Hmmm… Been blogging for way too long…

04 Jan

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…

Monday, June 25, 2001 11:55 PM


Cool Site

Friday, June 8, 2001 5:28 PM

Rowan Cahill |

Sunday, April 29, 2001 1:08 AM

Nye Perram |

Oxford, United Kingdom

Nice site. I think it is good that there are sites like this. Another good book by Thay Nhat Hanh is the Miracle of Mindfulness. I also recomment a non-religious book by the Dalai Lama "Ancient Wisdom Modern World" which recommends a secular approach to ethics (albeit it with clearly Buddhist roots).

Saturday, April 28, 2001 7:18 PM

John M. Shaw |

Flippin, USA

9 years of full blown AIDS, 37 years of homosexuality, healed instantly! No…buddah, didn’t do it. Want to know more? E-mail me at **** and I’ll tell you all about it.

Thursday, April 5, 2001 7:25 PM

Linda |

one in Northern California, USA

Because of your pages on racsim, I’ve visited your site several times already and decided that now was time to sign the guestbook. You’ve done a great job. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2001 10:17 PM


Thanks Graeme.

Sunday, March 4, 2001 2:23 PM


Camden Haven

Wow I’m impressed by the wealth of information. This is an important source for humanity issues. Please keep it up.

Thursday, February 1, 2001 4:33 AM


If memory serves, I had a poor reaction to the Flinders during my one and only visit. As Crown Prince, I hereby acknowledge the Empress’ lawful Edict.

Wednesday, January 31, 2001 3:28 AM


Paddington, Australia

Imperial Edict The hostelry known as the Flinders Hotel is hereby placed under Imperial Interdict. The Empress Dowager is pleased that other members of Royalty have already decided to avoid the premises, and has decided in Her Wisdom to make the Interdiction Formal. All Family Members, Equals, Subjects and Vassals are Requested and Required to observe this Interdict. Read this and Obey DEHK

Sunday, January 14, 2001 4:00 AM

Mystery Man

This site is amazing. It’s so much easier to navigate through the different sections than many "professional" sites and the content is thought provoking and touching too! One word: BRILLIANT =) Oops, sorry, that sounded like a cheapo film review and this site deserves more than that. Once more, my apologies to all those involved.

Saturday, January 13, 2001 3:55 AM

Mystery Man

It’s worrying that some people may have the opportunity to use evolution as a justification for racism. If further archaeological evidence is found to support the idea that the races in homo sapiens had evolved separately on the different continents, this information would probably be used by extremists to show that we are not all genetically equal and that their own race is superior. Of course, this should not deter science and research from advancing but it is worth it to consider how this can be distorted for more selfish purposes.

Saturday, December 2, 2000 10:22 AM

Maisie |


This site is wonderful! I run an email group for people to discuss issues involving all sorts of prejudice. We want to cover as wide a range as possible, and we would love to have you join us, or at least give us permission to use your URL as a link. I hope you will decide to join us (it’s free!) because you obviously have so much to say that people need to hear! The group’s description can be found at the URL above, or you can email me personally if you have any questions

Monday, November 6, 2000 11:48 PM


Hi Ninglun, missed you on sunday , only 6 turned up, and I am single again for the 3rd time in a month. D.

Saturday, November 4, 2000 1:52 PM


Saturday, October 28, 2000 7:19 AM

Shanghai Bob

Sydney, Continued from last post…

This "revenge" brings pain and suffering mainly to the INNOCENT Israeli, not the actual murderers…because many simply say, "I don’t give a ***k, as long as it’s Israeli I’d simply shoot them, because they killed our brothers and sisters." (Quoted from a Palestinian living in Australia) INNOCENT Israeli die, and for "revenge" INNOCENT Palestinians die also. War…as we all know is a crime towards all humanity. But then, someone names this one the "HOLY WAR", and all agree. If one is truely religious (as claimed by people from both sides), one should pray to God, beg God to calm the anger in one’s mind, give him/her wisdom and allow him/her to think peacefully and objectively… because God does not like war. Territory? The 3rd holiest place in Islam? Is the "HOLY WAR" really the only answer? Is there no hope? Mr Wu Ninglun, I’d like to know your thoughts and opinions on this.

