Got you by the goat.

Some of us would have heard of this one or something similar before;

A farmer has a bag of chook food, a chook and a fox which he needs to get to the opposite side of a river. He can only take one item at a time across in his boat. For obvious reasons he cannot leave certain items on any side of the river together, i.e., the chook and chook food, the chook and the fox. How does he get all three items to the other side of the river?

In the groove

I invested in some lateral thinking exercises, and being the amazing lateral thinker I am, i thought I’d get you lot to solve them for me!

A Vinyl record measures 32cm across. There is a 1cm margin around the edge and a centre label which measures 10cm across. There are 30 grooves per cm. How far does the needle travel if the record is played from start to finish?

I’ll be back

Just a message to all my fans..

I have a date and it’s set in concrete..
I will be home (well in Melbourne) on the 24th of November.
It’s time to say goodbye to South America (and the fact that my ticket
expires on the 23rd haha)

I’m in Lima at the moment. Peru’s capital nestled on the coast. I’m staying
in super nice suburb (that could easily be the northern beaches or eastern
burbs in Sydney) called Miraflores (translates to Lookflowers)
I’ve been doing too much shopping having bought two pairs of perscription
glasses for like $200 dollars and they will be ready on Monday! So totally
awesome and a pair of shoes and yeah..ooops

All is going well.
Had to leave my beautiful peruvian boy behind which was heart wrenching
after basically living together for a month in Mancora and Trujillo..awww

But..I’m looking forward to the last leg of my trip..the south of Peru,
Cusco and onto to Bolivia, northern Argentina and Buenas Aires and the
finally to Chile and ciao!

I can’t believe it will have been a year away.

Ok sorry for the mundane post..

Hope everyone is doing buenarzo!

Icebreakers – The theory.

My previous post garnered some rather derisive comments, and I being a rather strong believer in well executed ice-breakers thought they needed some defending.

Against the claim that everybody knows why they are there…
A) Not everybody knows why they are there, in fact most people don’t, except that it is a subject they are required to do to get their degree. In fact I ask them that very question and the answer is quite often silence. Why silence, why not Yes or No? Because, besides the extroverts nobody else feels comfortable stating their opinion, thoughts or ideas… why? I don’t know – I’ve always been an ‘extrovert’ in this confined context!
The only people to get anything out of icebreakers are extroverts…
B) Extroverts get very little out of icebreakers because without the icebreaker, they would participate in calss anyway. It is the introvert that gets the most out of icebreakers. When icebreakers are effectively executed the participants persuade the introvert out of the shell, once out of its shell the introvert will find that the environment they are in is actually quite comfortable. Hence, the introvert is more likely to contribute in class in future because they know it is a safe environment.
Against the claim that icebreakers create trauma…
C) If an icebreaker creates trauma, it must not be a very good icebreaker. Whilst an introvert may feel a little social trauma at first, a good icebreaker will develop in stages to ‘persuade’ the introvert out of the shell, rather then forcing them out. Hence, the search for ‘good’ icebreakers…
Against the claim that we should ‘Just get on with it’…
D) Getting on with it is inevitable hard when few people are willing to participate in class. When getting on with it involves participation, discussion, and student contribution, you can’t really ‘get on with it’ until you have made the students feel safe and comfortable, until you have reduced the pressure for only the ‘correct’ answer and have persuaded students that you arrive at the best answer through debate. Hence, you can’t really ‘get on with it’ until you get on with the icebreaker.
Against the claim that i should just tell them about how bad an accountant I was when I was 9…
E) Self humiliation is a very effective icebreaker and is practiced by myself (You should have seen my imitation of donuts floating down the processing line) and quite a few tutors and lecturers at UTS School of Accounting.

Ice Breakers

I’m giving my first tutorial on thursday, and apparently, since my role in the class is ‘facilitator’, not ‘teacher’, I’m after the best ever ice-breakers you have had to do. Some of the ones mentioned so far:

– Skydiving formations
– Tell the crowd about yourself and they guess if its true or false.
– Go around the room and try to match people to a list of stereotypes.
– pair up and tell your partner 1 thing you love, 1 thing you hate and 1 thing you want more then anything else in the world.

