Moving Granny

Granny's Shed

We got up super early boxing day, because Sabriena was going home with Duncan and they wanted to avoid the traffic. Surprisingly, there was very little at all, and no cops to speak of - they made it home safe by 10:30.

I stayed behind in the van, because Grandma ...

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Merry Christmas!

Out to mum and dads early on the morning of the 23rd,hoping to avoid all the traffic idiots - not entirely successful.

I didn't eat too much Christmas dinner, despite deciding pre-emptively to suspend counting calories for the weekend. Rather proud of myself, really... I guess I can train ...

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BSA: No spark!

Down the street this afternoon to pick up oil for the BSA, and a spark plug for good measure. I settled on 15w50, though apparently they're not picky. Per instructions from some helpful forum members, I verified the oil pump was working after draining a whopping 200ml or so ...

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Beeza!

BSA Day before yesterday I had to drop off the VZ ute that dad picked up for $200. He picked it up near Warracknabeal, but didn't have time to take it all the way home before being back to Nhill for work, so he left it in our driveway overnight ...

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More ATO Bullshit

Another, this time very scary, letter from the ATO about past due BAS forms. Huh? I filed those! They're paid for and everything.

Rung the ATO at about 11:30 today and spoke to "Jane", apparently it looks like the computer system didn't finalize them until the 11th ...

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GTA Online

Valve have made an absolute mess of Counter Strike with the latest update - the r8 Revolver was fun for about an hour, then it started to get old using the same gun for everything and it looked like no fix was in sight, so I looked for something else to ...

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Python: webspyder part 2

I shifted a few things around on my site lately, so I decided to check and see if I had any 404s on the local copy - I have a few 301s on the S3 copy, but it's probably better if I'm not linking to something that eventually goes ...

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Sabriena: Wisdom teeth

Between my exams today, Sabriena had an appointment to have her wisdom teeth out. Unluckily, hers couldn't be taken out via manual extraction the way three of mine were, and she'd require surgery. She needed an adult with her for the 24 hours after the surgery, so Mum ...

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Tax Woes

Got a letter from the ATO last monday - I'm apparently overdue on a tax return and three BAS statements. Huh? Don't I pay a guy for this? It turns out the income tax return was for when I was out of the country, so I just needed to ...

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Hello Barnaby!

Duncan has been bugging us for a pet for a while, and it's really quite heartbreaking. We keep trying to tell him we have pets, they're staying with his Grandma, but to a five year old it's a tough thing to understand. So what to do? If ...

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Plumber over again

Yesterday was the third time I'd tried plunging the bathroom sink and having zero effect, so I decided to remove the P-trap (S-trap?) and clean it. After opening the cabinet doors, an idea struck me: am I allowed to do that? I then looked, and it seems the house ...

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Power outage: Fire!

Duncan got to stay home today because it was his Teacher Student Parent interview at 9:30. He's still doing really well in school, reading far beyond what is expected of him (but we kinda knew that), although his creative writing and counting are both hindered by what I ...

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Good URLs never move...

... but sometimes it's necessary.

I kept a few of my pages on this site under the /p/ subdirectory because I wasn't sure if I was going to keep using Pelican or eventually move back to Blogger, which doesn't let you set up your own directory structure in ...

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Fighting spam in phpBB3

I think purely by virtue of my time zone, I was doing the lion's share of moderating on the Mumble forums up until work absolutely blew up a couple of weeks ago. I re-attached to IRC to find Stefan Hacker lamenting that the moderation queue was rather large. It ...

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Steering Column Fixed

While we were in Sydney, the valet at the hotel parking garage managed to break the lock on the adjustable steering column on our Commodore, which made it a serious pain in the arse at times driving back from Sydney. Bits of an H-shaped piece of metal that was broken ...

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SSD for Sabriena

Arrived home today to grab the "we missed you" card for our delivery from MWave - about a week ago I ordered 16GB RAM for my laptop, and an SSD for Sabriena's laptop... early Christmas presents for both of us. Picked it up from the post office and proceeded to ...

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Sydney for Immigration

USCIS finally approved our petition for a partner visa (I-130)!

Sorting this mess out has been a long time coming - fully 14 years after we applied originally in the USA then cocked the entire thing up.

The drive up to Sydney was uneventful - we decided to simply go in to ...

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Commodore: 200,000km service

No work again today, and I had to pick dad up from the mechanic while his van was getting looked at, and it reminded me that the Commodore is almost due it's 200,000km service. Unfortunately work hasn't been that great this year, so as much as I ...

