March 2004 Archives
Another unusually happy day. I wish I could be this happy all the time. Need to cram in all the practise I can.
Even dealt well with a talk I had with my boss. There'd been some talk of a promotion, but with the structured pay system we have it was too hard to justify. Everyone else in our unit is in the same position. My boss was really nice about it though and we're looking at other ways I can get a little more cash.
Read a third of The Chamber of Secrets tonight. The first three books take no effort (or time) at all to read. I probably could have even finished it tonight if I haven't spent half the evening reading webpages on my other favourite subject :)
Driving (Tuesday Twosome):
1. Rain or Snow?
Never actually driven in the snow. I imagine it would be more dangerous if the roads froze over..
2. Music from the radio or compact disc?
I don't have a cd player in my car. Not a real priority at the moment.
3. Yellow light: "slow down" or "go faster" ?
Depends how close to the intersection I am :)
4. Freeway or feeder road?
Freeways if they're moving. Even if they're not, a slow constant pace is better than stop start.
5. Road Rage: "what's that?" or "Heck yeah, and you better not get in my way!"
I was very calm today. Surprised even myself. Must keep it up.
I've been clicking lego all night making a new mosaic. Waiting for some dark grey pieces from Germany though before I'll be able to finish it.
Also need to calm the road rage. Even though I've been in a remarkably good mood for the past week or so, there's still a couple of places where people *always* do stoopid things or try and push in on the roads that continue to piss me off. They're pet peeves of mine, but must remember "it'll only cost a few *seconds* in the grand scheme of things". Must think big picture. Calm blue oceans (a Lui-ism).
Waking up in the light this morning was wonderful! Looking forward to it again tomorrow.
Further feeding a couple of my obsessions, I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone this weekend. I want to read all the books again before Azkaban comes out. I think I am also going to make Luc read all the books. He's the biggest reader I know yet he's never read them.
I also watched Dragonheart specifically for the Felton scenes.. ;) There's a couple of amusing Harry Potter-Dragonheart links. So we have Jason Isaacs who is in both movies, plays a character called Felton in Dragonheart. There is also a character called Draco. In Harry Potter Jason plays a character called Malfoy. There is also a character called Draco Malfoy played by an actor called Tom Felton. It kinda starts going round in circles in your head :)
I also spent over half of today cleaning out dead accounts on gamera. Backups aren't fitting onto the backup drive anymore, so it was time to nuke stuff. It's such a painful process though - looking up sites to see which aren't hosted with us anymore, then checking the accounts to see which have been closed, then going through all the sites and manually removing a virtual web server entry, ftp virtual directory, web virtual directory, user home directory and entry in a server list text file. The agony. Then clearing out gigabytes of sql transaction logs. Really must write a script for that sometime.
My betta was much happier this morning. I think he was just grumpy with me last night for turning the light on after he'd been asleep for a while.
I went to the fish shop today to get more fish food.. and was amazed at how tiny the angels and siamensis there were. Found it rather hard to believe that my fish were ever that small.
We had a video night at John's place tonight. Well actually nobody else turned up so it was just John and I, but that was ok, meant we a whole lounge each to stretch out on. It was unreal; we watched the Lion King and it was just like being at the movies. Plus he has the whole 5.1 surround sound thing happening. Maybe in a few years I'll "invest" in a data projector also.
Hrm after all that there's no Friday Five to do.
I think the betta I have in the bowl is sick. He's not swimming around like he normally does. Very sad :( Wonder if he'll still be alive in the morning...
Very sad night for me tonight - they wrote Robert Romano (Paul McCrane) out of ER :(:( I *loved* him, and thought he should have gotten with Elizabeth at least. He was so much nicer around her.
What was sadder is that nobody cared, not even it appears the producers. When they wrote Greene out, he got a whole couple of episodes to be remembered. With Romano it was like, oh, he's gone, oh well. But I know that he was the character people loved to hate, but still..
I knew the photo I was going to use for this week's Theme Thursday about two seconds after I saw the subject.
This could even be an entry for last week's sport subject, that was removed from Theme Thursday because I didn't actually take it. hrm.
