June 2013 Archives

A few things

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  • Being stressed about having your blood taken makes your veins tense up and makes it that much harder to have your blood taken (three holes later .. )
  • There's a Chilean flag flying outside our building
  • There was a Mars Rover in the mall
  • Took a couple of hundred photos of colleagues playing touch footy.  Clocked my camera in the process
  • Had a lovely bbq at @CLBradley's tonight

Mars Rover in Belconnen Mall

Sorted out my tax, tidied the house (a bit), had dinner, watched some Masterchef (which made me hungry again), bought some stuff online, backed up my computer, did some jigsaw, continued trialling feed readers (The Old Reader is winning by quite a bit).

And Ren solved the maths formula from the other day.  Well done (I didn't think anyone would bother).  Solution posted in the extended entry.

And just for fun, here's a little log cabin that I got in Canada in 2004 - in pieces, had to glue it together.

Log Cabin

And I suppose congrats?? to this guy - photo taken just after he lost the job in 2010 as the last photo of our UK trip.

Kevin Rudd


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Tried three new RSS feed readers tonight - Comma Feed, Feedly, and The Old Reader.  

Stu suggested Comma Feed to me.  Its layout is ok, keyboard shortcuts work and I could rearrange my feeds, but I couldn't figure out how to not automatically mark things read as you scrolled past them.  But it was super sluggish with its response times and it also hung in my browser - flash crashed or something.  If it keeps doing that it'll be unusable.

Feedly rated highly in LifeHacker a while back.  I could rearrange feeds pretty easily, but the default layout is terrible (I like full articles - but to get full articles you have to click on that option for every feed - super annoying - and it's just inconsistent).  It imported pretty much everything as read, which didn't give me a lot to work with in terms of usability.  So far I hate it.

The Old Reader is my favourite of the three.  It's designed on Google's feed reader from a couple of generations ago.  Settings for not auto marking things read and keyboard shortcuts work, and those settings are retained between feeds.

Will keep up all three for the rest of the week, see how they behave.

I really think this could be the beginning of the end for Google.  How are they ever going to get market share on a product when the market simply doesn't trust them not to pull the service after a couple of years?

So I open my Dilbert RSS feed this morning to see this:

"Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com."

So that's another feed I won't be moving to a new feed reader this weekend.


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Nothing much happening.

Did a rather nice massaman curry on Sunday night, that was in the slow cooker all afternoon.

Tonight had dinner with the sweetie at Happy's.

Pretty sure the pool will be overflowing from all the rain we've had.

Yesterday afternoon (after doing our food shopping) we headed out to the club.  Chris did some rather nice soup, and some amazing jacket potatoes with a whole slew of wonderful toppings.

Chris' soup

Chris' soup

Chris' potato fillings

Oh and Peter may have done a nice salad :)

Peter's salad

We .. well we did desserts :)

Our desserts

The caramel slice was from a recipe I saw in the newsagent last week.  Snapped a photo of it and attempted to make it on Friday night.  But after taking it out of the oven it was completely solid on top and I thought it was an epic disaster.  Saturday morning I topped it with chocolate anyway, thinking if it was a complete failure I'd make a Violet Crumble Cheesecake Slice.  But as I cut it up I realised it wasn't such a complete disaster after all!  And in fact people liked it!

Caramel slice

I also made an apple crumble from an untested recipe I found online.  Actually I only used the topping from that recipe, I used another recipe for the apples.  But it was untested so I had no idea if it would work.  But it did!  Hurrah!

Apple crumble

After dinner we played Geoff's version of "Crazy Whist" which was very silly but a lot of fun.

Crazy Whist

Didn't sleep too well in the caravan.  Not really sure why, I was warm enough even though it was freezing*.  I disturbed some kangaroos at 6:30 going to pee .. hrmm.

J&H did bacon and eggs from breakfast and we used the leftover potatoes as well so that was pretty nice.

We were going to do some stuff with the caravan, but in the end just came home.

