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Year View| Summary| Highlights| May 2004 (Month View)

01.05.2004Saturday 1 May – Vegetarian Deep Fried Chicken

I went and had a look at the Buddha’s Birthday Festival at Southbank. It was much the same as last year – many people and a myriad of hanging red paper lanterns. I’m not sure how they justify the several “$1 a wish” items on display, and I wasn’t entirely convinced by the “Vegetarian Deep Fried Chicken” either – perhaps they only use spastic chickens.

02.05.2004Sunday 2 May – Buddha’s Birthday Fireworks

I needed to get out of the house, and I planned to see the Buddha’s Birthday Festival fireworks, which didn’t start until half past seven, so I needed to fill in some time. I’d decided to go see “The Dreamers”, an art-house movie showing at the Palace Centro, which was supposedly good – so I caught the train into Brunswick Street, and realised I didn’t know where the Palace Centro Cinema was. I’d been there once before, a year ago, in the dark and in a rush. I had half an hour to find it, so after buying a veggie burger from McDonalds, I just walked in what I felt was the most probable direction, past things I seemed to remember. Sometimes trusting vague memories works – I walked straight there, but had I been logical, I’d have realised there was no way I could find it in half an hour, somewhere in or around the valley, and I would have had to ask directions – which, without even the street name, probably wouldn’t have worked and I’d have missed the movie.
The Palace Centro was bustling, as it was the last time I went. “The Dreamers”, while undeniably powerful and masterfully directed, neither satisfies nor makes any meaningful point. I rate movies based on two criteria: how successful the movie is at engrossing me while I am actually watching it; and how provoking the movie is – how long after I see it do I find myself still pondering it. This allows me to subjectively rate movies that I might otherwise simply think I did not like – it lets me separate “like” from “enjoy”. Thus, this movie rates highly – I sat engrossed by its poignant imagery and still find myself thinking about it now; that said, I did not like it and found it disturbing.
I managed to walk from the Palace Centro Cinemas, via a train from Brunswick Street Station to Central Station, and then through the city to Southbank, with no delays at all. A train was leaving just as I got to the station, and all the traffic crossings went green as I got to them – bar one where I was beeped at and nearly run over, but a little thing like traffic wasn’t going to stop me after such a good run.
  The fireworks were rather average. I think I’m too old to appreciate them now – they’re no longer magical. I did enjoy it though, taking a few photos, wandering around, even coincidentally meeting a guy from uni.
Because XSLT isn’t currently working on my site, I had to disable temporarily my journal and comments systems, so while I was at it, I converted the dynamically generated menu systems for and my amused site into a static system that’s generated only when needed, rather than every time. My journal and the comments system are both still fully dynamic, but that should be all right unless traffic to them increases drastically – which it isn’t likely to any time too soon.

03.05.2004Monday 3 May – Labour Day Holiday

I slept in. Tim and Michelle came over in the evening, so I pretended to be social and not agoraphobic, actually went outside where there was sun and stuff, and said hello. After they left, I made myself some coconut rice, watched “Serendipity”, and put warm woolly socks on. I wonder whether true romanticism can be realistic, or if realism and romanticism are inevitably antagonistic.
In other news, my web host has managed to get expat and Sablotron to coexist and XSLT is now working again. I’m just waiting on a few last DNS foibles to resolve themselves, and it should be all back and running nicely.
I’m listening to Traffic’s “Fourty Thousand Headmen” from their self-titled album. Considering it dates from 1968, I’ve been surprised by how much I enjoy the album. I’m not looking forward to getting up tomorrow and heading in to uni. I’m not sure if these long weekends are worth the effort of getting back into the regular routine again afterwards.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 4 May 2004, 7:02 PM
  Traffic always a good quality British band. Good quality lasts.

04.05.2004Tuesday 4 May – Goannas & Bundy Rum

Got up. Walked to train. Entrained. Detrained. Walked to ferry. Embarked. Disembarked. Walked to main refectocide. Bought apple turnover. Met Matt. Went to POD. Physiology students had “bogged down” their “system”. Went to “Operating Systems” lecture without notes. Am blaming physiology students for possible bad marks. Finished lecture. Went to “Software Specification” lecture. Languished in misery while lecturer pointed out correct solution for assignment. Skipped second hour of lecture – may as well blame physiology students for bad marks in this too. Went to labs. Helped numerous poor souls in labs. Laughed at Kieran. Drove to city. Ate donuts. Entrained. Detrained. Walked to shops. Shopped. Walked home. Put away shopping – I now have food again. Put rubbish out. Got rubbish back in. Showered. Watched TV. Chatted to Mum. Chatted on IRC. Spammed newsgroups. Checked email. Sorted many albums.
News from Home
News from home: “Last week Tom fell asleep when he was cooking and left his caravan door open and this HUGE goanna came in and Tom woke up (I mean this goanna must be over 6 feet long, more, it is really big) and this goanna and he had a fight and the outcome of it is that Tom has several wounds and the poor goanna is no longer.”
  In other news from home, Mum has added to her enamel Christmas tree that she won from the Full Boar Kickboxing Club with her latest win – 20 litres of Bundaberg Rum. It’s all in one very large flagon too. Apparently, Ron is going to buy it a bottle at a time, half price.
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 5 May 2004, 10:18 PM
  No. I have no room for the 435 IT UQ students who are en route to here. Bundy rum container been sold to poor soul in Cooktown. Hope so I am not en route for litigation in assisted suicide. "Away, away with Rum by gum, Rum by gum, Rum by gum. The song of the Temperance Union" the Brothers Four, from about 400 years ago, USA Uni band. "We're coming, we're coming our brave little band, on the right side of temperance we do take our stand, we never eat fruitcake because it has rum, and one little bite turns a man into a bum.....Can you imagine a man eating fruitcake until he gets tight, and one little bite......." Yes, well okay what would YOU do with 20 flamin litres of the bloody stuff?

