luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (baby)
( May. 4th, 2009 11:29 am)
In the news.
Black panther kitty in recovery after harrowing surgery.
Still not smoking and hanging out at bingo halls. )

Boat still for sale. Paint takes time to cure. Launch imminent.
Sometimes being watertight and bulletproof aint enough. )

Small tech company sleepwalks its way into obscurity.
and gets a flaming anchovie to the face. )

Couple watches depressing movie about end of the world.
Pretty destruction and biblical fury emits from the critic. )

So here it is, the first salvo in my war on winter.

If this gambit pays off, I will be able to spend from December 15ish to March 15ish.
In the Caribbean.
On a yacht.
If it works out especially well, I will be able to keep working from time to time remote over the internet.
In the warm. On a boat. In the Caribbean.

If I could put internet service on Mt. Everest, I can damn well get it in St. Martin. And where there is internet, there is a living can be made.



DEVON AYRES has requested Without Pay
from 1/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
to 2/28/2010 5:00:00 PM

This request has been sent to : Big Boss

Total days away : 59
Total weekdays away : 41

This is tenative. Would likely also book vacation days final 2 weeks of december, and first 2 weeks march using combination vacation days and lieu. Would likely be available during this time to work via Webex and continue business remote. Also able to fly back to do short meetings and projects for webex based projects. Actual details negotiable and tenative at this time. Just giving advanced warning so as not to fall afoul any management or legal boundaries.

The downside is, frozen people are going to hate me.
But they can come visit and sip drinks by the beach.

Wish me luck in the negotiations that will likely come of this first foray.

luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (bluescreen)
( Nov. 12th, 2008 08:22 am)
Back in the early millenium, the common analogy was that someone had moved our cheese.

The analogy being that we are all rats in a maze. And that we actually like cheese.

These days, I think the analogy is that the cheese has been removed and replaced with a hungry cat. And the scientists can be overheard musing "Hey! lets set the maze on fire!, then it becomes a deadly race where the rat has to evade the cat, right up to the moment the cat expires, and then has to find the cat and clamber over its body to escape being burned alive!"

I lay awake some nights trying to figure out if I should be looking for cheese, evading the cat, or stalking the cat in hopes it will provide some means of escape from the whole mess.

The cheese in my case is a bigger boat. Which would make mon_chou happy. The cat is the spectre of job loss. The burning maze is the specter of wholesale economic collapse and the Canadian dollar becoming another Peso. The escape being finally leaving on the boat.
In preparation for the eventual travel intensive nature of my life, I have changed by home phone number.

And the bonus is - I have made it easier for all of you to call it, and cheaper too! Toll free!

So until I get Skype, or some such thing - my new home/roving toll free number (Free to call within North America)


Spending the night in YOW, then heading to KG for a spell.

Munchkin is in SYD for a conference, but I couldnt justify going - its just too expensive and 4-5K today equals 4 months or more of freedom once we head out on the trip.

The power converters for the boat computer arrived, and I am tempted to go and get it all set up finally.

Tonight dinner and film with ladychadwick, followed by a restful nap aboard impertinent.

todays accomplishments so far include fixing the BYC WLAN by pumping one of the APs up to 90mw of power, instead of the 40mw or less it was set to before. I guess power is significant. I was getting dropouts like crazy after I tried it lower - I was hoping to extend the life of the unit by keeping its power output low - but thats not going to cut it.

I blame the longish antenna cable runs to the directional antennas - they eat too much signal, probably more than the antennas give us in gain to the repeaters. I wonder how long a WRTS54GL can last when pumped at 100mw for extended time?

At least the new repeaters are going great - they live and breathe at a whomping 600mw. 
I am on volunteer member security watch detail tonight at the boat club. Mosty this means walking around and socializing with people, and reading my textbooks by the front gate to the club. It also means I am a white blood cell - supposed to somehow identify entities without BYC member DNA, or other harmful such folks. I always resent seeing people in uniform doing this kind of thing. Mostly I think of them as white blood cells in an organism that I am not entirely a part of. An organism that might at any time decide to digest me for its own purposes, or reject me in some kind of bizarre autoimmune reaction. Hey, even red blood cells among other things eventually get eaten up this way.

Paranoia about uniformed people is a common theme for me. Not that I do a lot to warrant being eaten by white blood cells of society. Its jus tthe knowledge that they are there. And that sometimes things go horribly wrong for some people who dont have power.

