Out With the Old

The last two nights we’ve been preparing our house for new flooring. We wanted to save some of the installation costs for the new floor by moving our own furniture and removing the existing carpet and wood laminate. Connie and the boys were part of the project as well and it was nice to have their help as it was significant. It was just really a lot of work, but thankfully it is completed and ready for the new floor today.

The first night we moved the furniture from the dining room and living room. It always amazes me when I do this because I underestimate just how much room the furniture takes up. So now we’ve got things packed everywhere making it difficult to maneuver through the rest of the house (which you want to do to avoid the concrete floor). It also makes eating a little more challenging with both tables out of reach and packed with items.

Last night was the removal of the carpet that we put down in the house when we first moved in almost thirteen years ago. We’ve raised four kids on that carpet and it shows. I think that anyone that has ever removed carpet has probably sworn off the future use of it. It’s like you never really clean carpet, you just push the stuff down to the padding below. Pretty disgusting really. The biggest challenge though was the removal of the tack strips along the walls. Ouch. My back is sore this morning.

Needless to say, we are really looking forward to getting the new laminate (and tile entryway) installed. The new laminate is the thickest kind and so we expect it to have better acoustics. I’ll post a few pictures when it’s all said and done.

Travelling Light

I’m not one to pack too heavily when I travel.  I tend to bring the bare minimum necessary. I know it will probably catch up with me one of these days, but I just don’t like to lug extra things around (which is probably a very subjective thing). This time around wasn’t any different. The $40 in US cash that I brought to Finland came back with me and I never even followed through with my original intent to purchase some euros (they aren’t cheap). One other way that I minimized my baggage is that I left my laptop at home.

So how did a programmer make a one week trip without a laptop? I brought my Windows 8 RT tablet instead. I left my desktop on at home as well since the only meaningful thing that I can’t do on my tablet is run Visual Studio and the Hyper-V emulators. Fortunately, the built in remote desktop software worked great and allowed me to work on software projects when I had the time. Beyond programming, I was able to use a USB cable to connect my T2i in order to copy pictures of the camera. IE11 and the Office 2013 suite worked great as well. Even when I needed to share files with a co-worker, I was able to plug in a flash drive to swap files. Watching shows, playing games and even editing photos was all there.

What was also nice was the all day power without plugging into an outlet. I would charge it up at night and it would last a full day of work during meetings. The only negative with regard to power was the lack of a AC plug on my flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta. After several hours of use on the train to Helsinki and flight to Amsterdam, I just didn’t have enough power to make it to Atlanta. That wasn’t the tablet’s fault though. I did bring my wireless mouse that I use with my work laptop and that made long sessions a little easier.

The whole experience made with wish that I had either the Surface 2 or the Surface 2 Pro for the additional power and battery life. Not because of anything necessarily lacking with the Gen 1 tablet, but it would be the little extra to make the experience even better. Good trip though and I’m emboldened to leave my laptop home even more often.

Kiitos Tampere

It’s been a good week in Tampere, Finland. I’m working with another company on the development of a new software product and this week I met together with them. One is returning to Australia and the other to Canada in the morning, but I’m headed home first. Even though I really hate being away from my family, this was at least a productive and enjoyable trip and my co-workers are great people to work with on this new technology.

Just like my last trip to Tampere, I enjoyed the city a lot. The food was very good and my walks each evening in the city were very relaxing. This trip I did order reindeer steak at one of my meals and it was good, but not any better than normal beef steak. The breads were excellent as usual. The temperatures were a little higher (or maybe not so low) this time around. With temperatures just above freezing (mid 30s most of the time), the snow was gone from most places and the lake only had a little ice left (certainly not enough to walk on).

I didn’t take as many pictures this time around since I was out with others that weren’t photographers. Still it was fun to photograph some of the same locations sans snow. Given that it’s really not fully Spring there, it’s not as green as it will be in a few weeks. This will have to do.


Stop by for a few words on what is happening with the Callahan's.

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