Hixie's Natural Log

2005-10-31 22:11 UTC Past and Present

I moved into my new flat last week. Part of that involved buying a bed. Goodness gratious. In the name of all that is sweet and pretty. How can beds be that expensive.

It's a nice bed though.

In my living room Kerz and I have been setting up a model railway. There's nothing to report yet, but I'm sure eventually I'll be putting pictures up (I put up some pictures of my railway as it stood in Oslo back in April). At the moment it's just on the carpet, but eventually we'll put it up on some big boards.

After going to a bunch of places we found a shop in Redwood City called Loco-Boose, run by a couple, Hal and Rhonda. Great people, very helpful, and they had lots of what we wanted in stock. We'll definitely be going back there. Kerz got the limited edition Union Pacific dual-head ALCO PA-1 Diesel (37610 and 49610). It has surprisingly realistic sound effects, which is a lot more fun than I expected. I got a ton of rolling stock: some more Swiss cars to let me make longer Swiss consists, and a total of fourteen Union Pacific box cars (all individually lettered) to go with Kerz's train. Kerz's insistence that his trains should be realistically long resulted in us having to design the layout so that our yards have arrival/departure tracks of at least 240m (to scale, which is actually about 2.7m). That's insanely long. One day I'll have to get a warehouse or something to have a real layout.

On the weekend I watched a video of a meeting held in Boston last week about Open Standards including ODF and the Massachusetts issue. An interesting meeting, with people like Steve Bratt and Tim Bray.

After watching this video, as well as other events recently, and reading Web logs and stuff being said by companies in our industry, I have decided that anyone who says the word "innovation" must pay a $5 fine per utterance. The term is being used so much recently that it has lost all meaning. It seems that if you're not "innovating" these days you must be irrelevant. Makes you wonder what we've all been doing these past few millennia! Everyone seems to have become paranoid that other people might think they're not Innovative. You see speeches and press releases all the time from companies who are desperate to defend whatever it is they are doing as being Innovative.

I can't wait to get a bill from PG&E (the electric company) with an attached letter reassuring me that PG&E are an innovative company, with innovative services, and that they are innovating new ways to bring us innovative electricity innovatively.

People. Please. Sometimes it's OK to just do things well.

Other things I did this weekend include seeing Flightplan, the movie, which was much better than I expected (I've been putting off seeing it for months). The underlying plot is somewhat unlikely but since the movie doesn't really focus on the plot that's not such a problem. The term that came to mind after I watched that movie was "come hell or high water".

I haven't thought of that expression in a while. Another expression that I ran into (while watching the aforementioned video, actually) is "the elephant in the room". An innocent phrase, but I find the image hilarious. I've been in many meetings where you could really picture everyone sitting at a table discussing a seemingly important issue while a great big elephant was standing in the corner, being conspicuously ignored by all involved.

I also made a Halloween costume, thanks to an idea from Eira. I'm not very good at costumes, either in having an idea or making it, so I was thankful for the help there. Google today is pretty funny since about a third of the people here are wearing costumes, and the other two thirds are trying to act as if everything was normal.

Incidentally, this Web log entry naming scheme (which I've been using since January 2005 on more and more posts, but which few of you have probably noticed anyway) turns out to be really quite hard to use if you write rambling entries about multiple subjects. So I might start using another scheme if I keep up this style of writing instead of doing the more focused approach that I've done in the past.