February 27, 2004


Friday theme

I have a good physical sense of balance, but a poor sense of life balance I think. I tend to take too many things on, then don't put the time I want to into the things that are important to me. So a major aim in life is to remove the thesis from my life, so that my family and my leisure pursuits get more of a look in.

Balance is an interesting Ccept. When I visualise it I see things sitting still on a small point, like a spinning top balanced on its point. But when I balance things or myself, I know they need to move, to vaccillate. Like a ballet dancer on pointe, stillness is part of the lead up to falling.

Posted by Toni at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2004

Accounting for myself

We had a meeting the other day (as you do) and the vexed issue of timesheets was raised. It appears that although several of us have been here for a year or more, no-one really understands the timesheet system, and what we are meant to code where. So I have voluteered for producing a Csolidated code sheet, which has a colum added explaining what activities get coded where. Everyone is so pleased and excited - I have never taken on a job where there is universal support for the idea. Its a bloody horrible table to try and make up - so many options!, but such a pleasant change to be doing something that everybody is happy about...

Posted by Toni at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2004


Today, I am wearing a purple shirt/top. Unfortunately, the other pregnant woman at work is also wearing purple. We look bloody dumb in matching clothes.
Matching blimps

Posted by Toni at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2004


I was in bed last night at 7 o'clock, well before the three year old of the house, and asleep not long after. I'd already snoozed away the train ride. It's gotta be the baby inside me, but I wonder when the high energy of the third trimester is going to kick in. Soon I hope. I woke a bit later, and had a snack, then woke a bit later again (about 4 am) and had a bigger snack. This is good preparation I think for the night feeds... except at that point it won't be me snacking.

Finally managed to talk to the supervisor yesterday, looks like we are going to be published in the near future. The first chapter is not too strong, so I had a bit of doubt, but it seems we will make the grade. I can't believe they haven't slashed the manuscript - its 11 pages long plus tables and graphs! I thought they'd get it down by half but no; perhaps the journal is just in very small type.

Feel much better today, like I could actually get some work done, better go prove the theory.

Posted by Toni at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2004


Some days I spend about 10 - 15 minutes outside. Sad, but true. It takes about 5 minutes to get from the train station to work, and about 2 minutes between the station and home. I work in an airCditioned building (the air Cditioning is old, but it usually works...) and our house is very weatherproof. So rain and wind are not things that have an IMPACT on me. When I used to cycle everywhere, the weather forecast was the most interesting and important information I got from the radio. Now, I usually don't care a lot.

This past week with the rain and Wind, I've gone back to caring. My quiet little urban life has been interrupted by weather. The trains have been stopped for all of Monday, and stopped again on Saturday night due to high winds. And the power has been off twice as well. Saturday it was off for four hours - gas cooking is such a wonderful thing when the power goes off. And the TV arial fell down - but we don't have a TV, nor did we have power, so that certainly didn't qualify as a crisis.

It's made me realise that my little urban shell is insulated against the weather, and that that isulation can be breached. When the protection goes in urbanlife, the resources are much smaller than I had in the country. No wells, no open fires, no vegetable garden, no animals I'd eat. Insulated, but vulnerable.

Posted by Toni at 06:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2004

Whiffle waffle

Not much of note happening in the day - lots of work, pleasant lunch with friend, happy hubby and kid, a useful focussed meeting (quite rare that).

Weather has gone to crap again, certainly a sucky so-called summer.

Reading Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. About a bunch of recruits to a dumb war who are all women, and impersonate men to get in the army. kind of funny, but not as good as some Discworld novels. Mind you, they often get particuarly funny at the end, rather than through the middle. Here's hoping...

Posted by Toni at 02:39 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2004


It has finally, if only temporarily, stopped raining. But is due to start again this afternoon. That was a lot of water. Yesterday was pretty quiet - only 30mm's in our area. We can now categorically state that our house is rain-proof. And that there is no such thing as flood proof, and that we are not terribly susceptible.

R was on camp duty last night. We seem to be getting better at organising this. R takes the kid into camp and feeds him there, and brings him home all happy and fed. The kid then pokes round the house till bedtime, which is automatically changed to allow him to sleep in the big bed with Mum. Everybody seems happy with this arrangement.

