japester: xkcd ftw (velociraptors)
2013-08-19 10:46 am
Entry tags:

I lost an aunt last week

and found out about it this morning.

My (host) mum's little sister died of a brain aneurysm on Wednesday, while at lunch. Just toppled over, gone in seconds. Much like how Sam went a few years ago. At least it's painless, and quick. Quick is good.

Namiji was the sweet, caring gentler of the two, and I never saw her without a twinkle in her eye.
Gads I'll miss her.

All I can say now, is that I'm glad I went to Japan in June. Ostensibly to visit my grandfather, as he was the one I had been expecting to disappear on me soonest. Not my dearest aunt. I spent an evening with her and my family. Reconnection did occur before it was too late.

I'll be in the bar tonight. Drinking to her memory.
japester: (Default)
2013-07-17 10:47 am
Entry tags:

Today's ramblings

A post, where I travel over a few topics, because that's where my head's at today.

IT MicroAggressions
Everybody except the current place of employment is aware that I'm not gender conformist. Even though Big Blue has paperwork spread everywhere, good policies and even a manager's handbook to assist transitioning employees, there is still the historical fear of being different. In all honesty, there has only ever been one workplace that has actively told me to conform, and that was iiNet. Everywhere else has just recognised the good work I do and move on.
But the fear persists.

At the moment, a lot of that is prompted by Douchebag McDoucheNozzle, a fellow employee who has demonstrated a remarkable ability to objectify people and irritate. He is one person who I am truly not comfortable being myself around, as I'm not ready to deal with the consequences of telling him to get nicked. Yesterday was a prime example of that. Neither of us are able to work at the moment, as we're waiting for the slow wheels of bureaucracy to grind, and he stood at my desk for some minutes, talking about going to lunch, and I really did not want to spend that time with him. It felt less painful to do that, than tell him I wanted to be on my own. There is a high probability that I'll be able to separate myself from him in the near future, so I'm just riding out the wave at the moment.

Prompted by this post - http://hacklikeagirl.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/out-of-the-cage-2/

Longer term, I've actually become quite sick of the misogyny and callous behaviour that is normal for so many in the IT industry. Linus Torvalds is a good public example of unnecessary verbal abuse. Douchebag is another. There are many reasons why there are very few IT/tech people in my circle of friends.
I'm seriously looking at what alternative work/career options I have, to let me GTFO.
One of the requirements will be an inclusive culture that doesn't exclude, harass, etc. any group of people, be they women, coloured, short, Klingon, whatever. Artistic enterprises (but not computer games) are probably it.

I think that the passion for creating music has finally taken a hold of me. I've always listened to a lot of technically excellent groups, have dabbled in playing with other people, but have never had the drive to take it anywhere. Violin playing was just one of the many things I did.
After many, many years of not playing, I picked up my violin earlier this year, with the simple desire of "be able to play cleanly". I found a good teacher, without really trying and we work well together. Simply put, she makes me think and that's a rare skill.
It was only a few days ago that I realised that I am now playing for my own pleasure. My skills are at a level much higher than they have ever been, which is a happy surprise.
6 months. That's all it's taken, which is a demonstration of what I can achieve when I actually commit to something.

I'm not quite ready to put together another harp. I'd like to, but finding decent woods has proved so difficult that it might as well be impossible.

Training ... is kind of happening.
Tom and I are catching up semi regularly, but it's not even once a week. I need it to be twice a week, for continuity and actual improvement. I have Plans (Tm) but ... ::sigh:: need the motivation to make them happen, and that requires interaction.
I did have a good discussion with an old workmate a couple of days ago. He's been teaching and running a dojo for some years, and had some good ideas. There's plenty more to discuss, which should be helpful.

That'll do for today.
japester: (kenshin)
2013-07-08 08:36 am
Entry tags:

A Trip to Japan - the longer story

This is the longer, un-expedited version of the trip I did to Japan in early June.
"What? You went to Japan," you ask?
Why, yes, yes I did. It was a little spontaneous, and a little stressful. Until I got there and then it all just came together.
Story behind the cut )
japester: (Default)
2013-07-06 10:08 pm
Entry tags:

Irregular Update the nth

Well, it seems that my ability to put words to screen, or keyboard are becoming less intermittent. This is good, as I'm using it as an indicator of how interactive with the world I'm being.

So .... the last month or so has been a whirlwind.
body in the background )
japester: (Default)
2013-07-03 10:37 am
Entry tags:

Harrassment, it's everywhere

So I have a more permanent record of it, and sadly, because I need it right now, I'm linking these here.