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Deleting a Homegroup in Windows

Last night I stayed up far later than I should have reinstalling Windows 10 on our desktop, and I wanted to network it with the other machines since it's not running like dog shit now.

Unfortunately, there's a phantom Homegroup on our network which meant I could neither ...

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Commodore: Flat Battery

I got home yesterday evening and managed to spend the first night in almost a week in my own bed, which was lovely. This morning we had to buy groceries for the coming week, but the van was in the way and needed fuel anyway, so I asked Sabriena to ...

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More site fixes

I kinda liked the built-in Google search that being on Blogger offered, at least it was better than the search included in Wordpress. Unfortunately after moving off Blogger, the only thing I could find is Google's Custom Search Engine (CSE) which is ugly as fuck (and doesn't work ...

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Accident Avoided

Black Range Overpass

For the second day in a row I was sent out to Mortlake, which is good because it's a short trip and I was home just after lunch both days. Today though I had to take a minor detour, after hearing on the UHF that there was an accident ...

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Car tire fixed

Took the car in today to have the front tire fixed. The screw had definitely punctured it, but they removed it and repaired the hole (they go to great lengths to tell me it's not a plug, but I honestly know almost nothing about tires), fitted it back to ...

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Duncan: First Friends' Birthday Party

They're not his...

Duncan had a first today: the first time he went to a friends house, and for a birthday party no less. Sabriena took him to buy presents (there were two boys celebrating at the same time, Lincoln and Gabriel) on Thursday while I was at work, then this morning we ...

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Out to Mum and Dad's

Riding bikes

This morning I took Duncan out to Mum and Dad's so he could see his cousins. Dad needed some help getting the ride-on off the back of his ute, after picking it up from the repair place so it helped that I ended up out there.

We left home ...

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Math is hard

I'm finally into the meat of my bachelor's degree in one of the courses this term - "Mathematics for Engineers" which is basically pre-calculus. The other course this term is basically an ethics class, which I'm finding terribly uninteresting, but at least it's not exactly challenging as ...

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Garden Season

It's that time of year again, time for the garden to need some tending to. The lawn mower is difficult to get around certain edges, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy a weed eater. Unfortunately I didn't want to spend too much, so we ended ...

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Big power outage

Last night I had just crawled into bed when there was a big flash, followed by the telltale combination of a "boom and a buzz" that gave me flashbacks to when the transformer blew out outside our shop in Sacramento. In that occasion, a squirrel had climbed up and short-circuited ...

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World of Warcraft on the TV

Lately Sabriena and I have been playing World of Warcraft again, as we'd just about run our course on Trove and two of our friends were playing it so it sounded fun. Duncan was bugging us that he wanted to play too, but how to accomplish that?

We've ...

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Infinity Day 3.0

They're not his...

It's that time of year again - Disney Infinity 3.0 released and of course we had to have it. As you can see from the photograph, we may have gone a little overboard, as usual. This month is going to be rough, as I'm already off work for ...

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I fixed my bike :D

Uh oh!

Fun fact: this is the second blog post with an identical title, and identical URLs except for the month/year.

A month or four ago I noticed I'd managed to break the drive-side locknut on my Colony, and I resolved to do something about it. Fast forward to Monday ...

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J Ward and Gum San

J Ward

A look through Duncan's "diary" that he writes at school each monday was a bit of an eye-opener: most entries, barring the weekends we went to Mum and Dad's, consisted of him talking about Minecraft, Terraria and Trove. Uh oh, that was a bit of an embarrasment during ...

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Exetel DNS outage

This morning the internet all of a sudden stopped working - no big deal, the router's only been up for something like 300 hours, probably just needs a reboot. Prior to rebooting I noticed that we still had connectivity - weird. After some investigation, I worked out that we're receiving ...

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New Toy: USB Steering Wheel - Betop BTP 3130

Into the opp shop this morning to waste some time before Duncan's TSP interview and I stumbled upon a race wheel for five bucks. I didn't get excited, because normally the ones I've seen in the oppshops here are all the old school PC game controller interface ...

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This is why I have trust issues...

The title is slightly tongue in cheek, it's not that big of a deal...

... but this morning I was doing something productive when my wife began talking about our club on the game Trove (which is actually rather cute and despite being extremely dumbed down there is a fair ...

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Laptop cooling redux

A while back I had an issue with my laptop wherein it would be running with the fans spun-up for no real reason whatsoever, so I ended up looking around Horsham for some thermal paste, after my semi-annual cleaning of the heatsink proved fruitless. The only thing I could find ...

