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This is how you're going to reach out and get a hold of me unless you already know me, in which case... why are you here, just pick up the phone. 

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Ottawa, Ontario

Just a little corner of the interwebz where I occasionally jot down a thought or two. Why do I do it? Partly to communicate in some way with you, the reader, and partly because it's some sad way of leaving a legacy of some kind I guess.



North to Alaska

Jonathan Tom

I have to admit that I didn't think I would find myself back in Alaska so soon. After leaving the Koningsdam and flying home to pay my taxes like the good citizen I am I was shortly thereafter recalled to cover two weeks on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Now this ship hold a special place in my heart since it was the first HAL ship I had the pleasure of working on in the shipyard.  

The ship's staff may have changed somewhat, the ship may be a few years older, but the itinerary is the same as I traveled last year aboard the Noordam. Alaska's inside passage has not changed since then and that is most assuredly a good thing. This is the only itinerary in the world where I am confident in saying that the last sea day is, by far, the best day of the voyage.

As much as I like this itinerary, and Alaska in general, I am looking forward to getting home to finish my vacation before flying out to Amsterdam to relieve Sam as Production Manager for the Koningsdam. For now, there's nothing to be done except enjoy the Pacific Northwest!

valar morghulis

Jonathan Tom

I've been throwing around the idea of another tattoo for quite a while and recently the opportunity presented itself to get another one with several other friends in Barcelona.

We all got different tattoos mind you: there was none of that "hey lets get matching tattoo" bs. I had been thinking of one of three directions:

1. Something to do with the Chinese zodiac and being born in the year of the ram / sheep.

2. Something nautical given how much time I have spent at sea over the last fifteen years or so.

3. A quote that holds some meaning to me.

These are pretty sweeping categories - I had several sketches in each category. For a long while the nautical theme was winning out and, in fact, I almost went with a fouled anchor and a compass.

Traditionally the anchor represents grounding and is sometimes accompanied by text with the name of someone who grounds the sailor. The compass, as you might imagine, represents direction and steering a true course. There are a plethora of other significant nautical themes but those were the ones I was leaning towards.

Recently I had been thinking of short quotes that meant something to me from the perhaps overly popular "Not all who wander are lost" to some more obscure ones. In the end I spent quite a bit of time thinking about a quote from Game of Thrones. Valar Morghulis, translated means "all men must die", is a pretty dark meaning but I like to think of it as a reminder that we're all mortal, life is a finite thing, and to embrace the moments we have when they present themselves. Also, it's a pretty cool quote. ;)

new positions

Jonathan Tom

For the last couple of months I have been in Europe; the Mediterranean to be precise. I was a part of the new build team for the ms Koningsdam launched in April from Venice, Italy. Normally my role with the company is that of Entertainment Technical Manager but with the new ship there have come new technologies which required new roles.

I stepping in to help form one of these new roles, that of Media Technician. As you might deduce from the title it's a position primarily oriented around video. The new ship has taken several large strides into the video realm by adding several screens around the ship.

A VER wall, roughly 950 by 576, in the Queen's Lounge where the BB King All Stars perform six nights a week. An outdoor screen in the Lido Midship area supplied by Daktronics. To top it all off a VER wall roughly 15000 x 1000 (yes, that's right fifteen thousand pixels wide) in the World Stage.

The video servers of choice for our company during this installation are d3 4x4 machines with VFC cards. These are some pretty beefy computers capable of outputting (in our configuration) sixteen HD screens in addition to the operator GUI each.

The experience of working with this technology was exhilarating but it's not a role I could take on permanently. This has nothing to do with the position and I had not foreseen it either. As it turns out I very much enjoy being the leader of the team. Not so much as in the way of being the boss but being in the loop on much of the information coming to us as crew members. I have to admit that as a technician prior to having been in the managerial role I didn't realize how little information I was getting.

End of the 80s

Jonathan Tom

So the 80s Cruise is in the books and I have to say that it's been a pretty amazing week. I've been working with the charter company for many years now and I have to admit that this is the closest theme to my interests. To give you a little taste I've included some photos for your eye holes: