Saturday, December 19, 2009

Almost at the end of 2009

And not much has happened.

Looking back, it looks like I did very little during the past year. No major accomplishments like 2008. Got my computer back after nearly a year, started, stopped and started exercising again (still hanging around low 85Kg).

I am still hunting around for a fresh car. The biggest drawback being that I don’t know what it is that I am looking for. At the moment, my main criteria is that it be a rear wheel drive and five speed manual. A Ford Falcon would be nice, but they are nearly all automatic. A small 2 door coupe would be nice but they are nearly always front wheel drive.

Oh well, keep looking.

Not much else to report.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I’m pretty sure Nano is a bust now…

Well, it’s the 23rd and I’ve effectively written no words for Nano. I mean, I wrote a whole bunch of words for my article on the old Atlantis Marine Park (mentioned in my previous entry) but they are not part of a story and so don’t count.

If I wanted to go for it and write out for Nano, with only seven days left, I’d have to write just under 10,000 words per day.

I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I probably could write that much if I really wanted to and if I had the time, but since I work full time and have other commitments, I would only have about one or two hours a day to write in.

And I’m not writing 8,000 words an hour!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Atlantis Marine Park

For those that don’t know, Perth used to have a large number of theme parks back in the 80’s. One of those was the old Atlantis Marine Park. It had dolphins and sea lions and slides and all manner of stuff that was exciting if you were a kid back then.

Of course, if you went there as a teenager or had been to bigger, better parks on the East Coast then you would have been bored out of your skull. The place pretty much only had six dolphins and a few other small animals.

It’s been closed for nearly 20 years, but I went up there to have a look at it a few weeks ago. Wandered around and took a bunch of photos while I was there.

Finally got around to organising it all and writing out a proper article. You can read it here and see the photos that I took. It is quite interesting, if you happen to have been there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Australian Computer Resellers – ripoff merchants

Dammit! Tried a new computer shop out today and got majorly ripped off. The guy there had no idea what he was talking about and most of the systems that he was selling were way overpriced.

I have no idea why the hell I bought the stuff. If I thought about it for three seconds I would have told him to stick it but I was in a hurry and not paying attention.

Paid over three hundred dollars for bits that shouldn’t have been over $200 if they were new. And these are retarded refurbished parts.

Caveat Emptor – and I wasn’t aware.

So damned angry right now. If the place wasn’t so damn far out of the way I’d march back there and demand a refund. As it is I’d end up losing too much time.

Gah! Oh well, serves me right for shopping in a hurry. Memo to self – take a list, take your time!

If you live in Perth and are planning on going to Australian Computer Resellers – DON’T! They’ll just rip you off.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Aaaand … NaNo comes to a crashing halt

Well, I gave NaNoWriMo a half-hearted stab this year. I went to the first meet-up and managed to get 500 odd words done at the first write-in. And pretty much stopped after that.

I’m still trying to write, just shifted targets for a bit. I’m now starting (yet another) project - Fallen House. It’s going to be a bit of a crossover between a webcomic, a novel and a wikivella. It’ll be piggy-backing on the back of Orbital Cauldron for now, though I may give it its own domain at a later stage.

In anticipation of this, I’ve ordered a graphics tablet which will hopefully be arriving sometime next week. This will help with the “webcomic” part of it. I may use the Orbital Cauldron Wiki or the Loneverse wiki, but at the moment I am planning to keep it away from the Wiki model since that normally tends to make me dither.

So at this stage I am gearing up for this project, Loneverse still on the backburner and Orbital Cauldron still needs a bit of a tidy up to allow it to be promoted.

Now all I need to do is to get stuck into it and WRITE!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Word Count: 7

Well, NaNoWriMo is under way again.

I woke up fairly early and decided to get stuck into writing as soon as I could. However, since mum is still needing care due to her having had an operation a few days ago, my writing time (and inspiration) is coming up short.

No matter, it is still only 7am on day one, so there is plenty of time left. Only 49,993 words left to go…

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gearing up for NaNo and stuff

Well, it’s nearly the end of October and NaNoWriMo is all set to get cracking again. There is a pre-Nano meet-up tomorrow in the city (there was an unofficial one today for those that can’t make it tomorrow, not sure how many attended), and I intend to be at the meet-up.

NaNo is awesome fun and quite hectic. I’ll be having a few problems this year as mum goes in for surgery at the end of October.

That’s the other bit of news. Mum is having her gall bladder removed. Hopefully the doctor will be able to remove it via keyhole surgery, but they say that they may have to open her up. If they cut her open, then she has to stay longer in the hospital and will take longer to recover.

Hopefully all will go well. I’ve booked a few days off from work (I wanted to take two weeks off, but they would only allow me three days), so hopefully between me and my brother we’ll be able to make sure she gets better.

The last thing is that my dog tags arrived. I had to wait until I knew my blood type, but they are now around my neck. I put my name, blood type, drivers license number and emergency contact details on there.

They are supposed to be military grade stainless steel, but we’ll see how long they last…

Also, I saw Up today. I liked it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bee Positive

Well, got the results back from the blood clinic and it turns out that I am B+ bloodtype.

I’m not sure what to say. I don’t feel any different and I don’t think it’ll make a whole lot of difference in my life (unless someone gives me the wrong blood type at the hospital).

In an effort to head off that calamity before it happens, I put in an order for some dog tags. We’ll see how long they take to arrive.

