Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tree hugging recyclers of the word, fuck off.

My work management are heavily into the greenie tree-hugger thing, as as such we have four sorts of bin around the place - green for organic, yellow for recyclables, red for landfill, and blue for paper and carboard.
Sounds reasonable, right?
You can put paper towels in green bin, fair enough.  You can also put tea bags in, despite the fact they have a steel staple in them??  You can also put "food" in there - but specifically not meat.  And you can't put wooden paddle pop tea stirrers in there, despite the fact that wood was organic the last time I looked.
The blue bin isn't supposed to have waxed paper put in it.

The yellow bin isn't for glass, but is OK of for plastics - but only some plastics.

The red bin - landfill - isn't supposed to have *any* plastic in it, so where do I put the plastic I can't put into the yellow bin?  Aerosol cans are also a no-no, but I can't put them into the yellow bin either.  Apparently they are supposed to vanish into limbo.  Or more likely into some other poor bastard's bin where it's their problem.

So, like any red-blooded bloke would do when faced with a situation like this, I say "who fucking cares" and sling the lot into the red bin and be done with it.  I think they should consider themselves lucky I deliberately aim for the red bin and don't just shove it in the first bin I come to, colour be damned.

This is what gives me the shits in general when it comes to recycling.  It's too hard, and I just can't be bothered.  When I need a multipoint checklist to figure out which of 4 possible bins I fling a random piece of office crap into, it's not going to happen.

The same goes for councils who bitch about things like not wanting pizza boxes in the recycling.  Same reason as the mob we have here at work only wanting certain plastics.  It's either too hard to deal with the ones they don't want, or there's no market for the end product - probably because it's more expensive than new material.  This also gets filed under the heading of "things I don't give a damn about", because as far as I'm concerned, you're either recycling - or you're not.  I'm not going to stand her and sort what to me is garbage for a recycling company's benefit, if they want to recycle - they can do it.

I'm not enough of a troglodyte (yet) to stick lawn clipping in the recycling, or the contents of the cat litter tray, but if anyone things I'm gonna sort plastics by chemical composition they're in for a rude shock.

Friday, April 29, 2011

News clippings from the UK

Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a special branch vehicle, and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian)

After being charged £20 for a £10 overdraft, 30 year old Michael Howard of Leeds changed his name by deed poll to Yorkshire Bank PLC Are Fascist Bastards. The bank has now asked him to close his account, and Mr. Bastards has asked them to repay the 69p balance, by cheque, made out in his new name. (The Guardian)

Would the congregation please note that the bowl at the back of the church labelled 'for the sick' is for monetary donations only. (Churchtown Parish Magazine)

At the height of the gale, the harbourmaster radioed a coastguard on the spot and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied that he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. (Aberdeen Evening Express)
Mrs Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. "He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out Heil Hitler". (Bournemouth Evening Echo)

Commenting on a complaint from a Mr.Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West gas said "We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr.Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that blew his house to pieces." (Bangkok Post)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Slow news day, is it?

Captain Obvious is apparently writing for The Australian now.  What a surprise, house prices dropping in an area that's just been through a huge flood?  Who woulda thunk it...

This bloke is a nutter, but I like the idea.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well there's fuck all heppening here.  Night shift #2, had a sleep from about 8:30am to 3:30pm today and I feel pretty good.  The drive home this morning did demand a little more concentration than normal but I'm running against the traffic so so dramas.

I've just realised that I have a 45m corridor here.... I wonder if anyone would go crook if I brought my bow in?  Biggest problem is that a bad shot from one end puts an arrow through a glass wall and out into the Docklands yacht basic, and from the other it goes through a plaster wall into the NOC, and assuming it misses everyone the $1.8m video wall pulls it up.  I might have to bring one of the tier 1 staff up and use them as a backstop - they're not much use for anything else...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

First overnight shift

An hour to go to the end my first ever overnight shift.


An interesting experience, I walked in on the tail end of a complete cockup by a cast of thousands who had taken about 8 people, 12 hours and who knows how much expense to fix what was ultimately a very simple problem.  It took about 15 minutes to fix the issue and two hours to clean up the resulting mess.


I made an attempt at getting a bit of kip yesterday afternoon that failed miserably, got about an hour I think, so I decided I’d just tough it out and crash when I got home.  Don’t feel too bad really, but I won’t be doing much in the way of a wind-down I assure you.  This ought to set the pattern nicely.


Had lunch about 3am, and only had three (large) coffees the whole night, the biggest problem I think was boredom?  I’ve basically finished the internet, *no* news gets posted overnight, I’m bored with reading my book and man am I sick of reading processes and pointing out all the errors.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dog dammit

And the number of reputable hard drive manufacturers is reduced by one.  Pity, I have Samsungs in my NAS and they go quite OK, but I wouldn't buy a Seagate with my worst enemy's money for fear of encouraging the pricks.

Back to Western Digital for everything, it seems.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cry me a river

A report breathlessless published at midnight (hold the presses!!!!) has revealed the awful truth that (gasp!) some scurrilous hounds in the AV industry are selling DSTBs that are not HD compliant!

Fuck me, if people can't be bothered to do some basic reading then they deserve to get ripped off.  I am utterly sick to death of people acting like complete retards as soon as a piece of technology comes along, then bitching afterwards that they didn't get what they want.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Ran across this interesting game this morning: Filler

I got to level 20 before I gave up, you have to sit there too long sniping tiny windows after that.  Not bad fun though.  If you can get a clear window in a top corner, you can kind of start a self-protecting "waterfall" of balls that you can keep creating behind.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Anyone surprised at the nationality shown at the end?

That's working for me.

Disconnecting VoIP

Decided to disconnect the VoIP service last week, we just don’t use it any more.


Go online to their website, nope – you can’t do it from there, although you can *connect* a service.  Why?  Because they don’t want you to get away that easily.


Call their service centre.  Nope, that closed 6 minutes ago and is only available during business hours.


Call this morning.  There are IVR options for sales, billing and support.  Choose billing, wait in the queue, only to be told they need to transfer me to disconnections.  Why no option?  Because people might pick it.


Wait in the queue for disconnections, finally answered via the crappiest VoIP call you have ever heard to what I suspect was the Philippines.



Call centre droid:  This Ook, what you want?


Me:  Me want disconnect account.  You make account go away.


Droid:  Why?


Me:  Because use mobiles, no further need.


Droid:  You customer since 2007, how about 6 months free service?


Me:  How about droid listen to customer?  I just said I’m not using the service, it make zero difference whether it free or not.  Make go away now.


Droid:  You sure not keep?  Maybe transfer to other family member or friend?


Me:  WTF??  Disconnect the fucking service NOW, or I take a record of the time and date of the call, your name and operator number, I lodge a complaint with the company, and I instruct my bank to withdraw your payment privilege.  I’ll also take a recording of my telling you this, and further attempts to bill me for services I have requested be discontinued will be reported to the police as attempted fraud.


Droid:  *grunt*  *snort*  OK, Ook disconnect account.



I swear that there must be some sort of training that customer save staff go through, very similar to salespeople, telemarketers, car salesmen, real estate agents and doorknockers.  That training includes brainwashing so the word “no” just doesn’t even register on their consciousness, along with the ability to completely ignore what the customer wants in favour of their own agenda.  And then these people probably wonder why they are regarded as somewhere between a slime mould and something you wish you hadn’t just found on the sole of your shoe from a respectability point of view.

Temps and banks

It’s 13° room temperature here at the moment, CPU is sitting at 36° with the fan running so low it’s setting off RPM alarms in the hardware monitor.  I’ve seen the ambient higher than that before.


I’ve spent the last 2 weeks off and on changing over all of our bank accounts and financial details.  As part of our mortgage, we got a slightly complicated account package:


- a Mastercard

- an Amex card, which despite being totally separate, runs off the same credit account as the Mastercard.  (??)

- an offset savings account.


This initially made no sense to me, so investigation was in order.  The outcome was that yes, the two credit cards are totally separate, and run by separate companies, but Westpac provides the credit facility that both run off.  It doesn’t matter which piece of plastic you flash, it ends up in the same bucket.  So why the two cards?  Because we get double frequent flyer points on the Amex.  So the shot is to use the Amex if at all possible, unless the retailer wants to slug us an additional merchant fee for doing so.  Quite a few do, as Amex themselves charge about twice what everyone else in the industry does.


Anything in the offset savings account counts against the amount of the loan – it’s as good as having made an additional payment.  So the idea is to have everything paid into that account, let the loan payments come out of there, but use credit cards for *everything* and only pay the card off at the last minute.  Think of it like a slush fund meets a very quick redraw facility.


