Cam, Good Feedback, Ultimate and Drive-thru Everything!

Oh man! So Cam arrived last night around 8pm. After a downing a couple of BEvERages and making my now-classic carribean jerk-chicken fajitas (soo good!), we watched Bend It Like Beckham [imdb] [trailer].
Bend It is about an Indian girl in England battling a generational and cultural divide. If you’ve been paying close attention, you know this is the second time I’ve watched it — and it’s just as good the second time through! Having Indian heritage, many parts of this film resonated with me. But you don’t need to be Indian to enjoy it — it’s very good storytelling and manages to be serious and funny and uplifting all at the same time. Go see it if you get the chance [worldwide release dates].
After the movie and fajitas, Cam did the Right Thing:

Made Hungry Jack for breakfast, and we were on the way to Starbucks for a pre-interview caffeine injection, but we ran out of time. 🙁 Forgot about the 8 o’clock traffic jams on Fruitville.
Cam was in Sarasota for less than twenty hours. The flight-time alone is more than that. I can’t really say much here about how the interview went. Suffice to say I’ll be finding out more in about two weeks! 😀
Apart from the inteview with Cam, work today was fantastic — got loads of feedback from the trainers that teach folks how to use our product. Although we had them in to basically get their stamp of approval for our new features, we also got a ton of feedback on things that would be easy to change in the software and would increase overall usability. So that ruled. Hopefully I’ll be getting some time budgeted in this year’s software plan to incorporate some of this most-excellent feedback. I’ve got my fingers crossed anyhow. The master plan ™ should be unveiled sometime in the next week or so.
And of course, what Thursday evening would be complete without a little Ultimate with the Sarasota Slackers? We played *three* games tonight!

Here’s something neat: Scotty brought organically-grown leafy veggies to the game and gave them away.

It was a big hit. Just ask Jeremiah!

Not sure who this guy is, but he was sure grinning like an idiot!
I also met Emily tonight. She had been standing on the sideline the whole night, so I had to ask her her name. Turns out her coworker Thomas brought her and that she’d never played before — but she’d like to learn! Very cool. Here’s another cool thing: I told her I was from Victoria, and she already knew I wasn’t from the US. She overheard me speaking before I came over to talk to her, and she noticed I didn’t have an American accent. How cool is that? On top of this, she’s from Nova Scotia. A fellow Canadian! And she’s got an Aunt who lives just minutes from Victoria in Sidney! Crazy.
After ulti I had to get my traditional post-game coffee. You know what? I’m not sure the tradition extends very well. It used to be that I would get the coffee after playing on the beach on Monday nights. Because we stopped playing when the sun went down, that meant I was getting my coffee at around 6:30pm. Now that I’m playing under lit-fields, I’m at Ultimate until much later than before; today I got home at 10pm. So perhaps I’ll have to link my weekly grande vanilla latte to something else. 🙂
Got to Starbucks and the parking lot was full, so I decided to use a feature of Starbucks that’s totally alien to me: the drivethrough.

I’ve got to admit, it was actually pretty convenient!
And the photo of the night? How could I pass this sign and NOT take a picture?

Tendonitis?, Cam

Thought I’d write up a quick entry while I’m waiting for a compile to finish. 😀
Ow! The second joint on my left pointer-finger hurts! Hope it’s not tendonitis. It seems to be most noticable in the morning — I wonder how that works?
Cam arrives tonight from Vancouver! I’m so excited to see him! I’ve known Cam for a few years — we met at the Clearihue Computing Facility about 6 years ago and we’ve been good buddies ever since. He’s interviewing for a software engineering position at my company! Hopefully all goes well.
Oh! Compile’s done! 🙂 More later.

Nothing specshell

Not much for words tonight.
I’m blocked on my #1 priority at work today, so I revisited few things I hadn’t looked at in a while. Things involving command substitution syntax in csh. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. Just know that it’s tedious. They should have called it rns, I think. Really Not Stimulating. I’m going to try to use bash tomorrow. Supposedly it’s better than csh for what I’m trying to do.
Ah, well, back at the ranch, my livingroom is now feeling more like a livingroom than it used to… thanks in large part, I think, to the extra furniture. I made a slight re-arrangement so that I no longer have to jump over the couch before being able to sit on it. Also helping the livingroom feel more legitimate are the presence of things close to being hung on the walls: the pictures mom made for me are sitting on top of the couch, waiting to be hung. My bedroom door is now starting to feel like it’s actually got a reason for being — that it’s actually starting to separate two rooms from each other!
Anyhow. That’s all for now.
mp3 [6:16, 128kbps, 5.8mb]

