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

01.11.2003Saturday 1 November

I didn’t wake up until after eleven, having gone to bed at seven, a full sixteen hours sleep. I then proceeded to waste away the evening doing non-uni things, including (but not limited to) walking and shopping in the hot, hot sun, arriving home hot, and then driving past the shops to pick up some scratch-its for Joe, who ordered me “Chinese” in return. Today’s highlight was the woman I met at the supermarket while we were being kicked out (they shut at five on Saturday’s and six on Sunday’s?), she was somehow ultra attractive, although I don’t know why. It made me think about attractiveness, and it’s strangely fickle nature – but I’m too tired to be coherent (16 hours of sleep does not equate to being rested, rather the opposite) so I’ll stop there.
I also achieved the temporary procurement, on a weekly loan basis, of the following video titles: “Wedding, Monsoon”; “Bad Things, Very”; “Ned Devine, Waking”; “Clockwork Orange, A”; “Lolita”; “The Dragon, Enter”; and “Ransom”. I can’t remember why I got them.
I’m talking to Mum on MSN, having done very little of my nasty Java assignment. I really must start again soon.
Comment by keight – Sunday 2 November 2003, 3:09 AM
  Hey ned, Whats your msn address?
Comment by Ned – Sunday 2 November 2003, 6:34 AM
  Hello, my MSN information is (or isn’t as the case may be) here:
Comment by DK – Sunday 2 November 2003, 9:07 AM
  Poor you :( Good luck with your course work! :)
Comment by keight – Sunday 2 November 2003, 11:35 AM
  I've mostly worked it out. MSN if you still nee help, and your awake before submisssion :p
Comment by bv – Tuesday 4 November 2003, 1:02 AM
  Dear Sir, I am writing this to express my interest in being considered for a position as a stalker in your cult/organisation. I have your house address, a street map and a butter knife previously used in animal sacrifice. I enclose further details of my application within. Regards, bv
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 4 November 2003, 4:16 AM
  Dear bv, We regret to inform you that we cannot accept you as a stalker, due to your hairstyle. Your butter knife, however, is urged to reapply on its own.

02.11.2003Sunday 2 November – Wretched Java

Divine Intervention
Just when all hope was gone, a friend I didn’t know I had found me on IRC, and then MSN, and helped me with my COMP2500 assignment. We worked on it all night, until he fell asleep on a stack of textbooks, later falling to the floor when his music scared him (as one is wont to do), and I alternated between doing my assignment, laying in bed thinking about my assignment, and losing chunks of time.
I managed to complete my assignment to a high standard, with no errors and, apart from it not working, nothing else wrong – and went to eat my third bowl of coco pops since dinner last night. Apparently, pineapple juice is the secret.
Recursively objectifying
The idea of the assignment is to learn object-orientated recursive parsing. The traditional “Hello World” equivalent would involve instantiating an Alphabet object, which would recursively call 26 different Character objects, which would each implement English, extend Vowels, Consonants, Wingding, Words, Plurals, Misspellings and Nonsense, and be subclasses of Alphabet itself, hence recursively calling themselves, and at some stage some magical coitus between complexity and ridiculousness is reached, at which point the entire process somehow collapses and prints “Hello World”. Apparently, this is the right way to do it because recursion is “beautiful” and “mathematical” and object-orientated languages are “better”.
Having spent all night and all morning working on my assignment and having reached an impassable impasse – and quite frankly, being totally sick and tired of it and no longer concerned about the lousy 6% it’s worth, another friend I wasn’t aware I had helped me work towards fixing the last few annoying and very stupid bugs. Strangely, it ends up she’s a good friend of my divinely sent early morning guide, but neither were aware the other was helping me, and thus began my suspicion, which resulted in the strange tale of conspiracy and intrigue outlined below.
My Fan Club
It appears that I have a fan club. I guess it had to happen eventually, but I was surprised to find that there’s apparently a group of people who’ve all read or read my journal, and seem to know a scary amount about me – but I know nothing about them. It’s strange enough having people know me by site and name when I’ve no idea who they are, but it becomes almost alarming when they seem to know everything from who emailed me what and when to who I sit with at any time at uni – but it’s still cool having my own fan club – t-shirts coming soon.
I submitted my assignment. Big thanks to Matt and Ana for guiding me – perhaps one day I’ll be able to understand things on my own, or start assignments before 3 AM the day they’re due, but I’m not holding my breath. My current study methods – extreme stress, panic, desperation and an infeasible timeframe seem to work – if they ain’t broke, why fix ‘em?
Tim and Michelle dropped by, and unlike the past few times, I was actually awake – as I hadn’t gone to sleep last night.
I drove up to the Smith Road shops to get some scratch-its for Joe and chips for us both, which we ate while watching an interesting documentary on walruses (the polar bear won) and the finding of GB’s last great warship, the iconic HMS Hood, sadly epitomizing the end of an era, and the rise of the new American Empire.
Funnily enough, I’m not sleepy, despite staying up all night, but I shall go to bed or I’ll never wake tomorrow – as they say, if you’re not wasted, the day is.

03.11.2003Monday 3 November – Medallion

I finally cleaned the toilet, this being the first non-kitchen thing I’ve cleaned in months. No, that’s not true – I clean the bathroom mirror sometimes.
I headed into uni to witness the marking of my COMP2302 AVR assignment. I turned up early and got mine marked straight away, which was good, as I’d been told by others to expect to wait a long time. Because I’d implemented nearly everything, including the group things I didn’t need to, and because I’m just so good and told the marker that all the bugs were memory-saving features, and because, I guess, the actual end result of my sleepless nights wasn’t too bad after all – I got 112%. This will be rounded back to 100, but I was pretty happy with it.
After my marking, Clint and I bussed into Indooroopilly where we had dinner and watched “Medallion”. Dinner, at least for me, was a falafel roll, or kebab as everyone seems to call them now – and some American takeaway goo for Clint. “Medallion” is a Jacki Chan movie, and like most of them, a little too silly in places but still quite amusing and enjoyable. It’s nice when a movie is cleanly funny, something it seems Americans can’t do. Actually, the Irish setting and use of Interpol, rather than the traditional NYPD or LAPD along with the obligatory black wise guy, was nice too.
After the movie Clint and I walked down to the milkshake station, where I caught a train home while drinking a very thick vanilla milkshake. I feel suitably sick now.
I must be an idiot, I’m still awake. I guess staying up for so long so many times doing my assignments has permanently converted me into a late night beast. Feel free to insert a comma into that past sentence, I’m sick of them.

