Things have been very busy both at work and home. As a result Ihave not posted here for a while. Consequently this post is a littlelonger than normal.
Work wise I have been traveling quite a bit (just inside the US sofar this year). On a recent flight segment, I went past the 2 millionmile mark in one of the frequent flier programs I belong to. While alot of my colleagues fly substantially more often than I do, this wasstill a stark reminder of just how much I have been traveling thelast few years. I am more than ready for the amount of travel to slowdown quite a bit. Sadly, travel seems to be a fact of life in thisbusiness. The collaboration tools we use have certainly helped reducethe amount of travel I do but there is still no substitute in myopinion to meeting people face to face. Travel is also the price Ipay for choosing to live in a place that is remote from many of myco-workers, business partners and customers. One interesting newdynamic that I have been exploring, along with many of my colleagues,is the use of virtual communities such as Second Life, as a way ofmeeting electronically but still maintaining some of the “face toface feel” of those meetings. It is interesting to note (at leastin my experience) that people behave differently (more like theywould in a real world meeting) in Second Life, than they do in lesspersonal mediums such as e-mail or instant messaging. Food forthought anyway.
While on the subject of travel, last week I had to go to Chicagofor the day to attend some business meetings. It was amazing to seefirst hand he difference that a 900 hundred miles makes to weatherconditions this time of year. I left Austin at 6:00am on a beautifulclear sunny day (the high that day was in the high 70's F). When welanded in Chicago it was truly a scene from mid-Winter. Frozen lakes,snow, planes being de-iced and a high temperature of 29 degreesFahrenheit. This was a good reminder of why I live as far south as Ido! I got back to Austin around 11pm the same day - tired but happyto be back in warmer climes!
This weekend in the US, we switched over to Daylight Savings Time.This is considerably earlier than usual due to a change in the lawaimed at saving energy that came into effect this year. I spent mostof Sunday morning making sure that all of the computers and otherelectronic devices in the house had realized the time has changed.All but one of the computers had sorted themselves out without myhelp. As well as that one computer which needed a manual prod, myPalm Pilot required me to manually install an update but other thanthat I just had to perform the usual ritual of adjusting a whole loadof clocks by hand. I also checked out several Java programs that Iwrote a while ago that use the Timezone classes to display worldclocks. I had applied the required patches and everything seems to bejust fine there too. Finally, more for fun than out of necessity, Iwrote a bit of Perl code (any excuse to hack some code taken thesedays) to peek into the Windows registry on my Windows XP machines andmake sure that all was in order there. As far as I can tell it seemsto be. So at least here at “chez moi” everything seems to be“FAB Mr Tracy” (as Brains in Thunderbirds would say).
Of course getting the kids out of bed while it is still darkoutside is not so easy (that's the downside of starting DST so earlyin the year!).
The sporting world, this week sees the start of the Cricket WorldCup (a well kept secret here in the US, but a cause of massive mediaand fan attention in many other parts of the globe). I'm keeping myexpectations extremely low for England's chances but of course I wishthe team all the best as they head into this two month long event.Hopefully the successes they enjoyed towards the end of the recenttour of Australia will give them some momentum going into thiscompetition. As with the football World Cup, one of the interestingdynamics is that as well as the big name cricketing nations you alsoget some other countries playing in the event that are not known fortheir cricketing prowess. It will be interesting to see if we get anysurprises. What odds for a Scotland vs Holland final I wonder ? :-)
This week in Central Texas it's Spring Break for the kids. So,naturally, after weeks of drought, it's raining. Worse yet it'sforecast to be raining for at least the first part of the week!