Thursday, June 30, 2005

Is Chilli Mussels a Perth Thing ??

Is chilli mussels really a Perth only thing ? I always thought it was an Italian thing (as it appears in nearly every Italian restaurant in Perth). But during my nearing 3 years in Sydney I have yet to come across one Italian restaurant which actually serves Chilli Mussels (the tomato sauce ones anyway).

So why doesn't sydney have Chilli Mussels ??

Is Chilli Mussels even an Italian dish ? Can someone tell me plssss ~~~

I flew back to Perth for the weekend (as it was my gran's b'day) and after being in Sydney for the past 3 years, I was craving for chilli mussels big time. The first night back I went to the Chorus Club with a couple of my old friends and about 4am (on the way home..and half drunk) I begged my friend to drive past Concas to see if it was still open.

It wasn't.

But 3 years ago its used to be open until 6am on weekends !!

However, this proves was how desperate I was...

The following day I had dinner with another friend and we went for Chilli Mussels. :P~

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Computer Literacy Should Be Compulsory

Computer literacy should be compulsory.. well.. ok.. that might be a tad bit extreme (depending on the job you have). But as a systems engineer who spends her whole life with computers and servers it's a bit hard to come to terms with another person who isn't conversed with the technology world. This doesn't mean I despise anyone who doesn't know how to use a computer. (God knows how long it took me to teach my own mother how to setup a dialup connection to the Internet). But she doesn't need to use a computer as part of her daily job routine - so her lack of technical knowledge is acceptable. Which is unlike the new PA (personal assistant) we have who needs to know how to use a computer to complete her daily tasks.

This PA managed to stuff up this database I am supporting (by forcefully entering duplicate data). She didn't know how to un-zip a file from winzip. So therefore, the Print-Screen command I asked her to do to email me the error msg - would of been asking for the impossible. Is the Print-Screen button really that had to locate on the keyboard?!

But this was the PA now responsible for our timesheets (which ultimately goes to the HR & payroll to generate our pay). So I couldn't piss her off. On the contrary, I had to be very nice to her. Because I had learnt through my 4 years of working in the private sector that you cannot piss off the PA. As a PA's revenge can be hard to endure.

My colleagues and me came up with some reasons why you shouldn't piss-off the PA:

  • No more invites to Friday Luncheons at the Pub
  • You might never get any more stationery supplies again
  • They directly report to the big-shots (CEO, COO.. etc) so they can say anything about you anytime they want (chances are your boss will believe them).
  • In this case - I might not get paid properly (as timesheets goes to payroll)

I have got to learn to be nice...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Funny Stuff for the Month

Something to Ponder About...


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Train Etiquette

Every morning I take the train to work. Its not too bad considering it is only a 25 minute trip. But some of the behaviour of people on the train never ceases to amaze me.

But today's was extremely bad .. so I really need to bitch about it to get it out of my system.

I'm not sure about the trains in the rest of the world but Sydney's cityrail trains are designed so that there are handrail-type poles for people to hang on to (as it's a pretty bumpy ride). This vertical handrail pole is smack right in the middle of the standing carriage where the train doors are (and there is only one). But SOME people just don't care about other people. They think they own the pole and its not to be shared.

So this morning I was equiped with my usual bag and laptop and as soon as I got into the morning train (sardine-packed as usual...therefore impossible to find a seat) I headed for the middle pole. But there was this woman who was already there, and she had literally wrapped herself around the pole. I'm not kidding. She had one around snaked around it and her head leaning on to the pole. She wasn't short or thin either. So I had to grab onto the pole with the limited space that was available.. above her head.

So here I was.. Arm perpendicularly stretched out to hang on to the pole and with the other hand holding my bag and laptop. About 10 minutes in I decided to let go to get some blood back into my hand. But it only lasted 5 seconds or so as I nearly toppled onto the person next to me.

She even looked at me once. Looked up at my arm above her head. But didn't even move... and continued to 'hug the pole'.

Who did she think she was ?! Pole dancer or something ???!?!

I reckon this should fall under the same Train Etiquette category as like the "Giving up your seat to the elderly" rule.

Some people are just rude.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Girl Talk (part 1)

I went to lunch with ah-sze today. Laksa. I'm actually quite surprised with the level of chilli hotness I can actually take in now. This is considering the fact I was proned to having nose bleeds immediately after eating anything that was even slightly spicy a couple of years ago. And as usual when we both meet up for lunch, ah-sze fills me in with her latest update on her potential. Potential.. meaning the latest guy she has fallen for but is not yet officially dating.

This latest guy sounded like the complete jerk. But she was all hooked up on him. Which was actually quite surprising since she only just met the guy a couple of weeks ago at a night club.

Is it even possible to meet decent guys at night clubs anymore ?!

I mean.. if you meet a guy at a night club.. what is the possibility that he is actually looking for a one-night stand as opposed to any kind of a relationship ?

I rest my case...

She told me she was calling him throughout the whole weekend and when he did pick up his phone he sounded really busy or 'not in the mood to talk'. I told her to forget about him, but she said its hard as she misses him alot and finds it impossible to not call him.

I could recall I was like that with my ex-bf. But it was both ways.. I once had 52 missed calls from him when I went missing for one day playing warcraft at a friend's place (LAN session). And when I finally had the guts to leave him and let him carry on with his own life, I had a serious mental struggle to restrain myself from calling him. It wasn't easy.. I even once switched off my phone and put it in the fridge (overnight only). Just so that I wouldn't go dial his number in the middle of the night.

Anyway, I survived the laksa (albeit washed down with one bottle of mineral water) and thus finished off my 1 hour Aunt Agony consultation session. I just hope she gets over him soon.

Today is actually my ex bf's birthday. I talked to him a couple of months back on msn .. he is still in Perth and is doing quite well ( I miss not having my msn available at work !!!). I sent him a sms wishing him 'Happy Birthday'. I didn't know what else I should put in the sms so just left it as that. The feeling has definitely gone.. but I just didn't know what else to sms.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Super Duper RUDE Real Estate Agent ~~

Over the past week me and Pete have been emailing each other real estate adverts of places we might consider buying. And we came across one that was a newly renovated one bedroom apartment in a good location selling at a ridiculously low price. The price was so absurd that we both thought there must be something wrong with this apartment.

  • a) Previous owner/tenants were gruesomely murdered (e.g. like the Sef Gonzales murder case)
  • b) It's a shoebox apartment (i.e. its super duper small !)
  • c) There was a typo in the advert

Pete was thinking the (B) was a huge possiblity since it only is a one bedroom. I agreed, but since I have a limited amount to invest with.. I wasn't exactly looking for a luxury pad!

Nevertheless, Pete called up the agent and arranged an appointment for Saturday. When Pete called me back to confirm, he said the agent seemed to be steering him away from the one bedroom and wanted to show us a few other two bedroom apartments which were available.

two bedroom?!?! What the heck.... didn't we just ask to look a the one bedroom one ?? Could this guy not understand english ??

I knew I couldn't really afford a two bedroom in those areas of Sydney .. but then I knew Pete was looking for something as well.. so I told him.. sure thing.. so long we get to see the one bedroom too.

Boy.. was this guy RUDE ~~!! After about 5 mins in from meeting this guy.. Pete already wanted to get up and leave. I actually had to put my hand on his knee to keep him seated and under control ! I couldn't believe I could actually do that .. as this guy was actually rude to me. The lines of our conversation went something like this....

Agent: Ok .. to get straight to the point. There are a couple of questions I need to ask you both first before I show you the apartment. This is so that I wont waste my time ... and your time and so I can show you the apartments which are right for you.

Me: (thinking) uh ? you already thinking we are wasting your time ??

Sure .. we understand

Agent: ok .. peter.. what is your absolute maximum you are willing to pay for an apartment. If you were to buy today?

Me: (thinking) god.. you really get straight to the point !


Agent: alice?

Me: 280~k

Agent: (laughs) 280k ? ho ho ho... you wont get anything in this inner west area. What did you say you were looking for ? 1 bedroom ? 2 bedroom? 280k can get nothing.. nothing.

Me: wasn't the 1 bedroom advertised at 190k?!?

Agent: ah.. but that one.. you wont like that one..

Me: umm.. We haven't even seen it yet

Agent: but trust me.. that one is small.. very small.. not right for you. Now the one I want to show you Peter is very nice.. good quiet location.. facing north.. (blah blah blah...).

At this point, my mind had already switched off. He obviously did not think I had the ability to buy something and had already diverted all his attention to Pete. I understand why agents need to 'suss you out' separate the potential serious buyers from just the window shoppers. But this was really getting a bit ridiculous.

Does that mean I am a 'Window Shopper'?!?

I went there with FULL INTENTION of looking at and buying the $190k apartment. How can this idiot judge me like that?? Wasting his time... my foot !

Anyway, we ended up going to take a look at the two bedroom apartment he mentioned (which had an asking price of 369k). It was soooooo small. Pete just kept on shaking his head everytime he looked at me.. with the 'I'm-so-sorry-I-took-you-to-the-agent-from-hell' look in his eyes. Cause the guy never stopped talking. He also had one of those really annoying accents.

He also kept on going off about how people should offer 'fair' prices. Meaning that if this apartment was asking for $369k then to offer $350k would not be considered to be a fair offer. (I don't think any investers or 1st home owner buyers would of ever agreed to just the asking price and not submitted a slightly lower offer).

