• Christmas 2020

    A scary Christmas present

    Christmas this year started technically at 12.01am. I was rostered on to be ‘Vision Mixer’ for the streaming videos of my church’s Christmas eve services - 7.30pm and 11pm. The latter finishing just after midnight.

    I’ve been volunteering to be a camera operator and vision mixer since church started live streaming a few months ago. It’s a bit of a dream come true as being a TV camera person was the second job I wanted to be when I grew up (this is before I discovered computers!). Mixing is a challenging job, and I have greater respect for those who do this as their paid job. It’s one of those things when done right, you don’t even think about it. The Christmas Eve services should be uploaded to the Seeds Uniting YouTube channel soon if you’re interested.

    I love Christmas. It was always an exciting time when I was a little kid, and I still enjoy it now that I’m well and truly all grown up. It is special as a time to remember the birth of Jesus, and a season of catching up with family and remembering old traditions (or possibly making some new ones).

    COVID has obviously had a massive impact on many. Fortunately here in Adelaide and South Australia things are currently in a good state, so any remaining restrictions didn’t impact us personally. I’m all too aware that there are many who are doing it much tougher, or who are missing loved ones that couldn’t be with them due to travel restrictions, or tragically through sickness or death.

    Narelle loves a brunch (and she’s not alone there!), so she organised to have her parents and my aunty over for Christmas morning.

    For lunch, we headed over to my sister’s place. Food continued to be a highlight of the day. My sister, her husband and their very cute dog did a great job of lunch.

    Christmas lunch.

    Yum! Oh and it turns out the Christmas crackers had balloons in that you could make balloon animals with. That was a great laugh.

    Then just when I didn’t think I could fit another thing in, Mum brought out the Christmas slices for afternoon tea!

    Christmas slices

    Wow. We got to bring some leftovers home (plus my mother in-law’s home-made fudge). Not sure how long they’ll last. I’ll have to try and keep up the physical activity to counteract all the good eating.

    I’m on annual leave for the next 3 weeks. Will be great to have a break, recharge, catch up with friends and family a bit more, and staying cool over summer.

    Oh, and what was hiding behind that scary wrapping paper (see first picture)? That was my son showing his creative flare to wrap a bucket of Cadbury’s Favourites chocolates. Still deciding if I’m going to share them🙂

  • Extending the Cake bootstrapper to parse cake.config

    Cake logo I’ve just had a post published on the Cake blog, describing how to extend Cake’s bootstrapper scripts to support parsing cake.config file.

    Particularly useful when adding Cake to an existing project that is already using some of the directories that Cake would use by default.

    Read the post, and let me know in the comments here if you’ve ever had to modify the bootstrap yourself.

  • Continual learning and improving quality

    The bio that is on my GitHub and Sessionize profiles (amongst others) includes the following sentence:

    "I have a passion for continual learning and improving quality, and enjoy being in and creating environments where these happen."

    This isn’t just a throw-away line. I really do like being in that kind of place, but let’s dig a bit deeper:

    • I want to have a positive impact, leave things better than I found them.
    • Looks for ways to keep my skills current by learning from others and sharing what I’ve learned. Always be looking for better ways of doing things.
    • Be around people that challenge me - people with diverse opinions, experiences, ages, backgrounds.
    • Aiming to do things sustainably - trying to find the right balance between work and non-work.
    • Speak up for those that can’t (or don’t feel they are able to) speak for themselves. Looking for ways to use my position and privileges to lift others up.
    • Have a laugh. If you’ve ever had anything to do with me, you’ll almost certainly have experienced my sense of humour!

    These could be at work, at a user group, at a conference, in an online meeting, or a virtual community.

    Do I do these things all the time? No, sadly not!

    These are aspirational - they’re the things I’m aiming for. I’m not perfect, and I fail a lot. I hope I learn from my mistakes, and I hoping I’m heading in the right direction.