Archived News for August 2007

SJD - Two Bodies - Chords

Best guess. Not really any point in writing it as tab.

C Am Em G Dm F
C Am Em G Dm...

F C C/B Am (Am/G)
F Fm C Am G (then hold C)

Chorus, hold G instead of C

And out:
F Am C# F x3

Steam Community

The beta of Steam Community is out. It looks interesting. I'd like to see more gameplay statistics, and I'm sure they're in the works. Here's my profile, anyway.

As part of the Community beta, you can also add shortcuts to your other games to your steam menu. Mildly pointless, now that I own most of my games on Steam, and given that Steam takes quite a while to start up - although, a Steam entry has appeared in my services management console, so it might not be slow for long.

Rather than add the icons of my (admittedly pirated) id games to Steam, I just bought their entire catalogue (minus, notably, Quake 4). And Company of Heroes (amazing), and Dawn of War (plus expansions). And Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. And it's only two months before I'm buying the Orange Pack. Valve must be raking it in.

But, really, they deserve it. I hate dealing with patches. Steam is just too damn convenient - at least for those of us with broadband.

Farewell to a Much Loved Friend

Someone stole my mountain bike. I'm really really angry. It was padlocked to the side of the garage, not visible from the street. It's not like its worth that much, and it's not like I would have had the chance to ride it before I'd have had to sell it anyway before I move to Oz at the end of the year. But I feel violated, and I'm absolutely gutted. I've had that bike since I was in 6th form, and I've had so many good times with it. It feels like a part of me has been ripped out. If I ever come across the worthless sack of shit that took it, I'm gonna have to be held back. It's times like these that make me wonder why we don't have the death penalty, and why parole exists. There are people who are just not fit to live in our society, who have proved by their actions that they don't deserve to. Cowards and deadbeats who think that they can take someone else's property instead of earning their own. It wasn't a mistake when they stole my bike, it was premeditated, they didn't accidentally cut the padlock - why should they get a second chance instead of being held responsible for the consequences of the actions they have chosen? I'm not expecting to see my bike again, and I've given up hope that justice is going to be served here. I guess crime does pay, and I'm just the part of a minority who still want justice in a society increasingly tolerant of breaking the law. Goodby, Mountain Bike.

The Real Meaning of Sensible Sentencing

New Zealand is not a country growing increasingly tolerant of crime. In fact, the opposite is true; we are growing more intolerant. This is a graph of our prison population. The black line is historical data, reaching back to 1994. The source is the Ministry of Justice, who would know because, well, they have to feed these people:

Prison population, 1994 - 2005, and projections

"But," you might say, "this rise is surely indicative of a rise in crime. Are we not in the clutches of a crime wave?". Well, no, we're not. The total per capita crime rate has fallen 25% since 1992. The crime rate for dishonesty offences, a class which includes theft and burglary, has fallen 32% since 1996. Compare those figures with the above graph.

"But hasn't the violent crime rate gone up? That's what the TV tells me!" Sure, the rate has risen from 107 to 118 violent crimes per thousand citizens, since 1996. But, as the SNZ report says, "in reality, the increase in violent offences is virtually solely attributable to an increase in threats and intimidation" (they grew 37%). Combine that with changes in "propensity to report crime" (the proliferation of cellphones, in particular), campaigns targeting domestic violence (and, recently, child abuse) and media interest, and you begin to get the picture.

So, while crime is down 25%, incarceration is up 75%. And this is tolerance for crime?

The rise in our prison population is something we should be concerned about. And the crime rate shows we should be concerned not because our streets are growing more dangerous (they're not), but because our sentences have reached beyond justice and into revenge.

Nobody deserves to be a victim of crime. But state-instituted punishment, especially on behalf of victims, is, itself, an injustice.


It was a rainy day today, so Dad and I made a kontiki. We're going to try it out this weekend if the wind is right.

The plans for a keel were quickly scrapped

Almost finished
This is it, almost finished. The halyard attaches to the bottom strake, where the 'lolly mechanism' is. Yep, that's the technical term, because kontiki fishing is endemic to New Zealand (modern kite fishing is fairly endemic too).

The law, endearingly, says you have to mark surface floats (including kontiki) with your initials and surname. God forbid you put your whole first name on there.

We would name the kontiki itself, but the board already bears the name 'Slick Stick' (crappy Engrish marketing, don't ask me). And, seeing as it's square-sailed and against the mast, I didn't want to go through the hassle of backwinding it. At least the red colour will make it go faster.

Eagle vs Shark

It wasn't at all what I expected. I wouldn't really recommend it. I liked the random stop-motion animated interludes (they kinda reminded me of Science of Sleep), but I thought the plot and characters were are little ham-fisted.

I would definitely recommend the soundtrack though, and if they don't have one, I'd recommend going to see the movie just for the music. The Reduction Agents, besides having a cool band name, sound awesome. Might go looking for their album.

In Medias Res

On the way home,
In the morning,
I felt spited,
Offended by
Your cruel words, your

You missed the essence,
the content and the
Summary. Indeed,
You missed all.

Yet, you chimed in with your opinion
of the proceedings, your judgement,
unasked and unheeded.

It is, perhaps, the worst thing,
To be misjudged and ignored;
Not rejected on merits,
But rejected by things you
Are not.

I hate you still.

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