click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 16.12.2009 16:05 | filed in still-not-king | ]
 new wing

I've got a new toy, and I love it. It's an Advance Epsilon 6/28.

Some other pics taken last Friday and Sunday:

 paul mccullough at beechmont andrew cooper above beechmont andrew cooper above beechmont
[ published on Thu 10.12.2009 11:40 | filed in interests/flying | ]
 vienna graffito

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 24.11.2009 12:38 | filed in still-not-king | ]

(STR for Austrians.)

I have marvellous neighbors at the moment (on the southern side, outside the complex).

I named them the Howler Monkey family: Mr. Monkey loses it, big time, every single bloody weekend without fail and shouts and screams at his family. It's always something simple that drives him into a door-slamming screaming rage, like the kids not filling the dish washer or leaving some of their toys on the lawn or the like.

Mr. Monkey is a great specimen. In his rage he completely loses command of all human language: his vocabulary gets reduced to precisely four items: "fuck", "shit", "mate" and a fourth word which rotates depending on what enraged him this time (toys, dishwasher, money, whatever). (You might say he's a prime Australian specimen; he never loses his focus on mateship.)

How he manages to make do with just those four during his five to ten minutes of outrage is beyond me, but he does. True to his name he's loud enough for everybody around to participate passively. Oh joy!

Mrs. Monkey isn't much better - but more petite, hence less volume.

And the little Monkeys (three of them) - well, let's say they follow their parental guidance well. The Big Monkey (fem about 11) is loud, brash and talks back to her parents - it's no surprise that she seems to be the trigger of these parental shitstorms quite often.

The Middle Monkey (fem about 5) is an absolutely horrible brat. A prickly, take-no-prisoners egotist, throws a screaming tantrum whenever the universe doesn't rotate around her (=very often).

The Little Monkey (male under 2) isn't totally spoilt - yet. But he is catching up, learning that throwing tantrums and screaming at the top of one's voice is an accepted means of social exchange (and I don't blame him; in that family it'd take a retarded saint to stay quiet).

It's said that parents get exactly the children they deserve, and the Howler Monkeys seem to reinforce that. (Which is quite unfortunate for these kids, as they can't pick their parents.)

De Brülloffn san ja so a nettes Ehepaar!

[ published on Fri 20.11.2009 16:08 | filed in interests/anti | ]

The last of my 4WS controllers is on sale, here.

[ published on Wed 07.10.2009 14:54 | filed in mystuff | ]
 from Asterix Le Gaulois, in case you're not of Generation X

I'm not very vain (I think). That said I'd very much like a decent amount of hair cover on my head. Nature has denied me that wish, big time: that's me, August 5 2009.

 august 2009

But just like in Asterix there's certain interesting magical potions. One of those contains Minoxidil, which was intended as a high blood pressure medication but happens to cause hair (re)growth for certain people.

Nobody knows why, how and for whom it works, but for me it does.

 october 2009, plusgood october 2009, plusgood

That's me today, after three months of rubbing in some of the potion twice daily (and just after mowing my pate).

Still thin (of course) but instead of hard-to-see fine hair there's more and properly sized stuff. Not bad, says my vanity.

But (just like in Asterix) there are downsides: never before have I had to shave my earlobes regularly, shaving just below/outside of the eyes is now an annoying necessity as well, and I really didn't need any hair on my back above the shoulder blades.

Of course begga^Wbaldies can't be choosers!

[ published on Fri 02.10.2009 17:49 | filed in interests | ]

The Tweed Shire deputy mayor publicly calls (some of) his constituents morons.

The comments on that post are also quite fun to read (ranging from 'politically correct', dimbulb outrage to realistic cynicism).

[ published on Sun 27.09.2009 20:48 | filed in interests | ]

...he'd have spent 6+ months in jail for "conspiracy to cause explosions":


You don't think so? Reconsider: two British kids have just been jailed for 6+ months for fantasizing about blowing up their school. They've been acquitted in court now, but only after half a year in jail: if that doesn't count as having your future destroyed then I don't know what does.

The interesting thing about the story: There never was any evidence of anything nasty beyond them having written down fantasies; there were no threats, nothing.

Orwell called that "thoughtcrime", and so would I. Yet another reason why I'm not about to visit the UK anytime soon.

[ published on Thu 17.09.2009 14:10 | filed in interests/anti | ]

A few films I've seen recently that made more of an impression than usual:

"Lepa sela, lepo gore" feels like the Serbian version of Catch-22. Very nasty, humorous, unflinchingly direct and I liked it a lot (as far as one can 'like' war-themed films that weren't shot through a pink matte filter and with the regisseur on tranquilizers). It's been criticized as being overly pro-Serbian, but I think that as far as its story goes it shows all the combatants simply similarly mad (and what multi-ethnicity civil war isn't mad...).

