February 2009 Archives

The Search for Spock

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Finished reading The Search for Spock this week, so watched the movie tonight.  Again, quite a lot of stuff in the book that was left out of the movie.  Liked how the gave Grace Lee Whitney a nod, if not a speaking role.

Hump day

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More blahness at work.

Mazaika experiments last night not so great.  More about that in another post one day..

Did a bunch of Japan research tonight.

Decided the filter in the pool probably needs a good backwash.

I'm sure there was more exciting things I wanted to say...

Australia Lego Mosaic

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Well after three nights we have it... my latest Lego creation..

Australia Lego Mosaic

It used up pretty much all of my blue pieces.  That was why I put the whale and the compass rose there - to try and fill up the space with something other than blue.  I was going to put something in the top right corner but nothing worked.

The picture of Australia was from Google Earth.  The whale and the compass rose were heavily modified from Google image searches - it's tricky working with so few pixels!

Bigger version on conspiracy.


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Half the reason I'm back into Lego mosaicing at the moment is because of Eric Harshbarger (whose site I recently visited again from a link I have on one of my homepages).  Seriously, the dude is my hero. 

He's also the reason I discovered Mazaika.  The last time I used Mazaika I only had 11000 photos that I gave it to index.  Five years later and I could easily give it nearly 100000 photos!  (although some of those would be repeats due to resizing). 

So anyway it's busy indexing.

Worked some more on the Lego mosaic tonight, and may have finished the bulk of the coloured bit, but Grant and Jen came over to pick up the work phone, so Grant and Stu went and had cigars out the back. 
Had a slow morning.  It was cold and grey and didn't feel like doing much. 

After lunch worked on a new lego mosaic design.

Later on we went for a drive, and went down to the lake to go tweeter watching and coot and swan feeding.  The black swans are a lot less agro without cygnets to care for.  There was a pair that we fed and one of them even let us touch it without freaking out or trying to bite us.  It was more interested in getting food than running away! :)

Superb Fairy Wren (male)

Superb Fairy Wren (female)

Mystery lizard

Feeding black swans

Then we popped into Stu's work to print out something and headed home.

This evening cooked roast veggies and worked on the Lego mosaic.  Worried I'm not going to have enough blue, so have been trying to fill up the blue space with *stuff* ....

Another missed post..

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man, I'm getting slack!! ;)

On the go all day today pretty much.  First up headed to Yarralumla to pick a couple of goldfish.  Then went shopping on the way home.  Then my parents came over for lunch on their way back through town.  Then Annie and kids came over to pick up the fish. 

Suddenly it was 2pm .. oops!

Spent a bit of time tidying up the house, then Tom came over and we had several beers while Stu cooked dinner (better than my stir-fries cause he's talented that way ;) ).  Watched (well sort of watched cause we were mostly chatting) Prototype This and Iron Chef, then we settled down and watched Spiderman 2, which Stu and I had not seen before.  It was pretty good as suggested by reviews, although a few very cringe-worthy moments (which got even worse in Spidey 3).

So it made for a very pleasant evening, although I do suspect Stu might regret his overindulgence in alcohol tomorrow ;)

Oops, missed the post!

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Sunrise this morning was very pretty.. Mount Ainslie was covered in cloud..

February sunrise

Slightly less pressure at work today (apart from one deadline that we looked a little too close to missing), so did a bit of catching up with things.

Windy came in with a box set of Roald Dahl books (the Phizz-Whizzing Collection) - 15 books!  For $50!  Was too good value to pass up, so popped down and got myself a copy.  Will probably read these after Star Trek.

Roald Dahl Phizz-Whizzing Collection

Nat and Andrew came over for dinner and a movie tonight.  Natto wanted to read Fantastic Mr Fox, and ended up reading my original copy, the one illustrated before Quentin Blake came along..

Natto reading

We played some Take 2, then ordered pizza and pasta for dinner.  The pasta was pretty fail tho..

Pasta fail

We couldn't find Lost in Translation (it's probably still packed somewhere), so we ended up watching Jurassic Park.

And then finally talked about Japan a bit, got frustrated over syn_sent errors, and looked at some of our honeymoon photos.

