Birthday and Future Plans

I have had an unusually quiet birthday weekend this year. A close gathering on the Wednesday before the weekend at my favourite restaurant with a ridiculous sense of portions was the main focus. And yesterday on the day itself most everyone was unavailable for a variety of reasons.

There’ll be a proper un-birthday party at some unspecified later time when the house is in better shape for hosting and the weather is more hospitable to such an event. I still have to properly celebrate making it through 365 days of blogging as well after all.

My Presents will universally be similarly late because I yet had to choose them.

My parents transferred money, which included a birthday gift as well as one Euro for every day I blogged. I feel like that money should go to support future creative endeavours. Which is where my first wish comes in.

A first wish… Adobe products.

I have spoken about Premiere Pro before I think when I was considering video production as a possibility for something else to do. As it turns out, Adobe have gone completely SAAS. That doesn’t literally mean “insane”, but close enough. To use Adobe products you now have to pay a monthly fee for their software-as-a-service offering tied to the cloud.

I had a look at the options, and $10 a month gets me just one of their products. I really want Lightroom for photography, and Premiere Pro for video as well as After Effects at least I think… and possibly Photoshop. This requirement pushes me straight into the top-tier of their service offerings at $50 a month. And I don’t get to own the software for that.

So, I’ve looked into Adobe CS6, which was the last version they sold outright. It might not have the very latest features, but I think that version would sufficiently future-proof me for all my imminent needs without recurring payments.

A second wish… coffee.

I have to do some research into coffee machines next, because our mocha pot is not… in good shape. And for all these creative endeavours that I am planning I am going to need coffee to keep going. Although possibly decaf? I’m not sure how that balances out.

I’m considering something with pods that are sold locally because although these are expensive, they are also the laziest option. I’m very lazy about my coffee.

A third wish… Kindle.

And this wish will have to wait longer than the others, because the Paperwhite 3 has not been released yet. Any month now apparently. Rumours range from thinner, through higher resolution up to actually waterproof.

I can imagine so many uses *coughWet’n’Wildcough* for a waterproof Kindle.

Or maybe I could spend the evening reading in the shower.
With the light off.
The possibilities are endless.

A fourth wish… more time.

Okay, traditionally the last wish is supposed to be a wish for more wishes, but mostly I want more time. I have so many ideas and so little time for their execution.

I have started some creative writing; no idea where that is going to land exactly.
I want to start designing the layout for the kitchen to have ready-made plans once the bathroom is done.
I want to get out for photography more as the weather gets better again.

I also have several work-related projects that need some attention.
Continuous Improvement is such a drain on my personal life…
It’s gotta start saving time soon, right?

I may need to plan a holiday longer than a long weekend. Two days here or there are just not giving me enough room to get ahead. I think October/November will be my next longer break.

Enough rambling.
Time to do some more.

Day 325 – My Fragmented Self

41 – 100 Tips Essential to Being a Smarter Better Twitterer

I am plenty smart, and as a result, I don’t want to be a “better twitterer“.
If that is even a proper word.

I just want improve my writing, photography, makery… I don’t want to have to worry about where it goes. I don’t want to know about Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, or even WordPress. It is just totally unimportant.
Continue reading Day 325 – My Fragmented Self

Day 323 – Perspective

43 – 100 Photo Tips

The hardest part I have found so far about photography is to stay patient and keep looking for the better angle on a subject. It is very tempting to just dash by, take a few shots and then move on. And when I say “take a few shots”, I already underplay the time it takes to do even that right.

So, I went on a quest to get some perspective.
Continue reading Day 323 – Perspective

Day 190 – Long Walks on the Beach

I had access to a beach today, and I made good use of it. Twice!

This morning I went out to take some pictures with the DSLR. I have no idea how they turned out yet. I’ll spend some time sorting through the (hopefully) good results tomorrow. I had hoped to get further along the beach than I did, but there was a canal that superficially looked like not much of an impediment. Alas, standing on the edge it proved to be about waist-deep and I hadn’t dressed for that kind of crossing. More over I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to keep the camera dry if I jumped in. It was only a couple meters across, but still.

