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01 September 2009 @ 12:06 am

trying hard to keep it together, or at least fall apart in some kind of controlled fashion.

hard to avoid panic at the moment - waiting for phone call of good news about 2nd interview.

not coping, but refusing to do anything about it just yet.
01 May 2009 @ 11:48 pm
got made redundant on thursday

oh wait. that was yesterday.

spent today in shock. puttered about home. achieved very very little.

tried to tell some people. sick of talking about it already.

could be a very very good thing for me IF I get a job in the next two months. I get 2 month's notice PLUS 10 week's redundancy PLUS all my annual and sick leave. So that'll be good if it works out.

am coping as long as I have something to occupy myself with.

as soon as I stop typing this I'll have run out of things to occupy myself with.

probably was a mistake to watch the andy kaufman movie where he lives a make believe life then dies of cancer.

am incredibly hungry right now. wish i hadn't knocked back beth's offer to bring home mcdonalds.
02 April 2009 @ 08:41 pm
Pleased to announce that I did a proper 77km ride on the weekend, on top of my weekly commute totalling 92km - bringing me up to 169km for that 6 day period.

Also pleased to announce that I'm going to Mt Arapiles for a climbing weekend - I think it was daylight savings weekend the last time I went... not to climb because my wrist is not healed enough yet, but to join in the spirit of the thing and anyway I'm the only one trained in setting up the ropes and shit.
19 March 2009 @ 11:25 pm

on a thursday night.

thank fuck i decided to learn how to make martinis.

and thank fuck beth didn't want hers.

This s such a nice feeling. Like I'm floaitig. Ok. so I won't feel like i'm floatig tomorrow morning. but fuck em.

At least i'm adult enough to leave that last one only 3/4 drunk.

ima eat the whatsitcalled? ollive. ima eat the olive.

enter enter. enter. that button doesn't work rith.


oh, yeah. pissed.

good times

gin i do not likve.



i assume that martini = vodka.

gin takes me back to the time I went halvsies in a bottle of gin and _lemonade_ on a trip down to the each for Melbourne Uni Mountaineering Club. We brought the two bottles with us down to the beach (goddamit I'm pressin backspace a lot) and would take a swig from BOTH bottles in turns. Thinking it was _like_ gin and tonic. That was, fucking christ, 14 years ago. I will not do gin.

Interestingly, one of my best friends I met on that beach that night. I turned to her and said Hi my name's Brent. What's your name, want to be my friend? Turns out the answers were Anna and yes. We're going rockclimbing in a couple of weeks.

No gin.
No. never.

Vodka. now. yes. ok, there's been more than one vodka Experience. Involving Dan. And orange juice. And guitars. and stair cases. and upside down. but no kissing. no. that would be strange. no sex between me and dan, even though i'm convinced he's had the odd homoerotic experience whilst not, himself, being bisexual, but the then again what the fuck would i know i had to find out through dan about my own sister's (who I consider myself to be her most closest person) lifelong depression problems.

oh, yeah. and no. no gin.

work tomorrow. fun


next time:grammar.

(oh, and nice night spent with beth. her. much less pissed than me. but nice night spent just getting drunk and havig a chat. she played bejewelled blitz on facebook on one pc, while i read from fmlife.com (fuck, those people have fucked lives) and drank martinis. Next time. Ice.)

goodnight. i love you.
18 March 2009 @ 12:38 pm
Think about balancing a tennis racquet on the palm of your hand. It's not that hard to do - all that's required is to be aware of which direction the centre of gravity of the racquet is falling and move the palm of your hand towards, and past, that direction. And repeat.

If you keep that up then the racquet can be balanced for a long while. It can even appear to achieve what appears to be a state of equilibrium as you get really good at balancing it.

Think about if you turn the racquet upside down and hold the end of the handle between your thumb and forefinger. It's easier to balance now, isn't it? All you have to do is keep holding on. If you jerk your handle suddenly, the racquet moves, but it finds its own way back to equilibrium.

The point is the control system that's needed in the first case is a central data processing decision maker - and the system won't work without it. In the second case the only thing that's required for it to work properly is to leave it alone.

