Journal For Week of June 05, 2000

Last Update: Sunday, June 11, 2000 11:18 PM


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Monday June 5, 2000

Still enjoying my quiet time away from computers and the rat race.



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Tuesday June 6, 2000


It's 1 in the freaking morning and I cannot sleep. I can't escape the rat race for ever unless I win the lotto, but I can escape for a few days here and there. I found during the past few days that I really enjoy a drive in the country, pitching my tent, and sleeping under the stars. Ok I was in the farm yard, but most of the camping things were there. We cooked out doors ( barbeque ), were away from the hustle and bustle of the city, stared at the clear night sky and watched the northern lights. 

I want to try and get away again soon this month, so I have been thinking about places to camp, and what gear I need. I believe I have everything but a camp stove some where in the basement. Camping gear inventory will commence later this week.

Next where to go camping. Well on my drive on a secondary high way I saw a reservoir where camping is allowed. Looks to be a nice place where few people would go. I think it will be my first destination.

Well I must really be getting into things computerish again now, FrontPage just messed up on me by not refreshing the screen. Also gave it's usual fit when I create a new folder and populate it externally from FrontPage. A quick shutdown of the program, and then re-launching it got things back to normal.

Time to try and sleep again since I must be on my bike cycling to work in a few hours. I'll likely be back again about 20 hours for an evening update. 

Update: The weather man says it's 18 C outside but the breeze is rather cool, so I had to put on a sweater while reading out on the porch. Getting into the guts of Groupwise 5.5 now, and starting to understand that it's complexity while making it efficient, also can make it a bear to maintain in large environments.

An example in part of how GroupWise works is that if I send a single message plus an attachment to six people, no one receives the message or the attachment. They only receive pointer to where the message and attachment are stored. This saves on storage space but likely makes moving a users ID when they move to a branch office difficult as there are several databases and lots of links associated with that user in GroupWise. There is a section near the end of the book dedicated to moving users which I am looking forward to reading.

Time to go for a walk and get things ready for work. TTFN


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Wednesday June 7, 2000

Full bore rant mode today. I CANNOT wait till I can kiss this job good bye. Today I returned to my regular office and was handed the usual grunt work, with the added bonus of some attitude which basically said "lackey go move those PCs". The hair started to stand on the back of my neck, and behind my sunburn, my face turned red. At least when I am at advertising services doing grunt work, I get a please and thank you go with it, which is like the sugar that makes the medicine go down. Being treated like shit, certainly doesn't encourage me to work for anyone. Amazing how decent people can make a bad job good, just as bad people can make a good job stink.

Now with than off my chest I can move on. Busy evening after work. Missed getting to my usual barber to get my hair cut in preparation for a job interview on Friday, so I had to go else where. I went down the street to another shop, when I asked for a hair cut I could see the guy measuring up my lack of hair and wonder how the hell he was going to cut it. For a moment I almost thought he was going to turn me away. In the end he did a fine job.

Next I went running around trying to find a decent affordable digital camera. Ended up with an Olympus D360. Unfortunate though that the supplied batteries were dead, so I now have a set of rechargeable batteries from a portable tape player charging so I can put the camera through it paces. Fun with the camera will have to wait until tomorrow.

Also went through my interview kit to make sure I have up to date copies of my resume and other goodies. At the last minute I remembered that I never updated my interview primer sheet with some info a buddy gave my a while back. I dug out the information and updated my primer.

When I first started this site the idea was to document my computing exploits in my home lab. While I do still do this, I more often than not recount part of my day, thus this area is more of a personal journal now than anything else. To reflect this change I am changing the name from Work Journal to Journal. I have already made some changes, and will catch up with the rest later.


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Thursday June 8, 2000

The World Petroleum Congress is in Calgary next week and has much of the downtown business community in a tussle. Every available security person has been hired, contingency plans are being put in place in case people can't get to work, and some have even been told to stay home. Major worries about protests and possible violence. I never knew there was such a thing, but we are told that there are professional protesters in town to lead the protest. Some of these so called professional protesters have been on the local news the past few days saying they are here from the US to help make sure the protests are effective. Y2K didn't have this type of affect.

Going to take a drive after work to the office I have my interview at tomorrow morning so that there will be no navigation errors in the morning ( there are more important things to think about prior to an interview than reading a map and navigating my way to the interview ). I had a quick look at the map this morning and it looks easy enough to get to, but I don't want to leave it to chance. If it sounds like I am going over board it is only because I want to make the best possible presentation tomorrow. From what I know so far about the company and the position, this could be a great opportunity for me. Even if it turns out to be only a mediocre opportunity, it would be better than what I am doing now.

And the fun continues. I got a voice mail in regards to another job I applied for. I have to call the human resources person later today. I have a mild dislike for dealing with human resource people as they generally don't know enough about what I do to ask good questions. Most work off a script which is not always well suited to the task at hand. Oh well! beggars can't be choosy, so I'll make the best of what I have been handed. The HR person called me back after a bit of telephone tag. She asked a few get to know you questions as a way to weed out which resumes she is going to forward to the IT manager. Should know early next week if I have made it through the initial weeding out process and will get and interview.

The drive to locate my interview was interesting in that heavy rains and a few accidents have slowed most of the major routes to a crawl. What should have taken 10 minutes took me well over an hour. But at least I don't have to worry about getting lost in the morning and being late for my interview.

Been playing with my digital camera and trying to take my own picture. Setup a chair by the wall, try and do some decent lighting, set the timer, place the camera on the counter, let the auto focus do it's thing and my photo is taken. The result of my picture taking is in the upper right corner of this page. Too much shadow, but not to shabby if I do say so myself. Looks like rain for the next few days so I should have lots of time to play with lighting and try for a better snap shot.

Oh my apologies if my picture scared anyone. It scares me, as I find I look a lot different in a photo than in the mirror shaving in the morning.


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Friday June 9, 2000

Interesting how graphics display differently from PC to PC. For instance the photo of myself I posted last night looks like there is a fish net hanging between the camera and myself on one PC at work. The bitmap I put at the top of Thursdays post is rather grainy.

I also got an email saying that the bitmap is not displaying in a legible form. After installing Netscape for a client I checked out my web page and my photo displays much nicer, but the bitmap image does not display at all. I haven't used Netscape in 18 months so off hand I don't recall if bitmap images were/are an issue with Netscape. I think I will just convert the bitmap to a gif format image tonight and the issue will hopefully be resolved.

My interview this morning was odd, no real tech questions, and this is the final round of interviews for 10 people out of the original 85 applicants. Don't really have a good read on how things went. 

I am fading fast today. Feeling a little run down, and not doing too well in the mental acuity department. It's barely lunch time and I am yawning already. A good nights sleep doesn't seem to have done me much good. A little sugar and some humourous email replies got me half way through the afternoon.



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Saturday June 10, 2000

I converted the image I put at the top of Thursdays post to a gif format so it should render in Netscape now.

I found a trick in FrontPage today. I have always used the Folder List view in FrontPage but have not liked the way it does not refresh folder contents very well.

myfavview.gif (43430 bytes)

 The work around I found today is change the Views selection from Page to Folders. Press the F5 key and all the folder contents are refreshed. 

refreshview.gif (29791 bytes)

This is invaluable to me as I work on images in another program and save them to the correct folder for my web page. Then I have trouble getting FrontPage to see the image in the folder cause I have had difficulty getting FrontPage to refresh what it sees in the folders. Now i just use the process outlined above and things work quite well.


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Sunday June 11, 2000

Spent most of the day online doing research. Also made up some meals to put in the freezer for later in the week, and got some chores done.

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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