Friday, April 28, 2023

Changing The Narative


A watercolour of an alleyway between 2 buildings.

It's not in my nature to let people down.

I had to cancel an agency appointment for next week because I have accepted a full time job and as part of that process I needed to commit some time to that. I feel bad about letting down the work agency but in the last 8 months I have been trying to find a full time job with no success.
Other jobs that I did successfully find didn't turn out to be what was described at the interview stage and I had to decline the offers. For so long it seems that people are less than honest when it comes to giving accurate descriptions of work roles. I'm not sure why that is. It certainly isn't productive to have an employee find out that things aren't going to be as expected and waste time on time consuming interviews. I made myself a promise after my last experiences and that was to only work for a company that I had temped for, and liked or to only accept a job I really wanted.
The latter is the case this time around and I'm determined not to mess things up by letting other stuff get in the way.

And so I find myself in the position of letting someone down to pursue my own ambitions. While it still feels wrong I know it must be done this way. The job I had to leave in August last year was something I had been doing for the same company for 15 years. It was a hard blow to have been treated so unfairly after such a long commitment. I learned the hard way that for loyalty to my employer there was no such loyalty in return.

Maybe I should be more 'hard nosed' when it comes to decisions but I prefer to treat people fairly and in the same way that I would expect to be treated.
I do find that all too often, as mentioned above, my ethos is not reciprocated.
Maybe I should make myself another promise now and that should be to treat people in the way that they treat me, let them make the first move, but I don't think that I can change my attitude that readily.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

A Little Too Much

The top half of the front cover of the book GNU Emacs

It's said that too much of something can be a bad thing.

That's certainly the case with me these days with regard to reading manuals.
I seem to spend more time reading about things than actually using them. There was a time not so long ago that I would simply jump in and read the manual when I got stuck.
This morning I remedied the over-reading situation and got back into Emacs. I've used it briefly before but whatever I had learned in the past had long since been forgotten. Instead of flicking through pages and pages of stuff I really don't need to know I messed around and added both the Melpa directory and a couple of Major Modes that I intend to use.

I have decided that the new space in my head can be filled with learning Emacs and trying to stay in that environment to complete other work. The idea being that it will do away with various other pieces of software that I use for individual tasks. I really could do with slimming down my software which in turn removes distractions and leaves me no option but to get on with things that need doing.

Monday, April 24, 2023

So What Happens Now?


For over 20 years I have been working on an encryption problem that has been stuck in my head.

It's only taken that long because I have only occasionally been able to work on it. Today sees the end of that long process. The work is done, the paper finished, printed and locked away until I decide what I'm going to do with it.
The terribly low-res image above it something I created to adorn the front of my work. It's ordered but random at the same time.

So what happens now?
I need something else to work on or dare I say finish? I started a novel many moons ago, got 5 chapters in and stopped. That's high on my list but I'm undecided at the moment. I need to empty my head of thoughts of my stream cipher and see how much space there is to expand into.

Monday, April 17, 2023

In The Garden

It was good to spend some time in the garden today.
It feels a bit like spring is here for some of the plants but not quite for others. I'm glad to say that all the spaces left from the very cold snap in winter are now filled. It's now a case of waiting to see what takes and what doesn't.
Waiting for the garden to flourish is a good thing. Because on the whole everything moves quite slowly there is time to sit and contemplate everything else. That's what I like about the garden, it's an inspiration for other things.
Weather permitting of course.

Monday, April 10, 2023




While the thought of learning LaTeX to write my encryption paper was a decent idea, the fact is that I don't want to spend the next 6 months learning to format something which is already written.

I will at some stage delve deeper in LaTeX, its formatting is very professional and looks good, especially for an academic paper. What I need at this point in time is an approachable modern text that I can work on without needing to learn something from scratch. Enter LibreOffice. I've used various components of this office suite before and I'm comfortable using it. I took time over the past weekend to explore its capabilities in depth to see if it could produce the kind of document that I want. The good news is that it is more than capable and I only have a few new things to learn.

I suppose that unless one uses office software on a daily basis its many abilities aren't often noticed. One uses it on a basic level using only the features that one needs and nothing else. When it comes to producing something a little more refined, something that is consistent throughout and designed well LibreOffice doesn't, for me at least, spring to mind. I would have thought that a DTP package might have been better suited to the task. My paper has a lot of tables and the ability to edit them in place is just one feature that I didn't know LibreOffice could perform. It's an extremely useful attribute.

I am now designing, correcting and formatting my document in the small amount of free time I have to do this work. LibreOffice has made that small amount of time much more productive.