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Year View| Summary| Highlights| January 2003 (Month View)

01.01.2003Wednesday 1 January – New Year’s Day

The first day of 2003
It rained. I’m not sure how much rain as I slept in ridiculously late, but rain it did. The ground was wet and the creek is apparently up. It continued to sprinkle throughout the day. Mum and I watched Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life in the evening. I phoned Silas but he was still out at the reef somewhere. He phoned me back later in the evening, we are still planning to go to Cairns tomorrow evening or possibly early Friday morning.
This file
I’m also messing around with the format of this xml file and its associated xslt and css stylesheets. I like the way it is now – with separated content with time attributes. Unicode is good too – no more limitations on what characters I can use. If it exists in Unicode and can be saved as utf-8, then I can use it. It’s then up to the browser at the other end to display them.

02.01.2003 Thursday 2 January

I’ve lost track of what happened today, but I believe it wasn’t much.

03.01.2003 Friday 3 January – Drove to Cairns with Silas

Silas came in the morning, and we drove to Cairns. It was a four hour drive and rather uneventful. I made the foolish mistake of playing with the air outside my window all the way down – resulting in a rather severely sunburnt left arm. When we arrived in Cairns it was a tad warm. Very hot actually. We went around to Silas’s brother Eric’s place, and probably did a few other things but I don’t really remember them.
Eric, Silas and I went and saw “MY BIG FAT GRΣΣK WEDDING” at the City Cinemas and then went to the Cock and Bull for dinner – then slept at Eric’s. Both Silas and I had a fitful sleep, due partly to the bright lights streaming in the windows, the traffic driving noisily past – and also the slight apprehension from a story one of Eric’s flatmates had told us...
The Story
Eric has two flatmates. Some time ago, one woke up to find the other had got the two sharpest knives and two garbage bags and was going to kill the other and put him in the bags. The reason? Who knows? However it made us mildly uneasy.

04.01.2003 Saturday 4 January – Watched Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers

Silas, Eric and I drove to a bakery and got some breakfast coffee and baked croissants and a sweet stick thing for me. Silas and I then went to an internet café and checked our emails and such stuff. Silas had a few friends he wished to visit and I had a few movies I wished to see so we separated, Silas going to see his friends and I heading towards the cinemas where I saw “The Fat Chick” and “The Tuxedo”. The Fat Chick is incredibly stupid, which was roughly what I thought it would be like. The Tuxedo isn’t a great deal better, but contains the usual Jackie Chan excitement and was a fun watch. I also did the shopping which needed doing.
Silas and I went and saw “The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers” in the evening. It was, as expected, superb – although I was somewhat disappointed at how they’ve glossed over certain parts and indeed totally excluded others that I felt were vital to the storyline. Nevertheless, the acting, the scenery, the realism – it is hard to beat. I can’t think of any other movie offhand that I’d say would beat this one.
We then went back to Eric’s and went to sleep.

05.01.2003 Sunday 5 January – Saw James Bond

Silas did some more visiting and I did some more movie watching, seeing “Sweet Home Alabama”. We drove out to Josephine’s to use her Mum’s car to pick up some furniture from Eric’s as he is moving to another place. The furniture didn’t fit in the car, but we picked up Josephine instead.
James Bond
I drove Silas, Ben and Josephine to the Esplanade, and then drove out to Earlville cinemas where I saw James Bond – Die Another Day. I quite enjoyed the movie, although it is always disappointing to see how they’ve let the Bond character down and how americanised it is – I would like to see more of the British style, and less of the extremely blatant American style in the Bond movies... but it was nonetheless typical Bond, with lots of action, lots of large explosions and incredibly improbable events (which, unfortunately, are all too predictable at times – another downside to the American movie style). They should have got someone better than Halle Berry too; I’m not a fan of her.
After the movie finished I drove back in to the Esplanade where I rang Silas. He was at the Woolshed, so I went and got a thick shake for dinner and then headed to the Woolshed. After circumventing the admission charge, I spent an hour or two (I think we left around 2:30 but I’m not sure) there with Silas and Josephine. We then went for a walk around looking for other nightclubs and then drove back to Amy’s place and went to bed.

