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

November 29, 2007

Nelson? Seriously?

Filed under: political sniping — lexifab @ 12:59 pm

It’s hard to respond to the breaking news that the Libs have just elected Brendan Nelson rather than Malcolm Turnbull to the party leadership – albeit only by a narrow margin – as being anything other than an endorsement of a second term for Rudd Labour.

Then again, the fact that Nelson comes across as an arrogant and insufferable git didn’t exactly set him apart for the competition for the job (which also included the King of the Insufferable, Tony Abbott) so perhaps the party elders decided that the bext way out of their credibility tailspin was to go with the more familiar face.

Julie Bishop as deputy I have no particular opinions about. She hasn’t, to my recollection, done anything sufficiently stupid to warrant unfettered scorn and condemnation. It’s heartwarming to say that about someone from the outgoing Cabinet.

Interesting developments, if rather irrelevant in the short term…

J minus one week

Filed under: Games,geekery,workin for the man — lexifab @ 11:53 am

Joey’s due date is next Wednesday. Yes, yes, we know that most first children are born late, but at this stage we’re still expecting – or maybe just hoping really hard – that the baby will arrive more or less on time, or even a little early. Fiona says Saturday would be most convenient, although it does mean I’d miss another cricket game on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll be able to tough out the disappointment somehow.

Fi is well, but tired and sick of being sore. The ungainly lumbering is not her favourite thing in the world. She is however cultivating a busy social life, with lunchtime visits and shopping expeditions and so forth. That’s nice. Hopefully I’ll be getting a bit of that action myself soon. I need to do the Xmas shopping soon.

I’m breaking in the new director at work today. He’s completely new to the organisation. I am trying not to scare him off with my cynicism, but frankly my heart’s not really in softpedalling mode.

Played round three of the Burning Copernica game last night. The noble and righteous forces of honest, upstanding organised crime (and its allies) are getting reamed by the evil socialist, the psychotic crimelord and the slavering alien warmonger. In fact, we basically handed them the means of our demolition on a plate. It’s fun getting rolled, but in the spirit of honest comeptition I think we’re going to have to step up our tactical fortitude…

November 26, 2007

Running down the clock

Filed under: friends,Games,joey,news of the day,workin for the man — lexifab @ 8:29 pm

I am well and truly into “Dropping everything to become a parent” mode. My interest in more or less everything is on hold while we wait for the penny to drop, if you’ll excuse the euphemism.

Happily, Mz Alix is in town, playing chaperone to gurgling baby daughter Emily’s debut world tour. We caught up with them for a relaxing couple of hours yesterday, and today Fi met up with Alix and her sister-in-law Helena for hot chocolates. Fi’s officially in “Ladies who lunch” mode (which is better than the mode I’m in if for no other reason than there are superior eating opportunities). Welcome to Canberra, Alix and Emily!

I’ve been on training for the past few days – set to continue for at least one more – and it’s mostly been revision of stuff that I wasn’t all that interested in in the first place. That’s given me plenty of time to do some design pondering about the previously alluded to Mad Gaming Project. About that I will continue to say nothing in order to cultivate a mysterious air, except to note that I expect it to be all but impossible to implement with a newborn on the way. That doesn’t stop me thinking about it, of course.

My new director is expected to finally start this week, which should be interesting. At the moment he has two staff, one of whom leaves for a five week holiday on Thursday and the other of whom is me. My six week parental leave could literally start at any moment. Not much of a welcome, is it? Ah well, we couldn’t wait around for him forever – he’s been unable to start for months while his security clearance has been pending.

But whatever. I fully expect to go away and come back six weeks later to find that between my new boss and the new government, my job has changed somewhere between significantly and completely. Exciting!

November 25, 2007

I’d like to think Australia has come to its senses…

Filed under: political sniping — lexifab @ 6:56 pm

…and finally recognised the heartless, miserable lump of smoky black coal at the core of the Coalition government that has run this country’s pride and spirit into the ground in the name of economic rationalism for the past 11 years. I’d like to think that we have chosen as a nation to look to a future that doesn’t have to focus to the exclusion of all else on growth and upward social mobility, that things like social justice and the environment and the availability of health and education resources to everyone who needs it are the priorities of a government that governs for everyone and excludes no-one, that our leaders are prepared to accept responsibility, show leadership and vision and reject secrecy and divisiveness.

