Wednesday, September 13 2006

Unhappy homecoming

So, work took me to Kirkland, WA for a week. Not so bad, even if the fact that my work was critical to the company failed to motivate IT to prioritize my tasks above whatever else it was they were doing.

[but I, having promised my manager that I wouldn’t Speak Truth To The Peter Principled At High Volume With Expletives Not Deleted, was a shimmering fountain of sweet reasonableness]

The flight up was packed, but on time, and I got through security in less than five minutes. My map to the hotel proved useless, since they’d changed their name a few months back, and it wasn’t until I called the front desk that I found out that the Doubletree Bellevue was now the Hilton Bellevue … with really horrible wireless Internet access provided by a company called Waypoint. They’ve promised to refund my $10 eventually.

I put in about 65 hours resurrecting our build service, eventually giving up on the last two brand-new servers that were supposed to have been configured and ready before I arrived. Perhaps someone will get to them this week. Or next. Hey, it’s not like they’re needed to, oh I don’t know, PRODUCE OUR ONLY MONEY-MAKING PRODUCT.

[but I, having mostly mastered the art of Not Caring Because They’re Laying Me Off At The End Of The Year, made no fuss, worked around their limitations, and got the hell out of Dodge]

The flight home was uneventful. $50 got me upgraded to first class, and I had a nice limo ride home from the airport, expecting to relax, have a nice meal, go pick up my car from the body shop, and relax some more.

Naturally, I was greeted by the stench of a broken refrigerator filled with spoiled food. Yummy. And very relaxing.

Tuesday night was spent attempting to clean the damn thing, and then surfing the Sears web site when it became clear that the smell couldn’t be removed without more labor than it was worth, assuming it could be fixed in the first place.

Wednesday morning found me waiting patiently for Sears to open, and then dropping $1600 on a new fridge (Kenmore Elite Trio, by the way), to be delivered Friday. Then I spent half a day at work starting the break-in process of one of our replacements, with much more to come on Thursday.

[Nice lady, who’s coming to realize she’s in over her head. I wish her well, but expect she’s doomed. We’re busy keeping things running, so whenever she gets time with us, the knowledge transfer process is a lot like drinking from a fire hose. And she also needs to pick the brain of someone who’s already left, and is available for only a few expensive hours a week. Worse, she needs to rely on the folks in Kirkland once we’re gone…]

Friday, I will rest. Saturday, I will fill up my new fridge. And rest some more.

Sometime soon, I get to figure out why everything I’ve got that can read certain ClarisWorks 4JP documents can edit and print the Japanese text in some of my teacher’s old documents just fine, but nothing can export them to Word as anything but garbage. I’m pretty sure I got it to work once before, but now her ClarisWorks install is refusing to export to Word (with error messages in Japanese), and everything else spits garbage.

It’s particularly annoying that the OS X-native AppleWorks 6 reads them fine, but exports garbage, even via cut-and-paste.

[update: if I export from AppleWorks 6 as RTF, and then run textutil -inputencoding X-MAC-JAPANESE -encoding UTF-8 -convert rtf foo.rtf on the output, everything works fine. I still shouldn’t need to do this, but unless I can coax another copy of ClarisWorks 4JP to export directly to Word, I think it’s the best I can get.]