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Summary| Highlights| 2006 (Year View)

01.01.2006Sunday 1 January – The Year of Work

I woke up to the new year when some Tibetans began chanting, finding myself lying with hundreds of other people on a hilltop, and the dawn just beginning to break. After watching the sunrise over the horizon, I went back to sleep, waking again when it got too hot, and carrying my camping mat back to the tent, waiting in a queue for ages, finally having a quick shower, and rushing down to the shop to prepare for the first eight thirty shirt.
Surprisingly, the shop was busier today than any other day. I guess all the people who hadn’t yet bought anything now were.
Bronwen and I finished work around the same time, and spent the rest of the day watching random acts, culminating in the closing ceremony. The closing fire ceremony was quite spectacular. Thousands of people camped out at the natural amphitheatre, with nothing happening for quite some time. Eventually, an aboriginal made fire with sticks, lighting a torch, which then lit an explosive fuse that ran instantaneously up a wooded hill, setting off fireworks. Then, in the resulting gloom, an unrealistically large, spectacularly close moon was seen slowly progressing across the sky, eventually revealing itself as an earth, coming to rest to our left as thousands of lit paper-lamps walked across our field of vision, not doing a great deal. A plethora of strange oversized lit paper constructions, and numerous fire things, along with music from the stage, filled in the gap until a large trebuchet fired a flare at a large sun and moon construction, which turned out to be full of various fireworks, burning dramatically until all that was left was a pile of sparks.

02.01.2006Monday 2 January – Brisbane

Bronwen and I got a lift back to Brisbane with a man camped in the camp just across from ours, and spent a relaxing day recovering from the sensual excesses of Woodford.

03.01.2006Tuesday 3 January – Sick

I’ve developed a twenty-four hour flu—unsurprisingly given the amount of dust I ingested at Woodford, and am very sick and unable to do much at all. Despite my weakened state, I eventually managed to make my way up to the real estate and set up our rental payments, and do a bit of shopping in town.

04.01.2006Wednesday 4 January – Relaxing

I woke up feeling much better, but still weak. I had a look around at the plethora of ADSL plans on offer, selecting and signing up for an Exetel ADSL plan. It got very hot, and I felt rather weak after this, so spent the rest of the day relaxing, finishing off with dinner at a curry place at Rosalie.

05.01.2006Thursday 5 January – Cleaning Joe’s

I headed out to Joe’s to do a final cleanup, finding a note from Tonya that her door had been forced, presumably while she wasn’t there, and asking if I had any clue why or how. I stopped by the shops on the way, buying some clothes, and buying groceries in the city on the way back.
I had planned to cook dinner for Bronwen, and watch the second Lethal Weapon movie, but she stopped off at the shops on the way home and arrived too late.

06.01.2006Friday 6 January – Centrelink & Uni

A train was caught to Centrelink in Toowong, who were suitably told that I have moved. A bus then found me catching it to uni, where mail was picked up, a direct debit authorisation form posted to Exetel, the helpdesk visited, and a chat with Dr Soon had. A bus then allowed me to catch it back from uni to the city, where shops sold me things, and another bus drove me home.

07.01.2006Saturday 7 January – Narnia

Moved furniture about. Walked to town and did shopping. Went and saw “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” at South Bank, which was enjoyable but overly simplistic—reflecting its children’s book heritage I suppose.

08.01.2006Sunday 8 January – Good Night & Good Luck

I had a quiet day, watching “Good Night and Good Luck” at the Palace Centro with Bronwen at night.

09.01.2006Monday 9 January – Faster Online

ADSL was connected today, providing me with a faster, and always-on, connection. Other than that, a reasonably relaxing and uneventful day ensued.

10.01.2006Tuesday 10 January – Nothing Much

I messed around with Clint, being unproductive but enjoying it.

11.01.2006Wednesday 11 January – Wireless

I bought a wireless router and setup wireless here, finally removing the cable that was running halfway across the house. Somewhat worryingly, that’s all I can remember of today.

12.01.2006Thursday 12 January – The Legend of Zorro

After a relaxing morning making a few phone calls, Clint and I drove out to Mount Gravatt and after a short bushwalk, found some rather large, and relatively unknown, caves. This made us hot, so we stopped at a supermarket where Clint bought coke and twenty-four sausage rolls, and I banana milk, soft drink and ten ice creams.
After eating a lovely curry Bronwen made, Clint and I went and saw “The Legend of Zorro” at South Bank. We were expecting it to be extremely bad, after it got one out of ten in a review, but it was extremely entertaining and quite amusing, in its own crappy way. We finished off the night with a drive around Mount Coot-Tha.

13.01.2006Friday 13 January – Contact Bond

Clint and I drove to Toowong, so I could pick up some mail, and then to Kenmore, via Cold Rock in Indooroopilly, to buy contact bond. I then contact bonded floor to floor, in a very touching way, and with several bricks.
Comment by Maz – Sunday 15 January 2006, 12:01 PM
  What did you do with bricks? Did Clint have purple hair at this point?
  Plenty of cold rocks here when they're left out in the snow.
Comment by Ned – Sunday 15 January 2006, 12:19 PM
  It’s actually not very interesting—the bricks sat on a piece of wood, which sat on a piece of linoleum, which sat on a layer of contact bond, which sat on a wooden backing plate, which sat on the floor. Clint’s hair had not yet changed colour.
Comment by Mum – Monday 16 January 2006, 8:54 PM
  Clint's hair not yet changed colour? Why not? Is Friday the 13th after all. The best time for one's hair to change colour. All by it self.
   Bat's toenails, witch's brew, eye of newt..
   Witches brew up here was a monster mud bog en route from my little job to home, which I did not even think about traversing, going to friend's place for the night instead. Don't think I shall ever become accustomed to "driving" down the road sideways. Two trucks had gone off the road on the same mud bog, on Friday the 13th, one of them perilously aslant, so I was not going to even contemplate it on a Friday 13th, not that I believe all that jazz, um, but then again......

14.01.2006Saturday 14 January – Clint’s Birthday Bash

Bronwen and I went shopping, returning the ridiculous cheese slicer that doesn’t slice cheese, and getting keys recut. The first cut, they didn’t even fit in the locks, let alone turn them. This time, one actually fits, and will turn the lock with difficulty. The other key still doesn’t fit in the lock, so I’m not overly impressed with these key cutters.
Bronwen and I made our way to the Good Knight Bar, to witness Clint’s twenty-first birthday spectacle, and eat some pancakes. A good night was had, ending up at the Casino, and I think everyone managed to survive.
Comment by Maz – Sunday 15 January 2006, 12:25 PM
  Maybe your cheese cutter that doesn't cut cheese would do a better job cutting keys?
Comment by Ned – Sunday 15 January 2006, 12:30 PM
  It couldn’t do much worse, although I don’t know whether the key cutter could cut cheese. How much cheese could a key cutter cut if a key cutter could cut cheese?
Comment by Mum – Monday 16 January 2006, 8:58 PM
  Happy 21st birthday Clint.
Comment by Clint – Tuesday 17 January 2006, 2:04 AM
  Thank you Mrs Martin.
  The story of the hair purpling is a bit of an epic - a lot like the Iliad really, except without all that dodgy homosexuality and with women's tennis and Tooheys Pils in there somewhere as well. Dunno about the whole Greece part either, although I think the tennis players were from Belgium which is sort of near there.
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 17 January 2006, 1:58 PM
  Clint has managed to survive, so far, but it is not known if the hair dye has managed to reach his brain, and if it can ever be removed if it has.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 17 January 2006, 7:28 PM
  Purple haze!! (For all you youngsters, this is the title of a Jimi Hendrix song)
Comment by Clint – Wednesday 18 January 2006, 12:08 PM
  I prefer 'Purple Rain', that wonderful movie starring (and perhaps scripted by) Prince.
  How come I can't type out his symbol on my keyboard?
Comment by Mum – Saturday 28 January 2006, 7:28 PM
  Wills or Harry?

15.01.2006Sunday 15 January – Pizza

Bronwen goes to her parent’s place for the morning. I glue things, flash the router with DD-WRT firmware, and try, unsuccessfully, to work out how to monitor individual ports’ traffic without running a server.
Three pizzas are taken to Mt Coot-Tha, and in the dark, eaten—Clint, Bronwen and Ned slink away with Pepsi.

16.01.2006Monday 16 January – Keys & Rental Applicants

I spend the morning not finding the statistical analysis of teaching evaluations that I need to find, and then head off to put up rental notices at the Wesley, and from there, uni. I meet Clint at uni, and we go searching for noticeboards that will never be exposed to IT or engineering types, and place rental notices upon them in such a way that intelligent and feminine eyes will find them. We then make our way, very slowly, to the city, where I get keys cut.
Alex, our first rental applicant, is met at the train station and shown around the house. After this, Clint and we go Microwave hunting, finally running one down in a shopping trolley, as it was trying to hide under a table.
Bronwen and I walked up to the train station and met Alex. He is from Zimbabwe, but of Greek Orthodox heritage. He seemed friendly, chatting about Zimbabwe, himself, and what he wanted from a share house. He was quite worried about noise, saying that as his parents are paying full fees for his education, he can’t afford to fail anything, and that he studies “militarily”, even though he’s doing business at QUT—not something that has a reputation for being overly difficult. He says that he’s the sort of bloke “people want to be around” when he’s not in studying mode, and was concerned about the location of the nearest cheap fresh fruit, vegetable and bread store.

17.01.2006Tuesday 17 January – Uni & Aboriginal Art

I clean the microwave and modify a website, before going to uni with Clint, via the St Lucia bakery. At uni, I get a new student card, climb through a hedge and knock on a window to get let into the teaching and education development institute—somewhat ironically, given UQ’s recent awards for excellence in teaching—and then go on a search for the hidden teaching evaluations department; they end up being through a small door behind an external stairwell, where no one would ever think to look. Once found, they print out my required teaching evaluation, which I drop off at ITEE, and Clint and I go walking around an aboriginal loop, coming across ludicrous “aboriginal artefacts” such as a ring of painted white rocks, carved stones complete with snapped drills still embedded in them, and “Wattyl Ochre” cave paintings.
I was about to head over to Kieran’s, but someone called, wanting to see the rooms we’re trying to rent. Nearly three quarters of an hour later, Nitin and a friend arrived, and we showed them around the house. Clint arrived shortly after they left, and we drove over to Kieran’s, where we argued philosophically until the wee hours of the morning.
Nitin arrived with a female friend. Both were dark, I’d guess northern African, but not Negro. The girl he came with chatted to Bronwen, while I chatted to him. He didn’t seem to care about much, saying he was happy to take any room that anyone offered him, making it hard to really judge anything about him, and that he’d stayed in a seven-person share house before. Both had quite strong accents of some type, making it a little difficult to understand them. He was currently looking for work, and mentioned that he sometimes likes to cook and spends all day in the kitchen.

18.01.2006Wednesday 18 January – Fingers

Bronwen—who was home after nearly breaking a finger—and I had a lazy morning, going shopping in the afternoon, and showing Kalina around the place at night.
Kalina came around with her boyfriend, and had a very quick look through the place. She said she was looking for something more fully furnished, and hence wasn’t interested. Both rooms have inbuilt wardrobes, and one has a double bed, small vanity and table, and there’s plenty of chairs around, so I’m not sure what she was really after.

19.01.2006Thursday 19 January – Job Hunting

I had a quiet day at home, eating breakfast, looking through online job ads, eating lunch, showing two girls around the place, eating dinner, and going to bed.
The first girl, I neglected to get her name, turned up just after six o’clock, and left just before Bronwen got home. She was looking on behalf of her brother or cousin, who is currently in China, and who has been in Australia for six months. Despite me attempting to make it clear over the phone that we would need to see the person who was moving in to make a decision, she thought that she could have a look, talk to her friend, and place a deposit on his behalf. The second girl, Rachel, arrived around half past seven. She had a quick look around the place, a quick chat, and left to look at some other places, saying she’d ring or text over the weekend to let us know if she was interested in the place. She’s apparently just received notice that she has to move out of her place, and has also just transferred from one QUT campus to another, and was flustered and had had a hectic day. She seems to be the first “normal” person we’ve had come look at the rooms.

20.01.2006Friday 20 January – Underworld

I spent a quiet morning, meeting Kieran after lunch and going grog and microwave bulb buying with him. I showed a bloke around the house in the afternoon, unfortunately before Bronwen arrived home, and went shopping after.
Tom, along with his mother, turned up around twenty past six and had a look through the place. He graduated from engineering at UQ last year and is now working in Spring Hill. While it is impossible to tell from such a short meeting, at best guess I would say he was a reasonable person, possibly a little on the shy side, quite probably a fairly typical engineering graduate. He said he has a computer, and plays some computer games but is not that into them.
Clint and I saw “Underworld” at South Bank, and continued our late-night driving escapades, turning the wrong way up a one-way road in front of a police car, then proceeding to drive the wrong way down said road, turning into a no through road that turned onto another no through road, and so on.
Comment by Mum – Sunday 22 January 2006, 8:33 PM
  Am interested in your promise to "view all the highlights for 2006". Wow. Aint even happened yet!

21.01.2006Saturday 21 January – Exploring

Bronwen and I went exploring, finding the shortest routes to bus stops and the city, with the help of Google Earth, which unhelpfully crashes randomly on this machine. On the way home, we discovered a supermarket not much further than a (very large) block from here that is open until midnight every day.
I messed around with remote assistance, connecting to Mum’s computer via her 28k dialup connection, and managing to get her email working again. It’s amazing that a full graphical interface works so well over such a slow connection—the command line is so very obsolete. After this geeky interlude, Clint came around and we went for a walk through the darkened suburbs, up a random hill with a nice view over the city.

22.01.2006Sunday 22 January – Phone Cabling

I got lost on the way to Jaycar, made my way to Dick Smith’s, bought twenty metres of phone cable, moved the phone and all the geeky computer gear in the lounge room to the bedroom, where it can coexist happily with all my geeky gear already there. I then had to run the phone line back out to the lounge room again for the VoIP phone. To finish off a geeky day, Clint and Sméagol dropped off my very heavy 28 inch monitor and a bar fridge.

23.01.2006Monday 23 January – Blank

I remember nothing of today.

24.01.2006Tuesday 24 January – Microwave Bulbs

I went looking for microwave bulbs to suit our microwave, finding out that they’re horribly rare and being unable to find any. I then had dinner at the Indus, who do a two-for-one deal on Tuesdays. Traffic work on the road near here has seen a lot of traffic diverted past our place, making for a noisy night.

25.01.2006Wednesday 25 January – Jarhead

Two girls and one bloke phoned to look at our rooms today. One girl subsequently found another room, less than two hours after phoning, and the other two came around in the afternoon to check out the rooms.
I applied for a position as a Gaming Technician. I suspect I won’t actually get the job as I don’t fully fit the criteria and feel that they are looking for people more qualified than myself, but I figure it is worth a try.
Natalie arrived to look at the room. She has a car and some furniture, and would want to store both in the garage. She definitely wants an internet connection, but may not want to use the phone—she said in her previous place that she paid her part of the line rental as they had ADSL but her mobile has a cap so she only uses that. She graduated Business from UQ in November and currently works at the RE as a barmaid. She said she’d call back early next week if interested, but not to lose any sleep if we didn’t hear back from her as she’s just begun looking around and still has several other places to check out. She seemed friendly, not overly shy, and relatively normal, asking questions when she felt it was necessary, including asking what we were paying for rent. She said she was interested in cooking, and checked the condition of the oven and asked what cooking arrangements we had.
Hilton turned up a little early, in a shirt and tie, having just popped in from his real estate job. He was quite forthcoming, a little overbearing, and said he has been in share houses for four or so years, and enjoys them for the experience. He had a look through the house, talking all the time, and began making plans for when he moved in, such as a Sunday roast and getting a dartboard. He said he’d find out when the house was built, and call us back later—which he did, having been unable to find when the house was built, but when it was last sold.
Bronwen and I saw “Jarhead” at the Regent. It is a graphic, powerful movie, and was very, very loud. We then walked to, and had dinner at, Toowong memorial park—enjoying the luscious and healthy mosquitoes—before walking through Toowong and back home along the river.

26.01.2006Thursday 26 January – Australia Day

Bronwen and I walked to South Bank, where we went on a free paddle ship cruise on the innovatively named “River Queen”, got sunburnt, watched the Australia Day parade, and lost hearing from a ridiculously loud fireworks extravaganza. We finished off the day by watching “Lethal Weapon 3”.

27.01.2006Friday 27 January – Hot

It got very hot, and I didn’t feel like sitting around at home, so I went to town and window shopped, hoping to meet Bronwen on her way home, but missing her.
I applied for a position as a technical assistant within the lottery industry.

28.01.2006Saturday 28 January – A flatmate appears

Marjorie came around to look at our rooms, who we liked, and subsequently phoned back to tell that she could have a room if she wanted. We then walked into town to buy pots so I can grow some parsley, instead of buying it for the ridiculous amount it now costs. I also went hunting for the fabled home brand two-minute noodles, but as usual, no one had any. I cunningly avoided meeting the woman who served us when we were taking back my dysfunctional cheese slicer. Some time later, we got a phone call accepting our offer of a room.
Bronwen and I went food hunting, bumping into the famous Lachlan on his nightly prowl. Surviving the encounter, we continued to Windmill’s, eating the second best pizza in the world—not much could beat a Lion’s Den pizza.

29.01.2006Sunday 29 January – Arguing, Flat-mating & Rocking

Our new flatmate, Marjorie, moved in, we filled out lots of paperwork, she headed back to the city, and we went to the shops to get exciting things, like rocks, cans of tomatoes, parsley seeds, and toothbrush holders. Later on, we had an argument, resolved our argument, had lunch, digested our lunch, and relaxed around the house.
I planted my parsley.

30.01.2006Monday 30 January – Fridge Man

I phoned the real estate to let them know their fridge didn’t work when we turned it on yesterday. I then went to the hardware to investigate bed slats, finding them too expensive, and sat around all day waiting for the fridge man to call back, something he never did. It was very hot, and not very exciting.

31.01.2006Tuesday 31 January – Queen’s Batons, Cheerleaders & American Pie

I again phoned the real estate about the fridge. Apparently yesterday was a hectic day, she’s faxed them something with “urgent” all over it, and they should call today. I then went into town to buy a dish drying rack, but there are no dish dying racks in Brisbane, apparently due to some action at the ports.
The fridge man is going to come tomorrow morning, so I went to Toowong, no longer having to wait around all day for the fabled fridge man. I got four DVD’s, “Nicotina”, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Jacki Chan’s First Strike”, and “Blade Trinity”. I met two American girls on the bus heading back into the city, who were doing a travel-writing course from UQ, were on a sort of informational treasure hunt, and needed to meet someone like me to complete it. This gave me a fantastic idea to reinvigorate the sad state of BITS, and turn it into UQ’s premier club—the one everyone wants to be in but can’t because their lunch hour is shorter than the queues at the ticket office. I then watched the Queen’s Baton Relay, which was mildly interesting, seeing some famous Olympians, watching the traffic get very messed up, and two human-sized geckos climb down from the clock tower. Unfortunately they had Australia’s only cheerleading display, so the American girls, who I suspect were cheerleaders back home, got a very sadly biased view of Australia’s similarity with their own cheerleading culture.

01.02.2006Wednesday 1 February – Bribie Island, Mosquitoes & Mines

I caught a nastily early train up to Clint’s parent’s place, packed kayaks onto his parent’s car, and drove to Pumicestone Passage. From there we kayaked over to Bribie Island, against a strong wind, lathered ourselves in mosquito repellent, and pushed our way as fast as we could through scratchy mangrove scrub, infested with enough mosquitoes to stop any Japanese invasion. (Meanwhile, back home, the fridge man arrived, and condemned our fridge.) Once through the scrub, we walked along a deserted beach, thankfully mosquito free, and had a look at several abandoned military things—quite run down, and dangerously collapsing, but still quite impressive in their bombproof steel reinforced concrete selves sitting alone amongst the scrub. Fortunately, due to America’s amazing missile targeting technology, we managed to find the kayaks hidden amongst the mud, mangroves and mosquitoes, and paddled back to the mainland. Unfortunately, due to America’s amazing missile targeting technology, we paddled back to the wrong boat ramp; one Clint had set as a waypoint on a previous trip, meaning we had to paddle upstream against the tide, with no wind to help us.
Clint gave me a grand tour of the area, seeing famed sites such as the “worm man”, “local school”, and “dead end road”. I then caught a train back to Brisbane, and went to sleep feeling suitably exercised, having kayaked around six kilometres and travelled a total of fifteen kilometres through water, mud, scrub and sand—perhaps not quite commando style, but fairly close.

02.02.2006Thursday 2 February – Beds, Beer & Joe

I had a very filling lunch at Govinda’s, and headed, bloated, down to Joe’s for a chat and an afternoon beer. Clint dropped by around midnight, and we went for a walk, finding a queen sized bed, and carrying it several blocks back here. For those of you who haven’t carried queen sized beds several blocks, it is actually extremely difficult, and does not do nice things to your fingers. We carried the bed with the mattress on top most of the way, going ridiculously small distances before having to give our fingers a break, and finally figured out at the end that it was far easier to carry the mattress on our heads, and the bed by itself. I didn’t get to sleep until after two o’clock, which is sorrowfully late for me, now that I’m no longer the exciting nighttime uni student that I used to be.
Comment by Clint – Friday 3 February 2006, 12:07 PM
  All hail Clint, finder and carrier of things useful.
Comment by Ned – Friday 3 February 2006, 6:56 PM
  …and owner of a GPS with old waypoints…
Comment by io – Saturday 4 February 2006, 1:25 PM
  You two are nerds.
Comment by Mum – Saturday 4 February 2006, 8:41 PM
  Good heavens! What was a queen sized bed doing all by itself out on the streets? What a score!

03.02.2006Friday 3 February – Fridge, Trains & Striking Scum

I got up early, expecting the fridge man around seven, although he didn’t turn up until somewhat later. He brought with him a new, large, second-hand fridge, which seems to get cold and everything that a fridge should. So now Bronwen and I have all our stuff crammed into a small fridge, while our flatmate has her few items in a huge, empty fridge.
There is a 24-hour flash rail strike, so I decided today was a good day to go everywhere in Brisbane by public transport. I started by going to uni (where I dropped off the BITS subsidy form), then the city, then Indooroopilly, then Mount Ommaney, then back to the city, and then back here. Seeing as there are only a few trains being run randomly and manually by people who tell you they “cannot comment” on anything related to anything at all, and the rest of the transport system is in chaos trying to keep up with the demand left over by the lack of trains, getting anywhere was very slow and uncomfortable. This was helped by today being very hot. I think everyone who travels on trains should, for the next week, say “striking scum” every time they encounter a rail staff member, and Queensland Rail should sack the lot of them, refusing to reinstate them until they sign a waiver that they won’t strike without prior notice, and only when all other avenues of discussion have failed, in future. Additionally, everyone should email something short and sharp, to the tune of “I have no sympathy after your illegal strike”, and perhaps the scum will think twice before intentionally inconveniencing their customers as much as possible, next time.
It’s no wonder English is confusing. Is an undoer someone who doesn’t do, or someone who undoes? Is undoable something impossible, or something that can be undone? Such questions had me reading the Oxford dictionary for a while before bed, as well as walking around the block after midnight, pondering and enjoying the night.
Comment by Clint – Friday 3 February 2006, 8:00 PM
  Hilariously, Peter Beattie is spending a quarter of a million dollars of Queensland taxpayers' money fighting a piece of federal legislation that would have made this illegal strike nigh on impossible.
  Watch this space, kids.
Comment by Clint – Friday 3 February 2006, 8:04 PM
  I may as well make the obliguatory Joh and SEQEB parallel here, although I doubt Beattie has the balls to sack a single shop steward.
Comment by Ned – Friday 3 February 2006, 9:47 PM
  But you still won’t be able to find any banana or strawberry flavoured milk.
Comment by io – Saturday 4 February 2006, 1:19 PM
  When are you buying your next milkshake?
Comment by Ned – Saturday 4 February 2006, 6:18 PM
Comment by Mum – Saturday 4 February 2006, 8:46 PM
  On the subject of ridiculousness, people were talking today about a Courier Mail item re making paralysis ticks untouchable, i.e. putting them on the endangered species list, and potentially therefore, not allowed to be killed.

04.02.2006Saturday 4 February – Hot, Wet & Not Quite Criminal

Bronwen was away, so I had a rather non-eventful morning, sleeping in and overheating, as it was ridiculously hot.
I went to town and bought the world’s cheapest ironing board and iron.
Bronwen and I walked to the South Bank peeing pool for a swim. It was surprisingly full, considering the time was coming on midnight. On the way back, we walked past the local charity bin to see if there were any good gleanings. Unfortunately, the police turned up and were rather curious to know whom we be, and what be we doing. We had a quarter-hour long chat with them, over the legalities of taking things abandoned at, but not within, a charity bin. It seems it’s not actually illegal, but it could be contrary to all parties’ intentions, or in other words, there’s nothing the police are going to do if we take things, but they’re not going to condone it either.

05.02.2006Sunday 5 February – Sheets, Pizza & Lethal Weapon 4

A quiet, relaxing, and rather typical Sunday morning occurred.
We walked to Toowong, bought three queen bed sheet sets for an amazing $4 each, and one large can of mixed fruit for a less amazing 99¢. We then swapped over to the new queen-sized bed, bought $20 worth of pizza, and watched “Lethal Weapon 4”.

06.02.2006Monday 6 February – Noosa & King of the Mountain

I caught a train up north, meeting Clint, and walking up Mount Cooroora, home of the insane “King of the Mountain” pub run. After this, we went to Noosa and wandered along the beaches, before missing the last train back to Brisbane, unsuccessfully chasing it in Clint’s car, and catching a rail-bus instead, getting home quite late. It was interesting to again see a few of the places I used to see when I lived in the area.
Comment by Mum – Friday 10 February 2006, 8:32 PM
  Pomona. Where Tony lived. We used to go there for Sunday night or evening drives. Remember? A crazy mountain to run up.

07.02.2006Tuesday 7 February – Mt Beerwah & Clint’s Car Theft

I found hundreds of slater looking bugs under my parsley pot, so I put it up on bricks. I then did some washing, hung it out, waited until it began to suddenly and heavily rain, ran back out, got wet, and rehung it in the garage. I then made my way into town and bought fourteen types of blue flower seeds, and planted them out the front.
Clint arrived. We walked up to the charity bin to discuss life, then half an hour later or so, drove up to Mt Beerwah. We left for our walk around 3 o’clock. There was supposed to be a moon, but due to thick cloud cover, it was pitch black. Clint climbed ahead, with a headlamp that randomly turned itself off, without any guarantee it would ever come back on—although with suitable banging, it always did. I followed behind, with my mobile phone in my mouth—not the brightest light, and probably not very good for my mouth or the phone, but it worked. We stopped frequently to discuss exciting and relevant topics, not wanting to get to the top hours before the sun came up. Once at the top we sat, slowly freezing, until the sun began to rise, and then climbed back down.
We found the rear quarter glass on one of Clint’s car doors cleanly removed, and his sunglasses and my bag missing. The car itself was nicely locked and didn’t seem unusual, apart from the missing quarter glass. Despite having intentionally removed all the valuables from my bag before leaving the car, it still had my keys, some clothes, and toiletries in it. Even more annoyingly, and somewhat stupidly, upon reflection I couldn’t guarantee that it didn’t also contain my address, as I had an envelope with a few jotted down notes I had written in my bag, and while the envelope itself wasn’t addressed to me, it may have been redirected via my parent’s, in which case they would have scribbled my address on it.
Comment by Jojo – Friday 10 February 2006, 10:25 AM
  oh. thats unlucky, i hope they are not university trained and thus unable to connect the keys and address and dump it after thier next fix.
  Damn thieves, they should cut off their hands like they use to....
Comment by Ned – Friday 10 February 2006, 6:55 PM
  It’s highly unlikely that my address was anywhere within my bag, but as I can’t guarantee it wasn’t, and as it’s not just me on the line—I live with other people—it seems better to be safe than sorry, which is unfortunate as changing the locks was more expensive than anything I lost.
Comment by Mum – Friday 10 February 2006, 8:41 PM
  Yes. Change the locks. Then rest easy. Jojo, a mob who lived in an Arab country had this poverty stricken fellow who house worked for them and one day stole something like a teaspoon, and this mob, thinking they were doing the right thing, dobbed this poor bugger in to the cops of the region. They cut his right hand off. For a teaspoon. This is a true story. The family were so distraught, but it was too late. This poor bugger got his right hand totally cut off, and that was that. Ever stolen a biscuit?

