Sunday, February 10, 2013

Data loss and other adventures

In my last blog post I looked at the decreasing frequency of my previous posts and extrapolated that my next posting would be when I'm 80 years old. I got that wrong however since it's only been a couple of months. If I do the same extrapolation trick again it will go in other direction and I'll need to start my next blog post later today. Furthermore if I extrapolate further, (and assuming I make a 'tick' sound when I click the submit button) the one's after that will sound like a geiger counter.

Anyway, what's been happening?

Well, the children survived the Christmas holiday. That's always a good thing. We were able to keep the kids alive over a contiguous 16 day period. My wife and I both work full time so it's reassuring to know that daycare isn't the only thing keeping them going. We have them on weekends and evenings but I always mused that perhaps they are strong enough to survive these periods. I think a 16 day period means however that we're capable of keeping two kids alive for 16 days straight.

Also over the Christmas holidays I migrated my personal web site ( from Yahoo to Amazon. I started a technical blog and I blogged about the process here. My site is basically a static site with integration with blogger (i.e this page). After the switch to AWS I'm paying about 10% of what I was paying before. I'll do some more technical blogging now that I've started it. I've got a bunch of things to yap about including programming, architecture and management.

Anyway, easily the most distressing thing that has happened recently was that I accidentally quick formatted my hard-drive. I have a 128GB flash stick formatted fat-32 which was (and still is) empty and 1.5TB drive which *had* everything on it. The sequence of events went something like this...
Me- Copy virtual machine to 128GB flash stick
PC- You can't because it's bigger than 4GB and fat-32doesn't like that
Me- OK, format drive NTFS
PC- You sure?
Me- Yup
PC- OK, done
Me- OK, copy virtual machine to 128GB flash stick. Find the virtual machine to copy again.
PC- Nothing here.
Me- Huh? Where did my VMs go. Actually, where did everything go? Is this E: drive?
Me- *Horrible sinking feeling*
Me- Did I just format the wrong drive? Right click 128GB flash drive (F: drive)
PC- I'm formatted fat-32
Me- *Really horrible sinking feeling*
Me- OMG, OMG, pacing around room
Me- Repeat check of both drives, OMG, OMG pace more
Me- What did I have on that drive?
Me- Oh no all my documents! My tax stuff!
Me- Oh no, all my virtual machines! All my programming!
Me- Oh no, my windows 98 VM with civilization 2 on it!
Me- Oh no a lot of my cool software
Me- On no, my game saves
Me- Oh no, a bunch of iPhone photos and videos of the kids
Me- Oh no, all my 'other data'

Anyway, It's been almost two weeks from the event and I'm the still in the process of recovering everything. I've used a couple of programs. One was good for general stuff and one was good for VMWare stuff. I have recovered most of my virtual machines. I can't seem to recover my windows 8 VM so I'll need to re-install Vista and upgrade it again (that was traumatic the first time). I can't seem to recover a vmdk file which has my 'other data' on it. It was split over a number of 2GB vmdk files and it recovered all but one of those files which seems to make all the others useless.

I seem to have everything else but I have to go through the arduous process of piecing back the directory structure and making sure the files are all OK. I needed to buy a separate 1.5TB drive to copy everything to. Never write to a drive that you're trying to recover from. It's effectively an empty read-only drive until I'm sure I've got everything back. So incredibly painful. I'll create a ritual for myself to perform before I format anything in future to make sure I don't do anything so incredibly dumb again.

I've been doing some programming in JavaFX lately. Ironically, I've been thinking of writing some back-up software. It's ironic because I had the idea well before I accidentally formatted my drive. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to give myself a little 'hurry up'. Only problem is I have to recover the source code first before I can continue it. I recently backed up most of my family photos and videos (basically everything except for what was on my E: drive) to Amazon S3. I used s3sync for that and I think I can do better on a UI front. It would be a client side application (running in the browser) and just hosted out of S3.