Also ordered more flashes and some stands. Hanging out for those to arrive…

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Well, since I am now gearing up to run more often, I figured that it would be a good idea to get some proper running shoes. Something with support that would help me.

Picked up some Adidas shoes for about $200 (ouch). Hopefully they will be 10x better than the $20 shoes I am running with at the moment.

The main drama being that with the old shoes I was getting ankle pain which might have been due to a lack of support.

I’ll be trying them out on Monday. I’ll share how it goes!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trying out Coppermine

Well, I wasn’t able to find a different image gallery program so I went ahead and decided to install Coppermine (it is available as a one-button install option provided by my website host, Jumba).

So far, it has gone reasonably well. The learning curve isn’t too hard, I’ve been able to sort things out and get the ball rolling (15 photos uploaded thus far) and it looks like it will be much better than my original photo gallery which was just a basic page with links to photos.


The new one looks pretty crappy at the moment (default theme) but I will be trying to change the look of it to fit in with my website a little more.

If I can get it to look like it is part of the site, then I will be very happy with it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Site Rebuild

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but it’s about time that I re-built my website. It’s been floundering around with little aim and has outdated code.

Plus it was built when I didn’t really know that much about building websites.

Onwards and upwards.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Going to the Rise

It's been sooooo long since I went out on a friday night. I don't think I'll have the energy to dance til dawn any more, but I'll see if I can make a good showing of it.

Should be fun, unless I end up in a random fight with some stranger who thinks I'm trying to hit on his girfriend whom I don't even see and end up getting punched, kicked, glassed, stabbed, shot, killed or some other horrible thing.

Oh well, no point in living if there's no chance of dying!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Oh, I can’t believe it – those dvd’s I ordered actually work!

I’m so excited – and I just can’t hide it!

I have so much other stuff that I should be doing – but noooo – I’ll be wasting time watching dvd’s. Oh well, I knew how the game would play out when I signed up for it.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Goodies arrived!

I found a site a few weeks ago that sold old series and stuff that aren't available. The package arrived today - yay!

I'll be opening it up and having a look in a minute. Hopefully, they'll play on my dvd player. If it does, I'll definitily be leaving positive feedback for the chap who sold them to me - not to mention spending hours and hours watching them!

And I thought I had a book to write! Well, I did order a book that arrived a few days ago which I haven't looked at yet.

There must be something wrong with me that a new book arrives and I don't start reading it and a package arrives with stuff for me that I've been waiting for and I jump online and blog about it rather than opening it up...

Okay, off to watch!

Writing again

Whee, finally sat down and wrote some words.

Not just in a generic sense, but in a “I’m writing a story” type sense. Now I just need to keep up the pace in order to get into the groove and ready for NaNoWriMo 2009.

Of course, if I was doing it properly, I would still be writing the story rather than writing this blog post about writing the story while not writing the story.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Night Photography

Not a whole lot going down at the moment. Went out the other night to take a few more pics of the streets at night. Didn’t get anything particularly exciting, but there were one or two that were good enough.

This is one of them:


There must be a story behind this shoe, though I do not know it.

I was walking back to the car when I happened to notice that there was a shoe lying by the side of the road. It is pink and not very large. There is only one and the straps are done up. Like I said, I have no idea as to the story behind this shoe.

Maybe a young girl was happily playing the park, went back to the car to go home with the family and dropped it by the side of the road. Perhaps an annoying little brother threw it out the window as they were leaving.

I don't know what happened, but somewhere there is another little shoe, sad, and missing it's twin…

In other news, I put in an order for some business cards. I have no idea if or when they are going to show up, but I’ll wait and see how they turn out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Updated website

Wow, it has been way too long since I updated my website.

Well, at least I don’t do frivolous updates for the sake of an update. Put up the latest “essay” (if you can really call it an essay). It’s a short article about upgrading my Extensa 5220 laptop with more RAM and a bigger HDD.

Didn’t go out on the weekend to do any photography (wanted to save a bit on fuel) but I did take a bunch of photos of the flowers and stuff around the house.

Mood: Anxiously waiting for stuff I bought on-line to arrive.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This time with a photo

Okay, we’ll add a hyperlink to Google and a photo:


That’s a photo of one of the guys I used to work with in his race car.

I’m reluctant to use the other “insert” options as I’m not sure what they all do but I am liking the fact that this thing has spellchecker built in and that it seems to be handling everything pretty well.

I wasn’t too sure about all the extra stuff that it installed when I first put it in, but we’ll see how it goes and if I can keep myself trained to do more Blog posts.

I don’t tend to write too much. Whee. Word. Heh. Lol.

Okay, enough of that…

Trying out Windows Live Writer

Okay, so this is the fancy new Windows Live Writer.

Didn’t seem to hard to set up, now let’s see how it works. Post Number 1 from Writer – away!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trip to Bunbury?

Might head south this weekend.


Just 'cos.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Windows 7 rocks!

Well, after playing around with a few different linuc distro's I figured I'd give Windows 7 RC 1 a try (after all, hey, it's free!).

I'm really digging it. It does everything I need it to, has been fairly stable and is backwards compatible with my older software. Plus, if I did decide to get the proper Windows 7 when it comes out, I wouldn't need to buy a complete new machine again.