Talking about systemic harassment

Reporting harassment.
japester: (Default)
2013-06-23 08:14 pm
Entry tags:

Weekend Achievements

The spontaneous road trip pushed out my scheduled plans, but it was worth it.

So, adjusted plans:

  1. Start the spa deck
  2. Practice violin
  3. Some calligraphy
  4. Get a timesheet webapp up and running.

  1. Did some! Got the some support structure in place, and enough top layer that I no longer have to chill my feet on the concrete.
  2. Tortured my ears with some recordings of myself. egads, intonation.
  3. No, ran out of go-go juice :(
  4. Tried. Still trying. Smegging opensource software.
japester: (Default)
2013-06-22 08:29 pm
Entry tags:


Today was a day of spontaneous action. Last night [personal profile] caitlen mentioned that she wanted to look at a car in Wodonga, I said, "want company?" and we both went Road Trip!
So we drove to Albury/Wodongo, for the hell of it.

I was a little concerned that it has been some 6 years since the two of us had seen each other, and here we are, locked in a car together for the rest of the day, hoping it would turn out well.

It was disturbingly cold leaving Melbourne, both our cars were covered in a reasonable layer of ice (Laverton recorded its overnight minimum at 0800 of -0.7) but the drive up was rather nice. Good clear sky, and only the occasional stupid driver. The conversation was even better, as we caught up on 6 year's worth of missed real life conversation.
We looked at cars. ooooh shiny! Didn't buy any, as expected, had good Thai curry for lunch, and then headed out. Detoured via the Hume Dam head, cause it was there, walked across the border a couple of times, because we could and then drove home, so [personal profile] caitlen could go to work.

Delivered her to work, and then, as I realised the fridge contained nothing edible, and I had not the energy to cook, I scoffed a delicious smoked salmon and rocket pizza at Polly's.

I did have plans for the day. Sleeping, market shopping, cutting some decking. Guess that's being pushed out to tomorrow :)
japester: (Default)
2013-06-17 08:10 pm
Entry tags:

Things I actually got done this weekend.

In reference to my planned list of things, here's what I actually did get done:
The original list was a bit of an over-estimate, but it is the list that needs to get done, so some things are up for an evening this week, or next weekend.

    The list of achievements:
  • Configure mod-security for my webhost.
    Did reading, nothing more.
  • Resolve the excessive 401 responses that Ownbutt keeps generating
    Nope. Will have to file bug reports instead.
  • Training? If I get a response from Tom
    Got response! We trained. We drank tea. We ate okashi, we scoffed sake in the spa. It was awesome.
  • Replace the clutch hose on the car (it leaks)
    Done! Now to remove the extraneous metres of copper pipe ...
  • Some calligraphed letters
  • Start on the decking around the spa.
  • Practice violin
    Yay! Another day of feeling myself getting better. But I'm feeling the two weeks of no practice at all.

    Extra things done!
  • Washed and hung out clothes
  • Ate leftovers. hmmmm leftovers hmmmm
japester: (plugged_in_beaker)
2013-06-15 03:06 pm
Entry tags:

Plans for the Weekend

The list of hopefuls.

  1. Configure mod-security for my webhost
  2. Resolve the excessive 401 responses that Ownbutt keeps generating
  3. Training? If I get a response from Tom
  4. Replace the clutch hose on the car (it leaks)
  5. Some calligraphed letters
  6. Start on the decking around the spa.
  7. Practice violin

It seems that #2 is destined to fail, as the Ownbutt admins are calling the behaviour that I'm seeing a feature, and not a bug. What happens is that for every file in the sync'd folders, the Ownbutt client generates an un-authenticated PROPFIND request, and when that fails (as it should), it will then send an authenticated request. The end result is two requests for every file, doubling the load at all possible stages (client, server, logs). Idiotic? Why surely so!

Need to do some reading to get my head wrapped around #1, but the intent is to protect my web sites against random attacks.

[personal profile] dormant_dragon is up in Canberra this weekend (and Bathurst for the next two weeks), so I'll be doing more cooking than usual.
japester: (Default)
2013-04-28 02:28 pm

The Death of Google Reader

Finally got my arse into gear (not ass, arse) installed Tiny Tiny RSS onto my vps. Took it as an opportunity to move the VPS from London to Melbourne as well. The 50ms latency is much nicer than the 300ms I was getting. Everything is just so much faster!.

www.bluebo.cx/feeds/ is doing some RSS aggregation magic. Interestingly, it actually has a better feature set than Google Reader.

