The Best Melbourne Cup Ever

After the Data Mining tute ended at 1:30, 20 minutes early, I decided to go to the tav and kill those minutes as well as wagging my English workshop (hardcore) to work on SE2 diagrams.

Mark and Chow arrived shortly after 2, so did a lot of other people who sat at my table with me and stuff and I was a bit weirded out because even though uni is all "hey let's be friends" to me all the time none of these people were actually talking to me. Then an old guy set up a projector and I realised the Melbourne Cup was on.

Right before the race I made an open bet that everyone pick a horse and if that horse won the other two people had to buy that person a beer. Chow wasn't quick enough to pick a horse, but Mark and I did. And then my horse won! So I got a free beer (I had to walk and get it myself) and because it was pints-for-schooners time I got a free pint because of my horse picking abilities! This experience supersedes the Melbourne cup of 2000 for best Melbourne Cup ever. That year the race was on during Science and the four labs converged into Mr. Dostal's lab to watch the race. Unfortunately for Sam, who was in Mr. Dostal's class and taking a test he'd missed earlier in the week due to illness, this meant I came and sat next to him. While he was distracted by the race I took the liberty of answering some questions for him. I figured he'd notice that I'd written that plants reproduce by "meeting in bars" and one of the biological insects that threatens plant life is "moths with chainsaws" but apparently he didn't and handed it in like that, and that was funny. But that didn't involve free beer or the actual horse race really so this year was better.

This kind of makes up for all the times in high school when I saw "Melbourne Cup" written on the calendar in October and then bitterly discovered on the day that it wasn't actually a public holiday in my state every single year.


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Scared and Confused

Tonight I made sequence and collaboration diagrams in Visio. This was some intense work, because Visio makes me very angry! Nevertheless this work was for uni and surprisingly came with no procrastination at all. I didn't even realise I wasn't procrastinating until after I was done. After finishing one I printed it out and held it in my hands and went "wait a second, I didn't get distracted at all doing this!".

In further tales of the weird, the other basketball team lost today by only 1 point and Angus scored two threes! I'm mentioning this pretty much because I know when I score multiple 3s in a game I wish someone would tell the internet but no one does so I am telling you about it because it was awesome. In my game we won by a point.

Other than those events, today I watched the cricket and bought new shoes at Harbour Town. Either those shoes or my new toothbrush will be purchase of the week. I saw an ad for a toothbrush on television and it was like "the head of the brush splits in half and moves up and down" and said "I want that toothbrush" and the next day I bought it.

So Many Assignments!

It's 6am and I have almost finished my second SE2 assignment. I have been on an assignment rollercoaster for longer this semester than any other semester I can remember. Everytime you get over one, there's another one coming and you finally finish that and then there's another one! So many assignments!

This one is due in 12 hours and it will be a race between me finishing the assignment and my eyes bleeding and falling out after looking at too many diagrams.

Finish Line in Sight

Another assignment turned in successfully. Only one hurdle remains, due this Friday, before I can relax... for maybe one of the four days I then have off before my first exam. Sigh.

After handing in SE2 I popped down to Marion to go to JB HiFi and in my post-assignment completion afterglow I bought a hundred and one DVDs. One was Jurassic Park which I got for $12. The other 100 are blank.

In the evening I was checking my uni mail and on a whim decided to check my normal student account instead of my normal IT one. This whim proved beneficial because whilst dismissing several notices about art student things I stumbled across a job notice for a job that I am perfect for. Thank goodness for my magical brain which delivered this whim to me in time, applications close on Friday. Timing couldn't be better as not only did my demonstrating contract run out last Friday, but I'm currently in the midst of writing a website about creating Résumé’s for English. The only way this timing could have been any better is if I'd checked the mailbox six days earlier when the email was actually delivered :|.


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Selling Out

When I heard about Voluntary Student Unionism early this year I was naturally excited about not having to waste almost $200 on helping less fortunate people have better access to coke machines and child-minding services every semester.

Every time that I went to the plaza (pretty sure it was both times) all I would hear about was "VSU is Bad! God Help Us!". Meanwhile I am thinking "Sweet, next semester I can buy a sick pair of pants instead."

I was wrong! Second Semester came along and I was asked to pay my student services fee. "What about VSU?" I asked. Oh, apparently it's not quite in yet.