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Blog post maintenance and Photo hosting

I spent tonight doing some maintenance on my blog - I found several typos and grammatical errors, along with a couple of posts I meant to add photos to and never got around to going back and doing it. I ended up touching a surprising number of files:

$ git status | grep ...
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Selling the Van - Part 3

I've mused at least once before on selling the van and trying to find a job closer to home, but procrastination has consistently gotten the better of me. This year's been particularly awful in terms of productivity, with us barely managing to sock any money away whatsoever for ...

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Taming Windows 10

The security/hacker circles have been abuzz about Windows 10, because it's basically a privacy nightmare. I won't go into too much detail here about it, because it's been discussed to death elsewhere, I just want to archive a couple of links:

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Automotive Archeology

The JVC stereo that the Commodore came with doesn't support Bluetooth - it has an optional bluetooth module that turns out to not be installed. There's a microphone on the A-pillar, what the heck is that for? The JVC wasn't terribly well installed, so I slid it out ...

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ELM327 in Python

One of the first things I wanted to know about our new vehicle is whether or not my extremely cheap ELM327-knock-off OBD2 cable would work on it. It should, as it's a GM LS1 and a GM 4L60E transmission, but that doesn't necessarily imply that Holden wouldn ...

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New (to us) car - VT Commodore

Drove all the way to Warrnambool and back today, because our newly-purchased VT Commodore was done with it's roadworthy and we were able to finalize the deal. Almost threw the Navman out the window on the way down, because it took us the most fucked up route ever - including ...

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Sore Ankle!

Out for my tri-weekly jog again today, all by myself because Sabriena is laid up with a suspected torn calf muscle (which she hilariously tore again trying to run from a train about a week ago), and I've been trying to listen to music because apparently it helps you ...

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Hunting a V8

We're looking to get rid of the Cruze, as now Mum isn't out with Dad on the road all the time she'd kind of like to have it back (damn it!) which will actually be nice in a sense for us because it's one less thing ...

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Pelican time zone issues: resolved!

Today I decided to brave the depths of Pelican's source and work out why time zones weren't working as I expected them to. If I tried to put time zone information on the end of an article, it rejected that article. Why? This is what I tried:

Date ...
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New Pelican Theme

I'm working on a new theme for my Pelican installation, based off the bootstrap theme for same. The default Bootstrap3 theme is amazing if all you want to do is chuck up a new Pelican site with a template that doesn't suck shit, but I've become rather ...

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Trying out Windows 10 Insider Preview

My laptop has needed a reinstall for a while now, so I decided to play a scorched earth tactic and try out the Windows 10 Insider Preview with the understanding that if it fucked up my Windows, I could just reinstall like I was going to.

I'd heard good ...

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Down to Gippsland

We shipped off out to Mum and Dad's on Wednesday in the Sprinter, because Sabriena had a dentist appointment on Thursday (almost finished!) then from there we went on to Catani to visit my grandmother, where we stayed the night.

I nicked Grandma's scanner and raided the photo ...

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To the movies: Inside Out

Today we went to the movies in Horsham, to take Duncan to see "Inside Out". It was an excellent movie, it's pretty clear Pixar haven't lost their touch. Bill Hader and Lewis Black were standouts for me, being fans of both of them but the entire cast did ...

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Duncan got an award!

Duncan getting an award

On Monday we got a call from Duncan's school right before it was time to pick him up, saying that he was getting an award on Friday if we would like to attend the assembly. Before that, there would be a picnic on the grounds of the other campus ...

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Goodbye Telstra, Hello... Telstra?

This morning I ended up pulling the trigger and cancelled my Telstra account. Between my mobile account and the 4G "hotspot", I was paying up around $109/mo and I've hardly used it at all! Sabriena's on Telstra prepaid, and she gets free calling and all that shit ...

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Redirects with Amazon S3

After making a few changes to my site and uploading the entire thing again, I decided to check Google Webmaster Tools and see if there's anything that needed my attention, and it alerted me that I'm up over 400 404 errors. Yikes!

For some reason though, it's ...

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Fixing fwaggle.org

While trying to fix an annoying issue with one of my templates, before I have to upload the entire site to S3 again (as every single page will have changed), I decided to validate my page's HTML5 using W3C's "nu" validator. It turns out there's a heap ...

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Ballarat Model Train Expo

Signal Strength post-change A couple of years ago in 2013 we went to the model train exhibition in Ballarat (Incidentally, we took a bunch of photos of it, but I don't appear to have written about it), and Dad rang me up wednesday to ask if we wanted to go again. Sabriena ...

