Me, Racing Stripes

Random Words: Seating

The couches I have are old and getting worn and cat-damaged, and getting them re-covered and repaired has been on the wish list for a while. I figured since I’m going to be moving them again soon I would look into getting them redone, and I might be able to swing the timing so they would be elsewhere for the actual move.


End result is for the most part no. The two single seater armchairs would be about $900 each to recover, plus additional cost to repair the physical damage on the arm of one of them. Considering the two of them plus the three-seater couch were part of a set I got from Super A Mart many years ago, probably for less than the repair costs of one of them, there’s no way they are worth that much to repair.


The sofa bed would be about $1200 to re-cover. I bought it second hand for about $400 many years ago, and I can pick up a brand new one from Ikea for about $800, so again it wouldn’t be worth it. I may end up getting some new cushions for it to replace the existing ones, as the current ones were the battle field in territory battles between the cats and there’s no way to completely get rid of that smell.


The final piece however I am planning on re-covering anyway. The swivel-chair is an old piece made of solid wood (not particle board) with metal springs, and it would most definitely be worth re-covering at about $640.


Oh, and these costs are assuming I chose the cheapest fabrics they use. Add more if I go for more expensive fabrics.


I may end up giving away some of the pieces, because there’s no way to fit all of it into the size of place I’m looking at. No decisions yet, but most likely.



This entry was originally posted at http://halloranelder.dreamwidth.org/18758.html. Comments are accepted here or there using OpenID.
Me, Racing Stripes

Stress

My stress levels are through the roof.


I don’t deal well with change, never have. I like things consistent and known, moving within known limits. Moving always stresses me out as things are changing and I don’t know what things are going to be like in the end.


This one’s more stressing than usual. The last two moves were initiated via external forces: we had to move out of Reynard St because the owners wanted to sell with vacant possession, and we had to move out of Spry St because the owner was a dick and wanted to move back into his house.


Also, in both previous moves, someone else was leading the way. In both cases it was both Travis and I moving, and Travis was getting things done so I was getting things done. I’m not that good at organisation myself, so having someone else to lead the way meant I know what had to be done.


This time is different on both counts. We’re moving out because this house is falling apart, the owners don’t care enough to do anything about it, and sometime in the future the house next door is going to be knocked down and they are going to build 4 townhouses on the block (I’ve seen the plans, they are tiny!). In addition, I’m moving out because this house doesn’t hold the heat very well and in fact seems to suck the heat out of the place (which is really good in Summer, but painful in Winter). Cold is really not good for my back which means I have a choice of consistently high pain levels, an electricity that could potentially bankrupt small nations, or moving to somewhere that can actually stay warm. Finally, I’m not moving out with my current housemate, I’m moving somewhere on my own.


Because of all this, my stress levels are way beyond normal levels. I know this is a good idea, and I know this is the right thing to do, and I know it’s all going to work out well in the end, but that doesn’t stop the voice in the back of my screaming in terror at it all.


Stress is also not good for my back, surprise surprise. So in addition to the cold causing me pain, the stress is causing even more. Mostly this time I seem to be carrying it across my lower back, which makes lying down uncomfortable, which means I haven’t slept all that well the last few days. Plus, pain in that area tends to cause lower-intestinal issues, and currently my bowels aren’t anyone’s friends.


It looks like I’m going to have to spend a little bit more than I was originally hoping on rent. My original budget seems to be just under the price point for the type of place I want, and raising my weekly rent by $25 a week should make all the difference. I’m not going to be any worse off financially than I am now, which is fine, but I was hoping to be able to save some money. The other benefits I’ll get from it all will more than make up for not saving as much, so it should all be good.


And to be honest, it’s been strangely refreshing to start getting rid of stuff. I hate the concept of “waste”, so I’d been holding on to stuff for years that I really had no need to keep because I didn’t want to waste it. So far in the last 2 days I’ve gotten rid of a pile of candleholders and the metal frame of my old work bench. For any of the Brisvegans reading this, my work bench was the Hit Point’s front counter, and all the candle holders all came from there when the Hit Point shut down at the end of June, 2000. This means I have been carting those things around for 14 years now.


