Monday, December 08, 2008

Going Private

My wife and I had a chat about how much of our life is out there and mainly because if the kids she has asked that I restrict to blog to family and friends and people on line that I 'know'.

I'll see how it goes or I may split it into two - a place where I can continue to be a smart arse and a private one where I put anything about the kids or more personal stuff.

She grew up in Colombia where as a kid her classmates were kidnapped and their parents gunned down so it's understandable if she wants me to have a lower online profile.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Proof that I am a bigger dork than you

Screen caps of me in a video conference - I don't normally work in a singlet - I'd just come back from the gym. That's a peach by the way

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Accents - what does yours sound like?

I'm grinning with pride listening to these guys. And the talking frogs aint bad either.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I have talked previously about what I do but if any of you out there look after websites or work in a uni for a living I thought you may be interested in the scale of online learning in a modern uni.
The graph above show hits per hour for an average day, at 4AM it plummets to nearly 300K hits but never much below that. We gets students logging in from all over the world. In one month alone we had 600k logins with an average stay of over an hour - that's over six hundred thousand hours of contact with the online learning system in one month. My staff took over 10k support calls and emails this year from academic staff alone. We podcast over 700 hrs of lectures a week. It has been a big year - I'm going to enjoy the xmass break - how about you.

Friday, November 28, 2008


How will our kids see their childhood? will they know how much they were loved? will they remember the simple pleasures of kids playing on the beach?


Sinse yesterday morning I've been following what news there is on Mumbai. Various people trapped in hotels have been texting, and calling the outside world - connected by their mobiles. Everyday indians have been twittering and posting blogs of their expirences.
Annadon and Arun Shanbhag in particular have been posting from their homes on the same block as one of the hotels involved. Vinu has been posting photos on flickr.

Here is some of Arun Shanbhag latest blog post ..


November 26, 2008 by Arun Shanbhag

This morning as I saw smoke billowing from the windows of the Taj, I was composed!
When I heard about my friend’s brother being shot and encountered his wailing family, I was composed!
When I saw blood of the Leopold waiter pooled on the sidewalk with his tray still in the blood, I was composed!

But when I saw the dome of the Taj burning, my heart bleeds! It is all in knots!
I am overwhelmed! Finally tears, … in torrents!
NOW! I am … very, very sad!

I can’t do this!
I can’t watch this!
WIll the Taj be there when I wake up?
How can I sleep! I am scared to walk up to the terrace and look out!
Oh No!


Just got back from a short walk to see my friend. His brother was killed by the terrorists last night. The terrorists started shooting inside/outside the Leopold Cafe;


After the shooting, people started running inside the lane (Nowroji Lane). Just past the Leopold is a row of shops which my friend and his family own.

A pool of blood in front of my barber shop.

Apparently, one of the waiters from the Leopold who was shot was running (with his round serving tray). He was shot in the head; He fell and died on the street right there. See the chalk circle by the feet of the guy on the extreme right? That is where the police found a bag filled with explosives.
That is where I go for a haircut every week.

Pool of blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

This is so painful - but we should all see these pics and be MAD at the terrorists; Pool of blood of the waiter; He had rushed out of the Leopold with his serving tray, which is still in the pic.
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

Pool of blood where another of the victims was shot; four or more victims were within a few feet of each other.
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

More blood;
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

One of the victim’s chappals still on the road.
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

I went to visit my friend whose brother was killed in front of this store. On hearing the shots, customers rushed in, and so did his father (who works as a tailor in a neighboring store). The kid ran out to pull the metal shutter down.
Chemist shop where friend was killed outside

He did bring the shutter down (and possibly saved the others inside), but he ended up outside the store. The terrorists were shooting indiscriminately; he caught five bullets; One went through and through his stomach! They operated on him till 5 am when he was pronounced dead. His body is undergoing an autopsy. His family and relatives were wailing loudly when I visited. I could not bear to enter, but called my friend outside to offer my condolences. He leaves behind a wife and two kids.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Huntsman for dinner


