I’m going crazy!

Well, right after my manager told me I could go, we had another meeting, in which he learned he spoke too soon. So now I’m back in wonderland.
If the way things are going is any indication, I’ll know better about whether I can go home or not by mid-next week. Yeah, as in, the day before my flight. I can tell you that most of the software team will be working all day tomorrow and Sunday. I worked 12.5 hours today.
The plan is to have all the code changes finished by the end of this weekend so that we can do a merge on Monday morning and build something we can test on Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in parallel, some of us have to try and figure out what our contractor did with the code that he delivered. Unfortunately, when his contract was negotiated, I wasn’t there. It’s waaaaaay too open-ended: he’s been WORKING FROM HOME (so we don’t get to find out what he’s working on on a regular basis), he has code for our ENTIRE APPLICATION (so the scope of his changes is not limited), he’s working from an OLD CHECKOUT (so the code he’s been working on may be incompatible with ours), he’s using HIS CVS TREE (so we’ve got to figure out where everything goes in ours by hand). Did I mention he’s delivering something like 1700 changes, most which probably won’t have any documentation? And that these changes need to be integrated into our codebase, built into a product, and tested before January 8th?
Did I mention that the software department in this 110-person company is five people, one of which doesn’t code (he’s our mathematical modeling department — he speaks matlab) and another of which is my manager (who codes (!) but has too much on his plate and who has been too busy working on the Linux area of our product to get up to speed with the Mac side of things)? Fucking joy.
Can somebody please calm me down?

I’m going home!

Got the word at the company meeting this morning. As a way to thank us for all the hard work we put in during the past year, we’re getting from Dec 23rd until the rest of the New Year off… with pay!
Just spoke to my manager a few minutes ago, and he officially approved my vacation time. I’m going home!! 😀

Airline tickets, Xmas party and Secret Meeting, oh my!

Went to bed waay past my bedtime last night. But I had an excuse. It turns out work doesn’t let me abuse their mailserver after all, so I was figuring out how to become my own mailserver. Got it it all working then hit the hay at 1:45am. I had to figure this out quick, because, well, I only had one day left with my current system.
Got up at 7:20, had a long day, went to lunch with Kemp and Jeff and Mark; left work at 5:35pm. When I got home, there was a slightly damp 8.5×11 mailer sitting at my doorstep. Inside? My airline tickets from Orbitz.com! They were expedited to me via Fedex’s 2-day service.
Tonight was the staff christmas party. The company rented out a little Italian restaurant. As soon as I got there appetizers were thrust in my face every two minutes or so — bruschetta, these great little rice ball things, and pizza. Oh yeah, an open bar, too. I came *this* close to winning an iPod with the random draw! Even though it was an iPod-for-Wintel, it would have still been cool to win (I can always reformat it for a nicer computer, after all).
Then it was dinner — a whole bunch of different kinds of pasta as well as (what I imagine was) a good salad. 🙂 So much fun; there was 110 of us in this tiny little place.
Late yesterday afternoon, the entire staff population was notified of an “all-hands” meeting, 8:30am tomorrow morning. Hopefully to deliver good news!

Sleep update & email Transition

Well, last night I was good: in bed by 11:58pm, up this morning at 7:25am (slept in a little! that was nice).
Some of you (*cough*Justin*cough*) are still sending mail to my old email address. Send it to my “alumni” address instead!
For those that don’t know, “alumni.uvic.ca” email addresses aren’t actually email accounts at all — they’re redirectors.
Redirectors work like this: if you send an email to my alumni address, it automatically gets forwarded to the address of my choosing. This is handy, because it means I can change my actual email account without needing to tell anyone. Since July, my alumni address has been redirecting my mail to “asterizk@uvic.ca”; however, since said address will cease existence as of 11:59pm tomorrow night, I had to change it. I just happened to pay $49 back in October for a year’s worth of .Mac service. What a coincidence! 😀
I transitioned all my existing email from UVic to the .Mac account this morning. Pretty painless so far. The only thing I’ve run into is that the .Mac smtp (mail) server expects the “from” field of the e-mail I send to use my “mac.com” email address. You know, “only .Mac mail comes from .Mac mail servers”, that kind of thing. Trouble is, I’d like to keep the “from” address as my alumni redirector account. Never had this problem with UVic’s mail server.
Of course, the solution is obvious. Abuse work’s mailserver, which lets me use whatever “from” address I’d like. 🙂

Time flies..

