Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The other end of the day

I'm often walking home towards sunset these days, and there have been some stunning sunsets to enjoy. I've been wanting to get down to the beach and photograph one for a while now, and finally managed it today. It's not the most spectacular, but it was very nice:



(you can click for a larger version).

Very pretty. I'm hoping to get down to the beach on many more mornings and evenings, as it's a very nice place to take a walk, as well as a photo.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flight of the Conchords TV Show roXXors

Having watched 2 episodes of the Flight of the Conchords TV show, I am entirely impressed by it. It is great. I love the Flight of the Conchords TV show.

I thought that the first episode was good - maybe not quite as strong as the BBC radio show, but still very good. I love the live recordings of their music, probably moreso than a lot of the more polished studio recordings, and the TV show featured slicker versions of songs (for example, the I'm Not Crying song in the BBC radio show is a live recording, and while less polished is slightly more awesome (to my ear) than the (admittedly also fantastic) version on the TV show).

That said, the song at the start of episode 2 of their TV show - Inner City Pressure - is absolute genius. Hilarious, inspired, genius. My hat (and I was wearing one today as it was fairly cold on the walk to school) is off to those very clever chaps. I loved the whole second episode, and I can't wait for next week's show :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Early Morning Wildlife

I went for a stroll this morning, and took my camera with me. I'm not much of a photographer (though I would love to get a digital SLR camera with a couple of lenses to play with - winning one as a prize somehow is the only way that's likely to happen), but I do like to take snapshots of things from time to time.

I find the beach quite beautiful, especially on a clear day. I took a few fairly random shots, watched sand trails swirling in the wind (that was very cool), and enjoyed the fresh morning air and sunshine. These are my 2 favourite shots:





I'm only about 40 pages from finishing the third book I've read this term. That's not in any way impressive - I used to read a couple of books a week when I was a projectionist, and now I'm down to less than one a month on average. However, with the advent of reading-whilst-walking-to-work, I have managed to read almost three books in one term (five more school days to finish 40 pages, shouldn't be a problem). So, hooray for living within walking distance of my school :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Phoenix, Holidays, Moviefest

Played 2 episodes of Phoenix, the Prime Time Adventures game that I managed to sneak into, in the weekend. It was very good, and I'm still very impressed with how that game runs. Good, good peoples, and a great collaborative style. I've raved before - all that is still true.

Unfortunately, I feel like my staying-up-late stamina is low at the moment, as I felt pretty crappy on Sunday morning. It was totally worth it, but I am a bit run-down at the moment (end of term and all). I'm hella impressed that Debbie's coping as well as she is, what with the end-of-term being combined with pregnant/morning sickness.

Yes, I will be very happy when the holidays start. I have to run seminars at an ICT conference on the first Monday and Tuesday, but after that there should be some nice relaxation and recuperation time.

I've signed up the Jenni's Angels team for another Moviefest entry - it was fun last time, and we got 3rd in the country, so it's well worth our time to make another entry :) This year one of my goals is to make something pretty and interestingly shot. Two ways to achieve this - storyboarding, and picking pretty locations to film in. That will no doubt soak up some of the holiday time, but it's fun stuff and very satisfying.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Furniture up for grabs

Surplus to requirements:

*One futon sofa bed
*One old double bed (slat base plus matress)

Will trade for chocolate.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Baby Photo #1

This is our first baby photo:



As you can see, the baby's still quite small. From the measurement taken of the top of the skull to the bottom (end of the spine) they estimated 14 weeks and 3 days, giving a due date in early December (11th?).

Now, I've never been able to see much in ultrasounds of babies on TV, but when you're actually there, and the foetus starts doing the macarena, it's pretty awesome - and pretty easy to see that it is a tiny little person. Some of the stills from the scan are reasonably clear though - like this one that shows the head, the spine, and one arm:



Anyways, I'm sure we'll take millions of photos of our kid, but there is no question that these are the first ones :)

Happy birthday Debbie!

Today is a very important day, being the birthday of young Debzter. So I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!, and then I go hand in my relief for this afternoon so I can go home and say it in person :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Busy, as per usual

Reports. Major Production DVD (editing the matinee, making the DVD). Senior exam marking.

I actually almost enjoyed mowing the lawn last weekend. It was certainly satisfying to tame the wild grass. If our lawn were about a third of its current size, but equally flat, I think it would not be an unpleasant chore at all.

Well, a fifth of its current size. Roughly.

In other thrilling news, I have taken to eating vegemite sandwiches for lunch. This is a change from the peanut butter sandwiches I ate in term 1. Sometimes I have cheese in my sandwiches too, but usually I do not. Mote it be.

