14th Dec 2006

The End

Posted on Thursday at 09.12, so far 0 comments have been made.

After nearly three and a half years, my relationship with Rachel has ended. It's also ended nearly two years of my life in Melbourne.

Relationships, especially three and a half year relationships, in my view, are all about honesty, patience, commitment and compromise, and I'm sad to say that I've not being seeing very much of that of late. What pains me is that I have been very patient, waiting up till the early hours of the morning for shifts to finish, I've never been dishonest in my life, never looked twice at another woman in any relationship I've ever been in, and as for the compromise? Well I think leaving everything behind in England to make a new life for Rachel and myself on the other side of the planet says all that needs saying about compromise.

With lack of any indication, I was always under the impression that this was just a bad patch, that due to Rachel's recent increased work schedule from a few key people leaving her kitchen, and it being around the busy Christmas period, that the lack of time spent working on our friendship and relationship would pass with the coming of the new year, and maybe a few more staff being employed and taking some load off, that things would start getting better when we started spending, even a little time together.

How wrong was I.

Looking back on it now, for the past three or four months I've been the passive witness to our relationship drifting further and further apart, and for what I can see, I couldn't of done anything about it, because quite simply, I've hardly seen Rachel at all over that period, and she's made no effort to spend time with me. As I said before, with a lack of anything being said about her feelings toward me, I thought that this was just part of the efforts she was putting into her job. She's been getting home later and later, and more and more drunk each time on the free drink they get served at her work. Now there's nothing wrong with a wind down drink after work, but she's spent no time at all working on us, in favour of her after work drinks and as a result she's changed. It's no wonder that things fell apart.

Black Sunday was when the whole reality of what was really going on came crashing down on me, when I was told that she wanted to break up and she didn't want to at least give it one shot at trying to make it work. What I still don't understand is that after three and a half years she was unprepared to at least give one try? Its clear that I have EVERYTHING to lose here and that I would want to give it at least one try, but what really gets to me is that she never mentioned anything about this sooner. Why leave it right up until the morning when you cant take it anymore to say anything, by which time its too late to do anything about it. Especially at this time of the year. It makes no sense me at all.

I guess it doesn't make any sense to me, because I was always willing to make sacrifices in my life to work at what we had, waiting for her to get home on a Friday and Saturday evening at midnight, not going out myself so that we could spend a few minutes together before she fell asleep, only for her to wake up a few hours later and disappear for another double shift. Not complaining when the time she got home got later, having a few more drinks at work before coming home...drunk. What could I have done when she was never there?

I found it hard to see last week through the tears, but I see what's happened now. I've been giving her, what I thought was room for her to give her choice of career her best shot, and in return she has completely neglected our relationship and I've been taken for a ride.

I really feel that she has made the wrong decision here, and that with more honesty about how she was feeling, and a commitment to spend a few choice weekends together and coming home when she actually finished work a few nights a week would of put things right and we would have been great together. But she's made her decision, and the damage has been done. And because of what she's done, what she is now clearly capable of doing to me after all that I've given, and the complete lack of compromise she's shown me, I realise now that I'm better off with out her. I've done nothing wrong, and anything that I may have done wrong I was willing to work at to make things good again. I deserve someone who will treat me with the respect I give them.

I couldn't possibly have been dealt a worse a hand through this, for all that I've put into the relationship over the years, all of the sacrifices that I've made to be over here with her and to make a good life for us, staying at work all night to earn some extra coin because the alternative was going home to an empty house with no girlfriend as Rachel was working all the time, what do I get in return? Someone who neglects me, doesn't work at the relationship, and drifts off.

What hurts now more than the relationship breakdown, because I can see now that I'm better off without her, is that I have to leave the life I have worked so very very hard at behind. I came here with nothing but Rachel, no friends at all, none, even my work experience and skill set was low. And now I'm surrounded with the best set of friends and colleagues I could possibly ever hope for, truly I am. I've worked harder in Melbourne than ever before in my life and achieved more than I ever have. I'm now a qualified Microsoft professional, I've got a solid years worth of corporate development under my belt and I had another qualification up my sleeve to work on over Christmas and the new year. I've got a fantastic job offer lined up that I was going to start in February after some time off to read and study, and Rachel and I were going to move to Richmond to a bigger, nicer place. Life was moving in the right direction, the pages were turning over nicely and things, I thought, were unfolding the way we both wanted them to.

This is my life, this is where I live, these are my friends, this is my career. That was my girlfriend.

And now it's all gone.

And I now have to start it all over again, somewhere new.

I'm not sure of where I am going to go at the moment, it's still too early to make that decision, it's not even been two weeks since I though things weren't going all that bad in our relationship and that things would get better...if she tried. And I leave the country on the 18th. Some time at home with the family over Christmas is exactly what I need right now, I need to clear my head of all this anger towards what's happened to me so that I can start thinking again with enough clarity to make some big decisions that will span the next few years. Something I'm not going to take lightly or rush over.

As for this web site, well it was the Chris Browne Australian story, and its severed me very well, but as with everything in life, nothing lasts, and so this is the penultimate post, after this Frog Dreaming will be no more. I'm going to leave it here, in a static form, so that I can flick back through the pages of the last few years.

But as William Blake said nothing is lost. And he's right, it's time now for me to move on, to find some new adventures and new mountains to climb. Only this time I'll be starting the climb on my own.

Peace and love.

Chris

Comments

 

5th Dec 2006

Black Sunday

Posted on Tuesday at 10.56, so far 2 comments have been made.

This Sunday just gone will go down in my history as the worst day of my life so far.

Comments

5th Dec 2006

Brother

Hey brother, just let you im sitting here thinking about you and here for you always. Ill write you an email later.

Love from me xxxx

13th Dec 2006

J00lz

Hey Chris, so sorry about the news, just let you london is rocking at the moment and Ill be in surrey for christmas if you wanna hook up.

Take care buddy I know how you feel and it does get better... one day./.

 

24th Nov 2006

Prepped For Earthcore

Posted on Friday at 10.07, so far 0 comments have been made.

The summer is very defiantly on its way, the days are getting damn hot, I'm beginning to even feel the sun's burn when I go walking round the park on my lunch breaks to get out of the stale office I'm working in.

Its defiantly on its way.

And so, with the coming of the nice weather also comes all the parties and the next one on the list is Earthcore...this weekend! This week I've been out and about talking with various people about it, making and breaking plans, and I'm getting really excited about it now...and now only a day away :)

This means that I've been out every night this week drinking, and am feeling the drain of the alcohol abuse I've been giving myself, but its all in preparation for this weekend. I've got Monday off work so ease my way back to the real world so all is good.

Keep an eye out for the photos and video.

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31st Oct 2006

Good Bye Dave

Posted on Tuesday at 10.57, so far 0 comments have been made.

So Dave left on Sunday, only just making it to the hire car place by the sounds of it, after we both went to a Halloween house party on Saturday night and things got a little messy.

I've been at work this entire weekend (I've actually done 76.75 hours this week - a very tiring record for me), so when I was walking home with the sun well up in the sky on Sunday morning I was wondering to myself how in hell I was going to make it to work on time. Well Dave didn't have work so stayed there and very nearly didn't make his 4pm hire car pickup appointment.

I only just made it to work around lunch.

Dave, it was damn good to see you man, and we had some memorable times, just as always. Say hello to every one back home for me, and hopefully its not going to be as long until the next time our paths cross, although I'm fairly sure it will be :) At least this time the memory of the last time we saw each other wont be scared with me face down, hurling in the gutter outside Fabric! No, this time it would be you screaming past our place to pick up your shit and give me back my shoes!

Take it easy Dave, safe travels man.

Comments

 

29th Oct 2006

Quote Of The Day

Posted on Sunday at 15.43, so far 1 comments have been made.

"You should expect and plan for growth."

Rockford Lhotka.

Comments

1st Dec 2006

kev

So does this mean i should schedule in expected hard-ons?

 

23rd Oct 2006

Phonoscope

Posted on Monday at 22.17, so far 1 comments have been made.

It's been just over a week since I got back from Phonoscope, and still the sounds of Landmark crashing down on the dance floor at ten in the morning are still reverberating around inside of me. The video I've got up on You Tube of the break just doesn't give it justice, and not because it was recorded on my cheap arse Cannon Ixus I camera, but because You Tube decided that the last few seconds were not worthy of encoding, so actual break is cut off and you cant hear everyone start screaming. I would of recorded more but it was far too god to be standing there filming it.

The night time was very very interesting. I got rather wasted and have hazy memories of drifting between the dance floor and the car to get ever more beer. I can piece the whole evening together, but on the details of it all, I have nothing more than a few blurry, out of focus shots to remind me. Never mind, that's probably how I was seeing things at the time ;) I did wish I recorded more video on my camera of the evening bit though, especially the bit where I remember the aliens landing. All that darkness, flashing lights and pounding psytrance can certainly play havoc with your mind!

But in the end, all I was really there for was Vibrasphere. The whole weekends party was awesome, every little bit of it, but Vibrasphere was the reason I was there and I've been looking forward to it ever since I got an email from Rickard telling me they were coming to Melbourne, and that was back in July! Man I've been pumped for a while!

And the wait was well worth it. I missed seeing them play at the EQ Warehouse in hackney back in 2003, when I foolishly went to the Mansion Party instead...Jon, if you're reading this, no offense mate, but Vibrasphere playing live in the EQ Warehouse would have kicked arse! So there was no way I was going to miss seeing them play this time.

I hired a car and me, Dave and Andy went down Saturday arvo, following Damion and Maddie. Got there set things up and started drinking. At seven in the morning I remember seeing Kim back at the camp and remember yelling out to her 'get your arse down there...this is WHY we are here!'

Well it was why I was there anyway, and I loved every groovy, dusty minute of it, especially Landmark :) I also really enjoyed the Vibrasphere remix of Fresh by Lish, which I'm told is out in November...go get it, its fantastic.

The whole following week (last week) and this weekend I've been feeling on top of the world, I've had this bounce in my step and a clearness in my head that I've not had for a while, and I put it down to the first party of the season. I've been in hibernation all winter, as have most, and now the days are heating up and the weekends getting longer I'm looking forward to a whole summer's worth of fun and shenanigans.

Check out the photos, and the videos.

Comments

1st Dec 2006

kev

Si has been spending time on you-tube, he came across a spud cannon and decided to make his own, amazing what some gutter pipe and hair spray will do, some lads got caught in america with one and the police classed it as a class A firearm! lots of fun!

 

12th Oct 2006

Vibrasphere In Spring

Posted on Thursday at 19.24, so far 0 comments have been made.

The temperature hit a high of 36C today, and its still only spring!

The air conditioning in our building broke down yesterday, which was also another stinking hot day, and as a result of it has put more stress on the lift mechanisms and put out most of the lifts! I'm glad to see its not just England that isn't 100% prepared for changes in weather.

One thing that amazes me is the hot wind, stepping out of the building to go for the daily walk around Fawkner park to get out of the office and eat our lunch, was like walking in to a fan assisted oven. First of all you walked into the wall of heat, next the wind caught you and it was like having a hair dryer pointed in your face!

And this is still only spring! I'm trying to imagine back to last summer and remember what the weather was like, I'm sure I wasn't thinking, 'blimey if this is still spring, what the hell is summer going to be like', but that's exactly what I'm thinking right now. I'm back at home now, and its still boiling hot.

I'm hoping the weather will hold out for this weekend because me, Dave and Andy are off to see Vibrasphere! I'm really looking forward to this, and I really think that it, just behind Rainbow Serpent, will be the second greatest thing that I would of done music wise this year. Of course Earthcore hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure the music will be better this weekend, Earthcore's line up doesn't send shivers down my spine, like the thought of a Vibrasphere morning set does.

I'm even going to take the inlay to Archipelago along with a marker, boy band and school girl style. Hey I missed out on seeing them play at the EQ Warehouse in Hackney in October 2003, and this will be the last chance for a very long time, so I'm allowed to get a little excited about it :)

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21st Sep 2006

The High Speed Super Highway

Posted on Thursday at 21.12, so far 1 comments have been made.

I've been getting emails for the past 6 months or so from my ISP informing me of the Telstra whole sale ADSL price hikes, and the unfortunate fact that it must be passed down to me, the poor old customer.

I was moved away from my 1.5Mb, 20Gb per month plan quite a few months ago, and put on the 1.5Mb, 10Gb plan. This wasn't all that bad actually as after 8 months of downloading all kinds of complete rubbish from the net it brings you to the door step of the harsh reality that there really is a lot of very very poor quality material, not just on the net (and there's a lot of that) but every where. How a lot of today's broadcasted publications make it on air is really beyond me.

So quite frankly the drop in the download quota each month went completely unnoticed in this household.

I got another one of these emails about a month ago, but this time my monthly quota wasn't being slashed once again, this time it was the end of the high end ADSL plans all together. It seams that Telstra have raised the prices once again, and this time my ISP is phasing all of them out, in favour of the ADSL 2+ plans they have. I'm assuming that the ADSL 2+ technology enables many more people to share the one line than ADSL did, and hence Telstra can rake in more money as a result of squeezing more people through it (note to self, a Telstra boss squeezing loads of people through a small pipe wringing out money from their pockets, would make a great Viz cartoon). But then again, I am turning thirty next year, so maybe I'm just growing more cynical in my growing age...

Good news is that I've not been charged a cent (sorry, a penny) for both these migrations, the last of which has just occurred, and the even better news is that I'm now surffin' the crest of the internet wave at the quite horrendous speed of 24Mb and with the colossal download quota of 30MB per month.

But really, what does this mean? It means that I'll most probably be leaving my computer on for the next few days, downloading once again, all kinds of complete rubbish, but at least this time it should take one sixteenth of the time to do it.

But what does that really mean? It means that I'll be downloading sixteen times the amount of complete rubbish and deleting it as soon as I re-confirm the sub-standard quality of it all, and re-affirm my disgust in all things 'reality'.

Comments

1st Dec 2006

Kev

Your completely right mate, they all suck, we have BT pantsband which is supposed to be "about" 8mb for 20 quid a month, in reality i average about 2.5mbits/s. To top it all off BT won't allow non-BT mail addresses to use there SMTP server so for my work mail address i need a stand-alone SMTP server to send mail, what the fuck am i paying them for! grrrr

 

20th Sep 2006

Quote of the Day

Posted on Wednesday at 13.38, so far 0 comments have been made.

"We live in a necular-powered universe. We're the oddballs by getting energy from burning carbon"

James Lovelock

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20th Sep 2006

Running

Posted on Wednesday at 08.57, so far 0 comments have been made.

Woke up this morning at about seven thirty, put my shorts, trainers and a t-shirt on and headed straight down to Como park and did a lap.

Its part of my on going fitness routine, and I'm hoping to do the Como run a few times a week, before and/or after work. That on top of the cycling to work, and now that I know that there is a bike track round Albert Park lake which is about 7km or so, which I'm planning to do on the way home, I will get there before the summer :)

I was totally knackered when I'd finished this morning, illustrating just how unfit I am, and driving my urge to get fitter even more. I haven't been this unfit since I was at Uni ten years ago, and its not going to last much longer.

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19th Sep 2006

Cosmosis And Earthdance

Posted on Tuesday at 13.34, so far 0 comments have been made.

Well well well, what a weekend its been.

Friday was a boozy evening down the Lion catching up on all the stories from Mark and Corrie after their honeymoon in New York, London and Thailand. Wasn't a late one, never is at the Lion, so I was home by elevenish.

Saturday was a wonderful day, after a quick trip upto IDO, where I used to work, to have a chat and get my group certificate I spent the rest of the day chilling out at the flat, enjoying the weather and switching between reading and mucking around on my computer.

I was supposed to be meeting up with our kiwi mates somewhere on Smith Street, but things back at the flat just dragged on a bit longer than I expected them to, and ended up going down to Parhran to see some other kiwi mates, before jumping in a taxi at about elevenish and making our way up to Rachel's work. When she got out we made our way straight for the club, and as soon I got in there I got a huge smile on my face :D

Mr P's girlfriend, Auricle, was playing when we arrived, and the most amazing music was coming out of the speakers, really psychedelic, fullon trippy music, it was just incredible. I've been waiting for a night listening to music of this calibre for a very long time, even the psy at rainbow wasn't like this!

I spent most of the evening dancing, and when Cosmosis came on at half one, the roof just got blown off the place. Putting the music aside for a second, he was one of the most amazing Dj's I've seen for years, maybe ever. He looked like he was having the time of his life bouncing around the equipment, big smiles, really involving the crowd in every blippy twisted moment. He was even walking around the stage checking all the speakers, just to make sure that what he was hearing in his headphones, was what we were hearing down on the dance floor!

And the music...The music was just fantastic, I've been listening to Akashic, Intergalactic and Synergy for the past week at work and really getting in to it, and his set was even better, I loved every drunken minute of it! It was one of those evenings that when I got home I felt completely satisfied, I'd been waiting for a decent night out, and everything and more was delivered.

Got home, watched Shawn of the Dead, then Waking Life, got Rach out of bed, showered, and made our way to Earthdance, only to get as far as Flinders Station to have Rach say that she really was too tired to make it, and stay on the train and go back home, leaving me to find the place on me own. I met two blokes on the way, Terry and Quentin, who were trying like me to find the place, and not long after getting in there found Damion and crew. The weather started off amazing in the morning, but by the afternoon it had got a bit cloudy, but it was still nice and warm. Wasn't long before we were in the 'wet' zone, and not long after that the sun went down and so did our level of soberness :) Damion looked like he was having a ball, and so he should of been, Happy Birthday mate, hope you enjoyed your present ;D

I had an such an amazing time this weekend, I'm almost lost for words, and my excitement for this coming summer is growing with every ray of sun and everyone I speak to about whats in store.

Bring on the summer!

Comments

 

16th Sep 2006

Mattress

Posted on Saturday at 16.44, so far 0 comments have been made.

When we first moved into our flat over a year ago one of the first things we bought was a mattress. Nothing fancy, just a standard double mattress to get us started. We didn't even have a bed, it just sat on the floor in the bed room for the first few weeks until I got something to put it on.

The only thing was that is was a queen bed, and we only had a double mattress.

Well all that changed today when we had our new lush queen mattress delivered!

And whats even better is that we're going to Cosmosis tonight and have our new bed to come running home to! Can't wait.

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15th Sep 2006

The Weekend

Posted on Friday at 19.36, so far 0 comments have been made.

I'm buzzing with excitement for this weekend...more excitement than I've felt for a long time!

This weekend Cosmosis are playing at the Brown Alley, and I can't bloody wait. I've been listening to Intergalactic and Synergy and also a various album I've got called Psychedelic Visions, which I bought back in 1997 when I was living in Germany.

Man, I forgot just how much I love that old school psytrance sound, listening to it really brought a flood of memories back from a long long long time ago. It really is back to my roots in terms of electronic music, this was the kinda shit that really turned me onto psytrance ten years ago, and hearing it now for the first time in a very long time has re-awakened some thing inside of me.

It's also getting into summer, and with the summer comes out door parties and the festival season...another thing I really cant wait for and a great chance to have some big fun!

Bring on Cosmosis this weekend.

Watch this space.

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14th Sep 2006

Window Cleaning

Posted on Thursday at 11.33, so far 0 comments have been made.

I'm sitting at my desk, getting on with some work on the fifth floor where I sit at my window seat, which is a prize position as most of the rest of the people in the building can't even see out side, when all of sudden this guy just drops down out of no-where!

We've just had the windows cleaned!

Now my window seat has increased in value enormously, cus I've got a fantastic clear view, albiet of the office block next door :)

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14th Sep 2006

ANL Cycle Time

Posted on Thursday at 09.29, so far 0 comments have been made.

Right, here are the stats...

Total trip time: 21 minutes and 42 seconds.
Average speed: 22.2km/h
Max speed: 44.5 km/h
Total distance: 8.05 km

Not bad, the way I'm cycling to ANL is actually a longer journey than the cycle to IDO, but because I'm avioding a lot of the roads and hitting hardly any traffic lights the trip takes less time. And its nicer too as I'm cycling right along the river into the city.

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12th Sep 2006

The Cycle Starts Again

Posted on Tuesday at 08.34, so far 1 comments have been made.

What a glorious day! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I've just got to work, and I'm stuffed. Because today was the first time I've cycled to work since I left iDesign Office back in February.

I woke up on Saturday and granted I had a bit of a hangover from the hundred shots round Andrews place, but I realised that I've not felt this unfit and out of shape for years.

IDO was a good 7-8km cycle every morning and evening, and after three months of that I was getting into pretty good shape. I was feeling healthier had loads more energy and just felt all round better.

Now I'm working at ANL Container Line which is a 2km walk to work, the level of exercise I've been getting since April has been close to zero. Not quite though cus there are a few hills along that walk into work, but basically nothing.

I'm walking to work these days as I reasoned that the 25min walk was probably better for me than the 5min cycle, and I think it probably is, so I'm not going to cycle in that same way I walk to work. I'm going to cycle up to the river from our place, along the Yarra into the city then down St Kilda road to work.

I forgot to time and measure the ride this morning, but I'll do it tomorrow. I cant even remember what time I left our place, but I think it was about a 20min cycle, and I get to take in the river vistas for 75% of the journey.

Am I'm getting fitter.

Comments

18th Sep 2006

Mummy

Well, its been 4 days of you cycling so are you feeling any benefit.Could tell you a lot about my aqua-cycling but it can wait for another time. Mum xx

 

10th Sep 2006

The Centurion

Posted on Sunday at 14.32, so far 1 comments have been made.

If you haven't heard of this drinking game, then I'll give you the run down...You drink one shot of larger every minute on the minute for one hundred minutes, those of you who get to the end win.

Doesn't sound all that bad does it? Well it is, especially for a short bloke like me who has never been able to burp on demand, and my lack of burping skills really let me down.

The first time I tried this was quite a while back now, back when I was living in the UK with my parents. Quite a few of us ended up back in my room with, if my memory serves me correctly, loads of bottles of Beck's and a few rather tall shot glasses. They weren't really shot glasses, I'm not too sure what they really were, but they were able to hold fifty milliliters of liquid, so instead of doing one a minute, we did one every two minutes. I recall someone getting to around the fifty minute mark and pleading for just a few slices of plain bread to try and soak up the alcohol, and not long after that dropping out. I managed to make it to seventy five minutes then couldn't go any further.

We tried it a second time, but used Guinness instead of larger and that was a complete walk in the park, we all made it to the end and even went out into Camberley for a nights worth of drinking. That was too easy and for the simple reason that its not the amount of alcohol that your consuming, it's the gas in the larger that makes you feel so rotten and gassy that its a struggle to keep the liquid and the gas inside you, especially if you can't burp! The Guinness was easy cus it doesn't have the gas.

The time after that was another party round mine, basically the same deal, but this time we were drinking down stairs, probably cus my parents were away or something, and this time I made the hundred shots, but it took me a hundred and twenty minutes or so, closer, but still no cigar.

Well on Friday after work me and Macky went back to his place, went and picked up a few cases of Carlton Cold larger and set things up at his place for another stab at glory. Macky had written this kick arse VB.Net 2005 application that had a count down timer from sixty seconds down to zero and another counter that was counting from zero to one hundred. This made the whole experience far better than the other attempts to do this cus we didn't have to worry about keeping track of the time or how many we'd already had. I read on the net somewhere that its best to have a sober(ish) person around as a time keeper when you do this, but that's no damn fun for them, they should be playing! But, the most amazing thing about his app, was its ability to play a sound file when the count down reached zero seconds.

This means that we could never miss a drink. It also means that I'm currently being haunted with the sample we chose it to play, and for those of you back home, you'll appreciate it...I demand to have some booze!

It was one of the funniest nights I've had for a very long time, we even recorded most of it on the web cam, and if I can, I'm going to stick them up on You Tube soon.

And I made it to the end this time! And we were drinking with 30ml shot glasses, which means just under five and a half pints in an hour and forty minutes. The gas from the beer got a bit too much for me about half way through and I had to chuck up just to get the blockage out of my chest, and when I got back I had three shots waiting for me to down. Nice, just like the good old days in Utopia when the watered down beer was a pound a pint, and after the fifth one you had to go and make your self sick just to fit some more in.

Macky being the northern lout he is sailed through and carried on to do the hundred and fifty shots in a hundred and fifty minutes challenge! And Vanessa made it all the way to the end too, wicked night, although the end of it was a bit blurry, I'm hoping that watching the video on Monday morning when Macky brings it in will bring back some memories.

One other thing you learn from doing this drinking game is how precious time really is. Sixty seconds is really not a long time at all, make good use of every one.

Comments

1st Oct 2006

Sarah

I seem to remember that I was time-keeper when you guys played downstairs at your parents. Maybe I should have tried joining in, but you know me - I'm now down at Pompey Uni and still don't drink beer!! haha. Maybe next time you should try with a lovely box of coolabah! Gotta love the goon!!

 

6th Sep 2006

An Auzzie Dinner

Posted on Wednesday at 20.17, so far 0 comments have been made.

Walking home from another last night at the office, slaving away over my new Crystal Reporting Framework I've developed, when I decided to see if Brubmys (the bakery on my way home) had any banana bread left. They usually don't, I guess cus its soo damn nice and by the time I get round to getting in there its all gone.

But this time they did, and thats not all I got! Cus the place was just shutting and they don't keep any of their stuff so the lovely lady serving me just gave me bags and bags of bread, rolls, cakes and loads of hot food, meat pies, sausage rolls, pasties the works!

So I'm putting my feet up and watching a Futurama and having dinner, Auzzie style, meat pie and a stubbie. Does it get much better?

Then it a decision to get stuck into either the .NET Data Access Architecture Guide, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene or a SQL 2005 book I've already started.

The way I'm feeling, I think it will the .Net Data Access Guide. I've just finished The Fifth Miracle, a fantastic book trying to figure out the origins of bio genesis, a very good read that's left me thinking a lot about the origins of life, a lot of things that have been floating around in my mind for years actually, mostly to do with complexity.

But that's for another time, for now I'm putting down the science book and reaching for the computing one.

Comments

 

1st Sep 2006

Spring Is Here

Posted on Friday at 10.37, so far 0 comments have been made.

It's been fantastic weather for the past few days, but today is really kicking some sunshine arse.

Meteorologically speaking today is the first day of spring, and also the day our Earthcore tickets arrived! And I didn't mind one bit standing in the post office for thirty minutes while the bloke was hunting around for them. Turns out that the postie wrote the wrong date on the slip of paper he left in my letter box, he wrote down to pick it up today, in fact what he should of written was yesterdays date. Funny thing is, that I went into the post office yesterday to see if was there, and the same dude flatly refused to even see if it was there. If he had of done he would of found it and I would of had my tickets yesterday, instead he spent thirty minutes pulling his hair out hunting in today's pile of registered post letters for a letter he wasn't ever going to find.

I didn't mind tho, the weather is far too good.

I also got my Physics book in the post today, Ohanian Volume One. Let's see how far I can take this...

Comments

 

23rd Aug 2006

Spring Sofa

Posted on Wednesday at 19.58, so far 0 comments have been made.

Even though we're about four weeks away from the spring equinox the weather and the wildlife are already showing signs of shaking lose the Melbourne winter and starting the journey into summer.

There is a block of flats to the north of us which blocks out a lot of the light in the height of winter as the Sun stays very low in the sky, but for the last few weeks the Sun has risen high enough in the sky to let in Sun light into our front room all day long.

This was the first sign that I noticed that winter is coming to an end, and the summer is fast approaching, with the days getting longer and me not having to walk home in the dark any more. But the real sign that winter has really finished (in my book) are the tiny fresh green leaves that are growning on the Oak trees in Fawkner Park, which I walk past (sadly not through) on my way to work every morning. I've been checking out this particular tree every day since I started work at ANL, and have been following its life all the way through the end of last summer, through Autumn when it shed its leaves, and now back full circle as it starts to grow new ones.

I get a real kick out of seeing life flourish, I remember last spring, not long after we moved into our flat, noticing for the first time ever in my entire life the fresh green leaves and shoots growing every where I looked. Back home its a lot more greener than it is here, and I never noticed it before, but here I remember walking down my street thinking what an amazing pure green colour the new leaves were, and wondering why I hadn't seen anything like it before. I did think that it might of been because I was driving every where back in England and the last thing your going to notice are the tiny new leaves on the trees.

This spring is going to be amazing, I'm really looking forward to it. And then there's the summer with the BBQ's and the parties, can't bloody wait mate.

And the last thing I'll mention is that over the weekend we got two new sofa's, not spanking new, but just about. A good friend of ours was needing to get shot of them as the place he's just moved into has furniture, so for next to nothing we took them off his hands, and it has completely transformed our flat. The difference is just astounding. Cheers John, your a star mate.

