October 2004 Archives


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I finally had a dream about Captain Hook last night. This is only the second dream I've had about Jason Isaacs this year. When I was younger and had my obsession with David Bowie, I used to dream about him all the time. I must be getting old or something.

Other than that, spent the whole weekend putting lego away.

There is also an anonymous Big Puddle user reading my blog; care to leave your name some time? :)

Drank somewhat more carefully at Alan's tonight. I don't think my stomach has completely forgiven me for last time.

Really need to update all my clocks for daylight savings. And put up my fairy lights for the year :)

I've been fairly convinced that I'm going to die single, but I was thinking that because of my attraction to older men, I may just have to wait a few years. The only glitch with that theory is that there aren't too many single men in their late thirties. Especially Christians. Oh well.

My finger hurts

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Or the nail does, if that were possible. From holding it pressed down for three hours straight. A bunch of us played unreal tournament for several hours, it was a blast.

The central mail server has been down since last night. Power outage of some sort killed the machine, and they're having to recover it from tape. Yay. And it was the old mail admin's last day today too! heh. But since I was expecting some mail from overseas and I couldn't get it, it meant I had a reprieve from doing boring work, and got to spend the day on something somewhat more fun. Always a good thing.

And finished reading "Liner" by James Barlow tonight. Definitely not one of the better books I've read. It's got some great technical detail, even too technical, about the mechanics of running a steam-powered ocean liner, which was quite interesting. But he spent forever developing a bunch of loser characters, almost none of them I liked at all, and it was a full 3/4 of the way through the book before anything actually *happened*. And when it finally did, it was all over very quickly. I almost didn't read it at all, because it was *extremelly* violent at the beginning - so much so that I skipped over whole paragraphs of text within the first few pages. I wouldn't have missed much if I had stopped there. It's kinda weird that I can tolerate violence on tv much better than in books. Violence in books seems somehow much more intense and disturbing. I really don't like it at all.

Anyways, bed time!


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'nuff said

Manchurian Candidate.jpg

Not bad. Better than Collateral I thought.

Went with Striker. This is becoming somewhat of a habit.

Thanks to TripleM for yet another freebie movie!


And how hot is Liev Schreiber!?!? I think I'll have to add him to my sexy older men collection!

Chain Letter

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Acquired from Dennis:

  1. What is your Full Name? Kazza the Blank One
  2. What color pants are you wearing right now? Lemme check.. White
  3. What are you listening to right now? I'm Going Slightly Mad, by Queen
  4. What was the last thing you ate? Breakfast.. and feeling hungry for lunch now
  5. If you were a crayon what color would you be? Red. Red always ran out first, and so I'd be without it
  6. How is the weather right now? Overcast but warm
  7. Last person you talked to on the phone? John
  8. First thing you notice about the opposite sex? Clothes
  9. Do you like the person who sent this to you (or posted it)? Yep
  10. How are you today? I am here
  11. Favorite Drink? Orange juice
  12. Favorite Alcohol? Baileys
  13. Favorite Sports? To play, probably hockey, although haven't done that in years. To watch.. a lot of the winter olympics sports
  14. Hair Color: Blonde
  15. Eye color: Mostly green, with a bit of grey and brown
  16. Do you wear contacts? Sometimes
  17. Siblings: Little brother
  18. Favorite Month: December
  19. Favorite Food: Roast pork
  20. Last Movie you watched: Chocolat
  21. Favorite Day of the Year: Probably Christmas
  22. Are you too shy to ask someone out? Usually
  23. Summer or winter? Summer
  24. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
  25. Do you want your friends to write back? Yep
  26. Who is most likely to respond? Perhaps Richard or Dave, although Dave probably won't see this for a while, being on a cruise with very slow and expensive internet access
  27. Who is least likely to respond? Probably Dennis, since he's already posted it :)
  28. Favorite card game: Cribbage
  29. What did you do last night? Watched Survivor and CSI
  30. Favorite Smells: Roast pork cooking, peppermint, the air inside a pack of chips that has just been opened
  31. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Yep
  32. What's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Checking my mail

I just did my tax. But being the somewhat moral person I am, I felt I had to declare the income I got from the rental of kazza.id.au. Which means I now have to pay a bucketload of tax. Not to mention the Tax Office will probably see this odd entry on my tax return and decide to audit me or something silly. grrr. Sux having a conscience. Anyone else would just have not declared it and kept it all. sigh.

ok, I'm a little late again (what else is new?)

