dryfter: (Default)
According to the use-by dates on milk cartons in the supermarket, they will expire *after* I am a home-owner. :D

I've been busy since I arrived back in Melbourne.

Tonight I have been listening to great music while eating tasty vegie food I made, and generally life is good.
Over the weekend I went to a club night called Machine on Friday, then Paul's 0x21st birthday pirate party on Saturday, then Sunday was the High Vibes street festival in Northcote.
I liked the music at Machine - just have to try and convince a few friends to come along next time. It was interesting techno with perhaps a touch of psytrance influence.

I've been sleeping very well since I arrived back in Australia.. in fact, thanks to jetlag, I've been reliably getting up before 7am and arriving at work earlier than I have ever. I am not trying to fight it; if I can continue to get up early and get more done (and not be horrendously late to work) then it's only a good thing.
However, the yawning-my-head-off before midnight needs to stop!

This post will also be the last one I post directly on LJ, as I'm moving over to Dreamwidth. I'll continue to cross-post things to LJ indefinitely though.
I'm doing this because Livejournal (the company and software) has stagnated. Dreamwidth has forked the codebase, and is actively improving it, fixing bugs, and adding new features. I approve. Whether they can make any money out of it is another issue, but time will tell..

Please feel free to add me to your Reading List there; also note that you can use your LJ login (via OpenId) there if you don't want to create two accounts.
dryfter: (Default)
Hey all,
I have a couple of ultra-long flights coming up, and I don't want to have to rely on the in-flight entertainment options.. I like reading on flights. I like reading fun, easy and engaging novels.
I do have various books in my "half finished" or "to read" piles, but by virtue of their presence in that stack, they can't meet my criteria.

Have you read any books recently that you liked, and think I'd like to read in those circumstances?


Edit: Possibilities, have you read these? What did you think?
* House of Suns - Alistair Reynolds
* The City & The City - China MiƩville
* Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk

Another possibility is that I might just go back and re-read something, maybe Look to Windward by Iain Banks. Although I suspect I have it in hardback :/
dryfter: (tc_meters)
I found this phone app that is so cheeky - "SnapTell"

You take a photo of something, (either the front of the item, or the barcode) and then it looks up the item online.. somehow.. and then gives you some reviews of it.. and links to online shops' prices.. and prices of shops near you selling it and their price.

I presume their business model is that they get a kickback if you follow a link through to, say, amazon and buy the thing.

But it's such a cheeky way to haggle in stores, I mean, you could almost instantly say - hey, I can get this item for *click* *pause* this much just around the corner! Will you match it?
dryfter: (photographer)
Skiing was fun.
Five of us drove up to Mansfield on Friday night, and stayed in this bungalow on a farm, full of beds, about half an hour drive from Mt Buller.

Each morning, we piled into my Subaru at 8am, which I was rather surprised could actually manage to fit five adults plus all their skis, boots, clothes, etc into it, and I drove us to the mountain. In the evening I drove us back while everyone else napped..

Buller itself claimed to have 75cm average snow depth, but this seemed to be a blatant lie.. The bottom parts of the mountain had about 0 to 5 cm of cover, which surely means the top half would need 150cm to average out at 75cm.. However it was more like 20-30cm cover around there at best. *shrug* oh well, it was definitely skiable - you just often had to load onto the lifts halfway down, instead of all the way.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I don't seem to have forgotten how to ski, despite not having been on a mountain for about eight years. Also a pleasant surprise was discovering that the best snow seemed to be on a particular valley that only had black runs on it, thus ensuring that the lift at the bottom never had any queues on it.

I did have a bit of a stack on Sunday, and it was a good and proper one, where you spend five minutes walking up the mountain picking up your skies, poles and items of clothing. Unfortunately it seems my camera copped a battering in the process - see the photo below!
Luckily I was just carrying around a budget point-and-shoot that I have precisely for occasions where I don't want to risk the D700, so it's not a great loss. I am slightly disappointed that the screen broke though, but I guess it must have copped a ski binding or something to the back of it while I tumbled down the mountain.
I had contemplated taking the old Nikon FE up the mountain, as it's practically indestructable - however maybe it's for the best.. I suspect if I landed hard on it, I'd be more likely to break a rib than to break a camera!



Jul. 28th, 2009 09:47 pm
dryfter: (Default)
Just discovered my British passport expired in late 2008!
I'm so used to places emailing, or at least posting, reminders that I'd forgotten!
I hope I can renew it in the next 30 days, or else I'll have to get a holiday visa to visit, and that would be silly..