Another film from that unhappy corner of the world just outside of home is "Grbavica" which I think is at least as good - but lots darker. It covers life in post-war Sarajevo. No gore - nevertheless not an easy film to watch but really, really worth it.

Less strong (and more mainstream), but still quite good was "Savior". The storyline is a bit odd, starts slightly superhero-esque but that doesn't last too long and fortunately the american financiers didn't insist on some kind of cotton candy happy end - which would have ruined the film.

Then of course there's "No Man's Land", which feels like Catch-22 played out in three rooms: a trench, a bunker and the outside. More nasty humour, not as bleak as the previous films. Personally I found it more long-winded than the previous but still very good. (But the Dutch movie about them sitting on their hands during one of the major massacres was better.)

"Welcome to Sarajevo" is great, but I think it could have been darker and then would have been even better. I don't think it showed the horrors of the siege clearly enough, or maybe not well enough for me: I prefer a film that's hard to watch but powerful over an "easy listening" happy film. For example, in my book "Lilya 4-ever" wins over "Come and See", which in turn wins over "Saints and Soldiers".

Finally, the recent film with the most impact for me was "Vengo". A very lean, clean, beautiful film about Andalusia. The story is very Spanish, a deadly feud among families and their men, and it's beautifully filmed. But the music is what makes it extra-special (it won a Cesar) and includes beauties like a mix of sufi and flamenco (complete with some whirling dervish dances). Of course everything ends pretty tragic, but that's certainly part of the magic. Very much recommended, if you are (like me) allergic to hollywood garbage.

[ published on Thu 13.08.2009 01:02 | filed in interests | ]

Two days ago was the eigth anniversary of my arrival in Australia. Sometimes that feels like yesterday, sometimes more like three lives ago.

Today is also the sixth anniversary of moving into this house. For lots of Australians six years in one place is three lives ago; many deal with houses like crab shells: too small, ugly, whatever? then let's molt^Wmove and forget the old carcass. The housing industry obliges by mainly offering shoddily built disposables. sigh.

[ published on Wed 12.08.2009 21:51 | filed in still-not-king | ]

ebay au has sort-of recently switched to a horribly ECZEMAscript-infested "experience" - which sucks heaps. NoScript makes sure my browser doesn't develop any unexpected rashes.

ebay without JS works fine as i need none of the "advanced features" (read: time-wasting blinking gadgetry that make thing less usable).

"works", that is, with one major exception: sorting search results. Selecting sort criteria now officially requires that you allow all of ebay to run JS (and advanced search doesn't expose most of the more useful sort criteria, like "price + postage"). obviously i can't have that!

oddly enough it's "JS to the rescue!" (ebay javascript = evil bloat, greasemonkey javascript = pocket tool bliss)

my greasemonkey script here restores non-js search criteria: find the unrelated search option and popup trigger elements in the page and add the search option links as normal list back to the trigger. then make it look good: the final extra gimmick uses the fact that gecko-based browsers honor the CSS class ":hover" for anything, not just anchors, so my script then makes sure the sort option list only shows up when you hover over the current sort criterion.

share and enjoy!

[ published on Sun 26.07.2009 18:14 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Bremst er sich ganz furchtbar zsamm,
hau ich mir den plutzer an.


and now for something...completely...different.

(ahoy, captain bligh! more moronic politics, pleeeeease!)

[ published on Tue 21.07.2009 22:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

Queensland, with a reputation for having an overlarge share of rednecks and toughs, manages to properly jail a corrupt politician.

Austria, on the other hand, always manages to find new excuses for not even prosecuting the lying bastards.

So which place is more sophisticated, cultured, decent?

[ published on Fri 17.07.2009 19:29 | filed in interests/au | ]
 early smtp rejects versus sorta-honest-mail

It looks like some spammers have decided that snafu.priv.at is worthy of a bit of hurt: sending out spam with the From: header set to <randomglibberish>@snafu.priv.at has the "nice" side-effect of directing all the bouncy crap my way.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 17.07.2009 18:55 | filed in interests/anti | ]

...how beautiful Conny looks.

 conny plus basti und jasmin

(the other two are her cousins.) But I'm way more proud of her being a good and capable person.

[ published on Sat 11.07.2009 14:00 | filed in brainfarts | ]

Sounds like a veritable gourmet, this croc. The wording of the copper's statement is a gem; very "unfortunate" that the croc didn't reduce the human genepool a little, eh?

[ published on Mon 15.06.2009 19:37 | filed in interests/au | ]
 washer no more belt

To round out a fairly crappy weekend, this afternoon my washing machine decided to eat its drive belt - of course while spinning at full speed, so as to maximize the damage. Picture me sitting peacefully in the toilet (which is adjacent to the laundry), bang and lotsa thumping and crashing and the lights are out.

Suppose I'm sorta lucky, the wiring loom is ripped apart but not totally wrecked, and the motor bearings seem to have survived their chewing exercise without damage.

