| Sunday, May 31, 2009
Huh. Not very productive on the blogging front here lately, am I? It's been a sucky couple of weeks, actually. There's been a lot going on at work, and I've had too many extra commitments happening on my weekends. My back hurts. The weather is cold. My stomach is playing up again. The cats have been waking me up too early. I'm just worn out.
That said, I finally got to have a nice, relaxing weekend. Friday night we went to Nilgiris in St. Leonards for Amy's birthday. That was fun! We had this way cool little private cushion room upstairs, and the food was excellent. Saturday the Snook and I finally made it over to the Eveleigh Farmers' Market, where we battled hipsters for ingredients to make coq au vin. (The recipe is in the latest Delicious magazine; uses spatchcock instead of rooster.) I spent a great deal of both Saturday and Sunday working on a knitted vest for Andrew and Kathleen's new baby. (Congratulations, guys!) Tonight I went for a long 70min run around Glebe and Newtown, which was okay except for my back aching. We had our coq au vin (which was excellent). We finally picked out a contents insurance plan (spurred on by reports of recent burglaries). And now I'm really looking forward to bed.
BRING ON JUNE!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This week: 22.39km (14mi)
Previous week: 17.41km (11mi)
One difficulty this year is some general lower back pain and stiffness. I think I injured it trying too hard on the rowing machine at Spudds. I've been to the physio last Wednesday and today, and she's given me some exercises and stretches. A big part of it is my right hip being way too tight, as it was last year.
I'd just like to note for the sake of future Googlers that osCommerce has a huge whacking security hole in the way that it handles sessions. I found this on Saturday when the new Morris & Sons site launched and a fellow Raveler told me she was seeing "other people's stuff" in her shopping cart. "Huh?" I thought. "That's not possible." Half a dozen people had tested the new site and not one of them reported anything like that. It was only after emailing back and forth with her and doing some digging that I discovered the problem. She was following a link from a recent newsletter, a link that happened to include a session id. I'd noticed a few links like that before but didn't think it was a problem. "After all," I thought, "surely osCommerce creates a new session when you come to the site anyway." WRONG. It looks for the session in the link, and when it doesn't find anything it RECREATES IT. Then if someone else follows the same link in the next 5-10 minutes, BAM. Two people with the same session. Huge, huge security hole. The solution ended up being pretty simple, in that I simply changed the site to require cookies for session handling. (I then tested and confirmed that two separate people following a link with the same session id end up with different session ids in their cookies.) Still, it's a pretty big issue and it's not well-publicised. The Snook was pretty livid when we figured it out. "The amount of fail in that implementation still amazes me," he said. "The fact that I could invent a session ID, email it to you, and then snoop everything you're doing on the site and get access to your account once you log in." Yep. If you have an osCommerce install, lock it down, kids.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
It was actually a busy one. Friday night we joined Tim, Stef, and a bunch of friends to celebrate them buying their first house. There were drinks at Ryan's bar, then a trip to Lowenbrau for much beer and pork. Saturday morning there was a trip to Toby's for breakfast, followed by the aforementioned tree planting. (It was seriously like one of those heinous challenges on The Biggest Loser. My biceps are aching.) Then this morning I taught the third and final sock workshop, where my nine ladies got to finish the toes and learn Kitchener stitch. (I forgot to take the group picture til after three girl had already left. Sorry, ladies!) After the class, I dragged out my sewing machine and proceeded to break FIVE NEEDLES in the process of mending the Snook's ripped jeans. (Note to self: buy needles specially for denim.) I also made some real progress on Matt's Scarf. The Snook went on a husbandly crusade and proceeded to fix our leaking shower before making a massive batch of Ron's "Blue Stater's Texas Chili", which was so good.
Oh! And I went for a run, in the course of which I finally met the not-so-mythical Goat of Chippendale. His name is "Maxy" and he was a very nice goat. I just wish he had a girlfriend so I could get some fresh goat's milk!
Phew. I'm oddly still feeling slightly unenthusiastic about jumping back online. No idea why. I've lost my digital mojo a bit, it seems.
I got an email from Michael last week asking for volunteers to help plant a couple more fruit trees in our neighborhood. "What the heck," I thought. I put my hand up. So Saturday morning at 10:30 I found myself digging out compost from the community bins in the Peace Park. I seemed to be the only volunteer, which was a little disheartening. I managed to fill several large bins, then headed to Michael's to help get the trees ready. The day was hot and I was already exhausted. I was in his back garden helping transplant a rather large citrus tree when suddenly I heard a familiar voice. "Need any help?" It was the Snook. His scheduled Warcraft raid got cancelled, so he came to lend a hand. I can't tell you how awesome it felt to see him there, like the cavalry had arrived. We eventually managed to transport a wheelbarrow with the tree, several bins of compost, buckets of water, shovels, and a pick several blocks to the top of Myrtle Street (right near the intersection with City Road). Thankfully we were joined by local resident Jeff, who was a retired landscape gardener. Michael's son Julian also added muscle. Snookums and I got to work digging a massive hole for the big tree while Jeff dealt with the smaller one. Finally, three hours after we started, we had two established trees and a whole lot of aching muscles. I took plenty of pictures along the way... [more...]
This past Thursday, I left work early and joined Kunaal on a train out to (the new) North Ryde Station. We were heading to Microsoft for this month's Geek Girl Dinner. (The Snook had planned to go with me, but he had a work deadline so Kunaal took the spot instead.) I have to say, I was a bit underwhelmed by the Microsoft Sydney offices. I guess I was spoiled by Google and Yahoo last month, but I expected more than just a normal, sterile cube farm. (At least they didn't make me sign an NDA.) We signed in and were directed to a lounge filled with party pies and bottles of Coke. Huh? It felt like a kids' party. (Not to mention the fact that my iPhone couldn't connect to Twitter through their "guest" Wi-Fi. Whatever, Bill!) Luckily we met up with alyshajane and her husband, who were fun. We were then herded into a conference room for the Lego "Serious Play" portion of the evening. We all had small packets of Lego, which we were instructed to use to illustrate challenges and issues facing women in technology. We then had to each explain our "stories" to the other people. Honestly, I thought this part of the evening was a little "touchy-feely" for me. I wanted the evening to celebrate women in tech, not simply to provide a group whinge session about what was wrong. Still, I had a nice time with the folks at our table (including Kate Carruthers, who was tweeting right beside me). After the Lego, we headed down to the Xbox lounge for more food, alcohol (finally!), and free play on half a dozen Xboxes. Kunaal and I jumped on Guitar Hero. So overall this wasn't my favorite GGD so far, but I did end up having a good time.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I've grabbed the others from the site as well. [more...]
Well, I certainly enjoyed Star Trek more than Ebert did! I loved all the references and fan service. I think Karl Urban was my favorite; Bones just cracked me up whenever he was onscreen. I also rather enjoyed the never-commented-on fact that female crew members in the 23rd century dress like 1960's go-go dancers. I have to say though, I really wanted Sylar-as-Spock to be sexier. The love story was played almost too subtly for my liking. (Or maybe I've just read too much fanfic...)
My good college buddy Kelly McMahon is trying to win a contest to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game. Seriously, Kel is the biggest Cubs fan I know and this is a lifelong dream. All you need to do is sign up to an email newsletter and put her as the referrer. (You can use an old crappy address if you want to.) Just go here and be sure to put email@example.com as the referrer. Thanks!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I forgot to mention that I did, in fact, make Martha's Carrot-Cake Cookies on Sunday. They're really good, but they're not very carrot-cakey. More like an oatmeal cookie with a bit of carrot in it. Actually, with the cream cheese filling they really remind me of Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies! That's probably your closest analog.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Yeah, she's probably going to kill us in our sleep.
Today was my third running of the Sydney Mother's Day Classic 8K. (Previously: 2006, 2008.) There were a few new challenges this year: I'm heavier than I was the two previous times I ran it; I've been doing more strength training and a lot less running miles lately; and I was running this one on my own, without anyone else to pace me. It was also the culmination of a week of pretty intense busy-ness, and I hadn't had much time to worry about race preparations. Despite my protestations, Snookums insisted on coming along to support me. (He's the best.) My goals were simple: to run the whole thing without stopping, and to finish in under an hour. At 7:30am the gun fired and we were off.
It was already sprinkling when the race started, and it continued to drizzle down the whole time. It was nice though. I settled into my pace quickly. They'd changed the course from last year and it meant a lot more turns and switchbacks. There were still plenty of hills, but they were much shorter and didn't kill you so much. I realised I felt pretty good. I was happy to pass my nemeses, the Peaky Striders, pretty early on. Because I was on my own, I listened to Steve Runner's podcast from the Boston Marathon as I went. I got lapped by the winner as I neared the halfway point, but I didn't mind because the rain had stopped and a beautiful rainbow appeared at the turnaround. It was glorious. I feel like I ran this entire race with a smile on my face. I kept an eye on my pace just to make sure I was going to meet my goal, but I didn't feel any particular need to push hard. I kept getting passed by people who were going flat out, and then five minutes later I'd chug past those same people who were now walking to catch their breath. My mantra was "slow and steady." I actually laughed as I climbed the biggest hill for the second time, wondering why I thought it was so difficult before. Finally were was only one kilometer left to go, so I did my best to pick up the pace. I saw Snookums about 200m from the finish line. "I did it!" I croaked to him. "I haven't stopped!" And suddenly I welled up like I was going to cry. I put my head down and sprinted as best I could to the finish line. I crossed in 57:37 (according to Runkeeper), but that included that time it took me to get to the start. So call it 57 minutes. Not a blazing time by any standard, but given how much fun I had and now easy the run ended up being, I'll take it. I'm feeling much better about my chances for posting a fast time at the Bay Run in a couple months.
Thanks to everybody who sent me supportive messages before and after the Race. And extra special thanks, of course, to the Snook, who never complains about getting up at 6am and standing in freezing cold drizzle for 2 hours just so I've got a friendly face cheering me on at the end. That's worth more than a race medal to me.
Edited to add: Official race times have been posted. I finished in 57:01, which was firmly in the back of the pack. Still, a fun event!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I definitely need an early night. I've got to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to run an 8k race, from which I go straight to Morris and Sons to teach the second installment of my sock class. And then I'm going to have a massage, make carrot cake cookies, and drink a beer. Sounds like a plan...
Thursday, May 7, 2009
It seems like every six months I always have one weekend that is just a nightmare of stress and deadlines. Right now I'm juggling a Spec of Monstrous Proportions at work; normal preparations for the Knitters Guild meeting on Saturday; special preparations for the Internet Workshop I'm leading at the Guild meeting on Saturday; the Mother's Day Classic 8K Run on Sunday morning; and the second installment of the sock class I'm teaching Sunday afternoon. Crazy, huh? So don't be surprised if blogging is light for a couple days...
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Snook: "Mono." It's a Dot Net implementation.
Me: Oh wow. How come? Doin' some work?
Snook: No... I need it to run a particular application.
Me: *suspicious* What's the application?
Snook: *resigned* It tells me which hat to put on my Paladin.
The next Geek Girl Dinner Sydney has been announced... and it's at MICROSOFT. I used to drive by that office every day on my way out to North Ryde when I worked at Epson. It's this big curving black monolithic THING, like the eye of Sauron. And next Thursday, yours truly and the Snook will walk in and hope the eye of Bill does not turn upon us. (Snookums is all excited about the Lego and the Xbox.) Stay tuned to see if I can tweet from my iPhone without it blowing up in my hand...
