February 2011 Archives


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So my nose decided it hasn't had enough action this cold and one nostril decided to be completely irritated all day.  I think it wanted to make me sneeze the entire day, and drip constantly in between.

Extreme frustration!!!!!! >:(
But again, nothing interesting to say.  Had a nice quiet day at home.

Going back to work tomorrow.  The sweetie isn't so sure if he will (and now he's got ear pain.. yay.. )

So apart from a day at work, a trip to the doctor's, feeding Doc's cat, and two trips across the road to get some orange juice and a paper, I haven't left the house in a week.  We even got our shopping delivered yesterday so we didn't have to go out.

After my failed attempts to get to sleep last night, I slept in til 9:45.  Which of course means I'm likely to have trouble tonight .. wish me luck!

Forgot to blog

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So I forgot to blog before I went to bed.  No matter.  That was two hours ago but I still don't feel sleepie.


Not that I have anything interesting to write about.  Day was completely boring.  Resized all my UK photos for general consumption.  Worked on my jigsaw.  Coughed.  Went to bed.  Coughed even more.  Didn't feel sleepie.  Neither does the sweetie.  And lying down is just so fricken uncomfortable!!  So got up.


Here's a photo of my angel fish that my brother talked me into taking the other morning.


The sweetie and I got into see his doctor this morning.  He decided all my stuff is probably still viral - rest up, drink lots; but with a prescription for antibiotics if the pain in my ears continued (it had actually stopped overnight and hasn't been back since - I'm still a bit deaf and ears are still ringing a bit but no pain).

The sweetie probably has bacterial tonsilitis, so he got antibiotics for that.

So came home and spent the afternoon on the couch watching Airport 77 and Airport 79.  All three of the Airport sequels were completely silly, but the aeroplane footage makes me smile :)  I did attempt to sleep for a while in between but failed miserably.

I've had this thing for a week now.  I'm done.  Done I say!


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So I thought I was getting better.  Went to work.  Was doing ok.  Til after lunch.  When my right ear started ringing.  And hurting.  Afternoon was mostly a writeoff :(  I was even so spaced out and in pain that I didn't go to after work drinks :(:(  So of course went home depressed.  But took some panadeine (yayyy codeine!) which took the edge off and the evening went by ok.  Altho it's wearing off now.  Half an hour til can take some more.

The sweetie is pretty sick too and had the day off.  If my ears are still hurting in the morning (they're both hurting now - and I've gone significantly deaf!) will try and find a Canberra doctor to see (wish me luck! I'd probably have a better chance driving to Sydney :/ )

Getting there..

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A bit better today.  Still coughing, but headache mostly gone.

Decided to work from home today.  I kidded myself into thinking I could get some work done with less general distractions.  Alas that was not to be, as I think I spent more time answering messages and teaching people stuff than doing the work I wanted to do.  Oops.

Tonight I was making panoramas of my last trip up Black Mountain Tower (inspired by Yvonne).  They weren't very good, I'm just going to have to go back :)

I did put together the (almost) 360 panorama I took up Kyoto Tower in September.  It turned out really well :)
(click to embiggen)

Kyoto Tower panorama

Still saddened by all the Christchurch stuff.  Read NathanaelB's account of it..

The rest of my day..

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Spent the morning in bed not sleeping.

Got up around lunch time and watched Airport and Airport 75. 

Started feeling better in the afternoon - the exploding head has subsided somewhat.  Still coughing and sniffling, but will make an attempt at going to work tomorrow (unless they send me home heh).


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My father took this photo in 1975.  So I have been there.  I was eighteen months old though so I don't remember it.

Christchurch Cathedral
But it was just the spire that fell.  So long as there aren't too many severe aftershocks, the thing could probably be restored.

Much sadder are the other scenes - entire office buildings that have collapsed, crushed cars, crushed buses, homes missing walls.  Probably won't know the final death toll for weeks.  Sad sad sad.

Pyne Gould Corporation building
Hang in there Christchurch....

My Brain Hurts

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Could be considered a TMI post, you've been warned..