I think that’s enough. I’ve found a home for my old filing cabinet, the storage cases probably have a home, and there are other things that will be going, and it’s feeling strangely freeing. It’s something I started years ago, and have slowly been get to, but now it’s all speeding up. Tomorrow night I’m probably going to go through my miscellaneous crate of computer cables and spare parts and most likely throw out 90% of it. I don’t think I own a computer with a working serial port any more, so anything of that ilk can go. Also, I know I don’t own any computers with a working floppy drive, so I probably should throw out all the old software that’s still on floppy disk. I’m sure if I need a copy again (for whatever strange reason) I’ll be able to download a copy from the internet somewhere.


All the books in the hallway bookcases are packed, and some of the stuff in the study bookcases. I stopped because I ran out of boxes, but I’m getting more delivered tomorrow, so will start again soon.


And at the very least, Xavier is liking the fact I’m packing stuff. There’s packed boxes in the hallway, and he’s always been a climber. :)



This entry was originally posted at http://halloranelder.dreamwidth.org/18604.html. Comments are accepted here or there using OpenID.
Me, Racing Stripes

House Descisions

Originally posted to Random Words. You can comment here or there: http://www.randomevent.net/words/?p=9#comments.

So, Adrian and I have discussed things, and worked out that it’s going to be cheaper for both of us for us not to share a house together.

The main reason for this is because I have geographical limitations, and he doesn’t. I work in Brunswick and don’t have a car, so anywhere I live needs to have good access to Public Transport that allows me an easy access to work. This means the preferred areas are anywhere along the Upfield train, or along the 1, 8, or 19 trams.

The problem with this is they are old established areas, and tend to be expensive. This means our options for renting are an old place, which means it’s probably not been well maintained (because it’s a rental) which will be basically swapping the problems with this place for problems in another place; or a new place that will be too small, or too expensive.

However, I can get a one-bedroom apartment near work that would end up costing me about the same or less than I pay here (once other costs are factored in), and Adrian can get a different housemate and move further out for less, as all he needs is access to the city.

So, that’s basically what we’ve decided to do.

The problem? I own far too much stuff, and I really need to get rid of most of it. So, I will be getting rid of a lot of furniture over the next short while, most of it for the nominal fee of “you want it, you move it”.

And to be honest, even if I wasn’t moving into a one bedroom apartment, I probably should be getting rid of all of the excess crap anyway.

Wish me luck! (Any and all help gratefully appreciated).

Me, Racing Stripes

Things to get rid of, post the first...

I may need to buy a new desk, as the current ones I have are fairly large. Even if I don’t, I won’t have the room for three desks, so two of them will be going.


I have two desks that are 75cm x 180cm, plus one that’s 90cm x 155cm.  If I do keep one of the desks it will be one of the 75×180 cm ones.


I also have loads of bookcases and similar things. I probably won’t be sure on what bookcases I’m getting rid off until all of them are moved and I know what wall space I have, but there are two that I definitely want to offload. These two are in two pieces of 90cm each high, for a total of 180cm each. The bottom half is about 44cm deep, and the top half is your standard bookcase depth of about 20cm.  They’re each about 90cm wide in white laminated particle board.


I have a large 3-drawer metal filing cabinet (50cm wide, 65cm deep, 100cm tall) that I don’t think I actually need.


There’s other bits and pieces of furniture that I have that I will give Adrian (my current housemate) first dibs on. Actually, he probably has first dibs on any of this stuff as he already lives in the house with it all. :)



This entry was originally posted at http://halloranelder.dreamwidth.org/18216.html. Comments are accepted here or there using OpenID.
Me, Racing Stripes

House Descisions

So, Adrian and I have discussed things, and worked out that it’s going to be cheaper for both of us for us not to share a house together.


