Weekly Wrap 386: The tides are always with us

Ulex europaeusAfter every up, there is a down. That’s how waves work. That’s how tides work. That’s how rollercoasters work. My week of Monday 16 to Sunday 22 October 2017 was less hectic than last week.

Some important background tasks were accomplished, but this is all that was visible to the world.

Media Appearances

Articles, Podcasts, Corporate Largesse

None, but coming up…

The Week Ahead

Monday will be a jumbled day of geekery, editorial planning, story pitches, administrivia, and maybe even errands.

The next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast will be recorded on Tuesday 24 October at 2100 AEST. As has become traditional, it will be streamed live via stilgherrian.com/edict/live/. You still have time to support this podcast with a one-off contribution.

I’ll also be announcing a new crowdfunding campaign on Pozible. It’s been more than a year since my last concentrated ask-for-money burst, and the gods know my budget needs it. Stay tuned for details.

On Wednesday, I’ll be recording an interview for the next episode of the Covert Contact podcast. If you haven’t done so, you can listen to my first appearance, the episode about Australian Cyber Policy.

As is so often the case, the rest of the week is unplanned, including the weekend.

Further Ahead

At this stage, I haven’t locked in anything specific for the rest of the calendar year. Please feel free to make some suggestions.

[Photo: Ulex europaeus. A pretty but invasive gorse species (Ulex europaeus) phototographed at Bunjaree Cottages in the Blue Mountains. It’s looking a little the worse for wear after the recent rains. Photographed on 22 October 2017.]

Weekly Wrap 286: Rain, radio, and relative progress

Departing Mt Victoria: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 23 to Sunday 29 November 2015 was remarkably productive, a sharp comparison with last week. This pleases me.

Apart from the stuff listed below, I’ve also started a fresh program to tackle my on-again off-again “friendship” with the black dog of depression. I haven’t yet decided whether to write about this highly personal topic or not. Maybe when the timeline takes clearer shape.

I also got quite a bit of planning done for December, including locking in a couple geek-for-money projects that won’t be detailed here.



Media Appearances


Should 5at5 eventually reappear, you’ll know about it if you subscribe.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

On Monday, I’ll be writing for ZDNet, as well as heading to Parramatta and Petersham to choose a venue for the next Public House Forum. Various loose ends will be sorted out while on the trains.

On Tuesday, I’ll finish the ZDNet column, make some progress on certain geek-for-money projects, and do some shopping and other errands in Katoomba.

I’ll sleep in on Wednesday, and then head to Sydney to record a SEKRIT podcast episode. Then in the evening I’ll go to VMware’s end-of-year drinks, and then speak at the launch of a Sydney chapter of Electronic Frontiers Australia. It looks like I’ll be getting home quite late.

On Thursday, I’ll write for ZDNet, and then the rest of the week is flexible. I do have some geek projects to weave into the schedule, however.

On Tuesday Friday, I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, tentatively titled “The 9pm Garden of Hate”, in which I’ll finish off all of the sponsored content that I owe my supporters. I plan to stream that recording session live at 2100 AEDT. This episode will now be made on Monday night 7 December.

Further Ahead

I’ll record a “2015 Wrap” episode of the Corrupted Nerds podcast some time in the week beginning Monday 14 December.

The next episode of The 9pm Public House Forum, similar to the first one, will be recorded on the afternoon of Saturday 19 December, somewhere in or near Parramatta. The venue will be confirmed in a few days.

I’ll also produce “2015 Wrap” episode of the Edict some time between Christmas and New Year.

[Update 1 December 2015: Edited to reflect schedule changes. Update 4 December 2015: Edited again to reflect further schedule changes.]

[Photo: Departing Mt Victoria. The #purpletrain (also known as a V-Set) pulls away from Platform 1 of Mt Victoria railway station on a wet Saturday afternoon, 28 November 2015.]

Weekly Wrap 269: Winning, mostly, with three kinds of fire

The Final Redoubt: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 27 July to Sunday 2 August 2015 represented a remarkable turnaround — perhaps the turnaround that I’d been detecting in the winds since June. And then there’s the bushfire. It’s all so complicated!

Why? It was a full week with a properly-working computer — a week spent in a house with a properly-working kitchen, heating, and inspiring view — and that brought back some of the clarity of thought which I’ve been sorely lacking. I got plenty done, the most important in many ways being the launch — finally! — of The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh.

I was very pleased when people started contributing to this crowdfunding campaign just as soon as it was launched. I’m even more pleased to report that as I write this, roughly half-way through the campaign period, we’ve reached 54% of the initial target. That means we’re likely to succeed.

The stress of not having a working computer is subsiding, but I’m not counting my chickens before they’re hatched.

People who write or perform for a living will also understand the importance of the kind of reassurance that comes with people supporting the plan which, until then, had existed solely in your own head.

That has helped. Thank you. If you haven’t done so already, please check out The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh

Thanks also to the many people who asked whether I was in any danger from this weekend’s bushfire at Wentworth Falls. No, I’m not.

The fire is only 3km from Bunjaree Cottages, but between it and me there’s some significantly challenging terrain, and the wind has been taking the fire in a different direction. More than 100 volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service have been keeping us safe.