And now it's well and truly tomorrow...

Stoopid computer crashed tonight while trying to watch a YouTube video.  Well it didn't actually crash, it just stopped displaying anything other than the cursor arrow.  All the usual tricks didn't work so ended up having to kick the thing.. sigh!
ok so maybe you can get some good deals there.  But I've been to all of two or three computer fairs in my life, and the last two (this year) have been epic fail.  Not the fairs themselves.  But the products for sale therein. 

First there was the usb hub.  $12.  Works intermittently.  Will work for a while, then things will just drop out.  Device has to be disconnected and reconnected.  Since it's way up the back of my computer/work desk, this is too impractical for words.  Pulled it out and now it's gathering dust.  Epic fail!

Then there was the VGA to DVI converter dongle.  $9.  Makes the monitor not be able to display white, no matter how much I fiddle with the settings.  Pretty sure this monitor worked perfectly on my last computer.  Probably epic fail!

The rack-mountable patch panel we got that day actually seems to work.  Win!

The airwolf remote-controlled helicopter.  $28.  Bought batteries for it yesterday.  The remote control console doesn't even switch on!!  Epicest fail of all!!!

There's also a ps/2 to usb mouse dongle I got for $3, but haven't tested that yet.  I'm guessing with three out of four failures so far, the probably of it not working are pretty high.

Which is why I will never again waste $3 on computer fairs.

Really going...

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Spent 1.75 hours with the travel agent trying to book our flights today.  CrapJetStar's website was epic fail and the dude got all the way through twice before it just dropped him out with errors.  So he called CrapStar and even they were having trouble.  So in a way glad it was them and not me - I'd have been awfully stressed if I had been trying to do it myself online and had the same errors - not knowing if my payment had gone through..

Anyways.  Will go back tomorrow to make sure it's really happening...

Boring Monday

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Just work and not much else. 

Had really tired eyes tonight.  Even though I didn't feel particularly tired, they were just sore and I felt relief when I closed them.  hrmm.

Cooked dinner.  Cleaned kitchen.  Did washing.  Listened to some Japanese.  Did jigsaw.

Boring really :)

Oh and I soooo totally want to do this...!!

What else...

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Not too much else this weekend.  Did a bit of house tidying, unpacking, towel washing, in-tray clearing, ip blocking, kitchen cleaning, Khan special features watching, etc.  Stu cooked another of his fantastic curries after I nagged asked him to use the cauliflower he bought a few weeks ago :)

Didn't get the puddle cleaned - was too cold outside, and it was raining, although did have another go at cleaning the front gutters yesterday.  Have slept in winter pjs that last couple of nights - craziness!!

Japan planning went backwards this week after people changed their minds.  Still hoping to have flights booked by Tuesday though....

Mouse in the House!!

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We turned the light on in the kitchen late last night and saw not one but two cockroaches.  Not german cockroaches, but a bit similar.  So that was a little icky, and we're obviously going to have to be a bit more diligent about keeping the kitchen tidy.

But then I went into the bed room to get ready for bed, and saw what initially looked to be a *massive* cockroach scurrying along the top of the dirty clothes basket.  Deciding it was too big to be any sort of crawling insect, I realised it was a mouse.  Called Stu in, and we basically had it cornerd to one half of the bedroom, with no way out except past us.  Saw it hiding in one corner behind my dresser.  So I stuck a container next to the dresser and we forced it out from behind it.

It was soooo cute!! And *tiny* too. I wanted to keep it, but since it wasn't raised around humans, there was every chance the thing would have a heart attack and die on us, or just run away.  So I let it go in the front yard.

House mouse


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I finished reading The Wrath of Khan this week, so tonight we watched the movie.  There's a *heap* of stuff in the book that's not in the movie, including a lot more detail about the scientists on space lab, more stuff with Peter Preston and Saavik, David and Saavik's affair (!), and even the mention that the lenses in Kirk's glasses were designed for his eyes (ie, weren't orginal).  This made much more sense when you see ST IV and realise the lenses weren't in tact to begin with.

This was on Boing Boing a few weeks ago, seems appropriate to mention it now.. :)
How many AAAAAs in Khaaaaaaaan?