Couldn't get to sleep last night.  And then woke up early.  Brain hurt and couldn't breathe and couldn't get comfortable :/  So decided to take today off (after getting my remote dongle working to find out what my eleven o'clock meeting was for and deciding I could miss it).  Tried to sleep.  Maybe got an hour, if that.  I find it uncomfortable lying down.  Am I seriously that deformed?  Who finds it uncomfortable lying down?? Gave up at midday and watched telly most of the arvo and evening.

Watched an episode of Airwolf on 7mate but it was from season four - the cheap season they did without the original cast.  Then an episode of MacGyver on Eleven which was from near the end of season two, which had flashbacks to some of the earlier episodes.  Then watched Sleepless in Seattle until the sweetie got home.

The most annoying thing about this cold (flu?) is the headache.  I've never really had it sustained for so long :(  Worried I'm dying.. or worse, going to have a stroke.. :/

Taken some Sudafed nighttime (the fake stuff heh), hopefully I'll sleep better tonight.. :/

And just for fun, the sweetie might be coming down with it now too :(:(


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Went out to Yass today for a barbeque.  Everyone was a bit hyper so that was a bit.. challenging.. in my state of health.  

It was a nice lunch, and I haven't felt the need to eat anything yet.  I should eat something but I'm feeling a little queasy :/

The little brother and SIL will be here shortly on their way home from their trip to Central Australia.

Snail Comparison

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Saw an unusual sight this morning - a snail crawling across our front welcome mat in broad daylight.  Of course this needed to be documented.  So tormented the little guy a bit by putting him in the sun and taking photos on three different cameras to compare them.

I used my old Sony F828, our Sony S600 (Random Camera) and my Canon 500D (in that order in the photos below).

They all did quite well.  I've half forgotten how to use my old F828 so had to try and remember when to use macro and when not.  I think the photo I went with was using macro.  Random camera doesn't actually have a macro feature, but can get quite close.  Unfortunately it's focus is not as accurate and kept focussing on further in the background.  The Canon did well enough too, but no macro at all on that one, so have to sit back and zoom all the way.  This means the depth of field is very shallow, so the shell was out of focus when the head was in focus.

Sony DSC-F828

Sony DSC-S600

Canon 500D with 18-135mm lens


Blah but a bit better

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So overnight I was a bit delirious from this cold.  I was stressing over the firewall rules I was going to need opened so I could breathe, and was hoping security would hurry up and approve them.  Hrmm.  So took some Coldeze and slept a bit better after that.

Today I was slowed down but refused to be stopped.  Stu had been wanting to go out for breakfast, so we went to Black Pepper.  It was very crowded, and after nearly getting blown away outside, we only got rained on a little bit.  But the food was yummy yum.

Went down to the lake and photographed some swallows and a blue dragonfly.




Blue Dragonfly

Blue Dragonfly

Then went to the other side of the lake to feed the swans/ducks/coots etc.
Teenage swans

Home via Gem Aquatics.

This arvo I didn't do much, really just read news feeds and started working on my 3000 Ravensburger jigsaw (which I've never actually done myself - I lent it to Marylon once and I helped a bit then).  And photographed all the Harry Potter Lego from last year.

Harry Potter Lego

Tonight scanned 69 photos, mostly from 1994.  Photos included a series on Snowy, my budgie, my 21st birthday and some miscellaneous photos.

This was my budgie, Snowy, that I got for Christmas (or thereabouts) in 1993.  Had him (her? - Dad always thought it was a girl and called it a Widgie) for five years.
My 21st Birthday Cake, with Alphie (sequel cockatoo to Alphie, the Alphatech mascot at my Dad's work which got shipped off to South East Asia or some such convoluted story)
21st birthday cake and Alphie
This is looking down the maintenance shaft of Sydney Tower.  My mother and I climbed Sydney Tower's steps - all 1385 of them!
Sydney Tower maintenance shaft
Aftermath of an "Oops" at Waterfall

Not impressed

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So it seems I might be coming down with what has been going around at work all week.  So I have to be sick on my own time.  Great.

Have also eaten enough food to last a week in the past couple of days.


The Eye!

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Darwin's turn today...

Darwin - eye

Scanning 1993-1994

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Scanned another 72 photos tonight.  These ones were from mid 1993 to mid 1994.  The album included a lot of miscellaneous photos, and Hao's visit to Sydney and my subsequent trip to Melbourne with him.

