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Coffs Harbour
Wed 25/09/2013 07:37 PM


"Welcome back - where did you go?"

You get asked that question a lot when you get back from a holiday. Well - I went to Coffs Harbour for a week’s holiday with my parents and sister. That throws people a little though - yes, we still go on holidays as a family.

Doesn’t seem at all odd to me - but I guess a lot of families don’t do that. I enjoy holidaying with the family though - so I think it’s great.

This year we headed to Coffs Harbour. It was a great week - even if it did get too warm at the end.


The pool at the resort.


Which was inhabited by lots of these guys. Little zippy ones, and rather large ones that are quite hard to spot when you’ve taken your glasses off for a swim (I almost stood on one).


Our apartment.


The harbour at Coffs Harbour. There was no where for a harbour in the region, so they linked a pair of islands to the mainland and built one.


Emma and Mum getting a kiss from a pair of dolphins.


And of course - there was another reason to be in Coffs that particular weekend...

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Return to Isla Nublar
Sat 07/09/2013 11:16 AM


I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Isla Nular the last week or so.

For those who don’t know - that’s the island where the original Jurassic Park movie was set (the other movies were on Isla Sorna - Site B).

Well a while back Jurassic Park the Game came out. I waited until I had new PC before playing it. And I really enjoyed it.

As a game, it’s a slightly odd beast - with sections of puzzle style gameplay (Monkey Island without the humour) and sections of quicktime events. Normally I hate quicktime events - but they worked well in this - as you’re basically playing a movie instead of a game.

The story was good enough to keep me hooked - although it’s not perfect.

You play as a few characters - but mostly Dr Harding - the chief veterinarian from Jurassic Park. He looks totally different than he did in the movie - but that’s forgivable. More annoying is that the game sometimes seems to forget that he was the chief vet and not some random stuck on the island. Sometimes Harding knows a LOT about the dinosaurs (which makes sense) and sometimes he doesn’t (which is daft). Especially his lack of knowledge that a few species exist on the island at all.

The game starts during the first movie - but you never quite meet the characters from it. You find Nedry’s jeep (with his remains inside) and see the helicopter that’s leaving with the movie characters etc.

In an awesome (if you’re nerdy) moment, they do address the issue with the video call in the movie having a progress bar. That’s always annoyed me, as you can’t have a progress bar on a live video - you don’t know how long it will be! So anyway - it was cool to see what they did with that.

There was another section where they explain how the dinosaurs can exist without Lysine (mentioned in both movies briefly as a failsafe that had been coded into the dinosaurs).  Immediately you think that it explains it - but when you think about it, it doesn’t. As implemented in this story, it would only effect Isla Nublar which gets bombed to dust shortly - the dinosaurs that survive without Lysine are on Isla Sorna (another island) so we still don’t know how that works (in the movie universe - books are slightly different).

Anyway - if you are a Jurassic Park nut like me - absolutely grab this game. Play it with the lights off, the music up, and your pulse racing!

It’s time to go back to Isla Nublar.

"Push to Close"


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A Very Dizzy Donald
Sat 07/09/2013 10:33 AM


Ok - so sometimes it’s fun to do something stupid and pointless. Hence this pointless little thing.

On a recent trip to the tip when dumping e-waste (old computers etc) I heard something. It was only quiet - but consistent. Tracking it down - I found the remains of a solar powered something sitting on top of the crate. Not sure what it was originallly. It had a solar panel on a blue flower - and spun a green disk on top rather fast.

Whatever used to be on top was long gone - but the thing was still valiantly spinning flat out whenever the sun hit it. So I took it home - no idea what to do with it though.

While moving stuff out from under the house I found a little plastic Donald Duck that must have been from a previous owner. So I glued him to the spinning thing.

And now he sits by the gate all day getting very very dizzy.

Why? Why not.


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Project Pandora
Thu 29/08/2013 09:46 PM


Those of you who are my friends on Facebook may have noticed a lot of "Project Pandora" status updates lately. I deliberately didn’t say what Pandora was - which made people far more interested than if they’d actually known.

Anyway - Pandora can go public now.

Pandora is the name of my new PC. Why? Because it’s shaped like a box.

My previous PC "Phaeton" has been a real trooper for the past 5 years - but that’s a long time in computer terms, and he was well past retirement age. Well - maybe not retirement, but light duties anyway….

So I sought some advice from people who are more current with their hardware knowledge than I am - and ignored a great deal of it.

Ok - so I didn’t ignore that much - but the case I did.

It was described as a "Raging Hippopotamus" by Turkey’s mate Ben - which is a description I really quite like.

Sure it’s not a traditional looking case - but that’s why it appeals.

I also ignored all good advice and bought double the RAM they suggested. Wether that proves a good or bad decision I don’t know - time will tell. Sooner or later, time vill tell... (sorry - little off track there).

Pandora arrived and I held a private build party while I assembled it - but sadly the graphics card was a dud and crashed a while after I turned it on.

Did a heap of testing and eventually sent it back to the store. They didn’t believe me at first - but then it crashed for them too - so they sent me a new one. Seems ok now.

Gotta say - probably the best thing so far is the SSD harddrive. It’s sooooo much faster to boot up than my old PC.

Anyway - that’s enough waffling for now. Pandora and I are about to head back to Isla Nublar for the evening.

For those who are keen on such things - here are Pandora’s specs:

Case: Coolermaster HAF XB Case
PSU: 750W Silverstone Strider
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: Intel i5 3570K
RAM: 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3
GFX: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB
HDD: Samsung 500GB & Seagate Barracuda 2TB

And for those who aren’t keen on such things - sorry Project Pandora wasn’t something more interesting.

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The Maverick
Tue 27/08/2013 11:02 PM


After a somewhat difficult pregnancy - Chris’s Maverick gave birth to a 5-speed gearbox. Chris is very proud...

In less poetic (and disturbing) terms - we dropped the gearbox out of the Maverick today.

A few weeks back I towed Chris home after his clutch decided it didn’t want to play anymore. That was fine - we parked the Maverick on the side of the road. The next day I came back and towed it to a carwash so Chris could clean it before he started work on it.

The Maverick sat on the side of the road all week waiting for Chris to get around to doing something about it.

Eventually the Maverick got sick of waiting - and decided to run away.

So run away it did.

And of course, a Nissan’s worst enemy is a Toyota - so when the Maverick spied a Toyota HiLux - it decided to show it what-for!

So after a brief scuffle, the Maverick proved victorious and the HiLux was defeated.

And Chris came tearing down the road on foot to see what had happened.

Or at least that’s how I imagined things.

The facts of the story is that the Maverick jumped its chocks (no clutch so no engine brake and a faulty handbrake) and trundled down the road and walloped a parked HiLux. The Maverick came off far better than the HiLux - which thankfully was insured. The Maverick wasn’t - but Chris has sorted that out now. It’s not too nasty.

It’s a good thing the HiLux was there - otherwise the Maverick might have ended up in someone’s house - which would have been far worse.

Chris managed to get the Maverick into the shed - and now that the gearbox is out, repairs can begin in earnest.

And the Maverick will have third-party before it leaves the shed...

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