October 30, 2006 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Blood Donation, Blood Donor Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Issues, Gay and Lesbian, Red Cross | 2 Comments

In a recent news report the Australian Red Cross Blood Service put out an urgent call for donors as it apparently only had 36 hours remaining. Now this got my blood boiling. The Red Cross (which is presumably not the only one doing this) actively discriminates against homosexuals from giving blood and my deeply hidden inner idealist finds this extremely offensive. I understand that their rationale is that homosexuals are at a higher risk of infectious diseases. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I think that’s beside the point. Even if, as a group gays are at risk (or rather those engaged in male to male sex) this should not preclude a person who is in a monogamous relationship from giving blood. The question should be able sexual activity and history not sexuality. After all if heterosexuals are ‘safer’ as a group that doesn’t automatically exclude someone who’s unsafe from giving blood (while other factors later on might – which is my point). Add to that the capacity for people to lie on their form or be plain ignorant of their own health means that the Red Cross needs effective medical screening tests for donated blood alongside the written declaration. Especially when having unprotected sex is not an automatic rejection.

What got me thinking about this were the ads the Red Cross ran a few months ago basically outlining all the people who couldn’t give blood with the intent of saying if you’re not one of these groups give blood. Except they never included homosexuals in those ads – either because they don’t care, because they knew there’d be backlash over such overt discrimination or because they have a tiny little disclaimer saying that there may be additional criteria. Yet they’re crying poor, the homosexual community may be a minority but could make a contribution to this blood drought.

As a result, and I know it might be selfish of me but I won’t donate blood, it’s my little piece of activism and conscientious objection to an unjust exclusion.  

Last year there was some discussion about changing the rules which explains the ongoing Tasmanian Anti-Discrimation case and the flow on effects for South Africa (although gays must be celibate) .

Oh so that’s what I like?

October 30, 2006 at 8:00 am | Posted in anime, Anime & Manga, Random | Leave a comment

I’ve been re-watching Neon Genesis Evangelion on DVD over the past week and to my surprise I realize that I particularly like the idea of giant transforming cities. Not giant robot genre but giant transforming cities.  

I’m never going to get a date now.

Actually this is really only based on a few TV shows but whenever I see it, it just seems cool; probably because it’s a bit more intricate and a higher quality animation. Presumably if I saw it all the time I’d be totally over it. I think I’ll Google this and sate my sub-genre appetite and move on.

XY Cusp

October 30, 2006 at 12:10 am | Posted in General, Generation X, Generation Y, Pop-cult, Random | 2 Comments

Not only was this (or a variant – cusping, the cusp, cusper) a possible title for this blog as it would have outlined my life sitting between these two ‘generations’ but the other day I found it was an actual term. Hand to heart I thought I had been somewhat original until I saw this on Wikipedia. Damn you! I guess it was a good call on the title then…unless you read some of the other Google results for active procrastination.  

The whole discussion about generations came up at work as some of my coworkers have to do a report on managing Gen Y staff. Thrilling, no? I asked why they need to do research when they have a member right here, to which I was derided for not ‘really’ being Gen Y. In terms of my attributes I think I am more Y than Xbut I’m just on the edge…the cusp. At times I feel sorry for us cuspers (no matter which cusp) because we’re doomed to be forgotten in the larger commentaries but on the plus side we get the best of both sides, so yay to us. We just need to make the most of it before those Millenniums (or whatever it’s termed) take over and make us obsolete. As to a generation’s traits while they do seem fairly uniform for the many within a generation ultimately it seems that these classifications are the secularists or scientists’ star sign.

Working in the city

October 29, 2006 at 8:00 pm | Posted in General, Random | Leave a comment

I love working in the middle of the city there’s always something on. Sometimes it can be good and you can get free stuff like massages or Berocca. Other times weird and wrong like the ‘high-energy’ magician doing tricks (I’ve been living in the X for too long when I have a different thought after typing that) and then there are the plain odd, such as the giant colon that was in front of our building. It was huge – tall enough to walk through and almost a third as wide as Martin Place. While it was to raise awareness of Colon Cancer and the need for mature aged men to get regularly checked it was still strange to see it and perhaps making a statement about corporate life that had nothing to do with good health.  

Speaking of men’s health November is also Movember where men in the office are being encouraged to grow a moustache for the month to raise awareness of men’s health and money when it’s shaved off. I’ll be declining this as the very thought of growing a moustache scares me. I’ve no capacity to grow (decent) facial hair.  There are women in our office with a thicker, darker mo than I could ever get. Although, possibly after a month it might grow into something a Victorian gentleman would appreciate.