Took advantage of a gap in the rain to go for a walk with the dog. She is in disgrace at present for using the indoors as a toilet and is therefore spending a bit more time outside, whether she wants to or not. Quite honestly, we wouldn't mind being dogless now. With the kid (and soon to be kids) the dog is just one too many things that needs to be looked after. When Sally goes, we plan to be a cat house, with No Dogs. It was good to get out of the indoors for more than five minutes, and not need to wear wet weather gear.

Posted by Toni at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2004


Last night I was going over reviews of a paper we would like to publish in a NZ journal. Two of the reviews are fairly positive, and one is quite negative. So I was going through all of the revisions they recommended, and agreeing or not, and making notes. When I got to the negative one, they have referred to a paper I quoted, and talked about their 'Ctrolled mixed pollinations' and their results, and say I have misquoted them. So I got the paper out to check, and it turns out in this particular paper there are no pollinations performed at all. It was a study on seeds collected from the wild. So it is not me that is incorrect - it is the reviewer. This might be really good - if they can't quote papers correctly, it brings into question some of their other points, and questions their credibility. Which will make getting this published in its present form in this Journal easier. I felt positively smug and vindicated.

And seCdly, the new boss has just granted me paid time to work on the thesis - an afternoon off a week until I start taking reduced hours for parental leave. Thats fabulous, because it means I will be at home alone getting something done, and won't feel like I am ruining R's day by making him take the kid out so I can do some writing, which is sometimes how I feel in the weekend. So it will be writing without guilt...

Posted by Toni at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004


I find it amazing how Don Brash, who I thought of as fairly faceless and unassuming, and kindof boring in a bankery way, is now leaping into the Winston Peters populist politician role. Perhaps he should have joined Act, him and Murial Newman seem to have some shared views... and Act could sure do with some public profile!

Posted by Toni at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2004


Previously I have posted about problems I have with the middle management at work - I have gently checked whether others have the same problem. Two felt the useless one has a valuable role. I gave up the gentle testing at that point, thinking it must be me.

This week the other senior person spoke to me about having exactly the same problem. Everything that will require work is too hard for the useless one (UO), and 'we should get a Csultant in'. Its the self same problem I have, and also that tiny problems in processing seem enormous when described by the UO.

It also came to my attention that the most highly qualified, and most competent technical advisor, who hasn't worked with the UO before is finding out the same thing. And is simply sidelining the problem and getting on with the job.

It is so good to know I am not hallucinating.

No sign yet of what will happen to her, and whether her position will be retained - by the time she spends in the new bosses office, it looks like it. But if we can keep sidelining her, and getting the job done efficiently and well, with just the occaisional meeting to put up with, it shouldn't be too bad.

Posted by Toni at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2004

Wedding snippets

Went to a wedding in the weekend organised mostly by people who are blind. The bride's costume was more about the beads than the colour. And decorating the venue didn't rate too highly... but the music was good, and the words well chosen.

It was held in this absolutely amazing old house in Masterton. It was Massive. There were 4 three seater couches in the lounge, plus other furniture, and the furniture looked lost. There was a tree house out the back the same size as a large garden shed which had electricity. And the whole thing is owned by a single blind lady. Said to hubby we couldn't buy the place - even if we could afford the property, how would we furnish it???

We noticed too that the disability subculture is alive and kicking. Everyone we met was either disabled, married to someone disabled, or working with the disabled. There were five guide dogs there, at $23,000 a pop, those are flash accessories.

There was quite a bit of singing at the speeches - I wonder if it is easier of harder getting up and singing if you can't see who is looking at you?

Posted by Toni at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2004

Animal piece of me

Part of the Friday Theme (even if it is late)

Pain holds me caged in fingers, nestled in a palm. Humanity is fading; words, ideas, thoughts all lost, gone beyond agony. Pain clenches me, I grunt, groan, writhe, and my bones move. I am losing my Cnections, travelling solo. The people round me fade, I sink into Ctractions. Pain and I are alone. Civilisation retreats, and the baby comes.

Posted by Toni at 06:36 PM | Comments (0)