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!

Vacation: Update

[12:13pm]
Haven’t gotten a chance to talk to my manager yet; I’ll try this afternoon.
[update: 3:14pm]
Caught him as he was getting ready to leave (he was going house shopping). So apparently the CEO said there’s a 90% chance the company will close, but there’s no definite answer yet. I pondered out loud to my manager. “So it’s a bit of a gamble.” “It’s a bit of a gamble,” he said back. He had to leave quickly; he asked me to call him on his cell later if I wanted to talk about it more.
[update: 5:52pm]
My manager’s manager — Nigel — stopped by today and had a couple pieces of news. First, the software department might be getting another person soon! Alright!!
Second, Nigel said it’s “almost a sure thing but there’s no guarantee” the company will be closing between Christmas and New Year’s. So, hmm. Now I’m somewhere between 90% and a sure thing.
I called my manager on his cell to speak to him about this and a couple of other things; unfortunately, got the voice mail, so I only talked about those other things. I’m going to call when I get home.
[update: 6:55pm]
Got a hold of him on his cell. Unfortunately, he told me couldn’t say for sure if I could go yet. He did recommend I do something I hadn’t investigated yet: check the ticket cancellations policies. He told me that some airlines give up until 48 hrs before the flight to cancel without penality.
He also said to “tell your family I’m not a bad guy; I just don’t have the full authority here.” Apparently he’s in the same boat as I am. His sister is going to be in Miami over Christmas; they haven’t seen each other for four years. If we don’t get the time off he won’t be able to see her either. Although most of the remaining issues regarding the product relate to the hardware side of things, if something unexpected goes wrong, all of us — hardware and software — might need to be back here.
He added that it’s very likely that our CEO is going to make a formal announcement at the Christmas dinner that’s happening next Thursday. That’s a quite the wait; I’m going to look into those refundable ticket prices/policies when I get home.