Weekly Wrap 395: The three phases of pre-Christmas

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.]

Weekly Wrap 344: Sleepwalking into 2017 on my stomach

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.]

Weekly Wrap 290: A cash-based Christmas

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.]

The 9pm I can’t believe it’s not January

Photograph of broken Zoom H1 recorder

This 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.

Continue reading “The 9pm I can’t believe it’s not January”