Thursday, November 27, 2003

Funny answer

I wouldn't normally post such a 'normal' quiz, except the result for me was amusing, and accurate.

I have a huge variety of tea in this house: jasmine, green, earl grey, lady grey, russian caravan, irish breakfast, english breakfast, chai (T2), botanica (T2), morning tea (T2), liquorice and peppermint (T2), beautea (T2), strawberry & cream (T2), liptons, madura, darjeeling, blackcurrant, peppermint, cammomile, red raspberry, cranberry raspberry & strawberry, traditional afternoon, rooibos chai, raspberry & peach, bushland, fruit tea, and a couple of german warming teas.

My current favourites are morning tea (T2), lady grey and earl grey.

I hardly drink coffee at all these days, partly as it is hard to find a coffee-soy milk combination that doesn't curdle, and the larger amounts of caffeine in coke, coffee and V causes stomach cramps, which in turn upset the adeno :-\ I have 3 different types of coffee despite this, but my brother is wearing that down quite quickly.

You're not Coffee, you're Tea. You're not Coffee, you're Tea! What Kind of Coffee are You? brought to you by Quizilla

Birthday goodness

Bernie spoilt me this year, first giving me Puff the purple dragon (photo forthcoming), then the Two Towers extended collectors edition (though, now that I've seen it I owe him a backrub), and a new faster computer well before my actual birthday. We watched the extended edition last night, and I loved it. I'll need to watch it again soon ;> (but I probably won't get more time before we go away - perhaps I should take it with me).

The Amazon order arrived containing the next three histories of middle earth (in large format paperback), and I splurged a bit in the city on a new necklace, belly dance chain, Settlers card game expansion and some other things.

The last thing left is my family thing on Saturday for both birthday and christmas, which I am completely dreading. Bernie's work end-of-year party is on Sunday, to which clients have been invited and a demo planned. I thought social functions were meant to not include working? It is dinner on a Yarra cruise which should be quite nice (providing they have some non-dairy alternatives).

All my shopping for the trip has been done (apart from a coat, which I'll get from Germany). With all these really warm clothes I'll definitely be set for next Winter in Melbourne!

Monday, November 24, 2003

Bad throat

Looks like the ever present sinusitis has turned into a bad throat infection, right before I go away. I can hardly swallow, my sinuses are completely stuffed, I can't think at all, and my stomach refuses to settle. Not to mention I can hardly balance and walk due to ears being blocked and legs that are killing me. However, Dave and Kamala's wedding was beautiful and we had a great time, found some gorgeous spots in the botanic gardens. I'll make available photos later this week before we go to Germany, and put up some other photos while I'm at it, if I find the time.

I still have to write a paper which with this head blockage is impossible. And revise the courseware for summer semester. I must not forget to enroll tomorrow for 2004. Too busy and too ill to get through it.

Updated November 26th
Well, the doc looked at my throat, and said I must spend one day in bed. Then looked at my ears and changed that to at least two days. It's not going to happen till next week, and then it's probably too late. Ahhh well, I'm on strong (and kidney upsetting :-\) antibiotics to try to clear my ears up before I get on the plane, apparently fluid filled ears would be incredibly painful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Water of Life - Caiseal Mor

Caiseal Mor - The Water of Life

This was the third in the Celtic Wanderers series, and unfortunately did not live up to the extremely high standard set by the first two. Although this book was enjoyable, it did not seem to flow as easily or have any certain direction, perhaps because it was wrapping up a section of history. The characters did not seem to have as much depth, but hinted at much more depth and much more story to be covered in further books.

Quest Crosstime, by Andre Norton

Andre Norton - Quest Crosstime

This read very much like a late sixties, early seventies mystery-adventure novel, except in a sci-fi setting. Definitely a change of genre for me, but quite enjoyable with some unexpected twists. I'd like to read more set in this system, but as far as I know, this story stands alone.


There are times where pain gets to be that bad, that I just can't force myself to breathe. Yet I still have to work, study, shop, clean, go on with living. Unfortunately I am so busy at the moment preparing to go overseas for a month (no plans on what to do there yet, we haven't had time to look at anything), trying to get courseware and honours work done before I leave, sort out more house problems, find some formal stuff to wear, find some warm clothes for travelling, etc etc etc. All while I'm in huge amounts of pain.

I have just received an extension on the two assignments that there was no hope in completing. I am seriously considering dropping honours at this stage, as I can not see me having the time or health to do the project justice, I still have two papers and two large assignments, the project yet to code, experiments to do and thesis to complete, and it feels interminable and completely unachievable. There is a little less pressure now that the two assignments can be handed in at my own pace when I return from Germany. Maybe I'll keep plodding, I can probabl defer another semester, although I really shouldn't.

Supervisor meeting and cross-checking Malaysia exams today, examiners meeting tomorrow, and I have no idea when I'll be able to talk, think, stand, travel for those, let alone find enough non-pain time to get formal clothes for the wedding on the weekend. Or get family xmas shopping done (it's on the 29th November this year, combined with my birthday. Really looking forward to that :-\) Or get shopping and planning for Germany done. Or get study and CSE1303s coursework completed.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Need air

Make sure you have a very good ventilation system (and a lot of spare time) if treating a piano for borer. It's quite a difficult, time-consuming and fumey job. I found borer holes in nearly every wooden surface, including some of the keys and even the loose block of wood I use to make reaching the pedals easier.

