THE UNBELIEVABLE STORY OF THE DAY

So today, I’m at Lougheed Mall Walmart checking out their DVD section (please, no comments, there are no A&B Sound stores near my house). As I’m perusing, I overhear one dude talking to his buddy in the next section over, the video games. They were moving around slightly and a few displays were obscuring my hearing. Thus, I was not able to hear all aspects of what that one guy was saying. Nonetheless, I will attempt to transcribe his words here.

“Hey, I have this buddy, he’s twenty-five… (unintelligible) …his father… (unintelligble) EA Sports….”

“… architect… (unintelligible) …job… (unintelligible) …his entire job is to play games and tell the programmer about glitches and stuff… (unintelligible)”

“…he makes $113 000 a year just playing games all day… his first job at 25, and he makes $113 000 a year!”

My first instinct was to approach this individual and get the name of the person he was talking to. I thought better of it, since I was still stunned by the contents of his words. I have several comments to make about what I heard. First, I can only assume when he said EA Sports, he means EA Canada in Burnaby. Most of the public can’t distinguish between a line of titles and actual studios. Second, I am highly skeptical of the salary he mentioned for what I can only assume is a testing position with QA at EA Canada. Having worked in the QA department at EA Canada for almost two years, I am almost certain no one is making $113 000 a year being just a tester. It’s just not possible. Perhaps he might have been talking about a project manager, but even for a PM, $113 000 is an extremely high salary. And no PM is only 25 years old at EA Canada. The QA manager probably makes the most money within the QA department, but that position is currently held by a woman who also isn’t 25 years old.

Let’s just play devil’s advocate for a second. What if there is a tester that is making $113 000 a year? Who would it be? From what I overheard, it appears that someone’s father helped this guy get his job. This is not unheard of, but from the instances that I saw while I was a tester, no one got special salaries or anything. I am slightly out of the loop with respect to EA Canada QA now, but those who are still there might be able to get to the bottom of this.

Logically, I’m inclined to believe that this guy at Walmart doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or that his friend lied to him. This is the simplest explanation. However, history has shown some unbelievable decisions have been made at EA Canada. Could this be another instance of that? Only time will tell. I hope I will have more to write about this in the next few days.

Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

As part of my plan to spend money I don’t have I bought the movie Amelie on DVD a few days ago. I was able to watch the movie tonight. My first thought was, “How is it that the same man who directed Amelie, also brought us Alien Resurrection?” Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet crafted a wonderfully made film in Amelie. A well written and superbly acted piece of cinema, it’s a movie that develops a quirky personality to it, much like the title character herself. I thought Audrey Tautou was amazing playing Amelie, an introverted but imaginative young woman. The movie details her attempt to bring happiness to others while facing her own pursuit of love. And don’t get me started about Amelie’s haircut. I loved that little bob cut she had. Cute as a button she was!

Another thing Jeunet managed to pull off was to showcase Paris as city that I would actually want to return to. In all the movies I’ve seen before that had scenes in Paris, none of them really made me want to go there again. Jeunet’s Paris in Amelie had a small town feel to it. There was almost a warmth or comfort to it, which is surprising since we’re talking about French people here. Heh heh.

Overall, Amelie was an inspiring movie with a fascinating main character. With so many mainstream choices on the rental shelf today, it makes Amelie a clear winner.

AN IMPULSE BUY

So last night, I’m tired but I’m also wide awake since I drank a whole can of Vanilla Coke, leaving me in this odd mental state. I know I should be asleep, but I don’t feel like it.

Anyways, I’m meandering around the Internet, and somehow, I wind up at one of these domain registration web pages. On a whim, I try and see if a few domain names are available. Most of the ones I tried were already taken, but then I notice erwin.ca is free. Hmmm…. I wonder… The registration is quite cheap, about the cost of a DVD, but the other services are quite costly. You can register for just a couple bucks, but it just sits there. To do some with your domain, you have buy the other services which is when the costs really start mounting.

I almost gave up, but I started looking at other domain registration sites. I found one that offered free domain redirection and e-mail forwarding. That’s a savings of about $50 USD compared to other sites. So, at around 3am in the morning I registered for erwin.ca

I can tell you, registration is a lot faster these days. Only two years ago, it took me days to get the keys to erwintang.com. A mere hours after I registered for erwin.ca everything was up and running.

Go ahead, try visiting www.erwin.ca. You can also try e-mailing me at erwin@erwin.ca.

I really didn’t need this domain, but it’s kinda cool to have a Canadian presence now!

Ok, I promise no more impulse buys for the rest of the summer.

KIDS ASK THE DARNDEST THINGS

Taken from FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY KIDS TO THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE

11. Can you send me a sample bullet?

No, we are sorry that we cannot send you a sample bullet. The Secret Service feels very strongly about gun safety, and that includes being accountable for all of our ammunition. In addition, we encourage kids who might come across a gun to follow these rules:

1. Stop and do not touch the gun

2. Leave the area

3. Tell an adult what you have found

A POST-IT NOTE ™ MORE THAN A POST REALLY

Hey there, I just need to post this somewhere on the Internet just in case I need access to a course list and I’m without my notes. Disregard, this isn’t really interesting, then again, not many of my posts are.

