August 2008 -

Just a place for my old thoughts

Scritching at the door
Wednesday, 27 August 2008 11:50 pm

Well the holiday is rolling around fast and the terror that I am probably not mentally, let alone organisationally, ready is freaking me out a bit. You see I like things the way there are. I like to wake up, enjoy my world and go to bed. It's not that I don't like new experiences, I just prefer them in little packages. Balance this against the fact that we are heading away to three different countries for 5 weeks and you may start to understand why, at a low level, I am pretty freaked out.

This is coupled with our new regime with Mr Furrgus of locking him in after dinner. He is used to going straight back out and then being summoned, not always successfully, prior to us going to bed. Well with the holiday and Deb's Mum coming to house sit we thought a new approach is in order so Furrg has been locked in each night.

He has demonstrated his tolerance of this by sitting at the front door and continuously scritching at it for hours and hours and hours. I mean at some point his paws have gotta get tired right? No wonder he has bruiser shoulders with the workout he is getting. Hell, drop him on some soft soil and he could dig the cross-city tunnel single handed.

This behaviour is then reflected in me ignoring the holiday and trying to get some new GPS software setup in the car. As I think I mentioned I fired a load of cash into China and got back a replacement car entertainment system. Unfortunately the GPS software is very dated and was starting to give screwy navigation suggestions because it didn't know about many of the new roads.

Needless to say that Deb had Furrg scritching at the front door and me running back and forth between the car and my laptop mumbling about encryption keys and having paid 49 euro for a map I cannot use. I don't know which one she found more annoying.

At least with all of that wonderful management training I have undergone I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday and realised that I was being a bit of a Furrgus and that I must have been driving Deb nuts. So I apologised and went home last night a little more focused on what was actually more important.

I would like to be able to claim that I had actually triumphed over my obsession and had put the GPS software aside but the truth was that I had a 3hr teleconference yesterday and managed to fix the GPS software while I listened. So on getting home the first thing I did was fire it up, prove that it works, and take the car for a spin around the block. Not a triumph of personal balance but hey, baby steps.

Still, I did realised that I was freaked out a bit and that I was not being a good person to live with. So that's positive progress, isn't it?

Anyway, I also came across this website with some really great, although inappropriate, icons. Check them out at Kawaii Not.

Ha ha, haahahahhaha!!!
Thursday, 14 August 2008 11:27 pm

Wow, talk about air brushing. We had to get photos taken at work the other day for use in internal commuications documents and stuff. It was the standard 'Head Shot' type stuff that the Partners have been using for years.

Now, I have psoriasis on my face and on the day it was pretty bad. I went to get my picture and said to the photographer, "My skin is a bit red today..." "Not to worry...", says he. "We can fix that sort of stuff later".

Well check it out. I should have got him to tighten up the skin, knock of a couple of years and shorten the hair.

Old wines, the Ekka & iPhones
Thursday, 14 August 2008 10:47 pm

Well the other wine dinner that we went too was for Charles Melton. I have to say it was pretty sensational. Charlie is a huge fan of the french grenache wines and has always made beautiful complex wines. At the dinner he wanted to contrast the wines that he is making, at various stages of age, with some truly old reds. Well...were we in for a great night.

The food was outstanding which complimented the wines perfectly. The highlight was a tasting of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1947. Yes 1947. This wine is 61 years old and was pretty amazing. Charlie was stressed out that it was going to be stuffed but it tasted very good. I only wish there was more of it but we had three bottles for about 40 people. So a tasting was all.

As the sommelier came around he explained that the one of the wines would retail for over $1000 per bottle. It was pretty awesome as well. Needless to say that this was probably the best value way to sample some outstanding wines.

I should explain that Châteauneuf-du-Pape roughly means Castle of the Pope in French with the Neuf bit meaning the ninth house. (Or something like that.) Now Charlie's premium wine is called Nine Popes...get it? Châteauneuf-du-Pape from France, Nine Pope's from Australia. Anyway, Charlie dreams of making a wine that can stand the test of time like the french version.

He apparently has a wine merchant in the UK keep an eye out for rare batches of wine. I don't know what it cost but he got 7 bottles of the stuff. 6 were drunk at the wine dinners and he is holding back one for his one consumption. I would love to be at that lunch.

