Halloween in Marrickville

Big night in Marrickville. Our area keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. We had a bunch of mates around for the festivities, quick barbecue then out onto the streets to scrounge sweets. Lots of fun and some great costumes. The home made Stay Puffd Marshmallow Girl and the separate Ghostbusters were great!

Open Australia are doing amazing stuff

I've been hovering around the open data movement for a while. I lived in London through the early development of what ended up becoming They Work For You around the amazing NTK-driven London tech scene. I've not actually done anything in the space though. I cheered from the sidelines as a bunch of Australians ported some of the tech to the Australian parliament and have been a heavy user of Planning Alerts. Up to now though, I haven't even managed to make it to the pub meetups. Having kids will do that to you!

Lindsay relaunching his Got Gastro finally drove me along to the Open Australia Foundation's pub meetup. It's so refreshing meeting a bunch of smart, motivated people doing really interesting things in the public interest. Really inspiring and I'm feeling fired up to do some stuff now.

Hot damn this tune will get your toe tapping

John Peel famously took the needle off The Undertones' Teenage Kicks and immediately played it again, it was such a perfect pop song. He was, of course, absolutely right.

I had the same reaction hearing Eli Paperboy Reed's Cut Ya Down the other night on FIP. Theoretically it's a problematic piece of music: it's a take on a traditional gospel song and retains all its fire breathing god bothering ways. It's also a white guy (a Yankee no less!) doing his take on a juke joint jam. But holy crap is it an amazing piece of music. Have a listen.

The Cure: still going strong

I've been to four gigs by The Cure now:

The Cure remain one of the most amazing live bands. Incredible to see them again. Had a fantastic time.

Couple of interviews I've done recently

I did an interview a while back for CMO magazine about the emerging "Chief Data Officer" role. It's out now and you can read it online here.

Seems I'm on IDG's radar this year as someone who likes the sound of his own voice and is handy for a couple of quotes. I also did an interview with CIO magazine earlier in the year, viewable here.


MeasureCamp Melbourne March 2016

On the weekend I went to MeasureCamp Melbourne and it was amazing. The idea with an UnConference is that the agenda gets worked out on the day. Everyone shows up, throws some things they'd like to do up on the board and we get into it.

This event brought together some of the finest minds in digital analytics from around Australia and New Zealand. The talks were diverse and interesting, the people friendly and knowledgeable and the venue just right. A great time was had by all!

I'm pushing for the next one to be in Sydney in September, then we can alternate between Sydney and Melbourne. If you can help organise, that'd be great. First step is to find a venue.

Slides from my sessions

Passata Day 2016

In which we turn 215kg of tomatoes into delicious bottled tomato pulp

Yesterday we did what has become an annual tradition, turning a bunch of tomatoes into passata, a tomato pulp with the seeds and skins removed. We transformed a huge wall of tomato boxes into two 44 gallon drums of bottled passata in one big 8 hour push.

The process is pretty straightforward:

  1. Wash the tomatoes
  2. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water
  3. Push the tomatoes through the passata machine, which separates skins and seeds from the pulp
  4. Push the seeds and skins through the machine two more times
  5. Bottle the pulp into clean bottles with a leaf or two of basil
  6. Sterilise the bottles in drums of boiling water

At the end of that, we end up with mountains of shelf-stable tomato pulp. Perfect for when you need a little bottled sunshine in the depths of winter.

Of course the tomato gets everywhere and it's a pretty messy day, but lots of fun and the results are delicious and super useful.

We're in!

We moved in last weekend and are back in Marrickville. It's been a long slog and there's still a bunch more work to be done before we're completely finished, but it's looking good.

Awnings and privacy screens on. Networking set up and we now have access points throughout the house (using the amazing Unifi APs). The beautiful piece of bespoke joinery we had made for the kitchen was installed and looks fantastic.

Now we just have to set everything up. Still some painting to be done and a few odds and ends.

Move in this weekend

Huge amounts going on in the house. We move in on Saturday which is enormously exciting.

Yesterday Holly managed to score a bunch of turf for free on Facebook, so this morning I was back at the house digging up the soil and laying turf. It looks good and cost nothing, which is nice.

Slate roof is going on, floors getting sanded and coated, outdoor pavers going down and the front fence is being done