Wild Weather Strikes Again

Oct. 23rd, 2017 07:10 am
megpie71: AC Tifa Lockheart looking at camera, very determined (Give me the chocolate & nobody dies)
[personal profile] megpie71
The place we're renting at present came with two massive old Cape Lilac trees, one out the front, one out the back. You'll note the past tense there. This is because during some high winds (about 60 km/h) on Saturday night, half the back tree snapped off, and fell downhill (fortunately all into our garden, not onto the neighbour's place). So we now have one-and-a-half massive Cape Lilac trees.

We've reported it to the real estate agents/property managers, and I'm going to be giving them a phone call on Monday to see whether we can get firstly a tradesperson or similar to come out and deal with the task of removing the half-a-fscking tree from the back garden so we can get at the washing line again, and secondly a tree surgeon to have a look at the remaining half-a-tree which is still standing and recommend whether it can be left alone (doubt it!); whether it needs to be trimmed or lopped (so if it does fall over it won't cause major structural damage to the neighbour's house, the house we're in, or the car parked in the driveway); or whether the blasted thing is so unstable there's no chance of it remaining up safely, and it needs to come down completely.

After clearing a few branches away from where the clothesline access was, we've discovered the clothesline frame has been bent down and forward to the point where the poor thing ain't usable (I would not be wanting to try and straighten out the gorgeous gentle curve the support strut has been bent into, quite frankly - the thing is so old I think it would snap instead). So we have to report that to the real-estate people as well. It also took one tile from the roof of the lean-to shed which contains the laundry and the exterior toilet. Given the size of the blasted thing, I'm almost surprised by the amount of damage it *didn't* do - if it had fallen directly to the right (facing toward the back fence) the blasted thing could have taken out the entire wash-house in a single thump, but instead it fell to the lower right, which means it clipped a single tile from the wash-house lean-to (and given we don't use the exterior toilet anyway, a leaky roof there isn't really an issue) and mostly hit the clothesline.

But either way, I get to call the real-estate people and find out what's going to be happening. I sent a couple of emails through their web-page over the course of the weekend to let them know the state of play; I'll be following up by phone today to see how fast we can get things moving. I may just mention that the longer they delay on this, the greater the chance the passionfruit vine I planted last year is going to regard the whole lot of fallen lumber as fair game for growing into!
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Mentioned the opening sessions of eReseachAustralasia in my last post - the following three days of conference went very well. I spent a good portion ofthe first day in the advanced computing sessions, which had some excellent content, and a dabbling in several streams after that. My own paper was well received with a number of people engaging me in animated discussion about how to get more researchers into the HPC space through various educational strategies. Of all the content however, the one the really caught my attention was Daniel Katz's efforts to get open-source software as academically citable material, something which I will be seeing if any co-workers will be interested in participating in through the Journal of Open Source Software.

The evening consisted mainly with good sysadmin and vendor networking events, to which the generosity of Mellanox, AARnet, and SanDisk should be noted. We were all rather impressed by the food at Mr Paganini. An amusing treat of the conference was a play, "Purely Academic", written by conference organiser David Abramson, which including some truly cringeworthy events which most of us who have experience in that field have seen more than a couple of times. I can't say I expected to see a naked man crossing Victoria Bridge after one evening though. Perhaps Brisbane is more broad-minded than I thought. After the conference caught up with [livejournal.com profile] greenglowgrrl, Peter, and Sam S., for dinner and had a great conversational evening. The following day had a little bit of time to kill so took a long trip on the ferry, which is good value and relaxing way of seeing several spots along the city. A very late (and rather cramped) journey home followed.

Today started with a trip to Melbourne's Cat Cafe with [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya, [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla, and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce. Following that was the second session of the new RuneQuest Questworld game. This evening finished my review of Peter Hook and The Light is now on Rocknerd. Next one after that will the Juggalos and the DSA, and also cooking in a little review of the favourite albums among academics. I'm sure [personal profile] reddragdiva will be pleased and I'll get an article form him on Bitcoin and other collectable hashes for the Isocracy Network soon. At five am tomorrow I leave the city again to go to New Zealand for the IEEE eScience conference.

Viva BrisVegas, Games and Music

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:17 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Have arrived in BrisVegas (as it is known by many) for eResearchAustralasia, and am staying at the pretty acceptable Spring Hill Mews. The first day's arrival was spoilt by illness, I suspect because some fucker sneezed on me on the plane on the way over. Still, by the end of the second day I was feeling better and arrived for the conference welcome reception and then joined a group for dinner at Mucho Mexicano. Whilst it is early days yet the conference itself has been so-so from the first few speakers. Leeanne Enoch gave a good introduction to the conference, especially for a politician, and David De Roure's presentation on Ada Lovelace and computer-generated music was quite enjoyable. I suspect for the rest of this afternoon I'll be staying in the Advancecd Computing stream.

Before leaving Melbourne, I did have the opportunity to run a session of Eclipse Phase finishing the Chain Reaction scenario, which will then be followed up with the subsequent related scenarios. In addition, Karl B., has assisted with the final editing of Papers & Paychecks although, alas, I still haven't managed to track down Tim Kask to do the foreword. On my return to Melbourne it looks like I'll finally get around to seeing Blade Runner 2049, given that I am "a bit" of a fan of the original.