06.01.2003 Monday 6 January – Returned home from Cairns

Silas and I both awoke late, followed shortly thereafter by Josephine. Once we managed to summon the energy, we drove Josephine home, stopping at a bakery for some food on the way. We stayed at her house for a while during which time it clouded over and began to rain.
Silas and I drove back to Amy’s and did some cleaning up, sweeping, the dishes and such. We then went to Cairns Central where I bought a falafel roll and some fruit juice, Silas a Dona Kebab and some coffee, and a doormat for Amy. After lunch we drove back to Amy’s and left the mat and began the journey home.
We left Cairns and headed for Mareeba, managing to arrive there without any accidents or other nasty incidents. Silas had to buy some milk, and we fuelled up. The drive home went well, it being overcast and not too hot. It rained on and off. We stopped at Lakeland where I was going to phone Mum, but the phone was faulty.
I arrived home just after dark, and just as it began to rain. Silas and I watched “mullet”, a DVD which Mum had got from town. Silas then went to bed in his swag inside, while I went on chat and wrote this. I am very tired as is Silas.

07.01.2003Tuesday 7 January

I slept. Then I woke. Then I slept again. I am very tired, and have a sore neck. I think the few days in Cairns with broken sleep at night and the eight hours driving have worn me out.
It is raining lightly. Maybe the wet season is finally upon us? I am worn out again. I still haven’t caught up on my sleep. I put Silas’s monitor on my old PC, started up, and the video card couldn’t find enough resources to run... After disabling various other things, and reinstalling the drivers, I managed to get it to work. I then connected its crossover cable to my new PC – no link lights. I cried, banged my head on the wall, sacrificed some chickens, rebooted several times, installed the drivers for the network card in the old PC, re-setup the “Windows Home Networking”, suspended my new PC, unsuspended it – and it worked. I’ll have to do some more tests to work out what’s going on.

08.01.2003Wednesday 8 January

I woke up and started my PC as per usual. It wouldn’t accept my login password – and the password was many letters too long. This was weird. For every key I typed, three characters were appearing. Because passwords don’t show the actual characters, just ••••••, I couldn’t see what was going on. I rebooted. I changed the keyboard from USB to PS/2. Nothing helped. I plugged my old keyboard in and booted up my old PC which doesn’t require a login. Now I could see that for each key press, it was typing seemingly random characters. Fortunately my old keyboard worked, so I used that and pulled this one to bits. An hour later and after cleaning it all, I had it back together again – and it worked. I’ve no idea why but I’m glad, it’s a $100 keyboard.
Jean Haak phoned. Her printer won’t. I went for a walk down to her place and fixed it all. I met Dad walking, while I was walking home, so we stopped and talked for a while. I have to try to remember to remind Mum that Jean needs a lift to town on Monday for a doctor’s appointment. Mum is quite sick and has been in bed all day. She says she feels as though she has some type of flu, with an upset stomach and aching.
It’s late and I’m tired. I’m going to bed. I’ve spent ages fighting Dreamweaver. It corrupts xml files and I can’t work out why or how to stop it. It is all too complicated with Unicode, utf-8, ansi, weird fonts, the same file appearing differently in different applications... argh!
Oh... and...
I also applied for a credit card from the Commonwealth bank online. Maybe I’ll get one. I hope so as they are the only way to pay for many things nowadays.

09.01.2003Thursday 9 January – QTAC Offer Received

I had a quiet day, spending most of it at my PC and online talking to my chat friends and messing around trying to revamp my journal site and get XSLT and XML to work. Robert installed Sablotron (an XSLT plug-in for PHP) on SolidInternet but something had problems, and Apache had to be recompiled, then the server had to be restarted and I don’t know what else, but it was down for maybe fifteen minutes and some very weird things happened, but eventually it all worked and I could get to work on my journal site. I hope to have it all finished and working – or at least functional, by tonight.
Shan dropped in on his way home from town, where he has been doing tech for his apprenticeship. We talked for a while and then he went home.
I’ve just spent hours hacking code and getting my revamped journal website to work. It now works! I’m very happy with it, it’s all glossy, shiny, functional, neat, ordered, validating and so on and so forth.
It is technically Friday, and I am about to go to bed. I am a bit excited, because I’ve just logged into QTAC’s Applicant Online Services, and received an offer in Bachelor of Information Technology, The University of Queensland.

