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

01.09.2003Monday 1 September – Spring

I woke up about the same time my train left, and had to do the traditional run and die to get to uni on time from the next train. Sometimes I notice how young the majority of first year uni students are – they’re still kids, just left home. During our “Intro to Information Systems” lecture, we were told we’d have to form groups of four for the second part of our “Intro to Information Systems” assignment, so I’ve formed a group with Matthew, Nick and Tim, who are both my age and happened to be sitting beside me – a few years can make quite a difference sometimes. They’re now added them to my MSN so we can collaborate electronically when and if any of us get around to working on the assignment – how high tech and exciting!
“A team of students had four members called Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.” (Gibbs, 1995)

02.09.2003Tuesday 2 September

“Because we are safer, our liberties are more secure.” – John Ashcroft, US Attorney General
I caught the train to uni safer, because my liberties are more secure, although I was very sleepy. I had a prac exam today – had to draw up a small logic circuit in “LogicWorks”, a computer logic simulator, and then draw a schematic diagram and wire up the circuit on a breadboard and show the examiner, and get a pass mark. It was easy, really just a check to ensure we’d actually been attending our practicals.
I, very bravely (but more safely because my liberties are more secure), went to St Leo’s College with two guys from the prac exam, Marcus and Kieran, to pick up a CD – but they both ran away to a tutorial and left me stranded. I went to the labs and tried out IBM’s UML development tool, “Rational Rose”, in the hopes that it would somehow help me draw my entity-relationship diagram for my “Intro to Information Systems” assignment, which is due on Thursday and I haven’t even read the assignment specification yet. As it turns out, it is much too complex for this and the time it would take me to figure out how to draw an ER diagram wouldn’t be worth it. I then headed back to St Leo’s, saw Clint for a few minutes, found Kieran and Marcus again, picked up the CD, and went home.

03.09.2003Wednesday 3 September

Today is my day off, so I didn’t go to uni, instead staying home and doing my “Intro to Information Systems” assignment. This is the first time I’ve actually read the assignment so I guess I can’t complain too much – I should have done it weeks ago.
Assignment one, part one for INFS1200, “Intro to Information Systems” has now been submitted. After hours drawing poxy arrows, entity relationship diagrams and relationship schemas in a combination of Visio, Photoshop and Word (as none of those will do what I want by themselves), it is done. I just hope I get a good mark.

04.09.2003Thursday 4 September

My first lecture was cancelled. I’d just sat down, the lecture theatre was just beginning to fill, and the lecturer, resplendent in a bright orange beanie, walked down the left aisle, put a notice “Lecture Cancelled – Anthony has lost his voice” on the visualiser, walked up the right aisle, and was gone. For a second we weren’t sure if it was some type of joke, it was almost surreal. My second lecture isn’t a lecture this week, but is a tutorial for people who don’t know basic HTML, so no point in going to that. I then have two hours of “Information Technology Project” practical, followed by an hour of “Intro to Information Systems” practical, neither of which I’ve yet used for their proper purposes. This was in turn followed by an hour-long “Computer Organisation” tutorial, which took me roughly two minutes to complete – and that’s only because I couldn’t find the programmer’s notepad thing we’re using to do it. In other words, I didn’t do anything at uni today.

05.09.2003Friday 5 September

What a woeful speechmaker I am. I think writing a short speech after midnight last night, reading it through in my head once and briefly summarising it does not constitute rehearsing and learning. In fact, after having stood up the front and been unable to think of much to say, I am entirely sure of that. I’d even go so far as to say I’d have been better off not writing anything at all. The problem was, I wrote what I thought was a relatively good five minute speech, and then tried to deliver that based on the very summarised notes I had, which as I’d not read it enough I found I was unable to do, but because I had read it, I tried to speak on something I couldn’t remember. It was rather awkward until I gave up and just made it up on the spot. This is the first time I’ve ever given a public speech, so I guess I learnt a few things. One thing that did annoy me is that the few people before me all gave their speeches as we’d been told to do, so I tried and sort of managed to, but nearly all the people after me simply got up and read a prewritten speech. I could have so easily taken my prewritten speech and just read that if I’d known.
Directly after my debilitating speech giving, I had to present in our “Programming in the Large” tutorial. Typically, our group got the hardest bit of code, which I don’t think anyone short of an experienced coder could manage to convert to a dynamic abstract data type representation in the time we had as we only had half the tute, the second half being devoted to questions about our assignments. We scribbled some code, helped a lot by one member who’s currently doing a course almost entirely on abstract data types, and I presented it to the rest of the tutorial. Then we were given our assignments, and the perfect result I had partly made up for my definitely less than perfect performance in my speech this morning. The fact that everyone else there seemed to have worse marks helped too.

06.09.2003Saturday 6 September

I’m annoyed. The internet is very slow and at times not working. It seems to be a generalised problem, at least in Australia, and not just my ISP. I have had a bad computer day. Originally, I was on the internet, doing normal things, and everything was working. Then I noticed my secondary monitor had a few red and green tyre track things on it, and a few random pixels, which usually means its graphics card has gotten too hot. I opened all the windows and cooled it down a bit. Then the internet died. I was getting some phenomenal amount of packet loss. I needed to find bus times to get to the mars viewing tonight, but I couldn’t access any web pages. Then, after rebooting to see if I could get the internet to work, and wasting another 22¢ connecting, my CPU fan alarm went off. The fan had dropped from its normal 6000 rpm down to 4000 rpm. It then went up and down in speed as if it were a variable speed fan. It’s rather alarming to see my processor temperature increase 5 degrees in about five seconds just because the fan has slowed. I pulled the side of the case off and fiddled with the fan but it seems fine. It kept going up and down and the internet wouldn’t work, so I disconnected and watched “Sudden Impact” instead. It’s not such a bad movie for its age – I quite enjoyed it.
After the movie, I tried connecting to the internet again and managed to get enough packets through to find that my train left in quarter of an hour, so I ran, showered, ran, dressed, ran, shoed, ran, jumped on the train, and arrived at South Brisbane station with no idea what bus to catch. After asking two drivers who didn’t know, I found one who gave me a short free ride and dropped me off at another bus stop where the Mt Coot-tha bus departs from. Unfortunately, it doesn’t run at night, so I had to ask another bus driver, who guided me to another bus stop where I could catch a bus to Toowong, near to where I wanted to go. This driver kindly drove me to a roundabout near to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and let me off there, so it was only a short walk. There were tons of people, and something rather obvious but which I hadn’t really thought of – it was dark. They’d put garbage bags over the lights, leaving just a few red ones so people could develop a bit of night vision, and it was really hard to see anyone. A few people from uni had been talking about going, so I’d wanted to see if I could meet them, but soon realised there wasn’t any point looking in the dark. I did manage to bump into Raymond and two of his friends, and went around with them. We waited in line for ages to see the moon magnified 94 times through a 100 inch high telescope, which had a 20 inch mirror making it an f5 telescope, or something like that – I know nothing about them but that sounds similar to what the guy managing it said. The moon was impressive, looking the same as it does in photos, but Mars wasn’t at all impressive, looking like a white circle – I had a look at it through a few telescopes and wasn’t impressed at all. All four of us caught a taxi, letting me off at Toowong and taking them back to uni. I caught the train from there home.
I went online and watched a political discussion (read “argument”) in #BITS, which, coupled with my being alternatively disconnected, lagged, unable to reconnect or receiving the argument in large bursts, made it entertaining for about half an hour. After that I began to realise no one had a clue about anything, and they are all dim-witted, brainwashed, and arguing for the sake of it. I tried saying the silliest things I could think of that slightly fit in with their argument, but I couldn’t think of anything sillier than what they were already saying and I had a bad feeling I would appear the same as them to an outsider, so I left.
Comment by DM – Sunday 7 September 2003, 10:19 PM
  I had been wanting to go along to the Planetarium last night, but my hopes relied on my brother also going along (he could give me a lift there). In the end, he decided that he had too much uniwork to do, and by the time he told me this, it was too late to organise alternative transport. Ah well, can't always win.
Comment by Ned – Sunday 7 September 2003, 10:52 PM
  I saw martians!

