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... the rest of my life.
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Date:2007-10-11 21:49
Subject:Welcome, Charlotte Lavinia Leslie

Ok, so I'm a bit tardy at posting, but I've been busy; for something so small, babies take a fair bit of maintenance. Our daughter arrived at 9:06 am on Monday the 1st of October, and was a healthy and happy 7lbs, and 50cm long.

Baby pics through here...Collapse )

The contractions started getting serious at around 10pm the night before, and by 4am they'd been going steadily at 5 minutes apart for a while, so we decided to head into the hospital. By the time we arrived, they'd all but stopped, and the midwife we saw ended up being (thankfully unlike all the other staff we'd met at the hospital so far) a bit of a cow and ignored everything we told her about the hours of contractions before we arrived, and decided that since Jacqui didn't have any real contractions while we were at the hospital that she couldn't possibly be in labour, and so sent us home (after a fairly lengthy condescending lecture about, well, the whole birth thing really). The biggest problem with this was its effect on Jacqui's state of mind; I can only imagine what it must be like to be in the middle of labour, and have someone tell you that it's only pre-labour, it could go on for days, and it's going to get a whole lot worse (and she even suggested that we go home and get some sleep to rest up for when labour really started... can you imagine sleeping through labour). Thankfully, that midwife was completely wrong.

As soon as we arrived home again the contractions came on full strength (they had said during the ante-natal classes that being in a comfortable environment helps labour along, so it didn't surprise me a whole lot that it stopped when we got to the hospital and started again when we got home, but then at the time you tend to trust the professional slightly more than your own instincts, especially when you're tired and worried and everything else is going on). After about another hour and a half at home with the contractions getting steadily stronger I realised that Jacqui probably wouldn't be able to make the car trip to the hospital if we waited much longer, so off we went again, arriving at the hospital at around 8am. Jacqui made it as far as the far side of the foyer when Stage 2 (the push/don't push part) of labour started, and a whole lot of worried staff went rush around all over the place to find a wheelchair. A very intense hour later, our daughter arrived.

For the enormity of the event, saying only "a very intense hour later" in no way does it justice, but I can't really figure out what else to say. Jacqui was absolutely amazing, and has been doing an amazing job ever since. The midwife we got was thankfully different to the one we'd seen earlier in the morning, and was quite shocked by our earlier treatment (like the suggestion that the pain may have been caused by a urinary tract infection, not by the more obvious cause that maybe a baby was trying to get out). We did see that midwife from 4am later in our stay, and she seemed quite sheepish around us, I suspect maybe she got a talking to (at least I hope she did).

So now we have a gorgeous little bundle of joy that eats, soils nappies, cries, and very occasionally sleeps driving us both spare. But when she's not crying she's very cute, and very alert and makes funny noises and smells good and is soo tiny. And she has my toes.

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Date:2007-06-16 22:05
Subject:We have a house.
Mood: tired

It's yet again been quite a while since I last posted, but things have been hectic. Hopefully, once we've finished moving into our new place, things should settle down a bit. Previous hecticness was the combination of baby stuff, sorting out a host of problems with a motorbike I got as a gift from my parents (long story) and a range of dramas involving the purchase of our house, mainly involving lots of bits of paperwork and unreliable people.

Baby stuffCollapse )

House stuffCollapse )

So other than all that, work's going really well, and I'm missing all of my friends. I can't really do things on weeknights anymore, unless people are happy to wait until 7pm for me to get there. Weekends are all pretty good though (well not the next couple with moving, but after that) now that I've got a regular weekday job, so it'd be neat if we could catch up on a Saturday or Sunday semi-regularly. I've blown a wad of money at Milsims, so I have some boardgames now (although I'll never rival lukeii) so a games day or weekend would be neat if people were willing to treck out here (it's only Zone 2 (now) and then about a 10 minute walk) or else I could bring a few and treck in. Movie outings to Kino Dendy or Nova would also be cool, since I've discovered that mainstream cinema pretty much sucks these days. I'll try putting something on adventuration once the house moving thing has finished, although I'm curious to know how many other people would be interested in that kind of thing.

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Date:2007-04-19 20:44
Subject:12th Week Ultrasound Pictures.

