Archive for November, 2007

The “Reboot Day” Contest

Here it is, folks, the inaugural Petunia Happenstance writing contest. It’s a bit like “Medea” or “Wild Cards“, but not.

What you have to do to earn praise and goodies:

Write a short story, from 400 to 2000 words based on the premise below. It can be speculative fiction, a love story, a poem, screenplay… whatever. Set it at any time. Be creative!

The Premise:

At 1pm, Greenwich time 14th July 2008, everyone on Earth suddenly finds themselves in the same body and in the same place that they had been in exactly two years ago. It was 14th July 2006 again. They bring nothing from the future but their memory of the two years past.

The dead live again. Children under two years of age cease to exist, except as fetuses.

BUT…. when July 2008 rolls around again, the world reboots yet again… and again….

Optional information you may choose to use:

Mysteriously, a small, but growing number of people, (the “Deleted”), fail to re-appear at each “Reboot Day”.

Yes, I know it’s a bit “Groundhog Day”. The big difference of course, is that everyone is reliving (or choosing to change the way they live) those 2 years, which makes for a totally different dynamic.

How to Enter:

Paste the story in the comments to this post and/or send it to me as a word document to: raptordesigns (at sign)

I’ll repost the story properly formatted as a page on this blog, with a link to it from this entry.

Closing date: Midnight 31st December 2007, GMT

Other rules: Yes! You may enter more than once. Yes! You keep the copyright. Yes, the title is part of the wordcount. No, I can’t enter! (boo hoo.)

The Prize: First prize is a Very Pretty Book – a photographic essay on Australia from the air. Second and third prizes are Aussie tourist Tea Towels. (First prize can have a Tea Towel instead if they want.)

Links to entries:

Here’s a short vignette to get you started..Sometimes being in the right place at the right time can be a burden.


Rudd didn’t win. Howard lost.

It’s the day after the Australian federal election, and the dust hasn’t settled yet. In particular we still don’t know if John Howard has actually failed to even be elected into parliament in his own once safe seat.

What we do know is that we will have a Labor government for a while. We also know today that Peter Costello has said that he won’t seek leadership of the Liberals. Obviously he and John don’t talk much, because last night Howard was talking up Costello as the future of the party. It looks like Malcolm Turnbull is the logical choice. That, or a leadership bloodbath and meltdown.
I’m not going to shed any tears over Howards’ ignominious departure – he made his own bed, letting his ego get in the way of bowing out when all the signs were that he’d become a liability. Instead of leaving as a Liberal hero, he’s presided over an embarassing defeat – and losing his own seat, if it happens, just caps the embarassment off with an exclamation mark.

Howard lost me irretreivably the moment he coined the phrase “non-core promise” to explain his going back on election promises instead of apologising that they had subsequently become unsustainable. His willingness to believe Bush over Iraq unquestioningly, his “Pacific Solution”, the Tampa fiasco and wedge politics – his Workplace industrial relations strategy rammed through the Senate without useful discussion and in practice found to require special “fairness tests” to stop employers exploiting it shamelessly, the Northern Territory intervention without consulation, his dirty negative election campaigning – all these and so much more turned the electorate against him.

Yet he was fighting Kevin Rudd – Mr Beige. Rudd performed well – not spectacularly- in this election. he didn’t impress. I get the feeling that the Labour party could have won with a teddy bear on the leadership podium.

As long as it was warm and fuzzy, as long as it meant not voting for Past-Use-By-Date Howard, it would have won.

Fundamentally flawed.

“You think you’re playing with a fool, but I’m a fool for Christ the King of the universe.”

Oh, my. You just have to love those Fundies!

Flogging a dead horse

Reflecting over my years at IBM, a pattern emerges. I invariably hitched my wagon (or had it hitched for me) to technologies that just didn’t stay the distance. Here’s a short summary:  Continue reading ‘Flogging a dead horse’

Kate’s Contest

Here’s my “proper” entry for Kate’s contest. Please be gentle with me. I had fun with it. That’s all that matters isn’t it? …. Isn’t it?…..  Continue reading ‘Kate’s Contest’

The Wall

The blog’s been a bit slow over the last week apart from updates on my job interview results (see the previous entry).

There’s not been a lot happening in Chicken World, unless you count some fun on the weekend. Hang gliding on Sunday, but on Saturday evening, I got the chance to try out a real indoor cycling velodrome. We “funny bikes” don’t get to use velodromes often – it was a specially organised session. Here’s what I wrote elsewhere …. Continue reading ‘The Wall’

Pimp your write.

Kate is running a writing contest over at her place. The task? Use 400 words or less to reveal a secret, but not explicitly. My daughter, (the Writer In Training), has entered. Can you pick it?

Here’s advance notice, people. In December, I’m running a contest of my own. I assure you, it Will Be Fun. (Or Else.) I’ll publish details soon.

Other news from the World of the Chicken: I’ve just had an interview for a part time temporary job. I haven’t had one of those for years, so it’s a strange experience, particularly since the interviewers are so much younger. While I aced the numerical and literacy testing (with a speed they found noteworthy), I’m not sure I told them what they wanted to hear in the behavioural section of the discussion. I guess I’m terminally crusty.

I should hear today whether I make the second round. Cross virtual fingers for me.

Update Thursday 3pm: Made the second round – interview tomorrow at midday.

Update: Friday 4pm: Had the interview. Seriously, I have No Idea how it went. The interviewers were one mature woman of my own age and a Young Thing from Human Resources. The MW, I think, was happy enough. The Young Thing, though, didn’t have enough lines on her mask of a face for me to read it very well.

Update: Tuesday 5pm. Didn’t get the job. Reason: “not enough experience in the specific role.” Hmmm, shouldn’t have told them I was up to try something new, hey?