10.01.2003Friday 10 January

I had a fairly quiet day. I went up to Dad’s in the morning to see if I could catch him before he went to baby-sit the insect man’s place, but he was already gone. I messed around with the website for this journal, and chatted to my friends on IRC. It was very hot.
I drove over to Joneses and took the DVD “The Bank” over for them to watch, and borrowed two DVD’s which they had. I ran over a large snake on the way home.
I attempted to make a RSS feed for this journal, which I have managed to make, but it doesn’t look very pretty. I’ll have to mess around with it some more later. Now its bedtime and I’m very sleepy. I think I will sleep in tomorrow – that should be a refreshing change from all the midday sleep-ins I’ve been having recently.

11.01.2003Saturday 11 January

We have power – at least temporarily. The power has been on and off for the past two hours, not very handy for my PC and the UPS-without-a-battery. After my shocking sleep-in (I didn’t wake until 2:30) there wasn’t much day left. Jade and Shan drove over in the evening on their way to buy the paper and stayed for a while. Mum and I watched a DVD, “The Wedding Planner”. Neither of us were very impressed. As Mum said, it is “eminently forgettable”. I also managed to get RSS versions 0.91 and 1.0 feeds, as well as a CDF feed available for syndication.
Oh, and I forgot – Silas phoned earlier and says he may be able to get me accommodation in Brisbane, and that I should be able to get a lift down with him when he returns.

12.01.2003Sunday 12 January

Not much happened today. I drove over to Joneses and spent the afternoon there. Later on, Mum and I watched “The Bank”, it isn’t the world’s best acting, but a good storyline and enjoyable. It kept my interest throughout, and the twist at the end was a refreshing change from the average boringly predictable movie endings.

13.01.2003Monday 13 January – New RAM and HDD’s

I woke up to hear a strange noise, like a loud lawnmower flying around. I went outside and had a look, there was a helicopter flying around in circles overhead. It was black and with a large pole of some type poking several metres out the front on one side, but it didn’t sound like any helicopter I’ve heard before. It didn’t have the typical beat which a helicopter has, but just a strange high pitched whine. I thought maybe it was a gyrocopter. It flew around three times and then flew away to the south west. I went back to bed.
I woke up and looked at the clock. 2:46 PM! Eek! That is way too late to sleep in, even if I had already been woken by the weird helicopter noise. I guess I need to get to bed earlier. I stayed up until a quarter to four last night, and it shows.
I went for a walk up to Dad’s in the evening, meeting Vince and Sarah on the way up there. He still isn’t home but I met Mum as I was walking home and as she was dropping Jean home, so I got a lift back with her.
Mum had my Christmas and Birthday presents from Becky. Three largish boxes, expensive postage too. Some very pretty wrapping, she sure knows how to make things look good. A very touching birthday and Christmas present, and so many parts. There’s some lollies, there’s the expensive computer hardware, there’s a hair brush, there’s some blank CD’s in her favourite purple... it’s all very nice and touching. Thank you Becky.
I installed the new 512 MB of RAM and put the two 80 GB Western Digital 8 MB Cache HDD’s in. I also drove over to Joneses to get some HDD screws and an IDE cable. I haven’t got enough HDD power plugs from the PSU to actually run the new HDD’s (I want to run them as a striped RAID array). I have just noticed that the HDD LED is on dimly all the time, so I might shut down the PC and unplug the IDE cables from the new drives and see if that helps.

