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46 responses to “Lazy Monday”

  1. Paul Norton

    I had a pre-Christmas holiday in Wooli.

  2. paul burns

    Finished watching the Harry Potter movies. (all 8 of them)
    Dipped into books here and there in my library. Couldn’t watch Miss Marple right through; it was too scary.
    Also did a lot of sleeping.

  3. Moz of Yarramulla

    My lazy monday has been mostly discovering that my internet is having a lazy monday, making it hard to get any work done. And someone has turned off a server in the office that I was counting on having access to. So instead I’m downloading a 1.7GB file from the machine I can reach (7zip of lots of stuff, in 100MB chunks in case it fails). The office is locked, the burglar alarm is on, and the people with access are not responding to phone calls (very sensibly, it’s not as if they’re working. But it would be handy, you know).

    I’m being vaguely productive anyway, despite the added distraction of a big box of Lego that arrived this morning. Now I’ve knocked off for the day I can enjoy the big Technic race car I got for me.

  4. paul burns

    One of the books I ordered from UK turned up as a talking book, not a printed book. Grrr. e-mail negotiations to mail the useless piece of technology back etc. At least, once I’ve sent it back I’ll get a refund, and hopefully, cost of postage.
    Still, I have another book coming tomorrow and I am now reading R. H. Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast and quite enjoying it. Wasn’t in the mood when I started it months ago.

  5. Chris

    Moz @ 3 – if you don’t already know about it, rsync is your friend for large copies over unreliable and slow links. No need to zip anything up into chunks whether it be one giant file or lots of them, and it very efficiently works out what has already been copied if the connection fails midway. Also no chance (in practice) of any file corruption due to dropped connections.

  6. Moz of Yarramulla

    Chris: normally, yes. But due to reasons the only connection I have is Teamviewer, so I’m reduced to using the file copy in that. Whoever turned stuff off missed my secret extra reserve connection machine, which is running Windows and TeamViewer. If I could use rsync, or even better, ssh directly to the linux VM I’m actually after, I’d be happy. But I’m running a backup of that machine on the windows machine that is the only thing in the office that I can connect to. I’m almost ready to build a little RC robot that can infiltrate the office and turn on the things I need :)

  7. Chris

    Moz – yea a little robot in machine rooms that can press on/off/reset buttons would be very useful for when things go pear shaped!

  8. jungney

    Tuesday, with rain and a cool change here in Drastic; what a relief!

    I’ve been enjoying the local copper’s column in the Drastic Times, ‘On The Beat with Barker Jones’, immensely. He has Something of Dicken’s eye for absurd and ridiculous human behaviour and writes with admirable brevity. Last week there were numerous firearms offences; the outstanding offence involved a man being granted an AVO against a woman who, when Barker served her, was arrested for being in possession of two long barrel weapons and one shortened shottie. Noice. Then there was the young bloke who tried to drink the beer that Barker had emptied into the gutter, from the gutter.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up, as they say in the classics.

    I’ve been rereading Hardy’s ‘Tales of Billy Borker’ and trying to track down footage from that old teev that hardy did with Cyril Pearl, Jackie Weaver and Nolelene Brown. Can anyone remember the name of it?

    I’m looking forward to the SBS series ‘Persons of Interest’ about ASIO surveillance of the left. I’ve a project to retrieve such elements of my file as are now available at the National Library where they are deposited as at the expiry of the ban on disclosure. The shorts show footage of Gary Foley in the 70′s; he was fun then and still is now.

    Also today I fixed the windscreen wiper on my newly purchased, heavily used Land Rover by reattaching the wiper blade with a piece of wire. I really love the fixability of older vehicles.

  9. Mahaut1329

    Paul Burns #2
    I stopped watching Miss Marple also. Maybe for the first time, I just didn’t like it. I will check the end on Iview. I have an idea of what is to come so I must have a long time ago read the book on which it is based.

  10. Ootz

    Moz and Chris, how about a raspberry pi robot with wifi dongle, which could be deployed via a small drone, if needed?

  11. paul burns

    Had a bit of a fall (on carpet) last night, left me breathless on the floor for a few minutes – so does making a cup of coffee almost, so its nothing to worry about. Might have a mild sprain in a finger on my right hand. We’ll see. Anyway I’m okay, I think, nothing broken.

    I intend to make myself a Xmas salad for Xmas dinner.
    Some slices of Xmas ham, asparagus, sliced tomato, a variety of slices from good quality cheeses, gherkins, pickled onion, stuffed olives, artichoke hearts,some apple sauce on the ham, corn relish on the tomato. All washed down with lemon/lime flavoured mineral water.

    Happy Xmas, Summer Solstice etc etc to all Lp-ers.
    Hope you all have a good one.

  12. jungney

    The Strapper and I went to see Elvis perform at the bottom pub last night. Yep, back from the dead again. Anyway, while waiting for The Strapper to be released from the emergemcy department (yep, Elvis at the bottom pub was real cool) I found and thought I’d share PolicyMic’s top feminist moments of 3013. Top stuff. Season’s greetings.

