Jul. 26th, 2008 08:44 am
kespernorth: (Default)
Safely in Tel Aviv. The overall efficiency of Ben Gurion International makes me want to cry: My bag was waiting for me when I cleared passport control, and I was only in line at passport control for a couple of minutes. I was in my hotel room 45 minutes after touchdown, and most of that was the 12-mile cab ride from the airport. I'm a bit crispy from the long flight, but otherwise well. Notable was the fact that I was on a brand-new 777-200ER with the new entertainment system -- 400 movies available on demand, plus TV episodes, plus MP3 jukebox. The sooner that sort of thing gets rolled out across all aircraft the better. :)
kespernorth: (Default)
I just tested my work email address because I haven't gotten any work email in three hours, and I was afraid the server had gone down.

Need I really say more?
kespernorth: (Default)
Last night, I turned in my thesis for my master's degree.

This morning, I was told that an article I wrote is getting published on, a well-known enterprise Java news site.

Tomorrow, we depart for our vacation in England and Egypt.
kespernorth: (Default)
It has been a somewhat busy weekend. Yesterday we cleaned the condo, or at least a sizeable portion of it, which took us most of the day until we met [ profile] sapphyre_dragon at Dillettante's, then went to my friend Bo's housewarming party.

Today we had brunch at Co Co La Ti Da before I dropped Allyson off in Ballard for a cooking class and I went to (try to) pick up a big four-drawer filing cabinet and get our regulators serviced prior to our trip to Israel in nine days. The filing cabinet wouldn't fit in the car, but [ profile] fallenpegasus has very kindly volunteered to take me out there in his SUV to pick it up once he arrives back in Seattle this evening. He doesn't know it yet but he's got dinner coming in return.

Work has been a bit frustrating -- a lot of people have been out sick and it's impeded my ability to get things done (to say nothing of my being sick lately as well). I've also been stymied by a lot of technical problems lately that I haven't been able to solve, or haven't been able to solve as quickly as I'd like, which has left me feeling a bit less confident about my abilities in that area.

We've been looking for new office space, and as I'm on the selection committee I've been spending some time going to each of the different properties we're considering and poking about. I enjoy this immensely because it's got all the fun parts of shopping for a house -- looking at various spaces, imagining what they'd be like to live/work in -- and none of the lame parts, like dealing with paperwork or worrying about the mortgage. We're still looking to stay in Pioneer Square or the southern end of downtown. I'm hoping that we'll end up in a labyrinthine, high-ceilinged space on the top floor of a converted warehouse at Madison Street and Western Ave (likelihood of Bjorn not having to share an office: high), but it's more likely that we'll go for something on the sixth floor of the Dexter Horton building at Second and Cherry (likelihood of Bjorn having to share an office, or worse yet ending up in a $%!$#!@#!#@! cubicle: high). But each space has things to commend it, and I have little reason to complain.

I am very much looking forward to our trip to the Middle East. I always find that the best therapy for anything is to get away from everything you know and visit a place you've never been. I've been having trouble getting motivated lately -- worse than usual -- and I think the break will help.

I'm also finishing the outstanding tasks required to do my thesis and finally finish my graduate degree at UW next quarter. I need to do the final push to get all that done before we leave a week from Tuesday.

So that's what's up with me. It has been entirely too long since I have seen many of you; we should change that some time, shouldn't we?

Need work?

Sep. 11th, 2006 11:57 am
kespernorth: (Default)
Need work? My employer needs a copy editor who can also test browser compatibility on new versions of our website. This would probably be on a part-time, contract basis. Physical proximity to the office (in Seattle's Pioneer Square) is probably not necessary. Reliability and attention to detail is. Comment below or send me email if you're interested.
kespernorth: (Default)
Me: "I blew away the httpd.conf, but it's still doing it. Must be something else."
Other dev: "Nuke the site from orbit?"
Me: "Did that too, but turns out the queen alien was still clinging to the belly of the dropship."
kespernorth: (Default)
We ordered a cat tree for Saga. It finally arrived today, two months late. Thanks to FedEx, the box had a gigantic hole punched in the side, and the cat tree was damaged to the point where it couldn't even stand up. A pox upon their house. I have to wait for the vendor to open on Monday before we can start the claims process with FedEx.

I have a new toy. The Chief Architect at work, upon seeing that I could ssh into our servers with it quite nicely, declared that he finally understood why people would want a phone with so many features. I'm quite fond of it. In the process I ditched Cingular for Verizon, as they had enraged me one too many times.

(Yes, I can log into UNIX boxen with my phone, from pretty much anywhere. Truly, the future is now.)

Work is still almost panic-inducingly challenging, but I seem to be keeping my head above water.

I have a tremendous amount of schoolwork to do.

I'm waiting for [ profile] inevitability to call so we can hang out.

Allyson is grading papers and watching the Addams Family.

Saga is made of mew. Perhaps if we were to closely inspect her subatomic structure, she would prove to consist entirely of muons.

Life continues.
kespernorth: (Default)
On the job front, I am well-pleased. Sourcelabs is small, fast and well-positioned; the people who work there are bright; management does what is necessary with a minimum of bullshit, and the environment is pleasant. I share a well-lit office with a taciturn Russian named Konstantin; I have been issued a 17" PowerBook G4, a gigabit switch, a 17" flat panel secondary monitor, a 2.8GHz dual-proc Xeon Linux box, and a piece of raw wood slung across a pair of sawhorses to work on.

I am getting what amounts to a crash remedial course in computer science fundamentals, C++ and Java from an acerbic Swedish military diver named Christian, who I find I like even as I find him intimidating. SourceLabs thinks I'm valuable enough to pay me while they bring me up to speed, even though I am not really ready to actively work any support issues yet, which is both a huge compliment and kind of scary. Support itself here is a very different animal from at F5: this is a development shop, not a call center. We get almost no calls; almost no time is spent on the phone with the actual customer -- it's about fixing, testing and documenting problems.

In the meantime, by virtue of my networking experience, I have been given the secondary job of Assistant IT Person. My boss, the support director, is also the IT Person, and I have been assigned the task of being his backup, knowledge repository, and assistant. This is a very good thing, because it gives me something useful to do until I come back up to speed in programming, it's interesting, I can continue to expand and practice the skills I gathered at F5, and I have root on everything.

Everything. Ahh, power.

Eventually, Sourcelabs will expand to the point where a full-time IT director will be required, which will mean that either my boss will be forced to give up his IT role, or his support role. I hope to be able to step into one or the other of those positions should the opportunity arise. Which would be awesome. At the rate our business is growing, that day might not even be too far in the future.

Speaking of my boss, I really like him. He reminds me rather strongly of Adam Savage of Mythbusters: fun-loving, sardonic, self-possessed, literate and capable. Not an asshole, corporate drone or martinet. He's rather entertaining to talk to. He's a space-opera-obsessed science fiction geek like me, and his taste in music is very 80s, though it tends more towards the punk than the new wave and synthpop that I prefer. Even so, I approve.

So yes, things are going well here. I like the job, I like the people, and I like the company.

I can feel the stress and depression of F5 lifting, day by day.


kespernorth: (Default)
Kesper North

February 2011

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