The Noswonky Web Log:

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Thursday, September 30th 2004

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For The Piker

Cake Day

Cake day was held today. Well, it's actually called the Communications Meeting. The food was quite good and included hot items rather than nibbly items.

The Food

Several teams gave short presentations, including our group. I began our part of the presentation, and then threw to the other two guys. I opened with a joke, which got a laugh before I got to the punchline! Either they saw the punchline coming, or they were laughing at me!

The audience

I was also introduced to The Boss, also known as The Big Boss although apparently he's not the biggest boss although he's three levels of management above me. Well, you can never have too many managers!

Afterwards, some of the leftover food was put out for all takers... so I grabbed a croissant to take home to Yuko...

While I was stealing the croissant, a guy approached me and said hello. He was an ex-Telectronics person who had recognised me when he saw me presenting. I didn't remember him but we shared some cynical memories about the woes of Cochlear's sibling company.

Korean BBQ

We invited Mother to the Korean BBQ. But when Yuko called to book, they said they are closed for revovations. So instead, we went to Ponto-cho.

Mother made an attempt to use chopsticks!

As usual, beer and prawns were consumed in abundance, although not as much beer as last time...

And thus, another exiting month ends for the Noswonkys.

From Message
The Chopstick Man
6320 Days Ago
Well done on your mum using the old choppies. I can see she's making a good go of it and as long as she had enough to eat then thats all that matters

From Message
6320 Days Ago
Chopstick Man,
Thank you for your optimism. Ufortunately, the photo does not tell the whole story. The attempt was not entirely successful and was abandoned in favour of a fork soon after this image was made.

From Message
The Chopstick Man
6312 Days Ago
Mrs Nosworthy, Keep trying. Did Thomas Edison give up after the 1000th try at a filament went ffiittzzz? No I tells you. Keep at it and my offer still stands for a personal coaching and mentoring session on the correct use of chopsticks. The course is called "Unleash the Chopsticks Within". Cost is one dinner at Eastwood Korean BBQ

From Message
6312 Days Ago
Chopstick Man,
I will pass on your words of encouragement and your coaching offer to Mother.

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Wednesday, September 29th 2004

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Tomorrow, my department is hosting an event which, from what I understand, is similar to what most readers of this blog would call "Cake Day". But it's called something else which I can't remember. My section will be one of several giving presentations. For this reason, today we took a group photo to use in the presentation.

The Implants and Surgery Fault Analysis Team

When [Name Omitted] downloaded the pics from the camera he looked at them and said to me: "Peter, you're evil!" It's not obvious in the reduced size image above, but in every shot we took, my eyes looked like this...

I told him that I'm posessed by a demon.

It will be my task tomorrow to open the presentation by introducing the team and explaining what we do.

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Tuesday, September 28th 2004

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Tale Outrage

I have heard that the new movie Shark Tale is a crock, but we'll probably go to see it anyway.

However today I learned that the voice of the news reporter Katie Current has been re-voiced for the Australian release by Tracey Grimshaw!

I'm disgusted, offended, appalled, nauseated, repulsed, dismayed and sickened! Do they think that Australians will go to this movie because there's an Australian voice in it?

I have nothing against Ms. Grimshaw, but I if I'm going to see the film I want to see it in its original form and I want to hear the original voices.

And Grimshaw doesn't even look like the fish...

The Real Katie Current - Katie Couric


Mole Imposter

On June 15 I started giving a chess lesson to an imposter who had attempted to steal the identity of valued Blog reader and contributor, Laughing Mole.

Today the lesson ended, and it appears the fake mole has learned something because I was humiliated...


It appears that after 18 months, a winner has emerged in the Pawel Rej Memorial Tournament (number 1). The winner is the legend himself...

Pawel Rej - Legend by his own admission

The minor placings are still in some doubt pending the outcome of the last two games.


Being a lazy bastard, I have neglected to calculate Yuko's share of the grocery shopping for quite while. Thus the receipts have built up...

So tonight I finally tackled the mammoth task and added them all up. I was surprised that it only came to $244.75. Well, I gave her a discount on the cheese and Tim Tams.

From Message
Laughing Mole
6322 Days Ago

Hmmm. That was not the sort of lesson I was hoping for you to hand out to the imposter. (Although from the link you provided it appears that so far nobody else has done any better.) Perhaps we could persuade Pawel to teach the fake mole a lesson.

From Message
6322 Days Ago
Maybe he's a computer.

From Message
The Piker
6322 Days Ago
Stop tempting me with constant shots of Mokador coffee. Umm coffee, I could do with one now!

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Monday, September 27th 2004

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I must apologise to Mr. Mole. I failed to notify you in advance of today's 18 percent rise in the Cochlear share price. The cause of the rise is unclear.