For the first two weeks of moving into this flat last year we had nothing more than a few folded up towels to sit on, in an almost totally empty front room (apart from the TV which sat on the carpet). We upgraded to a bean bag each shortly after this, and what luxury that was after the towel experience, and we were comfortable like this for a few months, until our backs started to hurt from the bad sitting position. We decided to look around a few Op shops in the area and ended up with a reasonable three seater sofa. And this was fine for me and Rach, with just two people in the flat we really didn't see any point in anything else, but when it comes to having people over it was a bit hard, luckily enough we had the bean bags so again it wasn't so much of an issue.

Well we now have a two and a three seater in the front room, and the change it has brought about on the dynamics of the front room is incredible. Its a far bigger leap in perception, comfort, sociability and looks than any of the other seating configurations we've had in our flat its not funny. I've actually been waking up a lot earlier this week just to go and hang out in our front room on the sofas!

And all this just as spring is starting, I can see my self spending a lot of time just chilling in the sun on our new sofas reading the many books that have been pilling up this year, expanding my mind and working on the tan.

Bring on spring.

Comments

 

22nd Aug 2006

Happy Birthday Mum

Posted on Tuesday at 07.01, so far 3 comments have been made.

Hi Mum, it doesn't seam all that long ago that I was sending you last years birthday wishes, can't believe how fast the time has flown by.

I hope you have a great day, I really wish I was there to share it with you, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be there for next year!

Many happy returns,

Loads of love,

Chris.

Comments

22nd Aug 2006

Mummy

You won't be able to be here next year but I will be over there for your birthday and maybe (just maybe) I'll stay over with you until my birthday comes around

25th Aug 2006

Little Ho Bro

Happpyyyyy birthday, i would stay with mother all summer but ill be around for yours next year Bro, hope we gonna have a wikked time :D love steve xxx

27th Aug 2006

Jordan Pingu

well happy birthday to you Mother Browne :^P.

steve told me what he got for you, you're very lucky! ste is wrapped up in his duvey next to me with a hangover from pride lol the lazy lump. hope you're all well! JPx

 

16th Aug 2006

A Death In The Family

Posted on Wednesday at 09.16, so far 1 comments have been made.

Its been a very long time since I wrote about anything, but we recently suffered a loss in the family and I need to say something about it.

I've not had a chance to write as I've not ever been as busy at work as I have been for the past 2 months. The hours I'm clocking up are nearly catching up with Rachel's, and that's saying something since she's in the hospitality industry and they work some of the longest hours of any profession. But there is something quite mentally draining and exhausting about sitting in front of a computer for fourteen hours a day for a few weeks. Well things are going to change, my hours have calmed down and my computer at home is back online after three months of being out of action, so I'm going to try and write some more. Even if its just a few sentences about the weather.

A few of you maybe aware that I got a fish tank a few months ago, again I didn't have the time back then to write about it, I really wish I did now as I can't remember the date that I actually bought it. It started off badly and there were a few casualties in the first week of adjustment, but after the initial 'dark times' the tank settled down and my tetras have been happily going about their business of swimming about all day. I've got a few plants in there which are also doing really well and my indoor gardening has now spread to trimming back the plants in the aquarium as well as the many we have in the flat.

Life was so happy in my little water world that about three or four weeks back we got three more fish, Rachel got a beautiful Siamese fighting fish and I got two peppermint catfish. Rach wanted something a bit more animated than the school of seventeen tetras and 'Murry' is certainly that. I wasn't so sure of it at first, but after having his curious little character swimming about for a few days I was glad that we got him, he brings a whole level of intelligence and intrigue to the tank and he's always happy to see you, of course that maybe just be because he wants food. I've wanted to get a catfish for a while now as my tank gets quite a build up of algae due to the sun it gets all day, and catfish do a fantastic job of house keeping, and when I got 'Fry' and 'Nibbler' they immediately went to work and in the space of two days the green sides were licked completely clean.

All was well in aqua land.

Until Monday night.

Nibbler was acting a bit on the strange side, they do tend to hide away in the corners of the tank and aren't the most outgoing fish I have, and so to see him just handing out at the front of the tank on the gravel was a bit weird. I had a feeling that some thing wasn't right. I got up Tuesday morning to go to work, and he seamed to be washing around with the current on the bottom of the tank, not actively keeping his spot on the floor. Needless to say, Nibbler didn't last the rest of the day and by the time I got home, the poor little fella was well and truly gone. To be honest I think when I saw him in the morning he was probably a gonna already.

I thought a sea burial was only fitting, and after a half-flush he was on his way to fishy heaven, where the water is actually champagne, and there is more fish food and algae than his little stomach could ever eat.

Rest in peace Nibbler.

Comments

16th Aug 2006

Chris

Well I feel like a right muppet, having a little read through the finished article and clicking on the fish tank link takes me to my Mobile Photo page with the photo of the fish tank taken on the day I bought the damn thing, so I do know when I got it.

Maybe I should check my own site from time to time :)

 

11th Aug 2006

Bad Day

Posted on Friday at 12.28, so far 0 comments have been made.

Today is Friday, and I'm not feeling all that bad anymore, not that I've changed my mind about what happened in the meeting on Wednesday, but because I've resided myself to the fact that I'm going to be job hunting sooner than I'd wanted.

The meeting went along the lines of me finishing off the few bits and bobs that I'm doing at the moment, the final few service calls and small bits of dev that I can get away with, then its on to service calls for the rest of my time here.

Not exactly what I had in mind, and certinally not what I spent four months last year studying for.

Aside from my feelings about the position they have put me in now, I've learnt an aweful lot since I've been at ANL. I'm now much more aware that I'm actually damn good at what I do, and there are a lot of people out there that get away with being a fraction as good as I am, and get away with it for a long time and leave behind a big pile of steaming shit for the likes of me to clean up. In my opinioun this projects steady decline was not all to blame on the lack of management skills, but that was indeed a factor. I believe that the biggest mistake was in the hiring of substandard programers to code an international, multiuser shipping system. The standard of coding that I have seen since I have been working here has been truely shocking, I really cant believe some of the applications I've seen, in fact just about every one that I have had to make more than just a single fix to I have rewritten from the ground up.

If the interview process was more stringent then these monkeys would not have got through the net and poluted what could have been a joy of a system to work on. This however highlights another problem, you need people that know how to program in the interview to ask the technical questions to see through the bull shit that the previous employees at ANL obviously spouted, or at the very least someone who can spot the BS, but arguable they need to have the coding knowledge to do this.

Its obvious to me that there are people at this company that have been here for far too long and as such have become very comfortable in their position getting their pay cheque every week and have lost touch with the outside world, advances in technologies, patterns and practices. It is these people that got their foot in the door at day one, had no idea to design applicaitons or databases and have left us in the bad suitation we are in now.

Don't get me wrong, the system we work on functions and containers get to where they are going, and we get paind for it, but its taken an enormous amount of effort to get the system to the stage its at now, and I've only been here for 5-6 months. I've never had to work this hard in my life and it due in part of the very sub standard coding and database archeture that we have to work with. If the time and money was spent in the first place to get it right the system would of been a few months late, maybe six, but it would of gone in, and it would of worked. But corners were cut, projects outsourced and control lost on an already out of control project.

I dont get involved with the politics of this company, I'm not in the least bit interested, I'm a developer and I can design and deliver a working solution to your problem, but only if you know what your problem is. And therein lies another problem, there are not a lot of people in this place that know what the problem is in the first place, and how are you suposed to produce a solution to something if even they dont know what they want.

Amazing.

Comments

 

24th Jul 2006

Dreams

Posted on Monday at 07.58, so far 0 comments have been made.

The first was actually the second dream I had, but it was me flying between the planets at vast speeds and greatly reduced distances, witnessing plantery alingments as the fairly small plantes spun around. I think I was sitting on the top of our planet watching all of of this as I can clearly remember Venus, Mars and Juipter flying about. Thats about all I can remember.

The second was walking around a school, with my old Alders supervisor as a chemistry teacher at the front of this school I was walking about in, with a little kid who was sitting right at the front, on XXX's desk doing very well at maths but really badly at chemistry, I told him that learning when you were young was a lot, lot easier then learning when you got older.

There were also three big experiemnts in the back of the school, one of them was to prove that the universe was made out of Energy, a second was to prove that the universe was made out of Matter and the last was to prove that the universe was made out of Entropy. I went into the thrid experiment room with a another man and a woman, he was a friend and a some kind of scientiest, I'm not sure who she was defiantly some kind of science person, but he lost total interest in the experiment soon after we got into the room, so me and the woman took over, and had to load this metal slug with an amethiest stone set in it, into the loading chamber of the machine, turn on the air pump and press the first round green button on the left side of the machine, which sucked the slug into the firing chamber. We then pressed the second red rectangle button on the top of the firing chamber to fire the slug into the machine, instantly it whizzed around the tubing on the front of the machine, and out of the end and ended up on the floor in a pile of pink sherbet. This really happened instantly, as if it was already there before I had pressed the red button. The man looked like he expected this bad result, so me and rthe woman did the experiment again, this time more pink sherbet came out with the slug, I was a print button on the machine and pressed it, hearing some thing start up, presumly a printer, then I woke up.

Comments

 

30th May 2006

Rock And Roll Star

Posted on Tuesday at 13.33, so far 4 comments have been made.

10 days ago I did something I've been meaning to do for years, I bought myself a guitar.

Its something that I've always thought of doing since I was a kid strumming away on my air-guitar to Guns 'n' Roses, but I just never got round to doing anything about it. I remember when I arrived in Germany in 1997 for my industrial year from Uni, living on my own and in a country who's language I spoke none of, saying to myself this would be a great opportunity for me to teach myself how to play. I knew no one at all when I got there, and those first few people I did meet were either too old to want to go for beers after work, or lived miles away, so I should of took the bull by the horns got the damn guitar and taught myself how to play it while I had the chance. But this story ends in exactly the same way as all but one of the other times...I met a few mates and started going out and getting drunk, which was much more fulfilling in the short term.

The only other time was 10 days ago, and now, I'm a guitar owner and on my way to rock and roll utopia! Albeit if it's with the cheapest axe they had in the shop, but hey, at least its a start, and I don't even know at this point if I'm going to have the staying power to keep it up, although I really think this is going to be something I'm going to stick with.

There were two things that pushed me over the edge 10 days ago, and they both played an equal part in my decision to take the plunge:

One of them was starting my current job and working with a bloke called Matt. Matt's been playing for years, has loads of guitars, does open mic nights, has a brother who's has his own band, basically comes from an entire family of musical people and also plays the piano! I've been talking to him about different types of guitar and the first steps to being about to play, ever since I started here about two months ago. He's been a great source of inspiration and knowledge and last night spent four hours over at my place having a jam, strumming away and showing me some nice easy entry level things to get me started ASAP.

The other thing was that recently I've heard one of the greatest albums I've ever heard in my life and the intro track has an amazing piano and guitar riff which I'm determined to learn how to play. This album I'm talking about is Vibrasphere's latest masterpiece, Archipelago. Do your self a big favour and go and get it now, its brilliant.

So there you have it, the two reasons that led me to get my guitar the other weekend, and unlike the other times I've failed to get one, this time its not because I still don't have any friends in Melbourne and have loads of time on my hands, on the contrary, I'm having a whale of a time over here with some of the soundest people I've ever met and I've not got a lot of time on my hands. But things change and I have to...I'm not at Uni anymore, I'm not going through my London clubbing phase, I've got my relationship with the amazing Rachel, new friends, a career, our cool flat, living in a new city and not forgetting my new visa! But as I've got older my priorities and interests have changed, and my time these days is spent doing many different things, and I think finding the time in the week to play my guitar is not going to be difficult.

I'll be twenty nine in a few short weeks, and I made a promise to myself when I got my guitar...I'm going to learn how to play it by the time I'm thirty. That gives me a year to nail this thing and be doing open mic nights in front of people down the local (only if I'm any good of course!). But one thing is for certain, my finger tips are going to be in a lot of pain over the next year. I was playing on and off for a few hours last night and my left index finger fecking kills.

Comments

30th May 2006

Kev

hey dude, check out on-line lessons and exercises, helped me a lot over the last year or so, www.marshall.com and www.sputnikmusic.com have good lessons including understanding tabular music. www.Guitaretab.com has over 40,000 tabs to learn! good luck with the learning dude, sure is tricky!

5th Jun 2006

Chris

Alright Kev, well after about a week strumming away I've got the hang of A, C, D and G, so I thought I'd check out some of those links...blimy www.guitartab.com will keep anyone amused for years!

Still, I can only manage about 20-30 minutes before my index finger hurts so much I have to put the guitar down. I'll get there, as soon as the calluses start forming :)

20th Jul 2006

Andrew

Evening Chris,

You don't seem to be talking about your guitar at work so much these days. I think you need to pack in the long hours and get back to strumming man.

I wanna hear you play some Oasis tunes for me soon!!

Catcha later mate.

27th Jul 2006

Jordan Pingu (steves boyfriend)

same thing happened to me!

except it was a bass guitar...

hmmmmm.

well steve asked me to check this out ages ago and now im on it, cool stuff!

hope aussie doing good.

and your mum rocks lol.

 

18th May 2006

My Visa Is Here

Posted on Thursday at 15.33, so far 8 comments have been made.

We got the letter from the department of immigration in the post a while back now, informing us of our interview to discuss our case. I wasn't really worried about it as we put together such a comprehensive application that I'm sure they would have given me the visa based on just the weight of the paper alone!

Putting the application together was a great exercise all in all, and I was very happy when they gave me back my folder with all the hard work I'd done to get it together still in it. I now have a complete history of my relationship with Rachel all documented, dated and certified! Not something that's going to happen very often me thinks, except when it comes round to getting this visa re-newed in two years time. I've been told it's a simple process, but I can see myself going through the whole process again. We'll see.

The interview was at 1130 and wanting to give the right impression we got there early, half an hour early as it goes, but when we got to the reception desk we were told that we might as well go for a walk as our interviewer wouldn't be ready till 1130. Gutted, all that rushing for nothing, well I felt better inside for it anyway. So we went for a walk for 20 minutes to get some air then made our way back, all the way up to level 23, only for me to then need the toilet, which is convently located on the ground level, nice. By the time I'd got back Rachel was already in the interview room chatting away, great start for me, and I bet they didn't even tell the interview lady that we were half an hour early!

Everything went really well, it was basically just a chat about our selves and our relationship just so that she could tick off that she'd spoken to us, because as I said our application was so complete. At the end of the little 'chat' we had, she told us that we'd be sent a letter in the next week and with that letter I can go get my new visa stamped (or rather stuck) in my passport.

All in all, it took 42 days from when we lodged the application to when we got the all clear yesterday. Rather quicker than the 6-8 months we were told that it 'could' take when we spoke to the various people on the immigration help line, but I guess they have to say that, and when I asked our interviewer she said that a lot of people don't bother to hand in all the information with their application and therefore it can take a long time to get everything together. And to be fair, it did take us from January to April, three whole months, to get all the things done that we needed, so that's not too far off.

Anyway, it's all done now and I'm able to stay here for good. A massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I really feel like I can start with the rest of my life. Its difficult making decisions on things like flats, holidays and even jobs when you don't have any idea in which hemisphere you're going to be living. Well now I do, and I'm well chuffed. We've started to look for a bigger and better place to live already.

Something freaky also, is that we arrived in Melbourne a year ago this weekend. One year on and I've got the permanent residence...we certainly have some celebrating to do this weekend ;)

Can't wait, let stage two commence!

Comments

19th May 2006

MUM

Well done Mr Aussie, when is the accent going to start showing. What is happening with your job, have you told them you will be in Australia for good now (they might employ you permanently) save you hunting for a new one just yet. Good luck in the house hunting, make sure it's big enough for me and Steve for next year. Speak to you soon.

Love Mum xxx

19th May 2006

MUM

Well done Mr Aussie, when is the accent going to start showing. What is happening with your job, have you told them you will be in Australia for good now (they might employ you permanently) save you hunting for a new one just yet. Good luck in the house hunting, make sure it's big enough for me and Steve for next year. Speak to you soon.

Love Mum xxx

19th May 2006

dad

Excellent news Chris. I am very pleased for you and Rachel.

But I must say that I am not surprised that you have passed and that you will also meet and overcome any of your other future challenges.

Dad xxx.

19th May 2006

Kev

Big congrats mate, really happy for you both, sounds like your settling down nicely in the upside down world of Oz.

Would like to say i am not jealous, but i would be telling porkies, back here in the good ol UK the weather is predictably shitty and the average citizen is still a tosser. Good luck with the house hunting, just bought a new place ourselves, leaving work soon so its nervous times! Take care of yourselves

19th May 2006

Graybo & Jess

Get in there ya dirtys.....

Hey guys that's great news, funnily enough i checked this web site a few days before hand to see if you had sorted anything. Well now you have, Jess told me the other day Chris' visa had come through!

Have a great weekend (& life) celebrating

All the best Graybo & Jess.xx

20th May 2006

Chris

Hello all, thank you for all your kind words, I'm really chuffed about this, more chuffed than I've been about anything I think.

The feeling that I can now actually get on with the rest of my life is fantastic, cant wait to see what happens over the next few years, I even looked at a new house today!

Kev, good luck with the house thing, must be very daunting, all the best. It's going to be a few more years yet till we'll be able to buy somewhere of our own. I'm well looking forward to that day.

Graybo & Jess, awesome to hear from you both, hope your well. We will be celebrating hard this weekend, I might even get round to putting up some photos soon!

And Mum and Dad, things are certinally moving forward, hopefully I'll be back before the years out, my contract runs out in November, so I'll need to save my pennies :)

Love to you all.

22nd May 2006

Steven The Great

Hurah! nice one, glad to hear that ... i hate it when loose ends are hanging around and its great when they sort themselves out :D Got a lot of things to do myself but things seem to be going in the right direction woooo! waiting to catch you on Skype but u've dissppeared :O

Love from me xxx

26th May 2006

Lauren

Hi Chris & Rach,

That is such great news, I am so happy for you both. Funnily enough, I am going through a similar dilemma re: which hemisphere I want to be in so I know the feeling. My visa is up in a few months but I want to stay in London. I'm moving in with my boyfriend, Andy, this week - we've just leased a cool flat in East London so I will be close to Holly - Yay! I don't want to leave London! Arrggh. Chris, feel free to email me any tips you have, I would greatly appreciate it. Rach, what are you up to at the moment? Lauren x x x

 

21st Apr 2006

Bill Bailey

Posted on Friday at 22.47, so far 1 comments have been made.

I've just finished watching Bill Bailey live at the Hammersmith Apollo for the second time. And I don't think I've ever laughed this much ever. Really, ever.

The first time I saw it was very early this morning when me and Rach got back from an evening round the newly married Mark and Corrie's flat just up the road. We were quite drunk when we got back from their place and I stuck the borrowed dvd straight in when we walked through the door and watched the whole thing before getting to bed really late (or early depending on which way you look at life) and waking up this morning still feeling quite drunk. Incidentally the walk to work this morning flew by as a result of the red still in me and the psytrance on the iPod up rather loud.

I remember way back around the time of Uni in the mid 90's when I discovered Lee Evans and thought that was the greatest moment in comedy that I'd ever seen. Well I had the same vague memories of that happening to me last night, and when I got back home from work me and Rach sat down to give it another shot, and yes, the alcohol faded thoughts I had early this morning of Bill being the funniest fucker I'd ever seen in my life were well founded, as a few minutes ago I was gutted to see the credits roll on the most hilarious piece of television I think I've ever seen, ever.

This really is a moment in my life and I needed to write something about it here, I now only wish I'd caught his live show when he did the precious few nights back in the UK. That really would have been something.

Here's to the West Country!

Comments

28th Apr 2006

Shtevennn

Ha haaa yes he cracks me up! i'm on the look out for his next tour....i dnt think he tours very often tho.....

Hope ur ok, things a bit hectic here........

Got two exams coming up will get in touch when the stress clears up.....oh doing a medical study so will be buying my aussie ticket in August :D

Loadsa love Steve x

 

10th Apr 2006

A Smart Life

Posted on Monday at 20.25, so far 2 comments have been made.

I've been meaning to write on here just about every day for the past few weeks, but I just haven't got the time to go into the detail I would like to, so I just don't bother at all. Which is crap as this is supposed to, amongst other things, serve as a kind of travel diary of the things I'm getting up to, more for my own records than anything else.

Well what's been happening then...

The first thing that comes to mind is the games, and second is...wicked. I got right into the games when they were here, I caught quite a lot of the action and spent a lot of my time just hanging around the city as there were loads of free things to do all day everyday, and I was unemployed at the time. Rather good time waster and money saver that one. I'll get round to posting up my photos and videos some time real soon.

The next thing to say a short few words about is Mark's wedding. For those of you who know him, you now know that he's married! For those of you that dont, he's my best mate, I was his best man, and now you know he's married! There were three days really to write about, the first was the stag night (or bucks night if your an Aussie) that happened on the 1st of April. GoKarting, the most amazing meal at Water and Grass on Bourke Street, naked ladies at Centrefolds, then dirty electro house at The Lounge. Wicked night, say no more. The next would be the 7th of April, the day before the big day. The wedding party went up the night before to get settled and get to know each other, I for one hadn't met over half the people that were there. It wasn't a late one by any stretch, but it was the final night of Mark being single, and for that reason alone it's worth mentioning. The following day, the 8th, was the big day, and as far as I could see, just about everything that was supposed to happen, happened, and everyone involved had a great time. Some of them had to be told that they did in fact have a good time as they had that good a time and with that comes the inevitable memory loss! Let me congratulate the happy couple and wish them the greatest of happiness in this next stage of their lives.

The next thing would be the visa situation. For those of you who remember (thanks Sarah) it was my year anniversary of leaving England on the 4th/5th of April, and with that ment that my visa also expired. Never fear, I'm not here illegally, the application for permanent residence went in on Wednesday, and I'm waiting to here the result, which I'm told will take a few months. It's been a very long and tiring process getting the paper work in place for this, and the greatest of thanks goes to all of you that have been involved in helping me do this. I owe you all big time.

And the last thing I want to say is that I've entered yet another new stage in my life (I seam to be doing this almost monthly recently). I am no longer unemployed, but that isn't the stage, that's just another job, the stage, and the title of this article, is that I am now in the having to be smart to go to work stage. Admittedly this is a product of my new job, but it's almost an inevitability that sooner or later you start wearing a shirt (and maybe a tie) rather than the record label t-shirt you've had for years. At first I was really unsure of the dress code at my new job, but over the weekend I've had a think about it, and I'm glad that I now have to wear a shirt for a few reasons. One of them is that at least now when I get home I have something to change out of. In my last jobs I would be wearing the clothes that I would normally wear around the house, so when I would get home from work I would just walk in and sit down, and it could sometimes feel like I was still at work, especially if I was surfing the net or writing on here (granted that didn't happen very often, but you know what I mean). Another reason is that I am getting older and I am tending to wear a few more shirts rather than t-shirts when I'm out and I'm now embracing this at work as well.

Bring on the smart life.

Comments

11th Apr 2006

Kev

Hey Dude, send my congrats to the newly weds, glad the day went well. Hope your new job goes well, and good luck with officially becoming an aussie citizen!

Shirts eh, when i had my interview my boss said he likes people to dress smart, so i promptly ignored him and wear what i want anyway! hehe.

Say hi to Rach, take it easy.

13th Apr 2006

MUM

Hi smart boy. Seems like you need a few of the smart clothes you left behind. Glad the wedding went well, send my congrats to Mark and Corrie and if money goes well I will see them next year. Give my love to Rachel Mum xxx

 

21st Mar 2006

Triple Heart Bypass

Posted on Tuesday at 12.54, so far 0 comments have been made.

Not much else to add at the moment, I've got a lot to do today, and this is currently at the bottom of the list to worry about.

Comments

 

20th Mar 2006

Athletics At The MCG

Posted on Monday at 12.51, so far 0 comments have been made.

Awesome.

Decalathon high jump, hammer, shot put, 100m, 400m, 5000m.

Fake flags, pies, rc cars.

Comments

 

19th Mar 2006

Percussion Spectacular

Posted on Sunday at 15.50, so far 0 comments have been made.

This should of been a massive group of us, and although it ended up being really cool anyway, I was very disapointed in our mates.

It ended up being me, James, Ben, Doc and Sham. All really sound people, my friendship with James is getting better every time we hang out, Ben is the random Flickr friend, and Doc and Sham are his friends.

Scott did go, but he didnt call like he said he would, and when I texted him he was right in the middle down the front. He obviously had the right idea and got there eairly and got one of the best spots.

Really cool time, the performances were execlent. Cus we came so late, we were right at the top of the hill,any later and we wouldn't have stood a chance at seeing anything at all. And torwards the end when people started to standup there was a point where I was going to leave cus I couldn't see anything at all and couldn't really hear much either cus teh sound was being absorbed by the fat arses standing in front!

Well we moved further up the hill when more people started to leave and got a really good sopt for the rest of the final act and the grand finallie. Wicked, what some people can do with a peice of stretched out animal skin and a stick is truley amazing.

Rocked on home at 2300.

Comments

 

18th Mar 2006

Talvin Singh

Posted on Saturday at 15.36, so far 0 comments have been made.

Spent the first bit half of the day messing around on my computer then left around 3.30pm and cycled up the Yarra. Got a phone call from Dave and had to chat to him for a while. I'm not sure I like the guy, and if it came up with his number I probably wouldn't of answered it, but it was a withheld number, and it could of been an agancy with work so I had to answer it.

Probably for the best to, cus I hardly ever answer my phone and this might get me more used to doing it.

Anyway, he just wants to meet up for a beer sometime, sounds quite desparate actually, keeps going on about all the birds he had recently, like I give a shit.

Met up with Scott and Marry on the river, they had got a spot and were just chilling waiting for a BBQ to become available, so I rode up to meet Rach at the festival. She didnt get there for a few minutes so I chilled and watched the chior, then she turned up and we watched some live percussion type music playing with this really cute little girl, Maddie, who was wearing a pink hat :)

We then went back up to see Scott and ate some food, it was this French bloke called Sedrick's 30th birthday. Damion called and started his way out to meet us and Rach went home to do some study for her exam on Tuesday. We went back into town and split from Scott and headed for E55, had a G&T then to the bottle shop and got some G&T in cans! Then back to Fed Sq to catch Talvin Singh.

I was quite drunk and dont really remember much of his performance, and we were running about allover the place trying to meet people and dodge the security, who busted me two times, and on the second I didn't take another chance and transfered the G&T into a water bottle!

Went back to E55 for another beer, but I didn't have any cash and they didn't take fpos, so stayed for a while then cycled home with the most seveer case of the hicups I've ever had, I stopped on the Yarra where we had the BBQ eairlier and drank the rest of the G&T to try and get rid of them, but no luck, so headed home and ate some chocolate which seamed to do the trick!

Comments

 

17th Mar 2006

Weight Lifting and Heart Attacks

Posted on Friday at 11.40, so far 0 comments have been made.

Well what a day.

I'll start at the beginning, where it should start.

I wanted to go to one of the commonwealth weight lifting events, I would of loved to have gone to the mens 56kg final, just cus thats what I lifted in for most of my career, but that fell on a Sunday, and with tickets only $15, they were snapped up way before I got my arse into gear about buying some. Arse. I did however get tickets to the mens 62kg finals, I have lifted in this catagory before, the last school boys I think I was in this catagory.

And it was wicked! It brought back long and distant memories of me training and doing (and winning) events. I only wish I was there with some other people who really appreciated it as much as I did, most of the people were there cus of the ticket price I'm sure, not a lot of the people around me even knew what the lifts were all about.

It was amazing though, and I had a really good time, and the battle for first place was awesome! With Chinthana VIDANAGE from Sri Lanka getting his second C&J at 150kgs dissalowed which knocked him back into second place, then having nothing to lose at all for his final lift, and the final lift of the session, and did 153kg, and won on body weight! It was really amazing. I am very glad that I did something like that in my life, its something that I will always have with me, and something that I'm am immensely proud of. I only wish I could remember more of those times.

It was at the half time session that I checked my phone and had a missed call from an unknown number, and a voice mail. When I checked it it was very broken and hissey, but I did make out that it was mum telling me that dad has just had a heart attack.

www.waytobringmedown.com

I had another ten minutes to think all this over before the C&J's were due to start, and I guess this is where I was glad I was alone. Mum did tell me that he was alright on the phone, and there was nothing to worry about, but I started to think about what would of happened if he had actually have died.

What would I do? What would I feel?

Would I fly home? Would I cry??? I honestly dont know. What would mum feel? What would she be like? Would she be cut up enough to want me back, cus I really would resent flying back if she was okay. I dont think I'm a bad person, I hope not, but it really would fuck me right up. I'm right at the end of my current visa, in the process of applying for the next one, I'm out of a job and I barley have enough cash to last me through as it is. I know that I have to be in the counrty when the decission is made, so what happens if I'm in the UK? Well thats probably the passionate cuircumatances thing actually, but even so, if all of this has been brough on by his selfish nature and the constant drinking to keep him self afloat now that both I and Steve have left, then I couldn't give a rats arse about him. If all of this is about the excessive drinking and smoking now that he is there on his own, then fuck it, why should I ruin this new life I've started for myself over here for that? Even if he is my Dad? I just dont know. I dont like feeling like this, but I just cant help it, I dont have any compassion for him if this is self inflicted. If he got hit by a bus and was just about to die then I would do everything I could to get home, but this? Its a waste of my money as far as I'm concerned. And if he doesn't change his ways then its a direct reflection of his feelings for all his family, and if he does feel that way then fuck him, if he doesn't care about me, then I can easily forget about him. Its not as though I've got a lot of memories to forget about anyway.

