November 11, 2008

Brushing off the dust, kick starting up the journal.

Wow. I’ve been neglecting this journal for ages. I’ve been feeling guilty about that for weeks, but I didn’t think I’d done anything particularly journal worthy to post about.

The last post mentioned I was going on holiday - did that, had a nice relaxing time, ate a lot of pie, generally good times all round. I’ve been back for a while doing a variety of things, but mostly it’s been a combination of finishing up old ends and generally chilling out. And procrastinating by following the U.S. election, but that’s not a concern now!

The “finishing up old ends” part revolves around my PhD thesis write-up, which is still dragging along. These things have a tendency to eat up all available time until the deadline forces your hand. In my case, I think I’m up to the point where I’ve finished all that I can without external opinion. I’ve been spending the last week or two giving drafts to other people to review to me and fixing up based on their responses. With my deadline extended to the end of the year I haven’t felt pressed to push this hard, but I’m getting sick of having it over my head.

Since this review period has a lot of dead time between handing out documents for review and getting them back, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the last week getting acquainted with my sister’s Xbox 360 which she’s kindly let me use while she’s overseas. So far all I’ve tried out is Fable 2. The console seems okay, but it sounds like a hand-held vacuum and Fable 2 is choppy at parts (most likely a fault of the game though). The DVD drive is pants though as it doesn’t appear to have any mechanism to hold the disc in place while it is spinning. My sister (another one, I’ve got three) was playing Fable 2 and accidently tipped the console a tiny bit while inspecting why it was making more noise than usual, and ended up converting it into a circle grinder. Thankfully my local EB store kindly sold me a disc warranty in retrospective.

Oh, and I’ve also been using this downtime to cut back on coffee, which explains why I didn’t make this post a few days ago. My coffee consumption was at stupid levels - I was getting serious withdrawal symptoms even when I cut back to three cups a day. I’m now down to two cups of half-coffee-half-decaf and the headaches have gone. I’m starting to regain the capacity to actually do things.

Now I’ve got my thesis into the end stages and satiated my game cravings, I can start preparation work for 2009. I need to figure out exactly what it is that I want to do; for the first time in an age I only have the goals I set myself.

Starting this process might take a while. Most of my important gear is still in boxes, and currently I have no space to unpack them. It’s going to be a complex reshuffling manoeuvre. Stuff will need to be tossed to make room for the stuff I don’t want to toss but need to move to make space for the stuff I need to use. Since some of the stuff isn’t mine, that adds an extra layer of complication. Factor in that I’ve also got media catch-up in the form of several enticing computer games and about every major movie release in the last two years constantly tempting me, and there’s a chance this might take a while. I’m not too fussed about taking November in a relaxed manner, but if I don’t hit 2009 prepared I’ll most likely regret it.

I’ll keep the journal updated now I’ve got less thesis-y things on my mind. Admittedly the next week might be a bit dull as I shift boxes around, but things should get more focused by December.

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