Prior to departure I also managed to see Peter Hook and the Light, at their final Melbourne concert, performing Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures and Closer (after selling my previous tickets to [livejournal.com profile] fustian_. It was a great concert and in next couple of days I hope to have a review written for [personal profile] reddragdiva for Rocknerd, which I'm sure he's looking forward to. Should also mention that I'm half-way through writing an article about that strange alliance that's grown between the Democratic Socialists of America and the Juggalos.
acelightning: round purple control-panel light (jewel-light)
[personal profile] acelightning
October 8 was/is World Octopus Day. Octopuses (the preferred plural) are amazing creatures - intelligent, nimble, and clever. The only reason they aren't the dominant species on the planet is that they die after reproducing. So, in honor of World Octopus Day, I dug into my stash of "stuff to make weird costume jewelry out of" and created a necklace:

Octothorpe the Octopus

When I first put on the necklace, I didn't have a name for him, but later that day I determined that his name is Octothorpe. "Octothorpe" is the official name for the symbol # that most people call either "hashtag", "pound sign, or "number sign". When it was first used on telephones, to indicate a specific switching signal, somebody named it that; nobody knows who, or why. But it's a fine name for an octopus!

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Oct. 15th, 2017 03:01 pm
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (thunk)
[personal profile] megpie71
I've just finished doing my weekly job search. Which is depressing and sucks rocks through a straw.

It is also about 60% more complicated than it actually has to be, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I grew up in a dysfunctional family, which means I still (even after twenty years safely away from the lot of 'em) feel the ingrained need to justify my every action, in order to ensure I don't wind up getting squashed by people and/or institutions which have power over me. (If I do not Document Everything and Justify Everything, I will inevitably wind up In The Wrong. Yes, I know this is fscked up. You don't need to tell me). In terms of job search, this translates to me carefully noting down the following:

* What my search terms were on Seek.com.au each week.
* How many jobs were on offer
* Relevant details from each of those job ads, complete with highlighting various things, such as hours of work offered, skills/experience/education required, due dates for applications, conditions and so forth.
* Which jobs I applied for and with which employers
* How I applied for them.

Okay, so far, so neurotic. Reasonable justification of choices achieved. Now this is the rest of what I do:

* Keep another record of every single job offered by Employer, Job description and date.
* Keep track of whether I received any response to the job applications I sent out, and what that response was.
* Keep statistics on the proportion of my job applications I receive responses to.
* Collate and keep statistics on the amount and type of experience employers are asking for.
* Collate and keep statistics on the types of qualifications, clearances, and personal qualities employers are asking for.
* Collate and keep statistics on whether the work being offered is permanent or temporary, and how many hours are being offered.
* Collate and keep statistics on the kinds of software employers are asking for experience with.

Part of the reason I do all of this is because my brain says "maybe there's some patterns in here we could pull out if we just had the stats; maybe if we just assembled enough information we could craft the Perfect Application and get ourselves a job!". It also says "ooh, numbers cool!" and "I like playing with data", not to mention "hey, let's hyper-focus on this useless aspect of things in order to try to convince ourselves all this pointless effort could maybe, possibly, have a purpose other than wasting our time in futile hoop-jumping".

Which is why looking for work, for me, occupies the better part of about four to five hours every Sunday. I keep records of all of this. They are updated religiously. Who knows? Maybe someday, someone will be demanding that I justify my choices in the same old way my family used to (and the way my bully of a boss in the agency responsible for administering our social security system here in Australia used to...) and I will be able to pull out five or more years of records explaining each and every single damn choice I've made all the way along my job search history, and why I made those choices.

In the mean time, I'm starting to build up a pretty good picture of what employers in Perth, Western Australia are looking for with regards to part-time administrative and office support workers. (Email me if you want the full autism-spectrum inspired brain dump).

Something I made

Oct. 14th, 2017 07:44 am
acelightning: a generic sewing machine with purple fabric (sewing)
[personal profile] acelightning
I mentioned that I went to a pagan gathering last weekend. One of the many things they do is provide a "scholarship fund", for members who can't afford the full price of the event. This is largely funded by a "teacup auction", where people donate anything from homemade candy to hand-crocheted shawls to stuff they had lying around that they didn't want any more (but was still usable). Since I've had to avail myself of the scholarship a few times, I always make a point of contributing something I made. Details, and pictures, behind the cut )

Gaming Updates and HPC Conferences

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:49 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Much of this week has been spent finishing the last several thousand words to Papers & Paychecks with a plan to send to printers next week, although I can't seem to contact Tim Kask, whom I would like to write the foreword (which I discovered many months ago, he wanted to do). It has also been a week of multiple gaming sessions with a new RuneQuest game with new GM on Sunday set in Questworld and incorporating the somewhat maligned Eldarad supplement, and then a committee meeting for the RPG Cooperative (we'll be off to see Blade Runner 2049 soon. It was followed up with an session of Elric! on Wednesday night, where we've started using and rebuilding The Tower of Yrkath Florn. Tonight was a session of Eclipse Phase which was based at an academic psychology conference.

This has rather curious parallels of course, as on Monday I attended the Victorian Directors of IT conference. Much of it was rather vague and high level, but there were a few good sessions, and the education-based keynote by Professor Liz Johnson was excellent. Liz has been kind enough to review the co-authored presentation I am giving at eResearchAustralasia in Brisbane next week. After that I'll be back home for a few days before going to the IEEE eScience conference in Auckland. I would actually like to spend several days at home in succession, and it all hasn't been helped by the fact that I have worked a little on the late side a few days at work, part of which included completing the PRACE HPC course.

There is a curious paradox at play; most occupational health research suggests that people (and especially men) should ease themselves into retirement - drop down to four days at 40, three days at 50, two at 60, and then one, then zero. However as you get older you also become more skilled especially in particular niche - and if you have any work ethic whatsoever, there is a motivation to work longer hours despite the negatie socio-economic effects this has, not to mention the toll on personal health. Indeed, it requires a significant degree of personal willpower these days to drag oneself away at the nominal close of business. I have significant doubts that this is part of my disposition.

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
67 89101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios