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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

What a week

Joerg flew back to Inverell today. He's going to spend a couple of more days in hospital before going home, but he's got to go back to Newcastle in a month to get facial surgery after all. So a full recovery is still a while off, but he's getting there. Kathy is here now, so will head back to Inverell herself in a day or so.

Not too much excitement otherwise. No cars have tried to visit my office, which is rather nice. All I'm hanging out for now is my new computer. I had to back up and stop using my 6 year old machine as it had become just unuseably slow. So I'm using an almost new machine - it's only 4!

Monday, 31 August 2009


I spoke to Joerg last night, which was a great relief in and of itself. He's going to be fine, it'll just take a fair while for him to fully heal. It doesn't look like they'll need to operate on his face after all, though he still has the drain in his lung that was damaged in the accident.

Kathy was sounding much, much better last night. She's got a friend who is visiting the hospital each day for her mother's dialysis, and our friend is also visiting to take Kathy shopping. So that support network has been wonderful for them all.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Saturday roundabout

Just an update from Thursday first. My mate Joerg is being airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle today. He'll be ok, it's just that the hospital has specialist cranial teams available, as he has a facial fracture from ear to ear, across the bridge of his nose. His punctured lung isn't so great either, but he will get better.

We've gotten through the morning soccer roundabout, which is a good trick as I was running solo today. Ang is at a conference at Chapel all day, so I've got the three until just after 2 when I drop them off there before I head to Uralla for my game. They've survived so far, so that's a win!

Thursday, 27 August 2009


Thoughts and prayers needed for a good mate who I've just heard had a motorbike accident this evening. He's in hospital, cracked ribs and the docs are checking for any internal injuries. His wife didn't sound too bad, obviously pretty shaken, but it didn't sound like it was life threatening. Never a good thing though.

Take care everyone.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Half-way day

As a wanna-be writer, the most difficult thing I find at the moment is finding time to write. There are a few ideas lurking around, but to actually sit down and commit something to a concrete form is proving easier said than done. Even this blog has been evidence of that, as I conscientiously avoided adding anything to it for months previously.

Even now it is tricky to come up with something that isn't just trite "lol, I ated a donut!" kind of entries. To articulate oneself when it sounds like there is nothing more than blowflies buzzing between my ears is an effort.

NanoWriMo is rapidly approaching, and I am determined to give it another go. Last year I made it over the 50k word target, though the novel still lurks unfinished on the computer. I know how I want to end it, but getting it there has been beyond me for a while. And I have no real ideas for this one, either.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

What's worse than a whinging Pom?

A manically grinning one, one that will be dining out on the Ashes victory for months to come. Thanks heavens I've moved out of the office next to him :-)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Does 7:15am count as a sleep in?

I'm sure it doesn't, somewhere around 8 to 8:30 would have been much preferable, but alas that was not to be. At least we had no definite plans for the day so it was a nice, unrushed kind of Sunday, a far cry from last weekend's soccer carnival. Plus the weather was lovely again. It looks like we are in for a long hot summer.

It looks like we're going to lose the Ashes again. Clarke and Ponting were just run out within an over of each other, both to very good and somewhat lucky fielding efforts. Craig, one of our resident Poms and a cricket tragic, is going to be insufferable at work for months.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Since when were they so fast?

Or perhaps, more pertinently, since when was I so slow and unfit? We had to play against a bunch of teenagers and uni students in soccer today, and considering our youngest player logged in at around 34 or so, we were somewhat overmatched. All things considered we did all right, holding them to 0-0 in the first have before going down 0-4 in the end. We had a few chances, including myself, but couldn't finish any of them. My legs *ache*.

With any luck the munchkins will sleep in tomorrow. We had some friends over tonight so they didn't get into bed until 9:30. The odds are that Marcus will happily sleep in but the girls will wake us up far too early. Oh well.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Late Friday

It's Friday, the kids are in bed, Ang is out having a girls' karaoke night, so I've got the house pretty much to myself. A rare event indeed. While I have been watching the cricket I've also had to read the next chapter in my Civil Procedure law text, which is rather dry. Lots of pieces of legislation and not a lot of juicy cases, unfortunately.

