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

01.10.2005Saturday 1 October – Philosophically Late & Revelling

I woke up before nine o’clock, for no apparent reason, which surprised me. I then spent a while doing the usual – messing around with my journal code, implementing a backup to Gmail feature for extra paranoid protection. Then, to satiate my rising guilt at spending my sunny holiday inside at my computer, which is pretty much what I do when I’m not on holiday, I went and philosophised on a rock. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, there were lots of green ants on the rock, directly resulting in causal sensations of pain and discomfort to parts of what I identify as my anatomy, in direct violation of my freewill. I supposed that the green ants did not exist, and that the pain was merely a causeless sensation in my body, quite distinct from me, but I still believed that I experienced pain, even though I had now supposed no cause for it existed. This deeply shook my belief in my philosophy text, to such an extent that I moved to another rock, entirely surrounded by water and on which no world-roving sailor green ant had yet set its grimy feet and sharp pincers. Then, to add insult to injury, when I got back to my computer, I found that the question I had to answer was on fatalism, yet the closest my readings had got to that was determinism – oh, the pain I endure for the betterment of humanity (and my grades, which, based on the way these philosophers are “proving” their arguments, I’m sure any good philosopher could prove were the same thing).
Dad, Mum and I drove out to the Home Rule Homestead for Shan’s surprise birthday party. The hard work I (along with others) had done yesterday paid off, and the place looked quite nice. Shan arrived an hour or so after us, and was quite shocked – he had thought that a dinner had been organised for him, and had even suspected that there could be a small surprise, such as Sarah being there or something similar, but wasn’t prepared for a large-scale party. People ate lots of food, drank many drinks, went skinny-dipping in the dam, roasted by the bonfire, sang, played guitar, drums and sitar, and generally had a party.
Comment by Reubot – Sunday 2 October 2005, 12:36 AM
  PHIL1000 is really rubbing off on you...
Comment by ned martin too – Friday 28 October 2005, 7:51 AM
  This is my first visit to your journal. My name is also NED MARTIN. Didnt think there were any others, but wow. nice
Comment by Ned – Friday 28 October 2005, 6:02 PM
  I guess there are a few others with the same name out there. Both the dot com and dot net versions of have been registered by people.

02.10.2005Sunday 2 October – Swimming, Dining & Writing

I didn’t feel as good as I normally should when I woke, unsurprisingly, but any thoughts I had of dying silently somewhere in the shade were shattered when Shan, Kylie, Jade, Ella and Vasco arrived shortly after I had got up, on their way to the Little Annan Waterhole. When we arrived, having stopped at the Lion’s Den for an iced coffee on the way, there were already a dozen or so girls swimming. Vasco promptly climbed up a rock and jumped into the water, nearly breaking his foot, while the rest of us floated around sedately or sunbathed on the beach. After a while, I decided that more excitement was required, and climbed down a waterfall, swimming at the bottom. Shan and Vasco joined me shortly after, and we spent the rest of our swim exhausting ourselves, being thrown around by the waterfall.
Dad, Mum and I had dinner at the Lion’s Den, surrounded by insane (and very noisy) football supporters watching the rugby league grand final. The pizza was, as usual, fantastic, although I felt terrible. I hadn’t felt the best before Shan’s party, because of my throat, and after it, I felt even worse – add a gruelling waterfall endeavour and I ached all over, particularly in my ears and head. I dropped by Shan’s after dinner at the Den, where we watched a bit of TV before deciding we were all quite worn out.
I’ve just written a four-thousand-word email in under two hours, including getting distracted regularly and surfing the web, chatting on MSN, and reading friend’s rants, and am now going to go collapse into bed. It would have taken me all night to write anything that long for uni – why can’t I write my uni assessment this easily?
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 4 October 2005, 12:10 PM
  Testing the new client-side comments validation script.

03.10.2005Monday 3 October – Frail & Delirious

Mum found a snake in the garden just outside the kitchen window just before, and threw water on it to make it go away. I even bothered to get up and have a look, but felt frail so I lay down again.
In retrospect, I think I might have been a bit delirious last night. At the time, it seemed normal, but now that I think about it, the hours I spent fighting the bed sheets and tossing and turning to get my ears and head aligned correctly (so that the mysterious passages inside my head that run from my teeth to my ears would unblock, letting the pressure inside my teeth out, as I had become convinced this was what was wrong with me) probably weren’t normal. Then, when I woke up, I was lying nearly sideways on the bed, and feeling frail. It’s now afternoon and I’m still feeling frail. I’ve been lying on a couch for half the day. In a strange way, it’s almost nice being so lazy, but I do hope I get better quickly as it’s probably not nice when I’m in town and trying to do things.
Damian, Kylie, Jade, Vasco and I drove into town in Damian’s car, where we met Ella in her car, and Shan in his. This caused great confusion every time we went to go anywhere, meeting different people at different places in different cars, but they then running into other people halfway there and being told that other people were somewhere else, so going there instead, only to find the other people had gone to the first place after meeting someone else.
We had planned to have dinner with Sarah, but one of her dogs, which had been missing for some time now, had just been found, so we drove halfway out the Archer’s Point road and walked up and down in the dust and dark, trying to locate the wafting smell of a dead animal, and calling for the other missing dog. It wasn’t quite the same as a candlelit dinner, but Jade and I did get to have a bit of a chat with Sarah on the way there. Riding along such a dusty road in the back of a Ute, peering through clouds of dust into the gloom, isn’t very good for my eyes.
Mum just came, hugged me, and cried, and I wasn’t sure what to do, so I phoned Bronwen and told her I loved her.

