Daily Archives: January 4, 2009

Just a quiet Sunday afternoon in Surry Hills… 2

A person in the crowd told me the Egyptian consulate was in this side street. Certainly we have lately acquired a new idiom for expressing displeasure.

The photos in this post are my own original photos.

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More over the fold.

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Posted by on January 4, 2009 in Australia, Australia and Australian, current affairs, events, Israel, memory, Middle East, multicultural Australia, Sunday lunch, Surry Hills


Just a quiet Sunday afternoon in Surry Hills… 1

daniel_johns … with Sirdan and Simon H at the Porter House for Sunday lunch. Sirdan spotted singer Daniel Johns (right) at the next table. Not often we spot a celebrity, and on checking I see Sirdan’s spotting was spot on.

I had my camera, but refrained.

On the way home I was taking some architectural and other shots in that interesting area in the back of Riley Street, mostly on the north side this time. They’ll find their way into the photo blog.

But as I turned into Foveaux Street I saw this:

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That photo and others in the post below are my own original photos. You will find more over the fold. I got quite close to the action. I have to say the crowd, though large, was not at all scary…

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Posted by on January 4, 2009 in Australia, Australia and Australian, current affairs, events, Israel, local, Middle East, multicultural Australia, Sirdan, Sunday lunch, Surry Hills


Rationalising resources

In the previous entry I wrote, with a degree at least of seriousness, “Hmmm… Been blogging for way too long…” Consequently I have mothballed Ninglun’s Specials and English/ESL. For details see Mothballed and Mothballed but not closed.

(A couple of weeks later I moderated this decision.)


Posted by on January 4, 2009 in site news


Hmmm… Been blogging for way too long…

Five years ago:

Sunday, January 04 to Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Sunday: Special for American Readers

Since about 30-40% of my readers are in America, I thought you’d better have some explanation of this strange game I have been talking about lately. It does, I’m afraid, require a longer attention span than baseball ;-) — as you may see:

Each side has two innings (plural same as singular), and when each side has completed its two innings, the side with the most runs wins. This is not as simple as it sounds, because cricket matches almost always have a previously agreed time limit, generally in days, with the hours of play for each day specified in advance. If both sides do not complete their innings within the time specified, the match is a draw, regardless of the score. (In cricket, a draw and a tie are not the same thing. A draw is a match that is not completed; a tie is a match that is completed with the scores even.) Therefore to lose a cricket match you have to have your two complete innings and still not get as many runs as your opponents. If the number of runs needed for a side to win is too many for them to make, they can still play to achieve a draw and deprive their opponents of the win by avoiding being “all out” before “stumps” (the end of the match, when the umpires pull the stumps from the ground).

Match lengths are generally agreed upon in advance as a certain number of days, with the hours of play on each day specified, as well as the breaks to be taken for lunch and tea. The most important international matches (”tests”) between sides supposedly representing the best their countries have to offer are generally scheduled for five days.

That is from Cricket Explained (for novices), an American site…

That’s to be found here. But if you scroll up from there you’ll see it really is way too long

January 2000

1 January, 2000

Well, that date at last. The computer rolled over OK bar one or two things: 1) that PIM generated weird messages, so I deleted it, installing a new address book in Microsoft Access instead; 2) on rebooting this morning I discovered the computer thought it was 2094! I rang G later today and he talked me through changing the date deep in the computer’s BIOS, but the change did not hold so now each time I boot I have to manually change the date back to 2000. G says the only fix would be a new motherboard, but when one takes into account the need for larger memory, graphic capability, modem, sound, it is now (he agrees) more viable to consider a new unit. The price ought not to be too bad given there is no need yet for a new monitor, keyboard, mouse or printer.

