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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
9:08 pm - Ta da, I call Shennanigans
ShennanigansCollapse )

Further information requires beer

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Sunday, January 18th, 2009
10:08 pm
I've been off comms for a while, working hard doing some temp work selling Greek holidays to Greeks. Six day working weeks crunching numbers and running scut does not for a social lad make.

Work finished up last week, but I might still be off comms for a little while. I haven't quite fallen off the face, and those that need to find me can.

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Monday, December 8th, 2008
7:48 pm
I saw two interesting programmes over the last few weeks. The first was on the socialisation of humans (and the effects of isolation on the individual). There was a bit more to it than that, but that was the main thrust of it all. I think the main question was: What effect does a relationship breakup have on an individual? Also, what correlation is there between the infliction of emotional and physical pain on the human animal?

Granted, the programme was British and in true British fashin was experiment-centric. The most startling results that came out of the programme was that the infliction of emotional pain corresponds exactly in the brain to the area stimulated by physical pain. Secondly it arose that, in total isolation, a human will start to suffer sleep disturbance after two days. After six days there will be a marked deterioration in vocabulary, association and expression. After three months of continuous isolation, hallucination and psychological damage occurs. After six months, that damage becomes both more pronounced and permanent.

The second programme (amusingly screened at around 3am) was one on sleep disorders. It explored the development. progression and treatment of some interesting sleep disoders (sleepwalking, sleep violence, and another one that I think was hereditary though can't remember the name of). It also looked at the psychological effect of sustained sleep deprivation.

A third interesting programme was one about famous scientists that had gained their results from self experimentation. It then went into a rather interesting philosophical discussion about the ethical questions and taboos behind human experimentation. It looked at the discovery of Helicobacter pylori (stomach ulcers) bacteria and treatment. Basically. the scientists in question initially found the bacteria by accident. The scientist then made up a solution of the stuff and swallowed it, just to see what it'd do.

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Thursday, November 27th, 2008
3:05 pm - Alle Gemacht
Ha ha ha, had my last exam today. Now, if no one minds, I'm off to crawl inside a bottle of Scotch for a few hours.

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Thursday, November 6th, 2008
4:25 pm - Final Countdown
The last few weeks have been interesting. I'm three weeks out from finishing my course (despite it having been originally advertised as an 18 month course). Now, all that is left to do is get through the eight assessment tasks I've got due in the next two weeks and somehow pull 200 hours of work placement out of my arse.

To some extent, I'm not really actually all that interested in the TAFE degree I'll get out of it. What I'm more interested in is the Galileo quals that make up a part of the course (but are issued as a separate accreditation). Basically, Galileo is the main reservation system used by travel agencies for booking flights and all that kind of stuff.

I haven't really been sleeping. Not really sure why. It could be stress related, it could just be an insomnia spike. Either way, it's led to interesting times. I've benn doing a fair bit of reading about some interesting stuff. Weather Underground, Baader Meinhof and the Modern Primitives (amongst other things). Why? Bored I guess.

I've also had the misfortune to watch the American political saga. Now, normally I don't care. I see the choice here being made between a rhetorical populist (in Obama) and a generally unpopular man (with the McCain). It would seem that favour has fallen with the special interests (or, special needs as I like to think of it) candidate. The choice here was not one of the best leader, but instead of the lesser of the two worst candidates. Where are the policies? Where is the substance behind either of these cardboard cut-outs?

Time ot sleep now, or find another bottle of Scotch.

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
11:24 am
I got some good news about my course yesterday when I was chatting to my course co-ordinator. It seems that although it was advertised as an 18 month course, our group will have completed all core and elective modules for the course by the end of the year. So, I should get my quals for it by the end of the year.

The only hitch at this stage would be the compulsory work placement, but there's got to be a way around that one. Even if it means deferring the results for the course until the new year and working the 200 hours required over the break. Actually though, I don't really care about the degree part of it. My main goal for this course has always been getting the Galileo quals. I'll get them by November (and they're separate from the actual TAFE Course anyway).

So, six weeks to go.

