Jim Beams are gonna blind me!

So Annette and I are watching a documentary on the topic of Abba, the famously jumpsuit-clad Swedish supergroup. They’re getting various celebrities to rank Abba’s top 20 songs. Super Trouper is listed at number 16, and I’m thinking “Huh, only 16? Thought that one would be in the top ten for sure, maybe the top 5.” Then, this …

Annette: “I don’t know this one.”
JSR: “This one what?”
Annette: “This song.”
JSR: “This song? Super Trouper?”
Annette: “Yeah. Never heard this one.”
JSR: “You fucking have.”
Annette: “I have not!”
JSR: “You’ve never heard Super Trouper?”

In order to express my amazement, I would have to include a picture here of someone going “Wha’!?” and I don’t have one. So use your imagination. I felt much the same as when, back in the 90’s, a good friend many years my junior said “Who’s Duran Duran?”

Additional unrelated note: They had an interview with Donny Osmond during this documentary, and he was being dreadfully earnest about how excited the lyric “Uh-huhhh” from “Knowing me, knowing you.” got him.

Annette: “He’s .. he’s very wholesome, isn’t he?”
JSR: “Mormon.”
Annette: “Ah, right.”

I actually have some memories of watching the Donny and Marie show on TV back in the 1970s and thinking that Donny was a pretty dorky. And I myself, was (a) a child aged in single figures and living in a small farming town in New Zealand, and (b) pretty damn dorky myself. So he must have been an utter spaz.

Ooh! Me! Me! I’ll watch the watchmen! Pick me!

The trailer for the new Watchmen movie looks .. pretty good. I like the visual work of the characters, anyway – and the clockwork palace on Mars[1] also looks excellent.

I won’t get my hopes up high, however, because the trailer for The Phantom Menace also looked good. In fact, that trailer actually made a hugely better emotional connection than the movie did, possibly because in the trailer you didn’t have to watch people fail to act while delivering leaden dialogue.

Anyway, Watchmen. I likes what I sees, so far.

[1] You know – when I write it down like that … it sounds really silly.

The Gyre is damn well Widening.

Last night, on the way home, I was stopped for speeding on the motorway. “But officer!” I said, “I am SURE I was only going 95 or so!”. Turns out that the section of motorway I was on has, unbeknownst to me but definitely fucking beknownst to the rozzers, a speed limit of 80.

“I notice..” says the officer “..that you were not wearing a seatbelt.”

Ding! Speeding ticket. Ding! Seatbelt ticket. ANGER!

I was as nice as pie to the officer, taking the opportunity to say “It’s a fair cop.” to him, because I love that shit, and I bet they do too. I’ve said that while actually _being arrested_ in the past, so it’s nice to stick with tradition.

“I’m just going to run your car registration and warrant status and your license and stuff, as a matter of routine.”

No problem. Car is registered, and I got a warrant recently.

“Are you aware that your license has expired?”

DING! Huge-ass ticket. License confiscated. ANGER!

“You can drive home, and I’ll follow you to make sure you go there, but you can’t drive again until you get a new license.”

Fucks sake. Okay, fine, there’s a licensing place nearby. I’ll go there tomorrow morning and get a new one, they’ll give me a temp one while they mail my new real one out. In the meantime, a relaxing evening of WoW and surfing the net.

Except I’ve left my laptop power supply at work. ANGER!!

Annette kindly drives me to work to get it. She’s so stressed out she cries. It’s my fault. ANGER!!! AT SELF!

I search the internet for what paperwork I require to get a new license. I need ID, and some other shit. I go to the place where I keep my passports. They are Not There. I search the apartment. Can’t find them. ANGER!!!! I punch a door. It does not help, and it makes me feel like the kind of fuckwit that punches things. I resolve to not do it again. I find a photocopy of a notarised version of my birth certificate. This will suffice.

The next morning, I step boldly out of the shower onto the wet floor of the bathroom. I hilariously fall, taking the impact on my elbow. ANGER!!!!