At the moment I have two and half ciompoters lying around. I need to get mum's upgraded, but I might hold off putting the half to work until furhter down the track.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

District 9

Heard markedly different opinions on this one. Some people saying it was so bad that they walked out of the theater. Some people saying it was the best film they'd seen all year.

Very violent film, not for the kiddies.

Me? I'm mixed. There were a few things that seemed to not follow an internal consistency. Plot seemed a little thin. The effects were pretty good, almost to the point where the aliens blended in seamlessly with the live actors.

Didn't really like the style, though the fast cuts definitely showed a history on the part of the director / editor to have come from an advertising background.

Overall, I'd say it's the kind of film one really needs to see at the cinema (I think most of the budget went on special effects), but if you weren't already planning on seeing this film, I wouldn't try and change your mind to go see it.

It's one of those films were you either like it based on the trailer or you probably won't like it.

Me, an author? Epic fail.

Well, for a while now (since I participated in the 2007 NaNoWriMo) I've been trying to get into writing. I've set myself targets, gotten supplies, set aside time and even bought an ergonomic keyboard specifically for this - and I'm not getting too far.

Let's see - in the past twelve weeks, I've set myself the target of 20,000 words for June (as a warm-up towards JuNoWriMo), 50,000 words for the July WriMo and 20,000 again for August to keep ticking over on the way towards this year's WriMo in November.

How many words did I actually write?


Oh yay me - that is truly a distinguished effort which greatly exemplifies the term "epic fail". If I'd gotten only a few thousand out each month then that would be just plain old fail. But to have achieved absolutely nothing? That takes a special kind of non-effort right there.

So the current goals are being re-evaluated and I'm locking down time and resources to devote to this. I have at least two sites (more like three) that I have running devoted to this project(s) and they have stalled for quite some time now.

Oh well, onwards and upwards.

In related news, I'm looking over the idea of buying a graphics tablet again. No idea why since I don't have the skill or discipline to draw properly anyway.

Well, since I should be writing - I'm off. To go watch a movie. District 9 actually.


Worked out the remote

Playing with my 300D I finally figured out how to use a little cheapy IR remote I picked up off eBay.

The trick was telling the camera to accept IR - done via the normal / timer button on top of the camera. It should also be noted that the IR receiver on the camera is covered by the fingers in a normal holding position so that the remote will only control the camera when it is on a tripod or on a desk.

Now I just need a subject to photograph...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

First Post from BlogEntry on Ubuntu

Test post - let's see if this works.

Might be a little easier to do it this way than to be making emails and sending that. Not sure how it'll work for images and such though - need to look into that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still going with the A/V system

Boy, am I a glutton for punishment.

Having spent all that time working on getting the tv system all set up I am now about to go and pull it all apart again.

Actually, it's not that bad. I'll be adding a PC loaded with movies to be a poor mans Media Center and it's just a basic re-wiring of the connections. It should just be a matter of connecting it to the back of the telly, but it does not have enough inputs.

I picked up a little switchbox to connect everything together, so we'll see how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 3, 2009

New project (yet again)

Well, the new project, Orbital Cauldron is coming along nicely.

It's nothing flash yet, but it is shaping up to be interesting. Not much to report, just a quick note today.

To-do list

Okay, have a few projects on the burner at the moment.

I need to pick up a few cables in order to get the media PC hooked up to the tv, I want to grab a shelf (or something) to stick said PC on and I want to get a footrest so that if I am spending large amounts of time on the computer writing then I can get a better seating position.

The new gOS is working out okay. It's not the fantastic thing I thought it was going to be, but I'm still willing to stick with it a while longer and see how it goes.

The main thing I am on the lookout for at the moment is a quick and easy way to upload blog posts here to blogger. I find the login system on the site to be a little clunky and if I can find a way to be in an editor and click on button to send the post to the site then that would be awesome.

Not a whole lot new going down, but slowly plodding along.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

From GMail

Let's see how this works. This is a post made via email from GMail.

Hand-coded link: <a href="">Link to Google</a>. Same, but using editor: Google

Would try an image, but don't have a little one to try out. I won't put the closing tag to see if GMail adds anything to the bottom.

Orbital Cauldron

Well, I've picked up the site Orbital Cauldron. I've started working on it to try and make it into something that people might one day want to use.

I doubt that it'll be anything particularly fancy, but so long as there is some participation going on, then I'll be happy.


Just installed the spanky new gOS - the supposed "Google" Operating System.

Technically, it's a distro of Ubuntu but it is geared to integrating with a lot of the applications and services offered by Google. This means that the computer it runs on can be less powerful (I've put an old PC to work) and it uses the new "cloud computing" fancy stuffs.

Half the point of getting it was to make it easy to use Blogger, but the "Blogger" function in the system just launches Firefox to the blogger site.

We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Looking for a mobile...

Wow, haven't updated in a while. Need to make sure I update more often.

Anyway, I currently have my Sony Ericsson W610i which has servmed me reasonably well thus far. It's okay, but there are a few things I'm not liking about it. I can keep using it, I'm just looking at other options.

The first thing to do is to decide what I want the phone to do. There's no point going out and buying something with little thought or reason as I'd probably buy some flashy but useless thing. Pity stores don't let you hold and try the phones.

Here's what I definitly must have in a phone:

  • Make and receive phone calls easily

  • Send and receive sms easily, including pre-emptive dictionary

  • List missed calls / made calls / received calls

  • Camera - best possible! This is very important!