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
10:33 am - Operation in Confined Space May Cause Death
Yesterday was the last day of a two day job digging post holes for this retaining wall with my brother-in-law. I've pulled up alright sonidering the size and power of the machinery we were using. We hired a two man post hole diggerfrom a hire place and hooked in for what ended up being a difficult job. To put it into perspective, a post hole digger is basically a giant metal screw with an engine attached to it. A smaller version, the one man digger, has a 50cc engine on it. That's like a moped motor throwing out torque. The unit we had had a 5 horse power motor and stood about 170cm when it was all assembled. the screw alone weighed close on 30kg, the motor housing about 40kg; so we're talking some serious weight and torque here folks.

We were meant to dig 20 holes. We eneded up (after two days) stopping after 14. Every time the machine hit a snag the blades would catch, jag and stop. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, consider our friend Newton for a moment and some basic physics (laws of momentum). The blade stops. The engine doesn't. The torque doesn't. All that stored energy goes somewhere. That 'somewhere' was usually a whipsaw motion that sent me careening into the nearby colourbond fence. Usually followed by the bars of the machine landing square on the back of the knuckles or, in the slightly fleshier bit underneath it. Not quite fun, but an interesting and somewhat humbling experience.

We worked out later that of 14 holes dug, there were only two on which we didn't hit obstacles (and hence the fence and my knuckles). 43 concussions. Two of the fence panels were bowed out to about 25-30 degrees off the vertical. I hope my sister has understanding neighbours.

End result, fourteen holes dug. We still have to concrete in the posts, then the wall can be nailed to it. I've come out of it with a quite impressive burn across the left bicep and some really cool bruising across the knuckles of my right hand (the fence hand). Battered, bruised, but not broken. I'm glad I did the work. That post digger was probably the scariest piece of machinery I've ever had the pleasure to handle. But, job done so far.

AS well as the machine there was also probably four tonne of clay and earth dug out. I'm a bit concerned really that my standard measure of success for this job has ben in tonnes moved per day. With the trench digging, over three days then, my brother-in-law and I moved close to 16 tonne of soil. Not bad for a day's work.

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Monday, September 29th, 2008
1:17 pm
For the last three days I've been slowly burying myself in a ditch, digging posting trenches for a retaining wall and landscaping to help my sister out at ther place. There's something strangely therapeutic about bludgeoning baked earth with a mattock. The posts get dug tomorrow. The wall should be up by Wednesday.

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
4:59 pm
For those that have recently shown concern:

Still alive, sah major
Still sober, sah
Dealing with life issues, sah major
Evaluation: Operational unit still active and functional
Next availability for detailed report; next weekend

That is all

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
11:09 am
I had a lot of things planned to do today; essays, housework, and going out and buying myself a new computer. Now the car won't start. One of those days I guess...

I'll need to find something else to do to procrastinate

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Thursday, August 28th, 2008
7:22 am
Question for those that might know: Where exactly is GMT -4?

Most other places I can more or less pick up based on GMT variance. I can't immediately place this one. Comments, questions, opinions, usw welcomed. I'm not sure yet whether or not we'll accept real answers. It's got me stumped.

Hmmm, okay, one real and proper answer to GMT-4 weclomed. All the rest will have to be scandal and rumour.

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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
8:24 pm - First Day Back
Monday was my first day back at the salt mines. Unfortunately, I'm not looking forward to this semester as much as I did the last one. Case in point, the subjects for a Monday; essentially team leadership skills (or various ways to say: 'Work peasant or we shoot you when the revolution comes) and glorified accountancy. Now, I can easily adapt to becoming a military junta (but for the apparent lack of willing and capable minions and lackeys); that I can at least fake enhusiasm for.

The one I think I'm really going to struggle with is accountancy. First and foremost, I think it'll be a struggle for relevancy. I mean honestly, if I'm out hawking group tour packages to people with more money than sense, what conceivable use could I have knowing the history and principles behind double entry accountancy (aside from its potential use in obscure mathematics-based porn with naughty schoolteachers... but I digress)? On a second and related point, how is it possible to muster enthusiasm (real or fake) for such a dull subject, the academic equivalent of a root canal?

And it's a core subject. Bastards. Why do they curse me so?

