Thursday, October 19, 2006

Howdy. Not sure if I've started a post with "Howdy" but at least now I can be sure I have.

Little Man ate his first meal sitting at the table with us last night. Now before you jump to any conclusions, we don't make him eat off the floor or anything. He does that by choice. Its just that his high chair, which sits atop a normal chair, has a tray that attaches to the front. This tray prevents him from sitting right at the table. Unfortunately, it also puts him at exactly the right distance for kicking the table while we are all eating, so we have to push him back a little further. Its not like he is in Siberia and we call out to him occasionally to make him feel less abandoned. However, he is now big enough to eat without the tray, allowing us to pull his chair right in to the table, which is also too close to kick now. So for the first time, we all sat around the table and had dinner. Of course, Little Man hasn't had time to acquire any table manners yet and spent much of the time banging the table and throwing cheese.

Princess "helps" by giving a running commentary on the cheese flinging. She gives a running commentary on everything. I know I have mentioned it before, but it still amazes me how much she talks. I started to keep a log of the funny little things she would say like, "Mummy, you should hug Daddy because we don't have a monkey," and "Wow, look at the big bum! Let's follow it!" (She said this very loudly in a shopping centre). She has also recently adapted a couple of sayings to form her own. The favourite at the moment is "Slow your horses". I stopped writing these little bits down because she while she says a lot of funny things, they are mostly funny because they sound like someting an adult would say. For example, DW and I were lamenting the quality of a red wine the other day when Princess piped up and said, "Guys, slow your horses. You have both had this one before and you really loved it. So don't say that you don't like it now because you do. No, don't laugh. I'm being seriously." Her kinder teacher told us when she asked Princess if she would like to try another activity she replied, "No thank you. I'm really quite fine."

Anyway, that's all for today. I know its brief but work is busy and lunch is short. Hopefully I will be able to post another entry tomorrow.


Thought for the Day: Do I monitor the monitor or does the monitor monitor me?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wow! Another blog in only a few days. Yes, wonders will never cease. Of course there are no guarantees that frequncy will improve quality, but it should help with the quantity.

I can't remember if I've mentioned that DW and I began the year with the usual flurry of New Year resolutions. This year, DW had the brilliant idea of watching a new movie (that is, one we hadn't seen before) every week and reading a new book each month. Well, we have now both exceeded the requisite 52 new movies for the year which is impressive given how much of the year remains, and the fact that we also watched the whole of the Buffy and Angel series, three seasons of Scrubs and the first season of Veronica Mars. We both love watching movies and ever since Princess was born we have let that part of our lives slide, so this has been a big achievement for us.

However, it has taken up a considerable amount of time. Over the last several years DW and I have been producing short films, more recently with our co-producer, Shnarelle. For nearly ten years now we have produced at least one film per year, but this year we have yet to. Trying to find time is just about the hardest thing to do these days. Over a whole weekend I rarely find two hours together to do anything that doesn't involve cleaning the house or dealing with a child. As the kids get older, I know that will change, and I am also fooling myself. I know why parents live vicariously through their children - that's all they have left.

So back to the whole filmmaking line of thought. I have lots of ideas for films and taking away all the ideas that require budgets unlikely to be approved by DW (i.e. > $8.50) it still leaves a lot of ideas. Admittedly most of them are crap but I've always operated according to the "give 'em heaps" rule - which means lots of ideas means lots of crap and eventually a good idea will creep in and probably get smothered by the crap but maybe not.

The most successful short film we made was a computer generated animation and because I did most of the work, many people who would like to be involved in the making of a film but don't really want to have to do anything, tend to say "Just make another computer animnation - only this time, make it look more like Shrek." Uh huh.

The thing is, I did enjoy making my CGI film but I also enjoy making Live-action (with actors) films. Live action takes lots of planning and rehearsals but the shooting is over fairly quickly. CGI doesn't require any actually filming but can take a lot of time - especially if you are animating on your own. And to all those people out there who aren't aware, more than one animator worked on Shrek.

So, I guess it remains to be seen as to what we are going to do this year. We have a live action script and a couple of CGI ideas. If only I could take a couple of months off work and dedicate myself to it, I'm sure we could make something fantastic, or at least as good as our previous efforts. If only I had long service leave owing...


Thought for the Day: Life is short. Unless you're not enjoying yourself. Then it can drag a little.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I wasn't sure what to write today so I turned to my fountain of inspiration, DW. After much deliberation and consideration and internal debate, it took DW nearly a full second to recommend herself as the subject of today's blog. She also reminded me that if I can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. I know some of you may be thinking "This'll be brief" but wait, despite what my previous blogs may indicate, I actually do love my DW and so today I'm going to share with the world a couple of reasons. Don't worry, I won't get all soppy and emotional. Some of the things I love about her are rather amusing and possibly not the sort of things she would generally tell people about herself. Yet they greatly endear her to me. So stick around and find out what makes DW tick.

