eldar: (Default)
( Dec. 22nd, 2008 05:47 pm)
I'm 35 today. You'd have hardly noticed it was my birthday if you'd been here.
Games companies would have us believe that a lot more women play video games than is realised.

GameFAQs Poll of the Day today was a simple question: "Are you male or female?"

The results so far: 93.77% male, 6.23% female.

So maybe there are more women gamers, but it would seem that most of 'em like to play fair, either that or they aren't too concerned with finding every secret package in GTA IV or getting 100% completion in Final Fantasy XII or knowing the cheat codes to unlock everything in Guitar Hero III.
eldar: (Default)
( Dec. 19th, 2008 08:15 pm)
Tody I paid a visit to Wall Street, this being the office of a consulting company/recruitment firm who seem to think they can get me work. As I may have previously mentioned, they actually appeared to be intelligent people who understood my position, skills, and so on. In fact the whole interview was a positive experience. I even managed to get 15% above average on the "Advanced" section of their VB.NET test, however as I don't really know which were the "Advanced" questions, I can't say if that was luck or not, given it was multiple choice.

Pity their healthcare offering isn't the greatest - I may end up having to see about signing up for an alternate plan if I end up doing mainly consulting/contract work on their behalf.
eldar: (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2008 10:22 am)
Please stop dropping your interest rates. It's bad enough that the depressed price of oil is making my savings worth less over here by causing the Sterling/US Dollar rate to plummet, but cutting my savings rate by 2.25% in the past month really isn't very helpful either.
eldar: (Default)
( Oct. 17th, 2008 05:30 pm)
Well, now I have a bank account, and I have my "Green" Card. Once I get a bank statement, that will allow me to get a driver's licence.

Of course, I still don't have a job, and I'm not exactly sure about where to look next, or how to fix things up to make people more interested in me, but well, one thing at a time?
Finally, I exist. I have my Social Security Number, and it is ***-**-****. (I'll give you a clue. The first digit is an integer ranging from 0 to 9 inclusive.)

I'm so happy I could... oh wait, it's nearly half past four in the afternoon. I guess it can wait until tomorrow.
eldar: (Default)
( Oct. 6th, 2008 06:16 pm)
I have an... "interview". Not sure it should be called that. Someone wants me to go chat to him about the job on offer, and take an aptitude test. Anyway, it's on Thursday.

Whatever, it necessitated me going to buy a suit.
Today's lesson has been in how to take apart a MacBook Pro, remove the display, and put it all back together again (and turn it on and witness it working).

For my next trick, I will disassemble the economy, remove and replace the defective part, and put it back together again (and turn it on and witness it working).
Well, here we go.  I'm currently sat in the Virgin lounge at Heathrow, having checked in etc.

I've just had a full English breakfast, and finally have time to relax.  About an hour before I'm called to my flight.

The trip through duty free was fruitful: not only did I pick up the new headphones and copy of DS Civ Revolution I was always going to get, it turns out they've also released Final Fantasy IV on the DS.  That was a no-brainer purchase, given the reasonably decent job they did with the FF3 port.

Anyway... after the longest, most tiring, most difficult, most stressful, three weeks of My Life So Far, I'm finally good to go.  Just US Immigration to hurdle on the way in.

I'm going to miss Britain, but I won't know what I miss most until I've been in the USA long enough to work it out.  However I'm willing to bet that #1 on the list will be the BBC.  Can anyone let me use a UK-based proxy server so I can still use iPlayer?!

