nclean: (Default)
I feel really good about today's meeting regarding MIV2012.

We got a steering committee. We got a broad (interpretable) mandate. We got a timeline. We got representatives of all the choirs - enough to ensure the legitimacy of the meeting. What's more, most people came away pretty content with the compromises reached.

It's still a little delicate, and will depend greatly on how the steering committee moves on a number of issues, but I think there's plenty of potential.

Despite being sleep deprived, and bouncing up and crashing from caffeine, blood-sugar levels and pure tension, I had a fascinating day, which makes me glad to have experienced such things, even if they were not all entirely pleasant. A bit of buzz can be wonderful, and I've come away from the meeting energised.

I'm happy to talk to anyone about how things went and so on.

The time constraints and tension were high, but the applause was heartfelt and the release almost visceral when the motions were passed. Real progress.

I'm looking forward to the combined events leading up to the general meeting and elections, which will probably be on Sunday March the 21st, 2010, unless good reasons are presented to the steering committee :)

La la la!

Oct. 15th, 2009 02:42 pm
nclean: (Mugshot)
Not only do I get to stay at home today in tracksuit and dressing gown,

as I do my homework, I have a super-dorable pussycat sitting on my lap, purring loudly :D



Oct. 8th, 2009 12:30 pm
nclean: (SillyVampOlie)
I really should have done this last week, but:

*Retrospective Gloating*

I gotz my tax done last week! That's like, 3 weeks or more before it's due! Behold my mad organisational skills! (OK - so I'm unusually pleased about this because actually getting it done this early is a fairly unusual occurrence, but shuttup) Also, I should be getting a whole fourteen bucks back!

* Dances happy dance of good things *
nclean: (Default)
To those who were there last weekend:

I'd like any further input to reviewing the Don Bosco campsite, for putting in the archives, for helping us to select future campsites. Especially anyone catering, can you review the kitchen.

Subjective opinion can be a good thing, but consider keeping separate things about the camp from things about the site, even though things that were created by the site are important. For instance, although the quality of party or the quality of the food doesn't come from the site, the space and the kitchen can influence these things.

By the way, Camp was awesome :D

review )
nclean: (Default)
Upcoming soon: Suade (who were very cool at Hobart when we performed with them) and Vocal folds 4, which is sort of the same bent of thing, and involves Amelia who conducted MonUCS for the Australian ("20th century choral music ") Christmas concert before Nick Cowall started.

On Friday September 11th, which is night before MonUCS concert.

clickety stuff (maybe, can't be arsed syntaxing my athing if LJ doesn't auto link - -soo tired):

Could be very cool - but I'm also so bogged down with homework at the momement that I'm sort of cringing at the idea of doing stuff in my precious homework time. This (state of mind) is bad. I think my course is not agreeing with me at the moment.
nclean: (Ichthyo-Stega-Jawrus)
So, today I failed a hurdle at uni.

I did OK at my test this morning, but later on, on the way to the bus loop, I didn't quite compensate for the weight on my back. Consequently, as I attempted to jump the chain barrier around the bus stop, I didn't quite clear the hurdle.


I'm reminded yet again of how annoyingly, disproportionately painful grazes are - not that they're that bad, it's just that their effects are so damn superficial. I've also buggered my elbow a little (no, not literally - that would be against the definition, as well as being ergonomically awkward). I was initially worried about my laptop, as it did kind of roll over me and onto the ground, but it seems to be OK. I was disappointed to get muck on my velvet coat, but this is fairly trivial stuff.

*Edit -

I'm now a little worried that my laptop might not be as OK as initially thought. It's possible that the battery connections might now be loose. Will have to monitor this. Expressions of sympathy for my laptop would be appreciated.


Jun. 26th, 2009 01:27 pm
nclean: (Fleshy)
Addendum to the Murphy's law about "when the repairman comes to look at your broken toaster, it will work perfectly"

Today I have a fever of 38 and a bit.  Last night it was over 39 (the thermometer just reads "Hi" after that).  But when I went to the quack yesterday, no fever.  Why does this matter?  (given that it's only an upper respiratory tract infection - it's not like the treatment changes("get some bloody rest"))

Because it matters for my exams.  I'm not incapacitated , just impaired.  I could attend my exam yesterday.  I just wasn't performing my best.  It's not going to make a difference between excelling and failing, but it could make a couple of points difference.  I'm glad that special consideration doesn't mean boosting marks, but since I'm sick enough that getting out of bed seems a chore, I think that some kind of recognition within the system might be ... appropriate?
nclean: (Fleshy)
Following on from earlier posts, can anyone remember anything about campsites? Some of these, I can remember enough to review:

