STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


This is not going to be a very exciting, nor fun to read post. I just needed to write it anyways.

My drive to work this morning was plauged by this overwhelming sense of disapointment. I suddenly had this horrible realisation that I'm not anywhere near where I wanted to be 5 years ago. True, I'm married and have a beautiful little boy, but still... There's something not quite right about it all. This especially applies to my job. I went to uni for 4 years and became a qualified computer scientist, specialising in software development. And yet, I haven't developed a piece of software since I graduated. If I was a legitimate Systems Admin at a company that (for starters) recognised it's need for one, maybe I'd feel better about doing this instead of writing the next killer OS or madly popular MMORPG, but unfortunatley I work at a school where IT is relegated to a support service at best. {begin sarcasm}Everyone needs it to do their job, but why on earth would people be employed JUST to do I.T.? I mean, they don't TEACH?!? What are they doing here? {end sarcasm}
And that, my friends, is the question. What on earth am I doing here? I feel rather trapped by it all now. My job offers me the most awesome of conditions: I start at 8am at earliest, and finish around 4pm most days. I can take days off to look after my family, or go home if my wife is having a hard time with our little boy and my boss and his boss are cool with it. It's 20mins from home. I get free hardware if it's not needed anymore, and I have access to a host of benifits like Microsoft software with no cost to me and a Technet Plus subscription.
So what's so bad about it? I think I've mentioned this previously, but EVERYONE acts like they're my boss. All 180 odd staff. And there is very little I can do about it. My boss acts like he's in control and that he's got plans upon plans to get I.T. to a position of prominance in the school, but so far all he's done is make us more work, and fold to people's demands. One of his current suggestions is to sub-contract me and my workmate out to other companies/schools who could use our expertise. But why would I contract under the banner of my work, when it has no reputation for contract work, and I'd be in just as good of a place if I just went out on my own? If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that it's kind of panned out that way anyways, and so I can't see that ever coming about. Aside from the fact, I have no desire to do contract work. It destroys the above-mentioned conditions (ie: I have to travel further, will need to work for longer hours, etc.) with very little payoff, other then the suggestion I may recieve a pay increase at some future stage. My boss makes a lot of promises you know, and very rarely follows through on any of them. Example? He promised me and my workmate an $100 gift voucher for Christmas, and then just never delivered. Also promised a staff Christmas lunch, and also never delivered. There's a lot of non-delivery here. Pretty morale destroying if you ask me.
But see, there's just one more thing... I don't WANT to do this stuff. For starters, I want to be the boss of at least my own little world. Presently, I'm the boss of very little. I kind of control the server infrastructure and if I put my foot down heavily enough, I can stop my boss or coworkers from destroying the Active Directory schema while attempting to reconfigure Exchange because someone didn't recieve an email. For the most part however, I get very little sway.

{NOTE: Now 8pm, finishing this at home. Otherwise, you may wonder why I'm complaining when I appear to get to play Playstation at work... I don't. I'm at home, silly.}
Also, I want to work with stuff I love, or if not, be allowed to do stuff I love while at work and share it with others. What do I mean? Well, I LOVE games and anime. Not just a little, but a heck of a lot. I now have close to 200 anime DVDs and also have 5 RPG-style games on backlog for me to play through. I own EVERY Final Fantasy game ever released. Currently, I have the intro movie for Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time playing in the background, as I intend to play it after I'm finished this blog entry. I get absorbed into anime and games. I only like games with good stories and that's what I love about anime - the story. It's what it's all about for me.
And that's why I wanted first and most unrealistically, to be a game writer/producer/director. I have a couple of stories and ideas I've thought up over the past 8 odd years for different games, parts of games, stories... Just stuff that I think would be really awesome to do. I have some code background, so I think I'd be able to interface really well with the programmers, and being a gamer myself, I think I have a pretty darn good idea about what cuts it and what doesn't.
I've thought of a couple of other jobs I could be happy doing, but most of them are pretty limited fields, and really, without experience in that field I won't get a job in the field, and then can't get experience, and so won't get a job. So yeah, not fun.
However, the other thing is that I think I could be happy in a job like the one I'm in if there were a couple of other people who were just a bit like me. Who liked anime, or games, or both. Even different games... Like, I like RPGs mostly, but I can always go a good game of Quake III, or Warcraft or something.. However, my boss likes woodwork and tennis, and my coworker likes pirating kids DVDs (he has kids who watch them) and watching TV on his computer. Both of them have said they don't really get the whole game thing, so the anime thing would be completely out of the question.

