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24th March 2014

10:50am: A quick whinge, cos I can.

It takes a lot to get me to walk out of a lecture. Today, one of my teacher teachers was so bad at teaching teaching that she managed to do just that.

9th October 2012

1:37am: The penumbra between the Legal and the Moral
I may have commented hereish before on distinctions, such as between culture and race. Definitions are useful, but they are only a starting point.

Today Malcolm Turnbull compared the response by the public, using social media, to regulation by groups like ACMA - particularly in relation to the Alan Jones "died of shame" comments.  I haven't examined Turnbull's comments in detail, but I want to contrast the role of enforceable laws, and enforceable moral standards.

It is difficult to make a law with beneficially fuzzy edges. Of course, whether a law applies may be tricky to interpret, but as laws are often designed to be clear, they are often written to have a certain Boolean / binary applicability.  Moral standards, however, are often very woolly indeed.

Take the age of consent - There's something strange about the idea that one day, it's totally-not-OK for two people (one a teenager, the other an older adult) to have sex, but the very next day, because a certain number of orbits of the sun have occurred since the time of the younger party's birth, everything is just hunky dory. The suggestion that the difference between statutory rape and informed consent is astrological is pretty ridiculous, but that's how the laws of consent are written.

Let's restrict ourselves to laws based on morals, and assume that the morals are reasonably well accepted. I should hope that when such a law is applied, it is applied because someone did something unambiguously wrong.  Penalising someone for statutory rape, using jailtime, shouldn't be a matter of "well, what you did was mostly OK, but a little bit dubious".  By the time the law gets heavily involved, I should hope that there's a much higher unsavoury-to-reasonable ratio. This necessitates that there will be a large range of activity that is legal, but is overwhelmingly immoral.

This is why statements such as "as long as they're both consenting adults, anything goes" are nonsense. I recently heard this in the case of IIRC an 18 year old man kissing his 65 year old boyfriend after footy matches, and some people were taking umbrage that homophobia was being condemned, but ageist comments were being bandied about. Now, it may well be that the 18 year old was of mature mind, and that there was no power imbalance. Moreover, knowing so little of the case, it may be that an 18:65 relationship has less power imbalance than an 18:35.  Having been the younger party in a relationship with such an age imbalanced ratio, I know that there were power imbalances, resulting in some pretty nasty stuff. It might not always be the case, so writing a law to cover that could be tricky. There has to be some penumbra between a cop taking the older party off to jail, and a good friend having a quiet word, asking the older party if they are doing the right thing.  In the middle, there's the point where a casual aquaintance can take an interest for the common good.

Going back to media regulation - the job of legal bodies such as ACMA is to look at things such as defamation, breaches of professional ethics and so forth.  It has nothing to do with a broadcaster being an arsehole. Admitedly, because ACMA and many "self-regulation" entities are so toothless, their level of punitive action would be just fine for adressing poor behaviour that doesn't warrant flogging ("You accepted a story posted in a different paper without checking that it was fabricated! Naughty journalist! No elephant stamp for you!"). It is not appropriate for regulatory bodies to make rulings on whether a statement is arseholatry ("Yulnupingu got Australian of the Year because he's black").  This is the area where public campaigns are appropriate, and denying income through aggregated choice decisions is

Conversely, it shouldn't be expected that the public should have to understand the ins and outs of sagas like the cash for comment incident. This is where a media regulator with teeth is needed, to exact penalties and deprive income, not because the broadcaster is a twerp, but because he has decieved people.

20th January 2011

5:29pm: CRAP!
Crappity crappity CRAP! Bloody buggery bumfuck poo wank fish.  Frick on a stick!

A consultation with a course advisor a few years ago indicated I didn't need to take a particular subject (remedial chemistry, since mechanical engineering doesn't give a crap about chemistry).  However, it now looks as though I don't need to take that subject, but I do require the points that it entails.

That is, even if I do get extra points from having prior studies counted, I'm still 6 points shy of my degree - one subject.


I'm surprised that I'm not more pissed off at the course advisor who misdirected me.

So, I might be going back to uni for one subject this semester, not because I failed any subject, but because I failed to interpret the bureaucracy correctly.

