The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Big Bronze John

Friday 19 August 2005 at 9:38 pm

A statue of our greatest-ever PM (and I don’t just say that ’cos I went to a school named for him) went up recently near the Fremantle Town Hall, as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the Victory in the Pacific.

John Curtin in bronze, holding up a roll of paper

I like how it illustrates the Australian psyche: we hold our pollies in such high regard that when we erect statues of them, we depict them in the state of swatting flies.

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How to bring down a mail server

Wednesday 17 August 2005 at 9:19 pm

Today while I was at work UWA’s central mail relay server melted. Well, not literally, but it was overwhelmed by spam being sent by zombied computers on account of the latest worm outbreak. (Speaking of said outbreak, twas amusing to see a column I sometimes read claiming that the same hole these worms are using wasn’t a big issue …)

This was only a 45-minute outage, but it just so happened to coincide with me getting a bunch of new spam messages in a few minutes. Hrm.

A bunch of new spam

Curiously enough we didn’t get a horde trying to beat down our support office door like what normally happens when a big server goes down. Maybe people didn’t care their e-mail didn’t work because of all the rain today?

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The beginning of the end?

Tuesday 9 August 2005 at 11:54 pm

Today was the first sitting day of Parliament after the horrible, draconian, evil future that Australia’s stupid voters unwittingly unleashed upon themselves (or so the newspapers were claiming). That is, today was the first day that John Howard was able to play with his new Senate majority.

But contrary to the stories of the doom and gloom that would befall us when that crazy new Queenslander and his comrades took their seats, today was marked by the same old party bickering that always seems to go on in Canberra.

As usual the anti-Howard crowd are moaning that this is the beginning of the end, but I wonder if it’ll just be a continuation of business as usual. Today, at least, was an example of the latter … but how long will things stay like that?

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A random list of stuff

Sunday 7 August 2005 at 11:46 pm
  • I am presently short of sleep, money, petrol, and pasta sauce, in that order.
  • Both Ricky and Cara have been rather quiet lately. Coincidence? I think not!
  • Like everyone with a 3D card and broadband line, I’ve been playing with Google Earth (and also the web-app version). Even for non-US locations it has lots of cool stuff, like elevation data (w00t!) plus markers for lakes and towns that seem to have only just appeared. And in the US, tick the “Keyhole Community” layer option to see such fascinating markers as World’s Largest Light Bulb and CURL UP AND DYE.
  • I wonder, just what have the designers at Apple been smoking these days?

Crazy construction workers?

Monday 1 August 2005 at 9:35 pm

Today the Esplanade train station construction site in Perth was dead silent. The workers had called a strike, except that it wasn’t a “strike”, it was just everyone happening to chuck a sickie at exactly the same time.

I am becoming increasingly annoyed by these crazy militant unions and I suspect there’s a few others around town who agree. I mean, fair enough that they have a right to disagree with their employer, but there comes a point when too many strikes just won’t do anything, and the unions have already delayed the rail project quite seriously. There are now months of extra freeway disruptions that I will have to endure on my daily commute, and thousands of others are affected too.

I’d put up with it if they were being paid like third-world labourers. But there’s a massive skills shortage in construction, the labour market is tipped way in favour of workers, and it takes two years just to build a house. Something tells me that construction workers really don’t have it that bad.

I am thinking they should just get back to work and finish the damn train station!

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