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Year View| Summary| Highlights| January 2005 (Month View)

01.01.2005Saturday 1 January – The Year of Bronwen

That just made my day – I have just got home from the New Year’s celebrations at the Lion’s Den and Bronwen just phoned to give me the long-distance version of a New Year’s kiss. There’s not much more I could want – apart from, I guess, my own personal flying saucer (or TARDIS, if they’re out of stock), unlimited lifetime supply of chocolate (with complimentary free dental cover), and Bronwen herself.
I had to go to the Den to pick up Mum, so I did. I then didn’t have to do anything, so I also did.
Jade and Ella came over and we spent some time talking about things and so forth.
Comment by Maz – Saturday 1 January 2005, 2:58 PM
  I'm back now... did you all miss me? I have some ideas for random things to do at uni which I will go write down shortly. Hi kathryn.
Comment by Ned – Sunday 2 January 2005, 1:55 AM
  Welcome back. I hope you didn’t get sunburnt.
Comment by io – Sunday 2 January 2005, 2:28 AM
  Hi Maz.
Comment by kathryn – Sunday 2 January 2005, 4:31 PM
  Hi Maz.

02.01.2005Sunday 2 January – Mum’s Birthday

I phoned Sarah and had a short chat to ensure Mum’s birthday present was on schedule, and then had a stupid argument with Mum, about almost nothing, which made me (and her, presumably) feel bad. I then got over that and decided it wasn’t realistic to go back to Brisbane tomorrow, particularly seeing as I’ve nothing at all to do down there until uni starts (as opposed to the nothing at all I have to do up here until uni starts and I have to go back down there). I then gave Mum a little birthday present, and suddenly ended this paragraph.
Inline with my resolution to go outside and do nothing when it’s not raining, rather than not go outside and do nothing, I walked up to Dad’s, but he wasn’t home, so I figured that was a good excuse to say I’d fulfilled my resolution and could now go back inside. This was a good plan, but just as I’d showered and got myself the last of my birthday cake and swum it in cream, Jade, Shan, Ella and Kylie turned up. They wanted to know if I wanted to go to the den for pizza, which I did. It ends up they were just going there to pick up pizza and take it back out to Home Rule, so I ended up out there, and to cut an otherwise longer paragraph shorter, stayed the night.

03.01.2005Monday 3 January – Jade’s Birthday

I woke up before anyone else, so went for a bit of a wander down the creek until people began to wake, at which time we went for a swim in the dam, made a birthday cake, and then Shan and Kylie dropped me back home. I then made the mistake of drinking several glasses of strong apple juice. Apparently, not eating anything other than a small slice of cream cheese all day, and then drinking lots of apple juice, is bad for one’s short-term health.
I went for a short and leisurely walk, due to aforementioned apple juice, and then drove up to Dad’s to arrange tomorrow.

04.01.2005Tuesday 4 January – Clint’s Birthday

Continuing the trend of birthdays – today is Clint’s birthday. He’s now lacking a digital preamp as well. Mum and I went to town, dropping Dad off at Sue’s as she’s going away and he’s housesitting there again, and that’s about all I can say here about today.
Comment by Kieran Jacobsen – Friday 7 January 2005, 2:43 PM
  Can i get authorization?

05.01.2005Wednesday 5 January – Caught Dogs & Vampires

I woke up early – I had a few things on my mind. Today has been awfully hot. Sarah phoned while Mum was at work, asking me to get Mum to phone her back urgently. Shan arrived and we drove up the mountain to pick up some bike parts. Shan and I got my new hard drive and took it up to his place to test. It works on his computer. I left a note for Mum, which she didn’t read. Sarah phoned and left a message. The phone inside broke – the buttons don’t work. Mum got Sarah’s message. Mum phoned Sarah. Sarah was angry that I hadn’t given Mum her message. Mum phoned Shan. Shan gave the phone to me. I talked to Mum. Shan drove me home. I drove to Cooktown. I went to the council. I spoke to Matt the Dogcatcher. I picked up Grunt and Roden(t). I took them to their home. I tied them up and gave them biscuits. I found some jellybeans in the fridge. I sat in front of the fan. I bought a milkshake. I dropped in at Sue’s and watched a Godzilla movie with Dad. I went for my evening walk but nearly died of heat exhaustion, and only went halfway. My head pounded for a while from the hot and seeing didn’t feel good so I had a long shower. I discovered that vampires do exist, albeit mortally, and that drinking your own blood leads to a weaker immune system. Happy in this knowledge, I went to bed.
Comment by io – Thursday 6 January 2005, 1:48 AM
  That's a lot of eyes.. Even for eye-oh.

06.01.2005Thursday 6 January – Peachy & Cooktown

It’s once again hot, and once again, I’m off to town. I drove Mum to work and picked dad up from Sue’s, went and checked that Sarah’s dogs were still alive, bought gas, sat in the Top Pub for a little while, ate half a plate of nachos, and drove back to the Den. I went for a swim at the Den, or more accurately, lazed around in the water, and then drove Mum home. I’ve since discovered that I need to install a service pack to get support for hard drives greater than 137 GB, but getting a service pack via this slow dialup connection isn’t very feasible.
I went for an evening walk, as usual, and had a lung pang. I’d had a minor pang yesterday, become worried, and come home early, but today I pressed on – not least because I was already at the furthest point of my walk and had to keep going to get home. Fortunately for my confidence, I didn’t experience any more pangs, and had an uneventful walk home.
Shan is downloading XP’s service pack two for me, it’s finally cooled down a little, dinner was nice, I spoke to Bronwen for a couple of hours, and I don’t need to get up at any particular time tomorrow, so it’s looking peachy.
Comment by Kieran Jacobsen – Friday 7 January 2005, 2:42 PM
  What os? my xp machine doesnt have a sp's (well didn't) and i haven't got any hdd issues.
Comment by Ned – Friday 7 January 2005, 4:53 PM
  I will try installing SP2 tonight or tomorrow and see how it goes.

