Why is it so dark in here?

The Government’s data retention scheme looks set to pass the Senate this week with Labor’s support.

This scheme is rushed, costly, ineffective, and against the public interest. Also, absurdly, the flawed legislation leaves open numerous loopholes, which can be used to evade the scheme. This means the data retention dragnet will capture the data of innocent Australians and cost millions of dollars, while allowing those who don’t want to be caught to remain hidden.

On Wednesday 25 March, Australians are planning an online protest against data retention to show just how ineffective the invasive scheme will be.

Add your name to the list of people pledging to go dark against data retention.

There’s still time to call on Labor to vote against the bill, click here to contact your Labor senator.

It’s time to go

Feather and stone - by Antijoe
Feather and stone – by Antijoe

My ex is also my flatmate. This was a decision I made based on hope (that we might get back together) and sloth (who wants to go through the trouble of getting a new flatmate?) On some level we aren’t compatible. I remember reading once that every relationship has an unspoken demand. I think his demand was “Fix me” , I think mine was “love me as I am”. Neither of us had our demands met.

OKCupid had an interesting blog article about questions you could ask that would indicate if there is any long term compatibility, in a statistical sense that is. I sometimes wonder if I should ask my ex these questions. What if we agreed? Would it change anything? No, not for me.

My ex has become depressed and toxic to be around. It’s irritating and depressing to be around. I don’t care for his welfare, not anymore. I used to think I still loved him, but it wasn’t love, it was compassion. I felt sorry for him. Sorry that he was dead inside, sorry that his job is meaningless, sorry that, despite his extensive gym routine, that he’s never been uglier.

If you love someone, set them free. I don’t love him, I don’t even like him. His continued presence isn’t because I’m sentimental, it’s because inertia is a real force in our universe.

Why does he stay? For him it’s easy I suppose, or maybe because we’ll need to sort out who gets the very large plasma TV. The rent is also cheap, so there’s that. In my wanderings across the Internet I read an article that advised compassion when dealing with toxic people, starting with yourself. As soon as my money situation is sorted out, I plan to do that, by asking my ex to move out.

Buildings and corners

A view of Canberra - by Antijoe
A view of Canberra – by Antijoe

My school was designed by an architect. That little factoid always surprises me somewhat. My school has corners, lots and lots of visually interesting, child concealing, corners. I suspect this was an attempt to hide the institutional nature of the school. Which is strange, because we are an institution. You might as well be honest about the fact. I think the University of Queensland got it right for the most part in their layout and design. Of course, they don’t have small children, so they can get away with water features such as actual lakes.

The other strange thing about my school is that the paths are not in straight lines, despite the straight lines of sight. Anyone who has had the pleasure of trying to herd children will know that, like birds, they will take the most direct route even if it means walking through several garden beds and over a few low brick walls.

Schools are institutions, we should learn to be ok with that.

Photography in Canberra

Native flowers at the National Botanical Gardens
Native flowers at the National Botanical Gardens

The dice do decree, a photographic list. Behold! My favourite photo spots in Canberra:

  1. The Arboretum – It has some great architecture, a bonsai area, and some excellent vistas of Canberra.
  2. The Botanical Gardens – It has a wonderful rain-forest gully, some sculpture and a “red-centre” area.
  3. Mount Ainslie – It’s close to Civic, which means after a few quick photos you can pop down to the local pub.
  4. Cockington Green – Tiny houses. It’s weird and it’s wonderful. I would enjoy doing a bit of tilt-shift photography for shits and giggles.
  5. The Zoo – Bring your zoom lens for this one, although there are areas where you can get up close and personal with the animals.
  6. Lake Burley Griffin – Good architecture and some excellent opportunities for people watching.
  7. Floriade – Only in Spring, but it’s great for those “field of flowers” photographs and some great macros.

At the shopping centre

Whilst shopping two children were arguing, the younger one started to wail and the mother turned her fury to the older one:

Mother (to older child): Stand here. Right here. On this very spot! Do not move!
Younger Child (to mother): Why does he have to stand there?
YC (to sibling): I think she’s going to leave you here.
YC (to mother): Are you going to leave him here?
YC (to sibling): I reckon she’s going to leave you here.