Commentary: December 2009 Archives

2009 Year in Review

| | Comments (0)
This will end up being my year in review post.  When I actually get around to writing it ;)

Just putting a placeholder here cause MT is pretty crap at back dating across months.

..

So. 2009.  

Certainly not as *big* a year as 2008.

We've been in our house over a year now, but it's still not really "settled".  We did buy a nice big dining table, but that's about it.  We still haven't fully organised the rumpus room (although shelves are finally on order!!), and so "my" hobby room has been held up because of that (and because I've been too lazy to try and Freecycle all the crap that's been dumped in there).  We've only put hooks in the wall for one thing (my big Lego mosaic) so most of our pictures are still waiting for somewhere to go.  The spare bedroom has continued to be really really useful, and we've had a steady stream of people staying the night (mostly my brother heh).  The pool has been *brilliant*.  Mostly got the hang of taking care of it, so hopefully we don't get any algal blooms this year.

Work has been variable again this year.  The first half of the year feels like a bit of a blur.  I got a couple of big projects completed mostly on schedule.  The second half of the year was mostly working on the one thing, which we tried but failed to get into production by Christmas.  All through the year it was just insanely busy.  Not as insane as Stu's work though.  He was essentially doing three people's work and the stress of it all was taking a toll on his health.  So when an ex colleague had a positition advertised, she said he should apply.  Which he did, and he got it.  So a new year and a new job for the sweetie.

Our big holiday of the year was a trip to Japan for two weeks.  It was a significant challenge to try and organise because we went with a total of six people.  In the end Nat and I did the majority of the planning which worked reasonably well.  The holiday was *fantastic*!! - had a really great time.  Wish we could have stayed longer - at least twice as long would have been the bare minimum I think.

Went to Sydney a few times - in January over the long weekend while Stu played in Cancon - just caught up with lots of my friends and family.  Also in October for a primarily touristy weekend - even stayed in a hotel!  And then for Christmas and again for New Years.  Went down to Malua Bay with DC three times in March, April and October.  Mostly just us and him, but we did get Neil down for the October weekend.  And to Kangaroo Valley for Chris B's 50th which was a lot of fun.

Our fish tank numbers remained stable at seven.  We did lose a huge number of fish in the heatwave in February (where we had three consecutive 40C days with no cooling down at night).  All the julis, all but one of the adult multis, and all the tetras and the other little fish died.  The young multies and my angel were the only upstairs survivors.  I replaced the tetties with some leopard danios.  The multis grew up and have been breeding like rabbits.  Stu brought home the three julis he had at work and got some leleupies too.  The kribs downstairs I think need to have their tank rearranged, as they just sit there and do *nothing* all day.  Guppy breeding has slowed down dramatically too, not sure what's going on there, maybe needs some new genes..

Fairly quiet Lego year.  Made a nice big mosaic of Australia, and now my mosaics have a hanging place in the spare room.  I dug out and sold a bunch of Space Lego which cleared a little space - but have a long way to go!  And over Christmas built the Star Destroyer and Millennium Falcon to have them on display together.

Movies
  • The Reader - a bit disjointed but interesting
  • Star Trek - really good, although changed too much cannon for my liking
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - a lot of fun, but a bit weak as a movie compared to the book
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea - very sweet
  • Up - pretty good, a bit dulled by the 3D glasses
  • Avatar - beautiful, but killed by the 3D glasses
Books (this is possibly not all of them)
  • Shere by Michael Crichton
  • all the TOS Star Trek movie books
  • Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Roald Dahl Fizwizzing collection (except the autobiographies)
  • Inner Space by Nathan Elliot
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton
  • First four Little House books by Laura Ingalls-Wilder
  • Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
  • The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by William Kotzwinkle
  • It Sucked and then I Cried by Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams

Other snippets
  • Had some car trouble - battery was only a year and a half old, but kept dying, probably because of the central locking draining it.  NRMA battery dude who eventually replaced it after Christmas didn't seem overly competant
  • Got frustrated with the *crap* sold at computer fairs - most of which simply does not work
  • Went to a balloon fiesta in March.  Still haven't been up in one!
  • Went to the Darwin exhibition at the museum with DC
  • Saw The 39 Steps at the theatre with DC
  • Two dust storms - dust so fine the pool filter won't get it out
  • Several anime nights
  • Got a Wii and spent many many hours playing on it
  • Two work trivia nights that our table won, so we got nominated to run the next one.  But it was cancelled at the last minute due to lack of interest.  Also came second in the TAMS trivia night at the stadium.
  • Hard drived died, so got a new one and have been trialling Windows 7
  • Had a Monty Python night - watched the three movies and drank Holy GrAil
  • Frustration with my hosting provider, who did an upgrade and broke my captchas.  Then they did something else that broke logging in October and that hasn't worked since.  For me, it's a case of you get what you pay for (which is nothing, so I can't complain).  
  • Went to Air Guitar championships with Nat - extremelly noisy - would take ear plugs if I went again
  • Went to Newcastle for Stu's grandmother's funeral
  • A couple of fondue nights (cheese/chocolate and meat), and Singstar afternoons at Windy's.  Did a couple of chocolate fondue nights here with ourselves and friends.
  • Went to the snow twice on consecutive weekends - a Sunday then a Saturday - both times with Steve W.
  • Had a hanami festival in our front yard under our blooming cherry tree
  • Went to Floriade Nightfest
  • My highschool penfriend, Pirjo, from Finland, came to stay with us and we went out to Tidbinbilla to see the kangaroos up close
  • Hottest November on record (we completely skipped spring and went from winter to summer)
So there you go.  Happy new year everyone :)

Avatar

| | Comments (0)
Avatar After dinner at Hog's Breath Cafe last night with Nat&Andrew and Gaelian&Stefanie, we all went along to see Avatar.  

I hadn't seen a single preview for it, or read any reviews, so I went into it with no idea what to expect (which I usually find is a good thing heh).

Stu's complaint was it was totally predictable, and James Cameron ripped off other people's ideas yet again.  And that is true.  But you have to remember that this is a James Cameron Hollywood blockbuster - of course it's going to be like that.  You don't go to a movie like this really expecting any new ideas.  

What you can expect is a movie that visually is utterly stunning and incredibly beautiful.  As someone who likes bright shiny coloured things I was enraptured by the forest at night :)

A big downer for me actually was the 3D.  The glasses really dull the colours and brightness of the picture to the point where even scenes in the sunshine look subdued and lifeless.  I think there's more to lose from the 3D than to gain from the experience (which is fairly distracting anyway).  

So anyway.  The test of a good movie for me is in repeated watchings.  Maybe we'll see it again in 2D ..

Nothing to say

| | Comments (2)
Sorry I really have nothing say tonight.

Oh yes I do.  I think the pilot of Tuniter Flight 1153 got a really rough deal getting jailed for their plane crash.  

It's time

| | Comments (5)
My current mobile phone contract is up, so I'm in the market for a new phone (why keep paying my current monthly bill when I've paid off the handset? - may as well get a new one).  Which leaves me with a dilemma - what sort of phone should I get?

I currently use a Blackberry 8707 - it's old and slow and doesn't have a camera.  My requirements for a new phone include a camera, and GPS would be nice but not essential.  I would also like a qwerty keyboard, as I've gotten quite attached to that over the past four and a half years.  And it needs to be able to use my current email address (not a telco address) and be able to backup any mail I send on it (the Optus BIS service will let you forward all outbound emails to a nominated address).

So what to get?

I originally would have thought there'd be no other choice than another Blackberry.  It's got the keyboard and interface I like, but the new ones don't have a scroll wheel (I find the ball annoying).  And the web browser sucks donkey balls. Or at least current versions do, I haven't seen the lastest version.

Now something I hadn't considered really until today was an iPhone.  Now I generally am anti any i-anything, for no logical reason other than the i-bandwagon that everyone was jumping on (much of the reason why I refuse to use things like MySpace and Facebook, but I suppose that could go against me since I do use Twitter).  

So I am prepared to be convinced.  Sell it to me :)  Can an iPhone do what I want?  Any pitfalls or gotchas?  If there's convincing enough arguments I'll seriously consider it.

(and if there's any Blackberry users out there, same goes for you :) )
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.

Kazza the Blank One home