So I decided to wait it out a few weeks, see what happens. It's study leave now and I haven't had to use a single student service this whole semester. I once bought some hot chips and they asked if I was a student and I said "no" and paid the extra five cents. But then it turns out they won't let me graduate without paying the fee - They’re holding my degree hostage! So I begrudgingly paid the damn thing four months late and I asked the woman if next year we would have VSU.

"Oh no!" she said. "VSU has passed but it won't be implemented for another few years."
What the hell. Why are all these arts students making such a big fuss when VSU won't even be implemented for years and they'll have finished their degree and left uni...? Oh wait I see...

If you've read down this far into the entry, you might have noticed to your right now that I have Google Ads running on the site. Obviously this was a last resort that I had to turn to after such a crippling student services fee. If you see an ad that interests you please click it because that gets me a few American cents which obviously exchanges into millions of Australian dollars.

Too Much Internet to Internet

All day spent on final internet assignment, eyes hurts. Birds loud.
$2.51 USD from friendly ad clickers.

The Internet giveth, the Internet taketh away.

Good Weekend?

We tied basketball, Arrested Development was cancelled and my website keeps telling me I'm stressed and anxious. In reality i'm just sad.

You've ruined the act, Fox.

Studying

The first of my final exams is on Wednesday morning, so today was set aside for studying. I woke myself up early, just past 9 and set about reading but with the sun peeking through my curtains and already a tickle of warmth in the air I decided it was too nice to study inside all day. So I put some sunscreen on lugged the sofa on the deck down to the backyard and lazed on that for 6 hours while reading my text book for the first time this year: Cram and Tan.

Study Study Study

If I was the killer in Cluedo today, guss which room it would be in.

If there was a cricket watching room maybe that one as well.

Since high school...

When you see people from high school that you haven't seen since high school you say "Hey, I haven't seen you since High School! How are you doing?” You can alternate between "doing" and "going".

This isn't technically true, Adelaide is a small town and you pretty much can't go three years without seeing everyone at least once. But it sounds better than "Hey, I haven't seen you since that one night in town about eighteen months ago when you were with your friends, I was with my friends we made eye-contact for a second but never bothered to talk to each other".

Anyway, the only time I actually initiated this exchange was when someone was blocking my path to the beer. I probably should have waited for the insincere handshake to end before I asked to be passed one.

Happy Birthday Jono.

Looking Back

Most of my time is being spent studying, so there hasn't been much to update lately.
When my life encounters similar circumstances to times passed I oft revist my entries from that period to see how I handled it the first time. Documentation probably is important after all.

Exceeding 12 months ago I became determined to resurrect what was, at the time, a novel worthy Wintry Journal in the grip of a plummet back to mediocrity. That wasn't exactly true, I was just getting a little sick of updating every day when I wasn't doing that much during the days. So I divinely decided to kill of my creation at the beginning of Study Vacation and bring it back following exams as Bradism.com.

So overall it was a good move, but currently it's disappointing because I was hoping to nostalgically recreate some of my procrastination techniques from last year... Then again that’s probably not the best idea...

Exams

I... just... it's... exams... boring... useless...

The above sentence is about parallel with the pace, coherence and interestingness of the subject I'm studying, Whatever 2. No need for windscreen wipers this time around though. Should be good, despite the fact that reading over previous exams indicates that the questions might not even be proofread. It's the first exam I'm bringing a ruler to since High School.

I haven't seen my ruler since high school...

Too Cool for School

One of my primary techniques for exam preparation is making sure I have a solid idea of the layout, concepts and likely questions it will have. I'm pretty good at this, mainly because past exam papers are usually available and academic staff aren't that re-creative.

So going in I knew what questions I'd have to answer and diagrams I'd need to draw. However, when you're accurately predicting the proofreading errors in the exam it's getting a little ridiculous.

It was a good exam though. I literally ruled.

I Think They Hired the Same Agency

Today was a beautiful, sunny event and during it I drove the length of two main roads in my sleepy neck of suburbia. Although mostly passing houses there was the occasional school, business or church along the way.

I noticed that all the mini-marts and deli's had little banners on their stores advertising coke and ice-coffee as well as using free standing signs by the edge of the road. The thing is that all the churches I passed were using the exact same technique to advertise Jesus.

It's nice that the church has recently hired some marketers, but seriously, it's not even December can't the commercialism of Christmas wait a little longer?

