Scrambled

Apr. 2nd, 2016 10:22 pm
izmeina: (Default)
While the world has been busy going to hell in a hand basket, Izzie has been busy with trivia and distractions such as reading, listening to gloom and doom on the radio or playing Sudoku or Mastermind. I discovered these latter two are great for trying to remain the present moment unless that time includes listening to Radio National. Then they are no good at all and gardening is a much more compatible activity as I have found that it is possible to concentrate on listening to the words or doing the puzzle but not both at the same time. Rather like listening to talkback radio while reading the paper. Such attempts at multi tasking merely lead to frustration and the realisation that in attempting to do both at the same time, I have ended up with the benefits of neither.

That is probably where doodling or the current colouring in craze come in handy. They don’t require the same parts of the brain used for processing spoken or written words.

Scrabbling Serpent )

Scrambled

Apr. 2nd, 2016 10:22 pm
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (Dolores)
While the world has been busy going to hell in a hand basket, Izzie has been busy with trivia and distractions such as reading, listening to gloom and doom on the radio or playing Sudoku or Mastermind. I discovered these latter two are great for trying to remain the present moment unless that time includes listening to Radio National. Then they are no good at all and gardening is a much more compatible activity as I have found that it is possible to concentrate on listening to the words or doing the puzzle but not both at the same time. Rather like listening to talkback radio while reading the paper. Such attempts at multi tasking merely lead to frustration and the realisation that in attempting to do both at the same time, I have ended up with the benefits of neither.

That is probably where doodling or the current colouring in craze come in handy. They don’t require the same parts of the brain used for processing spoken or written words.

Scrabbling Serpent )
izmeina: (Default)
The serpent has been absent of late. Strange that in the days of having no internet and not even a computer, I was posting far more frequently.
There are just so many distractions these days the worst of which are the dreaded Dementors who paid a very unexpected visit.
March is usually a month that begins with a bang. It is a time of hope and promise as the worst of the sizzling stinking summer is over. There are weeds and seeds to be planted and numerous opportunities to indulge the inner emerald serpent.

Izzie was all chirpy and happy and got lots of stuff done and had all sorts of grand plans. But that all ended in the middle of the month when the weather gods promised and delivered a string of days with a 40 in them with the bonus of some sickly steaming humidity.
February had more than its fair share of 40s but nearly all of them were the dry kind of heat that just makes you thirsty and tired but not totally troppo and grotty. Even Astrofest on Saturday 12th was insufficient to distract this cranky scratchy serpent.
It was a trivial thing but in the midst of the mugginess my wristwatch decided to die. That should be no big deal as there’s always the phone for finding the time. But unlike the young things of today I do not have this infernal object permanently attached to my hand and would constantly need to be looking in my bag to find it. That’s where pockets would come in handy but I don’t have any of those.

So I was running around like a mad March hare constantly worried about being late all the time. Back in 2009 I had a watch die at 6pm on Christmas Eve so it would be another 4 days before there was even a hope of getting a replacement. By then I was so desperate that I went to the first watch shop in the city that I could find and forked out $100 for a new one. I had no time at all for the usual ritual of shopping around and visiting 10 different stores in order to compare prices.
Since then I learned that shops like Target have them in the accessories section and there’s no need to pay more than $25.
That’s just what I did on the Friday evening after work. I could have done so the day before the old grey cells were not even capable of such a simple and logical thought.
Even a couple of sunsets at the beach on the last days of the recent Sculpture by the Sea did not banish the creepy clammy cloaked creatures.
None of the usual weapons worked against them. Sunshine, star gazing and gardening did not banish them. Not even chocolate so the only alternative was to just wait and wait, be a small target and hope they would get bored and go elsewhere. Invariably they always do but by the same token they always return.

The clammy creatures finally departed on Easter Sunday. Which is just as well because a couple of days later the trusty mobile phone started crashing and finally died this evening. I’m pretty peeved at losing all my online Scrabble games but it’s not the complete catastrophe on steroids and end of the world it would have been if the beasties had still been lurking.

I could not help but think of the wise words of Anthony de Mello who claimed that one good way of measuring your spiritual/mental strength is to count the number of times in the course of the day that you become disturbed or upset.
Then there are the toasty glowing times when it feels like being surrounded by a teflon coated shield where an assortment of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune just bounce off and barely cause a scratch.

Maybe contrasting and comparing the two states and watching for the warning signs for each would be a useful exercise in observation and could provide some useful insights.
izmeina: creepy spooky old house infested with crawling critters (spooky)
The serpent has been absent of late. Strange that in the days of having no internet and not even a computer, I was posting far more frequently.
There are just so many distractions these days the worst of which are the dreaded Dementors who paid a very unexpected visit.
March is usually a month that begins with a bang. It is a time of hope and promise as the worst of the sizzling stinking summer is over. There are weeds and seeds to be planted and numerous opportunities to indulge the inner emerald serpent.

