So, have I mentioned I’m volunteering for the UPA 2003 Club Ultimate Championships? If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember I was there last year too. Left work an hour early tonight to go to the orientation meeting, Eric G kindly offered me a ride up. We met up with Helen there, which was a nice surprise. Attendance was taken, and the volunteer coordinator went through each of the volunteer positions and gave some hints regarding each position. Then we all got t-shirts!


Cool VC logo.

On the back of the shirt.
Shortly thereafter, Eric, Helen and I headed over to Chilis for beverages and “boneless chicken wings”. What a gimmick! But they were good. 🙂

2-for-1 specials on pints tonight. We ended up all getting Amber Bock.

Eric G smiles for the camera

Me. Also Eric trying to sabotage my photo.

Helen and me.
I don’t start my volunteer work until the second half of the tournament, but it’s a full weekend — starting at 8 and ending at 6 both Saturday and Sunday. I’ll have several roles during that time, including “Field Marshall”: so far I know that’ll involve maintaining an adequate level of food/water for players by radioing in when the need arises, and confirming scores with team captains and radioing that in too. I’ll also be working with the VC Ultimate crew, who will be filming the whole event, documentary style. Cool!
I get to learn a totally crazy method of keep stats on the game, the RUFUS method. We received a booklet about it tonight at the orientation meeting. Looks pretty complicated so far. I don’t really see how it’s possible to do by oneself (for example, among many other things, you have to record the number of passes thrown per possession and the direction of the wind!). Ick! I still have to read the booklet on it (about 8 pages) — it may not be so bad after all.
What’s your favorite volunteer memory?

It’s 12:36am: Do you know where your teenagers are?

Just a quick note to say hi before I go to bed. Hi! Quickly: Had a good day at work — had some big discoveries regarding the NSToolbar and NSToolbarItem classes. If that sounds like gibberish, don’t worry, it is.
I’m really proud of myself. I think I’ve reached some new plateau. Today, for the first time since I can remember, I made two unique meals out of the leftovers in the fridge instead of just going with my usual. And they were good! I think there’s a lesson there.
Finished Buffy season 4 tonight. Kinda sad about that. It’s a fantastically written show. Something to look forward to, though: season 5 comes out on DVD Dec 9th. 🙂

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My computer and the four satellites of the JBL Invader sound system I picked up on the weekend. Not shown: the subwoofer that makes this thing sound oh-so-sweet.
Ever just have one of those really satisfying weekends?
Friday, after work it was up to Apple Store International Plaza with Jeff and Cam for the release of Mac OS X Panther (photos from around the US and worldwide); I left with a new set of speakers. The speakers and I are getting along famously, by the way. I’m hearing songs I’ve played hundreds of times before in a whole new light. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?) They sound is so good, several times in the past few days I’ve found myself wondering where the sound was coming from (certainly couldn’t be my computer!). Heh.
Saturday night was a ton of fun! I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Ron goes all out for his parties, using sound, light, props, animatronics and fake smoke. Crazy stuff really. I’ve just put up a new gallery, Hallowe’en 2003. Check it out!
Got home from the Hallowe’en party around midnight, did some laundry, then hit the bed by 1:30 or 2. And was up by 7:30! Had to clean house, Cam and Melissa were coming over for breakfast and the place was a mess. Scrambled out the door, got supplies, and we had a yummy scrambled egg breakfastybrunch thingy. MMm good.
Watched a couple episodes of Buffy, headed out to Ultimate with Eric and Sonia, and came home exhausted! Got to chat with Sarah for a bit over iChat, that was nice too. Finally hit the hay around 2am, and was up by 7:20.
Sadly, however, it appears all this fun may get rudely interrupted. The back of my throat has been sore since I woke up this morning. Sometimes I wake up with a sore throat, but usually this sort of thing disappears within a 1/2 hr of waking. Today’s sore throat is still with me and shows no sign of weakening.
Maybe I’ll start thinking about that after I get back from watching another couple episodes of Buffy at Cam and Melissa’s. We’re getting close to the end of the season!

