Thursday, November 30, 2006

Train Trip

While on my train to work today, I could think of ten things I could bitch rant about, each of which adds to my displeasure of of my train ride.

  • Why do the guards of the train insist on closing the door on you, even though they can see you clearly run for the doors ? This isn't Singapore or Hong Kong you know. The next train does not come in 4 minutes. In fact, it would be amazing if the next train came within 10 minutes (and this is in peak times).
  • Why do women have to do their makeup in the train ? And take up atleast two seats with their makeup bag and 'other' bags. And even if you stand right up to them, they refuse to move their bags to one side (to make room), and continue to do their makeup as if you were transparent. This is a train.. not your room !!!
  • The support poles on trains are supposed to be shared. Everyone in their vicinity should be able to get one hand to it. Unfortunately, I couldn't this morning, because some idiot was leaning all over it. I really want to slap him and tell him that... One - You're not a pole dancer... and Two - It's NOT your pole !!
  • Why does the train when stopping at Central station need to stay there for a total of 5 mins !? There obviously was no one getting off and no one getting on either. Nothing can be more fustrating than a train that is not going anywhere.
  • If Airconditioning in trains isn't recognised as a necessity, then some other kinds of ventilation really should be employed. A combination of a hot day, packed train and no ventilation really doesn't smell that good.
  • Ipods. I use my one too. But if I can still hear the music from another Ipod when I'm listening to mine - then somethings not quite right. If you really want to blast your music and blow out your ear drums then do it at a place where you can use speakers.
  • Getting off trains. If you are standing in the doorway, move out then after everyone has gotten off, move back in. Simple. Don't make the people getting off the train have to squeeze past you and jump over your sports bag at the same time.
  • On this matter of convenience, if a senior citizen or mother with a pram gets on. Give them your seat. They need it more than you. I'm sure we've all heard about this little etiquette rule before.
  • Sharing the train with noisy teenage highschool kids who are on their way to school is still acceptable. But I''m sure the rest of the train passengers were not one bit amused by the talks on which guys are considered to be hot in school - or for that matter 'who has been doing who' and 'who is good\bad'. Are highschool kids supposed to have a sex life !?
  • Oh... and to that woman who was talking ever so indiscreetly on the phone... I really don't want to know what you got up to last night !

And all this from one train ride this morning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Enough is Enough

After suffering from major latency issues on World of Warcraft for the past week, (12000ms time outs), I finally phoned my Internet Service Provider to abuse them about the pathetic connection I have had to live with for the past week.

However, not without doing some thorough testing by myself first.

I'm in I.T. as well. I know how long it would take if I would have to do all these tests again when on the phone to another tech support person. I would have to go away, do the tests, and then call them back. The additional time wasted by being on hold everytime I would have to call back really doesn't appeal to me

I found the existing connections to the World of Warcraft (WoW) servers from my laptop though a Netstat (command to show connections on all ports). And then I did Tracerts (tracing the connection from source to destination), to those ip addresses. And lo and behold, I found that on the 7th hop it would time out and show me an * on 3 outta 5 tests. The other times it would have a lag time of about ~300ms.

Hop 7 had an alias of which really does seem a bit suss.... I mean if it had died at then I might be barking up the wrong tree in thinking that the issue was with my ISP and not with another external source.

Just to make sure, I even went a step further to isolate the ISP from my WoW game play. I took my laptop to a friend's house which I knew was using a different ISP to me.

It was wonderful. No lag. My latency bar was green and not red. I even managed to squeeze in two games of AV before going back home to call the tech support line.

The first call I made, the guy asked if I had problems with the Internet in general, to which I replied 'No', then he asked if I had issues recieving emails, to which I also replied 'No'. When I told him what was my exact problem, he said in terms of their policy, its not something they look after.

I told him the main purpose of me getting ADSL was to enjoy playing WoW on their fast internet connection. Something I wasn't getting anymore. After debating for a bit more, I asked to speak to someone else who could understand a tracert (this guy had no idea), I was put on hold for a further 20 mins. By the time I managed to talk to a 3rd person (the 2nd guy didn't know what WoW was), my cordless phone ran out of batttery.

I had no choice but to call back on my mobile (yes.. costly I know). 15 minutes more, and I've had just about enough. By this time I had made it to their level two tech (or so I was told), he advised that there wasn't anything he could do for me, but I could try send ing through all the outputs from the tests I had done and construct my case in an email and mail it to them.

