The Long Plan

Maybe I’m getting older. I mean, OF COURSE that is OBJECTIVELY true, of all of us. Even if time is multidimensional, we seem to be falling this way at near-light speed — with no clear way to steer, let alone slow down. We each grow a tiny bit older with every Planck time clock-tick, our cells die and replenish, the pattern of “us” which arises from and is embedded in the physicality of the universe transforms and changes, like a “river once crossed“. But this morning I looked out at the tiny yard at the back of our Petersham rental and felt claustrophobic. Part of it is because of the rental property we went to look at yesterday. From the […]

Keeping Ourselves Busy

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last post. Jules is back at school, giving Dee the space to ramp up her job search — with a twist, as she’s looking to move into agile project management (i.e. scrum master, product owner, etc.). Not something she’s (yet!) done, but seems like a good move (she’ll be good at it) and will be something she can enjoy — just as long as we can convince someone to take a chance! (She may invest in a scrum master course and certification, since recruiters at least will be looking for that.) Wish her luck! We start week 4 of I Quit Sugar today, with a smaller than usual cook-up: I made some […]


Oh, it’s Easter again already? What have we been up to? We’ve now done a full week of the I Quit Sugar programme, and I think it’s been pretty good: the food has been yummy, the recipes easy to follow, and I haven’t felt like I’m missing out on anything. Of course, being week #1 I’ve not tried to be too strict — I even had a cafe-latte a day (and black coffee otherwise). The approach can be summed up in two (or three) steps: big Sunday cook-up to make dinners easier; last nights’ dinner for lunch; and drink more water! On Thursday I worked from home — I completely forgot that Friday was a public holiday — and that night […]

The other Taronga

Sad-ish news: Dee’s contract is not being renewed. So she’s on the hunt for work! Despite our new single-income status, we spent last weekend at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, “glamping” in the Zoofari Park there. We explored the zoo on Day #1, before checking into our “tent”: a canvas structure, true, but we hot and cold water, electricity, a massive four-poster bed and a wooden deck from which we could watch the giraffes, addax and other animals.  We had a late night guided tour of the zoo — elephants, tigers, rhinos — followed by cocktails, chess and a meal in the “club” with the rest of the zoofaristas. A few too many drinks for me, considering the really early (6:50 […]

Step Two: Plan (and learn!)

After convincing my son to let me destroy upgrade his toy robot, I was quick to order a bunch of Arduino-related gear online. A month later and “Bingo” is still sitting in pieces, but when the parts started arriving last weekend I was able to make a minor breakthrough: I installed the Arduino software, connected one of her legs to a DC motor driver and made her twitch forwards and backwards with a little sketch! Small steps, literally, but I was pretty excited to see it working. (I also soldered an 8×8 LED matrix with a MAX7219 controller and, like, three other components … and it actually worked! I’m in need of a lot of soldering practice, so this was a big deal […]

Step one: disassemble

This weekend I finally convinced Jules that we should take his robot apart. Admittedly, he might have been less enthusiastic if Agent Bingo didn’t already need surgery — one of the DC motors in her legs had stopped working, so the poor thing could only walk around in circles. “Don’t worry,” I promised, “We can fix this.” If only she knew that my idea of “fix” was a brain transplant… With the shell open, and Jules starting to get bored, I sketched out what I thought was our best option: resolder her leg motor (!!) take everything out of her cybernetic skull: controller board, “eyes”, IR sensor. leave her body mechanics alone (it’s a hard plastic gearbox surrounding a single DC […]

Friday night / Freitag Nacht

A long, long week is finally done. I worked from home today, and Dee is sick, so we went to get Jules from “after-care” at about 4pm. (We could have picked him up at 3, when school finishes, but (a) he loves after-school care, and (b) we pay for it either way. Oh yes, Jules has (finally?) started at primary school; incidentally, we just saw his school featured on Channel Ten’s The Living Room — the same Living Room that gave us a lounge room makeover courtesy of Temple & Webster, yes. Not that we watch the show much, admittedly, but we just might be more likely to tune in knowing we may see Miguel serving up a paella to […]

The day after ‘Straya Day

The house is dark, and quiet. It’s peaceful here at the moment — almost half-past midnight, so not entirely unexpected. I’ve googled for a reason to drink an admittedly small single-malt (antioxidants! protection from dementia!) and snuck into the bedroom to retrieve the bottle. “Cinematic Chillout” plays quietly in the background, my screen is suitably dimmed and I’m about as relaxed as I’m going to get. It’s the day after (what I insist on calling) ‘Straya Day, perhaps better known (and certainly better loved) as “The Hottest 100 countdown”. We had a pretty low-key one — apart from the music, we ate barbequed sausages and took turns napping and “swimming” in the tiny inflatable pool. Interestingly (well, if you’re into […]

Reuben vs ribbon

Let’s see: what happened this week? (My mum has reminded me that I forgot to mention the parental visits in my last post: we’ve had two two separate instances of “nannie/nanna” visiting, and Jules insists that he went to the moon with grandma, so perhaps you can understand how I forgot. It was lovely having visitors, of course. We did the usual “touristy” things when we could — ate more take-aways (and drank more wine!) than we should, using our host-status as an excuse — and the time went by much too fast. If you’re reading now — and this pretty much applies to anybody who IS reading, including my “friends” at ASIO/the DSD — you’re very welcome to come […]

A year of blogging badly

My last post here was July. /me sighs. It’s not that we haven’t been doing things that are worthy of writing about — things I might want to remember later, to read and reminisce, to recall what it was like to be “young and free” (read: almost 40 and a parent) in my (hopefully short-lived¹) dotage. But, somehow, it has become very difficult to find the time/space to actually order my thoughts in to anything like a coherent narrative, let alone record them. This paragraph alone has take 15 minutes and three interruptions. Moreover, that was as far as I could get — it’s now been about four hours (and one couch fort) since my last sentence. Sheesh. I better […]