Unhappy Customer

Rant alert! At Flinders Street Station there are two cafe type vendors on the concourse. Coffee HQ and Baguette. Coffee HQ will happily use your reusable mug, Baguette won’t. Coffee HQ will give you your purchase without a bag if you ask. Baguette says it’s the ‘rules’ and what you do with the bag afterward is up to you and be a jerk about it. It’s nearly 11pm and Coffee HQ is closed, now I know with certainty that I will never give my business to Baguette again.

Technology Futures, Microsoft & Apple

Over the last few years I have fully converted from Windows to Mac. My mom bought me an Apple IIe when i was in college. Untill now, every computer I’ve had since 1992 has been Windows. Now I have an iMac and and iPhone and share an iPad with Emma. She has been discovering amazing ways to learn and teach Indonesian to her students at school. And though she’s been pretty focused on what’s available from the App Store, a few days ago she was sent by her school to a Professional Development session run by Microsoft. When she got home she showed me (a version of) this video: Microsoft’s Future Vision 2019.

I was pretty impressed. I looked through some of the comments, one said, “Apple will do it first!” and of course the regular verbose sparing about Microsoft vs Apple. I started to think, and wondered what it would take to create this future. Emma said they were told that much of this technology has already been developed by Microsoft but it currently too expensive to mass produce.

What would it take? What if Microsoft and Apple teamed up? Collaborated on making it happen? That kind of partnership would certainly make it a reality faster than in competition. So I put it to you, what do you think it would take for Microsoft and Apple to work together to create this future?

Whats going on in the world?

I have a cousin with a Hummer in Alberta, an aunt and uncle on either side of Australia that don’t believe climate change is happening despite fires and floods, preferring to leave it up to god. I have an activist friend in California who knows better, but wants to leave the country because of the corruption she sees, unable to appreciate the positive movement afoot. It reminds me of a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”

Yet we have people in Madison, Wisconsin inspired by what’s happening in Egypt, standing up for their rights. No longer being willing to let cynicism and complacency rule, stepping out into a possibility of the future is that they create not sitting down and letting it happen to them.

So I wonder, where can I stand up for what I believe in and be empowered to create the future I want? Oh yeah, my life! That’s a good place to start. If I am responsible for myself, I am responsible for the world.

Boring Post

I worked a shift with RED today, for a fashion show/awards night for Blue Illusion at the ballroom of the Regent Theatre. WOW, what a gorgeous venue, very Romeo & Juliet. I was glad to know all of the people on the crew, had worked with each of them at least once before. Including the woman I did my first two shifts with who got very annoyed with all my questions. This is the second job I’ve been on with her since and I was convinced she still held it against me. It was killing me that I was the newbie that asked too many questions, because she seems really cool. She barely made eye contact with me today, and when I asked if she needed a hand Continue reading

Re-enrty

Raining in Melbourne. A bit of a relief after a couple hot dry days as soon as we got back. I’d gotten used to humidity in bali, making melbourne weather a bit of a shock.

Today, venturing into the city for the first time, post-holiday, I noticed more adjusting. Expecting to be hassled by taxi drivers at very least. Noticing far more diversity, not just aussies and Indonesians. Some eccentric folk on Bourke St with brightly coloured hair, a grandmother with a black rosary to match her atire, humbly asking me for money in the Paris-end of Collins St. Office workers with personality, egos, openly expressed and some defeated & bored. Now on the train with all sorts of different people, getting used to limiting my curiosity, politely facing people without speaking. Not being too interested in the book she’s reading, nor the bookmark that looks old, with both Chinese and Arabic characters on it. It all feels a bit new again, getting used to how we relate in Melbourne. Being surprised that things actually work, that order seems more dominant than chaos. How is it that we’re all creating this order? Complicity?

Funny that Bali seemed more chaotic yet with less diversity and that here in Melbourne it’s ordered and diverse. How bizarre!

Bunny Drama

On my way home from Sustainability Drinks tonight I saw our bunnies on the lawn of the house a few doors down that’s being renovated. I corralled them enough to get them both back into our yard, to my surprise it was easier than herding cats! Grey bunny, who I’m sure has been out partying a few nights recently (word on the street), he was fine to go back thru the wire mesh he’d chewed thru in the side gate. But Pickles, AKA white bunny wasn’t done with her taste of freedom. I guess being free range in our yard isn’t enough! I tried to get her back in but could see she was determined for self determination.

Later when I took the dogs out to pee before bed, I saw that both bunnies were back, hanging out between the shed & my meditation spot. I went around to the side gate & put an old recycling tub against the fence in attempt to make it reasonably rabbit proof.

When I came back Pickles was trying to hump grey bunny & didn’t seem fussy about which end. They are both female as far as we know, have had them for at least 10 months and figured there’d be more of them by now if that wasn’t the case.

Pickles joins the ranks of our gender confused animals. Keeta, fixed female staffy also gets a bit frisky especially around other staffies but isn’t very fussy. Well, at least our pets all get along. Our cat vinnie regularly rubs his face up on both dogs noses and the bunnies will let the dogs get within about a metre of them before hopping away.

