Hi All!

It’s been awefully quiet on all blog fronts for a while. I don’t know how it happens but I am sure you’ll know what I am talking about. It shouldn’t be that hard to drop a post every now and again and a bit more regularly but somehow I do not seem to have enough time to do things. That does not mean I am sitting back and taking the Ozzie laid back life-style a bit too literally 🙂

So what have I been up to? Quite a bit actually… First of all I am enjoying my now full time web developer role in one of the better Aussie SEO companies. It offers tremendous opportunities as we are working from home. That means in general that I am actually doing more hours than my contract says – and also that I ‘bring my work home’ all the time. But if you do what you love to do that is not really a burden .. is it? It also means that on a less effective day I am able to shift my work hours and a break for a coffee and some contemplating is not frowned upon. As long as the work gets done that is 😀

It also means that I spent a serious amount of time behind the PC. That has been the case for many years.. but at some point in time I simply did not enjoy doing stuff  ‘after hours’. And that impacts my other interests, such as the Inkscape tutorials that I write for verysimpledesigns.com. Also graphics work in general was getting less attention. If you read this blog before then you’ll know that I was doing some 3D modeling work in Blender. Well the user interface got a make over and I am sorta learning to work with this program again. 3D is awesome, but has a steep learning curve. I am glad I do not need to start at the absolute bottom.

Also a friend of mine decided to get married. In Kauai of all places – it must be one of the most beautiful places of this planet. He asked me if I would design and build the website for their wedding and how could I say no? It would be the perfect wedding pressie too! I started with some simple ideas and we mailed a bit back and forth and before I knew I was also asked to design their wedding invitation. The theme? Aqua and Ivory with a hint of Red – tropical colours in a tropical setting. I was not sure about how ‘formal’ this was all supposed to be but when we talked about it and viewed some examples we decided to go with white orchids with red ribbons against a blue aqua background for the website, and with blue outlines for the invitation. It was a lot of work after hours and it took the larger part of 2 weekends but it was worth it. The bride and groom love the designs and the feedback of the guests is positive sofar. Mission accomplished I’d say.

Burst of energy

Sometimes I open this window and close it, as I have no idea what to write about. It must be like that for a lot of personal blogs, especially if a week has been without disturbances. I am waiting for a few things to happen:

  • Positive replies to the jobs I applied for;
  • The new release for InkScape;
  • Inspiration;
  • Motivation.

Of course the last two are a bit in a jest, but it is really hard to get started. Every morning I do the same few things, read my e-mail, read and browse the forums I frequent, check for jobs that might be to my liking, and the everyday stuff we all do. It is alright to do that I guess, but sometimes I feel bored. It took a year or so, but now I am allowed to work and I really want to work again. So I find it hard to do other stuff at the moment. But today I seem to have found a new bubble of energy.

Accidental Gardener

The weather here is AWESOME, we just escaped winter but we have already 30 degC sunny afternoons and I picked up a bit of gardening too. We have a nice veggie patch (about 25 sqm) and we try to grow our own produce as organically as possible. Now I am not a natural greenthumb, I am more an accidental gardener. We do have a great compost heap tho, and it does a better job in sprouting seeds than our carefully prepared seedtrays :D. Looks like this year we grow our own tomatoes, peas, beetroot, lettuce, radice, spinach, chillies, capsicum, cabbage and so on. It is all doing quite well, tho some other creatures seem to feast on our potential dinners too. We had a real snail pest and some cabbage whites seem to visit our cabages and some caterpillars had to be removed.

We learn quickly about all stuff that we are growing and the internet provides a great source of information and help. Today I discussed the option of setting up another website where we can show the progress our garden makes, and how we solve some common problems. A bit like a garden diary, with do’s and dont’s we picked up along the way. There are many sites like that around but I figured it would be totally cool to have our own. So I have started on a design and I will post some previews soon.

Upside down

This morning I browsed to my domain and I saw that my last post was dated the end of June. Time flies… especially when you are having fun.

Biggest news is that my visa came through and I am finally allowed to stay in Oz indefinitely. That means that starting now I am able to hunt for jobs and to join the rat race again. I had to go overseas to get the grant and decided to go to my home country and travel around Europe.

From my perspective Europe has always been a large continent, with most countries larger than the one I lived in. It is great fun to travel with an Ozzie and see astonishment as it is so easy to cross borders by train. We travelled through the Netherlands, crossed Belgium and France to get to Spain, visited the French Riviera and continued to Italy, Switzerland and Germany, to end up back in the Netherlands and to return to Oz from there. It felt a bit like ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation’, too many stops crammed into too few a days, but somehow I survived. So how great was it? We had the best of fun as long as we stayed away from the tourist traps. We deliberately did not visit some of the great landmarks, as entry fees and waiting queues were not tipping the balance in favour of a visit. We also stayed away from the food locations at the main drags. We ventured out through some locations ‘off the beaten track’ and kept our eyes open for establishments that were mainly occupied by locals. Good quality food for decent prices, ordered by sometimes picking dishes blindly from a menu and sometimes explained to us by using sign language and always served with a smile.

