Cubby

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to build a fantastic cubby house for my kids. You can buy some pretty big cubbies, but the ones I’ve looked at are a bit flimsy for the amount they charge (easily over $3000 when delivered and installed). If they were cheaper and sturdier I would’ve considered buying one in the interests of time, but instead I ended up building one myself, and I’m really glad.

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The Promise of SharePoint

Too often at work I send an email that says:

“Latest version of <Some Document> is attached, and I’ve also uploaded it to the SharePoint.”

Every time I hit send, I imagine someone on the SharePoint team dies a little inside.

(For the record, I’ve tried not attaching it and just putting the direct SharePoint link in the email, and every time I get a bunch of replies, “please send me the latest copy.”)

Scorpions: Wind of Change

This song convinced me to buy my first stereo system. I remember standing in the [Big W] at Karrinyup shops, and this song came on a TEAC stereo system sitting on the shelf. It sounded better than anything I’d heard before (all we had at home were mono-speaker radios and TVs) and I was convinced to buy it right then on the spot. Still think about that moment from 1991 every damn time this song comes on the radio.

Anaesthetic

I had surgery under general anaesthetic today, from a surgeon I’ve only briefly met in his consulting rooms. In the last few moments before I went under, my conversation with the surgeon was like this:

Surgeon: So you’re a police officer, right?

Me: No, I work for a bank.

Surgeon: Oh right, but I know your in-laws, right?

Me: No.

My last thought before going under was, “Wait, am I in the right place? What is this guy going to do to me?”

Thankfully when I woke up it was all okay, and I have a lovely new pair of boobs.

Animated Photorealistic Graphics

When I was at uni we did an animated graphics project. The idea was to write some C code that would output a series of PoVray scene files, and then render the files into a series of images and stitch them together into an mpeg video.

The video I ended up creative evolved in a very stream-of-conscious way: I started with animating a bouncing ball, and then kept asking myself, “what could happen next?” In the end the ball ended up bouncing through a scene and knocking a bunch of things over and then disappearing into a pond. Sadly that video is lost to a hard drive that died long ago.

I loved doing that project, I think because it was a chance to do something creative (rather than just implementing another sorting algorithm). I’ve been thinking about doing something similar off-and-on again ever since.

So once I finish my MBA I’ll make good on that and come up with another stream-of-consciousness video. There are some really good examples of what I’m talking about on youtube:

There’s a lot of satisfaction in building the environment and developing the physics, and then even more looking at the finished product.

Old Front Garden

When we moved into our old house the front garden was fairly typical: an expanse of lawn with a bit of garden around the outside. It also had some big prickly date palms, which I promptly removed after pricking myself on them a few times. I was also keen to get rid of the expanse of lawn because it was a hassle to mow and used up a lot of water.

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I put together a plan for a big garden full of natives and drought-tolerant plants, and got to work.

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First Chicken Hutch

At one of our previous houses we decided to get chickens, so I built a chicken hutch out of old materials I had lying around. My main design goals were:

  • It had to be roomy enough to house 4-6 hens
  • It had to be easy to maintain: specifically the chook manure shouldn’t be difficult to clear out so that I could compost it easily.
  • The laying boxes had to be easily accessible so that toddlers could check for eggs and easily reach in and grab them.

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First Vegetable Garden

At one of our previous houses I built a big vegetable garden in an unused corner of the garden in front of the shed. (Later I built the chicken hutch next to it.)

Overall it was a really sturdy and effective design that worked out really well. It was still going when we sold the house – I hope it’s working out well for the new owners.

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