Nearly 3 years…

Hmm, so it’s been nearly 3 years since I posted here. Can I get away with this:

Stuff. It happened.

Perhaps not.

In short, thanks to a great deal of financial support and trust from my parents we were able to sort out the house, sell it, and clear most of our debts along with it. We didn’t make as much profit as we’d hoped, but we did offload it at just about the right time. If it has gone on much longer we’d have lost about 5-10k per month in falling house prices.

Due again to finances, we didn’t make the move in close to the city as planned but have made it a few steps closer, to Greensborough.

This means easy access to close shops, public transport, and other facilities such as the pool and gym. The monster-sized kiddo is going to a great high school and has more friends and close acquaintances than I had dreamed of at that age. Importantly, we live close enough that ‘can I go to [x] place?’ and ‘can [x] come over?’ are simple questions with easy, achievable answers. :D

It’s not quite ‘happily ever after’ … but it is pretty close.

We still have a (relatively tiny) debt but should be clear of that in the next 12-18 months, after which I intend to remain free of all debt and encumbrance. We may never purchase another house, and that’s ok. We can rent anywhere/anywhen we like.

Things are feeling more settled, maybe even normal

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The Plan

I have a plan. Well, a strategy. Or something like that. So begins the rambling.

Currently we live in the middle of fscking nowhere aka Doreen, Victoria. This is not surprising to us, we bought the house. But we bought it when our life was quite a bit different, then it took far too long to build, and we came to resent it … it is not home, it is just a house.

We need to leave. For the following reasons (and more):\

  • Social: we actually have friends now, and are getting out to see bands, exhibitions, and more
  • Time: I spend 3+ h0urs a day travelling to/from work. The boy spends over an hour travelling each day, and doesn’t live near enough to school friends to make visits feasible
  • Financial: bad financial decisions, Tessa not being able to work productively (travel and expenses make it almost a zero-return effort)
  • Resentment: We can’t forget the ill-will generated during the build

So we have this plan. It goes something like this:

  1. clean up the house and yard so that we can pitch it as a ‘clean slate’ – we’re in the middle of a huge development area, so if we can provide a house 80% done, someone can “make their mark” and their home without the hassle of building
  2. rent in Brunswick, Carlton, Northcote, or somewhere similar – maximum 30 mins door-to-door for me to/from work on public transport, 10 mins or so each way for the boy
  3. live happily ever after

But there is a problem. I’m lacking a tactic, a short-term technique. This will take some capital, some dosh, moola, folding stuff. I dont have it. I can’t seem to hold on to it long enough.

I am heading into despair, watching every payday come and go, yet making no headway. I have debt, stupid dept, large debt. In addition to the mortgage. Servicing that debt is preventing the saving, and preventing (thankfully I think) new debt aka temporary capital.

This wont be a problem once the house is sold, as we’ve had a substantial capital value increase in the house and land since we bought it nearly 4 years ago. We’ll clear the mortgage and all our debt and still have a substantial investment amount, we’ll be able to pay rent up front, bonds, etc easily.

But we cant do that today. We’re stuck in the mud. Slowly sinking. Going mad.

Posted in House, Lifestyle, State Of Mind | 2 Comments

Delicious Super Fudge Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 200g dark or milk chocolate chopped roughly
  • 200g butter chopped roughly
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Cup of castor Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups of Plain Flour
  • ¼ cup of Cocoa Powder

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to moderate 180C. Brush a shallow 20*30cm tin with oil or melted butter. Line the base with baking paper extending over the 2 long sides of the tin
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter over the stove or in the microwave. Stir until well combined and leave to cool slightly
  3. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together with a wire whisk until combined and sugar has started to dissolve.
  4. Add Chocolate mixture to Egg mixture and then gradually sift in flour and cocoa. Stir until just combined
  5. Pour into tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes – can be under done if you prefer a more soft centre
  6. Allow to cool completely in the tin before refrigerating for 2-3 hours at least or until set solid.
  7. Cut into small squares to serve
  8. May be decorated with white chocolate for a special treat
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Tech.Ed 2009

[This is a belated and incomplete post, but since I’m unlikely to finish it, might as well publish what I threw together in the airport on the day after]

Wow, where to start?  Tech.Ed is the Microsoft IT geek yearly pilgrimage, held this year on the Gold Coast, as it was 2 years ago for my first attendance.