07.01.2005Friday 7 January – Joneses & Unusual Contractions

I was woken by Jean, calling to give a message to Julie, which I dutifully delivered. I then had a quiet morning, relaxing and rejuvenating from my distastefully early waking, before Shan and Kylie dropped over to drop off a CD with service pack two for XP on it, and we went out to Home Rule for a swim, where I ended up spending the evening.
There’s a form of contraction where the first two letters of a word are kept, and all the ones in the middle replaced with a number representing how many letters were replaced – the shortened form of “internationalisation” (except normally with a zed, zee, I mean), “i18n”, is the most famous of these. I was discussing the web and web standards, someone said w3c, I said n7n... it all began as an embarrassingly geeky joke, but it occurred to me that is an easy to say, easy to remember, very short, and even symmetrical, domain name – and a suitably geeky contraction of – so I went and checked its availability. and were both already registered, and I could sense a veritable horde of desirous internet users swarming to steal away my domain before I could get it, so I registered it – in my defence, it was very late at night. I haven’t yet thought of a reason, but I’m now the proud owner of – complete with catchy slogan “I am not a geek, I am an artiste”. I was impressed with the speed of registration too – the domain was setup and resolving to my server within ten minutes of me purchasing it.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 8:19 PM
  Holy mackeral, he is an artiste? Son reduced to initials and number. Goodo. I think. I am still struggling with the intricacies of using phone. Okay until one has to speak. Okay, international know now that hath a mother who is phone shy and still thinketh that this or that button on compewteur is either "the ejector seat" or "The Bombe". Ooer. Look askance at the groaning thing and press this and that with a rod, with eyes Wide Shut. You think I exaggerate? Heh, heh. Asketh

08.01.2005Saturday 8 January – Spider Web

Today a spider built a web to my nose while I was sitting at my computer. I think this is an indication that the spider had been inside in front of the computer for too long.
I am VERY ANGRY and having a SHOCKINGLY BAD NIGHT. Everything is pissing me off. My chair sucks. The pillow sucks. Everything sucks. KILL KILL KILL ANGER ANGER ANGER. I’d go to bed but my bed sucks, my sheets suck, there’s guaranteed to be wrinkles, it will become tangled, and everything will go wrong. Ok, I’m better now. The light drizzle is quite pleasant. This music isn’t too bad either.
Comment by B. – Monday 10 January 2005, 1:05 PM
  May one ask what induced this little bout of aggression? I know having anyone walk all over you sucks (that the said someone is only a centimetre tall could add to the putdown). But hardly justification.
Comment by Ned – Monday 10 January 2005, 2:04 PM
  One may.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 8:28 PM
  Tch tch. Temper, temper. A loud bout of mowing WEt Season rabid lawn-growth in the early morn shall shut up mouth of The Precious Thing/Brat. Flaming well hope so......Sigh.ned, distraughtouuthrourt Madroni,mater. ma. sigh.(Hope so ALL of youze read It, of the tantrums doth it...lawnmowing, sweat etc) Etc

09.01.2005Sunday 9 January – Online

I had planned to, but because of something, didn’t. Needless to say,
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 8:30 PM
  Yes, um , yes.....needless to say

10.01.2005Monday 10 January – Dentistically Woeful

I drove into town, queued for a while, and returned mentally debilitated. In other words, I went to the dentist. Dentists are a guaranteed cure for those not already valetudinarily inclined.
I explained to the dentist how I’d always had sensitive teeth, but recently they’d become much more sensitive. He had a look for all of a minute, and said “no wonder”. I apparently have a mouthful of decay, indicative of some underlying problem – probably dietary. He then asked me some diet related questions, informed me that I ground my teeth and asked if I thought I did. I must then have looked worried as he explained that the dental decay itself is not abnormal – I guess the level of decay must be. He has booked me three appointments. I didn’t feel very good after this, so fuelled up the car, bought some things from the supermarket, and drove home, stopping at Sue’s to see Dad for a while.
I ended up staying at the Den until they shut, picking up Dad on his way back from Sue’s, and trying to comprehend the seemingly unfathomable linked horseshoes and their ring.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 8:34 PM
  Is easy. Just have to fang the upright thing onto the downright and then do a simple twist nd at same time to do a sort of righthand semblance whilst holding the upright and also the round sway at half knots and stand on your head and imbibe 3 Jim Beams and swear, Lots. Is total easy. I canna sae that Oi have dunnit, mon, but oi have tried, begorrah. Oh, yessuh.

11.01.2005Tuesday 11 January – Cooktown, Kickboxing & Goldfish

I walked up to Shan’s, taking the CD with service pack two on it. It doesn’t work on his computer either, so I guess it’s corrupt. We then tried burning it again, and once again, it was corrupt, so we tried with a different brand of CD, and even tried burning random other files and they’re all corrupt too. I guess something has gone wrong at his end.
  Jade, Shan, Kylie, Ella and I all went to town, where we did some shopping and ate at the Mad Cow before Shan and Kylie went to kickboxing training. I had a short chat to Sarah, walked down the wharf with Jade and Ella, and watched Kylie and Shan fall over several times during training. We then went and picked up three goldfish, one of which is black and one of which has very large bulging eyes, and a largish fish tank. Ella had to carry the goldfish in a bucket between her legs all the way home, which was mildly amusing at the time.

