Archive for 2012

It’s Saturday morning on our last day in Melbourne. Both Dee and Jules are asleep, after our little boy’s 6am start, and I’ve just figured out that my newly-updated ICS (Android 4.0) can Bluetooth-tether — much more efficient/low-power than running a wifi hotspot, and since I’ve been having some battery “issues”, anything I can do there can only be a good thing. It feels like a long week, and a short one simultaneously.
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Good morning, Self! Not the greatest nights’ sleep last night, as Jules woke at an ungodly 3:30am. Luckily (for me) Danielle took care of him ’til circa 7am, at which point we swapped and she crashed. An hour and a half (and breakfast) later, I put Jules to bed and rode into work – I can only hope he’s let her sleep in some! Lots to do today! I need to send over configuration specs to a customer, write up an initial project plan/todo and pass that to all, get some more test data into our VMs, read up on Hadoop FS a little more.
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I rode home from work for the first time tonight. It was not an unbridled success. Oh, nothing too dramatic – I just need a hell of a lot more practice, both at cycling and at navigation. A couple of needless detours, a good long stretch riding in the bike lane on the wrong side of the road … and a failure to realise that the good ol’ University of Canberra has a massive great hill in the middle of it, and “cutting through” might be less of a shortcut than anticipated.
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A lot has been happening. So much, in fact, that I haven’t found the time (and energy) to document it — our “long way home” has taken an unexpected turn with a new job and life in Canberra. Let’s see if I can catch up on the last couple of months. So first, the job: Palantir. Named after the scrying stones (think “crystal ball”) of Tolkien’s hobbit mythology, we are a software company with an amazing knowledge management and analysis platform which has application in a number of industries: intelligence, military, finance, health, law-enforcement, more.
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So, we’re well overdue an update. A lot has happened in the last couple of months, actually — let me explain and you might understand why I haven’t found time to post! In my last update I mentioned I was speaking with a potential employer: good news there, I have landed a job with Palantir, a Silicon Valley company based on a powerful intelligence-augmentation platform (or two!). From the website:
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Twas a good day today — I had a nice long sleep-in (thanks honey), had a visit from Ken and Mary, got to Bunnings for sample paint-pots, heard from a potential employer and had just enough fuel and sunlight to rough-mow the lawns. Good day indeed! We haven’t been sleeping the best of late, as either the boy or one of the dogs wakes us for a little attention. Last night it was both, at different times, so after Dee put the dogs outside and took Jules upstairs for a feed I put my headphones on and tried to drift back to sleep listening to a mix of ambient noise — like I was on an air-conditioned train, riding along the beach, with a light rainstorm, monks chanting in the background, night owls hooting, crickets chirping …
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Last night we had dinner with Dee’s brother Chris, who is in Melbourne for work, at a trendy Smith St café/restaurant called Gigibaba — expensive but delicious! We picked him up around 4 and headed into Collingwood, stopping oh-so-briefly at a skate shop on Brunswick St to buy some bitchin’ baby threads … strange, but once you get past the boards and rolling gear at the front there’s a little “kids” section at the back, featuring some very cool stuff from Paul & Paula: hoodies with dinosaur heads or sharks, cool little jeans.
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[][1]A Southern Yellowjacket Queen - Opo Terser It started one morning — Dee came out to find a bunch of dead wasps in the sink, with a whole lot more (alive) outside the kitchen window. We investigated (well, Dee investigated, she’s braver than I) and realised they were flying in and out of a hole in one of our weatherboards … awww crap, we have a wasps nest! It got worse as the day went one: we could hear them inside the walls, crawling over each other, rustling and chittering.
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I’ve been trying to get into some Android programming for a long while now, fighting to find time to get the basics dow so I can start on one of the many applications we’ve dreamed up. This weekend I finally took a step in the right direction with the Global Android Dev Camp. Starting Friday night, it was a weekend “hackerthon” where the goal is to create a brand-new app, from brain-storming to publication on the market, from 7:30pm Friday night through to 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon.
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Late last year a friend pinged me a link to Tough Mudder, and on the spur of the moment I agreed to become his teammate in this mad-cap dash over, under and through various muddy obstacles: 20kms of commando crawls, tyres runs, tunnel crawls, wall scaling, rope bridges, log hauls, greased monkey-bars and a final high-voltage wire sprint. Fun, right? Once signed up I haven’t allowed myself to consider not finishing, and fear of the event has had me up almost every morning for a run or body-weight circuit – 6 days a week in fact, with just a single morning off.
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The weekend is here, finally. We finished work a little early tonight to take a quick spin to Knox – we completed our cutlery set, and Dee got some cupcake baking trays, whilst I splashed out on some running gear. The guy in the Mountain Designs shop had even heard of the ToughMudder course! Two more months of training for me, then: I’m nowhere near ready yet but I can already see an improvement, and I’m totally psyched about doing it!
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Dee’s solution to an escaping puppy – the fence to end all fences. We even have a gate! Using the treated pine posts that used to be the dog yard (and which Jared and I ripped up last time he was visiting), we’ve dug holes and wired up some proper dog-fencing. Each panel has a tensioning wire at the top and tent-pegs at the bottom, so she’s not getting over OR under.
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A couple of weeks ago, Lucy jumped her fence while we were out and went wandering off down the road. When we realised she was no longer in the backyard, I went walking up Baker Street following the sounds of barking, and found her a few houses up where they keep Rottweiler pups — indeed, they’d locked her in their backyard and left a note on our door but she’d managed to escape again.
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