Posts Tagged Australia

Posted on Travel

Dear Diary, we are friends.

Guys I am so full of three emotions right now. But enough of that. Here is an unrelated post. It also contains no useful, technical, or interesting information.

May 18, 2008 —

I don’t remember much of the flight. There are some vague memories of cloud fields pale and blue, and then I was getting off the plane. It was 8 am and both the people I’d met so far had been friendly and even helpful. Probably because it was so early. You know how people love mornings.

I explored Hobart. Everything was closed and there was no one to bee seen. I thought this strange. Where was everyone?

And there in the distance I saw a gathering; a mass of people so dense and deep I found myself backing cautiously away.

It was 8:32 am and I’d decided that Hobart was a pretty sweet city. But will it still be sweet when its presumed occupants magically appear?

I smoked my head coming out of the internet room. It was a doorway meant for midgets.


Posted on Travel

Random thoughts from a far away land

I’ve often thought of winter as God’s mistake. I imagine him looking down on our little world from his throne on the moon. Sitting tall and proud, I imagine him seeing the trees lit with their red, orange, and yellow leaves and mistaking them for flame – a massive fire spanning whole hemispheres at a time.

Shocked by the result of his lapsed attention, his pride stung, he reacts. Overcompensating with cold and snow all to fight an imagined inferno.

He does this, I imagine, year after year. Never learning from his mistakes.

The snows of winter to quench the fires of autumn.

I don’t believe in a god and have never actually imagined that. I’ve imagined imagining it. Hopefully that counts?

I figured Saturday was a good time to post this, since people tend toward busy on the weekend – especially on its first day – not stuck at work like during the week, traversing the web to pass the time 😛


Posted on Travel

The other side of the world: photographs of albums (or maybe the other way)

The Gold Coast & Brisbane


The other side of the world - 001

The Gold Coast & Sydney


The other side of the world - 002

Sydney & Katoomba/Blue Mountains


The other side of the world - 003

Melbourne, Katoomba/Blue Mountains, & Hobart


The other side of the world - 004

Hobard/Mt. Wellington


The other side of the world - 005

Hobart & Orford/Maria Island


The other side of the world - 006



The other side of the world - 007



The other side of the world - 008



The other side of the world - 009

Posted on Travel

Bradmas 2008

Bradmas came early this year. I suppose that’s only to be expected when you live in the future.

After a long and censored day of work which ate away at bradmas like a ravenous cur, the quitting horn sounded and I, for want of a dinosaur, turned off my computer and flowed straight out the door.

I changed from my filthy work-clothing (building the internet is a dirty business), to something more dracula-friendly, and it was off to Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant.

There was singing, screaming, possibly some dancing, and even some food. There were “jokes” and “illusions”, a few ridiculously drunk people, and more screaming. Our draculet was Suicide Blonde, and much of the shrieking came directly from her.

Happy Bradmas, and don’t forget to collect your doom at the door.


Posted on Travel

at high tea

Dancers are creepy. Their faces encased in layers upon layers of makeup, like some sort of onion without the delicious taste — even as they sport those static smiles shared by sufferers of Joker Venom.

Or, at least, that is what I learned at Zingara, after high tea.

I was placed in the very first of rows, so perhaps it is a surprise that I survived the “comedy”, the falling paper, and, yes, even the bubbles.

Things got a little sketchy at the conclusion of the show: there were some hands to be shook, and who tries to double-high-five a guy who has a book in one hand?

The theatre-style sets reminded me of Psychonauts.

And then it was off to Movie World. Warner Brothers Movie World, to be exact.

There was the wild, wild west. Exactly one more wild than I would have liked. I got a bit wet there, but luckily was distracted by a jet of water to the eye.

There was the lethal weapon ride, where one must first surrender all one’s possessions. It seemed to be broken, but I presume that was a trick played by the people behind me in line. I was just short enough to try it, and a little dizzy after it.

The Scooby Doo ride was broken, and sadly closed. They re-opened it, claiming they’d fixed the problem but never revealing what it was. A bad sign, but caution is for others and I braved Scooby’s haunted ride.

And then there was the Chamber of Secrets…

Basically I helped Batman save Gotham City. I’m pretty much a hero…of Gotham City.

Two days to Bradmas.


Posted on Uncategorised

mxml, google, and sockets

Trying MXML always seemed just a little scary; All those tags everywhere, while just writing the class files was so nice and familiar. I finally did it, though. Yes. Yes, I really did. Not only did I use MXML for the first time, but took that trend of trying new things and clambered up and out of the sandbox into the open air. Neither were as frightening as I had hoped. They were actually kind of cool. I’ve even used them since.

karl sent me to google app engine. It looked slightly amazing.

For work, I was using sockets in PHP. The code worked fine locally: it would connect to the RPC Server and retrieve the appropriate xml, parse it, and take whatever action applicable. Sadly that was far from the case when run on the actual web server.

It only ever retrieved partial data.

If I called read twice, it would sit there forever (or until it timed out) waiting for data.

If I sent a random character and read from the socket, it retrieved more of the data. Which was fine, as long as I was willing to guess at how much data each response would bring.

Again, not the case.

string socket_read  ( resource $socket  , int $length  [, int $type  ] )

PHP_BINARY_READ (Default) – use the system recv() function. Safe for reading binary data.
PHP_NORMAL_READ – reading stops at n or r.

I ended up switching to the other read (the one that ends on n or r) and calling it in an infinite loop (breaking when the line contained the close tag).
Thankfully, that seemed to work.

I have to give 14 days notice before I leave. Which works out well when they don’t tell me about rent increases until seven days past that.