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January 22, 2001

Taking Out the Trash

Good evening! Only one more day of work, and then I'm on leave for two weeks! Of course, Friday's going to be busy with cleaning and tidying, and then Saturday we have to be up early; Jillian's plane arrives at around half past seven, Saturday morning.

Our rubbish-shipping day was a heavy one. We made two runs to the tip, the first with all the cardboard boxes in the shed, the mattress and Vickie's old 17" monitor (the one that mysteriously bit the bullet last year), and the second with the garden waste (quite a lot of it, after Vickie went at the lilies and the bougainvillea out the back during the weekend before) and the bed base. The ute from Kennards was great.

We were both tired afterward, and we still had Dan's Champions game that night. Vickie was so exhausted, though, that she decided to stay home and relax. Unfortunately, it was the night when everyone else actually turned up! It was a good game, with the demented mind of our GM, Dan, coming up with a cunning - or should I say, cudding - adversary: a herd of carnivorous cows! The puns were flying thick and fast that night, I tell you.

Dan's PC finally gave up the ghost, and I offered to build the P3-500 that was going to be shipped to Melbourne and give it to Dan until he can sort himself a replacement out. I think it's only fair, as Dan and Lesley have graciously given us their spare, mobile dishwasher (which we're frantically trying to find a tap attachment for; despite being one of the more common models, no-one Vickie called seems to stock one). I drove the ute to Dan's place, giving Gav a lift and picking Roger up on the way (and what a crowded cabin that was, I can tell you), so we could take the dishwasher home with us. Now all I need to do is figure out exactly when, in between Jillian's visit, I can put the bastard together!

I had a frantic PC-assembling day on Sunday, and managed to get Trish's upgraded PC to her that evening. She's well pleased with it, and is considering getting broadband. I recommended she speak to iiNet, as in her flat ADSL would be the best option and iiNet has a good rep (I think IMAGinewS member Andy is signed up with them). Our PCs now have front case fans, and I'm thinking of getting Vickie a new case (her one doesn't fit an 8cm case fan well) and a set of the speakers I got Trish: Altec Lansing 2100s (very nice 2.1 system). While I was pulling PCs apart on Sunday, Vickie was out tending the garden. It's taken a battering over the weekend, what with the heat. Our roses, which were growing and blossoming so well, are now looking the worse for wear. It's a damned shame.

After finally finishing The Last Continent and re-reading The Colour of Magic, I decided to try something a little different from Terry Pratchett humour, and finally read the copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula that I bought during a big book buy in mid-2001. It was a very interesting read, although I've been so pace-addicted by modern novels that I was getting tired of all the long monologues and exposition and hankering for something to happen! For those of you who've seen the Francis Ford Coppola movie, the first third or so is pretty much the same; however, they diverge quite wildly when the Count arrives in England. There's no love story between Dracula and Mina; in fact, Dracula forces Mina into drinking his blood and slowly becoming a vampire as revenge for the actions of Van Helsing and company against him. Yes, Dracula's a right bastard the whole way through; none of this Gary Oldman tormented soul crap. (Which was fun, though.)

Once I finished Dracula, I was feeling like getting back into humour again, so I'm getting stuck into Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. If any of you have read any of Bill Bryson's books, you know how this man has the market virtually cornered in written dry wit. His tales of hiking the Appalachian Trail, which stretches roughly 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine (basically, from America's deep South to its Cold [well, Cool] North) are utterly hilarious. I've read Notes from a Small Island, his last great hiking tour of Britain before he returned to the US after twenty or so years in the UK, and I tell you, I want to read Down Under, his trip to Australia, once I'm done with Woods.

And finally, tonight, all our best wishes to everyone in Canberra and Melbourne. Here's hoping the bushfires stay the heck away from you.

January 04, 2001

Good with the Bad

Evening everyone! It's been one of those days, it really has, when something good happens, but is soon followed up by something bad, or vice versa. It's odd, the way karma like that can balance in the one day.

The bad thing happened first. Vickie and I were planning to hook up with Boots at Hoyts Chatswood this evening so we could catch a 7.30 session of Return of the King. I get to work this morning (first day back after Christmas leave) and discover, lurking in my inbox, a meeting invitation.

For this evening.

From five until six.

Now, with Boots and RotK to look forward to this evening, I was so very tempted to say "Screw you guys and your short notice, I have prior plans." However, this was a client strategy meeting, on a matter that required a presence from my department, and as my manager was in Coffs Harbour this morning, on her way back from a well-deserved holiday in Queensland, I was the only person in my department with enough background and knowledge to fit the bill.

So, I accepted the meeting invitation, accepted that there was no way I'd be able to get home, get changed, have dinner with Vickie and then dash the both of us down to Chatswood to catch the showing (the next session at 8.30 would have finished just too late for me, who needs to be up at ten past six tomorrow to sort myself out for work), and called Vickie and then Boots to let them know what had happened. I'm not sure, but I think Boots is still going this evening.

The good thing is that the auction of my Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green stuff finished earlier today - and I made what I was hoping to make! Which is great, frankly, as this'll actually give me some readies for the trip to Cairns on Thursday (bloody Christmas, bah humbug). Thanks to the winner, and comiserations to our Rog, who had a bid in.

Anyway, I'm off to do some ironing. Gotta have pressed clothes for the trip, you know.