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Summary| Highlights| 2002 (Year View)

01.01.2002Tuesday 1 January 2002 – New Years Day

I woke up.

02.01.2002Wednesday 2 January – Flew to Cairns

Caught a bus to the airstrip and flew to Cairns. Uneventful 35-minute flight in a nine seater Cessna Titan. Went and annoyed the bank as my card had expired without notifying me, and I have no idea what any account numbers are... and needed money now :–) Resolved without resorting to violence.

03.01.2002Thursday 3 January – Shopping in Cairns

Cairns. Shopped (bought Mum a new vacuum cleaner for her Birthday), saw a few movies (Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring; Rat Race; Vanilla Sky; American Pie 2) and had some photos printed from the digital camera, to see how well they came out. I also bought a small tripod.

04.01.2002Friday 4 January

Flew back from Cairns, slightly bumpy, it was a full plane so I sat in the co-pilots seat.

05.01.2002Second Week January

The rains appear to have begun, no flooding or anything exciting yet, but it’s definitely wet. The ground is sodden and does its best to come inside with me. I now need a new umbrella. I added the CSS menu to my website and made my first basic animated gif.


Remarkably little happened. Definately nothing worth mentioning here.

01.03.2002Friday 1 March to Wednesday 6 March (6 days)

Many things occured, but I don’t remember what.

07.03.2002Thursday 7 March – First flood of the year

It has now flooded, prompting me to take some photos – I put a few up on my website. I started using XHTML as opposed to HTML. It is very wet, raining lots. The ground is sodden and spongy, expect the mould to start forming with a vengeance; Oh what fun it is to live in a rainforest!

29.03.2002Friday 8 March to Friday 29 March (22 days) – Camera battery died

My camera battery died.

30.03.2002Saturday 30 March

Telstra Webhosting experienced problems, resulting in the loss of this site for a few days. Added a few more pictures, some green tree ants, some flowers, a panorama of a local airstrip... I am nearly out of webhosting space, i.e. the site is full.

31.03.2002Sunday 31 March

The month ended.

01.04.2002Monday 1 April to Monday 15 April (15 days)

The probability of something having occured in this time-period is quite high.

16.04.2002Tuesday 16 April

A great deal of absolutely nothing has happened. It’s been a wet few weeks. Not the torrential downpours of the wet season, but wet and sodden nonetheless. The camera battery died, and being a Sony, required a special battery; so I now have a new battery. It’s twice the capacity of the old one, which is handy. I shall now go collapse in an appropriate spot. Collapsing at the keyboard is embarrassing. I might consider sleep.

17.04.2002Wednesday 17 April to Friday 26 April (10 days)

Life continued. Bacteria divided, mosquitoes bit, and moths flew into the light bulbs.

27.04.2002Saturday 27 April – Pneumothorax

Suffered a re-occurance of a spontaneous pneumothorax. I may have to spend some time in hospital ’inflating’.
  I’ll let you know.

28.04.2002Sunday 28 April – X-Ray

After 8 litres per minute of Oxygen for 2 days, no positive change was noted so am now back home – attempting to recover and will have another X-Ray soon to check progress. Pain is under control, but sleeping isn’t pleasant – lying down isn’t comfortable. The good news is that mortality rates are less than 5% and this is a small ~5% collapse. The bad news is that it hurts, it re-occurs, it demands total rest, and it scares me that I might roll over and pop my lung when I’m sleeping. Anyway... off to bed.

29.04.2002Monday 29 April

I did nothing. Rested totally. Moved very little. Sat in my chair here and either read, or typed, or occasionally (for variety) went to sleep.

30.04.2002Tuesday 30 April

See above.

01.05.2002Wednesday 1 May – Labour Day

I laboured.

02.05.2002Thursday 2 May – X-Ray

Back to hospital for an X-Ray. Sadly no improvement, so it’s a wait for another few days now. No exertion allowed. None at all... This means that the ’hole’ in my lung has been leaking air into the pleural cavity around the lung. Hopefully it will seal up and the air will absorb, or at least partially so, before my next microwave. Otherwise its chop chop. I felt so much better on the way in too, my confidence was quite buoyed.
  The bumpy drive didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as it had last time.
  Oh well... such is life.

03.05.2002Friday 3 May

Dang amnesia...

04.05.2002Saturday 4 May

Today’s achievements:

05.05.2002Sunday 5 May

Today is the single day of the week I get to rest and relax. This makes a very welcome change from my unremitting schedule of total rest and no exhertion.

06.05.2002Monday 6 May

It’s monday.

07.05.2002Tuesday 7 May

See below.

08.05.2002Wednesday 8 May

See above.

09.05.2002Thursday 9 May

I decided to begin writing my diary again. I also decided to post my diary to the net. A few hours later... and the old diaries I have are now posted online. I’m not sure who, if anyone, I want to actually see them, but they are there now. Its just gone 1 AM, so technically tomorrow... so I better be off to bed. My lung is hurting a bit, I think the exertion of typing to get the old diaries up online didn’t help anything.

10.05.2002Friday 10 May

It has just gone tomorrow and we have had yet another uneventful day, where the biggest and most exciting occurrence was my shower. And no, nothing of any interest occurred whilst I was showering. It’s actually quite difficult to shower, as I can’t lower my chest with respect to my abdomen. In plain English, I can’t bend over. Most of the pain has now gone, I am just hoping that the lung has actually re-inflated and it’s not just me becoming tolerant. I will probably find out next Monday or Tuesday I guess. The dog is howling, he has a lover somewhere, which he can’t get to seeing as how he is tied up. It’s a wonder he doesn’t get a sore throat though. I guess I should stop rambling on, as I’ve nothing at all to write tonight. Zzz. Bed calls.

11.05.2002Saturday 11 May

Another quiet day resting and waiting for my lung to hopefully repair itself. I stayed up late once again; it was after 3 when I finally got to bed.

12.05.2002Sunday 12 May

I woke up, and turned on the PC, and as per usual – connected to the Internet and went on chat. Seeing as I am ordered to rest, totally, I did just that. Sat here in my chair all day. The only time I left was to have a shower and go to the toilet. Now it’s nearly midnight, so I’m going back to bed again. I phoned Joneses around 7 PM and spoke to Craig, who said that Jade will be taking their Ute in to town to get gas tomorrow around midday. I will phone the hospital in the morning to find if I can make an appointment. For now its sleep time.

13.05.2002Monday 13 May – X-Ray

He procured himself a ride within a friend’s automobile, upon entering of which he began to find himself transported in a manner most alarming towards his destination, the hospital being a destination with much merit when embarking upon such a journey. He arrived, unscathed save psychologically, but with time up his sleeve. And, so rumour would have us believe, an armpit. To do his time justice, he called on the services of a friend of the family, who happened to reside in the near vicinity. (This being after the postal office (and its menagerie of postal boxes) had divulged its single letter into his willing hands). A delightful hour of repose, relaxation and idle chatter followed, broken only by the automobile we met previously coming to rest against a tree – not in the manner desired. Fortunately for the tree, the speeds involved were not only minimal, but also angular. Fortunately for the automobile, the tree was rounded and its girth offset with respect to the automobile’s gravitational centre.
  Our valiant hero, cavalier paragon that he is, set his life back into the dubious hands of fate, entering once again into the battle-scarred automobile, which made its way, poste-haste, hospitalwise.
  Not content with the vagaries of speed, velocity and mass (not to mention large immoveable objects), our hero threw care to the laundromat and placed his life into the arms of the Medical Profession. The people who kill people, whilst attempting to save the very life they lose. After the required stabbing, pressing, poking and observing, he made his way to the microwave, and lost several minutes of his life. The minutes embedded themselves firmly into a thin sheet of plastic, which he then took to the medical profession who was sitting in her small room, second on the right. In this case she was a petite Egyptian, who placed the trapped minutes onto an enlightening box, and peered intently at them; without doubt becoming very enlightened.
  Our hero, having finally reached his destination after many trials and tribulations, and a single chocolate milk, had still yet one final indignity to suffer. He was made to lie upon a table, and allow the medical profession to examine him, presumably to ensure he was indeed the right hero and not some Hollywood replica. Checksums checked, CRC’s CRC’d, airways breathed, thoracic cavities rang true, and the supermarket was broached, plundered and pilfered. Leaving our hero back in the automobile returning whence he came, respite with the knowledge that his pneumothorax was all but cleared (and 4 packets of cream biscuits, a large block of chocolate and a large packet of Thins potato crisps).
  Despite what you think, he did not require any mind-altering drugs during his stay in hospital.

14.05.2002Tuesday 14 May

Lets see... I really can’t remember so I might just make something up. Bother, the inspiration’s all gone tonight.

15.05.2002Wednesday 15 May

I slept in – largely. It was after 10, and before midday, when I woke. Shan came over some time after lunch and helped me drink some Double Sars. I don’t like sarsaparilla. He also brought my calculator back and we argued over how to graph a straight line that won’t cross the y-axis when you can only graph in a form y=x something. I then spent the evening researching circumcision on the net. Don’t ask why. Went to bed in about 2 hours time, all things being equal. Its now 10 PM – for those technically minded.

16.05.2002Thursday 16 May

I woke up at a normal human time for a change... what a surprise! Mum went to town – in the newly fixed car. I started to study... and Theresa from down the road phoned. Her dog has been missing 4 days, and our dog brought her pup back 2 days ago... apparently. So she wanted to know if we knew what was going on. Our dog has been on the chain for nearly 2 weeks now, as there is another dog somewhere else on heat. He did get off one day though, which was about when he took her pup back. «x-files music» The truth is out there. Shortly after she had phoned, the hospital phoned up to discuss my travel arrangements and appointment in Cairns at the thoracic clinic. 2 PM, Wednesday 22 May. Next Wednesday. I phoned up the travel agent and booked a 3-day advance flight ($162.80) for the morning of Wednesday, with an open return. Then, before I could do too much more study... Shan came over. Then the afternoon came. Then it was lunchtime. Then it got dark, and now it is bedtime. It has just gone 12:30. I added a few more funny quotes to my list of funny quotes, and uploaded them to the web page. Now off to bed.

17.05.2002Friday 17 May

I once again woke at a human hour. 7 AM to be precise. Nothing too exciting happened today, in fact, nothing at all really happened. I had a quiet, non-eventful day. I made the final arrangements for my air-tickets. $139 return, flying down the morning of 22 May, returning the evening of 23 May. It’s a non-negotiable ticket, but they said that they would let me change my return flight time if I payed to upgrade to a $210 ticket. I also phoned and booked a room in a dorm at the Bell View on the Esplanade in Cairns. It’s exactly 1 AM so I’m off to bed.

18.05.2002Saturday 18 May

I had a late night. It was approaching 6 AM by the time I got into bed and asleep. I stayed on the Austnet IRC network all night, being the unwilling participant on the wrong side of what can only be described as a “bitch-fight”. Some people really need to get a grip on reality and remember that IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It’s nothing more, and nothing less. An electronic medium for the transmission of text-based communications. Instant pen-pals. However the emotions engendered by many people on IRC are just as real as those in “real-life” and that is where most of the problems arise. The rest of the problems can be (in a horribly sexist manner) attributed to the feminineness (or lack thereof) of those involved in the “bitch-fight”. It was good for a laugh anyhow, kept me amused all night after I had gotten over the initial shock of being so unexpectedly attacked. “Days of our Lives” has nothing on IRC...
But enough of IRC... there’s more to life than chat.... but it’s a bit hard to get involved in when confined to a chair and under strict orders to rest. The majority of my day was spent at my computer. I’m really glad I have it for now when I am confined in here. I’m also really looking forward to being un-confined.

19.05.2002Sunday 19 May – Banned from AustNet

The border between today and yesterday is somewhat blurred as I didn’t get to bed until nearly six this morning and awoke around 11. In line with my recent policy of rest and recuperation, I did a whole lot of nothing, and once again spent a lot of time at my computer and online on IRC. One interesting thing that happened to me on IRC today... and not a very pleasant experience, was getting banned from the network I chat on. Its not all that unusual to be banned, but what made this different was the total lack of coherent reasoning for the ban, and then the re-placing of another ban, once again with a total lack of reasoning; amounting to blatant abuse of the privileges vested in the network staff of the chat network. I emailed the appropriate abuse departments and such seeking a resolution to what I saw was obvious and unwarranted abuse against my self, but it just so happened that the person that reads the abuse email is the same person who set the ban is the CEO of Austnet Chat Network is the big boss man himself, so needless to say I didn’t achieve any satisfaction from emailing.
  The actual bans placed and the reasons given were:
  “(s) (G) Banned from this server: Banned from AustNet: didn’t your mother say if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all ?”
  “(s) (G) Banned from this server: Banned from AustNet: If you are that dis-interested in the Austnet network, finding it a source of constant complaint, this is a friendly reminder that you are under no obligation to continue to it”
  The more serious side to this little mess was that the “oper” who placed the ban was not on any of the channels in which I was chatting, and so ordinarily should not have been able to see anything I was saying. Opers have the ability to be present in a channel without anyone knowing, essentially spying on the channel, and when properly regulated this is beneficial and probably necessary for the smooth functioning of an IRC network, but also very open to abuse. I was one of those who were abused today. Fortunately for myself, it seems the oper in question has calmed down. It has really soured my opinion of this particular chat network though.
But onto brighter matters, I had a restful night’s sleep – getting to bed around 2:30.

20.05.2002Monday 20 May

I noticed that I had nearly 200 MB’s to use up before midnight Tuesday, so I set KaZaA to download a few songs. I got most of Liquid Tension Experiment’s self titled albums one and two. Shan came over after lunch and put a few Jewel – Spirit songs in to download, but at the moment none are forthcoming. Seeing as his PC is blown up at the moment, he had to use mine to do some netbanking.
I put some tea-tree oil on a strange rash, which I’ve had for a few days now, to see if that kills it. I also sprayed a bit of insect spray around, having found a trail of miniscule ants on the ceiling and then some black ants crawling up the modem lead and into the caravan. It is a never ceasing battle with ants here. They are never content to live outside like ants should, and always manage to find amazing ways to get back inside.
I downloaded WinMX to try that out, but KaZaA seemed to perform better. I set a few downloads to keep going through the night and then went to bed.

21.05.2002Tuesday 21 May

A very exciting day. Awoke in the morning. Had breakfast, then later on lunch. Then I fell asleep and got woken up when it was dark and had to rush around getting ready for Cairns tomorrow. Then I had dinner. Now I’m thinking of going to bed. As I said earlier, very exciting ;–)
Tomorrow it’s up bright and early, dark and early actually, and off to Cooktown as I have to be at the airport by 7:30 and have to go to the hospital and pick up a few things before that, and find the ATM in the dark and withdraw some vital funds. I have a flight booked for tomorrow morning, returning the evening of the next day, but I plan to stay in Cooktown that night so won’t be back here (theoretically, and at standard temperature and pressure) until Friday some time.

22.05.2002Wednesday 22 May – Sarah’s Birthday and Cairns hospital

I woke up at 5:30 AM and got ready to go to Cairns. Left here at a bit past six and headed into town (a half hour drive, if one goes fast). Went to the ATM and got some cash out, then onto the hospital to get a form I had to take with me, then to my sister’s place to say Happy Birthday (its her eighteenth), then out to the airport (a quarter hour drive) and payed my fare and onto the airplane.
A short half hour flight to Cairns, smooth and clear. The plane is a small nine seater Cessna Titan; the motors make nice reassuring (sarcasm) stalling noises and appear to be quite hard to start. In Cairns, I got a taxicab from the SkyTrans terminal to the Bell View on the Esplanade where I had a dorm booked. It cost a little over $10 and the dorm is $19. Four room dorms, 2 beds and a double bunk. I was on the bottom bunk. It’s a nice clean and friendly family place, cheap, and right on the Esplanade. I would have to recommend it.
I then made my way to the cinema in the Cairns Central shopping complex, where I watched “Collateral Damage”, which brought me up to my appointment time, so I caught a taxi to the hospital and found the fifth floor in block B. Pleasantly they were having an “industrial dispute” which roughly translated means they had no admin staff. Because Cooktown Hospital is so well organised, no one had sent my latest x-ray down so I had to go have another taken. After I got back from the x-ray place the admin staff were back and I was taken through to the doctor’s waiting room and weighed and all those exciting things they do because they can’t believe their eyes.
I saw a lady doctor and her younger male compatriot first, who talked, looked, poked, listened and did various meaningful things. The head of thoracic medicine then interrupted and that’s about when it became unusual. I don’t think I normally would have seen him, but he came in to show the other two doctors (and me as it turned out) an x-ray, and asked us all if we could see anything unusual. He then put another x-ray on the light box and this time there was a very pronounced whiteness in the chest of the x-ray. They marvelled over this for a while then had to disappear for a while. The lady who was x-rayed weighed a total 35 kilos and I got the impression she wasn’t in a very good way at all. After the three doctors came back, they just sat around talking amongst themselves and answering my questions and discussing me and various other matters. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and I don’t think it was what was intended either. It ended up very informal and I probably talked for nearly an hour.
I then caught another taxi back to the bell view and went to Cairns Central Cinemas again, where I watched “Star Wars – Attack of the Clones”, then made my way to the City Cinemas (which aren’t far away) and watched “We Were Warriors” which brought me to midnight. I then wandered on back to the Bellview, taking a few night-photos on the way, where I promptly went to sleep.

23.05.2002Thursday 23 May – Cairns

I woke up at 9:30 AM and checked out of the room (checkout is 10 AM.) I went and found an Internet Café where I payed for an hour and went on chat, checked emails, etc. I then caught a bus to the Westcourt shopping complex, which is probably about 3 kilometres from where I was staying, and did some shopping. I walked back, as no buses were forthcoming and I was in a hurry. I went straight to Cairns Central Cinemas and walked into “The Mothman Prophecies”. I was nearly 15 minutes late but the movie hadn’t yet started.
As soon as the movie finished I had to walk back to the Bell View, get my luggage from its storage there, order a cab, and tootle out to the airport once again. I had to wait for a while there, the plane was late. Then it was a 45 minute flight back up to Cooktown, a $7 shuttle bus from the Cooktown airport into town, which dropped me off at a friends place where I stayed the night. Sat up talking until 9:30 then fell asleep quite tired.

24.05.2002Friday 24 May

I woke bright and early. Mum came and got me around 8:30. I checked my mail, went on the Internet at the library, did a bit of shopping and then got driven back here where I am now. I’ve been on here ever since. I am worn out and tired, and going to go to bed.

25.05.2002Saturday 25 May

I spent my last day resting, resting. Tomorrow I am going to walk and stop resting. I stayed up quite late on the Internet, and went and lay down, falling asleep unintentionally. I woke around 3 AM quite cold and somewhat stiff, but managed to get a good night’s sleep.

26.05.2002Sunday 26 May

I woke shortly after 8. I had a quiet, uneventful day. I walked over to Joneses for the first time since my lung collapsed. I took it slowly, but wasn’t any more puffed than any other time. I didn’t experience any inconvenience or anything like that... so that’s all good. I got 83 mp3’s from Shan and updated my music playlist on my website. All very exciting...

27.05.2002Monday 27 May – Memorial Day (US)

I woke up at a reasonable hour, for a change. Phoned the doctor’s office to make an appointment regarding a rash I’ve got then phoned Jade to see if I could get a lift in to town with her. I could, and I did. We left here at 1:30 and picked up my neighbours who had to go to town to register their car. Cooktown was the same as always, a bit quieter if anything. I saw the doctor at a half past three, he diagnosed a fungal infection and prescribed some antifungal cream, as I had expected. All caused by the tropics, the incessant moisture and also my forced inaction. Still, it looks like I might be able to live through it and emerge unscathed. It only cost $11 for the antifungal cream too.
A quick drive home, a few hours later, and its midnight... and time for bed.

28.05.2002Tuesday 28 May

See below, but without the flying ants, notes or absurdity.