So it is strange to be acting as one for a day. Not that I have any real clue what I should do should I see someone doing something horrible. Probably just do what other immune cells do - tag it and call a bunch of Killer T cells to eat the bugger.

So in that vein - is a military coup a kind of HIV AIDS thing in my analogy system?  When a bunch of rouge ideas take over the white blood cells, creating more rogues and eventually taking over the body? Interesting thought.

At least my wireless works - nice to see something of my own invention working as it should.
luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (mug)
( Apr. 17th, 2008 11:04 am)
Took the bicycle to work today. Longish haul (about 26Ks) but very pleasant. The worst part was the uphill bits near Carling, once the wind had picked up. Other bits not so nice was a groundhog that lay dying on the side of the road, its hindquarters crushed by a car.

I am in better spirits today as a result of biking than I have been in for some time. 

The bike is making a slight "chuff chuff" noise which I suspect is a rear wheel bearing in decline. I suspect it will be a long wait to get a mechanic to fix that. But it isnt too bad at present.

I think I will do some work, and then if things go well I will head out early to check out the boat, and then to MEC to get a windbreaker suitable for biking and rain.

My plans for this springs boat work include moving the head up a few inches, to keep it above the waterline. Adding a Y valve for when we are doing the offshore thing. Getting the spreaders to stay in the right places on the shrouds. Sandblast and paint some spots on the keel.
luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (ECU)
( Mar. 12th, 2008 12:34 pm)
Back from toronto sooner than I thought I would be. My follow-on customer failed to tell me the proper lies, indicating they were ready for me to return to their lair to complete the installation of their shit.

My meetings with another customer were fun. Pleasant people. They also have a habit of asking advice, but then going and learning to do things themselves. I have total respect for this approach. Is it any surprise it is an IT department run by women?  I look forward to the rest of the pale-male IT world catching on to what these folks already know.

In other news, I and the rest of the nation are sick of snow. Moving right along.

[profile] mon_chou and I have drifted back towards a Ottawa wedding. It looks like July the 26th (Sat) - with the ceremony in the vicinity of Maple Island, and the party at the backyard lair of Chou. Food is being contemplated as a pot-luck ish mix. I will likely make butter chicken, and another couple batches of red and white wine, which worked out so fabulously last summer. We may still employ some form of catering to backfill for the folks coming from afar who cant bring hot dishes with them. Its still open that way. Kind of exciting.

Chou is starting the search for a dress. Anybody who cares to go dress shopping with her, and provide feminine advice, drop her a line.

In other news, School proceeds, although I am still procrastinating on completing a planetary tracking lab. Damn you Kepler and your squirrelly ellipses.  And who names his kid Tycho. It must have been a lark when his mom called him in from the back door.

I am contemplating interesting things one could do with a low-powered computer on board the boat. On one hand, it is a gratuitous bit of tech. On the other hand, it makes for some possibilities like simulating the ship computer from Star trek, or ringing alarms when the AIS data and the GPS data indicate certain doom. My frustration at present is with electronic chart data. The united Snakes are giving the data away online. They see it as a public safety issue and want the most current data available to people who might be driving boats hither and thither around the the Snake infested waters. Snowviet Canuckistan however charges for the data. Once you pay for it, it is locked to one computer node with an onerous encryption model. Pain in the ass. This DRM crap alone is making me want to go back to paper charts. I may try installing the charts into a VMware virtual machine, which I can install anywhere. It seems excessive as a precaution to ensure digital chart access. I can just imagine the customer service calls someday.

"Hello, Government charts people?"
My navigation laptop got fried and wet, and all my charts were on it. I want to reinstall them on the backup laptop, quickly, as I am limping back to shore and there are rocks, and the submerged hulks of tax auditors wearing concrete shoes in my path"
"You will have to transfer your license. Can you provide us with a host of complex and inane proof that you bought this data"
"Im freaking bashing my keel against sunken civil savants here!  I need this installed right away!"
"Perhaps you should have bought two licenses, one for each laptop"
"Fuck you, those cost me 500$ as it was. Why would I pay twice?"

Of course at this point the boat speed would have reduced to nil, what with all the tax men clinging lamprey-like to the hull as I try to find safety.

You would think that this kind of thing would be available from our esteemed pirate community. Finally a chance for them to establish cracker cred and traditional pirate cred at the same time. But I have seen little evidence of this.