I'm going to stop now, because I want to get in some gaming this evening while my wife is away and I can monopolise on the living room. Basically, I don't like my job, because nothing about it in any way reflects who I am and what I want to accomplish. It's not me. It's some other guy who is boring and is only in computers for the money, and has a TAFE certifictate in something vaguely computer related. Not me.

On a completely different note, Nobuo Uematsu has resigned from Square-Enix, along with the guy who (I believe) wrote all the good Final Fantasy games, Hironobu Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi-san has started his own company, and has signed to develop for the next-gen Xbox. Uematsu-san is proberbly going to start his own company as well, and hasn't ruled out composing for future Square-Enix games. OK, this all sucks. Why, you might ask? I think it might spell the end of the greatest game series and company of all time.

EDIT: You know what? I jump to too many negative conclusions. It appears, according to this Wikipedia page, that Nobuo Uematsu left Square Enix and started his own company, "Smile Please", and will compose for both Square Enix and Hironobu Sakaguchi's new company. Looks to me like he was avoiding a Sony/Microsoft conflict of intrests. Clever man. THE MUSIC IS NOT DEAD!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Hey, I know I haven't posted in a while, but you reckon a comment wouldn't go astray? You don't even have to be a member anymore... It's just nice to know who's reading.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Workin workin workin...

I'm at work at the moment. Not coping too well either. I'm not very useful when I'm sick, and I'm in the office on my own. My coworkers have conveniently found other work to do that involves them being completely uncontactable and me having no idea of what they are doing or where exactly they are. They are too clever. I should have thought of that.
More later...

{the next day - 11:22am}
You know what I love? Drugs. Not the illegal variety, mind you. Just over-the-counter, pharmacy or perscription. Oh, and a bit of herbal never goes astray either. They are just plain cool. Mind you, I only like stuff that I know goes in, does it's job, and gets the heck outta there. Immunisation and stuff like that I think is a bit scary... Goes in, makes some major change, and hangs around for the rest of your life. Not quite so pleasent.

Here's where I am at the moment:

This is my office. Well, actually, it's the server room too, and the office of at least 2 other people, and more often then not, there's 3 others. My computer(s) are the ones on the left, and that's where I spend the vast majority of my life. Sad, yeah? I think so. I mean, there's a couple of problems here. One is that the organisation I work for will employ 3 people and shove them in a room that's proberbly about right for 1.5 people. And then they'll put 7 odd servers in there, which makes it about right for 0 people, because the noise drives you crazy. So how much value do they place in their IT department? Hmm, not much.

Here's me today:

w00t for my iPaq camera. I'm feeling like someone's filled my head with melted cheese today, so please excuse the not-goodness of my appearence. I just thought it was time for a photo or two.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Science Of Things

"I don't know what they're gonna think of next
genetic engineers are the most high tech..."
~ Switchfoot, "Adding to the Noise"

The above lyric, I can relate to. I find it a little disconcerting that the most valued scientists on the "cutting edge" at this point in time are working on ways to modify the very building blocks of life. As a Christian, the idea that someone would desire to mess with something that God set up to create and maintain life is scary. What's worse, is when society as a whole holds up those people as those with the most to offer society. I mean, 15 years ago it was rocket scientists and astronauts who held this position of status, but once we realised that space wasn't going to offer us the elixir of eternal life any time soon, we quickly moved them onto the bench. Now, I saw geneticists starting to do things that I could see might begin to encroach on the lives of individuals, and I started to feel a bit like "What gives them the right to mess with someone's life?!?" I mean, to create a clone for example? That person will be a new individual, in someone else's body. It's just not right, and I think human cloning is generally regarded as not a good idea, but as scientists slowly push the envelope, I'm sure eventually society will "come around".

