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

01.06.2004Tuesday 1 June – Feels like Swot Vac

I had planned to go to my nine o’clock lecture, but this didn’t seem like such a good idea when I woke up, so I went back to bed.
This is the first day that’s felt like swot vac (swot vacation – the period allocated for exam preparation, during which there’s no formal teaching). I woke up meaning to study and attend uni, but didn’t feel like it. I then slept for several hours more, and worried that my assignment, which I haven’t yet begun, is due in a few days – so proceeded to waste more time, washing my linen, watching the end of a movie, editing out some offensive and plain moronic comments from my journal, and various other stuff not related to uni.
I ate too much dinner and now I feel sick. At least I did begin my assignment – just barely. I’m now sick of it again, so I’ll have to hope I can do it tomorrow with no problems. I think I’m going to explode.
Comment by scruff – Thursday 3 June 2004, 10:09 PM
  SWOTVAC = Study without teaching vacation.
  I'm right. Don't even think about correcting me.
Comment by Ned – Friday 4 June 2004, 12:25 AM
  The term is “swot vac”, two distinct words.
  Definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary:
  Swot: Study (a subject) hard or hurriedly.
  Vac: The period between terms (esp. of a university).
  Literally, a vacation for study, a study period, a swot vac.
  Interestingly, “Swot” originated from the word “Sweat”.

02.06.2004Wednesday 2 June – VB Networking

I’d planned to get to uni before lunch, but it wasn’t until a quarter to two that I left home. Then, once at uni, I wasted precious time watching Clint be nearly killed by a flying stereo-to-mono headphone adaptor. I didn’t get to the labs until late in the evening. I really should have gone earlier – as I still have lots to do on my VB networking assignment, and failing this fails me the whole course. I caught the 10:40 bus from uni into the city, and got the train home.
I guess I’m stupid. I have to get up at 7 o’clock, and here I am playing around with a cool little program for splitting mp3 albums. It checks for common wrapped formats, and extracts them if found, otherwise splitting the mp3 on sync errors if found. It’s worked remarkably well – managing to split an mp3 album by finding sync errors, well enough that the id3 tags were still present in the split output. If it can’t find any sync errors, it has an option to query an online cddb database and generate a cue sheet, and then split the mp3 based on this – with optional silence offset detection. If this fails, it can attempt to detect silence and split on that. All very useful, but I should be in bed. Perhaps I work better under pressure.

03.06.2004Thursday 3 June – Systems Interface Programming Completed

In retrospect, staying up all night was an ill-conceived idea. I only ended up getting a few hours sleep, waking up twenty minutes later than I had planned, and having to run around like a lunatic getting ready, and then for the train – such a nice way to begin the day. I then spent from around nine o’clock until a quarter to three working on my “Basic Networking in Visual Basic” assignment – a networked naughts and crosses game, and helping others get theirs going. The end result was a horrible kludge, with no error handling at all, but it passed, which is all that matters in this course, and actually ended up better than a lot of others I saw. This also means I’ve now successfully completed (pending electronic plagiarism detection) COMP2301 – Systems Interface Programming. It has taught me a lot, and met all its objectives perhaps better than any other course I’ve done at uni so far – at the same time it’s all applied, with no theoretical aspect, and as such doesn’t gel with my conception of what a uni should be teaching. Nevertheless, I’m now much more confident in my programming, problem solving and problem management skills. This is also the last time it’s being run – at least in its current format.

04.06.2004Friday 4 June – Sleepy

I was woken around eleven o’clock by Joe, warning me that the cleaner would be here soon and would want to clean my room. I was then woken again a minute or so later by Dave, asking if I had a bootable floppy disk for Tonya’s computer, which couldn’t find any of the lovely files Windows 98 requires to run, and wouldn’t boot from a CD. I had a sleepy look, set the CD drive to boot first, which made no difference, disabled booting from the hard drive, which made no difference – and, just as I was about to prescribe the motherboard or IDE controller, or something related, dead, decided to try another bootable CD, which worked. Strangely enough, after removing the new CD, the original CD then worked as well.
  It was about this time that I realised that staying up late, and waking up before midday, is not a good combination, and then the cleaner arrived so I couldn’t go back to bed, so I headed to uni, where I did very little. I then went home again, via Indooroopilly, with Clint who was on his way to the BITS end of semester dinner. I’d planned to see a movie, but suddenly felt very tired, so came home instead.

05.06.2004Saturday 5 June – The Punisher

I slept in, as usual, and when I woke there was a family BBQ happening here, which I just wasn’t in the mood for, so I escaped to uni, where I wasted much time at college.
Clint and I went and saw “The Punisher” at the Eldorado, due to a series of missed buses and trains, and the fact that the Indooroopilly Birch Carol and Coyle doesn’t offer special UQ student tickets on Saturday evenings. It’s quite a good movie, in its own somewhat basic way, and I enjoyed it.

06.06.2004Sunday 6 June – All-day Sleep

I woke up at 5 PM. I was shocked, and thought it might be 5 AM, but had a bad feeling it was actually 5 PM. This makes for the worst sleep-in I’ve had in quite some time. Perhaps it’ll make up for the sleepless nights I should get while studying.
Joe, or Dave I think it might have been, made a quite nice pasta sauce, which I had for a very large dinner, amidst jokes about me exploding and so on, while watching “Scooby Doo 2” on TV.

07.06.2004Monday 7 June – Cheese & Printing

I headed into uni, after a pleasant sleep-in. The weather worsened the closer I got to uni, and was raining by the time I arrived in the city, where I purchased a veggie burger and then headed out to uni. I had to print notes, so I can study and not fail my exams. Clint had to print notes too, so we came to the amazing conclusion that we’d print them together, as some overlapped. Unfortunately, the printing thing messed up, and everything Clint printed, it tried to print twice, and everything I printed, it tried to print once, despite Clint asking it to print once, and me asking it to print half of mine twice. This caused the POD-man to complain, and we ended up with lots of duplicates. I then hung around college for a while, getting a cheese pizza, and then headed home, having done no study at all.

08.06.2004Tuesday 8 June – Famous & Lazy

I slept in. I did little. I planned my next two-week’s study, but didn’t get around to doing any actual study. According to my study plan, I was only supposed to study one week’s lecture notes today anyway – which I was about to do when Tonya’s PC died again, so I put XP and a working firewall on it, and we’ll see what happens next. Then I felt very tired, so watched “Underworld”, which wasn’t that flash hot, and now it’s eighteen past one at the wrong end of the clock, so I’m off to bed – as I’m planning to head into uni tomorrow, get past exam papers, and do some study.
In other dreadfully exhilarating news, Matt posted to UQ’s general ITEE newsgroup,
  “Is it just me, or are Ned Martin’s posts on here more of an annoyance then anything else?
  Who votes to have him banned? :)”
  This rapidly gathered an alarming number of replies – I’m infamous, in a limited and sadly geeky sort of way.
Comment by yj – Wednesday 9 June 2004, 8:27 AM
  god bless you, ned
Comment by scruff – Sunday 13 June 2004, 12:15 AM
  I couldn't help but notice that it is the 13th. And there is no journal update!!!!!!!!!!!
  I know exams are important.. but what about your fans, NED?
  WHAT ABOUT YOUR FANS?!?:!?!?!??!?!

09.06.2004Wednesday 9 June – Twisted

I headed into uni, arriving some time after lunch. Leo’s water main had burst. I looked at Leo’s burst water main. I went to Indooroopilly and saw “Twisted” on the “wall to wall, which is, as the name would suggest, somewhat twisted.

10.06.2004Thursday 10 June – Not Studying

I spent all day not really studying, and decided that I have a critical and probably incurable mental incapacity to study at home. Tomorrow I am going to head into uni and study there, because if I don’t start seriously studying tomorrow, I will fail.

11.06.2004Friday 11 June – Harry Potter

I managed to be at uni by nine o’clock, which impressed me. I actually got quite a bit of study done, so I’m learning all about “Software Specification”, or more accurately, the crazy language “B” – hopefully enough that I can pass the exam.
Clint, Rhett, Sméagol, and my fantastic self, went and saw “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” at Indooroopilly – and it was absolutely packed. The movie got a bit unbelievable after everyone turned into werewolves, but was a fun watch nonetheless, although I still hold that the books are mass-produced, low quality literature.

12.06.2004Saturday 12 June – Studying

I spent the evening lying under a desk in the smaller Solaris lab, studying “Relational Database Systems”, while Kieran and Clint sat on chairs like the boring normal people they are. Then again, Kieran is a self-professed Microsoft worshipper and “dark overlord” and Clint has a fixation with the word “mittens”, of which he managed to change my desktop image to a picture of while I was off searching for paper, so perhaps they’re not quite as normal as they could be.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 17 June 2004, 9:52 PM
  Thank goodness

13.06.2004Sunday 13 June – More Studying

Off to uni, via Hungry Jack’s and a veggie burger, for some hard-earned study – then back home again. Such is my dedication to the cause.
The past week is such a blur – I don’t really remember it at all, at least not in any clearly defined way.
I spoke to myself, from uni while I am at home. This is rather unusual. I left myself logged onto one of the Window’s computers at uni, and on the uni IRC server, before I went home. Then, all of a sudden, I, online at uni, began speaking. It seems an admin by the name of “Murox” (Rob Green) found my locked account, unlocked it, and had a quick chat while “security checking”. The fact that admin check security after midnight on public holidays is, I suppose, commendable. As Professor Simon Kaplan, our head of school, says, “there is NO private right to usage of ITEE facilities”.