14.01.2003Tuesday 14 January – New CD-RW

I walked up to Dad’s early in the morning but he’d already gone to work at Ron’s so I walked to Ron’s meeting Dad there. I then spent the middle of the day on chat and at my PC, and went to Joneses in the evening as my late birthday present from Shan had arrived; along with the parts for a new PC Shan is building for a friend. I helped Shan put the PC together (well... truth be told I just watched and gave advice...), and then brought my new PCI modem, floppy drive, case fan and birthday present – 48/24/48 CD-RW back home. A quick call to Silas to confirm that I would like to go to Cairns with him on Friday and then into the hardware install.
I installed the floppy drive but I need to wait until tomorrow when I can get a few adaptors for the power supply plugs before I can plug it in. I installed the fan and swapped the other ones around, managing to make the PC lots noisier in the process. I then installed the CD-RW and NERO Burning Rom (which came with it) and thought I better test it out.
First up, the basics, does the door open? Yes, of course it does. Do disks go in and work? Yes they do. So, how does it go with audio CD’s? It freezes up the application trying to read them. Hmm... that’s no good. Disable digital audio, ahh it works now. So what’s it like at extracting digital audio? A full 59 minute, 16 tracks CD ripped in 1 minute and 54 seconds at a maximum of 43.8x (average 31.1x). This is using burst mode (and a clean CD) in Exact Audio Copy (currently the best CD ripping program). Wow that’s fast. I can’t detect any audible errors either.
I’m now going to try an extremely scratched CD now and see what happens.
I just ripped my Placebo CD. It is very scratched – I mean severely scratched. I don’t think it even works in my other drives. I ripped it using burst (non secure) mode, averaged around 8x ripping, so far I can’t find any errors. Amazing. I’m now going to find my most scratched CD.
I just ripped another scratched CD using the insecure burst mode – ripping around 16x and so far it seems no audible errors. Very good.
Testing burning a CD-RW now. Successfully burnt a 10x Verbatim disc at 12x, so that seems good. And... the burner has a dual-colour LED which glows green when reading and red when writing, just like my old drive so that’s good too. Call me silly but I really wanted a dual-colour LED rather than how some drives do it – just a normal LED that flashed on and off. Thanks Shan!
I just reconnected to the internet and happened to have my headphones on – and I heard the modem dialling through my headphones. That is cool. I’ll have to test it tomorrow and see how it works, maybe I can use the modem as a phone call recording device.

15.01.2003Wednesday 15 January – Received QTAC Confirmation

Mum woke me up and we went to town nice and early. I checked my mail and also went to the computer shop and bought the power adaptors I needed for my new hard drives, and another IDE hard drive lead. I got “The Matrix” out on DVD as it’s been ages since I last saw it. I met Bob and Peter at Peter’s shop and had a short talk to them, and then Mum and I drove home again.
I received my QTAC confirmation and enrolment information from UQ, with lots to read and lots to think about. I found out the key dates – orientation week is 24th to 28th February and the actual course starts 3rd March. That’s not all that much time, I should start panicking now. The other letter I received wasn’t so pleasant. A notice from Centrelink to repay approximately $1300 which they claim was wrongly paid to me because I wasn’t studying at Cairns School of Distance Education during the fourth term last year. I never claimed I was. I was studying from Brisbane School of Distance Education. This has happened several times now; I thought that this confusion between Cairns and Brisbane schools had been sorted out last time I had this problem. Theoretically it should be easy to sort it out as Centrelink are quite obviously wrong – but unfortunately there are complications. Centrelink has said they require proof that I was enrolled and proof that I was returning adequate work units to be classed as full-time. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but... During that period I was in hospital, and after I was discharged from hospital I contacted the school to discuss my options as there was no longer sufficient time to study for and sit the examinations. The school told me to send them a doctor’s letter and they would continue my enrolment until the end of the course, after which I then sat the STAT test rather than the examinations I would otherwise have sat. So it would appear that I have accidentally violated a Centrelink’s definition of “full-time” study, but satisfied the school, and now I have a problem. I should be able to provide proof that I was enrolled during that term, but I can’t provide proof that I was returning work – because I wasn’t (or at least not enough to classify as full-time, I was in hospital). I guess I am supposed to have informed Centrelink that I was in hospital and unable to study, but I didn’t. I really don’t have the money to repay them, and I especially don’t need this on top of moving to Brisbane and UNI. Oh well, I’ll contact Brisbane School of Distance Education when they open on the 23rd of January.
I installed the power plugs on my new hard drives and the floppy drive, created a striped RAID array and formatted the disks. So far everything seems to work although I haven’t actually had time to do much with it. I also began using XMLSpy to create the XML source for this journal as DreamWeaver and EditPlus both have separate UTF-8 issues. EditPlus seems to incorrectly read or write certain UTF-8 characters and DreamWeaver (seemingly randomly) corrupts or deletes parts of the data. I also created a schema which validates this file.