Izzie was all chirpy and happy and got lots of stuff done and had all sorts of grand plans. But that all ended in the middle of the month when the weather gods promised and delivered a string of days with a 40 in them with the bonus of some sickly steaming humidity.
February had more than its fair share of 40s but nearly all of them were the dry kind of heat that just makes you thirsty and tired but not totally troppo and grotty. Even Astrofest on Saturday 12th was insufficient to distract this cranky scratchy serpent.
It was a trivial thing but in the midst of the mugginess my wristwatch decided to die. That should be no big deal as there’s always the phone for finding the time. But unlike the young things of today I do not have this infernal object permanently attached to my hand and would constantly need to be looking in my bag to find it. That’s where pockets would come in handy but I don’t have any of those.

So I was running around like a mad March hare constantly worried about being late all the time. Back in 2009 I had a watch die at 6pm on Christmas Eve so it would be another 4 days before there was even a hope of getting a replacement. By then I was so desperate that I went to the first watch shop in the city that I could find and forked out $100 for a new one. I had no time at all for the usual ritual of shopping around and visiting 10 different stores in order to compare prices.
Since then I learned that shops like Target have them in the accessories section and there’s no need to pay more than $25.
That’s just what I did on the Friday evening after work. I could have done so the day before the old grey cells were not even capable of such a simple and logical thought.
Even a couple of sunsets at the beach on the last days of the recent Sculpture by the Sea did not banish the creepy clammy cloaked creatures.
None of the usual weapons worked against them. Sunshine, star gazing and gardening did not banish them. Not even chocolate so the only alternative was to just wait and wait, be a small target and hope they would get bored and go elsewhere. Invariably they always do but by the same token they always return.

The clammy creatures finally departed on Easter Sunday. Which is just as well because a couple of days later the trusty mobile phone started crashing and finally died this evening. I’m pretty peeved at losing all my online Scrabble games but it’s not the complete catastrophe on steroids and end of the world it would have been if the beasties had still been lurking.

I could not help but think of the wise words of Anthony de Mello who claimed that one good way of measuring your spiritual/mental strength is to count the number of times in the course of the day that you become disturbed or upset.
Then there are the toasty glowing times when it feels like being surrounded by a teflon coated shield where an assortment of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune just bounce off and barely cause a scratch.

Maybe contrasting and comparing the two states and watching for the warning signs for each would be a useful exercise in observation and could provide some useful insights.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been busy slinking about in the sunset in the company of some very strange creatures.

Sculptures at Sunset

This event has been running since 2005 and I have managed to visit at least once every time not that one needs an excuse to linger and lurk around such a gorgeous beach.

This time has been a record since I turned up 6 times. Two of those don't really count since they were part of the day jobs with the senior centres and involved making cups of tea, taking people to the loos and lugging fold up chairs and tables to and from the bus. So it was not really possible to do much sculpture spotting but it was a good vantage point for getting an overall view and enjoying the breeze and chorus of cackling parrots.

There were some beautiful creations and more than the usual share of pompous pretentious monstrous carbuncles.

More pretty pictures

When left to my own devices I nearly always chose to be there for the two hours before sunset. Of course the grand plan was to come earlier but there are always distractions and temptations. But the limited exhibition time of two weeks does concentrate the mind wonderfully.

A few years ago they extended it to three weeks which one would think makes sense because of the cost of transport and installation. But that was the year that one statue was stolen and had its feet hacked off in the process. So maybe the wages bill for all the extra security outweighed the benefits of an extra week.

But the last two visits were a bit of a wake up call. We had two stinking muggy days of nearly 40 celsius and I thought I was going to melt. I felt so grotty and grumpy all the time. That was followed by my watch giving up the ghost. Of course having a reliable watch is a big deal when your main form of getting around is public transport but it turned out to be far more disorientating than I could ever have imagined. Trying the young person's trick of relying on a smart phone for the time just did not cut the mustard since unlike them I do not keep the thing surgically attached to my hand.

Eventually the miserable weather did change but I found myself still distracted and completely unable to enjoy the sculptures or the sunset. Normally the beach is just one of the most magical places imaginable where all one's worries are washed away even if not putting a toe in the water.

Of course I could use the excuse that the beach is not normally that crowded - especially being the last weekend of the exhibition. But it didn't bother me two weeks ago.

It's the dreaded Dementors again and all the old tricks to scare them away no longer seem to be working. Dark chocolate is not an option as this pot bellied python does not need any extra blubber.
Time to go back to the drawing board and start plotting and planning. I do suspect that since they so rarely lurk during November and various visits to Camp Nano, it could be something as simple as always having some creative project on the boil that requires definite deadlines or anything really that involves commitments to external entities. I have no problem getting up early for work but fall prey too often to the temptation of being a lounge lizard when I intend to get up early for personal serpent projects.