08.02.2006Wednesday 8 February – Beerwah Police, Chips & Shopping

Clint and I drove to Beerwah police station, reported the break and enter, found perhaps the cheapest restaurant in Australia, in Nambour, ate half of the huge bowl of chips they gave us, missed the train back to Brisbane again, unsuccessfully chased it again, and again caught a rail bus, connecting to a train at Caboolture. The train ride wasn’t that pleasant, having had my spare clothes and toiletries stolen, I was covered in dust, dirt, chalk, blood, sweat and mud.
I phoned Mum, who gave me the brand of the pack that was stolen, which I forwarded on to the police. While highly unlikely, if anyone does find my pack, I may now get it back.
I bought new essential toiletries.
Comment by DM – Thursday 9 February 2006, 11:21 PM
  Sounds to me that whoever "found" your pack won't be handing it in.
Comment by Ned – Friday 10 February 2006, 8:00 AM
  I assume you’re right, but he may have dumped it as soon as possible, and someone might find it and alert the police… but it’s pretty unlikely. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Comment by Jojo – Friday 10 February 2006, 10:27 AM
  Why were you covered in blood? i can understand sweet sweat and mud, dust, dirt and chalk - but where is the blood coming from?
Comment by Ned – Friday 10 February 2006, 6:53 PM
  I wasn’t covered in blood. I was covered in a mixture of the aforementioned substances, some of which was blood. For what it’s worth, very little blood was present on the outside of me, and what little was there was because of some rather prickly bushes, which appeared to be life saving trees in the dark.

09.02.2006Thursday 9 February – Changing locks

I changed the locks, on the off chance that my address was in my stolen pack, along with my keys, and the criminal would switch from motor vehicle break and enter to the far more serious house break and enter.
I applied for a few telecommunications jobs.
Comment by Mum – Friday 10 February 2006, 8:45 PM

10.02.2006Friday 10 February – Joe & Jackie Chan

I trained out to Joe’s to pick up some mail, buying a watering can (that leaks) and toothbrush holder on the way back. Bronwen went and saw a movie with a friend, which I, being homophobic, refused to go see, instead watching “Jackie Chan’s First Strike” here on DVD. Filmed in Australia, a lot in Brisbane, and dubbed from Chinese, it is really rather odd. It had scenes such as channel seven reporting Jackie Chan as a wanted criminal in Brisbane’s Chinatown, closely followed by a man eaten to death by what appeared to be sea urchins, shortly before the Russians turned up in submarines and helicopters. Keep in mind that this is after Jackie switches from working for the CIA to the KGB, after escaping on a snowboard in Czechoslovakia and waking up in Russia, and then catching a submarine to Australia, where he had his very own real live koala…
Comment by Mum – Monday 13 February 2006, 6:23 PM
  Go Jackie!

11.02.2006Saturday 11 February – Google Earth

A walk to Toowong to return a DVD and do some shopping precluded Bronwen’s disappearance to a friend’s party, and my aimless wandering in search of iced coffee, and the meaning for it all. Shortly after midnight, we went for a walk to the South Bank peeing pool, decided we didn’t need to pee (or swim) when we got there, and instead bought a slurpy for greater health and lesser prosperity. Getting back from the peeing pool around twenty past two meant it was already a late night, but I then stayed up until twenty to four playing with Google Earth, making for a proper late night.

12.02.2006Sunday 12 February – Blade Trinity

After a pleasant sleep-in to recover from last night’s lack of sleeping, we went for a walk around the city, bought a doormat, wandered past some of the restaurants around here, getting their takeaway menus, and finally watching “Blade Trinity”, before sleeping peacefully.

13.02.2006Monday 13 February – Plumbing & Takeaway Menus

Plumber calls while I’m still in bed, and comes shortly after. Breaks one tap, digs hole in my garden, makes kitchen taps worse but recommends they be replaced, and fixes bathroom washbasin taps but makes them more difficult to turn off.
I decide to build a photo-viewing web page for use on this computer. Bronwen comes home a bit early; we walk around some of the restaurants here getting takeaway menus. I get Cold Rock and feel sick but happy.

14.02.2006Tuesday 14 February – Nothing Exciting

Worked on my local website. Went to town. Bought a grater.
Comment by Mum – Friday 24 February 2006, 7:03 PM

15.02.2006Wednesday 15 February – Clint, Uni & Geekiness

Clint arrived back in Brisbane and came around just before midday. We drove in to uni, where I put up some room ads and got a blank smartcard swipe-card. I did a bit more work on my local site, feeling geekily enthused with the puzzle solving it provided, making it bad people proof, using one-time photo URL’s and a per-click based authentication system.

16.02.2006Thursday 16 February – Syriana

There was some rain last night. I finished off my local site. I headed into town in the afternoon, meeting Bronwen but not doing anything much. Clint came over later and we watched the late night screening of “Syriana” at South Bank, without driving the wrong way up any one-way roads.

17.02.2006Friday 17 February – More Nothing Exciting

I slept in, heading into town to buy cow manure when I awoke, and avoiding the heat for the rest of the day. Two blokes had a look at our room in the afternoon, one Frenchman and one Chinese, along with a girlfriend. It turns out that cow manure, which should, in theory, be almost odourless, actually smells worryingly like blood and bone.

18.02.2006Saturday 18 February – April, Lissa, Chris, Someone, Kieran, Marcus, Brian, Tim, Clint & Rainworth

Some people came around to look at the room. April, a female UQ psych student; Lissa, a UQ research assistant recently up from Melbourne; Chris, a male QUT science student; and another bloke—whose name I neglected to remember—who turned up with a mate a bit later, who wasn’t in any hurry to find a place as he was currently living with his parents.
Kieran and Marcus came over while the people were looking around, and we went to Indooroopilly for lunch, meeting Brian and Tim there. They’ve shut down my green goo shop, which is the second time my favourite Indooroopilly eating shop has been closed. We went back to Kieran’s place and Clint came over.
Bronwen and I went for a walk to Rainworth to check out a fish and chip shop, followed by a walk to the charity bin, and bed.

19.02.2006Sunday 19 February – Grass Clippings, Room-Looking Women & Gaps

The bloke next door kindly dropped off his lawn clippings, and I spent a hot half hour digging them into the garden, managing to hurt my back on the underneath of the stairs, blister my hand, and develop a fashionably dour outlook. Two girls came around to look at our room, one, a white Indian, who arrived nearly an hour early, catching me while I was semi-nude, having just de-sweated and removed the grass clippings from myself, and the other up from Lismore with her parents, and having to find a room by tonight.
Clint arrived, we drove to Maz’s, and the three of us then drove out to some gaps in the middle of nowhere, where there’s mountains, cows, horses and very little else, with the aid of an inverter, a laptop, a GPS, and some rather cool mapping and tracking software. This filled up the afternoon nicely, and I feel as though I’ve done something a little out of the ordinary.

20.02.2006Monday 20 February – More Potential Room Renting People

I showed a British female masters student, a first year female health sciences student from Canberra, and a third year male economics student from Brisbane, our room, before heading into uni with Clint. I discussed options regarding fee payment and deferral with ITEE, EPSA and the honours coordinator, before heading to Toowong and then the city with Clint, where I bought some shirts and a bike helmet.
I showed a girl from channel nine, a bloke doing an education diploma at UQ, and a Brazilian man, our room. I also called back some weirdo who, when they first called, had wanted to see the room but hadn’t wanted the address, and who now claimed it must be a wrong number and that they had no idea what I was talking about.
Clint came over to use the Internet, and we went for a walk via the charity bin to a shop that still sells ice cream after midnight.

21.02.2006Tuesday 21 February – BITS BBQ & Shopping

I went to uni with Clint, attended an ITEE inauguration and orientation session, which was apparently a compulsory thing I was supposed to have attended when I first went to uni, and watched Clint give a short talk about BITS, before standing around the BITS BBQ for an hour or so. There was a huge line-up of people queuing for student ID cards, shuffling past the BBQ, but due to a sad lack of advertising, no one really knew what the BBQ was for, and so mostly only the usual geeks bought burgers.
Clint, Scruff and I went shopping for the BITS Market Day BBQ tomorrow. We bought tons of bread, meat, lettuce, onion and soft drink, having to go to several supermarkets to find enough stock. It is mildly amusing buying two shopping trolleys full of bread and having the checkout chick ask if you’re buying it for any particular reason. They’re not known for their insightfulness.
Three girls came and looked at our room, all turning up at once. They were so similar that I had to tell them apart by the colours of their shirts, which was somewhat funny. Clint turned up a little later, covered in onions and having lost most of his wits, staying until half past midnight, at which point he and I collapsed into our respective beds.

22.02.2006Wednesday 22 February – UQ Market Day

Clint came around fairly early, and I headed off with him to join in the panic. We rushed to Flash’s place, picked up disgusting amounts of chopped onions, tomatoes and lettuce, and dumped them at the BITS stall in the Great Court at uni. I then went for a wander around the various market day stalls, coming back to find that the BITS stall was a haven of quiet amongst the busy throngs. As nice as this solitude was, it wasn’t what BITS were aiming for, so Maz and I did our best to turn a horribly geeky normal-person-avoidance area into a normal-person-attracting stall, painting a few more signs, chatting to real live women and actually making eye contact with people. This seemed to work, and the stall became very busy as lunchtime drew nearer, with quite a few people joining BITS because of Maz’s evangelism, and his un-BITS-like lack of fear of the female of the species.
Clint and I went for a walk after the exhausting BITS Market Day saga, ending up at Maz’s later in the night, and having a look at many of his American photos.

23.02.2006Thursday 23 February – Disposal Store Shopping

Clint and I went disposal store shopping. We didn’t actually want to buy a disposal store, looking more for a backpack and ponchos for our upcoming walk through rainy mountains. Clint ended up with an American army poncho, while I ended up with a five-dollar glorified garbage bag poncho from BigW, along with a twenty-dollar Kmart backpack. A pox upon thieves who steal packs from secluded national parks. Two packets of two-minute noodles, some muesli bars, and lollies later, and we felt suitably prepared.

24.02.2006Friday 24 February – The Steamers

Clint and I drove as near as we could get to Mount Steamer, and proceeded to walk the rest of the way. It was quite wet, our ponchos proving to be remarkably useful. Clint looks surprisingly like a ghoul in his. The weather’s annoying habit of clearing up only after we put our ponchos on was a bit of a pain, but having them sure beat walking wet. We spent a few hours walking along old, and at times unmarked, tracks, before heading up a steep incline and spending the evening weaving our way around the base of a cliff, with a reasonably deadly drop to our left. We managed to make it to the top just on nightfall, and set up camp surrounded by small dead trees, with 150-metre sheer cliffs on either side.

25.02.2006Saturday 25 February – Mount Steamer

Clint and I woke around nine, heading off shortly later. We climbed up to the summit proper of Mount Steamer, and then headed down a ridge, which really wasn’t much more than a glorified mountainside to start with. We experienced such delights as an hour and a half of eight-foot high bracken, cleverly interlaced with raspberry bushes, hidden fallen logs and collapsed tree stumps. Fortunately for me, Clint went ahead so I could hear his curses when he fell over hidden logs, and managed to avoid most of them myself, although the raspberry was a little harder to avoid. An interesting trivia fact learnt: it is possible to see nearly one foot through bracken fern in normal daylight, but it is not possible to see raspberry bushes until they have entangled one in their nasty sharp barbs. Other highlights included pushing our way down a very steep hill through prickly seed laden scrub, having the rain bucket down as soon as we emerged from the forest, walking through ankle deep water, running out of drinking water and fantasising about lemonade, and getting a lift back to Clint’s car with a friendly local and finding the car still intact. All in all, it was a successful expedition, and the chips and milkshake we had on our way home were well worth the effort.
We drove home via a small windy road, getting back not long before midnight, and I quite enjoyed my shower and sleep, despite my stinging legs.

26.02.2006Sunday 26 February – Computer Markets & Sony Tropfest

Clint, Kieran, Maz, Lisa and I went to the Computer Markets, which were rather geeky and not overly exciting, other than nearly dying in traffic on the way there and again on the way back.
We showed a Hawaiian girl our room, before heading off to Sony Tropfest with Clint and Maz. It turned out that the short films were ridiculously bad, the seating in Suncorp Piazza horribly uncomfortable, and rain killed the satellite feed from Sydney, cutting short the ceremony, but it was still interesting. Clint, Maz and I then walked to Maz’s place, via 7-11 for a slurpee, and from there, I got a lift home.

27.02.2006Monday 27 February – Amanda’s

Two men, one a little younger than me, and the other in his forties, and one woman probably also a little younger than me, came to look at our room.
Amanda visited, and I had dinner and spent the night out at her place. It rained heavily.

28.02.2006Tuesday 28 February – Miracles & Centrelink

I showed two men and one woman our room, before heading off to Centrelink, only to find I had to call Queanbeyan, which I subsequently did, only to find out that it is a miracle and the impossible has occurred. After lunch at Indooroopilly with Kieran and Maz, another trip to Centrelink with Maz confirmed this miraculous occurrence. Maz and I then picked up Clint from uni, and headed to my place, where I awed Bronwen with my tales of miracles.
Bronwen and I showed an Indian girl our room. Clint and Maz walked to the city to take photos. Clint, Maz and I drove to Clint’s via KFC, Clint and I drove to a random servo somewhere for ice cream, having found both the Indooroopilly and Rosalie Cold Rock’s closed, and then onto my place where I went to sleep.

01.03.2006Wednesday 1 March – Centrelink & Munich

One wouldn’t think sub-leasing was all that complex a matter. In fact, it isn’t. You go to the residential tenancies authority, pick up the appropriate forms, complete and sign them, have your tenant complete and sign them, have your signatures witnessed by a third party, and that’s that—an entirely legal tenancy agreement, assuming the lessors have authority to lease the property in the first place. However, once Centrelink enters the equation, everything goes horribly pear shaped, as per usual.
  Initially, someone somewhere, probably a computer, flags the situation as unusual, and various forms are posted. Then, when one contacts Centrelink, they’re informed that the total individual rents for the premise exceed the total rent for the premise, and that this situation cannot occur. They’re not told that Centrelink deems such a situation illegal, or that Centrelink will not accept such a condition, they’re told it physically cannot occur. When informed that such a situation has indeed occurred, and therefore obviously can, the girl on the phone decides to go get her supervisor. Two trips to Centrelink in Toowong and a mobile call later, one is informed that such a situation still cannot occur, and informing Centrelink that such a situation has indeed occurred will do no good, and that one should pick up the appropriate forms for a complaint to the commonwealth ombudsman and attempt to explain to him that the impossible has occurred.
  At this point one decides that Centrelink is ridiculous, and refuses to accept that they have a right to request any further information, as such information is a request for third party information which one does not have the right to request, and as such cannot provide to Centrelink, or be expected to provide. This does not make the woman at Centrelink happy, although she does accept that one can’t be expected to provide third party information, even though one has in one’s hand a request for said information from Centrelink, and one’s payment will be cancelled if such information isn’t provided. This impasse, coupled with an apparently impossibility having occurred, results in a situation ridiculously similar to a juvenile “yes it is, no it isn’t” argument, with one claiming an event has occurred, and Centrelink claiming such an event cannot occur. Such argument is clearly futile, so one goes to bed.
  In the morning, one contacts the residential tenancies authority and confirms that the tenancy arrangements are legal, and are quite normal, that a sublease is not related to any other lease a lessor may hold, and that the amounts paid by a tenant to a lessor under a sublease are agreeable between those parties and bear no relation to any lease the lessor may hold. One then contacts the Australian taxation office, who also confirms that the existing arrangements are legal, normal, and should be counted as personal taxable income. Having now officially confirmed what one was telling Centrelink all yesterday, one again contacts Centrelink, informs them that their impossibility is not only possible, but is now legally backed up by the residential tenancies authority and the Australian taxation office. This finally causes Centrelink to stop saying the already occurred can’t occur, and actually sort out their mess, resulting in one getting someone’s personal number at Centrelink, and the remote possibility that things may actually go according to how they should. Several wasted hours later, one decides to wait and see what happens next, before complaining vehemently about ineptitude and attempting to get everyone at Centrelink’s Queanbeyan rental review offices fired.
Clint and I went shopping at Toowong, followed by a visit to his place, then some more shopping at Indooroopilly, then a trip to my place, then the movie “Munich” at Indooroopilly.
Comment by DM – Wednesday 1 March 2006, 4:34 PM
  I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing that "one" throughout this passage is actually you. (Shock, horror.)
Comment by Ned – Thursday 2 March 2006, 1:16 AM
  One would have to agree.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 2 March 2006, 7:17 PM
  Yes, well. One wonders if thou hast actually succeeded in finding another person for your place? As far as Centrelink goes, why is anyone surprised? Only those who have not delved the awesome depths of the bloody place, could be surprised.

02.03.2006Thursday 2 March – Tanks, Rain, Mud, Spiders & ADSL Problems

The ADSL connection here seems to drop out, or drop all packets, for short periods of time, semi-randomly. It seems to be more likely to do it when placed under any load, even if that’s as small as refreshing a web page. This annoyed me, so I pumped up my bike tyres and rode into town. It turns out the bike is as bad as I feared it might be, and the chain is so stretched that it jumps teeth under even slight pressure, making it roughly the opposite to an uphill bike.
Clint and Maz came and we drove up to Clint’s parent’s place, where we, along with Clint’s Dad, rolled two five thousand gallon poly water tanks down their driveway and into position behind their studio. This was far more difficult than it sounded, and it was raining torrentially all the time. It took around two and a half hours just to get the first tank down the drive and into position. We rolled them pressing up against a trailer, as the drive was very steep. Had a tank jumped the trailer or otherwise got away, it would have done a lot of damage to anything in its path, as we had no hope of being able to stop, and getting in its way ourselves would have resulted in loss of limb, broken bone, and possibly even personal injury. One of them rolled across the road when we first tipped it onto its side, but fortunately, no traffic impaled itself into the tank. I also managed to be bitten by something nasty in the sludge and mud, which has left a little boil on my leg, so I’m guessing she was a spider. Having managed to get both the tanks into position, breaking two shovel handles, getting crusher dust in Clint’s eye, becoming entirely soaked and covered in mud, but without ruining the house, car, or ourselves, we had dinner, and drove through the fog and rain back to Brisbane, arriving back just before midnight.

03.03.2006Friday 3 March – ADSL, Phone Extensions, & More to Come

I awoke to find that it was still raining, and quite cool. This made bed quite snuggly and the outer world far less appealing. The ADSL connection was still being crappy and randomly dropping out, so I removed the under-house phone extension, running another along the floor, and tested that. Initially, it had the same problems, but after some time, and seemingly for no reason, it began to work fine, so I replaced the under-house phone extension and, so far, it seems to be working as it should. There was a little verdigris on one of Telstra’s connections, which I thoughtfully, and probably illegally, removed for them, so perhaps that was the problem. I did some digging in the garden, planting a few thousand flower seeds under the stairs, and sprinkling some more along the front garden, before mulching it a little. Hopefully with all this rain, something other than weeds will grow. Clint came round to borrow some internet, and we popped down to his real estate where I bought four litres of milk from Woolworths, two of which were chocolate, and very satisfying.

04.03.2006Saturday 4 March – Overdrawn & Firewalled

Bronwen went to work for a short while. I put up a new undercover clothesline, cleverly masquerading as a head-height nuisance. Once Bronwen was back, we moved the old TV downstairs and moved the new one into place. After this, we walked into town and did some shopping. After getting home, I noticed that I, or more specifically, Exetel, had overdrawn my general transaction account, incurring a thirty-dollar overdrawing approval fee. That will teach me for paying off my credit card without checking my account balance first, or allowing merchants to direct debit from a non-credit account. I then spent some time doing some work on the upcoming redesign of the Jianshe site, before getting sick of it all. It seems the ADSL dropout problem is alive and well, so I guess I’ll be switching back to the floor-based extension lead cum tripwire tomorrow, verifying that the problem still exists using that, and phoning Exetel on Monday, who will presumably get Telstra to investigate. I’m still suspecting that the recent rain, of which we’re still getting a little, has something to do with it.
I went and saw “Firewall” with Clint at Indooroopilly. It wasn’t very good.
Comment by Jojo – Tuesday 14 March 2006, 12:04 AM
  Being an IT professional, did you silently (or vocally) mock all the computer screens and typing and code that you saw during the movie?? or was it true to life and 'what was on the screen is what you get' (ha ha) ??
  I haven't seen it, and was just wondering....
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 14 March 2006, 10:15 AM
  It is pretty bad all round—the technical parts aren’t particularly realistic, but there’s fewer than you’d think there would be so it isn’t really a problem, although the rest of the movie, unfortunately, is a problem.

05.03.2006Sunday 5 March – Walking

Clint, Bronwen and I drove out west and walked up a mountain, following a rather slippery and narrow gully most of the way to the top, then a track the rest of the way, and a ridge back down.
Clint, Bronwen and I walked to the supermarket for drinks, and then up to Windmill Pizza where I bought a pizza for dinner.

06.03.2006Monday 6 March – Internet & Bike Chains

I phoned Exetel and told them that the ADSL connection here has been continually dropping out for the past few days. They said they’d get Telstra to run a remote check, and get back to me with the results, and possibly arrange a time for a Telstra technician to come and look at the line, by mid-week or definitely before the weekend.
I walked to Toowong where I met Maz, went to Kmart, bought a bike chain, walked to Maz’s place, fixed his car, drove to Clint’s, went to Chez Tessa, ate food, drove back to Clint’s, drove to Maz’s, spent some time at both, and then drove back to my place.

07.03.2006Tuesday 7 March – Telstra Technicians & Cables

A loud knock-knock woke me, and, answering the door in a towel, I found a Telstra technician, come to have a look at the phone line and needing access to the distribution box, located under the next unit. I performed the world’s fastest perhaps-not-entirely-legal-extension-cable removal and returned Telstra’s wall socket to its normal state, no mean feat while still asleep. The Telstra man followed the fault back through a few waterlogged pits, eventually finding one leg broken where it exited the cable, and switching to a new pair of copper. He then connected the new pair at the exchange, made another trip back here to verify that, and found that the new pair he’d used had high resistance at the exchange end, so ended up using the original pair up to its break, the new pair up to its break, and then the original pair again. Hopefully all the problems are now gone. I’d been told Telstra would take forever, but in my experience up north, they’re really quite impressive, and I can’t complain about the turnaround time with this callout either—I only reported the fault this time yesterday morning. I also managed to get a free modular fly lead and inline phone and modem filter.
Someone from Exetel rang me to tell me Telstra’s initial checks appeared to indicate a minor fault with the line, and that someone would attend between eight o’clock and midday tomorrow.
I put in the new cat5 cable, ran video over one pair—which, to my surprise, sort of worked—and the phone to the modem and back again from the VoIP box over another two pairs. Maz dropped around with his expensive crimpers, making the job of putting plugs on a lot easier. Clint came around a little later and he and I drove to Maz’s. Just before midnight, I walked to the supermarket, bought some bread, and had baked beans on toast for dinner.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 16 March 2006, 7:32 PM
  Yes, Telstra are good mob. If one could see the jungle in which we live up here, and the amount of problems we all of us have with phones in the wet season, and much haranguing re Telstra, and the swiftness with which they come out. .... Well, and um, I really mean SWIFTNESS, as in they would have to be the fastest and scariest drivers on this goat track (and this after 10 inches of rain yesterday), but they earn every penny they get and hopefully cups of tea and what have you.) Whenever I have had a problem, they have been swift to help, and I mean, I am out here in the jungle. Also, Ergon. Which I refuse to call Powergon as some folks call them, who are missing their soapie fix for the night. YOU try climbing a power pole in the middle of a cyclone with a torch, from a helicopt
Comment by Mum – Thursday 16 March 2006, 7:38 PM
  Helicopter. (thought you had got rid of me, ha ha). I mean these mob have to access the powerlines via helicopter. And the Telstra mob access via mud blog and rushing/gushing creeks and puny bridges, etc. I mean, this is a large part of Queensland, and not many people in it so not much re rates, so not much money for local council to do stuff. So we all just put up with it. We wouldnt live here if we didnt like it. Okay, shall away lest son divorces me. Ma.

08.03.2006Wednesday 8 March – Mount Barney

I was just getting ready to have breakfast when Clint arrived. We drove to Mount Barney, via Maz’s place and a service station for breakfast for me and the car. We spent the rest of the day walking up Mount Barney, via South (Peasant’s) Ridge. It was quite a hot walk, but fortunately only one part was exposed enough to be scary. We arrived back at the car just after dark, and drove back to Brisbane, stopping for food at Beaudesert KFC.

09.03.2006Thursday 9 March – Rental Inspection

Jenny from the real estate came around and performed a rental inspection.
Marcus came and drove me to Kieran’s, and from there to Pizza Hut for pizza and Dick Smith’s for audio plugs, then back to Kieran’s to eat our pizza, and then back home where I fitted the audio plugs.
Bronwen got home late.

10.03.2006Friday 10 March – Mexican

I worked on the Jianshe site redesign.
I went to Indooroopilly with Clint and Maz, and then into the city with Clint.
I had dinner with Bronwen at Pepe’s Mexican place. I wasn’t overly impressed, although it was enjoyable.

11.03.2006Saturday 11 March – Pittsworth Show

Bronwen, Clint, Lisa and I drove out to the Pittsworth show with Maz. They had bobcat races, and the fireworks were surprisingly spectacular. Clint and I made the mistake of eating the world’s worst doughnuts on the way home.

12.03.2006Sunday 12 March – Pizza & Capote

I walked to Toowong and met Clint, going back to his place via Brisbane’s hidden monorail.
I had cheap pizzas with Clint, Maz and Bronwen, up at Green Hills Reservoir.
Saw Capote with Bronwen, having missed the earlier session due to a lack of train staff. This meant we had to walk back from Indooroopilly afterwards, which was shorter than I thought it’d be and turned out being quite a pleasant walk.

13.03.2006Monday 13 March – Centrelink & Hungry Jacks

I worked on the Jianshe site until Clint contacted me. I then drove to Centrelink with Clint, and hopefully didn’t confuse them too much by giving them our, and our sub-tenant’s, leases. After this, we went to Indooroopilly for lunch, bumping into Maz and his sister, and skimming through a few books in the library, including one on the history of Auchenflower.
I had a bloke come round look at the room.
I had an argument with Bronwen about cooking. I then walked to Toowong and from there to the city and Hungry Jack’s with Clint and Maz, getting back just before half past two.
Comment by Mum – Monday 20 March 2006, 7:35 PM
  Argument about cooking? Doesnt she like 2 min noodles? No? GO GIRL.

14.03.2006Tuesday 14 March – People not

The mower people came and mowed the lawn. The bloke who was supposed to come and look at our room this morning didn’t.
Clint and I drove to Indooroopilly so I could buy a boring blue shirt.
The girl who was supposed to come and look at our room didn’t, apparently her boyfriend asked her to move in with him.
I had a note from Bronwen saying she’d gone out and hadn’t taken her phone. It turns out she’d left it at work, having had a meeting at QUT and having left from there to come home, but I thought she had intentionally gone out without her phone to spite me.

15.03.2006Wednesday 15 March – Job Interview

I headed into uni and printed my CV and so forth.
I had my first job interview since graduating. It seemed to go well, but it’s for a job that doesn’t start for some time, so I won’t know how it went for a while. The building was cool though, the top floor of an eighteen floor building, one side of which was glass.
I had an interview with Ann Carson from M&T Resources.
Comment by martin – Tuesday 21 March 2006, 11:32 PM
  What kind of job are you looking for Ned? Web development?
Comment by Ned – Thursday 23 March 2006, 9:19 PM
  I don’t mind web development as a hobby, but I don’t see it as a feasible career path. I’m interested in avoiding stereotypical IT support/programming jobs, instead aiming for a contract-based position in a field services/support/installation/technician role specialising in the hard to classify area somewhere between the IT & T and electronics industries.

16.03.2006Thursday 16 March – Jalyn

Worked on the Jianshe site.
Went shopping with Clint and Maz for the BITS BBQ.
Had an argument with Bronwen about dinner.
Jalyn came, and we gave her the room.
Went for a walk around St Lucia with Clint and Maz.

17.03.2006Friday 17 March – BITS BBQ

I attended the BITS BBQ, which was as unorganised as ever, but eventually managed to start. Our new flatmate moved in. I skipped Sophie’s party, which turned out to be a good decision as half of Brisbane’s up-and-coming drop-outs attended, eventually trying to trash the place and getting chased away by the police.
Early Morning
I figure I had better start packing for Stradbroke. Somehow, nothing fits in my pack, even though I’m taking almost nothing. I am far better at everything very late at night, or so it seems at the time.