Amendment – Scott Pilgrim

October 29, 2006 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Comics, General, Procrastination | Leave a comment

An update to my earlier write up of Scott Pilgrim, I finally finished reading all three of the Scott Pilgrim comics and to my delight I enjoyed them particularly after Book One’s mid point when the general themes and characters had been established. Both Geek Nights and The Ninja Consultants have done reviews and you should check them out. 

While I probably missed out on some of the humour I found it an enjoyable read with interesting characters and visual style. Personally, I found some of the gamer jokes quite cool. Scott not being able to take the skateboard was gold. Also gold is vegan power! I will have to watch my vegan friend now.  

If you’re a bit geeky and/or a bit indy you’ll enjoy this series. I’ll also put up a disclaimer to say I’ve never been into comics – other than the Sunday paper kind – and I bought these on the strength of the above reviews. It was a good buy but remember read in order.

Pricey but practically perfect.

October 29, 2006 at 8:57 am | Posted in Food, General, Out and About, Sydney | Leave a comment

Today I am recommending a café I go to regularly. After visiting Elizabeth Bay House I made my way to La Buvette on Challis Avenue just off Macleay Street. La Buvette has both sidewalk and inside tables for that casual cup of coffee or a full meal. Although as is the case with many a Sydney café the interior is a little cramped but the space is maximised and the annoyance is minimal. While I occasionally find the staff a little wearying the owners on the other hand are always very friendly and helpful. They are always willing to make a recommendation and talk about food, drinks and anything really. Well, as long as it’s not busy. Granted it can sometimes take a little while for them to take an order but again this is usually during busy periods. The food generally comes out pretty quickly and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever had. Seriously. I know, high praise. Most food I’ve eaten has ranged from decent to great upwards to excellent. Given the prices it’s to be expected. Although having lived in the area for a while these prices are the norm so I’ve become forgetful that there are indeed cheaper places in the city, just not in Potts Point. La Buvette is located near several other cafes and restaurants most of which I’ve sampled over the year and half I’ve been here and La Buvette is my only regular hang out. That really speaks volumes given how flakey I usually am towards my eateries. Unless it’s McDonalds after a big night out.  

Next time you’re in the area read the paper at La Buvette, head over to Elizabeth Bay House and then chill in the garden looking out on Elizabeth Bay or head further down to Rushcutter’s Bay. Very chill.  Be warned that La Buvette is popular (including with the fashionable set) so it can sometimes be difficult to find a seat – although take away is an option too. It’s often easier in the afternoon. While I wouldn’t consider myself one of “the set” I still feel welcomed here. Perhaps it’s just persistence?  Lastly, not sure if it has happened yet but La Buvette will be opening for dinner soon. I am seriously impressed by the owners working all day seven days a week. No procrastination with them!

Ahh to be a rich man…

October 29, 2006 at 8:33 am | Posted in General, Out and About, Sydney, Travel | 1 Comment

Elizabeth Bay House was my stop this week in my travels around Sydney. As the name suggests the house is located in, of all places, Elizabeth Bay but it is no mere house but a mansion from ye olde colonial days and completed circa 1840 for Alexander Macleay and his family. As a side note I learnt that his family’s extensive collections are now stored in the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, so that may well be worth a look too. Alexander was a prominent member of colonial society and was granted a sizeable portion of land that encompassed my current building. Unfortunately the cost of developing the mansion and the surrounding lands was – in conjunction with a general economic downturn- his ruin. Leading him having to sell the house to his son in order to cover his debts. Ungrateful son! The House continued through the Macleay family who, amongst others subdivided the property again and again leaving ultimately just the house. Even the garden opposite I’m not 100% that it was part of the original property. Ultimately, the house is now part of the historic houses trust. Second side note for the day: this week Admirality House was also open and would have been an excellent opportunity to view the Governor General and Prime Minister’s Sydney Homes but as they’re located all the way in Kirrabilli and costs a non-student about $25 compared to just $8 for EBH, which is only down the street. Now for those of you not in Sydney Kirabilli really isn’t that far, just over the harbour, but laziness and procrastination took hold. I guess I’ll just have to wait for next year to see them.       

As to the House and Museum itself. I have been to many historic houses or recreations of ‘traditional’ life in one site or another and without a doubt the people at EBH did a fantastic job, there are plenty of pieces of furniture and small minutiae to make you feel like you’re almost walking into an open house. For example, the dining room scene where there is “half-eaten” food on the table makes everything seem more authentic. The staff also seem very involved and passionate about the house and its history.



