Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lex recently posted his experiences as Chief Intarwebs Fixerer here.

It comes as no surprise that I also hold this position in my household and was recently called upon in that capacity to explain why my other half's laptop kept losing its connection to the intarwebs. It was a puzzling problem. Periodically the wireless connection mysteriously stopped working, all the packets and frames flying off somewhere into the ether, never to return to this locale. This was clearly the fault of yours truly and why was I not already solving this problem, hmmm?

I've not got all that much experience with wireless networks (read zilch), enigmatic devices that they are and not far removed from witchcraft, if'n you ask me. Further complicating the issue is that every time I came into the room to examine the offending beasty with mine own eyes, it promptly gave an 'ops normal' call and recommenced its normal operation as if nothing had happened, causing me to doubt the authenticity of the user reports, as well as the sanity of aforementioned user. This in itself was the cause of much bitter recrimination. Our forecast calls for a flurry of insults, followed by lengthy frosty periods.

But anything for a quiet life, to keep the peace I got to work. Researching. Learning more and more about wireless networks, what makes them tick, and more importantly, what makes them tick not.

I should point out that the usual location of the laptop is separated from the wireless access point by no more that three metres - well within the specifications of IEEE 802.whatever, so surely range can't be a problem.

Or can it?

I moved the transmitter. I moved it no more that 1 metre. Up. On top of the table instead of under it, ugly thing that it is.

The laptop immediately perked up and the intarweb has been running without a hitch ever since.

Why did it start working again everytime I looked at it up close? I can only guess that my standing next to the antenna changed the characteristics of the radio signal such that it was able to get a connection again. The radiation waves probably bouncing off my gonads, the far wall, the mantelpiece, and finally the laptop receiver.

Don't thank me Ma'am, just doing my job.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm concerned I'm living with at least one evil genius.

Last night I was in the kitchen, halfway through a bbq chicken leg. Kirrily is standing beside me, behind her Houston is milling around apparently at random. Kirrily takes a step back, trips over the cat and lets out a gasp. She spins around, her elbow jolts my hand and the chicken leg goes flying. Underneath it is Houston, who deftly grasps it in his jaws and gets to work.

An accident? I think not.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pimp my snack, Bee-yotch!

Is there any more rant worthy topic than the behaviour of shoppers in the shopping centres, and more particularly, the shoppers in front of me when I am in a hurry and trying to get somewhere?

Aircraft have gyros, which determine which way is up, which way down, which way forward, left, right, etc. When you perform aerobatics, these gyros can topple, leaving the instruments lolling about, uncertain, drunken, randomly lurching from one direction to the other. Exactly like the behaviour of the majority of slack-jawed gawkers in Westfields. Can we conclude from this that these semi-comatose mouth breathers have recently engaged in aerobatics? That we cannot.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Many a year ago, I worked for the Commonwealth Government, in various menial roles, their description not significant to this post here. Suffice to say there were rules. Rules to doing everything, and I mean everything. Even if you encountered a situation where there appeared to be no rules, there was still a rule, which was to do nothing and refer upwards.

There was even a rule as to how many spaces to put after a full stop. Two. And that's how many I've been putting ever since.

"Why," I asked, "and from whom did this edict come?"
"From the Style Manual it came, you worthless peon, and who are you to question why?"

The Style Manual. The very name held such potency that I was powerless to resist. I asked to see this Style Manual, for to see with mine own eyes, where is was writ that two null characters should follow the full stop.

"Silence, drudge! The Style Manual is not for the pathetic likes of a mere dogsbody, and back to work! No Style Manual is there here, nor would you have the mental capacity to understand it!"

And there ended the matter. The office did not possess a Style Manual, they costing money, and we a poor provincial bastion of bureaucracy not having spare funds for such things. I took it as given. I was told it was in the Style Manual, and that was good enough for me.

And yet I wondered - was there really such a thing? What edicts were contained within the gilded pages of this venerated and dusty tome? That's how I saw it in my mind - like the Book of Kells, each page decorated by successive generations of public servants, slaving away (in between tea breaks, of course) in the bowels of the Department of Administrative Services.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Aerodynamics out of the way - 83%. I should have done better. Nevermind, a pass is a pass. Now that I'm getting closer to the last exam, I'm considering whether or not to plow onwards with the ATP exams.

For those who aren't aware, there are three levels of pilot licence - Private Pilots Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL), and Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). The ATPL is the airline pilots licence. Do I want to plow on with the next set of exams or take a break? I'm not sure - the ATPL exams are so intensive that they can take a couple of years to complete, and I need to do them sooner or later. I'll have to think about that one.

I am also firmly of the opinion that Mussolini did not own a white cat. There is no way Il Duce could have been a credible dictator with white fur all over his black shirt.