yes, i'm still here. no, you haven't missed any updates - there haven't been any: i guess i don't have anything to say, anymore.

[ published on Fri 23.07.2021 10:32 | filed in still-not-king | ]

you know you're officially an old fart when you see your daughter holding her daughter.

welcome, stephanie! may your stay on this earth be a good one.

 conny with stephanie andew with stephanie
[ published on Sun 09.02.2020 18:43 | filed in still-not-king | ]

recently i spent almost six weeks in austria: with family, friends and a bit of work. it was a good trip but a little bitter-sweet, too.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 31.07.2019 15:54 | filed in still-not-king | tagged at, oz, travel | ]

a bit over a week one of my 6 255w solar panels on the roof decided to develop an earth fault, the inverter sensed that and stopped power generation altogether.

an inspection indicated that all panels are on the way out, not just one. these 'znshine' panels are clearly not much good; they lasted just 8 years, and the warranty is pretty useless: '5 years for faults and defects' and '25 years for output degradation but only if that's your sole problem' for all practical purposes '5 years'. meh.

fortunately the solar sparkie that i talked to (who did a good job for my neighbours recently) offered some second-hand better quality for a very good price, and now there are 7 renesola 250w panels on my roof and i'm happy again.

[ published on Sun 19.05.2019 13:51 | filed in still-not-king | tagged solar, renesola, znshine | ]

keith and i spent last weekend on fraser island, setting up two of the new weather stations for fido:

these are located at orchid beach and at cathedral beach;

 orchid beach weather station cathedral beach weather station

with four stations most of the eastern, ocean facing side of the island is now covered. two more stations on the western side (at kingfisher bay and wanggoolba) will follow in the next three months.

things worked out pretty well and we did find a few hours for sightseeing, too; here are a few photos.

 near the champagne pools eurong beach turtles at lake allom kingfisher bay kingfisher bay kingfisher bay ks and az at knifeblade sandblow

to capture the size of some of the big trees i experimented with my phone to get a vertical panorama (up, up and lean baaaaaack), and while not perfect it doesn't look too bad :-)

 looking up, up and up looking up
[ published on Sun 05.05.2019 10:55 | filed in still-not-king | tagged fido, weather, fraser_island | ]

i've finally decided to change some things a bit, in the hope that i will (learn|get) to enjoy life a bit more again.

after five years of hard work at opmantek i'm very tired and quite burnt out. so i (have|will) quit my job: i submitted my resignation at the beginning of july, but effective end of december. that's because i like my colleagues and do want to give the company a decent amount of time to find somebody to fill the hole. (and it'll be a hole, not just a gap. cue silly quip about 'No More Gaps' being called 'instant carpenter' by those in the trade. 'instant software engineer', anyone?)

and me, myself and i? i will take an extended break, relax and recharge my will-to-live battery, travel a little across oz and generally take it easy for a while.

well, at least that's the plan. no idea how long it'll last or how much or little i'll enjoy the change, but i think you'll see a few more updates on this here site.

one of the reasons why i've been very quiet lately is that i'm mostly tired and need my non-copious amounts of free time to recharge and for chores, and hence am rarely in the mood to share anything online. well, (we|you)'ll see.

[ published on Sun 19.08.2018 10:28 | filed in still-not-king | tagged worklifebalance | ]

a little sign of life:


that's me enjoying the beach in the evening. the quieter beach areas in the evening are pretty much the only thing that i do like about the gold coast.

[ published on Mon 02.04.2018 21:20 | filed in still-not-king | ]

buying a big chunk of pork shoulder (because it was much cheaper per kilo than the smaller rolled roasts), only to realise at home that you don't have a single oven-ready vessel that the chunk of meat will fit into.

ah well, at least i have sharp knives and so will enjoy two separate roasts...

[ published on Mon 26.02.2018 19:28 | filed in still-not-king | ]

a few days ago i realised that our daughter conny will be half our age this year ("our age" as in individual, not summed).

an interesting thought with slightly scary implications.

