Top 5 Songs about Death

June 28, 2006

A Memorable quote from High Fidelity :

Barry: Top 5 songs about death. A Laura’s Dad tribute list, okay? Okay. Leader of the Pack. The guy fuckin’ beefs it on his motorcycle and dies, right? Dead Man’s Curve. Jan & Dean.
Dick: Do you know that right after they recorded that song Jan himself crashed his car…
Barry: It was Dean you fuckin’ idiot…
Rob: It was Jan. It was a long time after the song.
Barry: Okay, whatever. Tell Laura I Love Her. That would bring the house down – Laura’s Mom could sing it. You know what I’d want? One Step Beyond by Madness. And, uh, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
Dick: No. Immediate disqualification because of its involvement with The Big Chill.
Barry: Oh God. You’re right!
Dick: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot.
Barry: You bastard! That’s so good – that should have been mine… The night Laura’s daddy died. Sha na na na na na na na na! Brother what a night it really was. Mother what a night it really… angina’s tough! Glory be!

The making of a great compilation tape, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head…

—– end quote

Scouting – what’s in a name?

June 26, 2006

As I have volunteered to join in as a Joey Scout Leader, I need to pick a name for myself.

In Australia the Joey leaders take their names from the local flora and fauna. I think I have found my name.

Early possibilities were chuditch (which is an aboriginal word for the quoll – our largest feline predators.) I was warned against the obvious wombat due to an unfortunately common description of their eating habits having a double meaning.
So next I strike upon the humble Bull Ant, otherwise known as the Jack Jumper. This resonates for a few reasons.

Size – I am of a good heft 🙂 Simple, strong and individual (unlike many other ant species.) They love to eat sweet things. I was once one of the commercial Bullants, though sadly was made redund-ant.

Finally there is the aboriginal name – tietta. This word is also in use in certain areas of arctic Russia – there it means 'science.'

Well that does it for me. Now it only remains to see if the name is acceptable to the scouting leadership and more importantly if the kids can pronounce it.

Goodbye to my Grandfather

June 22, 2006

It looks like it is finally time to say goodbye to my namesake maternal Grandfather.

Sure I have said this before and was wrong then, but this time seems much more serious.


June 20, 2006

Last night I began the paperwork to join our local Scout group as a volunteer leader. You should have seen how fast the current leaders jumped for the papers and a pen for me!

In my usual style I began searching to see what is happening in Scouting online. Turns out there is a bit, but not as much as i would like. Our group doesn't yet have any web site (that'll soon be fixed 🙂

Anyway here are a few links I dug up of interest to me at the moment:

Got the shakes … in a good way

June 16, 2006

How do you know you might be are a techno-junkie?

Well how about this – I just installed a new TV for my olds (they gave themselves a 40th wedding anniversary present.) The TV is replacing a 14 inch VCR-CRT combo TV (i.e. the old traditional box with glass type.)

The new set is a gorgeous 26 inch LCD widescreen TV. Looks great – all black, speakers on the sides, lovely picture – especially with actual 16:9 widescreen inputs.

Even now, a good half hour after finishing the install I still have the shakes you get from a good adrenaline rush.


Hi, my name is Matthew and I’m a techno-junkie. 

Down a rabbit hole

June 9, 2006

Catching up on some blogs using Google's Reader, I fell down a rabbit hole. You can follow me down if you like – I found it really interesting …

It started with a link from Brent Simmons' blog pointing to a custom built Learn Python app on – Python has been on my to-do list for a long time now, so I was curious. This little app has a split-window, with half showing a browser that is hard-linked to a Python tutorial and the other half is an interactive shell for playing with Python commands.

Daniel Jalkut credits Michael McCracken who had recently built a Gmail app as inspiration for his Python learning tool. Time to investigate a side-tunnel!

It is too late for me, the hole continues and I am drawn in.

Michael has his links in his sidebar and one of those is to the LogoWiki – he says :

If I had kids now, I'd have them play with this version of logo.

It so happens that I do have kids. It is high time they started programming that cute little turtle.

Back in the tunnel. Michael McCracken has inspired others who share their own hacks following his lead. Amongst those are a custom Backpack client, which is another I'll have to try.

Incidentally, all this is made possible by Apple's open source initiatives, in particular the WebKit that powers their Safari browser. I will have to tinker with this, too.

In the same way as Michael's readers did, Daniel's readers have made their own suggestions and hacks – and one of these is from Rodney Ramdas – a learn Ruby app. Ruby has passed Python on my to-do list due to the amazing stuff being done in the Rails community.

By now I have no idea which way is out. The Cheshire cat beckons … I am lost.