December 15, 2004


Normally I wouldn't boast, but I think the fact that I paid only 87.9c/litre today (after 4c/litre discount) is worth a mention. (esp since I have been paying > $1/litre for months now)

December 12, 2004

LED Christmas Lights

After searching for the last 2 years I have finally found some decent LED Christmas Lights in Australia. In previous years I have scoured the department stores, big harwdware chains, small $2 shops, and even the Christmas shop on King George's Road (in Sydney) but no luck. This year I found some in Bunnings at Rockdale imported by "Mort Bay". They are labelled FX multi-colour LED party lights. They are basically a pretty standard string of 48 outdoor Christmas lights, except that they are LED (4 colours - red, orange, green and blue). Standard 8 function control box, and quite bright. Excellent. No mention of this product or the importer on the web, but it seems Mort Bay are based in Balmain NSW if you want to look them up in the white pages.

December 08, 2004


I popped out yesterday to find Is 8 metres high enough? near Manly.


An updated version of MapRequest (20041208b) is now available.

December 02, 2004


I tried to beat the heat yesterday morning, and popped out to get Hello?? Les?.

November 30, 2004


Recent caches include K9 Kache and
Aladdin's Cave.


I finally uploaded some maps to my bushwalking page.

November 26, 2004


MapRequest, a Java program to view maps from online map servers, is now available on SourceForge.

November 21, 2004

New Baby

It's been a while since my last post, but I thought the arrival of my neice Hannah Madeleine Carr last Friday deserved a mention.

September 25, 2004


Well my first month with Internode ADSL is now complete, and I must say I'm impressed. Keep up the good work guys.

September 09, 2004


A big day out yesterday at the Royal National Park, where I found Deer Oh Deer,
Stuck On You and Bashful.

September 06, 2004


We had quite a hail storm last night. I popped out to take a couple of photos.

September 03, 2004

New Geocache

My new geocache Brick Brick is now on-line. Congratulations to Philma for being the first finder (and for finding it so fast!).

August 27, 2004


After having problems getting my modem and router to talk to each other happily I did a search on the forums at Whirlpool. There was enough information there to get me going. There is a lot of useful information about broadband on Whirlpool.

August 23, 2004

Bye OzEmail

OK. The move to ADSL is now complete. I have closed my OzEmail dial-up account. I did consider OzEmail ADSL over Internode, but Internode won for a couple of reasons. Internode offers more web space. Internode has spam filtering. Internode has fast churn.

August 20, 2004

New web page

FYI Ben has a new web page.


Yay. My ADSL from Internode is finally connected. OK, so my router needed a firmware upgrade, but we got there.

August 16, 2004

Baby Duty

The decision has finally been made: I'm a house-dad for the next few weeks so that H can make some in-roads with her thesis. The little fellow is a joy to be with.

August 10, 2004


I have been a bit slack with blogging lately, but I thought the fact that I have finally ordered ADSL might rate a post.

July 22, 2004


We finally found Bug Powder Dust, found Infused
after a bit of searching, and met the Terrortorians while finding April 27th. We are well on our way to finding 100 geocaches.

July 17, 2004


We said farewell to Kit and Jessie on Wednesday as they finally headed back to the USA. You have been great friends and we will miss you both a lot!

July 11, 2004

Job Hunting

OK. It's official. I'm looking for work this week. I have a meeting with a company called DBM tomorrow to make use of their outplacement services. (My previous employer is paying for this.)

July 03, 2004


As you may have seen, some of my posts now include photos. H bought us a little Pentax Optio camera the other day. Handy.

Keeping busy

Latest geocaches include Krusty Rusty (finally), Mangroves & Mossies, SURF'S UP, I can see it all from here, On a clear day ..., Careening with Miss Carey and i! 3.5: Cash

View from I can see it all from here

June 23, 2004


Yet more. Recent caches include I Swear ! (Botany Bay National Park), Friday (a tricky multi), Get to know my neighborhood (a fun multi that we could do now that we have a digital camera), Linear Accelerator, Writers of Renown, Kid's cache (in Canberra) and I just got back from doing Traffic Control No: 3

Ebenezer at Writers of Renown

June 11, 2004


You can sure get plenty of geocaching done when you are unemployed. Today Hecta found I Swear ! where I had previously failed, and then we found Ned's Top Flight.

