Wednesday, June 29, 2005
It’s my birthday, and I can go to work if I want to!
The weird part – the really, really weird part – is that I actually wanted to go to work today. I still can’t really get my head around this ‘enjoying my job’ thing.
Anyway, here I am at work and some of the gloss has come off that notion, but I did get in late after having a very lovely breakfast with my exceedingly wonderful wife, and I can’t help but notice that my co-workers have brought a cake for afternoon tea!
In other birthday lewt news, Chris and Emma gave me a game with pirates! Woah! And Ev called to say hi and we chatted, and Meagan’s making her yumboriffical kofta meatballs for dinner. Life is good.
I have been slightly miffed over the past few days because I have lost my set of keys and I don’t know where they are. Take that how you will.
Short movie reviews
6 smartarse remarks
We saw Batman Begins last week, and though we were able to find a few gaping flaws in the plot, they had surprisingly little impact on my enjoyment of the film. It’s good! I think I’m surprised by that mostly because so much of what I’ve been looking forward to seeing in the past year or so has been disappointing (except Sin City, which starts real soon and is real good and you should real see it…er…).
Also, I want to look forward to War of the Worlds, which starts on my birthday (just another reminder – that’s today!) but I don’t know if I can trust Spielberg to make a Saving Private Ryan rather than an A.I.…
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Contact! We have radar activity.
There's no special reason why I haven't bothered to update lately, just a sort of general malaise and sense that I should be doing other stuff at work. A particularly acute sense of that, actually. It's getting busier, and with it I am getting closer to the sort of work that I am very new to and not yet comfortable with, which includes the exercise of decisions regarding the direction of Project Porkpie. Why is it that when they were telling me I was going to be a project manager, nobody mentioned that I might have to appear decisive and in control? I feel I could have steered them a little clear...
And the else?
Since so very much time has passed since the last Lexifab entry, I'll just itemise everything that's been going on rather than attempt to provide details. This is the sort of skill I need to practise for my job. I will also work backwards to give my morning brain time to remember some of the less recent stuff
0 smartarse remarks
- Today - It's Eurovision 2005! Our Eurovision SongContest party is on this afternoon and already the house is starting to fill up. Meagan's ex-Hobart friends Chris and Robert arrived last night, and sometime during the morning we expect something like a dozen other people to rock up. The house will be bursting at the seams with sequins, fake fur and various other crimes against fashion.There will heckling and “mock” karaoke. There will be exotic booze and rich foods. Every year, we dress up and watch the ESC, laugh along with Terry Wogan's increasingly scathing commentary and reel with horror at the sheer awfulness of Europe's finest vocal talents. This will be a day to remember, yes.
- Also today - My cousin Becca and her boyfriend Joel are tying the knot today. There will be a wedding of some desciption, though I don't really have any details since I only heard about it a week ago. Still, good on 'em. With their second bub now officially on the way, it'll make our Nan happy (I half suspect that that's actually their main motivation for going through with it, but that's just a guess).
- Yesterday - Spent the day in bed (and, all right, on the computer) with what seemed to have been a touch of the flu – headache, aching joints etc. Apart from a sore neck, it seems to have vanished now, so I either beat it or imagined it and either way nothing shall now stop me from glamming up for this afternoon's festivities. Yesterday's important achievement's included finally getting around to watching The Second Coming (a TV movie starring new Doctor Who Christopher Ecclestone as the Son of God. No, really). It's pretty damn good. And I found got together enough cash in World of Warcraft to afford a riding kodo (kind of a rhino-looking thing) for Vasharda to ride around on. If I posted pictures on here, I'd post a picture of that. Oh, and the giant dinosaur that ate me while I was standing back admiring my new riding beast and trying to set up a photo...
- Houseful of family - My cousins Jenny and Elizabeth moved to Canberra some months ago, and we finally managed to actually get them over for dinner on Wednesday night, along with both sets of parents. I haven't seen Rob and Jocelyn (Jen's parents) or Hilary and Alan (Liz's) for years, and in fact Joce hadn't even met Fiona yet. Meags made a very yummy stew and we had a lovely evening. Apart from the very pleasant company, the most remarkable thing was discovering our dining room has the capacity to comfortably seat 14. Now all we need is a table (or tables) large and cool enough to do the space justice, and our dinner parties will be the greatest triumphs known to man. Or something.
- Birthdays, celebrated and actual - Tiffany hit 35 on Wednesday. I would declare her officially old, but Fiona and I are making the same milestone next week, so bugger that. Ted and Sumie welcomed Hana Renee into the world a couple of weeks ago, but we heard about it this week.
