Posts in category “Blog”

2019

Hello Everyone,

I want to talk about my plans for this year, both professional and personal, but first I should touch on last year so check out the next post for my plans for 2020. Because 2019 was quite a turbulent year I think it is worth talking about. I remember saying in the 2017 appreciation post that:

A bit of a revealing year surrounding who you are as a person and how you approach (or will approach) things differently now compared to a year ago.

I'm starting to feel like this is becoming just an ongoing trend. Partly because I keep coming across new situations that mean a new part of me is revealed I hadn't had to deal with before and partly because old situations keep popping back up to deal with differently to the first time. Back in 2017 I said I was still thinking about the idea of getting into teaching after it was suggested to me by the Program Leader at the time. I ended up doing that and 2019 was my first year of teaching. I keep saying it was great and I really enjoy it but at this stage I haven't had a group that has been difficult to deal with. I'll come back to you with my feedback on that when I cross that bridge (I say when because I know it will happen).

However, it's worthwhile pointing out it was a highly stressful year. Especially in the later months leading into summer.

We had two major projects, I thought there was a chance one would be winding down as the other ramped up (for me at least, my higher ups were quite busy with both projects early on at around the same time). That... didn't happen. Both ended up aligning and hitting the critical point at nearly the same time. There were some late nights and stressful days as we frantically worked to meet deadlines. It was reaching a point where I was missing basic tasks in my role because I just had zero mental capacity left to think about it. Oh and at the time there was uncertainty around the entire institute due to the dreaded "corporate restructure". Anyone who's been through those knows enough about how stressful those are. So yeah, three things all kind of aligned into a perfect storm for me. And that's just the work stuff.

It wasn't all bad though. As with previous years I've met, or better got to know, people and am further picking up my own cues on the kinds of people that are as interested in what's going on with me as I am with what's going on with them and reallocating time where that doesn't line up. There's been a small number of people who have really helped me swim against the tide of a torrential river, and I apologise if I've been a bit distant lately but hopefully they know who they are and how helpful they've been. Also I guess as an extension to this how I prefer to hang out with these people. I'm starting to realise I don't need to have big lavish nights out (or in) with huge crowds of people, in fact I'm starting to prefer smaller groups and ordering in (or even cooking!) and relaxing in a private space.

Some things I was hoping to get done this year (not resolutions, just goals as you'll see in my 2020 post) but didn't really get to. A big one was probably getting into diorama and model making. Followed closely by getting back into woodworking more seriously. Both require more space than I have available right now, and a bit of cash I now see I can't afford to spend at this time. At least I've got the 3D printer and access to 3D modelling software to start messing with things I want to create in the diorama space so that when I do have the space and money I can start working on it again. I've got some tools and spare wood lying around so I can at least work up some little day projects when the weather is nice.

I guess I can sum it all up by saying that 2019, especially the second half of the year, was a regretfully stressful time that just didn't line up with where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. So I guess something for 2020 is to head into the new year with a goal to do some things I've been putting off. More on that in my 2020 post though.

Have a happy new year everyone. I have spoken,

  • Scott

(did you get that reference?)

Updates and Reorganising

Hey,

It's been a little while since my last post. There's a couple of reasons for that, I was sick during last week just after unplugging all my gear to rearrange things after painting. So not only was I sick, but all my gear was disconnected and I had no energy to plug it back in again. I've only just managed to get to the point of having the essentials plugged back in to post this.

The new lick of paint has come up better than I thought, the new colours work really well together. Now I just to need to get all my artworks and shelving back up on the walls (covering the newly minted paint...) and go through all the crap I moved out of here and get rid of stuff I no longer need or want because I've got too much stuff.

We've been going through some scope approval stuff at work so I haven't had time to look into more Grav things lately. That process is winding up soon though so I should be able to put some time back into it at the start of September. And don't think that I've forgotten about STATS. The minds been working on some ideas for that.

That's all for now. :)

2019 Updates

Hi

So. I haven't been very good at keeping a blog up to date. To be honest the Wordpress install wasn't the greatest idea and I don't really like the Gutenberg update so I stopped using it.