Here's hoping that Easter and the recent autumn equinox bring opportunities for new beginnings.
izmeina: (oro)
Izzie has been busy slinking about in the sunset in the company of some very strange creatures.

Sculptures at Sunset

This event has been running since 2005 and I have managed to visit at least once every time not that one needs an excuse to linger and lurk around such a gorgeous beach.

This time has been a record since I turned up 6 times. Two of those don't really count since they were part of the day jobs with the senior centres and involved making cups of tea, taking people to the loos and lugging fold up chairs and tables to and from the bus. So it was not really possible to do much sculpture spotting but it was a good vantage point for getting an overall view and enjoying the breeze and chorus of cackling parrots.

There were some beautiful creations and more than the usual share of pompous pretentious monstrous carbuncles.

More pretty pictures

When left to my own devices I nearly always chose to be there for the two hours before sunset. Of course the grand plan was to come earlier but there are always distractions and temptations. But the limited exhibition time of two weeks does concentrate the mind wonderfully.

A few years ago they extended it to three weeks which one would think makes sense because of the cost of transport and installation. But that was the year that one statue was stolen and had its feet hacked off in the process. So maybe the wages bill for all the extra security outweighed the benefits of an extra week.

But the last two visits were a bit of a wake up call. We had two stinking muggy days of nearly 40 celsius and I thought I was going to melt. I felt so grotty and grumpy all the time. That was followed by my watch giving up the ghost. Of course having a reliable watch is a big deal when your main form of getting around is public transport but it turned out to be far more disorientating than I could ever have imagined. Trying the young person's trick of relying on a smart phone for the time just did not cut the mustard since unlike them I do not keep the thing surgically attached to my hand.

Eventually the miserable weather did change but I found myself still distracted and completely unable to enjoy the sculptures or the sunset. Normally the beach is just one of the most magical places imaginable where all one's worries are washed away even if not putting a toe in the water.

Of course I could use the excuse that the beach is not normally that crowded - especially being the last weekend of the exhibition. But it didn't bother me two weeks ago.

It's the dreaded Dementors again and all the old tricks to scare them away no longer seem to be working. Dark chocolate is not an option as this pot bellied python does not need any extra blubber.
Time to go back to the drawing board and start plotting and planning. I do suspect that since they so rarely lurk during November and various visits to Camp Nano, it could be something as simple as always having some creative project on the boil that requires definite deadlines or anything really that involves commitments to external entities. I have no problem getting up early for work but fall prey too often to the temptation of being a lounge lizard when I intend to get up early for personal serpent projects.

Here's hoping that Easter and the recent autumn equinox bring opportunities for new beginnings.
izmeina: (Default)
It looks like doing November’s novel writing adventure has totally used up the serpent stash of words for the remainder of the year. Even squiggling Christmas cards and emails has become a struggle and the subject of much procrastination. Especially annoying is that thanks to the drastic drop in the value of the Oz zloty, Christmas shopping on Amazon is no longer the handy one stop Christmas shop that it used to be.

For years and years I used to contrast and compare Amazon and Book Depository. In most cases they worked out much the same because what you would gain on price you would lose on postage fees with the odds tilting towards Amazon for orders of more than 2 items. But in those days the exchange rate was between 90 cents and parity and not the ghastly 70 something that it is now which means having to add just under 50% to the Amazon price to get the currency conversion.
It’s a pity because Amazon.com is such an easy to use site. There’s an address list that actually works and most importantly of all, they understand the concept that people sometimes send books as presents so they let you write little messages or they even wrap the books if you are feeling particularly decadent.

Book Depository on the other hand make you type out stupid addresses from scratch each time even if they are already in your address book and the concept of sending gift messages is completely alien to them even though it is rather likely that if the shipping and billing addresses are not the same, it’s probably a present.

But even with all this carping and squawking it’s is still better than the appalling alternative of having to use Australia Post for anything. I haven’t darkened the door of that awful owlery since December 2012 when one of their goblin snails ate my box of zombies. So much stuff had gotten lost or delayed for up to a year and that was the last nail in the coffin.

The recent Izzie listlessness is partly due to the inevitable crash at the end of November. It’s always good to follow some big project with a smaller one straight away in order to avoid the writing equivalent of the post exams blues. Then there are a whole bunch of anniversaries and the endless intrusive thoughts concerning “This time last year…” The Dementors had a field day with those. It took until Tuesday to finally shake them off.

