June 2009 Archives


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It took nine minutes to republish the entire site.  So all old entries should be commentable now.  I didn't change the side bar much, just updated it to match the front page.

Now I can go back to thinking about Japan photos...


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I've faced the fact that my hosting provider is never going to fix Perl, and hence my blog.  But, since I'm not actually paying for my hosting, there's little I can do about it.  It's not like I can refuse to pay! ;) 

Sooo, I've been looking at replacing the Captcha. 

As it turns out, Movable Type 4 comes with another Captcha provider - called reCaptcha.  So I signed up and with a bit of fiddling (I'm still using 4.01 so had to do some manual hacking) managed to get it working (for at least the Japan blog).  It's even uglier than the default Movable Type one (if such a thing were possible), and you can't use OpenID or other authentication methods, and it relies on another site, but for now it will have to do.  

I'm going to have to rebuild the entire site for the changes to take effect, and this takes a good ten minutes of solid CPU power on the host, so I'm going to have a re-think about my sidebar and decide on any changes I want to make there before going ahead and doing it. (I've only ever rebuilt the entire site *once* since moving to MT4 and that was when I actually migrated to MT4 - all my old pages are still using the original design I had then, unless someone's commented on them to get something a bit newer).  This entry should work though, so please leave me a comment if you're still reading this blog! :)

Quiet day

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Had a slow quiet day today.  Got some of the things done that I didn't manage to get done yesterday so that was good.  Although didn't get around to trying resurrect my old captcha generator, so still no leaving comments for now.


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So had Mishi over for dinner tonight and to see Japan photos.  We put them on a memory stick and played them through Stu's dvd player to the TV. Which worked fine except that I wasn't able to skip through the more "boring" ones.  So the whole night was very long.  So I guess some more culling is in order.. but I've *tried* over and over again.  *sigh*

On a lighter note, my beef stew was well received.  I haven't cooked one since I moved to Canberra, and it was oh so delicious.  If I'd had the time I'd have documented the process.. maybe next time!
As per usual, I get my news from Twitter these days (usually from Dave).  When he first mentioned that Michael Jackson had had a heart attack, I went to the Sydney Morning Herald website and the headline news was that Farrah Fawcett had died.  After I got to work there were the Twitter updates that he'd actually died.  And poor Farrah's story was bumped for his.

Michael Jackson was pretty obviously a damaged guy, I guess we'll never know what was going on in his head all these years.  Rest in peace.
Had a super fun night at Nat and Andrew's.  Stu helped Nat cook a stir fry, then we played Pictionary and then attempted to play Zombietown.  But it took us ages to figure out what we were meant to do and suddenly it was 11pm and the Stubie really needed to go to bed.  So didn't get to actually fight any zombies.. oh well.. :)
Finished reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis today.  It was ok, but a little tough going (not really being a narrative and fairly old now).  But I think it's the first C.S. Lewis book I've ever read.  

Really must borrow myself a copy of the Narnia books some time...
Have got pretty much what will be my final cut of "highlight" photos, although I may still add a few more in.  Almost fifteen hundred photos - eep!  Having a slide night on Saturday, which is always a good way to force you to do these things :)  Still need to pull out food, hotel, Engrish and man hole cover photos for separate "albums".

Cherry Fog

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Something weird happened with the electricals tonight.  First there was silence from the right side of the room.  Then the UPS started beeping.  For about a second I wondered why my computer hadn't been booted.  Then it died.  Then it all kept tripping in and out and computers kept restarting.  I disconnected power to mine until everything settled.  Discovered that all the power points in the house had lost power.  So went out to turn back on the safety switch.  

This is what I saw...

Cherry fog

Cherry fog

Last night I asked Potty if he'd eat any of the pork leftovers I had that were cooked a week ago.  He said he didn't want to risk it.  So I went ahead and had some myself.  I was fine.

This morning I found some two week old leftover pasta/sauce (vegetarian).  Decided I'd better not leave it any longer.  Looked ok.  Smelled ok.  So ate the lot.  I was fine.

Tonight had some more of the pork and the last of the potato bake from last night.  Was sooo fricken awesome! :)
Had a fairly quiet morning.  Got quite a lot of rss feed items read.  Was under five hundred unread tonight, which is quite an achievement!

After lunch went over to Pauline's so Stu could fix up their new net connection.  While I helped do a jigsaw :)

Scott and Kerry and Jake came over for dinner and Wii.  Did lots of roast veggies, and my potato bake was almost entirely gobbled up .. so much for leftovers ;)

Could use three day weekends more often...

And home again

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Had a relaxing morning this morning.  Slept in for a bit, then got ready and went and played Wii Olympics.  Of course the kids joined me... but thas ok ;)  Won a few gold medals for them, and was beaten soundly in a few events too :)

Left a bit before one and headed down for my unit's AGM.  Was cool to catch up with some peoples and see my place which I haven't seen up close in a year and a half.  

