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Strange trousers

5 December, 2010

The universe sinewaves between treating you well and, as Pingu once observed, otherwise. But, depending on where you start, you can choose to interpret this as the universe doing unpleasant things to you in order to set you up for something good.

I had to go to UL to take part in a poster session. I was quite grumpy about this: I had to buy smart clothes, get up at stupid o’clock and stand about in the cold and I only spoke about my poster for a few minutes.  And I took my camcorder, but the guy I was supposed to be recording was too busy to meet me. And I’d booked a night in a Limerick hotel in order to help Howell with some code the next day, only to find that a) he’d already finished it and b) he was busy acting as a bouncer for an all-day Important Meeting.

So I was feeling gloomy, cold, stupid, poor, fed up and not really sure what I was doing there.

But then I got some good news: permission to collect some data from a Real Company*. So I ran about like a headless chicken trying to get the paperwork sorted out and some flights booked at very short notice. And this is where it gets strange.

Right now, down the other legs of the Trousers of Time, I am variously: sitting on a Dublin Bus stuck in a snowdrift, asleep on the cold floor of Dublin Airport, desperately trying to borrow a camcorder, making a bad impression by turning up to do research in some grubby jeans, looking at a board telling me that my flight is cancelled, and despondently paperworkless because I couldn’t get hold of my supervisor.

Instead, I flew blithely from Shannon** to Heathrow*** with my smart clothes**** and my toothbrush***** and my camcorder****** and my paperwork*******, as if it had been planned that way all along. And I’m writing this in the Real Company’s office while some Proper Data transfers onto my hard drive. And I feel like the universe must have set this up on purpose, because it’s really quite ridiculous.


* This is a Really Big Deal. In my field, too many studies are performed on compsci students instead of professional developers, because it’s much easier to arrange and doesn’t involve all this running about.

** because I was in Limerick. Shannon Airport stayed open, Dublin Airport closed down at about 5.30pm.

*** because my passport was back in Dublin, but Aer Lingus accept a drivers’ licence as ID and they fly to Heathrow. Heathrow stayed open, Gatwick didn’t.

**** from the poster session that I didn’t want to go to

***** from the overnight stay that at one point I’d concluded had been a total waste

****** that I’d brought because of the (cancelled) meeting

******* achieved by intercepting my supervisor outside the Important Meeting, aided and abetted by the bouncer

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One comment

  1. […] their code. I’m delighted that, after many months of networking and hassling people and leaving the country at very short notice, I’ve collected a decent set of videos, screencaptures, interviews and questionnaires (if you […]



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