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Meg's LiveJournal... — LiveJournal
Not stupid, not expendable, and not going.
(grabbed from shimere277, but I have a feeling it's going to be popping up everywhere).

This is accurate for values of "local" which include "my family"

What do you call...

1. A flowing body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks: stream or creek (of course, "smaller than a river" is a relative term, particularly here in .au)

2. The thing you push around the grocery store: trolley (and it's a supermarket, thanks)

3. A metal container to carry a meal in: lunch box (although over here they're more likely to be plastic than metal, and the really fancy ones are insulated).

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in: frying pan, frypan

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people: sofa or couch

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof: gutters

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening: porch or verandah

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages: soft drink, although they're more likely to be referred to either by brand name, or by vague variety (lemonade, cola etc).

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup: pancake (although it's a hotcake when you order them from Maccas).

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself: sub

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach: trunks/board shorts/boardies, speedos/budgie-smugglers, rashie (I'd better explain this last - I'm living relatively close to a surf beach, and the usual gear for most surfers is a sort of mini-wetsuit)

12. Shoes worn for sports: sneakers

13. Putting a room in order. tidying (unless it's my room, in which case it's "finding the floor").

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark. firefly (which we don't have over here)

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball: slater, pillbug (both alternative terms for "woodlouse". The more likely one is going to be "bloody slaters!" in tones of exasperation).

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down: seesaw

17. How do you eat your pizza? It's finger food, unless it's gourmet pizza that I'm eating in a restaurant.

18. When private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff: garage sale, jumble sale

19. The evening meal: dinner or tea (supper happens later still)

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are: non-existent... they're not really popular here in Perth (mainly, I think, because we're built on sand). If we had them, they'd be cellars.

21. The thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places: drink tap, or drinking fountain.

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Feeling: bored bored

5 thoughts or Tell me what you think
I did the long-overdue sorting out of all the bookmarks I've made over the past however long it's been today. This was possibly a mistake, because I now realise exactly how many bookmarks I've made over the past few years, and how few of them I actually remember, or can actually find when I'm looking for something. At present, I have the odds and sods organised by alpha order, so at least I'll be able to have a vague guess at things, but I can see I'm going to have to find some kind of bookmark organising system (possibly another wiki? Aargh!) to keep track of things. The problem is that I'll read things, bookmark them for later reference, and then lose track of where I stored them. I try to keep loose bookmarks at the top level of my file to a bare minimum - just things like the few web comics I read on a regular basis, and links to my webmail accounts.

Even so, I accumulate stuff. This is the result of a life-long habit (and one of the reasons I tend to spend a lot of my life tidying things or overwhelmed by information and similar) and while I would occasionally prefer not to have it, it's not something I'm willing to rid myself of. So I have to figure out ways of coping with it. So I think I shall hie me over to google, and start researching solutions for bookmark organisation and filing. The biggest problem I can forsee is that I'll have this huge list of meta-information accumulated, and I'll wind up chasing all over the place to try and keep track of *that*. I swear, Parkinson's Law rules my life.

(Ben Elton's summation of Parkinson's Law: Shit expands to fill the space provided.
Meg's addendum: Plus ten percent extra.)

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Feeling: peaceful philosophical

6 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Has anyone else noticed weird comments turning up in very old threads on their journal? Comments which are completely off-topic not only for the post they're apparently commenting on, but also for the whole darn LJ?

I'm starting to get annoyed with this. So, just for the sake of future comment spammers:
  • I don't have a penis
  • I therefore don't need or want it enlarged
  • Neither do I need to purchase further medication (that's what the local pharmacy is for)
  • I'm not interested in pictures of young teen girls
  • I'm unlikely to be involved in the US stock market in the near (or far) future
  • And last, but not least, I certainly don't want to know how to spam other people's blogs.
So, Kindly Knock It The Fuck Off, Dammit!

Thank you.

