Sorry, I am using a Myki

20 01 2010

Myki is Melbourne’s new public transport ticketing system. It’s been in the news a fair bit due to the problems it’s been having.  I bought a myki two weeks ago and have been using it in anger ever since. It should be much much simpler to use, and it would be, if it worked all the time.

Of the four times a day I have to touch the myki card on a reader, twice in the morning and twice in the evening. One of those touch’s will fail or take a long long time to scan. Pretty unacceptable, but also damn annoying for those people in the queue behind me whilst they wait for the card to work.

So, I figured it would be good to warn them why you are stooped over at the ticket barrier swearing, so I have designed a t-shirt. It has the same message printed on both side and lets your fellow commuters know why you are holding them up, and why you are muttering swear words to yourself.

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End of a decade

31 12 2009

I was going to write a post about what I have achieved this year, and to be honest there has been a heap. But, it occurred to me whilst I was writing the post that it was also the end of a decade, a pretty big one for me as it goes.

Now I was going to use interpretive dance to go over the major milestones of the past 10 years, but the video camera is broken, so here it is in a smart mosaic format (I won’t rule out doing the dance on special occasions though)  🙂

1. Australia

I came to Australia, just over ten years ago on holiday, but only really decided to stay in the year 2000 after being made an offer by my boss at Admiral (-> CMGAdmiral –> LogicaCMG –> Logica) to stay on as a consultant. It was a huge decision to make, to leave my friends and family and to start afresh. Luckily I had already made a stack of friends in Australia and caught up with a mate from the UK who also lived in Melbourne. On reflection it was the best decision I made 🙂

2. Rachel

In 2001 I met Rachel, since then we have never really been apart. We have been through a heap together, building a house, starting a family and bringing up two fantastic children. She is my best friend and I love every moment we are together.

3. Abbie

In March 2006, my daughter Abbie came into the world and changed everything. She is awesome. Perfect in every way. I am loving watching her grow up, explore the world around her and learn. I love her inquisitive mind, her pure logic and banter.

4. Jack

In March 2007, little Jack joined his sister in the world. Whilst Jack had a pretty full on couple of months when he first arrived, he has gone from strength to strength ever since. I sometimes forget he is only 2 and 3/4 years old, he has such a developed vocabulary and self awareness. Every week he totally flaws me with what he says, not the words, but also the context

5. Family

Even though I live in Australia, I am in full contact with my family in the UK thanks to Skype and cheap telephone calls. I have been really lucky that Rachel’s family have taken me under their wing and treat me like a son. Unfortunately since being out in Australia a few people have passed on and I was unable to attend their funerals, Grandad Bob, Nan and my cousin Janet.

6. Work

Work has been an interesting one. In the last ten years I have done a number of things including:

  • Sheep Rousing – Working on a sheep farm outside of Geelong
  • Road Crack Counter – Long long story
  • Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager

At the moment I have switched back into a consultancy role, specialising in Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solutions. It may sound strange, but it’s the ideal mix between my love of all things techy and Project Management (which I am actually quite good if I do say so myself).

7. Nerdy

There have been a number of nerdy milestones in the past ten years. For what started out with me minus any gadgets whatsoever whilst backpacking, has seen me morph into a gadget collecting superfreak. Of course during this period I have had many different computers and run a stack of different software which I am not going to list as it would be way to sad.

8. Permanent Residency

For some damn fool reason, Australia decided that I could stay in the country. Glad they did really as it would have been awful to be paying off a house I couldn’t live in. Up until getting my PR there was a very real possibility that I could have been sent back to the UK, giving up everything I had made in Australia. This was very much the case until 2006, when it was finally granted 🙂

9. Geelong

When I first got to Australia I worked on a sheep farm outside of Geelong, hence when it came to picking a team, they were my first choice. When I was in the UK, sport never really bothered me, but it’s part of the Australian psyche, and if your in Melbourne, you might as well be a leper if you can’t hold your own in talking footy.  Since 2000, I have watched them lose and then win, finishing up with three grand final appearances in the past three years and two wins, the final being an epic battle against my wife’ family team of St Kilda. Way to go Cats!

So there you go, my reflection on the past decade. At the beginning of the decade, when I was seeing the new year in with some backpacking buddies at Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, I had no idea that I would still be in Australia ten years later and all the things mentioned above would have happened. It will be interesting to see in another ten years what transpires 🙂

And on that note, Happy New Year, 2010 is going to rock 🙂





The obligatory catch-up post

16 05 2009

I have been on holiday for the past two weeks which has been a fantastic break. It seems I am always on holiday, and I agree, it does seem that way. This time I decided to take a break between changing jobs again and reconnect with my family and look after my wife while she gets over a particularly painful operation. So far she is doing fantastically and I am incredibly proud of her. Next week I start a new job at a more dynamic Microsoft partner which I am incredibly excited about, there are some great people there and I want to learn and be energised by work again.