  • Be able to easily write notes to myself

  • Sync with the computer (preferably on the Linux system, XP otherwise)

On the other hand, here are the things that I definitly do NOT want:

  • not an iPhone

  • no GPS

  • no wireless
And just to be picky, here are a few things that would be nice to have, but which I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other:

  • be able access email

  • use facebook / internet

  • use mobile as modem for computer
There are probably a few more features that I want, can't think of too many at the moment.

If I think if anything else, I'll make sure that I write it down. I'd like my next phone to work nicely and last a long time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Post for the sake of making a post

I'd say "nothing to report" but that would be reporting something.

I really want a better way to update this thingy since logging in can be a little difficult. I like being able to email in updates but they don't format properly and I can't include images that way.

Stopped to help some random person who had broken down on the side of the road on the way home today. Hope they managed to get home safely.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Whee! Again!

Well, the new place is mostly sorted out.

Most of the boxes have been opened and the contents neatly arranged in alphabetical order in a pile on the floor. The furniture has been re-built (damned Ikea furniture - though we managed to not loose any nuts or bolts). Books are back on their shelves and most importantly - communications have been restored.

Phone and internet took an inordinate amount of time to get connected, but it all seems to be sweetness and light at the moment, so still waiting for the shoe to drop and the problems to show up.

Nonetheless, irregardless of improprietariness (and other words one should not use) it all seems to be going well.

As anticipated, it is taking longer to get to work (that motorbike idea is looking better all the time) and there are enough local shops that we can get by without having to drive a long distance for the essentials.

Hopefully I'll have more good news to report as time goes by, not much new at the moment appart from the obvious.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Middle of moving

Ow, so darned sore!

It's been a hectic few days driving back and forth with car loads of boxes.

Since me and my brother have had different shifts, we haven't yet been able to move some of the bigger stuff - desks, sofas, the tv unit. Almost all the small stuff is gone. I think we have about 90% moved at this stage.

I'll be so glad when it is all said and done. It's been a huge pain in the back. Literally - I'm so sore from all the picking up and putting down...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June WriMo

Well, here's another challenge for me to fail.

Since I'm gearing up for both JulNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo - both of which involve writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I figured I'd "warm up" with a writing month in June. Except that the warm-up goal is only 20K.

Haven't really gotten into the swing of things, but I'm up to just over 2,000 words so far.

Got a bit to go, plus there is the house move still to go, but I recon I can do it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sold the Falcon

Well, my Ford has been sold off.

Sold it for $300, which represents about a $2,500 loss but I'm still kinda happy about it. For one, it's gone and second, the chap that bought it wanted a registered chassy he could put his engine and stuff into. So it worked out well for both.

I've decided to try and build a trailer to go with the Lego truck I bought a while back. Not sure what kind of budget I'm willing to commit to yet, but it seems like I really ought to be saving money for this whole financial disaster thing the news keeps talking about.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fire! Near work.

Had an interesting event today - the petrol station down the orad from where I work went up in flames. I have a few pics, I'll get them up tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Four weeks and counting

Well, things look pretty sweet with the new place. The cogs are all falling onto place and we have a tentative move-in date.

We have plenty of boxes to chuck all our junk into. The main things I need to focus on are selling off some of my old stuff (like the Ford) in order to generate a bit of cash and to clear up some room.

Not quite sure yet if we'll be renting a truck or using a trailer, either way it's a lot of picking things up and putting them down. Which is pretty much what I used to do for work anyway.

On the to-do list, I need to verify that my trailer socket on the Corsair works properly so that I can chuck a trailer on there.

Other than that, not much to report.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fresh Car

Okay, this weekend I picked up a new cage to cart my sorry backside around in. It's not the motorbike I wanted, but it'll keep me dry this coming winter.

It's a Ford Corsair and I'm happy I managed to get three out of four. It's a sedan, it's a 5-speed manual and it has a towball. The only one I missed out on is that it isn't rear wheel drive.

Oh well. Let's see if this Ford lasts me longer than my last Ford. The big red Falcon died after only a few months. Actually, this one gave me a bit of an initial scare since it died 500 meters from the car yard. Luckily it was just out of gas and a quick trip to the servo with a jerry can got it up and running again.

First thing tomorrow, drop it off at the mechanic for a service and inspection.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Inexorably closer

Well, the house that we are buying is now listed as "sold" on the real estate agent's website so I guess it's full steam ahead.

We've done some financial jumping around and gotten all the bits sorted. There are still a few loose ends to tidy up and all our remaining junk to box up but it is coming together.

The motorbike project is on hold until further notice since I have to get a fresh car. As stated before, I'm sticking to my guns - manual, 5 speed with a towball. All other considerations secondary (apart from the obvious of it being licensed, running and so on). I'm not even fussed about the number of doors or even if it's a wagon.

Seen some interesting stuff on Gumtree and Craigslist, though CL is a little quiet in Perth as not as many people over here are aware of it. It's more popular over east.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finally - an update!

Well, I managed to get up off my backside and made an update to my main site.

I've uploaded a photo gallery with some of my less bad photos on it. None of them are award-winning or even particularly good, but hopefully it'll give me a baseline to improve from.

Trying to get more into writing, not very successful thus far. On the plus side, I've stopped ordering stuff on-line, which means there is less chance of things getting lost in the mail during the upcoming move.

Not sure when we'll be moving, the uncertainty is the most annoying part. We've moved plenty of times before so it isn't as traumatic as it can be for some people. Probably helps that I can't wait to get out of this place. Anyway, boxing is going nicely, still have more stuff to pack than stuff which is packed, so we're aways away still.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Car died

Car is now officially dead.

It has some problem in the engine that requires the engine to be pulled apart to determine the problem. And if the problem can be fixed, then it'd be fairly easy to fix since the engine is, you know, already apart.

However, it'd be a few hundred dollars in labour in order to pull the engine apart just to find out what was wrong and then a couple more to put it together again. And it might even need a complete new engine.

So I figure I'll cut my losses and see if I can sell it off for a few hundred. With the criteria outlined in the previous post, I'll be looking for a fresh car this weekend.

Oh well, win some, lose some.

In other news, I got my latest Lego package from Europe. Just gotta put it together. Also, our cat might have been kicked or clipped by a car - she's limping around and not letting anyone get close.

And work sucks, but you already knew that...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two hundred and second

Wow, just noticed that I'd hit the 200-post mark. I had thought about doing something special for the 200th post when I was up to 193 or something, then forgot about it.

Oh well, never mind.

The car is on thin ice at the moment. I paid $2,250 for it and I've already had to do about $2,000 worth of repairs. I know my brother has spent masses of money on his car (same make and model, different year) so depending on what the mechanic says today (it's been running rough over the weekend) I'll see if it is worth the effort of keeping it or getting another one.

The annoying thing is that all the mechanics I've taken it to all say "oh, it's in great condition, nothing wrong with it". And then a week later something else needs fixing.

Having said that, if I do go looking for yet another car, I'll be making a list and sticking to it this time:
  • It must be a manual, preferably five speed.
  • Ute is preferred, but sedan is cheaper and more useful.
  • It must be old, so that I can do maintenance myself.
  • It needs to have a towball on the back.
And I'll be writing that down and damned sticking to it this time!

In other news, Hasoly has completed her required hours and now needs to go do the Hazards Perception Test and she'll have her license and be able to drive on her own.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well, it was supposed to be a long weekend.

Instead our beloved area manager decided that we would open for work on Monday anyway, despite the fact that we never open for public holidays and had signs up saying that we would be closed for the last two weeks.

Looks like its going to be a boring day, sitting around kicking our heels. On the plus side, extra money. On the down side, waste of a day.

Like I said, blargh...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

House picked out

Well, looks like we have a place picked out. An offer has been made and accepted, the bank is talking to the settlement agent and hopefully we'll be good to go in a relatively short amount of time. How long that is depends on several things, most of which I'm probably not aware of.

Life in general is doing pretty good. Most of the stuff I bought on eBay arrived without major drama so it's all good on that front. I have two packages still in transit - one from the US and one from Europe which should both hopefully arrive before we move.

The car is still losing coolant, which is a pain but is still manageable. I still want a motorbike but it does not look like that will be happening any time soon. No major disasters this week, so everything appears to be coasting along nicely.

Memo to self: get the photos up...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

House Huntin'

So, today is a day to get into massive debt.

We'll be going out to look at a bunch of houses and hopefully point at one and shout "I'll take it!". Pre-approval is awesome. Just gotta stick with the re-payments.

One could say "we are going to buy a house". Likewise, one could also say "we are going to get into half a million dollars worth of debt".

Doesn't sound as good when put that way... :o(

Monday, April 13, 2009

On hold

Okay, so I have a number of projects that are sitting around, not going anywhere. These are:
  • Way of the Lone Road - this is a communal story forum that I started a few years ago. The people who were involved with that one have mainly moved on. Status: Currently, I am using it as general forum for my various projects.
  • TwaiP - this was my first webcomic. For a first, I think it went pretty well. It has a start, a middle and an end. Status: Finished.
  • The Craze Factor This was a "stolen" webcomic. Basically, someone else wanted their account deleted. I asked them to send me the login details which they did and I deleted their old content, like they wanted. Then I moved in my own junk and squatted on the account. Status: Being used as a testing area. Can be deleted at any time.
  • ictoanftc - I couldn't think of a name for this comic is on indefinite hiatus. The story wasn't going anywhere and I ran out of motivation.
  • - my main site, no updates in a long time. This one I really need to get to work on. Status: Limping along
  • Loneverse - this is my "big" creative site. However, it too has not updated in a long time. I have the urge to overhaul it and start again, but that does not feel right. I may just leave it as is, get another domain and start a new story site with a different theme. Status: Unofficially on hiatus
  • LTPD - this is the latest webcomic. It's a photocomic that uses Lego people (hence the recent splurging on Lego). Turns out that sticking word bubbles on photos is not as satisfying as drawing comics. Status: Aborted?
I'm pretty sure that I have another project or three that I am not listing. I have a lot of started/aborted projects.

So in order to focus, I think I will cut down on the number of projects that I have running. Since I will be running a private server at home, I think that what I will do is to set up a private wiki and see if I can maintain a series of updates on the local one and then see about getting a new domain. Loneverse I'll put on tentative hold, though I intend to keep writing that one and I'll need to get into gear and get some more updates on my main site.

