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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in DrForr's LiveJournal:

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Friday, February 11th, 2011
11:19 am
Goed Morgen
[It's annoying when it takes spam to remind you that you *have* a LJ account]

For the people that don't read those "other" services, I should describe the view out my new office window. To my left is the Heineken Brouwerij (yes, Brouwerij), to the right is the Rijksmuseum. Yes, my office window is now in Amsterdam, been this way since roughly October. I'm living in a little 1br place near Rembrandtplein, and getting in at least 2mi of walking a day, with the added challenge of Amsterdam's brick streets. Geneva, Rome and Barcelona are on my travel list while I'm here, and Cairo *was* until it flared up over the last few weeks. Time to start seeing how many FF miles I can rack up with KLM before I leave, although I *do* have to concern myself with taxes, especially with income to declare on two continents. I note in passing that the US is in a *very* select group of countries that taxes overseas income. As in the US, North Korea, and 3 other countries. That's it.

I've been trying to settle in, but trying to keep in touch with people 8-9 time zones away means weird hours and jet lag from 2 trips back home in the last 2 months tends to mess things up, and I'm headed back again in June, when I get to see if I remember how to drive.

On the other hand I've been in Rembrandt's house, admired Van Gogh's /Sunflowers/ from 2 feet away, people-watched in Vondelpark, seen Weird Al's first European concert, and started getting a little muscle tone back, so things are looking up, now if we just had a few more sunny days...
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
9:11 am
Suppose I should update...
Reports of my Internet demise are somewhat exaggerated, although I *have* been terribly busy over the last few weeks. Long story short, apparently large companies (viz: Ticketmaster) and I don't agree. After 2-3 rather whirlwind weeks I find myself in a corporate apartment in Mountain View, CA with at least two job offers (Would have been 4 had some companies moved faster) and a rather talkative parrot who's happy to see more of her daddy.

Whirlwind in the sense that I decided to vacate the premises in mid-November, got most of my books packed in the interim, flew up to the SF area for an interview (which I got, along with a $10K or so raise over what I was making in LA and stock options,) and a few days later got a call from my movers saying they'd be there early. Two weeks early.

Most of the big stuff was already packed up, and I'd already made the final pilgrimages to the local Mongolian joint and shabu-shabu place, so I was already more or less ready to leave. They came in at the start of December, and I drove up to Mountain View that afternoon to meet the movers in the morning.

Thankfully, that went smoothly, to the point where I gave them a tip. I'd had a *serious* problem with another long-haul company moving to the DC area, but that didn't happen again.

So, the mornings have been waking up and grabbing breakfast from a place across the street, afternoons usually heading out to the car to do a phone interview or driving in to SF or Oakland to do an in-person interview. I've been taking weekends and evenings without a phone interview to head in to San Francisco to get used to my new area, and do the inevitable Christmas shopping.

I probably should talk to Google at some point, one of the CEOs in a recent interview said "You know, Google would snap you up like *that*, why are you interviewing here?" (as a side note, 'Google' doesn't appear to be a legitimate word to LJ spellcheck, yet Googlies and Gogol's are.)

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, March 15th, 2006
8:14 pm
Synchronicity and clusters
Apparently L.A. is getting more serious about the low-carb diet. I'd been down at the local Old Spaghetti Factory, and noticed that after paying my bill and walking out into the foyer, the greeters at the door had been replaced by four of L.A.'s finest. One of them had his Beretta (maybe Glock, I'm just going by what Google says - The SWAT division favors the Kimber II) out and one finger on the safety, and another had his shotgun out and ready. Quite the door greeting.

On the way home I passed a large rooster going the other way (well, actually a white Cadillac with a gigantic rooster head on the bonnet and swooping tail between the Cadillac's fins.) And tonight I've been doing a bit of research to figure out which A-list celebrity had the good fortune to be seen coming out of the Tracey Ross boutique across the street from my parking lot. I suppose that fits the definition of a cluster, assuming that's the proper term for this sort of experience. Assuming Madonna looks like the recent Vanity Fair picture, I think that was her.

