Moving In

On Sunday, Hayley's flat had a flat meeting. Hayley wanted to move out of her flat (and into our apartment full-time), and the upshot is: no problem! As soon as she/they can find a replacement flatmate, she's moving in with me full-time! :)

Found a flat!

I've found a flat, and I moved in this weekend. It's a single apartment in a '60s apartment block right in town, which is certainly convenient, and the rent is really low. It's fairly large for a single apartment, consisting of a sizeable entryway, a bathroom, bedroom, small kitchen, large lounge, and study.

The catch? The decor is hideous. As far as we can tell, some time in the 80s, the owners decided they wanted to redecorate, and couldn't decide between three different, conflicting, styles. So they used all 3, usually in different parts of the apartment, but sometimes together. The result is something you're likely to remember for a long time. There's a _big_ emphasis on border prints, and quite a lot of patterned wallpaper.

The owners are intending to re-rent or sell it in the new year, and Hayley and I are hoping we can convince them to let us redecorate. Initial attempts ("We'll repaint if you pay for the paint!") have met with "don't bother" responses, but I'm actually prepared to pay for the supplies - it shouldn't take much - in order to be able to redecorate. Strangely ...

Back to work

I'm now officially employed again. I've found a kickass job at a local software company specialising in GIS (mapping etc). Their main product is a fleet tracking package. I just finished my first day there today.

They're using Postgres extensively, with their own extensions such as some form of multi-master replication. The boxes are based on Gentoo, with (oddly), VMWare instances running windows for the application servers. The environment's quite well set up, and so far quite nice to work with (with my whole 8 hours' worth of experience with it).

I'm also starting back part-time at Uni this semester, doing two papers - COSC229 - Algorithms, and COSC362 - Microprocessor Systems 2. My new employer is quite flexible about allowing me to fit my work hours around uni, and the two are very close together to boot.

Now I just have to find a flat in the same general vicinity...

To market, to market, to buy...

Lex has posted rather interesting entry about our trip to the supermarket.

Homeward Bound

So here I am, sitting in Vancouver airport, wasting time while I wait for my flight back home, via Sydney, via Honolulu (two new airports to get lost in! Oh joy!). And what better way to waste time than by blogging, right?

Checking in was, this time, fairly uneventful. I had to pay extra for my bike and because my suitcase was heavy, but less than I expected - Air Canada charge $50 for a bike, instead of the usual $175 for an extra piece of luggage. Because their system can't handle having _both_ a bike _and_ an overweight luggage item, I had to line up a second time at ticketing to pay for it. Oh well. After that, US immigration, checking my baggage in, and the inevitable x-ray scans and inspections were relatively simple. I'm just ophing I don't have to check my baggage in again at Sydney, since hauling that much baggage around on my own is no fun, but I have a sinking feeling I'll have to.

I'm really not looking forward to the long flight, but at least I have a light at the end of the tunnel. I'll be home ...

Of Canadian Customs

Oh, and I forgot: More customs/immigration excitement!

After being questioned by customs, I was, to my not-so-great surprise, directed to the immigration counter for further investigation. I got a rather friendly person, who nevertheless was asking about my work/holiday/movement situation in great detail. I discussed my previous issues, and he asked for the documentation I'd hustled up but never had to use last time. As I did, he recaps:

Him: So, you work for this US company, Haydrian
Me: Used to. I resigned
Him: Oh. Right, in that case don't worry. Just show me your return ticket.
Me: *shows ticket*
Him: *examining ticket* Why'd you quit?
I explain.
Him: Off you go, then. And good luck!

So there's the easy way to solve all your issues: resign! ;)

Back in .ca, for now.

I just got back into .ca this evening. In some ways, it feels like I never left - my apartment is, of course, exactly as I left it, as is Vancouver, and Hayley and I are back to trying to deal with the inadequacies of text and voice chat. I miss her already.

I wish I'd only gone up for a couple of days to pack. At least this way I have time to catch up with Illiad, KS and Dark before I head back for good.

I'm also thinking I may just stick as close to NZ time as I can. I don't have anything to do in my mornings anyway.

Job hunting

I got another call from my boss yesterday. Instead of the expected wind-down time with misc. tasks to do, it seems yesterday was my last day. Rather a disappointment, I was hoping they'd give me a decent notice period, especially after he expressed thanks for me informing them promptly about the situation. Not totally unexpected, but I was rather hoping to have the job through to the end of the month.

So now I'm actively submitting applications. The company I mentioned previously got back to me - they've filled the positions I applied for, but would still like to get together with me to talk. I'm arranging a date as soon as I get back, but I'm skeptical it'll lead to (near-term) work. :/

I've also sent an application in for a position dealing with GIS related technologies, which interest me very much. The job ad portrays a very positive attitude - they're more interested in the person and their skills than the individual technologies they know. Sounds like the sort of company I'd like to work for.

No longer an expat.

Just heard back from my boss. Unsurprisingly, they don't think me working from NZ long-term is a practical proposition. Given that, they'll keep me going with bits and pieces of work (basically, anything that doesn't require a huge learning curve that they'll never get a chance to recoup the effort expended on) for a while, but I expect I'll be finishing up with them in the fairly near future.

Looks like it's time for me to find a new job in NZ. I have somewhere in mind to apply first - they look really interesting. They offered me a job interview previously, but only after I'd already accepted a position elsewhere. Hoping for better luck this time.

Why I'm back in NZ

So. The promised post about just why I'm back in NZ.

Fair warning: For once, this is not a post about XML transforms, or work, or travel, or anything like that. If you're allergic to emotions, stop reading now. Still reading? Good.

Just over a month ago - very shortly after I moved into my Vancouver apartment, I got talking with a good friend of mine - someone I'd known for years, but only ever seen as a friend. Things went from there, and pretty soon I found myself trying to work out how I can get back to NZ to see her. To put it simply, I'm crazy about her.

Thanks to the wise advice of several people I trust (you know who you are), I arranged a 3 week trip back to NZ. Having got here, pretty much from day 1 I knew that I no longer wanted to work away from NZ.

So who is this wonderful person, you ask? Her name is Hayley - #sporks members will know her as Lex (but then, this is all old news to #sporks members anyway) - and she is, without a doubt in my mind, the most wondeful person ...