Thursday, December 14, 2017

A battle for your soul

A guy that I'd like to call my friend, Dan Brodsky-Chenfield perfectly describes a situation that I also had to deal with some years ago.

"Should I abandon my values and have some degree of success in a career, or should I find something else to do? Some other way?"

For me, at the time, it felt like it was a battle for my soul. I wonder if I saved it or is it just window dressing?

I'm lovin' "Above all Else" - the story of Dan's journey.



My 52 year old son, trolling the list brokers

I couldn't think of a more enjoyable scam myself. At some time when Jonah was forced to fill in his personal details when buying a game or a can of deodorant by mail order he entered his age as being 52.

And so when I went upstairs to say hello this morning he had direct mail that was trying to sell him annuities and prepaid funeral plans.

I think that's a little game I might start playing for myself.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Which Australian Prime Minister said this?

Here's a story that Kim Beazley recounts, when an Australian PM met Barack Obama in the White House.

“Well, Mr President, I don’t actually have a list of complaints; I know most people who come to this office have a list of complaints. I’ve got nothing to complain about to you. Others come with a list of things that they want from you. We don’t want anything from you.”
and then:
“But I want to say one thing. I think you’re about to get into a lot of trouble in the Middle East. And when you do, I want you to understand this. We are going to be with you and we are going to be with you in numbers.”

"Water Conservation Measures" - pffft

Yeh yeh. Back in 2003 you were the villain of the century if you watered your lawn. The SA government had what was called water conservation measures and it was dressed up as saving the environment.

Nevermind that South Australian domestic use was only 4% of the total state's usage but we were all pilloried if we put a sprinkler on after 10 a.m. in the morning.

Call me cynical but I've seen too much of this before. Back then they put a moralistic spin on water usage to solve a practical problem. They simply didn't have water storage or desalination to service their domestic market.

Now it's "use as much as you like as long as you pay for it" but as I see it the environmental challenges aren't any fewer than they were 15 years ago.

Pffft.

Supercharged Impulse purchase inducement

I just got to thinking about the nature of Impulse purchase in this brave new world of supermarket self serve.

I expect that when people are scanning their own groceries they probably don't have that loose mindspace where they have to fill it with deciding they're going to buy something.

And perhaps the supermarkets and brand owners are seeing that. Hence the chocolate bar prices that you only really saw at super discount outlets.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Casualties for 2017

These are the people that I know have walked away from me, thinking "what a complete asshole". They're four very different people from different walks of my life, and they only really have one thing in common. They irritated me at some point.

These people are good, honest people - all with a very good heart and I am not glad they hate me, but you don't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Every one of these fallouts have caused me a sense of personal reproach. I should be better.

At certain times throughout the year I have allowed my mask of affability to slip. Dealing with people takes so much energy for me - people who don't know me wish they were my friend. The people who do know me are painfully aware that nobody should want to be my friend.

People who take the time to really know me - well they have a fierce ally. I thank God for both of them.

So the casualties of 2017 are:
[Redacted]
[Redacted]
[Redacted]
[Redacted]

I wish I could be better, and have nobody on this list. But it's been a big year. And as far as the list of people that I consider irredeemable - only two:
[Redacted]
[Redacted]

As Rudyard Kipling said "being hated don't give in to hate". Well, I hate about half as much as I'm hated, in 2017.

As Jules said at the end of Pulp Fiction:
"[I've only just realised that] I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying so hard to be the shepherd."

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The only time that seems too short is the time we get to play...

At the moment I am really enjoying working with students of all types as they design research projects, collect data, analyse it and present.

It's an honour. And sitting with them as they take ownership of the research process is great time. In a classroom, in a pub, in the hallway. Always good.

And there's the other stuff. Admin, counselling, following up, travelling.

And the only time that seems too short is the time I get to spend across a table with the students who are truly in charge of their own stuff..

"We do so many shows in a row
And these towns all look the same
We just pass the time in our hotel rooms
And wander 'round backstage
Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
And we remember why we came"

And it reminds me of this song: