peteg's blog

Dolls from Hà Nội, or more "what one reads in Việt Nam News".

/AYAD/Disability-Projects | Link

I bought a Sunday's Việt Nam News a month ago, and fortuitously found out about a lady making dolls in Hà Nội. I wanted to buy a couple for my mother, and so Loan organised for one of her mates to purchase them, and Chi Yen brought them back to Hồ Chí Minh City.

There will be Blood

/noise/movies | Link

Born on the Fourth of July

/noise/movies | Link now at HCoop.

/noise/blogging | Link

After comprehensively wasting André's server (thanks André!), leading to a downtime of about three weeks (and counting), I decided to move to HCoop. Apart from opening me up to the U.S. legal system [*], it seems like a nice arrangement for hackers with small budgets and low-bandwidth (popularity) websites.

I have also ditched the comment system as no-one ever used it for anything like what it's meant for. Just email me. There's a link on the right sidebar. Use it.

[*] I'm not altogether sure this makes any difference though; through Australia's multifarious agreements with the U.S. I would probably be open to litigation no matter where it was hosted.

HOPE in a host(ile) environment.

/AYAD/Project | Link

I finally managed to get HOPE to statically link. Björn does this against MySQL, so the infrastructure was there, but Debian's PostgreSQL binary packages are built with Kerberos support, and apparently libkrb5-dev no longer supports static linking. I rebuilt them with all that switched off (thanks Debian, that was pretty easy), and now the linker seems happy. The hazards of binary packaging...

So, why bother with this at all? Well, the company that will host DRD's new website apparently doesn't have GMP installed. This threw me a bit; I expected it to be missing all sorts of stuff, but GMP? I have been using GHC for too long it seems. Sure, I could try to arrange for the shared library to be present, or statically link just GMP in, but it seemed better to insulate HOPE from any other changes in the hostile environment with too much overkill, rather than not enough.

Next up: what happens when /etc/hosts is MIA? How do I talk to the database server? I begin to understand why everyone sticks to PHP and MySQL, and why Ruby on Rails's convention-based approach is such a big deal.

Lê Hoàng Minh and friends, Phú Nhuận Culture House.

/noise/music | Link

Lê Hoàng Minh is a member of the classical guitar quartet Guitar Trek, from Canberra. I didn't really get into the Spanish stuff but his set was great.

That about wraps it up for Monkey Magic.

/noise/movies | Link

What a fantastic TV show it was. One can tell the cast and crew got bored towards the end of the series as they crank up the ananchronisms and general pointless mayhem. I can't believe I didn't get into Kung Fu movies after being brought up on this.

I have the vaguest memories of reading the book. From the defunct reading list:

Monkey - Wu Ch'êng-ên: Mostly read in inter- and cross-continental transit, July 2004.

Trung Nguyên: 349-351 Hai Bà Trưng, District 3.

/AYAD/HCMC/Cafes | Link

An "official" one, right opposite the markets, near the church, on the corner of Trần Quốc Toản. I tried coming here before but it was closed for renovations. Quite a pleasant space, somewhat like the downtown one on Hồ Tùng Mậu.

The Great Dictator

/noise/movies | Link

Trung Nguyên: 136 Lý Chính Thắng, District 3.

/AYAD/HCMC/Cafes | Link

Yet another franchise café on the backroad to the top end of Hai Bà Trưng. Quite comfortable, but small and not especially anything. It has a friend, presumably run by the same people, at 112 Trần Quốc Thảo, also in District 3.

Trung Nguyên: 10SC 3 Tháng 2, District 10.

/AYAD/HCMC/Cafes | Link

I'd been meaning to go here for ages, and had my chance to have a lazy early-Saturday afternoon visit with Tigôn. This one's a bit weird, a small open garden courtyard-café completely ringed by a building. It's quite pleasant.

There's another one down the road, out the front of a hotel, that apparently I haven't written up...

By the way, make sure to go to number 10, southwest of Cao Thắng. This number 10 is a mechanic.

Griffith Review #9: Up North: Myths, Threats & Enchantment

/noise/books | Link

This is a great topic for a Griffith Review, and for the most part the articles are up to their usual excellent standard. (I bought this one a while ago at half-price from UNSW Bookshop, lucky me.) For the most part, excepting some highly suspect fiction and a "debate" piece that lacks any kind of rejoinder.

I particularly enjoyed:

  • Peter Stanley's Threat made manifest, on the bombing of Darwin in World War II.
  • Peter Spearritt and Michele Helmrich's photojounalistic essay An enduring furphy documenting the exhibition Defending the north: Queensland in the Pacific war.
  • David Malouf's The exotic at home, about his journeying to the far north in the 1950s.
  • Murray Sayle's Even further north, is perhaps the article most in tune with the overarching theme of "the north".
  • Creed C. O'Hanlon's In ancient wakes describes a curious and welcomely out-of-place voyage around the north of the British Isles.
  • Matthew Condon's Of the bomb is an excellent personal memoir of his researches for a piece on Wilfred Burchett.
  • Bob Wurth's Curtin's hand of friendship, extended to Tatsuo Kawai, was a nice complement to the ABC's Curtin.
  • Dewi Anggraeni's The pain of disrespect, about the public relationship between Australia and Indonesia on the big issues of the day, is a good beginning but way too short.
  • Andrew McMillan's We're all eccentrics here reports on the lives of the Larrimah, N.T. locals.
  • Megan Lewis took some great photos for her series Conversations with the mob.
  • Robyn Davidson's Return of the camel lady, a memoir of her time travelling overland from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean and her relationship with the indigenous peoples is truly excellent.
  • Mark McKenna's A symbolic life tells of his inspiration by and brief relationship with Gatjil Djerrkura. The text of that speech can be found here.
  • Christine Zorzi's The delegation tells of how she and her student cohort housed the indigenous ambassadors from Far North Queensland when they were negotiating with the the State Government.
  • Phil Brown engages in some contemporary Henry Lawson-ism in his memoir Our man up there, about the artist Gil Jamieson from Monto, Queensland.
  • These people, by Lucy Palmer, recounts her experiences amongst the ex-pats and locals in Port Moresby.

So yeah, most of them were good.