Thursday, March 31, 2005

Almost a Winter's Day

Mutterings continued.

No blog yesterday, Blogspot was stuffed.

Lovely weather today - 19c max., making Perth the capital city with the lowest temp. Even Hobart was warmer. 19c tomorrow, low 20's on the weekend. Very nice.

A couple of great animal encounters over the last couple of days. Yesterday afternoon I went to the cinema in the African Savannah to lock up, only to find a couple of people watching the video clips. I left them to it and wandered over to watch the Hamadryas Baboons. Taye, the young 'un, was playing with a bit of wood - rolling on it, chewing it, standing on his head, all very kittenish behaviour. He dropped it into the moat and ran down to get it. Baboons don't like water and he couldn't reach it so he had a bit of a whimper. His dad, James, came running over when he heard the noise, saw me and obviously blamed me for upsetting his kid. He glared up at me in a very threatening manner. I told him it wasn't my fault but he didn't seem to believe me.

This morning, one of the keepers took Stinky, the young Little Penguin, for a walk past our office. We went out and said hello and he came over to check if we had anything for him. He nibble my bracelet and ring and had a good look in my hands for hidden fish. He then waddled off into the garden bed. The keeper had to pick him up and carry him as he kept being distracted and wandering off.

And just prior to that the two dingoes were walked past us.

It appears that the new Dr Who series has been a hit (10 million viewers) and a second series has been commissioned. Without Christopher Eccleston it seems. Apparently it was all too hard for the lad and he wants out.

Also from The Scotsman:
"Daleks aim at Darth in store wars

DARTH VADER is taking on the Daleks in an epic battle for parentsÂ’ hard-earned cash.

As Doctor Who returns to our screens, science fiction fans are eagerly anticipating the latest and last Star Wars film, Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith." Still want a Darth Tater.....

And this tit-bit: "Patrick Troughton - 1966-69
Troughton trained as an actor at the Embassy School of Acting in the UK and at Leighton RollinÂ’s Studio for Actors at Long Island, New York, before joining the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Afterwards he joined the Old Vic and became a Shakespearean actor. He won his most famous role as the second Doctor in 1966 and played the part for three years. He died of a heart attack at a science fiction convention in 1987." I hadn't realised he died at a con.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Day of HTMLing

Mutterings continued.

Did a lot of work on the Zoo's website today. Changed bits of the front page as well as a lot of internal pages.

I heard the White-cheeked Gibbons calling this morning, from my lounge room. I mean, I was in my lounge room when I heard them calling, not... oh never mind.

Mythbusters was a hoot last night - Jamie and Adam blew things up and made a remote controlled cop car, which they made do donuts. Adam was so excited he was jumping up and down, just like a little kid.

Condolences to Leece who didn't win the Tin Duck. Boo hiss. Maybe next year, eh?

Monday, March 28, 2005

A Gardening Day

Mutterings continued.

Fabulous thunderstorm last night. Lots of rain, lightning and very, very loud thunder. Loud enough to shake Milo off the lounge. More rain is forecast over the coming days, which is great.

I spent the morning on the verandah, throwing out old, empty plastic pots, cleaning up several years' worth of leaves, etc, and planting out the goodies I bought yesterday. The verandah is no longer an eyesore, and no doubt I'll get comments from the people upstairs and along one who look down on it.

Still waiting to hear if Leece won the Tin Duck at Swancon. Fingers, knees, eyes crossed

UKTV has had a murder/mystery weekend so I've been catching up on episodes of Midsomer Murders and Frost. David Troughton's MM ep was on Saturday; he played a very sleazy drama teacher.

Paul Hester, drummer with Crowded House and presenter of Hessie's Shed, killed himself over the weekend. Damn, damn, damn.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

A Driving Day

Mutterings continued.

Dad and I went on a road trip to Pinjarra, which is south-eastish of Perth. I wasn't sure how far away it actually was and so did a route search on Whereis; I came up with a driving time of 1 hour 40 minutes from Gosnells where Dad lives. It didn't sound right but I factored that into the trip, picked Dad up about 10ish and ended up stopping in Pinjarra at about 11.15. And that was after driving through and around the town looking for a picnic spot, and being stopped at a level crossing by a very long ore train.

We came to the conclusion that the oncoming traffic must have been allowed to progress in batches, as they all appeared to be in lots of 5. Five cars, gap, five cars, gap. Coming and going. Most odd.

On the way home from Dad's I called into Bunnings and bought about $50 worth of plants, pots and potting mix. I've had a rush of blood to the head and want to do something about my balcony, which is an eyesore. I bought 3 different kinds of mint, some Portulacas, which I love, a red geranium as they are very hard to kill, cat grass for the cats, and some Pansies.