That cluster is actually quite a bit saner than my last few weird encounters, which I suppose I should mention, and not in passing. For me, things here pretty much started out bizarre, and really haven't let up, just changed form and mutated. Like so many people, I'd heard the stories about how ferociously focused on "the big win" this place is, but dismissed them as stereotypes.

Two weeks in to my tenure here in L.A. I'd really not found out how to get anywhere outside of a narrow slice between Hollywood on the south and Burbank on the north. Thus, when Jarhead came out, the only theater I knew that would probably be playing it was Grauman's Chinese, by this obelisk/monstrosity called the Hollywood & Highland pavilion. Despite the fact that work is maybe 5 miles from there, it still took me an hour or so of getting lost on backroads in order to get there, my usual navigation technique.

It was also the theater where I almost walked out on Aeon Flux (I didn't actually walk out because I wanted to see what my tolerance level for this after years of MST3K movies was) a few months later. Anyway, on account of getting there later than expected, I grabbed tickets for the midnight showing, sat upstairs watching the flashing neon and nibbling on pizza for a half hour or so, then walked on in. It was deserted, so I sat just up from the handicapped seat, and waited for the credits to roll.

The only other person who decided to watch the film at this late hour walked in 10 minutes later, with a duffel bag. Instead of sitting down in a seat, he walked over and regaled me with tales of how he knew Anthony Swofford's aunt, how I just had to be a Hollywood agent, and could I please look at a manuscript he'd brought with him. I still don't know why I fit his stereotype of a Hollywood agent (I wasn't exactly wearing a suit, dark sunglasses or Hawaiian shirt), but he couldn't be talked out of it. At the end he said "Okay, you must at least know someone, take the script, read it and get back to me, here's my card."

I still have the manuscript in my trunk, unread. Out here, who knows, I might bump into Steven Spielberg (again.)

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
9:12 pm
I recently received a gentle reminder that I'd been somewhat remiss in updating
things. Life went from hectic to hectic to mundane roadtripping to the hectic
nothingness of starting a new job. The former is boring, the latter also rather
boring, but I've already had a few odd experiences out here that I gather are
part and parcel of living in what has (by definition) to be a weird area.

Since the roadtrip to get out of here involves Amish traffic jams,
extraterrestrial cheese, and a large dose of fear and loathing, it's a little
complex to address in one posting, so I'll address that later on. In the
meantime, I've been acclimating myself to California. It's not so much the
weather (or out here, lack thereof) as the people.

Though it was interesting sitting at a hockey game last week in a
company-sponsored private box and finding that everyone had moved back into the
shelter of the lounge area because it was "too damn cold". To this Minnesota
person wearing short sleeves at a hockey game, it was fine, maybe 50s with the
wind blowing off the ice.

To the natives, wearing heavy sweaters and pulling sleeves over hands because
they forgot to bring gloves, it was below freezing. I eventually walked back to
mingle, but watching the discomfort was amusing, especially as the alcohol
began to flow. We also got a surprise visit from Mr. T (not in our box, on the
big-screen TVs over the rink.) Apparently he'd stopped by in the locker room
to watch the game.

No, the most unusual things I've dealt with out here so far are the people.
Until I started living here (West Hollywood) I'd thought that most of the
stories that get told about Hollyweird are the same stories that Minnesotans
tell the rest of the world to keep them out of our demesne, 10' snowdrifts
miraculously appearing outside your apartment overnight (image of the Virgin
Mary in the frost optional), -50F weather with another -30 of windchill, etc.

Here it's different. THEY'RE ALL TRUE. When I first got here, I was living in
a corporate-sponsored apartment roughly 5 miles from Grumman's Chinese, albeit
via a somewhat circuitous route. The first night I was here, I was hungry and
figured that there had to be some random fast-food place open past 9pm. I ran
across a Taco Bell about a mile away.