Simple enough, right.  Now begins the fun part – changing every single automatic payment detail on file everywhere.  If it was paid via credit card, we’ve got new card numbers.  If it was direct debit – we’ve got a new savings account.  Aargh.  I’ve spent the last two weeks mucking about with this and I think I have finally gotten everything…


Oh yeah, one more piece of weirdness.  Both the credit cards are Westpac branded cards, even the Amex.  Both are linked to the offset savings account, so if I want some cash both will work in an ATM.  But the Amex – despite being Westpac branded – is regarded as a “foreign” card and incurs the usual $2-for-nothing-ripoff fee if you use it.  Not going to even try to understand that one.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I have just glued myself to my fletching jig.  Nfh.  Currently soaking hand in acetone hoping the glue debonds before my epidermis does.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

OK, true respect due.

Shot 1 @ 1000 yards: headshot.

Shot 2: GTFO??

Shot 3: Three headshots at 1000 yards. 5" group. And he's never seen the rifle before, or shot with a spotter.

It's a state of mind. These people are special. You're a sniper... or you're a target.

Friday, April 8, 2011


SWMBO quite surprised me today by suggesting we disconnect our VoIP service.  Suits me fine, I've been pushing it for about a year now.  With two $400 cap mobiles in the house I don't see the point any more, so why pay the monthly tariff?

Interesting day at work today... brains trust tier 3 team and our vendor locked themselves out of a rather significant piece of kit 700km away from anywhere convenient.  :)  Idiots.  And firewall problems currently mean the disaster recovery solution is a no go.  My solution:  SSH to a small alarm collector box in the site, which I know is hardwired to the out-of-band management interface on the isolated device.  Set up the port to simulate a console session, then bind a TCP port to the physical serial interface.  Now spawn a telnet session in loopback against the TCP port, so the session is aimed out across the physical link to the network element.  Bewdy, login prompt!  Dig through a log from a couple of months ago for the encrypted CLI auth details, and now I have root on the box.  :)  From there it's a simple command to enable SSH cut-through from the EMS and tier 3's bacon is saved.

Go tier 2!!!!  The look on the tier 3 manager's face was priceless.

24/7 roster starts Monday, how did I end up with Monday as an SDO??  Can I live with the strain?  (Who wrote the bloody roster...)  Frankly the best part is we're all no longed in the same place at the same time, so a lot of the management bullshit will die away naturally, and we should have some peace and quiet to get on with it.  Got a lot to learn, and I need to get the hangers-on out of the road so I can get some quality hands-on time going.

Must put a brew down tomorrow, I am down to about 30 litres of hooch.  This is unsatisfactory.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Welcome back AEST

And so, for another year, the idiocy of daylight savings time has retreated back to its lair of confusion to question the reason for its own being.  Thank dog for that, what a bloody stupid idea.  They’re called seasons, people – they happen.  Deal with it.


Anyone else ever get irritated by the annoyance of batteries?  In the morning I pull my mobile out of the dock where it spends the night charging.  I notice the remote control panel for the heating is yet again whinging about low batteries. Go to reset the clock in the PVR back to AEST – nope, batteries are too low for the remote to work.  Did out some NiMH rechargeables which are supposed to hold some semblance of a shelf charge – nope, they’re flat, get out yet another appliance and stick them on charge.  I’ll need a drill in a while so it’s time get out yet another charger and stick the battery into it, or you can absolutely guarantee the bastard of the thing will go flat halfway through the job.  I need to do some work on the laptop, hmm – will I manage to get it done on battery, or am I going to have to deal with the fourth charger of the morning – and I’ve only been up half an hour.  Calley heads off to a local garden expo, no problem with the camera – I charged that last week.


The whole freaking world runs on batteries and it pisses me off.  The only small compensations I have seen for some years now have been:


The development of lithium cells, which at least are reasonably light and have no memory, at the expense of crap amperages, being horrifically expensive and the fact that they die at about the same rate on the shelf as they do in active good.  So good luck getting a replacement battery for that two year old mobile, the replacement is two year old stock so it’s just as dead as the one you just tossed.  Oh yeah, and don’t puncture them.  If you do, I suggest removing yourself to a safe distance until it’s all over.


The development of consumer grade NiMH cells in usable sizes (AAA, AA, sub C and 9v), with decent capacities (3Ah AAs anyone?) and affordable desktop chargers.  They still don’t hold a shelf charge worth a damn, but they’re a bloody sight lighter than NiCd and don’t develop anything like the memory.  Current capacity is reasonable too.