Annette drives me to the licensing center. They do not accept photocopies. ANGER!!!!!!

Annette drives me to work. I hope she finds her way home OK.

She does.

My elbow has stiffened up so much that I now can’t really move it. Fortunately I could feel this coming and have positioned it in a 45-degree bend so I am in an ideal typing and WASD-key operating stance.

I order a new birth certificate. The time to print out a copy of a piece of paper is _eight working days_, plus two more days “To mail it out”. ANGER!!!!!!!!!

This has not been a winning 12 hours for me, so far.

I’m not really frowning ALL the time.

Annette and I were at the Elliot Street Stables, which is a sort of boutique mall with many little shops full of oh, just FABULOUS things, you know. We were there to purchase leaves at the awesome little tea shop.

Anyway, in their little central dining area they have live entertainment for the crowds, entertainment which that day consisted of a dude, his accoustic guitar, and some amps.

While we were shopping, he was playing the usual accoustic guitar standards – I don’t precisely recall what because they were so innocuous, but if you think along the lines of My Girl and Stand By Me, you’re on the right track.

As Annette was purchasing her tea choices, however, he segued out of whatever he was playing (let’s say “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys) into … Paranoid by Black Sabbath. A really mellow, accoustic, laid back version of Paranoid.

“Is that Black Sabbath?” I said to Annette, who just looked at me. “I think it is. I have to go. Be right back.”

I left the store and wandered down to where he was playing. He was being totally ignored by the crowds so I stared at him until I caught his eye, and then threw him The Horns.

He couldn’t throw ’em back because he was playing guitar, but he nodded, and he knew that I knew, and he also knew that I appreciated.

I like it when the world drops that kind of thing randomly into my life.

Cell’f PWND

Dammit.

I may have to reverse my position on the iPhone. My previous statements about it’s weird lack of some functionality still stand, and are still valid, however I’ve now had a look through the apps available from the app store, and the cool ones come together to form a kind of Voltron of usefulness which offsets the problems I have with it and tip the scales in the other direction.

Loopt alone is such a neat idea that it makes me happy just to think about it.

Dammit.

Dammit.

Gadgetlust … rising … must escape … warn others….

More like iPWN, amirite?

I will probably not be buying an iPhone 3G.

For starters, in NZ the new Vodafone plans launched for the iPhone are laughably terrible.

It’s a given that no-one is buying an iPhone and not anticipating using it for web browsing and whatnot, so you’d expect that iPhone-specific plans would reflect that with hefty data caps, or maybe even a speed-decrease when you hit the cap instead of an over-use charge.

No.

Vodafone’s iPhone-specific plans are, amazingly, actually worse (for data at least) than even the general voice and data plans they already offered. You might get a few more voice minutes and txts but the data side of it is absolutely terrible. Their iPhone-specific $250/month plan gets you 1GB/month of data. However their generic 3G broadband pro plan gives you 6GB/month for around $100 total, with a $10 discount if you use less than 3G.

So the new hotness plans are, bewilderingly, completely outclassed by their old busted plans.

But yeah, as I say, not really a biggie because you can just buy the handset outright and use it on your old plans, while pointing and laughing at the absurd new ones as they drool in the corner and soil themselves.

The main reason that I won’t be getting one is apple’s fault. I fairly routinely use my current 3G phone as a modem for my laptop. It’s a pretty normal thing to do, actually, if you want to get connectivity remotely. My Nokia N95 does it without any problems at all. It’s so normal and routine in fact, that I didn’t for a moment presume that any modern phone handset wouldn’t do it.

However, I found out today the iPhone does not support it.

At all.

So, I’m afraid that’s a dealbreaker for me – and a very strange piece of functionality for Apple to leave out of a handset made in 2008.

[Edit: I’ve just been informed that there may actually be a way to make this happen. I am investigating. I’m still inclined to let the first wave of 3G iphones be field-tested by others, I think. I’ll just have a play with someone elses and make sure it can do what I want.]