A little planet is a dangerous thing

I had a quick wander through Planet Debian and it took to on to such interesting things as progress shots on a graphical Debian-Installer (Not actually from Planet Debian, but I can’t work out where I saw that now), some very funny Sinfest mods (If you’re a Debian person..), an absolute dream-sounding job (Yes, those two’re the same blog. She’s got some good stuff there. Including a capcha that apparently expects you to type ϖ…), A commentary against the patch-management systems that have started be become quite common in Debian, and to which I converted FreeRADIUS as my first post-Sarge task, personally implanted RFID chips, and musical breast implants.

The weirdest thing about that last one is the idea that fifteen years from now, we’ll still be playing mp3s. Hell, an observable percentage of people I know are either .ogg or .flac already. I myself stopped downloading mp3s because I’ve had two hard disks fail from what I suspect was the weight of my mp3 collections. And my laptop only had the most essential 100 Mb or so of mp3s (Cowboy Bebop, Andrew Denton’s Musical Challenge and a couple of random bits like the Blues Brothers’ Everybody Needs Somebody and Abbot and Costello’s Who’s On First. And ガガガSP’s 卒業 single, but I don’t listen to that very often. In fact, I don’t listen to any of these mp3s much anymore. My desktop machine’s no longer in front of a west-facing window, and I’m not towing my laptop to work in the upstairs basement at TransACT anymore.

I’ve also ripped my new Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy soundtrack to flac, because either mplayer or copy protection (it doesn’t say CD Audio on the cover! Aha! Treachery uncloaked!) means it skips every second in my DVD drive. I don’t have a CD-audio cable, so analog isn’t an option, but happily cdparanoia was happy to extract it perfectly to the hard disk. Analog mode works fine in my laptop, but I avoid doing that because I’m sure that the laptop’s DVD drive is dodgy and just waiting to eat something important.

Oh, and I scored a new TV. Well, technically my dad gave me an old TV of his, but it’s an improvement over my old one because it’s larger, it has OSD, it has a remote, and it has AV inputs. So I plugged my gamecube in, and played Resident Evil Zero for a couple of hours. I only get Resident Evil Zero out when I change TVs, it seems (it was still in the gamecube from when I was getting my TV Tuner working in Linux) but the TV doesn’t do PAL60 so I can’t have another burl at The Ocarina Of Time, although I could try and finish Metroid Prime at long last.

On a more personal note, it’s looking more and more like the work at TransACT’s dried up, and I’m starting to think I should start seriously exploring my Melbourne options. I’ve got the JET information evening on Wednesday night, so I’ll have an idea of how many people I’m going up against.

I prolly should talk more about the Melbourne plan here. As it happens, I dropped out of everything else to focus on BU and TransACT, and now that work looks like it’s going to dry up. I can do my BU work as easily from interstate as I do now (technically, I do the work from my flat in Queanbeyan, so I’m already interstate) and frankly I’d like to try living somewhere with trains and other such public transport and try getting a job I actually like (TransACT’s nice, but I need a change). So I figure either Melbourne or Sydney fits so far. I’ve friends in both cities, as well as family in Melbourne, so it’ll come down to the job opportunities. Melbourne’s main advantages are Cybersource whom a friend of mine mentioned are likely to be looking for people, as well as a project a friend of mine is looking into which I’d love to get involved in. When I thought I’d have TransACT work until the end of the year, I was thinking I’d go to Melbourne in February (after linux.conf.au 2006) and find a five month job until JET blasts off in July. Now I’m thinking maybe I should be looking to go in December/January… The problem with this plan is that I’ve got a possibly opportunity coming up in Canberra in online shops, and I’d have to break lease on my current flat. And I don’t have any savings to afford to be in Melbourne without a job. And it’s already mid-October. So I’d better get on with it.