The System Works

Brad's Summer Journal 5

Bachelor of Information Technology: A Degree in Review

I finished, quite comfortably, the last exam I will ever have for IT, otherwise know as 'it never actually did get harder'. Yesterday evolved into a pretty sweet day, despite having to get up at 7am after less than 5 hours sleep. Not only did I finalise an IT related employment situation on the same day I finished the degree, but also I won basketball, threw a piece of bread into a birds mouth on the full and received some very beneficial emails.

It does not seem all that long ago when I was in my first semester of IT, learning about correct ergonomics and HTML tags. Wait, no, I think HTML tags came in second semester. Right before the launch of Brad's Summer Journal 3. Sure, I learnt things that year, but they were mainly along the lines of 'you don't have to go to lectures to pass subjects'; 'most of the people in this course are morons'; 'don't try and drink a bottle of vodka in one night no matter how cool you think it makes you at the time'; 'this years exam will be intensely similar to the exam two years before it' and 'there is actually a limit to how much you can sleep in one day' (24 hours).

Second year rolled around and it was time to get serious. Serious about cruising through life that is. Although my English, History and Psychology topics had finally been replaced with actual COMP topics nothing seemed to actually dictate that I was required to attend lectures and, with the moral excuse of working nightfill I slept in daily with reckless abandon and at least one day a week I played SNES cricket. The last credit result I ever got was in Semester 1 2004... Ever since then I've got distinctions or above. It was about second semester 2004 that I also started skipping tutes.

Sure, there were the occasional moments of knuckled-down, backs-to-the-wall assignments where Mark, Ryan and I would have to work together against the odds to pull off a project in time. Probably the best example I can think of is the time we stole a clock from the Engineering building because it amused us so much during Communication Skills workshops because its second hand kept slipping. Towards the end of semester the three of us managed to combine 90% of the five topics semesters assignments into the one week exam study break, pass them all and still manage to ace all the exams. It was pretty funny. It’s worth noting that if the three of us had put as much effort into our group assignments as we did manipulating member allocations and dismissals for group assignments we could have been unstoppable.

I got home that year after my third exam in three days (High Distinction, Distinction, High Distinction) and sat in front of my computer trying to work out exactly what it was that I did during summer holidays. I think my main problem is that it just didn't seem all that different to the past 18 months anyway. I had vowed earlier that week that summer 2004/05 would be a productive one and this kicked off well when I played my brother at Solitaire Showdown 14 times in a row. However by the end of summer it could at least be called semi-productive as it concluded with a product - this journal system.

I don't want to risk cheapening my degree, if that’s possible given what I’ve already said, but I’m suspicious that my main employability is sourced from the completely independent learning I’ve undertaken since last summer began. I’m sure that in the future I’ll look at what I’m doing and realise my decisions are grounded by concepts I studied (probably a term that should be used loosely) during university. Then again maybe I won’t, although I’m basing this opinion mainly on the fact that I was unable to assist Alex at all with his year 11 maths questions last week.

I said a year ago today that I thought I was a different person to the one I was a year before that. I think I can safely say the same thing again. But it’s slightly different. This time last year I was relocating the ground floor, since then I’ve started building up. So I’m guessing I kind of think I’m in the right place. Good for me!

Comparing that first day of holidays last year, Solitaire Showdown and a shift at Woolworths, compared to yesterdays helps to highlight this. While last summer I was drifting and my goals with me, this year I am focussed and engaged. I’m excited about this opportunity I have to deliver a web application, not just because of the appealing project and the benefits of working it, but also due to this ultimate opportunity to actually prove to the world and myself that I’m as smart and competent as I make myself out to be in this entry.

Plump

I actually managed to pull off a bad day this weekend. And yet I'm still really good.

I finally formatted my computer for the first time since January 2004. 22 months without a format, man, I feel like a jock. My operating system has new car smell.

My Life's Summery

I just pulled a tiny bug out of my hair, so it must be summer.
It was four years and one week ago that I first posted an entry in the original Brad's Summer Journal. Since then I've successfully documented not all but a large amount of the periods in my life. Pretty good considering I created the first journal on a completely spontaneous urge on a Saturday afternoon.

I've never understood my tendency to want to want to document my mental journey. But it's definitely been an interesting process. The things you write at one point in your life seem so foreign later in life. After you learn from your mistakes you can go back and see where you made them.

This is how I managed to only spend $70 on petrol last calendar month!