I seriously don’t know how people find enough time!
After grocery shopping, I got home from work around 8pm. Er….. I was going to go into this diatribe about clothes/dinner/dishes/icq/irc/msn messenger/ichat/email/blog, but I think I found my culprit.
To force myself see how little sleep I’m getting, I’m going to record it this week for the world to see: last night, in bed by 12:52am, up at 7:10am. My goal is to be asleep by 11pm. I’m not sure how this is going to happen, but we’ll see.
Last night I had the most unusual dream. I’m not going to get into it here, but trust me, it was weird. Definitely think I need more sleep.
I think the situation is complicated by the fact that I’m in EST, and most of my friends are in PST. Damn you, earth curvature!

Places I’ve been

Chrissie just started an interesting post over on her blog about places she’s been.
Here’s my list:

  • Toronto, lived there 4 months
  • Ottawa, lived there 4 months
  • San Francisco, holidayed 1 week
  • San Jose, conferenced 6 days
  • Cupertino, trespassed for 2 hours
  • Southampton, England, girlfriended 1 week
  • Greenwich, brothered 4 days
  • Trinidad, visited grandparents 5 months
  • Seattle, lived there 4 months
  • Montreal, 1 week
  • Vancouver, lived there 4 months too.

And now I’m in Sarasota, Florida. Travelling is fun. I’d really like to visit Thailand; I’ve got a few friends who have been and everything they’ve told me about it is pretty neat. Spain, Sweden, Italy and Greece are also up there. Germany too. I’d really like to go to Berlin at some point.

Vacation: Flight booked!

I’m not really a gambling kinda guy, but I found out a few things today that helped turn me into one:

  • The refundable-type airline tickets cost more than twice as much as the non-refundable ones
  • Cancelling/changing dates on a non-refundable ticket costs US$100. You’ll get credit later with the respective carriers (though I’m not sure what happens when you cancel a flight involving multiple carriers. Multiple credits?)

I checked Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, and Travelocity.com for a return flight prices on a ticket from Tampa to Vancouver from Dec 20th to Jan 3rd. Travelocity said nothing was available during those dates. Expedia found tickets; the cheapest was $806. Orbitz’s was $560 (!).
I decided to book the ticket through Orbitz, even though I’d never used their services before. “Error 101. Selected flight not available. Please select another from the list.” And so I clicked the next one down, a $605 flight. “Error 101. Selected flight not available. Please select another from the list”. So I chose the next one down, for $630. Same thing. Hmmm. The next 10 flights down all gave me the same error. I ended up finding one that was available at the $790 mark, but the return portion of the trip was leaving Vancouver at 9:30am. That would be an awfully tight connection if I was taking the ferry over.
So, still on Orbitz.com, I decided to change my destination from Vancouver to Victoria to avoid the ferry hassle. In the result list lay a ticket for $832. “I’ll take it!”. I didn’t bother checking Expedia, and with Travelocity, if they had nothing from Tampa to Vancouver, I can’t see how they’d have anything for this flight. I went to purchase the ticket and BAM! “We need to charge you another $20 for FedEx to courier your ticket to you, this is a paper-only ticket”. Oh man, come on guys, get with the 80’s! Electronic tickets are where it’s at!
Grand total after everything was said and done? $857.37. Oops, not quite everything; I’ve got to factor in $84 for long term parking at the Tampa airport (it’s still cheaper than flying directly out of Sarasota). That’s $941 something. Plus airport improvement fees of $5 each way, I think.
So now I’ve got a ticket. Too bad I still don’t know if the company is going to be closed between Christmas and New Years. It’s a $100 gamble, yeah, but a gamble I think’s gonna pay off.