I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

Thanks for reading!

Archive for the 'Self-Indulgent Navel Gazing' Category

30 Days of Me: Day 5

Monday, September 13th, 2010

A picture of somewhere you’ve been to

Unlike day 3, my problem here is too much choice, rather than not enough. My favourite travel photo, though, has to be this one from my trip to Tbilisi two years ago. (I haven’t even done any post-processing or retouching on it. Admittedly, that’s mostly out of laziness.)

Burned Out Building in Rustaveli

30 Days of Me: Day 4

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

A habit that you wish you didn’t have

It’s linked to the final “fact” in day 1‘s post, really: I tend to over-analyse things. I re-read posts before I make them so I can tweak them until they’re perfect. Or, just as often, delete them because I don’t think anyone will really want to read what I have to say (also known as acute Redditor syndrome).

There are times — many of them, in fact — where I wish I could be more spontaneous. On the other hand, though, I look at people I know who are, and they often say or do things that they regret later.

So I guess it’s not all bad. Maybe it’s just a grass is greener kind of thing.

30 Days of Me: Part 3

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

A picture of you and your friends

As I mentioned back in day 1, I don’t really like having my photo taken. I also have disparate circles of friends, which means that I’m going to be slighting a lot of people no matter what photo I pick. Plus, looking at the few group photos I have to hand, most involve one or more people I either don’t really know or don’t want to know any more.

So, instead of a real big group photo, here’s a small group photo of four of us (actually, five of us, but one’s off camera) playing nutball over the New Year’s break in Busselton.

That’s me on the left, losing my religion. Or at least my sobriety. And, for what it’s worth, I really don’t wear hats very often, in spite of the evidence so far.

30 Days of Me: Day 2

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The meaning behind your Blog name

OK, it’s not terribly well advertised on the site proper, but my blog is officially titled Five Minutes. This came about (rather prosaically) because I wanted to try to devote five minutes a day to it.

I started this blog on August 25, 2006. 1,476 days have elapsed since then. In that time, I’ve written 166 posts, for a net rate of 0.112 posts per day. Clearly something went wrong somewhere along the line.

30 Days of Me: Day 1

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

I’ve been really awful about blogging over the last year or two. Mostly, I blame Twitter — it’s easy to just toss random thoughts out there and get instant gratification. Still, I really need to do some more writing that’s not limited to 140 characters or less (I mean, I have a Tropfest script to write, among other things), so I’m going to shamelessly steal have a go at the 30 days of me challenge to try restarting that part of my brain. At this stage, I’ll try to follow the same schedule as fellow PHP acolyte and all-round nice guy Jethro Carr, but we’ll see how that pans out in practice.

Planet Linux Australia readers, I can only apologise in advance. You are, of course, welcome to set up some sort of filter in your reading software — I’ll try to remember to include 30 Days of Me in the title each day. Or drop me off the Planet, if you’re an admin. (I mean, I’d prefer you didn’t, but I’ll understand — get in touch if you’d prefer a limited feed. You guys know how to find me.)

Anyway, to day 1:

A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

Ouch. I’m not sure I’m interesting enough to come up with fifteen whole facts, but we’ll see how we go. Here’s a slightly non-recent photo of me — specifically, taken at the Groovin’ the Moo festival in May:

So, your facts.