07.09.2003Sunday 7 September

I watched “Identity” at Indooroopilly. I’m not quite sure what my opinion is about this movie, I think it hasn’t developed yet (my opinion that is, not the movie). It wasn’t too bad I guess, but probably not my favourite genre, but it was an enjoyable outing, which is what matters.
Pole dancing
We were subjected to an impromptu display of pole dancing and various semi-erotic acrobatic performances performed on the handholds that hang from the roof of the Indooroopilly train on the way to Roma Street. It made for a more interesting than usual train ride, I will admit.
I’ve discovered a new definition of chaos – Roma Street Station when there’s “signal problems”. I caught the 7:39 Beenleigh train at about five to ten. There were no less than six trains scheduled to arrive on platform six at the same time, while all other platforms seemed mostly closed. Buses were transporting people between intercity stations, Gold Coast trains were cancelled, and it was utter chaos. I listened to the station managers on their radios while I was waiting. It’s scary. They have heaps of people scheduling trains over the one channel – I can only imagine how easy it must be to make a mistake. They’re just radioing “operations” the time and the train number as each train arrives, and they’re radioing back instructions as to where the train should hold. I can imagine them in “operations” drinking coffee and using thumbtacks and monopoly pieces to indicate trains on some big map, and some person mishears “shhhhzzzzt click ding Beenleigh six twenty seven platform chhhhhzt six Roma Street chhzt click” as platform seven and derailing me.
When I un-hibernated my computer, neither monitor turned on. I reset the computer, and tried un-hibernating again. This time the monitors worked but my keyboard didn’t. Fortunately, though, my keyboard is PS2 and USB, so I could pull the PS2 out and USB took over, but it is worrying on top of the overheating and other weird problems I’ve been having. I think this probably has a simple explanation – when I moved the computer around to check the CPU fan yesterday, I probably moved the keyboard lead a bit and the plug wasn’t connecting properly. At least my internet connection seemed normal today.

08.09.2003Monday 8 September

University, which precludes anything else, studious student that I am.

09.09.2003Tuesday 9 September

I slept in and missed the train (by about an hour). The rest of the day was rather uneventful. I went to my “Computer Organisation” practical and discovered I was supposed to know assembly language. It would be nice if uni taught things, I was under the miscomprehension that’s what they were for, but I’ve realised otherwise now. Seeing as I don’t know assembly language and wasn’t prepared to learn it without any resources and on the spot, I left and watched some third year mechanical and electrical engineering students having a robot-soccer match with LEGO robots.
I’ve been working on my “Information Technology Project” – project one. I’m making a VB sliding tile puzzle, or trying to. I’ve never used VB before, and as usual, instead of starting six weeks ago as I was supposed to, I’m doing it now that it’s due on Thursday. This, along with my “Programming in the Large” assignment due tomorrow evening and my “Intro to Information Systems” stuff due on Tuesday – which is a group affair, so I can’t let my group down and have to do that too, should keep me busy. Oh, and there’s upcoming mid-semester exams too.

10.09.2003Wednesday 10 September

I finally have all the errors fixed and can submit this awful thing before the five o’clock deadline. I’m not very confident on getting a good result, as I pretty well just hacked together something that looked right, and edited it until there weren’t any errors. This has been an intense assignment. I started around half past one, after waking at midday, and spent half an hour commenting and formatting code, then an hour sorting out a test plan, and another hour and a half implementing that test plan, messing with Roast, command prompts, Java errors and other awful things. “Roast is a framework designed to support automated testing of Java APIs. Roast scripts are typically highly automated, with programmatic input generation and output checking.” It’s a good idea, but its syntax leaves a bit to be desired, although I think it’s a bit ironic that a Java testing system uses Perl. Now I just have to finish off my other assignment that’s due at my practical tomorrow, and draw up some entity relationship diagrams to show my INFS1200 group tomorrow.
Comment by DK – Wednesday 10 September 2003, 8:08 PM
  Good luck - I am sure you'll be OK (re: uni work) ;)
Comment by Ned – Thursday 11 September 2003, 1:15 AM
  Thanks. It looks like I might need it this semester. I’ve just discovered that one of my upcoming mid-semester exams is worth 30% of the course. That’s terrible.