14.06.2004Monday 14 June – Well, um, yeah.

On the train on the way to uni, he forgot to stop at a station, stopping instead in the middle of nowhere. Then, on the bus, we went through a red light. On the way home, the bus stopped in the middle of a roundabout and picked up people. It’s times like these you need minties. As “ZZ Top” says, “My Mind is Gone” (from their “Rhythmeen” album).
  Anyway, be that as it may, um, I forget what I was going to write.
  Degenerating to basic form: Woke up. Train. Bus. Uni. Study B. See Kieran. Talk to Kieran re B. See Clint. Walk to Ville, purchase chocolate, biscuits, cream, and custard. Get Pizza with Sméagol. Learn that cheese pizza is good once, but not twice. Catch bus, then train, home. The Uni Women’s Speed hump (disclaimer: this is not sexual in nature) was broken tonight. 145 km/h between oval five and women’s speed humps.
I need to be awake at seven o’clock tomorrow morning. This will not be an easy thing to do.
Comment by yj – Wednesday 16 June 2004, 9:48 AM
  we're praying for you, neddy

15.06.2004Tuesday 15 June – Studying B

Four and a half hours is not enough sleep, but study calls, so off to uni I go, where I spent the day studying for my “Software Specification” exam tomorrow. I’ve gone from not knowing “B” at all, to knowing basic “B”. I’m not sure that this is the sort of accomplishment I would tell anyone about, but hopefully I now have a chance to pass this exam tomorrow. “B” sucks – it is a thoroughly awful specification language, with very, very limited real-world uses, and being introduced to it in this way isn’t going to benefit anyone that I can think of. I don’t know it well enough to actually use it for anything, and there’s no more advanced course available that I’m aware of, even if I was strange enough to do it – so it was, as far as I can tell, a total waste of time, albeit a well organised and well taught one. I guess I have been introduced to the concept of a software specification language – perhaps that’s handy in some way. It shouldn’t’ be compulsory for engineers and highly recommended for IT though.

16.06.2004Wednesday 16 June – Software Specification Exam

I’m at uni, down in the labs with Marcus, panicking for my exam and feeling generally tired. Actually, I’m surprisingly unstressed – I should be more worried as I don’t really have a clue what the exam is about. The fire alarm went off while we were in the lab and a fire engine came and we were told not to evacuate and it was a little bit more exciting than studying “B” for my exam.
I sat the “Software Specification” exam. I was ill prepared, as always. If I were able to study all semester, then I wouldn’t have to panic at the end and I’d get top marks all the time. It would be so much easier – but I don’t know anyone who can. I’m not sure how I went in the exam – I could have got anything from everything wrong, to most of them mostly right, it’s impossible for me to know. I wasn’t entirely sure about anything, but it’s all pure logic in a way, so I just don’t know. Time will tell.
After driving down to the Ville with Clint, Kieran, Marcus and Sméagol, where I ate a falafel roll, Clint, Kieran and I spent the evening studying for our “Relational Database Systems” exam on Friday.
On the way home, I learnt that the Cold Rock Ice Creamery under the Myer Centre is open until half past nine or later most days. This means I can buy super shakes on the way home from uni if I’m not too late – which I did, of course.

17.06.2004Thursday 17 June – INFS Assignment Marks

I woke up in time to get to uni by nine o’clock, but felt that getting up could be the proverbial straw and I the proverbial camel, so set the alarm for another hour, and went back to sleep. I think this is the first time this has ever worked – I actually felt refreshed and rested (or at least I didn’t feel as though I was about to die). Normally, setting the alarm, or using snooze, to get that little bit extra sleep just doesn’t work, and I end up feeling the same or worse when I do eventually get up – and then it’s late.
I spent pretty well all day in the labs studying “Relational Database Systems” in preparation for my exam tomorrow. Clint and Kieran came down after a while, and studied with me. I am not well prepared at all. I don’t know hardly anything. I should have studied during semester as I was supposed to. Woe. There is one bit of good news though – we got our “Relational Database Systems” group assignment marks back, and at 17 out of 20, that, combined with the mid-semester exam results, is enough that I only need to get 19 out of 60 for the exam to pass the course, or so Clint says. This should be doable.
Due to the recent excessive bandwidth use on and my journal site, I’ve had to disable temporarily my amused site – or within a day or few, I’ll have run out of my month’s data transfer allowance.
It is freezing cold.

