Photo 7 - Workday by sburn01
Photo 7 – Workday, a photo by sburn01 on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
The 6th of February; a Monday. A dismal workday, which means that it’s quite hard to take the SLR out and about. For a start, the office is a dreary, open-plan place like millions of others. I could take pictures on the train of commuters, there’s plenty of life there, plenty to see and document. However, most of my fellow commuters in the mornings are students on their way to a girl’s school. If I start getting a camera out, it would be beyond creepy. Taking pictures surreptitiously even more so.
Instead, I give you my laptop desktop on almost any given day. Photos, Twitter, Spotify, a web browser looking up something or another that has nothing to do with my dayjob and, a slight nod towards my actual employment, Outlook.

So, I’m spending most of the day today in transit to or from Leeds. This is helped by the fact that National Express, who I was surprised to learn don’t just do coaches but trains too, actually provide free wifi access on their trains. Nice! It’s not fast enough for WoW, but it does just fine or general browsing. I wish they also provided power points in standard class like Virgin Trains do, but apparently I can’t have everything.

As for the rest of the day, it’ll be two meetings and a spot of lunch. Is that worth a £220 train fare and a day of not being billable? Who knows…

Well, it’s all over. I’m out of Eindhoven forever, having survived the project, the go-live and the go-live party. The go-live party consisted of masses of booze, Indonesian food, Karaoke (Loveshack baby!) and 70s/80s outfits (What? Punk was 80s!). And it was actually good fun, despite my whinging ahead of time. Then, after the hangover had cleared, a trip back to the UK office for my second leaving party. It feels like the end of an era.

So I’m sure my company are ready to embrace me back into their ample bussom? Well, not quite… They’re thinking of sending me to a central London banking project. Oh well, guess they’re not quite as pleased to see me again as I thought…

To recover, Penny and I spent last weekend in Oxford for a pleasant couple of days chilling out and sightseeing. And most importantly it was unplugged. No laptop, no mobile phone, nothing. Very pleasant indeed. Photos to come.

Oh, and I watched The Prestige recently, which I enjoyed very much, despite the sometimes bewildering timeline jumps in the first third of the movie.

The last two weeks have been largely taken up with two things: work and pain. My quasi-annual back pains kicked in again and this time I was given no choice, no escape and no way to avoid my fate; It was the chiropractors for me. And I’m actually glad I’ve gone. My weekly appointments have helped and apparently I’ll hopefully be on track for going up to SnoZone in Milton Keynes in January.

Work has been busy, but in a good way. It’s been quite varied, what with calls from my previous client, support work and some presales thrown in there for good measure. It’s meant I’ve really been enjoying my job and makes me glad I stayed in the department I am.

A couple of weekends ago was a gaming weekend where we played Aberrant and Vampire. The Abberant was much enjoyed and the Vampire is really starting to pick up momentum. The next game is in January, followed by one at Conception.

And on the topic of Conception, I’ve decided to run a one-off Mage game there, inspired by 1920’s pulp adventures, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and Whacky Races. Hopefully I can pull it off!

I’ve finally settled on what my Christmas meal will be and we’ve tried making it to make sure it works: Venison steak with a port and juniper gravy. Mmmm… Bambi…

That’s it for now, hopefully more frequent and more interesting posts henceforth!

There are three words that, while individually bad, become truly awful when combined. In the right combination those three little words are the bane of any IT implimentation. What are those three little words that send shudders up my spine?

User

Acceptance

Testing.

May the gods have mercy on what remains of our blackened souls…

I’ve just experienced such a mood change. Going from being elated that tomorrow I fly to Egypt, to mad enough to spit feathers. The Powers That Be have decreed that since I refuse to fly to Holland on the same evening as I arrive back from Egypt, they’ve booked me on the first flight out on the next morning.
So I get to fly back, unpack, repack, sleep a few hours and head back out to Eindhoven. Furious doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Anyway, it’s nearly the end of my working day, assuming I can get everything finished. I’ll be back in the country late evening of the 22nd and then back out of the country the next morning. I’ll be incommunicado for some time then, but hopefully in a better mood than right now.

Well, it’s been a busy week and a half, so it’s time for the obligatory ‘I haven’t posted in ages’ update!

Friday the 14th
Working in the home office. Blergh! Working on a bank holiday sucks, but doubly so when you have nothing to do.
Thought of the day: Zzzzz… Bored… Entertain me!

Saturday the 15th
Shopping for Penny and the ‘The Wolves in the Walls’ at the in Hammersmith, a cute little out-of-centre theatre. The piece was wonderful and all enjoyed it, from the kiddies right up to the adults, Penny and I included. The wolves themselves were excellently done.
Thought of the day: When the wolves come out of the walls, !

Sunday the 16th
Meeting the ‘rents was happily painless. The sacrifices we make just to make a good impression. Even drinking Hock.

Monday the 17th
Thought of the day: None. Total relaxation as I had the day off for a change and used it to do absolutely nothing.

Tuesday the 18th
Presentation in .
Thought of the day: If I just muscle my way through this presentation, all these people might not realise how nervous I am.
Motto of the day: Fake it ’til you make it.

Wednesday the 19th
Presentations, workshops, blah blah blah. The evening was a pirates themed night of entertainment at . Think five hour dinner show where the cast are also serving food and drinks (unlimited) and getting you to take part in the singing, dancing and the conga. After three congas (out of eight) I gave up and decided I’d had enough of enforced fun and it started to feel like an army of gaudily dressed Butlins animators were brainwashing us by singing at us in Dutch.
Thought of the night: You’d think with 40+ project team members on a stage, at least one of them would know the way to Amarillo?

Thursday the 20th
Presentations, workshops, blah blah blah.
Thought of the day: I’m so glad I didn’t abuse the ‘drink as much as you want’ at the show last night, and thankfully my delegates did.

Friday the 21st
Home vie Schiphol. Hurrah! Then pizza, beer and cocktails with Penny on a tour of Woking before collapsing, exhausted.
Thought of the day: Should I be worried that I know Schiphol so well that I can give directions despite not having been there for well over a year?

Saturday the 22nd – Salute
After grabbing some breakfast bagels in town, it was time tohead to London to meet up with Bryce and Tim at . Managed to play some games, generally catch up and avoid too much lead poisoning. Wizkids stand very dissapointing as there was no demo of High Stakes Drifter and a poor showing of the new demo. Looked okay though.
Afterwards, at exactly Beer O’Clock, off to the for coktails while we waited for Penny to show up.

Saturday the 22nd – Pirates & Wenches Party
Saturday night was ! (click for photos; ) The theme of the party was Pirates and Wenches and everyone, to differing degrees, dressed up accordingly. All good fun. By a stroke of luck Bryce and I caught a mysterious masked hoodlum who re-decorated Mandy’s beloved , and managed to scare him off before he/she managed to do any harm. We feel we deserve a good citizenship award at the very least.
Thought of the day: Yarr! (Of course!)

Sunday the 23rd
An early(-ish) start to head back home and nurse our hangovers doing boring unintellectual activities that wouldn’t tax our toxic brains. I watched , which was good, very different and powerful, And long. Also watched , a true rogue if ever I saw one.
Thought of the day: None. Thankfully.