Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

June 29, 2007

Birthday

Filed under: fitter/happier,geekery,workin for the man — lexifab @ 9:15 am

Today it’s my birthday and to celebrate getting older I am staying at home, drinking coffee and watching a couple of episodes of The Wire. I had hoped to get some gaming in, but it looks like it is not to be this evening. Instead I will commiserate myself later by going and watching big, dumb, brain action movies with giant robots.

Also celebration-worthy is the observation that yesterday was my last day in IT administration (at least for the foreseeable  future). On Monday I start a new job reforming corporates (or something), a career path I suspect I will come to refer to as Mission Impossible, or perhaps something better.

It will be nice to have a change, and that’s certainly what this is going to be. After meeting with my new supervisor yesterday, I get the impression that my role will be to wield a whip hand to keep a particular three year reform project to schedule, by politely annoying people and reminding they said they would do things, and then snitching on them when they don’t. Well, there’s probably more to it than that, but that’s the basic gist. What seems to be worrying is how many people keep telling me that it will be “good for my career prospects” and “a real feather in my cap” and that these things will look good on my CV.

Little do they understand how very slightly I care about such things. Still, it was rather flattering yesterday to be asked, just before I left, if I would like a temporary promotion for the job I haven’t started yet…

June 28, 2007

Long day

Filed under: fitter/happier — lexifab @ 11:16 am

Yesterday was a long one. After a night during which I inexplicably woke up about a dozen times, we got up before dawn to drop Mum off at the airport. She’s back in Townsville now, girding herself for the long haul on Dad’s treatments (and the thankless task of keeping him from working too hard when he should be convalescing).

Then it was an extra-long day of trying to tidy work up before I change sections on Monday (at long last), interrupted by lunch with Nathanael Small, who’s back in town this week on another work jaunt (before shooting off next month to Boston, the bastard).

Didn’t really get to spend all that much time with m’darlin love on her birthday, though we did at least share a ginormous couch in front of the news. That’s okay though, because we also got a whole big bunch of ridiculously lovely furniture, so deep in our materialistic hearts we both ended up having a happy day.

Isn’t that nice?

Great big f*** off couches…

Filed under: news of the day,the renovated life — lexifab @ 11:02 am

…as our mate Bren would describe them.

Our three vast three-seater lounges were delivered yesterday, just in time to act as surrogate birthday presents for Fi. They are large, two shades of purple, and supremely comfortable, and have completely transformed the living room from the great expanse of open space of last week to a cosy-but-spacious circle of comfort and colour. Beautiful. The other new arrival (same shipment) was the entertainment unit, a low wide stand made of marri wood. The wood is a rich honey colour streaked through with a dark chocolate resin – gorgeous! So good that, as well as getting the shop display entertainment unit, we also ordered three tables as well (coffee, lamp and huge dining). We don’t expect any of those to arrive for a while, as we’ve given specific instructions to the carpenters to wait until they get a delivery of wood with a decent amount of resin streakage. We want our ridiculously expensive designer woodwork to have character!

Truth to tell, we’ve been fantasising about getting furniture made out of this stuff for years, so it was very exciting to finally decide that we really could afford to take the plunge and invest in what we’ve planned as family heirloom-quality furnishings. (We expect the kids to be squabbling over this stuff in 80 years or so).

June 26, 2007

Checkups okay

Filed under: joey — lexifab @ 11:15 am

Fi went for her first checkup with the obstetrician yesterday. All appears fine.

He did mention an old wives’ tale that, if the baby’s heartbeat is above a certain number of beats per minute, it’s a boy, and below another threshhold, it’s a girl. While he was taking the vitals during the checkup, this particular heartbeat changed from above the former threshhold to below the latter, apparently indicating that the baby changed gender during the examination! We had planned on not asking the baby’s gender before the birth so it would be a surprise – but some surprises would, I suppose, be more surprising than others.

Visuals restored

Filed under: administraviata — lexifab @ 11:08 am

Huh. Turns out it took exactly one mouse click to restore the old visual theme.

June 25, 2007

Mum’s in town, Dad’s in Townsville

Filed under: news of the day,the renovated life — lexifab @ 10:27 am

Bit of an exhausting weekend. Saturday was given over to cleaning the house and cooking a roast for a late family lunch with Mum. She’s staging a fleeting visit on her way back from a  conference in Melbourne, and staying with Ian and Son so she and baby Oskie can become acquainted, which unfortunately means we won’t get to see too much of her this trip – but at least we can take her out for a belated Mother’s Day dinner tomorrow night before bundling her onto the plane first thing Wednesday morning. Not as much time as we’d like to spend with her, but we’ll take it happily. I suspect she’d be better off just curling up in bed with a book, mind you – she picked up a  terrible cold in Melbourne and sounds just awful. She could obviously do with a bit of a break.

Dad’s now down in Townsville to start his chemo treatments. They’ll be harvesting stem cells this week, after which he starts his intensive course of chemotherapy, after which the stem cells are replaced and he goes into isolation for several weeks to avoid infections while he has no immune system to speak of. It’s a pretty scary prospect, but he’s been through it before and knows what to expect this time. The only real concern for the rest of us is the fact that he has to essentially sit still for three or four months after the treatment, in order to recover, and anyone who knows Dad knows that that will be very hard on him.

