So, in closing…

February 26, 2007

Mood: Tired…surprised?
Music: He Got Game, Public Enemy.
Game: Battlefield 2142, World of Warcraft, Crackdown.
Book: Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Cloudy, cool.

Long trip home…no surprise. Couldn’t really sleep all that much on the plane this time.

The food was less than appetizing (shocking, right?) Couldn’t get comfortable. Guess it was a function of sleeping on a rock-hard mattress for a week, then trying to sleep in a reclining seat.

Yeah, Club World is better than coach by a long shot…but still wasn’t what one would normally consider comfortable.

Was great getting home. Chelsea took care of me…fed me, let me deal with unpacking, playing games, and so on. No chores. I did do my laundry.

Am I ready to get back to work? No, probably not. I probably could stand a few days to nap and get back on proper time zone. But I do need to ensure that the trial kicks off the way it’s supposed to.

So…final observations:
– Who picks those movies for the airlines? Like, is it some department of movie choosing?
– Was good to see my friends on Friday night. Funny…they seem to have better stories about me than I do.
– Funny how little people change after a certain point. I mean, I was basically sitting at a table with what amounted to the leaders of the interactive world in London. I suspect that a photo of all those people would start all sorts of rumors…or be considered an industry party. But they were just friends.
– Yeah, I think I could live in London again.
– For a while there, all I could think was “Sheesh…can I just get back on the tube and go home?”
– I didn’t make it up to Hampstead. Maybe next time.
– I did get some work done on the plane. So that’s good.
– How good is Miserlou? Amazing. I love surf rock.
– I think I’ll probably go in early and settle in…get things organized for today.
– I wish I could say my involvement on this project is over…but it likely isn’t by a longshot.
– Of course, I’m debating going back to bed. But I know that would be a mistake.
– I’m already dreading lunch. Can we get some real food up in here?
– Overall, I’d say that the trip was a success. We accomplished what we set out to do, as well as made believers of most of the detractors. Folks in the US have no idea that, in London, things are typically done face to face. It’s a cultural thing. In fact, it’s largely true in the rest of the world, except the US. A conference call is NOT a replacement for a proper sit-down.
– I learned a lot from the people I met with. Which was kinda the point.
– Early Public Enemy is really good.
– My Portabrace fell apart on the plane home. Time to get it all restitched again.

I’ll see if I can keep the updates coming on a more timely basis…now, I need to pack my bag for work.


Captain’s Log – Day 6

February 23, 2007

Mood: Rested but tired. Is that possible?
Music: Miuzi Weighs A Ton, Public Enemy.
Game: None.
Book: Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Cloudy, cool.

Observations, Day 6
– I love it when a project comes together. It’s a good thing I’m on the ground here.
– You never know what’s going on in another country. It just doesn’t happen. You may THINK you know. You don’t. This is especially true when it comes to business.
– Seattle has no decent food. Being in London reminds me of that.
– My memory continues to come back to me. Camden Town, indeed. My lunchtime Chinese place isn’t there any more. It’s now a Japanese place. Oh well.
– I don’t know if I have time, but I might catch a movie.
– Going out to dinner tonight with friends. Haven’t seen some of them for six years. Maybe they’ll have a job for me. Not that I’m looking….
– Port 7000!
– I still need to pick up presents. Probably do that tomorrow morning.
– “Brilliant!” “Nice one!” I love those expressions. You walk through an office and hear people saying them…and meaning it.
– I still don’t eat breakfast. But I do like me some lunch.
– Leaving tomorrow early evening. Already decided to take the Heathrow Express from Paddington. Don’t feel like spending another $120 on a cab ride. It’ll be $30…which is better.
– Still need to pack…should do that tonight.


Observations Days 4 and 5

February 22, 2007

Mood: OK, I have no idea what time it is.
Music: None.
Game: “I know where I am.”
Book: American Gods, Neil Gaiman. Although I just finished it….
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Rainy, cool.

Observations for Days 4 and 5.
– My Chinese restaurant is still there! And oh BOY were the mussels in black bean sauce and chilli GOOD.
– The more time I spend here, the more I realize that it feels like I never really left.
– The weather here is exactly like Seattle.
– I love British accents. I’m finding myself starting to get some of my odd pronounciations back.
– It’s good seeing old friends.
– I haven’t made it up to Hampstead yet. I’m not sure I will. It might hurt.
– I’ve only been down the pub once. Although tonight looks like two.
– As nice as the hotel is, I feel like I’m sleeping on a rock. Talk about a firm mattress. I think our featherbed has spoiled me.
– My internal body clock is now completely screwed.
– It’s outragously expensive to live in London. Like, it was always expensive…but now it’s plain stupid.
– I’m awake. No, really.
– Quote of the day, from an email from an account person: “As Glenn had guessed earlier on, the Client had been unable to provide [company deleted] comments on time, but due to the priority of the project there is still pressure to hit 3/8.” Ask me if I’m surprised. No, no I’m not.
– Working a full day in the UK, then a chunk of the day during Seattle hours definitely takes a lot out of a guy.


Day 3 Observations

February 20, 2007

Mood: Bit worn.
Music: Strangers, Portishead
Game: “I’m pretty sure it was around here somewhere…”
Book: American Gods, Neil Gaiman. Again.
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Rainy, cool.

