Step #1 to Adulthood completed!
Today at 5:20 pm EST, I received my first set of business cards.
Step #1 to Adulthood completed!
Today at 5:20 pm EST, I received my first set of business cards.
Waiting for my computer
So I’m finally getting Visio 2002 Professional.
To be honest, I really don’t know how to use Visio very well, but it’s considered a necessary tool when you’re doing IA and Usability. I’m interested in how it tracks website flows (one of it’s new features…and perhaps the most important in my line of work).
So that’s 20 minutes of time I can dedicate to “Admin”, you know, that wonderful “misc task” time that you have to dump stuff into because your computer crashed, or for instance, the IT guy is installing Visio.
I didn’t bring a lunch today. Went back to old McDick’s for the McChicken Wednesdays…..a McChicken Sandwich, a Salad and a Drink for 5 bucks flat. Not too bad (Cheaper if you go with the standard fries).
This time I ordered a Sprite® (thus, no brown spot) and wedged it between the handbrake and gear shift.
I’ll be in Detroit next week. Wow, I’m haven’t even been here for 3 weeks and now I’m on a business trip.
I wish I was the Naked Chef
Perhaps I should start off to say that Kev’s B-day was a nice, low-key intimate affair.
I spent Friday evening dressing $60 CDN Prime Rib Roast. Triple A, Canadian Beef, Baby!
In hindsight, I wished I had taken some before and after pictures of the food.
I showed Jen my workplace on the way to meet Clem and Leo (and John, Ann and Dominic) at Spezzo’s. They were finally graduating from Kinesiology at Waterloo. Congrats to both of them! Clement is in Chiropractic College and Leo is in Medical School.
On the menu for Saturday evening:
I have to admit, I really did outdo myself.
I also avoided some near-disasters (well, culinary disasters at least).
I had intended to make Mashed Potatoes. However, I realised that I had forgotten to bring milk after I had boiled the potatoes. You can’t have mash without milk or cream. So I decided to roast the potatoes in the bacon drippings from the asparagus (French-Style).
The second “near-miss” was the deglaze. Normally I make the “gravy” with beef-stock. However, I wanted to get fancy and used Red Wine (that Nirvan had been so kind to purchase at my request) instead. Once the alcohol had been boiled off. I was left with a red-wine, mashed onion, baked garlic-reduction. It tasted horrible! Very bitter and acerbic. So out of desparation, I added about 4 good squeezes of honey. That really “mellowed” the taste. Hence the “honey and red-wine” deglaze. In hindsight, perhaps something like Quantro or Cherry would have been a better choice. Hmmm..
The roast turned out spectacular. Nice and pink, but not overly red.
The only thing that I didn’t really like was the aparagus. The bacon really overpowered the asparagus. It really weighed down the pallette in my opinion. A better choice would have been to go with steamed/blanched aspargus in butter. We could have had the bacon for breakfast.
Here are some pics of the food:
Special thanks to Ruth for making dessert (she wasn’t able to stay for dinner). Special thanks to Nirvan and Florence for putting the salad to plate.
My Temperamental Mistress
Kev, Flo, Cris and I played golf immediately after check-in. It was an 18-hole course, par 4. It was DAMN COLD to play golf. Not only that, but we were sucking eggs out there.
We only played 9 holes of golf, and had a dubious “challenge” hole on the 10th. If your count only 1/2 course, I would have won. However, with the 10 hole, I got stuck in the “mother of sand traps” and added about 12 strokes to my game.
So the B-day boy won.
The challenge hole was at first “doing cartwheels”—I’m quite good at that, having done many when I was young. I even atempted a one-arm cartwheel. We decided to spin around our clubs until dizzy and then take our shot. We all shot poorly, except for Cris who had a great shot (dead straight) and ended hitting her best hole that round with a double-bogey.
I have some video tape of the “challenge”. I’ll upload that as soon as I can.
They want me to join the “boys” class
Sunday was a rush to Jen’s dance class (I did not go willingly). I sat through the entire dance class. With all of Jen’s balance bar work, I now realise why she always wants me to massage her calves after dance practice. Damn…I definitely can’t do what she was doing. I’m especially impressed with the women in the class…they range from mid-30s to late 40s. They’re in great shape…extremely flexible.
While I was there, the dance instructor tried to convince to join the “boys” class.
It’s a Prime-Rib Roast Weekend in Collingwood, Ontario.
Oh yeah, it’s Kev’s B-day this weekend.
Went out to lunch to pick up some McDonald’s Drive-thru.
I had placed the cup of Coke in between my legs while driving.
By the time the car ride was over, I had this nice brown wetspot to the right side of my groin.
To add insult to injury: They didn’t pack a straw with my drink.
Every Sunday, Jen participates in a cultural folk dancing class. I took some video on my digital camera about 2 weeks ago.
It’s an Apple Quicktime Movie, so if you don’t have it, you should get the latest plug-in for your OS and browser. Downloading Quicktime 6 is pretty simple.
Here’s the movie:
I stored the file on Webspace provided by Rogers High Speed Internet, Unfortunately, the server doesn’t support streaming of live media…so you’ll have to do either of the following:
Well, I’m not sure if you have all heard, but I recently started a new full-time job with OnX Enterprise Solutions. They are an IT consulting firm.
You’ve probably seen their sign, on the building near the Leitch building while travelling on HWY. 404/DVP.
I’m working there as a Usabililty Specialist. I’m Ecstatic about the position
I think it’s a pretty funny story about how I got the job. My friend Felix (we worked together at Critical Path) and I had been unemployed for about the same time. I had been been working on small contracts, he had been working with a new start-up. He and I have similar qualificaitons (he’s more skewed to UI design, while I specialise in UI analysis and
Usability), and about the same working experience.
