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Friday, February 15, 2008
Another four years
 
Four years ago today I was getting on a plane headed to the other side of the world. I knew no one, and didn't have a clue what I was getting myself into. Of course, it turned into one of the greater experiences of my life, and the people I met there will be friends for life (in fact, we have a big group conference call scheduled for tomorrow morning).

More thoughts on this may come up later.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008
Damn you Russell Stover
 
I brought a cheap heart-shaped box of chocolate into the office today (Russell Stover, with a cute kitty on the front of the package), with the intent to share it with my team. However, upon opening the box, the chocolate was slightly discolored and we weren't sure it was going to be very good. Undaunted though, we each picked one up and took a bite. Or at least we tried to.

I was the only one able to actually bite through mine, as I had managed to get one of the dreaded strawberry chews. However, I fared better than Rich, who tried to take a bite only to almost chip a tooth. His piece was so hard that even with a knife he couldn't cut it open to see what was inside. Granted, it was just a plastic knife, but even still.

So I felt guilty for having caused such trauma and vowed to make it up to everyone with new chocolates come lunchtime. Katie and I went off to Duane Reade (a drug store) and found a wide selection of picked over cards and racks upon racks of chocolates. We eventually found a bag of chocolates, that while not valentine-oriented, were perfect for our needs. So I brought them back to share.

Fortunately these chocolates went over better with the crowd! Happy Valentines Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It's boiling in here
 
Apparently the boiler installation was a success. Maybe too much of a success. It was a little too warm today at the office, but much preferred to the frigid days earlier this week. The day did go by pretty quickly though!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It just keeps getting better
 
As if yesterday wasn't cold enough in the office, today I got in to find out that the boiler for the entire building was broken. Apparently they were trying to get a new one in and installed by sometime in the afternoon, but we had our doubts - boilermen are in short supply on the coldest days of the year. In addition, the fire alarm decided that it should go off at least a half dozen times by about 10:30am. At that point my team decided that we could be more productive at home, and took our leave of the office. I think it was a wise decision, and it was nice to be home before the snow started falling rather than trying to get home in the thick of it.

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Monday, February 11, 2008
A penny more...
 
Looks like stamps are gonna cost 42 cents for a first class letter come May 12. Act now and get your forever stamps while they still only cost 41 cents! (They'll still be good and usable in the future).

As a side note, apparently postage rates increases are now tied directly to inflation, with the USPS allowed to raise the rates annually. Thus, we can expect a raise every May for the foreseeable future.

At work today we were musing about what would happen if someone managed to corner the market on stamps; at the very least there might be an arbitrage opportunity there somewhere, although the returns are likely far too low to be worth it.

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Frozen fingers
 
The heat in the office is out, and its the coldest day of the year to date. We've also had a fire alarm (just a test of course) and a phone that has been ringing off the hook. My team is sitting around in their coats and hats and gloves, desperately trying to type without making too many errors, which isn't easy when your fingers are in thick gloves. It's only 9:30 - if it keeps going like this it will be one heck of a week...

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Sunday, February 10, 2008
Now with more updates
 
For whatever reason, writing just hasnít been on my agenda much lately. Whether it is because I am writing more for work and am thus less likely to do it recreationally on the side, or something else, I am not sure, but the end result has been a dearth of personal writing.

Looking back, I guess it really has dropped off significantly since I got home from Australia, possibly due to the fact that the need to keep family and friends informed of my activities and whereabouts have diminished through the combination of being at home and the slightly less hectic lifestyle that comes with working a regular job and not being a student anymore.

Regardless, Iím going to be making an effort to write a little more, whether on here or somewhere else is yet to be determined but Iíll keep you all informed either way. Also, I may look at a bit of a redesign here, given as it has been quite a few years since Iíve played with it. Time will tell...

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Saturday, February 09, 2008
Cooperate by oneself
 
I came across an interesting game last month and thought I'd share. The game is called Cursor*10 and the goal seems simple enough - you start on level 1 and have to get up to level 16. You start with 10 lives and there is a time limit on each life (of about 30 seconds).

Your character is a cursor, and nothing seems amiss when you start, the first few levels pass quickly, but you learn where things are and what they do. 30 seconds later your character dies, and you are presented with the first level again. But as it starts you notice something different - you still control your cursor, but there is a duplicate on the screen, that follows the exact path you took in the first life.

As you get to higher levels, you realize that there are places where you need to hold down multiple buttons at once to move on to the next level, but the only way to do that is to use echoes of your previous lives to hold them down while you advance, eventually making your way to level 16 and your goal.

I think it is an ingenious game, and as it says when you start, you must cooperate with yourself to figure it out.

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