18.03.2006Saturday 18 March – Stradbroke

Deciding to try “camping” at Stradbroke with $30 and no camping gear or permit seemed like a great idea. Getting up at six thirty didn’t seem so good. However, even heroes must get up sometime, so I awake, eat a cup of yoghurt, and dump my pack in Maz’s car, which arrives complete with Maz and Clint, just on seven. We drive and park near the ferry, and manage to get student return tickets to Stradbroke for $12 each. A short catamaran ride later and we’re there, where we immediately waste a good portion of our remaining money on drinks. I somehow manage to end up with a $10 note and some small change, which doesn’t add up to my original $30 no matter how one looks at it, but such is life. We then manage to get student return tickets to Point Lookout for $5 each.
  Once at Point Lookout, we walk around the rocks, where Maz takes some photos, and then head to Deadman’s beach where we swim extremely hard for several hundred miles, just to remain inline with the blue umbrella on the shore. The waves are fun—I haven’t been to the ocean in a while now—but not fantastic, and the current is very strong. Just as we near exhaustion, the blue umbrella packs up and leaves, removing our vital landmark, so we clamber back to shore and collapse around our packs. It is here that the first of my budget decisions pays off badly. With ten dollars cash on me, and less than nothing in the bank, my pack splits apart. Fortunately, I invested a whole four and a half dollars buying some cord, which I can wrap around my pack several times and tie, and which will hopefully hold it together long enough for me to live to regret going camping with no food, no money, and no camping equipment.
  We depart Deadman’s beach and walk for an awfully long time down Flinder’s beach, looking for the mythical camping-site-number-three sign. Apparently Maz’s parents are camped somewhere in the campsite, and not bringing food, as clever as it seemed at the time, means we’re rather hungry and Maz is keen to find something to eat. After walking from campsite three right through to campsite five, we conclude that they’re probably at the Casino back in Brisbane, having a good chuckle about it all. We find a nice secluded spot behind a revegetation sign instructing no one to go there, where I pull out some of the pointy revegetation that was unthoughtfully revegetating right where I wanted to lie. It is here that Maz discovers that his feet and legs are rather sunburnt. I consider offering to chop them off, which would solve his sunburn problem and allow us to cook and eat them, but and have a sleep for an hour or so instead.
  Clint and I wake up to find that Maz has gone, presumably stolen to be sold as a slave. Unfortunately, he has also taken his legs, leaving us along and hungry. I arrange for Bronwen, who is also on the island, to come down and meet us—perhaps we can eat her, if all else fails—and Clint and I go and do manly things in the sand, like jumping and digging little holes. Proving that Allah cares for those who are thirsty, Maz arrives a short while later with his mother and a cold can of Pasito. She offers to cook us dinner, should we survive until dinnertime, which is greatly appreciated, as I had already eaten my single plain bread bun—left over from the BITS BBQ—for lunch, and I did not want to eat Bronwen, as I would miss her. We are also not sure if we will be able to light a fire without giving away our location, so cooking her could have been difficult.
  Bronwen arrives shortly after we have drunk our drinks and have begun illegally modifying the cans to turn them into racing cans, and then bombing them with skilled mortar-sand-fire. She is very impressed by our male bravado in can-bombing, but is unable to show it and mocks us instead. We consider killing her for this insult to our manhood, but realise we don’t have the money to attend the funeral, so opt for the far cheaper option of ignoring her and putting it down to her feminine misunderstanding of all things male, useful, or mechanical. This works, and she leaves none the wiser—somewhat like most of the university graduates I know.
Maz, Clint and I enjoy a lovely dinner with Maz’s parents, eat most of a packet of minties, watch some fireworks, and take photos of the moon. We then head back to our campsite, where I lay down my three-dollar piece of tarp, blow up my nine-dollar inflatable mattress, and go to sleep. Maz lies on his towel and complains about his feet—now red and swollen, and Clint sets up a military style bivouac at the appropriate angle for surveying the surrounding territories for enemies, although he has neither ammunition nor guns.
Late Night
My inflatable mattress deflates, reinforcing the idea that cheap equipment behaves badly given half a chance.
Comment by Maz – Monday 20 March 2006, 12:13 PM
  As funny as that all sounds, It's basically the truth. Although I don't remember ever being asked if they could chop off my legs because if they had I might have taken them up on the offer.
  And I don't remember being made fun of by Bronwyn but as I was very interested in why my legs and feet were very red I might just not have been paying attention.

19.03.2006Sunday 19 March – Sleeping, Stradbroke & Sunburn

I wake early, having had a good but fitful sleep on my auto-deflating inflatable mattress and three-dollar tarp. Fortunately it hadn’t rained, as Clint was the only one with anything that may have protected him from the water. Clint claimed to have had a good sleep, but Maz hadn’t got any, being unable to put anything on his feet, and then being plagued by mosquitoes all night. Maz’s feet were bright pink and swollen, and he could barely walk, so we decided to call it an adventure and head home. Maz’s parents drove us to the bus stop, where we caught the bus to the cat, and the cat to Brisbane, and drove home from there.
I walked to Toowong and met Clint, going shopping at Woolworths. I then walked to Maz’s, where I met Andrew. I saw a washing machine on the way, and Maz doesn’t have one, so arranged for Andrew to pick it up on his way back here, which he subsequently did, along with an evaporative cooler.
I talked to our new flatmate, and then went for a walk with Clint and Bronwen.

20.03.2006Monday 20 March – Cyclones, Light Bulbs & Rucksacks

I watched cyclone stuff on TV, thankful that it missed the Cooktown area. Bronwen has taken the day off from work. We filled out the paperwork for our new flatmate’s lease. Bronwen then headed into town to do business. I pulled the washing machine we got last night, and the VCR, apart, and put up a new clothesline.
Ned walked to town, where he bought a six-pack of fuses. Why would they only sell fuses in a six-pack? Perhaps one would want six common fuses, but these are relatively rare slow-blow fuses, used by Fisher and Paykel washing machines, and various other switch-mode things. It’s like the kebab place only selling kebabs in packs of three. Stupid. It did taste good though. Ned then went looking for packs at K2, but couldn’t find any he liked, so he walked home.
Introducing the Ultra Mega Light Bulb
The light bulb is blown in the bedroom. So much for Crazy Clarke’s crap—lasts as long as ten bulbs, they say. Went to Woolworth’s for grocery shopping, and bought an ultra-mega bulb. Bronwen wasn’t happy. Normal bulbs cost ten dollars for two, but the ultra-mega bulb was eight dollars. Its “warm white”, rather than the previous one’s daylight colour temperature, and that, coupled with its ultra-mega-ness, makes me feel like I’m sitting in a bowl of radioactive custard. Looking on the bright side, with a few well-placed mirrors, we can get rid of the rest of the lights in the house and save on power. And all this at only twenty-three watts—the amazing power of fluorescence.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 21 March 2006, 11:28 PM
  oooohhh. Wonder if is the same radioactive custard bulb that unfortunately sits in my soon to be left kitchen, which reminds me of every lousy roadhouse diner I ever had the misfortune to have to linger in, or alternatively..those awful cheapo Asian market places wherein one can get horrible greasy noodles for a price much more than they are worth. And radiation (from custard light, for free) Remember that light Ned? I loathe it. I will be so glad to leave it. It is a whole conglomeration of all that I intensely dislike about flourescence and neon and cheap asian diners, and loneliness and other unmentionable things.

21.03.2006Tuesday 21 March – Parts, Barcodes & Washing Machines

I began work on the Jianshe parts system, and swapped fuses in the washing machine, blowing the new one. While it’s a very cool washing machine, as far as washing machines go (running on the same principles as high-speed maglev trains, and with a water-cooled central control unit, it’s arguably cooler than fireworks shoes or dual-Xeon BSOD generators), it’s probably not worth fixing.
I continued working on the Jianshe parts system.
I learnt to read barcodes and noticed that our new ultra-mega-light has a start-up period, similar to streetlights, which seems odd in a fluorescent light, but is blindingly cool.

22.03.2006Wednesday 22 March – Excellent Tutoring, Careers Fairs & Internet Problems

I did some more work on the Jianshe site. Yesterday I got a letter informing me that I’ve again been awarded Excellence in Tutoring for my efforts last semester. I’m very proud of this, as very few tutors receive such an award, with the majority, in my experience at least, being very mediocre, if not downright bad. I’m not sure why, because it doesn’t seem that hard to tutor in a friendly, effective way, and I quite enjoyed it. I’m also proud that a group of my students saw it fit to take me out to lunch after their final assignment. Unfortunately, “tutor” isn’t a career option.
I attended the UQ Careers Fair, bumping into a few people I hadn’t seen in a while. There was quite a heavy police and security presence, including, so I was told, plain-clothes police. Apparently someone had attacked a defence force stand at a prior career fair somewhere else. I left just before four o’clock, when the fair closed. This turned out to be a bad idea, as the bus station was totally packed—the busiest I have seen it. Despite having buses overlapping each other two deep out onto the road, it would have taken forever to get on a city bus, so I caught the mystical 414 to Indooroopilly. This bus manages to spend as much time driving away from Indooroopilly as it does towards it, yet still somehow arrives—a modern miracle.
I came home to find my internet connection not quite working. It sort of works, in that I can connect to some IRC servers, and use Windows Messenger (although not MSN), but I can’t get any HTTP, or in fact, anything much at all. It seems that anything over a certain size is unable to make it through. It’s quite annoying. Hopefully it’s not my problem, and someone else fixes it very soon.
I managed to ruin my dinner as only a bachelor could—I spilt garam masala in it. Now I have baked beans on toast that smell like peppermint tea. McDonalds, here I come (along with Clint and Maz, whose foot is still quite swollen and going orange).

23.03.2006Thursday 23 March – Fire Ants, Bikes & Deceased Cats

Maz dropped over while Lisa was attending a job interview, and we reset the modem, which then worked, fixing my internet connectivity problems. Just as he was leaving, a team of fire-ant finders turned up and checked the premise for fire ants.
I implemented a user account system for the Jianshe site. It rained a little.
I walked to a “non profit” bike place in West End, looking for a cheap pushbike. On the way, I met Clint, who was on his way to bury his cat, so got a lift to South Bank with him.

24.03.2006Friday 24 March – Æon Flux

Billed Jianshe for their parts and login system.
Clint and I drove to Enoggera disposal store, and then Indooroopilly.
Bronwen and I saw “Æon Flux” at South Bank.

25.03.2006Saturday 25 March – Shopping

Bronwen and I went grocery shopping, and then dropped in on Bronwen’s parents for a while. After a potato salad dinner, we watched “The Hunt for Red October”.

26.03.2006Sunday 26 March – Computer Markets, High Fibre Food & Wire Radios

I went to the Computer Markets with Kieran and Maz, stopping at Office Works on the way back.
I managed to make an AM radio out of twenty metres of UTP, while attempting to get a cleaner video signal across it. I decided that it was no use trying to fight the near miraculous, and I’ll buy a normal, shielded, 75Ω lead and make a normal s-video and stereo lead.
Bronwen and I rushed into town. I had planned to check out where my job interview tomorrow would be, as it wasn’t showing on Whereis, and then see a movie. Unfortunately, due to Bronwen making a last minute phone call, and it taking longer to walk to my interview location than expected, we had to skip the movie, instead having a very filling dinner and ice cream at Id Café.

27.03.2006Monday 27 March – Job Interview, Cabling & Uni

I had my job interview. It seemed to go well, although they did not like it that I did not have a car. I followed up by going to see Ann at M&T to request higher pay, as the work is only four days a week, not the expected five.
I went to Dick Smith’s, where I bought eighteen metres of four-core shielded cable, bought some more seeds from Crazy Clarks, and met Holly.
I made my eighteen metre s-video and stereo lead, which works lovely, does not turn into a radio, and does not have random interference.
I walked to Maz’s, intending to drive from there into uni, but his car had helpfully died. Maz and I walked into uni to see Clint, then back to Clint’s, from where we drove to McDonald’s.

28.03.2006Tuesday 28 March – Backpack Shopping & Unenrolling

I enrolled in courses for second semester, and unenrolled in first semester courses.
Clint and I caught a bus into the valley and went shopping for a backpack. I bought a football for a toiletries bag. We then went to uni, via Woolworths in Toowong.
Maz and Clint came around, and Bronwen and I went and got pizza with them.

29.03.2006Wednesday 29 March – Digging, Match Point & Inside Man

I put some grass clippings in the poisoned garden and dug them in, managing to garner myself a blister.
I phoned M&T Resources and found that I had not got the job I applied for, mainly as I did not have a car and they felt that this would make it complicated for me to get to job sites.
I went and saw “Match Point” at Palace Centro. I think it caught me in the right mood, as I don’t think it was a particularly good film—but I found it gave me a lot to think about, and was quite moving, perhaps even disturbing.
I went and saw a special advance screening of “Inside Man” at the Regent with Bronwen. While not a movie with any meaningful message or purpose, it is particularly good, with a clever plot and enough action to keep one engrossed the whole way through—one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. We then had Bronwen’s parents over for dinner, and found that Georgie is staying here.

30.03.2006Thursday 30 March – Blue Seeding & High Fidelity

I planted some “blue” seeds in the recently poisoned garden.
Bronwen and I watched the DVD “High Fidelity”, quite a witty title given the context, and quite a good movie.

31.03.2006Friday 31 March – Raining, Walling & CD’s

It rained quite heavily, prompting me to get quite wet while making a brick levee for my garden.
I burnt an awful lot of CD’s to post up to Mum.
I did some more work on the Jianshe site redesign, and hid from lightning.
Bronwen and I walked into town and did some shopping.

01.04.2006Saturday 1 April – Moving Things Early

I got up, showered, and headed into the city to pick up two tables. It was interesting driving under one of the large shopping complexes in Queen Street Mall.
Bronwen and I had breakfast at her parent’s place.
Bronwen and I had dinner at her parent’s place.

02.04.2006Sunday 2 April – Kangaroo Point & Indian Food

I checked out April fool’s jokes online.
I went shopping at Woolworths.
I walked to Kangaroo Point, and then West End, having dinner at an Indian place and briefly meeting Tim. I had planned to see V for Vendetta, but Bronwen was too sleepy.
Comment by DM – Friday 7 April 2006, 5:17 PM
  Belated apologies for not stopping by and actually exchanging words. Brian had been away all weekend and was itching to get back home.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 8 April 2006, 11:21 AM
  Not a problem!

03.04.2006Monday 3 April – Searching for Bikes

I walked to the cheap bike place, then to the non-profit bike place (which is closed on Mondays, it turns out). I had again planned to see V for Vendetta, but tomorrow is cheaper so we’re putting it off until then.
Maz’s car broke down so he is leaving it here until he can fix it.

04.04.2006Tuesday 4 April – Centrelink & Watermarks

I had a quiet morning.
Maz and his father came around and got his car going. I went to Centrelink. It rained.
I stayed up late and wrote some code that adds watermarks dynamically to the images on

05.04.2006Wednesday 5 April – Sarina Russo

Went to my appointment with Sarina Russo. It rained again.
Finished making CD’s for Mum and posted them.
Amanda dropped around for a visit.
I went for a walk, initially to the seven eleven at Toowong where I met Maz, and then from there into the city and back again via the Goodwill Bridge, Maz taking photos along the way. It ended up being a four-hour walk, so I got to bed rather late.

06.04.2006Thursday 6 April – Backpack Refund

Kieran dropped by on his way back from a job interview, and we drove to Indooroopilly via Maz’s, where I returned my broken backpack for a refund and had lunch. Maz and I then spent the rest of the afternoon moseying around Maz’s place, going to Coles, and fighting stupid IP blocking databases.

07.04.2006Friday 7 April – Copying Data & Lots of Men

I copied a few hundred gigabytes of data around, preparing to break up my RAID array.
Bronwen and I went shopping.

08.04.2006Saturday 8 April – Files, Volumes & Reparse Points

I played around with hard drives, breaking up my RAID array, reducing the number of volumes and partitions in the system considerably, and mounting drives in a more logical way. Sysinternal’s “junction” is a brilliant tool—for reasons known only to Microsoft, Window’s “fsutil” file system utility will not allow hard linking across volumes, nor, I think, to directories—junction allows both, and in conjunction with “mountvol”, Window’s volume mounting tool, a logical file system that’s not tied to the physical drive layout can be built up. I’ve been meaning to sort out my confusing and messy file system for ages, and I think I now have—I have similar data stored on the same physical drives, and everything accessible via the one unchanging, drive-irrelevant mount point. I should now be able to add new drives when needed, vastly increasing my storage space, without any filepaths changing, and spin-down some drives while others stay spun-up. It’s all rather geeky, but it needed to be done, and I’ve managed to come out of it with a lot more spare storage space than I previously had, and the space to connect another two hard drives.

09.04.2006Sunday 9 April – Relaxing & Stressful

Bronwen went to her parent’s place.
I had a quiet, relaxing, day chatting online and messing about inside.

10.04.2006Monday 10 April – Tutoring Excellence Awards

I attended an awards presentation for my tutoring excellence at uni, and ate far too much finger food. I showed Kipps where the Wesley Hospital was on the way back home.
I went shopping at Woolworths in the city, bumping into Holly, and made a sort of meatless shepherd pie with lentils for dinner.
Comment by DM – Wednesday 12 April 2006, 4:49 PM
  Congrats on the award!
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 12 April 2006, 4:57 PM
  Thanks ;-)

11.04.2006Tuesday 11 April – A Working Bike & Cheap Focaccia

I went and had a look at a house with Bronwen.
I went to the not-for-profit bike place in West End on my way back from looking at the house this morning, then home, then back to West End with my bike, where I had the rear gears changed. I can now ride uphill, as well as downhill. They offer their workshop for the public to use in fixing their bikes, which is very handy for me as I’ve fixed bikes numerous times before, but all my tools are scattered across north Queensland.
Bronwen and I went shopping, finding numerous cakes, focaccias and sweetbreads on special for fifty cents each.

12.04.2006Wednesday 12 April – Joe’s & Pudding

I sorted out some of my music, now that it’s all stored in one location and I have the free space to play around with it.
I trained to Joe’s, where I finally picked up my mail. I was given a free pudding at Central Station on the way back. I made the mistake of eating some of this pudding when I got home—I lived, but only because of the extraordinary digestive processes I’ve developed through years of hard training at uni.
I walked down to Kangaroo Point looking for Bronwen, but as luck would have it, she’d come home early and I missed her.

13.04.2006Thursday 13 April – Copyright Infringement & Backpacks

I received an email from NBC regarding supposed copyright infringement originating from my IP.
I went and bought another twenty-dollar backpack, precisely the same as the one I returned a few days ago. I figure if it also dies, I’ll return it and buy another one.
Bronwen stayed at her parent’s place as her Aunt and Uncle are up from Sydney.
I stayed up very late, doing very little.

14.04.2006Friday 14 April – Stradbroke Island

Bronwen arrived back from her parent’s, and we packed for Stradbroke. Bronwen’s Mum arrived around eleven, and we drove, via her place, to the car ferry at Cleveland, and from there to Stradbroke Island.
Bronwen and I erected our tent, and spent a relaxing afternoon wandering.

15.04.2006Saturday 15 April – Stradbroke Island

A relaxing day was had, wherein our hero enjoyed his tranquil island lifestyle.

16.04.2006Sunday 16 April – Easter & Stradbroke Island

We had a large breakfast at Frank and Shirley’s, as per tradition. It would appear that our tent has become an ant nest, with ants climbing all over—and in—it.
I relaxed, interspersed with a long walk down a few beaches and around the headland, and some pouring rain.
It would appear that the rain has come under our tent, wetting our sheet and the top corners of our bed. This could have been a disaster, but a lovely warm woman makes quite a good sheet alternative.

17.04.2006Monday 17 April – Stradbroke, Chips & Brisbane

I had a pleasant morning, doing an enjoyable very little—Stradbroke style.
Bronwen and I caught a bus across Stradbroke Island, meeting Bronwen’s parents and co at the ferry. From there we caught the ferry back to the mainland where we again split up, Bronwen and I catching a bus and train, while her parents and co drove. We were picked up from the train station by Cam, and driven to his place, via a fish and chip shop, where we had dinner. Bronwen and I then caught the train back to Brisbane.

18.04.2006Tuesday 18 April – Bikes & Dinner

I adjusted the brakes and seat on my bike, so in theory I can now ride and stop in comfort.
I rode into the city and did some shopping.
I cooked dinner, Bronwen arriving sneakily just before it was ready and helping me finish it off.

19.04.2006Wednesday 19 April – Centrelink

There is clearly no Wednesday morning on the nineteenth. Anyone who says otherwise is without doubt deluded.
Mail wasn’t delivered until fairly late today, although, given the lack of morning, perhaps it wasn’t late. Normally this wouldn’t matter, but as it turns out, I had mail from Centrelink, which required that I drop in to their office and fill out a few forms. This seemed simple enough to do, and would have only taken a minute or two, plus the half hour I stood in a queue, but the trainee who saw me wasn’t able—or wasn’t willing—to help me with the few questions I had, instead booking me an appointment. I was told to take a seat, and I’d be called. I arrived at Centrelink sometime around four, and stood in a queue for half an hour. Centrelink closes at a quarter to five, and I was called for my “interview” a few minutes past five, after they’d locked all the doors and all the other clients had left. As expected, no one cared what I wrote on the forms, and my interview was over within about a minute.
After my exciting trip to Centerlink, I walked to Maz’s, via Woolworths, who were selling a heavily discounted iced lemon cake—something I couldn’t pass up. I ate half my lemon cake at Maz’s, and drove back to my place, via McDonald’s and a “shake”.

20.04.2006Thursday 20 April – Govinda’s & Packs

Bronwen and I slept in—she has taken the day off work. Once awake, we had a relaxing morning doing some washing and not a great deal else.
Bronwen and I walked to the city, where we had lunch at Govinda’s, dropped in on Bronwen’s Mum at work, and looked at packs at K2. It seems no one sells a pack quite like I want.
Bronwen is staying at her parent’s place as her father is over at Stradbroke.
Comment by Chris – Saturday 29 April 2006, 6:09 PM
  Chez Tessa is awesome!

21.04.2006Friday 21 April – Nothing Much

Went to Woolworths at Paddington.

22.04.2006Saturday 22 April – Backpack

Walked to town. Bought a 65+20 litre Lowe Alpine Cerro Torre backpack for 124-something dollars, listed at $349, thanks to a family-of-staff discount.

23.04.2006Sunday 23 April – Computer Markets

Went to the computer markets with Maz, where Bronwen bought an external hard drive.
Rode looking at houses with Bronwen.

24.04.2006Monday 24 April – Jobs & Backpacks

Georgie came over and copied some music to her new music player using Marjorie’s computer. I got Jalyn to help me adjust my backpack.
I applied for a change analyst job on the SI-Net team at UQ.
Walked up to Bronwen’s parent’s place and took their bins out, then went shopping.

25.04.2006Tuesday 25 April – ANZAC Day

Bronwen and I went and watched the ANZAC Day parade.
Rode and looked at a house in Herston.

26.04.2006Wednesday 26 April – Centrelink & Laptops

I did nothing.
Went to Centrelink, then on to Maz’s.
Fixed Georgie’s laptop by upgrading the BIOS. Clint dropped by.

27.04.2006Thursday 27 April – Soundcards & Hard Drives

Georgie picked up her laptop. I installed a new version of sound card drivers and played around with them for hours.
I got an email from UQ, phoned them up, and have an interview on Thursday for the Change Analyst with SI-Net position.
I went to Indooroopilly with Maz, who printed some fantastic photos.
I went to Umart with Bronwen to pick up her hard drive for her external hard drive box, which had us thinking it was broken, until we set it to single-drive mode.

28.04.2006Friday 28 April – Nasturtiums

I rode into the city and bought ant poison, bamboo skewers, and a packet of nasturtium seeds, which I planted once the heat of the sun had subsided somewhat.

29.04.2006Saturday 29 April – Computer Death

Bronwen went to work, leaving me with the ideal opportunity to go for a walk around the city with Maz, taking photos. Just before leaving my place, I showed Maz my new soundcard setup. Just after showing him, Explorer quit, and then the computer turned off. We had an enjoyable walk around the city taking photos, arriving back late afternoon.
I tried starting my computer, but it wouldn’t. I pulled it apart, rode up to Clint’s and borrowed a power supply, swapping that for the one in the computer, but still nothing. The RAM power LED lights up and the fans give a short kick when the power button is pressed for the first time, but nothing else happens. I pulled everything apart but was unable to fix it, coming to the conclusion that the motherboard has mysteriously died.
Clint came around, and we chatted on the front steps for a while before going for a short walk down to the shops and buying a pack of four Golden Gaytimes.

30.04.2006Sunday 30 April – Ants & Staples

Bronwen has gone up to her parents, and is planning on having a BBQ with them. I laid down ant poison wherever I could find ants, and banged a staple into the front door to hold some loose glass in.

01.05.2006Monday 1 May – The Cougals

Bronwen, Clint, Maz, Lisa and I drove to the NSW border in Clint’s car, and went for a six-hour walk up, and subsequently back down, Mount Cougal, along the border fence. It was quite an easy walk, made slower than usual as it was Lisa’s first walk. Clint managed to leave the window of his car down while we were walking, possibly preventing anyone from breaking in, and also managed to bleed all over the place on the way home, having captured a powerful leech. We stopped for dinner on the way back, with myself eating a nice felafel kebab.
Test day

02.05.2006Tuesday 2 May – Suits

Bronwen took the day off work. We rode to look at a house, but because I stopped to look at a map, we were separated at Roma St Parklands, meaning I subsequently got lost and was unable to find the house until just after the inspection ended. This made me angry.
Bronwen and I then went looking for suits in preparation for my job interview on Thursday, and then to another house inspection, and then back to look for suits again. I settled on a black, lightly pinstriped, 3-button suit from Rodger Davids, and a green striped silk tie.
Bronwen and I went grocery shopping, dropping in on her parents.

03.05.2006Wednesday 3 May – Uni, Shirts & Hidden

In preparation for my job interview tomorrow, I went to uni where I had a chat with Soon, and ran through a SI-Net demonstration with Debbie, before getting out a few books on project management and testing from the uni library.
I went to Toowong looking for a nice cotton shirt and some simple leather shoes, and was unable to find either, having to head to Indooroopilly—where I bumped into Lachlan—and eventually settling for a normal synthetic shirt.
I caught a bus into the city and saw “Hidden” with Bronwen and her parents at the Dendy. I can’t say I really liked the movie, as it seemed to be filled with hidden menace, and I was never sure at any time what was about to happen. After the movie, we had dinner at Bronwen’s parent’s place.

04.05.2006Thursday 4 May – Job Interview

I got up early, tried on my suit, shirt and shoes to make sure it all fit, and asked Bronwen a pile of job interview questions before she headed off to work. I then completed a list of sample job interview questions, had a quick scan over some project life-cycle and testing planning books, and headed into uni for my interview.
My interview went well, as far as I can tell. My planning wasn’t necessary, as in the end almost no “standard” interview questions were asked. I don’t think my look at SI-Net yesterday helped at all either, although it did give me confidence. Now I’ll just have to wait and see what happens—it was impossible to tell if they were impressed or not.

05.05.2006Friday 5 May – Indooroopilly

Clint and I drove to Indooroopilly, where we did some shopping.

06.05.2006Saturday 6 May – Buddha’s Birthday Festival

Bronwen and I made our way up to her parent’s place, from where we all drove to have another look at a house we looked at on Tuesday.
Clint, Bronwen and I walked down to the Buddha’s Birthday festivities at South Bank, where Clint ate fake meat and threw his phone off a large drop, before watching the fireworks—which were quite spectacular, and very, very loud—and finding out that the 9:25 PM session of “Mission: Impossible 3” was sold out—a disappointment only a Slurpee on the way home could cure.

07.05.2006Sunday 7 May – Mission: Impossible 3

Bronwen and I walked down and had a look at Buddha’s Birthday Festival, watching the fireworks again. They were perhaps the most spectacular fireworks I have seen—the finale was amazing.
Bronwen and I rushed back from the fireworks, grabbed warm clothes, and rushed back to South Bank again, watching “Mission: Impossible 3”. It was quite a suspenseful movie, powerful in a pointless Hollywood way.

08.05.2006Monday 8 May – Depression

I started washing up last night’s dishes, and suddenly felt sick, having to sit down and eventually going back to bed.
I was on my way walking to Centrelink when I got a call from Anita at UQ, informing me that, while they were impressed with me, I had not got the job as they’d needed someone with more change management and testing experience, and they did not usually take graduates. She suggested I look for consultancy positions. Then, once I got to Centrelink, I found that I had to fill in two fortnightly forms, both overdue, and both requiring that I list four employers I contacted during their respective fortnights—something I can’t do as I not only did not contact that many employers during that time, but I also cannot access my computer. This led to depression, as it all seemed somewhat hopeless—everything was ganging up on me.
I walked into the city and walked home with Bronwen, who managed to cheer me up somewhat.

09.05.2006Tuesday 9 May – Motherboards & Curry

Maz came over and I bought a new motherboard from Umart, swapped over everything, and now have my computer back up and running.
Bronwen and I made, and subsequently ate, a nice curry.

10.05.2006Wednesday 10 May – Centrelink

I applied for eight jobs to satisfy Centrelink’s illogical assertion that I apply for eight jobs in the past.
I went to Centrelink, returned two fortnightly forms, and signed my looking for work agreement. This took a long time and I had to wait for an appointment, due to staff ineptitude.