Last week I headed to the Broadway bus stop as normal to catch a bus to work. I work in East Sydney, so ideally I catch a 461, 480, or 483, all of which turn at Park Street and drop me off 100m from my office. (You'll recall that I was bummed when the route was initially cancelled and then overjoyed when it started up again.) The problem is that the Broadway bus stop gets really congested in the mornings, and sometimes you've got a good half a dozen full buses pulled up along the block while empty ones sail past. That's fine with the ones going to Circular Quay; there's another George Street bus practically every minute. But the Domain buses are few and far between. If you miss one, you can be waiting 15 minutes for the next to arrive. So yeah, there was an incident with a 480 driver that pushed me over the edge, and I sent in an official complaint:
I am absolutely fed up with drivers on the 461 and 480 routes not stopping for passengers at Broadway. I understand that it is a busy stop in the mornings, and it wouldn't be a problem if I were just going down George Street. There are loads of George Street buses. However, there aren't a lot if buses that go to the Domain, which is where I'm going. If I miss one, I have to wait some time for the next to come along.Apologies for the typos; I was furiously tapping it out on the iPhone the whole way to work. I got an immediate canned response saying they'd look into it, and I wasn't hopeful that anything would come of it. However, today I got an actual response back!
Kristine, I can only apologise for what happened to you at Broadway. Again notices will be posted telling drivers to head to the top of the bus stop. The driver on this occasion has been identified and will be spoken to.It's not much, but I'll take it.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I stopped at the butcher tonight to pick up a couple steaks for dinner. While the nice butcher man was serving me, some female butcher (who looked like she might be a college student) must have overheard me.
Her: Oh wow, are you from America?
Me: *reluctantly* Yeah. Originally.
Me: Yeah. I'm Australian now too.
Her: Oh! Well, how long have you been here?
Me: About eight years.
Her: Wow. Do you like it?
Me: *struggling to maintain composure* Yeah. Obviously.
Her: Is it really different here from where you lived in the States?
Me: *lying now* Not really. It's pretty much the same.
Her: Oh! But the SPELLING is all different!
Me: *finally glaring* I'M. REALLY. GOOD. AT. SPELLING.
That was the dumbest conversation I've had in a loooong time. "Do you like it?" AFTER EIGHT YEARS?? It was like every stupid "you're a foreigner" conversation I've ever had, all rolled into one. I really hate it. It suddenly makes me aware of being different. Most of the time I don't even think about it, but these idiots always make me feel like an outsider.
Holy crap. If you are/were a Lord of the Rings fan, you MUST go watch The Hunt for Gollum. This independent, fan-made film takes place in the interval between Bilbo's birthday party and when Gandalf returns to send Frodo away from the Shire with the Ring. (It's evidently drawn from the LotR appendices.) It's amazingly well-done. This isn't fan-fic; the people who made this are talented filmmakers who know what they are doing. It's over 40 minutes long, but it doesn't feel like it. We were both really impressed with it.
Me: "You know how in Unbreakable, Samuel L Jackson's guy theorizes that because he's so fragile and vulnerable, there must exist somebody who's the opposite so that the universe remains balanced? Based on that theory and this film clip, Richie Eisler is therefore my nemesis as far as agility and balance are concerned."
Monday, May 4, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I should officially move this one into the FO pile! I started Rusted Root in March as a palate-cleanser during the rush to finish Na Craga. I tweaked the pattern a fair bit based on mods I saw on Ravelry (using tubular cast-on for the neckline, adding a few rows in the sleeves, putting in hip shaping, etc). I was unhappy with the waist though, and at knitting camp last weekend I decided to frog it back and try something different. The girls suggested a simple roll edging (rather than a rib). I think it really works! It makes the whole thing just a little more casual, which is appropriate given that it's really just a cotton t-shirt. I'm still not sure it's the most flattering style for a large-busted gal, but since when has that stopped me before? I used 3.5mm needles for the ribs and 4.0mm for the body. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Buttercream, and I only used 4 skeins! More details over on Ravelry.
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