04.11.2003Tuesday 4 November

Today will remain indelibly imprinted into my memory as the day I bought 4 litres of vanilla ice cream, half a litre of cream and three cans of baked beans. All this before picking up two pizzas, a chocolate ice cream thing and diet coke – and I’d already been up to Smith Road to pick up some scratch-its and find Michelle’s winning sweepstakes. It’s no wonder I’m so radiantly healthy, although my getting fat diet doesn’t seem to be working.
After a record uptime of 6 weeks, 4 days, 14 hours and 43 minutes, I had to do an emergency shutdown when my CPU fan all but stopped and the system became unstable. This gives me a good chance to install some security updates I’ve been putting off, and should provide the impetus I need to go out and buy a new fan.
I had wanted to see the first and second matrices, as I’d not seen the first on the big screen, and they’re showing them both tomorrow, but I can’t get home after the second one. Brisbane’s metro sucks, it stops about the same time any sane person would want to go out. I guess the obvious inference is that there are few sane people here, something borne out in the way they set out their footpaths. Anyway, this left me with a dilemma. I could either see the first matrix and go home, or I could see ¾ of the second one and run very fast to central station just in time to get a train home – or I could go see all three and stay the night somewhere in town. I was going to go see all three, walk back to uni from Indooroopilly, and sleep in the lab or something – sleeping in a room full of computers sounds rather like heaven anyway. The problem with this was that I don’t know how to get to uni from Indooroopilly, so it relied on someone from uni coming with me – which Clint was going to do until we found out that if I see all three, I’m stuck in cinema eleven, and he’d not be allowed in, so that ruined that idea. Luckily, I’m a man of many ideas, so I phoned Tim and Michelle and arranged to stay the night at their place and see them at the City Cinemas instead. I even managed to get official permission to jump the queue – apparently, when I go to pick up my tickets, I’ll get a note to give to the usher and he’ll let me wait in the foyer ahead of all the crazed matrix freaks who’ve been queuing for hours. I’ve never done a full movie marathon like this before, and I’m not sure if it’s humanly possible to watch seven hours of the Matrix, with its horribly unsuited and disgustingly loud music and overall greenness, but I guess I’ll find out – it’s a challenge anyway.
I am not sleepy.
I’m still not sleepy.
I’m a little bit sleepy, but this ice cream is waking me up.
I’m still not sleepy, but if I don’t go to bed now, I fear I won’t wake up in time to go to the shops before my movie tomorrow, which would be dismal.

05.11.2003Wednesday 5 November – There is no spoon

Having caught a train into town and managing to get lost in the Myer-centre looking centre next to the Myer centre, I headed up to the cinema and insisted I had a reservation. Apparently, they’re under strict instructions to disallow any phone reservations, and they were quite surprised I’d managed to get one – I’m apparently very lucky. They had to call half the staff to come, see, and figure out how to convert my reservation into tickets, which in the end they couldn’t, so I got new tickets to the wrong movies and cinema instead – two tickets to “Matrix Reloaded” and one to “Matrix Revolutions” in the wrong cinema. Not very handy, but it was eventually sorted out, there already being a few hundred weirdos queuing, I headed down the lift and bought a McDonalds “Garden Salad” veggie burger and Cold Rock “Super Shake” to sustain me throughout the night ahead.
By the time I’d eaten my burger and gotten back to the cinema the queue had gone and I was able to walk straight into the cinema and pick my favourite spot – right in the middle of the front row, where the screen most fully fills my field of vision. I don’t know why everyone else likes to sit up the back where the screen appears about the size of a large home television. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen “The Matrix”, and I never saw it on the big screen, so it was good to see it larger (and louder) than life. The cinema was huge – I didn’t know they had one so large.
After the first movie finished, I rushed downstairs and out into the matrix, Brisbane rather, to buy some reality. I walked around the block, bought some Pringles, walked around the block the other way, and headed back to the cinema.
Once again, the queue was gone by the time I got back to the cinema and I was able to walk straight in and get my favourite seat. The first time I saw “The Matrix Reloaded”, I wasn’t overly impressed. I’d been expecting, or hoping, for something to live up to the first movie, but it didn’t. This time, though, I just watched it without trying to fit it into any preconceived notions – and it was good.
After the end of reloaded, while still dazed and incoherent, we all trooped out to the toilets to be met by a queue of thousands, who’d been waiting for a long time and were all excited. Everyone, sheeplike, filed to the end of their appropriate queue except two others, and I, who waited at the door to the cinema – with a thousand people who’d probably been waiting for hours watching us, and walked right back in, in front of everyone. I even managed to get into the booked out larger cinema, despite having a ticket to the smaller cinema.
I bought $8 worth of Coca Cola (®©™etc) and lollies from the little shop they set up at the front of the theatre, and settled back in the very centre of the front row as hundreds of people poured, sentinel-style, into the cinema. The attendants had to shuffle people around to fit us all in – it was totally packed, I believe there was only one seat spare, and that was the one beside me. I was quite fortunate, getting my perfect seat, no queues and the only person in the entire cinema with two seats. The cinema man came and gave a little “This is the matrix” introductory talk, people clapped and cheered and it began – my first movie premiere.
By this point, having already watched two matrix movies, they all began to merge. I lost track of where one ended, and another began, so I couldn’t say how the third movie was – as it had fused into the first two. The overall effect I got from seeing all three movies as one single epic story was great. Events from each linked, tying the storyline together, and I realised that it actually has a lot of merit – despite the all too numerous excursions into stupidity and very unrealistic, immature nonsense and the obvious flaws in the plot. I, and most other people, stayed through right until the end of all the credits, when some people cheered and others booed, and I walked back out into the matrix, Brisbane I mean, and walked through South Bank to Tim and Michelle’s and tried to sleep.
Not surprisingly, despite it being 3 AM, I couldn’t sleep. I kept going over the movie in my mind, and the more I thought about it, the better I thought it was. Some of the fight scenes and CGI, while overdone, are fantastic, and the plot – ignoring for a moment its failings, really is complex enough to make one think, but coherent enough to work. I judge a movie on its memorability, that is, if it’s worth thinking about afterwards, and how much I enjoyed watching it – so, using those criteria, the Matrix as a trilogy ranks fairly highly. I managed to sit through seven hours, in the front row, without getting tired, bored or even a sore neck – and I’m still thinking about it a day later. Ironically, when I watched the third Movie on its own this afternoon, and when I watched the second part last year, neither impressed me much. It only works as a whole.

