Home Archive October 2003

15th October 2003  Holy crap, again it has been a hell of a long time since I have updated the website.  Actually I am going to give up commenting on how long it has been because actually I have been pretty regular with an update every two weeks.  Anyway, what the hell has been happening?

Deb and my jobs are about the same and bring equal amounts of joy and pain as a trip to the dentist.  Speaking of which I really need to go again.  My HTPC has been on hold for a while but I got my DVD burner the other day and it is pretty awesome what I am now able to do.  Technically my HTPC is now complete, in the old case, but I can't wait to finally get the new system setup, loaded and installed.  Most of all I want my desktop PC back. Quite frankly while the idea of sitting on the couch to use the PC is a fine idea it is starting to really give me the shits.

I am STILL waiting for a cheque from the US to clear for some software that a company purchased off of me and some other software, that I have just written, is being fairly well received by the forum that I posted it to.  Actually it just puts the time on the screen for a HTPC but I think it is pretty cool.

I CANNOT WAIT for my managers and team leaders to return to work as I have been swamped and quite frankly can't wait for someone else to take all the crap that Orla (one of my managers) and I have had to endure during the last three months.  C'mon Christmas...I cannot wait.

Deb is studying really hard for her last couple of subjects but the college she is attending is stuffing everyone around on courses and availability.  It would appear that she may have to transfer to a different TAFE in order to clear all the subjects that she needs.

On a very bright note Deb and I are heading back to beautiful Queensland next week to visit my parents and take it easy up at Noosa for a few days.  I know it is for less than a week but quite frankly I cannot wait for it

We have been lucky enough that my sister Jaqueline has arranged to have her Engagement Party on that weekend so it is going to be doubly good to be there.  As I said I seriously cannot wait to hit Brisbane.

29th September 2003  Ok, so my brother has commented on my spelling and grammar, so I figure I now have no excuse at all.  I promise to let Deb proofread all of my entries from now on.  I will put a little message at the end letting you know if it has been Deb-checked yet.

I got the case for my Home Theatre PC delivered today at work and it looks very nice.  All black and shiny and about the same size as a piece of Hi-Fi equipment so I think it will look pretty cool once I get the whole thing set up.  Unfortunately that still requires a motherboard, RAM, a processor, a hard disk and a wireless network card.  So it is very much on the back burner for a while.

On a bright note Deb has updated her section so check out Shadowcat and see what she has been up to for the last few months.

13th September 2003  Again it has been a really long time since we updated the site.  I have almost given up promising that Deb will update her pages.  In her defence Deb has been working really hard on her writing course and doing very well.  She is now reading for an Australian Sci-Fi journal and helping to review all the submissions they get and suggest which ones need a second read by the editors.

I turned 32 on Wednesday which was actually a really good day as it turned out.  Deb tried to talk me into taking the day off, but I figured that I was going to dinner on Saturday and would be in Brisbane next month, so I figured that I wouldn't take the day off.  Then, I discovered the Foxtel (Cable) box was stuffed.  A call to their technical line and I could only get a technician out in the afternoon.  To cut a long story short, we arrived home, the engineer was already here and the problem was fixed in about half an hour.  So I took the rest of the afternoon as Annual Leave and went to Stokehouse, a restaurant by the sea, for lunch with Deb.  It was very nice.

For my Birthday I got a cook book, a beautiful Japanese platter, a Sashimi knife, a restaurant guide, the cutest little miniature fondue set you could imagine and the boxed set of Blade 1 & 2.  So we purchased two bottles of champagne and sat around watching movies and getting completely toasted.  A wonderful birthday really.

We also got word that my sister Jaqueline is engaged to her partner Jason, which is just great news really.  We had been teasing Jason for ages about asking but he was adamant that he was going to wait until just the right moment.  We are really looking forward to our trip to Brisbane and Noosa next month to see the family and take a few days off and relax for our anniversary.  Scary we have been married almost 4 years already.  Anyway, tonight we are going to a very nice restaurant for dinner and on Sunday we are off to the Dairy for a birthday lunch with a few of my friends.

Also, I must announce that today, 13th September, is the first birthday of my little brain-dead Somali cat Furrgus.  So, it is celebrations all round.

Oh, I am also working on a Home Theatre PC section for this site where I can post up pictures (and whatever) of the progress that I have made in developing my home theatre PC.  I must say that the DVD playback quality is absolutely awesome and I am very pleased with the progress so far, except of course for accidentally blowing away part of the operating system with a very dodgy piece of software.  Anyway, more of that another time.

One final thing, on quite a bright note, is that I actually sold the IP rights to a piece of code that I wrote and released ages ago.  The guy just contacted me out of the blue and after a couple of emails we had set a reasonable price.  I didn't want to be greedy and he liked the idea so there you go.  Further grounds for celebration.  Anyway, I'll promise, yah sure, to update the site more often. 

16th August 2003  Ok, again it has been a very long time since we updated the site.  To be honest not a lot of stuff has been happening.  Deb's writing course has been going very well, our jobs have been ok and the weekends have basically been made up with us hiding away from the winter cold, cooking new recipes and falling back on the old ones that we both love.  (Someone remind me to post the Lamb and Lentil stew recipe, it is awesome with crusty bread on a cold night.)

We did make it to a Charles Melton wine tasting dinner, which was great fun.  We met two lovely people and spent the whole night swapping stories and generally getting into the very good wine on tasting.

