Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Home Time!

EclipseWorld is over, and so it's just about time for me to head home. I'll be flying out tommorrow morning, and I just hope it goes more smoothly than the trip down here.

My presentation seemed to go relatively smoothly. I got through all of my slides with enough time to do my demo, and it didn't feel like I'd forgotten to say anything. I heard lots of feedback about EMF from various attendees, which was very interesting. These people are mostly enterprise application developers, so they want to hear how they can persist their EMF instances in a database. The people want Hibernate, and they want it now!

In all, it was a great, fun-filled trip. That said, I'm ready to wrap it up. I miss Toronto...can you believe it?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Well, day two of EclipseWorld is over, and there's been good, bad and ugly. The highlight so far was a presentation on AspectJ. Aspect oriented programming is very cool. Basically, it lets you encapsulate according to common concerns by selecting certain points of execution (pointcuts) and then providing code to be executed at those points (advice). The compiler then weaves the aspects into existing code, resulting in standard bytecode (in the case of Java, anyway) that executes in any JVM. The typical example is logging: you can write an aspect that logs a call trace across any application in just a few lines of code. But, fancier stuff is possible: we saw examples of policy enforcement at compile time and runtime, consitent transaction management, asynchronous execution, and fault injection. It's powerful stuff, and Eclipse's support for AspectJ is really impressive. I think this could easily become an indispensable part of my toolkit.

I just got back from the conference reception, where we were kindly given two free drinks. Fortunately, I left before I could do any damage. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped off at Grand Central Station (it's right next door) for some gelato. Yummy.

I can't be the only one who is more than slightly disturbed by the men in camouflage with big guns, can I?

Okay, I need to lose my buzz and start practicing my presentation for tommorrow. Good times, good times.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Yup, I went out tonight. Just got home. Went to Park and Cock. Lemme tell you, I feel pretty classy right about now.

Rich, you were a fabulous guide!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Drippy Sundy

Well, it's Sunday afternoon, and it's starting to feel like the party's over.

I slept in today until noon, and then watched some TV and did some blogging. Now, I'm in a cafe doing a bit of work. I need to prepare the demo for my presentation on Wednesday, and practice the whole thing once or twice. I also need to head back to my room and do some ironing, since I was living out of a suitcase while staying with Mike and Lis. Fortunately, the rain has encouraged me to be responsible and get this stuff done now. Since I think I'm caught up on my sleep, I might still go out this evening if I get everything done.

I guess the daily entries will end now, since I'll be engaged with the geeky excitement of EclipseWorld until I head home on Thursday.

Saturday with Mike

Saturday was the first day since I arrived that Mike actually didn't have to work, so we got to spend the day together! It's typical for him to work the weekends and to get home late at night every day, often past midnight. I really respect him for working so hard, but it just doesn't seem fair to him or to Lis. Nobody should have to keep up that kind of pace all the time. I don't think I could do it, not these days anyway. There's just so much more that I want to be doing.

Anyhow, we decided to use our day together to do some cycling around Manhattan. We took the Path across, and then rode up the shore of the Hudson River. They've built a good path for walking, cycling, and in-line skating along the waterfront. Then, we cut in to Central Park, and had a ride around it. We also went up to Columbia and looked around the campus a little. By the time we got back to the World Trade Center, we were quite exhausted and my groin was pretty unhappy. We'd been riding for several hours and faced some pretty strong head winds on the way back down. And I hadn't been on a bike for years. Amazingly, my legs aren't at all stiff today, although my bum's still a bit sore.

In the evening, we took a taxi back into the city, and I checked into the hotel I'll be staying at for the conference this week. After we got some dinner, we were both wiped. I'd really wanted to go out dancing, but after Friday night and all of the day's activities, I just didn't have the energy. So, I collapsed into bed and dropped off for 10 hours.

Oh, how nice to be sleeping in a big, comfy bed instead of Mike's futon with its lump down the centre!

Friday with Lis

Friday was Lis's last day of work before moving to a new department, in another location. Since her computer was being moved, she decided to play hooky for most of the day and hang out with me.

