Friday, September 14, 2007

Depression, those lovely self-fulfilling dreads

Been feeling a bit depressed for about two weeks. Now getting to the really bad stage where you do really silly things like
  • weight gains are depressing - eat more to compensate
  • don't want to socialise - get depressed when no one talks to you
  • easily distracted at work - get depressed because work isn't going well
All of which leads to lovely self-fulfilling things. The mood is due to break soon, I hope it does.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Must Have CD

Just heard a new group on Classic FM last night and I must buy their CD. The group is known as The Spooky Men's Chorale. An a capella group from the Blue Mountains.


The song played last night was The Spooky Men's Theme song. I was laughing so hard while listening...I have to have it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Estimating time for a technical project

On occasion, though you should try to avoid this, you will be asked to estimate how long it will take to complete a complex project. This guide should help you estimate time frames more accurately.



  1. Take a good look at the project.

  2. Break the project down into a series of tasks.

  3. Estimate how long each task is likely to take.

  4. Pad the estimates by about 10%. This takes into account small interruptions.

  5. Now for each task, take the padded estimate and double that time. Almost every large project runs into some unexpected difficulties.

  6. Now for the whole project, add about another 50% to the overall time. This is the estimate that you give your boss or the client.


You can, and should, try to keep to your first time estimate. However, the estimate you tell others will give you a lot of time to have things go wrong and still get everything done on time.


If you can get things done between your initial time estimate and the final one, everyone will think you're brilliant since your project is done on time.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Flowers and the sea


Flowers and the sea
Originally uploaded by Nicarra.

Photo of the day posted to my flickr account. I love the bright flowers overlooking the blue sea.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Short from a random line

The random line is "peachpuff photographs jungle requiem cocoon lemonchiffon pewter watercolor "



"Which do you prefer, the peachpuff or the lemonchiffon blouse?"



"For the photographs? The lemonchiffon, the peachpuff gives your skin a hideous tone."



"Is it true? Charlie died in the jungles of Brazil?"



"Yes, unfortunately he opened a cocoon containing thousands of young spiders. He never had a chance."



"The requiem is in an hour, are we ready?"



"Just a couple more minutes."



They place the photograph in front of the pewter cup, the last trophy ever won by their jungle going friend. The cup is just beneath a watercolor of the brave explorer at the age of nine.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two very different Comedies on SBS

The first is Corner Gas a Canadian production. The action takes place in a tiny town called Dog River. It's very sweet, with believable characters and some great dialogue and ideas. One episode featured a group creating a book club. The first book was something you'd expect a group like that to read "Life of PI". It quickly switches to reading action/thriller type novels when the second book was "The Saint in New York". (Side note, I own that edition of that particular book). Listening to their discussions about a Rambo novel and the original James Bond novels is pretty funny.


The second is completely different. It's Drawn Together, the animated version of Big Brother. Each of the 8 characters in the house is drawn in a different style including a Disney Princess, Japanese anime and the classic comic book hero. The humor here is rough, rude and crude. But it is quite different and you never know quite where they are going with each plot.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Who ever would have guessed?

We have, of late, been recording Top Gear - a British car show. Now, that isn't actually delibrate, the show is on in the time slot of MythBusters. That's a show we do watch.


So what is interesting is that I find Top Gear entertaining. I'm not at all into cars but they don't spend ages blabbing numbers and spouting car rubbish. They drive the cars. In all weather conditions. On real roads. And they chat to the camera about how the car feels and what it is doing.


They also have a weekly guest. They do a brief interview and then, show a video of the guest doing a lap with their standard car. The times are preserved and guests are ranked for how fast they did the lap. (There is also a practice lap and guests get some tutoring from 'The Stick'.) All the names and times are on the board and the new guest added at the right spot.


I think I like it for much the same reasons as MythBusters. It's guys having fun and showing off their abilities. The last episode I watched could be subtitled 'Why you should never buy a super car for less then 10,000 quid.' Not one of the 3 cars they bought survived the challenge of the day.


Not a true fan yet. The presenters are still 'the short one', 'the fuzzy one' and 'the other one'.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

From rain at last to too much water!

Townsville, for the first time in a number of years, is having a proper wet season. It started raining 17 January and there has been a bit of rain most days since. In fact, quite a lot of rain on a few days. Our rain total for 2007 is now 735 mm - about 29 inches of water. Much of that has fallen since the first of Feb.


Townsville is so unused to having rain that the first few days of rain, you could watch people going to windows and doors just to stare at this strange wet stuff. But I think everyone is ready for a couple of sunny days as a break. I know I need some sun to dry the laundry out.

Friday, February 02, 2007

So very geeky

There are times when I realise how sadly geeky I truly am. Yesterday, was very exciting because I successfully created an excel spreadsheet and xslt transformation sheet that means I'll be able to map research sites on Google Earth. Give me a set of sites with latitude and longitude (doesn't matter if you use decimal or old fashioned coordinates either) and I can send you back a Google Earth kml file.


Only geeks think creating this stuff is exciting.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How to create a news slant

I noticed this one last night on the SBS brief reports



  1. Announce a story about reactions to using recycled sewage as drinking water
  2. Announce a story about recycled water for drinking water

Same story, massively different impact.



BTW guys, all water is recycled. Just some of the recycling is done on a much longer time scale.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This card game sounds fun

Steve Jackson's Munchkin Card I was tempted to buy these cards when I saw them in a game shop. They look like a great take on trad D&D without any of that bothersome character development. Great illustrations, funny descriptions.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Brilliant tv drama

We have been trying for years to limit our tv watching to shows we really enjoy and not merely watch tv for the sake of watching. Below is a list of some of my favourite drama series of all time. They aren't in any particular order, just some of the best.


This post has been inspired by a recent viewing of The Singing Detective - Michael Gambon version and The Prisoner - Patrick McGoohan.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

proof that the talent is more important

This is an amazing little video. It demostrates someone using MS Paint to create a very nice car. I couldn't do anything like that using Photoshop or another good drawing tool!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Resolutions for 2007

Attempt to do better with last years resolution about losing weight. Lost some but it all came back after a holiday.

Either take this blog more seriously and post a bit more frequently or abandon it all together.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Signs of way too much game playing over the holiday

  1. Natural sunlight is too bright
  2. Achy wrist or fingers
  3. The music currently stuck in your head is from a game.

I played Sims 2 far too much over the past week. I have two of the expansion packs, Open for Business and Pets. There is no such thing as playing Sims for a short time. Once you start, time just vanishes without a trace. Mostly because you have been trying to fulfil one or more of the Sims aspirations (or perhaps fulfulling their fears instead). I avoided getting the original Sims game since I thought it would be one of those addicting things. Turns out, I was right.

So what's your latest addiction?