Feeling: irate irate

9 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Well, the wiki is coming along nicely (I'm transferring stuff over at a rate of 10 recipes per day, and adding new stuff at a rate of 5 recipes per day - at this rate, I've got maybe 2 - 3 days more before all the stuff that was previously HTML-ised is up and listed). It's fun seeing how things are going this early on, although I'm already starting to run into page limits when it comes to indexing things - my master index of indices is up to "start scrolling" length already. I'll probably separate it into a two-column table some time soon, for ease of viewing.

I'm also starting to have the notion of a "terminology" page niggling at the back of my mind. When it was just my recipe collection, it didn't matter - I knew what I meant by such vexing terms as "shallots", and I was the only one who was going to be reading it. But now it's a public document, I'm starting to have this urge to tidy up the terminology, and explain what things mean. The problem is, if I get sidetracked by that, I'll essentially be re-inventing the wheel, and also starting something I'm likely to put more effort and time into than the main purpose of the wiki itself. Part of me knows that I'll probably have to come up with something like that in the long term, but I think for now, I'll keep with putting up the recipes.

Well, the last of the burglary stuff happens tomorrow (the car insurance people come around to have a look at the car and make sure that it's not been blown up etc) and then it's done with. We have a few larger recommendations to be dealing with (one of the forensic officers suggested we put in a small fence and gate to prevent such oiks having easy access to our front door) and I've not been feeling as secure as previously, but aside from that, no other problems.

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1 thought or Tell me what you think
When I do update, I have a fair old whack of things to list off.

So, running in no particular order:

  • I'm still doing what is known in the theatre as "resting".
  • We've had our car stolen, recovered, and lost again.
  • I've started a wiki for my recipes
  • My parents have given up on the East coast
  • Himself is dealing with an influx of family

...whew, I think that's everything.

Details belowCollapse )

Late News: We've just received the car back. It's in the garage now, and the forensics lads and lasses have had their fun. No luck with fingerprints, but who knows, maybe the bloodsmears will pick something up.

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Feeling: exhausted exhausted

6 thoughts or Tell me what you think
First, a big thank you to all the people who replied to my previous question. I've decided to work around the problem rather than stay with it as it stands, by making one of the other characters the first to head off deeper into the caves. So thanks again, for helping me clarify the situation.

In regards to stuff in progress, I've received the beta-ed versions of the next two chapters of the Tirren Phale stories back, and I've now got to make the revisions. I must thank pinkdormouse for doing that beta-read. I had no idea there were so many missing words in so many sentences. Once I've done that, I'll give them one more read through, then see about posting them.

I've been going through a bit of a dry patch lately, possibly to do with the regular arrival of PMS, and also the rather weird sleeping habits I appear to have acquired lately. I seem to have become nocturnal. I'll wake up at anywhere between 6pm and 10pm, and then stay awake until around midday to early afternoon the following day. While this is great for my online gaming (there's a couple of master-level raids I'm going to be participating in for DAOC this week which are running at about 7am my time) it's slightly weird to be finding myself in a situation where I'm trying to fit in some of the normal chores at weird hours of the day. Shopping is interesting, to say the least - I've found if I want to shop, I'm tending to arrive just as soon as the shops open. At least that way I'm getting things done. I really must update my resume to point out that I'd welcome night-shift work...

I blame my mother - she worked night shifts for most of my childhood, and I'm now around the age she was when she started them. Must be that particular gene firing off.

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Being: In front of the PC
Feeling: okay yeah

Tell me what you think
I'm working on a B7 AU (yes, another one... it's a habit). It's currently set between "Weapon" and "Horizon", and I have four characters being teleported down to a strange planet: Avon, Cally, Vila and my OC Tirren Phale (it's an AU to the Tirren-verse - they breed). They've been told they have to enter some caves to consult with an alien culture, which they've done. The caves are glowing blue, and I've a bit of "business" where they can't figure out why the caves are glowing.