So for charts, it will likely be back to paper. At least paper charts can get a bit wet, can be sold and loaned, and fit on any laptop, table, or flat surface, regardless of license terms.

luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (masted)
( Mar. 4th, 2008 11:13 am)

I am waiting for the next generation of tablet web-pads to emerge. I think the idea is to use one of these as a mobile star-trek-TNG style pad to read on, show charts on, and generally use in the cockpit in and around the boat.
Wish list.
Transflective or electronic paper daylight readable display.
Minimum 800x600
Low power - should run for minimum 4 hours on a charge.
Wifi /Bluetooth/ wireless USB capability
Flash based low power storage
CPU powerful enough to play music locally, or stream basic video compressed with modern CODECs
Rugged and IPX7 water resistant

The OLPC machine looks to be almost what I would want to use. The limitations might be the keyboard, or perhaps the strange screen technology. It might be worth waiting for electronic paper to make its way through. I am also eager to see what Intel does with the Atom cpu platform, and whether this 45nm technology can outdo the Geode, once they come up with sometime comparable.

Because, lets face it - those little pads that Captain Picard had were cool.
luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (mug)
( Sep. 13th, 2007 01:33 pm)
In a bit of far-reaching planning, I have begin booking off my summer vacation.

June - Planning on booking off last week of June. As vacation system allows.
July 2008 - entire month will be booked off. As without pay. But it will likely wind up being registered as using up overtime in Lieu, of which I have over 18 days worth.
August - Have requested first week as vacation, Will probably book another 1-2 weeks in Aug as vacation system allows.

Next summer will be the year I get all the bugs worked out of the boat, and get her ready to go, aside from the last minute provisioning etc.
This year has been pathetic in terms of progress, but life has been busy.  At least the brightwork is georgeous - mostly on account of the efforts of [profile] mon_chou
A mixed day today. Started off sleepy, then a day of dread working for customer - not a dread in the sense of something horrid happening, just a strange sense of professional ouch. I have been working for over a week - and it has finally yielded a spreadsheet that shows performance for a bunch of computers. It seems sad - all that work for a single table of figures. I dont really know how its going to help the general situation of things. Ill just have to see.

Later on, went to the boat and worked on varnishing most everything we could get our brushes on. I also put a coat of glass reinforced polyester resin on the fridge lid. Then we went and watched a presentation on boat chartering in the BVIs - and had a nice dinner at the clubhouse. 

Internet is now blazingly fast at the boat. The only downside is that i spilled some catalyst for the fibreglass resin in the cockpit floor , and it smells terrible. Well, to me it does - [profile] mon_chou cant smell it at all. I guess Im just lucky with my super-smell senses. Lucky for me I have internet though - my first thought was to clean it up with some acetone - but turns out that MEK and acetone combine to form a high explosive - just what I need soaking into the teak, thanks. So Ill let it evaporate.

In other news, looks like In in town all weel, but travelling to Beantown weekend after next. Looks like we will go to the cottage with [profile] milk_an_honey this weekend coming, if all works out.

Oh, and Ive signed up for more university courses - this time a CS course, because its a pre-requisite for some other CS stuff Im actually interested in. A lot of the OS CS stuff, Ill likely be obliged to challenge for - No sense in taking a Unix sysadmin or OS course or data management course, when I designed the backup infrastructure for McGill, or got offered a job managing the CS network at NorthEastern, or led a team of DR experts during 911.  Chou thinks those things alone might be worth a few credits, but I often feel like those prior learning credit schemes are some kind of cheat - analogous with the internet university scams out there - and am leery of getting credits like that, even if awarded by an accredited canadian university.

Im still not sure why Im still puttering along with U courses. I think it has something to do with keeping my brain fit. Or something to do with needing a degree these days to have any kind of working-geographic mobility.
luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (beaker)
( Aug. 7th, 2007 09:38 pm)
Wow, back from a week of vacation.

First few days - I dont actually remember, but there was much preparation, and a HASH run.
Then we went on a cruise up the river. We puttered up river to Pinheys point, anchored overnight, then sailed to Mohr island, anchored and then puttered back to Pinheys for another night. We wound up puttering back to Ottawa Friday morning. Then we drove to Kingston and attended a wedding. Then we packed the car again and headed to KG fest. Which was fun too. Then home.

Now Chou is off to Windsor on another sampling mission for her PhD and I am being ping-ponged between three ongoing work related crises which involve being in Toronto and Ottawa at the same time, and writing a document with data that is based on the scribblings of a coworker in his notebook. 

In other news, I need to install a better vent for my holding tank, finish installing my anchor windlass motor, and get my rigging in order (the spreaders are off-kilter).

But life is good.


luckytroll: Wearing my old fave hat (Default)


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