So, we toodled around the city: we visited Chinatown, Little Italy, the Lower East Side, and the East Village. We visited lots of little shops, buying a few things. In a surprising turn, I got to be the guide at lunch. We happened to be near Yaffa Cafe, so I suggested we go there. We had a delicious meal: a chicken and avacado wrap and a middle-eastern platter with pita, hummus, and baba ganoush. We had a nice chat over lunch. I told Lis about some of my crazy boy antics of late, and she talked about her relationship with Mike. I feel like I know both of them much better as a result.

In the afternoon, we got up to Union Square, and Lis took me to Filene's Basement, the perfect store to satisfy the inner label queen. It's kind of like Winners without the ick. Actually, it's much nicer stuff. I almost bought a really cute pair of Energie jeans at a third of the regular price, but I decided that I really have enough clubby jeans already. Crazy, huh?

Lis had to go home to take care of Lucy, and I continued on to visit Bryant Park and the main branch of the public library. It's beautiful and, like so many things in this city, quite overwhelming. There's this huge reading room, with PCs and empty tables in the middle, whose walls are lined with thousands of volumes of literature. I think you could easily get lost in it for the rest of your life.

Lis had set me up with a colleague, Rich, to show me around in the evening, and he took me to a couple of bars in the East Village: Starlight, which was quite nice, and the Phoenix, a bit more of a dive. It's Rich's favourite nightspot in the city, though, as it's very relaxed and attitude-free. Rich is a really nice guy: very outgoing and funny, and not a hint of pretense. Pity he doesn't like to go dancing, though. Many cocktails were consumed, and we met a bunch of people, some interesting, some not so much.

In all, a fun night. By the end of it, Jersey City seemed a long way away, so I crashed with Rich at his place.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Spiritual Thursday

I managed to get to the Empire State Building and get a theatre ticket, though not, as I'd foolishly hoped, in that order.

Before lining up at TKTS, I wandered around the financial district (neck craned the whole time) and explored the South Street Seaport. I was in line by around 10:15, near the front, so I could get my ticket five minutes after it opened at 11. There was an Abercrombie & Fitch in the same building. I've never been to one, so I felt compelled to check it out, in spite of the fact that I think it's a pretty evil company.

Evil but effective, I found out. They've got dance music pumping, and everyone working there is very attractive and flirty. I almost bought a pair of jeans that I definitely don't need for $90 US, mainly because, after the very cute salesguy asked what size I take and I replied 30, he said that he wears the same size and was sure they'd look great on me. Fortunately, sanity returned in the dressing room. I did buy two T-shirts, though. I think they actually spray them with cologne, so that you feel sexier when you're trying them on. Very sneaky.

After escaping from there, I headed up to midtown, for the Empire State. Fortunately, the line was fairly short, so I had lots of time to enjoy the view and take pictures. It's really spectacular and awe inspiring. New York is just so impressively huge, so ambitious, that it's amazing that it all works. I think the same thing every time I get on the subway. Incidentally, I've become much better at finding my way around the city.

After coming home to take Lucy for a walk, I met up with Lis and some colleagues for drinks; they were marking her last week, as she's moving to a new role in a another office on Monday.

Then, I headed back to Manhattan for my play. I saw an off-broadway show tonight, called Altar Boyz. Basically, it's a concert by a fictional Christian boyband. Of course, they go into back stories, secrets and insecurities, and all that good stuff. They used the boyband member stereotypes (the sexy leader; the cute, barely closeted one; the bad boy; the latin lover; and the...Jew?), but made them all disturbingly evangelical. And the hilarity ensues. I'll admit it: I did buy the soundtrack.

One thing that's impossible to miss is how good these people are at what they do. I think your typical broadway actor could sing and dance circles around the Justins and Nicks, the Britneys and Christinas of this world. That said, I hope they never take away my manufactured pop goodness -- it's just too fun.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Quiet Wednesday

As predicted, today was a quiet one. I spent all day blogging and doing e-mail, so I didn't really get out until the evening, and even then, I never went across into the city. Sad? Perhaps, but I'm glad to have recorded everything I've done so far.

