May 30, 2003

Lloyd overhears...

"Okay, cat dollar file - are you using bash?"

...which made him think that to people not in the tech industry we must all sound like raving loonies.

This from a man who's favourite 2 characters are (in order): #|

Posted by rory at 01:54 PM | TrackBack

Here. Buy ours. It’s legit. No, seriously.

Right – so there we were. Shania, Wayne, Adrian and me, walking back to my apartment after watching The Matrix Reloaded, completely, utterly, delightfully shell-shocked. We’d gotten good shells, too.

And as is all-so-often the case in situations like this (and groups like us), a random comment by what shall be mercifully known as the innocent bystander inspired a flight of conversation that hit its head on takeoff and rapidly flew off the radar.

“I want to go to Zimbabwe.”

Right – so there we were. Shania, Wayne, Adrian and me, walking back to my apartment after watching The Matrix Reloaded, completely, utterly, delightfully shell-shocked. We’d gotten good shells, too.

And as is all-so-often the case in situations like this (and groups like us), a random comment by what shall be mercifully known as the innocent bystander inspired a flight of conversation that hit its head on takeoff and rapidly flew off the radar.

“I want to go to Zimbabwe.”

We explained (as best we could) to the innocent bystander that we were not in a position to help. Not even with money. I’m sure the Doppler effect of our voices conveyed something as well.

But of course, such a comment was not to go unremarked.

“Why does he want to go to Zimbabwe?”

Adrian, in complete non-sequitur fashion, said, again, that the movie was something of awe. “Awesome” I believe was the word he used.

Of course, as I lit my Type-A-personality cigarette, satisfying the created demand, I countered: “Agreed. I want to own that movie. Now.”

Yes, I could (given time, bandwidth, and complete lack of discerning taste and 20/20 vision), download it off the Internet. Or ask Adrian for his copy. But I don’t want that. I don’t like downloading or buying pirated movies, because there’s no guarantee.

Actually, there is a guarantee. And it is this:

  • that the quality will suck, and most likely depend on the quality of camcorder used by the Spotty Herbert who taped it in the cinema.
  • That the brilliance of your 5.1 digital hi-fidelity decoding hardware and the clarity of your amplifier will be rendered irrelevant, as your center speaker faithfully delivers a hissy, mono audio track.
  • That should you not be satisfied with it, having bought it from someone who’s shop front kept its engine running, you will at that point (a) suffer a complete failure of customer satisfaction, and (b) realise you now have a new shiny coaster, and maybe, just maybe, a topic of conversation for the next dinner party.
    • And for all these reasons, with scant regard to the bank balance, I will pony up the cash, and buy the real thing on DVD. After waiting six months.

      Why? I’m buying a guarantee of quality. Except for Nu Metro-released titles (where the quarantee tends to be that they’ve picked the 4x3 aspect ratio version, and made the menu system so inane they hope you won’t notice they also left off the extras, which they have. Amazon has no idea of this unwitting ally. I’m hoping that Nu Hell is an aging mono-BetaMax VCR continuously looping Biker Rock Zombies, with no vertical-hold, and no bathroom breaks.)

      At this point, Wayne, Shania, and Adrian were staring at me. Most probably because I’d been quiet for more than 30 seconds.

      “What if… what if.. the piracy got so bad that technology allowed a passable copy to be available almost immediately after the movie was released to cinemas?”

      Thankfully, no-one pointed out that this was, actually already the case. And so it was that the conversation was allowed to belly-roll irresponsibly through the clouds of whimsy, on its way to the next laugh.

      “Yeah! You’d effectively have to have the movie studios competing by having their legit copy ready at the same time! They’d have to sell it to you as you exited the cinema!”

      No doubt all the while elbowing the pirated-copy vendors to the side: ‘Buy ours! It’s legit! And hi-res!’ ” Oh, the possible carnage: metallic discs flying over your head, their cheap labels coming undone in mid-air, and floating down like so much confetti at a shotgun wedding.

      (Mind you: selling a product to people, as they step from a darkened cinema into the comparative blinding fluorescent incandescence we commonly call a mall, hopped up on sugar, thirsty from the salted popcorn, and somewhat deaf from the cinema sound, probably makes good business sense. Anaesthetised customers tend not to quibble. Is anyone in Hollywood listening? Hello?)