06.11.2003Thursday 6 November

I had a nice sleep in, after lying awake for ages thinking last night.
Being already in Dutton Park, I headed into uni, where I got some pasta and left-over pizza ingredients for lunch, checked my email, went on chat for a little bit, and eventually caught up with Clint. He wanted to go see “The Matrix Revolutions”, so I, of course, went with him. Surprisingly, the bus didn’t crash and the journey into Indooroopilly was rather uneventful, apart from bumping into Robert and his girlfriend on the bus – which was also rather uneventful, a bus not being the most social of meeting places.
Matrix Revolutions Take Two
After some moosh for my belly, I retired to the cinema with Clint, a frozen coke and my jelly babies. “The Matrix Revolutions” by itself isn’t anywhere near as good as the entire trilogy, and I was surprised where it started – I’d gotten confused when they merged last night. I’m also still wondering why they needed a Sanskrit assistant.
Going home is boring, so we missed the train into the city, walked around in circles in, out, and through the Myer centre and Queen Street Mall, and eventually bought food from Hungry Jacks before sneaking into Woolworth’s to buy chocolate, and then heading home.
All of a sudden I am tired, so I think I’ll go lie down and brush my teeth – not necessarily in that order

07.11.2003Friday 7 November – Lazy

I did absolutely nothing. I feel apathetic – nay, atrophied. I am utterly lacking energy. I actually think I’m overflowing with energy, but as I’ve not used it up, it’s making me lethargic. Still, I needed a day like this. Tomorrow I have to return the DVD’s, so I’ll have to venture out into the light and use some muscles, walk, and interact with my environment and so on.

08.11.2003Saturday 8 November – Airfare, Kill Bill

My lung hurts, which always freaks me out. I don’t want to be a hypochondriac, but it’s always worrying.
I did done buy me one airplane ticket to Cairns. $129, flying out early Sunday morning, arriving before lunch – I should be able to stay the night at Silas’s and do some shopping the next day, and then try to figure out how to get home. He has his last exam the Tuesday after I’ll arrive (assuming no hijacking), and is planning to move shortly after that, so with a bit of luck I’ll be able to get a lift home with him – not that I believe in luck of course, so I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
I had a feeling I needed to get my DVD’s back by 5 PM, so I left shortly after 4 PM and walked them back to the shop, buying some coco pops and 2-minute noodles on the way home. I hadn’t even watched any of them.
Dave arrived, and Joe was running woefully low on Coke, so Dave and I popped down to the bottle-o to stock up.
Now my shoulder and neck hurts. It feels like a strained muscle, and I’m hoping that’s the only reason my lung feels sore.
Clint and I came to a joint agreement, after much discussion, that anything was better than sitting on IRC feeling guilty for not studying all night. Unfortunately, due to Brisbane’s Stone Age transport policy, it’s not really possible for anyone from uni to stay anywhere later than 10 PM without their own car, and similarly, if I go to uni I’m stuck there if I stay too late. Nevertheless, being stuck at home is far, far worse – and inspired by this collective fear we planned to go see a B-grade horror movie at the Schonell, which just might finish in time for me to get home again. Fortunately for all concerned, Alex was also bored, and offered to drive Clint home after, so we were all able to have a happy, happy night at Indooroopilly instead. I trained into Indooroopilly and Clint bussed, while Alex and Peter drove and we all sat in the Pig & Whistle (Ye Olde English pub) discussing unusual topics before acquiring food from McDonalds and heading to the cinema to see “Kill Bill”. As usual, things had to go differently for me – I had to wait while McDonalds grew my vegeburger, then the girl I bought my cinema ticket from, or perhaps her till, refused to sell me a ticket despite everyone’s best efforts, and then I was sent, ticketless, to the wrong cinema. At least there wasn’t half a thousand people queuing behind me like when they tried to figure out how to sell me reserved but booked-out Matrix tickets. We sat towards the back of the cinema, as everyone tends to do, and I was able to, once again, verify that it is nowhere near as good as sitting down the front, but it was fun anyway – and I even got a lift down to the train station afterwards.
Now my face hurts – it feels like a pinched nerve, or more accurately, many pinched nerves. As usual, everyone just says, “You need to eat better”. I’m not entirely sure how diet affects nerves and muscles but I’m reasonably sure strained muscles and pinched nerves are atypically diet-related symptoms, except perhaps in extreme cases (eating hugely heavy things upside down, for example). Perhaps I’m not getting enough cream with my ice cream.

09.11.2003Sunday 9 November – Indigestion

Too Early
Around half past ten, I had to get up and drive Joe down to his bowls club. I then stayed awake all day, at least physically.
Happy Joe
Joe came home and he’s happy because his meeting went well with few arguments and he won money afterwards. We ordered pizza to celebrate (and to eat).
I ate too much pizza and garlic bread and now I have indigestion. It sucks.
I’m going to take my indigestion to bed.
I got an email: “Hello! I was visiting you site and i wonder. Do you know anything about the CD File system”? It just so happens I do, but I’m stumped as to what would give someone the idea I do. I suppose the wonderful search engines, who have kindly gone and catalogued nearly every day of my journal on its individual day pages as well as the complete year pages, would throw up some funny results for certain searches. Gee, that sentence sucks; I can’t even remember what it means.
I suppose I should continue with my plan of taking my indigestion to bed.
Now I have an email enquiring if the mIRC script that I’m hosting, Peace & Protection, will work under Pirch98. It doesn’t, unfortunately.
Let’s try to get my indigestion to bed again shall we?

10.11.2003Monday 10 November – Undead

Being awoke when, yet morning was over – the coco pops having resurrected in vain.
To dispel the study, which was not, it was to uni. Time ran away, with a shower needed to get the train. This was hard, but in time despite much small change, being glad it fit – worry is not worth the tickets. Clint wore his wrist away, although early out. We ate Subway sandwiches – the pizza was too late from exams and would have overflowed “Undead”, which the Schonell had, and was amusing. Horror, but the suspense was not there so ha-ha. Nevertheless, the spinal cord did walk.
The bus and I met within time, and went to North Quay onto Roma Street Station with the train and home where the animals had food – but no puppy rolls. It took such a long time for the girl to find her ticket that the driver said not to bother.
This is the problem – having awake in the wrong way, it is non-standard yet feels natural.
Comment by bob – Tuesday 11 November 2003, 7:47 AM
  0wned again, neddy!

