remember me to your friends

In the last two weeks I

  • finished MA dissertation.
  • moved house
  • bought my first car (at 39 y.o, yo)

I actually got to Officeworks to print the thing out because the examiners needed a paper copy to read. I got two copies because they wanted two. With plastic ring binding. And as I’m paying for it and having a quick flip through to see how it looks I see some comments in the margin of the first page that weren’t deleted and I inwardly groan. It was just that one bit on the acknowledgements page. It’s the first time I’ve used those track changes and comment functions so I didn’t know they’d stay visible after printing.

I dreamt about it a night or two later. There was disparaging comments in red written by some unseen examiner. What ever happens there’s 20 000 more words been added to the universe on Grunge. I don’t know what the legal implications would be of me adding it to the archives here. I’m sure I can but it’s the kind of thing you never see people doing. The enrichment of society and intellectual property seem to be at opposite ends of something.

The house is turning out okay. Always a bit hard getting used to a new place. And there’s always things that I never notice when first house hunting but then find out about once all the boxes go down.

There’s heaps more room but I’m really going to try and not fill it up with junk. Every move I do I see there’s all this stuff I’m carrying around that I never use. All these books I never look at.

<a href=”” title=”HipstaPrint by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”HipstaPrint”></a>

I didn’t realise it but the amenities at the last place were pretty modern. Here, they were installed in a time when resources were cheaper and flowed freely. That gas heater has a pilot light which is burning _all the time_. I don’t know if that’s right. As in, I don’t know if it can be turned off. I will have to find out. There is a meal-hole in the wall between the kitchen and lounge-room because back then there were kitchen people and lounge-room people. Also, not pictured, is the toilet which is in lovely <a href=””>Degobah</a> swamp shaded of green and the cistern is huge. I don’t know how many litres it takes to fill but it seems to take a long time.

The car. The car is boring but sensible. When the time comes, its resale value will be better than if I had chosen an quirky or interesting car. Silver is the new beige, or the new banana yellow. I still don’t have my full license so for a while it will just sit there. I’m sure we’ll start to have fun with it once I can drive it.

<a href=”” title=”HipstaPrint by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”HipstaPrint”></a>


That’s the name of one of Hyundai’s new cars. It’s supposed to be a combination of the words velocity and roadster. I find myself thinking colostomy bag. At first I was a bit puzzled by the look of it. It looked like a giant had sat on the back and squashed it a bit. And I’m a bit perturbed by how many cars have such small back windows lately. I guess they’re doing it all with cameras and sensors now.

After reading more on the veloster I feel more positive about it. On the driver’s side it has one door and on the passenger side it has two doors. So they’re at least trying to do something different. Even if it turns out to be a bad idea at least it was an attempt. And the veloster is available in real colours — a sunflower yellow, a gaudy orange and a red among others. And so here we have a foto of korea’s main manufactured export, small affordable cars, next to korea’s greatest natural resource, attractive young women.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_0578 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”374″ alt=”IMG_0578″></a>

I started writing this entry a couple of weeks ago and now I can’t remember what the main point was but I was thinking something bigger about something to do with it all.

stockholm syndrome

Yes I know the most recent episode of top gear purposefully, erroneously referred to this. Message to them: the ‘it’s technologically impressive so it lacks soul’ routine is boring. Say something new.

The only good bits in that whole six eps were 1) Rowan Atkinson: he’s such a great speaker – voice, intonation and vocab. He could’ve easily gone into politics. Why not Atkinson for President of UK? He could sort their mess out. And 2) the 2011 nissan GT-R: technological excellence.


Perhaps as another indicator that I want to go back is I’ve been browsing through used cars on an australian website. Funny considering I don’t have a driver’s license. The don’t seem that expensive.

<a href=”” title=”mx-5-5450 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”180″ alt=”mx-5-5450″></a>

What about this 1989 mazda mx-5? Only five and a half thousand and can probably go lower. Sporty. Easy on petrol… but even a friendless weirdo like me would eventually end up in a situation where I had more than one other person to transport, so two seats seems rather limiting.

