Typical day of our “vacation”, today for example:

  • alarm clock goes off at 7:30 am after coming home late the previous day and sleeping only 4 hours.
  • get ready, put clothes on and leave. We had to be at the house early because the carpet we ordered for our apartment is supposed to be delivered  in the morning.
  • work, work, work (clean kitchen, remove old and yucky things from all over the house).
  • actually start to wake up couple of hours later.
  • more work, remove old carpet from our bedroom and the living room.
  • yet more work, take piles of trash downstairs.
  • guy from VW dealership calls, my car is ready (yay!). I go there, drop the replacement car, get my own.
  • more work, clean the garage, rearrange the insane amount of trash bags so I can actually move in that room in the basement.
  • walk to the VW dealership, pick up my private car which I had left there, drive it back home, get back to the house with bus and train, fall asleep in the train coming really close to missing my stop, waste 2 hours in the process.
  • the carpet is finally delivered. Of course, not in the morning as expected. If we had known, we would’ve slept a bit longer. Great.
  • more work, help paint the yucky red tiles we had in the kitchen.
  • go quick and get some small pizzas at the nearby Hoagies.
  • yep, more work. Paint the ceiling in the kitchen.
  • drive back home, stop the the Kaufland to get a few things to eat.
  • write post, take shower.
  • drop dead.

Moving desks

Today I am moving to another desk. Again. I think I moved at least 5-6 times since I am here. At least this new desk is at the window ;-)

Here you see another advantage laptops have, you only have to move a docking station and a monitor. You don’t have to crawl under the desk after cables, desktop PC, etc.

Kinda busy

This week things were very busy at work, there are all kind of problems in the current GETVPN deployment. But I can’t complain, to be honest. I like this better than looking out of the window without anything to do. Besides, I think this is the best way to learn. I am directly involved in the implementation, testing and troubleshooting which mean I got deep into all kind of concepts which I would not have touched otherwise. That will do me good since GETVPN is part of the study material for my SNRS exam, which I have to pass before end of March.

It’s interesting to see how such a huge project takes place when you are on both sides of the fence, Cisco and the customer. We are working as Cisco engineers on customer’s premises so we have an unique view of the whole project (the technical part anyway). On the other side, I can’t help noticing major differences in the way an american corporation (Cisco) and a german one (the customer) work internally. At Cisco, working remotely (via VPN) is a non-issue. Each laptop has the VPN client installed by default. There is a big part of the employees who are mobile workers so remote access into the Cisco network is perfectly natural. That’s a big difference compared to the customer (and many other german companies) where it’s incredibly hard to get permission for something like this. I have never seen more paranoic people than the germans when it comes to security. But anyway, we do what we can.

In other news, it seems the car will be ready around thursday next week, at least that’s what the guy at the VW dealership told me this morning. I planned initially to drive to Utrecht for my training  but in the end I decided to go by train. The time is the same or even less if I think I could get into some big traffic jams on the autobahn. And I will have time to read something, watch a movie, etc. I think last time I was in an ICE train was many years ago, it should be interesting.

Enough for now, it’s late so I guess I just go to bed.

Solid metal bar – 1, Me – 0

Oh well, this had to happen eventually to me too I guess, my first “accident” since I am here. And who’s fault is it ? That’s right, mine.

It all happened saturday evening when we were working at the house. I realized I had to buy some more stuff from Toom so I got into the car and I tried to get out of the parking. Another car was coming from the other direction (still in the parking) so I tried to squeeze between the guy and the parked cars. I passed (a little annoyed since he was driving on the middle) but shortly after that I didn’t pay enough attention and I passed too close to a tree. Which tree had some thick protection metal bars. Which metal bars impacted my car (notice the blame shift …). I was not driving fast, maybe 10-15 km/h but enough to mess up really bad my left headlight, bumper and side.

I backed up (with the torn remains of the left-side bumper and headlight hanging and I parked again. Then I got out of the car and admired my masterpiece. This is exactly what I needed, what a mess. You could not drive the car anymore because parts of the bumper were scrapping badly against the left tire. After realizing the bumper and headlight won’t magically put themselves back together just by me looking at them (and after Freya managed to get me a bit out of my dark mood) I resigned myself and called the police. They arrived after 15 minutes or so, two of them, a woman and a guy. The police car was also a Passat but it was in one piece, unlike mine which was in .. many. Of course they asked me if I had something to drink and the guy actually checked. What kind of idiot drinks and then calls the police ? I guess they tried their luck.

Anyway, there was not much to report since no other car was involved. They just told me that I might get a fine from the City if they decide to press charges for me hitting the tree protection bar !! I could not believe it. They actually looked at the metal bar but it was obvious that I was not the first, there were all kind of paint marks on it. In the end they probably realized how stupid that sounds and they dropped that. Then they wished me luck (Gee … thanks!) and left.

All things considered, what happened next went better than I expected. Saturday and Sunday I could not do much, but monday morning I went to the local VW dealer. The car being new it has a 3 year warranty and some other kind of VW insurance on top of that. The guy was very helpful, he registered the whole thing and we called the ADAC. The ADAC dudes were very quick, in less than one hour the car was standing in the dealer’s parking. Free of course, that’s why I am a member. In the meantime I had called the insurance and registered the accident. I gave the neeed info to the guy at the VW dealership, I got the replacement car (they have to give you one if they can’t repair yours in 3-4 hours) and that was it. When I got home I just let the carfleet people at my company about the vent and now I am waiting to be called when the car is repaired.

It’s a shame, poor car. It had only 7km onboard when I got it from the company. But I guess Murphy was right: “If shit can happen then shit WILL happen

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