Things I Have Done Today

  1. Had a briefing meeting about installing PC’s over a coffee at 7.30am.
  2. Met with a supplier’s new manager.
  3. Explained the difference between staff and public computers.
  4. Took someone on a tour through the library site and shown them all of the technology I am responsible for making happen.
  5. Explaining why we have things like Foxtel (Pay TV), X-Boxes and HD-TV in libraries.
  6. Tried to get a new computer build created STAT.
  7. Explained why it is important for the new library to be created as a “site” in our computer system.
  8. Measured joinery ready for a cabinet to be installed.
  9. Demonstrated where cabling for Foxtel is installed through the ceiling.
  10. Tried to find out how wall decals are installed and how long it will take for them to be dry/ready so I can work around them.
  11. Learnt how a PA system works, and what kind of cabling it requires if it has to be cabled more than 15 metres.
  12. Decided where the PA system point will be.
  13. Learnt how a video intercom works.
  14. Explained to someone how a hearing loop works, and what the current Queensland law for hearing loops in public buildings entails.
  15. Learnt how to shut down COMMS boards and why I would need to do so.
  16. Decided on where Foxtel decoder boxes should be mounted.
  17. Designed an ergonomics system for an entire library.
  18. Learned what Corian is, and how you need to cut it or drill holes in it.
  19. Measured desks to sink holes for cables and bolts to go into them.
  20. Finally got to go to the ladies room and grab a drink of water.
  21. Logged on a brand new PC ready to add software and configure it.
  22. Walked away from PC to demonstrate how a desk will be set up ergonomically.
  23. Met with a Self Checkout machine supplier to show him where the new machines will go, and explained how they fit in with other furniture.
  24. Showed an electrician where power and data points were to go and explained the difference between public and staff data points.
  25. Inspected a credenza and how it fits against a wall and where it’s cabling goes.
  26. Showed someone an AV rack, explained each component in it, how it was cabled and what the man sitting in the corner near it with a laptop was doing.
  27. Demonstrated the trompe l’oeil effect of mounting projector screens with different ceiling heights.
  28. Sat down at that brand new PC again, partially installed one piece of software.
  29. Had to run and find the joinery fitter and work out when I can get joinery cut.
  30. Showed two staff how to use the payroll system.
  31. Tried to finish installing that software.
  32. Answered a phone call about ergonomics.
  33. Discussed lighting levels and acoustics.
  34. Was shown a very expensive piece of equipment and now I’ve forgotten what it does.
  35. Managed a complaint about builders leaving half eaten food (noodles) in the middle of sites for 3 days.
  36. Finally got that software installed.
  37. Called three people getting information for an electrician.
  38. Tried to start configuring the PC again.
  39. Ran downstairs to bring someone into the building site.
  40. FINALLY finished that first PC, rebooted it and logged it in ready for the staff to use!
  41. Decided it was time for a break.  Ducked downstairs to a cafe and hid in a corner for 10 minutes with a coffee and some pecan pie, just trying to get my brain back into order.
  42. Answered my phone twice.
  43. Ran back upstairs because someone was looking for me about something in the office next door to the library.
  44. Logged on a second PC to install software and configure it.
  45. Was asked for a DVD to test some equipment.  Thankfully I just HAPPENED to have one in my backpack.
  46. Hung around to watch the equipment being tested, because I’ve worked so hard to get it happening and it’s so lovely I wanted to see.
  47. The first words that came across from the DVD player from a Frasier DVD were “Is this thing on?”  Weird!
  48. Was informed a desk was the wrong design.
  49. Told informer to go away and let me think about it.
  50. Answered my phone again.  Told caller to email me whatever they needed and I’d make it happen… somehow.
  51. Went through a delivery docket with hundreds of pieces of equipment on it and worked out if every piece was there.
  52. Went and looked at desk.  It doesn’t fit.
  53. Freaked out a bit.
  54. Tried to get more software and config done on that second PC.
  55. Decided it would be a good idea to photograph everything I’m doing to document it.
  56. Ran around photographing everything.
  57. Called the boss about the stupid desk.
  58. Solved a problem with networked drives.
  59. Talked to the head builder about all the things we’re trying to get done in the next week.
  60. Tried to find the joinery dudes again.
  61. Sent my two IT techs away for the day, they’d done all they could.
  62. Decided to experiment with the desk.  Asked for volunteers, took photos of the desk with two lady librarians sitting at it.
  63. Went back to that second PC and finally got it finished.
  64. Realised that I needed to measure burly blokes on that desk.
  65. Rounded up the two tallest, broadest shouldered blokes on site and made them model for demonstrative photographs at the desk.
  66. Laughed.  A lot.
  67. Realised I was still carrying a large bolt in my pocket.
  68. Decided at 1.45pm that I was STARVING and needed some space.
  69. Went and got lunch, and was sitting in a corner sending text message photos of the desk with aforementioned burly blokes modelling to the boss when a colleague and an IT manager plonked themselves down with me.
  70. Lunch became a meeting.
  71. Went back to the site.  Gave up on trying to install software and configure PC’s.
  72. Had another run through of the AV.  The AMX programming is coming along nicely, and now the lovely motorised screens go up and down, projectors running, DVD players in, two out of three touch panels installed and looking amazing.
  73. Head builder told us they were turning the power off on us in 5 minutes.
  74. Updated the library TL on progress.
  75. Discussed further requirements with IT manager.
  76. Came home.
  77. Spent 2 hours on emails dealing with “normal” work.
  78. Realised I have to do something similar all day tomorrow.