Ok, so let's start with something small. DW doesn't like stickers. She LOVES stickers. She can't have enough stickers. And she likes to buy them in sheets. In fact we have several pads full of sheets of stickers. I could safely say that we have several thousand stickers in the house. She also doesn't like to have sheets of stickers with used-sticker-gaps in them. If she uses a sticker, she feels obligated to "fill-the-gap" by buying another couple of sheets of stickers. She also likes to ensure we have stickers for the appropriate occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, Wednesdays, boy parties, girl parties, rainy days, sunny days, days of inderterminate weather, days when the wind blows from the north and so on. Its a kind of weird obsession and no doubt I'll find a sticker on my pillow tonight of a girl with pigtails and a grumpy expression, arms crossed and foot tapping. In fact, should we ever be struck dumb, DW could probably communicate very effectively using nothing but stickers. For years. Still, I do find this little obsession rather cute, and very DW.

DW also LOVES stationary. I can understand this to some degree. Its useful to have the right pencil and pad when you need it. Being able to organize papers can certainly prove useful around tax time. However, one of the most delightful experiences I know is when DW sees the OfficeWorks End-Of-Year Clearance sale catalogue has arrived. She is a little like a kid who is so excited that they are not sure what to do first. While she has never inappropriately called out someone else's name, I have heard her moan "Oh, the bargains!" I've also learned to take her saying "its huge" with a grain of salt.

DW also loves watching Australia's Funniest Home Videos. I love watching DW watching Australia's Funniest Home Videos. I have had to ban DW from eating when watching Australia's Funniest Home Videos because otherwise she would choke to death. As it is, even without food or drink, she chokes and splutters and coughs and gags. Its really funny when she suddenly sits upright, tilts her head back, her face goes red and she flaps her hands about, mouth wide open and a kind of low sound comes out which sounds kind of like "hhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHH!" A couple of seconds later she realises that she has stopped breathing and needs to look away from the TV before she passes out. Funny as it is, I'm glad the show isn't on every night.

Time for one more. DW and I a big fans of the Lord of the Rings movies. I am a fan of the whole of the movies while DW is a fan of the first 90 minutes of each one. No matter when we watch the DVDs, DW falls asleep at the first opportunity. As it happens, this occurs at around the 90 minute mark in each film. The first time we watched each film, she stayed awake for the whole thing, but ever since... Probably the thing I love about her in this case is the waking up with absolutely no idea what the hell is going on. Sometimes she even gives me that "do I know you?" look. In fact, I think if people booted up like computers, they'd go through pretty much the same process. I can almost see her going through the bios check, running the boot loader, firing up the OS, checking the peripherals (she wiggles her fingers), blinking a couple of times as she moves into GUI mode and finally, after loading the envirnment variables from the hard disk into memory, she not only knows who she is, but also who I am and where we are. Then its time to go to bed. First a quick core dump and system scan and clean (brush teeth) and then into bed to hibernate. She won't wake up until Princess comes in the next morning and pushes her buttons.

There are many, many other things I love about DW and these few are chosen more for their humour value than anything else. I doubt I could ever truly capture what she means to me with words and I don't know that there would be much point. Showing her what she means to me is more important anyway. Still its wonderful to share my life with someone who can make me smile, giggle and laugh 'til I cry. She is definitely good value.


Thought for the Day: I like to misunderstand people

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yay! And Hi! We have ADSL back on again. Its a wonderful thing.

On the weekend DW and I dragged Princess and Little Man to the big smoke for a friend's birthday. It was a strange and wonderful trip because both Princess and Little Man fell asleep reasonably quickly and stayed asleep for most of the way. I feel this should be documented so that one day, future generations can look back and see some evidence that Princess and Little Man hadn't completely lost the ability to fall asleep in the car. Actually, I suspect Little Man would fall asleep quite easily but his big sister makes it difficult for him.

Anyway, the party successfully surprised the birthday boy who spent the next hour explaining how close he had come to not being completely surprised because of all the tell-tale signs that he almost put together but had completely failed to. His heavily pregnant wife was the mastermind behind the whole operation and given her state, much kudos. This is his last birthday before fatherhood descends gracefully onto his shoulders like a lead yoke dropped from sufficient height to achieve terminal velocity. This year he turned 35. Next year he will be 45. The year after that he will be 85. The year after that they will probably have another kid. That's when it gets REALLY hard.