The cellar on the other hand is relatively bare with no fake stands or racks (wine not torture) but I presume that they’re looking for authentic period pieces to put here. Meanwhile the cellar also has a help yourself tea and coffee section for the weary traveller as well as free copies of the Sydney Morning Herald, They ask for a donation of 50c for the drinks … although no one’s watching…  Also in the cellar is a short video about the house and the Macleay’s. Generally it was pretty informative, I might tentatively say I even enjoyed it. Although the fact that it was made in 1987 could have added to the general amusement. Most of the rooms don’t offer additional notes and it’s up to you to walk around and inspect them in conjunction with the handout you are given at the counter. From the ground floor the building feels considerably larger than on the first. I imagine that’s because not all rooms are open on this floor.  

After looking through the house I went on a small trek to find the grotto, the last remnant of the original gardens and my photo journey is below:





And then I  found it:


Not only was the grotto very un-Heff like nor was it like this spot: 

Wandering down the trail towards the grotto and later up the steps back to Macleay Street I’m reminded of the warren-like feeling I get about these early-ish suburbs of Sydney. If you’re interested in history or are in the area make a stop at Elizabeth Bay House, it shouldn’t take too long and afterwards you can relax in the park or go for a coffee in Potts Point.

The Foodening … The Final

October 29, 2006 at 7:26 am | Posted in Food, General, Out and About, Sydney | Leave a comment

A bit late than never. Went to the final night of the Night Noodle Markets last week only to be told that it was cancelled due to the storms earlier that day with the possibility of more. Most of the stall holders had trucks out front being loaded with food, which I hope didn’t go to waste.  

Overall impressions. I didn’t mind the food, it was reasonably priced and it was nice to have an outdoor eating experience in the middle of the park on the way home. I know some people thought it wasn’t the best quality. That is true but taken on the whole it was still a pleasant experience. My only complaint about the Noodle Markets is the dominance of Thai restaurants, which is nothing against Thai food per se but if I’m going to something that’s being billed as a noodle market I’d like to wider range. Maybe just one Korean stall next year? 

That’s right, if I’m still around I’ll be coming back and you should too!

Still procrastinating

October 29, 2006 at 7:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have no worthwhile excuse for not posting and certainly none for forgoing my travels around Sydney. OK my travels within inner Sydney. Now before this turns into an infamous train wreck post let me say that as this blog, is in part, about me not procrastinating as much and detailing those excuses. Do I have one? Well, other than playing Kingdom Hearts 2 excessively over the past week and a bit, not really, though I am feeling very unmotivated at the moment. In part I think it’s because I feel constantly behind and by the time I get home from work and breathe I’m already 2 hours behind on my schedule. Obviously, the answer is to make a more realistic schedule but I am really fighting this as to cut back on things would be a defeat for the things I want to learn. Ideally, I’d work fewer hours for the same or better pay. Clearly that’ll happen!  OK enough self reflection on excuses only fit for a high school student.

Stuff, just stuff.

October 18, 2006 at 12:46 pm | Posted in General, Random, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Tooth decay, disturbing TV, praise at work and Second Life

I went to a fancy dentist this morning to get my tooth looked at. It had lots of LCD screens in the room, including one on the ceiling that they offered to put a DVD on for me to watch while they repaired my tooth’s filling. Yes, that’s right, I needed a new filling. Apparently the old one fell out and the remainder was pressing down on the nerve causing the pain. While I “know” that it’s an issue with the filling and the last dentist (as I do have several others my family dentist put in with no problem) Newest Dentist wouldn’t specify why it fell out or if it was New Dentists’ fault. Although one thing I don’t understand is being asked to say how the filling ‘feels’ when technically I have no feeling in that side of my mouth.

Numbness made work fun, normally I spend a good portion of my day on the phone but today I just left it on voice-mail and slurred to anyone who came up to me and had to explain why I sounded drunk. Now sadly, I’m really not used to praise at work, at least praise that’s not patronising. In the latter’s case that’s the “Oh you made a [simple] spreadsheet, that’s excellent. Very well done,” yet today I found out that one of our vendors told our project manager that I’d done a good job. I was stoked.

Sad that this gets such a reaction.

Speaking of sad, I watched the second half of America Exposed: Uncut’s episode on Crank. It was very disturbing, particularly the couple who swore off drugs for their newborn and then injected themselves within 2 days.  Also the statistic that only 6% of crank addicts manage to actually stay off it is unsettling. Granted this production was done by the same guy who did an episode about suicide that was intentionally emotive. I get the impression that this is his style, full of heart and more importantly sympathy than an informative piece.

While I’m not a Second Life player I found this article about Reuters opening a bureau in cyberspace quite an interesting development.

Can I blame this post on the anaesthetic?

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