Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Passport Support website

Everyone who travels has been told they should take a photocopy of their passport, travellers cheques and other documents, and keep them in a separate bag.

But who does...

With Passport Support you can store copies of your vital travel documents securely online. No-one else can access them, but if you suddenly need a copy you can print them out anywhere you can access the internet.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Radioactive Iodine Therapy

I have Graves disease.
I am finally going to be irradiated. I will take a potentially fatal dose (nah just kidding) of radioactive iodine on Monday.
As a result I will not be able to see my family for around 6-10 days. As I will be travelling away for most of that time it won't be a problem anyway.
If your screen starts glowing you will know the contamination is coming through...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Travel and golf

Busy weeks since I last posted. I am back at the coal mines again. This is an annual pilgrimage that I make to the throne of coal (also known as the money tree!)
I have a client that has several coal mines in the Central Queensland Bowen Basin. I have contracted to one of the new mines there for about 4 years now assisting with business planning, budgeting, project reporting and various other excel related jobs including some mine planning, operations reporting, incident reporting, labour costing and leave management. This is usually for 8-12 weeks a year.
The mine is in Northeast of Emerald which is about 1000 kms from Brisbane.
I generally fly up on a Tuesday morning and fly back on a Friday night, meaning I am away from the family for 4 days and 3 nights.
Getting ready to go was quite intense as I had a lot of jobs to tie up before I left. I did have one whole day off before leaving so Monday we went and played. We went to watch Ice Age 2 and then went out for lunch. The kids enjoyed seeing me before I left.

While I have been up here I haven’t had too much work to do this week as I am waiting for others who need to be organised. I played golf yesterday and managed a 61 for 9 holes – (par 36) which as I am on a 27 handicap works out at 47 or 11 over par. Still its my 2nd best ever score having once scored 60 on the same course. I had 2 holes that were only bogeys so I was reasonably happy with that too. Seeing as I play golf once or twice a year I am not at all concerned!

I have seen a wedge tailed eagle twice now while on the way to work as it was feeding off a large dead roo on the side of the road. It is a massive bird standing maybe most of a metre tall while on the ground. I expect its wing span would be 2 or more metres.

Back on the plane tonight to go home!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mundine won the WBA Elimination bout against Green

The Man made it look easy. I think Mundine only really fought about 3 or 4 times in the entire fight. It was almost too easy for him.

Green had one strategy and even though it clearly didn't work he kept trying it. I got the impression Mundine was just playing with him most of the time.

From the outset of the fight Green boxed low and hard. He attempted to soften up Mundine's ribs and stomach with the odd swing at the face and ears. Mundine dogded, ducked weaved, skipped and danced away from it all and when cornered or forced onto the ropes simply covered up and took the fairly weak looking hits.
In contrast Mundines style was to lead with his left forearm and his left shoulder. His stance was very sideways and in quite direct opposition to Greens far more open stance. Almost every thing Mundine did was with his left jab and even though Green was taller and had a longer reach the appearance was that Mundine was both taller and longer. Often Mundine would just hold his left hand fully extended and touch Green on the head, almost daring him to try and come inside that long arm and receive a pummelling. To Green's credit he didn't most of the time, though a couple of times Mundine's taunts raised his ire and he came inside and got punished by quick left left right combinations by Mundine.

Mundine showboated constantly - dropping his guard, playing unorthodox games with his jab feints, playing shoulder dropping, poking his toungue, laughing at Greens wife and openly ignoring Green from time to time. I got the impression he was trying to force Green to lose his temper and then we may have seen a different fight. It was clear however from about round 3 on that Green's only chance was to go for a knockout but it never looked likely.

Mundine did go down twice - the first time he was pushed through the ropes by Green in a comedic tussle, the second slipping on sweat in the middle of the ring forcing a timeout while it was mopped.