I just observed a bloke trying to dry his hands using these dryers.
He was holding his hands underneath waving them around fruitlessly trying to get the little infrared sensor to detect his hands.
A - these are manual dryers. You have to press the button.
B - Automatic ones are useless at any rate as they never detect you hand when it is in the air flow - to get then to turn on you have to put your hand closer to the sensor, and inevitably that is not where the air is directed. The moment you move you hand into the airflow they stop.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love it

The internet has gone interplanetary

pic nicked from 'Universe Today'.
To assist with providing robust communications with their spacecraft NASA and Google have put together a small internet just for interplanetary communication.
The geek in me thinks much of being abe to keep up with the latest HNT whilst working as a geologist on Mars

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Favorite

With apologies to Alison Krauss, I've a new fav

Lashings and lashings of oyster sauce has always gone well with broccoli but the other day we were cooking a stir fry on the barbie and I drizzled the steak slices in kecap manise. It nicely embraces the stir fried noodle and veggies with its yumminess.

Sorry oyster - its been nice

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Can't see the hill opposit.


Something local is burning fiercely. The air is thick with the smell of burning eucalyptus and fine white ash has settled on my hat.

-- update

Sentinel shows that it's still 11km away from the LCNP in the Chase - still, its not good if you live on the edge of Gargial. Its about 36 today and dry

Fires burning, fires burning

Draw nearer, draw nearer...


Its a hazard reduction burnoff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11th of the 11th

As you probably know, I'm a strong Atheist, and today of all days highlights a poignant reason why I feel worshiping Jesus is stupid.

Today is the day we remember the fallen.

The 11th of the 11th.

This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice, when Australians remember those who fought and died for our country - for the 'freedom from tyrany' for the world in war and armed conflicts.

These are the guys to whom you should pay homage. This is the day we bow our heads and give a moment to consider the 'sacrifice' of so many. The day we remember the young farm hand from outback Queensland who's guts were blown out of his back in Flanders. The severally outnumbered young men who with typical Australian whit proudly reclaimed and named themselves the Rats of Tobruk and held the Germans at bay whilst being pounded into the African sand by Rommel's guns for 250 days. The nurses who survived the bombing of and sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke by swimming ashore but were marched back into the see by the Japanese on Banka Island and massacred. These men and women were not the sons of gods. They were very ordinary every day men and women. They had no absolute certainty of life after death, fathers in heaven. No water to wine or walk around three day later magic tricks. And that, to my mind, elevates their actions far higher than the make believe heroes many worship.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I think you can call it a dress

I completely understand if you think this is wanton fabrication, but more on fabric in a mo.

I have two new gym instructors. For the most part the gym sessions I can get to are the lunchtime matinée; traditionally taught at the uni by one of a pair of grandmothers and subscribed by the usual crowd of librarians, a few students, and moi.

One of the grandmothers retired and her spin (bike) and pump (weights) classes have been distributed to a pair of, um, talented and enthusiastic young women.

Waifs they are not. These are buxom gym wenches in sprayed on lycra. Neither is beautiful but they have a fun presence that tips the needle way into the "I'm a gym instructor" end of the hotness scale.

This morning I bumped into (almost literally) one of them (the slimmer redhead who takes spin) in a "dress" getting out of her car and walking into the staff entrance of the gym. Now, either my childhood fantasy of owning x-ray glasses has somehow come to fruition or she was wearing a cling film wrap with _nothing_ underneath but for a healthy patina of freckles. _nothing_

I was less than 2m from her whilst she walked around her car to get her bag and a few bits and pieces. She saw me, held eye contact, smiled and asked if I would be in the class today.

I was a bit slow to answer in the affirmative. In absolutely no way did she seam to give a damn that I now know exactly what piercings she has.

Meanwhile, blogger is still pulling my chain:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Business time

The students are finishing up their last exams and now it is time for us to roll up our shirt sleeves and get cracking on some IT work that we couldn't do when they are here in force.