11.09.2003Thursday 11 September

Train Accident
I lazed in bed too long, and had to run hard to catch the train. I got to the station, exhausted, right about the same time the train leaves – in fact I could see the train only a few hundred metres from the station as I was approaching. Funnily, it didn’t seem to be any nearer by the time I’d run down the ramp and onto the station. It wasn’t any nearer an hour later either. A fire truck arrived, closely followed by an ambulance, then another ambulance, then some railway engineers, then another ambulance, three police cars and some railway public relations folk who went around organising taxis for all those passengers who had urgent appointments. It seems either the train hit somebody, or somebody hit the train. I’m not sure if it was a suicide or someone playing chicken, but they managed to shut down the station quite effectively. It took over an hour for Queensland Rail to hustle up some charter buses, the first of which transported the people from the injured train who must have been sitting in there over an hour. Shortly after that, a bus came and took a few others and me to the next station where I caught a train into uni as usual, although we had to wait for a clear track. I don’t fully understand why hitting someone has to close the entire station for hours, but I guess police and official procedure must have their way.
I alternatively ran and walked fast, from the train to the ferry, then from the ferry to uni, hoping to catch Marcus as he came out of the lecture I’d missed as I’d arranged to meet him and pick up a hard drive. I was about ten minutes too late, and also the group meeting our “Intro to Information Systems” (which is a fancy way of saying “Database”) group was having, and they’ve told me they missed my voice of reason and needed someone to tell them they didn’t know what they’re doing – perhaps they’re as delusional as I am?
VB Project
I got my Visual Basic project for our “Information Technology Project” marked by a tutor today. Mine worked, and met all the criteria, so I got twenty out of twenty. They weren’t marked very hard, and for a 20% mark, six-week long project, I’d have expected there to be a more involved marking process. I also met Marcus and got his hard drive.
Clint and Raymond showed me how to get to the “Ville”, a small shopping centre near uni – where I bought a veggie burger from Subway. We then walked around half of uni on the way back, lost Raymond, and I came home, skipping shopping as it was too late, using the hard drive I had as a poor excuse – I didn’t want to squash it or get it wet.
Comment by DM – Saturday 13 September 2003, 12:37 AM
  I heard about that train accident/delay from someone in my German class on Thursday morning. She arrived just in time to say hi to everyone as we were leaving the class. Also, congrats on the results of the VB project.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 13 September 2003, 1:43 PM
  Thanks :-)
Comment by io – Monday 15 September 2003, 11:35 AM
  "I’m not sure if it was a suicide or someone playing chicken".. lol that's a terrible uncertainty Ned! Oh well, lets just hope that he was playing chicken and it was all just an unfortunate and coincidental sequence of events.

12.09.2003Friday 12 September

Ned slept in and missed his train – again. He needs to get to bed earlier, he said, noticing the ominous three on his clock. His train ride was made more interesting this morning, by playing “stares” with a good-looking girl who sat opposite him, something he’s not done since primary school and which seems sillily childish, but somehow funny. You know the game – see how long you can stare into someone’s eyes without looking away.
After arriving at uni, Ned went looking for Marcus but couldn’t find him, so went and did his written assessment for his “Information Technology Project”, writing a short, three-hundred-word report and drawing a small diagram. He’s hoping to get good marks in this, as he’s uncomfortably confident he’ll be getting abysmal results for his oral presentation. He finished his quite some time before anyone else, so he’s hoping that’s good and not bad. He then made his way down to the labs where he met Marcus looking for him, and returned his hard drive. After this, he found an INFS1200 tutor and tried to work out a problem his group had when trying to design an entity relationship diagram last night, but the tutor didn’t seem entirely confident himself, so he emailed his lecturer and arranged to meet her after his COMP2500 tutorial – which, as he didn’t need to present, went well. The lecturer, Shazia Sadiq, was quite helpful, explaining where he and his group had mistakenly interpreted the universe of discourse. She probably thinks he’s an idiot now, as the mistake was a simple grammatical one, incorrectly reading something in the first few lines of the assignment – however, the other three members in his group also made the same mistake so it’s probable many other people have as well. He’s not sure how many other people would have tried using disjoint inheritance, ternary relations, and/or constraints, looped relationships, object relational modelling, and actually skimmed the entire two chapters relating to entity relationship diagrams in his text, so that may have impressed her – or perhaps shown her that he really doesn’t know what he’s doing. One good thing about this group assignment – it’s forcing Ned to do something, rather than waiting until the last moment and panicking as he’s usually done in the past. On that note, one bad thing about this group assignment is that it’s forcing Ned to do something, whereas in the past he could have lazed about staring idly into space.
Something Ned forgot to mention – it has been rather hot both today and yesterday, seeming that winter has gone and summer has arrived.
Ned did his shopping today. It’s funny how he seems to run out of everything at once. He’d run out of nearly all his pastas, most of his herbs and spices and all his fruit and veggies except celery and mandarins. He hasn’t had milk for a week, his bread has gone stale, his parmesan cheese is struggling to become blue-vein cheese, his toothpaste needs medical implements to coax it from its tube, and his shaving cream isn’t much better – not to mention he’s totally out of cordial, cream, chocolate, biscuits, lollies, and running perilously low on ice cream.
Ned bought some “Cedel family anti-dandruff medicated foam” this evening, which he hopes is a posh way of saying “anti dandruff shampoo”, as he’s noticed he’s starting to get dandruff and it’s not going away, no matter what he does. He wonders if it’s to do with the water down here or his diet, but he has an inkling in the back of his mind that he’s read somewhere that dandruff is actually caused by a fungus or something weird like that. He should have a look online tomorrow and find out. Hopefully this will get rid of his dandruff without ruining his hair, and hopefully it’ll be permanent and it won’t come back. He’s hoping it’s not something permanent to do with the water or climate or some other unknown thing, as his sister reckons she gets dandruff if she uses her local water.
Comment by DK – Sunday 14 September 2003, 9:52 AM
  Good luck with playing stares ;-) and please look after and feed yourself :-)

13.09.2003Saturday 13 September

Group Work
Group work sucks for merit based marking. How exactly can you expect to mark someone on his or her merit when someone else did the work? I spent a bit of time messing around with “our” ER diagram, eventually giving up. Ironically, the members of my group did eventually come online, one to tell me he’s going out, the other apparently not available until very late tonight, and the third to tell me how he’s pissed at the other two for not being here, so I decided to go out too. I didn’t feel mean enough to point out that he’d only turned up after I’d already spent hours working on “our” ER diagram.
Joe, Dave and Tonya had a barbecue, which I missed, as I wanted to see a movie.
I entrained to Indooroopilly, arriving at half past eight, just in time to see “Pirates of the Caribbean – the Curse of the Black Pearl”, but it was sold out so I went and ate some fried rice and saw the nine thirty screening instead. This was a bit risky as it finished only ten minutes before the last train, and the station is probably five minutes away. The movie was pretty average, as can be expected from a pirate movie, and it had a pathetic ending, as most movies do, although I enjoyed watching it, as I always do, and it was shown on the biggest screen seeing as it has just come out. They’re starting to advertise the third Matrix movie now too – it seems somewhat ironic after the failure of the last that they’re showing trailers that embody all the things that are wrong with the second movie.
The living dead
After watching the living dead at the cinema, it was interesting to run down to the train, catch it into Roma Street, and find the place swarming with more real live living dead. I’m glad I didn’t watch “28 Days”, as I didn’t have a machine gun handy – and I think it’s illegal to shoot them as I imagine they’re legally still considered human. Apparently, there was some Marilyn Manson concert somewhere, which would have been a good opportunity to eradicate them all, but, rather obviously, no one took the initiative so the living dead were going back to wherever it is that they normally avoid the light. When I hopped off my train and walked home in the dark, some time after one o’clock, it was comforting to know that somewhere behind me I had several guys wearing chains, spiked dog collars, painted white faces with blood red effects, and full leather bondage gear – and at least one girl in nothing more than underwear and fishnet, complete with vampire teeth.