12.01.2005Wednesday 12 January – The School of Rock

Today started normally, had a reasonable middle, and ended badly. I slept in, as per usual. It was actually sunny when I woke, so after the obligatory period online, I went for a walk out to the halfway spot, took some photos, and walked back to the Home Rule Bridge where I lay on a rock with my shirt over my head, not noticing the dark clouds until it began to pour on me. It stopped raining a few minutes later, by which time I was soaked and had just finished navigating the rocks back to the road. It’s surprisingly difficult to walk on slippery rocks just under the water’s surface when it’s raining – the water becomes almost opaque from the rain hitting it. Fortunately, the camera’s case is mostly waterproof.
I walked up to Dad’s and discussed baby birds, fallen trees, and lawnmowers – before stumbling home just before it got too dark, trying vainly to avoid the sharp rocks they try to make us believe is gravel. I saw the moon framed through a gap in the trees – just a sliver, but the whole outline was visible. It was very beautiful, but being male, logical, and Bronwenless, I wondered why sometimes the whole moon can be seen even when it’s nowhere near full.
  Shan messaged me as I was eating dinner, making me eat faster so I could drive up to his place in time to watch “Cold Mountain”, which doesn’t come out until tomorrow, so we ended up watching “The School of Rock” instead. I then made the mistake of checking my email, where I discovered disturbing news, so came home earlier than I might have otherwise. Now I don’t feel fantastic and can’t sleep.

13.01.2005Thursday 13 January – The Day before Tomorrow

I have concluded that I think too much – but thinking that didn’t help me. I’m also going to take Damian’s lead, and refer to it as “a tendency to intellectualise everything”, which makes much more sense than “thinking too much”, and sounds like a better attribute to boast. Besides, the words are longer, and long words make me superior. Back to more immediate matters – not sleeping last night means I’m tired, and tomorrow I lose most of my lower jaw, but looking to the brighter side of life for a moment – Bronwen is the nicest girl I’ve ever met, and for incomprehensible and presumably erroneous reasons, likes me.
They say there are doers and thinkers, so I thought I’d think about doing – do, does, doest, dost, doth, doeth, did, done, didst, doing, done, didn’t, doesn’t, don’t, dae, dinna, disna... and it was at this point that I stopped thinking, because I’m in denial of any Scottish heritage I may have, without admitting I do.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 8:46 PM
  Argh. Cannae resist wroiting somethink, mon. Bronwen, a nice Scottish name, obviously has foine taste. Dunnae wot the gel is gunna dew with your foine self withart yer lower half of lower jaw. Must be love if she is game to take yer foine self on without yer lower jar, mon.

14.01.2005Friday 14 January – El Dentista

Cooktown through the dust, like a dimly lit vision, preceded the dentist, aching jaw and tightly clenched fists. Heavy road construction equipment within one’s headspace decries gaiety, while jowl distension precipitates an inane stupidity.
El dentista says that while he could probably fix my teeth, it would be a long, painful, and expensive process and still might not work, so he recommends I get the lot pulled and get dentures instead. I am not sure what to do, because he says it risks drastically altering my facial expression, and I might require facial reconstruction after. That’s what I worried anyway – the truth isn’t quite as exciting.
The dentist took two x-rays, poked me with sharp things, checked my teeth, spoke in complex dental jargon to his assistant and then did one filling. The filling itself was good; I didn’t even know he’d given me a needle until he told me not to eat until after the anaesthetic had worn off. Having what feels like heavy road construction equipment inside my head isn’t what I’d call joy, but as far as dental appointments go, it was good. I’m also a bit less worried about it all than I was before – it seems I just need a series of rather mundane fillings, rather than having all my teeth pulled out and full facial reconstruction like I was originally worried about. He did say that he probably wouldn’t have time to do the lot though, so I might have to get them finished in Brisbane. He also changed my last appointment from the Friday to the Monday, meaning I can potentially return to Brisbane earlier.
On the way home, it occurred to me how much it has changed up here. It wasn’t that long ago that anyone I met on the road would wave – now very few do. It’s been ages since anyone died from a duel or anyone got off murder because everyone petitioned in support of raw justice, although I did hear of a petition just the other week. It’s fast becoming like any other place, except we don’t need vehicle roadworthy certificates and the road rules are nicely summed up by “drive according to prevailing conditions”.
Science must have been far more interesting when you could choose between being a plenist or a vacuist. Now the terms are more suited to the study of psychology than anything else – expect perhaps the great blonde debate.
I phoned Angie, and then Silas, after getting back from my walk. He’s now in Cairns. I then gave Mum my present, before phoning Bronwen for two and a half hours or so, breaking my newly made policy of not phoning after midnight. I went to bed at a quarter to three.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 8:55 PM
  Plenist or vacuist. Flaming heck., what does this mean? And yes, we still wave to all maniacs who are so foolish as to have a go at trevasssssssssing the goat track in The Wet. Is always a potential comedy( one can only laugh whilst going darnthetrack sideways) but is okay ...The Den (Lions Den HOtel) is a healthy 400,000 miles away. Yeah, okay , I exaggerate, but if you think I exaggerate...............The Wet EXAGGERATES. And I mean, ....really....10 inches overnight is pipsqueak and to be just mildly laughed at.

