<< November 2001 January 2002 >>

Monday 31 December, 2001
# First thing done! I made a list.

Damn, diverted already.
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# Back to "work" - old boss Frazer came back from XML2001 with a crazy-arse suggestion, which in the absence of anything else I've taken up, even as the drowning man grasps at a straw. Or something. There's a million things I could do today, but most of the can be done later or don't really need doing at all. Must stay focussed!
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# Three bonkers things I saw while walking Badger on Christmas morning -
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Tuesday 25 December, 2001
# Merry Christmas
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Friday 21 December, 2001
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Wednesday 19 December, 2001
# The next time a sixtysomething complains that things arn't like they used to be respond by saying Do you mean bondage then, Grandad?

Ah, Betty. Ta muchly, Pete. Although I'm familiar with Miss Page's photographic charms, this delightful little film is my first Betty movie too.
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Monday 17 December, 2001
#[Arabica] Cut a new release of SAX in C++ - mainly bugfixes
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Thursday 13 December, 2001
# Damn those Chrystal bastards! I built something just like this for them and they killed it. Didn't take me two years of effort either. Oh poo!
angry_john said Errr, don't you still have the source code ? Mangle that namespace to com.jezuk and away you go :) [added 14th Dec 2001]
I have absolutely no comment to make on that. [added 14th Dec 2001]
smellygit said It's not like there is anyone left at Chrystal who would know what this 'source code' you speak of is for! [added 16th Dec 2001]

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# Interesting day yesterday with Mike. There's definately some work needs to be done - I just have to work out what it is, and he just has to work out how to pay me for it.
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#[Arabica] Updated this website - jiggled the navigation around and things. Should be a little easier to use. I also started work on some better examples.
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#[Arabica] I've been doing some work on a XML to C++ data binding generator, similar to Zeus or JAXB, and have got it going for simple DTDs. This will form part of a larger toolkit called Arabica (thanks to Mr Singleton) which will consist of SAX2, DOM, DTD parser, various handy codecvt facets and other XML and Unicode type goodies.
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Friday 07 December, 2001
# My Mum thought that I hadn't written anything here for a while because I was depressed. At the time she said that, I'd have said no I wasn't I just didn't have anything much to say. Most of this week I would have confessed to being pretty miserable.

I went back for a second interview at Swapswire and fully expected to be offered the job. I spent two and half hours with them, wasn't aware that I committed any obvious don't-hire-this-fool howlers, and afterwards the agent told me that they'd liked me best after the first set of interviews. Well, I must have cocked something up, because I didn't get it.

Not being offered a job after an interview hasn't happened to me before, except on a couple of occasions when I didn't want the job anyway. No reason given, they'd interviewed eight, picked four and that was that. Piss!

In the past, when finding a new contract has been going slowly, I've half-jokingly said nevermind, I can always get a high-paid job in the City, but never actually had to. This time I was all set to do it - I was geared up to spend my time shuttling up and down on the train, staying in crappy hotels during the week, being away from home too much, all that kind of thing. I'd even started to sort of look forward to it - I could go and see obscure films at the NFT, find a Tai-Chi class, shop at PC Bookshop, that kind of thing. Ready to go and do it, but I didn't get the call.

So I'm six weeks into looking for a new job, and just blown my one chance. Past experience says December is a rotton time to try and find work. Even when positions are advertised, nothing happens until the New Year because of the various distractions of Crimbo. So realistically, I'm unlikely to be back in work until mid-January. By then I'll have been out of contract for 12 weeks, which will make things even more difficult. Most agents seem to operate under the assumption that programming is less like riding a bike than it is remembering a string of random numbers. As soon as you stop working, all your knowledge just dribbles out of your head and runs away. I can see an endless round of
agent:So how much C++ experience do you have?
me:About 10 years, on Windows and various Unixes
agent:But you programmed in Java in your last job
agent:And that finished in October
agent:But this is a C++ position, how much C++ experience do you have?

So I was miserable. Sorry Mum.

Anyway, I was all set to write this sorry story this morning, when Mike, my old boss at Berlitz, rang. He's in the angel investing game now, dispensing his accumlated commercial wisdom, business know-how and plain old hard cash to start up companies. He's working with a company who need some software written, and he thinks I might be the man to do it. Hurrah!

Feel much more cheerful now.

prashton said Every cloud, etc. Two weeks before Christmas is not a good time to be job-seeking. Think of all those poor ex-Enron folk and how miserable their season will be.

Cheer is a Christmas sentiment - grab it! [added 9th Dec 2001]

peteychap said If it's any consolation, loads of people I know, self and yourself included, are having a shite November/December. It'll all be over soon. I pray... [added 14th Dec 2001]

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