Had dinner and DVDs in Leece and Rob's room at the Emerald (which is next to the Games Room and around the corner from the lift) last night. Rob prepared a wonderful pork pie and salad repast and we watched Stargate:A, Battlestar Galactica (which is just getting better and better) and bits of Killer Shrews and kids washing themselves MST3K-style. R and L have got a combined DVD/VCR recorder (ie, both bits record!) and I want one. You can record from tapes onto DVD! Amazing. I've only got one that does it the other way around. The Good Guys have a Panasonic model for $797, which is a tad more that I want to spend.

There was much, well, a little, excitement when the hotel fire alarm went off and a fire truck rolled up. Seems the Masquarade smoke machine had set the alarms off.

I have been reliably informed that the pilot to the pilot of Angriest Video Store Clerk in the World is really, really funny.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Carnaby's Were Right

Mutterings continued.

Carnaby's Cockatoos are supposedly harbingers of rain; today we've had a few spots of the wet stuff. That's probably due to the small number of birds in the flock that flew over yesterday. There was a lone pelican on a light pole of Canning Highway this morning.

As can be seen from the blog, I've been playing around with the template. This time I remembered to copy and save all the coding.

K Mart had a 15% off everything sale today, resulting in long queues at the checkouts. I joined the end of a just-opened checkout and noticed that all the others were moving much more quickly, so I queue-hopped and ended up getting 'done' before those in front of me in the original queue. I bought a very exciting hand-held vacuum cleaner for the car and a griller. Woo hoo.

Hmmm, Yahoo Groups has changed its look and I'm not sure what to make of it.

I've been watching the Goodies eps with cast commentaries - very funny stuff. The scripts look great and there's a fabulous drawing by GG of the tortoise operated cream mine on the Bunfight at the OK Tearooms final page.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Quiet Day

Mutterings continued.

Didn't do a lot today - some housework, the washing, tidied away some props, nothing much.

A flock of Carnaby's cockatoos has just flown over, heading towards the Zoo. Does this mean rain? Must go and check on the ants to confirm.

My version of Mozilla has travelled back in time and is only reading blogs dated February. I've cleared the cache and that seems to have helped.
Shopping tomorrow morning and then into the Emerald in the evening for company and Mystie.

From the BBC:
T rex fossil has 'soft tissues'

Dinosaur experts have extracted samples of what appear to be soft tissues from a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil bone.

The US researchers tell Science magazine that the organic components resemble cells and fine blood vessels.

In the hotly contested field of dino research, the work will be greeted with acclaim and disbelief in equal measure."

From the Guardian: 'He was a gay Catholic from Lancashire...'

Who was Shakespeare? As a new play about the Bard opens, we asked his biographers, editors and fans to give their view."

I'm a fan of Stargate:SG1, but as I've mentioned before, I haven't seen it for a while and have lost touch with what's going on. I caught an ep a couple of weeks ago and it had the doctor from Stargate:Atlantis in it. The first ep of S:A featured Jack and Teal'c - the latter providing much amusement for Leece and Rob.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Friday That Isn't

Mutterings continued.

It's Thursday but feels like a Friday. Four days off, hurrah!

Gang from work went out for lunch to a book cafe. I had Florentine Foccaccia - chicken, Swiss cheese, avocado, other good stuff. And an Earl Grey tea.

Some good stuff in the letterbox today - the 2nd Goodies DVD from Sendit, April's Foxtel guide and a postcard from Chile from Nick who is undertaking part 2 of his trip around the world. The Goodies DVD comes with a booklet detailing (in detail!) each of the episodes on the disk. And one of the extras on the disk is a series of scripts in pdf format.

An ideal job? "Two men have spent six months eating 350 Easter eggs.

Jeff Pyne and Rahul Patel are professional Easter egg tasters for Tesco." Actually, given the cheap and nasty nature of most Easter eggs, probably not a good job after all. Unless of course the eggies are Belgian.

And speaking of Belgians, "Oldest' Belgian died 51 years ago

Officials have discovered that a woman proclaimed to be the eldest living Belgian actually died half a century ago."

"Sleepwalker mows lawn naked

A sleep-walking computer expert was caught by his wife mowing the lawn naked at 2am." I've only ever shifted furniture; thank the small gods I don't have a lawn. Or a lawnmower.

A bit of a heads up (lord I hate that cliche!): Class Act is producing Twelfth Night in June. June 3 - 18, Tues to Sat, at the Rechabites. As the blurb says, "Boy meets girl. Girl dresses as boy. Another girl falls in love with girl!" And it's directed by Stephen Lee.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

This has gone on long enough!