Ultrasound Pictures; cut for your convenienceCollapse )

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Date:2007-04-19 20:18
Subject:Photos of my desk at work

Finally got around to taking and posting photos of my desk at work. You can find them under the cut.Collapse )

Work has been okay. As soon as I fix up one thing, I discover something else that needs fixing, but at least it's all progress. I've been battling with the factory calibration code that deals with the power output of the radio, and it's all quite sensitive and finicky: one small change can through half a dozen things out of sync. Finally got a chunk of it sorted today though, and much better than it was before (this round of 'fixing' began because there was a fault in the powersupply that was fixed, which meant all the previous calibration stuff I'd worked on was slightly out of whack).

Got the contracts and whatnot for another home loan, this one being 0.41% lower than the last one we applied for (only 6.99%, standard variable, which is quite good as far as I can tell). There are some small problems with the details in the contract so far (e.g. they haven't got the PPR (principal place of residence) rate of stamp duty, despite the fact that we filled in the application saying it would be owner occupied) and there's a whole lot of contracty type clauses and stuff I still have to go through. Only 9 weeks to go now, which is really exciting. I'm really looking forward to it.

Nothing new on the baby front, next appointment (and ultrasound) is in a couple of weeks. I'll post some of the pictures from the last ultrasound hopefully later this evening. They make a whole lot more sense when you've seen them live, rather than static images, but what the hey.

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Date:2007-03-19 23:50
Subject:Our baby waved... :)
Mood: Excited, about everything!

Jacqui had her first ultrasound appointment today, and I took some time off work to go with her. It was actually a whole lot cooler than I was expecting, you can see a whole lot more when it's actually happening than I've ever been able to make out in those fuzzy pictures you see. The other thing that surprised me was how active the baby was... I had always assumed they were fairly sedentary, at least for the first few months, but it was swinging its arms around and carrying on like it was having a great time. It looks much bigger on the screen too, but it's about 5.8cm long at the moment, and 11 weeks, 6 days (well, 12 weeks by the time I post this). I don't know what else to say about it, but that it was really cool.

Other exciting news is that we're almost at the 3 months to settlement mark, to when we can move into a home that we could call our own if it weren't for the bank mortgage, but at least a place that we can pretend is our own.

Work is excellent, every day presents new challenges, which I get to work on solving with a combination of programming and tens of thousands of dollars worth of electronics equipment. I quite like my desk at work, I have on it a computer, a pad of paper and a pen, 3 prototype boards for development, and then about a dozen test instruments and a pile of cables to wire everything up. I actually sit under the stairs. I should see if I can take a photo one day and post it. The last few days I've been working on synchronising the crystal used to keep time in our test unit against the crystal used to generate the transmission frequency. The time crystal is relatively inaccurate (50 parts per million, or roughly 0.005% error), and the radio crystal is quite accurate and has elaborate compensation curves. After two days of discovering "undocumented features" of the CPU, and chasing signals around with equipment synchronised against nuclear clocks floating around in satellites (just GPS, but it sounds cooler my way) I managed to get the error of the time crystal down to 0.2 parts per million, or roughly 1 second drift every 2 months. I love my job.

Oh, also, MilSims had a sale on the weekend, and I bought the Mormon version of "Settlers of Catan", called "Settlers of Zarahemla". The setup is easier than the basic game, but otherwise it's pretty much the same. It also offers rules for a two player version. It's basically just a polished version of the original, with new artwork and biblical references.

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Date:2007-03-12 01:36
Subject:Wedding Photos

Finally, after a little encouragement from lukeii, here's a few of the photos from the wedding. They're quite late in coming, in part because we ended up with so many photos - well over 2,000 - thanks to lukeii, melbournian and Jacqui's uncle Trevor. We still haven't even started editing the video yet. As lukeii pointed out, the baby will likely be here before we get done with all the wedding stuff.

I will try and put some more up here at some point, once I've had a chance to go through them properly. This selection is thanks to Jacqui's effort in sorting through them.

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Date:2007-02-11 22:28
Subject:Testing out new software

My laptop hard drive died last weekend, and this weekend I bought a replacement. While I managed to back up most everything, I haven't been in a hurry to restore stuff onto the new drive. I think with the changes in my routine from finishing uni and starting a full time job I might take this opportunity to kind of start fresh with my computer.