11.05.2006Thursday 11 May – Painting

I updated the Jianshe website.
The painter bloke painted the bedroom window, fumigating me in the process.

12.05.2006Friday 12 May – Riding

I applied for two jobs at ITS.
I rode to Toowong and met Clint, and walked back to his place where we chatted for a while. I then rode halfway home, getting a flat tyre.

13.05.2006Saturday 13 May – Cleaning, Broken Sites & Milkshakes

Bronwen and I cleaned the fridge, and then went shopping.
I went to check for new comments on my site, only to find that dom_xml and xslt support are both missing.
I bought a milkshake from Cold Rock.
Later Night
I watched “Maverick” on TV, and sat around doing very little.

14.05.2006Sunday 14 May – Music & Computer Markets

I nearly missed the train to Lawnton, from where I walked to the Computer Markets, only to find that two of my three external hard drive boxes had been sold already—I should have called last night and asked that they be held.
I now have my Music drive working in the one external box I managed to buy. My junction to it seems to work just fine too, even though it’s now an external hard drive and the junction was made back when the hard drive was on my old motherboard, which I find impressive.
I planted some more flowers in the front of the garden.
Bronwen and I decided to buy chips, but the chip place had just shut, which was not according to plan.

15.05.2006Monday 15 May – External Hard Drive Boxes

I applied for two jobs.
I went to Centrelink and dropped in my form. Our second flatmate informed me that she is planning to move out, in order to see more of the world.
I caught a bus down to Garden City, where I met Bronwen, and then walked to Lorrimore Computers, from where I collected another two external hard drive boxes.

16.05.2006Tuesday 16 May – Riding, Real Estates & Blocked Drains

I put a new tube in my bike tyre and rode to the real estate to report blocked drains and leaking taps, then to the RTA to get some forms. I put another hard drive into the remaining spare hard drive box. The LED on one of the other hard drive boxes failed.

17.05.2006Wednesday 17 May – Kokoda

My sites are still not working.
Clint came around and he and I went for to Indooroopilly for dinner, he having KFC, while I had Indian curry, and then watching “Kokoda” at Indooroopilly.

18.05.2006Thursday 18 May – Birthday Buying

I rode into town and bought my sister some incense cones, and an exfoliating body butter pack from the “Body Shop”, and posted my account-opening request to Citibank. I had a look at the Brisbane Tunnel showcase, which has a few cool three dimensional transparent cut-away scale models showing above and below ground aspects of the tunnel.

19.05.2006Friday 19 May - Plumbing

Two plumbers came and did whatever it is plumbers do, and left within half an hour. They said the same as the last plumber—they can’t fix the kitchen taps, and will request that new ones be put in. They said they’d got the sinks to flow again, but that they would need to come back when they were fixing the kitchen taps and put some acid down the kitchen sink as the pipe had rust in it which was constricting it, and in the meantime if it began to get blocked again we should run hot water down it and plunge a lot.
  We don’t have a plunger, and I don’t think this is a satisfactory solution. I will give them time to get onto the real estate, but I shall phone the real estate and ensure that they are going to do something about the kitchen taps ASAP, as their current state is unacceptable.

20.05.2006Saturday 20 May – I go Viral

I have flu, or a cold, or something equally nasty and unpleasant, with a sore throat, eyes, kidneys, and various other assorted innards.
Bronwen and I walked into the city to have a look at the north-south bypass tunnel displays, but they were closed. Instead, we bought felafels and sat watching humanity morass past Queen Street Mall.
Bronwen and I bought chips for dinner, which was just what I felt like.

21.05.2006Sunday 21 May – Picnicking

I lazed about doing very little.
I lazed about doing very little.

22.05.2006Monday 22 May – Cold, Uni, Indooroopilly, Clint & Cakes

It has been getting increasingly cold, something to do with the earth’s disregard for symmetry, so I’m told.
Clint and I drove to uni, and then Indooroopilly, where I payed off a Centrelink debt and cashed my Engin cash-back offer cheque.
I applied for an “Information Technology Support Officer” position with the education department at UQ.
Two blokes were supposed to come and look at Jalyn’s room, but only one turned up—Locky, a second year law student at QUT who reminded me a lot of Kipps, and came along with his girlfriend who reminded me of the love-interest out of Spiderman. He was quite forward, too much so for my liking. He seemed likeable enough, but I don’t think he’d really fit in.
Clint blew up his mind, and came around for some mind-refreshing brain washing and a general break. He and I went shopping at Woolworths with Bronwen, where we managed to buy four cakes between us, and a focaccia, all drastically reduced. We then sat around talking until the wee hours of the morning.

23.05.2006Tuesday 23 May – Torches

I had a quiet morning, lazing around and sleeping in. I spent the afternoon researching LED torches, having decided to get something I can use for nightwalking. I had actually found a torch for sale here, only to find that it would be cheaper to have it shipped from America. I then made the mistake of looking for cheaper places to buy it in the US, becoming engrossed in the large range of other cool torches available and coming across some people who had negative experiences with the torch I had planned to buy. Needing to feel that my choice was somehow justified in order to spend the money on it, and only being able to justify it by feeling that I’d done enough research to make an informed decision, I had little choice but to continue researching. Or, put more simply, if I can find enough people who say the torch I like is great, then it must be great, the people who don’t like it aren’t great, I’m great for liking it, buying it is a great thing to do, it would be a great purchase, and I should have to purchase it, for greater greatness. Of course, doing all the other day-to-day things I should have been doing instead of reading reviews and forums about torches would have been a more productive use of my day, but there’s always tomorrow for that.

24.05.2006Wednesday 24 May – Nothing

I don’t remember anything that happened today, though I suspect something did, even if for no reason other than it being statistically very likely.

25.05.2006Thursday 25 May – Nothing

Nothing again! Not a thing! Not even anything! Well, to be honest, probably something—but I didn’t write it down, so I can’t remember.

26.05.2006Friday 26 May – Mount Maroon

Clint and I went for a bushwalk, climbing Mount Maroon. Apparently, it’s a 967-metre volcanic plug near Rathdowney, and is roughly as popular as Peasant’s Ridge on Mount Barney, based on Clint’s excellent judgement of track erosion.
  We left the city around nine o’clock, stopping at Boonah to buy salad (or in Clint’s case, ham and salad) rolls to carry up for lunch. We passed quite a few signs condemning some plan to dam (and subsequently damn) the area, arriving in a prickle patch at the bottom of Mount Marron. Clint and I then proceeded to push many of the prickles firmly into our feet, before pushing them into our fingers while removing them from out feet and putting our shoes on. The walk itself was pleasant, relatively easy, not exposed enough to cause death-defying fear, and we made good time to the summit where we ate our salad rolls and discussed religion and similar deep and meaningful matters.
Clint and I arrived back in the city just on dark, having enjoyed our escape and feeling more alive because of it.

27.05.2006Saturday 27 May – House Hunting

Bronwen and I rode out to the southern suburbs to find a real estate that was going to take us around looking at some houses. Unfortunately, due to a mix-up in the details, we went to the wrong real estate. We looked at a few houses they had open for inspection, before the correct real estate called. We then drove around with the agent, looking at several more houses, before riding back home via the city.

28.05.2006Sunday 28 May – X-Men III

I discovered that most of my website isn’t working, due to some permission problems, but didn’t have time to do anything, as I had to head off to the Computer Markets with Kieran and Sméagol, to replace my LED-less external hard drive box.
Clint and Clus came over and we drove to Southbank, where we saw the late screening of “X-Men 3”. I wasn’t very impressed and wouldn’t recommend it, but as with most action movies, it was a fun watch.

29.05.2006Monday 29 May – Torches & Battery Chargers

It seems my website permission problems have been fixed, but dom_xml is still not working.
I ordered a Fenix L1T LED torch from Torchworld, and a torch bike mount, express post, so hopefully that gets here nice and fast.
I dropped my form into Centrelink, and caught the train from there to town, where I went looking for a cheap battery charger at Dick Smith’s and Jaycar. It turns out it’s not possible to buy cheap battery chargers that will charge batteries in anything other than multiples of two, and as the torch I’ve just ordered only uses a single AA battery, having to charge two at a time wouldn’t be particularly optimal. So, I ended up buying a fifty dollar charger from Jaycar—far more than I had wanted to pay, but it seems relatively fancy, with an LCD display and all. It also has corroded terminals, which seems a little odd, and I suspect I’ll have to go exchange it.

30.05.2006Tuesday 30 May – New Torch

I forgot to put the rubbish bins out—again. Bronwen had to run down the road and put the recycling bin in the next street, as it was too cold for me to get up. In fact, I didn’t get up until I heard the postman on his bike. I thought he might have delivered the torch I ordered yesterday, seeing as I paid extra for express postage, but alas, only a phone bill. It would seem I’ve wasted the money getting express postage.
My sites are still not working, and apparently are not going to be fixed as dom_xml is causing problems with the current server configuration, and as it is incompatible with the DOM support in PHP 5, and the servers are in the process of upgrading to PHP 5, I’m changing my sites to work under PHP 5.
I went to put out the rubbish and found that my torch had come after all. Express post must have a different delivery from normal mail. Now I can’t find my Maglite head-torch conversion attachment, which should be lying around here somewhere. I am incredibly impressed with the size and brightness of my new torch.
Bronwen and I bought pizzas for dinner and watched “10 Things I Hate About You”. I then went for a walk with Clint, showing him my new torch and getting very, very cold. I think I’m going to have to buy gloves if I’m going to be doing any night things.
Comment by Maz – Monday 5 June 2006, 11:44 AM
  Were you trying to see how many times you could use the word "torch" in one entry or do you just like your torch? Torch.
Comment by Ned – Monday 5 June 2006, 12:07 PM
  I like my torch very much!
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 6 June 2006, 2:51 PM
  Torch song. Ever heard of it? Might be showing my age here. Gasp.

31.05.2006Wednesday 31 May – Cold in the City

It is very cold.
I bussed into town, exchanging my corroded battery charger for a new, shiny one, and forgetting to take in the bond refund form, although I did remember to pick up a CD for Bronwen.
Bronwen and I had a somewhat heated discussion about the relative worth of the house she’s currently interested in. I think it is a terrible prospect—she is very interested. I fitted the sticky padding I bought from the hardware into my bike torch holder, making a nice snug fit for my new torch, and went for a walk around the park for want of anything better to do with my torch.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 6 June 2006, 2:54 PM
  Torch song. Something which does not necessitate long walks around the park. But rather short walks around the bedroom.

01.06.2006Thursday 1 June – Winter, PHP 5, The RTA & Citibank

Today is winter. My site has been moved to a PHP 5 server. I spend the morning converting various things, mostly my XML-manipulation code, so they work under PHP 5. I still can’t update my journal, unfortunately, but at least I can read it, and I get the comments and basic site functions working.
I rode to town, dropped the appropriate form off at the RTA so our recently departed tenant can receive her bond refund, went looking for things that would fit on top of my torch and turn it into a lantern or electric candle, and bought some Velcro, elastic, tough thread and needles in preparation for making a headband to hold my new torch.
Citibank has enabled my Citibank Plus account, so I transferred some money into its linked accounts to capitalise on the higher interest.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 6 June 2006, 3:00 PM
  In an act of perversity, I just cannot resist writing this, for the benefit of others reading. This first day of winter up here (Cooktown area) has me descending into the "shove on a T shirt" for the later hours, but rest of the hours of the day are as usual. Shorts and singlet or skimpy whatever. Okay, one has to maybe pull over a sheet at night, haven't had to actually get out a blanket for bed yet. Hah, hah, hah.
   Yes, well okay. In summer's steaming stew you mob can be much more comfortagble than us up here. Girl's gotta have some recompense!

02.06.2006Friday 2 June – XML DOM, PHP 5 & Pepe’s Mexican

After a lot of messing around, I’ve got the XML manipulation for my journal converted over to the new W3C DOM compliant XML functions used in PHP 5—but what a pain. Traversing DOM-trees might be the best way to do things (though I have no idea why), but it can sure get complex very fast.
I rode into town, using my new torch and its bike mount for the first time, and had a quick look at the art display at the Palace with Bronwen, before eating dinner at Pepe’s Mexican.

03.06.2006Saturday 3 June – Gloves & House Hunting

Bronwen and I caught a train out to the Southern Suburbs to look at houses, riding home via the city after—which took most of the day. I bought some gloves from the disposal store in the city on the way home, and did some grocery shopping.
Comment by Clint – Sunday 4 June 2006, 12:35 PM
  A great day indeed.
Comment by Ned – Sunday 4 June 2006, 5:54 PM
  I was going to add images, something far harder than it sounds the way I have done things, but instead I went house hunting.

04.06.2006Sunday 4 June – Festival Italia

Bronwen has gone to her parent’s place, and I’m working on adding photos to my journal—which is far harder than it sounds. XML, for all its fabled extensibility, is hard to extend.
Bronwen, her parent’s, and I drove to the Italian Festival in Newfarm, which was not much fun. It was very dusty and mostly comprised of people queuing in ridiculously long queues for food.
We drove to a few of the houses Bronwen and I had looked at yesterday.
Bronwen and I had dinner at Bronwen’s parent’s place.
Clint and I went for a wander around the suburbs, riding on what may well be Brisbane’s only monorail, watching people slow down for a speeding camera, and testing my new torch.

05.06.2006Monday 5 June – Sore Throat

I added the basics to support photos in my journal. I currently have to add them manually, but they should display and I’ll add some JavaScript to let me automate the adding process when I get around to it.
I applied for nine jobs, only one of which I really wanted, and got a call back about one of the ones I didn’t want, almost immediately.
Bronwen and I did some grocery shopping, and then went for a walk around the suburb with Clint. I have also developed quite a severe sore throat.

06.06.2006Tuesday 6 June – City & Pizza

My throat doesn’t seem to be much better, if any.
Bronwen has taken the day off work. We messed around doing our own things in the morning, and walked into town to do some research on some houses in the afternoon.
I walked up to Eagle Boys and bought one of their cheap Tuesday pizzas.

07.06.2006Wednesday 7 June – Maz

I was woken by Lauren from HRM Recruitment, calling to ask if I was interested in an interview tomorrow. I then spent the morning discussing the job, and jobs in general, with krait and lulu, and deciding that I should try for fulltime self-employment doing web design and/or small IT solutions, possibly in conjunction with Marcus. I gave Marcus a call, and found out that he’s at Data#3 for a few months.
Maz dropped around, on his way back from his first day at work, and we had a chat before walking up to his place and watching the Simpsons, then driving me home.

08.06.2006Thursday 8 June – An Interview

My throat is still sore, possibly not as bad as yesterday—though that could just be because it’s the morning and I haven’t been using it much yet.
I showered, put on my suit, caught the train to Bowen Hills, and walked from there to HRM Recruitment. I arrived too early, so found a small café where I bought a Pasito for my sore throat, before heading up to see Lauren Borg. We had a chat about me, what I wanted, where I wanted to go, what I saw as my main strengths, the climate at Webcentral, and so on. I then completed three simple tests—entering data into a spreadsheet, listing what I saw as the strengths of customer service and technical support, responding to an angry support request email, and fixing and identifying some grammatical errors. She requested that I list web design, bushwalking and managing a home network as hobbies in my resume, and then I caught the train into the city.
I dropped by Woolworths on my way back from my interview, to buy a few things for dinner, bumping into Hollie while I was there.
Comment by Maz – Wednesday 7 June 2006, 8:47 PM
  Test comment

09.06.2006Friday 9 June – POD, Bank Problems & The Zen of Equipment Failure

Clint and I drove to uni, where I did some printing at POD.
I got a call from Intech. We had a chat about my skills in various areas, weaknesses, where I saw myself heading, what I was interested in, and the wage I was after.
I logged into Citibank’s online banking, only to find that two of my accounts were gone, along with the money in them. I tried phoning Citibank, only to find a recorded message saying I was unable to call the number. A call to Engin confirmed that this was Engin’s problem, not Citibank’s. Apparently all 13– numbers in Queensland were not connecting. I managed to find a direct dial number for Citibank, and after half an hour on the phone, managed to get most of my accounts and all my money added back. I still have one account missing, which they’re apparently investigating, and I have to call back later to find out what the deal is. This brings me to the Zen of Equipment Failure, but first, some top-deck chocolate.
I trimmed back the front garden, as it is now growing out of its beds.
Clint has been attempting to justify his bushwalking habit by calling it the “Zen of physical maintenance”, and claiming he admires it for its brutal simplicity—an escape from the complexity of the modern information society.
  I, as is my nature, feel compelled to disagree. Bushwalking as an escape from the technical complexity of modern life? Not for Clint. After he’s finished fighting his GPS—which scrolls down but not up—and selecting the right datum to use from the baffling array of very similar, but slightly incompatible choices, he then has to work out which of the 18 ropes on his particularly-multi-purpose US Army Poncho he should pull on to achieve the desired result. He will then stop to correct a shoe malfunction, while discussing timing limitations in the mobile phone network.
  I, on the other hand, am mastering the Zen of equipment failure. By taking along guaranteed to fail equipment, purchased for the cheapest possible price, I am not only freeing myself from the artificial shackles of debt-driven economic dependency, I am also saving enough money for the milkshake I’ll fantasize about for the whole walk, and achieving something really worthwhile. It’s a hollow achievement, overcoming with the best of the best, or even suitably equipped—but try taking a ten-dollar self-deflating mattress in a split-open twenty-dollar pack, to lay on your three-dollar tarp under your two-dollar-fifty plastic-bag poncho—you’ll be thanking the dozen shoelaces you bought for two dollars, as you tie your six-dollar thongs back onto what’s left of your pack. Ancient sadhus may have lain upon beds of nails, or shivered alone in lofty Himalayan caves in their quest for enlightenment—I simply blow up my inflatable mattress at regular intervals throughout the night.
  And next, I plan to start walking at night. Everyone else walks in the day, properly equipped—where’s the challenge in that?
Comment by sef – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:09 PM
  The bikkhu of bushwalking. Such deliberate omissions, as opposed to our poverty-enforced omissions, have precedence in the mountaineering field: climbing without ropes and the ultralight mob. Both of whom you've said are silly.
  I think the idea is novel if nothing else, and while I'm not searching for a path to any single truth a multi-day walk under such conditions make for some interesting Zen. Actually, how about this as a proposal: the long-awaited night walk series using only $3 Everready torches?
  Bloody Hare Krishna wannabe Zen lunatics and their $70 torches!
Comment by sef – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:17 PM
  I also have an old $20 pack that smells like bananas, if you want to rid yourself of that brand new Cerro Torre :P
Comment by Ned – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:22 PM
  Without light, you can’t see. I very much like my new, and rather expensive, torch—though I do admire your head-torch’s ability to randomly turn off and not on again.
  I also quite like my new pack—I’ve already done the exploding twenty-dollar pack thing, I’m a fast learner, I don’t need to do it again. Besides, I need something large and reliable to put all my other unreliable junk in.
Comment by Maz – Saturday 10 June 2006, 12:58 AM
  I think you're both silly. And arguing about it on the open interweb is just likely to make you seem like the interweb types. I shouldn't need to remind you about people that talk about what they're going to post on their journals when they get home.
  As for the rest of the description about doing it below a non-existant budget, its not quite so impressive when you think that you're just being a student, like every other student, and these are the stories you'll be telling people that you start with the line "When I was younger..."
  For fairness sake I'll post a comment on Clints too.
Comment by sef – Saturday 10 June 2006, 9:25 AM
  God forbid someone puts something on the Internet other than "today was horrible, here's a poem". I fail to see how posting something original, previously unmentioned to anyone, places me in the 'interweb' category. It certainly doesn't place me in my own, and I'd figured myself to be one of the lone cynics there. Ned could have perhaps rang me to discuss his opinion on it - but, after all, the medium is interactive and cheap.
  If any discussion at all over the Internet is inherently 'interweb', not only do you indirectly legitimise the genuine wrongs of the content provider, but in making such a condascending statement in the same media context you set yourself up as sort of postmodern clown.
Comment by Maz – Saturday 10 June 2006, 10:50 AM
  I never claimed to be anything even half that good.
  I think the 'interweb' is a lot bigger than you think, definitely including all of us.
Comment by Mum – Monday 12 June 2006, 12:31 AM
  Yes. Well. All sounds very nice and interrlectural. You go down the road sideways heading towards a bridge. Oh Zen. You try driving these roads after 18 inches of rain overnight. Very Zen.
  It is not that it is a heavy problem. We would not live here otherwise, it is just that there is a measure of flippancy about some Zen angst which makes me laugh. Geez. This is a paradise up here and the world doesnt know it. There is really something about going down the road sideways, with one's heart in the mouth, and one's teeth on edge and many unholy swear words emanating, and the bridge railings coming up FAST and......well, Zen is another way of saying AMEN. Keeps you on your toes. This is the best place in Australia and I dont want anybody to know it. Yeah, okay. biased.

10.06.2006Saturday 10 June – Two Galahs & an Overcast Sky

It’s a rainy, overcast morning here in Brisbane, quite Melbourne. Two galahs were sitting on a streetlight, an Irishman and an Englishman… Let’s try that again. Two galahs were sitting on a streetlight, framed by a steely grey sky and the industrial backdrop of a train line and one of Brisbane’s many under-construction skyscrapers. Ironically, the entirely useless weather beacon can be faintly seen through the ominous skies, signalling clear, unchanging weather.
  Bronwen has packed and left for a weekend at Stradbroke with her parent’s, late and in a hurry as always. I’ve just driven into uni with Clint, dropping him off for an exam and driving back here—we figured there wouldn’t be any parking available at uni—and would be enjoying my second cup of coffee, if I drank the stuff.
I drove to uni through pouring rain and dangerous drivers, picking up Clint, and then on to Maz’s, from where Clint drove us to KFC’s—although I went to the Indian takeaway just near, and bought vegetable curry, dhal and rice for lunch. I then added a few things to my “Amused” site, while it rained outside.
It rained a little. I relaxed, watching some garbage TV, chatting online, and playing around with my websites, fixing a few problems and adding an easier way of deleting photos from my journal.
It seems to have become later than before. I don’t feel tired, but I think it’s probably bedtime.
It seems to have become even later. Going to bed didn’t quite work out as intended—I got stuck reading about various musicians.

11.06.2006Sunday 11 June – Computers, Calculators, Cake & Extreme Cold

I had a peaceful sleep in, after my late night.
I awoke to find that it’s very windy, blowing open windows and slamming one of the doors in the laundry. I had planned to go down and have a look at Rosalie’s inaugural Cheese and Wine Festival, but the ten-dollar (or five with my Cold Rock discount) entry seems a little pricey for what I suspect it is—I like cheese in the uncultured lots-on-everything way, not the it’s-still-growing-and-may-explode way.
I was about to ride to Clint’s place, but met Maz at the door. He had been driving around looking at the things people have put out for council’s kerbside collection tomorrow. We drove to Clint’s, and from there to Toowong, where we bought a calculator from Coles, dropped Clint home, and went to KFC. One of the Coles staff was discounting cakes—and being followed by a veritable horde of Asians, grabbing everything as it was discounted. Some had three and four cakes each. I don’t know what’s wrong with the people that shop there, but it has never happened at the Woolworths I shop at, despite them offering even greater discounts.
  After chips from KFC, Maz dropped me, driving grid patterns looking for exciting treasures dumped on the side of the road. It’s rather exciting—we have our very own pile of junk out on the road, to which I’ve added our broken washing machine.
It is really, seriously, ferociously, rather cold outside. I am typing in gloves, which is a first for me—and somewhat difficult. So far, I’ve had an exciting night. I’ve watched some detective movie on the ABC while eating cream-filled sponge cake with pink icing and hundreds and thousands sprinkled over the top. My future plans include drinking a glass of fruit juice to try to counteract the cream and sponge, and possibly going for a walk outside—if the air hasn’t frozen solid—and looking for accidentally thrown out items of extreme value.
Later Night
I’ve just finished watching “The Dead Pool”. Believe it or not, the good blokes won and the bad bloke ceased to be. (I’m making a conscious effort not to use the word “guy”, as it’s an Americanism and we’re not American, instead using “bloke”, which is apparently from an ancient cryptic language—a combination of Irish and Gaelic. Quite clearly, anything that’s from a cryptic language has to be good). Now I’m chatting to Clint, Maz and Mum on MSN, and tossing up going treasure hunting again.
Well, it’s very cold out there in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve just been for a walk around the suburbs, treasure hunting—Clint and Maz both piked, clearly the both of them aren’t half the man I am. I didn’t find much treasure, unfortunately—in fact, all I’ve ended up with is a tiny 700 MHz Celeron computer—but it was a good excuse to use my torch. I think I’ll head to bed now, and get some warmth back into me. It’s nights like these one needs a nice warm Bronwen.
Comment by Mum – Monday 12 June 2006, 3:22 AM
  Good. Along with "guys", we can throw out "butt" and use "bum" (so vulgar, but at least Aussie). The total end-sonance of uttering that word is after all what happens when one lands on it! I would like also reinstated "drongo, deadshit, poonce, pill, drip" amongst others, as it is obviously descriptive of the larger population of bloody mongrel flamin barstard useless scungey mob of cretins who have somehow gotten themselves into control of what was once a country of ours.

12.06.2006Monday 12 June – The Queen’s Birthday

I woke up, had some breakfast, then some lunch, and watched a pile of old “Merrie Melodies” on Briz 31, and that was my exciting afternoon.
I went for a walk, looking for more treasure. I didn’t find much, ending up at Maz’s, having called him to come and have a look at some SCSI photo scanners and various computer bits. I watched some Futurama with Maz before walking home again, picking up a base for Bronwen’s baseless light on the way.
Afternoon, take two
He’s just had a talk to Clint, about writing—and about how few people—himself included—write anything well anymore. He said, the reason he writes so rarely in his journal, is because nothing of any interest ever happens, and when it does, he hasn’t the time to write as he’s then busy with the interesting event. As he said this, he realised it was nothing more than a hollow excuse really—it’s not as if he hasn’t the time, or even that it takes any longer to write well. He thinks he’s a reasonable writer, in that if he has something he wants to convey—he can. He has no problem writing a five-page email that will put into words his exact emotions, and successfully transmit his message—but he’s not sure about the technicalities.
  He’s worried; can he use two levels of dashes like that, as he did in the first sentence, or a semicolon like in this one? And if he can’t, if it’s something that just isn’t done—why not? He thinks, writing is writing—it has to be readable by whoever is supposed to read it, and in this case, he’s the one that’s writing it for himself, so he’ll write it however he wants. That is, after all, how writing developed—back before it was formalised. So, he’s going to rewrite today—sadly not in the “rewriting history” way, but in a purely English way.
  He woke, rested, but worried that half his day had already gone. Worried that time was passing too fast, that the weekend had gone and he still hadn’t done all the things he had meant to do. In some deeper, more alarming way, he worried that time was running out. Running out for what, he wasn’t quite sure—but it was running out, that he knew. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he felt it—the feeling that he hadn’t done something, something that he should have done. Exactly what he was supposed to be doing he didn’t know, and the things he was supposed to do—well, they were all out of his control.
  He was supposed to be looking for work; he was supposed to be working by now, really. He had never considered that it would be difficult to get work, and that’s probably why he found it difficult. He started looking too high—thinking he was too good. He’d read that this was typical for the so-called “generation X”. How he hated those generational tags—sure, generations probably do distinguish themselves in various ways, but where’s the cut-off? People aren’t born in ten-year cycles. He thinks it’s probably all part of some diabolical scheme to keep control, to stop the young from learning from the wise. He’s getting very cynical, but surely it’s true—the world is not a good place, the deeper he looks, the truer that is.
  He’s gotten distracted—gone off on a tangent. That’s how his mind works—it thinks faster than he can type, and it thinks in parallel. By the time he’s finished thinking one train of thought, another—one that started somewhere in the middle—has already added itself to the output of the former, changing the whole direction, and before he knows it, he’s gone off on another tangent. It’s inefficient in some ways, concentrating purely on one thing would seem to be the way to do it—but, there’s always the larger picture, other things he hadn’t thought about—he likes to think it’s probably a sign of intelligence.
  He’s heard that people, when they reach retiring age, don’t want to retire. He can understand why, even though he wants to work for a living, not live for working, he realises that people need clear goals—they need something to look forward to. In a way, that’s why he bought his torch. It was something to look forward to. When he was at uni, he could look forward to finishing uni, or in the shorter term, exams, the end of a course, holidays—and the large, endless future that came after uni—that he could ignore. Deep down he had an uncomfortable feeling that ignoring it wasn’t the right thing to do, but there was always something in the present to take his mind off that.
  Now, now that he’s in that big future, he finds he has very little to look forwards to—not in the depressing, shallow-minded “nothing to look forward to” way—but in a simple, matter-of-fact way. He looks forward—to what? Tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes, so the saying goes—but it’s just one of a whole host of rather stupid sayings that, while they’re great in the context they were designed for, are horribly overused. Tomorrow will come—tomorrow. As it always does—and that’s his problem: every day is the same—there’s nothing to distinguish one from another, nothing to look forward to; there are no defined dates of any significance coming up, nothing that he knows about that’s going to change his life in any way. He thinks about it. It’s not that there’s nothing coming up—he’s confident he’ll get work sometime soon—it’s that he doesn’t know when, or really if, that something is coming.
  People, he thinks, not only need clear goals—they need precise, matchable targets. They need short-term dates, things to divide their lives into small periods, things they can work towards and see that they’re making progress. Things that, when they reach them, they know there is another stage that follows. But at the same time, he thinks the idea of a life pre-planned, a life divided into little chunks, each one with a start and end date, is deeply disturbing—somehow contrary to the very concept of freedom.
  So instead of thinking, he watches “Merrie Melodies”, in an attempt to avoid the nasty feeling that he’s avoiding something—which is self-defeating, if ever anything was.
  That, he thinks, is probably enough writing for now.

13.06.2006Tuesday 13 June – Clint’s Car Accident

I drove to uni with Clint, dropping him at his exam and driving back here.
I applied for a UI Designer position, and updated my CV to include my hobbies on the recommendations of Lauren Borg.
A truck came around picking up some of the kerbside garbage, but only large whitegoods it seems.
I’d driven into uni to pick up Clint from his exam. It had just begun sprinkling lightly. I had to stop by Centrelink on the way back. I’d pulled up on Jephson Street, waiting to turn right into Lissner. The lights straight through were green, but I was opposed by a red arrow, and in the centre lane. Another car had pulled up a car’s length behind me. Clint and I were having the usual highly intellectual conversation that only two incredibly intelligent people could have, when there was a large bang, some squealing, and a moment later, another bang. Or in other words, as we were idly discussing life, strawberry milk, and other matters of great import, some psycho slammed into the car behind us, which then slammed into us. The lights had, by this time, turned orange. I drove through them and parked on the side of the road, hazards on. Clint and I got out and began directing traffic around the rather flattened offending car, and cleaning up the broken pieces of car on the road. A girl who lived nearby grabbed a few brooms, and we swept most of the mess onto the kerb.
  A traffic controller just happened to be sitting across the road, collecting signs, so he came across and put up a traffic sign. The fire brigade and two tow trucks arrived surprisingly shortly after. The police had stated that they weren’t interested in attending. Everyone wandered around in circles rather inefficiently, collecting details from each other. The fire brigade ordered an ambulance for the lady who had hit us, which arrived some time later and took her away. Clint’s car was still driveable, and we would have driven away, but apparently the police have to attend if someone has been taken to hospital—I suppose if they die, it becomes a criminal investigation.
  So we waited, talking to the tow truck drivers and fire brigade. The car that hit the car behind us is pretty well flattened. It’s fortunate the engine didn’t go through the firewall. The car behind us looks remarkably unharmed—but apparently, under the skin, its boot isn’t really there anymore. Clint’s car’s boot is a little higher than the average boot should be, and the pretty plastic bumper they put on the back has been bumped, bending the fuel tank and apparently hurting the spare tyre.
  The police turned up, a full hour after the accident (though in their defence, they weren’t informed that someone had been taken to hospital until well after the accident), and took reports from everyone. I was breath tested. Clint and I picked up an old tent that happened to be lying on the side of the road awaiting council’s kerbside pickup to throw over his newly raised boot. We then—an hour and twenty minutes after the accident—drove carefully back to Clint’s place, Clint driving.
  After our longer than expected trip to right near Centrelink, we bagged up the back of the car with our newfound tent, and walked back to Centrelink. I stood in line for half an hour, we walked to Coles and bought some milk and some lunch from a bakery, and I walked home—and now it’s six o’clock.
The power failed, wrecking my computer in the process. Fortunately, I just happened to have bought a torch not that long ago. Bronwen arrived a little while later, just after the power had returned. I managed to fix my computer again by the complex process of letting its automatic disk scan scan the disk automatically. Bronwen and I bought pizza and watched “Snatch”, which is probably the eighth greatest movie ever made, and contains the best scene ever made—twice.

14.06.2006Wednesday 14 June – Insurance & Glowsticks

I was woken (for the second time today—I wake up when Bronwen gets up) by Clint phoning to find out insurance information. I phoned the department of transport to figure out when I got my licence, and Clint drove round and we visited two smash repairs, leaving his car at the one who said they’d fix it faster. We walked back here to draw a map but realised we had to go look at the accident site to figure out the finer details, so we walked to Clint’s via the infamous road, drawing the map there. Once at Clint’s, we watched some “Father Ted”, then walked to Woolworths where we bumped into Maz. From there, we walked to Maz’s place, where Cassie kindly gave us glow sticks. Maz then dropped Clint home and me at Indooroopilly station, on his way to work. It turns out that today is a bad day to catch trains on the State of Origin line.
Bronwen came home from work, with her Mum somehow, and we walked up to the shops and did grocery shopping.

15.06.2006Thursday 15 June – Tokyo Drift

I was again woken for the second time by a phone call from the smash repair place to say Clint’s car has been approved for repair. I’m not entirely sure why they’re calling me, as they weren’t given my phone number. Who knew smash repairs employed psychic office staff?
I became disenchanted with my current situation, so I rode into town and had lunch at Govinda’s.
I rode up to Clint’s. I had planned to walk to Toowong and go to K-Mart and catch the train from there, but ran out of time, so Clint, Clus and I caught the bus into the city and walked from there to South Bank. I bought the obligatory Cold Rock, found out that having a movie ticket (two of which I managed to get without having student cards) will get you a free 70¢ mix-in, but not a free 30¢ add-in…
  “Tokyo Drift” (or “The Fast and the Furious 3”) was its expected fun but not very good action movie self, with lots of very mini miniskirts and not much plot. Interestingly, they had two girls and two real cars in the actual cinema, along with a four-wheel drive complete with undercarriage lights parked outside. It seems like some rather expensive promotion. Clus caught the bus home after the movie, and Clint and I walked.
Late Night
I copied some movies off Clint, having taken an external hard drive around, and he pulled his computer apart, put it back together, and managed to get his digital TV tuner working after an hour or so of moving the aerial. We then watched random movies until we got too sleepy.
I rode back from Clint’s. It’s somewhat cold this time of morning.

16.06.2006Friday 16 June – Mad Max

Some people banged on the door. In my sleep-ridden logic, it seemed like a great idea to not get up until thirty seconds after they’d left, and then get up to find a note on the door, and walk to the back door—I’m not sure why—and scare myself by seeing a group of police or firemen dressed in fluorescent clothes… hanging on the line… rather like a tent drying. By that time my brain had also woken up, and it all became far more normal, and the note was for Marjorie—who also arrived just then. I recovered by having some custard and cream.
Afternoon & Night
He rode to Clint’s and walked to uni from there, printing some stuff at POD and buying a milkshake. He walked back to Clint’s place after, staying until it was freezing cold, watching the world—and lots of traffic—pass by Clint’s beer couch, and then walking back to his place with Clint, freezing further on the way. He watched “Mad Max” with Clint and Bronwen, back at his place, before freezing halfway back to Clint’s again.

17.06.2006Saturday 17 June – House Hunting

You awake, but it’s cold and you don’t want to get out of bed, so you don’t. Then, Bronwen says she’s about to go house hunting, so you’re forced to get up, shower, and eat breakfast in a quarter of an hour. You ride, wishing you were wearing something warmer, until you arrive at the first house. It turns out to be rather uninspiring, very brick, and a tad overpriced. You prefer timber.
  The next house turns out to be miles away and has another inspection tomorrow, so rather than visit it, you ride to a park nearby and discuss past events. While you’re proving that you’re right, Bronwen discovers that there’s no longer enough time to get to the next house, so you skip to another, which happens to be under auction, right now. You inform the agent that you certainly aren’t bidding, and you even turn your phone to silent, just on the odd chance that someone rings and you accidentally purchase a house.
  As it turns out, no one bids at the auction, which is hardly surprising given that the auctioneer explained beforehand that the highest bidder must purchase the house, unconditionally and without any withdrawal clauses, but if no one bids, it’s then open slather. You don’t really understand house auctions—apparently, even if the winning bid is below reserve, it still gets the house, except at a negotiated price. Auctioning a house seems rather pointless—why not bid a ridiculously low amount, then buy the house at its reserve? Or, not bid at all, then buy it at its reserve, after? Clearly, no one can get it any cheaper, and you’ve just circumvented the whole negotiation process.
  After this exciting display of disinterest, you feel hungry, so you stop at a bakery and eat a vegetable pie, followed by half an iced custard slice, washed down with iced coffee. You then inspect the final house for today—an ideal family home, in what seems to be a quiet neighbourhood, close to a park, with three smallish bedrooms but a large dining/living area and a huge deck. Unfortunately, you’re not looking for a family home, so after an inspection for interest’s sake, you ride home.
A mature British chap, an artist, and a mining consultant from New Zealand, looks at our room. What a cleverly confusing way to phrase it, for he was one man. Shortly after, water is discovered under the tiles in the kitchen, which is rather disturbing, as it’s not known how it’s got there.

18.06.2006Sunday 18 June – Rain, Chips & Mad Max 2

It has been raining today. Not heavily.
She and I bought chips for dinner, and ate them with salad while watching “Mad Max 2”.

19.06.2006Monday 19 June – Another Interview

It again rained lightly.
I attended an interview at WebCentral. I walked to the train through a light sprinkle in my suit, and caught it to Brunswick Street. The interview seemed to go well, with them being concerned that I’d not be able to handle the admittedly probably unpleasant task of answering the phone to angry people.
I was called back by Lauren Borg from the recruitment agency. She told me she had been asked to call my referees. She called back again later and told that she could only get through to Dr. Soon.
I did some gardening, trimming back everything that’s been growing too fast and climbing out of its bed. We had another mature man look at our room. After this, Bronwen and I went shopping, dropping in at her parent’s place on the way. We had apple pie and ice cream for dessert, which is the first time I’ve had a hot dessert in ages.

20.06.2006Tuesday 20 June – Walking in the rain

Lauren phoned and told me that I had got the WebCentral job.
It is raining lightly again. There are ad campaigns about the drastic lack of water on TV.
I did some work on the Jianshe site. The internet kept dropping out. Bronwen is stressed.
Bronwen and I walked to Clint’s, in light drizzle, and from there with Clint to uni, via the Ville, and back again. Walking in the rain is probably not the best idea in winter, but we seem to have survived.

21.06.2006Wednesday 21 June – Agreements, Busways & Contracts

It’s still wet and raining lightly—not enough to solve any of the water problems, but enough that the garden doesn’t need watering. Lauren has phoned up to ask if I’ll come in tomorrow and sign stuff. Bronwen has contacted me to say that she’s found that a busway is likely to be built right on the house she had been looking to buy.
I did some more work on the Jianshe site.
I got my letter of offer and contract from WebCentral. The contract is an eleven-page document.
Michelle arrived and had a look at the room we’re offering, and then Bronwen and I walked up to her parent’s place to move some furniture, ending up having a pleasant dinner.
I’d planned to go for a walk with Clint, but a combination of the cold drizzle outside and the warm Bronwen inside convinced me that going to bed was a better idea. Not long after I’d gone to bed, the drizzle outside stopped, so I got up and went for a midnight walk with Clint.

22.06.2006Thursday 22 June – Police, Traffic Lights & Lifts

I phoned Chantel at WebCentral and changed my appointment to sign documents from midday to two o’clock.
I had originally had an appointment at midday, but when I got up, I really didn’t feel like rushing, so I had phoned and delayed it until two o’clock. I then caught a bus into uni, meeting Clint on the way. I printed a few things at POD, and had nachos at Grinder’s. I knew I wouldn’t get to my appointment on time if I had nachos, but the thought of nachos was very powerful. After nachos, I rushed to the city as fast as I could, which wasn’t very fast, using public transport and all. I made my way to the police office near the bus stop, only to find that they’re unable to do police checks, so had to make my way to the police station near pancakes. This took quite some time, acerbated by many of the traffic lights throughout the city having failed. Interestingly, the lights weren’t just flashing orange like usual, they were cycling randomly, so a lot of police had been sent out to avoid accidents.
  Then, to cap it all off, I got stuck in two lifts on the way to my appointment. One wouldn’t leave ground floor, and one went only to floor seven, as far as I could tell. Looking on the bright side, I picked up some cheap plumbers o-ring grease for my torch on the way home and dropped past the “Braindead” to look for cups.

23.06.2006Friday 23 June – Citibank Loans, Govinda’s & Quilt Covers

Bronwen has taken the day off. A Citibank loan lady came around in the morning.
Bronwen and I walked to Toowong, returned a quilt cover to K-Mart, walked into the city, and had lunch at Govinda’s, walking back with Bronwen’s Mum. That mostly sums up today.

24.06.2006Saturday 24 June – House Hunting

I went riding with Bronwen to look at a house.
Bronwen and I walked up to the shops and had dinner at her parent’s place.

25.06.2006Sunday 25 June – Clint, Kieran, Kipps, Maz & Pasta

Bronwen went to her parents. I did some laundry.
Maz came around and dropped off a network cable he had bought me at the computer markets. We drove to Clint’s, then on to see Kieran—who had just bought a new server. Exciting server-oriented conversations ensued, before we went to Indooroopilly for lunch. Maz then drove Clint and I to Kipp’s place. Maz and I then drove back to Maz’s place, where he copied some stuff from one of my external hard drives onto his, dropping me home after.
I watched some episodes of “Coupling”, and had a nice pasta dinner followed by a short walk with Bronwen.

26.06.2006Monday 26 June – Working, Pizza & Soccer

I got up early and caught an extremely full train to my first day at work at Webcentral, where I underwent, and survived, an induction. It turns out today is free pizza day.
I walked out of my first day at work to find that it was bucketing down rain. Fortunately, I had an umbrella, which stopped a little bit of the rain from getting on the very top parts of me.
Bronwen and I had dinner at an Indian place down the road.
Late Night
Bronwen and I walked to Toowong, meeting Clint there, and then back to Park Road, where we watched Australia unfairly lose at soccer. It was interesting to see the crowds packed in at Park Road.
Back home. Quite tired. Must sleep.

27.06.2006Tuesday 27 June – Work & Pizza

Unsurprisingly, I awoke a little tired. Staying up most of the night is probably not the optimal thing to do before one’s second day at work, but I’m not your average one.
Some of the highlights of work: I attended a three-hour training session for an exciting new product, and listened in to phone conversation for the first time. I also bought a new shirt from Big W in the city during my half hour lunch break.
Bronwen and I had pizza. Clint dropped by. His car is fixed.

28.06.2006Wednesday 28 June – Work

My third day at work. I’m slowly beginning to learn the system. It’s very complex, and the experienced staff are so fast.

29.06.2006Thursday 29 June – Work

I underwent another day of training at work.
I found that my site had stopped working, and had to re-add the domain.

30.06.2006Friday 30 June – Work & Superman

I got up in the morning, rather tired, and half an hour after my alarm had gone off. Fortunately, due to the vagaries of public transport, I still got to work on time and enjoyed another day of training.
I attended my first “Level Two Meeting”, which mostly comprised a presentation on the new mail system WebCentral is considering. It was exciting in places, just to see the big numbers people were bantering about.
Walked into town and saw “Superman Returns” at South Bank. It wasn’t very good, ignoring all the issues in it and playing for that warm fuzzy “lived happily ever after” feeling.

01.07.2006Saturday 1 July – Unwelcome Gardeners

I slept in until nearly midday, awaking to find that someone—presumably the yard maintenance people—had pulled out half my garden. I had to go to the real estate to drop in our renewed lease, so complained about the lack of concern for my poor plants.
Bronwen and I walked to K-Mart, where I did some clothes shopping.
She and I enthusiastically devoured a lovely chip and salad dinner, followed by piping hot apple pie and ice cream. Then, our house was inundated with another of the seemingly endless flow of Tasmanians.
Comment by B. – Monday 3 July 2006, 3:24 PM
  She and I, sounded so peculiar it caused me to become disorientated and find myself where I wasn’t. So in response to that question that isn’t here. Second Tense is talking to someone in particular, you, your, yours. It is considered a very aggressive form of expression, except for one on one conversation where it tempered by the fact of its practicality.
Comment by io – Monday 3 July 2006, 6:26 PM
  Hi Bronwen. :D Sunday Live is coming up in August!
Comment by Ned – Monday 3 July 2006, 9:48 PM
  I originally wrote for practicality, then fun, and now it’s become something of a chore—I “have” to have an entry for every day, so most of the time it’s rather forced. However, I do enjoy writing, and when I’m in the mood, and have the time, I like to think I write well—and have a bit of fun. That’s why I often write somewhat strangely—it’s boring writing everything the same, every time. “Bronwen and I” had already been used today, “She and I” hadn’t been. Had I been less rushed, I might have written, “They, the girl and the boy, ravished the chips—it was as if they hadn’t eaten since lunchtime”. Speaking of second person, I wrote an entry in second tense just a few weeks ago, 17 June.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 6 July 2006, 7:19 PM
  Geez. "He and I" go back 25 years, more or less. I am "Mum", guess I am another "She". Get over it. I also like to have fun with words. "Fun". Good old fashioned pursuit. You mob are lucky that "He" has time to even write about "She and I" or anyone. Obviously you take the time to read what is written. Why hassle about the little things. Get a life.
   Hi, "She". Hope all is well with you, beautiful lady.
   Older "She" xxxx
Comment by alfonzo banana – Thursday 6 July 2006, 11:31 PM
  Alice sighed wearily. "I think you might do something better with the time" she said, "than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers".
Comment by Ned – Friday 7 July 2006, 7:56 AM
  “The adventures first… explanations take such a dreadful time”

02.07.2006Sunday 2 July – Audio & Gardening

There’s something of an audiophile in me. I’ve just spent the past few hours—while I wasn’t showering, doing some laundry, or eating breakfast—playing around with my soundcard. I’m using a SoundBlaster Live! running kX Drivers, which transform an otherwise fairly ordinary soundcard into an impressive audio solution. I’m running audio and video from my computer into the lounge room so I can play music and movies there, but with a normal soundcard setup, it’s impossible to separate various audio sources. I couldn’t play a movie in the lounge room while listening to music here—and there was no way to stop all the annoying little noises various things make, from coming through. An email arriving would make a noise halfway through a movie, for example.
  The SoundBlaster cards themselves have quite an impressive audio processor, but the drivers they ship with essentially disable most of its capabilities. But with the kX drivers, I’m able to leverage the professional audio processor they’ve used at the heart of the SoundBlaster Live! series of soundcards, giving me full ASIO support, several other inputs and outputs, and the ability to load my own microcode into the processor. I currently have one physical output going to my headphones and computer speakers, and a separate line going to the TV and speakers in the living room, through a six-channel mixer. This allows me to send an audio source to the lounge room without affecting what I’m hearing here at my computer, and vice versa. I’ve even split off the low frequency channel from surround encoded DVD’s, and am amplifying it separately and mixing it back in, to more accurately match the performance of the speakers in the lounge room. I’ve then set up my music-, DVD- and movie-playing programs so that they by default output sound on a different channel to the rest of Windows sound, allowing me to easily mix and match audio input and outputs.
  That’s all been setup for a while. Today I’ve been playing around with amplifier simulations—they provide a whole new realm of listening sensations to my existing music. A Steve Vai instrumental sounds drastically different, and impressively realistic, played through a simulated vintage tube amp, or a single bridge pickup heavy metal amp.
Ned garden. Ned dig. Ned remove remains of mess evil garden men make when they pull half garden out. Ned bus to town. Ned buy seeds. Ned buy fertiliser. Ned buy coir peat block. Ned expand coir peat block. Ned fertilise. Ned sow. Ned water. Ned have purple feet from berries.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 6 July 2006, 7:28 PM
  Ned a good fella with a hoe, trowel and righteous angst

03.07.2006Monday 3 July – Thick Shakes & Free Chocolate

The day began with a coffee thick-shake. Well, technically, it began with an alarm, followed by a shower, then a half hour huddle in bed wishing it wasn’t cold, and a rushed bus trip to work—and the thick-shake saviours. Then followed a sleepy day of training, learning, fighting through the sleepiness, and free chocolate—apparently because it’s Monday.

04.07.2006Tuesday 4 July – Sandwiches & Pizza

Nothing particularly exciting to report for today—I awoke when my alarm went off, arrived at work on time, underwent more training, and left on time. Once home again, I watered the garden, did some laundry, bought and ate pizza, and went to bed. Today was free sandwich day at work, it would seem.
I listened in on Shelley’s phone for most of the day, trying to learn the system at work.
Comment by martin – Thursday 6 July 2006, 5:31 PM
  If you don't mind me asking Ned, what's your job? The readers of this blog need details to fuel their interest.
Comment by Ned – Friday 7 July 2006, 7:52 AM
  It’s perhaps overly cautious, but as I do deal with private and confidential information at work, I’m keeping all work-related entries that specifically mention names, places, products, events, and so forth, in private entries. I don’t usually mind if my friends know, but I like to keep some separation between myself and the internet at large. The last thing I want is to be accused of inappropriately divulging private information, and I wouldn’t put it past people at work to read this.

05.07.2006Wednesday 5 July – Amanda’s

Training, training, training. This is all I’ll be doing for some time.
I caught a train out to Ferny Grove, and was driven from there to Amanda’s, where I stayed the night, along with two friends of hers, over from New Zealand.

06.07.2006Thursday 6 July – Jalyn

I got a lift to the train station with Amanda’s Kiwi friends, and caught a train to work, where I underwent further training.
Jalyn dropped around to pick up the keys.

07.07.2006Friday 7 July – Dead Man’s Chest

I did my first jobs—setting up statistics accounts. It’s not a very exciting thing to do, but at least I can see how it’s possible to learn now. Before it seemed insurmountable—there were too many new things, and it seemed the only way to learn was to try, something I couldn’t do without knowing more first.
I caught a bus to Bronwen’s parent’s place, via South Bank cinemas where I bought tickets to “Dead Man’s Chest”. We had a nice pizza dinner, and got a lift back to our place, from where we walked to South Bank and saw “Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest”. I’d been a bit worried that it would be really bad, as sequels often are, but I needn’t have worried—it was fantastic.

08.07.2006Saturday 8 July – AFL

Sleepy. Learning is tiring. Looked at a house with Bronwen, her parent’s, and her grandfather. Bought torch headband thing in city. Did some shopping. Went to AFL at Gabba with Clint, Clus and Allen. Melbourne won.

09.07.2006Sunday 9 July – Mount Barney

I’m lost. I’m bleeding. It’s dark. I’ve been walking for over twelve hours. There’s an impenetrable wall of prickly plants every way I look. I’ve only my small torch to see where I’m going. This wasn’t quite where I’d intended to find myself around ten o’clock Sunday night.
  Walking down the creek seemed a good idea at the time. I’d been up and down “Peasants” (or South Ridge) with Clint before, so taking a new way down made sense. I knew it would probably get dark before I got out, but presumably, once I was out of the steep country, it’d be a walk in the park. Besides, this was the very reason I bought my new torch, and I wanted to try it out. I quite enjoyed it to begin with—the country was just the same as that which I was used to in North Queensland, and there certainly wasn’t any exposure—I was walking down a creek bed after all. Sliding down the steep cliffs facing the creek to get around waterfalls was about as steep as it got, and it was nice and cool and all was going well, until it began to get dark.
  A rainforest creek bed is comprised almost entirely of rocks covered in places with slippery fallen logs and palm fronds—all the soil having long ago washed away—and is usually on a rather steep slope. This makes it rather difficult to traverse, as everything is slippery and it’s all too easy to fall, and if I do fall, it will probably be a reasonable distance and not soft—my head will land on a rock a metre below me. This isn’t normally a big problem, although it makes the going a lot slower—but once it begins to get dark, depth perception goes to sleep and it’s nearly impossible to tell if something is slippery, solid, or if there’s a lethal gap just under a palm frond. With this in mind, as dusk begins to gather, I begin hurrying—walking along the small flats beside the creek bed, avoiding the slippery wet rocks whenever possible. As it gets darker and darker, it becomes more and more difficult, and the top of the right ridge looks more and more promising—it looks much brighter and clearer up there.
  Climbing up out of the creek is the obvious way to avoid the slow rocky peril I’ve got myself stuck in, and hopefully will speed up my progress. The climb is very steep—the bank is a wall of near vertical loose dirt with just enough trees and roots to allow me to pull myself up—none of which snapped, plunging me to my death on the rocks below. The top, which had looked so clear from below, is as treed as anywhere else, but at least it isn’t rocky.
  The going is much faster now I’ve left the creek, but I’m not sure where I’m going. Clint has his GPS, but it’s still impossible to say exactly where I am—to an accuracy of seven metres—or where I should be going. I don’t want to find myself on anything too steep, so I’m trying to stick to what I hope is the centre of the ridge, but it’s very hard to tell in the dark. I follow what looks like it could almost be an old road—there’s a small band where the trees are slightly thinner, and it’s scrubbier and eroded. Unfortunately, it’s also harder walking, with hidden holes I fall in and roots to trip me up—and of course, lots of nasty lantana, mixed with wait-a-while and raspberries. After a while, the erosion becomes more obvious and I’m confident it is an old road. Sadly, the undergrowth also becomes more obvious, and I’m forced to revert to crawling and smashing my way through. It gets thicker and thicker, until it’s all but impenetrable. After I stumble across a suitably large leg-breaking hole, I decide I need to get out of this cursed undergrowth that grabs my pack as I’m crawling through it, and trips me up. There’s only one way out—down into the creek.
  I smash my way back down into the creek. It’s not so steep now, but in the dark it’s hard to pick holes from rocks—especially as they are all covered in palm fronds. Fortunately, I don’t twist an ankle or crack my skull on any rocks, and after only a short walk down the creek, I find myself on a proper slashed forest track. My legs, which up until now haven’t had time to complain, now begin complaining volubly, and the cold, which hadn’t been game to disturb me before, now creeps into my bones. I shiver my way through two creek crossings—both of which, by some miracle, are crossable without taking my shoes off—and finally find myself back at Clint’s car, which is not only still there, but hasn’t even been broken into.
  It all began early in the morning—far too early, given my recent tiredness. I set the alarm for five o’clock, but it’s half past by the time I pull myself out of bed. I find that it’s rather cold too. I gobble a quick breakfast, and pack my walking gear. Clint turns up just after six, and we drive to Mount Barney, where it is icy cold.
  There are cars parked everywhere—obviously a lot of people are out walking. I hoist my pack, and head off—happy to be out of the city, in the bush, and particularly happy to find that the creek crossing is doable without taking my shoes off or getting them wet. Barefoot on the frosty ice-encrusted grass isn’t an appealing concept. I spend a few hours climbing up a steep track, rather uneventfully apart from when I am hit by a Clint-dislodged rock. I climb across a narrow ledge, with three hundred metre drops on either side, and walk past where Bronwen and I camped last time. Last time I tried going up South East Ridge, I turned back shortly after where we camped. This time, I don’t. It turns out that I had been over the worst last time, and was probably only half an hour from the summit, but didn’t know it. I don’t enjoy the scrambling, climbing and exposed sections, but I don’t die, so all is good.
  I lunch just before the summit, snacking on “Light and Tangy” potato chips—in a strangely swollen bag, perhaps by the increase in altitude—and “In a Biskit” crispy potato munchies things. I had been followed up by a group of four or five men, who had overtaken me while I was having a break just before the worst section, and I meet another man on his way down while I am eating. He has climbed up the next ridge—Logan’s ridge—which is apparently harder than this one. I’ve already been to the summit before, as have Clint and Bronwen, so I don’t spend much time there, and begin my descent down the other side immediately.
Solo on the way home
It must have looked a little odd to the bloke in the supermarket. I hobble in, half-frozen, shivering and covered in blood, and buy a large, cold, bottle of “Solo”—but that “Solo” is the best I’ve ever had.

10.07.2006Monday 10 July – Aching Legs

I did some real work, replying to stats jobs.
My legs are wrecked. I can barely walk downstairs. Going up is fine. Despite this, I walk to the shops with Bronwen. What a hero.

11.07.2006Tuesday 11 July – Pirate Day

It’s pirate day at work. If you knew the people I work with, you’d know how scary this is. It’s still very hard to walk too.

12.07.2006Wednesday 12 July – Pizza

It’s a normal day at work. Bronwen and I had pizza for dinner. What a life.
I listened in and “drove” the interface with Christian.

13.07.2006Thursday 13 July – Cold Showers & Crazy Music

The shower was cold. This isn’t what I want first thing in the morning. I’m slowly getting used to the daily grind—at least I’m not so tired when I get up now. Unfortunately, as soon as I’m used to it, I’ll begin shiftwork and it’ll be all messed up again, but I suppose that’s why they pay higher for shiftwork.
Trevor taught the other two new blokes and myself about Managed Exchange today, and we logged into the phone system for the first time.
I’m listening to “E Nomine”’s “Der Exorzist” from their “Finsternis” album. This music would be really interesting on a huge sound system in some outdoor setting under the trees at night. It’s got a very big electronic orchestral sound, combined with a deep bass beat, and catchy rhythms.

