The adventure begins tomorrow

After working for about a week on my “Lego World”, it’s time to demolish it. All that remains is the pictures.


Yesterday, I set out to register my electronics with customs so I don’t have to pay duty when bringing them back to Canada in June. My mom and I went to the “Customs Building” uptown across from Saint John High School, but apparently Canada Customs in not there anymore, and instead are located in old post office building on Prince William Street. We went there to find that it is quite large inside. There was a security guard, an information, and another unmarked desk with someone sitting there. No one else was around, so we asked the security guard where to find the customs office. He told us to go up the stairs, and down a hallway. Another security guard was at the top of the stairs, and told us exactly where the office was, even though we didn’t ask him. He just magically knew. That was odd, but we didn’t realize how he knew until we left and he radioed the other guard to tell him that we were coming down the stairs (as if the sight of us walking down the stairs to face the other guard at the bottom wasn’t evidence enough). I’m not sure what else the government hides in that building, but they certainly have plenty of security guards and information people watching the place.

Innovatia has been very generous in allowing me to work remotely on a part-time basis while in France. Yesterday was my last of working in the office before I leave. We went out to lunch at the Saint John Ale House.

So this is it. The eve of my departure. I will fly to Montreal tomorrow, and then Paris. I’ll arrive in Poitiers at about 11 AM Atlantic time on Thursday. It feels a bit weird to be doing this. I am nervous about a few things, but I’m sure everything will be OK.

I expect my next blog post to be from Montreal, Paris or Poitiers – wherever I have enough time and internet access. I’ll be in touch.

8 days

I leave for France next Wednesday. The number of days before I go can now counted on two hands, which is something I clearly do all the time. My boss and I went to The Source today to buy a power adapter for my work laptop. It’s an interesting little device that’ll work in many countries, and has all the different plugs on it.

 

It’s that time of year again when I get out my Lego to work on while I watch TV. Here’s what I have so far. Think I’ll get anything worth seeing completed before I go?

I know these details may seem mundane, but hey, I’m still getting used to my blogging software.

Locally, an article in the newspaper discusses how Paul Zed is using the analogy of a car engine to discuss the region’s progress with the engine roaring ahead now, after running “clear in reverse” a few years ago. Pushing the gas pedal are new “developments” like a new oil refinery, Canaport LNG, new call centres and department store expansions. Clearly, the main engine which Mr. Zed describes is running on Irving gasoline, and the whole vehicle is being driven to wherever the Irving Empire wants us to go. Forgive my pessimism, but I don’t really believe that things like a new Wal-Mart or more call centres are something that are really going to define the city in a more positive way. These things may give us more jobs, but jobs alone don’t make the area more exciting and don’t really encourage many people to pull up stakes and move here.

In world news, I think the hanging of Saddam is a good thing. I heard the comments of some people opposed to capital punishment and also people who feel that hanging is a rather barbaric method. I have to disagree with all of them. In cases where authorities are absolutely sure that someone abused power to intentionally cause death of innocent civilians, I think capital punishment is appropriate in order to ensure that the person never has a chance to do it again. It also gives closure to all those who may come to fear such a person. As for death by hanging, it’s quick, clean and cheap. I wish those who fuss about this would instead stand up for the rights of the innocent and those who cannot defend themselves, before they cry for people like Saddam and other criminals.

If you agree or disagree with me, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. It’s the only way I’ll know if anyone else cares or not.

12 days

In 12 days, I will leave for France. I prepare myself in some way a little bit each day. I am particularly careful about making sure I have all the computer files I want, and that they are organized the way I want. I probably won’t want to spend a lot of time in France diagnosing computer problems.

Speaking of which, I noticed that my laptop was rather noisy today. The culprit? An M$ special, of course. Outlook 2003 was running at 100% CPU, and doing nothing useful of course. I am pondering the switch to Mozilla Thunderbird for email instead. I am a happy user of Gmail, but I’m a bit hesitant to rely entirely on a web-based e-mail solution. I’ll be using wireless access mostly in France, and my experience is that wireless can be unreliable when shared when others. But perhaps that’s only because I am used to UNBSJ’s wireless network which is crap anyway.

Today was a good day at work. I went in for a couple hours because today was the last day for one of my coworkers, and a bunch of us went out to lunch to wish her well. She’ll be missed.

And that’s it for my first real blog entry. Don’t hesitate to leave some comments!