It's a shame that Oracle have basically screwed Java on the client side with their incessant security vulnerabilities. I had to update Java on 5 computers 3-4 times recently (i.e. 20x in total). Every single time I finished upgrading the set of 5 computers to the latest patch containing the latest security fixes another zero day security vulnerability would be found. It's a full time job. I need to write some puppet scripts to automate that stuff.

In more upbeat news, my boss and GM of Engineering is away on holidays for four weeks. I have the company credit card (from when I needed to organize some AWS work) so I decided to spice things up a bit. I bought 4x huge plasma TVs, 2x playstations, 2xXboxes, a bunch of games, a table tennis table, an eight ball table, some strippers, dancing poles and drugs and alcohol. Productivity has dropped somewhat but morale is sky high. The BRW "best place to work" surveyors came up to party for a bit *cough* I mean conduct their survey and they said our workplace made Google look like the Siberian salt mines. Anyway, if my boss is reading this I'M JOKING! Anyone else, I'M DEADLY SERIOUS!

On an unrelated note, here's a picture I photo-shopped of my daughter on the beach...

I did have some people ask 'is that real' so I guess if my software development work dries up I can always get a job doing propaganda for North Korea and/or China.

In other news, I got screwed by Webjet. I wanted to book a flight to Melbourne in order to go to my brother's wedding.

My wife said 'don't use Webjet, they will screw you'.

I laughed and said, 'don't be ridiculous'.

And then they screwed me. I used PayPal to buy the ticket and clicked 'OK' to pay and then Webjet's site goes 'server error'. I was about to put it through again when PayPal emailed me saying 'you've just paid for a flight from Webjet - here's your reference number'. But Webjet hadn't sent me anything nor confirmed anything. They just took the money. How is that possible that they don't have an atomic transaction around that? I had to wait on the phone for about an hour for them to concede they'd bill me and they needed to refund my money. Then it took another two weeks to get the money back. That seems like a good business model to me. They got bank interest on my money for two weeks. They should rename themselves to Dickjet I think.

I'm enjoying Sons of Anarchy at the moment. If you haven't seen it, it's quite a good TV show.

Between looking after kids, programming, blogging, recovering lost files, watching Sons of Anarchy and spending time with my wife, I've been playing the latest XCOM game. Here's the trailer. The graphics in the trailer are the same as the game (i.e. not a pre-rendered demo). It's a turn based strategy game and I'm really enjoying it.

Finally, I'm preparing for my son's fourth birthday party. Well, actually, my wife is doing all the preparation work. I'm just mentally preparing for it. Twenty 3-4 kids, all high on sugar, screaming and running around. I'll be taking some deep breaths before all of that I can tell you.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Overdue update

Well, it's been five years since my last blog post. I noticed that my previous blog post also started with a similar message. They are getting less frequent and after graphing the posts against a time line I now know my next post will be when I'm 80. Anyway, despite their similarities, I'm doing much better than confession.

I'll blame Facebook and Twitter for this (for my lack of blogging that is, not confession). It's hard to beat short and sharp updates. It's not completely Facebook and Twitter's fault however. It's probably more my penchant for order and general apathy. Once I missed a post I didn't want to post something new and out of order. That just raises the barrier to posting even higher and of course the missed posts just accumulate and eventually the backlog of postings just gets too much and it all stops.

I've just decided I'll skip those posts now and get on with things. Before I do, here's some of the postings I should have blogged but didn't...
  1. Athena and I got married and had a nice reception
  2. We went on a honeymoon to Thailand
  3. Thomas Blake Kelcey was born
  4. I bought a new computer that made my old computer seem like a piece of junk
  5. We bought a house
  6. I changed roles at work from Software Development Manager to Architect
  7. I bought a bicycle and started riding to work
  8. Melina Nysa Kelcey was born
  9. The goldfish died
  10. I bought a new computer that made my old computer seem like a piece of junk
*Phew*, all off my chest.