I'm looking forward to speaking to him, cus I need to find out what he thinks about all of this, if he's not prepared to change then he's not going to be hearing from me anymore. Again, its a waste of my time.

I spoke to mum in the evening and she said she came home to find him leaning over the sink complaining about terible pains in his chest, and his left arm had gone numb. He said he thought it was food poisioning. Just goes to show just how think that man can be, I'm no doctor but I sure as hell know what the syntomps of a heart attack is. Mum said he was actually in a bad way but didn't want her to take him to Frimley Park, cus he felt so sick, she ended up phoning the emergency doctors line and they put her through to Berkshire, who called Surrey to send an ambulence, 20 minutes later it was there and the paramedics gave him an asprin and an ECG and said that he was going to be okay, but they were going to take him in. When he was being carted in she said that he was all wired up to everything with tubes coming out of everywhere, and that he was telling her that he felt fine and that he wasn't going to spend the night in there! What a stubborn selfish cunt! He's just had heart attack, they've drugged him up (morphine) and taken him to hosipital, of course hes going to feel better than when he was colapsed on the bath room floor waiting for the ambulence to arrive.

He's going to have to spend the next 6-8 weeks off work.

Poor mum.

Spent the rest of the evening drinking wine and watching TV.

Comments

 

16th Mar 2006

The XVIII Commonwealth Games Opening

Posted on Thursday at 10.39, so far 0 comments have been made.

Got down to the river at around 4pm, by which time there were already a fair amount of people there getting setup for the rest of the evening. We got our sopt in front of the England fish (a roach), and settled down.

Comments

 

14th Mar 2006

Psyonara

Posted on Tuesday at 13.04, so far 5 comments have been made.

Damion had mentioned a few days before that he and Dale were playing at a free beach party 15 minutes out of Melbourne, the same day as Earthcore In The Park, bank holiday Monday (Labour Day). There was no way I was going to the Earthcore gig, there was no one there I had any inclination to listen to at all, so this was a result.

But first a little story about the location...

We went down to St Kilda a few weeks ago now for the first day on the beach I've had since getting to Melbourne, almost a year ago. Its criminal I know, but you know how it goes, you just never get round to these things do you?! Well we finally made it and it a was a nice day out, the weather was hot and sunny and we had a bit of a swim and some Aerobie in the water. All good wholesome fun.

Expect St Kilda isn't the nicest beach in the world, for those of you who have been I'm sure you'll agree. We got chatting to Rich about our beach outing on Saturday at our weekly juggling get together at Fawkner Park and he mentioned Half Moon Bay as an alternative for some beach action if we wanted somewhere nice to go. Its a bit out of the city, the end of the Sandringham line, not too far. We could even cycle it. So, mental note, must get round to visiting Half Moon Bay, but looking at our track record of getting to the beach so far, I couldn't see it happening this side of winter.

Well that all changed when Damion called me up on Monday morning with the location of the party, and its doesn't take a genius to figure out where it was! So in the space of two days I'd found out about this awesome place to visit a nice beach from one friend, then partied through the day and into the evening right there with another friend!

What a wicked location, right on the beach with the sea lapping at your feet, the sun setting behind you into the ocean and trance pounding around the cliffs. I wasn't expecting anything like this at all, I thought that we'd be spending the rest of the day sitting on our rug drinking beer with a few friends. You can see from the photos that there wasn't a lot of chance to sit down, there was barely enough room to dance what with the ocean only leaving a few meters of beach before the cliffs! Sunday had started out badly, it was raining when I got up in the am, but it had got progressively nicer throughout the day and ended with this on the beach. How wonderful :)

There is something quite magical about dancing outside, especially with sand between your toes and the ocean round your ankles. And if you can squeeze in a sunset, and maybe even a few stars...there's not much that can beat that.

Check out the Psyonara photos

Comments

15th Mar 2006

Cath

That party looked amazing! Just remember us poor londoners shivering in 4 degrees! Brrrrrr!

16th Mar 2006

MUM

Nice pics love, looked like the sort of day I could have done with away from all this COLD. luv U both Mum xxx

16th Mar 2006

Chris

Hey guys, the party was really amazing. I was talking to someone a while back about the parties in Australia and they told me its all about the outdoors, and they were damn right. And this was on the beach so double bonus!

I was on MSN to Sarah yesterday and she told me that tickets for The Glade have now gone up to 100 squid! There is no way I'd be paying that kind of money for a ticket! Are any of you lot going?

17th Mar 2006

Kev

Grrrrrrrrrr, is all i can say that. Its bloody freezing here, and grey. Glade sounds real pricey, bit much for me though i would love to go. Gonna stick to a few nights out i think, not that its much cheaper! take it easy dude, post me some sunshine!

18th Mar 2006

Chris

Alright Kev! Sorry I haven't replied to your email, I'm on it though!

Yeah man, thats a hell of a door price, for that you could fly to Europe on Ryanair and get entry to a festival, and get beer. It's criminal.

I'm laying low at the moment, saving my pennies, sorry cents, and waiting for those one or two good nights out that happen each year. But of course free beach parties are always on the cards!

 

12th Mar 2006

Lion with Mark

Posted on Sunday at 12.06, so far 0 comments have been made.

Fucked around on my computer for most of the morning, playing Diablo II, then met up with Mark around 2pm ish in the Lion. It was bloody hot on the way down, and when I got there the weather report said it was 38C outside.

Had a good old chat, and a good old drink, then Rach came down for a few after work.

Mark said something quite funny...Corrie has apparently expressed a concern with Mark's conmitment to the dome project! What the fuck! hahaha, it made us all piss ourselves.

This was also quite a big turning point in the stopping the social smoking that I do. Espically in the company of Mark. Meeting Rainbow Rich has brought all this on. There was always a little voice in my head saying not to smoke the few I do every week, well weekend really, but I never listened to it, I didn't really see much harm in smoking a few on the weekends. But then again, why even bother with the few? They make me stink of smoke and make my head feel even worse in the mornings. I think also it was a 'filler' for those moments where I couldn't think of anything to say, so I would just say have you got a lighter?

Well, no more. Now that I've made this decission I'm not even thinking about smoking, even around Mark. Lets see how long this lasts.

Comments

 

11th Mar 2006

Poi at Fawkner

Posted on Saturday at 11.58, so far 0 comments have been made.

Dossed around at home until about 3 then cycled down to Fawkner via Brumbies to get some rolls for the BBQ. Met Fran, Amanda and Richard down there, and had the first decent chat to Richard. I guess hes not a bad bloke, just a little stuck up and cant talk very well.

Rach came down not long after and dragged Rich over from the usual spot to where was had the BBQ.

Really good day actually, got the Areobie out and legged it about all over the place to the extent that I still ache now (its Tuesday). Me and Rach did manage to break it though, a bit to highly energetic fight over it. Never mind, I'll be more careful with the next one I buy.

Just ended up going home when it got dark at about eight thirty.

Comments

 

10th Mar 2006

Lectures and Let Down

Posted on Friday at 20.07, so far 0 comments have been made.

Woke up about 10am and started to read more of the Space Time article from the big view, really interesting, the bit about reference frames went over my head, but the basic concepts I got. I'm getting to the quantum theory part now which I'm enjoying, it made me realise that I'm quite into this stuff and I think i'm going to try and finish in search of scrogineers cat soon.

I started to think a bit more about my tattoo and sent an email to Kate at Chapel Tattoo to see what she would say is the next step in realising this. I'm geussing that its going to be a trip in there to see her, but I think I should have something to take to her based on something mark can dream up. Thinking about it, I'm not too sure if thats really necessary, I kinda know already what i want and I cant see Kate doing something for me and letting me take it away for people to modify. I could obviously take her artwork away and get someone else cheaper to do it for me. Well thats how I would think, wheather that the case or not I dont know. Lets see what she says.

I also found a translator in Richmond that said if I got the German Police Clearence to them in the next 30mins they coyuld do it there and then, so I got on the bike and went to Richmond and got it done. Add another $55 to the cost of the visa.

Then off to meet Rach for her break and had a grape and green tea icee at some chinese place on Swanston.

Jade phoned me about the job, I didn't get it, and I'm not surprised, even more unsurprised about why: It was the paragrapg in my CV that said this:

I would like to push forward my career using Microsoft's .Net platform, and become involved with a team of architects and developers who feel passionately about producing first class software using cutting edge technologies

I knew it as well, that was the only thing they pulled me up on in the interview. Well I didnt even want the job, as I said yesterday it everything that I'd hate doing, but I did kinda need the money.

Went to Parhran after meeting with Rach to get the heat sink, and back to fit it.

Going to watch some more MIT lectures now and wait for Rach to get back.

Comments

 

9th Mar 2006

Interview

Posted on Thursday at 20.06, so far 0 comments have been made.

Woke up a bit late, but didnt have that much to do apart from shave and shower.

Jade picked me up at 0930 and took me to CSL for the interview.

This job is everything that I hate about software engineering. The job was taking over a project that someone had left unfinished when he left for Hawaii (gotta really ask your self if this is what you'll be doing in a few months when you see the project). It was working with classic asp and javascript, 6 years outdated and nothing to do with .Net at all, not even any type of WinForms programming, it was an old shit internal web application. I was todo the work they wanted, no out of the box thinking required, actually activley discoraged. It was for a pharmacuitical company, they actually said that they get excited about a good year for them, thats when a lot of people get ill and they sell a lot of drugs. Bastards. Working on my own and not in team. Nasty nasty nasty, but I couldnt ignore the fact that it was a paying job and that I need the money.

Lets wait and see.

Got back and the motherboard chipset fan broke, so I went to Parhran COmputers and got them to order me the Zalman heatsink. For an extra $12 I could have it tomorrow, so I did.

Rach cooked a really nice lamb and napolli sauce dinner with spagitii.

Comments

 

8th Mar 2006

Day of Rest

Posted on Wednesday at 20.05, so far 0 comments have been made.

After the evening just gone, we spent it in front of the tellie.

Rach bought some milk and a sausage roll on the way home, so we ate it and drank some tea watching some TV.

Rach passed out and I put on an MIT lecture about the wonder of light or something. THat put me to sleep! When I woke up we watched Temple of Doom, and a few other things.

Comments

 

7th Mar 2006

Police, Comedy and Lines

Posted on Tuesday at 20.01, so far 0 comments have been made.

Woke up and decided to clean some of the things off of my desk, and while doing so I went through all the forms I had printed out for the visa. I found a police clearence check one which I had not given much thought to, I'd seen it there before, but just never read it. I'd presumed that as I hadn't been in Oz for 12 months when I printed it out that it didnt apply to me. Well, what I had missed was that by the time my application goes in I would have been living here for 12 months, therefore I need to get one! Fuck! This takes 30 days to come through, and if it does take that long from today, I'm fucked.

I started to panic a little and fill the form out not really reading the whole thing through and messed it up. Bollocks, I don't have a printer here, I had printed them all out at work a few weeks back. So I went to the library and there were three people waiting for the express PC's. I couldn't just sit there, I needed to be doing something about this, and if that ment walking to get to somewhere where I couls print this out then so be it. Even if it would take longer than just waiting my turn. I walked up to the laundret and their printer was broken, I then walked up over Chapel and went to the 7 11 looking place oposite the Clairemont, searched for 'immi 1101', clicked on the pdf, clicked on print. Must of spent 20 seconds tops on the PC, but still got charged $2, and 3*20cents for the prints. Cunts.

Then over to the post office to send it express ($4), with another self addressed express inside it, and the $36 charge. Thats over $50. The price of the visa goes up again...

Then Mike txt'd we ended up hooking up and going down the Lion for a few. Rach turned up a little later and we ordered a parmer and went down stairs for the comedy. Its not too bad downstairs, a little dark, but they have a pool table. Comedy was pretty good, but IMO the presenter was the funniest. There was some bloke from Last Man Standing, I didn't recoginise him, and I dont remember his name.

Fran joined us a little later and got some more beer in, then the place shut and we went back to ours. Finished off the wine and took the rest of the party toys we had floating around back to theirs and got on it with the rest of theirs. Fran had work in the morning and turned in at about 4am? And we carried on drinking and smoking. When we ran out of fags we wandered down to the corner shop to get more. When we got back we decided that it would be a great idea to go to Fawkner park, I took my hip flask and we finished of the wiskey and passed out in amoungst all the joggers and people walking their dogs!

Woke up a while later and Mike had disapeared, when we got back he claimed that he needed a poo and could hold it in anylonger. We got our bikes and cycled home. I have no idea what time this was, but I'm guessing around 9am.

Piss funny evening, reminded me of a few years ago when I used to do this shit all the time.

Comments

 

5th Mar 2006

Drinks In The City

Posted on Sunday at 13.52, so far 0 comments have been made.

Was going to do loads today, staple the sofa, re-pot my plant, clean the carpet. But never got round to doing any of it. I started playing Diablo II again, and before I knew it Rach phoned me and asked if I wanted to go for a few drinks in the city. I Remembered that I'd left my phone and walet round Marks the night before so had to cycle there to pick it up first, then into the city. Dave called me when I got there whilst waiting for Rach, he's just bought a van from a drug dealer whos just had his licence taken away for drink driving for the second time! Aparently its got a bed in the back!

When Rach got there we went to Lower House, in Fed Sq, and met up with Johanna, Saan and Rohan. Really nice people. Had a few then cycled back and got a pizza.

Comments

 

4th Mar 2006

Poi and Marks

Posted on Saturday at 10.59, so far 0 comments have been made.

Went to Mitre 10 to exchange the staple gun I bought the previous week cus it stuffed up when I was in the middle of fixing the sofa up. Then decided, after about four weeks of forgetting about doing it, to get my bike light from Bike Now that they had taken off when my bike went in for its post sale service.

I then got a txt from Fran and met up with her and did a bit of shopping in the pikey supa bargins shops and some browsing in the Op Shops for a table for the front room.

Then back home to drop everything off and up to Fawkner park for some Poi. James came along which was cool, he's moving into a new place just up the road, so we'll probably be seeing more of him. We stayed really late, well it got pitch dark by the time we left, which I'm guessing was about 8.30pm. I then went up to Marks with some more beer to finish the night off chatting till 2.30am. Cant really remember the ride home, and when I woke up I felt all the beer I must of had the night before. I didnt feel that hammered, but I must of been.

Comments

 

2nd Mar 2006

The Beach And Meat

Posted on Thursday at 19.47, so far 0 comments have been made.

Second day off and two days in a row with Rachel! This is unheard of! Really this has happened about five times ever since starting work. Piss take really. And its not until you get to spend the time off that you really appreciate the time you have together. Its all to easy to get into the routine of seeing each other during the evenings and not during the day.

First thing that happened was that Rach got up, went to Safeways in Toorak and got some things for breakfast. When she got back she told me of all the discounted meat they had down there, so we both jumped on our bikes with our backpacks on and stocked up on a shed load of everything meat! We now have a freezer completely full of meat!

Well for the rest of the day we decided to cycle to St Kilda beach and spend some time down at the water. It was a bloody 'ot' day and by the end of the few hours we spent down there I was starting to feel the sun burn. I didn't actually get burnt, but I could feel it on my arms and shoulders when we left.

It was a really nice day except for St Kilda. That place is grimy and full of English accents. Not really what I came here for, but its water and thats still a novilty for UK boy who grew up in Camberley, Surrey, GU17 0DG.

I'm going to be off work next week to so we're going to Chealsey on recomendation from a friend.

Comments

 

1st Mar 2006

Autum Time And Medical

Posted on Wednesday at 20.45, so far 0 comments have been made.

Went into the city today for the medical for my visa application. Facts for the record:

Height: 165cm
Weight: 67.2kg

Not bad. I knew I was around that height and weight, but I was gladly surprised by the weight. All the cycling to and from work over the past three months has payed off big time.

Got all the medical stuff out of the way and went for a walk around the city and ended up on the banks of the Yarra eating a cheeky easter egg. Just as I was settling into the break from work, relaxing on the grass stuffing down chocolate, I got a phone call from Sarah at CIS. They have a job for me.

What the hell! Here I am just getting into the mood for a lock down for the next few months while I sharpen up the Sea Sharp skills, and this comes along. Now I'm not going to moan too much about it because the fact of the matter is that I could do with the money, surviving on what I've got in the bank is dooable, but it will be a struggle. Something that I was quite prepared to do, but now this has come up I've really got to ask myself if I should be going all that time with no cash to top up the account. Rent, after all, is not going down and is still going to be due on the first of every month.

Its not even something that I really want to do. Its something that I am very capable of doing, VBScripting by the sounds of it, for a pharamcuitical company! [Flash backs from PAA can be inserted right here.]

But its a job, and its paying very well, so if they offer it to me, then I'm taking it. If I didn't have this visa thing and all its costs coming up then I'll be a lot better off and I wouldn't even think about this job, its a three month contract, and I've got to keep up the C# while I'm there other wise I'll be useless when the visa finally comes through. By that time if I save all this money up I will take a month or two off and study hard.

First day off, and look what happens.

Comments

 

20th Feb 2006

It's Offical: I'm A Good Boy

Posted on Monday at 19.33, so far 5 comments have been made.

I've been waiting for this form for freaking ages now, and was getting to the point of panic as if by FOURTY days you haven't heard anything you have to get back in touch with them to find out what's wrong, and I simply don't have that time left. Forty days? What's all that about? I sent my German Police clearance off and with in a few days got air mailed the result. I guess that's German efficiency for you.

So I've been given the all clear by the UK authorities, which I was certain I was going to get, but I was always hoping in the back of my mind that some speeding fine didn't go a stray and that there has been court summons pilling up back home that nobody saw, and I was going to get a "Wanted By Hampshire Constabulary" written at the bottom.

Next will be the Statuary Declarations I've got to round up from people, and also the collection of evidence for my relationship with Rachel, and what an invasion of privacy that will be. They want just about everything personal from our relationship, and if we don't want to provide them with the genuine artefacts (photos, letters etc), we have to get certified copies made of everything, which again will cost. If we do decide to give them the real things there is no guarantee that we will get them back, and if we don't they burn them!

Comments

23rd Feb 2006

dad

"It's Official: I'm A Good Boy".

Well,!Well! Now why didn't the bureaucrat's just ask me Chris?. I could have saved them 39.999999 days.

Dad.

28th Feb 2006

MUM

Well what a perfect mother I am to have brought you up so well that you never got into trouble. The forms from me should be with you in the next few days.

Good luck my son. Luv u mum

10th Mar 2006

Steven

Well I larfed at this hahahahahaha good boy? pffttttt ur a disgrace to the english race u australian traitor!!! :-)

xxxx

16th Mar 2006

Chris

What a family thread this is turning out to be!

Hope you are all well.

22nd Apr 2006

Jeff

I hope that I managed to get that fork, sorry, form to you in a decent enough format for it to be of any use. I'd hate to think that any of your chances would have been more difficult, or you got any refusal because I got it screwed up or didn't get it there on time (although I suspect that was probably the case.)

 

15th Feb 2006

The New Valentines

Posted on Wednesday at 09.03, so far 3 comments have been made.

This will be the third valentines Rach and I have spent together, and although I'm not going to compare the other two times to this one, I had a wicked time this year, and spent a tiny fraction of the money that we normally do.

We dropped the usual expensive hotel and champagne experience for a more down to Earth cheap BYO Japanese and two for the price of one bottle of wine from the bottle shop. I've just done a quick calc in my head and I reckon that the previous London valentines evening would of cost around £300, and that was for the accommodation, champagne and room service. This year however there was a drastic change in the pricing for the evening! All up we paid $48, $33 for the food, and $15 for the wine, and we only drank one of those bottles and took the other home, so really only $7.50, so $40.50 which at the current exchange rate works out to be about £17. A saving of £283, or $667! And I had no worse a time sitting outside this cheap restaurant drinking our BYO. Fantastic.

Also after speaking to a few people over here, valentines is not as widely accepted as it is back in the UK. Most of the people I've spoken to consider it to be an Americanised excuse for getting us to part with more of our cash, and I'd agree, but I always liked the extra excuse in the year to go out and do something different, like a night at a hotel, or some nice dinner out. Which is why I'm so chuffed with this years effort, with its minimal cost and maximum fun! (the bottle of wine sorted that one out).

So here's to a change in paradigm in the way we celebrate valentines, at least while we're in money saving mode I guess :)

PS. The reason this post it up here so late is that I broke my content publishing system last Wednesday morning when I tried to post this the first time, and have only just got round to fixing it...damn DBNull's)

Comments

20th Feb 2006

Dad

"an Americanised excuse for getting us to part with more of our cash". Well said Christopher, the best things in life are free, (well almost).

Love Dad.

21st Feb 2006

Chris

"the best things in life are free, (well almost)"

Too true, the $15 (£6.30) 4L cask wine we drink is pretty much excatly that!

22nd Feb 2006

Shteven Bro Mofo Hippy Honker

Happy Valentines!!!!!

 

7th Feb 2006

Bike Update

Posted on Tuesday at 19.18, so far 1 comments have been made.

I'm not going to make this an everyday update but now that I've got some figures about the ride into work, thanks to my new bike computer, I've got to say that today I made it in in 20m 22s shaving about 3 minutes of yesterdays time and topped out at 53km/h a good 3km/h faster!

I'm sure the time in will differ dramatically depending on the amount of traffic, level crossing timings and the almost hurricane grade winds that I seam to battle on a daily basis. And the top speed I'm sure will stay at that for a while, it was fairly hairy dogging railings and trees at that speed.

Don't worry, as I said, I'm not going to be banging on about this every day. Just every now and then.

Comments

14th Feb 2006

Rachel

hey babe Im at school showing all the people in my class your website! I love my bike!!!!see ya

 

6th Feb 2006

On Yer Bike

Posted on Monday at 15.39, so far 1 comments have been made.

My bike went in for its long over due post sale's service over the weekend and has come back a new beast.

When I bought the bikes back in July for Rachel's birthday (and to give us a new lease of life, get us fit and give us mobility in this new city) I was told that they came with the first service for free, and that I was to bring both bikes back in six weeks after I bought them to get everything tightened up and re-aligned. Each service after that will cost $60.

Well I was studying for the next three months, and Rach was getting the tram to work every morning so the bikes just sat around for the next three or so months not really being used at all, so there was no need to take them back for their services, cus they were basically brand new, not ever used. As summer got started and the days got longer Rach started to ride her bike to work, but mine just sat there until the end of November when I finally found work.

Well it only took a few weeks of me hammering my bike to work and back every day to start to notice the wear and tear on the bike. The breaks were wearing down fast and the gears getting out of sync. And by this time the six week window of getting the bikes in for the free service had well and truly passed! Well it's been over six months since we got the bikes and I had basically no front brake, the rear one was wearing extremely thin and I couldn't use the four lowest gears on the back cog as the rear gears were so out of alignment. I'd also given up hope of getting the free service done as we'd left it so damn late.

In steps Rachel with her very persuasive female telephone voice to ask nicely if we could, after such a long time, bring them in for the service. Now if it were me talking to them I'm certain that they would of made me pay the $60 for each bike to have this service done, but Rach has a wonderful way with words which I simply don't have (and they were all blokes working there), and she managed to persuade them to do the service for free. Result.

So I picked up my bike yesterday afternoon and for the first time in about 3 months I had a front break and could use the lower gears. This was very useful cus I've got some quite steep hill climb sections on the way to work where I need the low gears, and what goes up must come down, and when your going down the other side, its useful if you have some breaks to stop.

I also got my self the cheapest cycle computer I could find in the store ($30) and fitted it last night when I got home. Here are the stats for my trip to work this morning:

Distance: 7.61km
Time: 23m 28s
Average Speed: 19.4km/h
Max Speed: 49.7km/h

I was very surprised by the distance, I really didn't think it was that far into work. I would of liked to have had this information when I first started ridding into work, so that I could compare it, to see how well I'm progressing. Lets see what happens over the next few months (if I'm still working here).

I was thinking about getting some new tires for my bike, I've got these rather large and chunky off road monsters on there at the moment, and I was told by a few people that it would make my riding about twice as easier if I had some decent road tyres since I almost never leave the tarmac. But I thought about it some more and decided that I'm going to stick with the chunky ones, as their giving me much more of a work out.

Comments

7th Feb 2006

kev

Hey dude,

Defo get some roady tires, nobblies will wear down real quick on the road and slicks really make life easier, just be careful when they are new and its wet out cause they normally come with a raised ridge down the middle of the tyre with grip in the outside edges, can be a bit hairy! I can do you a quick "how to" on adjusting the brakes and front/rear mechs if you like, its really simple once you know how.

Take it easy, enjoy your riding!

 

31st Jan 2006

Rainbow Serpent

Posted on Tuesday at 15.07, so far 1 comments have been made.

It's only Tuesday afternoon and still Rainbow seams so far away now. I was there this time two days ago saying my good byes, having one final groove on the main dance floor and wishing that it wasn't all over quite so soon. Things are going to be different next year, I'm taking Monday and maybe even Tuesday off of work and staying till the end, I might even end up helping out as I know a few of the people involved now.

And it wasn't as if we got there late either, we set off from Melbourne just after lunch and got there around 5pm, plenty of time to set things up and get drunk and chatting around the camp site and to get a bit of a groove on at the Red Bus which was parked right next to us. But that only really gave us two days left, Friday and Saturday, cus we would be packing things up most of Sunday morning, and setting off at 3pm. Not enough time at all. And to top off my sadness for leaving, they played one of my current favourite tracks just as I was walking away from the festival, back to the camp, for the last time. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound.

I remember talking to a few people about the festivals that go on over here and the two names came up, Earthcore and Rainbow, and I was told that you couldn't compare them they were two different beasts and that both had their place. When I went to Earthcore I had a cool time, the music was above average (if only for Juno!) the weather was brilliant, and the whiskey was good. But apart from that (music, sun and beer) there wasn't really much going on at Earthcore. I had the entire Saturday night planned out in my phone, every hour or two I would get a reminder that the next artist that I wanted to see started in 5 minutes, and I managed to make it to them all, and most of them were alright (especially Juno). And when Sunday afternoon came around and we had to leave, I joyfully helped pack up the tent knowing that I'd done what I came to do.

This time though, I was really in the mood for packing up the tent when Sunday afternoon came round. Quality music was still pumping out at the main floor, the place was still full of smiles, as it had been ALL weekend, and a lot of my friends were still in amongst it all. I'm not one for missing out on things so I hated walking away from it all when it was still happening and happening big.

Why oh why didn't I take Monday off of work (well the short answer is that I would be missing out on a load of money that I could really do with right now, but I digress!)

The people. The people were amazing at this festival, every one I spoke to in the festival was happy and friendly and wanted to chat to you, and all answered 'the people' when I asked them what their highlight of the weekend was. We're meeting up with a few of the people we were hanging out with on Saturday night as it goes, dinner and a few beers, wicked. You couldn't go anywhere at Rainbow with out being smiled out by the people walking around, I started to get achy cheeks at the end of the weekend! There were a lot of your hippy types (for want of a better descriptive phrase) as there always are at event like this, but what I also liked was that there were a lot of people like me there too. I met quite a few blokes who do IT in the city, and who were carrying a hip flask of whiskey in their pockets. My kind of people.

I also knew a fair amount of people this time. Its the first festival I've been to where I've known a few others outside of those I've travelled with, and that was wicked cus you were bumping into them all over the place as you walked round. On our very first night out clubbing in Melbourne we met a girl called Stella, who turns out to be a photographer and who has been at every single clubbing event me and Rachel have been to ever. And Rainbow was no exception.

A while ago I got chatting to a English bloke called Damion who runs PsyReviews, and he's just recently moved to Melbourne, we've hung out a few times and he was also at Rainbow with a whole bunch of quality people, so not only were there plenty of simling faces, a few of them at the festival knew my name!

Big shout to you all.

The music. For only two dance floors, the music was well varied, and there were only a few times I got bored with the current track and started to walk back to the camp, when all of a sudden they would play a stonker (Midnight Oil anyone?! how about Mars? Or Pink Floyd, or even ACDC!) and we'd have to run back to catch the last of it, and there we would stay for another few more! Quality.

But there are always going to be my favourites, and they were (in order that they come into my head): Mr Peculiar, Bamboo Forest, Beauty and the Beat, Jonny Mac and Panick. I've had Mr Peculiar's album Mind-Dala ever since Damion gave it a 10/10, and a well deserved score that was, its fantastic, and so was his set. It was really chucking it down at this point in the night which just added to the whole experience, watching the rain belt down through the green lasers.