16th December 2010

12:37am: Awful Carol Gig

Carol gig today was spectacularly awkward. At 8 mins to gig start time, I messaged all 3 other singers, asking them where the fuck they were. One texted back “Oh shit, it's at 5. Oh god, I'm still at home, sorry!”, and that he was 30-60 mins away. One other walked in the door a few minutes later, the last, when I called her, didn't think she was rostered on today. She was.

So, we are contractually obliged to provide 4 singers, and had 2 – one bass and one alto.

With the aforementioned contractual obligation in mind, we started singing, and found that because we're both decent singers, it actually worked pretty well. A few songs sounded pretty hollow, but anything harmonised with flourishing lines worked very nicely, and having only 2 decent singers, we could just lock in, use rapid tempi... all good. Also, I adjusted all the pitches down for the alto to sing melodies, which made everything easier on our voices.

So when the 3rd guy turned up, more than an hour late, it was mostly a bit of a shit, because he's crap. Not only could I not improvise harmonisations, but even when I'd support his line, he'd still wreck the tuning.

Nonetheless, from a breach-of-contract standpoint, I think it's better to provide ¾ singers than 2/4 .

Oh well, so I put up with it for the remaining near-hour. Then when walking back to centre management, he explained why he couldn't attend one of the other gigs – going to the WikiLeaks rally. I commented that a friend had attended a Wikileaks rally and found mixed messages – rather than “we support Wikileaks”, there were posters for every cause and its dog. He didn't seem to understand the complaint. I used the example that at some rallies, you get people hi-jacking the rally for their pet cause, and this dilutes and damages the message of the rallies – for instance, promoting the socialists at, say, gay marriage rallies. He said that the socialists had been the major drive behind the equal love rallies. WARNING! WARNING! BELIGERENT TOOL ALERT! So, I provided the hypothetical example of someone having a “Israel out of Palestine” banner at a pro-gay marriage rally. He didn't see the problem - “they're all connected” and “there isn't always time to create new banners for every rally”.

*HEADDESK**HEADDESK**HEADDESK*  Foolish me, for arguing with a dipshit socialist.

23rd October 2010

1:05pm: On Sleep
Written Monday a week ago

At the moment, I'm feeling a little greedy and spoiled - Cuddlefairy has been letting me sleep far more than she has been able to.  FAR more.

Consequently, I seem to have a lot of reserves - I spent all day yesterday at Scots' and the MIV meeting, then came home to finish up a lot of homework (another group assignment where colleagues had cut-and pasted from Wikipedia.  At least they acknowledged it as a "reference" in what was more of a bibliography, even if they didn't cite it).  At the end, I was over-tired.

So, I'll outline a little on our daughter's sleeping, and ours: 
whereas the first few nights, she was only sleeping a few minutes at a time, and wouldn't really settle much except in someone's arms, since the milk started coming in on Saturday, she's been able to settle in for longer periods

Cuddlefairy was highly reluctant to let her be asleep in someone's arms if they weren't awake, but on Saturday night, we were able to get the little one to settle in, swaddled, in the pram-basket which we set up in the middle of the bed.  Consequently, that was the first time that we were able to have all three of us asleep at once

Also, both Saturday and Sunday nights, Cuddlefairy let me sleep a lot more, because I would be out and about during the days.  Hence the feeling of me being greedy.  So, yes, while our sleep is quite interrupted, I'm at least hoping to be able to get a decent quantity most nights in the future - I'm not expecting that I'll have to be a zombie all the time for several months at least. :D

14th October 2010


Julie and Ollie are very pleased to announce the birth of Myria Jane Philippa Waugh at 12:59pm on the 13th of October, 2010.

Mother and baby are doing well, but no telephone calls please. :)

24th August 2010

11:58pm: Since many of my friends are involved in education, I'm hoping this isn't only interesting to me.

I have placements at my designated high school for one 2-hour session per week.  I have a designated supervisor , who is supposed to be helping, y'know, teach.

The first week, after 15 minutes, he disappeared for 15 minutes without warning.

Over the past two weeks, my supervisor has actually supervised me a total of 15 minutes.  Last week, he was absent, and so he sent a replacement (his "assistant") .  The replacement was not aware that the session was to run for two periods, and he was not available for the second.  Therefore, at the bell, some time was spent in firstly shifting the students out of the room (and re-arranging it to its previous state), followed by moving the students to the junior school office.  Some time was then spent finding a new teacher who would be able to supervise thse group during the next period, and in finding a room in which we would be able to run the session.