05.05.2004Wednesday 5 May – Van Helsing

“Director, Stephen Sommers revives the classic movies monsters – Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s creature – in a horror adventure in which vampire hunter, Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) travels to Transylvania on a mission to destroy the powerful and seductive Count Dracula.” That’s what Birch Carol and Coyle’s website so concisely says about the movie, and it was premiering today, so Clint and I had to go. The real reason, of course, was that I had planned to start the assignment that I now plan to start tomorrow, today, and if I didn’t go do something else, then I’d feel really guilty for not starting it – or even worse, I’d actually have to start it. I actually, after my embarrassing but sadly normal sleep-in, sat at my computer for ages and even got as far as reading the specification and entering a search term into Google, before running (a few hours later) to the train.
  The movie was a sad disappointment. The special effects and all that were fine – excellent in fact, but they are in all movies nowadays. The plot was terrible – childishly immature, and unbelievably predicable. It’s hard to believe they could spend so much money making a full-blown movie, but then forget to upgrade from their kindergarten pre-reader plot. All in all, an enjoyable movie.
I caught the very last train home, with half an hour wait at Roma Street, which went fast as I listened to the station master talk about the good old steam train days. It was quite cold walking back.

06.05.2004Thursday 6 May – Group Meeting

I had to get up shortly after six o’clock. This was not good having gone to bed shortly after three o’clock. In fact, it was not good at all. It was also cold. I then had to sit through an hour of “Relational Database Systems”, which was not good either. As if all this wasn’t enough, I then had to attend a group meeting for my “Relational Database Systems” assignment for three hours. I managed to miss the first part by wandering around the labs, configuring my email and then trying to find printers that worked. The first one wouldn’t work at all. The second one fell apart – literally. I had to press on its special spots before it would go, and then it spat out unreadable grey paper. The third one worked nicely, but by the time I got back to the meeting, they’d changed the page I’d printed out so much it was no longer relevant. I then drew a page of circles and lines while they drew several pages of circles and lines. My group work mentality is not very good – I do the same thing the rest of the group is doing, but on my own, better and faster.
  This assignment looked like drawing out forever. We hacked together a very rough and almost certainly wrong draft entity relationship diagram, and they were planning to meet again next week to discuss the next stage – which would have ended up being redrawing the entity relationship diagram, which would have meant we’d have to meet again next day to redraw it again... Seeing as I do actually want to get some marks for this, I offered to go home and do it myself, email them the result, and this way next meeting we can have hardcopy to actually work with. Even if I put together some very dubious diagrams, it will give us a basis to work from and something to discuss. The obvious downside to this is that I could end up doing most of the assignment myself, or at least duplicating a lot of effort.
  One could be forgiven for thinking that after this much suffering, I would get a break – and yes, I did. My “Software Specification” lecture was very simple, and finished early. I then went down to the labs to begin my “File I/O in C++” assignment for “Systems Interface Programming”. Marcus had to finish his assignment for marking, so I watched him do that. I then got sleepy so had to walk up to the ice cream place and get a thick shake. This made me feel sick, so I had to walk around in the sun looking at a road-paving machine for a while. Then, by the time I got back to the labs, the tutors had arrived and marking had begun. Marcus got his assignment passed – and was told that he shouldn’t have bothered putting comments at the top of each function – or whatever functions are called in VB. Then people began to find they couldn’t run the Visual Basic IDE – something to do with user profiles, so I logged a few people in with my profile. This meant I had to hang around until they were finished, which gave me more time to do my assignment – which I didn’t. Then, a girl who was using my account as she couldn’t run Visual Basic in hers, was told she had to write a comment for every function by the other tutor – totally contradicting what Marcus was told earlier. Not only that, but she had to fix every other little minor detail. One tutor is very strict, and another is very lax. It sucks – I feel like complaining, but can’t because I’ve already complained about something else, as per below:
  The Visual Basic 6 application in lab GPS-109 has severe issues. For some users it only requests a CD to install, which can be avoided by clicking cancel between one and three times. For other users, it will not run at all.
  It seems this issue is a known issue, as I am aware of at least two students who have taken this issue to whoever it is that’s supposed to be responsible for fixing this, however it’s still not fixed.
  This evening several students were forced to use my and other’s accounts to get their work marked, as they were unable to run Visual Basic 6.
  Visual Basic 6 is essential to passing COMP2301 Interface Design – and the deadline for this particular assignment is tomorrow. I, for one, don’t think it is acceptable that this problem still exists, and request that sufficient effort be applied so that essential lab services are, at the very least, useable.
  I believe another marking session runs in lab GPS-109 from 10 until 12 and again from 2 until 4 tomorrow (Friday), during which I expect many people will again require Visual Basic 6 in order to get their assignments running and passed. I would hope this problem is fixed before then.”
Comment by Mum – Friday 7 May 2004, 6:52 PM
  Geez, is it always this slack?
Comment by Matt – Friday 7 May 2004, 10:48 PM
  No. Ned is just being melodramatic. As per usual.
Comment by Ned – Friday 7 May 2004, 11:28 PM
  Actually, this is an accurate and undramatic account of my day (and a word for word transcript of the complaint I sent).
Comment by Matt – Saturday 8 May 2004, 3:12 PM
  Yes. But your email was melodramatic.
Comment by Matt – Saturday 8 May 2004, 3:16 PM
  Not only that, I feel that the solution to the problem is very easy. The other day I was in the labs, and VB was doing its whole Insert CD thing. A re-image of the machine then allowed me to start VB with no problems whatsoever. In which case, this would not make it the ITEE admin's fault. I can't find a problem with the new image for the machines, and updating the image on a machine is a fairly standard thing to do on communal machines like the ones in GP South, and should at least be tried by people who are having problems before sending emails of complaint.
  Did you try this, Ned?
Comment by Ned – Saturday 8 May 2004, 4:57 PM
  Official word is that this issue is a problem with some student’s profiles, and resetting your profile should solve this problem. I was under the impression that all students (at least in that lab) were unable to run Visual Basic without it attempting to install some .NET component and requesting a CD (or freezing up), but perhaps it’s only the students with problematic profiles. Typical Windows, I guess – but at least it’s not Linux.

