Saturday, December 22, 2007

Festivus for the rest of us


George (Jason Alexander) and Frank (Jerry Stiller) Costanza at their best.

What is Festivus?

Functions

As is usual for this time of year it's all about attending functions, mostly to do with work. For the record I did not attend the work Christmas party. The main reason for my absence was the fact that I am a contractor and therefore had to pay $120 for the privilege of attending, and an extra $120 if I'd asked someone to come along. Of course I could have gone as a guest of or in place of a permanent (the term rusted on comes to mind) employee, but it's the principal of the thing.

There have been a few more functions at work this week including a breakfast on Wednesday and a lunch (rather well and truly rained out) on Friday. After work on Friday I went to the London Tavern in Richmond with some co workers. Had a great time and got to know some people at work a bit better (the department I work in is a bit anti-social compared to others).

The family stuff is saved for Christmas day. We will be having lunch with the extended family at my cousin's house, followed by dinner at my brother's house.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Now with Video

A couple of posts back I uploaded a rather crude video taken with my phone. That gave me some inspiration to upload some bits and pieces to YouTube.

So far I've just uploaded a few short clips of trains and trams. Expect more over the next few days as I go through my collection of videos I've shot with my digital camera. nothing fantastic, go take a look:

http://au.youtube.com/user/ben7k

Strange Behaviour

Are you are wondering why you get a download prompt when you click on an image in a blogger blog? I am too. At first I thought it was my computer misbehaving, but on checking some other sites with images the behavior seems confined to Blogger.

According to this (Post from Tuesday December 4), blogger knows about the error and say that they fixed it. My blog images are still broken.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

7 Balloons


One morning all the way back in February I was eating breakfast and happened to see a few balloons. I went out on to the deck to get a better view and there were 7 of them, so I grabbed my camera. I can't remember if they were taking off or landing, but they would be around about over Westerfolds Park in Templestowe, which is sometimes used.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bunnings Fan

Noticed these massive fans at Bunnings today. They look really lethal, but do a great job of cooling down the place.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

freedom from religion

Religious Artefacts


I'm not sure what happened today, but I seemed to be followed by religious fanatics everywhere I went.

First off at about 10:30AM I was sitting watching a DVD when there was a knock at the door. I opened the door and standing there were two men in suits, uh oh alarm bells started ringing in my head. The one nearest the door then said "we represent a different government" at which point I became confused. It was only when he said "We represent the government of Jehovah" that the alarm bells became louder. I usually just freeze up when these guys come knocking, today was no different. I don't really want to listen to them (definitely not join them), and yet I don't want to be rude to them either. So I nodded, answered a few questions about the meaning of life, listened to a short verse of the bible and then they left me with two "Watchtower" magazines. It took no more than about 1 minute or so and I was soon back to watching my DVD.

Latter on I had just left JB HiFi in Bourke Street and I was approached by a Hare Krishna girl welding a couple of books. We had a good chat about how our souls are our true identity and our bodies are merely a projection of our soul, she showed me a picture in the book to illustrate the point. I even managed to ask her why her head wasn't shaved, apparently only men need to do that. Soon enough I found myself giving her a $2 coin, for which I got a book in exchange . I'm pretty sure that I have spoken to this girl before in Swanston Street. In the next 2 minutes I was approached twice more by Hare Krishnas, one of whom gave me a "smile" sticker when I told her I'd already donated.

I quite like the Hare Krishnas, especially when they go for their lunchtime song and dance up and down Swanston Street. I've also heard good things about their restaurant in Swanston Street, one day I'm going to eat lunch there.

Many Happy (Tax) Returns

Finally got my tax return back this week. Yes, I only submitted it in the last week of October.

Today I'm off to buy a Wii.

Australia's biggest sausage sizzle

The deed is done. My name has been checked off, ballot papers marked and deposited in the ballot boxes.

All the parties were represented except the Democrats and CEC.

I did not stop to buy a sausage in bread. I wish I did though, as I'm hungry now...

Appologies

Ugh, that last post is so lame. I'm not taking it down, but I wish I didn't post it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Election 07 - Ideals

I don't want to vote for either of the "L" parties, they are different yet are too much the same. I don't want big business to own me, I don't want the unions to own me either. I don't need work choices, I need basic rights at work that have been available for over 100 years. I need climate change and the environment to be taken seriously. I don't need nuclear power plants, I need sustainable energy generation. I don't need more freeways , but I do need improved and expanded public transport. I need fewer trucks on the highways and more trains on the rails. I don't need corruption. I don't need an American style health system, I need a health system like the one that is slowly turning into an American style health system improved to be cheaper and more equitable. I need shelter and food. I need a shower. I need freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to do lawful activities without being arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist, freedom of protest (with out the rent a crowd knobs). I don't need an American style presidential campaign. I need federal members of parliament who have vision, who are practical, who are trustworthy and who are accountable to those who voted for them. I need this election to be over and done with.

What do I really need?

More than anything, I need a holiday.

Election 07 - The contenders

After a "gentle" prodding from Andrew (see post called "voting day"), I thought I'd better get to know who the rest of the candidates in my electorate are apart from the sitting member for Labor, Jenny Macklin. Her face (an older photo, she looks nothing like her photo in real life) is on every corner, and we get mail outs from her about three times a week. Of the other candidates, only the Liberal guy sent some stuff out in the first week after the election was called. I sense that the other parties don't expect a win around here.

Anyway, my electorate is Jagajaga (ABC profile) in Melbourne's north, and after a bit of research these are the candidates:

There are also Family First and Australian Electoral Council candidates, but both these parties are so fucking nuts and out of touch with reality that they are hardly worth mentioning.

Some useful sites:

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cup Day in Nagambie (and Murchison)

As is customary for cup day in my household we took off to the country for the day. This year we ended up at Nagambie in the Goulburn Valley.

The grassy lake front at Nagambie.

The drive up was fast, only taking about 1.5hrs, I was surprised to see that the 2 lane Goulburn Valley Highway has been replaced by freeway all the way from the turnoff near Seymour to just outside Nagambie. First stop was a small cafe by the lake front lunch. As they had sold out of pies we opted for home made hamburgers with the lot. These were pretty good and very filling.

Yep, that's the lake, big isn't it?
Oh and check out the Simpson's clouds

Absolute waterfront property, something of a rarity in Victoria.