  13. David Irving (no relation)

    Look after yourself, pb.

  14. paul burns

    DI (nr),
    Much thanks. Made myself a nice Xmas lunch, though without the artichokes and olives. The plate was too full. Pigging out on Camembert cheese now, (my favourite,) and resting.

  15. Paul Norton

    Jungney @8, the program with Frank Hardy et al was called “Would You Believe?”.

  16. paul burns

    Got a visit from a friend which I wasn’t really expecting until tomorrow.
    For presents got 2 large T-shirts, which I need, and a little toy dog which looks like my old chihuahua. (He’s following me around the house.)

  17. Graham Bell

    Paul Burns @ 11:
    Same to you with brass knobs on :-) Sounds like you ate better than those on the so-called A-List.

    b.t.w., do you have any vertical handrails down to floor level at your place or anything that is an inclined plane that you can get to if you have another fall?

  18. Graham Bell

    Gentlefolk:
    A young friend brought his DVD of “Housos” to watch with us on Christmas Eve. Like the series “Pizza” (which was not only politically correct but Bobo’s attitudes seem to have formed the basis for the Howard government’s industrial relations policy), “Housos” is full of swearing, drugs, sexual references, normalization of criminal behaviour …. and biting satire.

    It made me wonder though, just where there is a boundary between comedy on one hand and Aussie-bashing racism and negative stereotyping on the other. Why are Australians (whether native-born or migrants) in the “Lower Socio-Economic” class exempt from the protections of anti-discrimination laws and mainstream public opinion?

    No, I don’t want Paul Fenech and the rest of the brilliant crew subjected to a witch-hunt …. but I couldn’t help wondering about the underlying purposes and future directions of such an exemption.

  19. Brian

    We had a cat emergency at our place tonight. We have a visiting cat called Selkie, who really belongs to a house a couple of doors up. Selkie spends most of her time at our place, we believe to escape the young triplets. Selkie was originally found on a beach and, oddly, likes to drink out of our swimming pool. We do provide fresh water in a bowl, but no food.

    Tonight Selkie was yowelling on the driveway at the side of the house. Upon investigation, there was a large carpet python draped over the neighbour’s fence.

    This time we took her inside. For mine, though, she was showing too much interest and not enough fear, so I am worrying whether her commuting will be safe or whether she will end up a bulge in the tum.

  20. paul burns

    A very lucky cat, Brian.

  21. paul burns

    GB @ 17,
    I have rails in the shower.
    Most of the floor except for the kitchen is carpeted and I’m usually close enough to some piece of furniture to grab onto if I stumble, or pull myself up on.
    I’ve been tripping over myself with the cerebral palsy ever since I could walk, and am used to picking myself up and keeping on going. Apart from a couple of sprains, I’ve been lucky, but I am getting older so I’ve just to learn to move even more slowly. (I move at the pace of a tortoise most of the time).

  22. Graham Bell

    Thanks Paul Burns. Your 21 makes me feel a bit easier. Your 20 didn’t! Heard of pythons devouring children and of crushing then failing to devour an adult. If every I go to the backblocks of Kerela, I promise I will be abstinent, temperant and downright sober. Gee, I thought the only dangerous things in Kerala were eating a spicy, scorch-the-glazing-off-the-plate curry or being caught in a five-hour-long political discussion with the local champion debater.

  23. Terangeree

    That particular python has spent the last few years travelling the world swallowing people in various countries.

  24. Brian

    Heavens to Betsy, man, I must remember not to sleep on the street if travelling in Kerala!

  25. Graham Bell

    Thanks Terangaree, wonder if the picture as digitally enhanced or if the python was able to redeem frequent flyer points. Wonder, too, how the apparently undamaged python came to be on the back of a ute in that position. :-)

  26. David Irving (no relation)

    A globe-trotting, man-eating python, Terangeree? IS NOWHERE SAFE!!!!!111!!!eleven!

  27. paul burns

    What I want to know is who is helping the python with his transport, assuming it is a he. It could be a she.

  28. Paul Norton

    We have had a chicken tragedy yesterday and overnight – a fatal case of egg yolk peritonitis.

  29. Paul Norton

    There is a serious issue here. Can anyone give me a tip for a guide of some sort that enables early identification of chicken ailments, and possible cures, from visible symptoms?

  30. David Irving (no relation)

    Jacqui French’s chook book is pretty good, Paul.

  31. Tim Macknay

    I second DI(NR)’s recommendation of Jacqui French’s book.

    One of the troubles with chooks is that they often don’t show visible symptoms of illness until it’s too late for effective treatment. I’ve lost a couple of chooks in recent months – one from a tumour, who didn’t show any signs of illness until it was too late, and another who literally dropped off the perch in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.

    In general if a chook isn’t moving around as much as usual, doesn’t seem to be eating as much as usual, and her eyes are duller rather than bright and black, it’s a sign of illness.