When Hao came to Sydney he had arranged to meet Linton, who was at Summer School with us.  Linton worked at the airport (for Qantas?) and was able to show us around a 747-438 (VH-OJG) under maintenance.  It was way cool!!

Qantas Longreach 747-438 VH-OJD
747 engine
Another shot of my room, with a new book case.

Karen's room with bookshelf
We did quite a bit of touristy stuff when I went down to Melbourne, including wandering around the Yarra and Southbank, Old Melbourne Gaol, the Shot Tower, the Museum and out to Healesville Sanctuary.

Victorian Arts Centre
Wedgetailed Eagle at Healesville Sanctuary

Cooked a lamb roast tonight.  Got some stuff done around the house, but not as much as I would have liked (and no cleaning :/ ).  Got a bit frustrated with GPS Photo Tagger which seems to think my photos are all an hour out to when they were really taken.  I've used this successfully before with correct times, so no idea why it's having a spack now :(  Most frustrating. 

So I had a chance to play with Dave's Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 last week and at the coast.

It's a pretty nifty little camera - feels nice and solid, has fantastic macro functionality and performs well in low light.  Unfortunately it has some saturation issues (I was mostly using it on "Intelligent Auto" mode) and the colour balance with the flash is a bit off.

These are some macro shots I took with it at drinks last week.

Lumix macro
Lumix macro
Lumix macro
And some more I took on the walk to the shops on Saturday.

So a pretty awesome shot of the mushroom, but you can see how saturated the green is.

Here's a couple I took in close succession - the first one got the saturation all wrong, but the second one is ok (I don't think I changed any settings).

Lumix saturation
Lumix saturation not so bad
And a few more shots just for fun :)

Lumix macro
Lumix macro

Coast Weekend

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So Dave had to do some urgent spa maintenance down at the coast, so asked if we wanted to go along.  The cover of the spa had broken a couple of weeks ago, smashing a thermometer and leaving glass in the spa.  Yay.  So alas, spa use was out on Friday night.

The drive down was pretty cool.  Gorgeous clouds and even a huge double rainbow.

Double rainbow
Did a jigsaw on Friday night, another one of the mystery jigsaws with no picture on the box, and a puzzle to solve (which we failed at - the bomb would have gone off!)

Bomb jigsaw

Saturday morning had a nice sunrise.

Coast sunrise
Saw this interesting pigeon which we weren't 100% sure of identity.


Went for a walk to get the papers, and took a heap of photos.

Seagull in flight
Seagull in flight
Seagull in flight
Seagulls in flight
Seagulls in flight
Gak Gak birds
Vacuumed out the spa and found a chunk of glass from the thermometer.  Hopefully we got it all.

Dinner was a delivery of pizza from the Sandy Foot.  A small Zorba and a medium ham and pineapple.  We finished them both.

Zorba pizza
Ham and pineapple pizza

Today we went to Bateman's Bay to get some tubing for the bath-tub spa, which was full of crud cause it doesn't get filtered.  So got that and drained that spa out.

Were a bit later leaving that usual, because I wanted to finish this 1000-piece jigsaw of Neuschwantstein.  So basically finished it, photographed it, then pulled it apart again.  All those hours and hours effort and noone got to really enjoy it heh.

Neuschwanstein jigsaw
The drive up the Clyde was quite pretty cause the clouds were right down on the mountains.

Clyde fog
And that was that.  

Driving back gives you plenty of time to ponder life.  I've decided I spend way too much time on the computer/internet just mucking around, and other things around the house and my hobbies just aren't getting done.  So going to try a forced break from the computer for a while in the evenings to get stuff done.  Will see how we go.. 

Hump Day

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Slightly less crazy day at work, and Windy figured out something that I never could last year, so that was pretty nifty.

The sweetie cooked dinner tonight, so got my news feeds read early, and scanned another eighty photos mostly from 1993.

That album had another St Clements bushwalk to the National Park, Rock by Megalite concert, a trip to Barrington Tops Guest House, a Sydney Harbour cruise, Easter Camp 93, and a trip to the zoo with my mum.  

The Barrington Tops trip was really cool.  I wouldn't mind going back there again one day.