The iconic water tower in Nagambie sits
proudly in the median strip of the main street

After stretching our legs a bit on the grassy lake shore we decided to keep going, our last minute ultimate destination was the small town of Murchison on the banks of the Goulburn River. Yet more new freeway was found on the other side of Nagambie, and according to the Vicroads Directory continues nearly all the way to Shepparton, with proposed by-passes for both Nagambie and Shepparton. As a result of the freeway, Murchison is now well off the beaten track, even more than it was when the highway passed through Murchison East.

Goulburn River at Murchison.

Murchison itself is a tiny town, and one of the oldest in the district. It's origins go back to it being the site of a river crossing on the route between the Bendigo and Beechworth diggings way back in the gold rush era. There's not much there, just a few shops and a pub, and a bit out of the town is a small caravan park on the banks of the river. At Murchison we parked at the park in the main street and listened to the Melbourne Cup on the car radio. I was surprised that we could still receive AM radio from Melbourne there.

After the race we had a bit of a wander around the main street, and the park.

Murchison, Main Street

I wanted a photo of the sign and this church just happened to walk past.
err, well actually...


Murchison, smarter than the average bear.


Ant.

There were a few fiberglass cows which were interesting.

Don't have a cow man!

How now red swirly cow?

Moo?

Take the bull by the horns...

...for world peace?

Also in the park was the local historical (hysterical?) society, who had this contraption proudly in place outside. I think it's a pump.

Pump it baby!

Of interest was this sign seen in several locations in both Murchison and Nagambie. I guess they do have a whopping great lake with heaps of water in it to draw from, but stage 1 water restrictions? I thought most country towns were on stage 3 or 4? (Goulburn Valley Water Agree) The lucky people get to water their gardens (the green lawns in these towns are a dead give away) and wash cars the old fashioned way.

What the?

After a quick drive around town we drove back towards Nagambie.

Back in Nagambie, it was ice cream time. Sitting at a small table on the footpath outside one of the many take away stores in the main street it became obvious why the locals want a bypass (there were several notices in the shop windows about meetings to debate the idea) as the number of trucks that pass through the town is amazing. Many of these I would guess had come from as far away as Brisbane via the Newell Highway (the continuation of the Goulburn Valley Highway in NSW), and were nearly all B doubles. They are noisy, smelly and make the ground shake, not a nice environment at all.

I took over the driving for the return portion of the trip and we arrived home shortly after 6:30pm. All in all a good days outing really.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rain

As I write it is raining again, it rained nearly all night. When I went to bed we were in the middle of a thunder storm, when I woke up some time after 7 am it was pissing down. I went back to sleep and got up at nearly 11 am, when i looked outside the ground was soaked. On checking the BOM site we had had nearly 28mm since about 7pm yesterday. The largest rainfalls occurred in the Otway Ranges, and as I write the radio news has said that police are warning of dangerous rock falls on the Great Ocean Road and that a man was killed by a branch falling on his tent at Lorne. My brother, his wife and kids are in their brand new caravan at Anglesea, they called to say they are OK. Apparently this is th largest singe rainfall weve had in 21 months, that is nearly two years, I beleive it too.

Edit: I did have a radar image at the top of this post, which I "uploaded" using the URL of the original image. I thought it would make a copy and save it to my blogger account, turns out it keeps using th live image at the url I typed in. So I took it down. The image at the time was pretty impressive, I assure you.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Computer Updates

About a month ago I made a post about my laptop not receiving Windows updates. I haven't done anything about it since. Until today when I came up with an article that simply solved it. What was it? Turn off the windows firewall and then hit "look for udates".

So easy.

After the updates install and the computer restarts turn the firewall back on, and it should work from then on. So far so good.

Lesson learned.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On the way to work


Only half way there. Taken last week, that's my train approaching at the other end of the platform.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Orange Clouds



This was the colour of the sky on Sunday evening, I bet the sunset that was providing the light show was even better.

(Theres my 7 posts per month minimum maintained!)

All Hallow's Even


This is a jack-o lantern that my niece and nephew made. I think it looks pretty good. They are right in to Halloween this year, I'm guessing mostly for the lollies. Tonight they were going trick or treating.

Apart from movies and TV I grew up without even thinking of Halloween. My only real experience was in 1994 in Washington D.C. We went to a neighbourhood known as Dupont Circle and everyone was out in costume trick or treating and at parties. Basically it looked like a lot of fun. What a freakshow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kevin 07

...interviews himself.

Our next prime minister in action. His unusual interview style was just asking for something like this to happen.

Question time in parliament must be interesting with Kevin asking himself the questions.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bridgewater Bulldog

http://gallery118301.fotopic.net/p44303566.html

Follow the link to view the photo. Former Victorian Railways locomotives S300, T377, T373 hauling a ballast train across the Loddon River at Bridgwater in Northern Victoria. I like this photo. In fact I recommend a look at some of the other photos in this guys gallery.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Saturday in Melbourne Town

Who says there is nothing to do in Melbourne when the football season is over.

...not that I really care about whether or not it is the football season.

Shoppers crossing Swanston Street at Bourke Street. If I didn't know better I'd swear that horse on the left is whispering something in the other horses ear.

There are those horses again. I think I've interrupted the conversation...

Trams in Flinders Street. I love these new LED destos currently being fitted to the A class trams. Although I think the air conditioning pods ruin the looks of the tram, I'm sure the drivers welcome their presence. I know I hate it when the air-con at my workplace stops working, I'm sure it would not be nice in a stinking hot tram full of sweaty bodies.

Just to illustrate the improvement, here is a B Class tram with the old flip dots. The A class previously had destination rolls, which were OK, but the LED's rock. There are also some Z class trams with LEDs too, perhaps the B's will get them eventually also.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

No updates for me

My laptop doesn't like updates, Windows Update has been broken for about 5 weeks and has been reporting an 8024402c error. I've Googled it but I just can't seem to find any fixes. Windows Defender can't even get updates because of the error. I don't know if to reload windows or what, at the moment I just don't care.

Why are all the TV shows I like so hard to find...

I was checking the ABC website to see if ABC2 is repeating Enough Rope at all. Alas no, but it is available as a download. But what caught my attention is that Red Dwarf is on at 6:30pm on Sunday evenings. This was one of my favourite shows back in the day, I used to borrow the videos from the video library all the time. Now I just need to remember to be in front of the TV at 6:30 on Sunday.

