Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Tired. Old and tired
6 smartarse remarks
Got back from Fiji on Saturday afternoon. Have a big summary to type up and post, but have just been too tired since then to be bothered. Will just have to owe you this one.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
What the hell is this thing?
It turns out I have a work ethic after all.
Since I started work in earnest on Project Porkpie a couple of weeks ago, Iíve probably done more work than I did in the last few months. And I did more work in those last few months than Iíd probably done in the previous year. Itís taken a long time to find it, but it actually looks as if I have a job to do thatís well suited to my mayfly-like attention span and my innate affinity for absorbing bureaucratic processes in order to circumvent them. Project management means having a million things to do in no particular order, except inasmuch as they all needed to be done yesterday.
What surprises Ė no, astounds- me is that by and large I am very keen to do these many things, provided I can flit in, pin each individual thing down for a few minutes of my devoted attention and then happily send it on its way. This way, you see, I canít become bored by the task at hand or daunted by the enormity of the whole task. Occasionally, it will obviously be necessary to step back and look at the big picture, and I can see it being a bit of a trial to manage those days, but the transience of focus needed to keep everything ticking along is something Iím really enjoying. Whatís more, itís allowing me to be productive and feel good about it.
God help me, I actually took stuff home to read over the last couple of weekends. Iíve never done that seriously before, except when Iíve been prepping for a promotion interview. And itís necessary to point out that I didnít actually read it until about midnight on Sunday, so Iím clearly not all the way there yet. But itís a start. At least I can do this and be happy about it.
The House of Wug
Everyone in the house spent last week exhibiting various stages of cold infections, ranging from my week-long ultra-mild headache through Simonís sniffles and Jimboís puffy eyes to Fionaís full-blown respiratory tar-and-feathering. If we declined to participate in your social event or gathering, itís because we werenít really able to follow human conversation without suffering dizzy spells. (And yet, I still managed to get to work Ė since I was pretty sure I was through any possible infectious stage Ė and got a hell of a lot done. Witness my transformation! At any other time in my career, Iíd probably have taken a chance at semi-legitimate sick leave and run all the way to the video shop with it. Not so with the new motivated me! But I digress). It did kind of make for a long, tiring week though.
New floor. Hold the friction.
Friday night we got Brenda and Soozie to come over and supervise (or rather, do) the tiling in front of the fireplace. While they supervised (did) that, Fi and I finished up the painting on the various doors, architraves and bits of skirting that needed to be more purple in the dining room and kitchen. This is the final patch of preparation required before we lay the floating floor, which itself is the last thing that needs doing in those rooms. We started them Ė what, back in October? Ė so it feels sort of weird to finally be getting close to having done everything there. After that, it will be back to finish the upstairs hall Ė work on that was suspended after we moved in and needed to clear the decks for the kitchen Ė and then on downstairs and into the study. Brenda and Soozie did a great job (well, Brenda supervised, as she was still nursing the calf muscle she tore at indoor sports the previous week) and it looks, well, great. Itíll look really great when the floor around it is finished.
We were too grumpy, sick and achey Ė in a word, wug Ė to attempt to do anything constructive on Saturday morning Ė especially after we watched the instructional video on laying the floating floor which (a) had a cover that made it look like soft porn and (b) made the job look too bloody daunting for us to cope with. Instead we bludged and moaned. That made us feel a little better, but not really.
Sunday, fired up that we hadnít achieved anything yet, we corralled Jimbo and got stuck into laying the flooring. It took many hours to lay out the first third of the dining room floor, and the less said about the process, the better. We started to get better at it eventually. We also bought a new jigsaw, which has become My Personal Toy (just as Fi gets the Huge Bandsaw of Dismemberment, so I get the Cutter of Jagged ďLinesĒ.
We had some much fun on Sunday that we did another couple of hoursí on it after work yesterday, and weíre going to keep at it tonight as well. Weíre nearly up to the kitchen, where things are going to get really complicated.
6 smartarse remarks
We had new Lost and Doctor Who to sustain us when the working day was done. I love TV.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Itís about time
3 smartarse remarks
Theyíve finally settled on the Australian screening rights for the new Doctor Who series. Took them long enough. There canít have been a bidding war over it, otherwise surely the ABC would never have won. So what took them so long to negotiate the rights? Itís not as if they didnít know about the new series more than 18 months ago. Itís one of the reasons they started rescreening the entire series to date, after all (except the Dalek stories, but thatís another kettle of legal wrangles).
In what seems like a first for me, Iím the only one in my household that appears to be completely free of the cold epidemic. Simon and Fiona are both more or less incapacitated, and Jimbo is wandering about in a daze with puffy eyes and a sniffle. And here I am with nothing more than a sore throat, which is more easily explained by the vast quantities of pulverised slate I inhaled on the weekend than by an otherwise symptomless infection.
Since Iím about to come into a frantic amount of work in the lead up to my trip to Fiji the week after next, I am obviously incubating a viral episode of ebolic proportions, which will strike some time in the next couple of days, laying waste to my good health and good works.
Fortunately, I just started reading a collection of Philip K. Dick novels, so I should be fine if I have to spend a week in bed.
The back is broken
With the past weekend, I finally passed what Iíve been thinking of as a critical milestone in the house renovations Ė the removal of the last little area of slate tiles. This was, no word of a lie, a bastard of a job. We did a much larger but much more accessible area last year when we demolished the kitchen, but weíd left the flooring of the hallway between the lounge, kitchen and bathroom intact until we were ready to put down a replacement. That time has come, so through Saturday and Sunday, Jimbo and I smashed the hell out of the floor with a sodding great crowbar, prying and scraping and stabbing and breaking things from every imaginable angle.
This was hell on the wrists, the shoulders, the lungs (lots of thick, grey dust) and, say to say, the floorboards, which were frequently gouged and/or shredded by our endeavours. Nothing structural was damaged, though, and it will all be hidden by the timber laminate weíll be laying over the top of it this weekend, so it will end up having been worth the tears.
Weíll also be teaching ourselves rudimentary tiling Ė we managed to crack the old tiles in front of the fireplace, which weíd been meaning to leave intact. So they had to be ripped up too and will be replaced under the supervision of Brenda and Soozie (who renovated their own bathroom recently, and thus know grout and related whatnots).
This, dear friends, is fun.
2 smartarse remarks
Just watched the second episode, The End of the World last night. Itís fantastic Ė better than the premier episode, with a much tighter script and sense of pace. It was a little sad that they resorted to an extremely clichťd and ridiculous set-piece to create climactic tension, but on the plus side the jokes were good (the music-related jokes are just inspired and as clear an indication of whatís new about this format), the guests were fabulous, and the Doctor and Rose are rapidly making their play for the best Doctor-Companion partnership ever (the competition for which, for my money, is 4th Doc and Sarah, 2nd Doc and Jamie and 7th Doc and Ace).
Also saw episode 19 of Lost over the weekend. Without being spoilery, I love a TV show that has the self-confidence to spend 42 minutes on trite and obvious plot developments just so that when they sling in The Huge Freaking Surprise in literally the last two seconds, it really hits like a bomb. Nice finish to an otherwise mildly disappointing Locke episode.
Oh, and I forgot that we also watched the end of season 1 of Battlestar Galactica. Breathtaking. See this show. It gives and it gives and it deserves your love.