Went down Rocky Point Road and went and saw the house where Clive James grew up (6 Margaret St, according to his Unreliable Memoirs), as well as the street he used to billy cart down the hill from.  

Clive James house - 6 Margaret St Kogarah
Clive James billy cart Sunbeam St Irene St

Had some Maccas for a linner/dunch and then we headed home.  Only made it half way before Stu decided he was too tired to drive, so I took over.  Got home (via the bottle-o) and declared it beer o'clock.  

Saw an article on Boing Boing about Michael Winslow, so of course decided to watch Police Academy :)

And so now it's bed time.. how'd that happen..? :)

Goodbye Grandma

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Said goodbye to Stu's grandma today.

Were nearly late because Stu put the wrong street (same name) into the GPS and we ended up 7km away.  But made it just in time.  The service was fairly simple but nice.  Little Squishy even spontaneously said goodbye as the hearse was about to be driven away, was very sweet.

Afterwards went back to her flat with Annie and Potty and hung out for a few hours while Little Squishy had a sleep.  Then headed over to Aunty Jan's for a few drinks and then some delicious dinner with just about all the family, was pretty cool.

So all in all quite a nice family day.

Came back to J&G's and played Wii with the kids and then showed them some of our Japan photos.  They thought there were too many blossom photos.. oops.. :)

Half way

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Half way to Newcastle tonight.  Didn't get to talk to George much cause it was pretty late by the time got here.
The sysadmins got back to me and agreed that an update they'd done had broken my captchas, and that they were planning to do another cpanel update that would fix it by the end of the week.  So this is a good thing! Hurrah!

Except I wake up this morning only to discover a whole stack of spam comments in my blog.  Upon investigation it seems that now the Image::Magick perl module isn't there.  *sigh*

So hopefully this fix will come soon, because a tonne of spam is much worse than no comments at all.. :(
(on a lighter note, at least anyone can leave comments at the moment...)

More dinners out

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Last night met up with Andrew and James and Trish and Michael for dinner.  Was a fun night.  The connections between us, James, Trish&Michael were kinda cool.

Tonight got home fairly late.  Was going to do a stirfry but was tired and hungry and grumpy, so Stu cooked up some mushrooms and reheated some of his fritatta.  He's a good sweetie :)


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Been getting rather a lot of fog lately...

This made James a little late getting in this morning...

Canberra Fog
After work we met up for dinner.  Went to Bella Vista.  Both (especially me) ate far too much! oops :)  But it was very good.


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Went to the markets today and picked up a bunch of fresh food.

Then proceeded to roast a bunch of it.

Including a nice piece of pork.  Which had a nice skin on it.  Which turned into one of the best pieces of crackling I've ever done!  The whole thing was crunchy!  Soooo good!

Also did a completely evil potato bake, and Stu cooked a frittata (sp?) (but that was ready a bit too late and I'd already eaten too much by that point so didn't actually have any of it tonight), as well as some turnips and carrots that he'd grown himself in the garden.

That and some red wine and it was an awesome dinner :)

Air Guitar

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Natto invited me along to the Australian & New Zealand Air Guitar Championships final tonight.

It was fun, but was so loud I had to jam my fingers in my ears for the whole night so as not to do any permanent damage to my hearing.  Note to self: take ear plugs next time!

Natto with the flyers at the front of the club
Natto with the adverts
Natto playing pokies.  She put a dollar coin into three pokies, and won five dollars from this one (which featured Geisha, Miyajima and Shiny)
Natto playing the Geisha pokies
Natto, James and Rachel
Natto, James and Rachel
This dude was my favourite.  A local too.
My favourite of the contestants
The advertised start time was 8pm.  They didn't start til 9pm.  At 9:40 they said they'd have a twenty minute intermission.  It was more like forty minutes.  Plenty of time to do random image zooming.
Playing with light
A line up of the ten contestants (one obscured)
The ten contestants
Might find out next week who actually won...

Edit: my favourite came second.  The dude at the front of the picture won, with the kiwi coming second.


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For some reason last night (in my slightly hungover delirious state where sleep is interrupted for a while while I recover) I was thinking about Stu's grandmother and if she died in the next few days whether I'd be able to take the time off work before Wednesday to go the funeral (the problem being that until Wednesday night next week I'll be crazy busy at work with a release and leaving it could be a little tricky).  I mentioned this to Windy this morning, and even to Tony that I might need to take some time off soon.   

So I just found out that she died this afternoon :(  

So pretty sad for the family, but at least we all know she's gone to a better place, and she's no longer in pain.


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Although a whopping 8C at the moment.. somewhat up on the -5 this morning!!