So far I've only really installed Adium, Menumeters, and Skype. This post was starting out as one posted through the LJ IM service, but I muffed it up and posted too early, so I'm finishing it here. Having the ability to post through IM will make it easier to make frequent posts. This is my first time actually using Adium, and it's quite cool. I'd sort of known it was for a while, but had always used Proteus in the past, and didn't want to lose message logs and all that crap by changing to a new client. Now seems to be a good time for changes.

Anyway, that was all, just me testing out Frank.

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Date:2007-02-11 21:06
Subject:Hmm... So it's been a while...
Mood: hopeful

It's always awkward coming back to livejournal after a while away... usually it's the case that so many things have happened that it's hard to know which ones to write about and which ones not, and the effort of it all gets overwhelming and another week goes by without a post. All that kind of changed recently with a run of news two weeks ago that kind of outdid everything in else in my life over the last 6 months.

The first thing that happened was that I got a cool job, pretty much doing exactly what I want to be doing (well one of them anyway), paying about what I wanted to be paid. I'm working for a small company that develops embedded systems devices and automation technology, and I get to spend my day writing C code for systems running at 1MHz, with 2KiB of RAM, and 60KiB of code space. I even get to write my own multitasking and memory allocation algorithms. It's so cool :) !!!

So I applied for the job on Monday, had the interview on Tuesday and got the job. The second piece of news came on Wednesday, when I found out Jacqui is pregnant. I'm going to be a father, which is really really cool. At this stage it still seems a but unreal though, since it's such early days, but I think once March rolls around and there's appointments and ultrasounds and all that kind of stuff it'll catch up with me a bit quicker. I know Jacqui wishes that I had reacted more to the news, but it wasn't entirely a surprise (we had intentionally stopped using contraception for this exact reason) and I guess I'm feeling a mix of excitement and apprehension and uncertainty and stuff. I think I probably wont get properly excited until I feel a little better that I know exactly what's going on and what I'm supposed to be doing and all that.

The third bit of news came that Saturday. We went looking at houses to buy, since I've got a job now and we can afford it, and I think it's easier to do the family thing if you have a stable home, rather than renting and moving around occasionally. Our place now wasn't going to be big enough anyway. Anyway, after looking at about 8-9 houses, we decided that the first one we'd seen that day was just right, made an offer and bought it. The house wasn't even technically on the market yet, and the contracts were finalised this week, so now it's ours. The only catch is that there are tenants in there at the moment and we have a long settlement, so although the place is ours, we can't move in until after the 22nd of June. Still, it's exciting and I'm really looking forward to moving into a place I can finally and truly call home.

The house is in Cranbourne, which has its upsides and its downsides. On the upsides, it's convenient for work (25 minutes by train), it's cheap (we're only borrowing $220,000 which should mean we'll be mortgage free in about 10-15 years, and then I can retire :) ), it's close to Jacqui's parent's beach house in Cape Paterson (which means free baby-sitting when the time comes), and the houses and blocks of land are bigger than you usually get these days. It's also a good family area, with the highest birth rate in Victoria. The downsides are that it's a long way from the conveniences of the city, and a long way from my friends. Although, to be honest I worry that being married and soon becoming a father kind of does that anyway, although I know that's mostly because I haven't been making an effort. Hopefully with things settling down at least for the next 6 months (a regular 9:30-6pm job does wonders for the stability of your week) it should be easier for me to make time to catch up with people.

Other than all that, the biggest events of the last 6 months were (in reverse chronological order): I finally graduated from university, with Computer Engineering with Honours, Science with majors in Mathematics and Computer Science, and a Graduate Diploma of Education; Jacqui and I went on a two week road-trip on my motorbike, which was unfortunately cut short by a few days due to the bush fires; Jacqui got a new job doing youth outreach through the Salvation Army; and Jacqui had a close call with a gangrenous appendix.

So, that's what I've been up to lately, hopefully from now I'll find the time to post more regularly.

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Date:2006-10-22 14:11
Subject:Endeavour 2006
Mood: busy

Gosh things have been busy the last few months, and the least of it has been adjusting to married life. I ended up teaching classes for 3 different subjects, and being head tutor for two of them, as well as working flat out on my final year project. I think I'm probably reasonably prepared for full time work now, since I've basically been at uni from 9:30-6 most weekdays.

