make-believe.org

This is an archive of the blog that ran on make-believe.org from mid-2003 until the end of 2005. Some links may not work, some images may not appear, caveat lector, etc.

The Patriot Act

The Patriot Act is an alternative to the brand of Australian "patriotism" that we believe has become far too prominent in the eyes of the nation and the world. We think it's a truer representation of how it feels to be Australian. If you agree with that, and you have two minutes to spare, please sign it at http://www.thepatriotact.org.

Joseph | 17 Dec 2005

Thumbin'

This is a Community Service Announcement, alright, okay, it's a Me Service Announcement. I've got a Friday pass to marvellous Meredith, and Friday is the day I'm keenest on, what with the likes of Okkervil and the Cities raising the canvas.

Turns out Kelly, who is likewise equipped with a Friday pass, can't leave the lights of Melbs til late that night, missing the aforementioned sets.

Me, I'd like arrive in the mid-afternoon, to stake out a little patch of turf and to start, well, drinking and singing and et cetera.

So I'm sticking my thumb out. If you're going to MMF on the Friday, can you fit me in the back seat or something? I'd be most grateful.

  • There's a six of Boag's Draft or a silver balloon of De Bortoli's finest in it for you.
  • Don't be creepy.
  • Write me!

This has been a Me Service Announcement on behalf of you get the idea.

Update: Sorted! Thanks.

Joseph | 1 Dec 2005

Always thinking

I just registered a business name that I can only pronounce when I'm sober. This is a sensible safeguard.

Joseph | 21 Nov 2005

Get your highlighters out

Okay, melbs.org has a brand new look. It's, like, rock and roll.

Joseph | 20 Nov 2005

Three things I found funny today:

  • This is fucking brilliant (esp. this)
  • I wanted to separate a burgeoning object-oriented JavaScript codebase into per-class files, then concatenate them back into one big file in a "deployment" step. Concatenation via the Windows command shell is unintuitive—you use the copy command and point to a file as the destination—and appends an unrecognizable character at the end of the resultant file, causing some JavaScript engines to barf. Before I got it working (you have to tell the copy command that the output will be binary, even though it's not, eg: copy js\*.js main.js /b), I was considering using Poof! to do the job. Visit the PoofPage for more information.
  • Roger Smalls

Joseph | 12 Nov 2005

New correlations in the cows/stupidity matrix

My distaste for middle-aged women is already well-documented. But the ways I'm gonna kick Lynne Truss's arse will one day be the stuff of legend.

What she, like Don Watson, like the Apostrophe Protection Society, like all socio-linguistic conservatives, fails to realise is that language and social interaction is constantly shifting. At a certain age of course you fall off the crest of the wave of change—the point is to take it with good grace and humour. But they think that they're members of the Last Great Good generation, the last ones who could be trusted with language and human communication, which is plainly insulting and I'll prove it with all kinds of deep red welts on her ample buttocks.

Theirs is the dim narrow purview, the appreciation of an apparent decline across one century or two, revealed as hopelessly mistaken by any broader look at language and society, which has certainly taken these hits and worse before, and been made stronger and more beautiful for it. I'm saying I ain't talking your granmama's language, cos your granmama's language didn't do what I need. Keep movin, Truss, or git ya fat butt off the sidewalk.

Joseph | 12 Nov 2005

Van Diemen's Land ho!

The make-believe.org domain expired today, after an extraordinary display of incompetence by Verio, with whom I registered the domain when I was too young to know better. Verio's ineptitude at providing support is breath-taking, and has probably reduced my lifespan by a couple of years and the probability of retaining my hirsute scalp by 700%.

Anyway, it's resolved now, thanks to my "computer forensics" skills (that's what they call it these days apparently).

Tomorrow night I set sail across the ocean to Tasmania, an island that has been singing me a Siren's song for a few years, to which I am now happily succumbing. It's only supposed to be a four day trip, but you know, I may not come back. Maybe I will be lured into picking up a hoe on a potato farming commune, to forsake my present iniquity, never to set thumb upon spacebar again.