16.01.2003Thursday 16 January

Former Day
Wow what a day? Where do I start? The beginning I guess... Well... I woke up. Beat that. Then I had breakfast, followed by a period of inactivity. I mean – inactivity. You can’t get better than that. Then I had lunch. Yes, you read it right. I had lunch. Just like that – I had lunch. Followed by a period of inactivity. So, I guess that just about concludes it, I’ll start another section for the latter parts.
Latter Day
I drove up to Dad’s and dropped off some UNI stuff for him to look at, stayed an hour then came home and drove to Joneses, dropped off Shan’s IDE lead and “The Matrix” DVD, stayed a while then came home, watched “The Matrix” with Mum, had dinner, did a few things to get ready to go to Cairns tomorrow and went to bed.

17.01.2003Friday 17 January – Silas and I drive to Cairns

Silas phoned around lunchtime to let us know he would be arriving around 2 o’clock, which he did, with his younger sister Renae. We stopped at the Lions Den Hotel, where Silas and Renae had a few beers. Then, an hour or so later we stopped at Lakeland Hotel where another beer or two was purchased, enough to get us to the Palmer River Roadhouse, the beer from which just about got us through to Mount Carbine hotel, by which time I was driving and Silas was resting in the back...
It started raining not long after Mount Carbine, and was pretty wet all the way from there to Cairns. It makes it much harder driving at night down the Kuranda range when it’s wet, with the poor windscreen wipers on the Falcon, the slippery and very windy and steep road, all the too-bright headlights... but we made it safely and dropped Renae off at Josephine’s where Silas, his brother Eric, and Renae had dinner. I didn’t eat anything as it was meat. After dinner Silas and I drove to his Cousin Amy’s place and went to sleep.

18.01.2003Saturday 18 January – Cairns

Silas and I drove Amy to work and then went to a nearby bakery for breakfast, then on to an Internet Café to service our vital communication needs. After leaving the Internet Café Silas and I went and did lots of shopping for his family, spending hours in the supermarket and driving around to a few places, then it got too late (as places tend to close half day on Saturday). Silas and I then drove over to the van park where his brother Eric is staying and him and his friend came and we all went and watched James Bond (the second time for me – it is an enjoyable movie to watch). Interestingly Silas agreed that the first half is ok but the second half has become too americanised and Halle Berry wrecks it to an extent by the way she’s portrayed. I then went and watched "Analyze That" at night while Silas and some friends went to some nightclubs. I joined them after the movie finished (around 11:30) and we talked for a while and then the friends went home and Silas and I went to “The Woolshed" (which is a night club) and stayed there, getting home 4 AM. A bit boring for me because I don’t drink and wasn’t trying to pick up a girl, having instead to avoid some, but it was all interesting. We then drove back to Amy’s place (Silas’s cousin) around 4 AM and went to bed.

19.01.2003Sunday 19 January – Cairns

This morning we both woke late and eventually went and got some breakfast from Cairns Central (I had a falafel kebab) around lunch time, then went back to Amy’s (she’s working) and stayed there up until late afternoon, when we went to Rusty’s Markets (an Asian type fruit market) and bought some potatoes and onions, then bought a milkshake and headed for an Internet Café to once again service our vital communication needs. Silas and I ate dinner at the Night Markets and then headed out to Earlville Cinemas to see “Catch Me if You Can” with Josephine and Renae. It’s an OK movie, but that’s about all I’d say, but nevertheless it was enjoyable. We then drove back to Amy’s and watched “Waiting for Godot” on SBS, getting to bed late due to watching that.