OK, he fucked up his communication. 

Today, he failed to turn up for 15 minutes, gave me a call that "no one had called for him to come to the session" (so, he apparently needs to be baby-sat by the admin staff).  He turned up for 15 minutes, then said that he had to go teach an extra.  But all would be OK, because the Associate principal would "be walking past" so, if there were problems I could get her to come in.

For Fuck's sake mate. 

Incidentally, the AP was busy with a student, so she didn't walk past.
Oh yeah.  And I asked him to get me a VHS player for this week so I could play a 5 minute video.   He didn't have one prepared.  At least there was a whiteboard there this time (for the first time).

To be lazy at one's job is one thing.  To be totally derelict of the legal requirements of the job is entirely another.

12th August 2010

9:54pm: School update

Uni is going very well at the moment.  Or at least, my final year project is finally giving me results.

As you might be aware, my final year project works on software simulations.  Until now, I've had a lot of difficulty in getting the software to work.  This week, I finally was able to get a few things out of my software - 1) series of pictures being exported from the simulations at regular intervals 2) numerical output from point measurements at regular intervals 3) some degree of automation.  The automation is clunky and buggy, but I'm happy to put lots of work in, if I don't think that it's probably going to be wasted because the system is not working.

So, I'm actually looking forward to spending lots of time being intimate with the computers.

My school placement was a little deep endish.  Most education students get quite a bit of preparation and observation time before taking a lesson.  I wasn't really able to get to talk to the placement supervisor before the class began, so it was pretty much all up to me to teach the class from the start.  I had been taking the class for a few minutes when the supervisor just disappeared out the back of the classroom.  For about 15 minutes.

When I approached him about it later, he said that it was better for the kids not to know how long he would be out of the classroom, because if they thought he could be back at any second, it would be better for behaviour >:/

Also, Dick Smith is a tool.  His show on population is terribly produced - it reads like a today tonight piece.  There's been almost no data or science presented.  He calls those who agree with him "respected" and those who don't "dumb".  He's right, but for all the wrong reasons.

EDIT: He might be a tool, but he appears to have the wisdom of Solomon compared to John Elliot and the other growth cultists. 

29th July 2010

11:57am: Both my Laptop and old desktop are currently (completely) kaput.

The laptop especially is doornail dead.  The desktop is probably recoverable.

Have seen this coming for a bit, but it's still fairly infuriating.

20th July 2010

10:41am: Palm oil
As some of you might be aware, palm oil is a big problem environmentally.  The crap is in all sorts of foods, particularly junky ones, and also in a lot of (even "high-end") soaps.

Since I cottoned on to this, I've taken a look at a range of stuff we use... and at the time, found that there were no substitutes for the instant noodles that we were getting.  Now, we don't eat /that many/ instant noodles, but occasionally, they just hit the spot (and Cuddlefairy gets cravings.  No arguing with hormones).

However, last night, I was sent out late at night to get bread for cuddlefairy's lunches.  All our local stuff was closed, as was the nearby stupor market, so I was forced to go quite out of my way, to a Woolworths.  Whilst there, I stocked up on Fry's veggie burgers, and out of idle curiosity, took  a look at the "Woolworths select" branded instant-noodles.  Vegan.  Canola oil.

So I grabbed MANY MANY packets.  And was then faced with supermarket queue shame.


31st May 2010

5:17pm: Just to clear up some confusion:

My last post consisted of an example of wish-writing.  I did not actually use anything like that tone of voice with my colleague. 

With one colleague, I pointed out that any quotation of text should be accompanied with appropriate citations, and use quotation marks.  In an email to another colleague, I did point out to them that there was an uncanny similarity between their work and the Wikipedia entry.  That was enough (without the abusive language) for him to get defensive and hostile.

I would have dearly loved to vent well-deserved vitriol at him, but refrained, because I'm not quite that bellicose.

28th May 2010

10:43am: I discussed with my supervisor, who happens to be the undergraduate studies coordinator (and so, at 32, is doing a stellar job of his academic career) about my problems with the amount of group work, and the problems therein.  He was largely sympathetic, took some points on board, but reminded me that the world sucks this way.

