My hardworking neighbors, with very little help from me, installed fenceposts for four of the houses on our street in a row this weekend, including ours. I was suffering from the pulled back I’ve had all week, so I did help a bit with a couple of rows of posts, but mostly I just provided some beer to the cause. The posts look great and straight, and hopefully by the time everyone is ready for hanging fence boards, I’ll be up and at ‘em again and can do more of my fair share.
Being flat on your back is not a particularly productive state to be in. I’ve been pretty much laid out since Tuesday night. I pulled my back somehow, and now I’m popping Robaxisal and steadily icing my back. I’ve used this time to prime myself for when I recover and I can get out to see Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. I started by watching I and II, then lots of previews for III yesterday. Today I’ve started watching IV, and probably will get around to V and VI this weekend.
Jenn and I watched the season finale of Navy NCIS last night. When I stood up to get ready for bed, my middle-back started spasming. Within 10 minutes, I couldn’t stand, sit, lie down or breathe without pain. I spent the night sleeping on a bag of ice, doped up on Robaxisal. I’ve been lying still as much as possible today, hoping to recover enough to function quasi-normally tomorrow. Back pain sucks.
Jenn and I took a couple of days off in Canmore over the weekend to reconnect and just spend time together. We went hiking to Grassi Lakes, wandered through town, and just spent a lot of time holding hands. I really enjoyed myself and I think she did too. We’ve already decided to make Canmore an annual event, but we might just bring the kids and the bikes next year. I also think we’re going to make a lot more “just the two of us” trips, when we can. It’s not that we don’t want to spend time with the kids, its just that we like each other’s company.
Today a Polycom rep came in and helped me set up our second video conferencing set in Edmonton’s boardroom. With a little tweaking to the firewall settings, it worked great. We did a conference call between the boardroom and the lab. If felt a little “Stanley Kubrik’s 2001-ish” to talk to a bigscreen tv image of James on the wall.
The cameras are a little spooky too. When the system is off, they float aimlessly, and can be swiveled and pivoted with a light touch. When you power the system on, they suddenly come alive, and purposefully direct their gazes at you. Its disconcerting, a little like having Hal9000 looking at you.
We’re entering the video age at work. We are doing an intial pilot of high-end video conferencing between two of our big offices right now. I’ve received the equipment, which consists of a fancy camera/conferencing gizmo and some large screen flat LCDs for the wall in the conference room. I’ve got them set up in the lab, but we’re having the provider over to walk us through an official installation in a day or two.
In the lab I was able to set up a video conference between the big-giant system and my laptop running gnome-meeting. That’s possible because both the big-giant system and gnome-meeting comply with a standard called H.323. Standards that are actually implemented by multiple tools are pretty cool.
I was finished at our AGM, and early Sunday morning I was packing up my computer, at about 1:00 AM Vancouver time, when I noticed James was online on Skype. I chatted at him and he said he was trying to fix iManager in Regina, which made it 3:00 AM for him. He mentioned while we were chatting that our big storage server hung up again on Friday. We’ll be talking to HP again today.
I’m at our AGM in Vancouver. Today I attended two meetings: a project management meeting for our key people in the automation discipline, and a meeting of the project managers. I’m no longer working as an automation engineer, and I’m also not a project manager, but go figure. Anyways, both meetings were productive and well received. I can’t really blog about the content of the meetings, because I don’t want to reveal anything strategic about our company, so that’s it.
I’m in Vancouver for the AGM of our company. My cousin Dan lives in Vancouver so we got together for a few beers and dinner. We went to a Japanese tappas restaurant called Guu on Robson. It was awesome and we’ll both probably be back to it some time. We also went to an Irish pub in Gastown called The Irish Heather where they claimed to have the largest scotch selection in Vancouver. I drank beer. Good scotch is wasted on me because I’m not an aficionado.
It was good to see Dan again. We tried to get together with Uncle Dale who also lives in Vancouver, but he was busy.
Well, so far we’ve replaced the storage server’s storage controller card, and the external storage chassis’ controller board. Yesterday James and I replaced the external chassis’ storage cache memory, and it’s power regulator. We’ve also upgraded the firmware on every component so much that the roms are probably going to stop taking flashes pretty soon. If we ever get that thing fixed it will be a miracle. The only parts to replace that are left are the backplane in the disk array, and the SCSI cable.