STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Friday, April 29, 2005

An Email...

EDIT: I've removed some people's surnames, as I want to respect their privacy, and be able to say bad things about them. :D

I had some time at work today, so wrote the following email. I just thought I'd share it with you all...

From: Justin Warner
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2005 1:20 PM
To: Paul (my boss's boss)
Cc: Stuart (my boss)
Subject: IT could use a PA

Hi Paul,
I thought I'd begin by explaining that this shouldn't be taken too seriously (especially not in any immediate sense), but it's just a bit of meandering that I mentioned to Stuart, and he laughed and said I'd need to speak to you about it.

Stuart said I should write to you and request that IT be given a PA to manage the constant inflow of people we have to deal with. It's not uncommon in a day to receive numerous phone calls that very politely request that we either drop what we're doing and run to their assistance, or that we solve their query by phone regardless of what we were previously engaged in. Even in the glory days of iHook, this never really stopped happening as it is just beyond the skill of a normal human being to be able to redirect someone with a desperate query who needs an answer when you most definitely have it but you just really don't have time to give it right now. They simply cannot understand why not, and refuse to leave us alone until we either unlock that mystery of the IT universe (i.e.: How is the greater good more important then MY problem???), or simply fold and resolve their query. However, in the end this is detrimental to our ongoing workload, as larger and usually more significant work is done in small interrupted chunks.

So here's what I propose. I propose that the IT department could use a personal assistant, who has no IT support skills but is simply good at using email and Word, and calming people who are about to destroy the school's IT equipment in a fit of rage. This person could field calls from both people who arrive at our door in person, and from people who call our phone, and log calls on their behalf. This would facilitate the staff member feeling like they have expressed their issue thoroughly to someone, and the call being logged completely and correctly. On top of that, it would be good to have someone make us coffee on occasions.

I'd think that once we are moved into more substantial workspace, the construction of a reception desk and separatory wall (probably made of something that could resist the force of a hurled keyboard or digital camera) would be quite simple and would allow us to place our PA on the frontline of the IT battleground, while we reside in the background - working our IT magic in secret, unperturbed by the worries of the world, silently supporting the masses. It really is a beautiful ideal.

I know Stuart would suggest that more IT personnel would solve our current state of unrest, but I really think this option would provide a cheaper and foundationally more workable solution. Staff would have to learn again the ancient art known as "waiting" on their quest for IT nirvana. It would revive order and facilitate facilitation. What a wonderful world this would be!

You should probably know, if you get to this point in this email, the reason you've got this is because Stuart said "Heheh... You should ask Paul!" when I spoke to him about this, not at all believing that I would actually do it...

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. :D

Justin Warner

Justin Warner
Systems Administrator
St. Paul's Grammar School


Thursday, April 28, 2005

HomeEasy rock my world

This whole post is an enourmous plug, so let me begin it as blatently as possible. If you live in Sydney, could repay a home loan but don't have a deposit, then you need to go here: HomeEasy.

The post before last was about how this all came about, and about how we kinda sorta got approved by these people, etc, etc.. so I'm not going to go on about it too much. However, yesterday my wife and I went and met the guys who run HomeEasy, and they are just a couple of really nice rich guys who want to help people like my wife and I to get into the market. It appears to me to be 100% scam-proof as well, as there's no contract between us and them. We don't give them any of our money throughout the entire deal. The only contract exists within amendments to the property sales contract to ensure that if for some reason somebody can't furfil their obligations, the whole thing becomes null and void - protecting us from landing ourselves in trouble. I love it, it rocks. Not only that, but it's not just for first home buyers. We can do this again and again for each property we buy. It's just brilliant.

So being that we're now 100% good to go on buying a house, let me just say that HomeEasy and the two guys who run it seriously rock my world. If I ever get rich, I hope I can be as cool as them.

End plug.

So, the other thing I should mention is that we looked at a house. This house, to be exact. For those who looked and pulled that face that speaks of mountains of aprehension - yep. I'm right there with you.
The thing about it is, that we can spend a maximum of $230,000 at this point. Not only that, but because we're HomeEasy buyers (I'm not going to be bothered linking it again...), really that translates into a little over $215,000 in tangable income for the seller. So we can't really afford to be choosey. But how not choosey do you allow yourself to be? Not only that, but when you're in the very bottom edges of the market, do you pass up one opportunity to wait in the hope that another will come along? This could very well be the last house in the Hawkesbury that sells under $230,000. I mean, it's an unlikely scenario, but not impossible. If we decide not to buy it, and to wait, we could miss our last valid opportunity. Or conversely, if we buy it, an absolute bargain house might appear on the market tomorrow. There are just no guarentees.

