We just bought a new pram. Oh, sorry, a stroller. It’s so much different from a pram, you know. The old one is on its last legs, that is to say, on its last wheels. Okay, so it’s not quite that far gone, but it’s getting there. We treat our prams rough.

So we splashed out on a pram that will last us for the rest of our pram-using years. The one we should have bought first. Boy, did we splash out. We got the deluxe model. The heavy-duty one. The Emmaljunga "Grizzly", it’s called. From Sweden. This is the Volvo of prams. It’s built like a tank, and is packed full of safety features.

It’s luxurious. And big. Bigger than some small cars, actually. I’ve seen traffic wardens eyeing it. If it were motorised (that’s probably an optional add-on) we could just about pile everyone into it for a spin. There could be complications if we put it on the road, I think we’d need to pay car registration.

And the price? People reading who aren’t parents may not believe how much we splashed out on this super-pram. Parents will know you can spend anything you like on baby equipment. This one cost us a mere A$399. Yup. Believe it. Thankfully they apparently have a pretty good resale value on the second-hand pram market.

From the manual…
"Before using your new stroller, please be sure to review the important safety tips we have included in this detailed manual. You will then be on your way to years of safe and reliable strolling."

Yes indeed. We don’t walk down the street with it. We stroll. We stroll down to the shops. We stroll through the park. Stroll, stroll, stroll, stroll, stroll.

Well, that’s it for now. Must stroll.

Indoor soccer

With the bulk of people on my project at work departing at the end of the month, a plethora of social activities have been scheduled to make sure we miss each other all the more after September.

Lunches, barbecues, wine tours, cancelled ski weekends… and this week, indoor soccer is scheduled. And when I play, I am going to be very very careful indeed.

Why? Let me explain. It’s been about two years since I played in an indoor soccer game. That was at my last job. The final game of Winter ’94. And it was, not to put too fine a point on it, a bit of a bloodbath.

From memory, two trips to hospital were made during or after the game. I think perhaps everybody got a tad too enthusiastic. Afterwards, nobody really felt like organising another game. But with a fresh bunch of players, hopefully things will run a little more peacefully this time. Maybe we’d better make sure everyone’s ambulance subscription is paid up before we start.

Clear out / PC Show

Clearing out some old uni notes over the weekend I found in a margin this gem of creativity that you might enjoy. Or perhaps not.

"Earless Dead Geriatric Destitute Teenage Mutant
Ninja Bignosed Cowboys Who Need Dental Treatment"

Most of the other scrawlings on my lecture notes seemed to either be related to being extremely bored or be various quotes from my favourite TV shows. One folder has the original concept from which Mr Popsicle, secret agent, developed, and has been retained for historical value.

Most of it is going out, or at least, helping to pile up our recycling to impressive new heights. This has been added the surprisingly small amount of literature picked up at the PC’96 Show last week. The new Melbourne Exhibition Centre, which I haven’t been in before, was very impressive. Unlike the Show itself.

Has nothing happened technology-wise since last year? Nothing caught my eye. Or maybe it was because I wasn’t in a buying mood. But I got the feeling nobody was really as enthusiastic this year as last year.
The fact that I got away without being flooded with literature has to be an indicator. In previous years corporate minions were thrusting papers at me about every product under the sun.

But this year, nothing really shone. Just a few video conferencing displays (yawn), plenty of modems and Internet providers (double-yawn) and colour printers (triple-yawn).

The mobile revolution

The mobile revolution has a problem. With over two million Australians now carrying mobile phones, one aspect of the technology is really creating problems. Not the cost, not the environmental impact of towers, or even the overloading mobile phone frequencies. It’s the phones themselves. They all sound alike.

Almost daily on the train, you’ll hear a phone ring. And a dozen people around the carriage will reach for their belts or bags to check if it’s theirs. There must be a solution to this. Maybe the phones can be programmed to play different tones, or tunes, or perhaps a sound nominated by the user. How about "Oi Daniel, phone call!" or your favourite guitar riff.

Job hunting

Over the past few weeks it has become apparent at work that our project has a limited lifespan. At the time of writing it is probable that many of us will need to go looking for jobs.

And we’ve risen to the challenge. Resumes have started popping up everywhere; on people’s screens, on the printer, on the fax machine. Management are aware of this. In fact, I think some of them are looking for jobs too.

You can tell who’s actively looking for a job. They look far neater than they need to. They turn up on Monday with a brand spanking new haircut. A couple of weeks ago about four people admitted to having had haircuts in one weekend. Dead giveaway. The new tie. The rarely seen suit. All these are signs of someone looking for another job.

Most notable are the absences. For a while people were making feeble excuses when they were going to be out at interviews. Doctor, dentist, family commitments, lunch… you name it, someone used it. Now nobody bothers, everybody will know they’re out job hunting. In fact nobody believed me when I had a genuine medical appointment to go to last week. So now people just say they’ll be out of the office.

"Yeah folks, I’m going to be in late on Tuesday… and.. umm.. I’ll be leaving early, too. And I’ll be having a kinda long lunch, if you know what I mean…"

So am I looking for work? Well, yes, I’m looking around to see what’s out there. So BLATANT PLUG TIME if you’d like to hire me, check out my resume!