I am burning to tell you about Project H, but then I would have to cut off your fingers and cut out your tongue, and since I believe you're quite attached to those devices, I will keep silent.

Anyway. The point is, in four days I'm going to cross off item number 12 on the I haven't list. Several others have been crossed off since it was penned, more details soon, although I have not yet seen snow and doubt that even the frosty Apple Isle will oblige. It bewilders folk, but ah, I treasure these innocences and relinquish them with great reluctance. I have so few left.

Joseph | 27 Oct 2005

Debugging JavaScript with log entries

(Those who don't read this site for the nerdy programming stuff can look away... now.)

Most of the time, firing up Venkman to figure out whether some JavaScript code block is getting triggered or not is overkill. But using alert() calls quickly gets annoying if your code block may be triggering a lot.

There's a few ways to log information from JavaScript less obtrusively in Firefox. My preferred way is to use the Firefox console. Not the JavaScript console, which seems to be out of bounds, but the browser console.

To get things working, you need to join a few dots:

  • Start Firefox like so: firefox.exe -console
  • In about:config, right-click to bring up the context menu
  • Choose New->Boolean
  • When prompted for the preference name, enter:
        browser.dom.window.dump.enabled
  • When prompted for the boolean value, choose True

You've just enabled logging to the console window. So how do you log to this console from JavaScript? You use dump(), like so:

dump("hello world\n");

This works well in Firefox, where dump() is a system function. To play nicely with other browsers, you probably want to create a wrapper function.

In this example, clog() (for console log, but name it what you will) is my wrapper for dump():

function clog(msg) {
  if (typeof(dump) != 'undefined'){dump(msg +"\n");}
}

clog("hello world");

It simply checks whether the function is available: if it is, it gets used. Otherwise, nothing happens. Couldn't be simpler.

Let me know how you go in the comments.

Joseph | 24 Oct 2005

Now how am I supposed to be a poet

Well what can I write about the moon, now you got your footprints all over it.

What am I gonna say about the stars, when the bright ones were built to beam porn into your living room.

The vast ancient constellations obscured by your cheap fluorescence and fumes.

Tell me when should I write a romance, if I gotta sneak out of your room at 5am.

I try and write an epic and you're waiting for the ad break.

To take a piss and put the kettle on.


I could whisper the boughs softly sighing before a summer storm if you hadn't cut down all the trees.

How can I evoke this perfect fragrant bloom with you blowing up humans and shit.

What does it take to pluck your heartstrings, besides the rasp of pen on chequebook.

There are gods and heavens to beseech, but wouldn't you just call me a fanatic.

I try and write a tragedy and you reckon not enough people died.

What's the bodycount. How many Aussies.


If I gave you a happy ending, you'd point out that 51 per cent of marriages become divorces.

Well if my greatest weakness ain't statistical improbability.

I write about my cats but no, you're a dog person.

I sing of my dead, and you'd send me to a grief counsellor.

I try and make it rhyme, and you put me in the children's section.

Where nobody buys it.


Well it's you against the great, deep, sacred infinitude.

And my dream of something more.

If only you could shut me up.

Joseph | 14 Oct 2005

Malady and Malaise







(See the animated and somewhat abridged version of this story at The Perimeter Motor Show, with visuals by Karla of somewhereafter.)

Joseph | 3 Oct 2005

stuff & nonsense

  • Topographic viewTopographic view
     shows elements on a webpage according to how deeply nested they are. It's a bookmarklet for web development.
  • The qualifierThe qualifier
     renders controversial statements on this page harmless. Reinstate the slings and barbs by refreshing. Also a bookmarklet.

  • jjmap
    American Diary

    Two weeks with the apple and the lone star (illustrated).

all posts, ordered by month in reverse-chronological order:

In Words

In Other Words