July 2008 Archives

Monday pain

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Except it's Tuesday .. sigh...

Had a pretty crap day at work.  Had too much to do, so naturally, didn't know where to start so nothing got done.  Hate that. 

I did, however, have a much better evening when I got home, getting a bunch of housework and stuff done.

Finally got around to photographing the cointreau bottles we have.  The middle one we've had for a while.  The little one was part of a wedding present from work.  The big one we got duty free on the way home from our honeymoon.  The two smaller ones are empty .. whoops.. :)


And this is what we had for dinner - propellors!



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We've had pretty decent frosts for a week, but today we got some beautiful ice :)




Nice Sunday

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This morning we headed out into the freezing morning to go to Satis in Watson with DAB, Jo and Mandy.

Stu raved about how good the coffee was, but having to sit outside in the freezing cold wasn't much fun, even under the heater.

The others arrived and we moved to a table (still outside but at least not perched on little stools) and ordered brunch. I had a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich which was excellent..

Breakfast at Satis

and a side of "hash browns" that was somewhat unusual, but not too bad..

Hash browns at Satis

Stu had the granola, which he thought was very nice

Granola at Satis

The discussion was mostly political which I didn't find that interesting, but after I warmed up it was still a very pleasant outing.

Then we just did the food shopping and came home and pottered around the house for the rest of the afternoon. We're up to "I, Borg" in Star Trek.

oh, and I took these pics of some flowering jonquils yesterday..



oh, and this is how the sparrows get in.. they must slip on the smooth metal and fall in...


Nice Saturday

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Didn't really get a whole lot done, but still was a nice day.

This morning our fireplace caught another sparrow (three died in there while we were on our honeymoon :( ).  Spent ages chasing it round the living room.  In fact I even had it pinned by the tail feathers at one point, only to have all the tail feathers come adrift and it get away :(

Sparrow tail feathers

But I did manage to catch it eventually, and off it flew into the trees.

Then we went over to Damien's for lunch and games.

Started the afternoon off with Guillotine, which was quite fun, and Stu won. Then a game of Carcassonne which Stu also won, but it was very close. And finally Killer Bunnies, which wasn't a whole lot better than last time, although much less complamicated without all the extra expansion sets. It really is a rather pointless game. Damien won that one in the end.

Finally home for home-made pizzas and some Star Trek.

The last three mornings have had the coolest frosts here in Canberra.  I dug out my camera this morning and took a couple of snaps, before hastily hiding the camera from fellow commuters :)


This morning we decided to have a big-bang morning tea, which consisted of two kilos of bacon, two dozen eggs, 18 bread rolls, a packet of frozen hash browns and six litres of orange juice.

For nine people :)

Actually we did pretty well, having just a few eggs, three rolls and not much bacon left over.  And three litres of orange juice :) So we had that between 10:30 and 11:00.  And I didn't need to eat another thing.  All day.  In fact when Stu got home around 9:30pm I still hadn't eaten anything!

Big breakfast
Tonight after catching up on some Amazing Race episodes, we watched Love Actually til rather late.  I remember this was Fifi Box's favourite movie for a while and she'd seen it like ten times.  The first time I saw it I enjoyed it but didn't think *that* highly of it.  Then saw it again and appreciated it more.  And now I think it's rather a lovely movie, and tempted to get it on dvd...
Did you know that some (not all) diamonds fluoresce under uv light?

Mine certainly does, it's rather spectacular :)
(found this photo while trying to sort out several thousand photos I've taken this year)

Flourescent diamond


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Feeling very meh tonight.

Got home a bit late.  Had leftovers for dinner.  Something in them left an icky sour taste in my mouth, even after milk and jelly bellys :(
And haven't really gotten anything done.

But did notice a spider setting up residence next to the Untersberg cam (which I still check regularly to see how often the thing really is covered in cloud - that being an awful lot!)

It amused me...

Untersberg spider

Food and Feet

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One of our favourite weekend breakfasts (or brunches) is home-made hash browns.  They are *so* simple - just grate some potato and fry in your favourite oil.  Or for a completely evil variation, add shredded cheese and bacon bits.  Soooo good!!

We also got some salad bits on Saturday, so had a nice (if not authentic) caesar salad for second lunch yesterday.

For dinner yesterday Stu roasted a bunch of veggies and a veggie roast.  Quite yum, but the potatoes could have done with *something*... not sure what..

Tonight I did a satay tofu stirfry.  Dug out the wok for this, which is much easier to use with bok choy than a small frying pan!