So I guess the best thing I can say, is to all who have played the property market and won, I salute you. It's pretty flippin' hard. :P

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Metallic Blue Hair!

I’ve wanted to have metalic blue hair for about the past 9 years. It’s not one of those “wow that’s important” things in my life, so because of various circumstances, I’ve never got around to it. For example, right now I’m employed at a fairly well-to-do grammar school. If I dyed my hair blue, I’d get fired. So no blue hair for now… BUT ONE DAY! ONE DAY I TELL YOU!!!! :D

Thursday, April 21, 2005

43 Things, Hybles, and a whole lot of happy.

I stumbled across this rather obscure site, and was instantly hooked. I've signed up, and linked it to my blog, so expect to see some positive goal-achieving style posts in the not too distant future. It's really quite a novel idea...

Speaking of novel, I'm reading a book by Bill Hybles at the moment called Courageous Leadership. I'm reading it in conjunction with one of my pastors and we're having some discussions about it's content. So far, I've read the introduction, and the first chapter, which is our commonly agreed starting chunk. So far, he (Hybles) seems to have expressed a variety of "corperate synergy" style leadership ideals prefaced by "I believe that..." and not providing any real solid biblical evidence as to why. I hope it improves, because this guy is pretty highly respected at my church and a LOT of what we do is based on his writing.

Moving on from that, me and my wife are looking at buying a house. And I'm sorry people, but I'm going to get all hokey super-spiro Christian for a minute. I had this revelation one night which was rather morbid to begin with, and that is that when God speaks, stuff happens. No question, it just happens. This was true of when Jesus spoke - He said "Judas, you will betray me" and at that point, Judas was doomed to do exactly that. He said to Peter "You will deny me", and that's his fate, no questions asked. So taking the less morbid avenue, I'm thinking to myself, Jesus told his disciples that God would give them whatever they asked in his name (John 16:23-24), and again to Phillip in John 14:13-14. Does it apply to all of Christ's followers? Because I'm one. So couldn't I take the authority of Jesus, and say "This will happen!" and then see it happen? I honestly don't know if the Bible says that or not, but experience seems to be proving it's true. You see, I decided to try it. I was driving in my car about a month ago on the way to work, and I thought, "I'm going to try this." So I prayed first, and asked God that if this was the right thing to do, that it'd come to pass. So then I said nice and loud in my car with as much faith as I could muster: "In the name of Jesus, Rachel and I will be able to buy a house!" And then I decided I needed a time period, so I tacked on "... within 3 months!"
After I'd done this, I felt good for a moment, and then completely loopy for a couple of hours. However, here's the funny thing. I've mentioned this to no one, not even my wife, until a couple of days ago when we got unofficial pre-approval for a smallish homeloan with no deposit. It had come COMPLETELY out of the blue. We'd heard half an ad for HomeEasy on the radio, looked them up on the net, applied, and now we're off to make it official on Wednesday. Then we just need to find a house with a cooperative buyer (check out HomeEasy's site to find out why), and we'll have a house. We have about 2 months before my predefined time period expires, and assuming things continue to roll at the current rate, God is going to prove once again his goodness to us.
See, the interesting thing is that the conditions now aren't perfect: We have to find an EXTREMELY cheap property, with a cooperative buyer who is willing to forfeit a small percentage of their sale profits to help us (and others like us), and which meets the basic criteria of representing a better position for us then our current dwellings. But see, it wouldn't be God if we could do it on our own, at any point in the process. God likes the glory. He likes His children to be all "WOW!! How on EARTH did THAT happen!??! God is SO GOOD!!!" And let me tell you, 2 months from now, I reckon that'll be me. I'm not one for unrealistic expectations, but there's something about this that makes me feel confident... I didn't ask for a homeloan - I asked for a house. And I reckon I'll own one soon, because regardless of my situation, God is true to his word. Hokey super-spiro rant done.

I bet my wife would be impressed with THIS post... :D

Monday, April 18, 2005

This is just cool...

OK, those who know me very well will know that I LOVE this stuff. I read something once that explained in what to me appeared to be complete logic, that we really should be assuming conspiracy from governments, as history shows us that men who have power maintain it through deception. Anyways, think what you like. Conspiracy theories still rock. :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Just a small follow-on...

Following on from a comment made on the last post, I thought it best to clarify my story a little, and an edit just looked too messy, so I made a new post. If you haven't read the previous post to this one, you'll need to before this makes sense. Maybe read the comments too.