18.06.2004Friday 18 June – Relational Database Systems Exam

I burnt some songs onto a CD-RW for Clint, which then failed, so I re-burnt them, which then failed again – but I’m getting ahead of myself. I only just had enough time to burn the CD before running for the train, so burning the CD the second time meant I had to run hard all the way. It nearly killed me. I felt sick and awful all the way to uni. Jumping out of bed into the icy cold, and running hard a few minutes later just can’t be a good thing to do. Still, I just managed to make it onto the train – it was leaving as I collapsed onto the platform.
Once at uni, I spent the slightly less than two hours before my exam going over a summary of what I hoped to know with Marcus, then Clint, and then Kieran. I’ve managed to learn a surprising amount in the last few days – I hope.
We all trooped down to the Gymnasium, where we waited around for a while and I learnt the log rules for calculating the cost of various database operations. I then sat my “Relational Database Systems” exam. Two hours, eight questions, all of which I managed to answer with what I believe is at the least a partially correct answer, so I’m optimistic about the results. Experience has taught me though, that when I think I’ve done well, I’ve often done poorly, and vice versa.
  After the exam, I headed to Kieran’s room, where I collapsed while he made a few phone calls. We then collected Clint from The Red Room, and headed into the city so Kieran could buy a suit, and I something to eat. I had some veggie curry from an Indian place in the Myer Centre, and a Cold Rock Super Shake. This made me feel suitably sick, and we headed back to uni, where I hung around for a little while before heading to Indooroopilly and the movies.
I bought the last remaining ticket and saw “Shrek 2”. It’s a great movie – as good as the first from what I can remember of it. It’s always good when a movie gets the entire cinema laughing – and the cinema was packed tonight. Sitting right in the middle of the front row is good – I always get my favourite seat, even when I buy the last ticket. I’ll never understand why people would rather sit right to the side in the second row than in the centre of the first row – or even worse, right up the back where the screen is only as big as a large television and there’s no surround sound effect at all.
Comment by yj – Saturday 19 June 2004, 4:19 PM
  how you looking for COMP3300, Ned? i started studying for it a few days ago. I can't bloody stand it.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 19 June 2004, 8:04 PM
  Very bad thanks. I began studying today (Saturday), and have not got much done at all. Woe.
Comment by yj – Saturday 19 June 2004, 9:55 PM
  its a freakin lot of stuff to know. And even when you do know it, relevant questions in sample/past exams/quizzes still manage to bamboozle me. I just know im gonna put all this time into studying this course, and fail miserably. Machanick is guilty by association with this material. Damn him. Woe is me.
Comment by mum – Sunday 20 June 2004, 11:03 PM
  dear yi, if you already know that you will fail miserably, you have already set yourself an agenda for failure. You have to re compute the failure mode of your brain and set it for success. Relax. Re compute for success. Never say die. Never, ever, ever.
Comment by mum – Sunday 20 June 2004, 11:15 PM
  dear yi and son and all others. All very well for me to write things, easy peasy. Thinking about you. Hope so that all is going well or at least bearable. Hang in there.
Comment by yj – Monday 21 June 2004, 8:51 AM
  your words of wisdom have soothed my sorrowful heart. I thank you.
Comment by sweet – Tuesday 22 June 2004, 7:53 PM
Comment by anon – Monday 28 May 2007, 9:07 PM
  Made you feel suitably sick? Might of been the ghb that is put into drinks and food in the myer centre that made you feel sick