Merricks )
Wombat Corner )
Golden Valleys Lodge, Mornington )
Polana )
Camp Narbethong )
Britannia Park )

Other Campsites: (and things that might jog some memory):
Don Bosco – Trolley jousting
Heathcote Junction / Wandong – Ping pong; Rod R brought a telescope; Pennie hit her head. Not on ACA website, might no longer be operational.
Campaspe Downs – was this MIV98?
Anglesea – Booze forbidden at all
Mt Evelyn – Upstairs dorms, downstairs dining, possibly catered-only
Traralgon (Campsite name?) – had a fucking peacock. Most annoying bird ever.
Fern Gully Lodge, Healesville
Place north of melbourne for combined camp Dec 2004

And there was some place that had a (small) inbuilt spa...
nclean: (Pectoral)
Following on from my request for MonUCS history (I'll be putting all info on AICSApedia, and into the MonUCS google docs. Committee can post elsewhere as they like.)

Can anyone assist my memory for MUCS events?
MUCS events )

Other concerts I can remember performing, but can't recall the dates
Carmina & Vine were combined at least twice - once for MUCS 60th, 2nd time with RMPS
African Sanctus
Mozart Req
Nick Cowall's Russian December
Dixit Dominus ?1999?
Judas Maccabeus
nclean: (Pectoral)

I've been trying to compile a list of campsites we've been to, and to review what they're like.  In aid of this, I've been trying to compile a list of camps by date.  To try to help with this, I've tried to list the concerts we've done.  My memory has been drawing blank after blank.  That's a big chunk of my life forgotten.  So, here's what I can remember for MonUCS... ALL that I can remember for MonUCS

December Camp: Somewhere North of Melbourne. 
Combined with MUCS

Ragtime.  At some stage.

Fresher Day Clayton Rd

May Concert: Mozart's Wallpaper Mass,
September concert ?
December Camp:  (Campoff: Joe) 

Fresher Day ?Clayton Rd
Cherubfest: Vivaldi Gloria - Mount Waverley Comm Centre
May Camp:   ??Polana (Campoff: Joe)
May Concert: Mozart Requiem & Vivaldi Gloria
August Camp: Polana (Campoff: Joe) Theme: Russia (“From Russia with Love?” - or was that the year before)
Annual Dinner: Something to do with hippies
December Camp: Polana (Campoff: Ollie) Election

Fresher Day: Huntingdale centre
May Camp: Wombat Corner (Campoff: Ollie).  Theme:  “Timewarp”
May Concert: Messiah

August Camp: Golden Valleys (Campoff: Ollie) “A Midwinter Night's Dream”
September Concert: RV Williams,
Annual Dinner: Mad Hatter's Tea Party
December Narbethong (Campoff: Susie) Saint-Saens

Fresher Day: ? Mt Waverley
May Camp: Brittania Park (Campoff: Susie) Under the Sea
May Concert: Mozart GM & Bortnianski

nclean: (Pectoral)
Hopefully, not bad statistics this time :P

One of the more gladdening pieces of this sort I've read in recent times:

  WHY THE GODS ARE NOT WINNING by Gregory Paul & Phil Zuckerman

A myth is gaining ground... The proposition is that after God died in the secular 20th century, He is back in a big way as people around the world again find faith.

... ...  (I like ellipses perhaps too much)...What scheme of thought did soar in the 20th century?  The number of nonreligionists….  throughout the 20th century has skyrocketed from 3.2 million in 1900, to 697 million in 1970, and on to 918 million in AD 2000…. Equally startling has been the meteoritic growth of secularism….  agnosticism…. and atheism…. From a miniscule presence in 1900, a mere 0.2% of the globe, these systems…. are today expanding at the extraordinary rate of 8.5 million new converts each year, and are likely to reach one billion adherents soon. ... It is well documented that Christianity has withered dramatically in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.. Churches are being converted into libraries, laundromats and pubs.