  1. I once saw a friend of mine fall down a manhole in Ulaanbaatar. Right in front of me. It was utterly hilarious at the time, although the fact he turned out to have broken ribs from it (which we only found out about four weeks later after we’d returned to Perth) was less funny. Weirdly, I didn’t write about it in my journal at the time — it’s long since become the iconic moment of the trip.
  2. The best birthday I’ve had was this year: I went with five friends to the outdoor cinema at Kings Park, we had a simple picnic dinner, and we watched Moon, which is a great, great film. Beat the hell out of big parties, and I owe them all big time for metaphorically twisting my arm until I agreed to do something other than sit at home and mope. They’re good friends.
  3. I studied film at university, first as a minor, then as a second major, and then finally as a post-grad. This came about while I was studying computer science; I needed to choose a minor or second major, and didn’t want to do something else technically inclined, since I already worked as a developer/sysadmin. Music composition was my first choice, but I didn’t feel confident putting an audition together, so I went for film as a second choice. Other options I considered included history and English literature.
  4. I’m a Swan Districts fan in the WAFL. I think supporting the Swans was always going to be imprinted on me; as a baby, we lived in Bassendean only a few blocks from their home ground, and Dad would take me down to the ground in a pram to watch the last quarter of games (once the gates were open and entry was free), and while I have no memory of this, it just felt natural to support them once I was old enough to pick a team, even though my mother and grandmother (Subiaco and South Fremantle fans, respectively) were horrified.
  5. When I was 10, I had the opportunity to get seven years worth of guitar lessons at and after school for virtually nothing. I said no. The 28 year old me would like to travel back 18 years and smack myself upside the head.
  6. I have a long and storied history of being carted off to hospital at linux.conf.au conferences held in even numbered years: in 2006 I had an allergic reaction to medication, and in 2008 I had a seizure on the streets of Melbourne. Somehow I survived 2010 unscathed.
  7. The best film I worked on at university (excluding side projects that weren’t assessed), in my opinion, was this. My lecturers disagreed.
  8. I’ve been on IRC a long, long time. More than fifteen years, in fact. That’s more than half my life.
  9. I’m asthmatic. It’s no more than an annoyance these days, but when I was a kid it was pretty bad, and involved quite a lot of hospital trips. One of those involved a near-death non-experience, which suggested to me that there didn’t seem to be any sort of afterlife, and more or less confirmed my budding atheism.
  10. Even though I was studying film, I never really intended to become involved in production or post-production at all. I only started doing production units after talking to my documentary theory lecturer at the tavern after our last class — he was the course co-ordinator as well and talked me into trying the first real production unit the following semester as a way of dipping my toe into the water. He regretted it years later when he was my supervisor for a somewhat ill-fated documentary project.
  11. I play cricket as a left arm wrist spinner. I’m not very good. I don’t really care about that, mostly because it’s too much fun to stop.
  12. I firmly believe that Paranoid Android is the best Radiohead album, but that How to Disappear Completely is their best song. While working on the aforementioned documentary project, I basically listened to it on repeat while working on the write-up, and ended up using it as the title for said write-up — the lyric I’m not here / this isn’t happening spoke very clearly to me at the time!
  13. I hate having my photograph taken, which is why the above photo is relatively non-recent. This flows on into other fields — I don’t enjoy acting, either, although as a film student or no-budget guerrilla film-maker you don’t really have much choice in the matter sometimes.
  14. I still think my final computer science project was pretty cool. It was basically a client-server plant simulation system using L-systems and healthy dollops of Python. Unfortunately, it never really got finished even to a mildly releasable state — the intention was that it would lead into an honours project the following year (complete with an exchange semester in Sweden), but the funding fell through, and it got left pretty much where it was at the end of my final semester as an under-grad.
  15. I’m a compulsive re-reader. Any time I’m going to post or send something, I tend to re-read it several times to make sure I’ve gotten it right. (Yes, this blog included.) This is sometimes a good thing, but I worry that it saps the spontaneity out of my writing.

Strange days

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

It has been a long, strange day full of sleep deprivation, coincidence, opportunity, drama and mostly self-inflicted angst. I might see if I can distill it into a blog post tomorrow.

At any rate, I’m off on a holiday as of tomorrow evening, and looking forward to my first real break since last July. (Conferences and uni trips are fun, but not exactly relaxing a lot of the time, and the Foundation Day long weekend I spent in Albany just wasn’t long enough.) The plan is for five of us to go to Melbourne for a few days (including taking in the battle for the priority draft picks, aka the Fremantle-Melbourne AFL game; and no, I’m not a Dockers or Demons supporter, so that’s going to hurt), drive very slowly through the snowfields in the general direction of Sydney, then catch a Bledisloe Cup game the weekend after next and return triumphant. And hopefully relaxed.

Obviously if you have open DB bugs, are breathlessly waiting for long-overdue action on the Dubnium front, or really want a new feature in wp-gopher, you may be waiting a bit longer.

I’d apologise for the above, but I’d be lying through my back teeth as I did it. I’ve been looking forward to this for months.