A Hallowe’en adventure

So last night one of my co-workers threw the best Hallowe’en party I’ve ever been to. Put on by Boo Brothers Productions, I’ve never seen such an elaborate setup. Picture this: you walk down a long, dark driveway, lit only by tiny glowsticks. A large, silent knight in full chain mail armor greets you, complete with sword. You say hello, and it says nothing back. If you’re car-accident-Cam, you hobble on your crutches a little more quickly. If you’re Melissa — or should I say Buffy the Vampire Slayer — you grasp Mr. Pointy a little more tightly. And if you’re me — a walking rave — well, you write it off as the side-effects of some hallucinatory. Doesn’t make it any less spooky. About halfway down this driveway, you walk by an eight-foot tall, glowing, billowing Frankenstein. Keep walking. Sir knight is right behind you. You see something purple at the end of the driveway. It’s a van, one of those big Econoline-style ones. Both doors are open; 60s art on the walls, psychedelic music is playing on repeat, and black light bathes a gruesome murder scene. The smell of incense washes through. Is that smoke you see? Wait, what’s that? Why, it’s the devil, smoking an enormous joint right beside your feet!
You look to the left, and see “Shaft 666”. Not a particularly inviting name. Not that it matters. It’s not like you have a choice.
As you approach, you hear a squeaking sound, look up, and nearly get smacked by something fluttering around. It’s a bat! Then you see the sign: “Watch for low flying creatures”. Yes. Would have been helpful a little *earlier*!!
More in a bit — off to Ultimate pickup now. Hope your day has been great so far.

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Photos from Night of The Panther

Unfortunately both my batteries were dead before I even left my house; I decided to go to last night’s extravaganza on a whim and hadn’t been home to charge ’em. Still, they managed to provide me with enough juice to get a couple of shots in!

Around 8:30pm — the line extended around the corner and out of sight. That’s the main entrance of the Apple Store on the left, and all those people are waiting patiently to get in. Mac Design gave out free copies of their magazine for customers to read while they waited to get in.

A view of the line from the store’s entrance.

A new Mac user!

Inside the store. A (somewhat dark) shot of the iBook G4 which came out on Thursday. A little hard to see, but it’s running Panther, and the info window says it’s the 800 MHz model. Cool!

The lineups inside were long. Not cool!

Definitely a nice setup! Dual 1.25 GHz PowerMac G4 running Panther and Reason 2.5.
Anyhow, had a great time browsing the store and chatting with fellow Mac-heads. I didn’t purchase Panther, as I’d like to fiddle a bit with it through work first. On the other hand, I did purchase something, and let me tell you, something sounds incredible. Move over, Apple Pro Speakers!!

Night of The Panther

Hey guys… just heading up to Tampa now with Cam and Jeff for Night of The Panther. I will try and update from within the store itself. 🙂
Have a fantastic Friday!
Update: I’m at the Apple Store now…. the lineup just to get in is crazy, and it’s 10pm! Pics later.
Update #2 (2:15am): Well, I’m back home from the Panther event, and I’m now +1 set of JBL Invaders…. woo! I’ll get around to posting pics of the event when I get up tomorrow morning; for now, check out Sebastian Meyer’s writeup of the Tampa event (link via MacNN).

Happy Friday :)

[Note: this post started laaate Thursday, finished Fri morn.]

