Feb. 26th, 2017

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One of the most common errors in computer science is an off-by-one error, and I did just that on my journey from Wellington to Cambridge, having everything booked (flight, shuttle, departure) one day out-of-sync. All was resolved quite quickly, and I was absolutely astounded by the Nyrid staff who caught my email at 6am and managed to collect me at the Hamilton airport. Thus began the beginning of four days in the company of this extraordinay company led by Matthew Simmons and Alex St. John. In my considered option they are following very good start-up logic and are developing some rather impressive disruptive technologies, and I have found need to comment on length on both of these features. It is a constant and powerful working environment there, dedicated on their goal, and the mostly young staff are very sharp. It must be immediately noted that the company really looks after its staff, with two evenings in succession at The Good George, and a recruiting BBQ today which is all worthy of note.

I've been hosted at the remarkable Earthstead villa, which appropriately includes Ian McKellen's name (aka Gandalf) in the guestbook. Yesterday was a day off from my usual schedule and Nyriad took me and Andreas Wicenec to Hobbiton. It was, of course, a wonderful location and great to have the set kept in place and obviously enough I took a few photos. The Green Dragon Inn was a particularly nice touch. The tour, however, is guided and is all over within a couple of hours - we were fortunate to arrive early as the queues later on were quite substantial. I am somewhat conflicted between the obvious need to explain the filming and set and how the very same destroys the magic of the film, and downright mocking of the apparent need to slap a trademark on everything ("Hobbit Holes (TM)", really?). I couldn't help but be a little disappointed by the sheer indifference of the tour guide when I pointed out that Bilbo's door lacked Gandalf's rune.

Later in the afternoon wandered around the small town of Cambridge which continued its very English style (town name, nearby Hobbiton) by distracting me with a regional game of cricket. Seriously, I can imagine hobbits playing cricket. The local team was quite successful bowling out the opposition with a lead over one hundred runs. I must confess a conflicted relationship with sport. I love the pace and skill involved in Australian Rules Football, and enjoyed playing in my youth as a defensive half-back line player and occasional ruck-rover. With cricket I enjoy the narrative, the gradual unfolding over summer's day to five. It was another game of my youth, and played the role of an unorthodox opening bowler who would bowl spin as well as the typical pace (opening batsmen were often very confused as a result). In both cases however, as much as I could enjoy watching and playing such sports it was aggressive competitiveness and boorishness common in both players and especially fans that put me off. I suspect I am not alone in this assessment.

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Diary of a B+ Grade Polymath

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