04.10.2005Tuesday 4 October – Back to Cairns

I spent a semi-relaxing morning packing my entire travelling wardrobe of three changes of clothes ready to head back to Cairns this afternoon. I then ate a nice salad lunch with Dad and Mum, discussing relevant things such as how easy it would be to bypass security at airports, and hence what a waste of time the entire domestic airport screening process is, and wondering why, if they’re so worried about terrorism, they don’t screen passengers on city trains. I’m now waiting for Jade and Mandi, who was originally going to leave around three o’clock, but that was pushed back to four o’clock, and Jade’s now saying they’ll probably leave around half past four or five o’clock because they’re doing some last minute work on the car.
Mandi and Jade arrived shortly before five o’clock, and we set out – pausing briefly to find out what the thing hanging out the bottom of the car was. The drive to Cairns was uneventful and unexciting, stopping to connect the fan after the engine began to get a bit too warm driving slowly through the dusty sections before Lakeland, stopping again for Pizza in Mareeba, and finally arriving at Silas’s, where I spent the night.
Comment by Maz – Wednesday 5 October 2005, 6:19 PM
  Hehe.. Last minute work on the car before a drive doesn't sound so.. reliable.
  Anyway. Uni work!
  1. PSYC1020 has a lab report due next tuesday. It has to be 500 words. I have the information you need to complete that on my laptop.
  2. PHIL1000 tutorial - I wrote down your name and he didn't seem to notice so you might still get the mark. LOL.
  3. PHIL1020 needs to be done sometime. I haven't done the textbook either so it looks like we're both going to be needing it at the same time. We might need to sit somewhere and work on that.
  You should also change your text at the top of this, "not longer than 185 characters MORE."
Comment by Ned – Thursday 6 October 2005, 9:01 AM
  Sigh, back to the grind...
  Thanks though, I will have to get stuck into uni work.

05.10.2005Wednesday 5 October – Serenity, Cairns & Brisbane

I caught the bus into Cairns, sat on the Esplanade reading for a few hours, saw “Serenity” at Cairns Central Cinemas, and got a lift back to Silas’s when he knocked off work. This filled in the day nicely, without me getting too hot – not an easy thing to do in Cairns. “Serenity” wasn’t the worst Hollywood movie I’ve seen, although nothing to rant about, and the Esplanade isn’t the worst place to read my philosophy text.
My flight out was delayed forty minutes while Jetstar changed their broken plane for another broken one, and then fixed the second one. The flight was full, even though several rows of seats were closed off to increase efficiency, and they boarded from both ends of the plane, so I sat in the middle in the over-wing exit row, which has a lot more legroom, and slept.
I arrived back in Brisbane, three quarters of an hour later than I should have, met the Beautiful Bronwen, and wished it wasn’t so hot.

06.10.2005Thursday 6 October – Uni

I just managed to get to uni in time to tutor. Ironically, my relaxing holiday up north has made me more stressed. I didn’t feel as though I was stressed prior, but as soon as I got to my parent’s, I felt so much more relaxed and realised that things in Brisbane had actually been pretty hectic. Now that I’m back, I’m realising that not only are things hectic, but they’re getting worse – things are due, things have to be done, time is running out...
I worked, having rushed down to the Ville for dinner and overheated. I figured the labs are actually not the worst place to be when it’s this hot, so I spent an hour after work beginning the PDA help system, so I hopefully won’t have to embed myself in the labs over the weekend.

07.10.2005Friday 7 October – Hot & Bad

I slept in, leaving Joe’s around midday. It is so very hot, but at least the train is air-conditioned. The bus went the wrong way, having to turn around in a side street and backtrack – not the most exciting thing that’s happened, but a little different to the usual trip to uni.
  Now that I’m at uni, things aren’t going well. I need a PDA to develop and test the interfaces for our CSSE3004 project, due Friday, but they’ve all been borrowed out. The code, which hasn’t changed since last time it worked, wouldn’t work – or more precisely, the stupid environment in which it (sometimes) runs randomly decided not to cooperate, which took ages to fix, and now I’m writing this instead of working.
I bought pasta and yoghurt from the Ville, and headed to work. The weather is still far too hot for working outside, and air-conditioning around UQ isn’t very logical – half the rooms seem to be heated, rather than cooled.
I was planning on going home to Joe’s, but after Bronwen gave me a call and asked if I could come over so we could talk, I ended up at her place for the night.

