A journal of questionable quality

Friday, December 31, 2004

new years memories

What is it about the impending New Year that always seems to bring to mind the ghosts of friends past, vestiges of lovers past, fleeting, but real, so very real.

Is it just the cumulation of the season, people doing the jolly thing, does it rub off in some way that makes me contemplate times past?

Seems to happen more at this time of year than any other time - flashes, black and white flashes, of scenes, not fully detailed, hazy peripherals, subject sometimes blurred, instant recognition naturally, something that must have stuck there in the back of my brain for all this time, floats to the fore, and then, just as quickly is gone.

maybe it's the longer days we have on this side of the planet at this time of the year, memories of warm summer nights, degenerating into sweaty summer nights.

Maybe the region crisis dragged them up - days and nights of wonderful pleasure, trawling for good times through Asia, and finding it, the ultimate pleasure - Philippines, and neighbours, beautiful brown bodies, beautiful white teeth, laughing people, good friends, some dead now, some wishing they were. The Primas of the World, a Gemma comes to mind - good women, derided in our country by the women here who sense the very real threat posed by these wonderful ladies.

Derided by women who seem to have no real agenda in life than to land a partner and then relax, expand, and laze out - no wonder they feel the threat.

Nice thoughts, of nice times, nice people. People probably only a flight away, a flight that could make all the difference in this crisis ridden time, anything to see a smile of a person simple happy to be alive, not the look of one calculating what it will take to get a new lounge unit to house the gargantuan TV they had to have so that they're equal with the neighbours - hell, I know people who live in spaces as big as the TV we have.

Still nice thoughts after all this time. Makes you wonder.

looking at 120,000

This thing is getting bigger every passing hour - it started at 12,000 dead, and now we're looking at 120,000 - seems we have a real problem with estimations when it comes to deaths in this region - I hope the good old USA is better with their tally of war dead, or are they fudging there a bit too?

News years eve and the World is turning to shit - the Indian Ocean is not a good look and the Iraq problem seems to be spreading to Saudi as well, and there is nothing Uncle Sam can do about it... for gods sake George W - give up! The country is a basket case, your blokes couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag, and you seem to be getting a whole bunch of neutral people killed as well.

We don't ALL have to suffer because your Daddy got his arse whooped in the same place, we don't All have to make like we're the sheriff of the free World - you've done bad George, you've done real bad. Now you've got our clown Prime Minister, John 'eyebrows' Howard all revved up as well, and he's beginning to swagger when he walks. What did you slip in his food when you had that 'down home' chow down? If you gave him any more than a aspirin he'll be tripping for months.

Just remember, he's spearheading the move to remove our rights to gun ownership, you don't need to be associated with a fool like that - you know from your own history that gunowners don't like to be messed with, god damn, even Gore the bore had enough sense to go duck shooting for the cameras, and you want to try and pal up to this ozzie wizzer who wants our guns - think again Georgie, think again.

Why don't you put some of that money you've been pouring into Iraq into the regions that just lost 120,000 of their people, their homes, their businesses, and now their dignity, why don't you give them a break?

OK, we all know you don't like the gooks - Vietnam being not a good subject, seeing as you (as a country) blew that one as well, but hell, that was years ago - you've lost fights all over the World since then - get over it - send in the 'might' of the USA - two hummers isn't it?

And, while you're at it - what about thanking the Russians for bailing a couple of starving space station crew out of a potential starvation trip? At least the Russians don't blow up their own pilots quite as much as your NASA have been doing.

Amazing, stunning - a country that insists it is the World leader can't hold an honest election, can't fight, can't educate their own, can't even house their own, and STILL wants to tell us what to do - take a ticket, stand in line, we'll do the job for ya.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

water, water, everywhere

Christmas without a catastrophe - it just doesn't happen does it? I predicted a mass murder, but I didn't allow for natural events - as natural as waves three stories high get.

So, I told you that Bali and it's neighbor's amounted to nothing more than shitholes, populated by large toothed clerics who advise people other than themselves to blow themselves up in the name of religion, and now it seems that even ALi Babear What Not will be eclipsed by the happenings in the Indian Ocean.