Then of course there’s been the convenient distraction of books to read some of which are so addictive that other activities involving words just get tossed on the back burner. “The Girl with all the Gifts” and “The Pelican Brief” come to mind. The first of these is the quirkiest and creepiest book I have encountered since the very surreal and strange “The Hangman’s Replacement”. Lawyers, Dystopian settings, mad scientists and wicked weeds are always welcome in a story. Maybe I should make a ‘shopping list’ for next November.
Since starting that voluntary job in the charity shop and claiming the book shelves as serpent territory, it has provided a Pandora’s Box of temptations. It’s like being a boozer working in a bottle shop.
It’s amazing how many bright shiny new books make their way to the store from the central warehouse or direct donations. About 20 ancient Asimov books have also landed lately.

Today’s grand plan included a visit to the annual Symphony in the City which is a free event featuring the local orchestra and lots of fireworks. Last year was the first time I ever went to see it and liked it so much that I had every intention of going again. The weather is mild. Not muggy and not raining like last week but this morning I lost interest. After a long and busy day yesterday and another tomorrow, just felt like lurking and lounging about and being a lazy serpent.
Got a bit of gardening done and planted seeds and stuff but did not make the most of the mild weather. The Christmas decorations are still sitting in their boxes in the corner. They had been on the ‘to do’ list for today. It was pretty much a ‘Do nothing Day”

Looks like all the Christmas cards and decorations will have to be left until some time tomorrow.
Again.
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (jolly swagman)
It looks like doing November’s novel writing adventure has totally used up the serpent stash of words for the remainder of the year. Even squiggling Christmas cards and emails has become a struggle and the subject of much procrastination. Especially annoying is that thanks to the drastic drop in the value of the Oz zloty, Christmas shopping on Amazon is no longer the handy one stop Christmas shop that it used to be.

For years and years I used to contrast and compare Amazon and Book Depository. In most cases they worked out much the same because what you would gain on price you would lose on postage fees with the odds tilting towards Amazon for orders of more than 2 items. But in those days the exchange rate was between 90 cents and parity and not the ghastly 70 something that it is now which means having to add just under 50% to the Amazon price to get the currency conversion.
It’s a pity because Amazon.com is such an easy to use site. There’s an address list that actually works and most importantly of all, they understand the concept that people sometimes send books as presents so they let you write little messages or they even wrap the books if you are feeling particularly decadent.

Book Depository on the other hand make you type out stupid addresses from scratch each time even if they are already in your address book and the concept of sending gift messages is completely alien to them even though it is rather likely that if the shipping and billing addresses are not the same, it’s probably a present.

But even with all this carping and squawking it’s is still better than the appalling alternative of having to use Australia Post for anything. I haven’t darkened the door of that awful owlery since December 2012 when one of their goblin snails ate my box of zombies. So much stuff had gotten lost or delayed for up to a year and that was the last nail in the coffin.

The recent Izzie listlessness is partly due to the inevitable crash at the end of November. It’s always good to follow some big project with a smaller one straight away in order to avoid the writing equivalent of the post exams blues. Then there are a whole bunch of anniversaries and the endless intrusive thoughts concerning “This time last year…” The Dementors had a field day with those. It took until Tuesday to finally shake them off.

Then of course there’s been the convenient distraction of books to read some of which are so addictive that other activities involving words just get tossed on the back burner. “The Girl with all the Gifts” and “The Pelican Brief” come to mind. The first of these is the quirkiest and creepiest book I have encountered since the very surreal and strange “The Hangman’s Replacement”. Lawyers, Dystopian settings, mad scientists and wicked weeds are always welcome in a story. Maybe I should make a ‘shopping list’ for next November.
Since starting that voluntary job in the charity shop and claiming the book shelves as serpent territory, it has provided a Pandora’s Box of temptations. It’s like being a boozer working in a bottle shop.
It’s amazing how many bright shiny new books make their way to the store from the central warehouse or direct donations. About 20 ancient Asimov books have also landed lately.

Today’s grand plan included a visit to the annual Symphony in the City which is a free event featuring the local orchestra and lots of fireworks. Last year was the first time I ever went to see it and liked it so much that I had every intention of going again. The weather is mild. Not muggy and not raining like last week but this morning I lost interest. After a long and busy day yesterday and another tomorrow, just felt like lurking and lounging about and being a lazy serpent.
Got a bit of gardening done and planted seeds and stuff but did not make the most of the mild weather. The Christmas decorations are still sitting in their boxes in the corner. They had been on the ‘to do’ list for today. It was pretty much a ‘Do nothing Day”

Looks like all the Christmas cards and decorations will have to be left until some time tomorrow.
Again.
izmeina: (Default)
So it is official. This February has been declared the hottest in Dursleyville since 1910 and the most humid since some time in the sixties. Here's hoping that the same is not in store for March. One consolation is that the shortening hours of daylight means there is more time to cool down on the days we do get those sizzling stinkers.

