“Ice Blades”

I had a strange dream last night. In one scene, kids were skating around on these sort of reverse ice skates which featured blocks of ice instead of metal blades.

Here’s a quick sketch illustrating how they are meant to work:

They were marketed as “Ice Blades” and were all the rage in my dream world. There were ice boards as well, which were even cooler! (No pun intended).

RSPT protest demographics

Notice anything interesting about the photos in this news article covering a protest rally against the Federal Government’s proposed Resource Super Profits Tax?

Here’s a screengrab for reference:

It’s a bunch of old rich people wearing suits or corporate uniforms and carrying professionally manufacturered signs. This looks more like a well-funded advertising campaign than a grassroots movement.

The ABC News report on the protest suggested that mining magnates and Liberal party politicians joined the protestors. I’m sure that it was the other way around.

Please don’t tell me that those condescending advertisements have actually worked.


Around 9 months ago, my sister had the following conversation with Anthon over at V Burger Bar in Victoria Park:

Do you have a burger with pineapple in it?
No, but a lot of people have asked about that.
You totally should make one! You could call it the “HaVaiian”!

We visited V Burger today, and noticed this on the menu:

That brought about the face of surprise, presented here in emoticon form:


That look was soon followed by an expression of (smug) contentment:


The burden of ownership

I mentioned this during a telephone conversation with Heidi:

It’s liberating to be free of the burden of ownership.

We were talking about how many of the benefits of ownership are conceptual and psychological, whereas the costs of ownership are often overlooked and underappreciated (despite them being very real and very common).

A primary benefit of ownership is that you can use your possessions whenever you want. However, many people accrue possessions that they never (or rarely) use, so this potential benefit is often unrealised (or severely diminished) in practise.

The costs of ownership obviously include acquisiation costs, but they tend to be dominated by ongoing costs associated with item management (storage, relocation, maintenance). Given the amount of stuff that people tend to own, accumulated costs (time and money) are often rather substantial.

Perhaps the most detrimental costs have to do with lifestyle: you worry about what is going to happen to your stuff; it becomes onerous to organise relocation and travel; there is no incentive to enjoy things “now” (because you can always enjoy them later); you accumulate rather than appreciate, and your life becomes cluttered.

Update: I like the sound of “Appreciate. Don’t accumulate.”

Quote from last night

At his talk last night, Chris said something like:

Nobody will ever care as much about your project as you do.

when talking about his labour of love: Infinite 8-bit Platformer.

My takeaway from his comment was that, when working on personal projects, your primary motivation needs to come from your own emotional investment.

Although other people may like your work, you can’t expect to be driven by the enthusiasm of others. Particularly not when the development cycle may span years.

Cooking with Simon and Minh

Minh and I went over to Simon’s for dinner last night. We were trying to find time to catch up before he heads off to the US; Turns out shopping, cooking, eating, and watching TV together was perfect. It felt very homely, plus I got to check out some of his recent artwork.

We ended up spending around $13 each on food and wine. Here’s what we bought:

  • Gravy beef
  • Gnocchi
  • Bananas
  • Block of dark chocolate
  • Penfold’s Shiraz Cabernet

And here’s what we made (and how we made it):

Beef Burgandy with Gnocchi

  1. Melt butter in pressure cooker
  2. Cut beef into large chunks and brown in butter
  3. Remove beef and caramelise around two tablespoons of sugar
  4. Return beef and coat in caramel
  5. Cover with red wine and stock and bring to boil
  6. Put lid on pressure cooker and heat for 20 minutes
  7. Brown chopped onions and garlic in a pan
  8. Boil chopped carrots in a pot
  9. Add onions, garlic, and carrots to pressure cooker (with some salt and pepper)
  10. Cook under pressure for a further 15-25 minutes
  11. Boil gnocchi in water until they float, then drain and place on plates
  12. Mix a couple of tablespoons of corn flour in with some stock (cold)
  13. Add corn flour mix to beef burgandy to simmer to thicken
  14. Place beef burgandy on top of gnocchi and enjoy!

Banana Fondue

  1. Peel and slice bananas and place in freezer until cold (but still soft)
  2. Break up dark chocolate and heat in microwave for 45 secs
  3. Stir chocolate and heat further (10-15 secs at a time) until melted
  4. Enjoy dipping cold banana pieces into melted dark chocolate!

I forgot to put tomato paste in the beef burgandy and I prefer it with mushrooms (although Simon is anti-mushroom). It was still awesome, but I’ll have to remember these differences for next time! I’m also not sure that the onions and carrots have to be cooked first when using a pressure cooker.

Update: I also forgot about bacon lardons and finely chopped parsley. Basically, instead of cooking the beef in butter, you can cook them in the fat from thinly sliced bacon pieces (cooked to a crisp) which can later be added to the gnocchi (or other pasta or mashed potato) along with parsley.

Gone too soon

I miss my cat so much.

I spent Wednesday drawing pictures of her and on Thursday Heidi and I made a list of all the little things that she used to do. For the last few days, I’ve found myself softly singing “Gone too soon” when I’m alone.

Now I’m listening to it:

I ruminate overly on concepts at the best of times, and now I’m spending a lot of time thinking about death, life, what constitutes an individual, and how transient it all is. I switch between feeling grateful for those around me, and then just hoping that our time together will last and committing myself to making the most of that time.

Update: Added image and link.

Visiting Perth

I’m flying back to Perth tonight and staying for a week or so.

I want to catch up with Simon before he heads off to the US; There’s the Let’s Make Games event on Friday; I plan to make a donation to the Cat Haven; and I need to sit down with Buddhi to work out a forward plan for Beyond Motion.

Aside from that, I’m just keen to hang out. I’m pretty good at cooking now (and many friends are watching their monies), so maybe I’ll try to organise various dinner functions at people’s houses.

I guess that I should start emailing people now.