20.01.2003Monday 20 January – Arrive Home

Silas and I woke up in time to get Amy to work by 9 AM. We then drove the short distance from the café she’s working in to Cairns Central and had some breakfast. A milkshake and apple croissant look-alike later and we headed off to start shopping. Firstly back to Amy’s place to unload a few things from the car to make space, then off to do shopping. We drove all over the place, getting a new tyre, water pipe fittings, cistern parts, electrical cabling clips... and many, many other things. Around 2 PM we arrived back at Amy’s place, as did Amy (having got off work early). After a short rest Silas and I packed the car and headed off to Eric’s to drop off some food, then on to Josephine’s to pick up a few things (and have a cup of tea), then up to Mareeba. We arrived at Mareeba just on five o’clock and went to the supermarket to buy a few cold goods. I bought some chips and soy milk and Silas got a pie from a nearby takeaway shop, then we headed for home. A few hours, and several million bumps, later we arrived home. I had some mail – I have received a credit card, so now I should be able to purchase things which only accept credit cards.
Silas is sleeping out in the yard in his swag and I am about to go to bed.

21.01.2003Tuesday 21 January

I had a quiet and restful day. Silas slept in the yard in his swag last night and it rained, so he got a little wet. He left here around 9 AM after having written a few emails, and headed off to Bloomfield. I checked into the UQ (University of Queensland) site and set up my personal details and HECS information and such. I spent the rest of the day resting, going for a walk up to Dad’s in the evening to get some papers I needed to check my uni enrolment and walking back just after dusk had fallen. There has been a little bit of strong rain today and it is very overcast, maybe the wet season is finally here?
I am quite tired; I guess still worn out from the trip to Cairns, so it’s off to bed I go.

22.01.2003Wednesday 22 January

I actually managed to wake up at a normal time for a change – before 10 o’clock! I phoned up and enabled my credit card, then got it linked to my statement account, then had it linked to my NetBank. And all this before lunch – I’m on a roll.
Marriette phoned to say her PC no longer works. It says it has files missing. I walked up to her place and diagnosed the hard drive as terminally sad, and took it out and put it in another PC to try and copy any files off it. I managed to get most of the documents off it at slower than floppy drive speeds. Then I walked home again, by which time it was rather dark and I had to feel my way down the road. When I felt leaves I knew I was off the road. Fortunately I didn’t break any toes on sticks or stones, or poke any eyes out on branches.

23.01.2003Thursday 23 January

Mum woke me up in the morning and we drove into town. I went down to Peter’s shop and talked to him for a while, and then got a lift up to Peter’s place around lunch time where I edited some pointers to non-existent files out of the registry on his computer, then we went down to Ken’s and picked up my monitor. It cost $80, and Ken said it has the best picture he’s seen in a while and is also well designed and built. Unfortunately I seem to be unable to find its stand. I think that I may have not received a stand when I got its replacement, so I may only have one stand. I also got two DVD’s, “Braveheart” and “Rain Man”. Sadly my DVD drive won’t recognize the “Braveheart” DVD.
I drove over to Joneses and took my old 15 inch monitor over for Shan to use as I now have my other old 17 inch monitor fixed. Shan’s DVD drive can read the “Braveheart” DVD with no problems yet mine won’t even recognize it as a disc – so I’m not really happy about that. I did a bit of reading and ended up downloading a few files and then flashing the DVD drive’s bios. My Sony DVD drive is no longer a Sony drive – it’s now a LiteON drive. It sort of cuts down the “It’s a Sony” impression when you realise that this drive is made by LiteON, is identical to the drive LiteON sells, but has a Sony front-plate and Sony bios – or did have until about half an hour ago. Regrettably the drive still wouldn’t read the DVD, but it does now rip audio CD’s much faster and much more reliably. Sigh. I wanted to watch that movie too.