The process is quite simple. You need to pull the piano apart and put it on a drop sheet. Grab some non-staining kerosene oil and add the appropriate amount of borer oil. Make sure you are wearing rubber gloves throughout the whole process. Then inject the holes with the solution using a syringe (I'd advise against asking a chemist for one when you sport a vivid bruise on your arm from a blood test). Once all the holes have been flooded (including the ones you must get upside for), paint every accessible wooden surface with the mixture. Note that the keys are extremely porous and will absorb a lot. Try not to pass out from the fumes, it's a good idea to have eaten so you aren't more wobbly. Once all is painted, injected and dried, reassemble and remove drop sheet.

Leave loads of windows open for a few days, and repeat whole process in 6 months. Argh!!
Beware - you may dream of borers eating into you for a couple of nights, so be prepared for very broken sleep.

The borer oil is quite damaging to everything - the instructions repeat strongly that it must never come in contact with anything that may reach any waterways - that includes rubbish going to tips, or anything left in the yard. Disposal of implements and extra fluid is by taking everything to the local chemical disposal place. Rather potent stuff, I think, especially the fumes... *cough*

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

I liked the movie possibly mainly because it had beautiful costumes and nodded to so many great classic stories. The effects were mostly good, although I would recommend against seeing it without some form of backlighting if you are susceptible to flashing scenes. Several times I had to put my hands over closed eyes to stop the flashing from causing a migraine or an emptying of my stomach (typically during the 'transformation to/from the beast' scenes).

The characters were well portrayed, especially Mina and Dorian, and I was delighted to see Nemo (with a fanstastic ship - I imagined a small normal size sub), as I hadn't expected him in the story. The music wasn't memorable, but it will be one DVD that I will eventually get for the constumes and props. Not sure if a sequel could live up to the first, but it would be worth seeing.

Side note - I saw this a couple of weeks ago and was speechless at the ROTK trailer.... want... now....

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Farscape miniseries

It looks like Farscape will be continuing in a mini series, independent of the series and the Sci Fi Channel, so far it is only an unconfirmed rumour, but hopefully it will pave the way for a series return (or maybe even a movie).
(Note - there is a splash screen to go past to get to the article).

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Bad heat

Just discovered how badly I deal with heat (without an acclimatisation period). Yesterday and much more so today, it knocked me flat, major nausea, dizziness, brain not working... wow. I'm glad I'm missing a month of summer to spend it somewhere cold. I only hope I find a warm enough jacket.

Other than that, I'm majorly screwed workload wise. I still can't find motivation for honours, and preparing the notes/pracs/schedules etc for summer makes me want to run screaming. I need some serious amounts of clear head space, and at the moment I have no idea when I'm going to get it from :-\ It doesn't help that I'll be bleeding shortly, which completely screws me over pain, concentration and hormone wise (hmm.. there is too much interconnectivity), badly timed with everything happening at the end of the year with one month missing, but necessary before I go away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Odd ST ship...

What episode/series is this ship in?
I haven't seen it before.... but apparently this is the ship that most suits me... black sheep.. heh.


You are a Steamrunner-class Destroyer, Starfleet's prodigal black sheep. You are unique in your own right. Your unconventional attitude surprises all. Skeptics will find that your alternative methods of dealing with things go above and beyond the norm.

Which Class of Federation Starship are you? brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, November 9, 2003

Faster, newer, quieter...

As hardware normally does around me, the computer I use for anything not requiring Windows or MP3 playing died today. About the time when I should have been finishing my parallel assignment. Which sent the wonderful Bernie off to buy me a yummy early birthday present. So now, I have a quiet, superfast computer. Watch my seti stats soar! Well.. not quite.

To distract myself while the box was being reassembled I started reading, which ended up continuing long after it was working, and thus putting off the assignment for longer. Then when I reached the end of a chapter, I started looking for a cheapish, not overly mass produced incense burner, capable of burning charcoal tablets without combusting, cracking or other unwanted effects. A small cauldron would do, or some kind of brass thingy.. but of all those I found, all are expensive with exhorbitant shipping costs.

Anyhow, enough putting-off, I shall get going on the lazy barber program (my current high fever may make the solution much more interesting).

Thursday, November 6, 2003


Three 14 hour days of marking will leave you exhausted. Having just done this, it's almost a relief to look at a computer screen again (and I can't believe I'm saying that!) I'm very pleased with the results, not anywhere near as bad as I had expected, and only one question requires remarking. I'll do that when I go through and verify all the fails (another job I hate, as it then skews my perception of the results - the lecturers always have to deal much more often with the weak students).

I get the next couple of days at home, hopefully with good weather (although opening all windows usually results in a downpour), so I can get housework, washing and some much needed and overdue honours work completed. All of that in the comfort of non-stuffed-air-conditioned comfort.

I don't know what is wrong with the new building's air conditioning system, but it's really wonky. It's far too hot, quite stuffy, and horrifically loud! It's almost a relief when it turns off in the evening, except that it just keeps getting stuffier and stuffier. Of course there are no openable windows in the building at all. I wouldn't be surprised if that is what is causing my asthma to flare up and my skin to go more horrible than usual (when majorly stressed and working too long with too much sugar).

On a side note, I'm sleeping better, thanks (I think) to the Blackmores Valerian Forte tablets. Although I'm a bit woozier in the mornings, I can usually get around that by taking the B12 and multi B with breakfast instead of lunch.

Now for dealing with strange parallel programming.....