On the social scene we were originally planning to hit the Ekka on Wednesday but we we woke last Saturday the weather was so good that we decided to go that day. Except for parking being a pain it was pretty straight forward. We looked around all the various exhibits although the SMELL from the cattle was over-powering. How the hell people manage to hit inside the stalls and eat a sandwich is beyond me.

I got an Akubra which I have always wanted and we ended up in Sideshow alley. I can tell you that the archery games was rigged within an inch of its life. You CANNOT get the arrows to stick into the target. And I managed to talk Deb into riding one of the scary rides. I was having a ball and looked across to see Deb with her eyes pressed shut and her knuckles locked white. Oooops...I was gonna pay for that later. Luckily it was just her method of coping so after we got off and the adrenaline dropped below 100% blood concentration she smiled so it was all good.

And as I think Deb has mentioned her mobile phone has been crapping out lately and just locking up. It was getting worst and worst to the point that it has become almost unusable. Now, couple this with the fact that Deb is an iPod junky and has stuffed her 4Gb Nano to the brim and you have the perfect reason to purchase an iPhone. Although I consider Apple to be evil and firmly believe that a kitten dies for every iPhone sold Deb got one anyway. I have to admit...and it kills me to say this...but they are pretty.

Oh well. Having the Ekka day in the middle of the week has given us two Fridays which I am loving. I am getting a new computer build for John and Mum so that should hopefully be ready today. So we can head down the coast on Sunday to set it up. Other than that we have a dinner on Saturday night that I am looking forward too.

Anyway, back to work.

Well, will you look at the time.
Friday, 8 August 2008 12:24 am

Yes, it has been ages since I managed to post anything but I've been busy. Really busy. Late last month we launched a monster project that turned out to be a monster PITA.

We were so completely naive about how the system worked and quite frankly went at it pretty hard. In hindsight now I realise that we had our cowboy boots on this this one.

It went live on the 26th of July and by the 29th the 'you know what' hit the 'you know what'. You know, you can really tell that you have raised your profile when the Global head of IT sends you a personal email asking for answers. Wow! What a way to get noticed....yes...what a way to get noticed.

From a positive side we did end up resolving the issues and in the end I got to roll up my sleeves and muck about with a ton of CSS, HTML, ASP and Portlet code. So it really did satisfy my geek side.

Also Deb has been fighting off a cold which I managed to give her. See,the sharing and caring person I am. We went to the Turkey Flat wine dinner which was very good. Only downside was that I still had a bit of the cold so my nose wasn't working as well as it should have.

Deb was also foolish enough to let me drag her out Geocaching which was great way to see our suburb. Only problem was that I completely muffed up the coordinates and we walked miles in the wrong direction. Oh well, did I mention we got to explore our suburb.

Actually, more on the geek front, with the Olympics starting tonight I dropped a 1 terabyte disk into the HTPC. We now have enough room to store 10 days of continuous TV. How cool is that. And while I was there I also picked up a couple of memory cards for our camera.

How scaring is that. My first 500Mb memory card cost $129. Then I got 2Gb for $105. Then I got another 2Gb for 85$. I just purchased a 4Gb for $29. At this rate Sandisk are just going to have to start mailing them to people free of charge.

On the health front I have been a complete heffalump drinking beer and warming my butt on the couch. In my defense I did get a cold straight after the J2J run so I believe that I am justified. I was thinking of going for a run tonight, but damn, I have another Wine Dinner to attend. Don't you hate it when these things get in the way of your strict exercise routine. Oh well, it can't be helped.

We have also had to apply for another credit card because our current provider is blocking just about every Internet transaction we try to put through it. Hello Visa #2. A pain but we purchase so much stuff via the web that it is absolutely needed.

On the pussycat front we have upped the protection on Catcatraz which I think is slowing down Mr Furrgus's exit quite substantially. Unfortunately as winter has deepened he has become even more of a grump. Deb had a friend over the other night who is a cat breeder and Furrg just grumbled and hissed the whole time. That was of course after we managed to get him back in. Our only time of having a cat breeder visit our house and one of our cats chooses that moment to show how he roams the neighbourhood. The shame of it all was too much to bear.

Anyway, I had better go and do something productive with my time.