In the end a unanimous points decision to Mundine. I was a little disappointed that Green wasn't up to the task. Mundine's abilities were lurking but they remained latent except for a couple of brief moments where he stepped into Green and started rapid combinations including telling hits. I can't wait to see him fight someone who is in his class.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Man Vs Machine

Tonight I am going to go watch the Man Vs Machine fight between Anthony "The Man" Mundine and Danny "The Green Machine" Green. (Note the man vs machine website was down when I published this)

Should be an interesting match. I am picking one of two results. Either Mundine will go down early with a knockout or it will go the whole distance and Mundine will win on points.
Green has a heavier punch by all accounts but I think if Mundine can dodge that then he can outbox Danny.

This fight is the biggest fight to happen here in Australia in Pay Per View terms ever with it costing $50 to watch at home and clubs and pubs being charged between $1500 and $2200 to show the event.

I am watching it at the Full Moon at Shorncliffe after playing squash with some mates.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Books Finished - Tony Shillitoe

The Ashuak Chronicles Book One: Blood, Book Two; Passion, Book Three: Freedom

A brutal and violent depiction of a race under the yoke of slavery and their fight for freedom. Set against tyrannical powers, hierarchical church structures, and the might of dragons, the struggle for freedom through both bloody and peaceful means has many sub stories and plots. Tony ably brings in the themes of race vilification, tyranny of absolute and corrupted power, aryan supremacy and even the story of the zealots of Masada.

A great read for mature audiences.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Trapped miners in Tasmania rescued at last

The 2 miners trapped underground in Tasmania were finally rescued this morning - to the cheers and well wishes of a town, state and the whole country.

Reuters has the story.

Trapped Australian miners walk free

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Two Australian miners trapped a kilometer underground for 14 days walked out the mine on Tuesday defiantly thrusting their arms into the air after rescuers reached them shortly before dawn.

Miners Brant Webb, 37, and Todd Russell, 34, wearing mining helmets with their lamps shinning brightly and yellow jackets walked confidently to a large board and shifted their name cards from red to green -- declaring they had ended their shift.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Game Time

We have been playing a lot of board and card games lately. At least 4 nights a week we will play something with the kids. They have picked up the concept from being vaguely interested to being very involved. Games of Uno where all except the 2 year old play are great. The kids enjoy Guess Who as well. Miranda and Jadeen play Settlers of Catan, Monopoly and Diminishing Whist. Miranda has taken a shine to Squatters a great Australian game.
With Jamie and KristyLee and Dan and Cathy we have been enjoying some great games on Sunday evenings.
This Sunday we played:
A game of Squatter 2 games of Texas Hold-em Poker, a game of Canasta, a game of Diminishing Whist, 3D snap - also known as Egyptian Ratscrew (although we didn't include the lighter fluid and matches), a several games of Pass the Pigs
Jamie and Dan won the Poker 1 game each
Dan and I won Canasta narrowly defeating Jamie and Cathy
I flogged at Diminishing Whist by so much it wasn't funny. The others had a close finish for 2nd that went right down to the last card
3D Snap we didnt finish - just played to see how it worked
Cathy won a game of Pigs and also Squatters
Jamie and I won the other Pigs games

Projects completed and staff update

I completed 2 major projects last week. Billing for these in progress - hooray!
I now have my head above water and can start to progress some other projects I have had on the backburner. We now have some staff working for us on a regular basis.
Jamie is doing a lot of web maintenance and database management with the drupal sites. He is my point man there and I have a lot of training to invest in him so he can come up to speed and develop these on his own. In the meantime he is learning fast and I have several projects that will be progressed by him shortly.
Bob who lives in the UK is running some Excel work for me for clients here in Brisbane. That is freeing my time up to source more work rather than have to be writing code.
And Cathy is my resident physio providing much needed physio work on back and calf muscles. Fantastic! My back has been giving me quite a degree of discomfort lately related to my posture (sitting at a computer from 12-19 hours a day 6 days a week doesn't help!)
Rohan continues to provide technical support for our webserver hosting and development business.
Finally Lena has been working hard cleaning. She does a fantastic job and is very diligent.