morsla: (lookin)
It feels like late on a Friday night.

It's not, of course - compared to recent bedtimes it's actually bloody early, and it's Wednesday. A lot of people are out celebrating various things, though... lots of Christmas or end-of-year parties, RMIT's graduation extravaganza, [livejournal.com profile] mousebane's 21D magazine launch. [livejournal.com profile] aeliel has just had her final day of work with the students around. I at home with my feet on the desk and the speakers cranked up, enjoying my first listen to Pendulum's recent-ish album.

It's been a long time since I posted anything in here, though, and I felt like writing something. Between LJ, twitter and facebook I read an awful lot these days, but rarely feel like writing more than occasional spur-of-the-moment tweets.

November was a mess, much as I thought it might be. Four back-to-back conferences and three interstate trips combined forces to leave me feeling exhausted - fascinated and inspired, but exhausted nonetheless.

When I got back to Melbourne, deadline season killed me and took my stuff. I should have seen it coming, but it always shocks me just how hard the bastard can hit.

I've typeset 436 pages in the past six days, for two study guides. I've also written material for the Virtual Safe project report, due next week. Late at night, I've finished two long overdue painting commissions. I've done another PhD interview, and worked on a chapter of my thesis. I started up a LinkedIn group for the CRC research students, and still have a couple of layout jobs to finish next week.

It's not healthy, and after a few weeks of redlining it, it's not a lot of fun either. I seldom reach bed before 1am, haven't slept before 2am in weeks, and generally get up before 7am. I'm beginning to feel the strain of keeping focussed on all the things I need to finish each day, in order to reduce tomorrow's pile. I almost wish I still drank coffee, but I need steady hands for my painting.
morsla: (lookin)
Chapters for the Economics study guide are beginning to appear in my email account, which means that the time before and after Christmas will probably become a mad rush to get the book ready for printing on January 6th.

I've almost finished painting some Imperial Guard tanks for Dave T, which I've been enjoying so far: I'm using a bunch of new techniques from the Forgeworld Master Class book (thanks [livejournal.com profile] fetnas!), making them the most detailed vehicles that I've painted so far. The airbrush is a godsend for this sort of work, and hopefully it will help me to clear out a lot of my unpainted backlog next year.

Then, I have two figures to sculpt for [livejournal.com profile] lena_supercat and [livejournal.com profile] altheas's wedding cake. I'm planning to use Sculpey for these, over an aluminium wire armature. Sculpey is much easier to rework and add detail to, but it means I'll have to finish an entire figure in one go - once it's been baked, I can't readily add putty to it.

January's commission painting project is a Blood Bowl team for one of the guys playing at CanCon. I want to sculpt my own Blood Bowl figures one day (for the Nurgle's Rotters team), but I'm unlikely to get motivated any time soon... there are too many other games that I want to play first.

The rest of January will be occupied by writing a literature review, and a draft of my methodology chapter. There's a large shipment of qualitative methodology textbooks inbound, courtesy of the remainder of my 2009 research funds :)

I really want a holiday, but I think I'll have to wait until February as I seem to be working three jobs at the moment. At least the summer of commission work madness will help to pay for some of our furniture, and a new computer for [livejournal.com profile] aeliel...

Ghost Town

Dec. 14th, 2009 09:49 am
morsla: (Default)
I'm getting the distinct impression that I'm the only person working on this floor of the building today... everyone else seems to have taken off for their holidays. When I came in at 8am the place looked like it had been deserted for weeks.

Unfortunately, my year isn't exactly winding down at the moment.

I've finished the conference season of madness, with only a small amount of residual madness hanging about the place. It's been a productive few weeks in terms of meeting new people (industry folks at Social Media '09, and lots of other students at the CRC conference). I even managed to win an award, which was nice. Now that I'm back in Melbourne again, I'm getting stuck into all the writing that I didn't do while I was away.

The end of the year is also publishing season for the Indigo books. I've updated two subject guides (VCE National and International Politics), and sent them off to the printers. This week I'll get the files for the last of them - a full re-write of the Economics book, which I'll be typesetting from scratch. It won't be printed before Christmas (deadline for that is today), but it should be ready to go in the new year.

Our home internet problems were sorted out, though not in the way we'd have liked. Apparently the building is on a pair-gain line - i.e. Telstra saved costs by splitting the copper line, instead of running copper to each house. That means they meet their Terms of Service (providing a voice phoneline), but we can't get ADSL at all. We're stuck with wireless broadband for the time being, as it's marginally cheaper than cable. Not impressed at all.

On a more positive note, I bought an airbrush and compressor last week. I have a vast pile of figures that need painting over the next six weeks, so airbrushing the base colours should speed things up dramatically. I still need to experiment with the various acrylics that I paint with, to find out how best to thin them down.

I'm looking forward to trying it out. Last time I used an airbrush, I was putting together a graphics folio (and walking to school through the snow, dinosaurs snapping at my heels...).
morsla: (mantis04)
Three P's that are consuming most waking moments at the moment. And in the heat, I'm spending most of my moments awake.

We now have a working phone line in the new house, which I assume Netspace is responsible for - it's now been a week since I called about setting up a new connection. Unfortunately, the phone connection doesn't actually appear in our Netspace control panel, and so isn't available for me to relocate our broadband connection to...

Publishing:

I have corrections and updates for one and a half study guides (National Politics Units 3 & 4, and International Politics Unit 1). In the next few weeks, the remaining chapters for IntPol Unit 2 will arrive, and then there's an Economics guide due in December. Due to major changes to the course, the Economics book is being completely re-written for 2010. Judging by the number of tables and graphs in the current book, layout for the new version could take quite a bit of work.

I'm going home at lunchtime today to work on the Politics books. I could work from the air-conditioned comfort of my windowless box at RMIT as I'll be using my laptop. Unfortunately I need a proper mouse for InDesign, and mine has just run out of batteries... and I'm loathe to buy more rechargeable ones when there's a box of them at home.

Painting:

Three Ulthwé walkers, currently almost finished. I've been asked to add rare-earth magnets to all the possible weapons, so I still have a handful of weapons to finish painting today. I hope the house isn't too hot to paint in.

Four Imperial Guard tanks, assembled and ready for magnets in all the optional bits. I'd like to buy an airbrush to paint these with, as there are many more of them on the horizon. Unfortunately a decent double-action airbrush and compressor (reserve tank, pressure regulator, inline moisture trap) are likely to cost around $500, so I might have to paint them by hand.

PhD:

Literature review chapter has fallen by the wayside. I've gathered a bunch of articles to read through, but as it's not directly needed for any other tasks it's been put on hold at the moment. I still feel like there are dozens of articles that I need to track down, though I'm not sure if that feeling ever goes away.

There's a student conference for the CRC in December, up in Sydney. I'll be flying up early on the Tuesday morning, going to training workshops during the day, and presenting a poster the following day - and then flying home on the Wednesday evening.

I'm starting to wade through the paperwork for my Ethics Application, as I need approval before going any further with the research part of my project. Most of it should be pretty straightforward (while I'm dealing with people, I'm not trying to exploit them for anything) but there are many, many pages of forms to fill out. Most of it will feed into my Methods and Methodology chapter though, so it's still a useful exercise to do.


In non-work news, Sunday was our first wedding anniversary :) [livejournal.com profile] aeliel and I spent most of the day lounging around the house, and cooking or eating lots of good food. We've also started unpacking wedding presents that have been in storage for the last year, so it's like receiving them all over again, and actually getting to enjoy the gifts properly this time.

Some time soon we'll have a housewarming (once we have furniture for people to sit on, and fewer boxes full of stuff). Ye been warned!

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