Yes, today was the 7th Christmas since I left Innovance Networks, one of the funnest (is that a word?) and most interesting jobs I've had in years. Since the mid 90s, I have generally been managing or directing teams to build software, which doe snot leave much time for me to code (the most fun you can have outside the ... well, you know.)
But the 18 month interlude that was Innovance saw me building a component of the fault management system (forward and reverse data indication messages to isolate a light path interruption to a single circuit within tens of seconds) in C++ ... I build a simulator to allow me to do all my testing in software and was able to bury myself in technical minutiae for months and months. It was great.
But what made it even better was the team ... from our manager Paul and down through my team mates Harold (with whom I have worked in different companies for almost 20 years), Martin, Joseph and Yuren. All smart and interesting people and darned good at their jobs.
So when the company slid under the waves, we scattered to the winds ... and Paul has brought us together for a Christmas lunch every year since that time. We always meet at Haveli's restaurant in Bell's Corners, a wonderful Indian buffet. We always have a great time.
Unfortunately, Yuren, Martin and Harold were detained today, making it just the three of us. And here are Joseph and Paul ... left to right. Shot with the Fuji F70EXR.
And here is the whole team from last year (2008) ... shot with the Canon G10.
Bottom left, going clockwise: Joseph, Martin, Harold, Yuren, Paul. The observant will note that Paul got the same table this year :-)
Until next year ...