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20 Dec 2003: Best Laid Plans



It seemed as if the Universe itself had decreed that, by hook or by crook, I would fail the exam. Of course, I don't know if I have failed the exam yet, I won't know until February. I could reel off a list of obstacles and annoyances that were thrown into my path over the weeks running up to the exam. Nothing can rival, though, the king of obstacles, actually getting ill the night before the exam. I think it was mild food poisoning (mild meaning I didn't need to go to hospital) and it kept me awake nearly all night. So with headache, fever and lack of sleep, I sat the exam. Ideal conditions.

Christmas is just around the corner, but this year I'll actually be working. Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan but I usually take a day of holiday leave anyway. This year, however, I thought I'd give a real Japanese Christmas a go - that is, going to work! I'm sure it will be super exciting.

Technical corner! You may notice the little XML logo appearing on the title page now. That's the link to my RSS feed, which you can plug into a News Aggregator (I am currently trying out Sharp Reader which needs the .NET runtime). If you're not familiar with an RSS feed, the simplest description is that it's a summary of the latest changes to a website. The News Aggregator will read any RSS feeds you want, and tell you when those websites have been updated. I currently subscribe to Slashdot, BBC News, Joel on Software and Baghdad Burning. This isn't the only change coming; I hope to look at upgrading the site design, and get rid of horrible HTML tables in favour of CSS tags.

Movie corner! I got to see Matrix Revolutions. I enjoyed it. Many people didn't it seems.

No pictures this month, as I've been dedicating all of my spare time to Japanese revision. However, here's a blast from the past, a page from the Kasumigaseki Building's Liaison magazine. While I was working for Wilco International (now ADP Wilco), I got roped into appearing for the monthly pamphlet that the building published. Some important points to note: that's not my desk, it's Nakatani-san's with all her stuff removed; I didn't work in the Kasumigaseki office at the time the picture was taken, I actually worked at JP Morgan offices in Akasaka; I had to smile for five solid minutes while they took the desk picture. My face hurt after that.

Kasumigaseki Liaison Magazine, featuring three Wilco employees including me