This is the bit which happens next:

Vila shuddered. "Don't like the dark," he muttered, looking around himself. "Comes to that, I'm not fond of closed in spaces. Why did they want me, anyway?"
"They didn't say," Tirren said. "They didn't say why they wanted any of us. We're the only ones in Liberator's crew they will speak to, and even then they won't speak to us until we've passed through these caves."
"Shall we get moving?" Avon said. He strode off, heading deeper into the cave.

Now, my question is: does that last line sound in character for season two Avon? It's currently niggling away at me, because it feels a bit "off" for me, but I'm not sure why. I'm redrafting the story, and knowing whether this is OOC or not makes the difference between minor tweaking and a rewrite of about two-thirds of the story.

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Listening: "I'll Kiss You" - Cyndi Lauper

7 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Happy birthday to pinkdormouse, my wonderful wonderful beta person. Many happy returns for the day.

Feeling: happy happy

3 thoughts or Tell me what you think
I've just finished the second chapter of the Roja Blake stuff. Yup, done "Spacefall". Now to move on to "Cygnus Alpha". I'm not going to send it on to my beta just yet - I'll give her a chance to get caught up on the stuff I sent her earlier. I figure I can afford to get a bit of a backlog of stuff waiting to go up, because that way I'm at least able to maintain some sort of consistency in posting...

That and I'm a perfectionist who wants these to be the best they can.

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Feeling: accomplished accomplished
Listening: "I Love to Love" - Nina Simone

Tell me what you think
For starters - I'm not going to be getting a GreatestJournal account[1]. I'm not going to be quitting this LJ account. I'm not going to be stomping off in high dudgeon to another site, and playing the whole game all over again.

Yes, I have reasons for this. The primary one of them is that every person who picks up and leaves LJ as a result of this *weakens the case for the rest of us*. We have more of a voice if we make our case as a group - and if we make our case as current users. My second reason is that picking up and leaving LJ for such a reason is a *win* for the wingnuts who set the whole thing off in the first place. They get to say that they "caused" the great purge of '07, and look how powerful they are, and see, they must be right because so many people wound up leaving for fear of them.

The third reason for not leaving is that bugger it, I've been here about four or five years, and I am *NOT* going to go to all the bother of setting up a whole new account, as well as trying to carry across community links that I've built up over that time, just because some bunch of w*nkers decide that they want to ensure that the world is built in their image. Feck the lot of 'em.

I'm also not going to be treating this like it's the end of the world. It isn't. Trust me, there is a difference, and one big part of it is that the seas aren't turning to blood (I've checked - one of the advantages of living near the beach) and there have been no reports of the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding out. It's possible they may have been caught in traffic. Alternatively, we may be looking at the four horsemen of the Internet Panic - Over-Reaction, Exaggeration, Misinformation and Decontextualisation.

Yes, my ox has not been gored. None of the communities to which I am subscribed have been bahleeted, and I don't have a very personal reason to get angry. I am annoyed that the threat by a small group of crackpots to contact their advertisers was enough to get LJ/SA into full on "kill them all and let god sort it all out" mode, but I figure there was presumably something happening in the background (such as a contract in re-negotiation) which may have made this a plausible threat to them. However, I'd be raising the following counterpoint: the people who are moving away from LJ at this point are largely the creative core of a very loyal following. They are people who create content which brings others to LJ (and therefore brings people to the point where they can view the advertising), and which keeps people who already have LJ accounts *reading* LiveJournal (and, incidentally, seeing the advertising). Maybe it would be worth *our* while to point this out to their advertisers, as well?

Or maybe we should threaten to do what the Worriers for Idiocy did - tell their advertisers about the naughty things that Six Apart are doing to their precious revenue base.

I suppose it also helps that there's a certain amount of paranoid conspiracy theorist in me, asking silly questions like "who benefits if this goes fruit-shaped the way it's threatening to?" or "what am I being distracted from at this point?" Maybe it's a result of too many years living with the demonic garden gnome in the Lodge, but I tend to look at moral panics and massive sensations as a very effective smokescreen while the Man behind the curtain takes away some more of my civil liberties. I'm hoping that in this case, I'm wrong. But I can't shake the feeling that one can't really be paranoid if they *are* out to get you.

