Assignment Success



That’s the mark on my most recent essay.

Pretty sure that it’s the best mark I have ever got in an essay. I mean ever! 

So I was pretty stoked with that. I think it might be the best I get but it was sure nice to get such a positive response.

Only the first assignment of 3 for that unit, and there’s a whole other unit right now, so onwards….

Post Track Day

It didn’t go how I expected at all. There weather was warm but fine, if a little windy. I didn’t crash and that was an excellent result. I also made it up to 195kmh and I am confident that the bike could go a lot faster, I wasn’t very good at fully opening the throttle as quick as I could. 

But I hated it. 

I was terrified the whole time. Not so much about the possibility of crashing or even of getting hurt so much. 

I think I was terrified that my bike would be damaged. 

I felt a lot of pressure from the other riders and I know that was only perceived pressure, not actual pressure and that didn’t help. 

I kind of feel that it was a combination of all of the things I don’t like about group rides and the only positive was the lack of things to run into. 

There were a couple of small niggles about my bike that could have been hurting my confidence, but if it had been a ride out the Putty or something they wouldn’t have bothered me so I don’t think they were a big factor, certainly apart from a single moment in one turn the bike was flawless. 

But coming down the main straight at 190kmh looking at the turn that others were taking at probably 180kmh I was terrified, slowing ages before the turn to I guess something like 100kmh. 

It’s even got me to the point that I am considering changing bikes – getting a VFR or something rather than having a supersport. I do miss the VFR terribly (yes silly I know, it’s just a bike). 

Do I try a track day again? I’m not sure. If I did I would want to fix those couple of things and they’re easy fixes. 

See how we go. 

Track Day

First track day is in about 3 hours. Can’t find the meme I was looking for… but here’s some others that I liked on the subject. So, apparently it’s like this (I’m mostly nerves actually).


And with the forecast today I’m all a bit


They have a top of 33C and possible showers later. I’m hoping much later….

I am hopeful I’ll get to the end and


(Cube!!) But ever fearful that I might do this.


Which has been a huge part of why I haven’t done one yet.


Dying of the Light

I said I had two WoW problems (of course, there is the unspoken – I have resubbed to WoWcrack problem as well). The second is of course the iMac. Levelling with Miss 9 means running the PC and the iMac (any thoughts of an iOS version of WoW, lol) together. Normally not a problem. The PC, an ancient first gen i7 with a 9500GT – it’s pretty noisy but still running ok. As it boots from an SSD it’s very quick to start up actually. And then there’s the iMac.

So I talked somewhat about the problems a couple of posts ago. Even WoW is enough to push it too hard. It can be as long as an hour, or as little as ten minutes before bad things start happening on the screen and I need to quit. As long as I quit before a complete failure (with usually a mostly blank display) it seems to be able to carry on doing word processing etc after I’ve quit.

Otherwise, a reboot gets it back running. Still, that won’t last forever.

The case, the main heatsink for these computers gets very toasty. It always has, but it seems if this cools down then I get a bit longer out of it than if I try to start WoW when it’s already warm. I’m sure that’s either the root cause of the problem (heat stressed components failing over time, it’s a late 2010 model after all) or a symptom of it (the dying video card working harder than it needs to).

So come on Apple, announce MacMini updates if you’re going to so I can decide what to do. I’m starting to lean back towards the cheapest MacMini (second hand?) I can get and spend the money on a PC instead. Either way, I have 2 keyboards, 3 mice and a display all ready for whichever box I head down. I may be dual boxing on one screen.

Of course, I have all my fingers and toes and eyes crossed hoping I won’t get a total failure of the iMac before I am ready. Heck it’s hung on for a year already (more than 2 if you count back to when my original problems started occurring!)

NOTE: I am not considering the smaller iMacs (21.5″) as there is no advantage over the MacMini. None of the smaller ones run a discrete video card, only the larger Macbook Pros and 27″ Macs do. So I would be paying extra money for a (nice) screen.