This evening, there was a little neighbourhood party just outside: all the restuarants in the area had tables where they were selling food cheap. Lis and I went, then we took Lucy to the dog park. After that, we just had a quiet evening, chatting and looking at photos. It was great to do, since we really haven't had the chance to talk lately...and, by lately, I think I mean ever.

I was supposed to go to bed early, so I could get up early tommorrow and hit the Empire State Building before TKTS opens at 11. Well, so much for the former part; I'm still hoping for the latter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Since today's marathon blogging effort is going so well, I figure I'll finish up by writing about yesterday. Then, I'll be all caught up. I might find that there's nothing about today worth writing, though, since it doesn't seem I'm likely to get out of here before 4:30.

We started Tuesday by walking through Washington Square. There was no art show on this New York afternoon, but there are two separate dog run areas, with a special, exclusive one for small dogs. Apparently, small dogs are superior in New York, presumably because it's easier to pick them up and carry them under your arm. That particular manoeuver seems to be quite important in this city.

Then, we went to Magnolia Bakery, as Stu had recommended, for cupcakes. Yum! I must admit that near the end, my teeth were starting to hurt from the sugar in all that icing. Fear not, I soldiered on. I also bought two little cookies for later, but they were starting to melt in my pocket, so we put them in Karyn's purse. Since Karyn was flying out to London yesterday evening, she told me to remember to get them back before she took off for the airport. So, of course, I forgot. I hope she enjoyed them on the plane.

Karyn finished packing, and we headed to the Upper West Side, where another intern that Karyn worked with lives. He'd offered to give Karyn a ride to the airport, along with a friend of his who had been visiting. First, we all went out for linner, ending up at a place called Radio Perfecto. I was surprised and delighted to hear Jann Arden on the radio there! And, it wasn't even "Insensitive" (it was "Wonderdrug"). On the way back, we passed the restaurant from Seinfeld...well, the one whose exterrior they used for the establishing shot, anyway.

During the day, I wore a T-shirt that Sam gave me for my last birthday, which says, "I may not be perfect, but parts of me are pretty awesome." It's remarkable: I've worn it many times in Toronto, and no one that I don't know ever commented on it. In Vancouver (when I visited in June), one overly flirty barrista at Starbucks said something. Yesterday, I got around 10 comments, from everyone: retail workers, a police officer, and random people in the streets, including a panhandler. So, it's more than a gloriously fun article of clothing, it's a great way to take the pulse of a city!

In the evening, I thought I'd pay a visit to Stonewall. It's historical, right? Oh, and they had some kind of competition going on called "Porn Idol," which sounded quite promising. Sadly, there was a crowd of about 8 people, which is far too small to watch Porn Idol without great embarrassment resulting. So, I found another place nearby, called Pierre's, with some pretty fabulous karaoke going on. I didn't sing, but I got hit on by a few cute boys, though mostly by Blanche, the drag queen hosting the event.

Big Apple Monday

On Monday, we managed to see the entire island of Manhattan in three hours...from a seated position. We took a Circle Line siteseeing cruise, and holy cow, Manhattan's big! There's this whole part up north, with hills and trees and stuff. Who knew?

Our tour guide had an interesting style. Rather than saying something like, "The big brick building on the left...", he'd say, "You see the big brick building on the left? See it? The bricking building? On the left? It's..." He also seemed obsessed with pointing out every last hospital, celebrity home, and film/TV location. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable tour, and I took about 10,000 photos. I'll definitely have to do some deleting. But first, I'll need to get my computer working again. So, don't be too surprised if it takes a while for these photos to show up.

In the evening, we saw Avenue Q, which you can read about three entries down from here. But first, we went up to The View, atop the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. It's a revolving restaurant, where, before 9 pm, they'll happily serve you a single drink and let you nurse it for an hour. I had a Big Apple, which was tasty, refreshing, and put me in a perfect state of mind for Avenue Q.

After the show, we walked around Times Square a bit. It's absolutely shocking how bright it is at night. It's actually quite beautiful and hideous at the same time. You can't help but wonder how many African nations could be powered if they just turned it all off. The scale of New York seems to inspire these opposing reactions in me. It's so invigorating, and yet so exhausting.

Sunday in the Park

After a late brunch at Shiller's Liquor Bar on the Lower East Side, Karyn's neightbourhood, we spent most of Sunday in Central Park. We saw most of the sights there: the amusement park at Wollman Rink, The Mall and the big fountain from Friends, The Ramble, Belvedere Castle, The Great Lawn, Jackie Onassis Resevoir (which, thankfully, doesn't seem to provide Manhattan's drinking water anymore), and Strawberry Fields. We even went rowing on The Lake. Or rather, I rowed, and Karyn lounged. I'm such a perfect gentleman, don't you think? I did surprisingly well, not hitting anything, in spite of several other rowers' best efforts. Some people seemingly couldn't figure out that the pointy end of the boat is the front, which probably made steering quite a challenge. Karyn was able to share some of the trivia she picked up on the bike tour she took with Leah, even pointing out which building Madonna tried to get a place in, but was refused by Yoko Ono.

For dinner, we went to Union Square and tried yet another New York institution: street meat. Once again, it was a disappointment -- much worse than what you'd get in Toronto or Vancouver. The sausage was the skinny little kind you'd get in a grocery store, in a package of eight, for a few bucks. And the topping choices were ketchup and mustard. Four bites later, it was gone, but at least I knew we'd still be able to manage another dining experience that evening.

Next, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. We'd intended to do it at sunset, and although we were a bit late, it was still quite spectacular. Pedestrians walk across a path in the centre of the bridge, raised above the traffic. Oddly, there were railings attached to a few of the supports that ran over the traffic decks to the outside edges of the bridge, and they weren't blocked off in any way. I guess this is the opposite of the Luminous Veil.

It was dark when we got to Brooklyn, but we found our way back to the promenade for a very pretty view of the lit skyline. We skirted death on the way back to the subway, having to cross an onramp that turned such that we couldn't see what was coming, with no help from a traffic signal. Given that there was a sidewalk there, and crosswalks on the preceding and following intersection, this setup seemed very odd. I guess when you've got 8 million people living in a city, it doesn't matter as much if you lose a few.

After that adventure, we headed back to the East Village to wrap up the day with a bite at Yaffa Cafe. From the street, you'd never think this place was be anything special. But, it's got a huge, beautifully designed garden in the back. We sat out there and shared the most delicious salad I've ever had, with avacado, hard boiled egg, and carrot dressing. Yum! Oh, and some even better sangria than the night before. It was such a great place to hang out and chat, so we passed quite a bit of time there. They even give out free Yaffa Cafe condoms!

Saturday in New York

I've really been meaning to capture my New York experience. Today's started out pretty slow, so it's the perfect opportunity! Right now, I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Jersey City, right across from Mike and Lis's place, nursing my tazo chai and blueberry muffin. When I'm done here, I'll take Lucy for a little walk and pee, and then head back across the water to Manhattan.

I'm planning to write one entry per day here, so let's get started with Saturday. After finally escaping from the Newark airport, I took the Path into the city, and met Karyn at a little organic/fair trade coffee shop in Greenwich Village called Jack's. It was a very funky place and *very* New York.

Then, we did some shopping on Broadway. We were planning to go out in the evening, and I was really poorly dressed, and pretty stinky at that point. I got some cute jeans at OMG, and Karyn found a very fun T-shirt for me at American Eagle:

And, of course, I had to get a couple pairs of underwear, so we hit H&M. Apparently, Air Canada will compensate me up to $100 US. I'm not sure that'll cover it, especially including all the roaming minutes spent on hold on their baggage line. So, we'll probably have to have some "discussions" when I get home. We'll see how that goes. Karyn said she was quite impressed with the way I'd handled things so far. I credit her for teaching me well -- after all, she is the queen!

For dinner, we decided to experience some of New York's famous pizza, so we went to Lombardo's, which claims to have the best in the city. It was a bit of a disappoinment actually: fairly unremarkable, with limited topping options. I'd say it's worse than Mamma's Pizza, and certainly not even close to Terroni. I guess it's a matter of preference: I'll take a thin-crust Italian pizza over a greasy, deep dish from New York anyday. On the other hand, the sangria was fantastic, though the pitcher was a lot bigger than it seemed.

