternoon, and was just a bit disappointed in my own teaching abilities. I get programming, I just can't tell you much about it or how to do it.
On Monday I felt like I'd worked a bit too slowly, because of certain aspects of the approvals system I have to design. It's tricky to get just right, and I wanted to clear my head. I played City of Heroes to that end, and got myself into notable debt with my second character, Bane Mage.
Tuesday I had to refine the data model I'd been using for alert subscriptions in Professional 2, our big project, because my previous model didn't allow users to subscribe to all alerts of a certain type, which may be necessary. I also got unstuck in KOTOR, which made me happy and will suck up even more of my precious time.
Wednesday at work I spent most of the day working on a basic user interface to hand off to someone else to make better and I got a bit bogged down. I should have just cut it loose and given it to Brad. He's good at that type of thing.
On Thursday I spent way too much time looking for a relatively good solution to the "timetabling problem" because it would indirectly help me with part of the approvals system. I also spent about ninety minutes with three girls from my high school days: Audrey, Liz and Lynette. I turn into a motormouth around Liz - always have. It's fascinating to see from the inside.
On Friday I cut my losses on the timetable problem and opted for a solution that will very slightly complicate the user interface, but only just. We ran our fundraising trivia night at the church which probably ended up costing us money instead. Anyway, it was fun. Then, immediately after that, I went to a farewell party for Glenys who should be on a plane back to drab, grey England by the time I post this. Why she doesn't want to stay in the best city in the best state of the best country on Earth is quite beyond me. She must like rain and fog. ;) Luv ya, G. See you again in 12 months.
Saturday was the first day of the Indy, and I did know before I went that trackside was probably one of the less rewarding ways to experience motor sports. I was right. I still had lots of fun and I have to say thanks for the free ticket. I think that, if I go next year, I'd rather have an apartment with a higher view and a shorter distance to travel, like nowhere.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - More about Indy in Monday's post.
PPS - That, I suppose, is right now.

Friday, 22 October 2004

Seriously, I don't get it

Having indirectly dealt with managers for a while now, I have to say that I don't understand them and they don't understand software. They want us to build something and won't (or just can't) tell us what they want or need. When we give them what we managed to build based on our limited telepathic skills, they tell us what's wrong with it and we proceed to fix it. This takes forever. We tell them this. We ask for proper requirements before we start, and tell them that everything will be out much faster if we do it this way. We tell them it will be cheaper this way. Somehow they're happy with the slow, painful, frustrating way, and try to squeeze the quick schedule out of it.

My primary error is, apparently, assuming that they're thinkers. If they were thinking clearly and had some kind of rationale for their decisions, I imagine it would be similar to this: "If we see it quickly, but it's wrong, we can fix it, and software is so easy to fix and change that everything should be out about a week after we first see anything". We projected a project time of twelve to eighteen months. It's now been two years, and they're still acting the same way, only more panicked and more eager to see the wrong software quickly.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - They're just not learning.
PPS - That's the one thing that can really frustrate me about people.

Danger Duck

Crossing the road without fear or reason, Danger Duck has her three ducklings behind her: Fearless, Gutsy and Brave. I saw these four ducks crossing a major road this morning, during peak-hour traffic. It's a little unusual to see ducks around in the 'burbs, so I don't know where they came from, exactly. I guess they were in one of the creeks ... the nearest one being many hundreds of metres away. Given the choice, I'm sure Danger Duck would have flown to her eventual destination (wherever that was) but with her still-flightless offspring in tow, she obviously had no choice but to brave the morning traffic. I guess they just couldn't wait to ... do whatever they were going to do.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Expect the Sunday Mok to be late this week.
PPS - I'll be at the Gold Coast Indy all weekend.

Thursday, 21 October 2004

Can you tell me how to get?

I remember very little of my Sesame Street viewing from my childhood, but this lesson about the letter "q" has stuck with me somehow:

"How'd you do that?"
"Do what?"
"How'd you get that funny-lookin' thing to hang up in the air like that?"
"...You're a funny-lookin' thing."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If memories like this are what I got from my childhood, it's no wonder I'm so odd.
PPS - Thankyou and goodnight.

The Rules

I have three rules of life, though I rarely manage to keep them all.
1. Don't Panic. Straight from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it's a brilliant first rule in every situation. If you panic, you rush and you make mistakes. If you're lucky, you can undo them later.
2. Keep Clear. The Fifth Element gave me this one. Life gets full of distractions. If you pay attention to everything, you end up missing everything else, so you'd better prioritise correctly.
3. Don't Fall. This one's my own, and is probably the most pessimistic of the three. I break it often, and for long periods at a time.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm breaking it right now.
PPS - Generally speaking, though, they're good rules.

Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Server Down

Our primary shared server is down right now. Basically this means that none of us (a team of eight) can do any work until the helpdesk guys get off their butts and fix it. So, for now, I'm in "freeform research" mode (read: random websurfing).

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The best part is that I still get paid.
PPS - Now if only I could figure out how to do this on purpose...

Back in the KOTOR groove

Last night I picked up my copy of Knights of the Old Republic for the first time in about a month. I stopped playing when I ran into a battle I just couldn't seem to win, but last night I powered through it with no worries. So that's the whole game opened up again when I thought it was destined to just rot on my shelf alongside the other games I failed to beat.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Usually when I drop a game it's because it stops being fun.
PPS - This can happen very suddenly.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

They were communists, you know

Smurf theme ... in my head ... someone please make it STOP!

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I honestly don't know how this happens sometimes.
PPS - "La, la, la-la la-la!"

A new economic television model

I'd be happy to pay to download individual episodes of television series in the same way that the iTunes store charges per song download. I'd even accept Digital Resource Strangling Management on those episodes. I'm sick of having the media I watch limited by (a) time, (b) geography and (c) demographic research that indicates my tastes are unpopular when the data network eliminates all of these as problems. Throw in an economic model where I pay rather than advertisers and I'm set.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - We're moving too slowly and missing opportunities.
PPS - If the media moguls pulled their thumbs out, we could have this today.

Monday, 18 October 2004

Zombies. Again.

A conversation from the office just now:
"We didn't see many one-legged zombies in Dawn of the Dead, did we?"
"Do you think they have good health plans?"
"I don't think zombies really have the time to unionise."
"It's probably for the best. All the meeting agenda items would be 'Brains'."

Mokalus of Borg

PS - All our office conversation seems to be about zombies or Star Wars.
PPS - And occasionally about work. But not often.

Voltron vs Power Rangers

I have a feeling I might pay to see that...

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Or Voltron vs Captain Planet.
PPS - Hey! Why not make both?

Raining like a big wet thing

It started raining yesterday and it's still going. Brisbane's been relatively dry recently, so the rain is welcomed of course. It's just that, as a person who (occasionally) ventures outdoors, I'd rather it only rained when I didn't have to go anywhere.

Submitted for your approval:

Proposed Rain Outage Schedule
09:00 - 10:10
11:30 - 12:00
07:00 - 08:30
17:30 - 18:30
09:00 - 23:00

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I don't think anyone will take much notice, though.
PPS - I can always dream.

Sunday, 17 October 2004

The Sunday Mok - Preoccupied

I had a really good title for this post a few hours ago, and now I can't remember it. I guess that means you're stuck with the dodgy one.
On Sunday I played City of Heroes in the afternoon, then we had a worship workshop before the evening church service. I didn't quite get a chance to see all my friends that night.
On Monday I was angry. I'd been told, indirectly, by an acquaintance that she'd rather not see me. Either that or she was trying to avoid making me go out of my way to pay back some cash. Somehow I doubt it was the second option. I started missing some sleep.
On Tuesday at work I kept designing the alert sending module for our accounting package. It turns out to be quite tangled with the rest of the system which is something I would rather avoid in the design if I can. I've found myself just stopping and spacing out for a minute, staring at nothing. It's weird.
Wednesday I consulted with a co-worker about the alert module and how it might mesh better with everything else. We didn't make very solid progress. I also helped with some debugging. For the second time running I missed tutoring in the evening - Tim sent me an urgent email about it at 7pm that I didn't get until 11pm. He expected me to come to his place and I expected him to come here. We rescheduled to Sunday afternoon. I looked for clock radios with digital tuners and found that they're typically priced upwards of $90, so I didn't get one.
By Thursday I'd been sleeping in later than usual, not shaving in the morning and dozing on the busses, both into work in the morning and home in the evening. I need a little more sleep regularly. The time when I get to rest always seems just a little further off in the distance.
On Friday I was looking for the right way to grieve for a relationship. I can usually find some kind of symbolic gesture that gives me a sense of closure, but this time I'm having more trouble actually acquiring the right props for this action. I had pizza for lunch and a huge plate of pasta for dinner, and I felt rotten afterwards - really sick. I definitely don't need to eat this much.
On Saturday I played City of Heroes again, then went shopping and to two parties: a birthday dinner at Sizzler (all you can eat - just what I need) and a housewarming. I stayed longer at the housewarming than most other people did, and walked home around 1am.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Although I say I need more sleep and less food, I'll probably continue eating and partying.
PPS - I know it's not entirely healthy.