Little WoWers

So Miss 9 wanted to try WoW again. They mucked about with it a few years ago when I was playing. Mostly they made new characters and had fun with that.

Miss 9 actually got in and started questing. Being older now, she quickly got a handle on controlling her toon (Miss 7 stills struggles with the mouse/KB in each hand – interesting demonstration of development). And so she started a BE Mage.

Then she started pestering me to team up with her.

So I (didn’t resubscribe) dusted off my main account (you can play to 20 just like a trial account) and made a BE Paladin. So we got started and levelled quickly together. It was about this time that I remembered about RAF. Ah well.

As she had more time (damn study) she kept getting a level or two ahead of me, then most of our combined sessions was me catching up. So I thought, I’ll resub and bring one of my high toons to help out when needed.

So I resubbed and logged in. Erm I can’t remember how to get to Silvermoon City and started with a zep to UC. I planned to go from there. Pumatay was going to get a run (being that he was only 57, I’m still sure he would have been helpful. And the idea was that eventually she would catch up and Puma could level with her.

But got annoyed and confused trying that and went back to levelling with her on my new toon.

Though now she has switched to a Tauren Hunter (yeah!). At least getting to Mulgore is easy.

And I have resubscribed.

And I have no idea what I am doing! The spells are ALL different and I am trying to read icy veins with one eye while playing with the other eye!

There are a couple of other troubles too. One is of course study. The other is the next post.

If/When the iMac died!

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, that I am seriously worried about how much longer this iMac is going to last. Being awkward to fix, both through age (mostly) and the way they are constructed I’m not really intending to look at fixing it again.

Currently I can’t use full screen for videos or games. Anything that pushes the card too hard soon ends in no picture at all. Now I am also suffering errors that seem to be related to the hard drive. Though admittedly the evidence actually suggests a bug in Microsoft Word is possible.

So making plans.

Again (I’m always making big IT plans that don’t happen)

I also want to shrink the mid-tower case that the other PC uses, and see if I can make it a bit quieter. So here is my current set up.

Study set up with the Mac and screen. PC to the right (smaller screen). The PC itself is on the lower shelf to the right, under the printer.

My plan is to get two mini-itx cases. They can sit side by side on the shelf, replacing the mid tower. That case is mostly space anyway. I don’t use any expansion cards and the DVDRW installed aren’t used (but I can always get cases for them if required).

Doing it this way will look really nice and tidy. I just need really long cables for one, to reach across to left side of the desk.

And to convert myself back to Windows.

Unless I also get a MacBook at some point.

I do have some technical specs sorted for both new PCs. One will be a complete new build and the other is currently in flux, with a bit of the old and a bit of the new. Though I have changed the cases since I took these pictures.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 03.45.29

This is the plan for the new one.  I need to get Win10 as I missed the upgrade window for my other Win 7 copy which isn’t currently installed anywhere. Its not going to win any races, but it will work and I’m sure playing WoW or MWO will be fine. Who knows, maybe I could even try getting through some of my Steam list. If I didn’t spend all the time studying, netflixing, with family, at work…..

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 03.46.59

And here is the bitsa. Basically I’ll keep the SSD and GPU (for now anyway) and shrink everything else.

So let’s see if this goes anywhere.

Another end of Session

Means another exam and another struggle to get my marks up.

Not sure I can make it to a pass this time in one paper. I haven’t yet got the marks for its major assessment, but I don’t think I did too well. I also stuffed the first paper this time in the same subject, so I probably have to get 120% in the exam.

Good luck eh.

I still find the two major sources of my struggle are

  1. Finding time to study properly. Again, family intrudes here, work intrudes here, exercise intrudes and I do have to sleep sometimes…..
  2. I struggle with the way that this unit, same as one of the previous session, asks me to present my assignment. I just struggle with that – I understand the topic, but getting it on paper is awkward.

