December 2003 Archives

2003 Year in Review

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New Years Eve

And so another year comes to an end. A year full of highs and lows, but then what year isn't?

Some highlights from my year included:

  • fish tank - or should I say fish tanks. I went from zero to three tanks in the year and took great delight in my fishies as they grew, fought, ate, lived, died and laid eggs.
  • lego - my space lego collection tripled in a year, and a Harry Potter collection came into existence, thanks to the wonderful world of ebay.
  • this blog - no comment :)
  • weekly visiting James and George - their frendship has been wonderful over the year
  • JGHS school reunion - an interesting night, although I don't remember a single thing anyone told me about what they were doing. And a pity so many of the people I really wanted to catch up with didn't bother to turn up.
  • Cave Clan newbies nights - breaking into drains and other such dark places, lots of fun :)
  • Winning the Melbourne Cup sweep
  • First paid masseuse gig - somewhat boring, but good to know my talents are worth money :)
  • Harbour Bridge climb

    Some work-related highlights included:

  • Getting active directory setup on a small standalone domain and having 50 users successfully connect to a file and print server, and regular restores of files assured me that backups were working properly :)
  • getting all the machines in the building patched a week before the blaster worm hit. There's been three critical patches released since then, but ominously no worms for them..
  • switched to a new print and dhcp server in two hours with next to no disruption to users
  • finally let go of the support mail, after 6 years of doing it. I still keep an eye on it to see what goes through it
  • fixed a raid array in Gamera with no downtime. It had had a bad disk for months and another disk would have destroyed the entire system just like that.

    But you get the good with the bad, and some downers..

  • Peter leaving us at work, leaving me to pick up some of the crap jobs he was doing, as well as making it that much more difficult to do the crossword with him every day
  • getting Dell out to replace a part that turned out not to be faulty after all. Was rather embarrassing.
  • parents/boss stressing me out at various points.
  • being fired twice at cia
  • rejection by Chris
  • Cockroaches
  • turning 30

    Hoping next year will continue to improve mood-wise. This year was a lot better than last year, and hoping things continue to get better. So have a happy and safe new year and all that, from a very hot a sticky down under :)

  • Bridge

    The todo list is slipping badly. Everything takes a lot longer than it should and days are short. I sorely miss the three month holidays I used to get as a student.

    I finished the bridge I was building last night, doesn't it look cool? I still have another one to make, but that's gonna have to wait a bit, I'm just too busy at the moment :/

    24 hours and 17 minutes of this year left.

    Skype the night away

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    Just had a Skype chat with Paul.. heya, was nice talking to ya :)

    I'm just trying to finish building a bridge for Andrew (a HO scale truss bridge). Have been watching Star Trek IV (which arrived in the post today for my Christmas present from parents) and Star Trek VI cause I was in a trekkie sort of mood.

    This afternoon I watched some me little brother's Christmas present - the Best of Bowie. I still maintain that he looks best in the late 80's. I was excited to see Underground and As the World Falls Down, which I'd never seen before - they were the songs from Labyrinth and featured some of the characters from the movie in the video clips. It was also funny seeing some of the dancers and dance moves in some of the other video clips that he used in his Glass Spider concert, which I've had on video for years.

    It's truly frightening that my brother is still reading my blog. Most people I know that have told me they've read my blog have read it and then lost interest and that was the end of that. Continued reading is scary. Especially when they drop these hints in front of parents about it *grumble* :�

    Anyways I'm going back to building bridges :)

    Fishy fishy

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    Have been sifting through the material on the Meaning of Life bonus dvd and came across a 16 minute segment of a camera setup in front of a marine fish tank. There's a stoopid commentary from one of the fish, and it's not a big long take, but more a like a 2 min loop. It's still pretty cool though.

    I organised my todo list this morning and started ploughing my way through it. I didn't get through everything I wanted to today, but at least I made a decent start at it.

    On a lighter note

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    lotr3

    Went and saw Lord of the Rings - Return of the King last night. It was an epic to say the least. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen. The air conditioning got turned off sometime after midnight though, so much of the last part of the movie was watching in a boiling hot, stuffy cinema. Not pleasant at all. Made the multitude of endings that much harder to bear, and everyone was thinking "get on with it" each time a new ending scene started.

    1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
    hrm. No idea what my biggest accomplishment was. But a recent one was switching to a new faculty print server with minimal disruption and next to no calls in the following week from people not being able to print.

    2. What was your biggest disappointment?
    Being rejected by dingbat.

    3. What do you hope the new year brings?
    Getting active directory setup without any disasters. Although that's only two weeks in, haven't thought too much about the rest of the year. A promotion would be nice.