One explanation is that I was working so hard today that the market responded accordingly. Actually I was working so hard that I completely missed the coffee truck! The market analysts probably noticed that I didn't come outside in the morning to buy coffee and they then spent the rest of the day buying Cochlear stock.

Another theory is that it was prompted by the product recall which was announced by Advanced Bionics Corporation, one of Cochlear's competitors.

From their press release...

Boston Scientific Announces Recall of Advanced Bionics Cochlear Auditory Implants Worldwide

Natick, MA (September 24, 2004)
Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) today announced that its subsidiary, Advanced Bionics Corporation of Sylmar, California, is voluntarily recalling worldwide all unimplanted CLARION® and HiResolution® cochlear implants. Boston Scientific acquired Advanced Bionics in June. The recall does not affect patients who have already received a cochlear implant. The Company is recalling the devices due to the potential presence of moisture in the internal circuitry, which can cause the device to stop functioning. The Company is not aware of any patient injuries resulting from the potential presence of moisture, but the malfunction may require replacement of the device. The total number of devices shipped but not implanted is estimated to be 440. The Company is working with the U. S. Food and Drug Administration and is notifying officials in other countries.


At lunchtime I humiliated a 12 year old girl by defeating her by a large margin (I think it was 21-7).

No mercy is the Noswonky way!


I added Cablog to my list of other blogs after seeing a story about it on Mondo Thingo a few nights ago. Not that I think it's that good. But after seeing the story, I surmised that his blog would get a lot of hits as a result of the publicity. So I posted a comment there with a link back to BlogWonky, shamelessly riding the wave of his publicity. The result was that I got one hit refered from his site.

Maybe nobody watches the ABC after all.

From Message
Laughing Mole
6324 Days Ago

I think I'll rush out and buy two or three Cochlear shares...

...but on the other hand, "ASIC warns people never to invest money in shares on the basis of advice from people they don't know".

How do I know this isn't just another of your cunning scams?

From Message
6324 Days Ago
Two or three shares? I didn't realise you were such a high flyer.

I agree that buying shares based on an erroneous message left on your answering machine is a bad idea. However, as I haven't actually given any buy/sell advice, it's unlikely to be one on my cunning scams.

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Sunday, September 26th 2004

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Warning: This item may contain a photograph of a lewd act.

Lewd Act

We went to Epitome for the first time in a week and were shocked to witness a man and a dog performing a lewd act in the plaza...

Botany Bay

Fish and Chips

In the afternoon we drove over to Botany Bay to have lunch. We bought fish and chips at this shop and sat on the grass to eat.

The shop

The chips

The sauce

Wild Animal

Then we went for a walk along the foreshore. I was looking out over the bay, when I noticed a wild animal resting in the dunes...

Of course I captured the beast.


We blatantly flouted the warning sign and went out on the rock wall. There were people fishing out there and Yuko had to take a look. It was actually quite dangerous walking out there due to the loose, jagged rocks. Fortunately we survived.

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Saturday, September 25th 2004

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The Clock

A few days ago Yuko received the quotation from Parker Time to fix her French Clock. It was about $1400. This price included both mechanical and cosmetic operations (polishing the case), so Yuko decided to skip the cosmetic stuff and just get the clock working.

But even so, the quote for just the mechanical fix came to $875. So today I took her over there to haggle.

I waited outside while Yuko went in because she haggles better alone. However, she was unable to get the price reduced at all. I suspect that in Hunters Hill people just pay whatever is quoted and so the clock shop people have no experience of customers haggling.

Yuko agreed to the $875.

Yuko at the door of Parker Time.

Hunters Hill

Since we were at Hunters Hill anyway, we went to eat eggs at Bardeli's.

Then we went down to Clarkes Point for a walk.

I had to take a picture of this sign. Imagine catching a Great White Shark while fishing at Clarkes Point, and then, Carefully Returning it to the water!

Here is a short video clip in which we discuss the sign. However, it's 8Mb so it's not really suitable for dialup connections.

Elvis Sighting

On our way back from Hunters Hill we spotted Elvis...

So of course, I parked the car and went over to meet him.

Noswonky meets The King


At about 3pm I noticed that our next-door neighbours were once again blatantly flouting the water restrictions. There was a woman in their back yard using a hose to clean some items which looked like the insect screens from their windows which had been taken down and were leaning against the fence. Of course hosing of hard surfaces is banned completely, not to mention that hosing of any kind is banned on Saturday!


In the afternoon we went to see the movie Zatoichi with Mother.

It's the story of a transvestite and his sister who roam the country seeking revenge for the killing of their family. Meanwhile, a blind masseur roams the country slicing people to bits with his sword, which he conceals in his cane. Of course, their paths cross, resulting in a massacre.

Actually it was a bloodbath from start to finish. Plenty of fights with blood gushing and dismembered limbs flying through the air. Afterwards, Mother commented that more people were killed in this movie than in the Iraq war.

