Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Where's the driver? Travel pod adds new twist to transit
Happy Birthday Steve!
It is the b-day of the Steve today. He opened up presents from me and his folks this morning. Last night I wrapped things and watched some PBS. Lately, it seems that PBS shows a lot of marathon self-help garbage that I can't be bothered with, but it does have NOVA, possibly one of the best programs on tv. A few weeks ago, I watched a NOVA on fireworks that was pretty good, and last night they aired a show on the search for the first tetrapods, the first creatures with four legs that spawned us all, animals, humans, the whole shebang. PBS also aired a show on Tesla last night. A few weeks ago, they did Mandelbrot.
What I like about these one hour documentaries is their ability to explain and teach regular people, like myself, about the sciences. As a tech writer, I can appreciate the process of researching and the editing the content for general audiences and making the information entertaining to watch. I'd love to work on a show like NOVA, it would be the ultimate tech writing :-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Iguana Throwing
And just when you thought people could not get any weirder...
Funky Fries
Blue fries, purple ketchup... Is this the shape and colour of food to come? Heinz certainly thinks so. One thing's for sure: chocolate fries will not be gracing our kitchen table any time soon. I have enough trouble keeping our rowdy troops in line without firing them up with a chocolate rush!

If you find those cleaning elves, Dina, tell them to come over to our place when they're done at yours. I could use some help, even from little green men.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Ok, the Canadian Men Rock Too!!!!
I watched part of the game yesterday, of course! What a great win! It was disappointing to hear this morning that a bunch of people took over a downtown bus and trashed it, but they seem to have left the shops alone this time. Why do people feel that they have the right to vandalize things at times like these?
Had a great weekend, the party at Rebecca and Dave's was lots of fun and the food was good too! It's great to get together with friends, especially the ones that you don't see very often. Sunday was spent doing little or nothing, a touch of cleaning, but that was about it. Probably should have gotten more done considering we have a lot to do before the party next Saturday. Time to call the cleaning elves!

Friday, February 22, 2002

Canadian Women Olympic Hockey Players Rock!!!!!
Let's hear it for our ladies, they really know how to do it! Congratulations on your spectacular win and being gracious even when the ref was calling penalties on everything!

Wheeee, almost over for another week! I had a very quick week of work actually, can't complain. My officemate and I finished a project that was supposed to take 10 days in two, so I started in on some other stuff. Unfortunately, I didn't know that someone else was working on the same stuff and so I ended up wasting two hours. Ugh! Now I have to find more stuff to do this afternoon. We're heading over to Dave and Rebecca's housewarming party Saturday night, that should be a blast! They bought a great house in NDG a few months ago perfect for BBQs and social events. We are also planning a trip to Club Price because we are nearly out of toilet paper, that's how we know it's time to go to stock up on all things in bulk. Hopefully, we'll manage to get out without too much extra crap.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Evil Overlord list
Should have said something last month.....
Fox started airing "The Tick" last Fall. It's a tv show based on the comic and it was funny, I mean, really funny! I say was because they cancelled it at the end of January. I had a look, and there are quite a few sites where you can voice your dissatisfaction at Foxs' decision. The Tick's battle cry is "Spoon!", so one campaign is actually asking people to send Fox spoons with their letters.

Here's an example of the dialogue, Tick is talking to his sidekick, Arthur, who has recently decided to give up accounting for a life in crimefighting:
Arthur, I believe in you! I always have! That's why I'm here! Destiny dressed you this morning, my friend, and now Fear is trying to pull off your pants. If you give up, if you give'll end up naked, with Fear just standing there laughing at your dangling unmentionables!
Try to picture this done deadpan by Patrick Warburton, he's excellent!
Attack of the flowcharts
My job today is to go through a whole bunch of flowcharts and make changes. Many of them require huge additions, which requires me to try to cram stuff together and find space where none exists. After that, I have to actually check and see if the darn thing makes sense. Since I was NOT a logic major and have the attention span of a gnat, trying to follow a Voice Channel Seizure at Handoff procedure over 6 flowcharts is my own, private hell.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

I am ELMO.

I'm cute, cute, as a button!

