Monday 8:44am Australian Eastern Summer Time

Summer is still here, but autumn winds are starting to blow in. I love this time of year. The worst of the heat is now behind us, and a walk in the morning means sunshine, blue sky, high cloud, and a fresh breeze. Just fantastic. The birds love this time of year too -- we have many native and introduced species around our place, and they all seem to be busy, doing goodness-knows-what. Preparations for the autumn, I suppose.

Gemma made her way back from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras late last night -- she had a blast. She was stuck in traffic for over three hours getting from Darlinghurst to Bondi in the early afternoon, and called me from her car. She was enjoying a Stella Artois and said it was the happiest traffic jam she'd ever been in... Unfortunately she's been bit by some kind of insect (we think) and she has a painfully swolen thumb. I've booked her into my doctor at midday.

I see a /msg on my screen from Kalon, bugging me for info on The Great Sydney Fraptabulous Everythingian Get Together. Good for him -- I started to thump the tub amongst our local nodist population a month ago and haven't done much since then. So I appreciate the prod, and promise to get on it to set a date that works for all of us.

Work today will be more cleaning up and documenting, as I'm unlikely to be there much longer than six more weeks I think. In Australia, it's customary to give four weeks notice, and since it's crititcally important to me that I leave on good terms, I'll do that. I've a meeting with the headhunter again on Thursday. It feels really good having someone work for my future. Kind of like having a butler, or something (yeah, weird thought I know, but it's a weird feeling). Have to go to Sydney tomorrow morning for a couple of days.

Well, I got my two new 80Gb drives into our home server on Saturday, and sussed out grip, a cool Linux front-end to your choice of ripper and encoder. The only remaining problem was how to encode the CDs at high-enough quality so they can be disposed of. I know next to nothing about audio encoding, you see. So I started my search on Everything2, of course. I read twenty or so really good writeups around ripping, encoding, encoders, bit-rates, etc etc. Better informed but still undecided, I hit Slashdot and searched there. I found plenty of info but the difference in tone between E2 (measured, smart, accomodating of differing opinions) and Slashdot (flame, counter-flame, Macs suck, Windows sucks, you suck, etc) bears noding. Whine as we might, E2 is actually pretty special. Anyways, I've decided not to junk the CDs yet, 'cause it seems that Ogg Vorbis will be the way to go, although I'm not confident that the technology is mature enough to commit to yet. So in the interim, I'm filling up those drives with MP3s ripped by cdparanoia and encoded by LAME at 192 bits.