[ published on Mon 12.02.2018 13:26 | filed in still-not-king | ]

...pity that its topic totally applies to me.

 newest shirt

(source: the ever-awesome xkcd)

[ published on Sat 03.09.2016 17:20 | filed in still-not-king | ]

she's a cool person, i highly suspect her boyfriend thinks she's hot - i find her awesome, because i get the best birthday presents from her.

this year they included, amongst other things, some really hot stuff:

 supersaucy sauces

i opened one bottle yesterday, and wohoohoooooot! two hours after having a little on some toasted bread i still felt it burn around my mouth. very nice stuff, thank you conny!

[ published on Sat 30.07.2016 21:59 | filed in still-not-king | ]
 conny, hunter valley

today my daughter cornelia turns 20. congrats and well done!

it's been quite a journey and i'm happy conny has grown up to be a pretty good person.

 conny frisch geschluepft
[ published on Sun 23.08.2015 13:51 | filed in still-not-king | ]

i'm still here. nothing especially newsworthy to report, except that i'm getting better at making my own bread - now without any machine help (well, except the oven).

 handgemachtes brot handgemachtes brot

oh, and the sunsets around here are pretty nice. pity that i get to see them mostly when i leave the office - i "work to live but live to work" and not much else.

 sunset at work sunset at work sunset at work
[ published on Sun 21.06.2015 14:50 | filed in still-not-king | ]

so it's finally 19115.


(source: dunno, but i'm pretty sure it's a cartoon by Gerhard Haderer)

the weather here has been pretty lousy almost continually since 24.12., except (what a surprise!) for this week's work days. none of my vacation plans worked out at all, but christmas itself was very nice - conny and andrew (oh, and we mustn't forget maxi!) visited.

 conny und az xmas conny und az xmas
 conny andrew und der wackeldackel conny andrew und der wackeldackel

that's what we did on the 24th, before starting our late-arvo cooking session:

 xmas 2014 xmas 2014 xmas 2014 xmas 2014 xmas 2014 xmas 2014

the pooch didn't exactly appreciate being left with this here babysitter while conny and andrew went to the gym; maxi was very worried and insisted on sitting on my lap.


note to self: for the next attempt to make gherkins in brine i'll have to find a better method for keeping them dunked below the surface... three ended up poking out this time, rotted and wrecked the whole batch.

 salzgurken experiment salzgurken experiment salzgurken experiment

and that's about it for now. keep calm, move on, nothing to see here.

[ published on Sun 11.01.2015 19:24 | filed in still-not-king | ]

when i came home today i didn't find the garage door handle - which isn't a real surprise, because it's not my garage door. strange.

at my door mat there was a bill for $some_other_resident, 79 $street_address, for a new garage roller door. $some_other_resident is not me, for no values of me, but 79 is mine.

$some_other_resident wasn't too happy when i walked over to her place with that bill in hand. apparently the door installer measured her garage door but installed it in mine (or maybe he was confuzzled from the beginning).

now i'm curious what'll happen: i'm certainly not going to pay $650 for a door that i didn't order, replacing my perfectly working old door.

now, if he can find my old door he can certainly reinstall that (but i find it somewhat unlikely that they didn't dump the thing at the garbage transfer station straight away) - or a different door that is in comparable condition and for which i get keys.

[ published on Mon 25.11.2013 18:42 | filed in still-not-king | ]
  1. Not allowed to play Perl Golf.
  2. Mustn't write dense expressions that use few spaces.
  3. I may not exorcise the g**gle, even though we detests them.
  4. to 213: to be announced, because actually it's really pretty good at work :-)

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 30.10.2013 20:47 | filed in still-not-king | ]

As of tomorrow I'm a full-time worker bee again.

[ published on Sun 20.10.2013 17:10 | filed in still-not-king | ]

...when it comes to door-to-door salescritters, fundraisers, religious looneys and other scum who bother me at home.