The other paper I think should be ok. It won’t be pretty, but it will be ok.

Next session will be interesting. A literacy one and then one to really bust me out of my comfort zone – Performance Arts.

I just realised I’ll probably have to sing as a Primary School teacher….. ha, the poor kids will be traumatised.

I’ll probably do the exam Thursday. Then I switch off for a couple of weeks.

More Old School

So the kids were a bit bored this evening and trying to invent a game. I thought that it might be the perfect time to break another game about imagination.

Look familiar to anyone.

So we rolled a couple of characters. They both picked clerics and we got started with the dungeon in the red book.

They made it through a couple of encounters and are keen to keep going. Killed a bunch of creatures and found some treasure. Sadly tonight bedtime intervened but we have another free day tomorrow so I hope to carry on.

I also mentioned how easy it would be to bring this game on any travelling that we do. Was that too obvious?

I need to study up because I am super rusty at how it works. Also is it too early to rush out and buy the latest Players Handbook and DM guide?

Commuting we will go…

It’s dark.

It’s cold.

It’s been wet sometimes too.

Commuting has been fun the last few weeks.

Winter eh!


We’ve had a few storms. So it’s pretty sometimes too.

But cycling to work suddenly became a challenge when it dropped to 2C. I bought a pile of warm clothes to ride in. After not riding the next week waiting for it, I headed out last Monday.

So of course it was 13C. Too warm to really test it.

Tomorrow it’s 1C again. So see how I go.




A New Drive

We’ve finally taken delivery of something we ordered way back in January. Sounds like a while but we understand that people who ordered in March are having to wait until Christmas.

Mercedes-Benz GLC250



We had previously looked at their GLA as it was released, but it was pretty small for a family car. Since then, having seen them out and about we’re really glad that we didn’t buy it.

The GLC however is bigger without being too big. This is a medium SUV, to compete with Audi’s Q5, BMW X3, Volvo’s XC60 and the like. The GLE (formerly called ML) is still there as the big boy, this is the in betweener. Not actually that much bigger in dimensions (excluding height) than our 10year old Mazda 6.

Are we happy? Yes very. Well I am, Mrs Mab is a bit overwhelmed with the technology and needs to get some practice in before she drives it more regularly. Not that I mind!

Look all the reviewers speak highly of it, and I’m sure the others are excellent cars as well (we only tested the XC60 which we liked a lot). But for us (well, for Mrs especially) we really wanted a Merc, but they didn’t have one that suited what we wanted until this one, which was only released in about November. There was a GLK in the US, but that was never released as a right hand drive.

Its very roomy inside, with plenty of room for our kids to grow up. The tech is awesome (it’s our first car with built-in Bluetooth even) with LED multi beam headlights that look around corners and auto braking and parking and radar cruise control, lane keeping and a bunch of other amazing safety things. I really like the built in HDD that came with the COMMAND audio upgrade, half filled it with my music and I don’t need to use BT or an iPod! You can even talk to it, though it doesn’t know any jokes.

It has taken some getting used to – it has been a challenge getting up our driveway and around the corner into the garage without doing an Austin Powers 500 point turn. I can do it in 2 moves now… but the parking sensors are going nuts the whole time. Then squeezing it into the garage!



The steering column is covered in control stalks and if you get the wrong one you can set the speed limiter when you were trying to indicate a turn. I like the column shifter. But don’t really see the point in the touchpad thing they have that’s above the rotary selector for the computer system.


But it is a great drive. Smooth, good drive (though only a 2.0L turbo) seems fairly good milage too (though we have only just made it through our first tank after two weeks). About 10L/100km, which seems pretty good for a SUV and not massively different than the Mazda 6 (it was about 9L/100km).

Oh, the Head Up Display on the windscreen is really great. It shows speed and also navigation details (turns, ETA, street names) as well as cruise control/limiter settings. Sits there on the windscreen slightly below your eye line. Really easy to get used to that!