Happy New Year!

Streaking through Perth
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Happy New Year everyone!

Awesome, roll on 2006. I am looking forward to you! :)

2005 was great... we travelled the world, met some great people and saw some cool things. We got pregnant (intentionally!)... and some other stuff. We've been so blessed with family and friends. Thanks be to God for everything!

A few days ago it was Diana's birthday (happy birthday babe!) and the baby chose that morning to start kicking! That was an awesome birthday gift.

We've been trying to settle on a name for the baby. No luck so far. Any ideas?

Anyway, just needed to blog how great 2005 was and how great 2006 will be... and I'll end on this thought that is inspired by a sermon from rzim.org : "Religion (Christianity) is not a crutch. It is a reason to stand"


Diana's new civic

Diana's new civic
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Well, yesterday we finalized our mortgage and went and picked up Diana's new car! Exciting times!
(click the picture to go to my flickr account and see the other photos)

We're really blessed to have so many good things coming our way. Praise God!

On Wednesday we are going to get our 19 week scan for the baby. 'Price check, aisle 1!'


ultrasound at last

I did this up just because ultrasounds are so hard to decode unless you see them in motion. This should explain to you where the head etc are. I drew the arms and legs in for emphasis... couldn't really see them in the real picture.



poisons and clumsiness

A few days ago we had Cool-or-cosy out to install insulation for us. All well and good... our house is more cool and/or cosy. We happened to notice our kitchen vent fan wasn't working anymore.
This morning I removed the cover and had a look... there's a silver cardboard protector around it (presumably to keep the fibres from coming down into the house)... and it was blocking the fan from moving. A bit of pushing and bending and inhaling of insulation fibres and it works again. It is so hard to find good help these days!

Secondly, Teki (the cat) has been a bit subdued today and he has diarrhea. I think it is because of the disinfectant I used to clean around the kitty litter yesterday! It turns out Pine-o-clean (or any pine-oil based disinfectant) is toxic for cats. Poor little Teki. Does anyone want the rest of our Pine-O-Clean? We just bought a massive bottle of it.



Here is the ultrasound we took! My baby is a race-car driver! hehe

OK, its a fake, but its funny. Found it on honda-tech forums.



Diana is pregnant! Woohoo!!!!

That is all I have to say for now. 12 weeks makes it official, right?


Thank God for the iTunes Music Store!

Clean - Missy Elliot
Originally uploaded by ntt.
I just remembered one of the reasons I was so eager for the iTunes Music Store to come to Australia - I can now buy 'clean' lyric versions of good songs I hear on the radio! Yay!

I can now listen to Missy Elliot without having to wash my ears out afterwards! hehe


iTunes Music Store in Aus!

Yay! We FINALLY have the iTunes music store in Australia.

Sadly, no Sony BMG yet. Apparently they are still negotiating. Silly Sony.
If only most of my favorite artists weren't with Sony. :(

Still, time to browse and buy, browse and buy!


For the man who can afford it...

For the man who can afford it...
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Just needed to blog this pic that my friend sent me.
Its amusing and cool at the same time.


All Quiet...

Well, all is quiet on the Western Front. :)
Just a quiet evening at home tonight. Diana is sleeping peacefully, the cats have been napping, and ... oh, speak of the devil... Teki just jumped up onto my lap. (actually my bladder!).
Such a mischievous cat. I rather suspect he'll attack the cursor as I type. hehe

Miyazaki film on TV, too. Kiki's Delivery Service. I wonder if it is any good?


Laptop Cat

Laptop Cat
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Today's lesson: there's only so much room on a lap for a laptop computer and a lap cat. hehe

Things are going well with our family. God continues to bless us every day, and we have so much to look forward to.

Work is going well. There have been minimal distractions, and I've managed to deploy a huge amount of code recently. Two new websites are about to be completed using my new content management system. It's exciting!



Vivien's Graduation
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Congratulations to my sister-in-law, Vivien, for graduating with her post-grad diplomacy in Tax!

Tax, yikes. Well, if you can't avoid it...

And secondly... welcome to our family, little Teki...

Teki - sleepmaster


Space Invader

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Space-invader.I am a Space-invader.

I will happily recruit the help of friends to aid me in getting what I want. I have no tolerance for people getting in my way, and I am completely relentless until any threats or opposition are removed. I try to be down-to-earth, but something always seems to get in the way. What Video Game Character Are You?


Carter's 3rd Birthday

Carter's 3rd Birthday
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Sunday was my nephew Carter's 3rd birthday. We all headed over to his house for a Wiggle's themed party which was great fun.

Happy birthday little dude. I hope you thanked your mom for putting on such an impressive party.


