Category Archives: Main list

Heidelberg to Brunswick

Saturday 19 November 2016

Sunny, temperature in the mid 70s

Leave unit in Heidelberg at 930am

Arrive Adana in Brunswick at midday

Haleem (gozleme with three honeys)

Falafel with tabouli and harissa

Small spinach dip

Small carrot and cheese dip

Serve of patates frites

Mixed grill

$45 (Aussie dollars)

Leave Adana and begin walk home

Get to St George’s Road and catch the 501 bus back to Ivanhoe, then a train ride home. Back by 130pm

Approximately 21,000 steps

The New Manager

Arrive “late” – 850am

9-10 am
Managers Meeting. Matching our strategic initiatives with senior managements business plan. Confusion over what is an “action” and what is an “outcome”.

Tell GG and KH to (politely) fuck off when they suggest Ant and I drop everything next Monday and Tuesday and fly to Mildura. (Everyone else had several weeks notice.)

Have a quick conversation with GG around the legalities of fee waivers (we aint doing it) for staff members. He’s a former fees guy, so understands the import of us having regular CSP students in the course that LTU staff take for “free”. It’s free to the staff – but it’s not free. tht’s called fraud, regardless of what our fuckwit School of Education stakeholders say. They have to give us a sponsor form with a WBS on it, and we make the magic happen. If they don’t, well, I don’t give a shit.

Lift and shift stand up meeting.

Start the meeting with us all at one end of the room, and the testers at the other. I stop our meeting, turn to the testers, and ask that their “conversation go somewhere else”. They leave.

Heard the phrase from the vendor, “lifting your database is so different from all other lifts we have done before”. One step closer to panic station.

Major issue is half fixed. Vendor developers believe 50% fixed is the same as 100% fixed. I assure them it is not the same, and that some stakeholders will go into meltdown if it’s not fixed.

Issue of escalating the DB sync failure issue within our organisations senior management. Reluctance to do so by the project manager. I waited long enough, and said nothing long enough, that she got it. She headed upstairs immediately to escalate to JP. She wanted someone to go with her for protection.

Chasing HR to get AB’s contract sorted. She screwed up and didn’t accept the initial contract while on her student visa. She wanted to wait for her permanent resident visa to come through. It was delayed, and by the time she eventually got it the offer had expired. HR, being jackasses, refuse to backdate a new contract. AB accepts the situation.

1115-12 noon
Fees team catch-up.

12 – 1230
TG meets with AJ and I to discuss her new workplace arrangement (48/52). Whether this actually allows her to be successful in the role, given her chronic health issues, is anyone’s guess. We complete the HR paperwork. I emphasise that we are doing this to try to bring stability to the situation. Not sure TG gets it.

Lunch. Delicious but well overdue!

Send threatening email to Finance over their engagement of a debt collection agency (aged student services and amenities fee debt, and research student debt).

Contact Victoria University to find out how they handle it (thank you for the contact, FL). VU have a vastly different approach with their agency.

Review support and governance model for new world after lift and shift project completes, and second phase of project begins.

Review course coding changes emails between GG and SX. Agree that a process change is needed, but also agree with his recoding of the courses.

Approve new system access requests.

Approve new equipment purchases for a staff member.

Organise process improvement champions for new SSA process improvement project.

Was provided with a loan request form on which BN had scribbled a new checkbox – “waive guarantor requirement”. She wants me to sign it – will she never learn.

GF: What’s the story?
BN: She got a personal overdraft earlier this year, went on a shopping spree. She owes three months rent to accommodation services. They will evict her this Friday. She wants the loan to pay for the rent. She’s an A grade student and has been approved for a scholarship.
GF: Why no guarantor?
BN: Too long to organise – they will evict her Friday.
GF: Where’s the guarantee the Uni gets their money back?
BN: …yes, it is a risk. But Scholarships team have assured me she’ll get $3000 in two weeks.
GF: (aware the “scholarships team” is BN’s daughter, TN) Did the student say she is being evicted, or did accommodation services say it?
BN: Well… I…
GF: We give her a $3000 loan, and she goes ahead and blows it, where does that leave us?
BN: Yes, it is a risk. But LB (in Bendigo where the student studies) is sure the student is genuine. And she is going to financial counselling with RA.
GF: She’s getting counselling?
BN: Yes.
GF: So what does RA say about her?
BN: Well. I don’t think she’s met her yet.
GF: Is RA in counselling actually aware of this case?
BN: Well, not as of yet…

Don’t know what BN, LB, and TN were up to. Don’t know if they know this kid or not. But I do know that the kid isn’t getting a loan. Computer says no.

Allied Systems Team weekly catch up. Quick meeting as we keep in constant contact. Only new news is exams will be tested thoroughly during lift and shift project. AJ shows me color pictures of Grumpy Cat he has printed out. One of them says, “I am Gary. I am a twat.” Apparently, I am Student Admin’s Grumpy Cat.

Bombard new Deputy Director with questions about testing the new HR system. Apparently, I have to pay for my casuals to test their new HR system (casual employee time sheet submission). That’s some bullshit right there.

