Countdown to Launch
March 29, 2006

It's only 16 days til I leave for South Africa! I've got a lot of stuff at home and work that I have to get done before I leave, so it's a bit of a mad scramble. We're trying to get our balcony set up, we want to get a latice, flower pots, and a patio set. We got a BBQ on Monday, and man was it good to eat flame grilled meat and veggies again.

Last Saturday Dayna's parents gave us tickets to the Canucks vs Oilers game. It was really fun, typically Dayna's not too into the game, but because it was such an important game and we were so close she was chanting and the works.. The Canucks lost, but I caught the envelope dropped by the flying Orca, so it wasn't a total loss. Sunday night we went to her parents place for a feast. They spoiled us with prawns, roast beef and wine. It was nice to see them again, it had been quite a while since the last time we were out there.

The day after I leave the Canucks play their last game of the season. I'll be on a plane for 30 hours (I leave at 4pm on Friday and arrive at 8am on Sunday) so I won't hear much until well after the game is over. Hopefully they have clinched a playoff spot well before then so I'm not missing the most important game of the year, it's bad enough that I'll have to miss some or all of the playoffs (if they make it).




Crafty Son of a Gun
March 17, 2006

Dayna and I have been feverishly working to remove all traces of the 1980's brass that our place has been infested with. After a long hard struggle it is all gone! Rather than go out and buy all new light fixtures we thought it would be worth it to try out the $6 spay paint method. We painted them flat black, and then again with a brown "hammered" metallic finish. I'm pretty happy about how they turned out. Here's before, after and the fixture mounted. We may look at replacing them eventually, but this makes them a much lower priority.




Laying down the Challenge
March 10, 2006

I'm a computer geek, and as part of that I can type pretty fast. I'm strictly a "Windows Guy" now, so I have lost some of my typing speed to the "Next, Next, Finish" God.. but I can still get up there..

We had a "type off" at work and I managed to average 96 WPM. What's your speed? You can take the test here:

http://www.typingtest.com/test/default.asp

We used the 2 minute, Strategic Alliances test.

I'm pretty certain that Tom will be able to beat me handily, but I'm curious about how fast other people can type. Everyone seems to be well over 40 WPM these days, which was a pretty big accomplishment 10 years ago.




Jo'burg
March 9, 2006

It's official, my ticket for South Africa is booked. I'm flying out April 14 and returning May 22 (as of right now). Once the dust has settled a bit Tom is going to look into flying out and meeting me. How sweet that would be. 10 days in Cape Town with Dayna (April 20 - 30) and then 2 weeks with Tom (May 22 - June 5 or so).

I'm really really excited. Not only is this going to be great fun, but it is also going to be filled with a lot of hard work, and high level resume building stuff. I should be traveling all over South Africa (Jo'burg, Capetown, Port Elizabeth, Durban) migrating their network from NDS (Novell) to AD (Server 2003).

More details to follow as they become available.


To Ladysmith We Go!
March 3, 2006

Ladysmith South Africa that is. I have almost certainly secured a six week contract in South Africa from April 14 until May 22. Luckily this falls right in the middle of Dayna's semester break so I am going to fly her to Capetown for 10 days. Her ticket actually allows her to spend a day in Frankfurt, Germany on her way home as well. Lucky girl. I purchased her ticket today and my travel agent says that it's the cheapest ticket to South Africa that she's ever sold ($1100 plus tax). Needless to say we're both very excited.

In preparation I had to renew my passport. Man what a process that is. The picture isn't much more than a mugshot. You aren't allowed to smile, or have any glare whatsoever on your picture. I had to get 4 different pictures taken before they finally accepted one.

A couple suggestions for anyone renewing their passport: Fill out the form online and find a photographer that has Photoshop. There is typically a 2.5 hour lineup at the passport office, if you use the online form your wait is less than 10 minutes. The place I went to get my picture taken was just a guy with a Poloroid, and he kept taking picture after picture trying to get it right. They are so picky it's unreal. Apparently a lot of shops are thinking of increasing their rates for Canadian passport photos because of the problems.


 





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