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Azrael's Weblog

Show entry for 2004-02-01 Sunday 01 Feb 2004
Sunday 01 Feb 2004
Hmm.. a bit grumpy about my network situation at home. I decides to set the router up to dhcp-allocate from a set of internal-only addressable IPs, and use NAT to have the outside world locate services on my linux box. It works.. and the 802.11g works.. but means that the block of 8 externally addressable IPs I pay for monthly isn't being used.. which is a shame.

Angel 5x11 - some of the best Angel ever! Just what I love about it, dark, gritty, horrific. I wasn't too convinced with Andrew as the council's best man.. but it did provide for a good reunion with Spike and a great ending.. and ending that only hints at possible further metaplot. As to Dana in the role of a psycho slayer.. far more comfortable to accept than Faith's simple 'joy of the hunt -> accidental death -> turn evil' thread.

Show entry for 2004-02-02 Monday 02 Feb 2004
Monday 02 Feb 2004
Overslept this morning and was alomost late for work. Well.. I was probably about 5 minutes late.. but that's neither here nor there. Fortunatly I don't have anyone strictly monitoring me for such things.

Show entry for 2004-02-04 Wednesday 04 Feb 2004
Wednesday 04 Feb 2004
A training session today.. teaching people how to use charts in Excel.. should be as fun as bashing my head against a wall. I gave this session last term, so I know what needs to be done, so it won't even be a new experience - giving a particular session for the first time can be exciting as I try not to mess it up ;)

Now and then, for lunch, I go to a kebab shop on Oxford street. Today the man at the till told the man serving to give me extra chicken as I'm a regular customer that should be kept happy. It gave me momentary pleasure, but after a few seconds had me questioning the motivation. Every time I eat there i eat too much anyway and leave bloated.. so it's not as if I even want any more meat in my serving.. so is it ust a ruse to try and encourage my further partonage, or was it really just a spontaneous expression of goodwill to a recognised face? And am I really that bored at work that I have to rationalise through such trivial events?

Show entry for 2004-02-06 Friday 06 Feb 2004
Friday 06 Feb 2004
A fun training session today, with only 1 person signed up. How annoying.. but maybe it will allow the session to be shorter and let me get away sooner.

Show entry for 2004-02-09 Monday 09 Feb 2004
Monday 09 Feb 2004
Mozilla Firebird is dead.. long live Mozilla Firefox.

Get Firefox

Back in '96 I went to the USA with a friend, did quite a lot of travelling around on greyhound, and today I came across a site that lets one select the states visited and generates a map of visited states.
Needless to say, I have generated (below) a map that shows all the states I have visited - though some only seen out the window as the bus sped through.

USA 96 - States Visited
Visited 20 states (39%)

I must add, that I am relying on current greyhound routes for the map, as it's hard to remember exact routes taken back in '96 - perhaps I should dig out my old diary and chat to my friend to dredge up more details.

Show entry for 2004-02-12 Thursday 12 Feb 2004
Thursday 12 Feb 2004
I'm sure it is only an author's tool to keep the reader (listener in this case) on the edge of their seat, and emotionally involved in the plot, but many aspects of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books are really frustrating me.

Time and time again characters do what I would regard as being the wrong thing.. and it is not simply a case of the reader knowing better.. but that characters actually just make illogical choices.. hmm.. don't want to sound like a member of the White Aja here. These wrong choices of course lead to undoubtedly exciting plot deviations and fill out the books.. which is probably for the best, but I can't help at times wanting to scream for how stupid the charcter is being.

In addition, I also find myself frustrated at the way the author deals with women. Strong women are of course required in a book, simply because any character being weak makes for boring reading. However at first strong women appear to be the exception.. making them stand out and be interesting.. but over time every single female character of note ends up being overbearing, constantly insulting the male characters, and difficult to believe.

Maybe the purpose of this is for Rand's character to truly stand out above all other male characters, being the only one to effectively be able to stand up to aes-sedai time and again. But that doesn't explain why seemingly every other section of people come across (Aiel, Seafolk, Seanchan) seem to possess a female dominated society. And it descends right down to the women's circle of Rand's home village alays having more control than the Mayor and town leaders.

I applaud any author that makes women have equal standing in the world they create, but it makes me wonder if RJ grew up being oppressed by female family members, as that is ultimately all that the female characters end up doing.. mostly for no real reason other than wishing to.

Today I finished the 6th book.. with 9 Salidar-originated aes sedai kneeling to Rand.. which is I suppose contrary to most of what I've just ranted about.. but it is a situation born out of the aes-sedai intractability towards Rand all the way through, and his own inability to be able to get them to treat him as an equal. That in itself makes sense within the world, except that that struggle is mirrored in every other male-female relationship (except that so far those always end up in favour of the female characters). In RJ's world, the saying that women cannot be understood really is true.

Show entry for 2004-02-15 Sunday 15 Feb 2004
Sunday 15 Feb 2004
Posting this part of today's 'blog before the England match (England's opening match in the 6 nations) against Italy. I supose England are favourite to win, but there have been many changes from the world cup winning squad. J Wilkinson is out injured, and M Johnson (captain) has retired from international rugby. With England as the reigning world champions, every oponent will pull out all the stops, and today may be a bit of a brutal match - should be fun to watch.

16:44 England win 50 to 9, with J Robinson man of the match scoring a hatrick of tries, some very spectacular tries too.

Show entry for 2004-02-21 Saturday 21 Feb 2004
Saturday 21 Feb 2004
More Rugby today, inc the Calcutta cup - which was unsurprisingly won by England.

Show entry for 2004-02-24 Tuesday 24 Feb 2004
Tuesday 24 Feb 2004
Strange day at work today, a lot of people are on strike today and tomorrow.. and I wish i was a member of the union too.. though seems a little mercenary to join up just in order to get 2 days off - and I'd lose pay for it. Still it means that I am along in the office today, and the whole place is a little emptier than normal.

Show entry for 2004-02-25 Wednesday 25 Feb 2004
Wednesday 25 Feb 2004
Angel 5x14 is a very very peculiar episode. There are moments that seem ridiculous, and yet at times it does manage to feel a little bit scary. At times it reaches the dark gritty atmosphere that I wish Angel had more often - and while the lighter moments were great.. I am sometimes torn in appreciating them and conversely finding them irritating for pulling us away from the scary.

Show entry for 2004-02-26 Thursday 26 Feb 2004
Thursday 26 Feb 2004
Introduction to Publisher class today (for staff) went so much better than last Tuesday as I presented it to students. I suppose the difference is I don't have people unable to follow simple instructions like 'click on this button'.

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