Everything else is getting dropped.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

And then thought the better of it

Okay, so after two hours of mucking round, here are the final results:

The total of all the parts that are available new comes out to AUS$115 + $30 postage. The remaining parts are available from four separate dealers, all in Europe. The total for the extra parts is only $37, but postage from four separate sellers adds $80.

That's $262.

Or, I can pay $68 and get an incomplete second hand 5580 and make up the missing pieces from my collection. This works out much better for two reasons: first, it is cheaper and second, Lego ages pretty well. I have Lego that's almost as old as I am and it is still in pretty good condition.

So I guess that's that. An interesting experiment, but at least I didn't spend any money. I might still get 5580 at some future time, but I'll put this idea on the backburner for a while.

And since we might be moving soon, it's probably a good idea not to buy stuff internationally which might get delayed in transit.

So I've decided to be stupid...

As I was discussing in my previous post, it is quite possible (though sometimes more expensive) to re-build an old, discontinued set by buying new individual parts directly from Lego.

Since the 8880 Supercar has so many specific parts and would be quite expensive, I've decided to give it a go but with a different model: the 5580 Super Rig.

The reason for choosing this set is that a)the set is from 1986, when sets where very much built from basic bricks, b)it's a cool set and c)I want it.

Not very good reasons for dropping a bunch of cash on little plastic toys...

Anyway, it's not recorded anywhere that I can find how much it originally cost, but looking at comparable models from that range and time, I'd guess that it was somewhere around $60 to $100 USD. Assuming that it was $95, adjusting for inflation and converting to AUS, it would probably have been in the region of AUS$160.

Currently, there are around 30 copies of this set available from BrickLink, ranging from USD$50 for one missing bricks with no instructions or box to sets around USD$500 still in original box. There is even one going for over USD$2,000 since it is sealed in mint condition.

Obviously I don't want to spend anywhere near that much. For around USD$90 (plus postage) I can get a complete set including instructions. That's probably the smart way to get it, but that's not how I roll.

So I'll see how many of the bricks I can get new from Lego, then pick up the rest second hand. And see how much I end up spending on this stupid project...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Insane, but quiet.

Okay, I was looking through some of my old stuff when I found some old Lego catalogues (I seem to be thinking a lot about Lego at the moment). In it, I saw one of the old Technic sets, specifically set 8880, which was "the" must-have supercar in the mid 90's.

This particular set is actually available from a few places (only second hand) and I got to thinking, would it be possible to build this set out of new parts?

I trundled over to Shop@Home (Lego's on-line shop) where they have a "buy the bits you want" service. Now, they don't keep the full range of bits for people to buy, but they do have a very wide selection of bricks. About 80% of the parts I would need are available.

Now, it's that last 20% that is the kicker. This set uses many pieces that are not in production any more and two specific pieces that were exclusive to this set.

Doing the maths, new bricks from S@H come out to about AUS$160. The other 20% would need to be bought second-hand and total (approx) another $50-70. And the two exclusive bits are still available, but they would be about $20 for just those two.

So the running tally would be AUS$240 plus postage, which would be around another $80 since all the extra bits would be coming from different sources, mainly in Europe.

AUS$320 for an 80% new car.

Or AUS$200 for a second hand one with no box or instructions.

Gee, which would I do? Let me think about this one for two seconds. . .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quiet, but sane.

Not much has been going down in my corner of the world. We're pretty lucky in that we haven't been hit too hard with the current financial troubles and no major problems have come up.

Still playing with the new camera, need to put up a couple of photos that I've taken. Some are okay, most are rubbish. Hopefully I'll be getting better - I just need to get out there and take more photo's.

I'm sort of over the "buy lots of Lego" phase. The main reason I was trying to buy more was for my not-going-anywhere Lego-webcomic idea. Since I have not bothered making any updates with it using what I already have then I figure that I', probably not going to do many updates even if I had a huge amount of Lego.

I'm also kind of over the "lets buy a motorbike" idea. Most everyone I've spoken to has gone out of their way to tell me stories about people getting mangled riding on motorbikes (and shown me videos). Plus the initial set-up costs are greater than the savings over several years worth of riding rather than driving.

So I'm kind of in limbo at the moment. I don't have any big plans to aim for, I don't have any projects in the pipeline and I'm not doing anything creative.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

eBay - it's damned addictive!

Well, I need to develop more self control.

So far I've order some dog tags (no idea why, don't have a dog), some books, some stuff or the camera and Lego. Lots of Lego (luckily I've been out-bid on some of the bigger bulk lots - so there are people out there that want Lego more than I do!).

I have a feeling that I need to keep a pretty close eye on how long I spend looking at eBay. It would be so easy to buy junk that I don't need or want. Earlier today I was looking at buying 100 sheets of gold leaf just because it was cheap - nevermind that I have absolutely no use for gold leaf, let alone 100 sheets of it!

However, I do need a new battery for the camera... and a memory card...

Oh dear, it is a slippery slope.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Still thinking about the motorcycle

I am undecided.

One day, I'm all "oh noes, that would be terrible - not to mention dangerous!" and the next day I'm "hell yeah, this is an awesome idea!"

I'm looking at prices and it looks like it'd be a minimum outlay of around $4,000 for a banger - $3,000 for a bike (assuming I find a cheap one) and $1,000 for safety gear (helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, pants).

I can understand the safety gear being a bit dearish since you need it new, but what I find annoying is that everyone I speak to says "small engine bikes don't sell well, you won't get your money back on them" but all the under 250cc bikes I look at are about the same price as new. Which is kinda retarded. Even old bangers from the 80's are several thousand.