Ah well, the things we do to ourselves. Lunch (in England) is nearly over, so it's back to the Ashes for me.


It looks like I hit the hump on Wednesday so fast that I completely overshot Thursday and landed here on Friday. Must have been an exciting day yesterday, eh wot?

Admittedly, yesterday did mark my return to my old office. Mostly I was transferring all my junk back in and working out where everything was going to go, but the locksmiths reverted the lock back to my key so I was able to lock up and come straight on in. As I speak workmen are attaching the last of the new tin to the outside of the wall, which will just leave a new set of downpipes to finish the job. It's nice to be back in, if a little daunting considering the reason I had to move out in the first place. I'm a little nervous, which surprised me a bit. Knowing the odds of it happening again are fairly microscopic is not much good against an active imagination.

I think I'll take some leave during the next set of exams.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Hump Day

Middle of the week, so it's all down hill to the weekend. My office is indeed finished so I've started to move stuff back in. I figured that this would be a good time to weed out some of the redundant paperwork I've had filed away for the last few years and so start somewhat afresh. Apart from the six year old code printouts, Y2K preparation documentation and installation instructions for Red Hat 6, I also found a number of old Dell bits and pieces (booklets on machines, drivers for old 17'' CRTs) and even some NT software on 3.5'' floppies. Virtually all of the machines they referred to failed and were thrown out years ago. So now all the other crud has followed suit.

In another major win, I've talked my boss into finally allowing me to get a new office machine. I'll be able, at last, to retire the 6 year old desktop that I inherited from someone who left a few years ago. In fact, as far as I can remember, all of the machines I've used at work have been hand-me-downs. This will be my first new machine. Very nice.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Blue Moon

Yup, that rare creature known as a second daily update. The carpet in my office is in, the outside has just about been re-tinned and the blinds should go up tomorrow. A bit of dusting and I'll be right to move back in. Excellent.

Slacker, slacker, slacker

Yup, missed another one. Perhaps if you are all extra good I'll update you again tonight on the wonderful goings-on in my universe. No promises, you've got to be sooo good to deserve a second update...

And now, for something completely different. HERRINGS!

No, sorry, wrong channel.

We won our B-grade darts grand final last night, beating the random 6-5. It was close all the way to the second last singles match, where we 5-4 up. I won my match, giving us a 6-4 lead. The boys were pretty chuffed to win the comp.

In other news, I should be back in my old office either this afternoon or tomorrow. The carpet is going down now, as is the last of the metal siding on the outside. That just leaves the blinds which are being supplied by the same people that are doing the carpet, so should go in today as well. Excellent. Now all I need to do is build the tank traps and anti-vehicle mortar launchers and I'll be all ready to move back in.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

So I lied. Sue me.

About updating twice yesterday, that is. We didn't get back from the wedding reception until 11:30 so there was no way I was going to turn on the computer just to post a blog update. Crashed out instead.

The wedding was, as they generally are, pretty special. Michael and Vernie obviously dote on each other completely, and they have great support from their families and their friends. Good luck and best wishes to them both.

Today was a rampant soccer-fest. Both Marcus and Heather were playing in the carnival today, and of course they were scheduled to be on two fields as far apart as possible. Five games each later and all of us were worn out and slightly sunburnt. They all had a great time and played some really great soccer even though they didn't win. They were all asleep in record time tonight!

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Well, as it's now midday on Saturday I won't even pretend that I wrote this entry yesterday. So I'll have to update twice today. Aren't you all in for a treat?

I managed to spend the entirety of work yesterday without editing or writing a single line of code. Instead I was installing and updating some nice shiny new computers that I unfortunately have to hand off to their new owners once I'm done. My poor 6 year old desktop is feeling a little inadequate of late.

