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Tuesday, November 30th 2004

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Hot

It was hot - not as hot as the predicted 42 degrees, but it was still hot. Not a day to be outside but a day to stay in an air conditioned building and hit...

Even at 7pm, our thermometer read "hot".

So...

Another Gadget

Yuko bought another gadget from Amazon Japan. She picked it up from the post office today.

It's an electronic book reader. The screen appears to be that electronic paper stuff of which I've heard tell. It really does look like paper, but the display update speed is a tad slow.

There were some teething problems (as usual) in getting the device to accept an eBook from the computer. I tried to persuade Yuko to read the manual, which I thought would be quicker than me learning Japanese and reading the manual!

It turned out to be a copy protection issue with the soft books Yuko had previously purchased. But it works now.

It's a SONY!

Cochlear

I was perusing the table allocations for the Cochlear Christmas party and I noticed the name of a CISRA person. I'm not sure yet how this came about, but I have a theory.

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Monday, November 29th 2004

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Bank

Vito the gardener came today and found this card lying on the ground. It is our neighbour's bank account details.

Account details (details obscured)

Of course we will be draining their funds into offshore accounts, probably in the Cook Islands.

Cochlear

Today my boss booked me for a seven hour meeting with him from 10am to 5pm!

The meeting was really a training session in which he taught a new task involving messing around with spreadsheets and report generators. Fortunately, it didn't take the full seven hours, and I had some time to play table tennis and drink coffee.

Camera

Despite having a shiny new camera, I took a very small number of photographs today (3) compared with a typical day (30?). I guess there was not much worth photographing.

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Sunday, November 28th 2004

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Woosy Musings on Coffee and Cafés

Internet Access

The wireless network at Epitome was giving a very low and intermittent signal today. I was writing Saturday's blog, but was then unable to upload it. Barbaric indeed!

Low signal at Epitome

Coffee with the Insect

While peacefully and woosily sipping our coffee, an insect joined us and was photographed...

The insect is photographed by multiple cameras

The insect up close

The insect on Fifi

For its own safety I decided to move the insect to a nearby table - table 66 (the number of the beastie), lest we squash it by accident.

The insect gets it's own table

A short time later, some people came and sat at table 66. A man dropped his newspaper right on top of the beastie!

Staff Pictures

Yuko wants to have her picture taken with every member of Epitome's staff. She began today with Mari and Chubba.

Mari

Chubba
(The spelling of this name is not correct)

A customer

Bicycle Storage

We discovered that Lane Cove has a bicycle storage facility. It a green box with a door.

And a sign...

But why would anyone want to put their bicycle in this box for weeks at a time?

Rotting

The rest of that day was hot, so we stayed home rotting.

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My mind is like a void, not that it matters. I've more or less been doing nothing to speak of. I've just been sitting around not getting anything done, but so it goes. Not much on my mind worth mentioning. I've just been letting everything happen without me lately, but it's not important.

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More or less nothing seems worth doing. I've just been letting everything wash over me lately. I just don't have anything to say lately. Shrug. I can't be bothered with anything lately.

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Saturday, November 27th 2004

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Today's Blog is brought to you by...

The city was angry today my friends...

The scum of society eyed us with disdain and loathing as we ventured into the filthy maelstrom of freaks, drunks and loonies which is the city of Sydney. I played tourist and snapped a picture of the Queen Victoria Building as a grotesque freak stared me down with an evil glare...

Then a young Asian woman tried to humiliate us by asking for money to feed starving children somewhere. I told her I didn't give a damn about starving children because I'm a selfish bastard.

Yuko was once employed at a company located just east of Elizabeth street. and this experience taught her that Elizabeth street marks the boundary between civilization and slum. Anything east of that street is a filth-pot of human refuse and rat infested holes. Fortunately, today we stayed on the west side and made our way to a retailer of photographic equipment with a spelling impairment...

Immediately upon entering the store a salesman zeroed in on us like a vulture and tried to bend us to his will. He tempted us with shiny new cameras and accessories in an attempt to satisfy his capitalist greed.

In a hypocritical concession to the capitalist society in which we choose to exist, I bought this camera...

Ixus 40

However, as we exited the store, Yuko did some shoplifting as a protest against the capitalist pigs. She stole this item for which the pigs had sought to charge $3.50...

A shoplifter displays her illgotten gains the next day

We then resumed our trek along the alleys and filth-lined streets to seek food and to find shelter from the blistering heat of the post-greenhouse phase of this planet's 4.6 billion year existence.

After making the journey from Goulburn Street to King Street we were turned away by the sight of a "CLOSED" sign on the window of the establishment in which we had sought refuge.

In King Street, a drunken, flea-infested loony shouted obscenities at passers-by as his limbs flailed like a body falling from a burning building.

As the piercing rays of the solar nuclear furnace seared our skin we struggled to find our last ounce of strength. We backtracked to the cushy interior of the building which is dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, former Queen of Australia.

Well may we say "God Save the Queen!"

From here you can spit onto people's lunch.

Physically and mentally drained, we finally came upon an oasis at the summit of the mountain which they call Yama.

There we sat in air-conditioned comfort and gazed smugly down upon the dregs of society passing by in the stinking street below...

Dregs passing by

Smug gazer

Yama is a magical place where food is available in abundance and one may indulge in gluttony and other sins in exchange for money - money which I could have given to the starving children, but didn't.

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Saturday, November 27th 2004 (Preview)

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The Saturday blog is not written yet, but it will feature the following...

  • Raw, pithy writing straight from the heart
  • Classic tales of derring do
  • Swashbuckling adventures and perilous pursuits
  • More woosy musings on coffee and cafés
  • Sponsored segments

From Message
Laughing Mole
28/11/2004
5566 Days Ago
Sounds strangely familiar, but I'll pay that.