Why couldn't they tell me this 1++ hr ago ?!??!?!

For that matter, after hearing me blabble on for an hour... couldn't they lodge a case for me !?

I.T. support personnel are supposed to be 'Helpful'. (I try to be helpful to my users and clients). This however, was anything but that.

3 days later I called again to check on the status of my case. Apparently nothing else had been done to it. I asked to be put through to the sales department. But they couldn't transfer me through, and asked me to call the sales number directly myself.

Once through to the sales department, I requested for my Internet to be disconnected. When asked for a reason why, I simply told them I've had enough their crappy tech support. The 'disconnection' call took about 5 minutes. But I had lost count of the amount of calls I had made to the tech support people, and the amount of time wasted trying to troubleshoot their problem for them.

Damn, I can feel the value of my telstra shares dropping already.

So thats it folks. Until my application with iinet gets completed, I'll wont be able to post as often as I would want to. Fingers X that I'll get my new internet connection sooner rather than later!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bunny's New Playpen

Bunny (my pet rabbit), has a physical attachment to all of Pete's architectural models. He loves to nibble off their corners, remove columns and walls so that he could turn it into his new cubby house. So when it was time to find Bunny and to put him back to his sleeping hutch for the night, we weren't all that surprised to find him enjoying himself in this....

Somehow he managed to find a nice cosy spot on the supposed 2nd level of the model.. he looked so cute hiding in there I couldn't resist not taking out my camera phone to snap up some quick shots.

This is Pete's model from his design of a 5 lvl apartment. (although with some parts chewed off).

*sigh.. Bunny looks so chubby now.

Probably should try and put him on a diet. His favorite past-time used to be crawling underneath our couch and nibbling and scratching the pieces of corrugated cardboard we put there for him. He used to be able to stay there for hours, until we lured him out with a carrot. Now he struggles to get his bum through the gap between the couch and the floor.

The model was from one of Pete's ex-projects (he has learned the hard way to keep things out of Bunny's reach). At the current rate of destruction, it would probably take Bunny another week or so to turn it into something which will no longer resemble a model.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bravo Alpha Charlies...

One thing I have realised since joining this team is that everyone here speaks in the International Radio Operator's Alphabet.

Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta.... etc

(*They use this in an attempt to make ourselves clearer over the phone when trying to convey server names or directories).

Which is all fine, except I don't know it.

So on a typical day when I pick up a request call over the phone, I will hear this guy starting off by saying... "User is somehow getting denied access to November, Sierra, Alpha, Uniform, Victor, Charlie ..... ". While I am on the other end trying to frantically write down what he is referring to by decoding his words. Sierra caught me a couple of times, for some reason, I thought Sierra started with a 'C'.

It kinda feels like I'm working in a airport control radio tower... :P

Previously when I've tried to spell out stuff over the phone, I just say something along the lines of "M for Monica, P for Peter, J for Jeremy, B for Boy, U for Umbrella....". It seemed so much easier when I was just using my friend's names and throwing in the occasional 'B for Boy'. But now, the people around me doesn't seem to understand if I say 'P for Peter' instead of just 'Papa'.

But as they say, When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So if you would excuse me for now, I've got to go and learn some alphabets.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sugar Mummy ?!

Somehow I get the feeling that I'm turning into his sugar mummy... and its not a good feeling. The feelings are especially strong this week since I've slaved away the whole of Sunday at work.. while he was out with the boys. Then last night he climbed into bed at 3am - apparently he had been up all night on his PS2... and thats after the indoor basketball session he had with his friends.

And how do I know he climbed into bed at 3am ? Because I woke up.... and I stayed up.

I feel like a walking zombie at the moment. Severely lacking in sleep.. and just generally tired.

Tired at the whole 'I'm-so-enjoying-my-life-just-bumming-around' fiasco. For the past week he has gone to play golf, basketball, soccer, a weekend out with the boys and spent all his other spare time continuing his never-ending sessions on the PS2.

I don't mind the sports or the outings with the boys. Its something I actually encourage.. because it gives me time to do my own things as well. But the bumming around on his PS2... that really gets to me...especially since it means he is just at home sitting around playing games and not helping out with things at home.

Ok.. he is on holidays. But atleast have the decency to help out with the chores at home. None. All that greeted me when I got home was a bed piled up with unfolded clothes - albeit washed ones. No prizes for guessing who folded them.

Is it really that hard for boys to become men ?! Or is that just an illusion ? and that boys will never become men... ?