14.09.2003Sunday 14 September

I had a quiet and uneventful day. Joe had some friends over in the evening and we all had “Chinese”.

15.09.2003Monday 15 September

Our INFS1200 group had a meeting today, where we sorted out a few things, went and talked to Shazia again to clarify a few points, and settled on a final ER diagram. I’ll draw it up as soon as I get home. Nick is going to do the mapping and normalisation.
I’ve drawn up the ER diagram, now into its fifth revision, and sent it to Nick.
It seems Microsoft have implemented their new security measures on their Messenger network, locking out older versions of the messenger client. Mum can’t connect, and neither can Ella.
Nick has done the mapping but given up on the normalisation. It’s too hard, too late, I’ve confused them all with my minima and maxima notation, and he still has to do his peer reviews. Speaking of peer reviews, I’d better go do mine.
I’ve finished my peer reviews and sent them along with what we’ve done of our assignment to uni so Tim and I can finish it off tomorrow. Now I’d better get to bed or I won’t wake up in time to get to uni tomorrow.

16.09.2003Tuesday 16 September

I slept in and had to catch the later train, which means I have to run to uni to get there in time. I even made a special effort of running harder so I wouldn’t be late and let my group down – how naïve.
Group Assignment
Our group assignment is due at five o’clock this evening. I have a full day with no spare time and feel that I’ve already done over half this assignment, so I planned last night to meet Nick at this morning’s lecture, and would hope that Tim turned up, so I could get him to finish off the assignment as he’s not done as much as Nick and I. I figured, if Tim didn’t show up, Nick could phone him, and if Nick didn’t turn up, I could phone him, although Nick had assured me he’d be at this morning’s lecture. In fact, I actually made a point of asking him if I could get Tim’s phone number just in case, for some reason, he didn’t turn up to the lecture. Of course, when I got there, not only did Tim not turn up, neither did Nick, and I didn’t manage to catch up with Matt either. This left me with no way to contact them, apart from their student email, which they don’t seem to check very often. I wasn’t overly impressed. This left me with only two options – I could attempt to complete the assignment on my own or try to get some sort of recognition of my individual work. I decided the best course of action was to try both options, so I emailed a complaint to Shazia, which she noted. I then managed to find Tim on IRC (where he was looking for me) and get him to come in and we went through Nick’s attempt at normalisation, which seemed to be mostly correct although neither of us had the time, skill, or inclination to go through it from scratch. We added a few things, fixed a few other things, rewrote the original mapping based on Nick’s, and then left Tim drawing arrows using Word drawing tools while I went to my lecture – poor guy. I met up with Nick, Matt and Tim in my tutorial and did the final changes to our assignment while they did their tutorial. I then walked back to the GPS labs, as Visio isn’t installed in our tutorial lab, and tried to submit our assignment. Even this didn’t go well. I got the unusual but sadly common problem where things just go very weird. Text stops displaying, dialogs are blank and strangely sized, text boxes and pull down menus don’t work... making it remarkably hard to do anything, and meaning I don’t have any proof of submission. However, I also emailed my submission to Sham and Shazia, as Shazia suggested, just to be on the safe side. I do disagree with my being mark being based on someone else’s work – it seems so wrong.
I met a man at the railway station, who must have driven to the station, caught a train somewhere, imbibed, and returned somewhat the worse for the experience. He had wisely chosen not to drive – but this left him stuck at the station with his car, so I drove him home. Unfortunately, he doesn’t live where I do, so I had to walk, with my pack digging into my back, a lot longer than I normally would and I’m so tired by the time I get off the train. Somehow, dozing on the train on the way home makes me so tired, and I’m always zombie like getting from the station to here, although I usually perk up after I’ve relaxed for a bit.
Shazia, our INFS1200 lecturer, sent the entire course an email, listing all the course members in the TO field. Someone replied to everyone with “I just had to do it”, which seemed a little silly, so I replied with “If I send you all our assignment, does that invalidate all your assignments under the collusion rules? ;–)”, which seems even sillier – typical of me. If it had stopped there, I don’t think anyone would have minded, but unfortunately, a pile of other people decided they’d begin using this email like a mailing list, and a few sour-lipped geeks were ridiculously upset about it and complained. I got a misconduct warning, followed, somewhat confusingly, by a pleasant email thanking me for contributing to the newsgroup and, in reply to my apology, hoping others would follow my thoughts regarding email privacy (which contrasts nicely against the rabid Linux users and their panophobic attitudes in the #BITS channel) – so I don’t think I’m expelled yet. Speaking of the #BITS channel, they banned me for a week, which is slightly annoying, as I’ve been using that channel to meet my assignment group. It’s also slightly unfair considering my little reply-all escapade isn’t related to BITS, #BITS, or IRC.
Comment by DK – Wednesday 17 September 2003, 6:56 AM
  Good on you to put yourself out to help a stranger! Hope you get good marks for your assignment :)

17.09.2003Wednesday 17 September

Today is usually my day off, but I needed to go to Centrelink, so I had to head in to the city. My train was just leaving the station as I got there, so I had to wait half an hour for the next one. Centrelink says they’ve sorted out everything, and I should be back payed my rent assistance, and I’ve been paid my fare allowance, so hopefully that is all going well.
I went and saw “Legally Blonde 2”. What a crappy movie. It’s only redeeming quality is that it’s funny. The only problem with that is that it’s not funny. I don’t think I even smiled, let along chuckled. It is a bad, pathetic, not funny movie, which should probably be offensive to blonde women, as it portrays them as incredibly stupid. Anyway, I was told it was worth watching because it was funny, so I’ve seen it and know better now.
I received Shan and Kylie’s wedding invitation today.

18.09.2003Thursday 18 September

I met Nick to figure out what’s wrong with our database, and why it won’t work. I’m not entirely sure what the problem was, but the best way to describe it would be “Microsoft Access Sucks”. We were having strange referential integrity problems, with things looping and needing simultaneous population to work and many other hard to understand and probably inexplicable things that only happen in Microsoft programs. Anyway, we spent an hour looking at it, talking about it, and rebuilding it from scratch, and then Nick had to go to something, so I spent another hour or more fixing it. I’m not quite sure how, but it works now so I’m not going to find out why.
Microsoft Access, another term for mental agony. I shall not mention it again. I have made my form for updating the database, but not my report. I will have to do that tomorrow. I even had a BSOD – something I don’t usually get since upgrading from Windows 98.

