It's been insanely eventful for me this month. I was going to write up an entry for when I visited Dilph last week but I lost the motivation. I didn't write an entry for Missy's B5 video night, nor the Japanese "sit down" comedy thing (Rakugo) I went to ... the list goes on.
There's also the 40G hard drive I installed in Phoenix last week. I'm happy to say that it's been running without a problem. :> My Enterprise collection is slowly accumulating. ;>
On the Saturday morning of the B5 video weekend, I was heading to meet up with Bingo when I decided to get off the bus at Stones Corner/Buranda, theoretically saving me a few minutes, since it's approximately the same distance from Buranda to Bingo's as it is from the Mater Hospital (it IS!!!!!!), and of course I would have disembarked at the 'Gabba bus station (one stop short), since the zone boundary intersects between the two bus stops. The bus didn't actually stop where I wanted it to, so when I got off I started to backtrack, then I wondered where the sidestreets behind me lead (yes, they lead uphill), so I took off at a jog up the streets. It wasn't long before I was faced with several "no through road" signs telling me I couldn't get through, so I weaved back and forth through the streets, trying to make progress towards my destination like a rat in a maze. I discovered that it was actually the freeway blocking off my path, and I ended up cutting through Buranda train station and finally started heading in the right direction by using the bikeway .... even though pedestrians aren't supposed to use it. :D Of course, this is the same bikeway that I crashed my mountain bike on last year. There seemed to be more hills than I remembered.....
So I got to Bingo's panting and looking out of shape. I told Bingo and then Anthea where I'd just run from. My excuse was that I was an idiot, but the real reason was that it was a fun challenge and I needed the exercise anyway. (I gotta stay in shape somehow!)
The reason I brought this up is what happened Wednesday last week. I dragged myself out of bed just before 7 and very tiredly made my way to campus for my 8am tutorial. I got there a handful of minutes late and the tutor hadn't even arrived. :D He didn't show until ten past, which I guess goes to show how well he knows the behaviour of the class. Nobody wants to be on campus at EIGHT IN THE FRICKING MORNING!! Especially not for some project management tutorial. :p But of course it was the only time I could take it since I signed up for the tutorial late and it was the only convenient time available. :b Anyway, the tutorial (yes, it was oh so worth showing up) was basically circling some numbers on a questionnaire and then providing evidence if we had said "yes, I am capable at ______". So of course I (truthfully?) answered that I wasn't capable at most of those things. :P Smeg it, I've got the questionnaire here somewhere .... here it is.
Please rate each of the following statements according to the consistency with which you believe it applies to you.
- 1 never
- 2 occasionally
- 3 usually
- 4 always
If selecting a 3 or 4 rating, give examples under "Evidence".
1. I participate fully in team meetings.
2. I demonstrate a positive attitude.
3. If I have concern with something someone has said or done I go directly to that person (rather than talking to others about them).
4. I listen openly to others' ideas. (Well, I HAD to circle '4' for this one.) :D
5. I sincerely celebrate others' successes.
6. I follow through on anything I agree to do.
7. I represent my team positively to non-team members. (I circled '3' for this one too, but the other guys in the tutorial said my "evidence" was a bit waffley.)
8. I willingly share the load.
9. If the facts are not clear, I check for clarification rather than making assumptions.
10. I look for opportunities to make others stars. (*snicker*)
11. I meet deadlines. (*ROTFL*)
12. I take the initiative to do whatever needs to be done.
So, yeah. What a bloody waste of time that was. :D
Er, where was I? Yeah, after the rather brief tutorial, I stopped by the refectory for a bottle of ginger beer and then took a walk to Dilph's house. It's about half an hour to walk to Dilph's, maybe a little longer. More exercise. :D Actually, when I arrived there I was more tired than exhausted. Early start, blah. :b Of course, my legs did ache a little.
But damn that was a cool hangout session. :D Dilph handed me the discs for Neverwinter Nights (Boo-YAH!), and in there somewhere we sorted out my character for Troy's campaign and had a lot of fun looking at Nordic names. :D But by the end of the day, I had Neverwinter, a new hard drive, I'd sorted out my character, and I came home to KitKats!! Yummy!!
