Sunday, November 15, 2009

A house of cards...

That seems to be me at the moment. I have managed to stabilise myself much more than I was able to before; but it is by no means perfect. I think there is a misnomer when it comes to people talking about depression having a "bottom" so to speak. Honestly, it doesn't, it can keep going down...
But there is the inevitable bounce back, at least I hope inevitable. Managing these episodes is something I have committed to chat with my GP about, as he said when I first raised this problem "you can't fix the software if the hardware is broken". I am starting to see the wisdom in that statement...

Till next time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Doing it for himself...

First decision that faces you in this situation is, drugs or no drugs?
The idea of anti-depressants scares the hell out of me to be honest, not just because they alter your mood but I am scared that they will become a crutch rather than something to aid in a solution.
So I have decided to , at first, try to do it with just therapy and no chemical assistance.
It's not easy to be honest, I still dip down on occasion, I am constantly tired, and I have a hard time concentrating on anything.
But generally I am able to keep myself stable at the moment by keeping busy. Thank the maker for the Internet, otherwise I am sure I would have gotten cabin fever after two days at home.

Finger crossed...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ok... someone is playing a joke on me...

Beyond Blue is a fantastic Australian organisation that aims to support sufferers of Anxiety and Depression.

Little did I know that October is Anxiety and Depression awareness month.
Now you know as well.

Nice time to start down this path...

New adventures in Chronic Depression and Anxiety



When I started a blog I imagined that it would be like so many of the others that I read, reviews, irreverent wit, politics and just a little bit of serious social comment.
Laziness took a little bit of a toll on the idea of being an irreverent blogger, and recent events have lead to me to make some discoveries about myself and face some things that I have been putting off for a while.
Allow me to spell it out. I have an issue with Anxiety and Depression.
Why the hell am I writing this as a blog post? I'm not sure. But it feels good writing it down, and even better admitting it to the interwebs. I have been told that keeping a journal is a good thing whilst going through this sort of thing, and doing so has never been my "thing" so to speak. So why not a blog?
Admitting the fact I have a problem is a very liberating experience, as it is something I have lived with since my teens. Dealing with it proves to be a longer path, and hopefully dumping my mind here on occasion will help with that. Maybe someone will read it, maybe someone will recognise that they have this issue as well, or something similar to it, and seek help. Depression and Anxiety are two very common but stigmatised conditions that most of us face at sometimes in our lives. If one person reads this, and decides to take the same steps I am taking to seek help in managing it, then I will have done something of more import than many blogs out there.

And that makes it worth it.

I'm not going to discuss any personal specifics, just talk about my own internal feelings and document the path that I am taking.
With luck I can look back on this blog with the hindsight that comes with the future and feel good.

Thank you.

It's not over yet

Where to start?
I've neglected my little blog dear reader; (All three or four of you out there in cyberland) life unfortunately overtakes one and occasionally leaves one on the side of the road with no net connection and writer's block.
That I hope will change.

My life has been complicated and painful over the past month, it seems life has given me a crossroads and I lack a map.
The plan? To draw a new one.
Stay tuned...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shaken from Blogging Torpor...

By what you say? Well my beloved home city has a new logo, a new image with which to face the world, a new err...




What n' the hell?

Oh and we paid for it? Really? $230,000 you say?

I'm sure the city council could have gotten a plethora of M logos for that much money, even some ones that look good!

Unfortunatly the fatuous wasting of public funds on this sort of rubbish no longer suprises me. It very much has the look of a logo designed by committee rather than by designers, or at the very least a year 10 graphic design student. (It's exactly the sort of fare you come up with when you have just mastered the T-square and Derwent colour pencil set. You know the big one with 5 shades of each colour.)

But hey, if it was going to just be a big M, we could have saved some money. Heck the city of Melbourne could have MADE some money by selling the rights to the city logo commercially and gotten much the same result. Heck , if it's good enough for almost every public building built in the last twenty years, why not the whole city?

For example:



I know , I know. Too American right?
How about:


Yes much better, and it comes in a variety of flavours...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

March of the white elephants


Well as predicted the $100million Southern star observation wheel has become somewhat of a white elephant after suffering massive structural weakening during the heatwave. Unfortunately it was destined for this fate well before being cracked by the sun and heat, the whole Dockland and Harbor city precincts of Melbourne have been a totally joke of urban development. Expensive and exceedingly artificial attempts to replicate the feel of suburbs like St Kilda, Williamstown and Brighton are unfortunately doomed to have anything other than a "gee whiz" appeal to normally skeptical Melbournians. (Especially when those suburbs are only slightly more difficult to travel to.) Melbournians have an instict to love little homly secret places, it's a pretention the city is well known for, but we are generally not attracted to big tourist attractions. (Fed Square is probably the exception to that rule) The rule of thumb in Melbourne always has been that the harder a place is to find, and the less advertised it is; the cooler it is.
So Southern Star, I commend you as you join the ranks of great White Elephants all over the world.

The Millennium Dome in London.

The Birdsnest Stadium in Bejing

And the Montreal Olympic Stadium. (Though the Biodome is quite cool)

Huzzah!