Weekends have all be packed, there was me having a fever, Jacqui having appendicitis, my sister getting married, my parents coming to visit, visiting Jacqui's parents...

And the busy-ness hasn't abated yet, although it's getting close, with only 2 weeks of University left for me, ever (for now at least). I graduate at the end of this year, who knows what next year will bring.

Anyway, the whole point of all this is to let you know that Endeavour 2006, the engineering faculties big shindig, showing off all the final year projects, is on next Tuesday from 10am till 4pm. If you'd like to see what I've been up to this last few months, that'd be the time to see it (in fact your only chance).

Hope to see you there.

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Date:2006-07-10 20:27
Subject:Bucks Night
Mood: rushed

sallyslicer, my Best Woman (or groomsmaid or something), is organising a more traditional bucks night for this Thursday. The last pub outing where I don't have to pretend it was a late work meeting :)

Subject:  a pub nite to end all pub nites

.. duane can attend as a single man..

duane is getting married on saturday!!  thursday night is our last
chance to talk him out of it!

and our best weapon for that is beer!

i imagine cockman's is a good starting point, and from there.. we can
head on to a suitably ill reputed etablissment (i'm envisioning the
cue but am open to suggestions)

soo.. cockmans at 6.30/7pm thurs night ???

cockmans of course referring to The Corkman, where the engagement party was held.

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Date:2006-07-03 10:46
Subject:The End of Bachelorhood

I propose and adventure: WLA, Trampoline, Renaissance.

This coming Saturday (8th) is the last Saturday on which I will be a bachelor, and so I am planning to mourn the loss of my-life-as-I-know-it, and would love it if you could all join me.

The plan is to meet at Wing Loongs for dinner at 5:15, followed by dessert at Trampoline or that Gelati store on Lygon St, with a leisurely stroll to Cinema Nova to catch the 7:25 screening1 of Renaissance.

Who's with me?

1) Assuming the session times are the same next week, I'll confirm later

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Date:2006-06-20 00:27
Subject:Wedding Progress
Mood: excited

Hmm... so, I haven't posted properly since before the engagement party... time does weird things when your busy all the time. The engagement party was great, thanks to everyone who came.

The speech moment was rather awkward, more than anything else because I'd spoken to Jacqui that I didn't want to do a speech that night and she'd told her father, and then he decided to dump me in it. He's pretty keen for speeches, so I don't know if he just got carried away or if he hoped I'd get into it anyway. I'm not so good at thinking on my feet though, I tend to pause to think, get self-conscious about pausing, and then end up unable to think. For some reason this doesn't happen when I'm teaching though, I think because I get so engrossed in the thinking that I don't get self-conscious... I think all in all it went ok though. (do you think maybe I like the word think, there were rather a lot in that last sentence)

I can't even remember what's happened since then, it's all kind of blurred together.

Jacqui and I have started applying for places to live once we're married. The one I'm currently keen on is a huge (old) top floor apartment on Dandy road in Caulfield North... It's the best location and the best actual place I think out of all that we've looked at so far, so I'm pretty keen. Hopefully we'll hear back in the next few days.

We've arranged for one of the pastors from Jacqui's parish to marry us, and part of the deal with having a minister seems to be that you do a pre-marriage counselling course. We had our first meeting for that the other day, which basically involved filling out a questionnaire, which will be processed and the results given back to us at a later session. The questionnaire was actually much better than I thought it would be, just the questions themselves made me think a fair bit about our relationship and my part in it, so that was pretty cool.

Went to a bridal expo on Sunday, and it was totally crap, a real waste of money. I was hoping to find a good deal for getting my suit, but it was basically just businesses shoving glossy brochures in your hands saying to come to their store. Also, the catwalk models were really scary... bags of bones that for some reason reminded me of Cruella DeVille. Although the catwalk blokes were hilarious, really really funny. They had such serious expressions, I wanted to pull funny faces at them and try to make them laugh.

After that disaster, we (Jacqui, sallyslicer, SWALJ and I) decided to just head into Myer's suit store in the city to buy something there. That was an excellent experience, the service was really good, the saleswoman I had was professional, knowledgeable and helpful, and the suit is really nice. Better yet, the price wasn't any more than a formal suit from anywhere else, and really quite good when comparing the quality to the quality/price of a Roger David suit.

