Rain, wind, paint, hot chocolate and the handmaids tale

Another step down the road towards making user-registration work. PHP is a fairly simple, familiar sort of beast, but the Pear::Auth package is maintained by finite monkeys with ADD, or something. More work to do tomorrow.
All my careful double-checking to ensure that the office would be painted on a weekend has come to naught in the end, and now our CFO claims that there was never any other plan. Oh well, I will just have to work from home while the painters stink the place up. Poor little me. biggrin
Tonight’s weather has become even windier… anyone would think we were having a hurricane, rather than those poor folks in New Orleans. It sounds as though some weather god has changed their mind about spring, and ow they’re issuing a recall.
Still, I have my favourite beerexternal link in my tummy, hot chocolate in a mug in my hands, and a most huggable E by me here. I don’t even have to commute tomorrow… it can snow if it wants.
Erin, Korny and I watched “The Handmaid’s Taleexternal link” tonight. Korny warned us that it was a bit grim, but it was really the stuff of nightmares. Disturbing, chilling, topical. Elegant science fiction, if I can call it that without putting people off.

Work, GPS doubt, Roast Pork

Back at work today.

My S.A.D.external link-prevention lamp failed to come on this morning, not due to my zealous housemates turning it off at the lamp end, but due to my having messed with the timer while in a brainless(1) state during the holiday.

Still, this morning’s Triple-Jexternal link breakfast show brought some degree of cheer by announcing this to be the ‘Happiest Monday of All’ and broadcasting from home their universal message: don’t bother going to work today. Stay home, be happy. Would that I could marshall an excuse.frown

I am re-thinking my previous jubilant post about GPSes, since my reply from Navmanexternal link which seems to indicate that the Tungsten T2 is not supported. Why, I ask? Is there some terrible deficiency or difference between the T2 and the T3? Is it a bluetooth issue, or what? More research is called for… this is not news, really.neutral

Roasted a 3kg pork shoulder roast for dinner last night. My god it was magnificent… I had forgotten the true glory of a good pork roast, living with housemates with an aversion to crackling. E, mercifully, has no such affliction, and we have agreed that the remaining ~2kg of roast will make admirable sandwiches for the rest of the week. 🙂

I want more sleep. cry

(1) – brainless see inebriated(2)
(2) – inebriated see drunk(3)
(3) – drunk see pissed(4)
(4) – pissed see sloshed(5)
(5) – sloshedexternal link adj. Slang. Intoxicated.
(6) – mutual recursion see recursion, mutual(7)
(7) – recursion, mutual see mutual recursion(6)

Bluetooth GPS

Yet another marvellous gadget-frontier to push back… I have been looking for a GPS for some time, since a friend of mineexternal link got me interested in Geocachingexternal link. The problem is that this seems to be one of those items, like digital cameras, which undergo a mysterious non-tax-related price-hike upon entering the country.
Anyhoo, having decided that it would be a couple of paychecks before I could afford a $240 Garminexternal link etrex GPSexternal link, I was morosely re-examining the ridiculously low price for which I could buy such a device from Amazonexternal link if I lived in the USA, and it occurred to me to check the price of GPS units on ebayexternal link. I had looked at bluetooth GPS units (Since I already own a Palm Tungsten) in the past and ruled them out on grounds of cost. Almost the first link I saw when browsing GPS on ebay however, was thisexternal link lovely bluetooth GPS, with a buy-it-now price of AU$119! BT77
I suspect, on examining the market for these things further, that the trick is that this device requires no user-interface or special modularity. It just has to perfrom a well-documented task, namely receiving a GPS signal, and squirt the resulting low-speed (9600 baud) data over a convenient bluetooth link (again, a single IC will do it all). Since I already own the expensive bit (the Palm), this brings the cost down to something much more reasonable, with the added bonus that the GPS itself will continue to work in my future gadgets, so long as they support bluetooth.
…still, it ain’t gonna happen this paycheck. cry

Holiday bloggery

This post courtesy of Nancy Hatherell’s home dialup.
Ballarat is an excellent place to sleep in. cool This is day four of the driving holiday which we wanted to make the highlight of Erin’s microscopic annual leave this year.

  • Day 1: Porepunkah. We set out early Sunday morning from E’s house for the long drive up north. As planned, we went via Milawa so that we could spoil ourselves at Brown Brothersexternal link and milawa cheeseexternal link and buy some mustard as well. We got to Dad’s place in Porepunkah at four-ish. Our plan had been to go up to the snow in the morning, but on Dad’s advice we went to the snow immediately. There were tiny little scraps of icy snow at the very top of Mt Buffalo, enough to make a rude snowman. Dad’s food most excellent as always.
  • Day 2: Daylesford. The howling gale overnight obliterated the last of the snow on Buffalo. We went for a walk down to the old-growth timber at the edge of the Ovens river, and then went hunting fragments of ~150 year old chinese pottery in the Buckland valley. (photos to follow) At midday we set out to drive to Daylesford, getting there exactly at sunset.
  • Day 3: Clunes and Ballarat. Briefly: walking around the springs in Hepburn Springs, trawling through the magnificent Avant Gardenexternal link Bookshop, decadent hot chocolates at Sweet Decadenceexternal link, and on to Clunes to visit Hath and Judy.
  • Day 4: So far, breakfast and some blogging. 🙂

Holidays, Jet Li and Stuff

Feeling a lot better today than when I cranked out that last post!

