pphaneuf: (Enlightened)
So I went for a weekend in San Francisco... I was planning on that already, so I had packed a light raincoat and a few long-sleeved shirts, so I wouldn't look like a tourist, but as it turned out, I forgot them in Mountain View and looked like a tourist anyway! After obtaining a lender bike for the weekend (thanks Noé!) and deciding to leave my laptop at the office so I could travel light, I hopped on the Google shuttle and managed to get the wireless Internet they have onboard working on my iPod touch. This was already kind of cool, but I was totally amazed when I thought I would consult the map and I pressed the "go to my location" button, just for the heck of it, and it actually got it! I was then further amazed at how it seemed to do a kind of pseudo-tracking, updating my position every ten seconds or so... So I didn't feel quite as lost as I did the last time.

After getting together with [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal, dropping off my stuff at her place and inflating the bike's tires (I quickly found out that the brakes were not working well at all either, which was a bit worrying, considering how hilly San Francisco is!), we headed to some show she had heard was recommended that night. It was in a small but pretty cool art gallery, where they had a good number (maybe a hundred or so?) of speakers embedded in wooden sculptures, hanging by wires from the ceiling. The curator later told us that this is an art installation and that they are actually operational, seemed like this could be pretty cool in itself, but as it turns out, the main attraction of the night was a DJ. He was pretty competent, I have to say, and enjoyed his set, despite the fact that we had just missed a part of his performance where he donned a dinosaur suit and hugged everyone in the audience, I was a bit disappointed having missed that! It's funny how people recognize my accent, including in particular the bartender, whom I was asking for a beer. He pointed me at the menu with just two beers available (this was a temporary setup), and I told him that, well, I had no idea what either of those were. So he apologized quickly, asked me if I knew about Unibroue, to which I responded in the affirmative, and he then told me that I would find the first one horrible, and that the other one, well, wasn't nearly as good as Unibroue, but would probably not offend me too much. Heh!

After getting back to [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal's place, there was some inevitable discussion about music, of course, and I introduced her to the new Apple Remote application for her iPhone. She fell in love at first sight, it would seem, she even moved her iPhone dock to put it beside her bed! We were pretty tired, but she had put on Black Eyes's eponymous album, and it is quite good, we just had to finish it before going to sleep.


Tour de Fat
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
The next day, I wasn't feeling too sore from sleeping her couch, which was good, because we were heading out to Tour de Fat! There was a brief stop for chocolatines and cappuccinos, of course, it wouldn't have been civilized otherwise. There were crazy bikes, crazy bands, and crazy beer! Much fun was had, including bouncing around with (very) limited success on a pogo-stick. I then accompanied [livejournal.com profile] morethanreal to a tattooing session (hers, not mine!), which was pretty cool, including a pretty classic Californian laid back surfer artist. I then headed back with her to pick up my stuff, had some (spicy!) burrito on 16th, then headed to [livejournal.com profile] jbdeboer's place, where I elected to stay that night (thanks, by the way!). That place is up. Very, very up. Like, on top. Yowzer. I had some idea of taking a cab from there to the DNA Lounge, but I was too wiped and gave up (fail!).

On the upside of being at the top is the good view (hmm, there's the view to Lafayette Park, which can be interesting according to the "near here" feature of some random iPod Flickr app!), although it was a bit cloudy. Biking down Gough was mental, though! I realized at some point that with the intersections being flat, that I couldn't see past them! All of that while going upward of 40 kph, of course. That led me eventually to a nice breakfast at Cafe Petra, since there was too many people at Ritual (and I don't think they have food either). I biked around the Mission, dropped by Good Vibrations (got myself a book), then back up around Market and Stockton, where I resisted the siren call of the Apple Store. I managed to get some excellent coffee at Bluebottle Coffee, once more, and then eventually got lost in the Tenderloin without realizing it, while I was taking photos. It was very sketchy, especially with my big SLR camera hanging from my neck.

Monday, the excitement level was much lower as I went to Barefoot Coffee Roasters with a team-mate who is a fan of good coffee. It is also very good, although I preferred Bluebottle's. As it is customary in Mountain View, we were back home before 10pm.

The next day, we went for dinner on Castro (in Mountain View) at an Italian restaurant with a very colourful owner, who seems to be a big George Michael fan. Excellent service, though, setting up a table just for us (my other team-mates are known there, it would seem), and of course, singing at the table by the owner. There was some ice cream after, and some of us were rebellious and went home past 11pm!