That's the catch-up aspect done and now I can get on with a regular little 'news' posting. If you're wondering what the difference is between a regular little 'news' posting and a Facebook posting then good question. I'm still trying to figure that out. I'd say the differences include...
  1. My regular little 'news' postings will be longer
  2. They are public on my web site (not just Facebook friends)
  3. I can include more movies, pictures, code etc. and it will fit nicely
  4. I'll use more numbered lists
Anyway, with that all out of the way, I can get on with what's been happening.

At work, we (i.e. Engineering department) just delivered Objective Connect ( This is an online file sharing service which also does collaboration and workflow. I'll write a separate blog about it that goes more into the technical aspects. I am the lead architect on this project so it's nice to see it get released to the wild. It's been a nice journey and it should be an interesting 12 months of Cloud based work coming up to extend it.

Aside from that I've been on two weeks of annual leave. Once we released Objective Connect, I realized I needed a bit of a break so I took two weeks off before we really ramp up the next stage. Now when I say a 'break' I mean a 'do nothing' type of break rather than a 'lets go on a stressful holiday with two screaming kids' type of break. This was to be 'man in his shed' time. Athena was still at work and the kids were both going to be at daycare. For 10 days, I'd have about 8 or so hours to myself to chill or do whatever.

I have this habit of doing 'to do' lists. So, the first thing I did when I started my holiday was I filled my personal kanban board with a list of things I'd like to achieve on my break. This included reading books, doing some programming, playing some games and even writing a blog. What I forgot to put down however (*slaps head*) was 'get sick'. The first day I started getting sick (man flu) and it just went downhill from there.

I made jokes about man-flu and flu-topia and spent my time playing Skyrim. It was pretty much the only thing engaging enough to distract me from how rubbish I felt. If you don't know what it is, Skyrim is a computer game where you run around in a 3D world building up your character, following a storyline and running around and killing monsters.

At the end of the first week of my break, I started dying more regularly in Skyrim. I was quite out of it but as soon as my game became affected, I knew something must be done. I saw a doctor and he said I had a fever (39+) and I needed anti-bionics. After I had the anti-bionics, it helped immensely. In no time, I was again killing monsters left, right and center. I also felt much better.

I had a look at my kanban board and it had tasks such as...
  1. Get some sun
  2. Do some exercise
  3. Read some books
  4. Buy some new clothes
This was going to be a problem for me. I was on the mend but I doubted that these things would happen before I went back to work. Necessity is the mother of invention however.

In Skyrim, my character's name is Kitana so I created and registered her with the kanban board. Then I assigned those tasks to her and moved them into 'done'.

'Get some sun'. Although it's mainly snowing in Skyrim and you spend a lot of time in underground dungeons, I *cough* Kitana, did also spend a lot of time enjoying the sun as she chased wolly mammoths around the plains with her soul stealing axe. She also fireballed a number of rabbits, deer and little cute foxes trying to level up her destruction capability in the sunshine as well (what a bitch).

'Do some exercise'. See above.

'Read some books'. Kitana read a stack of books. Admittedly they are only like 2-3 pages long each but they are still fully thick leather hardcover books.

'Buy some new clothes'. She bought clothes, stole clothes (very Wyonna like I know) and even made clothes. Clothes that help make fireballs to blow the heads off bunnies.

So she helped out a lot and it really helps relieve the guilt associated with just playing Skyrim all the time. Seriously though, I didn't just do that. I did actually read half of a technical text book and I did some programming and I installed Windows 8 and played with it etc. But certainly not as much as I had planned.

Anyway, back to work after the weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Job update

I haven't done an update for a while. Life at the Kelcey/Bazos abode is going well.

I forgot to mention in the last post that the goldfish made it though the ordeal of moving house. It was a close call there for a while but he's going great again. I think he's almost taken the record for the fish that can survive the longest. My deceased big black angel fish holds the record of about 15-16 months (the goldfish he's been going for about 15 months now).