11.11.2003Tuesday 11 November – Very Normal

Mr Martin
Insert “The Matrix” music here. In one life, I spent a quiet day at home, where I did some washing, fed the animals, cooked pasta and vegetables for dinner and watched “Ransom” before going to bed. In my other life, where I go by the alias “thei”, I spent some time developing an XSLT method of parsing my XML music list – with limited success after getting some help from a friendly woman on a mailing list, chatted a little with a few people on IRC, and experienced a power failure which took two reboots to recover from.
Comment by keight – Friday 14 November 2003, 1:10 PM
Comment by Ned – Friday 14 November 2003, 3:18 PM
  I had to go do some exam study with this funny guy… that took all day…
Comment by keight – Saturday 15 November 2003, 4:54 PM
  Yes, but that dosent take 4 days, does it
Comment by keight – Saturday 15 November 2003, 11:17 PM
  If I'd put $1 each way, on each of those horses, I would have been up $5.50.
  If I'd put $1 for a place, on each of those horses, I would have would have been up $14.50.

12.11.2003Wednesday 12 November – Productive

I went to bed at 4 AM, went to uni at 11 AM, got home at 6 PM and actually had a somewhat productive day. I printed many lecture notes and other horrendous things. I went and got some COMP2500 marks recounted and correctly added up. I went and talked to my INFS1200 lecturer. I did grocery shopping.

13.11.2003Thursday 13 November – This day did not exist

I do not believe this day existed. It is my firm and unwavering belief that it was placed into time for purely mathematical reasons, to pad out the time between Wednesday and Friday.
I live in my own little world, but it’s ok – they know me here.

14.11.2003Friday 14 November – Study

I went to uni and met Matt, who is human and wasn’t quite as I’d expected from talking to him on IRC. I also met Ana, albeit fleetingly. This meeting of IRC people and finding they’re sometimes almost normal is ruining all my ideas about reality and other such IRC concepts. Matt and I studied COMP2302 down the bottom of the engineering library, breaking for lunch in the middle and getting a private study room after. We actually managed to do over a quarter of the two-hour practice exam, which isn’t too bad I guess, considering we had all day to do it. I haven’t procrastinated so sparsely during study in a long time and Matt explained a few things I’m too dumb to explain to myself, so it was good.
I knew if I didn’t study all night, I’d probably fail my exam tomorrow, so I managed to study for a while – although I sort of hit a wall, mentally speaking, after which point there was simply no way I could study, no matter what I told myself. It just wasn’t possible. I felt like a mule, being pulled by the reins and not able to go anywhere until someone stopped pulling.

15.11.2003Saturday 15 November – Computer Organisation and Introduction to Information Systems Exams

I woke up feeling poorly. I then ran for the train, and probably would have missed it, had I not realised while collapsing against a wall at the station, that it’s Saturday and trains run different times – so I ended up having to wait and getting to uni late.
The refectory wasn’t open. I could not buy food. This is a major disaster and just the beginning of a very bad day. I began to feel weak and sick, and the iced coffee I bought from the vending machine near the labs didn’t help.
I studied for my COMP2302 “Computer Organisation” exam in the one remaining open non-postgraduate lab while the bile fought within. Shortly before the exam, I went and bought the only edible thing in the famed GPS “Wheel of Death” – fruit salad yoghurt. Not surprisingly, this did not make me feel any better, and it used up the last of my change so I couldn’t even afford to call a doctor.
Computer Organisation Exam
Tim arrived and spared a few minutes to help me understand a few things from the one lecture I missed of the entire course – which, of course, happens to be the one lecture that dealt with an entirely new concept that is heavily examined. We then walked up to the UQ Centre and sat our two-hour 11:15 AM COMP2302 exam. It wasn’t too bad; I didn’t stress or worry, just calmly wrote down semi-random things and took mildly educated guesses. Statistically, one in five of my multi-choice answers will be right, but because I attempted to apply my learning to the selection it is probably biased and because my learning isn’t very learnt, I really can’t say how I’ve gone – I just hope I’ve at least passed.
Death by bird
After the exam, I walked down to St Leo’s College with Marcus, saw Kieran, and then onto Clint’s room. Clint and I walked back up to the Schonell Pizza place, narrowly avoiding death by bird, bought a pizza, and attempted to study for our INFS1200 “Introduction to Information Systems” exam. Clint’s left shoulder dislodged a crazy ibis from its flight, crash landing it onto my can of Pepsi, which I then had to throw out for fear of deadly bird diseases. I wish Clint would keep his shoulders to himself and let the poor birds fly in peace.
We ended up back in the labs studying, the seats being more comfortable and less windy and the kamikaze birds firmly outside. Overall, I managed a sorrowful amount of study, having concentrated the past day on procrastination and my other exam, believing this one to be the easier of the two. Had I used any intelligence, I would have realised that this exam has to be passed to pass the course, whereas the other one doesn’t – but of course, thinking isn’t my strong point, I wouldn’t be at uni if it were.
Introduction to Information Systems Exam
Alex arrived shortly after, pencil-less, and we all headed off to our exam like sheep to the slaughter, stopping at Alex’s car where he found two pencils and an eraser under his front seat – I dare not think what else is under there. By this time, not only did my stomach hurt, but the majority of my other vital (and not so vital) organs, including my left eye, my head, my other eye, the part between that eye and the other eye, my ears, the part between my ears and my other eye and that eye, and some other parts that I forget the name of. To put it simply, I felt bad. I had (presumably) stress-induced indigestion (although it could be from having no food I suppose), and something resembling a headache but behind my eyes – which I think is from using parts of my brain that I hadn’t used since they were last reinstalled. Fortunately, someone knew where the exam was, as I’d never have found it – we walked through the gym and into what seemed to be a squash court or something with lots of seats. The next two hours and ten minutes were not pleasant. I felt very sleepy, and had to continually fight the urge to give up this unfair fight and just go home. The exam had a woefully small amount of questions – six if I remember rightly. Normally, fewer questions would tend to sound better, but in reality, it means that when I forget how to do one and skip it, instead of losing one or two percent, I’m skipping ten or twenty percent. Similarly, getting one question wrong becomes a much bigger deal. I can’t say how strongly I disagree with this forced, unnatural and very unfair way of “proving” our ability – exams suck, I detest them. Exams that end at 8 PM are even worse. Where are these human rights watchdogs when you need them?
After my dismal performance, which, by my estimation, just might get me a pass if I got nearly everything very right – which is probably not too likely, Clint, Kieran and I walked down to Subway and satiated our indigestion, and then slowly around to the CityCat terminal, from whence I didst depart.
The journey home was strange. I think I was in an alternate reality, or, more likely, everyone else was. Disembarking from the ferry, I ran into a large group of scantily clad, fuzzy pink women – which isn’t what I was expecting this soon before midnight. Then, on the train, the people were just odd. There was one man sleeping on the floor, and another man who was just plain peculiar, and drunk – and the rest were women (who all seemed to act strangely, but that’s hardly anything unusual). There are invariably many more men around after midnight, at least on public transport, so I’m not sure what was going on. Then, when I got off at my station, there was a group of young women sitting on the platform with cans of peeled tomatoes. This is after midnight, on the train station platform – just odd.
Comment by bv – Sunday 16 November 2003, 7:35 PM
  What brand were the cans of peeled tomatoes? Size? Tomato capacity? Amount of tomatoes on the label? Price velocity? What would the New Keynesian school have to say about them?
  I think macro study is getting to me...
Comment by Ned – Monday 17 November 2003, 10:59 AM
  That red and white brand, I forget the name.
Comment by ma – Monday 17 November 2003, 9:39 PM
  Beware the hot tomato my son