Why the hell am I doing all of the above?

Because I love it.  I love technology.  I love working with builders and techies and tradies.  Because I run around a building site in lipstick and hot pink pigtails with all of these burly blokes and laugh and have fun despite the frustration and stress, and enjoy the ever changing task list and environment.  Because I believe in what I do, and I do it for the people of my city/community.

And because I’m bloody good at it!

PS. Operation Baldy is up to $467!!  Almost to the halfway point.  For an update, click here.


December 2, 2010. about me, AV, blokes, computers, humour, IT, laughs, librarians, libraries, organisation, responsibility, technology. 2 comments.

Ten Years Gone By

Yes, we’re a mere few days away from 2010.  I know, a lot of people will argue whether a decade ends at the 09 or the 10.  But I like 2010, it’s a nice round figure so that’s when MY decade  is going to end.

I’ve seen a few posts going around looking back across the past decade, but I thought I’d do something looking back across the past decade for me personally.  So much has happened in this past ten years, I think it’s important to reflect upon it, and also in how I’ve changed in that decade.

The year 2000 saw me enter my late 20’s.  It also saw me hit my first year of working as a librarian.  I just celebrated a decade with BCCLS back in June, so this decade has had that touchstone all the way through.  When I started I was  hired as a casual library assistant out in the south region libraries, but almost automatically started doing temp gigs at various libraries while permanent staff were on holidays.  In 2000 I started working a temp contract in the branch support team, and in 2001 was hired as a permanent, full time team member of the Library Systems team.  When I first started it was all data entry, admin and gopher work.  I was promoted in September 2008.  Nowdays I pretty much focus on digital media, with work around AV gear, asset management and social media.

One of the biggest things in my life in the past decade has been my health, both physically and emotionally.  In February 2005 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) after 20 years of begging doctors to find out what was wrong with me.  Within 12 months of that diagnosis, I was also diagnosed with clinical depression.  Both diagnoses have been major influences to changes with my life.  I got help for both conditions and the improvement in my quality of life is massive.

In 2003, I lost my wonderful friend and colleague Rob to cancer.  I had never had someone close to me die before, and it was a huge lesson to learn.  I still miss him to this day.  He was a beautiful person and had a huge heart.  I wish he could have stayed here with us for longer than the 49 years that he did.

In November 2003 I took my first interstate holiday, with my first flights.  I went to Melbourne for a fortnight and had a fantastic time.  In 2005 I went to Western Australia for a fortnight and fell in love with the western state.

I’ve had some lovely visitors here too – from other states, the US, Germany and the UK over the years, which has been wonderful.

I started blogging in September 2006, in preparation for my first overseas trip.  That’s what this blog started out as (go read my archives to see my trip posts) and it created a bit of a monster.  I’m a blogging fiend now!

And yes, I took my first trip overseas.  3 months (well, 77 days) in the US, with a jaunt up to Canada to see my lovely friend Ian.  It was AWESOME.  I met a lot of my online friends in reality for the first time, and found some absolute kindred spirits.  So much that I cannot wait to go back over there to see them again.

I had a some relationships that didn’t work out, but in hindsight, I’m bloody glad they didn’t!

Last year I finally got my act together and got two more tattoos.  I plan to get many more in the future.

