Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 1 in the Refridgerator

I will say, the hotel does provide a nice breakfast. They'll whip up a batch of eggs any way you want, and there was a nice assortment of fresh fruit, muffins, cereal and juices. It was "free" which made it all that much better. As Grant noted, the coffee in the atrium area was far better than that brewed in our little underpowered room machines.

We piled onto buses for the trek to the Siemens motherland. There was at least three small buses the a packed in an assortment of Siemens folks destined to become more educated in the Siemens way or on Siemens equipment. What I could see of the snow-covered city reminded me of my childhood days in Michigan, and of why I got sick of living in the fridgid North.

The training facility was quite impressive. Rooms held an assortment of equipment mounted to the walls. Our teacher was very good and had just the right mix of enthusiasm to make the coursework enjoyable but not annoy. We all discovered our strengths of personality while understanding why some of us display certain annoying tendencies in the perception of other personality types. My DISC profile suggests that I'm perfectly evolved to get on a certain QA Manager's nerves. Ah, we all have our strengths :) Of course, he's perfectly adapted and positioned to make my life a living hell, so I'll behave.

We ventured out in the evening in search of pizza, and once again Jeff displayed superior winter driving survival skills - once we had dug the car out of the snowdrift and cleared the ice from the windows: once from the snow-fall, and yet again after he decided to hit the washers shooting a stream of water that instantly froze on the window. The pizza was nice, but IMHO somewhat bland.

After the previous night devoid of sleep I went to bed around 8:00 local time. We're now filled with coffee and breakfast ready of another day of indoctrination - er, training... The fun part will be returning to Atlanta to try all our new voodoo on our unsuspecting office peers (queue dramatic music and fade with demonic laughter...)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Welcome to Bulls Country

We landed in Chicago (finally) after a pleasant pause on the tarmac in Atlanta for 2 hours. Seems a little snow up north got everything backed up so we just sort of hung out for a couple of hours waiting for a window into the sky headed to Chicago. The flight was smooth and uneventful, with the possible exception for the Mile-Highers sitting next to Grant on the plane.

As we came in over Chicago we were greeted by a white and wintery world. Everything was covered in snow and it was still coming down at a good pace. By the time we found our way to the curb waiting for our never-to-show-up bus to the National car rental depot it was dark, cold and nothing like it was for Rich in Florida. Brrr!

Jeff didn't kill us driving on the snow-covered roads, which is always a good start to an adventure. It was neat seeing everything covered in snow, but dang is it cold. We arrived at the hotel at around 1:30am Atlanta time - the good new is the hotel is quite nice and has free wireless.

Well, it's 5:55 and time to head down the the "free" breakfast...then off to become a trained drone of the machine :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gatling gun...for rubber bands?

Holy Crap this is the ultimate in nerdism. The vid's a bit long but very cool.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Rock star, eh?

Kim, can you hear me? Hello?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Traffic's "backward travelling wave"

Under the title "Exeter mathematician solves traffic jam mystery" the short blurb describes how the math nerds from Exeter school of engineering have modeled traffic problems and discovered the source of all our nightmares here in Atlanta traffic (and elsewhere, presumably). It's just as we suspected - all those "maroons" (as Bugs Bunny likes to say) that pull right in front of someone causing a series of breaking events resulting in what they call a backward traveling wave (of frustration as well as slowdown).

I wish the title of the article suggested that they've solved the actual problem rather than described it. That's no doubt going to be the subject of the physics department as part of the study of large forward-facing particle guns we can mount on our cars.