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Friday, November 26th 2004

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The return of Mokador

Chinese Food

We agreed to meet in the city after work and eat Chinese food at Darling Harbour. I drove into the city, but there was a problem on the SHB and the traffic was very slow.

I had started out quite early so I was only a few minutes late, and Yuko was waiting for me under the bridge...

We went to Port, which doesn't sound like a Chinese name.

We sat out on the balcony and the food was beyond adequate...

We got fortune cookies.

Top - Yuko's Fortune and bottom - my fortune. As it turned out, I followed this advice

Recursive blogging

As Yuko is now a blogger, she takes even more pictures than before...

A blogger takes a picture which later appeared in her blog

She was stopping every couple of minutes to shoot something or other.

Yuko has abandoned her blog provider in disgust and moved her blog to a new provider. The new address is here. It looks more professional that the old one and Yuko says that it's much easier to use.

This is Crap

Why do lift companies have such odd names? We saw this one tonight in the carpark lift...

And there was that other one a few months ago...

Belinda is abandoned

The drive home was just a blur...

And when we got home we realaised that, yet again, we had forgotten to pick up Belinda. Yuko had left Belinda at St. Leonards and we had completely forgotten about her. Poor Belinda! We decided to go and pick her up.

The law catches up with Noswonky

On arrival home, a letter was waiting for me. It was from the law enforcement authorities who had noted that on December 12th at 1:33pm, Mitsy did travel at 76 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. Poor Mitsy! But I guess as her legal guardian I will have to pay for her misdeeds.

Mother learns to use an eyedropper

There was also a message on our machine from Mother. She wanted some Propolis for he throat which is less than adequate. So Yuko prepared a little bottle with an eye dropper and we took it around to Mother's house at about 9pm. Yuko then showed Mother how to administer Propolis to the throat...

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Laughing Mole
28/11/2004
5566 Days Ago
The law ...

Great Scott! Given the date, are sure it wasn't 141.62 km/h?

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Webslave
1/12/2004
5562 Days Ago
It's a pre-emptive penalty.

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Friday, November 26th 2004 (Preview)

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The Friday blog is not written yet, but it will feature the following fascinating topics...

  • The return of Mokador
  • Yuko gets a new blog (again)
  • Chinese food
  • Belinda is abandoned
  • The law catches up with Noswonky
  • Mother learns to use an eyedropper

From Message
Laughing Mole
27/11/2004
5567 Days Ago
I didn't pay to read blog teasers. What next - sponsored segments? I expect raw, pithy writing straight from the heart, that says something worth saying, or nothing at all. I want classic tales of derring do, swashbuckling adventures and perilous pursuits. Not these woosy musings on coffee and cafes.

What about a story that starts "The sea was angry that day, my friends..." Now that's real writing.

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Webslave
27/11/2004
5567 Days Ago
Actually, you didn't pay.

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Thursday, November 25th 2004

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Course II

The second day of the course - throwing streamers...

More eating...

We also played doctor by practising inserting electrodes into a simulated cochlea. I performed a successful insertion.

And they actually pay us for this!!!!

Garbage

Today our garbage bin disappeared.

A bin similar to the missing one

Meanwhile, one of our neighbours appears to have an excessive number of garbage bins...

A bit sus.

Note: Garbage is also the main subject of Yuko's blog today.

Mother

We were invited to Mother's for dinner. Yuko prepared dessert and took it to Mother's house...

Apples

Mother cooked three spatchcocks - one each. A true feast! I also took my cappuccino-making equipment and made the coffee.

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Wednesday, November 24th 2004

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Course

As can be seen by the image above, I missed my usual Mokador fix this morning. This was because I was in a course learning about ears and stuff...

The Ear

Stuff

It's a two day course targeted at engineers. So of course we sat on the floor and made things with Play Doh...

They then gave us ear plugs and we tested each other's hearing. I pretended to be an audiologist and tested another guy's hearing, but due to time constraints I didn't get my own hearing tested.

We then brainstormed what we had learned.

The other good thing about courses is that you get free food, which was some compensation for missing my Mokador...

Morning Tea

Lunch

Arse End

Yuko has now added some English text to her Arse End of the World blog. The latest entry introduces Pauline Hanson to a Japanese Audience!

From Message
Coffee Piker
25/11/2004
5569 Days Ago
You can't tell me you are on a training course and you don't get coffee! How do you deal with the headache, irritatibility and persistent loss of train of thought ?

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Webslave
25/11/2004
5569 Days Ago
We just get the standard company coffee that is available all the time, so I was able to get some caffeine that way, but it's well below the standard of the Mokador from the truck.

From Message
You are the Coffee Piker
25/11/2004
5568 Days Ago
Have a double dose of Mokador tomorrow then! The poor Coffee Truck Dude has a family to support and overheads to cover ......

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Webslave
25/11/2004
5568 Days Ago
You are right. I am a bastard for not supporting the downtrodden coffee vendor.

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Tuesday, November 23rd 2004

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Umbrella

The umbrella we bought at Domayne on Sunday was delivered today.

When I got home from work, we unpacked it.

It's Chinese

During the unpacking, Yuko suddenly decided to undress...

But I continued...

I wound the handle...

... and the umbrella unfurled. It's huge compared to the old one - almost like having a roof.

Cochlear

For the next two days I'll be on a course at work. So today I had to do three day's work!

My colleague [Name Omitted] told me today that several months ago, an engineer who works upstairs applied internally for the job I now have. But after talking with the two guys I'm now working with, she decided not to take it!

I should have talked to them too!

