After Chris and Kris’s lovely,

After Chris and Kris‘s lovely, lovely wedding — featuring, in addition to the expected beautiful bride and beaming groom, the finest processional choreography I have ever seen — I sort of expected today to be a let-down. It wasn’t, but first more about the wedding!

So, yeah. Lovely ceremony, excellent reception, touching-but-brief speeches, all the sorts of excellence you expect when Chris and Kris decide to plan something that’s important to them. The wine had been made by Chris’s father, and was really rather good. I remember, years ago, when that was not the case; Wayne’s wine was rarely, if ever, snuck out of the cellar for illicit consumption. If that evening was any indication — and I have every reason to believe it was — they are going to have a very happy and very stylish life together. But enough about them.

Tyla and I are still thrilled to be married, of course, and the last nearly-three years have been wonderful. Even so, we find ourselves wishing that we’d observed more of these wonderful weddings before planning our own, because there were some things — beginning, but certainly not ending, with the amazing location — that we would have cribbed mercilessly. Ah well. Next time, I guess.

This morning, I managed to wake up around 0630, and then travelled with Paul and Agnes to a German restaurant down on Industrial Road to watch the World Cup final. A well-played game by both sides, and excellent officiating by that Italian robo-ref, but the mood was sort of glum when Brazil pulled ahead.

After that, and a quick nap, Tyla and I met up with her family for dim sum at the always-excellent Chu Shing. Her mother and her mother’s friend went off to have a picnic at Gatineau Park, Martha and her friend trotted off the Minority Report, and Tyla and I wandered Bank Street, stopping for snacks and a drink at the Arrow and the Loon.

Dinner was to be found at Horn of Africa with Chris Beard and Phil, and then we four made our way to the OLS VIP party (sponsored by OEOne: thanks, guys!), where light drinking and heavy geeking occurred. Tyla got her fill of that early, and I can’t say I blame her, but Phil and I stuck around until 0130, at which point we couldn’t resist the temptation of Marroush. If there is more fun to be had in a hot, loud Lebanese restaurant at two in the morning, I very much want to hear about it. We also ran into Christina Jutzi, who I haven’t seen in at least half a decade, and who recognized me by my wedding ring. Odd, to be sure, but pleasant.

29 June 2002

Breakfast was at Tucker’s Marketplace, which never excels, but rarely fails catastrophically. Right now we’re trying to get an audience-wide Cebolla network demo thing working, and it’s all sort of working. Zach’s talk is cool, even though I sort of know the material already.

I have been in such a good mood lately. Weather? Toronto-glee? Looking forward to new job and summer weddings? Got me, but I’m really enjoying it while it lasts.

Phil and I just brought up a Cebolla tunnel, so we’re well on our way to a non-sucky demo.

Peter sent me a mail about stuff that I’m going to work on in the first three weeks, and I’m sure that I’ll understand all the words he used sometime soon. I am absorbing filesystem/cluster information at a frantic rate right now, and it’s exhilarating, if somewhat exhausting.

Time to go buy a shirt for the Coop-and-Kris wedding, and then attend said wedding. Yay!

Last night’s dinner at Anna

Last night’s dinner at Anna Thai was quite spiffy, and Deb and Rob were very hostly in letting we scruffy dozen invade and chat for a while afterwards.

We missed a bunch of Rusty’s super-cool talk today because we were a bit slack at lunch, but what we did see was quite nice. I would have been a little more viscerally interested in his stuff had I gone to Sony, where user-space locking would have been a lot of my life, but it’s still a big pile of neat, and it’s always fun to watch really smart people talk.

After the Rusty talk, Phil and I wandered out to sit by the Canal and talk shop, which I think is one of the nicest meetings I’ve ever had. It even included gelato! We had more gelato after a great Vietnamese dinner with Paul and Dave and Ian. Cam Kong is another one of those little Ottawa gems that I love so much. Mmmm, mmm.

After dinner, Phil and Zach and I tried to get the hotel networking, well, networking. It’s really best that I not do into too much detail about how outrageously confused we all were — not networking neophytes, either. Eventually, we just wirelessed our laptops together and Phil set me up with all the Luste test goodness I needed. Wireless networking is really cool, and user-mode Linux is really cool. I’m really looking forward to geeking out with Phil professionally again.

Tyla and Miriam and Mehmet (and maybe Anatole?) wandered around the market while we were being silly geek-boys, and I think they’re going to the beach tomorrow. Fun-ness. I won’t be able to go along, because I’m going to help Zach and Phil do some demo craziness for Zach’s talk, and buy a shirt and stuff.

I’m at OLS, and I’m

I’m at OLS, and I’m hung over. No surprise there, really. I mostly recall last night, including carrying Phil part of the way between the Manx and The Collection, and I think we had a pretty good time. It was really nice to have the gang all back together, and Tyla will arrive on the scene tonight to increase our levels of fun to previously unexpected levels.

The bus trip was uneventful, and featured precisely zero searching of my belongings. I wasn’t at all pleased with the driver of the 5pm bus, who answered my question about watching my bag while I ran and bought a ticket with “no, it’s 5, we’re leaving”. Then he hopped on the (not full) bus and drove off. I don’t think it was 5 yet, myself — and the schedule screen’s clock agreed with me — but even if it had been, I would still have been unimpressed. Ah well.

