Thursday, May 19, 2005

Working with crap

Feeling somewhat distressed by the total lack of logic involved with the firewall at Prospect today. This box has two tunnels - both of which terminate at our office in Sydney. One of them stopped working this morning for an unknown reason. All my efforts to bring it back up just aren't working. On the bright side, we'll soon have Cisco everywhere and these kind of ridiculous problems with an effort to payoff ratio above 250:1 will be no more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Self Improvement

I remember long ago discussing the various compartments into which we can dissect our lives with a good friend of mine, Luke. We broke it down into the following categories:
1. Spiritual
2. Emotional
3. Intellectual
4. Physical
A fifth category "Collateral" could be included if you so desire. The accumulation of wealth or possessions.

I believe it was in Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" that I read an idea. It runs along the lines of "pick one thing that would have more impact upon your life than any other if you did it for twenty minutes each day - then do it".
Every now and then I feel motivated to try and improve myself, I'm certain that I'm not alone in this. As an aside, what do you think of the word "certain"? My wife to be seems to think that it's use indicates you don't really mean it. Am I alone in thinking that idea is somewhat wrong? Back on track. These fads come and go, generally when I'm trying to structure one of the four parts of my life mentioned above. At the moment it's physical. Let me digress for a moment.

As mentioned previously, I love good food. Being a decent height (5'11" - 178cm) being overweight isn't a massive issue. In fact, it wasn't really until the last two years that I really filled out. At any rate, being largely overweight isn't an issue I generally have to worry about, however I've noticed that a certain amount of my body fat has decided to locate itself around my middle.Nothing that a bit of regular exercise won't rectify of course, but something that requires some action. Focusing on the needs of one area generally makes me take a few steps back and examine myself from a wholistic point of view. Normally this results in a half assed effort to improve myself in every area at once and I succeed in none of them.

Those of my friends reading this will have heard the HCC method of goal setting. Find a goal, write it down and do it. Well, that's what I'm doing - and I'm doing it here so that you can all enjoy my pain and frustration, and even add to it by asking me in six months time what happened to that deleted post back there.

Fads... maybe that can be my next Blog entry. There have been a few of them. Some not around long enough to really be fads. Anyhow, more on those later.

1. Spiritual
So, how can I improve my spiritual life? I read my Bible regularly, pray a bit and go to church on a gradually improving basis. I guess to see a marked improvement I need to be putting in more time to prayer and trying to make some sense and life related discoveries in what I read. I think "Spiritual Thoughts #x" will become a permanent part of my Blog. Feel free to condemn those upcoming posts.

2. Emotional
Relationships.... man they are wonderful and crazy thing all wrapped up into one. I'm not only talking about Liz, but friends and family. My sister is somewhat deluded and seems to think that being in a family simply means that you do favours for her and she kicks mud in your face. Problem is, she's still my sister. Reconciling myself to that whole situation is not a task any of you should envy. From interacting with people at work, and others I know from outside the church, I begin to see that being in a church teaches you to be dependent on your friends. To expand - from a young-ish age you start seeing your friends at youth. Those same people are probably your social group so you see them of a weekend too. Then you go to church and see them there. As you get older you no longer see them at youth, however you feel the need to still see them - all of them. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I love all my friends but finding time to spend quality time with them all is quite difficult. Group things are always fun, and most time economical, but you don't get that connection - at least I don't feel I do. One of my closest friends I see maybe every three months for dinner, but that time is well worth it, and the gap between when I last saw him feels very small. Bugger me I ramble on. At any rate, from an emotional standpoint I'd like to spend more time in meaningful communication with my family and friends.

3. Intellectual
This one is kinda sucky. I mean, I work five days a week and then I need to spend time outside of that exercising my brain? Yes. That's the simple answer anyway. The more complicated answer would involve analysing exactly how I'm meant to improve in this. If it's work related then I can easily justify time spent at work to studay and learn - yay for cool bosses. Reading things that stretch my brain as opposed to just for fun is another option. What to read though? Bah. I think I'll just go with extending my knowledge of IT. Speaking of which - just how much is a sys admin of a smallish company meant to know? I've realised that it's far more difficult than being specialised in one technology and serving in a large IT team. Applications, auditing, security, maintenance, efficiency, training.... it goes on. A never ending task of self improvement right there. Thankfully I have a number of IT resources to turn to - in no particular order Mick, Nathan
Justin, Marcus, Joel, Aaron .

