A journal of questionable quality

Friday, September 23, 2005

The great Orkut debate

It had to happen eventually. We finally get an invitation to join the mystical , described on the site as:
Orkut is an online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends.

We are committed to providing an online meeting place where people can socialize and make new acquaintances who share their interests.
Being essentially a closed, invitation only community, the interest in joining is immense—something I wasn't aware of until looking around the net at the amount of traffic the question of Orkut generates. Amazing.

Anyway, by fair means or foul, we managed to rate enough to get an invitation and subsequently joined the hallowed portals of Orkut.

What's it like? Well, it seems very much like , on steroids. There appears to be some 9 million members now, thousands of communities, covering any topic you can think of. That's about all I know right now, but it looks promising.

In the spirit of the people who are going to the trouble of supplying invitations to as many people as possible, find below a form for sending an invite request to me. Fill in the details, send it in and I will reciprocate with an invite.

This has to be for a limited time.
Orkut - the invitation
Your name:

Your email address:

Be aware, I am on holiday for the next two weeks. I should still be getting the mail on a daily basis, and will get the invites out as quickly as possible. There are a heap of other ways to get an invite - try Googling about and you will run into them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Crashed and burned

Punishment perhaps
The bike made another debut this week. It makes a lot of debuts that bike. Like an aging rocker the thing reinvents itself and off we go again.

Silly time to be doing things on bikes, what with school holidays causing children to infest almost all of the free space around the place, horrible little bastards.

Silly time to be doing it, knowing that Yvonne has holidays planned for the two weeks after school holidays and is therefore keeping a close eye on me least an obsession raise it's ugly head, and she knows the bike has the ability to do that.

I think I have been punished already, today in fact, while leaning down to adjust the gear selector thing, mind in neutral, self preservation skills parked up, I forgot I have cleats locking me into the pedals and simply stopped - and, as usual, unable to get my foot out in time I gracefully deposited myself on the footpath with bike still attached to me.

I'm not sure what I actually look like upside down with a bike poking out of my feet, but on reflection, I don't think it would have been too good a look.

Sorry bystanders.

Punishment - trust me. Scarred from the lesson too, losing enough skin off my ankle to cover a small child.

It's a message. Don't go getting obsessed this close to a holiday.

I heard it.

and... get over the idea of Flash
A wise man would look at the drama with the bike trying to punish me and apply it to just about anything I obsess about, and that's everything, including, I suspect, the idea that I should be pumping all manner of Flash video stuff out the door, to an adoring public.

Flash looks like getting parked for the duration too. I can only guess what would happen if I was to launch into a Flash frenzy this close to her holidays.

The screen would probably explode in my face, the mouse would try and electrocute me, anything could happen.

Flash, on the advice of my brain, will be taking the same holiday as the rest.

tow trucks will be out too
Lesson #1398 on how to make your life bearable. Do not get sentimental when you renew your smash license (towing). Do not hanker to hang out with the boys, talking shit and having a good time.

Not acceptable.

The ideal would be to have the renewal date as far removed form the holiday date as possible, all the better to get over the temporary “frown” of the lady who sees nothing good in tow trucks.

It's a bugger trying to keep on the straight and narrow I have to tell you.

Friday, September 16, 2005

so the week ended..

Made it. First week of school holidays - meaning the kids in care DON'T go to school - Yvonne has to find ways to amuse them, and that 'aint easy. Two weeks of school holidays and then we have two weeks of holidays without any of the bastards, not even Yvonne's.

Too good.

Looking good for the rest of the year now.

Colonoscopy out of the way for at least a year, Brackleberry Gully launched in “loose” beta, Tow license renewed, that vital little card that I must have, even if I haven't driven a for years, one of those “Bruce” things that I keep in case I get the urge to make a sudden move out of this lifestyle, everything settled again.

Yes, I do keep a towing license, and a license as well, both of which I have had for 25 years or so, both of which have provided me with some good times, good money, easy life.

Yes, I do keep them current. There is nothing more relaxing than knowing that should a job cause terminal distress there is an instant income one phone call away.

I am well aware that there are people among us who would find the whole idea of driving a cab or a tow truck rather “infra dig”, preferring, I presume, to starve for their art, smoking rollies, wearing sandals made of dead tyres. I am unable to be one of them. I prefer money. Things turn to shit here, I'm out and about, making money, doing a no brainer until times pick up again.

So, licenses renewed, acquaintances in the industry renewed, we are on track.

Holidays will see us still in the general area, day trips, getting some buggy time, getting some child free time, leaving the keyboard behind, leaving all the new, fun, video enhancements of behind.

Sounds good.

update mania strikes

it started with xp sp2
..and has no chance of stopping. It must be the update season. Every piece of software I own appears to have been re released with all sorts of new bells and whistles, things that no one will ever need, but the update is needed anyway, isn't it? Just to keep up. Just to stay with the pack.

and included Flash 8
I wasn't going to do it - I didn't even look at the emails inviting me to pay lots of money to update Flash MX Pro to .

Something must have happened to my head since the forced update of XP to simply to get around a few “issues” that had come up.

Way I saw it, anyone brave enough to voluntarily allow SP2 on a machine, and have it succeed, has carte blanche when it comes to updating anything else.