June 09, 2004


Found Car Cottage.


Within an hour of connecting my new PC to the internet it had adware and spyware on it. I am still unsure as to whether this was installed when I bought it, or whether some web page helpfully installed it for me without me knowing.

June 07, 2004


Yay! We finally got a new computer at home. My old one was bought in 1996. I have been meaning to get a new one for about 2 years now. Best not to rush into these things you see.

And more

I popped out yesterday to find Everleigh.

June 05, 2004

Weekend Geocaching

More geocaching. We headed further south today to find Botany Bounty and Watching the Curranulla.

More geocaching

Yesterday I headed back to Kurnell and found Heigh-ho Heigh-ho and Raiders by the bay II.

June 03, 2004


With my new found unemployment I had some time for some geocaching yesterday. I nabbed Journey to the far side of the sun, I Can See The Light ! and Shiva's Descent.

May 30, 2004


Woohoo! That meeting was what I thought it was. I got made redundant, effective immediately.

It feels kind of strange. This is the first time I haven't worked at that place for 11 1/2 years. I hardly know what to do with myself.

May 28, 2004

Uh oh. Meeting.

I have been asked by a middle manager to attend a 10am meeting. I wonder if I will be returning from this meeting.

May 27, 2004

May 26, 2004

Still here

Looks like I still have a job. That's good I guess.

May 25, 2004


Someone from my work's HR department is having a meeting with my boss today about the issue of possibly getting made redundant any day between now and a year's time. I wonder if it will be tomorrow?


Before you e-mail me to tell me, yes, I have seen DinoCam (the White Island crater webcam).

Farewell Naomi - for now

Yesterday we travelled to Canberra to attend the funeral of Naomi Atkins. Naomi and Felicity were born prematurely to good friends of ours Graham and Karen in December last year. It is always difficult to go to a funeral of a small baby, but we found the funeral very helpful. It is good to keep in mind that as Christians God knew us while we were still being formed in the womb. We look forward to getting to know Naomi when we see her again in heaven.

May 21, 2004

Geocaching Fix

I must be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. This morning I was preparing rice cereal for my little boy (he is 8 months old now). As I was putting the cereal and spoon back in its plastic container I was struggling to get the lid on. Straight away my brain started thinking "I will need to re-arrange the swaps before re-hiding this."

May 20, 2004

New Layout

As you can see, I have a new layout.

May 19, 2004

Ugh. Early start again. I kind of wonder why I do it when I know my job won't exist in 12 months time.

May 18, 2004

I read an interesting article today on "plogging" (for project blogging) called The Virtues of Chitchat. It discusses how an intranet blog focussed on an IT project is a great information sharing tool. I think I'd need some kind of assurance that I wouldn't get sacked before I started something like this at my work!

May 17, 2004

We finally got our new (OK it's second hand) car on Friday night. Yay! The only problem is that it does not have the child seat fitted to it yet, so I am the only one who gets a go of the car.

May 14, 2004

We had a meeting at work yesterday where we were told that the "strategy" for our department is that the Asia Pacific region will no longer be a "development hub". Basically what that means is that if you happen to have a job as a developer and you work somewhere in the Asia Pacific region, you had better start looking for another job. Nice.

May 13, 2004

Now that Blogger hosts comments I have hadded comments to my blog.
I just finished reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (web site about Margaret Atwood). It is fiction, but very well researched fiction, and kind of along the lines of The Handmaid's Tale. It deals a lot with genetic engineering, but is quite a thought provoking look at where our society is going, particularly with regard to the influence of big business and governments on our society. I highly recommend it.

April 28, 2004

A busy weekend in Canberra. The weekend's geocache haul involved finding Roger, the cabin boy, Diadematis unum, Can you hear the drums... err Bells Fernando
, Commonwealth Creek, Itchy & Scratchy, Billy Goats Gruff, Andrei's Red Hot Spot, Down on the border, Hidey Hole, In Plane View and finally Capital Circle. Thanks heaps to all the Canberra geocachers who placed these.

April 21, 2004

Winter is back, as are the 7am starts. Ugh. I work on a web site for which there are set change windows if you want to change something. The change windows are based on northern hemisphere timezones, which makes them quite early in winter. At least today's change was over quickly without any drama.

April 19, 2004

After a brief geocaching drought I was back into it on the weekend. Saturday yielded West of the Summit (a nice urban cache in Sydney) and Fruity Bats, while I picked up Giba yesterday.

April 13, 2004

I reported before that Channel 10 was getting Astroboy, but it seems that ABC got it instead. It starts on Thursday April 15th.
They are considering making water restrictions tougher in Sydney. The Sydney water supply is at 52.8% of capacity this week, although it went to 50.5% during last week. (See here for a graph.) Sure - there are towns in NSW that have a lot less water (as a percentage) than that, but consider the sheer scale of the problem if a city the size of Sydney completely ran out of water.

April 07, 2004

Hehe. This is good: Installing Linux on a Dead Badger.
I saw an interesting thing on BLOG Yellek today: World 66 can generate a map of countries you have visited. I have only been to 4% of the world's countries it seems:

April 05, 2004

OK. We had a discussion about the destruction of my iPAQ. On Saturday I bought a replacement one from the friendly people at Computer World.

April 02, 2004

A bit lame, but April fools day is more intense on Mars, as it has less ... gravity.
Then there's the Google jobs on the moon one.
Still more foolery: My employer put out a web page (sorry - internal only so I can't provide a link) stating that as photography inside company buildings requires a permit, from now on security staff will inspect all mobile phones as you enter the building to make sure it does not have a camera. You can buy a "security approved" sticker to stick over the lens of your phone. The sticker is called a "handycap". (The pun works better in German I guess.)

March 31, 2004

Nasa's Earth Observatory has a great satellite photo of Zurich today.
I noticed that IT'S A MATTER OF OPINION WEBLOG has a link to me. Thanks guys!
Sad news today: My iPAQ met with misadventure yesterday. Serious misadventure. Terminal serious misadventure. Screen smashed, case bent etc etc. It has been really strange, because I keep going to look up stuff in it, but then I remember that it's dead.

March 29, 2004

I went to a church picnic on Friday afternoon/evening wearing my geocaching t-shirt. OK, so it is slightly cryptic, but one of the kids worked out what it was straight away, where the adults were left scratching their heads. I wandered off with a couple of kids to drop off a travel bug in a nearby cache. A nice quote from an 8 year old on geocaching: "Do they have these in every park?"

March 26, 2004

I found a great site about bushwalking today: The Australian Bushwalking & Camping
Reference Site
. There are lots of great walks on the site all over Australia.

March 24, 2004

Be afraid. Be very very afraid. Neighbours is going to be shown in the US.
After a couple of days of down-time, it seems that Weather Pixie is back.

March 23, 2004

I don't think I have posted about this before, so here's a quick overview: For years there have been reports of a large cat (lion, panther, cougar etc) running wild somewhere in Sydney's west. Every now and then there is some story about it in the news. I believe the NSW government has now hired someone to look into claims.

My thoughts? Of course there is a man eating cat running wild!

The latest? They found paw prints.

March 22, 2004

Cache update: I somehow managed to do Leighton parks here and DoverKog Bay over the last couple of weeks.

OK, so I've been a bit slack lately. Sorry that my first post for more than 2 weeks is only for a couple of URLs, but they are great URLs:

On the weekend the Sydney Morning Herald ran a great checklist to help you know if you are a real Sydneysider. "Don't dare call yourself a local until you've ticked off this list."