Just a touch of maturity and responsibility.. or is that too much to ask ?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday @ Work

Just spent my whole Sunday at work. Which somehow didn't turn out as bad as I thought. I had another 5 of my colleagues with me. All of us just decided to take our laptops (instead of sitting in our separate cubicals) and shut ourselves inside a meeting room to work through the implementation together.

From 10am till 6pm. I never felt or been so productive on a Sunday.

It actually went pretty well. Although somehow 'The Bank' didn't seem to recognise that anyone would be working on weekends, so there was no airconditioning available. Which with 6 laptops.. 6 perspiring bodies..all in one small meeting room...don't not make a nice combination.

My tummy had been growling the whole day (happens when I skip breakfast). At first no one seem to pay much attention. But after awhile, the noise was quite audible. And the guys had started to chuckle everytime my stomach decided to complain. So on one of my trips out to get some fresh air, I went to the vending machine in the corner of the kitchen, and paid $1.60 for a packet of chips.

I probably finished about 3/4 of my chips before everyone else decided to go out to get some lunch. But ended up forgetting about it after lunch. However, I did remember to take it with me when we were packing everything up. So atleast I can finish it on the train.

That was when I noticed this.

17 Nov 2006 ??????????


Worse thing is I got it from my company's vending machine ! OMG.. How long have I been munching on expired goods from there?!

Grrrr... I probably still would have eaten it ... afterall its only really two days overdue (and I was extremely hungry). Btw...Does that mean its been sitting in that vending machine for over a year ?! I mean they can't possibly be loading the vending machines up with expired goods !? I feel like the time when I was eating this piece of bread which turned out to be all green and furry on the other 'un-buttered' side.

But all the other junk food I've been eating from there...ahhh... Don't even want to think about it anymore.. :(

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I did my last exam yesterday... (Yay !) ... feel so free now. I orginally had big plans for this weekend (drinking.. partying.. more warcraft.. and maybe mahjong). However, as soon as I got into work this morning, I realised my manager had put me on with another contractor to do the implementation this weekend. On this Sunday.

Work should never be scheduled on Sundays. Ever. Its just not right.

The implementation starts at 10am. Fook. I don't know how I'm going to be able to get up to get to work before 10am on a Sunday. Not if I want to go out on Saturday night anyway.

So my whole weekend is going to be screwed.

The lifts were out of action this morning. And I had to climb up eight flights of stairs to make it into the office. I knew I should have just turned around and gone home to call in sick.

Must make mental note to remember to listen to my 6th sense more. Oh.. and to start going back to the gym. Those eight flights of stairs nearly killed me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Why Men Never Ask For Directions ?

Why is that men never ask for directions ? Never admit they are wrong ? Never think that they are a bad driver ?!

Or should I rephrase that ?

Why isit that men always think they know the right way... alway think that they are a professional car driver (and\or racer)... and are always right ?!

First he took the wrong road going to my cousin's place. (After I repeatedly told him its the wrong turn). Then sped all the way to my cousin's place to make up for lost time. (I hate it when he speeds.. I feel like I'm in a car driven by a lunatic). Then on the way home, he nearly runs though a red light. And only jammed on the brakes because I yelled out.. 'STOP..RED LIGHT'.

A car oncoming from the intersecting road drives past without stopping, and I see a glimpse of my life flash before me.

He yells back and told me I don't need to yell at him.. and that He would have managed to stop in time.

Stop ?! What Stop ?

I told him to just admit that He didn't see the red light. And said that from the force I felt when the seat belt held my body back... if I had not said anything.. he would have just gone straight though the red light..and we would either have a 'near-miss' or hoped we survived the crash.

He may have had an extra inch more before he could still jammed on the brakes, and not crossed the white line. But he would still need to jam brake. Not stop gracefully at the lights. Doesn't that already mean that he didn't see the red light in time ?!

Is it really that hard to admit that you are wrong ?! Or for this matter, is 'Sorry' really that hard to say ?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Quest - Findings 1

In an attempt to try to complete our quest of finding the 'best steak' in Sydney. We stumbled along this restaurant in Northern Sydney (courtesy of Google search). Gaucho Grill in Kirribilli is an Argentinean Steak house offering steaks which are.. to die for... !

The house specialty is the 'Baby Steak' although at 500g each, there isn't anything 'baby' about it. The restaurant is pretty small, it has about only 6 tables. No bookings are taken, so its on a first-come-first-served basis.