Hence Flash 8. Paid my money, got my download, installed, ran, fell in love. Simple. I spend over a year resisting buying the Flash Video Kit, luckily, because there it is in all it's glory, part of Flash 8. Stand back world we have one click ability to convert anything video into our preferred .FLV format for streaming. All skinable, just waiting for me to reinvent the wheel several times by producing “zoetrope skins”.

Happy citizen. For a while anyway.

Followed by Dreamweaver 8
It's tax deductible. It seemed a pity to have all this Flash goodness around and still have an MX version of . More money, more download, more install.

The first thing I notice, fresh from Flash, is the new ability to add Flash video directly into a page from within Dreamweaver, a task previously tackled by hand coding and a fair bit of luck.

The code layout has been made to look and act like the old Homesite, my favorite editor since smothered by . Makes it so much easier to get through those bitching times when you just have to do it by hand.

So pleased by all this I feel the urgent need to whack out a site just for the hell of it, but I am saved by the impending weekend which should find me busy with the cleaning contracts, far too busy to be at home as it's a “children at home” weekend.

It's amazing how busy I get when it's a “home weekend”.

Even new versions of Flash and Dreamweaver won't change that.

Monday, September 12, 2005

survived again..

one day of hell..
.. and it's all over. Managed to survive the prep, managed to survive no food, managed to get there, managed to get a good anesthetist who clearly understood the dangers of having me get anywhere near awake during the seriously uncomfortable process of getting a video camera jammed up my bum.

Lovely stuff, just what any homophobic man needs at least once every five years or so, just to appreciate the years when you don't get it done.

now try and survive Microsoft
The old machine has been running a bit rough. Seems to forget most of it's settings, most of the time. Explorer had developed all manner of strangeness - after about an hour of running it would suddenly push CPU usage up to 50% and stay there - causing the other two fans to boot in and make it sound like a 747-400 trying out for NASCAR.

Got used to Task Manager, kill Explorer, restart Explorer, and away we go for another hour.

Things started getting a bit more rattley during the week, to the point where I was spending more time backing up in case she blew, than doing actual work.

Fresh from Colonoscopy/Endoscopy, figured nothing as bad could happen for the rest of the year, I hooked up the auto update on XP and let it rip.

Must have missed a few patches - I am the man who maintains you should never fall for the idea of adding patch after patch, blah, blah....

Several nervous hours later, several hundred restore points later, we now have an SP2 version of XP Pro. I swore I would never get SP2 - believed all I read about what it would do, what I would lose, and then changed my mind and let this poor old thing have it.

Was it a good idea? I think it was, we seem to be booting up a bit quicker, seems a bit cleaner around the edges - remembers things like folder setting, sometimes even shows me thumbnails of images which is something it had forgotten how to do.

The bad? It gives you some seriously twisted rules in Internet Explorer. All day I've had to over ride a popup that is jamming local pages because they have javascript in them, and yet out in the wild, the real internet, it doesn't bother to do the same. Maybe it suspects me of being up to something at home?

The sheer amount of patches that it downloaded makes me wonder if they ever did any real testing of XP, or did they just let it loose on an unsuspecting public and hope for the best?

A colonoscopy and an XP update from Microsoft, all in one week - I'm brave, or foolish.

It's not every week you get to survive a colonoscopy and patches from Microsoft.

Hell, after that I reinstalled Norton the space eater, just to see if it would give me back a scan option on the right click menu, and it did.

My stars are in the right place or someone is watching over me because you just don't get that lucky all in one week.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Prepping blues

Time - variation
Colonoscopy/Endoscopy prep time. Wonderful 2 days just gone, with today being the crowning event, the day the prep gets consumed and the person prepped - that being me in this case - spends a long time in the bathroom.

Having done all this before, being an old hand, I know to have books piled up in the bathroom, something to read, pass the time between outbursts of indignation form a stomach that has already had to put up with a diet that includes almost nothing I like - all the better to clean you out.

Being an old hand I also know to expect massive mood swings, headaches, tiredness and more than average, even for me, irritability.

All this will be over tomorrow when the “procedure” is performed. In my case make that plural. I'll have both ends done while I'm there, the better to see what goes on in this aging stomach of mine. Mum's three brushes with bowel cancer make this even more important - so they tell me.

It's inhumane, it's inconvenient, it's something out of the 18th century, not for now, not for the 21st history, and they don't seem to be doing anything about making it any better.

I suspect they stay with this method just to piss people off. Me for one.

This time tomorrow I won't care.

Brackleberry Gully live at last.
I'm slow. Old and slow. But, when I get get going I'm good.

Finally the launch of the Brackleberry Gully site. It seems to look ok, the side menu idea is a bit slower than I expected, but the coding behind it is bullet proof thanks to the brilliance of one Mr McPeak.

I've learnt more about crafts such as stitchery, quilting and all manner of other things doing this site than I thought possible. Unbeknownst to most I am a (secret) fan of quilting, having seen the magnificence of one done of a Monet scene by a bloke who obviously put a lot of thought into it.

But, I digress, get your arses, collectively, over to the site and make sure it works as expected, and support the poor woman with a purchase or two.