Model

This morning Henry and I went to the shops. I popped in to Toy World to buy him a Lego minifig and while there I remembered something I had seen with Bert. It’s been a rough week this week with the death of Brone and a crushing work load that ended late on Friday with an email that still has me grumpy for being so wrong and inconsiderate, so I had some fun.

I bought myself a model plane.

I haven’t built a model in what must be 20 years. I have two incomplete helicopters that have been living in the same plastic bag ever since I met Rae and I have vague memories of completing one helicopter when I lived in Kew oh so many years ago. Being rusty I bought a beginners kit that came complete with little pots of paint.

It started off like this

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and ended up like this.

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Not bad for a quick job on a Saturday afternoon. I haven’t applied the decals yet (I’m hopeless at that) but it’s painted and glued and I had a huge amount of relaxing, therapeutic fun sitting at my kitchen table and thinking of nothing else.

I have a funny feeling it won’t take so long to complete the next model and those helicopters may yet see the light of day.

Goodbye Local

I’ve just upgraded my SkyDrive to 75GB, which gives me another 50GB to fill up over the next few years. I now store all my document in the cloud, so much easier to access them whenever and wherever I want using whatever I want. I chose SkyDrive over GoogleDrive as I’m still pretty firmly in the Microsoft eco-system, save for my phone.

I remember I was always incredibly wary of online storage and subscription plans, I was too nervous to fully embrace them until a year or so ago but man, how things change.

I now use these subscription or online apps to run my business and would be lost without them.

  • Office Web Apps for documents
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • SkyDrive for file storage
  • Evernote for, well, notes
  • DropBox for sharing files with clients
  • Insightly for project management and CMS
  • Xero for my accounts
  • GoogleApps for Business for my email and calendar
  • Crashplan for external secure backup
  • Visual Studio online
  • Skype for my phone number

I haven’t subscribed to a music service yet, mainly ‘cause I’m old and only listen to about 20 albums on repeat and if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll switch on BBC 6.

A Google Maps Bookmark

This quick post is so I can go back and find the exact date the Google Maps car drove down my street. I wonder if you’ll be able to see me standing outside the front door, phone in hand.

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Perception

Had an interesting, to me, revelation this morning.

I was at the gym doing my program. My trainer and his client, MA, were working away and using a piece of equipment I needed so I asked if we could share and away we went.

It came MA’s turn and Adam said ‘No rest for you today, Anthony needs this.’.

MA grinned and  then said to me “Oh, can’t you wait, I need the rest, you’re so much fitter than me.”.

It struck me then that MA, who has only known me for a year or so, has no other concept of me. I’m ‘Anthony, the fit guy from the gym’. And for some reason that seems really weird.

The Passion

The balance has shifted in the house to four Dog supporters and two Tigers so the Dogs win in numbers but, man, they can’t compete for passion.

I read today the Tigers are having their last practice match for the pre-season at Punt Rd on March 7.

I called Moo in and it went like this.

“Moo, on March 7th you are at school. There’s a practice game between Richmond and Essendon [eyes pick up] at Punt Road oval [eyes go the size of the moon]…”

“You can pick me up from the office daddy!” – without me finishing or offering.

That girl bleeds yellow and black.

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A Problem Shared

I love working for myself. I wouldn’t swap it for anything in the world. I get to see my kids at school, I get to growl at them to be quiet when they get home, I can choose what I want to work on and when and the satisfaction is amazing when you complete a project by and for yourself. Not to mention no one complains when I have my music up too loud.

But I do miss the social side of having people around. The chats, doing the quiz at lunch, random games of cubicle badminton that leave lovely black marks on freshly painted walls (*cough* never happened *cough*) and having a fellow developer or programmer to discuss problems with was great.

Today an issue with WordPress templates was driving me insane and, according to Google, no on else in the world had ever experienced the problem. Out of the blue my database guru from the States Skyped me about a project we are working on, which then wandered off in to a chat and then on to my WP problem. As he’s in North Carolina it was a bit hard for him to pop his head over the cubicle so we fired up Team Viewer and nutted out a solution. International office chat, I love it.

Not My Lego

I tried to build a Lego house yesterday and failed. No, not a kit, but one from scratch – it was a total mess.

I think the problem is I don’t know the boy’s Lego. I would have had a similar amount when I was a kid and I would have stored every single piece away in the infinite filing cabinet that is a young boy’s mind. I could search and search for hours, knowing that piece had to be somewhere in the tub and before too long what I had imagined was sitting proudly on my bedroom floor.

Yesterday I was completely lost.. The simple construction I envisaged, most likely using bricks from childhood, became a mishmash of parts that never gelled. I look at Henry who has my Lego recall and I am jealous. He knows exactly what he’s doing and what he has. Maybe I need to take a couple of weeks off and just build, build. If only that was an option.

A Late Production

So this is a little late but I wanted to put it up. Last year the twins decided they wanted to take on drama. After a year of weekend lessons they performed in the end of year production and both did amazingly well. What I’ll remember most though is the confidence they gained, particularly one Mr Henry who well and truly came out of his shell and hit every mark, every time. Those who know Moo will know that confidence wasn’t such an issue.

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Modern Moo

Albert was playing a game with the twins where he reads out questions from a card and everyone answers.

He came to “What’s one word to describe yourself?”

Without a moments hesitation Moo piped up ‘’Smart.”

In an age where girls are still told that being pretty and/or popular is what they should be aspiring to above all else I’m proud to have helped raise a daughter who sees her brains as her defining feature. Go Moo.

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Learned A Little About Learning

12 months ago I decided I needed to kick my brain in to gear, I was feeling like a dinosaur when it came to my development skills. I started well with my nice thick book and kept on going but then I stopped. I half heartedly dipped back in a few times before giving up completely.

But I did learn something.

I’m not a book learning type of guy. I probably should have known this from uni but I learn best by listening, being shown and then doing it myself. I’m not sure what what learning style this makes me – kinesthatic with a touch of visual maybe – but I have to play to my strengths so I’ve started again.

I’ve signed up to the Microsoft Virtual Academy, a great free resource that hosts courses based around video instruction. The one I’m doing, for C#, has a great presenter and works for me. He encourages you to type as he does and to pause, rewind, experiment as he goes along. I’ve been chugging through the videos (it really is beginner level) and feel I’ve learned more in the couple of hours of this mode than I did in the hours I spent slogging through The Book.

I’m flat out with work right now but I aim to get this course finished in a week or so and launch straight in to the next level.

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