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In which I get a haircut and don't know what I want to do for a real job - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 25th, 2013

09:33 am - In which I get a haircut and don't know what I want to do for a real job

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This weekend was the first weekend in a while where I haven't had anything 'big' planned - that is, anything that would take up more than half a day of my time. I spent it pottering about, reading easy fiction (one of the Dragon Age spinoff novels that tells the backstory of Maric and Loghain), watching Battlestar Galactica and plotting with Dr Wheel about rearranging the house and turning the downstairs office into a movie theatre and general hanging out room while commandeering the upstairs bit for Doing Stuff in. Jury's still out on whether this is a good idea or not.

In between these demanding activities, I:


I more or less told Paul to do whatever he wanted within the parameters of length I gave him:



This was taken when it still had the product from the hairdresser in and all the straightening stuff they do. I don't use product or make any styling effort, so since it was washed it's a) gone wavy and b) gone urchiny. I'm actually ok with urchiny, it's a look I can work with. So overall, a win!

Made yoghurt:



This culture's been going since about November. I'm wondering how to avoid it going grainy. I got it perfectly smooth once and I'm pretty sure it's to do with the ambient temperature, but since I can't really control that I'm a bit stumped. It's fine to eat, but not as smooth as I'd like it.

Cleaned the god damned blasted fucking windows.



I dislike cleaning windows. These windows get hit with all the city crud that comes in with the prevailing wind, so they need cleaning about every 6 months. I clean them about once a year.

Added more 'ice' to my fake ice crystals. With any luck this should be the last layer:



I've pretty much given up on the laser cutting I was offered. Does anyone on here know of a service in Wellington that'll laser-cut one-offs to spec? Because otherwise I'ma start in with the coping saw just to get it done.

Then I played with LEDs and the Arduino. First I made it flash on and off:



I know, a spectacular achievement! But when you consider that that's pretty much what the Brainfart project is about (on a larger scale), this is an Important Step, you guys! I've added a helpful arrow to show you where the LED is in that picture.

Then I made it flash my name in morse code. Then Dr Wheel happened by and I asked about optimising the code, and I ended up learning a whole lot about arrays and making a thing that would flash anyone's name in morse code. Then I learned about serial communication and made the LED flash on and off when I pushed buttons on my keyboard. Ooh, serial communication! Riveting stuff. But useful, so I'm told. Hands up who thinks I can make a morse code generator that works directly off a keyboard as an extension exercise? Umm.. cos I'm not sure if I can based purely on what I know now, but since when did that ever stop me?

As you can see, my programming career is proceeding in leaps and bounds. *cough* Don't worry, I won't regale you with every little thing I do. Ah, who am I kidding, I probably will, but I'll try to minimise the yawn factor, mmk? Anyway, my actual LED strip should arrive some time in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully that'll coincide with my having learned enough to start playing with it, and once I've got the hang of that, the true Brainfarting will commence. It will hopefully be more easy to see in photos than yesterday's effort.

And then we had dinner with tcpip and caseopaya who were over from Melbourne, and a happy collection of gamers, some of whom I knew and some that I now do. Also, number 16 on the menu at Satay Kingdom is pretty yum, just saying.


I think I've decided I don't want to be a manager. From what I can tell, managers do a lot of organising and directing and spend a lot of time dealing with issues, but don't get to do a lot of hands-on research/anaysis/reporting/recommendation stuff, which is what I'm good and and interested in. Advisor seems like a better name for what I want to do. Which sounds fluffier but seems to be a useful role just the same. Hm...

Comments:

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From:anna_en_route
Date:February 24th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
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At Stats we have Subject Matter Experts (who I think operate at about the same level as managers but deal with knowledge) which sounds a lot like what you're aiming for?

P.s. as a programmer, the programming bits are awesome and not yawn-worthy at all.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 24th, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I suspect that my skills will be better utilised in large organisations - seems that in smaller ones what I do is only part of a role.

Meanwhile, I'm painfully aware that the skills of many of the people who read this go right up to making Skynet, which means that me being all excited about making an LED light up is a bit like watching a kid go tie its shoelaces for the first time. Cute if it's yours, *eyeroll* if it's not.
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From:rivet
Date:February 24th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
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This is a common tension. As I see it, being promoted into management is being 'rewarded' for doing your job well by taking away the work itself and replacing it with meetings *about* the work. Appealing to some people, but a mixed blessing at best.