My wife and I completely understood when we went to the hospital that our child didn't fall into the emergency basket. Nor did we believe that we belonged in the "urgent" category. We just wanted to see someone, even if they said we'd have to sit and wait for hours to do it. The problem was, we were told to go home. Even our GP was shocked by this when we told him. The long version of the story would have explained this better, but as I mentioned, I lost that after I'd typed it all out and couldn't be bothered typing it again. I guess I should have been bothered! :)

Oh, and also, can I just request that if you want to comment, you use the option to attach your name to it. Just so I know the difference between the Annonymouses!! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My wife hates my blog!

Greetings once again, blog readers. For those who've read the last couple of posts and gone "crap, this is depressing", then I apologies. I'm at a point in my life where things are transitional and difficult, and one of these days I'm going to beat it and move on. However, I'm going to try and blog about some other stuff that's more general and perhaps not so negative where possible. Why? Because my wife thinks that all blogs are evil, thanks to mine. She's rather Tony Robbins (yes, I've used a guy's name as an adjective), so as far as she is concerned, negativity is the devil.

So hey, let me do a short political spiel then. You see, we went to the hospital the other morning at 5:30am. Our little boy was unwell and had a temperature of 38.4*C. Now, I've only been a parent for a short while, but he's only ever had a high temperature once, and that only got up to 37.4. It was just after he was born, and there was an obvious sense of alarm at the situation. So maybe 10 month old children can handle the higher temperatures - the thing is we just weren't sure and our one past experience had just added a rather strong sense of worry about high temperatures.

Now there's a big story to this, but I'll try and shorten it. We got to the hospital, and there was only one doctor on duty, and it had been a very full-on night for them, so the nurse at the counter was very stressed. She told us his symptoms were nothing, then took an incorrect reading of his temperature (she read it as 35.6*C - we double checked it with 2 different thermometers when we got home. It was 38.2.), and sent us home. Now in the morning we took him to our GP, and it turns out he has a high temperature (surprise!) and pus on his tonsils - possibly tonsillitis, or at least, a viral infection.

OK, so here's the thing. We never were panicking that our boy was dying or anything. We just thought it was important he see a doctor with a small degree of urgency so that we could know what the problem was and how we might best address it. However, we COULDN'T because there were too few doctors at the hospital for us to be able to see one. Now, I don't know what everyone else thinks, but I think that if I pay my taxes, I should be entitled to the medical care they supposedly supply, at whatever time I feel I need it. And if there aren't enough doctors to deal with people, they should employ more. Where are everyone's medical tax dollars going? I wonder if I had driven to Mosman if I would have got better service? Is that the way it works? Or does it get funneled into other things like Federal Government Christmas presents or something? I only get 60% of what I earn in my pocket, so I'll tell you what, I better be getting value for money out of the other 40%. Maybe the government should start offering people "tax options". Set up a second Medicare-type organization, and make them compete for people's tax dollar. See, why does it cost 40 million dollars to put an extra lane on 30kms of road? That's more then a million per kilometer. Because the companies doing the work are trying to get as much out of the government as they possibly can, and the government just takes it.
OK, here's the most political I'm going to get. I think we need some serious tax reform. I don't see why me, who the banks say can't afford to borrow enough money to buy the cheapest of houses in the Hawkesbury, is losing almost half my income in tax. It's nuts.

Anyways, that's it. I couldn't be a political writer if all the people reading were blind, but have my 2 cents anyway. If nothing else, maybe my wife will like it. :P

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Something is really quite wrong.

I'm having probably the worst day I remember having in a long, long time. I can't stand to be near any of the people at my work. I just want them all to go away and leave me alone. My wife has trouble staying happy with me for more then an hour or so, and my son has just hit the stage where he'd prefer to be awake at night then in the day. Yay. I suddenly realised this morning that I've accomplished nothing in the last 5 years that I wanted to do. I mean, I always wanted to be a husband and father, which I've done, but I wanted to be a good husband and father, with a great marriage and be playing an important role in the development of my son - and hey, I'm not and I don't. It's not for lack of wanting... there's just something intrinsically wrong, and it's probably with me.
And then there's my job. When I signed up for my computer science degree, there were jobs in the paper for Windows/Linux sysadmins for 100's of thousands of dollars a year. Admining a webserver was a high paying job. While I'm at uni, it all goes to crap. So what do I end up doing? I bust kiddies who talk about their sexual exploits on their school email accounts. Or who surf gay pr0n for kicks while they're supposed to be studying. w00h00... The pinnacle of achievement.
You know, I'm going to teach my son that he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. The thing is, I don't actually believe it's true. Pehaps it's just the hope of that ideal that drives the occasional person to greatness through a series of fortunate coincidences, but I guess hope is better then hopelessness. Aren't we crazy beings? Sometimes lying to ourselves will get us further then believing the truth.... Crazy.