Nothing seemed terribly amiss about this rather reticent place, just off
Olive St. The guy took my order, I walked over to the other counter to wait for
my "food", chanced to glance up and did what must have been an impressive doubletake.

It was a fairly sparse place with exposed rafters. What was on the rafters
started my formal introduction to "Hello, you're *IN HOLLYWOOD*. Every inch of
the rafters was covered with autographed headshot photographs, mostly kids in
the 12-17 year old range, the girls trying to look much older and the guys
either acting like they were auditioning for Menudo/Backstreet Boys or a Fabio
album cover.

In the face of this pantheon of would-be stars I meekly accepted my food and
sat down, letting it all soak in. Looking across the street, it dawned on me how
this occurred. Apparently I had stopped at the closest Taco Bell *possible* to
the Warner Brothers Studios. I was in fact across from gate 3 to the WB lot.

Later on I'd take a walk around my residential complex on the advice of a friend
who had spent time there when he moved out, and feasted my eyes on the WB
studios and Yakko, Wakko and Dot's home, the WB water tower.

These fast food/shrine to starlet joints pop up more or less at random,
apparently. I live quite a few blocks from the core of Hollyweird, and even on
the corner across from my place, there's a greasy spoon called the Hamburger
(Haven/Habit) where two walls are plastered with these headshots.

Out of curiosity I wrote down five names off the wall, and actually found that
one of the people showed up on IMDB. Admittedly it was a cheezeball Andy Sidaris
flick (not that cheeseball and Andy Sidaris aren't synonymous), but at least one
starlet had actually made it to the big time.

The distribution appears to be more or less random, but mostly where cheap
food can be found, with the accent on 'cheap'. Gotta keep up the starving actor
or actress appearance, you know... Which apparently is most of what matters
here, keeping up appearances.

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, September 29th, 2005
9:44 am
Chinese curses ("May you live in interesting times") and life changes [expurgated]
Life changes seem to be something that journal entries are made to deal with. And the last few weeks certainly rank as that. Actually the last few months, in all honesty. This starts with my getting laid off from my job at a fairly large healthcare firm in... I think March. I'd seen the cutbacks coming and started to look for other opportunities a few weeks before, so I managed to get some contract programming work together shortly after the event.

Of course, I also started sending out resume's at about this time. In the last few months, in between contract work, I'd gotten maybe four interviews, one that led to a contract when I explained that I was contracting at the time, and they felt that contract-to-hire was a good choice to start working with me. Four interviews in the span of a few months. Apparently the market for Perl out here isn't the greatest. And I'm fairly picky about what openings I look at.

Fast forward to...about three weeks ago. My parents are workcamping in the Adirondacks, and getting ready to escape the incoming snow and sleet in order to move to...well, Colorado. I'd finally given up on things in the Boston area, and decided that the Left coast made for a better opportunity overall. I saw three or four jobs on that coast pop up in my RSS feed from jobs.perl.org, sent out a few resume's and talked to a friend that lived out there about the lifestyle.

[Since this is now friends-only I'll put the actual place names in. I just don't want this sort of thing rebounding on me should I need to find future employment]

Since I could get my client's work done just as well over a cable modem in the parents' RV as I could at home, I decided to drive up there for a few days. I'd gotten one call already asking for a phone screening with a company in Washington (not Microsoft), and since I'm bereft of a landline (have been for years) I can conduct the interview on my cellphone just as well as any other phone. As it turned out, it was a good thing that I was headed to my parents' place, I was about to need some emotional support.

On the way up on Wednesday, the insanity began. My drive is about five-and-a-half hours long, and I've done it often enough that I can say with certainty that the halfway point is at a Hess gas station 20 minutes or so north of Albany, notable because they have a Godfather's Pizza, originally a Midwest chain that I've loved for years, having spent my formative years and 6 or so years after graduating college there.