15.01.2005Saturday 15 January – Flights & Music

I booked my flights back to Brisbane, after phoning Bronwen and Joe several times, unable to get through to either, although Bronwen did eventually phone back.
I’m flying Friday 28 January, departing Cooktown at ten past eight, arriving Cairns a quarter to nine, departing Cairns on Jetstar flight JQ875 twenty past two, and arriving Brisbane twenty past four. The Jetstar flight cost ninety-nine dollars and the Cooktown flight seventy-two dollars and five cents.
I drove up to Shan’s, got the second part of service pack two for XP, extracted it, and protractedly installed it with many delays due to it spending ages doing stuff before checking anything logical, such as available free space. I’m amazed to find that my hard drive now works – I didn’t even need to rescan it, it just works. This also means that I’ve bought another hard drive for no real purpose – I might use it as a sort of nearline backup. It’s nice having some music again – I was getting a bit sick of the variety I had to choose from – it was either the sound of people dying violently and with a great lack of skill, or rap, neither of which I’d stoop low enough to call music. I need to find a player that works well with large amounts of music though, as Winamp is struggling; searching or enqueuing songs is frustratingly slow. Slight aside: the word “enqueue” does not seem to be in any known dictionary.
Comment by DM – Sunday 16 January 2005, 6:31 PM has 'enqueue', but then it also has 'dequeue', so I don't think it's a credible source.
Comment by Ned – Monday 17 January 2005, 12:53 AM
  ‘enqueue’ will be in Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary, but is not yet in the OED.

16.01.2005Sunday 16 January – Ghosts, Aliens & White Cockatoos

I am beginning to think that the morning may just be a social convention without any basis in reality, as it seems extraordinarily difficult to observe one in its natural state.
I had a bit of an abortive walk this evening. Just as I got to the halfway spot, I heard a strange noise deep from within the dark and gloomy forest, which reminded me of another strange flapping noise I’d heard on the way there. Just as I was reminding myself how I was a macho hero type, not scared of noises emanating from deep within dark and gloomy forests, some large white thing flew through the murky shadowy trees, right above me, and a whole herd of something, or perhaps one very large something, passed overheard disturbing the ominous silence with a strangely powerful flapping. It then occurred to me that I’m actually a sensitive new-age sort of hero, and that, while goblins and ghoulish monsters deep within the earth might be stretching reality a little, aliens probably weren’t, and that it was quite late, quite dark, and only getting darker the further I pressed into the jungle. To cut a short story to the exact length it was going to be anyway, I turned around and went home.
Being in a particularly good mood, having spoken to Bronwen for two hours, I decided that I’d be slack and rather than stay up all night as one should, I would go to bed and dream about her, especially as I was going to be woken horribly early tomorrow by annoying phone calls soliciting donations. Having decided this, I acted promptly and decisively to put my plan into action, or inaction, as the case may be.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 9:00 PM
  Is called Owl. Flaps overhead. Frightens. Even macho heroes. Enough said.

17.01.2005Monday 17 January – Werewolves & Jalapeños

As predicted last night, I was woken by someone from the Red Cross soliciting donations, and after valiantly fighting to regain my sleep, I was again awoken by someone calling for Mum – so I gave up and here I am, awake, ridiculously early, far before midday.
I had to disable parts of my site due to a lack of available data transfer, due, I think, to bodge accounting. Shan and Kylie then came around and we went out to Home Rule where we had a swim before heading back to his place to watch a DVD (some not particularly great movie “based on a true story” about werewolves, set in Spain a century or more ago). We then went and got a pizza from the Lion’s Den, which was very nice and very jalapeño hot. Now that I’m no longer on fire, I’m back to relaxing.
Comment by Salman – Thursday 20 January 2005, 9:16 AM
  i want to download best mirc peace&protection422
  plz send me to easy&free download pnp422 script
  i shall be very thanks full to u
  good bye
  plz mail me
Comment by Ned – Thursday 20 January 2005, 4:37 PM
  It surely cannot be that difficult to find a contact page, other than a journal comment, somewhere on my site – but perhaps it is, so I shall update the page at PnP with a link to one.

18.01.2005Tuesday 18 January – Cooktown Unplugged

Your honour, my client maintains that he only went to town to pay his airfare. He maintains that he checked his mail, finding only a letter from Centrelink, necessitating a call to them tomorrow, before buying nachos from the Mad Cow Café, located within the supermarket complex. He maintains that he ate less than half the nachos, and that his mother ate the rest. My client is adamant that he then walked down to the wharf and sat watching a single small crab and several small yellow and black striped fish, prior to returning to the Mad Cow Café to purchase a standard sized milkshake, chocolate flavoured. My client asserts that he then made his way from the supermarket to Peter’s shop, which he entered and proceeded to converse with the proprietor about job opportunities and the direction he wanted his future to take, until another customer entered the shop. My client maintains that it was at this point that he left Peter’s shop and made his way to the library; however, my client makes it absolutely clear that he did not possess, nor notice, a lead pipe or a candlestick while in the library. Instead, my client spent his time reading a Footrot Flats comic. My client also wishes to make it known that, while he did initially forget to pay his airfare, he did remember before going home, and that it cost him seventy-eight dollars and ninety cents. Furthermore, my client wishes to inform your worship that he spent over an hour on the phone to his girlfriend, during which time he could not have left the conservatory.
Comment by DM – Wednesday 19 January 2005, 3:17 AM
  I appreciate the humour of an eatery calling themselves the Mad Cow Café.
Comment by jojo – Wednesday 19 January 2005, 1:41 PM
  i liked the references to cludeo. very amusing.
Comment by Rhett – Thursday 20 January 2005, 1:00 AM
  On what charge are you defending your client from?
Comment by Ned – Thursday 20 January 2005, 1:16 AM
  Murder in the sixth degree.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 9:05 PM
  Living with this super lative wit, is murder