08.10.2005Saturday 8 October – Just as Hot & Even Worse

I spent all morning at uni, working on the PDA component of my CSSE3004 project. It’s a pain with the great dearth of JavaScript support on the thing.
I bought dinner at the Ville, having spent seven hours solid on the PDA interface and help system. I guess it’s a good thing I happened to head into uni, rather than the beach as originally planned, as I’d never have had enough time to do this, as well as my rapidly looming PSYC1020 assignment, on Monday.
I caught the train most of the way to Joe’s, travelling the last few stations via an articulated bus due to track work. Several rail staff were kept quite hot carrying prams and strollers up and down stairs and on and off buses. I’m not sure what would happen if someone with a wheelchair travelled on the train, as the station was entirely wheelchair unfriendly. Once back at Joe’s, I ate a muesli bar and some custard and cream for dinner, fixed up the journal’s comment’s validation, and now that it’s one o’clock, I’m planning to get to bed and get some sleep so I can get up for breakfast – something I haven’t done in years.

09.10.2005Sunday 9 October – Surfer’s Horrors & a few Grammatical Ones

Today, because I can’t sleep until my custard has gone down a little more, I am going to use, not just my usual commas, but colons, semi-colons, and—in a first for me—actual em dashes as they were originally intended to be used: Waking early enough to eat breakfast was, in theory, a good idea; theory, however, is theoretical—getting out of a comfortable bed in the morning is not. To say that another way, I decided to sleep in, although not for long as I had a train to Surfer’s Paradise to catch. It’s strange how track work, and the delays, detours and bother it causes, actually make people friendlier; on a normal train journey, no one talks, no one makes eye contact, no one really does anything, but the change from the norm gets people chatting. Speaking of strange, a few of the people on the train to Nerang were a bit that way: I sat behind a group on their way to Dream World, who had found a bug, named it “Bob”, and were teaching it the meaning of life; I chatted to two young girls, who could barely stop laughing, and who were avoiding a strange man calling them “nuts”, and who they believed was trying to touch them; I was told that Nerang was the “freak’s station”, and then laughed at by two young girls when I got off, who I later met at the beach, they having forgot to get off at Nerang...
Surfer’s Paradise was busy and stifling hot; walking along the beach, waiting for people who were nearly two hours late, all but killed me. A large orange juice revived me, and—the people having finally arrived—we set off for another walk along the beach, finishing up at a less packed beach with great waves. The water looked lovely, the waves looked pleasant, and it all looked quite inviting; expecting a pleasant swim, I dived in, only to find the water was deathly cold, the waves deadly, and the water infested with lice—but perfect for bodysurfing, which is what I happily did, until I began to get stung, and very, very cold. When I began to shake uncontrollably, I decided I had better get out and get warm. I sat in the sun for nearly an hour before I stopped shaking, feeling as though I was going to throw up, and coming out in a rash all over; it was rather strange, and not a little disturbing; fortunately, after an hour or so, I was mostly back to normal and again able to control my muscles.
I sat on the sand at Surfer’s Paradise talking until the darkness rose over the horizon, changing the waves into frothy trains, careering crazily down the beach before disappearing into a spray of noxious, shiver inducing, lice ridden, jellyfish laden “water”—with an eerie green tinge, colouring the sand. The world’s tallest residential building—now nearly complete it would seem—has a large light that beams out over the ocean, and a flashing red tower on top, making a good marker to head for when one sits on a beach until it’s dark. The—to change the topic without changing the paragraph, and give me one last excuse to use two em dashes—train journey back home again was less eventful (or so I’m telling you, my fine (and not so fine (to put it rather nicely (or so I think (assuming (getting philosophical for a moment) that thinking (as we think of it) is, indeed, thought))) readers (by which time you’ve (I assume) forgotten where they (the readers) came from (or have you?))) than the one down. That, I am afraid, is the end.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  I(that is me) think (if you dont mind my saying so) )and of coarse it is just two dam bad if yew due)):, that it is (saying sew)>>< ! (and with grate empharsis)) that I (and might I suggest, menny uthers) are grate full that that is< you am afraid? the end. BSecause we might (be, if one could dare sujjesht) that it mite be quiet naice that that is indeed (you am afraid) the end. Sigh.

10.10.2005Monday 10 October – Corey

I, very conscientiously, got up early and was at uni shortly after nine o’clock, and actually did some work on my CSSE3004 project before tutoring at ten. I then went on to spend the rest of the day, apart from a short trip to the Ville with Maz for lunch, sorting out crazy problems with our PocketPC interface, order printing, and various other usually reasonably simple things made horrible by the extremely over-complex object oriented nature of the code I’m working with.
I spent all day working on CSSE3004 PocketPC software, and then headed into Indooroopilly for a quick dinner and to see “In Her Shoes” with Bronwen. It hadn’t looked like the sort of movie I’d normally bother to see, but in the end I quite enjoyed it and had a pleasant night.

