November 2012 Archives

Party #2

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Today was our second of many Christmas parties.  This one was originally just our section, but expanded to include the section next door, and then continued expanding to include most of the floor.  Which is good and all, but does make logistics trickier.  But I wasn't on the organising committee so I didn't stress about it.  The only real problem was that the person delegated with the buying of the booze was on the Go Karting trip, and then his car broke down.  So beer was *very* late getting to the party.  There was nearly a riot!

Yeah so Go Karting.  I'd never been before.  It was super awesome fun!  I was second slowest in the first race, and slowest in the second race.  And I got a *massive* bruise under my left arm where I was banged into the side of the kart going around corners :(  If it wasn't so damned expensive ($40 for two ten minute races) I'd totally do it more often.

Go Karting

The party (once the beer arrived ;) ) was pretty awesome.  Rain stayed away.  Instead it stayed very hot, so I spent the afternoon hiding in the shade.  Although I did have one go on the flying fox...

Windy found my year on a can
Got this stubbie holder at the Reject Shop the other day for $2
Christmas stubbie holder
Took this photo of the local wildlife for @CLBradley
Takes talent to drink upside down on a flying fox.  But he did get the fastest lap of the day in Go Karting, so I guess he's just good at everything.. hrmmm
Flying fox
I won't say what is going on here .. CLM ..
Pee tree
The birds thought it was very hot, they were all panting..


Rinse and Repeat

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Yeah much the same as last night :)

In addition.  Apparently all I need to do to get my photos and videos seen is to show the right people... :)

The video I mentioned on Friday night was pretty good, but didn't even come close to the still I got .. oppan Gangnam Style! :)

Gangnam Style

Just a few fairy lights and a little wine is all it takes.

This afternoon I found more mess created by our most notorious mess maker, so brought home some wine leftover from Friday afternoon and drank it (after chilling it, myself in the pool, chlorinating the pool and doing a load of washing).  Then I looked over and saw this..

Lights make me happy

And it was enough to make me smile and feel all kinds of happy.
That and watching a video I took on Friday afternoon. 
I should point out that I only have the tree and the lights on it at this point - no other decorations yet.

Good times :)

Five million

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Shoes are wonderful things.  Let me explain.

On Friday I clocked over five million steps on "10000 steps".  That's over a couple of years and two overseas holidays.  The majority of that (let's call it four million) was done in one pair of shoes - my black walking shoes.  That's two million steps per shoe.  That's two million flexes back and forth.  And they're still going.  I just think it's pretty amazing that *any* material would survive two million flexes and not break.  Cool stuff!


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Olaf So I recognised the actor who played this troll in Buffy ..

From his nose.

Yes really, I knew this guy, even under all the makeup.

It is in fact Jerry from ER.

So that was pretty cool.

Went for a drive with the sweetie today and had some nice together time.

And then he cooked dinner of cabbage, onion and bacon :)

First of several

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Had our first of several Christmas parties today.  Pretty good day :)  Usual food and booze and good times :)  And there might have been video of various staff members dancing Gangnam Style :)

I still maintain November is too early to be starting with Christmas parties!

Cadbury Screme Egg

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As picked up when doing our shopping the other night.  Not on special yet though.

Cadbury Screme Egg
Cadbury Screme Egg

Didn't get much done tonight, other than piecing back together my Eudora inbox and doing a backup.

It broke

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For a quite a while I'd be using an exercise bike we'd borrowed off Annie.  Off and on, over the past five years.  When I got back from our last holiday I had another go on it, and it sounded like the bearings were going on it.  So I didn't use it. Tonight I had another go at it.  Three minutes in and something gave, and now there's no friction.  So that's the end of that.

I did like having something that I could exercise on in front of the TV.  If I'd had a choice though I'd probably have gone with a treadmill.  Unfortunately decent treadmills are huge and weigh a tonne.  So it's all a bit depressing really.

Kimchi, Dickson

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So we celebrated finishing (or *almost* finishing) our supply of vegetables before the next lot arrived, by going out for dinner tonight :)

We were going to go to a Malaysian place in Dickson, but it was closed because it was Monday, so we went to Kimchi instead - Korean BBQ FTW!!

We got some marinated beef and pork - super delicious!


Then we did our food shopping and came home.

Fairly quiet weekend

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So apart from having Doc wander up for some Mario Kart and Singstar on Saturday night, we didn't do anything this weekend.  Well not outside the house anyway.  Just the usual cleaning and tidying and photo sorting and catching up on rss feeds.  

Oh we did watch the first episode of Brideshead Revisited this afternoon.  Jeremy Irons is pretty hot even at 33.  And plenty of been-theres at Oxford :)

PIII 866

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I just turned off my Pentium III, 866 computer.  

It was my third computer.  The first being a 486 I bought off Luc in 1995, and the second being a Pentium 166 in 1996.