    4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
    I don't make new year's resolutions. I'd like to learn the piano though.

    5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
    With a bit of luck going to Luc and Cynthia's to watch the fireworks from their place in Pyrmont.

    One that has bigger feet, so that I can go to a store and buy boots. I tried in three more stores today. Nothing in my size. Not even ordinary hiking boots, let alone black leather ones. Completely pisses me off.

    Also one with a decent brain chemistry so that sort of thing doesn't stress me out to the point of crying.

    It didn't help that I went to the Powerhouse Museum today for the last time on my membership card, only to find that the exhibition I wanted to see is only open between 10:30am-12:00pm Monday to Friday. Yay. Membership expires tomorrow. As do the four remaining free passes that I somehow never managed to find anyone to give them to.

    Now feeling completely and utterly unmotivated to do anything. Only 8 days of holiday left, with more todo that can be done in that time :/

    Did the whole family/church thing today. As predicted, I came home with a bag of Freddo frogs. Yes that's right, all I got for Christmas was a bag of Freddos. Well until next week at least anyway. I've been promised two dvds from parents and me little brother left my present at his place. So I came home and had a shot glassfull of Luc's pressie, and built my Hogwarts Castle. Like I said, people should just buy their own presents, would be easier. I'm watching my brother's Christmas present now - well he wasn't going straight home so said I could borrow it. Ironically it's also on free to air tv also at the same time. Silly really.

    And I left my camera at parents place. Damned flipping.

    Hallelujah

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    Handel's Hallelujah Chorus has to be just about the best sound of Christmas. It just wouldn't be right if they didn't do it at the various Carols by Candlelight shows that air to tv. I missed the one on Saturday night cause I was at Striker's but caught the Melbourne one tonight.

    It's looking like I'll be in bed before midnight tonight. More often that not I'm up past midnight and get to see Christmas in early :)

    I got a big Christmas present today. A whole stack of lego I got off ebay was all at the post office waiting for me, as well as some chockies from Thorpie. Of course some of the packages had been there since the 3rd of December, and even though I'd asked the post office staff several times since then to check for me, they obviously hadn't bothered, and I got final notices for three things the other day.

    This may sound a little selfish, but I reckon people should just go out and get themselves things for Christmas. If everyone just got themselves something nice, then there'd be no hassle of trying to think of what to give people (which I'm utterly hopeless at), and you know it'd get enjoyed by the recipient. Anyways, that's just a thought :) And I'm expecting to not come home with much tomorrow - parents have ordered stuff online and it may not have arrived in time, and my brother left my pressie at home and he won't be home again before tomorrow. Oh well :)

    Click

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    Been looking at getting a new digital camera. My Olympus C-900 Zoom is five years old now, and it's had an excellent innings. I've been incredibly happy with it and taken thousands of photos on it. But it's only 1.3 megapix, 3x zoom and the picture quality is starting to look a little sad next to newer cameras. The camera I'm looking at which is highest in features/ratings for what I want is the Olympus C-750 UZ. Guy has one so I might see if I can borrow it for a few days and try it out. For future reference a couple of galleries are here and here.

    Five times five

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    1. List your five favorite beverages.

  • orange juice
  • baileys and peppermint schnapps
  • lemon soft drink
  • baileys on the rocks
  • anything fruity

    2. List your five favorite websites.

  • IMDB
  • eBay
  • TV Guide
  • Google
  • How Stuff Works

    3. List your five favorite snack foods.

  • Cheese pringles
  • Kraft cheese sticks
  • Chocolate (in varieties of combinations)
  • Potato/corn crisps/balls/thins
  • Lollies

    4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.

  • Pictionary
  • Cribbage
  • Scumbags and Warlords
  • Up the river, Down the river
  • Roborally

    5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.

  • Unreal Tournament
  • Quake II
  • Spider Solitaire
  • Inklink (online pictionary from shockwave)
  • Tetris and other puzzle games

  • #4

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    oh, and my angels laid their fourth batch of eggs today; again on the inlet for the filter, they must like that spot

    splatter

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    Video night at Striker's last night. Watched Duel and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

    Had so much todo on my todo list that I didn't know where to start, and in the end got almost none of it done.

    Carols by twilight at church. Great big family-fest. Yay.

    Although the purpose of breeding the tanks is so that the fish will breed :)

    The other week I inherited Vic's old tank, last week I borrowed a light and a filter off Daniel and Fee, and today I got an air pump and hose. So now I'm all set to put the tank together and put some fish in it. Before I put my angels in, I want to test that the piece of fake slate I have is fish-friendly. It's not aquarium slate, it's actually an offcut of a roof tile from my friends who just had their roof redone. So will need to test it out with some canary fish for a few weeks before I let the angels near it.