14.07.2006Friday 14 July – Street-Lamped for a Lack of Creativity

Work really doesn’t give me much to write about. I attended it. I had a milkshake for breakfast. I had a salad roll for lunch. My afternoon milk wasn’t curdled, as it was yesterday. I scored poorly in a quiz about organisational structures and escalation, and I was paid in advance for the rest of the month.
I feel a literary urge, struggling to make itself known, pressing—pushing and fighting—behind my temples. Sadly, my newfound humdrum workaholic existence doesn’t allow for creativity.
  Clint takes offence to my use of the word “treed”—does it mean “vegetated”, he wants to know? I look it up, and find that animals are treed by hunters. The conversation shifts suddenly to the Valley, and its native inhabitants. Can you be street-lamped? Imagine the moths.

15.07.2006Saturday 15 July – Breaches, Real Estates, House Hunting & Hard Candy

I slept in, or more accurately, I tried to sleep in. I did manage to stay in bed until ten o’clock or so, which was nice even if I was awake. After I got up, Bronwen and I lodged a “Notice to Remedy Breach” form at the real estate, as we have had no power in the kitchen, lounge room or bathroom since Sunday night and the real estate was informed Monday morning. We currently have a large extension lead coiled up in the kitchen to run the fridges, and have to disconnect them when Marjorie wants to watch the Tour de France. I suspect it’s actually illegal, but I’d rather not get us kicked out by having the place declared unfit to live in.
  After our trip to the real estate, Bronwen and I rode out and had a look at a house. It was a strange house—a beautiful, reasonable sized Queenslander, full of original brass fittings and funny antique things like a built-in sitting in the bedroom—but only one bedroom. There was a lot of interest too, with around thirty people turning up for the inspection. On the way home, we stopped for a “Thai Curry” pie at Stone’s Corner, and it began to rain.
Now I’m back home, wondering why I can’t run “rar” on my web server anymore, which is causing my backups to fail.
Watched “Hard Candy” with Maz. Worst movie ever. Not just bad, not just no True Lies, no stars—actively bad, negative five out of five stars, a whole true lie the wrong side of none. It wasn’t just a waste of time—I feel worse now that I’ve seen it. In other words, it was not a good movie. Brainwashing needed. And it should be noted, I’ve seen some pretty bad movies… including one where a lot of pumpkins chased a lot of people. That was the entire plot.
Comment by Someone – Thursday 20 July 2006, 11:49 AM
  Way to go Ned.

16.07.2006Sunday 16 July – Nachos & SoloTitle

Lunch with Kieran and Maz, at a fancy place, now that we are all employed. Nachos. Expensive but nice. Terribly rich cake. Kieran’s place after, for a chat.
Couldn’t contact Bronwen due to her phone having gone flat. Went grocery shopping.
Had a nice pasta dinner at a place in Park Road with Bronwen, and rushed to the Dendy and saw the second in my series of five different movies at five different cinemas in five days, “Solo”—quite a good movie. Nicely Aussie. Somewhat violent and not quite as funny as I was expecting, but recommended. Very different from last night’s movie.

17.07.2006Monday 17 July – The King and the Clown

I worked.
I caught a train from work to South Bank, bought a super shake from Cold Rock, and watched the third in my series of five movies, “The King and the Clown”—a Korean tragedy. I don’t really like tragedies, but it was interesting, and certainly different. The male and “female” leads both being male took some getting used to too. Quite a contrast to the previous two night’s movies.

18.07.2006Tuesday 18 July – Golmaal

I went on the phones solo for the first time. Trevor taught us about application pools and Blackberry devices.
I caught a bus to Garden City, where I met Bronwen. We had dinner at “The Spice of India” (or some similarly named Indian restaurant), and saw the fourth in my series of five movies at five different cinemas in five days—“Golmaal”—at the megaplex there. It was very funny, although the lack of subtitles and my lack of Hindi made it a bit confusing. That a movie in a language I don’t understand can be better than most of the Hollywood movies I’ve seen recently really says something.

19.07.2006Wednesday 19 July – Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

I worked as per usual.
Bronwen and I saw the fifth and final movie in my series of five movies in five days, at five different cinemas—“Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story”—at the Palace. I was rather disappointed, as I had been expecting a great British comedy—which it certainly didn’t live up to—but it was an enjoyable, if confusing and patchwork, movie.

20.07.2006Thursday 20 July – Tired

My plan to see five movies in five different cinemas in five days was fun, but, combined with work, it’s made me rather tired. So, a tired day I had—working, and with nothing out of the ordinary to comment on.

21.07.2006Friday 21 July – Working & Eating

I went on the phones for most of the day.
Another normal day, working.
Kieran, Maz and I had dinner at the Pig and Whistle at Indooroopilly, to celebrate Maz and Kieran’s graduation.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 27 July 2006, 11:06 PM
  Congratulations Maz and Kieran. From Neds Mum. Good on you.

22.07.2006Saturday 22 July – Joe’s & Clint

Bronwen and I train to Morningside where we look at a rather unpleasant house before training to Joe’s, via Logan Central shops. Clint drops by around midnight and has a chat.

23.07.2006Sunday 23 July – Woodenbong

For the first time in quite a while, I slept in.
Kieran and Maz dropped by on their way back from the computer markets, and we drove to Clint’s, then to Maz’s, where Kieran left us. Bronwen, Clint, Maz and I continued on to a small town just over the NSW border, where it began to rain. We had planned to go and look at some large rock at some dam somewhere, but it was further than expected, so instead we drove around on dirt roads, ate greasy food at the Woodenbong café, and arrived home rather late.

24.07.2006Monday 24 July – Early City Cats, Milk & 16 Blocks

I missed the train, but fortunately not the City Cat. It’s rather cold early in the morning on a City Cat.
I was WUGMon at the east Brisbane data centre, with Trevor.
I wasn’t sure if I should go see a movie, so I phoned Clint to see if he was interested, and lay down to think about it. Jalyn was playing strange opera. I had semi-asleep nightmares that unpleasant women were singing to me, and then someone knocked on the door. It was Jalyn’s boyfriend, but I thought it might be Clint, which woke me up with just enough time to ride to Clint’s. We drove to Indooroopilly, and saw “16 Blocks”, which wasn’t too bad.
Bronwen and I walked to the supermarket to buy milk, ordinary family milk.

25.07.2006Tuesday 25 July – Misty

Riding through the mist-enshrouded city on the cat in my sleepy daze was quite a pleasant way to start my working day, although sleeping in would have been even nicer. I’ve been getting up at a quarter past five, but that barely gives me enough time to get ready, and is unpleasantly early.
I worked as East Brisbane WUGMon with Trevor again.
Bronwen and I had pizza for dinner, as it’s $4.95 pizza night. We then watched some rather unusual TV on Briz31, the local community channel here. Ironically, their very low budget weirdness was better than anything on the mainstream commercial networks. Clint arrived halfway through, and we chatted about possible walking locations on the weekend.

26.07.2006Wednesday 26 July – Work & Sleep

I got up early, went to work, and so on and so forth. I had a bit of a semi-delirious doze when I got home, and will now hopefully be able to work tomorrow.

27.07.2006Thursday 27 July – Misty & The Spiegel Tent

Despite having cleverly showered last night, thus reducing my mean-time-from-bed-to-the-city-cat by half, I still had to run for the cat. It was very misty, so misty I couldn’t see the city from the city cat.
I got in trouble for eating in the data centre, but other than that, a normal day learning WUG at East Brisbane, with Ryan Forrester and Jason Cuneo.
Bronwen and I walked to the Spiegel Tent, where we were refused entry due to Bronwen having no ID. Two quick bus trips later, we were inside and had an enjoyable night watching “My Ninja Lover” with Ultra High Gecko.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 27 July 2006, 11:17 PM
  Super misty en route to my job at Den at 5.30am. Super nice I reckon. Make a cuppa and sit wrapped in a shawl out the back of the pub and watch the mists evaporate off the Mungumby mountains from Helenvale. Beautiful. This is a paradise. Fortunate that most people dont know about it. Don't tell anybody, eh.
Comment by Clint's Mum – Friday 28 July 2006, 5:44 PM
  Hello Ned's Mum - we were up that way recently and had lunch at the "Den" and yes you are fortunate to live in paradise. We are looking at mudbrick cottage at Rossville - do you know of it?
Comment by Ned – Saturday 29 July 2006, 11:42 AM
  I’m not sure of the exact place you’re talking about, but we’ve lived in Rossville for a good few years now, so I’m guessing I’d know the place. It strikes me as funny that you’re interested in the same area—small world I guess.
Comment by sef – Saturday 29 July 2006, 4:49 PM
  Dear maternal parental unit,
  Please stop stalking my friends and the mothers of my friends.
  Kind regards, firstborn.
Comment by Maz – Saturday 29 July 2006, 5:06 PM
  Haha. My mum doesn't read my site. That might be something to do with it lacking interesting content. Either way it works out for me.
Comment by Mum – Monday 31 July 2006, 7:21 PM
  Dear Clint, I suspect that the "mudbrick" which was advertised etc. is in fact "Harry Ivory"s" old place, almost certain. If you want to know, ask Ned. His Dad lived there for a while5-4 )Please excuse explainables, they are CAT.....who is addicted to keyboard). Anyway, the old Harry Ivory mudbrick has been superly updated and added to and is apparently beautiful. I have not seen it, so cannot say. It is a really nice part of Rossville. All parts of Rossville are nice. Some more so than others. But then again, I am totally biased.
   Ned, Harry's old place was advertised recently, so am almost sure this is "the mudbrick" as there are not all that many "mudbrick" mob around. Anyway, hope so that this is useful.
   Regards, Kristine
Comment by Mum – Monday 31 July 2006, 7:54 PM
  Who is "sef" and what is he/she on about? I am "maternal parental unit"??? And I am stalking friends and mothers of friends??? HOly mackeral. And I am a "unit"? I think this sef is a unit. I dont have the faintest clue what he/she is talking about. And I really object to being called a "maternal parental unit" as if I am some th ing that is just slotted in and all that shit. There is no neat and tidy "unit" as regards "maternal". It is a sort of crazy go by the seat of your pants, and by the seat of your intuition. The seat of your intuition is really the go. How dare you call me a "unit", you total pill. .....Mother.
Comment by Mum – Monday 31 July 2006, 7:59 PM
  Oh sorry. Just realised that this is Clint's Mum. I am sure that this is the place I described above. It is a really nice part of Rossville. Get Clint to get you onto Ned, if yo are interested. The original mudbrick place has been much updated apparently. (I have not seen it as I have moved into Cooktown now), but apparently it is really beautiful. Best regards. (And next time, come and see me maybe??) Regards, Kristine.
Comment by Ned – Monday 31 July 2006, 8:42 PM
  “sef” is Clint. He is very weird and should probably be avoided, unless you are into anthropology, psychology, or similar pursuits. His “maternal parental unit” is his Mother. He talks like that because he is very weird, and because he is a nerdy geek type, who spends most of his time on his computer. Occasionally he goes walking and to the movies.
Comment by Maz – Monday 31 July 2006, 8:56 PM
  Correction, "to BAD, HORRIBLE, WOEFUL movies". I can't believe we sat through that one!
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 2 August 2006, 12:42 AM
  Oh woe, embarrassed.. look at tomorrows entry from me Sef, with apologies. And apologies to Maternal Parental Unit. (Geez, still cannot get my head around that one.) Parental UNITS? We are Units?? Pity we did not meet. Maybe we did. (Mater Pater Unit). I would have been the sweaty harrassed one with basket of wet sheets followed by a sheaf of miserable chickens looking for bread crusts. Or maybe you saw them (chickens) in the bar? More chance of chip crumbs there, faithless followers. Or maybe I was glimpsed with wheelbarrow full of sheets, snowey white, en route to cabins, fending off various wildlife with much profanity?Um, well, truth to be told, the profanity emanated from my self, and not the chickens. Um, er, well....Is wild up woop woop.
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 2 August 2006, 12:44 AM
   Go walking
Comment by Clint's mum – Thursday 3 August 2006, 9:56 PM
  Hello Ned's mum... this maternal unit is none too pleased to be referred to as such. This maternal parental unit could also never be described as neat and tidy - creative maybe, eclectic maybe. Such lofty intellectual descriptions from those at great heights eg Sef are bound to fall asunder as one of my most redeeming qualities is a very long memory! The mudbrick cottage looks wonderful - the real estate agent rang us about it the day after we got home. Paternal parental unit and potentially disinherited son may go up and have a quick look. I am sure we will cross paths one day,
  Cheers, Michele. (potentially disinherited son's mum)
Comment by Clint – Friday 4 August 2006, 2:00 AM
  All those long thirsty afternoons in the back of the car outside the casino...
Comment by Ned – Friday 4 August 2006, 2:07 AM
  What are you whinging about? At least your parents let you have an open window.
Comment by Muml – Sunday 6 August 2006, 9:25 PM
  Dear MPU (Mater Par Unit), there is a great casino in Cairns (dont tell firstburden).
Comment by Mum – Sunday 6 August 2006, 9:49 PM
  Hello Michele, Will be nice for Pater Parental Unit and Firstburden (PotDisinhSon) to come up. Tell them to look out for chickens following wheelbarrow pushed by dishevelled woman in oversize shorts, flash thongs and awry hair in hilarious bun, exuding olde fashioned profanity of the varied "b"'s variety, if they visit the Lions Den Hotel. Twill be I. Maybe. If I live that long after my last sortie at the casino.

28.07.2006Friday 28 July – Pancakes

Bronwen and I walked to the city to check out the price of electric toothbrushes, and ended up having a very rich dinner and dessert at “Pancakes”—set in an old church, and apparently owned by the Church of Scientology, according to Clint. While this resulted in a lovely night, it also meant I didn’t get to bed early—probably not a good thing considering the lack of sleep I’ve been suffering ever since my “Five movies at five different cinemas in five days” problem, and my plans to get up at four o’clock and go on a long day’s walk on Sunday.

29.07.2006Saturday 29 July – My Super Ex-Girlfriend

I am very tired. I had planned to sleep in today, but it didn’t turn out that way. I got up early, and had just gone back to bed when Clint phoned, looking for people to breakfast with. Bronwen, Clint and I ended up eating cake at Indooroopilly for breakfast, before Bronwen headed to work, and Clint and I to the city, to look for fleeces.
Clint and I wandered around the city, looking for fleeces, map-grid-squares, compasses, and assorted other cool items at adventure stores.
Clint, Maz and I watched “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” at Indooroopilly, which despite being a “chick’s flick” and us being greatly outnumbered by women, was quite entertaining, and quite amusing.
I’m off to bed, having packed for my walk tomorrow. I have to be up in four hours.
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 2 August 2006, 12:03 AM
  Well, I take umbrage at your choice of "journal entries" headlines, which in this case was "My super ex-girlfriend" which in my ignorance meant ex Bronwen, and I went into frenzy mode. What an idiot, what on earth has he done to necessitate the Beautiful Bronwen into leaving him, the total idiot, I will have a piece of him, just wait until I get a hold of him, the total idiot and many asterisks inserted into every second word.
   I rest relaxed. Now.
   I am having a lie down. How on earth She puts up with him is beyond me, but puts up with him She does. What a woman. And what a bloody pill. (he, being the bloody pill, of course.) Prawn, drongo, moron, etc.
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 2 August 2006, 12:21 AM
  dear sef, you ratbag. I now understand that it was your maternal parental unit you were referring to. With all due reverence of course. (Yes?) All those broken sleeps, all those nights wondering where Boy Wonder was, and Doing What. SuperMa! I thought you were some crazy who was gate crashing Neds site and doing a stupid thing. Hence my strong words. Now I know that you are some crazy who was crashing Neds site and doing some stupid thing. Heh heh. Hope so that Parental Unit enjoyed their stay up north. Next time give them my address, okay. xx Mum
Comment by Clint – Wednesday 2 August 2006, 9:27 PM
  Sorry for the confusion in the first place. 'sef' is my Internet nom de guerre, a bit like Ned's 'thei' I suppose although I didn't get to pick mine - one of my infamous ex-housemates had the honour there. I just run with the ball. Thanks for the comment on the house (it is the one on Colleen Ivory), I've forwarded it on to Mum who apparently can't re-find the original page. If you're interested in what the place looks like now, the real estate agent e-mailed some photos of the place to them that I can get them to forward to you. The world seems very small at times.
  Incidentally, my parents actually are units. Beep when they walk backwards and everything.
Comment by Mum – Thursday 3 August 2006, 8:57 PM
  Clint, okay. Is okay. That mudbrick on Colleen Ivory Drive is really nice by all accounts. Yes, the world is very small. I am wondering why your parents walk backwards and then beep. Is it when they see you? Is this a warning? Does one automatically feel that it is safer to walk backwards and beep when one sees you? Ought I to warn Thei?

30.07.2006Sunday 30 July – Mount Barney’s West Peak

The alarm went off at four o’clock. The back-up alarm went off a minute later. I thought I had been lying in bed awake for quite some time when I heard the second alarm. I don’t recall having heard the first alarm. It would seem my sense of time sleeps even when I don’t. Getting up at four o’clock after two solid weeks of late nights and very early starts should have been terrible, but I suppose it was only a little over an hour earlier than what I was used to, so it didn’t seem so bad. It also wasn’t as cold as I’d expected.
  I woke Bronwen, and we showered, packed our lunches, and ate a quick breakfast. Clint arrived around half past, and we drove to Mount Barney, stopping at a servo for fuel and iced coffee. I cleverly packed my jumper in my bag, to save me having to take it off and pack it in later—which was not only pointless as I had to get it out as soon as we arrived, but left me cold on the drive down, while everyone else glowed warmly in their jumpers.
  The recent rain had made the creek crossings—which last time we were able to get across without taking our shoes off—a little too high to cross with shoes. Shoeless through icy water at dawn is a horrible way to start anything.
  We walked up “Savages Ridge”, which was steep and scrubby most of the way up, but not steep enough to require scrambling or climbing. It wasn’t until we were nearly at the top, where the ridge began to narrow, that it began to get bad—though I only got stuck on one death-defying rocky outcrop, necessitating a short detour. Once at the top though, the walking rapidly degenerated, scratching our way painfully through sharp shrubbery to the base of a cliff. Clint and Bronwen tried climbing up a scary looking chimney, and I went looking for an easier way, which I rather foolishly thought I had found when I came across another chimney not five minutes away. It didn’t look too hard from the bottom, so I began to climb it. This turned out to be a very bad idea, as not only could I no longer contact Clint and Bronwen to get help, but I couldn’t turn back when continuing up became terrifyingly difficult, the rocky handholds disappeared, and the chimney become nothing more than a slippery dirt filled crevice seeping water. My fingers went entirely numb, which felt rather odd and made it difficult to feel anything. As I couldn’t go back down, believed that Clint and Bronwen were climbing up another chimney and wouldn’t be coming to help me, and could see no advantage in staying still as I was never secure enough to feel that I wasn’t about to fall to my death, I had no choice but to continue up. There didn’t seem any point going slowly, so I actually made quite good time, climbing, scrambling, digging and pulling myself to the top. I came to love the all too few rocky handholds I found, having to rely on clumps of grass and digging my hands, knees and feet into the cold, wet dirt most of the time.
  I arrived at the top—Mount Barney’s West Peak---wet, covered in dirt, numb, shaking, and alone. There was a lovely sun, which warmed and dried me remarkably fast, but there was no Clint or Bronwen. I walked to the edges of the cliff and cooeed but couldn’t get any answer. I figured they wouldn’t both have died at the same time, and I really had no other choice, so I sat on a rock and enjoyed the sun. Clint and Bronwen did eventually turn up, nearly half an hour after I’d arrived, having been unable to get up their chimney and using the one I had climbed.
  We ate lunch on the top of the mountain before heading down the other side. After my traumatic ascent, I was in no shape to face a traumatic descent, so was very unhappy to find that the way down, while far easier than the way up, still involved some death-defying scrambling. In retrospect, it wasn’t too bad, but at the time, it was terrifying.
  Once off West Peak, and after a short rest at the site of the old UQ Hut, we walked back down Peasant’s, which seemed like a highway after Savage’s Ridge.
  It was just dark enough to need a torch as we made our way out of the brush at the bottom of the mountain and along the road back to Clint’s car, discussing the psychology of human relationships along the way. We met a man a few minutes after we began driving, who had left his mates up the road after one had fallen and hit his head, so we gave him a lift back to his car.
  The drive home was uneventful, stopping at a supermarket for banana milk. Once back in Brisbane, we ordered pizza, which was hot and nice, and Clint read us selected excerpts from “Cosmopolitan” while losing his voice. Showering hurt, and the climbing portion of my walk was dreadfully terrifying, but now that it’s all over, I do have a nice sense of achievement.

31.07.2006Monday 31 July – Nightshift

I nearly missed the city cat to work, despite riding my bike. It’s a bad feeling to be pedalling as hard as possible, watching the city cat arriving at the ferry terminal, and knowing that I can’t physically go any faster, that I’ve hit my limit, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Fortunately, there were quite a few people waiting to get on, so I managed to make it in time. I wasn’t sure what it would be like working late, but it turns out it’s just the same as staying at uni late to do assignments—and I can’t get to bed straight away after, I need to unwind for a while, even though I should be really tired.
The ride back from work was quite nice, all along the river. I’ve been tagging music, and downloading new Winamp skins, trying to find one that is simple, attractive, and functional—something far harder than it sounds—and must now head to bed.
Comment by Mum – Wednesday 2 August 2006, 1:12 AM
  Try Colin Hay, "Man at Work", 2003 recording. Very nice, especially track 8. My current fvourite.

01.08.2006Tuesday 1 August – Late Shift Again

I nearly missed the City Cat to work again. It’s a bit silly when I can get up at a quarter past five and walk through the icy mist to the first Cat to the city without any problems, but I can barely ride to one on time in the pleasantly sunny afternoon. It seems I’m enjoying working late shift, although I wouldn’t want to for any prolonged period as I can’t do anything in the afternoon—no movies at all. I’m beginning to think rotating shifts might suit me after all.
It took me just on half an hour to ride home through the city, which seems to be a little faster, although less scenic, than the river route. There are also fewer possums to hit.

02.08.2006Wednesday 2 August – Rushing

I just can’t win. I’m destined to run for public transport. I should be used to it by now, having run for the train every weekday from Joe’s for three years. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do—if I get up at five o’clock in the morning or if I am leaving at three in the afternoon, I still have to run. If I leave late, I have to run to avoid missing the City Cat; if I leave on time, I still have to run to avoid missing the City Cat; and if I leave really early, I get there with tons of time to spare, decide to ride on to Toowong and drop past an ATM to get some cash out, and end up with two minutes to get from Toowong back to the Regatta, nearly missing the City Cat. Sadly, that was both the lowlight, highlight, and in fact, only thing I can remember, of my day.

03.08.2006Thursday 3 August – Working & Walking

Surprisingly, I nearly missed the City Cat to work.
I rode to Clint’s after work, and went for a quick night walk, getting home well into the wee hours of the morning.

04.08.2006Friday 4 August – Working & Bronwen

Another sleep in, another late shift. Bronwen dropped by for dinner.

05.08.2006Saturday 5 August – Sleeping & Sweeping

Bronwen went to work. I woke feeling unmotivated. This could have something to do with my self-assigned tasks for the day: cleaning the house and scrubbing the shower. I went back to bed, where I dozed in a rather hilarious, semi-awake state, interspersed with macabre vaudeville renditions of daily events, until two o’clock, when I got up and did some work on the Jianshe site. I then finished off the evening by sweeping the floors.

06.08.2006Sunday 6 August – Brick

I can’t remember what I did, or didn’t, do this morning—but I can remember what I did this afternoon.
Bronwen and I caught a train to Indooroopilly, had a late—and very yummy—lunch, and watched “Brick”, which was quite good.

07.08.2006Monday 7 August – The Sentinel

This week I’m back to early shifts. Having nearly missing the City Cat when I was starting in the afternoon and taking my bike—which allows me to make up time far faster than walking—I thought I should make a special effort not to miss the City Cat now that I’m getting up at a quarter past five in the morning and am walking. So, I got ready in time, and was about to leave when I noticed that my ADSL had dropped out. One of the downsides to using VoIP phones is that the internet connection becomes fairly vital. This meant that I had to check the modem in case it—being a crap modem—had reset itself to its factory default settings and was not going to fix itself while I was away, which involves switching some network cables around. This, of course, resulting in me having to run through the icy fog to the City Cat, arriving sweaty and hot while everyone else was clammed up in their thick fleeces. Looking on the bright side, the frigid office women all noticed what a hot bloke I am—literally.
My habit of nearly missing things isn’t confined to catching the City Cat to work. By the time I’d worked out if Clint and Maz were coming to Indooroopilly to see a movie with me, I had three minutes to get to the bus. I live what most people would consider a ten-minute walk from the bus. Still, I figure running is good for m, and by the time I’d got to Indooroopilly, where I met Clint and Maz, I’d cooled down and could breathe again. We all bought one-dollar lolly bags from the lolly shop, which is one of the worst things to do, and saw “The Sentinel”, which was better than I had expected—quite enjoyable but certainly not brilliant. Clint and I went for a short night walk around what must be the poshest suburb I’ve yet come across.

08.08.2006Tuesday 8 August – Late & Omkara

I finally missed the City Cat to work. It was only a matter of time really. I actually got up on time—I even got ready with time to spare—but unfortunately, I didn’t leave on time. I really hate running because I’m late, which should be an incentive to be on time, but I’m almost always late for public transport—though I nearly always get where I’m going on time. Fortunately, for reasons inexplicable, the next City Cat runs significantly faster, allowing me to arrive at work only twenty minutes late. Unfortunately I didn’t know this, so I ran to the nearest major bus stop, where I waited for ages as there aren’t any early buses in Brisbane, then walked quickly from a city bus stop to Riverside City Cat terminal, where I caught the same City Cat I could have just waited for at the start.
I caught a bus to Garden City, waited a little until Bronwen turned up, and went and saw “Omkara” with her. It’s a Hindi retelling of “Othello”, which I didn’t like that much due to it being a sad tragedy, though the movie itself was entertaining and well made.
Comment by Mum – Friday 18 August 2006, 9:59 PM
  Do you know what "Omkara" means? In my Tibetan music CD of "Raising of a Chief" there is a song in which the chant is (what I thought was "OmTara" but on further listening) I think "Omkara" and it is such a beautiful chant/song, that I would like to know what Omkara means.
Comment by Ned – Saturday 19 August 2006, 2:02 PM
  “Omkara” apparently means “the vehicle to cross the ocean of life”

09.08.2006Wednesday 9 August – Pizza

What a sleepy day. Bronwen and I eat pizza in the park for dinner.

10.08.2006Thursday 10 August – Work & Winamp

This morning, I not only got up on time, got ready on time, and left on time; I even got nearly all the way to the City Cat on time! As per usual though, it didn’t quite work out—although rather unexcitingly. As I had so much time, I stopped walking fast once I got to the river and could see the City Cat terminal. I then saw the City Cat coming, and had to run for it, although not as bas as usual. It’s a bit sad that nearly missing the City Cat has been the highlight of my day for the past couple of weeks. I suppose there’s breakfast and lunch—I had a spinach and fetta focaccia for breakfast, and an iced coffee milk. Normally, I have a mini-pizza, but they didn’t have any. For lunch, I had mini chips, potato scallop and chocolate milkshake, as I have every day.
Yesterday I decided to upgrade to the latest version of Winamp. Bronwen had installed some thing that was supposed to display album art, but didn’t, so I went and had a look at Winamp’s “Now Playing” feature, and found that mine wasn’t working—so I installed the latest version of Winamp. It said I should restart, which I ignored, and it then crashed when I tried to play a song. Today, when I got home, I restarted to see if that fixed it, but it didn’t. I then spent an hour reinstalling, copying and removing various plug-ins, data files from the media library, and generally messing around, before getting it to work again. I’m still not sure if it’s working properly, but it hasn’t crashed in a while so hopefully it is—and I’ve managed to retain my media library information so I know what songs I haven’t listened to yet.

11.08.2006Friday 11 August – Jindabyne & On Time

I got to the City Cat, without having to run, and without missing it. How nice it was.
The Bronwen and the Ned embussed to Indooroopilly, where they saw “Jindabyne”, and found that it was very realistic and quite dramatic, but ended poorly. They ate a healthy dinner after the movie, from Hungry Jack’s.