Before the movie started we endured the usual ads. During a McDonalds ad, Mother told me that one of the "kids" in the ad was her next-door neighbour Matthew. It's the one where a group of teens are sitting eating the spicy burgers and trying not to admit how much pain they are in. The "kid" in the ad is actually about 20. His mother told Mother that he got paid $1400 for appearing in the ad, which took 5 hours to shoot.

We then went home and had coffee and Shu-Creams, which Yuko had cooked.

We gave Mother one to take home.

From Message
6324 Days Ago
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog!

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Friday, September 24th 2004

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Only four players today - the rest piked! The players were [Name Omitted], [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted]. This made it quite tiring as there was no break between games. However, I survived.

It turns out that Cochlear has very good shower facilities which come in handy after an hour of hitting the shuttle.


When I got home, Yuko was out but I was surprised to find these in the Kitchen...

When Yuko came home she injected them...

She said that this is the first time she has succeeded in making Shu-Creams as it's very hard to get them to puff up correctly.

I approved.

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Thursday, September 23rd 2004

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Squishy Ball

Today I saw a squishy ball on the desk of my colleague [Name Omitted] and I made a comment about it. He then generously offered it to me as a gift.

We had seen this ball a few days earlier on someone else's desk and had speculated about its origin. Today [Name Omitted] related to me the story of how he had come into possession of the ball when someone threw it at him and it landed on his desk.

After [Name Omitted] gave be the ball, I spent some time squishing it between my fingers and rolling it around on my desk while observing its irregular course.

Free Lunch

Yes, the fabled free lunch does exist. Since early last week, my colleague [Name Omitted] has been lobbying for a lunch to celebrate my first day at Cochlear. Today the lobbying paid off, and the four of us in my section went to Lane Cove and ate Chinese food using company money. I had Chicken and crispy noodles. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, so there are no pictures.


Despite the free lunch and playing with the ball, today was the first day that I actually did a lot of real work (on previous days I only did a small amount of real work and spent the rest of the time doing training). [Name Omitted] gave me a task in the afternoon which took about four hours and required me to stay late (just a bit) and I even had to decline an offer to play TT!


We invited Mother for dinner. She brought plums in a jar for dessert.

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Wednesday, September 22nd 2004

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This morning, the coffee truck failed to appear at the usual time. A bunch of people were waiting and waiting. I eventually went back inside believing that civilisation had ended!

However, an announcement was soon made on the P.A. to convey the news that the truck had arrived. This time I took a picture.

Pretty exciting isn't it!


Yuko hosed legally (before 10am).

When I got home in the evening, the fish-count had increased by one. I think I've lost count now.






At about 5.30pm I played TT with [Name Omitted]. I beat him again in two games.

After a hard day I crashed flat out like a lizard sunning himself on the road. The following picture was taken without my knowledge or consent.

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Tuesday, September 21st 2004

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Koi Dead

The three Koi which occupied the living room tank were missing when I woke up this morning. I assumed Yuko had moved them temporarily. However, she later revealed that they had all died suddenly the previous evening in a "maintenance incident".

Yuko was changing the water because she wanted to extract the inactive snail from the bottom of the tank (it's too tall and narrow to reach in). When she replaced the water, she used warm water instead of cold. The result was instant death...

Koi-Jiro, Koi-Ichiro and Koi-Saburo - R.I.P

But when I got home from work, a new tank (or bowl) was installed and three new fish had appeared. They are not Koi this time.

Green Report

Hey Greenman! Things are not as bad as you thought. Take a look...


I'm picking up a lot of medical jargon. I noticed that one of my co-workers has a medical dictionary on his desk. I might have get one myself so that I can drop medical jargon into casual conversations around the coffee machine, and avoid humiliation when others do the same.

Today I used the small inexpensive machine that goes "click". They don't trust me yet with the big expensive machine that goes "ping".

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Monday, September 20th 2004

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Big Expensive Machine That Goes Ping

I did some interesting stuff today. I was trained by [Name Omitted] in the use of an unspecified piece of equipment. Well... it was specified to me, but I'm not going to specify it here. Then he took me into a part of the building where I'd never been before and showed me a big new machine which cost a [Expletive Deleted] huge amount of money and is going to be a [Expletive Deleted] lot of fun to play with. I think he only showed it to me because he wanted an excuse to play with it himself. (It doesn't really go "Ping", but as it's connected to a Windows box, I'm sure a "Ping" sound can be installed.)


Fortunately, although I am deprived of Epitome's coffee in the morning, I have located a substitute cappuccino source. It's the Coffee Truck which parks out the front at about 9am each day. The coffee is adequate, and better than the free stuff provided.

Today, while milling around the coffee truck, I had another conversation with the ex-CISRA person I mentioned a few days ago. He inquired about my pre-Cochlear activities, so I told him the story about being sacked by CISRA in 20 or fewer words. I mean... I told him in 20 or fewer words... not that CISRA sacked me in 20 or fewer words.


I played a few games at lunch time. It was one of those rare days when I seemed to be hitting the ball well. It will probably be at least a year before I hit the ball that well again.

The TT at Cochlear is a bit odd. They play to 21 points and mix their balls willy nilly! For example, in one game today, we started with a 40mm orange ball, but when it got damaged, they changed to a 38mm white ball. They also used a strange rule where they change serves every two points when they get to 20-20. I don't know where that came from.

I think I will have to introduce some reforms. At the very least, willy nilly ball mixing has got to stop.

Note: My spell checker doesn't like "willy", but has no problem with "nilly".


When I got home, the house was filled with the smell of gyoza. You can't beat Yuko's gyoza!

This rare image shows a gyoza actually being made.

Gyoza ready to eat.

From Message
The Piker
6330 Days Ago
Hey, that Mokador coffee isn't bad! I was addicted to it a while back when there was a place at Chatswood that sold it. It has since closed, so I have developed an addiction a new brand(s) ... I was particular fond of the taste. Of course it could be a different blend ...

From Message
6330 Days Ago
Yes, it's certainly superior to the stuff produced by the in-house machine, even though that machine grinds its own beans! Shall I pick up a cup of it for you next time?

From Message
The Piker
6330 Days Ago
Yes please, but there may be a few issues keeping it at the primo temperature for an undefined period.

From Message
6330 Days Ago
I could send it by express post.

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Sunday, September 19th 2004

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I drove Yuko to Tokyo Mart at Northbridge because she wanted to buy two more lifetime supplies of tofu. We now have a stockpile which should see us through the nuclear winter.


Then we went to Chatswood for some boring shopping. I bought some clothes and Yuko bought some stuff to eat with our tofu.

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Saturday, September 18th 2004

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After a week of abstinence, we returned to Epitome and sipped coffee in the plaza. We have missed this for the last few days.

Note the white wires leading to the ears.


Yuko wanted the ability to play her iPod Mini in the car so I took her to the Apple shop at Balmain. The selection of accessories for the Mini is a bit more limited than for the full size Pod. The only thing that would do the job was the iTrip, so she bought one.

I then had to spend a moderate amount of time and effort getting it tuned to Belinda's radio. It seems that changing the transmission frequency works, but it doesn't change to the frequency it's supposed to. The process therefore involves quite a bit of trial and error, but I eventually got a reasonable sound coming out of the radio.

Yuko says we should go on a long trip so that we can test it.


Yuko went to the pet shop and bought three snails (one for each tank of course). They are supposed to clean the tank. However one of them just sank to the bottom and lies there inside its shell. Yuko will take it back to exchange it for a functional one.

This snail is one of the good ones.

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Friday, September 17th 2004

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Tofu For Life

Yuko bought a lifetime supply of Tofu for $2.40. It was only a couple of months past its Best Before date.


In the evening we went to Colours Of Thai at Mosman.

The waitress told Yuko that she always looks nice and happy. However, she didn't say anything about me.

As usual, the food was too nice, and we left as fat pigs.

We then drove down to the beach and walked in the dark of night and listened to the waves.

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Thursday, September 16th 2004

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At lunchtime, I changed my clothes and went to Tambourine Bay. I gave [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted] a lift.

A number of sporting events were held. The available competitors were divided into four teams. I was in the green team.

First, the Egg and Spoon race. I went first in this relay event, quickly putting my team into last place. However, we fought back bravely and recovered to finish second. Actually we were fortunate to escape disqualification as the final runner from our team crossed the finish line without an egg on his spoon!

Egg and Spoon Race. (No eggs were harmed in the running of this event)

We also finished second in the Thong Throw.

The Thong Throwing

However, in the Tug of War, we came last by losing both our Tugs! We were totally humiliated.

Tug of War

Tug of War

We finally got first place in Captain Ball. As this event demanded my full attention, I was unable to take pictures.

Prizes were awarded after each event.

My Prize. Note the wrist band identifying me as a member of the Green Team.

After the medal ceremonies, food was available for everyone (even the losers).

Chicken Lunch

While all of this was going on, Yuko came down to the park and watched us from a distance.

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Wednesday, September 15th 2004

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A meeting is being held tomorrow at Tambourine Bay Reserve which is just down the road from our house. Lunch will be provided and we have to wear sports clothes! I'm sure I will have more to say about this tomorrow (subject to confidentiality agreements).


More training today with [Name Omitted]. It was fairly intense, but interesting. Some of it is starting to make sense.

Memory Jogs

Someone came into our area to pick something up and [Name Omitted] introduced us. She said "you look familiar", and I said "you look familiar too". It turned out she was yet another Tele person. I don't actually remember her specifically but, as has happened several times, I just felt I'd seen her somewhere before.

