A space to post my thoughts and musings about anything. This includes but is not limited to community, politics, current events, dating, GLBTQ issues, favorite things, and stuff that would make your dead relatives blush. I am not afraid to go there, as some can attest.

September 27, 2007

A Nice Break in Routine

This week I have been attending the International Blaise Users Conference in Annapolis, MD. There have been presentations on the new version of Blaise that is coming out in a few weeks, including a new way to program a stand-alone survey that won't require our software. It involves a lot of XML work, so it's a good thing I took some training on it. There's other enhancements they have made to the existing language that I would like to try out because it looks like one of them will be useful in a survey that I work on. I also have plans to test another survey in the new version of Blaise.

There have also been a variety of papers and demonstrations presented at the conference, everything from programming tips and tricks, to tools that could enhance some features of Blaise. I'm in talks with someone from U of M to obtain a tool they're using for error reporting and "playback" (have the tool use the keystroke log to go through every keystroke in the survey up to a certain point) to see if it can be modified for our own usage.

There's been a number of social events as well, so it's meant lots of networking; if I ever decide I want to move to another country, I might have a shot at finding a job as a Blaise programmer. There's folks here from Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, France, South Korea, Finland, Australia, and elsewhere. Last night I went off to a haunted pub crawl where we had a tour guide lead us to known haunted spots in Annapolis such as the Maryland Inn, St. Anne's Church, the State House, and the Sly Fox pub, and at each place we would hear stories of tragedies that had struck someone and sightings of spirits that had occurred. While it wasn't scary, it was entertaining, and who knows, maybe when I bring up my pictures on my computer I'll discover an extra subject in the photos.

Today is another tour of places in Annapolis, tomorrow a few of us are going sailing on the Chesapeake Bay in the early evening. After that, it will be a nice weekend, then it's back to the old grind Monday morning. Already I have some work cut out for me because of course no one calls me with problems except when I'm out of the office!

I am so back on the dietary change Saturday, I've been a bit bad this week, though I have kept some form of discipline for myself.