28 April 2005


Yes, it's April 29th over in Oz and my brother is the big two-zero today. He's not a teenager anymore, and here's hoping he starts acting his age!!! Just JOSHin bro! Have a good one.

Bring your kids to work day

That's what day it is today at work. It's a day that makes me feel especially old, even though I'm really not that old at all on the scale of things. The kids are coming into meetings, they're playing with their parents' PDAs and running around and having fun. And then I'm trying to get work done. No, I am by no means angry, but I just wish I was a kid again. I remember the days playing in the sand pit, creating a spaceship out of a fallen tree, playing kiss-chasey and constantly falling over for some reason, 1-2-3 saw ya, "socc-quash", finding "bush tucker" on the Gum tree leaves, seeing my friend get his head stuck between two pieces of wood on a piece of play equipment . . . *sigh*

The gift

Because I've been a supporter of Flickr while it's been in beta I have a free pro account to give away to someone (free for one year, anyway. After that it's $25 US a month to maintain your pro status). To those who don't know what Flickr is, it's an online photo storage service that I use and now love. Much better than the crappy webshots I was using earlier (and which I still have to completely migrate away from). Send me an e-mail if you want one. I'm not going to give it away to anyone though. Here are the conditions:

a) You must actually know me.
b) You must use it well.

The advantages of a pro Flickr account compared to the free Flickr account?
a) 2 GB monthly upload limit (compare with 20 MB for free account)
b) Unlimited storage (limit of 200 photos for free account)
c) Unlimited photosets
d) Permanent archiving of high res photo images
e) Ad-free browsing and sharing (most of the time)

The popularity question

So I was driving to work this morning and I noticed that just about everyone I saw was talking on their mobile phone. All people seem to do over here is talk on their bloody phone. I looked at the total amount of time I've spent talking on my Razr and it's 7.5 hours. That's nothing. That's like what some people spend talking on a mobile PER DAY over here. I think I've already posted about Lincoln Mall in South Beach and how all the model-type people have a phone welded to their ear.

I was thinking about this some more and I decided that I do not talk to people back in Oz nearly as much as I wanted to. I have now set up a cheap international calling thingy so I can, and I'm also looking into Skype a bit too. Expect a call from me sometime (that is, if you know me :-)

25 April 2005

Weird stuff

Lately I've been feeling a little. . . unusual. Maybe it's because work is just plain bloody hard at the moment. Well, allow me to clarify that for a moment - it's bloody hard for about 1/7th of the time and for the remaining 6/7ths it's an exercise in pure frustration as I try and make all the required changes across, firstly, 380 pages of architecture documentation; 100 pages of design documentation, god knows how many lines of code, unit tests to make sure it all works and finally, integration tests to make sure it all works *together*. Actually, I don't think that would have clarified anything for anybody outside of engineering circles. I thought I had to modify one application when I started this a couple of weeks ago. It turns out that application was actually 7 separate applications. I was originally supposed to finish this all in the space of 3 weeks. That's just crazy talk.

The weekend was interesting as well. Friday night I ended up going to the casino in Hollywood (that's Hollywood, Florida) to check out some of the clubs there. I expected them to be really commercial. They were, in a sense, but I somehow ended up enjoying myself. Saturday night I went to a party in South Beach. The apartment complex was very much like that you'd see in the movies. It was very cool, much like many of the people who were there. I think the last thing I ended up doing before leaving the party was spraying all the mirrors in the apartment with air freshener and then writing my initials. What possessed me to do that I just don't bloody know.

23 April 2005

I rock!

Not a bad $25 souvenir

UPDATE: I was looking at this post again and was thinking "Wow, you got a parking ticket. That's. . . exciting". Well this is my very first parking ticket either over here or in Australia. I left my car overnight in some open space car park and apparently it 'closed' at 2am, which to me seemed rather stupid. Any signs indicating this in the carpark weren't very noticeable. Maybe I should have contacted one of those companies that specialises in trying to get your parking ticket revoked? It's not like there is a shortage of them over here.

Mind you though, this isn't my first car-related offense. Over in Australia I've been caught twice for speeding - one for rushing to a soccer game and the other for coasting down a hill in a stupid 50 km/h zone (and probably listening to DnB at the time), just after those zones got introduced. Over here, even though I regularly go 10 miles/h over the speed limit, I'm pretty safe because there are still people passing me. I was a bit worried that I'd get caught again when I went back to Oz recently as I was still driving like I would be on the I-95.