Which Sesame Street Character Are You?
A little excitement for the morning
I was working at my desk like a good Ericsson employee when the building alarm started going off. It's one of those beep.......beep.....beep things, really loud and annoying. No one paid any attention to it because it wasn't followed with instructions to evacuate. On it went. I went and got coffee. I came back to my desk, sat down and tried to keep working beep....beeep.....beeeep.....
After a couple of minutes, the alarm sped up beep.beeep.beeeep.beepbeepbeepbeepbeep. People started paying attention, and when the alarm turned into a hospital flatline of death, we decided to leave. Shortly after this, some security guy made an announcement that we should leave and this wasn't a drill. Thanks for letting us know.....
Of course, the elevators didn't work. Now, the main problem with the elevators not working is that a member of our team is in a wheelchair, not one of those regular jobbies, but a fully electric one with tons of support, because he needs it. We left his chair in the 3rd floor stairwell, and two guys managed to carry him downstairs, but we had no where to put him, so ended up bringing out a cafeteria chair which wasn't optimal. A lady from our floor brought her van around so he could keep warm.
The firetrucks arrived and many firemen (yay!) went into the building. We milled for about 30 minutes before we were allowed back in. Problem? Apparently a generator on the roof burnt out and the smell got into the building.
Ericsson, Swedish for "what fire?"......
Steve's at work!
Steve started at Pratt & Whitney today. He was waiting for another offer to come through, but they can't make an official offer for two weeks, so Steve decided to start at Pratt and see if he likes it. If other offers appear, he can always decide to change later. He was out of the house at 7 this morning, about when I get up, poor guy! I stopped by the local supermarket yesterday on the way home and ran into my friend, Adriana. She was there with her mom, but had lost her in the aisles. We talked for a while (she teased me about having bran in my cart-it's for muffins!) then she went off on her mom search again. She passed by me again while I was waiting in line, her mom had gone through the line and was looking pretty mad. I was carrying my purchases out through the parking lot when I was honked at for walking through a parking space that someone was trying to take. I apparently gave the driver one of my patented "looks from hell" before I realised that it was Melissa! We had a quick chat. She was about to grab some supper stuff because her boyfriend was coming over for supper. She's really busy, working full time at Nortel where they're incredibly understaffed, doing her MBA part time in the evenings and trying to take a wine tasting course! I suddenly feel very lazy! I got home, made myself some supper (Steve was playing with Jon last night) and then made muffins, pizza dough, and bread for lunches today. The muffins do not taste as good as the ones in the cafeteria, but they're probably better for me (all that bran, dontcha know). The pizza dough is for supper tonight. I divided it in two and wrapped it up in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge. This morning, there were two balls of expanded dough that looked like they were ready to explode from the plastic at any moment. Hope they don't take over the fridge today......

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

By the way:
Happy Birthday Coffee Ring!!!!!!!
We've had a great first year, let's keep the coffee perking!
Wheh! Busy day so far! We've got to have a whole mess of stuff out by tomorrow, so the peddle is to the floor and the obscenities are wafting from across the hallway as my boss experiences hardware and software problems which are aggravated by the deadline. Luckily, I have no such stress, I'm just busy. Listening to Ben Folds Five (wish I hadn't bought you dinner just before you dumped me on your front porch). I feel like having a big bowl of wonton soup from a restaurant on Queen Mary, it's really good soup. Perhaps I can snag some on the way home. I didn't stay up to watch the ice dancing last night, but I heard that the Canadians fell at the end. At least there won't be a controversy about that. For some reason, the page is taking forever to load right now. Maggie said that she was having problems earlier. It was fine this morning, could be blogger.
Steve update: He has a verbal confirmation from the other company for more money, he's still waiting for something in writing....

Monday, February 18, 2002

Back to the Monday
I had a great weekend. Kuan came up Friday and Maggie came over and we had supper and gabbing the better part of the evening. We got up Saturday and lazed about until Kuan left to spend some time with a couple of other friends. I saw her again Sunday and went over to Maggie's for supper. Steve was a wonderful host and made breakfast and cleaned up after us. He stopped by a game store and won a Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirt that was a promo for the card game. He promised that I could wear it too :-)
Steve job news: He got a call Friday from another company that might want to hire him for a permanent position for more money. I'm waiting to hear the latest update, should be today......
Listening to Dido - No Angel, I really like this cd, there's so many different styles on the cd, it's difficult to pin her down. The lyrics are nice as well. What's everyone else listening too lately?

Friday, February 15, 2002

Yippee! It's the end of the week, Kuan's driving up and Steve has a job offer!
Lots of good things going on today. Firstly, it's the end of the week, woo hoo! Secondly, Kuan! How I've missed her! Thirdly, Steve got a call from Pratt & Whitney and they offered him a job. He's thinking about it for the day and then calling them back this afternoon with his answer. I'm good with whatever he decides, but it looks like I'm out of a househusband!
This weekend will be spent hanging out with Kuan and relaxing. Life is good!

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Hmmmmm how to celebrate a year of the Coffee Ring - we could go for coffee! Any takers?