Barrington Tops Guest House
Me with crimson rosellas
Horse riding
February 1993 saw me rearrange my room again.  The previous arrangement had the biggest open area in front of my desk and bed, but in plain view of the door.  This became problematic because whenever I had any mess on the floor, it was clearly visible to anyone walking past.  So I swapped the desk and bed, leaving the biggest area nicely hidden behind the bed.  It stayed in basically this configuration until I moved out of home in 2000, although a big bookshelf was added, I got a new desk for my first computer(s), and I had a budgie on the drawers on the right for five years..  It's weird because it felt like I didn't have it that way for very long, yet it was probably that way for the longest of any room configuration.  I guess that's what happens when you get old and time speeds up heh.

My room

I was also determined tonight to get the Jackstone right.  So watched this video again and figured out which step I'd missed.  So it turned out relatively well.  Although I did manage to get grease on my fingers from somewhere, maybe the scissors, and ended up with a couple of grease spots on it :/

Blue Jackstone


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So after last night's very productive night .. today was crazy (as always, must remember to breathe, lower blood pressure .. *sigh*) then accidently got trodden on so just felt *blah* tonight..  so all I got done tonight was to put out the bins and backup my hard drive.  Yay.

Had another go at making a Jackstone.  Got frustrated *again* by the crazy thing.  Even watched a video of the tricky bit and couldn't see how it was done.  Persisted but still had the same problem I have every time at the end, where when I go to pull it apart, there's no folds to mark the definition of the horizontal spikes.  So it doesn't snap into place properly.  Obviously I'm doing something wrong when you have to work with the underside bit.  I even pulled it all apart so I could try and get them right.  But no luck.  So again, a pretty pitiful attempt (photo is of the best side, the other sides are pretty terrible).

Pink jackstone

Scanning 1992

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So tonight I walked up the hill, debugged the pool, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the kitchen, did a load of washing, had dinner, put on the dishwasher, watched two hours of tv, and scanned eighty photos.


Talk about a productive evening :)

Tonight's scanning job was the album that had photos from my first camera, the Ricoh, I got for Christmas 1991.  The album had most of the first two rolls from that camera, and included such events as Easter Camp, a trip up Sydney Tower and the Harbour Bridge Pylon, the Harbour Tunnel walk, a St Clements bushwalk to Ruined Castle and some photos of my room before and after one of the rearranges I did.  It was also the year I was dating my first boyfriend so there's quite a few pictures of him throughout (and all the flowers he sent me that year)..

My models, as of 1992
My models in 1992
The Bismarck at Scarborough Park.  This was a regular thing in Sydney but I only ever went once.
Cousin Itt.  I had a couple of better versions when my hair was a bit longer.
Cousin Itt
Joyce Jacobs aka Esme Watson from A Country Practice.  She came to just a doll/teddy bear competition at my old primary school.
Joyce Jacobs

People lining up for the Harbour Tunnel Walk
Harbour Tunnel Walk
Darling Harbour from Sydney Tower
Darling Harbour from Sydney Tower

I'm wishing there were more photos taken of my bedroom over the years.  There's a few like the ones I scanned tonight, but really not any from earlier years when it was less cluttered (and had much less personality).

Before a rearrange, late 1992
My room My room

After a rearrange, late 1992
My room My room
Yasi is finally petering out...

Yasi update

Yasi Sunday update

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Yasi is still puttering around Central Australia..

Yasi update

Does anyone wanna go see Weird Al with me on March 12?

Spent a good chunk of today scanning more photos.  Today it was mostly holiday photos.  USA 1983, Western Australia 1984, Central Australia 1985, Warrumbungles 1986, Lord Howe Island 1987.  These were pretty much all "reject" photos of my mother's that I kept for myself.  So there's still hundreds more at my parents' place I'll need to scan one day (or better yet, get Dad to scan them ;) ).

But there was only fifty-odd of all those.  The real work today was the hundred and forty or so photos of our Victoria and South Australia trip that we took Hao along for (that summer Hao and I managed five states in about five days..  We definitely managed to wear Hao out that trip - he wasn't used to the fast pace my parents keep heh).  

