Sunday 30 September 2007

Art And About

My Dad and I were walking through Hyde Park yesterday and came across Art And About which is running through October. The enlarged photos of life in Sydney are worth the visit.

The Sydney Life show explained. I thought it would be longer :o)

Dad near " Elvis Goes to the Races"

All the photos hanging in Hyde Park

Saturday 29 September 2007

Do you find it hard to cope with women in IT?

Or do they find it hard to cope with you? Take note.


The End Is Nigh

... or is it the beginning again? I always sucked at RI.

A relevant sign for Darlinghurst where a lot of saving is needed

Forbes and Burton Isn't A Law Firm

G + I had a delightful breakfast in Darlinghurst at Forbes and Burton.

There was fresh OJ, crispy bacon, perfectly poached eggs and italian hot chocolate for me. G had the Croque Madame which is the coolest looking ham and cheese toastie made with gruyere and chive marscapone. The coffee is "really good" according to my breaky partner. The prices are good and there are plenty of tables. I highly recommend a weekend breakfast here.

The only downside was walking through Darlinghurst at 9ish on a Saturday morning and having to dodge the clubbers who still hadn't gone to bed and the guy who decided the world is his toilet. That's Darlo though so I can't complain too much :o)

Friday 28 September 2007

You looking at me?! You looking at me?!

Sydney taxi drivers are a diverse bunch and each one is a "character" (not wanting to use more descriptive words).

This morning I took a cab from Oxford Street to Woolloomooloo and spent a disturbing 7 minutes in a car with someone who I would describe as "having issues". It started when he asked what I do and I told him I am in IT. He asked what part and I told him I am a programmer - I write code. He said he had a book on it and couldn't understand a f***ing thing about Visual Basic and it wasn't very basic. Before I could respond he started yelling about not wanting to work for anyone and being his own boss and that he had "personal issues" (his words, not mine). For at least 90% of the trip he yelled and banged his fists and said that he wouldn't be under the control of another human being and work for them. "No way!" he shouted repeatedly.

Then his voice was Hannibal Lecter calm and he asked "What do you think?". Luckily, we had arrived at our destination and I paid him and jumped out of the car with a quick "have a nice day" and a silent undertone of "please don't kill me".

Picture from

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Iron Chef Australia

When I was a kid and a teenager, I wanted to be a chef. Anyone who knows me knows that food is more than a passion for me. Cooking, eating, drinking and buying food is a religion.

I am thinking of dropping out of IT and becoming a lowly potato pealing chef. We all have to start somewhere again. Someone once told me we change careers three times in our lives. This will be my second.

The reason I didn't become a chef was because a guidance counselor told me I had to drop out after year 10 to get a traineeship and that I could not finish high school. Finishing was not up for negotiation for me so I gave up that dream.

Monday 24 September 2007

Making Change Possible

Every day at work it is my job to push us technically towards a complete enterprise solution to provide our functionality via the web to external development teams and also for internal consumption. The company is a start-up created by a entrepreneur who has thoroughly proven himself in the initial dot com boom and has come up with another great idea. A lot of people have good ideas but the only ones that are worth anything are the ones that actually get built. Obvious but difficult to pull off and bloody hard work.

Before I arrived at the company, the idea had matured and we now have a pretty good map of where we want to go. There are the usual tides which move the goal posts and sometimes hide them behind trees. It's the usual journey to a product, as opposed to a project. I am a project girl through and through and the adjustment has been a positive challenge in my career. Product work is far less satisfying in the short term but I do see that product work could be fantabulously satisfying if the blood and sweat are invested.

The most difficult challenge I face each day is the naysayers. They are not jerks. They are resisting change because people just don't like change.

In Peopleware, they refer to what Machiavelli wrote in The Prince...

"And it should be considered that nothing is more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than to put oneself at the head of introducing new orders. For the introducer has all those who benefit from the old orders as enemies, and he has lukewarm defenders in all those who might benefit from the new orders."

That is damn depressing. It is true and it's a harsh truth that encourages you to accept how difficult the task at hand is. Convincing people to change to even the most obvious, universally accepted solution is not for the faint hearted.

Should I try to pull them by the hair kicking and screaming away from the .NET 1.0 COM-like component based blob to a set of RESTful web services written in Ruby? Is that too much change? If I try will I succeed if everyone is resisting?

To quote a harsh but more positive man...

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'" - Yoda

Pushing Buttons

G blogged about Jeff Atwood and it looks like him or at least someone pretending to be him (for some obscure reason) has responded. How amusing. Technorati exposes us all. Remember that.

I wish it was Joel or Rands though but good going Giles!

Subterranean Homesick Blues a la Mana

Saturday 22 September 2007

Bondi Blew Me Away

Last weekend, Giles and I went out to Bondi for brunch at Ravesi. This was my first ever visit to the famous Bondi Beach. It was a windy weekend... or is it gusty when you're near water? Either way, it's still a gorgeous beach. There was a guy flying a kite but try getting a video of a kite... it's difficult.

A kite being flown that day

A windy Bondi Beach taken from the safety of the car

Friday 21 September 2007

7 Dishes for 7 People

On Friday night, we went out to Chinta Ria with some FDers, ex-FDers and their partners for DK's birthday. We ordered a dish each (NO CHICKEN! Thank goodness) and spent quite a few hours eating, drinking and talking. I shared that hilarious pun "a dyslexic man walks in to a bra" and then had to explain it. All in all it was a fun filled night. Next time I'm going to try the deep fried banana dessert.