16.11.2003Sunday 16 November – Rest

I had a badly needed quiet day after the horror of yesterday. We have a new Dave staying here for a while. He’s apparently Joe’s foster nephew, and hasn’t seen Joe in a while, but was having a bit of trouble back home and had to get away for a bit – or something like that, I haven’t heard the full story yet. Tim and Michelle also came over. Dave and I drove up to the shops and got chips for dinner and that about sums up my day.
I stayed up messing around trying to figure out some multi-level nested Muenchian Grouping to parse my music list into something more logical than it currently is. I wanted songs listed by artist, with their respective albums nested within. This I currently had, but various artists compilations parse as a single track by a single artist, which isn’t ideal. I haven’t been able to think of any way to determine whether a particular song belongs to a normal album all by the one artist, or whether it belongs to a compilation of various artists. Upon deeper thought, I don’t think it’s actually possible – take a song, “[Metallica – St. Anger] Invisible Kid” (which just so happens to be playing now). Looking at that song, is it possible to tell if it’s from a compilation of, say, heavy metal songs by various heavy metal artists, or if it’s track five on Metallica’s “St. Anger” album? I don’t think it is possible. I’ve currently done what I think is the next (and possibly only) best thing – if an artist from a particular artist/album combination has only one song, it’s assumed to be from a various artists compilation unless there are no other songs within that album, in which case it’s assumed to be a single. All other songs, which have more than one song per artist, are sorted as before. It’s not ideal but I can’t figure out anything better yet.

17.11.2003Monday 17 November – Centrelink, In the Cut, 330 Tonne Cranes

I went to uni. I had meant to go to uni earlier, but ended after last night, I slept in. I went and saw Clint, who is packing up to leave this afternoon. We walked down to the local bottle-o, “The Fridge”. I drank a can of Pepsi on the way there and another on the way back because Clint has lots and no fridge or time to drink them before he goes home, and then I felt very sick. Pepsi seems to react with the spring rolls (last year’s spring by the looks) I ate from the refectory, causing imminent almost-death. I also went and saw my INFS1200 and COMP2500 lecturers to find out how to pass my exam I’ve already done, and my one I haven’t yet done, respectively.
I went to POD and printed out last year’s COMP2500 exams and the practice exam, which I will study tomorrow – honestly.
I caught a bus to Toowong and went to that cradle of modern society, Centrelink. I always expect to see riot police outside Centrelink offices, but as usual, there wasn’t. I found out what I needed to know, without having to wait too long in line, and it was all generally good.
In the Cut
I went and saw “In the Cut” at Indooroopilly. Its synopsis sums it up nicely: “A New York English teacher who may have witnessed something vital to a murder case becomes erotically involved with the investigating detective.” That’s the entire plot, including all twists and turns, summed up in one sentence – definitely not my favourite movie, although it could just be my mood. It’s been really hot, and I’m in a sort of annoyed melancholy sort of mood, bordering on stressed insanity.
On the way home via the City to find a supermarket, I came across a 330 tonne capacity, 28 wheeled, 13 storey high solid crane. It took over an hour for them to set it up. It came in on a 28-wheeled truck with a six-wheeled trailer, and five or so semi-trailers. They then proceeded to put the various vital bits onto the crane, including 90 tonnes of counterbalances that took three semi-trailers to carry, and then began to use it to dismantle the fixed crane that had been building a new skyscraper. It was quite impressive and I, along with a group of brainy looking men, ended up watching it for two hours.

18.11.2003Tuesday 18 November – Very Bad Things

I was woken after 2:30 by Joe, to find out how Dave was when he got home last night. I had a very sore throat and didn’t feel good at all. I spent the rest of the day wasting time. I watched “Waking Ned Devine”, which is quite nice and funny, and then finished off watching “Very Bad Things” – which is a very bad movie.
Joe came and asked me if I’d seen Dave, which I haven’t. He figures he’s gone back to his old ways, so he’s no longer welcome here. I am to refuse entry, and call the police if violence ensues.
It’s time for bed. I’ve eaten tons of nasty jelly mix lollies, and am at risk of hyperglycaemia. In fact, the causes of hyperglycaemia are too much food, less exercise than usual, more stress than usual, and an infection or injury – all of which apply to me right now. The symptoms are fatigue, dry mouth and skin, increased thirst, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, increased urination, blurry vision, and I can’t quite read the next one – I think it says fatigue, but I’m too tired to see...