29.05.2002Wednesday 29 May – Sleazy

Shortly after *swat* waking up, *swat* I had breakfast and *swat* later on lunch, followed by dinner *swat*. Some flying ant sort of insects came and, as usual, managed to sneak into the sealed caravan and fly around my monitor. I then went to bed *swat*. Which concludes an exciting day at the ranch.
Actually, I stressed out about my immense backlog of study and the teachers recommending I put off my exams until next year, got all tired and sleepy (which seems to be a common kind of reaction to stress, in my case anyhow) and went to sleep all afternoon. Woke up nice and refreshed, although more behind in my studies, as I didn’t complete any English.
On what would be a serious note, except it is too farcical to be taken seriously...
  I got a note from a man accusing me of sleazing with his wife... on chat. Comically, she happens to live several thousands of kilometres away, and I’m pleased to announce no sleazing occurred. I think someone is in dire need of a reality check – or maybe marriage counselling. Unfortunately, this man just so happens to be the owner of the chat network I frequent and on which I meet all my chat-friends. Hardly surprisingly, he is also the man who banned me for no reason just a week ago. It must be a sad marriage that feels threatened by someone neither he nor she has met, or ever will.
  ...And the funny thing is; chat has a well developed ignore system, which allows anyone to totally ignore anyone else. Effectively this means that the only way someone can sleaze someone else, is if they want to be, or allow themselves to be, sleazed...
  The saga continues...

30.05.2002Thursday 30 May

Nothing much happened today; yet another normal day with nothing to report. I began writing my Indian Journal once again. It has been quite a long time since I wrote it last. After dinner I stayed on chat and didn’t go to bed until 4:36 AM. I think I feel asleep at about 4:36 AM as well.

31.05.2002Friday 31 May

I woke at 11 AM. Did stuff. Then went to bed at seven past six. AM. But I had a good night, talking to people on IRC. It might sound boring, or even sad, to some; but I enjoyed it.

01.06.2002Saturday 1 June

Once again I slept in. Two late nights in a row have made me a bit sleepy; it seems to be the reaction I always have. I woke up to find that Sarah and Vince were here, so I hurriedly brushed my hair and got dressed and went inside. I had a quiet day, as usual. The temperature plummeted in the afternoon, dropping well below liveable limits, so I had to put trousers and fat socks on, and huddle here in front of my space-heating computer. I crawled into bed with all my clothes on at about 2:20 AM.

02.06.2002Sunday 2 June – The dark lady of the waters

I woke up at 11 AM. I enjoy sleeping in on Sunday, although this week I’ve done quite a bit of sleeping in already. I relaxed and went on IRC, did some web surfing and generally just sat around. It is quite cold (it’s flaming freezing!).
I went for a walk over to Home Rule at about three o’clock. I saw Gary and Marriette at the new playground opposite the markets so I popped down to say hello to them while I was walking past. They had someone from Melbourne with them, making a documentary about the area and the upcoming Wallaby Creek Folk Festival so he interviewed and filmed me for a few minutes. It was very cold on the way out to Home Rule. I got chilled and went quite red. I stayed a bit late, and got chilled again, in the gathering dark, on the walk home. Just as darkness descended fully, and as I was reaching the bridges, I saw the most peculiar bright flashes coming from up ahead on the road. I assumed a car was coming but nothing came. Once I got to the top of the bridges, I could see these bright almost lightning like flashes coming from... the water. Almost scared and quite puzzled, I kept walking and met a lady on the bridge, in the dark, taking photos of the water. I have no idea why or what she hoped to get pictures of. After a short walk from there back up here to home, I jumped in a nice hot shower, had dinner, went on Chat some more and edited and proofread my journals and made them available online, and am now going to bed. It is three o’clock.

03.06.2002Monday 3 June – Accident on the Home Rule road

After yet another late night last night, I awoke late again. I had a stock-standard and quite boring day up until about three, when Shan came online and told me there had been an accident on the Home Rule road. I got my camera and walked down to the Bridges, where I met Shan and Ella on their motorbikes, and got doubled out to the halfway spot. It looks like the car had taken a corner too fast, oversteered, over-corrected the oversteer and then gone of a drop on the side of the road. It must have been a pretty terrible accident, with the car falling into a gully about 2 metres deep, and landing upside down on the opposite bank of the gully. The chassis is twisted and wrecked; the car is a total write-off. So far as I know the lady driver is unhurt.
  After taking a few photos, Shan, Ella and I continued on out to their place, where I took some more photos of them riding their motorbikes. After the walk home last night, I didn’t want to leave too late, so I left a bit earlier and got home while it was still just light. As usual, I had a shower and came and chatted online.
I downloaded mIRCStats, which is a program that converts mIRC chat logs into a web page showing various statistics. I was unable to use my logs, as they aren’t in a compatible format, so I messed around for quite some time until I managed to get some statistics out of them. After manually opening each daily log (all 141 of them) and using a find/replace function to get them into a compatible format, I produced some 141-day statistics about my chat and #20+SwampBoogie, the channel that I chat on.
  From Monday 14 Jan 2002 to Monday 3 Jun 2002 (141 days) 518 people visited #20+swampboogie, the busiest time is midday. A total of 235,130 lines were spoken (or typed, rather), with myself topping the list with 71923 lines (although seeing as I’m the person that logs, and I’m not logging 24 hours a day, the statistics will be skewed in my favour) followed by lulu with 42695; then Dicaprio at 15364, followed by aniky, Masta, krait, Swampmonster, hj, LynxofCP and Harmony.

04.06.2002Tuesday 4 June

Needless to say, I once again slept in. Nothing of any interest happened today. I bought a $2.60 Heaven ice cream and a musk stick from the local shop. How boring is that? I am supposed to be writing poetry at this moment, but I’ve run out of ingredients, so I am writing this instead. After an uneventful afternoon, I had an uneventful dinner, and fell to bed at 3 AM.

05.06.2002Wednesday 5 June

There was no amazing event today, which I should write here, so I shall write nothing.

06.06.2002Thursday 6 June

Today is a day devoid of interest.

07.06.2002Friday 7 June – June Weekend

Jade came around lunchtime and we drove in to Cooktown. Surprisingly, we didn’t hit anything. She had to hang some paintings at both the art places, so I headed off and wandered around town, heading out to Ricci’s in the afternoon, where I stayed the night. I had chips from Gill’d n Gutt’d down at the wharf for dinner and wandered past the carnival which had opened, on the way back out to Ricci’s.

08.06.2002Saturday 8 June – June Weekend

I woke up. Yes, really.
I strolled the half hour or so from Ricci’s up into town, in time for the Grand Parade.
  A small progression of floats, cars, walkers and horses make their way down the main street. The police, who flank the parade, cop a motley assortment of projectiles thrown at them while the fire brigade with their fire engine water the onlookers. The parade was smaller than last year, as were the crowds. The Mobile Esky competition followed, so I went and watched. For the first time this year, they set up a stage in the park, and had live bands all evening and into the night. This I also watched, on and off. The truck pull, I looked at for a short amount of time, it really isn’t that interesting so I didn’t stay, this was followed by the “Strictly wet T-Shirt” competition, in which one contestant removed her shirt, mooned the crowd and was arrested for indecent exposure. I spent the night watching the live bands in the park with Ricci, getting to bed some time after two.

09.06.2002Sunday 9 June – June Weekend

I wandered into town in time for the of Cook’s original landing at Cooktown, when he beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs after running aground (a-reef?) on the Endeavour reef. As in previous years, the re-enactment was slightly delayed, and overall not that interesting. Some “natives” mill about, followed by some “marines” who row up the river, slosh through the mud and walk around while the “natives” hide. Shortly after the arrival of the “marines” “Captain Cook” and his other officers arrive in their boat. They all get off, find a fire, and pretend to look serious. A seaman cuts his foot, as he does every year. Some other seamen row out a short way and catch a nice filleted coral trout, and yet another sees a flying fox which he thinks is the devil. The organisers have tried to blend a small amount of humour into the re-enactment to make it more interesting I guess. The “natives” run out and steal a fish, which the “marines” find exciting, “Captain Cook” offers the natives some beads from the local dollar store, the “marines” erect a flagpole in record time, and fire a six gun salute. Which makes a loud bang.
  Everyone wanders up to the cannon, which is fired by the winner from the raffle I forgot to mention they hold at the re-enactment. This makes an even louder bang and brings the time to 11 o’clock. I rushed up to the Internet café to see if I could install the Sony drivers for my Camera, which I successfully did after finding them at I then had to grab a taxi back out to Ricci’s and back again, to get my USB lead for the camera. This cost $10. Apparently, the police had pulled the taxi over and inspected their taxi license at the busiest time last night. Typical.
  I offloaded the images on my memory sticks, and rushed up to the Soapbox Derby, which had already started. I took a few photos of it, and then wandered down to the pie eating competition, which is as foolish as it sounds. Teams of two compete, they aren’t allowed to touch the pies with their hands and must also drink a bottle of water. The first team member rushes from the starting position to a table that has his pie and cup (with bottle) of water on it. He then has to eat his pie and drink his bottle of water (using the cup) in a neat manner, using only his fork and knife. Once he’s finished both of these, he can run and tag his partner back at the start line, who then runs up to the table and does the same thing. It is all a silly bit of fun, and not a great deal of people bothered to come and watch.
  I bought some salad from the Supermarket and walked down to the raft race. Four teams took part in this race, where the aim is more to sink the competition than it is to actually win. The police motored up and down in their police rubber-ducky to scare the crocs away. The Endeavour Butchery team had made fake (at least I hope it was fake) meat from something, and threw this at as many people as they could.
  The Tug-O-War was next, which I find quite boring, but it is popular, so I wandered back up to the Top Pub to have a look. When I got there, they were having a wet T-shirt competition, which wasn’t on the “official guide” of things to be had. Neither that or the tug-o-war interested me much, so I just took a couple of photos and wandered the dusty half hour back out to Ricci’s.
  She wasn’t home.
  I rested at Ricci’s for nearly an hour, and charged my camera battery back up. My legs are starting to feel all the standing and walking, as are my toes. The fireworks, which had been planned for 10:30, have been moved back up to 7 o’clock; so I made my way down to see them. I stopped to phone Mum on the way, and missed the first few fireworks. They were launched from a boat out in the harbour, and looked nice. “Moulin Rouge” which I found to be quite good followed a kids screening of a few “Popeye the Sailor Man” episodes. The movies were played from a DVD on an X-Box, using a projector, and worked really quite well.
  After the movies, it was back up to the Top Pub to watch the band, which was playing there for a while, but I was too tired, so I headed back out to Ricci’s and went to bed. I think it was probably just after midnight, but I’m not sure.

10.06.2002Monday 10 June – Queen’s Birthday Holiday

I woke up around seven, and with great inner strength, managed to actually get up. I wandered the half hour or so from Ricci’s place into town, buying a chocolate milk and pack of twisties at the Ampol service station on the way past. I then made my way, very slowly and painfully, up the awfully steep Grassy Hill, all 162 metres of it. It was windy. I should rephrase that. It was EXTREMELY windy. I had to hold onto the railing up the top, to stop from blowing over, and I wasn’t able to hold the camera still for the force of the wind on my arms. After taking a few photos, I hurried down to the lookout (which isn’t far from the top) and took some more photos, then back down to the bottom and down to the Internet shop where I collapsed into a chair and burnt my pictures onto a CD. I have taken 335.
  After regaining some strength I made my way back out to Ricci’s, where I lay down with a sore throat, sore toes, sore eyes, and generally all worn out. Jade came around 5 o’clock and Ricci and I got a lift out to Rossville, myself very glad to be back home and able to rest. On the way back we picked up a man trying to get a lift back to Wujal Wujal. He had gotten a flat tyre about 10 kilometres outside Wujal Wujal and hitched into town (a good 60 KM or more) but as it is a public holiday, no one was able to fix his tyre, so he was on his way back, still with his flat tyre. We could only take him as far as here, and left him with still another 20 KM or more to go as dusk fell.
  After I got home, I compressed a few photos and made a quick web page to show my friends from chat, and then fell into bed just after 1 AM. My eyes are so sore, I can’t move them up or down, or side-to-side, without it hurting. I think the sand and wind from Grassy Hill has sandblasted them.

11.06.2002Tuesday 11 June – New Car

Mum has bought a new car. A $400 ’81 Honda Accord from Glen. He bought it at the wreckers in Cairns apparently.

12.06.2002Wednesday 12 June

Mum drove to town today and got the new car registered.

13.06.2002Thursday 13 June

I am sick. My throat hurts, my eyes hurt, my head hurts, my nose runs. It seems staying up late, walking heaps, not drinking any water, and getting totally worn out over the weekend, has lowered my resistance enough to allow this nasty flu that is going around to attack me. I have been resting and sleeping during the day, which means I’m not so tired at night, so I have been staying up late. The thing that worries me most, I am only just over my collapsed lung, which seems to have been caused in part by a flu I caught back then. I hope my lung stays OK.

14.06.2002Friday 14 June

I slept until after midday. Very lazy indeed, but I woke feeling much better.
  I had a restful day; I am hoping if I rest, I will be better by tomorrow. I tried MSN voice chat to Shan while he was in town at the library, it works quite well. Apart from that, I did very little. The local rag says 3500 to 4000 people attended the June Weekend. It is now 6 AM – I am going to bed.

15.06.2002Saturday 15 June

After the late night last night, I didn’t get up until nearly midday. I feel physically much better today. I think if I take it easy and rest, I can be over this flu by tomorrow. I went on chat all day, trying to rest so I can shake this nasty flu before it does something to my lung.

16.06.2002Sunday 16 June – I got depressed

I woke up only slightly later than what a person should wake, for a change.
  I hereby declare my flu over; I have only the tiniest remains of it now, the only good news of today.
  I am depressed.
  My sister came out. It’s funny, she’s depressed too, and now she seems to have caught this flu that is going around. Depression is a terrible thing, stuff that seemed OK before, all crowds in and all seems depressing. In my current mood, everything seems wrong. It just takes one event to set off depression, and then all my worries, which I had pushed to the background and was handling, all jump on me at once and pound me into the ground. At the moment I feel as though I have no future, will fail my studies, and have no idea what to do next, no friends... depression. Today is the first day I have broken down and cried in my mother’s arms in an awfully long time. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I did. She pointed out the wet spot where my sister had been crying just before me. Weird. Maybe it’s the moon? Come evening time, I walked out to see Shan, he met me halfway and I had a talk to him about everything, which helped a bit. It got quite dark, as it is wont to do, so he drove me back in Jade’s car. Ah, sigh. I feel terrible. This insidious depression manages to slither its way into every facet of my life, turning everything into a hopeless quagmire of despair. I see no future, the things I am doing now seem pointless. I don’t even have any chocolate.
  I have decided. I shall go jump off a cliff.
  I just need to find one small enough so I don’t risk accidentally hurting myself.

17.06.2002Monday 17 June

After a considerably late night last night, Mum woke me up and we went in to town early, to catch Sarah before she went to school. She went to the doctors, and has a urinary tract infection. I went down to Computer Stuff and went on the Internet for an hour while helping a man transfer pictures from his digital camera onto the PC and then ultimately onto a CD. Due to buggy something, and the PC freezing up every second photo which was transferred, this took quite some time. I then rushed up to the library as I was sure Mum would have been waiting there for ages, but she wasn’t, so I jumped on one of their PC’s and came on chat. It’s a great thing for wasting or filling in time. I tried to buy some wire to fix Malarchy’s sliding wire, but they didn’t have any in until tomorrow. The new car seems to go OK. An uneventful drive back home ensued, stopping in at Black Mountain to take some photos on the way. I upgraded ACDSee so that it would work properly with image metadata and started adding an image description to my photos. I went to bed after 1 o’clock, not so depressed as yesterday.

18.06.2002Tuesday 18 June

I woke just before 8 o’clock, but was extremely tired. I got up and did a few things, but went for a “ten minute” lie-down. A few hours later, as midday was coming by, I got up again. This kind of ruined my good intentions of studying hard all day, which were totally smashed by discovering “The Panorama Factory”, a panorama-stitching program, which joins individual photos together and makes panoramic images from them. It is really good; it sure beats doing it manually with Photoshop. So I made several panoramas from the images I had, and redid the ones I had already made. I went for a short walk in the evening, thinking about life, and the future and various other depressing topics. I have to pull myself from this depression, but I’m not sure how yet.

19.06.2002Wednesday 19 June

Chemistry was a record 1-hour today, to do two weeks worth. Due to the somewhat late night, and the fact that I didn’t write down what I did today, my memory of events is somewhat dimmed. As Becky says:
  (Becky): you got up early and studied
  (Becky): and later took a longish nap and could not sleep that night (Becky): which was bad coz you had to go to the docs early [tomorrow]
  (Becky): so that was the main things of your day as I remember.... of course you chatted a wee bit too :))
  I went to bed at 4:40 AM

20.06.2002Thursday 20 June

I woke up at 7:30. Less than 3 hours sleep. We left for town not long after 8 o’clock. Needless to say, I was slightly tired. In fact, I was rather tired. I checked my mail, went to the police station to renew my driver’s licence (which they only do on Mondays and Wednesdays so I could not) and then rested for an hour at Computer Stuff, where I came on chat and pretended not to be asleep. At a quarter to eleven I had a doctor’s appointment, so I made my way up to the surgery by that time for an ear syringe. Dr Hill looked in my ears, and sent me to a nurse, who did three large squirts of their syringe, and that was that. Straight away I could hear properly again. I went up to the library and rested at their PC, on the Internet again, pretending to be awake again. I bought some new wire for Malarchy’s new and improved wire run. Not long after getting home, Shan phoned up, and came and got me on his motorbike, to help him get Ella’s Macintosh talking to his PC. We managed to get TCP/IP and Internet sharing going. I started setting up Malarchy’s wire, but it got too dark and cold so I came in here and wrote this instead.

21.06.2002Friday 21 June

Woke up, Dad and I drove to town (where it was raining and the road was quite muddy) and paid for Dad’s ticket to Perth. $883 return. I bought two Styrofoam broccoli boxes, $2.50 each. I strung up Malarchy’s new wire, and tensioned it. Shan came over just as I finished, and we talked for a while, after which it began to get dark, so he went again. Such is my day. Oh, I downloaded DreamweaverMX yesterday, so I am trying it now.

22.06.2002Saturday 22 June

Morning. I wake. Time passes. Lunch. I go on chat. Evening. I walk to the shop. Malarchy follows. I have to bring him home and tie him up, then hurry to meet Shan who was supposed to walk and meet me half way. I met Shan at the Home Rule Bridges and we walked out to the grid, then walked back halfway, then back to the grid, then back halfway, then I came home. Night-time. I went on chat. Sleep.

23.06.2002Sunday 23 June

As the sun rose over the distant horizon, as the small birds in the trees began to sing sweetly, while the mists of morning still slithered down in the gullies, before the heat of day had warmed the limbs of the trees, releasing their eucalypt scent; while the wind paused and the world waited for the start of a new day, I slept. I really have to get back in the habit of waking early; the morning is the nicest and best part of the day.
  When I finally did wake, it being Sunday, I went on the Internet and messed around for a while, then made my way over to Shan’s.
  As the red disc of the sun slowly sank behind the dark silhouetted trees, and the last lonesome birds ceased their chirping and the mists of night crept back from the gullies in which they hide, while the day’s shadows lengthened into night’s wraiths, as the unearthly moonlight began to replace the last fading glow from the life-giving sun, Shan and I rode back up here to get my warm top and some long pants. I had decided to stay the night at Shan’s, and it is quite cold at night these days.
  We stayed up until... well I don’t actually know what time we went to bed. We took some photos of Shan in his room, and stitched them into a single panoramic style photo with several Shans in various poses in his room. It worked remarkably well. Then we went to bed.

24.06.2002Monday 24 June

I woke up around 9 o’clock. I didn’t really do a great deal today, took a few photos and made an interesting panoramic image with five images of myself in it. After lunch, Shan and I rode up to the Home Rule Bridge, and walked up to my place, stopping at the shop on the way. I went on the ’net in the evening, and it is now 1:36 tomorrow, so I’m off to sleep.

25.06.2002Tuesday 25 June

There’s a good chance I did something today, but seeing as I didn’t write it down, no one will ever know what it was.

