Aah you were there!

Friday, April 04



Three public holidays and I get an extra hour of sleep this Sunday.

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Saturday, March 29


Pixy's Houshold Hints

Don't leave an Australian two dollar coin in your pocket when washing your clothes in...  Whichever model fancy Samsung combination washer/dryer it is that I have.

Because it's exactly the right size to lodge in the drain and block it completely.

And if the thing can't drain, it won't do anything at all.*  Which means no washer.  And also no dryer.  Combination washer-dryers are wonderful things until they break, and then you lose two critical appliances at once.**

So now I have a working washer, a working dryer, and two dollars.***  A good day all round.

Update: Well, I have a washing machine and $20 anyway.  Found some $5 notes in a pocket when I was carefully checking my first load in my restored washing machine, which was good.  Then it singularly failed to dry the load of washing, which was not so good.  Still an improvement.

* Because (a) the first thing it does on any wash cycle is drain any leftover water, and (b) the dryer has a condenser unit, and won't start unless it can run cold water through the condenser.
** It's been raining here in Sydney for about a month.  I can hand-wash my clothes when I have to, since it's just me, but hand-drying is not so easy.
*** Actually, $5.  There was another $2 and a $1 in the emergency water release thingy.

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Wednesday, March 26


Littlewood's Law

Littlewood's Law states, effectively, that every human being will experience a miracle about once a month.

Where "miracle" is defined not as something necessarily supernatural, but an event with odds of a million-to-one.  So it could just as well be bad, or simply weird, as wonderful.

For example, being late to work on two successive Mondays because the train you missed (because you were already late) hit someone and the railway line was closed.

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Monday, March 24


If The Universe Is Trying To Tell Me Something, I Wish It Would Stop

Last Monday I was running late for work, and missed my train.

I was made significantly later than I already was because the train I missed hit someone and all services on that line were cancelled for the next couple of hours.  Fortunately, since I was stuck at a station which is the junction of three different lines, I was able to take a longer route and eventually reach the office.

Today I was running late for work again* and missed my train.  I caught the next one...  And the train I missed hit someone and the train I was on had to wait while emergency services were called in.

Also, it rained.

And the building site next door keeps catching fire.

I think I should stop going to the office on Mondays.

 * I do work flexible hours, but I was kind of outside the flex.

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Friday, January 03


New Year's Resolution, Part The Second

This year I resolve to be quicker to anger, slower to forgive, and to pour forth acerbity and vitriol upon those deserving of it.

Because the old way wasn't getting me anywhere.

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Tuesday, November 19


F1 Hornsby

No, not the race, the tornado.

(Well, technically the Bureau of Meteorology estimates it as an EF1, but hasn't yet issued a final assessment.)

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Monday, November 18


I Missed All The Fun!

I was in the office in the city today, and missed all the fun at home.

Fortunately, the tornado* missed my house completely and clobbered the shopping district.

I didn't know about it until I got back to Hornsby station this evening and tried to go to the shops to pick up some groceries, only to find the whole shopping centre taped off with police and emergency services in attendance.

No-one killed, though six people were inside a portable building at the railway station that flipped over, and they must have had a hell of a fright.

My train home was a just few minutes late.  Awesome work by NSWGR and the SES, given that there was a tree on the tracks this afternoon.

Update: Found another picture of that portable building from a different angle, which allowed me to identify it.  Two observations: First, it didn't just tip over, it travelled a good twenty feet and landed completely upside down.  Second, I was standing right next to it three hours earlier.

It wasn't just my suburb that caught it today, either; this view from the Manly ferry looks more like a fishing trawler in a storm in the North Atlantic.

On the other hand, at least the fires are out.

Update Two: From the sound of things, the mini-tornado/storm cell took a path right through the centre of town.  It hit the big Westfield shopping centre, blowing out the roof of the cinema multiplex (and trashing the cinemas pretty badly), took part of the roof off the hotel across the mall, crossed over the public library (no reports of damage there), hit the railway station where it flipped that portable building and at least one car, then hit the local technical college, the police station, and the council offices.

The small number of injuries can probably be attributed to two things: First, it was a miserable day here and few people were standing around outside to get hit by debris, and second, where the glass roof blew off in two places in the shopping centre, it sounds like the wind came in through the doors and blew the panes of glass up and out rather than inwards.  In some pictures some of the misplaced panes are visible, resting on the intact ones.

Update Three: News report.  Apparently the library was damaged, possibly badly.

* Possibly;** witnesses have described a funnel and a debris vortex.  Whatever it was, it was highly localised and strong enough to flip cars over.  Possibly an earth elemental.  Or a really cranky stick insect.
** Now confirmed.  Not a stick insect.

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Tuesday, November 12


Speaking Of When I Were A Lad...

The tracks below date to my late teens (or thereabouts); I won't assault you right now with the music I liked in my early teens, when I had no taste at all.*

Anyway, poking around Youtube I found a playlist of obscure 80's songs.


Nik Kershaw's Wouldn't It Be Good?  (Or as I called it at the time, the be kind to aliens song.)  Blancmange's Living on the Ceiling?  Howard Jones?  Depeche Mode?  Spandau Ballet?  Icehouse?  INXS?  Oh, hey, Swing Out Sister, cool.  But really, the Pet Shop Boys?  Cheap Trick?  Men at Work?

Looking at the list, though, it's really heavy in Brit and Aussie bands, so maybe those songs are obscure elsewhere in the world, and your formative years weren't saturation-bombed with Electric Blue and Original Sin.

Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

* Toto Coelo?  Haysi Fantayzee?  Seriously, early-teenage me?  But then, I suppose, points for The Stranglers and Altered Images.

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Thursday, October 31


Trickle Treat

Only one group so far this Halloween.  At this rate I'm going to be left to eat four pounds of chocolate by myself.

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Thursday, October 10


Where Oh Where Has My Screwdriver Gone?

So, one of the teeny-tiny screws on my distance pair of glasses has a habit of working loose over time, and I keep a teeny-tiny screwdriver to tighten it up again.

The problem with teeny-tiny things, of course, is that you can't find the bastards when your glasses are broken.

Turns out that a steak knife serves the purpose nearly as well, and is a heck of a lot easier to find.  (Just fumble around in the cutlery drawer until you start bleeding; that's the one you want.)

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