I should also mention that Deb and I have come back from our Thredbo Ski week yesterday.  Deb has picked up a fairly nasty cold which has resulted in a secondary infection which has made her lose her voice.  Check out the Gallery for a few photos of the week.  I was pretty slack and only took the camera out on the last day.  The other days it was generally snowing or raining.  Our thanks to Damien, our ski instructor, who took us out in the pouring rain at 8:30am to teach us how to do carving turns.  It was definitely time well spent and both Deb and my skiing improved for the effort.

I also wanted to thank Serena and Pete Coghlan for coming along and making the week such a great time.  Certainly Pete's energy was enough to shame us into getting off our butts and doing one more run on quite a few occasions.  Thanks Serena for dropping our skis back in Cooma as well.

Finally, if you had thought that I had lost any of my ingrained geekdom, I have embarked on a project, much to Deb's suffering tolerance, to build a Home Theatre Personal Computer, or HTPC.  Basically it is a computer which hooks up to your TV.  You watch your DVDs using it as well as record TV shows to hard disk and even to DVD.  I will keep you all posted on how well it progresses.  At the moment I am waiting on the delivery of a VGA to Component adaptor which should hopefully allow me to connect my computer directly to the TV with STUNNING picture quality.  (That or I have just pissed about $300 bucks up against a wall).  In any case I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.

We are now focusing on our next trip which is to Brisbane to see my family and to spend a few days in Noosa.  I can not wait because I have booked a convertible car from the airport so I have my fingers crossed that it won't rain for the whole week and spoil it for us.  Anyway, gotta go, I hope you enjoy checking out the photos in the gallery.  Drop us a line if you would like to let us know what you think.

30th July 2003  It is with much sadness that I report the passing of a unique feline spirit. Her owner, Serena, gave her this farewell...

Hello there,

I don’t normally send out emails to a mailing list but I thought that you would all want to know that the Cally Cat is no longer with us. On the evening of Tuesday July 22nd she was hit by a car. I was not home to see this happen and was anxiously awaiting her return home on the following evening having missed her all day when the boys next door and then Lorraine across the road came to tell me the sad news. The boys had heard me calling out her name and Lorraine had heard them knocking on my door. They told me that it was quick and that the council had been during the day to take care of her.

It’s been a week and I am finding it hard to write this. The beautiful Cally Cat had been with me for eight years when Deb & I rescued her from animal shelter. We knew she wanted to come with us as she had launched an escape attempt by climbing the metal sides of the cage. She was only thwarted by realising there was a ceiling at the eight foot mark. So as a six month old tiny thing she came to live with us in Sydney and then ended up travelling to Melbourne and Auckland back to Melbourne to stay with Deb & Daniel and then to the Sunshine Coast to be a Beach Cat and finally to Brisbane to be my study companion.

She was with me eight years and was my friend through everything that happened over that time and was a constant support through my recent transformation. She waited until it was all over and I was happy before moving on. Her heart and personality was matched only be her size and wherever she has gone I am sure she is still hearing “What an enormous cat!” whenever she meets someone for the first time.

She was my friend who chatted to me in miaows I came to understand.  She was there to share my bed and also to attempt to share me pillow on those really cold nights. She was the lap cat who exceeded most laps. She was always ready to meet new people and offer a beautifully groomed white belly.

I’ll miss her…


19th July 2003  Let's all hear it for dogged determination and a couple of websites that gave good technical information.  What am I talking about you ask?  Well, my brother Wayne has been looking for a digital camera for a while.  I have been keeping a lookout for a good one and when I saw this one become available I let Wayne know.  In typical Alvers fashion he went straight out and purchased it.

We then sat up till well past midnight working on trying to get it all to operate properly.  In the end I had to go to bed but I am sure that I dreamed about Windows 98 and digital cameras all night.  Anyway, on waking up I had an idea and Voila!!! It worked...LASTDRIVE had not been set.

So, without further ado I would like to present to you the first photo of my two nephews, Nathan & Brendan.

Brendan & Nathan

16th July 2003  Ok, so we haven't updated the site in a while.  Well we have been pretty busy, really we have.  Deb had her Birthday, that was the last thing that I wrote about so I guess I should cover off the last month.

Work as been really quite hectic for both of us with Deb right in the middle of her staff appraisals.  fortunately that is something that I have already finished off.  We went out and brought ski gear so I now have new ski boot (my first pair) as well as new ski pants and a jacket.  My old ones were getting, shall I say, a little tight, so it was work the upgrade.  Also I have been skiing in an old jacket of Deb's which never actually covered my wrists so it is really cool to finally have a jacket that really fits well.

So, you ask yourself, what is this all for, well we have booked a weeks skiing at Thredbo resort in New South Wales.  We are planning to drive to Canberra to spend the night with friends and then onwards to Thredbo.  I can't wait to be there, on the snow having a ball.

I think I may have told you about the exercise machine that I hired to get in shape, unfortunately this is currently a flu going around that has simply zapped all my energy.  I took yesterday off but had to go out to a supplier today so it was another day in the office.  Right now I feel really quite ordinary.

I have installed Microsoft Messenger 6.0 Beta which allows me to have a web cam running.  It is pretty cool and allows us to chat with my brother in Brisbane which is very cool.  I am often on messenger at night (Melbourne time GMT + 10) so drop me a line on:

Ok, so what else have we been up to.  Well we saw 'Charlies Angel's 2' which was a fun movie to see and one that I would definitely catch again.  Also we drove down to Portsea Pub for lunch on Sunday which was a really nice day out.

Oh, yes, I bought Deb an MP3 player which she seems to be having quite a lot of fun with.  The plan is set them up and take them skiing with us.

Well, that's it for the moment...have fun and I will see you all soon.