12.08.2006Saturday 12 August – Winamp, Bikes & More to Come

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get Winamp to work, for the third day in a row now, eventually giving up and cleanly installing the latest version without any of my existing plug-ins, or my media library. This worked, but I’ve lost my media library it would seem. I might add it to my backups. Something so small should not be so annoying and broken.
Bronwen and I fixed Bronwen’s bike. I had planned to do something to mine as well, but there wasn’t much that could be done without one of those big compactor things that squash the cars with the dead bodies in them in the movies—or at least a huge electromagnet. Looking on the bright side, I managed to get my hands attractively black and greasy.
Bronwen and I went for a walk along the river to West End, where we had a lovely, and very filling, Indian dinner at Bombay Dhaba before walking to the valley and seeing “Lower City” at Palace Centro. The movie didn’t live up to my expectations, sadly, being too raw and undeveloped, but was entertaining nonetheless.

13.08.2006Sunday 13 August – Sunday Live

I had a quiet, mostly relaxing, morning. I went shopping in the afternoon, managing to miss the City Cat to Sunday Live and having to ride my bike to the next City Cat in order to get there on time. The concert was quite soothing, putting Raymond to sleep. We stopped past West End for some food on the way home.
I had planned to go see Miami Vice with Clint, but he unhelpfully managed to be incommunicado—and somewhat rudely so—at all the wrong times, meaning I not only couldn’t find out if he was still planning to go, but I missed the movie myself.
Comment by io – Wednesday 16 August 2006, 4:06 AM
  I disagree with you that the concert put me to sleep - I only entered the slow-wave cycles whilst I was coming off my green-tea euphoria, having not slept for a full 24 hours. I even managed to start the applause for the final piece.
  Raymond. :D
  (Also, come bowling next Tuesday: details on my "site".)

14.08.2006Monday 14 August – Work

Unfortunately, being a Monday and all, I have to go to work. Fortunately, I’m on late shift so I don’t start until three o’clock, giving me time to sleep in, have breakfast at McDonald’s with Maz, and drop by his work with my music drive so he could peruse some of my music onto his music drive. Now I’m lazing about—it’s surprisingly hot outside—and listening to Goan trance, wishing I were rich and travelling, rather than preparing for another evening at work. In unrelated news, it seems the latest version of Winamp can’t handle large play lists (there’s 25330 items in there now)—it randomly crashes when moving large numbers of files around the media library.
I got home a little later than usual—having to stay until half past eleven (which is when I’m supposed to leave anyway, but I usually leave earlier) due to a failure in the hand-over system of the monitoring system itself.

15.08.2006Tuesday 15 August – Alone with Ice Cream

Another evening at work. Nothing of note to report, other than my backup calling in sick so me doing my shift alone, and buying two litres of blue ribbon double chocolate ice cream, as it was much better value than a normal ice cream, and I needed something to sooth what I hope isn’t the onset of the deadly throaty lurgy that has been plaguing sickly residents recently.
Comment by Mum – Friday 18 August 2006, 9:38 PM
  Blue ribbon double chocolate ice cream! Good precursor to onset of deadly throaty lurgy. If you werent one of the "sickly residents" you ought to be by now, after scoffing blue ribbon thingo.

16.08.2006Wednesday 16 August – ‘Ekka’ Holiday

As it’s the Brisbane show holiday, Bronwen isn’t going to work. I, sadly, am. I’d planned to go see Miami Vice in the morning, but circumstances—and Bronwen—intervened, and I ended up having a quiet morning instead. I considered calling in sick, but eventually headed into work in the afternoon, only to find that they’d accidentally double rostered my backup, so it wouldn’t have mattered too much had I not turned up. Then, to make matters worse, not only am I feeling at risk from the deadly throaty flu, but the chip shop was shut, leaving me to the mercy of my one and a half litres of blue ribbon double chocolate ice cream and an unusually oily “mini pizza”. Surprisingly, I survived.
Comment by Mum – Friday 18 August 2006, 9:51 PM
  Am annoyed. Typed a perfectly good 400 word "comment" which got wiped out by my cat, jealous over keyboard. Was a really good "Ma lecture" which would have been greatly enjoyed by Sef (he who is about to be ok) and Maz and other decrepits. Thingis, that if you feel onset of ANYTHING, garlic double non ice cream, plentifully sprinkled with lashings of parsley and cayenne pepper is um, well, the go. Mini pizza el oilio verboten. Geez. Some blokes got looks and some got brains. Leave it up to sefmazio et ors to decide which is what and all that. Maringinhansob
Comment by Mum – Friday 18 August 2006, 9:54 PM
  Am needing um email or etc re Corey. Want to contact and cannot. Can you help? Maringinhansob

17.08.2006Thursday 17 August – Late Night

I began redesigning the bike site to incorporate their new brand.
I worked with James (Cuneo), and got a lift back home with him, leaving my bike at work.
Bronwen spent the night at her parents, which meant I stayed up ridiculously late chatting online.

18.08.2006Friday 18 August – Uni, PHP & The Peeing Pool

I bussed to uni and had a chat to Dominic about their PHP problem (and a thick shake from the ice creamery), before bussing to the city and work via home and South Bank, where it’s getting hot enough that people are again swimming and sunbathing in and at the peeing pool.
There are many stupid people in-between the valley and city on a Friday night. Riding through and past them results in a combination of good-natured jeers, people offering to push, running along beside, and the more stupid jumping out in front—who I am sorely tempted to hit.
Comment by io – Sunday 27 August 2006, 4:14 AM
  Yep - as long as you're breathing normally you shouldn't be spooked by anyone trying to surprise you on your bike. Running over them is kind of cool - I've had a few close calls before travelling at not-slow speeds but front brake is great. Also, something that I read on a cycling site which I didn't think of is pothole dodging methods - basically you don't look at the hole or it'll end up being a target for you to run into. Just look around it for where you're supposed to ride.
  Wow I wanted to rant on about something else but I've hit the char limit. Say hi to your mum and Bronwen for me.

19.08.2006Saturday 19 August – Sadly Average but Looking Forward

Today has been a sadly average day. I’d wanted to do something a little different, having been too tired to join Clint on his latest death-defying attempt at immortality, but still wanting to do something—but it’s been put off until tomorrow. Instead, I had a quiet—but pleasant—morning, followed by a trip to Woolworth’s with Bronwen to buy groceries and crazy specials, where we bumped into Bronwen’s Dad and subsequently got a lift back. Today’s crazy specials included a large custard tart and quite a lot of pasta salad. Bronwen wouldn’t let me buy a cheap apple pie.
Now that I’ve left the ranks of the pleasantly unemployed and joined the legion of fulltime drones propping up the deep end of our service-based economy, I feel it is a good time to reflect on what’s next. Short term, I should get back into reading—I used to read all the time, but since uni, I’ve hardly read at all. I think reading is the simplest way to gain knowledge—someone may spend their entire life writing a book, filling it with all the knowledge they’ve gained, and I can read that in a week, even though I may not understand even a tenth of what they’ve managed to cram into their book. Slightly longer term, I’m tossing up flying over to Perth in time for the air race, showing Bronwen around and visiting my folks, and have applied to volunteer at Woodford again. Longer term again, I’m itching to get out of this conservative and rather repetitive country and travel somewhere different, exciting, and third world—probably South America, as I’ve already seen a little of Asia—so need to figure out the best way to do that from a financial and career perspective. I imagine there’s something important I’ve forgotten, like washing behind my ears, but with three quarters of a custard tart still to go, it’ll have to wait for later.
Cooking dinner didn’t sound too exciting. Someone mentioned the pancake parlour. It’s a grand old church in the centre of the city, now a twenty-four hour pancake parlour with a bar underneath, where it looks like they would have tortured the witches during the great recession, or whenever it was they did that. Bronwen had nachos. I also had nachos, but without the beef. Never let it be said we’re not adventurous. We then shared two pancakes, topped with cream and ice cream—it is a pancake parlour after all. After this, we were both horrifyingly full, so strolled home very slowly and painfully.
Sleepy. Bedtime.
Comment by io – Sunday 27 August 2006, 4:17 AM
  The waffles & fudge there are also sublime. I've been there about a couple of times now - ironically most of the times were with different choirs I've been in.

20.08.2006Sunday 20 August – Riding, Harps, Hussies & Miami Vice

I slept in, not as long as I would have liked, but hopefully enough to keep me alive.
Bronwen and I had planned to get up at eight o’clock and go for a ride, but at eight o’clock, after a week of late shifts and six hour or less sleeps, getting up seemed suicidal. By the time we did get up, get organised, and head off, it was pushing afternoon. Nevertheless, we had a pleasant and not too hot ride along the river, through UQ, across the Indooroopilly Bridge, and back along the wrong side of the river to West End, where I bought a milkshake before heading to the ABC’s Ferry Road Music Centre for Sunday Live.
Today’s Sunday Live was an interesting husband-wife harp duet. The harp isn’t my favourite instrument, but it makes a pleasant change from the normal, and in my opinion, rather boring, orchestral instruments usually used in classical music. After the music, Bronwen and I rode to South Bank, getting ‘flashed’ on the way, rather unexpectedly. We were riding down a non-descript road in a non-descript part of South Brisbane—almost an industrial area—and several well-dressed women, in their late twenties or early thirties, were walking up the road, who for some reason thought they should lift their dresses, revealing a pleasing, although unexpected and somewhat shocking, lack of underwear. It seemed a strange place, not particularly near any shops, restaurants, cafés, clubs, or really anything.
Bronwen and I had a not-so-cheap, but still fairly nasty, takeaway dinner from a greasy place at South Bank with Raymond, before watching “Miami Vice” without Raymond, riding home, and getting to bed worryingly late.

21.08.2006Monday 21 August – Early Shift

Back to getting up early—at 5:30 in the morning, in theory anyway. In reality, the alarm goes off at 5:30, and I doze until a quarter to six, at which point I shower and get ready as fast as I can, before rushing to the train. I’m working back in the Valley, having finished my month at East Brisbane. Work goes remarkably fast, but is fairly uneventful. Today is “pizza day”, so I have pizza for lunch, courtesy of work. In the afternoon, I do some gardening, chopping back the raging nasturtiums, and fix a few problems on my site, leftover from the upgrade to PHP 5.
I’m now up on level six, in the NOC room. It’s all glass, and as one of the new level 2’s commented when being shown through, “it looks like a CIA control room”.

22.08.2006Tuesday 22 August – Pizza

Being left to my own devices—most of which have flat batteries---when the cook spent the night at her parent’s place also left me with a problem—what to eat for dinner? Cheap Tuesday Pizza was the answer, and it seemed like a good answer until I ate the whole thing in one sitting.

23.08.2006Wednesday 23 August – Another Quarter of an Hour

I’ve managed to hone my morning preparation to such an extent that I can now get up a full quarter of an hour later—at a quarter to six. This leaves me no time for mistakes, and is the day’s most exciting development, which sums today up nicely.

24.08.2006Thursday 24 August – Working

One of the downsides to keeping a daily journal is that quite often, nothing worth writing happens—but I have to write it anyway. Today was one of those days. I got up early, as I have every day this week, caught the train into the city, grabbed a “Six Inch Veggie Delite” from Subway, and ate it while walking to work. I then worked all day, stopping for a morning milkshake, a lunch of hot, greasy chips, and an afternoon caramel slice, and then catching the train home. Once home, I had a rice and Mexican beans dinner, walked Bronwen up to her parent’s place, went to Woolworths for groceries, and slept.

25.08.2006Friday 25 August – Swollen Brainstems & Samford Nights

Another day, another dollar, and what feels like a swollen brainstem, but is probably just a lack of sleep, the onset of the galloping lurgy, some form of mild sinitus—or the sore throat that’s going around at the moment. Rather unrelated—but sinitus is a Swiss trust company. The internet is great. Today was quite busy, with a few unrelated problems causing temporary chaos, which at least makes the day go fast.
I spent the night at Amanda’s.

26.08.2006Saturday 26 August – East Brisbane Late

Amanda dropped me home, and I headed off to work a late shift over at East Brisbane. Riding home through the city after midnight is fun—there’s very little traffic.

27.08.2006Sunday 27 August – Sunday Live

Sunday Live with Raymond—the Griffith Trio—then town and shopping.

28.08.2006Monday 28 August – Work

Work. Back to doing a nine to five shift in the valley.

29.08.2006Tuesday 29 August – Still Working

Still working.

30.08.2006Wednesday 30 August – XXXX Brewery Tour

Work. Nothing to report.
Bronwen and I went on the XXXX Castlemaine Perkin’s brewery tour, which was quite interesting. I was impressed at the extreme efficiency they’ve incorporated into every feature—even using waste beer as a lubricant. I’ve also now drunk ‘XXX’, although to be honest I still feel the same.

31.08.2006Thursday 31 August – Fearless

I walked to the city and met Bronwen. We caught the bus from there to Indooroopilly, where we watched “Fearless”. It’s a great movie. Hungry Jack’s for dinner after.

01.09.2006Friday 1 September – Cam’s Dinner

I walked through a light drizzle to Bronwen’s parent’s place, for Cam’s birthday dinner.

02.09.2006Saturday 2 September – RiverFire, F-111’s, Cold Rock & Maz’s New Place

I did some laundry washing, followed by gardening. The nasturtiums have grown remarkably with the recent rain, overrunning their beds, and needed trimming back.
Bronwen, Maz and I walked into the city and watched “RiverFire”—Brisbane’s annual fireworks extravaganza. The F-111’s dump and burn was, as usual, exciting—seeing an F-111 flying low overhead through cloud was quite spectacular. Waiting half an hour for a kebab wasn’t. I’d love to see one fly at 3,000 kilometres per hour. The F-111 that is, not the kebab. With a range of five and a half thousand kilometres, and the ability to cover that distance in less than two hours, they make my bike seem a little outdated.
  After RiverFire, Maz, Bronwen, Loki and I had a nice Indian dinner at a place on Rosalie, before watching “Hoodwinked” at Maz’s.

03.09.2006Sunday 3 September – Montezuma’s

I had a very lazy morning, looking into hire cars, airfares, and generally lazing about.
Bronwen and I went grocery shopping, followed by dinner at Montezuma’s with Clint. The plan was to use the “buy one, get one free” voucher I’d got at the movies, but today, being Father’s Day, excluded its use. This was rather annoying, as the voucher was the only reason I’d gone and I did not find the food particularly good.
Clint, Bronwen and I went for a short ride across the Goodwill Bridge and back before bed.

04.09.2006Monday 4 September – Airfares

Back to early shifts, back in the city. While getting up early is obviously bad, forgetting that I was on early shift and being surprised when my replacements turned up is not.
Citibank has its advantages, but sometimes I’m not sure what they are. To book flights using a normal bank, you would go to the airline website, book the flights, transfer the money, and sip your cold beverage. To book flights using Citibank, you go to the airline website, book the flights, ignore the little notice that says “DO NOT USE CITIBANK TO PAY FOR YOUR FLIGHTS”, transfer money from your Citibank savings account to your Citibank holding account, entering your special PIN to authorise this, add the airline as a payee, phone Citibank to authorise the payee, quote your arms length, mother’s maiden name, iris dilation, etc., to authorise yourself to the phone, and transfer the money, again authorising this with your special PIN. You then phone the airline, who informs you that the money you just paid will sit in a black hole for at least a week and may bounce back into your account, but that you should phone them back to chase it up if it doesn’t, pay the money again via your credit card, incurring the credit card fee you went to such trouble to avoid in the first place, and go to bed, $1260 poorer. Hopefully I get half of that back.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 5 September 2006, 9:43 PM
  Ohhh. Not good. Wonder why Citiband would be so stupid. However, this means that I get to see my son. Which is more than good. It is the best.

05.09.2006Tuesday 5 September – Getting Started in Shares

Bronwen and I attended CommSec’s “Getting started in shares” workshop. Interestingly, all, or almost all, those there our age were from UQ. That’s been one good thing getting out of uni—I had formed a very bad opinion of engineering and IT students, and it’s been good to see that those in the real world do actually fit my original pre-uni impression. I do wonder what happens to the typical uni engineering/IT student though—I suppose they change, or end up stuck in dead-end jobs and are never seen again.

06.09.2006Wednesday 6 September – 48 Shades

I rode into South Bank, meeting Bronwen. She and I tried out the “Movie Meal Deal” from South Bank Cinemas. It’s not a bad deal as far as cost goes—sixteen dollars for a movie and a meal—but the meal I had—pasta from Toscani’s—was so small that I could have eaten three of them. We then watched “48 Shades”, which I found to be disappointing. It’s remarkably real, and I could associate well with characters—and then it suddenly ends. It doesn’t have any substance, which is a real shame, as it’s otherwise a brilliant, well-shot, well-casted movie set in Brisbane.

07.09.2006Thursday 7 September – Blowing a Howling Gale

I woke up to find it blowing a howling gale, and all the windows blown open. I nearly froze closing them. The rest of the day followed suit. It nearly killed me having to go to work, followed by a near-death experience surviving the entire day without falling asleep, and only narrowly avoiding dying in my sleep while having a snooze waiting for Bronwen to get home. Then, I nearly died opening a sealed container containing fermented potato broth, and just about died when I discovered we don’t have any salad, ruining half my dinner plans.

08.09.2006Friday 8 September – Exercise, Dead or Alive

Today began early, due to the rotational tendencies of the earth—or vibrational string-like energy, depending on your perspective. I hastened to the train, having left myself just enough time to get there—but only if I rushed uncomfortably—as usual. Subway from the station, with mayonnaise. Got to work to find myriads of girls were blocking the foyer. This fantasy start to the day quickly degenerated when I found out the lift controller wasn’t, and the lifts were being manually controlled by security. This chaos was annoying, as being a secure building, there’s no other access, and being me, I require quick access to the milkshake place. The fire escapes are all one-way and alarmed.
Maz and I drove to Officeworks, and then Harvey Norman at Indooroopilly, for Maz to buy a Bluetooth headset. I got a discount Hungry Jack’s dinner—two dollars forty, and Maz bought twelve dollars of premium jellybeans, after which we watched some crazy cartoons for a while back at Maz’s place.
I’ve decided I need to make a concerted effort to exercise. I’ve never had a problem with my weight or fitness—and still don’t—but now that I’m working a “sedentary job”, I have to either “stop eating that crap”, as my boss would say, or exercise appropriately—and I quite like eating “that crap”. I figure a simple combination of muscular exercises before bed—or in the morning if I’m working late—combined with some form of daily—or as daily as I can manage—physical activity outside should do the trick. So, in keeping with my newly formulated exercise regime, I’m going to do a few exercise and ride to South Bank and see an action-packed movie. In other unrelated news, one of the girls I live with left to go kayaking in Uganda for a month today.
“DOA: Dead or Alive” was even worse than expected—a combination of realistic but extremely improbable action-fighting and close-up bikini shots—a highly enjoyable bargain at only $5.70 at South Bank Cinemas. Any movie where the girl, clad only in a towel, forces the detective who is arresting her to bring her her bra, on his gun, and then kicks his gun, and her bra, into the air, disables the several police with her towel, smoothly catches her bra—falling smoothly over her arms, landing on her breasts—and the detective’s gun as they fall, ending up dressed and aiming the detective’s own gun at his nether regions, can’t be all bad.
I rode to Toowong, meeting Clint, and went for a wander around the suburb with him, stopping to ride the monorail before heading home, listening to some music, and heading to bed.

09.09.2006Saturday 9 September – Sleeping

I was woken by Bronwen returning home sometime around one o’clock, having gone to bed sometime between three and four this morning. We spent the afternoon discussing, before Bronwen returned to her parents—she has relatives visiting—and I went searching, in vain as it turned out, for a song I’d heard in a movie trailer.
Comment by Maz – Tuesday 26 September 2006, 9:55 PM
  I'm looking for the song from the UQ ads that are on at the moment. I don't even know where to start looking for it.
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 4 October 2006, 6:05 PM
  I haven’t seen a UQ ad yet—any good?

10.09.2006Sunday 10 September – Sing for Water

I’d planned to go to Joe’s, then the Gold Coast, then “Sing for Water”, and then see a movie—but when I woke up, it was raining. So, instead, I slept in, lazed about, dropped past Office Works, went and saw “Friends with Money” at the Regent with Bronwen—which is not a good movie—and cuddled in the cold and damp at “Sing for Water”. Ironically, the rain pretty much washed out the rain-encouraging event, with only a few hundred of the expected several thousand people turning up.

11.09.2006Monday 11 September – Work

I’m working twelve to eight thirty this week, which makes a nice change from getting up early, but means I don’t get home until nine o’clock

12.09.2006Tuesday 12 September – Riding

I’ve been meaning to start riding to work, and having missed the train, today seemed like a good day to start. Riding through the city at midday is impossible, as it turns out. I had to walk most of the way through the city, which makes it quite a slow process.
Rode home from work. Bought cheap Tuesday pizza. Ate cheap Tuesday pizza. Tried exercising after eating cheap Tuesday pizza. Had a strong feeling exercising after eating cheap Tuesday pizza is not good. Massaged strong feeling and went to bed.

13.09.2006Wednesday 13 September – A Day

Not much to report. Another day. The sun rose and set, and so forth.

14.09.2006Thursday 14 September – Another Day

Today was another day. Fancy that.

15.09.2006Friday 15 September – Valley Fiesta

I showed Bronwen around work, before popping down to the Valley Fiesta, watching a few music acts, and having dinner at a Thai place.

16.09.2006Saturday 16 September – Work

I worked from 3 to 11.

17.09.2006Sunday 17 September – Valley Fiesta

Bronwen and I watched a few more acts at the Valley Fiesta, some of which were quite good. Afterwards we wandered up to Bronwen’s parent’s place, and had dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

18.09.2006Monday 18 September – Work

WIC WUG, in the fishbowl, 7 to 3.

19.09.2006Tuesday 19 September – Pizza

I worked, before arguing with a pizza and eating Bronwen. Or the other way around, perhaps.

20.09.2006Wednesday 20 September – Work


21.09.2006Thursday 21 September – Work


22.09.2006Friday 22 September – Stradbroke

I rushed home from work, packed, and caught a train to Cleveland, meeting Bronwen on the way, and then a ferry across to Stradbroke Island, and a bus from one end of the island to the other, ending up at Bronwen’s parent’s block, where we spent the night.

23.09.2006Saturday 23 September – Stradbroke

Bronwen and I spent a very enjoyable, badly needed relaxation-only-day at Stradbroke, doing very little.

24.09.2006Sunday 24 September – Stradbroke

Bronwen and I spent another enjoyable and lazy day going for a ride and then wandering around the beaches of Stradbroke, before catching a bus, ferry, and train, home.

25.09.2006Monday 25 September – Running

I’m back at work, 7 to 3 in the Valley, and very tired. I got quite sleep deprived all last week, and had figured that a relaxing weekend at Stradbroke would fix that—but despite getting quite a lot of sleep, I’m still knackered.
As part of my new get fit campaign, I plan to do some form of exercise each weekday—so I’m starting going for a night run when I’m not working late. In keeping with my new plan, Bronwen and ran from here to South Bank and back, via the Goodwill Bridge. Well, we ran a little over half the way, in a few bursts, walking in between. Still, it was quite a good workout, and seems a good distance—I can’t currently run the whole distance, so will aim towards that, running a little further each time.

26.09.2006Tuesday 26 September – Very Sleepy

Getting up was hard—I’m very sleepy. Today didn’t help. I had to get home early, do some washing, banking, and a few other things that have to be done before I fly up north, and go to bed very early, or I may die. Instead, I got home to find that I needed to perform some emergency maintenance on a website I manage—several hours’ worth, as it turns out, so I spent all night doing that, not getting anything else done, and not getting an early night. I’ve developed a tick in my eyelid, which is probably the worst I’ve been since my days of Cola-fuelled all-nighters in the labs. In a way it’s a challenge; in a way it’s just tiring.

27.09.2006Wednesday 27 September – Cairns

Suffering from an extreme lack of sleep, I still managed to get up in time to get to work—running pretty much on autopilot, and then complete an entire day at work.
I did some emergency maintenance on a website, and packed for Cooktown. Our flatmate who is currently in Africa’s boyfriend came over and borrowed her bike. I fed our other flatmate’s fish as she’s gone away for the night. I’m worried that the only thing keeping me awake—and alive—is a temporary sugar high.
Bronwen’s Dad dropped Bronwen and I to the airport, from where we caught a Jetstar Airbus A330 flight to Cairns, arriving twenty minutes late, at midnight. The flights cost $634 return for the both of us.

28.09.2006Thursday 28 September – Cooktown

Bronwen and I spent the night at Shan and Kylie’s, catching an early flight to Cooktown on an eight-seater Cessna Titan 404, at a cost of $220 for the both of us. Mum picked us up from the Cooktown aerodrome, and we spent the rest of the day alternating between talking to Mum, Sarah, and wandering around Cooktown—going for a walk up Grassy Hill in the evening.

29.09.2006Friday 29 September – Home Rule & The Wallaby Creek Festival

After a relaxing morning in Cooktown, Bronwen and I drove out to Rossville and the Wallaby Creek Festival out at Home Rule, where we met Shan, Kylie and Ella again, along with Dad, Jade and Beau, and a stack of old Rossville acquaintances.
Early Morning
Bronwen and I dumped our mattress between a few cars out the front of Joneses and slept in the gale-force wind, under the stars, with our sleeping bag tucked in around us to stop it blowing away. Despite the wind, we had a fantastic sleep, worn out from our trip up and the festival.

30.09.2006Saturday 30 September – Home Rule

Bronwen and I were woken quite early when the sun hit us. Even after pulling our mattress right to the side of the car, we couldn’t go back to sleep, so got up. Bronwen even went for a swim at the “Blue Marker”—I refrained in case the sub-human temperature of the water killed a vital organ.
I had a pleasant day wandering around the festival, enjoying the music and atmosphere, and meeting old acquaintances.
Bronwen and I slept under the stars again.

01.10.2006Sunday 1 October – Lion’s Den Pizza

Once again, Bronwen and I were woken when the sun hit us, but after getting to bed at a slightly more humane hour last night, it didn’t seem so bad. We spent another enjoyable day wandering around the festival.
Dad, Mum, Bronwen and I had pizza for dinner at the Lion’s Den Hotel, before heading back to Cooktown.

02.10.2006Monday 2 October – Cairns & Silas

We had a quiet morning at Mum’s in town.
Mum drove Bronwen and I to the aerodrome, where we caught another eight-seater Cessna Titan 404 to Cairns—a forty-five minute, $220 flight into a headwind. Shan picked us up from the airport in Cairns, and we drove to the mud and mangrove strewn esplanade, giving Bronwen a quick tour of the curvaceous highlights of Cairns.
Silas picked up Bronwen and I, and drove us to an Indian restaurant where we had dinner and a chat, followed by a walk along the esplanade.

03.10.2006Tuesday 3 October – Brisbane & Work

I got up, woke Bronwen, called a taxi, and caught it to the airport.
Bronwen and I departed Cairns in a Jetstar Airbus A330, arriving in Brisbane two hours later.
After picking up my luggage, I caught a train home.
A quick unpack, shower, and some ice cream, custard and cream later, and I found myself back at work—as tired as I’d been when I last left.
I left work, caught the train home, put some washing on, watered the garden, played around with the binoculars I’d brought back down with me, and listened to some “E Nomine”, which I quite like.

04.10.2006Wednesday 4 October – The Devil Wears Prada

After a nice sleep-in, I found myself again at work, which is where this sentence trails off…
I walked from work to South Bank, meeting Bronwen there and seeing “The Devil Wears Prada”, which, while entertaining, was ruined by its typically trite “Hollywood” ending.

05.10.2006Thursday 5 October – Work

Six people were made redundant at work today, due to the new integration with Melbourne IT. I also had my first proper unpleasant call—a BigPond customer who did not have an account with us, and had been transferred here by the department I was trying to transfer him back to, and who was not happy at all.
Another day at work, with very little else to report. These midday to eight o’clock shifts aren’t fitting in with my exercise schedule—I’m too lazy to exercise in the morning and I don’t have time when I get home.

06.10.2006Friday 6 October – Working (As Usual)

I did some work on one of my websites, adding more bikes and fixing up a few things since the site was split into two different brands.
So far, at work today, I’ve come in to find that there were almost no jobs in the job system at all—which is a first (at least since I’ve been here) and that Tony, one of the level 1’s, is leaving. I then got in trouble for promptly providing a customer-facing response in response to a hidden response from level 3, which took them two days to get around to. Apparently, I should have attempted to do more than just tell them what our senior technicians told us.

07.10.2006Saturday 7 October – Surfer’s Paradise & White Chocolate Cheesecake

God looked down from above, and he saw Ned and Bronwen, missing their train. After getting his morning cup of tea, he noticed them transferring to the next Beenleigh train—and he smiled. A short while later, looking up from his paper, he saw Ned and Bronwen getting off their train, and onto a waiting bus. Glancing down, halfway through his cereal, he noticed that Ned and Bronwen had finally made their way to Kingston, and were walking towards Joe’s place.
  Having just cleaned his teeth, God noticed Ned and Bronwen had left Joe’s place—having had a good chat—had caught the train to Nerang, and were waiting in line, wondering if they’d fit on the waiting Gold Coast bus or not. Just then, the phone rang—it was God’s chauffeur, waiting to take him to work. Meanwhile, Ned and Bronwen had managed to get on the bus, and navigate the stop-light-ridden streets to Surfer’s Paradise.
  On his first cigarette break of the day, God noticed Ned and Bronwen had finished their Hungry Jack’s breakfast-lunch, had a pleasant wander along the beach, a nice swim (although the waves were breaking far too soon), finished their afternoon argument, and were waiting for the bus back to the train station. Then his pager went off—again.
After having a cold shower (our hot water broke, was looked at on Friday, looked at again today, and can’t be replaced until Monday) Bronwen and I took Bronwen’s parents to Freestyle, where I engorged myself with a white-chocolate cheesecake.