It was the same with [Name Omitted] who I've been playing TT with. When I saw him he just looked familiar and it turned out he had been at Tele too.

Krispy Kreme

When I got home, I found this on the dining table...

Note the empty slot.

Yuko said that she had only intended to buy six. However, as the price for twelve was only 90 cents more than the price for six, she bought twelve.

Yuko was unable to explain why there were only eleven in the box when i arrived home.


Mother invited us to dinner, so we took the doughnuts along.

We ate a chicken which, Mother assured us, had lived a happy life scratching in the ground and eating corn. The strawberries were big and fat too, although we had no biographical information on them.

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Tuesday, September 14th 2004

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Today was quite enjoyable. I did some serious training with [Name Omitted], who is a very good teacher. Most importantly, he showed me the trick in using the coffee machine in order to get better density of coffee. I was even able to do a small amount of real work! I also got my phone, computer login, email address and access key. I can actually get into the building now without having to ask the receptionist to "buzz me in".

To Drive or Not to Drive?

Driving to work takes 25 minutes, while walking takes 32 minutes. The similarity is due to the fact that the walking route is much shorter than the driving route and the traffic in the morning makes the progress very slow. Another option is to drive to Blackman Park and then walk up the bush track to Cochlear. This would probably be a 10 minute drive and a five minute walk.

Or should I buy a bicycle?


I played three games at lunch time. This time I took my own bat, which felt much more comfortable than the heavy one I borrowed from someone yesterday.

Here is the TT room...

iPod Mini

Yuko has been playing with her Mini. She has set it up with a pair of mini-speakers under her desk. The sound is not bad, despite the small size of the speakers.

From Message
The Piker
6337 Days Ago
You should definitely buy a bike. You will get fit, and reach work with a new found spring in your step. Also, the bike will combine beat both cars and walking as long as you can safely ride past all the suckers in their stationary cars.

From Message
Laughing Mole
6337 Days Ago
Share rise

Please let us know ahead of time when the shares are about to rise again.

From Message
6337 Days Ago
Mr Mole,

Do you want to emulate René Rivkin?

From Message
6337 Days Ago
Mr Piker,

Thanks for your advice. The good thing is that most of the route is through parks and quiet roads. Also, I'm sure Greenman would approve.

From Message
The Piker
6337 Days Ago
I'm sure Greenman would approve. I would also approve. You will be fitter, faster, stronger. Please note, riding and Apple *iPod are not safe combinations

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Monday, September 13th 2004

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It's been a long time since I prepared breakfast, but this morning I did...


And Coffee.

Share Rise

The Cochlear share price rose almost 3% today, presumably in response to the news that Noswonky had joined the company.

The day was spent doing the usual first-day stuff. Fill in some forms, get introduced to heaps of people, find a desk, clean the mouse ball... and a lot of reading about stuff.

At one point, I noticed a former CISRA person in a cubicle so I approached him and engaged him in conversation. I also spotted TPF member [Name Omitted] a couple of times but didn't have the opportunity to say hello.

I also played one game of TT!


Yuko had to go to the airport to meet [Name Omitted] from ECC who was flying in from Japan. Then she went out in the evening for a business dinner in the city.

When I got home I found she had left me a present...

I opened the present and found that is was Japanese goodies!

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Sunday, September 12th 2004

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The Cherry Blossoms Bloometh!


The third tank has been populated...

Three Koi.


I borrowed Yuko's iPod Mini (whose name is Momoko - meaning "Pink Girl"), and gave it a road test by walking through the bush with the device. I have concluded that it's good, and don't know how I can go back to using the "big" one ever again.

Then, Yuko conducted the same test and reached the same conclusion. However, she has given me a mission: To find wireless earphones for the iPod.

Flaunting the Mini in the Plaza.

In the evening, being in a iPod frame of mind, I investigated the state of legal music downloading in this country. NineMSN and Bigpond both have legal download sites, but they only seem to provide WMA format! Of course, this is because they are backed by MicroSoft.

Well... iPod doesn't play WMA. But wait... iTunes can convert WMA to mp3. But alas, it can't convert DRM protected WMA files.

So, as nobody wants to sell me music, I fired up Kazaa and downloaded some free tracks.


The last Epitome breakfast has been eaten... at least until the weekend. Tomorrow, we will return to a once familiar routine:

  1. Get up at 7.00am.
  2. Yuko relaxes in the shower while I make coffee and grill croissants.
  3. Eat breakfast together while watching the Today Show (The American version of course) which I have taped during the night.
  4. I shower, get dressed and leave for work.

It's been so long since we've followed this routine that we have to use this checklist to make sure we get it right.