Prince Palace

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Took the parents to Prince Palace tonight.  It was as generic as it was last time, but I guess not too bad.  The shantung chicken was pretty nice.

Had a crap afternoon.  Got told off for being silly and now I'm paranoid things are going to go badly for someone.  *sigh*

First Letter Meme

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Stolen from Fiona..

Rules: It’s harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers and enter yours. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real… nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. What is your name: Kazza
2. A four letter word: Kite
3. A boy’s name: Ken
4. A girl’s name: Keira
5. An occupation: King
6. A colour: Khaki
7. Something you wear: Kimono
9. A food: Kiwifruit
10. Something found in the bathroom: Kleenex
11. A place: Katoomba
12. A reason for being late: Kids
13. Something you shout: Kamakaze!
14. A movie title: King Kong
15. Something you drink: Kahlua
16. A musical group: Kiss
17. An animal: Kangaroo
18. A street name: Kingsway
19. A type of car: Kia
20. The title of a song: Kokomo


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Fun night as always at drinks.

Now to deal with crap at work.... hrm.....

Epoch party!

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The time since epoch will be 1234567890 this Friday/Saturday!

GMT: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 23:31:30 UTC


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Presumably a cross between a plum and an apricot...



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Been getting pretty frustrated with Google Maps.  Often it will start to work, but then everything will stop, and a netstat will be full of syn_sent messages.  I originally thought it was vista because it started happening when I moved to Canberra and got a computer with vista on it.  But I have a feeling it's our router setup playing silly buggers, because when it's being stoopid the old w2k machine also has problems.

So it's been a little frustrating.  But it was working well enough later on to do a bit more Japan planning.  Busy planning everyone else's itineraries and sightseeing.  Hope they don't mind ;)

More sadness

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Bushfires from space

I didn't blog anything particular for this year's blogiversary, which also happened to be the fifteenth anniversary of the January 1994 bushfires that ripped through Como/Jannali.  Those fires were closer to home (literally - about 300m away) and destroyed our church and several of our friend's houses, therefore having a massive impact on me to this day whenever I see bushfire images. 

But only one person died there that day.

The weekend bushfires in Victoria were epic sad.  135 lives lost so far.  And that's sure to rise.

Kinda puts my crap day at work into perspective...

Victoria fires

I has a sad

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All the tetties and Stu's cherry barb (which came down from Queensland) all died too :(

Stupidly Hot

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Another stupidly hot day.  I even bit the bullet and chucked a bit of water on some of the plants in the front garden, even though that goes against my belief that plants in Canberra should be able to survive the summer or they don't belong in Canberra.

Did absolutely nothing all morning and most of the afternoon.  Was just too hot to move. 

Matt and Helen came over mid afternoon and we hung out downstairs for a bit then went for a nice long swim.  Chatted them for a while longer before they went home.  If the weather hadn't been so silly we'd have asked them if they wanted to stay for dinner, but I was just too exhausted.

The poor little fishies (well mainly just the julies, but the multies as well) suffered badly today, with the tank temperature getting up to about 34C.  Quite a few of them have died :(  Chucked in quite a bit of ice, but it didn't really help much, maybe dropping it half a degree or so.

Had a late dinner of pizza and sides, but I really wasn't hungry so didn't each much.

The change that finally came through was just about the most magical thing in the universe...

Fish tank temperature:

Fish tank temperature

Study temperature peaked at about 39C

Study temperature

Frozen Bubbles

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Saw this on Boing Boing a while back, and haven't had the heart to close it off cause it was so cool ... frozen bubbles!!

Sick of the heat

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Feeling very tired of the constant heat.  Worse today because we were home for most of it, as opposed to being in a nice air conditioned office.

Grocery shopping was painful because it was hot, and very crowded, and screaming kids and annoying parents.

Scott and Kerry and Jake came over later in the afternoon for a swim.  Then Melita came over for a swim and a few drinks and dinner of various salads.  Watched Iron Chef (an early one - 1993 - sooo different - they went so slowly and only did one or two dishes - but shocking because the challenger actually won!), and Rockwiz and played a couple of games of Fluxx.

