What do you do on holidays

Well. If you’re reading this, you, like me, got past Christmas.
For me this year it was a really wonderful family time. A really good Christmas. Sad, but good. Christmas has always been an important time in my family. First as a child and then starting our own family we have continued the tradition. I’ll be posting a short clip of our Christmas in the next couple of days.

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Marjorie Veronica Curnow

Just before 3pm on Wednesday 15th December, on a beautiful sunny afternoon opposite the Fitzroy Gardens just to the east of Melbourne’s CBD, Marjorie Veronica (Billie) Curnow’s spirit left her stroke ridden body behind, flew out the window and entered the next life.
Born, in Ultima in North Western Victoria on the 28th March 1916, the youngest of seven children, she was the child of an Irish community. She remained proud of her Irish heritage throughout her life. Although she loved her father, his English/Scottish lineage didn’t seem to enter the equation. His death when she was only seven, must have been a major part in the formation of her self image. Regardless, being ‘Irish’ was always figured strongly in our upbringing.
In true Irish tradition, Mum knew both great happiness and great sadness during her life. The great tragedies of her life were the death of her father, her handsome young husband returning disfigured from the war, a series of miscarriages and the death of our brother, Roger, from a long illness in 1975.

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I’m so tired

Hey, for all those people wondering what’s happened to chriscurnow.com – thanks for the thousands of emails.
Well, I’m still here.
Right now I’m very, very, very tired.
I’ve done it again. I’ve found myself managing an IT project.
A few years ago (1999/2000) I managed an IT project. It went well and I met every deadline. Everything that had to happen happened when it was supposed to. I realised again that I was good a managing projects. I also realised again that I don’t like managing projects – well at least IT projects. IT projects are messy.
We try to write user requirements specifications and write or modify the software to meet the specs. But users, bless their souls, never quite know what they want until they haven’t got it. I mean by that they will tell you what they want, but as soon as you put the prototype in front of them, they find other things they want. As project manager/analyst you also find that there were things they assumed you knew about so just didn’t tell you. (If I was being really honest, I would admit that there were lots of assumptions I made about the users wanted. But I’m not being really honest so I won’t admit that.)

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US Election Analysis

There’s so much analysis of the US election result it’s hard to know where to start.

As a member of Robert Manne’s
pro-Labor, left-liberal intelligentsia
I’ve been mainly reading the handwringing by Democratic commentators and followers.

Kottke’s analysis
this morning is refreshing. Those of us on the left in Australia still shell
shocked by the victories of both Howard and Bush would do well to read it.

I take issue with Kottke on one point. Evangelical Christians, amongst
whom I count myself, are not a homogeneous group. Sure there’s a vocal group,
maybe the majority, who regard George Bush as God’s president. But there’s
lots of us who regard social equity, sovereign rights of states and use of
war only as a last resort as extremely important.

Please remember this when thinking about Evangelical Christians. Remember it
was also an evangelical Christian, Wilber William Wilberforce, who led
the fight in England to abolish slavery.

Mangers not MBAs

Henry Mintzberg

Here’s a book I haven’t read but it is on my wish list. Mintzberg is
one of my favourite authors.

I’m not sure if I have ever held MBAs in high regard. From the reviews
I’ve read Mintzberg is offering his insight into what is wrong with
this form of "management training".

From getAbstract:

He marshals a powerful array of facts to support his thesis that
graduate schools of business have perpetrated one of the most successful
con jobs in history.

On his own site, Mintzberg offers the observation that Convetional
MBA programs are offered for the wrong people – "young people with
little or no experience"; traing them in the wrong ways – "to
emphasize analysis and technique" and result in the wrong consequences
– "a corrupting effect on the practice of management as well as
on our organizations and societies".

Instead, he argues, that these programs should only be offered to experienced
practicing managers: "No one can create a manager in a classroom.
But existing managers can significantly improve their practice in a
thoughtful classroom that makes use of that experience."

That dress

Chriscurnow.com is a serious blog. Certainly we don’t mind the odd bit of humour but in general we like to relate it to somewhat meaty issues.
We tried to have a serious dicussion about the issues around the kind of dresses worn by persons of the opposite … er … you know … oh dash let’s just say the opposite. We’re trying to avoid any words that are going to be picked up in search engines of those who search for those kinds of words.
Well in discussing the dress worn by one member of the said opposite to the awards ceremony of another certain type of person we noticed our hits going through the roof.
People of a certain kind were search for the name of a certain person of said opposite, who wore a garment of a certain colour and whose certain anatomical parts normally kept at least a little private were instead made rather public.
We were a little saddened by it actually.
After all the words put into political, social and organisational commentary, it was an attempt to analyse an important social phenomenom that resulted in our record for number of visitors being brocken. But elas, we can only presume that the rise was the result of people seeking gratification of more base desires.
Oh well ;-(

Blogging & personal crises

What is it about blogging and personal crises.
We notice that Bleeding Edge was constrained by a personal crisis a while back.
Now chriscurnow.com has been struck by one. Not the worst personal crisis we have suffered in our lives, but stressful and time consuming enough to prevent any recent posts. Hope to be back in full swing in about a week.
See you then.

Who is demeaned by flashes of flesh?

Andrew Bolt normally makes my blood boil. He’s probably Melbourne’s most right wing columnist. I’m never quite sure how much he believes what he writes or whether he just likes baiting those of us on the left.
So I was surprised to find myself agreeing with him, at least in part, when I read this piece on the frock Rebecca Twigley wore to the Brownlow presentation this week. The stunning bright red frock was cut to the waist in the front leaving her breasts to, as Bolt puts it, “play peakaboo from behind sashes or red jersey”. At one stage in the telecast Twigley crossed her arms in front her chest in an attempt to get a reprieve from the focus of the cameras on her cleavage.

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