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?

Study – Year 1 Session 1

First two units and session 1 is almost finished. Exams next week.

It’s been really hard. Not so much because the content is hard but

  • finding the time to study and prepare. I really wasn’t ready for the amount of work I was going to have to do, even after the study last year. Each unit has its content structured differently and trying to read and watch everything as well as taking notes and writing (and researching) is proving a juggling act I haven’t quite got sorted out yet. Then the next paper is different. Fitting all of this around increased pressure helping out with the kids homework, doing a share of the chores around the house and working is really tough. With Mrs Mab working most of the weekend, I am not able to spend much of that time studying either.
  • Understanding the way they want the assignments done has been hard too. Having some online resources is helpful, but getting stuff done in time to actually think about discussing this online is problematic too. And I can’t make any of the live sessions.

I am sure that as I move into the second and third sessions this will get easier. The early start to work and losing up to 2 hours coming home is a bit of a pain. I had less commuting when I had to go to Canberra for the week (2*4 = 8 vs 5*2.5 =12.5). And I had 4 nights a week that I could study all evening without interruption.

But not be with my family.

I guess I am doing two full time occupations (work and full-time study) at once while still spending time with the family.

I am hoping for a pass in both, it will depend heavily on next weeks exam though. I don’t expect any higher score really. Then it’s straight into session 2…..

Why am I doing this again???

Down Under

 Not day 1, it’s about day 3, but time to write something. I’ve brought the girls over to New Zealand to visit the grandparents. Been a few years since we visited them instead of the other way around.

Two things I am looking forward to are riding dad’s motorcycle and riding MTB in one of the best places in NZ and maybe the whole of Southern Hemisphere!

So far we have walked in some of the bush (once the first day or so of rain cleared up) and been up to the Luge. Both girls had a go on their own, though the younger lost her confidence after rounding a corner and crashing into an adandoned cart. But much fun was had and their slogan “once is never enough” is just as true today as it was when I first started riding it about 25 years ago.

Merry Christmas Home

IMG_0199 (1)Christmas is coming. According to Miss 6 its 14 days away.

I come home permanently in 7. How cool is that! The last 2 years have been hard in some ways, but admittedly, having a whole week of man-cave ness has been cool. Riding and mountain biking and gaming, even heading out to movies that Mrs Mab didn’t want to see was easy.

But coming home to my family and to my awesome new house is better. One of the puzzles though is just fitting some stuff back in. We have a big house with a lot of storage, but we have gone from a double+ garage (it had a couple of metre extension at one end) that could fit 2 motorcycles and 2 cars and a pile of stuff. To our new house which has a slightly larger than usual single. We don’t have 2 bikes though we do have two more bicycles….

So we have a bit of a puzzle, like a grown-up jigsaw puzzle. Fit one car, 2 sets of racking, 4 bicycles and a motorcycle in….

Can it be done….

IMG_0203 IMG_0201

Oh, I forgot the lawnmower…..

Well it looks like yes, but I’ve got to build something to get the bicycles up on the wall. It has a 3m ceiling so there is plenty of room. At the moment they stack on the lawnmower and around the edges. It’s pretty tight right now. I can ride the bike in and out, and all my jackets etc are hanging neatly just to the left there.

There are a couple of boxed up things to move out of there once I get home properly.

Moving has started..

I’ve started moving things to Sydney. It’s only about a month before I finish up in Canberra and there is no real reason to keep a bunch of stuff in Canberra now.

First up was the computers. Got them set up now. The NAS is stored in the hallway cupboard that the network switch is. Keeps the noise down in the Study here. The desks have cable runs along the back underneath, so it’s all nice and tidy. With no gaming at the moment I also switched over to the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse so even less cables about.

Study set up with the Mac and screen from Canberra. PC to the right (smaller screen)
Study set up with the Mac and screen from Canberra. PC to the right (smaller screen)

Seems to work well so far. For the rest of the month I’ll use my iPad Air and the iPhone in Canberra, that is plenty of internet for there. Still have my broadband connection so watching Netflix and stuff on TV or iPad will be ok.

I also took the PS3 up and connected into the amp downstairs.

One of the coming weekends I have to move the bike and then the mountain bike. Moving the Daytona is going to be a little complicated as I need to drive up, get back to Canberra without taking the car (bus, train, ride with mate) and then the following weekend I ride up. Worst case I have organised to ride the bike on the last day and get the car delivered.

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.

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……

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.

Back to School

I’ve decided to do a couple of papers through distance learning. Just paid the other day. I think the start date is in a week or two (actually I really better look that up)

Why all of a sudden….

I am expecting work to shift me again at the end of this year. In about late June I will find out where they are sending me. I’ve discussed it with management, but the choice is never my own. Management weren’t overly convincing that they will send me back to Sydney so I can rejoin my family.

So a contingency plan is required. The study is part of a plan. …

Kind of out of my funk from the last few days. I’m feeling very broke (car repairs) and want to get out and ride (short cold wet winter days oh, and work) so letting off steam is a bit hard. I’m not sure I’ll be right out of it until the decision for next year is made.

What else has been bringing me down.

One of my closest friends father died the other week too. I didn’t know him too well but whenever I dropped around to their restaurant he would cook up some great food and make sure I was stuffed full before I left. Obviously tough on my friend and her family. I made it too the funeral which was nice.

Hence not a lot of posting, just not into it at the moment. Like gaming. Still not playing anything. I should bust out the PS3 games and get stuck in.