Now if only the ABC or ABC2 would screen Wild West again at some stage. What I liked about Wild west was that it was completely absurd, and it took "west country" stereotypes to a new level. It was pretty well hidden away in the middle of the afternoon while I was unemployed, and that's the only reason I saw it. I think this was the same timeslot used for My Family which I also found quite amusing, which reminds me somewhat of the Singaporean sitcom Under one Roof which SBS used to screen about 10 years ago. Wild West is available on DVD, but not something I would actually buy.

A show I've been watching lately is Marx and Venus on SBS, it's only a short 5 minute filler but it's actually quite good. Each storyline was selected from public submissions and worked into a script by the shows writers. The basic premise of the show is that Marx has just broken up with his girlfriend who has moved out leaving behind just the other house mate Venus and himself. All the episodes are available as streaming downloads.

Another good show on SBS that I just discovered is back on is the Broken News...

"I'm Richard Pritchard"
"and I'm katie Tait"
"still to come"
"coming up next"

And speaking of digital channels, bring on ABC3 aka ABC kids! And finally I ask, why are the proposed commercial multi channel services only going to be available in HD?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday. Another winner another loser and a whole lot of apathy

Another grand final has come and gone. Geelong reign supreme, while Port Adelaide can hang their heads in shame at the absolute drubbing they received. As for me I didn't watch the game at all, I just was not interested. Instead I spent the day out and about in town. I bought some DVD's ,Star Wars Episode VI The Return of the Jedi and Police Story. I now own 5 Star Wars movies. I'm reluctant to buy the abortion that is The Phantom menace, but I guess for completeness I should, and I suppose it does have some good points. Police Story is a Jackie Chan film set in Hong Kong with the dialogue in Chinese (the DVD also has the English dubbed version), no Chris Tucker in sight. I think I've seen it, or maybe it was one of the sequels? I'm looking forward to seeing it anyway.

For lunch I went to Burger Edge at QV, and had a "feel the cheese". Not bad for an $8 Hamburger, could have done without the fries though, as the burger was so huge. After lunch I decided to hit the rails and went to Melbourne Central and decided to get whatever the first train on platform 3 was. The lucky winner was Upfield. I only made it as far as Brunswick, before deciding I'd had enough. I walked down to Sydney Road for a bit, the place was dead, and decided to head back to the City. I'd just missed a tram back to the city so went back to the station just in time for the next train.

I alighted at Southern Cross Station (it really does sound like Southern Crustacean sometimes) and had a quick look at all the VLocities (propaganda here and here) waiting for the post grand final/Saturday evening rush hour while making my way to DFO. I didn't intend buying anything but I bought a pair of jeans at regular retail price despite the fact that it's meant to be a "Direct Factory Outlet".

Uming and aring, I got on a Frankston bound train to Flinders Street, but ended up staying on as far as Malvern, where I decided to hang around for the empty Football specials returning to Richmond to pick up spectators on their way back to Geelong. No disappointment there, I managed to see three push-pull P's with H sets and an N class loco (propaganda) hauling a massive N set (see V/LineCars.com for the H and N sets). I did take some photos, but the light was failing so they are a bit dodgy.

Getting on for 6pm it was time to go home, as quite frankly I was stuffed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Classic Mac


So I found this article on a Mac emulator and followed the instructions and voilla. The above is the result. I ended up using a different ROM to the one suggested, which didn't work (use google to find a different ROM). You do need a 68K or PowerPC Mac to extract the Mac OS disk images too. Not sure why I needed to do this, probably just to see if I could.

I found the original link to this on portableapps.com when I was checking out what I could put on my new USB flash drive (a post about my old USB Flash drive). It's a SanDisk Cruzer micro (with skins!) 2GB, I would have looked harder for a 4GB drive, but I was in Officeworks and the price was right. Officeworks is one of my favourite stores, I could spend hours looking at all the stuff in there. It's a bit like the office version of Bunnings.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Black Hawks: In the air part 4


A pair of Australian Army Black Hawks

These Black Hawks flew past while I was walking on the cliff tops at Watson's Bay in Sydney. Although the Black Hawk/Seahawk family have a reputation for crashing, when you consider the conditions they fly in, they are probably as safe if not safer than any other military helicopter, not that I'm an expert on such things. And of course the skill of the aircrew plays a big part(not to say that the aircraft are inherently unsafe). This could just keep going around in circles...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Updates Updates Updates

I've been fairly busy over the past few weeks. Last week was my mum's birthday, it was a big one that ends in zero. On Saturday night we had a gathering of family and her friends at the Ivanhoe Hotel. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the food was pretty good. We all chipped in and got her a balloon flight, which I thought she'd like, but her reaction was more terrified than anything else. Her sister will probably go with her. On Mum's last big "something zero" birthday they went for flights in Tiger Moths at Torquay, they are both daredevils! My brother from rural NSW even flew down for the night. He flew in at 4:30 pm on the Saturday and flew out again at 9:00 am on Sunday morning.

On Wednesday night I went to Across the Great Divide, Silverchair and Powderfinger concert at Rod Laver Arena. It was pretty good, I've never really been a huge Silverchair fan, and I've really gone off Powderfinger in the last few years, but it was a good opportunity to see these iconic Aussie bands together. Silverchair were a bit disappointing, as they played a lot of songs off their new album Straight Lines, but ended on a high note with Freak. Throughout their performance they were accompanied by Paul Mac on keyboard. Powderfinger didn't disappoint, playing a selection of songs from throughout their career. Bernard Fanning even sang Black Tears, which was subject of some controversy earlier in the year, and received probably the biggest round of applause for any song on the night. My faith in Powderfinger has been restored and I'm going to buy the new album, Dream Days at the Hotel Existence sometime soon. At the end of the concert both bands returned to the stage to play Substitute by The Who, apparently it was one of The Who's birthday (there was a running gag throughout the show about it being several peoples birthday, it wasn't I checked)

Powederfinger



Powederfinger and Silverchair playing 'Substitute' by The Who

On Friday night I went to a mates place to watch Collingwood play Geelong in the AFL Preliminary final, it was just as big a nail biter as last weeks win over West Coast. Even though Collingwood lost, I think we played very well, no one thought we'd make it this far. Geelong was however the better team, continuing their solid run from throughout the season. I hope they win next weeks Grand Final against Port Adelaide. Magpies for Premiers in 2008!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A gift from Connex

This week Connex and the state government unveiled the new train timetable to introduced on Sunday September 30. I'll skip most of the details, but in a nutshell it's a reshuffle with the odd extra train here and there. Probably the most important change is the introduction of services to Cragieburn and a new station at Roxburgh Park following electrification of the line beyond Broadmeadows.