If you want to try it, email me and I'll add an account there for you. The interface is not always obvious, which bugs the UI pedant inside me. It's not ugly, which helps. There's only a couple of people using at the moment.

Along with the VPS migration, that brought my web hosting, and email hosting for a ride. It's all local now, which I'm happy about. Given some income, and I'll feel like I'm able to get it all polished and shiny.
japester: (Default)
2013-04-21 11:14 pm
Entry tags:


During my recent trip to Perth,I came to a very strong realisation of just how much I value the time I do get with my friends and family. Being so far away most of the time, I do not get the regular little contact that we so often take for granted. Walking to the shops, catching up for tea/coffee, just time. My visits pack so much, so many people into a very short space, I get several month's worth of shared time in a couple of hours.

Every moment shared is a gift.


Went to a friend's 50th* birthday party last night. After many, many intense cuddles,I managed about an hour's sleep, before the requirements of today made themselves known. Drained and tired, I still, possibly foolishly, still trained with Tom, but just a short physical session and lots of tea. I miss having people who really push me and I need it to develop further. Currently, I'm building my teaching skills, and crafts related to mugairyu, and these things are valuable, but do not simulate me at the same level. Of the many people I trained with last week (mugairyu and aikido) every one teaches me something new, but I learn much more and faster with those who are more skilled than I. Well be hunting new and different people to train with in the near future. We'll see what I find.

* the age span of my friends is now over 30 years. I am not surprised at this thing.
japester: (Default)
2013-04-16 12:05 pm
Entry tags:

Calligraphy - Jen

[personal profile] velithya simply asked for something Mugairyu related.

I chose the poem that the name "mugairyu" comes from.

"There is nothing other than the One True Way
Heaven and Earth profit from this single Virtue
The fluttering feather knows this secret
To be settled during confusion is to be enlightened and pure"
japester: (Default)
2013-04-16 12:00 pm

Calligraphy - Melody

I got busy in the weeks just before I went to Perth. 5 pieces of calligraphy were done. Of course my friends are inspirational :)

Melody is one of the few people who I will be doing something for who did not explicitly ask for something. She is a fellow student with me in mugairyu and there have been some fairly stressful events in her recent life. I gave her the following as I know just how much mugai means to her, and how it helps her cope.

mugairyu and the 7 tenets of Bushido

japester: (Default)
2013-04-16 11:55 am
Entry tags:

Calligraphy - Iain

Iain is another friend who I met through Rebel. He is a friend who inspires just through his mere existence.

Shame is for other people. "Dance like nobody's watching" were his words for me to work with.

japester: (Default)
2013-04-16 11:35 am
Entry tags:

Calligraphy - Andy

Many years ago, after I moved back to Perth after spending a year in Sydney, I came to train with Kaneda, and discovered that during my absence, he had formed Rebel and re-formed the mugairyu training group. I was happy to be training again - martial arts has always been a core part of me, and training with Kaneda in particular, has shaped me into the person I am today. I do so sorely miss it when I am apart.

I returned, and every time I came to training, Andy, oh so happy Andy, would always fling his arms into the air and run over to me, greeting me with enthusiasm and a joyous, "JP-san!" I cannot express just how much good that did for my self esteem. He gave me these words - "outlandish and ridiculous hand waves". I cannot think of these words without recalling his exuberance and the joy it brought me back then, and still does now.

The start of this project.
japester: (kenshin)
2013-04-02 12:51 am
Entry tags:

Calligraphy the First

I've made a good start on the Inspirational Friends calligraphy project. I have a few pieces mapped out, for when I get some free time (!) to work on them. I have now, actually finished one.

[personal profile] transcendancing who thought she was just being supportive completely failed to realise that her support is inspirational as well. It's not perfect, but that's not what I'm aiming for with these works.
From start to finish, it took about half an hour - ~15 practice sheets to make me realise I need to stop rushing, relax, fall into the flow and let the ink do the work for me.

Ju is always overflowing with love for those she cares about. It is the word that I have always associated with her.

This is the kanji for love (ai).

sumi on board
japester: (Default)
2013-03-28 11:19 pm
Entry tags:

Fortnight of Utter Awesome

I can pinpoint my recent massive upswing in mood and general happiness to one particular afternoon two weeks ago.

cut for length )

Off to Perth for ten days in a week. Soooooo looking forward to it.
japester: (Default)
2013-03-01 12:20 pm
Entry tags:

Life goes on, for some

Spent yesterday doing the things that were planned, in much more time than expected. The day became long. Long and tiring, but satisfying.

