Friday, March 18, 2005
MorningTook me all of it, but I finally managed to get everything switched across to my new machine. Test databases loaded, a couple of the versions of the product compiled up, necessary software loaded up, I know I haven't got Cygwin fully loaded, but I can live without that for a day or two.
AfternoonMid afternoon I noticed that the power cord was missing from the new intranet server I'm getting ready to replace the old one. It's been semi-live for a while and I've been waiting for a chance to upgrade the operating system on it to SuSE 9.2 Even with my amazing ability to miss the obvious, I could see that with no power cord nobody could be using it. So I grabbed my chance.
Final FarewellFour thirty came around and we stopped for presentations and farewells. First Donald's 10 years with the company was noted then David's stepping down. Everyone that could be there was, including Aruna who managed to get in to the office ... when I went out for a smoke at one point I found out how, her husband had left work early to drive her in and look after their daughter. Aruna doesn't drive, and naturally you can't leave a 2 year old unattended. We all faithfully promised that is we ever got to the UK we'd call in and say "Hello" to David. By the time I left the office I was starting to feel really tired. I wish I could shake this. When I got home I just didn't feel like dinner, so I had a couple of bananas and left it at that.
And so to sleepNo need to point out that I'm having an early night tonight.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
OfficeA fairly quiet day in the office. Steven had set up my new PC, but I had a few day's worth of email to take care of first. Then it was copying files off the old computer and onto the new. At lunch I popped down to Queen street and changed my Aussie dollars back to Kiwi. As always I lost on the exchange rate, but c'est la vie. I worked late, and at the end of the day I really felt like I hadn't done anything useful. Perhaps I did, it just doesn't feel like it.
Farewell DinnerThe penultimate act of David's stand-down was played out over a restaurant meal. Me, David, Steve, Grant and Donald sharing a rather nice Italian meal at Una Lira. We talked a lot about how good it had been to work together these last five years. Being me I had too much to eat. But I do so love fegatelli, then you have to have the main. Then who can resist an Italian dessert, this time cassata. Finally the espresso, and final thanks and we went our separate ways. Of course, Italian food is deceptive. You think you've had a meal, you feel full. Later that evening you feel really bloated, but you manage to find the one position that doesn't cramp your belly and you get to sleep. Then during the night the stuff keeps expanding, you wake up and hear your ribs creaking as they attempt to contain forces normally only found in the hearts of stars. A week or two later and you can walk without waddling.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
BreakfastGot up. Showered, eventually. I couldn't find any soap. After looking around a bit I discovered that there were sachets marked "Cleansing bar" I think this must be PC for "Soap". Really!! Anyway, the stuff worked like soap, looked like soap, smelled like soap, and I passed on the taste test. 7:30 and we were all waiting outside for a quick ride to (I think) the James Street deli where I had ... yeah, ok, don't laugh ... the full cooked breakfast including bacon & scrambled eggs. The place is a delicatessen and cafe. While I was eating I spied some squid ink on sale. I've been wanting some of that since a couple of years back when I saw I saw an Irish cooking program on TV where they used squid ink in a pasta dish. Actually I think it was cuttlefish ink, like it's going to make a difference. I've tried making it with soy sauce, it would be good to try the real thing. I decided to risk MAF confiscating the stuff and bought some. While I was at the counter I saw a little tub of 'Zohra's Tamarind Chilli Jam' -- You know me, how could I resist. Smiles.
OfficeWent to the office for about an uneventful hour & then off to the airport for the flight home.
In flight entertainmentThere was a chick-flick showing on the plane's movie screen, so I turned to the entertainment I'd brought. In other words, I finally finished Frederik Pohl's O Pioneer!. The basic story has a futuristic computer hacker join a sponsored immigration to a "peace planet" shared by humans and five other species of sentient aliens. I was disappointed. Firstly the plot was very predictable, like watching an American TV program, you knew almost immediately who the bad people were, and the ending when it came may have been pulled out of a hat, but you knew it was coming. Secondly it seemed as if he had hastily cobbled together two drafts of the book. For example fairly early in the story the protagonist decoded the alien TV coding so he could watch their programs for a mixture of amusement and to learn more about how his neighbours thought. Later under plot pressure he hastily learned how to decode the aliens news broadcasts. Huh? Finally the story stopped. Yes all the loose ends were wrapped up, yes the bad guys got arrested, but it was as if Pohl decided he'd written 250 pages and it was time to finish. In my opinion this is definitely not one of his best works.
AucklandI may buy some odd stuff overseas, but I always declare it & let the Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF) people sort out if I can bring it into the country. This time was no different. The man from MAF was bemused by my squid ink and quizzed me about why I wanted it. Eventually he conceded that he'd heard of Greek cooking using it too & let me through. He wasn't worried about the jam at all. A taxi home, phoned Mum, and I decided I was too knackered to do anything except get fish & chips and hit the sack. Still it was nice to be home.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Polar Bear's PicnicThe day started with another cooked breakfast. I have to admit that I went for the same as I had the previous day. Sorry, but I do love my bacon. Lucky I don't keep it at home or I'd be even heavier than I am now. After breakfast we assembled by the monorail station again & walked through to the polar bear enclosure. This time I had my camera. There are two young male bears at Seaworld, but they had a little accident and one of them was sporting a broken leg, so only the other one was out. He was a complete clown. He also liked performing around the window to the underwater viewing room, eventually he found a chewed rib cage on the bottom, so I suspect that the keepers encourage the bears to play there by lacing it with treats. Who cares, it was a great show, and I got quite a bit of video footage.
ConferenceMuch the same as yesterday. I got into far too much detail in my v.19 presentation and lost my audience. Luckily we were on a light timetable & had to cut it short before my audience resorted to gnawing their own arms off to escape.
Good news, we picked up a couple of potential beta sites for v.19. Finally!