Lexifabricographer - Where good concepts go to die
Words that go together, although not necessarily terribly well
Sometimes I like to pretend to be other, better people
Stands for Play By Mail, or possibly Postal Brutality Mongers
Yes, of course I have one. Doesn't mean I'm not prepared to trade for yours, though.
This is where the bodies are buried
Talk to me
Get me the hell out of here!

Monday, February 07, 2005
Broadband update: The End

As mentioned in a comment in the last entry, we now have a fully restored phone and fully functional ADSL 24/7. I feel so 21st century right now. I had an interesting succession of startling moments on Sunday morning, beginning with (a) the realisation that the ADSL light on the router was now lit, after several days of sullen dullness, followed quickly by (b) the sound of the phone ringing (or at least warbling in the least irritating tone available from the limited selection of options that came with it) and (c) that there was a guy in Telstra overalls standing at the front door with a mobile in his hand, nodding thoughtfully. He gave a brief technical explanation which I distilled to the following interpretation: 'the broadband installer did something a bit dumb'. Of course, it's possible he's paid to say that.

Surprisingly, the sudden accessibility of Azeroth did not spell the end for my job application writing. I managed to get about as much done yesterday as I would at the best of times (ie the bare minimum to be regarded as respectable for a weekend) though as a not-unconnected side comment I will note that the dishes got washed and a whole bunch of my CD's got ripped into iTunes files etc etc. Your standard horrible-job-avoidance techniques were demonstrably in play.

I also got a couple of quests done in WoW and I watched a bit of cricket, but only after I'd done enough to justify some play time to myself...

Last minute rush

Oddly Ė considering that I was completely alone and unsupervised, due to the rest of my team being out and about the country Ė I got an awful lot done at work today. I'm due to fly out to Perth on Wednesday to provide two sets of two-day training on the IT application we just finished developing. Never mind that I'm an administrator and have never actually used the software in question, that's irrelevant. The program area that should be doing all of the training is hopelessly understaffed and they need anyone they can get Ė which means anyone ever even tangentially associated with the project, up to an including one ex-colleague whom they've flown back from London because she's the only one who knows how it works.

These are the circumstances that qualify me to provide training. Be warned. Some day it may happen to you too.

Anyway, got through a mountain of prep for that, organised two meetings that I won't be around to attend, started a contract variation for a completely unrelated side project, and briefed the new Branch head, who wandered in at lunch time wondering where all her staff were.

In others words, I spent a day actually living up to the gross exaggerations, careful misstatements and out and out fabrications that constitute that promotion application.

And now, I deserve a bit of time on some other planet...

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Friday, February 04, 2005


Okay, for anyone whoís a fan of Lost (and if youíre not, you should be Ė itís a great combination of soapie, action-psychodrama and absurdist theatre which you donít often get from US TV shows), check out this (spoiler-free, for anyone whoís seen at least the first episode) fan website for Charlieís band. The News page is extremely amusing (especially the rant about hackers).

Broadband update 4: Hopeless resignation

No miraculous restoration of phone services last night. Am almost conditioned to survive daily disappointment of perpetual weblessness. Did not, however, get any application written, but instead got tired and went to bed early. Hasnít helped. Eschewing pronouns.

On the (weird) plus side, an extra parcel turned up yesterday. For some reason, the ISP sent me another ADSL modem. I'm tempted to detach the first one and hook up the new one instead, just to see if it miraculously restores the phones. But that would be sad and desperate, wouldn't it?

Er...mmm mmm mmm....ah, excuse me.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Broadband update 3: The end in sight?

Iíll believe it when I see it. The Telstra techs have until close of business tonight (which according to their clock is 7 pm, which must be nice for them) to figure out whatís wrong with the phone line and fix it. Iím not particularly optimistic that they will resolve the problem, whatever that may turn out to be. Rather, I suspect they will take one look, blame the ISP and refuse to do anything to correct our buggered phone lines. And charge us a hundred bucks for the callout.