This photo was taken during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I was at Chris and John's place and the tv was on. The event was some long distance race and we thought it was cool how five athletes from two different countries were arranged alternately behind each other on the track.
I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped them running. I think they were just about to lap someone :)
James was going to get home late tonight, so George and I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I warned them they may have to clean up my drool *grin*
George just couldn't see how I could like him. And yes, George is actually a girl :) *Some people*, I don't know :)
Had to have a laugh over an ebay auction item that finished today - it was a Jason Isaacs autographed figure of Felton from Dragonheart. I had a look through the items that the girl that won it, "ladytav", had won previously .. seems like she is somewhat of a Jason Isaacs freak as well :) Although prepared to spend a hell of a lot more money on her obsession than me! :)
Apologies to my regular readers who must be tired of my ranting by now.. I think I must sound like a school girl or something. I tell you what, it's certainly had a big affect on my mood this week. I haven't had a new crush in *ages*.
/me floats off in the general direction of bed :)
Another meme - the Tuesday Twosome.. and another night of drooling.. read a very funny website by a guy who was an extra in The Patriot playing a valet. Must not stay up late drooling.. must not stay up late drooling... ;)
1. "pop" or "soda"?
2. chocolate or vanilla?
3. potato or rice?
4. coffee or tea?
5. cell phone or email?
Don't you mean mobile phone? ;) Usually I prefer electronic means of communication to verbal ones
While thinking about what to blog about, I went back to the Meme List page which I found the other day, and found Monday Madness. (This was after forcing myself to close down browser windows of Jason Isaacs.. yes Dennis, it seems to be my latest obsession :) - and I have to wait til *May* to see Peter Pan argghhgghh!! ).
This weeks' theme was on tv shows. Which was kinda funny because I was watching 24 at the time and thinking just how good this season is. The first season was intriguing because of its format, but positively painful to watch - especially the "Kim" thread! The second season started off a bit silly, but actually got good after the bomb went off. I'm thoroughly enjoying the third season.
So. The questions presented:
1. What was your favorite TV show as a child?
As a child. Hrmm. My earliest memory of a show I used to watch regularly was Whacky Races. Another kid from school would come over before school and he and my brother and I would watch it together. That would have been about 25 years ago! As for favourite show? Astroboy, Airwolf, Knight Rider, MacGyver all stand out, although I don't know if I'd count as a child for some of them :)
2. What show did you hate?
Bit hard to remember, as if I wasn't interested in a show I just wouldn't watch it :) I remember seeing one episode of Red Dwarf and thinking it was utterly ridiculous and could not see what all the fuss was about.
3. What show did your family gather around the TV to watch?
MASH ... probably others.. my mother wasn't so keen on MASH
4. What show is currently your favorite?
There's only three shows I *currently* watch regularly - 24, Survivor All Stars, and ER. ER is probably the favourite.
5. What show do you hate now?
Well again, if I'm not interested I just won't watch. The Practice used to piss me off cause they'd keep getting the bad guys off, even when they shouldn't.
I really must write down all the tv shows I've ever watched .. could be a quite a big list.. :)
For the first of my lego mosaics using my own lego, I thought it would be appropriate to use the Lego logo. So may I present the Lego logo in Lego. I actually did this the other night, but just haven't gotten around to posting a pic yet.