I applied for and accepted a promotion at work. My new title is project manager which is cool because I get to boss everyone around. Well, not everyone, but a few people. I did about 18 months of project management work about 8 years ago now. I decided at the time however that I wanted to focus more on the "hands-on" side of things for a while longer so that I could really sharpen my technical skills. I'm at the point now where I feel like doing something additional to the raw technical stuff again. I'm really enjoying the role. There's a lot of technology involvement still even though I'm not the one actually writing the code. I even changed my ring tone to the vanilla one that you get when you buy a phone so that people know that I'm a manager.

Speaking of ring tones, my manager's ring tone is Master Of Puppets. How did he get such a cool ring tone? My manager has a cooler ring tone than me. I have shame dripping from me.

I've been on a sugar and computer game purge lately. I haven't had any sugar nor played any computer games for a couple of weeks now. It's not that computer games stop me from doing the things that I should be doing, like socializing, house work, eating etc. I just found that it was cutting into the time that I could be using for more constructive pursuits like programming, learning new technologies, trolling hysterical left-wing people on SMH blogs and updating my web-site. We'll see how long it lasts. If I can last until Star Craft 2 or Grand Theft Auto 4 comes out, I'll be doing well. I think I just wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't addicted. Anyway, so far, so good.

I've been going to the gym regularly recently. I have a good weights program and a good cardio program working. I wouldn't say that I was ever fat at any stage. But I could shed a few kilograms. I look back on some old Taekwondo videos and I look a lot a bit thinner than I do now. I always call myself fat boy to keep the shame levels high so I do something about it. I like watching Dr Phil whilst I'm on the tread mill at the gym. He can indoctrinate me about relationships whilst the treadmill indoctrinates my butt.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Eagle View Escape

For this year's holiday we went to the Blue Mountains. This time we went to a place near Lake Lyell called Eagle View Escape.

Here's a map I created on Google maps to describe the facilities etc.
Eagle View Escape

The view over the lake was great. The facilities were quite good. We played pool in the main lounge room. No-one else used it the whole time we were there. It had a big fireplace etc. They also served nice dinners as well though we mainly drove into Katoomba when we wanted to eat.

They had a spa and barbeque area that we didn't use. We had a game on the tennis court. On the Google map that I created above, they didn't have a tennis racket icon so I used a golf club icon instead. I guess it's appropriate given how I play tennis. The cabin was nice. There are some shots of it in the photo album below.

We also went to the Jenolan caves. We got there just in time for a tour of one of the caves. It was quite interesting and picturesque. The guy who gave the tour was a retired rescue dude. He was talking about how dangerous diving rescue was. And he kept saying "is that alright" when he would tell us some fact about the cave. Like, I'm going to say, "no, it's not alright that Joe Smith found this section of the cave in 1874 and his candle went out when he fell in the pond".

Eagle View Escape Photo Album

Thursday, July 6, 2006

New apartment

One fine day Athena and I were talking (as couples do) and we discussed buying an apartment together. Although I am still paying the Santa Monica one off, the theory was that I could rent that out and go in halves with a new one with Athena. Then I couldn't boss her around so much and she could hang up her crazy art-deco paintings. So we discussed some rough prices and Athena circled some places in the newspaper and we headed out on an exploratory mission to see what was happening.

The first place was crap but the second place was great. But no, surely this can't happen twice. You can't find the best place on only your second go? Well, we expressed an interest to this friendly and helpful agent and then went on to look at about 20 other places. They were all crap - some more crappy than others. The second place we looked at was still great. In fact, it was getting better by the minute.

Although we had developed a slight "hunger" for the new place, I refused to go into a bidding war with this other "guy" that has also placed a bid. Apparently his name was Mr Snuffleupagus. I used the old Jedi "can you send me something in an e-mail to confirm we're no longer the leading bid so that we can buy another place we've found" mind trick.

The phone rings...
"Oh, you don't actually have Snuffy's bid in writing you say?..."
"So you're saying we're technically still the leading bid - at least on paper?..."