I think I'm a fairly polite person, overall. However I do know that towards professional door knockers I'm very rude, and that's absolutely on purpose.

  • First, if you ignore the 'no salespeople' sticker on my door (at chest height, really hard to miss), then in my book this constitutes full acceptance of any amount of rudeness on my part.

    The two begging bastards that I sent packing this afternoon claimed the sticker doesn't apply to them "when fundraising", upon which I pointed out that in this case politeness doesn't apply to them, either.

  • Second, it's quite amazing how badly many of these fellows take being treated rudely.

    I really like that, because it makes my revenge so much sweeter. In return for them annoying me greatly, I annoy them back - and it would be a shame if they didn't care at least a bit :-)

  • Third, it's pretty quick. A few choice words followed by slamming the door in the critter's face very efficiently terminates all unnecessary arguments and delay tactics like discussing how I am or what their name is (they rarely ever get far enough to tell me what crap they want me to buy or what cause to donate for).

[ published on Fri 24.05.2013 21:07 | filed in still-not-king | ]

It seems that during the last two months there was about as much sun in Queensland as there is green in Greenland (Erik the Red = marketing bozo).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 04.03.2013 18:59 | filed in still-not-king | ]

There were some minor wall/ceiling paint touchups to do at home, preferrably with a roller because of the nice texture. I still had some small foam roller covers, but the roller handle had vanished.

No problem: here's how I solve minor annoyances like that:

 az's paint roller, mk.1

Locking pliers are great :-)

[ published on Sat 19.01.2013 20:59 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Fri 21. late night: received an SMS from friends, saying they're going bush camping and whether I'd like to join them.

Sat 22 morning: 250km drive to the upper Clarence River west of Casino

Sun to Tue: relaxing in the shade :-) That particular spot seems to be known to fairly few people and is really lovely. It's on the banks of the Clarence, and well within its flood zone. There are bent trees growing horizontally all over the place, and the evidence of the big floods of two years ago is really stunning: the Clarence is at that point not a big river, but the high water marks are incredibly high up. Anyway, all that flooding makes for very very lush grass and pleasant camping. Only downside: the cows and their patties make for lots of flies. The weather forecast had been pretty bad, but all the storms bypassed us and it drizzled just once, briefly. It was really hot and humid, enough so that even I spent some time in the river (I'm otherwise not a great friend of water and swimming). Getting flushed from the tent at 0730 (because of the heat) is not my preferred way to wake up, but after a coffee and a brief swim around 0900 my brain was usually ready for the day - much of which I spent lounging with books and a few cold beers.

The Clarence and its flood plain (well, more of a flood valley).

 bridge over the clarence clarence river minimally rapid rapids clarence flood plain clarence flood plain clarence flood plain clarence flood plain

My tent next to one of the many horizontal trees.

 tent vs local vertical my tent

Our "lounge" area next to the river. My compact camp kitchen did sterling duties, and so did the MSR Whisperlite (which is now 26 years old!). The tarp in the foreground is mine, the camper/tent combo belongs to my friends. In Europe I never bothered with a tarp, but in Oz it's really essential for getting out of the sun.

 my camp kitchen camp site camp site

The kids used their personal swags, but I much prefer a fullsize tent to one of these coffins.

 jaspers swag

I said it was hot, didn't I? Swimming with a hat on looks weird, and I know that hat of mine looks dorky (but whatever works).

 swimming oz style swimming oz style az dorky hat

That's in the evening.

 az enjoying xmas
[ published on Fri 28.12.2012 13:03 | filed in still-not-king | ]

What a letdown: not a single apocalyptic prediction has come true and none of the nutters were elevated, abducted, or otherwise interestingly transformed. Shocking, Truly Shocking.

Better luck next time, maybe? I'm not giving up hopes for the real Ship B, Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet, just yet. In the meantime imagine the joy of the inhabitants of Bugarach when they get their town back!