I bought a kilo of jelly bellys in america when I was there, and once opened took me six weeks to get through them all! Pretty good value really :)

Thursday Challenge - Colourful

Can I go home now?

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Well according to the pedometer I did about 10000 steps today. But I don't believe it. Especially when probably a thousand of those "steps" were actually bumps on the road while I was driving. I think I need to paint it black too - then it might just look like a pager.

Was totally wasted at work today. Still haven't recovered from Sunday morning. Went home a bit early, but not nearly as early as I wanted to. Dell are trying to appease us with new hardware though which is kinda funny. I guess they must realise that they should never have sold us what they did knowing how we'd want to configure it. Now they're grovelling. Guess that's a good thing.

Other than that, life is boring.

Rainbow Connection

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They say there's never anything on tv at three in the morning. So when you find stuff it's always somewhat of a miracle. Like Rage. They seriously just played The Rainbow Connection by the Muppets. Now they're playing David Bowie/Bing Crosby doing the Little Drummer Boy. And there's Queen coming up. It's just a pity I can't actually get the ABC, I can hear it ok, but it's like trying to see the images through a snowstorm.

Well my file copy has finished. Bed time.


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How sad am I:

Kelloggs are doing a promo giving away free pedometers with boxes of Coco Pops. So I got a packet today and have been wearing it around. Even though I've only been in the flat since 5pm, I've still managed 950 steps. Although I think it's a little sensitive - you only need to touch it a bit and it counts another step.

Silly really.


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Comment spam has gotten ridiculous again lately. Banning ips works to some extent - except when the spammers use compromised machines to do it!! You end up with dozens of messages from all different ip addresses, which you can't block. I really need to try and figure out how blacklist works. But I think I need to upgrade my MT version first. grrrrr


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Sometimes I spook myself out. Like hearing a "wooo" at the end of Australia's Funniest Home Video Show, and recognising the "wooo" as being from Ewan Campbell, an audience warmer-uperer at channel 9. It was the exact same "wooo" that he released prematurely when James was on Catch Phrase.

Silly really.


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I've never been so work-weary in my entire life. I've almost reached the end of my tether with the file server. If one more thing goes badly I honestly don't know what I'll do.

RTA uselessness

Get this. A 22 car accident, one person killed, the entire route north of the city blocked for hours, and the RTA give it an ORANGE ?!?!? I would have been thinking double red. Their site is often as useless as this.

I'm so tired. And trying to make a backup work. cry.


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That's how I want to be right now. Dead or asleep, whichever. File server is depressing me. More corrupt disk issues and completely missing directories. I dread to think of how many files have gone missing this week. Hopefully on the weekend we'll be able to copy everything to different disks, then nuke the container and start again.

Have mostly cleaned up the mess on the file server. Still going to have to clean up the corrupt files, either by another chkdsk, or wiping the partition and starting again. Then we have to figure out the raid problems. I'm fairly certain it was the ultra 320 interface. So far no incidents now that we've gone back to the ultra 160 card. Not to mention the backups are now running at a full gig/minute, as opposed to ~650mb/minute with the 320 card. I think we should send Dell an invoice for total lost productivity. My boss had to face a "please explain" from the powers that be. It wasn't too bad, they just wanted to know what went wrong and what we were doing to make sure it didn't happen again. I felt really bad for him though.

But just to keep my disasters in perspective.

weather silliness

Disaster 1. Australia's weather. We've been in drought all year, and today there was so much rain that whole towns have been completely flooded.


Disaster 2. An Aeroperu flight crashed in 1996 because a maintenance worker taped up the static ports while cleaning the plane and forgot to remove the tape. The ports are used to monitor flight speed and altitude, and the pilots were getting all sorts of errors, and eventually crashed into the sea because they didn't know how high they were. 70 people died. This was the second episode of Air Crash Investigations I've seen - fascinating show. Last week they had an airbus that ran out of fuel due to a fuel leak, and glided 100 miles over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and landed safely in the Azores. Freaky stuff!

I think I had just about the worst day of my career today. On Saturday morning during the first of the raid container rebuilds the file system on the file server decided to get corrupted. But of course with very few people accessing the server we didn't know about it until this morning, when one group of users couldn't get to their directory at all. After we checked the event logs and saw what was happening we thought we should do an emergency shutdown and chkdsk so that the affected users might be able to do some work that day. However the server decided it wanted to reset the permissions on every file on the server. All one million of them. After two and a half hours and 150000 files we decided we'd risk losing everything and reboot out of it. The server came back up, but all the file permissions were utterly screwed.

So while everything was so fubar, we decided to go back to the ultra 160 emm card and cable, because we knew that they at least worked. Plus dropping back to 160 from 320 we may eliminate some of the flakyness in the raid containers.

So after replacing the card and rebooting, it was then a matter of resetting all the permissions. Fortunately I'd only recently done a bunch of permissions scripts and consolodation of our documentation, so it wasn't such a difficult thing to reset all the permissions on the box to what they should be. But it did take many hours.

I still have a few major directories to go, and then I have to figure out which files were corrupted and try and restore those from last week's backup tapes.

The irony of all of this is, the backup tonight is running faster than it's ever run before on the new server. And this is on a "slower" emm card. Which may tend to suggest a problem with the 320 emm card or the new cable. Who knows. Dell certainly don't. Before all of this started I talked to them this morning, and they were going to escalate it to their second level support. Well they called back this afternoon and I kinda let them have it somewhat. Well not badly, I just told them what I'd gone through all day and that we'd gone back to the old card. He offered to send out a tech and I said well that would be somewhat difficult on a production server to "fiddle". I want to get the machine settled a bit more, and have some sort of way to recover to another machine if necessary. This of course involves buying another server, and replication software that I haven't had time to research yet :/ Blah.

Urgh. What a horrible day. It's the biggest unplanned outage I've ever had at work. Very distressing.

I was going to go to bed, but I have this urge to watch the backup finish, so watching Peter Pan to recover my mood somewhat.

I blinked and missed it somehow.

Raid array lost disks *twice* over the weekend. Going to be complaining bitterly to dell tomorrow.

The baby kribs are getting bigger. Some of them have fairly distinct horizontal bands on them now. Although they've gone very skittish and won't come up and eat out of my fingers anymore :(

Went to the parents for dinner... mmmmm roast pork and crackling.. food doesn't get any better than that.. :):):):) David came too and we played a game of 500 (Dad and Dave won - doh :) )

I also suggested my idea of getting Christmas presents for ourselves rather than for each other and then bringing those to Christmas day so everyone else could see what we got. Mum completely loved the idea. Dad doesn't care, not sure what David thinks. It seems a little wrong somehow, as the whole idea of Christmas presents is about giving to *others*, but practically speaking, we can all get something that we really want, and say it was from the family, end up spending the same amount of money, and not have to go through the hassle of trying to find something the others would like (which more often than not we have to ask each other what we want anyway). So anyway, we'll see how we go.

Or something

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Ended up sorting out lego all day. Whoops.

Also thought I'd watch Peter Pan and Lethal Weapon 2 tonight, but instead watched The Parent Trap and MI2 has just started. Whoops.

Cooked Alan's famous stroganov for dinner tonight. Although really must go and do the dishes.

Rather sleepie. Trying to decide whether I'll stay up til 1am to watch an ebay auction. The set going is #1593, the rarest of all the space lego sets, worth at least $400US. It's got a starting price of 99 pounds and there are *zero* bids. But the counter is well over 500, so I'm guessing there'll be a flurry of last-minute sniper bids.

Also have to make sure the raid array finishes rebuilding. It died *again* last night. That's three times now. Talk about dodgy brothers Dell hardware.

Latest Mosaic

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Yesterday I received a bunch of bricks off Bricklink and finished my latest lego mosaic.