Marcus and Heather both won their soccer games this morning. Marcus's win was particularly impressive as they played the team at the top of the ladder and came away with a 5-2 victory. Well done boys, you played a fine example of the beautiful game. Great sportsmanship at the end, too, you made all the parents proud.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

A blog a day... harder than it looks, without descending into complete inanity. I've had to back date a couple of entries that I've made the morning after they were supposed to go up, but at least they are only a couple of hours behind. Not that I've had any great revelations on life, the universe an everything.

There are even groups out there that are dedicated to those who fill blogs and more recently facebook and twitter updates with minute details of their family, relationships, etc. These are the "STFU" groups. Of course, not all blogs can be filled with revelations on the human condition, and with sites such as these offering free access to anyone you are bound to get the odd "hey, my dog did this today!" kind of entries. That's the joy of this mess known as the internet.

No other great revelations from me today, so I guess this entry gets filed under the "STFU" category. Too bad, not gonna!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


We had a great men's fellowship last night, the past few weeks have been very encouraging. Looking at 1 Peter and the hope we have.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Rainy storm

Strange aqueous matter fell from the skies today, a phenomenon not really seen often enough of late. Not a lot during the day, though a bit of thunder and lightning tonight holds some promise of a decent amount of rain. As long as it clears up for Saturday, when we will be at Michael and Vernie's wedding. It can bucket down all it likes after than.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Another week under way

Another week, another round of getting two out of three off to school. Despite them being incredibly tired last night the two girls still managed to wander into our bed at some unknown but definitely dark hour of the night/morning. I think we need to put a time lock on our door so we can manage a night of uninterrupted sleep. With a cat door as well so the furry ones don't wake us up wanting to leave in the middle of the night as well. I can dream, I guess.

Our darts team won tonight, so we are in to the b-grade final next Monday. Go us!

It was rather satisfying to see the look on the face of the Englishman in the office next to mine this morning, he was most distraught at the effort put in by the English cricketers. We'll see how well he goes through the next 10 days before the fifth test. We're a cruel lot, we are...

In other office news my original office has finally got its new heater. Now all it needs is some window glass, blinds and carpet before I can move back in. Hopefully they've put some titanium reinforcing into the rebuilt wall to keep errant cars out in the future.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

There and back again

We got back from Inverell this evening with a bunch of rather overtired and asleep children in the back. Heather decided to have an emotional tizz over dinner, at which point we figured she was just worn out from a whole day of play with Riley and Skye. Much tears preceeded falling asleep in the back of the car about 10 minutes down the road.

Joerg and I had a really good talk Saturday night around the fire bucket in their back yard. Ang had gone up to see Kathy so I made some pizzas for us and we got the kids into bed at a decent hour before we retired outside to a beautiful clear night and a warm fire. It was just the sort of thing he needed to get himself unwound.

Kathy came home Sunday. She and Ang had had a good talk together as well so here's hoping and praying for them that they've started to turn the corner.

Saturday, 8 August 2009


We're off to Inverell this afternoon to catch up with some friends. We'd planned the trip before K got sick, but the kids have all been looking forwards to catching up. I'll update everyone when we get back.

Friday, 7 August 2009


Thoughts go out to friends in Inverell. Kath just got out of hospital and is suddenly back in again. Thinking and praying for her, hubby and the kids.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Thursday already

And just about the end of it, too. This is a bit of a recap in a way of yesterday as I really don't know where today disappeared to, it was gone in a flash. Though I did manage to get some stuff achieved, which is always nice. Even solved a couple of problems as well, which turned out to be both a bit of our fault along with some cruddy data. Here's hoping tomorrow the last of the current crop of problems can be solved so we can get on with v6 of the software. Here's hoping...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

As the days go by

Far to fast, most of the time. You'd think that with the Earth gradually orbiting the sun slower and slower you'd find that there was more time in the day to get things done, but that's never the case, is it? There always seems to be something not done, or done in a hurry, by the time that your mind shuts down for the night and demands sleep. Of course, it's all a furphy, I just need to stop wasting time and get into what needs to be done. The trick is to stop said procrastination and get moving.