11.10.2005Tuesday 11 October – Transporter 2

Uni all day, working on CSSE3004 again, followed by “Transporter 2”—a mindless but enjoyable action thriller, ideally suited for overworked, brain-dead uni students—with Kieran and Maz at Indooroopilly.

12.10.2005Wednesday 12 October – Uni & the Storm that Wasn’t

I got up horribly early and managed to get to uni in time to get a PocketPC, only to find that the Oracle server had died, making it impossible to test the PocketPC software. Fortunately, a quick whinge to the helpdesk staff got Oracle back online while I still had the PocketPC, and I was able to test what is, hopefully, the final incarnation of this CSSE3004 project’s software. I then tutored, attended my PSYC1020 tutorial, my PHIL1020 tutorial, the first hour of my PSYC1020 lecture (skipping the second hour to head back to GPS to watch the non-existent hail and strong storm we had been warned about), caught a bus to the Ville and bought Maz and myself dinner, and then headed in to work.
I had planned to go home directly after work, as per usual, but various emails from my group indicated that at least a few of them were far from happy with the help manual I had written, and the pictures Johnson had added. Now I am down in the labs with Maz (who is having many problems with his group’s system), looking at getting home not much earlier than midnight, modifying the help manual.
I’ve just got home, showered, and am eating breakfast as fast as I can because there’s no way I’ll have time in the morning. It would be nice to be able to get more than five hours sleep for a change.

13.10.2005Thursday 13 October – Tired at Uni

I got up horribly early, after too few hours sleep, getting to uni by half past eight, tutoring at nine, meeting all my CSSE3004 group bar Robert at midday, and meeting Robert two hours later—apparently it’s his birthday. In theory, we would have gone through our well-tested software, developing a flawless planned presentation. In reality, stuff broke, no one planned anything, and I’m not happy. The PocketPC component that Mark and I worked on is, as far as I can tell, well tested and ready for the demonstration, and my demonstration agenda is written, planned out, and practiced; however, the desktop component and its demonstration seems to be anything but prepared. It’s frustrating, as my marks depend on everyone else, yet there’s nothing I can do to change what anyone else is doing.
I worked, not getting home until after eleven—I have to get up early (again) tomorrow, so this isn’t a good thing.

14.10.2005Friday 14 October – Final Demonstration

I arrive at uni before eight o’clock, pretending not to be mostly asleep, and head down to the labs where I find Q Group preparing for our nine o’clock demonstration, extremely stressed. Robert, our presenter, hasn’t turned up yet. Mark has run out of print quota, and has to submit things ten minutes ago. I give Mark some money for print quota. The printer has run out of paper. Matthew finds paper. I phone Robert. Robert arrives. Jervina discovers that the desktop application won’t run without Eclipse, and we’re not allowed to run the system from a development environment. Robert and Jervina manage to write a batch file that runs the application without Eclipse. We all run for the lift.
Q Group attends their CSSE3004 final demonstration, where their demonstration runs flawlessly, right up until they run out of time. In fact, Ken and Darren were interested enough in the system to allow the group to run ten minutes overtime, only stopping them when there is a logical break in the demonstration. This is fortunate, as had the group been stopped precisely on twenty minutes, they would have been unable to demonstrate a large proportion of their programme’s required functionality. As it was, they were unable to demonstrate their XML database backup and restore functionality, and, much to Johnson’s distress, the fancy scrolling Winamp-style “about” screen. Ironically, the XML backup and restore component along with the “about” screen had both been Johnson’s responsibilities, meaning that very little he himself built was actually demonstrated. Overall Q Group feels that their demonstration was a success, being told at the end that it was “nearly commercial quality”, well thought out, simple but comprehensive, and that it was obvious the group had invested considerable effort into the project, which had paid off in the form of a well-presented, successfully “sold” product, containing more than the required functionality; but still simple, logical, easy to use, and meeting the business requirements. The only criticism, coming from Darren, was that the colouration used in various reports was not what it probably should have been—an ironic statement as the same colouration had elicited praise from Darren during the individual component demonstrations.
Half of Q Group went their separate ways; to work on other assignments or whatever it is they do, while the Jervina, Mark, Ned, and later Johnson, had lunch at Grinder’s, discussing the project and life in general. In some ways, this is a sad moment—essentially the end of Ned’s IT degree—as the only significant assessment he has remaining is in philosophy or psychology.
Ned cleverly bought himself an airplane ticket from Sydney to Brisbane, on the correct day, at the correct time, with the correct flight number, and precisely one month too early. This cost him $89, and would have cost him $75 had he not decided to check another fare halfway through the ordering process, and then accidentally choose the wrong month when renewing the order. He then discovered that it would cost quite a lot more to change, so he rushed to a phone, pleaded plaintively to a girl at the airline, and managed to get the changing fee waived. Unfortunately, even with the fee waived, his $75 flight cost him $104. This is why he should never do anything when running on no sleep and directly after frying his brain with stressful assessment.
  After his exciting trip to the payphone to discuss airline economics, he sat in the hallway at GPS and chatted to Mark and Kieran and whoever else walked past for the rest of the evening, until he had to go to the Ville for dinner (getting a lift with Kieran) and then on to work.
Comment by io – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  Well done with your achievements in your IT degree and may you reap rewards from your lack of sleep next year. I however hopefully am about to start a new degree geared around music or ARTS aka bludging.
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  Thanks ;-)
Comment by Clint – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  Following your three years of studious study and achievement, I hope THE PLANE CRASHES AND YOU DIE!
  You have to admit, it'd be funny for the rest of us. Sort of.
Comment by Jojo – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  so your saying because they liked your demo and product theat you were allowed to go for 30 mintues of presenting.... and were not capped exactly on 20 minutes....!!!???
  this sounds interesting indeed!
  (as our group was capped right on 20minutes....)
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  I urge as many people as possible to complain about as many facets of this course as possible. I don’t think it was possible to demonstrate full functionality in twenty minutes without unrealistically reducing the spoken component—it wouldn’t be possible to both demonstrate and “sell” the product in twenty minutes, and given the length of, and importance attached to, this course, not being given enough time to demonstrate such a significant component is an insult.
  An “independent review” of the course is being conducted over the summer semester. Also, Ken is running the first year IT project (COMP1800) over the summer semester, and attempting to take over its running for subsequent semesters. He plans to introduce industry components into the course, claiming that this is better than the current academic manner of running such courses. I urge everyone to strongly oppose this.