Wonder if I could sleep in the pool .... :/
It seems YouTube has *finally* put the video length time on embedded videos.  So now you can see how long the video is before starting to download it - good if you want to decide if you have the time to watch it then and there or come back later.  Have been wishing for this feature *forever*!! Yayyy!!


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I mean seriously, how hot was it today??

Met up with Tom tonight (who Stu met on the interwebs) at King O'Malley's after work.. and he met his friend Matt and it was all very pleasant after a couple of drinks :) Will probably see him again.. he's kinda quiet and is studying forensics and works with autistic kids, and yet is not much into computers heh :)

Came home and got straight into the pool... :)


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It's still friggen hot!!  Monkey Magic for dinner.  Still a bit generic but not as bad as Prince Palace.  Was lovely to see Aaron again too. 

Definitely too hot for sleep.  But last night was a tragedy cause Stu basically psyched himself into a crap night sleep, which meant I ended up with one too.  So all this morning was epic zombie :(

Speaking of which.... should probably go to bed soon....
Worked on an itinerary and looked at things like flights and rail passes.  Things are starting to come together!  This should be a fun trip.  And will definitely be more prepared for this trip.  None of this booking hotels in the next city while staying in the previous one heh.  Aiming to have all accommodation booked in advance to make sure we have rooms for all of us.

Looks like we will be starting in Fukuoka (after a couple of days in Tokyo and a day trip to the other end of the country on the bullet train) and making our way north with the cherry blossoms, finishing in Tokyo two weeks later.


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Finally updated my spreadsheets for the last couple of months of my Sydney loan tonight. 

In the seven and a half years I had the mortgage I paid $78k in interest, and interest rates went up 17 times from 2002 to 2008.  They started to go down again right at the end - just in time for our new mortgage heh.  My old mortgage had a higher than average interest rate, but there were no fees, no charges on using any atm, no charges on withdrawing cash from the credit card account, and elegant simplicity with the way the interest and credit card worked.  Their internet banking (or lack thereof) sucked donkey balls though, and the only improvement in the eight years was to allow Bpay.  The interface never changed and I was never able to transfer money to other accounts.  I was with Homeloans Ltd with finance from ING if anyone cares :)

The charts looked pretty cool, with dips and peaks where things like small loans to/from relatives, holidays, termination payouts etc took their toll.

Mortgage chart

And the interest rate graph for the same time period looked pretty scary..

Interest rate graph

So now we start all over again .. :)


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I was in a bit of a state of delerium when I woke up this morning.  So my thoughts were on how to pronounce Fukuoka.  I'd orginally thought it might be fuku-oka, but Jake reckons it could be more like fu-ku-ka.  Anyway, for some reason I couldn't get this out of my head between 6 and 7 this morning... silly really....  I'm sure wikipedia would have the answers....


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Oh what a beautiful breeze that is blowing through Canberra...!!!  Bom reports latest temperature as 21.5C - yayyy!!

So this morning got out mah buckit, the ladder and a latex glove and attacked the worst of the clogged gutters.  It was extremely dry, and mostly red dust from the roof tiles.  Left matter was actually at a minimum.  Filled two bucket-loads doing a quarter of the guttering of the house.  It was very hot and dusty and made my boogers turn red :/  (Stu couldn't find our dust masks).  The top bit of the downpipe, a 30-cm or so section, was actually filled solid with soil.  No wonder the gutters overflowed during rain :(  So dug all that out and tested that water could flow down the downpipe now - it could - yayy!!

Spent the rest of the morning recovering from that.  And didn't get much else done in the early afternoon either.. oops..

Around 3pm, the hoardes descended upon us.  Just about everyone went for a swim and it was very pleasant.  There was critical mass of guests so they could basically entertain each other, without need for us :)

For dinner I attempted my first ever turkey roast.  It was a 1.6kg leg roast.  Although surprisingly little meat, given the size of the bones in it.  I think it turned out fairly well, and even Stu had some of it (although he's sure to regret it later!).  That and our usual roast veggies.

Tonight I made a concerted effort to get my non-personal news feeds to under 1000 unread... now up to only being two weeks behind on those feeds...

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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