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Uno spazio per dire la vostra sull'operato del governo e dell'opposizione.

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I haven't been up to much today. Such is life. My life's been basically dull today, but that's how it is.

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Cousin dating is, is not okay

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Monday, November 22nd 2004

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Lock

The smith came today and installed the new lock.

He also fixed the old lock, so now we have two locks and we can actually open the front door!

Yuko Blacklisted

One year ago, I began the CELTA course. During that course, the trainee teachers give free English lessons to real students and Yuko joined one of the classes.

Today, the November course starts so Yuko went over to International House in the city to try to join the free English lessons again. However, she was not allowed to join the class because she has been blacklisted for always asking such difficult questions of the trainees!

They didn't actually say that. They said that her English is too good - but we know the real reason.

Party

Yuko is very excited because we have been invited to a party...

I will respond in the affirmative tomorrow.

Camera

Thanks to the blog reader who emailed me to put me in touch with my true feelings about the Ixus 40. I now know that this is my true destiny. But there is still one question which haunts me. What's the difference between this...

Ixus 40

...and this...

Ixy Digital 50

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23/11/2004
5570 Days Ago
Noswonky, I can't be arsed researching those cameras. What is the difference, are they both available here ? Maybe you should consider a Nikon instead, I hear they make great cameras also .....

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We've tried Nikon. They suck!

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Sunday, November 21st 2004

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Arse End of the World

Yuko has given me the go-ahead to publish the link to her blog. It's relates the life of an ex-pat Japanese girl who has been living at the Arse End of the World for twelve years. I've also added it to the list of other blogs in the sidebar links.

Of course, if you don't know Japanese it will be Greek to you. But it's mainly pictures anyway.

Domayne

After finishing breakfast at about noon, we decided to look at gadgets at Domayne. There were several photographic companies displaying their wares. Samsung, Olympus, Kodak and Canon...

Yuko was interested in this Kodak photo printer.

The printer and camera together - $300

The guy demostrated it by taking our picture and printing it. The printer was ok, but the camera was a brick!

We looked at iPoddy stuff and Yuko played with a Mac!

The "New" Canon camera we looked at just a couple of months ago... is now obsolete and there is another new one. When you take as many pictures as the Noswonkys, size is important. Here is the comparison.

Ixus 40 vs. my current brick

I also looked at DVD/Hard Disk recorders.

In the furniture section, Yuko got in trouble for taking pictures!

We then bought a garden umbrella to replace the one that was destroyed when it was blown onto our roof recently. However, after getting in trouble earlier, Yuko was too afraid to take a piture of it, but the sales guy promised to email a picture to us. If all goes well it will be delivered on Tuesday.

The lift had a mirror. So...

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Saturday, November 20th 2004

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Locks, Clocks and Cochlear

It's funny how everything is connected to everything else...

This morning we decided to go to a lock shop about our broken front door lock. I looked up locksmiths and found one at Chatswood, so we set out for Chatswood.

But yesterday, I accidentally left my glasses at Cochlear. So I wanted to go there first to pick them up.

From there, the shortest route to Chatswood is up Mowbray Road. There is a clock shop in Mowbray Road which Yuko has never visited, so we decided to stop and take a look. Just as we were parking, we noticed there was a locksmith there too! We therefore ordered a new lock right there without ever going to Chatswood.

We're getting that gold coloured one in the middle

Then we looked at the clock shop.

As we were browsing, the guy stuck his head around the corner from the back of the shop and said hello. Yuko and I looked at each other in amazement as we both recognised him!

It was the guy from the clock shop at Willoughby where Yuko used to go years ago. He's also a part time actor and he told us he was recently in a movie - "The Crop" in which he played the part of a corrupt detective. He remembered Yuko too and they then talked about clocks and watches.

Noe of this would have happened if I hadn't left my glasses at work.

Ying's

By the time we'd done all that it was lunch time and, as we went to Epitome last night, we decided it would be too embarrassing to go there again today. We decided to try a new Yum-Cha which we've often driven past at Crows Nest. It's called Ying's.

Ying's

Ying's

I noticed a similarity between some of the food and parts of the human body. You be the judge...

Raw
Cooked

I chose not to eat that particular dish, but the other dishes were adequate.

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Friday, November 19th 2004

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Coffee

Yesterday I bought a milk frother for making cappucinos. It's a plunger based device with a little mesh thingy on the end which does the frothing. I tried it out this morning at breakfast.

The results were surprisingly good considering it only cost a few dollars.

FDA - The Celebration

The company celebrated the successful FDA audit by providing a BBQ lunch for everyone. It was held up on the rooftop carpark at the back.

There are about 500 employees so the queue was long. It was pretty hot too, so I decided not to wait. I just grabbed a cold drink and skipped the food.

I did take the opportunity to have a look at the company's other table tennis table (there are two) which I had not seen until today. It's in the production lunch area near where the BBQ was being held. It's in quite a nice carpeted area but the room is a bit small.

Rat V

Mother's rat problem persists despite burning the house to the ground. She has discovered a disturbing number of flies in the area where the rat is thought to have died.

As the area is fully enclosed, we can only theorise that the flies are not getting in from outside, but rather are the result of maggots in the corpse! I therefore conducted a more rigorous search this time, but again found no dead body.

This rat riddle is quite vexing!

Epitome

We went to Epitome for dinner. We hadn't been there for dinner for a long time. Some guy at a nearby table offered to take our picture.

Note the Christmas stocking on the wall, and the two clusters of blu-tac where two other stockings have fallen off.

The food was very nice as usual. Yuko had Double Roasted Duck again. We're not sure if that means that it's a "double duck" or it's "double roasted". I opted for a piece of dead cow.

Ambiguity

Heard on the TV news...

