Moby

While I was at Borders in Chadstone the other day I spent some time in the music section. I was looking for some good background music, some beats, some loops, something different. I don't know anything about the "Dance" scene - which was the section I found myself in - and I eventually found a Moby album, which was someone I'd at least heard of. In Borders you can listen to the first 30 or so seconds of every song on every album (great!) so I listened to a few of his albums, mainly "Play" and "18" because I'd heard some of the tunes on the radio.

I don't know what it was about the music - it immediately struck me as moody and evoked emotions in me as I was standing in the shop. When I saw a double pack with both of those albums, I decided I'd get it. As I walked out I felt like I was holding something really "cool" and trendy.

To cut a long story short, I've had them on pretty much non-stop since Saturday and am loving both albums. They're different musically than the music I have listened to in the past (guitar-driven rock, tending towards the "heavy" side) but I am really enjoying them, especially "Play". Even now I still feel like I'm onto something "cool"...

IT User Groups Open Day

On Saturday I went to a IT User Groups Open Day in Melbourne. To try and describe it without using the words that make up its title: pretty much it was a collection of stalls with one or two people behind them, representing gatherings of normal people that have banded together and meet regularly to help out a particular targeted computing sub-community.

For instance there were Linux, Oracle, and SAP user groups (devoted to a particular technology); Java, ColdFusion and .NET (aimed at specific tools); spheres of interest like security were covered; and also methodologies and techniques like project management and extreme programming were also covered.

I have been interested in user groups for a few months as a way to talk to other developers in person and learn from them, and contribute to a developer's community in some way. So I walked around, grabbed brochures and talked to a few people. One guy who stood out was from the Melbourne Extreme Programming Enthusiasts who chased me downstairs to talk to me about the group. I think I'll go and check the group out.

I was there about an hour, and on the way home stopped at Borders bookstore to look around (for two hours). I don't know how you feel about bookstores, but I love 'em just for the sheer volume of knowledge and the chance to get a new book. Looking around for that period of time is not something you can do with wife and kids in tow, so Olivia, thanks for letting me go! End result: no books purchased, and I'm OK with that.

Family Reunion

Every year on the 4th Sunday of March there is a Williams family reunion for descendants of the original Thomas Samual Williams. This year it was great, I got to catch up with (it seems) all new people.

There was a time where I went away from family get-togethers. I'm glad to be back (I've been back for a number of years now). I remember the first time I took Olivia along, I just wanted her to meet and be accepted by this extended, wider family. Now she's hooked too. And I really hope this is something that my generation will carry on.

Cousin Matthew (who I haven't seen for 7 or so years): good to catch up with you. It's really encouraging to hear what God is doing with your life too. I hope we catch up again soon.

Footy Tipping - 5 out of 8

My first footy tipping (see this post) went OK, I got 5 out of 8. I told my wife that she and I were going in the footy tipping, and so far she hasn't let me forget all the games I picked the wrong team! And my team, the Collingwood Magpies, lost. Oh well, it can only get better, right?

Terrorism Preparedness

Justin links to a re-interpretation of the terrorist emergency preparedness guidelines images at ValleySoapBox.com. His warning is valid: a few of the captions have crude language.

Rodney's Friday Five

Rodney happily substitutes some questions this week (the standard Friday Five site has no new questions):

1. Where were you born? Malvern, Victoria, Australia.

2. Where do you live now? Carrum Downs, Victoria, Australia (I've moved about 40 minutes in my whole life)

3. How many countries have you visited? 5 - Japan, Korea, Vanuatu, the USA, Hawaii

4. How many countries have you lived in? 1 - good old Down Under...yeah! Rock!

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Melbourne, Australia. Sure I'd like to live for a time in Vanuatu or Korea, but here is home.

Thanks Rodney!

Olivia's an INFJ

According to my favorite personality test, my wife Olivia is an INFJ (Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Judging). Here's a quick blurb (from INFJ Profile by Marina Margaret Heiss):

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.

Another good wrap-up at Keirsey.com.

Footy Tips for Round 1, 2004

Here's the games, and here's my tips (this is so I can remember what I did): Richmond v Collingwood, Hawthorn v Melbourne, Fremantle v Carlton, Brisbane v Sydney, St. Kilda v Geelong, Port Adelaide v Essendon, Kangaroos v Adelaide, Western Bulldogs v West Coast.

Wow, my first ever fotty tipping competition!

