October 2009 - alvers.info

Just a place for my old thoughts

Getting my Zen back
Saturday, 31 October 2009 2:49 am

So, I am sitting up the coast on Serena's balcony watching the ocean and listening to the distant sound of the waves rolling in. Yep, this is how to get your Zen back in order and your calm restored.

I ended up taking yesterday on flex leave and coming up early. Mr Furrgus did a little singing in the car but all up he was pretty good about the trip. I helped Serena pick up a few things for the Halloween party today and generally just relaxed.

Deb is now safely on the road with Janet & 20 cats. I was pretty worried about her taking this trip but I am sure it will work out ok. They are taking extra time and two days of work so that they can get some downtime in between driving to Melbourne and back. here's hoping that it is smooth sailing the whole way.

A very social weekend
Sunday, 25 October 2009 10:50 pm

That was a pretty full on weekend. Friday night Deb and I took it easy but got hooked into a late night movie on TV and didn't go to bed until 1:30am.

Saturday Deb took Mr Furrgus down to the vet for a checkup and I got the house cleaned up. That afternoon Jan, Simon and the girls were in town so we caught up at our place and then headed over to their apartment for dinner.

I hadn't really figured on the fact that our car didn't have child seats so they had to walk from the ferry. That part was all arranged and fine. The problem was that as Deb and I headed out the door to go and meet them at Bulimba we realised there were a bunch of hills to walk up so we txted them to meet us at Apollo Road. Unfortunately they didn't get that message and got off at Bulimba and then had to find their own way to our place. Deb and I were mortified. Oh well. It turned out ok and we sat around chatting and putting away a surprising amount of wine.

Sophia, their youngest, didn't see Mr Furr come into the dinning room so when she caught sight she let loose a rather frightened little cry. Furr just sort of went WTF! and scampered out the back. He was fine though. We ended up soothing his nerves with some crunchies.

After that we walked down to the ferry and went down to Sydney Street to put the kids to bed and order in some food. It was actually pretty good given that we got the place out of Google maps. After a couple more bottles of wine we took our leave (The guys had to be on an 8am flight) and headed home. All up a very very nice evening.

Sunday Serena came over in the morning and we headed out for Yum Cha. Now I love Yum Cha a great deal but I hate waiting for a table. I just get angrier and angrier as we stood there waiting. I know, I know, I should have called ahead and booked. You can't have everything. The food was good though and plentiful so it all turned out good.

In the afternoon we picked up Craig and Paula who were in town from NZ visiting family. We met them last year on our big Europe trip. It was great to see them again and to look back over our Italy pictures. Dinner was pizza and pasta down at Earth & Sea. Another really nice evening.

So today I am feeling very satisfied if not a little tire. Another day to relax from the weekend would be sweet.

Looking forward to another 9 years
Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:13 pm

So, this week we celebrated 9 years of marriage. It isn't ten years, no, but it is a long time. And she still loves me which is pretty special really.

Given my frequent bouts of technology autism in which I retreat to my own inner world and become completely fixated on whatever project I am working on. My quests for ever more obsure items that ultimately I just end up putting on a shelf (computer mind control anyone?) and my lack of empathy Deb has put up with a lot over the last 9+ years. And I love her all the more for it.

I like to think that I still remember our wedding day like it only just happened. The weight of my wedding ring as I walked around thanking people and the photographer saying 'Your a tiger, a tiger...' to get us to laugh and smile at the right moments. It has been a pretty amazing time. I am definitely looking forward to many many more anniversaries.

To celebrate we headed down to David's off Oxford which has become a bit of a regular when we want a local fine dining experience. The warmth and welcome of David when we arrive always marks it as the start of a great experience.

This weekend we are booked up on the social calendar so I am looking forward to the weekend after Halloween to sit and relax and take it easy.

Till then.

The HTPC is kind of back
Thursday, 15 October 2009 2:21 am

Well, I spent Tuesday evening rebuilding the HTPC and was a little surprised that it went as smoothly as it did. The cooler when onto the motherboard and processor quite easily and the board itself is physically smaller than the old one so it was even easier to fit into the case.

The only downside is that the onboard graphics card really does suck. I had been a fan of the idea of having video and audio provided 'on board' so that I didn't have to run separate cards. Unfortunately I will only be able to playback bluray disks if I upgrade to Windows Vista. So I've put in an order for a new video card that should arrive in a next few days.

Annoying thing is that I could have saved the $50 on the cost of the motherboard and spent it on a card instead. But considering that I am probably only about a hundred dollars over the buget that isn't too bad.

It was funny when it blew up and I thought, "No, I won't replace it. I'll get a media player instead." Then I tried to find one that does everything that my HTPC can do. The only option was to buy a system for $2500 which was actually an HTPC under the covers. So, in the long run the ability to just upgrade and replace components has meant that the HTPC still hasn't cost anywhere near as much as an equivilent cupboard of separate units. Or that's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, 15 October 2009 8:56 am

Hi mate..what video card did you go with?

Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:02 pm

Ended up with a Sapphire ATI HD4350. $55 delivered.

Grandma has passed away
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 12:17 am

I just heard from Mum that Grandma passed away this morning at 6:00am. I am not really sure what I feel about that but I thought that it was important to record the fact anyway.

I never got along with Grandma at all, a situation which developed in my youth and one I never sought to change. So her passing is more just a marker in my families history than a loss on my part.

I am also not sure if I should tell Dad either.

I might feel like eating again one day...
Monday, 12 October 2009 10:47 pm

A late weekend post...

We headed up the coast on Saturday to spend the weekend with Libbette while Serena is overseas on holidays (she is well and happy and trying the local food, yoghurt soup).

Libbette was intending to have some friends around for a snacky afternoon lunch/dinner. In typical style to rival Serena it got a little out of hand and turned into a nine hour food-fest.

Let me count the ways...

Tuna sashimi and oysters, thai corn patties, salt & chilli squid, duck filled spring rolls, pot sticker dumplings, char sui pork with bok choy and finally both cherry and apple tart with icecream.

We started eating around 2pm and finished desert a bit after 10pm. I ended up blacking out on the sofa on the back deck with the cat and woke up at half past midnight before crawling into bed.

I simply can't wait to do that again...next time Libbette is threatening mediterranean. Yummy.

And I stayed home yesterday for the plumber to come through and look at our leaky shower but the bloody thing didn't leak. Sheesh. So I got him to close up the inspection hole and we are going to keep an eye on it. We thought there might be water there this morning but it is hard to tell.

And JT is now so into running that we have brought our running gear into the office so that we can head out after work. Someone kill me.

ps: The last of the gear arrived for the HTPC so tomorrow night is build night. I am not sure if I am excited or scared. I do know that I don't wanna break anything else.

It shouldn't be this hard vs I am brilliant
Thursday, 8 October 2009 12:16 pm

Ok, so my digital photo frame is stuffed so in her wonderfulness Deb suggested that I just go and buy another one. So, to salve my tech nerves, I found one during lunch on the net, left work early and drove straight into peak hour traffic.

In the end Deb had to walk from the ferry to the shopping centre while I was in the middle of my mercy dash to buy another photo frame.

When I get it home and fire it up the new one refuses to see the network. I managed to stop myself from punching anything else by taking my last cigar from the holiday trip and a VERY large glass of port and just sitting back on the balcony. Back in my youth, when I still smoked, I used to joke that a smoke fixed everying. Go away, relax, smoke'em if you got'em. And then come back later when you are relaxed.

Well on the second attempt I managed to get the frame to see the network and fire up as expected. Sweet.

Then I returned to my broken one. My intention was to take it to work and see if I could get the place I brought it from to give me a new one. But I also thought I would take one last go at getting it to work. So I looked at every Samsung site around the world that spoke english until found one that had a different version of the firmware for the same frame. I managed to find a downgrade on the US Samsung site so I loaded that one. And what do you know it bloody well worked. The new version caused the frame to actually reset itself to factory defaults and we are back in business.

So, as the title says, It shouldn't be this hard to reset the frames even if I am this brilliant.

Enough already...
Wednesday, 7 October 2009 10:54 pm
(DJ on a short fuse)

Ok, so the shower has started leaking again so we called the plumber and I arranged to work from home yesterday so that he could come and have a look. He never did.

Then I went to use the home theatre PC and found that a recent power outage had cooked the powersupply. So I installed a new one to find that the problem was not the powersupply but the motherboard. So I have to re-build the entire thing from scratch. And spend a small fortune on the upgrade.

Then when I was putting the lid back on the PC I dropped the digital photo frame that has now stopped working properly. So I am up for a new one.

And to top it off our smoke alarm just started beeping randomly this morning for no apparent reason. I was in the middle of putting my shoes on and Furrg was freaking out at the beeping sound. So I was getting more and more worked up. By the time I managed to lace my shoes and grab a step ladder I had just about had it. Then I cut my finger trying to pull the battery out so I just punched the Mother F&^ker with all my might. The face plate flew off and the battery dropped out.

Problem fixed.

Spanish Video Postcard
Wednesday, 7 October 2009 8:21 am

During our holiday I took a few panarama photos by snapping a series of pictures one after the other. Then using software called 'Hugin' you stitch them together into one long image.

I have put those pictures together here in a little video postcard. Enjoy!

We're Back!
Friday, 2 October 2009 2:39 am

I am very very pleased to have Deb back home again. I managed to arrange to take today off on leave so that we can finally spend a day together alone. Nice.

Wednesday night Deb and her Mum braved the jetlag as we managed to catch up with Roger and Michelle who were up in Brisbane on a short holiday. It really is nice to see them again.

Thursday night Janet came over to checkout our holiday photos and Deb cooked a nice pasta from a recipe she got off of a calendar she purhcased overseas.

We are shortly off for lunch somewhere nice and then a quite afternoon watching the sun set I think. The weather is current perfect so it is shaping up to be a wonderful day.