More significantly, he advised me that it's generally important that even though I might never choose to work with these teammates again, I should generally try to act (write my e-mails) in a way that they would want to work with me again.  He is a communication enthusiast, but says "I still haven't quite figured out how to write: 'thank you for your e-mail.  You are an arsehole.' "

Anyway, I'm not sure how my communications of last night will be taken:

Dear colleague and team-mate,

When quoting someone else's work, you need to cite it appropriately.  I don't want our team to get busted for plagiarism


Your colleague,


7th May 2010

4:05am: I need to get up in 2 hours, why am I still working on my assignment?

I'm going to bed, to get a decent night's sleep, seeing as I have both a test and a job interview tomorrow. 

2nd May 2010

6:50pm: Yay camp!
Camp was fantastic again.  I think that MonUCS has really hit the spot with the revue and similar group-stuff.  I know that not everyone was having a perfect time, but a lot of people were having a really good time, and more importantly, I think that a lot of the Society activity and so on hit the spot.  Revue ran for a long time, - for the most part, it felt really relaxed, that people could perform several items - and most importantly, it felt really inclusive (a couple of wrinkles acknowledged).  First camps often have a few brave freshers trying their hand, but I think the way everything ran made it seem like All Are Welcome.

Drinking also seemed to be about right, at least, for the period I was there.  On the first night, where I was pouring drinks, it seemed that the normal thing for those getting stuff from the communal pot was to get about 2 standards.  One fresher (miss E) noticed that a surprising amount of her vodka got drunk, so either she drank more than she had realised, without ill effects, or somebody pilfered some.  I don't know.  I was also really pleased that a lot of non-alcoholic stuff was being drunk and eaten from the communal pot.

I don't know how drinking went on the second night after I left, but I do know that I was having a great time, and really didn't want to leave!  Scots' may often be musically satisfying, but I loooove MonUCS people.

Also, while it's fresh in everyone's mind, lets get some review comments on the campsite, for Claire's successors' sakes:

1) Distance: Gembrook: 45 km, 1 hour from Monash ♪♪♪½
2) Rehearsal hall: Shared as dining area, adjacent to kitchen.  Decent size, with decent chairs. Good accoustic, apart from the noise.  Comfortably rehearsed XX number of people (could have held more if we'd moved the couches).  Noisy heating system + woodfire that triggered asthma problems.  Fridge also noisy.  ♪♪♪ 1/2 to  4♪

I never got to the other building.

3) Dorms: Part of main building.  Most dorm rooms (5) long and very narrow, with 12 beds.  Also 4 dorms of 6 beds. Slat based-bunks with AT LEAST SOME good quality foam mattresses.   ♪♪♪♪

4) Kitchen/dining:  seemed a little pokey.  the utensils were in a groovy plastic drawer thing.   ♪♪♪ ???

5) Heating:  Wood-based heater and some other noisy fan system that may have been part of the heating, kept main area toasty warm.  Smoke a possible problem.  Dorms got some flow-on heat, but were a little chilly on a cool april night.  ♪♪♪ 1/2 to  4♪

6) Bathroom & Toilets: Plenty of decent quality toilets and sinks.  Showers had decent heads; some showers a little breezy.  One area stank - this may have been because of (a) urinally area (unlikely) (b) being near septic tank or something? (c) toilets not flushing.  Water for flushing just stopped in a number of toilets.  I'd probably have given them ♪♪♪♪ if they'd all worked properly

7) Other: Cozy couches around fire.  Games area in other building didn't seem to get used much.  Awkward dorm shape encouraged socialising to happen in main area - probably a good thing. 

24th March 2010

11:42pm: Easter
A few things about Easter-

Firstly, for those who will remain in Melbourne over Easter, Scots' is putting on a (free!) performance of St John's Passion.  Last year, Clive O'Connell was pretty forthright about Scots' doing the best St Johns' in Melbourne.

Good Friday April 2 – 8 pm

Johann Sebastian Bach
Johannes Passion (St John Passion)
The Scots’ Church Choir, Orchestra and Soloists: Deborah Kayser, Felicity Bolitho,
Elizabeth Anderson, Vaughan Mc Alley (Evangelist), Timothy Reynolds, Jerzy Kozlowski, Thomas Drent,
Cathy Shugg – Leader
Douglas Lawrence – Conductor
Corner Russell and Collins streets (the sandstone one, not the brick one)

The next day, I'll be flying over to Adelaide to sing Carmina.