19.09.2003Friday 19 September

I slept in longer than I had planned, and got to uni later than I’d planned, but then I stayed up last night later than I’d planned and completed less of my assignment than I’d planned. I spent all my spare time trying to make reports in that horrible program that I’m not mentioning again, taking a break for my COMP2500 Java tutorial, and didn’t get my report and form for my INFS1200 assignment completed until after half past two. I’m not happy with them either, but at least I think they work, and they’re submitted now.
After my marathon assignment attempt, I needed sustenance having skipped both breakfast and lunch (although I will admit to having bought a doughnut). Clint and I took his laptop for a walk the long way to Subway, where we both bought “feet-long”, for want of a better plural – essentially a foot-long hamburger (or veggie burger in my case). We then dropped in on Raymond, being the first time I’ve been to King’s College, and I’m glad to say I survived – both psychologically and physically. In fact, Raymond’s room is quite good, not too small, and he has a nice view of the river out his window. All this gallivanting around made me late home though, and it was just getting dark when I got home. Dave is still here, I think he’s staying a few days and he’s fed the animals, which is nice.
On the train home were three men from PNG. They played a variety of simple word games, and laughed so hard they had to get up and walk around. I couldn’t help laughing along with them – some of the stories and word associations they came up with were hilarious. It’s quite nice to see people having fun in such a simple, clean, easy way.
Back before the problems with my lung, I used to think things would only happen to other people. If I felt that something bad was wrong with me, I’d feel safe in the knowledge that something bad wouldn’t happen to me, because it was rare, and I was young and healthy. Then, of course, something bad did happen, which was rather hard to ignore, and forced a rethink. Ever since then, every time my lung felt a little strange, I’d worry that it had collapsed again. The fact that it actually did, on several occasions, did nothing to help my confidence. Now, though, a few bad things have happened and I’m rapidly losing my health confidence. I’m no longer always sure where to draw the line between worrying and ignoring possible symptoms. My infected finger was a good recent example. When it was just a blister, I didn’t worry. When it turned into a nasty infection, I began to worry a bit, but figured it would just fix itself. Each day, as it slowly spread around my fingertip, I worried but hoped it would just get better – I mean, I knew there were nasty infections out there that could spread and I’d end up with my entire arm amputated, but that sort of thing just wouldn’t happen to me... Then, when it became evident that it was not going to get better by itself, I went to the doctor and got it fixed – which I should have done in the first place.
I’m worried my heart has problems. A few nights ago, when I went to bed, I became aware that my heart seemed to be doing a funny palpitation sort of thing. At least, it felt like my heart. It is quite hard to describe. Strangely enough, the first thing that came to mind was that a valve in my heart was remaining open during one pump cycle when it shouldn’t be. I know very little about hearts and don’t know why I’d think that, but that’s what I did think – I guess that’s what it felt like to me. My heart would sort of stop, during which time my entire body would be effected, then it would go again. That’s what it felt like to me, I really don’t know if it even was my heart.
Having had some nasty anxiety attacks while in hospital, I think I know fairly well what a heart attack feels like, so I wasn’t worried I’d die or anything too glamorous like that, but thought it warranted further investigation. I did the obvious thing, and monitored my pulse. It also seemed to skip a beat when my heart palpitates. It’s a little hard to be certain, because when my heart does its palpitation it sort of effects the rest of my body – everything pauses and waits for it to begin again, making it hard to know if my pulse has indeed stopped, or if my brain has just stopped registering the pulse while it’s in its little panic mode. The immediate consequence was a bad night’s sleep. I got hot and sweaty trying to figure out if my heart was indeed stopping every so often, or if it just felt like it was, and then I got anxious (which is likely to effect my heart even more) and didn’t have much fun at all. I’ve slept in and missed my train every morning since, as I just am not getting the sleep I need – although my current overload of assignments and impending exams are also to blame.
The immediate problem I have, assuming for a moment that I’m not about to die, is that I don’t know what to do. My heart has seemed to ache a little ever since, but I am almost certain that’s psychological, but there’s always that doubt – perhaps it really is aching. I have developed a healthy phobia for hospitals, and have an irrational fear that any surgery, no matter how minor, will do something very bad to me. I guess surgery isn’t exactly a very rare thing to be afraid of, but I can blame my lung experience for this. Something about going to hospital, having wondered all week if there was any improvement, only to find out it was worse, week after week, caused an unreasonable fear of hospitals, or more specifically, situations where I might get bad health news – such as going to see the doctor about a possible heart problem. I’d even go so far as to say that I’d rather my heart stopped, than to find out I’ve got a serious problem requiring extensive surgery – I just don’t think the pain, fear and worry are worth it again. The irony of all this I’m now scared that I’ll be unable to breathe and have an anxiety attack worrying about the fact that I might have an anxiety attack caused by worrying about my heart – even though I’ve never had any anxiety problems outside hospital. It also sucks not being able to relax or get to sleep easily. I think I need to stop thinking and writing about this – it’s making me worse. I guess it all goes to show what a powerful part the mind plays.
Oh, and one other thing while I’m whinging – I don’t have any food that I feel like eating. I feel like cream, ice cream, sugar, yummy things, and I only have healthy things. I don’t have any nibbles at all.
Comment by Me Again – Friday 19 September 2003, 11:31 PM
  If you can't sleep properly, try some valerian - natural herb sleeping tablet. And stop being paranoid.
Comment by Ned – Friday 19 September 2003, 11:33 PM
  Yarr! (It’s international speak like a pirate day, and as I can’t speak any Asian languages, this is the next best)
Comment by DK – Saturday 20 September 2003, 8:57 AM
  It is worth having your heart and lung seen to, ECG and lung function tests etc., as they can put your mind at ease one way or another. Opening up a body involves risks, likewise taking any medications that will alter your physiological state. Live a little, die young but happy, that's my motto. Hence I eat/drink/do whatever it takes my fancy! As the saying goes, life is too short ;-) And yes, Access sucks!