Hmm, what else have I been up to lately?
My StepMania dance mats arrived, but I haven't organised a dance party yet. Would anyone come out to Reservoir even if I did?
I've found a good selection of random tracks that are a bit different to the usual DDR candy-raver stuff.. Nine inch nails, Neurotic fish, Tool, a few metal tracks, KMFDM, oh, and the Sisters of Mercy. Now you can do the four-step goth dance and get scored for it :D

Continuing to noodle away on the guitar; I think I'm gradually improving.
dryfter: (angel)
Today was Melbourne Open House day, and I was excited at the prospect of seeing inside the Russell Place power station. I even fought my hangover and went out of the house by midday with lots of camera gear with that objective in mind.

I arrived at the location, where there was a huuuuge queue, all the way down the alley and then down Burke street. Not a good sign. After a while an official came by to say that people at my point in the queue could be expecting a two hour wait, maybe a bit more.
OK.. so I'll wait. At least I have a couple of friends, also hungover, to talk crap with to fill in the time, and hold places in the queue while we take turns buying snacks, coffee, juice, etc.

Nearly three hours later, we're told that the people who started queueing at 11am are only now at the front of the queue, and there's only an hour and a half left before they close. A gentleman in the queue near me asks the official guy how many people are going through.. it's 20 every 20 minutes, or 60 per hour. He then enquires how many people are in front of us in the queue, and whether there are more than the 90 that they still have time for..
The official has a "oh, that's a good idea" look, and goes off to count. He comes back a while later and announces there are well over a hundred people in front.. so everyone behind number 90 may as well go home now.

Damnit! Couldn't they have worked this out, like, two hours earlier? I stood around in a windy, cold alleyway for half the daylight hours for nothing?? Gnnnrgh. Rather disappointed, all in all!

Retail therapised with a new pair of jeans and a shirt, looked at potential carry-on luggage without success*, and then came home tired and grumpy. Am now making bolognese with veggie mince; last attempt ended up rather dry and meh, but am hoping second attempt works out better. (With addition of a glass of wine into the sauce).

[* My previous carry-on bag has fallen to bits, annoyingly. Black/grey canvas satchel. I suppose I could just repair it.. But it wasn't that hot anyway.]
dryfter: (me)
Yamaha Pacifica PAC112

That is my new guitar!

I swear I looked at a few hundred new and second hand guitars, but in the end settled upon this one.. I liked the way it looks, and the way it is balanced/fits on me, and I'm told it's a good quality body too. One massive chunk of solid "Alder" wood. (I like the raw un-lacquered look, rather than the shiny finish most electric guitars seem to have.)

After some experimentation, I think it sounds nicest with the bridge pickup and centre pickup linked.. I am using quite "clean" sounding settings while I'm learning, so no doubt I'll figure out what works well for other sounds in due course.

I've been playing with it and reading online tutorials for a couple of days now, and people weren't kidding when they said my fingers would be sore! However I'm happy that I can now just about pluck out the intros to "Hurt" and "Wish you were here" - slow, but recognisable.

Thanks to Tom, Bekki and Sean for their advice so far. Much appreciated!
dryfter: (photographer)
Portrait of Laura
[livejournal.com profile] loz_vovin kindly agreed to sit for me while I tried various portrait techniques.
This is my favourite photo from the shoot - and was the first I took. Strange how that works out.

I also liked:
Portrait of Laura
dryfter: (angel)
I toured around guitar stores (new and secondhand) in Fitzroy yesterday..
Did some research online, listened to what a few friends had to say last night..
Went back at lunchtime today with one particular guitar in mind..
And it had been sold :(

Damnit. Eh, there'll be others. Plenty of others in fact.
I just hate it when you spend ages debating the merits of one thing over another, eventually pick one.. and then find you have to start again. Hmph.
dryfter: (Default)
Ah, wintertime..
It's cold (10 to 12 degrees), and my usual pastimes of outdoor photography and motorbike rides don't fit with that quite so well.. and Melburnians just don't seem to go out to pubs or clubs or anything so much this time of year. Hmph.

I always seem to fall back to some other time-wasting activity for the colder months.
In past years it's been things like CB/amateur radio, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, roleplaying games, FPS games. Last year I dug up my (very) old MIDI keyboard and bought a "teach yourself piano" book.

I didn't get too far with the piano last year, but this year I'm going to give music another try, and so I intend to purchase a cheap guitar, and attempt to learn it. I'd really *like* to be able to play music.

I have decided to go for an electric guitar, since that'll allow me to mess around with the sound more, and I'm a sucker for electronics. Also, I think I can use headphones, and thus not annoy housemates with dreadful practice notes :)
(It's still ages before I get to move into my house.)

Am now looking for online sites with lessons. So far:
* http://guitar.about.com/library/blguitarlessonarchive.htm


dryfter: (Default)
Toby "dryfter" Wintermute

December 2010

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