Bamboo Forest I wasn't going to go down for. His album Revival I've had for a month or two and didn't think it was that bad, but I was in bed at that time (7am Sunday) and was rather tired and was going to give it a miss, but as soon as it came on and I heard the first track, Voyager, I jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on and ran down there to catch, in my mind probably the best bit of the festival, fucking wicked, the bass nearly caved my chest in! I've got a whole new wind on the album now I've heard it on some proper equipment (my iPod just doesn't give it justice).

Now I wanted to go see Sally Doolally when she played at VooV, and I was fecking gutted that I missed out, so I wasn't going to miss out again. Sally makes up the beauty on Beauty and the Beat, and they were on at 11am Saturday, a few hours after it started raining. I'd got woken up by Freq's, Time Stretcher, being played at the Market stage a few hours earlier, around 7.30am, and made my way down (on my own) a while after that when Jonny Mac was on. I met this guy last year while in Pure Sounds in Smith St, and got chatting about music, he was the first person I had spoken to who knew anything about psytrance since I got to Australia and it was like a breath of fresh air. I didn't know at the time he was a local DJ, and make an effort to go see him play when ever I can, and this time he was awesome, really funky, groovy, housey trance, perfect for the am in the drizzle :) By the time I got back it was raining quite hard and 11am was fast approaching, and everyone else didn't look like they were going to move from the camp, and I almost stayed too. But I thought fuck it, what's a little rain going to do? So I suited up and got down there. A few minutes later I was sweating, and had to go back and de-robe! Although it was raining it was still very hot, and the rain was a welcome splash of cool on what otherwise would of been a very hot sweaty, dusty dance floor. It was at this point that my whole outlook on the weekend changed, bollocks to the weather, its the festival I was there for, and if it gets wet, who cares, luckily my skin is water proof, and my clothes are washable, so from that point on I forgot about the rain and grooved to a wicked set by Beauty and the Beat.

I've not got anything by Panick and to my knowledge not never heard anything he's done. I know the record label his on very well though, Neurobiotic, from Italy, and love all the compilations I own from that label. And although I didn't recognise anything I heard from his set, it was wicked. Right in the middle of the night, and the music matched, very dark and hard. I'm going to get some stuff from this guy, it was a great set.

The weather. I've written quite a few things about the weather already so I'm not going back over it all, but I'm just going to say that it wasn't any rained out, mud bath Glastonbury. The dance floors were covered in fine gravel, which stopped everything turning into mud in the rain, and also stopped everything turning into a dust cloud in the sun, amazing idea. The rain was also very special for all the rainbows that happened over the festival, and for one in particular that happened right when the opening ceremony was in full swing, as if Thor himself was looking down on us and gave us a little treat. Looking back and seeing that rainbow just at the start of the main floor was another one of my favourite moments of the festival. The whole time I was there there was an overwhelming feeling of nature and organicness all around, just about everything was made of material or wood, there was recycling everywhere, and to have the rain pour down on us and have rainbows flying out all over the place was nothing short of magical.

I've had some amazing experiences at the festivals I've been to, and met some wonderful people, but this really did top them all. I only wish that we all didn't have to leave so early and that we could of stayed and soaked up some more of the atmosphere for another day or two. But there is always next year, and however far away it seams right now, it'll be here in no time at all.

I've also found that the more good things I do like this festival, the more happier I am just sitting around at the weekends and focusing on some personal things, like my education, rather than wishing I was out all the time going clubbing and drinking. One really good event like this can more than cover a whole year of shit money wasting clubbing nights.

Rock on next year.

The photos: Rainbow Serpent Festival 2006.

Comments

5th Feb 2006

MUM

Glad you enjoyed youselves. Have you read my e-mail yet as I need an answer.

Love you Mum xxx

 

25th Jan 2006

Things Are Moving Forward

Posted on Wednesday at 18.56, so far 2 comments have been made.

I know things have been very quiet around here for a good few months, believe me, it doesn't reflect on my life right now. I'm working more than I have ever done in my life, and enjoying it more than anything I've done so far, which makes for a busy busy life.

But today was a milestone in the Australian thing I've got going, and I wanted to at least write a paragraph or two about it, just for the record.

I got my German police clearance through the post this morning, with a big 'We've got no idea who this guys is' message written in bold at the bottom in German. Hurrah!

An so it begins, the next is the UK clearance, you might of thought I would of sorted that one out first, but you'd be wrong. I got so carried away with getting the German one sorted that I almost forgot about the UK one until one day when I was talking to a friend, moaning about how much the German one costs when I got asked how much my UK one set me back. Well, I shit myself and got on the phone back home to arrange for all the stuff to be sent out. They've been and gone, and now I'm waiting for the result.

This is the first step in getting all the paper work together for the application that I'll make at the start of April. And there's a lot more to go, if I can keep on top of things and get the rest of it sorted piece-by-piece I'll be fine. Only problem maybe is that we've just started on the first season of 24, and its overtaking the evenings where I should be filling out forms!

Comments

25th Jan 2006

Kev

hey dude,

glad to hear things are moving forward for you, hows the job going? are they gonna sponsor you, or do you not need to do that?

Things are moving forward for us too, but i'll tell you about it in an e-mail.

Laters dude, good luck with all your forms, say hi to Rach.

Take care, Kev and Kim

1st Feb 2006

Chris

Alright Kev, good to hear from you. Cus I've been so busy I've not had the time to update this site and was wondering if anyone was still checking back. Its nice to know I've got a fan or two out there :)

The job is going really well, I'm working with Microsofts .Net Framework 2.0, which is fantastic as there aren't going to be a lot of people willing to move to such a new platform so quickly (it only got released Nov 05). Plus the work I'm doing is brilliant. I've been developing a few applications that automate the design of instrumentation and control systems, right up your alley actually. I'm working basically on my own which I'm loving cus I get a chance to put into practice all the things I've learnt over my years as a developer and all the study I did last year.

Unfortunately its not looking hopeful that this place will sponsor me, and my contract runs out shortly, as does my visa. But as I said I'm in the middle of getting the forms together for my next visa application, and I may even need to call on you for some help.

Take it easy Kev, speak soon.

 

16th Jan 2006

Happy Birthday Dad

Posted on Monday at 22.27, so far 0 comments have been made.

Happy birthday Dad, I hope you have a great day.

Love Chris.

Comments

 

1st Jan 2006

Happy New Year

Posted on Sunday at 22.24, so far 1 comments have been made.

Well that's 2005 over with (very quickly too), so on to the next years instalment of fun, excitement and adventures.

This year is a very important year for me, I need to sort out my visa, and sort out my job. Everything is on track at the moment, the visa application is being put together right now and the job I'm in currently may well be keeping me on (fingers well and truly crossed). I'll find out for sure in the next month about that. I really don't want to leave after the three months are up, its a fantastic job, a real opportunity to do some great work and expand my experience. I'm going to write about my job soon, the progress I'm making at work and with myself, what I'm doing and the tools I'm doing it with, so expect another post about that.

Not too sure when though, I'm finding it really difficult these days to get the time to do anything computer orientated at home. By the time I get back in the evening, the last thing I want to do is get on my computer and type a long article. I will be doing as much as I can, as often as I can, I enjoy reading back through all the things I've written, but I can see a change in this place coming soon, reflecting the changes that have happened in my life since starting this new job.

I wish all the best to everyone for this new year, good luck in whatever your doing. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

Comments

3rd Jan 2006

Kev

Hey Dude,

Happy new year to you and Rach, hope you have a fun and prosperous 2006!

Hope you enjoyed your chrimbo break.

Kev & Kim

 

25th Dec 2005

Merry Christmas

Posted on Sunday at 09.36, so far 1 comments have been made.

Its been a long while since I last wrote anything, and so much has happened in the past month. Its been a non stop four weeks of drinking and working.

I hope you are all having fun where ever you are and what ever you're doing.

Merry Christmas!

Comments

30th Dec 2005

Gav

Hey man, how's thing's? I'm in Sydney, what's your plans? we are free on 6th (fri)7th, and 8th. Having a ball here - today Julie's dad took us for a flight right over Sydney harbour, was unreal!! Saw all the lovely beaches from 2000ft. we have a mobile here, the number is:0403 248396 give us a call, would be good to hear from you.

 

24th Nov 2005

Employment Has Arrived

Posted on Thursday at 12.50, so far 5 comments have been made.

It's taken a lot longer than I first thought it would, to get a job. I think that's got everything to do with the fact that I got employment straight out of Uni with the last company I was working for. Hence, no experience looking for work.

I've got qualifications, and at the grand old age of 28, a fair amount of experience since I've been employed ever since I graduated in the summer of '99. Never the less it's taken roughly five weeks of hunting, looking every day at the various IT job websites, sending god knows how many CV and Cover Letters to just about every employment agency I could find that delt with the IT industry, and going to countless interviews. This has really been a full time job. But it's paid off now, and it's happened in exactly the way I predicted when I came home from the very first interview I had.

I found out a few truths along this journey about the employment agencies that due to me not having ever delt with them before, I was blissfully unaware of.

The first is that just like any other company trading in a commodity, the employment agencies trade in people. To them you are just another trade item and this can make the whole process of job finding extremely depressing and soul destroying. As I've said, I've got the qualifications and the experience and I know that I could handle just about any programming situation given to me. But if the agencies don't think so, a job that you felt you were qualified to apply for, the agencies don't even bother calling you back over. Very heart breaking. This also makes a lot of the people I've spoken to on the phone act like they are on some massive power trip, talking like they are leagues above me, when in fact its they who are in the shit jobs, and its me who is the professional and will go onwards and upwards. If only I can speak to someone who can understand me, cus the dicks at the agencies sure as hell don't.

Which brings me to truth number two.

Employment agencies, although placing IT professionals, have no IT experience at all. Well the vast majority of them anyway. They basically just know the terminology of the industry and nothing about what it actually means. And more often than not, its just the acronyms they know and not what they expand to or what they mean. This is very frustrating and has taken me about a month to sort out my CV and the way I talk and act in interviews so that I don't get asked stupid questions about my CV that are plainly there if they could only understand it or just get stared back at blankly when I'm describing what I've been doing in software development. If I were talking to a fellow programmer I'd be showered with definite positive yep's and good stern smiling nods of the head, indicating that although I wasn't using the industry standard ways of describing processes, that knew completely what I was on about and more importantly that I knew what I was banging on about. I did have this recognition once in an interview with an agency, and that was only because the bloke was an ex programmer him self, and actually shook my hand when I told him about the exam I've just completed. That never happened with any of the other agencies.

This particular scenario has arisen I think, because of my very informal IT training. I'm entirely self taught when it comes to all my previous IT skills (before VB.Net). I've learnt everything my self on the job, from the internet and from friends, never from any professionals, and so have developed my own terminology and ways of describing the techniques and methods I use. This is a massive problem when your witting a CV to give to an agency who have no IT personnel as they just bin it cus they can see none of their precious 'buzz words' in it. Getting past the agencies is by far the hardest part of this job hunting process.

I've have had success, as I stated before, in exactly the manner I had expected to, from the moment I started speaking to these unhelpful money grabbing agencies. I said at this time that if I could only talk to the employer, someone who I would be working with, someone who understands my skills for they are actually worth and not just the count of key buzz words I have in my CV, then I'll have a chance. And I was right.

I saw an ad on the web for a Dot Net Developer, and to my excitement it wasn't through an agency! Result! Well, I sent my CV off and not more than 4 minutes had passed when my phone rang. I'm not joking, 4 minutes. I was in for an interview first thing the next morning, and got a call the following morning (yesterday) telling me that I've got a three month contract! It was the longest of all the interviews I've had by a mile, I was there for over two hours, rather than the 30 minutes in the agencies, chatting about my background and the work I'll be doing. I'm going to be working with Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and GDI+, re-developing his current VB6 application. Exactly the job I was after. It's also only a few blocks away, so I'm going to cycling to work every day, and it's only going to take a few weeks of that and I'll be back in shape for the summer!

unfortunately it's not a permanent position, I've got a three month contract, so I'm not out of the woods just yet when it comes to staying in Australia, but it's a damn good start, and I'm going to be doing some real fun stuff for a great company. I've got a few more options left when trying to extend my visa and I'll be going into them in the new year, but for now things are sweet and I cant wait to start work.

Comments

24th Nov 2005

Rob

Well done with the job mate. Let me know how working with VS 2005 goes!

24th Nov 2005

j00lz

Those agents are truly cunty balls, they prevent me from securing my destiny.

Imagine working with all those australians?!!,

actually its probably just like working in london...

24th Nov 2005

Kev

Hey man, big congrats on the new job, funny how things just fall into place in the end, i only tried going through an agency once, and never again, they kept putting me forward for commercial IT development not industrial, they just didn't have a clue what i did for a living! (mind you not even i do sometimes)

So what happens now, is it a case of showing them that your a key smoking, code crunching hero and then waiting for a sponsorship to stay in Oz?

25th Nov 2005

Jeff

Chris,

Have just logged on to your site for the first time in ages - looks f"$%ing great. Glad you've been keeping busy, and having read your latest comments - realised I'd logged on at exactly the the right time. Great news - sounds like you're really excited, and rightly so. Personally I have no idea what it is you actually do, so find it very difficult get terribly excited about programming. You sound like you've had a soul destroying time finding a job, I'm glad it's over (for now). Have you heard from Dave yet?

26th Nov 2005

MUM

Well done son. When do you start and do you leave your key somewhere for me when I arrive.

Will speak to you in the next few days, only 5 more to go.

Again this is one mum that is very proud of you. Luv u lots xxxx

 

18th Nov 2005

AJaXaA

Posted on Friday at 14.40, so far 3 comments have been made.

Its been almost two weeks since I last wrote something, I've been snowed under with the process of getting a job. That process is still in full swing (and will be for a while so it seams) taking up all my time leaving me no spare moments to write about all the things I would like to. And I do have a few...anyway on with the post...

I've been wondering about AJaX for some time now, the web seams to be shouting about it all the time and I get newsletters daily telling me how wonderful it is. So I thought I'd give it my own shot, basically so I don't get left behind once again with another technology.

A slight problem is that I'm not all that hot with JavaScript, I can read and understand the stuff, I'm a programmer, and when you can understand one language, you can pretty much work most of the rest of them out. But this in the end didn't matter at all, I got one example from W3 Schools and I was off.

The project I chose to tackle was my links section. My links up until today were pulled, just like the rest of the content of this site, from a MySQL database and I've got various admin pages and ASP scripts that enable me to add the link, toggle its visibility, edit it, and even give it a rating (you don't see the rating, its for my eyes only). I also have a del.icio.us account where I have a few public bookmarks. The good thing about del.icio.us is that you can get to your links from any internet connected computer, and also they have an array of different RSS feeds for all your links.

So the project spec I gave myself was to use AJaX to populate the links section on this site using the RSS feed from my del.icio.us account for all my links tagged 'fdlinks'. I would lose all the effort I put into making the admin pages, the MySQL database tables and the rating scheme I came up with, but I would be gaining a little more experience in all things web. And that was all the encouragement I needed.

The title of this post is AJaXaA and not just AJaX for a specific reason. I'm using Asynchronous JavaScript And XML And ASP. The reason for this is that I'm not just using AJaX to pull a plain XML file (in this case the RSS feed) from a server somewhere and displaying it (raw or styled with XSL), I'm using an ASP page to load the RSS feed from del.icio.us traverse it using the MSXML Document Object Model and output the content in an XHTML format that suits the framework of this site. JavaScript asynchronously loads my ASP page, which in turn synchronously loads the RSS feed and formats its correctly. You'll see a slight delay when viewing the links page, this is while your browser fetches the content without reloading the page. Magic.

I think the only problem I had other than syntax was that I added all the links to my del.icio.us account today for the purpose of this 'project', so all the dates for the links say today. A small and liveable problem though, and in a few months, if I add lots more links, no one will even notice.

I've tested it on the usual, FF/IE on the PC, I've got no idea about any other OS's or browsers. If you are using some thing else and it doesn't work, let be know.

Comments

19th Nov 2005

kev

Hey man, again i have no idea what your on about, but it sounds groovy!

Got a real challenge myself at the mo, i have been tasked with developing an applicaiton to convert one type of PLC code (statement list, similar to machine coding) into another (ladder logic), knowone has ever attempted this and i am starting to see why, its a bit tricky to say the least.

Doesn't help that my VB skillz are a bit poor , but i'll get there in the end.

I tell ya, i should be writting apps like this for myself, if i can get this to work it will sell like hot cakes!

take it easy dude, say hi to rach for me

20th Nov 2005

Chris

It was quite good fun implementing the AJaX stuff the other day, as I said I did it just to play around with some thing new, and now I've done it, it turned out to be a fairly easy task! Now I've got to find some other cool things to use it on.

And hey I haven't a clue what your on about either...all that PLC jazz and ladder logic! I remember you talking about it, but have no idea what its all about. I do however know my VB, and dude, if you ever need any help or advice, then I'm your man. I've got a fair amount of time on my hands at the moment while the right job comes along!

24th Nov 2005

kev

Thing is with VB its so vast i never know whether the way i am doing it is the most efficient way, so i end up writing the same bit if code three or four times to see which way works best, only way to learn i guess!!

 

5th Nov 2005

Frog Dreaming; A Destination

Posted on Saturday at 09.27, so far 0 comments have been made.

About a month ago Frog Dreaming Version 2 (fdv2) came into existance when I needed a break from the study and couldn't stand the sight of fdv1 any longer.

I've decided to publish the following text for a few reasons. The first being that this site is all about me and the things I do, and this document is both a part of me and the ongoing evolution of this site, from its early roots back in the days of Job Shy (js) and back even earlier for those of you who remember back that far. So it belongs here. Anthother is that its taken me enough time to write, its a shame to keep it locked away, and another is that some poor sole might want to read it for some bizzare reason. I had fun writting it, maybe someone might reading it.

Beware, its uncut, unsensored, unspell checked and very long. Its raw and unedited just the way it should be, so the very start might not make much sense, basically I was going to use it as an ideas list for the new version of the site, but it transformed itself into a record of the re-design. If you are going to attempt reading it, you might want to grab a coffee. I've only read through it once and that was just to see if I had missed anything out.

This is the story of the re-design...



This will hopefully be an ongoing work, and record of my site.

It will contain my thoughts on it, what I would like to see on it, and where I would like it to go.

So lets go.

I would like to clean up the CSS, its very messy spaghetti code all in one file at the moment and I would like to separate it into modular CSS.

* One for Colour

* One for Type

* One for Layout

* One for Navigation (not too sure if this one will really apply, I'm only doing this for myself, I'm not going freelance, so might not worth the effort)

Going hand in hand with the CSS cleanup would be a slight site redesign.

I really like the idea of having the fluid layout with the extras column on the right, but I'm not fluent enough in CSS to ba able to iron out all the bugs in the div overlapping in ie. So I might move it back to a nice and simple 2 coulmn, extras then content. Either that or just ditch the fluid and go with fixed width. Not too sure yet.

Well well well…I've been a busy boy the past few days.

I'm very proud of whats happened so far, and I'm going to keep this now as a kind of diary, to document the development of the new site. I would like to see how long this takes me to do, in terms of hours work, to get the new site up and running.

Obviously I've got a working code base to work from, there is no re-writting all the scripts from scratch, and the script writting is the hardest and most time consuming part of the whole development process if you ask me. Probably due to the fact that I'm no good at the actual design, and keep everything really simple and easy, and if I were a designer, and not a programmer I'm sure that part would be easier and quicker to achieve results that look more pleasing to the eye than my hash. But at least it didnt take that long.

Prolog.

I've been thinking about the design of my site for a long time. The more time I spend looking at it, the more I dislike it. The colours are just wrong, and it looks messy. I've not really noticed it before, but the right hand side bar looks plain aweful. Fuck knows what I was thinking about when I started putting all those mozilla olny css curves on the corners. Clearly a bad idea, but not very clear at the time. I'm not a curvey person. When it comes to designs, I like the technical, professional look, and its taken me months of staring at fdv1 to realise that.

Thing is at the moment I'm right at the end of the study for 70-306, and doign something like a site redesign is not something I should be contimplating right now. I should be studying, not ‘playing'. It wouldnt be a difficult choice to spend a few days redesigning if it were actually going to help me in the long run with the study. But its not, this is just playing around.

Never the less, I still find my self choosing colours and deciding on borders, margins and paddings. I only hope that I get this done ASAP, so I dont waste too much of my precious time.

At the moment the part of me that wants to get this site re-design done is stronger than my MCAD side. My MCAD side has been worn down for the last two months and its weak and cant fight back. I think I'm going to let it recover for a few days.

Day One (6th October, Thursday)

I woke up in the morning and started to think about what I needed to do to achomplish this, lets call it ‘project' for want of a better word. The first thing I thought about was needing to get control of the crazy css that fdv1 is being dominated by. Its a total mess, and one of the main reasons that I couldnt get it to behave its self in fdv1 has now become apparent to me. Default margins and paddings. I read this fantastic article: http://leftjustified.net/journal/2004/10/19/global-ws-reset/ and didnt really get what he was going on about first time round, not having a lot of experience in web design and all. And I dont pretend to totally understand what he was really getting at now either, but I get the main gist of it and from using his white space reset, its made my life about a trillion times easier when performing this reesign. Its been truely amazing. All hail "*{margin:0px;padding:0px}". I also decided a while back that I would follow the modular css guide lines from this article: http://contentwithstyle.co.uk/Articles/12 and I have done, and although I'm not totally convienced that its the thing for a single developer like myself, it has at least separated out the css into a few smaller managable files. And if I'm going to do this redesign again some where down the line, it may prove its worth then.

I started with a fresh blank page. Totally blank at first actually, not even the VBScript page directive at the top, but that was a mistake, and along with making it xhtml 1.1 compliant, that was fixed a few clicks later.

I created all the css files I would need and linked them all through a single screen.css file using @imports for the first time. I was surprised how nicely they fit into dw's css editor. Cool.

The only things that I had in mind for the designs were outlined above, basically I wanted to have a fluid design, fonts-n-all and no div overlapping like I currently have in IE.

I wanted to stick with the two column design so that I could display my guests and mobile photo onthe first page, but quite quickly actually dropped it as the design forming on the screen in front of me seamed to look exactly the way I wanted. I decided to go with the one main column and the guests would have to suffer living further down the page. I guess one of the reasons why I stuck with the single colum was reading Jakob Nielsen's top ten web design mistakes of 2005. Not that I've been conciously aheareding to them as I've done this, but I did take note of the layout of his site. Single column. My site is about me and the things I get up to, all of the rest of it are extra features.

If I put navigation links at the top for everything people could want, why would I need a troublesome side bar. Havent spared a thought to it since.

I'm a minimalist. Except on my desk which is fulla crap. I'm also not the worlds best at css coding, or at being an artist, which is why I go for the blocky solid colour css styling and aviod the use of graphics at just about all costs. As it stands the only graphics I've drawn for the site is a new icon. And I'm well chuffed with that. I did a logo graphic for fdv1 and that was the only graphic on the site (bar all the photos), this time I think there's going to be an absence of graphics over the entire site. One less thing to manage as well, how many times have I lost the original png for a site graphic and have to re draw it. Not anymore.

It also loads faster, no images to upload means less round trips to the server. Whos winning? Me I tell you!

I did have a small problem with some floating divs that took up about two hours of the day. I couldnt get firefox to float a unspecified-width'd div to the right of another fixed width div. After a quick question to ee, I got an embrassingly simple answer and I was back on track. I thought to my self that I would alter the picture of the design I had in my mind if it turned out that I would need to implement loads of css hacks to get this working. I'm no css geek and I just wouldn't be able to maintain it if it needed changing or editing. I'd prefer to go with a simplier, easier, more maintainable, smaller solution and sacurfice some fancy bits than to spend hours possibly days getting the css working in all browsers. The simplier it is, the more compatible it is.

And I guess that brings me to another point, I'm doing this for FF and IE on the PC. Not because I think everyone should ditch their macs or change their browser, simply because thats what I have, and I cant test it on anything else. I could install and test on some other browsers for the pc, and I may do in time, but for now FF and IE on the pc will cover enough bases (Me and 85% of the world) and keep me occupied for long enough as it is.

So, I've got the css files sorted, and most of the main divs in place. There is no font, colour or space styling applied yet, its all just 0px margins and paddings, and default fonts. And I'm liking what I see already, this is a good sign. I did have a play around with some spacing and fonts, but I had to stop my self, getting carried away with a new design and going ahead too far with it without thinking about weather it suits all the needs is a distar waiting to happen. Espically since time in my world at the moment is very valuable, I cant afford to commit my self to a design at this early stage and figure out that there is no where to put the damn search panel later on.

So for the next few hours between getting cups of tea, I make sure that everything can be ported over from fdv1 into the new design. And I'm delighted when I find out that it can. I might of had to change a few things but hey, no ones perfect.

By the end of the daylight hours I had the front page almost the way I would like it. I spent about an hour just selecting different colours blindingly experimenting with different shades trying to see what went with what. I have great difficulty when it comes to colour choice, and it takes me a long time to select a few, and even then then its more likely that I'll get tired of trying and just settle for the last one i've done. Why do you think the fdv1 was the colour it was?

From when the sun went down to when Rachel got home at 11pm was spent moving hx headdings around. I had the content there, I just needed to decided where it was all going, so I played around with positioning for a few hours, and when 11pm came around I had the final thing done and was very happy with it. All be it just the index page, but I'd copy and pasted some real content from fdv1 so it looked all propper n'all.

I had a real nice sense of achievment as I dozed off to sleep, just like I had when I first started to really understand how delagates in dot net worked and how I could use them in an application I'm writting at the moment. Ahhhhhh…bisto.

Day Two (October 7th, Friday)

Got up this morning at 8.30am, after having dreams of the worlds most complicated robotic hand with a tiny safety microswitch on the left index finger knuckle, and of being an astronaught, with a girl I used to go to school with and who is now married to and has kids with my old best friend, and discussing that fact that we were both extreamly lucky not to have been killed so far in all these space flights we done, and that we weren't going to do anymore as we thought the shuttle was sure to explode this mission.

Anyway, I fired up FF to see if what I'd done the night before, to see if it still looked as pleasing to me as it did when I fell asleep. And it bloody well did. Bonza! I didn't dream it all!

I got a cuppa and started to decide what the next step in getting this done would be. Would it be to start work on the db scripts? They are fully functional on fdv1 right now, so a simple file copy and fiddle will sort them out. Or should I start porting over some more content and get it all in place first before I get my vbscript hat on and start coding.

I thought it best to start on the latter and get the whole site up and running, although being competely static, it would give me a much better starting point to work from when trying to implement the database scripts that populated the pages.

I've spent today doign exactly that, and I now have a completely working prototype of fdv2.

Things that have been on my mind today:

The first thing I had to contend with was my photo gallery. It is the sole reason I started on this web development path in the first place. I may be bringing up the rear to services like flickr etc. in terms of features, but mine is hand crafted, all my own work, hours of love and sweat have been spent and sore fingers have been got from typing all the scripts. And mine was there years ago, not in exactly the form it is in now mind you. But these photo sharing services are out there and they are good, and dirt cheap, and cant be ignored. It did seam like I had made up my mind last night when went to sleep that I would transfer the management of the gallery over to some else (basically flickr), even if I did have to pay $25US. Well that all changed over lunch, I thought about it long and hard and realised that the main reason I developed my photo gallery was to share with my friends the photos of us all messed up at parties, and to this end, what I have more than does the trick. In fact you can comment on the photos which is something I never thought of doing when I first set out to diaplay photos. So in that respect there is no reason to change. Being with someone like flickr will give my photos a much wider auidence, but who cares? It was for me and my mates to start with, and they know the url. Besides I dont want to have to start deleting and administrating other random peoples comments, I've got enough on my plate. So I'm keeping my scripts and saving my self 25 dollars. I should of thought about things earlier and developed my own flickr and had it bought off me for millions years ago. Arse.

The second thing is that there are one or two pages that look cluttered. Basically the photo album page and the photo page. Its because of the search box and the rss link in the upper right, and the inherient non-uniformality in the photos colour. I could fix it by only posting either very dark grey or mint green photos, or I could live with it. Not too dificult to guess what I've done. I may come back to this point in the future, but for now I have a working site that I'm dead proud of.

I even managed to reuse the callendar code from fdv1 that i spent a whole day creating/crafting. So I'm well pleased with that. It may not be on the front page for all the world to see when they visit, but it is in there. Its not in its original form either, no more tiny right hand side calander, oh no, its now gone full width and not just one, but up to twelve on a single page! Twelve times the goodness! This also represents the only table I have on my site. This is tabular data, so it needs to go in a table. Obviously. One thing about the calendar that really annoys me is that to get it to work on the live remote server I had to change around the days and months in the SQL queries that populate the tables. This is because the site is actually hosted in the US, and they have a weird date format, they would wouldn't they. So what that means is that it doesnt display the correct information on my local system. Not a big problem, it just shows all the wrong dates which have articles. Funny hey, I'm from England, I'm living in Australia, and my site is hosted in the US.