Meanwhile I'm trying to write some web pages to replace a bunch of paper forms and reduce our data entry requirements. For the most part it looks as if it will work, but I'm doing some cheeky screen scraping to read other peoples web pages to get the info I need. The uni is comically inefficient at making that kind of information available.

Alex (wife) is heading off to the US for a whirlwind visit, mostly the mid north east and Chicago with a day in Memphis. She's looking at some gas facilities for a big project she is working on here. She wont have time for sight seeing tho. :-(

That of course means that I have to look after the kidlets by myself for a week. Think I may need a few wines to get through that one.

Selling a boat on ebay

Interviewing next week for one of my System Administrator positions - give me a call if your a smoking hot linux sys admin who knows PERL and can install and manage open source apps such as media wiki. A unix ticket would be a plus.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Thank goodness.
Don't stuff it up mate.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The smaller hole

For the first time since getting married I have gone back to using the smaller hole. Perhaps it is the extra gym work, perhaps holding back on the extra blue cheese and red wine but I have dropped a belt size in recent weeks. So much so I got wolf whistled at a the pool last week - OK, so what if it was from a menopausal librarian - there's a first time for everything.

- excursion into diet blogging is now over -

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here be Dragons

Great North Walk
Back in August 2007 we took the kids for a walk around the STEP track. A year later Annalise is walking better and taking more interest in the environment around her; commentating on the birds, ants, flowers and trees as we walked. The last year has been dry and this time I couldn't find any of the endangered carnivorous sundews (Drosera). There is also noticeably more fallen timber, branches and leaf litter in the Terry's Creak Valley which is going to fuel a ripper of a fire when one eventually comes through.

And we saw a dragon

(apologies for the appalling vid but I'm crap at editing this kind of stuff)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cockatoo Vs. Wooden Snake

KookaburraPink and Grey Galah on the back fence
Living on the edge of the National park we have a variety of birds come visit. It would be unusual for us to have breakfast alone without at least one sulphur-crested cockatoo, eastern rozella, rainbow lorikeet, pink and grey galah or kookaburra come up to the window to see what us two-legs-no-feathers-can't-fly are doing.
They are very playful social animals. I've come across at least one paper which found that the sulphur-crested cockatoo is the worlds most intelligent bird. They live for over 100 years, and in addition to being large (50 cm, 20 inches) inquisitive, cheeky showoffs they love to make a noise with their valley filling raucous screech. All well and good but the cockatoos are big and like to chew houses, stripping the wood, detaching guttering and removing fly-screen, just for the fun of it. They also crap on your washing and the bastards know exactly what they are doing when they do so.
To try and keep them at a distance from the washing we put a relativly lifelike $2 wooden snake on the fence.
It worked for about a week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Difference between Australia and NZ.

Dispite popular opinion held on the internet, I wish to point out that Australia and NZ are completely different nations. as a glance at our flags should convincingly show. Ay bro?

Australian and New Zealand Flags
Flag of Australia   Flag of New Zealand

Now I know that we are both are young relatively low population, predominantly English speaking, 'western' counties which were 'discovered' by Cook and, at least for now, admit the The Queen of England as the head of state, which all could lead to some confusion, and yes, it it impossible for anyone not from one side or the other of our ditchdutch to understand what we mean when we say "please pass the pasta pastor". But we are clearly different, our societies and accents as each as distinct as out flags.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Laughing at Tooheys' new comercial

Yeah, yeah - I know it's viral marketing and all that who-ha but anything that takes the piss out'a the seppos is grouse.

Found them - you can stop looking everybody

In the gym bag. I must have vagued out after the 2h spin / pump back to back gym marathon on Monday that left me gasping and feeling as if I had bled out. I usually cope with being a scatter brain by attaching my keys to my belt loop via a 'bina - oh so high fashion I know but that's a price I'm willing to pay for being able to open the front door when I get home.

In other news I'm having more trouble deciding what to wear today than figuring out what to wear to a swingers party. I've been invited to a graduation for one of my staff; to tie or not to tie, that is the question. French cuffs or dress down?

