Spent today migrating peterdamen.com to use WordPress for its blogging capabilities. I had to write a script to convert my homegrown blogging records to SQL statements to insert into the WordPress DB, but that wasn’t that difficult.
You can now argue with me when I say stupid things, or offend minorities, as WordPress has comment capabilities.
Hi there. I know it’s been a while since I have blogged.
I am on the 11:45pm train to Sunbury and I have had a few drinks with work people. I am sitting quietly, blogging, unlike the many drunk bogans on this train. There is a bogan chick with a baby yelling at drunk footy bogans who are singing their footy anthems. Annoying.
I have a new work-sponsored iPhone. Which is cool, but it is very annoying that apple have very much so restricted access to certain areas of the hardware.. I have been attempting to write applications for the iPhone. Apple have restricted application development to mac osx, which is annoying.
I am also currently nursing a broken arm, which I injured snowboarding. Only 4 weeks to go until the plaster comes off.
I’ll try to blog a little more often.
Mel and I have been in Thailand. We flew out on the Thursday night before Easter (with Jetstar). We flew into Darwin, and arrived at about 11:30. We got a taxi to our hotel which was in central Darwin. In the morning we organised a hire car, but we couldn’t pick it up until 12. We walked around Darwin (all the shops were closed because it was a public holiday). We checked out the World War 2 bunkers where they stored fuel when then Japanese began bombing Darwin. We got our hire car (it took some negotiating to be able to hire a car with more than 50 free kilometres) and we took off to Litchfield National Park. We checked out a few waterfalls. There were heaps of people swimming there. One of the waterfalls was closed because of crocodiles. We drove back to Darwin to get on our Singapore (Tiger) bound flight. This left at 1 am. We arrived at Singapore at about 4. We had to go through customs/immigration in Singapore. We walked out of the terminal, turned left, walked for 100 metres and then into the departure terminal, where he had to check-in again. Our next (Tiger) flight left at about 8, and we arrived in Bangkok at about 9.
Our taxi ride was eventful. Our taxi driver cut someone off and the guy in the other car began chasing us. The taxi driver was doing 120 km through downtown Bangkok as he tried to outrun the other guy. The other car eventually overtook us and the other driver slid is car in front of us and got out of his car and came marching over to us. Our scared taxi driver, locked our doors and told us to hang on. He took off and swerved between the parked car and the concrete barrier. He sped off and lost the other guy. He spent the next 10 minutes doing blockies to make sure. Eventually, and thankfully, we arrived at Viviana’s apartment in Sukhumvit.
Viviana’s apartment was nice. We had our own room. The apartment block had a pool and it’s own Tuk Tuk. It was only a short distance to the Sky Train which allowed us to scoot around Bangkok with ease. The day we arrived we checked out all the shops in Sukhumvit, including the MBK building that was full of fake stuff. The second day, Sunday, we went to the weekend markets at Chatuchak, where there was a lot more fake stuff. On the third day we went to the temples and the Grand Palace. On the forth day we went shopping with Pedro (Viviana’s son) and then we made our way to the train station for our overnight train to Chiang Mai.
The overnight train was good, but slow. It took 14 hours to travel 400km. (It took us 3 hours to do 400 km in Darwin with their 130 km/h speed limits). We arrived at our Backpacker place in Chiang Mai, and then spent the day walking around checking out temples and markets. The next day we went on our trek. Our guide was an ex-thai boxer. Our trek group consisted of Mel, Myself, Brendan (from Brisbane) and Maya from Germany. We drove into the surrounding mountains and went to a Elephant Camp run by some tribes people (who have there own dialect). We had an elephant ride for about hour. We rewarded our elephant with lots of bananas. There were a few other tourists at the camp. I remember two American chicks talking to one of the elephant guides, asking him if he had ever been to Hawaii or not. I don’t think they understood that the hill tribe people only make $5 day, and that they have never probably left their village, let alone Thailand. After the elephant ride we hiked through some bush to a waterfall. Another guided group arrived just after we did. Whilst walking down to the waterfall a Canadian lady slipped and slid halfway down a cliff. She was covered in grazes and was a little distraught, hanging on to a branch halfway up the cliff. Me and the tour guide climbed up. I managed to help her down step by step. She wasn’t to grateful, but her guide was.. she thanked me profusely for not letting her client die. After that we went for a swim at the waterfall, and hiked some more to a hill tribe village. We saw some villagers and then were picked up in the car and had lunch at a small town on the road. After lunch we went bamboo rafting. The rafts didn’t really float, well they did, just a few inches underwater. Our bamboo raft fell apart halfway down the river, which was quickly fixed by our driver. After the boat ride we returned to Chiang Mai.
The next day we made our way to Chiang Mai airport and flew (with Thai) to Phuket. We stayed at Kata beach, in an awesome room that overlooked the beach. We stayed there two nights, spending our days swimming and shopping on the local shopping strip. After Kata beach we went took a boat to Phi Phi island. We arrived at about 10. We spent the day walking around Phi Phi, we stayed at the Phi Phi Cabana which had an awesome pool and great views of the surrounding cliffs. We were due to take a boat to Krabi at 3 the next day. After breakfast we hired a long-tail boat to take us to Phi Phi Lei. Phi Phi Lei is the smaller uninhabited island about 5 km from Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Lei is where the movie "The Beach" was filmed. We forgot to take our bathers, and we ended up having to swim a little way. There are photos of Mel and I looking like drowned cats.
After Phi Phi we went to Krabi, Ao Nang beach. We stayed their for 4 nights. Just relaxing. We did some swimming and kayaking (at Railay Beach), and a whole lot of shopping. I bought myself a fancy Bell & Ross. Friday afternoon we departed Ao Nang by boat for Phuket. We flew out of Phuket at 9 on Friday Night with Jetstar. We arrived in Sydney at 10:30. Unfortunately all the flights were screwed at Sydney and we had to wait until 4:30 to fly back to Melbourne (with Qantas).
Been a while since I blogged. A lot has happened. In December we renovated two of our spare bedrooms. Over christmas we spent nearly two weeks in Tamworth. I drove up to Brisbane to visit Dan and Lauren. Dan and I did some Four Wheel Driving on Bribie island, and the next day we walked to the falls at Mount Glorious, and it was wet. Early January was Katrina and Butter’s wedding, which clashed with Justin and Kate’s wedding. Katrina’s wedding was all good, except for the dim-wit MC. We also went camping to Lake Tyres past Lakes Entrance. We stayed at the Trident Arm camping area. It was good, but was a 5-10 minute drive to the beach, and a 2 minute walk down to the lake. It was very remote, and it was about a 15 minute drive to the closest shop. We found a short cut to the Lake Tyres Beach shop by four wheel driving along a peninsula then walk 5 minutes across the area where the lake meets the beach. Last week I went surfing with Paulius, Troy and Mark at Anglesea and Point Addis. I’m not a very good surfer, and I got really burnt.
The long weekend was mountaineering weekend. Paulius, Fishie, Rachael, Jacquai and I climbed Mount Bogong, Victoria’s highest mountain. We drove up on Sunday afternoon, had dinner in Mrytleford, and then set up camp at the bottom of the mountain. It rained all sunday evening, and we setup a tarp against the Defender, and Fishie and I put our tents up underneath it. Paulius and Jacqui decided to sleep just under the tarp. They were surprised when in the middle of the night a gust of wind blew the tarp away and they found themselves sleeping under the stars… but it was ok, because the rain had cleared. We had had a few beers so we woke up fairly late, we drove into Mt Beauty to buy some stuff. We could see that overnight that a heap of snow had fallen on the summit. We started hiking at about 11, we were climbing Staircase Spur and it was a very vertical climb. It took about 3 hours to get halfway (about 4 kilometers – to Bivouac Hut). Fishie and Rachael turned around halfway, not sure they’d make it up and back in daylight. Paulius, Jacqui and I pushed on, getting to the Summit in under an hour and a half. I nearly stepped on a Yellowfin Bellied Black Snake that reared up ready to strike.. luckily I backed off quickly enough for it not to. The top was cold, even though most the snow had melted. We only stayed up there for a few minutes before beginning our descent via another spur. We got to Michell hut at about 6pm.. where we had planned to sleep. We had some dinner and decided to push on to meet back up with Fishie and Rachael. We walked for 2 hours in the twilight, before we had to put lamps on. We got back to the car at about 9. We drove down to the camp with "Easy Lover" playing fullbull, and flashed the highbeams on Fishie and Rachaels tent until they emerged. We erected tents, had half a beer each and then crashed in pain. We slept.. We woke..and then drove home. Next Summit: Feathertop, Victoria’s second highest mountain.
Here’s to everybody that made it to the 10 year school reunion. It was an awesome night. The pub was full of familiar faces, and it was great to catch up with everyone. I think everyone managed to get fairly drunk. Someone even yaked in the mens toliet basin.. wonder if it was someone from our gig. Thank’s for driving me Fishie. Highlights of the night would have to be Adam Calendrello’s underpantlessness and maybe the extreme make-over that Mick Coventry had. I got way too drunk, and I found my self at home at 2:30, uploading the photos to the net. I got an email from Gibbsy at about 3:45 saying that he had just got home and was eating a kebab, and was checking the photos out. Unfortunately for me, I had plans to do some house work Sunday arvo, so I had decided to go rock climbing with Fishie at 8 am in the morning. That was a bad idea. Fishie was an awesome climber, after his Canadian experience – and not getting drunk the evening before. I was pretty shit. My sister who’d never climbed before out-climbed me. But it was still good fun. Checkout Fishies climbing photos on facebook here.
Adam and I toast an excellent evening.
I was handed a faulty laptop a few months ago.. I am guessing that the bios password is set, because I can’t boot it up past the startup screen.. I found some instructions on the net on how to read the password out of a chip on the motherboard… So I have been searching for the chip.. I found it. I need to build a little serial reader to solder to the IC. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Once again I have neglected to post blog entries for the last month and a half. A fair bit has been happening. I had sinusitis for a week. I had three days off work, and had a round of anti-biotics to clear up my head. I also had a mole removed from my back while I was off work. The mole was only a few millimetres wide, yet I got a large gash cut out of my back with seven stitches. The stitches are out now, and the mole wasn’t malignent, so its all good. Other news: Steve and Danni moved house.. We helped them move last weekend. Jacqui, my sister is back on Tuesday from Spain. I have recently been playing with some GIS applications. Checkout http://openstreetmap.org/ and contribute if you can. It’s a free vector street map repository. I’ve been thinking of building a GPS navigation unit, so a nice map repository would be nice. Checkout my google map script i made: http://www.peterdamen.com/googlemap.php