So I returned home and read Raising Steam by Pratchett, which was enjoyable, but not his best work I think. Paper books feel weird to my hands now that I do a lot of my reading on a Kindle. The bulk of paper is so unwieldy by comparison. Paper is more for collecting than reading if you ask me.

And in the afternoon I returned to the beach. I parked elsewhere and didn’t take the camera. Unencumbered with anything other than my podcasts in my ear I walked about 8km at a leisurely pace. It feels immensely relaxing, and it was unfortunate that I had left all my big ideas at home because it was an ideal time to think them. I didn’t walk as far as I had intended, but distances along the coast can be very deceiving… a curve of beach that looks like an easy 1 hour walk will readily prove to be over 15km long and a half-day round-trip if attempted. The only way to get perspective is to look behind at how slowly my starting point was dwindling to the same sizes to “talk” some sense into me.

This feels like exactly the right level of productivity for a holiday.

I guess it’s only right to do this on the day in the exact middle of my leave.

Day 171 – Contemplating Holidays

Holidays have a habit of flying past.
I don’t like the sound that particular “deadline” makes as it whooshes by

And there are plenty of things I’d like to do (more) of over my 3 weeks off:

  • The projects in my sidebar
  • A trip down the coast at the beach
  • More photography
  • More/different gym classes
  • More Wet’n’Wild
  • More time with (new?) friends
  • More reading
  • More writing
  • … and then some

I don’t think I have enough time for all of it. But I should make sure I fit in a decent mix of everything. I want to avoid ending the holiday feeling there are too many things I completely didn’t touch on.

I think I should put together a “balanced diet” in my activities to neither end up with a sugary entertainment high and subsequent crash, nor an over-self-improvement hangover.

Day 102 – CBD

Today was a great day to be out in the sun. I half wished I had brought my kindle and not the camera, because the lawns in the botanical gardens were immensely inviting.

On the other hand, I *did* get some great shots today.

Day 99 – Candy Resupply

All the Specials of the Day at Coles. Alas, still no dark-chocolate Cherry Ripes.
All the Specials of the Day at Coles. Alas, still no dark-chocolate Cherry Ripes.

As you may have noticed in an earlier post on the matter of bribery, I keep a drawer full of chocolate at work. These days I get batches of people showing for multiple $1 purchases at a time. I’m not sure it is exactly bribery any more.

Still, it is providing a service and it seems to help morale, so who am I to argue?

In my absence in Melbourne last week it seems the stock level in the drawer has become precipitously low, so on my way home I had a quick stop by Coles to re-supply. I buy whatever is on special on the day in large quantities.

A little kid stood next to me as I filled my basket looking on in wonder. Quoth the boy: “Wow, that’s a lot of chocolate”. In that kind of voice that suggests maybe you don’t quite need all of it for yourself. Sorry kid.

Also note, the Choo-Choo-Bars at the top of the image will not be for sale. They will go free to a good home with a full disclaimer of any liability. I tried one on the weekend and it nearly broke my mouth. First come first serve!

Phinally, the Photos…

Somewhere along the way of being the designated photographer, I managed to rack up 10,000 steps as well. Who knew that I’d cover 5kms during a 60th birthday party?!

Anyway, as promised, some pictures.

Note that I have judiciously removed most of the participants in the party from view. I promise you, there was a party there; it’s just not for the internet at large to see 😉

Day 96 – Court Photographer

I spent yesterday and this morning documenting Margret’s 60th birthday party. I got some excellent shots along the way. I also got a pile of over 1500 pictures in total.

So, for the past 4 hours I have combed through the high-quality RAW images, trying to come to a manageable choice to present to Facebook and then make a smaller choice for a post.

It’s almost midnight and I’m still not quite done!

So, this is a post more by way of apology than anything. The pictures post will still be a little further delayed, but it looks like I’m now rapidly approaching the finishing line. I’ll probably put a non-365 post up just past midnight with some of the better pictures that I do not have to seek clearance for 😉

It’s been a big job, but a very enjoyable one. Especially seeing some tricky razor-sharp ones in the lot is very gratifying.