Sunday, December 31, 2017

More Grains Of Golden Sand...

Two years to the day have past since my last post - New Year's Eve 2015. It seems like a short while ago but in reality 731 days have slipped through my fingers, and it's time again to take stock of my life. How many of my good intentions have I succeeded in completing? How many projects and plans have come to fruition in those 731 days? Not as many as planned and I yet again lament my failure to go forward in the way I have hoped too.

There have been high and low points, more travel, a number of redundancy rounds which I have dodged and a near death experience due to illness, but no advancement of long term plans. I partially blame the money spent on travel and the time being ill with its subsequent recuperation for some of it, but those alone cannot be the only reasons. My lethargy and my innate cautiousness are also to blame. I have overcome that cautiousness before, when only responsible for myself, however with others depending on me in an increasingly unpredictable world the hands of caution grip my shoulders tightly and I have to fight its powerful force in order to move forward.

I must continue to remember how I felt when sick in hospital, how I told myself that this is a lesson in mortality and that I should grasp the nettle as none of us know what the year ahead may hold. I have to make my own opportunities, and my caution must be thrown to the wind once more.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Grains Of Golden Sand

So, it appears I haven't posted here since 2012. I've been busy alright, leave me alone. So much has happened in the intervening years, but of course you wouldn't really be interested so I shall refrain from boring you. Why am I posting you will be asking yourself by now, well, New Year's Eve always fills me with a multitude, a myriad, a veritable multiplicity of emotions. It is the embodiment of time, an arbitrary place holder in the fabric of modern society, the one day that we are all made to sit up and take notice of the passing of our lives and the loss of another year in our tenure of this world. We think of the New Year's Eves past and how quickly the 365 days (or 366 in the case of the coming year) will pass, what we should achieve and what we will probably fail to achieve during those days. It reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe's poem (mentioned elsewhere on this blog) 'A Dream Within A Dream' in which the great man laments the loss of time, the swiftness of its passing and the futility of our attempts to arrest it:
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?

So 2015 draws close as I write these words in the heat of another Australian NYE, my 21st in this, my adopted country. I have already began to partake in my celebratory (or is that self-commiseratory) glass of single malt and I hope to be unconscious at the hour the unstoppable juggernaut of the new year finally arrives, drawing us all closer to that pitiless wave.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

More Loud People In The Office...

It seems that my posts regarding loud people, especially loud people in the office, have been quite popular, so I thought it was about time I regaled my readership of the latest issues I have been experiencing in this area. The initial posts were published a number of years ago now and inevitably I have moved about a bit within the office during the interim, in fact the company has even changed hands. Obviously over the intervening years I have been subjected to the usual loud idiots in the workplace, but miraculously managed to retain my sanity to a large degree. Today though I am facing the biggest threat to my remaining sanity so far encountered in the long service I have given my employers. I moved to my current seating position six months ago and at first found it pleasant. I overlook the city from my high up window seat and found the office space to be a fairly quiet and peaceful place to work. I should have known this idyll would of course be destroyed sooner or later, that destruction occurred about three weeks ago when two people moved to the work spaces opposite mine. It is hard to believe that just two people can cause so much aural disturbance. I have now not only the unfortunate position of being an office worker but of being an office worker in an office with the equivalent ambient noise of a major building site. 

Last week I decided to make some objective measurements of the noise level so downloaded app for my iPhone called Decibel 10. With it I measure the ambient noise level at my desk. In just two days I have peak reading of 99 decibels (remember this is at my desk). I partly blame the fact the vocally louder individual of the two individuals sits on the other side of the partition from me.

Decibel 10 app screenshot - max decibel level: 99

For this duo everything in their working day is a big disaster. To call them drama queens is the understatement of the century. Upon reflection it’s fairly obvious though that this is all a sad attempt at getting attention from people to validate their importance and for constant reassurance that their self-perceived humour and lovability is still working, when all it does is alienate and engender a feeling of intense dislike toward them. Just yesterday I found out that the vocally louder (and older) one opposite my desk seems to have an overbearing father who I suspect bullied him whilst at the same time did not allow him the parental attention a small child craves, resulting in the ‘look at me’ personality now displayed. I am no psychologist, however, this seems fairly obvious to me. And how am I privy to such intimate details of a stranger’s personal life? I have to say I know more about this individual now due to his obsessive talking, that I feel I have had the misfortune to know him all my life.

But it’s not just family matters and work he broadcasts, every thought in this one’s head is vocalised loudly. There appears to be no disconnection between thought and mouth. Most of us have a thought and then consider whether to vocalise it based on its importance and relevance to others. This individual has no such check mechanism, the thoughts, no matter how insignificant and pointless, are broadcast to half the office undoubtedly without any idea that it is being done.

Anyway the two constantly rib each other and listening to their shtick is like being in the front row of an Edwardian music hall and being treated to a particularly cheesy and an un-enjoyable performance by a wanna be Laurel and Hardys. I find myself cringing with embarrassment every few minutes.