This mosaic uses four 48x48 pixel boards in a big square. I have absolutely no idea how many bricks it used (maybe I'll count them when I pull it apart, but it did use the majority of my black pieces), or how long it took (not that long, perhaps an hour or two per board of clicking, plus design time).

It's mounted with a piece of dowling inserted into some door handles, but I'll need to find a better way of mounting it. I'll trek down to Bunnings sometime to see what sort of hook solutions are available.

A packet of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans to whoever guesses what it is first :)

3 down, 19 to go

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I accidently let the cat out of the bag about my domain name to John today. Have decided I should do what I've been meaning to do for a while now - censor my blog. That is, remove stuff that makes people (including myself) too easy to identify, and perhaps some of my more embarrassing or heated comments. Not that I'd mind if people like John/Luc/George actually read this.. really the only person I'd rather not have read it is my mother. So I've been through 3 months of entries, and have 19 to go.

Today was a much more civilised temperature. In fact it was just about the most perfect you can get. Warm, with a fresh breeze. Not too hot or humid. It was great. Got home and opened every single window in the place to get rid of some of the heat pent up in the past three days.

There was a video night at Striker's tonight, but after finding out what movies were on offer, I decided not to go. It's rather a long way to go by yourself if you don't want to watch any of the movies. So just catching up on stuff instead. Will prolly go to bed soon!

FQ TOPIC: Search

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FQ1: In one word, describe a luxury item you would want if stranded on a desert island for a year. Why?
Computer. Of course it'd have to have a satellite broadband connection, and generator :) I spend my life on my computer/the internet, so it wouldn't really matter where I was so long as I had it.

FQ2: In one word, describe a food you wouldn't mind eating every day for a month. Why?
Meat. I'm a carnivore

FQ3: In one word, describe an occupation that you wouldn't necessarily want as a career, but wouldn't mind trying out for a week. Why?
Pilot. And I'd love to do it as a career. It's the only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up.

FQ Search: Enter your first name PLUS the above three words into a Google search and see if anything interesting comes up!
Results. I don't make the top ten. Putting my name as kazza though and I make number five :)

ok so it's a little late. Actually I've had the FridayQ website up in a browser window *all week* waiting for me to get around to doing it.

FQ1: What's the coldest you've ever been and where was that?
Dunno about coldest ever. One time many years ago we stayed in Perisher just after the ski season and I went outside one morning in bare feet and realised it was very cold and I wouldn't be able to stay long. Last time at the snow I had to stop skiing and warm up my wet hands that were starting to go numb.

FQ2: What's the warmest you've ever been and where was that?
Again, plenty of times I've been hot but don't know hottest ever. This week was pretty hot, but not humid so bearable. I once was on a bushwalk and started to get a little delirious, and the people I was with said I had heatstroke.

FQ3: If you had to choose, would you rather be too warm or too cold?
Too cold - it's easier to warm up than it is is to cool down.

FQ Ego: What's a moment you were at your coolest? Your hottest?
I don't think I've ever been either. Except perhaps at NY2K, where I had rather a slinky little top on (see the pic at the top of my blog)

And Hot Again

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Hot again today although not as ridiculous as yesterday. Beautiful cool change swept through, although unfortunately I've been out all night so didn't get to open the windows to let the air through :( Still and oven in here :(:(

Oh I forgot to mention I saw Collateral with Striker last night. Was not too bad, especially for a Tom Cruise movie :)


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Another day another 38C. Another hour long trip in blazing heat, held up by *multiple* breakdowns. Another trip to the post office. Another dead disk.

So the boss says "attach the disk array to the other server, we need the disk space" and I say "but but but what happens if another drive dies" and he says "just do it, it'll be fine" so I do it, and another disk dies. Different disk, but this time instead of saying it'd been removed, it said it had failed. So I pulled it out, stuck it back in, and it's been rebuilding its raid array ever since. 52% and counting. Sent a screen dump of the failure to the boss. At the very next opportunity I'll be removing the old hardware from the equation, as it's almost certainly an old raid card attached to the box that's causing it to freak out.