<a href=”” title=”1998-wrx by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”183″ alt=”1998-wrx”></a>

What about this 1998 subaru impreza? From subaru’s rally years. Sporty. 4 doors. A bit more expensive at $9000 but only 190K kms on the clock – not bad for these.

<a href=”” title=”volvo-244 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”153″ alt=”volvo-244″></a>

Lo! But what’s this? A beige (biscuit, officially) 1981 volvo 244 for only $1200? The bourgy middle-classness is perverse yet enticing, like slipping into a bath of luke-warm baked beans. The only real cars my family had during my childhood were two volvo 245 stationwagons, one after the other during the early/mid 80s. I can remember when I first sat in the first one and being amazed by how many buttons were on the central console — it was like K.I.T from Nightrider! As I got to teenagerdom being in and being seen in a volvo was less fun but it’s one of those smaller things that made me who I am. Maybe owning one of these things would be a way of reowning and setting straight that part of my life.

<a href=”” title=”interior-244 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”359″ alt=”interior-244″></a>


Here’s how change happens. One day you wake up and find out something else has been added. Like ‘Radiation’ becoming part of the weather forecast. Yesterday it was rain coming up from the south with a slim chance of radiation. Today it’s dust blowing in from the north-west with a greater chance of … radiation. It’s really blowing my mind, like I’m in a Philip K. Dick SF plot detailing a nasty future. I was thinking about going to the Seoul motoshow tomorrow, but it’s a bit far out of town and apparently a fair chunk of the new stuff is electric cars — not that exciting to look at. This is changing much faster than I thought it would too. The main car manufacturers seem to be dead-serious about getting these electric cars onto the roads and the first thing it makes me think of is, where are we going to get all this extra electricity from. Unfortunately, my guess is a lot of countries like s.korea and china will be building more nuclear power plants. I really hope Australia isn’t dumb enough to start building nuclear power plants.

I had this brainwave the other day. Why don’t they design solar energy collectors that are shaped like trees? It would depend on the photovoltaic cells being thin enough that some light could pass through, like with real leaves, but I think they (THEY) might already be onto this because I read something about producing a solar film that can be coated onto the outside of skyscrapers. Anyway, it would be more space-efficient than the flat, satellite-dish looking things that are common at the moment.

Gran Turismo 5

First impressions are not always the most prominent impression that remains but they are still something. They are first.
Gran turismo 5 is a playstation 3 game.

GT5 is the 5th part of a long running series of games made by a Japanese company. To me its that quirkiness that stands out with a Japanese flavour that blends itself into the game. I mean, kicking off a car racing game with a modern piano number and a detailed series of shots on making steel — it made me chuckle.

You can see it <a href=””>here</a>, but skip to the 22 second mark to avoid the rubbish promos.

<a href=”” title=”OtUiVY9mUVsoookFy4_0 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”281″ alt=”OtUiVY9mUVsoookFy4_0″ /></a>

One of the best features of the game is its visual flashiness. It’s setting a new standard for how much closer inanimate objects, like cars, can look when comparing computer images to the real thing. Above is the groovy little Fiat Lounge.

<a href=”” title=”sQDYeUCVVovoFhPAxG_0 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”135″ alt=”sQDYeUCVVovoFhPAxG_0″ /></a>

I like driving games and this one is quite realistic in the way that it works. From what I’ve read games recently have been criticised for being too easy. The Gran Turismo series tends to run its own race, and so hasn’t dumbed itself down. It’s pretty hard. Directly above and below are shots of the Lambo Murch SuperVeloce, which is very good fun to drive. I call it the beebox and I’m sure that if I could talk to the zombied Sylvia Plath and tell her about it, she’d really dig it.