And in other news ... animal noises for ella. Click, watch, & listen. Quite funny.

March 04, 2004

I had the day off yesterday, so I went and picked up my GPS reciever that GME had kindly replaced (under warranty) for me.

We finally got the forward facing car seat installed for our little bundle of joy. He really enjoys being able to see what is going on. It's a whole new world!

The afternoon brought a visit to Wet or Dry #2, my 50th geocache!!! (Woohoo!) Closely followed by DoverKog Bay and then M5 madness.

March 01, 2004

We visited various family members in Canberra on the weekend, and acted as a courier service for various birthday presents, one of which was a GPS receiver. The recipients found their first geocache that morning. Good work!

February 25, 2004

I just received a call from GPSOZ to say that the cable I ordered to connect my GPS reciever to my beepy diary is on its way. Woohoo! This is part of my birthday present.

February 23, 2004

I finally had to bite the bullet and send my eTrex Venture off for repair today. The screen has been stuffing up for months, but I couldn't bear to part with it. As it turns out, this was a dumb thing to do as it is now out of warranty. GME are going to have a look at it and let me know how much it is going to cost to repair.
Eagle Rock has now been repaired. Happy geocaching.

February 11, 2004

Annoyingly, Blogger managed to corrupt my template today. Let's hope I can recover it with the help of Google's cache.
Woohoo! I finally found the geocache Spot The Don. On the down side I managed to damage the cache container for my geocache Eagle Rock while trying to put a new log book in it. It will be out of action until I can repair it.

February 03, 2004

OK I've been a bit slack with blogging lately. Recent geocaches include Lookout Carss (found), Car Cottage (not fond) and Lake View (found). Lake View was quite interesting: it is near Thirlmere Lakes. This is a small national park in the NSW Southern Highlands. We didn't realise there was a national park there. It was a pity we didn't have a canoe, as the lake looked great.

January 23, 2004

Another interesting view on what happened to Beagle: "Americans have found SOMETHING (aliens???) on Mars and wont let anybody to see it. It is classified. So Oddyssey reprogrammed Beagle to remain silent."
It seems that after NASA thought they had lost their first Rover they have now found it again. They seem to be scratching their heads as to what went wrong, but I think the cause is obvious: My first option was right on the mark, and somehow ... Beagle 2 is back, and it's NOT HAPPY.

January 22, 2004

Hmm. Interesting development: I was talking to a regional manager at work the other day about what is happening with my job, and the subject of moving back to London came up. My feeling is that I am unlikely to be offered this, but it has started me thinking if I would move back there given the chance.

January 19, 2004

Another successful weekend of geocaching. In 2 separate trips I picked up The Kings Dipper, No Rest For The Wicked and This Is Jam. Muggles thwarted my attempts at i! 3.5 Cash and Patience, but I'll be back!

January 12, 2004

A successful weekend's geocaching: Kit Kat dropped in on Saturday, and we found Wet or Dry #1 (a virgin cache) and #60 Shipwreck Bay (and picked up the travel bug RUSS).

January 09, 2004

My work finally replaced my dual CRT monitors with dual 46cm NEC LCD monitors. Very nice.

January 08, 2004

Look, the Brits may as well give up now. It is quite clear that Beagle 2 is dead. I think the more important question is: Why won't the 2 American Rovers help look for Beagle? So far I have 2 possible answers:

1 - The reason Beagle 2 is missing is because the Americans shot it down. They didn't want to be upstaged, so they took the appropriate action. In space noone can hear you scream (etc). They are hardly going to help look when they don't want it to be found now are they?

2 - The American probe never went to Mars, nor has any American probe. All the pictures are generated from a small special effects company outside Hollywood. How do we know they really went to Mars? Because the pictures look similar to the ones from their last successful Mars probe? And I suppose you think that that one really went to Mars also?

January 02, 2004

I rarely get enough time these days to further my passion for photography, but I still appreciate a good photo. There is some great stuff at