Note: This place is for serious carnivores only !

The house specialty is only available from 'blue to medium-rare'... So its either oozing with blood or just slightly on the red side.. red not pink. I normally go for medium-rare anyway, so its fine for me.

Oh.. and the Chimichurri sauce. Which is this paste made out of herbs, chilli, parsley and garlic (available in hot or mild), goes really well with the steak and chips. I couldn't finish off the 500g steak (pete ended up taking over), but I still managed finish off my remaining chips by dipping them into the sauce. So yummy ~~ !

Overall 8.5/10 .. but so far its the best I've had in Sydney. We'll probably go try the GPO place next, but this is one place I will definitely go back to.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Quest

After watching The Devil Wears Prada last night, all we could think about after getting out of the cinema was to go and eat a thick juicy piece of steak. (Like that the one which Andy threw into the sink).

So began our quest to find the best piece of steak in Sydney.

A quick search on google showed that there was a supposingly 'best steak restaurant' in North Sydney and another one at GPO in Martin Place. (or if anyone can suggest something better?)

But it was 9.30pm already. Which meant we'll probably have to settle for KFC or Macdonalds and go to sleep dreaming about the steak instead. But how can you eat fastfood when all you crave about is steak ? So we went to sleep with empty tummies instead.

I so can eat a cow right now -- and I hope I do so tonight ... :)

And Yes.. before anyone asks... I know its kind of wierd that after watching all those bags, dresses and shoes parading around.. all we can think about after watching that movie was that piece of steak.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New job.. New people

I've been so busy at work these past few days, I only realised the Melbourne Cup was today when my ex-manager called me to check up on me - and if I could, then to meet up with the old gang at the Martin Place TAB. (A temporary location thats setup so the city people can get their horse bets in). But unfortunately I couldn't make it.

I haven't even heard of the horse that won the Melbourne Cup today. And I'm not so sure the rest of Australia had either before today - Japanese horses took out 1st and 2nd placings. Grats to them... it was a great race to the finish ... :)

I guess I'm still having issues adjusting to my new environment. The people are really nice. However, I get this feeling that I'm not sure what I am supposed to do here... yet. There are heaps of projects (or so I've been told). But I guess I still have a lot of paper work to get through before I get to touch anything.

I did get to go to the data center today. Its the biggest I've been in so far. I had to go in to change a failed disk. But the disk enclosure that was dispatched didn't fit into the array. (Yes... wtf ?!?). Reminds me of my first day in my previous job when the vendor sent some rail kits that didn't fit into the racks. It was about 1-2cm too short. It doesn't sound like alot, but given that its steel.. you can't really stretch even 0.5cm is alot.

Just my luck I guess.. hope they send the right parts out tomorrow. (fingers X)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Something Wrong ?

You know something is wrong when the boyfriend decides to take you out for a nice Italian dinner and you both stare at each other struggling with the small talk .. in an attempt to hit a subject that would break into a conversation.. he asks ...

"So... hows your Warcrafting going ?"

Have I really been playing that much Warcraft ?! Or is he trying to tell me something... ? Either way... something is not quite right.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Countdown - Day 2

Two days left before I get out of here. I've spent most of today going through my Inbox trying to clear out my junk email (mostly from friends) and other stuff which are totally non-work related.

Been doing the same with the My Documents folder. Didn't know I had so much junk.

I did find something interesting though. Check these photos out.

These are taken from my office on lvl 43 of ASQ

Feels like my office is in the clouds.. :P but unfortunately its not like this everyday

Yep.. I guess we have a fog issue in Sydney too.

Oh and this one below is a panorama attempt from my SE phone

*sigh** I know one thing already I will definately be missing... my office views.... :(

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Countdown - Day 3

I lost count of the number of times I sneezed this morning until now. Its my 3rd last day left at my current job, and if it wasn't because I still had so much stuff to hand over to the current DBA (so he can pass it to the new Systems Admin) then I would have pulled another sickie and stayed at home to recover from my Hayfever.

Since I'm too lazy don't have enough time to redo all the KVM cabling in the server room (the guy thats going to get paid $800 a day can do it), I've decided to spend the last few days at work doing my Uni assignment which is due next Monday. Atleast it looks like I'm doing my documentation.

I swear that someone has hid some fresh flowers or something like that around the office. There is no way I'm still sneezing this much indoors !! I've already taken my Claratyne. But its not working ... :(

Rapid 24 hour relief my foot !!!