      I was instantly captivated by this idea (that of buying the DVD of a movie I had just seen and loved --not the idea of semi-blinded staggering patrons. Just so we’re clear on that point.)

      “I mean, as it stands now, dodgy nations like, oh, say, Zimbabwe, where pirated copies of movies have been known to happen, are readying up their shipments.”

      We stopped. We stared. Somewhere a dog barked.

      I lit another cigarette. We’d figured it out. We knew why Bystander, Innocent had wanted to go to Zimbabwe. He’d just seen The Matrix Reloaded, and he’d loved it so much that he wanted his own copy. And for that – he had to get to Zimbabwe.

      As much as we sympathised with him and admired his dedication, we didn’t turn around. Some moments can never be recaptured.

      We walked home, snuggled down in front of the 1.2m screen, turned up the ProLogic, and watched the second half of Animatrix. It seemed appropriate, both in content and media.

      DISCLAIMER: In no way is this article meant to encourage talking to Innocent Bystanders. If you do, seek help. Don’t become a statistic.

      Posted by rory at 09:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 29, 2003

Pass me a glass of Bacardi, and allow me to explain

(Note to the few who have not yet had the privilege of Chez Rites: my cat and I have an agreement. I operate the can opener, break the seal on the cat biscuits, make sure there’s fresh water available, share my Egyptian Cotton bed, and change the cat litter just before it fights back. In return, she agrees to only take off the top layer of skin when she plays with me. I, my cat, and the Jumbo “Accident-o-Prone TM” box of BandAid are very happy, thank you.)

Normally, the only thing that would entice her to my side of the bed during the warm months would be (in order of decreasing likelihood):

  • a fundamental localised shift in the space time continuum, occurring in my bed (although I have been told by select intimate partners that this has happened to them at that exact spot – it’s just that the cat has retreated by that stage to where she won’t get wet. Or be hit by flying latex. Hey – it’s hard work shifting someone’s continuum.)

  • the silver paper wrapped around a slab of Cadbury’s chocolate.

  • The synchronised occurrence of a sudden metrological cold front, an electric blanket on maximum, and me pretending not to see her chasing those elusive bed mice.

  • Restraints (on her). A cattle prod. And a Southern Baptist Minster.

Nonetheless – it’s winter, and she’s gone South.

(We’ve all heard the story of Sisyphus, doomed and forever defeated in his attempts to push a boulder up a hill. I belive future generations will convey the same sense of futility and personal injury potential by glibly saying “Remember: you can’t put a cat in a box.”)

Although it’s strange – when I was younger I used to be allergic to cats. Not to this one it seems. I can play with her all day, and not sneeze once (although the light-headedness and blurred vision due the bloodloss from the, ahem, ‘scratches’ tends to overpower all other ailments.)

Ah. She’s watching me write this. I know this without looking down at the keyboard because of the biting pain in my right hand and the furry feeling on my arm.

Gotta go.

Posted by rory at 05:35 PM | TrackBack

Happiness is…

…a warm cat snuggled up asleep on your lap - that came there of its own accord.

I love winter.

Posted by rory at 05:28 PM | TrackBack

HSS: now you'll really have to get a good position

Essentially, HSS for the first time does for sound what the laser did for light -- intensely focuses and channels it so it can travel great distances without dispersing. In the demo, a technician points a speaker the size of a cereal box at someone standing 100 yards away. Amid the din of the nearby freeway, the technician plays a recording of ice cubes clinking into a glass.

More about this at

However, the paragraph that most caught my attention was this:

The company is also beginning to market a couple of other sound technologies, including one called High Intensity Directed Acoustic (HIDA), which can generate sound waves so intense that they can instantly incapacitate a human. The military is interested.

Strange. Didn't they know that we already have such technology?

Posted by rory at 12:18 PM | TrackBack

I gotta get my stuff back

Things I have loaned out to people (or left behind because of induced incompetence at the time) that need to be returned to me. These are the objects that I can remember.

(sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas, the way your weird drunk Uncle would do it each year) “Comedy, drama and thriller DVDs, assorted books, a Zippo lighter left at a bathhouse (don’t ask), another Zippo lighter left at a house party, a cap, a pair of pants (don’t ask), a Speedo (don’t ask), a grey fluffy top, and VHS porn (you’re welcome to ask).”