26.06.2002Wednesday 26 June

I went to town with Jade, leaving here at 10 o’clock. I went down to the police station to renew my driver’s licence, but apparently only one lady has access to the Queensland Transport database, and she was away in Cairns today, despite my having enquired last week as to whether there would be licence renewals today. I sent my application for external examination to the Board of Senior Secondary School Studies, along with an order form for past examination papers. It cost $80 for the two exams and $29 for the past papers. I had to go down to the courthouse to have a Justice of the Peace sign my examination application. After some chips from the Café at the wharf, Jade and I drove back out here, and then I got a life out to Home Rule, where I stayed until the evening.
  I pulled my computer apart, and put my 40-gigabyte hard drive in the top CD drive slot, with the DVD drive under it, both on the primary controller, then the burner below that, on the secondary controller with my 9-gigabyte drive. I then moved the soundcard and PCI video card about; to try and correct the issue where moving or resizing windows (but only on my PCI video card) can be heard in the sound. As usual, and as I have come to expect with PC’s, my attempts at fixing it caused more problems than they fixed. At the moment, I have my PC with its sides off beside me, and it is very loud with five fans in it and the world’s loudest hard drive. It’s about 8 inches from my right ear. I had several “blue screen” errors trying to start it, I had to reinstall the graphics drivers, and the soundcard drivers several times, they have been in every PCI slot on the board now, bar one – needless to say, the problem is exactly the same. At the moment, my CD-burner seems unable to “set” a disk, that is, it doesn’t know a CD is in it. It seems to not even spin them up, so I hope it’s only temporarily wrecked although my hopes aren’t too high, I put a poxy CD-RW from Shan in it, and it was very unbalanced. Argh, computers! I am going to bed. Bah.

27.06.2002Thursday 27 June

Today: While Mum was walking Malarchy they met a man hidden in the bush, who whacked Malarchy quite strongly on the face, causing his face to swell and bleed. The man hid, no idea who it was. I walked over to Joneses and took some photos of one of Mandi’s paintings for her to get printed tomorrow. I have to get up at 6 AM tomorrow, leaving here for town at 6:30, need to be at the airport by 7:30, so I better get to bed.

28.06.2002Friday 28 June – Flew to Cairns and met Silas

I woke up early, and was driven into town, where I caught the Cooktown to Cairns flight. Leaving at 8:10 and arriving about 40 minutes later, the flight was smooth and uneventful, in a 12 (I think) seater Cessna Titan.
  I caught a taxi from Cairns General Aviation into Cairns proper, and booked into the Bellview, on the Esplanade. This costs a little over $10 in a taxi. I left my bag at the Bellview and walked to Cairns Central Cinemas, where I saw “ScoobyDoo” and put two photos in for printing. It is quite silly, but a fun movie. I then rang Silas and he came at 1 o’clock. We went to Tracks Backpackers where we met Dale and talked for a while. Silas has a friend, Gus, who has come up from Brisbane with him. We drove the 20-minute drive up to Crystal Cascades where Silas, Gus and Dale went for a swim. I didn’t, it was too cold and I had no dry clothes in Cairns. Gus did the “no fear” jump, jumping from a rock which has “no fear” spray-painted on it, about 30 (estimating) metres into a (hopefully) deep rock pool. A man was killed doing this jump about a month ago.
  After we had got back I went and watched “Hard Word”, which I quite enjoyed. It is an Australian movie centred on three prisoners who are used by their corrupt wardens to perform robberies. It is very Australian, and makes a pleasant change from the Hollywood crap where everything blows up: The smallest accident and there are 50 metre high flames in the sky. Australian films seem to me, to be much more realistic and hence enjoyable due to their usage of “plausible” plots, something that Hollywood seems to never have mastered, or more probably, the American public don’t wish to pay to see. After the movie, I had to rush back to my four-person dorm room at the Bellview to grab my warm top and long pants, and rush to the backpacker’s where Dale is, and then to the “Cock and Bull” to meet Silas and Gus for dinner. As expected, Silas was over half an hour late, and it took about 10 minutes to order and 40 minutes for the order to be prepared as they were very busy. Half a very large plate of nachos later, I rushed off to Cairns City Cinemas to catch the 9:30 viewing of “Spider Man”. Despite most people seeming to not like it, I enjoyed the movie. It’s not at all realistic, but I think they did a reasonable job making a “comic” style movie. I enjoy most movies on the big screen, even the really stupid ones. I don’t like horror, don’t really like romantic movies much, and prefer mindless action movies, but with a good plot. I’m not sure that any have ever been made, but there’s always hope. James Bond was always good and I enjoyed Lord of the Rings, but I digress...
  After the movie, I walked back to my room and went to sleep. After drinking a thick shake from McDonalds.
Comment by cool jump fun – Tuesday 16 August 2005, 8:28 AM
  i did the no fear jump to back in 94. i split my shorts open and filled my eyes with water,
  but the stinger trees dident get me
Comment by Steve – Friday 3 February 2006, 9:39 PM
  I lived in QLD from the age of 12 to the age of 16 (95-98). Most of my spare time was spent looking for trees and rocks to dive from. The tree to the right of Millaa Millaa Falls used to be good, but I was there from 31.12.05 to 17.1.06 and the tree is not what it used to be. Judging from the crack, I'm gonna bet I was the last person to jump (evacuate!) from that tree. I guess I'm a bit heavier now. Just before we hit the airport, we went to Crystal Cascades so I could see No Fear Rock. In no time flat I was checking depth and testing the same piece of rope I used all those years ago. You know, with the knots and bamboo handles? I bet you used the same rope. Did you know you can DIVE from up there without too much risk? On the other hand, a Japanese gent died jumping from there.
Comment by Steve Part Two – Friday 3 February 2006, 9:54 PM
  I guess he didn't check the water first. Another top spot is in Litchfield National Park, just outta Darwin. Anyone who dives can spot the good jumps easily. And the tourists love it. Anyway, sorry to take up so much space, just wanted to let you know that as far as I'm concerned, No Fear Rock isn't as dangerous as its reputation suggests. It all comes down to experience I guess. Cool site. Drop a line.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 4 February 2006, 12:36 PM
  Thanks. I am down in Brisbane now, and not aware of any cool water things anywhere. It’s very hot too.

29.06.2002Saturday 29 June – Cairns window shopping

I woke up eightish and had to wait for ages for the shower to be available. I then caught a bus to Earlville shopping centre where I bought a quilted flannelette shirt (the only thing I actually needed to buy in Cairns) and did lots of window-shopping. I then caught a bus back to Cairns City and phoned Silas, who came and picked me up not long after. A yummy falafel roll was consumed while waiting for Silas and Gus to turn up. We left Cairns around 2 o’clock and arrived here 4 hours later (or thereabouts). The drive home was without incident, except for a wild pig, which was eating some road kill. We stopped and Gus and I took some photos of it. Silas checked and replied to some emails here, and then headed down to Bloomfield and I went on the net and wrote this.

30.06.2002Sunday 30 June

I had a quiet recovery day, it was a bit wet and overcast and considerably cold. I had a few hours sleep in the evening then went “online” and on “chat” and stayed up all night talking. It was a “good” chat night.

01.07.2002Monday 1 July

I didn’t wake up (because I didn’t go to bed). By about midday I was totally tired and went to sleep for a few hours, walking out to Home Rule to see Joneses in the evening and coming back just on dark. It is overcast with a very, very slight almost-drizzle hanging in the air. Almost a mist, just enough to make it cold and damp. I went to bed just after 1 o’clock.

02.07.2002Tuesday 2 July

Hardly surprisingly, I slept in. Not long after sleeping in, I woke up. Apart from that, I know not what happened, nor when.

03.07.2002Wednesday 3 July

I went to bed at 6:30 AM and caught a few hours of much-needed sleep. Mum came and woke me at 10 o’clock and we drove into town. I went to the police station and renewed my driver’s licence, which would have expired this coming Monday. I went on the ’net at the library for an hour while waiting for Mum to do shopping, and then drove back home again, where I went to sleep. My times are a bit messed up at the moment. Sarah rang in the late evening and talked to Mum for ages while I was online, using up my megabytes. I’m writing this at 5 AM, having spent another night awake.

04.07.2002Thursday 4 July – US Independence Day

I walked over to Joneses in the evening, and took some photos of Shan’s snapped shaft in his motorbike gearbox. I then stayed up until 5 AM as seems is usual these days.

05.07.2002Friday 5 July

There’s nothing very exciting to report today, just another depressing day amongst the quilt of others. I went for a walk in the afternoon and took some photos to make panoramas with. I made a QuickTime VR movie of the back yard, and another of the market place.
Wow, I went to bed nice and early, only a few minutes past midnight!

06.07.2002Saturday 6 July

After the early night last night, I fortunately managed to get up before nine. Silas and Gus turned up around 9:30 after having been down the markets. We went back down to the ever-exciting (sarcasm) markets and then up to Melanie’s (a friend of Silas’) place for a while, where we had a nice semi-Indian style lunch. We then drove up the mountain to Georgina’s and stayed there until it was time for Silas and Gus to head back down to Bloomfield.
  After Silas went home I walked out to Home Rule. I met Jenna riding her motorbike; she told me Shan was down at the resort so I went down there and wandered around for a little while until we walked back up to the homestead, where I stayed for a while until walking back here in the gathering dusk. I went to sleep nice and early, 6:30. It’s a shame it was six thirty in the morning.

07.07.2002Sunday 7 July

I slept in. I also did very little else, or is that, I didn’t do anything else?
  Shan came up in the evening and sleep came shortly after 1 AM.

08.07.2002Monday 8 July

I phoned Quarantine to find out the details of obtaining an import permit. Shan MSN’d me that they were coming up to the shop so I rushed down there and got a lift back out to Home Rule with them. Ricki is also there. I walked back as it was getting dark, and that about sums up today.

09.07.2002Tuesday 9 July

I slept in and awoke late. I didn’t do anything even remotely interesting today.
  Another normal day, but I have vowed to write this journal so I shall continue grimly on *grin*.
Sleep came at 4 AM.

10.07.2002Wednesday 10 July

Awakening at 10 o’clock, and sleeping at 4 AM – not good. I walked out to Home Rule this evening to see Joneses and take a CD over, but no one was home. I took some photos of the Home Rule dams and the hydropower set-up, the dam photos I made into panoramas when I got back home. And... Umm... then I went on chat until 4 AM.

11.07.2002Thursday 11 July

Sarah phoned up, waking me, to say that she wanted a lift back out here. Mum (who had planned to leave for town at 9 o’clock) left at 10:30 instead. I went, checking my mail and spending some time on the Internet at the library. After school Mum went to pick up Sarah but she had decided not to come out until tomorrow now (typical). We arrived back just after 4:30, and I walked straight out to Joneses to take the new songs I’d downloaded out to Shan. I came back just on dusk, getting quite dark in the rainforest. I met Annette running her dog along the Home Rule road in the near dark.

12.07.2002Friday 12 July

After an uneventful day doing all the normal things I do most days, I walked over to Joneses around 5 o’clock. I ended up spending the night there, and we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, talking and messing about.

13.07.2002Saturday 13 July

Jade, Shan, Ella, Ricki and I all walked up to the small waterfall, then up the creek a bit more to a natural “spa” formed in the creek. Shan and Ella also did some jumps of a reasonably high rock into the water and I took some photos. The water is very cold; I didn’t go for a swim. I left Joneses and walked back here in the late afternoon, after which I didn’t do very much at all – I chatted and “surfed” on the “net” staying up quite late – until 4:40 AM.

14.07.2002Sunday 14 July – National Day, France

I woke up about the same time Vince got back from work – I think nearly lunchtime.
  Apparently 93 motorcycles had gone past this morning, and up Honeyflow drive. It is a really tough ride up there. A few rally cars also went by in the evening. I had a quiet day wandering around doing nothing. Wayne and Reannie came over in the evening and I got a life to their driveway with them when they left, and then walked from there to Joneses, arriving as dusk fell and having to walk straight back again. I try to go for a walk once a day. Sleep befell me sometime after a quarter past three.

15.07.2002Monday 15 July

A few more rally cars went by this morning. I went on chat and had a big argument with “lulu” my best online friend, although I have no idea what the argument was about. Women, bah!

16.07.2002Tuesday 16 July – lulu drinks absinthe

The day dawned bright and early. I have yet to see a day that dawns any other time, come to think of it. I dawned somewhat less early, which I have seen a lot before.
  The day was normal; everything went as it usually does. Except for chat. It was a bit different. I went on the ’net, as I usually do, and went on Austnet, as I usually do, and lulu was there as she usually is. However she had gotten some absinthe, and got very drunk. Make that very drunk. She is normally a modest, polite woman that won’t so much as swear, let alone say anything crude. But today:
  (lulu): kiss my ass thei
  * lulu pulls down her lilpantis....... kiss it thei
  (lulu): kiss that
  (lulu): get to kissing thei, you are way behind
  I think we get the idea...
  It was quite amusing. I just hope she wakes up fine, with nothing more than a hangover. Absinthe isn’t known to be the nicest of beverages:
  “Unfortunately, [absinthe] caused terrible hallucinations, permanent neural damage... and even its own disease, known as absinthism. Absinthe could have effects ranging from euphoria through rage, to stupefaction. Physical effects of nausea, disorientation, hallucination, and seizure were also noted... and neurological disorders, stillbirths, and cases of psychosis, often coupled with abhorrent crimes.
  Not long after lulu had left, hopefully to collapse into bed, and not to perform any abhorrent crimes, Silas rang. He’s thinking of coming up and staying here the night on his way to Cooktown tomorrow.
  Silas rang again, he isn’t coming tonight; he says he’ll be here in the morning early. I guess that means I’ll have to wake up early...
  I think I’m overdoing the ice cream. This is my second bowl today. Not just plain ice cream either; I have vanilla ice cream, with cream poured over the top, then strawberry topping. But it tastes good. Ewww, but I feel bad.
1:30 AM, time to snore.
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17.07.2002Wednesday 17 July – I went to Cooktown with Silas

Silas came past in the morning on his way to Cooktown. I got a lift in with him. We went and visited the Cabrall’s and some others, and then I went down to Ricki’s where I stayed the night. I walked up Grassy Hill around 11 PM and took some photos of Cooktown in the dark, and a few of the moon.

18.07.2002Thursday 18 July

I met Silas at the supermarket. He had some more stuff he needed to do, so I went to the library and went on chat. We drove home around three o’clock. I got a DVD, “Patriot”, which Dad, Mum and I watched.

19.07.2002Friday 19 July

Dad, Mum and I drove into town to drop Dad at the airport on his way to Perth. His flight to Cairns left on time with no problems, and Mum and I went and did some shopping and dropped the DVD back. They are still only available for hire overnight and for $7.
I’m not so sure if I remember this rightly, but I think I phoned Joneses after I got back from Town, and Shan came up and watched the Patriot DVD, which I had ripped onto the hard drive.

20.07.2002Saturday 20 July – I drove to Silas’s place

I drove from here to Bloomfield, leaving at 8:30 AM. The road is quite good now, as good as the road is from here to Cooktown, so it only took a half hour. I met Silas at the Bloomfield wharf. Apparently I was supposed to pick Melanie up from Rossville on my way down, but that wasn’t made clear to me so I didn’t. We went to the Bloomfield shop, and then boated out to Silas’s parent’s place. It was coming on low tide and blowing a bit, so we had to go out to sea a little where there was a swell and the boat got quite wet. We spent the rest of the day at Silas’s place messing about.

21.07.2002Sunday 21 July – I stayed at Silas’s place

I wandered around Silas’s place, not really doing all that much. We took
  some photos and generally just messed about.

22.07.2002Monday 22 July – I drove home from Silas’s place

Silas’s Dad and Mum boated me back to the Bloomfield wharf around 9:30, from where I drove back home. The road is good and it only took a half hour of driving. I took a few photos of the road and a panoramic photo of the Bloomfield wharf. I spent the rest of the evening resting, feeling mildly unwell.

23.07.2002Tuesday 23 July

I walked out to Home Rule to see Joneses. The pipeline for their hydropower was broken and is only half fixed, so Harold is using the generator. I stayed a little late; it was quite dark when I walked back.

24.07.2002Wednesday 24 July

I woke up very tired, and had to lie down to rest again.

25.07.2002Thursday 25 July – Reoccurrence of Pneumothorax

I went for a walk out to Joneses, leaving around 3:30. I was late so I was jogging up the hills and walking down them. When I was about halfway, as I was jogging up a hill, I cleared my throat. It was then that my lung either began to hurt, or possibly I just noticed it for the first time then. It’s not unusual for my lung to hurt; it has done so ever since my first pneumothorax. I wasn’t too worried, waiting for it to get better.
  It didn’t. Shan rode Ella’s motorbike out and I met him when I was about ¾ of the way out to Home Rule. My lung was hurting a fair bit by now, and I was getting pretty worried. I walked slowly, with a few rests, out to Joneses with Shan pushing Ella’s motorbike. I then sat down in Shan’s room for an hour or two, hoping against hope that my lung would get better, but all the time realising that it felt just the same as last time it collapsed. After a while I got Shan to drive me back up to home in Jade’s car. It was in the car, when going over bumps and it still felt just the same as last time, when I remembered how it felt being driven into hospital last time, that I realised I did indeed have yet another collapsed.
  I went on the ’net and sent an email to my teachers and another to Becky, and then Mum drove me into hospital. After a short wait, Dr Michael came and Clay took my x-ray. It is a 10 to 15% pneumothorax. It is basically the same as last time. We had a little chat with the doctor and then drove home again. Silas and Gus are here. I am going to get a lift to Cairns with them and try to see the doctors at the thoracic clinic, and have the pleurodesis operation. Basically a hole cut into my lung, fill the cavity with talc, roll me about so it gets evenly distributed, and suck the air out and sew the hole up. Sounds easy. It has to be done in Townsville apparently.
  I phoned Dad, who is at Lois’s in Perth, and arranged to meet him tomorrow in Cairns as he is flying back. I then went on the ’net and am planning to stay up late and hopefully get so tired that I can actually sleep, as I am scared to sleep. I am pretty scared of the whole ordeal actually. When I had my chest drain fitted for one of my prior collapses, they cut a hole through my ribs and into my lung cavity, without anaesthetic. Painful isn’t the right word. It was agony. It wasn’t too bad the first time because I didn’t realise what was going to happen, but I don’t know how I could put up with that again. Just thinking about it gives me the willies.
  Everything gets more complicated now. This will probably mean I have no hope of studying enough to sit my exams this year, and they can’t be put off. I will have to sit them the same time next year. This means that I may have to stay here another year and not leave for Brisbane or whatever I had planned to do. This means that I might wish to get the satellite Internet installed, which means that I need to decide that before the second of August, however I will probably be in some hospital then. Then there’s my beetabs in quarantine, which needed some phone calls and soon.
  And no doubt there are more things that I haven’t yet thought of.
  I am very touched. Mum phoned Sarah, who cried and told Mum to tell me she loves me very much. Then Becky cried. I am really touched. Everyone is more upset than I am. It is nice to feel cared for and loved.

26.07.2002Friday 26 July – Cairns X-Ray

Silas, Gus and I left here not long after 8 o’clock and drove down the inland road to Cairns. It took the usual 4 hours, except we ran out of fuel near Mareeba, which used up a bit of time. We got to Cairns shortly after 1 o’clock, and I found Dad near the BellView. Silas then dropped me off at the hospital, where I spent an uninteresting few hours doing not much. I saw a few doctors, had an x-ray, and finally ended up getting a definite answer as to what to do. Basically – there is no reason to either keep me in hospital or rush me for a pleurodesis, or to put that another way, I don’t classify as an emergency because I am asymptomatic – I can breath and I haven’t gone blue. So I get put on the waiting list, or as they said “I will write an urgent letter to Townsville” requesting an operation for me. Expected wait is around a month. It could take anywhere from five days to four weeks (or longer with complications) for my pneumothorax to resolve.
  After finishing at the hospital, I rang the BellView and booked a dorm. A short taxi ride and I had payed $22 and a $10 key deposit for a bed in a five-bed dorm at the BellView Guest House on the Esplanade. I then walked, slowly and painfully, the four or so blocks up to Cairns Central and watched Men in Black II. It is not only as silly as its predecessor, it is worse. But I enjoyed it. Silas, Dale and Gus turned up at the cinemas and we had a quick chat before they headed off to the Fox and Furkin or some other watering hole, while I went and watched the Aussie movie “Dirty Deeds”. It was a little too silly to be believable, but otherwise quite good. After the movie, I spent $2 in an Internet terminal in Cairns Central. I used the java chat at which opened a new java window, which when the $2 ran out, still worked. I chatted for a while there until the pain got too much for me, then I walked to the front door of Cairns Central and... it was locked. I had to escape out an emergency exit door. I’m very glad a loud alarm didn’t go off when I opened it. A slow and painful walk back to the BellView and I collapsed (also slow and painfully) into bed – after asking the night watchman to give me a wake up call at 7 AM.

