I Consider Myself...

Here's a list of some of the things I consider myself:

  • a man
  • a husband
  • an Australian
  • a Christian
  • a nerd
  • a Victorian
  • a games player
  • a white collar worker
  • a Collingwood supporter

There's probably a lot more - this is just what came to mind on a Friday afternoon. Now, the real question is, if I had to put them in order, what order would they be in? And what does this say about me right now?

Being a Christian is a big part of my identity. So is being an Australian - I can identify with other Aussies. I'm a dad and a husband, which affects what my priorities are and who I hang around with the most. And I’m a man, so I’m not sensitive and can only do one thing at a time (and nothing when the TV’s on)...something you should know if you’re talking to me :-)

Here's the order that I came up with today: an Australian first, a Christian next, a man, a Dad, a husband, followed by all the rest at equal 6th (next week the order might be different, though).

What about you? What do you consider yourself first?

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Global Drought?

Victoria is in the middle of a 12 year drought, but Australia is not the only country in the world suffering from extreme water shortages.

UK newspaper The Guardian has a pictorial overview of "The Impact of Global Drought" with some sobering pics ranging from the US (three continuous years of drought in California) to Uruguay to Kenya and China - many places with the worst droughts in 50 years (and maybe more, depending on how far back valid data was being collected).

In Kenya it's reported that 10 million people are facing food shortages because of drought; China has recently "seeded" clouds to produce rain or heavier-than-normal rain to help alleviate their worst drought in 50 years; while The Age recently reported that the dry spell-bringing wind pattern called El Nino is likely to return to Australia in 2010 or 2011.

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Funniest Monty Python Sketch Ever

From "Live At The Hollywood Bowl", Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen:

Embedded Video

I crack up every time I hear "Luxury" :-)

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LoadIt Redux: I've Stopped Singing Its Tune

I previously mentioned Sanity's LoadIt service back in October 2008, soon after it first launched.

I can now report it's a complete bust. After writing my earlier blog post, I signed up for the "subscription" option just in time to get an e-mail announcing that the service would be ceasing (hadn't it only just launched?), which was disappointing but had the unexpected benefit that I did not have to pay for the month.

What I realised after just 1 day into my month was that the "subscription" service only allowed me to rent the songs - after the subscription expired, I would not be able to listen to the tracks again unless I paid more money to "buy" them in DRMed, Windows Media Player-only format.

Towards the end of my free month, another e-mail arrived saying that LoadIt would continue. Great, I thought: I'll pay $1.69 for the tracks I like and have already used bandwidth downloading, burn them to a CD, and then discontinue the service and do whatever I like with my music.

The problems came when I tried to login to LoadIt and couldn't. I requested an automated new password and got one, only to still be greeted with the familiar "invalid password". After repeating this process 5 times for 5 new passwords over two weeks, I e-mailed LoadIt support to ask for access. Remember, I wanted to pay money...I wanted to continue to use the songs I already had.

There was, and still is, no response from LoadIt. I've done my best to remove it from my PC (here's some instructions if you want to try it too). I think I sent LoadIt at least 3 e-mails, none of which were answered. Login is still broken. I even tried the sneak way of trying to create a new user - and received an ASP.NET error from the site.

It may sound like I'm being overly negative, but LoadIt is a complete bust, and I guess if it folded and then re-opened after only a couple of months operation, I must not be the only person having trouble with it (remember, it's Australia-wide and connected to a large music chain).

Is there a better way? Or is it back to buying good ole' CDs for me?

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Solar Vertical Blinds

I wish I'd had this clever idea - collecting the solar energy from window blinds during the day to power lighting at night:

The Solar Vertical Lamp (via Neatorama).

I can't wait for the "disco mode" version, with the inside of the blinds covered in multi-colored LEDs :-)

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