Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A day at the office

I had to crank myself back up to speed today, for a spell at the day job. That is easier said than done as I've had a bit of a sore throat & cough that stopped me sleeping well for the last few nights. Anyway, my day job is at Auckland University's Clinical Trials Research Unit where I head up the data management team. We look after the researchers database requirements and also provide services to external customers such as local bio-tech companies, for randomising patients, collecting and cleaning data to FDA standards and so on. The Unit runs trials of drugs and other non-drug interventions such as new methods to help smoking cessation, or to improve exercise and nutrition. Today was spent partly in meetings and partly programming a nutrition calculator for one of our researchers to run against a database of best selling NZ foods.

All good stuff, however I've been working there for 15 years now in various positions and you tend to see the same sorts of issues repeating so it's not as interesting as it used to be. That - and also due to the "lets go live on a barge in France" plans that I've yet to blog about - are why I reduced to part-time in January this year.

Besides the day job there have been other things keeping me busy, and yesterdays wandering thru bookshops and scoffing in cafes was a rare treat (honest). March-April and half of May was spent renovating the aforementioned pension fund (rental property) after the tenants moved out. A quick makeover turned into a mammoth project, as these things are inclined to grow. I spent all my spare time organising tradespeople and weilding paintbrushes. Theres also the work for Filmscan. It's not consistent yet but we had a busy patch in March/April that helped with the renovation fund. Actually, its not too bad being paid to watch people's holiday photos and wedding pictures. I can think of worse work to do.

On a different note, temperatures plummeted last night, from an almost balmy 15-17C we had been enjoying for a few weeks. A pile of wood was carted in and we spent the evening enjoying the first open log fire of the season. TV news showed heavy snow further south. (It rarely snows this far north we just feel a bit colder at this time of year). Internally, we warmed up with a steak and Guinness casserole I had the foresight to concoct in the afternoon. I don't usually cook things that need more than 30 mins advance warning.

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