[1] GJ are entirely funded by advertising revenue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this likely to make them *more* vulnerable to the sorts of tactics used by the Worriers for Idiocy rather than less?

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Being: Behind the keyboard
Feeling: cynical concerned

6 thoughts or Tell me what you think
So, the online interview of Chris Williams of FanLib (abbreviated hereafter as FL) by Professor Henry Jenkins has been and gone. FL haven't answered any questions, and they're still playing the dazed and confused line, trying to convince everyone that the fans on LJ are completely and utterly bonkers, power obsessed, and just too demanding. This here is my take on one of the underlying issues in this whole debate, one which probably is hitting a number of fanwriters on the raw just as much as it hit me.

The key issue here for me is one of what counts as "real writing". In this, FL are playing the orthodox card, the one played by the people who tell me "Oh, but you're so good. Why don't you do some *real* writing instead, and get paid for it?" - each one sounding as though they're sure nobody else has either asked the question or told me I can manage to string a sentence together. My answer to that one is on two fronts. The first is the actual craft I put into fanwriting is no less "real" than the craft I put into the incomplete originals which are cluttering my hard drive at the moment. The other is somewhat more nebulous, but centres around my own irritation with the notion that in order for something to be "real", money has to change hands.

Taking the second point first, this kind of logic is, to put things bluntly, the logic of the pimp. Nothing is "real" unless money changes hands, therefore sex with a prostitute is "realer" than sex with a willing partner. It's a logic which cheapens a large part of the effort put into something on a voluntary basis, definitely cheapens housework, and which, when applied to fanfiction, implies that what fanwriters need isn't so much recognition for their work as a pimp to market it. The counter of this logic is that if some money is required to make things "real", more money makes things even more "real" - which is the logic of someone attempting to buy themselves culture. By that sort of logic (which is, it appears, the logic that FL is applying to the situation) the more money they make off our effort, the more culturally acceptable fanfiction becomes. So why wouldn't fanwriters want to be pimped out?

We now pause for a brief historical and socio-political analysis of the role of the pimp and procurer in Western society, which may just explain to those who Don't Get It why so many (predominantly female) fans got so annoyed so quickly. A pimp or procurer is someone (generally male) who takes money to supply other men with prostitutes. They differ from the masters or madams of brothels, in that the prostitutes supplied by pimps or procurers are sent to the client's location, and are generally in a much less safe working situation than a prostitute in a brothel. There's also the question of how much money the woman in question receives - depending on the integrity of the pimp in question, she may receive none at all. Many pimps have used devices such as the induction of a drug addiction to ensure their "stable" of women remains under their control; many have used physical abuse. It was and is primarily an exploitative relationship, one where the woman who does the work loses out in a number of ways.

Now, like sex, fanfiction writing has a couple of unwritten rules. The first is that you shouldn't ask for payment (this one largely holds true for sex as well). The second is that you don't tell the content creators, actors or producers what you're doing, for They Do Not Want To Know (just like the average relationship partner really doesn't want to know whether you're having a fling with the milkman). What FL is offering is the equivalent of a pimp rocking up in the marital home of one of his "stable", and explaining to her husband precisely what she does, with whom, and for how much, and then telling him that if he wants sex within the marriage, he has to pay market rates; oh, and by the way, you're not going to see a penny of this money, it all goes to me and my backers.

Oddly enough, the (predominantly female) mass of fans didn't really regard this as an offer which had anything in it for them. Strange, I know.

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Feeling: thoughtful thoughtful

2 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Well, things are getting interesting in the whole "FanLib" thing. I got involved with a thread over on fanthropology last night. I posted a total of seventeen questions for the person from FL who stated that she was willing to answer questions. Just for the sake of kindness, I'll post the questions below.

(To be fair to the person I was asking, I did interlard these with a certain amount of uncomplimentary material about the company and the site. This is essentially an abbreviated posting of just the questions).

1) What association with fandom do the board members have?
2) Which fandoms do they have associations with?
3) Who is their favourite fan author? What is their favourite fan story?
4) Can they provide us with any proof whatsoever that this is more than just a cynical money-making exercise on the part of some people who think they've seen a market in need of exploitation?
5) How much of the money generated by FanLibs is going to wind up with the original content creators - that is, the authors, writers, artists, scriptwriters, producers, directors, actors and musicians whose hard work inspires their fans to write fanfiction, or create fanart?
6) How much is going to wind up with the publishing companies, movie corporations, and merchandising units which hang off the side of their efforts?
7) Oh, and is any of it going to be put back into providing any service to fans which isn't going to be charged for, or covered with someone's logo?
8) Was [the mass posting of a rather juvenile post by one of their directors] seriously meant to either impress or intimidate anyone?
9) Who elected the board of FanLibs?

They are the founders, its is a private company, they put together their own board which is what private companies do.

10) Where can I (a foreign national) get a copy of their annual report?

You can't, it's a private company.

11) Are shares in FanLibs publicly traded?

No, it's a private company (I'm sensing a trend)

12) Is there any plan to make these shares publicly available?

If the company is successful than it could go public just like anyother company. Who knows.

13) What is the corporate process for getting someone elected to the board of FanLibs?

There is no corporate process it's a small company of 16 people.

(Or, to quote Billy Bragg,
14) "Who are these people?

It's all right there on the website.

15) Who elected them?

As I've said above, no one "Elected" them. It is not a public corporation.

16) And how do I replace them with some of my friends?")

You start your own fan fiction website, that's how. They started this one so they get to run it.

17) What kind of account have your people taken of the fact that fandom, fans, fanauthors, content creators, entertainment media companies, and legal systems exist *outside* the continental United States of America?

So far, I haven't received a response to any of them. I *have* received a response to one of my comments, in which I compared the actions of the FL board to the actions of slave owners, in expecting to profit from unpaid labour. I stand by the comparison.

I'll keep you all updated and let you know whether I actually receive a response to any of the actual questions.

ETA: I should explain why I'm not going to be posting these over on the FL message boards. It's actually very simple - in order to post there, I'd need to create an account, and I don't want to.

Update 22 MAY 07: 8 questions answered out of a total of seventeen. I asked a supplementary question today regarding how much experience the various people in FanLib had with running a large fanfiction archive site, and got back a response which boiled down to "none whatsoever". This could be interesting... for Chinese values thereof.

Update 27 MAY 07: I prodded jdsampson to reply to the other nine questions on 24 MAY 07. There still hasn't been any answer to any of these questions. I strongly suspect there won't be any answer forthcoming from FanLib on these issues at all.

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Feeling: determined determined

7 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Elizabethan Soul MateCollapse )

Season 1 B7 QuizCollapse )
(Yes, I'm something of a PD fan. Your next question?)

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Feeling: lazy lazy

4 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Okay, for those who aren't out there in the great wide world of fandom, looking for fanfiction, a quick primer. There is a new website name of "FanLib.com". They are attempting to create a multi-fandom fanfiction archive. Rather along the same lines as The Pit of Voles, only with the stated interest in making money from it. However, there are some small problems:

1) The board of directors contains *nobody* who has a fannish background. They're also all male, while the majority of fanauthors are female.
2) Their terms of service are absolutely terrible - effectively, they boil down to "we make all the money, you take all the risk".
3) Their user interface is, quite honestly, crap. [1]
4) They have what is possibly the daftest ad in creation.
5) It appears their money-making model hinges on using fanfiction authors as unpaid marketers for their affiliates and thus providing a basis for the site to remain up and untouched.