Day Three (October 8th, Saturday)

Got up at 8.30am this morning. What did I have to do today? Well the design is out of the way, got that finished yesterday, so I've got the framework of the site all sorted now, so now begins the mission of porting the scripts over from fdv1, and I've got a chance to upgrade them as I do it, and god knows they need it. Its not so much the quality of the code, its the fact that all the functions are in a single asp include file, included on every page that needs db interaction, email ability, jpeg modifations etc. which has now got so freaking big that I cant find stuff in it easily. What this really means is that making changes to the code is not the easy enjoyable experience it should be, its more of a try and find the function you want to modify (which is like filcking through a novel as my function naming conventions leave a lot to be disired), check again its the one you think it is, then try and figure out what the hell its doing to the page, then change it, then see what mess you've made when you point the browser at it. Well this was the first thing in the morning that I changed. Again I started with a few blank asp pages, and separated out all the functions into a few categories, and created a page for each one. I ended up with a few separate pages of functions that I could include on the pages that needed them. Some pages have all of them, most just the common include. I should of done this right from the start, but to be honest I didn't anticipate the amount of code I was going to end up with.

Once the skeleton include files for the code were done I turned to the index page. This page took the longest, simply because its got just about one of every main function I've written, and once I'd done this page and debugged the functions, the rest of the site was put together quite quickly. In the process of upgrading each function I would copy and paste from the fdv1 scripts, change the name to something more meaningful, change the functionality if I thought it needed optimising, then go back to the index page and insert the function. I ended up doing a fair bit of optimising actually, weather or not its had an effect on the speed of the site I cant be sure, but the code is much more readable and maintainable now. I got a big speed increase when I switched from Jet4 to MySQL a few months back, something like a 40% increase I seam to remember, so nothing I did here would really make much of a difference in responsivness.

I did this for every one of the pages I'd created last night and it took me until 6pm that night to have all the scripts in place and working. Going through each page and replacing the static content with the functions that pulled the content from the db and debugging them. This was the least fun part of the entire project. Not because I dont enjoy the coding, I love coding, but because this was nothing really very new. Unlike the design of the pages which I started from scratch with, I was essentially copy and pasting the code and tweaking it a little which aint no fun. It took a long time and a lot of tea to get it finished, but I did it, and did it with breaks no longer than the time it took for the kettle to boil. My time is precious.

The next thing I turned to was the new links feature I wanted to implement. I've seen a lot of weblogs recently that have a links section somewhere. Things that are too small to warrant an actual post about, but things you want to share with other people. I've come accross some quality pages on the internet by checking other peoples links out. This was a complete new section of my site, so this was all new ground. Well not quite, its just another db table and an almost identical copy of the functions that pull everything else out of the backend db that makes up my site. Well it gave me a chance to refresh my MySQL client skills anyway.

Another part of the site that I gave a major overhaul was the administration side of things. Fdv1 was my first real self developed fully featured online administered web site that I got up and running and am going to keep running. Job Shy had its day in my early 20s when I was running all over london and europe with my mates, and it did us proud. It had a thriving online community at one point and I had about 50 people registered on the forums that I used to run on there. They weren't my forums tho, and that did bug me a bit. What I tried to do with js when I moved to Australia was try and re-write the forum aspect of it and wanted to keep it going in a very similar way the forums used to run, with people posting cool links and commenting on them. What I hadn't realised was the amount of effort that I would have to put in, to keep two websites up and running. I wanted js to continue as being the social portal it used to be, and fd to be my new personal photo site. It was never going to work. I did develop a rather nice looking (if you ask me) brand new jsv3, which had basically all the features I needed to get it going, and I was proud of what I did back then in May, but I had no time to invite people to the site, start spreading the word etc. The original js took a good few years to build up the audience it had, I'm not one to go shouting about things, so slowly, but definatly surely, people started to find out about it. Mainly in response to a big night out we had and stopping by to check the photo gallery. But they came. But things have changed, I'm no longer back in the UK seeing my friends all the time and promoting my site, so over the past 6 months, through a lack of my own time, js has withered and just about died.

But something good has come out of this, what I got from the whole experience of jsv3 was the underlining set of scripts that would one day be running fd. They weren't perfect, but they served a damn good starting point for me to work from when developing the administration scripts that I would need for fdv1. And now that I've spent all today tweaking them for fdv2 they are now tip freaking top. Third time around (first for jsv3, second for fdv1...) I've got half the amount of admin pages, and they are sleak and trim. All of the site is online managed, posts, links, all the editing features, deleting, email notifications, the lot. It wouldn't be in the form it is today if it wasn't for the work I did on jsv3. Even if I would of liked js to continue, and it may well again re-surface one day (I do have some plans for it), I've realised that running one weblog is almost a full time job, there is no way I can run two websites at the same time. This is my new life, I've changed and my website has changed with me. Evolution baby.

And that basically sums up todays progress. All the code is in and debugged, and its pulling everything out of the database just the way it should. Joy oh joy.

Thats about it really, I think. I've got some more testing to do, to make sure everything is working the way it should be, but thats basically it, all done. I need to check the administration features are working correctly, need to check the photo gallery is fine and dandy and need to run all the pages through xhtml and css validation. Also should really go through and spell check the whole thing, for those of you that know me you'll agree.

I stopped working at around 9.30pm, chucked some different clothes on and went out to meet Rachel after work. We went for some beers with some of her friends from work then for a Chinese after. It wasn't until I sat down to eat, drunk, at about 3am that I realised that I'd not had a single thing to eat the entire day. I guess thats what doing something you enjoy does to you.

Oh, there is one more thing actually, the RSS feeds. I've not got around to doing them yet, and probably wont for a bit, I'm not sure anyone uses them anyway. I did them to figure out what all this RSS hype sweeping the internet was all about, and the original ones will still work, its the links on fdv2 that wont for a while.

Nothing Day (October 9th, Sunday)

Today was my day of rest. Me and Rachel went to Richmond for some champagne and an all you can eat curry. Didn't do any web stuff today at all.

Day Four (October 10th, Monday)

The weekend is over, I cant spend anymore time on this site. I spent the day studying and got 80-85% on all the tests I did today, so to pat myself on the back I spent the evening checking the admin features were working, and they are. I'm going live tomorrow, after I write a post to start things off with.

Conclusion

Three full days and one evening. Not bad for what I did I think. They were three FULL days, sunrise to way after sunset, but I'm well happy with the results, and very happy that I managed to keep this log of what went on. Not sure if anyone will read it, or even cares, its for me really so years down the line I can look back and see what I did. And there might be a few interested people out there. I got the rss feeds working a few days later, so thats everything. You can even subscribe to a photos comment feed if you like. So you can monitor the comments from your favourite news reader to see if anyone else has replied. Not that anyone will mind you.

Fdv2 is here for a while. Unlike fdv1 I dont mind looking at this new design, I'm very happy with the results and its going to be months, before I even start thinking about doing this again.

For the moment though the js legacy lives on, fdv2 is living in js's sub directory shaddow, and until the time comes when I can find some decent cheap Australian hosting and get fdv2 out of the sub directory its living in at the moment its going to stay that way.

I do wonder whats in store for this site a few years down the line. I should still be living Melbourne and it should still be keeping track of what I'm doing, but I've got no idea of what job I'll be in, or who I'll be hanging around with, and at the end of the day its the people around me and my work that will shape the future of this site, just like it did with the last. It also gets dark.

Chris
www.frogdreaming.com

Comments

 

4th Nov 2005

John Digweed

Posted on Friday at 18.07, so far 0 comments have been made.

I've been a big fan of John Digweed...ever since coming back from the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge in June 2003 in Gav's car and Jono put on Northern Exposure. It was a great choice as we made our way back in the car along the A303 (even if it was only coming out of one shite speaker). When I got back I got straight onto Amazon and went a bit wild and spent loads of money on a fair few albums. Including Northern Exposure 2, Northern Exposure - Expeditions, and Communicate. And a few others.

But until Monday (31st Oct) I'd never seen him live.

Now that the first part of my MCAD is out of the way, I've started the horrible process of telephone interviews with job agencies. And its not fun, and I'm not having a good time. And its only been a few days (basically over the weekend actually). I've been looking forward to this night for yonks, a mixture of not having ever seen him before and not having had much of a social life recently (due to exam), this was the night to look forward to.

Well it got to the evening and I'd been stressing about the shocking telephone conversation I'd had earlier that day with some bloke at a job agency and I was feeling shite to say the least. I hadn't eaten anything all day either and Rach cooked this wicked pasta/chicken/cream sauce/sundried toms/avocado dinner and I ate loads of it, making me feel even more poo. I wasn't in the mood for going out at all.

After a measly one glass of wine we got on the tram to the city and met up with some of Rachel's friends who were over for Melbourne Cup. We had a few more beers with them, a bit of a chat, bit of a laugh, and a few minutes later we were in the casino and I was feeling loads better. Wasted a few dollars at my table of choice...the bar, and made our way to the club.

Queensbridge Hotel (QBH) holds 2100 people. As you can imagine its massive, and was already quite full when we got there at 1130pm. The sound system in there was equally massive, most of the videos I took throughout the night have got distorted sound cus it was so loud, and the ones that the audio did come out on, I was so far away from the dance floor (and hence the lights) the video is totally black. They did had some cool visuals, and even a few lasers, but nothing too special. I guess that was all left up to John Digweed who got on the decks at 1am for five hour set.

The music was awesome, really nice happy bouncy music and we danced most of the night, in-between going to bar of course. The people there were also really nice, cept for your usual few knobs but thats to be expected in a crowd of 2000. It wasn't really an eventful night so to speak, not like some of the other club nights out where you end up meeting some crazy people or ending up in some other crazy place, just a really wicked night out spent listening to some quality music and drinking large amounts of Crown larger.

Next time this guy comes to town I'm defiantly there. Well recommended night out, and one of the best club nights I've ever had. To top it all of, we won $100 on Makybe Diva, the winning racehorse at the Melbourne Cup the next day. Result

Check out the photos.

Comments

 

27th Oct 2005

Good Bye COM

Posted on Thursday at 16.14, so far 10 comments have been made.

I've been a software engineer for over 6 years now. If you've read my about page you'll know that before then I took a bachelors degree in Computer Aided Chemistry at the University of Surrey, and got a job as a developer as soon as I graduated. I enjoy programming, I have done for years. I like the designing, the development and the tweaking of applications. Especially the designing part.

I've never been that good at art, I cant draw anything more complicated than a smiley face with a pencil and I'm disappointed with myself for that (it's a damn good smiley face though). I've always wanted to be creative, but have been let down by my own skills every time I turn to art in a physical sense. I think if you're a creative person and you have the interest there, you have the talent built into you to produce something really special, but only if you hone your skills over a long time, and I was never that interested in art at school. I was good at technical drawing, but your using rulers and squares, and that to me is cheating.

I wondered for a long time if I was ever going to be able to quench the creative thirst that I have in my life. For the last 6 years I've been going to project start up meetings, writing functional design specifications, writing the code and getting support calls all day long, and it seamed to be the only thing I was doing. No creativity there.

I came to realise a few years ago that even in my work I could be creative, and I'm not talking about designing the front cover of the software boxes or anything! Oh no, we've already established that I can't draw! What I've essentially been doing for years is honing my programming skills (on my own I might add), and I got to a stage a while ago where I was fluent enough in the language to actually be able to be creative in the programming i was doing, not just solve problems in a linear fashion, but be able to think about the problem as a whole and design an elegant 'solution' (buzz word) around it. Just as a artist has to perfect their skills at home when they are young with a sketch book and pencil, I was unaware that I'd been doing exactly the same thing at work with Visual Basic and my computer.

But there was one big problem. The software I was working on was old, very old. It was written in Visual Basic 6 which got retired in 2001 and replaced with VB.Net, that's almost 5 years out of date, and five years is a damn long time in this fast paced IT world we live in. The time I had available at work and the tools available to me in VB6 were just never going to be able to satisfy me.

When I moved to Australia in April I was a hardcore VB6 developer, five years behind everyone else who had already moved to VB.Net, and not much VB.Net experience. I'd gone to a training course in late 2004, but our workload at work was so much that we could never put into practice these new and exciting skills we were taught, and they were exciting. At the stage in my career where I was able to successfully design creative functional applications with VB6, the new features of VB.Net were absolutely mind blowing. I remember after the course in 2004 having all these new ideas spring into my mind, because so much more was possible in VB.Net. But I never had the time to put any of them into practice. And if I didn't do anything about it quickly, the best job I could hope for in Melbourne would be supporting 'legacy' VB6 applications. And I fucking hate that word, that and 'historical'. When I got here I started to look for work, I put my CV together and sent it off to all the major IT employment agencies around Melbourne selling my self as a VB6 developer. I got nothing.

So I've done something about it.

For the last few months I've been at home everyday constantly studying for the first of my exams, Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET (70-306). This is the first of 3 exams I'm going to take over the next few months to make me a Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) and put me back on track with the rest of the programming world. Good-bye VB6, and good riddance.

The amount of work and effort I've put into this has amazed me. I never thought I'd be able to do what I've done, but I did, and I've learnt an awful lot in the process, not just about VB.Net, but about my self, which is just as valuable to me. I've read more literature and studied harder over the past few months than I have ever done in my life. Some mornings I would wake up with Rachel at 5am and start work and not stop until the evening. I've read almost all of the VB.Net articles on the MSDN, most of the Dot Net Framework documentation and countless other articles all over the web. I've also been developing an application along the way that keeps secure, all my usernames and passwords for all the sites I have membership to, and various utilities to do with the administration of this site. Just to practice my new skills.

I may have gone a bit over the top with what I've done with my studying since moving to Melbourne, I could of done it in a lot shorter time than I did, but there are a few reasons I took my time and not just got the qualification and jumped right into another job.

I've not learnt anything substantial that I've been really interested in for years, it was always work/play/work/play etc. and it's made me feel like I've been left behind by the rest of the world. And I'm not just going on about my work here (but that has been the major part of it), it's been in my personal life to. Over the past few months I've spent more time reading than ever before in my life (and the occasional Futurama every now and then), and not all computer geeky stuff either, but news and current affairs, popular science, books, newspapers anything. I've spent a lot of time catching up on the things I just never had the time to do back home. If I weren't working I'd be travelling to London to hang out and party with my friends. I feel soo much better now for the break, I feel like I've caught up and I'm back on top of things. The self development has been wicked and my brain now feels all fresh and dynamic again, eager to learn new things.

But for now I'm satisfied, I've done a good job over the past few months, and I'm very proud of my achievements because today I got 100% on my exam, and I'm now a Microsoft Certified Professional.

Comments

27th Oct 2005

Rob

Well done mate

27th Oct 2005

Rach

Congratulations Baby!! You deserve it for all the study you have been doing. Now we can go and party xxx

28th Oct 2005

Dad

Christopher you are a top man!!!!.And I am very proud of you.

28th Oct 2005

MUM

You've got a very very proud mum here my love. Will give you big hugs and kisses for it on the 2nd dec. Well done to you. C U soon Mum xxx

29th Oct 2005

Chris

Thank you all for your kind comments, I really appreciate them.

It's about time I did something about my life and started having a say in its direction rather than being a passive onlooker and not feeling like I had control.

The next big step is to get a job doing something I really want to do.

29th Oct 2005

Phil Crayford

Chris, you are indeed a legend! First of many and very well deserved!

3rd Nov 2005

Little Brother

Hurah! Gud one bro sure the interview will go well too, fingers crossed ;) hard work pays off. not that i wud know hehe x x x x x

3rd Nov 2005

Chris, Dig & Cherubs

Well done Chris - Sensational effort!

7th Nov 2005

kev

Hey Chris, congrats on your exam mate, good skillz!

Hows the job hunting going? it sounds like it could be tricky from what you have said, though i doubt you will have any trouble!

Take care dude, say hi to Rach for me.

8th Nov 2005

Chris

Cheers Kev, it took a while, but it all paid off! I'm studying for the SQL exam now while I'm looking for work.

I dont think getting a job is going to be all that bad now I've got some qualifications to back up the experience I've got, its the visa suitation that is going to get in the way I think, but there are ways around that too.

Say hi to Kim for me, hope your both well.

 

25th Oct 2005

A New Style

Posted on Tuesday at 22.11, so far 2 comments have been made.

I've been thinking for a while now about what to do about my hair cut. It took me a damn long time when I was back in England to find a decent hairdresser that would cut it the way I liked. I've always been bad at communicating exactly what I want done, so I relied a lot on my hair dressers own taste in haircuts to give me a decent cut (big thanks and hello's go to Gary and the rest of the crew at Brushstrokes).

Finding a good hairdresser when I got to Melbourne was something I really wasn't looking forward to at all. It was about 3 months after I got here that I finally got my hair cut, and boy it needed it. I was toying with the idea of just shaving it all off at home with some clippers, but I bottled it at the last and went to the first place I found to get it cut. I wanted it short, basically because I'm fed up with having to do shit with it when I wake up or go out, something nice and easy, and it would be something else I wouldn't have to worry about in my life. One less thing to worry about, one step closer to an easier life.

The time came around to get the second hair cut in Australia about a month ago, this time I went to the closest place to our flat, didn't ask how much they charged and sat down. I told the girl I was thinking about shaving it all off, and she said no, well she would do right, if everyone shaved their heads, there would be no hair dressers. So she cut it really short and did a shit job of it while she was there, and then charged me the most money I've ever paid for a cut in my life.

I'm not doing that again. I was going to get Rach to help me shave it off this weekend, but I've only got this little beard trimmer, and not the hardcore clippers. So as we walked down chapel on Sunday I saw a sign for $1 a minute cuts, so shopping bags in hand side stepped through the Sunday afternoon crowds. 20 minutes and $20 dollars later I'm a very happy chap.

It's very short, and I like it. I'm going to invest in some clippers so I can do this my self from now on and save some of those precious bucks for beer at the weekends.

And now I don't have to worry about my haircut, cus I aint got one.

Comments

27th Oct 2005

Pete

Let's see it then topher...

How are guys doing anyway?

27th Oct 2005

Chris

Alright Pete...all in good time my dear sir, all in good time. I wasn't just about to put up a gallery of me posing, sporting the new chop, you'll have to wait till I do something worthy of a photo gallery. John Digweed next week might well be it.

We're doing really well, I'm still studying at the moment and Rach has just got a new job. It's been an amazing few months of learning the in's and out's of VB.Net, but its time now to start looking for work.

Talking of work, how's your business going?

 

20th Oct 2005

Greener Pastures Ahead

Posted on Thursday at 12.24, so far 4 comments have been made.

I want to congratulate my baby on making a fantastic career move and getting a new job! I think you've made a great choice moving away from the faceless corporate hotel industry and getting into the face-to-face up close and personal restaurant industry once again. By the sounds of your new job you'll be learning loads more, getting more hands on experience and interaction, and all from authentic Italians! You couldn't ask for a better move.

I must say though, I was looking forward to all the free nights accommodation you got as part of your last job, and the half price curry's that I still haven't tried. But on the bright side of my selfishness, you'll be learning how to make fresh pasta and sauces and you can pass the knowledge on to me! (It will give me something else rather than study to do during the day...make fresh pasta!)

Your new job sounds and will be fantastic.

I guess I'm the next in line for getting a job then, and that's only going to be a few weeks away if all goes well. We'll both hopefully be starting new jobs around the same time, and with the new jobs, come new friends! Win freaking win!

Nice one babe, I'm dead proud.

Comments

21st Oct 2005

Rachel

Thanks baby your a legend you have given me some really great support and advice over the past few months that I have really appreciated. I only hope I can do the same for you in return! I will soon be able to cook you some fresh pasta in appreciation. Chow bello bene gratzi!! xx

23rd Oct 2005

MUM

Congrats Rach. Maybe I will be tasting homemade pasta when I come out. I love Italian food so expect to eat a lot of it at your home, unless I am doing the cooking. (Or Chris!!!) See you in five weeks time. Lots of luv Maureen xxx.

25th Oct 2005

Bro Mofo

LOL! Well done!!!!! Clappy clap!

I didnt know they ate curry in Australia?! I thought that was a UK dish! lol

Steve xx

25th Oct 2005

Chris

Hey? Curry? What are you talking about? Are you drunk? Did you actually read any of that?!!!

Italians mate, you know spag bol and pizza, we're not talking about masalas and kormas here!

 

16th Oct 2005

Happy Birthday Steve

Posted on Sunday at 18.49, so far 0 comments have been made.

Happy birthday dear brother, I hope your having fun!

Absolutely no doubt that you are, its just a shame that I'm not going to be there this time. Poptastic was a right giggle last year. My how time flys.

Big love.

Comments

 

12th Oct 2005

Technology

Posted on Wednesday at 23.29, so far 3 comments have been made.

I would like to share with you a quote from a show I watched recently about light. The quote was made by Simon Schaffer, a Cambridge science professor, and the extremely entertaining presenter of the four part series, Light Fantastic aired on BBC 4.

I thoroughly enjoyed the series, it's an amazing history of the scientific discovery of light that spans hundreds of years and many religions. But for me, it was the following quote that really stood out from the whole show.

He's talking about the invention of the light bulb, electric lighting and industrialisation.


Simon Schaffer:

Why is it exactly that we live in a 24/7 society?
Is it because we really want to?
Or is it rather because it's the dictates of the machines that they become profitable if they're switched on all the time?
Is it that we live in a world because we've chosen to live in a world that's lit every single day and every single night, or is it not rather the demand for profit and engineering that keeps the world going just as it does?
So it looks as though these technologies of artificial light give us an unprecedented control over the world around us, but maybe, just maybe, we're the victims, we're under the control of machines and the market.


I think it's an extraordinary concept and one that should be taken quite seriously. Think about what he's saying for a moment and it does make sense. For those of you who really know me, you'll know that I've never been quite sure that this technological life we all lead is the right way to move forward, the right way to advance. In a way I think we've distanced our selves from who we really are and have given up a lot of our freedom as a result of it. Lets face it, most of us wouldn't have any work to do in the morning if, God forbid, the company network got infected with a virus. I remember in my last job it basically shut the whole company down for three days when it happened to us. How many of you, if left to your own devices outside of the town or city in which you live, with nothing but the great outdoors would be able to fend for your selves? Not a lot of you, me included, and that to me is a scary prospect.

We're all fast becoming slaves to technology, especially the internet. Ten years ago I was trying to sell computers with modems to the public in a department store and no one could see the point. Why would they need a modem? Ten years later every one I know is plugged in, both my parents have email addresses and are on Skype. They've just switched to 2MB broadband, that's faster than my connection in my flat! Rachel's four year old nephew Jacob can use the internet better than she can!

And on that note, I should be taking the first of my MCAD exams next week, and I wouldn't even be able to make a fire if I didn't have a match! ARGH!!!

Comments

13th Oct 2005

kev

"freedom" sure is a loose word these days, in the morning you wake up when you have to, make you breakfast with machines designed by computers, get in your car designed by a computer, arrive at wok and start work on your computer (well i do anyway), etc etc.

When we were in the domican republic most people lived in small, well sheds really, they grew there own veg and kept there own animals for meat, they have to be the happiest people i have ever met, yet industrialised nations see them as some sort of primitives and call them "poor".

Not so sure they are the poor ones, and there defo more free than us!

17th Oct 2005

Big Rich

As i have said before who wants to get a tipee? but on a serious note your are right but i can see it in a different way as part of the many jobs i do i dont need computers or technology as such for example i have been laying a patio the last couple of days and all i needed was sand and slabs everything had to be carried through the house by hand! i mean yes we could have got a crane to lift it over but didnt need to it relied on man power alone, but on that note i still use technology for day to day things because its there and im sure its there to make life easier for us all but life is to complex for machines to make it easier. I belive if everything got plunged into darkness mankind would be forced to change yet again just to survive but as the years go on and technology adapts its only going to become harder and harder for us to make a change if it ever went wrong would we really be able to survive as its going to fall into the hands of the younger generation and they have been born into a world of machines so who knows what the future holds for us perhaps its about time we looked at things from a different angle.

17th Oct 2005

Chris

Hey Rich, you know I'm behind you 100% with the tipee idea mate, I've been an advocator of them for a while now. You are totally right when you say that life is too complex for machines to make it easier...at the moment. And just as you said, it's the way in which science and technology work in the long term, by replacing little by little, and automating the small things we do in life, and its this gradual change over years that will build up the layers of technology and make the systems that 'help' us control our lives become even more complex and more difficult to track. And also (and in my view more importantly) the further away our real human roots we become.

For example (and we're back to the good old internet), online shopping. For sure its easier than leaving your front room, even getting off the sofa these days with it all going through the tv, but cyber crime is on the increase, and according to many professionals, its battle they are losing. People didn't have this problem when they popped down the grocers for some sprouts. That’s just one of the many hassles of internet shopping we all have to put up on a day to day basis, and then there's the lost in the post part, and the getting what ever you ordered and finding it didn’t fit part. The internet has taken away, for a lot of people, the weekly going to supermarket part of life. The supermarkets took the daily trip to the local shops, part of every day life away from people a long time ago. I think the internet is now adding yet another layer of abstraction away from what I would call normal life to most peoples existences. And lets face it, at the end of the day we are social animals that need this human-human interaction. The revolution of computers, the internet and mobile phones around about the same time is creating a generation of people who spend a huge amount of time chatting to other people, but never actually exchanging words with another person face to face. I tnk with the txt msg spk of 2days younger generation you'll see a new development in language, grammar and social behaviour, as more and more of the time conversation and social interaction is done through a mobile device and not face to face. I'm not too sure if this is really a good thing? Maybe I'm wrong, maybe this is the next step in evolution and we should be embracing it. The future is bright, the future is silicon.

Is it a good thing?

You say about looking at things from a different angle, and again I agree with you, something to me just doesn't feel right, do you have any suggestions?!

I'm a big fan of science, but recently the more and more I'm reading (and I'm doing a lot of that at the moment) I'm finding it hard to see if any of 21st century science has brought us closer to understanding anything at all. The realms of physics have become so tiny and unimaginable that it really means absolutely nothing to anyone but a few of the world’s scientists, where’s the use for that? I was reading an article in new scientist about whether or not we really are closer to a theory of everything, and if spending the millions needed on these ever-bigger particle accelerators is really going to tell us anything useful. The further we look down the more we see, the further we look up the more we see. Where's it going to end? Is there really something out there waiting to be discovered and will put the last few pieces of the puzzle in place, or maybe we are missing the point about all of this, and are forgetting about living our lives, and living in the now.

 

11th Oct 2005

Face Lift

Posted on Tuesday at 17.49, so far 5 comments have been made.

After studying hard for the last few months, I was in need of a break, just see my last post to see what I mean. Weather it was justified or not, I took the time out to have a play around with the design and code base of this site and I'm very glad I did. I like the new look, its not totally perfect, there are some things I don't quite like about it, but all in all I'm happy with it and I can carry on with my life. Just thinking about this site was taking up too much of my mind space.

I'm my own worst critic, and the frustrating thing about the bits of this site that bug me, is that I'm not all that qualified in the design department to make it look exactly the way I would like it to. Plus in the time frame in which I did this, it was inevitable that I would overlook aspects of the site and mess up the spec, leaving important things out, and I did. I was quite lucky in the end and managed to fit everything together in a nice enough fashion to make it look like it was planned and not just thrown together. I hope.

All in all this took me three and a half days to do, from start to finish. I didn't even know what I wanted it to look like when I started, I just needed a break from studying, and I ended up with this a few days later. I've written an account of this redesign as I went along, and I'm going to publish it here once I've written the conclusion. Mainly to keep a record of the progress of this site, it is after all a journal of the things that I'm doing, and also just in case any of you are interested in what happened over the past weekend. I've been busy.

Apart from starting with a total blank canvas and building it from the ground up, I also tweaked around with the code, cleaned it right up and added loads of administrative features that were missing from the original site. They were missing basically because I didn't think it through enough before I started coding the first time around, and when it got that far down the line when I needed those editing features, the code was far to messy to bother playing around with. I just ended up editing the database directly when I needed to make a change. That's all changed, I will hopefully never need to touch the database directly again. I've even written a backup application in VB.Net that backs up the remote database to XML on my local machine, and a few other handy apps that let me add the links and articles from a program I've written, so that I don't need to open a browser and logon to this site to post anything.

Anyway I hope you all enjoy the new look, I've enjoyed making it.

Comments

11th Oct 2005

Chris

Testing those comments out...

12th Oct 2005

kev

hey dude, like the new site, not that i understand all the techno gubbins required to produce it, but it looks good, nice and simple just the way i like it!

Just started using bit torrent, only the basic shareware (seems to be a few bits of fancier looking software, but the basic one suits me!) got to say it rules, FAST downloads without all the associated crappy software (not to mention spyware etc).

If you get some spare time, check out www.globalissues.org, covers everything from global warming to global poverty, some really scary facts, and some that will make you feel very angry.

Having read a great deal of the site, it makes me laugh to think we consider ourselves to be the most intelligent species on the planet!

