Failed to boot up

shoefailNo, not a computer problem, but a footwear fail. After waxing lyrical back in December 2011 when I managed to buy a new pair of Hi-Tec Altitude hiking boots to replace my former pair that had lasted 10 years of pretty regular use, I was somewhat astonished to find this week that my new pair, being less than 2 years old, the sole of one of the boots has completely detached.

I rang Kangaroo Tent City where I bought the boots, and they were utterly useless. Yes I know the warranty is only 12 months, but for a $150 pair of boots to fail in this manner in less than 2 years is completely unreasonable.

The next step is to contact the manufacturer Hi-Tec, to see what they have to say about the matter.

UPDATE: 20th Oct 2013
Without going into all the ins and outs of it, the Australian distributor of Hi-Tec boots was able to sort the situation out to my satisfaction.

Snake surprise

diamondpythonOur family went to our church’s weekend away last weekend at Tahlee, Port Stephens. On Saturday afternoon as I was sitting outside our accommodation unit reading, I glanced to my left and saw this little beauty slithering by – a 2 metre diamond python!

I was pretty excited and pleased. The photo is a nice addition to the diamond python page on the SOFAR website.

Gemini iKey M3+ problem in mono mode

ikeym3I have a Gemini iKey M3+ digital recorder, which I’ve been pretty happy with. But I’ve just discovered a nasty little ‘gotcha’ in its operation.

If you switch the recorder to mono mode, but have a stereo line input cable plugged in, the device will only record the signal on the Right channel of the cable. That’s fine.

The ‘gotcha’ however, is that if you  have a signal plugged in on the Left channel (but nothing on the Right), the level meter shows that you have a signal but nothing will be recorded, as the device will be recording the unconnected right channel.

Senate ballot paper madness

I’ve just voted, and despite the temptation to take the easy way of voting above the line in the Senate, I resisted, because I really don’t want to allow my preferences to be decided by the political party I vote for above the line – so I struggled on and filled in all 110 boxes under the line.

At one point as I was sliding the ballot paper side-to-side in the narrow voting booth, the paper nearly slipped down the crack at the side of the booth and disappeared – I rescued it just in time. Additionally by the time I got to number 110, the pencil I was using was in serious need of re-sharpening – there is a non-trivial possibility that some people voting below the line will cast informal votes because of blunt pencils.

It’s pretty clear that the current system is broken and needs to be reformed in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Tighter rules for nominating candidates/parties, to restrict the number of candidates to a sensible level.
  2. Allow preferential voting above the line. i.e. allow numbering the parties (not candidates) in order of preference.
  3. Have a minimum allowable number of votes below the line to cast a formal vote. e.g. like in NSW where as long as you’ve numbered 1 to 15 (or more) then the vote is valid.

Foolish, stupid, or deceitful?

It’s decision time tomorrow, and in my final pre-poll blog posting I’m going to lay out why I could never vote for a party led by Tony Abbott. The problems I see in him are pretty much exemplified in the story from last year, when Tony was banging on in parliament about how a poor pensioner’s electricity bill had more than doubled as a result of the carbon tax. Subsequent enquiries established that the power bill had doubled because the pensioner’s electricity usage had doubled!

I can only see three reasons why Tony Abbott could end up quoting this power bill in a political attack in parliament:

  1. He is foolish. Someone passed the story on to him, and he just started using it without checking the veracity or validity of the argument – he just foolishly and rashly rushed in without stopping to think about it.
  2. He is stupid. Perhaps he is too mentally incapacitated to understand how power bills work, that the cost is proportional to energy used.
  3. He is deceitful. He knew that the story didn’t stack up and had no validity, but to gain political points and publicity he deliberately told untruths, saying that the massive bill increase was due to the carbon tax, when it simply was not true.

So which is he? Foolish, stupid or deceitful? Or some amalgam of all three?

Whatever the proportions, he ought not to be leading this country.