.: allrite's blog
I've decided to stop blogging here and move to a new blog allrite rites at blog.allrite.net. I'll leave the content here, there's a lot of history on this site. I've decided to go with Blogger for now because:
- I don't have to spend much time maintaining and administering the site.
- I'm familiar with it, having used Blogger to write my travel blogs allrite in asia and travelling allrite.
Hopefully moving to the new blog will mean that it is updated more often and uses more photos. See you there!
Returned from a week in Japan on Monday. You can read more about it on my travel blog. Last chance to go overseas before bub!
Finally I can reveal that we are expecting a baby! Very exciting. Life will change.
Another day at CeBIT and more sore feet. Still, it's been a lot of fun helping out at the CSIRO stand. The best thing was talking to my colleagues about the interesting research that they are doing. These are some of the nicest (and smartest) people that you could meet and it is a real privilege to support them.
CSIRO's Smart Fridge using intelligent agent energy management technology won the CeBIT Early Innovator Award and was also featured in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
Unfortunately, the good news was overshadowed by the announcement that the recent federal budget has lead to CSIRO deciding to cut 100 jobs and close some sites. One of those sites is the JM Rendel Laboratory in Rockhampton, which specialises in cattle research. Many years ago, back when I was in high school, I arranged a fun, but somewhat gruesome CSIRO Double Helix club visit to the Laboratory. We started off by taking blood from a cow. Another animal had a hole in its side so that the contents of one of its stomachs could be easily tested. A rubber plug blocked the hole. Finally we were given some organs to inspect, including the uterus of a cow complete with a fetus (the cow had died of natural causes prior to childbirth). A scientist used the uterus and the appropriate equipment to demonstrate to artificial insemination techniques.
Every year the CSIRO has a stand at CeBIT Australia. I was there to help, along with my colleagues at the CSIRO ICT Centre. This year we had some really funky technology, like the Colonoscopy Simulator. The goal of the simulator is to combine a photo-realistic visual simulation of a colon with a haptic (physical feedback) colonoscope simulator. At the moment you can thread the snake-like colonoscope through a box and watch the probe on the screen. Touch the colon wall and blood appears. The team is still working on modelling the physical properties so the haptic feedback is not realistic at this stage, but it's still exciting.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) display featured a program that allows the users to walk or drive their way around a simulation of the proposed Square Kilometre Array site in outback Western Australia. You can download this program for yourself.
.: Dog Dreams
The face of a dog haunted my thoughts today. I dreamed of him last night. It was Fluffy, a dog that once lived, almost a decade ago now, at my in-laws, a shih-tzu cross that was found wandering around their post office. They brought him home, called him Benji. To me he was Fluffy, with his thick white coat.
Fluffy was a good natured dog, but he had a couple of problems. He couldn't control his bowels when he got excited. In the car, in the bath he'd pop out some brown stuff. It stuck to his coat and we would have to cut the smelly matted hair off. He also developed a skin problem, probably an allergy to something in the yard, which lead to his skin turning red and much of his hair falling out. The vet's cortisone injections helped, but he needed better care.
One day, while B and I were away on holidays, he escaped from the yard (not for the first time) and was taken to the pound. The family decided that they couldn't look after him any longer. I hope he found a good home and someone to love him, but I fear that, with his poor condition. he may have been put to sleep. I only hope that the pound was true to it's "no killing" policy.
Last night in my dream I was playing with our dog Kita. There was a line of soft toys in the room with a dog sitting there staring at me. I looked again and it was Fluffy. As I saw him I realised that he had been there for at least three days straight and I had just ignored him, spending all my time with Kita. I hadn't fed or played with Fluffy in all that time. He didn't bark, didn't cry, just stared with at me wanting love. I felt so horribly guilty. Then the alarm woke me up. but I couldn't get his face out of my mind.