Over all though, the biggest changes have been in how I feel about myself.  I went from being highly depressed and borderline agoraphobic (other than work and home, I refused to go anywhere for years) with a rock bottom self esteem and no confidence at all, to someone who is comfortable in her own skin, happy and confident, and feeling positively adventurous.  I no longer hide myself away, I shed all the toxic people in my life and live life with positivity and gusto.  It’s true that your 30’s are WAY better than your 20’s.  All that anxiety about what other people think, or whether or not I’m doing the right thing has gone.  It’s a wonderfully liberating feeling.

So, what has seen you through the last decade?  What achievements, changes and experiences really stand out for you?  Share in the comments, won’t you?

December 28, 2009. about me, achievements, depression, experiences, lessons, memories, struggles, thoughts, travel. 1 comment.

In The Closet

I’ve just read this lovely post from The Catatonic Kid – Keeping Faith in the Cookie Jar.

It is quite relevant for me at the moment because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my faith and what it means to me.  A few days ago there were a real rash of status updates on facebook denouncing faith, implying that people who have faith are “denying science” or haven’t made conscious, well thought decisions about their faith.  It really got on my nerve, because these things are completely erroneous when it comes to my faith.  I left a pretty irate status update myself, and it sparked some debate which unfortunately left me feeling even more bereft about being a person of faith in 2009.

A little background.  At about 16, when I was finding my own spiritual identity, I decided that I was an atheist.  I decided that I didn’t believe in God, that I couldn’t have any spiritual faith.  I had thought about it a lot, and that’s how I felt.  I identified as an atheist for about 10 years, despite having worked for Baptist youth groups during that time (whom I must say, adopted me as one of their own despite my opposing spiritual beliefs).

In my late 20’s, I had some kind of shift.  I don’t remember exactly when or how it happened, I went through a massive depression through my 20’s and did a lot of soul searching from about 26/27 onwards trying to get myself emotionally “right”.  Somewhere around my 30th birthday, I began to realise that I no longer felt that there was no God.  And somewhere over those years of my early 30’s, I discovered and formed my faith, which I identify at the moment as “non-denominational Christian”.  Should I find a denomination that works for me, I will tweak that description.

So let’s get a few things straight here.  I do not feel the need to proselytise – in fact I personally don’t believe in it.  As I used to say to the Jehovah’s Witnesses that came to my door “Would you change your religion?  No?  Then why expect me to change mine?”  I also don’t feel the need to have anyone else believe what I do, though it is nice to find a community that does.  Nor do I need to prove my faith to others.

What I do expect, nay, demand is that I be allowed to follow my faith without ridicule, discrimination or judgement.  The same respect I offer to all others, I expect for myself.  I do expect to be able to use Facebook or Twitter, or read a newspaper or magazine, without seeing people ripping into those who have a different belief system to theirs and implying that those with faith (whatever that faith) are stupid, ill informed, bigoted, narrow-minded or in denial.

Yes, I am quite aware that Christianity has it’s demons from the past, and those today that use it to further their own sick intentions.  Those that twist the faith to their own purpose.  Look at this piece that supposedly came from the Reverend Fred Nile (as you will see by my comments underneath, it makes me sick).  I am aware of this, and saddened by it.  But the truth is, this sort of thing is not confined only to Christianity, every faith has it’s crazies that twist the word of their religion, that use their religion to further hatred.  And hey, let’s not forget that Stalin was an atheist.  Nobody’s belief system gets off scott free.  Well, maybe the Buddhists.

But the nutjobs and mistakes of the past do not speak for all of us.  Nor do they speak for our gods, for those of us who have faith.  I believe people are generally good in the majority, it’s just the unfortunately highly vocal minority that give every group a bad name.  And I don’t wish to be tarred with the same brush as the likes of Fred Nile, just as I’m sure the average Muslim does not wish to be seen as holding the same attitudes and hatred as say, Osama Bin Laden, and atheists as Stalin, as a few examples.

I don’t want to feel that I have to keep my faith in the closet.  I don’t want to have to hide who I am for fear of ridicule, discrimination or negative judgement.  I am finding it easy to be fat and proud, but feel uncomfortable with being Christian and proud, simply because of other people’s attitudes.  That is just wrong.  As I said, I don’t need to proselytise or preach, just to BE.  My faith is as much part of me as my intelligence, sense of humour, brown eyes, fat body and short temper.  I don’t want to be shamed because of my faith.  I would never treat anyone else like that.  I don’t even make judgement of people of faiths that I feel uncomfortable about, such as Scientology and Mormonism, unless I have got to know them, then I judge them on their behaviour or attitudes.

What I want is to be able to say “Thank God!” without some smart-arse comment.  To mention in relevant conversation that I would like to find a suitable church, without having to cautiously test the waters for the faith-friendly, at the risk of ridicule and judgement.