19.06.2004Saturday 19 June – Lakshya & Late Night Labs

I headed into uni, as usual, and studied. I’ve so much I need to learn before Wednesday, and my CPU fan has died so I can’t use my computer until I put a new one in.
I saw a poster in GPS that the Schonell, or actually Taj Entertainment at the Schonell, was showing a Hindi film, “Lakshya”. I’ve found Hindi films are often quite good, and this has the same leads as “Mission Kashmir”, which was excellent, so I wasn’t going to miss it. The only problem was that it finished around midnight, and the last bus is rather earlier, which would leave me stranded at uni.
  The movie cost me $14, but was shown in the larger Schonell cinema, which is much better than the smaller – almost cinema quality. It had an intermission, in is a typical Indian style action movie. Almost all the audience were also Indian. I loved it – it effortlessly blows away anything I’ve seen come out of Hollywood in the past few years, with its excellent mix or realism and surrealism (something Hollywood seems totally unable to match), and managed to contain all the typical elements of a movie, without going overboard on any of them. I really enjoyed it – in fact, this movie is the most engrossing and simply enjoyable I can remember seeing since the “Lord of the Rings” marathon, and perhaps “The Spanish Apartment” – although this was better than that. It’s not often I see a movie which can make me smile, cry, laugh, and think – all in one. I can’t understand why no one watches good movies. Everyone goes to the latest Hollywood crap – which is often fun to watch, but usually mindlessly predictable, but hardly anyone seems to turn up to these other far superior movies. It makes me worry that there’s very few intelligent people out there.
It’s quite cold, and I’m stuck in the labs. After the movie, I walked down to Leo’s College with a few blokes from the movie, and talked to Kieran, then Clint, for a while, before heading over to the labs, where I plan to spend all night studying.
Study is not possible. Labs are deserted. No one is anywhere. I showered, walked around in my socks, drank pineapple juice and ate an energy bar, all before anyone else had arrived at uni. It’s sort of peaceful, just me and rooms full of computers. They randomly beep, I’m not sure why.

20.06.2004Sunday 20 June – Sleepy

Well, I’ve now spent all night at uni. I didn’t get any study done, unfortunately, and now that I haven’t slept all night – and this after my late night and lack of sleep the night before – I expect I’ll have trouble studying today too.
  It’s so cold. I walked down to the Ville with Kieran for breakfast, and nearly froze. A potato bake thing from the bakery, and milkshake, later and I’m feeling just as cold, but less hungry.
  Studying makes me sleepy. I’ve found that if I read my text with only one eye, I can conserve vital energy, and read for longer before feeling tired. I can then swap to the other eye. Silas also had this problem – it sucks. Every time I study at home, I get really sleepy and have to lie down. I can usually study at uni, because I can’t lie down I guess.
  It’s so windy and the wind is icy cold. I keep finding nice sunny nooks to study in, but the wind finds a way through the trees and chills me, I’ll have to head back to the labs.
Marcus came in with his DVD drive, and the day elongated towards night. I eventually arrived home, installed a new CPU fan and heat sink – which was remarkably difficult, and Marcus’ DVD drive, which was easy, and spent the next few hours backing up all my music onto DVD’s.
I set up a Google “GMail” account to have a look at it. It seems, at the moment, to be very sparse and rather unusable compared to the more traditional web-based email services like Yahoo. It’s almost all client-side JavaScript, which makes it very responsive (although slower to load initially), and allows some cool features with their real-time address auto-completion, spelling checker and so on. I guess they’ll add more features to it as they get around to it. It’s still a beta trial at the moment.

21.06.2004Monday 21 June – Cold

I headed to uni around lunchtime, going past Govinda’s for lunch. I tried to do study, but didn’t end up getting much done. I spent a bit of time in a group study room at the library with Kieran and Clint, printed out some stuff for tomorrow at POD, talked to Marcus about studying but didn’t actually study, and various other equally exciting things. The printers in the labs are broken so I couldn’t print anything once POD shut.
  It is seriously cold – apparently getting down to one below here tonight, and three below in Ipswich.
Comment by yj – Tuesday 22 June 2004, 8:33 PM
  best wishes for Operating Systems. If the test pisses me off i'm going to officially withdraw every non-derogatory comment i've ever made about Phillip Machanick.
  God bless you, Ned.
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 22 June 2004, 9:26 PM
  Thanks. Exam Bad. I am doomed. Woe am I.
Comment by A normal person – Tuesday 22 June 2004, 9:49 PM
  You are a huge nerd
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 23 June 2004, 2:19 PM
  Hi, thanks for the compliment. Am I right in assuming you're a small nerd?
Comment by mum – Saturday 26 June 2004, 12:53 AM
  to "A normal person": being mother of "huge nerd" I can only assume that you are a small turd. Get a life!

22.06.2004Tuesday 22 June – 1 I, Lay Me Down 2 Sleep

Studying makes me sleepy. I’ve found that if I read my text with only one eye, I can conserve vital energy, and read for longer before feeling tired. Then I can lay me my head down for a minute and begin again with the other eye. This worked for quite some time, until time began to jump, and I would go from reading with one eye, to being in a different position and not reading with one eye, without any time in between. It was then that I decided divine intervention would have to suffice – study was not working.
  Moral: Sleep when the cuckoo is.