However, here's the thing. Taking liberties with an individuals life is one thing, but here's something that blew me away. I got an email from a friend that had a link to this wonderfully humorous and yet slightly disturbing website about ways to destroy the earth. The thing about the site is that all the ways listed are completely plausible, even though the time and resources involved might be (well, are) beyond a lifetime's work, or the skills/attributes of a human being. So anyways, one of the options is to "create a stable strangelet", using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider(RHIC) at the Brookhaven National laboratory. Now the question is, what is a strangelet? It's a particular form of quark matter, that if a negatively charged instance formed, would devour all matter in the universe. There is no known theory that could cause it to stop.
That scares me.

Now, people have put forward the notion that this RHIC thing is dangerous. That there's the possibility, however remote, that it could form a mini-black hole, or a change in the vacuum state of the universe, along with this strangelet business. So they did a study and wrote a paper arguing that it won't happen. Here's my problem with this:

Science is, in essence, a group of ideas that remain true until proven false. So people do experiments over and over to see that they get the same result; whilever the result is the same, the theory remains true. You get a failure, suddenly it's not true. This has happened time and time again, and scientists constantly are reassessing the details of what they hold to be true.

So the above mentioned paper, talks about how the scientists feel the chance of this stuff happening is so remote, it's impossible. Check this quote:

The hypothetical chain of events that might lead to a catastrophe at RHIC requires several independent, robust theoretical arguments to be wrong simultaneously.

Right. So you've got 4 iron struts supporting a 1Kg weight, but if the weight falls to the ground, the universe is destroyed. I have to say, I wouldn't be putting the weight up there. Even if the chance is one in a googolplex that it'll happen, you could fluke it and have it happen in the first 10 minutes. And then no more universe...

Here's another fun one:

Such rough calculations cannot answer the delicate question of whether or not strange matter is bound at zero external pressure reliably. Stability seems unlikely, but not impossible.

"...unlikely, but not impossible"?? Once again with the scary.

Now, if you bothered to read the paper, you'll know that they basically ruled out black holes, and vacuum disruption, and said that the chance of a strangelet forming are close to nil. Mind you, again, science is by definition theories that remain true until proven false. If any of the theories these arguments are based on gets proved wrong at the RHIC, we're not going to know about it for long.

My question in all of this is simple: If someone suggests that maybe there is the rarest of chances that something you're doing could destroy the universe, why would you continue? This isn't science fiction here... there's a plausible (however unlikely) argument that we could all be transformed into quark plasma by a rampaging negatively charged strangelet. So I say yay for science. Yay for people taking chances with life, and now, the universe. And what for? So we can look at ourselves and say "Aren't we good? Look what we found out!" Hrm. I'm not convinced.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

There's nothing worse...

I hate being sick. Like, I truely dispise it. Having a day off when you're sick is the most depressing thing ever. You have time, but you have no strength to use it for anything fun or productive. Bleh...

I have a mad entry brewing about my views on ion coliders. "What you say?", I hear you cry. You'll have to wait until I'm well again, I'm afraid...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The post I couldn't get to post - reloaded. poorly.

EDIT(17/03/05, 10:33pm): After some emails from the guy who prompted this post, I think it best to disclaim it by saying that all the flamey anger in here really isn't his fault. It's more a product of years of people undervaluing me, and his one email just happened to turn me into a raging ball of blogging terror. So while it will remain here as written, no comment here is meant to be a personal attack at anyone.

Right, I’m going to get this out if I have to sit here ALL NIGHT. I’m sick as a dog who is sick as a dog that’s sick, but I don’t flippin’ care. I wrote a great blog post, and I’m going to recreate the magic for you now, just like in that Aladdin Disney movie. Only with substantially more violence. Like if the genie had been armed with a chainsaw, or a rocket launcher or something…

So I’m getting better at writing this each time. The first time, it was a reactionary and hurt-filled response to what I would call an unnecessarily pointed email. The last time, it was a well constructed response that canvassed all the necessary points in explaining my point-of-view. So what will it be this time? I don’t know, but I’m starting to get concerned that I’m trapped in a loop of eternal return – forever destined to rewrite this post.