During my time off I have had a chance to catch-up on a few things I wanted to do for a while and as is my want, I will share them with you 😛

  • Wrote the first version of iFreewayTimes which I am looking forward to using in anger next week when I start driving to work;
  • Went to the dentist with toothache and came out minus a wisdom tooth which has been pretty damn painful, but is getting better;
  • Took the family to Philip Island for the day and had a great time searching for Penguins with the kids;
  • I went through my twitter following list and was pretty brutal in un-following people. Twitter can be a very powerful tool, but it also can be a great source of noise. I don’t care if you need to go to the toilet, go, don’t tell me;
  • I nuked most of my RSS subscriptions, of the 100+ feeds I subscribed to, I only really read 10 or 15;
  • Learned to love my iPhone (no not that way @grumpywookie), damn it’s a fantastic device;
  • Had an awesome time going shopping with the kids to buy mothers day presents, next week we get to repeat it for Birthday pressies;
  • Was wrapped to learn that the last project I managed for Hyro went live without issue the week after I left to a fantastic reception all around the globe. It was unfortunate it was delayed two weeks so I couldn’t see it go live in person;
  • Installed Windows 7 x64 Release Candidate. Wow. You would have already read all the posts about how good it is, they are true. It really is (more on this in a later post).

So there you have it, I can’t promise I will be blogging any more regularly, but I will try to.





First post of 2009

5 01 2009

Well 5 days into the year I have finally gotten off my arse to right a blog post. I was going to do one of those blog post reviews of the past year and setting goals for the next year, but Andy and the Wookie seem to have nailed that already. In fact, Andrew has also beaten me too.

At the moment I am enjoying a nice three week break from work and spending some amazing time with my family. We went up to the Gold Coast last week and took the kids to enjoy the sun, beaches and Wiggles World. Thanks to a suggestion by a colleague we stayed in Broadbeach and it was awesome, the place had a great family buzz, was well located and had a fantastic pool (well four in fact). Whilst travelling with young kids can be difficult it is also very rewarding. Seeing our youngest run up and hug the life size version of the dinosaur he uses as a teddy was fantastic. I have certainly come to appreciate how lucky I am to have such a fantastic wife and children.

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As I write I have one week left before I return to work and am starting to ease back into all things nerdy (like Twitter and Google Reader) and eagerly awaiting the Windows 7 beta to kick off in the next week or so.

I am expecting 2009 to be a very big year personally and professionally and whilst I said I wasn’t going to set goals in a blog post, I have indeed set some, which will make 2009 very very exciting.





Rest In Peace SDM

29 11 2008

SDM Tombstone

 

As some of you may know I used to work for a company called SDM. Whilst there I learnt about a number of technologies and products I had never really come across before including SharePoint, Project Server and CRM. There were a number of things I loved about the company, the people; the projects; the ‘can do’ attitude, the fun.

SDM was taken over by another company in January 2008 which should have been a great partnership. If the company had been smart they would have left SDM to do it’s own thing and backed them to become bigger and better. But they didn’t. They changed things and the fun, the attitude and the people began to leave.

Why am I telling you all this? Well the 30th November marks the last day that the SDM brand exists. As of the 1st December the brand will be no more.

I will always look back on my time at SDM with a great fondness, I made some excellent friends, learnt a lot, and most of all enjoyed going to work there, one day I hope I will be lucky enough to work at a similar company again.





Jack – One Week at home..

9 04 2007

Today marks the one week anniversary of Jack coming home from hospital. It’s been a pretty full on week. I hadn’t appreciated how much work would be involved with two kids so close together, nor had I appreciated how much I had started to enjoy sleep again. It’s only been 8 months since Abbie started to sleep through, so I didn’t think it would hurt so much!! It does!!

Whilst Jack has been great, it’s not all been plane sailing. It seems that Jack has a nasty reaction to his formula that caused him to get diarrhea. So bad in fact that it gave him nappy rash that caused him bum to bleed!! Poor little fella. That’s under control now thanks in part to changing him to Lactose Free formula and some cortizone cream prescribed by our doctor.

Anyway, I will keep this short, I have two kids to enjoy!!





Welcome Jack Anthony Robert Burton

29 03 2007

After nine months of anticipation, this afternoon at 3:27pm, Jack Anthony Robert Burton was born. Weighing 7lb something ounces and delivered a mere 6 hours after being induced.

Both mother and baby are doing great.