29 August 2003

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.NET

We had a .NET consultant in today to talk about some of the remoting issues that we care about for the next release. It’s interesting watching people get used to having to write stateless servers — it’s quite painful for some people, and even for some application domains.

Life

I’m really tired. I’ve been getting four or five hours sleep a night for about two weeks now because of the houses. I’m normally an eight hour a night kinda guy, so that’s not a lot. I’m starting to have a lot of trouble concentrating, which is making things harder.

The rental house has to be finished by Sunday though, so I just have to get through the next few days, and then I should be done and able to catch up on sleep.

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26 August 2003

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Listening to: Utah Saints — Something Good

Why you shouldn’t give to the Salvation Army as a charity

An important part of being a workable charity is leaving donors with a good feeling about helping people out. The second you start treading on people’s toes, then you risk not having a viable charity any more.

Two weeks ago my wife Catherine rang the Salvation Army. In our home town they offer a service where they collect your unwanted furniture, sell it, and then use the money for people who are less fortunate. Or so the theory goes. Anyways, Catherine rang and explained that because we were going to move house, we would like to give away our perfectly servicable water bed.

Let’s get this clear — the bed works. The bed is fine. The bed doesn’t leak. Am I making my point? In fact, the bladder is only a couple of years old — it’s still under warranty. We just wanted a slightly smaller bed than the King size hard sided water bed we currently had. When you’re moving house is the right time to replace a water bed, given the large amount of effort involved with setting up a water bed in the first place.

The Salvos said fine, and that they would collect the water bed on the 26th. We hired the equipment to packup the bed properly (you have to be careful about how you pump out the water to not damage the bladder), and disassembled everything ready to go.

Yesterday Catherine waiting for most of the day for the truck which was meant to come in the morning to arrive. Eventually she rang to ask how much longer it would be, as she was stuck in an empty house with a crying baby. She was told that the driver had decided that he didn’t pickup water beds, and therefore had not come. When she pointed out that we had kinda relied on them showing up (the carpets were set to be cleaned on the 27th), they said they didn’t really care.

After more agitation from the long suffering Catherine, they agreed to collect the bed. However, when the particularly difficult driver arrived, he still refused to take the bladder (the bit worth the most money), and said that the rest of the bed would be going directly to the tip.

Catherine was left in tears…

This raises the question of why you would give to the Salvation Army as a charity — especially when donations go straight to the tip. From now on we’ll be giving to charities which actually care. I’ll also never recommend the Salvation Army again.

I did ring the divisional head quarters, but the summary is that the people there couldn’t understand why it is important for the donor to walk away having had a good experience from their charitible activities, and why we might even be upset.

Now I have to work out how to get the bladder off my driveway.

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25 August 2003

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Work

Back at work, despite the new house…

New house

No data connectivity yet. I think I am lucky and might have bought a dud modem. Luckily the nice people from AB&T systems are willing to go out of their way to help me debug the problem… I’m picking up the new test modem tonight, and then I’ll give it a try. I spent a bunch of today moving the pay TV connection, turning off DSL, which isn’t available at the new location, and getting a second phone line connected.

So tired

The new bed hasn’t shown up, so we’re sleeping on an air bed. I am so tired.

Back online

It turns out I was the victim of a bad modem…

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20 August 2003

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Listening to: Groove Armada – Madder

New house

Well, I’ve been sitting inside the new house for about an hour now. I can confirm that the central heating works, the dishwasher works, and that the back screen door doesn’t. Unfortunately, Telstra want a bunch of money to play with phone lines, so I wont be able to put in my DSL application for the new house until the weekend. This means I will be without connectivity for a while me thinks.

It feels very strange having a new house. At least we have our prorities straight — the only things which have been moved into the new house so far are two laptops. We don’t have beds yet.

Now I wait for the shower repair dude to come and stop the shower from leaking into one of the cupboards in the master bedroom.

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