General Update

By: | Post date: March 14, 2009 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

(The temptation of the eeePC has so far been dodged: HKD 3500 is if anything dearer than AUD 650, and they were still flogging Windows on it. Heathrow will be the real test for the eeePC temptation, given what the Brit behind me was saying to the shopholder in Hong Kong: “Things seem to be more expensive than in Britain…” “Yes, pound now really weak.”)

Given that I’m resuming blog service, I owe people an account of what I’ve been doing for the past nine months. Not that you were getting an account of the months before that through here, nor that you’re going to get much of an account here. (At least not unless I order another Bailey’s here in Patrician Class. The curdling of the last Bailey’s I ordered suggests I shouldn’t.)

Well, I have a house, and I’m in it. More on that next post.

I’m on a diet as of three weeks ago—calorie controlled intake: it’s the same diet I went on when I came back from the States, and is timely since I’ve long since regained all the weight I’d lost. That of course is the flaw of the whole diet cycle: little point shedding weight if you’re going to keep eating midnight snacks afterwards. Still, I can do without the bloat, or the casual GP question “do you have a history of hepatitis” because of how much fat has built up around my liver. The diet does make it aggravating to go out to dinner (the primary means of socialisation in my circle), and watch other people eat, while I’m limited to a latte—chai, if I’m feeling like throwing caution to the winds. Serves me right, though: no penitence without penance.

Of course, the diet is being shot to buggery while I am in the Low Countries this week, but I will make some token efforts at good behaviour. I declined the second breakfast in a row just now, for instance. Tasty though that porridge looked. Must have been the strawberry plonked in the middle of it. Just like they plonked a strawberry in the middle of the first breakfast. [Update: I did have the tuna baguette a couple of hours later instead, so I wasn’t all that disciplined…]

I’m still working with Link Affiliates, this year with more responsibility to manage myself, and I’m still working through what that translates to. I’ve have been based back in Melbourne Uni since October. I’m working the other side of the street from campus, in the Thomas Cherry building—it’s where university IT used to be based, upstairs from the former garage where I used to entertain myself by doing Robin Williams impersonations on the technical support helpdesk. There is now no helpdesk as we knew it—certainly none that would have patience for impersonations of anything. The former garage succumbed to the same imperative as my erstwhile pub, and has become a soulless student apartment block. The IT division has long moved out of Thos. Cherry, which now hosts miscellanea, including me. And the place is not what it was twelve years ago: You can’t go back.

That’s even more true of the campus itself. The students want their money’s worth, now that they’re paying real money, and aren’t there to have fun. The staff that haven’t taken redundancies and left are harried and not having much fun either. The libraries are no longer in the book business: what used to be the ERC library (and is now a student lounge with some books up the back) does not even have an after hours book chute. I’m hard put to recognise the place, and don’t cross the road that often. In a way—and I did not expect this at all—I actually miss Monash. Not so much the Monash Industrial Park, but the library and environs where I first was stationed. Maybe there were just less ghosts there, maybe that’s what it was.

I dipped into Twitter, but I doubt I’ll ever get into it: I’m not one for aphorisms, and the world does not need to know what I’m having for breakfast. I am contributing though to the Suda On Line—translating entries from a Byzantine encyclopaedia online. All the fun stuff got cherry picked eight years ago, so I’m left with verb definitions and the occasional complete misconstrual of a Classical passage. That’s fine; it keeps me busy, and I occasionally learn something. Strange to find out how tenuously our knowledge of the Classics has been transmitted: we depend on mediaeval commentaries to make sense of a lot of Homer or Aristophanes, but the mediaeval commentators often don’t know what they’re talking about any more than I do; on occasion, they know even less.

Apart from that, I still don’t have a life, but at least I have a shorter commute. 🙂


  • opoudjis says:

    Aha. Serafini or Voynich? The why the page author would bother is a separate question.

    “Can I really bear to own an Eeps.” Hm. If only I’d asked myself that in time… (More when I get time to blog and am not hung over. It is Amsterdam after all, City That Has Taught My Kin Of Beer.)

  • John Cowan says:

    Just learn to pronounce it [i:ps], and ask yourself every time, “Can I really bear to own an Eeps?”

    That’s what I do, eh.

    The CAPTCHA says “ativeri” — so nice that Google has changed to the mostly-pronounceable — and I googled for it; among some Italian I found a less recognizable page that by devious means led me to this. WTF?!! Note particularly the embedded image!

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