I have always considered the opposite of friend to be enemy. But in Sydney they think that it is acquaintance.

Here are some extracts from my dictionary:

1 a close friend companion, soul mate, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, alter ego, second self, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate; ally, associate; sister, brother; best friend, kindred spirit, bosom buddy, bosom friend; informal pal, chum, sidekick, crony, main man, mate, buddy, bud, amigo, compadre, homeboy, homegirl, homie; archaic compeer. antonym enemy.

ORIGIN Old English frēond, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vriend and German Freund, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to love,’ shared by free

• a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side : she was unsure whether he was friend or foe.


working from home

Being in the telecommunications business, I have always thought that we should encourage people to telecommunicate as it would be good for business. So I was somewhat surprise to find people at work being against working from home. I think that we should encourage all forms of telecommunication as it would get people used to it and then drive up business. 

A few weeks back I discovered that people in Sydney have some bizarre misuse of this term which probably explains their unexpected dislike for working from home. The people from work say things like "It'll never happen". The people I spoke to said that working from home was infact just another way of saying - we stayed out all night, probably met someone we liked and stayed at their place. One would guess that this was probably after a night of sex. 


up a tree

I think that people who take the simple term "up a tree" and think "up a skirt" are full of shit. Again wrong for two reasons.
"Looking up at the Eucalypt" by yewenyi [?]
Looking up at the Eucalypt


the french

I have walways thought of the french as being people from france, or those from other places, who have french ancestry. I still think this. But unfortunatey there seems to be many racist people here who think that being french is a synonym for cheating on your partner. Now this is wrong in at least two ways and I refuse to think like this.



Well I have my first real Karaoke experience with me singing songs. I was quite please with my singing, it is as good as it has been since my voice broke and I sang in the Coretto at school in most of the major protestant churches in Melbourne. One thing I thought was very unexpected and actually quite cool and I guess not surprising was that there were some songs with totally unexpected words. We had a version of Killing Me Softly that had lines like take you clothes off (if I have the right song). Very amusing. Clearly there are the "other" Karaoke songs. ;-)



Another simple error of assumed grammar. People, including myself say I like this. But, I always assume the do like construct where as people here assume the I am like construct. Endless confusion. Just because I like things does not mean that I am like them. Nor do I expect others to need to be like this. So saying that I like piercings, does not mean that I want a piercing, or that I think you should get one. This is just the same as saying that I like a football team means that I was to be a football player or that I think you should be a football player.
  • I (am) like
  • I (do) like


Chinese and Chinese

When people in Sydney talk of liking the Chinese, they mean the government of China. When I speak of liking the chinese, I mean the people of Chinese ancestry, such as myself. Anyone who knows anything about Chinese culture would understand the importance of ancestry. But apparently not Australians and Americans. I would have something to say about Jews and Israelites as an analogy, but I will not for now. But I say this, I insist on being on my own side and that means I will be honorable to my ancestry.



In the industry I work in we use T3 links. These are the American equivalent of links like E1 links I discussed previously. They are defined by the ITU-T which is a branch of the UN. They are nothing to do with the third tranche of sale of Telstra shares (also known as T3). Even though I used to (and to some extent still do) work for Telstra.


Don't care

In boolean algebra, people often wrongly think that there are only two logic states: true and false, or 1 and 0 in the world of digital logic. However in boolean algebra there are two super states. Care and don't care. That is in Care, the 1 and 0 are important. In don't care, their value is irrelevant to the outcome. Sometimes I talk abort the don't care state. That is something that is irrelevant to the end result. You can probably see how easily this is misinterpreted. But some people, from no Anglophile-societies work it out very quickly.



When I say I am going out, I mean like as in outside or out for dinner. But people here think something else. But I cannot infer what it might be. Just know that it is different.



See, nothing to do with John Howard, the Liberals or National Party at all!

In English - Right ≈ Correct is most often what I mean by right.

BTW - this Chinese construct is my favorite. Must be something from when I was kid. There are bits of Chinese grammar in my head. When I strike them, I just feel happy.


Mongolian barbecue

For ages now, most probably since I went to Mongolia, I have been thinking that about the last thing a Mongolian BBQ is is Mongolian. No such food exists in that country. My mother said that it is like that because the used to cook their food on their shields. It seems that the latter is indeed true, but that this is not the origin of the BBQ. In Mongolia, they mostly eat bread and yogurt (as a more traditional food). They do not eat anything they files, swims or burrows. They do not kill animals as this would be against their religion, but they still eat meat. I never saw a BBQ.

People say that as I enjoyed Mongolia, that I should want to eat this Mongolian food, and I would, if it were indeed Mongolian, but it is not. I developed this theory that a Mongolian BBQ is indeed Chinese food, and that they wrongfully attribute it to Mongolians. Well, it seems that this was a close approximation. According to Wikipedia, it is the Taiwanese who came up with this cuisine. So it is Taiwanese food! (And also, it is not a BBQ.)

Anyway, eating food to indicate that you like a place or a people is bizarre. I'd much rather eat food because it is good.


ode to Lancelot du Lac

There are (strange) people here in this city who seem to think that to be a good person you must admire and aspire to being a paladin. I of course think of Sir Lancelot. I suspect that they do not. The other group of Paladins that then come to my mind at the Teutonic knights. A somewhat unsavory mob. Having done this, they then offer illegally obtained goods. Very strange.

Anyway, a quick read of wikipedia provides the following wonderful quote: The Paladines of the Imperial Guard were named after its neighboring Scholae Palatinae. The Scholae Palatinae, itself named after its location on Palatine Hill, the mythical founding place of Rome, was the older of two schools of the ancient Salii brotherhood of God of War Mars, which lent some of their symbols to the emperial, later the papal palace.

So the paladins are protectors of the Mars, the war god. I am impressed.


Young Russians in Sydenham (1)

When I speak of Russians, this is typically what I am thinking of. Not this or this. (and thanks to Kent, please click on the image and see some of his other excellent images and the excellent story.)


Am I single

I do not believe how much confusion one statement can create. A long time ago, I put a statement on my ICQ account that I am single. Quite innocent. But it seems that people think the I am a single when I make this statement. Now, I have nothing against the singles of the world. In fact i am impressed. But I did mean that I do not have a girl friend. In the end I have deliberately not changed the statement. But I have not made it anywhere else. Out of curiosity I just had a look for my ICQ account and find that it seems to have expired.

So two statements, very different meanings:
  1. I am single.
  2. I am a single.



Here in Sydney I come across the saying, you need to have a passport to go to Parramatta. I do not understand this. Though it sounds like it might be a racist term. I work on Passport equipment at work so I often use the term. A while back they changed the name to MSS but most people still call them passports. The manufacturer is Nortel Networks and it is a device that provides ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and Frame Relay services. The term ATM also causes some confusion because of the banking version of this acronym.



This term seems to have caused much grief. When people hear "E" they think of the drug Ecstasy. I came across this again last night. They have it ingrained in their hearing. I was really unaware of this usage until I came to Sydney.

I work in telecommunications. According to the International Telecommunications Union, a branch of the UN, the term E1 is part of a sequence E1, E2, E3 and E4. An E1 is a transmission link with a speed of 2048 KBit/s ±50 bit/s. In the old world of the 60's and 70's the E1 was set up to carry 30 or 31 voice channels between telephone exchanges. Nowadays it can carry data and many more voice channels when used with voice compression technology such as voip. An E2 four times the speed of and E1, and E3 four times and E2 and so on.

This is all spelled out quite clearly in the standard G.703 and G.704.