So, yeah, so long Britain.  Never was a good one for goodbyes.
eldar: (Default)
( Sep. 4th, 2008 03:43 pm)
This LJ entry is brought to you by my shiny, cute, sapphire, Acer Aspire One netbook. Running Linux that looks and works a lot like Windows XP. So far it rocks:
- It liked my USB mouse without so much as a "I've found a new device" popup. Plugged it in, it worked.
- It liked my printer straight away.
- It likes my monitor, which is just as well, the screen really is tiny.
- I'm sure it'd like a USB keyboard as well, if I had one. I'm not conviced it will like the M$ wireless keyboard dongle.
- It knows all the right account settings for both gmail and BT internet mail. How sweet is that?
- Now all I need to do is persuade my wireless network to communicate with it. Hmm. Need to check my security settings. [Edit: Ahh, got it, now connected wirelessly with WPA2 Mixed. I can spod from bed. Well, I could if I had a bed better than the inflatable mattress that I now have to sleep on for the next few days.
- [Edit 2] Really doesn't like my backup drive: "Unknown file system ntfs". That'll teach me to let Windows format the thing.
eldar: (Default)
( Sep. 3rd, 2008 08:49 pm)
My PC is going to be shipped to America tomorrow - that's 10 weeks on a boat! Worse, I don't have any other means of connecting to the internet here. Well, okay, there's my 'phone, but it hardly counts. Trouble is, I'd not planned on getting a laptop until I was safely in America and I'd be getting better value. However I really don't want to go using internet cafes, especially as I'll be checking bank accounts etc.

So... do I go out tomorrow after the movers have gone and get myself a laptop? Even if it's small thing like an EEE. Hmm.
I've tidied and sorted the living room. Actually, it's not quite done, there's still the contents of the drawers by my desk... but mostly, it's done.

In amongst the assorted trash, useful stuff, stuff to go to charity shops, I found a cup of loose change. Mostly US coins, but in amongst it was:

Singapore $1.08
NZ $1.60
AUS $0.15
CAN $1.35
Barbados $0.25
FF 0.05 (no idea how that got there... probably surreptitiously slipped in amongst some Euro change by an evil French shopkeeper or waiter).

And as for US coinage, I counted:
Quarters: $14.75
Dimes: $2.70
Nickels: $1.25
Pennies: $0.95

Add in a single dollar bill I found floating around, that gives the princely sum of $20.65.

Now someone please tell me they have CoinStars in American supermarkets.
eldar: (Default)
( Aug. 21st, 2008 12:46 am)
Just got a call from A., they arrived safe & sound. Time for bed now I think.
A&A have safely checked in, and were last seen disappearing into security at T3. So that'll be them gone, and I won't see them for another three weeks... three weeks in which I still have to:
Sell my car.
Sell all sorts of other stuff.
Take stuff down to my parents, and bring more stuff back.
Organise the movers.
Organise moving out/handing over with the estate agents & landlord.
Book cleaners.
Cancel everything.
Have 2 leaving dos.
Say goodbye to as many people in person as I possibly can.

Regarding that last point, I'm open to offers of drinks, lunches, etc. Just to help the planning, and also perhaps for a bit of my own reference, here's my schedule for the next three weeks:
Wed 20: Take A&A to airport. Afternoon: working from home, evening: free, though I do have some tidying and cleaning to do, and am Knackered Right Now (tm).
Thu 21: Work all day, will certainly want to get cracking with tidying in the evening, also Freecyclers will be along.
Fri 22: Work all day, Leaving Do #1 in the evening.
Sat 23: Waiting for Freecyclers to turn up in the morning, loading up and heading down to Devon in the afternoon.
Sun 24: Devon.
Mon 25: Driving back from Devon, will probably be available in the evening.
Tue 26: Work all day, free evening.
Wed 27: Work all day, free evening.
Thu 28: Work all day, free evening.
Fri 29: Final day at work, Leaving Do #2 in the evening.
Sat 30: Recovery morning/afternoon, going to Arsenal v. Newcastle in the evening (5.30pm k/o, finishing 7.30ish), free thereafter.
Sun 31: Dropping magimix down to [livejournal.com profile] rainbowuk at some point, probably after lunch. So I'll just be at home in the morning. Free in the evening, probably.
Mon 1: Free all day.
Tue 2: Free morning/afternoon, playing bridge in Wimbledon in the evening.
Wed 3: Free all day.
Thu 4: Movers.
Fri 5: Free all day - cleaners?
Sat 6: Free all day.
Sun 7: Free all day.
Mon 8: Handover to estate agents/landlord, pack everything else up, head to where I'm staying overnight (either with my sister, or at an airport hotel - not decided on that yet)
Tue 9: Fly out 09:30 BST.
eldar: (Default)
( Aug. 11th, 2008 02:26 pm)
I've booked my flight. 9.30am on Tuesday 9 September. One-way to JFK.
I checked my gmail spam folder just to check nothing legitimate had been parked there. Lo and behold the Google Ads banner changed to this:

Vineyard Spam Salad - Combine grapes, spam, peapods and onions in large bowl
Here are opening lines of the first 20 songs randomly taken from my mp3 collection. Guess the song, and the artist! (And [livejournal.com profile] arosoff is banned from playing, even if she pretends she's not paying attention!) I've skipped any where the title is in the first line of the song. And some that nobody's likely to get. And instrumentals!

