Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dreamteam 2008

Obvs, most people reading this will not have the slightest interest, but since I am organising the little league thing I've been playing in for years, I hope writing about it will keep things a bit clearer in my head. There is entirely too much going on inside head.

I'm going to list my team below. I actually have a team in the Herald Sun supercoach competition, but it is the AFL website dreamteam that is the important one.

In the dreamteam competition you play against your mates from rounds 4 to 18 to establish a ladder. Rounds 19 to 22 of the footy calender then become a finals series until you've got a grand final winner. Last year I was beaten in the grand final, which isn't bad seeing as I know pretty much nothing about football. My only real exposure is through this dreamteam thing.

Since the competition doesn't start until round 4, we set up a little in-house pre-season competition in which we all bet 6 crown lagers per game. I won my first round with a score of 1744.

This is my team:
1. CORNES, Chad
2. MILBURN, Darren
3. SHAW, Heath
4. GUERRA, Brent
5. BOWDEN, Joel
6. EDWARDS, Jake
7. THOMPSON, Scott D.
8. CORNES, Kane
9. JACK, Kieren
10. STEVENS, Nick
11. TUCK, Travis
12. DYSON, Ricky
13. PALMER, Rhys
14. COX, Dean
15. WHITE, Jeff
16. JOHNSON, Brad
17. O'KEEFE, Ryan
18. PAVLICH, Matthew
19. THOMAS, Dale
20. JOHNSON, Steve
21. GAMBLE, Ryan
22. LUCAS, Scott
23. BROWN, Nathan J.
24. PFEIFFER, Darren
25. GEARY, Jarryn
26. BIRD, Craig
27. LEUENBERGER, Matthew
28. KREUZER, Matthew
29. RIOLI, Cyril
30. TIPPETT, Kurt

You have 10 million in which to buy your players initally. Throughout the season, you have 20 trades so you can get rid of underperforming players or injuries.

My overall strategy has been to bring in some very expensive but solid players and then complete the team with a whole heap of rookies. Players have their value change each week based on the results of the last 3 games. Picking the right rookies is essential for me because they have to increase a lot in value, which can only happen if they play quite a few games during the year. AFL teams tend not to choose many rookies because they are an unknown risk. Later in the season, I will trade a rookie for someone very cheap and with the money saved trade another rookie for someone very expensive so that by the end of the year I should have an expensive killin' it team.

Most people who play this game choose a couple of expensive good players, mostly average players and a couple of rookies. This means they'll get good scores throughout the year and can upgrade their average players to very good players if their rookies make them money.

My strategy is that I've purchased lots of very expensive players who I intend to keep all year and lots of very cheap players who I hope hope hope will play enough games to be upgraded substantially. My strategy is risky for too reasons; 1.) I may never make a lot of points early in the year so that I end up too far down the year to end into the finals when my team is good and 2.) if the rookies don't play, it's all over red rover. I don't have trades to waste on swapping rookies over each week.

I intend to trade a couple of people at the end of round 3, because the system changes the price after 3 games, that's the best time to pick up a player who is about to explode in price. Prices are established from their averages (mostly from last year). After that, I don't intend to trade at all until Round 12. Again, a risky strategy as I could very well fall down the ladder too far to ever recover. Since there are 20 trades, this means I could make 2 trades per game until the grand final. This has worked well for me in the past since most people actually have no or very few trades going into the finals. Finals are established at the end of Round 18.

The exception to my own rules are expensive players who have long-term injuries.

Going into Round 2:
I'm playing the team that beat me in the grand final last year. My team is sitting pretty except for Scott Lucas who may be out for 10-12 weeks. I may have enough players to cover him until the end of Round 3, but I might just replace him now and score the big points.
I'm tossing up between:
1.) Trading Scott Lucas now for Johnothan Brown.
2.) Trading Scott Lucas now for Paul chapman.
3.) Not trading him and thinking about it later.

The other choice I need to make is regarding Captain. Captain scores double points, so it's important to choose well.

The Cornes brothers are usually excellent choices, as is Pav but this week I'm either going to pick either Dean Cox, Brad Johnson or Chapman if I get him. This is mainly because the Cornes brothers are playing are playing against Sydney who are going at shutting the top players down at the SCG which is not a highscoring ground. Brad Johnson is playing against Melbourne who were dismal against Geelong last week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Photographies Number 1.

I'm going to start posting my photos on this blog.

I've only recently felt like I'm starting to get better. The initial learning curve was big, but for the last year or so I've been a bit stagnate. To be honest, I felt like I've gone backwards. It seems like the things I've learnt in the last year or so have actually introduced constraints that I was free from before I knew, it seems like I can't quite get back.

So, I want to record where I am and I how I get to wherever it is I'm going photographically.

Writing about it will hopefully enforce lessons learnt.

Ideally, because of the below post, I would like to become a half IT guy/half photographer guy so I'm aiming to get to a point where people would totally pay me money to take photos of them.

One thing that has held me back has been my choice in models. I've always chosen models who have fairly shabby portfolios so that anything I produce for them is exciting in comparison. While this has been good ego-wise, it's been terribly learning-wise because it's hard to learn off people less experienced than you. I have no contact with other photographers and am heaps not good at absorbing words via internets. Mainly I've been learningby trial and error, but my photographic excursions have been too few and far between to retain learnings.

That all ends right now. Forevs or similar.

Below is Kat. She's an experienced model, totally hilars and is very willing to share what she knows. This photo is as is, straight out of the camera.

She taught me about hotspots.
I had heard the term but didn't really understand.

