Thursday, June 30, 2005


Half-Nekkid Thursday

So the other day Ian commented that since I now have a digital camera, I should do a Half-Nekkid Thursday post. So I read up on the rules, and here's my effort!

This is Avandra, my Night-Elf Druid. It's kind of a picture of me, but it was certainly taken by me, so I'm pretty sure it counts.

I'm not quite sure why I needed to wait for a digital camera before I could do this though, since the Print Screen button seemed much more useful...


World of Warcraft? Awesome

I'm having so much fun with World of Warcraft at the moment. I had a serious heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing, woo-hooing moment last night. My newest character, a Night Elf Druid on the Shadow Council server, is proving to be the best character I've played so far. This could be a long, boring post going into way to many details about how I killed some monsters and completed a quest, but I wont.

Instead, I'll just say I fought some monsters I didn't expect to beat and through a combination of persistence and smarts was able to win probably the most exciting fight of my playing time so far. I did so well that after I'd finished the quest I decided to fight my way back out of the cave instead of just using my Hearthstone to teleport back to the inn.

I hope everyone who's playing is having as much fun as me, and anyone who isn't playing should go and buy this game today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


ATM Debacle

For lunch today we went to Debacle. Mostly because I got us 25% off thanks to the Entertainment Book (which I'm sure I could link to, but I'm too lazy/busy). I needed to grab some cash, so I went to the ATM at Debacle.

The machine was displaying a helpful message about how it was unfortunately out of paper, so it wouldn't be able to give me a receipt. "Fine" I thought, since I had a pretty good idea about the amount of money I had anyway. So I swiped my card and entered my pin.

"Just so you know" said the machine, "and in case you missed it before, I've actually run out of paper. So I can give you a receipt. Is that okay? Do you want to keep going?".
"Yes, I noticed that before" said I, "and it's not what I'm here for, so I'm happy to keep going".
"Okay!" said the machine. "What would you like to do? Get a Balance?".
"Um, sorry? I was after some money..."
"Your options are: Get a Balance"
"Okay..." so I canceled the transaction and started again, assuming the machine had gotten itself confused.
"Just so you know" started the machine "and in case you missed it before, I've actually run out of paper..."
"Yes yes, I know you're out of paper, and I'm cool with that."
"Okay! What would you like to do? Get a Balance?".
"No, I want some cash!"
"I can give you a Balance!"
"Fine then, " said I "maybe that will give me what I want"
"I'm out of paper, so I can only write a balance to the screen! Is that okay?"
"Aggggghhh!" *cancel**cancel**cancel*
"Just so you know, and in case you missed it before..."
"Yes I know!"
"Okay! What would you like to..."
"A Withdrawal! I want a Withdrawal!" *stabbing madly at the button*
"I can give you a Balance!"

So then I went around to the petrol station, where the ATM was a lot less talkative, and could have given me a receipt if I wanted one.

Monday, June 27, 2005


The Lion King

A little while ago Karina and I decided to go and see the Lion King. Since we'd left it so late, we discovered that it's actually about to finish in Sydney. So we managed to get tickets to the second last performance on Saturday night.

We used wotif to find some accommodation, and ended up staying at the Quest apartments, complete with underground parking. As it turned out, it was about a 10min walk from the theatre through China Town. Basically we couldn't have stayed any closer.

We had dinner at some random Chinese restaurant (which is the way to go I've discovered) - the two person banquet was lots of tasty food, complete with lychees and icecream. We arrived at the theatre and grabbed our seats in perfect time. The performance was fantastic - the woman playing Rafiki the baboon shaman stole the show (although she didn't blast anyone with her elemental magic). The Circle of Life (which was my favourite bit from the movie) opening sequence was amazing - Karina's comment was that it was so good it almost ruined the rest of the show. The sets and costumes were superb - I loved how they did the stampede.

After the show we wondered back to our room, and didn't get up until just before we were meant to check out. We had breakfast at a random cafe on the harbour, and then had an easy drive home. Overall, a fantastic trip. I'd seriously recommend the Lion King if you haven't already see it - it starts in Melbourne in a few weeks...

Sunday, June 26, 2005


New Camera Photos!

I got my first digital camera on Friday. It's a Panasonic Limux FZ20. A black one. I figured I'd post some of the photos I took over the weekend. I've got some more, but these are the ones that are on the camera at the moment.

This is a shot of a balloon we saw while driving on Saturday morning. I was pretty impressed with how it came out, considering it was take at maximum zoom through the windscreen of a moving car. If you look carefully on the left-hand side, you can just see the camera hanging off the side of the balloon.

The second shot isn't quite as good - by that point we were virtually under the balloon, which made the angle tricky. But you can see the balloon camera better.

We wondered past a couple of amusing shops in China Town while we were in Sydney, so I thought I'd get shots of them as well.