People hanging out of trees, the planet moved on it's own axis, we're looking shaky here folks, I mentioned Chernobyl in the last post, this is looking like Chernobyl without the radiation, but with added water.

Time to remember that nature rules the roost when it comes to power, and there 'aint nothing we can do about it - except perhaps, to take solace in the wonderful views of one Petra Nemcova a lady of exceptional good - everything, brought to our attention by the wonderful folk at forgetfoo again. What would I do without that man to guide me away from the visions of bloated, decomposing bodies lining beaches all over the place.

Other than the odd world scale disaster, things remain generally as one would expect from a country engaged in the soporific aftermath of days spent drinking, eating, chasing each other wives, and blaming it all on the season.

It's slow, even slower than what we regard as the norm for Queensland, it's warm, it's great weather and will be for the next few months.

The other good thing is that we are so far inland it would take a wave the size of a small country to reach us - roll on nature, give it your best shot.

Friday, December 24, 2004

and then it was christmas

Ahhh, christmas, the time of year when we all feel good about things, smile at our neighbor, shoot him in the face and rape his wife, dissect his kids and roast them in their own oven.

I always look forward to the 'statistics' - how many hapless fools managed to die, usually horribly, at christmas. It's bad when you die at any time of the year, but, apparently, it's a bunch worse when you manage it over the festive season.

The one thing it does do is gives families something to be sad about every year, every christmas toasting old Joe who accidently got run over by a train, staggering, while pissed beyond belief, into the path of the thing.

And he had to do it at christmas - shit man, I think anytime is good enough to be scraped by a train. It just seems to be more important, for the survivors anyway, when it's around a major public holiday.

Others will descend into a mire of self pity, wronged by all sorts of things, often enough to get up the courage to swallow a handy shotgun, leaving someone else to find, and clean up the mess on the walls, the floor, everywhere. Maybe, if the new gun laws have got to them they'll stick a pipe into their car and float out gently, ususally taking their kids with them - it's all good to see.

No doubt there will be the usual crush in the biblical hot spots, the Jews will be grooving onto it while the Muslims try and target lock them, collective wailing all round. Another tunnel full of explosives will blow up under Israel, and they'll knock over an entire village to get even - everyone having a great time. Bodies will be bouncing all over the place on doors that seem to appear from nowhere - collective hysteria, the same scene, day in, day out, only this time we should sit up and take notice because of the season?

Seems to me that the center of most peoples religious beliefs is the very cause of all the drama. Who's for nuking the place? Let's make 'em really sit up and take notice, nuke the shit out of the entire area and then see if they start getting on with each other.

If they play up, whine, or bitch, let's do 'em again, and again, until they get the idea, or no one is left - whichever comes first.

For christmas why don't we nuke somewhere just because we can? That'd get the bastards thinking. Don't wait for an argument, just nuke some place, draw it out of a hat, nuke 'em, show 'em who's running the show.

That's bound to get them talking to one another - get 'em over the festive season alright, still glowing from the radiation, take that you ugly bastards, see how festive you are now - this'll give you something to remember next christmas - black rain, see it, remember it. Next christmas you'll be able to celebrate with the crop of post nuke children you managed to produce - happy little things with three eyes and no noses, some with extra limbs, some without.

Nothing like a good dose of radiation to make you feel on top of the world, ask anyone from Chernobyl, they're still digging it - and they still want to know why it happened in April and not at christmas.

If you see a blinding light - it might not be the headlights of an approaching car - it could be Time magazine's man of the year George, don't fuck with me Bush, riding a nuke tip in - it's the season after all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

negative opinion - good vibes...

Finally, a negative comment on the new layout - I was beginning to think it was too 'normal', damn near had to make some changes to a more obscure setup.

Saved in the nick of time by some knuckle dragger who complained that the email comments were already filled in for him.. seems he didn't have the energy to delete the existing stuff.

Hmm... he also seemed to have issues with the fact that jigsaw, which only went up yesterday, featured a woman, but failed to tell me what he would have preferred. I can hear banjos playing somewhere close - down toward the swamp...

Just goes to show.

The only other incident involved the owner of BrisKites losing most of his code, and a fair portion of his brain somewhere in middle earth - the exact cause isn't known, but the usual suspects - Dreamweaver and an operator with two left hands will surfice.