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Saturday, September 11th 2004

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We drove into the city to pick up the fish-tank transformer which I mentioned yesterday. The shop was in George Street not far from Central. It's actually a pawn shop, so there was lots of interesting stuff to look at.

The shop where Yuko bought the fish tank.

Then we walked up to the QVB and had lunch at Yama, a pseudo-Japanese restaurant.

You can tell they're not Japanese by the way they lay the chopsticks!

Queen Dorothy?

When we returned to the car, I took the opportunity to take a photo in the carpark lift.

The lift company with the amusing name.

iPod Mini

While we were having lunch, Yuko noticed a blurb in my newspaper about the iPod Mini. Being a gadgetist, she then wanted to go and look at it, so we walked up to the Apple Shop near Wynyard. They showed us an iPod Mini and, of course, Yuko liked it! But they had none in stock to sell. So we decided to go to the Apple shop at North Sydney.

And Yuko emerged with a little box...

The Mini.

On arriving home, we compared our iPods...

The 4GB Mini and the 20GB standard. The AA battery is for size comparison.

The size difference is significant. It fits it the pocket much more comfortably than my white brick! I might consider downgraging.

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Friday, September 10th 2004

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Mother had to go back to the eye doctor again today for a routine post-op check at 11:45am. I picked her up at 11.15am and drove her to the city as usual. Then I went straight to Badminton. As the ferries from the Quay leave at 25 minutes past each hour, I guessed that she would probably be too late for the 12.25 but would make the 1.25. She called me at 12.50pm and confirmed that she was waiting for the 1.25pm ferry.

Meanwhile, I played badminton.

Then, at 1.35pm Mother called again to say she had missed the ferry because she'd fallen asleep on the wharf! When she woke up, the ferry was dissappearing into the distance.

She had to wait another hour for the next ferry. So I had time to go home and have a shower before picking her up at Woolwich.

She stayed awake and caught the next ferry successfully.

Another Tank

Meanwhile, Yuko went to the city to try to buy another artificial fish tank (a tank for artificial fish). She succeeded...


But then we discovered that the transformer for the built-in light was missing. Yuko called the shop and they confirmed that they'd forgotten to put it in the bag. So she has to go back tomorrow.

But as the tank is identical to our other artificial fish tank, we decided to test the new tank with the existing transformer and thereby discovered that the light didn't work. So I had to pull the base apart and fix it...


It turned out that it just needed an new light bulb, which Yuko happened to have on hand.

Then she filled it, in preparation for another pair of fish.


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Thursday, September 9th 2004

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Jiro and Miyako

As there is now a spare tank, Yuko bought two more fish. Their names are Jiro and Miyako and they now reside in the tank in Yuko's office.

Luna Park

We decided to go to Luna Park while we still have the weekdays free (and the screaming kids are all at school).

The Face

I like the lashes!

See... no screaming kids!

We bought 30 Lunas (Luna Park Currency) for $20.00 and then spent 10 Lunas to go on the wheel.


Yuko rides the Luna Chicken

Coney Island

The slippery Dip. I slid down it twice, but Yuko piked!

I have fixed the background digitally, but the rest is original.

This reminded me of Eyes Wide Shut.

Mirror Image

Yuko liked this machine because it is a bit like Pachinko.


TT was played at North Sydney. The players were [Name Omitted], [Name Omitted], [Name Omitted], [Name Omitted], and the Noswonkys.

As there was a spare table, some players constructed an extra net. The gaps in the net made for some interesting points.

During a game, a player threw a bat at me while making a shot. The bat hit my leg, possibly causing serious injury. I will have to speak to my doctor and my lawyer about it, but not necessarily in that order.

The player who threw the bat at me also claimed the point!

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Wednesday, September 8th 2004

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The Clock

This is Yuko's French Clock...

It hasn't worked for a long time, despite being serviced a couple of years ago. Today, as the weather was nice, Yuko suggested we go to Bardeli's, so I suggested we drop the clock in to the Hunters Hill clock shop to get a quote.

We took it in and had an extended conversation with the clock dude. He said he's an ex-Rolex employee with significant Bubble-Back experience. He said he'd give us a quote in about a week.

While in the shop, I noticed some shafts and gears leading from a huge clock in the corner, up to the ceiling, across to the front door, and up into the roof. The guy explained that the big clock was the driving mechanism for the clock on the roof of the building and the shafts connected the two together. Nifty! But it was a few minutes slow!

The clock shop is on the ground floor, but the clock on the roof is driven remotely by a mechanism located inside the shop. (Yuko is also in this picture!)


When we got home there was an item in the mailbox from Cochlear.

I was expecting this. It was just the formal offer and some stuff to sign and send back. So as I was going for a walk anyway, I decided to walk over to Cochlear to deliver the signed papers.

I also sussed out a good route to take if I decide to walk (or perhaps cycle) to work. It includes this scenic location...

