Sunday, July 31, 2005

Short Straw

It looks like I drew the short straw at work yet again.

Because one of the guys is on leave, they needed someone to work the early shift. Stan (the team leader) turns to me and says "Would you be able to work the early shift next week?", he then went on to explain how he'd really try to get one of the others to do it... but low and behold, I'm still the guy doing the 4:30AM shift next week.

When I first started working there, they had me doing 2 weeks of the 4:30AM shift followed by two weeks of the 10AM shift. Now it appears that they want to avoid making someone do two weeks of the same shift because it is "unfair" -- unfair to who? I'm now in a situation where I'll have worked three 4:30AM shifts in a five week period. Oh... and then there is the site visit coming up in a couple of weeks.

Somewhere in there I'll probably get to see my family. That'd be nice.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Travelling

So... I'm getting rather used to making my way to work and back home again on the scooter. I'm probably only spending about $9/week on fuel (2 tanks) -- it's bloody fantastic to pay for a full tank with the spare change in your pocket.

We're also planning a trip down to Walpole for Kathy's birthday, unfortunately Unisys West isn't playing nicely so we're left with me having only two half-days off (Friday afternoon and Monday morning of the weekend we're going down). However, we'll do what we can to make the most of it. On the positive side of things it means we should avoid a bulk of the weekend drivers and it still gives us time to get everything done.

I should also mention that I'm desperately hanging out for paid leave. I haven't taken paid time off work in years -- I've had "enforced" leave (ie: no job) but sitting around the house hoping to find work isn't quite the same as a holiday.

World of Warcraft is now bordering on an obsession since I discovered there are fairly easy ways to make lots of money. The way in which the game caters to almost every conceivable obsession is rather scary -- it doesn't matter what turns you on, you're likely to find it in here with the exception of porn (although female night elves look pretty hot if you strip them down to their underwear... hmmmm, possibly a little too much information there).

Well, I guess other than gripes about work, the need for a holiday and the temptation to wear a t-shirt at work that says "I'd rather be playing WoW"... things are going pretty well.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Death

Paul is away in Adelaide this week. He flew out this morning. Yesterday while celebrating Zac's birthday we had the family around, both mine and Pauls. As they left both Paul's mum and Grandparents said that if I needed any help with anything while Paul was away to let them know. I was touched and thought it very sweet. I also had a little chuckle as I felt they had forgotten that I coped quite well on my own for the 5 odd years with Zac before Paul was in my life. It's funny how much you come to depend on someone for love and support when somethng happens.
Of course something had to go wrong while he was away. I hoped it would be something small such as being late for work or some such thing that I could cope with and tell Paul about after the event, have a little chuckle and that was that. Tonight I went to feed the rats and found my boy rat Merlin not looking too good. I don't think he will make it through the night to be honest. I freaked when I saw him so lifeless and the first thing I did was call Paul. I can't stand the though of Merlin being in pain or dying slowly but I can't take his life. I wanted Paul here to take care of it, to look after him and when he does die to be here for me. Once upon a time I could have delt with this alone and did deal with pets dying before. Suddenly I feel so helpless.
I rang Paul, I didn't know what else to do. In hinsight I should not have called Paul as he cares for all of our pets very much and he will be uspet as well over Merlins passing as much as I will be and neither of us are close enough to comfort eachother. Words over a phone line sometimes just aren't enough.
So now Paul is in Adelaide and I am here in Perth and we are both upset and I wish he was home. They say these things make us stronger, but more importantly this has made me realise how much I do rely on Paul and how I don't want to do this alone.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Week Ahead

I have a feeling this might be a long post...

My week at work is off to a flying start -- they launched the new helpdesk client that we use for call logging today. However, the old system still has far too many tickets in it (around 900) so we can't close it off just yet. That leaves us with the lovely situation of having to run both helpdesk clients (the new & the old) in order to slowly reduce the number of open tickets in the old system so that we can copy the data into the new one.

So, in one short day I have been learning the new system while still handling all the regular calls (a higher volume than normal because is it the end of financial year), figuring out if someone's ticket is in the new or the old system and to top it all off one of our team called in sick today so we had his work on top of everything else as well.

I fly out first thing next Monday (the 11th) to Adelaide and return home on Friday (the 15th). This will be the longest that Kathy & I have been apart since we met, (except maybe the first week or so). I was a bachelor once... in fact I have been living out of home as a single man for nearly 7 years before I met Kathy (as most of you would know). However, the idea of having to suddenly fend for myself is very scary and it is attacking me from all angles. I love my creature comforts, I'm going to be stuck in a hotel room with minimal internet access during the day and nothing at all to do at night. Of course, I really love Kathy... the thought of not sharing time with her at night borders on the depressing.

Yet, this is what I signed up for when I took on this job. I have no idea what I was thinking, it all seemed so much easier at the time. Exciting even... jetting around the country for business always sounds so impressive. The reality of it is just so much less than that.

We're also hosting a combined birthday party for Zac & my mum on the Sunday before I fly out. It'll be fun, I know I'll enjoy it... but there is this nagging in the back of my mind that I'm going to spend a fair bit of time wishing I was alone with Kathy for the afternoon so I could squeeze out a week's worth of "together time". Yes, I know that sounds almost sickeningly cutesy but that's the truth.

