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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Annus coolus

So it was my first Bloggerversary on Friday.

Pretty cool.

To celebrate that, here's a photo of a surprised coconut:



Those of you who would like to shower me with gifts can scroll down the sidebar to the handy-dandy "buy me gifts" section where I have prepared some wishlists for your comfort and convenience.

Monday, November 28, 2005

An awesome weekend

Friday was payday, so I went and bought myself a PS2, finally. The only game they had for under R200 (budget constraints) was Tekken 4 Platinum, so I took it.

While Hide’s fantastic dinner was in the oven, I hooked up the PS2 and we had a little one on one Tekken action. She whipped me… badly.

Not only does my girlfriend cook better than Chef Armand the Aromatic (the greatest cook ever to walk the Earth… in a parallel universe where he actually exists), but she totally owns at games!

Saturday night rocked as well.

We went to The Doors… a somewhat dodgy alternative nightclub where we both used to spend much time in years gone by.

As a singleton, going to The Doors was something to do that didn’t involve sitting at home watching soft-porn on E-TV.

It wasn’t advisable to pick any girls up there, because you never knew what you might get (or catch). But every time I went there, there was always that one girl. Not the same one every time, but there was always one who held the gaze of every single straight guy in the room.

She would be gorgeous… it would be virtually impossible to look away. Always with the curves in the right places, the fabulous hair, the carefully constructed outfit designed to, um, stimulate. But there was always something else she had: the big, burly boyfriend. And every guy in the room would be thinking “F%&$ that guy… I wish I was him”.

This Saturday was different. This time it was my turn to be that big, burly boyfriend. And it was awesome.

I have got the coolest girlfriend in the universe (or in Armand’s universe, for that matter). I must have worked up some serious Karma Credits in a previous life to deserve this.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Imagining Other Dimensions

NOVA | The Elegant Universe | Imagining Other Dimensions | PBS

Hurk! This creates turmoil in my brain. I better blog it before I pass out.

A Girl's Guide to Geek Guys

By Mikki Halpin and Victoria Maat

So, your crush on the bass player from Vibrating Sandbox has finally died a whimpering death and you're wondering where to go from here. All the sinister dudes are either dating a series of interchangeable high-school riot girls in baby doll dresses and an overdose of manic panic, or permanently shacked up with some bitter old lady who pays all the bills. Which will it be, a wifely prison or a humiliating one night stand? Into this void of potential mates comes a man you may not have considered before, a man of substance, quietude and stability, a cerebral creature with a culture all his own. In short, a geek.

Why Geek Dudes Rule

They are generally available.
Other women will tend not to steal them.
They can fix things.
Your parents will love them.
They're smart.

Where The Geek Dude Lurks

While they are often into alternative music, geek dudes tend not to go to shows too often. Instead you'll find them hanging out with their friends, discussing the latest hardware revolution or perfecting their Bill Gates impressions. You know how some people wear t-shirts with their favorite bands on them, thus showing that they went to certain shows? Well, geek dudes wear t-shirts with the logos of different software companies on them, thus showing that they are up on the latest, um, releases. A small, though convivial, rivalry may be detected here amongst the geek dudes. Try wearing one yourself and see if he strikes up a conversation. Of course the best way to meet a geek dude is through the Internet. All geeks harbor a secret fantasy about meeting some girl in cyberspace, carrying on an e-mail romance in which he has the chance to combine an activity he is comfortable with, computing, with one he is very uncomfortable with, socializing. To many geek dudes, cyberdating is just an advanced form of some kind of video game, but they are frustrated by a lack of players. Their lack is your strength.

Imprinting

You might notice that these men harbor some strange ideas about how the world works and some particularly strange ideas about women. There is a reason for this. Because they've had limited interpersonal experience, geek dudes must look elsewhere for behavior models. Lacking a real world social milieu, geeks often go through a transference stage withsuch narratives, and try to model their interactions on them. Thus, certain media images and themes come to have an overly cathected, metaphorized reality to them, while the rest of us view such programming as mere entertainment. Case in point, our next topic...

The Trek factor

If you're not up on your Star Trek, you can forget about getting or keeping a geek dude. And I'm not just talking vintage-era Captain Kirk and Spock either. You've got to be up on your The Next Generation, your Deep Space Nine, your Babylon 5. Armed with your own knowledge of Federation policies, you can better gauge when and how to act. The sexual politics of Star Trek are pretty blunt: the men run the technology and the ship, and the women are caretakers (a doctor and a counselor). Note the sexual tensions on the bridge of the Enterprise: the women, in skin tight uniforms, and with luxuriant, flowing hair. The men, often balding, and sporting some sort of permanently attached computer auxiliary.This world metaphorizes the fantasies of the geek dude, who sees himself in the geeky - but - heroic male officers and who secretly desires a sexy, smart, Deanna or Bev to come along and deferentially accept him for who he is. If you are willing to accept that this is his starting point for reality, you are ready for a geek relationship.

Once You've Nabbed Him

Of course, catching that geek guy is only half the battle. Keeping him by your side is another story altogether. I was privileged to speak with Miss Victoria Maat, who not only got herself a geek guy but was also clever enough to marry him just a few short months ago. She interrupted her newlywed bliss to give us a few tips on the care and feeding of a geek man: Geeks are sensitive and caring lovers and husbands. If you can hang with the techno-lifestyle, they make the best mates. They are the most attractive people, not flashy or hunky, but the kind who get cuter and more alluring over time (I told you she was a newlywed). Definitely give geeks a chance.

Geek Cuisine

Geeks tend towards packaged, junk foods since they prefer to work and think and aren't all that into cooking for themselves. Make sure that your geek understands that you are not merely a replicator, and provide him with home cooked food. A batch of chocolate chip cookies will let him know that you love him. You do have to monitor your geek for weight gain; however, remember that most of their days are spent sitting and staring at a monitor.

Geek Lifestyle

The geek dude has long work habits and tends to bring his work home with him. He seems permanently connected to his hard disk. You must at least appear interested in his work. Generally, a solid understanding of the computer is a must; if you cannot master this, you should at least be able to talk the talk. Remember most geeks are anal and they get stressed about details which appear insignificant. Be understanding, put on your best Deanna Troi face (see above) and empathize. To relax, geeks love to play the latest computer games. Let him play Myst or Chuck Yeager's Air Combat for hours if hewants to. Act concerned if he's stuck or has just been ambushed by three MiGs. My geek loves to try to help people on the Internet who say that they are stuck in Myst. He comes up with clever riddles instead of directing them point blank. Geeks also like to go to sci-fi and Japanese animated movies, again, a basically harmless vent for your man.

Geek Buddies

Many geeks extend their work friendships into what they jokingly refer to as RL (Real Life, also known as "that big room with the ceiling that is sometimes blue and sometimes black with little lights"). The greatest thing about your geek's buddies is that you can feel secure in setting them up with your girlfriends. They may feel awkward around females at first, so don't overwhelm them. In time they will come out of their shell and realize that you are into the same things they are.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

New stuff

If you will cast your cursor down the sidebar on the right of this page, you will notice I have added some content there… specifically a list of blogs that I read daily, and a list of webcomics that I also read daily.

If there’s any other content you’d like to see here, I’m open to suggestions.

Enjoy!

Say no to toast!

The real facts about bread!

His Noodliness creeps in everywhere

New Scientist Breaking News - Living camera uses bacteria to capture image

And who's photo do they take with the living camera? Take a look.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

'sall good

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on here about my personal life of late. The reason for that is that I haven’t had anything to complain about.

Things with Hide are fabulous and I’m feeling genuinely happy.

I’ll compose a more verbose entry over the next few days when things settle down at work.

qabang parmaqqay.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Scientology wtf?


splattermail » Blog Archive » Scientology wtf?

Splattermail is one of the dodgier blogs I read. But his take on Scientology was quite amusing. Take a look.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Vatican statement on Intelligent Design

Vatican Astronomer: Intelligent Design is Not Science

The very throne of religious doctrine and superstition politics speaks out against those who would fill children's heads with nonsense. An irony, but still a victory for science.

However it seems the church's own superhero Pope-Man is still vague on the issue. I look forward to hearing if he upholds this statement or if he folds under peer-pressure from folks like Dubya and Pat Robertson

Friday, November 18, 2005

Aluminium Helmets

An empirical study from MIT

Well it's about time someone tested the real effectiveness of this age-old defensive weapon against those who would "shoot voodoo at my noodle".

And it turns out that not only to these helmets not protect us from CIA mind-probes, but they actually amplify the signal!

Goddam those US Governement guys trying to pull my secrets out of my head through my helmet. I'm going to switch to plastic-wrap instead!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

WTF?

Horoscopes on a site called "Science Daily"?

I have no response to that.

Your Daily Horoscope

Escape Pod

One of the most annoying tactics you can encounter in Star Trek CCG at the moment is the ship-destroyer deck. It’s become quite popular in our group.

It usually takes five or six turns to get out a ship and a large enough crew to attempt Missions. But as soon as you leave your Homeworld, your opponent sidles up to you with his Klingon or Jem’Hadar battle armada and nails you with three consecutive successful attacks… ship destroyed, crew lost.

He’s then got another five or six turns to go around quickly attempting Missions while you get out another ship and build up another crew… which is often enough time to finish a game.

It’s a risky strategy on his part, since I use pretty powerful ships myself. If I happen to have the right attribute modifier Interrupts in my hand, his attacks will fail and he’ll have wasted a turn. But since I don’t always have a copy of Power to the Shields handy, it does work from time to time. And it annoys the crap out of me.

That’s why I’m very glad to see this new Event in To Boldy Go:

Escape Pod





In First Edition, Escape Pod was an Interrupt and a mainstay in every deck. It saved me many times. Now in it’s new incarnation as an Event, it’s even better.

Not only can it save an entire crew from being wiped out when their ship gets destroyed, but it can also save individual Personnel from being killed by Dilemmas at Space Missions. Then when I’m getting ready to make my endgame move to complete my big Planet Mission I can instantly crew the second ship I always need.

I think the advent of this card will put a stop to the annoying habit of destroying ships, at least until people work up the guts to start using Crystalline Entity in their decks.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Super-fast synthetic muscles

New Scientist Breaking News - Light could trigger super-fast synthetic muscles

"the new advance might one day result in bionic people with superhuman speed and strength"

Imagine being able to run at supersonic speeds... it's not just in comic-books anymore.

Falling in love with your best friend

There are some who say it’s impossible to do that. They say once you’ve relegated someone to the Friend Zone, there’s no turning back.

I beg to differ.

Chris Rock said “When you’re meeting someone for the first time, you’re not meeting them, you’re meeting their representative.” I think that’s the most difficult part of beginning a new relationship, breaking through the outward fa├žade and getting to know the real person.

Often once we’ve done that we don’t like what we find, but since we’ve already invested so much time and emotion in the other person, we’ll try to make things work with them anyway so that it doesn’t all go to waste, or out of fear of having to go through the whole process again – rather the devil you know that the devil you don’t.

I think this is symptomatic of our modern lifestyle. In the days of yore, our ancestors lived in small, close-knit communities: tribes and small villages.

Meeting a mate was a much simpler task in those days. You had a very limited number of possible candidates, and those candidates were already well-known to you. You had grown up together, you’d known each other your entire lives.

Post-industrial urbanized society has had profound impact on that part of our lives. Living in cities with millions of other people, most of whom we will never meet, is an unnatural state for social apes such as ourselves. It has necessitated the formulation of some new mating behaviour, specifically dating.

Although dating is necessary, it’s a flawed procedure, since many people end up in long term relationships with people with whom they are not really compatible.

But for those of us who are fortunate enough to experience it, there is an alternative.

When you’re friends with someone, you get to know them without the added pressure of trying to make a relationship work… it’s just a reciprocal sharing of thoughts, ideas, experiences and company, the sole goal of which is its own enjoyment. You often meet without the added burden of having to make a first impression, so you get to know the other person better from the start.

If you’re friends long enough, you get to see the other person reacting to a number of different situations, including relevant ones like being happy in a relationship, being unhappy in a relationship, and heartbreak.

Sometimes, if you’re very lucky, that friendship can develop into something even deeper and more meaningful: you can fall in love.

When you fall in love with a friend, the awkwardness is already out of the way. The “honeymoon period” is so much sweeter because there are far fewer nasty surprises.

One of the main misgivings people have about transforming an existing friendship into a romantic relationship is that there is more at stake: if the relationship fails, the friendship will probably be lost as well. The risk is a real one, but considering that the relationship was built on a far firmer foundation than most to begin with, the odds of that happening are diminished. In fact, it’s probably a safer option – the stakes are higher, but the risk is considerably lower.

As you know, I’ve recently fallen in love with one of my best friends. I often thought about what it might be like if it were to happen, and I always knew it would be awesome, but I had no idea how truly amazing it would be.

Since we’ve already shared so much, we have a pretty good idea of what makes the other tick. This gives us the added advantage of being able to anticipate each other’s insecurities and misgivings, and to address them before they become issues.

We also have a working knowledge of each other’s history, tastes, passions, philosophical and religious points of view, families, friends, careers, and, in our case, lifestyle. Having that knowledge upfront has facilitated a far more comfortable and natural-feeling transition, allowing us the opportunity to forgo the awkward first stages of dating and get right on with the good stuff.

Some critics might say that trying to get something going with your friend is taking the low road, the easy way out. Yes, I think it can be easier, but that doesn’t make it bad. On the contrary, what’s the problem with falling in love with someone you already know and care for? I think that fact makes it better and more real, not the other way around.

It’s still early days, and I’m still on “probation”. But I think that if I make it through the trial period, I will be able to make a significant contribution to her life - beyond what I would have been able to give as just her friend - and I will do my utmost to bring her as much joy as she does me.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kansas falls in the war against ID

Pharyngula::Goodbye, Kansas

A commentary on the MSNBC article reporting the Kansas School Board's 6-4 vote in favour of teaching Intelligent Design in science class.

Today is a sad day indeed.

Is it any wonder that Popular Science rated "Kansas Science Teacher" as number 3 in it's 2005 Worst Jobs in Science survey.

Dilbert.com - Weasel Awards

Dilbert.com - Weasel Awards

Take a look under "Weaseliest Behaviour".

Hellkom.co.za

Hellkom.co.za - Encouraging Affordable Communications in South Africa

For my international readers, in SA we currently only have one fixed-line telecoms provider: Telkom - a major corporation partially owned by the government.

I knew they were screwing us over when it came to broadband pricing, but I didn't realise it was this bad. It's cheaper to fly to Hong Kong to download 100GB at an Internet Cafe than it is to use a home ADSL line in Joburg!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

To Boldly Go

Decipher - The Art of Great Games

Decipher has started revealing the cards from it's new Star Trek CCG expansion set To Boldy Go.

From what I've seen there are a few amongst them that frighten me:

Up the ante



A one-card win or lose scenario. This will certainly spice things up. I'm curious as to whether this will count as a Full Win or a Modified Win.

Agonizing Encounter



Considering that my deck relies heavily on skill redundancy for the sake of bonus points, this is a potentially very dangerous Dilemma.

All my opponent need do is name the skill 'Leadership' or 'Security' and they stop four Personnel right off the bat. That's usually enough to cripple a Mission attempt, even with my crew of Androids on board.

Ouch.

I'm hoping this set will feature an Escape-like Interrupt for preventing the stopping of any number of personnel. I'm on the edge of my seat.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Curses!




Jean Grey Phoenix HeroClix


I was so proud of myself for having organised a Dark Pheonix figure, and then they go and release a Jean Grey "Mega Pheonix" figure using the same sculpt and similar stats!

Bastards!

Granted, it's still a limited edition, but still!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bloggers Unite! (Two in particular)

Something quite remarkable has happened.

I have come to see one of my closest friends in a whole new light... instead of being "just" a friend, my friendship with Hide has expanded to include the romantic as well.

It all feels so natural, simple and comfortable. I'm very excited about the path that lies before both of us.

So wish us well as we embark on this: a truly amazing, rather risky, but potentially extremely rewarding journey moving the friendship to higher levels of intimacy.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tom Cruise is nuts


I so want to see him vs Rayden. Or even better... Tom Cruise vs the Powerpuff Girls!