I've moved to ChyrpLite for this iteration. It does everything I need it to do. I just need to go back and re-add images to my posts I brought over from the Wordpress site. I'll get around to that eventually because I've got to upload them somewhere first then link to them using markdown rather than adding media to a post like Wordpress. I need to do that before I delete my current website, which I can't do until my new one is finished anyway so I've got a bit of time as that's not a priority project at this time.

So what's going to happen then?

First off you'll notice I haven't styled this at all. I'm not worrying about it until I know for certain I'm actually going to make use of this more than the last few times I've tried. If I keep it up to date I might look into it.

In general though I'll be aiming to use this more to keep a running log of projects I'm working on and occasionally updating on life stuff. I want to get into a habit of keeping a track record of projects because looking through other people's backlogs of projects has been really inspirational for me so if I can add to that and provide inspiration for someone then it makes the project/creative world a better place.

So what are my current projects I might be writing about?

I've got a few things on the go at the moment, some long term stuff but hoping there's also some short turn around items I'd like to look at. Let me give you a quick run down:

  • Landscaping: Our backyard is going through some changes, improving on some changes I made a few years ago. Getting fit without hitting a gym.
  • Old shed teardown: My grandfather built a shed about the time the house was built, it's seen better days so it's coming down (once we get it checked for asbestos)
  • 3D Printing: I've got an Ender 5 I need to start making good use of. I need a better place to run it though because it's noisy.
  • Dioramas: I've seen a lot of Luke Towan's videos on YouTube, feeling inspired to up my scenery game for when I've got the space to make a model railroad again.
  • STATS: I'm still working on this thing, I've got it working to a good level in it's current format but considering shifting either to a PHP MVC framework or even going to a Python-based system. Would mean I either need to learn something like Laravel or just learn Python. Both things I want to do but can't decide which to prioritise.
  • Furniture making: I've always loved making things. My year 12 coffee table still sits proudly in the loungeroom. It's not as solid as it was when I first made it but it's still kicking. I'm planning some bookshelves and desk modifications but have some long term things I'd love to have a go at (some of those have pre-requisites though, like, a workstation needs a decent workshop which I don't have right now).
  • Drawing: I stopped drawing after starting Uni, thought I was pretty good then got there and thought I was not that good. Really all I needed to do was more of it. So I want to do more of it and get better at it again.
  • I also want to learn a couple of different CMS's. So if I end up getting back into development for clients I can vary which CMS I'm using based on the type of project it is. So far my list is down to Typo3, Grav, and something like Fork. We're moving to a platform called Umbraco at work so I might look into that too. So far everything I've picked uses Twig for it's layouts so I'm keen to get my head around that. Wordpress is an obvious addition to that list but I'd like to be in a position where I can offer alternatives for people who may not need the bloat that comes with Wordpress.
  • Minor Edit I also forgot to mention a bunch of projects involving Raspberry Pis and maybe even Arduinos.

I think that's about it for now. Let's see if my track record improves with this one.

Melbourne Polytechnic Graduation 2018

What a fantastic night!

There aren't a lot of words to describe the feeling on Thursday night on the way home. The best I could summarise it as on Instagram was honoured. Not only to have been nominated and awarded the school of Engineering, Design and Construction's Vocational Student of the Year, but to also have received the overall Melbourne Polytechnic Vocational Student of the Year. There was a great field of school winners in both Vocational and Higher Education, and my congratulations goes out to all of them. The interviews we saw on the second night all highlighted their efforts that earned them their awards and I look forward to seeing the video interviews of the other recipients soon.

In the end there were only three of us from the Advanced Diploma at the graduation. Andreana, Lauren and myself. Callum from our Diploma group in 2016 was also there to graduate, and my long time friend Georgina from my University days was also graduating from her Advanced Diploma in Building Design. In the end Andreana and I both had the same thought that we knew more staff than students at the event with the work we do within the institute.

The night wasn't without its hiccups. We'd been instructed on the procedure during the rehearsal for receiving our graduation letters (in our case we got letters as we'd already received our certificates in the mail). There was a bit of a slow burn getting into the rhythm of the process before it became a smooth flow, at one point it actually went the opposite way and resulted in a backlog of graduands waiting to cross the stage. A bit of an error, but nothing that couldn't be resolved with a moment of respite to allow them to flow through before continuing.

