Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'm a little annoyed at myself for lack of blogging recently. This is particularly the case as I see mainstream media commenting on people's online presence more and more. I almost feel like I'm missing out on something. Yes, I know that's a ridiculous concern, but I'm allowed to worry about anything I want to. :-)

Other than the restrictions imposed on me by my recently expanded family, my main problem with blogging recently has been lack of material. I don't mean that I have nothing to say. Instead, I'm limited by what is appropriate to put into a public forum. It was much easier when I worked on Open Source software all the time.

For instance, this last week has had me reviewing software produced by a group of academics at another company. My review is for my employer, so I obviously can't publish it (otherwise, why would he be paying me?). Also, any review will naturally say both good and bad things. The good may be OK, but saying something bad in public is obviously inappropriate. After all, these guys are out to impress customers and make money too.

So I'm left having to write about what I do out of hours. That's all well and good, but having a young family reduces the time for that.

I could always write a few opinion pieces. Australian federal politics has had me feeling frustrated for some time now, and I definitely have things to say on the topic. But that's not what this particular blog is about. I could always start a parallel blog, but then, who would really want to know what I think about Brendan Nelson and higher education in Australia? It would be cathartic for me, but not so much that I think it's really worthwhile.

All the same, I might consider a second blog to contain random musings (like this one). Maybe one evening when I'm not feeling like going to bed, and I have something I feel I want to say. I could be a mix of my daily life, frustrations, and comments on the oft explored experience of fatherhood. I'm not sure it will be good reading, but I may have fun coming back to it in a few years to see just how naive I really was back in 2005. :-)

Meanwhile, I'm back to grammar parsing, using Link. I was a little chuffed to get the JNI all working, particularly when I was able to rewrite some of the test code in Java and have it all run correctly. I still need to test that it runs fine on Linux, but I don't have any real concerns there. Making it run on Windows will be another story.

Ideally, I'll be able to use MingW as the compiler, as it should help keep the codebase and build process consistent. I just hope I won't have to jump through too many hoops to generate a DLL file.

I could always ask someone at work if we have an MS commercial compiler, but we may not. I have my own, but I'm notlicensedd to use it for work. It amazes me that people are concerned about the restrictions of Open Source licensing, when commercial licensing can be far worse.

I'm a little obsessed with the weather at the moment. I enjoy our sub-tropical climate here, and it's going to be a rude shock to land in Chicago in the middle of Winter. As a result, I'm enjoying every minute here that I can. I'm also comparing the weather between the two cities on a day-by-day basis. The huge difference fascinates me, but the guys at work are probably annoyed with me by now.

According to, Chicago is currently well below zero Celsius), and will be staying that way all week. The town I grew up in (Chinchilla) often goes below zero during Winter, but that only happens overnight. Chinchilla also hasn't had snow since the early 1900's (1915 rings a bell for some reason).
Brisbane has been my home for the last 17 years, and it has never been below freezing (at least, not in recorded history). So I really haven't experienced anything like Chicago before. Can you blame me for paying attention to the differences?

In the meantime, Brisbane is just starting on its first heat wave for the Summer. Fortunately, it's not supposed to get as high as 40C (104F) over the coming week, but it won't be far off. The prediction is 37C (99F). Not too bad, but unpleasant all the same. Overnight minimums are over 20C (68F), so Luc isn't sleeping too well. This is a far cry from Chicago, where the highest maximum for the coming week is -4C (24F).

This will certainly add some excitement to the move!

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