15.10.2005Saturday 15 October – Birthday Dinner

I had a lovely, and very required, sleep-in before heading into the city and, after waiting for a very long time, to a birthday dinner.
I had to wait for over an hour at Bronwen’s, as everyone had gone to climb the Story Bridge. They have bought a new car, which arrived today. Bronwen’s Mum’s birthday dinner was quite nice, and rather expensive at $555 for sixteen people.

16.10.2005Sunday 16 October – Raining, Relaxing & the Existence of God

It’s been quite cool, overcast, and raining lightly most of the day, which is quite nice. Accordingly, I have spent most of the day inside, reading, relaxing, and talking. On the train back to Joe’s, I overheard two young girls who had lost their twelve-year-old friend, but couldn’t tell anyone because they weren’t supposed to have been wherever they were in the first place—bad mistakes begin that way. Oh, I guess I should mention, today I had a milkshake; I hadn’t had a Cold Rock super shake in living memory, and the bus went via South Bank... the rest is, as they say, history.
I’ve just finished writing my PHIL1000 journal entry for tomorrow. Recently I’ve had to answer, “What can we know about the existence of God just ‘from the armchair’” and “does the existence of natural evil (such as tsunamis and earthquakes) prove anything about the existence of God?” Combining and paraphrasing my two answers provides, I think, a simple answer to those who think there is no God (which, ironically, is itself a logical fallacy).
  I easily see that it is impossible to prove that God does not exist, and, upon a little reflection, that it is impossible to suppose that God does not exist. To do this I suppose that there is, perhaps even must be, an entity greater than any other, and that such an entity, if indeed one exists, is, by definition, God. Further, I suppose that, for any change to occur, for any creation to be created—in fact, for anything at all—there has to be some root cause, some creator, which itself has no root cause or creator, and that this root cause or creator is, by definition, God. From this, I infer that if anything at all exists, then God does indeed exist—although why or how I cannot conceive. Now, a subset of something obviously proves its superset’s existence, and everything is a subset of God; the existence of anything, including evil, proves the same as that which the existence of anything at all proves, namely, existence itself, and thereby, God—or, as God says, “I am that I am”.
  It would seem that I am that I am tired, or as Descartes may have thought after seeing clearly and distinctly that it was late and dark outside, “I am too sleepy to think”—which reminds me of one of my favourite absurd quotes, “’Oh dear,’ said God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.”
Comment by Clint – Tuesday 18 October 2005, 10:00 AM
  aaaa+++ would read journal again

17.10.2005Monday 17 October – Milkshakes

Today, I had two milkshakes—and some nachos; but first, I tutored, discussed summer work, honours, modelling, meta-modelling, model-driven architecture, and various other exciting sounding things that actually have nothing whatsoever to do with women; I wasted lots of time, banked my Adsense cheque, photocopied tutor evaluation forms, visited Maz at work, went shopping at Indooroopilly, and that about sums it up. I think I’ve been at uni too long when I can jump the queue at POD because the staff pick me out by name. I had planned to get home early and go to bed early, but it’s nearly midnight. I guess one out of two isn’t too bad.