In the evening, we went dancing at Heaven. The cover, $15, seemed pretty steep, considering that it was pretty much empty when we arrived at 11:30. Turns out it was Gay College Party night, so I think it might have been cheaper if we weren't presumed pedophiles. The music was good, but strangely, they had TV screens playing videos for other songs. More than once, I found myself wishing they were playing the song from the video, instead. It was a really small space for dancing downstairs, and very empty upstairs. I was pretty exhausted on Saturday, having woken at 4:45 and spent hours standing in various lineups, so I wasn't really that into it. I was happy to dance for a few hours, and Karyn was a great sport, too. I can't decide: maybe she would have been more entertained if I'd been a little wilder. I fear that I might have focused on the boys a bit too much, had that been the case. Anyhow, thanks Karyn, for being my date at my first gay club in New York!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Avenue Q

I just got back from seeing Avenue Q with Karyn. Like the last time I saw a show on Broadway, Urinetown, I was very impressed to see new a new, edgier, self-deprecating style of musical theatre. This show was creative, relatable, hilarious, and not at all afraid to take risks.

The best way to describe Avenue Q is as Sesame Street for grown-ups. Well, maybe for immature, somewhat dysfunctional, 20-something grown-ups. Some characters are played by live actors, and others are puppets -- though, you can always see the actors who are operating and voicing the puppets on stage. That's a good thing, as some of the entertainmet flows from the way the actors often mirror the motions and expressions of their puppets. Also impressive is how the actors juggle multiple puppet roles, occasionally passing one puppet off to another actor in the background as a different puppet takes centre stage.

There are many highly entertaining songs, some of which don't necessarily tie into the plot very well. Trekkie Monster's "The Internet is for Porn" (think "C is for Cookie") certainly stands out in this regard. I was howling.

Oh, did I mention that the cast was oustanding, and that the lead, Barrett Foa, was quite notably hot? Yep, this one's definitely worth seeing. I think will be picking up the soundtrack, and hopefully the above poster, as soon as possible.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I'll Make It Anywhere!


I'm successfully settled in New York (actually Newport, Jersey City, where I'm staying with Mike and Lis), though it wasn't easy. When I booked a new flight for Saturday morning, the Air Canada agent told me that I should arrive early, since the backlog from the cancelled flights would make it very busy. I asked how early, and she suggested two hours. To be safe, I arrived two and half hours early, at 6:30. I then stood in line to check-in for...almost two and a half hours. The line was barely moving because, 15 minutes before each flight was scheduled to take off, they'd pull all its passengers out of the line and devote most or all of the agents to checking them in immediately. So, at around 8:45, they pulled me out of the line and checked me in. It was 9:10 by the time I cleared customs. Fortunately, there were another 20 people or so in line after me -- all the other people who couldn't do a self check-in, I guess (the kiosk refused to check me in, presumably because they'd just rebooked my flight the previous night, but there was no new ticket number). So, they held the plane for us. In fact, it didn't take off until after 10:00.

The flight was shorter than expected (about 75 minutes, instead of 90) and quite enjoyable, as they'd put me in executive class. After landing and deplaning, the experience again took a turn for the worse when they shut off the baggage carousel, leaving many of us empty handed. So, I had to wait in another very slow-moving line to file my lost baggage complaint. In the end, I finally got out of the airport at around 12:30, a full 6 hours after I arrived at Pearson for my 90 minute flight. Without any of my stuff.

After many calls, and much holding (well, at least they appreciate my patience), Air Canada finally revealed that my bag had arrived at Newark this evening. But, the fellow told me, since it had been checked late, I would be responsible for picking it up. I explained to him that that wouldn't work for me, since I had arrived two and half hours early for my flight, and the bag had been checked at that time only because of their inability to manage the line. I also explained that I'd need compensation, since I had to buy some clothes and toiletries yesterday. Well, he had to "cofirm" that, so he said he'd call me back. He never did, but Lis followed up for me with the main baggage office, and they finally did deliver at 12:20 this morning.

So, a mere 42 hours after arriving for my 90 minute flight, all is well. Thanks Air Canada; now I really see why you were voted North America's best airline. Nice. To be fair, we only have thunderstorms every other week in Toronto, I can see why it basically renders the airline useless for the next 48 hours.