Although we had a bit of recent bunny drama, I’m pretty pleased with our little bastion of inter-species harmony.

Portraiture & presence of mouth

Yesterday I got a professional portrait done. I was nervous, I brought a few options for shirts that would put my best face forward. The mud brick studio had a white backgroud, two black panels and an array of various lights to create different effects. One window was draped but there was still natural light coming from two directions and the gum trees swaying outside were an nice to watch as Ben adjusted the lighting, reflectors and tripod.

He was quite clear which shirt he thought would portray a professional image and tho I do want that, to try too hard for that look would be insinscere. In the end we did some with the purple shirt as well where one of my fave shots ended up.

I was recovering from a cold and didn’t feel 100% so a bit concerned about being able to bring myself fully to the task but I trust Ben. He offered me some rescue remedy, I usually carry my own with me but didn’t have it and felt comforted being offered and accepting. I thought to myself, where else would you get this kind if care?!?

He was very open, invited me to see the effect on the camera’s view finder when we changed the background and stopped part way to check the images on the computer. He created an atmosphere that didn’t have a shred of professional elitism, making me quite comfortable and included in the process. I really appreciated that especially with my own interest in amateur photography.

I learned a lot being the portrait subject and it reminded me of the times I did fun photoshoots with friends in Victoria. I loved taking pictures of girls in various outfits, poses and states of undress! Seeing Ben at work made me realize just how amateur we were! But what fun we had!

I was so impressed with the level of skill evident in Ben’s portraiture. He was able to see if I was present, and not just as a whole, if I had “far away eyes” he’d ask me where I was, which brought me back. He could tell if my mouth wasn’t fully present & suggested moving it around, which brought my attention to it. Being wary of the nasty fake smile that can come across with posed shots, I was grateful.

Presence of mind was a familiar idea, but presence of mouth was a whole new distinction! And the way colour can add warmth, light bringing scincerity, posture create strength… It’s endless!!!

Needless to say I was very pleased with the process, the result and I highly recommend Ben Wrigley as a very personable and highly skilled photographer.

And he is also an artist. One who can make a prison look beautiful! Create sinister from the cute & cuddly, elicit weakness in petroleum transport all from images that can say far more than words.

Second Order Change

I met up with my friend Laurel before Sustainability Drinks last night. The city was hopping and the energy was frenetic. It took us a bit to get where we were going and the few drops of rain didn’t interrupt us once we got into conversation & catching up.
Sipping a locally brewed pear cider next to the Yarra, we talked about our work, her facilitation with community groups, reviewing a book etc. And she asked what I was doing with my business, a question I don’t enjoy much, just coming out of a reassessment and time of questioning what I’m doing. I wish I had something more definative and substantial to say. Seeking out collaborative opportunities, thinking about how to revamp my website, find new language to speak the value I have to offer. Starts to feel like blah blah blah sometimes.
Just before we headed up to Tjanabi she described what I was talking about, the work I want to do with my business, as ‘second order change’. I was intrigued by this term & asked her to say more. She described first order change as rearranging the deck chairs and the second as replacing the ship. This really struck a chord with me. It felt like something I’ve been strugling to name being articulated with such simplicity! Like a breath of fresh air, literally inspiring me! It gives me a new experience of what I’m doing is real, valid and important, not just a good idea inside my head!

Heaps of gratitude to Laurel for this revelation!

Southbank reflecting in the Yarra under Princes Bridge, we were at Riverland sipping cider, catching up.

Being the worm

One hundred of us in the Channel 9 TV studio in Richmond watched PM Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as the debated Healthcare funding and hospital reform at the Press Club in Canberra.

Each of us had a hand held device with a keypad to record our approval or dissaproval of what was being said by the leaders. 1 being the lowest and 9 for the highest indicator of approval. The data was gathered wirelessly and reflected on a screen we couldn’t see (to avoid influencing our opinions) but was on the screen below the leaders as it aired live. Viewers could see our collective response as “the worm” rising and falling like a wriggler on the screen as we either liked or disliked what was said.

At the end the host and Canberra correspondent noted the times the worm peaked and troughed. I heard from a colleague who watched it live, he said the worm went down most of the time Tony Abbott spoke. It was good to hear, I don’t think I had any thing higher than 5 when he was talking. Sure he was on the back foot to start with, however that position doesn’t come with a license to complain incessantly.

The debate could have been over in 15 minutes, very little new content was contributed by either leader after that point. Repetative mudslinging was the main theme for most of it. Though Rudd attempted to stay positive he did his share of defending and attacking.

It’s a sad state of affairs in australian political leadership. Perhaps it’s the norm but I refuse to be satisfied with mediocre! Today’s display may have been consistent with historical behavior, and that’s no excuse! More of the same produces more of the same. I see little reason for optimism yet I manage to hold out hope that a new kind of leadership is emerging from the shadows. If I can help support this shift you know I will!