This raises a problem - would anyone in Melbourne mind looking after my cat?  She is adorable, sweet, and rather timid.  You could possibly look after my doggie, too, if you are so inclined, but the dog can go to my parents.  The cat doesn't like moving.

Also, there is a facebook page about the Easterfest carpooling.

15th March 2010

10:47pm: My hidden agenda
Since I'm a big fan of making the tacit explicit, I thought it would be a good idea to outline my agenda for Melbourne IV.

Starting with the completely uncontroversial:

I want MIV to be:
* Enjoyable
     --> Well performed music is a necessary part of this!
* Socially successful
* Enjoyable rehearsals & Events
* Enjoyable repertoire

*  I think that having a full house to sing to is more important than having a larger concert venue

There's always a lot of talk about getting freshers.  I say forget about talking about IV freshers.  With the current demographics, the focus needs to shift to undergrads.  If IVs continually have a large supply of undergrads, they will be fresh!  Therefore, I would put the goal this way:

* The key attendance goal is to Maximise U/grad attendance
   -->New Generation

I think a suitable "hopeful goal" would be as many as 300 attendees.  This would require some energisation of the AICSA choirs, but is possible.  A realistic target is 200 attendees, and if we only achieve 150, I will view this as something of a disappointment.  For fans of history, Brisbane 1993 was the most poorly attended ever (93 singers), but Sydney two years later with the SSO was pretty big.

* I want the IV to be Financially Successful
  --> Ticket sales are a necessity
  --> Getting someone else to fund a concert is a Good Idea

* But I also want to Minimise both "Entry price" and "Sticker Price" 
(I think this will really help with U/grad attendance)

    * Cheaper accomodation
        - AIV2001 allowed people to sleep in tents
    * Cheaper food
        - BIV2000 made excellent use of leftovers
        - LXIV was partially volunteer catered, as were a number of IVs in ancient history.
        - Not everyone needs a hot breakfast.  Paying a bit less and bringing your own box of cereal might reduce costs. 
    * Academic dinner should be an option - this will remove at least $50 from entry price

(sidetrack: In the 50s and 60s, camp fees were typically >80% of total IV expenditure, even where large orchestral works were performed.  Now, I'm not willing to give up fancy concerts, and I certainly don't think that things like Acadinner should be stopped, but the price is a massive barrier to U/grad attendance)

* MIV has a priviliged position, and should be "Musically Ambitious".  There's a lot more I can and will say on this matter.

* I have the romantic notion of having an IV with the MSO, but I also understand that this is a whim, and it is far more important to have a good IV than the MSO

* I want to enshrine the authority of Safety Officers --> Clear Hierarchy

* Finally, I have a nifty idea of "Concert Zero"

"Concert Zero" is essentially glorified publicity sing.

This would be performed on the first night of camp, at the local regional centre town hall.  There might be a gold coin donation, but the funding for this would really come from the Arts Australia Council or similar, since this would be the largest choir ever in that town.  If one lets the choir be divided, there is no shortage of material that can be performed with little rehearsal at an IV - I'll elaborate for you later.

The key reasoning behind this is is not the concert itself.  The concert is a vehicle that would mean that we could kick off camp with a PCP.  I often think that theme nights are a bit naff, and they often involve carrying around heavy costumes halfway across the country.  Imagine instead beginning with a celebration of what IV is really about - singing.

I'd also like to get some new songbooks published as a collaborative effort between the 5 active Batmanian University Choral Societies, which could tie in to MIV in various ways.

Anyway, that's my hidden agenda.  They are my hidden agenda.  I have lots more opinions and so on (I'd like to get as much of the hazing out of prezzies' PJs as possible ... ... ...), but this is unconcise enough already.

8th February 2010

6:10pm: Fire!
Well, that was exciting

I was smelling smoke, and thinking "Gee, there must be some bad bushfires about today, to smell that much smoke".  I wasn't paying it much heed.

Then the doorbell went.  It was about time for Julie to get home, so I was pleased - although the dog wasn't making as much fuss as one might expect.

but it's JJ * at the door, telling me that there's a "bit of a fire outside - do you have a hose?"

* It wasn't really JJ, it just looked a lot like her, and my brain immediately did some heavy cross-association confusion

No, I have no working hose, I've got a bucket - chuck the  dog in the bedroom.  So, of course, I ran to the shower to get the bucket from there.  No bucket.  So I run out the back, and grab one of the buckets from there.

