Planet MadDog

Yoo hoo... I'm still here!
Hi Folks. It's been a long while between updates so I'll be sure to make this one a doozy. Besides, as attractive as Barbara Bush (see below) is, I think it's time for a change.

Well, what's been happening with me? Okay, lets see. Well first of all, we were this close *making small hand gestures* to buying a house. It was a great house. In fact it was the first house that we really agreed on. We made an offer and it was accepted. Then we changed our minds... rather our minds were changed for us... never mind, long story. Needless to say, we withdrew our offer realising that now wasn't a good time to buy a house and deciding to instead wait until we got back from our honeymoon. However we still decided to go ahead with the sale of my unit, which is coming along nicely, apart from some unprofessional practices from the real-estate agent (but nothing too drastic).

The other important thing going on is the change in my job. It has come to pass that the web publishing division I work for has disolved and is no more. Rather than be made redundant, I have been offered a new job at the Shepparton News to join their online team to work towards the revamp of their current online presence and help them achieve their goals where all things web are concerned. Now this scared the hell out of me. I fear change. Of course now that I've had time for this to sink in and to realise what a good opportunity this is for me to widen my skills, I'm much cooler with it. I think it will be a bit bizzare at first, tip-toeing around the minefield that is online publishing, but I think once the initial leap has been made, and I'm a bit more sure of myself, things will be great. In terms of the work that I'll be doing, first of all I'll be finishing off the jobs that I already have in progress, then I'll be working on the McPherson Meda Group's Intranet site as a migratory project, working in closer with the Shepp News staff. Following that I'll be starting the groundwork on this News Online project, working with the Editorial team and their new news publishing software to develop the best way to deliver the news online and also offer my mad tech-consulting skills.

Well it's all happening at the moment, and now that the fear of progressing has subsided, I'm happy to ride this as far as it will take me. As for long term plans... well, that's all relative right now. But you can be assured that now things have calmed down, the Planet MadDog updates will keep on coming.
Posted by a very busy MadDog on Monday September 24, 2001 at 2:10 PM - 0 comments

Snow Trip 2001

Barbara Bush: an artist's impression.

I just got back from a weekend at the snow. We stayed at Gracie's auntie's ski lodge at Dinner Plain, which is about 10 minutes from the Mt. Hotham Resort. This little newspost had potential to be one of those groovy pictorials in my Output section, however some shit-for-brains forgot to bring the digital camera. Oh well. There were only really about five or six things I would have taken pictures of anyway, which brings us to the odd picture you can see to the right there. The one thing that I really wanted to take a picture of was the snow-lady that we built, so much so that I came this close (making small hand gestures) to buying a $30 disposable camera just so I could capture the moment. Unfortunately, you'll have to make do with the crude diagram (Click it for an enlarged version). She was anatomically correct (apart form the whole no-legs thing, but hey, you can't be picky with snow-people), had a top set of norgs, and... well... we named her Barbara Bush.

Other highlights of the weekend included making snow angels like they did in the Simpsons (except ours were crappy), going tobogganing down a crappy slope in a blizzard and ending up rolling down the hill and going much faster, playing Jenga when we got bored, making a beer tree by sticking many stubbies into a pile of snow, playing Pictionary when we got incredibly bored ("That's not a damn computer! It's a piece of cheese!" -- "Well I haven't drawn the mouse yet!"), and catching up on a couple of the Ralphs and FHMs from the 15,000 or so that I've bought and haven't read yet. Overall it was a fun weekend but not really something that I'd do all the time. Maybe another time, but perhaps without the twenty or so reletives hanging around.

Posted by a very cold MadDog on Sunday September 9, 2001 at 9:15 PM - 0 comments

"I kick arse for the Lord!"
Yaay! My copy of Braindead on VHS is famous! Thanks zenny! Oh, and if you haven't seen Braindead, get some mates, get hammered, and get it out.
Posted by a very unique MadDog on Wednesday September 5, 2001 at 2:37 PM - 0 comments

Finally, a rich person who doesn't annoy me.
Bill Gates... Yeah, he's a real barrel of fun. Kerry Packer? What a weird looking dude. I bet he's just great at parties... Sultan of Who-nei? Rich people. Let's face it, they piss you off. They sit there counting their billions with this high and mighty attitude that makes you want to spit on them. But there's one dude who's recently won me over.

