Shazzan!

Where's my genie then?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Heavens Above!

Yet another mode of transport that I'm blogging from. If you haven't guessed from the title, I'm actually on an aeroplane. JAL flight JL402 to be exact, I believe it's a Boeing B777-300. The other day I was pleasently surprised to find out JAL offer broadband internet on selected flights. I looked at their timetables for scheduled internet flights and thought mine wouldn't have it, but I thought I'd ask anyway when I checked in. Just as an aside, I managed to sneak through check-in with nearly twice my allowed weight (I should only have 20kg, mine was 37! I think my main luggage was half a kilo under the maximum bag weight allowance of 32kg). So here I am now, all signed up with the in-flight Boeing internet called Connectix or something. The internet connection on the GNER train was a little tempromental, and slow. I'm hoping that since we're a lot closer to the satelitte here at 30000 feet that my pings and such will be much more acceptable

Not much to say really, spent my last week in London moving hotel rooms, buying presents, leaving them on trains, going to Lost Luggage offices, buying presents again. Of course, there was generous time spent on WoW too, but let's forget about that. If all goes to plan, I'll be home in time for a christmas lunch

Monday, December 19, 2005

On the move with a Mallard

Once again posting from a train, this one however is a new GNER Mallard train with wireless internet onboard. I've spent the week in Glasgow with Damien and Annmarie where I found their roll-out futon strangely comfortable. Although I may have suffered some broadband withdrawal symptoms (more confirmation of why I don't like dial-up), it was very nice to spend some time with their family. I also managed a visit to a cousin, Derek O'Rourke (probably not the right spelling, I'll let the rest of my family correct me on that). While I spoke with him on the phone last Christmas, I couldn't put a face to the voice. That's probably because the only time I saw him was in Australia when I was about 10 or 12 and mainly what I remember of him was playing America's Cup and him standing on my head. His family speak both English and German and it's quite odd to listen to conversations where each person speaks in a different language, sort of like listening to someone else talk on a phone.

My bags are fully laden with things to bring back to Australia. I even bought another bag while I was in Glasgow, a messenger/satchel bag depending on where you're from. It fits my laptop nicely along with other things and it is also currently packed to the zipper. It seems as if when I bought the bag, my belongings suddenly grew to fill the extra luggage space. It's a slightly better carry-on luggage than my backpack as things are generally more accessible plus there's a little padding for the laptop, but I might still need both on the plane.

I went to a German market in Glasgow as well; they always have one around Christmas, apparently a German tradition. But since I could barely carry what I already owned, I couldn't pick up any little trinkets or toys which left me with the food to try. My first taste of Sauerkraut was not what I imagined it to be, but still quite nice. And just like the French markets, they sell excellent potatoes. In fact there's a tray of potatoes in my bag, wrapped in foil ... hopefully not leaking. I would have eaten them earlier (I'm about halfway to London), but there's three others at the table where I am. I always feel a bit weird eating when others aren't, especially in such intimate surroundings. They're off at Leeds which is just coming up, so I'll get to check the state of my taters then.

I've got a week left before I go, which I'll spend in a hotel I booked off of wotif.com. It's very handy; even though it's the first time I've used it. They seemed to have found me a better deal than lastminute.com could. So while I'm there I have to fix up my tax, deliver a present for Mum and make sure I get my plane. I'll be right next to Paddington station, so it should be a quick trip to Heathrow from there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Leaving London

Friday was my last day working for Ideaworks 3D. I was a bit sad to go since even though working on mobile phones wasn't to my taste at first, the people they have there are just amazing. Very brilliant programmers that can squeeze processing power out of those tiny little phones to get mobile games that didn't have any competition until the PSP came out.

Not only was Friday my last day at work, but it was also the last day of our lease. So the weekend was wholly taken up with packing, moving and cleaning. Paul did most of the moving since he had the car and it being an MR2 he had to fill the passenger seat as well to get a decent load. The cleaning took a little longer than I had hoped and I missed my (optimistic) 2pm train to Glasgow on Sunday. I was able to spend another night on the floor of Paul's new room and I had an infuriating time on the phone with Virgin trains trying to move my ticket to Monday (which I had apparently booked and paid for twice).

I had hoped that the Virgin train had internet during the journey but alas, it seems only GNER is offering that just now. If I book a train back to London, I'll be sure to try them out despite the terrible journey I had with overnight trains with them last time. So instead I'm offline and resorting to Word to type this post. It warms my heart to know that we're moving into a time where broadband internet is available most places including trains and planes. While it would still worry the security conscious, I'm sure that encrypted connections will come of age and satisfy their requirements too.

For those of you who don't know but are still checking my blog, I'm due to arrive back in Adelaide on Christmas Day. Even though I'm leaving a few things behind here, it will be a great relief to come back home and recharge. It'll be even better if I can continue working in the games industry and it will be a small miracle if I can stay in Adelaide whilst doing it. Here's hoping all my dreams come true.