I don’t know how to make people think about the assumptions they make.  I wish I did, because if everyone took a moment or two to think before they made assumptions and judgements about others with different beliefs to themselves, we might not have so much aggro and angst around religion.

People like me who just wish to go peacefully without shame might actually be able to do so.

November 29, 2009. about me, atheism, discrimination, diversity, faith, generalisations, hatred, religion, respect. 6 comments.

Sometimes I…

Over on a blog I read faithfully, Sleepy Jane, she has had this fabulous “Sometimes I” post, and I thought it was such a good idea that I would have a go at it myself.

So, sometimes I…
… just want to lay on the sofa and watch every single Mythbusters episode that I own, and enjoy the destruction.
… think I would like to permanently move to the US, but then I realise how bad health care is over there, and realise I’m better off  here.
… get really sick of people calling me up at work and telling me that “the system” has screwed something up, when I can see very clearly that a human did it.
… like to read the letters to the editor in MX, the free paper you get in the afternoon.  They’re so stupid and petty, they make me feel like Einstein.
… wonder why people are intimidated by other people.  Everybody poops you know.
… wish that I could afford a chauffeur and town car.
… have absolutely no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.
… would love to just stay home and faff about on the internet for a living!
Now your turn.  Sometimes I…

April 29, 2009. about me, Meme, Sleepy Jane, Sometimes. Leave a comment.

Interviewed Again!

My online friend Robin of the blog The Kaleidoscope Kitchen, has sent me some interview questions to blog up.  These are wonderful questions and it’s a real challenge to answer them, but a good challenge!  So let’s see.

1. There are so many great things about you, Kath, that I can see from half way around the world, and that is why you are my only (exclusively) online friend. 🙂  What is your favorite quality about yourself, and how do you or could you use it for good in the world? 🙂

I’m really touched that Robin feels this way.  We’ve never met in real life, but I hope we do sometime in the future.  Now, in answer to her question, my favourite quality about myself would be my big open heart.  If you’ve seen my earlier post from back when I got tattooed again last July, I had a tattoo done of a heart balloon on my inside right forearm.  The significance of this is that I wear my heart on my sleeve, that my feelings for the people I care about are out there for the world to see.  I fall in love so easily, not just man-woman love, but in love with my friends, with pets, music, characters from books and movies and television.  I used to hide that about myself, but now I have learned to love it.

2. What is your strongest held belief?

Hmmm… that everyone in this world has a responsibility to respect.  Respect themselves and to respect others.  That doesn’t mean that you have to kowtow to people, but to treat them as you expect to be treated yourself.  It’s the old “golden rule” for me.  Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

3. What is your greatest dream, and what are you doing to achieve it, or what is holding you back?

My greatest dream is to have a family.  I’m not sure it’s something that you can just go out and achieve, set yourself goals for.  I think it’s something that is meant to come to you, and it just hasn’t come to me yet.

4. I personally love cozy comfort, and am comforted by Christmas, books, blankets, baking…. What is the most comforting thing in the world, to you?

I’m a texture junkie.  So it’s things with texture that bring me comfort.  My pillow, the softness of my cotton doona cover, worn to slight fuzz.  Oh and hugs from my big Canadian brother.

5. I know you love books, as do I. 🙂  What is your favorite book, and what book has made the most difference in your life?  And how do you think you ever became so enamored of books?  And what in books speaks to you, and is so worthy? 🙂

My favourite book is Cloudstreet by Tim Winton.  Every word is pure beauty, and when I have the Pickles and the Lambs I could never be lonely.  They feel like old friends, like family.  There is a scene when Quick and Rose first realise how they feel for each other that breaks my heart yet fills me with joy.  I always read Cloudstreet like I am savouring something really delicious, like a ripe mango or fine chocolates, or a really amazing cup of coffee.

Books always held a safe place for me.  I can’t ever remember not being able to read, and I can remember further back in my life than most people.  I remember the feeling of safety and escape and hope that books gave me when I was a kid and things were tough.  When I was afraid, or lonely, or feeling that I would never get to a place that was better than where I was, books always offered me a road out of those feelings.

For me, it is all about character in books.  If I can’t fall in love with at least one character in a book, I won’t be able to read it.  I embrace characters in books like they are old friends (even with non-fiction!) and hear their lives like they are telling me their stories themselves.  Setting comes next, I love to be transported into a book, but really it’s character.

March 11, 2009. about me, interview, questions, Robin, The Kaleidoscope Kitchen. Leave a comment.

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