A quick summary of my Gold Coast experience:

  • Really, there are a lot of retirees here.
  • Those who are not retirees are young women wearing very little, and repeatedly trying to pull it down/up to cover the exposed areas.
  • The rest are visiting families trying to take their 4yo kids into restaurants, bars, etc. The men are usually being chided for looking at the young women mentioned above.
  • The weather is the same every day. What’s the point in that? Bah, give me Melbourne with its highly diverse weather experience. :)

Tech.Ed this year was always going to be a strange one with the offering of a free mini laptop (netbook) to all attendees – a world first for Microsoft Australia (I think). The laptop offering did mean compromises has to be made in other areas, but on the whole I think was an extremely positive result.

With 2500+ netbooks, other laptops, iPhones, Blackberrys, and Windows Mobile phones all wanting to have wireless internet access throughout the conference centre, wifi was a big challenge. I think Microsoft, Cisco, and the GCCEC did a superb job in meeting that challenge and were only prevented from receiving top marks due to the actions of a few selfish, idiotic attendees who seemed to feel entitled to BitTorrent and deny excellent service to the other geeks out to learn and enjoy the experience.

Actually, that would have to be the common sour theme for my Tech.Ed experience this year: the selfish gits who can’t seem to show common courtesy to their fellow geeks. So, a grab-bag of gripes I’ve had:

  • Bandwidth hogging is not cool on the conference network.
  • Getting drunk and being silly is up to you, but don’t puke anywhere in/near the conference centre.
  • Set your phones to silent when in a session. Seriously, how fscking hard is it to do this? Are you all retards? Everyone is permitted one mistake, but the repeat offenders deserve stabbing in the eye.
  • Similar to the above, don’t talk in sessions, especially about crap that is not related to the session topic. If you are bored, quietly pack up and leave.
  • When wait staff are guarding a table of food so that it may be shared equitably amongst attendees, don’t make their job harder by trying to get the food. Pay attention and be patient. Queue jumpers make it worse for everybody. Again, one warning should have been enough, not every single meal time. Idiots.
  • Last, and least, when Question and Answer time happens at the end of a session, don’t bug the presenters about your specific technical fault. Ask a generalised tech fault question, ask about how it works, what the future of the product is, ask for contact details and preferred subject matter (ie. Do they want to hear you specific tech fault?), but don’t monopolise the presenter’s time for something that isnt relevant to the other 20+ people waiting to speak with them.

That’s enough whinging, now for something more positive: the sessions, content, and presenters.

Tech.Ed (and just about any other technical IT event) are plagued by demonstration failures. Examples that work perfectly 100 times will fail once on the screen in a session. Hardware will fail, power will fail, fingers and brains will refuse to co-operate once on stage. This is normal. Most presenters can, and did, cope with the situation appropriately and still have very successful sessions. Congratulations to them all, its a hard gig presenting to highly technical and critical geeks. Geeks who often feel they know more about any topic than the presenter (or anyone else at the conference).

[todo: insert sessions attended here]

[todo: favourite presenters]
@SuperLilia

[todo: dreamworld event]

[todo: social events]

[todo: conclusion]