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Wifi Changes

Signal Strength post-change The other day I was messing around with an Android application that purports to show signal strength on Wifi, and noticed something peculiar: our WAP is on the same channel as almost all the other WAPs in the area. My van's WAP defaults to channel 2 for some reason ...

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Fire department shows up

Yesterday while fooling around on my laptop, Sabriena pointed out that there were fire fighters in our driveway. I went outside to find out what was going on, and they asked if we had a fire going in the backyard. "I hope not!" was about all I could blurt out ...

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Duncan is back to Skylanders

Duncan has been annoying the shit out of us wanting to play Skylanders again. The problem? He only had Skylanders for PS3, which isn't hooked up at the moment. So I decided a while back that if he worked really hard in school and got a good report from ...

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Book Choices

Lately we've been letting Duncan pick out his reading books, and while he commits the cardinal sin of only looking at the cover before he decides if he wants it or not, for the most part he's pretty good. When I went to read him a book tonight ...

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Tracking down a Quassel Bug

Last night after coming home from the movie, I set about trying to isolate what's going on with my IRC setup. It has the weirdest behavior: in the evening, the windows client will disconnect, and then not reconnect. The next morning, it'll be fine.

I'd assumed it ...

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Drive-in Movie

Tonight was Horsham's "Drive-in movie night", which we decided to take Duncan to as it quite likely might be his last chance to ever experience one, as the idea seems to be dying out rather quickly. I was wondering how it was going to work, as it was at ...

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Mum's Missing Birthday

We bought a card and a couple of small gifts for Mum for mother's day and/or her birthday, but due to other commitments we didn't end up making it out there (they all went to Gippsland for the weekend and we just couldn't justify that much ...

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Mother's Day Surprise

Duncan had to take money to school yesterday to buy something for Mother's day, and he came home with a brown paper bag with stuff in it.

Sabriena kept trying to catch him out, because usually 5 year olds have huge mouths and Duncan's a bit of a ...

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Up to Parkes

So it turns out in the ISRI seats in the van, you bounce around sufficiently to trip the pedometer in a FitBit. Because of this, and the vast changes in altitude going up to Bendigo, I earned a heap of badges on Fitbit that I don't actually deserve. It ...

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All aboard the FitBit hype train!

Sabriena and I both ended up buying FitBit devices today. I've heard of several people who had good experiences with them, and one who'd had a semi-negative experience (in that while walking a dog, the dog leash slid down and managed to break the irreplaceable wristband for it ...

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Duncan is Five

Duncan and birthday cake

Duncan turned five today (well, sort of - he's not chronologically five years old quite yet due to being born in USEST).

Unfortunately he had school today, but up early to watch a movie anyway. He got to open his cards before school, one of which contained ten bucks from ...

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Mum and Dad's Broadband

Sabriena has another dentist appointment, so out to Mum and Dad's last night to spend the night. While there, I was supposed to hook up Mum's new PVR, which my sister went and took care of (though it didn't come with an HDMI cable, so I'll ...

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IRL Guitar Hero

I've basically been playing... well... doing something to guitar for years. I started in grade 5, played for a bit, gave it up. I bought an electric bass in 1998, and dabbled a bit here and there. We have a cheap (I think Ibanez?) electric in the USA as ...

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Fuel efficiency in the Sprinter

I have been endeavoring to keep track of fuel economy in pretty much every vehicle I've owned since the Suburban (which, thanks to a 454CI engine was an exercise in misery) and with the Sprinter I've actually done a rather exceptional job at it. I have fuel fill ...

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Adelaide again, BP trouble

As it turns out we've got four more trips still to do in Adelaide after easter, so back out there again for more work. Last night I put fuel in at the BP in Wingfield, SA, hoping to catch a shower immediately after. It hadn't clicked before I ...

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Easter: 2015

Duncan woke us up bright and early (more like dim and early, around 6am) this morning, and hunted for eggs even before the sun came up. After finding what the easter bunny had left him, I spent the morning catching up on school work and then played some Counter Strike ...

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Adelaide -> Pinnaroo

Dad and I were both out to Adelaide, SA on Sunday night to take as many as 5 trips out to Pinaroo before Good Friday. Despite Duncan being on school holidays, Sabriena elected to stay home - Duncan was bored simply driving to Maryborough so being in the van for a ...

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Playstation 4

I must confess, I don't actually know why we did this.