  32. Moz of Yarramulla

    Ootz (& Chris): building one would be relatively easy. I have supplies of both Lego and metal, a welder and a workshop, plus a lot of assorted mostly arduino hardware. Although for this I’d be tempted to KISS and use a roll of cat5 sitting on the robot and 10Mbits networking just because server rooms tend to be unfriendly to modern electronics. Plus the one at work is basically in a lift shaft so I suspect there’s steel reinforcing mesh in the walls, which may make getting RF through it interesting. Perhaps GHz might be better. Hmm.

    FWIW I work in a security-conscious industry, hence the concrete box housing the servers, and would likely get fired for trying this. Maybe I will try selling a penetration test to my boss and do it on the clock instead :)

    Now you’d got me thinking about this, dammit.

  33. mindy

    Paul N this is a good series just for info about chooks generally. There is also More Chook Wisdom and Even More Chook Wisdom.

  34. Ootz

    Moz, the miniaturation of power and functionality in the Rapsberry Pi as well as the versatility and connectivity of arduino boards are remarkable. Nevermind combining the two using Python (not the man and chook eating type), I am convinced it will bring on a new gadget revolution. Almost regret that I gave my soldering iron and work shop away 2 decades ago. Not sure about your cat5 tail for communication. It would be neater, to spider like, produce ultra thin glass fiber as it goes and include an ability to splice for reconnection.

  35. Moz of Yarramulla

    Ootz: not sure how to get power down the fibre. All the solutions I’ve seen are very low-power as well as inefficient.

    But yes, the new toys are so much more powerful than old school ones. The amount of computing power is almost a joke. And my housemate just got a PiBrick and is now shopping for Lego to go with it. It’s very cool

  36. Ootz

    Moz, I was thinking of a battery pack and, kind of like those robot vacuum cleaners, program it so it docks itself onto available 240V outlets for a quick recharge.

    That PiBrick looks like fun. It should be able to smartly drive an ant inspired hexapod robot with a pair of hands while controlled via smartphone.

  37. Graham Bell

    Gentlefolk:
    Just listened to a rebroadcast of a writers’ festival discussion on the drinking culture (it will be re-repeated) http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bestoffestivals/cheers-mate/5082852 Sounds like the biggest problem is intense peer-pressure to get smashed out of one’s mind.

    Ootz, Moz et al:
    Didn’t quite understand what you were talking about – but you’ve roused my curiosity now. Will go looking around. Thanks :-)

  38. paul burns

    Meanwhile, I’m 3 and a bit chapters into Margaret MacMillan’s very thick The War that ended Peace. I’ll stick my neck out already and say it is one of the best histories I will read in 2014. I’m so impressed I’m going to order her book on the Paris Peace Conference, Peacemakers, which has been similarly acclaimed and won the Samuel Johnson Prize for 2002.

  39. paul burns

    PS. The War that ended Peace is about the lead up to WW1, one of many books that will be out on the topic I suspect.

  40. Mahaut1329

    Paul Burns #39 I have read the intro to War that ended Peace and agree it is good.

    David Reynold’s Long Shadow about the aftermath of WWI is interesting but even though he said he would write about other European countries (and he does to some extent) he still leans heavily on British experience. He does have new insights, thankfully. All this writing on WWI is bound to turn up a new consensus.
    Reynolds among others has said that there was a flip in interpretation at the 50th anniversary which was just when history from below was coming into vogue.

  41. paul burns

    Mahaut1329,
    Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers blames it all on the Serbs and is excellent on the Baltic crises in particular, though he covers the whole gamut.
    I haven’t read any of the other recent books though I gather Niall Ferguson’s [? - have I got the author right - going from memory] version blames the Brits, and there is another recent book that blames the Germans.
    Still reading MacMillan with great delight.

  42. Mahaut1329

    Paul Burns #41
    I read Sleepwalkers early in the year and found Chris Clark very persuasive although I think an argument could be made that more than several men in several countries were not up to the task of the times. Frightening when you think of the lack of good leadership now.

    . I haven’t read Niall Ferguson’s book but have read that his book is coloured by his current euroscepticism. Not a positive comment.
    But the variety of writings will add to the quality of the debate. I look forward to it.
    I hope for some more books on the aftermath which is actually my area of interest.

  43. paul burns

    One could probably argue nobody was up to the task.
    (One of the scary things about MacMillan’s book is the very occasional comparison/similarity to what’s happening in the world today, and the realisation that those running the world are as second-rate as the leaders in the years up to 1914.)

  44. tigtog

    paul burns, I’m rereading Livy at the moment, and the scary thing is realising just how little has changed in the far from first-rate aspects of most of those running the world since Rome was founded.

  45. Mahaut1329

    #43, 44 Paul Burns and Tigtog.
    It is scary. We need more people like Angela Merkel – very intelligent, calm, measured and very determined – with values and goals

  46. paul burns

    tigtog,
    It is frightening. Though I sometimes get a strange mindset reading the classics, where I feel I’m reading about Liliputians or something. Though not so much with Livy – Thucydides and Plutarch really affect me that way. I’m planning to reread Josephus The Jewish War soon and if IIRC that left me feeling far removed as I read it. Though I am by no means disengaged in the reading, still feel for them all.