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Tweets for 2009-09-12

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Tweets for 2009-09-09

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Tweets for 2009-09-08

  • Huh? How come I've only just heard about @BarCampMelb less than a week away? Publicity FAIL. Also, planning FAIL – I'm already booked out :( #
  • Anyway, kiddo dropped off for school camp, critical change for DVC made, coffee consumed. Now working from home until Dr appt. #
  • Thankfully #badoptus 3G (non-iPhone this time) is working slowly but reliably. @Internode needs to kick @Telsra wholesale some more :( #
  • Oh. And friend who was using my Optus data has run it over the 5G cap. Excess fees this month :/ #fb #
  • @BarCampMelb Hmm, SSL cert fail :( in reply to BarCampMelb #
  • @rickybuchanan Yes, that does seem likely, or perhaps I started ignoring it because I was already busy :/ Sad I cant go though. in reply to rickybuchanan #
  • I expect that #auteched snacks and meals will swamp the #wiafl "What I ate for lunch" tag. #
  • @damana Hehe, we'll have to see what we can sneak you into :) in reply to damana #
  • @damana LOL, disguise? Pretend it's #dragoncon and come in Storm Trooper gear (or Master Chief FTW). The geeks will cheer and let you in :) in reply to damana #
  • moar coffee req'd. strangely it's not making itself and being delivered to my desk. manual override initiated. #
  • @BronwenZ @damana yay for GGD! I've managed to sweet-talk my way into an invite, sounds like great fun! in reply to BronwenZ #
  • @BronwenZ Yes, have registered on Eventbrite :) in reply to BronwenZ #
  • listening to "Moby – Wait For Me" ? http://blip.fm/~cyi5t #
  • Gettinh antsy for #auteched and guilty about abandoning @TessaFroosh for a week. Conflicted. #
  • @Alegrya rofl. were any netbooks actually injured in the @Jorke incident? (@NickHodge?) in reply to Alegrya #
  • @Alegrya http://twitpic.com/gt56b – bewdiful. Ok, but I'll stop hating when I get there this time(ish) tomorrow :) #
  • And I'm off to a Dr appt. to see about my brain. #
  • @rosiex thx, evidently sick brain is making me miss/forget things. in reply to rosiex #
  • Yay/Boo. @Internode tell me they know why my Internets are borkened. But there is no ETA for fixage :( Local @Telstra wholesale issue. #
  • Yay/Boo. Dr says my brain exists and is not evidently broken. Trying new migraine meds with diagnostic and therapeutic benefits. #
  • Wait what??!! I have DSL link in last 5 mins! w00t!! #
  • @MamaBearRed So, more yay/boo. Yay, is getting new drive = music happiness. Boo, #withdrawal! :) in reply to MamaBearRed #
  • @BarCampMelb 'Sokay, Perspectives is now picking it up and satisfies my paranoia :) in reply to BarCampMelb #
  • @calrion Been with @Internode for about a year, very happy. Only prob is that it's Telstra wholesale. in reply to calrion #
  • Hey, now my DSL is back I can tune into SkepTrack #dragoncon. 'Cept there's nothing on now and I wont be around tonight. Oh well, next year. #
  • @evilsnoofy Yup, same here, variably get 128k-1500k on my '1500' plan due to congestion :( in reply to evilsnoofy #
  • ok, trying new meds … now. Lets see how we go! #
  • conundrum = new meds are good but are they actually working or am i just high? #
  • Awake. Buzzing. Squeee! Shh, dont wake @TessaFroosh yet. Breakfast, final pack. Then off to work, and away to #auteched! #fb #
  • Aww, Melbourne is so sweet putting on such a display of my favourite weather! I'll miss you Melbourne for the week I'll be away. #
  • @podblack Hope you had a fantastic #dragoncon, it's a surreal experience. Sadly, the signoff panel is the 1st content I've seen :/ in reply to podblack #
  • #auteched journey start: 6:40; pt 1: private car, 5 minutes; pt 2: bus, 30 mins #
  • #auteched journey pt 3: train, 45 mins; pt 4: tram, 10 mins #
  • Boarding pass and #auteched entry ticket printed. Time for a coffee at Seven Seeds p'raps. #

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Tweets for 2009-09-07

  • </lazyday> #
  • @weirdwhim haloumi = win. Chocolate = win. Haloumi = chocolate. QED. #
  • Pushing Daisies time. :) #