Did I mention that Little Man is STILL not sleeping through. It could be teething. He still has teeth coming through. It could be that he just likes being a pain in the butt at 2:30am. Obviously the latter option is clearly not true. He likes being a pain in the butt when ever a butt presents itself, the time be damned. Its funny how much his true character is shining through these days. Actually, I should point out that his ups more than match his downs. His determination to be heard over Princess shows how strong his character is. He is a very happy child and loves to play and cuddle and is genuinely lovable. But then again, so is Princess. They are both wonderful and different and have found ways to not only wrap DW and I around their little fingers, but also drive us to Distraction. Distraction is a slightly cooler, less angry version of Hell.

Another couple attending the party are also having a baby and this one is due a week before the aforementioned. They are also in the throes of baby-preparation that will last until the child goes to school. Lets face it, you are never really ready. Everyone tells you you won't be ready so I decided to just wait and see. And they were right. Of course, they were also to blame because if I hadn't been waiting to see, I might have been preparing. Still, it came as quite a surprise to me to see a real live birth of a human being for the first time. I had seen animals give birth and videos of human births and so on, and the real thing is pretty much the same except for the discovery that your wife actually has more than enough strength to open a jar. Presumably it is dependent on how desperately she wants to get out whatever is inside.

So the next couple of weeks will be interesting as the time(s) draws near. No matter how challenging the birth is, the real challenge lies beyond. And no matter how wonderful meeting your child for the first time is, it pales compared to the joy of watching them grow. And sleep shall be the new commodity.


Thought for the day: I don't want a tin-foil hat. I want one made from glass. That way, when the government satellites read my mind, the information they get will be wrong. Or they might unwittingly cook my brain. Ok, maybe a tin-foil hat is better.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Back again. I seem to be lapsing into weekly blogging but I have decided to set myself a new goal. This post will mark 64 entries and I think with a concerted effort I may be able to make it to 100 before the end of the year. That averages to one every 3.65 days, which isn't too bad. Still, I actually have to do it yet.

Firstly, a quick update. Some of you may remember that I had a little trouble with some names and may have called a colleague an animated fish. Anyway, it turns out that I still had it wrong - it is in fact, Nino. When discussing a related project with some other people, I said Mimo thinking I've got it right this time, and they all burst out laughing. It seemed a little too raucous to me until they explained that it had been going around the office that I can never get this guy's name right. I guess its just one of those things. Every time I think of his name, I second guess myself and about the only thing I'm sure of is that he is not named after the animated fish. After that, its anyone's guess.

Things have been a little... well, tense isn't the right word... at my house. Our ADSL connection has been out for over two weeks now. Yes, we got caught up in the whole Veridas scandal and the subsequent vulture attack. DW is missing the connection particularly. Its funny how dependent on it we have become. We have had it for about a year and DW only used it a little until we bought her a nice, shiny new laptop earlier this year. We were using around 1.5~3GB per month until the laptop arrived. BANG! We were hitting 7~8GB per month. Admittedly that makes it sound like DW suddenly started downloading tons of stuff, which isn't really true. That was me but it did happen when the laptop arrived. Not that I was using the laptop. Anyway, no internet is driving poor DW crazy. It has become a life-line to the rest of the world. Actually, just the phone bill savings has more than justified the cost of the connection.

I have noticed the absence of the connection at home because I don't get little messages from DW all day. I like hearing all the little things that are going on. Thinks like "I'm hungry, going to have a cuppa and a biscuit", "Princess wants to type something", "gceigwcuelbcblkwceb" and "Little Man has filled his nappy. He's in the backyard and I can smell it from here. Better go deal with it." I get these little glimpses of what's going on at home sporadically through the day and sometimes I respond but often I just let them float by. Its nice and helps me feel like I'm missing less.

But DW feels the loss much more. She has a group of friends that all use Instant Messaging and email and quite often DW might go several days without talking on the phone, all because she is able to chat with others online. The problem with using the phone is that Little Man and Princess are drawn to it like moths to one of those zappy things. Princess always wants to talk and always says things like "Well, what I was going to say is... its Big Ted's birthday and Baxibax and Batasha are here and Little Man has filled his nappy and its GROSS! and Mummy says I don't go to Kinder today and I'm having yoghurt." Little Man seems to think that the best time to fall over or run into something or get cranky is when DW is on the phone. Instant messaging does away with that. A quick message can be sent without too much interference and the reply doesn't have to be acknowledged instantly. The result is a simpler, more effective communication. DW loves it. DW hates not being able to have it. DW knows its not my fault but sometimes she gets that look in her eye as if to say, "You're one of them - one of those IT guys and therefore are somehow connected to this conspiracy." I am so looking forward to our connection coming back up. Really.


Thought for the Day: I tolerate lactose and it tolerates me.