The hardest bit was actually designing. Clicking it all together took next to no time. Now I just need to find pictures to make mosaics out of.. :)
I spent far too long this afternoon drooling over pictures of Jason Isaacs. Well the alternative was cleaning the toilet and doing the dishes, I know which activity I'd rather be doing :) I was also looking at the movies he's done. Except for the odd occasion where he's played the good guy, he mostly plays the bad guy, and plays a bad guy damned brilliantly. That softly spoken voice.. and that sneer.. wow. <remembers to breathe>
I've also been reading the book of Labyrinth. I was watching it for the anniversary last night (just a few days late), and looking up pictures and stuff on the net. I found this site which has a very cool collection of Labyrinth resources, including the script of the movie (which I wrote down in longhand fourteen years ago) and the novelisation! I'm probably half way through the book, it seems very short. I quietly did a wget of the site to have a look at some of the pictures in my own time. <more breathless moments as I skipped ahead last night to read the ballroom scene>
Yes, apparently I have. Just watched The Patriot where he plays another wonderful bad guy. I think I need to go on a mission to see all his other movies :)
I also think I need to move to England. British accents do it for me.. :)
Had a thoroughly unmotivated day today. Seems to be a habit lately. Not getting anything done which is frustrating. I think I need a holiday. One where I can stay home for three months and catch up on all the things that need doing. I miss the three month holidays I used to get at uni :(
So my todo list for the weekend now all has to be done on one day. fun fun fun
Last two days at work have been utterly demoralising. Spending hours fighting to make things work. Made one thing work in the end, still have issues with another. Video nights here and there got stuffed around. The work one was abandoned after three tech support people couldn't make sound work on a dvd player. The Evil House one ended up happening after all at Campbell's place, which was quite enjoyable after such a draining week.
Couldn't be bothered doing the Friday Five questions.. and it's Saturday anyway
I have very little claim to this photo.
I did not have the idea (although I had toyed with the idea at one point).
I did not take the photo.
I was not even *there*.
My only claim to this photo is that it was taken on my camera. Daniel borrowed my camera when he went to the athletics one night during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. He had a pair of binoculars and took the photo through the binoculars. Very cool.
Google have redone their rankings again. I've gone from a ranking of 5/10 to a mere 4/10. Dennis had an even bigger cut - from 6 to 4.
I have visions in my head of those diagrams where you have points around a circle and you draw a line from one point to all the other points to get a mesh of links. The internet is such a silly place.
I've been playing around with making lego-flavoured images.. that is, images pixelated and resized to make lego mosaics out of. It's proving to be a lot harder than I thought.
Eric Harshbarger has a Pixelego Viewer which is a java applet that converts an image into a lego-flavoured one. Unfortunately it requires stuffing around with text files, and you have to get your image to the right size before applying the applet to it so that you end up with the right number of pixels.
Lugnet also has a mosaic maker where you can select the colours of lego you have and the width in pixels you want it to be. The big disadvantage is you have to upload each image you want to play with to a valid url for it to grab, and if you want to fiddle with the colours at all you have to do it, resave it, and reupload it. Fiddly.
James suggested I try Mazaika, but it pixelates things far too much and I haven't been able to get good results with it. It's really designed for huge image databases, not 48x48 pixel images with 16 colours.
So far the best luck I've had is loading the image in photoshop, reducing the number of colours, then tweaking the colour table so the pixels match lego coloured pieces. But that's really only easy with clip art or very simple images. Photos tend to look very wierd when you make colours into what they're not. You really need the dithering on photos.
So. Not getting anywhere very fast, and it's late.
I'm trying to decide which is worse, getting up in the dark or getting home when it's dark. Thoughts?
I'm definitely a morning person, but I still hate getting up when it's dark. It just doesn't feel natural.
The other silly thing is that I can sleep in for up to two hours, and still be in at work before half the people there. That's pretty tragic really.
Well I wasted far too much time tonight, and suddenly it's past my bed time.. night!
I think gamera must have heard me complaining about it last night, because it decided to shut itself off at 6am this morning. I got paged, decided it would be too cruel to ask Campbell to go into the exchange for a third time this weekend, so decided to go in myself. I was out the door within fifteen minutes of waking up - all I did was have a shower and grab everything I needed.. I didn't even do my hair!
It's the second time it's hung like that this year, which is a disturbing trend. It's most likley a problem with the ide backup drive, but it could be something more sinister. Scary stuff. The sooner they hire someone to take proper care of that machine (and paid responsibility) the better. It's a three-year old installation of windows, that's been on two completely separate hardware boxes. If it weren't so impossible to move the 350-odd websites off it onto a clean box I'd suggest they do it. But as it is, it's full of crap that has been installed over the years because this or that customer wanted it, so now it's next to impossible to replicate. You couldn't rebuild that machine from scratch if you tried... sigh..
Weekend that is.
Spent a decent chunk of Saturday afternoon stressing over a couple of emails I sent to some people at cia and a problem with one of the websites on gamera. I was absolutely flabbergasted at the "support", or rather lack thereof given by one of the support guys. Some dude had sent an irate email cause noone had responded to the last one and he'd be stuffed around for months with an account setup. The support guy's response was "have you got a statement that you've paid?" I have to say that if I'd sent that irate email and gotten that response I'd be utterly furious. Anyway I called him on it, but I should probably have counted to 10 before sending it, as it ended up going to the staff list, and I'm a bit worried about the implications of it when everyone else reads it tomorrow. I'm not even supposed to be doing support mail, let alone telling the staff there how to do their jobs. Anyway. The other thing was I stopped a website cause it was killing the server, but noone called the owner, so he was a bit grumpy when he realised his site was down. So I spent ages wondering if I could have handled the two incidents any better.
We had another episode of "Cafe Church" today which was pretty cool. Got to sit around tables and have fruits and cheese and cakes while discussing Romans.
The only other thing I managed to achieve this weekend was to combine two half working computers to get one complete working computer. I've been putting off this task all year because I feared it would be "too hard". Well I was right. Ram problems, floppy drive problems, network card problems. It took *hours*. But at least now I have a system that I can do some testing of Cold Fusion MX. I'm sure I've ranted about Cold Fusion before, but if I haven't, ***don't use it!!!!!*** It's the crappiest software I've ever had to work with. Version 4.5 worked, but every time I did an upgrade after that there were problems. When we installed the Cold Fusion MX 6.1 updater, it completely broke access database connections, and hasn't worked since. I emailed their support but they said it was not within the realm of their free support. We called them and they quoted $500 per "incident". It's crap and Macromedia is a crap company.
Hrm how did that degenerate into a rant? :)
Watching The Sound of Music now.. will go to bed when it's done. Was kept up half the night by power outages at the exchange which kept my pager buzzing in overtime.
It was quite interesting.. it shows you all sorts of faces and features and at the end it shows you "your type".
Some of things it said...
Are you picky? Very Picky: It's official: You're "picky." The fact is you are drawn to the most handsome of the handsome. You know what you like in men and are more selective than most women your age. Your tastes seem instinctual. You'd make a great casting agent, because you have a good eye for men who have "star quality." In real life, your high standards may be an obstacle for you. It's hard to find a man with the strong features you like, who's also well-rounded in other ways. Still, you know the importance of a real physical "spark" in a relationship, and aren't willing (or able) to settle for less. The challenge is finding a man who really wows you physically, even if he's not the most handsome man in the room.
How You Compare?
Very Selective: You are very selective, compared to most women, in the types of men you find appealing. You're wowed by "movie star" good looks, and in general, appreciate men with "traditional" or "mainstream" appeal. You probably face a lot of competition going after the most popular guys. Let others fight over the "movie stars" and you'll find a more unique guy who can be your own personal "hunk." See the pie chart below to see how many women fall into picky or open categories.
Some may call one of your types "Pretty Boys," but all you know is that they're gorgeous. The combination of classic good looks with small noses, beautiful eyes, and full lips is hard to resist. These guys tend to be clean shaven, have clear skin, and get good hair cuts. They're taking good care of themselves so they can be "pretty" just for you! [Well, you and the 1 in 3 women (33%) that are also after them!]
Funnily enough, they were the same results as Gazza :)
What I found most interesting was just how few other women found "my type" attractive:
Here are some of the guys that came up as "my type":
Dave commented on a similar problem on his site whereby people were not just stealing his photos, but actually linking directly to the images on his site, and thereby stealing his bandwidth. Well it seems the same thing has happened to me here
I posted a comment to her blog, I wonder if she'll take it down ;)
1. What was the last song you heard?
Don't remember, it would have been on the radio on the way home. But for some reason I have "Heaven help my heart" going around in my head. Which is strange because I'm sure I haven't heard it recently
2. What were the last two movies you saw?
The Black Stallion and The Black Stallion Returns. The first one especially has the most glorious cinematography. Got em cheap at kmart the other day.