[ published on Sun 14.06.2009 22:12 | filed in still-not-king | ]

ich bin mir nicht so sicher ob's gesund ist daß mir in letzter zeit die meisten W.Ambros-alben zwischen 72 und 81 thematisch passend vorkommen und gefallen...

[ published on Mon 25.05.2009 14:09 | filed in interests | ]

I'm not "normal" - and I like it that way!
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 15.05.2009 01:00 | filed in still-not-king | ]

My R/C four wheel steering controller needed some fixes to work on both PIC12F635 and PIC12F683 chips, and there were some other minor stupid mistakes I had to fix.

Here's the latest version: source code and updated manual.

[ published on Thu 30.04.2009 21:01 | filed in mystuff | ]

Here's a very nice radio feature (complete text and mp3) that ran recently on ABC (local gov't-backed broadcaster).

It discusses the mess and mindset that contemporary MBAs represent. Food for thought (bwuahaha - thinking, what an outdated notion, we've got leadership instead!) for my employer's vPHBs, oh yes indeed.

[ published on Thu 30.04.2009 12:40 | filed in brainfarts | ]

...unless yours is made from porcelain, weighs 15+ kgs empty and has no tank.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 30.04.2009 00:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

My daughter has a hard time accepting why I won't visit her: as she lives in the USA, I would have to deposit my fingerprints with that regime of crooks - which I refuse to.

So I've got the choice between convenient and wrong, or inconvenient and right (according to my personal universe of values).

Simply caving in and being suitably cowed to let Them do whatever They want would, of course, make my daughter and hence me happier - but only for about 2 seconds:

I am neither a criminal nor a shipping container!

and I refuse to be treated and tracked that way. Nobody and nothing has the right to do that to me, neither my 'own' country nor anybody else.

I cannot accept this kind of demands, and so I don't visit the US or the UK anymore (apart from lots of other Garden Spots I never wanted to see anyway).

So, will I personally make a difference? bwuahaha Not bloody likely.
Does that deter me? No.
Does my insigificance suggest conformance as an acceptable solution? Hell no!
Am I a fool? Likely, but no bunch of governmental thugs deserves my blind obedience and I'm very much in agreement with H.D. Thoreau in this matter.

But of course trying to be steadfast and true to my personal values feels to Conny not much different from me not wanting her or finding her unimportant. Neither of which is the case.

But what is more important, my universe of values or her happiness? Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

I choose my values. Sorry, Conny: you can be happy without me visiting you in your place, but I can't be content with serving as a silent, conformist gear wheel.

So far we've managed to soften the sting of this conviction of mine by my sponsoring her to visit me instead. So far this has worked out ok. But will she ever understand me making my stand in this?

Nevertheless I see less and less travel ahead of me, and/or extensive sanding paper sessions when I have to renew my current passport.

Governments and human nature suck. If only humanity was evolved enough for anarchy to work...

[ published on Tue 28.04.2009 00:39 | filed in interests/anti | ]

This is not a Beatles song.

Horricle + Sun = the horror, the horror.

[ published on Tue 21.04.2009 12:29 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Apart from two minor bits of work I consider the bathroom done. Here's an update of the most recent work and a few pictures.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 16.04.2009 19:47 | filed in interests/au | ]

Grouting tiles seems to me the most perverse building-related type of work: first you do your best to goop up your Nice New Tiles, (wait 30m), then you do your best to wipe and wash off most of the bloody gunk again.

Combined with my "love" for cleaning this is not a happy exercise.

Still and all it was to be done, and so I spent this arvo first prepping and then grouting all the bathroom walls. No photos right now, because during the work I was way too busy for snapping pix, and afterwards I had the joy of cleaning up the mess, and now I'm too tired.

[ published on Sat 11.04.2009 23:46 | filed in interests/au | ]

I'm quite paranoid and absolutely want my privacy. Hence I use encryption pretty much everywhere: disks, backups, email etc. On the other hand I'm a sysadmin and as such lazy: I want things efficient and elegant. This post is a quick rundown on how (& how far) I personally manage to combine those somewhat incompatible goals on a technical level.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 08.04.2009 15:52 | filed in interests/crypto | ]

Just a quick update on the disaster zone progress: no new troubles anywhere, and I'm happily working off the remaining todo-list.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 07.04.2009 11:22 | filed in interests/au | ]

After work on Monday Rob dropped by and gave me a quick jump-start on the tiling. Unfortunately he didn't have a lot of time so the actual doing was up to me, myself and I.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 04.04.2009 00:55 | filed in interests/au | ]

Last time I spoke to Conny a few days ago she had seen the progress report and said she was "scared": she didn't quite use the words "disaster zone" but she said it "looked worse than mum's" house^Wconstruction site (which I really, really doubt - I for one knew exactly how much work this would be - and how to do things mostly solo).

Anyway, this here progress update is dedicated to my lovely daughter, to alleviate her worries :-)
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 28.03.2009 17:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

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