Blogging At 35,000ft

I’m at an altitude of 35,000ft as I write this, sitting in a cramped seat in row 25 of an Airbus A320. Fortunately, I have a window seat to help break up the monotony of air travel, for the less-than-wealthy. Equipped with my M1330 laptop, I performed a quick space test of the fold-out tray in front of me. There is absolutely no way this laptop will fit on it. By the same token, the 0.5” thinner profile of the MacBook Air wouldn’t fit either. It’s all about footprint, not thickness. There, I’ve had my daily jab at Apple and at the same time scientifically proven my point. I’ve even attached a photo of what using a M1330 looks like on a plane. (For some reason, I don’t think photography is actually allowed on flights, so shhhhh.) Moving on.


Really not much space, even with the notebook on my lap…

I woke up at the painful hour of 6am this morning. Morning rush hour traffic can be unpredictable, so I figured I should play it safe rather than end up sorry. After arriving at Pearson very early for my flight, I went to the Terminal 1 Starbucks to pick up a light breakfast. The thing is, I don’t drink coffee – I rarely go to Tim Horton’s even, which is practically a crime in Canada. Given that, it was only natural that I became a bit overwhelmed by the beverage choices and their weird size-naming conventions. Whatever happened to small-medium-large? I ended up with a “regular-size” (Tall in Starbucks-speak) hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant, which I quickly consumed.

I also experienced my first run-in with the metal-detector ‘wand’ today while going through security. The culprit? My belt. In what was the most troublesome security check-in for me, I also had to remove my shoes. Perhaps it was the large amount of electronic devices I was pushing through the X-ray machine: laptop, battery, camera, MP3 player, BlackBerry.

I’ve been passing the time here reading a book a friend lent to me, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. From what I’ve gotten through thus far, I think it’s prudent to pick it up for my own personal book collection, which reminds me, I need to start a book collection. I’ve also decided that we need to look at building cities in the sky, à la Cloud City from Star Wars. It would always be sunny that way, as my burning lap is telling me.

And although I’m writing this on the plane, I’m clearly not going to be able to publish this until I land at my connection in Halifax. I’m still patiently waiting for the day when Wifi becomes prevalent on flights.

Mobile Weekend in Waterloo

You can read about the event in more detail at the Mobile Weekend website, but in short, it is a weekend for developers, business types, HR, bloggers, and legal to get together, decide on an idea for a mobile service or product, develop the idea, and end up with a working prototype at the end of the two-and-a-half day event. This is an innovation and entrepreneurial event for people all around the Waterloo region. If you’re interested, tickets to the event (which will get you access to the event itself, food and drink for the weekend, and swag) can be had here. There are also some resources to help any developers prepare for potential projects on the Windows Mobile, RIM BlackBerry, or Google Android platforms over here.

Mobile Weekend

I heard about the event through a co-worker yesterday and was immediately interested in the idea. I visited the site, looked through some of the Innovation Toronto and Startup Weekend events that it’s based on and decided it would be a fun and exciting event to contribute to, if as nothing more than a web developer/blogger/idea generator. The first Mobile Weekend event will be held in Waterloo on the weekend of April 25-27th. A subsequent Mobile Weekend will be held in Toronto, with the date to be determined at a later time.

You may not be from Waterloo, or even the southern Ontario region, but perhaps you know someone who is and would be interested in this sort of event. Let them know! This will only be a success if lots of bright minds get together to work on all aspects of the product or service, not just the geeky, techy side of it.

Novembre

I feel like I should be keeping up my French so there, that’s my quota for the month.

So maybe you had it where you are as well, but at Bell Mobility, it was Bring Your Kid(s) to Work Day today. Now maybe I did or maybe I didn’t write about this in the past, but a co-worker made the joke that when they first saw me at the office, they thought it was Bring Your Kid(s) to Work Day. It obviously wasn’t back then, but today, I feel like perhaps many people thought the same thing again, except this time seriously.

Allow me to put this in perspective.

In the land of lots of people (Ontario), they mostly become unfriendly; that means no saying hello or chatting with (almost) strangers. Working on the Bell campus with multiple thousands of people pretty much guarantees that I won’t get to know more than a handful of the employees. It also means that I rarely say hello to people. Well not today. As I was standing around waiting for a few friends to go out for lunch, I had a couple employees smile and say hi to me in that ‘oh you’re much younger and very innocent’ sort of way. Clearly they thought I was some person’s son, there at Bell Mobility for the day. I even got quite a few looks from the kids, no doubt wondering who I was, and why I had a full employee pass and not the visitor pass they were wearing. Keep in mind, these kids are in Grade 9. Oh how sad.

So aside from that, and playing foosball with some of the kids, I had a pretty uneventful day. Towards the end of it, I got ridiculously tired for some reason. It just sort of hit me all of a sudden. I was feeling fine during the morning, but around 3-4pm, I couldn’t function. My brain couldn’t comprehend any of the inputs it was receiving. I was reading a research paper on mobile messaging and I don’t think I processed one word from all the stuff I ‘read’. I’ve been sleeping pretty well so the only explanation is someone put something in my water.

What else could it be?…

Headache

I arrived this morning at the office to be greeted by a flurry of emails, press releases and articles about what had just happened. The company had annouced that it would be converting to an income trust. Yes, BCE Inc. Canada’s largest telecommunications company would be reorganized into an income trust to increase shareholder value and stay competitive with Telus, which has also recently announced that it would convert to an income trust. It hardly (actually that should read does not) affects me since I hold no options or shares of BCE, but for most of the full timers there, this has a big influence on their holdings. Hopefully it’ll be for the best.

I’ve been getting the recommended 8 or so hours of sleep each night this past week and I feel great. No more drooping eyelids during the afternoon at the office. I feel totally awake just about all the time now. It’s great not to have to fight off yawn after yawn. If you’re feeling tired all the time, seriously, just catch a little more shut eye. I bet you do have the time if you just plan your day a little better. An hour or two is really not that hard to waste at all, but an hour or two can really make a difference when it comes to sleep.

But I guess I just can’t be left alone. I awoke Tuesday morning with a rippling headache on the left side of my head. Now this in itself is slightly worrying as I extremely rarely get headaches. When I do get that occasional dull pain, it usually goes away after an hour or two at most. This time would be different. It lingered with me the whole day, which already got me worried. I thought a good night’s sleep would make it all better, but to no avail; I awoke this morning with the same headache around the same area of my head. I have no idea what’s going on. It’s getting better I think, but it does pop up now and again. A two day long headache cannot be normal.

I wonder what could be wrong with me?