Meet with lift and shift Project Manager. Get some dress rehearsal stuff covered off. Get some resourcing for testing covered off.

She asks how I think things are going, and as I start talking about her “change in rhetoric” she starts turning bright red. I started to panic she was going to cry, which would suck as she is an awesome project manager and a really nice person (and her husband is good at what he does, too).

I warn her off using such phrasing – “this is so different from what we’ve done before” – in front of certain senior stakeholders. She’s smart. She knows.

FL and RS had asked for a copy of the cutover plan. Neither will understand it, but it’s a free world. Those two worry me.

Leave early – 435pm. Woo hoo.

March 2016

Monday 29 February – Melbourne

Tuesday 1 March – Melbourne

Wednesday 2 March – Melbourne AM; Halls Gap PM

Thursday 3 March – Halls Gap – Pinnacle Motel
Venus Baths walk
Lake Fyans bathing emus

Friday 4 March – Halls Gap – Pinnacle Motel

Saturday 5 March – Port Fairy
Pinnacle Motel owner: “Come back in the winter when it’s quiet.”
Drive south from Halls Gap to Dunkeld
Griffith’s Island walk late afternoon

Sunday 6 March – Airey’s Inlet; Airey’s Pub
Coastal walk; lighthouse

Monday 7 March – Melbourne

Tuesday 8 March – Melbourne

Wednesday 9 March – Tasmania, Hobart – Clydesdale manor; Kathmandu Cuisine

Thursday 10 March – Tasmania, Hobart – Claremont
MONA; Texas Pantry

Friday 11 March – Tasmania, Hobart – Claremont
Orford (lunch), Ross

Saturday 12 March – Tasmania, Hobart – Claremont
Dolphin Sands Road looking east to Coles Bay and south east to Freycinet

Sunday 13 March – Tasmania, Hobart – Claremont

Monday 14 March – Tasmania, Dover – Thelma Retreat
Dover RSL Club

Tuesday 15 March – Tasmania, Dover – Thelma Retreat
Hastings Caves

Wednesday 16 March – Tasmania, Kellevie
Bull ant in loo
Big fry up
Scorpion in loo
Night hike to top of Ragged Tier
Skink family in living room

Thursday 17 March – Tasmania, Kellevie
Sheep rousing; Mark – “There’s still sheep in the far paddock? Oops.”

Friday 18 March – Tasmania, Kellevie
Port Arthur; Tasman Arch; Tessellated Pavement; Blowhole

Saturday 19 March – Melbourne

Sunday 20 March – Melbourne

Monday 21 March – Melbourne

Tuesday 22 March – Melbourne

Wednesday 23 March – Halls Gap

Thursday 24 March – Halls Gap
Reed Lookout – alone with the best view in Australia while dozens of people jostled for space 300 metres away… CFA officer almost caught me up in the control tower, but I saw him coming through the windows of the lookout
Lake Bellfield
Evening walk – Grand Canyon

Friday 25 March – Halls Gap
Lake Wartook
Lake Bellfield – walk along the lake wall; white and brown goats; stars rising

Saturday 26 March – Melbourne
Rousing thousands of sheep – we moved the car and ate lunch somewhere the sheep could not find us

Sunday 27 March – Melbourne

Monday 28 March – Bendigo
Bendigo Wool Mill

Tuesday 29 March – Melbourne

South America

Conversation overheard:

I was watching this show about organ trafficking.

About what?

Organ trafficking. You know. Stealin parts of your body. And selling them.



Where. Where was it?

Somewhere in… South America. They kill you and take your organs and then they fuckin sell them.

They don’t kill you.

They kill you. On the street. They fuckin kill you and you’re just lying there, on the street, and they pull your fuckin heart out of your chest. And then they sell it.


Black market.

Black market?

The black market. You’re just dead on the street and they fuckin tear out yer heart and sell it on the fuckin black market.

Well that’s what the black market is for.


That’s what the black market is fuckin for.


For fuckin sellin organs. You sell the fuckin organs on the fuckin black market.

Jeezus. South America.


Life drawing

Model: Megan

Seemed to have lost my way. Might help if I did some practice during the week rather than compressing all my efforts into 2 hours of a Sunday morning.

Life Drawing Sketches

These are mostly from the morning at Princes Hill. $15 for two hours. About ten of us in the loft of a creaky old building with the one model. Excellent group. Will go again.

I did nothing to the images – so all the redraws are easily seen. In contrast to what some of the other artists were doing – a long pose was 20 minutes – I have a lot of practicing to do…

Must remember what the model told me: “Don’t worry… you wont fuck it up.”

You have to start somewhere

Short-beaked echidna. Using a variety of pencils from 2H to 5B. You can see the shape lines (cylinder) used to flesh out body parts. Crap – but crap that is done, rather than just thought about.

Echidna sketch

Oh, and they do have surprisingly long peg-like claws. Not that this improves the weird posts in his front paw, but still.


You can only do so much fixing before you have to break out the eraser. The eyes and the breadth of the nose never looked right (and still don’t). Dog-a-day.


Like a lot of these sketches, about 25-30 minutes.