About Mabaho

I'm a married dad who likes to play WoW and ride my motorbike. Originally a strong focus WoW blog, but over the last while has become a more general blog about things going on in my world.

Internet – the great procrastinating buddy

Yeah, like writing this entry!

So it’s the last week and I’m fighting through about 1500 more words between the two essays I’m trying to write.

It’s been a struggle, but so far I’ve been passing. A saving grace was listening to the lectures while driving in the car from Canberra to Sydney and back. This meant I wasn’t trying to go through the readings while listening, while also trying to plan the essays.

I was only doing two things at once, instead of three, urgh.

I’ll be glad when it is done. But I have learnt a lot about Australian History (a lot I didn’t know) from one course.

I should get back to writing huh….

Going Home…. in a bit

Work is letting me go home to my family in the new year.

After the past two years in Canberra I am being moved to a new position in Sydney starting after Christmas. Mrs Mab is super happy, I am mostly relieved.

It was never a sure thing. They might have kept me in Canberra or even another location. So to get the confirmation on Friday was massive. Can start counting down the days.

Self Medicating

IMG_2880Had a bit of a head cold for about 5 days now. Couple of short days at work last week. Yesterday seemed fine and I even managed at MTB ride.

But today I was feeling worse again, so instead of continuing to infect everyone at work I left and went home.

And decided to self medicate with a ride up to the Cotter. Had some lunch and then headed up. It had warmed up from the -4 this morning to a pleasant 10-12C. Sunny and almost all of the roads had dried out.

I only went up Brindabella rd as far as the seal and then turned around and came home. Enjoyable lunch time :)

Not sure it improved my cold much, but I feel better!

IMG_2881

Not the right colour :(

My iMac has been showing symptoms that I think may be terminal, or at least probably very expensive.

In the past couple of weeks there has been the occasional flashes of pink/orange/green squares appearing randomly on the screen. This Sunday, when I returned from Sydney, the screen was covered in them. And the iMac seemed to be running slowly.

I am fairly confident in diagnosing a graphics cards in its last days. There are always other possibilities, but that is the most likely. The iMac is about 5 years old and the card is pretty tight in there. Yes the aluminium unibody would act as a heat sink, but it still gets warm. Running a second screen (also 1440 27″) may have hastened it’s demise.

So I’m struggling to export and back up. That’s to add to the 2 other backups I have of course. Perhaps I am being a little paranoid, but there is the possibility that I won’t return to a Mac at the end of this. So stuff has be available in a format that Windows can also use.

A couple of hiccups in the copy have me doing some direct shell work on my NAS. Seems the most reliable way to delete things from the server (there are some duplicates of the iPhoto Library I’m trying to get rid of).

It is also screwing up my study. I have an essay due this week and I’m not looking forward to having to sort it out without a computer!

Telstra.. you almost sorted it

So on 2 July Telstra actually got it right. Well at least mostly. Almost 3 months to the day, they managed to line up a phone number they issued me and the physical connection to the house so that the Tech could actually connect the two and hence us.

I got home on Friday and set up the ADSL and…. we’re back on the Internet.

I also set up the switch so that all of the ports in the house are connected (there’s 13 and the modem/router is only 4 port). Initially this was troublesome as the default Switch IP was the same as the existing Modem/Router IP. It also forgot everything I set it up with when I unplugged it the first time. But eventually I had it on a different IP and the entire house was live with ethernet and wifi all connecting to each other and the internet

TVs asked for updates, phones could AirPlay to the Amp it was a wondrous weekend. I still need to go around and actually ID all of the ports, but I have enough leads to have them all connected at the same time.

I said Telstra almost got it right. Well in the throes of screwing it all up, they made up a new contract, without my consent and created a whole new account and email address for me. I’ve fixed the first one, and will have to live with the second. They also sent me a new modem.

They also decided that I wasn’t entitled to the Federal Service Guarantee fees as there was a “Extreme Weather Event” in my area. Its one of the ways they get out of paying this fine and after checking with the Ombudsman they may have something. Scum, but not a surprise.

But I have internet and so Mrs can watch her TV shows. And you know what they say about Happy Wives…..

Telstra… you idiots

I moved house 3 months ago. I realise that with a newly built house, that Telstra would need to come out to the house and actually connect the line, rather than just connecting some stuff remotely and perhaps come out and swap some connections around in the exchange.

