theducks: (Default)
I'd dithered around for ages on if I should stay on LJ, or import everything to dreamwidth and move here wholesale, and it turns out I have a breaking point - with the servers on Russian soil and the service now subject to Russian law, it's time to leave. It was a fun 16 years, but things change.. so here I am for good. The importer is running. 
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
(2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006)
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Not filling out this questionaire

theducks: (Alex Mountie)
I've been a fan of the Arrogant Worms for at least 8 years now - back on Canada 2006, we wandered through the streets of Airdrie Alberta, singing "Canada is really big" to the applause of passers by.

Annnyway, I picked up the newspaper in the lobby yesterday, and saw the 'Worms were playing at the Steveston Salmon Festival Canada Day concert. Count me in!

Best band ever to book for a Canada Day concert. They didn't play "Canada is really big", but they did play a bunch of other ones. I posted an Instagram on Facebook, and found out one of my friends works with the lead singer - he's an English teacher in Ontario! Small world - wish I knew beforehand - I would have said hi.

(This friend - I don't think we've ever met in Canada - but she was one of the incoming exchange students at ECU when I worked there in like 2000, so we hung out in Perth a few times. Added difficulty of Perthing.)

I love all the concerts we've been able to go to here. Canada is really bigawesome.
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
On June 24th, we moved to Canada for a one year working holiday. Five years ago.


You might remember from when people used LJ and my ranting years ago, about how missing friends was an issue. It still is. I've just become comfortably numb, or something like that?

This week though, we had [ profile] stephiepenguin visiting us! Stephie was my Best Man at our wedding, and we shared a house for an awesome year in 2003-2004. Hijinks from which are in the annals of history and LJ archives.

So nice. She moved to Melbourne at about the time we moved to Vancouver. We've seen each other three times since then, for a couple of hours each time, but this time she stayed with us for 5 days, and we got to do almost all of the things we've done over the years and said "stephie would like this". Totes awesome.

Dropped her off at the airport on Thursday morning, and when we came home, I was in a bit of a funk because I missed her. We went to clear off the sheets, and found a present..

Really cheered me up. Bless you Penguin ♥
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
I'm finding I'm less introspective these days. Maybe I've found peace with a lot of questions in life? or maybe I'm just too busy to worry. I think it's mostly the first - I feel like I have plenty of free time, so.. y'know.

I went to Tucson, Arizona in January. Mmm t-shirt weather. Loved it. Installed NetApps, saw planes.

I had an old friend from Western days visiting Vancouver last week, and hung out with her for a day. Lots of fun. It's amazing to be able to just pick up a friendship again after so long. We've caught up a few times over the years, but only for a few hours at a time.

I'd say that's all the updates in my life.. but really, who doesn't use facebook these days? You know what I'm doing.

Mostly, anyway.
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
(2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006)
1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Fired a handgun. I was in Las Vegas and decided I wanted to know what it was really like to fire a Glock. Curiosity is satisfied. It _was_ kinda cool ;)

Read more... )
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
.. and I got was a DuckDuckGo Tshirt.

Well, that and two Arduinos.

Let's take a few steps back.

Last year, I almost impulsively went to NYC for MakerFaire NYC. NYC and the Bay Area are the two big ones, and [ profile] erikarn was going to be at the NYC one last year. Like, it was 8PM and I was looking at a 11PM flight for $cheap$

I didn't go last year, in the end, but I decided afterwards that I regretted that decision, so this year, I went, leaving poor [ profile] lizbyrd home alone. I've been doing a fair bit of evening and weekend work for customers, and so had a bit of extra leave built up, so I took off last Wednesday night, and spent Thursday->Sunday in NYC. I was pretty happy I went :)

On wednesday, when getting the MacBook Air ready to take, it was clear that it wasn't dissipating heat properly, probably because I'd got the heatsink kinda loose when fixing it a few months earlier, and it probably displaced some heatsink paste or something. Anyway, so I decided to go get some more from the local computer store, and replace it. From leaving for the car, to rebooting the fixed computer, took 20 minutes total. I'm impressed by that.