I need your help people.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Little Bastards

The Aussie bull ant (Myrmecia sp).

When it comes to poisonous critters we've got the 'est': most venomous etc. Even the bloody platypus is venomous. Now the Brown Snake may be all the rage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and certainly has a rather cool - hay I'm one of the dedliest snakes in the world - kind of thing going for its image and sure, bull ants are not in that league of poisonousness as say a box jellyfish, nore do they swarm in insane numbers like green tree ants but at up to 30mm long (3cm or 1.2 inches for you non SI types) and each and every one of them delivering a sting from their mandibles and multiple stings from their hypodermic tail sting, these guys are not to be fucked with. At 3 (out of 4) on the Starr sting pain scale that's about as bad as it gets. They aggressively chase you, can jump and whilst usually solitary, they will swarm if you are stupid or unlucky and stand on a nest.
They are responsible for more deaths than snake bite, shark attack, spider bite and crock attack combined.
They are primitive and pre-date the separation of wasps from ants.
There is a larger one - black with yellow pincers, 40mm long, that is absolutely solitary and is much more aggressive. Whilst the photo would have been good I'm glad these were not the bigger ant as I took this photo less than 30m from my back door.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

So, did I ever tell you about the time...

I'm not sure whether to tell you about the new gym instructor, the one way glass windows or the girl whom I accidentally disrobed..

Reverse order then.

So, did I ever tell you about the time I accidentally stripped a complete stranger out of her dress?
No, well OK then..
It seems like it was only yesterday, which is not a complete surprise as it was in fact, only yesterday.
I was on my way to a meeting in another part of the uni. The building is about half way across campus and, unsurprisingly, the room is up a long staircase.
About halfway up said staircase I encountered a young(ish) woman walking down the other way. Normal people move the the left, just like driving, it's the basic collision avoidance mechanism, part of the social contract - I move a bit out of the way, you move a bit out of the way and we all get along together.
But no.
Not this lass.
Tall, kind of skinny, browny blond hair, alternate rustic hippie look - cheese cloth blouse and long ankle length flowing Balinese batik thin cotton skirt and sandals.
I noticed the silver toe ring.
I noticed it because she was coming right down the center of the fucking staircase.
I moved so far to the side my left arm was against the wall. I uttered something like FFS. Then there was an almighty 'rip'. I had trodden on the train of her skirt. Quick look down. two bare legs and in a pair of daggy nickers. Eyes back forward I said something like "Jesus lady, it's not like you made it easy, I couldn't get any further out of you way.. your bad - not mine. I shan't look down, and how about next time you have the courtesy to move to the side on the footpath like every other living human, (perhaps excepting the yanks)".
She said nothing.
I walked up and took the next left exiting the stairs and quickly stepped up to the window to see if she exited the building... nope.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Chopstick etiquette

Chinese people seem happy to pick up the bowl and shovel everything in with their chopsticks. What's the etiquette here: is it more polite / refined to leave the bowl on the table or does it not matter? Can you talk when you have your mouth full or your face covered by the bowl? How do you pick up more food from a communal plate if you have already stuck your chopsticks in your mouth? - surly you can't put them back into the mix sharing your bird flue with everyone else. But most importantly - can you pick up the disposable plastic trays of food when you eat Chinese takeaway?, because it looks like your eating from a trough. And if you can do it with Chinese food, can you get away raising the bowl with Thai as the Thais don't even use chopsticks.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sick kids

Gastro from Jupiter I do believe.
Sorry, got to go and clean more vomit off the floor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


A woman has reported a huge pig on her property near Murwillumbah.
Could it be?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Raining Russians

I know I know, second post on Anastasia spam in a week but I've been inundated with emails from two more Russian women. Now, in order to generate some good blog fodder I've created a email address and I've been all lonely hearts and replied to these girls. Problem is that the next step is that they want my money - I need to sign up to an account so that I, and they, can be verified.