Now, I'm about to be taken out to In-N-Out, which I'm told I just have to go to. Sounds questionable, but hey, I've done worse.
pphaneuf: (I Like Beer)
So I went for a ride last Sunday with [livejournal.com profile] cpirate and [livejournal.com profile] dfcarney. I'm not sure fate didn't really want me too, with a series of bad lucks that culminating with the aluminium sole of one of my biking shoes to let go. But it was fun, ice cream was had, and it all ended up on the roof terrasse with a beer. :-)

Monday, as it was my birthday, the lady [livejournal.com profile] azrhey took me out to PortusCalle, which was quite nice! There was some white Port, some rosé, fine food, lovely fondant au chocolat, and, of course, a nice espresso. We then headed down to the Katacombes for a few drinks with [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe.

Wednesday, [livejournal.com profile] azrhey, [livejournal.com profile] slajoie and I went to play some pools at iStori, followed by a demonstration of my awfulness at Rock Band. At least, I didn't sing, or else we'd have been in trouble with the police, I think.

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] slajoie and [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyila joined me to attend Nista and The Human Kind, at Zoobizarre, which is a pretty cool venue (it's kind of weird, a stone cellar on a second floor?!?). The bands were pretty good, I think, worth getting the CDs for, although Nista doesn't have a CD at the moment. There were a few of my co-workers (and their friends) there, as Nista's guitarist is also a Montreal Googler. There was a song about angst at the supermarket, allegedly inspired by the Super-C near my place, heh!

Tonight, the grand celebration for my birthday! There's a number of people who have been making special efforts in order to be there, so I'm quite flattered! It should be awesome. :-)
pphaneuf: (I Like Beer)
Uh, there was a traffic jam on my small street today when I left for work?!? Complete with no less than two city buses, trying to work around the cranes and other construction equipment currently cluttering the street... Weird.

Oh, man, I've been meaning to post for exactly two weeks, yet didn't. I did this thing where I thought about hypothetical posts that I'd be writing while on the metro and biking, then forgot to actually post it.

It helps that there has been a fair deal of biking going on, beginning with what I called the Weekend of Doomed Awesomeness for a bit (if only in my head). This started by going to Mutek's Nocturne 3 with [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe on the Friday. Then, went to the Mondial de la bière with [livejournal.com profile] azrhey in the afternoon, after which [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe joined us to go to Mutek's Nocturne 4. How to follow this best? Sunday, I showed up at [livejournal.com profile] cpirate's place almost in time (9am-ish, after going to bed at 5am!) for, you know, a little Tour de l'Île (with [livejournal.com profile] scjody as well), after which we stopped for well-deserved poutine at La Banquise (and a coffee, so I could stay conscious). Then (the same day!), [livejournal.com profile] azrhey and I met with [livejournal.com profile] rezendi for a quick pint before catching Le Salaire de la peur at Cinéma du Parc. In case I might have survived, [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe invited me to see She Wants Revenge for my birthday (got me brownies too, woot!), on the Monday evening (we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyilla too, ahoy!).

While I thought Nocturne 3 was quite excellent (Millimetrik and Modeselektor were awesome, Kid Koala very good, although I've seen better sets from him, and the other bands were quite fun too), Nocturne 4 let me a little bit down. Most of the bands didn't "click" with me much, and the whole programme was running late, which combined with the act I wanted to see most (Deadbeat, was excellent!) played last, made for leaving the place extremely late. Still, it was nice too, I just wish I could have slept in the next day!

I'll have to agree with [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe, She Wants Revenge was good, but they'd have to put out a killer album for me to go to their next show. Some of their opening bands were really wacky and not all that good either, including a "punk" band that sounded like Avril Lavigne on speed.

So after that, I, uh, didn't do much for the two last weeks, as you might have guessed. I did bike to work a lot (for which there was tremendously good weather!), played with my own early birthday gift to myself (a new top-end 24" iMac, Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz and GeForce 8800 GS, smokin'!) and coded (mostly on Quadra, more than 20 commits just this weekend!). There was a visit from [livejournal.com profile] musicdieu and [livejournal.com profile] cpirate, watching of Euro Cup games, and Munchkins.

[livejournal.com profile] azrhey and I went out on the city last Saturday, was quite nice, and I got myself a nice watch (Danish design and titanium? sign me up!). We ended up going to the cinema and watching You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Yes, I know, I know, but it's actually pretty funny, mostly due to the weird cultural references (fizzy bubbles and hummus, baby!), and was saved because I have a small idea of what's going on in that culture, and would probably have been even funnier if I was actually part of it. I don't really expect it to do well, although there's a fair share of stuff that a lot of North American would find funny (silly fight scenes, sexual jokes), but I laughed really hard at the hacky sack, fish and hummus jokes, myself.