On the thursday, I arrived in early from an overnight flight. It was a Cathay Pacific flight that was HKG-YVR-JFK. Because it was only stopping over in Vancouver, people continuing on to JFK had to get off the plane and get hand searched, since they didn't go through customs. Also because of that, it is essentially the only flight from Vancouver to the US that doesn't clear US Customs in Vancouver. I had had a bit of a nap on the plane, which was good, so after the dreary welcome of US Customs, I decided to rent a car and go driving around Long Island. Awesome place. Saw some nice seaside towns.

I dropped the car back in the afternoon, and caught the train to my hotel in Manhattan (Days Hotel on 94th). Nice enough, but still really expensive, but it was nice to get a place to change out of clothes I'd had on for almost 24 hours, and settle in for the night. Had a good night's sleep, then went to the WTC memorial on Thursday morning. Was in line behind a farmer from Newdigate, Western Australia. Of course. Then headed up to Central Park, and had a wander through there for a few hours, before heading back to the hotel to charge my phone (important things in life, of course). I headed out around 5 to meet up with TofuCousin Janet to see a TofuCousin of hers' movie at an indie film festival in TriBeCa. After the movie, we went out to dinner and had a good chat. We saw her briefly at her wedding here in Vancouver back in May, but understandably, she was a little busy then, so it was really good to talk with her 1 on 1.

Saturday morning, I headed out to Corona NY (Flushing?) for the Maker Faire! Met up with [ profile] erikarn and his girlfriend, as well as another friend from Australia, who I'd originally met in California at WWDC, back in 2007. Hung out with combinations of that group for the day, while looking at cool stuff from various makers. Lots of boring FDM 3D printers, but Formlabs was there with their STL printer, which is AMAZING. I wants one I does ;) Heading out after the day there, Adrian and girlfriend Ally and I went to dinner at an amazing steakhouse in Manhattan called Quality Meats.

Had brunch on Sunday with Janet and her husband, and a friend of theirs and his wife and kids. Gluten-free waffles with maple syrup and bacon. Sooo good. Janet gave me a shirt she'd got from DuckDuckGo after writing this opinion piece on CNN. Yay duck shirts. Went back to Maker Faire for the afternoon, then out to the airport again, and back to Vancouver.

I think I'll try to make Maker Faire Bay Area next year though. 
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
Las Vegas with Penny and Kim by theducks
Las Vegas with Penny and Kim, a photo by theducks on Flickr.

This week, I went to Las Vegas. For a day. I arrived in at about 9:30PM, and left the next day at the same time. I went along for Chris and Rachel's wedding.. and their wedding guest, Kim, Penny and Laura. Yay seeing Perth people. I also had a pretty full week at work.. so I'm sitting at home on Friday night thinking back over my week - “san installation, crazydayinvegaswithkimandpenny, san installation, network installation, san installation..”

theducks: (Apple Geek)
Replaced the wifi card i [ profile] lizbyrd's macbook pro today, which entailed removing and disassembling the screen.

Ahh takes me back. Still got it ;)
theducks: (Duck - Yellow)
(2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006)

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Got a redundancy!Read more... )
theducks: (Zoidberg)
Last night I got to see someone in concert that I'd been wanting to see for 19 years. Back in 1993, I was over at my Grandparents' house in Selby St, playing with my Powerbook 145, having the windows open and listening to Paul McCartney playing at Subiaco oval, and wishing I was there. I said to myself that if I ever had the chance to see him in concert, I would go.

So, 19 years later, he came to Vancouver (for the first time in 48 years!), and we went to see him in concert last night. Let's say it cost an awful lot of money, but it was worth it. The man has been involved in some of the most iconic musical acts in history, and to hear him play and sing Beatles songs is amazing. The crowd of ~45,000 were very impressed. His stage banter was also impressive - you get the impression even he is stunned sometimes by what he's done. My favourite bit (aside from his drummer doing "the horsey dance"..) was saying before a song - "I'm going to get you all to sing along for a bit of this next one - don't worry, you know the words". And of course, it was Ob-la-di-bla-dah, so yes, yes we did.