07.05.2004Friday 7 May – Cold

Yet another eight o’clock start, necessitating an early wakeup and cold walk to the train. For the first time this year, I wore a jumper to uni – I guess this means global warming is a farce. I was very tired, having not got enough sleep last night or the night before. My “Relational Database Systems” tutorial consisted of going through the mid-semester exam solutions, and when I added up my result, it wasn’t the same as my recorded mark, so I’ve either accidentally filled in the wrong circle on my multi-choice answer sheet, or they’ve read and added my marks incorrectly. Considering that I carefully checked what I’d written three times before handing it in, and that the markers probably marked several hundred as fast as they could, it seems more likely that the markers messed up. I mentioned this to the lecturer at the end of our lecture. He said that our multi-choice answer sheets will not be released but he could have a look if I emailed – so I have.
Marcus kindly dropped me off at the city on his way home, where I went to Govinda’s and got lunch, before catching the train home for some much needed rest. After resting for a while, I gave Silas a call – he’s now in Brisbane staying at Tim and Michelle’s place.

08.05.2004Saturday 8 May – Lazy & Wet

I slept in considerably. It has been wet and raining most of the day, so it was cosy in bed. I watched “Con Air” on DVD, which I’ve seen it before but it was still enjoyable. Then Joe cooked some nice pasta stuff, and he, along with Dave, Tonya, and me, watched “28 Days Later” – which neither Joe or I liked. Silas phoned up at some stage, and spoke to Joe – apparently he’s planning to come out here tomorrow.
Comment by SteveK – Tuesday 11 May 2004, 7:44 PM
  Sit, stay. Good dog.

09.05.2004Sunday 9 May – Silas & Eternal Sunshine

Tim, Michelle, and Silas drove over and stayed for a while. Silas checked his email and various exciting things like that. I caught a train in to Tim and Michelle’s just after they left (due to Silas and my amazing organisational skills, it was easier to do this than to get a lift back with them). I had a look at some photos and memorabilia Silas had got from the mine, and had a good chat.
  Ben and Alex came over for a while, and then Tim, Michelle, Silas and I went and saw “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind” at the Southbank Cineplex. This is the first time I’ve been there, and I was expecting a small cinema – but it’s quite large and normal inside. The movie itself was rather scatterbrained and hard to follow. After the movie, we went and had a (in the case of Time and Michelle) coffee or (in Silas and my case) glass of wine at a place not far from the cinema, and then headed back to the lift to the car park. It was stuck. There was a gaping lift shaft ready to fall down. The bottom of the lift could be seen at the top of what would normally be the lift door. There was a half-foot gap, and some people stuck inside. Someone had gotten them some free drinks, and they were waiting for a lift technician to arrive and let them out.
  Silas and I walked down to the train station and I caught the last train home.

10.05.2004Monday 10 May – Silas, Notebooks & Banks

I went to my first lecture at uni, then phoned Silas, then went to a tutorial, and another, then Silas phoned back, and I rushed over to Tim and Michelle’s, and we drove into the city. We went to a computer shop, where Tim and Michelle, on Silas and my advice, bought themselves an Acer notebook (which wasn’t currently in stock so they can’t pick it up until Wednesday) and Canon multifunction printing, scanning, and faxing, toasting, hair curling, and coffee making device. Silas and I also walked up to his credit union and a travel agent.
  I ended up staying for dinner and watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” on DVD – which really is an amusing, clever movie. It was quite late and dark by the time I got home.

11.05.2004Tuesday 11 May – Silas Flies North

I managed to pull myself out of bed – I imagine this is what a mollusc feels like crawling out of its shell. Fifteen dollars and a quick walk through the snow later, and I was on a heated train with a new weekly ticket, on my way to joyful uni again. I went to one lecture, and skipped the second one to phone Silas, who turned up in the labs an hour or so later.
  Shortly after, we walked back to Tim and Michelle’s, and drove in to the airport. As usual, I was “randomly” selected to be the terrorist, and had to subject myself to the electronic explosives trace blah thing. The funny thing was that, after we’d been upstairs inside the terminal for a while, Silas realised he’d left his jacket at the x-ray check, so we went back down, and Tim got selected for a “random” explosives test – and he complained about how obviously “random” it was, the two guys with long hair get checked and no one else. He was told that the checker randomly selected people as they came through the gate... but he hadn’t come through the gate. It’s stupid – if anyone wanted to carry explosives on, all they’d have to do is get a manicure beforehand and they’d never be suspected. Alternatively, they could or feed in from a rural terminal where they don’t check the bags at all, and then transfer to a city flight – so really all this checking stuff is absolutely useless and a stupid waste of money.
  Silas flew out safely, and is now on his way to Cairns. It’s been nice seeing him – like old times for a few days. Tim, Michelle, and I drove back to their place via a baby shop, and I headed back to uni to go see Clint and Kieran and find out what had happened at our “Relational Database Systems” group meeting.
Whosesoever, of whomever; whosever, the one or ones of whomever; such excellent words, I shall have to try to use them more often.
Ella came online, having just got home after completing her first four and a half hours work at the Sovereign.
I need to get up tomorrow at some stage so I can do some study, and after two late nights and one early morning, one where I got only three hours sleep, and the other less than six, I’m as incoherent as I usually am not – so, then, it is to bed that I shall go.
Comment by Yuri Johnson – Wednesday 12 May 2004, 11:56 AM
  God bless you, Ned