Anyway enough of the new age hippy shit, hope you are both well and havin a blast, me and Kim are cool, nothing to complain about!

If you get a chance can you take a picture of a big aussie sky at night, we need some cool pics to put on our bare walls!

Take it easy mate, good luck with your exams.

 

12th Oct 2005

Chris

Thanks for the compliments kev, its good to get some feedback. I've tried to keep it simple, and I'm sure that version 3 of the site, when it comes along will be even more toned down and simpler. I think the first time anyone gets their hands on a new technology the tendency is to chuck in every single feature you can find in the help files and make it look like you must of been a master to code it. Well with the internet being all about the content these days you wont find a single graphic on the site, except in the photo gallery’s of course. Oh I did draw a new icon, so I guess that’s just one.

I started to use bit torrent a few months ago, fantastic speeds, if you can find the fast torrents! Where do you find yours? The web sites I've found that index them aren't all that great. I'm using Azureus, and that’s wicked, open source and ad free, the way it should be. The only down side I can see at the moment is that other p2p's have a much wider selection of files to search through.

I like that site kev, I spent a while this morning reading through it. Power, greed and politics are indeed going to be the downfall of this little planet, and its very sad. I was reading in New Scientist a few weeks ago about the things the normal little people like us can do to cut down on CO2 emissions, cus by the time the governments get round to doing anything about it, its going to be too late. I'm not doing to bad already, as I don’t have a car and cycle everywhere, we have the energy efficient light bulbs and I'm looking into getting some solar panels. God I'm feeling green :)

I'll send you one of the best photos I've taken since I've been in Melbourne, it’s of the city at night, and low in the sky you can see Mercury, Venus and Saturn! It’s freaking amazing.

13th Oct 2005

kev

i have been using www.torrentreactor.net, there is the occassional torrent that moans cause you don't have a username etc but all in all theres a great selection of all kinds of stuff, and the speeds are good.

14th Oct 2005

Chris

Nice one mate, I'll check that out. I've been using torrentspy.com, and its not been all that great, loads of content, but not the super fast speeds you come to expect.

Another thing is that although I have the 'Unliminted Broadband' package, under the hood its got a 20GB a month download limit, when you reach that you get dropped to SIXTYFOUR BLOODY KAY! So I have to be real careful about my usage!

 

7th Oct 2005

The Cycle Starts Again

Posted on Friday at 10.14, so far 0 comments have been made.

I've been studying at home now for over three months and although I believe I'm ready to take this exam, I'm still reading books and books and books. I'm really enjoying it actually, for the first time really since Uni I'm learning new and exciting things that I cant wait to put into practice.

I'm almost there, so close I can almost smell the aroma of a new office to work in. You know, that distinctive smell that all offices have, computers, air-con, machinery, the hardwearing carpet, they all add to the smell and they are all different. You can help but notice as your sat in them most of the day, and for that matter week.

But this close to the end, I'm finding my personal long term attention cycle coming round once again and its getting in the way of my study. The last time it happened was, not unexpectedly, exactly two months ago, where I got a little fed up with studying VB.Net full time and started to play around with my other hobby, this web site. It took me about a week to port this site over to MySQL from a standard Jet4 Access 2000 database, and it was just the break I needed to get me back on track with reading VB.Net Bible or what ever it was back then.

I'm at the same situation again now. But this time its even more frustrating, a week or so away from the end, and I'm finding myself trying to justify spending a few precious days fiddling around with this web site rather than concentrating on this exam. Its been two full time months of study since my last break, waking up and hitting the books at 9am, and working till Rachel gets home at night, and I could really do with another one.

I didn't do any study at all yesterday, I spent the whole day from 9am to 10.30pm working on this site. I think I'm going to spend the rest of this morning/afternoon playing around with it, and the rest of this evening finishing the last book I have to read, on ADO.Net. Rachel isn't getting back till late tonight so I've got lots of time, and only about 200 pages to read through, and its not like its new material, I've covered it all in the study guide already, this is just extra studying. Then I'll be in good shape to skim over all my notes next week, having got this website itch scratched, and get this damn qualification!

Or am I just procrastinating?

Comments

 

3rd Oct 2005

Maya Project

Posted on Monday at 12.07, so far 0 comments have been made.

A few weekends ago we went to Earthdance and the benefit night afterwards. If you've read that post you'll recall that I managed to lose just about everything valuable that night, so its no surprise that when we woke up in the morning we had no clue where we got this flyer for the Maya Project from, we can only guess that we must of picked it up as we left (in a mess) from the club.

By the look of the flyer it sounded just the thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, something nice and chilled and laid back, listening to some good music and getting in some massage and Reiki. In fact it was the Reiki that first got my attention on the flyer and sparked my interest in going. I got an email from Cath about the Reiki at Glade, and I'd heard of it before from a few people and was intrigued. What could be better to do on one of the nicest, sunniest Sundays so far, than to hang out at a mini festival, get healed, meet new people, drink, eat and dance? Not bloody much that's what.

The venue was the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES), a really nice outdoor setting with loads of solar panels everywhere, a large wind turbine in the background and a real sense of 'greenness' in more than one sense of the word. A nice chance to get out of the concrete city and relax. Its just north of the city, about 40 minutes by tram from where we are.

When we got there we went straight for the massage and Reiki tent and put our name down, then had an explore of the place and got a few beers and a pie (well, it would be rude not to have a pie with your beer right?) and sat on the grass in the sun. One of the first tracks I heard playing was Antix, Hiding Place. I've got a video of part of the track, from where we were sitting in front of the Reiki tent. The track is awesome as anyone who's heard it will tell you, and they had some live drummers playing over the top of it, it hasn't come out all that well on the clip, but it was excellent if you were there, trust me.

The Reiki tent was packed and they were running well behind schedule. I was hoping to spend a little time with them chatting about it and what it can do for me, but I think with the big back log of people waiting they couldn't really spare the time I wanted off them. It certainly was one of the most relaxing experiences I've had, and it did take me a minute or two to gather myself together and hop off the table. I've got the girls number, and I'm going to follow this up.

We spent the rest of the day light hours sitting on the grass in front of the main area chilling, drinking and chatting. Rachel reminded me after a few beers that I'd made a packed lunch so just as the sun started to set behind us we munched on the sarnies and salad and we were up on our feet and grooved for the rest of the night on the dance floor under the stars and the light of Venus. Nothing like the WA stars, we were too close to the city to see very much, but stars none the less.

They also had fire twirlers that basically went on all night long, and had some pretty amazing people there. In particular this little kid that was much better than some of the other guys there! I've got some photos and a video of him, he's going to impress his friends when he gets older. There was another guy who I've got a video of, that's doing some fire staff really, really quickly, to a fantastic track (if anyone knows the track please let me know what it is) that was amazing. I've got to get my staff out a bit more. I bought it about a year ago now and haven't used it much, it's a little more difficult to do indoors than poi! But we've got a good courtyard outside that I'm going to start practicing in.

The only bad thing about the day was the on set of the bugs. I've got my first mosquito bite since WA, and I don't think its going to be the last. I'm hoping that living in the city where we do there isn't going to be a lot of them about. We'll have to see.

It was a wicked day, beautiful weather, groovy music and beer. We caught a taxi home with some other people who, like us, had just missed a tram and couldn't be arsed to wait thirty minutes for the next one.

Check out the photos and the videos. The videos are quite dark, well actually most of them are pretty much black, but you get the idea of the music they were playing and there are some good fire clips in there. Oh and the occasional bonus 'woooohoooo' from me and Rach. Some of the fire photos have come out really well.

Enjoy.

Comments

 

29th Sep 2005

Summer is on it's way

Posted on Thursday at 11.54, so far 0 comments have been made.

I arrived in Melbourne at the end of May, about a month before the winter solstice on the 21st of June, so the days were getting shorter when we got here.

About a week after we moved into our flat I got myself a big desk and set it up in the study which is North facing. Nice I thought, I'd get some sun when I'm working. I started studying full time as soon as it got here, every morning I would get up and start working through my study guides, making notes likes a real student (I haven't worked this hard since Uni, maybe even ever). I would get up with Rach some mornings at 5am and start work, some people have called me mad, but I love it, I get to do a ton more work, and see the sun rise (I love sun rises). I could follow the path the sun traced through the sky all day, a lot of the time it would have to be through the curtains cus I couldn't see jack when the sun was blaring through.

The sun is always a welcome sight, more so for me now I've moved over here and read a few more interesting books and got to see a lot more of our local star. My newly discovered knowledge about the universe and stars, through reading a few choice books, has brought me not only an intellectual satisfaction but a deep interest in anything celestial. And for that matter atmoic. As above, so below.

I was warned about the temperamental weather over here, and was expecting a lot more rain than we've had from what people were telling me. In fact the weather has been awesome since we got here, people blame global warming, and its going to get hotter as we move through spring and into summer. The green leaves are out and the sky is blue, and I've been watching the sun make its journey everyday across the sky since the start of June.

At the winter solstice, as the sun rose in the East, it was so low in the sky that the block of flats opposite would cast a shadow over our apartment as the sun disappeared behind it, causing a noticeable drop in temperature for just under an hour before appearing above them and bathing our flat in light again for the rest of the day.

Things have changed now. We are well into spring and the sun now rises a lot sharper in the sky and we get no shadow...sun all day long.

I met Rach in the city yesterday at 5.30pm and the sun still had a long way to go before it was going to set, and the days are just going to get longer. I'm looking forward to the long summer evenings.

Comments

 

25th Sep 2005

Happy Birthday Mills

Posted on Sunday at 17.36, so far 1 comments have been made.

Hey Mills, just a quick post to say happy birthday!

Right from the other side of this small blue green planet we call home, this will probably be the farthest away birthday message you'll get!

I hope your having a cool time in Belgium, and say a big hello to all the family from me too.

Comments

26th Sep 2005

Mills

Thank-u very much 4 the birthday message.

It woz very thoughtful of u

Luv Mills x

P.s Hope u r having the best time of your life and come and visit me!

 

24th Sep 2005

More Fractals

Posted on Saturday at 12.50, so far 0 comments have been made.

Over the past few weeks I've been hunting around in the Mandelbrot set and found some more cool ermm, views?

Check them out in my fractal gallery.

I think I'm getting better at the colouring of them to, it's not too difficult to find some good looking areas, it's another thing entirely to find the right colour gradient to make it look good. Or even just different from the last one you find with a good gradient.

See what you think.

The magnification of this one, which I've named quite originally 'deep brot' is at 1.00E48. I tried to work out how big the original fractal would be at that magnification with the original starting out at 10cm. I did come up with a figure, but I couldn't really believe it, so I'm trying the calculation out again. If anyone would care to have a stab at it, please let me know what you get. I think mine ended up being bigger than the known universe, like 15 billion lightyears or something, so I'm trying it again :)

Comments

 

22nd Sep 2005

The Magnum Challange

Posted on Thursday at 16.03, so far 0 comments have been made.

Ever since I had my first magnum ice cream I've been checking the chocolate shell every time I've opened one.

And just about every time I did I was disappointed to find that it had been cracked. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

That all changed on the 20th August 2003, when on the way from Mondsee Lake in Austria to Munich, travelling with Becca, Dom and Jono, we stopped off at a BP station on a very hot afternoon and I picked up the first Magnum I've ever had that was intact! It was a milestone in my life, so much so I still remember when and where it happened.

Well the second magnum milestone came last night when Rachel brought me one back as present for our two-year anniversary.

I'm defiantly not going to forget when this one happened.

Comments

 

17th Sep 2005

Earthdance 2005

Posted on Saturday at 13.39, so far 0 comments have been made.

Earthdance 2004 only seams like yesterday, it's still really vivid in my mind, and its hard to believe a whole year has passed since that London party.

The last Earthdance was at the Rocket on Holloway Road, basically it was just like a nightclub event, all in doors and undercover. Rachel was supposed to be working, not that she let something like work get in the way of a good night out with friends, the old back in fifteen minutes sign came in very handy that night. There were a few of us that went, Dave, Cath, Martin, Aurelie, Rach and me.

The Australians put far more effort into this event than the London lot did, this one started at 11am in Federation Square for a mini festival and went on till 8pm ish, then the benefit night started at the club that night and went on all night. The festival in Fed Sq was amazing, if a little windy, but at least it wasn't raining. I did have a bad feeling about the day when I was watching the rain from our front room window at 10am, but the wind sorted that one out and kept it clear for the rest of the day. We got down there mid afternoon ish, and drank in a pub for a while watching the Eagles winning their match against Adelaide and getting through to the finals next weekend. Then spent the rest of the evening between the bar and the dance floor. I even managed to get the poi out a few times, but the wind belting around the square was a bit too strong. I'm not too sure who was playing there that afternoon/evening, but there were some quality progressive tunes being played, and some excellent live music. We stayed till the end then made our way home to get some food and drink. We then met up with Amanda and got a lift in to the city. In my opinion the night was much better than the Psysex night we went to. I enjoyed the music much more this time, and generally had a better time. They even had a progressive room upstairs that was awesome. One really amazing thing happened that night, I managed to loose just about all my stuff bit by bit throughout the night, but a determined Rachel wasn't going to sit by and watch me get disappointed with my self, oh no, she was much more proactive than I was and ended up finding everything I lost during the night, even my wallet which she found at the bar! I'm not one to lose things, but this night I would of lost my head if it wasn't attached to me.

I had a blinding time all day, morning, afternoon and evening (and then morning again) and I've got to say that the outdoors Fed Sq part was my favourite bit of the whole day. At the end there was so much energy on the dance floor, you could feel the electricity, people bouncing about all over the place and having a wicked time.

I love the outdoors.

Here are the photos and some videos.

Comments

 

13th Sep 2005

England Win The Ashes

Posted on Tuesday at 16.15, so far 4 comments have been made.

I don't pretend to understand the rules of cricket, I've never really had a big interest in the sport, but I have been watching bits and bobs of this test series late at night (how could you not when its your home country playing?), and even if I'm not clued up on the rules of the game, its been really quite interesting watching the game.

I've been waking up each morning after play has gone on further than I like to stay up to watch, and getting on the bbc sport web site to see what's been happening, but this morning was slightly different, I left my computer on with a browser window open at the front page of this site and read your comment, Rob, about us winning!

If anyone would like to give me a brief explanation of the rules of cricket I'd be most grateful, Aussies have slated me for not knowing anything about the game over here.

Even if I don't know anything about the games internals, we rock!

Comments

13th Sep 2005

kev

i think it goes like this..a bunch of guys hit a ball with a stick and run around a bit to get a "run", they get "out" if bowler man hits the other sticks that are stuck in the ground, of if a fielder (like a farmer only lazy) catches the ball.

Then they all swap round (including wifes i would think), and it all goes on for ages.

There, thats cleared that up.

15th Sep 2005

Dig, Chrip & Cherubs

All I can say is that it was a very sad day....

15th Sep 2005

Chris

Well now I'm all clued up on the rules I'll be right into it next time we open that can of whoop ass.

In fact I might try my skills at playing the old lazy farmer, sounds right up my lazy ass street.

Seriously though, if you were one of the fielders there has to be a high chance that you'll be standing around the borders of the ground doing sweet fa for the whole game getting jeered at by the opposition every time someone get a run in!?!

16th Sep 2005

kev

yeah that would suck, but then i wouldn't mind if i was being paid!! Makes me wanna go see a game, go armed with balloons full of donkey jizz to throw at the opposing team, and no i wouldn't be collecting the donkey jizz myself!

A sad day.....ah bless!

England finally get the tiny urn, probably drop it down the toilet or something after a night on the piss.

 

1st Sep 2005

This Little Piggy Went To Market

Posted on Thursday at 09.58, so far 2 comments have been made.

I like my toes. They've always been there for me, helping to hold me upright, pitching in with keeping my balance, and what do they get in return? They get to be locked away in complete darkness for most of their life's whilst having me standing and jumping on them...all in the dark! I'm not going to mention anything about the smell, as my feet smell of roses, so the little fella's don't have it all that bad :)

So I've got a lot to thank my toes. And I appreciate it too. I try to distribute all the burden of holding my weight fairly between them and my arse by sitting on that for as long as I can each day. I'm a reasonable man.

Now I'm not going to take sides or anything, but if I did have to pick a favourite it would be my little toes. I'm not going to be putting myself in for any toe modelling jobs or anything, but I think they're nice, and I love 'em. They do get in the way from time to time when I get near door frames and my bed posts, but that's not their fault and I take pity them, I should be more careful. It would take a lot for me to do anything untoward to them. An awful lot.

How much do you value yours? Enough not to let someone take it off for a large amount of money? Even if they do promise to put it back on properly? And it asks another question, how much do you trust modern medical science to put it back on? Medical science can achieve some truly amazing things these days and if I lost my toe in a freak Half-life 2 death match, I would be confident that if I got to a quack fast enough with my complete toe they would be able to sew it back on. But if I didn't lose my toe in some accident, I don't think I'd be volunteering to have it removed and replaced to test some of newest techniques in advanced limb reattachment.

Even if they were offering me £8000 for my trouble (not to mention my trust!)

What about you? Would you do it? For eight grand?

I've just been chatting to someone who is thinking about doing this and I started, again, to ask myself if I would do it (I remember this coming up in conversation a few times years ago), and my answer is still no. Unless we were talking about a huge sum of money that could change my life forever I wouldn't do it, and I'm talking not thousands, no no, I'm talking hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds. In fact anything less than five hundred grand I don't think I'd consider it. My body is the one thing I truly own and I cherish it completely, I don't take enough care of my self as it is, I wouldn't be selling bits of it to anyone in a hurry, even if they did promise to put it straight back on after.

My little piggy is going to stay at home.

Comments

2nd Sep 2005

Ste

Haha well you can goto America for a study where they remove your heart...payment is £100,000 :P

3rd Sep 2005

Chris

I like their use of the word 'study'. Makes it sound all academic, nice and simple and trouble free. Not really the life threatening operation that it is!

I wonder how many people actually do that?

 

24th Aug 2005

Half-Life 2

Posted on Wednesday at 12.19, so far 3 comments have been made.

I've been playing this game on and off for around two and a half months now, about once or twice a week from anywhere between thirty minutes to a few hours going well into the early hours of the morning.

And now its finished.

I got up yesterday around eight in the morning and before I hit the books thought I'd give the combine a taste of my gravity gun. A little over thirty minutes later I'd finished the game, I had no idea I was that close to the end and when the credits started to roll I kind of wished it went on a little further. But still, it's superb.

This is one of the very few games I've actually completed, I usually lose interest in most games mid way through and give up, but this game was excellent and kept me interested all the way through. There is no letting up in the game, it just goes from one conflict to the next, from one puzzle to the next, and its difficult to get to a point and think, right, save game and bed time, which I like. It can keep you up all hours of the night though.

I particularly like the atmospheric scenes where you're climbing under a massive suspension bridge, or high up in the citadel. I was playing the game mostly at night with my headphones on, and it got my pulse racing many a time. Things jumping out at you from behind closed doors, falling to your death from miles up.

Quality game. And now its all over, I can concentrate on my MCAD :)

Comments

25th Aug 2005

kev

hey man, just completed that too, what an awesome game, just wish it was as big as the first, been playing counter strike and deathmatch since, but once you start playing the online games, well its curtains for everything else!!

did you play the little 2d game "codename gordon", also very cool, back to the old skool!

27th Aug 2005

Chris

Just downloaded codename gordon, what a wicked game! And just as I was saying that I didn't know of many games with that old school cartoon look about them as well, nice one kev!

I'm going to take your advice and not get into counter strike just yet, its been taunting me from my programs menu for a while now, but I'm not giving in till the MCAD is out of the way. Hopefully anyway :)

And congratulations on the new job kev, I hope everything goes well, keep me posed.

1st Sep 2005

Pete

You got a new job Kev? What are you doing now?

 

22nd Aug 2005

Happy Birthday Mum

Posted on Monday at 17.26, so far 1 comments have been made.

Hi Mum, happy birthday!

I hope your day goes well, refuse to do any work, and get people to slave over you all day, thats what birthdays are all about.

I might not of been there on your birthday a few times, but this time I'll definatly be the furtherest away than I ever was!

Have a wonderful day, me and Rach are thinking of you.

x x x

x x

x

Comments

23rd Aug 2005

MUM

Thanks luv. It did turn out to be a nice birthday after hearing from you, Rachel and Steve.

 

20th Aug 2005

Hapland

Posted on Saturday at 21.38, so far 4 comments have been made.

I stumbled accross Hapland early this afternoon, and I have spent HOURS today clicking and resetting, clicking and resetting, clicking and resetting, clicking and resetting, clicking and resetting, clicking and resetting...aaaargghhh!!!

Its a wicked little creation, reminded me of the good old days of gaming on me Amiga 500, playing Treasure Island Dizzy, when you only got one life and when you died you had to start from right back at the beginning. Incredibly frustrating, but immensely satisfying when you do finally get it!

And I love the graphics, I'm a big fan of the cartoon looking games but there isn't a lot of them about, or that I've found. It was those looks and the one life is all you get game play that still make Treasure Island Dizzy my all time top game. The memories of that, Rainbow Islands and the New Zealand Story made me get the Amiga emulator up and running on my PC and boy have I spent a long time playing them.

This is an awesome game, and there is even Hapland 2 so when you either complete the first one or get so stressed out playing it, you can switch your random clicking to number two. Cracking!

Comments

22nd Aug 2005

Mum

Am getting fed-up having to put my E-mail address in. Shouldn't have to seeing as I'm your MUM.

22nd Aug 2005

Chris

There is a little checkbox that has "Remember me?" written next to it, and when you put a check in there, you wont have to keep typing in your email address.

If its not working let me know!

15th Sep 2005

Dig, Chrip & Cherubs

Dont see the Craking fun in this one... perhaps I just dont get it. Just played Crimson Room http://www.fasco-csc.com/works/crimson/crimson_e.php... now that was Craking!!

Took me about an hour all up..

xx

15th Sep 2005

Chris

I've been clicking my way around that room for ages, and I'm not too sure if my poor old mouse can take anymore.

I'm going to give it a rest for today, and resume the clicking tomorrow, and I might get some inspriation trying to get of my own room in the morning!

 

17th Aug 2005

Double Cherry Pie

Posted on Wednesday at 19.11, so far 1 comments have been made.

Double Cherry Pie is the URL, and its Rachel's very own little bit of real estate on the web from which she can rant and rave.

I had the idea for Double Cherry Pie about a year and a half ago and designed a site that was basically an online diary for Rachel and I to write about the things we were up to at the time, you know, clubs, pubs, concerts, parties, the lot. And there were a lot!

Well, it turns out that the closest (and for that matter the only free) place that she could get on the internet was the library, and they had blocked all cookies, even session ones from being used and that meant that I would of had to have used some rather inelegant programming to get the security that this kind of personal web app required working in that environment. Some of you might even remember me picking your brains about session id's?

It did work for a short while though, basically every time Rach could get to a real internet cafe she would post about the things we did, but it didn't take long for the cobwebs to start appearing, and after about a month or two the site has tumbleweeds rolling through it.

A real shame actually as at the time it was by far the biggest and most comprehensively designed personal project I had ever done. Rivalling in specification to even some of the biggest projects I was working on at the time at work. I remember staying up very late in a bar in Leon, France whilst on site with work drinking lots of Belgium beer when I got the idea for the site. I came up with the url and concept and crazily jotted down 11 double sided A4 pages of spec that night detailing each page of the site and its functions.

Well now that I've got right into the old blogging game over here in Melbourne and, probably more importantly, now that we have an internet connection at home, I thought I'd fire up Rachel's old site once again but this time it would be just for her, her very own blog. Rachel said that she would like to write the occasional review on the restaurants and bars we go to, so I thought I'd look into using my publishing platform that runs this site on Double Cherry Pie. Then I thought a little more about it and realised that I didn't really have the time for all that (busy man that I am) so a few clicks later, Rachel has her very own blogger.com account, pointing to Double Cherry Pie. And everyone's happy.

If I had the time I would of liked to have ported my publishing platform to Double Cherry Pie, it would made me streamline the code and make it generic enough and configurable enough for me to able to offer as an alternative for anyone else out there who is into personal publishing platforms. Hey, I might even of been able to make some money out of it, god knows I spend enough time developing it, if only it was my living!

Well, hop on over to Rachel's blog, you can now follow the both of us online! How incredibly geeky.

Comments

22nd Aug 2005

Mummy

Have been on Rachel's blog and commented. The best liver and bacon is at Tregenna right Chris???

 

8th Aug 2005

Famous People

Posted on Monday at 17.09, so far 4 comments have been made.

Saw Adam (Rodger Corser) from Last Man Standing today, near the Jam Factory walking toward Parhran at about 1230.

It actually perked me right up as I was strolling up Chapel St after having one of the shortest lunch breaks with Rachel ever, and I was very surprised at my reaction as I wouldn't of thought it would be my normal behaviour to seeing someone famous, but it really did give me a spring in my step.

I dont know if anyone who reads this weblog will know of the show, but I've been following since it started a few months ago now and those of you who know me well will know that I'm not a big fan of TV shows, but this is an exception. Oh, that and Desperate Housewives, of which the final episode is on tonight!

So, I've learnt something new about my self today, and its that I do get a child like excitement at seeing famous people just like Rachel! Well, at least when I see famous people I like. I've never felt that excitement before because a) I've never seen or cant remember seeing anyone famous, and b) even if I did the chances are that I wouldn't of cared as I'm not the biggest fan of TV, the difference here is that I watch this show.

Comments

8th Aug 2005

Rach

no way you should of rung me I would of ran out of my class

9th Aug 2005

Sarah

Kylie here you come!

22nd Aug 2005

Mum

This famous person will be out there at some time, maybe I might be meeting a child again (how nice) Now we are all the same - you Rachel and me).

15th Jan 2006

ker

I know what you mean about the show i'm the same with TV but i loved the show i guess it could have been something to do with it been taped in my city and that i have thought rodger was great since i saw him in rent. i feel happy for you it's a great feeling!!

 

7th Aug 2005

Upgrade To MySQL

Posted on Sunday at 13.59, so far 1 comments have been made.

I've been running all my sites from an Access2000 Jet4 database for years, and now finally I've left that part of my life behind me and am looking eagerly forward from the helm of this site, which is now after about a weeks worth of tweaking, running (rather faster) from a MySQL database.

I've been with Access for soo long mainly because this is what I used on a daily basis in my last job for storing small amounts of data. Everyone (customers and partners) had Access installed which made editing of the data easy and sharing the database simple to, as all that was needed was to email the .mdb file, and when your doing international multilingual support, simple emailing of files was an absolute must. So with Access I stuck. I had developed over the years a set of scripts that automated most of the database integration for me and so when designing the framework for this site, I reused all my old scripts and the whole process was quick and simple.

Well those days of doing things the simple way are behind me now, and its high time I moved things forward personally by getting more closely acquainted with some of the other database technologies about. I'm one step closer now I've integrated MySQL into this site, and the next step will be MS SQL when I start studying for the next module in my MCAD, 70-229. The whole process was actually made very simple through the use of ADO, although I did have to modify quite a few of the SQL statements due to what I can only explain as a bug in ADO's RecordSet Filter property, which I'm still puzzled about.

But for now I'm happy, and I can add another technology to my CV. You should find that things are a fair bit quicker now, I did add a timer to the bottom of the page quite a while ago to show you how long the page took to generate (not how long it took to download to your browser). And after a few more days I should have some figures to show how much faster things are now.

There are also a few more changes I made, I've now added a required email field in the comments section, dont worry, your email will never be shown anywhere on this site, its for my purposes only. There is also some slightly improved error handling when you miss a required field when posting a comment and the ability to have the site remember your details, through the use of cookies, for next time you want to come back and post.

I've also now got all of my old photos up in the archives, in case you wondered what happened to them all.

And now as the database is a little less portable than my old friend the .mdb file, I've added the online administration of everything, comments, guest entries, articles, photos the lot. Which makes it easier to edit guest posts when people post long url's in, and break the design when viewing in *cough* IE. This is something I'm working on at the moment, I did write a script a while ago that would convert any http or www links in the comments into real links, I'll get round to integrating that soon. But its difficult when I'm trying to code to web standards and have comment facilities where people can enter anything and still trying to keep the page valid (see the XHTML link at the bottom).

The next big change won't happen for a while as its quite a major job and I'm busy with other things at the moment, but expect lots more posts now that this part of the development is finished.

Comments

22nd Aug 2005

Mum

Can't comment on this as I am completely lost, as usual.

 

5th Aug 2005

Chinese Finger Torture

Posted on Friday at 12.53, so far 4 comments have been made.

It's been a while since I wrote anything on here; I've been really busy with some behind the scenes stuff on this site which hopefully I'll have ready in the next week. But I couldn't wait till then to write about what happened to me yesterday.

I was changing the battery in the remote that opens the front gates of our block of flats, and in trying to prise out the little doggy A23 size battery I applied a little too much force and when finally the rust that held the battery in place gave way, my left thumb nail went into the positive contact right under my nail. Needless to say this hurt like hell, but it was nothing compared the pain I felt when I had a shower that evening!

