Possibly in karmic revenge for the melodrama of that last post, yesterday I pranged (merkin: “crashed”) my car. sad

I got rear-ended by a chap driving a commodore just near the Noble Park train crossing. My car remained essentially car-shaped, but his was completely mashed. Mercifully, we both turned out to be comprehensively insured, with the same insurer. I have already been confirmed by my insurer as being ‘not-at-fault’, so I won’t be paying nuffin’ for the repairs, and I get a gratis rental car for the next fortnight.
Neither he nor I seem to be in any way injured, but I am still waiting for the accursed Mayne Radiology to un-lose my X-ray report confirming that I don’t have a broken neck. My head having not yet fallen off, I am quietly confident. confused

E did a wonderful job of looking after me, and was endlessly patient with the various doctors, radiologists, car-assessors, car-repairers, car insurers, car rental agents and hordes of polite secretaries who we encountered yesterday.

The only respect in which the whole thing was really inconvenient was that it used up a sick-day, and my car wasn’t badly bent enough to get written off. That would have been really handy.

Honour, loyalty, and my lack of it.

A lot of you readers know what evil I did to E last year. You know that I did that evil with my cousin. I just want to go on the record here as saying that I am sorry. I doubt that any penance I could do would amend for the pain I caused, in betraying E’s trust. But I also want to say that I do not blame myself solely.
Most of the blame lies with me. It was my evil, but without that my grotesque behaviour was eagerly abetted, it would have been naught but pathetic, shameful self-abuse.
I betrayed my partner last year for my shame, but she was also betrayed by a friend.
I choose to whom I am beloved now, thank you.

Thats all. Apologies to casual readers for the maudlin interlude. We now return you to your regular harmless programming.

Bush Family Values

I don’t usually post links to other blogs here, preferring to come up with my own content, or to post links in the ‘Crazy’ section on the right-hand side of my homepage.

This, however, smells so bad that I just had to share it:
Why everyone wants to invest in Neil Bush’s software companyexternal link (from Boingboingexternal link).

It turns out that Barbara Bush’s donation to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund is going straight to Ignite!, an educational software company owned by Neil Bush

…and it gets much worse from there.

On those frequent occasions when I curse the present Australian government as ignorant, incompetent, racist, sexist, fascist morons, I can at least draw solace from the fact that, unlike the USA today, we aren’t in the hands of a family organised crime syndicate.

Changing topic, I am currently reading Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happinessexternal link at the recommendation of a mental health professional. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s unhappy with their life, including most especially those skeptics and cynics among you. Seligman is very clearly a scientist, and takes pains to support his claims at every turn with the latest well-referenced research results. Not finished the book yet though, so I can’t give a good summary. Will probably add to this later.

House vs The Market, Work vs The CWG, T&E vs Castlemaine

A miscellany of unsorted news, after a long pause from blogging!

Firstly, it is worth noting that depression impairs ones desire to blog quite effectively, even when there is plenty of news.

Match one: The house has finally sold, we think. Unless I am sorely mistaken, the whole dealie is now only dependent on finance, and since the buyers have put down a hefty deposit, I expect that finance is a foregone conclusion. Yay!

Match two: My work is temporarily being conducted from my new home, since the Commonwealth Games have effectively rendered North Melbourne imapssable, and public transport Highly Fearsome. This suits me just fine. My workmates are so much easier to cope with when they’re on the other end of a data line. biggrin

Match three: Me and E went for a daytrip to Castlemaine today. It was excellent!

  • We had an excellent lunch in Malmsbury (sp?) and bought eccles-cakes (of course).
  • We explored the vast coolness of the Restorers Barn in Castlemaine itself.
  • We found three caches.
  • We did some most excellent four-wheel-driving in E’s very two-wheel-drive car.
  • We climbed a cliff of loose granite blocks the size of white-goods.
  • We came home and made uber-steak-sandwiches-of-doom.

I want to give special thanks to E for bringing outrageous madness such as this into my life. twisted

No news involving dutchmen that’s fit to publish just yet.

Wiki outage, comments restricted. D’oh!

The observant will have noticed that the Tiki was gone for a few days there. This was due to a massive comment-abuse event on wednesday morning.

The offending IP has been blocked utterly and permanently, and as a precaution I have restricted comments to registered users only for now. I know this sucky-sucky-sucks, but there isn’t an easy solution.

In the longer term, I intend to use a CAPTCHAexternal link on each comment-submission to weed out the abuse-bots from the nice humans.

Until then, apologies to all the nice humans who have been adding wonderful comments to my blog. Please don’t be afraid of the big bad registration script: I won’t use it for anything except letting you into the site.

I will, of course, understand entirely if you can’t be bothered.

intel Mac mini : “Yeah, I know!”

Just one additional thing today, which I should have posted some time ago: Yes, I have seen it, and I wants one.
Reasons why an Intel Mac Mini will not be Trouble 2.0:

  • The Mini lacks storage. (disk too small, disk too slow)
  • Too expensive. For $1300 I can get the whole system.
  • Buy a Mac, scrape off MacOS and never look at the pretty aqua desktop? Are you mad?
  • The storage expansion options are still too limited. No Firewire 800! Why, for crying out loud?

Rather, at this stage, Trouble looks likely to be built from one of theseexternal link. Power consumption will be higher than I would like, but noise, performance and price should all be well within tolerances.

Safe! Updated things. Thinking about Food.

First, since it seems to be a common thread on my blog, my latest gadget: A safe!
This may seem frivolous, especially at a time when rent + motgage repayments are strangling me, but it has three redeeming features:

  1. The safe will be primarily for storing valuable Jewellers supplies, with which I can get myself some much needed craft time, and maybe even an alternative means of income.
  2. The safe was on an insane (see ~75%!) discount.
  3. E helped me with finance until settlement on Elmwood.

It is a most magnificent device, weighing ~70kg and requiring two keys and a combination to open.
In other news, and again a common topic hereon, I have updated the Trouble front-page to use a nice new css-driven navigation bar. If it gives you grief, please feed back.
Lastly, a straightforward recipe and method for wok-cooked chicken which worked resoundingly well last night:

  • ~500g boneless chicken meat, cut into stir-frying strips
  • 1tbsp of seasame oil
  • 2-3tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2tsp of lemon grass (I used the stuff out of a tube)
  • 1 or 2 fresh chillies, chopped
  • 1/4cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • ~100ml of peanut oil
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 1tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 spring onions

Mix coriander, chillies, lemon grass, soy and seasame oil in a bowl. Marinate the chicken strips in this for at least an hour. Make sure you have all ingredients lined up and ready because the next bit is farily quick: Heat up your wok with the peanut oil in it until the oil starts to smoke. Add the salt, then the garlic, stir until brown (this takes less than three seconds) then add the onion. Stir for a few more seconds, then add the chicken and all marinade.
Cook until the ckicken is browned and firm. Serve topped with chopped spring onions, with noodles or steamed rice.