Blogga Cola

Things just got a little crazier today with news that Coca Cola had a special edition of Hot Shots Golf PSP to hand out at the Tokyo Game Show. Hot Shots Golf (aka Minna-no Golf aka Everybody's Golf) is probably my favorite PSP game at the moment, with its simple yet deep gameplay, frustratingly complex courses and colorful graphics.

The Coca Cola edition is just a little too... commercial for my tastes. :)

Oh, and my free copy of Spiderman 2 on UMD video arrived today. w00t! Only had the chance to watch a couple of minutes of it, but the quality looks great.


Wifeless Night :(

Well, I spent the evening over at Chris' house playing XBox and PSP. Warrick and another guy were there, and it was fun to play the games, but even more fun to catch up with the guys. Have known them both for years, and they are both such genuinely nice guys. Good fun.

But, the drawback to such an evening is that I didn't get to spend the time with Diana. I know she had Em over and (from the looks of Diana's blog) it looks like they had a great time. But I missed spending the evening with her. Opportunity cost is such a bummer.

Diana is now fast asleep in bed. The cat has stolen my spot. I'm gonna have to go move one of them. I'll leave it to the reader to guess which one gets moved. :)



PSP Browsing
Originally uploaded by ntt.
My birthday present was released today! My Sony PSP that is. :)
I dragged Diana along to go pick it up from the store before work... as compensation she was the first to play with it in the car on the way to work.
Once at work I charged it and upgraded the firmware... then throughout the day I had to take numerous 'mental breaks' from work. hehe
I bought Everybody's Golf and Ridge Racer. So far Everybody's Golf has been in the UMD drive almost full time! Its fun and challenging, and Diana keeps trying to steal it from me!
Thanks to all my family and friends who chipped in to get me this great gift!
(and now both Diana and I can browse the web simultaneously. hehe)


Amusing pics found on flickr

Picture is of an NSX with a P plate.

Oh the injustice!



Sitting Pretty
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Ah yes, the Buck's Party... the primitive festival in which the men of a small community band together to bring fun and amusement into the life of another man.

First, they pick a man who is soon to be married, on the assumption that he is a Most Brave and Humble man, capable of enduring anything.

Then, they take him out on the town for some drinks and hijinks. As part of this, the man must be dressed to impress.

I participated in one of these today... in honor of a man named Zan. Pictures are HERE



How To Get a Cheap TV

Originally uploaded by ntt.
Step 1: go on world trip and spend all your savings
Step 2: wait for credit card reward points
Step 3: redeem points for vouchers
Step 4: buy TV

Step 5: notice TV is $50 cheaper the next day and go back for a refund on that $50.

Step 6: enjoy widescreen TV that only cost you $60, and half a year's salary in travel expenses. *smile*


Cold & Flu

Cold & Flu
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Still stuck at home with a cold/flu. Ran out of tissues, of course, and the medicine isn't that effective.

Saw a quirky Japanese movie yesterday though. It's called "Stereo Future" and follows the romance of an aspiring actor and his girlfriend (a translator). It was entertaining enough, probably because I was sick. hehe. Its a slow movie, but a decent mix of comedy, drama and romance.

Also, I see Google Talk has been released. Looks like a viable alternative to skype, except that there's no audio chat for non-windows users. :(


New TV

New TV
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Had to come home sick from work today... I have a really bad cold and the coughing and sneezing really sucks.

I couldn't let the whole day be a waste, though, so I took all our Myer vouchers and headed to the shop! Yay!


Anyway, here's hoping I'm well enough to go to work tomorrow. I hate the sneezing and coughing. :(




I just saw a TV ad where a company offers to not just mow your lawn... they will also weed your lawn...

Nothing special... except I just had a thought: if they weed my lawn... there wouldn't be anything left to mow. :)


Well, my birthday came and went, and it was the best birthday ever. :) I am so blessed with family and friends it is amazing!



I think it is a compliment to the city of Seattle to point out that even though the state of Washington has 6 million people, it doesn't feel any more stressful or unsafe than Western Australia, with a population of 2 million.

Just wanted to point that out.

In other news, its my birthday in one hour. I'll be putting a pre-order in for a Sony PSP (can you believe they haven't come out in Australia yet?!)... as such, I've been browsing all manner of websites for game reviews and info. The wife and I decided my first game should be Everybody's Golf (aka Hot Shots Golf)... it looks like good, simple, pretty fun. I briefly considered Ridge Racer, but I decided that I won't buy a racing game until GT4 Mobile comes out. :)

Enough geek talk... its time to do the dishes.


Supercharged Porscha

Supercharged Porscha
Originally uploaded by ntt.
This was an experiment in photomanipulation. I've darkened the corners using a radial gradient, and I masked out the colors in the rest of the picture using a mix of manual drawing and a feathered selection.

Compared to the original picture, Porscha stands out much more clearly. Not entirely sure if that makes this a good picture, though.

(I only blogged cause Sam made me... but the cat is cute)

Porscha didn't come home last night. I was worried. She came home this evening though. Little bugger.



Perth skyline at Night, Kings Park
Originally uploaded by ntt.
You know, life is a wonderful thing... we go to work, come home, enjoy our routines. Even when everything is exactly the same, or even worse, we can sometimes remember just how pretty the world can be, and how blessed we are.

Oh, and tonight, completely on a whim, we went up to Kings Park at night to take pictures of the city. Pretty...


Do or do not... a contradiction?

Dog doo
Originally uploaded by ntt.
I was thinking about Star Wars today (as one often does), and I began to wonder if Yoda and Obi-Wan were contradicting each other with the following statements:

Yoda: "Do or do not, there is no try"

Obi-Wan: "Only Sith deal in absolutes"

Hmm... much to think upon, there is.


Time flies...

Originally uploaded by ntt.
Porscha doesn't fit in the sink anymore... but she's still cute!


Trooper with the Jules Destrooper

Trooper with the Jules Destrooper
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Our friend Kris sent us these biscuits from Europe. Its kinda cool that they're named after Trooper. :) And they are delicious!

Things have been settling back down after our trip and we're finally catching up with friends again. Work is good, although there's lots happening and I've been bringing my work home (mainly because the coding part is challenging and fun).

Yes, I'm a geek.

I can't believe the Sony PSP isn't out here yet! But they do look kinda cool. I wonder if I could use a mini-USB cable to connect it to my digital camera and transfer photos between the two?



Originally uploaded by ntt.
Wow, I can't believe I forgot to put pictures from Japan online!

They are now here.

Tokyo was an awesome place, and our friend Yen was brilliant at showing us around and looking after us. Good times. Good times.


SLR versus DSC-W1

Found a rare opportunity where some rich guy with an SLR had taken a picture of the same hallway in the Vatican museum as I took on our trip.

His picture was facing the other direction, and on a different day with different lighting, but you can definitely see the difference in clarity between his picture (left) and mine (right). The detail in the ceiling on the SLR picture is amazing.


Clones gone bad

Clones gone bad
Originally uploaded by ntt.
There's just something amusing and deeply satisfying about capturing such a scene like this unfolding before your eyes... who would have though the clone trooper would turn on the snow trooper? Its like a weird father/son/clone thing.

In other news, there was a bomb threat on a building near my office today. Freaky. But no bomb. For an hour or so they wouldn't let us go out to grab lunch... man, bomb threats suck.


Trooper at Chicago Apple Store

Trooper at Chicago Apple Store
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Awesome. I found a few more Trooper pics amongst the thousands of trip pictures I took. It's like hidden gold!

Well, life is returning to normal now, and have pretty much settled into work. It is reassuring but at the same time scary to be back into a routine... no more interesting adventures or pickpocketing stories for some time. I'll have to bore everyone with stories of every day life! haha!


View from Heathcoate

View from Heathcoate
Originally uploaded by ntt.
What a nice afternoon.
We went and had a picnic lunch with our friends Em & Elliot and their kids Esther and Thomas. Was a beautiful afternoon to be out.
Attached is a pic of the view from Heathcoate. Nice.


happy birthday

happy birthday
Originally uploaded by ntt.
hey brother-in-law-in-law.... happy birthday, man!




Ferrari F430
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Despite the car picture, this is actually a rant about bugs.

1) my cell phone (Motorola Razr V3) has a bug. If you add a new contact to the address book and don't type a name, then you can no longer use the address book. At all. You can't even fix or delete the entry. I had to re-sync with my laptop. I pity the average joe who wouldn't know bluetooth from bucktooth.

2) I hate badly coded static HTML websites with typos. It is 'Column' not 'Colomn' you illiterate nerds!

3) I hate rants

In other news, I've been checking out GTD (Getting Things Done). It seems pretty obvious. The real trick is to implement it consistently. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, click here.


The Best Cat Ever

Originally uploaded by ntt.
I can't explain why.
She's just the cutest and best cat.

So there. :)


Trooper's world trip

Trooper Perth
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Hi all,

You can finally see all of Trooper's pictures from around the world in his very own flickr.com phot set.

Click here to view a slideshow of his journeys


New Pictures!

Piazza del Popolo
Originally uploaded by ntt.
All the pics from our trip are now online!

Click on the pic and browse all 400 or so pics. Yay!


heading home

We're in the airport in Singapore now... only 1.5hrs before we board our plane.
Then it is just a short 6 hour flight home! How exciting.

That means that sometime in the next 36 hours I'll be uploading a stack of photos from our trip through Europe. Yay! I've gathered almost 3000 photos from 4 months away.

Can't wait to be back home.




Well, we´re in Barcelona... tomorrow we head off to Rome.
Weather has been very warm and humid. Rome looks about the same. Oh well. Poor us.

Our trip is nearly over, and we miss everyone back home. We look forward to seeing everyone and paying those bills that we haven´t paid. And checking our low bank balance. hehe

Take care and God Bless.


Leaving London

Well, we're leaving London tomorrow afternoon. We've had a great few days here, and it has been great to spend time with Diana's relatives, as well as catching up with Jamie. Has been fun.

I'll post up pics as soon as I can.

Off to Paris next!


Lightsaber spoons

Lightsaber spoons
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Finally got all the color lightsaber spoons for Tony. He's now the coolest brother on the block.

Saw the Ford GT supercar today, too. Pic is in my flickr account.

Oh, and I found out what makes my Gap jeans stain-resistant... in this article. They seem to be much more resistant just after a wash. After wearing for a few days they are just like normal jeans.


All You Can Eat Sushi

All You Can Eat Sushi
Originally uploaded by ntt.
First time I've ever seen all you can eat sushi. This plateful cost $10 USD. I think if I bought this at standard price it would be $35 or more, easily.


Originally uploaded by ntt.
Pics from Nashville!

Have a look at my flickr account to see the rest...
Click here to view all pics from June


Art Institute of Chicago
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Pictures from Chicago are up. Exciting, huh?

Have a look at my flickr account to see the rest...
Click here to view all pics from June



Originally uploaded by ntt.
Well, so I didn't have internet access in Chicago.

So here's a pic of Tony's cat while I sort through my pictures and decide what to upload. :)


Night Space Needle

Night Space Needle
Originally uploaded by ntt.
A slightly better shot than yesterday's. Less blue, but more clarity and better framed.

We had a good day today, checking out both festivals in Seattle... one in Seattle Center, and one in Pike Place Markets. Then we went to Benaroya Hall where the Memorial Gardens are. There are an awful lot of names on those war memorials. So sad. :(

One and a half days until we leave Seattle!


Space Needle
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Finally got to take some night-time pictures from the rooftop deck at our apartment building last night.
Was quite pretty.
Only a few days left before our global trek resumes!

Chicago is the next stop. We wanted to check out the commodities market like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but it is closed to the public thanks to terror concerns. Stupid terrorists.


People enjoying the sun

People enjoying the sun
Originally uploaded by ntt.
Today the Seattle Folk Life Festival was on in Seattle Center. There were thousands of people there.

We, of course, were just going to do our groceries, but got sidetracked.


let there be heat

God decided to cook us today. Seattle got up to around 88F, which is 31C!
What a surprise, and our bodies have forgotten what this kind of weather is like, so it feels like 40C.

Poor snow-trooper.


Trooper on a trip

Trooper on a trip
Originally uploaded by ntt.
We went out to Discovery Park today. Its a huge park that isn't too far away from our place (about 15 min by bus). It was very green, very pretty, and very quiet.

Also, it was a clear day and as you can see from the new pictures in my flickr banner at the top of my blog, we could see Mt Rainier and the Olympic Mountains quite clearly! Its still a bugger to take good pictures of such objects though... I had to tweak my camera settings and then post-process the pictures on my computer.

Quickly eating dinner now before heading off to church!


ballard locks

Today we went to the Ballard Locks on the way back from Diana's bible study. We got the free 1 hour tour, and it was just the two of us so we got to ask all the questions we wanted.

Its a pity the salmon aren't spawning yet. Nothing to see on the salmon ladder.

You can check out the three new pictures in the 'flickr' banner at the top of the page. If you click on them it will take you to my flickr gallery, which you can navigate through by clicking 'next' and 'previous'. It isn't quite the same as having my own photo gallery, but I've run out of iiNet hosting space. hehe



A happy family reunion today...


star wars episode iii

Let me summarize Episode 3 by giving it a 9 out of 10.

And now, let me break it down without spoiling any of it (hopefully) for those who haven't seen it:

-- Dialog --
sometimes very clever... sometimes very flat and uninspired. I feel that the dialog was closer in some ways to the original trilogy in terms of humor and melodrama.

-- Special Effects --
Very pretty. Some bits looked a bit fake... but for a film with so many special effects, it was impressive that only a few stood out.

-- Action --
Pretty good. There were some scenes that were tenser than others. There was never any doubt who would die, but it was always interesting to see how a fight would end. I don't think anybody died too easily, although I wish some of the battles were a smidge longer, just for fun.

-- Plot and Integration with Previous Films --
The plot was not overly complicated, and definitely fills in many gaps that I was aware of. There is a lot that had to be covered in this film, so it is cut very quickly, and what must be weeks pass by in moments. Even some topics that I thought would not be addressed actually were. Very nice touches to tie this movie in with the original trilogy. Characters behave believably, making the plotting of the Sith seem even more devious... some people may complain that some characters change too quickly, but as I mentioned, the movie covers a lot of ground so weeks pass by in the blink of an eye.

What more can I say about this film? Was it perfect? No. But it is the second best Star Wars film to date, behind The Empire Strikes Back. There are many cool and amusing moments that will make me want to watch the film again. And in many ways it justifies the first two films (which I'd give a 6 and 8 out of ten, respectively).

So there you go. Watch and enjoy. :)


Well, we made it back from out trip to Vancouver. We left Seattle on Tuesday at 7.45am and we returned last night at 11pm. What a trek!

I decided to upload every picture I took on the trip. There are 88 pictures or something like that. I'm going to link to the first picture and I highly recommend you click on the 'Next' links to follow our journey, reading the comments at the bottom of the pages. On a few I've made some extensive comments.

click the thumbnail to view the gallery




We went out on a boat/yacht with a really nice couple whom Diana met through the women's shelter where she is helping out.

Took some pics. They are online here: click!

The first pic is of my new bible. Its pretty. But the beauty isn't in the packaging, its in the contents. :)

Oh, here's a sampler pic:


waiting for star wars

I found a bigger Star Wars geek than I. This man has been waiting for Episode III for 139 days. At first he camped outside Cinerama, then police told him to move. So he camped outside IMax until he was told they weren't going to show Episode III until a few weeks after it opened. So now he's got permission to camp outside Cinerama again.

I wish him the best seat in the house.


episode one and a half

We watched Star Wars Episode I on DVD the other day... little Anakin does his best to hit on Padme, even though he's about half her height. Poor kid. At least he's good at racing pods and shouting 'Yippee!'. hehe

Now unlike many I don't find Jar Jar to be annoying, just a little silly. And Anakin is a little kid, so I forgive his childishness. And I'm willing to believe that Darth Maul honestly was arrogant and stupid enough to fall for Obi-Wan's trick at the end... I guess this all makes me a Star Wars apologist. I just haven't yet rationalized midichlorians.

We borrowed Episode II and were intending to watch it today. But Diana had to watch Oprah. Its all about priorities!



Went out for steak and ribs for dinner with Tyron and Curtis from Seattle International Church.
That's the most filling, meaty meal that we have had since we've been in Seattle (I think!)!

Otherwise, its been a pretty quiet day. I spent most of it finishing off the code for my latest widget, a bible verse lookup tool. Diana was out working.

And now my brain is all burnt out from programming solidly for the last two days. heh

Now excuse me while the meat-coma begins to take hold.



Diana and I headed to Bainbridge Island yesterday. Its a 37 minutes ferry ride from Seattle, and it is a very pretty place. Its sort of a suburban small town, but on an island filled with greenery and pretty trees and stuff. Very nice. And an affordable trip, too.

Today I worked on my widgets for Mac OSX. So far the bible verse widget has had over 1000 downloads, and the todo list widget has had almost 2000! Wow.

God is good.

All our best wishes to everyone back home. We love you and miss you heaps.



Excuse the poor presentation of these pics (my other program hasn't yet been upgraded to work on Mac OSX 10.4), but the pictures themselves are very pretty:

... click here to see more

We walked around Fremont and Wallingford today, stopping by GasWorks Park. It was beautiful.

But of course, the best picture is in the blog post below this. :)

things seen and slain

Today Diana and I found the infamous Fremont Troll, a giant troll sculpture under the bridge in Fremont, North of Seattle.

Needless to say, I slew the beast...


Bible Verse Widget

Those of you with Mac OSX Tiger are probably looking for more widgets for your dashboard, right?

Well, I'm working on one right now that pulls a daily bible verse from http://www.christnotes.org/
at the moment it only displays the NIV version, and doesn't display long verses... but here is what it looks like (front and back):

Let me know if you want a copy of it in it's current state. I'll post it up to the dashboard widget sites when I have added support for configurable bible translations, and when I have tested it more.