I'd just gotten finished with a client meeting and talking to the people down at Diablo about opportunities on the Left Coast for glassblowing. About half an hour into my drive (just past Worcester or so, maybe Old Sturbridge) I got a call from a recruiter for a place out in San Francisco that wanted to talk about flying me out for a job. I'm not a Boy Scout, but I was prepared, with my suit jacket, white shirt and suit pants in my luggage carrier in the trunk, should I need to fly out from Burlington or Albany. I'd packed it more or less on a whim, I didn't think anything would happen of it.

So, I explained that I was on the road, apologized for the bird chirping and chattering at Daddy talking at her favorite toy (the cell phone) and asked him to call back tomorrow morning their time. I called the parents back and let them know I might need to find a landline in order to do an interview (yay.) then returned my attention to the drive. Luckily 90 was pretty much devoid of traffic at 7:30 on a Friday night an hour or so outside of the city.

Half an hour later I got a call from a place in the L.A. area that was also interested in me, I said that I was driving, and could you call back Friday afternoon (their time). Called the parents in a slightly giggly/hysterical mood that I'd actually gotten two calls on the road, and heard the cell phone call waiting beep. The other call was from a *third* place, this one in the Northwest. I arranged a time with them on Friday evening their time and got back to the drive.

Three hours later, around midnight, I arrived at the front door of the parents' RV, dropped off the bird, chuckled over the day's events and drove to my RV, which the campground owners kindly let me stay in free of charge. Spent a half hour or so visualizing the interview calls going well, tried to calm down from the roadtrip buzz, and went to sleep, figuring I'd be lucky if I got to the point of a meeting with one.

Long story short, the first interview wanted to fly me to the San Jose area on Wednesday. (Well, reimburse me afterward for the hotel and flight, that plays a part in decisions to come.) I talked with the parents about logistics of getting me there and paying for the flight, even though they were going to reimburse me. Being a contractor just starting out means having a dearth of funds to work from.

The next interview with the place in L.A., I sort of stumbled through a few of their questions on MVC paradigms because it's been a few years for me since any sort of formal OO training. I talked with them about my code samples, what they do and how they do it. I couldn't remember the difference between a '[% INCLUDE %]' and '[% PROCESS %]' block in Template Toolkit, and thought things were pretty much hosed.

Then they got to a test suite I'd written for a Template Toolkit project. I started to explain what it did (it's about 100 lines of fairly dense TT code that tests the workings of a renderer suite I wrote for the project) and for about ten-twenty seconds there was dead silence on the phone. The recruiter recovered and said "I think we need to fly you out here to talk to us." Luckily I was already going to be in the area, so on a wild hair I said they could save some money if they flew me out of the San Jose after my interview and put me up in a hotel for the night.

They said they'd think about it, and bid me a fond adieu. 20 minutes later I got a call from *another* place asking for an interview, and I said I'd be avaialble on Monday, since it was getting late out on the East coast. I spent some time with the parents talking about logistics for getting out to the San Jose area, especially since they wanted to reimburse me for the flight rather than pay up front.

Over the weekend we got my newer interview clothes together, kept the suit jacket, lost the white shirt and old pants, and went with a more casual look. Monday the company in LA called back and offered to pay for my flight from the Mountain View area to LA and put me up for a night in what turned out to be a rather swank hotel in Beverly Hills. I'd still been putting out resume's over the weekend from the RSS queue on jobs.perl.org so at this point I wasn't *terribly* surprised when I got a call from another company asking for an interview, which of course I gladly accepted.

By now it was Tuesday and time to get back home for a few hours' rest, another client meeting and this time a flight out to the West Coast for a round of interviews. I figured I'd be lucky to land one. The interview in San Jose (no, it wasn't Google) went okay, but they didn't quite seem prepared for me, odd for an interview that lasted something like 5 hours. The... I guess it was the CEO couldn't figure out why I flew in from Boston but lived in San Jose. Turned out the recruiter stripped my address from the resume' and he thought that the recruiter's address at the bottom was my address. Not a good sign.