12.05.2004Wednesday 12 May – Email Dies

Ned has a day off today, so he didn’t go to uni. In fact, he denies having done anything, so he won’t be writing anything here today. He asks that you come back again tomorrow. Thank you for your time.
Irish Jokes
Tim and Michelle left Ned with these two Irish jokes, both of which he found highly amusing:
  An American, Australian and Irishman are in a barn in wartime Germany, when they hear some Germans coming. They all jump into some sacks that are nearby, and the Germans enter. They go up to the first sack with the American in it, and kick it. The American goes “oink, oink”, and the Germans go “Och, dis is schwine”. They then kick the second sack containing the Australian, and he goes “baa, baa”, so they go “Och, dis is only scheep” and continue onto the third sack – the one with the Irishman inside. They give it a good kick, and the Irishman says “Potatoes”.
  There was an American, an Australian, and an Irishman on a TV game show. There is only one question remaining. It is the American’s turn. The show host says, “Fill in the missing word and spell it – Old McDonald Had a...” The American says, “That’s easy, it’s ‘ranch’! r, a, en, c, aitch!” The crowd groans. The games show host moves on to the Australian, and asks him the same question – the Australian replies “it’s ‘station’, ess, tee, a, tee, i, o, en”. The crowd groans again. The game show host moves on to the Irishman, and asks him the same question – “Complete this sentence and spell the word, Old McDonald had a ...” The Irishman becomes all excited and yells “Farm! Old McDonald had a Farm! The word is farm! e, i, e, i, o!”
Ned’s email has died. No one can send him email. It bounces with retarded error messages. He isn’t impressed.

13.05.2004Thursday 13 May – So Sleepy

Eight o’clock in the morning is not a good time for lectures. It’s definitely not a good time for “Relational Database Systems” lectures by Guido. I am so tired. I need to get more than three hours sleep a night.
  We had our last Thursday “Software Specification” lecture today, which is depressing – it means exams are looming.
  I spent some time down the labs trying to get my “File I/O in C++” assignment for “Systems Interface Programming” to work – well, that’s an overstatement. I spent time in the labs looking at the specification and other people’s codes, wondering what I was supposed to be doing. Then Clint came and we went into the city to try to buy a criminal looking IRA style balaclava, but it was too late and the shops were shut.
My email is still dead, but email sent to me no longer bounces, it just never turns up. I had to whinge on my web host’s support forum. Apparently, “when updates were made to the server (and other servers) overnight [the] cPanel system is hard-linked to an old IMAP binary. It caused conflict with the new one. Thus a cPanel update was needed to remove the old binary.” Now my email works again.
There’s a man who sits on the sidewalk at the Queen Street Mall and uses spray-paint to paint spacey scenes. He apparently says, “Have you ever had a staring competition with yourself in the mirror and won?”