I’m certainly paying attention to what’s happening, though, and I see that there’s a wind change forecast for Monday. Depending on how the RFS people go with their plans for the rest of today and overnight, well, my risk assessment may change.

Just as I write this, the alert for the fire area has been raised from WATCH AND ACT to EMERGENCY WARNING — the latter being described thusly:

You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.

I must stress again, though, that I am not in the alert area, and I currently face no risk.



  • On Friday, I posted “The 9pm I Can’t Believe It’s Not a Planet”, being The 9pm Edict episode 46. I turned out better than its convoluted production process led me to imagine. I may tell you about that during the week.

Media Appearances


The hiatus has ended. There were two editions, on Thursday and Friday. Why not subscribe so you’ll get all the future ones?

Corporate Largesse

None. But there’s quite a bit scheduled for the coming week.

The Week Ahead

This is going to be a better-structured one, folks.

Monday will be a media production day — but I’ll decide the exact details on the day, depending on the bushfire threat level.

On Tuesday, I’ll be catching the 0706 train to Sydney, because on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be covering the ADMA Global Forum, presented by the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising. Also, at 2030 AEST on Tuesday night, I’ll be a guest on ABC Local Radio around NSW. And on Wednesday night, I’ll be going to Text100’s (in)famous Christmas in August event, a preview of their clients’ consumer technology for Christmas.

On Thursday, I’ll be going to a lunchtime briefing by NetSuite, and writing something for ZDNet, before taking the train back to the Blue Mountains. Thursday is also the last day of The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh, with the campaign ending at 2100 AEST that evening.

On Friday, I’ll be confirming what’ll happen with the funds so raised.

[Photo: The Final Redoubt, photographed on 2 August 2015. Should I ever need a final hiding place from a severe bushfire — and everything has happened so quickly that we skipped straight past three levels of warning, the fire jumped the road and railway, and all escape routes were blocked — then this cutting on Railway Parade near Wentworth Falls is where I’d wrap myself in wet woollen items and hope for the best.]

Weekly Wrap 268: Changing perspectives

Rosella Cottage and its solar panels: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 20 to Sunday 26 July 2015 was ruined by health problems. I won’t go into the details. If you saw some facts, you saw them. Otherwise you missed them.

There were no articles or podcasts or editions of 5at5 produced, so I’ll make this Weekly Wrap look slightly better by omitting the sub-heads. I’ll skip the Corporate Largesse section too, because there wasn’t any, and stick to what did happen.

Media Appearances

  • On Tuesday, I spoke about the Ashley Madison data breach on ABC 936 Hobart.
  • On Wednesday, I spoke about the Ashley Madison data breach on Sydney radio 2UE, but I won’t be posting a recording because it adds nothing to the Hobart one. I’m thinking about being a lot more selective about what I post here — or at least what I go to the effort of writing a whole blog post about — and maybe even automating most of the Weekly Wrap. I mean, do you even read this?

The Week Ahead

I’m not going to match specific tasks to specific days at this stage, for various reasons. But I will say that my Pozible crowdfunding campaign for The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh has been given the green light, so I’ll press the “Go” button on that relatively early in the week, and I’ll produce an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast to coincide with that, more or less.

I’ll also write some stuff for people. Is that vague enough?

I’ll be in the Mountains for most of the week, I think. I can’t see much that’d draw me into Sydney, not when I apply a strict cost benefit analysis to it all. You people are terrible.

[Photo: Rosella Cottage and its solar panels, photographed on 30 January 2012. This week I returned to being based in Rosella Cottage, rather than the Bunjaree Cottages outbuilding called “The Studio”. It’s not only far more pleasant, it gives me morning views like this, and this, and this. I think this will help.]

Weekly Wrap 263: Cold, but productive and entertaining

The View from Level 16My week of Monday 15 to Sunday 21 June 2015 was yet another reasonably productive one, though the cold weather meant that I spent more time than ever before in the warmth of the Blue Mountains City Library in Katoomba.

This week also saw a significant reduction in my stress levels, for a variety of reasons. I’ll write more about that later in the week.



  • The 9pm Planet of Fascist Delusions, being The 9pm Edict episode 45. I think that podcast production expands to fill the time available for it. This episode soaked up 17 hours, spread over two days.


There were five editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That’s more than 25 things for you to read! To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

My week will begin with the Winter Solstice — sorry, I’m running late — the week began with the Winter Solstice, which happened at 0238 AEST on Monday morning. I celebrated the Solstice as I often do, by reflecting on many things overnight, so Monday is a bit slow. Household chores, administrivia, some research, and the like. In the evening I’ll plan my writing for ZDNet.

Tuesday to Thursday will be writing days, with a couple of stories for ZDNet, as well as that goddam ebook. Friday will be devoted to certain activities related to the end of the financial year. The weekend will see the production of another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, interspersed with a modest social life. That episode will be completed and posted on Monday 29 June.

That seems a bit thin. But my ponderings over the Solstice will trigger further actions, trust me. There is much that I want to change in the coming months.

[Photo: The View from Level 16, being the UBS offices on level 16 of Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, photographed on 19 June 2015.]