On the “actually getting things done” front, I finally submitted a FreeRADIUS 1.0.5-2 which should clear the logjam 1.0.5-1 became when libltdl3-dev started conflicting with libtool1.4 without warning. I’m disappointed in this back-door method of forcing libtool1.4 out, where either a Replaces in libltdl3-dev or a diversion in libtool1.4 would have allowed the libltdl3-dev/libtool transfer of ltdl.m4 without boning me unneccessarily. As it is, the solution became to drag in the relevant parts of the libtool1.4 package to update the in-tree versions of the files. This is bad, but I can’t NMU libtool1.4, and the patch I was given to upgrade FreeRADIUS to libtool 1.5 was unneccesarily intrusive to my mind, and I couldn’t distill the libtool parts from the ‘change how we build the package’ parts.

I’ve also been actively hunting bugs in packages I’m using, leading to patches to libpam-mount (So I can mount my home directory from Keitarou on Mutsumi from XDM and safe from segfaults due to configuration), lftp (so it doesn’t abort when a download finishes ^_^ Upstream didn’t use my patch, but it _was_ a minimal — but not optimal — solution which neatly explicated the problem, I think) and xmame (so I can use xmame with programs with CHD files). In the process, I also submitted bugs to pam and liblircclient0 which are simple non-crashers that valgrind picked up. I’m so glad I started using valgrind, it’s the absolute bee’s knees for finding any kind of memory misuse bug which might otherwise lead to a segfault much later. I also used it on libnifi which majorly improved my memory management and stopped a whole bunch of segfaults. ^_^ I also took the opportunity tonight to point out to the php4 team that libcurl3-dev had disappeared during its autobuild time, much as libltdl3-dev broke FreeRADIUS during its autobuild time. It happened a week ago, so I expect they knew about it, but I was surprised to see absolutely no bug about it.

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A lesson in love comes from a surprising quater

I was awoken this morning by my mobile at the ungodly hour of 7:50am. It seems the changes I made last night caused BU to cease to work. Which is weird since I made the change at 1am, and the traffic graphs indicate it was all working fine until 6am. Maybe a daily cron-job decided to rearrange things for me? Either way, it took under a half-hour to fix, another two hours of mucking about with the network to see where we stood on the issue, at which point I decided that rather than go to work and have a late lunch, I’d have an early lunch and spend a long afternoon at work before cruising on to ANUAS.

I don’t remember what happened at this point, but I think it involved more mucking about with BU stuff and similar. Or I might have played with the L2TP stuff.

Either way, I agreed to be available at about 4pm, so I figured at this point I’d kick back, watch The Jerry Springer Show, and chat to people on IRC and IM. I was also playing with the L2TP stuff during this, but it was largely kernel compiling so it was “type command, wait an hour” type work. Being on IRC reminded me of my occasional project to create a PGSM Music Video. In order to do this, I obviously need to have seen the whole series. Hence I decided to finall watch my PGSM Special Act DVD.

(The lesson learnt is inside the spoiler tag. I’m sorry, but it’s the final scene of the whole show. I’m also gonna talk about the story of Hitch. Yes, I saw Hitch last night. It’s good. ^_^)

Wow. Absolutely no Beryl (which shot my plan for Beryl + Jaedite set to Elephant Love Medley onto the backburner) and in fact a surprisingly small amount of senshi action. Largely due to their inability to transform for the entire sequence. I really must rewatch Final Act, and possibly Act.48 as well, and/or get around to watching the latter part of the series with subtitles, rather than waiting for the MGC to get up to it at the end of the year.

I was very pleased to see that Motoki got Mew Makoto in the end, after what I think was four years of persistence in the face of almost complete indifference. I guess the lesson learnt was that persistence and patience pays, both in a general sense, and specifically in my designs upon the person of one Azama Mew. I watched Hitch last night, which taught me that someone, somewhere, will find your personal foilbles endearing. I’m combining these thoughts into the idea that if I keep hoping, worshipping and stalking Mew, she’ll find my personal foibles adorable. ^_^

Oh, and for some reason the image of a pregnant Sawai Miyuu made me laugh. It just seems so implausible. I think I have trouble picturing any thin Japanese woman pregnant. (That’s thin by my standards. It includes almost every Japanese woman I’ve met. Maybe small is a better word than thin?)