Water Tower of Terror, Couchland, “The Recruit”, and Ultimate

Okay, trivia question time! Anyone know what movie the quote in the title of the last entry came from?
I’ve got a couple of stories for you today. The first one takes place yesterday, shortly after I shot the “Prepare…” billboard. The second one took place this morning, at my place. Settle in with a nice cool glass of water or something.
So, it was about 4:30 yesterday, and the sun was getting ready to set. I was driving along, NeoFunkcian’s new mix CD blasting in the stereo.
Somehow I managed to end up in a left turn-only lane. Home was straight.
But, instead of making the left and then turning around, I decided it would be fun to do a little exploratory driving. Moments after I made the left turn, I told exploratory driving to go screw itself. I knew exactly where I wanted to go. The water tower.
Now, the water tower is this thing from outer space that was somehow dropped in the middle of urban Sarasota. I’d passed it many times in my car, but I’d never had my camera with me till now. It’s much higher than its surroundings; it’s visible from a few miles away.
So I find the closest side street to the tower, and pull in. There’s a parking lot there — think I was on the loading-zone side of a Burdines. Found a spot and pulled in. There were few kids making noise in their Pontiac Firebird right where I wanted to take my shot, so I decided to hang out my car for a bit. Took a couple shots from my car, but I wasn’t satisfied with them. After a minute Firebird and kru took off with a screech of rubber in an otherwise quiet parking lot. Got out of my car and took a few more shots.
As I was walked back to my car, I notice a guy staring at me. He was by his car, parked opposite from me. To check if was really looking at me, and not just something behind me, I stared back. His eyes followed me as I moved toward my car. When I was just about to my car, he spoke.
Him: Where you from?
Me: <pause> Up near Seattle, actually.
Him: What were you doing over there?
Me: Just taking a picture of the tower.
Him: <funny look>
Him: Have I seen you sometime before? In a different parking lot downtown?
Me: No, I don’t think so.
And with that, I got in my car and drove off. I really hope that guy wasn’t thinking what I think he was thinking.

On Friday Simon asked if I would like the other half of his couch. He already gave me part of it a couple of months ago, so of course I wanted the other half. The couch, a huge purple monster with a hideaway bed, has been around the block a few times. I’ll be its third owner. Only one person has ever paid for it, and it’s not Simon or me. Simon got it from a coworker who bought a new livingroom set.
We chose this morning to bring it from his place to mine. Problem is, even though we’re neighbours and share a wall, there’s still about 200 feet and two flights of stairs between us.
But we’re manly men, and I’ve never backed down from a challenge before, so we decided to have at it. Us vs. the Couch. Battle Royale.

We got it out of Simon’s stairwell easily enough. Getting it up mine was more difficult:

Moving couches is hard work, especially lifting couches up awkward stairwells. Being the creative guy I am, I figured out a way to save all this effort. Get Simon to bring it up himself!

He wasn’t too impressed with my work-reduction strategy. Seemed fine to me!
Anyhow we got it into my apartment. It’s awesome. My entire livingroom is now one big couch!

After we moved the couch, Simon and I went to see the thriller The Recruit, starring Al Pacino. A three word synopsis of the film? Don’t trust anyone. Bottom line? It’s a renter. The movie starts off well; we follow the protagonist into “The Farm”, the top secret CIA training facility, and get to see and experience all sorts of interesting tactics used to determine new recruit competency. But about halfway through, it turns into one clich&#233d action sequence after another. Subway gun fights. Car chases. Nothing wrong with this stuff on its own, but the movie could have been a lot better. And when they spoke technical jargon in this flim, it was utter crap. Ah well.
After the movie we were going to go to a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch, but it was closed, so we ended up going to Two Senoritas instead. Excellent food, glad we went.
After the restaurant, it was time for Ultimate! I got there a bit late — things normally get started at 4:30; I got there at 5:15. Got to play for 45 minutes before we started running out of light and people started getting hungry. Lots of fun nonetheless! I’m so glad a found a good group to play with.
Now if only I didn’t have to rave in my car.
mp3 [9:40, 192kbps, 13.3 mb]

Not the Sum of its Parts

My friend Chrissie wrote this on her blog the other day:

…But this gets me to thinking that as the human numbers, I find us disgusting and destructive…but to know eachother individually, like my boyfriend or my Mother, we are unique, beautiful creatures.

That reminded me of how I felt about Microsoft after interning there for four months. Every person I met was creative, intelligent and passionate. Describe the company as a whole, though, and it’s a little trickier applying those words.
mp3 [10:25, 192 kbps, 14.4 mb]