1. Hell is gone and heaven's here (Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams [[livejournal.com profile] c8bt])
2. I've got two strong arms, blessings of Babylon (The Riddle by Nik Kershaw [[livejournal.com profile] smiorgan])
3. If I say I don't need anyone, I can say these things to you (Rocket Queen by Guns N' Roses [[livejournal.com profile] esran])
4. I wanna know, did you get the feeling
5. December morning, when the ship came sailing in
6. A straw headed woman, and a barrel chested man ((Waiting For) The Ghost Train by Madness [[livejournal.com profile] kyte])
7. I don't know what you're looking for
8. I'm taking all you down with me
9. I guess this time you're really leaving, I heard your suitcase say goodbye (two lines, but the first really is quite vague and generic!!) (I'll Be There For You by Bon Jovi [[livejournal.com profile] sillysally])
10. These bastards stole their power from the victims of the Us v. Them years
11. I'm the dandy highwayman and you're too scared to mention (Stand And Deliver by Adam and the Ants [[livejournal.com profile] kyte])
12. I was feeling done in -- couldn't win (Touch-A Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me by Susan Sarandon (as Janet from the Rocky Horror Picture Show OST) [[livejournal.com profile] c8bt])
13. I am not the type of dog that could keep you waiting
14. Well bless my soul what's wrong with me (All Shook Up by Elvis Presley [[livejournal.com profile] c8bt])
15. Solo, I'm a soloist on a solo list
16. It's warm by the river, the weir keeps us clean (Far From Home by The Levellers [[livejournal.com profile] smiorgan])
17. It's a lot like life (Ed: oops, changed to the correct lyrics...)
18. Reaching out for something you've got to feel
19. Good and bad I swear I've had
20. It's not the way you lead me by the hand into the bedroom (Sometimes by Erasure [[livejournal.com profile] kyte])
Today, I quit the job I've had since 1 April 1997. My last day will be (officially) Friday 5 September, however with 5 days' holiday to take my actual leaving date is Friday 29 August.

My US visa also arrived today, but not without much fuss and palaver and other comedic happenstances. I had the MD running around like a headless chicken trying to find me - I was in the office of one of the other directors formally handing in my notice (and, er, forgot to tell anyone that). Never mind that the useless tossers who deliver secure mail on behalf of the US Embassy claimed to have attempted to deliver it on Monday (though nobody in the office has any recollection of anybody calling for me at all), the first I knew of this being on Tuesday when they called me out of the blue. Whatever. I have the documents, nobody can stop me now, for soon, I Will Be Invincible muahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

Right... so now I have to:
- Book flights.
- Arrange a mover.
- Get stuff to/from my parents, which is complicated by the fact that they're going to be in Brighton most of next week.
- Get a new job (I have my visa now, I can technically start looking).
- Sell my car (but not until Aug 20 at the earliest) (T-reg (1999) Skoda Octavia 1.6GLXi, 41,500 miles, good condition, FSH, probably going for around £1200-1500 though I'd need to check.)
- Anything else I've forgotten?!?

[Edit] Hmm, seems I've under-valued the car, it's probably closer to £2000 as (a) the mileage is low and (b) my particular model is perhaps the best in the range for reliability, driveability, longevity, and so on.
eldar: (Default)
( Aug. 1st, 2008 11:27 am)
For some reason I've been allowed in. My passport complete with visa will be arriving back sometime next week. Once it's with me I'll be handing in my notice... kinda scary!

My work colleagues, who for some reason don't want me to leave, are plotting to somehow persuade the courier to "go for a Mars bar".
Something to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon... here's a list of 200 things you may or may not have done! Bold those that you have. Add some comments for spice, if you like.

200 things )