It was over eleven years old.  I got it around 2001 - a gift from CIA for all the unpaid work I used to do for them.  It served as my main computer for around five years, before getting another work computer before I left Sydney.  I used it as a backup repository for a while.  When I moved to Canberra I think it was off for a while, but got pressed into service for several years as our Skype phone server, and in its last months a print server when the JetDirect card died and a parallel port was needed.

So it had a pretty good life.  I'll probably keep it for a while, because it still works after all!

Mad Mex, Belconnen

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Also on Wednesday we went to try out Mad Mex which had just opened this week.

Seems like lots of people had the same idea as us, as the queue was out the door.  The service model is much like that of Subway - where you go along the food trays specifying what you want, and pay at the end.  Unfortunately this meant for a massive bottleneck at the til, resulting in super slow service.  It took us a full fifteen minutes from walking in the door to sitting down with food :(  But later the queue had dissipated somewhat, and it would have been quicker then.

Mad Mex Belconnen
Mad Mex Belconnen
The prices were possibly a tad high for the regular meals, around $10 for most things.  There's only full sized versions of most menu items, and the nachos I was interested in said they were served with jalapenos (although I probably could have asked them to skip those).  So in the end I ordered Nachos plus pork off the kids menu, and at $4.90, that wasn't too bad value.

Mad Mex Belconnen
We'd go back, but only if there wasn't a queue.


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So this morning I woke up, looked out the window, and got depressed that I was going to miss the eclipse - on account of cloud cover over Canberra.

So got ready and went to work.

As I got off the bus I looked over my shoulder and there was a sort of break in the clouds!  Enough to see the sun obscured enough by clouds to get photos!  So grabbed my camera and snapped a bunch of pics!  Epic awesome!!

Solar eclipse over Canberra
Yay for clouds!  Cause I wouldn't have gotten photos like that otherwise, on account of not having any solar filters and all..!

Tonight went over the hills for a lovely prawn salad for dinner.  And some beer.  And a little wine.  Good times :):)

Cause there's a whole stack of old entries to read.

Saturday night we went over to Annie's after dinner and hung out for a while which was nice.

Today we dropped a monitor and the Lord of the Rings series over there, bought a printer and did our food shopping.

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon taking care of the pool and the house.  And still feeling like I've not made any progress.

Cooked a nice potato bake and carrots and zucchinis for dinner, and shared a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Wine and cheese

And just like that the weekend is over :(


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Only my brother (and Stu) could appreciate these photos, because they saw the *before*.  This is the during and after.  Gotta love aluminium sulfate!!

Pool during flocculent treatment
Pool after flocculent treatment
Unfortunately to get it that state requires vaccuuming to waste, which wastes lots of water :(

Friday night the little brother arrived in town.  There was beer and pizza and Advocaat (I'd never even *heard* of Advocaat!!).  Saturday morning he fixed our en-suite's leaky loo, and then went home again.

Domino's Chef's Inspirations


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Haven't played too much with Siri yet, but did ask her the obvious question (which she mistranslated, but still got there in the end).


Japan Day

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Sunday 4th was Japan Day at Doc's.  Their friend from Japan was in town, so we went over for a Japanese feast that went all afternoon :)

Lotus root being cooked
Japan Day at Doc's
Tuna sushi that Angus ate most of
Japan Day at Doc's
The finished lotus root
Japan Day at Doc's
Japan Day at Doc's
Fried chicken - this stuff was awesome!!
Japan Day at Doc's
Marinated egg plant
Japan Day at Doc's
Variety of mushrooms
Japan Day at Doc's
Negi and asparagus skewers
Japan Day at Doc's
Noodle dish also done on the barbecue
Japan Day at Doc's
Chicken and negi skewers
Japan Day at Doc's
Squid that Cin did
Japan Day at Doc's
Titanic icebergs
Japan Day at Doc's
Japanese beer
Japan Day at Doc's
We didn't eat this one, but she certainly was cute enough! ;)
Japan Day at Doc's

An awesome afternoon :)

New Lounge

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So this is the new lounge in situ.  We moved the fish tank into another corner and pushed the lounge further back.

New Lounge

Well the first step in the drama that is Apple was moving my 3GS to another computer.  I wasn't interested in any music or playlists, just my apps and settings.  So did a final backup on the old computer, made a file system backup of the backup, and then hooked it up to the other computer.  It actually went ok, showing up and doing a backup.  I then told it to "transfer purchases" which downloaded all the apps off the phone and saved them to the new computer.  So yeah the first step went ok.  Although I'm not entirely sure that the new computer thinks it's the "true" owner of the phone, but more on that later.

Tuesday night I thought I'd upgrade my 3GS to IOS 6.  First step was another full backup.  Followed by backup of the backup files on the file system.  