What the? Any way, being sensitive, I've asked if the "Verification" for Olga will include a doctors certificate to prove that she is a maiden. (I really hope this is an honest to goodness con or I'm going to feel so crap)

According to my extensive research (
"The main difference between Russian women and Western women is that Russian women do not suffer from the "Cinderella syndrome" so common to Australian, US or UK females. Over–independence and feminism have not spoiled Russian women belief in traditional family values. Unlike their Western sisters they still put family ahead of career."

Further more "Russian women are more than just pretty faces atop nubile bodies." And, not only are they "easy to get" they are more than happy to be 10 to 15 years younger than their partner.

Wow, just what I've always wanted - a docile twig with an accent.

Any questions you want me to ask them???


Hello, how are you doing?
Likely, you will be now surprised. But I long thought before writing to you the letter.
Today in the morning, I have received love the Internet dispatch, from the unknown person to me the addressee. In the given letter, it was spoken about love attitudes between people. In the list e-mail addressees, I have seen your personal address.
I think, what you as search for serious attitudes? I consider, that given chance for me unique, therefore I have decided to write to you. I wish to find the present love!
You are ready to learn me?
If you will allow me, I would like to begin our acquaintance, with the small story about me.
My name is Yuliya. To me of 30 years. I was born in not the big Russian city which refers to Ryazan.
I am quiet, young, purposeful girl. Friends speak me, that I cheerful. I love dialogue. I consider, that dialogue very important component in our life.
I am, as well as all women of our country, like to cook food, to go in for sports. I conduct a healthy way of life. I do not smoke and I do not take alcohol. I have work which very strongly I love. But I do not have not enough love. I am assured, that on our planet, there is a person whom the happiness and love can present me!
On the Internet I more recently. I have no wide experience in the Internet acquaintances. I saw transfer on the TV, about love in the Internet and have decided to find the happiness. I consider, that it is real.
I search the present for the man which will love, and to respect with me. I consider, that this main thing in attitudes.
You interesting the man, and I would like to learn you in more detail. Probably it is our destiny?
You can write to me the letter and tell to me in more detail about you. I with pleasure shall answer you. Certainly, I shall send you my photos as. In the future as I shall send you a photo from my life. You can learn all about me.

Please reply only my personal e-mail:

I with impatience shall wait your letter to me, with more detailed story about you. I am assured, that we become good friends and we can love each other.
Yours faithfully,
Your girlfriend from Russia, Yuliya.



I see and read your profile on se and would like to know you better.

Some words about me. My real name is Olga , friends call me olya. I’m a single girl from Russia, now i live in city - Sovetskij

My age 27 y. I was born 27th August 1981 year, on a sign the zodiac i'm maiden, my height is 176 cm, weight is 56 kg. I have the blond hair and brown eyes. (You can also look at the photo in the attachment).

Friends say, that I’m attractive, optimistic, kind and sensitive person. I like to go to theatres, museums, i like to keep fit and go to the gym hall and pool, but work takes most of my time. I live with my parents.

In free time i love reading books, seeing movies and cooking. O! Yes, i cook very good and i like to create new dishes.

I'm looking for truelove, my best friend and soulmate. I want to meet reliable and responsible man, who will be a special man for me. I just need one special man and have no interest in others.

I attach the photo that you knew my face, please tell me what are you thinking about my photo - ok? Also I want to ask you to send me some your photos!

I'm very open and its easy to get to know me, so please ask me anything.

Please reply only my personal e-mail:

Please tell me more about you and send me your picture,

I wait your message,

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pale blue dot

In 1990 Carl Sagan had the NASA engineers turn Voyager 1 around to take a photo of Earth. At the time Voyager was beyond the orbit of Pluto; 6.4 billion kilometers. Having traveled past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune the spacecraft was, as it is now, on its way to the stars. From this distance Earth is distant pinprick of light very close to the sun almost invisible in the sunlight reflecting from the spacecraft. The stripes are a flare artifact in the lens. The Earth is the little dot, slightly less than half way up on the right, in this picture it resolves to something smaller than a single pixel. Earth is just one of 7 other planets orbiting a very average star in a very average galaxy composed of around 4 billion other stars.

From this distant vantage point the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

When did Fully become a word?

Fully sick astronomy classes

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tell me something I didn't know

Your result for How geeky are you?...

Laboratory Geek

77% Geeky, 89% Cranial and 68% Introverted!

You scored 77% Geeky, 89% Cranial and 68% Introverted. You are quirky, intelligent, and like to fly solo. You're too curious to live a hermit's life and would much rather be working on some sort of interesting project though be it alone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

She loves me She loves me not

So, this Russian chick keeps sending me love emails. But she must really love me because she keeps changing her name for me. I've got the same email from the same girl three times today already.


It is my first letter on English. Sorry, if I made some mistake in words. But I write you from my hand and don't use pre-written letters.

I am very glad, that you have become interested in me. And I shall try, that you were not disappointed with me and have learned as much as possible about me.

But I would like to learn you better too. I will ask you, write to me more about you in details.

My name Ekaterina. I live in Ukraine, in city Odessa. I am 28 years old.

If you think, that I am not serious don't make mistake, and know me much more. I gave promise, that I will never married on Russia boy.

All of them lie and don't hold his word. Some man drink alcohol very much. May be I will tell you more about my past relation later.

But i don't like think about it, it was no good.

My family are not large. We live with my mother. My mother have good work as bookkeeper. We can pay for all life expenses.

And I will not ask you help me with money. I know many stories about it. If you will write to me more, you will understand, that I am not such girl!

I want write to you long letter with much ideas from me, but I think, It will not good for the first letter. I am simple Ukraine girl, who want to live abroad.

I want have husband and right family. I will try for this very much. I have very serious intention.

My girlfriend find her husband on internet in last year. She move to Australia and they have happy family.

She lives in Sydney and they will have child soon. She write to me letter every week.

I was glad for it very much. We want to meet some time soon. I have great opportunity move to Australia at the end of this year.

Don't want write about me and my hobby in first letter.

We can talk on the phone, if you will want it. I don't have own phone, but I can use one from my friend or I can use call servise on post.

I will glad, if we can chat on MSN. I stay there at the evening and we can talk about all.

Please, send to me your phone number or MSN name, if you want contact with me from other way.

If You really interested in me, you can ask me about all.

I want ask you some question:

Do you have children? What are you doing at work? Did you have past relation, wife?

I hope, you can know some new things about me from this letter.

You can write to me on my e-mail:

I will wait your letter and hope to receive news from you shortly.

Good luck to us.

Suhorukova Ekaterina.


Sorry Ekaterina - I already have enough Russian women in my Harem but if any of you out there want woman from Odessa please, guest be mine

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm a gheek

Like really geeky, I know the absolute speed of light by heart and wore a t-shirt to the intervarsity ski championships which read: "eat my redshift". I have my own telescope.

So, credentials have been assured.

I was going to do a diatribe on the LHC but you can read about it everywhere. So rather then rehash I'd thought I'd open it to you, dear reader, to put to me questions you have about the experiment - why is it round?, why won't it kill us all? - whatever. I'm not omnipotent and with the power of the internet at hand I have no doubt that you smartarses can dig out some contentious unanswerable but I'll give it my best shot.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I've just been getting outrageously high download speeds on the cable at home.
Averaging 336 kB/s

Hypothetically, if one were to say download the first episode of the second series of *cough* Terminator on something like bittorrent at 350 MB it would take just 17 minutes to download.


I've been wondering about the way some people delete their blogs and start again. Usually as part of some up and down manic ride but the problem, as I see it, with destroying a blog is that it doesn't have the same cathartic benefit as say, the bang and clamor of smashing up the kitchen or the warm firelight glow of burning your novel.


just the cold careless neon reply of the monitor.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Port, Wauchope, Upper Roland Planes and that tree.

From Point Plomer we continued to drive up towards Crescent Head then back towards Port through the hinterland via the Maria River Road. The GPS was trying to direct me through some extremely questionable tracks that I'm sure would have seen us trapped and petrified into bog-men. We caught the ferry back and devoured a plate of pasta each at a slap up Italian joint.

Wednesday we drove down the south coast checking out Bonny Hills, Laurieton and Diamond Head at the north end of Crowdy Bay National Park which has a fantastic camping area I'm looking froward to taking the kids to in future, beach access and lots of wildlife - there were even wallabies were grazing around the tents.

Thursday we packed the car and headed to the farmstay via Ellenborough Falls

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Rereputed to be the largest single drop of water in the southern hemisphere.
The roads are amazingly windy, which induced Annaliese to vomit over everything, including her teddy. Adrian was initially amazed at the bush turkey in the car park but it has undoubtedly been fed by humans and became brazened and the little guy freaked . Please, don't feed the wildlife. They become dependent, get all sorts of diet diseases and die. It's a death sentence. And that includes you Curtis feeding the bloody cockies next door.
The country up on the escarpment is fantastic. Alternating between thick bush and rolling hills with a backdrop of mountains much like you would draw as a child. The dirt road winds from hillside to hillside often precariously winding along ridge tops then suddenly opening out into cleared pasture. We lunched at the Udder Cow Café. In my case the burger was so big I was in fear I would need to be rolled out in a barrow. Given the amount consumed at lunch we thought it prudent to take precautions least the kids vomit on the hundred plus k's of winding roads we still needed to negotiate.
The Farm stay was tucked away in the picturesque valley of Upper Rollands Plains, more or less south west of Kempsy.

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Annaliese and Adrian feed the chooks and the lambs and basically just enjoyed being able to runaround and just be.
Thursday was a little rainy (a sign of things to come) so in the afternoon we took the $X$ off into the mountains for a look around.
I'll post some movies of the tracks later but it is exceptionally pretty, albeit rough country.
We got back in time to visit the local dairy to find out where milk comes from.
And then down came the rain.
Friday, drive home day, my 38th birthday, my nearly died day.
It rained exceptionally heavily most of the night and continued into Friday afternoon. Communities in the area were cut off due to flood waters so were were very careful on the 400 or so k drive home.
Only just out of the farm stay the trip nearly ended when a 15m high dead poplar tree fell across the road in front of us. Eroded by the stream undercutting its banks it blew and bent in the wind like the other trees, then it seemed to hover for a moment and then in slow motion it lay down across the road. It was a huge tree. I had nowhere to go. We were probably doing 60kph but jumping on the anchors, ABS blasting away we caught the tree across the bull bar. It exploded. Showered us with fragments of kindling. It took about 15 minutes to pull branches as thick as my leg out from where they were jammed in the wheel arches and clean out and check the radiator and break lines, fan belts and everything else I could see. So far it seems that the only damage is a twisted and smashed IPF fog light - so much for the bullet proof hardened glass lens. I'll have to get the steering checked and wheels realigned but we were lucky. A tenth of a second later on the breaks and the tree would have been through the cabin rather than caught on the bull bar. That's one tough ARB bar - best 2K I ever spent.
About 5 minutes after we hit it a council truck ambled over the hill, cleaning fallen trees and repairing washouts in the road. I'd walked back to try and clean up the bigger bits and make it safer for following vehicles. The first worker jumped down from the truck and immediately asked if we were all right, had we run into the tree? - I replied that it had fallen on our car - hit the bar
1st council worker- 'FarrrrrrrK'
1st council worker to 2nd council worker- 'Tree fell on 'em'
2nd council worker- 'Farrrrrrrknelllll'
2nd council worker to 3rd council worker, rolling a larger bit of trunk back and forth under his foot as #3 steps down from the truck - 'Farken tree fell on this blokes car'
3rd council worker - 'Jesus fucking Christ, you ok, anybody hurt, you still able to drive, you need a lift or an ambulance" as he looks at the branches and bits of lumber up and down the road "farrrrk - that must have been a fucking big bang - lucky it was dead or we'd be cleaning you up with a broom".