Burns Bay

The walk to Cochlear took 32 minutes. Then, After dropping the envelope at reception, I went exploring and found a bush track at the end of Mars Road which I hadn't seen before.

I followed it and found a spot where I could maximise my exposure to radiation...

Noswonky Trivia - My father used to make the high voltage thingies that go on top of these towers.

Kintaro and Hanako

When I got home, Kintaro and Hanako had moved to a different tank!

Yuko moved them to the artificial fish tank. By that I mean the fish tank for artificial fish! It's nicer because it has a built-in light which changes colour. However, the bubbles are a bit stronger, as they are intended to create enough turbulence to make it look like the plastic fish are swimming. Yuko has turned the bubbles down to the minimum setting, but I'm not sure what Kintaro and Hanako think about it.

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Tuesday, September 7th 2004

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The Ring

Yuko read The Ring - a Japanese horror story recommended by Keiko.

Despite appearances, she was not horrified.

Café Lifestyle Ends!

Our cappuccino-sipping lifestyle, sitting in the sun sharing breakfast with the birds (and bees), will come to an abrupt end next week!

I have accepted an offer of employment with this company...

The position is Fault Analysis Engineer which involves analysing the Cochlear Implants (bionic ear) after they are returned to the company for whatever reason. It also includes writing reports and doing statistical analysis.

It's walking distance from home and it pays more than CISRA, so I think it will be good.

Ironically, I will be working in the same building I worked in for a while in the 1980's when I worked for Telectronics (Cochlear's sister company).

We took Mother out to celebrate at Taiki, the Japanese restaurant at Lane Cove.

Pictures of food follow...

Mother then wanted to go on a drunken rampage through the streets of Lane Cove, but we bundled her into the car and went to the Noswonky residence for coffee instead.

From Message
6344 Days Ago
Congralations for your new job! Must be very grateful that you are still employable! Good on you, mate.

From Message
6344 Days Ago
Thank you somebody.
Yes, even someone of my great age can sometimes do useful work.

From Message
6343 Days Ago
A job???

Will this mark the beginning of the end of Blogwonky?

From Message
6343 Days Ago
Fear not! Blogwonky has survived more traumatic events than this. There will just be less coffee. I might even get some new readers!

From Message
John Smith
6343 Days Ago
Congrat. on your new job. Pays better than -----? anything pays better than ----- these days.

From Message
Laughing Mole
6341 Days Ago

I too would like to belatedly but heartily congratulate you on your new job.

From Message
6341 Days Ago
Thank you Mr. Mole.

PS: The chess lesson against that person who is impersonating you is not going well!

From Message
Laughing Mole.
6340 Days Ago
I'm sorry to hear the chess lesson is not going well. I assume you mean that even though you are beating him, the impersonator refuses to submit. Take his queen - that'll learn him. Or her.

From Message
6338 Days Ago
It's more that he doesn't make the right moves so that the lesson can be most effective.

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Monday, September 6th 2004

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At Lane Cove this morning we ran into our old friend Rocky...

So we invited him and his friend to join us for breakfast...

Rocky and his friend ordered sugar...

It seems that somebody was right!

Then a big bunch of kids arrived with musical instruments.

Yuko determined that they are students of the Suzuki Method. They sounded adequate.



Free Time

In the evening I gave Yuko free time to go out with Keiko. They went to a Chinese restaurant at Chatswood...

Keiko and Yuko

Yuko brought home some goodies...


... which I will go and eat now!

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Sunday, September 5th 2004

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Warning: This item may contain references to food and eating.

It's Yuko's Birthday!

... So I gave her a birthday present...

Yuko reads her card.

We went outside and shot a bunch of images. It was a good time to shoot because the light was favourable (overcast).


For the Birthday Lunch we went to Bardeli's. Although we've been there for breakfast, this was our first lunch there.

Everything was nice except that they were playing the same CD they've played every time we've been there.

Here is the food...

Strawberry Wine


Rather than have dessert at Bardeli's, we went home for...


On the way home we stopped at Mother's house to pick up the birthday cake which she had been hiding in her fridge. Then we went back to the Noswonky residence where Mother gave Yuko a present...

... and we ate birthday cake.

The musical candle played Happy Birthday and wouldn't stop! I put it in the freezer to try to stop it playing, but it just kept going. After a while it began to sound sick and it eventually stopped.


Soon after I took Mother home, there was a thunderstorm with hail. The hail continued for an unusually long time - perhaps 15 minutes.

The view from the back door.

The view from the front door.

The hailstones were much smaller than soccer balls.

Of course I shot a Hail Video.

From Message
Laughing Mole
6345 Days Ago

It hailed in my world too. I have sent you a couple of photos for comparison.

From Message
6345 Days Ago
Mr Mole,
Thank you for the photos. As there was no copyright notice attached, I have posted them below. It appears the Mole world is more haily than the Noswonky world...

