The Code is actually really good!

If you’re like me and spend the majority of your television watching time tuned into the ABC (or ABC2 in the case of Please Like Me – it’s a travesty it’s been relegated to ABC2!) you would have seen lots of promos recently for The Code.

ABC programming used to be a bit hit and miss, but over the last few years I’ve become addicted and after my last hour on iView (the internet home of all ABC programming) I can report that The Code is great and looks like it will bear out an interesting story – with appears to be quite timely with our upcoming changes laws regarding press freedom. First things first though: how come nobody told me that Lucy Lawless is in it?

I’m a pretty big fan of Lucy, though not a member of her fan club, since her guest role on Battlestar Galactica as D’anna Biers. She brings a gravity and realness to characters that resonates with me.

I also found out this week that she has joined the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though with there not being a S.H.I.E.L.D. right now (spoilers!) I’m not sure why it’s still called that. Lucy joining the cast can only mean things are looking up for the show, and it’s a good thing too because it wasn’t great to begin with so…

Lucy Lawless derail over.

If you’re after a good chuckle I also watched Shaun Micallef’s MAD AS HELL season 4 return last night (also on iView) and had to stifle my laughter since Oui was sleeping next to me.

We should enjoy the ABC programs we’ve got right now because when the cuts to the ABC come, as they inevitably will if Tony Abbot and friends have anything to do with it (and they have everything to do with it), we can kiss it all goodbye.

When calling support means throwing time away

About six months ago I had a problem with my internet and fortunately the support person at iiNet was able to get my internet access back without needing to send a tech out to investigate. The catch was that I was no longer getting the speed I had been.

I’ve had problems where my internet stopped working before and they’ve had to send a tech out. It’s always the same guy and he’s actually quite friendly, but invariably it has always ended up being some cabling issue somewhere outside my home.

So I put up with the lower speed (we’re talking about 50% of what I’d had) because I didn’t want to go through the hell that is calling support.

The hell I’m referring to is the basic troubleshooting they make you go through before they take your issue seriously. This can be the first 30 minutes to an hour of a support call and I knew my call was going to take longer than that based upon past experience.

You see, they won’t even consider sending a tech out until they have exhausted all options on their end because it costs them money to send someone out. This is sensible but results in a time drain for both the customer (ie me) and the company.

So I put it off for a long time but eventually I got tired of the slower speeds and bit the bullet. It went from not caring, to talking about it, then seriously talking about it, and finally actually doing it.

It can be very frustrating talking to support but at the end of the call when the guy was apologising for not being able to help me (he’d finally agreed to send out a tech) I said: “Don’t apologise, I knew you couldn’t help. I’ve been putting this call off for so long because  I knew how long it would take and now that you’ve tried everything and couldn’t fix it, just as I expected, and finally agreed to send a tech out, as I knew you would, I can say to myself that I’ve taken my time and put it onto this problem and gotten the result I expected. So thanks.”.

Of course the tech guy fixed it and didn’t have to come to my place.

My point is that processes have been put into place that are intended to filter issues and whittle them down to their actual cause but all they do is create frustration because of the time it takes to follow them. Surely there must be a better way.

NOTE: Thank you iiNet for recently instituting a system that now recognises my voice when I call so that I don’t have to prove who I am every time I talk to someone there! That sort of thing is a sanity-saver for me.

I am not a Cylon

I had my first game of the Battlestar Galactica board game last Sunday with Arran, James, Ben, and Nikhil.

None of us had played it so the learning curve was steep. Subsequently it took a lot longer than a normal game would and, despite the Cylons winning, it was great.

In the game each player takes the role of one of the titular characters from the show, gaining certain abilities based upon who it is. At the beginning of the game, and mid-way through, players are dealt a loyalty card from which there is a small chance you could be a Cylon. No one but you knows this, though there are abilities that can be used where a single player can look at another players loyalty card/s.

In the first half of the game it is possible that no one is a Cylon.

The structure of the game is such that it is difficult to determine who is a Cylon and who isn’t, but I’m traditionally bad at these games because I’m a terrible liar. So, despite the fact that I was not a Cylon, when everyone pointedly asked me if I was a Cylon after we were dealt our first loyalty cards – I can appreciate that breaking into a fit of laughter that brought tears to my eyes may have appeared suspicious.

I admit I was throwing Cylon accusations around like nobodies business, but when Arran (aka Colonel Tigh) threw me: Lee “Apollo” Adama (yes, I was the eye-candy), into the brig on suspicion of being a Cylon and on the very next turn James “Admiral Adama” revealed himself to be a Cylon by shooting Colonel Tigh (Arran) in the face – I knew things weren’t looking good.

We got close to our destination, but after Ben revealed himself as the other Cylon, repeated waves of Cylon invasion fleets destroyed us.

Now that we know how to play the game will go much quicker so I may bring Oui next time because he liked Battlestar Galactica.

The Voice Finally Shuts Up

You, sir, are dead to me
You, sir, are dead to me

When they got rid of Elly Oh I said that I wasn’t going to watch anymore, but then they got me back because of Frank and ZK. Now that they’re gone my spirit is well and truly broken – thank you plebs of Australia

I think the thing that kills me most is that Jackson is still there, because I think he’s good at singing one particular type of song but doesn’t have ‘the voice’ for anything else, tonight’s performance of The Police’s classic Every Breath You Take being yet another example.

He was fine until the bridge, when there is supposed to be a rawness to the singers voice. It was lacking because he has no rawness.

Anyway, I hope Jackson doesn’t win because he just isn’t good enough to deserve it.

Knack Attack

Knick Knack
Knick Knack – I’m the first person to ever make this reference

Oui and I were playing and finished Knack on PS4 over the weekend. I’d heard it can be played cooperatively but had no idea exactly how that worked. The second player is a silver/metal Knack and the mechanics are slightly different from the first player, whom I like to call important Knack because he doesn’t disappear for cutscenes.

Important Knack loses size, which relates to damage output, when he takes damage. The second player loses health but not size/damage. If the second player is killed he can respawn in a few seconds right back at the size he was – proportional to important Knack.

So we figured out how to game the system: important Knack stays as far away from enemies as possible while finding as many relics as possible to grow in size, while the second player does all the work of killing stuff.

Obviously I was playing important Knack and Oui was my wrecking ball.

If you’re wondering why we were playing such a mediocre game, it was because Oui liked the cartoony style of graphics.

Gosford via Newcastle

I’m sitting on the train going to my new job on my first day. It’s not really as intimidating as it sounds though – I used to work with everyone at the new company back at the old one before they left to start the company I now work for.

No interview, no first day jitters, no need to prove myself… I like it. I even have friends there already :)

The new job is a little bit further from home than my old one though, but it allows me to catch an express service from Central Station. The downside is that my arrival time is very sensitive to the timeliness of this express service.

The title of this post is a nod to the train announcement this morning that the train I am currently on is a Gosford via Newcastle train – which, if you know NSW at all, is a pretty round about way to get to Gosford from the city.