Just in case any one is wondering what's happening with me - my boss is no longer my boss, and although my new boss is great, he's a little worried that my job won't exist next week.

The scoop: Michel, my original boss, has been deposed due to what boils down to a lack-of-confidence vote from his fellow upper managers. The company was bought last November, and since then (actually, since long before then) things have been tense between Michel (formerly co-owner and president) and Andre and Ahmad (formerly co-owners and VPs). Everybody keeping up with me so far?

Andre and I have worked together more and more over the last year - he's very pro-project management and general organization, documentation and so on, so he thinks I am very valuable (blush, blush) and have some good ideas, contributions, what have you. But his relationship with Michel has, to say the least, soured. There are several layers to the story, but in a nutshell, Andre gave Michel his resignation in disgust two weeks ago. Michel basically said 'that's too bad, but bu-bye," which did not sit well with our NEW owners. The company president was here (from Quebec City) later the same day to smooth things over and figure out a way to keep Andre.

The solution: Michel is no longer affiliated with our facility directly. He now works on business development for the whole company (we're just the aerospace division). Andre is now the General Manager, and my new boss.

This is fine, cuz as I said we get along like whatever metaphorical things get along really well, but...

Apparently the head office is putting us under the microscope. We're very top-heavy, with lots of admin people for not that many non-admin (something like 9 admin out 38 total). So Andre has to either cut or justify, and I guess he figures my position is particularly shaky given that my salary is the highest among the middle management. He has made it very clear that he is planning to fight to the death for me, but hey, stuff happens. We'll see.

At least if I get laid off I'll have lots of time to post to the Ring!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Ladies of the Ring
So it's one year already for the Coffee Ring! I guess getting all the members together would be impossible, as we're scattered all over. But I want to let you know how much I appreciate this great place where we can all get together and share ideas and news. I visit the Ring almost every day during the week. It's a great way of keeping in touch with some terrific women. The Coffee Ring was a fantastic idea, Dina. Thanks so much for giving us this place to meet and chat!
Holy wind chill!
My goodness but it's coooold out! With the wind chill it's something like -25C! Time to crawl into the caves and hibernate. This cold stretch can't last much longer though, so I guess I'll count my blessings that I don't have an outside job. Speaking of jobs, Steve has an interview today! He got in late last night, so I only saw him this morning, all snug and cosy under the comforter while I had to get up and go outside. He was so cute, but I still wanted to smack him :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

The first anniversary of The Coffeering is a week away. Anyone have ideas about how we should celebrate?
We were robbed!
I stayed up to watch the pairs figure skating final and it was truly disappointing. I like a good Russian skater as much as the next person, but the Canadians skated better last night and should have won. It must be devastating to go out and have the best performance of your life and be judged second to a performance where someone made a mistake and just didn't have the emotional depth. Figure skating judging is awful and inexact and sometimes corrupt, but that's what happens when you have a sport that's so open to interpretation.

Monday, February 11, 2002

Back to work!
I didn't sleep that well last night. The wind was really blowing last night and our bedroom window rattles, so I kept waking up. Still, not like I have mentally challenging work today, so it could be worse. Had a pretty good weekend. Went up to the townies on Saturday and visited the folks. An old friend of the family gave us our wedding gift-a painting of the Lachine lighthouse and landing on wood. It's really nice. The artist finally finished it and got it to her. We visited and Mom made a ham (!) and then we jumped into the car and headed back to Mtl. We got home, changed, and then left for a Indian restaurant where Irene was celebrating her birthday. We had a great time! Afterwards, we went back to her house and had cake and played with the kitten. Sunday we cleaned the house, I made cookies and we had nice visits with Elizabeth and Samuel, and Francois. Francois came by to play some games with Steve. All in all, a very nice day.
Steve update: He's doing good and has two interviews lined up this week!
Weird dream: I dreamt that Steve was showing me Lord of the Rings action figures and kissing my shoulder.......any idea what that one means?

Friday, February 08, 2002

Wheeee! It's Friday and I'm a happy girl! We're very busy, but the deadline was pushed back, so I don't have to work this weekend. I'm sitting at my desk today because I can use my PC. I have my music and I'm editing html files, life is good! I would like to go up and visit the folks tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. I'd also love to sleep in a bit.......

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Didn't have the right numbers on my lottery ticket, so I had to come back to work. Things are not going very well here. We have to have hundreds of files converted from Frame to HTML by Monday and the conversion isn't going well and I'm working next to my boss because my UNIX machine still hasn't materialized so I'm using his while he's on his PC. In the past few days, I've discovered that my boss swears ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME!!! It's not bad when I'm elsewhere, but sitting right next to him is a real pain in the a**.
I may actually be working this weekend...... go figure!
On the up side, I have a kickass lunch because almost no one was at the STC executive meeting and Steve brought home leftovers. I have turkey chili, cornbread, salad, and a tomato, spinach and feta wrap to go with my usual yogurt and carrots. In addition, there's also this really good dessert with chocolate, whipped cream and raspberries, but I didn't bring that with me. Thanks again to all the people who didn't show up......

