Birds fly south for the winter (apparently). I get to fly north. Joss Whedon and the supernatural. Tonight I took a segue and met with the uber-geeks behind Symphony.
Wow, I’m just letting the months roll by me without even bothering to notice at the moment. I can’t think where May might have gone. It was there last time I looked, but it came and went so quickly this time around—blown quickly to ground just like the leaves of Autumn.
It’s bizarre how I thought my memory of the last seasonal cycle was rock solid; I’ve been expecting to see the first white peaks on the Brindabella’s for the last month now, however when they did eventually gain a dusting a few weeks ago, I realised it wasn’t actually until July last year that the snow line descended low enough for the nearby ranges to change to white.
On Saturday, I had lunch with my friend Danielle, who on Monday, flew out of the country to take up a two-year assignment at the OECD in Paris. Some people get all the luck. She arrived 20 minutes late but with an excuse I could easily relate to—her mother had lost track of time and failed to make the rendezvous they’d organised prior to Danielle meeting me for lunch. I was glad I’d hung around longer than I normally would have, and we took in one of the Canberra institutions—Cafe Essen—and said our farewells. The wind was blowing the kind of cold that lets you know there is snow on them there hills, and our parting words were —Enjoy the winter, where you are—.
On Monday morning I hopped on an early morning flight up to Brisbane, and in fact I’m here for the full week, and the next two weeks beyond it, as part of the final stages (I think/hope) for the UI stage of the ATO Change Program. If things go well, I may even pass the Winter solstice here, though granted, the colder part of the year is not until July at least.
I’ve been a little bemused by Queenslanders in the past, pressing their noses against the glass last year as snow fell in Canberra, and now I see them all walking around in jumpers and jackets—rugged up against the cold—whilst I’m breaking a mild sweat walking around in a shirt. It’s beyond me how they can feel cold when the temperature is still in double digits, but then, they might find it amusing if I’m there in the Summer and complain about the heat when it’s thirty-five and ninety percent humidity.
Anyway, my presence in Brisbane couldn’t go by without the opportunity to meet up with the guys behind Symphony, so this evening, I spent my evening geeking it up with Allen, Alistair and Scott. A few emails and telephone calls with Allen aside, I’d never really had a conversation to speak of with any of these guys. Our contact with each other had been purely electronic, and spartan at best. That changed recently when I joined a collective of designers and developers brought together by Allen, with a view to us landing some bigger jobs between us that would enable Symphony to potentially fly higher than the SME market.
I guessed it would be a geek themed evening when the first topic of conversation en route to the pizza bar was eating habits, or the lack thereof (though in hindsight I see the first clue was that we were four adult males going to a pizza bar); and true to expectations, as a few beers and pizza slices disappeared, we discussed the new MacBooks (one of which I’ve just ordered), obscure film and television like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Carnivalé, and all things Joss Whedon.
I came to the realisation I had close to a decade on these guys, and it got me wondering about the meandering path I’ve taken over the years. I started out wanting to be a writer—well actually if I go back to high school it was a world famous heavy metal guitarist (I even had the requisite mullet for a while); and before that, a train driver on weekends and a football player on weekdays—but if I go back to the age these guys are, I was gunning to be a writer. At one stage I got worried about finishing a novel I was working on, because at the time the maximum age for the Vogel Award was 30.
They’ve extended that age to 35 now, and I still don’t see myself getting my first entry in. My key problem, you see, is not being able to stay focused on any one thing for long enough to see it through to completion. Working with code, producing interactive projects—these are some of the few things that hold my attention long enough to be finished, and so it’s got me wondering if perhaps all those other things I’ve dabbled with, were merely leading me here.