20.09.2003Saturday 20 September

I got sick of sitting in the hot behind my computer, feeling guilty because I wasn’t studying, so I decided to go see a movie. I nearly organised to go see it with some friends, but in the end they were all busy and I wasn’t really in the mood – I just wanted to be away from my computer and this stifling room. As is my norm, I left it too late to get the train but decided there was no way I was going to miss it – so I ran, fast. I can get to the station within two minutes if I run, although I may not be alive when I get there. I think it is time to slowly take up some exercise again now, and hope my lung is permanently fixed. At the moment, as I’m busy with uni, I might try to run to the train each day, and walk the long way to places. It’s not much, but it’s a start. I actually enjoy a good run every so often – I used to enjoy my sprints along the Home Rule Road, and being faster than everyone else wasn’t bad either.
I bought a milkshake from the Cold Rock shop near Indooroopilly station. They make good milkshakes. This, along with two chocolate bars, a Hungry Jack’s soft serve and a mega size frozen coke makes this probably the worst food day I’ve had since moving to Brisbane, as I don’t think I ate anything else all day.
Bad Boys Ⅱ
Bad Boys Ⅱ mustn’t have been out for all that long, as it was quite busy and still in the largest cinema – which is good because it also has the largest screen and best sound. I really quite enjoyed it, being in the mood for some American action escapism garbage – which is about all the movie is. I had great fun sitting in the front row by myself, with the screen fully filling my field of vision. It even seemed the sound was better than usual, but I think it’s more likely I was just in the right mood for it.
Hollywood Homicide
I didn’t really feel like going home after the first movie, so I watched Hollywood Homicide, which began not long after Bad Boys Ⅱ finished. It’s actually even worse, but it rounded of my movie night quite well, and I didn’t feel guilty for not studying while watching it. Funnily enough, I enjoyed watching these two movies much more than I’ve enjoyed many other vastly superior movies, simply because I was in the right mood for mindless crowd-pleasing action.
Late Train
In line with my newly established get fit routine, I jogged back to the station and caught the second last train home, which was unfortunately rather boring.

21.09.2003Sunday 21 September

I woke up after midday, which is a terrible waste of daytime. I did some study, and hope that I am ready for my exam tomorrow. Dave and Tonya left again today, and Silas says Tim and Michelle arrived at his place in Cairns around eleven o’clock this morning. Silas reckons he might have chicken pox, or perhaps, as he says “I was feeling much better during the day though, which leads my to speculate that maybe it is Anthrax, and today was the "Anthrax Honeymoon", of course for the moment this is pure fabrication. Else I will die tomorrow”, so I guess only time will tell.
They that have power to hurt and will do none, ¶ That do not do the thing they most do show, ¶ Who moving others are themselves as stone, ¶ Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow ¶

22.09.2003Monday 22 September – Intro to Information Systems Exam

I think at least one person doesn’t believe me when I say I have no spare daylight, so here’s a typical day. It’s probably worth noting that I don’t usually get to bed before midnight, and often closer to three o’clock – with at least one all-nighter so far this week. Actually, that was Saturday night so I guess last week – but it is close enough.
My alarm goes off.
I get up, brush my hair, get dressed, grab my bag, have a drink of water, fill my water bottle, run downstairs, put on my shoes, pet the dog, lock the garage, and jog down the road to the station eating an apple.
I arrive at the station and recover on a seat for a minute.
The train arrives. Unfortunately, it’s an express train and doesn’t stop where I need to get off.
The train arrives at Park Road, as do I. I walk up to Dutton Park and down to the Dutton Park Ferry. The ferry usually leaves just as I get there, making me wait ten minutes for to get across the river.
I arrive at the main refectory; buy an iced coffee and bucket of chips, which I smother in tomato sauce, take around to a bench and eat, and then head down to my first lecture.
I attend my “Intro to Information Systems” lecture, sitting near the front with my group members, now my ex-group members I suppose.
I have a two-hour practical that I’ve never been to. I go down to the labs and chat online, interspersed with study for my exam.
I attend my “Computer Organisation” lecture, sitting in the middle with Kieran and Marcus, so as not to appear to be actually concentrating. This lecture has a two hours assigned, but the second hour is rarely fully used.
I go up to the ice cream shop and buy a milkshake, bringing it back down to the lecture theatre and sitting outside with my INFS group, discussing important last minute examination tactics when good looking women aren’t distracting them.
I head in to my INFS1200 mid-semester exam, and attempt it. It didn’t seem too hard, but it’s a bit subjective, so I don’t really know how I’ve gone. I finished with plenty of time spare, and pretty well did it all twice or more, so I guess that’s a good sign. I’m not overly confident about my result though – a lot of it wasn’t much more than educated guesswork. Only time will tell. This exam is worth 30% of the course result, so I’m hoping I’ve done well, as I don’t think we’ve gone very well in our group assignment.
The clock in the exam was wrong, so I’m not exactly sure what time I left, but it was probably around twenty past three. Clint, Kieran and I walked down to the Ville where they buy alcoholic celebrations and we get some ice creams, then on to Kieran’s rooms, where we stayed for a while. Somewhere along the way, I somehow managed to hurt my ankle. I guess I strained it.
I head off towards the ferry and train station. The ferry usually leaves just as I get there, making me wait ten minutes. The guy in front of me dropped his change overboard before he could pay.
Having power-walked from the ferry, across the park, through the deadly traffic and down to the train station, the train arrives. I get on and doze. Most of the other people seem to be dozing as well. I always feel stupid dozing on the train – I think it’s something to do with security; somehow sleeping in public is, subconsciously, bad.
The train arrives at the other end and I wake up. I’ve never missed the station yet – let’s hope admitting that doesn’t jinx me. I walk briskly home, with a very sore ankle.
I arrive home, play with the woof for a few minutes, pet the cat, drop my bag in the middle of the floor, shower and begin to feel slightly human again.
I heat up some fried rice left over from the weekend, grate lots of cheese on top, and head towards my computer.
I sit down and relax, reading my mail and then going online and checking my email, the uni newsgroups and a few other things, as well as going on chat.
I take my washing downstairs, feed the animals, load the washing machine, come back up to get my sheets, throw them in as well, take Joe’s washing off, set the machine washing and head back upstairs again.
Silas says, “I go watch Fat Pizza – More important than passing uni”.
I arrive back at my computer and talk to Silas about his exciting day going to work with the pox, and all the soon to be poxy people he met.
I talk to Becky while she gets ready for school.
Becky goes to school.
I unsuccessfully try to create some symlinks for my website.
I post a request for help on my web host’s forum, and reply to a few other people there.
I get annoyed with the uni news server, as it drops yet another post, and post a complaint.
Silas goes to bed. I begin reading the news and various other sites I read.
I enter into pointless discussion regarding headphones on the #BITS channel.
Joe gets home and the headphone discussion degenerates into a discussion about steam – and specifically whether it’s a gas, vapour, or the same as water vapour. Alex and Raymond unknowingly end the discussion with their traditional “ur mum”, “no u r” exchange, which is somehow considered normal. I go and fold the washed sheets and get some new ones for my bed.
I write all this. Fairly soon I will brush my teeth, get my stuff ready for uni tomorrow, and go to sleep.
Comment by DK – Thursday 25 September 2003, 6:24 AM
  YUK!!! Fried rice with cheese!!! ;)

