A short theory of under-committing to things

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, and I keep being tempted to start my own. Except, yikes, I need to do hours for four years or something? Sumana Harihareswara suggested to me that maybe I should start aggressively small and uncommitted like Leonard Richardson’s podcast: when I feel like it, in whatever style I choose. And that was close, but I’ve realised the closest fit for my personal style is to aim high, but to limit my run. This doesn’t always work out as I’d hoped, but it still seems like a good model. Do four ‘casts … Continue reading A short theory of under-committing to things

The Sydney Project: Luna Park

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney. Luna Park is, honestly, essentially cheating on this project. Do children like amusement parks? Yes. They do. There you go. In addition, I think four years old is basically about the right age for them. It’s old enough that children are aware that a giant painted face, tinkly music, and carousels aren’t a completely normal day in the world, young enough that the carousel is still just as magical as the dodgem cars. And too young … Continue reading The Sydney Project: Luna Park

The Sydney Project: Tyrannosaurs Big and Small at the Australian Museum

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney. The Australian Museum has two programs for kids: Tiny Tots and Mini Explorers, which are patterned something like Art Safari, with the children doing an activity themed to match a current exhibit. V did Tyrannosaurs Big and Small, which went with the Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family exhibit. The Tyrannosaurs Big and Small activities ended in June, although the Tyrannosaurs exhibit is continuing through to July 27. This activity benefited compared to Art Safari in the amount … Continue reading The Sydney Project: Tyrannosaurs Big and Small at the Australian Museum

The Sydney Project: Art Safari at the Museum of Contemporary Art

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney. Art Safari is one of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s kids’ activities: a program where pre-school children look at a few pieces of art in the galleries and do some related art of their own. I enjoyed the Art Baby tour a lot and was keen for V to have a go at Art Safari. We were joined by another four year old, A—, and her family. Starting in the cafe with an enormous chocolate milkshake … Continue reading The Sydney Project: Art Safari at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Australian passport lifehacks, the unpaid version

If Alex Kidman can get a Lifehacker article out of a last minute passport application, I can get a blog entry. I’ve had cause to apply for too many Australian passports in the last couple of years (mine and both of my children), and lo, I come to share my wisdom. The online form The passport office has an online version of the application form you can fill in. My advice: unless you are eligible for an renewal, do not bother with the online passport form. All the online form does is generate a document you need to print out … Continue reading Australian passport lifehacks, the unpaid version

Travel tip: Wentworth Falls Lake

I’ve frequently had cause to try and meet people in the Blue Mountains in a kid-friendly place, and I’ve found it surprisingly hard to do so. There’s teeny playgrounds of various types. There’s all the big tourist attractions which might work for older kids but about which mine couldn’t give a damn. After poking at a map for a while, I discovered Wentworth Falls Lake, which seems to hit a decent amount of criteria for people with little kids. There’s two small but not uninteresting playgrounds, a number of fairly level and even paths, picnic tables scattered about, electric barbecues … Continue reading Travel tip: Wentworth Falls Lake

Not the Sydney Project: Questacon

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney… only without the Sydney bit this once. We rudely interrupt the Sydney Project to bring you a Canberra attraction: Questacon. In short, Questacon works nicely for V in a way that the Powerhouse did not, probably because it’s pretty shameless about catering entirely to children, complete with buttons, lights and hard hats. We were there on a very busy day: the Saturday of the Easter weekend, the middle weekend of NSW school holidays. It was merely … Continue reading Not the Sydney Project: Questacon

The Sydney Project: Powerhouse Museum

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney. This was our second visit to the Powerhouse Museum, both times on a Monday, a day on which it is extremely quiet. The Powerhouse seems so promising. It’s a tech museum, and we’re nerd parents, which ought to make this a family paradise. But not so. Partly, it’s that V is not really a nerdy child. His favourite activities involve things like riding his bike downhill at considerable speeds and dancing. He is not especially interested … Continue reading The Sydney Project: Powerhouse Museum

The Sydney Project: Art Baby

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. I’ve therefore decided to embark on a self-imposed challenge to go and do different child-focussed activities in Sydney and review them! Art Baby is a preliminary Sydney Project entry, because it wasn’t an activity for preschoolers! Instead, it’s an activity for carers of babies, who tour the Museum of Contempoary Art with their babies. Mostly, it’s a short (45 minute) tour of one of the exhibitions (it was Volume One today), and the fact of having babies in tow is largely irrelevant. (Most of the … Continue reading The Sydney Project: Art Baby

A year with orthokeratology

A year ago, I did something that’s very rare for me, I made an expensive impulse purchase. Specifically, I was fitted for orthokeratology lenses. These are a vision correction technique: hard contact lens you wear while you sleep, that mold your cornea into a corrected shape so that you don’t need to use vision correction while you’re awake. I have mild myopia (-1.75 left and -0.75 right, I think) and very mild right-eye astigmatism and I’ve had vision correction since I was about ten (initially only for my left eye, my right eye only became measurably myopic about 5 years … Continue reading A year with orthokeratology