* I mean freezing in the figurative sense as it wasn't freezing *inside* the caravan.  Apparently people aren't clear on the difference between my figurative and literal speech.  However it did in fact freeze outside overnight, and there was plenty of frost on the ground to prove it.

In about year eight (give or take a year) we were learning to solve mathemetical formula such as this one:

Australian Magazine Maths Formula

Yes really :)

ok so were just learning this stuff in general when a magazine advert came out with the above formula.  Well not quite.  It actually had a mistake in it and didn't work.  So we figured out what was wrong with it and fixed it, and that's what's above.

I can't imagine for a second that anyone will bother to try and solve it, but just in case anyone does, I'll hold off posting the photo from the magazine.

Formula courtesy of http://www.codecogs.com/eqneditor


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Whyyyy did they have to cancel Firefly?  Whyyyy??  It was such a great show.  I've watched the series through four times and still don't get why they cancelled it.  It was so awesome!


So looked through my archives and realised I last watched the entire series through in 2008 ..?!?  Can't believe it's been that long!

Was filing photos from 2007 tonight.  There were heaps of photos I took at the end of my work at my last job.  And heaps of photos of some of the stuff I gave away or sold before I left Sydney.  It made me feel weird.  Sort of nostalgic, but in a more negative sort of way.  Sort of a feeling of longing and missing ..

Got myself on the Riot Act again tonight with a couple of my pictures of the hail and rainbows after today's storm..

Hail and rainbows

Hail and rainbows


Memory Lane

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I was looking at some work I did for my last job tonight.  Talk about a trip down memory lane.  Some of it I'm doing again in my current job.  It's funny to see the differences, and the similarities.  Talked to Jake for a while tonight too (I was reminded of the server we had called "kazza" that was our utility and software repository, which was later moved to a share on the main file server when the servers got virtualised.  Asked him about it - sadly, the share has gone now - oh well!).  I was talking about the cleaning I'm doing at work at the moment, and he said "I still envy your cleaning/documenting powers"  .. wonder if I could put that in my next performance review?? :)

24 hours

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Had a full (and exactly) 24 hours at the club overnight.  Relaxed a bit in the caravan in the afternoon (it was *freezing* outside with a cold wind blowing).  Then had some wine and cheese in the freezing club house (we could see our breath) while watching penguins before raiding the cabin where A&J were staying.  Well they had a fire.  Had dinner with them then played a couple of games of Fluxx.

Club wine and cheese

Club possum

Today we had a bit of a sleep in (I even slept later than my usual 7am wakeup time!).  My brain/bladder training paid off and didn't need to go all night :)  I had bacon and eggs for breakfast but Stu was suffering from all the apples he ate last night (part of our trial run dessert for next weekend) so he spent pretty much the whole day in bed feeling miserable :( .  Cleaned up from last night, then played some more Fluxx while the kids ran around the place.

So poor Stu didn't really get the relaxing weekend that he was hoping for - too much socialising and discomfort :(

Thirty years ago today, we went up Sydney Tower.  Here's Mum's scanned photos, along with some of mine from 2011 for comparison.  The view south is probably the most dramatically different!

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Sydney Tower 1983

Sydney Tower 2011

Domino Designer

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So I had some fun today.  Playing with Domino Designer.  Working on a documentation database.

Yeah there's a couple of sentences people probably wouldn't put together too often ;)

Things have changed a bit from 7 to 8.5, but then plenty of things have stayed the same.  Plus I wasn't doing anything too complicated.  So achieved most of what I wanted.  Now to populate the database with some data ..

Fun times :)

Da plane!

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How cute is this Lego sea plane Fiona gave me on the weekend? :):)

Lego sea plane

Not as sick today as I was yesterday.  Tried to work from home, but the VPN or something kept freezing up, making it completely unworkable, so I gave up and went into work.

