A year of blogging badly

glennji | Nov 27, 2016 min read

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.

Bondi beach bums

I better write quickly, then: In the last six months, I’ve changed jobs, bought a motorcycle, gone camping, been hit with a tax bill and started a business.

I’m now working as a software developer for a “start-up support” company called IndustrieIT, and although the project hours are still very demanding (we’ve built a cryptographically secure datastore, and will be migrating from the client’s in-house datacentre to Amazon) the “feel” of the place is much, much better than at my last role. (Sad but familiar story at my old job, really: new management, including CEO and CTO, and the whole feel of the place turned bad. Small companies thrive (or dive) on personalities, I think, and I just think the personalities they hired for (some of) the “C-*” roles were not right. CLV.)

Xia-Hifa Biologics

At IIT, we have a group of smart folks — developers, dev-ops, lawyers, designers — and we all just get along, for the most part. We work in “squads”, try to self-organise and actually have fun when we can (board games, beer and wine, brown-bag learning sessions, agility). In fact, the worst part of my current project is that I have to be onsite (a bank)!


This October it was my 20-year high-school reunion, and in the spirit of “mid-life crisis” I bought a 1992 BMW K100LT, bright yellow, and rode it to central Victoria, camping in a swag along the way. Worthy of a post on it’s own, too — it was fun, but rushed, and I would’ve preferred to either camp in one spot for the full week.

I haven’t ridden since. A new project for 2017, however: the bike came with a “spares” bike, which I’ve decided to (attempt to) restore into a high-tech-but-classic tourer — Arduino-powered telemetry, 3d-camera, audio pickup for the sweet pipe rumble², HUD and satnav on minimal front fairing windshield, even Bluetooth biometrics if we can manage it. I’ll need to talk to Uncle Peter the Motorcycle Mechanic methinks.

The K-* restoration project

(I even have a deadline: MotoGP 2017. I’ll be riding down with a crew and enjoying a weekend of house-party mania and bike fanaticism. If I can do that on my own BMW K-* resto, I will be Legend.)

Scroll up to remind myself what else I mentioned in the opening paragraphs … oh yes, the certainty of taxes! (See footnote 1 below for somewhat-related aside.)

This is depressing so I’ll keep it short: the share options I got from a certain Silicon Valley wild-child are so far worth nothing but an additional $30K, from me, to the the ATO. I’m paying it off in monthly installments; hell may freeze over before we’re done (look who’s going to be the president of the USA, after all). If we manage to sell, we’ll be sitting pretty — there are no indications that we’ll actually be able to sell, unfortunately, and nothing to say that we’ll get the money back if the options just lapse. (This system. Seriously.)

And the business? Not mine, really, but Dee’s. I have high hopes for this, to be honest. We better get some more ‘blog posts going there too!

All in all? It’s been busy, but I think 2017 will be fun.

1. “Short-lived dotage”: I’m firmly in the “optimistic immortalist” camp, in that I hold out a possibly unreasonable hope that the most common forms of death will be cured in time for me to achieve “practical immortality” — freedom from disease and age-related dysfunction. Whether it’s a gradual outcome of our admittedly slow and error-prone science, or we bootstrap either ourselves or an artificial intelligence into some kind of post-Rapture vita ex machina, I’m hoping I’m young enough to experience what I suspect is near-inevitable.

  1. “Sweet pipe rumble”: Tell me you wouldn’t order that from Black Star if you saw it on the menu (and line wasn’t too long)!