Well, enough griping. I've also been having a great time here in the big apple. Karyn and Mike and Lis have been fabulous guides and hosts! Hopefully, I'll have time tommorrow to write about some of the fun things I've been up to.

Friday, August 19, 2005

If I Can Make It There... (Literally)

Thunderstorms suck. They cancel your flights and zap your computer. Oh well, tommorrow's another day, and after five years, I could use a new computer.

Generous Linkage

I've added some more links to my blog, for your surfing pleasure. Well, maybe that's not quite true: I think they just might be for me, too. At some point, I think I had the brilliant idea that if I had links to the sites I frequent most often, I'd be more inclined to make my blog my home page. Then, maybe I could do away with bookmarks altogether. And, in the process, I learned a little something new about CSS.

Anyhoo, you'll find a few more of my links, some of my friends' blogs, a couple of famous Canadians' blogs, and some different news sites I read.

Most of the links are quite self-explanatory. Swingin'OUT is a queer swing dance club that I belong to, and I maintain their modest site. Groklaw is a legal news/research site covering The SCO Group's spectacular death by legislation. I was severely addicted to Groklaw for a couple of years, but I'm much improved these days. Just yesterday, I was able to glance at a new transcript of a deposition and not read the whole thing! No, I'm not actually suggesting that you should read Groklaw, just admitting that I do.

Well, obviously I'll add new links when new sites strike my fancy. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

If I Can Make It There...

On Friday, I'm heading to New York City for almost two weeks!

It's really one of those brilliant, everything-comes-together-perfectly situations. I'm presenting at EclipseWorld, which runs August 29-31. Karyn, who spent the summer in the city, is leaving next Tuesday. So, by going this Friday, I'll get to hang out with Karyn for a few days and spend the rest of the week exploring the city and, where possible for them, spending time with Mike and Lis. They're very kindly putting me up at their place in Jersey City. All they ask in return is a few of their favourite Canadian goodies: Coffee Crisp, Smarties, and maple syrup. How great is it to have family there?

Then, I'll head into the city for the conference. Although it's technically work, I'm really looking forward to this conference, too. The last one I attended, EclipseCon, was such a positive experience: very reaffirming in terms of the importance of our work, and very motivational, too. This time, I've signed up for more classes and tutrorials, so I'll get to learn even more about other Eclipse projects. Now, I just have to get through my nerves when I present..

I fly back on Thursday, September 1. The next day is the Friday before Labour Day, so it's a floater day at work (i.e. a day off). So, the upshot of this is that I won't set foot in the lab again until after Labour Day!

My question, though, is this: what should I do in New York? If you've been before, please let me know what I absolutely shouldn't be missing. In particular, on Saturday night, Karyn and I are going to go out dancing. She's not at all a big clubber, and certainly not a gay clubber, so I need some good advice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I Want My CBC

The CBC locked out 5500 employees on Monday. I suppose it's hard to produce television and radio without technicians or on-air talent, so the CBC management isn't even trying.

Radio One is simply playing music all day, with 5 minute news and information updates on the hour. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to wake up without Metro Morning? Music is too easy to snooze to; I need conversation to latch on to. Conflict is especially helpful.

CBC Television and Newsworld are playing lots of reruns, and broadcasting BBC news instead of producing their own. Now, I've got no complaints about the Beeb's newscasts, but what ever happened to "Trusted. Connected. Canadian"?

My fear is that more people are going to turn to the private media, with support for public broadcasting eroding as a result. It's bad enough that the CBC lost the Junos, and now the Olympics, to CTV. I really don't want to see the CBC weakened any further.

Did the CBC management think this through at all?

Out of protest, I'm thinking I might not wear my vintage CBC T-shirt until the lockout is over.

Fab Update

Thanks to Kevin, I now have the infamous photos of us that appeared in last week's fab. Here's the shot that was published in the magazine:

Scandalous, huh? And, here's the other shot they took. It wasn't published, but it did appear on their Web site last Wednesday:

Since then, it disappeared. Presumably, it was just too hot. Or, perhaps they realized that they'd already published these twinks, and they wanted to share the glory.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

It Takes a Crane

Today, I was having breakfast with Leah, and we started talking about the buildings around us. She said something about cranes, and I took the opportunity to quote, "Life is Wonderful", from Jason Mraz's new album: "It takes a crane to build a crane," I said.