All good, the fire is around the electricity pole out front.  Two bucketfuls is enough to extinguish it completely.  It was suggested by the passers by (who were attending to it without much success) that it was probably from a cigarette.  The pseudo-JJ woman was driving past in her car.

A little excitement for the day!
5:59pm: Oh, Socially Networked Ones!
If I might take a leaf out of Pink_soprano's book:

I have a friend, who is looking for a fourth person to join her Women's Barbershop "quartet".  Lizzie's pretty squarely an alto; Julie's a sopranino who prefers singing alto to s1, and Jen is (I ?think) a mezzoish sop.  So just about any voice part would be useful, and the others could shift around that.

What they are looking for is someone interested enough in modern a-capella music to put time in, who is able to read pretty well, and who is musically strong enough to hold their line on their own.  But here's the tricky bit: it's essential that the person's voice blends well with those 3 voices, so that excludes a couple of good singers I know.

So, if you or any of your friends fit the above criteria, live in Melbourne (the others are in the inner northish), and might be interested, please let me know, and we can have a look at how that would work.

I'm leaving this public, but screening all answers, so you can give suggestions to your hearts content and as anonymously as you like.

31st January 2010

6:14am: Thank you!
Thank you to all who made my 30th a fabulous party.  Thank you to those who attended, to those who helped prepare or brought stuff (especially the last minute cake!  Thank you, Kate!), and those who helped make the night fantastic.  Thanks especially to Josh, who attended to food and drink while I rushed around headlessly.  And thank you so much to all who handed over their cash to those who actually need it.

I'm also pretty chuffed by a number of things about the party, from the overwhelmingly vegan content of the party (no-one was even drinking milk based drinks), to the rowdy singing, to the very slapdash instanto live-on-totally-the-wrong-gear music (sorry Matty, we'll do it properly, I promise!).  A great convenor candidate was found / announced, and there was real work on advancing stuff! And then the people, company - all wonderful.

Thank you so much!

8th January 2010

3:32pm: A few little things:

1) I appear to have IV lurgy. That is, a cold that affects primarily my throat. I'm otherwise mostly fine, but my throat is sore, I have a decent range of about an octave, with abominable timbre, in the 2nd to 3rd Bass range. Plus, I get the distinct feeling that if I work my voice too hard, I'll get laryngitis, and be hoarse throughout IV. Definitely not something I want to spread. Therefore, I'm kind of planning to wear a flu mask tonight

2) I liked Avatar a lot, in a lot of ways, apart from the visuals. Sure, the metaphor is paper thin, but that's OK. No-one said you need to make metaphors opaque. That said, with some of the comments that the chief of security makes about Aboriginals, I don't know that it really counts as a metaphor. I think its well balanced by Cameron's other films - in this film, the non-Imperialists are depicted overly positively, whereas in Aliens, the Gooks are acid-blooded monsters, and the enduring effect of Ho-Chi-Min's ideals tries to eat children.

And sure, there's a Hollywood romance thrown in, but it's not handled particularly badly, even if it is a little saccharine.

Yes, of course it had to go Hollywood, but there's a really obvious cutting point - at the end of the 3rd act (where there's some fire), the screen even GOES DARK at just the point where they could have made it an incredibly depressing, dark, aren't-we-just-showing-the-pain-of-the-human-condition, give me an artsy award, film. It would have also been a reasonable length if they'd cut it at that point. A brilliant and DEPRESSING film.

Also, although the film is full of technical dodginess (I can't remember the proper SciFi term for technical elements that aren't necessarily important to the plot, and so aren't just plot devices), but at least a lot of the technically-dodgy elements are well explained by other technically-dodgy elements. Hey, getting ambitious sci-fi right is HARD. I will choose only two things to comment on:

1) If other Pandoran species breathe through vents on their chests, why don't the main humanoid species (who are obviously supposed to be closely related to a number of other species, like the fliers)?
2) If there are a number of Biome types on the planet (plains, oceans and so on) why oh WHY would you set up principal mining operations in the middle of the fucking jungle?

So, yes, I expect the film to spawn many sequels and sell many video games. But doing so does not make a film, or even a film not good. If a movie has to bend over backwards to do so, that's bad. If those things flow on as a natural result of the world creation (think Star Wars), that's just a nice side effect. The balance of forces, which will help so much in creating video games, are kind of necessary for the story.