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Monday, June 30th, 2008
1:40 pm
Term's over for first semester. Results are more or less in and I'm pretty happy with my distinction average across the board (did we expect much less, guven the quality, in some cases, of the teaching?). Next semester doesn't quite look so rosy. Three days a week (plus), but long days (12+ hours each), studying, for the most part, accountancy and bookkeeping (yippee!). SO, take it as it lies I guess.

The last week has been spent winding down, catching up with all the shite I have so successfully been putting off for the last three months. Housework I hate you. I just want that to be on the record right now.

Procrastination has still been possible though, with the release of the Spore creature creator. After three years of development, we finally have a release date for this puppy, 4th September. So, much time wastage there.

Long Spore Demo


Three more weeks of holidays.

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Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
2:25 am
Thanks to everyone for catching up on the weekend. Miss Jen's do was awesome and proof once again that the roadie principle of party management (ie: first to arrive, last to leave) works quite nicely.

Other pearls of wisdom from the weekend: Fuck all of fuck all is fuck all. Also something to note for the record; running through a drive through at stupid o'clock in the wee smalls, though funny, is not always entirely conducive to health.

The weekend then was the bright spot on what has otherwise, to date, been a trying week. Three days to go 'til the end of term and a weekend excursion somewhere. I just want this semester to be over.

I'll try to make crab racing this week. Not entirely too sure where it is as yet, but there'll be beer there, no?

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Thursday, June 12th, 2008
2:42 am
Yep, still snowed under with assessments. Two weeks to go in the term. Five assessments due in the next five days. Looking forward to my month of holidays. Not really going anywhere, but any kind of break from the humdrum of the course will be a welcome relief.

There is a bottle of scotch. Time for the 3am madness me thinks...

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Sunday, May 18th, 2008
3:23 pm
Nearly finished the mongrel assessment task I started yesterday. Still struggling to find relevance in it (except perhaps to answer the question: How many ways can I 'constructively' waste time?)

Pages of assessable content: 4
Pages of research notes to validate the assessable content: 18

Go figure

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Saturday, May 17th, 2008
4:00 pm
Once again buried in doing assessments for this bloody course. Among the many that are cugging along, one in particular has caught my ill favoured attention.

The assessment I speak of is one in which I'm meant to put together a travel package (that is not an itinerary) with recommendations for a touring couple (non senior) including four days of activities in and around the Hills district and Hawkesbury. Other stipulations include no tours in the city (despite this apparently being the pax first trip to Oz).

Now, from all of this stems my rage. This is a task I am seriously struggling to find relevance for. I mean, seriously, what tourists, on their first visit to Sydney:

(a) Choose to willingly stay and base out of the Hills area?
(b) Want suggestions for tour product with no costings or itinerary?
(c) Avoid tours into the city as a matter of course and principle?

At this stage I have activities for three days, with a tentative fourth. My continuing question while doing this task has been: Why the hell am I bothering with this shite?

Note to self: The two bottles of Scotch imbibed during the creative process do not and have not necessarily aided in the creative process. Instead, they have been a root cause of donning the angry ranty trousers.

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Monday, May 5th, 2008
11:17 pm - Genocide in 4/4 Time
I did a presentation for one of my courses today that I was pretty happy with. It was an improv piece lasting three minutes on a random topic thrown from the audience. The topic? Something about music.

So, over the proceeding three minutes I ranted and sprayed about history, the development of music, Beethoven, dance, piano accordians, lutes, zithers, Afghani herding tribes in the Pashtun, the Enlightenment, and the standardisation of musical notation. Buy me enough beer and I might be able to replicate the feat.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
6:52 pm - Update and News
Well, it looks like I got into my tourism course, so for the next year or so it's back to being a poor bloody student. Hopefully that will then mean I get back to being an international Man of Leisure at some stage shortly thereafter. That's the plan. We'll see how it goes, no?

That's the biggest bit of news. There's more, I just can't think what it is at the moment.

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Monday, November 12th, 2007
11:46 pm
I've found me a new place and I move Wednesday. It's unfortunately going to mean I might be off the net for a while. Should anyone need me, they should be able to find me. Otherwise, I'll stick my head into the electronic ether whenever I can.

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