Cities we visited:

  • Amsterdam
  • Leiden
  • San Sebastian
  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Nice
  • Genova
  • Pisa
  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Zurich
  • Koeln
  • Utrecht

Beautiful cities with beautiful arts and architecture. Inspiration a plenty.

New week, new chances, new updates?

And another weekend is over.. time flies… really!

Blender 2.49

Blender 2.49 Release image (artist: weilynnCG)
Blender 2.49 Release image (artist: weilynnCG)

About 2 weeks ago version 2.49 of Blender was released. And practice makes perfect, as there were some imperfections in the release, an update was promised in 1-2 weeks. I have been checking Blender.org daily, but so far no update in sight. Now I am sorta stuck in a dilemma… as everything really itches to do some further 3D work… so do I continue in 2.48 or will I update to 2.49 and do the same thing again probably tomorrow… *sigh*…

WordPress 2.8

Same goes for WordPress… I update normally within a week of a new release, first I wait to see if there are emergency reports of people finding their site no longer works and there is obviously something wrong with the release. If that does not happen, I make a copy of the site, install the new version and check if I see quirks on my setup. And then I install the real thing. That normally works out fine, but I am still waiting for that one day that I just cannot make things work again.

That is why I do not like updates. My site runs fine. I don’t use much fancy features, not sure if I need them. I do not seem to miss them now. Why would I want them? Mmhm.. maybe I am onto something there…


Of course I am acting a bit silly. As a developer I am fully aware of software features that were originally planned but did not make a freeze date for a release, and security related items need to be fixed as soon as identified. And I love to have new shiny features for free. But what about software that is not available for free? Or updates that are not offered for free? What motives are there to update or upgrade?

I am still a happy user of older versions of software, I do not run Vista (and as a matter of fact, I guess I will skip that OS totally), one of my PC’s was assembled in 2001 and I only increased storage space on it. How much more features can you add to a wordprocessing application that the average user will not ever need? And why would one change the locations of all menus so no currently experienced user feels comfortable with it? Somehow I feel I have to keep up with all the changes as I make a living as ‘ICT professional’, and somewhere in the back of my mind is an image of the ‘IT dinosaur’ at a former company, professional in the time when computers took up a ballroom, and you had to send your ‘input’ through a ‘terminal’ to a ‘calculation centre’ overseas. That expert became obsolete when the PC reached the desktop. I feel I have to keep up as it would be horrible to be obsolete so soon.


It seems that changing software / hardware / personal electronics as often as you change underwear has become fashionable. And maybe that is just it. We live in a consumer age. We are pushed to buy and consume and keep our economy going. I decided long time ago that I do not understand ‘fashion’ (but hey.. I am a geek.. a girl geek.. but still a geek). So I wear last years colors, and those of the year before that, and before that.. and gosh.. 10 years back even. I do not care if it is ‘hip’, ‘trendy’ or whatever fashionable word is used nowadays. I am not a consumer, I do not spend heaps of money on trendy things. When I finally got a mobile phone (my boss said I needed one) it was already 2001. It did exactly what I expected it to do, I could receive and make calls, had voicemail and texting. It died on me about 8 months ago. It was replaced by a handed down phone which belonged to my brother earlier. It still does all the things I require from a phone and has an mp3 player and 2 megapixels camera as added bonus. I have no idea why my brother replaced it, it seems to be working fine and I bet it will last me a few years.


I must say I really do not understand where we are heading to. We buy and replace stuff faster than ever. We throw out perfectly good stuff, and pour hard earned money into shiny gadgets, sometimes only because the gadget the neighbour has is shinier than ours. I hate spending time and money on buying stuff I do not really need. Just as much as I hate wasting time on installing stuff I do not really need. But how to determine what is needed and what if I miss out on something really neat? Bleh.. reading release notes I guess… Oh and have a look at storyofstuff.com

Back on-line

WOW.. been a bit hectic lately! And I suppose that follows directly from the limited number of posts sofar *grins*

I have packed all my stuff and relocated to the other side of the world. Getting there was not so hard, getting ready to go there was. And in all dust whirls caused by packing I forgot all access information for this blog … Luckily I know databases *grins* so that was fixed easily.

From now on I will have plenty time to start all my projects that have been in wait state forever. So keep your eyes open for fresh updates. Probably one of the first ones to come is the move to Umbraco.. they are in beta for version 4, and oh man, it has new features that should make any .Net developer drool.. uhm.. make that ANY developer. More on that soon!

For now .. I just have to add that I got here in Oz allright, and no .. it does not feel like I am walking upside down.. tho I must say that their winter to spring type weather looks much like the summer to fall type I left before. I am truly looking forward to some real summer… Life is going to be good!