Stayed home for New Year, after having a beer too many at the Flinders yesterday afternoon. Spoke to Ian at the Flinders, who had sent an email to M. Heard that “Dark Cloud” had a fire the day before, and got more details when I rang PK today. Apparently a lantern exploded setting off the sprinkler system in his building. He was subsequently attacked by a psychotic young Greek from upstairs and Dark Cloud’s landlord (Greek himself) said that the basher was threatening to kill Dark Cloud for some weird millennial reason. It is not the first time the crazy had threatened Dark Cloud but the first time in front of witnesses and a translator. The police are now involved, and Dark Cloud is unable to live at home at the moment. His considerable collection of gear (he is a shopaholic) is damp and will go to storage. Meantime Louis and the people at the Flinders are helping out. Which is a nice bit of gay community at work; but what a New Year’s Eve for Dark Cloud.

Tomorrow is Yum Cha. I rang A to remind him at about 3.00 pm, but he was still asleep; the poor bugger hadn’t got home from televising the festivities until 10 am. C is spending New Year in Royal North Shore Hospital, however; he had urgent work on his leg circulation being just short of gangrene.

The New Year was pretty amazing on the world stage. Boris Yeltsin resigning (not too soon), the Indian hostages in Kandahar being freed, the Yugoslav Care Australia worker being set free at last. There was much spectacle on TV for the big Y2K; Sydney was truly spectacular, and so was Paris. Beautiful moments included beautiful Maori men (especially the ones dancing in the pouring rain in Auckland), the Gisborne dawn with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the Sydney dawn, the Uluru Mimi Dancers…Less beautiful was Barry Manilow horribly out of synch in Connecticut. The Great Wall of China was made spectacular by Nature and hordes of colourful musicians and dancers. Guess it was a night to remember.

And no Armageddon or computer meltdown.

2 January, 2000

Reading the magnificent and impassioned middle section of Isabel Allende’s Of Love and Shadows (1987), while earlier in the day I had happened upon some typical gobbets of F R Leavis in Justin Wintle’s Dictionary of Biographical Quotations: disbelief that anyone ever took Leavis seriously– what a dickhead the man was: arrogant, and hopelessly parochial. Smarmy on the subject of Keats, idiotic about D H Lawrence, but not so bad I suppose on Donne and co. Then what of that other idiocy of the later 20th century, the “death of the novel”? Not much evidence for that looking back now from the year 2000! We have in fact been living through a great age of the novel!

The other thing I’ve been reflecting on while reading this novel (Of Love and Shadows) and thinking too of the most moving item in the great Year 2000 international telecast (Nelson Mandela lighting a candle in Robben Island Prison) is that one of the greatest things the 20th century has bequeathed is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and one hopes that all will see it as transcending cultures, as fewer things are more pernicious than those who for political self-interest or religious reasons reject it as “inappropriate”.

Yum Cha was a success this morning. A. turned up and was fascinated by the Y2K problem in the computer BIOS. Ian came up with the theory that it may have defaulted to the chip’s year of manufacture, and indeed when I rang G later today he agreed it was possible, as the chip was manufactured in 1994. So the BIOS was ready to change 1999 to 20 something, but became confused; it kept the 20, but defaulted to 94. A. rang later and came back over about 5.30. He had been online at work to the company (Phoenix Technology) who now have the rights to Award Software, the manufacturers of the BIOS. He downloaded a patch onto a floppy disk, brought it over, and we installed it. While the BIOS still thinks it is 2094, the patch enables it to boot the computer to 2000, obviating the need to buy a new motherboard or a new computer just yet. Next step is the modem and signing up to an ISP.

Mind you, those just sat on my Brother Word Processor for a few months until finally I started a blog, or a site, on something called – what was it now? Some free service that is no longer anyway… That’s right – thank God I wrote it down – Talk City! That’s when I became “Ninglun”… Strange seeing that bit about Dark Cloud.

And now I find there is a copy of the Guest Book from my original Talk City site on Wayback. I have decided to copy then edit to save some little embarrassment, and to delete all email addresses… I can’t guarantee any remaining links work. It’s over the fold.

Yep, way too long! Maybe I should stop…

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Posted by on January 4, 2009 in blogging, memory, nostalgia, personal