Of course, my week away will provide Kathy with some benefits. She'll hopefully be able to get her Troll mage on World of Warcraft to level 30 (or fairly close to 30 anyway). Since getting my Tauren druid to 30 I've started building some characters to start farming (apparently herbalism is a good money earner) and I've found that the trade skill of fishing to be rather fun. Most of the other trade skills involve running all over the place to harvest/gather/mine various goodies that are in short supply. Fishing on the other hand requires only a reasonably large body of water and time. Already my Tauren hunter has a fishing skill in the 50+ range and she's only level 6.

Speaking of spending time with Kathy, I've barely seen her this evening so I'm going to finish up here and go climb into bed & watch TV together.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sleepless

I remember sitting at the computer after a very full on day at work yesterday and saying to Paul that I was going to lay down for 10 minutes. That was at just after 8pm. It is now 2am and I am wide awake!

I don't think I drank enough water yesterday as I am really thirsty. As I sit here typing this I have a 2 litre jug of cordial next to me (our tap water tastes really bad!) I am already half way through it.

The move so far went really well. My desk is unpacked as are my files. They are all in the compactus in true alpha and it makes my anal-retentive self pleased. It has been so much hard work redoing the client files. With room for expansion I have managed to fill a 7 bay compactus. Pretty impressive I must say.

Later this moring we will go into work and pick up the furniture I have purchased from work. Some new chairs and desks and a couple of other bits and pieces. We need to have a garage sale in the very near future. For some reason we have an excess of furniture.

I think I might go lay in bed and read. I am starting to feel a little bit cold and if I stay up now I am going to be ready for bed again come 5pm tonight!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Weekend

Well I have half an hour till a work mate arrives with her child in tow and I have to leave for work. Yeah working again all weekend this weekend. Not sure how long for today, and tomorrow won't be for too long, but this will be the third weekend in a row. I am sure Paul is thinking his wedding vows didn't include to love honour and share his life with a major corporation, not his wife, but I keep assuring him things will get better.
He has been so supportive though. This particular work friend was in a mess, as we are moving buildings and we are all expected to be at work, but she has just broken up with her long term partner and lost her babysitter (on top of friend/lover etc). She was distraught and didn't know what to do. I loved that without even thinking or one moment of concern I said to her, "I am sure Paul won't mind watching Josh for you." I called him later and he didn't mind at all, but it was so wonderful to know that I could turn to him like that to help a friend out. He really does support me in so many ways and probably more than he bargained for when he met me :)
I am really excited about this move though. I have a "mini office" I have taken some pics with my mobile phone which I will post when I work out how. I will probably need the grand poobah of geeks help seeing am just a fledgling geek :) It is amazing how moving into a new and modern office can uplift everyones spirits.
Ok I really have to go get organised seeing I am still wearing my star flannel pj's. I really don't want to get caught like this!

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's A New Car!

So... we've finally taken the plunge.

After endless months (okay, maybe about 6 or 7) of searching we have finally taken the plunge (which reads, I've finally stopped procrastinating and made a decision) and signed up for a '98 Toyota Camry.

With the trade-in on my petrol-guzzling bomb, a little bit of sweet-talking and fortunate timing we're paying a total of $8500. We're both pretty happy about it, the car looks to have been very well cared for and has only done 106,000km which is about 4.5 years of standard driving. I know Kathy managed to find some photos of the model we're buying (in the same colour too!) so I'll let her post some images of what we're getting for the curious amongst you.

In other transport-related news, it looks like I'll be zipping about town on a brand new scooter by next weekend. I got very desperate a few weeks ago to stop using public transport -- it is cheap and all but I have issues enough with crowds without having to deal with feverishly sick, coughing, weird crowds. I've had my personal space invaded way too many times and I swear the last time I got sick was because I caught whatever was being shared on the trains. Apparently sick people love to catch public transport, I'm sure they think sharing is caring.

Anyway, I'll be spotted going to and from work on a nice silver Vmoto Monza scooter. Yes, I'm sure my legs sticking out to the sides will make me look like a dick. However it is infinitely preferable in my mind to look like a dick on a scooter that costs me $5/week to run than crammed next to some person who has bad personal hygiene for $25/week. In fact, even with the cost of the loan factored in I'm still only going to be spending about $25/week for the scooter. I'll have the added bonus of actually owning a scooter, as compared to catching the train and having nothing but another mild neurosis to show for it.

All in all, our transport situation is going to be so much better in the next couple of weeks.

Our blog

The idea for this endeavour came to me one busy weekday afternoon. I realised that perhaps we didn't always have the chance to keep in touch with as many of our friends as we'd like.

Between my shift work and Kathy's increasing work responsibilities our spare time is largely spent either doing all the things we need to do or hiding inside the house in our glorious trackpants and slippers trying to relax and rest a little before diving back into another hectic week.

However, we're both geeks (perhaps Kathy isn't a fully-fledged geek yet but I'm slowly working on that) and I figured it would be easy enough for both of us to keep a blog and fill it with snippets of our life so that our friends can at least catch up with what we're doing even though we don't have the time to actually catch up in person. Of course, we're not doing this as an excuse not to catch up with all of our friends and family -- we still need to work on our time management and all that sort of stuff because there is nothing more valuable than time spent with the people we know & love.

However, as a means to an end this blog will at least help us keep people informed and make us feel a little less like hermits.

So, onwards we go!