Thursday, January 31, 2002

I'm finished working, for now. It's really drained me, and I caught myself getting all misty-eyed as I took a trip down the elevator with the gang to grab my final official paperwork. Goodbye, eyewire, and all you special people that made the four and a half years fly by.

Time to go to Mexico and sleep on the beach.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Goodness, goodness, goodness. Is it really Wednesday? Do I really, really get to leave Getty Images tomorrow?

How very pleasing. It's not that I want to get away from everyone here - it's more the oppressing situation. I pity our HR person - I think she's going to get dumped on for all the things that weren't done (or were done).

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

This is what would have happened if Bill Waterson had taken up playing with Lego.
I'm attending my last Technology Managers meeting. Woo Hoo!

Monday, January 28, 2002

narcissism (noun) syn CONCEIT 2, amour propre, conceitedness, self-admiration, self-conceit, self-esteem, self-love, vainglory, vainness, vanity

Does reading your own past blog entries count?
The best part about having your own private floor of an office building is being able to play your music as LOUD as you please.

And any music you like.

Friday, January 25, 2002

Oh. Ooooooh. I found a guy to sign up with once I leave this place.

I'm gonna support his car full time. Be sure and scroll down to the picure of the interior.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Banana's Birthday Mug

When I woke up on January 24th, 1992, ten short years ago, I was Sean. When I finally went to bed that evening, I was no longer just Sean - I was now Banana's Dad.

Banana, you and I have learned a lot in the past ten years. I can't wait to see what adventures life has for us in the future.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

I got rid of a huge amount of surplus equipment at the ol' office today. I spent a large portion of my day dismantling the Aspect System (the phone system our call centre relied on for so many years). I was proud to say that I was able to do it in an orderly fashion, so that someone else can make use of it. I've seen a few "decommissonings" that were done by chopping all the cables off six inches away from the case, rendering the equipment useless. I hope that some good comes out of this desecration of this company - that some people are able to able to make good use of the remains.

For some reason, getting rid of the big, expensive, hard-to-sell pieces has lifted a huge weight off me. There is still lots of little stuff around (buckets of cables and such), but if time is getting tight, I can chuck any leftover bits in the garbage in short order.

I'm feeling like the the end of my time here is within reach.
While I am waiting for some software to install, here are some updates.

We are going to Cancun for our unemployment getaway, not Aruba as originally planned. I'm sure that the scuba diving there will be almost as enjoyable, the beer just as cold, the mobile phone almost as far out of range and EyeWire just as distant a memory.

My tooth feels better now, thank you for asking. An emergency trip to the dentist took place on Monday evening and then suddenly everything was soooo much better. It didn't hurt to just be awake. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. J..

Over the past few weeks, we have been working hard to help McMonkey bring her study habits and frequency up to those of her sister. I'm happy to say that after creating a few positive study experiences, McMonk is now enjoying study time, and therefore kicking butt and taking names in her weekly spelling tests. Just like 'er ol' man. Yessir.

Jenn and I took in a timeshare show Tuesday evening on a dare. It was painless. I think we were outside of their target IQ. We didn't buy anything, but we got revved up about our upcoming trip to Cancun. Eight more sleeps.

I keep missing swim practice (averaging one missed practice a week) due to Geek and Company work. I gotta snap out of doing that.

I'm enjoying tuning into Internet-based music broadcasts (just like radio, but with waaayyyy more expensive hardware). The Blues channel is keeping me going right now. What a entertaining way to chew up network bandwidth.

I'm also enjoying reading The Princess Diaries to Banana and McMonkey. The language works very well for me.
Can't remember if tonight was the night that my ISP was supposed to do maintanence to the netw-
I'm fixing and creating tonight. I know that I love it, because it's after 1:00 am and I'm still in the groove. I learned all about the new quirks of Dell servers, got to play with 3Com SuperSwitch configurations, set up UPS's and even use a null modem cable.

This is way better than having to explain to someone why they can't return a five dollar SCSI drive that they bought at the EyeWire Final Blowout Sale.


Sunday, January 20, 2002

No Comment has been pretty quiet these past few weeks as very few epiphanies have come to visit. For the most part, life has consisted of these things:
  • dropping kids off and picking kids up
  • some exercise. Thank goodness for this.
  • worry about the amount of time left at the ol' office and the suprising amount of leftover junk still there.
  • worry about Geek and Company. How big should it be? Should I try and do everything myself, or should I subcontract stuff to a few employees (yikes!) and concentrate on getting new work? How much should I charge? How should I get the word out? What should my priorities be with all the things I have to do? Should I scrap the whole idea and just get a job somewhere?
  • worry about serving existing Geek and Company clients and making sure they are happy with the present service.
  • worry about little house projects that I have in front of me.
  • worry about what is going on inside my mouth. I had a broken tooth repaired four days ago, and it's starting to hurt. My tongue is rubbing on a sharp part of the tooth and is getting irritated. I'm starting to talk like Marlin Brando in The Godfather.

This last thing is making me cranky, too. Think I'll go and have a beer.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Instead of going to sleep, McMonkey just came into the office to demonstrate that she has taped her nose closed with clear tape. As I'm trying to retain my composure, doing my best to be Stern Dad and send her to bed, she tries to take a BIG breath in through her nostrils, making her eyes bug out.

I would have NEVER done something like that. I'm sure she must be adopted and I'm repressing the memory.
What a nice surprise. I received an e-mail from a buddy that I haven't heard from for eighteen years. He and I took part in an exchange program (between Canada and West Germany) back in 1980. He came back to Canada to visit in 1984 and shortly after his visit, I lost touch with him. He found on a search engine and wrote me an e-mail yesterday. Goes to show that if you don't mind being found, a blog is a good thing to have.
We bloggers now have our own version of the Geek Code.
It will help you make sense of this

B5 d+ t k+ s+ u- f i o++ x- e l c-

... or you could paste it into a blogcode decoder.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Recent events have let me to believe that either the masterminds of HQ:
  • are reacting to these recessionary times by getting rid of their most valuable asset - their staff, OR
  • are making a major strategic shift for the business - namely, away from having any income, OR
  • wanted to open up a big hole in the market, as they had bought all the competition and are lonely, OR
  • are out to prove that they are totally clueless

The jury is still out on the verdict. I'll keep you posted.
... and then there was one.

Chris, my co-conspirator, workmate and fellow boxpacker for the last fifteen days, is about to leave the building. I am now the whole Technical Services department. Maybe I'll baracade myself in and turn into a flatfooder.

Monday, January 14, 2002

Conditions at work:
Mostly bureaucracy with a chance of menial labour, high of checking my favorite websites for a few moments, low of people whining about what they didn't get for almost free at the computer sale.

That doesn't quite line up with conditions elsewhere.

Hmmmm, what to do, what to do ...

Sunday, January 13, 2002

I broke a molar yesterday (literally) while gnawing on a piece of a gingerbread house. The tooth itself doesn't hurt, but it has a sharp edge that is irritating my tongue. I HAVE to get to a dentist soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Chris gave me something to chuckle about all afternoon - the term "ass-clown".
Let's say you worked in the digital content industry. It's well known that most graphic artists, designers and print industry people use Macintosh equipment in doing their jobs. Your company survives by selling to these people, knowing what they want, anticipating their every want and need. Shouldn't you have a group of Mac experts within your company, so you could keep abreast of what's up with the hardware, operating system and application software? That makes sense to me.

But what if you worked for a company in the industry and not only were they refusing to have a group of Mac power users, but they were officially outlawing the Apple platform within the company? Would that make sense or would you question the sanity of those in charge? If it were me, I'd want to be out of there by the end of the month.

... but that's just me.
By the way, for those of you who read the previous entry about Jenn ending her employment on the same day as I leave EyeWire, you needn't have visions of my family lined up at a soup kitchen in February. Jenn is not leaving PwC to join me in semi-retirement - she is just moving on to a new gig.
We're continuing to sell all the surplus computer equipment today. By the end of the week, we (EyeWire) will have gotten rid of a whole pile of junk and many people, including the new owners of said junk, will be happier, too.

I saw a few of the old gang today at the junk sale and realized that Calgary is pretty small. I'll always be bumping into eyewire graduates.
   Are you ready? Are you REALLY ready?

Geek and Company (that's the corporate me) will be mostly ready in just a day or two. My two hypemasters are putting the finishing brushstrokes on the paint and shining up the last bit of chrome. I can't wait to see what their finished product looks like. Work on the internal structure of Geek and Co. has been occuring, too - a fledgling business plan, creation of a legal entity through incorporation, a bank account, a phone and fax line ... it's all so exciting.

I wish I could say that there'll be this big sha-bang next week when the majority of the prep work is done (I'm projecting to be TOTALLY ready to roll by the end of January), but Geek and Company won't be letting the clutch out until March. I want to have at least that long to ensure that I've got a clear plan for what I will and will not do, how I will make money and what I will spend that money on. Running a business properly isn't as glitzy and fast as you might think. If planned carefully, running the business will be mundane, sobering sessions compared to being out with the clients, doing what I love to do - fixing broken things and solving problems.