I've bought my wedding suit now :D And I reckon I look pretty good in it too. For some reason it's one of the big things that makes the day seem very real now, I think because now I know what I'm going to look like, I can put myself into the wedding that's been playing over and over in my head for the last few weeks.

Like, a bizillion other things have happened too, but I'm going to bed, so it'll have to wait until next time.

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Date:2006-06-01 10:49
Subject:Live Coda Challenge
Mood: pleased

Well, they ended up using our final time, rather than the time for our first solution, but we still came second. Even then, we only missed first place by 20 seconds, so that rocked. And there's prize money, which I'll pick up tomorrow afternoon. :)

Everything else is going fairly well, managed to find my birth certificate this morning, after almost giving up last night, so that's good... it'll make official type paperwork easier to do, which is important. I've managed to get most of my uni work out of the way, so I can focus on doing wedding prep stuff, and paid work (which is important to pay for said wedding). All in all I think I have a very productive 2 months ahead of me, which will be good.

Engagement party this Saturday. Looking forward to it, and catching up with people I haven't seen in a while, and friends of Jacqui's I haven't met yet.

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Date:2006-05-27 12:25
Subject:It's been an action packed fortnight.
Mood: excited

Wow, all this planning stuff takes some time, but things are going along really well. The engagement party venue is booked, and I've sent out invitations (albeit by email) to most people (if you haven't got one, chances are I've got an out of date email address for you, can you email at the address on my userinfo page). That's all going well.

Wedding planning stuff is also going well. We went to a bridal fair last weekend which was interesting, and last Wednesday morning we booked the wedding venue, and the date is set. July 15th... yes, this year. It's surprising how many people do a double take when you tell them you're planning to have a wedding in under two months, but there doesn't seem to have been any hitches yet. It's off-peak season for weddings, and so everything we've wanted so far has been available. And no, there's no dirty secret as to why it's so soon, it's just the time that is most convenient and suits the most people.

Wednesday night I competed, together with lovely2 and MW-WALJ, in a programming competition called Live-Coda run by someone at the CS department. It was in a trendy bar in the city with cool electronic music (at least until about 10pm when some crap rapper type people started up), and it was an extreme programming (up to 4 people working on one code file) competition where we had to solve a problem as fast as possible, under 10 minutes. We rocked so hard... :D

The code teams had to write on the evening had to take an image that had colour inversion, channels swapped or channels flipped vertically and correct the image. The choice of language was open, and since our team was made up of people who have been correcting student's C code for years, we chose to go with C. The average team seemed to struggle to get code to even compile in under 10 minutes. We had the problem solved in 3:26, 2 minutes faster than the next fastest team. Unfortunately, there's some contention about our solution, because the image we had been provided with had been pre-processed before the competition, and so the computer didn't register our 3:26 solution as solved. It took us another 3 minutes to get a solution that the computer was happy with. We're still waiting on the judge's decision for which time to use.

I've always been hesitant to enter programming competitions because I was worried that I'd find that my confidence in my abilities was all delusional. It was nice to go in and come away with the reassurance that we are all actually pretty good at what we do. :) go us.

There are other things that are super exciting too... I should make more posts, but generally everything in my life seems to be going better than I ever could have wished for. Well, except I've come down with something and lost my voice. I think it's mostly stress related to do with assignments being due and wedding planning and the late night shouting at people in a bar didn't help it. Hopefully it clears up soon.

Oh, the other exciting thing that I have to comment on, it seems quite likely that by the end of next semester I should have a job with the engineering faculty where they will pay me to do exactly what I want to do. My dream job. That's pretty cool too, but I'll wait until things are more certain.

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Date:2006-05-17 23:07
Subject:Engagement party planning...

Hey, just a quick callout to people... we're looking for a good venue to hold our engagement party, but the internet isn't being particularly forthcoming... if anyone has any recommendations they'd be greatly appreciated.

We're after something like a pub where we can book out a level or a room or something, aiming for about 100-150 people with fingerfood etc, and it not costing the earth.

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Date:2006-05-15 10:20
Subject:So I haven't updated in a while... and then something happened...
Mood: ecstatic

She said YES... :D

hehe... :D I'm grinning like an idiot.