So far they have managed to

  • give me the wrong date for the technician visit, twice,
  • give me the right date, a month further on
  • cancel that appointment, minutes before he’s due, when Mrs Mab has put off a bunch of stuff to wait for them.
  • organise a new date a couple of weeks away
  • change the new date without me agreeing to it and hence we weren’t home then.
  • organise another new date, a month further on.
  • connect the line and the house, only to find out the exchange isn’t set up correctly and there’s nothing the tech can do.
  • organise another date, YET ANOTHER month further on. Also restart the whole application so a new number can be assigned on the right part of the exchange.
  • we spend three weeks repeating the technicians problems to several staff as we ring around.
  • Call the Ombudsman. Highly recommend them, used them before and they really put the fire under the telcos.
  • get my fourth “case manager” repeat everything again.
  • technician returns today.
  • SAME PROBLEM.
  • Oh, case manager is away today.

Seriously???

Can’t even try another provider because TELSTRA has to do the actual physical connections!

RAGE……

Getting a handle on the study

Week 3 of the study now. I’m slowing getting into a process. I’m still behind, the last two short weeks (I get no study done in the weekend) really hurt.

But I’m starting to catch up.

I’ve found the long drive to Sydney might be a good time to listen to the lectures. Now I just need to catch up this weeks ones, so I can listen in advance over the weekend, getting into week 4 up to speed.

I need to figure out a way to do some at work though, perhaps I can study in my car for a hour or so over lunch?

I’ve started research for the first assignments. I realise I really have to finish a first draft this week for one essay as it’s due next week. That’s going to be a real test of this whole study idea.

The units are interesting, though the Australian History, being more of a classical history unit is very tough for me. The other is currently moving from how the Earth was created to Life began and about Evolution is more filling in and reminding me of things I have studied and read before, more of a light science overview.

Winter is…. well its here

The last couple of weeks have been COLD in Canberra. The week before last we had three days where it started around -7C.

Winter gloves are a real design problem for riders. Too much padding and you end up not being able to feel anything. Often the wind still gets through, sucking what little heat gets generated by your fingers. Less padding and they don’t keep you warm.

Heated handlebars are one solution, but on the VFR I was always concerned to add more load to the electrical system. You can now get heated gloves (and socks, and vests). I just wasn’t sure about that either, the problem of wind chill would still be there I thought. Instead there is this option, known as handlebar mitts.

Baxter Box-R

Bagster Box-R

They worked very well, cutting the wind which is a large part of really cold hands on a motorcycle. In these I comfortably rode all winter in summer gloves. Adding some heating (gloves or bars) would see you able to cope in quite extreme temperatures I think.

But now there is no VFR. These mitts don’t fit as well on the Daytona (sure they look silly, but that’s not what I’m talking about). The ergonomics of the bar position, fairing shape, sitting position all mean that they are problematic. I have done it once on a Sydney to Canberra commute along the Hume. I’m just glad I didn’t have to turn much.

So -7, time for my winter gloves then.

Er, where are they?

I hunted around in my Canberra place to no avail. I rode into work one day in the -7. The right hand especially must have been very close to frostbite (at 100kmh, -7 is something like -20 or -25C in light weight leather….). Was well into the morning before my hands felt right again (I have a niggling concern about my pinky on one hand still).

That weekend I hunted about the Sydney house to no avail.

Did I throw them out last winter after I got the Bagster? Strong chance of that as I was never happy with either pair I had.

So this weekend I picked up a new set.

Dainese Scout Gore-Tex

Dainese Scout Gore-Tex

Not cheap, but I do have a strong trust in the performance of Dainese gear now. Both on bike (keeping me warm and dry) and off the bike (along the road).

Of course this week it’s 8C and raining so I’m leaving the bike in the garage.

Back to the Books

I finished uni in 1997. Obviously I’ve done (sometimes intensive) work courses since then, but I’m back into university study again. This time, a couple of units via distance learning.

Distance learning has changed somewhat. Now there are forums and recorded lectures with slides to read. References and other resources all online. But its still online, and out of hours.

This should be somewhat easier for me as I’m home alone during the week. All that gaming and Netflix time has been absorbed, but at least I don’t have kids running about. (Though I still have long calls with family catching up and even helping with homework**) At least for the 5 nights during the week anyway.

Two long weekends has put me somewhat behind though.

So what am I studying? Well out of my comfort zone for one. Australian History starting from the first days of colonisation. Mostly new stuff to me, being an immigrant. But I also see some long standing “truths” are not, which is fascinating.

The other is also History, but starts at the Big Bang and covers, well, everything until now. At the moment its Astronomy and Astrophysics and the like. Later it will be Geology and then History and Biology and more. Interesting subject.

Certainly fills my evenings up. I hope to be a little caught up next week??

** Helping with the homework is tough at the moment, with no internet at home. Two months since we moved and probably a month more before it’s fixed. You’d think we moved to the middle of nowhere, not 75m down the street in the middle of Sydney.