Day 35

Not too much to talk about today. Mostly worked on a presentation for work.

And Hilary and I got the internet working in the condo. You may recall that I am in Sweden. So, had an epic 3-hour troubleshooting session 3-way between Hilary acting as my eyes and fingers in St Paul, and Comcast whom I was doing tech support chatting with, and me brokering it all from Sweden. I’m guessing the Tech Support guy was in India. But, the Comcast guy stuck with it the whole time, as did Hilary. So, took a lot of grit all around, but there is working internet and wifi in the condo! Woohoo!

Also, people talk a lot about how bad Swedish beer is, but the craft brewing craze is finally hitting here, and this one is quite good!

Day 7

So, wow, day 2 at work went by fast! Clearly, because I didn’t post Day 7 on Day 7 … What did I get done today …?

I got a Swedish phone number from work (and I’m just fine letting them pay for it). I switched my US number to the T-Mobile Digits “virtual” app. Not quite as free as Google Voice, but I was able to do it in Sweden since I was already on the T-mobile network. Then I just swapped SIM cards and BOOM – Swedish phone number (and, more importantly, full local 4G data plan!).

I also got my Mastercard from the bank, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to activate it. So, I need to go into a branch. Except that they are only open from 10am-1pm, and I have meetings over that slot for the rest of the week! “Bankers hours” for sure!

Surprisingly hard adjustment …

As I mentioned earlier, I have my work computer in hand and have been working a little bit on it. Which. Is. Killing. Me. And I want to tell you all why. Full disclosure – there’s a lot of whining ahead. My work computer came with a Swedish keyboard. Even though all the work is done in English, it’s got a Swedish keyboard. And, after almost 30 years of regular typing, it turns out that muscle memory is a hard thing to change. Specifically 3 main areas:

The top keyboard (annotated in yellow) is my work computer (Swedish). The bottom (annotated in red) is my personal one (US).

  1. The shift key is half the size on the left side – the only side I use. So, basically every time I’ve gone to capitalize something, I’ve typed a < or > instead.
  2. The dash and question mark keys are reversed. WTF for?
  3. The return key is vertical instead of horizontal. So, yes, just about every time I go to type a return, I get an apostrophe instead.

These variations have had a HUGE impact on my ability to communicate. For somebody who types 40-50 WPM, that’s a LOT of extra re-work. That sounds dramatic, I know. But for everybody that relies on writing for a living, you know this is a huge PITA.

Anyway, this is surprisingly challenging, and might be second only to language in terms of barriers to feeling “normal”. And, yes, I’d love some cheese with my whine. 😉

Day 1.5

I forgot to share something interesting. All the food had barcodes, so I was able to do the self-checkout (which is great when you don’t want to fumble with Swedish with the cashier). So, I scanned and bagged, and on the way out noticed that it was blocked by a gate with signage that told me I had to scan the barcode on the receipt in order to open the gate. Pretty slick approach to preventing the grab-n-go at the lightly-staffed self-checkout lanes.

Evernote Test

So, I’m trying out the Blogo client for WP.  I’ve always liked a thick client.  Blogo has a feature that you can save a draft in Evernote, edit there over time, and then pull it back in and publish it from Blogo.  This is the Evernote authoring workflow that I thought I wanted a long time ago.  And it’s still useful.  It allows you to edit the post on any device that you’re syncing Evernote on, and then, when ready, pull it back and post it.  Now I’m going to go look at IFTTT recipes that may be applicable …

Socializing

So, I went to a conference this week.  Turned out to be a really great one, but the way to ask questions was to tweet them to a hashtag.  I didn’t have a Twitter account.  Wasn’t sure I wanted to.  But I did want to ask questions. I did (and still do) think that I’ve got enough internet in my life, between this blog, a derelict Facebook account, and LinkedIn.  I didn’t feel like I needed the Twitter.  And I’m generally opposed to the wholesale harvesting of my content by the T&C of these services (hence this blog).  But, I decided that the Twitter would be more of a professional exercise than a personal one, alongside LinkedIn, and that seemed reasonable.  There were not going to be any pics of my kids on Twitter (or Facebook for that matter), and nothing personal.  Of course, the internet being what it is, what you put out there is out there forever, but at least I’ll keep the personal stuff to the site that I own.  And so, on to tweetering.  Or whatever.  

Modern Diesels Rock!

Just a simple observation. Coming back from Leroy (without the bikes hanging off the car), I got the following average MPG in my 2009 Jetta Sportwagen.

At 55 mph, I got 48 mpg.
At 70 mph, I got 44 mpg.

All with no battery, and running on biodiesel.

Go TDI!