telesilla has a discussion about their FAQ on her journal. (Read through it, especially the comments on the individual "frequently asked questions")

From the discussion there, I'm seeing the following:

  • They've seen fandom, and think there's a nice range of things they could do about making money from it. However, they've never actually participated in it.
  • They have an image of a fanwriter: a teenager, in the United States, who has also never participated in active fandom.
  • They don't know what fandom does, or what it produces, or even why.
  • They don't understand that having a for-profit site with a TOS which explicitly limits the profit to them, and the risk to the content creator, is not the way to get in nice with fandom
  • They really don't appear to have the legal backing they need to get involved with such a wide-ranging program (for example, while they say they're in with "media companies", they don't say which ones; and they tend to leave print publishers off the list of "media companies" as well).
  • They don't understand the risks they're asking fans (who usually aren't all that wealthy) to run *on their behalf*
  • Their FAQ writer either hadn't read the TOS, or hadn't realised the implications of certain entries in it; or they had and they did, and they're being entirely too disingenuous for words.
  • They don't understand their legal position and therefore aren't able to give a clear picture of it to other people. If there is a court case generated by anything on this site, I expect it to be long, chaotic, and probably costing not only the fan, but also the original content creator a lot of money.
  • They're "too busy" to interact with the very community they want to exploit.

One thing I'm noticing is that the whole effort seems to be pretty US-centric (as are most things on the internet). Yes, I'm not denying that the US is where the majority of internet users at the moment live. However, one of the things *I* like about fandom, as a fan who *doesn't* live in the United States or the United Kingdom, is the sense of belonging it gives me. I may be out here on the west coast of Australia, and I may be an entire continent away from the nearest fan event happening in my country, but I'm still part of fandom.

There's links to more discussion at Stewardess' Live Journal, as well as good old metafandom. She's also done a list of FAQs for the whole mess.

Some other bits and pieces are noted by cofax7.

PS: You'll all note I haven't linked to the site. This is deliberate.

[1] This is my own experience. Yes, it's shiny and pretty, but once you get outside the small fandoms, it doesn't scale to deal with the large ones. I checked LOTR fanfic on the site (mainly to make sure no little Lobachevsky was attempting to use my effort to make their reputation) and although there's only about 150 or so fics on the site, it was heck to check them. The display list only allowed 10 stories per "page" (no option to switch this up to a higher number... I dread to think what it would be like if they got over 500 stories in any one fandom), and there was no way of getting a list of author names, sorted by alphabetical order (which meant that if you found an author whose work you liked, you couldn't look just for their range of work).

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Feeling: pessimistic pessimistic

7 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Snagged from far too many people on my f-list.

Name a character and I'll give you three or more "facts" from my personal fanon about that character. If it isn't a fandom I know anything about, I'll make something up--well, make something up out of whole cloth.

Feeling: curious curious

19 thoughts or Tell me what you think
I'm all cheerful today, for reasons unknown, but which probably have to do with having completed both the proofing of the next two chapters of the Tirren Phale stories, and having completed the first chapter of the Roja Blake tales, and sent them all off for beta-ing. Yayz!

Now I'm having to restrain myself from heading immediately to the DVD player and starting to transcribe all Blake's scenes from "Spacefall".

Oh, and I've had to be turning on the heater for most of the past few evenings. Switched it on in the evenings for the first time this year on Monday. This is a pleasant change from Canbrrra, where the heater went on permanently in about the second week of March, and stayed on until November. I spent some time out on the deck this morning, sitting in the sun until I warmed through. Now all I have to do is figure out how to keep my ickle office warm - it's up the cold end of the house, and it doesn't have a door of its own. I may wind up shifting most of the writing to the lapdog, and moving out to the kitchen table again.

But I'm happy because I'm writing again.

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Feeling: bouncy bouncy

5 thoughts or Tell me what you think
Well, I've run all the errands (although getting the car serviced gave me a whole heap of things which need done to that, so I wind up with even *more* fun). I also have another job interview, this one on Tuesday next week, for a job I applied for but wasn't really expecting to hear back from. So this should be interesting, and I get further proof of the joys of the tight job market in the Western Australian IT Sector.