Friday, 15 October 2004

I haven't started singing it ... yet

I made the mistake of seeking out an advertisement or two for Fanta - the allegedly famous "Fantana" ads that have not graced our Australian screens as yet. Now everywhere I go I hear that sodding jingle in my head. If you're sick of having full use of your brain, go to and look.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Keep in mind that I warned you.
PPS - If you live somewhere that plays these ads, you have my sympathy.

Thursday, 14 October 2004

The PlanTM

Darth Gerard has a plan. It's a simple plan and (like many simple plans) it's genius. Like Wile E. Coyote genius, only less likely to backfire and probably involving less ACME-brand equipment. When Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is released in May next year, he plans to hire out one entire Gold Class cinema to see it. This overcomes several problems, not least of which is his aversion to standing in line. In addition, because of their liquor licence, Gold Class screens can't have a movie run past 02:00, so they have to start the screening early for the midnight show. The only way he can accomplish this feat is by hiring the cinema as a corporate event, so, basically speaking, in May 2005, Gerard Incoporated are taking their clients to the movies, even if none show up.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Without friends, the price is about equal to flying to New Zealand just to see the movie an hour earlier.
PPS - This was also considered an option, though only briefly.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Celebrity Look-Alike Zombie Sniper

Inspired by a scene in Dawn of the Dead, I have now decided on a format for the movie tie-in video game. Picture Silent Scope crossed with Where's Wally. You sit on top of a building with a horde of zombies down below. The game gives you the name of a celebrity look-alike to find in the crowd and eliminate with your sniper rifle. Your score would clearly be based on how quickly and accurately you take down the correct zombie. There would possibly be penalties for collateral damage. Then there'd be bonus stages, occasional free-for-alls, groups ("The Partridge Family!") ... the possibilities are endless.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I welcome any opportunity to annihilate the undead.
PPS - Especially from the safety of an arcade cabinet.

Why would you do that?

I have a few reasons for keeping this blog, and I thought it would be good (for me, at least) to enumerate them here.
  1. I don't talk very much, and have a need to express myself in some way.
  2. Related to the lack of speech, I find it very difficult to keep in touch with my friends. This blog makes it their fault if they don't know what's going on in my life. :P
  3. I have a deeply ingrained fear of being open and honest about how I feel, because I'm a male. The blog can confront this fear head-on.
So that's it. Consider it a charter of sorts, and base your expectations on it. Meditate on it. Become one with the blog. You will be assimilated.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - That's about the second time ever that I've actually played on the Borg name.
PPS - Makes me feel a little dirty, really.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Network Convergence

This is what it's all about, in my opinion: getting our data, voice, television and radio networks all together, whether wired or wireless. I'm talking about being able to watch cable television on your phone, just because they're on the same network (if you can afford the bandwidth, that is) or calling a friend with your computer. Running a radio station with a worldwide audience from your garage and no special equipment. This is where we're headed, and I'm in favour.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm still reading the linked article.
PPS - It was just the catalyst for this rant.

Superman might not be that stupid after all

According to Seanbaby, Superman is some kind of moron who constantly forgets about his powers. I was generally in agreement until last night playing City of Heroes, when I completely forgot about my character's healing abilities and got very nearly into serious trouble beating up robots.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Having remembered the healing power, I got into a different kind of trouble involving over-confidence.
PPS - And that was when they got me.

Theory 4a

I have a theory on why a great performer like Ricki-Lee was eliminated from Australian Idol last night. This may not stand up under scrutiny, but since neither of us have the statistics to argue with me, you don't get much room to move. Sunday night's performance show was, apparently, the highest-ranking Oz Idol performance show ever. That means new viewers, some of whom would have voted. Some of those would have been making mistakes, being unfamiliar with the voting process. I cite Big Brother as an example, where we vote against contestants, as opposed to Idol where we vote for them. Given a large enough audience (tick) confused in this way (maybe) we could easily see the best performers eliminated. Also backing up my theory is the way two of the stand-out performers from Sunday were in the bottom three in terms of votes.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - This has been a mob psychology lecture from M-o-B Productions.
PPS - Perhaps we need some kind of RFC standard for reality TV voting procedures.