    Needs more cheese

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    Pizza Hut's pepperoni pizza needs more cheese.

    So I'm ordering a pizza, and they've introduced a voice recognition system which is just not what I'm expecting, so makes my slightly fuzzy brain start to think things are weird with the universe. Of course it doesn't help that I've had a couple of drinks. Not that many, but still weird. And this is after watching a couple of scenes of ET that I'm sure I've never seen before. OK so I've only seen the movie like twice in my life, once at the movies when I was 9 and again a few years ago. But I generally have a fairly good memory for movies and I'm quite sure these scenes are new. I guess that's why they call it special edition.

    Had our work Christmas party today, which was altogether pleasant, except of course for the flies. Tip to newbies: flies appear to be more attracted to prawns than anything else, so to stop them trying to eat the rest of your food, empty a few prawn shells onto a plate and let the flies swarm around that :)

    off to go get my pizza... mmmm pepperoni pizza... mmmmmm :)

    All the angels are fighting with each other. Can't wait til I get the new tank setup so I can move the two black ones out. That should settle things down a bit. The smallest white one has severly torn pectoral fins. If they don't settle down soon they're going to start making themselves sick. One of the glass catfishes looks decidedly off-colour. That is to say, it's looking opaque instead of clear. If that fish dies too and I take out the angels also, this tank is going to look rather empty. Is probably time to start thinking about buying some more fish :)

    Daniel has bought some anti-roach gel that after just a day or two has already made his kitchen look like a "battle zone" of dead cockies. I'll see how all his fish are doing after a couple of weeks and if it looks like there's no problems I'll try it too. /me gets excited by the prospect of no cockroaches!

    You're meant to be able to sleep in on your day off, aren't you? Well not me. Come normal waking time and I'm up. Had to force myself to try and get more sleep.

    Didn't quite achieve all I wanted to today. But did get one thing done that I'd been putting off til the holidays. Then I wandered into the city to do some Christmas shopping. It's starting to get chaotic there. In the end I hardly got anything that I couldn't have gotten in the 'burbs. Still, it was very cool to see some books in Dymocks that a friend of mine wrote. I hadn't realised she was distributing them through big stores, I thought it was mainly schools.

    I want to learn to play the piano. Is it too late to start learning when you're 30? My friends' kids are learning, and they're five-ish and already know about chords. I want to be able to keep up with them. I would love to be able to buy sheet music and play it. For $24.95 you can get all the music for Harry Potter. I'd love to be able to play it all. Of course I'd need a keyboard then, and somewhere to put it, and some beginners music to practise with. Not to mention I'd probably want decent lessons. I'll have to ask Sami (author of aforementioned music books) what she thinks, and how much it would be likely to cost.

    oh, and I also saw the largest commercial jigsaw puzzle ever made - 18000 pieces!! It has four antique maps of the world, so it'd basically be like mixing up four 4500 piece puzzles (which is bigger than anything I've done to start with) and doing them all at once. Yikes! I shoulda checked the dimensions. I doubt I'd even have floor space to do it :)

    Onya Sandra!

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    Onya Sandra for winning Survivor VII :)

    And now for a Friday Five on a Monday..

    1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays?
    Well let's see.. normally we have 30C+ days here.

    2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect?
    Which holiday? Christmas is for family, New Years is for friends. Christmas should also include roast pork at some point, and New Years should include fireworks.

    3. Do you do have any holiday traditions?
    I like Christmas trees and fairy lights. And roast pork.

    4. Do you do anything to help the needy?
    Just through church if anything

    5. What one gift would you like for yourself?
    See a previous post .. probably a digital camera is highest on the list.

    Or so the slogan for Pringles goes. Being a rather small person, I have no trouble sticking my hand all the way down to the bottom of a Pringles container to get pringles at the bottom. So it was with Darrah on Survivor VII - winning her third immunity in a row by being able to stick her hand furthest down a tube to reach a key. I thought that was absolutely a classic - cause there's not a whole lot of advantage in being small (like me), except in the odd situation like this and then it's like, you go girl :):)

    Other than that, all I managed to achieve today was to mostly clean up my flat, which was pretty much all I wanted to achieve this weekend, so it's all good.

    Check this out for an error:

    The DNS server machine currently has no DNS domain name. Its DNS name is a single label hostname with no domain (example: "host" rather than "host.microsoft.com").