27.07.2002Saturday 27 July – Cairns

I got woken up at 7 o’clock as requested. I managed to get myself out of bed and down to the Internet café with enough time to spend a half hour online, before phoning Silas sometime past 8 o’clock.
  They arranged to meet me outside the BellView at 9:30. I bought a falafel roll, which really filled me up, and then Silas came and picked me up. They have a hired Toyota Ute. We drove up to Eric’s place, then down to a bulk butchery, then to a pet supply store, leaving Cairns some time around one o’clock. A winding drive up the Kuranda range, and through Mareeba brought us to a café in Mount Molloy, which makes the best hamburgers in Australia, officially (some food group did a test or something...) Angie bought a hamburger, Gus and Harry had pies, and Silas had fish and chips. I nibbled a few of his chips. We then drove on to Lakeland roadhouse where we refuelled, and then onto the gravel and home. It sounds easy, but that was probably 400 km’s, and over 40 km’s of gravel, with all the undulations and bumps sending shockwaves of pain through my lung. Maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but some of the bumps sure hurt. I’ve just eaten dinner, sitting here in front of my PC pretending my lung doesn’t hurt. It actually works, when I think of something else the pain is less, and when I remember it, it begins to hurt more again.
  I’m all perplexed and unsure what to do now. This could be the end of my studying for this year... I simply don’t know. I’ve heard it’s possible to get into easy uni courses with a stats test, and then once in, I will be able to change to any course. Once again, I just don’t know, and I don’t know whom to ask. Sigh. Then there is the matter of my Austudy; if I stop studying, I stop getting paid. So I’d have to look for work, but I’m in no health to look for work... I really don’t know what to do. Sometimes I just wish life was easy and simple, or at least that I was rich. I know money doesn’t equate to happiness, but it would sure help. So would a good lung, this pain is getting to me. That’s one good thing about being tired and sleeping. The pain stops, even if it does hurt more to lie down. Sleeping is good for thinking too, I go to bed with a problem, and as often as not, wake up with a solution. I shall ponder over what to do and how.
  There are two types of operation that might be performed on me. The bedside procedure involves the insertion of a chest tube under a local anaesthetic. I have had this one already. A sedative may be also given, either by mouth or through an intravenous catheter, although it wasn’t in my case. The chest tube is usually placed in the lower part of the chest, near your underarm. A dressing is applied to around the chest tube and is taped in place. The fluid or air drains through the chest tube into a collection container called a Pleur-e-vac. This container is usually connected to suction to allow adequate drainage of the fluid.
  Once the fluid or air has been adequately drained through the chest tube, a solution of talc (or other agent, depending on the preference of the surgeon) is inserted. The chest tube is then clamped, to keep the talc solution from draining out immediately. You will be asked to change positions in order for the talc to be well distributed throughout the chest. The chest tube is connected to the Pleur-e-vac and the lung re-inflated. I never received the talc solution when I had this done to me, just the drainage and suction.
  The second option is performed in the operating room, under video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) surgery. This requires a general anaesthetic, which is given by an anaesthesiologist. After you are asleep, the thoracic surgeon inserts the thoracoscope through a small incision in your chest. The pleural fluid is removed. If necessary, pleural biopsies can be obtained. A talc solution is then insufflated (blown in) over the lung and pleural surfaces. A chest tube is then inserted and connected to a collection container, which is connected to suction. The chest tube remains in place (with a dressing over it) until the doctor determines the fluid output to be significantly decreased. This chemical pleurodesis is hopefully the option that will be chosen, talc being the most common irritant.
Comment by J.Kuritz – Thursday 7 October 2004, 7:32 AM
  Where can I find more information about the "Pleur-e-vac"? My Father, age 77, has been diagnosed with Ascites and the use of the Pleur-e-vac has been suggested. Currently he is admitted every 16-18 days for removal of 20 liters of fluid. He is considering the Pleur-e-vac but would like more information. Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
  J. Kuritz

28.07.2002Sunday 28 July

After going to bed at a quarter past three last night and sleeping for a solid eight hours, I woke up. Seeing as I can only walk with difficulty and pain, I didn’t do much walking. From the caravan inside, and from inside back out to here a few times about sums up my mobile adventures for today. The rest of the day was spent here in my chair; with the majority of that time spent online chatting to people when anyone was on to talk to (which wasn’t as much as I had hoped – I don’t know why people go on “chat” and then don’t chat) and making a dialog for my new iLog Viewer 2. Not a very exciting day, but then what can I expect when I can’t even walk? I went to bed before half past seven, which is amazingly early for me. Changes of position hurt, and it takes a while for the pain to subside. Lying down is a major change of position, so it is quite painful and takes quite some time before the pain goes away enough for me to sleep.

29.07.2002Monday 29 July

I didn’t get up until nine. A huge thirteen and a half hours sleep. Today was very similar to yesterday. Nothing much bright or exciting tends to happen when I’m confined to my caravan. Shan rode over on his recently fixed motorbike in the evening and stayed talking for a while. I had a shower. I did a bit more work on my silly mIRC script, iLog Viewer version 2.
Then I went to bed. Exciting stuff.

30.07.2002Tuesday 30 July – X-Ray

Dad, Mum and I drove to town. It wasn’t too bumpy and painful, not really as bad as I had been expecting, so that was a thankful surprise. I had an x-ray at the hospital and saw Dr. Michael. Nothing much appears to have changed. I loaned “American Outlaws” on DVD from the video store. Shan came over just after we arrived home and we watched it together, after which I continued resting. Watching a DVD, especially with a friend here, is enough to stress my lung and make it sore.
I got quite breathless and somewhat worried, so went to bed early. I think I may have been hyperventilating.

31.07.2002Wednesday 31 July

Today was the epitome of a "common or garden" type of day. I did nothing all day, and did that slowly.

01.08.2002Thursday 1 August – I get banned from AustNet

I woke up in pain. Not a good start, so I went back to bed and woke up again later, not in so much pain.
Mum drove into town to do shopping and all that exciting stuff. I spent most of the day on “chat” and at my PC. Shan rode into town on his motorbike to see his teacher, which I was also supposed to see but obviously can’t, and then dropped in here on the way home. We re-watched the “American Outlaws” DVD that I have copied to the hard drive.
Shortly after Shan left, I had a bit of excitement on “chat”. I noticed the nickname “ai” was no longer registered, so I registered it to myself. I then set about trying to link the nickname to my other nicknames, “the”, “thei”, and “ned”. Linking nicknames means that I can use any of the four and have the same privileges. Basically, if I get “access” in a channel under one nickname, any nicknames linked to that nickname will also share that access. To link nicknames is mildly difficult, one has to have the current host added to a “hostlist” in the nicknames to be linked. I was having difficulty with this because the command “host add current” which should add my current host, was failing, as my host was a numeric IP; Austnet must not have been able to resolve it.
  I went to the Austnet #ASD channel for help, but they were only able to provide basic help, which was no problem as I worked the problem out shortly thereafter. Just before I went to #ASD for help, a friend from the #planetchat channel said (I am the nick “nasti”):
  (netwerk): COMPLAIN LOUDLY!
  (netwerk): to #ASD
  (netwerk): because
  (netwerk): they are so so helpful
  (netwerk): </sarcasm>
  (nasti): but I don’t want a gline today
  Shortly after:
  * nasti has now requested help in asd
  (netwerk): nasti: might be a good time to fly to bali, while you wait for a response And then a minute later, just after the people in #ASD had said they couldn’t help me:
  (nasti): (helpful asd person): thei; I can’t see why it’s not working then ..
  * nasti parts asd
  * (nasti): brb gonna think with my own (functional) head
  (Sunflower): (dumbo thei): i just can’t figure out alone and neither can ASD but i call myself better than them
  * Sunflower hides
  (nasti): well we’ll see if non-helper, non-asd thei can work it out or not ma’am :)
  (nasti): (NickOP): thei added to linked nicks
  (nasti): there, didn’t even take long
  (nasti): ASD are dimwitted casserolle fillings
  And yet again, a short time later, while discussing the reasons I couldn’t add the link to my nickname:
  (nasti): however that’s somewhat over the heads of our friendly casserolle fillings in asd
  (Sunflower): oh would u stop it
  (Sunflower): get over yourself
  (nasti): yep I’m stopped now :)
  (Sunflower): you can’t even help yourself
  (Sunflower): so don’t get hard on ASD admins
  (nasti): lol
  (nasti): I’m sure there’s good ones
  Then a few minutes after:
  (thei): <whine> why can’t it be easy?
  Then, just over an hour later, during which time I said nothing more than a few cursory and very average and polite hello sort of comments, and set away to mess around with my iLog2 script, from “out of the blue”:
  Banned from this server: Banned from AustNet: Complaints and criticisms dribble from your mouth about this network. Plenty of other networks out there to complain about. Start looking here:
  I assume someone “high up” in the Austnet chain of command saw my “complaints and criticisms” regarding the Austnet Services Department (#ASD) and calling them “dimwitted casserole fillings”. I’m not sure what, if any, sense of humour this person has – but it is obvious to me that calling someone a “dimwitted casserole filling” is very light-hearted and meaningless abuse, and was meant to be humorous. I would have thought everyone would know that no one calls someone something that absurd if they are seriously abusing them. Looking back I can see how it doesn’t sound very nice, but I still think its pretty funny.
  What has really got my goat up now is the fact that I am banned from Austnet for complaining and criticising. I did not complain, nor did I criticise anyone or anything. I did make some humorous remarks which are included above, which in retrospect I can see aren’t very humorous, but why am I banned?
  I know its just chat and no big deal; but it really annoys me to be abused by people who have the power to abuse, and with no recourse to have that abuse stopped or justified. Plus chat is a pretty big deal to me at the moment; I am essentially stuck here in front of my PC, and chat is how I fill in a large amount of my time.
  The other thing that gets to me; even if I was complaining and criticising the network (which I am not), why should I be banned? What I did say wasn’t said to anyone affiliated with the network, or in any official network channels. It was said in the channel of a friend of mine (who just happens to be married to one of the “owners” of the network... but that is most certainly no justification) and in which I have high access and am presumably welcome. If I was offending someone in that channel (they are the only people that saw what I said and therefore the only people that can have been offended) then I could have been banned from that channel, which would still allow me to talk to my other friends in other channels and yes, I could complain and criticise the network as much as I liked in my other channels, what harm does it do to anyone?
  I’m going out on a limb here, making an assumption that could be entirely wrong; but one of the most “powerful” people on Austnet is married to the owner of #Planetchat, and I am assuming it is he who banned me. Many people in that actual channel say things the same and much worse than what I say and don’t get banned, which leads me to assume (bear in mind I could be entirely wrong) that this man specifically doesn’t like me. He has been extremely jealous of me in the past, as I was a good (chat) friend with his wife. This in turn leads me to speculate that he is targeting me, as he is jealous of me, which puts the whole event into a different perspective. I am being unfairly banned because one of the men with the “power” is jealous of me. And there isn’t a thing I can do about it.
  It would be farcical if it weren’t me that was banned. I’m not very happy about being unable to chat to my friends.
2 AM and time for bed. I have snuck onto “chat” anyway (under another nickname), and found that I am banned for over 30 days, the ban set by “RogerY”.

02.08.2002Friday 2 August

I wrote too much yesterday, so there’s nothing left for today.
In the latest chat news: I sent an email to RogerY just after lunch, requesting my ban be removed. I also placed an order for a surface-surface missile capable of targeting car-sized objects over large ranges. It pays to keep all options open.

03.08.2002Saturday 3 August

Yet another very normal and uninspiring day, due largely to myself being incapacitated. The lung hurts. I yawned – not a good idea. Sharp stabbing pain. Ouch.
  Mum went down to the markets and bought me some cakes. They weren’t so nice. Some ants found them, and called up several thousand reserves. Several thousand ants then set up camp on my desk, and began to besiege my cakes. I had to call for help. Mum came and took the cakes, the plate, and the ants all away, and that is the last I heard of them.
  Mum went down to a fundraiser/dance/thing they are holding at the markets. Unfortunately she didn’t tie up the woof, so he also went down. Sarah brought him back with David: and she was not very happy with him. He went on his new leather collar, and very tight too. Some time later he managed to rip his collar off his head and once again escaped. A while later Sarah was back with him again, and onto the choker collar he went. I had to get up and physically abuse him multiple times, and even more times verbally. This made my lung and me very puffed and sore. I can’t talk or yell loudly, let alone walk very well – abusing dogs isn’t recommended.
I added the day links to the top of each month.
In earth shattering chat news: I sent an email to the AustNet abuse department, as it has been over 24 hours since I emailed RogerY and no reply. When Vapid came on around 9 PM, I asked him to check my ban – it was removed. I never did receive a reply to either email, what’s the bet they don’t go any further than RogerY’s mailbox?

04.08.2002Sunday 4 August

I woke after midday. I had a bowl of yoghurt for breakfast. Shan came over in the evening. I downloaded a pile of small system monitor applications from WinInternals and AnalogX. I had a shower. I had soup for dinner.

05.08.2002Monday 5 August – X-Ray

Phoned the hospital, and drove into town. Not too painful, but not too pleasant either. I had an X-Ray, strangely enough taken by Greg (of Greg and Jodi fame) who lives just across the creek. The lung is about the same, but now has a pleural effusion. Or in English, it is filling up with some sort of liquid. Either way, it doesn’t sound very good. Unusual doctor, I was expecting a petite Egyptian, and got a voluptuous redhead.
  After a bit of shopping, it was back home again.
  A doctor from the hospital rang up and spoke to Mum. She has to go to Cairns for some tests.

06.08.2002Tuesday 6 August

I didn’t get up until midday. The afternoon was full of phone calls with Mum arranging to go to Cairns for some tests. Then it got dark and night woke up and clouded everything. I wonder why the spooks only come out to play when it’s dark?
Oh, I sent an email to UQ and QUT, requesting information.

07.08.2002Wednesday 7 August – Mum at Doctors

Mum woke me up to say bye, and then her and Dad went off to town, Mum on her way to Cairns via the inland bus.
  I’m a bit down. I went inside and on the table a letter from Mum, a “just in case (worst scenario)” letter. Ok, so I’m very down. I can’t even fly, should I need to get to Cairns in a hurry; driving is probably a risk in itself – I’m not sure. Sigh. Malarchy isn’t very happy either; he’s on his choker chain until Dad gets back. And there is a fan in my PC that sounds like it wants to be an angle grinder. I think (and hope) that it’s just the fan on my AGP Graphics card, but if it isn’t, there’s no telling what might overheat or let that all-important smoke out.
  Shan rode over, twice. He’s discussing wiring up Tinnamens’s house for mains, which they naively plan to run with a 750W inverter and a car battery...
  Dad came over just on dusk, and the dog is getting excited and quite hungry.

08.08.2002Thursday 8 August

Dad went to town. Ricki phoned up looking for me. Mum phoned up in the evening to let us know they’d done a test and so far it looked hopeful, although we won’t know until tomorrow.
Yes, that’s truly how exciting my days are.

09.08.2002Friday 9 August

Mum phoned up. They’ve told her she won’t be able to take a bus tomorrow; that she will have to fly back.
I didn’t get up until late, then went on chat and chatted. Then I went to bed.

10.08.2002Saturday 10 August

I awoke late, and went to bed late. I phoned Mum quarter to seven, she’s feeling OK, having to see the doctors again on Monday and planning to fly back that afternoon if possible. And that about sums up my exciting day. I finished downloading the albums “Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Trouble Is...” and “Enrique Iglesias – Self Titled” and also “Natalie Imbuglia – White Lilies Island” (the latter two both for Shan) which I have still to find one song for.

11.08.2002Sunday 11 August

I didn’t go to bed until half past six in the morning. Then I didn’t wake up until ten to four in the evening. Now my lung hurts. I’m very sick of it hurting. It hurts when I breathe, it’s agonising when I yawn or burp or contract my stomach. It takes quite some time to stabilise after position changes. When I get up out of bed, it hurts for an hour or so until it stabilises, then it is sort of OK until I go back to bed, when the same thing once again happens. It’s raining now, and quite wet outside. The poor dog is all sad.

12.08.2002Monday 12 August – X-Ray

I woke up around midday as per usual. Mum had phoned in the morning saying that she will be flying back this afternoon. Dad drove me to hospital for an X-Ray arriving around 3:30. The X-Ray shows that the pneumothorax has resolved a small amount, but that the effusion is somewhat larger, although this could be due in part to the decreased pleural space that it has to occupy as the lung takes up more space. The doctor phoned up Cairns and Townsville to confirm that I’ve been placed in a queue for treatment.
Mum arrived back after 5; we did a little shopping and then drove home. She’s very pleased to be back and a little sore.

13.08.2002Tuesday 13 August

I rebooted my PC. Multiple times. Trying to get both hard drives to use UDMA and changing the pagefile. Bah.
Sadly, there’s not much else that happened today. Shan came over for a while and I burnt him a CDRW with the new songs that I’ve downloaded on.

14.08.2002Wednesday 14 August

Woke up. Had breakfast. Rested. Had lunch. Rested. Had dinner. Rested.
  Slept. Woke up. Oh hang on... that’s tomorrow.
I have now had my collapsed lung for three weeks, with no apparent progress being made. I am not exactly happy about this. I guess nearly anything is better than the vacuum cleaner hose they put in to attempt to force a recovery last time I had surgery, but I am still not very happy about any of this. It’s very nice to be resting at home instead of a hospital though, and I’m managing to maintain my spirits only getting depressed sometimes.

15.08.2002Thursday 15 August

I got a phone call from the Townsville thoracic clinic. I have to be at the Townsville clinic on Friday 6 September, and then I go into hospital on Sunday 8, and have the operation on the Monday. It should take about a week until I can get out if it all goes according to plan, apparently.

16.08.2002Friday 16 August

Sat until four, then went to bed just before the birds woke up.

17.08.2002Saturday 17 August

Woke up at midday. Sat. Read information regarding University entry. Got depressed. Stayed up until twenty to seven.

18.08.2002Sunday 18 August

Slept until nearly two. Sat. Slept another two hours until nine (in the evening). Sat.

19.08.2002Monday 19 August

No sleep for me last night. I slept for a tiny bit late in the evening – less than a half hour. I am now extremely tired, and a bit sleepy too. Off to bed I go.
Shan came over just as I was about to doze off for an afternoon nap, so I didn’t get to bed until after 10, and very tired too.

20.08.2002Tuesday 20 August

Shan came over on his way to town and got my mail key and checked my mail, however he didn’t get home until late so didn’t bring the mail over. Dime’s CD’s that he’s been supposed to send for months now arrived. Lots of songs on them, but I’ve not got the hard drive space to actually put them onto the computer. I’ll need to buy a new hard drive now.

21.08.2002Wednesday 21 August

I received and opened all the stuff from Townsville hospital regarding my surgery today. I’m in mild shock now. After everyone saying it’s not so bad, they manage to make it sound very severe. It’s classified as under cardiac surgery, cardio-thoracic to be specific, which sounds bad just to start with. I need to have a full blood test and x-rays and general check up a week prior, to not smoke or take certain drugs for 6 weeks prior (nice of them to tell me with only 2 weeks to go, fortunately I don’t smoke), then see the physicians 3 days prior to the surgery, then expect to stay in hospital for a week after the operation. Then I have to see the physicians for a check up a week after, enter rehabilitation, another check up at 6 weeks...
I shall go to town tomorrow and sign the “I understand there are risks, people die, I may die, please go ahead” form, and also see if I can get travel assistance.
Now I am worried. All the forms and letters they sent make it sound worse than open-heart surgery. It could be for all I know.