So to the beginning again. What started it all, is this post in my blog. In response to this offer of contract work, I needed to come to a decision on what was reasonable pay for this kind of service. So I sent an email to a bunch of my friends who are in IT related careers. I got a variety of responses, but all of them seemed to have one thing in common: They were all substantially lower then what I had expected. Not only that, but they were substantially lower then what had been suggested by the guy employing me. He’d said that he would expect to be paying between $100 and $200 an hour, and after some thought, I settled on $140 an hour.
The next thing that happened is that I thought it would be worth encouraging my friends that maybe their skills were worth more then they thought. That maybe, they were undervaluing themselves and could expect to be paid more for their services. So I sent an email to this effect.
What followed was a reply from a guy who I have respect for both as a person and as an IT professional, but after his response, the former isn’t so intact. He ridiculed both me and my assessment of what is a reasonable rate of pay, and suggested I was ripping off the people employing me. I’m generally not happy. Here’s some of what I’m talking about:

“Personally I think over $100 per hour just to set up and install a Windows Server and Active Directory is a bit rich! I would have a problem paying that much. The skills need to perform this type of thing well are not in short supply, in fact there are a lot of people out there these days that could competently do this sort it. I would consider a single server environment like this to be a very basic network and so would feel embarrassed to ask for more than around $90 per hour.”

OK, I’ve written this one too many times. I’m a bit over it, to be honest. Here is the abridged version:
The above is based on a bunch of ideas that I don’t believe are true. One is that there are a lot of people who can do the work I’ve been asked to do. I think this is untrue – there are a lot of people who will claim to be able to do this work. I have seen this first hand a bunch of times. People claim to be able to do it, but then botch it up royally, because they were just trying to talk up their employability. Secondly, just being able to do it isn’t good enough. You need to be able to do it well, and the person employing you needs to know this. You need to have a good reputation, and if you do, you should charge accordingly. Believe it or not, I have a good reputation amongst people I’ve done this kind of work for.
Lastly, and most annoyingly, it’s based on the idea that the guy who wrote it is substantially “better” then me. The email very blatantly implies that if I charge more then he would, that I’m ripping off my employer. That makes me very angry.

I want to write more, but I’m just too tired and too fed up. This is a crap post I know but I wanted to write something about it. So maybe a half baked sum-up is in order:
I am good at what I do. I am worth the money I get paid. Maybe even more. Don’t think so? Well keep your craphouse negative opinions to yourself.

You're not going to believe this...

Business first up: I've enabled commenting for those without Blogspot accounts. I didn't even realise I needed to do this, but having had the revelation, it is done. I'd prefer if you didn't comment anonymously, but hey it's a FREE WORLD (assuming you belong to the lucky 3% of the world's population).

Alright, down to it. Last night, I wrote a scathingly flame-filled response in this blog to an email that I'd received. I smiled to myself as I finished it off, thinking how nicely it char-grilled the (extremely negative/offensive) opinions of the guy who wrote it. I clicked the submit button, and then realised I hadn't run spell check. So I quickly hit "Back", at which point I was presented with the form I just been typing in, but completely devoid of any remnant of my previous rantings. Gone...

{insert considerable time lapse}

ARRRRGHHHHHH!!!! THE PAIN!!! Below this point, this evening, I REWROTE this post. I spent a couple of hours putting together a good 5 or 6 paragraphs of content, with which I was incredibly happy. I hit the "Publish Post" button, and it pushed me to a login page. I logged in, my post was gone. Back to the point at which I'd last saved a draft. I could feel the charges fading inside thousands of tiny capacitors...

From now on, I'm writing these biatches in Word.

