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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs posted in 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Green Day - Melbourne, 2009

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 17/12/2009 20:58:41

I had never been to a live music show. No concerts, no festivals, no high school recitals. I never had the cash in high school - which is when I wanted to go to The Offspring, The Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, etc. When I started to earn enough money to afford such events, I started to feel like the first concert I went to would need to be worth the wait. So I just never went to anything (stupid, I know).

Green Day postponed their second Melbourne show, which had been planned for Tuesday. I had nothing on Wednesday night - so I thought I'd try to get tickets. Fortunately, someone had just returned their front-row lower seating tickets before I got to the ticket office - and my first concert was planned.

Green Day Tickets
The slightly off-yellow tickets

Jet was the support act - and I was pretty happy to be able to see them live. Cold Hard Bitch sounded great and it was good to hear Look What You've Done again. For some reason about 5 male strippers joined the band for Are You Going To Be My Girl. I guess there was a fair few women in the audience - but it just seemed weird.

This is Jet - just take my word for it

Then, before too much waiting, Green Day took the stage. I really did pick a great act for my first live show. They played for two and a half hours pretty much non-stop. The set list was incredible. They played seven songs from 21st Century Breakdown, a good number from American Idiot, Minority, a few from Nimrod (Hitchin' A Ride was awesome), a few from Insomniac and most of their hits from Dookie. A kid was pulled out of the audience to sing Longview. While it would have been good to hear Billie Joe sing it - it was great to see how happy the kid was to sing with Green Day backing him. He did pretty well too, pacing the stage and pointing to the crowd at times.

It was an amazing show and the 150+ minutes just flew by. It's done two things to me. Made me want to buy a drum kit and graduate from Rock Band, and see many more live acts in 2010. Here's hoping Daft Punk tours again soon. Or Boston decides to visit Australia.

Green Day
Green Day - A surprisingly good picture - considering it was taken from my phone

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great Australian Run - 2009

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 29/11/2009 15:28:23
Updated by Joel Dixon at 29/12/2014 05:15:46 - typo

I was planning on running in the 15km Great Australian Run today. I did a 5km 4km run about 6 weeks ago and loved it - so trained up for the 15 km.

I certainly had preparation covered last night. Laid out my clothes, pre-pinned my race number, packed a bag with toilet paper, band-aids, drinks etc and pre-attached my registered baggage tag. I analysed three potential methods of travel and decided on a primary and backup strategy (train / tram or car if I slept in). I then went to bed for an early night.

Of course, I slept through an hour and 45 minutes of my alarm and had almost no chance of making it to the race. Bell offered to try to drive me in - and I accepted - knowing it was probably too late.

I skipped my shower, breakfast and my morning good-luck toilet stop. Somehow we made it into the city in under an hour, and after dropping off my bag just made it to the starting area with one minute to spare. No time for a proper warm up - I just had enough time to remove a stone from my runners. But I was happy the last six weeks of prep wouldn't go to waste.

I actually felt really good over the first 5-7 kilometers, until my knee started to act up. As I've been training for this my left knee has been getting progressively worse - and today it was very sore. Had it not been the big race - I probably wouldn't have kept going. But I wanted that medal!

I suffered through the knee pain, the cramps and the rain, and I eventually crossed the finish line. The last 500 meters felt great, but as soon as I cooled down again I had great trouble walking. I think this is my last run for a few months!

It looks like my sore knee was also affecting my times - or I just got too tired after the first 5 kilometers

I like the yellow ribbon, stylish!

The next run would be the 14.1 km Run 4 The Kids, which I'm certainly starting to second guess.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I ran a[n eighth of a] marathon today!

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 11/10/2009 20:44:21

About two months ago, I had been going to the gym for a few weeks and started to really enjoy the treadmill work I was doing. So, of course, I went too far ahead of myself and said to Bell "I want to complete a marathon before I turn 30". This was partly because I think running a marathon is a good bucket list goal - and partly because of Hamish Blake's effort.