14.05.2004Friday 14 May – Was a pineapple

Too long, I stayed up last night, and too sleepy I was this morning and too convoluted this sentence is. My “Operating Systems” lecture I was able to attend, though my breakfast was embarrassingly loud. Eating is forbidden in lecture theatres, and I seem to be the only one who eats. Each morning I buy breakfast from the main refectocide and take it to my first lecture, where I then eat it. Breakfast is usually one of either a custard-filled doughnut, or either of a veggie roll, or a pair of thingamajigs, where thingamajigs are small rolls created from left over cabbage and other vegetable waste. All three of these come in crinkly white paper bags. Oh, spring rolls, that’s what the thingamajigs are called – or “vomitory” as Clint would prefer. Vomitory has such a good definition that I find myself compelled to include it here: Vomitory: Of or pertaining to vomiting (archaic); Causing vomiting; emetic (now rare or obsolete). That said, we return to the white paper bags, which as said before, are crinkly. This in itself isn’t an issue – I have nothing against crinkly white paper bags, but when the only one eating in a lecture is I, and eating my food reminds people of Thor trying not to wake his wife, when sneaking home drunk – then, I don’t like them. I am also still unsure whether the lecturer’s various food and starvation jokes are directed towards me in any way.
  Following was a “Relational Database Systems” tutorial, which taught me more than the past three lectures, and the two-hour lecture directly following it, of which I only went to the first hour.
Marcus and I attempted to find Clint, but he was hiding in the shower and it required braver men than us to enter a college shower, so I ended up in the labs waiting.
  Clint didn’t drown, eventually turning up, and he and I caught a CityCat into the city to buy an IRA style balaclava. I also went to Govinda’s for lunch.
The train I caught home was a school train – the first I’ve been on in a while. Sat across from me were two young boys, perhaps ten years old. They were on their way home from an expensive private school, I’d guess – but definitely a school. They were discussing methods of tying ties, and the one was showing the other different types of tie knots. The second not only knew all their respective names, but also knew the precise lengths, number of loops, twists, turns, and so on, to produce a perfect knot in a variety of styles – and he was going to ask his father to teach him another style over the weekend. Apparently, neither one nor the other is either allowed to remove neither their jackets, nor either their ties, while in public. Directly they got off, two young girls of a similar age, once again presumably from some private school, took both their places. Both had identity cards hung around their necks on cords – and the cords had their school name emblazoned on them. This made me wonder what type of parent subjects their children to indoctrination of this type, and for what purpose, but then the public school children began to entrain, and I realised why.
Was a pineapple
This is Clint’s idea of a funny joke: “Why did the bus crash? Because the owner was a pineapple”. Somehow, it’s hilarious. Luckily, he followed up with a real joke: Two cows are walking along and one goes “I’m a bit worried about this mad cow disease” and the other replies, “I’m not, I’m a chicken”.
I’ve been posting stupid things into the uni newsgroups, but IT students don’t appear to have a sense of humour.
Posted to the newsgroup
For Sale – One Life
  IT student no longer requires life. All available time spent sleeping or underground with computers. Life is largely unused and in good condition. This is a once only sale, so get in quick.
Posted to the uq.wanted newsgroup
Wanted – Genius
  Wanted – Genius who actually enjoys completing assignments, to complete assignments for student who does not enjoy completing assignments. Satisfaction gained from successfully completing assignments will be payment.
Posted to the uq.itee.general newsgroup
Urgently require unimportant things to do
  G’day, I have an exam on Friday, and I haven’t done enough study, so I am urgently looking for unimportant things to do. I’ve cleaned, washed, and sorted everything I own, tidied up my website, trolled the newsgroups, and annoyed numerous people on numerous forums and IRC channels, but now here I am in the labs – threatened with the horrible prospect of having to actually study. Please help.
  At least this one got a few responses, some of them witty.
Puppy was in the back of the car when I got home, so I assumed Joe was about to drive somewhere, but he wasn’t here. After discounting aliens, terrorists, and that peculiar thin ad at the movies where the fellow drops down a drain, I found a note from Joe saying he’d gone to the bowls club, so I let puppy out. Not long after, Tonya arrived home, and Joe phoned up, and I drove down to the bowls club, and I picked up Joe and Liz, and I drove them to the bottle-o, and I bought fish and chips, and we drove home, and we ate them, and were filled, thus spake Ned, son of Dad, son of Pop, in the fifteenth day of the currently very cold month of the not yet three-score year of the reign of our queen, Liz – long may she live.
I need to get to sleep.
Comment by Mum – Sunday 16 May 2004, 7:26 PM
  IRA? Balaclava? Holy Mackerel, what have you done NOW?
Comment by Ned – Sunday 16 May 2004, 8:29 PM
  It’s all his fault, I wasn’t even there, I have an alibi, I was overseas, I was asleep, I couldn’t have done it.
Comment by cf – Tuesday 18 May 2004, 2:35 AM
  Your son is a bad influence on me. I actually went into the city to purchase an ink refill for a pen to assist me in my studies and a pair of sensible shoes, but Ned, pausing momentarily from harassing innocent passers by, insisted that I "should buy a balaclava and perhaps some plastic explosive". He also insisted that I feign an Irish accent.

15.05.2004Saturday 15 May – Tonya’s Party

I had a relaxing day doing very little. I’d stayed up very late last night, so needed to sleep in to recover. I noticed that TPG have refunded my $50.97 internet fee, dated yesterday – which means I won’t have to phone them again and complain. It certainly took them a long time, but all’s well that ends well.
Tonya had expected several people to come to her party, but for one reason or another, most of them couldn’t come. Some got lost, some simply didn’t come, yet others missed their train and so on. The end result was that only two people came, and Tonya was not impressed, as she’d gone to a bit of trouble to set it all up. We ended up having a fire, burning lots of dead palm fronds, and staying up late.

16.05.2004Sunday 16 May – Relaxing & Ice Cream

I slept in until after midday. It was nice – I needed it after staying up most of last night.
I drove Joe around to one of his mate’s birthday party, and dropped in on Woolworths on the way home, where I bought some baked beans, cream, and ice cream.
I drove Joe home again.
I walked down to Duran’s flat, but no one was home, so I ended up watching most of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and eating pizza with Joe and Tonya.
Comment by Yuri Johnson – Tuesday 18 May 2004, 11:22 PM
  I know i've said it before, but i'll say it again: God bless you, Ned.

17.05.2004Monday 17 May – I feel sick

I feel sick. I suspect it may be something to do with dinner last night. I had one veggie supreme pizza, one large bowl of cream and ice cream, and then a litre of lemon line and bitters. In retrospect, this may have been unwise.
I feel sick. I suspect it may be something to do with dinner last night. I had one veggie supreme pizza, one large bowl of cream and ice cream, and then a litre of lemon line and bitters. In retrospect, this may have been unwise.
I feel sick. I suspect it may be something to do with dinner last night. I had one veggie supreme pizza, one large bowl of cream and ice cream, and then a litre of lemon line and bitters. In retrospect, this may have been unwise.
I feel sick. I suspect it may be something to do with dinner last night. I had one veggie supreme pizza, one large bowl of cream and ice cream, and then a litre of lemon line and bitters. In retrospect, this may have been unwise.
Comment by mum – Friday 21 May 2004, 3:44 AM
  Beware the jabber my son. The slimey tothes that bite, the pizzaz that fizzaz all in the loathesome tum. The wok. The wok. Jabber.... My son.