So the freaky Fringe festival is also over and there's about a week left for the giant yuppie arts festival. Spent so much time on such welcome distractions that stuff like squiggling and assorted online courses have been pretty much neglected.

After several Fridays slacking off, I am now back to my regular schedule of day jobs and stuff. So here is hoping that the new month is a chance to wipe the slate clean, divorce those dementors, clear out the cobwebs and get the old grey cells in working order again. One thing the serpent has learned and confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt is that a lack of squiggling drastically reduces my levels of sanity. It's a tried and tested way to let off steam. Maybe it's time to try other tactics such as walking, cycling or some sort of actual exercise.

There's also been lots of juicy gossip in the big bad world out there. Looks like all the freaks have packed their bags and landed over in Canberra. Question Time in Parliament has been as good as any of the strange circus, bizarre burlesque or crazy cabaret shows that had been on offer here for the last month.

Here's hoping for even more entertainment next week. Maybe the Mad Monk will finally get his marching orders.
izmeina: Strange Spiral Clock (Time Turner)
So it is official. This February has been declared the hottest in Dursleyville since 1910 and the most humid since some time in the sixties. Here's hoping that the same is not in store for March. One consolation is that the shortening hours of daylight means there is more time to cool down on the days we do get those sizzling stinkers.

So the freaky Fringe festival is also over and there's about a week left for the giant yuppie arts festival. Spent so much time on such welcome distractions that stuff like squiggling and assorted online courses have been pretty much neglected.

After several Fridays slacking off, I am now back to my regular schedule of day jobs and stuff. So here is hoping that the new month is a chance to wipe the slate clean, divorce those dementors, clear out the cobwebs and get the old grey cells in working order again. One thing the serpent has learned and confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt is that a lack of squiggling drastically reduces my levels of sanity. It's a tried and tested way to let off steam. Maybe it's time to try other tactics such as walking, cycling or some sort of actual exercise.

There's also been lots of juicy gossip in the big bad world out there. Looks like all the freaks have packed their bags and landed over in Canberra. Question Time in Parliament has been as good as any of the strange circus, bizarre burlesque or crazy cabaret shows that had been on offer here for the last month.

Here's hoping for even more entertainment next week. Maybe the Mad Monk will finally get his marching orders.
izmeina: (Default)
It’s just over 2 weeks now since the serpent has returned to Oz. Still feeling ever so strange and out of sorts and not quite here and also obviously no longer back in Amsterdam.

It is scary just how much has happened in six weeks. Not just the predictable sizzling summer but a whole bunch of folks moving the goal posts.

The banana plants and Angel’s Trumpets have survived the endless 37 celsius days due mainly to the dedication of the Dursleys who dropped by a couple of times a week to water all the weeds.
The tomato and basil seedlings were not so lucky since they were only babies when I went slinking off on an unexpected adventure just before Christmas.

There’s a 41 degree day predicted early this week so there’s simply no point in planting anything until at least the first week of March and even so it is still a bit iffy.

It’s too late now to plant peanuts or pumpkin seeds so will just stick to peppers, basil and tomatoes. The way the weather is going in this bit of Oz, it will soon be possible to grow them right up to some time in June.

It’s the day jobs that have done more than anything to serve as some sort of link to everyday reality. Routine and ritual are essential when the old grey cells are still all dazed and confused. That’s one of the many useful things learned from the Izzie sister.

Festival season is in full swing at the moment. Was sad to celebrate the last day of the freaky Fringe yesterday and will be making the most of the remaining freebie shows.

It’s also a time to be catching up on all those friends pages and to get back in the habit of posting the odd comment here and there.
izmeina: spooky shadowy squid (scary squid)
It’s just over 2 weeks now since the serpent has returned to Oz. Still feeling ever so strange and out of sorts and not quite here and also obviously no longer back in Amsterdam.

It is scary just how much has happened in six weeks. Not just the predictable sizzling summer but a whole bunch of folks moving the goal posts.

The banana plants and Angel’s Trumpets have survived the endless 37 celsius days due mainly to the dedication of the Dursleys who dropped by a couple of times a week to water all the weeds.
The tomato and basil seedlings were not so lucky since they were only babies when I went slinking off on an unexpected adventure just before Christmas.

There’s a 41 degree day predicted early this week so there’s simply no point in planting anything until at least the first week of March and even so it is still a bit iffy.

It’s too late now to plant peanuts or pumpkin seeds so will just stick to peppers, basil and tomatoes. The way the weather is going in this bit of Oz, it will soon be possible to grow them right up to some time in June.

It’s the day jobs that have done more than anything to serve as some sort of link to everyday reality. Routine and ritual are essential when the old grey cells are still all dazed and confused. That’s one of the many useful things learned from the Izzie sister.

Festival season is in full swing at the moment. Was sad to celebrate the last day of the freaky Fringe yesterday and will be making the most of the remaining freebie shows.