For me however the best news is the reshuffle and extra trains on the Hurstbridge in the PM peak.

The Current timetable looks something like this (times from Flinders Street):

  • 5:30 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:36 Greensborough - limited express*
  • 5:42 Hurstbridge - limited express
  • 5:46 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:57 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 6:02 Hurstbridge - limited express
The main problem with this arrangement is that most people get on the 5:36 Greensborough, leaving the 5:42 only moderately loaded. As the Epping's run more frequently both Epping trains in this time are both relatively lightly loaded. By the time 6:02 runs the platforms are packed and is often crush loaded by Melbourne Central, if not Flagstaff. Too bad if you need to get on at Parliament and especially Jolimont. I would rate it as the worst train for crowding on the Hurstbridge line, admitedly this level of crowding is normal on other lines.

Now with the new timetable things have been evened out a bit and reads as follows (times from Flinders Street):

  • 5:30 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:35 Greensborough - limited express
  • 5:42 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:47 Hurstbridge - express**
  • 5:51 Greensborough - limited express
  • 5:58 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 6:03 Hurstbridge - limited express
Much more even for the Hurstbridge line with a Greensborough train replacing an Epping, and the Hurstbridge now running as a full express. While the Epping line now has a larger gap between trains, one train in this time should be sufficient for the loading on offer. Having first hand experience with the trains involved, it's something I've been wanting for a few years now.

*Limited Express -stopping all stations Flinders Street to Jolimont, then express to Clifton Hill, and then all stations to either Greensborough or Hurstbridge.

**Express - stopping all stations Flinders Street to Jolimont, express to Clifton Hill, express to Ivanhoe, then express to Heidelberg and then all stations to Hurstbridge.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back to the 90's


Early in the 90's I was really into Nintendo. I had a NES, a SNES and a Game Boy, but by 1996 I'd began to lose interest in games. This was just about the time the Sony released the PlayStation console. Needless to say that I completely missed the PlayStation phenomenon. That is, until today.

So I was waiting for the bus on the way to work and had to wait about 20 minutes until the next one. So right next to the bus stop is a Savers store. For anyone who doesn't know, Savers is like a super-sized op shop (they do donate some of their profits to the Diabetes Foundation), their stores are the size of supermarkets (in fact this particular Savers was a Woolworths many years ago). They tend to price their stock quite a bit higher that op shops, so be prepared to pay (they are still cheap though).

Lo and behold there was a PlayStation in the electrical department, minus controller and cables. After a quick search of the near by "great wall of electrical cables" I had found the missing parts and was ready to go. For $16 I am now the proud owner of an original Sony PlayStation.

When I got home I plugged it all in and turned it on, and it starts up fine. I don't have any games for it yet so I put an audio CD in the drive. It played without any problems.

As for games, impossible to get new these days, I'm thinking eBay and stores like Cash Converters are the go. I've seen new Playstation games in The Warehouse, but our local Warehouse closed down earlier in the year and is now (or soon to be) an Aldi supermarket.

The wash up

So I did end up going fishing on both Saturday and Sunday. I caught nothing.

I ended up going to Yarrambat Park. Yarrambat Park lake, along with a number of others in the Melbourne Metropolitan area get stocked with Rainbow trout before the June and September holidays. The lake was full and there were a number of people fishing, so things looked good. I really don't like messing around with bait, so as I said in my last post I just used some lures. While a Rainbow Trout would be nice, I would have been just as happy with a redfin, which usually jump at the chance to hook themselves on a lure. As it is turned out I caught nothing, and to make matters worse I ended up losing one of my green celta lures.

When I'd all but given up one of the others landed a small Rainbow Trout, I struck up a conversation as I passed and gained the information that he was using tinned corn (the open tin was on the ground) as bait. He reckoned that the guy at a fishing shop had told him that the trout in here were too small to go after lures and that corn was the go. With that in mind I stopped at the supermarket on the way home and bought some corn. When I got home I called my brother to see if he and my nephew would like to go fishing on Sunday.

Sunday wasn't much better. It was a bit wind and not as warm as Saturday, I think the changing weather conditions put the fish off their food. I seem to recall that a falling barometer means the fishing will be no good. My brother decided to have a sleep in the car while I taught my nephew how to cast the line in. He's getting the hang of it, but it pays to stand well back. Some of the local birds enjoyed some of the leftover corn though.

So that's it really. I hope to go fishing a bit more over the warmer months, it's something I've always enjoyed. Truthfully, it's not really about the fishing, more about just being outside (yes cliched i know!).

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Haven't got there yet...

So I made to the local angling shope to buy an angling licence, and then I made the mistake of going to the shopping centre. For some reason I made my way directly to K Mart to look at the finshing tackle, strange considering that I had just come from a shop full of the stuff. I did't buy anything.

While at the shopping centre I bought some lunch, then I went and bought a USB keyboard at dick smith (like this one) and a bag for my laptop at rebel sport (the black one on the left).

Now my laptop has a home, which is good, because until now it's been a vagrant with no fixed abode, moving from suface to surface, place to place, lap to lap, with no regard for it's wee being.

The keyboard is good too, I'm using it now. Now I'll be able to play Flight Simulator 2004 properly on my laptop!

Now I'm really going fishing, I swear. I'll just go throw some lures around in a local lake I know is stocked with trout.

Gone fishin'



Gone Fishin'

Sunday, September 02, 2007

What do you do when explorer disappears?


First time I've had it happen in Vista, hope it doesn't happen too often (or ever again). When explorer.exe quit, the first thing I did was minimize all the windows and hit "print screen" because it looked so weird without any icons or task bar and start menu. The above image is the result.

To get the show back on the road I hit ctrl-alt-del and opened the task manager, then chose File>New Task and typed "explorer.exe" in the box. In a second everything was back to normal.

