Good food and good friends

Well, she’s gone to China for the month. It’ll be cool. Saying goodbye is always hard, but it’ll be fun. Living together isn’t without its irritations, but life is so much better together.

She got me a big book of Ukrainian/Moldovan/Russian/Uzbek recipes, and we cooked our way through some of them.  The author posts some online, and they are very delicious. Better than the sour and underseasoned stuff I was making before. But I put that down to the woman’s ability. Some samples of the recipes here:

Before she went, she made some excellent food and froze it. About 13 servings of lamb stew, stroganoff and a lasagna. Her rice is really amazing. Within an hour of her going, I was eating couscous out of a mug. It’s going to be hard.

Guess it’s only a month, and she’ll be bringing back good tea, and an invite to come back next year to her friend’s hometown.

Focussing on the positives:

Started running 2 miles to work and back with a colleague. Has about 200ft hills either side of the run, so it’s a reasonable workout. Awkward to run with a backpack, but fuck it. We do it in about 16 mins, which isn’t bad considering I haven’t run in 10 years.

Used to be a mediocre runner, but a county champion in high school for long jump. Might join a gym here with work people, but not sure if I want to spent £25 a month on it for a year. Might be better for the social gains though.

Lots of blacksmiths here in Bath. One right opposite my workplace. Going to see if I can get a little bit of instruction, because blacksmithing is really fun. Or do a metalwork course, or woodworking. Anything is better than sitting inside at a computer, which is what I default to without the woman.

Ordered some more Gundam models after the last 3 months waiting debacle. The MG Ball and HG Hygogg. Doing panel lining on my RG 0079 Gundam. Waiting for those should make this month a little more exciting.

It’ll be fine.


Hero of the Hour

Starting to settle into the UK now. Feel like I made the right decision to come over. Things are good. Lot of my initial worries relieved. Having lived with the woman for 3 weeks, it’s been great. Relatively painless. I am glad we kept it together this long. It only took 8 years to move in together.

Projects are all successfully in  – the Ruby on Rails project is a pass, which is great. Had to put it back from the Monday last week to the Friday, as I started my new job last week. I was also hoping to get internet in the house, and not have to present in a YMCA reception. But in the end, I was able to demo it. Got asked some tough questions on it, but all the time I spent re-learning and debugging helped me answer these. Nevertheless, it’s basic. I do want to go back and develop more stuff, because I don’t want to be stuck doing helpdesk crap for 2+ years. You can see it here:

Don’t think Ruby or Rails are bad languages or frameworks, just that Rails is hard to work with. It’s undoubtedly quick and powerful if you follow the cookbook. The server-side development project at least ties in with the web development I’m doing for the new workplace. At the moment, it’s just HTML, CSS and javascript. But good that they want to train me in it. Starting new elements of their website this coming Monday.

The Android project for my final dissertation ended up being basic, but at least I had tested it with accountants and gotten their feedback. And the features all worked. But presenting it over Skype in that same YMCA was pretty shit. I hated being seperated from my development environment, and getting everything set up and configured was a real pain. This was particularly hard on slow, weak unsecured wifi, on a 5 year old laptop. Ended up having to hack together a solution to get the Android emulator working on the dated iGPU – this has fucked the video a bit, but it’s fine. It’s over now.

Results for that will be coming in September, I think. Maybe October. If I end up being failed on the Android project, I don’t think I will be able to pass by compensation, and I have to repeat it next year. Which would suck. But to be honest, so much has changed in these last 12 months, I may not be in a position to do this.

Got some major props from the woman for being able to keep it together during this study, new job, moving and support her. That’s good.

She got me a book of Eastern European recipes that has produced real winnners.

Job is OK – 2 days a week web development. 3 days in a architects studio supporting 100 users. Fucked a switch and cabling at 5 pm Friday when I was due to leave for woman’s birthday. Stayed until 6.20 fixing it. Probably be fine.

Critical Path

Over here since Saturday now. Bath is very nice.

Lot of stuff to get set up in the first week of emigrating to another country – bank accounts, utilities, phones and internet. Along with registering with the National Health Service and the tax/benefits authorities. All these activities are interdependent, but some are more vital than others. Some can be done in paralell.

The length of time of time to complete all of these essential elements is the “critical path” – less essential items can be delayed without affecting the essential elements.  We have a week to get as much as we can organised.

At the same time, I have to present two final projects remotely. One is the Server Side project I’ve been struggling with, and the other is the final dissertation. The Server Side project was a simple shopping cart I made in Ruby on Rails, but the lecturer was dissatisfied with it and said he wouldn’t pass me. He gave me another 4 days to rework it and present next Monday. So that’s a pain, but it’s better than having to wait a whole year to repeat it.

The dissertation project is a simple financial analysis tool with a calculator made in Android studio. A lot of it hinges on the presentation and how I can spin it. It’s very basic. I hope to pass, at least. The project is 10 credits, while the Server Side module is 5. I’ve passed everything else this year, and plan to get out with a Honours grade. I can compensate for 5 credits failed. At this stage, I need to get moving on life in the UK, and can’t devote more resources after next Monday.

I think I decided about March this year, once I had gotten a job, that the course was not worth keeping up. Didn’t feel like it was getting me employable skills. I realise now that I was still recovering from the breakdown I had getting out of Big 4. It took about 6 months to be pain free and feel normal again.  I guess it was ambitious to be working full time post March and trying to attend college in the evenings and weekends – this was exactly what fucked me up in Big 4. But it’s nearly done now.

The project management techniques I learned in Big 4 were great for making reports and charts, but as we’ve discovered as lifters and mopers, you can’t plot a 5lb gain on a lift forever. Real life has a habit of getting in the way. And you can’t ignore fundamentals. Guess I’m just not as smart, organised or able as I thought I was at 21. Glad I’m making that realisation at 25 and not at 45.

The Georgian building we are in has a large overgrown garden. Before I went, got a gift of a Mora knife and a Swedish axe from some friends. I am in the process of clearing out the garden, which will probably take a few weeks.We share the garden with 2 other apartments – obviously they had no interest or ability to clear it. The garden has a small amount of trash dumped in it, and some glass bottle and beer tins. If I clear it out, will it just become a nuisance for us? I can’t be around to police it all the time. So I am thinking just a cut back and a minimal clear – no scultping, and enough to make people uncomfortable. Would like to be growing herbs and vegetables next spring, but soil and light likely unsuitable. We’ll have to see. Have cleared a small space to dry clothes, at the very least.

The 200 year old building has an extensive basement and cellars. Never lived somewhere with a basement before, so this is very exciting. Might see if I can check the temperatures for some brewing. It’s dank, as expected of an unoccupied 200 year old basement so probably have to clean it out before using it.

If it doesn’t go well, and I fail the college year, I guess it’s just a setback I have to deal with. There are other things on the table that I have to focus on.