22.08.2002Thursday 22 August – X-Ray

Town day. We leave here at midday. I go to the hospital for yet another doctor’s appointment. As soon as I turn up at reception they tell me that my surgery, which was scheduled for early September, has been brought up to Monday. This doesn’t even leave me enough time for blood tests.
  Apparently they can rush them when I arrive in Townsville.
  After the customary X-Ray which shows the customary “no improvement” result, the young (possibly Egyptian) doctor and I discuss various arrangements. It seems as though Dad and Mum are driving me, leaving here early Sunday morning and arriving in Townsville later on Sunday evening. Mum has two weeks booked at the Red Cross House in Townsville (hospital paid) and they will pay for fuel there and back. I myself will be in hospital and as such shouldn’t need any other accommodation. I checked out my X-Rays and have brought them all home to take with me. There’s a considerable amount of them now.
Anyway, to bed I must.

23.08.2002Friday 23 August

Shan came over in the evening and brought his scanner over. I tried to scan some of my X-Rays, but they don’t really come up viewable.

24.08.2002Saturday 24 August

I woke up early for a change. Malarchy has been missing for a few days now. It’s starting to look as though he may not be coming back. He just disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.
I started to pack my stuff up for hospital. I don’t need much. A few changes of clothes and some personal hygiene gear.
I’m pretty scared.
  I’ve already had almost unbearable agony, being slowly sliced open, the doctor pressing her whole weight onto the blade to slice through the muscular wall and through my ribcage to place a chest tube – with no anaesthetic. They stuffed up. It was unbearably painful to move, so I was immobile for nearly three weeks. My lung began to fill with fluid so I had to be airlifted to Cairns hospital, as Cooktown don’t have a suction unit. I was on suction in Cairns, unable to move for nearly two weeks. I’ve had another two collapses since then, neither of which required any treatment but which have now caused me to apply for surgery.
  I’m quite scared. The recovery period after the general anaesthetic wears off is often nothing more than sheer agony. Stories abound of people stuck for weeks on morphine drips, and then the surgery being ultimately unsuccessful anyhow. I guess tomorrow night is going to be even scarier. I was going to write a “worst case scenario” letter and leave it under my bed, telling my parents after we’d left, just in case anything went seriously wrong, but I don’t think I can do it now.

25.08.2002Sunday 25 August – Drive to Townsville

We drove from here to Townsville in ten and a quarter hours. We stayed overnight in a caravan park in a small cabin. $60 for a self contained double bed and a double bunk in a cabin. A meal of potato chips for dinner.

26.08.2002Monday 26 August

We went and found the Red Cross House where Mum is booked into and Dad may be able to get a bed. We then drove to the hospital for my 12 noon pre-admission. We had thought that I would be staying in hospital tonight but that wasn’t correct, so we got the hospital to put Dad and I up at the Hotel Allen near to the Red Cross House. The operation is set for tomorrow evening.

27.08.2002Tuesday 27 August – X-Ray in Townsville

We drove to the hospital and got sent to Day Surgery, where I had an X-Ray and some blood was taken and tests were performed. We then “hung around” waiting for my late evening surgery, which was cancelled at 4 PM, as the surgery in progress was taking longer than anticipated. I was taken to Medical Ward 3, Bed 59 and slept the night there.

28.08.2002Wednesday 28 August – I had my pleurodesis operation

I was woken up and showered with antiseptic stuff, and put on my operation gown. I was then wheeled to the theatre around 7:30 AM and promptly anaesthetised. They told me they were giving me something to make me more relaxed, so I wasn’t expecting the anaesthetic, just a pre-anaesthetic relaxant or something, but it must have been the real stuff as I was out. The operation apparently took around an hour and forty-five minutes. The first thing I remember was waking up in the post-op recovery ward shaking uncontrollably and some people telling me I’d had an allergic reaction to the intermediate-duration, nondepolarizing, skeletal muscle relaxant drug Atracurium. I was wheeled back to the ward at 12:20, apparently passing Dad and Mum. Mum burst into tears at the sight of me, although I wasn’t aware of that at the time. I was apparently “sleepy and confused and on morphine”. I’d had two chest drains placed, and a third hole in my back which was used for the keyhole style surgery during which they had roughed up my lung lining and chopped some lung out and removed some scar tissue. As the doctor said: “left video assisted thorascopic surgery, lysis of adhesions, wedge resection of left upper lobe, scar and bleb tissue and mechanical pleurodesis. Recovery was hampered by repeated pneumothoraces and failure of lung to expand, requiring insertion of second drain. These problems eventually subsided”
I was on some rather unpleasant drugs during and after the operation, and these are the ones I was told about and can remember.
Morphine has a rather large list of potential side effects, including respiratory depression, and less frequently, circulatory depression, apnoea, shock and cardiac arrest secondary to respiratory and/or circulatory depression, constipation, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, dizziness, sedation, dysphoria, euphoria, and sweating, oedema, antidiuretic effect, chills, muscle tremor, muscle rigidity, flushing of the face, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitation, faintness, syncope, hypotension, hypertension, dr. mouth, biliary tract spasm, laryngospasm, anorexia, diarrhoea, cramps, taste alterations, urine retention or hesitance, reduced libido and/or potency, weakness, headache, agitation, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, seizure, paresthesia, alterations of mood (nervousness, apprehension, depression, floating feelings), dreams, transient hallucination and disorientation, visual disturbances, insomnia, increased intracranial pressure, pruritus, urticaria and other skin rashes, blurred vision, nystagmus, diplopia and miosis. It is also highly addictive and may cause psychological and physical dependence. Technically, it’s morphine sulphate, occurring as white, feathery, silky crystals, cubical masses of crystals, or white crystalline powder; it is soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. Chemically, morphine sulphate is 7,8-didehydro-4,5-epoxy-17-mtehyl-morphinian-3, 6-diol sulphate(2:1)(salt)pentahydrate.
Ketamine hydrochloride is a nonbarbiturate anaesthetic chemically designated (±)-2-(o-Chlorophenyl)-2-(methylamino) cyclohexanone hydrochloride, and does similar things to morphine, but with an additional warning: Emergence reactions have occurred in approximately 12 percent of patients. The psychological manifestations vary in severity between pleasant dream- like states, vivid imaginary, hallucinations, and emergence delirium. In some cases, these states have been accompanied by confusion, excitement, and irrational behaviour, which a few patients recall as an unpleasant experience. The duration ordinarily is no more than a few hours; in a few cases, however, recurrences have taken place up to 24 hours postoperatively. No residual psychological effects are known to have resulted from use of ketamine. In order to terminate a severe emergence reaction the use of a small hypnotic dose of a short-acting or ultra-short-acting barbiturate may be required. I was interested to see the use of postoperative there, which seems to infer that Ketamine is only given during and shortly after an operation – I was on it for a long time after mine. Molecularly it’s C₁₃H₁₆ClNO•HCl.
Kefzol, which I started 28 August, is a sterile semisynthetic cephalosporin for intramuscular or intravenous administration. Chemically cefazolin sodium, 5-Thia-1-azabicyclo[4.2.0]oct-2-ene-2-carboxylic acid, 3-[[(5-methyl-1,3,4-thladiazol-2-yl)thio]methyl] -8-oxo-7-[[(1H-tetrazol-1-yl)acetyl]amino]–, monosodium salt (6R-trans), and molecularly C₁₄H₁₃N₈NaO₄S₃.
Zantac, also started 28 August, seems positively pleasant after the dire warnings on some of the above. Its empirical formula is C₁₃H₂₂N₄O₃S•HCl. It is actually ranitidine HCl, a histamine H2-receptor antagonist. Chemically, N[2-[[[5-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-2-furanyl]methyl]thio]ethyl]-N¢-methyl-2-nitro-1,1-ethenediamine, hydrochloride, it is a white to pale yellow, granular substance that is soluble in water and has a slightly bitter taste and sulphur-like odour.
Heparin (started 28 August and stopped 31 August) inhibits reactions that lead to the clotting of blood and the formation of fibrin clots both in vitro and in vivo. is a heterogeneous group of straight-chain anionic mucopolysaccharides, called glycosaminoglycans having anticoagulant properties. Although others may be present, the main sugars occurring in heparin are: a-L-iduronic acid 2-sulfate, 2-deoxy-2-sulfamino-a-D-glucose 6-sulfate, b-D-glucuronic acid, 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-a-D-glucose, and a-L-iduronic acid.
Friendly old Paracetamol, something that I wasn’t too scared of, technically acetaminophen, 4’-hydroxyacetanilide, and is a non-opiate, non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic which occurs as a white, odourless, crystalline powder, possessing a slightly bitter taste, and is molecularly C₈H₉NO₂.
Tramadol hydrochloride is a centrally acting analgesic. The chemical name for tramadol hydrochloride is (±)cis-2- [(dimethylamino)methyl]-1-(3-methoxyphenyl) cyclohexanol hydrochloride, but that is too hard for a normal human to pronounce.
Brufen (started 31 August), which is actually ibuprofen, which is actually (±)-2-(p-isobutylphenyl) propionic acid. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent.
Ciprofloxacin is a synthetic broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, complexly represented as 1-cyclopropyl-6-fluoro-1, 4-drhydro-4-oxo-7-(1-piperazinyl)-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid, and empirically as C₁₇H₁₈FN₃O₃.
Naloxone, a narcotic antagonist, is a synthetic congener of oxymorphone. It’s present as naloxone hydrochloride, (–)-17-Allyl-4, 5a-epoxy-3,14-dihydroxymorphinan-6-one hydrochloride, or C₁₉H₂₁NO₄•HCl.
Maxalon and Tropisetron were also tried at various times to combat my nausea.
Comment by Ned – Sunday 24 August 2003, 3:17 AM
  Anyone using an older browser, such as Internet Explorer 6, may notice that some characters aren’t displaying correctly. They’re subscript numbers, and it seems Internet Explorer, for one, doesn’t have them in it’s character set. Mozilla does, so if you’re concerned, go check it in that.

29.08.2002Thursday 29 August

I was sick in the morning, and can’t eat or drink. I had some anti-nausea drugs intravenously, after which I got very itchy all over as if little bugs were walking all over me, so I had some anti-itch drug, stomach lining protector drug, antibiotics, stomach acid neutralising drug and of course, morphine. I felt OK for tea, but was sick again when I saw it, and then feverish and ill overnight. The X-Ray showed my lung was up and the suction was reduced from 30 centimetres of water to 20.

30.08.2002Friday 30 August

I ate most of my breakfast and had an X-Ray, which showed that the lung had re-collapsed. I then became nauseas and vomited some more in the afternoon and couldn’t have tea. I also got a basket of goodies from Becky. Two nurses brought in a huge basket of snacks and lollies and a card in the evening, which everyone commented on.

31.08.2002Saturday 31 August

My drain bottle was changed early in the morning, as it was full. They hold two litres, so I guess I must have drained two litres of fluid. I was sick and didn’t eat any breakfast, having an X-Ray at 10 AM, which showed that my lung was still not fully expanded, so at 11:20 AM a third chest drain was placed. This was a little unpleasant as I lay in bed having a hole chopped into my chest directly above where it feels as though the heart is. The local anaesthetic which I had been given dulled most of the pain, although a few incisions were agonising and the feeling (which I could feel quite well) of suctions and a tube being placed through a hole and removed a few times, just above the heart, is a little repulsive. I then had another X-Ray that showed the lung still not fully expanded. Still sick and vomiting at lunch so didn’t eat any of that. I drank a half glass of milk for dinner, spewing it up later, and had an OK night.

01.09.2002Sunday 1 September

I ate a tiny bit of breakfast and had an X-Ray at a quarter to ten. The physio came and saw me and showed me how to do breathing exercises and various things. Dr Santiago came and said the hole in my lung appeared to be slowly closing up but could take up to 14 days. Ketamine was added to my morphine to make it stronger. I have a Patient Controlled Analgesic, which is basically a button that I can push which will inject morphine into an intravenous drip. It has various time-outs on it so I can’t overdose. I had another X-Ray, which showed my lung was fully expanded. Dr Diqer came and said to take the bottom two chest drains out, but fortunately Dr Santiago came back later and said they would only remove the bottom drain as it no longer served a purpose, the lung being expanded. I couldn’t eat any dinner, as I was too ill. At 10:30 PM Dr Susan, a young doctor, came and removed the bottom chest drain, which was briefly very painful. During the night I began to die and the nurses called a Dr who did an ECG and various tests and concluded I was only having an anxiety attack. I believe I could feel my lung collapsing and that it wasn’t an anxiety attack.

02.09.2002Monday 2 September

I ate half a weetbix for breakfast, after which they clamped the suction off. Seeing as I couldn’t breath and it hurt like hell, they had to undo the clamp and at 10 AM just removed the suction but left the drains operating instead. A nurse came and washed me and brushed my teeth for the first time since being in hospital, and then changed my dressings. I skipped lunch, as I was still feeling very nauseous, instead having an X-Ray at 12:30. Dr Singh came around 5 PM and said that my lung had collapsed severely and put it back on suction. 20 on the top drain and 30 on the bottom one, probably for three days and hope the lung stays up this time. I was put on three hourly Maxalon to try and stop my nausea, but still couldn’t eat dinner. Another X-Ray at 7:30 PM and I managed to eat a quarter of a sandwich and had a good sleep.

03.09.2002Tuesday 3 September

I felt a bit better and ate some Kellogg’s Just Right for breakfast. I had another X-Ray. A Dr came and told me that yesterdays X–Ray showed that my lung is still not fully up. 10:30 and I had another tooth and body wash followed by a dressing change then lunch, when I managed to eat a small plain white bread roll. A doctor came and told me that this mornings X-Ray shows that my lung is still slightly down. I couldn’t eat any tea, it looked too awful, but Mum got me some chips that I managed to eat. I also ate some Pizza Shapes. Dr Diqer turned up around 7 PM and said that they would wait for about a week after which if there was no improvement they’d have to think of something else drastic to do. He also cancelled the physio, told me to cease my breathing exercises and try to get off the morphine.

04.09.2002Wednesday 4 September

I had a goodnights sleep last night, and ate my porridge and bun for breakfast. Dr Santiago came and said they would keep on as before, and that I must do a little exercise and coughing or I’d atrophy and get all sorts of nasty things. Coughing removes the phlegm, which if not removed leads to infection. I had another wash. The top drain stopped bubbling although the bottom drain is still bubbling freely. The Acute Pain Team Anaesthetist came and said they would remove the morphine and try some other drugs. I managed to drink a poppa and some milk. 11:15 AM the morphine was taken off and I had my first Tramadol at 12:45 PM, to be taken 12 hourly thereafter. I ate a small amount of lunch and then my cannula (intravenous drip) seized up. Dr Singh came and said they’d take an X-Ray tomorrow. I ate a little dinner.

05.09.2002Thursday 5 September

I ate my breakfast, had an X-Ray and had some blood taken. I was then moved to another bed across the room, which was closer to the bathroom, allowing me to go to the bathroom while still piped with longer tubes into the vacuum outlet (or inlet?) on the wall. Still no bubbles from the top drain and the bubbles are slowing in the bottom drain. All three Dr’s came, Diqer who is the cardiologist thoracic consultant, and Singh and Santiago who are the cardiac/thoracic surgeons and who operated on me. They said to wait. I had my first shower by myself in the bathroom and ate most of my lunch. I also went to the toilet for the first time since admission. 5 PM they put in my new I.V cannula, which only has antibiotics running through it now. One of the nurses discovered that the suction to my tubes had been switched around in the bed move so that I had 20 suction on the 30 drain and vice versa for the past eight or nine hours. A few bubbles were seen escaping my top drain around 4:30 PM. I ate my dinner and feel much better overall. I am having eight hourly Tramadol (100 mg) and paracetamol four times a day.

06.09.2002Friday 6 September

Still no bubbles from my top drain although the bottom drain still bubbles. The Dr’s visited. Yesterdays X-Ray showed a small pneumothorax and they will give me another X-Ray on Sunday. Both suctions were put on 20. Pasta Neapolitan for lunch. My dressings were changed after lunch. Dr Diqer and Dr Singh came after 4 PM and said to wait and hope.

07.09.2002Saturday 7 September

I waited and hoped.

08.09.2002Sunday 8 September

A blood sample and X-Ray were taken; showing the lung still slightly down on the side Dr Singh came and said they would wait three days. At 11:15 AM Dr Diqer came and ordered the suction off, then on for five minutes in the hour and continue for 24 hours and that they will wait until the end of the week before declaring me unfixable. My dressing was changed and the first stitches removed at noon. The suction was then turned off for 55 minutes and on for five each hour, although this usually ended up being off for an hour and half and on for a quarter of an hour with the nurses being busy. I had another anxiety attack tonight and had some sleeping pills.

09.09.2002Monday 9 September

X-Ray taken and Dr Diqer said it showed the lung was up, although slightly down on the outer side and he would continue the five minute suction per hour for another 24 hours, and if the lung is still up on tomorrows X-Ray he would clamp the tubes for 24 hours then if still up I can be discharged. At 4:30 Dr Singh came and at 5:30 Dr Santiago came, in a rare moment of agreement, all said the same as Dr Diqer. Another sleeping pill and I still couldn’t sleep.

10.09.2002Tuesday 10 September

The following entry has been edited to remove incorrect information and an identifiable name upon request.
  Yet another X-Ray. The lung is still up, with a tiny bit down on one side. At 10:30 AM the suction tubes were clamped. At midday Dr Johnny came and said they’d take another X-Ray in the evening and another in the morning. At 4:30 an X-Ray was taken showing the lung still up. Dr Santiago said I’d have another X-Ray in the morning and if the lung is still up he would take the top tube out, then another X-Ray and if the lung is still up take the bottom tube out followed by another X-Ray. He also said that the lung tissue pathology had showed that my lungs have the potential to develop these holes, that the tissue contains small “bubbles” that can burst.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 21 February 2004, 12:06 AM
  I got an email today informing me that this entry was incorrect and requesting that someone’s name be removed, so I’ve now done that.

11.09.2002Wednesday 11 September

I had an early X-Ray showing my lung was still up. Dr Verdi (The head of the cardiac/thoracic department) came back from India (he’s an Indian) and called in to give his opinion. It seems as if he agrees with everyone else. I had 5 mg of morphine in my tummy, and then at 2:10 PM Dr Santiago came and pulled out the top drain. I had to hold my breath as hard as I possibly could, and he un-sewed it and pulled it out. Another X-Ray was taken, and Dr Singh came and said they would probably take another X-Ray in the morning but not pull the other tube out now. Dr Santiago came about an hour later and said the X-Ray shows the lung stuck up at the top, but down at the side. All the fluid at the bottom of the lung is gone. 3:55 PM and I am put back on 20 suction. Lots and lots of bubbling and pain and cramp so I got some more morphine, subcutaneously. Dr Santiago came at 6 and looked at the drains. I started on laxatives tonight.

12.09.2002Thursday 12 September

Dr Diqer said to take and X-Ray and then if the lung is up, do the same five minutes of suction per hour as before. Dr Verdi came and said to take the drains out if the X-Rays are Ok. I had stomach cramps all morning and the drain still bubbling a lot. Around 11, Dr Johnny came and said the lung is up. I notice that the drain tube has become disconnected under some tape and get Dr Johnny to fix it. As soon as it is fixed the bubbling stops. I have another X-Ray immediately and the lung is still up. I believe the drain probably became dislodged yesterday when having my other drain removed, and that it probably caused the further collapse of my lung and is the reason the drain bubbled all night. The fact that the lung stayed up while the tube was leaking is good. I went to the toilet at just before midday, which was very cramped and painful, after which the drains were put back on their five minute per hour routine, and no bubbles were to be seen. Dr Johnny came and said the lung looked good still. I had my dressings changed at two; Dr Santiago came at 3:30 and said the same as Dr Johnny. I told him about the leaking tube. Dr Santiago came again at 5:30 and checked the drain to make sure it’s not blocked and is going OK.

13.09.2002Friday 13 September – Black Friday

Dr Singh and Dr Santiago came early and didn’t say much as I’d not yet had my X-Ray. I had my X-Ray around eight, with the Dr’s coming at ten to tell me the lung is still up, with only a very small part on the side collapsed. Dr Santiago came at a quarter to twelve and said that we will continue what’s being done until tomorrow, take another X-Ray then and if that’s ok he’ll come and clamp the tube. Just after four Dr Singh and Dr Johnny came and said they’d switch off the suction this evening but at 6:30 Dr Santiago came again and said to continue with the five minute suction until the morning. A lot of the fluid syphoned out of the drain bottle and halfway up my tube, which worried me a bit.