This was a bird I spotted out by the water as we wondered around the harbour looking for somewhere for breakfast. I used the rapid fire mode on the camera, and this was my favourite.

Finally, this guy had decided to move in while we were away. I decided to test out the macro setting before I let him go on the golf course.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Muse Inspired ADD

I'm feeling creative at the moment. But not the good "I've got this great idea that I'm going to make" sort of creative. Instead it's a kind of dissatisified, bored kind of feeling I get sometimes where I really want/need to create something, but without any idea what. It's unhelpful, because when I feel like this I find it hard to concentrate on anything for very long - I get bored too easily.

So if this feeling doesn't go away, I'll probably have something interesting to write about after the weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


New CDs

So after not getting any CDs in Melbourne, last Tuesday I decided to go to JB Hi-Fi and see what I could find. Turns out they were having a sale, so I walked away with half a dozen new albums. I'm going to do a little review for each one, but I figured I'd just mention there's some new music on iTunes. Here's what I got:

Upping the Ante - Emily Ulman
The Dresden Dolls - The Dresden Dolls
The Grotto - Kristin Hersh
Fight For Your Mind - Ben Harper
Holy Wood - Marilyn Manson
New Adventures in Hi-Fi - R.E.M


Slow Dogs

So Lindsay suggested that I add citronella oil to my spray bottle if Mikal doesn't take the hint. She's heard it's pretty effective...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Consumer Weekend

Our weekend in Melbourne was really good. We took down two suitcases - one full of our stuff, and the other full of the first suitcase - and came back with them both very full. Most of it was boring (as in "not for me") clothes, although I did get a couple of new jumpers and t-shirts. Oh, and a very nice leather jacket. On the more interesting side (as in "not clothes"), we picked up a copy of the Tale of Genji, which is the first novel ever written (well, actually it's not. But it's close. And you find a novel from the 11th centurary that's more famous). I also grabbed a Philip K Dick omnibus, which includes Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep.

We had dinner at a couple of really nice places. The first covered both sides of a little alley in Flinders Lane. On Saturday night we went to a place called The River in Southbank. We got given a table at the window overlooking the Yarra, and decided to order the seafood platter. It took us over an hour to get through. Yum.

We checked out the DFO on Monday. We were fairly shopped out by that point, considering it was a few hours before our flight home, but I did have the standard "random, weird moment". I bumped into someone I went to school with who I haven't seen in about a year. She just happened to be in Melbourne for the long weekend as well.

So yeah, great weekend.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


I Am Ironman!

Japan invents powersuits!


Extra Long Weekend

So I've got to put in a good days work today, because I'm off to Melbourne early tomorrow morning. I could pretend that some big, international company wanted to interview me, but then I'd just be lying. The real reason is that we booked our flights months ago. We thought we'd be going to a 70th birthday this weekend, and so figured we'd be organised and save a bit of money with the cheap flights that were on offer at the time.

Turns out, the person who's birthday it is, has decided to go away for the weekend. So we're going to spend the weekend staying in a nice hotel, doing some shopping and generally being tourists. We've both got most of our families in Melbourne, so despite that fact that we've been there at least a couple of times every year for the past quarter of a century, we've never actually done the touristy things.

So that's what we'll be doing for the next four days.



Well, there are a few things I wanted to link to from other blogs I read. So I figured I'd stick them all in one post and add my comments.

First off, Boing Boing pointed me towards Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers. Somewhere at home we've got a copy of Fellowship of the Ring that a friend got for me in Thailand. The description on the back is fairly confusing (I'm pretty sure Steven Spielberg didn't direct this), until you realise it's actually the text for the movie AI.

Anyone who's read Good Omens might be interested in these photos. They're of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett doing their Crowley and Aziraphale impersonations from the cover. If you haven't read Good Omens, you really should. Hell, come and see me and I'll lend you the book.

In other news, Stilly's feeling depressed/stressed. Which I guess I'd kind of realised. But what's interesting is that I'm apparently part of the problem, being the youngest guy in the section (although Katie is even younger). But that really shouldn't worry him - after all, I look 5 years older than I should.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Friendly Scales

We got a set of electronic scales for our wedding (which was almost two years ago now). They've worked pretty well, but the batteries are finally starting to go. This morning K came and told me that she didn't want me to replace the batteries any time soon. She'd stepped on them, and they'd very nicely told her that her current weight was "low".


Lamest Injury Ever

Paper cuts are annoying. Besides hurting much more than a normal cut, you've got to deal with the added humiliation of being cut by a piece of paper. I mean it's paper! How dangerous can it be? But last night I discovered something even higher on the scale of lame household injuries.

I am currently sporting a cardboard cut on my left thumb. Has anyone heard of anything dumber?