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Dreams of wealth?
I remembered a snippet of a dream I had last night. I was at a store and found this little wallet for sale. It was wrapped in a ziploc bag. After I paid for it, I opened it and discovered a $20 dollar bill and $120 dollar bill inside. I was very pleased with my purchase (the $120 bill didn't seem to phase me at all). I'm thinking that I should play the lottery tonight.......

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

I think that the gender gap is a direct result of a wave of pseudo-feminism created by marketing executives. Men are constantly portrayed as idiots and incompetants in commercials, sitcoms and movies. We are doing our men wrong and it's only natural that it will have an effect on the new generations of boys wandering through the school systems lacking self esteem. Boys do commit suicide more than girls. Girl power? It's great, but not at the expense of the other sex........this is my rant :-)
Ah! My Son Is a Taliban!
Salon has a great article on how to detect early on whether your child has Taliban or other extreme religious tendencies. Things to look for include sudden bursts of anger, a really dirty face, and a hovel-like bedroom resembling a cave. Come to think of it, that could be me....

There's also an interesting article on the perceived gender gap now in favour of girls and the differing schools of thought on why boys are beginning to lag behind girls. I'm reading The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian and I'm finding some of his observations on how boys are hardwired really fascinating. Coming from a family of all girls, I think I understand dog psychology better than male psychology (even our dog was female!). My pediatrician also talked to me recently about "boy energy" versus "girl energy" and I had to admit there was truth in what she said. It certainly helps me know to understand why my little guy needs to make so much NOISE and throw things around and take things apart.

Monday, February 04, 2002

Nobody could email me, Steve didn't even get my email that I sent him. There were some severe network problems on Friday which could be causing the trouble. In the mean time, I can check my home email through hotmail so mail me there and I'll get it at some point. Maybe this is something that happens to all new employees, I have no idea :-)
I got really busy this afternoon and ended up staying until 6 trying to finish something. I have payroll orientation tomorrow morning, not sure how they're going to fill two hours showing me how to fill out a timesheet. I would give this day a 5 out of ten. Everyone was very nice to me and the day passed nicely. Wish that I hadn't felt so tired, but I'm used to my afternoon naps don'tcha know .......
Your New Email

Hey there! I have tried fruitlessly all afternoon (not all, but several times) to respond to your email and my reply keeps bouncing back. I don't whether anybody else has had this problem. In other words, we're not all ignoring you!

You should be seeing a new colour and a background image. Wait for it to load completely.
I'm at work and managed to get internet access at around 11, my UNIX machine is still not working, and I have no phone. I was mistaken about my officemate, he's actually a rocket scientist..... ack! My boss was hung over from over indulgence caused by the superbowl, which has been pretty amusing to watch as he shows me around the office. I should have some editing to do this afternoon which will certainly speed up a pretty quiet day. I know where the coffee and the bathrooms are, that's enough for one day :-)

Sunday, February 03, 2002

It's not too hard to read, but to me it looks exactly the same! Am I missing something?

Saturday, February 02, 2002

Thanks Becca!!!! Got tired of the white background, what do you think of this? Is it too hard to read?

Friday, February 01, 2002

You're fabulous Dina; congratulations and good timing, too. You're so fabulous that you will be welcome anywhere you go. Good luck and don't worry. Worrying's never worth it, right? Right!
It's official!
As of Monday, I will be working on contract at Ericsson. I wandered down this morning and signed the paperwork, saw my desk and met my officemate Charles, a tech writer with an engineering degree from MIT (I feel stupid already.....). I'm going to be working on mobile network positioning, tracking people by using their cell phones essentially. There's a lot of work and the project manager had to jump through several hoops to get me in. The team all seem like normal, down-to-earth people which will be a nice change. There's also a chance that this will lead to full-time employment in the future, time will tell.
I took the car in to the garage yesterday and sure enough, there's a short somewhere in the wiring. The mechanics said that the car should be ready sometime this afternoon and will probably not cost me an arm and a leg. It snowed here and then started to rain, so there's a crust of snow and slush everywhere and it's slippery, welcome to winter! I'm looking forward to getting back to work, but at the same time I'm filled with that tiny bit of dread you get when you start at a new place and know nothing. I hope that I do a good job....... :-)