Richard Branson, the man who started Virgin at the age of 15, appeard on Rove last night and turned out to be one of the coolest rich guys I've seen and has proved to me that although money can't buy happiness, it can buy you a higher quality of misery. But Richard seems like he'd be having just as much fun even if he wasn't a billionaire. Perfect example: this article in todays Age. This is the same guy who launched his new Virgin Mobile company by driving an army tank across the Sydney Harbour Bridge shooting the crowd with a Super-Soaker. This guy kicks ass.

I reckon, if I ever became a billionaire (not gonna happen) I'd be just like him. How does Bill Gates launch Windows 98? He stands infront of a black background and demonstrates the software until it crashes and he becomes a laughing stock. Imagine if Bill had launched Windows with a Kylie Minogue concert and threw Mars bars out into the crowd while midgets danced around the stage. Microsoft wouldn't have the negative attitude towards it that it has now, I'm telling you.

My Top 10 things I'd do if I had a billion dollars
  • Buy all the stuff that Gracie and I have ever wanted
  • Buy a monkey and dress him up like a cowboy
  • Buy one of those big druglord mansions built on the side of a cliff
  • Kick the ass of my Grade 6 teacher, Mr Wangman (heheh... wang), who said I'd never amount to anything
    (UPDATE: I've recently found out that he died not so long ago. Gee, don't I just feel like a big man now...)
  • Buy zenny her movie theater
  • Hang out with all the celebrities that I admire
  • NOT buy a chopper or other light aircraft, rather, buy a chopper or light aircraft simulator.
  • Buy a huge-ass video arcade with as many classic games as there are new ones
  • Fund research into why my t-shirts go all frilly around the collar
  • Swim around my money bin like Scrooge McDuck
Posted by a very ok MadDog on Wednesday September 5, 2001 at 2:02 PM - 0 comments

Link to meee!

Link, link, link my site, gently down the... err... Internet. Yeah.
It has come to my attention that some of you might actually wish to link to my homepage. Well I think you're nuts, but I'd love the publicity. It'd be nice to think that someone got to my homepage via some method other than typing "free titties" into Google (Although that still is WAY cool!). Well I have accommodated for such kind individuals by providing this handy animated link button. Link on.
Posted by a very needy MadDog on Friday August 31, 2001 at 4:42 PM - 0 comments

Seeya Shirl
Hey, folks. If I ever become rich and famous, remind me never to build and/or fly my own light aircraft. It didn't do John Denver much good, and now it's claimed the life of good old Shirl.

49-year-old Shirley "Tune in next week when I make a coffee table out of a couple of egg cartons" Strachan, ex-frontman for 70's supergroup Skyhooks, and generally all-round grouse Aussie shearer, was killed yesterday when his Bell 47 helicopter crashed in to Mt Archer on the Sunshine Coast on what was believed to be his first solo flight.

Sad news.
Posted by a very sad MadDog on Thursday August 30, 2001 at 2:55 PM - 0 comments

Caption of the day :)

"... the top of my head goes way past where it should."

Thanks to Braden for captioning this photo from USA Today.
Posted by a very amused MadDog on Friday August 24, 2001 at 4:21 PM - 0 comments

Netscape 6.1: It Doesn't Suck
I installed the latest incarnation of Netscape's web browser yesterday afternoon, and I've got to be quite honest with you here and tell you that it actually pretty good.

Netscape lost me around the release of version Nutscrape 4. It's bloated size (17MB up form 3.5MB for Netscape 3 Gold) combined with its total ignorance of the HTML standard left a sour taste in my mouth. There was great hope however for the release of Netscape 6. Unfortunately it turned out to be the biggest embarrassment Netscape has ever suffered. Well, I'm here to tell you that the Big N has heard the cry of the people and thus redeemed themselves with this latest update. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • File Size: The average download is about 20MB, pretty small compared to IE's latest release.
  • Combatibility: Web pages seem to be displaying reletively well. No more of this botched up tisplaying of tables and background images. It's new Gekko engine really seems to be doing the trick.
  • Speed: Compared to Netscape 6.0's startup time, Netscape 6.1 starts up from a cold boot at around 10 seconds. It may seem a while, but once it's loaded, it's every bit as zippy as IE. Impressive seeing as IE is embedded into the very heart of windows.
  • Features: Its skinable (the default skin is very nice), the AutoComplete is non-intrusive and FAST (quicker than IE's), Netscape Composer is still one of the best free webpage editors around, AIM and Google is nicely integrated into the side-bar, and a whole bunch of other surprises.
I dont know if I'm going to be using it instead of IE, but I do know that you shouldn't be writing Netscape off just yet, and if you already have, maybe you should reconsider after giving this a go, especially if you used to LOVE using Netscape before they went askew. I don't know who started the rumours that Netscape were out of the Browser Wars, but it couldn't be further from the truth at this stage.
Posted by a very surprised MadDog on Friday August 24, 2001 at 10:26 AM - 0 comments