"Today Bob Carr outlined his plan to curb drunken behaviour in parliament."

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Thursday, November 18th 2004

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Mitsy

Mitsy refused to start this morning. It seemed like a flat battery. I hadn't left the lights on, but I suspect the frequent short trips to Cochlear and back don't give the battery a chance to properly charge. Anyway, Yuko lent me Belinda for today!

When I got home, I attempted to fix the problem (although I admit I'm only an engineer).

Amazingly, it worked! At 11pm I was able to start Mitsy's engine.

Film

In 1987 my colleague John Chambers and I sought out a supplier for hypersensitised photographic film for taking long exposure photographs of faint astronomical objects. We went to considerable effort to obtain a couple of rolls of the film.

Today, John brought his roll to work and asked me if I wanted to buy it!

I think it may be slightly beyond its use-by date.

Kodak Tech-Pan 2415 (Hypersensitised)

Living at the Arse-End of the World

Yuko is preparing to launch her own blog. Targeted at a Japanese audience, its title, roughly translated, is: "I've been living at the arse-end of the world for 12 years".

I guess that's true.

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Wednesday, November 17th 2004

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FDA - Day 8

At about 3pm, we were called to an informal meeting where we were told that the auditors had gone. The result.....

We are still allowed to sell in the U.S.

The audit did produce seven "observations" - examples of non-compilance with GMP. We have 15 working days to fix them. This is actually a pretty good result, and much better than both of our competitors.

The general feeling is that it's time we all went and got drunk. I think the managers did just that this afternoon. - my boss was asking for directions to the Great Northern and then left at 3.30pm.

By 4.40pm I was the only one left working in my area.

Funny

Funny Hat

Funny Shoe

Taiki

Taiki at Lane Cove for dinner. As we were walking from the car to the restaurant we encountered Patrica (formerly of Epitome). She looked a lot thinner than she did a week ago when I saw her in the supermarket and, sure enough, she told us she had given birth yesterday!

Patricia and offspring - probably not the one she gave birth to yesterday

She was already back working to prepare her new baby shop...

Patricia's shop

We continued to Taiki...

Last time we went to Taiki, Yuko asked about a particular fish dish which was not on the menu. They said she could have it if she pre-ordered. So today when she called to book, she pre-ordered the special fish.

Later, the chef called back to discuss her order! This is it...

This is us...

We sat "outside" is a kind of veranda area - off the footpath, but outside the main door. As we ate, a woman with two children came along and parked them on the edge of the footpath telling them to finish eating their iceblocks. Then she dissapeared inside and left them alone on the edge of the footpath at night.

I'm not sure if this is an indication of the low standard or parenting in Lane Cove, or the low level of crime. Probably the former.

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Have you ever had problem with your fence? A real question. I will ask for help if you have.

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You mean the brush fence? Not really. Do you need someone to fix a fence? We might have a contact for a fence fixer.

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I've just been letting everything wash over me recently. So it goes. What can I say?

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I've basically been doing nothing to speak of. Basically nothing seems worth thinking about. I feel like a void, but that's how it is. I've just been hanging out doing nothing.

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Tuesday, November 16th 2004

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Missed the coffee truck because...

FDA - Day 7

One of the FDA auditor dudes finally came to visit us this morning. I was up first, showing him the stuff I was pretending to work on. He seemed quite relaxed almost like a real person, despite having an American accent. I answered some of his questions and then my colleagues [Name Omitted] and [Name Omitted] took over and showed him some more complicated stuff. It went quite well.

However, the rest of the day was quite tiring because I had to write a new document in response to a request from another auditor. There's no way I'll finish it before the audit ends but it should be enough to just show that it's in progress.

Coffee

Although the auditor's visit caused me to miss the coffee truck in the morning, I discovered that the truck returns at lunch time. So there is a coffee picture after all...

Lizard

Amazingly, I only took one photo today - the coffee picture. Here's a picture I took yesterday of some wildlife relaxing under my car...

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Monday, November 15th 2004

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Bunny Suit

Today, I got up early, went to work early and put on a bunny suit. As promised, here is the picture...

FDA - Day 6

There was a minor panic today when the auditors asked for some stuff that I had worked on. Well... I panicked because it wasn't ready!

Other than that, the news is good. The audit might even finish a day or two early!

Vito Wreaks Havoc I

Vito (the gardener) came again today.

Our front door lock has been a bit loose for a while, so Yuko asked Vito to take a look at it. After 30 minutes, the lock was broken and the door could not be opened at all! The knob turns but the door remains locked.

Knob
Door not opening

We will have to enter through the garage until we can get the lock fixed by a smith.

Vito Wreaks Havoc II

Vito also went to (the smouldering remains of) Mother's house. He asked Mother something, but because he's only been in Australia for 30 years, Mother couldn't understand his English. So she just said "yes".

It turned out he had asked her if she wanted to throw out this "horse"...

Discarded horse

Mother called me asking me to come and bring the horse back in - which I did.

From Message
Anonymous
16/11/2004
5578 Days Ago
Can't believe it!! It's so simple to just change the lock if it doesn't work well. Even I did that several times. Save you money and time. And you had to ask for help. Goodness me! You probably couldn't do it, since you are only an engineer.

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5577 Days Ago
That's right. I only do software and medical equipment.

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Sunday, November 14th 2004

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Yuko Is Thunderstruck!!!!!!!!

Turn up the volume to 11 and click on this image...

Epitome

We sat on the balcony again and the wireless network signal was very good.

There was a free CD with the paper. Yuko said the selection sounded nice, but she was dissapointed that it's only the Sydney Symphony performing!

Mother

Then, I had a chance encounter with Mother who was wandering the streets.

