All these goodbyes are getting a bit hard.

First it was Balmik, then Ron, now Amos.

Plenty more to go, but I think those three are going to have the most effect on me.

Election Resources
Still not sure who to vote for?

Quick Guide: The Australian has a great one-page side-by-side guide to the announced policies of the two major parties. Check it out, you might be surprised.

Quizzes: The Oz Politics website has a 50-question quiz that attempts to determine which of the parties your views and attitudes best align with. The LDP also has a 10-question quiz here that's worth a go.

Update: Also check out from GetUp!, which even prints you a how-to-vote card, rating all of the candidates in your electorate!

Religion kills. Period. It is a sickness and the cause of more misery and murder committed by man against man than any other human intellectual construct in history.

So, if we're going to slag the Scientologists for being kooks, we might want to remember that the majority of America believes they can talk to an invisible man every Sunday. Pretty kooky if you ask me.

(Emphasis mine)

Slashdot Anniversary Party
I can't believe that more people aren't attending the Slashdot 10th Anniversary Party at the James Squire Brewhouse, King St Wharf, on Tuesday October 23 at 6pm.

Who's a big nerd & wants to come with me?

General Update
Hello :)


Last Weekend:

Went to Blaxland in the Blue Mountains to visit Graham, with James and James. Did the usual good stuff that we do up there: BBQ, wine, roast dinner... and followed up on Sunday with a 3hr bush-walk, which was really damn enjoyable.

This Week:
  • Saw Hairspray on Monday with Jeff... loved it :)
  • Had an exam at TAFE on Tues, didn't do as well as I hoped. Passed, but it wasn't easy.
  • I've had three Personal Training sessions at the gym, I needed a new program and something to get me motivated again. I'm sore in all the right places, so so-far it's good :)
  • Had dinner with Ron on Thursday night, checked out a new-ish Vegetarian Thai place at Newtown. Not bad.

Christian is visiting from Melbourne, he arrived this evening. We just watched Donnie Darko on DVD. Andrew's gone out to a house-warming. Not sure what I'll be up to this (long) weekend, but I have Dante's bday dinner tomorrow night, and with this fantastic warm weather, me and Christian will be heading to the beach some time :)

In point-form
I think I'm going to start updating this more regularly (perhaps daily), but in a really brief format: What I did today, and not a whole lot else. Here goes:
  • Work: finalising development of the billing/usage reports
  • Met flipx for an Easy Way drink at ~lunch time
  • Phil T. is visiting
  • Dinner with Andrew and Phil T. on Stanley St
  • Went to gym: first weights session in about 2 weeks
In general: I'm tired, my room is a mess, I need a haircut.

Something completely different.
I tend to meet most of my new friends & dating interests through existing friends.

I'm generally not all that good at going outside my social circle, and I tend to want to talk to guys (& sometimes maybe gals) who at least have a casual connection to people I know.

It may surprise some people when I say that I don't easily trust strangers or feel that I can relate to them, and that's probably one big reason why I tend not to want to meet new guys in bars or on dating sites.

It's recently been brought to my attention that some people I know may have issues with this. I don't know the specific complaints, or people, because only one of them has actually said something directly to me. Maybe there's this feeling of "why can't Dan find his own guys, and leave my friends alone". I don't know.

Anyway, I guess what I'd like to know (dear reader) is whether you think my behaviour is unacceptable. Maybe if you think it's an issue you can quietly tell me sometime.

Please don't be too suspicious of me. I'm not out to steal your date or co-opt your friend into my social group. If you want me to back off, just say so. I'm a pretty agreeable guy.



OK, I have done a couple of fucked-up things in the past. I'll be better, I promise!

More Kevin Rudd
Here's a bit more. Still can't find a decent copy of the whole lot. He sounds a lot better in this one.

Hu Zhuxi Xiansheng, wo daibiao wo he wo furen dui nin biaoshi women ge ren de huanying, dao women Aodaliya lai fangwen.
Mr Chairman Hu, I represent my wife and I in expressing our welcome to you on your visit to Australia.

Nin he zai zuo de Zhongguo pengyoumen zai Aodaliya li you hen duo, hen duo de pengyou. Hen duo zhen zhen de pengyou.
You and our Chinese friends present have many, many friends here in Australia. Many true friends.

Tamen dou shi shifen huanying.
They are all extremely welcoming. (my translation is a bit rough)

Wo he wo furen women bashi niandai gen women de xiao nuhaier dao beijing... (trails off)
In the 1980s, my wife and I, together with our young daughter arrived in Beijing...

Oh, another question to anyone who cares to reply: Do you think this is impressive? Or do you think it makes him look like a show-off?

(I must admit, if Alexander Downer stood up one day and started addressing the French PM in French, I'd think he was a bit of a twat. But then again, he is already a twat. :P )


I found a recording of the whole lot, in an SBS Radio news broadcast. You can download/listen to the MP3 here. Skip to about 6 mins to hear his part.

Transcript / TranslationCollapse )

Kevin Rudd addresses Hu Jintao in Mandarin

For a while now, I've been wanting to hear how good (or otherwise) Kevin Rudd's Mandarin is. It's only a short clip, but he seems quite good in these few sentences.

His accent doesn't sound quite "Chinese" enough to me, but I don't have a whole lot of exposures to different Chinese accents to I'm not sure how good/bad/otherwise it is. As far as I can tell he pronounces everything quite well.

He says:

Hu Zhuxi Xiansheng
Mr. President Hu,

nin zai women de guojia shi women zui zunjing de keren.
you are the most honourable guest in our country.

Xiwang nin nenggou xiuxi yixia,
I hope you will be able to take a rest,

kan women meili de difang,
visit our beautiful places,

kan women haokan de fengjing
see our nice scenery,

yiji women meili de chengshi.
and our beautiful city.

Apparently a little later he had a fair bit more to say, but I haven't been able to find a recording or transcript of that.

If anyone reading knows where to find a more complete recording or transcript, please let me know :)

I have a couple of questions for those who know Chinese better than me:

Chiefly, should he have been a little more modest? For example, I would have thought "ben guojia" would be more appropriate than "women de guojia", and that the following sentence (meili de ... haokan de ... ) might be considered a little boastful.

Also, have I translated "zui zunjing de" correctly as "the most honourable", or would "a most honourable" be more appropriate? I think the latter would be closer to Kevin Rudd's intended meaning, because I think to say "you are the most honourable guest in our country" (compared to the other leaders that are here at the moment) would be a bit of a diplomatic no-no.

(2nds thoughts: A less awkward translation might be "you are our country's most honourable guest")

Xie xie :)

City 2 Surf
So... I ran the City 2 Surf today, or as aboutrilo calls it, "Happy Beach Running Thing Day". :)

I need someone to go with next year! I was supposed to be running with a work team, but all of them got assigned to a different start to me and I didn't see them again!

Anyway, my time card said 1h13m07s... which is better than my "trial run" that I did on my own last weekend (about 1h14m30s).. but since I was in the 3rd start, I don't find out my *real* time until Tuesday when it's published in the newspaper. It's possible it will be something like 1h07m or even 1h03m - in which case I'll be really stoked :) (I wasn't wearing my watch.)

The course is 14km up and down some reasonably serious hills. I'm pretty happy that I managed to run the whole lot :)

Anyway I'll update on Tues after I find my final time.

Update: Final time: 69m, 48s.

But now I find out I have to wait til *Sunday*'s paper to see team results and find out if I beat all my colleagues!


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