May 9th, 2006

Lyndel's Slanket
Nice and warm!

Happy Birthday Lyndel

May 3rd, 2006

I’d been eyeing off those slankets for a while now. They’re pretty expensive for what they are, but they would make a perfect gift for Lyndel.

Add to this the fact that their website has had the status of sold out for a few weeks now and there wasn’t much choice left. I made her one. Sure it’s not a big as an official slanket, probably not as thick or warm, but Lyndel likes it.
Everyone was asking what she got for her birthday and got blank looks when she said “slanket”. Admittedly, she forgot the word and called it a Jumpet (cross between a jumper and a blanket) all day, but that still warranted an explaination too.

$10 down, 30 minutes of sewing on my parents’ sewing machine and hey presto, a slanket!
I’ll try and post a picture shortly.


May 1st, 2006

Tremulous "Dretch"Having recently moved over to linux full time again (from my iBook), I was in need of a decent game. Solitare, minesweeper and tetris clones are only fun for so long. Then there’s Frozen Bubble and LBreakout2, both great games but I needed a little more action.

Enter Tremulous. A fast paced multiplayer team death match. Built on the Quake 3 engine with a twist, one team are aliens. Add in some RTS elements such as buildings and a leveling system and you have a very sweet game!

The learning curve is a little steep, with no tutorial mode in the traditional sense (there is a manual). You’re just launched into a regular game to fend for yourself.

The game’s also available for Windows, being build on the quake engine. Grab a copy from any of the mirrors and I’ll see you online (username: Guard952).

Summary from the site:

Tremulous is a free, open source game that blends a team based FPS with elements of an RTS. Players can choose from 2 unique races, aliens and humans. Players on both teams are able to build working structures in-game like an RTS. These structures provide many functions, the most important being spawning. The designated builders must ensure there are spawn structures or other players will not be able to rejoin the game after death. Other structures provide automated base defense (to some degree), healing functions and much more…

Player advancement is different depending on which team you are on. As a human, players are rewarded with credits for each alien kill. These credits may be used to purchase new weapons and upgrades from the “Armoury”. The alien team advances quite differently. Upon killing a human foe, the alien is able to evolve into a new class. The more kills gained the more powerful the classes available.

The overall objective behind Tremulous is to eliminate the opposing team. This is achieved by not only killing the opposing players but also removing their ability to respawn by destroying their spawn structures.


April 26th, 2006

I forget to try and fix my car on the public holiday yesterday. Most of the shops would’ve been closed anyway, but as least I could’ve worked out what was wrong - it was either the battery or the alternator.

I called the NRMA (roadside assistance) around six am and told that help would arrive within the hour. A car arrived about 6:40 and diagnosed the problem as a dead battery. It was charging at 14.5 Volts when the engine was running, but not holding any charge at all. A new battery was needed.

This NRMA guy called for a (NRMA) battery guy and headed off, saying it’d be another hour.
He was right. Around 7:40 the battery guy arrives and does his thing - $109 for a battery.

A whole bunch of police pull up too, four uniform and a plain clothes detective. They’re looking for our neighbour again, they were here about a week or two ago. They leave soon after, I don’t think they found him.

The Broken Car

April 19th, 2006

The car’s broken again. I’m kinda getting sick of it. This time the battery’s not holding charge. Each morning it just doesn’t start.

I Jumped it yesterday and it was fine, but this morning it didn’t want to start even with the jumper cables. There were lots of sparks when I connected the leads (meaning the battery was really flat. I even burnt my finger doing it.

Welcome Back to Uni

February 22nd, 2006

Of course, the first week back at uni just wouldn’t be complete without at least one class being changed without notice. I’m sure they’ve done it every year to me now. I plan out my timetable the week before uni starts to get everything sorted out with time off work and then it changes during the first week.

My first lecture was on Monday at 3:30pm. I arrived, waited around half an hour with a dozen or so other students then went to find out why we didn’t have a lecturer. It turns out that the monday class in on in the second half of the semester - but no one told us. The lecture was actually on Wednesday mornings, 9:30 ’til 11:30. More time I’d have to make up with work.

Uni went relatively smoothly on Tuesday, except that I had to pick up some components for a lab. These could only be picked up at time when I was in a lecture, I got them at lunch time with a serve of “it’s our lunch break, you know!”

Wednesday came I check for online messages just incase something’s changed - nothing. I went to park close to the room for the 9:30 lecture but I was told there was only 1 hour parking so I’d have to park on the other side of the uni. Off I go, park and run back across campus. I get to the door and there’s a sign saying the class is back across campus from 10:30 ’til 12:30.

Getting to this second room, I wait an hour and the class fills the room. I notice a pile of papers on the desk saying our lecture has now moved again, with a phone number at the bottom. I call the number and confirm this room and we trek back across campus again.

We were wondering whether we’d get marks for just finding the class.

sarcasm: It’s great to be back.

Do You Have Your Exit Buddy

February 11th, 2006

I’ve been playing some video games with my Nintendo Buddy, Trent, and he’d showed me some of the ROMs of old NES and SNES games he has. Ah, no school like the old school.NES Controller He’s bought a cheap USB controller for playing them and I was gonna get one too so we can play Mario and stuff together, but I haven’t really found anything I’ve liked. I still like the idea of taking an old NES controller and modding it for USB compatibility - there’s a how-to and everything.

Getting Glasses

February 11th, 2006

Yeah, I’m getting them. They’re going to help my focussing from looking at books to looking up at the screen / lecturer at uni. They’re going to cost a few hundred dollars even after the health benefits and family discount Lyndel gets.

After working back some 8 hours last night I earned enough in overtime pay to cover the glasses. Nice, but I’m pretty buggered now.

Lyndel’s Education

February 3rd, 2006

It has been an eventful week. Especially for Lyndel’s plans for the next twelve months.

Previously, she had been accepted into a Diploma of Education at Wollongong University, a one year post-graduate course to qualify her to be a primary school teacher, openning doors into school councilling. She declined that offer, as she had since been accepted into a Certificate Four in Christian Councelling course with St Mark’s National Theological College.

On Monday Lyndel received a phone call saying that the Councelling course wouldn’t be held at the nearest campus (40 minutes away), but a different campus (3.5 hours train ride away) due to a lack of numbers.

Lyndel continued to pursue this option until it was discovered that she would be missing too much of the course due to our trip to Canada, and would not qualify to graduate. So she withdrew from that course.

Then she called up the Uni again, to see whether she could re-enroll in the Dip. Ed. she had been accepted in, and it turned out she hadn’t been unenrolled to begin with.

So Lyndel will be spending the year back at Uni doing her Diploma of Education.

Ready for Canada

January 30th, 2006

We’ve got our flights booked in. Mid June ’til mid July. Unfortunately we don’t have much time to see the rest of the world. Just a quick stop in Hawaii to wait for the connecting flight.

With my only experience of international travel being a family holiday to England / France in 1999, and Lyndel never having left the country we’re both pretty excited!

Erin & Joel’s wedding will be loads of fun, especially catching up in person after losing touch a bit when in different countries. I’m still being a video guy, but I’m using someone else’s (professional) equipment ;)

We’ve got plans to see the Niagra Falls, a bit of Quebec and Canada’s capital and maybe New York. Any other suggestions?