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January 30, 2007

By Louis-Ferdinand Céline

The poetry of heroism holds an irresistible appeal for people who aren't involved in a war, especially when they're making piles of money out of one. It's only natural.

From Journey to the End of the Night.

19:47 | Quotes | Comments (2)

January 28, 2007

I Don't Know, I'm Just The Bartender

I was in Portland this past weekend to see the Rat City (Seattle) Rollergirls play the Rose City (Portland) Rollers. It was a good game, Rose City gave the Seattle teams a run for their money. After the game, a few of us went to get a drink at the B-Side bar. In trying to order a beer, I somehow annoyed the bartender.

Bartender: "What can I get you?"
Me: (looking at the taps) "Um... what's that Roots beer?"
Bartender: "That's the Festivus."
Me: "What's that like?"
Bartender: "I don't know... I don't drink beer!"

Someone should teach this guy Sales 101: When a customer asks you what a certain product is like, you say it's great and recommend he order two.

22:59 | Travel | Comments (1)

January 23, 2007


If it's not the week before Christmas, you probably won't find me in a mall. Last weekend was an exception, when Bonnie and I made an impromptu trip to Bellevue Square. We browsed overpriced iPod accessories at The Apple Store, quizzed the Verizon worker for discounts on Smartphones, and compared various sized boxes at The Container Store. We were going to call it a day when we walked by perhaps the greatest store in the world. Without a word, we both rushed into The Lego Store.

Lego was by far my favourite toy growing up. I would spend hours building intricate spaceships, robots and space stations (my parents bet on me going into either computers, or becoming a NASA engineer). We browsed the pirate ships, Star Wars tie-ins, and primary-coloured houses for a while, when a display in the back corner caught my eye: Mindstorms.

Mindstorms is a computer-programmable Lego robot set with a motor, four kinds of sensors, USB and Bluetooth interfaces. In my whole life, I don't think I've ever lusted for a toy aged 10+ as much as I did that day. It took all my self-restraint to not drop the $250 right there and take it home. Of course, Bonnie's "Oh, that's cool," and "You should totally get that," comments really didn't help.

And no, I didn't even realize I'm bring this up less than two weeks before my birthday. Must be a crazy coincidence.

20:26 | Entertainment | Comments (1)

January 21, 2007

Upgrade Test

I just upgraded my blogging software to Movable Type 3.34. Let me know if you experience any problems.

15:37 | Blog | Comments (5)

January 16, 2007

Virginia Is For Racists

I don't know what's making me sicker, the food poisoning I've apparently come down with, or Virginia Delegate Frank Hargrove's remark that black people should get over slavery.

He also wondered aloud whether Jews should apologize for killing Christ.

At least he didn't join the Virginia legislative bandwagon of calling random brown people "Macaca"

15:13 | America | Comments (4)

January 13, 2007

Sorry Buddy, You've Got Two Months Left To Go

Today was a pretty cold day for Seattle, with highs a few degrees below freezing. As Bonnie and I were walking into Broadway Grill for brunch, we passed a man walking out. He looked up at the sporadic flurries falling, then said out loud "I'm officially sick of winter".

17:13 | Seattle | Comments (0)

January 11, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare A Surveillance Device?

According to this AP article, American defense contractors working in Canada have discovered tiny surveillance devices inside Canadian coins.

Sound incredible? It just might not be true.

This Globe and Mail article tells that the coins believed to have been tampered with are actually special commemorative coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. I can't say I blame foreigners in Canada for getting confused about our coinage, it seems every other year the Mint is commemorating something new, from the Terry Fox Loonie to the 12 different quarters marking Canada's 125th anniversary, to the 24 different quarters marking the new millennium, to the coloured quarters (link). I collect these things and I get confused!

It would seem to me that coins are a bad way to track people, since they get spent, lost or given away so easily. Who knows, maybe some foreign intelligence service is really concerned about how much Second Cup baristas get tipped?

16:58 | America , Canada | Comments (1)

January 10, 2007

Snowpocalypse 2007

It's been snowing here in Redmond for over four hours and the highways are only now starting to clear up (the overturned bus on 520 has been cleared). I've been stuck at work, occasionally looking out the window to see the streets turned into very narrow parking lots, with the occasional fenderbender or car in the ditch.

It's almost 8:00pm, and luckily for me, today's team lunch was at Claim Jumper, whose servings are large even by the hungriest American's standards, so I haven't had to resort to a vending machine dinner.

I guess it's about time to brave the roads (I'm giving up on the bus and getting a ride with two guys who learned to drive in California... we'll be taking it slow). Needless to say, I don't think I'll be coming to the office tomorrow.

UPDATE 10:45pm: after a quick bite at Red Robin, we finally got back to Capitol Hill... two and a half hours after we left.

19:40 | Seattle | Comments (1)

January 4, 2007

Watch That Slice

One of the things I got to do in Toronto that I can't do in Seattle is get some good authentic Italian food. My Mom made her trademark lasagna, I went out for a veal sandwich and my Zia made cannelloni for Christmas dinner. But perhaps the most memorable was when my brother took me out for pizza.

Matt lives around the corner from Vesuvio's, a pizzeria that's been a Toronto fixture for decades. Behind the counter were two grizzled old Italian men, working the dough with their hands. I order a slice of veggie and a Brio Chinotto to wash it down. I took a bite and was blown away at how good this pizza was. Seattle's pizza scene doesn't compare. As I chewed my first bite, I examined the slice. Thin crust, a perfect amount of sauce, lots of vegetables, and... what vegetable is that? Why, it was a slice of pepperoni!

Veggie Pizza

The pizza (pepperoni and all) was delicious, and I would recommend it to any pizza lover visiting Toronto. Vegetarians be sure to check your slice before biting.

23:30 | Travel | Comments (2)