Long Lost Friends, and Names

I guess through not being diligent, and probably being self-centred, and plenty of other stuff, I've lost contact with a lot of my friends from High School (some 13 years ago!) and Uni. Problem is I realise as I get older that the best friends are the ones you've got. I guess I felt for a few years in the middle I was looking for a best mate, but on reflection more walking along blindly ignoring those around me and not developing any meaningful relationships and definitely not getting my "mate" needs met.

As a starter step I thought I'd put a few names of people I know into Google, limit the results to Australia, and see if I could find what they'd been up to or how to get in touch. My friend the computer geek from grade 6 to about year 8: nothing. My friend the tough guy from about year 11 to year 12: a phone number. My friend the science guy from about grade 4 to year 9: an e-mail address. That's pretty good going, since my two best mates I keep in contact with.

Update: I wrote to Cameron whose e-mail address I found, and he wrote back. Thanks Cameron!

2nd Update: I hope my friends from years past don't do the same thing I did. Put "Thomas Williams" into Google, limited to Australia, and I couldn't find one that was me! However, I was "...a member of Captain Moonlite's bushranging gang...", a "...Designer BDes (Ind Des)", "...Wellington's Cardinal...", "...Court Justice..." and "...born about 1800 in Wolverhampton, England...". Remember: I am not unique, I am not unique...

Being an IT Manager

Woah...Intel have developed a browser-based game that allows you to be an IT Manager. I tried it and immediately lost one worker, had two servers inoperable for most of a day, hired 3 guys to have them mostly sitting around because I can't find a way to get them a workstation each...aaaarrgggg! Maybe I should RTM!

It is fun if you're into techie-type things. Wonder if it counts as work?

Links to artwork for Easter's Passion Week

Post-Modern Pilgrim has a link to a blog by Tim Bednar called Lenten Series: Essays and Masterworks @ e-Church.com.

The Lenten Series has links to (among other things) Christian artwork & paintings - some of the sites are Olga's Gallery and Mark Harden's Artchive which have a great catalogue of old paintings, which I'm trolling through for Easter.

Computing Frustration

Avner Kashtan has a great post on frustration from behind a computer which he titles "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!". A spoiler: there's a happy ending, just like in the Jabberwocky. I don't know how many times I've experienced this same thing...

Happy Birthday Little Brother!

Nathan's birthday on Monday - Happy Birthday brother! Now the baby of our family, the youngest brother, is 25...congratulations!

TOM programming language

No, not a programming language named after me, but a real programming language with my name! Some of the key features from Reasons for TOM (intentionally taken out of context here) are:

  • In TOM, a class need not be defined by one monolithic definition: its definition can be split into multiple parts... split personality? You bet!
  • In TOM, the functionality...follows logically from TOM's use of dynamic binding, multiple inheritance, and deferred method declarations Sounds logical - if I ever need dynamic binding, I'll just power up the old TOM interface
  • TOM is strongly type checked at compile time... Last time I got 'compiled' was by my wife when we were wrestling
  • A TOM condition can be signaled... It's a kind of funny wave and raise of the eyebrows
  • TOM undoubtebly comes with its own problems solved by other languages... Some problems are unsolvable, though
All of which sounds mostly true and relatively painful.

Now if I designed a real programming language with all the benefits of Tom, it would only work 80% of the time, not at all on Sundays, frequently get melancholy over things that it was perfectly happy about at other times, be a pretty competitive language and get sooky when it didn't win, have terrible output (handwriting), get more bloated the older it got until it finally sharpened up and went on a diet (losing a lot of functionality and unable to digest things it had previously been able to import), download constantly and smellily, crack jokes while it was running something and sometimes do things automatically because "that's the way you liked it before, right?" Altogether no use for my wife. Tom would be getting the reboot frequently!

Which also sounds painful!

Holiday Tales

My Mum and Dad came and spent one night with us on holidays. Good to have you Mum and Dad!

Here's some funny things that happened:

  • We booked the spa for an hour after the kids had gone to bed. Mum and Dad went there first, Mum came back after their time and said "...it was good, but the bubbles weren't great". When Olivia and I arrived to do our half-hour shift, Dad said he'd only just figured out how to put the bubbles on. So Olivia and I enjoyed a spa with bubbles (thanks Dad), but as we were about to leave we discovered we also could've dimmed the lights and had an exhaust fan running.