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I didn't think I was going to make it home tonight. A trip that should have taken twenty minutes took nearly an hour. In blazing 35C heat. With a huntsman spider running around the car freaking me out. And making some traffic lights but not others. Trying to get to the post office by 5pm. Made it with one minute to spare. Nearly died in searing heat as I fought to get the key in the ignition (I'd ripped it out in such a hurry trying to get to the post office it was out of alignment).


Sydney is going to be in all sorts of trouble this summer if today was any indication. Hot and dry all day. That reminds me, must water the plants.

Definitely can't do mod rewrite rules with .htaccess on our server, they need to be done on the server end in the zeus interface. Oh well.

And it seems I wasn't the only one with the idea to watch Superman. Channel 9 is airing it this Friday night.

What a Super Man

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Christopher Reeve as Superman

Christopher Reeve of Superman fame died today, which is very sad. I thought it would be appropriate to watch Superman on dvd tonight. I definitely need to get the soundtrack at some point too. And the twin towers look so naked without all the other buildings around them. Unfortunately this version is the slightly truncated version missing all the little extra scenes, including "You must have been a beautiful baby.."

Really dunno what happened last night. I didn't drink any more than I normally do when I go to dinner at Alan's.. I guess I must have had the first couple of drinks too fast. Was still very queasy this morning :(

The two corys are still alive in the tetra tank. Hopefully they'll recover. Then I can try them one at a time in the big tank again - after a couple of water changes.

There's a few blogs, linking to a few of my images which is really annoying. Not that bandwidth actually costs me anything, and it's not huge anyway, and half the images they're using aren't even mine, but it's the principle of the thing. It's just plain *rude* for bloggers to steal images off other sites. The very least they could do is save them and upload them to their own sites. Dave posted about the same thing happening on his site, and he uses "hotlink protection". Not sure if I'll be able to do that on our server. I found another cool site yesterday that talked about doing this with a .htaccess file, but when I tried it, it blocked access to my images even from my sites! doh. Must be a weirdness from running Zeus not Apache.


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Chucked for the first time in two years from alcohol tonight.. not a good thing

Bought three new fish yesterday for the big tank.. one dead already, two sick, transferred them to the tetra tank... v.bad.. cursed tank at the moment it seems .. :(

crash time..


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The problem I have with a huge todo list, is that I don't know where to start. I'd like to do the fun things, but then I feel guilty for not doing the more important but boring things. So nothing gets done as I sit in indecision.

The problem with looking for gifts for people that have everything, is that they have everything, and can't tell you what they'd like for a birthday, and chances are anything you can think of they already have.

Election 2004

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So today is Australia's federal election. I confess to having no interest whatsoever in politics, and I tend to think they're all as bad as one another. The heated discussion on Oz-ISP has been somewhat interesting though. Then someone posted a link to a quiz on political preferences, and I was rather surprised at my result:


I was very surprised, because even though I don't consider myself to prefer any of the major parties, I have a tendency to prefer labour, because they seem to support the little guy a bit more. Which in itself is ironic, because under a liberal government with the introduction of the GST and the associated tax cuts I'm actually quite a bit better off than I was before the GST. But I voted against liberal at the last election because I didn't want it, as I think it hurts lower income earners more than higher ones.

I would have thought my Greens preferences would have rated much higher, as I do care a lot about the environment.

So I still don't know who I'm going to vote for today. But I'll still do what I do every time - vote for *everyone else* first, then labour and liberal at the very end.


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A little alcohol and the thoughts come tumbling out. Like how cool it would be to see Brian May again (I saw him in concert a few years ago and it was utterly magic... It's a Kind of Magic? :) ) and seeing We Will Rock You (I'd know all the songs, would just need to find someone to see it with), and how the soundtracks to the Chamber of Secrets and the Prizoner of Azkaban are going to forever remind me of our trip to the US (I got the cds there and we listened to them a lot while we were away in the car) and how lucious Lucius is.. mmmmmmm yumm Jason Isaacs..

I didn't get nearly enough sleep this week.. damned servers.. definitely going to make an effort to get a proper night's sleep tonight..

and how lovely Alan Rickman's voice is.. and how much I love British accents .. and that I should probably cook some dinner... and how much Tom Felton grew in between the two movies .. and how much the rest of them grew between movies two and three..