19.11.2003Wednesday 19 November – Washing

I had an average day, with very little happening. I stayed home and tried a bit of study, did some washing and made some food. The washing machine here sucks and takes half a day to do a load. Instead of pumping the water out, then spinning, it tries to spin with the water in, goes out on its thermal overload, sits for ten minutes until the thermal resets, and then repeats. Each time it pumps a little bit of water out, so eventually there’s no water left and it manages to spin. If I wasn’t so slack, I guess I could have a look at the water sensor, but it’s a big commercial washer and they’re not usually fun to open.
Marks for my COMP2302 Computer Organisation assignment were released today – the one where I had to read through 400 page PDF’s and try to find obscure facts, which took a long time and I didn’t learn a single thing. I got 66 out of 80, which I’m not overly happy with, but compared to the average of 55.4 and the maximum of 77.5, it’s not too bad – I’d say I’ve made the third quartile, and am at least a standard deviation above the mean, which is what I hope for, although 100% is, of course, better.

20.11.2003Thursday 20 November – French, Morons, and Michelle

I got up and caught a train into uni to study – which I managed to do for most of the day.
I was banned for the third time from the BITS IRC channel. It’s pretty funny really – yesterday someone said French was the second most popular language, and spoken by one fifth of the world. This is obviously not true, so I said as much, and the majority of the speaking people in the channel then had an argument with me, over whether French was indeed spoken by one fifth of the world, or second most popular language after English, or more popular than Spanish... and several other wrong or ill-informed things relating to French. After I actually bothered to go find and paste the 2002 estimates of the percentage of people who speak French (around two percent (128 million), which includes all people able to speak French, whether natively or acquired – considerably less than those who speak Chinese, Hindi, English, Spanish, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian or Japanese. French ranks about twelfth in usage as a native language, and a bit higher overall), I was told it was always BITS versus myself, and they can’t all be wrong. I think Clint and I are the only people to have seen the irony in that. Then I was banned. Today I was banned again, twice, because of yesterday’s argument – it never ceases to surprise me how stupid and stubborn some people are. It’s just poor little me (and the linguist’s society, encyclopaedias, world books...) against all of BITS – as they so thoughtfully pointed out, they can’t all be wrong... dimwits. It does make for good entertainment though – normally no one much talks.
I met a guy from my tute while I was at POD printing out past tutorials, so went and had a look at a showcase of some of his art and animations that he’d made, which was impressive. I also bought a milkshake for lunch and met, by accident, the feared alexdlm – instigator of the biased bits bans from this morning. Then, feeling usefully sick, I continue studying.
I stopped studying, having nearly fallen asleep in the labs, and walked to Tim and Michelle’s to do the social thing and say my goodbyes. Neither was home, but Tim’s sister was up from Melbourne so I stayed and had a chat until Tim and Michelle arrived. I’d planned to stay only an hour or so as I needed to get home and prepare for tomorrow, but people just kept arriving until there were many of us, and I ended up catching the last train home.
I got a lift down to Southbank Station, but it was boring so I walked to South Brisbane Station, which was much more interesting. There was the man who kept trying to walk off the platform and didn’t seem inclined to speak – the poor station girl had to keep him from being squished. Then there was a young (and probably ex) couple, who climbed off the end of the platform, somehow made a huge noise sounding something like a cross between shotgun fire and a car accident – and then the girl came back and tried to get a $5 note changed, phoned someone, cried and didn’t seem very happy at all. Some security arrived, and a man got very angry with them, claiming they were trying to rip him off, so they left. Then the stationmaster came, by which time the taciturn man with his strange attraction for the edge of the platform had retired to the phone box, where he seemed to be having a good time making loud noises throwing around some small change. The girl had disappeared off the end of the platform again, presumably looking for the body parts of her ex-boyfriend. It all looked semi-normal, and then the last train arrived. The girl appeared and ran up to the phone and had a screaming argument with the phone-dweller because he wouldn’t let her use the phone. Meanwhile the stationmaster was trying to tell the both of them that this was the last train, and train security looked suitably menacing just in case. They both were left behind. I wonder if either of them survived. I have a mental picture of the platform in the morning – with an uncommunicative man splattered along the rails, a distressed woman dead from cold or cockroaches or something, holding her boyfriends dismembered head and a boyfriend spread for a hundred metres off the end of the platform surrounded by debris.
Joe came and brought me Tim Tam’s, but I need to get to bed. I want to be up early and off to uni to study for my exam. This is all bad – I will be so sleepy and worn out during my exam. I am rapidly developing a dislike for this course. How is it possible to have something called “Programming in the Large / Advanced Software Engineering” and then teach Java? I believe I understand most of the software engineering concepts we’ve been taught, but I don’t know how to implement them correctly in Java, especially not on paper, without the ability to test or debug. I don’t believe this course should require Java, or any language – and it definitely shouldn’t be set out where a lack of understanding in Java means failure despite understanding the theoretical concepts, as it is. It’s effectively “Advanced Object-Oriented Java Kludge”, which is not good. Moreover, Java sucks.

21.11.2003Friday 21 November – Programming in the Large / Advanced Software Engineering exam and last day of semester

Today is the last day of this semester.
I had meant to be at uni by nine o’clock, but after not getting to bed until four, I sort of slept in a little. I still managed to be at uni by ten though, and had actually done a small amount of study before midday, when I could stay awake.
I went and had lunch and sat down beside one of the ponds and admired the big fountain, the ducks, the myriads of birds and some bearded dragons. I have also worked out why bearded dragons, of all the huge and ferocious dinosaurs, were the ones that didn’t die out. They’re lazy. The rest died from overwork – they probably had high taxes.
I studied all evening, when I wasn’t staring blankly at things or laying my head on the keyboard wishing I could sleep. I felt so tired. I just managed to study everything and make an index page (the exam being open book) when Dina turned up, so we went and I bought a Coke from the Schonell Pizzeria, where funnily enough, we met our lecturer eating pizza. He wouldn’t even give a single question away, and when I got to the exam hall, the scary powerful people wouldn’t let me take in my Coke. Apparently, only clear liquids are allowed. I considered pointing out that I could see the lights through my Coke or that it was a medical requirement, or that I was taking in a few thousand pieces of paper so I wasn’t very likely to smuggle an extra piece in my Coke bottle, but decided I shouldn’t. Drinking a bottle of Coke at high speed while everyone else files into an exam is a stressful experience in itself.
I, and a multitude of other lost souls, went and sat our exams at the large exhibition centre. My COMP2500 Programming in the Large / Advanced Software Engineering exam makes up 60% of my course mark, and has six questions. Despite the course name, it had much more to do with Java than any type of generalised software engineering, which, as I said yesterday, is wrong. I’m not at all sure how I went – I hope to have passed, but whether I even did, and if I did, by how much, I just can’t tell. I’d like to get a semi-reasonable result, but I guess I can’t complain too much, as I could hardly call my study effort semi-reasonable – staying out all night and being too tired to keep both eyes open at once and then trying to learn the entire course matter. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for the results and see. I believe this course has sadly failed in its stated goals anyway – a good result in this exam would only show that I’ve learnt some Java, not that I’ve learnt what the course was supposed to teach.
Having finished my exam, and my first year of uni, I walked back to Kieran’s room, talked for a while, and then headed down to the CityCat via the Red Room to see if there was anyone still there. I didn’t think there was, but was told later that not only were some friends hiding in plain view and yelling my name – they actually chased me out the door, but were met by the pizza woman... which explains it all, I guess. I couldn’t have stayed long anyway, so I guess it’s not too much of a calamity. As it was, even after buying a large milkshake from a Southbank shop, I was borderline delusional on the train. I kept thinking I’d missed my station, and that half an hour had passed, only to wake up and find we’d only gone one more station since I last woke.

