Party like it’s 2010

January 7th, 2010

Wait, it is ‘10. The tenth year of the third millenium. I’ve been meaning to put a New Year post, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. I had the editor open updating my post about the Internet Censorship to add a new strategy link and decided I may as well do it now. The blank window was sitting there just begging for black lines and curves, so here you go.

2009 - What an amazing year. BIG change. It even ended with a surgery, the first time I’ve had to be in a hospital in over 15 years. I won’t go into detail, but so far so good. Nothing major.

I like to go back to my daily diary [pocket calendar for those of you in the US, not a journal] and see what pops out. It’s a good memory jogger. If you don’t like these year in review thingies, stop reading now.


I had great intentions, really I did. And I had fun when I did it. Unfortunately my energy and interest waned. Oh well. It’s still here.

Big changes here. Finished a first draft of another novel. Then my plans to revise/edit stopped dead cold. It’s still there, waiting for attention. It’s a fun story, too, with the familiar characters from Lost Anchors, but a new central character. One day.

I also started a new project that I had been researching. It was a whim, last minute thing, to do NaNoWriMo again. That lasted about a week. I did get about 60 pages written and am falling in love with the main character, Gentry Philomon. The premise is: Gentry emerges from liquistasis 15 years later, a cure having been found for his leukemia. It’s a different world. The Internet is shut down. There is a new coalition of quasi-states with church/secular government. The pope is a nutter who channels God to vids that are sent worldwide each week. Writing is eliminated from everyday life — no more words, no more literacy, unless you’re in the top of the top power structure. In the beginning of the book, Gentry is coming to grips with this change. He’s a writer of Australian Military history, so what’s a boy to do when he now lives in a World Without Words? [That’s the title at the moment.]

And last but not least, the writing team has broken up for good. Let’s just say it was for personal reasons, not creative or writing ones.

One of the biggest changes in 2009 was my return to education/teaching. I was invited in July to give it a go for the Australian Computer Society, tutoring an online class in Business, Legal and Ethical Issues for computing professionals. It’s a blast! I’ve had two classes with students from all over Australia as well as one in Cairo, Egypt and one in Shiraz, Iran. If any of you are interested, you can find more information about the program at:

I also tutored one section of Professionalism in ICT for recently graduated Masters students from other countries who intend to stay in Australia. The subject covers many of the same topics in my CP course, with some coaching about resume development and adjusting to the Australian/western culture workplace. Because English is a second or third language for these students, it is a challenging process.

I’ll be teaching in both of these programs in 2010 as well, starting in a few weeks.

One of my social networks is the Berwick Evening VIEW Club. It’s a group of ladies who get together at least once a month for dinner, plus a range of other activities throughout the year. I’m the publicity officer, meaning I send notices to the local newspapers and try to maintain the website(s). This year we had some real breakthroughs on the publicity front, with several short articles in the paper and many meeting annoucements resulting new folks coming to join. Our weekend away this year was to Warburton, a small town in the Yarra Valley, the source of the Yarra River that runs through Melbourne. It was the wettest day of the year, with floods in the area the day after we left. What happened in Warburton, stays in Warburton.

We also did the 2nd annual Trivia night, raising just under $1000 for support of another Learning for Life Student for 2 years. We now have two, both supported by these trivia nights.

We also participated in two People in the Park events with the City of Casey to introduce people to VIEW.

One of the most fun events was a ‘chocolate day’ at a member’s home. We each brought chocolate ’stuff’, including cocktails, and watched Chocolat together.

I resolved at the beginning 2009 to join the Berwick Artists Society and did just that. I love the monthly demonstrations by practicing artists to see how they create a painting. I’ve showed a few of my pieces [there’s a blog post about this]. There are many more activities to get involved in, such as ‘paint outs’ [outdoor painting trips] to showing in the bi-annual shows in the local library. Now that I have one framed picture that I’m quite proud of, I may show it this year. I haven’t don’t much creation, though. Hmmm… this is a theme. I’ve been consuming things this year rather than creating in both my art and writing. Must mean I need to recharge.

Bits and Pieces

    Lots of fun this year: Australian Open, many films, Windmill Theatre performance of Les Miserables.
    Our Strategic Conversation group has pretty much stopped, which is sad. I enjoyed meeting with those people every few months.
    I’ve attended all the Web Design SIG meetings of Melbourne PC User Group and even given some talks for them.
    I’ve returned to the Casey PC SIG after a long hiatus, also given a few talks for them as well. I was welcomed back warmly. Many of the same people and some new faces as well.
    Continued my participation in AUSTRAC Privacy Panel, Australian Privacy Foundation Board and Treasurer. I’ve been serving on a privacy panel for AGIMO on AGOSP. Yeah, we’re acronym crazy down here.
    Favourite new TV shows: Mad Men, Flash Forward
    Started using Skype, both for chat with our ACS tutors and friends, and as a phone system for calling the US. For $4/mo, I can have unlimited calls to the US.
    Visited a friend’s alpaca farm open day.
    Two Sunday lunches at the Baxter Pub with Dixieland Jazz
    Christmas Eve with friends from South Africa, Christmas Day with friends in Hastings.

Best for last…
This was a year of virtual reunions. On my birthday, I got word that a person I had been searching for futilely for over 15 years had been found. It was one of the best ever birthday presents I can remember. I won’t mention names, but I will say the contact has continued over the ensuing months and I’m quite happy about that.

2009 was an excellent year with a few hiccups to balance out the good. Here’s to an equally fulfilling 2010 to all of us!
*clink* *toast*

Google Ogles in Oligarchies

December 27th, 2009

Internet Censorship is coming back to Australia

December 19th, 2009

Books I’ve Read or Am Reading — curious connections

September 23rd, 2009

Sssssnow in Melbourne — well, slush

September 16th, 2009