I've been doing heaps of photo filing.  It's awfully hard work.  Well some of it is easy, but a lot is hard.  The sheer numbers don't help.  I've filed a lot of my digital photos because I don't have to scan them.  But even so, there's still seven and a half thousand photos left to sort from 1999, 2003 and 2007 (I've been jumping around a bit to keep interested).  After that there's just the analog photos.  But will need to rescan a heap of those, as they were only scanned at 150 dpi the first time.  That'll get merged with the scanning of mum's photos I'm doing.

It's kinda freaky having blogged for ten years.  Because now I can go back and see what I was doing "ten years ago today".  Like being contacted by my best friend from Year 7 (sadly that didn't go any further :( ).  And tomorrow will have been ten years since ice skating at Fox Studios with Jim and John and a group of others.

John and Jim ice skating

Yep.  I have a cold.  Again.  Stu has the flu.

Epic pissed off.

Phonakins weekend

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On Friday night Fiona arrived in town.  We had some muscat and chatted for a while before bed.

Saturday morning we went into Braddon and met up with @chrispycon at Sweet Bones for brunch.  They had some nice cupcakes and Fiona got us some nachos as well.  Was good to see Chris again, it's been too long.

Sweet Bones cupcake

Sweet Bones nachos

We left Fiona to her own devices for a while and came home and listened to the #Classic100 and did some housework.  Got some takeaway Dumpling Inn for dinner.  We started watching Dark City but we kept talking and missing stuff, so decided to put on Labyrinth because then it wouldn't matter if we talked over the top of it.  That, and we could admire Jareth's bulge ;)

Sunday morning we chilled out and listened to the #Classic100 while Fiona went off to the markets.  In the afternoon/evening we went to the Roller Derby which was a lot of fun.  

This morning we went to Black Pepper for brunch.  Then home for a while before Fiona left for home.

Tonight (after being inspired by the #Classic100) we watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

So quite a lovely weekend, with a nice mix of socialising and down time (letting me do lots of photo sorting!), and it was great to catch up with Fiona again.

Roller Derby!

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Tonight us and Fiona went along to the finals of Skate-turion - a roller derby tournament.  It was surprisingly fun!  The only exposure I've had to roller derby was the movie Whip It that the sweetie and I watched a couple of weeks ago.  So didn't have too much idea what was going on to start with.  But after reading up on some of the rules in breaks, and just watching, I got a bit of an idea and it was quite fun to watch.

We arrived just as the C-Division game was finishing so didn't see much of that.  Then moved into the other room to see the B-Division and A-Division finals.






The B-Division final was between Perth and Canberra.  It was a pretty good game, but Perth was much better than Canberra, and won convincingly.



Mary Fagdalene from Perth Roller Derby.  She was really good.


Then the A-Division game started.  And oh my!  Those girls were awesome!  Canberra made a very strong start and one of their jammers, ShortStop, made the most amazing moves.  The crowd went crazy.  But Brisbane played very well and hit the lead and managed to keep it, although Canberra did make a come back, it just didn't quite work.









We were there for four hours.  Note for next time: take a cushion to sit on!  Most people had done it before, so were well prepared.  Us, not so much.  heh.  Also, the whistles blowing were super loud, which hurt my sensitive ears somewhat.

But it was great fun event.  We might just have to see more bouts some time..!


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So my fate at work changed not only from day to day but from hour to hour, and in fact within the same meeting apparently.  So still waiting to find out what will happen.

Other than that, the usual busyness.  Although there was one day where I was trying to find something to do.  Not for want of having anything to do, just not having anything not boring to do ;)  But that resolved itself and by this afternoon I was working to the Bolero, which was entirely surreal.

Tonight we watched some Firefly, and then put on Dragonheart.  I love that movie.

Fiona should be here shortly.  Hope she has a nice weekend here.

Spent pretty much my entire evening filing photos.  It's hard work!  Only 13000-odd to go .. 

  1. Pork scotch fillet steaks.  Smaller than beef ones, so I thought I'd give them a try.
  2. Jamie Oliver Tefal frying pan that Stu bought me recently for cooking small things, to replace a cheap crappy one we had.
  3. Paul Newman South West Ranch dressing, to go with a salad of rocket lettuce, baby cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

Put them all together.  Deliciousness ensues!