I believe that the basic tenements of capitalism - ownership and supply and demand - are so fundamental that they operate without centralisation. Socialism is like balancing a tennis racquet on the palm of your hand - it's impressive when it works, but without a central data processing decision maker it'll fall over.

I believe that the system of capitalism that we HAVE is fucked. It's over. The global credit crisis wasn't caused by the sub-prime loan scandal, it was caused by the idea that growth is permanent, that you can keep increasing the 'return' on an investment as long as you keep increasing the 'risk' with no upper limit on either return or risk. The sub-prime was just the first really public explosion of this myth, this globally held misunderstanding of what money really is.

There are going to be huge problems with capitalism in the coming years, as governments not only run out of money, but run out of credit. You're going to see America go to war over its (the Government's) inability to pay its interest, let alone bring down its debt. Who, exactly is it borrowing all these trillions from? They're gong to want their trillions back. And America doesn't, and won't, have trillions to give them.

People are going to turn to other forms of economy, as it becomes unreasonable to live in a suburb of empty houses people are going to move to the cities to eek out existences in slums. A new type of socialism will emerge as people will be forced to pool their resources and their assets to meet the minimum conditions of life.

But I don't believe that we'll see the end of Capitalism. We could certainly see the end of globalisation, of the internet, of the dollar, of the global financial, banking and stock market systems. But Capitalism isn't those things. Those are just the way we carry out capitalism.

Capitalism is where I have an apple tree, and I give someone some apples to pick the apples, take them to market and get them to swap them for a pig. I have something valuable I think others will want, others have valuable things that I want, let's have an agreement. That's capitalism.

I've been worrying for years that this rampant growth can't last - not just because of the impact it's having on the planet that it shouldn't last, but that it actually can't last. We can't keep building houses and making cities bigger - within a few hundred years Melbourne would bump into Sydney. That's nonsense. I've always thought that it would be disease that would cull the population, or more recently global warming might do the trick.

What I see now is that the new contender might be food wars. There's enough people now that we could start to see not just food riots from hungry mobs, but food-invasions from hungry armies. Countries invading for the purposes of claiming payment for unpaid trillions in debt, and to snatch food to feed their own populace.

Even then, capitalism would survive after the dust settled. You can take some things by force, but at the end of the day, and this has always been true, at the end of the day most things must be traded for.

05 March 2009 @ 09:55 pm
shittest week at work this week.

Company has a cash flow problem. I have a killer product to release to production which will apparently save the company. Design problems. Which, once fixed, produce further problems. Which, once fixed, produce further problems.

And then two people got laid off because of Cash Flow Problem. One guy came in and said "Oh, I just realised. This is my 32nd anniversary working at this company." By midday that day he'd lost his job a couple of years from retirement.

The next day we finally got verbal signoff on the design. hooray. Lowercase hooray. No exclamation mark. I feel so guilty. I feel like I limped across the finishing line of the marathon 42 hours after they pulled all the bunting down.

My boss is telling me to look for work. Hard. He says he doesn't trust the place, that I shouldn't trust the place. He'll give me time off for interviews and stuff. I reckon at least 80% of the office workers are seriously looking for jobs, if not everyone.

And then, as if the week wasn't FUN (hooray) enough, a laptop got stolen last night. Some fucker has walked the full length of the factory to go in through the back door of the office building, then walked the full length of the office, put the National Sales Manager's laptop into its bag, taken the keyboard and mouse, and the power supply, and walked out without stealing anything else. Including the vastly more expensive personal laptop sitting right next to it.

And, unhappily, I was one of the last three to leave.

The owner did some detective work and thought she'd figured out that all the doors had been locked and that the laptop was therefore taken by one of the three last people to leave the office.

She sat me down in her office, along with the single remaining member of her senior management team, the Financial Controller, and explained the situation. She grilled me on which doors I'd closed, and opened. I'd gone to the toilet and left the factory door unlocked behind me, but Seth and Luke were in their office hard at work, so I left the door unlocked, as is the custom, went back to my half of the office, turned off all those lights, and locked my doors behind me.