Here are the pretending-to-be-candid photos from the night...

Irene + Mei pretending to be deep in conversation

Mei + Rock were actually eating here so it's genuine

Wait, David + Emily were actually deep in non-candid conversation

Giles + I genuinely point out a bird, no a plane, no spiderpig!

Wednesday 19 September 2007

Resisting Definition

After working a while at any work place, I send out the Myers Briggs Personality Test to see who I'm working with. Often this explains the relationships I have with my workmates.

Another thing that seems to happen is that at different work places, people will flat out refuse to do the test. My current work is like this. Why analytical people resist the testing says something in itself. They are probably Ps.

*** UPDATE: 1 x ENTP + 2 x INTJs + ENFJ.

Today I am...

Your Type is ENTJ
Extraverted 100 Intuitive 88 Thinking 1 Judging 56

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

The joy of working with true geeks comes in many forms. When I say "true geeks", I am not just talking about someone who figured out how to vomit out some code and hit compile. I mean the true geeks who get enjoyment out of a simple left fold or a heated discussion about the the insane idea of non-compulsory voting or those who dress up subtly in honour of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here is one of those stories...

Cap'n Erik on the good ship Ubuntu

"Arrr!" is the only response he would give. It covered most situations adequately

Tuesday 18 September 2007

New Addition

The rumours are true. We got a friend for our beloved Paris. Her new friend is Siena. She is 5 months old and very energetic. She's been with us for just over two weeks and is a wonderful new family member.

Puzzling Vodka

As a result of my weekend adventure to Ikea, I can now drink jigsaw puzzle piece iceblocks. There are also hearts and wine bottles in the freezer and yes, they do taste better than normal shaped ones.

Quote from a guy I once knew

On the facebook page of a guy I went to high school and uni with, there was a quote that I had to agree with...

"Only people who suck don't like elitism."

Monday 17 September 2007

Emos explained

This picture explained emos to me in a split second. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Emos are great - the best people to giggle at.

Emo Emus are the saddest!

Sunday 16 September 2007

Badde Manors

After a long afternoon of shopping at Ikea, Tristram and Chiara took us to get "the best chocolate icecream" in Sydney and Italy. An Italian said that too so it's got to be good, right?

Absolutley! This is the best chocolate icecream I have ever had and it can be found at Badde Manors on Glebe Point Road, Glebe.

Awesomest yummoest chocolatest icecream in my life so far

Tristram + Chiara at Badde Manors

Friday 14 September 2007

Mars Lounge with da girlies

Friday night was spent sipping cocktails and eating nibblies at a funky bar in my block tagged the Mars Lounge. This was another fb organised event and I have to say there is no better way to keep track of your life than through facebook.

Beware of the cocktails at this bar that are basically alcoholic slushies. They are a little tacky. Just cos you put a drink in a martini glass doesn't mean it's classy.

The new bar girl was also a little slow. 3 cocktails and 1 beer took 15 mins but it was a Friday night and busy-ish. Both drinks and food are worth the wait. The prawn and mushroom wontons are worth returning for plus this place is less than 2 mins from my place so it will happen.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Where is Wally?

I'm on leave this week. Since APEC weekend, during the whole Great Wall of Sydney event with the rabid cops, the Chaser guys breaching security, Pavarotti passing away (RIP big guy), Britney bombing at the VMAs, Li Lo going back to court and an entertaining visit from the dad-in-law passing through on the way home from Paris.

Over the past few days I have had emails and fb messages asking where I've been and what I'm up to. I truly wish I could tell you it's been the stuff of the great novels but unfortunately it has just been blog-worthy.

On the weekend, Giles and I explored Surry Hills. We mostly went in the opposite direction to the water canons so we ended up near the charming terraces and old schools. This is one of the schools we passed that once separated boys and girls.

Bourke Street Public School with the separate sections for the sexes

Then there was Bourke Street Bakery Cafe which Giles discovered on one of his Wednesdays. They make delish chocolate croissants and Italian hot chocolate. I highly recommend it but be prepared to line up because it is popular on Saturdays.

Bourke Street Bakery Cafe

Tristram + Chiara took G + I out to a fabulous night of cocktails and dinner at Lo Studio. It was kinda like a belated birthday but relatively early for Tristram :)

More pressies for me

It's been quiet around here. I'm putting a lot of time in to writing some stuff in Ruby on Rails. Am using Ruby in Steel but if anyone can recommend an IDE on Windows that they like then please do let me know. Will write more once the new lang and I get acquainted.

I'll leave you now with something I found on the coffee table. It's the remains of some popcorn... the unpopped kernels. The pattern is not random. It is the sign that I live with an obsessive compulsive :o)
A random pattern... I think not

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Quasi Intellectuals

A phenomenon that I have not been able to identify until now has become quite clear to me - Quasi Intellectuals.

These people are educated, in that they have a degree. They usually don't work in the field they are qualified in. They are usually not very smart but are extremely arrogant. People in the field they are qualified in have little to no respect for them.

If you see one of these people, don't bother arguing with them. Just join me in pushing for a professional association to be formed in IT, like medicine and law have in order to clean up the pool of professionals that are out there - wrongly qualified but really believing they belong there just because we let anyone in to this club.

Update: This is something I am seeing every day currently but not so clearly in the past.