So I signed up for the 5km event of this year's Melbourne Marathon. I chose the 5km distance because I was still new to running - and just wanted to see how much harder running would be when not on a treadmill. Over the last few months I've found that 5km isn't that long - and I predicted I'd finish the race in around 30 minutes, maybe 25.

The race started a little annoyingly - I was so far back at the starting line - I just stood there for a full minute while the long line ahead of us got started. But when I got running it was great fun! The weather was excellent - and spectators were littered around the course offering encouragement.

By far the most enjoyable part of the race was the final 800 meters - a semi-lap of the MCG. Running in through Gate 3 of the 'G to apparently 10,000 people sporadically cheering was amazing. Sure - most of them were there for the proper runners (half and full marathons) - it still felt pretty good.

After the finish we all received a participation medal. Sure, it sounds like "everyone gets a medal day" - but it was a really nice quality prize. In roller hockey, I've won grand finals, team and league MVPs and various other sporting trophies - and none have looked as nice as my 5km participation medal. The longer distance ones looked much nicer too!

My Bling
My bling

I had a look at the online results - and I actually finished in 19 minutes and 51 seconds. I'm pretty surprised at that - it's an average of 15 km/h - I guess I've been slacking off when on the treadmill. My official position is 400th (out of around 4,000) - but my net time (i.e. discounting the time it took me to get to the start line) puts me around 300th. I'm pretty happy with that - especially for my first race.

5km Result
My Results

In the end - I wish I had have run the 10km race. 5km isn't enough to see if I have the right kind of endurance to get a full or even half marathon. I'm going to give the 15km Run For The Kids a go next March - should be a better challenge.

To top it off - our mixed basketball team won our first non-grading game by 38 points tonight. I scored 12 points - meaning I wasn't allowed to score anymore. The "can't score more than 12 rule" is one that I thought would never need to be applied to me during a game. Perhaps I should go for a 5km run each morning before basketball!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wet Pussy

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 21/09/2009 21:34:15
Updated by Joel Dixon at 21/09/2009 21:40:55

I love funny cat videos, and this one is pretty good:


On the site a caption says "This cat successfully figures out the least efficient way to drink from a faucet" which pretty much sums it up. Still - you can't say it's stupid - he does get a lot of water. rink.html

Sunday, August 16, 2009

District 9

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 16/08/2009 09:07:58

I went to see a District 9 at the movies last night and it was pretty awesome! Go and see it.

I really hope they are already working on a sequel!

NHL '91 - Game 6

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 16/08/2009 08:40:57

This is awesome! Somebody took the audio commentary from the Pittsburgh Penguin's first Stanley Cup win in 1991 and mixed it with a modified version of NHL '94 to recreate game 6. It's hard to describe - so watch the video:

The synchronization is very well done - this must have taken ages. I love the part where they talk about Mario's then-girlfriend Nathalie waving in the stands.

Just watch it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 21/07/2009 20:33:28

I don't blog about Xbox games anymore (or anything else for that matter) - but I wanted to make a quick mention of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. I never got to play the original game back in the day - as our family didn't get a computer until later. So I'm happy to be experiencing this classic game in the comfort of my living room couch. The graphics and music has been all re-mastered, and all dialog is now spoken in the special edition.

But the best part about this game is that clicking on the back button on the controller downscales the experience back to the 90s version, with the old graphics, MIDI music and subtitles instead of speech. It's been great to see the difference between the old and the new in each scene.

If you have an Xbox 360 - buy it today! The developers have hinted that if enough people buy this game, other classic LucasArts games may follow - such as Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pittsburgh Penguins - 2009 Stanley Cup Champions!

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 13/06/2009 14:18:39

Pens Win Cup
2009 Stanley Cup Champions!

The Detroit Red Wings were 11-1 at home this playoff year. In 3 games at The Joe the Penguins were beaten by a combined score of 11 goals to 2, including Detroit's 5-0 win in game 5. No team in NHL history had been able to rally from 2-0 series deficients twice in the same playoff year. Of the 45 teams that have been up 2 games to 0 in the Stanley Cup final, 41 were able to go on to win the Cup.

