Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Making your own luck, and enjoying the profits

Today I had to go to the Bendigo Media Centre.  It’s a strange little place, a combination of very new buildings and horrible brown-brick 1960s buildings, erected in the shadows of the main broadcast transmission towers on a hill near the middle of town.  The centre houses the studios for the local Ten and Austereo networks, so the lobby is full of glossy promotional posters for the network personalities.

On my visit today I particularly enjoyed the posters featuring the local radio announcers.  You have an image in your head of what these people might look like, and it's never, ever accurate.  There's a reason people are told they have a good face for radio, and yet management insists on having them sit for lobby portraits.  The results are often unintentionally hilarious.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Keeping it virtually nice

"It's better to give than to receive."
"You only get out of it what you put into it."
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

We've all heard these hackneyed phrases, usually uttered by sainted aunts or well-meaning parents, trying to teach us something about life.

With a lot of social interaction now occurring online I thought it pertinent to observe that these sorts of sentiments apply equally well to social media.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Minion in a million

Happiness in the Good Plates household tonight, with the news our eldest minion has call-backs for four (count them!) parts in her school's production of Annie Jr!

The school puts on a show every December which involves almost all pupils.  It's a K-10 campus, so the lead roles are nominally reserved to Years 9 and 10.  Our Year 8 minion walked into her audition yesterday, Hard Knock Life'd her little socks off, and appears to have made an impression, with call-backs for the parts of Annie, Lily St Regis, Grace and a Boylan Sister!

We're so very proud!  Call backs are tomorrow, so wish her luck!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Make no mistake, hens are vicious: UPDATED

"Daddy, something's wrong with Penny."

It was more the way the words were delivered than the words themselves that filled me with dread and made me put down the wet thing I was about to hang on the clothes line and head for the chook run.

Penny is one of our chickens.  As it happens, she's at the bottom of the pecking order.  When the big, tough chooks want that scrap on the ground, she gets out of the way.  From time to time she cops a peck on the way out.  So, there being something wrong with Penny will almost always have more to do with being bullied than anything else.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Further lessons in communication

The household is a little closer to complete.  We have TV.

We’ve been in this house for six months and the TV is finally working properly, through a newly effective connection to the antenna on the roof.  Setting up the TV is one of the things I like to get done on the first day of a move, so having this fixed feels like another “moving in” step to me.

It’s also a kind of freedom.  For the last six months we’ve had to either settle for whatever had a clear channel or switch off.  Now all the channels are there, and we can choose whether or not to watch them.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Making time for what you want

You know that feeling, when you're frustrated because you want to do something but there’s a bunch of other stuff you need to do first?  And there’s that other feeling, of satisfaction, when you actually get through the “need” stuff and create the opportunity to start the “want” stuff?

I love that second feeling.

Friday, 1 June 2012

I'd rather be happy than timely

Well, here I am again, apologising for not having a story that I wanted to publish.

Last time I did this was Anzac Day.  On that occasion I had grandiose ideas about honour and occasion and ceremony and it just didn't work.  Instead I talked about my Pa, and that worked.

Today I wanted to tell a story about work finances and politics and the public service.  It was a great little story, and I was really happy with how I wrote it, but self-preservation dictated that it get ditched.  It revealed too much and, even though I'm pretty sure nobody from work reads this stuff, it would have been too big a risk to put that one out there.  That story will never see the light of day, because I value my pay-check.

My second-string story was a critique of the quality of contemporary political discourse in the context of the Abbott/gay/boats story.  Seriously, this is what's on the front page now?  The fact that ALP staff are so threatened by the leader of the opposition that they find it necessary to make graphical ad hominem attacks in the safety of their own workplaces?  But the story didn't really work either, and that went down the tubes too.

So I guess I'm here to write about the value of being self-critical.

When you're writing, and trying to adhere to some standards, you have to get tough on yourself.  If I was earning money by the word (like Hugo) I wouldn't have had any qualms about putting up either or both of the stories I'd conceived or written.  But this blog generates no income, and I'm aiming for quality and trying to adhere to some personal principles here (as well as trying to make sure I can keep paying my mortgage).  So, if I'm unhappy with publishing something, whether it be for personal or principled reasons, it doesn't get published.

There's something to be said for applying this approach when using e-mail, or even posting Facebook statuses.  I greatly value the discipline of writing something, saving it in draft, walking away for a few hours and then re-reading it, just to be sure it says what I mean, or feel.  If it doesn't, it either gets revised or ditched.

A thought can be momentary, but consigning something to the internets is forever.