3) Spending money in great big lumps is so bloody easy, and the value received is often dubious. Yes, cash blown yesterday will help achieve certain specific goals, but it's not so clear that those goals will aid in overall happiness in the long term.

17th December 2009

10:38am: So, I've been looking at my consumption and demand of dairy products. I'm not quite finished, but I have enough to comment.

The first thing that this showed was that many things that I expected to be the big culprits of my dairy consumption weren't, and some things that accounted for much of my demand were complete surprises.

For example, I thought that the chocolate powder that I had every morning would be a substantial part of my dairy consumption (simply because I had it every day), and that other "big ticket items" would be: coco-puffs, milk chocolate, cookies, nutella sandwiches and so on, as well as pies, pasties, and muffins. For items that I don't create direct demand for (having some of someone else's...), I thought that MonUCS pub would be the thing, since it was regular.

Hoo, on some of those items, I was a bit off.

Coco-puffs are Vegan!! Oze-choc has bugger-all dairy in it (<1%), and therefore contributes very little. The ingredients for the pies and pasties that I've found indicate less than 1% dairy. Nutella has surprisingly little dairy, with a sandwich resulting in about the same demand as a small piece of milk chocolate (15 ml).


Eek! MakhaniCollapse )

methodologyCollapse )
=== RESULT ===

The total result is that for sources where I create direct demand, I'm using about 63 ml of milk per day on average across 34 days, or about 23 litres per year. In addition, I might consume perhaps as much as 53 ml from other sources without real direct demand (for instance, having part of someone else's cheesy pizza when I'm having vegan pizza). This second figure varies pretty wildly, though, so I'd kinda like to get some more, better data on this.

where the big totals areCollapse )

63 ml / day is about 6.3% of the average Australian dairy consumption of more than 1 litre per day, based on figures from www.dairyaustralia.com.au

National ComparisonCollapse )

As my demand is only 1/16th of the national average, and, as most of you know, I really don't hold back when it comes to chocolate and so forth, it really shows not how little dairy I consume, but just how hideously much the average Australian consumes.

13th December 2009

11:33pm: *Strange masochism and committee love*
I feel really good about today's meeting regarding MIV2012.

We got a steering committee. We got a broad (interpretable) mandate. We got a timeline. We got representatives of all the choirs - enough to ensure the legitimacy of the meeting. What's more, most people came away pretty content with the compromises reached.

It's still a little delicate, and will depend greatly on how the steering committee moves on a number of issues, but I think there's plenty of potential.

Despite being sleep deprived, and bouncing up and crashing from caffeine, blood-sugar levels and pure tension, I had a fascinating day, which makes me glad to have experienced such things, even if they were not all entirely pleasant. A bit of buzz can be wonderful, and I've come away from the meeting energised.

I'm happy to talk to anyone about how things went and so on.

The time constraints and tension were high, but the applause was heartfelt and the release almost visceral when the motions were passed. Real progress.

I'm looking forward to the combined events leading up to the general meeting and elections, which will probably be on Sunday March the 21st, 2010, unless good reasons are presented to the steering committee :)

15th October 2009

2:42pm: La la la!
Not only do I get to stay at home today in tracksuit and dressing gown,

as I do my homework, I have a super-dorable pussycat sitting on my lap, purring loudly :D


8th October 2009

12:30pm: *Gloats*
I really should have done this last week, but:

*Retrospective Gloating*

I gotz my tax done last week! That's like, 3 weeks or more before it's due! Behold my mad organisational skills! (OK - so I'm unusually pleased about this because actually getting it done this early is a fairly unusual occurrence, but shuttup) Also, I should be getting a whole fourteen bucks back!

* Dances happy dance of good things *

27th August 2009

1:39pm: Don Bosco Campsite Review
To those who were there last weekend:

I'd like any further input to reviewing the Don Bosco campsite, for putting in the archives, for helping us to select future campsites. Especially anyone catering, can you review the kitchen.

Subjective opinion can be a good thing, but consider keeping separate things about the camp from things about the site, even though things that were created by the site are important. For instance, although the quality of party or the quality of the food doesn't come from the site, the space and the kitchen can influence these things.

By the way, Camp was awesome :D

reviewCollapse )
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