23.09.2003Tuesday 23 September

I am not happy. Today began normally, with me missing my train and having to catch the later one, then needing to run to get to my lecture in time for it to be of any worth. In the evening Nick, Matt, Kieran, Marcus and I all went to our stupid “Computer Organisation” practical and essentially wasted time. We’re now supposed to be proficient in programming our AVR microcontroller in its AVR assembler language, as well as using C – which we’ve had no support in learning. The tutors don’t really help, we asked them a few times and each time their response was similar to “this is wrong” – decidedly unhelpful in a learning sense. If that wasn’t bad enough – when we do manage to complete something, we have no way of knowing if it’s right or not. I am greatly disillusioned with university – it is not a place of learning, light and truth. It is a place of abominations, UQUnion (same thing), and lacklustre courses designed “in participation with industry”. The scary thing is that UQ has a reputation of being less TAFE-like than many of the other universities around, yet it’s still much too “industry orientated” to actually be of much use. Still, they give out degrees, so I guess that’s all that matters.
I hopped out the station before mine and walked back via the shopping centre, where I bought some ice cream, cream, cheese and milk to satiate my craving for dairy. It was nearly dark by the time I got home, and strangely, the woof was scared of me when I came in. I checked around and everything seemed normal – perhaps it’s the first time she’s seen me in my black Microsoft tee shirt.
Mum can’t reply to emails. There’s absolutely no problem – she just can’t reply. It took me two hours to figure this. She insists that when she presses the “reply” button “nothing happens”. That is inexplicable, as I discovered when trying to explicate it. I became rather fed up with her, especially when I found out she was saying “nothing happens” when many things were happening.
Joe arrived home and got me offline so he could phone triple zero for the fire brigade. He’d come across a burning industrial estate on his way home. I have no sympathy for people who do things like that – if they’re underage then they’ll have less of a debt to repay to society, so there’s less loss when they’re incinerated. I bet a few public incinerations would drastically reduce the arson problem, and if it didn’t, then we’d be able to reduce some of the filth passing themselves off as people – it’s a win/win situation.
The #BITS channel that I frequent has some strange people. I’m not quite sure why, but unfortunately one of them has decided to pick on me, and the sheer illogicality and incessancy of his arguments just isn’t going down well with me tonight. I can usually ignore him – I just know he’s going to disagree with anything I say (regardless of how obvious it may be that I’m right, or if there’s even a possible alternative to what I’ve said), and try to prove his polemical nonsense with monumental amounts of unmitigated absurdity. Then, when everyone else has minimised the channel window and gone off to do something else, shaking their heads, he’ll state, “I rest my case”. It used to be funny but the novelty is fast wearing thin and I’m afraid I’m going to end up publicly executing him if he doesn’t stop – which I’d rather not do. There’s also another person who says rude and hurtful things to me, seemingly randomly – but at least he doesn’t take an hour to say them a few words per line.
I am uncomfortable, unhappy, upset, disappointed, stressed, sore and angry – not to mention awake at three o’clock in the morning.
Comment by DK – Thursday 25 September 2003, 6:27 AM
  <--- hugs Ned (hope you are feeling better!) ;)
Comment by Ned – Friday 26 September 2003, 2:08 AM
  Thanks. Unfortunately, though, I'm not feeling much better. This assignment is getting to me, as I don’t seem to be able to do it – along with it being hot and several other things.

24.09.2003 Wednesday 24 September

I slept in, which I needed after having to get up early the rest of the week, and had breakfast for the first time in a few days. I don’t normally have time before uni.
I phoned UQ’s Turbot Street centre, but it was too late and they told me to phone back tomorrow.
After a nice, but probably not very healthy, hot dog dinner, I went through my “Programming in the Large” assignment specifications and tried to understand them. I think I’ve got the basic idea of what I’ve got to try to do now, but I’m not sure how. This would have to be the hardest assignment yet – or at least that’s how it seems at the moment. I had to read a lot of posts in the newsgroup and take notes just to work out what I’m supposed to be doing. I guess, really, the specifications we were given should be clearer, but a lot of the confusion comes because I’m not coherent with the programming language, and the lecturer who wrote the assignment presumably is.
There was a loud bang. I knew instantly it was some loose tiles in the shower falling – I’d noticed that they were loose a few times before, and in fact had worried they’d dislodge while I was showering earlier. I went and looked, and sure enough, the four tiles had fallen, two of them shattering. There was a pile of little cockroaches behind them, which I thought might have eaten out the glue, but when I told Joe later he said that it was just age – apparently, they all need reglueing.
I’ve just finished watching “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. That, coupled with the stress of having an assignment which I’ve yet to make a serious attempt to start and don’t understand due on Friday – there’s no way I can go to sleep now.
I collapsed into bed, having made almost no progress on my assignment. In fact, I’d say absolutely none – although I’ve read heaps of web pages, my text book over and over and most of my lecture notes at least fifteen times now, so I might have slightly more idea of what I’m supposed to be doing than before. I’ve a sneaking suspicion though, that I have less of an idea, after reading about vectors, dynamic lists, and a ton of other things I don’t recognise. I’ve gone from understanding the principles behind linked lists and iterators but being unable to code them to being very confused about integrating my iterator into my linked list and still not knowing how to code either of them. Heads, tails, circular lists, queues, dynamic arrays, stacks, first-in-first-out arrays, vectors, multi-dimensional data types... but nowhere is there a clear example of a doubly linked list with its own iterator, and the segmented example in our text is really beginning to annoy me.

25.09.2003Thursday 25 September

I had the alarm set for nine, but unsurprisingly I didn’t wake up then – it was getting closer to midday by the time I looked at my abhorrent assignment again.
I phoned uni’s Oral Medicine department and made an appointment for 7 October. It was either then or this evening as they’re closed over the mid-semester break, and there’s no way I can get my assignment done and go into the city, so then it was.
I worked all day on my assignment, achieving absolutely nothing, going around in circles, becoming confused, getting annoyed by some idiots on #BITS and their unhelpful, arrogant attitudes, and generally not having a good time.
I drove Joe down to the shops. He’s taking today and tomorrow off work, as am I, I guess. I got quite annoyed as Mum was online, and every time I went to talk to her, something would happen and I’d have to go offline. First, the shops, then Joe wanted to phone someone, then someone else, and then he needed the phone to order “Chinese”... It’s enough to drive a man insane – so how’s someone like me supposed to handle it?
I gave up on my assignment and decided that, for 6% of this course’s result, it wasn’t worth the stress. Besides, I’d stayed up to six o’clock this morning trying to get this assignment done, and spent all afternoon on it – and it wasn’t much more than a pile of strange pseudo-code interspersed with lots of commented out code snippets.
Having given up, I now felt much better about my assignment, so I actually began writing code – having decided that there wasn’t a good example piece of code anywhere online in this time-space continuum, or probably, the next.
That’s it. I’m sick of my assignment again. This is ridiculous. It now compiles. It doesn’t work though, and some of the major parts aren’t even coded in – but the main body is there, the idea is there, and it’s compiling. If I’m incredibly fortunate, I may be able to get this horrific code to actually work tomorrow, and get it submitted on time. I can only hope.
It’s definitely time for bed. I am so tired and exhausted, hot and uncomfortable. My hands are sore from typing and holding the mouse. I’ve started to feel allergic to plastic – just touching it feels bad, and my eyes are sore. I’m getting good at complaining though.