Not on call any more hurrah!!!


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My weather widget says it's -1C !!!  eeep!!!


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Had to go shopping tonight.  Practically no food in the house.  Not even detergent for the dishwasher (disaster! ;) ).

Pretty average day otherwise.  Made something work that now frees me up to do some other things I've been putting off while make aformentioned thing work.

Perl/captchas still broken.  If I knew what to look for I'd be trying to figure out how to use the previous version of perl that was installed.  Or make it use different libraries.  Or something like that.  But since I don't know exactly what's wrong or how perl is setup (and no access to log files) it makes it a bit trickier...

Nice day

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Had a fairly productive day today.  For a while I was setting a timer and doing 15 minutes of computer stuff then 15 minutes of non computer stuff.  Non computer stuff was mostly tidying tho heh.

Spent a good chunk of my afternoon locating my flight photos on Google Earth.  Got freaked out when I saw the ocean was *moving* !!

Then Stu went and got Nat and also James came over and I did a lamb roast - yumm!  And so doing christened our new dining table :)  Then we wiied and generally had quite a lot of fun.  

Dining table christening

This moonrise was actually yesterday


It's good to have the sweetie back home.  Altho I did enjoy being able to make the bed in one second flat - instead of the usual several minutes it takes me to straighten out the bedding that Stu puts all over the place when he sleeps ;)

Day 1 done

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If anyone's interested, I've posted photos from Day 1 of our Japan trip to the Japan blog.
Lifehacker posted a utility a while back called Exif Date Changer.  I used it to great effect on Sandra's Japan photos last night, to add 17 minutes (actually to remove 43 minutes from actual time) to bring all her photos into sync with the rest of ours.  

Also used Renamemaster to add camera info the file names of Nat and Andrew's photos, so I know who took a given photo (for credit if/when I post them :) ).
  • Perl at my hosting provider, which has broken my captchas, which has broken commenting on my blog
  • FTPing in Windows 7
  • Printing in Windows 7
I haven't bitched too much about Windows 7 yet.  Probably because I haven't really had the time to poke around with it.  

But I did try to install a printer today.  Just our ancient HP 2100.  

I failed.

Windows 7 doesn't come with a driver for it, HP doesn't have Windows 7 drivers, and the Vista driver doesn't work.  PCL XL error.  Dunno if trying any other drivers (eg for server 2008) would work.....


Dining Table

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Our dining table arrived today.  It's huge!!  And weighs a tonne too.

Of course the first thing I did was spread out all my Japan bits and pieces all over it, and stuck all the little bits of paper and receipts into a scrapbook.

Friday stuff

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  • sliced my fingers open cooking dinner
  • went on strike
  • watched Innerspace, was fun
  • captchas on my blog still broken. 
  • ftp doesn't work very well in windows 7.  CuteFTP, windows ftp, both have all sorts of connection problems, either in passive mode or not


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2 big mushrooms + 1 roma tomato + butter + shaved parmesan = nommmm!!! :)


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Just letting you all know my captcha generator thingie is broken at the moment so you won't be able to leave comments unless you login with one of the appropriate authentication thingies.

Have asked the adminy type peoples if they've done any upgrades in the past day or two.. 
I finished reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier last week.  I actually had to read this book in high school in about year 10.  It was probably one of the better books we read in high school, and I quite enjoyed reading it a second time.  Although to be honest I have no idea why she fell in love with him.  Maxim is distant and aloof at the beginning of the book - someone you might possibly have a crush on but not someone you could actually easily love.  Meh.  I probably threw out all my notes on the book from high school before I moved to Canberra, so can't look at what sort of work we had to do on it.  Oh well.

Finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl last week.  And then saw the second half of the movie again after having read the second half of the book.  So that was pretty cool.  

Finished reading Inner Space by Nathan Elliot today.  I really loved the movie, seeing it when it first came out at the movies.  In fact when I saw the movie I had absolutely no idea what it was about, just that it was by Steven Spielberg so was likely to be good.  So I picked up the book at a book fair last year.  The book is actually pretty boring.  Well not boring in terms of story line - but that's all it is - just a narration of the movie.  It doesn't add anything to it, and apart from a few very tiny differences, is identical to the movie. Identical is fine, but a little character development to add some interest wouldn't have gone astray.  This is basically just a kids book.  

Three books finished in a week.. scary..!

Oh, just remembered I read Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl at the weekend too (yes, reading through the box set I got a while back, in chronological order :) )
Before we went to Japan I put a lot of work into a big Google Map of things we wanted to see.  I even found out how to  make a backup of it - you put &output=kml  to the end of the url.  

Trying to decide if I'll update that map, or make a Google Earth kml file of some of the places we went to .. decisions decisions...
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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