I've been here for 6 years. I KNOW to lock before I leave if I'm last, and I KNOW to not lock if I'm not.

So she repeats over and over again what a serious CRIME this is, how it is clear that someone from within the building has taken the computer, and that they will be able to identify the thief by examining the fingerprints on the power board. Fine. Then she repeats to me what a CRIME it is. She repeats about the fingerprints. She threatens me with calling in the police. Because it's a CRIME. And there'll be fingerprints. Then she gives me a chance to confess, and I'll be able to just resign and slip away without them laying charges or getting the police involved. Because it's a CRIME. And if the PERSON who DID it COMES FORWARD and ADMITS it we won't lay CHARGES.

If you've got ANYTHING TO SAY, Brent, say it NOW. Because it's a CRIME.

You know what? The last dregs of good will I had for the company just evaporated. Pooof.

I didn't take the fucking laptop and I don't know who did. For all I know the daft old bugger just left it at home, or it got stolen from his car and he's too dipshit to admit it. What? She thinks I carried a stolen laptop home on my bike, past Luke and Seth, who vouch that I wasn't carrying a laptop bag, to see my children with my stolen laptop?!?

The thing is, I understand her situation. SOMEONE she has to trust has betrayed that trust. It's clearly someone who knows the office, who knows exactly which door to come through and when, who doesn't mind walking the full length of the factory, who doesn't mind being seen wandering through the office. And she's had theft before - the old warehouse forklift driver had been with us for 20 years and she fired him the day she found that he was coming in on the weekends and making off with thousands of dollars of recyclable scrap metal.

I understand that she has to get the police involved. That's fine.

There's a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The right way is something like "Brent. We don't want to suggest that you're involved with this, but the fact is we have a situation here. A laptop was stolen by someone who had access to the building, and you were one of the last three to leave. We're going to have to ask the police to fingerprint the computer, and we're going to have to ask you to provide us with fingerprints. Also, I hate to say this, because I don't believe you're a thief, we do have to say this one more thing: we're going to give the culprit a chance to come clean so we can avoid calling the police."

She all but accused me of it. That's the wrong way.

Fuck her. And the horse she rode in on.

There is no WAY that I'm going to be here in 3 months time - unless the job market is really that dry. Last year I honestly stayed in part because I felt loyal. I really did have a job offer for more money at a better company, but I stayed because this place is close to my home which I value as a family man and because I had unfinished business here. They matched the money (kinda, depends how you look at the bonus situation, which is going poorly) and promised me training, which never eventuated.

Well I've still got unfinished business here, and I'd walk away from it today at this stage if I had the chance. I'd just down my tools and walk away, let her deal with the fucking mess. I'm supposed to give her 8 weeks notice, but frankly I'd be almost happy for her to keep my fucking sick leave money. It's company policy to pay out sick leave so I'd have about $4k of sick leave coming my way. At this stage if I got a job offer I'd start in 2 weeks. What I'd probably _really_ do, bravado aside, is tell the new employer of the condition and that I'd try to negotiate a shorter notice period. If she insisted on making my life hell I can't see that I'd be better off hanging around for that sick leave money rather than just moving the fuck on with my life.

I certainly couldn't see myself being a good employee for that period.

So that's where I am tonight. Stressed. Tired. Grumpy. Shouting at my kids when they don't deserve it. Completely unimpressed with my job. Hating the place. Avoiding people. Self destructive behaviour (ok, staying up late to play Halo on a work night isn't as bad as it gets... but still...). I honestly think that for the first time in my life my job is impacting on my general health and well being. It's reducing my self esteem. I feel insecure about my future, about my ability to provide for my family, about my skills as an engineer. I don't feel any job security.

It's clear that everyone knows the company, and the management, is in a tail-spin. Everyone knows that she's in way too deep, too much debt at the wrong time. Everyone knows she's had a string of just abysmal decisions, that she's taken her father's company and in 3 or 4 years wiped 50% of it's value and potential just in reputation and internal knowledge alone.

