Archive for March, 2004

Now It’s Just Getting Silly

Tuesday, March 16th, 2004

Been back in Sydney for almost a week now, and it’s been going great. (The weather is lovely.)

This evening Si, Keef and I went for the famous Anglo-American pub quiz that we’ve won in the past. After the quizmaster announced we’d tied for second, we decided to adjourn to another pub.

Selecting this second establishment was no mean feat, as I first had to veto Keef’s suggestion of a skanky place (we’d been there before), then organize a mutiny of a second place after the bartender failed to provide us with prompt, courteous service.

I bore you with these details only to emphasize that it was a series of choices that brought us eventually to the pub we settled on. And it was there, some hours on, that I thought a guy leaning against the wall with a beer looked quite familiar. Lo and behold, it was “Li’l” Jon, a guy I lived with in Swansea.

So for those keeping score at home, this now means that I ran into someone from college in Cairns, friends from Fiji in Brisbane, and now a former schoolmate in Sydney.

At this rate, by April I should run into someone I met in Morocco. Stay tuned.

I’m Back

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

Just landed in Sydney. The flights were good. I got seats with plenty of legroom and managed to sleep for about 6 hours on the LAX>SYD leg. I’ve been introduced to the place that will be my home base for the next month. It has a new bed, broadband, and 86F weather. What more could one ask for?

Let’s Do This Again Sometime

Friday, March 5th, 2004

Well, I’m off to Sydney on Sunday — but this time it’s business, not pleasure. (Okay, there will probably be some pleasure.)

Updates here will slow down as a result, and I don’t yet know if Journeys will resurrect or not. Could be I’ll just be too busy workin’.

Have a good weekend.

Fun With Word

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

Did you know about MS Word’s “markup” feature? It keeps track of your modifications so that you can see how a document changes over time.

That’s great if you’re collaborating with someone, but not so great if you’re sending the document to a client, the media, or other outsider. Utah-based UNIX vendor SCO Inc. learned this lesson when they recently announced a lawsuit against AutoZone Inc., a major user of Linux. It didn’t take long for CNet News.com to learn that the complaint was actually prepared for use against Bank of America. Reporters were able to use Word’s features to show the previous defendant as well as just how much time writers spent on the draft.

Just something to keep in mind next time you’re e-mailing Word documents outside the company.

The Luck of the Brandon

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

Yesterday was Brandon’s birthday, and I decided to spend the day with him. I didn’t want to tell him this in advance, because I decided the surprise would only be heightened if he were to first learn of it when I strolled (posing as a student) into the math class he teaches.

Sadly, his class begins at 8, so in order to make the journey northward without incurring my third ticket, I had to rise at an hour normally considered my bedtime: 5am.

Considering I didn’t retire the night previous until roughly 1, nor achieve sleep until about 3, I was not excited when my clock began to chirp. But the prospect of experiencing B’s instructional style got me going. I showered and set off, with the neatly printed/highlighted map I’d prepared the night before.

All went according to schedule, except for one little glitch: when I arrived at WC 0351, I found 40 students with their heads down. When I sidled up to B’s table, I noted he, too, didn’t bother to look up and instead just made as to hand me…a test.

Four classes a week since January, and I happen to show up on one of only 3 test days. Lucky bastard.

Thought Before Bed

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

Well, I’d hoped to get to bed much earlier (have an early start tomorrow) but this will have to do. But as I leave, consider this: Paris Hilton. Now is that bitch a walking, talking advertisement for the estate tax or what?

BONUS THOUGHT: I’m so moving to Chicago. (Or Minneapolis.) You know, once they get that weather thing sorted out.

Gray Day

Monday, March 1st, 2004

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who launched his successful candidacy last summer on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” headed back to the late-night platform Monday with Gray Davis, the man he ousted in California’s historic recall election.

The appearance by the Republican Schwarzenegger and Davis, a Democrat, was meant to promote Schwarzenegger’s $15 billion bond measure to reduce the state’s debt. — Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis appear together on Leno

First Arnold announced his candidacy on Leno, now he and his predecessor go back to the show for a major policy announcement. Does this strike anyone else as a bit odd? Why does the governor of California need to go on entertainment television? Perhaps for the same reason Bush did Oprah — high-profile, low-risk. (Though kudos to Dave Letterman for being one of the tougher Bush interviewers in ’00.)

Why do voters tolerate this?