    You might have forgotten to configure a primary DNS domain for the server computer. For more information, see either "DNS server log reference" or "To configure the primary DNS suffix for a client computer" in the online Help.

    While the DNS server has only a single label name, all zones created will have default records (SOA and NS) created using only this single label name for the server's hostname. This can lead to incorrect and failed referrals when clients and other DNS servers use these records to locate this server by name.

    To correct this problem:
    1) open ControlPanel
    2) open System applet
    3) select NetworkIdentification tab
    4) click the "Properties" button and enter a domain name or workgroup name; this name will be used as your DNS domain name
    5) reboot to initialize with new domain name

    After reboot, the DNS server will attempt to fix up default records, substituting new DNS name of this server, for old single label name. However, you should review to make sure zone's SOA and NS records now properly use correct domain name of this server.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    That took about 5 hours to find, and made a job that should have take two hours take over 8 hours. But lets start from the beginning shall we?

    This morning was our big print and dhcp server swapover. Two new servers that needed to brought up to replace two aging ones. As much as I can figure, everything went absolutely smoothly, and we were all done within two hours. A chunk of that time was just spent waiting for a server name to be removed from the domain.

    So, being all said and done by 10am, I went over and gave John a hand with his active directory upgrade on their domain. I was really just going along to watch, but things started going wrong, and somehow or another I ended up troubleshooting for them. Three reinstallations of 2003 later and we were still no closer to figuring out why DNS wouldn't work. We kept getting a DNS error during the active directory upgrade wizard, complaining there was a DNS server error. Then, quite by accident, I noticed the above error (event ID 414 for anyone doing a google search). Turns out that under My Computer, Properties, the machine had only been configured with a short host name, and didn't have the full dns suffix. Hence the above error on machine startup. Once we fixed that up, everything else fell into place. Talk about a massive waste of time. Every single time I've had problems with active directory, it's been DNS related. So the moral of this story is, if it's broken, check DNS. Then check it again. And check it once more just be safe.

    as it is, it's tomorrow. :)
    mind you, if I'd blogged this arvo it would have been a rather depressing tale of demarcation issues at work, offset by my boss rather sweetly reminding me that yes, I am the server administrator, and all decisions will need to go through me first. *aww*

    But after three glasses of wine before dinner, I am still buzzing. It was cia's christmas party, and general merriment was had by all. I guess it may have helped some that I gave just about everyone a massage :)

    Is today over yet?

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    Harry Potter minifigs.jpg

    Took this cool photo of some Harry Potter minifigs today. How cute are they? I want to get one of every character.

    I managed to get all the printers setup on our new print server except for one, which doesn't have 2003 drivers, and I can't get xp or 2000 drivers to work with it either. It also happens to be a printer that the guys have spent *ages* on trying to make it work in the first place. It's a toshiba, and has caused no end of troubles since the day they bought it. We sit and curse the people that go out and just buy a printer without asking us first. Most of the printers around are HP, with some Xerox. The ones that tend to give us the most troubles are the dodgy-brothers printers like the toshiba, a danka, etc.

    I finished the Belgariad tonight. The ending was a nice tie-up of an epic story. I'm sure Sami will be wanting to lend me the Malloreon next :)

    There are still quite a few angel eggs. I now have another tank for them to breed in :) This tank has been passed around quite a bit, and now I have it. I still have no idea where I'm going to put the darned thing though, I'm running out of floor/wall space.

    It's late.

    My angels have laid more eggs. We'll see how long they last this time :)
    This time she's laid them on the intake for the filter - the long vertical cylinder in one corner of the tank.

    I still don't have a breeding tank for them. If Daniel doesn't let me borrow one soon I'm going to have go out and buy a setup.

    Decided not to stay up and finish "Enchanters' End Game". Decided to be a good girl and go to bed. It's still late though! doh!

    Blew up my test AD domain today, and starting setting up the test servers as our new print and dhcp servers. Only two days behind schedule. Still think I should be able to get everything done by the weekend, especially if Sami does the dhcp stuff. Was even toying with the idea of taking Thursday off, but think that may be a little dangerous at this point. If all goes well I might be able to take next Tuesday off instead.

    Anyways, really going to bed now!

    Successfully moved global catalog servers from AD DC to another on my test domain today. This was after stuffing around with dns last week doing some trials, and leaving it pointed at the wrong place, so the domain controllers wouldn't talk to each other. "frigging dns" is all I have to say about that.

    Also successfully connected an OS X mac and an OS 7.6.1 mac to the servers, doing file and print sharing.