23.06.2004Wednesday 23 June – Operating Systems Exam

It’s fortunate that I’m realistically pessimistic, or it would have been as bad as I expected it might be. I missed the train. I slept in, and didn’t even hear my alarm. I would have missed my exam and failed, except that I expected I might sleep in, miss the train, or the train be late, or tracks iced over, or nuclear holocaust, etc., so I still had time to catch the next train and get to uni before my exam.
I rushed down the labs, and rushed through my notes as fast as I could, finding all the places where mathematical symbols had printed as arrows, comparing them to the lecture notes online, and fixing them. I then rushed off to my exam.
I found the exam to be quite good, as far as exams go. Multi-choice questions are never a good format for testing understanding, as there’s no leeway and any ambiguity comes into play, but these weren’t as bad as most. I had enough time to check all my multi-choice answers in the textbook, accidentally come across “VMS” in the index and read all the sections referring to VMS, VAX and Alpha, and then, just as I was about to leave, remember the bonus questions and answer them – and still leave early.
  There were, as always, a few multi choice questions that weren’t clear, and since reading this newsgroup, I’ve realised my explanation and solution to the “race condition” was probably flawed, but I felt the exam tested my understanding of the course matter quite well, without testing my understanding of non-course related stuff like most exams seem to. I didn’t need to know math, “Guidospeak”, or divination – just operating systems.
  My entire study consisted of reading (one eye at a time, as I was too tired to use both at once) all the lecture notes and summarising their main points and the slide numbers on their cover page, in the lab yesterday evening, on the train home, and on the train into uni this morning. In other words, I studied as fast as possible and poorly. In the end, I didn’t refer to my notes during the exam anyway – the few points I wasn’t clear on, I looked up in the textbook. I DO NOT recommend this study methodology to anyone, and you should never drink more than three redeye drinks, or equivalent in coke, an hour if you plan to sleep – ask Marcus – he was up all night sick, even if he does blame McDonald’s.
  I reserve the right to change this opinion after receiving my results.
After the exam, and after spending a while at Kieran’s, Marcus and I travelled to the lands of the North, to replace some RAM. We then journeyed to the lands of the West where we found that the motherboard wasn’t available, and was on backorder, so we made our way through the wastelands of Marcus Home, past the fabled flatmate, to mount Indooroopilly and watched “Thirteen”. It was good, although a bit disturbing, and perhaps thought provoking – although I can’t verify this, as I don’t have any thoughts left after my exam. I then journeyed, alone, to the lands of university – remembering on the way that I’d left my bag in Marcus’ camel, so I had to go see Kieran and chat to Marcus on MSN, to get him to bring it back. We then helped Clint learn nothing in the labs for a few minutes, for his exam tomorrow that isn’t about “Programming in the Large” despite being called that, before I began my long voyage home – safely traversing the perilous cold rock under mount Myer, and a few red green stop go men.
Comment by Maz – Thursday 24 June 2004, 1:57 AM
  that was a good movie. i'd say it might have been disturbing to the people who didnt know what the real world has become. i can see some people recieve a very rude awakening.
  Look out people... there's a real world out there and it sucks.

24.06.2004Thursday 24 June – No Flights & Pizza

I had to book an airfare home. I discovered that airfares aren’t cheap this time of year. The cheapest was around $355, with many being more than $1000, and going via Sydney or Townsville. I guess lots of holidaymakers are clogging up my travel space. After considering several options, such as sharing petrol money with buxom Swedish tourists who are scared of spiders, wide open spaces and the dangerous outback but want to drive to Cairns, or couriering myself express in a large box covered in “fragile – no forks” stickers, I decided that the $180 tilt train was the best option. The tilt train leaves Friday evening, and Monday evening, and takes a full twenty-five hours to get to Cairns. I’d originally planned to get the Friday evening train, which would have got me into Cairns Saturday evening, and I could then have got a Sunday evening flight to Cooktown.
Having decided what I was doing, I headed into uni and spent the evening with Marcus and Clint, buying pizza, watching them play Counter Strike, and various other exhilarating experiences that I have forgotten or repressed. By the time I got home, I’d decided that leaving tomorrow evening wasn’t a good idea. It would mean I’d have to stay up all night so I was tired, pack, clean, sort the computer, and generally panic. I’d also miss a party Friday night – and just didn’t feel like rushing around. I had a chat to Mum, and decided to take the Monday train, arriving Tuesday evening and flying Wednesday morning into Cooktown – this happily decided, I went to sleep.
Then, when I woke up tomorrow, I checked airfares again before phoning the rail centre to book the train, and discovered a $190 flight on Wednesday. After a bit of considering and a phone call home, I decided to take this flight instead of the train, meaning I’ll now get into Cooktown Wednesday evening, rather than morning, but I’ll have a few more days down here to relax and pack, and only two hours on a plane compared to twenty-five on a train. But wait, this is tomorrow...