Set list was:
1. “Magical Mystery Tour”
2. “Junior’s Farm”
3. “All My Loving”
4. “Jet”
5. “Drive My Car”
6. “Sing The Changes”
7. “The Night Before”
8. “Let Me Roll It”
9. “Paperback Writer”
10. “The Long & Winding Road”
11. “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five”
12. “My Valentine”
13. “Maybe I’m Amazed”
14. “I’ve Just Seen A Face”
15. “And I Love Her”
16. “Blackbird”
17. “Here Today”
18. “Dance Tonight”
19. “Mrs. Vandebilt”
20. “Eleanor Rigby”
21. “Something”
22. “Band on the Run”
23. “Ob la di ob la da”
24. “Back in the USSR”
25. “I Got A Feeling”
26. “A Day In The Life”/“Give Peace a Chance”
27. “Let It Be”
28. “Live & Let Die”
29. “Hey Jude”
30.“Lady Madonna”
31. “Day Tripper”
32. “Get Back”
Encore 2:
34. “Yesterday”
35. “Mull of Kintyre”
36. “Helter Skelter”
37. “Golden Slumbers”/”Carry That Weight”/”The End.”
theducks: (Default)
So in a rather interesting turn of events, I got a new job a few weeks ago, and one of the first things they did was send me to London Ontario... for 48 hours of meetings and other work stuff.

It was literally packed with meetings and other work things - the first night I had some spare time at about 8:30PM, so went for a walk around Western, which was right next to the conference centre. Was the usual spooky experience - empty streets and buildings, which had once been filled by friends and memories. Thinking morosely about how after 14 years, I obviously valued friendships with many of those people (present company excepted :P) more than they valued them. Yay! :P

Second night we went out for dinner downtown as a group at a new, about to open restaurant called Blu Duby. We got there at 6:15PM, and by 8:00PM they hadn't served anything more than very light snacks. But I left at 8:00PM, because even though I was only in London for 48 hours, I couldn't let a visit go by without seeing [ profile] blu. We walked to William's Coffee House, and sat there for a few hours talking and catching up. After waiting for a bus for a while and talking about life, the universe and everything, I gave up and we got a taxi, dropped her off home, then me. It's been almost 3 years since we last saw each other, and almost 14 years since we met, but it was so good to catch up with a friend again :)

More meetings this morning, proof reading and finding a giant error in a bid for a giant contract at work, then back to Vancouver by plane. Watched 21 Jump Street on the way back (and Hunger Games on the way over). Time flies!

So [ profile] lizbyrd and I plan to be back over Christmas, and we'll totally plan some visits with everyone then :)
theducks: (Default)
Just to keep track of them all.. events may change at a probability based on inverse proximity

- June - [ profile] jphoenix visiting Vancouver June 25th (noon) and depart on July 4th (6pm)
- July - Dad visiting us, might do a weekend in Washington state
- August - [ profile] greteldragon in US, we might head down to Washington State for a visit, also bug [ profile] ilumiari?
- September - [ profile] unfoldedreality visiting Canada, staying with us for a while
- October - Visit Quebec City, or PEI or something
- Christmas - Visit London Ontario
- April 2013 - Perth again for swancon?
theducks: (Alex Mountie)
So I have lots of numbers from the Canadian government. But notably these three.
  • SIN - Social Insurance Number (Tax)
  • UCI - Unique Client ID (Immigration)
  • T-Number - Visa Document number
For shits and giggles, I have two UCIs - one from my days as an exchange student in 1998/1999, and one from my most recent visits. They should have used my original UCI from 1998 when I got my first work permit Letter of Introduction in 2009, but it hasn't really caused any problems. 

I've only had one SIN - It's a temporary one (begins with "9") that we got in 2009 when we first arrived on our "temporary" work permits, which was then extended again in 2011. Now that we're PR, it changes to a permanent SIN, which issued in BC will begin with "7", theoretically. 

I have had at least 5 T-Numbers on various study/work permits and one final one on my Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document. I discovered today however that my COPR T-Number (#5) invalidates the second-most recent work permit T-Number (#3), while my current SIN is linked to T-Number #4. Change of status from worker to PR means changing SIN, by invalidating the SIN that refers to the T-Number that the COPR invalidates. Do you see the problem?