On a closing note, I've had a weird email recently from OkCupid (which I do find entertaining, for various reasons). I often get the "come back to our site so you can see and click ads" emails, but this one was different, telling me that there was one particular user I should message where there was some sort of category 5 crazy outlier match. Apparently, the love of my life is in New York state, which is too bad, because I'm not, ha! It then showed the usual "you might be interested in those people" bunch of people, but as opposed to the usual, this morning it was a bunch of my friends, so, well, I guess it sorts of works? I do like my friends, they're nice and everything. :-P
pphaneuf: (Default)
My Sunday in New York was fine. It was rainy, but I had excellent coffee (Gimme! Coffee, and also accidentally tasted someone else's coffee, oops!), excellent pizza, played games all afternoon (Cleopatra and the Society of Architects is fun, I was hilariously bad at Guitar Hero), and had most excellent italian food at Pô (white bean ravioli in a butter balsamic sauce, yum!)) in the evening.

But the return... Oh, the return. I couldn't get any taxi that wanted me for a JFK ride (there was a smell of rush hour coming up), so I decided to be brave (the risk here being getting lost) and take the train. That worked out all right, thanks to another passenger who made me realize I was on the wrong train, which I could fix before it became too annoying.

Arriving at Terminal 2, the check-in hall I was directed to was so amazingly full of people, it was ridiculous. Thankfully, I arrived plenty early, because the place was packed with people queuing for whatever reason, and it was just pandemonium (when I left the place, the queues were extending outside, and this building isn't exactly small!). There, I was told that the booking for my return flight had been cancelled when there was some issues with my first flight. But I'm in New York, not Montreal, get me home!

I ended up on standby for the flight I was supposed to be booked on, and after some delays, didn't make it. They actually called my name by mistake, as the attendant thought there was one more seat, so it was a pretty close call. In fact, it was so close that my checked-in luggage was in the plane, and I couldn't get it back!

So I ended up in an hotel in Jamaica, because, you know, that'd be cool. Jamaica is colder than I thought it'd be. Big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] azrhey and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe entertaining me, so that the accidental murdering rampage didn't happen (this would have hindered my return trip even further, I suspect). The hotel was just about full, and I got an "Elite" room or something, which was pretty cool, and I slept very well, strangely enough.

That next flight went just fine, no delay, my luggage was given to me quickly, there was very few people at the security check lines. Whew.

Thanks to my hosts, [livejournal.com profile] andukar, [livejournal.com profile] a_chatterbox and [livejournal.com profile] dreamage for having me over! Also, some photos from the Saturday.
pphaneuf: (Default)
Explored New York a bit yesterday with some of my hosts, which was pretty cool and impressive. Already, from the apartment, there is a view on the Manhattan skyline, and getting there, there's a definite feeling of being in a Big Place. That's why I took my 14mm/f2.8 super-wide-angle lens as my only lens, which was a bit of a weird choice. I was glad I had it for some stuff, but other times, the thing I wanted to photography as so small and far away! A cool lens, but I'll need to get used to it, for sure.

[livejournal.com profile] andukar and [livejournal.com profile] a_chatterbox took me out for a late breakfast first, at Max Brenner on 2nd Avenue (they wanted to take me to some other place, but it was full). They're pretty serious about their chocolate, and while the breakfast was nothing too special, the included cappuccino was actually pretty good, while they didn't let me upgrade to a mocha, it came with two small chunks of chocolate, which I promptly threw in the coffee. Tasty!

We then headed to the Grand Central Terminal, where some photos were taken, and the acoustics of the archway next to the lower concourse was tried out.

We walked up 5th Avenue, seeing a vast penny collection set up at the Rockefeller Center, onward to the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. While the store itself is nothing all that special (it's just larger than the one I had seen before, but not huge either), the architecture of it is indeed pretty damned cool. I took advantage of the almost-collapsing US economy to buy a few items, saving something like 30% over the price in Canada. Haha, chumps!

We then walked through Central Park for a bit. This is such a great idea, dropping a huge park in the centre of a city! Definitely the hallmark of an awesome city (check!).

After a while there, [livejournal.com profile] a_chatterbox announced that hot chocolate was called for, as it was a bit chilly, which I could only concur with. So we headed to the Chocolate Bar, where I had a nice hazelnut-flavoured hot chocolate with a chipotle/cinnamon brownie to go with it. Oh yeah.

After a quick visit to the Google office (I walked in front of [livejournal.com profile] ze_dinosaur's office, heh!) to figure out where we'd eat, we set our (metro) sails for Times Square. Wow! The people! The lights! At that point, I was glad I had my super-wide-angle lens, because this place is very big. Like, a lot. And there are people. And lights.

Dinner time being the time, we went to a Thai place not very far from their apartment, where we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] caffeinemonkey, for maximum classiness (first question to him: "was it you or mrwise who pooped in the shower?"). Had some pretty good garlic and pepper beef, with a good helping of wine (especially as I had uncovered a plot to get me drunk the following night!).

We went back and watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which was quite hilarious. I had never even heard of it, but I definitely recommend it!

Good thing that we did some good walking yesterday, because this morning, the weather is pretty crappy (rainy).
pphaneuf: (Default)
Tuesday, I had dinner at Soup and Noodles after work with [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe, and went to see Control, where we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] nevergirl and another one of their friends.

The movie was quite good. Sam Riley did a fantastic job of portraying a troubled Ian Curtis, who can be quite the jerkface at times, without falling into a caricature. This applies to the rest of the cast as well, with people being people, which is amazingly rare in movies these days. The music was of course excellent, including the surprising inclusion of Kraftwerk's Autobahn (not in its entirety, of course!). We all knew how the story ended, of course, and it unfurled slowly before our eyes, but it still was surprising, somehow, and had me biting my lips.

Yesterday, it was a more-or-less annual "stuff the [livejournal.com profile] sps" kind of evening, where we hit up [livejournal.com profile] swestrup and [livejournal.com profile] taxlady's place, ate good food, had plenty of wine, ate some more food, a fair amount of coffee, and played a pretty mean game of Munchkin, which I had to drop out of, due to excessive tiredness, unfortunately. I wasn't doing so good, anyway, although I did give some people enough trouble.

Tonight, party at [livejournal.com profile] jul3z! Whee!
pphaneuf: (Default)
I've been lagging behind in a lot of things (sorry if you've sent me mail and are still waiting for a reply!), but I think it's been good for me.

The day after we arrived, I managed to catch [livejournal.com profile] serendipity_wpg's last show on the Fringe, where I met [livejournal.com profile] wlach, [livejournal.com profile] cpirate and [livejournal.com profile] scjody, without anything being scheduled. After a choriço poutine at Mondo Fritz, I even crossed pzion on the way home. This was pretty cool, for a first day out, having such nice random encounters even in a city of three million people!

After getting all my money turned into Canadian currency, I tried to pick myself a nice Linksys WRTSL54GS, to hook ourselves up with some wireless Internet (with some hackability in mind!), to no avail. I ran into the WRT350N the next day, which seems to be the replacement model (had some issues with it at first, but it works perfectly for me once I restricted it to "b" and "g" wireless).

I also went for a drink with [livejournal.com profile] azrhey, [livejournal.com profile] cpirate, [livejournal.com profile] liberation_now and [livejournal.com profile] tygrbabe, which had me somewhat fiddly, but (of course!) proved to be quite enjoyable.

There was a visit by [livejournal.com profile] sps, [livejournal.com profile] swestrup and [livejournal.com profile] taxlady, where Settlers of Catan was played and I was soundly beaten to a pulp. I had cheese curds to console myself, which I was missing terribly!

I saw some of my old gang from cégep, where Mare Nostrum was played and I almost won, but Brain won finally. The usual...

I got myself some new shoes, which I find pretty nifty, but I then had the very silly idea of going for a walk before going to lab-synthèse-01. Going for a walk with new shoes, gah. I had soft ice cream to console myself. I had to leave before [livejournal.com profile] lautreamax got on, due to logistical constraints (also known as "living way the hell over there"), but I did catch (and enjoy!) his co-conspirator's set. More electronic music, more!

And today, we went downtown where I chatted with people for a bit while sipping coffee, walked around lazily and managed to randomly catch a 60% off deal on memory for my laptop at Compusmart's closing sale. Now writing this sitting on the lawn of the Place-des-Arts, from a spot in the shade, taking it easy with the Jazz Fest in the background... Nice!
pphaneuf: (Default)
I'm doing better, this last little while... I'm actually doing decent stuff at work, even though I'm finding the academic roots of the software grating at times.