  • Olivia beat me in chess numerous times, which is great 'cause she's only been playing 3 months. One night I was totally obliterated by her. During the game, trying to excuse my erratic play, I told her I was trying to call her bluff when she took my queen (and subsequently won the game easily). She told me "you don't bluff with your queen". Wise words.

  • TJ and I went to build sandcastles one morning. A huge march fly chased me, and I did my mad fly dance trying to dodge it (also used for dodging bees and wasps). TJ wasn't worried about the bug: he carefully tried to follow in my footsteps on the sand, twisting and turning around!

  • TJ is great at suprising us with his nonchallant attitude (sometimes) when something important to him is broken or lost. He comes out with an "oh well", and just gets on with things. When I threw his one ball onto the roof, I was hoping he'd "oh well" it and do something else. When I mentioned we'd have to ask "the man" (meaning the holiday park gardener or something) to get it down with a ladder, he kept on reminding me about that, until I secretly climbed up on the car and got the ball down. Oh well!

  • The day we got there Olivia asked at the office to confirm our booking and having Mum and Dad as guests on the final night. I heard the lady behind the counter mention that this request was not on the books, and we'd have to move cabins and pay extra. Olivai took this really well, and after about 5 minutes of conversation and going back and forth we were nearly on our way to go back and get our receipt from the cabin when the lady said "Oh...forget everything I just said, I thought you were someone else!" Problem solved!

  • We had a two-bedroom cabin - one master bedroom, one with four beds (two bunks) and a sofa bed for our guests. When Olivia asked TJ which bed he wanted and she made him up his bed, he was so excited to be sleeping on a top bunk, he was saying "Thankyou thankyou thankyou mummy".
What a fantastic holiday...

Ocean Grove Holidays

Well, back, refreshed and rested, from our holidays at Ocean Grove Holiday Park near Geelong, Victoria.

What a great holiday! Perfect autumn weather, beaches, shops, afternoons spent playing chess, talking and reading while the kids slept, and a ride on the ferry home.

The last day we spent in Geelong, where there was an Ulysses motorcycle club AGM happening. There were thousands of bikes and riders of all shapes and sizes from all over Australia, many wearing black leathers (with the club's motto "Grow old disgracefully" as membership is restricted to people 40 old and up). It was great to see all the bikes (TJ loved it) and to see a lot of man-and-woman couples riding together (Olivia thought that was sweet).

I was also touched by a moving rendition of the national anthem sung to the tune of Cold Chisel's "Working Class Man", a big Australian hit from the 80's. I thought, when was the last time I sung the Australian anthem? It is pretty much reserved for big sporting events. To see a large group of people stand up for it to start their AGM was pretty cool.

Maybe I was moved by the desire to be in a "gang". Hmmm...

Books for March 2004

I'm reading a few books right now, hope to finish some of 'em off over the holidays (yeah, right!)

Still going with "The Purpose-Driven(TM) Life". Half way through! This week has been about fellowship and community.

Warning: I may say something I might regret here. Let it be known that I'm enjoying the book on a fairly shallow level and it's good to be reminded of some of the universal principals (I don't think you have to be a Christian to read this book). Well, here goes...

I have found that so far in my reading I reckon Rick Warren's put together a good book but I find there's too many easy-to-remember almost-cliches and nice little devotional thoughts, sprinkled with Bible quotes. I feel that often he does not establish context for the Bible quotes - for one quote, he can say something along the lines of "this is what Paul says to the church in Corinth", and for another, he can say "this is what Paul is saying to us in the book of Corinthians". I like my teaching a bit more biblical, and while I can't (and won't) argue with Rick's principals, the lack of context (for me) means that the book is like well-meaning, slightly sugar-coated advice which is just not challenging.

OK. I'm also reading a software development classic called "The Mythical Man-Month" which is about, in one sentence, managing software projects (but it could apply to managing other projects). It's set up as a collection of short essays rather than one long tome and is 30-odd years old, but the edition I've got has been updated with some new chapters. The author, Fred Brookes, writes well and I'm really enjoying his book. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I wrote the man an e-mail, and he answered. Wow!

Next is Robinson Crusoe, $5 from a local bookstore. Just started, it's my "in the toilet" book (I don't spend that much time on the loo!)

I finished "The Man In The Mirror" (Pat Morley) and enjoyed it, I also finished "Wild at Heart" (John Eldridge) which I would recommend to any man as it deals with the issue of manliness in today's culture. I reckon that John Eldridge asks the right questions, and I guess I'm still milling over his answers. I'm also looking forward to reading the book that John Eldridge references extensively in "Wild at Heart" called "Iron John" by Robert Bly. Anyone read it?

Write from the heart not the head

A couple of days ago I read a post from Dave the Rave titled 'cutting the crap in emerging blogdom'. Here's my favorite bit:

We need some more people who are prepared to put some serious thought and time into their blogs, who regularly write from the heart, not just the head.

Dave has a good point: too often I write about whatever here, I'd expect that even I would find what I've written "forgettable". Note to self - write stuff from the heart (which should help me write better, because my entries will hopefully be more personal and I'll actually care about them).

Holidays

We're going to Ocean Grove tomorrow so no posts until next week. Thanks Olivia, my sweetheart, for organising the holiday!

My Personal Experience of the movie "The Passion"

I saw "The Passion" a week ago but had not talked about it to anyone until Olivia (my wife) saw it last Friday, so I got to talk about it with her first. Here's a summary of my experience of the film.

I went by myself (knowing that a few mates would be there) to a screening subsidised by a group of churches in our area. I thought of taking a friend or going with others, but I wasn't sure of the effect of the movie on me and wanted some time to download what I was about to see. There was one preview before the film and no ads - it almost felt strange to watch a preview before this movie, I don't know why...

As I was watching I kept coming back to the impressive visuals and cinematography and attention to detail that seemed to permeate the film. The film was subtitled which was not a problem to read and follow. Not all scenes were word-for-word subtitled which left me thinking "I wonder what was said there".

I've mentioned before that I enjoy films about Jesus to see the story lived out and the effect that His actions and words have on real people. This film covers the final 12 hours in Jesus' life, with some flashbacks, but is focused primarily on the Crucifixion.

One thing I find crops up in conversation with others is my view that the film is a depiction of reality, not reality itself, in that the exact scenes are adapted from the Bible, which itself is all the detail we have. I wouldn't go so far to say "it is as it was" as we are given only enough information, not too much, in the Gospel accounts. This means that if I say something that knocks the film, I'm not knocking the biblical account but (hopefully) only questioning this particular depiction.

I was most moved by the parts of the film that refer to parenthood, for example a flashback scene where Mary holds Jesus after a skinned knee. This reminded me that Jesus was a real son, a real friend, who died.

There are some really gruesome scenes when the effort put into the visuals is turned to the flaying and physical punishment of Jesus. The death of a criminal that Jesus died was suffered by thousands of people. The movie does not glorify this violence but does hover around it a long time. For me as a Christian I guess I could "connect the dots" to know that this wasn't about showing a grizzly death but about showing an entirely unfair and undeserved punishment (even unto death) to a totally upright and pure man, as evidenced in His life and words.

The brutal treatment of Jesus did shake me up. In other movies about Jesus I have been moved to tears by things like the raising of Lazarus , His tenderness towards the sick & shunned and His speeches about God and love to a generation that is a lot like ours today i.e. a lot is known about God, mixed with superstition, but relationship to Him seems distant.

Overall I enjoyed the movie and it I think it brings into focus "the wonderful cross" that I know I've sang in songs. This movie is not the greatest Jesus movie ever made for me. The "additions" that are not in Scripture leave enough room for me to question the depiction. For me, a movie/telemovie/cartoon that does not embellish the Gospel accounts as much as I feel "The Passion" did would be better as I wouldn't have to keep asking "why did they do this?" A few examples are - why was Satan holding a disfigured baby in one scene? Why is there a Shroud-of-Turin-like image on a cloth in the last scene with the girl who wiped Jesus face and offered Him a cup of water? What role does Pontious Pilate's wife play and why? (There could be more I'm sure)

Barbershop

On the weekend I saw a great movie - Barbershop. Olivia didn't enjoy it much, she thought it was a bit of a nothing. I liked the film (I give it 8/12), and by way of review here's my fairly unprofessional opinion why.

The key thing that makes this film great for me is the portrayal of a gathering place, a third place, which in this film is the barbershop (I live in Australia and don't watch many films or even TV shows with this much look inside a level of American culture, so maybe this has been shown before, I don't know). At one point in the film one of the characters expresses his feeling that "if we can't be real at the barbershop, where can we be real?" I'm not going to hang around down at my local unisex salon, no, but the idea is one that resonates with me - aside from home and work, where can I "be real" with my mates?