Day 3 Observations
– Wagamama is even better than I remember. Yum.
– Pretty much as I expected, I work a full day in London, then I end up working most of a full day in Seattle.
– Forgetting your phone charger is a pain in the ass. 20 pounds for a UK Phone Charger that I’ll have probably zero use for once I get home. You know, unless I move to the UK.
– Once again, how could you not have a Mini A-Z in your pocket? Best 5 pounds I spent.
– OK, London? Expensive.
– I still like the feel of one pound coins.
– I have four spare laptop batteries. As it turns out, I didn’t need any of them yet. Nothing like carrying bricks for no reason.
– I’m going to need to figure out how to file an expense report the day I get back. I think I’ll have about 10k worth of expenses(!) I’m thinking that I don’t really want to lend that kind of money to the company in the future.
– I need some serious decompression. Like shooting something in the face. 2142 would go down mighty nice right about now.
– I was idly thinking about catching a movie…”Hot Fuzz,” actually. (The makers and cast from Shaun of the Dead but a cop buddy film instead.) Then again, spending $24.00 for a movie ticket seemed a bit high. Might do it anyway.
– It’s difficult to design a template for loading into a system, when that system isn’t complete yet. Go figure.


Day 2 Observations

February 19, 2007

Mood: Tired.
Music: Nothing at the moment.
Game: “If you take the Bakerloo to…”
Book: American Gods, Neil Gaiman. Again.
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: Clear, cool.

Observations, Day 2.
– The tapas place where I used to have lunch fairly frequently is still there. And still great.
– The more you futz around on the tube, the more you remember.
– If you get an Oyster pass, which is GBP23.30, you can ride the tube (and buses) in zones 1 and 2 as much as you like for a whole week. So that’d be the way to go then.
– The old local, The Glassblower, redid the interior. Still a decent local.
– The YRB office is literally around the corner from the Modem Media office on Eversholt Street, and the MSN office is literally around the corner from the old Modem Media office on Glasshouse Street. Needless to say, I didn’t have a whole lot of trouble finding either.
– The dim sum place, Chuen Cheng Ku on Wardour Street is still there. And still serves kick-ass dim sum.
– One should not eat breakfast at the hotel. GBP20 for some croissants, muffins, toast, tea, and a glass of juice.
– The UK has changed their currency…I have about 30 Pounds that no one will take because “they’re too old.” I need to go to a bank and see if they’ll accept them.
– I started the last sentence as “The UK have changed…” I’m already reverting.
– I saw Norm and Melanie today. They were happy to see me. I was happy to see them. They’re busy busy people.
– It was fun to say to the receptionist at Modem Media, when asked if I was part of the company, I said “Sort of.” And she said “from the US?” And I said “Nope. I’m from here.”
– I think I want to move back to the UK. How do I make that happen?


Day 1 Observations

February 18, 2007

Mood: Really Tired.
Music: Nothing at the moment.
Game: “See how much you can remember.”
Book: Nothing. Need to find something.
Watching: “Trading Places” on the airplane. “Looking good, Billy Ray!”
Weather: Clear, cool.

Observations on Day 1
– Club World/Business Class on British Airways does not suck.
– The Landmark hotel in London also? Does not suck.
– Paying about $25.00 for internet access from your hotel room for 24 hours, however, definitely sucks.
– Even if you’ve lived in a city for years, if you go away for 6 years, you get the distinct impression you should know where you are when wander around…and vaguely do…but you get seriously disoriented. It doesn’t help when there’s “Major Engineering Improvements” going on in the Underground. (Who the hell shuts off the Northern Line?)
– Don’t go looking for Chinese food in Chinatown in London on Chinese New Year. Kung Hey Fat Choi indeed.
– Satsuma is still there…and the service still sucks.
– One Zone Tube tickets are now FOUR POUNDS. At two dollars a pound, those are some seriously expensive tickets.
– I still love the feel of one pound coins. Even if they don’t buy what they used to.
– Regardless of how hard you try to remain awake, you might end up falling asleep at 8pm, thus occasioning getting up at 4am. Damn.

Major presentation at 3pm GMT. Better get a bit more sleep.

Oh, and Matt? I’ve read everything Neil Gaiman’s ever written. Fabulous.

More tomorrow.


Haven’t I Seen This One Before?

February 17, 2007

Mood: Tired.
Music: Darling Nikki, Prince
Game: Gears of War, Battlefield 2142, Crackdown, Various Arcade Games, a bit of WoW
Book: Nothing. Need to find something.
Watching: Not much.
Weather: Clear, cool.

So work’s been pretty tiring lately.

However, earlier this week, I found out that I’m actually headed to London.

Like, in a few hours.

There’s a major project I’ve been working on, and after really assessing the situation, I decided that there was a better, more efficient way to do something. That better way required us to get some folks on board with the plan, then train them on how to do it.

Since the pilot of this plan takes place in the UK, I’m headed to London.

It’ll be cool…see some old friends, catch a few of the old restaurants, and so on.

I miss London. I miss the one pound coins, and the tube, and all that.

That was a pretty good time in my life. I’m not unhappy now, of course, but looking back, even though I was busy, and crazed, and all that…it was still a pretty good time.

Maybe I’ll update the blog a bit while I’m in the UK, tell folks what I’m up to. I suspect I’ll have enough down time at work…..