The end of transition

When I left Sun back in March, I started a new blog category Transition to document the transition to… well, back then I didn’t really know. I wasn’t worried about it, anyway.
Tonight I think I’ll post the last entry in that category. Tomorrow I have to return the rental car SUV that I’ve been using as part of my relocation package. I’m pretty much up to speed with my new job at, the furnishing of my apartment at Uwajimaya Village is essentially complete*, and I’ve joined Flexcar**.
OK, there are some important things that I haven’t got around to yet. I haven’t signed up with a physician or a dentist, for instance. Nor have I chosen whether to sell my Subaru or ship it from Massachusetts, but I don’t have to decide that for a few months.
And next week I’ll be making my first trip back to Brookline since I moved out here. I’m really looking forward to seeing Tommy and his parents. I’ll get a chance to see what Merry’s been doing to the house, and check out the condo that she’s hoping to buy in the New Year. And inevitably there are a few things that I want to bring here from Brookline; I’ll probably be shipping back a box or two.
So, overall, things are in great shape. The process of relocation has been virtually glitch free, and I’m way ahead of where I expected to be at this date. (Were I superstitious… but I’m not.) Here ends the transition – I’m already working on the next chapter.
* I’ve still got to get one more bookcase, a stand for the TV (something like this or this would do), a few more lights, and some curtains to hide the rather ugly blinds. IKEA owes me a slip-cover for the sofa. Nothing urgent.
** I’m still waiting for my membership materials. I’m looking forward to trying out this system; I’ll be sure to blog about my first trip.

Counting chickens prior to hatching?

From today’s New York Times

Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, the money was not spent.

Victoria, Werner, roses, and seaplanes

My friend and former colleague Kate has been visiting for the last few days, and on Sunday we decided to visit Victoria, BC, to see an old mutual friend. It takes a couple of hours on a fast catamaran ferry, and we got there at 11:15. Werner Bahlke met us at the terminal, and we headed into town for lunch.

Kate and Werner

The three of us used to work together at Sun Microsystems in Chelmsford and Burlington, MA. Werner moved to Victoria about four years ago, and after some interesting “virtual company” experiences he’s really settled in there. (His office is in a wonderful location overlooking the outer harbour.)

After lunch, Kate and I explored Victoria, cameras in hand. You can see a selection of the pictures we took here. I’ve merged the two sets of pictures, then sorted them by the time they were taken, so occasionally you’ll see different shots of the same object. Two sequences of pictures are worth noting. First, we visited the rose garden next to the Empress Hotel, and I tried a series of macro shots. Then we took a path along the west side of the inner harbour, from where we could see the constant arrival and departure of ferries, kayaks, harbour taxis, sailing boats – and seaplanes! This stretch of water may look like a harbour, but it’s really an airport – and a very busy one.
rose seaplane

Our northbound ferry had been almost empty, but when we lined up to board the return, we could see that the boat was going to be pretty much full. Presumably a number of people had been in Victoria for the weekend, perhaps as an “add-on” to an Alaska cruise package. In the depressingly prefab terminal building we saw new security equipment – airport-style metal detectors and X-ray machines – installed but not yet operational. There were also signs everywhere about the plans to require US citizens to carry a passport when visiting Canada; there are fears that this will hit the tourist business very hard. For now, Kate was able to simply show her driver’s license; I had my passport and green card.

Despite the crowds, we found good seats and had a smooth journey back. At one point everybody crowded out on the stern deck to see the bioluminescent diatoms that turned our wake into a shimmering silver trail. Very cool. What a great day.