The rest of the spare time has been devoted to the obsession with the Flash Comm Server - and a fine obsession it is too.

The only figuring involved now is what to use the bloody thing for - we know what the rest of the World is doing with it, but we need something new, unique...

While you're thinking go here and have a play with some interactive fridge magnets - yet another idea featuring the Flash Comm in action.

This is one application where they seem to keep their clothes on.

Women without clothes leads me to forgetfoo - who appears to have released a new video - 'we want your soul', well done, as usual. It's always refreshing to find good pussy and good code on the same site - saves all that looking about.

Sort of like finding your bomb making supplies AND detonators in the same shop, or playing CounterStrike and finding your gun is real.

Well, it's actually nothing like that, but it could be if you really, really wished hard - or was that the thing about getting a bigger dick?

I've been spending too much time on the web again...

Monday, December 20, 2004

the morgue was my idea..

Right, it appears there is rather a lot of ideas for Flash Comm stuff after all - I didn't expect the feedback load, but there ya go.

And, for the record 'BR', it was originally my idea to have a webcam in a morgue, I only slowed down on it when it was pointed out that the bodies are usually hanging about in fridges - kind of difficult to get to.

No real problem in making the camera virtual control, but I haven't found one yet that can open a fridge.

And before you go running off again we also ran into some serious opposition to the webcast of postmortems - even when we offered to make it a subscription service to keep the crazies out - so don't come back to us with that one.

It's good having the new microsite ticking - most other commercial stuff completed, cruising now, looking about - checking out sites.

Doing what I imagine 90% of the real world working population are doing - 'waiting for christmas' - waiting for christmas seems to be almost as common as 'once I get christmas out of the way' - it's the only thing people can say.

Probably the most wasted work period of the year, this build up to christmas - people getting pissed and dying, usually horribly, banging the boss, not banging the boss - it's all blamed on the season.

'What are you doing for christmas' ? Shit - I'm looking to keep breathing just like I do every other day! It's overblown, overhyped, and over denigrated by people like me - I would be more original if I shut my mouth and said nothing.

Same for new year.

Surviving all that will show you two things - you were lucky, and, the next day is exactly the same as the prior one - the sun is not a different colour, grass is still green, I want to know what you expected to change 'in the new year' - rather, how you expected to change 'in the new year'?

Life, and this odd seasons thing, is a bit much for me - I haven't yet, at 50 years of age, managed to learn that little song/poem/chant that explains how many days are in each month of the year - must be something to do with my childhood, maybe my beloved Mum let me down on the basics.

I'm really pleased she did.

Friday, December 17, 2004

redux, redone, reboot, revive

It's done, it runs, it breaths, and it uses almost no space. This is not typical for a revamp from us - usually we tend to favour the gargantuan, overcoded style - value for money, bleeding eyes type of thing, but for some reason the end product was nothing like the initial idea.

Using code and technique from the wonderful Dana who is responsible for POTD/04 and many other things about the place, also responsible for providing me with some much needed help when things didn't perform as expected.

All based on a tiny footprint with a XML driven menu the thing loads quicker than anything I have ever managed - a change I have to admit.

Will it last, will it survive the test of time and my inability to leave things alone?

I think it's a possibility - we have other things to do for a time, and should it all fall to pieces I can revive the original if needed - although it was well past it's use by date.

We will take comments on it - hopefully many will be negative - something that will convince me it's the right design. That technique has always worked before, soon as they seem to like the thing you just KNOW you're running a bummer.

Celebrated getting the thing into working order with a trip to the park and a lap or two in the buggy - made the wrong choice of kite, but persisted, laying in the sun between gusts, too lazy to get out the beloved Ngen, unwind the lines, pack the Buster up, something I would do 10 times a day normally, but there ya go.

Sunburn and sore legs from steering indicate a reasonable day anyway.

The great buggy trip is coming up - I intend to load up, including the phone, toss out the kite and see how far I can go in one direction before the tide comes in and swamps me.

The theory is that I will identify the location, then ring Yvonne, who will be lurking somewhere, and she will come and recover me and buggy.

Similar to the days when I had called a way off spot while skydiving - something that will give you a several kilometer walk home, carrying rig, lines, sweating....