Useless Factoid
Justin's Mood: ARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Small Celebrations

Those who know me best know that my biggest gripe in life is being under appreciated. No place is this more of an issue for me then in my job. The vast difference between what my job description says I do, and what I ACTUALLY do is astronomical. Actually, I'd suggest the astronomical difference is just a bit under 100K a year. I have constructed an entire directory-based managed network infrastructure for nearly 400 clients, all of which I can manage from a single workstation. There are a few small exceptions to this (which is a cause of much unhappiness on my behalf), but the quality of my work I believe to be extremely high. However, the people who should be noticing this (being my boss, the executive, etc.) don't seem to give a rip. I think my boss might even be "fudging" the direction of appreciation by using the royal "We". You know what I mean - things like: "What we've done, is we've upgraded the internet bandwidth, and then optomised the firewall policy to prioritise... etc, etc." Now, this makes him look fantastic, because he is the head of the "we", and makes the decisions, and so it must be his doing when things improve, right? Except he's trained as an electrical engineer and I don't think he understands much beyond the difference between a switch and a router. Even then, he wouldn't cope with the details of a routing protocol.

Anyways, on to the point. I got a call today from the head of a company we deal with semi-regularly at work. They do software development, and we have one of their products. I've worked alongside their developers a lot, and they seem to have been well impressed with my sysadmin knowlege. Anyways, he said that they needed to setup a particular server configuration including establishing an Active Directory forest, it needed to work first off, and that he'd like to pay me to set it up for them. He said they thought I'd be best for the job. OK, I am so STOKED!! It's so awesome to have someone say "Hey, your work is awesome" (not in those words necissarily...) and even better when they say "...and I want to pay you money for it."

Today officially rocks.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Never again

Not long ago, a good friend of my parents gave me a call. Their son had bought an Xbox and had signed up for an Xbox Live subscription, and 4 months (and 4 monthly payments) later still hadn't managed to successfully hook it up to his internet connection. He'd heard I was pretty good with computers, and was wondering if I might come and remedy this situation, as his son was being duped by sales people into buying lots of networking hardware that he didn't seem to need. I obliged happily, and they insisted on some payment, so I charged them $50. They were quite impressed. This was around 4-5 months ago I think.

Anyways, on Monday this week, I got a call out of the blue from a lady who said she was an old friend of my parents, and also of the above-mentioned family. They had told her that I was good with computers, and she was having some issues with hers that she couldn't resolve. So she was calling to see if perhaps I would like to come and help her with the issues she was having, and of course, she would pay me.

At this point, something inside of me said "This probably isn't a good idea - you don't even know these people". However, we are a little short of money at the moment, so I decided that it couldn't hurt...

When I rocked up, the lady I'd spoken to on the phone greeted me at the door, and promptly showed me to the study where the computer was. It is an older machine, running Windows 98, and appeared to have been reformatted. She explained to me that it had been having lots of errors and so the computer shop had reinstalled Windows, but not put anything back on, and all she really needed was someone to install it all for her again. So I spent a couple of hours running through install processes and downloading updates from the internet. At the point at which I left, I hadn't seen a single error, and everything had gone completely according to plan. With $100 in my pocket, I walked out the door expecting that I would proberbly wind up with some more buisness in the future, seeing as how good this fixing computers things seems to go for me...

About 20 mins ago, I got another phone call from this lady, reporting big problems with her computer. She had installed the critical Windows Updates as I'd instructed her, along with the free version of ZoneAlarm (which I didn't recommend, but was recommended by her Computer Club buddies) and now things were going awry. She'd gone to print, and the printer wasn't there, and then when she tried to add it, she'd got an exception error. She'd choosen to end whatever program had thrown it (proberbly Outlook Express by the sound of it) and then her computer frozen. Anyone who has used Win98se a lot, will know that if you're getting stuff like this, it's time to upgrade to XP. It's just plain easier then trying to track down what possible combination of software and/or hardware is causing the problem. And sometimes, it's neither, the thing just doesn't like you.

So what do I do? She obviously was unimpressed that these problems have come up after shelling out for my time, but this is an issue I can't resolve. An old computer, with an old version of Windows. Combine it with some brand-spankin' new USB devices, and the whole thing is just a recepie for bad shenanigans. So I've advised her to unplug all the USB goodies, and see if it solves the problem. The thing about it is, regardless of the result, the answer is still the same: she needs a new PC. If the USB peripherals are too new that they're causing her computer to have coniptions, then she can't buy older bits. She'll have to update her computer... And if it's the PC itself, well the answer there is obvious.

So now, she's got my number at home, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what happens next, she won't be happy, and will call me to tell me about it. Next time, I'm going to listen to that thing inside me that says no money is worth this kind of situation...