But none of that mattered. Game 7 is a whole different story to the first 6, and the Penguins overcame adversity to win their 3rd Stanley Cup in franchise history. And boy do I feel good!

Currently (I hope) being shipped from the US to me is the following:

Cup Bundle

The Stanley Cup Championship Locker Room Bundle: This was the first Pittsburgh Stanley Cup I was able to watch live - and watching the Pens putting on their Cup Championship hats made me want one! Also the DVD will be a keeper.

Crosby Bobble

Sidney Crosby Cup Holding Bobble-Head: Even though he was injured early in the second period, Sidney Crosby is the team captain, and the first player to hoist the cup on our team. This bobble-head is going to stay at work for the offseason!


Road Talbot Jersey with Stanley Cup Final Patch: Last playoffs the Penguins were down against Detroit 1 game to 3. Game 5 was played in Detroit, with the Red Wings having the chance to finish off the Pens in 5 games. Detroit were up 3 goals to 2 with a minute left in regulation. The officials had the Stanley Cup removed from it's box, and started polishing it up ready for the presentation.

With 35 seconds left in the game Maxime Talbot scored on a wrist shot to send the game into overtime (which the Pens won in the 3rd overtime period). Right after Talbot scored that goal, I immediately said "I'm buying a Talbot jersey". When we eventually lost the series in game 6, I sulked for a month and never ended up buying the jersey - even though Talbot's been one of my favourite players for a long time.

In game 3 of this year's series against Detroit, Talbot scored the first goal of the game to set the tempo, and ensure we didn't go down an unassailable 3-0 games against the Wings. After he scored that goal I also said to myself "I'm going to buy a Talbot jersey".

To take any doubt out of my mind, Talbot scored the only two Penguins goals in this year's game 7, and ensured the Cup comes back to Pittsburgh. I have finally bought the jersey I promised I'd do so many times. I don't currently own a road jersey - so as we won the Cup on the road I figured now's a good time to get one.

Malkin Smythe
Pittsburgh Assistant Captain, Gino "The Scoring Machino" Malkin, after winning the Conn Smythe trophy

Evgeni Malkin was an absolute force in the Penguins' Playoff run scoring 36 points, the first player to score more than 30 points since Joe Sakic in 1996 (Crosby also broke 30 points with 31). In some of the games, especially against Carolina, you can just tell when Malkin decided to step up and own the game (resulting in some damn pretty goals). With Malkin and Crosby on this team for many years to come, I'm thinking the Penguins collection of 13 Art Ross Trophys will be added to more than a few times.

Hossa Lost

Crosby Cup

About two years ago (before Pittsburgh lost to Detroit the first time) I told my little brother that the Penguins were going to win 2 of the next 5 Stanley Cups. This is the first - I'll be cheering next year for the second!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stanley Cup Final, Game 7

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 11/06/2009 21:32:40

Pittsburgh has done a good job at pushing the Detroit Red Wings to a winner-takes-all game 7 in this year's Stanley Cup final.

Last year Detroit beat the Penguins in 6 games, but I think we've got a better chance this year. Last season, we had Scary Gary Roberts providing us with the crazy eyes:

Gary Roberts - what would he do?

When Roberts left via free agency to Tampa Bay, the Penguins needed to look towards Brooks Orpik for their crazy eye needs, and he certainly has stepped up. Here he is getting pretty serious about hydration:

When making big hits, a common expression is that Brooks Orpik is handing out free candy.

I'm hoping Orpik's crazy eyes are enough to help the Pens over the line, to win their first cup since 1992.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The ol' Client / Server Database

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 27/05/2009 23:12:55

The first result in google when searching for "client server database" is quite interesting:

Google Me

At the time of posting - that result is still number one. Here - let me google that for you.

Firstly - a great use of the word girth. Doesn't get used enough in my opinion. Then again - what's my opinion worth? After all - I used to think client / server was a computing term. The more you know!

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