A lot of people probably already know this, but I reckon a lot of people would also reset when something like this happens. It's probably sensible to reset in order to get everything stable again. In my case I wanted to save the screen dump as an image in my favourite graphics program and blog about my experience. Then as soon as I post this I'm shutting down and going to bed.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Steam to Hurstbridge



Once again it was Wattle Festival time in Hurstbridge last Sunday(26/08/07), and as usual a steam train special operated by Steamrail took visitors to the festival from Flinders Street. The train operated by , which had a K class locomotive at either end ran shuttles between Hurstbridge and Diamond Creek for most of the day, before returning to Flinders Street in the evening. I managed to catch up with the train near Alendale road between Eltham and Diamond Creek on the down journey from Flinders Street in the morning. The consist of the train from the Hurstbridge end was K153- W cars-K190. I'm quite pleased with these photos actually.

Steamrail are running more suburban steam shuttles between Camberwell and Mitcham on Sunday the 16th of Septmber.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Too late, weekend stuff and a red hot moon.

I really need to go to bed earlier. I need to go to bed now. This morning I slept in until 7, when idealy I should be going out the door at this time. At least it's starting to get lighter in the morning now. The spring weather we've been having the last few days has been great. I like temperatures in the high teens, low twenties are better, but you've got to build up to it, otherwise it actually feels hot, especially at this time of year. Some more rain would be nice.

I've got a few pent up postings in the pipeline too, mostly about what I did on the weekend. This included geocaching, football, steam trains and waterfalls. I might get around to it next weekend. Maybe I should take my laptop on the train and do it there.

As for last night all I can say is that blood red moons are creepy (when there is no cloud in the way that is). I remember the last total lunar eclipse like it was yesterday. I couldn't believe it was all the way back in 2000. Seeing the moon this colour reminded me of the song Red Hot Moon by Rancid, not the song itself, just the title. (I would embed but I cant be bothered)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flying Toasters!


They're back! The classic screen saver from the early 90's, part of the After Dark series is back. Download from here for PC and Mac.

Tetris Dreams


Recently in a post Daniel mentioned that one of his friends used to have dreams about playing Tetris. I've had them too, usually after playing the game for extended periods of time before going to sleep. I no longer have them though as I don't play games all that often. At the time I did a bit of research, and found out it is a recognised phenomenon. A friend of mine said he has experienced similar dreams with other games. I just did another bit of research , but didn't come up with much except an old article from the Scientific American. Interesting stuff really.

Blogs of Influence

So today as I went past my old seconday school, I thought to myself "There's the old educational establishment". Straight after I thought this I came to wonder where I got such a phrase from. I quickly remembered that it is a term that Anne Marie frequently uses in her blog.

Wierd, huh?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nice Beaver! - In the air Part 3


De Haviland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

Operated by Sydney Sea Planes, taken from Watsons Bay, Sydney back in February. More info on this model at Wikipedia.

Post title provided by Leslie Nielsen in one of the Naked Gun movies.

Edit: Interestingly the Sydney Sea Planes "About Us" page claims that they operate three Beavers and two more built by Cessna, but the CASA civil aircraft register has them as owning four Beavers and one Cessna, I wonder who is right?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

False Alarm - disaster averted

My ADSL connection got approved today. I'm in a happier mood now. I like the idea of always on internet, even better is that the phone will no longer be tied up(I've already tested with my mobile to make sure) and certain siblings and in laws won't have cause to make me feel guilty for it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Technical Dificulties

No broadband for me I'm afraid. While it is technically possible for me to have ADSL connected, it appears that ADSL is so popular in my area that there are no ports available at the telephone exchange, and apparently Telstra have no plans to install any more until 2011 or something. So after my old dial up account dried up I signed up to cheaper plan for the time being with Beagle Internet.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do now. As far as I can tell I have two options ADSL 2 and cable, in both cases supplied by Optus. Although on consultation of the Optus website it would appear that only cable is available at my address. $49 a month for measly 2gb worth of downloads is a bit hard to swallow though, so for now I stay on dial up, and remain on the waiting list for ADSL as ports become available at the local exchange.

Third world telecommunications and monopoly at work...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

>>The world of tommorrow>>

Four letters for you "A" "D" "S" "L". I finally made the move onto what is tentatively described as broadband. I signed up this morning, and will hopefully be permanently tethered to the net within 5 working days. For now I am sticking with my dial up ISP, and am on a pretty reasonable 20GB download plan. I can't see myself ever downloading 20 GB, but for only $5 extra over 1GB of downloads, it seemed like a good deal. Interestingly after signing up I found that my ISP has a usage meter that I've never seen before. On checking it, it says that I've downloaded 75mb in the last month. I can't see my internet habits changing that much, but I guess it is coming at me a lot faster so who knows?

The speed however is only 256/64 kbps, which is slow by todays standard but beats the pants off my nominally 56K dial up connection. It works out to be something like 40 times faster, assuming that I get the full 256kbps download speed. A friend up the road is on an over 1028kbps plan and only gets about 100, so I hope my phone line is a bit better.

My brother is unlucky as he lives too far from the exchange to get ADSL and ended up getting cable from Bigpond. Sure it's faster, but it's a lot more expensive. I suppose the sweetener to the deal was the bundling of phone and internet, so it's not too bad. It also helped that his house was already wired for cable.

As for a modem, I bought a Netcomm NB5Plus4W wireless modem/router last week. Wireless so I can use it with my laptop and desktop. I am not looking forward to setting it up. I've tried some networking before, and it confuses the crap out of me. Oh well, time will tell.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Football, meat pies,kangaroos and .... - In the air part 2

Holden Blimps!

I remember the first time I saw this thing, it was night, and after a brief glimpse in my peripheral vision I was convinced I had seen a UFO. A second more purposeful look after finding the thing again after it came out from behind some buildings or something revealled it was an airship. How disappointing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Flying Marsupial - In the air part 1

Boeing 767


This is the first in a series of aircraft photos that I've snapped in the last year or so. For some reason, I tend to take photos of aircraft passing overhead when the opportunity arises. This one was taken from out the front of my house, we live under one of the approach routes to runway 34 at Melbourne Airport, so when there's a northerly, there's a plane flying over every 5 minutes or so. We also live under the approach for runway 27 at Essendon, so we get lots of light aircraft too.

