I haven’t made many posts from work but this will be the last one from downtown. I’ll be packing up my computer soon. Thanks for the great memories downtown!
Month: May 2009
BEAR GRYLLS HAS A GUEST
Though I don’t want to believe it, the last days of the skate team working downtown are upon us. Today, I brought my camera to take a few pictures of my desk and some of the areas on our floor. At lunch, I finally visited the deli at So.cial where I had one of their much talked about sandwiches. I had the Genoa salami. It was good but I wonder if it was $6.95 (for a small) good. Having the sandwich wrapped in butcher paper is a nice touch and for some reason, made it seem like it was a higher quality and fresh piece of cuisine. In any event, I can say I had one of their sandwiches.
Tomorrow, the old dim sum gang will do one more last dim sum at Victoria Chinese before having to find a new place to dim sum in Burnaby. I’m hoping it will be a good outing.
Thursday also marks our last full working day downtown. Friday is a bit of a write-off as packing must be complete that day and we’re having one last celebration as a team that afternoon. Without computers, the only logical thing to do at the end of the day will be to drink.
DID YOU KNOW?
In my experience, you can count on several different demographics to have a poor grasp on technology (Internet, computers, gadgets, and video games). One of those groups are celebrities. For the most part, every single time I hear an actor or actress profess that they indeed play video games, I have a hard time believing it. Playing the default pre-loaded game on your cell phone does not count as being a “gamer”. There are exceptions of course, notable Vin Diesel, who reportedly has a pretty good WoW character.
The other group that seems to be bad with technology are senior citizens. I think we’ve all had the experience with teaching either our parents or grandparents on how to use a computer. I’m still quite surprised my own mother knows how to e-mail. Recently, she’s started to watch her “stories” with streaming video. For the most part though, you’ll be hard pressed to find a senior who can handle his or her way around a computer.
So imagine if you will, the odds of an older celebrity being tech savvy. It’s probably pretty low, which would be a safe guess. There is at least one exception, which I found to my surprise. Did you know at the age of 83, actor Dick Van Dyke is a big fan of computer graphics and animation, and has dabbled in the industry himself? Apparently, he became fascinated with CG many years ago and decided to try it himself. To give you an idea of how far back he goes, Van Dyke used an Amiga to craft some of his work. It’s weird to think that Dick Van Dyke and myself have been using computers for almost the same amount of time.
For Van Dyke, the hobby turned into a real paying job when he was working on his long running show Diagnosis: Murder. For one episode, the budget fell short for a real, practical special effect. Van Dyke, in an effort to make the episode better, filmed some background plate and then went home to work on the CG himself. The shot wound up being a CG motorcycle crashing spectacularly. He was paid $200 for his effort.
Van Dyke has attended the CG conference SIGGRAPH and continues visit various CG-related trade shows. You can read more about his CG stories here and here.
NOT THE FIRST TIME
It just occurred to me tonight that this won’t be the first time that I’ve worked for a video game company when they moved locations. Back in early 2006, I was working for the now mostly defunct Vancouver branch of Backbone Entertainment when they moved from Kits to near Granville Island.
And now here’s a video clip of a bear cub.
I have been playing games on the Xbox 360 system since about late 2006. It took me until this weekend to finally complete all the achievements for a single game. I managed to garner 1000 achievement points while playing Godfather II.
For those who don’t play video games, any Xbox 360 game is earmarked with a number of activities or tasks that a player can finish, thus earning them a set amount of achievement points. In general, a game has 1000 achievement points to earn though a few exceptions have raised that limit. The makers of a game can decide to spread those 1000 points in any way they see fit, including how hard it is to get those 1000 points.
In my previous attempts to get 1000 points were always railroaded by things I just didn’t care enough to overcome. Most of the time, some of the points were dedicated to online activities. Since I hate playing with other people on Xbox Live, I didn’t even try to get those achievements. Other times, some of the achievements were tied to completing some incredibly hard tasks in the game. I didn’t care for eliminating a boss with just my fists when I could barely do it with the best weapon in the game. Other times, I just didn’t feel like repeating a task 500 times to get an achievement. So overall, it became very difficult for me to get 1000 points. Previously, the closest I came was 800 while playing The Simpsons Game.