Even though I am approaching this company-creation-thing with careful planning, a clear head and bushels of good advise (and advisors), there is still that Damoclean sword of not finding enough clients to make ends meet. That's why I appreciate any words of encouragement I can get. Thanks Jane.
I yearn for the next edition of The Onion. I need more sarcasm in my life.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Don't you just hate it when you grab the wrong mouse on your desktop, wriggle it back and forth, note that the pointer on the screen won't move, then wonder what kind of bad juju is possessing your computer now?

Don't worry. I do it all the time, and I'm a computer professional.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Tommorrow the office (soon to be ex-office) I am working for will be selling all of our computer equipment for less-than-reasonable prices to ex-employees. I expect to come to work tomorrow and find a lineup of people waiting for the sale.

I'm surprised that there isn't a bunch of them in sleeping bags in the hallway right now.
Notice anything different about me?

Well? WELL?

Okay, I'll tell you - I'm incorporated.

Sunday, January 06, 2002

Things My Dog Thinks Will Earn Food
  • barking excitedly while standing on her back legs, waving her front paws in the air
  • waking me up to let her go out for a bodily function every second hour from 1 am onwards
  • barking to wake my daughters, Banana and McMonkey, and cause them to come to the kitchen for breakfast
  • licking whatever exposed skin I might have when sitting still at the computer or watching TV
  • standing in the kitchen and barking
  • sitting in front of you and making whimpering noises when you are talking to another human
  • sitting in the living room, making whimper-whining noises while I prepare a meal
  • preventing any two family members from embracing or roughhousing by barking and wedging the flat part of her skull between the two offenders
  • circling the dinner table like a prowling shark

I know, because after each of these actions, she will walk excitedly back and forth between me and the storage place of the treats, on the hardwood floor, creating the annoying-yet-attention-getting "tic-tic-tic-tic" noise that is the equivilent of the Chinese Water Torture.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth .... You'd think we never fed this animal!
I am watching my father grow older. Due to a car accident, he has spent the last three weeks in Calgary, being nursed back to health by my mother. He's really slowed down in the past month and I wonder to what level he will recover.

I also find myself wondering how much like him I will be in thirty-five years. It's scared me enough to re-ignite my resolve to keep exercising.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

If you have some time on your hands, a relatively fast Internet connection and the desire to see my chilluns, have a peek at the new movies section at These started out as 12 hours worth of videos of my kids doing everyday things and were condensed down to two bearable 3 or 4 minute quicktime movies.

Ah made 'em me-self.
Busy, busy, busy at work. Packing boxes, saying goodbye, cancelling contracts, helping my Seattle brethern deal with the weirdness of supporting the office, wrapping and sorting cables, doing month-end reports for no discernable reason, helping lost souls who keep coming back, chatting with bored or otherwise dazed-by-the-end-of-it-all hangers-on ... Keeps me hopping, it does.

Through all of this insanity, the vision of me swooshing down the slopes of Sunshine Village has been keeping me going. The idea of skiing while the rest of the world (including my family) toils away at work (or school) appealed to me greatly. Now, a new variable has been thrown into the pot - a wife with a lull in her employment, concurrent with my semi-retirement.

Suddenly, things have changed. Due to influences beyond my control, I'm now shopping for an escape from winter; a way to flee from the snow that I thought I desired so much. I am now seeing myself in shorts and cotton shirts. I want sunshine. I want scuba diving in a shorty wetsuit. I want white, sandy, endless beaches. Aruba is a possibility. So is Punta Cana. I also want an affordable way to get there.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Today when I arrived at work, there was no one here. Then I realized that there never would be, ever again.


Tuesday, January 01, 2002

My quadriceps ache. My calves ache. My illio-tibial bands ache. My left ankle aches. It hurts to go up stairs and don't even ask about going down stairs. Oh, did I mention that I was in a 8 km race yesterday? Jenn outpaced me by twenty-two seconds.

The race itself was a great amount of fun. Seven hundred of us showed up to run away from the old year and into the new. It was dark (of course), cold and there were roadside flares marking each kilometre. One of the sponsors had provided some chili as a post-race apparitif which, thanks to the advice of some earlier finishers, we did not partake in. I wore MY lobster gloves, too. God, I love those things.


Jennifer (the swim coach) called this evening and said that practices start again tomorrow and she'd like to see me out then.

Isn't that welcoming and friendly?