It was nice to see that Ami had moved on to a nice American university, populated by a German doctor who tries to steal her credit, an Australian doctor who sees her running desperately down the corridor and points out that the operating theatre is in fact in the other direction, like he (or in fact anyone) sees running Japanese women in hospital corridors all the time, and another person who doesn’t speak, and may or may not have been American.

I suspect Japanese television shows populate their gaijin quotas by randomly pulling gaijin off the street, dressing them up, and slowing their English until it’s identifiable without being understandable. Certainly Ami’s response to the Australian (“But Japan is this way”) took two watchings to understand, and I probably wouldn’t have worked it out except for it being the obvious comedic response, and the helpful Japanese subtitle. The only American accent you get to hear in PGSM is Mamoru’s English friend. Yes, that’s right. The one non-American gaijin in the show, and he has an American accent. ^_^

It also looked to me like the American diet had affected Ami, she no longer looked like she blow away in a strong wind. Given how Hama Chisaki’s diary entries during PGSM filming usually centered around the enormous amounts and varieties of foods she’d eaten, I dread to think what she’d eaten to actually look like she’d gained weight. Or maybe puberty finally caught her up?)

Makoto was stunning as always. Just in case I didn’t make that clear above. I also liked her in reading glasses. And the green dress with choker. I thought the top with the one button was a bit weird looking, but I can forgive it for two reasons: anything which gives one-button access to a naked Mew is a good thing; and even with the button done up, any kind of movement showed off alternatively a bra strap, and a wonderful expanse of upper right torso and shoulder.

I also cracked up when the Shitenou showed up at the wedding, and no one seemed to bat an eyelid. Maybe only Mamoru could see them (like in the manga), or maybe everyone just happened to be facing the wrong way (like in most of PGSM. ^_^)

And possibly a lot of trouble could have been avoided all around if someone had pointed Mio at an English->Japanese dictionary with the definition of “Dark” in it. A brightly lit throne room and clowns certainly don’t appear there, Beryl’s dark brooding-room, the grey and black-decorated piano room, and the Nazguul (I don’t think they were ever distinguished from the other youma, but I’ve taken the liberty to do so. You know which ones I mean. Act.31 onwards. ^_^) certainly fit the idea of “Dark Kingdom”. Mio’s was more like “Completely-psycho-whacked-out-princess kingdom”. Kinda Queen Nephelia’s kingdom, at least what little we saw of it at the beginning of Sailor Stars.

Of course, this still doesn’t explain who Mio is. Maybe it was explained in the series somewhere, and I missed it (very possible), but I figure she’s the reincarnation of Beryl (as Usagi and the other are reincarnations of Queen Serenity et. al) which only slightly complicates matters as Beryl’s not actually died yet. (Or maybe she did at the end of Final Act? I don’t see how though, Jaedite survived. I like to think Jaedite’s working hard in his off time (which covers the missing four years, and most of Special Act) and has set up some kind of love nest in an inexpensive studio apartment, while Beryl tries to find some kind of job suitable for her outstanding talents. Then again, I like to think Nephrite’s running Crown Karaoke while Motoki’s spending all day wandering around Makoto’s florist, waiting for Ami to return from America. On the other hand, this would preclude Jaedite working at Crown, since the only way Jaedite and Nephrite could work together is with a strong personality to manage them. And while Motoki is many things (engaged to Makoto, for a start) a strong personality he is not. I’m glad Nephrite didn’t kill him during the TV series. (Although then Mew Makoto would have been free still. But that’s TV, not reality.) Still, I hope Jaedite has found a nice steady job, and Beryl recognises a good thing when it throws itself at her. Certainly, he seemed in a good mood in Special Act, so I like to think they found happiness together. (And that she kept that purple dress. I could find happiness with someone who can wear that well. ^_^) What can I say, I’m an incurable romantic at heart. Since I see nothing romantic happening for Kunzite or Zoicite. Kunzite and Minako could certainly have formed a good friendship, having suffered as first warrior under a leader (or two in Kunzite’s case) who let love cloud their judgement. If it went further than that, it would be a… torrid affair to say the least. And I’m sad to say that I think Kunzite’s gay, and has it for Endymion. And he is never going to be more than a third wheel there. Maybe he can appear on Queer Eye for the Senshi or something. Oh crap, I just inspired myself to writea fanfic. (Not Queer Eye. The rest of this paranthetical diversion.)) It would explain the weird connection thing they had which caused everyone to believe (or at least everyone on IRC I was talking to) that Mio was some kind of clone of Beryl, or a construction Beryl was using. I think my theory’s better.