Mutterings continued.

It was 42c out Dad's way today. Not much less in Perth and our air con at work isn't working. I have my little guy blowing nice cool air into the lounge room at the moment. I was going out to Retro Betty's with L and R, however we've all decided (well, Leece and I have decided) that we're going to sit in the cool and whine instead.

Tomorrow should be a little better - only 32c. *sigh*

I had a nice walk through the Zoo at 7.30 this morning to turn on the telly in Cinema N'dutu in the African Savannah. Lots of birdies about.

I've just been tapped on the shoulder by Milo. Unfortunately he had his claws out at the time. I think he wanted a pat, though it's hard to tell with cats. He loves the laser pointer - he associates the noise of the keychain with the red shiny thing. Good behavioural enrichment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

And a hot Tuesday

Mutterings continued.

Bugger it. Dad had to drag his aircon out of the spare room today and I'm considering doing the same!

A busy day writing articles for the ARAPZA newsletter, doing things to the website, proof-reading bird fact sheets and having lunch down the road (bacon and egg roll, yum).

I saw an interesting episode of BBC's Horizon the other night - they took up US skeptic James Randi's challenge to investigate the existence of the so-called "memory of water" used in homeopathy.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Hot Monday

Mutterings continued.

It's after 5pm and it's still 31c; 36c tomorrow. It's autumn! godammit!!

Congrats to Leece and Rob for undertaking the loooong bike ride down the Freeway. There's perfectly acceptable public transport, however they decided to join a bunch of other loonies and cycle all the way.

This does not sound good: "Townsend Stalks Night

Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Damned) will star as ABC's new Kolchak in the drama pilot Night Stalker, an update of the 1970s supernatural TV series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gabrielle Union will also star in Night Stalker, from Touchstone TV and writer-producer Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), the trade paper reported.

Union will play Kolchak's colleague at the paper who partners with him in his pursuit of supernatural phenomena." What's the betting she's thin and beautiful? Sigh, why do they bother making these remakes??

On sale at the British Museum - the Hieroglyph version of Peter Rabbit. Odd and not a story that one would immediately consider for hieroglyphisation (my word).

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Tired Poss

Mutterings continued.

Well, that's another production over with. Caught up with a few people I've worked with in the past last night - seems they all chose to come on the final night. The after show party was great; got home at 2.30am. I only had two light beers and a slice of pizza, but lots of conversations about Shakespeare and acting, and hugs and kisses.

The director gave me a book, thank you card and a kiss on the forehead in appreciation, and I got a bottle of wine from the cast. Booty!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Most amusing.

Mutterings continued.

From the ITA website:

"Small Professional Theater 1.0 Tech Support
Dear Sirs;

Last year I upgraded from Community Theater 5.0 to Small Professional Theater 1.0 and noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes. It installed something called Microsoft Stagemanager (TM) which it launches whenever rehearsal software is powered up, severely limiting access to munchies, praise, and practical joke applications that operated flawlessly under Community Theater 5.0. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure.

In addition, Stage Manager 1.0 uninstalls many other valuable programs such as Hamming 2.0, Smoking in costume 7.5, Coming and Going at will 5.6, Unlimited Comps 8.3 and Borrowing Theater's Equipment 2.3 and installs new, undesirable programs such as Schedule 3.1, Discipline 1.3, Expectations 5.0, and Accountability 2.4. Divafit 4.1 no longer runs at all, and invariably crashes the system. Under no circumstances will it run Whining 14.1. I've tried running Attitude 5.3 to fix Stage Manager 1.0, but this all purpose utility is of limited effectiveness. Can you help please ?!!!!"

This is a very common problem many actors complain about, but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Community Theater 5.0 to Small Professional Theater 1.0 with no idea that Community Theater 5.0 is merely an ENTERTAINMENT package for actors.

However, Small Professional Theater 1.0 is a performance OPERATING SYSTEM and was designed by its creator to run as few applications as possible, eliminating unnecessary routines and delegating as many tasks as it can to the enduser in order to conserve all system resources for its own use. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the Stage Manager files from the system, once installed, as Stage Manager 1.0 rewrites your other software so that it rejects Community Theater 5.0 routines once exposed to SM's superior methods.

Having Stage Manager 1.0 installed myself, I would suggest you read the entire section of the owners manual regarding General Director Faults (GDFs). This is a wonderful feature of Stage Manager 1.0, secretly installed by the parent company as an integral part of the operating system. Stage Manager 1.0 will take on ALL responsibility for ALL faults and problems, regardless of root cause, and will somehow solve EVERYTHING. To activate this great feature enter the command C:\ DIRECTOR\SCATTERED DREAMER-SENSITIVE ARTIST\CAN'T FUNCTION WITHOUT YOU

Sometimes ActorsRIdiots 6.0 or higher must be run simultaneously while entering the command. Stage Manager 1.0 should then run the applications Organize 12.3 and Miracles 7.8.