This kicked off a fun conversation...

Leah (sarcastically): That's profound.

Dave: No, it's not. It might seem profound to you, but that's because you're just a student. If you were in industry...

Leah: Well, I'm thinking about it philosophically, since I *am* going to be a Doctor of Philosophy.

Dave: If you were in industry, you'd see that's lacking a way to realize any revenue.

Leah: We could leverage our crane assets.

Dave: If we could develop a crane ecosystem...

Then we started imagining what a crane ecosystem would look like, with happy crane families frolicking in an idyllic setting.

Okay, that wasn't verbatim, as it happened several hours ago. Leah, if you can remember anything else, please help me out.

If you are scratching your head, or maybe thinking that I'm quite a pompous git, then clearly you weren't there for any of our past conversations about pretentious industry jargon and attitudes. And, in that case, reading this entry was probably a waste of your time.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Market

Lately, it seems like the most exciting part of my week is Saturday morning, when the St. Lawrence Market has its farmers market. So much beautiful fresh fruit, oh so very cheap. Sadly, cherry season ended a couple of weeks ago, but today I bought a box of strawberries and one of blueberries, all for eight bucks. Last week, I split a box of peaches with Leah. So sweet and juicy!

Having this place on my doorstep is quite incredible; I don't know if I can ever move away to another neighbourhood. If I do, I think I'll still make the trek on Saturdays.

It's the little things that make life worthwhile.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Banged on!

What's better than a sassy new T-shirt? Well, you can probably think of a few things, but right now I can't.

That's because I just got one at Bang-On, a very cool custom T-shirt shop. Actually, it's a chain of stores that started in Vancouver (holla!), and has locations in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Zurich, and...uhh...Kelowna? Fortunately, if there isn't a location nearby, you can also buy from their Web site, though it doesn't seem to have as large a selection of designs as in the stores.

They've got several binders full of very cool designs, ranging from astrological signs and pop culture to political messages to car, cereal, and video game logos. They'll also do custom lettering. You choose the T-shirt and the design, and they'll bang it on. Prices start at about $30; certain designs and, of course, multiple logos cost more.

They use nice, quality shirts from American Apparel. After I had picked my design, I couldn't find exactly the right shirt for it, so I headed down the street to American Apparel, where I picked up a nice kelly green and white ringer T-shirt. The colours were perfect, and it seemed a little bit more fitted than the ordinary ones at Bang-On. The decal I had picked was $10, and for another $5, they applied it to my shirt.

The result is fabulous: you get exactly the shirt you want, and you'd never know that the design was pressed on in 2 minutes in the store. If you know me, you'll probably see me wearing my new shirt soon. If not, I'll try to post a pic soon.

Oh, and by the way, if you're in Toronto, I'd recommend the Queen West store over the one on Yonge. It's a much bigger, nicer looking store, and I found that the people there were much friendlier and more helpful. At the Yonge store, when I asked about supplying my own T-shirt, I was just told "no, we only do our own shirts," while on Queen West, they were happy to use mine, provided it was of good quality. The girl helping me even complimented me on the choice of shirt and said she couldn't wait until they started carrying it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

One Face Too Many

Your first face is beautiful.
And one is plenty.


Wednesday must be my least favourite day of the week. It's burried right in the middle, so terribly far away from any weekendage. I typically work from home two or three days a week, but Wednesday is one of the days that I always have to go in to the lab (as in "software lab" -- it's what we call the office). Since I don't drive, that means about 90 minutes each way on transit. In all, Wednesday is usually the longest, dreariest day of the week.