My camera is not too good at this sort of thing, and it's a full size crop so the pic is a bit fuzzy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Computers Part 2

Long story short, a few weeks ago I went out rather stupidly with the intention of buying a Laptop with specs rivaling my potential new desktop PC for about $1600. Due to events conspiring against me (in hind sight I think fate was on my side that day) I came home in possession of a "budget", yet fully capable of what I really want from a laptop, laptop. After finding out about the nuances of daily withdrawal/EFTPOS limits and the fact that no Bank branches in the city are open on a Saturday (they open on Saturdays in the suburbs!), and then having a good think over lunch, I went and purchased a Compaq C554Tu . The clinchers of the deal being that the memory was expandable to 2 GB, and the $100 cash back on the already ridiculously low price.

So for $700 (after Cash back) I got:



  • 1.86ghz Celeron 440 (it's a Core Solo with a smaller Cache and something else turned off)
  • 512mb ram
  • 80gb HDD
  • 15" screen
  • DVD Rom/CD RW combo drive
  • 802.11 b/g wireless

As with anything labeled as "budget" there are a few compromises. The largest being the amount of ram, 512mb is just barely enough to run Windows Vista. Other compromises are no DVD burner, my current desktop doesn't have one either, but at least I'll be able to read DVD rom disks now. From what I can tell the battery life is absolutly dismal , and as I've been using it plugged in mostly, so I wouldn't know how long it lasts, except that it went down to about 85% after what only seemed like 10 minutes when the power plug was accidentally pulled out. Other minor issues are the size and weight, but at least it's portable.

While being fairly basic it handles day to day tasks well (word, photo editing etc). Today I purchased an extra 1gb of ram (for much less than the $100 cash back), and it now goes like a champion. I'm pretty happy with my purchase, and certainly less out of pocket than more expensive models. Now all I need is a wireless router and we are in business for some lunge chair web browsing!

Some reviews of the C554Tu:

New Computers Part 1

I've been looking at getting a new computer for a few months now. A desktop that is, I pretty much know what I want, but it's the finer details that get me, once I get the specs sorted I'll go ahead and order it. I originally had ideas of buying all the parts and building it myself, but I think that I'm too impatient for that. The basic specs are:

  • Dual Core processor
  • At least 1gb of ram
  • 256mb graphics card
  • 160gb + Hard drive
  • DVD burner
As for monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers etc I'll keep the ones I've already got as they are all fairly recent, and still in good condition. Although given that the case will probably be black, I'd better get a matching black keyboard and mouse set.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tagology

Tagging blog posts seems to be a bit of an art, something I have yet to master. Since I started tagging earlier in the year almost every blog entry has introduced a new tag, while simultaneously being lumped into the "general" tag. This has to stop. Therefore I propose a new tag order, one with a pre-defined set of tags that all entries must be shoehorned to fit, and no "general" tags that ultimately describe nothing.

Having said that I might keep the "general" tag, but rename it something more descriptive.

If and when I get around to implementing the new tag order is another question. I'll keep you posted..

Surprise

So here I was minding my own business (or that of the company really) at work when my phone started having a spasm on the desk next to me. I had received a text message. Much to my surprise it was Vodafone telling me that I'd won a prize of my choice and to go to this web page and enter the code enclosed in the message. In all there were about 9 choices, including:

  • magazine subscriptions
  • travel guides
  • a voucher book
  • DVD rental vouchers
  • 2 trees planted for conservation
  • a swiss army knife
  • 2 emergency mobile phone chargers
  • 20% discount on a new handset
There was one more, but I don't recall what it was.

After much consideration, I went for the tree's. Supposedly the trees will be planted by a reputable conservation group and I'll receive some updates on what the group is up to. I nearly chose the Swiss army knife, even though I already have one, this one has tweezers and toothpick which mine doesn't have. In the end I decided that the last thing I need is more stuff.

Hopefully my two trees grow up big and strong.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

How do you like them Avocados?

The lack of recent posts can be explained by me being stuck in bit of a rut as of late. Nothing really exciting has happened. so that's about it really.

Anyway....

The other day I bought a chicken schnitzel roll for lunch, in it along with the schnitzel,were some cheese, mayonnaise and Avocado. I don't get Avocado, to me it's a nothing food, it's mushy and it tastes neither good nor bad. I get the impression that some people (especially sandwich shop workers who use it as filler) hold it up as some kind of super universal food, and I suppose it is being full of nutrients and vitamins, especially vitamin C. Apparently Avocados are classified as a type of berry.

On Wednesday I went for a longish walk at lunch time, something I've been intending to do for ages. I used to do a lot of walking, but since I started this job (over a year ago now!) I've been living a very sedentary life. I'm aiming go on 2 lunch time walks a week.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gunzel Tripping

Lately I've been thinking about taking a leaf out Jarf's book, and just riding around on public transport for no apparent reason (reminds me of my uni days...). What I've got in mind is this:

  • Tram 75 City - Vermont South
  • Tramlink Bus 732 Vermont south - Knox City Shopping Centre
  • Bus 665 Knox City - Stud Park Shopping Centre
  • Smartbus 900 Stud Park - Caulfield
  • Train Caulfield - City

That ought to keep me occupied for a few hours one Saturday.

But do you think the Metlink Journey planner thinks that this is a sensible idea? No, for some odd reason it seems to think that the best route between Vermont South tram terminus and Knox City is via Ringwood. Considering that the Tramlink bus service only takes 10 minutes and meets every tram, while the suggested route via Ringwood takes more like an hour, I think it's a bad idea. I'll stick to working it out from timetables thank you very much.

Speaking of timetables, I went into the Met Shop the other day to pick up the appropriate timetables for my journey, but the grumpy guy with the beard who I don't like was there, so I left. My loss I suppose. (It always cracks me up on the "That's M!lbourne" public transport ad when the girl is talking about how friendly and helpful the staff are, and the grumpy beard guy is in the background.) I also tried the Melbourne Visitor Information Centre at Federation Square, but all the public transport timetables they used to have are no longer there.

Trash and Treasure

A recent post over at Danielbowen.com reminded me of something I saw on TV a few weeks ago. For some reason I caught a segment of Better Homes and Gardens (mum was probably watching it) in which "DIY queen" Tara Dennis was advocating taking furniture from council hard rubbish collections and "prettying" them up for use in your own home. I think she had got an old bookcase or some such and done a quick paint job, and then more than likely finished up with a stencil and spray paint or a hot glue gun etc etc. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't that theft? I've always thought that the "good" stuff goes to charity, so you're effectively robbing them of income. Sure it's fair game, sitting out there on the nature strip (or "verge" as Tara called it being a Sydney girl), and you get the usual pickers come around with trailers who I've always seen them as a bit desperate.