I’d like to think that those qualities of government – all credit for success and no acceptance of responsibility for failures, mistakes and egregious wrongdoing, “wedge politics” (which in more honest times was called class warfare, xenophobia or good old fashioned racism), politicisation of the APS, and many other sad failures of statesmanship, probably the worst of which is the unconscionable neglect with which it has treated Australia’s responsibilities as a citizen of the world – which I have loathed for the past decade, personified in the most mediocre man to hold the office of Prime Minister in my lifetime, are what my fellow Australians have finally rejected. I would hope that all that will change, and that new leaders will set a new course that restores some of that lost pride in a country that looks at the sky rather than its wallet.

I’d like to think there was a little personal venom in the huge Labor swing, a declaration of punishment for John Howard for a decade of scheming opportunism and banal self-entitlement. I’d like to think this was finally recognition that he should be called to account for the ministerial misconduct rewarded with plum post-parliamentary appointments, for the demonisation of aborigines and boat people and muslims and anyone else for political advantage, for Cornelia Rau and David Hicks, for Tampa and Nauru, for running an entire campaign on the transparently dishonest implication that he could control interest rates and still deliver tax cuts hand over fist, and for his petty, small-minded, insular and defensive approach to virtually everything he did.

I’m not, I don’t think, overly blinkered here. I will happily and unbegrudgingly grant him his moment over gun control following Port Arthur, which displayed the quality of statemanship I expect in a national leader, taking an uncompromising stance in the face of potential political damage because it was the right thing to do, a quality that for an all too brief while gave me hope I had misjudged the man. Sadly the elevated occasion revealed itself as the exception proving the rule.

But maybe in the end all most Australians cared about was the notion that John Howard has had his day, having done a bang up job with the economy and unemployment, but as of yesterday it was time to move on.

Whatever the reason, I’ll take it with a sigh of relief and gratitude. Let’s move on.

November 24, 2007

Participatory democracy, participated in

Filed under: political sniping — lexifab @ 10:35 am

You may be aware that there is an election on today. You may not be aware that going down to vote early not only helps avoid (most of) the rush, but is also an excellent excuse to go out for breakfast somewhere.

Now you do. I am not unaware that this information has come too late to be of any use to you on this particular occasion. For that I am sorry. Well, perhaps just “John Howard sorry”.

So much for the high rollers’ room

Filed under: news of the day — lexifab @ 12:14 am

Just went to a poker night with the brothers and one of Ian’s neighbours. Gazza won, but at least I lasted longer than Jimbo.

November 23, 2007

Stuff about stuff

Filed under: administraviata,Games,geekery,news of the day,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 7:56 am

Yesterday was Mz Lindor’s birthday. Happy birthday Mz Lindor, if you happen to be reading this.

Today is the 44th anniversary of the first screening of the first episode of Doctor Who. I realise you probably don’t care.

I’ll be in a training course all day today, like I was yesterday. Since it’s at least 3/4 refresher training of stuff I don’t care whether I know or not, I will have a fair amount of attention time for thinking about things like gaming and writing.

The short story has gotten short shrift over the past couple of days, as my focus has wandered. I bought an el cheapo pre-owned copy of the excellent Star Wars game Knights of the Old Republic, which came out five or so years ago to rave reveiws. I’ve been meaning to play it for a long time. It’s fun, but fortunately less addictive than some things I could name.

I’ve also been expanding my thinking on a bold new gaming project (for “bold” read “implausibly ambitious”) which I may very well undertake as my next big thing. I’ve been circulating a few ideas to some noted critical thinkers in the Lexifabosphere (yay, new word!) for their reactions. Positive so far!

Dr Clam – it’s time for the Sawl. Where we left it almost exactly a year ago was that we were trying to decide how to actually play. What do you say to email as standard and occasional Skype or Ventrilo chats?