But today is not an ordinary Wednesday. I got to meet Richard for coffee, since he was visiting the lab for an event this morning, and he told me all about his Canadian Idol experience last night. Apparently, from the third row, he could tell, without doubt, that Zack was on Coke and that Daryl and Josh are gay. Didn't they follow Josh's story early in the competition, when he auditioned (and got through) with his girlfriend? Oh well, Richie hasn't ever watched the show before; he didn't even know who Sass is! Anyhow, we'll both be happy if Suzie wins, and we decided that the only cute guy in the top 32 this year was Stephane. And let's face facts, he's no Jacob.

Later, I got to meet up with Leah for coffee. I shan't say too much about our conversation, but I was happy just to escape my desk.

Today was a totally non-productive day, where all I did was help other people solve their problems. The funny thing is, that kind of work feels great and can be quite fun to do, but since it's not supposed to be my primary purpose, it seems like a wasted day in retrospect. At least it went by quickly enough; I just wish there weren't so many pending tasks left over at the end of it that will be facing me tommorrow.

But here's what made this particular Wednesday quite remarkable. On the way home, I picked up this week's issue of fab (Toronto's gay scene magazine), and opened it to "flash" with some trepidation. You see, Kevin and I went to Woody's after swing last Thursday, where we got more than a little drunk. At some point, a guy with a camera stopped us, told us he was taking pictures for fab, and asked if he could take ours. Having been disappointed before when we were photographed but not published, we were determined to make it this time. We took a couple of pictures touching tongues, which weren't published, though I'm sure they were plenty hot. We also took what we called our "before shot" (that's another story that I won't get into now), with our shirts up, showing off our nipples. And that's the picture I found today. The caption is "Kevin & Dave: nips & untucked @ Woody's." Clever, huh? It seems I can be quite the silly little twink.

So, yes, this truly is a unique kind of Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

first p0st!

Welcome, my little chickadees, to my inaugural post at Another Human Being.

Here it is, mid-2005, and I'm just starting my first blog. Given that I'm both gay and Jewish, I'm quite used to being late to a party. So, I guess it's appropriate that I'm a couple of years late to this particular one. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind of technophobe or neophyte: my first taste of "online" was the local BBS scene in Vancouver some 15 years ago, and I graduated to a shell account with Internet access just a few years after that. I've been posting various thoughts in various forums (message boards, newsgroups, and the Web) all that time. But the idea of keeping a running journal of my thoughts never appealed. More than anything, I couldn't be bothered to start, since I was a bit afraid I'd never keep it up. But, I've read some really great postings lately, and I've been thinking that those pepole will get to hang on to those words forever. I wonder how many opportunities I've already missed. So, today's the day to get started, and we'll see how I do.

I'm not sure exactly what kinds of things I'm going to write about; I guess we'll find out together. I work for a large, navy-coloured technology company, which has recently been encouraging its employees to blog, both internally and publicly. I just can't get at all excited about the idea of doing a blog that's purely about technology or, worse, business. So, this page probably won't be showing up at work on the Blogline any time soon. That said, being a geek is a pretty large part of who I am, so don't be too surprised if you find you have to don a propellor hat to appreciate some of my posts. Heck, even this title of this post was a reference to Slashdot (if you missed that, perhaps you should consider yourself lucky). Needless to say, this blog represents my personal thoughts only; I'm in no way speaking for my employer.

One promise to myself: keep the ranting under control. It's so easy to focus on the things that piss us off -- there's no shortage in any given day, and often there's a comical absurdity to them, which make for great stories. But I don't want you, dear reader, to think that I'm bitter or unhappy. I'm not. I'm quite possibly at the happiest point in my life so far. So, I'll try not to neglect the things that delight and amaze me.

That said, it's time for my first rant, about my BlogSpot address. Somebody already took anotherhumanbeing, and they're not even using it. Isn't that kind of rude? I mean, how much effort would it take to pick a template and throw together one post? So, now I'm stuck with the hyphens. Or maybe I'll change the name altogether at some point. The name is the title of a song by one of my favourite artists, Jann Arden. It was the first thing that popped into my head when Blogger asked me to choose a name. I guess I was thinking about how big the world is; how big the 'net is; how insignificant, and how significant, each voice is. I like it, but I'm not overly attached yet. If something better comes along, something that I don't have to hyphenate, I could easily change it at this point.

So, that's enough for one post. Once again, welcome. I hope you'll be entertained.