Mother wandering the streets

She told me about a debacle last night when she and Jan went to a play. They had purchased the tickets in advance. They arrived at the theatre and bought a program for $10. When Mother looked at the program, it was for a different play. It turned out they had gone to the wrong theatre! They had to make a dash to get to the correct theatre (The Wharf) in time for the start of the play. If they had been late thay would have been shut out and would have missed the whole thing. They made it in time, although Mother said that the high speed dash left her "nearly dead".

Then they sat through the play and didn't understand anything in it. She gave me a web URL where there is supposed to be an article which explains the play. So she wants me to print it for her. However, upon visiting the site, I can't find the article in question.

Hardware

Yuko wanted to buy a tool to hack into a piece of wood. So we went to the huge Bunnings at Artarmon and bought a bunch of other unrelated stuff.

While we were there we looked at some umbrellas to replace the one that was destroyed recently when it was blown onto our roof. However, we didn't buy one.

Beach

In the afternoon we went to Collaroy Beach to eat fish and chips.

The fish and chips were adequate despite being purchased from the lesser of the fish and chip shops

We then read our books on the beach. Being Japanese, Yuko's read an electronic book.

We then had coffee and dessert at the Hog's Breath Cafe.

We sat on the balcony just behind the Hog sign in the previous photo. It's a very nice location with a view of the beach and the ocean. Yuko said we should come back another day for lunch.

Then we went down to the beach again and Yuko looked examined the sea-weed to see if it was edible...

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Saturday, November 13th 2004

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Epitome Wind

It was quite windy in the morning, but we sat out on the balcony at Epitome. The balcony offers some shelter from the wind so it was ok for a while.

However, it got worse and then we saw some of the umbrellas in the plaza being blown away. The staff had to fold up all the umbrellas, including ours as it looked like they were going to become lethal projectiles.

The Christmas decorations have gone up too!

Cycle

In the afternoon I told Yuko that we should do some exercise. So, like last weekend, we cycled through the grounds of St. Ignatius College for an hour. We did four laps of the internal road that snakes through the grounds. As Yuko is a faster rider than I, she leads the way, setting the pace, and I try to keep up.

At one point something odd happened to my bike chain and the pedals became locked in one position. I had to stop and jiggle it to get going again. I think I will have to sell this bike and buy a new one. Having compared Yuko's bike (which is new) with mine, I can appreciate the differences. It's hard to quantify, but Yuko's bike just feels so much nicer to ride. And the chain doesn't get messed up!

Rat IV

Despite filling the rat hole with more cement a few days ago, Mother said that the smell of rotting flesh had not gone away. So last night, we found a permanent solution to the problem...

Mother will live under the bridge until the insurance money comes through.

From Message
Laughing Mole
14/11/2004
5579 Days Ago
What if the insurance assessor reads your blog and smells a rat?

From Message
Webslave
15/11/2004
5579 Days Ago
That's the beauty of it - there's no rat to smell!

From Message
You lier
15/11/2004
5579 Days Ago
That was cool! I was going to offer you help for that matter. Too late. anyway... I don't believe the house in the burning picture is the house of your mother's.

From Message
Webslave
15/11/2004
5578 Days Ago
Thank for your offer of help in the Rat matter, but as you say it's too late.

You have an unusual name You Lier. It must make for some interesting conversations - like when you call for a doctor's appointment or when you open a bank account.

Regarding the burning house: You will have to wait for "Rat V".

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Friday, November 12th 2004

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FDA - Day 5

Nothing happened... except...

The word is that no major issues have been found. We're now past the halfway point and it looks like we might actually stay in business! The fact that the auditors haven't talked to me could be a large part of the reason for this.

I spent quite a bit of time today alone in the lab feeling resonably relaxed about the idea that the auditors might walk in at any time. But again, they didn't come.

Bunny Suit

On Monday I will have another opportunity to wear the bunny suit that I mentioned on Tuesday. I will endeavour to take a picture this time. But my boss overheard me telling [Name Omitted] that I wanted to wear it again and he said:

"So Peter... You LIKE wearing that bunny suit?"

He probably thinks I'm kinky.

From Message
Anonymous
13/11/2004
5580 Days Ago
He's probably right.

From Message
Webslave
14/11/2004
5579 Days Ago
Well... I haven't denied it.

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Thursday, November 11th 2004

[ Link to this entry ]

FDA - Day 4

Nothing happened.

Vito

Vito came again today making three days in a row! He's a good worker.

This area is looking much more civilised.

Maybe we should take on some more staff.

Smart

Yuko photographed this odd car in a street in Riverview. It's a Smart. Yuko says it's ugly.

Thai

We took Mother to Colours of Thai at Mosman. As usual, it was extremely adequate. On the way over there it was raining moderately and then, while we were eating, there was a deluge with lightning and thunder. As the restaurant is high up and has big glass windows, it was a spectacular sight.

Of course, there was no chopstick issue.

From Message
Anonymous
15/11/2004
5579 Days Ago
How much does your garnder charge you? does he charge extra for multi-visiting?

From Message
Webslave
15/11/2004
5579 Days Ago
He charges $20/hour. Multi-visiting is no extra. However, before you hire him you should read about what he did today.

From Message
Anonymous
16/11/2004
5578 Days Ago
Multi-visiting is no extra, but the time is counting. So is extra. Regarding what he did, what can you expect, he charges so little.

From Message
Webslave
16/11/2004
5577 Days Ago
Actually he's a very good worker but there are two problems:
1. He can't speak English
2. He can't fix locks

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Wednesday, November 10th 2004

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FDA - Day 3

This audit is brutal! The auditors expressed the desire to come to our lab and see us working there. We normally only spend about 20 percent of our time there, but today we had to spend most of the day there just in case the auditors decided to come and watch us working. It was quite draining. And then they never showed up! I heard later that they went to production instead, so it will be the same routine tomorrow!