"Advisor" is generally the term used across government for the technical expert that doesn't manage stuff.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 24th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
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That sounds a lot more like me, although my technical expertise seems to be how to find stuff out and make decisions based on it in whatever context is applicable, more than being an expert on any particular topic.

I just don't want to manage.
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From:pombagira
Date:February 24th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
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mmmm.. organising and directing and dealing with issues.. or puzzle solving. i like doing those things.. not that disimilar to archiving which i am currently doing..

also yay shiny mores code!!

*smiles*
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From:downwardlashes
Date:February 25th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
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So uh, today we didn't have to do anything other than homeschool, so I flopped around on the futon and had my five year old make me some pb&j when I got hungry. It was pretty great.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 12:41 am (UTC)
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Kids become more awesome when they get to the age where they can wait on you. ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
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Only the ones that face the balcony and the two by the front door. The rest haven't been cleaned since I moved in afaict.
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From:meathiel
Date:February 25th, 2013 06:20 am (UTC)
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Like the new haircut. ;-)

I never wanted to be a manager either ... having to deal with personnel issues ... ugh ... just no. That's the main thing that's put me off.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, managing projects is one thing, managing people is.. not something I really feel drawn to. To put it diplomatically. ;-)
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:February 25th, 2013 09:05 am (UTC)
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I like the haircut. I can imagine it looks good with a little more curl in it too.

Re yogurt culture: I don't know how you make your yogurt. When I do it I buy a plain, flat yogurt from a shop where I know I like the taste and smoothness. Funnily that's the cheapest brand we get here. Then I buy a liter of fresh full-fat milk, cook it, cool it down to luke-warm (35°C), stir the yogurt in and put it into my bed covers to rest for a few hours. That usually works pretty well and I just need to scoop the one liter of yogurt into glasses and that's it. I've never bothered with actual cultures for any length of time.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
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That's pretty much exactly what I do, only I've been using the last of the old batch to start the new batch for the last three months.

Weirdly, the one that came out perfect was the 2nd or 3rd batch, and all of the others have been a bit grainy. The only thing that's been different has been the ambient temperature, which probably has an effect on it. I can deal with eating it grainy, but making it perfect would also be nice. ;-)
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From:pundigrion
Date:February 25th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
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My tips for good texture in yogurt:

The milk has to be scalded to denature the milk proteins, so it coagulates better. If you like runny yogurt and are starting with a brand new bag/jug of pasteurized milk, you can simply let everything get to happy yogurting temperatures, but the result will be more runny. If you like drinkable yogurt this can be pretty awesome. If you'd like a nice thick yogurt, not so much.

Grainy is often caused by heating the milk up too much. The trick is to get it hot enough for denaturing to take place, but not to boil it. Also, don't stir it before it has set. The temperature to aim for is between 80-85 C. If you hold the milk in that range for a couple of minutes you will get even thicker yogurt, but I am impatient and my rangetop is not very good. I just pour off a little whey afterwards instead. If you are more fastidious you can of course always strain it too. :-)

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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
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I prefer the more Greek style too. I've been doing it in the crock pot, which doesn't allow me huge control over temperature. The milk is definitely not boiling, but maybe I could heat it for a shorter time. I'll also try not stirring the new culture in when I add it - I've been whizzing it up with the mixer, but I'll have a go at just pouring it in and see what happens.

Thanks!
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From:kehleyr
Date:February 25th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
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I love your new haircut!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! ;-)
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From:forestgreenivy
Date:February 25th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
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The hair looks nice! Gah, I know all about not being able to replicate the look from the hairdresser. Bummer. But urchiney is good.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 25th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I can live with urchiny. And Paul's been cutting my hair long enough so he knows I don't put any effort into it, and doesn't make 'dos that need a lot of upkeep. He just likes to coiff me before he turns me loose. ;-)
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From:wildilocks
Date:March 1st, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
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I like the haircut too!

I also dislike managing people. It is the least fun aspect of anything ever invented. It wouldn't be quite as bad for a large organisation as for a small one though.
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