Catching up on the last few months

Aug 25, 2012 by glennji

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. Our engineers are the best and brightest in the world, the geek-elite, and I’m just so proud that I made it through the rigorous testing process to join the team that I can’t even explain it. This is the job of a lifetime, and a chance to make some real positive difference in the world.

n00bs start their tenure with Palantir in the head-office(s) at Palo Alto — i.e. Silicon Valley!! For any geek, this is an amazing opportunity, and three weeks in the Valley is enough to make you believe you can start your own ${anything}, just as long as you drink enough coffee before breakfast. It was a great time for me, made even better by the fact that Dee and Jules flew over to join me.

We didn’t get to see much, admittedly, but we took our two weekends and headed into San Francisco on the CalTrain (an experience in and of itself). Took a cable-car, ate at Pier 39, drank coffee at a real diner, drove over the Golden Gate during the only fog-free window of time there’s been in the last 25 years … heady stuff indeed. I’ve got some photos somewhere; I’ll try upload them (reminds me: I’ve switched from Flickr to Picasa and there are probably broken image links all over the place. Added to “Someday/Maybe”!).

Once we got back to Australia, it was the shortest goodbyes to Melbourne and a two-day drive up here to Canberra. We stopped overnight in Orbost, met a lovely (and eccentric?) couple running the hotel there, then got into Canberra in the late afternoon.

Unfortunately we had to drop Lucy at the “Dog ‘otel” kennels, as she’s not allowed to stay with us in the corporate apartments, but we’re desperately searching for a place of our own (rental) so we can get her back home with us. (Visited her, and she’s loving it — running around a massive fenced paddock complete with pond/dam. Still nice to have her home.) Canberra, it seems, doesn’t like dogs — we’re looking further and further out of “Civic” (central) as we’re knocked back for properties time and time again.

(Fingers are crossed: a place we saw yesterday is a bike-ride away from work, a walk away from the Belconnen mall, and a toddle away from the Early Learning Centre. Been available for a while, relatively expensive and the agent rang my work within 10 minutes of receiving our application.)

So that’s the Cliff’s Notes version of our life at the moment. Everything feels very temporary, we’re living out of suitcases for longer than I’d expected and we miss our little puppy. It seems our the journey “home” wasn’t over after all!

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