I took this photo of a Moreton Bay Fig Tree on its last full day of life. It was out the back of our flats, but had to go because it was destroying the building (which should never have been built here in the first place).

It was torn down the very next morning. I couldn't bear to go out and watch any of it, I just went to work, and when I got home it was gone. Very very sad.


Well it took just over 24 hours but the raid container rebuilt itself and is online again. Dared to take a breath briefly this afternoon. Backups are still having issues tho :(

Decided to remove the old old server from the equation, perhaps it was having it attached that caused it to freak out. We'll see.

Then a joyous body corporate meeting we're they're basically deciding to run the block ourselves rather than getting a strata manager. Which will mean lots more work for all of us :/

Sheer Panic

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So the file server went live Sunday night.

This afternoon one of the disks in the array decided to disconnect itself from the array. No reason. It just didn't want to play anymore. So I pulled it out, plugged it back in, and it started rebuilding.

Now this is a 7x146gb disk array, and rebuilding a single disk takes hours. 30 of them at the current rate.

If we lose another disk before it's done (which is more likely to happen than not, given that there was no apparent error, it just felt like doing it). And then several hundred people will be pissed off at losing all their days work since the last backup, not to mention not having access to the rest of their files while we figure out how to get everything back for them without a working disk array.

I am absolutely terrified about what could happen between now and tomorrow night. It's the level of stress I could really do without.

Going to get up at 2am after the current backup job is finished and crank up the rebuild rate and hope it can rebuild itself before work hours tomorrow.

Mt St Helens

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Sometimes I wish I'd take more photos of things. Take for example the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mt St Helens. There's half a chance it may not be there for much longer. Of course there's every chance that it will be, but it's closed at the moment for fear of a devastating eruption wiping out thousands of tourists. I'm just glad that we got to see it when we did, it could be months or even years before they reopen it.

Mt St Helens in June Mt St Helens in October

Spent a goodly portion of today tidying up. Luc and Liz and the kids came over to see all the space lego. Aside from that didn't get much done. Watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (and ate a bunch of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans at the appropriate moment :) ). It's strange to me that noone wants to eat them when I offer!? I don't know why that would be.. lol!

The Weekend So Far

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Friday night:
Crash out with contreau

Saturday morning:
Finish reading the Malloreon

Saturday afternoon:
Finish uploading new Host1 pricing and momentary freedom

Saturday night:
Go to work and play musical servers/hard drives/disk arrays/scsi cables/emm cards

Late Saturday night:
Head out to Malabar and watch fireworks at the bunker near the rifle range

Sunday morning:
Check the file copy job and think it's carked it half way through. Head in to work to kick it

Spend the rest of the day supervising file copying, and playing musical servers

Sunday night:
Crash out in front of Titanic, and catch up on my memes

FQ TOPIC: Danger

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FQ1: What happened the last time you thought yourself to be in danger?
Last night. Watching fireworks at the bunker at Malabar (not professionally done). One went sideways instead of up, and exploded right in front of me. Fortunately I'd blocked my ears, but the light was very bright, and if it'd hit me it woulda hurt. Not a hugely dangerous thing, but it was recent.

FQ2: How do you generally react when faced with a dangerous situation?
Run away! Run away!

FQ3: What's something you enjoy doing that has an element of danger to it?
I love skiing but don't get to do that very often. Rollerblading also is potentially dangerous on the skin (fortunately I've only fallen over once rollerblading, didn't break any skin, just perhaps my coccyx)

FQ Gallery: Post a dangerous photo.
Have a couple of ideas for this, will look tomorrow.

Been a bit slack the last couple of weeks with the Thursday Challenge. Thought I'd get around to it this week, even if a little late!

The perennial favourite - three generations of space lego men:

One of better shots of fireworks I've taken (even if it's more pink that red):

And one I just found looking for something to post for the FridayQ - this swatch of paint on a wall earned my friends $500! Some photographers came around to their house, painted a wall, and paid them for it. Cool huh!

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.

Kazza the Blank One home