Saturday, October 28, 2000 7:16 AM

Shanghai Bob

Sydney, Australia

Woahhhhhhh…..!!!! The best homepage ever!!! It’s just so huge, with so many things to read and learn! Well, I’ve just bookmarked it, and after my ultimate relief from the HSC, that’s it I’ll read every single word on this site ^__^ Just some thoughts on a current issue… apparently there is much turmoil and misery going on in the Middle East. Due to the violence exerted by some extremists from the two sides (Israel and Palestine), there is now much national hatred between the two sides, as a result INNOCENT people are dying. Many INNOCENT Palestinians are brutally murdered including children (such as the 12 yr old who got shot again and again and died in his father’s arm…and the other 17 yr old who got skinned alive). The Palestinians thus develop a hatred towards ALL Israeli and many are determined to take a frightening revenge. This "revenge" brings pain and suffering mainly to the INNOCENT Israeli, not the actual murderers…because many simply say, "I don’t

Tuesday, October 17, 2000 11:10 PM


Fie on three, rogue! 2500 hits! Zounds! Yes, I did Shakespeare today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000 7:29 AM

Andy |

Sydney, See My Town

Well here I am, being me.

Thursday, October 12, 2000 1:35 PM

terry |


Thanks for leaving a message on my guestbook. I still have more things to explore on your excellent site but yes we both like buddhism, taoism,poetry and photographs. Take care.

Friday, September 29, 2000 8:29 PM


Hi Neil, yes and I am still occuupied!!!!!, see you at yum char, to morrow. D.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000 3:48 AM

wu ninglun

As to my calculation, perhaps I am modest; but perhaps it reflects accurately enough the degree to which I am gay in my own terms. Sirdan, on the other hand, claims 95% understates him: Ian is just louder perhaps 😉 For those mystified by this see my Online Diary for September 20, and go to [Rabbit Site] to check the guestbook there for the days just before that. But don’t go too often: it only encourages him!

Tuesday, September 19, 2000 7:28 PM

Rabbit |

Brilliant calculations there, though I suprised you only rate what you say you do. On the God-Satan conflict, it seems that Satan (*******) has retired, leaving God (****) victorious for the meanwhile. I am being completely payed out in the guestbook; our gay friend Nimrod finds a girl cuter than me. Hmm! As for "how do you study for an English exam", I can offer a unique answer. But, in the interests of thriftiness (in others), I won’t.

Sunday, September 10, 2000 11:11 PM

Delenio |

Sydney , Australia

Amazing! This site changes colour every time I come to read the diary. The multicultural pages are top-notch, took me a while to get through it all.

Sunday, September 10, 2000 4:24 PM

Mystery Man |

Rabbit Site

I could be a fake you know. Or not. Just thought I’d start on your book too.

Friday, April 28, 2000 5:44 AM

Monday, April 10, 2000 5:01 AM

Ernestine |

Syracuse, USA

I haven’t met you yet, but I feel connected to you already. Your introduction in the right margin of the home page is incredibly perfect. I am a student of literature and a lover of people and I find your approach to be remarkable. Its great to see that the world is not made up exclusively of selfish people. Its takes a special kind of person to be able to reach inside of themselves and share who they are and who they represent with others. That’s what makes literature so remarkable to me. I look forward to discovering more great things in your website.

Saturday, April 1, 2000 5:12 PM

M Hayes |

Federal Way, Washington, U.S.A.

Tuesday, March 28, 2000 1:00 PM

Graeme  |

Port Macquarie, Australia

Monday, March 27, 2000 2:52 AM

Claire Bradin Siskin

Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA

Neil, You were nice enough to sign my guestbook, so I wanted to return the favor! I love the background on your web page. It is very restful. Best of luck with your site.

Sunday, March 26, 2000 7:30 PM

The Internet TESL Journal

Thanks for submitting your link to our set of links.

There was a stage where my ESL interests and other things coexisted awkwardly in one place… And the Guest Book published email addresses! Wouldn’t do that any more.


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


3 responses to “Hmmm… Been blogging for way too long…

  1. Denys

    January 6, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    5 years! That is amazing Neil. And a happy new year to you too Sir.

  2. Neil

    January 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks, Denys. But five? It’s more like eight!

  3. Denys

    January 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Yes you are right. I saw the “5 years ago” and took that as being when you started blogging and I read the whole post too!

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