Perhaps tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


You know it's going to be a good day when the first thing you see at work is a sign on your door that says "the network is broke". Turns out most of the western campus was off the air which made doing anything somewhat difficult. Fortunately things were back live by 10:30am, but that still meant that some servers didn't reconnect so I had to get in and do them manually.

That wasn't a problem. The problem for the day was a certain user who, thinking that they could restart certain services on their linux box to get the network going again, managed to completely disable their mouse and keyboard once their machine had finished booting. They would work in BIOS, would work at the boot screen, but when the X server came up, nothing.

He eventually reinstalled is OS.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Another day, another dollar (plus GST)

Mondays around here aren't too bad. Since the uni put in a new spam filter I no longer have to spend a chunk of time teaching Thunderbird about the dozen new variants that it has to remember to filter out. Now there is usually only one or two, which is a rather pleasant change. There was even a general lack of annoying questions/problems to be solved, which meant I managed to get something positive achieved for the day. A win all around.

Darts tonight, assuming something doesn't come up between now and around 7:30pm. It's the semis, so I really should have done some practice over the weekend, but I didn't even think of it. The weather was far too nice to be inside anyway, and there was plenty of other things to keep me occupied.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sunday, day of rest?

That depends, of course, on your definition of "rest". A relatively lazy start to the day eventually turned into a "let's clean out the car" middle of the day, with a trip to Kids Zone in the afternoon for Phoebe's party. With any luck tonight will involve kicking back with a glass of wine, the second Ashes test and a copy of my Civil Procedure textbook. Thrilling times ahead!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Saturday, it's a Saturday

A busy sporting Saturday as per usual. Marcus and Heather both played this morning and both had a win. Mind you, there are no official scores kept in Heather's division, but you can guarantee that the players keep a running total.

Unfortunately my team in the afternoon couldn't finish the trifecta and lost 3-1 to the KD Dads. A couple of our blokes need to work out when to keep their traps shut and that ragging on the 15 year old in our team really doesn't do any good at all, particularly when you make plenty of mistakes yourself. The rest of the blokes are pretty good about it all though.

And I just about wore Nathan out as he had to chase me down for most of the match, so it wasn't all bad :-)

Chapel tonight was good, I was rostered on for kid's club so got to help out teaching a pretty large group of primary aged kids. I'd forgotten how my energy and volume a bunch of boys can have when all put together!

Friday, 31 July 2009

Paint Fumes

Contractors are currently repainting my office, after a student attempted to redecorate it with her car. Unfortunately, they seem to be using the cheap, high-fume variant, so the stink is all through the building. So it's door shut and windows open time before I end up with a splitting headache.

Friday is here at last, but it won't be a late one for me. On top of the rampant display of sporting prowess from the family tomorrow, Chapel's men's brekky is on tomorrow, so I need to be in town before 7:30am. I'd better set the alarm.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Back on two wheels

Got the VFR back from the shop today after getting the front brakes sorted. Very nice now, they feel like they'll actually stop me in a hurry, rather than the old ones that felt way too spongy. I'll have to take it easy for a bit to make sure the pads are properly bedded in, but it's all good so far.

Phoebe enjoyed her birthday yesterday, particularly since Grandma and Grandpa came up for a visit. This morning she asked when she was turning 5, and sounded a little unsure when we told her 364 more sleeps :-)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Was it really four years ago already?

Our youngest, Phoebe, turns 4 today. That means she could be going to school next year - yikes! Getting two ready of a morning is a hassle enough, I'm not sure if I'm ready for three.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A thought on sporadic updates

Those very few of you who do peruse this blog would have noted that for quite some time I have been particularly slack about updates. I could attempt to trot out my usual sequence of excuses, namely having no time, away, sick, nothing exciting happening, and plain old forgetting, but ultimately it comes down to laziness. Effectively I haven't been updating as I simple haven't been bothered to sit down for ten minutes and write something. For someone who has vague pretenses of writing for fun and profit, that's fairly inexcusable.