Unlike cars where it is easy to find a rolling bomb for under $500 which just needs a little tlc to keep it moving. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. I wonder if it is worth the effort of finding a good wreckers and buy all the bits for the bike and then put it together myself?

Now that is a really bad idea...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st

Didn't see too many April Fools Day jokes, but the assistant manager at work managed to get a few people with a good one.

He sent around a message saying "the store was ram raided" and followed it with a photo of the incident. He'd gotten to work early and taken a photo of one of our remote control cars up against the front door.

It was funnier than it sounds.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Well, didn't do anything that I had planned for this weekend. I really ought to make lists so that I can keep track of these things. Actually, I should do that now:
  • Solder up the LED lighting for LTPD.
  • Start making LTPD updates, generic starter ones (need 38!).
  • Get judging for QSA contest done.
  • Prep package for randomparrot so it can be mailed on Monday.
I think that's everything that is important at the moment. I'm sure I'm forgetting something though...

In other news, as the title implies, I've started buying stuff off eBay. I have a remote release and macro extension tubes for the dSLR on order. Hopefully they will arrive this week. Might need to use the A550 in the meantime to have bigger images to play with that can be cropped.

Need to add "build sets" to the list.

One last little diddy: found a great master builder on Flickr: legoloverman's flikr. I have yet to find something of his that didn't look like pure win.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yet another weekend

Well, I have a little free time on my hands. I get so damn tired at work that when I get home I just want to lie down and sleep.

The annoying thing is that it isn't physical tiredness like when I was working on construction sites. It's mental exhaustion from dealing with the public all day. Seriously, how do more people not accidentally kill themselves each day? I work in an electronics store and the number of people trying to do things that are flat out dangerous amazes me that they are still alive.

In unrelated news, we might be moving soon. No idea where or when, but we've been living in this house for about a decade and a half and it is high time that we moved on I reckon.

In yet more unrelated news, I don't think I mentioned before that I picked up a dSLR camera. I have no idea how to use it, but it's about ten years old and there are few things that I need to buy for it. A new battery to start with, a remote would be nice and possibly a new lens.

My wallet is cringing already.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New PC

Picked up a cheapy second hand PC today.

It isn't anything flash, but I'm hoping I'll be able to put the fan I had left over from the "quiet that PC" episode into it. Not that I need this one to run silent - I just want to put the fan to work.

Hooray for small accomplishments

I recently got Lego set 10191 - Star Justice. Peeron, who are where you go if you want to know what bricks comes with what set, did not have an inventory of this set.

So I took it upon myself to write it up. Oh man, that was hard! Took about three days. It involves a lot of jumping around different sites trying to get the exact part numbers for different bricks. It looks like there are three different standards for the numbers, and sometimes you use one, other times you use another.

Anyway, enough of that - Peeron accepted my inventory! Whee!

Okay, that really is a small thing, but I was excited about it. Don't think I'll be doing too many of these though...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And it arrives

The Lego order from Denmark arrived on the 18th! That's pretty prompt service as far as I am concerned. From the various bits of information on the outside of the box, it appears to me that it came to me from Sydney, which is odd.

I assume that what happens is that Lego in Denmark pack all the orders for Australia in one big box, mail it to their sub-distributor in Sydney who then ship them out to all the individual places. Either way, I'm stoked.

I picked up an Indiana Jones set, just for the motorbikes and the Star Justice set, for no particular reason. However, earlier today I did do the inventory for it (I lie, it took a couple of days) and uploaded it to Peeron. We'll see if they accept it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Order placed

Well, today I placed an order with Shop @ Home on the Lego site. Let us see how long it takes for some plastic building bricks to get from Denmark to Australia...

Friday, February 27, 2009


Hmm... just musing out loud here. I'm interested in getting a motorbike (and by extension, a motorbike license). I'm just wondering what the benefits and negatives are. I mean, it'd be cheaper to drive around (and possibly maintain) but it'd be a lot more dangerous as well. I like having the car around me, not me around the car.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More than I thought

I got out the old boxes and pulled out my entire Lego collection. I have stuff from the eighties! And it turns out, I have more than I thought that I did:

my Lego collection

So of course the first order of business was to build something:

building tuff with Lego

I think that I will need to find a way to get organised in order to keep track of what I have.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I am paying with some new types of lighting in gearing up for the next project.

Simple lighting set up

Not overly complex, but it gets the job done.

In an uncaring world

Rather quiet week for me. How unusual.

I showed my cat the Vignette I made earlier:

Cat on the desk

He didn't care.

In other news, I am incredibly lazy. Curse my laziness! I bought some storage systems to keep my Lego collection tidy. And of course, I need more. turns out I had more Lego than I thought I did. Running a contest on which I am sponsoring via my site.

Speaking of which, that one isn't doing too well, but at least it is up and running. Unlike my Lego webcomic...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vignette - Prince of Persia

I was browsing the interwebs, as I am wont to do on occasion, when I came across a site that dealt mainly with Vignettes made with Lego.

Essentially, a vignette is a small scene built with a small number of pieces in order to convey something (a story or an emotion or something like that). Having looked at some I figured I'd give it a go.