I think the highlight of the day was when he tried to justify 'a quiet street'. The idiot actually asked us... 'Do you know how the quiet streets are identified by road maps?... (we shook our heads)... its shown in a white colour and all the semi busy and busy main streets and represented in yellow'. He then proceeded to pull out the UBD road map from the glove box and asked Pete to open up to the street the apartment was located to confirm that the street shown was indeed in white colour.

To my knowledge all inner suburban streets in road maps are always shown in white. So what was he trying to get at ??!? Does he really think we are idiots too ??

I actually think that the 190k one bedroom apartment advert is a scam. Just so that the agent can get you to call up to enquire about that apartment and show you other ones instead.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Murphy's Law at Work .... =.="

Today has been one of those days when I seriously wonder if Murphy's law is not just a theory and that it really does exist. Out of curiousity I jumped on google and did a quick search of definitions of Murphy's Law and found the following:

  • Anything that can go wrong will go wrong
  • Everything goes wrong all at once
  • Mother nature is a bitch ... (haha..this one can be used to explain just about everthing !)

All of the above three definitions can basically explain what I went through today.

I started my day with the Network Card failing on one of my crucial servers. At 9.30am in the morning I had one of my manager's manager (one of the big guns) tell me that a certain databases had 'dropped' off. It took me about 5 minutes to get to the data center and another 10 minutes to figure out what happened - before my DBA (database admin guy) came in and asked what happened to his database. What happened to his database ?!? (wtf ??) What's happening to my server ?!! At this time ... all my brain could think of is that I'm going to miss the 10am coffee break. I need coffee.....

After getting all the databases on that server back up, all the processes which were dependent on the feed from these databases started to fail. No reports. No webservices. No nothing.

From then on everything went downhill. Murphy's Law.

I'm so tired now that I can't even bring myself to start typing out all the stuff that has gone wrong ! But its nearly 8pm now and I'm still stuck in the office trying to fix sourcesafe (a totally different issue) which has decided to corrupt itself. The support document for this from Microsoft is 9 pages long.. (I need coffee).

So right now I'm sitting here waiting for the analyzer tool to finish its scan. So that I can atleast start going through the log files to find out which files I have to restore from previous tape backups. Its been running for 2 hours already. By the way, our sourcesafe (v6.0) database is 5 freaking times the size recommended by Microsoft. You kinda have to think... Now....I wonder why the DATABASE IS GETTING CORRUPTED ?!?! sheesh.... :(

ok ok.. I'm starting to lose myself here. I need coffee.. (I've only had 3 today..)

Analyzer tool still on part 2 of 4 at 68%...*sob**

Going to get another coffee now..... =.="

Monday, June 13, 2005

Abseiling @ Tiger Snake Canyon ?!?

Over the long weekend I was dragged to go Abseiling. When I say 'dragged' it doesn't mean that I didn't want to go.. but I was just a bit reluctant. This is mainly because the last time I went abseiling was probably during my year 8 camp. Plus the fact that the last time I did any strenuous exercise was probably about 6 months ago - playing tennis. (Tennis can be strenuous too.. ok ??)

Pete had been giving me these 'you-can-do-it' looks for the whole week. (Regardless of the fact that he had already booked and paid for it - before even asking me)..the sneaky bugger!
So I told him I'll go.. on one condition that I get to drag Charmaine (his flatmate) with me as well.

Pete sent me this excerpt:

Description of the Abseil @ Tigersnake Canyon
Tigersnake Canyon
Grade: Moderate
Time: 8.00 am - 6.00 pm

Tigersnake is a very narrow, deep canyon with several long abseils and some wet sections (wading only).

An hour of walking through the Wollemi National Park takes you to the beginning of the canyon: a slot in the ground, barely one metre wide! Here you abseil into the canyon, with a pool of cool water awaiting you at the bottom...luckily, it will only be ankle deep. After some wading, another short abseil and a (short) downclimb, you arrive at the first long abseil, this one situated next to a waterfall.

It's here that the canyon opens out into a beautiful rainforest gully until you reach the second and spectacular long abseil: a big drop into the dark chasm, sliding down between two canyon walls, just two metres apart.

Abseiling at Tiger Snake Canyon ... doesn't that name 'Tiger Snake Canyon' say something to you ?!?

Conclusion ?

Abseiling is .... Fun ~~ ! (Yes .. I actually do agree it is).
Actually, I have to re-phrase that a bit. Abseiling DOWN is fun.

Hiking back up the cliff is definitely NOT fun.

At the moment my abs feels like I've done 100++ sit-ups (under 5 mins... if that is even humanly possible!) hurts to even laugh too much.