25.06.2004Friday 25 June – Marcus & So On

Not long after I got up I checked for any cheap airfares that might have magically appeared since I checked yesterday, planning to phone the rail centre to book the tilt train north after, and discovered a $190 flight on Wednesday. After a bit of considering and a phone call home, I decided to take this flight instead of the train, as it meant I’d get into Cooktown Wednesday evening, rather than the morning, and that I’d have a few more days down here to relax and pack, and only two hours on the plane compared to twenty-five on the train.
I relaxed online, now that I don’t have to panic and rush around.
I headed into uni, via Govindas where I had a nice dinner. I spent a bit of time at uni with Clint and Kipps, who were celebrating the end of semester, at least for UQ, and Marcus, who, like me, had finished a few days ago, before heading out to Marcus’ place, where I spent the night – getting to sleep sometime around five, comma, and comma.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 26 June 2004, 1:05 AM
  Have dusted off the jaffle iron and ordered in the olives and screeched aloud against the rain and drizzle, pumped up the tractor tubes for frigid rages down the Wallaby and other exciting things and cannot wait.

26.06.2004Saturday 26 June – Marcus, BBQ & Teeth

I was awoken by Sophie, one of Marcus’ flatmates, after I’d only had three, or perhaps a bit less, hours sleep. I feel terrible, despite, or perhaps because of, drinking almost nothing last night. Actually, I had a sore throat before heading into uni yesterday – and a lack of sleep probably didn’t help. Either way, it sucks.
  Marcus and I drove into uni where we saw off Clint. Uni, and college, is a bit sad during holidays, with nearly everyone gone and most of the remaining people QUT students, who don’t finish until next week sometime. They also start earlier, end up with a less worthy degree, and don’t have any ducks – enough to make one wonder why anyone goes there. Ironically, the head of school here at UQ ITEE is rumoured to be departing to become Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology at QUT. This undermines the “QUT sucks, you should transfer to UQ” arguments a bit, but not the fact that QUT sucks and its students should transfer to UQ.
  I then spent the evening at Marcus’ before heading home, where I found we were having visitors and a BBQ, so BBQ I did have. Unfortunately, my teeth are all on edge from drinking too many acidic things, so I can’t eat anything hard – not easily anyway.
I signed up for Google AdSense on my Amused site. Hopefully I can make enough money to cover hosting, as I’ve had to buy extra data transfer, as my site has exceeded its limit for the second month running.

27.06.2004Sunday 27 June – The Prince & Me

I caught a train into the city, then out to Indooroopilly, where I met Matt and we went and saw “The Prince and Me” – which, while I think we were the only two men in the entire cinema, wasn’t too bad, especially considering it’s something of a romantic comedy cum romantic fairy tale. I then caught the train home again, and that about sums up today.
I should head to bed I guess. I’ve just spent the past few hours “surfing the web” – mostly finding and reading various enterprise computing, and specifically Itanium or VMS related, news sites. It’s nice not to have to feel guilty that I’m not studying.
Well, I should have slept, but I didn’t. Instead, I began to read about logical names in OpenVMS. It’s a shame I don’t show the same interest in my uni subjects, or alternatively, that uni doesn’t teach interesting things. What’s new?
Comment by scruff – Monday 28 June 2004, 11:36 AM
  "wasn't too bad", he says.
  *shakes head*
  That movie was pretty good.

28.06.2004Monday 28 June – Mean Girls, Club Dread

I woke up around half past three, with a sore throat, having gone to bed sometime around six o’clock this morning. I have a feeling I slept with my mouth open and the dangly thing at the back of my throat dried out and swole up.
  After some breakfast and a shower, I caught a train into Indooroopilly, had dinner, and watched “Mean Girls” and “Club Dread”, catching the last train home. “Mean Girls” was better than I was expecting, although nothing spectacular, and “Club Dread” was worse than I was expecting, and once again definitely nothing spectacular. They were, however, both enjoyable – which is the idea.
Spam mail sucks. Apparently, spammers can make a lucrative living even if only fifty in every million people respond, as the spamming costs are negligible. Thanks to the US’s seemingly bottomless stupidity, we have another American law with global reaching consequences for the rest of us less affected by nationwide moronity, isolationism and placidity. While the rest of the world has been busy cracking down on, and illegalising, spam, the US has legalised it. Apparently, we should be thankful, because the act requires spammers to provide a working opt-out system. Unfortunately, as anyone who has any email experience will know, using any of the current opt-out systems generally ensures your email address is marked as “active” and continually spammed. This means that, until all spammers comply with the new American law, which isn’t ever likely to happen, Americans can now legally spam us all and we can’t stop them. The stupidity behind this act would be hard to believe, if we didn’t already have a myriad of other examples where the US puts marginal interests before its citizens, affecting the rest of us in the process.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 29 June 2004, 8:48 PM
  Uncle Spam
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 29 June 2004, 8:50 PM
  It is not 10.48am, but 8.49pm????
Comment by Ned – Friday 2 July 2004, 1:16 AM
  All times are GMT/UTC/Zulu

