plonq: (The Goggles Do Nothing)
The weather was freakishly nice here today, so we put down the top on the convertible and headed up to the park to collect some Poké Balls.

The weather was absurdly nice yesterday too, but I spent the better part of the day on and off the phone, logged into my work machine because they pushed out a new executive dashboard this week. They as in not me. Even though I volunteered to help more than once over the months1 that this thing has been in development, I and my co-worker (who both know the business rules that drive this thing inside and out) were shunted aside so that the star programmers could work on it.

When the report went gold on Thursday, the business immediately complained that one of the key metrics was wrong by almost a factor of two. During all this development time, none of them had thought to run these numbers by the business for validation. Mind you, my co-worker had mentioned to them on many occasions that their numbers were wrong - until they politely told him to stuff a sock in it. They insisted that their numbers came from a different source, and would naturally differ slightly.

Or, in this case, by about twofold.

Fortunately, I produce these figures in another dashboard that is related to, but not part of this one. My numbers are right. I spent a good part of yesterday working with the our director and the business to pull the numbers from the back end of my report and feed them to the new one.

Speaking of work, I got an email on Friday instructing me to report to the head office for another two weeks of simulator training, starting on the 14th. I guess I had better book my flights and hotel tomorrow.


1By months I mean close to two years.


There were a bunch of these set up in the woods by the river when we were walking through the park today. I like the slight haze that this shot captured (sunlight off the lens I think) because it adds an air of mystique to the shot.

All of the summer plants are long gone from the Leo Mol gardens, but they've left in the fall vegetation for now.

The years have not been kind to Queen Victoria in this bust. That, or too many years in Winipeg have driven her psychotic. That will happen.
plonq: (Braiiiins)
Happiness is a tin of sardines in lemon sauce. While that is not the only key to happiness, nor even ranking in the top ten elements of a happy existence, it still added a non-zero, non-negligible amount to my level of satisfaction today.

Another important piece in my interlocking puzzle of contentment is that the weather has finally turned spring-like. Sunday was gorgeous, but even the cool, grey, wet weather we are experiencing this morning is a tremendous improvement over the bitter conditions we have been contending with for months. I daresay I may even forgo eating the hearts of my co-workers for another day.

I was not feeling particularly stabby even before the fish, mind you.

We went to the Easter service at church yesterday, and it were treated to the usual intellectual (if somewhat safe and predictable) fare that I was expecting. "The spirit of Jesus lives on in us, even if he's deader than your first web page on Tripod." When we got home later, we waffled over what to do next (cook up an Easter dinner, have tea,or go for a walk). It was the weather that finally pushed us into taking the third option first.

We both overdressed out of habit, and then made our way down to St John's park. It was nice to find sidewalks that are (mostly) navigable again, and Saturday's stiff winds had subsided to a gentle spring breeze. A pleasant walk was had by all.

I don't know why, but lately I've had pretty good luck with photographing birds. This gull was a little skittish, so I kept my camera trained on him and slowly stalked up on him, knowing that it was just a matter of time before he spooked again. When I thought he was going to panic, I clicked the shutter pre-emptively and caught him right at the, "I'm outa here!" moment. While I would have liked to have caught a little more of his reflection in the water, I am overall pleased with the shot.
Escape Velocity

Just as we got to the bridge, there was an unusual break in traffic. This bridge is normally very busy, so I took advantage of the situation to dash out into the middle of the road for a shot. I did not have as much time to compose it as I would have liked because I saw cars entering the far side of the bridge again as soon as I got out into the road.

I decided to snap a picture quickly and see if I could salvage anything from it later with some cropping. After a bit of cutting and the application of some interesting filters, I decided that it the shot was worth keeping.

In spite of her winning smile, the harsh sunlight playing across her at a bad angle just made this a poor picture. I tried salvaging it in software, but my efforts just made it worse with each attempt. I finally gave up, and just started playing with random filters to see what kind of cool effects I could achieve.

