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/ 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 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 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.