All this means that I couldn't get a new SIN on the spot this morning and instead have to wait for a paper application for one to be processed, which hopefully should happen before the current SIN becomes invalid. I couldn't get a straight answer on what happens if it doesn't arrive by then, only that I should really call if I don't get a new card by May 7th.


Oh Perth..

Apr. 23rd, 2012 07:42 am
theducks: (Default)
We just spent the last two weeks in Perth.

While there, I saw [ profile] alias_sqbr,[ profile] alkland,[ profile] ataxi,[ profile] auntpol,[ profile] azhure,[ profile] bookbuster,[ profile] carywin,[ profile] distantcam,[ profile] dr_jekyl,[ profile] drayke_,[ profile] ducts,[ profile] e_bee,[ profile] elaran,[ profile] evilspyn,[ profile] flyingblogspot,[ profile] frenchiephish,[ profile] frostlight1,[ profile] grahame,[ profile] greteldragon,[ profile] hipikat,[ profile] kadeton,[ profile] lathiat,[ profile] maelkann,[ profile] miss_kittylix,[ profile] mkj,[ profile] nightmancyr,[ profile] oliverm,[ profile] originalnilson,[ profile] paperishcup,[ profile] reaps,[ profile] stepham,[ profile] tevriel,[ profile] the_riviera_kid,[ profile] tommmo,[ profile] torque_635,[ profile] unfoldedreality,[ profile] utopos, and it was awesome.

On the way back, we got this stamp - which means we can stay in Canada as long as we want, which is also pretty awesome:

Immigrant Stamp

This brings to a conclusion secretprojectnumber5

But it's not all good - I think lost my iPhone SIM removal tool, and the Prius's battery was flat when we got back, so I took it for a jetlagged 45 minute drive yesterday.
theducks: (Default)
Tonight we got to see Steven Page in concert! He is an incredibly complex guy.. and his voice is out of this world. I just love his music.

Set list was:

(BNL) Alternative girlfriend / sheep in wolfs clothing
(BNL) Jane
(Solo) Manchild
(BNL) Upside Down / (Solo) Set a course for a new shore
(VP) Wilted Rose
(VP) These Wasted Words
(BNL) What a good boy
- intermission-

(?) Something good is gonna happen
(BNL) Old apartment
(BNL) Bull in a China Shop
(BNL) Break your heart
(Solo) Different sort of Solitude
(VP) Glitterbug
(Solo) Leave her Alone
(BNL) It's all been done before / it falls apart
(Solo) The chorus girl

- encore
(BNL) Brian Wilson
(BNL) Call and Answer / Bridge over Troubled Water
theducks: (Default)
Today I also had some fun installing an HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure. It's about 40 x 40 x 100cm, and weighs about 150kgs, and is worth about $250k (in fairness, as configured, the one I installed today is only $120k). We have 8 of them already, most of them at the bottom of racks. Those are easy to put in - we have a cart, which can be jacked up to either put it at the bottom of a rack of servers, or on top of one already in a rack. This one needed to go at head height.

So cut about 45 minutes taking it down into component parts that can be safely lifted, and then installing it, and reassembling it in place. And to make matters worse, there's a chance HP will want this back one day (it was a freebie - buy 8 get one free.. kinda :P) and we'll have to do it all over again in reverse. Yaaay. 
theducks: (Default)
We saw Elizabeth's parents and brother and sister off at the airport last night.

.. it now feels like we're rattling around in the apartment. It's 2 bedrooms. There were 6 of us here for a few weeks. It was cozy, but worked pretty well. We rented a Dodge Caravan and did thousands of kms in it. Ugh, 11L/100km. We also spent 5 nights in Tofino in a 4bdr house, which was awesome, and they spent 3 nights up at Whistler too, which was also nice.

So much fun. I miss them :(

I know, who says that about their in-laws? Me.

The weather was great, and on the last two days here, it snowed finally! They loved it, we loved it... this morning driving to work in near blizzard was a bit special, but whatevs ;)

Perth in April for a visit (03 - 21)
theducks: (Default)

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
Went to Costa Rica, Went to New York Comic ConRead more... )
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