19.01.2005Wednesday 19 January – Uni Courses & Babies

It rained. As a corollary, it was wet. Shan and Kylie dropped in on their way back from looking at some computers, and we had a good chat about all sorts of things. Because today is before tomorrow, but after yesterday, I had decided to do all the things I have been putting off, such as signing on for courses for uni, and billing Graeme.
I’m not overly happy with the courses I’ve chosen – I need to discuss some things with an academic advisor, and check out what else is on offer. It ends up that Bronwen has done all the courses I’ve chosen, so I should probably have a talk to her too. I have to do the year long project, although I’d really rather not – but the rest are rather random and I’m not going to consider them serious prospects until I’ve looked into it further.
Comment by Reubot – Monday 24 January 2005, 4:25 PM
  Let me guess - COMP3300 & CSSE3003?
Comment by Reubot – Monday 24 January 2005, 5:47 PM
  Oh wait you did COMP3300 last year....I change that one to COMP3501
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 25 January 2005, 12:27 AM
  My choices so far: CSSE3004, COMS4200, INFS3202, PSYC1030 – these are, however, quite likely going to change after I’ve had a chat to an academic advisor.

20.01.2005Thursday 20 January – Town, Rain & Passport Photos

I drove into town, where I got a milkshake and four passport photos. I was supposed to take Dad in, but by the time I woke up, he’d already gone. It rained a lot. I went for my usual evening walk, despite the rain, which proved to be quite nice – there’s a certain solitude around dusk, with the rain throwing a curtain over the rest of the world, and all is silent as the colour of the day fades away. To continue this pleasant mood, I phoned Bronwen, chatting for a few hours and keeping her awake far too late.