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Tweets for 2009-09-06

  • Dropped @TessaFroosh at the evil overlord's house of dull tedious torture (aka work). Kiddo ballet lesson/rehearsal from 11:30 to 3:30. Meh. #
  • Mildly envious of the fun to be had at #pax #dragoncon or #burningman whilst I while away the hours today. But I have #auteched this week!!! #
  • Dear @Internode plz hurry up and kick Telstra into fixing my DSL. #badOptus 3G data suxors on the fringe of suburban melbourne. :( #
  • @kerryank gratz! Fantastic! Race/class/talent? Good work. in reply to kerryank #
  • @Maab :( sad news. Travel safe and best wishes for you and your family. in reply to Maab #
  • Huh? Is the new TMBG album not available on iTunes? Or just not on iTunes aus? :( wanted new listening while waiting for kiddo to do ballet. #
  • Hmm, is there an iPhone friendly stream of #dragoncon Skeptrac vision? #
  • Heartening sight: 'gang' of tween-ish boys heading back from a shopping trip to the bookstore arguing the comparitive merits of their books. #
  • Hehe. Hmm. 1st rehearsal for my bit part in kiddo's ballet performance completed. I feel so graceless next to these kids and dance partner.. #
  • Ooh. Having some #srslywtfamidoing thoughts about going on stage. #
  • Quitely hating on people (parents who should know better) who leave doors open that were previously closed. Tards. #
  • @TheWych excellent! Hippo birdies two ewes deer fella. Hope you have a great day. in reply to TheWych #
  • .@GordonRyan also, the conference/convention 3-2-1 rule applies: at least 3hrs sleep, minimum 2 meals, and compulsory 1 shower! #auteched in reply to GordonRyan #
  • @coliwilso #thatswhatshesaid :P in reply to coliwilso #
  • Woohoo, kiddo passed to his 'god'/fsm/lol-father for the evening! #
  • @jodiem @aeoth iPhone or WM6+ phone with emergency 3G data/tethering allowance also works well I find :) in reply to jodiem #
  • @aeoth like me right now … Crappy Telstra wholesale not fixing my DSL -2 days offline so far. Only access via iPhone & tether. in reply to aeoth #
  • I'm such a hopeless romantic, in that I am actually hopeless at romance. #
  • @aeoth not create the posting group, but choose a posting group if any exist. in reply to aeoth #
  • @aeoth select 'default' or a specific posting group (if any are found) #
  • @Scarlettjen I'm a leaf on the wind! in reply to Scarlettjen #
  • Ha! Watched some Mylie Cyrus music vid with horses, but I thought (wished?) the horses were velociraptors. Thx brain, that was fun. :D #
  • Foxtel support is really not fun to deal with. IQ box issues, std response, reformat, delete everything. Why do I bother using it? Torrents. #
  • Meaning it would be far more satisfying to save on the Foxtel expense and torrent everything. Have enjoyed the new shows found on foxtel tho #
  • @coliwilso seems to be all foxtel is good for: sports. HD content is just about all sport also. I have to torrent my ch7 content anyway… in reply to coliwilso #
  • @Dianne_ oh noes :( no #dragoncon Skeptrack #dcskep for you! I'm without internets too – I know your pain. in reply to Dianne_ #
  • @maxcelcat excellent! The mini-dozer :) in reply to maxcelcat #
  • @Dianne_ it must be good to have survived being thrown off the balcony! ;) in reply to Dianne_ #
  • So, how do I tell exactly how much of my #badoptus mobile data I've used? Do I have enough to watch some #dragoncon I wonder? #
  • Cuddles and book reading time. Dm or @ only. L8rs and/or gnight. #