Dave, over at Blogography, made a few comments a while ago about bloggers he had been following who have simply dropped off the radar with no indication of their intentions to leave. That got me thinking of this rather neglected corner of the internet, and how I too have simply gone silent for a while. So I decided to fix that.

It's nearly the end of July, second semester has just started and our youngest is turning 4 tomorrow. So I'm going to work on posting something, even if it's a twitter-like single sentence, to this blog each day during August. With 24 hours (approximately) in each day there has to be something about which I can make some manner of comment. With August 1st being a Saturday I can think of at least five different things that will be happening during the day so I will have no excuse.

Who's with me?

Monday, 29 June 2009

Sunshine, lollypops and car impacts

Once again I have had to brush away the cobwebs and dust from this blog. It's not that I've deliberately ignored it, it's more that there has been very little of great excitement going on and I didn't feel any real need to blog on the minutiae of my life. So it just disappeared into the background while I got on with things in general.

Just after Easter we headed off to Sawtell to meet up with the Cavs for a combined holiday at the coast. The best laid plans are often thwarted, with most of us being sick at some point during the week. Even so we all had a pretty good time, finally getting to catch up without all the wedding/christening/whatever that usually goes with our visits.

I finished my study for the semester last Wednesday. The exam was pretty tough, but I should be getting through it. I can now have my evenings back! To celebrate I've been working my way through the Indy movies and am looking forward to #4 probably tomorrow night.

Last Saturday was interesting, combining a flat tyre, my second goal for the season and a strained hamstring. Quite an interesting day indeed.

Of course, the Friday before last was the really interesting one, when a young lady decided to try to park her Chrysler inside my office. She lost control on a slippery bend, skidded across the road and smashed head first into the wall of my office. Luckily I wasn't inside, but was walking up the hill to work and instead watched the whole thing unfold. No one was hurt, fortunately. If you want to see some pictures, check out this link.

That just about sums up the last few months. Vale Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, as well as the truck driver in Sydney who couldn't have been more unlucky if he tried. Rest in peace to them all.

Monday, 9 March 2009


Did about 100km or so on Sunday on the bike, taking the back way to Uralla via the Bundarra road then back along the highway. Joerg had borrowed a mate's CB250 so we gave both bikes a good highway run. Excellent.

Of course, when I got home I had to mow the lawns, but there are always trade offs.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

A Blue Ribbon Day

The Armidale Show was on this weekend, and Heather entered some needle craft in the show. Low and behold she won first place! She was very proud and happy.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

In these tough times, investors turn to...

Iranian pickled goat skins. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the latest groundswell of investment opportunities involves this particular delicacy. Act now before it's too late!

I love spam email, don't you? Having run out of viagra, Russian brides and Nigerian billionaires they are now turning to more traditional fare in an effort to lure the unwary. Remember, you have been warned!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I'm confused - is this what they call media bias?

SMH website: "Stealing the show: US critics give Hugh the thumbs up."

NEWS website: "Critics Hate Hugh: Hugh Jackman's performance at Oscars panned by US media."

I'll just go sit in a corner and wait for the nice men with the white jackets.

Monday, 23 February 2009

A busy weekend

800 or so km will do that. We headed north to Toowoomba for the weekend to catch up with Ang's family and celebrate a couple of birthdays. Due to our usual "let's do a couple of things on the last day" we didn't leave until around 5pm local time, which to us daylight savers was really 6pm, resulting in us getting home last night around 11:30.

For some reason we were all a bit slow off the mark this morning.

Oh, and in news from a week ago, we've acquired 4 chickens. No eggs yet, but the kids love them. Particularly when bbq'd...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Know what I hate?