- No more Defender of the Universe - Chris' cat Emily passed away on the weekend. She was an odd cat, given to unprovoked startlement and twitchiness. For this and many other unusual and not always endearing qualities, it had long been assumed that she was uniquely able to perceive threats to the existence of the universe completely invisible to the rest of us, and was charged by some higher force with seeing them off with a hiss or a long blank stare. Fortunately for us all, she discharged this duty with great fervour throughout her time in this world. Presumably the mantle has now been passed to some new Chosen One, perhaps in Hong Kong or New York City.
- Other stuff - There's probably been other stuff going on, but as yet the brain has not recalled it, so let's leave it there. Too bad that this afternoon's celebrations will probably scourge any vestiges of my short- and medium-term memory, so whatever it was I can't quite recall right now will be gone forever. That's my guess anyway.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
My disappearance off the blogging radar for the past week or so is entirely attributable to the truly ridiculous amount of work I’m not quite getting through. Most of this hectic schedule is, worse still, largely or entirely unrelated to Project Porkpie, for which I am nominally being paid to manage. In fact, most of it concerns the recruitment of more and more IT personnel, which thanks to government guidelines is a laborious and painful exercise, repeated seemingly endlessly of late.
I have taken the drastic step of announcing that I intend to move desks and join my Porkpie cohorts in the unsecured area of the building, well away from my current team. This area is colloquially known as Siberia, both for its isolation from everyone else in IT and indeed the entire Agency, and for its incredibly vigorous air conditioning. It’s freezing down there, but such are the sacrifices I am willing to make to be with my fellow Porkpiers.
Also, it means I won’t be the first person in line of sight whenever IT needs to recruit another bloody business analyst.
Nerdy as hell, but with fresh air and exercise
Check out this version of 80’s arcade supergame Pac-man played with virtual reality technology superimposing the game features over real world objects! The idea is that as players move about, a variety of related technologies (global positioning, graphic display, wireless internet etc) provide the helmeted player with a view of the game elements (energy dots, fruit popups etc) as though they are real world objects, so that they can see the game artefacts and the real world in the same view. Players can be Pac-man – gobbling up dots and avoiding the Ghosts – or Ghosts, trying to catch themselves little ol’ Pac-man. And it’s played by literally running around a ‘maze’ (in this case, it appears to be the campus of a Singapore university) which has been fully mapped and modelled as game information.
Not to be outdone, an Adelaide university team is creating a similar ‘augmented reality’ game, but using gameplay modelled on the much less violence-free Quake. Because shooting slavering demonic horrors is inherently more scientifically credible than eating glowing yellow energy balls, you understand.
I was particularly interested in the theoretical ability to lay different visual schemes over existing world objects, so that instead of, for example, a grey, maudlin Canberra office block, one instead could see a Edo-period Japanese castle or, you know, Moon Unit Alpha or something. The ability to actively filter out the less savoury visual elements of one’s surroundings is not without appeal…
Of course this is all years away from being commercially viable, but I can suddenly foresee a glowing and wonderful future where sleek, athletic nerds emerge from their hermit-like desk-based existence and become the new sports heroes of the 21st century, where children breathlessly discuss Career Frag Counts and argue earnestly on the Quality of l33tness. Or not.
On the other hand, consensually-induced hallucinatory environments sounds like a pandemic of schizophrenia just waiting to happen. I guess we’ll see. I can’t wait.
The Educated Walk to Work
6 smartarse remarks
Since I managed to break the gear lever of the bike - and being too lazy to organise its repair – I have been walking to and from work the past couple of weeks. When I walk, I read – sometimes a novel, but lately property investment magazines and project management texts.
To answer the inevitable questions - No, I don’t get run over or walk into things or collide with joggers. No, I don’t step in puddles or patches of dog shit. No, I don’t fall over (which puts it at least one safety ranking above motorcycling).
On top of getting the necessary minimum of leg exercise necessary for September’s ski trip to not be utter agony, I also find that my reading comprehension is better. I suspect it’s partly to do with the intermittent necessity to look up and make sure there are no bikes, dogs or SUV’s bearing down on me. When, satisfied as to my preservation for the next few seconds, my eyes return to the page, it takes a second or two to find my place again. I’ve noticed that if I keep thinking about the last point I read before I look away, I can not only return to the correct spot more easily, but I also soak the meaning in more readily.
I just wondered – does anyone else think this is weird?