TECH TIP! Avoid excessive use of this feature. Overuse can create additional and more serious GDFs, and ultimately you may have to give a C:\APOLOGIZE\RAISE\PERSONAL DAY command before the system will return to normal operations. Overuse can also cause Stage Manager 1.0 to default to GrumpySilence 2.5, or worse yet, ArtSearch 6.0. GrumpySilence 2.5 is a very bad program that can create Disfunctional.acting files that clog all rehearsal and performance programs and are very hard to delete. Save yourself some trouble by following this tech tip! Just remember, the system will run smoothly and take the blame for all GDFs, but because of this fine feature it can only intermittently run all the entertainment applications Community Theater 5.0 ran.

After several years of use, Stage Manager 1.0 will become familiar and you will find many valuable embedded features such as FixesBrokenThings 2.1 and Ensemble Loyalty 4.2.

A final word of caution! Do NOT, under any circumstances, install any version of MeddlesomAdministrator. This is not a supported application, and will cause selective shut down of the operating system. StageManager 1.0 will run only CurtGoingThrutheMotions and CovertArtSearch until MeddlesomeAdministrator is uninstalled. I hope these notes have helped. Thank you for choosing to install Small Professional Theater 1.0 and we here at Tech Support wish you the best of luck in coming years.

Tech Support"

Back Again

Mutterings continued.

I haven't had a chance to blog since Tuesday - finishing work at 4pm, heading home, feeding the cats, ringing Dad, changing into my ninja stagecrew gear and then heading to the theatre for 5pm doesn't leave a lot of time.

Nick the ASM and I are getting quicker at packing away the props each night. On Thursday night I was in the car and on my way home by 2245. We've been contemplating whether it's possible to remove props from the stage, especially during the sheep shearing banquet scene. I mean, the actors aren't actually using the stuff. We've also thought about tipping Leontes out of the wheelchair so I could pack it away during the final act, but that could be going a little too far.

Last night's performance was looking decidedly dodgy (and I don't mean the actors, or do I?) with intermittent rain. We had to get out the towels and dry off the seats as we were expecting 150 students from St Mary's. It sprinkled a few times during the performance but none of the audience bolted for the exits. The girls appreciated all the dirty jokes and sight gags.

During the scene in which Autolycus flogs his wares to the sheep shearing party goers, there's a bit about a ballad about two women wooing a man. Jason didn't quite get it right and it came out as two women and another woman and a man, which we interpreted to mean a song about a three-way with women while a man watched. Or something.

Final performance tonight and then we party.

It's been a busy few days. I've been making a lot of changes to the website at work and battling with stupid nested tables. And I created a 20 page Power Point presentation for the boss from scratch, which involved taking photos of the new Painted Dog exhibit, which was fun.

I can't remember if I posted this link, so I'll do it again. This is Dunkeld, where I want to live. And this is Birnam, just across the River Tay, where I want to run the Post Office.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Naughty Poss Day

Mutterings continued.

Had the healthiest lunch I could think of today - a basket of wedges and a coffee. At least I didn't have sour cream on the wedges. I did have a salad yesterday, and yoghurt and a banana for mornoes this morning which cancels out the wedges. Or it would in an ideal world.

There's lots of amusing to-ing and fro-ing in the alt.prisoner newsgroup, most recently about the not-very-well attended Prisoner Con at Portmeirion.

I received an email from Sendit today advising that the Goodies 2 has been shipped. Yay! They emailed me the other day to say it was out of stock so I wasn't expecting it for a while. Good old Sendit.

The Empire Magazine movie awards are done and dusted. No Lord of the Rings this year, of course. Quote from Kevin Smith, "Behind my desk I've got a bunch of shelves with books and pornography and one of the shelves is the awards, the tin I've collected. So this goes right up there. It'll be a constant reminder that somebody in England likes me." And, "You don't know how many editors at Empire Magazine I had to suck off to get this award. " Quite. He won the Independent Spirit Award, BTW.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Work Day Monday

Mutterings continued.

Back at it. News Paws, the magazine, is finally at the printers and looking good. Geoff, in Design, has done a lovely job.

I finished reading The Da Vinci Code last night; I got it to see what all the fuss is about. As a mystery story, it's pretty good, though I did work out some of the clues before the hero and heroine did. As a comment on the Church, the godhood of Christ, the 'real' Holy Grail, and the place of women in theology, it's also interesting. There's a doco on telly this week which visits the locations in the book; as a travelogue it should be intriguing as some rather cool places are mentioned.

Watched most of the Marple episode with Derek J last night; will see the rest tonight. A stellar cast, including Miriam Margolyes and Jason Flemyng. Have I mentioned that Mr Flemyng has been cast as Quatermass in a BBC4 dramatisation of "Experiment"? His father, Gordon, directed the Peter Cushing Dalek movies.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Not So Sunny Sunday

Mutterings continued.

Quite overcast, in fact. There's a nice westerly blowing and showers are forecast for tomorrow.

Good audience last night (hello Leece and Rob! Hello Eliot!). The weather was kind and I think the cast enjoyed themselves. A break now of three days; I'm sure the cast is looking forward to it as much as we grunts. I have a few props I will have to make anew - Perdita's scroll is looking decidedly squished and I have a couple of letters from the Oracle to create. Oh, and a shopping list. GRADS has its own website, BTW, which has a few pics from Winter's Tale.

I told Mr Milson last night about Ian McKellen's upcoming role in Coronation Street - he was horrified. I said that maybe Sir Ee is at a time in his life when he can just play in anything he wants; Mr M wasn't convinced and said it may have more to do with money and incipient old age.

A not very good picture of the peafowl chick taken with my phone as I was trying to shoo it, and its mother, back outside.

L and R bought me a very useful cat toy - a laser pointer. Milo, not the sharpest cat in the pack, goes bananas chasing the little red light; Gus is more laid back. She'll play with it if she feels like it, otherwise she'll watch Himbo make a fool of himself.

As I've mentioned before, I love the London Underground (when it works). Sainsbury's, the supermarket people, has developed a tube map showing locations of movies. Withnail and I is at Queensgate station on the Central Line, and An American Werewolf in London is at Green Hill on the Piccadilly/Jubilee lines.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

A Satur Day

Mutterings continued.

Another of my favourite comedians, Dave Allen, has died. Bugger. He was only 68.

Last night's performance of Tale went well - the director wasn't there and the cast and crew relaxed and enjoyed themselves. And there was an appreciative audience that applauded in all the right places. Thursday night's mob almost had to be prodded into applause; we were thinking of having signs light up that say "Applause" and "End of first half", etc.

The peafowl at the New Fortune have bred. There are two chicks, one of which is white, the other is tiny and very cute. The SM and I were having great fun last night herding the sods off the stage. They've been very quiet this year (she says, fully aware of the implications of what she is saying) and we haven't had to subject them to Joe Satriani at volume level 11 to shut them up.

I think I need to do some housework before I go back to work on Monday. Truth be told, I'm not looking forward to going back to work. I'm not sure what I want to do (other than run the Post Office agency in Birnam, of course) when I grow up but I don't think it's being a Publications and Information Officer. Life has brought too much upheaval and change over the last 12 months and I think I'm getting restless.

The BBC is releasing the fourth and fifth episodes of the HHGTTG radio series - the Quandry and Quintessential Phases.

"This brand-new BBC Radio 4 series of four episodes is an adaptation of Douglas Adams's novel 'So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish'.

The fourth entry in Adams's celebrated 'trilogy of five' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, it centres on Arthur Dent's return to Earth, and his meeting - and falling in love with - the other-worldly Fenchurch. What is the thing which makes Fenchurch different from her fellow Earth-dwellers, and how does it bind her and Arthur together? What has caused all of the dolphins on the planet to disappear, and what was their departing message to mankind? These and other questions are answered in the Quandary Phase...

This full-cast dramatisation follows on from the Tertiary Phase, and precedes the final Quintessential Phase. It stars many of the cast of the original Radio 4 Hitchhiker's series, including Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Stephen Moore (Marvin the Paranoid Android), and Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect).

The CD and cassette versions feature approximately ten minutes of extra footage not included in the Radio 4 broadcasts. "

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: Quintessential Phase

These are the final four episodes in BBC Radio 4's brand new series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. An adaptation of 'Mostly Harmless', the fifth entry in Douglas Adams's celebrated 'trilogy of five' novels, it finds Tricia McMillan stuck on Earth and wishing she had never gone back for her bag, Ford Prefect paying an eventful visit to the offices of the Guide, and Arthur Dent searching for Fenchurch in a variety of probabilities. All will be explained by the end of the Quintessential Phase..."

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Cooler Day

Mutterings continued.

It rained on and off all day yesterday, causing concern about last night's performance of Winter's Tale. The soggy stuff held off and the stage was reasonably dry. We were very surprised when the audience, made up mostly of school kids, actually laughed at one of Shakespeare's "jokes". We'd never got it and were very surprised to hear the laughter - lots of double takes and stunned looks backstage.