Starting the update, I got this message.  To which I'm like "but I just *did* a backup!".  So I did another backup, and another transfer of purchases.
iTunes sux
"There are purchased items on the iPhone "Kazza the Blank One" that have not been transferred to your iTunes library.  You should transfer these items to your iTunes library before updating this iPhone.  Are you sure you want to continue?"

I also got this message.  Which in retrospect suggested that the new iTunes/computer wasn't the "owner" of the phone.  But I thought it would be ok.  I had backups after all.
iTunes sux
"Updating to iOS 6.0 will delete all the apps and media, including iTunes Store purchases on your iPhone.  To preserve your content, apply this update on the computer where you sync apps, music, videos and photos.  Updating on this computer will only preserve contacts, calendars, text messages and other settings.  Please do not interrupt the update, which may take an hour or more to complete."

The next battle was with our router, which keeps dropping off the internet, and so it took me three goes to download the 900mb update.  Eventually it came down.  

During the update I go this message.  Again, I had backups, so I wasn't *too* concerned.

iTunes sux
"An error occurred while backing up this iPhone (-50).  Would you like to continue to update this iPhone?  Continuing will result in the loss of all contents on this iPhone."

This is where things started to get messy.  The phone updated and rebooted.  It came up blank and wanted to be restored.  At one point it came up in the "activation mode" - where nothing actually works until you go into iTunes and activate it.  Another restore.  This time a blank phone with no apps (although seemingly all the settings for the default apps).  Another restore.  This time the phone kept rebooting and not staying up.  This was after midnight now and I thought I'd bricked the phone.  So went to bed but couldn't sleep.  Eventually got up again to check on it and the phone had come back up.  But still in a default state with no apps.

The next morning I got up thinking I'd lost all my apps/data.  But I thought I'd try synching a few of the apps to the phone anyway.  And miracle of miracles!  All my app data was there!!  I was so happy!

So happy that that afternoon I went out and bought an iPhone 5.

I couldn't use it straight away, as I was going to Chris B's for a halloween party.  But I was able to use it on wifi there. 

Came home and plugged it into iTunes.  Also got it going on wifi.  Or so I thought.  It dropped out twice.  A turn off/on of wifi in settings seemed to help.  Activated the sim, and was all up and running late that evening.  Synched a small set of apps to the phone, and they had all their app data.  So I thought I was set.

Not so much.

As it turns out, the wifi problems were actually a lot more major than I thought.  What I thought was the wifi dropping out completely doesn't seem to be the case.  And it seemed to be intermittent too.

Friday night I installed 6.01, which was *supposed* to fix the reported problems with wifi and wpa2.  Yeah no.  Not at all.  In fact if anything it's worse than it was before.

So this is the latest.  I know that wifi connects.  In fact I can use a ping app to prove it - 

And actually, when I turned wifi off/on it seems that when things worked initially before dropping out, it was simply because it was still using 3G before the wifi kicked in.  The ping times are quite high on 3G before it switches to wifi.

So then I thought maybe it was DNS.  But my DNS utility continues to work while other apps don't - 

DNS ok So it's got me stumped.  Why would ping and DNS apps work, but not regular applications?  It's just not logical.

And the other weird thing is that push notifications continue to work.  For example, I was on Echofon (Twitter) this morning.  I'd get the push notifications to my phone even before my computer showed them in the Twitter timeline. But I couldn't use Echofon to load the timeline.  Same thing with DrawSomething.  I'd get the notifications that it was my turn, but couldn't actually load a game!  How the hell does that work?  

So after a week of drama with Apple/iTunes, I'm this >< close to chucking it all in and getting an Android.  I don't know if there's any point asking for a new phone - because it's likely to have exactly the same problems right?  I feel like I should do some more testing.  Try it out a few people's places to see if it has the same problems there.  Maybe it's just the interaction with our wifi access point?  I don't think there's anything physically wrong with the phone.  In fact last night it seemed to work for a couple of hours.  So replacing it is not likely to help anyway.  The whole thing has made me super depressed.  Coupled with lack of sleep all week (even after late nights my body refuses to sleep in past 7am) and I'm just over everything.

Have done some more testing with DNS.  In safari I can access websites by ip address, but as soon as I try their FQDN, things don't work.  I've tried static and DHCP for IP address settings.  Maybe I should try another DNS server?  Maybe IPV6 is confusing things??

Tried static entries, and tried Google's DNS servers.  No luck :(

*some* sites work ok just as IP addresses - others still don't work

Spider Season

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The spiders are starting up again in full force.  This one spun a small but nicely formed orb web in the family room.  We took it away.  No webs in the house please.

Indoor spider

Survived the week...

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Just barely .. more blog posts to come, backfilling.

Stopped in at Tony's on the way home for a refreshing beverage, then we got Pizza Capers and watch Deathly Hallows Part 2.

RIP Missy Goat

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You will be missed :(


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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