I also paid $90 for a $60 cab ride out to the hotel the night before, and haven't gotten reimbursed for that cab ride or the ride back. Flew out to LAX from there, stepped into my hotel and felt like I was in Cannes. NBC was shooting coverage for their series "Inconceivable" in the lobby, and a film festival was going on in the upper lobby, complete with a group of Ramtha devotees promoting their film in nighties that would make Torgo from /Manos: The Hands of Fate/ proud, and someone reciting slam poetry in the lobby advertising for "The Jimmy Hoffa of Hip-Hop."

I plugged into the wireless connection, got email and found a few more people wanting to interview, sent out email explaining the situation, asked a friend for some advice on how to land the interview, and went to bed. I woke up that morning early, and decided to pass an hour or so on IRC waiting for interview time to roll around. An hour or so before the interview (the office was maybe five minutes' walk from the hotel) I was just finishing a shower when the phone rang. It was the recruiter from the job in San Jose saying I'd gotten an offer. We talked for a few minutes while I was toweling off and starting to run around, and then talked for a few more minutes about how it was a great opportunity and I shouldn't pass it up, and then he talked for a few more minutes about how they needed a decision RIGHT THEN, and then talked about how impressed they were with how I scored the highest ever on their perl test (which a snail that was held back a few grades could pass, and I ended up correcting *them* on some things) and on and on.

He made me a few minutes late for my interview, and in the rushing around to button down all the fun dress items I'd forgotten to turn my collar down. The first thing my HR dude did was point out that my suit jacket collar was up. He laughed it off (easy to do when you're wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops) and took me out to lunch. To make a long story short, I got a much better vibe from this place than the one in San Jose.

A few hours later I finished with the interview and spent about an hour in the lobby of the place waiting for my taxi talking to the director of engineering. We passed the time talking about glassblowing, what it's like to be a student pilot and how to get started in ultralight flights. My taxi came, I flew out from LAX back to San Jose, and spent the rest of Friday night stretching out and visiting with my friend in San Fran who's graciously offered to put me up 'til Sunday.

Saturday we got out, got a couple of kinks in my back out from what was by then about 12 hours of airplane and taxi nonsense, and walk around Japantown so I could see if I could find the Kinokuniya bookstore out there. I was looking for back issues of an out-of-print origami magazine called 'Oru'. On the way there I spotted a place called "Paper Tree" and stopped in there, it turned out to be the heart of Origami knowledge in the Bay Area. I passed some time talking with Vicki (the lady at the counter) and talked about meeting Robert Lang (an origami god and math/computer geek) in Portland at a convention a few weeks ago, got a book with some *terribly* advanced origami work (I think the dragon on the cover was... maybe 271 steps' worth of work, and I've actually done stuff like that), some decent-sized paper that would fit in my luggage carrier, and got directions to Kinokuniya.

At Kinokuniya I found the back issues of Oru that I was looking for, but unfortunately they had all the same back issues that I already had. I found another book I liked, got that and some manga to get my fix, and we took the bus back to the apartment. On the way there I spotted a cool-looking glass shop in the window, and stopped there to see about any private shops in the area. We chatted up the rather cute Russian lady, and I managed to impress her by knowing three people's work at sight, and we talked about stuff like reticello work for a few minutes, then the phone rang.

I went outside to take the call, and it turned out to be the HR recruiter guy from the place in L.A. Calling on a Saturday. I figured you don't call on a weekend unless you're seriously stoked, and they were. Wanted to get me on board right then, full benefits, decent salary and relocation. I said I'd have to think about it, and could they get back to me with details on the relocation package, and the place in San Jose was offering this much, what can they do?

We stopped by the Borders on the way back to the apartment so I could recover in A/C from the sushi boat experience and get some travel books for the LA area including maps. The place in L.A. also needed some more info for background checks and references, so after some panic at home figuring out the wireless connection for my laptop (which didn't work, even though I had the auth codes left over from a previous stay in SF with the same geeks) I called the parents and dictated the information to them, and we got that forwarded on to the HR people.