Thanks to the assistance of a the Production Manager and one of the ASMs, I'm getting away from the theatre before 11pm each night. They help put away most of the props during the second half, leaving me with just a few bits and pieces to find (usually hidden in a dressing room), gather up and stash.

Mr Milson made the comment as I was setting up last night that I look like a bag lady as I push my cart of tat across the stage. He's right, I do.

From Ananova: "Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen is to join Coronation Street.

The actor - wizard Gandalf in the movie trilogy - has signed up to appear in 10 episodes of the ITV soap as author Mel Hutchwright.

Sir Ian makes his first appearance in the legendary soap in May when his on-screen character - a dodgy novelist - is invited to address the Weatherfield book club.

Last year Sir Ian, 65, said his only remaining ambition was to appear in the Street - after fulfilling his other desire to play a dame." Interesting....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Rainy Day

Mutterings continued.

Now, normally I am thrilled when it rains, however when you're involved in a play being staged in an open air theatre, it makes life difficult. Not to mention dangerous for the cast having to negotiate a slippery stage. First night of Winter's Tale got off to a soggy start last night. It rained just before we went up at 7.30; the stage was wet, ditto the actors, as were the chairs Mr Milson had borrowed from His Maj (I was more worried about them than the actors, truth be told).

The actors soldiered on, as did lighting and sound, and performed wonderfully, if a little soggy. Not a huge crowd, perhaps 110, but they were out of the rain and seemed to enjoy themselves. I think a couple of the blackouts confused them as they applauded at the end of some scenes. Or perhaps they appreciated the performances, one of which was a monologue given by Steven Lee that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end!

It's been raining on and off all day so I'm not sure what is happening tonight.

I've had a very slack day. Did some washing, a bit of tidying up and that's about it.

You may have noticed some piccies on the right hand side of the page. I saw some photos on Tama Leaver's blog and followed the link to Flickr. I've been uploading pics taken during my hols in the UK in 2002; Flickr selects random photos from those uploaded, so the gallery should change every time the page is loaded.

Like everybody else who has an email account, I get bizarre spam. I've just received an ad for.....something....that's in Korean. There's a photo of a man who I think has a headache. Or a drinking problem. Then there's one of a white laptop on a desk and sexy 60's looking chair. The last one shows the man, smiling, with a woman and a child, who are also smiling. The title at the top of all the Korean writing says, "Individual relief". I'm thinking the chair has something to do with improving your sex life, which makes you wife happy and you end up having children. Or something.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Sticky Day

Mutterings continued.

The temp is forecast to be 27c, however the humidity is making things a little unpleasant. Showers are forecast later in the day, which does not bode well for opening night of Winter's Tale. Appropriate, I suppose. As was the first night of The Tempest being rained and lightninged out last year.

Final dress rehearsal last night. Not so good, but as they say, bad dress rehearsal, good opening night. It could be the other way round, but I prefer my way.

Went 'me' shopping this morning, ie not props shopping. I bought some black t shirts - my ninja stagehand outfit needs updating. Whilst not being a huge presence in this production (unlike Shrew when the SM and I had to dash on, clear the stage of stuff and then dash off), I can be seen during the interval, setting props behind the stage. The following will probably go down as a 'famous last words' type utterance, but I have a fairly easy time of it this production. I don't even have cans. I'm responsible for props management and making sure the toilet and corridor lights are out.

From the Radio Times: "BBC bosses are demanding to know how the first episode of the forthcoming Doctor Who series found its way on to the internet three weeks before the hotly anticipated show is scheduled to begin on BBC1. The 45-minute story introduces the new Tardis-hopping Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, and the character of Rose (Billie Piper), his companion. A spokesman said it was "a significant breach of copyright, which is currently under investigation"." Oooerrr!

From the "Please god, no!" files: "
BBC3 has bought the rights to screen the US version of hit sitcom The Office. The series kicks off on American TV on 24 March with Steve Carell (familiar to fans of movie Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy) playing a boss based on Ricky Gervais's cringeworthy David Brent. Gervais and co-writer Stephen Merchant were executive producers on the NBC version, which has slightly different characters and scripts but sticks to the same premise." American versions of Ab Fab and Red Dwarf, anyone?