Why does the word "snake" spring to mind? Amazingly, Snuffy's bid didn't materialize. Apparently, little biddy Snuffy didn't believe that we existed and he wasn't willing to go the extra mile to bid against us imaginary real folk. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I heard this. Eventually I got some graph paper and drew an Argand diagram with Snuffy sitting somewhere on the y-axis. Nerd talk for Snuffy is imaginary.

Anyway Snuffy, sucked in!! The apartment's great and I hope Big Bird pecks your eyes out.

The cats like the new place as well. Even though they don't have a cat run here. There's more room to run around and play gladiators and stuff.

New Apartment Photo Album

Monday, May 1, 2006

Byron Bay holiday

For this years holiday, we decided to go to Byron Bay. Athena really wanted to go to some healthy, natural (read expensive) type resort. Eventually she twisted my arm but at the end of the day I'm glad I went. Don't tell her though because I'd like to earn some credits by pretending that I did it all for her.

We stayed in this cabin up a road called Skinners Shoot Road. We didn't see any skinners, shooters or banjos however. It was about 5 minutes out of the town proper. I quite liked it because we were in a pine forest and it was very quiet and serene. I think it was called Aveda or something to do with expensive shampoo.

On the way into town we passed by this hotel called the Art Factory. It's really cool. It has a cinema and stuff (and I like movies and I like stuff). They made a good steak and had a cool bar etc. We watched that Johnny Cash movie at the cinema. They took about four hours to make my latte however (give or take three hours and fifty minutes).

We did a dawn tour of the lighthouse and watched the sunrise. It was all good except for the getting up at 2am part. Well, it was probably more like 5:00am but still, that's pretty early.

We also went kayaking on the ocean to fish for dolphins. The guy even wanted one of us to get in the water and swim around to act as bait. No-one was that foolish however, so we didn't see any dolphins. The waves were pretty big however. The amplitude of the waves was about 2-3 metres (which means about 5-6 metres crest to trough). But the wavelength was pretty long so it was a gradual process going up and down (even though you went a long way up and down).

And to the dude that we hit with our kayak, watch where you're going next time. You'll be happy to know that I copped on the head as well when I used my body to shield Athena from the kayak when we flipped it riding the waves back in (don't worry - everyone flipped - not just us - we lasted much longer than most of the retards). The only difference was that I had a helmet. *tap* tap*.

I did some study on the trip. I wanted to update my sun certification. It was a good place to study. I managed to sneak in one "quick" game of civilization whilst Athena was shopping. Well, I got to like 20AD or something and was dominating.

We also went to this place called the Crystal Castle. If you like hippys, vegetarians, tarot readings and crystals and stuff, you'd love it. I, on the other hand, was a little grumpy (as can probably be seen in the photos).

Byron Bay Photo Album

Friday, December 30, 2005

Another year goes by

Another year has passed us by. Things are going well at Objective. Athena is going well at PIMCO. This year, it was time for Christmas in Sydney. Interestingly however, my family decided to come to Sydney as well this year. So, we got the families together for a mega-family Christmas.

The Kelceys (and Pagels) have never been so spoilt. Well, I have because I go around fairly regularly, but the rest of the crew aren't used to such magnificent food. Athena's mother is an incredibly good chef. A good time was had by all.

Athena's dad was also born on Christmas day. Not the same year as the original one mind you, but the same date. So, we got to eat some Christmas pudding and then some chocolate birthday cake. They were delicious.

It's easy to remember our parent's birthdays. Peter is born on Christmas day and both our mums on New Years day. I think this means we get to call our first son Damian.

Christmas 05 Photo Album

Thursday, May 19, 2005

New York

Objective sent me to the AIIM conference in Philadelphia. Athena came along as well but stayed in New York to shop. I took a week's leave after the conference so that we could extend our stay and check-out New York together.

The conference in Philadelphia was about an hour on train from New York. It's a conference to do with Electronic Content Management or ECM for short (not to be confused with Electronic Counter Measures like when you're in a fighter jet and an enemy fighter jet fires a missile at you and you try and "Jam" it). It was quite a big conference and it involved a bit of walking. I did find some nice comfy chairs that were in the sun however when it all got a bit much.

Whilst I was working hard at the conference, Athena was busily shopping in New York. Sometimes life isn't fair. The main thing however is that I didn't have to go shopping with Athena too much when I got back from the conference. I'm not very good at shopping with women. If I were to plot their course on a 2D graph, I think I'd end up with a curve that could only be represented mathematically by a fractal. That's a nerd joke. For the non-nerd, let's just say they are indecisive. I threw a little tanty once waiting for Athena to buy some shoes.

Central Park is huge. I had no idea of how big it was. We spent a little time around there taking pictures. We went to a cool science museum. I enjoyed the biology section that showed videos of proteins being built. I think it had something to do with RNA which is like DNA. Looked pretty impressive though.

We went on top of the Empire State Building and had a look around. Also we went on a cruise around Manhattan island. I thought New York was pretty cool.

New York Photo Album

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Even though I had gone to the trouble of getting a "cat run" built for Neo (Photos of cat run) so he could go outside, he was still pacing a little too much for my liking. I think he was getting a little bored during the day when we were at work. Burmese need a lot of entertaining.

I thought to myself, what's more entertaining than a kitten? Neo can chase it around and get into fights etc. So I bought another cat.

I decided to call him Sami. I figured that if I ever get brain damage and I retain my long term memory but am unable to form new memories (like Guy Pearce in Memento), then I'll be able to remember Sami's name. Guy Pearce was always saying to himself, "remember Sammy Jenkins" because this guy Sammy had the same memory disorder but he didn't have the burning desire for revenge that gave him the ability to keep himself organized enough to cope with his memory problem. I can't remember the point to all of this. Maybe I called him Sami because of the word Samiurai.

When I got the kitten home I built a little Roman Colosseum out of Wheat Bix packets. I was horrified to see them become friends however. This was even worse than when I put a scorpion and a spider into a jar when I was little. They didn't fight either but at least they weren't cuddling one another.

Cats Photo Album

Friday, December 31, 2004

Matt's wedding

Matt's wedding was set at the Atrium at the Botanical Garden's in Hobart. It is a really nice sandstone building that is packed out with flowers and has a beautiful fountain in the middle of it. There was a quartet of musicians there although they didn't come with the building. I thought it had a really modern and fresh feel to it. Overall, it was a really terrific environment.

It was good to catch up with a variety of friends that I hadn't seen in a while. Simon and Brooke are always good value and I hadn't seen Pughy in a while. He had on a mega crinkly top (apparently it was meant to be that way - i.e. trendy). All those years of not ironing and I thought I was just lazy. I was actually trendy.

The reception was held at the docks just near where the Sydney to Hobart yachts were moored. As an aside, I have real difficulty with the word yacht for some reason. I always spell it yatch or yaught. Maybe it's some childhood trauma I'm trying to bury. I do remember having a crap little boat thing that didn't skim very well on the puddles outside our home when I was growing up.

Anyway, the reception was really nice. I was the MC. The M means Master. It was great being the boss of everyone again. Just like when I was teaching Taekwondo...

"Don't leave that glass on the edge of the bench like that. Move it into the middle like this. Give me 20 push-ups and 10 squats."

"What's your name gorgeous?"

As MC, it was important for me to survey what was going on and avoid dancing at all costs. It was OK to hang back and drinks however (that's responsible MCing).

Anyway, it wasn't all about me. It was mainly about Matt and Renee. It was a beautiful wedding.

Matt's Wedding Photo Album

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Job change and holiday

The latest news is that I've been retrenched by ActiveSky (along with all the other developers), have found a new job with a company called Objective and have just returned from an amazing holiday in Alaska (which Objective was kind enough to extend my start date for). But anyway, the gory details follow...

Alas, another telco job bites the dust. We were just nearing the point where the revenue we were getting from customers (Itochu in Japan, AT&T in the US, etc.) was matching our expenses. Venture capitalists however had other ideas in mind however and ActiveSky had to retrench everyone except for skeleton support staff in order to try and survive. Unfortunately for me, all my components were delivered and running fine. If only I had the vision to put some back-door bugs in my code in a vain attempt to extend my stay there.

I enjoyed the technology and I was working with some smart and dedicated people and I got a lot of satisfaction out of the work. I declined to work for them for an alternate future profit sharing arrangement in leui of salary. I have a mortgage to pay off so can't afford to take risks like that. I did consider it briefly however because I believed in what we were doing and could see it making money.

On the other hand, Athena's company (a US based finance company called PIMCO) is going great and the CEO has decided to give staff (and their partners) a trip to Alaska. I understand that he's one of the most successful men in the world of finance but still, a 10 million dollar gift from his pocket (not the company's coffers mind you - his own personal stash) is totally unbelievable. I'm certainly not complaining however it was a mad holiday.

We started from San Francisco and took a 6 star cruise to Alaska. I didn't think it was possible to have more than 5 stars but I stand corrected. Unbelievable service. It made the Japanese look like, like.... I don't know, someone really bad at service (and if you've been to Japan you'll know that they are service crazy).

San Francisco Photo Album
Canada Photo Album
Alaska Photo Album

Saturday, January 11, 2003


I didn't really like cats when I was growing up. We had a Border Collie and I had always preferred dogs. Cats seemed too independent and disinterested. After living with a pair of cats for a year before moving to Sydney my attitude had changed however. I'd been mulling over buying one for some time and I had finally decided to take the plunge.

I decided on a brown Burmese cat. Being a big matrix fan, I decided to call him Neo.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Latrobe versus Kansas

The year at ActiveSky has progressed well (very busy) and at the moment I am on holiday. It's pretty warm here at the moment. I went to the beach yesterday and I even got my pasty white ass into the water. I didn't dip my head however but that's because I was wearing my sun glasses (not because I was a wimp). I splashed water on my hair to make it look like I had dipped my head however.

Athena and I have just returned from Tasmania after my family Christmas get-together (Athena and I take it in turns with family Christmas's). It was very pleasant. I was surprised by the change in the little country town that I grew up in (Latrobe). When I was a boy (said in a croaky voice), in was a bit of a hoon town (sort of a hill-billy crossbetween Belgrade, Ramallah and Mogadishu - I never exaggerate - *ever*).

Now however there are cafes and restaurants popping up and it is becoming quite a trendy town. I had a delicious meal at a restaurant called "Antonio's something" (that's not the real name - that would be dumb).

A few months ago a work collegue and I were in Kansas City for about 3 weeks. I had to go there for work (what's the deal with US phones and network protocols - they're not the best). It was an interesting experience. Everyone drove big cars, had big bellys and there was very little cultural diversity. I couldn't find anywhere where I could eat Thai or Indian food.

Interestingly, when I was in Tasmania, everyone drove big cars, had big bellys and there was very little cultural diversity. I couldn't find anywhere where I could eat Thai or Indian food. Is it any wonder I almost drove on the right hand side of the road several times? Probably.

Christmas 03 Photo Album

The family - some members cloned brushed inAt home in Latrobe - playing PlayStation

Tuesday, June 25, 2002


It's winter and I've been working hard. I just got back from Dallas, Texas. I hummed the theme music to the old TVshow in several places much to the amusement of the locals (it's OK though, they thought I was English).

I had to go there for work. We were jibbed however since the phones were touted to have TCP support but when we got there, guess what? they didn't. So we had to fly all the way back again.

I was also jibbed in LA *mutter*, *mutter* and I had to watch bits of the movie "The Count of Monte Cristo" on the plane. BLECH! It was torture. It's just not right. Sorry, I'm a bit emotional at the moment.