14.09.2002Saturday 14 September

I was allowed out of my room for the first time since coming to hospital. The suction tube was taken off the wall and I was wheeled down for a proper X-Ray at medical imaging. Nice to see some different windows with different views. The X-Ray shows the lung is up, so suction is removed completely. Dr Diqer came at midday and said that I’d have no suction for 48 hours and then if it was still ok they’d clamp the tube.

15.09.2002Sunday 15 September

Dr Santiago came and said I’d have an X-Ray tomorrow and if that was ok clamp the tube.

16.09.2002Monday 16 September

I had an early morning X-Ray and had the clamps put on my drain at 10 AM. At 5 PM Dr Santiago came and said this mornings X-Ray looked good and they will take another tomorrow morning.

17.09.2002Tuesday 17 September

Drs Santiago, Verdi and Singh all came and all had nothing to say, as I’d not yet had my X-Ray. I had my X-Ray a bit late around ten and was told that it was OK at midday when Dr Santiago came and gave me the now familiar morphine injection. He then pulled the drain out. It was sore and I had to have some more morphine during the evening. I was sent down around 1 o’clock for my X-Ray at medical imaging and told at 4 PM that it was ok and that I will have another tomorrow, after which if it is OK I can go home.

18.09.2002Wednesday 18 September – I am discharged from hospital

8 AM and an X-Ray taken. Midday and I am told the X-Ray is good and I am to be discharged. Apparently I will have pain for a week or two and can never sky dive, scuba dive or fly in unpressurised aircraft. I was told not to do any heavy lifting or contact sports for at least three months and that it will take three weeks for my lung to fully heal, after which I can go jogging and get fit once again. If either lung ever collapsed again it will now be treated as a medical emergency and I should be airlifted at low altitude to the nearest hospital able to do instant lung surgery. Normally a lung will reinflate after 48 hours. Mine took much longer every time it collapsed, quite possibly due to the scar tissue I would have got when messed up last time I went to hospital. A nurse took some more stitches out.
I was discharged around 2 PM with five days supply of drugs and went straight to an Internet Café where I checked my emails and talked to my chat friends and various other related and vitally important things. I then caught a taxi to the Red Cross House where I had a sleep until late evening when I went to the Internet Café again, after which I went back to the Red Cross House and slept all night.

19.09.2002Thursday 19 September – Home again

We left Townsville early in the morning. We stopped every hour or so for me to rest. Eleven hours later we arrived back home. There is a lot of roadwork going on in the 40 kilometres or so left of gravel road, most of which was smooth and not too rough. The bumps were a bit scary but didn’t actually hurt me.
We arrived home to find there is a flea plague here but no Malarchy.
First things first: I got Dad to carry my two (very heavy) monitors back from where they had been placed under lock and key inside, to out here and then my PC and set it all up. It had a disk error reading the restore information and had to reboot. I then connected the modem and phone line and went online. Shortly after the UPS cut in, and died seeing as it has dead batteries so I disconnected it and ran the PC straight from mains power. Shortly later that also failed and I had an unexpected reboot, shortly after which the PC froze up causing another reboot, which had a BSOD NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM error on start-up, causing another reboot. I’m starting to remember how Windows runs already. The worrying thing is that I usually run about three weeks of (suspended) uptime. I hope nothing has gone wrong while I was away.

20.09.2002Friday 20 September

I had a very quiet day resting and doing nothing. Jade, Shan and Ella came over in the evening and we watched the DVD “American Outlaws”, after which they drove me down to the shop. I then had a shower, being careful not to get my dressing wet. It’s a little hard to shower when I can’t bend, but I managed.

21.09.2002Saturday 21 September

I had another quiet and restful day. I am starting to get used to sleeping flat on a bed again, although it still feels a little unnatural. Mum left in the evening, at 3:45, on the bus to Cairns.

22.09.2002Sunday 22 September

Another quiet day, I am feeling OK, except for starting to develop a weird pain/ache down my left side.

23.09.2002Monday 23 September

I am sore. But it isn’t sore. It’s a weird pain ache. It’s impossible to describe. The best I can do is: You know that headache feeling at the base of your neck? I have that, and if I lower my head, even if I keep my back straight and just squat, it throbs for a little while and then equalises. But to make it odd, I have that from the base of my right ear down to about the start of my stomach, all on the right side. I can’t stay up for much longer than three hours at a time, it gets too sore, so I am staying up for a few hours then lying down for a few. I get cold and pull up my blanket and then wake an hour or two later all hot and sweaty. I don’t feel good at all. Today was also the last day that I had any drugs and painkillers.

24.09.2002Tuesday 24 September

I don’t feel any better than yesterday so far as my weird pain/ache goes, but I feel much better otherwise. I went for a walk around and around the yard and my legs and muscles feel tired but healthy. My lung feels quite good and hardly sore. I took my last dressing off after having a shower and it also looks fine. I slept well, although woke a lot.

25.09.2002Wednesday 25 September

Yet another quiet day. I woke up feeling a lot better than I did yesterday. My weird pain/ache is now just in my throat and neck, and not as bad as yesterday, although just as bad when I lie down. The power failed around 11, for a scheduled outage which I’d forgotten about. It came on two hours or so later. I phoned up and made some enquiries at some universities about admissions and also booked an appointment to have my stitches out tomorrow. Shan came over in the evening and stayed for a few hours. I had a shower, dinner, and went to bed just after midnight.

26.09.2002Thursday 26 September – I am cursed

We drove to town for my Dr’s appointment to have my single suture removed.
  I assumed it would take somewhere between three seconds and one minute. When I heard them talking about using gas to knock me out (this is after quarter of an hour on the table) I realised that I am indeed cursed. Three quarters of an hour later, and some local anaesthetic, high-pressure irrigation and stress, I was once again back out of hospital. I also had a bandage back on my wound as they’d had to dig the stitches out. I am now totally freaked to go into that hospital; it and I do not get along well. The bad news is that the Dr said my weird ache/pain is symptomatic with nerve damage caused by being bedridden and having muscle interfering surgery. The good news is that it might go away in a month or so and I should keep taking the maximum dosage of paracetamol until it does.

27.09.2002Friday 27 September – QTAC and the Inaugral Wallaby Creek Festival

I sent the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) application off today, I’ll still need to post some supporting documentation within seven days. Mum drove me over to Home Rule in the evening, where we picked up our free tickets. Mum drove home and I walked up to Joneses. Shan was down at the festival so Jade and I walked down and found him. I ended up spending ages trying to get a data connection via Telstra two-way satellite to work, which it wouldn’t. Luckily, I worked out why just as they were ringing up to cancel it.
The bands played until midnight, after which we walked home and went to sleep. There’s a few hundred people here, but not near as many as they were hoping for (and probably needing). Fortunately for me there are two ice cream vans, one of which makes very nice milkshakes and a few selling hot food. We hung around until the bands finished about midnight. I stayed the night at Joneses.
Comment by paul – Saturday 28 February 2004, 3:46 AM
  Any sign of the legendary person Zanny Gognet at the festival?

28.09.2002Saturday 28 September – Day two of the Wallaby Creek Festival

We went back down to the festival and messed about doing pretty well nothing. There weren’t many people around, still sleeping I guess. Shan dropped me off at home for a dressing change and shower (and so I could get on IRC and see how the real world was going...). Mum drove me back over later, and Shan had looked up the right co-ordinates for the satellite receiver and got it working so we spent some time on chat. They had a laptop with Windows ME (which typically kept having drastic errors) and a Macintosh (which worked just lovely, although they are awful things). The vision fellas who were planning to do some live webcasting arrived at some time or other and set up their PC and its Real™ Producer and got it all connected and mostly working. Shan and I spent the evening alternating between sitting at the computers on IRC watching the show and walking to the ice cream van for... err... exercise. Becky managed to watch a bit of the show live while it was streaming and while we were talking to her on IRC, which was interesting. Everything finished around midnight and we wandered bedward, myself staying at Shan’s again. We managed to borrow Telstra’s laptop and a hub on some phoney excuse, which provided two IRC clients up at Shan’s place for a few hours until we got tired and went to sleep.

29.09.2002Sunday 29 September – Day three of the Wallaby Creek Festival

I awoke at nine. Shan and I took the laptop back down at ten and set it up ready for webcasting again. There were a few people at the “Poet’s Breakfast” but no one really came to the stage area for a few hours. The schedule was thrown out the window. Rumour was that security had quit during the night and new security had to be found as before the police turned up and discovered the bar was operating without any. There were large hour-long gaps without any bands playing. The crowd simply wasn’t. And it all went downhill from there, only picking up late at night, with bands going until 1 AM. Shan and I got to bed some time after two.

30.09.2002Monday 30 September – Final day of the Wallaby Creek Festival

I woke up late, Shan slept in for another hour. We headed down to the festival a bit before midday, but it was very dead. The stage was in the process of being packed up, there wasn’t any music and only a handful of people milling around the bar and the last few remaining stalls. Shan and I walked back up to his place and he drove me here, stopping at the Rossville Shop so that I could buy some energy. I spent the rest of the evening resting in front of my PC, which has developed another nice fault – playing a movie causes it to BSOD STOP error in NVDISP something or other DLL. I slept well.

01.10.2002Tuesday 1 October

I woke up sore again, maybe from forgetting to take my paracetamol last night. I got a Dr’s appointment to try to get a medical certificate stating why I was unable to study. The earliest time they had was 4:15 so I took that. Mum drove me into town just in time for the Dr’s and he wrote me a nice letter, which should do the job. Unfortunately, I need a Justice of the Peace to verify that the copies of the documents I’m sending are genuine, and none could be found after 4:30, so it looks like I’ll have to head into town again tomorrow. I did buy a nice chocolate thick shake from the Mad Cow Café, so that should last me a few hours.
Upgraded the video drivers without fixing the problem, I suspect it’s hardware related.

02.10.2002Wednesday 2 October – I catch galloping flu

I woke up. Then I sat down. Some time later Mum drove me to town. There I went to the courthouse where I had copies that purported to be copies of original documents verified that they were true copies of the documents of which they purported to be copies. This being completed, I made my way to the post office, where I purchased a money order for $105 which I posted to Silas along with a “backup” copy of DreamweaverMX (which for copyright reasons I should state was only for archival purposes and in case of nuclear strike or meteor showers and so forth), simultaneously sending QTAC the purported copies via express post. I then went on IRC at the library until I needed a milkshake, which necessitated a trip to the Mad Cow café, who also sold me a lamington. We then drove home again.
During this period I became sick, probably having caught Ella’s flu. As the afternoon dragged sneezing into evening, my throat became more and more sore and my nose successfully replicated a leaking tap, complete with drip.

03.10.2002Thursday 3 October

I am now officially sick. I have the galloping flu. Shan rode over just as I was waking up, just before lunchtime, and he is as sick as I am.
Update: 4 PM and still alive.
Update: 4:15 PM and still alive.

04.10.2002Friday 4 October

Sick. Flu. Nose runs, throat hurts, muscles ache.

05.10.2002Saturday 5 October

I am still sick, but a little better, maybe. It’s hard to tell.

06.10.2002Sunday 6 October – Shan’s 18th birthday

I went to bed, at 8 AM. I slept until 1 PM. I then stayed up until 7 AM tomorrow, when I once again went to sleep. However, before that, I drove over to Shan’s for his 18th Birthday. He has the coolest and smallest little SOG powerplier.

07.10.2002Monday 7 October

I finished my paracetamol. I will see how I go on nothing – it’s not as if they’re very strong painkillers anyhow. I did nothing for most of the day. I spent a few hours trying to find a program that would automatically read the EXIF metadata from my photos and use that to generate a photo album. I ended up spending a few hours editing PhotoShop templates to make it do it.

08.10.2002Tuesday 8 October

I woke up sore. I guess the paracetamol does actually work. My shoulder hurts, my side hurts, my back hurts, my legs ache... it’s a wonder I don’t have a headache too. I ran PhotoShop for 2 hours while it made a photo album of 1950 photos, which is available via my PC. I had Becky test it, and it works well apart from my slow connection speed. Shan rode up in the evening and we had a chat about his plans to meet his girlfriend in Cairns next week. Mandi came up later in the evening and talked to Mum for a while.

09.10.2002Wednesday 9 October

I didn’t go to sleep until nearly 3 AM last night, and I didn’t wake up until after 11. Not long after waking, Mum and I drove to town, where she went to the Dr’s and I bought a milkshake and set off to photograph the two TV transmission towers and the Telstra tower. It’s not 3:30 and I’ve spent half the night making pictures and various rather unproductive PC related things, so I better go to bed.

10.10.2002Thursday 10 October

I woke up, yet again. Mum went to town. I didn’t. Mum phoned up in the evening to tell me she’s staying in town. Robyn phoned up tonight to speak to Mum about Mally. My computer did bad things. I converted an HTML file to XHTML compliancy for a friend from IRC, and he was viewing the file from my computer, when IIS decided it wanted to connect out, rather lots. I blocked it with the firewall and it had a hissy fit. It was trying to connect through the firewall around 30 times per second, which didn’t do the CPU utilisation any good. I killed a few wrong processes and had a BSOD, rebooted, ran a virus scan, lost the ability to open hard drives (the drive is not ready), lost most of my window icons, lost the ability to run most programs, scheduled a complete disk scan, re-installed firewall, rebooted, scanned disk and so far it seems to be working like it used to. I wonder what will go wrong next. Any day now, I expect the PC to stop booting altogether; gee, I’m such an optimist.
There are several squillion small moths trying to fly into my mouth. They wait on my monitor screens and fly into my mouth whenever I open it. It’s so nice to live in a tropical paradise...

11.10.2002Friday 11 October

The day started, and ended, quietly. I drove over to Joneses in the evening and stayed until dark. We took a few photos of their new satellite internet setup. Then I drove back home again. Just too exciting for words.

12.10.2002Saturday 12 October – I register my own domains

I finally got around to “getting my own piece of the net” and registered and for the princely price of $USD7.99 each. By the morning, they were working and pointing to my Bigpond hosting. I spent all night online, going to bed at 9:20 AM.
Thank you Becky, for getting me my domains.

13.10.2002Sunday 13 October – I get my own webhosting

I woke at 1 o’clock, which wasn’t too bad considering as I went to bed at 9 AM. I ordered 250 MB of webhosting from for $USD 29.95 and am awaiting them to set up the account. I then rested around doing very little, a bit of research in the evening, and a short walk.
Thank you Becky, for paying for my webhosting.

14.10.2002Monday 14 October – Mally is ill

Mum’s eldest sister phoned. She is gravely ill. Mandi, Shan and Ella came over and dropped off a small kitchen grinder on their way to Cairns. I began to update my webpage in anticipation of having a host large enough to host it all. I also walked down to the Home Rule bridges for the first time since I’ve been out of hospital.
I hope my computer lasts that long. I’m having more errors as I type. Unable to write to drive C, unable to load thread blah, application errors and unexpected quits, overall, not very good at all. I’ve no idea what’s wrong – except that I’m convinced its hardware related and not just software. I’d rather like to be able to play movies again too, without a blue screen error. Sound without little high-pitched digital clicks in it would be nice as well. Now that I get thinking, I wouldn’t mind having CD drives and Hard drives that would stay set to DMA instead of resetting to PIO and requiring no less than three reboots to make them go again, and it would be nice to have my mouse and keyboard detected every time I boot up, rather than having to force abandon booting and retry, plus I’d love to be able to take desktop pictures on my secondary monitor like I used to be able too... the more I think about it, the more I think I need a new PC.

15.10.2002Tuesday 15 October – Hard Drive Errors

The day dawned bright and early. I dawned around lunchtime.
  It was a bad mistake.
  When I started my PC, scandisk checked drive G:, as I had asked it to. It very thoughtfully told me this:
  Checking file system on G:
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x160a28400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x160a28400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Folder \Dloads is entirely unreadable.
  Folder entry removed.
  1011312 KB in 1182 recovered files.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x1e09b2400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x1e09b2400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Folder \My Documents\My Pictures\fauna is entirely unreadable.
  Folder entry removed.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x1a1a08400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x1a1a08400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Folder \root\temp\Brad’s Homepage_files\~dhewetts_files is entirely unreadable.
  Folder entry removed.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x19a394400 for 0x10000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x19a3a0400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x19a3a2400 for 0x2000 bytes.
  Folder \Web\pages has bad clusters.
  Bad clusters removed from folder.
  Convert lost chains to files (Y/N)? Yes
  2344 KB in 262 recovered files.
  Windows is verifying free space...
  Free space verification is complete.
  Windows has made corrections to the file system.
  40 KB in bad sectors.
  Checking file system on C:
  Cleaning up 5 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
  Cleaning up 5 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
  Cleaning up 5 unused security descriptors.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x10e0aa000 for 0x10000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x10e0b6000 for 0x1000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x10e197000 for 0x10000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x10e19f000 for 0x1000 bytes. Windows replaced bad clusters in file 8767 of name \PROGRA~1\MICROS~3\Office\Xlators\MSO97V.DLL. Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x10e383000 for 0x10000 bytes.
  Read failure with status 0xc000009c at offset 0x10e385000 for 0x1000 bytes.
  Windows replaced bad clusters in file 10855 of name \DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\PFTE9~~1\SVGFIL~1\NPSVGVw.dll.
  Adding 3 bad clusters to the Bad Clusters File. CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the master file table (MFT) bitmap.
  Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
  12 KB in bad sectors.
  How exciting. The rough translation is: it deleted my last two years of downloaded files, the majority of which are backed-up to CD’s but not all. It probably means either the hard drive is dying, or the disk controller, or me, or the galaxy. It’s a little hard to tell.
A few more juice errors which might bring a smile to your dial:
  Windows cannot unload your registry file. If you have a roaming profile, your settings are not replicated. Contact your administrator.
  Access to performance data was denied to ?????o????????? ???? as attempted from C:\WINNT\system32\mmc.exe
  The timeout waiting for the performance data collection function “PerfDisk” in the “C:\WINNT\system32\perfdisk.dll” Library to finish has expired.
  WMI ADAP was unable to load the perfproc.dll performance library due to an unknown problem within the library: 0x0
  Detection of product ’{90280409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0050048383C9}’, feature ’ProductNonBootFiles’, component ’{EE6C0B94-C3A4-11D3-91C4-00600893B51B}’ failed. The resource ’C:\Program Files\Common Files\ODBC\Data Sources\’ does not exist.
  Windows cannot load the user’s profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system.
  DETAIL – Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service.
  RegLoadKey failed. Return value Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service. for C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\\UsrClass.dat.
  DETAIL – Access is denied. , Build number ((2195)).
  The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort0, did not respond within the timeout period.
  An error was detected on device \Device\CdRom0 during a paging operation.
  The device, \Device\Harddisk0\DR0, has a bad block.
  Application popup: Windows – Fatal Application Exit : Tiny Personal Firewall
  Driver: MsgDigestCalculate: Unable to open file ’C:’: 0x1
  KernelOpenFile: strlen(Filename) < 2 ?!?
  AppendFragmentToLongPath: OpenDirectoryObject error: C0000044, Directory: \??\C:\Program Files\Opera
  The description for Event ID ( 4000 ) in Source ( fwdrv ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. The following information is part of the event: \Device\FWDRV, MsgDigestCalculate: Unable to open file ’C:’: 0x1.
  KernelOpenFile: strlen(Filename) < 2 ?!?.
  AppendFragmentToLongPath: OpenDirectoryObject erro.
  RSM cannot manage library PhysicalDrive2. It encountered an unspecified error. This can be caused by a number of problems including, but not limited to, database corruption, failure communicating with the library, or insufficient system resources.
  The ring buffer that stores incoming mouse data has overflowed (buffer size is configurable via the registry).
  The driver has detected a device with old or out-of-date firmware. The device will not be used.
  The keyboard device does not exist or was not detected.
  Could not set the keyboard indicator lights.
  Could not set the keyboard typematic rate and delay.
  The device sent an incorrect response(s) following a keyboard reset.
  The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Ide\IdePort0.
I’m not sure what, but something gave me the impression that somewhat was wrong with my PC, I think it was when it deleted my entire Dloads folder, which I was rather fond of. So I’ve been trying to burn my photos and other vital data to CD’s (as it is currently only backed up to another drive but with errors like this, who knows what the problem is?). Unfortunately, I only have four blank CD’s and my computer politely froze just before writing the table of contents to the second CD, which effectively turned it into a fancy coaster. It also annoyed me ever so slightly, and seeing how it is now going on 4:30 AM, I am going to bed – and the data can prepare to meet its maker.
Oh, just in case you thought everything was going too smoothly – I did have something that went wrong today. The web hosting, which I ordered and paid for on Sunday, still hadn’t arrived (so to speak) so I emailed them and got the reply that my account had been approved but they had now resent my activation email, but needless to say, I’ve still not received it.
Maybe I should’ve been a truck driver.