What a grumpy Thorne I was!

Today is the first day of my little holiday, and tomorrow E and I are going on a proper driving holiday, probably Bright->Daylesford->Ballarat->home, with much wine-and-cheese, snow, hot-spas, and random enjoyable pootling throughout.

Tonight I am looking forward to playing “Monsters across America” with Jennie and Liam and E at E’s house. MaA was K & Y’s birthday present to Liam last night (Mmmm, mucho enchilada! (burp)) but they are meeting with Uncle Jono, who has finally returned from America, tonight, so they get to miss out. Nyeah!

Last night we also went to see “Unleashed” at CCW. It was WAY COOL!… I had only seen trailers beforehand, and thought: Cool! A Jet-Li movie with plot and stuff, and maybe the odd british gangsta. But lo! When the opening credits rolled, there was this awesome list of names:

  • Directed by Louis Leterrier
  • Written by Luc Besson
  • Soundtrack by Massive Attack

…and the obvious ones:

  • Jet Li …. Danny
  • Morgan Freeman …. Sam
  • Bob Hoskins …. Bart

But the names still tell you nothing: This is one magnificent action movie, and a compelling drama with some really beautiful characters and at least two singularly impressive bad-guys.
The fight-scenes are something I have never seen before: In a typical action move there might be a handful of blows, maybe even only one or two, where I am compelled to say “Ouch, I *felt* that”. In this movie nearly every single blow is a palpable impact, almost sickeningly compelling. Jet Li is scary, but he also really ACTS in a way that I haven’t seen him do before: easy to identify with every emotion.

I am compiling a list of movies for a “The art of fighting” video night/weekend, and now it lists: Kill bill v1 and 2, Unleashed, and…?

Locks and demented old finance hacks, Job Satisfaction


Today began quietly enough: the first noteworthy thing that happened was a visit from the upstairs neighbours, telling us that their grand morning presentation had finished and we were all welcome to come and help them finish off the food. Sane enough.

But then things got steadily more annoying…
We have a customer now who handles “Dangerous Goods”, e.g. chemicals which will spontaneously detonate when stored in the same warehouse. And I mean detonate in the vaporise-a-city-block sense.
Naturally, the solution to these dangerous goods is to wrap them up in earth-girdling quantities of red tape. Hence, in an act of sawnoff-shotgun delegation, I was the proud recipient of a task today which lead to me discovering the joys of the Australian Government Information Management Officeexternal link. This lovely site gives whole old meaning to the word ‘portal’: it is a gateway into hell. You have been warned.
Following this, among a welter of other smaller crises, I discovered that the electronic locking system I have poured so much blood, sweat and tears into over the past month had been sabotaged! One of crazy old bats from finance had decided that the solution to a door lock she didn’t (refused to) understand was to add another one. This resulted in a door on which neither lock worked, and a slightly disgruntled landlady, who felt that her tennants should know better than to have internal power struggles. It took me two hours to repair the door from where that damn technician had left it. evil
Now I am sitting here at 5:45 and wondering why I bother. Is it just me, or does this job really suck? Did I make it suck? Can I do better? … I can answer that last question. twisted


My new (old) hope for roaming bloggitry is now the idea of reprocessing email to stuff it into the blog.

I spent most of this last weekend revisiting this idea which I tackled rather crudely the first time around. The BlogBeast is now a project in CVS: I have spent this morning teaching myself CVS and checking in all the little scripty bits. I have cut off the ‘code’ link from my homepage because it was just looking too hard to vet it all for NDA-leakages and properly gplify it all. Maybe later.

The BlogBeast is still not quite finished: the parser is working fine, but I still need it to make thumbnails properly and submit stuff into the tiki.

Fun fun fun.razz

Bloggity! … Not.

(delayed post from 8/8/05)

I have temporarily abandoned the ideal of remote/roaming text/photoblogging. Maybe the technology just isnt there yet, or maybe I need to get shot of threeexternal link first, but it’s definitely just a bit too hard still.
Since I’m not a brilliant journalist or an avidly followed game developer or anything, I tend to think that such immediacy and convenience is just a frippery anyway. For now, writing myself dated notes in my palm will suffice. I can copy them to the blog when I get to work.
…not that I’m going to have time this morning: Giant (the critical systems server) has shat itself again, and some kind of mysterious new worm involving rtvscan.exe is doing the rounds all over the place. Worm? Licensing scam gone mad? Who knows? Unfortunately, I am expected to know. 🙁