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Sunday, 30 September 2007

The price of peace is eternal vigilence

A group of us got together to play Operation Flashpoint online on Thursday. Most of us hadn't played it very much, though we had all played a variety of FPS from Doom onwards. OF is much harder though, as one hit is enough to take you down, and the enemy is rather good at hiding and sniping. There were five of us and we had many goes at a hostage rescue mission, but failed each time. It was fun though, especially as we were also running Roger Wilco and could give running commentary. It was usually along the lines of:

"Shh, just up ahead, five bogies"
Bang! "oops, sorry, hit the wrong key...darn I'm dead"
"Me too"
"Didn't see that one"
"I 'm still here! Oh no it's a tank! Yargh!"

Still, well worth it, we are already planning and plotting for the next effort. Hopefully we will both last longer and have the server settings modified so we don't respawn as seagulls.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Hit me baby, one more time

Say you run a university's IT department, and said department has a blog. The purpose (in theory) is to keep people updated as to news and events in the uni's IT world. You find you are getting 300 hits a week. Do you:

a) feel a bit sheepish at the lack of attention
b) think "this is a good start" and work out ways to improve the hit rate
c) publish the fact in your IT newsletter, bragging that the blog "is becoming an important source of information for staff and students"?

Please write your answers on the back of an envelope and send to this address. All cash donations gratefully accepted. The deadline for submissions is midnight, October 1.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Weekend, where did you go?

I made a rather fatal error on Friday night. No, it wasn't the burbon and vodka double shots, nor the whipped cream and tequila sundaes. Instead I made the mistake of writing a list of jobs to get done over the weekend. Nothing too dramatic, mostly the usual clean this, tidy that kind of thing. The biggie was the garage - I wanted to clean the damn thing out as it had become almost impossible to maneuver through it without becoming entangled in boxes, bags, bikes and general bric-a-brac. There was also a great plan to use the old kitchen flooring in the garage to begin its transformation into a rumpus room.

On to Saturday. First up was a trip into town to grab a birthday present for the party the kids were going to at 1pm. Lo and behold K-Mart is having 15-25% off kids clothes and toys, so we end up spending more time (fortunately no extra money) on the lookout for bargains for a certain three munchkins. That, along with catching up with a couple of friends we run into in town, fills in the time until around 11 or so.

Back home, grab a bite to eat, hang out some washing that had been in the machine (yay, at least one task underway), it's suddenly just about 1pm and time to head to Kid's World. For those not in the know this is at the Indoor Sports Centre and consists of a large playgym of slides, climbs, flying fox and ball pit, all safely sealed so the kids can't fall out. They have a brilliant time, eating junk food as well, then suddenly it's after 3:30pm and time to go!

Back home we spend the next hour getting the washing in and making sushi for chapel. Hmm, not a lot of jobs knocked off the list, but maybe I'll get some done after chapel.

No joy - chapel runs nearly an hour overtime as the team that went on mission to Uganda give a report on what they were up to. The kids were magnificently patient as there were no kids club for them to head off to during the service. So we get home at 8pm, fairly knackered, get the kids to bed and have a veg out ourselves. Maybe Sunday will be better?

Wishfull thinking. I wake up feeling fuzzy-headed, as if coming down with a cold. Lovely. We head off to a last-minute birthday morning tea at 10:30am, meaning all I get done in the morning is some more washing. So we head around, fill up on party food and some very nice coffee (thanks Nathan!) then head home at 12:30. Only to turn around and head back out again for Marcus' soccer presentation at 1pm! That doesn't go for too long (fortunately) so we're back by 2pm. Time for more coffee and a snack or two before I finally decided to get into the garage. Note that it is now 2:30pm on Sunday.

So I wander out and starting cleaning the shed. Ang comes out and says she's going into town to pick up some of the things we saw yesterday, but Marcus and Heather want to come as well. So I stay with Phoebe and get into clearing the shed.

That takes a while, but eventually I've got bare, swept floor. I grab some of the old flooring and start to lay it. I get around four rows done when Ang comes home, and we decide to stagger the strip alignment. This means pulling most of the floor back up again and putting a few short lengths in every second strip. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but a fair number of the boards were warped, so we have great difficulty getting those first four rows back down again.

At this point I'll note that the boards have been sitting outside for the last 6-12 months, after having been replaced due to a burst water pipe that flooded the kitchen and warped the floor. So you can imagine that a number of the boards were in rather interesting shapes.

Eventually we get the floor done, with the second half going down much better than the first. Then it's time to get everything back inside, mostly because it's now dark! 7pm and the shed is done.

Time to stagger off, eat some pies, drink some wine and get into a hot, relaxing shower.

So weekend, where did you go? I'm sure I missed it somewhere.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Email tally

After yesterday's flurry of queries and solutions from ABRI I only had one today, and that was a nice easy one. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow develops.


Watch out for bathroom wall cabinets in small en-suites. They can be bloody deadly if you straighten up the wrong way.