Gotta go. Writing – er, that is, training time awaits.

Edits: fixed numerous speed-typing, no-editing typoes.

November 20, 2007

Oh dear, look how late it is

Filed under: geekery,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 11:59 pm

Writing: up to the 2000 word mark on the story.

And another 2000 words written since last night of gaming ideas.

Hmm, my writerly instincts need some work on prioritising.

November 19, 2007

First aid training skill check.

Filed under: geekery,joey,wordsmithery,workin for the man — lexifab @ 7:38 pm

Fi and I spent today at the St John’s Ambulance training centre brushing up on first aid training for kids. It was a bit hasty if not acxtually slapdash. I’m not sure how well I would have followed it if I’d not already done 4 years as an Army Reserve medical assistant (which is basically first aid but with oxygen kits and lots of stretcher carrying), but as it was it was refresher training more than anything else. Very interesting to see what’s changed in the fifteen or so years since I last trained. In many ways it’s a lot simpler  – deliberately so, according to the instructor, who said there’d been evidence to suggest that a lot of people failed to render simple first aid because they were afraid they would get the number of compressions wrong or not remember how to put someone into the recovery position.

Fi seemed to follow it all, so maybe what difficulty I did have was down to the unusual teaching approach. The instructor seemed not to want to dwell on the unpleasant possibility that even properly rendered first aid might not actually save someone, and so actually seemed to passively downplay the fact that the purpose of it is to prolong and even save life. As you might imagine, the army tended to take a somewhat more forthright stance.

Of course, I also had a stinking headache and sore throat gland (just one) all day, so it’s possible that had something to do with it.

As a couple of side notes, yesterday we went to see 30 Days of Night, which is by no means an awful movie about people trying to survive a clever trap by vampires. I mean, it’s still awful in the sense that there’s a lot of extreme violence and blood everywhere (including a gloriously nasty overhead tracking shot of the entire town at the height of the vampires’ killing spree), but it’s quality trashy horror, for those of us that appreciate such beasts. And I know shite vampire flicks, because I watched a totally worthless one (the name of which Channel 10 was apparently too embarrassed to screen at any point during the film) the previous evening.

This week could be my last at work. Joey is looking somewhat imminent, although of course looks are always deceiving when it comes to babies. They’re tricky and cunning that way.

Like vampires, I guess, only not so many of them speak Romanian.

Quick wordage update: progress is still slow, but it continues to be made. It’s probably going to take me until Xmas to get this story done, at this rate, but that’s no bad thing.

November 17, 2007

Too late for wit

Filed under: wordsmithery,workin for the man — lexifab @ 12:03 am

Word count for the day: another 500 or 600 words in a bit over an hour. Still not slaying the self-editing demon, still trying too hard to craft as I go instead of just getting it down there. The danger with doing it that way is that each individual word and phrase and sentence may be fine and reasonably well-chosen and thoughtfully considered, but the overall flow from paragraph to paragraph is probably clunky and disjointed. And if I do too much agonising in the first draft, I get too attached to what I’ve written to do justice to the rather essential editing phase to come.

By the way, this isn’t a late NaNoWriMo entry either (that would be a hell of a catch up). The word count references are just a tool to keep me honest with myself. I don’t have any specific writing targets – not for this, at any rate. It’ll be done when it’s done, and while I don’t have a particularly compelling notion of how big a piece it is, that could be…well, whenever. Probably not very soon at an average of 500 words a day though.

In other news – work’s done for the week and it was truly exhausting, one of those ones where so many things competed for the position of Number 1 Priority that it didn’t matter what I did or how much I got done, it still had the feeling of a huge and demoralising backwards step. And I now hear that I’ll be representing my work area on a four day training course for staff from our overseas offices, taking up half of next week and leaving me bugger all time to get the rest of those Number 1 things tidied up. Huh. Well, at least it’s not boring at the moment.

Fi’s done with work now – today was the official start of her maternity leave. Of course she’ll be heading back in probably a couple of times next week to do handover stuff that she didn’t get to this week. I imagine I’ll be doing the same once or twice before Xmas.

Tired now. Bed time.

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