16.10.2002Wednesday 16 October

I went over to Joneses to pick up some more blank CD’s, after wrecking another one trying to back-up my photos.

17.10.2002Thursday 17 October

Mum went to town, and I stayed here, relaxing and taking it easy.

18.10.2002Friday 18 October

I managed to burn another back-up CD, and had some more PC problems. I spent some time updating my webpage, and then went over to Joneses for the evening.

19.10.2002Saturday 19 October – Mally passed on

Ken phoned Mum in the morning to let her know Mally had passed on.
I drove over to Joneses in the evening, and stayed the night. Shan had a long phone call to his girlfriend, after which we ended up staying awake until after 4 AM.

20.10.2002Sunday 20 October

Shan and I didn’t wake until 9 AM, which wasn’t too bad considering we didn’t go to sleep until after 4 AM. We went for a walk up to 1K to see if we could see the tree wallaby anywhere, but it seemed to have gone. I drove home after lunch, and had a few hours sleep in the evening.

21.10.2002Monday 21 October

I didn’t go to sleep, instead staying up all night. I then had a quiet day, having a few hours sleep in the evening. I stayed up until 4 AM fixing and updating my webpage, being woken again at 8 AM by my sister phoning.

22.10.2002Tuesday 22 October

Today is hot, a true summer day. After being woken at eight, I’ve been trying to pretend I’m awake ever since. I phoned Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE) a few times, but they’re all busy.

23.10.2002Wednesday 23 October

The day dawned bright and early, around about dawn. I woke up somewhat later, and it was already getting hot. I phoned Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE) again, only to find the woman I needed to talk to was busy, and after phoning a second time, the receptionist told me she has now flown out until Monday. Mum arrived back from town where she had stayed the night at Sarah’s, around lunchtime. I did nothing constructive all day, messing around waiting for it to get cooler. Once the sun’s heat had subsided somewhat, I went for a walk to the shop and bought an ice cream, wandering down to the creek after. I could hear a pump running, so I went and found it – surprised to find it was an old-fashioned cast-iron piston pump, and quite a large one at that. The machinery made back in those days sure was strong – and heavy too. I messed around attempting to create a JavaScript that would pop-up a new window with an image in it – surely an easy thing to do if I knew what I was doing, but it just got messed up and I’ve no idea what’s wrong with it now – it freezes Internet Explorer. I had a reasonably early night for a change.

24.10.2002Thursday 24 October

It was another hot day. I sweated. Once it was cooler, I drove over to Shan’s, and ended up fighting Star Office under Linux on Elsie’s laptop... not what I had really planned on doing. No matter what we did, it wouldn’t print what we wanted – and the spreadsheet was protected, none of us knowing the password. Shan and I then wheelbarrowed the rubbish to the tip and burnt it – very un-environmentally friendly I’m sure, but it saves the cows from choking to death on the plastic. Besides, one volcano can release fifty years pollution, so why me worry? Have to love the caring attitude. I am going to try having a slightly early night for a change, and maybe go to town tomorrow.

25.10.2002Friday 25 October

Shan dropped in on his way back from an exam up at the school. Mum and I drove into town in the evening, where the most exciting thing I did was buy a thick-shake, and wow, what a thick-shake it was.

26.10.2002Saturday 26 October

It almost looked as though it could rain today, but it didn’t. I went down to the local markets in the morning, buying a piece of vegetarian pizza. I then rested (about all one can do in this heat) until it cooled down a bit. The local folk festival had a music night at the markets, so I went down to that for a short while – drugged out hippies aren’t really my scene.

27.10.2002Sunday 27 October

Yet another very hot and dry day. The dust is not nice at all – we need rain, and now. It actually clouded up a small bit and may be building up to some rain, I hope so. The creek up the back of Dad’s, from which he and a few others gravity feed water from, has dried up. The local school’s water supply (also a creek up the back) has also dried up. Old Ned’s well (which hasn’t dried up in 22 years or so...) has dried up, so it must be dry!

28.10.2002Monday 28 October – I order my new computer

I was up and phoning Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE) before 9:30, and amazingly got through and they rang back shortly after, so I finally managed to talk and arrange what I was supposed to have done weeks ago. I also sent off the order for my new PC:
  Socket-A GigaByte GA-7VAXP $262.00
  AMD ATHLON/PALOMINO XP2000 (1.67ghz) Socket A $219.00
  DDR-DIMM 256meg NANYA or EQUIVALENT DDR266 (PC2100) $119.00
  PC133 S-DIMM 256meg MEMTEK or EQUIVALENT $59.00
  DVD-CD-ROM IDE 16x DVD PIONEER Slot Load Model 106s OEM $95.00
  IBM 80 gig 7200rpm GLASS platter ATA-100 120GXP VANCOUVER $208.00
  GeForce4 MX440 GALAXY 64meg 4ns DDR Ram Active cooling TV OUT Gold PCB $129.00
  Midi-Tower Millennium Tower MIX21K 350watt P4 and AMD Power Supply 4 Bays BLACK $85.00
  Network Card GENIUS PCI 10/100 Model GFR100-TXR $23.00
  Network Cable 10meter RJ45 CROSS-OVER $15.00
  FANS 8cm SUNON Sleeve 3wire $9.00
  Total: $1,223.00
  The DVD and PC133 RAM are for Shan, the DVD is his (late) birthday present.

29.10.2002Tuesday 29 October – The day the UFO came

Today was an interesting day. Mum and I went to town in the evening. I photocopied my doctor’s letter and had it verified as a copy of the original of which it purported to be a copy etcetera, and then posted it with its cover letter to Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE).
Not long after dark had fallen (and halfway through doing something on my computer) the power rudely failed, leaving me in thick darkness. Mum and I sat outside, near the garden, talking. I was watching the stars, and Mum was staring blankly at the ground. I noticed a satellite passing overhead, so was watching it intently. It passed into a cloud, becoming abruptly brighter, whereupon I said to Mum “look at that star, its getting brighter”. It then appeared to shine a light directly at me, the brightness of which was impossible to say as I was staring directly at it. Moments later it passed out of the cloud and back into the sky, and then behind some trees, continuing on its satellite way. Mum was asking me what had happened as she had seen the flash of light, bright enough to reflect off the trees and the ground, but hadn’t looked up and seen the “star”, and me asking her what she meant.
  I assumed it was an airplane, which had passed into a cloud and its lights had reflected downwards, so I waited for its engine noise. It was mildly windy, with very light clouds passing rapidly, and many stars visible. The night was mainly clear, no other light around, except for the dim fading light of the setting sun still just visible on the horizon. The engine noise never came, and it occurred to me that there had been no flashing light either, as is usually visible on a commercial aircraft, and also that the cloud which the “satellite” had passed into probably wasn’t there, I assumed there was a cloud due to the way in which the light suddenly got brighter. I still haven’t been able to think of any logical explanation. The light was bright enough to reflect off the trees and flash around, which is bright. Where we live, trees surround us and they are tall, blocking a lot of the sky and hemming us in. Any light would need to be considerably powerful to penetrate and reflect the way this did, and the way Mum saw it. I seriously doubt any normal aircraft could have caused a light that bright, and that focused, and for such a short time, without having been very low – in which case it would surely have made some noise and also its flashing tail lights would have been visible.
  I’m still not sure what it was, but I am almost considering making a fool of myself and phoning the power company to ask what was the official reason for the power to fail, which failed again a few hours later, at which point I went to bed a little scared.
  As far as I know nothing abducted me during my sleep – but how would I know?
Comment by Ned – Sunday 6 July 2003, 10:06 PM
  The official sceptic’s story: Satellites roll and catch the sun, especially if they’re near the horizon (which this wasn’t). I can’t imagine a flash of reflected sunlight from a satellite being as bright as this, but who knows?
Comment by io – Wednesday 10 September 2003, 7:56 AM
  You should have phoned the power company. If it wasn't isolated, they would probably already have a pre recorded message telling you that areas "x" having a power outage. If not, then meh.. Power companies should provide a reliable supply and if they don't, you have the right to know. A flash or reflected sunlight can be very bright.. The possibility exists that it may have been an Iridium flare [which are known to be quite bright]. What was the size of the UFO?

30.10.2002Wednesday 30 October

I woke up without any easily discernible signs of abduction, and feeling quite normal. I spent most of the day researching, with Mum driving into town for a Dr’s appointment and staying most of the day in there. I phoned Matthew in the evening to give him a price on his computer, which he’d asked for, and then continued with my research.

31.10.2002Thursday 31 October

Today was another hot and dry day, not quite as bad as the last few days, but summer is definitely on its way. I have nothing at all to write about today, I spent nearly all day at my PC. I phoned up GameDude Computers to see why my order was taking so long, and an hour later, I received an email with my order confirmation and amount to pay, but they had left out Shan’s PC133 RAM as it wouldn’t work with my motherboard, so Shan phoned them up again and got that corrected. The Athlon XP2000 processor that I had planned to purchase was out of stock, so replaced with an Athlon XP2100, which cost more, of course. I sent of the money, all $1312 of it, and now just have to wait for the product to arrive, and hope it’s in good condition and what I am expecting. I went for a short walk in the evening, just down to the markets and back, had a shower, chatted for a while on IRC and read a few web pages, and now off to bed.

01.11.2002Friday 1 November

Drove to Shan’s place. Scanned Dr Diqer’s letter. Helped Shan design webpage. Drove home.
Other Information
It was another hot day, with much dust.
It is bed time.
Action taken

02.11.2002Saturday 2 November – Fight Night

Mum and I drove into town, picking up Ricci from her place, and then onto the fight night. Cooktown Full Boar Muay Thai Kickboxing Club presents “The Awakening”, a Muay Thai and Kickboxing fight. Entry cost $25 for a ringside seat and $15 for general entry.
  Sarah was on the gate. I took many photos, 413 to be precise, almost filling all my available memory space and running both batteries more or less flat.
  The fights were a success for the local club, with all their competing fighters winning, bar one. I was surprised to find the violence level not as off-putting as I had thought it would be. At one stage, I was splattered with blood while ringside taking photos – which is fairly violent. One small child, who was sitting on a low wall, fell backwards hitting his head on an exposed drain. He was knocked unconscious and taken away by ambulance with a neck brace and immobilising stretcher on, but as far as I could see, everyone else seemed to enjoy the night. Mum and I did.
  We drove down to the 24-hour servo to fuel up for the journey home, only to find it closed. It seems it’s no longer 24 hours. Fortunately, we had enough petrol for the journey home, but not enough to get into town again. We arrived home around 1:30 and I spent a further two hours online after that, making for a late night.

03.11.2002Sunday 3 November

I woke up a bit late and tired, and still unwashed from all the alcohol I’d had spilt on me last night. I had a quiet day not doing much, drove over to Shan’s in the evening and messed around, and then spent the evening on chat.

04.11.2002Monday 4 November

Shan dropped in on his way home from his final exam. He and Mandi drove over shortly after and picked me up, and we all went to town. I was hoping my PC parts might have been there, although I knew it was very unlikely. They weren’t, sadly. I did manage to buy a thick-shake though, which was very cold and filling. By the time I got home it was going on dusk, so I didn’t really achieve much today.

05.11.2002Tuesday 5 November

I had a bad day.
I drove over to Joneses in the evening and ignored my bad day, talking to them for a while.

06.11.2002Wednesday 6 November

Mum and I drove to town in the morning. I was hoping that my new PC parts may have arrived, but unfortunately, they hadn’t. Shan, Ella and I then drove to town again in the evening to pick up some stuff from the hardware for Craig. If I include the half milkshake of Sarah’s that I drank (along with half her potato wedges with sour cream, yum) then I had 2 and a half milk/thick shakes today. Just in case that wasn’t enough, Shan, Ella and I ate a packet of corn chips with spicy Mexican dip on the way home. To round it all off, I had spicy baked beans with sauce and much cheese on toast for dinner.
  I also sent off Centrelink’s form asking whether I’d be studying again next year, and returned some overdue audiotapes to Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE).

07.11.2002Thursday 7 November – New computer

I was up early, and then went back to bed for a while. I phoned the post office some time after nine, and found that my PC parts had arrived, so Shan and I drove in to pick them up. On the way home we stopped in at Shan’s place and installed his new Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) drive, and his new 256 Megabyte (MB) Random Access Memory (RAM), which unfortunately wasn’t compatible with his Personal Computer (PC) so didn’t work. We then both came over here and put my new PC together, which took a while as it’s the first time I’ve ever done that, and I was being overly cautious. I drove Shan home just on dark, and then spent most of the night installing Windows XP and various other bits and pieces onto the new PC. Unfortunately it has some strange modem problem, which I really can’t fathom.
I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning.

08.11.2002Friday 8 November

Most of today was taken up with messing with my new PC and playing Unreal Tournament with Shan. I spent the morning configuring and fighting the new PC, with Shan coming over later and us both playing games until dark. I set up my old PC with my old monitor and networked the two, and had a good old two person Local Area Network (LAN) with Shan. After Shan went, I tried to fight my strange modem problem again, eventually giving up.
If I try to send a largish email (bigger than around 165K), it will send the first 165K (or thereabouts) of it, and then simply stop. Once it stops, everything else does too. The connection is then essentially dead. I started with my Maestro Woomera external modem in Windows XP. That didn’t work so I swapped to a Banksia Wave modem. That had the same problem, so I installed Windows 2000. That had the identical problem as Windows XP had. I then set up my old PC to use Internet Sharing running Windows 98. I still can’t send large mail, but at least the connection survives the attempt now. Not only does this problem occur in both Windows XP and 2000, and with two modems, but even through an internet gateway running Windows 98 on a separate machine without any of the same hardware. Just in case that’s not confusing enough, I had this problem once before with a different version of Outlook and an entirely different computer, running Windows 2000 and I installed Service Pack 2. Uninstalling the service pack fixed the problem. Reinstalling it caused the problem again.
  But wait.
  There’s more.
  It isn’t just Outlook; I couldn’t send mail even using web mail like and At times it got bad enough that I couldn’t even log into my web mail.
  If anyone reads this and has any idea what could be wrong, or how to fix it, please let me know.

09.11.2002Saturday 9 November

In PC news, I installed Shan’s internal modem into my PC, which works fine. I got picked up from here by Jade, Shan and Ella on their way to the shop, and spent the afternoon at their place. Their Grandparents and an uncle and cousin came for a visit while I was there. Shan drove me back home in the evening, and we played Unreal Tournament for a while.
I ended staying up quite late on chat.

10.11.2002Sunday 10 November

I woke late and I didn’t do much today. Shan came over in the evening and we tried to play Unreal Tournament and Re-Volt. My new PC was unstable and crashed multiple times, until we gave up. After Shan went, I messed about with the PC, eventually working out the setting in the BIOS that was causing it to become unstable. Re-Volt now seems to run well, although Unreal Tournament will cause a BSOD as soon as I run it.

11.11.2002Monday 11 November – zzzzzzzzzzt

I can’t remember the morning...
By the evening I found myself at Joneses. I can’t remember why. Shan stayed the night over here, and we tried to play Re-Volt networked, but it wouldn’t, so we played Unreal Tournament instead. Until the power failed, tripping the Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (Core Balance) (ELCB). Not long after restarting the computers, it again failed, again tripping the Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (Core Balance), which would tend to indicate surges. During the course of the night, the power failed several times, for not more than a few seconds each time, maybe five. Shan and I walked down to the Home Rule Bridge around 1 AM and sat talking for a while. We were startled by a bright light. I was watching the clouds and they lit up as though there were lightning behind the mountains, and Shan said he had been watching the ground, which he said was as bright as day. Then we heard a large and very loud “zzzzzzzzzzt”. It sounded exactly like an electrical noise, which is what Shan and I assumed. We walked back home but the power was on. We walked up and looked at the nearest transformers and powerlines, but they all seemed ok.
  About a half hour after the large “zzzzzzzzzzt” some power crew drove past, in a hurry. We were impressed at their response time, as it is half an hour from Cooktown (travelling fast) and also after 1 AM.
  We both went to bed, having decided that the light hadn’t been a UFO.

12.11.2002Tuesday 12 November

I woke up to find the mains power down around 30 volts on one phase. This wasn’t good for running my PC so I didn’t. Shan and I walked up to the nearest transformer and talked to the power people, who told us that all the lightning arrestors on all the transformers in the area had been blown and it appeared a high voltage line had fallen onto a lower voltage line, which is presumably what made the nice sparks.
  My old PC was dead, so I phoned the power people and found out how to make a claim for damages.
  Shan and I drove over to his place where I spent most of the day, coming back home in the evening. The power momentarily failed again during the late evening, being out for maybe three minutes, so I gave the power people a ring to let them know.

13.11.2002Wednesday 13 November

Nothing of interest to report.

14.11.2002Thursday 14 November – Sarah’s Graduation

The morning was uneventful. Dad, Mum and I drove to town around midday. Just as we pulled into town, while going around a corner, the car developed a nasty shudder. We couldn’t see anything wrong so we took it to the local garage. Apparently the steel belting inside the spare tyre (which we were using as we had a flat) had given away. We had to buy two new tyres, one to replace the wrecked spare, and one to replace the flat tyre – a nail having ruined it.
I took my old blown-up PC to the computer shop and left it there, then went and bought a thick-shake and went on the Internet at the library for an hour. I picked up my PC with its new power supply fitted in the evening, and shortly after went to Sarah’s graduation. I took some photos and then left when the meal started, as I wasn’t invited. I met Matthew driving along, and he gave me a lift down to the wharf where we bough some chips and potato scallops, and retired to his place to watch a movie. The graduates migrated to their party around 9:30 and Dad, Mum and I drove home.

15.11.2002Friday 15 November

The morning dawned clear and dusty, with not a drop of rain in sight. The sun beat down upon the dust; the dust mites ran and played. The trees shivered in their leaves, fearing the worst, as smoke curled lazily in the air from the myriads of fires still smouldering. Their leaves roll and curl, dropping to the ground as sorrowful as tears from a weeping Madonna, while the white cockatoos wheel and cry like crows coming in to feed from the still-living carcasses of drought-stricken trees, stripping them of their only hope – their blossoms.
  As I walk outside the guardian cockatoo cries, and the whole flock lifts from the treetops and, with mocking cries, flies off into the brazen and unforgiving sky. A scrub-hen chases another scrub hen, while her mate looks on. They are fighting as they are drawn ever closer together into each other’s territory in their incessant and increasingly urgent search for enough food to fill their withering gullets.
  A car drives by, billowing cloud upon cloud of thick dust onto the already choking trees by the roadside, and then filters its way through and into the yard, settling densely on everything. A dog barks in the distance, and another answers it.
  I sneeze, as I walk inside and look around for breakfast.
  The road, freshly graded and shaped, is a river of dust. Every car that drives by sends waves of it swelling outwards and downwind, suffocating everything and inflaming my nose. A lonesome sprinkler fights forlornly with the dust, an uneven and unfair battle it is doomed to lose. The very land itself prays for rain, its thirst calling out to the hard sky above. The sky answers with a baking heat, sucking what little moisture is left out of the trees, which one by one are withering up and dying. Trees which are forty years old are giving up. The drought has hit hard, it is frightening to think that this is normally one of the wettest places in Australia. Silas tells me that it looks like storming in Brisbane, as he discusses his exams, his stress levels and his inability to cope – meanwhile attempting to study. This reminds me that I need to phone the Bell View and make reservations, just in case they’re full – tourists can be fickle and hard to predict. Shan rides over on his motorbike, red from the sun and in a cloud of orange dust, mingled with blue smoke from his bike. The sun’s beating heat has abated some as the day draws to a close, but the parched dryness and the dust are ever-present and pitiless.
  The forecast says it will rain tomorrow.

