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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.