Hmmm... What else? I need to lose some weight. WarCraft III finally came out (much to Athena's delight - not) and I've been playing that occassionally

DallasWarCraft III

Friday, February 8, 2002


I haven't updated this page for a while. I'm trying a new look (which should also requrie less effort to maintain). Anyway, the latest news is that I am working for a company called ActiveSky. I am Team Leader of the J2ME team which is developing a media player (of sorts) for wireless devices.

Aside from that, Athena and I have been snorkelling, sun-baking and playing computer games (well, I've been playing computer games). I haven't trained for a while since I had some problems with my back (I slipped a disk). This is a pain and I'm trying to rehabilitate myself with some physiotheropy. However, I think the woman doesn't have much of a clue and maybe I should see someone else.

Some sample content for the ActiveSky playerShelly Beach

Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Unemployed nerd

Due to a company re-organisation, a "slow-down" in the market and a shift in strategy, Nokia have shut down their Sydney lab. This means that I am now out of a job. It's a shame because I really enjoyed working for Nokia. I considered continuing with Nokia in Finland but I've just bought an apartment here and it's a bit cold for me in Helsinki.

Anyway, there's not much to report. I'm still looking for a new job. There doesn't seem to be much out there at the moment. September 11 doesn't help things that's for sure. I have had a few interviews thus far and whilst they have all gone very well, either the rug has been pulled out from under my feet at the eleventh hour due to external influences or the role was too junior.

It's been great weather and though I am only 5 minutes from the beach I have been nerding. I bought and assembled a new computer, played around with WebSphere, continued with my little "Thrust" applet, mucked around with Flash (a new little sound control), wrote a couple OpenGL "hello world" programs in C++, downloaded and installed the DirectX 8a SDK, played Ultima 9, played Counter-strike on the net (yahfor my new kick-ass computer) and sadly played Colonization for two days straight.

If you know the game then you'll understand why it's so sad (those little Yankee doodle MIDI's have tainted my soul I'm sure). I'm only going to Kick Boxing and Jiu-Hitsu to de-nerdify myself at the moment. At least I didn't go to the Counter-Strike competition.

Counter StrikeThrust

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Blue Mountains

Went to the Blue Mountains with Mum, Mark, Matt, Renee and Athena (my wonderful girlfriend). It was quite an adventure. Since there was six of us I had to hire a van to get us there and back. I was thinking that we could get a 6 seater Tarago or something but the only thing that was available was a 12 seater mini-bus thing. I got used to driving it after about 5 minutes (I only hit one curb). It's amazing how well they handle on two wheels.

We enjoyed fine cuisine at that crazy Swiss restaurant near the Three Sisters in Katoomba. We did the usual site-seeing stuff and went on a bushwalk for a couple of hours. There was quite a long stairway down to the base of the mountain. Our plan was to walk down to the base, walk along the track to the skyrail and then catch the train up. It was a fine plan and it afforded me the opportunity to goad those people we passed going the other way whilst we were on the stairs. They were climbing and usually drenched in sweat and collapsing from exhaustion. When we just started our trip down and were almost atthe top of the mountain I would exclaim how great it was that we were almost to the bottom. The look of despair would cross their faces.

Blue Mountains Photo Album

Saturday, May 19, 2001

Santa Monica

I was walking to work one day and I was thinking to myself that I was paying too much money in rent. I noticed the place across the road looked good from the outside and that it was for sale. On a whim, I rang up and inspected it and it was crap inside. I was a little sad. This fleeting compulsion to buy an apartment had failed.

On my way to work the next day I noticed an apartment for sale. It also looked pretty good from the outside and was in a great location so I booked an appointment for it. When I saw it, it was great. Huge balcony, nice interior, new kitchen etc. It was really well lit with one side all glass looking out over the balcony. There was also some harbour views although better in winter due to a deciduous tree in the way. And it was considerably cheaper than the first one I looked at.

It also has a cool name - "Santa Monica". There's probably some joke I could create involving Bill Clinton and certain things that didn't exist but I'm not smart enough to put it together.

So I bought it and have been delighted ever since. My mum always told me never to buy the first place you see. I didn't! I bought the second one.

Santa Monic Photo Album