Apparently like her whole family were expecting it... in fact, her parents were wondering if we had already and were keeping it secret...

It's so exciting... I could pop... :D

Oh, and keep the night of the 3rd of June free.


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Date:2006-04-11 16:40
Subject:And the quarter century rolls on by...
Mood: busy

Last Friday I crossed the quarter-century mark... I'm getting old. Things have been crazy busy over the last few weeks, and quite a lot has happened.

I dropped out of Modern Literature, because I don't have enough background knowledge, and wasn't going to be able to read enough material to get up to speed for it. I took up Non-Classical Logic instead, which I feel much better about, and while I'm still a long way behind (I didn't get into the subject until the end of the third week) it's more my thing, and I'm finding it challenging but fulfilling.

Functional Programming is interesting, and I'm liking Haskell more the more I learn about it. There was an assignment due yesterday, 2000 words but only worth 12%, so I decided I'd rather take the time to try and get on top of everything else. I still did the reading and some of the research required for the assignment though, so I have some idea what it was about. I'm just not so interested in marks anymore, and am happy enough to have the knowledge.

The 4th year project is going fairly well. I ordered the parts and they arrived in under a week (although one part got stuck in the university's internal mail for a week on top of that) and my supervisor was happy to cover the amount we were over budget by out of her personal research grant, which is cool. The only problem is that now I really have to start doing some work. Details of the project as they become available are being noted at this site.

On the work front, being head tutor is a lot of work, but I definitely feel like I'm learning a lot about it, and that it'll get much easier as I get more experienced. The last few weeks have been crazy with one assignment being submitted and another handed out (and that coinciding with two of my own assignments being due). I've also got work at one of the residential colleges on campus, and teach from the highest room in the central tower of a sandstone castle, which is pretty cool. I've also got work converting the computer science departments webpages into a form acceptable to their new CMS, as well as an offer of programming work on some teaching aids used in computer science. All up I've really got more work than I've got time to do, but it's good because most of it is flexible enough that they're willing to wait for me to have time to do it.

Finally got around to stripping the damaged parts off my bike today, and it didn't take as long as I expected, and the damage was all up less severe than I had thought it would be, so that's all good. My parents came down briefly on their way to Tasmania to go riding/camping for 4 weeks, and they saw the state of the bike, and after some discussion mum got over it and told me she's got plenty of spare parts I can have to fix up my bike, so the accident damage should all be repaired in the next 2-3 weeks. The engine wear I'm hoping to have a go at fixing in the mid-year break, and mum has the parts I need for that too, so it's all good. Fixing up the bike was actually really good today, it was productive and left me feeling happy. I even took it for a spin around the block and man did it feel good, it even kicked over first time and sounded happy to be running again. I've really missed riding it.

With life and love things are going well. I sometimes worry that I'm being a fool and the eternal optimist, but I think things are going really well with Jacqui and I. I spend inordinate amounts of time with her, and have met a fairly large proportion of her extended family, and they all seem to like me, which is good. There's plenty more going on in my mind, but it will have to wait until another day. On Thursday, Jacqui and I are driving up to Canberra to spend some time with my family this Easter, and so she can visit friends of hers that live in Sydney, and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm a little bit worried about the amount of work that is going to follow me up there.

I found a copy of Tom Robbin's "Still Life With Woodpecker" a few weeks ago in a second hand bookshop, and my life is complete.

Oh, and I'm going to be an uncle soon.

"We always believe our first love is our last, and our last love our first." -- Anonymous

"Beauty is not in the face; Beauty is a light in the heart." -- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

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Date:2006-03-28 02:46
Subject:Stupid software companies
Mood: productive

Lots of stuff has happened since my last post, so there's a whole lot more I should write right about now, but since I've just fixed the game I wanted to play I'm going to go and play it. But first a story about the game.

I bought a copy of Commandos 2 and 3 about a week ago, because it looked like an interesting game and I'm pretty sure harkon has recommended it to me in the past. The only problem was that when I installed it it wouldn't run on my system.

Now I've run into this problem in the past, and it's usually due to the fact that as of OS X Tiger, a case-sensitive file system is one of the install options, and one that I chose because I do a lot of unix type stuff, but it's led to a few problems with software which is poorly written. Commandos happens to be one of these programs.