24.01.2003Friday 24 January

I had a quiet day, with nothing particularly interesting happening. I messed around with my webpage and phoned BSDE regarding my Centrelink issues (I spoke to Marylyn Temperton and she said she would fax a letter to Centrelink). Hopefully that will sort out my Centrelink problems, although I’ll just have to wait and see. I stayed up adding some geeky humour to my amused website.

25.01.2003Saturday 25 January

This morning was quiet. I slept in and spent the morning online.
At 3:33 PM I noticed that Outlook was unable to connect to my email server. A quick check showed that many sites on the Internet were experiencing problems, and it was getting worse. Ten hours later and my site still isn’t available. Apparently there’s a worm going around which infects MS-SQL servers, spewing out a lot of data and clogging up routers. In the meantime I walked up to the shop, but it was closed. Apparently they now open at 8:30 and close at 5, so I came home and had a shower, then Mum and I watched “Rain Man” on DVD. It is an evocative and moving movie, and well acted, although not at all my style. But I enjoyed watching it. I was then unable to connect to Telstra Bigpond Home. Phoning them didn’t help much either, they said to wait until midnight and try again. What’s the bet they’re patching all their MS-SQL servers?

26.01.2003Sunday 26 January – Australia Day

I am listening to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”. And wishing I had some doughnuts. I really wish I had some doughnuts right now. I have been eating “Mississippi Cheese Straws” and “Mississippi Mud Puppies”, both very strong.
Obey your master. Your life burns faster. Obey your master – master – master of puppets, I’m pulling your strings – twisting your mind and smashing your dreams. Hmm, a good song, anyway back to the food. I still wish I had some doughnuts. Or is that donuts? That’s one of the problems of being Australian. I never know if I should be using the Americanised (or is that Americanized?) versions of words, or if I should be using the British equivalent. Oh well, I guess there’s larger problems in life than that. I’ve been over to Home Rule to see Shan this evening. I nearly hit a tree on the drive over. I came around a corner and there was a tree in the middle of the road. Quite a rude tree it was too, refusing to budge. The road was wet and muddy, probably something to do with the rain, so I only just stopped in time. Fortunately for the tree, I managed to squeeze around one side.
Woe. No doughnuts.
Anyway, Shan and I played Unreal Tournament for a while; using the new PC he’s made for Jass. These songs bring back memories. I was probably 13 or 14, living in a remote valley out West from Gympie. My best friend Aaron and I used to “camp out” most weekends in an old caravan. It was quite a way from anyone else, in a very scenic location beside a small creek. Their block had a road down the middle of it – the road in fact, as there was only one. Their house was on one side, the caravan on the other, and probably a kilometre or so apart. After school Friday’s I would walk over to Aaron’s place, or he mine, and we’d play around doing not much. We were both into electronics in a very basic way, so we’d pull things apart. Then, as it got late and after dinner, we’d get two litres of milk, drink some, mix ice-cream topping in as flavouring, collect lots of batteries, some chips, our walkman, some speakers, many candles and a few other things and jump in an old Nissan Patrol and drive down to the caravan. We were both interested in candles at that time too. Aaron had a metal bucket full of wax and wicks, and I had some metal tins with a wax/kerosene mix in them which would burn without a wick once lit. We’d light up our candles, open the chips, drink the milk and listen to Master of Puppets. When I hear it now, I remember those carefree times before I reached year ten and exams. The past has such a rosy glow to it, even events which at the time left me aghast, now seem so trivial and all I remember are the good times.
Time for another Mississippi Mud Puppy I think. Chock-full of fine chocolate chips, sweet cream butter, pure cocoa, flaked oats and pecans... Apparently “krapfen” is German for “doughnuts” – funny people the Germans.
I am surrounded by moths. They come to the light of my monitors. The rain seems to bring more moths. I guess they don’t like getting wet. I wonder where moths go when it rains. Maybe they hide under leaves. Somehow I can’t imagine rain being very good for them. At least I haven’t swallowed any yet.
I slept in this morning. I really do have a sleeping-in problem. Hardly surprising considering I stay up late, and probably not going to change until I take the “problem” part of the preceding sentence seriously. At the moment I don’t mind, although it is a waste of daytime. I’m up to the track “Orion” now. I like instrumentals. To me, vocals often tend to destroy good music. Unless the vocals are really good and really fit in, I find they detract from the instruments. But on the other hand, if the vocalist is up to the task, it can really enhance good music. There’s so much mediocre music available. A synthesizer, a few loops, a beat – and a sensual video clip with enough Latin women and you’ve got yourself a number-one hit – for a week if you’re lucky. But to be so popular and so famous years later – then you know there was some substance to the music. Hence the saying, “stand the test of time”.
I appear to have spouted a considerable amount of nothing. There, my modem just disconnected. I’ve been connected for ten hours. It’s probably time for bed.