If you want to make sense of that last paragraph, highlight everything between matching parenthesis and ignore it. Then read the bit in parenthesis. Repeat this process until things make sense. Congratulations, you’ve just had a glance into the thought process of a TBBle. In fact, the TBBle. ^_^

And no, Usagi doesn’t get pregnant, but I think she manages to mention babies in one of the very early scenes. it was certainly nice to see that four years and engagement managed to completely not change Usagi at all.

Rei was way underutilised in Special Act. I suspect Keiko’s modelling career may have been at a particularly high point at that time, while Mew seems to be in the lull between modelling and idoldom at the same time. I hope Mew makes the transition well, and I also hope Keiko does. Her minimal work in Special Act against showed hints of acting talent which were mocked by detractors (“I… Am…. Rei…”) back at the beginning of PGSM, but which will hopefully stand her in good stead in an acting career in J-Dramas; while I expect Mew may have more of a career as an actor and idol lined up, with her strong singing/dancing skills and demonstrated acting skills (by all reports Mew is very different from Makoto in personality, which is not surprising due to something I term tall-girl syndrome, which due to Japanese social training means tall Japanese girls (the ones I tend to refer to as stunning ^_^) become somewhat quiet/introverted during schooling in order to achieve certain aspects of femininity (Makoto’s solution was not to be quiet, but to be good at cooking, sewing and other feminine arts. Sakai-san from Azumanga Daioh went the path of introversion and a strong obsession with the small and cute. Both she and Makoto had “florist” on their list of career choices.) I can’t say if this is a good thing or not. But it’s an interesting phenomenon to observce both in popular culture and personal interactions.) Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of Kitagawa Keiko acting in the near future, and more of Azama Mew in my arms in the near future. (Hey, if I’m in a relationship, and have a celebrity clause, she’d be it. ^_^)

For reference, the current AMV plan is the Shitenou set to “Knights Of The Round Table” from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. It has the huge advantage of being only a minute long. ^_^

Anyway, Special Act was a surprising DVD, in that there was no omake, and the menu only appears at the end, which has the choice of Whole Movie, or one of six chapters.

As far as the story goes, I enjoyed it as far as I understood it.

Then I got ahold of the guy I needed to talk to to get the rest of the BU changeover done, and we worked through and identified the last of the remaining issues, and he went off to work on them.

At this point I was getting hungry for lunch (being about 6pm) when Shane walks in and says “If you want barbecue for dinner, you’d better go get some stuff, Julia and Bek are coming around in five minutes.” Needless to say, (but I’m going to) I did. Sometime over an hour later, Sean, Julia and Rabekah arrived. We barbecued, watched some of the Canturbury VS St. George NRL game, and Shane went to bed and the others retired to Sean’s house (across the road) once more leaving me on my lonesome. >_&lt. This I think may point the sorry state of my social affairs when I’m disappointed when people stop watching a rugby league game and leave. I consoled myself with the best of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and a repeat of The Glass House from Wednesday (Still funny the second time around), and by harassing Julia over MSN when I could. I also at chocolate cookies. ^_^;;;

Those of you playing along at home may have observed that the above overlapped the ANUAS screening. Which is correct. Kaz had the membership stuff, so my presence wasn’t neccessary, and I was debating whether to drop in at the end when Shane arrived and triggered the above.