The story is established quickly, uses a simple tale and keeps flowing well as we see the main character come to realise the value of things that can't be easily measured, like friendship & community.

The film is funny and uses humour well, and even though it's a different sort than Aussie humour, thankfully there's very little bad language, and no violence or sex. So the film ends up being a bit of a family film for teens & adults. And I'm sure a lot of the dialogue is unscripted or only roughly scripted!

In conclusion I guess it gelled with me because of what it portrayed more than how it was done. And I hear that a sequel is in the works...

Easter Reflections

A couple of people from our Sunday morning meeting are doing reflections on "the characters of the Cross" (it's not called that, but you have to admit that it's catchy). I chose to do Judas. Why? He plays a part. He's in the movie.

A good piece that I'll think I'll use is from Back to the Bible's 'The Twelve Voices of Easter'. I guess down inside I've always thought he must have been a 'bad man', but I now think there must have been so much going on, in addition to him being a bad man.

Friday Five

Some very literal, exact questions this time around. Here goes:

1. What was the last song you heard? "Who Do You Say" from Paul Colman Trio's "One" album, about 20 minutes ago.

2. What were the last two movies you saw? "The Passion of the Christ" (I will write up some of the things I felt about this movie another time) and "Stuck On You" at the cinemas, "The Last Castle" and "Predator 2" on video/DVD.

3. What were the last three things you purchased? Hot chips for dinner last night, chicken from a butcher's for dinner tonight, a hot lunch from the cafeteria here at work yesterday (wow...I usually don't buy anything).

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Scan some photos and put them on this blog, get a video for tonight (maybe), get a card for a friend's birthday and perhaps play some basketball.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to? My boss, my wife, another bloke in my office, my son and daughter over lunch (3 hours ago).

Seeking Serenity

I really enjoyed reading ..seeking serenity today. Michelle, your "African Adventure" entries were great!

Sites for me to check out

I've been meaning to look at a couple of sites I was put on to, but haven't had time. I'm writing them here as a kind of ribbon around my finger to remember them:
http://www.churchnext.net/index.shtml
http://the-next-wave.org/
http://www.emergingchurch.info/
http://www.straphanger.blogspot.com/

Is it the best outreach opportunity?

Brian McLaren (his weblog) questions the "...the best outreach opportunity in 2,000 years..." at Passionate, but Not for Mel's Movie (via Jordan Cooper).

This highlights one facet of what I've already heard about the hype - there's no quick, easy substitute for relationships. Amen?

Church Failings

A Melbourne Age article asks Why are the churches failing? (from Darren)

The article notes:

...there is growing evidence that the institutional churches are increasingly out of touch with the spiritual needs of many Australians...


Hmmm...

Fat, Fat, Fat

From Yahoo News (via Chris Sells):

Inactive Americans are eating themselves to death at an alarming rate, their unhealthy habits fast approaching tobacco as the top underlying preventable cause of death, a government study found.

and...

The underlying preventable causes of death were, in order: tobacco, poor diet and physical inactivity, alcohol, microbial agents, toxic agents, motor vehicles, firearms, sexual behavior and illegal drug use. Together, these accounted for about half of all 2.4 million U.S. deaths in 2000.

I was just told this morning that I was "bulking up". I'm 6'3"-ish (around 190cm) and weigh 108kg (238 pounds, 17 stones). I am a bit overweight...

Incidently, did you know that if you search for "190cm to inches" on Google (or a whole stack of other conversions), the correct answer will be returned above all the search results?

New Words for the English Language?

Steve at e~mergent kiwi posts about words. My favorite is:

Bozone :: the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.


I'll have to look up what a bozo is, though...

Movieokie

Dan Fernandez writes about "movieokie" where the volume on the TV is turned down and you can say the lines (by reading subtitles) - like karoake with movies. Cool. He lists his favorite bits from films to do this to.

I would probably do something from Pulp Fiction too, or a big Monty Python monologue, or Star Wars, or Space Balls. I also do a pretty good Kermit the Frog voice.

What Would Jesus Say

In our small gathering on Sunday morning a question was posed for discussion: what would Jesus say to the church today? I reckon this is an interesting question, because being a Christian is not a prerequisite to have an answer. Some great responses (my memory can be very bad, so other equally awesome responses have been lost to the ether) -

  • "Believe in me"

  • "Come and follow me"

  • "I got your money - where were you?"