Waterproof pants that aren't.

Being bowled out for 56 to lose outright by an innings.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

black eyes, fat knees and beatings: aka why we love cricket

Another weekend, another heavy defeat at cricket. We are seriously in need of our student players returning, as well as the 3-4 other regulars who were out for the last couple of games. When your batting order goes 1-2-3-4-5-6-11-11-11-11-11, you know you are in trouble.

Hillgrove made 240 batting first, smashing us all around the park. I had to bowl this week, taking 1-56 of 8 overs, which was the first time I've bowled in 1st grade in around 14 years. Things were looking good in the first couple of overs until Brad King decided to smash us everywhere on his way to 108.

It looked like I was going to have to score 80% of the runs in the chase as we were desperately short of batsmen in form. With Gus away and Buckets injured, I was the only player with more than 100 runs for the season in our lineup. Not good.

The black eye in the title came in the third over when I top edged a pull shot into my helmet. Thankfully I was wearing it and contact lenses, otherwise things would have been rather messy indeed. I managed to get away with a nice lump and some multicoloured bruising.

In the end I made 52, Skinner made 25 - and we were bowled out for 106. I'll let you all do the math to calculate the contribution of the other 9 players. Here's a hint - the not out player made 6. Answers on my desk by the final bell today.

That night my right knee decided that I had been doing far too much exercise and swelled up. Way to finish the day.

Oh, and on Sunday the washing machine packed it in.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Mostly Quiet

Obviously nothing particularly earth-shattering has been going on around here of late, evidenced by my lack of blogging since Jan 5. Work has been busy enough without being overly interesting, and sporting wise we've managed two games of cricket in a row, unfortunately with two rather heavy losses. As it is raining outside currently I'm expecting a weekend off coming up.

Of course, there have been some fairly important events in the last week, namely birthdays for Marcus (9) and Heather (6). Both involved sleepovers that resulted in rather less sleep than normal, as well as much cake, nibblies and more battery operated toys. I think we've depleted the world's Nickel and Cadmium stores rather effectively over the last three weeks or so.

Our darts team has made it into the B-grade final. We've been playing a 4 person comp - team 801, 4 doubles 601 and 4 single 501. On Monday after all but the last singles game we were tied at 4-4. Guess who had to play the last game? No pressure. Tied at 1 leg apiece we went into the decider, and I ended up with 50 to finish. Busted on the first go (single 1, triple 17) I figured I might as well have a lash at the centre bull finish. Low and behold, one dart later we were in to the finals! I was right chuffed at making that throw, I can tell you.

Monday, 5 January 2009

There will be blood.

I bled for the cause today. Not an overly charitable cause, admittedly. I managed to cut or scrape myself in six different locations on my hands while installing two UPSs and two more sets of rack mount rails for some new servers we had delivered at the end of last year. I was ready to pack it all in by 4:30, I can tell you. At least I had cricket training to look forward to after work.

Friday, 2 January 2009

First one for the year!

Rejection notice, that is. I'd forgotten that I'd submitted that particular story and was unsurprised it didn't make it. It had been rejected a couple of times already, and on re-reading it could be better (what author doesn't think that?). Chalk it down to experience and a writing exercise.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

And so it begins

Jan 1 has rolled around with rather disturbing rapidity. Particularly December, which disappeared in a blur of post-nano apathy, Christmas preparations and celebrations and visitors. Now we've hit '09 and I can only imagine that the pace will continue to increase.

I don't like making resolutions, preferring to come up with a series of targets that are, in theory, achievable. This year they include:

* Finishing the '08 nano novel into a form that might be reasonably considered to be 'finished' and ready for review.
* Be prepared for nano '09, with a word count target of 60,000.
* Get a good start on being aerobically fit before the start of soccer training this year. I'm discovering that it takes much longer now than it used to to get and maintain fitness. Darn getting older!
* Hit the gym. Hard. See previous point.