18.10.2005Tuesday 18 October – Faces, faces, faces…

I fried my brain, for no reason. I have to undertake several psychology experiments as part of my psychology course, and I’ve surprisingly left them to the last minute, so today I attended two. The first, “A study on personality and job performance”, was rather boring—I clicked the centres of various length lines, answered whether A preceded B, or B followed A, or A didn’t follow B, and so on until my mind was empty, and then answered a questionnaire (roughly) about work, job satisfaction and personality. The second study, “Individual Differences in Visual Search”, was the one that fried my brain. I spent nearly an hour viewing faces—upside down faces, right way up faces, happy faces, sad faces, angry faces, normal faces, faces followed by nice or unpleasant words… After trying to pick the odd face out of a seemingly endless array of nine upside down faces, as fast as possible, for twenty minutes, an inverted face begins to look scarily like a normal face, and most other mental faculties shut down to save themselves. I then made the mistake of attending my CSSE3004 group meeting, only to find that my whole group had been looking through my site, and apparently been very “impressed” with my “naked” photos. I shall perhaps have to kill them.
I bought six doughnuts for 50¢ from Woolworth’s; this seemed like a great idea at the time, but I shall find out tomorrow that it was actually a very, very bad idea. I then had an extremely nice dinner for two, for the price of one, followed by a lovely night with Bronwen.

19.10.2005Wednesday 19 October – Blackout

Today’s tutorial was the first busy tutorial I’ve tutored this semester—IT students are a rather sorry lot when compared to Arts students, caring only enough to pass, starting anything only at the last possible moment. This was followed by my psychology tutorial, which was as it usually is, and then my philosophy tutorial, which wasn’t anything different either. Maz and I then went to our psychology lecture, sitting through two semi-interesting, semi-amusing hours, eating doughnuts that taste exactly like dough, solving mind games, learning about the endocrine system and various hormonal effects, and many other things I can’t remember anymore.
My philosophy course ended suitably; the power failed, plunging us into darkness and giving the lecturer the ideal finishing phrase—“now that you’re enlightened”, which he somewhat ruined by following with “we’ll all just have to grope our way out of here”. Maz and I made our way through the dark to level six of GPS to check the reach of the power outage, and then to Maz’s car, jumping an orange warning fence and running into another orange warning fence while wondering where the next orange fence would be. Apparently it’s harder to see in the dark.
  Maz drove me to Toowong station, through dark unlit streets and heavy traffic. It’s surprising how many people can pour out of UQ at night. So much for police—a young woman was directing traffic at Toowong intersection right up until my bus arrived—half an hour or so—surely a dangerous and risky thing to do in today’s fast-paced, anger-laced litigious society.
It is raining lightly. I know this because the washing machine is too slow, and I get home too late. I would be in bed, sleeping in preparation for an early journey to uni tomorrow, but I’ve only just finished my washing, haven’t showered, packed, written my journal, eaten a mint patty, or any of the other numerous and highly important things a growing young man has to do before he can snuggle himself into his bed and dream of world conquest.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 22 October 2005, 9:21 PM
  Mint pattie! Gah!

20.10.2005Thursday 20 October – Tutoring & Chainsaws

What a day. I arrive at uni for my nine o’clock tutorial, where I have my photo taken for next week’s demonstration, sitting at one of the computers, tutoring and drinking in direct violation of half a dozen rules—of course, very sleepy because I never get to bed when I should. The tutorial is supposed to finish at ten o’clock, but I stay until eleven, when I rush off to a ten o’clock meeting to discuss the marking of the course. I then rush back to the labs, and tutor again until just before two o’clock, when Maz and I rush off to the psychology building for some “Word Games”; fortunately, it isn’t too mind-bending, and I emerge with most of my faculties still operational. After this, we attend “Views on Dating Relationships”, in which we express our views on dating relationships, all so someone else can figure out if the role of the family is more important for Japanese. I then rush to the Ville for dinner, emailing my group on the way to tell them I can’t do my part of the presentation, as I simply don’t have the time. On the way back from dinner, I find that student’s are panicking about tomorrow’s deadline for their COMP1800 website, and proffer the advice that a cheap chainsaw from Bunning’s would solve many a group problem, and then accidentally forward this sane advice to the lecturer instead of the student—I suspect chainsaws are not a university sanctioned group motivation technique. UQ, university for the real world, and it’s a jungle out there.
Work is hectic too—things are collapsing, people are demanding, it’s raining, I’m out of yoghurt and my chocolate makes me thirsty, and there’s nothing interesting to watch. It’s a shame how everything is backwards—when I first came to uni, I didn’t really know what to do. Now I’m at the pinnacle of my university student career, and I’m about to leave. I now know how to get good marks without expending any undue effort, just who to complain to and precisely how, and I pretty much have guaranteed tutoring and after-hours work on campus, for as long as I want it. I’ve even worked out how to avoid the annoying predatory union election canvassers, by wearing a bright pink “Jolt” shirt (“Jolt” is one of the slightly less-insane parties running for student union positions, roughly Liberal as far as I can tell). Wearing a “Jolt” shirt not only stops the insane left annoying me with their cancerous dribble, but they actually smile ironically when I walk past. It even stops the Jolt people from bothering to talk to me. I also (surprisingly, given the amount of complains I’ve submitted to them) seem to be immune from the scary men who roam the labs in search of rule violators—today, continuing in my carefree way, I tutor with food and drink while chatting to the helpdesk staff, while they’re wandering around removing drinks from other people and getting tutors in trouble for not enforcing the lab rules. I suppose it will all end sadly; I’ll fail a course and be done for inciting violence, continual complaining and harassment, have my lab access revoked, and end up sleeping in a wet gutter, dreaming about the days when I was only minutes from a vending machine and had spare change.

21.10.2005Friday 21 October – Tutoring

It has proven to be another hectic day. I was up at half past five, and at uni not long after seven. This meant I had less than five hours sleep, yet again. My CSSE3004 group and I gave a “Post Implementation Presentation”, or more accurately, Robert gave it and we watched. We apparently went thirty-two seconds overtime, losing ten marks. I personally think this is absurd, but I am not sure if I have grounds for complaint. I then headed down to the GPS labs, and got caught by some students and dragged in to tutor COMP1800, where I stayed until just before midday.
I completed ninety minutes (although it actually took me less) of surveys about jobs, handedness, job satisfaction, and other related boring things, had my inner ear temperatures taken, and went back down the labs to tutor some more. The labs were chaotic—entirely full, people panicking, girls crying, blokes having high-pitched breakdowns… it was all action. I spent the afternoon doing what could only be called “extreme tutoring”—trying to help as many people, as fast as possible, in several different ways at once, and still get them to learn. I like to think I’m very good at it—and I quite enjoy it—but unfortunately, I don’t think fulltime job prospects for a non-research “extreme tutor” are very good.
I arrived at work half an hour late due to my “extreme tutoring”, mentally exhausted.
Comment by io – Saturday 22 October 2005, 4:35 AM
  olol - bl.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 22 October 2005, 3:07 PM
  What does that mean in English?
Comment by grape seed – Saturday 22 October 2005, 3:09 PM
  rtfm rofllofl
Comment by io – Tuesday 25 October 2005, 7:55 AM
  Sorry, IRC has turned me into a "leet speak" tragic. Please wish me to get well soon.

22.10.2005Saturday 22 October – Lazy

Coming soon...

23.10.2005Sunday 23 October – Lazy

I slept in until well into the balmy afternoon, finally being roused from my fitful and rather overheated sleep by a phone call, and then heading into the city where I attended a nationalisation party. Last week has been pretty stressful, and sleep wasn’t really happening, so hopefully this sleep-in fixes me up.

24.10.2005Monday 24 October – Demonstrations & Storms

Today was the first of the COMP1800 demonstrations, which I had to setup. This was actually a little stressful as I wasn’t sure if they’d go technically smoothly—which they, to my relief, mostly did. It also meant I had to be at uni reasonably early.
I watched the city, with lightning striking around it. Some lightning hit somewhere near me, and the power failed. It was quite windy and wet.

25.10.2005Tuesday 25 October – Pride & Prejudice

I caught the train out to Joe’s, got an hour’s sleep, and headed back into uni where I attended COMP1800 demonstrations, rather tired. I then bussed into the city, met Bronwen, and saw “Pride & Prejudice” at South Bank.

26.10.2005Wednesday 26 October – Introductory Philosophy Exam

I arrived at uni early, picked up the projector from the funny people who live at the helpdesk, and set it up in the labs for more COMP1800 demos. Today was rather busy, with three hours of four groups per hour, each being given fifteen minutes to demonstrate, then half an hour for the next four groups to setup, leaving no time for mistakes—or food.
I had nachos from Grinder’s with Maggie, then walked down to the Ville, where I met Clint and bought a bottle of Pepsi (it being on special) to keep me awake for my upcoming PHIL1000 exam, for which I’ve done almost no study. I spent a little under half an hour in the exam room before the exam, looking up each article I was supposed to have read (many of which I had, but could no longer remember), reading the first few lines and the last few lines, and trying to remember the rough gist of it. This probably isn’t a very good study technique, but I didn’t have time for much else. The exam was forty multi-choice questions, with five marks awarded for each correct answer, and one deducted for each incorrect answer, and all questions having to be answered. I’m hoping there were no trick questions, because I answered them based on the “oh, I vaguely remember that sentence, so it must be the correct answer”—which will fail miserably if questions had realistic answers, but not for that particular question.
Maz and I caught a bus to Toowong, where I bought Subway and he some chicken thing from “Superchicken”. We sat and chatted to Cassie and a friend of hers for a while, before I caught the train home. Getting in was difficult, it seems the front door has swollen up from the recent rain. There was a bloke at the train station playing the harmonica, and it got me thinking—rather than feeling elated at having completed another exam, I actually feel a little sad; as each exam is completed, I come closer to closing another chapter of my life. I have become quite used to, and quite good at, this uni thing. I’m not a straight-seven’s student, but then I don’t try to be. I can pass with what I consider reasonable marks with almost trivial ease, investing the bare minimum of effort. I’ve become used to the social scene, for want of a better word, and overall it’s quite an enjoyable, slack lifestyle—and one that’s fast ending. That said, I don’t think I could bring myself to do honours, which would give me another year at uni, as I’ve yet to think of anything I’d be passionate enough about to bother achieving my full potential; a boring honours project would see me struggling to find the motivation to complete it. There’s so many other things I’d like to do—there’s a whole world out there that I’ve yet to see—but I’m still sad that this university phase of my life is finally coming to its end.