29.06.2004Tuesday 29 June – Packing

Worth noting this is technically tomorrow, not today, unless using biblical days in which case it isn’t, and that neither midnight nor midday actually exist as defined times, and nor is there a 12 AM or 12 PM. That noted, let us begin.
  I burnt a collection of CD’s for Mum: Traffic’s “Traffic” and “When the Eagle Flies”, the Wolfe Tones’ “Rifles of the I.R.A”, “20 Golden Irish Ballads” (Volumes 1 and 2), and “Sing out for Ireland”, along with Gregorians’ “Masters of Chant” and “Masters of Chant Chapter 2”. I also burnt Apollo 440’s “Electro Glide in Blue” and “Gettin’ High on Your Own Supply”, Sonicanimation’s “Orchid for the Afterworld”, Panjabi MC’s “The Album”, and The Chemical Brother’s “Come With Us” and “Singles 93-03” for Sarah. Then the dog jumped the fence, and I heard heaps of whelping, yelping, and other words that end in “ing”, and had to run downstairs to find the poor dog hanging from her back leg. She had obviously climbed or jumped the fence, and got her hind paw stuck in the top of the fence, which is quite high. I had to run out onto the road, jump next-door’s fence, and rescue her. Her leg doesn’t seem to be broken, just sore.
  After all that excitement, I began to pack, burnt my backups onto CD, and set my alarm as well as the computer’s alarm. I find that if I set the computer’s alarm five minutes after my alarm, and make it very loud, when my alarm goes off, instead of going back to sleep, I have to jump up and turn off the computer alarm before it wakes everyone else – and this gets me out of bed and up. It’s very clever, I should patent the idea.

30.06.2004Wednesday 30 June – Back Home

I am awake, it is cold. I hibernate the computer and pull out the phone lead from the roof – a touching and sad moment. The walk to the train is particularly cold. As usual, I am late and have to hurry. The train takes me to Central Station, where I find that McDonalds doesn’t do veggie burgers before ten o’clock, so I have to settle for a toasted sandwich and “milkshake”, although one wonders whether the milk in said shake is anything resembling moo milk. A $10 train ride later, and I am at the domestic airport. Check-in is very busy, and the plane was called before I got halfway through the queue, so I got to escape the queue and go to the front. Other than that, it was uneventful – I wasn’t even “randomly” picked for explosive sniffing, perhaps shaving works?
“Albany”, my trusty Airbus A330-200 plane, with two, four, two seats, flew me to Cairns. I sat in seat 27D, which is the aisle seat of the middle row, on the left hand side. There was a real brat sitting in the row in front, who would not do as her parents (or anyone else) said, and used the situation to blackmail her parents. It’s a shame the windows don’t open.
I arrived in Cairns and took a taxi to City Place Taxi Rank. The first thing I noticed was that there were sweet little birds singing. I guess there mustn’t be in Brisbane, as I’ve never noticed it before. I then walked to Cairns Central, bought a box of RJ12 connectors at Tandy to fix the phone extension when I get home, and booked a ticket to “The Amazing Spiderman 2”, before buying a milkshake and walking to Mago Internet and checking my email and chatting and all those other vital things one must do at least daily.
I watched “The Amazing Spiderman 2”. The large cinema at Cairns Central seems to be larger than the largest at Indooroopilly, which sort of sucks, but the movie was enjoyable, although highly predictable and almost identical to the first, and the cinema was almost packed. After the movie, I walked down to the Esplanade, watched a street performer for a few minutes, and then back to the taxi rank, where I caught a cab out to General Aviation and the Skytrans terminal, and eventually a small plane to Cooktown.
Dad and Mum picked me up from the airport, and we drove home via the wharf and supermarket. Actually, we stopped at the Lion’s Den and had chips and pizza, which was lovely, although the jalapeños got to my throat and made it tickly. The new owners are apparently quite nice, and have done a lot to fix the place up. It’s nice to be home – so very relaxing, and I am so tired. This is the first early night I’ve had in a very long time.

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