By the time everyone left on Saturday afternoon I was practically asleep on my feet, but for some reason I still stayed up until after midnight, so Sunday was a bit exhausting as well. Fi and I put up most of the rest of the curtains in the dining room – one to go, which shouldn’t take long – so the renovations of the main internal living areas is practically finished! The study (aka Nerdfarm) is another story. It will be a huge job, especially if we have to shift all of the constantly-on computers and masses of DVDs out of there while we rip the place apart. We’re planning to install a storage unit where the shelves are (so that we can hide away as much of the clutter as possible) but we’ve never really build a cupboard before, so the logistics are a bit daunting at this stage. I’m not sure when it’s going to happen, either – Fi’s pregnancy rather limits the amount of heavy demolition and woodworking she can or should be doing, so it’s the current question as to whether I take it on solo before the baby arrives, or it gets left for a couple of years…

June 21, 2007

Headaches

Filed under: fitter/happier,workin for the man — lexifab @ 3:57 pm

I’ve had a headache all week. Work is not helping. Neither is the west-facing orientation of the window in front of me which is, upon this winter solstice day, stabbing incandescent daggers straight through the unadjustables blinds and burning out the back of my retinas.

June 19, 2007

That’s a lot of weather to be under

Filed under: fitter/happier,geekery,workin for the man — lexifab @ 12:50 pm

Canberra’s not getting the exciting semi-cyclonic winter storms that have been bashing the coast over the past week and have apparently returned in full force today, but it’s cold and wet and windy and kind of miserable and I seem to have come along for the ride. I’d been a bit off all weekend, and yesterday had the full-blown headache and muscle cramps and is-this-a-flu? feeling.

Today started better but now the headache’s back and it’s all going south pretty fast. Doesn’t help that all the last-minute-deadline excitement and energy of last week is now replaced by the need to fix up all the messes of expedience we made last week. But through a now-vicious headache I’m not sure how committed I am to the cause.

Some additional thoughts: Clam is right that the Foundation books get less interesting as they go on. I have read Foundation and Empire and started Second Foundation last night, but I think I will leave it there. Fi’s got copies of the two further sequels from the 80’s, the names of which have yet to penetrate my brain, but I’m not sure I will bother with them. It’s rather mean to say so, probably, but apart from the concept of psycho-history, Asimov’s big ideas in this series just don’t seem that big, and most of the characters are plot devices with different names (and occasionally quirkily different speech patterns). Roll on Dune, methinks.

Spoiler-free comment on Season 3 of Doctor Who: it’s great overall, but the second half of the season is incredibly strong. I mean, it’s terribly, terribly good. It starts on the ABC sometime in the next few weeks. Watch it (and do have some patience with the middle of the season, which not, admittedly, all that remarkable) and stay watching for the final six episodes. Great stories, great direction, great guest stars. Just cracking telly, so it is.

June 14, 2007

Return of the old look

Filed under: administraviata — lexifab @ 4:13 pm

Apparently Lexifab became the unwitting distributor of a Wall of Spam sometime in the past few days (if someone at otherleg dot com sent you mystifying emails in the last week or so, we’re very sorry). Andrew’s taken the old version out behind the chemical sheds and shot it, hence the old site design is back for the moment. Hopefully temporarily, if he can restore it easily, or it may take longer if I have to sit down and painstakingly restore it.

June 13, 2007

Once again, speaking in dot points

Filed under: fitter/happier,friends,now playing: anything — lexifab @ 5:03 pm
  • Long weekend was very relaxing. Like last year’s Queen’s birthday weekend, I didn’t go to the local gaming convention, Phenomenon, which is extra-slack since it was held within walking distance of the house, but on the plus side I did get enough sleep.
  • Cousin Cameron blew into town for a few hours on Saturday, on his way to Melbourne for a couple of days (it seems excessively eccentric to make a short layover in Canberra, but Cam rather cultivates his eccentricity, so perhaps not that unexpected). He’s apparently off to Germany for somewhere between six months and a couple of years, so I guess we’ll have to rely on virtual brushes with his unique vision of reality for a while. Pity.
  • Played some PrimeTime Adventures on Sunday afternoon, playing out a show about travellers taking the Union Pacific west to California. The world is building slowly – there are card sharps, a psychopathic murderer, several inscrutable Chinese and frequent acts of violence against Chris’ native American conductor. The game itself isn’t real smooth yet, but session 2 was an improvement on session 1, and I feel like we’re getting closer to finding some synchronicity. Next session is Friday, after which I may actually do a slightly more detailed actual play report.
  • I am rereading Asimov’s Foundation series (after failing to locate my copy of Dune, which was what I originally wanted to read) for the first time since I was 15, probably. It’s interesting. I’d forgotten almost everything about the series except for Hari Seldon, the concept of psychohistory and the fearsome-for-some-reason-I-can’t-recall mutant known as the Mule (I’ve just started Foundation and Empire and he hasn’t shown up yet). What I’ve found interesting on this read-through is the structure – it’s basically six sequential short stories touching on key historical events over a couple of hundred years. What I find a bit perplexing is that the protagonist at each stage is essentially the same character, writ across the multiple separate stories – a smug, confident pragmatist who runs rings around the ethereal eggheads, mystic dupes and militaristic barbarians responsible for precipitating the current crisis. Given the pedestals that Science and Reason are perched upon in the text (the titular Foundation has been established to preserve and foster the knowledge of an Empire in a long slow collapse), it’s an interesting contrast to see the day being repeatedly saved by rat cunning, bluff and good old fashioned political bastardry. I’m really not sure what Asimov was getting at there…
  • I still don’t have a start date for the new job. I assume it will be from the start of July. Dammit. If I’m going to have to keep working this hard, I might as well at least be learning something new…
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