Friday, June 03, 2005


Random Link Time

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Workish Stuff

I would have posted this to Randlings, except I'm pretty sure I heard Gordon say Randlings was down at the moment. And, of course, the only people who'd notice an update to Randlings are those with aggregators, and it's probably a safe bet to say all of them are subscribed to Exceptionally Uncaught...

The ideas been around of a little while, but I actually started writing some sample apps for the webservice this week. At the moment I've got two (well, two and a half, but no one will be seeing the half until it's a whole). Both are pretty basic, but I'm reasonably pleased with them.

The first was for Straughn, who wanted something simple he could point at a webservice somewhere and have it do something. A nice demo for the sales people. So the licenser will go off and report back what parts of TRIM you currently have licensed on the server. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually work on Straughn's machine yet (although it's worked on everyone else's).

The second was for Chris. He was very unimpressed that he couldn't find out the names of the various input properties easily, so I whipped him up the Listinator. You give it an object type, and you get back a list of all the input properties, complete with type and readonly status.

The thing I like about both these apps is that you can specify the webservice and the user. Tony had written his own version of the Listinator, but it wasn't doing Chris any good because the webservice it was pointing to wasn't running anymore.

The half-finished app is something Stilly's been suggesting for a while. It's designed to periodically notify you about things in your In Tray. The idea is to run it on SPERMs, so you won't suddenly discover you'd had 8 SPRs for the last two weeks. So far I've got it sending me emails with a list of records, but hopefully by the end of tomorrow I'll have a version that will work for multiple users, adds any SPRs to your task list in Outlook, removes them when you're done, sends you an email when a new SPR is raised, and each day (or something) sends you a list of what you've got left (all nicely formatted to bring attention to the oldest ones).

If anyone can think of any improvements to what I've got, or any suggestions about other little samples that would be useful, come and have a chat. If you want to have a play, the licenser and the Listinator are both sitting in my Simon's Stuff/Webservice Demos (you'll have to copy them out of my shared directory before you run them).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Well, There Goes Myth Busters

Flipping through the channels tonight, I found Beyond Tomorrow on channel Seven. It's basically a new version of Beyond 2000. Two of the three stories I saw were pretty interesting and reasonably well presented. The first was about a "3D printer" and the third was about a cheetah fertility program. The middle story was a bit lame - it was able a self-cooling beer can - but that had more to do with the presenter than the idea.

Then it happened. They showed these amazing guys who take the time to test out all the urban myths we hear so often! I thought that maybe they were going to do an interview with the Myth Busters, and maybe talk about some of the cool things they've done. But no. Instead, they showed a seriously cut down version of one myth (the mobile exploding a petrol pump one), and pretended that Jamie and Adam were basically just part of the Beyond 2000 team.

So after jamming something that originally took 20-30 minutes into about 5, they told us we could see the "crazy Myth Busters" next week on Beyond Tomorrow. Naturally they didn't mention that we could see the full version on SBS.

The most obvious reason is that channel Seven has discovered this show that seems to be popular, and is planning to snatch up the rights, but they aren't sure if it will work. But really channel Seven, was it that hard to find an original story? Of course, what's probably going to happen is they buy the rights to the show, cut it down, jerk it around a bit and then axe it because they've got a Blue Healers special to play.


I Can't Think of a Good Title

It looks like I've found my holiday reading list...

(I thought of all sorts of amusing comments, but I figured there's not really any point)


Current Status of Head: Warm

So I have a beanie. It's pretty much your standard black, woolen, knitted beanie. My parents refer to it as my Intelligence Lowering Beanie, while I and most of my friends call it my Crim Beanie. I love it. I've had it for years, but I didn't really start wearing it until uni. Over the past 5 or 6 years it's done a fantastic job of keeping my ears toasty warm on cold Canberra mornings, and it's protected my head from wind, rain and snow. When I wear it, especially if I haven't shaved for a day or two, it makes me look sufficiently dodgie that no one bothers to hassle me when I'm wondering around alone late at night.

I was understandably upset when I realised I couldn't find it this year. It wasn't in any of the normal places - I hadn't put it safely away in a draw. I hadn't left it in the pocket of my gortex jacket. It wasn't hiding in my normal jacket. It wasn't ready in case of an emergency in my pack. Karina promised me she hadn't "lost it" (she hates my beanie as much as I love it). Every time I've been going out in the cold, I've looked for my beanie, and every time I've been disappointed. Last week I finally gave up and decided to buy a new one. But I couldn't find just a plain black, woolen beanie anywhere (the best I could do was a crappy thinsulate one - if you don't know, once thinsulate gets wet, it's amazingly difficult to get dry).

Then last night I was getting ready to go iceskatting, lamenting the fact that I still had no beanie, when I got a brainwave. I rushed downstairs and went into the garage. After rummaging around for a few minutes, I found it! It had been in a pile of crap I pulled out of my old car about 5 months ago.

So now I can look like a window washer while being protected from the elements!

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