I did manage to escape for an hour to do some x-rays and killed a cockroach which was milling around in the x-ray room. [Name Omitted] said that the fact that the roach was living there shows that the radiation levels are within safety limits. I hope the auditors agree with this validation procedure.

At least I got my Mokador today.

Bank Holdup

Yuko recorded the aftermath of an incident at the ANZ Bank at Lane Cove. It looks like some kind of ram-raid.

The area around the bank was roped off and the police were questioning bystanders. That's all we know.

Rat III

Mother bought some more cementy stuff, so I went over after work to finish covering the rat hole.

The smell of death has diminished but it's still there. Mother is still sleeping in the other room.

Vito

Vito came again today and did some more good stuff.

This hole where the pavers had subsided has been bugging me for years. It's finally fixed, but I forgot to take a "before" picture.

During

After

Tax

I got my tax refund. Amazingly, they allowed my $8000 tax deduction without asking for any documentation or further information. The only detail I gave them was:

"Legal fees re: unfair dismissal claim"

I would have written more, but that was all I could fit in the box in eTax.

From Message
He he
11/11/2004
5583 Days Ago
Apparently, your mother is in the need of a new room, or a new home.

From Message
Webslave
11/11/2004
5583 Days Ago
I've already told Mother that if the smell can not be elimintated, we will just have to burn the house.

From Message
asian fuck
31/12/2007
4438 Days Ago
I've just been letting everything wash over me. I just don't have much to say right now, but what can I say? I can't be bothered with anything these days. Such is life. I haven't been up to much lately.

From Message
pink visual dvds
1/01/2008
4436 Days Ago
My life's been basically bland recently. I can't be bothered with anything recently. Pretty much nothing seems important. I've basically been doing nothing worth mentioning.

From Message
gang bang squad trish
2/01/2008
4436 Days Ago
I haven't gotten anything done. Shrug. I've pretty much been doing nothing worth mentioning. So it goes.

From Message
imlive login member
3/01/2008
4435 Days Ago
Uniforms should be, should not be required in public schools

From Message
male supersite
3/01/2008
4435 Days Ago
I haven't been up to anything. My mind is like an empty room, but such is life. Maybe tomorrow. Today was a loss, but eh.

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Tuesday, November 9th 2004

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Due to several factors conspiring against me, I almost missed the coffee truck this morning. I was just in time to purchase a Mokador. However, when I got to my desk, there was a panic in progress. One of our team was off sick and I was needed for and urgent task related to the audit. I had to leave my coffee sitting on my desk for an hour! When I came back, I had to resort to the barbaric practice of re-heating it in the microwave!

FDA - Day 2

Bunny Suit

The urgent task I mentioned earlier required me to wear a Bunny Suit for the first time. This is a head-to-toe white garment which protects the wearer against bio-hazards. It also makes the wearer look ridiculous. Unfortunately, because I was dragged away to the bunny-suit room so suddenly, I forgot to take my camera and was unable to record the event. However this picture, which I found with Google, is pretty good approximation of what I looked like...

TT

I brought the Table Tennis table into compliance for the audit...

Calibration/Maintenance Not Required

Scrutiny

The auditors asked to look at some of my files. I haven't heard the result of this yet.

Sell! Sell! Sell!

Vito

Vito (our gardener) came today and did some of the stuff that I am too lazy or inept to do.

He even got the umbrella down from the roof.

Unfortunately, it's no longer the umbrella it once was.

Note that there is evidence in this picture of a second shooter.

Fish

And the fish ate worms...

From Message
Pawper
11/11/2004
5582 Days Ago
What, you have a gardener in your employ ? Those Cochlear types do well ....

From Message
Webslave
12/11/2004
5582 Days Ago
How else could we maintain the vast grounds of the Noswonky estate?

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Monday, November 8th 2004

[ Link to this entry ]

FDA - Day 1

As I was waiting outside for the coffee truck at 9am, I noticed three guys in the reception area. They were the F.D.A. auditors who had just arrived.

Within an hour, stuff was happening. I can't really go into detail, but I spent the rest of the day in a state of nervousness expecting them to walk in at any moment and start asking questions.

When they audited our competitor, Advanced Bionics, they found something which caused a recall and Cochlear's value shot up by $100M.

I just don't want to be the person who says the wrong thing to an auditor and causes the company to drop $100M in value! That would not look good in my salary review.

To calm my nerves, I put this on...

Actually, we all put them on!

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Sunday, November 7th 2004

[ Link to this entry ]

Hack II

Yuko took Fujiko to Epitome and tried to emulate my hack of yesterday. Although she thought the flashing light on her network card meant that a there was a network available, we were unable to find it.

Belinda?

Another imposter?

Rotting

For the rest of the day we just sat at home rotting.

From Message
The Piker
7/11/2004
5586 Days Ago
Mr Noswonky, I went on a lovely bicycle ride today from St Peters Park, to Stanwell Tops, and returning to Sutherland. The ride was 88km long and is known as the "Sydney to the Gong" ride. Anyway, I saw a whole heap of riders wearing shiny Cochlear lycra cycling jerseys. Were these riders a pro team sponsored by Cochlear or a staff team ? If they were the later, does that mean you piked ? PS. I have told you what I did today. Is this a blog takeover attempt ?

From Message
Webslave
7/11/2004
5586 Days Ago
Piker,

I congratulate you on not piking. I don't know the nature of the Cochlear team you saw. It may have been a staff team, but I was not aware of its existence. So technically, I didn't pike. Maybe it was a team of Cochlear implant users.

