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My week of Monday 19 to Sunday 23 December 2018 was surprisingly busy. Instead of winding down as it approached Christmas, it wound back up with new things happening.

The weather was also wetter and, in the Blue Mountains at least, cooler than one might expect in the second half of December. I think we’ve broken something.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Arch Window of the Prostate Exam”, being The 9pm Edict episode 82, was posted on Thursday night.  It’s also on Spreaker and SoundCloud. Once more my guest co-host was Nicholas Fryer. Please let me know what you think of this format. 

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

Monday is Christmas Eve. I’ll be finishing the first draft of a policy paper I’m writing for an American organisation, as well as heading down to Sydney in the afternoon for a week of cat-sitting in Ashfield.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day will actually be public holidays for me this year. I plan to be extremely lazy.

On Thursday and Friday I’ll take advantage of the quiet period to restructure how I plan and organise my work. It’s all about migrating to new software, data wrangling, and setting up new processes. I’m determined to start 2019 with better personal organisation.

At this stage I’m due to return to the Blue Mountains on Saturday. I intend to have a relatively lazy weekend, but I suspect I’ll end up doing household chores.

Further Ahead

The following week begins with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I haven’t decided how to spend them yet.

The rest of the week will be an attempt to start planning for 2019. Wish me luck, because I have nothing scheduled in yet.

[Photo: Naked Building. The AMP Centre at 50 Bridge Street near Sydney’s Circular Quay is being redeveloped as part of the Quay Quarter Sydney precinct As this view from Young Street shows, it’s being stripped right back. Photographed on 17 December 2018.]

Ultrasound scan of Stilgherrian's prostate gland

In this episode, Nicholas Fryer joins me to explore politics at the end of 2018.

We talk about potholes in the sky, nurses, some disturbing animal action, Pete Evans, Hawaiian monk seals, morality, colonoscopy, and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or go to SoundCloud or Spreaker.

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Episode Notes

I’m now using Pinboard for the episode notes.

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This Weekly Wrap covers three weeks, from Monday 4 to Sunday 24 December 2017, a varied period.

My work involved, in order, finishing the second instalment of DirectorTech, writing for ZDNet, producing two podcasts, and winding down for the holiday season. Plus laziness about these posts.

Podcasts

Articles

I also did quite a bit of work on the second instalment of DirectorTech, though just editing and production this time, no original writing from me.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Friday 15 December I went to Watterson PR’s Christmas Party at The Deck, Luna Park. To say that there was plenty of food and drink would be an understatement.

Media Appearances

The Week Ahead

Monday is Christmas Day, which I’ll be celebrating in the company of a kitten in Ashfield. I’ve got a few errands to do on the following days, but this year I’m taking it easy through until the New Year. And that’s as far ahead as I’m looking. Happy Holidays.

[Photo: Cockatoo Swoop. A sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) swoops down to investigate my shopping trolley behind the Coles supermarket in Katoomba on 19 December 2017.]

Lower OnkaparingaMy week of Monday 26 December 2016 to Sunday 1 January 2017 was almost non-existent. The time flew by.

I picked up some gastric bug over the Christmas weekend. On top of the mental exhaustion from the Adelaide trip the previous week, as well as the usual end-of-year stresses, it was all a bit too much. So I spent most of the week in bed.

It turns out you can live on a diet of gin and chocolate chip ice-cream for a surprisingly long time, but it does make your poo smell a bit funny.

Articles, Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, for the reasons just stated. Call it a holiday. Everyone else seemed to have one.

[Photo: Lower Onkaparinga, photographed on 19 December 2016. The last few meandering curves of the Onkaparinga River in South Australia before it discharges its water into St Vincent Gulf. The river mouth itself is just below the bottom of the shot. I took this photo from a Melbourne to Adelaide flight just as the aircraft turned to run up the coast to Adelaide Airport. I’ve boosted the contrast and such to highlight the landforms. Consider it an abstract.]

Sydney Harbour BridgeMy week of Monday 21 Sunday 27 December 2015 started badly. At 0823 I received an SMS message from my bank, asking about a suspect transaction. Within minutes, the card number was cancelled, and a new card organised — but not before hundreds of dollars had been siphoned out in a series of transactions to PlayStation Network GBR.

What impressed me was the speed at which Westpac detected and dealt with this. The total elapsed time, from receiving the SMS, to identifying the dodgy transactions, to organising a replacement card and so on, was just 25 minutes. This is why stolen credit card details are now worth so little on the black market.

What didn’t impress me was the inability of the broader logistics chain to solve the immediate problem of giving me access to my money. The bank cites seven to ten working days to deliver a new card. So not before Christmas.

The bank can arrange cardless cash withdrawals from ATMs, sending single-use authorisation codes via the smartphone app, but for some reason that can’t be done with the specific kind of account I have. Sorry, but I wasn’t about to rush into signing up for a new bank account.

So I withdrew a bunch of cash from a bank branch, and then rearranged an “everything in cash” week. A little less productive, a little more walk-aroundey. Overall, a low-impact cybercrime, but still a pain in the arse.