And last night we watched Happy Feet.  Meh.  I think it tried too hard.  It was almost like a Moulin Rouge wanna-be.  So it just didn't quite work for me.  Stu thought it was a little strange too.  Shrug :)

School kids are infesting the buses again.. sux majorly :(

Tonight a bunch of us went to Ruchi's in Belconnen to celebrate Damien's birthday next week.  It was a very pleasant evening :)  And got to know Amanda a bit better which was lovely :)

Damien and Amanda

While the food was pretty good, and the service not too bad, they did charge us corkage for five bottles of wine, when we only had three. Bastards. So we didn't give them a tip. They can take the tip out of the $9 extra dollars of corkage they charged us. That makes two strikes for Ruchi's in my book :)

As we arrived home, saw a rather spectacular moon bow. This is a hand held shot (cause it was all too hard to come and get my tripod).. mind you the moon already did look hazy behind the cloud. That's Jupiter up the top.


Hydrant Days

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So yesterday was pretty much a hydrant day. Certainly the afternoon anyway. People at work annoyed me to the point where I just couldn't work any longer. So went down for drinks and got appropriately sozzled.

Today was a lot better, although feeling rather overloaded. But one of the people that was annoying me yesterday acknowledged some of what he was doing and even said some nice things about me, so felt a lot better after that.

And then after much suffering and anguish, managed to get the wings of the cube done. So now can solve it like a regular 3x3 cube.

Rubik's Cube 5x5x5

Update: finished!!


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For Christmas last year, me little brother gave me a 5x5x5 Rubik's cube.

Well it's been lying around untouched, because I didn't dare ruin it in case it never went back together again.

But there was a 3x3x3 cube at work yesterday which inspired me to bring in the 5x5x5 to show everyone.

Doesn't it look cool?
Rubik's Cube 5x5x5

So the first thing to do is make pretty patterns..
Rubik's Cube 5x5x5

Rubik's Cube 5x5x5

And then I took the plunge and messed it up!
Rubik's Cube 5x5x5

Now, there are instructions on the web for solving the 5x5x5 cube. However the only one with actually followable instructions seems to be Alchemist Matt's. So I got up to step 5, and got to the point at 5c where you just need to swap out two of the cross pieces.

And found the instructions to be wrong :(

Of course it's possible that I'm doing it wrong, but I've done it five times and get the same result each time - the pieces are swapped, but the next one to the right is wrong, and the one around on the next face is wrong in the top position.

Extraordinarily frustrating!!

So this is where I'm having to leave it, after spending most of the evening on it... oops...

Rubik's Cube 5x5x5

UPDATE: finally figured out what I was doing wrong! So I have the middles done now :)


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So I found out today that Robocopy comes native with Vista! W00t!

Previously I've been using the old windows xp copy of ntbackup.exe, but that was a bit painful, so thought I'd give robocopy a go.  It worked pretty well, except for my profile directory.  Then it barfed all over the place and I had to fuss around with it to get it to do backups of well-buried stuff like Google Earth's myplaces.kml file. 

So anyway I have a bunch of command line options that I can script, which will make future backups to this backup disk much quicker. 

Now if only I had a bigger external hard drive that actually *fitted* everything I want to backup, and a usb hub so I don't have to ferret around the back of the computer to get the computer to recognise it...
Microsoft do something really cool... and then pull the plug on it..!?!?  wtf!?!?

Some time ago I blogged about Microsoft Research's "Group Shot" and how insanely cool it was.  OK I might not have said it at the time, but it really was.  It seriously works like magic to get the best out of group photos of people.

Anyways, a while back James mentioned that it was no longer available for download.  Well I didn't think anything of it, having acquired my copy of it some time ago.

Except I went to use it tonight and it said it had expired!!  Argghh!!

Well this will never do.  So I set the clock back on my computer, and miracle of miracles, it worked!  W00t!!
With a flying visit to Sydney and Newcastle and probably eleven or twelve hours driving.  eep!

So set off mid morning yesterday and went straight to my Nana's 80th birthday celebrations.  It was.. .er... well it was interesting.. hrmm... kinda...
Nah it was good to see some of my aunties and uncles and cousins that I don't see very often.  But remind me never to get old.. :(

Nana 80th
My dad looked liked he actually belonged in the nursing home.. whatchathink? ;)
Dad asleep
First cousin with first cousin once removed :)
Lauren and Emma
So then we toddled off to George's brother's place for a good old-fashioned bonfire!  Was fantastic!