Sunday morning I left (I thought it was Sunday evening, Orbitz booked me differently than I thought) and I ended up in BOS early Monday morning, and went through the usual luggage hassles (namely the conveyor didn't disgorge my bag as expected. My luck usually runs to having to file a lost baggage claim within 20 minutes of this happening, so I shortcutted the process by running upstairs to the America West counter, where nobody was around. I ran back downstairs and found my baggage waiting, thankfully)

Monday morning I get another call from the recruiter in San Jose, and that afternoon I got another call from a place in LA also interested. I put them off so I can get some work done, and find that I have an early client meeting on Tuesday. Monday evening (at around 9pm, damnit) I get another call from the recruiter in San Jose saying it's a great opportunity, and they've lowered my salary so that they can give me a better relocation bonus, which now has stretched to being paid 2 months after I get there, and how I aced their test, and they really wanted me there, despite my having to go back upstairs and ask for my reimbursement check.

Tuesday at noon I get a call from the place in LA welcoming me on board and talking about how we're going to handle relocation and such things. I stopped off at B&N in the morning to look over things for the roadtrip I feel impending based on either job offer, and picked up a "Teach Yourself Gaelic" CD/book set to listen to in the car. If I'm not speaking Gaelic after this, at least Percy will be trilingual, and even harder to understand. Gaelic has some harsh vowel sounds.

I haven't yet decided, but I think I'm going to get "Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas" for the trip. I liked the book and it'd be neat to hear a dramatic reading. I've also got "Guns, Germs and Steel: The Decline and Fall of Civilizations" to occupy myself when I'm in a hotel and not staying at a friend's place. Tuesday afternoon I get another call from some place in Seattle that's interested in me, and is sorry to hear that I've almost decided on TicketMaster, would $110K in salary and an executive relocation package help me change my mind? I say yes indeed, and we talked with CEOs and CIOs and developers for about three hours before they apparently decide I'm not *quite* qualified for the position.

Yesterday was more calls from the damn recruiter and a call from the place in L.A. confirming that I'd passed background checks, and welcome on board. So, I'm sitting here with a thick package of paperwork at my elbow, a site that needs massive bug fixes and a body that needs showering &c and a drive out to my remote office at Panera Bread where I can be fed, caffeinated and suckle at the font of 802.11g goodness in proper A/C and improper, boring jazz. And finally free of the recruiter. I fielded one last phone call last night from him where I told him in no uncertain terms that I was no longer interested in the offer in San Jose. Although it's a nicer area than LA the job and people there just give me the heebie-jeebies, for many reasons.

For the last few days I've apparently been at the center of a bidding war between at least two, actually three or so, companies.

"May you live in interesting times" indeed.

Current Mood: bouncy/stressed/recovering
Friday, October 24th, 2003
9:19 pm
First lesson
I'll hopefully have pictures up in a while of the first two exercises we did... Exercise one was learning how to put necklines into a piece. That's the place that you chill and break the piece off at, and rather important to get right. We just went into the furnace and took a gather of glass (basically dipping the rod into the vat of glass and coming out with a gob of hot glass on the end -- Yes, it's hot, but surprisingly the *really* hot part comes when you bring the end of the rod down level with the vat in order to pull the gather out horizontally - I guess it's something to do with the forced-air supply, because as far as I know heat still rises, which logically makes the top of the slot hotter than the bottom.)

The simple idea is to take your gather of glass, shape it into a cylinder on the end of the punty (rod) and then shape it into as many marbles as you can. I got three out of mine, but was a little too aggressive with the second neckline and apparently ended up breaking it into two pieces in the annealer (hot box, starts at around 900 degrees and cools down over 24 hours so your piece won't shatter because of thermal stress). It's a good way to learn how the glass behaves when hot and cold, and how to work with the jacks, a cross between BBQ tongs and diagonal pliers.