Oh, and one porn DVD. You know who you are, but your right hand is probably a bit stunned as to what it’s been put through. Or around. And don’t forget my funky green mug. PS: I have your porn DVD as well to return to you. Oh, and those books. Call me! Warm regards, sincerely, all my love, etc...

Things I have to return to other people: as above, and a sweater. Oh, and that piddling problem of crushing bank debt. You’ll get it back eventually. In the meantime, you’re welcome to borrow a book. Here, try this one. Chapter 11 is quite good. Are you OK? You’ve gone quite pale. Here, let me hold your overdraft. No, I insist. It’s really not a problem. You’re welcome. See you next month.

Posted by rory at 11:55 AM | Comments (1)

May 28, 2003

Eat static. Breathe static.

You know you're used to Johannesburg winters when you get shocked by static electricity 17 times a day, and you can only remember two of them.

Posted by rory at 02:59 PM | Comments (2)

Spec. Spec. Spec.

IF you're working on a project, AND

  • the vast majority of your time is spent:
    • checking stuff into CVS AND
    • ensuring that your changes and additions are fitting in with the whole project and the other team members
  • your actual coding takes a comparatively small time because...
  • it's all beautifully spec'd...


you are in a very good place indeed.


Posted by rory at 11:12 AM | TrackBack

Hot house

Greer was wondering if I'm going to Hot House this weekend. So am I, in fact. I'm still going through my period of 'being good'. Whatever that means.

Hang on. I think it means not spending quantities of cash that would rival Zimbabwe's national debt at parties each weekend.

Yes, that's it.

Posted by rory at 10:51 AM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2003

Movie idea

Neo and John Connor join forces to fight the war against the machines. After an intense rave/orgy, they make plans for the upcoming battle.

At the same time, the Matrix and Skynet sign a multi-billion dollar merger, spelling certain doom for the human resistance. After an intense rave/orgy, the corporate giants start production on a new line of Arnold Agents and Smith-inators.

Meanwhile, back at the X-Mansion, Professor X uses Cerebro to notify all the mutants in the world about the upcoming Mutant Rave-o-thon Celebration 2003. After much Kung Fu, car chases, and explosions, everyone dies and meets God, who turns out to be Jim Carrey.

"Alllllrighty then," says God, flanked by a cadre of Charlie's Angels. "Let's get this party started."

And Neo's like, "God, why are you speaking through your buttocks?"


President, CEO, Revolutionary

Thanks Guy!

Posted by rory at 03:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pride 2003

A Mardi Gras at our "home" at Zoo Lake and a Pride Parade through Rosebank? That's what Johannesburg will be getting on Saturday, 27 September 2003.

And Randolph did the site. Nice.

Posted by rory at 12:15 PM | TrackBack

Brett wants a new monitor

...and he's chosen to get this, using money from petty cash.

Posted by rory at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)

16 degrees

Yeesh. It's cold.

Posted by rory at 09:01 AM | TrackBack

May 26, 2003

Fluff me baby

And just when you thought you'd seen it all, Marrit points this out: fluffertrax.

Pornosonic's "Cream Streets." simultaneously captures the essence of the Rock Opera, as well as evoking fine 70s porn music from the supposed "original unreleased motion picture." The storyline: Dick Dagger once again on the job faces his evil nemesis, Cum Lin Santiago. Cum Lin and his female cohort, Putana, capture Dick's ladyfriend, Peach Fuzz. And the plot unfolds from there.

Posted by rory at 05:15 PM | TrackBack

Sex, drugs and house music

Wayne provides one of these.

You know how you keep returning to your favourite music over and over again, even when there's new stuff to listen to? For me, those favourites include Wayne's mixes. Latest lovely lacquered listen: SunnySideFunk.

Posted by rory at 12:48 PM | Comments (1)

Happiness is... Irish accent (also, here and here).

I watched Bend it Like Beckham this weekend - stunning movie!

Posted by rory at 10:45 AM | TrackBack


Saw The Matrix Reloaded on Saturday night. Good movie. Now, I'd speak about it here, but we have a rule in the office. If anyone gives away the movie before the rest of the office have seen it, then that person has to buy cake for the office.

Paul has to buy cake, regardless. It's his way.

I reckon it gets a 7 out of 10 (Reloaded, not Paul's cake).

And make sure you sit through all the credits to the very end to see the preview of the next Matrix.