3. What were the last three things you purchased?
The groceries, some meat, and probably those dvds, along with some coat hangers.
4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
Four? You expect me to limit my todo list to four ???
5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
If you count email and icq as talking.. Striker, James, me little brother, the manager at the local franklins, the checkout chicks at the local franklins
If only I discovered this wonderful utility five years ago. OK so it probably didn't even exist five years ago, but I'm sure something like it would have. The hours and hours I've spent over the years rotating jpgs in lview pro could been cut down to mere minutes.
The utility? Rota.
I was looking at EXIF utilities out of curiosity and discovered you can rotate jpgs just by modifying the image exif information. Again, why did noone tell me you could do this five years ago?
So anyway. Rota can be pointed at a directory of images. You see all the thumbnails of the images, then just click on the ones you want, and they'll be rotated. How easy can you get?
Theme Thursday entry - "Bike"
I don't have much in the way of photos of bikes, and no time to go any take any.
And this technically isn't a bike.
But it's kinda cute .. wasn't I a cute kid? ;)
I'm photographed with "Duckie" that apparently went everywhere with me when I was little.
I think I have the Karen number plate somewhere.
It looks like this photo was taken on 1st May, 1975.
I would have been 1 year and 9 months.
I've just been inspired!!
While looking at some other entries, I came across this one. This inspired me to take a photo of a lego bike and minifig. Kinda appropriate with my current obsession with lego.. :)
Above is a macro photo taken on a Sony F828. Took a bunch of pics at a couple of camera stores in town to test the quality/features of the camera.
A link that was on JC's site to lots of crappy old games..
Angels laid another bunch of eggs.
I bought a pair of hiking boots.
Any further elaboration before I've eaten dinner would take entirely too much effort.
appended post before I put up my Theme Thursday entry .. just saw this week's ER.. it's certainly turned very political this season. Tonight's stories included the ridiculous cost of health care, and Kovac trying to get the other doctors to just practice medicine rather than ordering tests to cover their asses. That, and a whole spiel on organ donation and its benefits for other people. Two weeks to go before they write out Romano :(:(:(
Can't really think of interesting to write, or even rant about. Many thousands of lego bricks all counted. Now I just need boards to make mosaics on. Work sucked today. Just because piles of crap kept getting dumped on me. Nothing too drastic, but it just kept coming all at once. If the distribution of crap had been spread out all day I would have been able to deal with it, but I'd just hang up from one phone call and the phone would ring again straight away. There's nothing worse than a constantly ringing phone when you're trying to get work done.
Oops, there goes a rant.. :)
/me looks around for me little brother... he hasn't posted in a while.. wonder if he's still reading this or has given up :)
Got sick of waiting for "friends" to go swimming with (don't even get me started on that rant) so after a day of 35C heat I decided to go by myself. It was absolutely delicious. Even managed to get all my hair up out of the way so it didn't get all sticky.
My "position" at cia is looking ever more shaky. They're looking for a person to take over the nt admin role, which would take away most of my reason for being :(
I happened to get stuck in the bus lane on Fitzroy St today, and there also happened to be an easy parking spot, so I made a split second decision to stop and take another photo of the desperate tree. Normally there are no parking spots there, and even if there are I'm usually in the wrong lane to stop. So anyway. It really hasn't grown at all in two years..
Think I'm going to leave Rove early and go to bed.
Last night, around 4am, I was rudely awaken from a dream (about lego funnily enough) by a rather intense pain in my calf muscle. Haven been awoken from a dream I was in a rather altered mental state and couldn't quite comprehend what was going on. It was really only after I woke up properly later on, and my leg was still sore, that I realised what had happened. I'd had an involuntory cramp. I did a quick search on this and found they're more common in middle aged people. So there you are. I'm getting old. Quite a depressing thought really.
Watched The Good, The Bad and the Ugly tonight. It was all right, but I don't think deserving of the #22 in IMDB's top 250 movies of all time. Then 24. Definitely the best of the three seasons so far.
In the five minutes it took me to walk home from church today I got completely drenched. Actually it was more from the bow waves of cars passing by splashing gutter water all over me. But you get that I suppose.
