Sunday, January 15, 2012

getting more out of my NAS

funnily enough, not long after my last post on using a NAS for download automation and thinking it would just be interesting knowledge without a paid usenet account, i came across a free usenet service! so, with a bit of fiddling around, i installed sabnzbd+ and sick beard, and started using this to keep up with a few tv shows out of the states.

it was working pretty well, except for the post processing part which never worked. essentially this meant that the downloaded files remained in the sabnzbd area rather than getting moved (and renamed) to more organised folders under sick beard. it wasn't a major issue, since i could just look in the former location instead of the latter.

however, today i somewhat chanced upon the cause of the post processing problems and got it working - it was pretty simple: a config file needed to be updated with the actual login details for the NAS. i also recently enabled the twonky media server on the NAS, and installed BubbleUPnP on my phone to access the files using UPnP, which i'm told should be a better/more stable solution than the SMB mounts i was previously using for this purpose.

good times. except that the usenet service seems to have gone down about the same time i was getting all these wins with improving my home network setup! oh well... maybe i'll just have to wait for homeland to play out on australian tv, as i'm presently missing more than half the season!

joining the SES

about a year ago some major flooding hit my home city. there had been flooding to other parts of queensland prior to brisbane being affected, including some pretty serious flash flooding in toowoomba just a few hours drive away. whilst i personally did not see any damage to my property or livelihood, i had friends whose homes were flooded, and got to see first hand some of the devastation when i helped with some of the cleanup.

(it wasn't a day for photography, but i did take a few on my phone, including this "favourite", if such a term can be appropriate. pictured is a friend whose home had water about a foot past the second storey floor.)

probably like many others in the community who responded with aid in the days and weeks following the flood, i was left feeling mostly helpless - wanting to do something, but not really knowing where to start, what to do, or how to best give of my time and energy and convert the willingness into something worthwhile. this is part of the reason i decided to sign up as a volunteer with the SES (state emergency service).

that was in mid january last year, and probably the worst time to join. it wasn't until september that i eventually got into a recruit intake group and began my induction. some three months later, i'm about to finish my probation period and become a community member, which means i can officially take part in activations and call outs. it hasn't all been quite what i expected so far, but i plan on sticking with it for the time being and continue getting trained and better prepared to be able to help and respond to times of emergency. it's also a good opportunity for me to work at forming friendships (maybe) with people outside of my normal circles. and one day, i hope to turn out in my orange uniform and be a part of a well coordinated effort to help someone in need.

Monday, January 09, 2012

first wedding for the year

i have a few weddings to attend over the next few months, but another one came up last weekend on fairly short notice. i didn't even know this person was getting married, but since they took the trouble of inviting me and i wasn't already busy, i went along to the ceremony.

she's a friend of a friend from my uni days, so at best an acquaintance with whom i've had minimal contact over the years. having said that, we have had some deep-ish facebook/email conversations about church/faith related topics, and wifey and i had her over for dinner once.

anyways, i went along expecting to only really know the bride, however found that i knew/recognised a fair few other people:

  • the celebrant (not that i really know him, and not that it's a total surprise given he's a pastor of the church where the ceremony was held)
  • my elder sister's high school classmate/s
  • my younger sister's uni coursemate and husband
  • people from CCCB Coopers Plains
  • people from a previous church i attended
  • someone i know from my YF days
  • someone i know from my uni course
  • the photographer (a mutual friend who covered our wedding some 4 years ago)
i even found the groom familiar, though i have no idea where i might have seen him before.