Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Pond cleaning

Anyone have any good ideas how to clean out a pond? This has a couple of limitations - it cannot be refilled due to water restrictions, and there are at least 2 goldfish residents who have carved a tunnel and cave out of the sludge that is currently in the pond. I want to get the sludge out, let it refill with rain, and keep the fish alive (I don't have anywhere to put the fish while doing this. I also need to get some form of recycling bubbler/waterfall thingy in there to improve the water for the (big) fishies.

At the moment I am dreading having to remove sludge 1-2 handfuls at a time, sludge is nearly as bad as spiders.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


Something has hit me today... or rather lots of little (and not so little) things have built up so that I have come down with the hugest migraine I have had since high school. I can't see much (especially in the light), incredibly nauseous, have no balance, and my legs aren't working, and the pain... it's been a while since I've nearly passed out from the pain. For the first time in honours I have left a lecture half way through because I was so sick. At least I have a bean bag in my office - less far to fall. Somehow I have to explain the tutorial and prac being covered after the break to the tutors in 15 minutes. Eeek.....

I don't know why the phrase 'sick as a dog' came into existence. Surely everything can be sick to the same level?

Monday, September 22, 2003


Everything is happening at once, and not just small things :-\ Bernie is moving, we had to go through the house in minute detail for the condition report (decided to take photos of everything, and hand in a CD with the report), CSSE is moving (I'll be moving on Friday), the final test and exam have been written, I have 3 large assignments due in a couple of weeks (one more, an exam and a research paper to go for the subjects), I'll be moving in a month, and I'm in so much pain it's ridiculous. *sigh* Thus I won't be updating this page over frequently.... Possibly with some photos of the new house when I get some time/energy to do some non-thinking and non-physical work.

Random thought

I wonder how many real estate agents, employers, credit checkers etc do a Google search on a name these days, to find out what sort of person you are (even though it may not be accurate)? I have an unusual name.. not many have my odd spellings.. Note - Kymberly Eirlys sounds ridiculous when spelt out using German pronunciation of the letters - why on earth is 'y' pronouced "oopsilon"??

Sunday, September 14, 2003

The lack...

Again, I'm in a rut. I have no motivation to do anything, although I wrote a neat test today (least I think it's neat, not sure what the students and/or Debbie will think). I'm trying to find the impetus to push me to start finishing the rest of the compression assignment, and it's not working. It's completely annoying, hard to understand and the teacher doesn't understand what is being taught, so the assignment questions don't make sense for a number of reasons.

Am getting excited about moving - signed the lease today, and we get the keys next Friday night. *bounce* We are going to take a kettle, cups, tea bags, folding chairs and grab dinner at Pinewood chicken shop, then measure everything! We are within walking distance to Pinewood, and the best chicken shop I have ever been to, not to mention an excellent butcher, grocer, pharmacist, 24 hour Coles and a cheap small cinema with gorgeous sound. The pizza place we recently discovered (that makes the best pizza I have ever eaten) will deliver to the new house (it's near my current house), and we are also within walking distance to another shopping center with a 24 hour Coles. Unfortunately there are no fabric/craft stores in any nearby places, and Alasya hasn't magically moved any closer, but that's about all I can complain about, for location of shops/food places. Basically it's in the area that I had considered ideal :>

I want it to be Friday, where compression assignment is handed in, parallel assignment readings have been collected and read, and can spend an evening exploring, planning and condition reporting the new place.

US$200 bill

The description of the US$200 bill used to pay a grocery store in the US, is quite amusing.

Thursday, September 11, 2003


Bernie mentioned last night that a survey of Australians that required people to rank their concerns about various issues, showed that most people were more concerned about council fees than about child abuse! As a survivor of 14 years of sexual abuse by my father, I think that this is despicable. As a human being I'm appalled at the lack of concern for abused children. The child abuse prevention association was also horrified, but I can't see the government doing anything more than they are currently. It's completely and utterly ridiculous. And then those people wonder why there are so many dysfunctional familes, troubled kids, suicides, drug users, and so much violence. BAH!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Bad head update

Seems like I always go much further than others when I get sick. As I am getting really bad sinusitis infections regularly, and I have an enlarged adenoid (the gland at the top of the throat, behind the nose), I'm going to get my sinuses thoroughly checked out. I can't have the medication that would work for it (allergic), neither can I have any migraine medicine (anti-inflamms are not allowed due to kidney disease).

It won't be till next year, when I actually have some money saved up, as it may require an operation to remove the adenoid (through the nose - apparently it's a very painful operation/recovery, yay :-\). I will be sent to a specialist to see if I have any polyps or growths anywhere else in the sinuses. But the current diagnosis of my headaches is that it is due to sinusitis. Another load of tests and MRIs - I'm so sick of it!

At the moment, it has also fostered a virus that has set my throat off and put fluid in one ear. I just hope no one complains that I'm not at uni for consultation, 'cos at the moment I don't have much patience.

Lashing out

I am going to have pizza. With cheese. I haven't had dairy in quite a while, as I think I am lactose intolerant (in a strange way). Going off dairy helped reduce the pain enormously, and as my body was getting used to not having it, any tiny amount caused bad cramps. However, I had some chocolate the other day and only felt heavy, no pain. So dammit, I am getting pizza. I don't have to teach on Friday, so can have pain-killers if necessary.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Rude housemate

I can't believe it. My current housemate, has deliberately opened snail-mail addressed to me (for the second time). This is after I had asked her not to. I feel horrible (violated is an over-strong word, it does apply to trust though). It's such a breach of privacy, shows an incredible lack of respect, no concern for privacy, and is probably the rudest thing anyone has ever done to me. (Not necessarily the meanest). I'm majorly annoyed and upset now.