It was the first big holiday I'd been on with my own camera (which I got for Christmas in 1991) so I took plenty of my own photos.  This is just a small sample of them.

Ettamogah Pub, Albury
Ettamogah Pub, Albury
Great Ocean Road entrance (I believe this was destroyed in bush fires some years back?)
Great Ocean Road entrance
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles

Elephant Rock (or Mutton Bird Island, or The Camel) 
Elephant Rock (or Mutton Bird Island, or The Camel)
London Bridge
London Bridge
Sunset over Victor Harbour
Sunset over Victor Harbour
Dolphins in front of the ferry to Kangaroo Island
Dolphins in front of the ferry to Kangaroo Island
My dad took this super cool pic of a pelican on Kangaroo Island
Sea Lion pup that crawled right up to us
Sea Lion pup
"Fish Hook" at Kelly Hill Caves
Fish hook rock formation
The Remarkable Rocks
The Remarkable Rocks

Yasi update

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It's still circling Central Australia.

Yasi update

Went out to Potty's tonight to help them with their computer.  Wind and rain screamed through, shearing trees off at the base.  Freaky stuff.

House was a sauna tonight compared to outside.. but of course now the wind has dropped so not getting any circulation.  At least it's supposed to be cooler tomorrow..

Paper and Cyclones

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Spent the better part of tonight researching geometric origami.

I started off looking for a template/net for this sphere - 

Geodesic paper sphere
I made that sphere in second year uni (1993) when I was off sick for two weeks with pneumonia.  I was too tired to concentrate on uni work, and this was technical but mindless, so provided a nice distraction from feeling pretty blah.  It's made from curved strips of paper folded into little triangles (5x12 for the pentagons and 6x12 for the hexagons).  The little triangles are all stuck together into the pentagons and hexagons, and then those building blocks are stuck together to make a nifty little geodesic sphere.  Quite simple really.  But of course I can't find the templates to make the strips of paper anywhere on the internet.  I could always create my own, but it's so much easier if someone's already created templates!  The closest I came to even finding anything like this on the web was this site but no templates there.

So meandered on from there and went looking for instructions for Jack Skillman's Jackstone.  This has been discussed previously on this blog here, here and here.  Still no closer to finding any decent instructions on the net though :(

So a pretty unsuccessful night all up.  But did look at *lots* of geometric origami pages so will probably do something from one of them soon.

Here's what I have decorating my desk at work now..

Desk origami

And now for something completely different..

Former Tropical Cyclone Yasi is still going.  It's made its way all the way across Queensland and is now raining all over the Northern Territory.

Cyclone Yasi
This picture, taken from Channel 9, stood out for me.  Even though the roof has been blown off this house in Tully, everything in the kitchen, from water bottles to eggs, is all just sitting there as if nothing had happened!  Freaky!!

Yasi aftermath


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Super tired from getting to bed too late too often this week.  No photos to blog.  Crazy crazy crazy at work.. one disaster after another so things are getting left by the wayside :/

Change came through Canberra tonight which brought relief in temperatures. 

But poor fricken Queensland.  No sooner do they get past the worst of the floods when they get hit with cyclone Yasi!  At least they're about to be .. it's still off the coast at the moment..


Yasi radar
But that image gives you no idea of the scale of this thing.  Check it out if it was superimposed on other parts of the world:

Yasi superimposed on the USA

Hold on tight Queensland!  We're thinking of you..

PHiZZ Ball

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So yesterday my boss' boss' boss' boss was on the floor and said that the person she'd passed my five intersecting tetrahedra link to had also gone and done a PHiZZ ball.

So of course I had to do one too :)

Took home five pieces of blue paper (to make 60x7cm squares) and three pieces of pink paper (to make 30x7cm squares) - twelve 7cm squares to an A4 page.

And spent all of last night folding.

PHiZZ units
PHiZZ units

Tonight we got home late (after having dinner at The Dumpling Inn and doing our shopping), so then spent the night putting the thing together.

PhiZZ Ball construction
PhiZZ Ball construction
Ta da!

PhiZZ Bucky Ball
PhiZZ Bucky Ball
Fun fun fun.  And surprisingly frustrating to do without a right-hand thumbnail (mine shattered the other night trying to lock one of our windows).

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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