Lastly, I'm reading some 1990/1991 Kurt Vonnegut - a novel called Hocus Pocus. It's very good - a reflective novel told in first person by a character who is in prison, looking back over his life. The Vietnam War, education, prisons and such are its main subject matter. I'm reading it whilst walking to work, and am about half way through now. I love the feeling I get when it's time to pick a new book to read - so many choices, such a richness of variety. What will be next?

It's neat. Peachy keen, even.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rude words

Sometimes saying lots of rude words is a good way to relieve stress. Not as good as taking a holiday, I'm sure, but as a stop-gap measure, not too bad. It's not a habit I indulge when at work, or often when at home. It seems that trying to get a computer to do something is one of the main triggers for my excessive use of profanity.

In other news, I spent way too many hours doing marking yesterday. And I have reports due this week. And more marking.

It's all highly tragic, though somewhat ameliorated by the holiday that's coming in 3 weeks. Of course, I have to work on the first 2 days of the holidays, but there are more days after that which I will be enjoying in a big way.

Lastly - I've been enjoying reading the forums for the 48 hour film competition. There's always a lot of lively discussion following the 48, and there has been some silly sour-graping this year (there is every year - no surprise when people slog their guts out for a weekend then disagree with the judges' decisions). I was a little rude to one such sour-graper: politely rude, but a lot more sarcastic than I usually am on a forum. It was fun, though not really productive. I tried to write in a helpful manner, with a little bit of a sting in the tail.

Anyways, this paragraph is after a pararaph that begins with 'lastly', so it really shouldn't have any content, or even exist at all. I shall simply end with a sad fact from today:

I left school so late today that it was too dark to read on my walk home.

Although ending on a sad note isn't really my style, so I'll say that the reason I left so late was that I was editing a show using Premier Pro 2. Multicam function is teh awesomes. Seriously - it's a huge leap up from old PP (version 7 - ie pre version 1). It took less than 2 hours to edit together 4 cameras worth of footage of an 80 minute show :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Well Met

Whew. Sometimes changing what you do at work can be very tiring.

Last week I visited another school, and was charged with the responsibility of absorbing information rapidly for about 3 hours. It was intense, and really tiring. I was wiped out by mid-afternoon!

Today, I was also out of the classroom for a lot of the day, but this time it was for a 3 hour long meeting to discuss ICT use in the school.

3. Hours.

Now, I'm sure there are people who have 3 hour long meetings daily, and for whom they are not a challenge. But I was getting more than a little restless at several points in the meeting - especially when I felt we were making slow progress. Overall the meeting was great and some good stuff came out of it, but I suspect I became a little blunter and more forceful in my contributions as my patience wore down. I made many constructive comments, and am not worried that I was too pushy, but I definitely started to express myself in strong terms towards the end of the meeting.

I kinda like putting ideas out in meeting type situations, as I always feel like I can back up what I'm saying, but am not so in love with my ideas that I won't listen to criticism. At least, that's how I see it ;)

The end result was not a huge amount of tiredness on my part - not more than I usually have at this point in the week, anyway. But that's quite a bit in and of itself.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Movie Watching

Seen: Pirates of the Carribean 3, and Destination Earth (Jenni's Angels' 48 hour film). One was a tightly put together, funny film with awesome special effects. The other had pirates in it.

Actually, they both had awesome special effects - Destination Earth had cool graphic reminiscent (sp?) of Hitchhiker's Guide, whilst Pirates had more than 3 hours of eye-candy.

More. Than. Three. Hours.

I enjoyed it, but I had a bit of a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when the climactic sea-battle was about to start, and I glanced down at my watch to see that there was a whole hour left to go. I hope the 'director's' cut is shorter than the theatrical cut :)

I will rant about the post-credits bit later...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Weekend Approacheth

I have had an interesting week - a visit to another school on Tuesday, and lots and lots of classes to teach. I am very much looking forward to the weekend.

I started up a wiki for my year 12 class this week, and had them adding pages for their research projects. It's been quite interesting - anyone can edit any page, so there were a number of silly comments on the first day, but by the end of the second day the few silly people had pretty much settled down and are using the wiki fairly responsibly. It's kinda neat.

I told them that the school would probably have a school-wide system set up before next year (I suspect moodle is going to be that system), and that they were cutting edge. I also asked them to respect the wiki's hauora, and that if they wanted to pwn each other or write comments like 'ur gay' they should do so on Bebo, not the wiki. After stressing that there's no way to retrieve work, and that anything they save over is gone for ever, the few silly kids stopped changing each other's pages. I had to explain it a couple of times, but the move from 'hey, I can anonymously screw people over' to 'hey, stop anonymously screwing people over' was pretty quick (in most cases). It's nice to see teenagers taking responsibility for their actions, or controlling their behaviour on moral grounds rather than out of fear of punishment.