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Saturday, September 4th 2004

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We took Yuko's mouse back to Harris Technology.

She took her laptop along so that the staff could test the mouse on the target machine. Fortunately, the fault was confirmed and they gave us a replacement mouse. When we got home, it worked! Yuko is very happy to be liberated from the tyranny of the mouse tail.

Printer Room

I re-connected the old printer for use as a black & white printer and set up the two printers side by side for easy access.

Yuko organised the paper storage rack.

Next task is to dig out the old laser printer and set that up too. I think we should call that room the Printer Room from now on.

Olympic Strings

My guitar was sounding a bit dull, so I decided to change the strings. Then, with the old strings, I created this piece of art which I call Olympic Strings...

Of course I only used five strings for this. I used the the sixth string for another purpose.

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Friday, September 3rd 2004

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Kintaro and Hanako

After breakfast, Yuko suddenly went to the pet shop and made some purchases...

I was supposed to pick Mother up at 11:15am, and Yuko's unplanned visit to the pet shop made me late! Yuko admitted that she was the cause of my lateness, but said that it's ok because this is her "Birthday Month".

She bought two fish named Kintaro and Hanako. Kintaro's life-changing moment was captured in this video.

When we got home, I had to leave immediately to take Mother to the city so I left Yuko to set up the aquarium.


I drove Mother to the city and dropped her at the doctor's office to have her patch removed and the eye checked. As she didn't know how long it would take, she told me not to wait. She caught the ferry back to Woolwich where I picker her up later in the afternoon. She can already see quite well with the eye, but it will take a few days to reach optimum. Then she will two good eyes for spotting raccoons.

Mouse and Printer

While Mother was at the doctor, Yuko and I went to Harris Technology to buy a wireless mouse for Dixie. We chose a mouse and then Yuko's attention turned to printers. This is because our printer's colour printing has stopped working.

She soon identified a suitable machine and decided to buy it.

It an Epson R210. It has separate ink cartridges (six of them) which is good for optimising ink usage.

When we got home, no amount of installing, un-installing, button pressing, configuring and swearing could get the [Expletive Deleted] mouse to work! I hate computers!

However, the printer worked nicely. I connected it to Sam and printed a photo which came out looking very good. Then I even got it working across the network without much difficulty.

As the old printer still prints ok in black, Yuko wants me to re-connect it so we can use the new one just for colour. I might get to that tomorrow.

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Thursday, September 2nd 2004

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Eye II

The long-awaited sequel to Eye I...

After not sleeping much, my alarm went off at 5.15 and I crawled out of bed. I made some coffee and was then surprised to see Yuko out of bed too. However, although she was out of bed, she wasn't technically "up"...

I picked Mother up at 6.30am.

We arrived at the Eye Hospital just before 7am and parked in the underground carpark just like last time.

Mother was checked in and I left to go and have breakfast at a cafe (just like last time).

In Martin Place, I came upon Channel Seven's new glass-walled studio where they were doing the Sunrise show.

They have obviously copied this idea from the American NBC Today Show which first used a studio like this about 50 years ago!

There was also a stage being set up outside. There were various pieces of expensive equipment lying around without many staff around to guard it. I was tempted to walk off with a broadcast-quality video camera - but I didn't.

There was also a protest getting underway outside Parliament House.

I also looked at the infamous Domain trees. I assume these are the replacements for the doomed Figs that caused such controversy recently.

At about 11am I went back to the hospital. Mother appeared at 11.15am. We had to wait for her take-home medication to arrive, but it was much quicker than last time.

We got out by about 12.00. The parking cost $48 (the same as last time)! She was home by 1pm. I have to take her into the city again tomorrow to have the patch removed.




Because of Dixie's battery problem, Yuko wants to use an external battery which she bought some time ago. The problem was that the connector on the computer end is wrong. I tried several electronics shops in the city this morning (while Mother was having surgery) looking for the connector but none of them had it.

I therefore decided to cut the connector of the existing power supply and rig up some kind of plug-socket arrangement to allow the same connector to be used for both the battery and the AC adapter.

I knew that my five years studying electronics would come in handy one day!

However, my plan was thwarted when it became clear that the computer needs two isolated supplies at two different voltages (why do they have to make things so complicated?). I therefore abandoned the project and re-attached the connector to the AC adaptor.

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Wednesday, September 1st 2004

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No time to write the blog tonight. I have to get up at 5am tomorrow!

Time passes...

Ok, now it's tomorrow so I can write today's ... I mean yesterday's blog...


Yuko offered me half her piece of toast. I accepted the offer, but was then appalled by the implementation...



I spent quite a bit of time on that homework in the evening and didn't get to bed until after midnight despite my intention to get some sleep! I set the alarm for 5.15am.

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