Derek Jacobi is in this week's Miss Marple. MUST remember to tape it. "
Over dinner at the vicarage, the vicar, the Reverend Leonard Clement (Tim McInnerny), his glamorous young wife Griselda (Rachel Stirling), the handsome artist Lawrence Redding (Jason Flemyng) and Hawes (Mark Gatiss), the nervous curate, discuss how they each would murder the odious Colonel Protheroe (Sir Derek Jacobi). Only Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) has the foresight to warn them not to tempt fate. The next day, Protheroe is found with a bullet in his head, slumped across the writing desk in the vicar's study." 'Odious'? How can he ever be described as 'odious'? Well, there was his performance as King Phillip of Spain in Don Carlos - he did send his son and wife to the Spanish Inquisition (which no-one expects). Jason Flemyng played Jeckyll/Hyde in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

I've not read the Constantine (graphic?) novels, however, given David Stratton's review, I don't think I'll be seeing the movie anytime soon: "I think it was Jean-Paul Sartre who said, "Hell is other people." I think hell is watching a film like 'Constantine'. You know, you have to sit through the end, you can't get out. It's just awful. Keanu Reeves, I don't know why he would play this. I mean, it's a sort of mixture of 'The Exorcist' and 'The Matrix' and takes all the worst elements of both. And they both had some pretty bad elements." And then he gave it one star, as did Margaret P.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Yesterday Was a Loooong Day

Mutterings continued.

Got to the theatre about 4ish for the tech rehearsal, got home after 11.30. Tonight and tomorrow it's the dress rehearsals and then we're up on Wednesday! The play starts at 7.30pm, not the usual 8pm.

Bizarre news from Ananova: "A car that had been without wheels or batteries for 6 months has moved 15 inches overnight.

The old car used to belong to a funeral company and was being repaired by Herminio Anselmo da Silva in his shop in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Mr da Silva told Hoje em Dia newspaper: "The car was parked on a flat surface and no one got near it. I cannot explain what happened and it is freaking me out." And somewhere out the back are a couple of his young employees, giggling. "The man was so terrified with the car that the police brought in a physics teacher to study the case." The exorcist is next.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A Day of a Lot More Driving About

Mutterings continued.

Took Dad down to Rockingham to visit his sister. Unfortunately she didn't know him, and didn't want to know him so we left soon after. The nursing home looks like a tourist resort - just as soul-less and sterile. It's brand new and has wings called Retreat and Vista; the rooms are 'suites' and there's no signage out the front to tell you what it is. I was told by the receptionist yesterday that there are fountains in front of the entrance - that's the only way I knew I was in the right place.

Then it was home to Dad's for HJ's and then on to Roleystone to visit the Bro and sis-in-law. Back to Dad's to drop him off, a side trip to the Gosnells Markets, a couple of op shops and a department store for more fake flowers and home.

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. This from the Christian Science Monitor, of all people, on Prince Charles's visit to Oz: "Many people have been ringing to say that they have been closet republicans so far, or that they thought that they did not care enough about it. But now with the prospect of being face-to-face with their possible future king who they feel no affinity for, they realize that they want to become full members of the ARM," says Allison Henry, national director of the Australian Republican Movement, which currently has about 4,000 members. "So this visit by the prince has really done us a favor."

It's been raining today, which is nice. Not a lot but enough to keep the temp down. It was 22c at midday, which is quite respectable.

Just done a spellcheck on the foregoing and it seems Blogger doesn't recognise the word "Christian". Hmmm.....

Friday, March 04, 2005

A Day of Driving About

Mutterings continued.

and eating lots for lunch.

Went shopping at Action, bought fruit, meat, cat litter, nothing exciting. And I bought a new sandwich (or 'sammich' as Crow Robot would have it) maker.

Had lunch with Genette at the Secret Garden in South Perth - we both had chicken parm., which comes with a heap of vegies, salad and THE most wonderful chippies, and ice coffee with ice cream. As I was waiting for Genette, I heard a lot of shouting coming from the cafe; I think the chef may have chucked a wobbly. It didn't have any effect on the food, though the woman behind the counter was looking very harrassed.

And then it was off to Spotlight for more flowers. I've finally finished Perdita's circlet of flowers and it doesn't look too bad. I just hope it stays on her head. If the bobby pins don't hold it, there's always industrial strength staples.

I'm taking Dad to visit his sister in a nursing home in Rockingham tomorrow. Hopefully I won't get lost but it's in a new development that isn't in my map book. I had to ring the home and ask for directions.

This was posted on the Rock and Roll Scars Yahoo forum:

> 1975: Long hair
> 2005: Longing for hair
> 1975: Acid rock
> 2005: Acid reflux
> 1975: Trying to look like Liz Taylor
> 2005: Trying NOT to look like Liz Taylor
> 1975: Seeds and stems
> 2005: Roughage
> 1975: Going to a new, hip joint
> 2005: Receiving a new hip joint
> 1975: Rolling Stones
> 2005: Kidney Stones
> 1975: Passing the drivers' test
> 2005: Passing the vision test
> Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly
> change things.
> 1. The people who are starting university in February across the
> nation were born in 1987.
> 2. They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
> 3. Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
> 4. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
> 5. The CD was introduced the year they were born.
> 6. They have always had an answering machine.
> 7. They have always had Pay TV.
> 8. They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
> 9. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
> 10. They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. even
> is.
> 11. They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.
> Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

And drink cans have always been 'pop-top'. Anyone remember the cans that came out with two holes that you had to push open with your thumb. Scary stuff.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A Messy Day

Mutterings continued.