Say you're taking a photo of friends on a night out. Looking back, you might notice that their nose, or their forehead or their elbow has a bright white spot on it from the flash. While this is usually okayish, if I'm going to be ace, I have to try and eliminate hotspots.

One way is by further diffusing the light (softbox, bouncing it, moving it further away) and another way is by putting translucent powder on the model. If the skin is a little shiny (which happens quick under lights) then the shiny bits will pick up hotspotsmuch more than the not shiny bits. Powder fixes this.

I did the makeup in this shot. I was aiming for natural looking makeup because she had a casting straight afterwards.

The foundation didn't go great, I put it on two heavily in parts and too sparse in others. Evens Stevens is so the goal in so many makeups.

I totally forgot to contour the face and to highlight just below the eyebrow.

I also feel like the colour of the lipstick didn't fit the 'natural' brief,too bright, too pink.

Things I'd do differently:

- Pay more attention so that the black dress or jacket don't fade into thebackground.

- Think more about colours to fit the brief.

- Make my own dagnam decisions makeup-wise instead of asking my model everystep of the way.

- Do the makeup faster, 1 hour 30 minutes is not going to get me any gigs.

Adam vs Forces Karmic

For many, many years I didn't do any work. I was at work, I went to work everyday, but I seemed to have picked up a crazy knack of being desperately required by this corporate monstrosities, who then would have not much for me to do. So, for years I entertained myself with so many e-mails, blogs, internets, generally mucking around and charging entirely too much for it. While I continually feel like a fraud, and knowing karma hates unappreciated good fortune, I've made sure my little artiste is fed, housed and supplying the world with so many musics. Being a contractor though, equals little job security and so in an effort to save up some money to create myself an emergency buffer, I asked Cara to work again. At the same time I set up my own contracting company and so plans for the buffer were all set.

Officially titled 'The Buffer Plan', it did and continues to work very well. Lady Karma, though, wasn't real happy with the change of plan. She's not my favourite, instead of a polite 'Ahem, excuse me for the interuption, but could you explain your plan so that I might ascertain whether so many punishments are required.' she got all uppity and took matters into her own hands.

AP started more like normal than usual. I didn't have a computer for the first week, the first couple of months I did approximately 10 minutes of work a day. I kid you not, sometimes not even 10 minutes.

Then, The Project started.

The Project was being managed by another company, who had won the contract by offering a fixed price contract and under cutting everyone else. A fixed price contract means that you get paid for finishing the project (or developing the product) regardless of how long it takes you. If you do it quickly and cheaply, you make so many monies, if it takes you a long time, you end up working superhard and losing money for your trouble. A gamble for such, especially since this was the company's first venture into a project of this nature. I wasn't contracting to AP, I was contracting to the company, and they got me in to fulfill a role I often just fall in to... The Golden Child, the One Who Can Do No Wrong. The peeps at AP seemed to take quite a liking to me, especially since I was quite different from the previous people who had done my job. The peeps though, took an instant dislike to The Company once The Project started. The Company resolved this situation by being demanding and bringing on highly incompetent staff (possibly to replace me with a cheaper version) and 'fixing' the project plan to make it look better. this 'fixing' was pretty smart, it involved asking me how long a task would take, taking my estimate and halving it. To motivate everyone, the company then told us that AP quartered it and we had to produce the goods. Activities were skipped because they didn't look rad on the project plan and I was caught in The Position Of Ackwardity. I liked the peeps at AP and wanted to do a good job for them, but The Company was requiring very, very long hours and weekends to try and meet it's deadlines. I don't think I'm afraid of hardwork, I was actually excited by it going in, but because The Company was truly crap, I started to resent having to bail them out time and time again by working the hours craziness.

The Company clearly tipped the scales too far into crud and Lady Karma felt I learnt my lesson.

After 6 months, today is the last day that The Company works at AP. They have effectively been fired and AP have asked that I continue on to actually do the job required. I am relieved no end.

AP is determined to manage me properly and adjust the project plans to ensure I am only required to work 40 hours a week, I indeed get to live again and work like a normal. Not too much, not too little.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Hey kids.

I am actually intending to be more acer of blog from here on. I know I've said this before, but I got plans baby.

I've got a few things that I want to sort of keep a journal on, so for fairly selfish reasons I intend to blog up. Before I do that I should give you all a brief overview of where things are at:

- Africa is north of Antartica. Not so relevant, but that's where that is.
- Been the busiest ever, overwhelmingly so.
- Work has still be craziness, I was hoping to get fired at one point so I could just walk away, but they've sorted themselves out.
- While work was an idiot. I started a makeup course to complement my almost, nearly starting photography business. It has 12 contact hours and assignments and required practise hours - freakin' me out a bit.
- We're going to Brisbane on Thursday night and meant to organise a nerdfest... except I'm the most unorganised ever, we don't even have accomodation yet.
- Photography has been going okay, but it seems like the more I learn, the harder it all gets.
- Cara's band has been doing her head in. The've mastered their album but no one wants to tour or fund good artwork.
- To compensate, Cara has this week been creating a new band. A nine piece where everyone swaps around and different people feature in different songs. She is the boss.
- I still haven't got my contracting company good. My Dad is coming over tonight to beat it up a bit.
- For many years I've been in something called an AFL Dreamteam competition. It's where you pick players who play the game of football, and if they do good things you get points. With those points you want to beat the points your friends got. If we are feeling confident, we bet beers. The day of the AFL Grand Final we all get together and receive the beers we won and give out awards for hilarious bagging e-mails throughout the season. This year, I'm organising the whole thing so I might be blogging my team and the challenges so I can recap at the end of the year.
- I want to take more random ace photography photos, so hopefully this blog will do many motivates.