It lives once more!
Hi... You might remember me. MadDog? I'm the guy that runs this here website. Yeah, well sorry for the lack of updates recently. I've recently aquired a new workstation PC for myself here at work. A lovely machine: Dual 1Ghz Pentium 3 CPUs, 60 Gig of ATA100 HD, half a Gig of RAM, 3 Voodoo3s outputting to 3 17-inch monitors... Awww yeah... I'm feelin' the breeze...

However, this has meant that everything has had to be reinstalled from scratch, so that would explain the downtimes to Planet MadDog recently. The main pain in the side to fix was the News updating script. I finally (2 minutes ago) figured out that it was having problems with the fact that I've moved it onto a new drive. I think it's about time I upgraded to a new one. Fixed now though. Phew...

Well, what's new for me? Well most of the wedding plans have been organised. Apparently, all thats left to start on is the flowers and those little booklet thingies you get at the church. The suits have been chosen, and us guys have the fittings on the 20th of October (jot that down in your diarys, guys). The honeymoon has been chosen. At the moment we're looking at a 10-day tour of England, including 3 days in London, then 1 week driving around doing the tea-towel tour of Ireland before spending a week with rellies. We then leave for Bangkok where we'll spend New Years Eve. Then home :(. All we're waiting for before we book it in is confirmation that we can stay with my rellies over in Ireland over the week of Christmas. My cousin, Julie, is getting married at the end of November (I think) so I'll have to see what's happning first before I book anything.

Me, accepting my award
from Mr. Don McPherson
Oh yeah, and Saturday was the 2001 McPherson Media Group Annual Awards Night, and from ALL of the THOUSANDS of other web developers in the company I picked up the award for "Website of the Year 2001" for my work on the Taco Bill website. I also won the award last year for my work on the Flash intro to the Australian Airbrush Art website. I got a framed certificate and a nice boxed pen with "Website of the Year 2001 - Michael McCorry Taco Bill" written on it.

Still with me? Good...

Hmmm... what else has been occupying my time... Hmmm... Well games-wise, I've been playing Monkey Island 4 on the PC and Grandia 2 on the DC. I've also been toying with M.U.G.E.N. which, for those who don't know, is a kick-ass, free vs-fighting game engine which allows you to download from a selection of hundreds of characters and background stages to form your own super fighter megamix. Mine's looking at having about 156 characters now, with about twice as many backgrounds. I'm currently filling in the gaps with missing characters, while searching for the right music to accompany the many, many stages. I tell ya, it's gonna be kick ass. Mail me for more info if you want it.

It think I'll wrap this up now. My intention is to inform, not bore, so I'll leave you with a little news that my domain name comes up for renewal in January 2002, so I'll be planning a complete revamp of the website in time with that. Also, I've found a good use for my domain. What, exactly? You'll have to wait and see.
Posted by a very relieved MadDog on Wednesday August 22, 2001 at 1:08 PM - 0 comments

Get me 20 milligrams of insanity, STAT!
Yesterday just after lunch I installed a new stats package on Planet MadDog to replace the old ex-snazzy I used to have. I now have site-wide statistics about nearly every aspect I could want to know, the most interesting of which being the most popular referrers. This shows me how people are getting to my site; which search engines they're using, and the keywords they're typing. Therefore, I'm proud to present a list my favorite search engine keywords used to find Planet MadDog from the last 24 hours.
Posted by a very insane MadDog on Wednesday August 1, 2001 at 2:08 PM - 0 comments

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