... One Great Faith has risen from one eighth to one fifth of the globe in a hundred years, and is projected to rise to one quarter by 2050. Islam. But education and the vote have little to do with it. Generally impoverished and poorly educated, most Muslims live in nations where democracy is minimalist or absent. Nor are many infidels converting to Allah.  Longman was correct on one point; Islam is growing because Muslims are literally having lots of unprotected sex. The absence of a grand revival of Christ, Allah and Vishnu worship via democratic free choice brings us to a point, as important as it is little appreciated — the chronic inability of religion to recruit new adherents on a consistent, global basis.
nclean: (Pectoral)
Other people know more about much of this than me. Anyone got any input (Hey Nicki!)
Sorry about the crappy formatting!  Updating to include suggestions by commenters will come with changes for vague completeness - later

Establishing guidelines for

catering for special dietary needs

An introduction: Why guidelines are needed

more... )

Anyway, I find it odd that some clubs apparently dedicated to macho bullshit always cater well for vegans, yet some events under the general MSA banner -which is allegedly all about inclusion and representation- seem not to be able to provide vegetarian food at many of their events!

Based on these considerations, I would like to suggest the adoption of the following guidelines:

Catering Guidelines


The long-winded versions )



  1. Cater in proportion to dietary restrictions

  2. Consider dietary restrictions when above the critical number

  3. Use the best information available
    Ed: 3b - pre-sold events are different (see ETFB's comment)

  4. Make allergens identifiable.

  5. Make a reasonable effort

  6. Catering to the lowest common denominator is OK


Deciding the “Nominal Proportions” of food restrictions in the University Population


more... )

ED: (I was always planning on putting this in) Info about various dietary restrictions
Deciding the minimum number


Read more... )

Nominal rates of dietary restrictions

nclean: (Ichthyo-Stega-Jawrus)

I was pretty suspicious when I couldn't hear it - not because I expected my ears to be undamaged - but because the other day, I tried an app that cut out at 10 kHz, and I know I can hear way higher than 10kHz.  I'm not sure what pitch this test is, but it's pretty painful.

nclean: (Mugshot)
It seems you really can't return home.

MUCS was my home for eight years or more – from 1997 until around Melbourne IV; call it 2005. Deep in my mind, I loved the wall of sound that rose from the hundred voices of MUCSters.

MUCS was the first choir I loved, my sole social group for many years. It seems more like my “old home” than my parents' house, which is not that surprising, considering I spent fewer years where my parents reside now.

Nowadays, I am a Monash student. Many here would know of the difficulties that I have recently had within the Monash choir, upon which I shall not elaborate at this time. Although most of my closest friends are, or have recently been called MonUCS, these difficulties have led me to consider my options. I was -extremely- pleasantly surprised last week, by how many people so warmly welcomed me back to MonUCS, especially following some of the less than pleasant kerfuffles that happened towards the end of last year. Of course, a couple of people kept to themselves, but for the most part, it was the sort of welcome that one expects from home :)

It had been my plan to start examining some of the other choirs around, just to check if MonUCS still is the best place to call home, or whether it might be time to move on. Scots' is musically fantastic - many songs are performed completely unrehearsed (with many in the choir sightreading), but nonetheless sounding better than many choirs. I'd say the performance standard is not generally quite as high as that of Gloriana, but that's hardly surprising, given that most 16th century works are considered “easy”, and therefore performed on two hours' notice. Unfortunately, however, Scots' social dynamic is nothing like what I'd come to expect from a choir. It's more like the dynamic of a workplace, where you see your colleagues for a few hours every week (funny, that). Other Scots' choristers attest to not knowing many of the names of the colleagues with whom they have been performing for over a year.

Unfortunately, being comfortable with a musical standard that high has also been devastating on my experience of MUCS. Although I expected to find Foetus talking with unnecessary verbosity, and the teaching of the incorrect pronunciation of Nkosi and so on, I also remembered that the great thing about Foetus's rehearsal style was that he let the choir face tricky music full on, and would only then notebash the sections that weren't sounding right. Unfortunately, that mode of practice seems to have disappeared. I also didn't expect to find warmups until 7:45. And since RMPS has recently had a purge, MUCS is looking more like a retirement village than ever, with a sound to match.

(cont) Actually, the sound was a crucial part of the experience. For the first half, I sat at the back, and the sound was disappointingly weak, off, raucous - all very unsatisfying. For the second half, I moved right into the middle, and the sound-experience was far far better. Although the sound wasn't good, at least it was full. Without that, I probably would have been rather depressed at the loss of a capacity-to-experience. As it was, I was only disappointed at MUCS's capacity to deliver. I did find it curious, though, that in MonUCS, I now find I "need" to sit at the back, so as not to hear individual voices' mistakes, whereas in MUCS, I found I needed to be in the middle, so that the different rough voices could blast each other into an acceptable wash.


