| SPXL.TVblog | contactgallery | videoflash | processingmyspace | facebook

Got milk?

12 August, 2015 at 5:53 pm

This morning a friend posted:

Help a brother out with a job application!

“Describe a time when you had to be self-motivated to achieve an important goal. What was the goal? What were the challenges? What strengths and/or learning opportunities did you identify as part of this process?”

What kind of examples do people use for these?

My initial response was brief: “Something about making breakfast when there was no milk left in the fridge.”

Then I wrote the following (with a few minor edits made since).

Eating breakfast is of course important. The challenge is cereal without milk. Having run out of milk is clearly an operational oversight. However, despite the early hour, lack of energy and disappointment, I knew that I could draw on my internal resilience and resourcefulness to come up with a solution.

There were several options. One was to go to work without breakfast. Yes, I would survive, but I knew that it would take the edge off my productivity and creative output.

An unpleasant option was to use water in place of milk. I don’t know if you have ever eaten your standard breakfast with water in place of milk, but I can assure you it is worse than not eating it in normal circumstances.

A third option was to go to the supermarket, however this trip would be fairly time costly, and involve driving, which is a little financially and environmentally irresponsible for just an item or two.

The best option was to use my excellent interpersonal skills and rouse my neighbour to ask if they could spare some. In return I offered to invite them over for dinner that evening. They had recently moved in and I had not had a chance to get to know them well. The milk was offered, breakfast was saved, and the satisfied feeling propelled an excellent day at work, completing tasks early, including assisting a colleague with a backlog of customer callbacks. I left the office slightly early and used the extra time to restock my groceries – as well as a replacement for the neighbour, of course – and collect ingredients for a nice meal to cook. The meal was lovely and it turns out the neighbour and I get along very well, and we hatched a plan to do combined grocery shopping with home delivery. Split between two households, the delivery fee is quite reasonable, and the time saved on shopping allows us more time to have BBQ’s together, enjoying some music we both enjoy and discuss our hobbies. And I now also never run out of milk.

What I learned is that obstacles and problems can be turned into opportunities. Even a small problem can be just the catalyst required to reexamine outdated processes and result in a better life.

This experience of course translates directly to the business environment, where challenges must be met on a daily basis, and to obtain a competitive edge, improvements to existing systems must be looked for occasionally, explored and implemented.

Perhaps not a true story, but I think I might try this, or something like it, some time.


VNTZ | Event Listings

31 July, 2015 at 4:37 pm

For a long time now there has not been a decent resource listing events in Sydney. InTheMix had officially shut down its WHATSON section. Time Out, Resident Advisor, and even SPRACI are currently hopeless, and Facebook keeps you in an information bubble where you can only see stuff you are more or less directly connected to (eg by invitation, and now Facebook is limiting the number of invitations people can send to their own list of contacts!). What is one to do?… Roll your own!

VNTZ is my contribution. Currently a simple website with links to events pages elsewhere (could be any site, but currently linking to public events on Facebook).

Link submissions are made by simply posting a link to the corresponding VNTZ Event Listings page on Facebook. Easy peasy.


Support Illuminart at VIVID by Cindi Drennan

29 May, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Support Illuminart at VIVID by Cindi Drennan

Ishinomaki Light Projection By Richard Byers

5 March, 2012 at 12:52 am

Ishinomaki Light Projection By Richard Byers

See the Supported Projects page for more.


Gallery 2166 at Cabramatta

20 November, 2011 at 2:51 am

Update: The Gallery 2166 project did not reach its funding target.

Supported project: Gallery 2166 at Cabramatta

CloudFTP and projects

14 November, 2011 at 1:48 am

More Kickstarter projects:

See the Supported Projects page for more.


Life in Microcosmos

9 November, 2011 at 1:09 am

Another supported project – electron micrographs of really small things printed really big (1.5m square 1.2m square, max size for printing with this technique by the supplier).

Supported Projects

6 November, 2011 at 6:07 am

I’ve supported a few ‘crowd-funded’ projects in recent months, including the production of a DVD of visuals by the Joshua Light Show in New York (who provided visuals for famous music acts in the 1960s), The Sensorium Project (an 11.11m dome for video/interactive/psychedelic art to travel festivals here in Australia), and helping Professor Kliq (a musician / producer in Chicago) obtain his music composition degree.

The Sensorium Project has not yet reached its funding target and has just 5 days to go; I have just doubled my pledge and encourage any Australian VJs and visualists to contribute if they can.

See the new Supported Projects page for more links, videos, etc.


Subpixel’s lost phone

28 October, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Dane AustinSubpixel’s lost phone


29 June, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Processing sample: spxlAudioToMidi


View sketch page for source code, Windows, Mac and Linux executables.

A small application made with Processing to produce MIDI control messages from a live audio feed. Auto-levelling frequency band meters are used to obtain “peak” output values across the entire audio spectrum analysed (whereas it is usual to have strong bass response with weaker treble response), and easing is applied to make the levels less erratic. 10 separate monitor outputs are supplied, where each monitor is attached to one of the frequency band meters and that meter’s output is scaled to the particular output range for the monitor, allowing for a reduced final output range as well as inverted ranges. Controls are provided to select the MIDI output device and the MIDI channel to use, as well as for selecting which monitors are connected to which meters and the monitor output ranges.