Posted by rory at 09:56 AM | TrackBack

All I want...

...from life is a warm bed, a kind word, and unlimited power.

Posted by rory at 09:14 AM | Comments (1)

May 23, 2003


"Thank you for your recent order in our sex shop. You asked for the large red vibrator as featured on our wall display. Please reselect as that's the fire extinguisher."

Posted by rory at 10:32 AM | Comments (1)

May 22, 2003

Visual Basic IDE mouse wheel support

And today, I found this on VB IDE Mousewheel Support and Code Auto Complete. If you've ever wondered why your mouse wheel doesn't work when scrolling code in the Visual Basic IDE, you need this.

Posted by rory at 04:55 PM | TrackBack

Back on track

Choo! Choo! August! And you know what that means...

Posted by rory at 03:08 PM | TrackBack

Oh, the irony (part 2)

How extreme is your ironing?

Posted by rory at 01:55 PM | TrackBack

How big is Openbox?

Seen on the Openbox mailing list: * Roman Neuhauser wrote: > BTW, what was the pressing reason to change the license? Our penises simply were not big enough to use BSD. -- Scott Moynes "Computer science is as much about computers as astronomy is about telescopes." -- Dijkstra
Posted by rory at 01:06 PM

May 21, 2003

Haiku Adrian

Writing Poetry
In Seventeen Syllables
Is very diffic

Posted by rory at 05:00 PM

Things that go bump in the night

Last night, as I was in bed, lights out, drifting off into that void we call sleep, I heard a noise. A loud noise. It was the kind of banging crash sound that your night-soothed brain has trouble comprehending. It seemed to come from a street in the neighbourhood, and it clearly sounded to me like someone had attempted to get their vehicle and a wall to occupy the same space at the same time. But just before it, there wasn't the prerequisite acceleration sounds so common to accidents. Nonetheless, I lay awake for five minutes waiting for the confirmation sounds of sirens that were to signal death, destruction, and delays.

They were not forthcoming. Of course, this to me meant that either (a) someone was busy bleeding to death, unnoticed, close by, or (b) the sound was something else entirely.

This morning, no sign of an accident. Still no idea what it was.

Posted by rory at 12:07 PM | Comments (3)

May 20, 2003

Whatever next

And today, I start work on a new contract job. First impressions: stunning kitchen. And it's about 3 blocks from where I live.

Posted by rory at 01:08 PM | Comments (1)

May 16, 2003

The case of the illiterate PC thief

Warren writes:

Hey all..

Just to keep you all posted: The training center has been burgled, they made off with 10 boxes. Please bear this in mind if you come to pilfer biscuits:

  1. Leave no prints
  2. Biscuit pilfery is a crime too (hehe)
  3. We're too angry to be leaving biscuits out at a time like this

Sigh... The irony is that they stole some of the lowest spec'ed boxes in the whole building. Life as an IT illiterate PC thief must be unrewarding work.

Posted by rory at 11:22 AM

Down electric

Two nights ago my electric blanket ceased to become functional (or electric). So I popped the down duvet on the bed.

With the net result that I overslept this morning. Mmmm, snuggly.

Posted by rory at 09:22 AM

May 15, 2003

RIAA Admits Piracy Goof

The Recording Industry Association of America sent out more than two dozen letters on Monday apologizing for incorrectly targeting institutions suspected of posting copywritten music on their servers. The RIAA said the erroneous notices were the result of an error by an unnamed temporary employee.

and "as for Professor Usher, Lamy says that for his trouble the RIAA intends to send him an Usher CD and T-shirt."


Posted by rory at 02:19 PM

Richard in Washington (part 4)

And as Ricard has now left Washington, and is frolicking merrily around London with Al, it's only appropriate to show you these pictures he took.

Posted by rory at 12:31 PM

Today is a boy day

Right. So on the way to work today, it's just cute boy central. There was one outside my apartment building. Then Adrian and I just had to go buy some biltong. And I don't eat biltong. But the biltong boy was just scrumptious (to be served by, not to eat). Then in the final drag (haha) to work, we drove past what appeared to be some sort of handyman.

I keep mentioning to Adrian that this kind of flagrant boywatching is getting dangerous, because at those times neither one of us is watching the road.

I think we'll go back for more biltong later.

Posted by rory at 10:21 AM

May 14, 2003

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hit Alt-F4

Hysterical? Hysteria? Whatever.