Consequently, I won't be heading to MUCS this week.
nclean: (Default)
Was walking dog. Smelt smoke. "Hrmm..." thought I, "Is that from the bushfires?"

Apparently not. Since the temperature has fallen a bit, somebody decided it was obviously time to have an open fire indoors


What's the bet that three days ago, they had an air-conditioner on full blast?
nclean: (Pectoral)
I have a theory.

In the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, more people were killed outside of their homes (esp in cars) than in. For the past 20 years, those who were properly prepared to defend their homes not only had excellent survival rates, but they had very good rates of house retention, while those that fled virtually condemned their houses to be destroyed.

That's all very well for "normal" bushfire conditions. However, footage the other day didn't show fires with smoke rising, it showed smoke moving entirely horizontally. Reports were that the fire fronts were moving at upwards of 60 kph. With speeds like that, by the time a resident might know that their area is in danger, it might be too late to flee.

I've always thought that if I were to live in a rural area, that I'd want an underground bunker. I'm starting to think that this might not be such a bad idea for everybody else. Digging out an underground bunker might be expensive, but apparently above ground bunkers can be helpful too:,22606,25026484-5006301,00.html

One advantage to the underground idea is that because underground structures have such thermal mass, that they'd also be pretty good for enduring the heat during heat spells etc.

Current community safety spots tend to be on ovals; some survivors report being in cars in the middle of paddocks (with some grass-fires not hot enough to set the car alight). These are certainly cheaper options, but not exactly psychologically comforting, and I doubt they'd be as effective.

The bunker idea still has several modes of failure:
* The bunker catching fire
* Something (eg: a house above, a big tree) falling on the bunker
* The heat penetrating the bunker
* Local oxygen being used up by the fire

Good design should avoid the first three failure modes. Of course, the oxygen issue could be solved to any given risk, for a price.

This is a very 1950s idea. I admit that I've always been fascinated by fallout boy shelters. But, I'm starting to think that living within crawling distance of a bunker might just be a Wise Idea, and probably worth some of the cost
nclean: (SillyVampOlie)
Although double brick isn't nearly as good for insulation as one might think - in terms of insulation efficiency they kind of suck - I'm incredibly grateful for the amount of thermal mass our place has.

Hottest Day Evar. No Aircon.

And the only thermometer we had couldn't tell us how hot it was. It just said "Lo". Judging by the cool change, when things reached some sort of equilibrium, at a guess: About 29 in the warmer rooms, about 26 in the hallway. Not unpleasant at all.

There are things we could do better - better use of shading, use of water storage as thermal mass, and our ceiling insulation is laughable.

So, if Ruddy is serious about schilling out for free insulation, who the fuck needs an air-conditioner?
nclean: (SillyVampOlie)
Hee! Will be home soon:)

I hope that everyone will be celebrating Obamamania in style back home. We're getting pretty xhausted, but it's been fabulous. And we'll be home early!! on Friday.

Love yas
nclean: (Fleshy)
In Australia, I would expect any "Miniature wonderland" to be aimed at a kiddie demographic, although, it was touted as "The largest model railway in the world," which I would expect might pull a lot of old men

However, given the number of children heading into the place, it was a sort of surprise to find:

* Someone puking outside a trainstation
* A red light district, including sailors chatting up whores in a brothel
* Several instances of people fucking in the wilderness
* A porn film set
* Someone masturbating in a toilet cubicle
* Someone puking in a portaloo at an outdoor rock concert

However, the only srug use that I saw any evidence of was drunkenness. Not that we really exhausted the place. It was amazingly extensive (500,000 person-hours so far), and detailed. I don't get why modellers use 1:87 scale, tho. More info, but probably not so much juice, at

Anyway, the point of this post was to say "they do things differently here". I will hopefully follow up this post with a visual representation of this. To follow on cuddlefairy's comments to Asmodel, compare the interlinking of routes in Munich:
And Hamburg
With the victorian radial system

Also, unsurprisingly, different cities are very very different places.  In Munich, the S-bahn (suburban) is swish, modern and quiet, and the U-bahn (underground) is clunky, grotty, noisy, antiquated.  In Hamburg the opposite applies, except that the Underground is above ground half the time (??), and not half as nice as the nicer of the Munich trains.
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