As for the blog takeover, I don't feel threatened yet.

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Saturday, November 6th 2004

[ Link to this entry ]

Breakfast Hack

Belinda was very hungry so we gave her a $50.00 breakfast.

Then we had breakfast at Epitome, as can be seen from the coffee photo. I took my computer (Fifi) so that I could write yesterday's blog which was late due to laziness the night before.

Then I decided to check for wirless networks in the area. I found one, and connected to it. I was then able to get an internet connection through SwiftDSL! So not only did I write the blog, but I also uploaded it.

Don't tell anyone.

Car Chase

It was reported by various news sources today, that Sydney is the car chase capital of the world.

So, appropriately I decided to get involved in a car chase today.

After breakfast, I went to Chatswood to get my hair cut. I parked in Chatswood Chase, and later when I was leaving to come home an incident occurred.

As I was waiting in the queue to exit the carpark, the car two cars in front of me was struck in the side by a car which was reversing out of a car space. I was not in a position to see if there was any damage to the passive vehicle, but it looked like a significant impact.

I assumed that the two drivers would get out and exchange details. However, the car that was struck moved forward a bit, and the other driver reversed out again, drove around his victim, and exited the carpark through the boom gates as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile, the woman in the car that was hit had got out and was manipulating a mobile phone. I'm not sure if she was making a call or trying to photograph the hit-and-run driver as he made his escape but she looked a bit shocked and frantic at the sight of the other car driving off.

I also drove around the stopped car and followed the runner out the boom gate. As I did so I got a look at the victim's car (not the damaged side) and saw that she was a P-plater. Probably the parents' car too. I then chased the bastard as he criss-crossed through the back streets of Chatswood and then Artarmon.

I think it was an old man and he seemed to be quite aware that I was following him as he kept looking in his mirror. And that fact that I was driving a bright yellow Beetle made me pretty hard to miss.

The chase was not high-speed, but it seemed he was trying to lose me. At one point he made a right turn at traffic lights through smaller than usual gap in the oncoming traffic, pobably hoping I would be held up behind him and he could get away.

He eventually parked in the street at Artarmon station and I pulled up beside his car and shot this picture in the hope that it would be enough to indentify him...

It was my intention to report this to the Police when I got home. However Yuko told me not to as it would cause trouble. I'm still thinking...

Film

Yuko wanted to see the film Twilight Samurai and I had been unable to find it screening anywhere as it seemed to have finished its run in theatres. However, Yuko found this clipping in the Japanese newspaper saying that it was on at the Japanese film festival in the city at 6.30pm.

So we planned to go today. Before leaving home I asked Yuko for the address so I could check it in the street directory. However I was unable to find the street in the directory. I then visited the web site and, after some digging, confirmed that we would have to take a plane to get there in time. It was in Melbourne!

We decided not to go.

So instead we went...

Cycling

In the grounds of St. Ignatius College.

The Big Scan

Yuko's scanning project is progressing. Tonight I was pulled in to do some work. I had to put the photos from our 1996 Tasmania trip into the correct sequence and label them with dates. A real test of the memory!

From Message
Laughing Mole
7/11/2004
5586 Days Ago
I think that if you take long thinking, then even if you do report it to the Police it will be too late. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly. I don't see how it would cause trouble. At worst the police won't (be able to) do anything. Otherwise it may help the victim driver. If the molemobile was crashed into, and someone reported the interloper to the police, I'd be thankful for it.

From Message
Webslave
7/11/2004
5586 Days Ago
Well... at worst, I would have to go to court as a witness and the perpetrator would take out a contract to have me killed.

Actually we had some experience with a very similar incident a few years ago. We had to go to Hornsby and spend a whole day in court! And we discovered that courts have no interest in finding the truth. After that I became a cynical bastard.

My other court experience last year only reinforced this.

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Friday, November 5th 2004

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Rat II

The Call

Mother called me at work to say that the smell of rotting flesh had become stronger in her bedroom. She was therefore unabe to sleep there last night. As I had sealed the hole, although in a makeshift manner, I now suspected that the rotting corpse might indeed be somewhere in the room rather than inside the hole.

The Stench

After work I went to Mother's house to investigate. I cautiously opened the door of the contaminated room.

However, when I went inside, I didn't think the smell has worsened. In fact it may have diminished a little.

I pulled the wardrobe out from the wall again and saw that my plastic bag hole sealing system had been compromised. The plastic bag I had stuffed in the hole was just lying on the floor beside the hole. and the hole was again exposed. However, it was unclear whether this had happened before or after I pulled the wardrobe out. It may have happened when I pushed the wardrobe back into place last time.

I thought I'd better check the theory that the corpse was under the wardrobe. So this time I pulled the wardrobe out further from the wall and also performed a visual inspection of the area underneath using a torch and a mirror. I found nothing corpse-like. However, I did find more debris from Mr. Rat's chewing activities. I vacuumed that up and then, performed an experiment.

The Suck

I put the vacuum cleaner hose against the hole and sucked. The idea being that if the corpse was indeed down the hole, then sucking with the vacuum would draw the stench up and we should then notice a worsening of the smell. This would be good evidence that the rat was down the hole and not in the room. However, there was no noticable increase in the smell.

The Fill

Mother had bought some filler at the hardware shop for the purpose of filling the hole.

It was a bit too thin in consistency to just trowel it into the hole. So I stuffed a rag into the hole first and then covered it over with the cement filler.

It was apparent that the hole had once been significantly bigger and that someone had filled it in before. They had obviously stuffed foam rubber in and covered it with styrofoam and some kind of glue. Much of the debris I had found on the floor was the result of Mr. Rat chewing on the styrofoam.

