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Year View| Summary| 2002 (Year View – Showing Highlights Only)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Year View| Summary| 2002 (Year View – Showing Highlights Only)

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