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  • Archive for August, 2015

    Yes, It’s All About Competition…

    2015 - 08.26

    So, the same two books (technical) from five online stores:

    pearson.com AU $135.54 (including $13 U.S. SHIPPING) -> U.S.
    bookdepository.com (free shipping) AU $149.xx -> U.K.
    fishpond.com.au AU $155.64 (free shipping) -> Australian
    angusrobertson.com.au AU $174.00 (free shipping) -> Australian
    booktopia.com.au AU $215.50 (free shipping) -> Australian

    Subtracting 10% GST would be $140 or $156.60 or $193.95 respectively, so itโ€™s still cheaper for me to ship from the U.S. Clearly adding GST to online purchases below $1000 is ALL about making Australian Online Stores / Physical Stores competitive! Also not to be sneezed at, the fishpond.com.au price is 6% discount on one item, and 25% on the other HOWEVER, one of these items will ship from a U.K. supplier anyway! Booktopia.com.au tells me I’m getting 21% & 18% discounts on the respective titles.

    No wonder people struggle to make sense out of these arguments.

    Azathoth Defeated…

    2015 - 08.21

    Mark & I christened the Gaming Table tonight with our first game of Elder Sign. I’ve played the iPad version, and enjoyed it for several years, but only recently purchased the boardgame via Book Depository while it was reduced, along with one of the Expansions. We even won the game, which is more than I can say happens very often with the iPad version of the game. I think I’ve only won about 3 games in all my time playing it. That said, I’m always playing the harder Old Ones, so deserved to be punished.

    It was good to finally have a game on the new table with someone else and enjoy the experience of having an “arena” for the games! Here I am mulling over the next step (photo courtesy of Mark).

    Used Spell.

    This table was a project of mine earlier in the week. A $200 Board Gaming table top. At the moment it just needs the corners finished off nicely, and then after I’ll finish designing and building the lid. I engaged the assistance of my father with this little project for a bit of “Father / Son” time (and the extra pair of hands). We both enjoyed the afternoon putting it together although I’m pretty sure Dad didn’t “get it” until he saw it coming together. Anyway it was good to spend some time with him on a project and get to use my own power tools. Clearly I’m now out of Apprenticeship and am allowed to handle my own tools. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Out of the Inferno, Through Purgatory and on to Paradise…

    2015 - 08.14

    I’m finally starting to feel different and no longer still feeling echoes of my stint at my previous place of work. I actually feel detached from it now. It’s been a month since I resigned, and my sleeping has changed dramatically, my mood has been constantly elevated, and I’ve at no point felt a drifting towards another depressive patch. My health overall is improving. I’ve lost weight (not more than about 3 kg) but feeling that another kilo or two may not be unrealistic, and I’ve not had to try hard for that to happen. I’m reducing my sugar intake steadily although I’m not completely avoiding it yet. I’m certainly eating more healthy options than I was four months ago on a consistent basis. Not that my eating was unhealthy by any huge measure. But I’m changing some of what I eat and changing how I eat it. So far it’s all been for the better. I don’t see the Anti-Depressants going away soon but I’m certainly feeling more benefits from them than I was over the last six months.

    To sum up the work and health side of things up at the moment, less money but better quality of life. I know that without work for a period of time longer than a few months that will be difficult to maintain however that’s not the intention. The goal was always to be getting out of what was holding me back. Nothing more.

    The Furbags are very happy to have me home constantly at the present, although I’ve applied for two jobs so far in the last two weeks. Both jobs have been ones that I really couldn’t justify NOT applying for given that they were both in Ballarat. I hadn’t wanted to go looking for work for another month or so, but I figured either of these jobs couldn’t be up & running within 4 weeks anyway. I’m certainly not going to ignore good opportunities, just because they come up quick. I think the Furbags will have me home for a while yet. They’re getting plenty of “pat overdose” at the moment. They’re also keeping me happy and amused. I’ve been rigging up some cardboard boxes for them to play with during the week and it’s been hilarious watching them try to sneak into one after the other one has wandered off for a snack.

    It’s been nearly a week, and the new DNS servers are performing well. I’ve fixed a couple of configuration issues that I’d forgotten to check on the other servers with Static configurations and the network is the snappiest it’s ever been. I’ve also handed the servers a bit and cleaned up the firewall rules now that a few old activities are no longer happening. All in all very please. I’ve purchased another NAS as I’ve been very happy with the current one and need to provided some better Disaster Recovery options for the photography business side of things.

    I’ve scraped enough extra cash up to invest in a carbon fibre legged tripod for the trekking for the outdoor shooting. My gear has been getting heavier to carry over the last year on the treks out. I opted for another Manfrotto Tripod. It’s a tricky balance between sturdiness and stability; compactness & weight being the counterbalance. I opted for the X Pro 3 way head as against the alternative 496RC2. I’ve tried a couple of friend’s “Ball Heads”, and confess to not finding them my preferred mode. It is probably me, but I find it easier to deal along each axis individually, than wrestle with the weight of the camera & Lens while trying to position a “Ball Head”. I’ve yet to take it on a trek out, only having received it today, but since shoots have been scarce for a month and a half, I sense a few shoots coming up over the next week or two: life outside of Photography has been rather busy and full of change.

    Slap that SLES…

    2015 - 08.09

    This weekend I’ve finally finished off the Migration from SLES 11 SP3. I’ve finally succeeded in retiring the last SuSE Linux Enterprise Server box, and as it happens the last Virtualbox VM I still had in the environment. I’ve finally moved all virtuals across to VMWare. I’ve even managed to migrate an instance of my retired W2K8R2 Domain Controller over to VMWare from Virtualbox in case I need to have one up again for work / study purposes. This is basically an OS X and Linux environment completely now other than the few Virtual Windows 7 & a Windows 10 VM for assistance purposes when I get “those” calls…

    Anyway it’s been a good exercise building this DC from the ground up. It resolves internally and externally and also for my domain on the intenet. Pretty pleased with a job well done. Much appreciative of the excellent documentation by Peter Harrison at LHN.

    Sweet Sweet Desert Island…

    2015 - 08.05

    Three weeks ago I resigned my previous role. Overall I’ve seen a dramatic increase in my level of happiness and a commensurate decrease in my level of Depression through the last 3 weeks. Since I made that decision of getting out of my previous workplace’s negative environment, I’ve had a steady path onward to increasingly better feelings. I’ve started to enjoy activities again that previously were simply numb attempts at trying to feel better. Clearly it was the best choice I could have made. Nothing else was moving forward anymore.

    In fact I was losing ground again slowly but surely. At least so it seemed for the most part. Then when least expected but most needed: Epiphany! In an Ocean of Despair appears a place to drop anchor, take on Fresh Water and Sustenance. A Desert Island to Rejuvenate my Soul.

    Since then most things have fallen into place in a very positive manner. Financially things couldn’t be much better considering I’m not a man of savings. But preparation, good friends and the truth has meant that I’ve been able to position myself to begin weathering the storm at least starting with a good supply of hope and positivity. Already I’ve put in for one role, although it’s a bit early, it did seem one of those things where I needed to be willing to do what was required. Results will unfold in time. Nothing has to happen tomorrow.

    The Furbags are eating and so am I, and on a daily basis that’s what’s important right now.