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Schlock Mercenary
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April 13th, 2015

08:47 pm - Baby !
Lisa and David are pleased to announce the arrival of a baby girl !
Time: 11:42am. Weight: 3.9kg. Length: 52.5cm.
Mum and Bub are well and resting.

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: excitedexcited

(6 touches | En garde !)

April 6th, 2015

10:24 pm - In Limbo ...
At one point on Friday night, rwrylsin and I were totally convinced that Bub2's arrival was imminent (as in, bags-in-the-car, emergency-babysitter on red alert, prepare to announce 4/4 as Bub2's date of birth to the world, and to tell work that I wouldn't be in for a month).

... but it didn't happen. There have been contractions, back-aches, appetite and energy fading in and out, kicking and shifting of Bub2, but no arrival yet.

If nothing else happens before then, Bub2 will be induced next Monday anyway, although we're still thinking we're on for arrival sometime this week.
So it's back to waiting ...

... and coughing. I came down with some nasty virus early last week - so wiped out that I spent half of Tuesday in bed, didn't even stagger along to fencing training that evening. It's mostly involved coughing ... so much coughing. rwrylsin has had a similar cough for weeks now - our theory is that she can't fill her lungs up enough to really shift the "slime" that's built up (since there's Bub2 in the way), so it just persists and drives her to distraction.

I suspect it was a delayed reaction to the last 6 weeks or so, which have been flat-out busy, both at work and around the house. We've had bathroom renovation when half the tiles in a shower started falling off, room movements to get Bub1 out of the nursery and into his own room, which meant moving rwrylsin's office across a room, plus various painting, fixing, etc. On top of this, our club was involved in a couple of fencing demonstrations, there was a fencing tournament, a birthday party for Bub1, and so on - basically, I spent all of February and March thinking "no, I can't get sick now, I have to do X" every time I felt a tickle in my throat - and we finally reached the last commitment just over a week ago, and it all caught up with me.
I'm finally feeling mostly improved, but quickly running out of energy, and still coughing.

... and waiting. Whee. We should probably pick a name :-)

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: awakeawake

(2 touches | En garde !)

March 17th, 2015

05:08 pm - iTunes migration ...
So, here's the situation.

Currently, my music gets synced from my old laptop, running Windows XP, and iTunes 7.1.

I have two other computers :
New desktop with Windows 8.1, no iTunes yet.
Old-ish Mac Mini, with OS X 10.6.8, iTunes 11.4.

I want to get the iTunes library off the XP machine, and onto one of the others.

Is it possible to migrate the library and retain the playlists, favourites, play count etc ?

If so, what's the best way ? Should I try to upgrade iTunes on the XP machine, or copy the files to one of the others and import somehow ?

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: curiouscurious

(1 touche | En garde !)

February 12th, 2015

12:14 am - Books read in 2014 ... a bit late :)
13 books read in 2014 ... not much reading time around these days, apparently.

Ecko Rising, by Danie Ware
Ecko Burning, by Danie Ware
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Disappearance of Ember Crow, by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
Half-Off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M Valente
Sister Mine, by Nalo Hopkinson
The Fractal Prince, by Hannu Rajaniemi
The Oath of the Vayaputras, by Amish Tripathi
Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
The Human Division, by John Scalzi
The Winter Long, by Seanan McGuire

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: calmcalm

(En garde !)

February 11th, 2015

12:05 am - Anyone for ... cricket ?
Ok, it's summer, and summer is the season for cricket (well, for me it is).

So I'd like to get a bunch of people together and play Park Cricket.
Park Cricket, of course, is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea cricket, the basic idea being that we find a suitable park somewhere, play something involving a bat and a (tennis) ball (and probably stumps), everyone gets a turn, and hopefully everyone has fun.

("Fun" could also include finding a shady spot nearby and enjoying a picnic and entertaining toddlers and small children, of course.)

Anyone interested ? This is most likely to be on a Sunday morning sometime, probably in March (before Bub2 arrives, and while there's a reasonable chance of a nice day for it).

There are a few rule variations to think about - whether catching is one-hand-one-bounce, whether bowlers can bowl underarm, overarm or either, and if batting is "tip-and-run". I figure we can work that out on the day ...

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: calmcalm

(2 touches | En garde !)

December 29th, 2014

07:23 pm - Travel and stuff ...
The overnights meme:

List the places where you spent a night away from home this year, marking places where you spent two or more non-consecutive nights with an asterisk.

... needless to say, this list is rather less exciting than it was when we were living in Scotland :)

*Foster, Victoria
*Adelaide, South Australia
*Nhill, Victoria
Canberra, ACT

I suspect next year will be similar (perhaps without Canberra), as Bub2 is due to arrive late April ...

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: calmcalm

(3 touches | En garde !)

December 11th, 2014

10:08 pm - Fencing Madness 2014
... this is the short version. I did 7 fencing competitions over 4 weeks. Ummm ... it seemed like a good idea at the time :)
And I've had some kind of cold or cough or bug coming and going for most of the last 4 weeks ...

1. 14/11 - State Sabre Teams championships - I got roped in at the last minute to make a team so that the competition would actually run. We came 3rd of 3 teams, although it was closer than that makes it appear - each team won one and lost one, the ranking was made on indicators.

2. 22/11 - State Open Epee championships - 3rd (of 16). (note - with 3rd place play-off)

3. 29/11 - Club Open Epee championships - 1st (of 7).

4. 30/11 - State Veteran Epee championships - 2nd (of 7).

5. 6-7/12 - Oceania & National Open Epee championships - 20th (of 63).