If only my HTML programming was good enough, I could whip up an online poll!

Welcome home Nick!

Welcome home Nicholas!

After what sounds like a fantastic 5 week trip through Europe and Japan Nick has returned to Australia, and in what fine form! Procurring three guest passess into the members stand on Saturday night for the game between Essendon and the Swans. The game wasn’t the best, but the commentating was superlative! Thanks Mikey for the off-field entertainment.

Trialled a different pub onthe way home – the Dolphin in Surry Hills, very nice. Recommended. Beer prices were a bit steep ($5 for a Coopers), but the place was large, comfortable, clean, and filled with interesting, young, beautiful, people.

Fiddling with Regedit

Ever heard any conspiracy stories about Microsoft? Maybe you heard they put chips in your computer that identified themselves over the internet when you connect, or maybe secretly authorising access codes used by Microsoft applications to track pirated software? Well, they maybe true – but what is definetly true is that Microsoft uses its position as an Operating System manufacturer and designer to give its programs a leg up.

Whats so wrong with that? Nothing, provided it is beneficial to the customer – for example, compatibility between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Explorer, you know – stuff that is good for you. What if its not beneficial for the customer?

For example, Microsft Access is limited by the Microsoft Windows registry to only using 9500 page – locks per file. Whats a page lock? I don’t know – but it has soemthing to do with memory involved in processing a given action. Basically, if your database is big enough, you will eventually start to use more then 9500 pagelocks per file, and whenever you try to do something you will get a “error – not enough memory available for requested operation” or something similar. Why is the maxpagelocksperfile in the regustry set to 9500? Nobody knows, but when I had this error this morning, we jumped straight on and changed it to 100,000 (approx equivalent of 10Mb of memory). Access was able to perform its duty and we were able to get on with our work.

Why does Microsoft do this? Probably to force you upgrade to a more expensive database program once you hit that size database. People criticise Microsoft Access as being a kiddies database, but really – I like the interface, its the Jet SQL engine and Microsoft that screw it up. Sure, if your serious about databases – MySQL or soemthing similar is probably more for you – if your not going to be using it everyday, MSAccess is the perfect learning tool. It’ll even teach you how to hack the registry and beat Microsoft at its own game, eventually!

Please post a comment with any conspiracy stories about any computer manufacturer – I like conspiracy stories!

Mudgee Wine & Food Fair – Balmoral Beach.

On Sunday August the 13th Withams Tea and Coffee is sponsoring the Mudgee Wine and Food Fair which will be held at Balmoral Beach. It looks like I’ll be working the expresso machine for Master Latte Craftsman Smith of Withams Coffee and I was thinking this could be a great way to kick-off our ‘Back to the Glory days’ party.

I hope a few people will be able to make it down on the day, taste some wine, coffee, cheese and maybe take a Masterclass in either! A short Blurb is posted below but I encourage you to visit the official site which has many more details.

The plan at this stage is to have fun on the day before heading back to the apartment to continue the wine ‘tasting’ and swap stories about the glory days.


Each year, the Winemakers of Mudgee bring their fabulous award-winning Wines to Sydney at the famous, Mudgee Wine and Food Fair.

Located at picturesque Balmoral Beach, surrounded by local produce and a great array of food, arts, crafts and textiles, the Winemakers of Mudgee set-up the annual Wine & Food Fair – so you can get to sample the delights of the Mudgee region without leaving the city!

The Balmoral Fair kicks off at 10am on August 13th, 2006 and it’s Sydney’s chance to see what great food and wine is on offer from the Mudgee region. Last tasting are at 5pm and tasting tokens are only available until 4pm. A live band will also be providing entertainment.

The Fair is located around the Rotunda at the western end of Balmoral Beach. Free Shuttle Buses will be operating in a continuous circuit from Balmoral Beach to Military and Spit Roads via Raglan Street and Awaba Street throughout the day. As parking can become congested at the Beach, we do suggest you use this park-and-ride service. Buses will run at 15-minute intervals and can also be hailed from anywhere along the route between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm.

Full timetables for all bus and ferry travel to and from Balmoral, can be downloaded from the State Transit Authority.