On reflection I reckon it might even be closer to what He's been saying all along - "I love you".

Brother Blogs

My brother Simon, the world traveller, has started a blog (http://simonawilliams.blogspot.com/. He's living in Switzerland, going to Mexico, has lived in South Korea, been to Indonesia, etc. He's a smart bloke with a sense of humour inherited from his Big Bro (see, a make him and me look good)!

I reckon there'll be interesting stuff coming up...

Friday Five for March 5th

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name? Miss Mattingley, who went on to become Principal of the school (she wasn't quite so scary after having her in Grade One).

2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon? He-Man and the Master of the Universe. That's strange, because Olivia loved Shera when she was little.

3. ...the name of your very first best friend? Ricky Achter (not sure about the spelling), maybe Adam Ritter, I'm not sure. Mum might have a better idea, although Ricky is one of the first I can remember (in Grade One).

4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal? Coco Pops.

5. ...your favorite thing to do after school? Play Lego. Having three brothers was also like having built-in friends to play with, every night.

Time to look around a little bit

I think it's time for me to have a bit of a look at the blogs around. I confess I've been a bit more talk than listen. It's been amazing to see so many people have personal online journals, some more on-topic, some more off-topic. I reckon I could learn a few things...

Reading Right Now, March 5th

Here's what I'm reading right now:
The Purpose-Driven LifeThe Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren
Currently about 1/4 of the way through. This book has produced mixed feelings in me - I see it as valuable when I'm able to reflect on the questions, but I find it lacks challenge and for me feels a bit more "feel-good" than other studies I've done. It tries to address the question "Why am I here?"

Olivia's also reading it, as are a few friends of ours. I still don't know whether I really like the book or not...
Wild At HeartWild At Heart by John Eldredge
Only started reading this the other day, wow, it has really got me thinking and I've even read bits out to the wife. It looks at manliness and a man, sort of coming from the point of view of "Is the highest aim we can achieve in our lives is to be a Really Nice Guy?"

This question has got me thinking, and while I don't agree with all the book has to say so far I am enjoying it.
The Man In The MirrorThe Man In The Mirror by Patrick Morley
I've been reading this over a period of about two months. It talks about the different problems men face - pride, anger, fear (and others) - and how a Christian man is to deal with them. One of the main themes is that "it's impossible to win the rat race - so why try and run it?"

I am enjoying the book and the way it's written, and I reckon it'd be good to do the study questions with someone sometime.

Ultra Short summary of the Bible

From Summarise a Novel in 25 Words (warning: language) comes an ultra-short summary of the Bible:

Good opening chapter. Main character arrives halfway through, but gets killed off early. Some decent (if dated) commandments. Cracking ending. Slighty too open to interpretation.

-- Mikey G (...), February 23rd, 2004.

Via Shane, via Darren

Update: Simey points out Winkey Prattney's summary of the Bible:

'God is God and you are not'

Maya-Maya-Moo, where are you?

Sometimes I guess I get distracted on this blog with boring stuff, or serious stuff. I have to say that when I'm not behind my computer I don't always think deeply about technology, humour or theology. I do think about and spend time with my family, though.

So, our little girl Maya is now two months old. I just had to write that she is such a good girl! She loves her bath and she smiles and goos and ahs, she feeds really well and sleeps really well also, even on the hot nights we've been having. Mummy loves dressing her in beautiful clothes. Mummy, Maya and Grandma are going shopping together (uh oh)! Grandma and Grandpa have been really great lately and have looked after the "kids" while Olivia and I have been able to get away to a couple of movies. Thanks grandparents!

T.J. loves holding her and giving her kisses on the head. Daddy loves every minutes he spends with her, especially her smiles and laughs at his antics.

Some photos soon, for our overseas readers...

Search Fight

For some childish fun, the site Searchfight.com allows you to enter two search terms and then checks how many hits your favorite search engine will return for each. The highest number of hits, wins. I tried some interesting ones:


All this via Tejas Patel, a developer who is staying in Melbourne. G'day mate!

If I got linked by a suspect site...

Darren at LivingRoom asks:

Hypothetically speaking - if a Spanish Porn site was to link up to one of your posts and sent thousands of visitors to your blog - what would you do?

When you click on a link on a page, the page you go to "knows" that page that sent you there. People who write blogs often look and see where their page was linked from.

If it was me, I'd write a welcome note. Let's see, who do I have to welcome...

The ULTIMATELY Secure Firewall

Rodney points out the ultimately secure firewall.

Requirements for an IT Job

Here's a list of qualities that an IT company is looking for in job applicants from Early Adopter Weblog. I link 'em here because it's good to know where I need to improve and what my industry is valuing in people (at least they're not looking for guys that have hacked into at least 2 big companies or drink at least 9 coffees a day or spend at least 5 hours online gaming each night or want to start at 10:00 pm and work till 5:00 am).

Notes for non-techies: "!=" means "doesn't equal", and "==" means "equals"; an MSDN Universal Subscription is roughly $3,000US of all the Microsoft software a developer would ever need; I would probably have to ask what Groove, VMWare, or Virtual PC are; and, Dennis Ritchie invented Unix and the C programming language (I had to look that one up).


  1. You are smart.

  2. You are not arrogant. If you’re not arrogant, but everyone else seems to think you’re arrogant, then for the purposes of this discussion, you’re arrogant.

  3. You own an MSDN Universal subscription.

  4. You don’t have to ask what Groove, VMWare, or Virtual PC are.

  5. You are a master at figuring out technology that you’ve never worked with before (probably because it didn’t exist before). In fact, given the choice, you would rather charge in to the uncharted jungle, wrestle alligators, and show everyone your cool scars, instead of drive down the well paved road.

  6. You understands that all e-mails, phone calls, carrier pigeon, and smoke signals must be responded to the same day, at least with “I’m working on it”, or in the case of smoke signals: Puff……..Puff..Puff.

  7. You can speak like Anthony Robbins, write like Ernest Hemingway, and code like Dennis Ritchie.

  8. You understand what a deadline is. In this context, Understand != HeardOf, and Understand != KnowsDictionaryDefinitionOf. Understand == HasALongAndImpressiveTrackRecordOfBeingDoneEARLYAndCanProvideProof.

  9. You understand what “Done” means, and never says (on the day it’s due) “It’s done except for…”

  10. You understand that if you click on Start | All Programs, and they don’t all fit on the screen, this would not be a good machine to use for clean box testing.

  11. You understand that sometimes you’re hired to paint the Sistine Chapel, and sometimes you’re hired to paint Wallmart, and you have to do them both equally well.

  12. You know the difference between “real code”, and “demo code”, and you don’t produce one when asked to build the other.

  13. Stealth plane are nice.  You give one orders, and it disappears. When it reappears, it always says “Mission accomplished. I hit the target”, but sometimes it really hit Lichtenstein's embassy.  You are NOT a stealth plane, you are a big, noisy, C130, that we can hear, see, and talk to for the whole project.

  14. You know that communication != listening.  Communication == asking questions.

  15. You can tell me your favorite bug from .NET Beta 1.


My Website

The simple things in life are often the best. I wish I'd thought of this (from a real discussion - names have been changed to protect the innocent):
Me (proudly): "I've got a website, like a journal, I put pretty much whatever I want."
Friend: "What's it called?"
Me (evasively): "Um, I'll have to write it down for you, it's too hard to remember..."
Friend: "Why don't you call it tom.com?"

Incidently, it's already been taken, and, don't go there...

Stuck On You

Olivia and I went and saw "Stuck On You" with some friends on Friday night. It was a good movie, not merely slapstick-funny as I thought, but on into a story also. Probably the only thing that prevented it from being a great movie is moments of lewdness that I reckon weren't worth the laughs they may have generated. Other films in the same vein are "Something About Mary" and "Rushmore".

It was funny to see Matt Damon, who I have really liked in other movies, in a comedy (albeit being the "straight guy"). Meryl Streep and Cher were both funny - Cher plays a loathsome woman, but after the film I reflected that an actor or actress that can make you "feel" something about their character is doing a good job.

Critic's opinions, ratings, technical info, etc. can be found at the site Movies.com, my personal source for all things movies.

Aside: I saw the preview to this movie a couple of months ago with two mates. One laughed during the preview, the other didn't. Same sick sense of humour!

Goodle

Scoble points to Goodle, a good news search engine (a parody of Google - but, alas, the stories are not real).

On a serious note, it's interesting to see what makes up "good news" (and yes, I'm aware that this is a parody).

 

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright Thomas & Olivia Williams 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009