Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Back on the road again

Sunday 6th Feb off To Vancouver to do work on global I.T. Budgeting, I am flying via London (lets not even begin to talk about having to get a transit visa -  so that I can walk from one plane to the next) and then onto Vancouver, I have been there before for an IT managers Conference so It will be really neat going back to a city I know.

Going back to the visa's let me tell you; applying to travel somewhere as a South African is akin to Mission Impossible, I have had to fill in numerous online forms, then print them out and take them for face to face interviews to see if I am an undesirable or an undesirable pretending not to be one, or a human trafficker/drug lord/mercenary/terrorist with an unpaid speeding fine all of which I kid you not are questions asked on said forms, and while I am vehemently denying all these things on the form the internet some how decides that you have taken too long and lo and heholf you are presented with......


So you start again answering questions about your name, your date of birth, both your parents names dates of birth, spouses names and date of birth, kids names dates of birth (dont have any - thank heavens  or the form would have expanded exponentially) where do they live, are any of these people traveling with you.....


Start again..... Parents nationalities, ID numbers, have you ever been involved in crimes against humanity, supported terrorists or encouraged terrorists in any country, glorified terrorist violence, war crimes, genocide, are you involved in human trafficking, are you coming to XYZ country to become involved in human trafficking, start human trafficking, are you involved in drugs or the distribution of drugs, are you coming to XYZ country to get involved in the manufacture or distribution of drugs,have you  done anything that may indicate you are not a person of good standing, kicked the dog, dropped the sugar bowl, Yes I am definitely going to tick YES to one of the above.

Do not tick yes to the one asking if you have any "criminal offenses in any country including traffic offences"  tick YES I have had a speeding fine .... and a whole page appears.... tick NO... *poof* no page......


Start again....................have you  traveled outside of you country in the last 10 years if so detail exactly where, when and why, do you have any friends or family in the country you are going to visit - DO NOT ANSWER THAT ONE 20 more pages suddenly expand out of the form; I did, I have friends and family is said country; Names, addresses, how long have they lived there, how long are am I staying there, who is paying for my stay, If it is me; do I have enough funds for the stay, do they mow there lawn regularly.... OMG - I just remembered I don't have any friends or family.... so tick NO and voilĂ  the form shrinks down by a whole page.....


Start again....................Who do you work for, full address, telephone number, email, what position do you hold at said company, what is your job title, please give full details of all qualifications you have relevant to this type of work, please give full details of all work experience you have relevant to this type of work....



Start again.................... how much do you earn/how much do you have in savings/how many bonds/how many shares/what is your income from the shares/value of property....


Throw up lunch over keyboard

Start again.................... blah blah blah blah, have you ever had medical treatment in XYZ country - Yes I was on holiday and thought I would have my tonsils out on the free Health system offered then I took in the sights and came home..... I mean what the hell !!!!!


I would make a copy of the form and post it but the shortest form was 14 pages long..... 14 PAGES, and then you have to give them finger prints, the colour of my underwear, what I had for breakfast, and then it takes 10 working days to process.....


I then go onto Denver to help setup their I .T. Budgets as well.

Great news is that I am going to make a side trip to Seattle To visit an OLD school friend that I haven't seen a trip to the U.K. in 1981 which makes It about 30 years ago, Its rather ironic but at 52 all ones old friends are indeed OLD Friends, so I really looking forward to that visit.

Back at the bench

In the meantime Back at the workbench, I am working on a three stone tiffany ring started in a previous entry , so far I have the setting  basically complete this Involved making three individual settings the two side settings are 3 mm high and 3 mm in diameter and then joining them to the main central setting - for this I was taught a rather interesting technique, in that I drilled 0.7 mm holes in the sides if all the settings then threaded a piece of 0.7mm wire through the holes, this gives them support and holds them in exactly the porition I want them to sit while I solder them, it will also give the structure strength.

Unfinished setting

I have started working on the shank of the ring - already onto the second iteration of the shank as I wasn't happy with the first, and that is where it will sit in a holding pattern until I return from my travels or is it travails, only time will tell

First failed attempt at a split shank

Second attempt, still a way to go