Useless fact about this post
Currently on TV: The Simpsons

Computer-related gufuffle: PC & Mac

My morning at work has once again been filled with the joy that is teachers and their laptops. Being a workplace with flexible guidlines as far as staff and technology is concerned, teachers are free to select and purchase their own laptops, and then turn around to me and say "Here is an obscure piece of hardware, please configure it to work seamlessly with our network setup." Right now (aside from my own personal machine of l33t), I have on my desk an ancient Dell Pentium II laptop someone was donated by a "kind" family member, and an Apple G3 Powerbook that has been discarded by one member of staff, and picked up by their spouse, who also happens to be a member of staff. For all those who aren't getting the picture, this is not quality hardware...

For those of you who are semi-computer boffinish, we run an Active Directory-based network setup. Being a school, centerallised management is paramount. Students try to break stuff constantly, and staff are not keen to train, but have little idea about basic computer useage. So basically, we have to make sure the system does everything for them, and we decided that AD's Group Policy coupled with Windows XP clients was the best way to achieve this.

So then one of these users who likes everything done for them goes out and buys a brand spanking new Mac Powerbook without bothering to consult with the IT as to whether this a good idea for her. Now, we can happily make Macs play on our network, but the user needs to have some fairly solid computing knowlege. You need to know how to mount an SMB share(linked for those of you that don't!) in OSX for a start, and although it's fairly straight-forward if you know how, for those people who like to just doubleclick "My Documents" and have all their network data be in there, it's a fairly substantial leap in logic. And on that note, most of the users here get offended if you suggest they should have to know how to do anything other then click on an icon.

So why am I writing this? Because I need to vent my frustration at the fact I'm setting up yet another laptop that will be back in a couple of weeks with it's owner for an explanation of why it's not working exactly the way they imagined that it would. Users suck, I swear...

Monday, March 07, 2005

How quickly it changes...

EDIT: For those reading this post, I should indicate that after some discussion with those involved, both my wife and I are feeling much better about the motivations behind the actions this post judges rather harshly. Blogs in essence are fairly reactionary, and I just wanted to indicate that we've taken what I believe is always the best course of action, which is to deal with issues rather then just pretend like they're not there.

I am NOT HAPPY. My church has once again managed to screw over the little guys. Anyone from church reading this, sorry, but this is really the depths of poor form:

We are having our son dedicated. For those of you unversed in the ways of the more Pentecostal Christian denominations, it just means that parents stand up the front with their child, and the leaders and church pray that they'll do a good job of bringing up the child in the way God wants them to be brought up. Something that, given different circumstances, I'd be jumping up and down to organise for my son.

In our church, this has become incredibly marginalised in it's importance during a Sunday service. When I was little, the church I went to would mould a whole Sunday's service around babies being baptised. While I guess dedication is different to baptism, in terms of it "fitting into the service" a dedication is far less difficult to fit into a service, and yet my current church are so inflexible you wouldn't believe it. A dedication consists of a song, either performed by the church band, or played from a CD, while a slide show of photos of the child are displayed on the big screens we have. Then, the parents are called up on stage while the pastor prays for them and presents them with a certificate. All in all, it takes maybe 7 minutes. Now here's where it gets infuriating...

Dedications are ONLY done on the 3rd Sunday of each month. No exceptions. Unless of course you are someone important. You cannot have a week to yourself. If another family want their child dedicated on the same week, they can have it. This would be cool, except that there's not two songs or anything... they just shuffle the photos of the two babies together, and the parents agree on the song together. So now, you get half the time for your child. Nothing outside of this formula will be considered - unless, again, you are someone important. Then you can do whatever you like.

We wanted a particular song for our son's dedication, and we had to share our Sunday, so we asked the other parents and they liked our song too, and so agreed to have it. When we gave the CD to the person who organises the music, she said we couldn't have it, as it didn't fit the "flow" of the service. She recommended some cheezy song that neither of us had ever heard before, because it only needs a guitar and a vocalist, and the guitarist and vocalist already know the song. We were fine with just playing the CD, but apparently that's no good either. The "flow" cannot be tampered with...