I tried a Cruise Juicy tonight, and it was OK, but too juicy for my taste ie. too much like overstrong cordial. They’re also only one standard drink per, which makes them weaker than a standard cruiser.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to plug Television Without Pity as an amusing website of episode recaps for various TV series. The only one they’re tracking that I’m watching (largely because the number of TV series I’m watching is down to Battlestar Galactica, The Glass House (these two class on Wednesday night), Little Britain, and Rosemary and Thyme) is Battlestar Galactica. And I’m enjoying it. ^_^

Here’s PGSM Special Act. I got this with the 7-DVD box, which now holds PGSM Vol.1 through Vol.7. The second box comes with PGSM Act.Zero, shipping end of March. (Also below. ^_^)

美少女戦士セーラームーン Special Act.美少女戦士セーラームーン Act.ZERO

Yay Mew!

Australian Politics 101

Just when Australian politics couldn’t get any more confusing…

Yesterday, the federal progressive party (the Labour Party) campaigning on Health issues lost to the federal conservative parth (the Liberal Party) campaigning on law and order. Strange as that is, it’s normal.

Now the ACT’s local conservative (Liberals) opposition is campaigning against the progressive (Labour) government for next weekend’s electoin, promising to move money from law and order projects (a new gaol) into health care and hospitals.

I might go move somewhere where the politicians remember which side of politics they’re on, and where the party names make sense… ^_^

The Howard Miracle continues

Arrgh. >_<

People who’ve held still in front of me long enough, will have heard my idea that, although individual persons can be quite clever, people tend to be stupid. The larger the group, the stupider they act.

This principle seems to have elected John Howard as Prime Minister of Australia again. He managed to claim during the election campaign that Peter Costello was responsible for Australia’s good economic position, but that Mark Latham would single-handedly drive Australia into the ground financially, and at the same time insult the intelligence of every Australian who can do simple arithmatic.

For those whose arithmatic isn’t so good, 12 is less than 17, so the last labout Prime Minister reduced interest rates by 5% in one term. In three successive terms, John Howard’s governments were only able to drop it 6%. This last point isn’t really comparable, I expect, since a drop from 17% to 12% while the whole world is recovering from a recession isn’t hard, while 12% to 6% over three years while other economies are suffering is not easy. But hey, if everyone else can insult the intelligence of the public, why can’t I?

Just when you thought it was safe to abandon your calculators…

“The Australian Idol top 12 is an exclusive club. Only six singers have made it in.” — Australian Idol commercial.

You’d think at first glance, proscriptive grammar would be hard, ’cause that involves telling right from wrong, and such judgements are not simple.

On the other hand, descriptive linguistics seems simple, since all that involves is recording what people are saying and how it hangs together…. Except that everyone time someone opens their mouth, that’s more work.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way. ^_^

Flu, cars and kangaroos.

A kangaroo hit me on the way home today.

For those not familiar with Australian fauna, this is very different from hitting a kangaroo. When one hits a kangaroo, one’s grill gets compressed, and if you’re lucky, the kangaroo dies. If you’re unlucky, the kangaroo gets angry. >_<

On the other hand, tonight the kangaroo hit me. This means it hit the side of the car, then got up and hopped off the road (in the direction it was headed) before the next car got there. (At 60km/h and heavy traffic, this is under two seconds by my count.) It knocked my passenger side wing mirror at a weird angle (but very convinient for parallel parking) but hit the car exactly where I hit the pole in a parking lot, so I couldn’t see any other effect in the dark.

I had a near miss the other day with a kangaroo at 100 km/h.

All this, and I’m down with the flu too. >_<