Posted by rory at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

Rites is one year old

Today, the rites of Rory turns 1 year old. And looking back, I've realised: I need to do more rants. Hello, Nedbank.

Posted by rory at 11:23 AM

May 13, 2003

The skies of Johannesburg

Ever wonder what the skies look like where I stay? Have a look at what James does...

Posted by rory at 05:02 PM

World, meet Erynne. Erynne, meet world.

At last! Pictures of Erynne.

Posted by rory at 12:21 PM

May 12, 2003

17 inches. I kid you not.

Anything that goes from 1" to 17" has got to be good.

Posted by rory at 03:20 PM

You gotta go to the toilet NOW...

Or "why you shouldn't talk loud when people in reception can hear you."

I'm sitting at my desk, and Adrian comes running up to me.

"You gotta go to the toilet NOW!" he says.

I pause. A million unsavoury images scream past in my head. I burst out laughing, and ask "Is it because of a boy, or is it because of something you haven't flushed?"

"A boy," he replies.

At this point, we're talking pretty loudly. I should add that reception, and the toilets, is about 15 steps from where I sit, around 2 corners.

Off I go. As I step into reception, two things happen: (1) I see the boy, and he sees me, and looks at me with with a bemused expression on his face that kinda makes me realise that (2) I sit really close to reception.

At this point, subtlety and subterfuge now take center stage. I veer away from any direction of the toilets ("What? Me? Talking about you? The toilets? Nope! I'm going... um... upstairs. Yes, upstairs.") and go upstairs.

At which stage I then lingered around Thomas's desk, told him the story, and then swiped a Nando's menu from his desk in an attempt to 'look busy' as I walked back down into reception.

Oh, the boy rated a good decent 8.5 out of 10. Thanks, Princess Adrian!

Posted by rory at 01:30 PM | Comments (1)

The wedding

Just received my invite to Shania & Wayne's wedding. It's so cool -- one of those interactive, put-it-together kind of invites. I gotta take a picture.

Posted by rory at 01:18 PM

Aaw, nuts

Use nuts to hit a squirrel in the...

Posted by rory at 12:56 PM

What kind of font are you?

Lucida Calligraphy - You tend towards the arts.
You tend to stand out in a crowd and have your
own style. Be careful not to be too aloof,

What Font Are You? (Standard Fonts)
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by rory at 09:51 AM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2003

Richard in Washington (part 3)

Richard, on clubbing in Washington: "Cool. Got very drunk. Had lots of fun."

Ha! Richard got drunk!

Posted by rory at 06:25 PM | Comments (1)


Unique, if less than stellar, insights into the minds of other cultures can be gained quite simply through the magic -- and monthly expense -- of satellite television.

Dear reader, as we gaze around the darkened room, we note that the time is of the kind that lurks prior to dawn, a chronological lady of the night, if you will. It’s early. As we tear our uneasy gaze from the gentle glow of the laptop screen, we see that the television programme guide on the big screen indicates the following: American Tractor Pullers Association – Motoring. A further click of the information button disappoints, revealing only the scant underwear of programme details, that the ‘American Tractor Pullers Association (ATPA) is the largest sanctioning body of professional truck and tractor pulling in the United States.’

I haven’t actually elected to switch to that sporting channel right now. I prefer to make judgements and form opinions on the least amount of information possible. The comic possibilities that way are vastly increased, and you always can fall back on that old defence: “but I didn’t know.”

It would seem that a whole hour is dedicated to the magic and machinery of the ATPA. Right now, PAS7/10 is floating approximately 20 000km above us (actually, to be technically correct, it’s floating 20 000km above India. That’s why your DStv dish faces a more horizontal, than vertical, direction, and tends to look like it’s trying its best to eavesdrop on the neighbours. Assuming you still have neighbours.)

Nonetheless, millions of dollars worth of technology sits in a comfortable geostationary orbit high above, faithfully relaying signals from ground stations to suburban cocoons, 24 hours a day. A satellite is good for about 20 years, before wear and tear (presumably from those reckless greys) starts to have an effect, at which point the satellite’s orbit is allowed to degrade, and it ends its ponderous, reflective existence in a fiery salute upon re-entry. Or, if you’re unlucky, your back yard.

But no such ignobility exists for television. Fear not. Television, as a communications device, a culture, and a phenomenon continues to spawn love, hate, understanding, prejudice, and low-priced weight loss programmes at 576 lines, roughly 25 times a second, every moment you are alive. And for quite a long time after that too.

We have succeeded in creating moving picture art. Moving pictures that are colourful fashionable vignettes of the world around us (and sometimes, on the Discovery Channel, of the world in us). And yet these vignettes are so intolerable to us, that we cannot stand to see them still. They have to move. They have to be replaced many times each minute, at a speed that evangelises our persistence of vision to fool us into thinking we are watching continuous motion. Only then are we happy. For to stare at any still image for too long might result in unexpected thought, contemplation, and a bathroom break. The phosphorescence of the cathode ray tube never did work as well as ink on paper.

Don’t get me wrong. I consider myself a television connoisseur. I regard television as a superb access medium for performance. It is relatively cheap, approximates our reality closely enough that the willing suspension of disbelief has now become an outright ban, and most importantly, it comes to you. Here, boy. Good TV, good TV!

So I guess that’s it. Over the last few years I’ve noticed that the quality of televised filmed entertainment has become absolutely stratospheric. Where previously it took sticky floors, popcorn, and silver particles on acetate flying past a lens at high speed for there to be any sort of credibility to the on-screen rendition, now it’s simply a matter of pressing play. If your lounge floor is sticky, so much the better.

Not, I hasten to add, that the amount of absolute dreck has lessened either. But simply because there’s more bad stuff, should never remove attention from the fact that that the good stuff has increased in volume too.

If I’d lived a couple of hundred years ago, my television experience would have involved a long walk, a theatre in the round, airborne fruit, and up-close-and-way-too-personal knowledge of a large amount of my fellow human beings. Now, that long walk is no more than the distance from the kitchen to the lounge, my theatre in the round is comfortably replicated with 5.1 audio, and I get to choose my fellow viewing-experience companions. Occasionally, the fruit still flies.

And of course, that delightful habit of the digital realm, in which it keeps getting smaller, and cheaper, and easier (factors which previously would have sent us scurrying out of a budding relationship), only serve to offer us the opportunity to experience a wider array of information, on our terms, at our leisure. We can record the broadcast media, time-shift it, pass it around to our friends, space-shift it, and consume it once, repeatedly, or not at all.

As I look up, I see that ATPA is no longer on. Their curtain has fallen, and NBA Playoffs have filled the gap. Ah well. Next time. And there will be a next time.


Posted by rory at 04:13 AM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2003

Richard in Washington (part 2)

I ask Richard: "How's Washington?"

He replies: "Wet."

Posted by rory at 10:56 PM

May 09, 2003

Erynne is crotchety

Warren-the-new-dad, after baby Erynne had been screaming and crying all day: "Right now she's calm. Although that's certainly NOT the trend. Very crouchety. Sigh! May take her for a drive just now. Never fails to calm her down."

I ask him how the other girl in his life is.

"Exhausted mentally and physically. Frustrated. She needs sleep the poor dear. I've volunteered for baby duty tonight."

Posted by rory at 10:41 PM

And today...'s "Next!"

Posted by rory at 05:34 PM

Al on holiday (part 7)

Al writes: "Well now boarding the flight back to the UK. 12 hours all during the day as we fly back in time."

Posted by rory at 06:05 AM

May 08, 2003

Al on holiday (part 6)

Al writes: "Well we just went out with a bang. Our last Thai dinner. Squid, King Prawns, muscles, crab, chicken Thai HOT curry. I'm going to explode."

Posted by rory at 01:12 PM

May 07, 2003

Got tweasers?

Trim that nose hair - mind the words.

Posted by rory at 05:31 PM

You have cancer...

xdrquinnx_cancer-crop.jpg because...

Posted by rory at 03:35 PM

Richard in Washington (part 1)

Me to Richard: "Seen any cute American's yet?"

Rich replies: "No, most Americans are not cute at all. I guess most reckon that being American is enough: no need to look good too! Will go clubbing in Wash & report back."

Posted by rory at 03:21 PM

Al on holiday (part 5)

Al writes: Only 1 more day 2 go before we start heading home. I can't wait to get back. Thailand has been fun but not the best holiday. Can't wait to eat some western. food.

Posted by rory at 12:22 PM

If you can do that, I'll go down on you

Can you do voice-over on inept copy? Not even Orson Welles can, apparently.

Posted by rory at 10:57 AM

New desk

Today is the first day that I get to sit at my new desk at the office. Everyone else has been settled in since Friday, Internet-connection-strung over from the old office notwithstanding. Highlight of arriving? Finding a brand-new fly-lead, still in shrinkwrap, on my desk. Ooooh, nice.

So for the past hour I've: moved my desk 90 degrees to the right, located the convenient smoking balcony (exactly eleven steps from my desk), plugged in the laptop, started fetching five day's worth of mail, placed books and other PC-detritus around the desk, and reconfigured my network connections.

Posted by rory at 10:43 AM

May 06, 2003

Al on holiday (part 4)

I ask Al, "You still Thai'd up?"

He replies: "Hell yeah. Sitting down to a nice Thai meal at the moment. Yummy. Sun burnt so had to hide away today."

Posted by rory at 12:24 PM

May 05, 2003


Still working offsite. And the toilets in this place hone. It's truly terrible. Yuk.

Posted by rory at 05:37 PM

May 03, 2003

X-Men II

Saw X-Men II this afternoon. Conclusion?

The world needs more X-Men.

This is a great film. It's great because of a number of reasons. Those reasons are: Cyclops/Scott Summers (played by the James Marsden, who's cheekbones are to die for), Collosus/Piotr Rasputin (played by Daniel Cudmore, who suffers only from the relatively short amount of screen time apportioned to him, but thankfully not from wearing too many clothes in that time that he is on screen), and IceMan/Bobby Drake (played by Shawn Ashmore, who is pure cream-filled goodness).

Onwards, please to X-Men 3 - the Uncut Version.

Posted by rory at 05:34 PM

The joys of motherhood

Lee writes: "Oh my god I think I'm going to die... Had a temp of 39.5 last night with nasty chills. Went to the doctor and I have mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue). I feel like I've been hit by a train."

Posted by rory at 01:34 PM

May 02, 2003

Al on holiday (part 3)

'The beach from 'The Beach' was a bit of a disappointment but we'd been warned that they had jacked it up a bit for movie. Water was emerald green and i've never seen sand that white and fine. Spent the day speedboating around the Thai tropical islands. Snorkeling around the coral. Diving off the speedboat."

Posted by rory at 10:53 AM

May 01, 2003

I am moved to observe (and comment)

I'm sitting on the upper floor of HQ, typing this on the laptop, precariously balanced on a cardboard box (the laptop, not me), which in turn (the laptop, not the cardboard box) is connected via a quick-and-dirty connection to the skeletal remains of the company network (due to move tomorrow, we are assured by Telkom). There is an unsuprising amount of dust on the floor, to which I am uncomfortably close. I'm alone, and hence, smoking. Ha.

It's a Thursday. And the company is moving. Not very far -- just to a much more spacious building about a 200m away. It's really not that distant from the two buildings, that up until Wednesday night, we occupied. Nevertheless, the company, in its most human-capital-sensitive moment yet, hired a moving company.

It's incredible to watch: a penguin of geeks, ambling around, gently wafting back and forth between the old and the new spaces, while a gang of sweaty, yellow-T-shirt clad men lug our office detritus into a moving van. That will then take, oh, about 3 minutes to drive to the new building (out office park, down the road for a couple of meters, and right into the new parking space. Which, I am told, is already not big enough for us. Ah, well.)

I do not like moving. I hate moving. I loathe moving. If it were human, I'd be locked up for committing a moving violation. And I'd have done it with malice, foresight, and a large blunt object (most likely the humour of Nkosasana Zuma).

But this move -- this superb, stunning, chilled gathering -- has proven to be the most delightful movement, barring the bowel, I've ever had the pleasure of being around to witness.

All praise the company. All praise the yellow-T-shirt men. Someone else sweated on our behalf, while we swanned about the new offices, laying claim to good lighting, and the chairs that don't squeak.

I, and all the others of the new Order, are moved.

Posted by rory at 03:06 PM

Al on holiday (part 2)

"Well, just spent another day tanning by the pool. Lobster tan achieved. Ouch. Lol. Weather is still great. Bit overcast morning but cooked in afternoon. Tomorrow we go to the islands where the movie 'The Beach' was made and we get to swim in that lagoon."

Posted by rory at 12:34 PM