In a sense, this will be good. I really donít have time to play World of Warcraft much between now and next Wednesday, when I have to fly to Perth to provide training on a system I barely know myself yet. I have three working days and a weekend to become sufficiently expert to fake my way through two two-day training sessions without looking like a complete idiot or teaching someone something catastrophically wrong.

Meanwhile, Mike the Boss and Ian the Supervisor have recommended that I be paid as one grade higher than my current position, coz of all that responsibility I have now. Itís contingent, of course, on my applying as soon as possible for promotion to that level, which means knocking together a CV and addressing selection criteria and generally writing self-promoting garbage of the rankest order. All very tiresome and rote. Fortunately, I have no broadband, so I guess I have the time to spareÖ

Updated update: Well, shit. Just got a call from the Telstra technician who is very sad to report that Ďbecause of the bad weather and high winds, they are unable to complete that jobí. Itís being reallocated to Sunday the 6th. That means the phone will have been out for ten fucking days, assuming they can even work out what the problem is by then. I mean, sure, I can see that the high winds and such have made life difficult, but I would like to point out for the record that the shithouse weather only started todayÖ

Sigh. Looks like that applicationís going to get written this weekend after all.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Broadband Update 2: Are we in cyberspace yet?

The answer is no. Thinking that perhaps the problem was that the new ADSL connection has been interfering with the phone & modem, I bought an ADSL line filter and connected it up last night, in the naÔve expectation that it would siphon off all that nasty broadband interference and Ė at the very least Ėrestore our phone services to us.

Nuthiní. Both lines are still fritzed.

Extremely arduous calls to the ISP and Telstra fault lines have revealed the likelihood that in fact the phone line itself is having problems. As we originally suspected, until we second-guessed ourselves. Oh well. So even though the wireless modem will be showing up this morning, hooking it up might still not get us online. A fearless Telstra technician has been dispatched to identify the cause of our torment. Nevertheless Iím getting a distinct sense of unease that this tedious affair is far from over.

Macced up

In (dashed) anticipation of a restoration of access to the Young Personís Interweb, Jimbo done buyed hisself one a them thar purdy Mac Minis. Whew! Itís small but itís zippy. And did I remember to mention how goddamn cool it looks? Coz it does. And zippy? My word yes. Even when he was using his old computer as a monitor via Ethernet cable, it still came off as pretty damn quick.

And it would have been even zippier if he could have had the extra RAM installed, but apparently you need a special opening knife to get the back off them (the traditional 10c piece canít prize apart this babyís armour, lemme tell ya) and itís so new that they didnít even have one in the shop.

Heís just been out to Fyshwick to pick up a second hand (monstrous) monitor, because that whole old-PC-as-monitor-via-ethernet thing just ainít zippy enough so pretty soon heís gonna be redlining on the information superhighway.

If the onramp ever opens again, that is.

Misss-ter Gari-bal-di!

So by popular request, I tried my hand at recreating my favourite Italian dish, the Chicken Garibaldi, which to my knowledge has only ever been served in one place Ė the small trattoria around the corner from Rob and Waaís old place in Kirwan. I canít even remember its name, but I can still vividly recall latching on to this one dish and never eating another thing that that place served, despite frequent visits during the Ď90ís.

To the best of my recollection, itís chicken breast in a brandy cream sauce with peppercorns and sundried tomatoes. Not an especially complex entry into the rich lexicon of Italian cuisine, but most of my previous shots at it have fallen a bit flat. Last nightís attempt was a valiant one Ė I think I got just about everything right, but I slightly overdid the mustard and cooked the chicken a bit too long, so it was too dry.

But Iím getting there. One day, I will achieve my goal. Oh yes.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Broadband update!

9:15 am: No parcels with line filters and wireless routers have arrived.


Have decided to stay at work and pretend I care about anything other than getting home and hooking up gadgetry. May need to get hepped up on goofba- er, coffee. In order to maintain feverish state of anticipation, you understand.

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