<a href=”” title=”W0blW8fRUya4vyEvFs_0 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”240″ alt=”W0blW8fRUya4vyEvFs_0″ /></a>

The developers have gone to great lengths to include detail on a whole load of the cars (but not all of them, because there’s over 1000 in the game). These pics are taken from a feature in the game where you can stick a car in a specific location like Kyoto or a marketplace in Bern and ‘take photos’ of it. That, plus the driving, appeal to me and all the countless other slackers who’ll never be in a position to own a Lambo — or even a Fiat in my case.

<a href=”” title=”8Xh6tCHviWa4ScaWmG_0 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”240″ height=”240″ alt=”8Xh6tCHviWa4ScaWmG_0″ /></a>


<a href=””>From:</a>

Effect on Animals

A student named David Merrill subjected mice to the music of a heavy metal band called Anthrax 24-hours a day to discover how it would affect their ability to learn new things, but instead of completing Merrill’s maze, the heavy metal mice all killed one another.

In a subsequent experiment in which the mice listened to heavy metal music for 10 hours each day, they did not become homicidal, but they did grow worse at solving the maze than they had been when they first encountered it. But research indicates that reactions to music are shaped by whether or not it is the genre of choice, and it’s highly unlikely that if the mice had a musical preference at all, it would have been Anthrax.

All I can say is when mice rise up and take over scientists will be in for some cruel and unusual times. David Merill, you have been warned.

*   *   *

I was thinking more about car colour and why black, white, silver are so prevelent here now. Car colour choices correlate with economic conditions. In boom times people want exotic bright colours, but in more conservative times, like these economic times, the dulls predominate. And Korea always thinks it’s in hardtimes. If only it would relax, take a day off work and stop throwing rubbish on the ground.

<a href=”” title=”TRC3642 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”333″ alt=”TRC3642″ /></a>

*   *   *

A couple more car chase movies:

_Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry_ : had a lime green 69 Dodge Charger in it. Script was pretty lame and I was cringing at how heavy Susan George’s natural tan was, although I never picked that she was English and doing an American accent.

_The Seven Ups_ : Have no idea what the title was about. Second of this subgenre to star Roy Scheider. I like Roy Scheider. He’s like a solid actor who was in some pretty big films of his day, but if you asked someone who was the main actor in _Jaws_ (not the fish) most people wouldn’t have a clue. He was an important part of making the films that he was in, without being bigger than the film itself. I like to think of Sunny Breaks as being the Roy Scheider of the blog-O-sphere.

Seven Ups also featured some of those great landmark bridges they have in New York, reminding me of GTA4. And it was shot in the dead of winter which seems so distant now.

_Magnum Force_ Written by that great hollywood hack, John Milius, with david Soul as the motorcycle cop baddie. Don’t know if this was an inspiration to T2, but manm, motorcycle cops can look evil when they want to.

_Duel_ Spielberg’s first film, which shows that the guy had talent before he had huge budgets to help him through. I loved the way it focussed on the truck as an entity. Part of what the car chase movie is about is long shots of the car — glorification of the car — something that _Dirty Mary…_ completely missed. _Duel_ was a really simple idea that really worked, is just as relevant today, with road rage and all, plus it was kind of ballsy to use so much internal dialog.

<a href=”” title=”Duel by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”400″ height=”300″ alt=”Duel” /></a>

minor raant

1. If first-world teenage girls want to go sail around the world, fine, let them. But when shit fucks up, they’re on their own. Don’t waste tens of thousands of dollars trying to find them. Spend it on people who need it.

2. Why are car colours so boring these days? I know that Korean car manufacturers are just mindlessly following the international trends but when I’m in the bus on the freeway I literally see 95% black, white and ‘silver’ (aka plastic grey).

3. Taken from the hankoreh <a href=””>here</a>.

<a href=”” title=”127630615366_20100613 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”272″ alt=”127630615366_20100613″ /></a>

Typical Korean spelling fail. It’s not even funny-bad, it’s just bad.