[ published on Sat 22.12.2012 07:15 | filed in still-not-king | ]

The not so secret diary of Aragorn Alexander son of Arathorn Andreas:

Day 4064 of my quest work at $PlaceAcrossThePark: after uncounted years of hard graft the managers, marketeers and other minions of Mordor Mammon have finally succeeded in strategizing Hobbiton the IT school into oblivion.

It's now called the "Department of Business Information Systems" and a few hardy hobbits non-technically oriented academics will likely remain for a while but for the rest of us it's off to the Grey Havens.

So, as of christmas I'll have to look for a sysadmin/netadmin/security/dev job again (the uni education sector seems deadish, and anyway I've had enough of that). I just hope I don't have to move house, Bree Brisbane is a bit far for daily commuting, and the idea of moving to super-busy places like Isengard Sydney is a bit of a turn-off.

[ published on Fri 28.09.2012 13:01 | filed in still-not-king | ]

...but not necessarily/exactly you.


nothing more to see - i'm just being silly, move along, move along.

[ published on Sat 22.09.2012 01:00 | filed in still-not-king | ]

The 23rd was Anna Akhmatova's 123rd birthday - or Alan Turing's 100th - or my 40th (same for Zinedine Zidane).

[ published on Tue 26.06.2012 01:07 | filed in still-not-king | ]

yesterday i did a quick tally of my cycling this year, and it looks like i rode between 2700 and 4000km (26km 'standard trip', never less than twice a week but more commonly 3-4 times, all year round).

not too bad, considering my slacker nature...

[ published on Fri 23.12.2011 11:09 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Exactly ten years ago I arrived in Australia.

[ published on Wed 10.08.2011 12:06 | filed in still-not-king | ]

ring ring goes my (private) mobile phone.

me: hello, alex speaking.

her: hi it's <female, australian> with telstra, how are you?

me: fine, thanks. (that's a polite lie: i hate the telco monopolist and avoid them wherever i can. they shouldn't have this number, btw.)

her: that's great. please note that this call may be recorded or monitored for training and quality assurance purposes. are you ok with that?

me: no, i'm not. i do not want this call to be recorded.

her: brief pause while some thoughts scramble through her hamster brain, which is obviously completely lost when things leave the crib sheet path oh, but why do you not want that call recorded?

me: i do not want this call to be recorded.

her: but what's the problem?

me: i do not want this call to be recorded.

her: ok, i won't be able to continue this call then. have a good day. click

me: happy

Next time I think I'll ask for extra anchovies with my pizza (if male sales weasel) or request some telephone sex (if female).


See also: It's Lenny, a recent development by an Australian BOFH with my kind of humour. VOIP rocks :-)

[ published on Wed 08.06.2011 18:07 | filed in still-not-king | ]

acute angle, doubleplus-uncute pissed-off human, acute pain.

why? i highsided my bicycle just an hour ago: i chose too acute an angle when passing from the grass onto a concrete pathway, the grass was high and hid the large difference in height, the front tire caught and stayed down on the grass and i got tossed over the frame and deposited onto the concrete.

one big bruise on my hip, a skinned knee and forearm/elbow. not too bad but still annoying. the second half of my usual 26km round was not exactly comfortable - but i did not shorten the distance.

[ published on Tue 22.03.2011 18:09 | filed in still-not-king | ]

For sysadmins, that is. (automation, robustness etc.pp.) For people in solo households (like me) it's not so definite.

I dislike cleaning, but I like it when the house is clean. Specifically, I dislike scrubbing the kitchen sink/washbasin strainers and their surrounds: always somewhat grotty and lots of brushing required to keep them nice.

But yesterday I found out that there's a super-lazy solution for that: put in the stopper, pour in some bleach, let it stand for an hour or so, then unstopper the drain and you're done. Results were shiny and dirt-free.

[ published on Tue 15.03.2011 12:51 | filed in still-not-king | ]

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