I emailed their support team and got a response to the effect that case-sensitive file-systems are non-standard, and aren't, nor will they ever be, supported. I should reformat my hard drive if I want to play their game.

20 minutes later, armed with a program called 'strings', a handy text editor (vim in my case) and a short shell script that I wrote myself, and the program is running happily. I don't know why the couldn't do that themselves, and release it as a patch. Maybe I can talk them into paying me to write patches for the rest of their software.

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Date:2006-02-28 18:15
Subject:That Image...
Mood: exhausted

Yesterday I got back from a weekend away at Tawonga with Jacqui, and it was an amazing weekend. I've actually been trying to figure out how to write about it for a while, without much luck, mainly because when I try to think about it my head gets all clouded and my chest gets tight and stuff.

There are certain moments in your life that serve as a real wake-up call, and make you re-evaluate the things you're doing in your life. Seeing Jacqui, the woman I love, trapped with her leg pinned under the side of my bike, was one of those moments. It's left me with a tremendously powerful image that I'm going to have with me for the rest of my life, and that carries with it powerful emotions. Before I go any further, I should mention that no one was badly hurt, beyond a little bruising, and we made it back to Melbourne Ok, just a day later than we had planned.

It really puts things into perspective in a powerful way: most importantly, I think, that I can't really afford to be young and reckless anymore, in any aspect of my life. I've spent too long as a student maybe, and I'm used to the carefree lifestyle, but I think it's more that part of me is afraid to be responsible and make choices about what to do with my life so I just drift through living moment to moment. I used to think there was more freedom in that style of living, but I think it's really just that it's more dynamic (and less stable), not that there's really any more freedom -- you're bound in different ways.

There's a lot more going on in my head, but I just can't pin it down firmly enough to write it out. I do know that that image in my mind is doing an amazing job of helping me straighten out my priorities.

Huh. I had imagined writing something eloquent and moving for this entry, I've even got bits of it floating around in my mind. Maybe when my mind clears well enough I'll write that entry, and post it here as well.

That image: Jacqui lying on the road, on her back, her left leg underneath the pannier on my bike. My bike part way underneath a caravan. Petrol dribbling out of the fuel tank. Her eyes, looking through the visor straight into mine. Her eyes showing only calm and the slightest bit of concern.

Through all this I think our relationship has come out even stronger than ever. Quite the adventurous two month anniversary, certainly one neither of us will ever forget. So much to write about, if only some of it would sit still for long enough for me to get it out.

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Date:2006-02-23 15:29
Subject:Ok, I have to post something good now...

It's been a while since I've actually made a post of substance. The last few have been rants, which doesn't reflect my usual state since I'm usually too happy to bother posting.

Things have been going really well with Jacqui. So far we've spent the last two weekends travelling around Victoria on my bike, first to bonesinger's engagement party in Heathcote, and then to visit Jacqui's aunt just past Geelong, and to visit the Hare Krsna farm out in Winchelsea (which was nice enough, but I don't think I'd go again).

This coming weekend we're planning to go camping in Bright. I would be excited about it but I haven't really thought about it at all... in fact, I keep wondering what I'm going to do with my weekend and then remembering that I've already got plans. Not sure why that is, I think it's the impending uni-ness coming on.

Uni stuff has been going really well too, actually. Two people took interest in the project I had proposed, and they're both eager, enthusiastic and motivated, and actually have experience working together and on a similar project, and their backgrounds are appropriate. I couldn't have hoped for better partners on the project. I was so sure I wouldn't get any partners, or any decent ones at least, given that my project missed the listing for first round offers, so this is a very pleasant surprise.

The head tutor stuff is still a bit up in the air. Linda (the lecturer) is quite busy with other things this semester, and I don't know enough about what's going on to know really what I should be doing (I've already done a fair bit of work, but feel I should be doing more), so I'm focussing on my project for now so I can free up some time when she needs me. Hopefully it should become clearer exactly what's involved when I go to the training day tomorrow. I didn't get any extra tutoring like I hoped, but strangely no one else I know seems to have either, so none of us are sure who's actually doing the tutoring.

Gentoo is as painful as I remember linux being, but it's giving me the experience I want and need, so I'll forgive it.

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