4. Physical
Yay for exercise. I love the feeling that you get coming down from exercise. The euphoric feeling as adrenaline exits your system leaving you feeling weary but satisfied.At the moment my main form of exercise comes from bike riding. Unfortunately I only do this once a week. So... I'm aiming to increase my exercise levels to an hour each night. Be it stretching, riding, calisthenics or other - one hour per night is dedicated to exercising. Bring on the gutbuster.

That's all for now... fads will be covered tomorrow.

Spiritual Thoughts #1

I was reading a passage in Corinthians tonight where Paul is discussing his rights with the Corinthian church. Basically, he claims his right to be recognised as an apostle, and the right to be supported by them.
The funny thing is, that he is so emphatic about them and then at the end of the passage, he simply says "But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me".
So why does he write it? Perhaps as an example of how we should be acting as Christians. Aware of what our rights are, but willing to lay them down to serve God - because our rights are less important than the spreading of the gospel.
Perhaps the other reason he does not wish to be supported is because it would come between him and his reliance of God? I can't say I'm majorly reliant on God. I'm reliant on myself for most things. Why? Because they are under my control. Most would say I need to get out of my comfort zone and start doing things that mean I need to rely on God. Maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe I just need to be believing for things in my life. Simple things, little things. I don't really know.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Redneck values

Well, I was reading through a few blogs today and realised that I haven't posted in a bit. Bring on the random thoughts!

We live in a role based society. While that is something which seems to be shifting with the advent of equal rights, we still live in a society which makes judgement upon things we do or things we have and label them. Who is it that defines what is masculine and what is feminine? What is cool and what is geeky?

I had a discussion with a friend of mine a while back regarding me selling my car. For those of you who don't know, I have a lovely black XR6 Turbo. Goes like the clappers and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, to make getting married more affordable it has to go. A few reasons... monthly repayments, petrol costs and all the added incidentals. Getting back to the point, I was discussing getting a smaller car - four cylinder so it's lighter on the fuel. After mentioning a few options he responded with something along the lines of "but they're girl's cars. Needless to say I thought that was a croc of something best left unsaid.Reflecting on it later, I realised that Australia and America are really two of the only countries to draw masculinity from driving a V8 or something that does a sub 14 quarter in stock trim.

I like to cook. I draw satisfaction from the fact that I can identify rosemary from thyme, a filleting knife from a chef's knife, a semifreddo from a pannacotta. Call me gay or any other thing you like, when it comes down to it I like good food and I like making it. A good meal is the best way to start and finish a day. While the traditional role of the woman was in the kitchen, I have realised that amongst my friends a number of the guys can cook at least as well as their partners, if not better. One of them is even a chef. You should see what these guys can do with carrots! Does that make my entire group of friends gay? Not a chance. If you like something then get into it - I'm talking about interests not pants.

Who will join me in throwing of the shackles of an archaic social system to lead the charge towards a mindset that needs to be assimilated? Viva le resistance!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

To think or not to think....? That is the question.

Well, some two weeks after creating this I am finally enetering my first post. Within about five seconds of me creating my account blogspot went down.

Anyhow, I just got sufficiently riled enough that I wanted to winge to someone, and remembered I had this as an outlet. Huzzah! So, on with the rant.

Why oh why can people never learn the most simple things? Picture this - you are on holidays in the location of your choice, arriving in a beautifully set up hotel and you think "hey, this kicks ass. I want to call Jo and tell him how good this place is". You pick up the phone and there is no dial tone. What do you do? At this point I would think "ah, hotel! Bet they're on a pabx and I should dial 0 or 9 to get an outside line. In fact, I'll check this here sheet of paper beside the phone that tells me what I should do." Rational? So it would seem. Why then, can travelling executives never seem to follow this thought process when trying to use a dialup account from a hotel room? No matter how many times you go through it with them, you can almost guarantee that they will call you again two weeks later with the same problem.

I never realised frustration was a work hazard.