21.01.2005Friday 21 January – Floods, Shock & Custard

It’s been flooding, or trying to, for a while now, and today I finally got to go swimming in it – something I’ve been waiting for, ever since coming up here. Jade, Shan and Kylie drove up to the Home Rule Bridge, from the Home Rule side, and I walked down and met them. The water has gone down a bit now – it was too high to walk across the bridge this morning, but now it can be crossed without too much difficulty. We drove back to Home Rule, patched up some tubes, and jumped in the icy cold creek. Ric, Ella, and three girls from Home Rule also came. One of the younger Home Rule girls had a bit of a rough time, hitting a few trees and submerged logs, and got out before we’d gone too far. The rest of us continued back down to the Home Rule Bridge, and on to Shan’s place. I had a small tube, which made it very unstable, so I fell out a few times – but there’s nothing too bad before Shan’s place, and the worst injury I got was a splinter in my thumb, water in my ear, and a nearly-cramped leg.
  The two remaining Home Rule girls had got a bit knocked about on the journey from the bridge down to Shan’s, falling out on one rapid, so they went home, while the rest of us walked back to the bridge and jumped in again. This time I had a proper sized tube, and we continued towards the ominously named “Black Rock”, over rapids with exciting names like “Popping Rock” and “The Suction”. I went over one rock that tipped me vertically into the white water behind it, where I fell off. It was at the start of a rapid, typically, but fortunately not one that was likely to kill me. Even so, I expended so much energy saving myself that I didn’t have enough left to get back onto my tube. It’s a bit scary – being so exhausted that I couldn’t do anything other than hold onto my tube and try not to break any bones. Had I been dying, I’d have been unable to do anything about it.
  Nothing else too eventful happened before the Black Rock rapids – I enjoyed myself greatly. It has been quite a while since I’ve gone tubing, but I don’t seem to have forgotten how, so I had great fun skilfully navigating rapids, getting stuck in whirlpools, and all the other great things that a flood brings. A few people fell out over a few of the rapids, but no one was badly injured. Shan thought he had broken his leg at one stage, somehow getting it caught between two rocks when he fell off in a rapid, but it was just badly bruised.
  Black Rock Rapids however, are probably a little too extreme – pushing the limits of tubing perhaps a little far. I went down the rapids first, to guide the way, but I was also trying to keep an eye on Ella in case she lost her tube, and it’s rather pointless being in front for that as there’s no way to stop – if someone has trouble behind me, I can’t help them. With this in mind, about halfway down I held back so she could pass me. We’ve very little control where we go – we’re pretty much at the mercy of the water as it rushes over the immense submerged boulders that it normally winds its way sedately through. I had Ella in front of me, and Kylie behind me. I didn’t have time to see where anyone else was, as I had to fight with all my strength to stop being turfed out of my tube myself. About halfway down Ella went directly over the top of a small waterfall, amazingly managing to remain on her tube as she landed in the turbulent suction at the foot of the fall. She came up panicked and crying, so I spent the rest of the rapids trying to save her, but by that time, it was all I could do to keep close enough to her to save her should she lose her tube, and not lose my own tube. The general idea is to avoid going directly over the top of waterfalls, but instead go just slightly to one side, riding the wave they form, but not being sucked too far into the suction caused by the water pounding over the fall as it will likely suck you under and pound you against rocks. Then, unless you really have your wits about you, you’ll try to protect yourself with your arms and come up for air, forgetting to hold onto your tube and it will remain tossing about at the base of the waterfall while you’re ejected directly into the next waterfall. Going over waterfalls is probably not a good idea at anytime – it’s a particularly bad idea without a tube, and in rapids such as these, losing your tube halfway down means you’ve several waterfalls you’re going to be thrown over, sucked around, and battered by. Even if you don’t lose your tube, it’s remarkably hard to get back on while being thrown around rapids.
  By the time we all got to the bottom of the rapids, all three girls were crying and in shock – all had thought they were going to die. Jade had been thrown from her tube sometime earlier on, and gone down the rapids without it. She thought she had broken her leg, as she couldn’t move it. Kylie had also been thrown from her tube, but managed to keep hold of it, although she couldn’t get back on it. She went down on her tube on her stomach, with Shan doing his best to guide her around waterfalls. She thought she had broken her toe – which was very swollen. I’d been keeping an eye on Ella, and she hadn’t really had any problems – she hadn’t fallen off her tube, but she’d still thought she was going to drown, and was in shock. It is a bit of a shock – you go over a huge wave, down a vertical cliff of water and plunge deep into a writhing mass of water, which is rushing against the flow back into the base of the waterfall. The surface of the water is sucks you back into the thundering mass of water flying over the waterfall, which then pushes you underwater and out. Then, before you can think, either you’ve been turfed off your tube and are fighting for your life, or you’ve been pushed out of that wave and are flying towards the next. All you can do is paddle, trying to steer around the edge of the cliffs of water surging over submerged boulders, while trying to plan a route so you don’t end up right on top of another waterfall when you’ve got around the current one. It goes on and on – from the top of one waterfall, you can see right down the cliff to where the savage white water is waiting for you at the bottom, and at the same time, you can see several other sharp drops waiting directly after that, but you don’t get time to think.
  The poor girls were all crying and shocked, and refused to go anywhere near the water. Two of them couldn’t walk for a while – Shan had to carry Kylie, who wouldn’t stop shaking. Ric, who had also come off his tube, and ripped his shirt and gashed his shoulder, headed off to Doug’s to get help and call Shan’s parents. Doug drove down and picked up Jade and Kylie, who couldn’t walk that well – and Shan, Ella and I walked back to the bridges where we met Shan’s father and they all went home. So there we go – I’ve got at least one flooded swim in these holidays, and survived. I only fell off in one rapid, but it wasn’t a bad one, although I did fall off all over the place when I had the small tube, but there wasn’t anything that serious at that stage. It was a bit scary when I did fall off, realising that I didn’t have the energy to save myself had I needed to, but fortunately I didn’t need to at that stage. In fact, my worst injury is a splinter in my thumb – which is actually quite annoying while I’m typing. The water was the perfect level, any higher and the rapids lose some of their charm as the waterfalls tend to flatten out and become boring, and any lower and the rocks begin to get scarily close to the surface, making navigation much more difficult – landing on a rock that’s only a few inches underwater is not good.
As soon as I got home, I had slide my way through the mud and gathering gloom, to the pump, and carry it up higher so it isn’t washed away if it keeps raining. Lugging a very heavy pump up a slippery mudslide through the dark jungle isn’t really all that fun. I then relaxed in front of my computer, eating custard and cream, and feeling a little sick and sore from today’s exertions.
Mum got home and says that Damian reminds her of me in some ways, and is intelligent, easy going, and “nice”.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 9:29 PM
  Ok. Ma does not approve. Several years ago...."Ma look at us...." Yeah, okay. Not too happy about son and daughter risking necks in flooded creek, but being assured of "fun, is okay" by parents of nearly-drowned Ella/Shan/Kylie/Jade.....I posited myself at The Bend to see kiddies having fun. Heh, heh, little darlings thought I as I sat in the torrential downpours, watching with alarm (shove aside alarm. God is) as river (formerly called creek) raged....RAGED... "Look at us Mum, wave....etc" Okay. Sodden and apprehensive, I heard a distant collective shriek, which in about a split second became a full frontal shriek which lasted about a semi semi split second and in a blur and a flash, The Whole Mob sped past my designated spot with Immense Screams (which I, in inc
Comment by Mum – Saturday 29 January 2005, 9:37 PM
  Cant even finish the whole ordeal. Never will look again. The blur or screaming kids fanging past in a flash, all of the screaming (I guess it is in joy, thunk I weakly)....gah, dont even ask me to look again else it will be BIG MA and YOUS VERBOTEN (this was about 450 years and 400,000 grey hairs ago) He still does it. She also, when out here. I still do it. Sit at home I a widow, son widow yet?
Comment by Mum – Sunday 6 February 2005, 2:49 PM
  Why is this repeating? I say again, why is this repeating. It is repeating, and why is it repeating, repeating.

22.01.2005Saturday 22 January – Familiarising

I stayed up late – it was half past three or thereabouts when I got to bed. Mum woke me and we went down to the Lion’s Den. Vince and Sarah drove out not long after, and we all spent the morning at the Den, going for a swim in the refreshingly cold and flooded creek.
Met Damian at the Den, chatted alone with him for a while until Sarah arrived, then we both chatted for a while before buying pizza. Sarah went home around midday some time and Damian, Mum and I drove back to here, where Damian had a look at the scanned photos I have on this PC, went for a walk with me just past the Home Rule Bridge, and then I drove him back to the Den.

23.01.2005Sunday 23 January – Familiarising Part Two

In what’s becoming a tiring habit, I was again woken by Mum after too little sleep. We then drove to the Lion’s Den, where I left Mum and continued on into Sarah’s, looking at her computer for a while, heading back to the Den around lunchtime. We spent the afternoon there, heading back into town in the evening, and picking Dad up from the Den on the way home. It was very hot, very muggy, and a lot of flying ants flew after dark, which was as good an excuse as any to hide unmoving, away from light and flying ants, and talk to Bronwen for a few hours.
We spent the evening talking to Damian at the Lion’s Den. He flew out on the evening flight.