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Tweets for 2009-09-05

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Tweets for 2009-09-04

  • @TessaFroosh oh hai :) I'm okidoki, just in single-task mode so I don't break 66,000 accounts ;) in reply to TessaFroosh #
  • Froosh: Now powered by peanut butter sammidjes #
  • @Indigored_hot Good thing I'm not really the whistling type :) #
  • @Gertrudesteinjr Being homeless doesnt seem to preclude pet ownership from what Ive seen… in reply to Gertrudesteinjr #
  • @andrewbarnett Unknown. Much pain, but little knowledge. Blood tests, Head CT, etc, seem Ok. Have to try different migraine meds likely. in reply to andrewbarnett #
  • [holy crap! Thanks Nick!] r @NickHodge: #auteched OMFG wow. http://bit.ly/tRXA9 #
  • @NickHodge The vid had me giggling like a kid in a toy store, thanks! :D in reply to NickHodge #
  • Amusing side effect of brain pain: I misread things a lot more than I used to. I moved that 's' back one word… #
  • @aeoth Wow. Srsly impressed with MatTweets progress since last I saw it! I'll have to get back to you about some quirks tho… #
  • Coffee then meeting time. Meh. #
  • @badmummy good luck … mine is "somewhere" in my garage in one of 20 boxes :/ in reply to badmummy #
  • Oh. I'm grumpy, irritable, have low concentration and attention span, constant headache, and surly demeanor. When did I become a manager? :( #
  • What a surprise. Trains delayed due to bad weather. #
  • @sharybobbins what kind of whacky twitter client are you using that shows as "from API"? in reply to sharybobbins #
  • @aeoth How can I tell what #hashtags I'm tracking or ignoring? #
  • @aeoth haha! Bleeding edge! in reply to aeoth #
  • @sharybobbins Aha! Sneaky, clever, cunning like a foxy. in reply to sharybobbins #
  • Hat tip, try not to forget you turned the LOLtranslator on in MahTweets … no, everyone hasnt gone storm-crazy, just you :D #
  • @aeoth That would be in the list with RT functionality? in reply to aeoth #
  • I don't think I should be out interacting with the "public". Stabby set to 11. #
  • We will survive … We'll hold the line. ? http://blip.fm/~crhxw #
  • Seen at Ivanhoe: science, it works bitches. #lol #cutetoo :P #
  • #badoptus mobile data sucks, particularly when, you know, mobile. #
  • Seen at Ivanhoe: science, it works bitches. #lol #cutetoo :P #
  • Ahh, the classic smells of lumber and pizza … Wait, what?! Oh yeah, fathers day event at Bunnings. #
  • Effin triffic. No internets. None. F u Optus and Telstra. #
  • #badoptus 3g data limping along. Jumped through @Internode support hoops so they can escalate to #worsetelstra for my lack of DSL signal. #
  • Stabby. Stabby. Stabby. Stabby. Stabby. Stabbystabbystabbystabbystabby. STABBY. #grrrrrrrrrrrrr #
  • @bpende heh, somewhat. Venting helps. That and icecream :) in reply to bpende #
  • Huzzah. Something working finally. Tethering with iPhone giving me sweet, sweet internets. #
  • @middleclassgirl No, just with the 3g optus tethering config installed. Dont have a linky handy right now :( in reply to middleclassgirl #
  • @middleclassgirl http://tetherme.lstoll.net/ open that on the iPhone, choose your carrier, hit download, and approve the install. Viola. in reply to middleclassgirl #
  • Right. Time for shnoozes. Crappy day, plus a fake friday to boot. Txt me for free hugs. #
  • Oh hai 4am, Did you need me for something or can I go back to sleep now? #
  • I ache, I ache, I ache, inside. #

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Tweets for 2009-09-03

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Tweets for 2009-09-02

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Tweets for 2009-09-01

  • Yuk. Too many spammy followers. If you want me to follow you back, reply to me and I'll do it. everything else will get ignored right now. #
  • At work, brain pain intense but tolerable for now. Better off being productive than wasting time sleeping and not getting better anyway. #fb #
  • @podblack :( Not fun. Mine's been going for 2 weeks and I hope its better before my conference next week. Hope yours is better for D*C! in reply to podblack #
  • @Gertrudesteinjr likewise normally, but I just dont have to brain power to deal with it today. Will block them all later. in reply to Gertrudesteinjr #
  • @Indigored_hot heh already following you :) thx for the compliment though! Head is a write-off, need a replacement. Know any brain surgeons? #
  • Oh. A meeting. #
  • Capital! Scripting changes to 66,000 accounts even with a fried brain. Using the "Here's one I prepared earlier" technique. :D #
  • I never meant to cause you trouble / I never meant to do you wrong ? http://blip.fm/~clg1m #
  • Feh. #
  • @naontiotami hmm, is that a mashup of @GeorgeHrab's "Feh" and @Dianne_'s "Pah" ? :P #
  • @TessaFroosh #inorite? Leif Ericson right?! in reply to TessaFroosh #
  • @DrRachie pff. You've already thought more about hygeine than 78% of con attendees! ;) in reply to DrRachie #
  • First Of May :) Spring in Northern Hemisphere, translates to First of September in Southern Hemisphere ;) #damn… ? http://blip.fm/~clrs2 #
  • First Of May :) Spring in Northern Hemisphere, translates to First of September in Southern Hemisphere ;) #dam… ? http://blip.fm/~clrs2 #
  • @Aprillian sounds like fun :P goodmorning and goodnight, I'm off to snore a little… ZzzZZzzzzzzzzzz in reply to Aprillian #

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Tweets for 2009-08-31

  • Eugh. I was headache free for a comfortable 36 hours. It returned at 9am with some buddies. 3x what it was, and painkiller resistant :( #
  • @badmummy this is 'extra time' on my 14 day headache… :( in reply to badmummy #
  • @rickybuchanan heh, I'm new to chronic pain :( I'll have to tone down the whiny little bastard inner voice. Or at least drug him insensate.. in reply to rickybuchanan #

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