The theory is sound, but I suspect Yvonne of being so agreeable only so that she can get the pleasure of leaving me - at the high tide mark, overnight or perhaps for several days.

To circumvent this, or at least try and minimize it, I have been so good as to suggest there may be a dinner and overnight in a shockingly expensive motel should she manage to get it right.

There is still the risk that she would trade a good night for a few days without me - it's something you start to look for after a while - I can tell.

This wonderful adventure will take place at a future date, a date when for once I manage to get the tides right, having turned up at several places just on high tide.

Of ships and shoes and Flash and things:

In the meantime we have other things to pursue, my beloved Flash has come to the fore again while doing that site - it always seems to happen, any time I get involved with Flash my brain suddenly fills up with new and exciting possibilities.

The possibilities with Flash now are indeed limitless - with the Comm Server attached even more than limitless, if there is such a thing.

Realtime video, streaming applications, sound, interaction, anything, it's all now available (well, has been for some time but I have been hiding)with the MX series, even more so with the 2004 Pro series.

It's time, citizens, to give some serious thought to how serious you want your web presence to be. Whereas before it was a shitload of buggering about with odd formats, conversion, compressions etc, it is now as simple as throwing the components on a page, hooking in to a server and you're live.

Sites have sprung up devoted to the subject, go here to see what I mean.

Still have no idea? I'm not surprised. Go here and see if you can get a grip. Does it make you moist? Are you experiencing an increased heart rate? You're obviously in the wrong place.

Go here, and maybe, if you have a brain you'll see what's happening.

Flash Video - you are live, you are visual, you are audio - see the possibilities?

No? You need to be somewhere other than here. Go here, see if you can get a grip, be a concerned citizen.

Yes? Chances are if you've been hanging of a live sex chat/show you've been watching something of ours. Not that you are going to be able to acknowledge that fact, and I'm buggered if I know how you manage to hide you credit card bill from your lady, but if you have done all that ok, you have probably seen the technology in action, live, wet, pink and with sound.

You want to be live - you want a big bandwidth server, you want good cameras, you want to spend money.

What do you get in return? It's dependent on what you wanted. You get what you wanted - it's an odd thing that.

Macromedia got it right - Hillman Curtis says so, and believe me, if he says so - it is so.

Then again - you are rather a banal lot at times, as I said, get back to us with money - big money big impact, small money small impact - what a simple equation that was then.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

half a century old


I reached the ripe old age of 30 unexpectedly, traveling through Europes' winter in search of something that escapes me now, but seemed important at the time.

Unexpectedly because I had always assumed that I would be long gone by 30 - seemed to be the way I was headed, better, as Neil says, to burn out than to fade away - and I lived by that mantra.

I had done most things, experienced just about everything there was to experience, wasn't really looking for extra time.

Up to my arse in snow somewhere in Germany and I'm 30. No script for the rest of it at all, might as well just take it as it presents itself I figured.

Maybe snow does that to you.

Turned out to be a good decision - 40 came and I was mildly surprised to see it - the 30 mantra still there, but so was I.

I hadn't been shot dead (shot at, but not dead), hadn't been locked up for a sentence of several decades (several minor short visits don't count), hadn't really managed to overbalance the scales enough to fall off.

Life as normal, as normal as my life goes. Contemplated slowing down on the adrenalin rush stuff, reasoning I had to run out of luck sometime, but hell, it's like a diet - what do you cut out if you love it all?

The 40's - cruising.

Now, today, right now, I'm 50 years old.

50 years old - half a century.

The age where people describe you as 'getting on', the age that people start to look to young people like real live old bastards.

The age, finally, where my grey hair fits.

Hell, I think that is an amazing achievement - on my part, and on the part of all those who had, at one time or another, a reason to want me never to see the incredible 50 year milestone.

I got here - you all failed (some of you got bloody close though, I'll give you that), and now I don't give a shit how it goes.

I made 30, I made 40, and I just made 50.

Strange thing about physical age is it doesn't seem to matter.

What matters is the age you carry around in your head.

My head still thinks it's doing the 30 year trip - good ehh?

Monday, December 06, 2004

time for design..

Back to the basics this Monday - one Flash installation to complete before Christmas, another Movable Type install, and time to clean up the Zoetrope site ready for a fresh face, maybe even some clean underwear.

Sounds easy, but doing your own 'aint a hell of a lot of fun - all the time trying to make sure the design is coming from the brain rather than a memory of another site viewed somewhere... doesn't look too good to be ripping off the community, the trouble being they seem to object - rightly.

There's been no suitable ideas leaping about in the brain for a while - I did have an affair with the idea of multible masks in Flash MX, running mc's several deep with a yard and a half of Actionscript to move everything about, but there seems to be plenty of those done now, so onward and upward.

The Flash Comm Server thing is bigger than Ben Hur - trouble being that there is virtually limitless application for the thing - we have even looked at some sort of interactive situation with ex's brothel, supposedly closed down by now, but kept going until the New Year.

Any interaction, by audio, by video, by both, in real time, is possible, in fact what the thing was designed for.

Connect a web cam? No problem, just drag the components over a toss them on the stage - as easy as that. (That wasn't a good example - Flash MX 2004 Pro does that without the Comm Server anyway, which you probably know.)

Using it for the redesign of Zoetrope has been canned - too many things able to be done with it - I'd never get out from behind this desk - we'll be looking to use it more for live broadcast events, of a type I have yet to fathom, but it seems to me, using a decent laptop and a serious bandwidth wireless connection, there is the distinct possibility of 'outdoor live webcasts'.

Do you ever get to the stage where you wish technology would slow down enough for you to catch up? That's about the scenario around here right now - so much happening, so much to look at, and I'm getting older everyday.

Guess who forgot to take his happy pill today then? The old black dogs of depression baying somewhere out there - so much to do, so little time, no wonder I'm like I am.

Maybe it's Flash that does it to me - maybe I am actually allergic to Flash, how can this be? My beloved, overused, overhyped Flash - causing some hives like symptoms (well, it's not, but it might), causing shortness of breath, thickening of the tongue - is this what it's been all this time - do I have to die for Flash?

Or, is this the extended symptoms of giving up codeine? More likely.

It doesn't alter the fact that the World is getting away on me again.

I think I'll take some painkiller and ponder it a bit.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

coming back to life...

It did, it's up and running - the new 'plain jane' BrisKites is now officially available to bore your senses.

Devoid of any extraneous styling, painted throughout in muted shades and featuring probably the most common menu on the planet - the javascript dropdown, this site is not going to cause it's owner any sleepless nights as far as I can see.

Sadly had to toss the wonderful power of absolute positioning with divs and a good drop of CSS in favor of a more owner friendly set of the most nested of nested tables you will ever have seen - I expect to be struck off the register of clean design many times over because of this, but I will hold my head high, and rest my faith in the disclaimers that will appear in every page for the benefit of those checking under the hood.

Now that that's out of the way we are off on a Flash Communication Server adventure, well, as soon as the commerce side of BrisKites is sorted - seems that everyone is an ecommerce expert until you get to the bit about how to get the money.

Living in Australia, as we do, makes PayPal an odd choice for payment as they are yet to accept the Australian dollar, and any other 'supposed' merchant seems to be out there for the sole purpose of taking a large cut of the take while delivering no real advantage.

Such is the arrogance of some of these 'online ecommerce solutions' that I feel we may be forced to make a list - here, of the ones that simply talk shit so that readers may be saved the time and frustration of getting an answer to the only question worth asking - 'how much are you going to charge me?'

A man must be mad to even entertain the idea that these outfits are capable of rendering a service - I'm going back to the opensource movement - at least they are honest.

Meanwhile back at the family department it indeed appears my beloved Mother is suffering from secondary cancer, this time in her liver.

This is a big blow, a very big blow, but she has fight left in her, she must have, she's already had three stomach/bowel cancers removed, a breast removed and a heart attack.

I will be visiting her early in the New Year, in my much loved country of origin New Zealand (for all those who suspected I had a thing for sheep - there's your proof), and we shall motor about on an adventure for a while.

I'm indeed lucky in that I still enjoy the company of my Mother, and, stunningly, she still enjoys my company.

She's possibly the only person on the planet that does.