It’s also a time to be catching up on all those friends pages and to get back in the habit of posting the odd comment here and there.
izmeina: (Default)
The Izzie is a most masochistic creature indeed. What was supposed to be an interesting adventure in a free online mind gym has turned into a vampire like time sucking monster turning the serpent’s green cells into zombie mush.

The idea is excellent. Teaching the programming language of Python with the goal of creating games rather than just making silly little boring programs with no practical value. Practising scales is so much easier when there’s a useful goal to aim for. It’s also no course for sparkly special snowflakes who think that mastering the “Hello World” spell should give them a shower of gold stars, a certificate of achievement with distinction and a day job at Hogwarts.
Figured that the logical way of thinking required to do such a course would be a good skill to learn and could come in useful for a whole bunch of other courses and stuff. It would also be a more productive use of time than playing Sudoku puzzles.
But a big motivation is to peek into the mindset of geeks to see what makes them tick. What is this creativity and magic that so many of them whisper about in such reverent tones? So far the conclusion is that most of them have Spock like super powers that mere muggles cannot aspire to. Of course it just seems that way. There are a lot of so called natural talents out there that are due far more to the mastery that comes from constant practice rather than winning the jackpot in the genetic lottery.
Being a totally alien environment, had expected a certain amount of disorientation and confusion. But figured that things would improve after four weeks or so finding my bearings and getting a feel for the strange landscape.

It’s the latest project which involves creating a version of the Memory card game that is the trigger for this serpent’s senior moments. There’s only 8 pairs to find, not 26 like in a proper deck of cards and they are nicely arranged in rows or grids rather than mixed up at all angles over some table but still it is proving to be an insurmountable obstacle. It’s a bit like knowing what you want to say but being totally unable to find the right words to express the ideas. And the words are the least of it. Every single bracket, colon or comma has to be perfectly placed or the python will have horrid hissy fits and whip that long red forked tongue all over one’s crappy code.

The feeling of frustration is so very like the very first time attempting to write a Nanowrimo novel back in November 2009. Like this time, had also jumped in the deep end with little planning or preparation. After the initial enthusiasm had worn off and there were a couple of characters doing nothing and going nowhere and the dreaded blank page turned the old brain to mush, I began to wonder what moment of madness ever made me sign up for such craziness. The Inner Umbridge had such fun unleashing her hordes of dementors on this crazy creature. I managed to negotiate a stay of execution. They could have as many pity parties and kisses as they like but only after the daily 1,666 word quota and certainly not before the 15th of the month. That beastly week took a strange turn on the first Friday and after that the main problem was keeping up with the multitudes of muses who then came knocking. Getting to the finish line was made all the more special since there had been so many obstacles to overcome at the very beginning. The feeling of achievement was so addictive that I have been doing it ever since.


So it’s like that first week all over again. All plodding along slowly in a dark tunnel and not a glimmer of light to be seen. Things seemed to be looking good a few days ago. But the last two nights have been up to the eyeballs in quagmire and quicksand. The more I struggle to get out, the deeper down I get.

After tomorrow’s deadline there will be 3 weekly projects left and two of those will be due in November. If the inner Spock is going to make an appearance, he’s got till Halloween to do it. Once the witching hour arrives on 31st October and everything gets turned back into a pumpkin, then the poor old pythons will just get put back in their box and there they will have to wait until the magic 2,000 words of the day are safely stored in Scrivener.

So for the second week in a row, the serpent is turning in some half baked half finished effort in the belief that it is better to try and fail miserably than not to bother at all and that the simple act of plodding on in the dark sends the message to the muses that it’s time to send some inspiration as a reward for such stubborn determination.
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (Dolores)
The Izzie is a most masochistic creature indeed. What was supposed to be an interesting adventure in a free online mind gym has turned into a vampire like time sucking monster turning the serpent’s green cells into zombie mush.

The idea is excellent. Teaching the programming language of Python with the goal of creating games rather than just making silly little boring programs with no practical value. Practising scales is so much easier when there’s a useful goal to aim for. It’s also no course for sparkly special snowflakes who think that mastering the “Hello World” spell should give them a shower of gold stars, a certificate of achievement with distinction and a day job at Hogwarts.
Figured that the logical way of thinking required to do such a course would be a good skill to learn and could come in useful for a whole bunch of other courses and stuff. It would also be a more productive use of time than playing Sudoku puzzles.
But a big motivation is to peek into the mindset of geeks to see what makes them tick. What is this creativity and magic that so many of them whisper about in such reverent tones? So far the conclusion is that most of them have Spock like super powers that mere muggles cannot aspire to. Of course it just seems that way. There are a lot of so called natural talents out there that are due far more to the mastery that comes from constant practice rather than winning the jackpot in the genetic lottery.
Being a totally alien environment, had expected a certain amount of disorientation and confusion. But figured that things would improve after four weeks or so finding my bearings and getting a feel for the strange landscape.