I got to thinking about something scribbled up on someone else's LJ recently, regarding the new B7 audios (the consensus appears to be they're not really up to scratch). One of the suggestions made was a good way of fiddling with the pre-existing canon would be to change the gender of the title role - make Blake female. I was watching "The Way Back" last night, and I started to think about how the trick would be done. Long story short, I wound up spending a couple of hours scribbling down the dialogue from the first half of the story (I got as far as Blake's trial) and I'm now writing a novelisation of same from the point of view of a female Roja Blake. Now, if someone could please help me patch up the whockin' great fang-holes this plot bunny has left in my forearms...

They're saying it's going to be showering today, although at the moment the cloud isn't quite heavy enough. I suppose I could wander down to the beach, grab a seat at the pub or in a cafe, and scribble away while watching the clouds, waiting for the first shower to hit.

Being: Cottesloe WA
Feeling: okay okay

4 thoughts or Tell me what you think
So, I'm between jobs again - the previous one finished early due to the boss (who was the last permanent member of staff) finding herself another job. So I figure, okay, back to the whole jobsearch thing. I applied for two jobs on Monday. I have an interview regarding one of them today.

Damnit! I haven't even got the car serviced yet.

No, really. I spent a bit of time on Monday phoning around getting various appointments made. I had a massage yesterday, I have a hairdresser appointment at 9.45 today, a doctor's appointment at 2.45 (the job interview is at midday), and I booked the car in for its long-overdue service tomorrow. Now, somewhere in all of that, I was planning to take a bit of time off, relax a bit, catch up with the housework etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I planned on the rather tight employment market here in WA... it appears my skillset is not so much "in demand" as "needed desperately". All very nice, but I was looking forward to a bit of time off.

Yes, I know I'm bitching about a problem most people would be overjoyed to have.

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Feeling: indescribable que?

3 thoughts or Tell me what you think
World War ICollapse )

The first world war was the first time Australians fought as Australians. We fought under our own flag, as our own people. We fought for our colonial masters of the time - the British - and the story of Gallipoli is a story of colonial wastage at its most blatant. The ANZAC forces were, to put it bluntly, in the wrong place, on the wrong beach, and nobody bothered to correct the mess. That Australian soldiers survived at all was a bloody miracle. I suppose that's why we commemorate it.

World War IICollapse )

In World War II, we got involved because the British were involved. We stayed involved when things heated up in the Pacific, and it was the nearest we came to actually fighting a territorial war to defend our own country. Darwin was bombed by the Japanese. We fought alongside the British, and we fought alongside the Americans, and we indulged in our own little bit of colonialism (we took Papua New Guinea under our colonial wing for a time).

Neither of my grandfathers fought in WW2. One because he was a gold miner, and had lost an eye (protected industry and physically unfit). The other because he was a conscientious objector. He was Christadelphian, and his religion prohibited him from joining the army. He spent time in a Conshie camp down around Harvey.

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Vietnam was the war that made us stop and think for a bit. We'd followed the Americans in, and wound up with a bunch of traumatised veterans (not that we didn't get them with all the other wars we'd been in) who were suffering the after-effects of exposure to Agent Orange, and fighting a war that nobody was prepared for. What followed was the process of kicking the whole thing to the back of our collective minds, and refusing to acknowledge the Vietnam veterans.

Now we're involved in another couple of wars as the colonial lapdogs of the United States. There are Australian troops in Afghanistan, and Australian troops in Iraq. Nearly a century has passed since the war that was supposed to end wars. Have we really gained anything?

[Songs quoted: "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle; "Scorn of the Women" by Weddings Parties Anything; "I Was Only 19 (A Walk In the Light Green)" by Redgum.]

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ETA: Clarification of the role of the first victim. Corrections in italics.

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