You use the jacks to cut in the necklines, and tilt them to the outside as you're rolling the cylinder to shape the marbles. After the necklines are cut to your satisfaction, there should be a series of marbles fused together on your punty (the rod on the left - what looks like a yellow collar is glass shaped on the end).

Lesson two was what I did the first time I was there, making a glass flower. But unlike the first lesson, where Eric went over to the furnace, gathered and did the initial shaping, this time I did everything myself. Same idea as last time, but this time we basically smooshed the end of the cylinder down with a tagliol and pulled the ends out with tweezers.

The next day was paperweights (which I'm waiting for, hopefully mine didn't crack) using a block to shape the glass, and the final lesson, which was supposed to be a tumbler. That's where things get a little odd. The young lady on our team got her bubble onto the punty rod, opened it up, and accidentally jarred the rod against the yoke, and the proto-tumbler turned into a floor model. I was planning to take a few hours' practice before I drove the 7 hours back from Corning to Boston, and let her take another turn after her mother tried her hand. The next time was much more successful, and she even got a handle on hers with a lot of help. I got in two practice bubbles, and learned exactly how hard it is to actually blow the glass bubble by the time class was over.

The two people who decided to hang around with me and take some extra time went out to sign up for the extra hours only to find out that we had to wait for an hour while the other glory hole (no, it's actually a big gas-heated barrel that runs at around 2100-2300 degrees) came up to temperature. I didn't want to land back at the apartment at 3pm, so we cancelled the engagement and headed off into the sunset.

However, things still will work out fairly well because I'm going to start my class at Diablo Glass and Metal next Wednesday, and should be a little ahead of the game, with any luck. Our class is going to have 3 students and 2 teachers, so it should be virtually one-on-one instruction.

Also, while I intend to take pictures of my first practice pieces, one of the people on my team was also a professional photographer, and once pictures of our class we took come up on the site, I'll add a link here.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
3:30 pm
Well, headed out to Corning this weekend...
And, with any luck, taking a more serious class starting at the end of the month. I think I need to take a quick trip in to see the facilities some time, but it's not going to be this weekend for obvious reasons.

They apparently need one more person to take the course before they'll offer it, so here's hoping...
Tuesday, September 9th, 2003
2:55 pm
Well, I've gone and done it. I'll be in Corning from the 18th-19th of next month for Beginning Glassblowing. Not sure who's teaching but the course catalog says George Kennard, Eric Dahlberg or G. Brian Juk. They also let you rent studio time after 4pm Saturday, which I'll try to take advantage of.

At worst I can crash in Albany and get an early (!) start the next day. I don't usually get up at 6am, but I imagine this will be sufficient motivation should I need to...
Sunday, September 7th, 2003
10:12 pm
<td bgcolor="#000000">Who will play you:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Ewan McGregor </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Who will play your love interest:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Salma Hayek </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Weeks you will stay in the box office:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">16</td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Song that will play during your love scene:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Milli Vanilli - Blame it on the Rain </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Song that will play during your death:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Tupac Shakur - God Bless the Dead </td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Your name:</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA"></td></tr>
Your Life: The Movie by mintyduck
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Mm, Salma Hayek...
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003
10:19 am
Heavy sigh...
Calling the Corning Museum studios today to sign up for this October's "Beginning Glassworking" course. 'Tis about a 7-hour drive one way, this should be fun.
Thursday, August 28th, 2003
9:37 pm
CodeTek Virtual Desktop rocks.
This is the first piece of shareware I've paid for in quite a while.
(Not that I'm a slouch... UNIX means "Software For Nothing / And Your Bits For Free")
9:32 pm
Spontaneous road trip time...
Headed out to the Corning Museum of Glass over the long weekend, as work seems not to need me for $current_project.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2003
10:14 am
LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:drforr
Your haiku:lost one bead last time
getting sort of a feel for
things well attempts are
Created by Grahame