27.01.2003Monday 27 January – Australia Day Holiday

I feel miserable. Firstly I didn’t go to sleep until after 7 AM. Then, as is to be expected, I didn’t wake up until the afternoon. But that’s ok. What isn’t ok is that I have hay fever – severe hay fever. I drip. I sneeze. My nose runs, my eyes water. My nose is red and raw. I can’t think. I can’t breathe. Ok, maybe I can breathe a little bit, but I don’t feel all that good.
ⓐⓢⓒⓘⓘ ⓢⓣⓤⓟⓘⓓ ⓠⓤⓔⓢⓣⓘⓞⓝ ⒢⒠⒯ ⒜ ⒮⒯⒰⒫⒤⒟ ⒜⒩⒮⒤

28.01.2003Tuesday 28 January

I received an email from Silas regarding accommodation in Brisbane. It seems he’s back in Cairns again. He said he’s phoned his uncle and I could probably stay there temporarily, but he’ll talk to me later.
Silas arrived. He’d driven to Cairns, and then driven back up with Eric in Eric’s car, then back to Cairns again and now back up here in his car. Apparently his uncle doesn’t want a permanent tenant but is quite happy to have a temporary one. So I can stay there until I find somewhere better. That’s a relief, as that was the most immediate problem I had with moving to Brisbane – hopefully now solved.
I upgraded SmartICQ to the latest version – it really is an amazing script, and began using Shan’s MSN script. Both are mIRC scripts, allowing me to chat to ICQ, MSN and IRC people all from the one application and in a common environment. It does make it easier, and also allows for easy scripting for add-ons and such.

29.01.2003Wednesday 29 January – Doctor’s appointment

I phoned Doctor Hill and made an appointment for 11:15. Mum and I then drove in to town, where availed myself of the Internet services at the library, which for a humble four dollar fee, allowed me to check my webpage on an older version of Internet Explorer and chat to my friends for nearly an hour. I then rushed off to the doctors.
After my doctor’s appointment, Mum and I went to the video shop and got a few DVD’s. “An Everlasting Piece”, “What Women Want”, “The Man Who Sued God”, “L.A. Confidential”, “Lethal Weapon” and “Lethal Weapon 2”. I copied them to my hard drive to watch later, and plan to take them over to Shan’s later this evening, along with a small food grinder of his Mum’s which we had borrowed.
Mum and I watched “Lethal Weapon”. It was refreshing to watch some fairly mindless action, and refreshing to watch a movie in this genre which actually has a semblance of a plot. We both enjoyed it. I then had some chocolate cake, and now I’m quite full and ready for bed. Shan says his old hard drive is dying. It makes nasty noises and reads slowly... Anyway, bedtime for me.

30.01.2003Thursday 30 January

The sun rose, as it is wont to do.
The sun set, as it is wont to do.

31.01.2003Friday 31 January

Shan came home from work early and had the rest of the day off because he had gotten a bit of metal in his eye. I drove over in the evening, taking our DVD’s over and returning their grinder. Argh! There are mosquitoes in the van and attacking me. Bad! I stayed over at Joneses until dark, then came home and watched “Lethal Weapon 2” with Mum. It’s about the same as the first one really. We both enjoyed the mindless action. I had my journal website tested with the latest Mozilla and Lynx running on Linux, and Internet Explorer on a Macintosh – fearing that my use of “smart quotes” wouldn’t work on a non-Windows machine. It seems I need not have worried; they worked fine – even in Lynx.

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