There was a mistake with the Student of the Year awards. Though I admit it was one that wasn't really picked up on fully at first. When I received the school award (the non-overall one) I remember looking at it thinking that it probably should have listed the school somewhere on the award as it only had "Outstanding Student of the Year". Uh-oh. I thought to myself. Was this a mistake? When the announcement was made for the overall vocational student of the year I handed the first award to Lauren and made my way to the stage to collect the award and that was the one that had Engineering, Design and Construction written on it. Lauren even asked me when I got back to my seat what the second award had written on it as her and Andreana had also picked up on the wording. So while I didn't know for certain I had a strong feeling the mistake had been made. But that didn't make the overall announcement any less nerve racking as my heart rate reading from my fitbit will tell you...

Other than that though the event went well, it was well organised (as I knew it would be having spent the last month and a bit working with the Marketing team who were organising it even though they wouldn't tell me anything because I was graduating) and though it started a bit later than planned the only other major fault was venue based. As the caterers seemed unaware of the contents of the food (nuts, gluten, and the like) and didn't have a lot of variation.

At the end of the night I attempted to find as many of the other award winners as possible to congratulate them all, there was a lot of people around so it was very difficult to find everyone. I caught up with Georgina after the ceremony, Mark and Chiara (G's sister) had been sitting with mum and dad so finding them was relatively easy. Frank and Joanna (who initially nominated me for the school of EDC award) also found us in the crowd. I believe we were just outside where they were gowned so it probably wasn't hard for them to find us. We made our way downstairs and had an offer for a couple of photos to be taken by Phil (another colleague who was taking photos for the institute of the whole event) with mum and dad in front of an MP banner and the CityWatch representative (the award sponsor for this year) congratulated me again. At that stage we started hearing an announcement that the venue was closing (though it wasn't in the end and I would have liked to stay a bit longer) so we started making our way out, on our way mum was handed a bouquet of flowers by Frances Coppolillo (the CE of the institute) who congratulated both her and dad. That was a special moment to top off a special night.

That's all for this post, until next time!

2018 Update Number Two

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. I really let this stuff go didn't I? Already falling behind on this thing so that New Years Resolution ain't going well is it? Here's an update on my 2018 so far...

I picked up some more work, I'm now working across two departments at Melbourne Polytechnic. One role as my existing ICT Service Management Officer role. The new role is a junior Website Administrator and Developer within the Marketing and Communications department. That's going well, a lot to take in but I feel like I'm picking it up okay.

Because of the new job I had to move into night classes for the Training and Assessment. That's going... okay. I guess. The delivery of the course isn't something that really gels with me and the assignments are a real pain right now with how many there are and quickly they're all due. Persevering with it though because I still feel like it'll be good to have in the long run.

That did mean I had to give up Tuesday Night Trivia. I have managed to get a night in with my Marketing crew on a Wednesday which was good but I'm missing the regular crew.

I was nominated by my teachers for an award (with a really long title). The School of Engineering, Design and Construction Outstanding Vocational Education and Training Student of the Year Award. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I won the award and am now in the running for Melbourne Polytechnic's overall Outstanding Student of the Year.

I've decided already that I'm not particularly happy with this website layout overall. I'm liking the colour scheme and the overall idea of it but the execution I feel could be a little better. I'll revisit it when I've got some time.

The car hunt is proceeding. At this stage I'm banking on around late May to early June purchase window, hoping to get in on that EoFY sale action. At this stage I'm targeting a 3-5 year old Mazda 3, Maxx or SP25 depending on the price I can get (I'd rather the SP25 if I can get one for a good price, mainly for the 2.5L engine). My only other option would be a damn good price on one of the newer Civics, but they're still pretty new so the prices aren't coming down at this stage looking at comparison models (The VTi-L especially is around 5-6k more than an SP25), my only drawback on that is that they have CVT though, but if the plan is to eventually have everyone driving electric cars then it's something we all have to get used to.

Anyway I think that's enough for now. I'll be back with another post at some point. I am cooking one up that I've had in mind for a little while so we'll see how that goes.

Until next time!

  • Scott.