The main reason for this is because I have geographical limitations, and he doesn’t. I work in Brunswick and don’t have a car, so anywhere I live needs to have good access to Public Transport that allows me an easy access to work. This means the preferred areas are anywhere along the Upfield train, or along the 1, 8, or 19 trams.


The problem with this is they are old established areas, and tend to be expensive. This means our options for renting are an old place, which means it’s probably not been well maintained (because it’s a rental) which will be basically swapping the problems with this place for problems in another place; or a new place that will be too small, or too expensive.


However, I can get a one-bedroom apartment near work that would end up costing me about the same or less than I pay here (once other costs are factored in), and Adrian can get a different housemate and move further out for less, as all he needs is access to the city.


So, that’s basically what we’ve decided to do.


The problem? I own far too much stuff, and I really need to get rid of most of it. So, I will be getting rid of a lot of furniture over the next short while, most of it for the nominal fee of “you want it, you move it”.


And to be honest, even if I wasn’t moving into a one bedroom apartment, I probably should be getting rid of all of the excess crap anyway.


Wish me luck! (Any and all help gratefully appreciated).




This entry was originally posted at http://halloranelder.dreamwidth.org/18163.html. Comments are accepted here or there using OpenID.
Me, Racing Stripes

Test Post

Originally posted to Random Words. You can comment here or there: http://www.randomevent.net/words/?p=4#comments.

If this works, this should be posted all over the place.

Me, Racing Stripes

Hello world!

Originally posted to Random Words. You can comment here or there: http://www.randomevent.net/words/?p=1#comments.

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Me, Racing Stripes

Fantasy Authors

So, I got an email from my mother.

She's been going to physiotherapy lately (she's getting old and a number of bits are broken so needs to work at keeping things moving) and discovered her physiotherapist is a fan of fantasy and the Lord of the Rings. Both my brother and I are avid readers of Sci-Fi and fantasy so Mum sent us an email asking for our favourite fantasy authors so she could pass on the recommendations.

I don't tend to do things like this by halves, so came up with quite a list just from the things I have sitting on my shelves. After putting this much into it, I figured it was a shame to send it off to Mum and leave it at that, so here is the list (in no apparent order) for your pleasure.

Robert Jordan - If she likes Lord of the Rings, then she will probably like the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It's a huge series covering 14 books, plus a prequel novel and other stuff. Robert Jordan died in 2007 before finishing the series, but he knew he was probably not going to live to the end of the series so left extensive notes and the series was completed by another fantasy author and long time Wheel of Time fan Brandon Sanderson. Because of the sheer amount of stuff going in in the books, some of the middle books can feel like nothing is actually happening, but it all comes together brilliantly at the end.
 
Brandon Sanderson - On his own Brandon Sanderson has written the Mistborn series and a number of other stand alone books. His magic system in the Mistborn series is fascinating, and the books are a really good read.
 
David Eddings - Unfortunately passed away, the series' by David Eddings (and in the later period, both him and his wife Leigh Eddings got writing credit) are my go to when I need light escapism fantasy. I have read all the books I have of his so many times that some of them are almost falling apart. I consider his work the fantasy equivalent of the trashy romance novel. :) The Belgariad and the Malorean are two series' of 5 books each set in the same world and go one after the other. Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress are two other books set in that same world detailing the times before the two series' but best read afterwards. The Elenium and the Tamuli are two other series' (three books each) set in a different world from the others and again go one after the other.
 
Raymond E Feist - Raymond E Feist's work started off as light fantasy but evolved over time to a massively detailed and intricate world. The main story starts with The Riftwar Saga (MagicianSilverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon), and continues onward from there to a total of about 20 books. He's also worked with Janny Wurts on the Empire Trilogy (Daughter of the EmpireServant of the EmpireMistress of the Empire) which takes place around the same time as the other three books and details the other side of the conflict. I recommend reading The Riftwar Saga, then the Empire Trilogy, then continuing the rest of the story.
 
Janny Wurts - While I love her work on the Empire Trilogy, I'm not as big a fan of her solo work. However, if she reads the Empire Trilogy and likes it some of Janny Wurts' other work might be worth a look.
 
Terry Pratchett - The Discworld series is very well known as well written light fantasy humour. He covers a hell of a lot of ground and targets most cliché's of the fantasy universe. For the most part each novel is a stand alone story set in the same universe, so they can mostly be read in any order. I recommend reading the first two (The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic) as the introduction to the world and then from then on reading whatever seems likely. A real fun read.
 
Greg Bear - For the most part Greg Bear is a Sci-Fi author, however he has written two fantasy books in a series that I consider to be one of my favourite reads of all time. The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mage are the two books and they were rereleased in 1994 in a single volume called Songs of Earth and Power. It's a bit hard to find nowadays, but I do really recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy.
 
Piers Anthony - Piers Anthony has written a lot of stuff ranging from hard Sci-Fi through to light comedic fantasy. His Xanth series (currently sitting at 39 novels and growing) is his light comedic fantasy series and contains some of the worst puns I have ever had the misfortune to read. :) Again I consider this series to be the fantasy equivalent of the trashy romance novel (please note: That doesn't stop me reading them thought.) He's done a lot of other work, some of which is very deep and others which are almost as light as the Xanth series.
 
Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman is another author who has written a lot of stuff in many different genres and forms. My first introduction to him was the Sandman comic series he wrote between 1989 and 1997. They are an urban/modern fantasy series and have been reissued as collected volumes and I do recommend reading them. He's also done a lot of other comic works, plus a fair number of really good books including Stardust (which if I remember correctly Mum, you really liked the movie of. He wrote the original book.) A lot of his work is urban/modern fantasy, not your "classic" fantasy.
 
Sara Douglass - An Australian author who passed away in 2011, she wrote some fantastic stories. The first book of hers I read (a stand along novel called Threshold) I wasn't really a big fan of. However some time later I reread it and loved it, so you may find them a bit hard to get into at first. I've been told the best place to start for her work is the Axis Trilogy (BattleaxeEnchanter and StarMan).
 
Katharine Kerr - The Deverry series is currently at 16 novels starting with Daggerspell, and are a very good fantasy series using Celtic mythology as a base for its myth and magic. She's also done some other works in both fantasy and Sci-Fi.
 
J. K. Rowling - While the Harry Potter books are classified as Young Adult, there are still a good read, especially as the target age group for the books goes up as the series progresses. She has stated that the target age group for each book is basically Harry's age in that book, so by the end of it the final book is very much an adult urban fantasy story.
 
Stephen Donaldson - A really good author, covering both Sci-Fi and fantasy, his Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (10 books in three series', starting with Lord Foul's Bane) is an epic tale. However, his work comes with a warning; while they are really good books, they are in no way, shape or form 'nice' books. The stuff the protagonist (the previously mentioned Thomas Covenant) goes through right from the start is not nice and the journey he goes on is not nice. I do not read any of his work if I am in any way even remotely upset or sad. That said, they are an epic tale and really well written.
 
Julian May - Most of what Julian May writes I would probably classify as Sci-Fi, but two of her series' (The Saga of the Pliocene Exile and The Galactic Milieu Series) sort of straddle the border between Sci-Fi and fantasy and I do recommend them. The Saga of the Pliocene Exile (The Many-Colored LandThe Golden TorcThe Nonborn King and The Adversary) is about a group who travel back in time to the Pliocene Epoch (roughly 5.3 million to 2.5 million years ago) and discover things are not as they seem. The Galactic Milieu Series (InterventionJack the BodilessDiamond Mask and Magnificat) is set slightly futuristic and is about the human race getting to grips with metaphysical abilities (eg telepathy, telekinesis, etc) and alien races. The characters from The Saga of the Pliocene Exile are from the time period of The Galactic Milieu Series and the two series' are linked, so if you read one I recommend you read the other.
 
Anne McCaffrey - Another author who has sadly passed away, she wrote a lot of Sci-Fi and fantasy, and I recommend the Dragonriders of Pern series (about 24 books if you include the collected short stories). The book to start with is Dragonflight as it was the first of the series she wrote and is the introduction story.
 
Terry Brooks - Very much influenced by J.R.R Tolkein, his Shannara series (starting with the Shannara Trilogy of The Sword of ShannaraThe Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara, the recommend reading order is in the order of publication, even though that's not the internal chronological order) look to be light fantasy at first but ends up being epic fantasy. It's currently about 28 books and still growing. He has also written the Magic Kingdom of Landover series (starting with Magic Kingdom for Sale - SOLD!) which is a six book series independent of the Shannara series.
 
Roger Zelazny - Passed away in 1995, Zelazny wrote huge amounts of stories all over the Fantasy/Sci-Fi road map. The Chronicles of Amber (starting with Nine Princes in Amber) is not his best work, but I think it is his best universe, and the things that he explores in the books are fascinating. There are a lot of other works with his name on it and I am of the opinion that all of them are worth checking out.
 
L. E. Modesitt Jr - Another very prolific author (with 56 Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels currently published), I have read The Saga of Recluce (starting with The Magic of Recluce, the recommend reading order is in the order of publication, even though that's not the internal chronological order) and do really recommend them.
 
Robin Hobb - One of the pen names of Megan Lindholm, she has written many fantasy novels under the name of Robin Hobb, most in the same universe. The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's ApprenticeRoyal Assassin and Assassin's Quest) are the recommended place to start.
 
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman - A classic pair, Weis and Hickman have written a fair number of fantasy series' together. The Dragonlance books (Starting with the Dragonlance Chronicles - Dragons of Autumn TwilightDragons of Winter Night and Dragons of Spring Dawning) are considered to be classic fantasy and for a lot of people are considered to be the series that set the mould. They have also done the Darksword series, the Rose of the Prophet series and the Death Gate Cycle together, as well as writing a lot of stuff individually. I really like the Death Gate Cycle (starting with Dragon Wing for a total of 7 books).
 
Tad Williams - He's written a lot of fantasy work. The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series (The Dragonbone ChairStone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower) are the books of his that I know.
 
Brent Weeks - A relatively new writer (first book published in 2008) he's written the Night Angel Trilogy (The Way of ShadowsShadow's Edge and Beyond the Shadows) plus The Lightbringer Series (The Black PrismThe Blinding Knife, plus two other forthcoming books). I haven't actually read any of his work yet, but I bought some of them and have been given rave reviews of them.
 
Peter V Brett - Another relatively new writer (again, first book published in 2009) he has so far written three of the five books in the Demon Cycle (The Painted ManThe Desert SpearThe Daylight War, plus two more forthcoming). I've read the first two and really enjoyed them, and really need to get the third one.
 
As I said, that's just from what I have on my shelves. Anything I should add to the list (and probably get for myself as well?)
This entry was originally posted at http://halloranelder.dreamwidth.org/17599.html. Comments are accepted here or there using OpenID.
Eye

How Your Vote Works (Redux)

Three years ago in the lead up to the last Australian federal election I did a series of posts describing how the Federal Parliament and the voting systems work in Australia.

With a new federal election just around the corner, it's probably worthwhile bringing them back up again. So, without further delay:

How Your Vote Works:


I hope this helps.

Also - If you are voting in this election, I wholeheartedly recommend you visit Below The Line to help you organise your Senate voting ticket. While you can simply vote 1 above the line, if you do that you are giving your vote to that political party to allocate as they see fit. With the way Senate voting works in Australia, preferences are very important and badly allocated preferences can see the wrong people (ie the people you don't want to get in) getting in on your vote.

This entry was originally posted at http://halloranelder.dreamwidth.org/17236.html. Comments are accepted here or there using OpenID.