I go to a church, where a layperson's new life is so unimportant, that it warrants around 4 minutes of preprogrammed ritual. NOT what I want for my son. If that's all the time they can spare, I want my son's 4 minutes to be filled with stuff that speaks of what we hope for his life, and of real heartfelt prayers of people who care for him and for us. Is that such a big thing to ask?

Stuff it, you know. Stuff it. Let them do it however they want. We'll just have our own thing afterwoods with people who actually give half a stuff...

Matthew 3 (Justin's Edit of NIV)
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

And John the Baptist replied "Shhh, God. You're interrupting my flow!"

My first RELIGIOUS post

I've spent this afternoon in the office of one of my church's pastors. My wife and I have been attending Hawkesbury Church for a number of years now, and we've been a little unhappy of late. I don't want this particular post to be a whinge, mind you, as we're trying to work through the issues we have. Mind you, there are issues... I only say this because I'd like this post to serve as a reminder to myself that there are somethings that shouldn't be compromised.

"Our beliefs are according to the Bible, which is the infallible and authoritative Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17"
This is a quote from my church's website. In my meeting this afternoon, this fundamental belief is what I went in to defend. The bible is the authoritative and infallible Word of God. Not the "gist" of it, or it coupled with some other form of evidence... Just the Bible. This is why I'm a bible-believing Christian, and not a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness or some other variant of the truth (be offended, I don't care). Anyways, as it turns out, I came to sort of an... arrangement... with myself and my pastor. My wife and I had been thinking about leaving, and had mentioned this. We'd been going to another church a couple of times, just to try it on for size. We feel that our current church is starting to head in some directions that we're not entirely happy about, and that we don't have an avenue to challenge these ideas. Don't like it, can't change it, then leave - right? Well, that's where we were at. However, during this meeting this afternoon, my pastor said that perhaps we hadn't really given our church a fair chance. Although we felt unable to speak about our issues, we hadn't really tried very hard, and although I'm still skeptical about whether I'll see any real change out of all of this, I agreed to give it a chance.

So yep, there it is. If you're a complete stranger reading this, I promise if you ever return I will write more about interesting stuff next time (if ever) you return.

The American Way

Something short: There is nothing more irritating to me as a non-American citizen of the world, then when I am forced to apply American standards to my stuff. For example, DVD manufacturers couldn't be bothered reauthoring their DVDs from NTSC to PAL, so I have to buy a TV that supports NTSC. I hate that.
What brings this to my mind is the fact that the date on my blog setting page threw an error because I entered it as day/month/year when it wants it entered as month/day/year. Now the question I need to ask here is: WHAT IDIOT THOUGHT UP THAT IDEA??? Month then day then year??? Could you be any more mixed up? Why don't you just reorder the place values of numbers so that 123 is actually 2 hundreds, 1 ten, and 3 ones. That would make as much sense, wouldn't it? And yet, everyone can see that to do that would be the most stupid idea ever. I would like to apply that logic then, to the American date format. It is, officially, the most stupid idea ever.

Look at me, look at me, I want everyone to look at me! ON STARQUEST!

Well, hey. I've been planning to do this forever, and finally, here it is. A place for me to unload my ideas and (more commonly) my cranky-ass beefs with the world for everyone to observe, ponder, and maybe point and laugh.
I'm at work at the moment. That comment for people who know me will conjour up many long conversations about the reasons why my workplace makes me unhappy. I work at a school as an Systems Admin, and of all the places on earth someone could work supporting a computer network, a school would have to be the most hellish. Especially this school. The reasons for this are simple: Teachers are very aware of the fact that the buisness of the school hinges on their profession, not yours. This means that in a school with 160 odd staff, they all consider themselves my boss. Can you imagine what it's like to have 160 bosses? It is t3h 3v1L. My only consolation is in the fact that I manage the firewall, and therefore can spend what little downtime I can organise chatting to my wife, or downloading anime off bittorrent. Ah, bittorrent.
Alright, well. This is not what I will expect my standard blogging to look like, but I thought seeing as I've never written anything on here before, I'd start with a piece of crap about just what I'm pondering at the second I create this blog. w00t. There it is.