18 April 2005

Dr Who

I heard that BBC was broadcasting the new Dr Who series over in the UK. I was a big, big fan of Dr Who as a kid. I've seen four episodes of the new series so far and what can I say - it's bloody awesome! It's got lots and lots of British humour which I just can't get enough of. I can't wait to see the next one. Oh, having Billie Piper co-star is also a help.

17 April 2005

Bloody big tree

Stuff seems to be finally trickling in from the many people who have been hoarding the pictures on their cameras. This is one of them taken in front of a Giant Sequoia tree in Yosemite national park late last year that I've stitched together. You can see us standing there way, way down the bottom.

Big tree

I'm also in the process of moving photos from stupid Webshots to flickr so you'll see my flickr bar on the right of this page being updated as I find time.

15 April 2005

Online cricket game

I've been invited to a hat party in a couple of weeks and I immediately thought "cork hat". I couldn't be bothered making one myself so I looked around for one on the net. I happened to stumble across this site: http://www.stickcricket.com/game.php and I've been playing it for the past 1/2 hour (at work). After working a lot of hours in the past week, I don't care if anyone sees me playing this.

13 April 2005

Refer to last post, put "NOT" at the end

I've been reading a heck of a lot of stuff lately and even in the past day my views on things have swung around greatly because I haven't digested stuff properly. I was thinking last night about my last post and why I said I wouldn't comment on politics, even if I thought it was important. I now think that's a stupid idea, so to that end I *will* post the odd political story/comment *but only* if I feel it's important enough. I'm leaving the previous post as it is though, just to show how quickly my point of view can swing around when I haven't thought stuff through enough :-)

Part of what helped me change my mind was a story I received from one of my friends (thanks Nav!), regarding the upcoming oil crisis: http://www.energybulletin.net/4856.html (it was originally posted on the RollingStone website, but for some reason their link is currently down).

The reason why I found this story particularly interesting was because here where I live in Florida, there seems to be an excess of waste. There is a useless public transport system, there are massive SUVs all over the place. There might be some sort of recycling system here in Broward County but I haven't seen any evidence of one. There certainly isn't at my apartment complex - unless they sort through the rubbish later on and pick out what's recyclable. But I just get the feeling that the lifestyle over here isn't sustainable, what with the mega highways stretching all over the place and just the incredible number of cars everywhere. I have never seen so much development going on either. The suburbs continue to creep outwards at rates I haven't seen before.

Anyway, there are a couple of other stories off the linked website that make for interesting reading too.

UPDATE: Some other views and more info is linked from Boing Boing below.

12 April 2005

My last political comment

on this site, anyway. People who have been keeping up to date with this little distraction of mine may have noticed that I haven't written anything regarding politics for a while. Actually, I only ever wrote a couple of posts. I certainly didn't want to turn this blog into another political rant site. I haven't written anything regarding religion either, nor will I ever. Instead, it's now another site ranting about what stupid/cool/not so cool things I get up to. It will I hope become an outlet for other things sometime in the future... but that time is not now.

However, the title of this post *is* "my last political comment", and while I'm not actually going to say anything myself I will give a link to a site I've recently rediscovered which reflects my thoughts on politics quite nicely. Here 'tis: http://www.zmag.org/weluser.htm

11 April 2005

Weird state of mind

It happens when you spend most of your weekend inside. I'm like solar powered - I need my sunlight to function properly, or I at least need to step outdoors. This state of mind is completely self inflicted though. I purchased Half Life 2 Friday night and downloaded the game from Valve Software's 'Steam' content service that same night. Thankyou cable internet. I finished it sometime Sunday. What else did I end up doing? Well, I went to work for a few hours both Saturday and Sunday night. Yeah, my project is pretty intense at the moment. So you can pretty much say I spent my whole sunny Florida weekend indoors. Idiot. Actually to be fair on myself I haven't played a computer game for yonks so I had to get it out of my system. Plus, I was evaluating the in-game music that Half Life 2 offered. I wasn't too impressed with it actually. The graphics on the other hand with all the features turned on high - wow. Really nice to look at. I did notice some inconsistencies with water reflections though - some objects just weren't reflected. Maybe I could pimp myself out as a quality consultant. "Here sir, try our Razr V3!" Response: "Yeah, it's a slick phone and all but the menus are too slow! Speed them the hell up!"

