Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In which the author misses a wedding in Bismarck, a bachelor party in Vegas and much sleep

Yes, it's that time of year again... it's ANITA integration time! Wherein a large number of physicists, engineers and technicians group together in a large room and try to figure out how we put all our toys together and make them work. What fun!

So, here I am at nine O'Clock on Tuesday evening bravely battling against the evil forces of malignant disks and misanthropic IDE buses (trust me you don't want to know).

This weekend I had two invitations that I ended up being unable to attend due to work commitments. I could have been celebrating the nuptials of Andy and Amy in Bismarck, North Dakota, or commiserating the emasculation of Jason in Las Vegas. I could have been, but I wasn't, instead I was stuck in tooth and nail fight between firmware and software. And neither was fighting particularly clean. Still, at least I got to eat genuine Puerto Rican at Jason's (from Hawaii) leaving party after work on Saturday.

Anyhow between the work and drinking and the driving across America and the flying to London for a tuna sandwich and the work, I have not been getting my usual allotment of beauty sleep recently. Which as you can probably imagine is devastating. Still who knows maybe Rooney's foot will miraculously heal and all will be well with the world. Maybe.

Oh, in other news I found out I had a job at the LA airport (I was at the airport when I found out I had the job, not that the job is at the airport) and I found out we're definitely going to Antarctica this year (assuming that everything starts working sometime soon). So it's not all doom and gloom and insomnia.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Tales from Utah

Yeah, that's right I'm in Utah. I know it's hard to believe but it's the truth. Of all the States I thought I'd be spending a night in, Utah wasn't very high on the list. Can you believe I even suffered the indignity of eating a steak dinner without alcohol at the restaurant this evening.

Actually, to be honest with the exception of the no alcohol thing Utah isn't all that bad. For a start there is the 75 MPH speed limit which is a whole lot nicer than Ohio's measly 65, then there is the gorgeous vistas, again way better than Ohio. Tomorrow should even bring two national parks and hopefully a lot more prettiness. With luck I'll be able to avoid the crazy religious aspects of the state and escape to the relative normality of Las Vegas unscathed and unconverted.

On the way to Utah we've been through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. Obviously, Colorado is clearly the prettiest of those states, what with the great big mountains and cliffs and rivers and everything. But, I am surprised to say that my second favourite state on the list would probably have to be Iowa. Now don't get me wrong I'm not going to move there, but it wasn't as awful as I thought it was going to be. I even bought a bottle of rhubarb wine (it seemed like a good idea at the time) and walked across one of the bridges of Madison county (ditto). But Iowa had lots of pretty rolling hills whereas all the other states were pretty much flat as the proverbial pancake. On the downside Des Moines is just about the last place on Earth I'd ever want to live, even Lincoln Nebraska was a whole lot better.

Only Las Vegas tomorrow, Los Angeles on Saturday and London on Sunday to go. Should be fun.