In other notes, Oshkosh was most excellent this year, partially due to watching it through Masque and Masqueling's eyes...
Friday, May 9th, 2003
10:41 am
Yay, evil project almost done
Of course, to do the last push we ended up throwing out the core of what we'd been struggling to fix for 2 days and replaced it with quantities of bubble gum and duct tape, but it seems to work, and that's all I care about. Maybe next week I'll be able to get to bed before 3am...
Tuesday, May 6th, 2003
9:34 am
Still among the living...
Holding down a "real job" and working on two contracts isn't as fun as it might appear...

Especially when said contracts consume all free time and threaten the existence of said "real job". Not to mention that one contract is to help support your parents, and the other one is to keep your brother's last major contact in the fold.

Of course I shouldn't be working on these contracts, but one contract's programmer left a job 1/4 finished in a bizarre flurry of .cgi scripts and a largely-broken mutant Template::Toolkit-like thing combined with a backend which he "designed" to look like the backend I designed for a project that we collaborated on, except unlike his, mine worked.

The other programmer has gone missing, but left things in a much more workable state, considering the framework he was working in was one I designed.

I'm hoping to put both of these to rest this week, if only because this business of driving home and working straight through to 2am or so, then driving to work at 9 has now gone on since... uh... when did I get to Boston? Move one week forward from then.

I think I've gotten to see the interior of Boston...uh...twice. Once in the first weekend I was here, picking up some books and the other time was for a Perl Mongers meeting. I'm surprised I haven't had a nervous breakdown or something...

I imagine by this time that the pile-of-crud contract is not going to pay us a dime as we've probably missed umpteen deadlines, which doesn't help matters. The other contract hasn't paid out yet but probably will, with any luck. At least there's motivation of a sort...
Wednesday, March 12th, 2003
12:03 pm
Or at least have network connection, temporarily. Using a coworker's PC for the moment, but soon shall have munchy crunchy chocolatey cablemodem goodness at the apartment.

3 days at work and still no PC. This...is not good.
Wednesday, February 26th, 2003
5:45 pm
Leaving for Boston
Heading out tomorrow morning, stopping off in DC and Philadelphia, will probably arrive in Boston on Sunday or so..
Friday, February 21st, 2003
5:06 pm
Packing ahoy!
Not sure where I'll be living yet but I'm looking at a few places (Well, okay, about 53 according to boston.com) in the vicinity. Probably going to accumulate a telephone index over the weekend and start calling about. I'm also impressed by moving costs so far... Without the hassle of furniture my moving costs are going to be around $700-$1100, it looks like. I was planning on $3K+, but that certainly helps.

I'll revise the POE outline over the weekend based on some hints and new material, and get ready to submit to both Sams and O'Reilly. My hope is that O'Reilly picks it up, for obvious reasons. But I wouldn't mind Sams either, I guess. We'll see what happens...
Thursday, February 13th, 2003
3:57 pm
Apparently the job is somewhere in Framingham, MA. Once I know when/where I'm actually moving, I'm probably going to stop off in DC to meet with sungo and a few other people I left behind in my rather precipitious departure from the DC area.

However, that's not the 'Egads' part. Apparently sungo and I have somewhat the same luck... I got notification that the job is probably mine on Tuesday. Wednesday I get email from Sams asking if I'd like to write a book on the Perl Module Currently Known as POE. To which my reaction was roughly 'hell yes'...

Not to be outdone, about an hour ago I got a phone call from a contract house in Minneapolis saying the position I'd applied for (and not heard back from) had just reopened, and I was up for it.

Monday, February 10th, 2003
7:25 pm
Apparently after a surprisingly short interview period, I'm headed to Boston to start a new job. I'm still somewhat confused over the whole event and am not sure that what I think has happened has actually happened, but I'll take the positive reinforcement. I *think* I have to go through the usual medical testing procedures, but I think this is going to work out.
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