08.10.2006Sunday 8 October – Working

I went grocery shopping.
I went to work, over at East Brisbane.

09.10.2006Monday 9 October – Nail Fungus

Today I received this email: “Hello, I’m emailing you today to request a link exchange between our website and yours. I found your website by searching Google for ‘Nail Fungus’”. Nail fungus?
I rode home from work, and then onto Clint’s, where I spent a few hours along with Allan. We dropped past McDonald’s at some point—they turn their ice-cream machine off at night. I didn’t get to bed until around four o’clock.

10.10.2006Tuesday 10 October – Rain, Lateness & Madness

Ned ride to work. He work. He ride home. He have to go via Roma Street Parklands, because men in orange refuse roads to him.
I’d ridden through a light misty rain to Clint’s, and we’d gone for a walk around the suburbs, hurrying back to his place as it began to drizzle more seriously. It was here that it happened—I think it was the second mint slice that did it—I switched from “normal” to “I’ve been up all night/my assignment must be nearly due/why is the fan spinning?” It also began to rain. I picked up my bike, rode across the road, and hit the concrete thing on the other side. Having recovered from this unexpected lump in my life’s journey, I rode into a bus-stop-sign. Still alive, I flew towards the bend around Dave’s Ampol (which isn’t an Ampol, for some reason). It was here that reality—and the icy cold rain—struck me, and I realised that missing the bend would result in holes, and it was far better not to have holes. The rest of the ride home was a mixture between a slush-puppy machine and my freezer, and I ended up very cold and very wet. The water flicking off the road up my back was particularly unappreciated.
Fighting the router to try to get it to stop freezing up when I pound it with EMule traffic. I’ve turned off application-protocol-sniffing and simplified the QoS rules a little, and disabled a pile of other rarely-used features, and will see how that goes. Now, bed.

11.10.2006Wednesday 11 October – Can’t Remember

I got a bit behind in my journaling, and can’t remember what happened today.

12.10.2006Thursday 12 October – N/A

I neglected to record my exciting activities today.

13.10.2006Friday 13 October – Missing

Once again, I neglected to record the exhilarating and bamboozling things I might have done today.

14.10.2006Saturday 14 October – Sunburnt at Stradbroke

Today I successfully managed to ensure I’d be in pain for the next few days. I got up absurdly early, and drove with Maz and Clint to Cleveland, missing the seven o’clock ferry to Stradbroke by a minute. A pie later, we caught the next ferry, and then a bus, to Point Lookout, walked along Flinders Beach until we found Maz’s parent’s camp, and spent the rest of the day digging a big hole, and rerouting a creek. It was the few hours in the sun digging a dam and canal that got me sunburnt, though it was quite an achievement to have successfully altered the course of a creek.

15.10.2006Sunday 15 October – Multicultural Festival

Attended Brisbane’s Multicultural Festival at the South Bank Parklands with Bronwen, in the boiling hot sun. It was like a small Woodford. I noticed all the SLR cameras people were carrying, and wished I had one myself.

16.10.2006Monday 16 October – Work, Early

Back to seven o’clock starts—oh, the pain.

17.10.2006Tuesday 17 October – The Departed

I am very, very sleepy. I stayed up far too late last night for a twenty to six start this morning, missed the train, caught a bus to Hungry Jack’s for breakfast, and walked to work from there.
I had to be at the South Bank cinemas by six o’clock, but as it doesn’t take long by bus, I decided to leave it until the last minute and watch some “Little Britain” episodes with Jalyn. This turned out to be a bad idea, as one of the overpasses on the riverside expressway had annoyingly developed “hairline cracks” (according to local media), although the story I got from a policeman at the scene was a bit different. The resulting rushed walk to South Bank was quite exciting—against the severe backdrop of a steely grey sky— with just a hint of rain—several helicopters were hovering overhead, the Suncorp clock was off, power had failed to park road, police and traffic controllers were everywhere, and there was an ambulance picking up a pregnant woman near the cinemas.
  I managed to make it to the cinemas just on six o’clock, a good while before any of the cars I walked past would have been able to get there, and watched “The Departed” with Bronwen. It was quite a powerful movie, and managed to avoid the stereotypical “everyone lives happily ever after” Hollywood ending.

18.10.2006Wednesday 18 October – Sleepy

Wednesday 18 October – Sleepy

19.10.2006Thursday 19 October – Not Sure

I can’t remember what I did today. Not in the exciting “it’s all black” kind of way, but in the “I wrote this in a few days time and couldn’t remember what I’d done” way.

20.10.2006Friday 20 October – Don

Saw “Don” (a Bollywood action movie) with Bronwen at the Regent—fantastic movie, so much better than almost any Hollywood movie.

21.10.2006Saturday 21 October – Camera Hunting & Children of Men

Maz came over. Caught a bus into the city, went to Sony Central with Bronwen and Maz. Bronwen then left and Maz and I went to a few camera shops, looking at the Sony α100 and the Canon 400D. Unfortunately, no one had the Nikon D80.
Maz and I went and looked at a few more cameras at Indooroopilly with Kieran, and dropped around to Kieran’s place for a while.
It’s raining. Bronwen and I saw “Children of Men” at South Bank, after a pleasant dinner.

22.10.2006Sunday 22 October – Crank

Walked to Bronwen’s parent’s place, where I abandoned Bronwen, then back to Maz’s place, and on to his aunt’s to pick up a lawnmower, then to a friend’s Mum’s place to have a look at her Nikon D80.
Clint picked Maz and I up, and we saw “Crank” at Indooroopilly. I’m not sure what to say about Crank—they didn’t bother with the plot, because it already had all the ingredients for a fantastic movie.

23.10.2006Monday 23 October – The Light Bulb

Our particularly bright, and rather expensive, light bulb ceased to light. This caused great consternation, so—risking life and limb—I managed to climb onto a milk crate, wedged on top of two chairs, and remove the light bulb. As it is a rather expensive light bulb, I tried it in a lamp stand, and found that it worked. Being worth more than my life and limbs, I again risked them, to put the light bulb back, now working. So now we know how many of me it takes to change a light bulb.
Went to town, looked at cameras. Then went to work.

24.10.2006Tuesday 24 October – Working


25.10.2006Wednesday 25 October – New Camera

Called in sick at work, and phoned several places to find camera. It is very hard to get. Ended up going to Oxley and getting the black Canon 400D with 17—85mm IS USM lens that I wanted, for $2000 from Harvey Norman, including $59 for three additional years of extended warranty—which is around $500 below their listed price. Had to argue quite a bit to get them to match the price Maz had got from Harvey Norman’s at Indooroopilly. Apparently, he had to argue a lot to get them to match the price we’d be quoted from Rainer’s. And Rainer’s doesn’t have black in stock—and were quite rude when I was looking at cameras.
Having spent hours getting to Oxley and picking up my camera—the train I caught stopped one station short of Oxley, and the connecting bus was going to take so long to arrive that I walked, which turned out to be a very long, hot walk through what appears to be a wasteland, complete with abandoned waterslide. Once home, I charged up my camera battery, bought a 4 GB CF card from Umart, and took a few photos. Maz dropped around later, and we went and took a few photos of nothing in particular.
Had pasta for dinner from Caffe E with Bronwen.

26.10.2006Thursday 26 October – Govinda’s

Had lunch at Govinda’s, and bought a camera bag and wired remote.
Walked home from work taking photos. I’m very impressed with my new camera. Already it’s solved the majority of issues I was having with my old camera—the wide lens is brilliant, and the speed at which I can compose and take photos is fantastic. I’m also able to take photos in the dark without any screens or backlights showing up—which was something that annoyed me with my old camera.
I walked home from work along the river through the city taking some photos.

27.10.2006Friday 27 October – More Photography

I walked home through the city again, taking some photos. Bronwen was up when I got home, which was nice.

28.10.2006Saturday 28 October – Curry Night

Cam came around. Bronwen went to Simon’s memorial service. We all went to Cam and Tina’s Curry Night later, which was nice, and I had a look at a few lenses that one of the people there had.

29.10.2006Sunday 29 October – Photos & Chez Tessa

Went for a walk around the city with Maz, taking photos, and then up to Kieran’s for a while, and then to Chez Tessa for dinner with Clint and Bronwen, which we ate at Mount Coot-Tha.

30.10.2006Monday 30 October – Working Early

Working early is nasty after a week of late shifts.
I finally did my tax.

31.10.2006Tuesday 31 October – Working

Work, as usual.

01.11.2006Wednesday 1 November – Mount Tibrogargan

Working and so on. Bought a tripod after work and went for a drive with Clint, Clus and Maz, and an abortive night climb up Mount Tibrogargan. Neither Maz or I had realised the climb was part of the trip, so hadn’t brought so much as a pack—and climbing up a mountain in the dark holding a camera and a tripod wasn’t proving to be too easy. Checking the weather and finding there was a storm warning was the last straw, and we aborted the climb less than a quarter of the way up, heading to Mooloolaba instead.

02.11.2006Thursday 2 November – Work

Working and so on.

03.11.2006Friday 3 November – Work

Still working and so on.

04.11.2006Saturday 4 November – Rain & Irish Nachos

Bronwen wanted to have breakfast at the funny Tibetan house thing (it does have a name, but I can’t think at the moment) at South Bank, but it was raining so we ended up walking into the city during the slightly less rainy periods of the day, hiding in a tunnel halfway and getting stuck in the city in the rain. Still, it was nothing that a good dose of nachos from an Irish pub couldn’t fix.
Bronwen, Maz and I went for a walk along Kangaroo Cliffs taking photos.

05.11.2006Sunday 5 November – From Russia with Love

Went shopping with Bronwen. Watched “From Russia with Love”.

06.11.2006Monday 6 November – Raining

It’s raining everywhere in Brisbane except the catchments for the dams.
I walked home from work in the rain, stopping to take a few photos of the city and Kangaroo Cliffs, carefully from under my umbrella. I then stayed up until the lightening dawn scared me into getting some sleep.

07.11.2006Tuesday 7 November – Sleeping

I woke up just in time to get ready for work, fortunately.
I woke up just in time to get ready for work, fortunately.

08.11.2006Wednesday 8 November – Dolphins

I’d figured I’d leave for work a little early and stop off at South Bank and have a look around, perhaps find some photo opportunities. I even managed to get ready early—only to find a big storm brewing, although I did see some dolphins from the back of the City Cat.
No big storm, but it is raining and there’s some lightning around. My backup got sick and went home. I managed to make the last City Cat home.

09.11.2006Thursday 9 November – Tripods

It’s quite windy, and there’s a lot of cloud around, but it’s not actually raining. I’m tossing up whether I should take my camera or not. In other camera-related news, I found the instruction manual for my tripod, and read it. Who would have thought you needed an instruction manual for a tripod—but I discovered that I can twist a certain tube, increasing the tension on the upsy-downsy bit, stopping it from slacking around as it is currently. I’m impressed—a tripod with hidden features.
I walked home—apart from the train from Central—and from there on to Clint’s place, where we waited until the rain had stopped, and then went for a walk around the suburbs. Somehow, when I got home, it was four o’clock in the morning, and I remembered that I had to get up early to go to a food and wine festival.

10.11.2006Friday 10 November – Good Food & Wine

Bronwen and I went to the “Good Food and Wine Show” at the Exhibition Centre, where I ate hundreds of dollars worth of chocolate, along with some rare and complex dips and other complex dainties. Not too bad for a free ticket Bronwen got by looking forlorn and wet when we got stuck in the rain.
I had lunch at Govinda’s, and then caught a City Cat to work, where I’m hoping I’ll be able to stay awake.
I booked the flights for Mum’s trip down over Christmas.
Comment by Adela – Tuesday 14 November 2006, 5:59 AM
  So what ever happened to your interest in Neurocam? Only lasted for a day or two in 2004?
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 14 November 2006, 8:35 AM
  It seemed like a strange and weird idea, which interested me, but after some research it began to sound like a pointless Melbourne art experiment, so I lost interest.
Comment by Maz – Monday 20 November 2006, 5:24 PM
  Memo to Ned: It's not the 10th anymore.
Comment by Ned – Monday 20 November 2006, 8:06 PM
  By the powers–you’re right! I shall update this.

11.11.2006Saturday 11 November – Remembrance Day & Soccer

Bronwen and I caught a bus into the city and attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at ANZAC Square.
Clint, Bronwen and I attended the soccer: Brisbane versus Adelaide, at Lang Park.

12.11.2006Sunday 12 November – Quiet

A quiet day, with a quiet walk around South Bank at night.

13.11.2006Monday 13 November – Work

Today I… worked—seven to three.

14.11.2006Tuesday 14 November – Work

Today I… worked again.

15.11.2006Wednesday 15 November – Stormy

Today I… worked, although there was a short-lived but quite violent storm, which took the roof off the Paddington Antique Centre.

16.11.2006Thursday 16 November – Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

I’ve a day off work today, which is great. Both Ryan and I felt very “Friday” yesterday, and couldn’t have coped very well with working today. The downside, I suppose, is that I have to work Saturday.
I’ve begun the day by tweaking my new photo system—it now displays the newest photos first, multiple pages per category if there are over fifty photos in a category, and seems to be all working, as it should.
Bronwen and I drove out to the Cirque du Soleil and watched their “Varekai” performance for our second anniversary—truly, breathtakingly, amazing.

17.11.2006Friday 17 November – Working

Working, sadly. Haven’t yet figured out how to get rich quick.
Maz and I had a walk through the city, taking photos.

18.11.2006Saturday 18 November – Working

I’m working, sigh. Three to eleven.

19.11.2006Sunday 19 November – Relaxing

Bronwen and I went shopping.
Bronwen and I walked up to Clint’s, and then into the city and back.

20.11.2006Monday 20 November – Working

I’m working midday to eight o’clock this week, which isn’t such a bad compromise.

21.11.2006Tuesday 21 November – Work

I worked, and that—I’m sad to say—is about all.

22.11.2006Wednesday 22 November – Working & Walking

I had a normal day at work, followed by a short walk around the city, and then sleep.

23.11.2006Thursday 23 November – Dreaming & A Site Update

There was some sort of conflict. I was in control of a bridge over some river. Lots of cars and trucks were trying to cross the bridge, from their side into ours. I, and my men, on my command, had to shoot indiscriminately into them, to stop them. Once stopped, we then had to help the same people we’d just been shooting cross the bridge—in a more controlled manner, minus their cars. During this, we were strafed by the enemy, causing chaos and damaging the bridge. Then, we found that the enemy were on the ground, approaching from behind the fleeing refugees, so we had to hurry across as many as possible, while under fire from aircraft, before blowing up the bridge. The irony of shooting into the same people we then had to try and rescue, which delayed their crossing the bridge long enough that we didn’t have enough time to get them all across before coming under fire was very sad—but necessary. And then I woke up.
Marjorie moved all her stuff out today.
I decided it was finally time to get rid of the much-maligned red and green style from, and a few hours later—it’s got a new, aqua, “Windows Live Messenger” default colour theme inspired theme. In fact, every colour was grabbed directly from Windows Live Messenger, for want of better inspiration. It’s complex updating such an old site that’s been running for so long—I have no idea how parts of it work. I can’t remember when I first started it, but has it dating back to 2002, so I’m guessing I must have started it sometime late 2000 or early 2001, and there’s parts dating back to then still lurking, along with myriads of updates since then. Now it’s quite late, and I should get to bed.

24.11.2006Friday 24 November – Work

I worked.

25.11.2006Saturday 25 November – Dhoom 2

Bronwen and I had dinner at Tara Thai, followed by “Dhoom 2”, a Bollywood action film which will give James Bond a run for his money—it had about a thousand attractive women, and several amazing action heroes.

26.11.2006Sunday 26 November – Climbing & Shopping

Bronwen went climbing at Kangaroo Point. I walked down and took a few photos, and had lunch at a place in the valley with Bronwen and her climbing friends. In the afternoon, we went shopping at Indooroopilly.

27.11.2006Monday 27 November – Chaos

I’m on early shifts, seven to three, at EB.
We had a power failure, followed by a partial network failure and Exchange platform failure. This caused chaos, and stressed out Brendan who is performing his first day at WUG, along with Trevor.

28.11.2006Tuesday 28 November – The Borat Saga, Part 1

I worked.
Jalyn got back.
I’ve been trying to go see Borat ever since it came out last Thursday. Everyone was busy on Thursday so I arranged to see it with some friends on Friday. Come Friday, they were sunburnt and too tired—even though they then stayed up all night. Saturday I was seeing another movie, and Sunday was out. Monday people said they’d come, but not until Tuesday, and on Tuesday they couldn’t go because girls they were chasing wanted to go on Thursday.
  So, I decided I’d go anyway—but I couldn’t pre-book tickets as Bronwen said she’d probably come, but she wasn’t sure what time. Being the clever, modest, and organised individual that I am, I arranged to meet her at the cinema, well in advance of the movie, and had showered and left ready to catch the bus, with plenty of time to spare, when she called to say she’d rather come home first and get pizza. I advised her there would not be enough time, but women being women (fortunately, I suppose—women who aren’t women, or are UQ Union members, are disturbing), I ended up walking up to the pizza place, getting all hot and sweaty and ruining my lovely freshly-showered effect, to get pizza. Unsurprisingly, we then missed the bus, had to rush and catch another bus, amazingly still getting to the cinema just in time—to find that it was sold out.

29.11.2006Wednesday 29 November – The Borat Saga, Part 2

The air has evaporated and there’s just heat left.
The Borat drama continues. Maz and I drove to the “Creative Commons Salon” at QUT’s funny arty Kelvin Grove campus, meeting Bronwen there, arriving around six. Shortly before seven, Bronwen and I decided the Creative Commons event was nearly over, and we’d leave to go see Borat.
  Unfortunately, instead of catching a bus from the bus way stop, we decided there was a Normanby train station nearby, and headed off to find it. It became more and more obvious that there wasn’t a train station nearby when we became stuck on the wrong side of the freeway and the train line was on the other side, and when we ended up a fair way down a road that was going roughly the opposite direction to that we wanted to go.
  At around the same time the movie started, we got to the Normanby bus station (which was not close, and not a train station), all hot and sweaty from rushing. We then walked home, having again missed the movie.
  To make it even worse, I then checked online, and found that the Creative Commons Salon essentially started at seven—the period we’d stayed for was just the boring introduction speeches—so not only did we miss that, but we missed the movie too. Oh, and tonight was the last night the movie was showing at the large screen.

30.11.2006Thursday 30 November – The Borat Saga, Part 3

I’d like to try again to get to Borat, even if it isn’t on the big screen anymore, but I’m worried I may be hit by meteorites, or catch bird flu—though Maz has offered to come along, as apparently things don’t go wrong when he’s there. I’m not sure if Bronwen will want to come—I may still be in the ogre stage.
It’s a strange colour outside, and there’s no people. I’m not sure if I missed the announcement that Brisbane has been shut due to unexpected alien invasion, the apocalypse, “the perfect storm”, or what, but it’s quite eerie.
Later Morning
Oh, I have worked out why it’s eerie—the air evaporated yesterday, leaving just heat, and now it’s not hot anymore, so we’re surrounded by ectoplasm, the substance of strange, eerie-cold when it shouldn’t be.
Maz and I caught a bus into South Bank, arriving just mildly late, where we met Bronwen and watched “Borat”—a foolish, unamusing disappointment. I am not sure why other people in the cinema were laughing aloud—it’s worrying.

01.12.2006Friday 1 December – Working


02.12.2006Saturday 2 December – People’s Day

People’s Day—opening of Gallery of Modern Art and State Library. Bronwen and I attend. I take many photos and view lots of art. Clint comes after some time.

03.12.2006Sunday 3 December – Cycling Grand Prix

Went and took a few hundred photos of a cycling race at South Bank, experimenting with action photography.

04.12.2006Monday 4 December – Walking

Working 7 to 3, back in the city.
I went for a walk around the city with Maz, taking photos of people. Discovered that I can’t really take portraits with my lens—especially not in low light—while Maz can take brilliant portraits with his. Will have to correct this.

05.12.2006Tuesday 5 December – Portraiture

I walked from work into the city and bought a Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens for $125—Canon’s lightest, and just about cheapest, lens. It’s a lovely portraiture lens, not in the same class as Maz’s one, but realistically, just as good for what I want to do with it. I’ve already managed to capture quite a nice photo—just down the road from the camera shop there were a few Red Cross girls, so I took their photos.

06.12.2006Wednesday 6 December – Spastically Sleepy & Macro Photography

I was spastically sleepy, getting up just after half past five, having gone to bed sometime after two o’clock—not allowing for much sleep. Starting work at seven wasn’t fun.
I tried inverting my new 50mm lens on the end of my existing lens, and took some macros shots—which quite impressed me. I managed to take a photo of newspaper, high enough resolution that I can easily see the paper fibres.

07.12.2006Thursday 7 December – James Bond: Casino Royale

Worked, sleepily.
I caught a bus to the city, meeting Bronwen at South Bank. The queue for Casino Royale was the longest I’ve yet seen at South Bank—instead of using the normal entry to the cinema, they had people queuing the length of the foyer, and back again, and entering via a foyer-level fire exit. The movie itself wasn’t what I’d come to expect from a typical “Bond” movie, containing more depth and emotion than usual, but was quite a good movie. We were all given surveys to fill out by Sony, although I lost my free survey pencil.
After the movie, Bronwen and I walked home, and packed for our trip to Stradbroke tomorrow. I didn’t get to bed until midnight, making this the third night in a row where I’ll have had less than, or horribly close to, five hours sleep.

08.12.2006Friday 8 December – Stradbroke

I packed my mostly pre-prepared pile of things into my backpack, and headed off to work. For some inexplicable reason, I’m less tired than I was yesterday morning.
I caught the train to Cleveland, meeting Bronwen on the way, and the ferry from there to Stradbroke.

09.12.2006Saturday 9 December – Stradbroke

Bronwen and I spent a very relaxing day at Stradbroke, sleeping a lot.

10.12.2006Sunday 10 December – Stradbroke

Bronwen and I enjoyed our last day at Stradbroke, before catching the ferry and a train back home.

11.12.2006Monday 11 December – Working

Working 12 to 8 this week. The sleep-in is a welcome change.

12.12.2006Tuesday 12 December – Work


13.12.2006Wednesday 13 December – Shot by Police

Called in sick at work. Caught the bus to the Jianshe Imports warehouse in Acacia Ridge, where I had a chat to Roberto, their new advertising and marketing man. Bus home.
Clint and I bus into the city and on to Annerley, where we go through all the op shops, before bussing to Paddington via the city and lunch, where we again op-shop. We then become stuck in the rush for the Robbie Williams concert
Clint and I walked to Cold Rock, where we met Maz. On the way, we noticed a police car pulling up behind us. Fairly obviously, they were going to harass us, but rather than stop walking, we figured we’d make them stop us. What we didn’t expect, was them firing what sounded exactly like a cap gun. I’m not sure if this is some new police policy to attract attention, or what—but it is quite disturbing to be very aware that there is a police car pulling up behind you, and then hear what sounds disturbingly like a shot. They were looking for graffiti artists, and wanted to know what was in my camera bag— which turned out to be my camera surprisingly—though I probably shouldn’t have told them that I liked photographing graffiti.

14.12.2006Thursday 14 December – Working & Climbing

Worked. Picked up two more 4 GB compact flash cards from Umart.
Another Robbie Williams concert made the buses late, so I walked only to find the footpath closed. It had a helpful sign—“Use other Footpath”. Unfortunately, the other footpath was on the other side of a rather large cliff. I had to climb 12-foot gate, in front of rows of police and security.

15.12.2006Friday 15 December – Clint’s Graduation & Work Christmas Party

I attend Clint’s graduation, taking lots of photos. It is very hot. The ceremony is smaller and quicker than last year.
I catch one of the last 407’s (they’re being discontinued—replaced by a faster route via the Green Bridge—today) to the city, where I spend a long time going from menswear shop to menswear shop, hunting for a “wine red” glossy shirt. Eventually find one. Now perfectly coordinated with Bronwen’s outfit.
Attend work Christmas party. Enjoy self. Take photos.

16.12.2006Saturday 16 December – Maz’s Birthday Dinner

Bronwen gone to see her grandfather for the weekend. I make page of photos from Christmas party. Clint and I go for walk through city. It rains. Clint and I pick up Maz and have Maz’s birthday dinner at Kieran’s, getting home quite late. Clint and I go for another short walk around the suburbs, and I get back to my computer around a quarter to two, sadly having to get up horribly early tomorrow to get to work. Instead of rushing to bed, I stay up until around three.

17.12.2006Sunday 17 December – Sleepy & Working

Mildly sleepy. Possibly related to three hours sleep last night. Think this is result of going to bed sometime around three o’clock. Missed City Cat to work by around forty minutes. Taxi only cost $16 and taxi driver was quite fun. Hurts to open eyes, but having difficulty working with eyes closed. Feels a lot like the delirium resulting from completing a semester’s work in a night. Repeat to self, “I enjoy a challenge… I work better under pressure”. Refocus gaze. Remember to blink, need to keep eyeballs lubricated.
  Work is fun. I feel like I should be tracking bogeys on high-tech radar, calling in “fire at will”, “acquire target”, “take target down”—but sadly am fighting a more high-tech war.
Clint and I went and got cheap pizza, which we ate at Mount Coot-Tha, before going for a walk around the local ‘burbs. Once again, I got to bed too late to get enough sleep.

18.12.2006Monday 18 December – Working Sleepily

Generically normal day at work, working from seven to three in the fish bowl, and very sleepy. I messaged the man I bought Mum’s Woodford ticket from, and called Woodford twice regarding it, but still haven’t received it. Will have to call them every half hour tomorrow until I get a satisfactory response.

19.12.2006Tuesday 19 December – Work

Working. Seems my mail server won’t accept mail from Woodford—sent to another address and received fine.

20.12.2006Wednesday 20 December – Work

Working. Bronwen home late.

21.12.2006Thursday 21 December – Fireworks

Caught a bus in to South Bank, took a few photos and watched the Christmas Fireworks.

22.12.2006Friday 22 December – Circus Lumina & More Fireworks

Not working today—working tomorrow instead. Slept in until midday. Cleaned most of the house with Bronwen, who came home from work early. Went and watched “Lumina”—a small circus—in the Queen Street Mall, and then the Christmas fireworks, before a quick “health food” dinner at Hungry Jack’s, and now I’m off to have my customary five-hour-ish sleep before work in the morning.

23.12.2006Saturday 23 December – Still Working

I managed to get up early enough to get ready and make the city cat for work. The rest is an automatic response—now on autopilot over here at EB.

24.12.2006Sunday 24 December – Mum

Bronwen attended a Christmas party, and I attended to myself.
The hero met his mother, as befits the end of a Greek tragedy. The setting—Roma Street Train Station, having just rushed back from buying cheap takeaway food—was less fitting.
The mother, the girlfriend, and the hero went out to dinner, where they ate too much Indian curry.

25.12.2006Monday 25 December – Christmas

Today some parts of me became older. To celebrate, my Mother, Bronwen and I, had a delightful smorgasbord lunch, as tradition warrants. Then, Bronwen left for her parent’s Christmas do, a transformer across the road—or its insulator, at least—exploded, loudly and brightly, and Mum and I chatted pleasantly. It even rained a little.

26.12.2006Tuesday 26 December – Woodford

Up early to pack. Off to Woodford with Bronwen’s dad. We stop at some of Bronwen’s relatives for breakfast.
Arrive at Woodford, find campsite quite near where we camped last time, up on “Cloud Nine”. Set up tents and so forth. It rains. Tents leak.

27.12.2006Wednesday 27 December – Wet Woodford

It rains more. Much mud. Many mud people. We’ve mostly managed to stop our tents leaking now.

28.12.2006Thursday 28 December – Wet Woodford

More rain, more mud. Woodford wet.

29.12.2006Friday 29 December – Dry Woodford

Finally, a clear day! Now it’s hot and dusty, but the atmosphere is electrifying—lots of people are coming out of the woodwork.

30.12.2006Saturday 30 December – Woodford

Another exciting day at the Woodford Folk Festival. Dry and hot.

31.12.2006Sunday 31 December – New Year’s Eve

Woodford. A little bit of rain in the evening. Bronwen and I stay up all night, watching the decomposition of the “Sensitive New Age Cowpersons” until well after three o’clock, and then rushing up to the dawn ceremony.

Summary| Highlights| 2006 (Year View)

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