Delivered [personal profile] transcendancing to a recruiter interview, and kept myself occupied by dropping in on my UniMelb ex-workers at the daily morning coffee. Only two of the regulars turned up. I had quite forgot that as part of The Great Organisation Re-Shuffle, most of the Unix Ops team were turned out, so the Two Leading Brains of my old Engineering team were holding the hands of the highly paid conslutants who are now doing the work of one Excellent Ops guy. Typical short sighted planning. (Replacing 6+6 Unix and Windows Ops guys with 2+2 and the expectation/requirement that they'd skill share)

Re-gained a Ju, gained second coffee and a raspberry smoothie, and then took off to Veg Out in St Kilda to take inspirational photos for chaosmanor. We only got rained on a little, but inspirational photos were gained. It's a nice little garden, hiding away in the 'burbs. Will have to take [personal profile] dormant_dragon back too.

Had lunch at Tanya's swanky restaurant. Had difficulty finding non-fishy items on the menu.
It was, of course, utterly delicious, and also, existing in Toorak, appropriately priced. Double :(

Was more than a little successful at hunting foods in the prawn (Prahran) Markets. So many tasty cheeses, blood oranges, cheap raspberries (!), and pink lady apple juice. And! not just one, but several free range critter suppliers!

Home, wrangled peak hour traffic :(
collapsed into the bed of warm and comfy. Awoke to find a cat on top of me. Normal!

[personal profile] dormant_dragon turned my acquisitions into delicious tasty noms. As always. Braised chicken breast with roast veggies, with a delicious garlic filled sauce.

hmmmmm sauce hmmmmm

Today feels like a(nother) recovery day. ::sigh::
The drugs appear to have kicked in, so I'm going to find something light to do with the rest of my day. That'll be either designing some calligraphy, or more carving of the tenor rebec, though, that one's really on hold until I am able to obtain a replacement soundboard. (The supplied one doesn't fit.) and maybe, some more wrangling of the Cisco kit.
My network needs vlans and a captive portal. Yes, yes it does. Really.
japester: (Default)
2013-02-21 01:43 pm
Entry tags:

Keeping Myself Occupied

As if I don't have enough things to keep me busy for the rest of the year, I have decided to add another long-term project to my list. This one is aimed at working on three specific targets - to improve my calligraphy, to keep in better contact with all my far flung friends and to keep on my resolve of being less of a consumer and more of a producer.

To that aim, and to take small inspiration from some other maker themed memes, I am going to throw this to the world of my friends.
The first ::handwaves:: hundred or so people to respond here will get a piece of calligraphy from me.

My constraints:

  • It will be done this year
  • I will spend at least 5 minutes on it (more likely to be at least an hour, but hey, gotta make realistic limits)
  • I retain free will to do these things in any order I feel like.
  • It'll be either Japanese (brush), or Western (nib), entirely up to me!
  • Anything else I feel like adding later (so as to make sure I actually finish these things)

Your constraints:

  • Provide some form of inspiration, be it a word, a phrase, poem. Something, anything. Otherwise I'll write something outlandish and ridiculous and you'll be stuck with that forever.
  • We must be friends. Joe Random Internet Troll gets nothing!
  • Tweet at me, DM, email, reply here. I'll catch all incoming messages

Right, go!

*Addendum. I don't allow anonymous posts here, and you'd have to put some form of identifying thingy on a post anyway. So ... send me your inspiration via a means you know works.
japester: (Default)
2013-02-18 02:59 am

Consumption vs Production

A little something that I've been trying for the last ::handwaves:: too long is to be less of a consumer and more of a producer. That comes from getting home from work, flopping on the couch and browsing the innertubes as that's all I have the energy for. Sure, I'd been producing stuff for work, but I can't share that with the world.
So ...

I have been taking the enforced and now extended vacation to make stuff. Producing! In actuality. That's part of the reason I'd been so active in the shed. I've now started on the tenor rebec, made a spice rack, and bought wood to do house improvements too - decking for the spa and a 2x2m bookshelf/room divider.

and practicing my violin. I'm aiming for a little every day. Still need to regain finger strength and stamina. Once I've got them, I'll be looking for technique, and maybe, maybe playing near other people.

Still avoiding IT related stuff. I'm really, really enjoying not being anywhere near the industry at the moment.