It’s the latest project which involves creating a version of the Memory card game that is the trigger for this serpent’s senior moments. There’s only 8 pairs to find, not 26 like in a proper deck of cards and they are nicely arranged in rows or grids rather than mixed up at all angles over some table but still it is proving to be an insurmountable obstacle. It’s a bit like knowing what you want to say but being totally unable to find the right words to express the ideas. And the words are the least of it. Every single bracket, colon or comma has to be perfectly placed or the python will have horrid hissy fits and whip that long red forked tongue all over one’s crappy code.

The feeling of frustration is so very like the very first time attempting to write a Nanowrimo novel back in November 2009. Like this time, had also jumped in the deep end with little planning or preparation. After the initial enthusiasm had worn off and there were a couple of characters doing nothing and going nowhere and the dreaded blank page turned the old brain to mush, I began to wonder what moment of madness ever made me sign up for such craziness. The Inner Umbridge had such fun unleashing her hordes of dementors on this crazy creature. I managed to negotiate a stay of execution. They could have as many pity parties and kisses as they like but only after the daily 1,666 word quota and certainly not before the 15th of the month. That beastly week took a strange turn on the first Friday and after that the main problem was keeping up with the multitudes of muses who then came knocking. Getting to the finish line was made all the more special since there had been so many obstacles to overcome at the very beginning. The feeling of achievement was so addictive that I have been doing it ever since.


So it’s like that first week all over again. All plodding along slowly in a dark tunnel and not a glimmer of light to be seen. Things seemed to be looking good a few days ago. But the last two nights have been up to the eyeballs in quagmire and quicksand. The more I struggle to get out, the deeper down I get.

After tomorrow’s deadline there will be 3 weekly projects left and two of those will be due in November. If the inner Spock is going to make an appearance, he’s got till Halloween to do it. Once the witching hour arrives on 31st October and everything gets turned back into a pumpkin, then the poor old pythons will just get put back in their box and there they will have to wait until the magic 2,000 words of the day are safely stored in Scrivener.

So for the second week in a row, the serpent is turning in some half baked half finished effort in the belief that it is better to try and fail miserably than not to bother at all and that the simple act of plodding on in the dark sends the message to the muses that it’s time to send some inspiration as a reward for such stubborn determination.
izmeina: (Default)
It was a gorgeous crisp and crunchy sunny day. It’s safe to say that the dementors have finally packed up their bags and left for a few weeks and with a bit of luck a whole lot longer than that.
So it’s time to make hay while the sun shines and to make the most of their absence. The really scary thing is how they just come and go with no rhyme or reason and there is very little room for negotiation.
In the end there is not much to do other than just patiently wait until they get bored and to be constantly mindful of their evil powers for distorting perceptions of reality.

Wicked Weeds )
izmeina: (Default)
It was a gorgeous crisp and crunchy sunny day. It’s safe to say that the dementors have finally packed up their bags and left for a few weeks and with a bit of luck a whole lot longer than that.
So it’s time to make hay while the sun shines and to make the most of their absence. The really scary thing is how they just come and go with no rhyme or reason and there is very little room for negotiation.
In the end there is not much to do other than just patiently wait until they get bored and to be constantly mindful of their evil powers for distorting perceptions of reality.

Wicked Weeds )
izmeina: (Default)
There’s been so much weirdness in the Wild west this last week.

Yesterday was a public forum with an assortment of senators for next week’s unusual election. There were communists, tree hugging greenies, a stoned member of the Hemp party, Dr Death (Philip Nietschke) of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party and even the Pirates Party on the podium.

A few days previously the mad monk prime minister announced the return of knights and dames (of his choosing) and his idol was in the Speaker’s chair at the House of Parliament doing her usual Dolores Umbridge impersonations.
One of her unofficial duties is to keep questions from getting through to the prime minister and to resort to all sorts of devious and dodgy delaying tactics to achieve this aim.
Then one of Dumbledore’s army called her out on these tactics and all hell broke loose. It was the best Question Time ever and that was only on the radio. The television version would have been a total riot.

assorted medieval items and costumes


Freak Show Central )
izmeina: (Default)
There’s been so much weirdness in the Wild west this last week.

Yesterday was a public forum with an assortment of senators for next week’s unusual election. There were communists, tree hugging greenies, a stoned member of the Hemp party, Dr Death (Philip Nietschke) of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party and even the Pirates Party on the podium.