It had not hurt much up until this point, I know think that was because I didn't put that much pressure on it all day, but when I got in the shower and had the water falling on my up turned thumbnail I felt the most intense pain I've felt for years. The pain would stay there for a few seconds after I took my hand out of the water and almost disappear, even when I pressed my nail, but would come straight back as soon as the water hit it.

Imagine having a thin bamboo slice hammered into your nail right up to the cuticle. I think I would break even at the sight of them getting the bamboo out after yesterday.

Could this be the union of the water torture and the bamboo under the fingernails? I should patent it!

Comments

5th Aug 2005

Jon NS

Step away from the wires and electrical stuff. Know your limits i`ve seen what you can when you "repair" things!!

5th Aug 2005

mum

Speak to dad about water and electricity, he could put you on the right road about this (then again it could be the wrong road) you never know?

6th Aug 2005

Rach

2 words for you babe no DIY!!!!!

7th Aug 2005

Chris

It was only changing a small battery, it wasn't like it was a full on electrical repair mission! and yet I still couldn't see the imminent danger I was in.

One of the pull string curtains in the front room has broken, I've been meaning to have a look at it for weeks, but that means dragging my swivel chair from the study and standing on it to get up high enough (being a short arse I cant even see up that far). I think I'm just going to live with it, knowing my luck the chair will spin, I'll go flying, probably out of the window, and break my neck.

Thank god its only the little one at the side and not the main curtain. I might have had to get someone in to fix it :)

 

20th Jul 2005

Cycle Machine

Posted on Wednesday at 10.57, so far 2 comments have been made.

As a birthday surprise I met Rach after work to give her, her last present, a bike! I'd told her the night before to travel to work light, and to only take her backpack, but when I saw her coming out of the hotel I noticed a rather big box in her hands. She had got a cheesecake from her work colleagues for her birthday! This was not good, we had to go and pick up bikes and cycle home...with a cheesecake! After a reshuffle of things in bags we managed to fit it in, after eating all the toppings that might of fallen off :D

We got to the bike shop got the bikes and all the other bits, locks, lights, bottles, helmets, and made our way home down the Yarra from the city. This is the first time I've been on a bike for more than a few minutes since I got mine stolen back in '92. Its going to take a while to get back my bike skills of when I was 15, let alone getting my fitness up to a decent level so I'm not knackered after riding to the shops!

I'm looking forward to it, we saw places around the city yesterday that I'm certain we would never of seen if we were on foot. Having bikes is now going to open up much more of the city to us, and save us money on MetCards.

Can't wait.

Comments

20th Jul 2005

Sarah

Fantastic!!! I reckon I should really get a bike. The only thing is, I'm not too steady on them. I'd far rather walk than have to take a bike anywhere. But the only problem is, it always takes longer to walk. Maybe I should take up rollerblading?!

Anyway, sorry Rach, didn't know it was your birthday - should've done really, because I remember Chris making the cake for you last year. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY 'n all that! (For yesterday) (Actually, I made some flapjack yesterday, so that was your present. I would send it to you, but it probably wouldn't fly very well, so I'll eat it for you instead.)

20th Jul 2005

Rachel

Hey Sarah thanks heaps for the birthday message! I hope all is going well for you and your new course. MMMM flapjack sounds good! hope to see you soon Rach x

 

19th Jul 2005

Happy Birthday Rachel!

Posted on Tuesday at 10.39, so far 0 comments have been made.

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Rachel, happy birthday to you!

(Here's a good article on the origins and copyright ownership of that song:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday)

Have a wicked day baby, bit of a shame your working on your birthday, they better give you an easy day :)

I hope you enjoy your presents.

xxx

Comments

 

14th Jul 2005

Greetings Australia

Posted on Thursday at 15.53, so far 5 comments have been made.

I've been meaning to write something about this for some time now as it happens to me on an almost daily basis, and has done so since I arrived here in April.

It's to do with the way people greet each other over here. And by over here I mean Australia, not just Melbourne, well at least all the bits of it I've been to anyway.

I'll use today's experience as an example.

I went to the bookshop down the road to pickup this weeks New Scientist and as I approached the counter I said, "Hiya". The very nice shop assistant replied immediately with, "Fine thanks, how are you?".

Now don't think I'm not very friendly, I am, or complaining, as I'm not, but I'm sure I didn't ask him how he was!

Someone just before I left did tell me to look out for this type of thing when talking to Australians. Where as a decent 'Hi there' or 'Alright' is perfectly acceptable back home, it seams that over here the standard way of saying hello is 'Hi, how are yer doin'?', and the immediate automated response should be 'Fine thanks, how are you?' and all this needs to be said before you can get started on what ever you wanted to say in the first place.

I'm guessing that these guys either aren't used to my English 'hiya', and mistake it for the standard Australian sentence, or they are just plain not listening to me.

Either way I find it very amusing every time it happens!

Just thought I'd share that.

Comments

20th Jul 2005

Sarah

I can't remember whether it was me that told you about that, but if it wasn't, I know exactly you mean!

20th Jul 2005

Chris

I cant remember either, but it constantly provides a good source of daily humour!

26th Jul 2005

CS

came from Malaysia about 2 years ago, and I still can't get use to "how you doing" as a greeting. My usual reply is "hmmmmmm......good."

Apparently most of my aussie friend thought that i was rude and had a bad impression on me until they found out that I was from Malaysia and the way we greet each other is "have you eaten?"

26th Jul 2005

Chris

Two years 'eh? I've been here for two months and was starting to think if you cant beat them, join them, but if your still on it after that long, right on, it's hiya all the way from now, and let the inner smiles flow :)

3rd Aug 2005

kev

when i was in Bahrain, i was talkin to an Aussi e who was moving to london, i said "don't chat up chicks that are with blokes as they will get the hump" and his aussie friend said "what! you wanna hump him?" , clearly the man was an idiot. took me about half an hour to explain the term "hump" was someone who was pissed off (they understood pissed off) and convince them i wasn't batting for the wrong side!

 

13th Jul 2005

The Photo Gallery Story So Far

Posted on Wednesday at 15.20, so far 4 comments have been made.

The process of putting photos up on the site involved quite a few steps, a few to many for my liking. So again in the attempt to make life a little easier for me so I can concentrate on other more interesting things, I've streamed lined it.

The old process had 6 steps.

First, selection of the good photos to put up on the web.

Second, resizing all the super high-res images to 640*480.

Third, resizing these images to 100*75 for the thumbs

Forth, rotating the 640px images

Fifth, rotating the 100px images

Sixth, sticking them all up on the net

A fair few things to do just to get some photos up I'm sure you'll agree. And this is the reason it takes me a few days to get round to doing it. I just cant be arsed sometimes (epically after a big night!)

This last step has evolved drastically over the past few years. It started out way back (we're talking 6 or 7 years here) with me manually building a page with all the thumbs on each time, and a page for each photo. Very laborious, but I'm sure this is how everyone made a photo gallery in the early days of web sites, but things have come a long way since then, and my enthusiasm for writing HTML has dropped severely.

The next thing I discovered a few years back was Dreamweaver's Create Web Photo Album, which did exactly what I was doing previously, but it just automated the whole process. Afterwards I found myself putting up new photo albums every few weeks, of everything I took photos of. I couldn't believe how simple it made everything. But...you still had to upload not only the images and thumbs, but also an html page for each photo, which before Dreamweaver had the ability to cloak folders made things a right pain, not to mention upload times for all these tiny image holding pages and FTP connections dropping off all the damn time.

So far it had all been in html.

The next thing I found was ASP, and this was to change my websites forever.

The first step I took was to get rid of all the thumbnail and photo holding pages for all the photo albums. I did this by replacing the thumbnail page with a generic 'viewalbum' page that took a QueryString parameter for the album to view (basically the folder name), and read the contents of its thumbnail (sub) folder and built up, on-the-fly, an html table displaying all the thumbs. It also included a link from each thumb to a single 'viewphoto' page, which took along with the album name, the photo name.

Simple. Overnight I had got rid of all the messy html pages Dreamweaver had been (kindly) generating for me, and gave me back control over their appearance. I did mess around with the scripts that Dreamweaver used to generate these photo-holding pages so that it would include a reference to my CSS file for the site, but when I upgraded laptops, I forgot to back them up and lost the modified script. This made me finish these scripts off pronto.

I was still using Dreamweaver to handle all the image resizing for me, I just never used all the html pages it generated along with them.

And this was how things stayed for some time, a few years actually until this site burst from my laptop onto the net back in April. A few things prompted me to change how it worked once more. There was a comment that Julz made to me a while ago about the ability to comment on the photos, there was the rise of XHTML in my life, and also a need to simplify things just for my own sanity.

The next step was to start integrating database functionality into the scripts to give me even more flexibility. This has now given me the ability to write descriptions on not only the photo albums themselves but also each photo in the album. All that is required is to upload the photos and thumbnails into their own folder and the album is ready to view. But this defaults the Album title to the folder name its stored under, as there is no entry in the database for it yet.

Although functional, its not very descriptive, so I logon to the site and add an entry for the folder name and include a text description. Hey presto, nice descriptive text for the album. The same thing goes for each photo in the album to, you might see some photos with just the photo name and no descriptive text, I just haven't got round to adding it yet, something's you just cant automate!

We're nearly there.

The next steps I got rid of were the image rotating steps. After I checked the installed components on the web server this site is running from, I realised they had the ASPJPEG component from Persits Software, which enables you to perform image manipulation on the server, so with a few lines of ASP, once I've logged onto the site I can rotate the images live on the web, no need to do this on my computer anymore. Cool.

So the only things left were the photo resizing and uploading steps.

Oh, something else happened a while back, I upgraded once more and never got round to installing Fireworks. Dreamweaver requires you to have Fireworks installed for the image resizing, and because I've never been a big graphics man, and crap at drawing, I never got round to re-installing it. Without Fireworks, I've been doing all the photo resizing by hand in Paint Shop Pro, one of the only thing I ever use the program for. Notice how little graphics there are on my site?

I'm currently studying for my MCAD and I'm itching to get on with some coding, so I thought I'd look into automating the image resizing step using .NET.

Well finally, years down the track I think I've completed the set of tools that make up my photo gallery.

I've written an application that will resize my images into the 640px and 100px varieties and upload them into a photo album folder I specify.

This brings the steps required in getting a photo album up here to the following:

First, select the photos I want in the album

Second, drag them all onto my application

If I wish I can add the descriptions, but its not necessary, the photos are up on the web for all to see.

Its made the whole process so much easier, and as long as I take my application with me, I can get a photo album on the net from any computer where I can plug my camera in, as I can take my application with me on the SD card in the camera. This is going to make uploading albums while I'm travelling a synch.

If anyone is interested in the gory details of anything I've done here then feel free to contact me.

Comments

14th Jul 2005

mum

comment I didn't understand one word of what you said. It was like being in school and the teacher is describing something and you don't know what he is talking about (Not for the ignorant person I don't think).

14th Jul 2005

Chris

Don't worry about it mum, I barely understood any of it either when I was doing it all those years ago.

Perceiver with it for good 4-5 years and I'm sure you'll be fine :)

25th Jul 2005

Pete

I'm really impressed chris. How do you upload the mobile phone images?

25th Jul 2005

Chris

Good to hear from you Pete, how's life?

The easiest way I could think of actually, with not a lot of fancy stuff going on. I email the photo from my phone to myself (uses GPRS) then back at home my computer, which is always on processes each email that arrives. If the email comes from my mobile phone number and has an image attached, it gets a thumbnail made and both images uploaded via an FTP component I made. All this is done in VBA in Outlook. The only thing I have to do is remember to take the photos!

 

12th Jul 2005

Psysex

Posted on Tuesday at 13.46, so far 0 comments have been made.

The last party I went to was the Tribe of Frog member's party back at the end of March, and a definite high to leave on. That party was awesome, loads of really nice people and a group of very close friends, so anything after that was going to have a lot to live up to.

I'm not going to compare it to that night, it wouldn't be fair, I've only been here for only a few weeks really, and the best nights are always with a big crew. This was my first party for over three months, and its not like I know tons of people over here yet.

The place didn't open until 10.30pm, so it gave us a lot of time to get the cheap ones in at home first. We left around 10ish and went to the Red Eye bar for a few (more) drinks. Its a backpackers bar, not the sort of place I had in mind, but they did serve cheap beer. In typical backpacker style they were getting people up on the small stage, getting them to drink until they puked and all having a proper giggle about it. Not my kind of place, so we drank up fast and got to the Palace, kinda early.

The music was a nice housey kind of psy trance in the main room when we arrived, Jonny Mac was warming up, he was the bloke we got our tickets from the weekend before. Really nice guy, I was hoping to bump into him later, but never did. The place held a couple of thousand people and was packed at peak hour.

Spent the next few hours drinking and chatting to loads of people all over the club and met some really cool people, although the place did have its fair share of very standoffish folks, who didn't really want to engage in any conversation, which is something I'm not used to having just come from 'ToF' England/Europe. Shame really, but not to be put off, I waited for Antix at 2am, followed by Freq at 3am.

I spent most of the night in the progressive room, the hard psy is alright, but I do prefer the bumping grooves and melodies of the progressive style of trance. Unfortunately onlu one half of Antix were there (does anyone know which half?), not that it mattered, the music was still the same, but it would of been nice to be graced with both their presence. If you haven't got 'Twin Coast Discovery' then go got it, I got it the weekend before when I bought my tickets, and haven't stopped listening to it. Top album.

Before I knew it, the set was over ending on 'Hiding Place' (my new favourite song) and Freq was on, just as good and quite a bit more upbeat than Antix. I didn't stay long, I'd run out of beer, and got side tracked on the way back to the speakers!

Spent the rest of the night chatting to the nicest bloke in there, sitting on some (ph?)(f?)at Sofas in the non-smoking bar at the top of the club. That was a really nice change I'd never experienced before, apart from the out door parties obviously when there is no roof to choke you in smoke, and to be able to sit and chat without loads of cigarette exhaust lingering around was awesome.

A bit more of a dance and that was it, home time. After a crazy lift not quite home, then a taxi the rest of the way, we crashed in the front room watching The Blue Planet just after 9am. There is nothing like a good documentary when you get home, all the better if its about under water monsters, even better if its about the universe, aint that right Mike?!!

Top night, photos can be found here:

view album

I cant wait for Rainbow Serpent in January.

Comments

 

8th Jul 2005

iPod Generation

Posted on Friday at 20.47, so far 0 comments have been made.

The numbers of our flats finally got put on our doorbells at the front of the building yesterday morning. I've been on at the building management for a while now about it, as they weren't on there when we moved in. So unless you were willing to risk counting down the blank spaces next to the buttons and trying your luck, they only other way to be let in, or contact us was by phone. Well for the first time since moving in we had someone rang it. It was the postman with a parcel for me. Now for the last 5 weeks as there have been no numbers on the door, I find a note from the postie (every few days) that they tried to deliver something but, and this is written in a 'happy font' so as to ease the pain, they missed me. And then I have to wait for the next day, in knowledge that I have mail, and not just a letter, something too big for the letterbox, and I have to walk a mile to go get it. Nice.

Well anyway, it was my replacement iPod (Shuffle). The last one broke, basically cus as I was using it in the car with out the headphones plugged in, and not wanting to leave it in the car, it spent a long time in the bottom of my pocket with no headphones to stop all the sand getting into the headphone jack. Yep, that's right...sand. I was on the beach a lot of the time, check the photos.

Well the sand got right in there and got trapped at the bottom of the power switch, which ment that it would not reach the bottom position, the shuffle position. So my iPod shuffle had been turned into an iPod! I should be happy! But alas even tho I had an iPod, i still only had the 1GB, not the 4+ that my mates have.

Now all is well again and I can have my music selection just as random as the ad makes out life itself to be.

And just to prove that the iPod craze has infiltrated every generation, i spotted an elderly lady (must of been at least 75) sporting the unmistakable white headphones the other day, which brought a big smile to my face. I did wonder what model she had though, the 'never could be easier to use' iPod shuffle, or the full monty, 60GB iPod Colour photo. I really wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter. The old dear was probably carrying her entire digital life around on that thing.

Well I like my shuffle, even better now it does what it says on the tin and shuffle.

Comments

 

7th Jul 2005

London Bombs

Posted on Thursday at 23.52, so far 2 comments have been made.

Got back from wandering around in the city with Rach a while ago and started dinner, then got chatting to Jono on MSN. He told me that something had happened back in London, but to be honest I didn't realise the full reality of what it was until a while later when we turned on the TV and saw the news coverage of it all.

I can only but hope that everyone's okay, the mobile network is jammed and I cant get through to a certain few people. MSN seams to be the best way of contact at the moment.

I do hope people are okay, I know a few people that live and work around the areas that were hit.

Please let me know.

Comments

11th Jul 2005

Cath

Hiya Just to let you i'm ok. Was a bit shaken after all the bombings last week even though was no where near it. Luckerly already at work before it all kicked off. Still can't watch the news as it upsets me. Hope all your friends are ok.

12th Jul 2005

Chris

Thanks for the message Cath, me and Rach were wondering if everyone was alright. I think I've heard from most people now for which I'm thankfull.

 

6th Jul 2005

Archive Everything

Posted on Wednesday at 23.57, so far 2 comments have been made.

As you can see there is now a small calendar on the right menu now. You'll also notice that there's been a little redesign, nothing too major, a change of colours and a move on the navigation from the right panel to the top. Probably where it should be really.

The redesign was prompted when I found that with the calendar there, all the nav was too far down the page to really be noticed, and there's no way I was going to put my mini calendar further down the page, so I've now got a nav bar. And I think I like it.

The archive calendar is there so that in a few years to come it will make it simple to skip back through time and check out all the old articles, and cast my mind back to these great times living in Melbourne.

Christ, who am I kidding. Actually the main reason I did it was because I'm a coding addict. I could very easily just sign up to one of the fantastic blog sites like Blogger dot com, or employ the use of publishing platforms like WordPress. But where is the fun in that? What sort of gratification would I get, as predominately a developer, in being able to integrate someone else's technology into my own website? Probably a bit, but nothing like the kick I get out of developing my very own suite of tools to do the job for me, myself.

I could of re-used some code for building that calendar from the many freeware asp coding sites around, but to be honest, they were all shit (yeah I know, they were free). And I have really enjoyed flexing my coding muscles today, and I'm happy with the results. It may not look like much, sitting over there on the right, but there is a lot of jiggery pokery going on behind the scenes with that calendar.

And as with this entire site, it's my own little creation, my very own, hand crafted weblog.

If only I had a knack for the design as well as the code.

Comments

13th Jul 2005

kev

well when it comes to design, you just can't beat a big pair of tits centre screen.....maybe some ass as well!!

tits 'n' ass, its win win baby!

14th Jul 2005

Chris

Funny you say that actually Kev, cus that was my backup design, before settling on the pale fungus green.

Just couldn't get approval from my hosting company!

 

5th Jul 2005

Clouds From My Window

Posted on Tuesday at 12.10, so far 0 comments have been made.

I've made a beautiful 11 second movie of the clouds streaming past my window, in the first of my attempts into time laspe photography. Check it out below and niotice if you will how the clouds seam to all fade away as they reach my flat. How nice of them. And the trees fulttering around in the wind, fills me full of joy as I stare out procrastinating.

Here's how I did it.

Since I couldn't find the feature in the Logitech software anymore for taking images at given time intervals I had to write my own tool for this. God knows what happened to it, I've used it before on older versions of Logitech webcams, you even had the option of entering in FTP details to have the image uploaded once it was taken. Anyway, gave me another chance to pratice my .NET skills, so all good.

The images were taken at one second intervals as its a fairly windy day and the clouds are legging it quick quick over the sky.

A total of 336 JPG images were taken, in just over five and a half minutes, giving me 26.7MB of files.

Since the tool I use to convert the images into the final AVI only supports BMP picture sequences, I used Paint Shop Pro 6's Batch convert function to fill my hard disc with 295MB of BMP's.

Then using SWF2AVI I made the final AVI, crunching using DivX 5.2.1 codec at 30 frames per second giving me a final movie of 11 seconds and a handy 954KB.

Check it out: Download

I want to do a lot more of this. After getting some of the sunset sequences I have using my digital camera and a small tripod and almost watching the sunset in front of me as I steped through the photos, made me realise what you dont see when looking at the sun set. Because it all happens over a rather long period of time you dont notice the subtle changes in the sky happen. Only when played back faster can you see the changes happen and you get a whole different sunset.

What I want to do is take my laptop and webcam to some sunsets and rises, capture the whole thing and make some more movies.

I've just checked out my movie again a realised what a nice day it is outside! I'm going for a walk.

Comments

 

28th Jun 2005

Mobile Photos

Posted on Tuesday at 12.06, so far 2 comments have been made.

In the on going attempt to make this site as dynamic as possible, with the least amount of effort I've added a feature to display photos I take on my mobile phone almost instantly on this site.

The less time I have to spend on my computer uploading files, arranging images in web pages and writting about them, the better. And this will be just one thing less I'll have to remember to do, just about as soon as I take the picture on my phone its up on the site with a little description.

Check them out:

Mobile Photos

Result eh.

Comments

29th Jun 2005

Chris

It was a mega result until last night Rachel figured out how to send photos to this site from my phone. And as we have the same phone I was tricked into thinking she was taking a romantic photo of me for her background. Little did I know a blury photo of me was winging its way to my site. Better keep my phone on me at all times from now on, bloody hackers.

29th Jun 2005

Sarah

Ha Ha! That's well funny! I would ask how you've managed to work this technological wizardry, but then I remember that I cannot even put normal photos on a web site yet. But hopefully one day soon it might happen. Eventually. Maybe. IT WILL. When Pete does it! It's a lovely picure of you anyway. And a great one of Federation Sq!

 

24th Jun 2005

The Planets

Posted on Friday at 07.44, so far 0 comments have been made.

I got up early with Rach yesterday morning as I had loads of things to do, and getting up at 5am gives you a few hours more to play with during the day. I was studying for a while after Rach left for work, but trying to study when the sun hadn't even come up yet is a little weird, so I started to lose my momentum and fired up an astronomy program I had on my computer. It was still pitch black outside, and even with all the light pollution in Melbourne I could clearly see a very bright star right out of the window of our study, which faces north. I looked at the star chart, rotated it north and found I was looking at Mars! I was chuffed. Then when Rach got home I showed her my morning discovery of Mars, and by that time it was already dark, and there was another bright star in roughly the same spot. A quick look and it turned out to by Jupiter, and if it wasn't for the block of flats to the side of ours, we could of also seen Venus, Mercury and Saturn!

I cant wait to get a telescope, might need to do a bit of travelling around to less light polluted places to use it, but it will be worth it.

Comments

 

12th Jun 2005

Fractals Everywhere

Posted on Sunday at 07.44, so far 0 comments have been made.

I've got this book on Melbourne, a Lonely Planet city guide, and its packed full of really good stuff (as are most lonely planets I guess) on everything about Melbourne that someone living here would want to know. All the good restaurants, bars, clubs, places to shop and things to see. What I really like about this book is that its a book on living in Melbourne, not just visiting it.

On the top half of the front cover its got a nice lush green field with a shadow of a big tree over it, and on the bottom what struck me as some rather interesting architecture on the front of a building somewhere. After reading through the first few chapters about Melbourne life I realised that the building on the front cover is in fact Federation Square, and read that the design is loosely based on chaos theory. After looking at it again, what at first seamed to be a random collection of triangles is in fact an orderly pattern of similar structures. The building block is a right angled triangle, and five of these go to make up a larger self-similar triangle, and five of these larger triangles go together to make an even larger triangle, forming three fractal dimensions. I think its fantastic, check it out:

Pic

I've always been interested in fractal geometry, I've been playing around with various fractal generators for years, and discovering that one of the major buildings in Melbourne has been designed with this in mind leaves me in no doubt that I'm in the right city.

I feel a post about fractals coming on soon.

Comments

 

7th Jun 2005

Flat Hunting

Posted on Tuesday at 12.58, so far 1 comments have been made.

Not having ever flat hunted before I was blissfully ignorant about the process. I was under the impression that we were going to walk into a few Estate Agents see a few places, choose the right one, hand over some cash and move in ASAP.

Oh how wrong I was.

The only experience that I had with flat hunting was watching the first episode of Spaced, where Daisy and Tim are flat hunting and get nowhere for ages, and it brings Daisy to tears. And then, as if an angel was looking down on them, she notices the perfect place!

Well this was actually quite similar to what happened to us, only it wasn't that we were to late looking at them, we just had the worst set of credentials possibly imaginable, and it wasn't an angel looking down on us, more like a bird crapping on me from a-high.

Imagine for a second if you will that you are a landlord, and you have just been contacted by the Estate Agent that is handling the lease of your flat, and been given the list of hopefuls that want to move into your place. There are a few credentials that you would look for:

1. Those people looking for a 12, not 6 month lease. The longer the better right? Because you wont have to re-advertise it 6 months down the line.

2. A full time job, or at least proof of sufficient funds to pay the rent.

3. A permanent address to contact you at.

4. A set of previous landlord references.

Now check out how we measured up:

1. We only wanted a 6 month lease as my visa runs out in 10, and if the worst did happen and I did have to leave, we didn't want to be tied up in a 12 month contract.

2. We were fresh off the plane, none of us have a job yet, and all our money is still in our UK bank accounts, and guess what, they wont take internet printouts as evidence for funds.

3. We were staying at a guest house so no permanent address, the only other address's we could of given were in WA or England!

4. Since neither of us have rented before we had no previous references, since family wouldn't do.

Now you've seen our application, and most probably a big pile of others that I'm certain would of beaten us in just about every way, whom would you give the flat to?

On top of this there was the nightly rate at the guesthouse, which was mounting fast every day we weren't in our new flat. Things had to happen fast.

We were sitting down on St Kilda beach having a coffee when I thought I felt it rain. I thought that was funny as there weren't any clouds about. Then I realised what had just happened, I'd been air striked in true Worms style. And it was when I was wiping my arm clean that we noticed an ad in the TNT for a 2 bed flat which would in the following few days turn out to be our home for at least the next 6 months. My mum was right all along, having a bird crap on you is indeed good luck! Although I must admit I didn't feel particularly lucky at the time.

Well we've been here for a couple of weeks now and all is going smoothly, apart from the lack of furniture, but that will be a slow process over the coming months. Unless anyone wishes to donate any?

Comments

13th Jun 2005

kev

well dude me and kim are landlords, we can give you a ref in the future if you need one......

 

20th May 2005

Computer Bugs

Posted on Friday at 13.58, so far 1 comments have been made.

A few days before we left for Melbourne I started to pack up my things from Rachels parents house, which included my computer. They were all going in a large box which I was shipping from WA to our new flat, when I knew where we were living.

I decided to take out the hard disc's and wrap them up individually with bubble wrap, just to be on the safe side. When I opened her up I was taken a-back to find my brand new top-o-the-range pc had made a furry friend!

I believe the origins of the word 'bug' when used in a computer context was to describe an actual creature that had wondered into the innerds of the 'front room' sized computers of decades past and been fried by the large currents used to run them, shorting out the circits, and right here in 2005 the phrase holds true to its roots, as I have a rather cute catapillar crawling around in mine!

Pic

Arrrr, isn't life wonderful. And it still is, because my computer is still alive and so is the little furry thing.

At home I never used to replace the blanking plates when I removed any PCI/ISA cards from my PC, I always thought that any extra ventilation was a good thing. Well I guess that yet another of my habbits will have to change as a result of moving to Oz, and I believe that not all of the wildlife is as friendly as this little fella.

Comments

13th Jun 2005

kev

cool a technopillar...

 

12th May 2005

Passion Fruit and Harvey Community Radio, 96.5 FM

Posted on Thursday at 05.18, so far 0 comments have been made.

We've been looking after Harveston Park farm while Rachel's parents have been away. One of the things we have to do every day or so is go and collect the passion fruit that fall from the vines, over the course of three days we pickedup five crates of these things, more passion fruit than I've ever seen before. I dont recal ever seeing a passion fruit until I got here actually. I was very surprised when I was handed my first one a few weeks back, with a sharp knife and a spoon.

Well, all these passion fruit are being sold and are going like hot cakes at the emu pie and fresh orange juice shop that Rachel's grandparents run. They used to keep all the emu for the pies on their farm, thousands of them, but now only their pet emu, Bruce, remains, the meat is now bought in. They have their very orange juicing machine that Rahcel's grandfarther made and he is very proud of it, and rightly so, its a beast.

So when we dropped these passion fruit off on Thursday 12th May, and also had dinner cooked for us. We got chatting and the radio got turned on and tuned into Harvey Community Radio (96.5fm) and Rachel's uncle David was doing a talk show interviewing one of the residents of Harvey. Rachel's grandmother is on in a few weeks time, talking about her life and bringing in a few cd's to play to Harvey. So after the show finished, we jumped in the car and drove to the station to see him and got the guided tour of the studios. Its amazing what they are doing there, and they have just recieved a grant to start rescuing all the taped recordings of the eairliest radio shows at the local library. The tapes are wearing out and its now their job to start the recording to CD process using computers bought with the grant money, fantastic stuff.