Why whinge? Well I can’t complain as I know neither will ever change, their personalities are hardwired and unfortunately one of them is a general manager. I wear headphones but this really has no effect unless I turn up the volume to eleven, but then concentrating on my work is an issue (not that it isn’t when they're at it). I guess though in summing up this is to be expected, I cannot assume I will ever work with decent, responsible or mature people in an office, I am simply resigned to having to put up with imbecilic idiots like this for as long as I remain doing what I do, so ultimately have only myself to blame.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fade To Black...

More than 500 websites are protesting about the forthcoming (yet to be tabled) Australian internet filtering laws to be introduced by senator Stephen Conroy over the next week by fading to black (see this ABC news story).

This censorship MUST STOP! What are we? This is the 21st century and we Australians don't need to be told what to read about on the internet by middle aged, technology illiterate idiots who are acting like the cardboard politicians they are. Stephen Conroy will disappear into the nowhere land of forgotten politicians soon enough, nobody will remember him for anything except the stupid mess he made (if the law is passed) and they way he lowered Australia to the level of laughing stock amongst the international community. Thanks Mr Stephen Conroy, you will have made this country look stupid and backward in the eyes of the rest of the world (except for maybe China who will be applauding your ideas).

This is typical of the short sighted political style of this country. Granted some 'free world' countries have some form of filtering but that is highly regulated and accurate. The laws that are to be introduced here next year, if passed, are nothing like these. More worryingly, they are open ended and will be amended as 'somebody' sees fit. Perhaps it's time that Australia considered that constitution it never bothered with...

I wonder how long it will be before posts like this will be 'filtered' for the 'good of the population' too? Dissemination of a differing opinion to that of the government could be seen as ban worthy!

Addendum to the above post - 2013

"Stephen Michael Conroy... was the minister for Broadband...until his resignation on 26 June 2013" (Wikipedia) - My bold/italics and underlining.

I also want to add another FACT from the Stephen Conroy Wikipedia page (the capitals are not ironic) regarding a website I linked to in this very post:

"In December 2009 "Internet pranksters" registered the domain name which was swiftly removed by auDA raising concerns about auDA's political neutrality and the further potential for suppression of political speech after the proposed mandatory Internet filter is legislated." - Rather telling isn't it?

So although you may still be a Victorian Senator, goodbye Mr. Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, now we can move on into the 21st century properly.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

More from Google Docs

Let's try this again - a year after the first trial with google docs where no post title appeared when it should have, I have decided to give it abother go and see what happens with the formatting.
Perhaps this will work...

Well it worked to a degree - Google if you ever read this why is there a large space in between the title and the body of the post? How hard can it be? (At least the republish after amending the document works).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Heard of Google Docs? Well I have, and I am currently blogging from it. If you can read this I am no longer logged in to blogger as normal. I have bypassed the sometimes moody and recalcitrant blogger writing software and am writing from a google doc. Amazing what the wonders of modern technology can do these days...

Shame that the title of the post doesn't appear, even though I have checked the '
Include the document title when posting (if supported)' in the settings. Well, modern technology does have its limits I suppose.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grumpy Old Man Monologue No. 6 - Knuckle Crackers

I am very excited. Tonight on my daily commute home from work on Melbourne’s exemplary train network I encountered my first knuckle cracking commuter. I can’t actually remember the last time I came across one of these rarities whilst on the train, so I think it’s time for another Grumpy Old Man Monologue. What is that makes someone want to crack their knuckles? The traveller in question this evening boarded the train a few minutes after me and took up the seat opposite - the seat having just been vacated by a commuter who had alighted at the station, allowing me to temporarily uncurl my legs from the uncomfortable position in which I had had to put them due to the woefully insufficient leg room in the carriage. This resumption of the uncomfortable leg position immediately increased the level of grumpiness I was experiencing up to about a 7.5 on the grumpometer (believe it or not I just made that word up – I think I’ll try and introduce it into the everyday vernacular, if you hear it from now on remember I coined it). The Knuckle Cracker, sat relatively quietly for a few minutes until the time came for him to begin his sinovial gymnastics. He pulled at each finger in turn on his right hand then followed quickly by performing the same action on his left hand. Everyone of his fingers made a loud cracking noise as he tugged at it. He almost didn’t seem to know he was doing it by the blank look on his face. He stared, mouth slightly open, out of the window as his joints were pulled at and his chunky jewellery rattled around on his wrists. The sound is almost up with finger nails on the blackboard in my opinion.

Anyway, he performed this digital abuse in the same manner in which the majority of the other stereotypes in my growing list of train travelling ‘Types’ perform their own distinctive behaviours – apparently totally oblivious to the fact that there were people closely surrounding him/her who don’t necessarily want to hear their private conversations, nose blowing / throat clearing techniques or the style of music they prefer.

Note: I heard some anecdotal evidence recently that knuckle cracking is bad for you. Apparently someone performed an experiment over a number of years whereby he cracked the knuckles of just his right (it may have been left I don’t remember) hand over a number of years. Eventually he found that the knuckles he had cracked everyday were constantly painful and inflamed. Urban Myth? Maybe, but I’m not giving it a go.

I’ll be publishing my hierarchical list of human annoyance behaviours seen on public transport soon. It will include detailed personal observation and the types will be divided into biological classes based on observable similarities. It ill be called,

‘Relative Behavioural Trait Differentiation between the species Homo Sapiens Commuter and its subspecies, Homo Sapiens Commuter Annoying Git’