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June 26, 2004 01:09 PM PST

Beautiful. It's simply beautiful outside. I wonder how much I'll truly get to enjoy it. You see, I have this full-time contract of which I've written before; I also have a couple other contracts which I have managed to secure recently, and one on the horizon I hope to get. This is fabulous as far as income goes, but doesn't do much for my availability to enjoy the sun. Another issue is that since my laptop died, I have been without computer which would allow me to *do* any of these contracts!

Consider the problem semi-solved yesterday, when I purchased a new laptop and wireless router. The laptop is pretty pimp - I went for raw horse-power and tried to keep the other expenses to a minimum, but it's still pretty nice. A Toshiba A70, if you're wondering. However, there are both positives and negatives that this brings about.

The first thing is, though I now have a laptop and can perform the contracts, I need the money those contracts generate in order to pay for the laptop. Now, if that isn't a prime case of circular logic, I don't know what is! So I need a computer especially to work on contracts 2 and 3. The full-time contract provides me with a computer, it's just that it's a piece of garbage that I couldn't possibly work on. So computer is only completely necessary for the smaller contracts. Conveniently, I believe the amount of income I should receive from those 2 should just about cover my significant cash (well, credit) outlay from yesterday.

So, at least I have a laptop that I can use for all my present and future computing needs, right? And a wireless router so that I can at least sit outside while I work on my contracts for the summer? Well, perhaps. However, the laptop's surface around the keyboard is a silvery colour. This makes it reflect the sun rather impressively, which caused me near-blindness when I came outside a few minutes ago to test things out.

I seem to have adjusted a sitting position that does not impare my vision terribly while working in the sun, with the laptop poised on my lap. There's no table out the front, and the back patio faces north so no sun there. Signal strength appears to vary between "Good", and "Very Good" as I have been checking. Whichever, it does not appear to be causing problems in my surfing or listening to Proton. It was "Low" just when I came out, but things seem to be better now (of course I have no idea what might have changed).

I'm still testing out the laptop, so no congrats or "about time"s just yet. If I'm satisfied, then I must still install WinXP Pro (it came with Home) in order to be able to do my work on it, but it's seeming pretty good. Once that's done, I'll be getting the pics off my camera where they've been piling up (thank god for the 256MB CF card), and will get them posted up here.

Wow - the keyboard and area around it is getting a little warm from the sun... Wonder how that will work out. Glad I paid for the 3-yr warranty! I'm not going to get fscked like last time. And there are about 3 ants crawling on me. Ah, summertime!

Party tonight. Oh yes, it shall be grand! Don't expect to hear from me for a few days! ;)

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June 23, 2004 11:34 AM PST

Wow, this being back at work thing is pretty crazy! The amount of chaos and rushing around is pretty amazing, considering my fairly quiet and regimented (sorta) life of unemployment. Yesterday, I arrived at work at 0930, was in a meeting at 1000, was in another meeting at 1130, broke for lunch about 1230, was back in session by a little after 1300, and then was out of the meeting by 1615. I spent a bunch of time finally doing some work, and holding and attending small impromptu meetings until finally leaving the office at 1845. That's a very full (and seemingly unproductive) 9 hour day! And that seems to be typical! Argh - I can't stand meetings.


Heh, I was just interupted in the crafting of this entry by someone wanting a short meeting. In all fairness to this place, we *are* in the beginning stages of this project, and the design and coordination stage requires a fair amount of meetings. I just don't really feel like I'm *doing* anything while spinning my wheels in a meeting.

Blah, blah, blah! Enough about meetings. In other news, I learned some interesting things about a cow-irker today. Turns out he's an ex-partier, who knows Scotty Stylus. That's rather humourous! He's not averse to going to parties (as long as they're quality), so I've told him about the party this weekend, and he may come with us.

Within a week and a half, I'll be in my new residence! Finally! Soooo looking forward to being there (though not the moving). Oh, and I'm still looking at computers and trying to decide what to buy ... so no pics for another little while.

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June 17, 2004 11:30 AM PST

Top news for today: domicile secured for July 1, and FIRE stuff went off wonderfully. The server seemed to bomb this morning, a fact I discovered after driving 20km to work. So, I had to bow out gracefully (on my 3rd day of work) and race home to try and sort out what the problem was. Oh yeah, and the server was running perfectly normally when I arrived.


Anyways, better that than a terminal illness - I've had enough of that in computers after my laptop. And since gas was "down" to $0.955/L this morning, it's no problem driving over 80km today! *sigh*

In other news, I had some great, home-made, red pepper homous last night. I'm not really a homous person (I'm not very homble ;), but mmmmmm, it was *tasty*!

It's Thursday today. I am going to sign the papers and put down the deposit tonight that will render me a confirmed renter again. The place (as I'm sure Sheena will tell you) is a pretty chic place for a basement suite. Stylish light olive green walls, a white with maroon tiled bathroom, shared laundry, and included heat, hot water, electricity, and satellite TV all included in our very reasonable rent. And all this at more than 30% less than what I was paying at my last place! Of course, we'll have to sort out interweb stuff, but even then, we're still looking at a 25% savings!

Tomorrow is Friday, and the weekend looms! It will be a well-deserved one, this week!

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June 16, 2004 10:17 AM PST

Ha-ha! Just when you had discounted me for dead, I pop up again; this time in a most unlikely place: an office!!

Before I get into that (which I know you're just dying to hear about), I'd like to apologize for the lack of pictures on my website. There have actually been a goodly number of shots taken in the last while, but with increasing lack of using (or being able to use) my laptop, it has been fairly unpossible*. I have spent most of my job search time borrowing Timmy's computer. My computer has slumped anew, and is finally completely kaputt. It refuses even to boot into Windows - looks like the video card is pooched. That, combined with a number of dead keys on the keyboard, an inoperative CD/DVD ROM, and a dead battery (just off the top of my head), makes for a very unusable computer indeed. My next step is therefore to purchase a new one, but I can't really justify that until I get a job - at least a temporary one.

Now, this brings me to my current location: IVL Technologies. It seems these folks have need of a brilliant ASP.NET developer to work on a complex e-commerce project. And, apparently, that distinguished personage is, in fact, myself. While currently only on week-to-week contract while awaiting some executive decisions, I hope eventually to be contracted for 3+ months on this gig. Many, many, many thanks to Davin for passing along the seemingly innocuous posting to an email list to which he belongs.

I should perhaps mention that I did indeed turn down that other job. It was simply too little money and too much expected investment (time and lack of salary) with too little expectation for reward. The final straw for me was the lack of any business plans whatsoever. If you plan to take a company from scratch to making millions a month in revenue, then you really need a business plan! Like with any other financial investment, I felt myself reticent to make a large commitment to a company in which I did not have strong confidence. It was a tough decision, however, with it being the only solid offer in 2 months of searching, and the interesting work it could entail. Well, I made the decision, turned them down, and 2 business days later, I'm in a different office working for 50% more money. Of course, this one is only a contract, and I still don't know how long it will last, but I've made my decision, and I'm content with it.

So anyway, if things go well here, I should have a new (and very powerful) laptop as early as next week. The folks at IVL have given me an 800MHz desktop machine with 256MB, but I think a 3GHz with 512+MB might just do me a little better. It's important to have a good development machine with the amount of work I'll be throwing at it ... and who knows how much other contracting I may get. After obtaining a new machine, I'll be able to raid both my old hard drive and camera to post many new pics, and things will again be wonderful!

I am excited to have a good place and times to blog again. Sitting sideways and half-curled in Timmy's computer room to avoid a bed just recently evacuated by a sullen teen, awoken after a mere few hours sleep (at 0900), and prodding sadly at the few job listings was not really a conducive environment to creativity and interesting blog topics. Add to that the dismal lack of the photos I love so dearly, and you have what you got: an almost complete lack of blog. Well, hopefully that's over with for at least a little while.

I am excited today, for in the evening comes ... FIRE! (more info and maybe even pics at a later date)

* Note: "Me fail English? That's unpossible!" - Ralph Wiggum

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June 07, 2004 07:06 PM PST

Oh, so I'm still not updating enough, huh? Well, this week I have an excuse. I have been busier this past week than I have been for my entire period of unjobness. After a wonderful whirlwind in Seattle last weekend, I was beset with Things To Do. A punctured tire, 3 job interviews, a little tech support for family friends, a bunch of new applications, meetings with friends regarding potential work, 1 graduation ceremony, associated time with family and friends, a bunch of little errands, house cleaning, and laundry. I think there must be a bunch more I'm missing 'cos that list doesn't seem quite full enough.

There's some new photography to add to the site, but I don't feel super motivated right now. This is my first time sitting down today, and I'm only writing because of Davin's insistence.

I suppose I should mention today that I finally got a job offer! The only problem is that the company involved doesn't really want to pay very much. I'm torn between the fact that I have been offered a job, any job, and the disturbing downward trend in my earnings to which this would contribute. When I moved back from Seattle, I took a pretty heavy hit money-wise. This was kinda expected - the price of living and doing tech in Vic. However, a second downwards jump of similar proportions is not exactly the way I want my career to progress. Some have suggested that I take the job and keep looking, but I don't feel too comfortable with that because it's a small company and it could be severely hurt by that type of behaviour.

If I don't take the job, there is not a huge number of prospects on the horizon, but there are some with potential.

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