Technorati time:

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


I have managed to deal with at least 5 different software issues today, along with getting a new temporary staff member up and running on our systems, dealing with a laptop that had been running for two weeks and was complaining about being out of memory and disk space (solution - turn it off more often), build a couple of excel spreadsheets from analysis data twice, as well as fit in a pretty decent lunch time workout. Crikey, and it's only 4:45pm!

I've changed workout programs to a lower weight, higher rep regime, which is proving after two days to be good and painful! It's about time I gave the endurance muscles a fair going over, rather than the high weight, low rep stuff from the last two weeks. We'll see how this fares for a while.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

We're back!

Yup, we lobbed back in town around 9:30pm tonight. Had a great trip, saw a truly amazing production of War of the Worlds, stayed in a magnificent turn of the century boarding house and generally whooped it up. All without children for the Brisbane part of the trip. Very nice indeed.

Sigh, back to work tomorrow. I guess the bills have to be paid somehow.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Road trip!

We're off north tomorrow. On Thursday night we'll be in Brisbane to see the stage performance of War of the Worlds, then spending the night there and back to Toowoomba Friday. Should be excellent. It will be the first night we will have spent away from all three munchkins, who are staying in Toowoomba with their grandparents. Heh, naughty weekend away...except Ang's sister will also be with us.

The bike is getting some new tyres as well, so it'll stay at SuperMoto over the weekend.

I might get to blog a bit while we are away, but I'm not sure. Then again, I'm not entirely frequently updating it even when I am here, but at least I'll have an excuse this time.

Monday, 10 September 2007

8 lives left

I very nearly skittled a cat on the way to work today. Fortunately it came from the right side of the road, moving fast and low, so I had enough time to see it coming and jump on the brakes. It dashed past just in front of my front wheel, so if I hadn't slowed we'd both have been in trouble. It wasn't a huge cat, but would probably have been sufficient to dump me down the road.

So it made it across the road in once piece, and I got to work in the same state. I've now had a close call with three different species in the last 12 months - a possum, a koala (though I had enough time to slow to a stop as it ambled across the road) and now a cat. I wonder what's next?

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Curse of the sunny day

At last we've got a really nice sunny day here, so it's time to empty the washing basket, strip the beds, etc, etc. So I load up the machine, set it going, strip the beds, potter around in general. So I go to empty the machine at the end of the cycle only to discover that the clothes are still really wet. A little odd, considering this is an 1100 rpm front loading machine, but it has happened once before, so I check the filters, put the washing back in and turn it to a spin cycle.

Nothing. A few very bad sounds from the back of the machine, but no action. Oh crap.

Of course, this is also the weekend that my parents come up for a visit as well.

Saturday, 8 September 2007


Remind me never to fall backwards onto a running treadmill. A friend of mine did that and described it like landing on a belt sander. You can imagine what that did to the flesh on her lower back.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Tie update

I checked my available ties this morning and discovered a few inconsistencies with that which I reported last night. It turns out I own six ties, five of which are themed; one Christmas, one South Park, and three Looney Tunes, being Daffy, Elmer and Pepe le Pew. The black tie I said was Daffy was actually Pepe.

In the end I played it safe and went for the plain red tie, though the SP one was suggested as a viable alternative.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

South Park or Daffy Duck?

Tomorrow is the AGBU review. It's not a stage production but a review of our operational spheres, management, etc. As it would, in part, determine the future of AGBU, it's probably a reasonably important little get-together. It actually runs for two days as the various research groups meet with the two in charge of the review and go over the various details of their projects.

I'm a relatively junior member, I guess, despite having been here for 10 years now, so I'm not expecting a personal 3rd degree interrogation, but I figure that I should at least appear somewhat professional. As a result I will be wearing a suit to work for pretty much the first time. This involves the ubiquitous tie, of which I have a number of "patterned" ones, hence the title of the blog. One has the South Park figures printed on it, fairly tastefully, the other is a black tie with a large daffy duck near the bottom. So which to choose?

Of course, you can all submit your ideas, but as it is now nearly 11pm and I am unlikely to check the blog in the morning until I'm at work, you'd all better be pretty quick with your responses tonight.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Dad's Day

Sunday was Father's Day. I managed an unprecedented 10am lie-in, then a rather nice brekky outside. I managed to have a generally mellow day, devoid of the usual frantic running around getting house jobs done that had no chance of being done during the week. Rather nice. As a pressie we are off to Brisbane next week to see The War of the Worlds musical production. Sweeet....

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Done and dusted

Our last soccer games were today. We lost 2-0 in reserves, but thrashed Souths 5-0 in first grade. They were somewhat understrength, but the boys still put in a strong effort to finish the season. So that's that for another 6 months or so. Now I have to decide if I want to play cricket this season or not. I'm a bit ambivalent about the whole thing at the moment, so I'll see how things are going after a few Saturdays off. I'll probably end up deciding I like the free time too much; we'll see.