    Now that those problems have been overcome I can go back to the original plan of having new print and dhcp servers setup by the weekend for a big changeover. *scary*

    ---

    ps, in case you were wondering what on earth I'm talking about.. I'm planning our work deployment of active directory. We're upgrading our windows NT 4 domain to 2003. You know those ads on at the moment that say "we're merging all these domains and making it all easier blah blah blah" to which the boss just looks at him, and so he says "we'll save $2 million a year" ... well we're nothing like that really, given that we only have one domain and two servers, but that's what we're doing. I've been thinking about it for a couple of months, but really working frantically on it for the past couple of weeks when we all suddenly realised that next year was only 6 weeks away, and we plan to go live with it mid January. fun fun fun!

    I was looking at the logs for this site just now. Everything's so much quieter since I changed the url of my blog and it's taken google a few weeks to catch up. I was looking at some of the referal terms that people have put into search engines that have brought them to my site. Would you believe that I'm number one in google for "kambrook timer" ?? I am also number one for "mcdonalds is evil", "dstore e-voucher", "i hate kazza" and "federation starship quiz personality" !! I'm number six for "blog australia strictly aquariums".

    Christmas Tree

    Went to church this morning and didn't get home til 4pm. Whoops. Went shopping with George afterwards and got lots of lego. Double whoops. Some of it will end up as Christmas presents methinks.

    Got part way through my todo list for the weekend. I don't know that I'll be able to make it to Christmas without a spare day off, but I have so much work on at the moment that I don't know if I'll have a chance to take any time off.

    I can't walk down stairs very well at the moment. It can't possibly have anything to do with the fact that I climbed down several hundred stairs in quick succession yesterday. At any rate, they're killing me at the moment.

    I uploaded a pic of my tree from last year. It looks much the same this year, except that there's more tinsel, and the floor in front of it is covered in space lego. hrmm :)

    In the end decided to stay home and sulk. Got a decent chunk of rubbish thrown out, and the place somewhat tidier. I can now walk across the study floor in a straight line with out stepping over or around anything. I even managed to put up my Christmas tree and all my fairy lights. I think you can never have too much tinsel or too many fairy lights. Being a bright-shiny-coloured-things freak at heart, Christmas is my time of year. Glitter and tinsel and fairy lights all do it for me, it doesn't get any better.

    24 hours

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    23 hours ago I was at drinks at the Corro which was meant to be a reunion of the previous batch of support guys. As it turned out, all three of them piked at the last minute. onya guys. not.

    6 hours ago I was on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was fabulous. Although we nearly got blown off - it was blowing an absolute gale. Fortunately it didn't rain, that would have been pretty miserable. Thanks to George for letting me have her ticket.

    1 hour from now I'm meant to be at a Christmas party for work. But only one of the guys from our office is going that I know about (well my boss might be also, but he doesn't count cause he doesn't talk to me in social situations), plus being my wonderful partnerless self, and given that this stoopid party is in Mosman, which is a useless place to get to, means I have to drive, by myself, which means no drinking, and I don't think I could face spending the night there with a bunch of people that I really have nothing in common with without at least a decent mugfull of eggnog to keep me going. And have I ever mentioned that I *hate* going places by myself at the best of times?

    The alternative is a video night at Striker's, but I'm feeling too depressed about everything to even be bothered with that (sorry Striker). My place looks like a bomb's hit it; I've basically not been home for the past two and a half weeks. The cockroaches, even with me not leaving food around for weeks, live off the sticky gum used to seal envelopes, and who knows what else, and are just as abundant as ever.

    So I can go out and get stressed out, or stay home and get depressed. Great choice.

    doh, missed it, it is tomorrow already
    long day. Lots of AD upgrade planning. Got a couple of hours of free one-on-one microsoft support, very handy indeed :) Thanks James *hugs*

    *squelch*

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    /me collapses into a gelatenous gloop.
    Going to try and have a sleepin tomorrow. Need to catch up on lots of sleep.

    Then it's back to planning our deployment of active directory. Sound like fun? :)

    New lego!

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    I got some *new* lego today for the first time in about 16 years. I was very excited :) To play with lego that's never been played with before, with no scratches or teeth marks, was very cool. I haven't played with sets of lego that new since our last lot of new space lego in 1987. The variety of new shapes and beautiful new colours is amazing. I'd never seen the gorgeous deep blue of some of the pieces in the set before, even after playing with all of Vic's lego. The set I got was a Harry Potter one - Knockturn Alley, which was kind of ironic - the first lego set from the proceeds of this domain name and of course it has to do with the dark side.. mwoohahaha.. ;)

    Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

    IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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