Catching up on the last few months

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.

Palantir

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:

A good day

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 …

Powers out, time for painting

Circa 3pm We’ve just had a heavy downpour of rain and, likely related, our power has gone out. No electricity means no Internet, which means no work — good time to do some painting (while there is still enough daylight) and write a blog-post now I’ve got my blog client working again. We pour out the lighter of the two shades we’re using in our room and start rolling it on — I finished the taping-off during my lunch-break, so it is a pretty quick process to get the first coat down.

Cleared for landing

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.

Weekende

(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.

Catchup

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.

Google loves me! Bucky is the best!

I just found, by accident, that I’m the second highest Google search for “chronofiles”. (The Buckminster Fuller Institute isĀ 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 theĀ Buckminster Fuller Institute.

The year to come

This will be my last post this year – Dee and I are going camping in South Australia for the next two weeks, and it’s unlikely there will be mobile phone coverage, let alone wifi internet access. Of course, it doesn’t really both either of us, and is in fact one of the reasons we are going. No communication, no computers, no technology. Time to recommune with nature perhaps. A spiritual recharge, certainly.

Mishoo Fuji FinePix A310 as webcam in Linux

[Mishoo] Fuji FinePix A310 as webcam in Linux In the spirit of biting off more than I can chew, I’m considering jumping into getting my Finepix S7000 to work as a V4L device! It’s well beyond my current capabilities (but not beyond learning!), and that’s probably the main reason that I want to try. The second reason is that I want a webcam that I can use in Linux, and I’ve already got the camera, so why not?