A few days ago, I knew I had a really great chance with Godfather II because I noticed it didn’t have any online achievements and the remaining ones that I had to do were very reasonable. It took me an hour on Sunday to do some specific tasks and I was able to get the last 100 or so points to get to 1000.
I know some of you who don’t play games must think this is a pretty odd thing to be happy about but I’m quite pleased. Part of the reason is that other games can look at my gaming record online and see I’m part of 1000 club. Yep, I need to go outside more often.
I was over at a friend’s place last night to hang out. We’d had just come back from dinner where said friend’s wife bought us all dinner. What a supremely nice gesture. Anyways, my buddy and I were lounging in front of the TV when he showed me this HD channel that I’d never seen before.
The channel was simply named HDNet. Simple and straight to the point. With that name, however, I had no idea what type of programming it had, other than the fact it probably showed in high definition. Well, it turns out that Mark Cuban, maverick owner of the Dallas Mavericks, owns HDNet. The channel shows original programming, sports, news, movies, and TV shows.
In terms of the original programming on HDNet, it just happened that we tuned in while one of those shows was on. We were watching Bikini Destinations where the entire premise seems to be flying beautiful women to sunny locales across the globe, for the express purpose of seeing these women cavort around in skimpy swimwear, all in glorious high definition. After a minute of watching this, I immediately was ready to endorse this channel to anyone would listen.
The channel also features a show called Get Out! which seems to have the same premise as Bikini Destinations, just with a different name.
Now apparently my HD provider, Telus just only recently added this HD channel to their lineup and I’m wondering if I should give this or the History Channel a try.
THE END IS NIGH
At work we’re fast approaching our final week of working downtown. Next week is the last hurrah so to speak. Today we also received a sign that things are drawing to a close. I got an updated meeting request in my inbox. The reason for the update? The room got changed from our current 17th floor room to a venue located out in Burnaby. Yep, a sobering sign that this isn’t a bad dream after all.
I’ll probably be taking pictures of my desk in the next few days as a momento of my almost three years of working downtown. When I post the pictures you’ll be able to see the wide range of fast food napkins that I have collected.
I know that Wikipedia has almost universal appeal. I quite enjoy reading that site myself. The wealth of knowledge contained there has led to many lost yet informative hours on my part. I seem to, however, fall into a certain trap when it comes to entries on books, TV shows, and movies that I haven’t seen or read. I have a difficult time at stopping myself from reading a plot summary that is unknown to me.
I have several examples of this. Just recently, I read a summary on a Stephen King novel that I didn’t even know existed. It took me five minutes to read the plot summary and at the end, I knew all the major plot points. Now, I’ll be less likely to read that novel because I know what’s going to happen. I might have actually enjoyed reading the book but now I’ve spoiled it for myself.
I also did the same thing for the Saw series of movies. Those type of movies aren’t really my thing anyways, so I felt less guilty of spoiling them. It doesn’t matter though, now if I ever see a Saw movie on TV, I’ll know how its going to end.
Does anyone else do the same thing?
Though it is nearly a year old, I only found this article on the weekend. Last year, a 14 year old boy in India had a small fish enter his penis via his urethra. According to the article, it happened as such:
“While he was cleaning the fish tank in his house, he was holding a fish in his hand and went to the toilet for passing urine. When he was passing urine, the fish slipped from his hand and entered his urethra…”
Just reading that makes me cringe and cross my legs. That statement however, is full of wonder. First, who takes a leak while holding a fish in one of their hands? Second, fish that small, supposedly 2cm long and 1.5cm don’t just accidentally jump up into your wang. Yes, I know that have been some reported cases of Candiru fish finding their way up wangs but this was not a Candiru fish. This seems like one of those cases where someone goes to the ER with some foreign object stuck up their butt and they claim they either fell on it (one in a million!) or they don’t know how it got there.
Of course, this story is somewhat like the “wang flies” story I reported several years ago. The differences being fish instead of flies and going into the penis as opposed to coming out.