Okay, I’ve been very slack, I know.
But I do have an excuse – not a terribly good one, but it’s still an excuse.
Let me explain by describing what’s happened since I last blogged.
The day of my last post (Tuesday 19th) I travelled down to Melbourne to present at a seminar on the Wednesday for some of our business partners. I flew home Wednesday night.
On Thursday evening, Leanne and I flew to Auckland NZ, arriving after midnight by the time we got to the hotel.
On Friday I presented at a seminar for our business partners in Auckland.
Saturday and Sunday were spent with Leanne doing not much at all.
Monday (25th – ANZAC day), I took Leanne back to the airport just before lunch and then headed back to the hotel.
That’s when things started getting interesting.
I arrived back at the hotel just after 1pm to discover that housekeeping were still cleaning my room. Not unexpected, so I headed straight out again and walked down the street to get some food.
About 15 minutes later, I got back to the hotel and found that housekeeping had finished, so I went back to my room, and sat down at my laptop to do some work. I noticed the screen was a bit dim, so I went to check the power settings on my ThinkPad (in powersave mode it drops the screen brightness to conserve batteries – and sometimes it stays in that mode even when plugged into power). I noticed it was showing “running on batteries” mode – so I checked the power supply thinking that housekeeping had knocked it out of the wall. But it wasn’t there. mmm.
I looked around and it was only then that I noticed that my laptop bag was missing. *panic*. There was a laptop in that bag ! I carry two laptops with me – my primary laptop used for my day-to-day work and a second laptop used just for demos. My demo laptop was in that missing bag.
I hurridly looked around the room to see if it may have been moved – checked everywhere, checked inside my suitcase, in the cupboards, everywhere. I thought damn, housekeeping have stolen my laptop.
I called the hotel front desk and asked them to send someone from security up – the girl arrived in a couple of minutes. I explained what had happened, and she explained that she was already aware of something being taken from my room – the housekeeping staff had reported it.
She went away and came back a half hour later with photos from the security system – and explained exactly what happened. I won’t go into details, but basically a guy came through the lower lobby of the hotel and searched a couple of floors before coming across my room being cleaned on level 5. He entered, found my laptop and left before the housekeeping staff could do anything about it (apparently they panicked a bit).
The guy actually got lucky – my main machine was out on the desk, but was chained to a chair using a Kensington security lock. I forgot to chain up my second laptop and left it in the bag. I’m guessing he grabbed the bag to put the laptop in before he realised the laptop was locked up, but then found that there was actually a laptop in the bag he had.
Fortunately there was nothing important on that laptop (other than the hardware itself) – so nothing confidential or personal was stolen. It’s still a pain in the proverbial though.
The hotel arranged for one of the concierge staff to drive me down to the police station to submit a report – the police didn’t seem terribly interested, but took the report and the detailed information supplied by the hotel. When I got back to the hotel the manager had left a bottle of wine on my desk for me. hmm.
When I got back, I realised that the guy had grabbed the power supply off my main machine (hence the dim screen), and I originally thought my primary power supply was in the laptop bag that was stolen – I thought he may have both power supplies. Fortunately, I found my secondary power supply still in my backpack (which explains why he took the one from the desk – there wasn’t actually one in the laptop bag). Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to get much more work done that trip unless I was able to find a spare power supply to borrow.
After that setback, I was finally able to get to and do some work preparing for my meetings on Tuesday. Tuesday morning I went and met with one of our business partners until around lunchtime. That afternoon I spent in the IBM office catching up on emails and stuff, and found out from our local BP guy over there that the meetings I was originally going to be attending on Wednesday had been cancelled.
My original plan was to fly home Thursday morning so I would have all day Wednesday for these meetings. Since they had been cancelled, I was able to bring my flight home a day early – which was quite handy, since I really wasn’t in the mood to be staying in Auckland any longer than I had to.
The early trip home worked out pretty well, since my uncle had died on the weekend, and the funeral was in Loxton (SA riverland) on Thursday morning. I was able to get a flight home from Auckland early afternoon on Wednesday, which got in around 3pm – meaning I was home by 4pm.
I picked up Leanne from work at 7pm, got home, gave her time to change and get her bags together and then called a cab to take us to the domestic terminal at the airport where we got on the last flight to Adelaide at 8:40pm. It was touch and go for a bit, since she first didn’t realise that her watch was about 10 minutes slow and was late coming out to meet me when I picked her up, and then after we got home she realised she had left her wallet at the office locked in her draw. We got the taxi driver to drive us past so she could run in and pick it up on the way to the airport, and fortuantely the traffic wasn’t too bad, and we were able to check in pretty quickly, so we made it with plenty of time.
It was nearly 11pm by the time we got in to Adelaide, got our bags and picked up the hirecar, and then we drove for an hour down to Murray Bridge to my parents place, where we stayed the night.
Up really early the next morning to get ready and on the road soon after 8am – it was a 2 hour drive up to Loxton and we got there early enough to spend some time with my Dad’s other brothers and their wives before the funeral at 11am. The service was nice, but rather formal in the typical Lutheran way. Lunch afterwards was a busy affair with lots more people attending than they had catered for. There were heaps of relatives there who I didn’t know – cousins and aunts / uncles of my Dad and such. About the only good thing that comes out of funerals is it tends to bring family together – so it was great catching up with my aunts, uncles and cousins.
We drove back to Murray Bridge that evening in time for a late tea. Friday morning we headed down to Adelaide and drove past our properties there, checking them out and seeing if there was anything obvious that needed attention on the outside – one of our houses needs a new roof, and we had to make a decision about the type of roofing we were going to use. We compared what was there already with what many of the other houses used in the neighbourhood and decided on zincalume roofing with colourbond guttering and downpipes.
After lunch we headed up to Echunga in the Adelaide Hills to Leanne’s parents place – where we spent Friday night. Saturday afternoon we drove back down to Adelaide and spent a couple of hours with Leanne’s aunties, her grandfather and one of her cousins, before heading off to the airport at around 4:30pm. We caught the last flight home to Sydney and got home around 8:30pm feeling very tired.
Sunday morning we got up early and went to Leanne’s sister’s place for breakfast with their cousin and her family. Got home around lunchtime and got stuck into catching up with all the paperwork and such that had accumulated while I was away.
This week I’ve had as time off … self-funded leave actually – essentially leave without pay but with the “without pay” bit spread over the entire year to make the impact less dramatic – a nice new benefit of working for IBM. I’ve spent the time working on my 2nd uni assignment – a 2,500 word reading log, which I finally got finished this afternoon in time to put it in an Express envelope and mail it – it’s due on Monday, but they won’t let us email our assignments in *sigh*. If I wasn’t able to get it done in time, I would have spent the weekend finishing it off and just driven to the uni on Monday and handed it in in person – but I really didn’t want to be doing that.
So now, I’ve got the weekend to spend on other things (might even find time to go catch a movie!). It’s been a really busy couple of weeks all up !