Thursday, March 23, 2006

Interview pending

So, I heard back about the data analyst job I went to the test on last Friday. Apparently I did quite well on the test, and I have a phone interview with the data teams manager on Monday morning. As interviews go, phone interviews are ok. You don't need to get dressed up for a start. So I just need to make sure I'm up and alert by 8 am on Monday, and all should go well. It is kind of odd in that they've said they don't want someone who wants a career in finance, or sort of high flyer type people. I guess it depends on how you interpret it. The spin the recruitment company has put on it is that they want people who like what they do and want to do it, and that they reward those who do good work, not people who are looking at it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

In terms of where I want to go with jobs I don't know. I do know I don't want to go into management type stuff. Leading is not my strong suit. I'm much more comfortable and capable in a supporting role. Once we know what needs doing, I can get things done. I think a military analogy would be senior NCO as opposed to officer. I would like a job that becomes bigger as I learn more and become more capable. And I wouldn't mind staying in the one job for a few years if it was a good job that continued to interest me.

In other news, I got into the google pages beta the other day. Check out It's got a rough version of the website I'm putting together for the house. However the content is mostly mine (there's a link to one of my housemate's blog, but that's about it).

My hometown got hit by Cyclone Larry earlier this week. My grandmothers roof was damaged, and the house Mum owns up there was destroyed. Given that it needed some major work to bring it back up to scratch, and that Mum had rented it out to a few people who needed a hand but decided to then bite that hand, some would make the case that so long as the insurance is enough to pay of the loan, she should sell the land and find something better to invest in. And leave the management of any future rental properties to a rental agency. I know if I ever get a rental property, I'm going to go to a real estate agent and say "Here is my property. I would like you to rent it for me. I would like to receive some money each month, and have you take care of everything else, and you can have a cut of the action", and let them take it from there. Of course, that assumes I ever get enough money to buy a rental property.

End post
writing time: 40 minutes
time since last post: 6 days
current media: geeknights

Friday, March 17, 2006


I kind of had an interview today. It was actually a test. The questions were a combination of a few simple puzzles (magic square, a variation on the Monty hall problem), and a few were programming methods of doing certain tasks. I think it went pretty well, my main concern leaving was if they would be able to read my handwriting (there's a reason why all of my submitted work at university, and indeed high school was typed wherever possible). They said they'll get back to me on Monday to let me know if I've made it to the next stage of the selection process. It actually looks like an interesting job, and it's the first time I've gone into a company after sending in a resume and they've actually tested the ability to work things out, rather than doing psychological tests or just testing your ability to remember details.

This afternoon after seeing a link to one in a forum I've started lurking in (I think today I made my second post in about 3 weeks) I did a few online personality tests. These sort of thing usually only tell you things you already know, but sometimes an outside perspective can make things clearer, but I don't really make life changing decisions based on them. The three tests I did there were the Nerd? Geek? or Dork? test, the which Buffy character are you, and cause there was a link at the end of each of those, the lover style test. Results are as follows.

Pure Nerd
60 % Nerd, 39% Geek, 47% Dork
For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendencies associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Willow Rosenberg
45% amorality, 63% passion, 72% spirituality, 27% selflessness
Likely you're stronger on the inside than most people would give you credit for: like Willow, you're a decent person with both passions and a spiritual side, sometimes struggling for control.

The Exotic Lover
45% partner focus, 9% aggressiveness, 55% adventurousness Based on the results of this test, it is highly likely that:
You prefer your romance and love to wild and daring rather than typical or boring, you would rather be pursued than do the pursuing and, when it comes to physical love, you concentrate more on enjoying the experience rather than worrying about your performance.

This places you in the Lover Style of: The Exotic Lover.
The Exotic Lover is a wonderful Lover Style, and conjures images of the exotic, romantic hero out of a romance novel, or perhaps a slightly dangerous and deadly sexy femme fatale from a noir mystery. The Exotic Lover loves pleasure and is a treasure to date, though it can be difficult to do so because they sometimes tend to be mysterious and reluctant to commit.

In terms of physical love, the Exotic Lover can be quite surprising, as they are often more exciting and adventurous than predicted. Given a little freedom, and the right lover, the Exotic Lover can be a delight in bed.

Best Compatibility can probably be found with: The Liberated Lover (most of all) or the Devoted Lover, or the Romantic Lover.

These sorts of test have a curious attraction. I remember a few years ago the purity test was popular in my social group. Some people got surprisingly low scores. My score was rather high. That sort of thing occasionally sort of gets me feeling that I'm not doing enough with life. I think I should try and find a new hobby, something with a bit wider appeal that is also social. That would at least get me out there meeting new people. I don't like dancing, so that's not an option. If anyone actually reads this and has a suggestion, please leave a comment.

Finally, I'm going to give the Japanese place down the road a try tonight. I just hope they do teriyaki, otherwise I may have to reconsider.

End post
writing time: 50 minutes
time since last post: 6 days
current media: Itunes on party shuffle (Currently part of Carmina Burana is playing)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Survival of the fittest

So last Sunday I joined up to the university's gym. A few weeks ago I had some medical issues, and the advice the doctor gave me was to improve my general fitness. Since then I've started taking walks around the university, a distance of about 4 or so kilometers. One of my housemates is also wanting to get fitter, and was planning joining up, and so encouraged me to do the same. So I joined up. And I've gone to use some of the exercise machines most days since then. Most days I've just done 20 minutes on an exercise bike, but on Thursday there were no spare bikes so I used an elliptical walking machine. That was a lot more strenuous then the bike.

I've also been applying for a few jobs. One of them had me do some online test about what I thought good management was. Given that it was for a graduate entry position and not a management one I'm not quite sure why they were asking the questions they did. Perhaps they're looking for people who accept what they think is bad management. But there were two things about the online testing that got to me. First, the recruitment company, which was itself acting on behalf of the company actually looking for a new employee, got another company to do the testing. The other thing is the terms of use for the testing site were rather onerous, and the privacy policy can be summarized as: we won't give out your name, address and date of birth. Although they termed it as personally identifying information. They also demanded perpetual rights to use your responses in any media they saw fit. It was very much one sided. I did consider sending an email to the recruitment company saying I wasn't comfortable with the terms, but in the end decided to go ahead with it, mainly because I didn't think they'd be very receptive to this and the fact that apart from a few personal details, all of it was answers to their questions. But if I get any further with the recruitment process, I'll bring it up with them.

A few days ago I tried to put together a few thoughts on the role of government in modern society and what I thought were effective ways to moderate the powers and responsibilities of government, but I got bogged down in how to start the whole thing and what points I wanted to make. I shall make another attempt later on, and hopefully actually get something down in type.

End post
writing time: 2 hours 30 minutes
time since last post: 7 days
Current media: The Combat Information Center

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ten years, web stuff and a new keyboard

Today I got a new keyboard and mouse. My main motivation for doing so was that I wanted a wireless keyboard, so that I can type without having to be right up at my desk. Right now, I'm leaning back in by chair with the keyboard in my lap. It also has lots of extra buttons to do things like close windows, start programs and control media. The media buttons work pretty well with I tunes, so that's good.

Going over the news at wikinews, I noticed that not only has it recently been the tenth anniversary of John Howard becoming PM, it's ten years since Bob Brown got elected to the senate. Bob is a leader within the Green movement, and certainly the preeminent Green in parliament, indeed for the first four years, the only Green. Since his election, the Greens have made gains at each subsequent election, and if they keep things going the way they have, look poised to replace the Democrats as the third party of Australian politics.

I think it's good to have more than just (effectively) two parties in the government. For some time, the Democrats were making an effort to fill that role, but given a rapid turnover of party leaders and other factors, have begun what seems to be a self destruct sequence. Thus, while I don't agree with all of the Greens policies, I look forward to them becoming a more significant factor in politics in the future.

Given my lack of work at the moment, I've been spending more time than usual on the web. For the past few days I've been reading Questionable Content. QC is a web comic about a few people, two of whom live together and seem to be interested in each other, but for various reasons don't act on it. It's a pretty good comic, and has also prompted some introspection. It's also made me think if the friend who showed it to me didn't have some sort of ulterior motive in doing so, as I can see certain parallels between some of the characters and certain facets of my own life.

I've also joined up to, a service that allows you to list all the media (books, cds, dvds, games) that you own, and lets you see what other people who have the same things you have also have. It also has forums and groups. I was quite disappointed to find out that my bookshelf, that on each shelf has books, then books in front of books, books on top of books and books on top of books in front of books, only actually holds about 230 books. It also allows you to see who your preferred authors, actors, directors, etc are by showing you who you have the most of in those various categories. It also allows you to enter items that you want. My main gripe against listal is that it focuses on the US and England media, so very little of the Australian books, and none of the region 4 dvds were recognized. While this mostly has to do with the fact that it rips most of the data from and, it is a bit frustrating.

End Post
writing time: 1 hour (includes a trip to the shops)
time since last post: 4 days
current media: You by VAST (iTunes on shuffle)