matt's blog

Santa & the 3 Wire

`Twas the night before Christmas out here where I am.
Not a creature was stirring, not even Saddam.
The stockings were hung in the ready room with care,
in hopes that care packages soon would be there.

The J.O.'s were snuggled in their racks nice and tight,
Wishing to sleep until noon with all their might.
I closed my eyes & settled down in my rack
we had just completed our most recent night trap.

When out on the roof we heard such a clatter
that we clambered on deck to see what was the matter.
Away to the kneeknocker we flew like a flash,
I tripped on my flip-flops and opened quite a gash.

Zensonic z500 and Internode Radio

I've finally gotten Internode radio working on the z500 - by manually editing the XML file containing the list. Thankfully Zensonic included wget so I could make up the list on my favourite text editor, instead of having to use the evil, evil, vi that is included on the z500's linux distro.

Zensonic Z500 Network Media Player

The Zensonic Z500 networked digital media player gives users four connectivity options in one unit: wireless networking, Ethernet wired networking, optical disc playback and USB 2.0 hard drive connection.

The Z500's music playback capability handles all the formats enthusiasts have longed for, including the high definition FLAC lossless compressed format, OGG, AAC (commonly used in Apple iTunes**), MP3, Windows Media Audio 9, CD Audio and others.

Video playback is also astonishingly comprehensive. The Z500 handles playback in Windows Media Video 9, XviD, Nero Digitalâ„¢, MPEG-4, QuickTime MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, DVD, and other formats.

Happy New Year

Yay for 2006. We spent our NYE at Club Hicks - a nice little place up on the hill with a BBQ and a pool.

As usual, sw & johnno got nekkid in the pool, as did paula. I didn't mind - it was dark and I didnt have my glasses on, so I couldn't see shit. Joff got drunk and hurled, Tim could barely stand up. I got to meet Mel for the first time - she rocks (even if she does like saying "gay" a lot :)

Another year is over

Well 2005 has come and gone.. This was my 4th christmas in Auckland in the last 5 years, and I'm finally managing to not over-pack. Our bags were still over-weight on the flight back... Bloody Qantas limiting us to 20kg - who the hell can take clothes for 9 days plus christmas presents in 20kg? We did manage to save about 7kg each compared with last year :)

My camera gear alone weighed in at 12kg, thankfully nobody at the airport thought to weigh my carry-on. I was lucky enough to play with a Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens on christmas day - handheld down to 1/25th shutter speeds is amazing. I'm not sure if I want one yet, the push-pull zoom puts me off a bit and I could get the same reach with a 2x teleconverter for my 70-200mm. If we do go to Canada (to see the polar bears), there's about $4k worth of camera gear I'd want to buy for the trip :)

Exploding Toilet

This story originally appeared in Airways magazine.

By Patrick Smith Oct. 3, 2002

There is a tired old adage that defines the business of flying planes as long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Moments of sheer ridiculousness may be equally as harrowing.

One young pilot, when he was 22 and trying to impress the pretty
Christine Collingworth by taking her up for a twilight sightseeing
circuit in a friend's Cessna, highlighted the seduction by whacking his forehead into the jutting metal pitot tube hanging from the 172's wing. Earning himself a famous "Cessna dimple," so he chose to think, this would be the stupidest thing he'd ever do in or around an airplane.

Annoying Telemarketing

Tip: Don't piss off a geek. Yes, I'm talking to you Shadi Rifai.

I'm getting a hell of a lot of telemarketing calls at work and at home, however the home calls seem to have died off since I signed up to the ADMA Do-Not-Call-List.

The calls at work are usually people trying to sell stuff - usually Toner or seminars. They've resorted to giving out free gifts (like MP3 players) if I order toner today. I had one call today advertising a legal IT conference in Melbourne (for $2400 per person!). He asked if I was interested, probably not. He then asked me why I was not interested in learning how to improve my firm's bottom line. Of course I am - I'm just not interested in giving him $2400.

Party Party Party

Yet another family member is getting married. This time it's my cousin Derek (or DB as he seems to prefer) in a year from now. It will be my 5th family wedding in 3 years.

Derek and Belinda held their engagement party this weekend in Newcastle. DB actually had to book the venue BEFORE he popped the question to Belinda - thanks to all the Christmas parties that seem to happen at this time of year.

DB, for those who won't know, does breakfast radio on NXFM in Newcastle. Damo will be best man, and was MC for the night. Steve gave a speech and Jackie O also turned up (DB used to be her producer at 2DAY FM).

Photoshop Fun

I was sitting in my office yesterday afternoon when one of my cow-orkers comes rushing in asking if I had a pair of binoculars. He'd probably seen the box that's been sitting on my bench for the last week - I bought them to go to Western Plains Zoo.

Apparently there was a woman sunbathing in the nude on a nearby rooftop. Bad luck for the cow-orker, as I didn't have either my camera or my binocs at work.

Damaged Printer

After receiving a quote for almost $2300 to get a printer repaired, we decided it was time to replace it with a new one.

The new printer was delviered yesterday, and after unpacking it I discovered it was damaged - the LCD screen was cracked, and the side panel was broken.

Kyocera say they will be here tomorrow with a new printer.

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