Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jane Austen TV

So Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park are coming to the UK boob tube sometime soon. I unfortunately have to wait until November to see them. Sigh. At least the not-so-evil-homework will hopefully be done by then (more on that later). Looks good so far...

Friday, February 23, 2007

New furniture!!

We bought this on sale at London Drugs.

KOOKY: 2 out of 3...

Normally isn't so bad, except when the third one is the one that took the job and then took another job leaving us high and dry, and on the hunt for yet another person.

Yes, one of the people who we gave a job offer to decided to take another job. This happens all the time, and he has to do what he thinks is best for him. However, that means that the person that I was going to dump some work on next Monday won't be there. And we have start looking all over again. Sigh.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

KOOKY: The interviews

I am now a resume expert. I am also an interview expert. After looking through many resumes and participating in five interviews in the space of three days, my brain has turned to mush.

We're hiring three new people to help with the overflowing workload. I've participated in interviews before (even interviewed my own boss), but this is sticking in my brain right now and I thought I'd put it down while I still remember them.

Some things that I've learned sitting on the other side of the table that I want to share with those looking for a job:
  • Anything and everything on a resume (including history gaps) is fair game in an interview. You put it down, you should be able to explain why it's there or why it's not there. Those of you who are thinking about lying or stretching the truth, we'd actually picked through the resumes carefully and noticed inconsistencies. And asked about them.
  • If you don't understand the question, please ask to have it clarified.
  • It's actually okay sometimes to say that you don't know the answer to that question. It does pay to be honest, even though it may be a strike against you.
  • Listen carefully to the question and make certain you answer it fully, especially two-parters.
  • This is your chance to ask questions about the job/company/work environment/your boss. Because you're the one doing the asking, this actually tells a lot about you that the interview questions may have missed.
  • As someone looking for a potential candidate, I actually like specific examples as opposed to vague generalizations. Specific examples help me get a better sense of who you really are and where you're coming from. Anyone can spew out vagueness.
  • Look on the Internet for interview questions. There are a ton out there. I looked so I could generate some interview questions, I certainly am not creative enough to think of some on my own. And above all else, practice your answers.
  • For those of you looking for techie positions, you will be asked techie questions. You may even have to demonstrate your skill through written tests, scripting, verbal answers, etc. If you say you can do something, be prepared to prove it. (The Internet is also great for this type of stuff.)

Nokia 888 Concept Phone

Now this is cool. I don't know if this will ever come out to market, but it's certainly thinking outside of the box.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The year of the Pig

Today is Chinese New Year, the year of the Pig. Hubby is a Pig.

For me, this means family dinner. We had hot pot with my parents and my sister last night. Tonight, another dinner with my mom's extended family.

I personally am not a big fan of Chinese food. I eat the good stuff at least once a month. Anytime the family wants to go out for dinner, it's usually Chinese food that they want to have, hardly ever anything else. Blergh.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

And time marches on...

Here's a little update on what's been happening in the last little while.
  • Work drama still continues, but at least now when we turn over rocks, we're not getting any ticking bombs. However, the whole team still feels stressed out. I certainly do. It seems that someone's head may roll for this mess.
  • Amongst the work drama, I've been frantically trying to organize interviews for the team. At least half of the interviews aren't even for my work, they're for someone else, but I work with a bunch of men who rather do techie stuff than any administrative work, no matter how small. We need these extra people, even before all the work drama started, so I was the one that did the bullying and got things organized. So ladies, if this is sounding familiar, it's not just a guy thing at home where you ask him to take out the trash and he only does a half-ass job, it extends to the workplace as well. Men in general are just lazy creatures. My husband is the exception, of course =P
  • Evil homework has taken a back seat to all my work overtime that I've been doing. Sigh.
  • My back has good days and bad days. Today is a not so good day.
  • The weather is warming up. I saw flowers poking their heads up from the ground last week, I'll see if I can take pictures.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

KOOKY: Moving day

Today myself and two other people moved to an office that was right next door to where we were before. The movers came to take some old wooden desks out from storage and outfit out new digs with enough desks for the three of us, plus the new guy that we have yet to hire on.

They were eager to move lots of furniture and other stuff. However, when I told them that we were suppose to move a couple of white boards over, they said, "No, it's screwed on to the wall. We don't do that. The carpenter's suppose to do that." The carpenter's coming tomorrow to move the white boards over. I so love working in a unionized environment.

I knew I should have brought my power drill. Sigh.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm sorry, but this thing is hideous

Apparently it's exactly 3 years to the day when the Olympics start in Vancouver. They'd unveiled the countdown clock today, and it's suppose to remain where it is as a landmark after the Olympics

The thing is hideous.
And frankly, boring looking.

I seriously was thinking about leaving town during the Olympics, one of the venues (I think figure skating) is being held at UBC, where I work. Parking will be hell, and the entire university will probably stop functioning, using the Olympics as an excuse for not doing any work. Never mind that, the whole city will shut down. But it looks like we may end up staying in town after all. We'll see, 3 years is still a long ways off.

My Husband Rules!

I'm totally drowning in work drama, and I've been pretty pissed off the last couple of weeks, and hence, very stressed out.

So after coming home after leaving work 2.5 hours after I was suppose to (I by the way get zero compensation for this, I was doing this out of the goodness of my own heart), I come home to chocolates from Sen5es! He said that he hates seeing me all stressed out, so he bought chocolates to help me feel better. Plus, since it's just before Valentine's Day, he got them at expensive Valentine's Day prices.

