Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cast Away

Hey there plamo nerds! I must apologize for the lack of updates on the blog, but if you've been following my facebook page you'd know that I'm on the other side of the planet right now. Work has me on a quarter-long deployment to the company's facility in California, and while that may sound pretty great from a career standpoint, I'm not so psyched about it. Last time I was here I got to take my wife and kid along, but as school wasn't out until the end of March they could not come with me. These trips are part of the nature of my job, and as such I must expect to be called to the front lines every now and then- but this is the longest I've ever been away from my family.

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Work here is much more hectic than back home. If I'm not in a meeting, I'm busy getting ready for the next one - which can either be in the conference room next door, in a building at the other end of the campus, or at a separate facility about an hour's drive away. The other day I had to attend a virtual meeting while being physically present in another one. Whenever I get the chance, I sneak out of my designated room and find a quiet spot at one of the less croweded buildings on campus, just to have time to actually accomplish something. I can't complain because that is how it seems to be for everyone else here. We've got starbucks on tap, but I'm beginning to suspect its just the company's clever ploy to keep everyone heavily caffeinated and buzzing around like worker bees.

I've got a rental car and I can drive around Silicon Valley and do some sightseeing on the weekends, but the more I take in my surroundings the more I am reminded of how far away I am from home. Then again, it would be a waste not to go out and revisit San Francisco when it's just a few miles away from where I stay. It's a beautiful city, and I could spend all day wandering the streets and just observing the locals going about their daily lives.

I should be having a great time, but not being able to share the experience with my family puts a damper on everything. Sorry if it sounds sappy to all you manly men - my wife also happens to be my best friend, and anyone in a relationship as deep as ours would understand. Not having her with me on any kind of travel is just not the same. What I look forward to after a long day at work is having a meal with my family - their breakfast time is in sync with my dinner, and we set up a video call so we could eat together as if I was sitting at our dining table back home. My son celebrated his 5th birthday earlier this month, and had his first ever moving-up ceremony in school a couple of weeks back. It just kills me that I wasn't there to celebrate those moments with him.

Anyhow here I am just chilling in my hotel room, trying to keep busy during my days off. On a particularly lonely day I decided to go out and buy a Playstation - for my son of course - but as he isn't here and it was just going to sit in the box accumulating dust for months, I thought it best to take it out and test it - you know, make sure everything works. I am glad to report that the unit and all its components work just fine. I'd put it back in the box, but as it was already set up, I thought I might as well keep it that way for the duration of my stay to keep me company. I have named it "Wilson".

In the days that followed I downloaded more apps into Wilson, and although he is not particularly good at holding a conversation, he has been keeping me fairly entertained. Monster Hunter is a blast, but then I got hooked on Warframe. The biomechanical designs are pure eye candy, and the fast paced space-ninja action is right up my alley. I did in fact bring a couple of kits and some basic tools with me, but with Wilson being so needy I haven't made much progress on my build. I'm working on a stocky design this time, in contrast with the slender Kitsune. The main components are from a 1/100 Gusion/Rebake kit, and I'm still scouting for parts that might suit the design.

It's shaping up to be my largest mecha to date, and I want to take my time with this one and just let the ideas flow without worrying about a deadline. I've been bingeing on Netlfix and Crunchyroll while building, and I've gone through most of the titles that interest me. I happened upon that Takagi-san anime somehow, and although slice-of-life stuff isn't usually on my playlist, I found it unbearably cute and nostalgic. Blame it on cabin fever or homesickness.

I've got a month to go still before I fly back home, so I probably won't be posting much until then - but there's a bunch of new tools hitting my facebook shop page that you can jump on right now (if you're in the Philippines that is), and you can look forward to more tool reviews in the months to come!

Until next time, keep building plamo!

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