Update (2/3/09): Doh! Seems the wheel was broke from the outset...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Made of Awesome



Call me a geek but that is hilarious and very well made to be honest.
Does remind me I wanted to write movie reviews here too...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yikes...

Who was really behind 9/11? Well it was Xenu by the sounds...

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Good of Google


Well I have been as nervous as anybody when it comes to Google's relentless cataloging of peoples personal information. Heck even this blog is part of their information network that spans blogs, pictures, videos and even images of our cities and streets. (Well not my street, but streets near me have street view. Don't know if I should be relieved or annoyed...)
But during the current Bushfire season Google have indeed come to the table with an amazingly useful feature, a Google Map of the Victorian bush fires with up-to-date information on the status of various fires.

See the internet CAN provide useful information and not just porn.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The other Stimulus package...

Much like the US and many other countries, Australia is in the grip of stimulus fever; and much like the US the package selected by government has caused a showdown with the main opposition party.
Unlike our friends in the US, there is much less doubt as to what will happen between the two parties over this. Australian political parties almost universally vote on party lines, crossing the floor is a news worthy event and unless on a so called "conscience vote" ; something that risks you being black-balled by both sides if you do it too much.
Australia generally only has minority governments at state level, federal parliament's lower house is generally ruled by the governing party , it is the senate and it's small but vital population of minor parties and single independent that hold the future of this bill.

I must take my hat off, this is the first decent political tussle of Kevin Rudd's government; it seems that the opposition have finally found their feet and have progressed beyond the school boy childishness that we saw at the start of the parliamentary season in 2008. (The Internet filtering bill was less of a tussle as it was so unpopular with the public, and seems doomed in the face of opposition by the Greens and Liberal party.)
Malcom Turnbull as opposition leader is staking alot on this, it's a high profile blocking of a very high profile (and popular) bill. Heck any bill that basically hands out cash to the public will be popular; it's why the previous govenment's baby bonus, first home grant and private health insurance subsity still exist, they are simpally very difficult to remove due to the backlash they will cause. (Even if the actual economic benifits of these rebates are highly suspect in all cases)
But this is a very deft move if it works, Rudd now has to deal with the minor parties and the indipendent to pass the bill, and naturally there may be some shifting to meet these senator interests. The Greens have stated they want to review the bill, probably by Senete inquiry, the Family First senator may swing the oppositions way but I think will be loathe to oppose a populist bill like this one (after all Family first is basically a conservative populist party),and the indipendent Nick Xenophon is expected to back the bill after an inquiry. This will slow the bill down, which may make it cool in the public imagination which will rob Rudd of some of the advantage.

Should be an interesting week or so...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New concepts in street art


Been seeing this stuff about the train lines of my home suburb for a time. They really are stunning and original pieces of Art. Take a gander at http://www.cratemen.com/ for more...

Post Australia Day














Well like any self respecting Iconoclast, I can be perceived as a little anti-patriotic at times. I do feel that perceiving our history and attitudes with a slightly critical eye serves our identity in the long run more than one eyed-flag cloaked patriotism. Like any patient nation at the office of the historical identity therapist, it is better to come to terms with your shortcomings rather than to ignore them. The response to the "sorry" question with regards to the Aboriginal nations of the continent was more often than not "we shouldn't dwell on it" as it was negative, and negative stuff always brings one's national identity down ya know?
Unfortunately our national identity tends to omit things in favor of what are often much more important but less populist things. I'll save getting on my Gallipoli high horse til another time, but for many outside of Australia we are really known for three things; Wierd Animals, Sport and Beaches.
Now we do indeed have and featre in our history all three of the above, but most people on Australia Day will not be reminded that despite our wonderful treatment of them, Australia has contributed very healthily to the Arts and Science.
Despite underfunding, undervaluing and even putting it on trial once , Australia contributed greatly to the modernist and post modern Arts scene. Science also receives a bit of a kicking in our culture, despite at one time being the world leader in solar technology and playing an oft forgotten role in the moon landing.

But one thing Australians do better than many other English speaking countries is making truly shambolic Television. Honestly our talent for it is something to be proud of...XD

Monday, January 19, 2009

A culture of chaos...

Well that solves that issue then, the decline in the quality of Melbourne's public transport system is the "culture's" fault says our top transportation bureaucrat.
Apparently we have to live in Singapore, Tokyo or Fascist Italy to get trains running on time.
While an interesting hypothesis, it kind of falls down when you actually find out that cities with similar "left leaning" cultures also have quality public transportation. Montreal and San Fransisco come to mind as I have actually used those two systems and both rate higher in surveys than Melbourne's on many indicators, and neither city really feels like it is being run by Mussolini...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Slightly obesessive Friday...

Patrick McGoohan 1928-2009



Well I was preparing a post about Doughnuts when this news came on the radio...
McGoohan was always a very principled actor and artist, he reportedly passed on playing James Bond in the early 60's (and later on playing "The Saint") and often sighted a dislike for the character. (Primarily the violence Bond employed and his womanizing) He stared in the secret agent series "Danger Man" from 1960 until 1968 , a series that predated "Dr No" by two years and contributed to the look and feel of the cold war spy genre. Reportedly McGoohan insisted on several conditions for the role, primarily that the character would use his brains over his gun and there was to be no kissing...
He is perhaps most famous for my favorite TV series of all time, The Prisoner, in which he stared and produced. He also wrote and directed the series's final two episodes, of which the second last ;"Once upon a time" is , in my humble opinion, the best forty five minutes of television ever produced.
He went on to appear in many roles on stage and screen after The Prisoner, including an Ironic role as the Warden in "Escape from Alcatraz". He moved to LA but generally shunned the Hollywood mainstream, living in semi retirement. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, his three daughters, 5 grandchildren and great grandchild.

Thank you Mister McGoohan, you were never just a number...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Music, Music, Music...

Well it's a musical day today and possibly one filled with good news for a change. It seems that Apple has seen the light and are removing DRM from itunes. Good news, and about bloody time.
DRM pretty much exists to be hacked and illustrates to the end user that you are renting the music you just brought online , not "really' buying it. This of course becomes a disincentive to buy legitimate copies of music or software and fuels pirates.
Back in the day, buying an album from the record store did not require the music fan to read and agree to an end user agreement; you just paid your money and got your record, everyone was happy. You could lend it to people, make a crappy copy on tape to listen to in your walkman or even *gasp* play your record on a different turntable!
Today as so many ads at the start of DVDs tell me, all this activity is stealing and wrong sending all who perform these heinous crimes to the same layer of hell reserved for robbers, people of covert their neighbor's Asses and charted accountants.

So there.

The problem is that shortly after the Media companies put all their fish in the one digital barrel, they realized that the same technology that allowed them to reduce overheads and make Micheal Bay movies also allowed people to copy and transfer that data more easily. Copying an LP is no easy task, a CD or DVD on the other hand...So this suddenly allowed them to re write the unwritten contract between the user and the provider, suddenly we can only play a downloaded track on one PC or install a piece of software three times off one disk or , in Itune's case, play the downloaded tracks on one brand of mp3 player.
Alternately I could download the album from a torrent and use it as much and how I like. (And it's free)

So bravo Apple, maybe the dozens of people who brought a Zune can now buy stuff from the Itunes store with minimal fuss.

Also is good music news, it seems that those days of the LP and the Record store are not yet over...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

John Howard strikes from beyond the political grave!

Well the minor controversy about the US president elect staying in a Hotel rather than Blair House seems to now center around our wonderful former prime minister.
Now Blair house is not a small place , surely they could have co-existed for the one night Howard was booked there. But of course there was those things that Howard said about Obama back in 2007....
Could make things awkward I suppose...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It'll be either Monkeys or Robots...

It is indeed a slippery slope to the eventual conquest of the human race, but I'm glad Matt Yglesias got the cycle of such things correct :)

Btw. My outside bet on whom our eventual conquerers will be are Bears , and then Giant space ants , both will involve much work producing honey for our new overlords...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I love the smell of **** in the morning

Well one of the joys of working in a school over the holidays is that all of the maintenance is scheduled over the break. To whit, today , thanks to carpet cleaning , the whole place smells of wet dog. Not to be bested by the interior , the front turf decided that today was the day that it was to be laid for the new year so it smells like manure...

It is indeed an aromatically challenging day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Absolutely

As noted in today's Age editorial , yes indeed Australia has a great degree of responsibility for dismantling the legal and literal hell hole that is Guantanamo Bay.
It's very easy to for Kevin Rudd to hold up his hands and blame the previous government and it's support of Gitmo, but that does not change what has been done with our nation's support.
What concerns me more is that the Labour Government will house former prisoners and use it as a media opportunity to show how they are putting Howard's way behind them, while leaving in place the draconian anti-terror laws that the Labour Party did indeed support in opposition that allow very simalier things to occur on Australian soil.

Call me cynical...

Dr Whom?


Those who know me will indeed be aware of my Doctor Who fan tendencies. It's all , I am sure , to do with growing up here in Australia with a healthy diet of BBC imports.
While I have a love-hate relationship with the whole "new who" series, news of a brand new Doctor is always exciting. (note to self:too many uses of the word new in one sentence) So hats off to Matt Smith, the youngest actor yet cast in the role. One thing always guaranteed is that you will be remembered for playing the part no matter how well you work out in it...
While Australians by and large love the Doctor (It still rates it's socks off even when the ABC decide to play it 6 months after the UK run... grumble.) , that seems to be nothing compared to the UK where the news of the new actor was deemed worthy of a time slot of it's own on BBC1.

And so it's come to this...

Well yes, after avoiding adding my brain waves to the quite-full-of-brainwaves-already blogosphere, I have broken down and decided to give this a go.
I read quite a number of blogs and news sites and started to feel that I needed to give back to the Inter-tubes that helped me pass so much time at work each day...

What can we expect? Who knows, who cares? One thing I can be sure of is that after starting a blog I am now 100% more qualified to be a cable TV political pundit...