Top: Shawn pulls the disc. Bottom: Dos Manos player Rich attempts a throw to his teammate.
Wow, had a fantastic time at Ultimate tonight. We were playing against Dos Manos, the team we played against in the league finals last summer. Our teams traditionally get along quite well, and tonight was no exception. To give you an idea of how laid-back the game was, there were a couple moments tonight where not one of the 20-something people on both teams knew the score. We ended up winning 15 to 8 (I think — Cam?) Speaking of Cam, he had some incredible plays tonight! The first was defensive — he rocketed down the field in time to bat down the other team’s second pass! The second was an offensive play, with Cam laying out for the disc, catching it, and just barely keeping his toes in-bounds. I didn’t have a very good vantage point (I was on the opposite side of the field), but my teammates assure me he was in. Good stuff!
So you have a better idea of what the game looks like, I took a couple of video clips tonight. The first one is a “long-bomb” kind of play, with a “handler” (someone good at both passing and catching… worker bees which move the frisbee up the field to get within scoring distance) “hucking” (throwing long) to someone who is “long” (close to the endzone). Our opponents were doing a lot of this tonight. And, oh yeah, my team is in blue.
Clip 1
In the second clip, you can see several things going on. The first thing you hear is a loud voice calling “backhand!”. That’s a white player (Dave) requesting that the white player guarding frisbee force the thrower to throw a backhand. After this, you can see the blue team make a number of quick passes up the field. Again, these are the blue handlers “working it up” (moving the disc toward our opponens’ endzone). After the second pass, you can clearly hear a white player (on defense) calling out “stall 1, stall 2, stall 3” etc. On offensive, you have ten seconds to throw the disc, so if the defender gets to the “t” in “ten” when he’s calling out “stall ten”, it’s an automatic change of possession. If you listen closely, you can hear the subsequent defenders calling out stalls. The word “stall” isn’t explicitly necessary, so long as there’s one second between each number. A few moments later someone yells “Pick!”, followed by a voice echoing “Pick called!” and everyone freezing their position. A pick means one player cut another player off. This usually happens when an offensive player runs too close to another person, leading his or her defender straight into said person. Creation of this situation is explicitly prohibited by the rules, and usually occurs by accident. There is no penalty; instead, the cut-off (“picked”) player is allowed to catch up to the person s/he is defending and play resumes. Shortly thereafter, I get interrogated on the whereabouts of my shirt (which, sadly, had not made it out of the laundry in time), and we see a forehand rise much too quickly and fly out of reach of the blue player in our opponent’s endzone.
Clip 2
After our winning game, a bunch of us went down to a tiny, smokey little bar — the Mahi Hut — whose specialty was “sneaky-tikis” and mai-thais. See smoke in a bar was such a weird thing. We chose the place because it was a halfway point for most people. We had an easy view of the bartender from where we sat, and I’ve never seen stronger drinks poured. It was just crazy, the bottles were upsidedown for well over 15 seconds. I had a sneaky-tiki, and while it was good, it was a little sweet for my tastebuds. If I ever go back, it’s the mai-thai for sure. And I won’t bring my visor; for some reason hats aren’t allowed (though a few other people had hats).



Scotty & candle

The ghost of Eric J

“The man no legs!”

Me, Sonia, Scotty. I think my reaction time must just be too quick. 🙂

Alec, Eric J, Gustafson

The lamp above our table.

24 Hour Party People

So I finally watched 24 Hour Party People last night. My good friend Sean has been badgering me to watch it for the past-(insert deity of your choice)-knows how long. I’m glad I did, it was great! It’s a fictionalized look at how Manchester became a musical epicenter in the early 80s and chronicles the evolution of Joy Division/New Order all the way into the beginnings of the UK rave scene. It’s really funny, too! I really enjoyed how it was presented — our protagonist slipped back and forth between his character in the film and a narrator twenty years in the future. I’ll call it “inline narration” — I’ve never seen anything like it before. Very cool. Go rent!

Fresh Veggies

Made the yummiest pasta last night! Scotty (from Ultimate) works at an organic farm and brought a whole boxload of fresh veggies with him to give away last night’s practice. So of course I took as much as I could fit in two hands. 🙂
Ended up with a head of lettuce, two zucchini, a spaghetti squash and several stalks of fresh basil, all organic, all picked that day. Fried up the veggies with the basil (the remainder of which I’ve since chopped up and placed in olive oil to keep fresh), added a red sauce and cooked spaghetti noodles. Dead simple and oh-so-good, you wouldn’t believe. Fresh veggies make *such* a difference. Discovered that my zucchini were actually cucumbers while chopping them, but threw ’em in to fry with the squash anyhow as an experiment. And it turned out lovely! Never would have thought of frying cucumber!
So I’ve got a boatload of fresh basil still — anyone have any good recipes?