In the past, I was under the impression that academics weren't as good as the engineers at getting stuff done, but I thought it was because they spent too much time getting things all just right, finding "100% solutions". It's not entirely wrong, but is somewhat mischaracterized. When they do start coding, they do get stuff done. The trick is that their "100% solutions" aren't for the system, but usually just focused on a particular problem. Also, they tend to stop when they solved that particular problem to their satisfaction, having proven their point. So they're shoddy as well, but in a different way than the engineers. Instead of having an overall shoddy, but complete product, they have one aspect quite spectacular, but the rest is all out to lunch, I wouldn't really dare call it a "product".

But that's annoying, as a general concept, it means that I don't really sit well with either engineers nor academics! Damn.

In other good news, I received my bank statement from December, and while I was a bit worried that I had overspent, it turns out that I didn't, being an overall cash-positive month? Oh well, no complaints here!

I checked out a new coffee place that had a, hmm, let's say "slightly less French" air to it, which sounded promising, as far as getting non-burnt coffee. I had moccacino, which is a first around here (and contributed to the "less French" feeling), was somewhat weird, but still tasty.

On the way back, I stopped by a used CD stored called OCD.net, finding the relationship between OCD and record collectors, ahem, telling. Picked up some Placebo must-haves ("Without You I'm Nothing" and "Sleeping With Ghosts"). Yum, Placebo...
pphaneuf: (Default)
Was supposed to do a bunch of things outside the apartment last weekend, ended up staying home the whole time. Oh well. I did manage to do some of the computer related cleaning up I was meaning to do, and finished watching Babylon 5.

I cut back on biking a good deal recently, for no particularly good reason beside "it rains often" (but not nearly "always"), and I didn't get to do any fast riding since I got myself a bike computer. So I went to go out for a ride yesterday, after dinner.

I stopped for some a bit of hacking in a café. This time, it was in Europe and I do have the hip Powerbook, but I wasn't dressed to kill, went inside rather than the terrasse (kind of chill in the evening), didn't have my own music (but the café's music was decent) and there was a bus station in front. Well, I'm getting there!

Then, I proceeded to get lost, after leaving from the café.

When I recovered my bearings, as I was crossing the Place du Capitole, I heard a solid Québec accent as I biked past some people. I just turned around and said "hey" to the two girls . Clearly out of character for me, I must be going nuts or something. They had landed the day before and are planning to bike across Europe, more or less, pretty cool. I even got invited out for drinks, which I found rather flattering, but had to turn down, being rather late with all of my being lost, work the next day and everything...

Seems like that bike is pretty damned awesome. I'd say that for a given effort, I can go about 20-25% faster than with my old bike, and I didn't even put in the clipless pedals yet! 25 kph is effortless, and I clocked in a hair under 50 kph on a flat straightline on my way to work (where I try not to sweat too much). It's pretty sweet. :-)
pphaneuf: (Default)
I was sleeping so well tonight, huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] azrhey, who has the unenviable task of waking me up. I'm feeling like a burden at times, but really, it should be my own burden, having to get up at such inane time in the morning. I remember being sitting in the bed, eating my cereals, drinking my coffee and staring at the digital clock on my computer, and I could have swore the minutes went by more than one at a time, the time shifting from 8:02 to 8:07 in a single jump, seemingly... I feel I rely too much on coffee, these days, I'd like to have it for its taste, rather than because I'm a useless zombie.

I was biking to the train station, crossing the St-Michel bridge, and the Garonne was quite full, with the dam having water rushing over it and ducks frolicking in the shallow water over the lawn just upstream from the small locks. I keep thinking that I should take my camera more, and I keep forgetting (just like I keep forgetting to inflate my bike's tires, as well).

I think it's time I develop some sort of social life. I've been rather lucky with the people I hung out with in Montreal, being with the like of published fiction authors, craft artists, scientists in a few different fields, musicians, singers, photographers, entrepreneurs, accountants, DJs, comedians, actors, playwrights, parents, politicians, philosophers, tattoo artists, and who knows what else, coming from all sorts of countries, many of them well-traveled and worldly, a significant number of them having alternative lifestyles, many different religions, etc...
pphaneuf: (Default)
My interviews (there was two, in fact!) went pretty well. I think this could be rather interesting, might just be a case of a "slow start" or something... Hopefully, it'll be good for me here!

On another note, I'd really like a Second Cup mochaccino. Bastard French, with their over-roasted and over-extracted coffee... :-P

February 2016

S M T W T F S
 123456
7891011 1213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios