today was

Today was a sad day for much of the world with the passing of MJ, The King of Pop, at the age of 50 of a heart attack. Also passing away, but with much less fanfare due to Michael’s passing, was Farrah Fawcett of Charlie’s Angels (the original good one) fame. She too was an icon of the entertainment industry, and will be missed.

Meanwhile, I had another exam, which was notable for it’s content as always. The first question being worth 53 of the 120 marks was awesome in so many ways!! Anyway, it’s done now, and on to the next one. Having said that, this paper has been great because it pushed me into different ways of doing my database set up etc, which has been great as I write the sites. It also made me get in-depth on my xml and styling of xml, so all-in-all not a bad thing.

I have one more exam to go, on Monday afternoon, then it’s off for a week of relaxation and no real scripting or coding. Dependent upon internet access I’ll be blogging still with photos, so I should get back into at least daily updates. Check my twitter though, because I’ll be updating that more regularly from my phone and so on. On that note, please come follow me on my twitter so I can feel the love. I broke 30 followers the other day!!! So I’m not in Ashton’s league yet. Packing for the Brisbane trip will be Monday evening and through the night, before leaving the house at 3 or 4 in the morning.

I’ve planned my flight already, as I am intending to have backed up all my data before flight so I can wipe my laptop and do a whole new clean start. I’ve got my Windows 7 ready (or maybe an XP Pro install), as well as all my Office Pro and other software ready. I have to still use MS Windows because ONE of my papers requires assignment submissions in MS Project. No Ubuntu for me then, except the rebuild of the server box once I get back from Aussie. I’m also hoping to get a bit of work done on my tutorial type pages, so I can add them to here once I get back from Aussie. All these promises I keep making, but it is true: the next few weeks will have the site launch (hopefully the 2nd not too far after) and also have the tutorials hit the web too.

I’m also gonna be having an interesting conversation with the IRD tomorrow, as they just declined my claim for donation rebates as

[t]ax credits can only be allowed for amounts paid or donated that are equal to or less than your total income. [Their] records show that [my] income from salary/wages or benefits for the year was $0.00.

That’s cool, and I’m not going to dispute that, as it is the most recent communication from them and so the most up to date. The interesting part will come when I ask them (on the basis of a letter received two weeks earlier) to refund me the money they acknowledge I paid as PAYE (Pay As You Earn income tax) as since I earned nothing (according to them), I really should have no tax to pay. I’m sure they will kick up a stink at me, and find new records; but all I can do is look at the veracity of what they officially document to me, and as they have officially told me – I earned nothing.

I’ll keep you updated on this, because I can see it turning into a bit of jargoned legalese rubbish where they find a way to say I earned nothing but owe them thousands in taxes….

Update: 27.06.09 – I did call them today. The result being that they decided that they had made an error in their most recent letter, and they now acepted that I had earnt money last year. Funny that, I told them I was happy to accept their most recent decision, however they preferred to refund me a couple of hundred dollars, rather than a few thousand dollars. Apparently it will now take at least 6 weeks to process?? Hmmm, I said, you’ve just done the whole process on the phone for me right now; what more is there to do except start the direct credit to my account? Ah, well, that’s the government for you; always taking extra long to give you money back without interest, but penalising you immediately if they think you might owe them money.

Here’s a classic bit of internet lol’age, the baby panda video. You’ve either seen it ages ago (so you need to see it again) or you haven’t seen it before (so you really do need to see it), so here it is:

That’s it for tonight, and I’ll be back with more tomorrow.

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Michael Jackson dies at 50

Wow! I first started hearing the reports about 40 minutes ago, and instinctively thought scam. But, then I started searching and the story came out:

At 12.26pm Thursday June 25th, 2009, LA paramedics were called to Michael’s home. When they arrived, they found him not breathing. CPR was performed at the house and on the way to UCLA Medical Centre. Latoya was seen rushing in shortly after.

Official confirmation is just starting to filter through, however his death is being confirmed by TIME online, BBC online, the NY Times, the LA Times, and many other news networks. Twitter is virtually shut down with all the traffic at present, and the tributes are only just beginning to flow for this icon of music, popular culture, and the eighties.
Michael has seen some troubled times in the last few years, however he was always an amazing artist and performer, it’s impossible not to reflect on the eternal and profound mark Michael Jackson left on music and pop culture at large.

I’m going to try to post a YouTube video of him here, but it may fail due to the internet being hammered right now. [Update – most videos are not allowing embedding] This is one of his iconic performances:
Billie Jean @ Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.

It brought tears to my eyes even listening to it again now.
RIP Michael, we will always remember and love you.