Underneath some of the logs were *glowing*!
And then back to J&G's where we did a slide show of 750 hastily assembled photos of our honeymoon (as in choosing only began around 10pm Friday night, and selections were made from thumbnails, so some were forgotten and a few not-so-good ones were included .. oh well...)

This morning we headed north, getting to Newcastle around lunch time.  Jan came over and we had lunch, and then did the slide show, take two. 

Aunties and Grandma
So a bit after three we headed for home.

What a very long weekend.. hrmm...

Whiskey notes

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Hart Brothers - tasted like scotch.. strangely enough!  Fairly "clear" and clean.
Balvenie - a bit smokey, had a bit of character to it
Glenmorangie - also a bit smokey, similar to the Balvenie
Bushmills malt - an Irish one, a bit heavier
Sullivan's Cove - an Australian one.  Of course by the time I got to this one I was perhaps a little less qualified to pass judgement.  From memory it was a lighter coloured one as well... tasted like scotch... :)

Dodgy Dendy

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Oh one thing I forgot to mention last night was the Dodgy Dendy struck again.

This time they started playing the wrong movie!!  In fact it was another anime movie, and the trailer at the beginning was for the movie we were meant to be seeing!  It was a good few minutes into the movie before they realised their mistake (or someone told them).

Stoopid really.

Back to Germany

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On the way back from the movies, we popped into the Wig & Pen for a beer.  We got half pints of the Elders of the Black Forest, and their Kölsch. 

For a heavy beer, the Black Forest one wasn't too bad, tasting almost sweetly syruppy.

And of course the Kölsch just reminded me of all the German beer we drank :)

Wig and Pen German night

Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina So we met up with Damien and Jo and went and saw Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina.

It was pretty good!  Story was good, and not too hard to follow.  The opening scene was just like an Unreal map or something heh

And the graphics were fantastic.  But we did see it with subtitles, which meant while you were busy reading the subtitles, you missed out on some of the action.  Guess we'll have to see it again at some point heh.

Will have to see the first part too.


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Very un-motivated at work today.

Did get a preview though of what's in store for our drinks on Thursday night... $550 worth of single malt whiskeys.. should be fun :)  (and expensive!!)

Single malt whiskys
And got around to laying out our wedding cards again

Wedding cards

So this week had me on a six day SANS security course.  It was pretty good.  Although it did vary too much between really technical stuff and more management-level stuff.

We saw this dude on the first day and asked him where he got his t-shirt from.. :) (apparently it was a one-off limited run - doh!)
I'm a photographer not a terrorist
We had the biggest room at the Convention Centre which gave us a nice walk up to get our food at breaks
Lights at the Convention Centre
So since I was going to be out most of Saturday, Stu invited Damien over for a war game.  I came home part way through it. Wargame middle

Wargame battle
So after the game Damien stayed for dinner (mmmm pizza) and we watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Today we attacked the weeds in the garden, and went to Scotty's for a lunch.  Whole family came long so that was all very nice.  Kerry did a spectacular roast, was yummmm.

Various kids, big and small
This afternoon I battled with Vista and mrtg and our router to try and get some pretty graphs of our networking.  Discovered that our router doesn't support snmp booooo :(  But did get vista working, so that was a start heh.  Of course this is with mrtg running on my old computer, so at some point will need to get it installed somewhere more useful..

Cyber Rage

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A couple of stories that fill me with dread...

  • The ammendments to UK laws would could see the tools used by "white hat" ethical hackers outlawed..
  • The Texas law which could put legitimate computer security companies out of work..
The people writing these laws obviously don't get that crackers don't abide by laws like this, and all it's going to do is make it harder for IT professionals to maintain the security of their networks.

Both things were discussed at the SANS panel tonight. 


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Went to Antigo in town for dinner tonight.  Was pretty tasty.  I had the kangaroo which had a *lot* of meat, nicely done.  Stu had some veggies which were also pretty good.  There was only one waitress on, so she was a bit run off her feet, but very nice.

Memory Lane

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I found this on my hard drive the other day.. It was "version 5" of my homepage at http://www.ecr.mu.oz.au/~eydc/karen/home.htm in September 1995.  The first version was a month or two earlier.  It was insanely exciting at the time, having my own little webpage on the big wide internet.  That dinosaur was like my logo, and a reference to how I came to have the page in the first place.  And, freakishly, the original source image of the dinosaur was still on the msstate.edu servers until only very recently.  So it was there for like ten or eleven years (at least!)

Even more freakishly, the same dinosaur is still there, thirteen years later..!

Kazza's homepage, circa 1995

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