16.11.2002Saturday 16 November

Rain, it didn’t. Sun, shine it did. Day was uneventful. Shan, visit in the evening he did. Sleep I had some of, in the evening. To bed I went, at 4 AM.

17.11.2002Sunday 17 November

I recall not what I did in the morning, nor do I recall what I did in the morning.
I drove over to Joneses in the evening, and arranged to be picked up from here tomorrow morning and transported, whole and intact, to Cairns to sit my exam.

18.11.2002Monday 18 November – STAT Test in Cairns

Jade came and picked me up just before 5 AM. We drove directly to Cairns, a four hour drive. I drove down the range, Jade driving the rest of the way. We checked into the Bell View, and then Jade went and sat her exam. I caught a bus up to my bank branch, and applied for a credit card, then caught a bus back and went to sleep until 3 PM, at which time Jade arrived back and we did a few things that she needed to do, then she drove me out to James Cook University (JCU) to sit my Special Tertiary Admission Test (STAT) Test. There were quite a few people sitting it, I estimate around sixty. They had a few rooms, divided alphabetically by surname of participants. The test is two hours long, and seventy multiple choice questions. I managed to complete all that I knew how to do in just over an hour, and then spent the rest of the time wondering what the ones I didn’t know how to answer were supposed to be. As far as tests go, this was a good one in that I wasn’t overly stressed or worried, although I really have no idea at what sort of result I will achieve.
  Jade picked me up after and we went and watched “Blurred: A comedy that follows a group of teenagers who are among the 70,000 who head for the Gold Coast each year for surf, sun and sex during “Schoolies Week”” at Cairns Central Cinemas, after which we both went to bed.

19.11.2002Tuesday 19 November – Cairns and shopping

I woke around 8:30. Jade and I drove around doing the shopping she had to do, and a small amount I needed to do. I finally bought a new computer mouse, a “Microsoft Optical Mouse Blue”, what an incredibly innovative name. It rained on and off, and rained some on the drive home. We left Cairns in the afternoon arriving back here just on dusk. I met Erica on her way up for two weeks holiday, with Brady and Nigel. It is raining here, not heavily, but solidly, at the moment. I am tired from the drive, and going to bed.

20.11.2002Wednesday 20 November

Nothing of any interest was done by me on this fine and dandy day.

21.11.2002Thursday 21 November

Today was town day, so Mum and I drove into town in the morning. We met Sarah just arriving at the Rossville hall where she is working. I checked my mail, and took the insurance claim forms regarding my PC to the computer shop, where I also went on the Internet for an hour. I then made my way up to the supermarket where I purchased a thick-shake from the Mad Cow, after drinking of which I felt quite sick. I bought a punnet of salad from the supermarket for lunch and ate that washed down with apple juice as we drove home. By the time we got home (just after lunch time) I was very sleepy.

22.11.2002Friday 22 November

I think the short walk in the evening, during which I bought a packet of Pringles and a small block of Cadbury Snack chocolate and sat down at the creek eating my Pringles, was about the only thing of any interest whatsoever that I did today.

23.11.2002Saturday 23 November

I went down to the markets in the morning, which were much the same as last markets and the markets before that... I bought a biscuit, an icy cup, and a raffle ticket, and then walked home. Jade and Shan dropped in on their way to the shop in the evening, and gave me a lift out to Home Rule where I stayed until dark, when they gave me a lift home again.

24.11.2002Sunday 24 November

I had a quiet day, driving out to Home Rule to see Shan in the evening.

25.11.2002Monday 25 November

I had a doctor’s appointment at 10 AM, and Mum had to give Jean Haak a lift to town at the same time, so we all drove to town. She has had some type of stroke, which is apparently a form of epilepsy, and isn’t to drive for a few months. She works at the local Art Gallery until 4 PM on Monday’s, so I had a lot of time to spend in town. I went an got my mail – a letter from Centrelink saying my payment has been cancelled due to myself not meeting the age requirements... Then I went and saw the doctor, who filled out the appropriate travel forms which I then took up to the hospital and lodged, as per decorum. I am now officially permitted to fly to Cairns for my doctor’s appointment there.
I spent some of the evening at the library attempting to use their pathetic Internet connection. Not only does it disconnect at random, requiring one of the librarians to input the password, but it only works on their server – their network is useless.
This is a good example of the librarians’ skill levels regarding computers:
  To connect to the internet, they open Internet Explorer, which attempts to dial a connection. If, however, the default Internet Explorer home page happens to be cached – (it appears to be set to cache per session) which isn’t all that unusual, then it doesn’t attempt to dial a connection and they mutter to themselves about how terrible computers are, and insist that the only way to fix this problem is to reboot, login as Administrator, “re-enable” the network (I shudder to think what that means) and then logout, log back in as a public user, and try again.
  It’s appalling to watch.
  Needless to say, it failed again, and as I pay per half hour to use it, I went and got my customary milkshake and punnet of salad, ate that, went for a walk down to the wharf, bought two potato scallops, ate them, and drove home.
And thus ended yet another day in the life of our hero.

26.11.2002Tuesday 26 November

  Hot winds drying the earth again.
  Hot dust rising.
  Hot on the telephone, on hold for hours.
  Hot under the collar.

27.11.2002Wednesday 27 November

Woke up.
  Did stuff.
  Had breakfast.
  Had lunch.
  It got hot.
  Had a snooze.
  Phoned Centrelink and worked out what was going on.
Shan came up and lost the dipstick from his motorbike on the way, which allowed oil to escape, so we got another dipstick from an old pump and some oil and fixed it. Shan then rode home.

28.11.2002Thursday 28 November – I fly to Cairns

Some time after getting up at some ungodly hour, getting ready, and then driving to town at 6:30 AM, I actually woke up. The plane left on time around eight, arriving in Cairns roughly 45 minutes later. I checked in to the Bell View, stowed my bag, found an Internet Café at which I spent some time, and then headed up to the hospital for my X-Ray. After a short wait I had my X-Rays and walked back to the Bell View. Having no shopping to do and not much else either, I walked to Cairns Central to see what movies were showing. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was about to start, so I watched that. It is even worse than it sounds, just possibly viewable for young children, although definitely third-rate. Lunch followed – a very nice falafel roll, with extremely hot chilli sauce and hummus.
  Having gotten into movie-watching mode, I then watched Changing Lanes. While not the best movie, anything seemed good after Harry Potter, and this actually had a semblance of plot.
  Two movies are never enough, of course, so I finished off by walking up to Cairns City Cinemas and watching “Y Tu Mama Tambien”. It is filmed in Mexico, in Spanish, and is subtitled. This gave me a mild shock, as I wasn’t aware it was to be a subtitled movie. There’s something about subtitles, they change the atmosphere, sometimes actually helping to draw one into the movie, making one rely more on visual cues, and thus seeing much more than one might otherwise. I’d recommend it (but only to mature audiences, it contains nudity, sex, and at least one kiss). All this movie-going took me up to 11:30, so I wandered back to the Bell View, which is only a ten minute walk from the theatre, showered and went to sleep.

29.11.2002Friday 29 November – Our hero sees the doctor in Cairns

I was awoken at 7 AM (although I was actually already awake) by my wake-up call. I made my way leisurely hospital-wise, via an Internet Café. I found the right clinic, sat for a while, and saw Dr Singh. He said “Get Lost, and don’t let me see you here again”. Or words to that effect. There’s every chance that my lung may collapse again, or that my other lung may also have faulty tissue in it, but I am now officially declared better. I can do anything I want, except for deep sea diving.
  To celebrate the news, I went to the movies. At Cairns Central I saw “CrackerJack”, then walked to Cairns City Cinemas and saw “The Banger Sisters”, both quite meaningless and somewhat disappointing, although I enjoyed them both. A special mention must go to “CrackerJack” for managing to make one of the most boring plots known interesting enough to watch, and it was ok too.
  After having spent ages watching movies, I felt I needed a rest, so I spent some time on the Internet and then hailed a cab out to General Aviation, where I sat waiting for the plane to leave. The flight home was much the same as always, although for some reason we flew lower and further inland than normal, and it was slightly bumpy, all of which made the ride a little more enjoyable and interesting.
  Mum picked me up from that airport, and we drove home.

30.11.2002Saturday 30 November

It was hot. Very hot. Humidity slowly soared, while the heat also rose. Today is, without doubt, the hottest day this summer. As evening came, so did the clouds, rolling in thick and dark from the ocean. Just before dark, the lightning began out West. Just after dark, the rain arrived. It stormed. Lightning crashed above. The power surged on and off. I unplugged the PC, although I forgot the phone line, and went to bed. It was still hot, but I eventually dozed off, enjoying the refreshing smell of the lightning and the rain, and the sound of rain and wind in the canopy, and falling onto the roof. The sounds of nature, flexing her muscles, a pure, unaltered and somehow peaceful and tranquil sound, yet tinged with fearful power.

01.12.2002Sunday 1 December

Today was another extremely humid and hot day. I woke up sweating. At least the storm had passed, and the power appeared stable. I spent the entire day hot, trying not to move too much. I even lay down and tried sleeping for a while. The power failed for a second in the evening, shutting down my PC.

02.12.2002Monday 2 December – I receive my STAT results

This is an excerpt from an email to Silas:
  I tried to work out how to make my PC cooler today, I had it up on my desk during the hot part of the day, with the case off, using 100% Central Processing Unit (CPU) time, and it overheated. Screen went red and blotchy, and then shut off. Helen at Computer Stuff has one more fan like mine, so I phoned her and got her to hold it for me, so I will buy that when I’m in town and put that in the front, then I will have two in the front, and one in the back, plus the power supply fan. Hopefully that will be enough to keep it cool, otherwise I will put one more in the back, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to start doing drastic stuff, getting new CPU coolers and chopping the vents out to let better airflow, or higher Revolutions per minute (RPM) fans... or something...
I got my Special Tertiary Admission Test (STAT) test result today. Overall result: 174. This is a percentile based ranking, and means I did better than 99% of people who sat the test, in other words in the top 1%. I don’t know if this will help me gain UNI entry, but it’s about the best anyone could do in the exam.
I also got my application for a credit card turned down, no reason given. I wonder how to get one now? I can’t even pay for my web hosting, or Internet Service Provider (ISP), or domain names... or practically anything, now. I applied through the Commonwealth bank, which is who my bank account is with.
We’ve been having storms and rain in the evenings, bad for power and Personal Computer (PC), but good for plants and dust.
After phoning Centrelink today, I have a phone appointment on Thursday morning, to apply for Newstart or whatever they call it now.

03.12.2002Tuesday 3 December

A quiet day. Mum went to town, and got back tomorrow.

04.12.2002Wednesday 4 December

Another quiet day. As predicted yesterday, Mum got back today.

05.12.2002Thursday 5 December – I nearly have a car accident

I had my phone interview with Centrelink at 8:30 AM. I drove to town around midday and dropped my wrecked monitor of at Ken’s. I bought another PC case fan, picked up and paid for Shan’s RAM (which cost me around $30 COD), went to the Centrelink office and filled out some forms, did some shopping, dropped my travel application at the hospital, and drove home. On the way home, as I came over a hump in the dirt road, doing an estimated 80 km/h, I was faced by a large white four-wheel-drive, on my side of the road. There was about a half-car’s width of road on my side, and a large bank to my left. I was faced with a split-second decision, hit the bank (which was about a metre high) or hit the four-wheel-drive. The decision was obvious, so I drove into the bank. I managed to slip past the other moronic car without hitting it, although it must have been close. I then found myself heading straight towards a rather solid wall of earth, with rather solid trees growing in it. I had a feeling it wasn’t a good idea to hit that either, and that I probably had less than a quarter of a second until I did. I was faced with yet another split-second decision: to hit the large bank with trees in it, or try to hit the bank on the other side of the road, which was much smaller. Once again, an obvious decision. I hit the bank – I must have been doing somewhere between 60 and 80 km/h by this time. I must also have launched a reasonable distance, as there were a few large rocks which I didn’t hit but managed to arrive on the other side of. Once in the grassy road verge, I could slow down and drive back onto the road. I stopped and took a few photos of the wheel tracks, checked the car for any obvious damage, and was very thankful that I’d managed to avoid both a head-on accident and hitting anything substantial on the side of the road.
  I then finished driving home and had a relaxing evening.

06.12.2002Friday 6 December

Today was, without doubt, the day before tomorrow.

07.12.2002Saturday 7 December

Jade, Shan and Ella came around after going up to the shop, and I got a lift back to their place, where I spent the evening.
A huge peel of thunder rolled around the hills, crashing into the valley and rolling away into the distance. It was the first indication of a coming storm. It is unusual to get a storm at 11 PM, and it is unusual to not hear the thunder approaching. Fearing the worst and expecting little green men at the door at any moment, I stayed up until after 4 AM.

08.12.2002Sunday 8 December – I am depressed

I didn’t wake until after midday. I spent a quiet and uneventful day, doing nothing. In chat news: I managed to get myself banned and deleted from my favourite channel.
I am so depressed. I am so sad. My whole life has gone wrong. I am facing unbearable stress. I can’t see any way out. I have no money. My Mum is sick. My Dad is sick. My health is bad. I am in pain. Everything is falling apart. I don’t know what to do about it. It is more than I can bear. I need help.
I just don’t know how to handle this anymore. I can’t do my life alone. It is too much for me.

09.12.2002Monday 9 December

Today was yet another day. Mum drove Jean into town, and posted my Christmas cards. I tried to figure out a redesign of my webpage, but gave up. I went for a walk in the evening, down to the shop where I bought an ice cream, then onto the Home Rule Bridge, then back here, then up to Honeyflow drive and back again. It was quite hot, even though the time was approaching five.

10.12.2002Tuesday 10 December

I slept in. I drove over to Joneses in the evening, and Shan sent off an order for a new PC he is building for a friend of his. I stayed until just after dark, and then drove home again.
  In other words, it was an uneventful day.

11.12.2002Wednesday 11 December

Today was another hot day, which I spent quietly, avoiding the heat.

12.12.2002Thursday 12 December – Dentist

I was up before the cows, and driving to town to meet the Dentist. Unfortunately, he was there, and I got to see him straight away. White knuckles gripping the seat, who said torture went out with the middle ages? A painful needle (which did, however, do its job), some drilling and grinding, some sucking and voila, back out on the street I was – swollen mouth and all. I posted my Hard Disk Drive (HDD) down to the DiscShop for warranty repair, sent some more Christmas cards, did a bit of shopping, and drove home again.
  And all without any accidents.
  The numbness of my mouth stayed for several hours, and then went in five seconds.
  As I said in an email:
  This is the first filling I have ever needed. The dentist gave me a needle, and did some drilling. He then said that it was a large hole, and near the nerve, and possible that I may have difficulties with it which would necessitate root canal treatment or removal of the tooth. This was a bit of a shock, having gone from no fillings, to the possible removal of a tooth.
  The anaesthetic lasted some hours, and then wore off within five seconds. I thought that was strange, able to last so long, and yet disappear literally within five seconds as I sat here at my computer.
  Not much fun.
I went for a walk around the school loop after the heat of the day had died down.

13.12.2002Friday 13 December

Shan came up for a while in the evening so that we could take some pictures of the bracelet he’s giving his girlfriend for Christmas. Apart from that, a quiet day was had by all.

14.12.2002Saturday 14 December

Yet another quiet and uneventful day. I finally worked out the design of my new site, It now validates, and has the menu I want.

15.12.2002Sunday 15 December

I had a bit of a sleep in, followed by a quiet and uneventful day.

16.12.2002Monday 16 December

I had another quiet and uneventful day, with a walk in the evening. Mum got back from town where she had stayed the weekend.

17.12.2002Tuesday 17 December

It sprinkled slightly, on and off during the day. I ordered 50 blank CD’s and 10 rewriteable CD’s from The Disc Shop. I went for a walk in the evening, up around the school loop, and did some more sorting of my music in preparation to burn it to CD.

18.12.2002Wednesday 18 December

We were going to go to town today, but Mum was sick and it rained and was gloomy and dark, so I dozed and lazed all day.

19.12.2002Thursday 19 December

I drove out to Joneses to pick up Kylie-Anne’s present. Mum and I then drove to town, where I posted it registered mail. I also bought some ice cream, and checked out my new site at the library using their Internet Explorer 5. It seemed to work ok. We then came home. I began a survey of anyone I could think to ask, asking them: “What do you think about my hair/hairstyle and what (if anything) should I do to improve it?” So far results are evenly split between doing something and doing nothing...

20.12.2002Friday 20 December

I woke up late. I seem to have developed a late-sleeping habit, which I have to get out of. I go to bed early, yet still wake up late. Because I wake late, it means I’m not sleepy until late, which makes it pointless trying to go to bed early, so it’s a vicious cycle. I guess the solution is obvious – force myself to wake up earlier, which will in turn make me sleepier, and I will go to bed earlier... another vicious cycle, but the right one this time.
I went for a walk in the evening. I’m glad I am able to walk again. Just a fast walk, maybe three kilometres. No jogging and not too fast.
I guess I should try to go to bed now...

21.12.2002Saturday 21 December

I drove over to Joneses in the evening. Shan and Ella were using the Jet Ski in the dam, so I went and watched them until they finished, and then we all talked a while and pulled Shan’s Personal Computer (PC) half apart trying to fix its hibernation problem (which ended up being NERO Burning Rom – CD writing software (NERO), an update fixed it). I then came home and ended staying up all night.

22.12.2002Sunday 22 December – Silas arrives with Amy

I slept in late, which is hardly surprising considering I stayed up until 6 AM. Silas arrived with Amy, his cousin, in the evening. He stayed a while, changing a flat tyre and checking his email, and then headed on to his parent’s place in Bloomfield. I went for a short walk.

23.12.2002Monday 23 December

Shan rode over in the morning, and Mum, Shan and I drove into town. Shan renewed his driver’s licence and I did a bit of shopping, buying some snack food for the holidays. DVD’s are now classed the same as video’s in the new video rental shop, so all the non-new-release DVD’s are now available for weekly hire. I got Mad Max II and End of Days. Shan and I watched End of Days when we got home, and he then rode back to his place.

24.12.2002Tuesday 24 December

I went for a walk up to Dad’s place, but he wasn’t home.
Mum and I watched “Mad Max II” in the evening. It was quite a disappointment, after having heard about it, to find it is such junk. I had a late night.

25.12.2002Wednesday 25 December – Christmas Day

I woke up late, and took some photos of our Christmas decorations and such. It is a still, hot, summer’s day – the typical Australian Christmas day. I am now 22 years old. I feel a little bit wiser than yesterday.

26.12.2002Thursday 26 December

I had a quiet and rather uneventful day.

27.12.2002Friday 27 December

I had a quiet and rather uneventful day.

28.12.2002Saturday 28 December

I slept in very late, and woke late too... I drove over to Joneses in the evening to pick up a DVD of ours which they had, and to see why they’d not been online all day. Shan’s satellite internet is faulty – Telstra says the entire service is faulty.

29.12.2002Sunday 29 December

I had a quiet day. I networked my two PC’s, or attempted to. The link light wouldn’t light up. I tried rebooting. I tried wiggling the cable, twisting the cable, I tried everything. It wouldn’t work. It seemed either the cable, the plugs, or the network cards, had died. I went to bed.

30.12.2002Monday 30 December

Mum and I drove to town. I got a cheque from Ergon Energy for $439.95 as a “Claim Payment” for my PC which blew up, and a cheque from Queensland Health for patient transfer for my doctor’s check-up in Cairns, for $134. I put these into my account, and they will become available within ten working days I guess. I did a little bit of shopping, bought a CD-ROM drive cleaning disc, and got Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life out on DVD from the video store, and then drove home again. I drove over to Shan’s and took my network cable to test it. It worked on his PC’s. I brought Ella’s laptop back here to test it at my place. My new PC worked connected to her laptop. My old PC worked connected to her laptop. Weird. I connected my two PC’s together. They worked. I’m buggered if I know why.

31.12.2002Tuesday 31 December – New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve.
I had a pretty quiet and uneventful day. I stayed up until midnight – of course. I spent midnight on chat. We could hear the fire of Joneses bamboo burning from here. I started using an XML format for my journal.

Summary| Highlights| 2002 (Year View)

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