I am not quite sure what I did to arrive at this, but I like the result. I have concluded that I am not a good enough photographer to care that much about being a purist, so I don't feel too bad about experimenting with filters and effects.
Lady in Red
plonq: (Grammar Nazi)
For those of you who don't speak Celsius, they are calling for 81F on Tuesday. The low temperature they are calling for on that day is pretty close to our normal high for this time of year.

I'm not complaining. This is me not complaining.

I'm not going to be trite and blame this beautiful weather on global warming - especially when we all know that it's due to the merciful hand of Zeus.
Warm Weather

I just came from a 3-day course on Project Management Modelling. If that sound boring to you, well, there is no prize in guessing that the course was as boring as the name suggests. I managed to score 24 out of 25 on the final exam, in spite of how much I drank while I was out there on course. I have discovered that the numbing effects of alcohol make it much easier to study excruciatingly dull material. The beer prenumbs the brain so that when the course material tries to do the same, it encounters the mental equivalent of a cock-block (a bock-block perhaps).

One of my biggest complaints about this course - well, about business analysis in general - is that it takes common terms and expressions and puts its own definition on them. A diagram is not the same as a picture is not the same as a model, though sometimes a model is a picture or a diagram. A process is not the same as a work flow, though they are all often tossed about interchangeably anyway. You just have to make sure you have all of the terminology straight when you write the final exam. As I complained to some of the others at my work table on the first day, we are not there to learn concepts, but to memorize jargon and terminology.

Fortunately the time I spent memorizing the table that outlined the steps in Process Management, and the steps inside of each step gave me enough working knowledge to get a passing grade on the final exam. The rest of the questions were just knowing the right term they wanted for a question.

I think my brain managed to erase everything I learned last night, but I am going to see if I can recite the steps off the top of my head. Here is everything you need to know about being a business analyst.
Behind a cut because it is as boring as hell. )

I returned home just in time for Customer Service Week. This means that over the next seven or so days I can expect to get lots of badly spelled emails chock full of bad grammar, questionable colour choices, deformed pictures and regrettable fonts.

It begins...
Expecting Too Much
It is just going to get worse. Kill me now.

Uh oh.

Jun. 22nd, 2010 06:47 pm
plonq: (Flying cat)
The current conditions icon on the Environment Canada page says it all.

This is the first time I've ever seen them use this one.
plonq: (Happy Mood Too)
As [ profile] atara grumped in her journal (with pic) we got a decent dump of snow last night. As much as I tire of the endless snow here, this was my first chance to take our new snowblower out for my first try ([ profile] atara took it on its inaugural run this morning). All I can say is, Oh baby! Where have you been all my life?

Hey there snow shovels... shun!

Bring it on!


Nov. 14th, 2005 07:49 am
plonq: (Mediocre mood)
The weather this time of year can be a crap shoot, and it looks like the weather dice are poised to come up snake-eyes on the eve of our departure.  This has been the warmest and driest autumn in recent memory, but that comes to an end starting this afternoon.  It is supposed to start snowing sometime around noon, and keep coming down right through until sometime tomorrow afternoon (at least that's what the guy from Environment Canada said on the radio this morning - they still haven't updated their website to reflect that).

Obviously the two factors that are going to affect us are 1) how much it snows, and 2) how long it keeps falling.  The guy this morning suggested that we could get up to 20cm (8") of snow over the next day and a half.  That will definitely make things interesting.  If the snow stops tomorrow afternoon then that will give them 12-15 hours to clear the highways ahead of us.  We may have to deal with blowing snow, but the roads should be fairly passable otherwise.  On the other hand, this storm is tracking eastward, so we could end up chasing it all the way to Chicago if it dips that far south.

It's not a question of if we will make it to the con (assuming we can stay out of the ditch), but when we will get there.  Our goal is to arrive mid-day on Thursday.  Reality may be a very late arrival, or possibly Friday if we have to hunker down somewhere along the way to wait out some bad weather.  Bleah.

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