Gentle Readers,

So. I won an Emmy. Well, more accurately we won an Emmy. To be completely accurate my company was nominated for and awarded a Technology & Engineering Emmy in the category of “Secure Accelerate File Movement Over IP, Including the Internet.

What this meant was that thanks to some scheduling conflicts experienced by some of my more senior coworkers, I got to fly to Las Vegas and participate in the awards ceremony. Given that the day we flew out, the temperature in Ottawa was in the process of dropping down to -30 I was even more thrilled than I might otherwise be.

The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards were very much like any award dinner. There was no red carpet or throngs of paparazzi but that wasn’t much of a surprise as we didn’t have much in the way of celebrity. There were a few people who were big deals in the industry but not household names. The crowd of attendees was mostly men in mostly suits. There were a few outliers like the old bearded sysadmin in jeans and a t-shirt and the young guy in the ultra-modern tuxedo.

As we waited for the doors to the dining area to open, people mingled, drank, ate an amazing variety of amuse-bouches (the duck wontons were the highlight) and had their photo taken in front of the award backdrop.

Eventually we were allowed into the dining room where we were fed one of the most amazing meals I have ever had. As I sipped my practically perfect coffee, our hosts appeared on stage: Alex Trebek and David Pogue. They exchanged some light hearted banter and Mr. Pogue performed a musical number that he had written for the event.

At our table we exchanged some banter ourselves as we waited through the various other awards until it was our turn. Efficient and well dressed assistants slipped up to our table ad informed us it was time to go up to wait by the stage. There we stood, listening to our esteemed competition until finally we were ushered on stage.

Much to our disappointment, Mr. Trebek had retired from the stage prior to our award so sadly the Jeopardy clue in our acceptance speech was not quite as awesome as it could have been. After the speech, we were wisked away back stage were we did get to meet with Mr. Trebek, get a couple of photos with him, and exchange our stage Emmy for the real one that we got to take home. After that I regret to say that we did not return immediately to the ceremony but instead took the opportunity to take more pictures.

We returned in time for the final awards and then the ceremony was done and it was time to move on.

All of the bars in the Bellagio complex were full of Emmy winners who got there before us so we kept moving. Walking through Las Vegas carrying a major award is a fascinating experience. The crowds were evenly split between asking if it was real and if they could get their picture taken with us. I did wish I had a giant silly straw to attach to it.

We ended up at Planet Hollywood were we hung out with a rock star (@Sarahvegas on twitter) and partied like Emmy winners until what was the wee hours of the morning in Ottawa (but was 3 hours earlier in Vegas).

That’s what winning an Emmy is like.

me holding the emmy.
Gentle Readers,

It's been a very full week this week. For starters Cortejo and I have started watching Fringe. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but after yesterday's 14 hour day I decided that I needed to play a bit of catch up and then it was 2 am and so now I'm a little tired.

The bad parts of the week have mostly to do with work stuff. There have been a bunch of bugs that were just no fun to try and fix and due to the fact that the worst one involved Windows Locale stuff (and thus Registry fuckery) where just awful to work on. The second worst one had to do with handling importing corrupted input files and fixing data formats that we didn't notice didn't work 6 months ago when we implemented the database.

On the plus side Lydia's been fantastic and so have things with Ottawa Swordplay.

We've had a bunch of people not only come out to do classes but actually sign up and give us money. It's awesome. We've sold 3 subscriptions as well as multiple class packs. There's even a new Warrior Princess (making for 4) and she lives in our neighborhood so that could make for a new friend for Lydia.

This weekend I've got another fencing lesson to do and I think I will be spending the rest of my time doing some sewing, and doing some work and probably watching some fringe.
Gentle Readers,

Are you there? Are there non-gentle readers? Do you feel like I'm not talking to you too?

What's up? Well, things are a little stressful at the moment. Work has just gone insane. For some reason, this week just went to hell in a handbasket. First thing we got this week was our senior QA person giving his 2 weeks notice. The week went downhill from there with several major hardware failures and a bunch of stupid issues in the code base.

Things at the Swordhall have been good but busy. I've been taking a lot the main classes while Craig is running the Intro Private Lessons for the various deals he's run ($60 for 2 lessons, 3 classes and a t-shirt!) and that's super fun but it can be a bit of a downer when there are no students. Also, with things running until 10, that makes for super long days. I still love the Gross Messer more than many things.

On the baronial front there were some minor stresses but they seem to have worked themselves out without much energy needed on our part. This is a good thing. In fact we're in the middle of 3 weeks off between events which is pretty unusual. There are some events we could have gone to, but thankfully, we've managed to convince ourselves to take a break.

Lydia, who was like a feral beast at bead time over the last full moon seems to have come to some kind of epiphany and has been quite wonderful, working hard to get her stuff done and basically be a great person to share the house with. I don't know what caused the change, but I'm really happy about it. I hope it lasts for a little while.

She's been really into weaving lately. We got one of the weaving kits from the dollarstore and she's making a bunch and been stitching them together with the goal of eventually making a quilt. I'm hoping to get her to try something like inkle or tablet weaving and see how she does at that.

I've been trying to get my A&S on too. We have a new queen in ealdormere who is quite lovely and who really likes late period. There are a number of the locals who have been trying hard to match her look with Late Period garb of their own. They have convinced me to try and as I have passed on most of my stuff from then, I am thus trying to get something new done for our big local event the first weekend of November.

It took me a while to figure out what it was that I wanted to make. Moroni's Tailor was tempting but not quite what I was looking for. I wasn't feeling the Peascod look so that took out pretty much everything from Alsega. The Henrican stuff in the Tudor Tailor didn't really grab me. So, what do I cleverly decide to make? The Nils Stuer outfit.

I do actually have reasons for the madness. Firstly it's german(ish) and is contemporous with Meyer who I've been studying. Secondly the outfit is black leather and velvet and was worn when Nils was stabbed to death in a cathedral by a Mad King. It's goth as fuck. I don't have any experience with sewing leather clothing.

Maybe this plan was not well thought through.

That may explain yesterdays exhaustion followed by last nights horrible insomnia which lead to even worse exhaustion and my choosing to call in sick to try and get more sleep. I went in and got my work computer at 7am to bring home to maybe do some work from home (traffic still sucked at 7am. wtf?). Unfortunatly, my back to bed plans were foiled thanks to today being the day we scheduled the early morning duct cleaning.

So yeah. Right now I have my hands pretty full. I think if someone were to suggest that I was burning the candle at both ends, I would respond with surprise that I didn't have to also be burning it in the middle too.

One interesting thing about the exhaustion is that my brain seems to be burning extra creative fuel. I'm writing here for one thing. I'm constantly visualizing construction methodology and I've got flash fiction zipping through my brain. This is pretty cool, but I think I might rather not be tired. At least for a little bit.
Gentle Readers,

It's been a long day today. Just like yesterday I was up and out the door just after 7 to try an get to work early enough that I wouldn't feel too bad about leaving at 4. Things have been switched around and I've had to pick up lydia from her afterschool program the last couple of days. Unfortunately we had no students yesterday. Fortunately today Craig canceled the classes so we could both go to his brother's 40th birthday.

It was a lovely gathering. Lydia had to come with me and she was pretty meh about the whole thing until the band fronted by one of Glen's (the brother) employees started. It was a treo of women with stringed instruments and they were lovely. Just beautiful voices. The Muesettes.

Now, time for sleep. Tomorrow's another early morning.
Gentle Readers,

Today was mostly one of those days. One of the ones where all of the little things just don't go quite acording to pland and usually that failure is due to some piece of planning that I forgot. Like that many places won't sell you a bus pass with a credit card or that the first day of the month and also the first day after a long weekend is a terrible time to go to the bank.

There were some lovely high notes like good emails, the humidity and rain keeping the ragweed pollen down, and finally replacing my terrible phone. My daughter saying of her first day that "Grade 4 is AWESOME!" was also pretty good and so was her getting through 2 rounds of martial arts and a harp lesson with a fantastic mood.

I can say with certainty that I do wish I will still sitting in that field in the chill air that reminds you that winter is coming watching the sun come up over the trees and burn off the mist. There were just so many interesting discussions that happened. Hearing Finvar explain how he passed on both the start of the east kingdom and the mid was and finally joined because of a costume party was pretty nifty.