6. 7/12 - Oceania & National Veteran Epee championships - equal 3rd (of 25).

7. 7/12 - Oceania & National Veteran Epee Teams championship - 2nd (of 7 teams).

My competition placings for the whole year go:
5, 1, 7, 1, 3, 3, 1, 2, 20, 3, 2

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: tiredtired

(2 touches | En garde !)

November 12th, 2014

01:04 pm - We bought a car !
So, the background: As mentioned previously, Bub2 is on the way.

We regularly transport large amounts of fencing equipment around the place (5-6 full fencing bags, plus scoring boxes+spools, etc).

Our previous car (Renault Scenic) had an awkward placement of child-seat anchor which meant there were two straps extending from the back of the child seat to the back of the luggage space. With one child seat in place, this was just manageable for our equipment transport, with the other two seats folded down.
However, with two child seats in place, it would be impossible, there might be room for one or two bags and that'd be it.

That meant that we needed to start looking for a new car with just a bit more space, and a better design for the child-seat anchors.

rwrylsin started looking at reviews and specifications of various cars, and then searched around Melbourne car dealers looking for possibilities for us to test drive. The Skoda Octavia came up as a "possible", so we went along to the car place, tape-measure in hand, and poked around that and a bunch of other cars.

Many (including the Skoda) were ruled out, for being too small, too large, too fuel inefficient, too SUV/4WD/tank-like, or too people-mover/bus-like. A few were left, mostly a bunch of different Holden models with different badge names but all basically the same model.

Back to the research we went, and up came a Ford Mondeo wagon, with one available in Ringwood. rwrylsin took it for a test drive and measure one day while Bub was in childcare, and decided it was a possible candidate and worth me taking a look. A plan was hatched where we'd pop along during my lunch-break on the next Tuesday when I was working from home and check it out.

Tuesday dawned, and so did Bub, probably very early (6am is becoming a trend, lately). I think we started with breakfast as normal, and then we played for a bit. Bub threw a Duplo block at me, hitting me in the head, so I said "ow" and asked him to say he was sorry. And asked again. And again ... and waited. And asked ...
Yes, it turned into a battle of wills with a toddler. At that point, I decided it was important to wait for an apology, and apparently he decided it was important to skip it.

Time passed.

Almost 90 minutes later, he finally apologised, and I collapsed into a willpower-drained heap, before getting on with the day.

So we made it to lunch-time, went along to the car dealer, and I took the car for a drive.
Yup, it was definitely a car ... despite being quite a bit larger than the Scenic, it didn't feel *huge* as such, and seemed to run ok.

We went in to chat to the dealer, talked price and trade-in and all that. Time passed, and I needed to start heading home to join a work conference call.
Then he asked me if we wanted to buy the car ...

So there I was - on the spot to make a decision, time running short, sleep-deprived, and sapped of willpower.

So now we have a new car :)

Fortunately, it does seem to be a pretty good car, and a) isn't a 4WD/SUV/tank, b) isn't a people-mover, and c) isn't a complete fuel-guzzler. Whew.

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: surprisedsurprised

(3 touches | En garde !)

October 16th, 2014

12:22 am - News !
... I tried to use the "Share" button on LJ, apparently a "Share window" is supposed to appear ? But it didn't, on Firefox or Safari, so:

We have some news ! And since rwrylsin posted about it first, I'll just link to her post. :)

(Edit: hopefully posted with the correct date now, with luck someone will actually see this ...)

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
Current Mood: excitedexcited

(7 touches | En garde !)

September 4th, 2014

01:04 am - Technology woes, Part 2
So the other technology woes I've been having lately :

1. Last Thursday in the small hours of the morning, we had a power outage. Only 30 minutes or so, but it was enough that the hard drive in my main computer (Mac mini) failed.
The official Mac repair places want $400 or more to replace the HD, a bit steep given that the drive would be $70-$100.

Fortunately, there was a detailed guide online, and once I had the new HD and required tools, it took a very careful hour or so to open up, dig my way down and extricate the old HD.
Even more fortunately, it works ! And Time Machine restored everything to just the way it was. Whew !

2. My camera (8ish years old) chews up batteries like candy, and doesn't even power on for recharged batteries. Verdict from the camera repair place - would probably need to replace the logic board (around $400) - but you can't get the parts now anyway.
And there's an official power supply, around $100 (!), but they sold their last one in 2007.

Fortunately, Jaycar had a suitable power supply (official supply is 6.5V, 3A - Jaycar one 6V, 2.2A), and the camera will work with this. Of course, that means it is only really usable as a "studio" camera now, which means I need to work out what camera I'll get next.

3. My camera flash - bought second-hand from a camera store many years ago (at least 10), appears to be showing the signs of age - the flash output has dwindled away to almost nothing. For quite a while, I've thought I'm Doing Something Wrong when trying to use it, but now I'm sure it's actually an issue with the flash itself. Looks like time to shop for a new flash ...

4. Bike issues - recently had to get the front wheel replaced, as the previous one just couldn't be straightened up properly (after 32,000km, so I guess that's a pretty good lifespan).

5. Phone issues - for a week or so, it was chewing through the battery, with no obvious cause, and regularly required a power-cycle to restore data connection. Strangely, this has settled down and it is mostly behaving itself now ... I suspect it knows I'm coming to the end of my contract, and could start shopping around for a replacement :)

... well, I guess my general technology philosophy is to use things until they fall to bits. I just didn't expect them all to fall apart at the same time :)

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Current Mood: geekygeeky

(1 touche | En garde !)

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