Ooh, I purchased a whole orchestra on the weekend. When it arrives I'll let you know how it sounds and maybe I'll try getting it to play an ensemble or two.

Garbage, one of my fav groups, is actually releasing their new album today! It's heaps weird because they haven't released an album in four years, and I haven't really checked their website for about two years. What chance is there that the day I check, they're releasing their new album? And what else did I find out about the group? They'd temporarily broken up? Dang. I gotta read more. I found this review of their new album, which I would've bought no matter how badly it was reviewed to be honest. I think the reviewer was getting a bit ahead of himself - April 25th already? Damn. Time flies. Maybe I took a bit longer than I thought to finish Half Life 2.

EDIT: The album is actually being released on April 12th here in the US and Canada. So I'm not as cool as I thought I was.

08 April 2005

I'm in stitches!

Seriously, I am. If you ever thought things were going bad or just felt a little down, just watch this clip. It's some bloody funny 70's music video diamond in the rough.

07 April 2005

I'm counting on you...

So says my project manager. So tonight and last night and probably the next two weeks I'll be burning the midnight oil at work. Yay!

Geez, it feels like ages since I last posted. Nothing much interesting has been going on. Well, hold on, I did get those tickets to see the shuttle launch. Hopefully the dates for the launch don't change around too much, if at all. Apparently you can see the space shuttle shooting upwards from here in Plantation. Keeping in mind that the Kennedy Space Centre is about 200 miles away from here, I'm pretty stoked that I'm going to be only 6 miles away when it does launch. Awesome.

I did do something really stupid recently. I have the ability to do this at least every week it seems. I had to retrofit a new DC power socket onto the end of a transformer that I bought over here that is used for Technics keyboards. No problemo I thought. A soldering iron, some solder and 5 mins later I had a working digital piano. That was until a couple of days ago when I moved the piano around and shorted out the transformer. You see, I left 2 wires going into the plug exposed. I meant to put electrical tape around one of them to isolate it from the other but was too slack. Now I really pay. I now have to open up the transformer and replace the blown fuse, and I can only open the transformer with a hacksaw. The screw heads are welded blunt. Now come on Kristian, repeat after me: "A stitch in time saves nine"

03 April 2005

Another thing I'm pretty stoked about

Tickets for the next Space Shuttle launch go on sale tomorrow morning here in the US. Although it doesn't really matter if I don't get them - there are still places I can go to view the launch for free - the tickets get me the closest to the launch (6 miles away). That will be absolutely friggen awesome I think. Plus, Andrew Thomas from Adelaide is one of the astronauts. Even more awesome.

Did I ever tell you I love astronomy? I love it so much that I get pissed off when people say "look, there is the saucepan!" I'n my head I'm thinking "Well, that's actually part of the constellation Orion...". Bah! Anyway, I spent many a night with my telescope looking out at the night sky when I lived in Pata (we lived there for a couple of years again when I was beginning high school). You could imagine that viewing conditions there were awesome because there was nothing else around.

Anyway, one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up, apart from an archeologist, psychologist, biochemist, doctor or electronics engineer was an astronomer. The thought of going up in a space shuttle always freaked me out a little - especially after seeing the Challenger disaster in 1986, so I never wanted to be an astronaut. I guess at the time I settled for the next best thing, in a sense. But now that I like rollercoasters maybe I should give it a shot? Heheh.

More pictures to peruse

I've just uploaded 50 or so pictures from my trip to Australia. I'm still not completed with all the pictures though. There are some from the Adelaide 500 that aren't up, plus I'm missing a whole CD of pictures that are still back in Oz. Ahh well. The ones I have uploaded are here.

I only took a few pictures in Sydney because I didn't have enough time to get all touristy. Most of the pictures are from when I went to visit my Uncle and Aunt out on the farm(s) which is about 25 kilometres from Loxton. I think one of the coolest pictures though is of my 9 year old cousin driving a manual car. That was just awesome! You'll also realise I have a penchant for old stuff - whether it be old houses or broken down machinery. Not all of those pictures are up yet. Might I add: not all of Australia is like this! Most of the Australia population lives in cities along the coast. I've deliberately gone out of my way to show this side of Australia. Oh, and there are no pictures of kangaroos. We did see some, but they hopped away to quickly for me to get a picture of them.

There are also a few pictures from inside an old house. My uncle used to hold parties there apparently and everyone was given paint and they could paint whatever they wanted. There is some pretty interesting stuff there.