Category Archives: travel

At the Hong Kong International Airport

I’m at the Hong Kong International Airport, and have just polished off
breakfast. I have four hours before I need to check with the transfer
desk about chance passage on the next flight to the Philippines. What
would be the best way to spend that time?

I could take a shower. That would be nice. USD 10.00 for the privilege
of feeling nice and clean, hmm. I don’t have any extra clothes right
now, though.

Shopping is boring.

I think I’ll write my letters for 2006. I’ve got my writing stuff,
anyway. =) I can address and stuff the envelopes, and then get to work
on writing notes…

Maybe I’ll write in my journal, too. I’ve got quite a lot of stuff to
think about…

Home; between two worlds

Prophet of God, in quest of the uttermost, long have you searched the
distances for your ship.

And now your ship has come, and you must needs go.

Deep is your longing for the land of your memories and the
dwelling-place of your greater desires; and our love would not bind
you nor our needs hold you.

– From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

I am of two worlds that will never meet. I will be like the ocean,
waves touching first one shore and then the other, and yet in both
places at the same time.

Random Emacs symbol: minibuffer-depth – Function: Return current depth of activations of minibuffer, a nonnegative integer.

Whatever gets the job done

I should’ve tried dialing into the IBM conference center last night to
confirm that our landline could connect to it. Had to go for Plan B:
make an expensive roaming cellphone call for 30 minutes… Ouch!

All in the line of duty…

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-start-date-timer – Command: Start a timer to update the X-Sent header in the article buffers.

Working through the funk

I felt tired this morning. Things weren’t working smoothly. It turns
out that the Philippines is probably not part of the toll-free area
for by my research manager’s call-in number. I found a workable but
expensive solution for the moment: a roaming call off my
Canadian-based cellphone. 30 minutes is going to be a whopper on my
phone bill, but it’s all part of the job.

Not only that, I couldn’t log onto IBM’s virtual private network. When
I tried rebuilding the module, I started getting kernel version
mismatches. I don’t think I mistyped my password the first few times,
and that password worked just two days ago. I may need Stephen’s help
sorting that out remotely, or I can ask IBM Philippines to see what we
can do about getting on the network.

My thesis threatens to stretch even longer unless we can figure out
how to cut it down to size. Fortunately, the people I’m working with
are old hands at managing risk.

So yeah, I was in a bit of a funk. But I kept working anyway. The main
thing on my plate is my talk tomorrow, for which I have prepared a few
things – business cards, feedback forms, etc. Fairly mechanical, which
was good, because I felt out of sorts. Now I’m feeling a little
better. Water helps.

Now I’ll make the slides. After that, I’ll revise and rehearse my
talk. It’s only 30 minutes, and the challenge is really choosing from
all the material that I could put into it.

When I’m done with the talk, I’ll clean up the minutes for this
morning’s meeting and send them. I should probably have written them
all down earlier, but I was feeling stressed about the business cards
because that had been on my TODO list for the past few days without
much progress. Now they’re done!

The minutes might be a bit difficult to reconstruct. It was hard to
deal with my cellphone and the computer keyboard. Next time, I’m
taking paper notes.

Things are going to be okay.

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines – Command: Strip all blank lines.

Deja vu

The Internet is still crawling. Takes me back to the days of BBSing,
when you could type faster than the modem could send. I have to
remember not to do my one-gazillion-tabs style of web browsing, as
it’s really inconvenient when the browser times out.


Do you know where I can find carrier pigeons? ;)

Random Emacs symbol: browse-url-w3 – Command: Ask the w3 WWW browser to load URL.