18.05.2004Tuesday 18 May – Troy

Another normal day at uni, where my immense intelligence was again insulted with learning.
Clint and I, along with a friend of Clint’s, caught a CityCat into the city. Clint and I then went and saw “Troy” at Southbank Cinemas. I’d originally assumed they were a small, artistic, cinema and lower quality than a Birch Carol and Coyle cinema – but I changed my mind after attending them with Silas, and then reading on their website that they have Australia’s largest screen. “Troy” was packed – a full house, which surprised me considering it’s Tuesday and traditionally quiet, and they seat five hundred. The screen is indeed huge, but the seating is angled, and set a fair way back from the screen, so the effect isn’t as impressive as it could be – but I still found myself noticing just how large it was throughout the movie. The movie itself isn’t that bad either – although I don’t like tragedies, it’s nice to see that they haven’t Hollywood-ised the ending into the typical “happily ever after”.

19.05.2004Wednesday 19 May – Missing Things

The Schonell was showing “Thirteen”, its last screening. The movie had had some good reviews, so I decided I’d head into uni and see it, this being my last chance, and my mid-week weekend. It was an ill-fated decision. By the time I’d gotten ready, I had three minutes to get to the train. It takes about five minutes to run, so I ran fast – all the way. It’s been quite a while since I’ve run hard for the train – in fact, I think this is the first time I’ve had to run fast all the way this year, and it’s not good. I can just get there running fast all the way, but I’m near dying when I arrive. Still, I didn’t miss the train – so could collapse into that and monitor my heart for bursting.
  There were two interesting blokes sitting near me, discussing building some cargo and passenger ships. I believe they were on the way to the airport, on their way to Japan. The conversation was very interesting, and it wasn’t until we stopped at Southbank that I noticed we were at Southbank, past Dutton Park. I then managed to miss the train from Southbank back to Dutton Park, due to talking to the aforementioned fellows, so detrained at Roma Street instead, where I managed to miss the next train back to Dutton Park, and in the process, the train to Central as well. I waited for the next train to Central, and then, after a quick walk through the city, missed the bus to uni, and ultimately the movie, so caught a train out to Indooroopilly and watched the pleasantly titled “Monster” instead, which I didn’t particularly like, but I couldn’t just turn around and go home after my adventures in getting there.

20.05.2004Thursday 20 May – Big Cowboy

I woke up in time to attend my eight o’clock lecture, and decided that it would be suicidal to get out of bed this early and attend Guido’s “Relational Database Systems” lecture, and it wasn’t worth dying for that. I woke up again in time to go to my midday “Software Specification” lecture, and decided that, as I’d already missed one lecture, there wasn’t much point attending another. This was fortunate, as I later found out that it wouldn’t have been on anyway. Once I did finally get up, I headed into uni as I have to start my horrible looking “Operating Systems” assignment, where I’m supposed to code a module to simulate a “first in first out” page table scheduler in C, or something like that – it doesn’t sound good or easy.
After helping a few people in the labs, Clint turned up and wanted to go to the Ville, so I left and walked down there, where I learnt all about the exciting things that have been happening in Clint’s life recently. I never did get any coding done – I had a look, read through the existing code, read all the newsgroup postings, read the specification a few times, and decided it all made no sense.
There’s been some excitement and consternation about a forum known as “Big Cowboy”, at college. Clint recently obtained the source code to a forum that two rude and ignorant morons, Perlboy and Chesapeake, run, with official permission, for the collegians at uni. It’s apparently poorly coded, and Clint immediately found several vulnerabilities and faults, and did a few amusing things with them. Chesapeake had given him permission to play around and find faults, provided he posted them to the bugs’ forum – which he did. However, another collegian apparently shut down “Big Cowboy” in an attempt to gain a higher post count, or something along those lines, and a few other funky things happened, where posts were deleted and it seems Chesapeake’s pride was hurt. It’s now become a big drama, with accusations flying and it’s all very exciting compared to the routine dull normality. Clint had to attend some meeting and argue his case, and other such dramatic happenings.
I caught a bus into the city, bought a veggie burger from Hungry Jacks, and then caught the train home. It was freezing walking from the station to my room. I’m only just starting to feel fully well again, after my pizza, ice cream, lemon, lime and bitters escapade.
Comment by mum – Friday 21 May 2004, 3:49 AM
  Bad food combination
Comment by Ned – Monday 24 May 2004, 12:01 AM
  I think I’ve learnt this the hard way now :-(

21.05.2004Friday 21 May – Milkshakes

I felt much better, and ate more than the previous days. I bought a milkshake around lunchtime, and because I went home via Indooroopilly to check what movies were showing, I bought another milkshake from the Cold Rock store there later in the night. This was a very stupid idea, but didn’t make me feel sick, just full, and I figured I was, perhaps, finally better.

22.05.2004Saturday 22 May – Segfaults & Itchy Welts

I went into uni, and spent a day in the labs. I managed to get a lot of my “Operating Systems” assignment done – or I think it’s done. It’s a bit hard to test, considering it takes half an hour or something ridiculous to execute a full set of traces, and mine segfaults after about eight minutes.
  Towards the end of the day, I noticed itchy welts developing around my waistline. I had worn my coarse wool jumper tied around my waist, so I thought it was perhaps an irritation caused by that – even though it didn’t actually contact my skin. On the bus home, I dropped my ticket on the floor while sitting at my seat. When I went to bend over to pick it up, I felt a sharp pain from my abdomen – reminiscent of a very full bladder. This alerted me to the fact that I felt as though I should urinate – not quite the same, but a similar feeling, and once at Central Station I tried but didn’t need to urinate as much as I would have expected from the feeling. This led to one of my early theories, that whatever organ lives near the bladder wasn’t happy, and this was somehow causing the itchy welts.
  Once home, I discovered to my shock that the welts had spread to splotchy spots around my body – under my arms, a few spots on my upper torso, and my upper legs. I wondered what it could be, showered, and went to bed. Around 3 AM, theory two sleepily occurred to me – that perhaps, due to not eating normally all week, I could be drastically lacking some vital nutrient – so I got up, discovered the welts had spread more, and had two multivitamin tablets.
Comment by Alana Savage – Monday 31 May 2004, 9:27 AM
  Ahhh dude, I don't think that you should be telling people this sort of crap, I don't think that anyone, at all, wants to hear about your goddamn herpes.
  Get a life, and some friends. And some cream for that rash.
Comment by Ned – Monday 31 May 2004, 9:47 AM
  So don’t read it. If you’re online reading someone else’s journal and finding it unpleasant, I recommend you get a life, and some friends, and something worthwhile to do.