So there you go - that was my holiday

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I like a tart kiwi

Don't mind me, I'm just pulling a cats bum face after eating an awesome kiwi fruit. Nice and tart and zingy. And a tangelo - they must be in season too.

I'm usually more of a vegies man. I like my broccoli, pees and spuds with loads of heavy spicy sauce, depending on the dish. Indian and Thai are perfect. But fruit, hmm, not so much; I've always maintained that if spring rolls grew on trees I'd eat more fruit. It has to be really really good for me to bother. What's with these big watery appley nothing franken strawberries for example - why bother, they taste like watery nothing. But that kiwi. >mmm<

Monday, August 25, 2008


... are always a rush.
Generally I tumble out of bed soon after 6 and get Annalise up dressed and fed ready for gymnastics.
Where she runs around pretending to be a fairy. Then we're in the car back home to pick up Alex and Adrian and continue on to swimming. Annalise is almost able to get her head out of the water by herself and Adrian and I go in together in what is more a class to teach them to close their mouths and not breath. He like it at any rate. Alex usually powers out her k in the outside lap pool.
Then we usually head back home, lunch, head out shopping for the week and finally return home in the late afternoon if we didn't already have something else on. In the mean time we have squeezed in several loads of washing and tried to attend to any house stuff we need to. Obviously we also try to fit in some real estate viewing where we can.
I do love a beer Saturday night.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My wrist is fine now, thanks for asking.

A few weeks back I buggered my wrist using my tool the wrong way. 20mm may not sound much but its tough trying to get through it, even on high power - my tool jammed up and it just about riped my hand off.

I'm no handyman, but in trying to build a fridge slide for the $X$ I've got pretty good with a few power tools such as the circular and jig saws. Apparently that skill does not extend to drills. At one point I was trying to drill a 100mm diameter hole with a hole saw on the end of a power drill through 20mm marine ply. About half way through it grabbed the saw, twisting the drill out of my hand and wrenching my wrist in the process.

Three weeks later I still couldn't lift a milk bottle from the fridge so I went and had it x-rayed. They wouldn't take a picture of me flashing the bird - I did try. Turns out nothing is broken, just bruised. I was going to scan and post the x-rays but meeeehhh, cbf'd.

I've had to lower the gym weights but the wrist has slowly been getting better and yesterday I did the pump class with my normal 30kg + weights again. Now I'm sitting here with a cold, a "saw" wrist and achingly sore boobies.

The moral of the story is don't be a tool with tools.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Myelomas return

A little over a year ago dad had a pain in his spine that turned out to be Multiple Myeloma. He underwent chemo which worked well but broke his personality and sanity. It was a long climb out from depression for him but he's a strong and loving man. Just when he's feeling fit and enjoying life again he got blindsided buy the news that it has returned and is aggressively eating his chest and ribs. He starts treatment on Monday. Because of the problems he had on the original chemo that is now ruled out as a option. We may be looking at stem cell therapy or who knows what.
We just had a lovely lunch together at a local pizzeria.
They gave me lemons.
Love you dad.
See you soon

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I had a boy look for the fire-extinguisher

Steve the fireman
There was a fire in a bin immediately outside my window.
Smoke Billowing
Bystanders gawking
Headless of my own safety I gallantly sprang into action and ...
checked the kitchen...
checked the hallway...
asked my colleagues - 'um, where is the fire-extinguisher?"
'[giggles] Anhh, it's right beside you'. Oh, yeah, right at my knee*.
So, where were we.. Grabbing the fire-extinguisher I ran out the door and
bloody pin how do you pull it out?
and finally, heroically, blasted ash all over the place. Now my cloths stink of ash and burnt plastic.

I think we have the photos up on the internet before Security even arrive.

Steve the fireman

Yes, I know I need a hair cut.

* actually outside my office that I must have walked past hundreds of times.