Archive for 2005

I have my entry clearance!! This is a really, really good thing, and has been a point of stress for both Dee and I, as if I didn’t get my VISA then I wouldn’t be allowed on the aeroplane without a return ticket. And that’s an expensive move! But it arrived this morning, which means my application was processed in under two weeks – very quick, from what I’ve read on the Internet.
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Tired of waiting for an apparent “priority” copy of my grandmother’s birth certificate, today I wrote a letter to the ONS in Britain … only to return home to find the copy waiting on the coffee table. What’s more, the postmark clearly shows that it was sent only two days after I made my application, so the week in between is due to the post, not the ONS. Sorry! If I get a reply, I will apologise profusely.
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With less than 100 days to go, we're in full-swing trying to get everything organised. We've booked a hotel in Paris, and organised floorspace in London (the latter being much easier on the savings, of course). I've obtained a GEDCOM copy of our family tree, so I have at least a chance of tracking down my Nana Mason's birth certificate (which I need for an Ancestry VISA). That's actually harder than I was expecting.
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We're well and truly into “savings” mode at the moment. We have a financial plan, and a budget for the trip, and we're just counting down the days until our flight. Oh, there's still more to do before then - much more - but it's close enough to be exciting. And of course, in the midst of all this penny-pinching, Dee has found herself some new shoes. They're not exactly hiking boots - in fact, they're rather slippery (she's nearly fallen whilst sliding around on the kitcfhen tiles) - but they're still rather nice I think.
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Just a quick entry, since I'm at work: I have my passport! It arrived by registered mail last weekend, and I haven't let it out of my sight yet. You really can't overestimate the psychological wellbeing that this little booklet brings - it is my pass to another world and another life. A bit melodramatic, but that's how it feels. I couldn't wipe the grin off my face if I tried.
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Today was “photo day”. Dee sorted through many thousands of “real” photos, putting them into albums, whilst I copied a number of Photo-CDs on to the USB hard-drive I got last week. Then we plugged the laptop into the TV and watched a slideshow of the pictures, listening to music and reminiscing. Picasa (for Windows, from Google) is quite good, and I finally figured out how to view images from a disk other than the C: drive – select a directory (such as the root) on another drive as the Import target in the preferences pane.
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It turns out that my passport photos were not close-up enough, despite the fact that the booth distinctly said, “Passport Photo Booth”. I mean, I know things aren't meant to be easy, but is it like this all the time?? I slept in a few Wednesday's ago, recovering. When I finally woke up it was too late to go to work, so instead I wandered down to the Post Office to submit my passport application.
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I'm happy — today I took the first steps towards being able to use the Fuji Finepix digital camera as a USB webcam (mentioned in a previous post). Today I started reading about how to hack on the Linux kernel. It's quite exciting for someone like me, who has used Linux for the last 5 years or so but never been ready (or brave enough) to tackle the kernel itself. Hey, maybe nothing will come of it, but maybe I'll get into kernel hacking in a big way and one day even submit a patch that is rolled into the main kernel source!
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Every now and then I find something on the Internet that blows my mind, and they Minty Tin MP3 Player from scratch is one of those — Limor, you are a Goddess. Well done!
While on that, I can’t believe I’ve never found Hackaday.com before!
Anyway, back to the vodka.
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(There is nothing like a cup of tea and some Audioslave to get you through the working weekend.) Friday night started well, with drinks at the Trader Bar. It was intended to be the February Opensource Meetup, but was far too noisy to have any real conversation (I will try harder next month to find an appropriate venue, I think). Considering that when I arrived my friends were surprised to see me, I think it would be fair to say that the meetup was not what they were out and about for.
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Finally took the plunge — I’ve blown away my SUSE install and put Yoper on in it’s place! “How excitement!” The installer was interesting, in a good way — no packages to select (or dselect, for those of a Debian persuasion), not even any updates whilst the packages were being installed, just a simple black screen with the golden advice, “Please be patient”. It surprised me, but was at the same time refreshing.
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“Two weeks in South Australia,” sounded tempting, with wineries, the beach and relaxation in other idealic settings, and so the day after Christmas we packed our bags and left. We made it out of Victoria on that first day, and were quickly into the swing off holidaying (as opposed to working). Two weeks flew by, with the exception of a day or two in Adelaide (which is cursed), and soon it was time to come back.
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In my last post, I completely forgot the whole point, which is: We've bought our tickets. It's all official now – we're leaving on the 9th of July. A stop-over in Dubai (of several hours; nothing like sleeping in an airport terminal to readjust the body-clock), then on to Paris for a week. From Paris, we're off to London, and then whenever we feel like it (probably a few days later) we'll be on the train to Edinburgh, Scotland.
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I’ve been running to catch up ever since we got back from Christmas/NY holidays. It’s just been completely overwhelming — from two weeks of lazing around the campfire to two weeks of daily deadlines and impatient clients. Two weeks too much, so I called in sick today. Slept in (so good!); went to the post office to check up on my passport application; did some housework — in short, didn’t even touch the laptop until this evening.
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Warrick is back! I haven't caught up with him for a tasty, tasty ale, but I plan to sometime this week (perhaps tomorrow?). If it happens, he can sign my passport application – otherwise Yvonne from Dee's work has said she will sign it. Either way, I get my guarantor and I can submit the application! We've been thinking about the things we have to do, and six months isn't that long to do it all.
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I just found, by accident, that I’m the second highest Google search for “chronofiles”. (The Buckminster Fuller Institute is first, by the way.) sniff I’m so proud. Of course, a Google search for “chronofile”, singular, will not feature the glennji chronofiles at all. Please feel free to brush over this fact without pause for intelligent consideration. (If anyone is curious about the origin of the word “chronofile”, check out the Buckminster Fuller Institute.
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Today wasn’t an entirely productive day, but it wasn’t too bad — I did manage to burn the Yoper installation CD. My idea is as follows: Yoper is a good, young distribution, looking for contributors; Yoper doesn’t have good Gnome support yet; I’m more than a little Gnome-mad; I can program; I can help integrate Gnome into Yoper! Just need to backup my data, blow away this SUSE install, and give Garnome another go.
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I’ve just scheduled the Yoper ISO for download here at work — the first step in my plans for world domination (I’ll release a World Domination Manifesto on ChangeThis one of these days). When I get home tonight, I’ll back up all my critical data, and then I can kick off the installation at lunchtime tomorrow (I have to do real work too, after all). In other news, I think I love Autopackage — multiple front ends and multiple packaging systems, all with dependency resolution, and a nice easy “click me” kick off script for each application.
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