I must admit to taking something out of someones hard rubbish once when I was walking home from school. It was a safety card from an Ansett Airbus A320. I still have it, and I'm glad that I rescued it. I guess that makes me a hypocrite...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bonnie Doon

The "Kerrigan" House at Bonnie Doon, September 2006

A work colleague recently expressed his delight after finding out that Bonnie Doon is a real place. Being from New Zealand, he didn't realise that Bonnie Doon was a real place until traveling through it on the way to Mansfield.

As you can see I found the kerrigan house when we went to Bonnie Doon and Mansfield last year on fathers day. It was really easy to find, just look for the powerlines. The lake? Well that's a bit harder to find at the moment...

Super Mario Kart


I've been playing Super Mario Kart on ZSNES a bit lately. So far I've beaten the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup and Star Cup. I have not yet beaten the Special cup because...


I keep falling off the track in the final race, and end up falling behind the rest of the field so far that I get lapped.

Once again, I came last...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Clouds


Clouds looking south from near Myrniong Vic 3 June 2007

These are the clouds that brought snow to the beach yesterday.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Powerlines


They reckon the planes put people off, or the powerlines, not dad he reckons powerlines are a reminder of man’s ability to generate electricity
-Dale Kerrigan, The Castle

Photo taken on a walk not far from my home about 2 years ago with a very primitive digital camera, one that I've had for nearly 6 years (it was primitive when I bought it). One day while pretending to do some work in the library at uni I stumbled across a site (and this one) with photos taken on a gameboy camera, this got me thinking about digging out this old camera and taking some photos with it. A month or two later I finally got around to it, and this photo is one of the results. The photo is full resolution, all I have done to it is make it black and white. This camera chews through batteries like there's no tommorow. It takes four AAs and is a heavy bugger.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

iPod

Not last weekend but the weekend before I did the unthinkable and bought an iPod. I still have mixed feelings about it. $350 for a 30gb hard drive? Sounds crazy to me. I've slowly been converting cds into mp3 format(not AAC! and using creative software no less). I had converted some already for my old 1gb creative (basically any CD I bought after that point). So far I'm about half way through. I think I've got the whole iTunes thing sorted as well, the key is to manually sync everything, rather than letting iTunes do it. I'm still getting used to some of the idiosyncrasies of the iPod.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Font test

Font appears to be normal.

Test passed.

Funicular

I found a site a year or so ago (or did I, I can't recall how I came across it), a webzine devoted to funicular railways, called Funimag. A funicular is a railway where the carriages get hauled up and down hills by cables driven by steam, electric or internal combustion engines, and I suppose the odd beast of burden. A good example is the Scenic Railway at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, which was originally used to haul coal out of the Jamison Valley, but today survives as a tourist attraction.

Just off the top of my head I believe that I have been on two funiculars. The first being the scenic railway, which remains as one of my earliest childhood memories from when my dad took me on it when I was 2 years old. It's funny to look back on it now, but this was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Earlier in the year when I went to Sydney I conquered my demons and once again rode the scenic. I am quite certain that I was justified for being scared as a two year old, because that thing is steep, and travels quite fast too. It was more fun this time though.


Scenic Railway, Katoomba, NSW February 2007.

My other funicular experience is the funicular that climbs Montmatre in Paris. This is a much more sedate ride, in equipment of more modern appearance. The ticket to ride it was a standard Paris Metro ticket, which I still have.


Montmatre Funicular ticket from October 1994


EDIT - Apologies for the smaller writing, I did something to the font in this post and I can't get it to go back to normal.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates!

Arr, 'tis true I seen ye pirates Aye!

Yep that's right, tonight, I went to see Opera Australia's production of The Pirates of Penzance. Anthony Warlow did a great rendition of the Pirate King, taking his cue from Johny Depp in that"other" Pirates. It was almost as if Anthony Warlow was playing Johnny Depp, playing Captain Jack Sparrow, Playing The Pirate King. In fact, he did the same in HMS Pinafore last year and The Mikado the year before, but I guess that just goes to show how formulaic Gilbert and Sullivan are. David Hobson did a good job as Frederick, and the rest of the cast was great too. Special mention goes to Reg Livermore as Majpr General Stanley, Suzanne Johnstone as Ruth, Taryn Fiebig as Mabel and Shane Lowrencecev as The Sergeant of police.

Scenery was sparse, but the props were well used. Captions were also used which helped with understanding some of the faster songs. I'm still not sure where exactly all those syllables fit in. In fact in one part the caption just read "Too much information, just look at the stage".

I enjoyed it.


Hopefully I'll get to see that"other" pirates soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Primary School

I know it's really easy these days for parents to blame schools for their "dumb" children, but I believe I could have received more help in a few areas . The teachers seemed more interested on cramming in as much of the curriculum as possible, rather than helping me understand it. These a few things I can pin point:

  • I never learnt to hold a pen or pencil properly.
  • I write my 5s funny.
  • I never learnt to do long division properly.

I know the first two sound trivial, but my handwriting really is terrible, although if I concentrate on it I can write neat-ish sometimes.

Supposedly my primary school was a "good" school, but now that that I think about it, perhaps it wasn't such a good school. Probably the best thing it had going for it was it's size, which was pretty small, although this too was a bad thing as it resulted in lots of composite classes.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cars v Pedestrians

This started as a comment in Andrew's blog (does this title look familiar?), but thought I may as well continue on here:

Last week I was crossing a busy road not far from my house with the traffic lights, and nearly got ran over by a woman doing a right hand turn. This particular intersection consists of a major 6 lane road with median strip, a local side street, and the entrance to a railway station carpark. I was crossing from the station to the side street on the right hand side of the road facing on coming traffic. I set out across the road when the green man appeared (not an alien!), as I crossed the median I checked over my shoulder for cars turning right. As I stepped out into the roadway I realised that the car was not slowing down and so took a step back onto the median. At this point she braked, but because I'd stepped back shed continue on. Maybe I should have held my ground, but I didn't want to get ran over (obviously). What really annoyed me though was the fact that she mouthed a thank you as she drove past. All I could do was stand there with my arms open in a questioning gesture as it happened too quick for me to form words in my mouth.