Run That Town

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Pretty quiet day today.  Didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to :(

Dropped by Annie's, had lunch at Fortune Box and did our food shopping.  Spent seemingly half the day starving - in the lead up to lunch, and in the lead up to dinner :(

Later in the afternoon I downloaded and spent entirely too much time playing Run That Town.  It is, as described, quite addictive, completely drawing you in.  It starts off a bit slow.  You have enough money but not "clout" to get things done.  Your ratings go up or down based on the popular decisions of your area's demographic.  Which means turning down an airport in a Canberra suburb might get you a big down vote!  Once I got the hang of reading the popular opinion, I tended to get rated favourably.  Plus I was spending lots, so my popularity went up, peaking at 84%.  But then I started to be spending more than I was earning, which meant if I was going to last the ten years, I had to fuss about not paying maintenance on things, but then having to turn it back on before the things fell into disrepair.  Towards the end there were less proposals so pretty much just sat there watching popularity slowly dwindle.  Finished off with 17426 points, 63% popularity.  No idea if that's any good!  Think it was pretty mediocre.  The game crashed on me twice.  And a major annoyance was having to scroll a *lot* through all the public works to look at them and turn maintenance on/off.  Don't know if there was an option to do it any more efficiently.  Not sure I'd play it again.  I probably would with somewhere in Sydney where I've lived.  So yeah a couple of hours wasted there.  Whoops.

Letting Go

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I decided last week that I needed to stop reading my three busiest news feeds - Boing Boing, Life Hacker and Neatorama.

They were basically becoming a burden that was killing me.  They'd only take twenty minutes or so a day to do a basic skim through, but if you missed a day the next you'd have to spend forty minutes, and the next day would be an hour.  But then there'd be the "interesting" articles that I'd want to read or look at later, which meant either dozens of browser tabs, or dozens of unread articles I'd have to scroll past until I got around to looking at them.  I found I was spending what seemed like hours on the weekend just trying to keep up.

So I'm letting them go.

Boing Boing is usually the quickest to get through because I don't need to read many of the articles.  But at 30-50 items per day it was a struggle to keep on top of.  This feed I held onto for a long time, simply because it's my only source of internet "news" (albeit very biased).  How else was I going to find out about the bigger memes and general world news?

Lifehacker was usually the hardest to let go because there are always so many interesting articles.  But I figured if I need to find anything about the topics they cover, I can always search it later.

Neatorama always has lots of cool stuff, especially for travel, so I found myself leaving them lying around so I could add them to the travel todo lists. 

And I think I'll unsubscribe from Dooce as well.  Ever since she stopped putting full articles into the RSS feed (presumably to make more money from click-throughs) it's been a pain to read them (plus I feel a bit used by *having* to go to the site to read her content).  I'll just read the ones she links to from Twitter.

But with google reader meeting its demise, it was time to do a big declutter, and take a stack of dead blogs etc out to minimise what I have to take with me elsewhere.

The other thing I'm unsubscribing from is FlyLady.  I joined this list at the end of 2005 when I first met Annie.  But it also has dozens of mails per day and I found I just wasn't reading them anymore.  Well I never really read them all that much all along, but now I rarely read any at all.

So now I just need to make sure I use the spare time wisely, and not just playing mindless games...

Cheesy Saturday

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Today I had to go into work for an upgrade.  I was there for a couple of hours, but it all went relatively smoothly.

Tonight we went over to Chris and Geoff's for raclette.  Oh my!  So much cheesy goodness!  I might have eaten a little too much.  But it was so delicious!


And a pretty awesome blackberry dessert as well

Blackberry dessert

But then I got a sms from Tony who was having some trouble with an application that we'd apparently broken today.  So that stressed me out for the rest of our time there :(

But got onto Windy and it looks as if he's been able to fix it, so probably won't have to go back in tomorrow after all. Phew!

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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