I've also been thinking a lot about what my next streach goal will be now that I've done the Dean's Prize. I really think that what I want to do is some kind of armoured deed. I have a good idea about how I would like it to work too. I figure if I'm all armoured up, I'm probably legal to fight with both Rattan and Cut and thrus. I just need to talk to the appropriate marshals to see how that could be done.

OK. My eyes are informing me that they have too much pollen in them to contine.

Good night.
Gentle Readers,

Outside it is currently a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the thunderstorms won't be here for another few hours and it's somewhere around 25 degrees. This is all well and good, but inside our air conditioning is broken. It's well above that 25 degrees and I cooled down by going to my kickboxing class.

It doesn't help that my office is probably the hottest, given that i share it with 7 computers, as many monitors and another human being.

Gentle Readers,

This morning, I'm lying here in bed while Lydia takes advantage of my sunny room to build her new "girl" Lego. The set overall seems pretty cool, but I don't know why they felt it necessary to come up with a new (and incompatible) style of minifig. I'm sure they worked with a focus group.

It's been a surprisingly long and tiring week. I say surprisingly, as I was not expecting to be quite so tired last night, falling asleep before 10. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I guess there were a number of draining aspects to the week, from working on a really tedious product re-branding to getting sucked in to a stupid internet argument. I'm really amazed that person in question managed a reinterpretation of history (history in which I was explicitly involved) that actually upset me.

After having met the ultimate troll while I was in university, a man who had the almost magical ability to deride something very important to you on your first meeting with him, I should not be surprised in the ability of a troll to aggravate.

Lydia has some plans today to go and hang out with one of her favourite big people while Cortejo and I go do some stuff that would likely bore her to tears.

Tomorrow we are going to Kingston for the Greyfells practice and also brunch.

Sunday should be a day for sewing.

I'm hoping we will be rejuvenated. Odds are good.
Gentle Readers,

This has been a week filled with so much downer news from friends. One who was laid off, one going in for surgery, one diagnosed with angina and one diagnosed with prostate cancer. It's also been a really rough week with Lydia and her anxiety which drains everyone's reserves. I had my own issues with what seemed to be a migraine on monday afternoon bad enough that I missed my kick-boxing and went home.

Work has been tiring too and I got to finish the day with customer support (which I find really stressful) and it was clearly their fault. "We're still seeing the problem you said you fixed." "Yeah? maybe that's because you haven't installed the new software." It's actually been a pretty busy week for support and I missed another of Kick-boxing class because of getting pulled into a call.

These downbeat haven't kept it from being a productive week as I managed to add and fix a bunch of features. Most were small but it was satisfying to have them finished. It also looks like our build automation is progressing nicely and the unit tests that we do have are actually pretty darn good.

Martially, it's been pretty good, except for the two missed classes. I did both the BJJ classes (and feel more like a wildebeest who has been around for a half hour instead of a newly born one). My class (the one I teach) was cancelled because of the weather, we also did some great development work with our PoleAxe interpretation, which is always awesome. We still haven't managed to do much with the stick fighting we are trying to develop but I think that will come. Both myself and the main instructor are thinking on it.

The other big news is that our Swordplay club is going to have its own dedicated space come the first of March. This is pretty fantastic because it means that we will be able to run whatever classes we want whenever we want. I volunteered to run an early morning sword fitness class. We'll see how that goes.

Right now, however, it is time for the sleeping.

Good night.
Gentle Readers,

I was going to write a bit about fencing but I'm still recovering from yesterday. Yesterday I was supposed to be looking at the C++ client and why it couldn't connnect over SSL. Instead, I got to spend the whole day dealing with the issues of a special snowflake of a customer would not talk to our support people or enter a ticket because his problems were so very important. In fact, he would only talk to me over Skype so he could clearly and repeatedly explain why his problems were so very important and I should feel lucky that he is willing to let me work on them instead of his preferred contacts.

I did the best I could and answered his questions and tried to figure out some of his problems but it's really clear to me that Customer Support is NOT where I want to spend any significant portion of my life. I mean, talking on the phone stresses me out at the best of times. Then there's the shared view of his problem machines where he kept grabbing control of the mouse to, I guess, show us the things he believed we were unaware of. I think that not telling him to fuck off and let us do our job was the very model of professional restraint on my part. Not ranting about him on facebook/twitter where I post under my real and fairly unique name shows some foresight on my part as well.

Cortejo ended up coming to get me, at my request, because I was just completely wiped out. I picked up a little bit but I was still in bed and asleep by 8:30 and mostly slept for about 12 hours. I'm still very tired.

Anyway, so the fencing will move to another post. For now I'm just recovering. I'd really like to go and see the local event today. I'm hoping that I will have enough spoons to be up for it.

I'll bring sewing. I'm sure it will be fine.
Gentle Readers,

I've been awake for a half our and my "get out of bed" alarm just went off. I really should be getting up and getting moving. The thing is, that that just leads to having to go outside and right now it's -21 (-27 with wind chill) out there and I really really don't want to go out in that.

Procrastinating that is just rational, right?

At least the sun is up.
Gentle Readers,

I'm in New York City on business. I'm here for Interop. Mostly it's a lot of standing and telling people how awesome our company is. This works reasonably well. Many of them seem to agree with me.

I'm staying at Ink48 which is pretty cool as hotels go. It's brand new and shiny and I like the decore. The bed is even super comfortable and futon like which should make for a good nights sleep. The alcohol that I end up drinking while out with sales guys certainly won't hurt either. My coworkers are wasted on beer and lemoncello. I was smart enough not to have the later (if only because it is packed full of sugar). We were at an Italian place on the corner of 9th Ave. and 50th called Terrazza Toscana. yummy food and overwhelming service. Very nice. Would nom again.

After the dinner which took about a half an hour longer than it should have and thus pretty much demolished any chance to see Userundefined, my coworkers headed off to the Vendor party while I tried and failed to meet up with the aforementioned Userundefined. However, as I walked back to the hotel, I did catch a whiff of horse and glanced over to see a couple of carriages. How cool is it that my hotel is around the corner from a stable? Very cool would be the answer you are looking for.

So tomorrow back to the show and then off to the airport. No time for other fun.


Sep. 2nd, 2010 03:32 pm
Gentle Readers,

I'm just sitting here waiting for my computer to generate 15000 files for a test I need to run. I'm having a lovely week, fixing bugs and working for the weekend wherein I will travel to Bonnfield for Baron's Howe.

Given the weather, I think it's going to be a viking weekend, although I'm going to be a bit anachronistic and wear my spiffy new Red Boots. Yes, that is correct, they are so spiffy that they deserve Capital Letters. Plus they are Red. I ordered knee high boots and they come exactly to the middle of my knee cap. I think i'm going to have to trim them down in the back or something as the seam is a little bit pokey. However, they are so awesome that Lydia wants a pair. I don't think it gets more awesome than that.

I have to pack tonight and decide what project to bring. I was going to ask Constance if I could borrow her loom but I don't think that's going to happen.

Also, so i don't forget to mention this. Once upon a time Damned_colonial once told me that she disliked scotch because it tasted like it was perfectly good alcohol that had been filtered through the Piltdown Man's trousers. Now, it looks like they are going to be filtering it through the Piltdown Man.
Gentle Readers,

Normally I would say I was pretty slack today, but I did manage to fix to tricky bugs and also fix a bunch of stuff that would have been a bug once it was tested. So, I don't seem to have done that much, what I did do was pretty useful and valuable so... win?

I'm not sure.

Anyway, I'm going to go home shortly. My toe hurts and I'm not looking forward to walking home on it. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.


That's right. It's all about the concision.
Gentle Readers,

I'm working through day 2 of being back at work post Pennsic. Thankfully things are pretty slow at the moment which is good as I'm banging my head against a particularly recalcitrant bug. Stupid singletons.

On the plus side I've got a couple of garb books sitting at home waiting for me. Also, I've figured out how to make my rope bed without using 4x4s for the legs. This makes me happy, but I still have to make it for baron's howe.
Gentle Readers,

Corbet posted the following questions in her livejournal and asked for answers.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut/fireman/policeman/ninja. The uniform would be the most complicated part.