22.11.2003Saturday 22 November – Packing

It is incredibly hot. I’m sorting through seemingly endless pieces of paper, packing away all my lecture notes, sorting what are vital documents from what aren’t, and storing it all away, in preparation for returning home tomorrow.
I caught a train into Central Station where I met Clint on his way down to the BITS End of Year Party. I stayed until just before it started, and then headed back here again, where I’ve now eaten some fried rice, and am trying to find the motivation to go clean the kitchen. I’ll also do a backup, burn it to some CD’s, copy some stuff across to my spare drive so I can take it with me, and pack all my things. Then I’ll only have to clean this room, pack the PC into its box, and try to sleep. I hope I wake in time to get to the airport.
Comment by Ma – Sunday 23 November 2003, 10:43 PM
  Yes, but, have you eaten your greens?
Comment by DK – Monday 24 November 2003, 10:06 AM
  Wishing you a safe journey home ;-)
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 25 November 2003, 12:45 PM
  No, and thanks, in that order :-)
Comment by keight – Thursday 27 November 2003, 10:07 PM
  oi ned, wheres the damn updates!!
Comment by Ned – Friday 28 November 2003, 5:13 PM
  Hello, I've just gotten home right now, I'll try to upload my updates soon :-)

23.11.2003Sunday 23 November – Flight to Cairns

I caught a horribly early train into Central Station and another from there to the domestic airport in time to catch my 8:30 AM Virgin Blue flight to Cairns, having stayed up all night. We were packed in like sardines, but without the oil. Fortunately, I was seated between two nice women, one of who had a father in Cooktown, and ever since sleeping on rocks, ice, dirty train stations and various other exciting but unconventional things in India, I’ve had no trouble sleeping on demand so slept most of the flight.
I rang Silas from the airport. He could only croak, but he came and picked me up. Apparently, he had a rather large night last night. He already had the flu, but had to go to a goodbye party for work, and it seems the party never ended. As I’d stayed up all night, and as Silas was bordering on death, we both slept all evening. Silas cooked up a nice dinner and then we both slept all night.

24.11.2003Monday 24 November – Wedding Present

Silas panicked and studied for his exam tomorrow, I discussed unusual and obviously meaningful dreams with his flatmate, Alicia, went shopping for suitable wedding attire for Shan’s wedding, annoyed Silas, and went shopping again. I had a nice falafel kebab for lunch, bought some blank DVD’s for Silas, a manual for Mum’s new car, some new shoes, belt, tie, petrol and many other things too exciting to mention.
Wedding Present
I went to every shop I could find that would sell milkshake makers, and ended up buying a blender from Myers. I am quite happy with it. If I needed a blender for myself, I’d want this one. It has a nice solid glass container, a very solid stainless base, and only one simple knob. It’s just what I was looking for really – classy and expensive enough but not too much so, and hopefully something they’ll actually find useful. I just hope no one else buys them one.

25.11.2003Tuesday 25 November – Silas finishes University

Silas and Alicia both headed off to exams in the morning, leaving me free to use Silas’s computer. I went online and did all the normal online things, went on chat, checked email, noted my upcoming state of bankruptcy and so on.
After Silas and Alicia had returned from their exams and Silas had finished complaining about how bad he’d gone and that he’d never graduate and cooking black beans without rinsing out the salty water, we went over to Eric’s place. On the way back there was the tiniest sliver of the new moon, and it was a really nice night – a new moon, perfect for a new start for Silas. After that sooky sentiment, he and I drove up to the caravan park Dale and Ragnhild were staying in, and had a few glasses of wine with them. It was nice to meet the famed Ragnhild after having Dale talk about her for months, and see Dale again, who is looking healthy and happy.

26.11.2003Wednesday 26 November – Amy

Silas packed and messed around selling his computer. Bye the time the first woman came to look, he’d decided he wanted to sell it to another person, so had to work hard to convince this woman not to buy his computer – strange sales tactics, although he did end up selling it to another woman in the evening.
Silas and I drove up to Fairylands, near Kuranda, to see Joe’s daughter Amy, and had dinner with her. We ended up talking about ghosts, ghouls, aliens and all those other things that turn up when the light goes. I also heard a fuller version of the story about my room in Brisbane being haunted – something I will probably wish I hadn’t heard when I hear a strange noise at three AM one night. Apparently, none of the girls will sleep there, although they insist the evilness has now gone.

27.11.2003Thursday 27 November – Dark boat ride

Silas and I drove up to Cape Tribulation and Amos’s place. On the way, we saw a cassowary. It just happened to be in the only part of the road that has a little alley of forest and an alley of grass behind it. I’m not sure why. I crawled into the jungle, got to within a few yards of the savage beast, and took some photos. I wasn’t brave enough to go any closer, in case it killed me. It didn’t seem particularly perturbed, sitting down and snipping leaves with its beak. After a while, I got bored of it and Silas shooed it out into the open grassy bit, which it slowly and unworriedly walked across and into the forest, giving me some good photos. Then a tour bus turned up and we left.
We spent the evening telling a combination of Irish, nurse and scary spider jokes to three Irish nurses at Amos’s, one of which was very scared of spiders. Then, just after dark, Amos drove a tractor down to the beach, Silas drove his falcon truck-like through the bush, and we towed a small tinny from a creek out into the sea, loaded it up, and headed into the night – where we promptly hit a reef and got stuck. There was a bit of a swell, and we had to fight to keep the tinny pointing into the waves while we struggled to get off the reef, or we’d capsize and ruin all Silas’s and my luggage. There was almost no moon and it was cloudy, so we couldn’t see anything. A bit over two hours later, around 9 PM, we arrived at Kangaji Landing, Silas’s parent’s place, which was a little hard to get into due to the darkness, reef and low tide, but we managed with a lot of walking through sharp shellfish.
After a nice, hot Thai style curried rice, we went to bed exhausted. The last thing I remember was wishing I could get up and turn around so the moonlight wasn’t shining on me, but being unable to think the right things, and being unable to sleep because aliens might come down the moonbeams.