A few days previously the mad monk prime minister announced the return of knights and dames (of his choosing) and his idol was in the Speaker’s chair at the House of Parliament doing her usual Dolores Umbridge impersonations.
One of her unofficial duties is to keep questions from getting through to the prime minister and to resort to all sorts of devious and dodgy delaying tactics to achieve this aim.
Then one of Dumbledore’s army called her out on these tactics and all hell broke loose. It was the best Question Time ever and that was only on the radio. The television version would have been a total riot.

assorted medieval items and costumes


Freak Show Central )
izmeina: (Default)
Medieval Madness

Saturday was the day of the much anticipated medieval festival. This is a must attend event on the serpent calendar ever since discovering it by accident way back in 2006.It was the best April Fool’s Day ever. Since then along with the odd cancellation it seems to have slowly slinked back in time to mid March. But it’s been jinxed ever since getting an ankle twisted on the way to this event back in 2010. Got to thinking about that today. Had booked the day off ages before the event so there was no need for the usual mad rush to the bus in order to be at the mad house for a 3pm start.
Back then had a good 500 plus hours of sick leave already accumulated. Got the dodgy ankle treated by the St John Ambulance mob who attend pretty much every public event. They had issued some pink little form. In spite of hobbling to the goblin office in a state obviously incapable of work and with this pink piece of A4 paper as written evidence, this was deemed as insufficient. Only a medical certificate signed by a doctor would be considered acceptable evidence as incapacity to work. Never mind that there’s at least a week’s wait to get a doctor these days. All those happy thoughts resurrected themselves in the emerald serpent skull today.
At least this time there was no need to put in a request for the day off several times and several months in advance due to the complete incompetence of the teflon coated cockroach in charge of the roster.

This year was going to be a bit different in that their usual 10-5 schedule would be tweeked for a 9pm finish. Most peculiar indeed thinks the serpent. But that means a quick peek at the so called international student festival before slinking down to visit the oldies. Last year this student thing was also on the same day. Turned up at 5pm and it was all over. So got there early and discovered that it was not worth the bother. Even the so called Global Food Village was a nonevent and the munchies were certainly not at student friendly prices. The plan was to spend about an hour there before going down to the medieval fair but it was so boring that it was worth making a deviation to the state library for a free 20 minutes on their express computers. The main purpose was to read emails and take a quick peek in Livejournal land. But Livejournal had turned into Deadjournal on this particular occasion. So no luck there

Since there was no decent affordable munchies at the so called student festival it was time to slink down to Annalakshmi which is not only kosher and very tasty but conveniently located very near the Supreme Court Gardens which is the site for the medieval festival

Dungeons, dragons, swords and sorcery )

So for the day that’s in it - here’s a toast to exiled emerald serpents everywhere ;)
izmeina: a wicked witch on her broomstick by moonlight (wicked witch)
Medieval Madness

Saturday was the day of the much anticipated medieval festival. This is a must attend event on the serpent calendar ever since discovering it by accident way back in 2006.It was the best April Fool’s Day ever. Since then along with the odd cancellation it seems to have slowly slinked back in time to mid March. But it’s been jinxed ever since getting an ankle twisted on the way to this event back in 2010. Got to thinking about that today. Had booked the day off ages before the event so there was no need for the usual mad rush to the bus in order to be at the mad house for a 3pm start.
Back then had a good 500 plus hours of sick leave already accumulated. Got the dodgy ankle treated by the St John Ambulance mob who attend pretty much every public event. They had issued some pink little form. In spite of hobbling to the goblin office in a state obviously incapable of work and with this pink piece of A4 paper as written evidence, this was deemed as insufficient. Only a medical certificate signed by a doctor would be considered acceptable evidence as incapacity to work. Never mind that there’s at least a week’s wait to get a doctor these days. All those happy thoughts resurrected themselves in the emerald serpent skull today.
At least this time there was no need to put in a request for the day off several times and several months in advance due to the complete incompetence of the teflon coated cockroach in charge of the roster.

This year was going to be a bit different in that their usual 10-5 schedule would be tweeked for a 9pm finish. Most peculiar indeed thinks the serpent. But that means a quick peek at the so called international student festival before slinking down to visit the oldies. Last year this student thing was also on the same day. Turned up at 5pm and it was all over. So got there early and discovered that it was not worth the bother. Even the so called Global Food Village was a nonevent and the munchies were certainly not at student friendly prices. The plan was to spend about an hour there before going down to the medieval fair but it was so boring that it was worth making a deviation to the state library for a free 20 minutes on their express computers. The main purpose was to read emails and take a quick peek in Livejournal land. But Livejournal had turned into Deadjournal on this particular occasion. So no luck there

Since there was no decent affordable munchies at the so called student festival it was time to slink down to Annalakshmi which is not only kosher and very tasty but conveniently located very near the Supreme Court Gardens which is the site for the medieval festival

Dungeons, dragons, swords and sorcery )

So for the day that’s in it - here’s a toast to exiled emerald serpents everywhere ;)

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