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Almost six years later...

Still on the road in Sheridan, WY (having a great time, too) but this warrants a special post.


Current Status: Notice mailed welcoming the new permanent resident.

On August 2, 2007, we mailed you a notice that we had registered this customer's new permanent resident status. Please follow any instructions on the notice. Your new permanent resident card should be mailed within 60 days following this registration or after you complete any ADIT processing referred to in the welcome notice, whichever is later. If you move before you get your new card call customer service. You can also receive automatic e-mail updates as we process your case. Just follow the link below to register.

In other words, I now have a green card :)

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Rapid reroute

I'm sitting on the 242 bus on my way to work. Most commuter lines in Seattle are now wifi-enabled which makes for an fairly efficient use of the 45 minutes each way. A chance to catch up on the mail of the day without having to stay in the office until late.

What makes today's journey different is that we just missed a turn onto 51st. No big deal if you're in a car but it's somewhat harder to pull a U-turn in an articulated bus. So there's a process for this: call a supervisor, they establish your position and then have a list of reroutes (with large, sweeping turns, presumably) to get you back on track. I'd guess they do the same for road closures, accidents, floods, snow and the all.

Given it's a Friday and on Friday traffic is always light, I'll be at work on time. And tomorrow I'm going on vacation so a little scenic detour in the morning is fine by me.

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Pdanet: Best invention ever?

There are few applications that are indispensable. This may well be one of them.

Quoth the site:

This software allows your Windows computer to go online by connecting to your Windows Mobile Phone through the ActiveSync cable/dock, Bluetooth or InfraRed. If you own a Treo 700w/700wx, Treo 750, Motorola Q, PPC/XV 6700/6800, Samsung I730/I830, T-Mobile MDA, Cingular 8125/8525 Windows Mobile phone with a data plan, PdaNet will make it your high speed wireless Internet Service for your laptop/desktop computer instantly - no extra hardware or setup necessary, no need to kill ActiveSync or perform any tricky hacking to your device. Check out what Treo users say about PdaNet.

(Yes, no wifi on the delightful ride home today

image )

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Presenting data and information

I spent yesterday at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront in an Edward Tufte course titled 'Presenting Data and Information'. The course is taught by Edward Tufte himself and contained some interesting material, from the analysis of the Columbia disaster, to Galileo's sunspots, Euclid's Elements and the SARS spread. It was refreshing to actually take some lecture-based training (as opposed to the the 'unconventional' format that seems to make up the bulk of my recent experience). I didn't leave with a set of techniques to suddenly cast information more effectively, and nor did I expect to, but instead there were a number of provocative discussions that prompted further thought.

Four books are given as part of the class materials and they are truly delightful to browse. Incredible attention to presentation and detail (well, duh) make them compelling reading and as such they have secured a prime location on the coffee table.


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The astute reader will have observed a slight reduction in posting frequency over the last ten months.

Here is the short version for my own records. There may be some gaps.

  • I have a fabulous girlfriend, Amy
  • There is no improvement in my kickball skills
  • My brother Dave came to visit in February and we did some skiing, some touring, some gambling and some eating.
  • I signed up for both MySpace and Facebook and then entirely failed to use either
  • I have the Seattle Times delivered every Sunday and read most of it. Never the rants, always the raves.
  • I took a vacation in Flagstaff, AZ and a trip to the Grand Canyon with my parents. Stunning place.
  • I bought a digital SLR for the aforementioned trip and have been using it frequently ever since.
  • I can now make pumpkin muffins, crusty french bread and pizza dough from raw ingredients.
  • I survived the Great Seattle Wind Storm of 2006.
  • I try to work from home ever other Tuesday. It seems to only work out once a month, but it's good for getting things done.
  • I commute by bus every day. This makes me feel better after having watched An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Amy & I went on a weekend vacation in South Lake Tahoe
  • I bought a house in Seattle's U-District/Roosevelt/Ravenna area ('by Whole Foods' seems most accurate)
  • A house's furnace doesn't just sound impressive, it actually heats the house. If it breaks down, the house cools down too. Try not to discover this in February.
  • I now own my very own lawnmower. Mowing the lawn isn't as much fun when you're not earning pocket money for it.
  • I wish Al Gore would run for president even though I can't vote.
  • I made my first Craigslist purchase - a large, distressed dining table from Munroe
  • I hosted my first Superbowl party, a tradition I hope to continue.
  • I had another set of biometrics taken for my green card as apparently your fingerprints change every 18 months
  • I had another two medical exams for my green card because a chest X-ray isn't sufficient to prove you don't have TB.
  • I still don't have a green card after five and a bit years of waiting.

Other that these things, everything is almost precisely where I left it.

Life is good.

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Back home again

The time spent at home went remarkably fast. Steve and Natalie's wedding was a treat on the first weekend, two showings at the Kings Arms pub quiz, the ascent of Kinder Scout, a minor car crash, an evening of eating smelly cheeses and generally spending time with family and friends felt long overdue. More to follow on that.
The September 11th flight back was fine until arriving into heavy thunderstorms in Chicago. After a very fast (air speed) landing, it quickly became apparent that there weren't a huge number of flights leaving the airport. A dutifully made the cross-terminal transfer (always fun) to find that my connection, which would have been missed, was in fact cancelled. Unsurprisingly, once planes started leaving later in the evening, they were rather full. I finally got back to�Seattle 30 hours after I left Manchester. New record. Note to self: Regardless of air transport restrictions, never step on a plane without laptop, phone and credit card. On the plus side, my work inbox filled up a few days into my vacation, so for the first time ever, I came back to very little email to read. I can't really condone this strategy, but it's remarkably effective :)
Balls of Rubber clearly missed me with two consecutive losses in my absence thus installing a trend that, despite my best efforts, continued this week too <g>.
On Friday our group from work went to IslandWood on Bainbridge Island for the United Way Day of Caring. We spent the day clearing English Ivy from some woodland. Hard work but�a nice change from the office job.
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Balls of Rubber 8 - El Short Bus 8

A�fairly�well balanced�game. A win would have been nice though.�No games for a couple of weeks as I'm flying back to Blighty on Tuesday. A solid two week break is going to be great.

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Balls of Rubber 14 - SloRollers 8

underdog kickball logo

Tonight brought the first game of the�fall season of the Thursday night Underdog Kickball League and I've finally got my act together and joined the team. I still suck but will suck less as time goes on. Even though we were a little under-represented today, it was a great game and we walked away with a handsome six point victory. Well done us.


Update: Apparently we won 14-8, not 12-8.

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Folf at White Center

Another gorgeous day in Seattle provided the setting for some folfing in White Center.For the uninitiated (he says, condescendingly, having played only thrice), folf -- frisbee golf -- is a chance to walk around a park hurling a hard disc towards one of eighteen holes. Jolly good fun.