24.01.2005Monday 24 January – Drills, Geckos & Intellectualising

It is remarkably muggy today. I drove into town, went to the dentist, went to Sarah’s and tried to fix her computer (it’s a Macintosh, so there isn’t much hope), and met Jade and Mandi at the Mad Cow Café while buying a milkshake as an antidote to the dentist. I then spent the evening talking to Dad about the economics of taxation with regard to the standard of living, employment, university, entry cut-offs and their relation to intelligence, various career options and what constitutes a healthy diet, amongst other things.
I had four fillings, all on the left side, none of which hurt, although my mouth felt stupid for ages afterwards, and my jaw got sore from holding it open for so long.
I have a baby gecko, not more than an inch long, which has not yet learnt to fear humanity. There’s actually two of them that wander around in here, but this one has just been walking over my keyboard making it hard to type, and onto my hands and up my arms – I think it’s trying to get to my head for some reason. I put it on the light switch, where I nearly squashed it turning the light on, and it’s now gone to talk to a grown-up gecko.
Comment by trace – Wednesday 26 January 2005, 10:54 PM
  i'd watch yourself and cover any orifices. it sounds like your little gecko friend is an alien trying to sabotage the world we live in. peace out.
Comment by Maz – Thursday 27 January 2005, 1:25 PM
  Well I know 'I' am afraid. Damn aliens.
Comment by Mum – Sunday 6 February 2005, 2:45 PM
  Geckos are sweet. Unfortunately, they poo all over the place, which isn't so sweet. They also fight each other, or perhaps it is mating. Dont know. Is a noisy affair anyway, a sort of um high clicking thing. They fall off the roof into your lap sometimes, wherein Mum mkes a sort of high noise, not at all like clicking.

25.01.2005Tuesday 25 January – Tantrums, Sunburn, & A Lovely Woman

Yesterday, when I first attempted to go online, I couldn’t. This was very disturbing, and actually more complex than the preceding sentence. I could actually go online. This would seem to be a contradiction, but in the next sentence, I will explain further. I could go online, but after a short period of time, no connections would connect, and while the modem didn’t actually disconnect, I was essentially disconnected. Then, after several retries, I had a few attempts where I connected at ridiculously slow speeds like 2400 baud. To make matters more complicated, and to make this paragraph slightly longer, I will include more details directly following this sentence. Actually, I’ve changed my mind and decided to include the further details after this sentence instead. Here are the further details, as promised twice already: In several connection attempts, occasionally the modem would fail to dial correctly, sometimes it would connect at a “normal” speed but all connections would die after a minute or two, at other times it would connect ridiculously slow and nothing would work, and once or twice it connected for up to half an hour but then nothing would work. I was about to re-plug the phone line, but became disconcerted and switched to using my far more expensive external modem instead. It has fancy features such as a backlit display and a rich variety of plugs to plug things into. More importantly, it has impedance matching and dynamic signal and line quality monitoring, and works when others don’t.
I decided that I should get some sun, as I won’t get much when I’m in Brisbane. With this in mind, I walked down to the creek and lay on my stomach on a rock in the sun. Shortly after, I lay on my stomach on a rock in the rain. The rain didn’t appear to be stopping, so I walked home. Now I am badly sunburnt. It seems that lying in the sun causes sunburn.
I threw a tantrum, phoned Bronwen for a while, and slept in front of a fan without moving or having anything touch my burnt back.

26.01.2005Wednesday 26 January – Australia Day

Very hot, very muggy. Sarah phoned arranged for Shan and Kylie, along with Shan’s sisters and me, to come in for dinner. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out quite that way. Shan’s sisters went up to Kylie’s to wait for Shan, who was at work, and I did exciting things that I can’t remember, also waiting. Then Mandi broke down on the way into town, followed by Kylie getting angry that Shan wasn’t home yet, so she came and picked me up and we were about to go to town by ourselves when Shan arrived home. His sisters had to help Craig get Mandi’s car back home, so just Shan, Kylie and the fantastic bloke that writes all this went to town, saw Sarah, bought food from Mandi, and later drove home. All quite exciting stuff – it’s an art form in itself transforming events such as these into such boring prose. For some reason, the closer I get to being with Bronwen again, the more I miss her – so I phoned her, again.

27.01.2005Thursday 27 January – Packing & Dentists

Today dawned around about dawn, followed by intense humidity and heat, a condition locals call “bloody muggy”. Mum woke me up so I could enjoy the bloody mugginess, rather than my peaceful sleep, so I walked up to Dad’s (after peacefully sleeping a little longer), chatted for a while, walked back, drank eighteen litres to replenish what I’d sweated out, and drove to town to visit my friend the dentist. After being dentally abused, I drove home, narrowly avoiding death when a two-trailer truck met me around a corner, it being in the middle of the road and me not having enough road left over to drive in. It’s strange how shortly after the adrenaline rush of near death, ones stomach and legs weaken – I wonder why.
The dentist hurt for the first time today – I could feel what I assumed was him hitting the nerve as he was drilling, but on the positive side, I thought we were only halfway through when he said that was all for today. Once my mouth finally stopped feeling spastic, I noticed that my bite is now higher – there is a new lump on one of my right molars that is higher than before.
I’ve moved the computer back inside, where the old modem seems to work.
Shan and Kylie came up and we snacked and had a good old chinwag. I then phoned Bronwen, and now it’s the early hours of the morning and I still haven’t packed – so it’s a-packing I do go.