On the overuse of parentheticals and their applications to high school reunions

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Next weekend is my eleventh high school reunion. If it seems like an odd number for such a thing, well, there was a tenth last year, and presumably it went so well that they decided an eleventh was in order. Honestly, I did wonder briefly if it was just a reflection on the quality of our mathematics department. I didn’t go last year (in spite of some cajoling from one of my then-new friends, who basically suggested that I take her to prove… something that I wasn’t entirely clear on at the time, but which evidently would have been in the spirit of fuck you, I’m an anteater — suffice it to say that it only really started making sense once I found out more about her school experience), and I’m not going this year.

Oddly enough, I’ve had plans for next weekend since the start of the year, so I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when the reunion was plonked on the same weekend; I mean, it saved an awkward excuse to cover not being very interested in seeing pretty much anyone from my high school. Broadly speaking, the (single digit figure of) people I want to be in touch with I’m still in touch with, with only one or two exceptions.

Still, it got me thinking back. I mean, what conversations would I realistically have given the shared experiences feel like a lifetime ago? Hell, I’m a pretty different person these days to the guy I was in 1998. Conversations? They’d be one liners at best; to whit:

  • The bully: So, hey, how about that ear thing you tried once outside science class? Did you ever stop breathing through your mouth?
  • The sort of friend of convenience I didn’t bother keeping in touch with: Yeah, sorry about the whole not calling thing. For, like, eleven years. How ’bout them Eagles?
  • The druggie (hell, which one?): Did you end up killing all your brain cells, or did you get lucky like me and manage to wise up before that point?
  • Most perilously of all, the first serious crush: Shit, you were all I wanted when I was thirteen. Subconsciously, I still compare every partner to you, no matter how unattainable you are living there almost fifteen years in the past (because really, I can only think about how you were then; I know nothing about you now). So, uh… how’s the food?

How the hell do you respond to any of that? And presumably I’d be getting similarly awkward conversational gambits my way (heard you got kicked out of a university less than twelve months out of high school — way to go, man!) which I’d have equally little interest in engaging with.

Maybe I’ll have more perspective in time for the twentieth. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my lost weekend next week with my friends.

Unordered lists are fun

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Additions to my list of things I shouldn’t do while feeling emo and heartachy:

  • Buy music
  • Choose clothes to wear from my extensive collection of XKCD shirts
  • Prepare any sort of work presentation that needs to be upbeat and cheery
  • Read Questionable Content‘s archives

Whoa. I might just add don’t read Webcomics to that.

Adam, You Twittering Idiot

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I decided yesterday to actually do something with the Twitter account I set up a few weeks back, and have joined the self-absorbed cool kids and PR machines in posting the odd message through it. (Tweet, whatever. I still have enough issues with the existence of words like blog.) I had it hooked up to Facebook for about a day, but really, I think it’s a different type of writing to a status update, at least for me — a status update’s a bit more friend-oriented, whereas I see Twitter as being a way to just randomly blurt out whatever’s flitting through my head for anyone who’s bored enough to care. Ergo, no more linkage.

On an unrelated note, I had another meeting with my supervisor this afternoon about my India documentary, which is now due in just eight short days. (Theoretically I have nine, but if I get the project done in eight I get to spend a four day weekend in Albany with friends not worrying about it.) As has become the pattern for those meetings, I spent a couple of hours beforehand frantically working in an attempt to ignore the knots in my stomach, danced around the explanation of the incomplete work that I was supposed to have completed, Keith did his best to not look too disappointed with me, and we agreed on yet another course of action moving forward.

The silver lining is that I’ve learned plenty of things this semester. Unfortunately, the key lessons seem to have been things I shouldn’t ever attempt again, namely corporate videos and solo projects. I guess I at least know my capabilities (or lack thereof) a bit more now.

Codral Day & Night: Now With Extra Crack!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I don’t know what the hell Codral put in their new formula night tablets (although at least without psuedoephedrine I don’t spend the entire day shaking quietly in a corner, so that’s a win), but man I’ve had some awesome dreams over the last couple of nights.

I shan’t bore people with the whole lot, but my favourite image so far has been dreaming that I was still working at iiNet, going to my old desk (now sadly taken over by call centre people), and peering over the partition into the marketing area to see nobody there but a massive dragon sitting at one of the marketing co-ordinator’s desks reading Facebook and singeing the office plants every time he laughed at someone’s post. Come to think of it, I don’t even know how the hell the talons worked with the keyboard and mouse.

On the bright side, I now have a hell of a lot of stuff to work into short film scripts. I guess being sick isn’t all bad after all.