27.10.2005Thursday 27 October – Scaffolding & Robots

Once again, I had to be up early—needing to be at uni by eight o’clock. I’m not going to get any sleep tonight either, with work not finishing until late, and having to again be at uni early. Once at uni, I set up and helped run another COMP1800 demonstration, which Ken from CSSE3004 attended. Fortunately, things went smoothly, and the students invited me to Grinder’s for lunch after. I’m not entirely sure of the ethics of this, right before I mark their work, but it’s nice that they like me—not something that happens too often in IT, as far as I can tell. We then went for a bit of a look around the “Innovation” displays, showcasing the mostly terribly boring things post-grad students have spent inordinate amounts of their time creating—although the robots are always interesting. I even dropped into Mark’s ivory tower, but he wasn’t there.
I began marking COMP1800 implementations, which is going to take a long time. I also popped up to see Ken to try to get him to concede that losing a fifth of our presentation marks for going thirty two seconds over the ten minute limit is ridiculous and makes a mockery of the term “academic merit”, but unsurprisingly he didn’t agree. Maz, Kieran and I then drove to the Ville where we ate dinner, after which I headed off to work and spent the evening erecting scaffolding.
There’s some lightning landing very close, but fortunately, the power is still on. In fact, this building is, in theory, probably the one place on campus that’s fully lightning protected and connected to backup power. I had an interesting conversation with a bloke from work, about the time I was knocked out by lightning. I had always assumed that an immense discharge somehow “shut down” my brain in such a way that I continued walking for some time without any memory, then fell over and became conscious shortly after. But apparently, I would have been hit by “spray” (as anything else leaves exit burns), and it would have caused my brain to knock itself out by violently jerking and hitting itself against the inside of my skull, and my other muscles quite possibly would have done similar things and thrown me some distance.

28.10.2005Friday 28 October – The last day of semester

I had to attend a “post-implementation review” lecture for CSSE3004, which roughly translated, means nothing. My group and I, along with everyone else in the course, sat through two hours of management mumbo-jumbo, including a demonstration of the desktop system of the group who won best project—which wasn’t at all impressive, so I’m curious why they won—and listen to all the other students selling their souls to the course goals.
Julie and I began marking COMP1800 websites. This is going to be painful and slow.
I attended my last day at work.

29.10.2005Saturday 29 October – 48 Hour Films & Into the Blue

I slept in until midday, heading into uni, and later to South Bank with Clint, where we watched the “48 Hour Film Project”—teams are given forty-eight hours to create a complete film, from pre- to post-production; to make it even harder, their film’s genre is randomly chosen. Some of the entries were terrible, but some were quite good, with the winner (a musical about Brisbane) being fantastic. After this, simply going home seemed a little insufficient, so we went and saw “Into the Blue” at the South Bank cinemas, sitting behind a row of girls dressed up as princesses. The movie was terrible, with the plot consistently getting in the way of everyone’s bikinis, although at one point they managed to have pirates, kidnappers, bikini-clad girls and drug dealers all onscreen at once, in a high-speed car chase.

30.10.2005Sunday 30 October – Surfer’s Paradise

I woke up at ten o’clock, expecting a call from Clint, dozing until he called an hour or so later. I then got a lift down to the train station with Joe and slept until I arrived at Surfer’s Paradise, where I met Clint and Ana. Unfortunately, the waves were small, choppy and dirty so I didn’t actually bother swimming, but the sun and beach were pleasant, and it made for a nice afternoon. Clint and Ana had driven down, but I quite enjoy the train journey, as something interesting always happens, so trained back to my place where Joe had ordered pizza.

31.10.2005Monday 31 October – Marking & Walking

Michelle and Joe took Bijou on a one-way trip to the vet, and later laid him to rest in the garden. He was sixteen—and becoming a very doddery cat. I then trained into uni, where I continued from Friday’s marking of COMP1800 assignments.

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