Thursday, August 22, 2013

Typhoon and upcoming trip

Last week we had a T8 day. A pretty big typhoon skirted by Hong Kong and the whole city shut down for a good part of the day. The typhoon wasn't even that close to the city but it brought high winds and scattered showers. As the typhoon got closer and closer on Tuesday, we had a T1 and then the T3 signal. I think the whole city was checking the HK Observatory, which posts the official weather warnings the entire time. I had a feeling that we would get a T8 so I didn't even bothered to cook lunch for the next day. I think the T8 signal was put up sometime around midnight. I remember being woken up by sudden rain a couple of times at night. We got the whole morning off and I took the time to write entries in my training logbook. Our company's official policy is that you don't have to go to work if the signal is still in force at 12:30pm. The signal was lifted at around 2pm so I technically didn't have to go to work. I still went up to the site to take a walk around to make sure things are okay. I had to go out to buy groceries anyway so I thought I might as well. Things were not bad at site actually. The contractor's staff came to site as well and just hung around.

I really doubt we will get another one this year as typhoon season is waning. There is currently another one on the radar but it's pretty far away.Anyway, can't wait for it to actually become autumn. It's been cooler the past week after the typhoon but it's just been so humid that I'm usually soaked in sweat after making one round around the site. I've been going through multiple shirts and pants throughout the day.

I went back to the office last Saturday for a class offered by the company on making presentations. The class took the whole day, which is long but that gave a good amount of time to go through everything. I really don't like classes that have to rush through things because they don't have enough time. Anyway, this class was different from the basic presentation skills class I attended last year because this one was focused on the elements of a presentation and how to put one together. It's not really about presenting but how to capture your audience with visual aids. I like how the company hires external consultants to run these courses. These specialized consultants usually have very nicely prepared material. The course came with its own workbook, which looks like a really nice hardcover book. I thought the most interesting part of the course was thinking about how to present qualitative ideas with good visuals. Hopefully I'll have the chance to make use of all these new tools.

I managed to book my train tickets and hotel for my Marseille trip. I'm going to have some time after the conference to do a couple of day trips near Paris before going out to Marseille. I think it is definitely cheaper to travel around Asia than Europe. I had a hard time finding a non-sketchy place to stay in for Marseille. Even dorm beds in hostels were 30-40 Euros a night. Budget hotels are not really budget and had all these sketchy reviews. Hopefully the place I picked is okay.

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