Monday, October 31, 2005
What's next? I plan to fix the BU enrolment form so it can actually send, maybe get some stats more recent than 2004, link the photos page to my Flickr account so I can include larger versions of the pictures and add in Road Trip reports from days gone by (and maybe a preview of the one currently being written). If you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see, just let me know.
Last weekend I went for a walk, finally organised enough to bring my camera with me to take shots of the scenery along my usual path. So, 10 minutes in, I took this photo. As I went for photo number 2, my camera gave me a friendly "Change batteries now" message and powered off.
As I'd prepared for my walk, the following checklist ran through my head: pants? check. keys? check. walkman? check. mobile phone? check. camera? check. Not once did I think a couple of AAs would come in handy. Lucky my one photo turned out well, and if it stops raining for more than 5 minutes at a time this week I might get to add to my collection of original digital art during my next traipse through the back of suburbia.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Yeah, the quality thing's important, and I will certainly still largely buy CDs. There's not much point owning expensive, big speakers and then listening to compressed music when I'm at home. Even my very untrained ear can hear the difference. But for those artists I only want a single from, iTunes is convenient (and close to instant). It avoids the only thing I hate about on-line shopping: delayed gratification.
"What's that, you've taken my money but I have to wait 3-30 days to watch my new DVD?"
MUST... BE... MORE... PATIENT...!
On a positive note, several of those slow-arriving DVDs have made their appearance at my door in the past 3 days: Veronica Mars, The Pretender Season 2, Arrested Development Season 2 and The Daily Show: Indecision 2004 all helping fill up the diminishing space on my shelves. I just broke the 500 mark!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I had suspected that would be a problem, so only purchased a single track (for $1.69, which is less than my $2 per track limit) - Dear God by XTC - to test it out.
So if I want to walk and listen to my legally purchased music at the same time, I'll have to buy an iPod. As much as I'd like to say I won't, on principle alone, I actually had planned to get a new player soon-ish, and I do love the convenience of purchasing music while sitting. So Apple may win on this one ... or I may just keep buying second-hand CDs and ripping away... or I'll just wait till the conversion software available to take DRMed music to plain old MP3s catches up to iTunes 6... Yeah, I like that last one. All the convenience of on-line shopping plus being able to listen to music I buy.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
The beauty of TV ads for this dictatorship is there's no expectation that issues will be covered in depth, and they can play on the subconscious of the already largely ignorant electorate. Promising protection of our rights while actually weakening them is easy when it's made to sound like we're being given extra things (who doesn't like presents?). Unfortunately, we already have all the protections being offered, and far more, guaranteed to us by existing laws.
It's reassuring to know that if my boss takes a dislike to me for any reason, as long as it's not demonstrably based on sex, race or religion, he/she can simply dismiss me, say it's because my position is no longer needed, and I have no recourse. To quote from the detail, spoken by the Government itself, on how employers can happily screw their employees:
"claims cannot be brought where employment has been terminated because the employer no longer requires the job to be done (i.e. operational requirements)"It's another nice feature that the decision on whether assistance is provided for a claim of unfair dismissal is made by a Government department (DEWR) who, I'm sure, will help you out if it's them (or another department) who've sacked you.
Most conditions taken for granted (especially in the Public Service) will now be up for grabs in any agreement, and can be entirely removed. Which is nice for someone who'd like to be employed by DEWR, or other organisations, who are already making it mandatory for new starters to sign an individual agreement. Choosing between an AWA (which for all I would have known as a new starter was a perfectly fair contract) and having a job offer taken away from me is a pretty obvious choice. Who is that "choice" fairer for, though? Hmmm, that's a tough one...
Here's what Kim Beazley had to say on October 14, the summary being:
"What is being mounted here--and it was not foreshadowed during the last election campaign--is the most massive attack ever on the Australian way of life by an Australian government. It will mean the destruction of the lives of ordinary Australians, about which the incredibly wealthy people on the Liberal-National front bench chortle and cheer in question time after question time. They will haunt the houses of average Australians with the propositions they are going to put through: no umpire, no protection, no underpinning, no-disadvantage test--nothing. There will be absolutely nothing but a master-servant relationship in which the power persists with the person who owns the business."
Friday, October 14, 2005
Making it easier to forget was the amazing dinner I just ate: bolognaise and pasta! It was chicken mince (since beef is still off the menu) and gluten-free penne pasta (which tasted exactly like the real thing) but, for someone who lived on pasta for my first 5 years out of home, this was as close to culinary heaven as I'm getting any time soon. Sadly the store was out of the gluten-free spaghetti I sampled at my family's place last week, but as soon as that's back in stock I will at last, after 2 years without it, enjoy the glorious taste of my favourite all time food. Is anyone else hungry right now? I just ate and I think I need a snack...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Mostly it talked about searching for some kind of purpose for my life, and how my work doesn't seem to fit with what I want to be doing, which is building a strong team, seeing my team grow in skill and confidence thanks to my leadership. Once I'd gotten rid of 2 pages of whining, I decided to take one more try at converting my current role into what I want it to be, before I finally admit I'm due for some radical change in how I make my living, something which I can be passionate about, the way I used to be when I started at the ABS. So how did that plan work out today? Not too bad.
I kick started one of my projects, getting the only person who's free to do work with me involved and moving forward. Tomorrow I'll be meeting with another of my "virtual team" and that will also make me feel a little more relevant. Still nothing looking like keeping me busy, though, and I left after only 6 hours of work today because there's simply not enough to do. In the past I've run a team of 7, with 16 different projects on the go, and still had time to do some programming work. Right now, I have 2 projects (one of them very small) and only 1 staff member (who doesn't even directly report to me). Fairly obvious why I feel underutilised... because I am.
At least I made use of my extra time at home. Instead of sitting frustrated at work I got to do some weights (5th times in the past 16 days, which I'm pretty happy with), and watch WarGames, with Matthew Broderick (pre-Ferris) and Ally Sheedy (pre-Breakfast Club). It actually holds up OK, considering it's 22 years old and about computers. OK, we don't use 8" floppy disks much any more, or rotary dial phones, but I was won over by Ferris (I mean Matthew) changing his grades using a computer. Wait, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is just a huge rip-off of "WarGames"!!! I can't believe I never saw it before...
Sunday, October 09, 2005
While I'm hawking John Cusack's work, you should definitely catch "Grosse Point Blank" as well. I re-watched it during the week and it was even better than I remembered. Excellent supporting characters and a fantastic performance from JC make this conflicted and yet hilariously funny. Any movie which makes me laugh out loud consistently is a success in my book.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Since none of that was amusing, here's an update on those shoes, as they look for somewhere to live.
Is this our home?
[Hint: The answer to the shoes' question is NOOOO!!!! That's not your damn home!!!]
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
And since I know everyone is crying out for more of my friend's surprises, here's something I discovered last week, at 6.40am when I got up to get ready for work...
Monday, October 03, 2005
In the words of a couple of "Batman Begins" pushers: "Go see it! See it! See it! ... See it!!!"
In the meantime, is anyone hungry? A friend of mine is willing to share his left-overs...