There was enough cement to cover the hole, but I advise Mother to buy some more so that I could also cover over the earlier repair work which was now suffering rat damage.

Coming Soon: Rat III

Betty

Today was Betty's birthday. As I had forgotten to send a card, I rang her in the afternoon. Apparently I was the only one of her nephews to remember her birthday.

Work

Despite the preparations for the FDA audit, this week I actually had time to do some of what my job really is: Analysis of failed medical devices. I haven't really had much time to do that since starting at Cochlear eight weeks ago.

We have to present all our analysis for review by a panel of knowledgable people, and we had such a review today. The good thing about it is that we get free food...

Note: This entry was posted from Epitome using a wireless network that just happened to be available!

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Thursday, November 4th 2004

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Thin Dude

I snapped this picture af a thin dude at work. Some readers may recognise him.

Korean

Mother took us to the Korean BBQ.

She tried using chopsticks again, but was unsuccessful. She continues to decline Chopstick Man's offer of coaching.

The food was nicer than usual.

Extreme Laziness and Techincal Difficulties...

... are the reason this blog entry is being posted 20 hours late. I was lazy in the evening, and the next morning I was unable to upload.

From Message
Laughing Mole
5/11/2004
5588 Days Ago
What happened to the umbrella?
When is Rat II due?
Who was that masked man?

From Message
Webslave
5/11/2004
5588 Days Ago
I think it's still up there.
Rat II will dominate the November 5th entry (which is again late due to laziness).
What masked man?

From Message
Laughing Mole
6/11/2004
5588 Days Ago
That masked man.

From Message
Webslave
6/11/2004
5587 Days Ago
Oh him!
How would I know? He's a masked man!

From Message
ChopStick Man
8/11/2004
5585 Days Ago
Patience mother. May I call you mother? I feel I almost know you as well as my own mother since your exploits have been publicised by your son. That would make me the other son you never had. Anyway there is a chinese proverb which says that woman with only one chopstick go hungry. Persistence, patience and determination is the key. If you can bring up that crazy son of yours without going mad (assuming you're not mad) then mastering chopsticks will be a walk in the park. Go get'em mother.

From Message
Mother
10/11/2004
5583 Days Ago
Dear Chopstick Man

Thank you. I'm still trying. Very trying!

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Wednesday, November 3rd 2004

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REB

Somone wrote "REB" in the sky today.

Horse

It's almost 11pm (7am EST in the US) and Fox News has had Bush at 269 EV (enough to win) for several hours while all other news sources I've looked at have Bush at no more than 254 EV and the result still in doubt. Surely Fox does not have a Republican bias!

But anyway, it looks like the horse brain is going to win. The yanks have screwed us again!

Home Alone

Yuko went to meet Keiko for dinner at Genki and left me home alone.

Keiko at Genki

Yuko gave her a tape of the American version of The Ring as she is probably only familiar with the Japanese version.

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Tuesday, November 2nd 2004

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Horse Race I

There was a horse race today. I bought a couple of $5 horses, one for me and one for Yuko.

The pick

I picked Delzao for myself and Mummify for Yuko.

In the afternoon we had our monthly Communication Meeting and then watched the horses on the big screen. There was great excitement.

My horse came second last, while Yuko's horse, after leading in the early stages finished 19th.

Horse Race II

Tonight, as I write, a sham election is beginning in the former democracy of the United States. Here are the candidates...

Horse Face
Horse Brain
Horse Sense

Here is the critical election forecast. This pattern of rain should favour the Democrats but of course the election will really be decided by the rainfall in individual counties.

If the weather turns bad and it snows everywhere, then Nader should romp home.

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Monday, November 1st 2004

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ABS Kicks In

On the way to work in my car (I piked), I narrowly avoided a head-on collision when my ABS brakes paid for themselves.

As depicted in the following diagram, a car attempted a right turn right in front of me on a blind curve and on a wet road. I was going at about 40 km/h and I certainly could not have stopped in time to avoid hitting him. However, when I hit the brakes, the ABS system kicked in and went click... click... click... click... (as it does). Without the ABS I would have just started skidding on the wet road and slammed into the other car. Instead, the wheels kept turning and I just steered around him with no more than a missed heartbeat and some verbal abuse.

Chambers

In 1986 and 1987 I worked with a dude called John Chambers at 14 Mars Road (the very building where Cochlear is now located). Today, he returned from leave for the first time since I started at Cochlear. As he was still unaware that I had joined the company, I snuck up on him from behind while he was at his desk and simply resumed a conversation I had been having with him 17 years earlier involving the purchase of some photographic film for astronomical purposes.

He was freaked out, and fortunately, he remembered me. He said he still had some film in his fridge and didn't need any more.

Of course, he looked much, much, much, much older than I remembered him. We then discussed how foolish Cochlear must be for deciding to employ both of us!

Rat I

Mother called me at work to tell me about her latest animal problem. She had been hearing the sound of somthing gnawing under her wardrobe. She suspected a rat, so she put rat poison behind the wardrobe. The gnawing stopped, but after a few days she began to smell the stench of rotting flesh in her bedroom.

So after work I dropped in and took a look at the wardrobe.

I pulled it out from the wall and looked behind, expecting to see a decomposing rat. However, there were only boxes of rat poison and the leftover debris from the animal's feasting.

Vacuuming the debris

Mr. Rat really pigged out on this box of poison, consuming it completely.

In the corner, there was a hole in the floorboards big enough for a rat of significant size to get through. So I guessed that the rotting corpse is down the hole. I therefore blocked up the hole with plastic bags until a better solution can be implemented. Hopefully this will stem the vile stench.

Coming soon: Rat II

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