26.09.2003Friday 26 September

I woke late, of course, and began my assignment immediately. No time for food or anything like that – today is assignment panic day. This is the first time I’ve been unable to complete something on time, and I don’t think it’s because I was slack or started late either – I’ve just had many problems and trouble getting my head around the concepts. I did not have a fun day – hot, frantically typing, compiling, testing, typing, reading, compiling, modifying, compiling, testing, checking the time...
I submitted my incomplete assignment. It doesn’t work. It partly implements some of the things it is supposed to, incorrectly implements others, and doesn’t implement many at all. In the end, I simply ran out of time, despite spending a huge amount of time on it. I think a lot of the problem was that I read too many different ways of doing linked lists and iterators. I would have been much better off coding everything else first, until I had a clear and concrete idea of what my linked list would need to do, rather than the other way around. I ended up with a linked list which didn’t match it’s iterator – although I think it’s better than the one in our text, it doesn’t help much if I can’t get it to do what it’s supposed to. Problem being, by the time I realised the list wasn’t doing what I needed, I didn’t have the time with my limited understanding to fix it or work out a way to get it to do what I needed.
Well, that’s that. Submission is closed. My submission may get me one or two marks if I’m lucky. Resubmission has a 20% per day penalty, but the weekend is considered one day, so if I resubmit before morning Monday, I could theoretically get 80% – which is going to be a lot more than I’ll get from my current bodged submission. I really don’t know if I can bring myself to do any more work on this. The stress probably isn’t worth the overall 6% this assignment is worth. I need to be a bit careful and balance things out – I have a feeling if I do too much more I’ll get sick or quit uni, I’m already not feeling too healthy. This heat hasn’t helped either.
Joe and I drove down to the newsagent. A very black storm came, and there was lots of rain and lightning. It’s the first storm since I’ve been here, but passed over without too much excitement – I wasn’t even hit by lightning this time.
Joe ordered pizza, so I got my usual – vegetarian. We watched a movie, which I’ve forgotten the name of, but it was good, and funny. I had planned to head in and see a movie at the cinema, but the storm put an end to that idea – it also made me unplug my computer, which stops it working and stops me from chatting.

27.09.2003Saturday 27 September – Mid-semester break

I had a quiet day, not doing anything at all. It’s the first day of my weeklong mid-semester break and I plan to do as little as possible, at least study related. I do need to get out in the sun though, I simply do not get any sun at all during uni – I’m always inside some thing at uni during sunlight hours.
I jogged down to the train station, caught a train (or two actually) into Indooroopilly and watched “Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life”. It was quite stupid, but fun to watch being the big action flick that it is. I was a bit disappointed, as it could easily have been a lot better – but I had fun so I guess that’s the main thing. It was also quite busy – the theatre was full.
I had a very bad night, not getting to bed until after 7 AM. I almost had an anxiety attack, had many heart problems, and generally stressed out. Looking back on it, I think it’s all a good indication that my heart problem is stress induced. I’ll try to relax as much as possible over the mid-semester break, and see if that helps. It’s a shame I have assignments due the day after the break ends – the scum. As one lecturer said, it’s a “lecture free period”, not a holiday – we’re still expected to study.

28.09.2003Sunday 28 September

I drove down to the Smith Road newsagent, cashed Joe’s winnings, and bought him some more scratchies.
I caught a train into the city, and ended up eating expensive pasta with an expensive Italian name, which must have translated to “bland pasta with bland mushrooms with a bland ultra-mild cheese”. However, it did do a good job of filling me, and got me out of the house.
What I didn’t do was my assignment. After last night, I decided I’d be foolish even to think about it.

29.09.2003Monday 29 September

I had a quiet morning sleeping in bed, followed by a quiet later morning online chatting to friends.
I entrained for Uni, where I took some pictures of the great court to make into a panorama later. I then had a pizza from the “Schonell Pizza Caffé”, which was quite a good pizza – although I’m a heathen who doesn’t particularly like mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini or artichoke; somewhat dampening my appreciation for what was definitely a fine pizza.
After my pizza, I watched Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot” at the Schonell “Cement Box” Theatre. I quite enjoyed it – making this one of the best old movies I’ve seen I think. I generally find them terribly aged and quaint, but this I quite enjoyed, and it’s quite humorous too. It must have been good for it’s time, or perhaps the few movies from that era that I’ve seen have been bad examples.
It was surprisingly late when the movie finished, much later than I’d expected, so I hurried to the CityCat terminal and caught a CityCat to Southbank, where I was blessed to find Cold Rock had been kept open late by customers – and I was able to get a caramel supershake before they closed. This gave me enough energy to get to the train station and on home without sleeping through my station.

30.09.2003Tuesday 30 September

Govinda’s Restaurant
I caught a train into Central Station and got to Govinda’s Restaurant shortly after one o’clock. The food wasn’t terrific, but it’s not bad either – very similar to what Mum would cook for me at home in fact, and I quite enjoyed it. It’s a shame they’re only open for lunch, making it all but impossible for me to get there any day except Friday and Sunday, when they’re open for dinner as well.
I caught a CityCat as far as it goes – down to Brett’s Wharf, and then back to Queensland University of Technology, where I looked around and had a look at the botanic gardens while I was there. QUT, or at least their Garden’s Point campus, is much smaller and urban than UQ’s St Lucia campus – although they say they have more students. They boast that they provide the largest number of bachelor degree graduates into full time employment in Australia each year – something to be proud of I guess, although why anyone would go to uni to get a job I don’t know. I’m glad I’m at UQ because the gardens are nicer and we have more ducks.
I caught the train to Fortitude Valley and had a look around there, and then entrained for home. It doesn’t sound like much, but that filled my evening very well.

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