Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have spent -

- the last three hours pinned on the couch by my cat. I made a brief escape half an hour ago to deal with some necessary functions (servicing my tea addiction and so forth), to be promptly pinned as soon as a I sat down again, ran out of ways to waste time on the internet, and have been left with resurrecting some half-finished stories that had gone the way of procrastination and adding bits. I had no idea you were so literarily inclined when I met you, Macca.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ending the Week on a Win

So, I've made it through the first three weeks at Firstlight.

Progress so far:
- I'm on to real work, albeit needing a fair amount of advice and checking, still.
- I finished the project I was working on for the week. Yay!
- I've been cycling in to work every day, and I've noticed this week that all the extra exercise is starting to pay off in hill-climbing ability. Also, alas, I'm now hungry All The Time. Even keeping a stash of fruit and hot cross buns on my desk is not keeping up. It's like being Repton, darn it.

And in frisbee:
- I got female MVP for our game tonight! Yippee! :-)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Work Update

Well, I survived my first week. I'm basically still in the training phase, but I've been working through the example exercises at a reasonable rate and will hopefully be let loose on real work next week. This afternoon involved shadowing members of my real actual honest-to-god team, rather than friendly members of other teams, which is a good sign for progressing through the system.

The work looks like it will be very interesting, and well suited to someone with an inveterate web browsing habit and good general knowledge. Only this week, I've been reading about conflict diamonds and efforts to stamp out the trade in same, wafer cleaning and handling issues in the semiconductor industry, a pharmacy company's recruiting efforts and NASA's magazine for publishing technical updates. And more semiconductors. There is an unexpectedly high number of semiconductor magazines out there, which is a shame for us, because the field is very very jargony.

For the first few days I was getting dreadfully tired by the end of the day and pretty much collapsing on getting home. My apologies to my nearest and dearest who bore the brunt of fatigue temper tantrums. :-( Anyway, that seems to be getting better as I adjust to office hours after a sustained period of holiday time - if nothing else, I've actually made it ten to twelve without conking out this evening. Also, I've been biking into town everyday apart from Monday and am finding it a useful burst of fresh air and exercise to counter a sedentary occupation. I've noticed that my cycling fitness has improved remarkably since last year - time was I couldn't cope with cycling in two days in a row because I got so tired, now it's just much needed exercise.

The people I'm working with are nice and talking to me, which is another good sign, although this week I've noticed the unavoidable drop in status you get in switching from being the technically knowledgeable old hand to the untrained newbie, despite everyone's efforts to get to know each other. One thing I really like about the place is it's location in Anvil House just across the road from the Michael Fowler Centre. A friend says there used to be bands operating out of the building when she was in her clubbing phase, and with names like "Sonic Machine" and "Squared One" on the directory I suspect this is still the case. It's also within cooee of the Civic Centre and associated buildings, Cuba St, Courtenay Place and the Waterfront, which is making my lunch hours varied and interesting affairs. I do like the architecture in downtown Wellington. It's not that I love each individual building, but they all work well together and the way they're arranged makes an inclusive space particularly friendly to pedestrians. It's just nice to hang out there, really. The closest my old haunts in Auckland got to that chilled out ambience was Aotea Square and the Town Hall, but even with the skateboarders adding some life to the area, it just can't compete - Auckland has a far more linear arrangement that makes me feel like it worships the motorcar. I like Wellington's more clustered arrangement far better.

EDIT: Actually, the names I misremembered are Sonic Mobile and OneSquared and they turn out to be companies selling mobile phone services.

My First Bike Fall.

With picture for the Suppurating Wounds Club (Nasty Bruise Subdivision):

and complimentary picture of Macca, because she's beautiful and happened to be around while I had the camera out:

As bike falls go, I guess it was pretty sedate, involving a nearly stationary bicycle and no other vehicles. Shoe laces are so darn threatening, doncherknow. My laces got caught on the pedal when I tried to dismount and the only way to go by then was down. It's so embarrassing. I'm fine, barring the bruises on leg and ego.

Cerise Magazine

Cerise is a web magazine devoted to woman gamers and is particularly favourable to feminist points of view. Their articles are predominately on video/PC gaming and roleplaying with occasional excursions onto Larping and Wargaming. Also, they now publish articles by me. :-)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Flat Out, Naked.

Actually, Flat Out, Nude (N.U.D.E is the Nelson Ultimate Frisbee club.) They run an annual tournament on Tahuna Beach, which I went to with Repton this weekend.

The short summary:
Saturday - rather soggy, and we staggered back to the motel feeling very staunch. The organisers skipped lunch and one of the rest breaks in order to get people out of the rain as soon as possible, so we played straight through from 9am to 2pm with 10 minute breaks in between each game. I had a lot of fun despite the wet, although I had a Lot of trouble running on the sand and didn't get my hands on the disc very often. There was a pirate party in the evening, which I thought about going to, but decided against because I didn't much feel like being rained on again. In our short dash to a closer restaurant, I did discover that the pirate coat Cat made for me several years ago has quite reasonable waterproofing properties (I'd left my regular coat at the beach by accident.) Our team ended the day fourth out of ten teams.

Sunday - rather nice weather, apparently all the other tournaments in this series have been just as lovely. Had a lot more fun in the warmer weather, and my playing Did Not Suck. Sometimes it was even Anti-Sucky and I did cool things like catching a really long throw and participating in really smooth throwing sequences. No layouts, but I'm finding the idea less daunting after a full on collision with a girl who was going for the disc at the same time as I was. I think she had only a marginal chance of catching it, but was OK for her to call it a foul because I felt guilty about knocking her to the ground. Repton of course played beautifully throughout. We ended the round robin fourth out of ten teams, which meant we had to play two more games, unlike the single placement games for the lazy bums (;-)) who were lower than us in the rankings. The Semis were a lot of fun and hard out, and our final game was scarily close and also very hard out. We ended, as you might have guessed, fourth. (There's something about that number...)

Sunday evening - Trip home sucked - our plane was delayed, and Repton and I spent close on an hour and a half cooling our heels in the airport before the airline staff cracked and shifted us to a different plane. Glad to be back, although my cat has been spending the weekend bonding with my flatmate and doesn't seem to think of me as the centre of her world anymore. (Sigh.) I'm rather stiff, but not as badly as expected and my ankle, which has been giving me problems lately, is a lot less sore than I was worried about, mostly due to mammoth taping efforts on Repton's part. Also, I found the tournament as a whole to be a lot less exhausting than the other ones I've been to, so I guess I must have gained some fitness over the last nine months or so since the last time I played in one.