Articles

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Edict’s Public House Forum #2”, being The 9pm Edict episode 54, was recorded last Saturday and posted on Wednesday night. It’s also on SoundCloud and Spreaker.

Media Appearances

None.

5at5

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

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday, I went to Huawei’s end of year drinks for the media at ECQ Bar, Circular Quay. We were all given a Huawei P8lite smartphone and a $30 Telstra pre-paid SIM.

The Week Ahead

For most Australians, the week between Christmas and New Year is a holiday. But not for me. Despite many services only operating Tuesday through Thursday this week, if they’re running at all, I still have quite a lot to get done. Whether it can all happen is another question.

On Monday, I’ll bring all my geekery-for-money projects up to date, and schedule the next few weeks in more detail. Laundry shall also be done.

On Tuesday, I’ll bump out of the Ashfield residence where I’ve been cat-sitting, and run some errands to Enmore, Newtown, and perhaps elsewhere, and then start scripting the next episode of The 9pm Edict podcast.

Whether Tuesday evening sees me settle into Lilyfield, or whether I return to Wentworth Falls that afternoon, will only be decided on Monday. This post will be updated accordingly on Monday evening.

On Wednesday, I’ll write for ZDNet, I think, and finish the pre-production for The 9pm Edict. The podcast will be recorded and streamed live at 2100 AEDT.

On Thursday, I’ll do a bunch of bookkeeping, and prepare my budgets for January, before doing something that can best be described as celebrating New Year’s Eve. Details TBA.

Friday is New Year’s Day, and I’ll do something significant to mark the start of 2016. Friday will also kick off a long weekend that includes, amongst other things, lunch in Katoomba on Saturday.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge, photographed from Circular Quay on 22 December 2015.]

Photograph of broken Zoom H1 recorderThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsThis episode of The 9pm Edict is important. Every single piece of information is vital to our national security. You must help protect our way of life. Listen closely, and observe all safety precautions.

It’s so long since the last episode, we’ve already celebrated the birthday of gentle Baby Jesus. It’s a brand new year, but we’ve got the same old Crusader Rabbit as Prime Minister.

In this podcast there’s talk of terrorism, broadband, Space Lizards, the Brandis Ham, and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733. The audio comment judged best for February will win a slightly read copy of John Birmingham’s new novel Emergence.

If you want your comment to appear in the episode being produced on Sunday 8 February 2015, you’ll need to get it to me by 1800 AEDT.

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Banksia in shadow: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 December 2014 was a strange beast, what with the Christmas break and certain excesses dumped smack down into the middle of it. And we’re about to do it all over again.

The stress related to having to wrap up everything in the three days before Christmas was compounded by a certain amount of uncertainty as to whether a certain large media company was certain about being able to pay my November invoice before the holidays began. One thing was certain, though: that would have certainly caused a certain amount of pain.

Fortunately that was all sorted out, and I did have enough money to both to celebrate Christmas, in my own small way, and to pay the bills. But the entire process was mentally exhausting.

Articles

5at5

An edition of 5at5 was emailed every working day, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. You might want to subscribe so you receive them all. Subscribe. Just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • Kaspersky Lab sent a Christmas present in the form of a bottle of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz. They’re such terrible people.

The Week Ahead

It will be another busy week punctuated by a public holiday.

Monday’s key tasks are to pitch some column ideas to ZDNet Australia, deal with some administrivia that can’t be done on the weekend, write a couple of standard blog posts, and start work on the chosen ZDNet column.

On Tuesday, I’ll finish that column, and then catch the train to Sydney — not just for the regular spot on ABC 720 Perth, but also to bump in to the Chirgwin residence in Lilyfield, where I’ll be taking up residence through until about 25 January. If you’ve been trying to arrange a meeting in Sydney with me, January represented your chance.

On Wednesday, I’ll be producing an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, which simply must be finished and published that day, because it’s New Year’s Eve. That will in turn be followed by New Year’s Day, an event which is bound to be marked by a gap in the official record.

Friday will be a relaxed-pace day of work, pottering around the various tasks that accompany a new year, and reflecting upon the nature of Sin. Then the weekend should provide further opportunities for same. The reflection, I mean, not the sin.

Now overlaid on top of all this may be the much-delayed server migration. That will depend on some details that I won’t be able to confirm until Monday. Stand by. Or sit down with a gin and tonic, whichever you think is more appropriate for summer.

[Photo: Banksia in shadow, photographed at Bunjaree Cottages near Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, 100km west of Sydney, on 22 December 2014. Everywhere around this banksia flower was cast in shadow by a nearby tree — except for the one shaft of sunlight striking the flower itself. Tom Gwynne-Jones and Martin Miles have identified it as a Banksia serrata. If they’re wrong, I daresay some kind person will help us with the correct species soon enough.]

Screenshot of Tony Abbott on Channel Seven's SunriseThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsThis episode of “The 9pm Edict” is a journey. Crusader Rabbit demands to be taken seriously. We expose the truth about hopscotch. And there are far too many references to wine.

And there’s more stuff, but you’ll have to listen.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

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