For instance, one of the products that I designed (a HUGE flop, spent about 2 years of my life on that, and it's sold about 15 units) was DOOMED to failure from the start. Too gimmicky. Too flimsy. Too unworkable. Too ridiculous. But they paid the patent holder $250,000 _upfront_ (it's a $20mill revenue company, so that's like 1/4 of a year's capital expenditure) plus promised him $1 per castor. This agreement was made BEFORE they'd designed the thing, BEFORE they'd tested it, and BEFORE they'd had any idea of what the cost would be. This was the family's first big spending decision after the patriarch died, and they fucked it up to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars, plus wasted engineering time, plus wasted tooling costs, plus wasted stockup costs. MY design now, my design was shit hot. My design actually worked. It was actually cheaper than anyone elses. Mine actually went together and functioned and passed all the tests because I'm fucking awesome. But that's not the point, they don't really need fucking awesome innovation - what they need is good solid investment in the stuff they're GOOD at.

The one product I've made that's been a good idea has been this industrial castor. It was just a castor. It was a big fat meaty castor that came in 4 sizes, three types, and a bomb going off wouldn't dint it. Fine. I can do that. I did that. Brilliant result. It's obvious, sorta, what to do. It's obvious what they wanted, why they wanted it, and why doing that would bring in money.

All this other stuff has just been flapping about spending money. Honestly, I'm the development engineer, if they could go back in time by 3 years and just lose the engineering department I almost think they'd be better off.

Ok. I've wasted enough of my unpaid life getting myself worked up over my paid life.
01 March 2009 @ 06:55 pm

just wish I wasn't so much in charge on kidlers right now.

family bbq.

friends included.

red wine.


2 different beers with 'james' in the title, james boags and james squires.

more red wine!


everyone gone.

oh. wait. beth's gone out for the night.

am pished right now.


tali and ella are going to go play outside while I'm running the bath. I think they had hamburgers for dinner.

or fruit cups.

or just a glass of water for dinner.

or a piece of cheese.

duzznt matter. ima good dad.
27 February 2009 @ 10:49 pm
How about I put a hole in your face? (pointing SLR at transgressors head) I'd go upstairs and sleep well tonight. Oh, yeah, you can count on that. We used to stack fucks like you 5 feet high in Korea and use them as sandbags.


Get off my lawn.


There ain't no-one who's ever done tough like Clint does tough. Man am I glad I saw Gran Turino. I love it. Right mix of violence and restraint, hate and love, life and death.
23 February 2009 @ 09:49 pm
i still don't know what to write.

Getting drunk and emailing the literally sordid details is frankly not the answer.

Is everyone just unhappy in their own way?


I've figured out that there is a reason why I'm always fighting forest fires at work, and it's not because my project is a fucking disaster (which is it, but that's not the reason.) It's because if you do project work then you necessarily have 17 things on the go at any one point in time, and at any one point in time one or more of those things will be fucked up. That means that's what you concentrate on. So that means that, even if on the whole the thing is in control, you're constantly working on the stuff that's out of control trying to bring it back into control. That's why it seems like I spend my days and weeks flying madly, rudderless, in a stream of crisis management and last-minuteism.

Is everyone sad like that? Everyone's got 17 things on the go at any one time, and it's inevitable that one of those things will be going wrong so that's what you spend your time fixing so that's what you spend your energy worrying about so in effect you just spend your whole life on fucked up stuff - I guess that explains why it's possible to be sad living in a huge house with a family and relative comfort while there are reasonably happy people out there with half of the blessings I've got if they're lucky.

Let go of the bad and hang on to the good huh?

If I let go of the bad in my life all the good would vanish with it.


Sitting down watching telly tonight.

Kids went to bed early.

I bought her flowers on the way home from work.

She was wearing a nice dress.

"Why don't you come and sit with me?"
"I don't want to. I'm frightened."
"What do you mean frightened?"
"I'm not in the mood for all the touching and the groping."

That's what she thinks of it. All the Progress we made in the last two months doesn't mean anything does it. It was just a glitch. That's really what she thinks.

I had nothing to say to that, not even "Oh." The show finished. I went to bed early.

I know where this leads.
11 February 2009 @ 10:53 pm
not sure what to write.

will wait until later in the week to make sure