I suppose this is a poor account of that particular day, but it was a week ago. :b
I stayed up really late that night reinstalling Windows. Mum woke me up in the morning to get ready for class, and in my half-asleep state I told her that it wasn't worth going and I wasn't going to go, and I turned over and went back to sleep. :b Of course, had I not done that then things might've been messy the following day. You see, I'd been looking forward to playing in the first session of Troy's new D&D campaign, and because I'd spent most of the day before thinking about it, it was on my mind. While I was in the kitchen (for a reason I don't recall), Mum casually said, "You're coming out with us tomorrow night, aren't you?" .... There was a moment of stunned silence from me as I realised ... the game was scheduled for the same night as my brothers' birthday!!! Of course I responded with "yes", but then I wondered why it hadn't occurred to me sooner. I checked over Troy's email messages. The one where he mentioned the game he said "Friday the 11th", and he'd also previously mentioned he was running a game "two weeks from now". And of course I know my brothers' birthday is October the 11th, but I never put these two together! I suppose that's good incentive for keeping a diary. :b
So I told Dilph and phoned Troy later that evening to tell him the bad news ("We'll just play on without you. Bugger ya." - Troy's such a character:D). The following night the family celebrated my brothers' birthday. Wasn't too bad, actually. We went to a nice pasta/cafe type restaurant for dinner. Pumpkin soup and garlic pizzarette-type slices for starters - MMM!! Rum and coke as well. Main course was a HY000GE plate of lasagne - I could only eat a third of what was on the plate and I was full. :/ Maybe I should've asked for a doggie bag... oh well. Definitely value for money, although the lasagne wasn't nearly as nice as the homemade lasagne I make. ;> Then again, store- or restaurant-bought lasagne is rarely ever that good. :D In fact, the only lasagne I can think of that is just as nice is the mega-lasagne at the St Lucia Ville. Damn... I just remembered something ... maybe it was just Jeff's dig at me about being too ugly to score a chick. The comment didn't bother me at all though.
I spent most of my weekend playing Neverwinter. Oh - I mentioned to Bingo that I'd been put in charge of music for a party that was supposed to happen Saturday night at my house. It was just my uncle John and cousin Steve (he's 37!) showing up, but Mum said I should organise some music. Bingo generously offered to loan me some of his collection for the occasion. :> It was a good excuse to get out of the house anyway. ;> Yet again, I had a nice jog from the bus station to Bingo's, but from a different direction (still quite a climb uphill). I was a little smarter and got off at the 'Gabba bus station. I hung around at Bingo's for a little while. I did make note of two things: firstly, I can't remember the last time a week has gone by and meeting up with Bingo hasn't been involved somewhere ... not like I'm keeping track or anything. :D I know Dilph missed out on the Rakugo night and I didn't meet with him that week. But of course it's great that I've been socialising regularly again. :> The second thing I noted was, heh, you might say a fundamental difference between Dilph's host skills and Bingo's. I'm sure Dilph considers it rude of a host to be using a computer while not involving the guest, and makes a reasonable attempt to accomodate the guest. Bingo is a pretty good host as well, sure, but while I was over there last Saturday he spent the majority of the time typing at his keyboard. It's not a criticism, though, merely an observation. Neither of us could think of much to do there anyway. :b Could've gone for a walk, played some pool or something, but I didn't think of that until after I'd left. I was basically there to say hi, see what was up and pick out some music. It was still a cool visit. :> And it got me out of the house, as I said. :D
On the way back home it felt great to spend some time by myself. Obviously I do that a lot, but I mean away from my computer. Just an idle contemplation.
Oh. Saturday evening was a rugby league test match between Australia and New Zealand. As usual, I was supporting the Kiwi team. :D Unfortunately, although it was a close contest, they fell away at the end (again!) and lost. >:( I got rather agro about that. Grr.
Well, Uncle John didn't show. :b He postponed it for the following lunch. Lunch was actually nice, and it was enjoyable meeting up with my uncle again and hearing his anecdotes. :D He's actually rather like Kelvin, personality-wise. I didn't play any music though.
Here comes the meat of my week. Sunday night I was trying to get Aerie up and running again so that I could test my old hard drive and see if it could be reusable. But dammit... I got the bloody smegging P8 and P9 power connectors for the AT motherboard reversed!!! I couldn't remember which way they went, and then I thought I remembered .. of course I didn't. :b I should've checked it!!! Argh! Well, the motherboard appears not to work anymore. >:/ Great. I toasted a motherboard and it wasn't even mine. :b Shit. :b I hope the CPU and video card are both still okay . . . . .
But what the hell were the original hardware designers smoking when they made COMPLETELY REVERSABLE CONNECTORS THAT FRY THE F***ING MOTHERBOARD!!!!?!?!?!??! Yes, I'm a bloody stupid user for NOT checking the connections first, but that sorta shit shouldn't be allowed to happen at all!!
That was the first of my bad news. The second came late on Monday afternoon after I'd been bumming around all day as usual, playing a bit of Neverwinter as well. I suddenly realised, shit, this is Week 11 isn't it? When was the thesis report due. . . .? So I checked it up, and sure enough, the thesis report was due on Friday of Week 11!! Oh shit me. But I read further, and it said that the thesis had to be bound at the Printery ... and the Printery had a 48 hour turnaround, so that effectively meant I had to complete my thesis by the close of business WEDNESDAY!!!.
Oh, fuck me.
Right at that moment, my thesis was a lost cause. I figured I should start thinking about what project I'd be taking next year, and how I'd cope with a whole 'nother year on my degree. But determination kicked in and I decided I would try my best and see what happened. I spent the evening installing LyX, which was quite an involved (but well-documented) process. Dear smeg ... it was worth the effort a hundred times over! Boo-bloody-ya!! That was easily the best decision I made all week! LyX made creating my thesis no more painful than it had to be, and FAR less painful than if I'd been fighting with Word on my 50 page thesis document. :P Goddamn.. the uplifting feeling of using LyX. :D :D
I was up pretty late that night, installing and fiddling and generally trying to Make It Work. I browsed through the thesis newsgroup and there were some helpful posts, including a link to using LyX for writing a UQ thesis!! So I was ecstatic to have that ... in the very muted, sombre, shell-shocked way of a student under enormous pressure.
Of course I slept in the following morning. But I slogged away, slogged away, slogged away. Woke early Wednesday morning and made good progress for a couple of hours. Then I read the newsgroup again. It said there was an alternative place to get the binding done and they quoted a 1 hour turnaround instead of 48 hours.
I did NOT need to rush off to university that afternoon with a half-completed thesis!!!!
If I DO pass my thesis in the end, this is what put me over the line. Or, rather, I definitely would not have passed if I didn't find this information!
*sigh* Unfortunately .... I was so chuffed with finding this really wicked, awesome news that I took a break, had a shower ... and then never really got back into a productive mode. It took me the whole day to write one chapter. 11pm and I felt really busted. I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep. To hell with my report! Alternatively, I was considering sleeping for four hours and picking it up again in the morning. But, luckily, I decided to take a short break, have a cup of coffee, then slog on. Woah... Magic hour!! :D It was then that I decided that bribing myself to continue was the way to go, and if I'd finish this chapter then I'd crack open the glowstick that Bingo gave to me Saturday, and when I finished the following chapter then I could start listening to music, etc. But I got such a buzzy, autopilot thing happening that I knocked off the rest of the chapters nicely. :D I had time to spare! I set Winamp to play music to wake me at 5:30am, put the headphones on and snuggled into bed.
(The amusing thing I noticed later was that up until that point I'd made several spelling errors in each chapter. For the two chapters I wrote at 1am and 2am respectively, there were no errors!)
Funkiness is waking up to "The March of the Black Queen". :D Today (or, rather, it's yesterday now) I finished writing up the niggly bits (introduction, abstract, appendices) before dumping postscript and pdf to a pair of floppies (i.e. redundant floppy disks) and took off to campus. I had vague aspirations of getting one copy of my thesis printed and bound Thursday afternoon, finish polishing the electronic copy up overnight and then having another copy printed and bound today before the deadline, if I had time. The first copy would be used as insurance if I didn't have time to put together a second copy.
There was a queue at the Print On Demand shop (in the UQ bookstore) when I got there. Probably waited in line for twenty minutes. I filled out three fields in a form and handed in my floppy disks. She said I could pick my copy up "3pm tomorrow" (i.e. Friday, i.e. today). The deadline is 4pm Friday! That's cutting it just a little close...
Someone from the print shop phoned me this evening to ask me to clarify what I wanted. Only one copy, please, single-sided. I got a call back a short time later to say that there was trouble printing it because the pdf had a corrupt font in it. I did actually notice that before I rushed out the door, but I didn't fix it. :b The guy said he noticed the postscript file on the floppy disk and he'd generated a new pdf from that. Whew! :D Great foresight from yours truly. ;D He said they'd check the printout in the morning to be sure that there weren't any problems.
So here's hoping I get it in on time and I still manage to pass thesis! Oh, and I discovered today that I can take Embedded System Design again next semester! Wheeee!
But yes, I've only had three hours of sleep since Wednesday morning. Can't half tell from this entry that I've just written a thesis, can ya? ;D Mmmm....coffee is my friend. :>