I visited Bunnings in South Perth (it's one of the small, old fashioned hardware stores with wooden floorboards, not one of the mega-huge warehouses) for some more washers to paint gold, and then took a trip to Spotlight in Cannington.

And the rest of the day was spent making gold coins and Oracle proclamations (and watching more B5 episodes) - I have ink and gold paint on my fingers. In the play, the proclamation by the Oracle is to clear Hermione of adultery and announce that the child born is the daughter of the king who has declared her a bastard. In my version of the proclamation, it's all gibberish, created by using a couple of stencils of Gothic and Olde English script and a texta. Fortunately, it gets ripped up every night, so I'm hoping that no one will be able to read what I've written.

For a couple of plays I've put the actual lines in the documents and the actors have read them - it really throws them when I don't. Heheheh. Evil laugh.

The rehearsal last night went well; they ran through the first act. It's rather nasty stuff, a la Othello and Lear. Shakespeare obviously had a thing about men turning on women for no reason at all. At least this play has a strong female character, along the lines of Beatrice in Much Ado and Kate in Shrew. Shirley Welsh plays her beautifully and is a joy to watch. And Stephen Lee does a fabulous ranting Leontes.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

An overcast day

Mutterings continued.

Thundery showers were forecast, none have arrived. The temp was to be 30c however I'm not sure it made it.

Today I made gold coins from washers, bits of masking tape and the fabbo gold pen Leece left behind yesterday. It works on metal, it works on vinyl - it's magic! I also bought lots of cheap flowers and 3 pottery jugs from Bunnings. Not quite what the director is looking for but they may do; we'll see. At only $3.50 I'll probably keep them myself to put on the verandah. Thanks to George of KADS for spotting them and letting me know. Leece found just the thing in an op shop yesterday. And I made 3 tablecloths - it was really difficult and involved hemming two ends. My sewing machine is about 20 years old and still going! It's never had a service and I don't think I've oiled it. It was covered in dust but it still works. Well, it did a few minutes ago, it won't now.

Mr Milson, Jonno (production manager and set/props builder extraordinaire) and I were discussing watching movies and plays - I can't see them without wondering where they got the props from and Jonno examines the set design.

The aus.sf.b5 newsgroup has had a bit of action on it lately, sparked in part by the release of the DVDs. It's great being able to chat about B5 again. I watched a couple of eps from series 2 - Long Twilight Struggle and Fall of Night - while prop making this arvo.

From Ananova: "The Queen met famous guitarists and asked "What do you do?"

When the Queen met Eric Clapton she asked: "Have you been playing a long time?" He replied: "It must be 45 years now."

The Queen met Clapton, Led Zepplin guitarist Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, who all played in The Yardbirds reports The Sun.

She asked page: "Are you a guitarist too?"

The stars were at a Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate the music industry." In the olden days they then would have trashed the place.

Cool report from the New Scientist - Most distant galaxy cluster yet is revealed. "The cluster of galaxies spotted by astronomers lies 9 billion light-years away."

Rehearsals again tonight, the first half this time.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Day of Mixed Fortunes

Mutterings continued.

Leece came over today and we created the Royal Briefcase for Winter's Tale. We found a Sicilian royal crest on Google, Leece traced it, created a template and we painted it in gold on the case. Looks very cool. Thanks Leece!

I made four of the Oracle's proclamations today - five to go. And I've dirtied up a hessian sack with brown paint - apparently it's supposed to be big enough for a sheep to fit in. Hope I don't have to find the sheep. My hands are covered in brown paint and texta.

I found three of the jugs I want on eBay - all in one auction! I'm the highest bidder at $15 for the three, plus about $20 postage. Leece found another in an op shop today, so that's four (assuming I win this bid, of course).

Tony P of GRADS was going to meet me at Dad's to pick up the wheelchair, however he rang to say he'd had an accident! He's ok, the car isn't.

I've got Ovation on in the background - they're screening a special on the Yardbirds. Damn but they were good! Jeff Beck has just had some harsh words about the cult film Blow Up, along the lines of, "If Hemmings was supposed to be Hockney and we were supposed to be the Who, why didn't they get the real people and make a decent film?"