I'm totally anti-Valentine's Day (too commercial), and hubby knows this, so this is definitely a help-Weed-destress present! I have the greatest husband evah!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jane Eyre deleted scenes

I'm still debating as to whether or not to buy the DVD when it is released in Region 1 format. Apparently, the Region 1 DVD is going to be just the TV production, without all the extra bits like the deleted scenes and the commentary. Booooooo. This will be the work of PBS.

Thanks goodness for the internet. Some people in the UK have just received their DVDs and, bless their hearts, have shared all the good stuff with the rest of the world. Thank you! whoever you are!

All the deleted scenes from the Region 2 DVD

And my favourite Ruth Wilson scene. It's not my favourite because it's romantic, it's my favourite because it highlights what an awesome actress Ruth Wilson is. This scene was one of the last scenes they shot for the adaptation.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Borg does Jane Austen

Is it wrong of me to get all excited that my favourite Borg Queen, Alice Krige is going to be in the upcoming Jane Austen adaptation, Persuasion? Alice Krige plays Lady Russell, and while I'm not too fond of Lady Russell the character, I LOVE Alice Krige.

Not everyone knows that there are actually two women who play the Borg Queen: Alice Krige and Susanna Thompson. Alice Krige only played the Borg Queen twice, once in the movie First Contact, and again in the final episode of Voyager. The rest of the time, it was Susanna Thompson.

In my opinion, Alice Krige is the better Borg Queen. She definitely creepier and seems more regal and refined for some reason. Just like a queen. In any case, I met Alice Krige a few years ago at the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, and she's really beautiful. I even got her autograph. I'm still chuffed that I got to meet her.

In any case, I apparently have to wait for the 2007-2008 Masterpiece Theatre season to start before I see the new adaptation of Persuasion. Boooo.

For all the Jane Austen die-hards out there, they are also doing new adaptations of Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and my favourite Jane Austen novel, Northanger Abbey (finally!). I can't wait!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mindless Web Browser Fun

Go to any webpage (preferably one with not too many images), clear the address bar on your browser (where you type in the URL or http address to get to a website), and copy and paste the text below into the address bar. It should be continuous, with no carriage returns (the text is just wrapping on your browser, but is really one big long string). Then hit "Enter", and watch the fun start.

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5; DIS.top=Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

As fun as it is, this is yet another reason why you shouldn't trust javascript showing up unexpectedly anywhere, it can reek havoc on your computer.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

KOOKY: I see mountains!

This is essentially the same view as from the other post, but now I'm one floor down and sightly east of the position where the other picture was taken. This is a view out of someone's office window. Unfortunately, it's not my office window.

No, we IT folks get to live in the dungeon, aka the basement. Make that a windowless basement. In order for me to see what the weather's like outside at any given time, I have to walk down a hallway and up a flight of stairs. My manager's not any better either, although he does have his own office.

My director's the lucky one of the bunch. She has windows near the top part of one wall. Enough to let some light in, but not low enough for her to see through. Plus, she has the good fortune of having to share an office with someone else. How the head honcho gets windows and a roommate is anyone's guess.

KOOKY: A definition

In my last KOOKY post, someone asked if the picture of the buildings is UBC. Yes it is. I suppose that some of you started reading my blog after my initial KOOKY posts, and may not know what I'm referring to. So here's an explanation:

I work at UBC, in the Faculty of Medicine. The Faculty of Medicine is roughly divided into what I like to call "The Golden Triangle": academic, research and clinical.

Academic is the area where the programs are run: eg, medical school, physical and occupational therapy, midwifery, etc. Students learn, faculty teach.

Research is the area where people (many faculty who are a part of the Faculty of Medicine) do medical research.

Clinical is the area where there is real health care taking place: doctors (also who are faculty) and nurses treating patients. Although I also believe clinical trials fit in here as well.

Because we are a public body, we have to follow the Golden Rule: The BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FoIPoP"). (We also are governed by the University Act, but that describes how a university is to operate, and doesn't necessarily dictate how IT operates). University polices exist that we normally stick to, but they are also based largely on FoIPoP.

Under FoIPoP, there are two areas which affect us directly (loosely translated of course, don't take this as an absolute translation of the law, I have lawyers at work that will tell me exactly what I'm suppose to do/not do):
  1. Thou shall not store any personal information on servers outside of Canada (Section 30.1)
  2. Thou shall not allow clinical data to be accessed or stored in the same place where non-clinical data is stored or accessed. (Section 35)
As you can see, this cause a lot of challenges for IT folks, and something we need to always be conscientious of every day in our jobs.

Now, where does "KOOKY" come into play? A Hitched poster, who has been working at UBC for a while, once told me that working for this place is kooky, so I decided to use the term for this series.

As much as I would love to tell you what really goes on around here, a lot of it would just get me into big trouble; it's not really different from any other company anyways. But unlike a private company, a university is a unique alternate dimension unto itself, and you have to work for one to really understand how "special" it is. In any case, I try to keep it light and fun.

Is this place political? Oh yeah. The politics, as much as they affect my job, still amuse me after almost two year. Working in a unionized environment (even though I'm not union) is interesting in itself too. According to my Association, I'm still underpaid. Plus, lots of other fun stuff goes on. And again, all these also pose IT challenges for us, and are equally as kooky to try to accommodate.

So stay tuned for more KOOKY-ness!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I spent about 16 hours this weeks staring out at this view. There are normally mountains behind the clouds, but today there was fog creeping in. It gave me a focus to keep my mind from going numb. And trust me, having my brain go numb was the highlight of the week.

I'll see if I can sneak into the room later to get a picture with mountains.