Friday was my last day at Barbon Insurance Group Ltd. A company named after the guy that invented Fire Insurance, Nicholas Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon. I kid you not! (Incidentally, the change of name to BIGL, for short, had nothing to do with me handing in my notice. Although I have to admit, I had an urge to come in on my last day with a set of flying goggles, reminiscent of the famous fictional pilot, Biggles.)
Just after I handed in my notice, I left my desk for a few moments and when I returned I discovered an Evil Monkey sitting on my PC. (see right) Oops! My bad! He left again shortly afterwards. No doubt after realising that I wasn’t Chris Griffin.
My boss, Steve, (strictly speaking my boss’s boss) gave a wonderful farewell speech that talked about the projects I worked on and my accomplishments since I started with Lumley, which was then bought over by Erinaceous, which was put into administration and split up, and ultimately became Barbon. He also said that it would have been nice if the business had actually allowed most of these projects to come to fruition and be put live. I completely concur with that sentiment, perhaps I would have felt more useful if it had. As it happens, only one of my projects went live (and it works very well I’m pleased to say). I have to say that I’ve enjoyed working with everyone in the development team immensely. I’ll miss the camaraderie most.
My colleagues in Glasgow had a whip round and signed a card (see below) when I was down in Lincoln training up the developers there in how to use .NET. They raised much more than I expected so when I left they gifted me with an Ubuntu Linux 8.4 64-bit server install DVD, a Granny-Smith apple (the only apple I would accept [for the uninitiated it was a joke on my opinion about Apple Computers]), a T-shirt with “I survived
Lumley Erinaceous Barbon” written on it (see left), and a Wii Fit. I felt really appreciated that gift because I know that Duncan had spent a lot of time phoning around and ultimately queuing for ages trying to get one, and his wife was most understanding also.
After work, we went to the pub for a couple of drinks where Frank, my immediate boss, joined us after returning from holiday. We headed off to The Spice Garden, an Indian restaurant just across the Clyde to have an excellent meal. I have to say that the staff there are very pleasant and helpful and the food is great. I have to admit that my experience of Indian restaurants has generally not been good, but this place really makes up for it. The only thing that I would give as a negative is that it is directly under the tracks for Glasgow Central Station so you have trains rumbling overhead every two minutes. The best thing is that they do take-out as well. Did I mention the food was great!
When I returned home I was full, but the Wii Fit was beckoning. I decided that I would watch an episode of House first in order to let my food settle, then I could at least set it up and start using it the next day. When I went to set it up, I discovered that it would only give me measurements in imperial units. I don’t understand those but I could not discover a way to change it. After going on line I discovered that by changing country it could change units. Apparently the United Kingdom is set to imperial. There were many forums of irritated people complaining that to use the units they wanted they had to change the language to Spanish – so they had a choice, a language they could not understand, or a set of units they could not understand. I eventually discovered that by going into the Wii Settings (for the whole console) and changing my country to “Australia” I could get the Wii Fit to display kilos and centimetres. However, that wiped out my settings for the Weather and News “channels” on the Wii. Apparently it was freezing in Sydney last night. Well, it is winter over there…