While we were there David got Rachel and I to record our selves saying the slogan and frequency. The broadcasting software randomly picks out of the database anyone of the recordings to play between songs, so Rachel's and my voice will now be heard as long as the radio runs!

Thats 7 seconds out of my fifteen gone.

Comments

 

15th May 2005

Tornado Warning

Posted on Sunday at 04.33, so far 0 comments have been made.

We went out in Perth on Sunday 15th, for a Sunday session, and got quite wasted. I woke up on Rachels sisters couch, totally didn't know where I was for a good five minutes which really scared the shit out of me, then found the spare room where Rachel was sleeping and realised all the noise going on outside. A lot of really hard rain and a lot of thunder.

Rachels sister lives about a 20min walk from the ocean and you could hear the waves smashing on the beach. We thought it was just some bad weather as we have had some feirce rain over the past few days.

We woke up the next morning and heard on the news that Bunbury, the closest place to Rachels parents place had been hit by a tornado. All of the south west had been battered with bad weather, all in all costing over $10 million of damage. Even Harvey where I'm staying with Rachels parents which is inland a fair way, was serverly hit.

We drove through Bunbury the next day and saw trees up rooted, houses with no roofs, nearly every ariel was blown down, and there was debris all over the roads.

All this going on as we slept in Perth.

Comments

 

6th May 2005

Yallingup

Posted on Friday at 16.31, so far 1 comments have been made.

Yallingup is a magical place, I've got no way else to describe it. It really is truely amazing, and one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to in my life.

When we travelled down south in the second week of me arriving in Oz we saw a lot of different places, each with their own beauty and amazing views, but it was Yallingup that really stood out from the rest. It is a fantastic mixture of bay/cove, beach, sea with huge waves and the most incredible view of the stars I've ever seen.

I guess it was for this reason that when we decided to spend a few days somewhere nice we chose Yallingup. I've spoken to many people since I landed and a lot of them say the same thing about this place, we all want to end up there. God knows how much it will cost, probably more than I'll ever be able to afford, but I can dream!

We stayed in a smallish caravan in the holiday home park at the towns gates, right next to the ocean, you could hear it from our place. Because of the reef just off shore, it lifts the waves right up about 100m out and brings them crashing down making this amazing sound that I really wish I caught on tape with a decent mic (MikeT, you would of loved it). The sound it made was filled with a huge range of frequencies, you could almost feel the bass when a big wave hit, and a constant but flutcuating mid/trebble as all the other waves sloshed around each other. I was listening to some trance back at the van at the start of the night, but the sound of these waves were so much better.

It was a very clear night, not a single cloud in the sky all night long. I've got the sunset on camera and you can see the clouds moving out to see leaving a perfect clear sky behind. We spent hours just sitting on the beach looking up at the stars, I've never seen anything like it, you see the 3D nature of all the dust clouds in the galaxy, and millions upon millions of stars, and you could see subtle differences in the colours of each one. I'm soo buying a telescope.

Have you ever seen a shooting star? I saw one at Yallingup and when I did it made me realise that I'd not seen one up till then.

Please write to me and describe the best shooting star you've ever seen. I would love to know if there is anyone out there thats seen the kind of thing I have.

I'll describe exactly what I saw another time. Needless to say May 5th 2005 will be a night I will never forget.

So to conclude, I want to live in Yallingup. I only hope they have broadband there.

Comments

13th Jun 2005

kev

ooh stars, when we were in Cyprus we were lucky enough to witness a meteorite shower, the sky was full of shooting stars, and cause we were in rural cyprus there was almost no light pollution, was pretty cool....

 

1st May 2005

Perth For The Weekend

Posted on Sunday at 16.19, so far 0 comments have been made.

We went up to Perth to see Rachels sister and a few of her friends for the weekend, and was ment to come back on Sunday.

After waking up and seeing what a wonderful day it was, we spent an hour or so driving around some of the hotels right in the city and got a wicked place for $75 dead center.

We stumbled on a Japanese restaruant and had an amazing dish called, soupisyuckie, which is a dish you cook your self in a large bowl on a burner. They bring it out on a camping style gas stove (which ran out half way through, and replaced quickly!) and is a broth/stock soup with raw cabbage, carrott, onioun and thin strips of beef. The bolw was filled up with all this and another plate full as well. It filled us both up and was washed down with some awesome Japanese beer.

Go try it, its fantastic.

Comments

 

20th Apr 2005

The South West

Posted on Wednesday at 01.11, so far 0 comments have been made.

After being in Oz for just over a week Rachel took me south down the west coast for a week, while the weather was still hot. We had the first nights accommodation sorted in Busselton, a superb holiday resort called Broadwater, right on the beach, complete with our own spa in the room. The rest of the accommodation we would figure out on the way, its much more fun that way if you ask me. But the only problem with staying anywhere for just one night is you have to be out by 10am the next day. So that doesn't really leave a lot of room to go out on a bender on the only night your staying if you don't want to have to struggle to make the checkout time and get back on the road. So as we drove in to the place we decided that if we could stay another night we would, just to slow things down a bit. It did mean that the plan was thrown out by a day, but the whole point of the trip was to chill, so to hell with the plan, lets have some fun. And we got another night.

We had possibly the best placed apartment in the whole place, right next to the pool (not that that mattered to me, the Indian ocean was just as far away) and BBQ area.

We didn't see much of Busselton, just the beach, a sunset and the cafe (which was on the beach). It was a lovely place to come and relax, and wonderful weather.

We used Broadwater as a base for the two days to explore the region, Dunsborough, Yallingup etc. We did the brewery's while we were staying here, the Bootleg and the Wicked Ale Brewery, which both severed a very good selection of very good beers, although I was expecting a little more on show than just the bar to order from! Maybe a tour of the place? Top beer tho.

On top of the facilities that Broadwater had to offer, it also housed a community of very friendly possums who were quite partial to some chopped up apple. You could spot them in the trees around the resort by their white tipped tails hanging from the trees, very cute.

We made a day trip down to Yallingup around lunch for a few hours with the cool box full of food and a few beers. As we drove into the place and caught the first view of the coastline I was mesmerized. The place is beautiful, really stunning hilly coast line on either side meeting right at Yallingup forming this wonderful bay. There is a reef system going quite a way out, and so has perfect surfing conditions about 100m out where the waves hit the rocks under the water. It was funny seeing the surfers walking out knee deep for about 50m before needing to get on their boards.

It was so peaceful sitting on the beach eating olives and drinking beer, if it wasn't for the sun burning me to bits I could of stayed there for hours.

Dunsborough sports the famous Dunsborough Bakery where the sign out side made me chuckle and I still repeat the 'Hi try a pie' slogan even now. And yes fantastic pies and cakes. Although it seams that every town has its own bakery, which has won awards.

The next place we were to stay at was next to the famous wine region of Margret River, on the coast called Preverly. It was here that I saw the best sunset to date. On the way down to Margret River we did a few of the areas hundreds of winery's, and also the Margret River Chocolate Company. The Winery's were cool, but again I was disappointed that we didn't get to see any of the wine making process, but we did drink a lot of wine along the way. I'm not a big wine expert, I just drink it to get drunk, but since I was here I thought I'd actually see what wines I liked, rather than relying on pot luck and going more on price and alcohol content than taste every time I buy a bottle.

After all the tasting, I bought a bottle of Vasse Felix Verdelo (white wine). I now know that I like the sweet wines, not the dry, but not the really sweet desert wines. They are far to sickly for me.

We picked up some prawns from Coles and a bottle of wine, and made our way to the place we were staying, a backpackers in Preverly, which was really nice. We had our own double room and there was a swimming pool and BBQ area. We ran down to the purpose built sunset viewing platform and saw the most amazing sunset I've ever seen, the entire sky lit up as if it were on fire. Jaw dropping stuff, check out the photos.

Onward to Pemberton, home of the big trees.

The more south you go the bigger the trees get. I was told I had to climb the Gloster tree when I was in Pemberton, and that brought images of some really big tree with a massive network of branches reaching in every direction that you could climb through to the top. Boy was I wrong. These big Karri trees were used as fire lookout points years ago, they are very big very tall dead straight trees, that shoot skyward for about 70 meters. The Gloster tree has its viewing platform 64m above ground level, and the only way up to it is by climbing the metal pins that are screwed into the trunk of the tree forming a series of steps up. Its frightening when you first look at it, especially when we arrived late in the afternoon on the 16th, when it had been raining that day. My shoes do not have any grip on them at all, and as soon as I placed my foot on the first metal pin and slid straight off, that was it for me, no climbing that day. The next day was fine weather and so we went back but so did everyone else from the previous day, so it was packed. Another thing to remember is that if your half way up and some one else is half way down there is no other way of passing them but side by side, and when your 50m off the ground that is scary stuff. So there was no way we were doing then either, we decided to come back a little later to see if the crowd would die down, or die falling. There are a few of these trees in the area, and another one is the Bicentennial tree a few k's down the road, we ended up there and there not a single other person there, so we started our climb. Only after a few steps I was feeling vertigo, and after ten or so I was really thinking about giving up. I stayed at the same position for a good 5-10 minutes thinking, I've come all this way I've got to do it, its only a tree, and if there were a big danger involved, there would be signs right? Rachel's hat fell off at this point, and she climbed down, never to set foot on the big tree again. I took it very slowly and managed to climb half way up to the mid way platform. This tree is 74m tall, and has a mid way point where there are signs telling you that the hard part is yet to come, and to turn back now if you think you cant make it. At this point a car rocked up with 3 kids in, two 13-year-old boys, and an 8-year-old girl. Well in a blink of an eye they had run up the tree to the point I was at yelling and screaming, seaming not to care that if they slipped through the pins it was going to hurt, a lot. Even the 8 year old girl who was a third my height and could barely reach between the pins got up faster than I did, and I was told when she got up, that she had climbed to the top of the Gloster tree the year before when she was 7! After realising that if they had run up this quick, there is no reason in the world that I couldn't do the rest of it, being an experienced tree climber in my early years, I was filled with a boost of confidence, and let one kid go up, I followed and the other followed me. If it wasn't for these kids I'm not too sure if I would of climbed to the top of the tree, but I'm glad I did, the views from the top were really quite something. The top of the tree finished about 15 or so meters above the top height you could climb to, as they had built a scaffold structure right at the top, with four levels above the top of the trunk. This meant that when you had finished climbing the dodgy scary metal pins, you had nice easy ladders and platforms to go up. Or so I thought. When you're up that far and only on scaffold attached to the trunk it tends to swing about a lot. And when you add two adreline junky 13 year olds to the mix, who delighted in seeing me almost piss my self when they started to run from side to side rocking the entire top platform, its a lot harder than just climbing ladders and platforms. Its amazing though, and a must if your in the area. I wished I could of stayed up there till sunset, that would of been incredible.

Have your ever eaten a Maron? Lobster like creatures, only usually smaller and black. Smaller I think because people usually catch them and eat them before they get that big. They are delicious little things and you can only catch them in the wild when Maron season is on, and that is only for a few weeks each year to protect the population. However its Maron season all year round at the King Trout Fishery! We got a rod between us and a bucket of bait and went on the hunt for dinner in the form of some nice trout that the owners told us they would cook up for us. We were also given a landing net which would prove much more useful than landing trout. We walked past a part of the lake that was very undercover, and Rachel saw a Maron a few feet under the water, then another and another. I'd never seen one before and was quite amazed, but not as much as Rach. She dunked the net in the water and as soon as it broke the surface, the Maron bolted superbly fast. I quickly realised that Maron fishing with a landing net was going to be all about patience. Rach had the rod fishing for trout, I had the net fishing for Maron. Rahc got two big trout, which the owners cooked up, and I got four Maron, the biggest was 310g, the biggest that day. We had wonderful BBQ'd Maron sandwiches for the next few days.

The next port of call was Windy Harbour, this was just a flying visit as we had to make our way along to Denmark to check into the next place. When we were talking to the ranger at the Gloster tree he told us about Mount Chuddleup, which had amazing views, and this was on the way to Windy Harbour. Quite a decent climb to the top, but as the ranger said, amazing views. And a very big ant.

Windy Harbour was a very peaceful place, not a lot there at all but ocean, beach and a few homes. We went for a walk on the beach and noticed thousands of really tiny shells, wonderfully intricate little things, and I got a nice collection.

When we got to Denmark we checked into a lovely B&B which was owned by an English lady and her Australian husband, I told them about the amazing sunsets I'd seen and that I wouldn't mind getting up to see the sunrise at some point. A few minutes later a newspaper was produced with the times of the rising and setting of the sun, moon and major planets! So at 5:30 in the morning the alarm went off and we made our way to the highest point in Denmark and watched the day begin. As the sun started to rise all the cows in the field in front of us started to stir, and as soon as the sun peaked over the horizon, they were up and eating. It was amazing to watch, and hear, the sounds of the animals getting louder and louder as the sun got higher and higher.

There is a place called Green Poole in Denmark, which has the most beautiful water I've ever seen. There is a large rock formation sticking right out of the water a few hundred meters out, which bear the full brunt of the ocean, resulting in an almost perfectly clam lagoon of crystal clear water only a meter or so deep, which also means that its lovely and warm too.

The Valley Of The Giants is in Warpole, a few k's back from Denmark, and is a walkway built in the tree tops of the big Karri trees, there isn't any effort in doing this like climbing the Gloster or Bicentennial trees, as its just a walk way that runs from the ground level out into the valley, so the ground falls away from you quite quick as you walk out. Its quite a way up, reaching 40m at the highest point, and you can get some amazing views out across the valley. But the best thing is watching the old people brick them selves when the kids (and my girlfriend) start running about rocking the walk ways!

That night we watched the sunset over Green Poole, and it seamed to rocket down behind the hills faster than any other I'd seen so far. I took 286 photos that day, the most ever. It did include the entire sunrise and sunset tho, which made up 150 of those.

We drove through Albany on the way home from Denmark which had some amazing views of the bay area and docks from some viewing points high above. Albany has a wind farm that supplies 70% of its power which I was very impressed about.

On the way home CALM (Conservation And Land Management) were doing bush burn offs, which covered the sky and horizon with a thick layer of smoke all the way home. Although we couldn't see much of the wonderful scenery, it was quite interesting to see the amount smoke made by these burns. You could see the sun as a perfect disc of orange through the cloud. That night we arrived home after watching the sunset from the Collie Hills to find a rather large spider handing around the shed door. The first of many I'm sure.

The West of Australia is truly a fantastic place, I've seen some breath taking things since I've been here. My photos may show you a little of what I mean, check them out.

Comments

 

17th Apr 2005

Hello World

Posted on Sunday at 10.42, so far 0 comments have been made.

I was hoping to get this site working just before I left for Australia, so that it would become my online travel journal, updateable from any internet cafe I visit, but as usual things take much longer than I think to do. And what with all the packing and arranging that needed doing just before I left I ran out of time.

So its not updateable from anywhere just yet, I'm still working on that, so for now updates will be slow and far between. But keep checking back I'll have some updates on a weekly basis...hopefuly.

But first, here are a few photos of what I've been up to over the last few weeks.

Binningup Beach

One of the first places we went to was Binningup, where Rachel used to live, we spent a few hours down there around lunch time, and got sunburnt!

Beach Action

Fishing At Harvey Dam

We watched an amazing sunset while we were fishing at Harvey Dam. I caught a reasonable size trout and Rachel caught a huge perch. We got so caught up in the fishing and the sunset, the darkness crept up on us and it was black before we knew it.

Sunset Fishing

Harveston Park

Check out Rachel's parents farm...

Harveston Park

We spent a few afternoons down there with freshly baked pumpkin muffins and tea. Its a beautiful place, with some awesome surrounding hills, passion fruit, grape vines and olive trees. Not to mention a water canal that fills up when the Harvey Dam opens up.

Perth By Night

Perth by night

I had to go back into Perth to get my visa stamped in my passport, so we made a day of it, and it ended up in Kings Park with this view. How cool does it look?

Surfers Point Sunset

We booked into an awesome backpackers place in Preverly and watched this stunning sunset.

Surfers Sunset 1

Surfers Sunset 2

Surfers Sunset 3

Surfers Sunset 4

I cant wait to get some more of these, I've been reading a book on the origin of atoms, and I've developed a fascination with the stars, especially our local star. I guess because I can see it without the need of a telescope (which I will be buying when I get to Melbourne).

Keep checking back, I'll have loads more up here real soon, as my camera is being run through its paces at the moment with all these photo opportunities.

Comments

 

Guestbook

All you lovely people that visit.

Guest book is now closed.

12th May 2005

Chris

Welcome all, to version 1 of frogdreaming.com!

24th May 2005

Sarah

Damn, Chris, it looks like you're having the best time - just wish I was back there now!

3rd Jun 2005

Steve Bycroft

Hi Chris, Ron told me so I thought I would have a look

4th Jun 2005

Bro

Hello its me!! av u bought me a plane ticket yet?

4th Jun 2005

Bro

Oh some of those pictures make great backgrounds for my pc. Any chance of super high res, full colour and super sized ones?

8th Jun 2005

Dig, Chrip & Cherubs

Hi Chris & Ra.... we miss you

15th Jun 2005

Cath

Hello C&R! Hope you guys are well. Chris is your email still the same? Thx for my Bday message!! Hugs to you both xxx

15th Jun 2005

Kev

Hey Chris & Rach hope you are both well (sure your are), after seeing that spider, i woulda been on the next flight home!

16th Jun 2005

Mills

Both of u look lovely together. Wish i was there having all of that experience u guys r having!

22nd Jun 2005

JC

Chris, That prawn is bigger than Rachel. You should watch out, those things can give you a nasty bite. Great to read about your happenings. You deserve to have things work out for you with the new Hoover!

29th Jun 2005

Sarah

I'm so sorry I forgot your birthday, but then, if you were still here, I would have forgotten anyway. But at least I remembered now. Happy Birthday (again) and hope you enjoyed the meal Rach made you!

30th Jun 2005

Kiwi Chris

Hey Chris, I couldn't find the photos of your trip up the trees!! It's been crazy catching up with you again after six years and it's been very cool meeting Rachel ... she's great!! I'm looking forward to trying your vodka concoction this weekend.

9th Jul 2005

Rach

hi babe you are only in the next room but I wanted to let you know your website looks fab. thanks again for a cool night of clubbing xx

11th Jul 2005

Cath

Woo-hoo! Jeff and I are off to The Glade on Thurs! Gonna rip it up big time styleee!

18th Jul 2005

Becca

Chris, loving Frog Dreaming. Can't wait to get down there for some fun. Sydney is pretty cold, I bet you're colder. Text me, damn it we are in the same country!!!

21st Jul 2005

Sarah

Hey Chris - did you know, that approxamately every 2.7 years, a full moon will occur twice in a month. The first one is called a full moon, but the second one is a blue moon - hence the saying once in a blue moon.

22nd Jul 2005

Holly

Hey Rach & Chris - Happy Birthday Rach for the other day. I am just checking out your website, very cool I am jealous. I like the mobile phone photo - net thing. just saw the pic of Damon! nice. Take care both of you. love Hollz xx

22nd Jul 2005

25th Jul 2005

Pete

Gotta love those lucid amphibians

7th Aug 2005

Hey Chris, check this guys fixed comment box out

http://jeffcroft.com/. ./musical_baton.php

12th Oct 2005

Steven 'The Greatest' Browne

Hi Mr Brother, its me!! yes!! the one and only!! hurah!! anyway enuf of this biggin me up stuff. Im old on sunday! oh yes OLD! but not as old as you lol

xxx

16th Oct 2005

Dad

Hi Chris, re previous comments from "THE GREATEST BROWNE". If it helps to ease the pain of both you boys thinking about your old age, just remember that your combined ages do not just yet add up to my total years. PS love to Rach.

16th Oct 2005

Rachel Knight

Hi babe the new design of your website is fab im only sorry I havent checked it out sooner. It looks very proffesional and easy to read. when you wake up lets go get some food and a pint to celebrate! xxx

17th Oct 2005

Big Rich

just wondered cuz whats your e-mail address now days? stupid question i know

17th Oct 2005

Gav

DUDE! I'm coming to Oz!! yep, 3 weeks in Sydney with Julie, can't wait! I booked my flight the other day, staying at her parents place which has a pool, sweet as. You have to come to Sydney sometime over the festive period, I've just been on msn to Becca and we're gonna have a reunion down under. Speak to you on msn sometime

6th Nov 2005

dom

bro

what can i say. a true inspiration. loving your comments and general thoughts. especially the realisation and growth into this new life and the increased awareness of learning. very soulfull.

we need to talk more bro. spain is sunny, life is good. lots of love to you both, welcome to summer down under..

9th Nov 2005

kev

hey dude, add a link to www.cognitivedistortion.com, some really cool fractal wallpapers, amongst others...

30th Nov 2005

Emma (cousin)

Web page looks good, interesting stuff, mum over soon take care of her, i know you will, hope you are both happy, the leahys have a new baby on the way but you probably already know that, ideas on names greatly appreciated ( its a boy ). Love to you both, keep lovin it!!! love Ems and family xxxx

4th Dec 2005

Marc

Hey mate, how u been? How was day 1 at your new job after earthcore?lol i'm so glad i had that monday off to chill out. So it's been a week and we still havn't unpacked! Ha.

Nice work with the web page dude, I'll have to send you a few more pics to add. Hey do you know of a program that can zoom original fractals? If so can u send it to me? chaosldr@aanet.com.au

So howzit been having your mum over? What does she think of melbourne's 'beautiful one day, shithouse the next' weather? Anyway, so the girls and i would love to catch up again soon, so gimme a call whenever and we'll t sumthing up. Say hi to rach for me. See ya round mate.

p.s 604's rock

12th Dec 2005

Bec

Chris and the gorgeous Rach. Are you two coming to Sydney in the New Year?? I am desperate to see you and I'm a poor student for another year!!!! How are you? Congrats Chris on getting a job! All your hard work has paid off.

lots of love to you both xxxxx

9th Jan 2006

Chris

Had a wierd dream you had come back to Darby Green - Hope you're well. Missing you mate.

9th Jan 2006

Pete B

That was me, not you. I've only just woken up.

5th Feb 2006

Milly

Heya, When are you gonna come back 2 england 4 a little bit? Will it be soon? I have soo much to tell you both. Luv Milly

x.

P.s e-mail me please!!!!! x

9th Feb 2006

kev

hey dude, be prepared for a link to the best website EVER! are you ready?

Ok then here we go....http://game-oldies.com/

see, there really is a heaven.

12th Feb 2006

Sarah

OMG! Just went to check out what was going on at St Kilda festival this year - probably would have been this weekend or next - and it's been cancelled! What a shit! Man, that was a kick ass festival - I just hope for your sake it's back next year!

12th Feb 2006

Sarah

Oh, and just to go one better than Pete - I had a dream that I came over to see you - for 3 days! Well, actually 2, and I spent a day in Sydney!

28th Jun 2006

Kim

Happy Birthday !! Hope all is good with you and Rach, Love Kim & Kev x

28th Jun 2006

Pete

Happy Birthday Mr B. Hope you're well, say ello to Rach and Mark for me.

30th Jun 2006

Jo Bing

Hey, happy birthday for yesterday, tried to phone-left a message. Contact me boy, Stu and i r leaving for Oz in 10 days and wanna meet up with you both-we leave melbourne on 11th Aug so couple of days before that to meet would be fab. Phone me, love Jx x

4th Jul 2006

Michael Treadgold

Happy birthday for 29th, only realised after reading Jo Bing's post. Can't wait to come see you guys! Big up the London Crew!!

22nd Jul 2006

jo0lz

HIII Chris hope you are well and fine, myy website www.countryfreshness.com

and guess what, mushroom magazine wants to use one of my pics!"!

27th Jul 2006

Jordan Pingu (steves boyfriend)

like i posted on one of the pictures, steve gave me this link and blah blah blah the usual its 3.15am at the moment, i cant get to sleep but what i can say is steve is absolutley fucked talking to me on msn so i hope you understand agree with the stop driving/stop drinking comment..... lol

quite a cool bunch of photos! (and yes hes talking about you constantly at the moment...hope you feel blessed lol) JPx

6th Aug 2006

Little Brother Browne

How about having a section where ur mates and family can upload photos...oh that wud be nice eh? :) u can see me drinking lemonade in the SU hahaha

3rd Oct 2006

John

It's very interesting site!

13th Nov 2006

Pete

Hey Chris, hope you two are well. Just thought I'd pop by and say something.. it's been a while.. Had a dream last night that you had a Doberman called Maxwell. BTW: Rich told me that your bro had fallen down some steps and hurt his head.. hope he's alright now.

About

About Me

This is an online journal of some of the things that are going on in my life whilst living in Melbourne, Australia with my girlfriend, Rachel.

We relocated to Australia from England in April 2005 and spent the first few months with Rachel's parents in Western Australia and travelling about a bit while we were there. The place is fantastic, put it on your list of places you must go to, just check out the photos to see what I mean.

I've been working in the software development field since graduating from University in 1999, and always had an interest in computers ever since we got our Commodore 64 back in the 80's. That was a long time ago. Years later I started my degree in Computer Aided Chemistry at Surrey University in Guildford.

I spent my industrial year from University living in a small German village called Waldbronn, just out side of Karlsruhe, working for Hewlett-Packard in their analytical division developing software for the UV-Vis range of spectrometers. That was a good year, Germany is great, and I met a lot of good friends whilst I was there.

I got a job in software development straight after graduation as an automation engineer working on a software product that could automate a wide range of chemical equipment and analytical instruments, including production-level grade robotic arms.

I was working there until the move to Australia this year. I had been looking for a change for some time, and when Rachel's visa expired and she had to go back home to Australia, it was the perfect opportunity.

I'm now focusing every waking moment I have during the week to further my knowledge in software development and I'm in the process of studying for my MCAD. When I'm qualified its back to work.

I cherish this time I have to myself, I've not ever experienced anything like this before. In my university days I never really the passion to learn like I have now, and when I was at work I never had the time to keep up with the IT industry. In my spare time I was always out, London was only a few minutes away and all my good friends were up there, not to mention the good parties. So needless to say not much IT learning got done then.

This is a very exciting time for me, I've just moved to a new city, I'm taking the time out from working to further my education and get the qualifications that I've wanted to get for years but never had the chance to. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on, and in the last few months have read more books than I have since Uni.

I'm really enjoying this. For the first time I can remember I'm excited about learning new things and enjoy getting up in the morning to study. If only I was like this at Uni, I'm sure things would of been a lot different.

I've developed this interest in astrophysics since getting here in April. When I was over in WA I read a book on the search for the origins of atoms, then a book on quantum physics. I think my newfound interest has a lot to do with the natural beauty of Australia, and the stars...oh, the stars. I do wonder what I would be doing now if I were this interested in hard-core science back when I had the professors around me to teach me. I think in my next life I'd like a research job. But for now, Visual Basic.Net will do me just fine.

Chris.

About This Site

I've had a few different domains over the past 6-7 years, with this being the result of everything I've learned on the way.

This, as all the other sites I've had, exists to share my experiences and thoughts with my family and friends. And this is more important now that ever as I'm about as far away as I can get from home, living in Melbourne and all that.

I first started out playing around with web sites in 1997, whilst on my industrial year at Uni. I was working in Germany, and having a web site to upload some pictures of the things I was doing, mainly the skiing actually, was a real bonus. It was all developed in Notepad and hosted on the Unix servers in the 10mb space you got as part of your Uni account. I'm completely self-taught when it comes to html, I started to pull apart web pages to try and understand how they worked and hacked around with them until things started working. Eventually it did.

The interest in web sites kind of died down when I got back to Uni for my final year. There were more important things to worry about, Friday nights at the Union, Wednesdays nights at Bo's etc. etc. And all family and friends were just around the corner, so there wasn't really any need to have the photo sharing ability anymore. Plus there were no digital cameras around then, so if you wanted to upload photos, you had to get them scanned. And who would bother doing that?

When I graduated I started hitting London more and more, meeting all my mates, and hanging out at clubs and parties. I was taking loads of photos all the time, still on 35mm film, but you could have the photos developed onto CD when you got them processed, and so a web site to host all the photos on came back into existence.

Not a lot on the face of it has changed actually, its still a website to upload all the photos to. Its just done in a much more slicker fashion these days, although it could be argued that it doesn’t show all that much.

Its completely developed in ASP, written with validated XHTML 1.1 and CSS, check the links at the bottom if you don’t believe me. I've developed all the scripts that run the site myself, all written in VBScript, pulling all the data from a MySQL database.

Oh yeah, if you’re a Windows user, you might want to turn on the ClearType option in the Display Properties dialog. It’s under the Appearance tab, click on Effects... and you'll see it. Things look a lot better now right? I believe if you a Mac user this is the default setting, although I've never touched a Mac in my life so wouldn't have a clue.

Enjoy, I do.