TERM 1

MECH 523 Intelligent Control T Th 15:30

CPSC 352 Introduction To Software Engineering MWF 15:00

MECH 520 Control Sensors and Actuators T Th 10:00

CPSC 544 Human Computer Interaction T 11:30 F 10:30

TERM 2

MECH 563 Robotics T Th 8:30 (damn that’s early)

EECE 596 Human Interface Technologies

CPSC 522 Artificial Intelligence M W 11:30

CPSC 319 Software Engineering Project T 12:30

CPSC 544 Topics in Human Computer Interaction T Th 11:00

I’M FREAKING OUT!!!

Yes, it’s not pretty but I am. At this moment I’m composing e-mails to several professors where I’m trying to convince them to let me in their courses. The courses aren’t full, it’s just that I don’t have the exact prerequisites or I need they explicit permission before I can register. These are important courses, no one is making me take these courses, I truly want to take them. I won’t be happy with a list of courses that will sorta make me happy, it’s all or nothing.

In the many months of planning to return to school, this is the most important moment to date. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

UM, I CAN TIE MY OWN SHOES

Think you’ve done almost nothing with your life thus far? Well, you’re right… click here to confirm your worst fears.

HAIRCUT BLOG CONTINUED…

When I showed up at my very first appointment at Axis, I had no clue what to expect. When I walked in the door, I immediately realized almost everyone in there was beautiful. A far cry from what I knew back at my old “salon”. I walked up to the reception desk and I announced my arrival. The cute girl behind the desk gave me a form to fill out. The form asked me questions like what movies I liked, what music I listened to, my interests, etc. It was clear that this was a little ice-breaker so that my stylist would know what to talk about during the hour. Sure, it was a little contrived, but I played along.

After I answered the form, I was escorted to the changing area, where I changed into a smock. This in itself was a new thing for me. Next, I sat back down in the waiting area to wait for Mary-Anne. A few minutes later, Mary-Anne arrived to greet me. She was young, fit, and, attractive. All qualities that I couldn’t really attribute to any of my previous hair cutters. She led me into the main area of the salon and upstairs, where she directed me to sit down in a chair. This being my first time, she led me through the whole process. The first step was the scalp massage. I was given two small bottles to sample their fragrances. I chose the one called “Energizing”. Mary-Anne then asked me to close my eyes as she applied the oil to my scalp. She then proceeded with my first ever scalp massage. Oh man, if you’ve never had one, you do not know what you’re missing. It felt so good, and it totally put me at ease.

Next, after peeling me from the chair, I was led to hair washing station where Mary-Anne washed my hair. I got to sit down next to these two absolutely hot chicks who were getting their hair washed too. So far, the whole experience was turning out better that I expected. After getting my hair washed, I was led down to Mary-Anne’s station. As I sat there, she asked me what I wanted to do with my hair today. Having come in with conservative helmet hair, I told her I wanted something really different. We settled on giving my hair a bit of a messy look with a lot of texture in it. When the cutting started, the small talk proceeded as well, and I could tell she had read the form I filled out. It was an alright way to start, but it got really interesting when we found out we both lived in Coquitlam. I didn’t expect anyone at Axis to live out in the boonies, but she did. It turned out that she even went to my high school, though she was about a year younger than I was. I even found that her fiancee knew a few people that I know.

It was quite easy to talk with Mary-Anne after that. When she finished with my hair, she led me back upstairs to rinse my hair out, and I got changed after that. Afterwards came the final style before I was done. As I looked into the mirror as she put on the finishing touches, I thought, “Wow… finally… a decent haircut… and I only waited 25 years”. The whole thing cost me about $34, but man, it was the best $34 I ever spent on my hair. All the stylists were super hot and it was refreshing not to see senior citizens in the waiting area.

That was three years ago, and I’ve gotten my hair cut by Mary-Anne ever since. We talk about our families, movies, career aspirations, and life in general. It’s like having a friend at the salon. LOL. It doesn’t seem like three years, but it really has been that long.

Now this story would end here, but it doesn’t. Mary-Anne moved salons about two weeks ago. She told me well in advance, but it did bring to life a dilemna that I had thought about. If Mary-Anne moved, would I move with her or stay with the salon? It was really a moot point, but about two years ago when I first thought about it, it did seem like an interesting question.

So, three days ago, I had my hair cut at Mary-Anne’s new salon. It’s a better working environment for her and it’s better pay. The new salon is smaller and it has a more intimate feel. It doesn’t feel as busy compared to Axis.

And that is my long-winded, boring journey from horrendous bowl cuts to a somewhat decent head of hair.

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill