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Archive June 2003
Sunday 29 June 2003
Grarh. PHP is a stupid language with no sort of function naming or design conventions being apparent. Half the functions take parameters in "block, snippet" order, and half the reverse. But most pointedly annoying to me is the horrible application of, then deviation from set theory in function naming; "array_intersect", "array_diff" and "array_union". Oh, wait, no, not array_union at all, because that would complete the set. Instead there's array_merge, which, admittedly, doesn't actually fulfil the function of a union operator, but nor does it actually perform a merge. Its functionality would be better named array_join, or, better still, array_append.

The lack of array_union is still irksome in that there's an incomplete set; it's an unnecessary function, in that one can easily emulate it with "array_merge(array_diff($a,$b),$b)", but unnecessariness doesn't stop PHP making all sorts of other unnecessary redundancies, does it? Inconsistency is the word of the day. [17:55] [6 comments]

Thursday 26 June 2003
Another myth must be dispelled. I was in America for five years, and never once ate apple pie. I have been in Australia for two weeks, now, and have had two slices of apple pie. "As American as apple pie"? That must be like "as young as a pope". [15:06] [7 comments]

Tuesday 24 June 2003
Hooray, Australia is the best. They import only the finest of American TV; Passions.
Disturbingly blonde girl: "But she can't be a witch."
One of three zombies: "She is a witch."
Disturbingly blonde girl: "But I can't stop her."
One of three zombies: "You have to stop her."
Disturbingly blonde girl: "But I can't."
One of three zombies:"Then you leave me no choice. If you cannot destroy her, then you and your friends must die."
Disturbingly blonde girl: (concerned look)
Australia also has the best food in the universe; Maggi noodles. I used to go out of my way, in England, to acquire this fine delicacy. Here, it's the default cheap noodle in the supermarkets - and not only that, it has additional stupid disgusting flavours available that I would never have imagined, such as "fried onion" and "tomato". And, to make matters even better, they also have my favourite noodle found in America, the 'Hot' flavour of Shin Ramyun, also in the supermarkets. And not only that, they have Picalilli, though they call it, rather more descriptively, Mustard Pickles. And they have crazy crisps made of rice or chick-peas. In salt-and-vinegar flavour that doesn't contain milk.

We also have a fridge now.

If we can get the broadband as described (which is still questionable; the ADSL provisioning is about as efficient and predictable as it was in America) then it's not nearly as bad as has been made out, either - 512k-128k ADSL of pseudo-unlimited for AU$100 (just marginally more than the US$50 it was when we were trying to get such things in America). And possibly, relatively soon, fibreoptics. [10:01] [20 comments]

Sunday 22 June 2003
It's oft-suggested that the internet provides fodder for sexual fantasies of all flavours, but a short experiment shows that this is patently not the case. Google gives us nothing if we ask for "licking leg-hair", for example - surely not so unlikely a fetish. How about "biting pimples" or "biting spots" fantasies? Nope, nobody does it. "Ear-wax bathing"? Again, no such thing. How about "sucking mucous"? Nope. Pathetic. How is one supposed to be an interesting pervert when it's all about dressing up as animals and swallowing each other whole, eh? And even the swallowing each other whole site is gone, now. So if you want to be a pervert, you're stuck with dressing up as animals like everyone else on the internet, or inventing your own perversion. What good is the internet, eh? [06:29] [3 comments]

Saturday 21 June 2003
Hoorah, we are now moved into a house. I have a new monitor, speakers and keyboard for my desktop computer, which arrived inpact - a cross between intact and impacted. A hard-drive had been knocked loose, and had hit the side of the memory, which had bent the memory-socket on the motherboard. Surprisingly, it still worked after the memory socket was bent back; the memory has been moved to another socket anyway though, just in case. The wireless network card acquired for it, however, seems to have or cause a short-circuit - the machine resets suddenly after about 30 seconds of use if the card is in (in either of two sockets) - so that will be going back to the shop.

That's the important part of moving, of course - the computer. There's also some food and stuff, but who cares about that? [15:40] [9 comments]

Friday 20 June 2003
Applause to the hackers responsible for turning the Shadowbane server evil. I wonder if someone was inspired by .hack//sign.

Also somewhat amusing is the tale of hackers stealing AOL accounts by the cunning artifice of mumbling while asking for them. [06:57] [6 comments]

Thursday 19 June 2003
I'm starting to get mild annoyance-nostalgia, now. "That ad was very American. All loud noises and flashing lights." "That would have been much more annoying if it were made in America." "I don't understand - this comedian is funny. Aren't comedians just supposed to swear and point at things? That's what they do in America."

Here, the only pointless swearing I've encountered was from a racist drunk person on a train. I don't think he was a comedian. [05:52] [4 comments]

Wednesday 18 June 2003
Australia really is like the Monty Python 'Bruce' sketch. A letter from FedEx explaining that they had taken my computer hostage and named it Bruce was signed Bruce. When I called their number (1-800-BRUCE), the answerer introduced himself as Bruce the Bruce, and refused to send me my computer until I admitted that my name was Bruce. [08:35] [2 comments]

Sunday 15 June 2003
Holly has been teaching me how to live in the Australian suburban bush. The first lesson is that all the trees are gum-trees, unless I would guess that they are, in which case they're myopic or king lear or something. Gum-trees range from white bark with round leaves and up-pointing branches to black bark with pointy leaves and down-pointing branches, so that's handy.

Also, there is a clover-like plant with flowers on stalks (gasp), of which the flower-stalks are a delicious snack, known as "sour sobs". I'm not sure whether that's actually "SOBs", "sobs", or just a name. But they are delicious anyway.

Finally, and most importantly, many houses have lemon trees in their back gardens, so I must live here forever, since I've always wanted a lemon tree.

Oh yes, and there's an odd plant that's similar to one in America, even to sharing the name; "Supermarket". Unlike the American variety, the ones here bear edible fruit. And crisps. And bread which has no milk in it, though, alas, neither does it have hair. [09:08] [5 comments]
On the other hand, the movies available on the planes were distinctly horrible. The first flight had a choice of The Recruit, Just Married, two other movies even worse than those, and Kangaroo Jack, which was, astoundingly, the best of the five. The other movie option, however, known to me only as "a Hindi movie" (I was asked later "was it the one about a wedding?" - of course it was, all Hindi movies are about a wedding), was quite entertaining. So if anyone else is planning to fly Malaysia Airlines soon, I recommend watching the Hindi movie, and playing Legend of Zelda. And not watching Kangaroo Jack.

The second plane, with different movies, had only one that I even considered watching, and still didn't. Which is to say, five movies even worse than Just Married, let alone Kangaroo Jack. And this from someone who thinks Deathlands is a fun movie. [09:00] [7 comments]

Thursday 12 June 2003
Aiee! The beards! The horrible beards!

That's pretty much the only bad thing I have to say about Australia so far, after, ooh, thirteen or so hours here. So it must be good. We all know how quick I am to come up with bad things to say.

The planes weren't too horrible either; a double seat to myself every time, Legend of Zelda to play on the back of the chair in front, none of the people immediately in front of me decided to jam their chair back regardless of obstructions, though the people in the chair in front of my spare probably would have had there been obstructions, the people behind weren't kicky, and only during the last hour or so of flight was there a squalling brat, and even then its parent was at least trying to make it shut up.

Announcement: "If you are visiting Kuala Lumpur, we hope you have a good time. If you are returning after a holiday, welcome home. Otherwise, screw you! What, our country not good enough for you, you have to go on to somewhere else?"

Fantastically Cheeky Announcement: "Kuala Lumpur has the tallest twin towers in the world."

And I forgot the power supplies for half the stuff I brought. So that was clever. Any emails will be getting terse responses until I can get the laptop some non-battery power. [14:28] [4 comments]

Monday 9 June 2003
About 20 hours until I'm off on a grand journey of "being trapped on an aeroplane for a really long time". And after that, then I get the joy of being immediately trapped on another aeroplane for, I think, a slightly shorter time. Pretend that, at this point, I made a really good excuse for including a picture of Holly.
[12:28] [12 comments]