28.11.2003Friday 28 November – Home at last

Dad and Mum
After a restful but perhaps slightly delirious sleep and nice breakfast and lunch, Silas and I walked down to the landing and rowed the canoe out to the boat and fixed the motor – or attempted to. We then boated in to Bloomfield Wharf, a half hour or so drive, arriving a bit earlier than intended. We had a half hour wait at the wharf, during which time Jamie turned up having been up to empty the lodge’s wheelie bins. Dad and Mum arrived in their new (old) falcon, and we all lived happily ever after.

29.11.2003Saturday 29 November – Cooktown and Uni Results

After setting up my PC out in the caravan and getting it online, I found out that uni has released my results, and that I haven’t actually failed after all. I achieved a high distinction (7) for “Information Technology Project” (COMP1800), a distinction (6) for both “Programming in the Large” (COMP2500) and “Intro to Information Systems” (INFS1200), and a credit (5) for “Computer Organisation” (COMP2302). This averages out to a semester GPA of 6, and a total GPA of 5.75, with which I am happy although I’d like to do better next semester – if only I could study. Funnily enough, I was very worried about failing INFS1200, as I estimated I’d only get around 20 out of 40 for the exam. I’m wondering if they scaled the results at all. COMP1800 was easy – it didn’t even have an exam, and was sort of a guaranteed seven, which is good I guess. COMP2302 was the most involved, covering a wide range of related material. I think it should be split into two or more courses, personally, although now that I’ve completed it I can see how all the content does tie together at the end. It was really just too involved for me to get any better result than a five without putting in the required effort, which was, of course, too hard. I got what I put in, so to speak. I did not like the way COMP2500 used Java to teach its concepts, but I managed to get a six without understanding much Java, so I guess that somehow it did actually work, although I could probably have got a seven were it a better taught subject, as I think I’ve a sound understanding of the concepts. Once again, had I bothered to learn Java it would have undoubtedly helped. INFS1200 seemed fairly long and involved as I went through the semester, but at the end, it all boiled down to a few basic concepts, many of which were almost self-explanatory. Again, had I done any study I’d have been much more confident, but the very fact that I got a distinction without having done any study or any of the tutorials and stuff says something. Overall, I’d have to say I’m quite happy with my results, and very relieved to have passed everything – something about which I wasn’t at all confident. Interestingly, I have better marks than everyone else I’ve talked to so far, including those who studied seriously, did all the tutorials and actually knew what they were doing, despite my slackness and lack of study. I’d love to do a “Psychology of Learning” course – perhaps mad panic last minute cramming works better than serious study? Perhaps it’s just God helping me. I don’t know.
After a lovely and lazy morning, I finally phoned up Joneses to see what Shan was doing. He was up at the shop with Kylie unpacking things in preparation for moving in, so I walked up and said hello. They’d just had a run-in with their neighbour about water. Their pipeline runs across the road and down a neighbour’s fence line, and they were in the process of working out how to carry their pump down to the creek when they met the neighbour, who was psychotic and unpleasant, to say the least. Then I turned up, so we drove down to the Home Rule Bridge and walked up the creek past a large python skin, many prickles, fallen barbed wire (which I trod on), broken bottles, biting green ants and big scary maybe-spider holes and other such jungle dangers. It’s nice to be back in a non-concrete jungle.
Beneath Clouds
After a quick shave and shower, Dad, Mum and I drove into Cooktown. We did a wharfie just in time to see the remnants of a lovely sunset over the Endeavour, and then drove up to Sarah’s place. They were having their kickboxing break-up party, so there were many drunken bods watching videos of past fights. We then drove down to Ricci’s, where Rachel and Ian happened to be. Rachel and I drove down to the fisherman’s lease at the wharf and watched a pile of short films and a longer film – “Beneath Clouds”, at a Cooktown film festival, literally beneath the clouds and right beside a beautiful river. This wasn’t something I was expecting, considering Cooktown doesn’t even have a cinema. They’d set up a screen on the side of the ice works truck, and we all lazed about in the grass beside the crocodiles in the river and it was nice. I also realised just how sore I was from the boat ride the other day – the ground seemed very hard.
Phil Emmanuel
After the movie finished, Rachel and I made our way up to the Top Pub, where Dad, Mum and Ricci were, along with a small assortment of locals and Phil Emmanuel. I met many of the people I know, and had a good night. Phil’s guitar playing rocked, especially Matthew’s classical requests – Bach and Mozart on electric guitar is impressive.
The drive home was not so nice. The lights badly need adjusting, and it was sprinkling on and off, so I couldn’t see a thing. I just hoped there were no cows, pigs, kangaroos, aliens or aboriginals on the road anywhere, or big rocks, and drove. By the time I got home, my eyes were quite sore and I was very tired so went straight to bed.

30.11.2003Sunday 30 November – Lazy

I woke at midday, and felt very lazy. It is so relaxing up here; I don’t feel like doing anything.
I went for a walk and looked at the town hall, markets and the creek. It has been a really relaxing and pleasant day – this really is a paradise.
Comment by helen – Sunday 30 November 2003, 8:45 PM
  I would just like to say I'm jealous of your holidays. :) Hope you're enjoying them!
Comment by DK – Sunday 30 November 2003, 11:33 PM
  Ha! I knew you would do well in your exams, so congratulations on the good results. Treat yourself to something nice, and have a good holiday, and don't forget to sleep and eat from time to time. Be good, be prepared and be careful >:)
Comment by Ned – Sunday 30 November 2003, 11:38 PM
  Thanks. I always knew I was a genius, just too polite to say so ;-)

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