New house

As you may be aware, the house I am currently living in is being demolished at the end of November (when the lease runs out). This prompted me and Bernie to decide to move in together. So we went house hunting (for the first time) on Saturday, had a look at one open house first, and then visited a couple of houses after getting the keys from the agents. The house open for inspection was well presented, just how well presented was not clear until we had seen some others. We ended up getting this one.

The first house we got the keys for was in a horrible state! There was junk (rusted iron bits, car bits, broken furniture and garden impelments, etc) throughout the yard and garage, the backyard was a mess, there were many broken windows (I saw 5), stuck together with sticky tape, the house was falling to bits inside (structurally, as well as the carpet, bathroom and kitchen fittings). Various locks and hinges on doors (inside and out) were broken. I was horrified, and walked around in shock. I have never actually seen a house in such bad disrepair. And they wanted $270 per week for it! The second house was advertised as a 4 bedroom, but one of the rooms would probably have been a dining room/study as there was no door, and you had to walk through it to get to the other 3 bedrooms. The third house had tenants in it, so it felt wrong to be looking through. Again, it was a 3 bedroom house with the main bedroom accessible through another room (counted as the 4th bedroom, similar to the previous house).

Having seen these three houses, the first one really stood out, so we applied on that same Saturday. After ringing around references and landlords, we were approved, bond has been paid and a contract has been half signed. There were a couple of wierd things in the contract which don't make sense: a clause "You agree that the whitegoods are in working order", (includes dishwasher/oven/hotplates). This was before we even have looked at the fittings properly, let alone tested them! There was also a clause "The previous tenant was the landlord". Never heard of that one before, no idea why it' a clause. And it was untrue - this landlord is a company, not a person, and companies don't live in houses. I hope the agents don't cause many problems, both of us have had excellent agents/landlords in the past, and neither of us will tolerate being screwed around. They are being stubborn about several things. However, we might be able to get a couple of cats sometime into the lease, yay!

So.... Bernie moves later this month, and I move at the end of October. However, the Comp Sci department is moving into a new building in the next few weeks, so I'll be moving offices as well. Busy times ahead with 3 moves.... ug..... I'm tired already.

Monday, September 8, 2003


I'm going to complain here about my honours data compression assignment. If there are any honours students that read this blog, doing cse457 who haven't handed in their assignment, they may benefit or sympathise.

I have just experienced something that occurs frequently in the IT industry. A program does not match it's documentation or specifications. This program was written in awk, which I would guess that none of the honours students are familiar with, and the assignment required us to modify it to analyse files to create a model for data compression (and find out the number of bits that file would take up).

The steps explained in the assignment sheet were very hard to understand, and the program we were provided with did not follow those steps. If we didn't know awk, how were we to tell? The output of the program is hideous, especially for special characters (\n \t etc).

But supposing we fixed the program and translated it into a language that we could understand (in this case perl because of it's parsing capabilities). The new program creates various distributions, computes entropies, and calculates the final number of bits that this scheme would use represent the analysed file in, all according to the assignment sheet (not following the supplied program).

However, the process itself is not accurate, because it assumes that the decoder (receiver) can 'mind-read' and find out what those distributions are before receiving the message! It doesn't take into account the number of bits needed to send the relative frequency distributions for each of the parts (hmmm... sounds like MML doesn't it). Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Now I have to deal with the last two questions, which again involves modifying provided code to compress binary images. I am desperately hoping the code is understandable and matches the documentation.

(Note - this assignment is the same as those from at least 1996 until now - nothing has changed).

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Doctor Incarnated

With Doctor Who just about to be shown again (and with all of my friends clambering to get a DigTV card for their computers in time to 'tape' it), I thought it fiitting that I should do this quiz (prompted by Wiz). Funnily enough, I'm my favourite doctor!

The Fourth Doctor

You are the Fourth Doctor: A walking Bohemian conundrum with a brooding personal magnetism and a first-rate intellect concealed somewhere beneath your charmingly goofy exterior. You are perhaps the most terribly clever of all the Doctors, though your occasional bouts of childishness get you in trouble. You never go looking for a fight, but when someone messes with you... good heavens, are they ever sorry they did.

Which Incarnation of the Doctor Are You?

Bad head....

For some reason, the past five-six weeks have been riddled with migraines and bad headaches. This means I've been taking pain killers more often, which lowers the overall pain threshold. Prior to this, I hadn't had a migraine for months, not since I bought new glasses. The acupuncturist thought it might have been due to my period. But that's been and gone, and I've still got them. I'd better get my adenoid checked - the headaches might be caused by my sinuses. Or stress. I wish I knew! My chest has also been incredibly sore (costochondritis perhaps?), and my back is solid.

Finding the beginning to this cycle is impossible.

Ahh well... doctors visit Tuesday.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Bone cold...

I need some way to warm up from being completely cold through. Heaters, heat packs, baths, exercise, food, warm drinks, sun etc don't seem to be working today. And it's not even that cold! Suggestions (apart from the above) will be appreciated....