This intersection has always been dangerous to cross at due to drivers in a hurry to get out of the station car park, and it's pretty much the only legal way to get to the station from that side of the road. For as long as I can remember this intersection has had flashing "watch for pedestrians" signs for cars doing right hand turns into the major road.

Last year an old woman was killed by a vehicle doing a right hand turn in exactly the same location. (I believe the vehicle was a bus, but don't quote me.) Afterwards there was a campaign by residents and the local ward councilor to improve the pedestrian crossing. This was somewhat successful, and resulted in some tweaking of the traffic light sequence by extending the walk time and larger brighter LED "watch for pedestrians" signs. The extended walk sequence allows you to get about half way across the intersection before the lights go green for cars traveling in the same direction and turning right (left hand turns from these directions have always been controlled by arrows). This is the point at which I nearly got hit last week, and was certainly not the first time, I've had many a close call at this location in the same circumstances. There is no room for either an underpass or overpass due to powerlines being located in the exact spot you'd put them (more on the effectiveness of these in slightly different circumstances at Peter Parker's blog), and short of having a "pedestrians only-only" time in the intersection I don't know what can be done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Horrorscope Today

So I turn the page of the paper to read the following, I swear these are written by the same people who write the messages in greeting cards:

Ruling Mars comes home to roost and lights a fire underneath you. A sense of urgency replaces lethargy, prompting you to take charge and act instinctively. There is also more physical energy at your disposal.


I like the sound of that as lethargic is a pretty good description of how I've been feeling recently, a bit of energy would be good.

P.S. I remembered what it was that I thought I'd blog about tonight...

Bright ideas

I actually do have a few ideas for blog entries, but they are still formulating. On the train this morning I did have an idea that I intended to have a go at tonight, but I've totally forgotten it for now. I do some of my deepest thinking on the train and in bed at night, but it usually escapes me when the day gets into full swing and my brain is full of the day to day things. Oh well...

Perhaps I should write these things down?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Touching Base

God I hate that term. I over hear it used at work sometimes. Thankfully no one says it to me, if they did I'd punch them in the nose. I assume the term is of American origin, talking about touching bases in a baseball game. Perhaps not?

Anyway just "touching base" with another general update...

On Friday night I went to a play put on by one of the local amateur theater companies. It was called Silvia and was about a man finding a stray dog called Silvia in the park and taking her home. Basically he fell in love with the dog making his wife jealous. Silvia (the dog remember) was played by a person, and was almost too convincing in the role. As was said in they play, she really did have a cute butt, especially when she came back from the dog groomers in the frilly French knickers (ooh la la!).

One of the actors ( a man) played three roles, another male dog owner in the park, a female friend of the wife, and a gender bending psychiatrist. As he/she put it in the play, "am I a man pretending to be a woman or a woman pretending to be a man". By far the best of this trio was the female friend, who had trouble walking in high heels, an alcohol problem and who seemed to attract much attention from the dog. This resulted in more than a glimpse of suspenders and stockings from under her dress, and the audience in stitches. One observation I made of some of the older men in the audience at this point was that they didn't seem too keen on the idea of a man in drag, in fact they looked a bit uncomfortable if not threatened, the women however loved it.

Saturday, I went to the football. In the end Collingwood beat Carlton, I was very happy, we are now third on the ladder. Afterwards we went to the (new for this year) usual pub, the Imperial on the corner of Bourke Street and Spring Street. That place is bride central on Saturday afternoon, I reckon I saw at least 5 or 6 on the walk there. The other thing we saw on the walk from the 'G' was a pair of international students (they were Asian, and I assume that all young Asian people I see in the city are international students) throwing a tennis ball to each other in the Fitzroy Gardens. Not so strange, except that they were putting very little effort into their throws and showing almost no facial expression.

After a pint at the pub (happy hour!), we made our way down Little Bourke street looking for a feed. We ended up in a little place in Heffernan Lane called Kum Den (no I kid you not, almost as good as hung long video). For the price, the food was exceptional. Although, I was a bit concerned about the upside down Barramundi swimming around in the fish tank (there were at leas two of them), I made mental note not to order any fish dishes...

Sunday was of course mothers day. We took mum out for lunch to a nursery/cafe in Yarrambat. The food was pretty good, especially the mud cake I had for dessert. Later in the afternoon we went around to my brothers house for a barbecue which was also good. For mothers day this year I gave mum a DVD of Sweet Charity and Thoroughly Modern Milly (she likes old musicals) and some Belgian Sea Shel Chocolates, she seemed quite pleased.

From my eldest brother in Northern NSW mum didn't get a present, but instead the news that he is in the process of leaving his wife, which is not really the worst news in the world because we all (Mum, my brother in Melbourne, his wife and myself) think she is a bitch have seen it coming for years. Even my eldest niece (she's 10), daughter of eldest brother thinks it's a good thing that they get separated. The marriage was quite literally at the behest of a farmer with a shotgun not quite 11 years ago (you do the calculations). So far, it seems like an amicable separation...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The truth about Americans...

If we ever needed proof that Americans (by Americans I mean the U.S. government and agents there of ...mostly. I do realise that there are many switched on individuals in the USA just like everywhere else) are a bit dim about happenings (just) outside their borders, then read this.

I wish we had coins like this.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The good and the bad days

Yesterday was a good day, today was a bad day. Most days lately fall into the bad category. I've been late to work (while I have no set starting time, by late I mean that I arrive after my preferred arrival time), I've been tired, and feeling generally crap. Yesterday I worked out what it is. It's a lack of sleep, and a lack of preparation for the next day the night before. It feeds on itself, making me later and feeling crappier as each day passes, and it affects this blog, because I don't feel like using the computer at home when I'm in this state.

The difference with yesterday was that on Sunday night I made my lunch, arranged what I was going to wear, and went to bed early.

I also blame Connex, as if I leave too late and miss the 15 minute window of easy connections at Flinders Street I'm half an hour "late" for work. It happened this morning, I missed all four of my optimal conections, add in the uncertainty of which platform the next train leaves from, a bit of essence of late running, and you've got a recipe for me being pissed off. I mean my train left from platform 13 for gods sake, and then it was about 7 minutes late.

The ironing is taken care of, so right now I'm off to make some sandwiches...