the duke hotel

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A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets, for those suffering from early-onset dementia.

Articles

  • Is Brisbane’s sewer broadband a crock of …?, for Crikey. Believing that the National Broadband Network will take too long to solve Brisbane’s internet problems, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman has signed a deal with the i3 Group to run fibre through the city’s sewers. As you do.
  • Cloud security? Better get a lawyer, Son!, a 2000-word feature for ZDNet.com.au. As the intro says, “Moving your data into the cloud creates a raft of security challenges, but according to information security specialists, those challenges are less about hackers and more about data availability and signing the right contracts.”

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 61, “Microsoft exposes the botnet threat”. My guest is Microsoft Australia’s chief security advisor, Stuart Strathdee.
  • A Series of Tubes episode 117. Richard Chirgwin’s podcast returns after a bit of a break. Apart from my usual natter about stuff, we hear from i3 Group’s CEO Elfed Thomas about that Brisbane sewer-based fibre project.

Media Appearances

  • Again it’s not strictly “media”, but on Tuesday I took part in a lunchtime discussion about the future of book publishing, hosted by Blurb. I haven’t had time to write it up yet, but here’s Ross Dawson’s summary.

Geekery

  • Wait for it…

Corporate Largesse

  • Blurb paid for Tuesday’s lunch at History House on Macquarie Street. And very pleasant it was.
  • I was invited to a few other things this week, but I was a tad crook and didn’t go. Ethics are restored, or something.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Staff of The Duke, Enmore, dress up for The Village People concert at the Enmore Theatre. I won't link to a higher-resolution version. We have suffered enough.]

Twitter bird cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

Once again, my Twitter stream reveals much of interest. This week’s highlights:

  1. No matter how many times I say “Wynyard is a railway station” it still looks like a poorly-maintained pub urinal. It’s the colour.
  2. If you have a beard, you’re allowed to be fat and incoherent.
  3. “I hate it when you’re pulling off a buttoned shirt and the buttons get caught on ur nostrils.” Agreed.
  4. I really should write more serious essays or news stories soon lest people think I’m only about odd drinking games and ranting on camera.
  5. Hotel Cremorne: Friday. Semi-bearded ad agency geekbois and Lesser Office Wendys with overly-tall heels, overly-tight skirts, nasty accents.
  6. The Duke Hotel in Enmore has barred me from drinking any Wirra Wirra wines from McLaren Vale until I try every other decent red on their new wine list.
  7. Once I’m appointed Tsar, all jazz musicians will go to Nauru concentration camps, paid for by a levy on jazz enthusiasts.
  8. “Apple has 3 basic moves”? No, just ONE. “We’re sooooo fuckin’ cool, iz pretty, buy our stuffz kthxbai.” [Chorus: "Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Steve Much Loves."]
  9. “Dear Fat Bloke, nothing says ‘yobbo slav’ more than a pair of (fake) Bvlgari sunglasses kthxbye.”
  10. “Dear Bus Driver, if having to change a $50 is your day’s worst then you and Mr 9mm need to chat.”
  11. I now understand why the law prevents me from bringing firearms to conferences.
  12. Platypuses don’t actually have antlers.

And at that point Twitter tells me it’s over-capacity, which is probably a good thing.

[Credit: Cartoon Twitter-bird courtesy of Hugh MacLeod. Like all of Hugh's cartoons published online, it's free to use.]

Photograph of man peering thru pub window (very indistinct)

Here’s a closer, colour view of The Man in the Window. I still think he looks a little creepy.

Photograph of man peering thru pub window (very indistinct)

I took this photo with my phone the other night at The Duke Hotel. The man stood at the window in exactly this position for about 15 minutes.

Photograph of page from notebook, showing very bad sketch of human brainMy notebook is full of references to the human mind.

Once, on a Saturday Night at The Duke last year, it was a written note by a chap who’d only just been released from jail.

This time (pictured) it’s ’Pong explaining certain basic neurological reflexes.

No, it doesn’t say “Eight High Freeze” — whatever that is! — but “Fight Fligh[t] Freeze”. This diagram explains it all, neurochemistry and everything. Uhuh.

I just love the way that sketched explanations only make sense at the precise moment they’re being created.

Maybe I should go back through that notebook…

Close-up photograph of fabric pattern on flannelette shirtIt’s 8am, a crisp winter morning. 11C outside. I drag a battered flannelette shirt over my t-shirt — a shirt that’s now 12 years old, I remember.

I bought it at Gowings when I first came to Sydney, and it’s still wearable, more or less. Where will I buy everyday clothes now that Gowings is gone?

The shirt smells of smoke. Why is that?

It’s not the acrid stench of cigarette smoke, but the dusty odour of burnt wood. Eucalyptus. A bushfire? Ah, no, I remember now. Sitting by the open fireplace at The Duke Hotel… red wine… the memories flood back as the coffee kicks in…

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Photograph of broken times

Even if it’s your local pub, there’s a limit to the kind of photographs you can take in the urinal and still use the excuse that it’s for “Art”.