28.01.2005Friday 28 January – Cooktown to Brisbane

I discovered another way to use spare money: missing flights – but today started earlier than that... I was woken early by Mum – getting up doesn’t feel so good after only a few hours sleep, something I should have thought about back when I wasn’t packing yesterday I suppose. We drove to the airport, and I departed for Cairns, but not until the pilot had stressed everyone by spending several minutes trying to warm the left engine – every time he put load on it, it’d die, so he’d rev it out for another minute and try again. Silas picked me up in Cairns, and we went to Amos’s place, where we had a bite to eat and a chat, before heading back to the airport for my flight to Brisbane. Ironically, we actually went to get coffee first, but couldn’t find a parking spot so decided to head out to the airport a bit early. All airlines have some time they require you to arrive in advance of their departure time – half an hour with Jetstar. Unfortunately, I understood this time as more of a guideline so people wouldn’t be late, rather than an absolute cut-off. I have nearly always arrived just on time in the past, actually making a point of arriving only half an hour before the flight, as it avoids waiting in a large queue. However, as I found out today, this doesn’t always work – Jetstar close check-in at precisely half an hour before departure, or one minute before I arrive. They then, unsurprisingly, refuse to accept unattended luggage, so would not fly my luggage separately, meaning that without being able to check it in, I couldn’t fly. The service lady offered to transfer my ticket to a flight a couple of hours later and allow me to pay the fifty-dollar difference, which was nice of her as the ticket conditions don’t permit that, but Virgin had a flight leaving roughly the same time as my original flight, so I took that instead. $175 later and I was boarding my Virgin flight, just a few minutes after my original flight boarded. Virgin closes their check-in fifteen minutes prior to departure, and it seems, will attempt to assist late passengers, unlike Jetstar.
I collected my luggage in Brisbane and waited in the arrivals area, but Bronwen didn’t arrive. Eventually I was paged over the intercom – Bronwen had made her way to the arrival gate, and was wondering where I was. We drove to her place, where her parents were just leaving for Stradbroke Island, and had a lovely night cuddling.

29.01.2005Saturday 29 January – Bronwenising

Unspeakable beauty.
I spent the day with Bronwen, cuddling, walking to Mt Cootha botanical gardens, and getting hot and sweaty often.

30.01.2005Sunday 30 January – Joe’s

After a lovely day at Bronwen’s, I made my way to Joe’s, arriving very hot and sweaty. It is remarkably hot. Tonya, and later Michelle, arrived and Joe and I went for pizza and drinks, which we then ate and drank.
I’ve eaten my fill of pizza, unpacked, set up the computer, and managed to get online using my sadly crippled, but “free” (disregarding the fees I pay), university dialup account. My back is peeling now, and quite itchy. It has cooled down a little here, but it’s very hot otherwise.
Comment by Kathryn – Tuesday 1 February 2005, 5:26 PM
  Moo Har Har
  This is a msg to let you know that Kathryn who has been silent for a bit now will be silent for a bit longer as i am on my way to Vietam on Sunday. After spending all holidays wanting to travel a friend and i finally got our act together and are off on an adventure. I hope that the needles the doc gave me will protect me from any nasties. And if anyone really wants to know i return on 26/2 and if you ask (may the forces of the universe protect u if you do) i will tell you alllllllll about vietnam.
  bye for now kathryn
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 1 February 2005, 6:03 PM
  Vietnam sounds interesting – I wish I could go overseas.

31.01.2005Monday 31 January – Banking, Centrelink, Uni & Maz’s Madness

I needed to sort out a few things, and do some grocery shopping. Grocery shopping didn’t sound too exciting, so I phoned Skytrans to request the tax receipt I forgot to get, and then caught a train into the city where I dropped in at the Commonwealth bank. I explained to them how I was always right, so they must be wrong. They agreed, and politely disabled the card I didn’t get, which they insist they did send, as it must have been “lost or stolen”, and promised they’d send a new one. In the meantime, as I had no money and my current card expires tomorrow, I could walk out to the ATM to withdraw some cash, put my card in, look at it in a bemused fashion while the machine eats it, reports it “lost or stolen”, and contemplate killing all the staff in an American style shootout. This seemed like a good idea, but I realised I wasn’t carrying a gun (one of the disadvantages of living in Australia, I suppose), so caught the bus out to uni instead.
  They appear to be renovating everything at uni. It is good to know they have tons of money to throw around I guess. There are large holes all over the place, and every second walkway is fenced off. I booked an appointment with an academic advisor, paid for Clint’s dialup account, requested a graduation check (which may take up to three weeks, somehow), and checked in at the refectory to see if they were selling any edible food, which they weren’t. I then caught a bus to Toowong, and went to Centrelink.
  Centrelink closes at half past four, and I arrived just after four – only minutes before everyone else arrived. I thought the staff were doing a good job – they had one woman walking down the queue trying to help people, and the people at the computers did whatever it is they did, presumably as fast as they could. Not everyone had this opinion though – at least one irate woman jumped the queue and demanded to be seen immediately, demanding to see the manager when she was refused, eventually leaving after the Centrelink man agreed wholly with her but wouldn’t help her, confusing her somewhat. I have a feeling I am perhaps the only person who has fun standing in a queue at Centrelink, but I did – it’s an interesting place to watch people. They really need to upgrade their software though – everything they do causes me obscure problems, so they let me watch them doing it all now, and they’re using the most inefficient and confusing interface possible. To celebrate the apparently successful completion of my visit to Centrelink, I bought a felafel roll and walked up to Maz’s house of madness, which I survived, although why anyone would make a hill in such a way that you have walk up it, then down it, just to get to someone’s place is beyond me.
I got home just in time to get a message from Joe that Bronwen had just phoned and that I should phone her back immediately and apologise for everything he had said, which I did, and we had a chat for a couple of hours. It’s nice to be able to phone without the phone bill tending rapidly towards the national debt.
Comment by Maz – Wednesday 2 February 2005, 2:02 AM
  You were lucky you caught the place at such a sane time. It was decievingly quiet last night. Lucky you weren't here tonight.

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