What have you always wanted to do that you haven't yet done?

Test cutting with a "real" sword, possibly on a carcass.

What have you done in your life that you are really proud of?

Managed to live an open and honest life where I'm not hiding anything about myself from the people who care about me.

If you knew you were going to die within a year, how would you spend that year?

Make sure that all of my affairs were in order and my family would be taken care of then spend as much time with them creating as many happy memories as possible.

What brings you the most fulfillment -- and how is that related to money?

Finishing things that I started and finishing them well. Only related to work in that if I don't finish the things I'm being paid to do, I don't get paid for much longer.

If you didn't have to work for a living, what would you do with your time?

Sew costumes for myself, practice various martial arts, fritter away my time on the internet.
Gentle Readers,

Last night the lovely cortejo had slow-cooked a turkey breast for me. I took the left-overs with me for lunch today. For the record Aikido mornings, slow afternoons and L-tryptophan do not make for a productive combination.

On the plus side, I'm researching AMI and cloud computing which, I know, is so 2007, but I'm just getting back into the web. I'm a little behind the times.

In other news, tomorrow is our first Feast of the Hare. It looks like things will be slightly more scheduled than I had hoped, but what can you do. This is what we signed up for and what the populace thinks we are capable of.

I'm a little concerned that I have not had any feedback from the marshals but it's no big deal. In the end, it's not really my responsibility, just my idea.
Gentle Readers,

I had a good first day. I've got a computer, a copy of the source code and some bugs to work on. Better than other jobs I've started. I don't yet have an office but I can wait on that. Tomorrow I'm going to try a kick-boxing class with a bunch of the developers. I like they way they team-build.
Gentle Readers,

The contract is going well. The clients seem happy. The employer seems happy. Here's hoping they extend it.

I've still been looking for other work because 1) it's not extended yet and 2) First on the block last time doesn't make things look good if (goodness forbid) there is a next time. Anyway, last week Lesombre was nice enough to find me something to apply for in the public service.

So this morning I'm busy applying for it and you ahve to use their electronic submission thingy. Lucky me. It goes down. And is down for at least another half hour. By which time I should be heading out to get a car. And it doesn't forward me any of the user information it asked me to create.

Why is it that we loose connections whenever I try and apply for a job? It's like they don't want me to work.

I'll show them!!!

wait. I'm not sure that's a win for me...
Gentle Readers,

As those of you who have me friended on facebook have seen, I suddenly have a whole lot more time on my hands. For those of you who have no idea what this means, the deal is this: My company sells to TV stations. TV Stations get a lot of their money from the automotive industry. The automotive industry is kinda broke at the moment. Thus the TV stations are holding off on their new purchases. Therefor our cash flow is not so good. With out the money coming in you have to reduce the money going out. I was money going out. The observant reader will note the use of the past tense in the previous sentence.

I got laid off today. I am feeling mostly ok. I got a very generous severance and really, I was the most sensible choice. I was a very expensive developer and most of my role for the last year or so has been architecture. There's more than enough to keep people busy till Christmas, but I really don't envy how much they have to do to get the next version out. My boss and his boss both looked so very unhappy about things. I'm sorry I didn't get to see the owner to wish him luck. I'm told he looks a wreck.

I've got some plans for my time. I think I will take a bit of a break before I start the job search in earnest, however, if you know anyone who is looking for someone with lots of Java experience, I'm all ears.


May. 20th, 2009 10:07 am
Gentle Readers,

Today, the randomly blocked sites from work include Google Docs and Photobucket (but not flickr or gmail). Site blocking is a random and stupid way to protect your network. Could be worse I suppose. Could be using Keywords.

In other news, today was the end of an era. Last week at Aikido, I ripped my left nipple piercing and it's been unhappy ever since. I took it out today along with the other one so I wouldn't list to the right. Not sure how I feel about this yet. I've had them for at least 15 years. At one point I was at 10 and now I'm down to 2. I guess I'll have to get some tattoos to compensate.

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