Sabriena found a pretty good deal on a Playstation 4 at Target, and wanted to go get one. However this resulted in a disagreement of sorts, because she wanted me to want to get one as well, so ...

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Three Wisdom Teeth Gone

Back into Maryborough for one last time (Update: No, one more time April 10th, I have to get a referral to the Royal Melbourne Hospital to have my last wisdom tooth taken out surgically), as the dentist was optimistic he could remove all three wisdom teeth that were exposed "the ...

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More Van Work!

As I mentioned last time, I had to take the van in to Doherty Clark because the mechanic and Tyrepower couldn't get the caster right on it. I was told that Doherty Clark in Sebastopol were the people to take it to because they did a lot of light ...

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Bike Paint Job

It's been over a year since I bought a 2011 Colony Endeavour off Gumtree (Australia's Craigslist basically, because the actual CL website is simply a cesspit of spam and scam), and the paint work on it has never been in that great a shape. I'm also not ...

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Minecraft Scoreboards

I was thinking how cool it would be to have a mod to keep track of how much diamond everyone mines... I was actually thinking it'd be cool to track levels earned, but that doesn't appear possible without mods - tracking blocks mined is possible with vanilla server and ...

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Van Front End

Yesterday was my van's appointment with the mechanic, which Sabriena and I managed to forget. The mechanic's wife rang me up just before lunch and reminded me - whoops! Turned out okay, their morning was completely full so it didn't actually waste any of their time (apparently) but ...

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Four year olds and VOIP

Yesterday, Sabriena and I did something we swore we'd never do.

We gave our four year old a microphone and let him loose on our VOIP server. I swore I'd never do this, because of all the idiots who give their kids mics and set them up on ...

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Quassel full time

I switched everything over to Quassel full time, after shuffling around all my IRC stuff. I've put off doing anything about it for so long, but I was running all my IRC stuff on the same netblock as I had a few (not many anymore, thankfully) paying customers... something ...

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Metadata Retention in Australia

Australia's government looks set to pass an idiotic bill requiring ISPs to retain metadata on customers for two years, because terrorism. This system will be a boondoggle, accomplishing exactly nothing and costing a fortune, so I decided to write my local MP because hey, it's 30 minutes of ...

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Learning Spanish

It's been a goal of mine to be functionally bilingual for as long as I can remember. I had the option of learning either Spanish or Japanese in grade 6, and I thought at the time "when the fuck am I ever going to use Spanish?" (Great call eh ...

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Giving Quassel a try

Today, while mucking around with my Linux VM I use for MumbleDog work and egged on by screenshots of a friend's Linux Mint installation, I decided to give Linux Mint a go. The results were a little disappointing: try as I might I simply couldn't get it to ...

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Forgotten Schooling

I'm neck deep in revision at the moment, having relearned things like excess notation, floating point numbers, one's complement, two's complement, and so on, I'm doing my best to commit them all to long term memory.

One of the easier problems (working out memory requirements of ...

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Duncan: Religious Education again?

Duncan's school sent home a form today asking us to check if everything's correct, and everything appears to be so - except under "Religious Instruction" it has "Agreed Syllabus 'Religion".

We purposefully did not consent to that, something which I believe violates Victorian law if he has received any ...

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Duncan Parent-teacher interview

On the way home from Red Lion yesterday, Duncan's teacher called to ask if we wanted to schedule a parent teacher interview tomorrow. I took this to mean that she had something that was a concern, so I asked Sabriena to make an appointment. I also thought it might ...

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Dad's Radiator Swap

Another dentist's appointment on Friday, so back out to Mum and Dad's place again. On saturday, when I'm supposed to be recuperating, we get the genius idea of swapping out the radiator on Dad's sprinter so I can have his old one while I get mine ...

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Pelican + S3 + CloudFront

Messing around a bit more with this blog - I shifted the main portion of it to CloudFront instead of vanilla S3. The advantage to that being that the free tier gives you a good bit more bandwidth, assuming things are accessed often enough to take advantage of CloudFront's cache ...

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Almost Ready!

I've successfully configured the sitemap.xml generator which I think was the last thing on my todo list before I push this site live on my domain.

The git repository for the sources is a bit of a mess, because I shifted some stuff around, but it'll rapidly ...

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Line Follower Robot

The NXT Light Sensors (#9844) we bought from BrickLink finally came (they came rather quick from Canada, really), so after testing them out (involving Duncan playing with the super-annoying test program which changes the pitch of the piezo speaker inside the NXT brick depending on the amount of light detected ...

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