In my final visit to Critical Path, my co-worker Peter Rogers (one of the funniest people I have ever had the honor of working with), had mentioned a UI design opening at a company called OpenCola. They were located in Markham, and seemed to be an ideal position for me.
Anyways, right before I submitted my resumé to OpenCola, Felix and I were chatting. The conversation went along the lines of the following:
Felix: Hey Tai, how’s it going?Tai: Not too bad, looking for a job, but I found this sweet position in Markham. Felix: Really? I just started working in Markham, at a place called OpenCola.Tai: Really? Well, I guess I won’t be applying to them…HA HA, since you just got the position I had in mind.
Brutal, but it gets better…
Tai:Congrats man! When do you start? Felix: I started today actually [Monday, Oct 7th]. Tai: Cool.
Fortunately this conversation was over Yahoo! Instant Messaging; he couldn’t see my envy. He went on to talk about his final round interview with CIBC; I didn’t even get passed the first rounds.
Felix:Hey, did Onx.com call you?Tai: No, why?
I’m thinking, “They called you and they didn’t call me?! ARGHH!” I was frustrated.
Felix: Really? I thought for sure they would call you. Take look at their website, you can apply there. Tai: Yeah, I will. Definitely. Thanks for the Tip.
In a nutshell, I applied Monday, received a call from the HR representative Tuesday, interviewed on Friday, and received and accepted an offer to work Friday afternoon. Felix, to his credit, even called the HR guy mid-week to chat them up about me.
The night before the interview was particularly bad. I had went to sleep early at 11:30 pm. Jen called at 1:38 am. The phone call went like this.
RING! RING!Tai: <silence> Hello?!Jen: Oh my God! You’re sleeping and you have an interview tomorrow. I shouldn’t have calledTai:Bye.Jen: Bye. <click, dial tone>
After that 10 second conversation, I was never able to fall back asleep. I was so pissed at Jen. If my lack of sleep screwed up this interview—I didn’t know what that would do to the relationship.
So with a scant two hours of sleep, I went into my interview. It was good. I was very happy with it—even with the lack of sleep. They loved my turkey stories. You could say that they ate it all up.
As you know, they called back in the afternoon. I started work on Wednesday, and that’s about that.
Exciting stuff is happening at OnX.com, and I’ve already learned a lot…but I’ll talk about that later.
So this year’s Thanksgiving felt especially appropriate.
Thanks a lot Felix, I don’t know if I would have found this job without the tip you give me.
“I wanna be an Adventure Racer! Living the Life of full of…”
Hey all. Yesterday Afternoon, my brother and I went for a hike in Rouge River Park. We hiked for about 2 hours up and down the Rouge Valley. Not a bad hike, but nothing compared to the terrain in Algonquin.
I think my next big camping trip will be Killarney Provincial Park—5 days, 100 Km. A little bit extreme…but then again, Win knows a guy who did the loop in 19 hours.
Anyway, I took some shots of with my digicam. I’m afraid nothing really turned out—I know nothing about photography. Oh yeah, that fuzzy thing is a catepillar.
Win and I talked about his store’s Adventure Racing Team [Team Running Free]. They came 3rd in the Canadian Qualifications and are competing in this years 2002 Eco-Challenge in Fiji (which incidentally begins in a few hours…). I hope they do, they’re a bunch of swell guys.
Good luck and a safe race to John, Marijke, Bob and Ted!
I wonder how Hayden Christensen and his family will do?
Oh by the way, while in the brush, i stepped in a pile of feces. That really ruined my day.
It’s so true, so true — Open source software is difficult to use
Matthew Thomas is a UI programmer for the Mozilla Project. He has written an insightful list of rules for why the ease-of-use for Open Source Project tends to suck.
He also wrote a follow up article based on reader response:
It’s so true.
I’m so tempted to buy….
Just want to write about one of the things that I’m going through. Recently I’ve been tempted to upgrade my .Mac account (it is pronounced dot Mac). It would be $49 USD for a a single year subscription (that is about $75 CDN).
This is what I would get:
As a bonus, I get 100 Free Kodak digital picture prints (a Retail value of $49.99 USD). Not to mention that the Virex® Software is worth $50 already (not that it matters any, Macs don’t really get viruses). So in other words, I would come out as a winner in this deal, right?
I’ve been holding off .mac services for several reasons. I won’t go into details, but I will say this: I already pay for most of the functionality of .Mac through other people (email, Webspace, FTP, etc.). $75 CDN a year is a great deal for all the .mac services if you don’t have any of these services already. I would jump all over this if it were not redundant. Hell, I already spend $150+ CDN for my domain and webspace from BlackSun Inc. I just can’t justify it. Did I mention that the $49 USD membership is for the first year only? It’s $100 the 2nd year onwards (or for any new subscriber for that matter).
The thing that irks me though, is the tight integration between certain iApps (iCal, iSync, iPhoto, AddressBook, Backup etc.) and .Mac. Does that mean I’m not getting the 100% of the experience that I spent $230 CDN for with my purchase of OS 10.2 Jaguar? Should I be required to spend another $75 CDN for .mac? Is the operating system crippled without a .Mac account? It’s a point of contention that has gripped a lot of the mac community of late.
I know I don’t need .Mac to enjoy my iBook, but I guess, in the end it’s about my faith in Apple. Can Apple make .Mac into a viable, “cannot-live-without” service? What other features will they add over the next year?
Be strong Tai. Be strong.