23.05.2004Sunday 23 May – Itching

When I woke in the morning, the welts were mostly gone – with just a reddish remnant remaining in a few spots, so I had another multivitamin tablet and went to the train station. By the time I had gotten to the train station, the remnants of welts, mainly around my waistline, had become slightly more pronounced. They remained mostly static for most of the day, during which time Kieran, Marcus, Sméagol and I drove out to the Sunday Computer Market, and I tried to ignore them (the welts, that is). Towards evening, they began to become more pronounced, and itchier.
  I had been in a computer lab at uni coding for some time, trying to make sense of my “Software Specification” assignment and debug my “Operating Systems” assignment, and went with Marcus and Kieran down to the Ville to get something to eat. I got a falafel kebab, and a small bottle of Sprite soft drink. By this time, the welts had become quite itchy and spread down my upper legs, but were still most pronounced around my waistline. There were a few small ones under my arms, similar to Saturday evening. The welts gradually spread. I kept coding for some time, but eventually the welts had spread to spots across my upper torso, and my upper arms, and I realised I had better go home. On the train home, the welts spread in blotches across half of my upper torso, and most of my arms and legs – but only in patches. Now, after showering, they cover most of my body in patches, similar to when I woke up Saturday night. I’ve had several theories, ranging from kidney failure through to sugar imbalance – although my current theory is that I’ve a kidney or urinary infection or other similar malfunction caused by a combination of acid and lack of drinking, and this is causing hives. This seems to best model the current symptoms. I had a very acidic stomach after last Sunday, and I didn’t drink (or eat) much since then as I felt unwell.
I am so itchy – it’s like chickenpox. Great self-control needed. I’ve had three cups of tomato soup for dinner, that being the most alkaline and liquid dinner I could manage, and I think I’ll try sleeping – not something that’s going to be easy while itching this much. The welts are slowly moving around. They’ve now moved away from my upper arms, further down onto my hands, up my neck and down my legs but mostly away from my waistline. They’re odd. I’m a bit worried, as one seems to have begun on my cheek – so I’m hoping sleep will fix that.

24.05.2004Monday 24 May – Doctor’s

I woke up when the alarm went off, but was too tired or lazy to get up, so slept in for a while.
  Once up, I caught the train into uni, without any welts anywhere. I was a bit worried I might be cured, but if you keep reading, you’ll find out that I’m not. I went to the university medical centre, told them I was near death, and they appraised me, finding that I would probably live for a few hours – at least, so didn’t classify as an emergency, and couldn’t be seen without an appointment. However, they did recommend that I see a doctor today – just because I’d live a few hours didn’t mean I’d live the night, and they didn’t want me suing them after I’d died in the morning. Following their comprehensive instructions (“ask the ladies in the information booth opposite Hungry Jack’s”) obtained me the closest medical centre to Hungry Jack’s, which, after sitting in its reception for over an hour, divulged a doctor.
  After quickly relating my story, the doctor took a urine sample, which said everything was fine, and destroyed my favourite theory. After a quick examination, the doctor decided I had a “medical illness”, wrote a certificate saying so, and prescribed an antihistamine to alleviate the symptoms. He also gave me what I suspect is the textbook standard talk applicable to hives, rashes, infectious diseases, rashes, skin blotches, and runny nose – including such intelligent things as “change your linen” – this despite me getting welts at uni, and them being gone after sleeping all night on my linen. So, the end result of all this is that I have something to help alleviate the symptoms, but no cure and no idea what the problem is.
  After the doctor’s, I caught a bus in to uni to try and get an extension for my “Software Specification” assignment that’s due at 9 AM tomorrow. The lecturer wasn’t there, so I went down to the labs to email and met Kieran and Marcus doing B. Welts had begun to form around my waistline, as per the weekend, so I took one of my fancy drugs. Fast forward past seeing Clint, walking to Coles and getting some fruit and nut mix, and here I am, sitting at home, with the welts all but gone. I guess the drugs are working, but they’re only attacking the symptoms, not the cause – and based on today, I don’t know if they work enough for me to spend late nights at uni, which I really need to do right now.
Comment by cf – Tuesday 25 May 2004, 2:49 AM
  Unclean! Unclean!
  In my highly educated medical opinion, you either have leprosy or hives. Hives have something to do with bees, so stop eating honey and walking too close to trees.

25.05.2004Tuesday 25 May – Doctor’s Again

I went to uni, and had a rather normal day, I think. The infamous welts were well behaved, starting a little on the train, so I took drugs to make them go away, which they eventually did.
I went to the university medical centre, where I was examined, discussed things, and so forth. No startling discoveries were made. She seems like quite a nice doctor. I am now more reassured.

26.05.2004Wednesday 26 May – Thunderstruck & Relational Databases

I had planned to get up earlier, but didn’t, because it seemed a good idea when I went to bed, but in the morning it didn’t. I did still go to uni though, arriving before midday and waking up Clint, who reckons he has flu and stuff. Clint, Marcus, Kieran and the me spent the evening in the labs – Marcus and Kieran doing their “Operating Systems” assignment, while Clint and the me worked on our group “Relational Database Systems” assignment.
I caught a bus into Indooroopilly and saw “Thunderstruck”, which I enjoyed. There were very few other people at the cinemas.
The good news is that I didn’t have any welts – or any anti-welting drugs, today. I did have a few itches though, but that’s perhaps normal – I mustn’t be a hypochondriac now. The bad news is that I have to go to uni tomorrow and it’s a quarter past three in the morning.

27.05.2004Thursday 27 May – B, INFS

I headed into uni, where I worked on my nasty “Software Specification” assignment. It took hours, and was not fun. Kieran and Clint were also there, working on our group assignment, and kept asking me for help, which made it hard for me to do anything. I totally disagreed with what they were doing, and ended up telling them I was out of their group and wasn’t going to do it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a great deal of choice in the matter, the assignment being due tomorrow (although we do have an extension until Monday due to my welts). I eventually got my assignment done and submitted. It was actually overdue, but I also had an extension for it, again due to my welts. It was quite late by the time I left, and I didn’t get home until after eleven.

28.05.2004Friday 28 May – Kieran is Not Impressed

Kieran, Marcus, Clint and I were supposed to have a group meeting, and work on our “Relational Database Systems” group assignment. We all went up to Kieran’s room for a discussion about whether we should begin our assignment again from scratch, as it was sadly wrong, or continue as it is. Many goldfish were mentioned, along with references to dual Xeon’s and various other totally irrelevant subjects, which annoyed Kieran no end. The last straw was when Clint changed Kieran’s computer’s desktop background to a RedHat logo. Kieran chased us out and slammed the door. We might almost have got away with this, except Clint had stolen Kieran’s keys, and proceeded to use them to open Kieran’s door. Kieran wasn’t very impressed, and we had to run away before he killed us with his flying mouse. After we had gotten over our mirth, we headed down to the labs to get some work done. The computer labs were totally packed, so Marcus, Clint and I ended up in Clint’s room trying to figure out what to do. Marcus ended up going home to use his computer, and Clint and I worked on our assignment for way too long, but did end up getting a lot done. Kieran turned up a few times, and threatened to go to the lecturer and complain about us, and various other dire things.
Clint and I caught a bus to Indooroopilly and saw “The Day After Tomorrow”. The theatre was packed. The movie was enjoyable – a typically predictable Hollywood action blockbuster.

29.05.2004Saturday 29 May – Mouseless in St Lucia

I slept in dreadfully, as usual, and then headed into uni, as usual. Marcus, Kieran, Clint and I ended up in the labs working on our “Relational Database Systems” group assignment (after Marcus and I had driven out to his place to get his computer). Kieran was quite good, considering how much he hated us yesterday. Apparently his flying mouse is decidedly broken, though.
  The lab computers and related facilities are pathetic – any that had re-imaged (which takes half an hour) didn’t work. We had to go through a hardware installation procedure, which takes from ten minutes towards half an hour, before the mice would work. It then took me fifteen minutes to download a one-megabyte attachment from my email before we could begin work. Then the network died entirely. It’s a bit sad when my dialup connection at home is much faster and more reliable than a university network. I’m not impressed with the computer labs or their management – there seems to be a different problem every week. Getting an IT degree from people who don’t seem to know how to manage computers isn’t confidence inspiring.
Marcus drove me to Roma Street Train Station, just in time to catch the 11:09 PM train home.
It is very cold. I might go to bed.
Comment by Shazza – Sunday 30 May 2004, 4:09 PM
  Edited: Offensive
  Rough translation: “Your blog is not good, come see my (rather pathetic) blog to see how a blog should look”.
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 1 June 2004, 11:04 PM
  This is not a “blog”, it’s a “journal” – there’s a difference. I don’t write how I feel, or how depressed I am, or prove I’m clinically insane (like most livejournal users do) or argue how my personal interpretation of some obscure standard is the only valid one – I just record what I did each day.

30.05.2004Sunday 30 May – Relaxing

I had a relaxing day wherein little was done. I spent a bit of time working on our group assignment, and watched a DVD Dave or Tonya must have got, “Knockaround Guys”.

31.05.2004Monday 31 May – Group Assignment Submitted

Kieran, Marcus, Clint and I worked on, and managed to finish and submit, our “Relational Database Systems” group assignment. I’m not expecting particularly good marks, but it would be nice to do well.
It just took me a little over 15 minutes from log on to working, on the last remaining available computer in GPS-109. This is not including re-image, which presumably had already happened. On log on, it first complains (several times) about modified files, and the correct versions being on a CD (which I don’t have access to so can’t do anything about even if I wanted to). It is fun navigating through the error messages without a mouse, when they’re obscured by my normally auto-hidden start menu, which is open because of an “oh so helpful” yellow tool tip informing me that new updates are now available (shame it’s software, not staff) – and which I can’t get rid of as I have no mouse...
  It then finds and installs drivers for a “generic volume”, which involves clicking (without a mouse) several “This is an evil, evil driver that hasn’t been approved by Sir Bill and may destroy life as we know it” messages, and various next, finish and continue buttons – and then it moves on to the next driver. After 14 minutes or so, it gets around to doing the mouse driver, and then requests a reboot. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that if I was stupid enough to reboot, it would then re-image.
  You have to love the modified files message, just after the new updates are available message, and before it has even installed enough vital drivers for you to be able to use the machine.
  Just another day in the dysfunctional labs – and I’m apparently a bad bloke for complaining.
My website exceeded its 10-gigabyte transfer limit, and was temporarily disabled. It should rollover sometime tonight or tomorrow – whenever its end of month occurs.

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