Unfortunately the rain only drenched our area and not the dams :( Not a good thing.
Spent a good chunk of the afternoon counting lego bricks. Sad I know. But I won a baseboard on ebay last night so I can start making small scale mosaics in a week or so while I wait for the boards Dennis got me (thanks Dennis!! :) )
First of the month fizzling tonight which was lovely; now watching the end of Moulin Rouge. I think this is the first time I've watched it with ads! :)
For quite a while I was number one in google for "kambrook timer". At the moment I'm number three. This should push up to number one again. I have three automatic timers for my fish tanks. Two of them are kambrook timers. The third is a dodgy-brothers noname version from Go Lo. Funnily enough it's the go lo one that works properly. One of my kambrook timers simply won't turn on for a morning session. The other has been losing time and is now an hour behind.
UPDATE: I've just deleted 27 comments saying "please send me the manual" - as there are now links to various manuals. This page has been indexed as a place to come for people looking for manuals, mostly for KET99, KD86, KD36 timers. Please read the links below before asking for a manual to be sent to you. This is a personal blog, I have no interest in Kambrook (as in my experience their products tend to be inferior to cheaper brands).
How come I have Terminator 2 on dvd, yet I watch it on tv (like now) when it's on? Where is the logic in that? The good thing about watching things on tv is that you can get stuff done (like blogging) in the ad breaks. They're actually playing the special edition version with all the extra scenes. Extended cuts of movies seem to be getting more and more popular on tv these days.
Got the place a little tidier today. Still a lot of work to go though :/
..for this weekend is to tidy this place up once and for all. The situation is getting desperate. Maybe I should have just taken a photo of the place for yesterday's theme thursday..
Friday Five time (yay it's back this week!)
1. ...your first grade teacher's name?
Well "first grade" was Miss Rees. Kindergarton was Mrs O'Hare. I think. I could be wrong. It's been 25 years.
2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
I always loved the Bugs Bunny cartoons
3. ...the name of your very first best friend?
Dave was just commenting on people's presence (or lack thereof) on the internet. I just did a Google search on Donna Bonnefin and the second entry was a previous entry in my blog.
/me stares in blank amazement at the screen.
4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?
Was or is? I used to only have corn flakes and rice bubbles, but since I've been able to buy my own cereal I buy something with more substance that I won't be hungry again after an hour.
5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?
I honestly have no idea how I existed before I got a computer. I didn't spend much time with friends. I think I watched a reasonable amount of tv, but not ridiculous amounts. I think I mostly just wasted time.
This week's Theme Thursday is entitled "Desperation". My first thoughts were "how the heck am I going to find a picture for that??" In desperation I fired up an ancient copy of Thumbs Plus and started searching through all my photos trying to find something appropriate. The picture I chose may not quite convey desperation very well, but it's a very cool photo.
What's amazing about this photo is the subject. There is a tree literally growing out of the side of a building. Its roots have followed the brickwork, creating fantastic looking shapes. And it's not just any tree. This is a Moreton Bay fig tree - among the biggest trees there are! It's managed to successfully bonsai itself. It hasn't grown much in the years that I've known about it. I've been watching it for ten years and it hasn't grown very much, so it's probably been around quite a lot longer.
The photo was taken two years ago, I'll have to stop by again some time and get an update on it.
Went to a "Microsoft Security Summit" today. A freebie day put on by microsoft to say "yes we really are making our products more secure". Anyway. It wasn't all bad, and got a few useful ideas.
My single white female angel laid another bunch of eggs today. They didn't last very long though - the other white angel kept beating her up and eating the eggs. Possibly both the white angels are female.
The black angels laid another bunch of eggs today also. The one that I thought was the male was very hungry tonight though.. maybe they are both female also. I really need to catch them in the act again and see if they're both laying eggs.
Where did the last 24 hours go? I think I lost them somewhere.
If anyone finds them can they get them back to me?
Two of the blogs I read are down tonight.
Completely lacking inspiration (even the oscars won't keep my attention much longer after 24), I think I'll just go to bed.