Here is my first attempt at a vignette:

Vignette made with Lego of the old PC game Prince of Persia

It's a vignette of an old game from back in the day called Prince of Persia. The kids these days are more familiar with the newer versions, but the original was a lo of fun (even if it was a little frustrating).

It was good fun making this. I might need to make some more.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Living in the seventies

I don't know why.

But I decided to go for a "retro" look when I needed a steering wheel cover for my car.

Leather steering wheel cover

I got a leather (or more accurate, leather-like) cover which is stitched on. I think my dad had one of these back in the 80's. It looks totally out of place on my car, but it protects the steering wheel from my sweaty hands.

We'll see how it holds up in the summer heat. I bet it doesn't last until winter...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Too hot ... can't post ...

Blargh... hate summer, hate heat, hate sunlight and it is just too damned hot to move.

Been fairly quiet last couple of weeks. Mainly just nose to the grindstone and all that. Started a contest on which looks to be having a decent turnout. Pity I have to pay for the prizes, but that's what organisers do.

I've been having a grand idea to open a shop and sell LEGO, but it would be a colossal failure because I'd open all the boxes and play with the toys rather than selling them.

Bought another little LEGO set, I'll put a pick up in a few days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gah! I'm an imbecile!


Dammit! Again!

I normally drive so well. I drive all the way around the city every day on my normal commute. On Thursday I drove even slower than normal in order to save fuel and because it was coming up on a public holiday weekend (double demerits). I see a yellow light (incidentally, the last set of lights before my house) and what do I do? I think "I can make it" and try to get through.

Of course, the lights change and I get flashed by the red light camera.


I'm not mad that I got flashed.I did the wrong thing and so a fine is due. I'm mad at myself for doing something stupid. I think it's been about four years since my last traffic infringement. Now we re-set the counter and wait for the fine to show up so I can pay it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Curses - blocked on two fronts!

First, the site I signed up for is taking it's sweet time activating my account. So I can't upload anything yet.

Second (which sort of mitigates the first), turns out that my camera can't focus on teeny little things right in front of the lens. *shakes fist* The problem is that the auto-focus has trouble with flat plastic. I'm going to try a webcam and see if that works better, specifically one with manual focus.

Since I can't generate any content for this project, I'm going to get busy doing storyboards and planning things out so that when I do get into gear, I'll be ready to go with a mess of content.


Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A successful hunt

Well, today I spent a better part of hunting down specific Lego sets.

Theoretically, I only needed two. Since the shops that I went looking in didn't have the ones that I wanted, I kept going to different shops (and seeing more stuff that I wanted but didn't really have the money to buy).

Having said that, I found the sets I was looking for:

Lego set 8631

Lego set 7731

The sad thing is, I didn't really want either set. I only wanted one part out of each set - the hair out of set 8631 and the head from set 7731. These I want to make a sigfig for me.

Oh, and I also picked up sets 5620 and 5612, 'cos they were like totally cheap and all. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :p

New project building momentum

Well, I'll let slip a few little teasers for the upcoming project.

I'll be using Lego, and it'll be telling stories.

If you know a bit about what I do, then that should pretty much give the game away. More details will be forthcoming once I can get the account for it set up properly.

And since it's Lego, it gives me the perfect excuse to dig all my old stuff out of storage. I had more than I thought! And it's not enough! So buying more is what I'll do.

Any excuse to buy more Lego.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And ... yet another project

Well, let's see now.

First, I tried my hand at stop motion animation. I wasn't too bad at that. I made three films (one proper film and two tests). I still hang around that community, but I haven't made another one in three years.

Then, I tried my hand at webcomics. Three times. Turns out I can't draw consistently (though I can draw well) and I'm rubbish for keeping to schedule. Actually, the first comic did alright - it had a start and an end and I managed to keep to the update schedule. The second one did okay too, until I just sort of ran out of steam and stopped updating. The third one doesn't count as it was a test site.

After that I tried my hand at writing. Again, started off okay, but simply haven't had the momentum to keep it going. I mean, over the Christmas break I had four days off during which I was going to get busy and write a whole lot of stories. Then I had two more days off, then New Years and now another weekend.

During which time I haven't written a single word.

Actually, I wrote a fair bit - just not on my site. I've been busy larking about on forums and YouTube and other people's sites and ignoring my own. That one is still going, I'm just dropping its priority level (is there a level below "no effort at all"?).

Anyway - I have another project that I am starting to work on now. I have no idea how this one is going to play out. It does require a little bit of an initial outlay, but it isn't too excessive. I'll keep this one under wraps for now, but hopefully it'll keep my interest a bit longer.

I'm reluctant to lock down a specific goal for this project as that seems to be a cue for me to lose interest, but I'll see how it goes.

More news soon.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First post for 2009

Well, an auspicious start to 2009.

Got smashed in an attack on the OGame. A fleet of over 60,000 ships is pretty hard to fight off. On the plus side, it'll give me more time since I don't really care about it any more. I wasn't really playing that much, not the proper way.

Our cat was attacked by another cat. My brother took her to the vet to get sorted out. For some reason she'd bitten down so hard that she had bitten into her tongue and couldn't let go.

Cat got her tongue?

Sorry, really lame joke. Anyway, as usual, not much to report - other than it is stinking hot. I toyed with the idea of making more stop motion movies with Lego, but can't be bothered. Still looking for a creative outlet. Drawing didn't work out, music never got off the ground and writing isn't coming along very well either.

The hunt continues.