yesterday's technology tomorrow

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Goodbye Granddad
This afternoon Oskar and I went to visit my grand father for what is highly likely to be the last time. He was asleep and looked old and tired.

My grandfather (and grandmother) moved to an outer suburb of Melbourne when I was in grade 4 and from then on, I didn't see them as much. Recently, I've seen them around 5 or 6 times a year, Oskar has seen them more (with my Mum) and knows them well for a great grand child.

A few weeks ago I took Jasmine to see them both. The joy on their faces was wonderful and I have realised over the last week that seeing their great grand children must be a thrill for them both. With that in mind I feel sad yet happy, in the sense that I know he is about to die (more tears here) yet happy that I have been able to in some way contribute to their lives with/through my children.

On the way to the gym this morning I saw a van pull up in a side street and a man in suit got out with a stretcher and rolled it into a house, I'd never thought about it before but that's what happens..

Goodbye grand dad, you taught me a lot as a young child. I'm sorry I didn't spend as much time with you over the last many years but I will always love you.

Update : Granddad died last night. My grandma rang around 10pm to tell me he had just passed away. She sounded good. This morning I went and told mum. RIP Arthur.

0 comments | 4:29 PM

Friday, May 14, 2004

My dad as a grand father
A couple of weeks ago mum and dad got back from overseas where they had been doing lots of walking. Dad had lost over 6kg which was great. He had also said he was running out of breath on a few hills in the last week of the trip.

Last Thursday he went to the doctor for a checkup and they gave him some heart tests. The next day he had some full on heart tests and on Sunday was told he had a blockage around an artery and would need some surgery. He came home on Tuesday arvo.

On Tuesday morning Suzette, Jasmine and I flew to Hobart for our offline/online holiday (more on that in another post). Oskar stayed with Mum.

Back into hospital on Wednesday and open heart surgery on Thursday morning. We got back on Thursday arvo.

This afternoon I went into see him for the first time. I walked into the room and saw my grandfather in my dad. Tubes everywhere, drips and a tired pale old man who looked but a shell of how he looked last week when I last saw him.

Its been over 22 years since my grand father died and I can remember only several things about him, walking in Spring Rd park, him teaching me to bowl a cricket ball, him giving me a watch of his and walking to Glenferrie Rd to get a band for a little boys wrist and a few other things. Now he lives mainly in my childhood photo album.

I have thought more about him over the last few years since having kids and know how much he and grandma would loved to have spoilt Jasmine and Oskar.

Then to see Dad this afternoon, it was surprising to have a 10 year old's memories come flooding back. I haven't seen anyone in hospital since then.

I try hard so not to cry thinking about it all and having my daddy in hospital looking so vulnerable, so not what dads are supposed to look like to their little boys.

Get well soon Dad, you have many many years with Oskar and Jasmine not to mention Mum, Adam, Suze and me.

0 comments | 8:18 PM

Monday, May 10, 2004

New Blogger UI
The folks at Google just updated blogger. It looks great and the dashboard is sensational. I love the profile stuff and the summary of posts/words etc. Only change is to clarify in the DOB field what is the day field and which is the month field. The example doesn't help.

Well done!!!

0 comments | 10:39 AM

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Meeting with Oskar
This morning Oskar and I caught the tram into richmond then a train under the "big big tunnel" into the city. We were going to meet my mum and dad for coffee before I had an important meeting with Telstra.

My parents are usually very very prompt, when they hadn't arrived for coffee by 8:20 when they should have been there by 8 I started to wonder what was up. A quick call to their home and I found out they had slept in (due to jet lag) and I was going to be taken the youngest member of the AgentArts team to the meeting with me.

So off we set...into the Telstra building (all 42 floors of it) and signing in at reception before heading up the lifts past the security people and into the big conference room. I'd told Oskar beforehand it was an important meeting and he needed to be quiet and that I'd bought him a ABC magazine to read.

All the Telstra staff were absolute stars. They were very happy to have Oskar in the meeting and didn't seem to mind at all.

During the meeting which went for about 55mins, Oskar read his mag, talked a little, ate an apple, drew on the whiteboards, looked out the window and managed to reboot their computer in the middle of me given them an update demo on the development work we are doing for them...doh!!

Along the way were a few classic comments like "Daddy. I need to pee now" which forced a quick break to the meeting and sitting in my chair saying "I'm very busy".

All in all he tolerated it all very very well and I was so proud of him. The most important thing I saw today was how calm I am around him and how tolerant I am. My usual consulting bravado was much diminished and I was much more accepting of everyone and their work updates than I might usually be.

After that it was off to my office on the tram and bus...lots of cuddles on the way.

Next time you are in a meeting try pretending your 3 year old is there and how you would want him/her to see you. Being a hero and role model to your child brings new responsibilities not only towards them but also towards others.

Thank you Oskar you were a star and made today a very very special day for me!!

0 comments | 3:20 PM
Playground Finder Flink Labs - Data Visualisation

neuronwave is the personal site of Ben Hosken. I am the founder of Flink Labs, a data visualisation studio based in Melbourne. Previously I founded AgentArts, where I developed a recommendations system that we ultimately sold to MSFT.I have two patents, one in Recommendation Systems and one for a datamining algorithm I invented. I have a strong interest in physical computing, emergence, self organising systems, immersive games, bluetooth ad hoc networks and other fun things.
A while ago I built and ran Blog Change Bot - an AOL IM Bot which notified you when blogs you like are updated. I also built IcyPole, a bluetooth based P2P mobile phone app in 2004. With Suzette, I've built Playground Finder - a community contributed site for parents to find playgrounds nearby and while traveling for their kids to play in. Its a "playground" for my social, location, community and mobile interests.
I live in Melbourne with my wife Suzette, son Oskar Tex and my little girl Jasmine

Random Pile of Ben
Bodypump, Flink Labs, autumn weather, balance.

Downloads etc
The Best Bagel Recipe ever
iTunes XML structure
Photo of some of my best Panetones

Neuron EcoSystem
Flink Labs
oskartex.comOskar Tex
JasmineJasmine Aurora
Playground Finder

April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004

ben at neuronwave dot com