I signed the paperwork today, so I’m now a contractor for Cluster File Systems, Inc., where I’ll be helping develop Lustre. I haven’t done much filesystem work before, so that’ll be fun, but working with Phil again, and Peter for the first time, from the comfort of wherever Tyla and I decide to live, is the real draw. I can’t believe they pay me to do this stuff; a charmed life, indeed.

Phil’s talk is, so far, going well. He’s really quite a good speaker, and he knows an awful lot about Lustre, so nobody seems to mind that Peter couldn’t make it. (I mind, of course, because I haven’t seen Peter in a while, but I’ll get my Braam-fix soon enough.) I think Phil’s decision to leave all 3 hours’ worth of slides in place, and just talk to key ones over the hour, was a good one: it gives a good sense of the scale of the project, and the slides will be a good resource for keen audience members, once said slides make it to the web.

I’m using Jacob’s sweet, sweet Powerbook, because I left my laptop in the hotel room. It is a very nice piece of hardware. Light, pretty, huge screen. I sure do wish it had extra mouse buttons, though.

Speaking of hotels, I have only the nicest things to say about Arc. The rooms are great, the staff are exceptionally helpful, and the rates are quite reasonable, even in the depths of the Canada Day crunch. With no offense to the Westin intended, why am I just discovering this place now?

I have to go to

I have to go to sleep very shortly, but I must share this candidate for “best lead paragraph on a news article“:

LONDON (Reuters) – An Alaskan chicken-hypnotist who cycles around the world with a traveling circus has ground to a halt after a charity clothes shop in Scotland sold her bicycle by mistake while she was in the fitting-room.

Later: Got up nice and earlyish, which was good because I had a fair amount of stuff to do today. Laundry was started early, and is done in plenty of time to pack for Ottawa. I managed to get a proper memory card for my Nomad — damn, those cards are tiny — so I picked up some CDs, as well as a huge CD holder. Tyla wants every CD-form-factor thing I own, possibly including DVD movies, to migrate to such things. Not an unreasonable stance.

Said CDs are being ripped on both machines, which has caused me to discover that grip doesn’t know how to drive my laptop’s CDROM nearly as well as cdparanoia does. It’s a factor of 3 difference, which is really not very nice at all.

Now, of course, I hear that they’re stopping and searching buses travelling from Montreal to Ottawa. That will make this hot, sticky travel so much more pleasant, I can hardly speak.

I just wrote a very very hard email, telling one of my prospective employers that I wasn’t going to be able to take the job with their group. I hope I can still be involved in some capacity, because I think they’re doing pretty cool stuff, but a significant-time position just wasn’t going to work out, for a variety of frustratingly-real reasons. This really sucks.

Now to shower, finish packing and rush to the bus, so I can sit in silence and be bummed about that for a few hours.

Up a bit late, but

Up a bit late, but we made it up to Yonge and Eglinton to sign the lease on time. I had to take a half-hour intermission to talk to Steve in the precious window between root canal completion and pain-killer incapacitation, but we wrapped everything up nicely and we now have a place to live. Assuming, of course, that Madhava and George (our personal references) don’t slander us or anything. Yay!

(Not yay about slander, of course. Don’t get any ideas, boys.)

We popped downtown to have lunch with Dad at one of the restaurants in the Growlers pub-keiretsu, and then rushed back up to the hotel to check out and pick up my suit and go rent storage space — their last 5′x10′ unit! thanks, Fortune; we’re smiling too — and head to the train station.

My frigging compact flash card doesn’t fit in the Nomad. In fact, it’s not clear how, exactly, any sort of memory expansion would infiltrate the housing, but the manual must have clues. I hope Madhava’s interested in buying a never-used 128Mb CF carb, because otherwise I’ll have to buy a digital camera, and nobody wants that. Nobody sitting next to me on the train as I type this, at least.

Hey folks: remind me to mail Dad “my” spicy grilled shrimp recipe tonight. Thanks!

The layout I’m using here now, with the sidebar as the last <div>, sucks a little bit when the pages get as large as this one now is. More thinking required, but not until after Canada Day.

For an apartment building, 50

For an apartment building, 50 Prince Arthur looks pretty darned nice. We saw 2- and 3-bedroom units (the latter way outside our budget plans, but everyone likes to peek) and were generally impressed with the condition, if not the living space, of the suites. Looks like it’s going to come down to Brunswick vs. Maplewood, though. We resorted to making lists of plusses and minuses during lunch, hoping that the Brunswick landlord would fax the application form to the hotel in short order.

Ah yes, lunch. If you’re not trying to kill time — and I mean six months of parole, not an hour before a movie — then you probably aren’t interested in Over Easy. With a whopping three other tables filled at our arrival, it still took more than 50 minutes for our food to appear. The food itself was quite good, but it would have needed to cause me to collapse in paroxysyms of joy to compensate for the wait. It was one of those times when I didn’t really want to leave much of a tip, but I was even less interested in waiting for them to come back with change. They won, I guess, but I had plans for the afternoon.

We popped into Harry to get a belt — I’d forgotten to bring a non-crappy belt on this trip — and discovered that they could actually geta suit altered to fit me by 1pm the next day, in plenty of time to catch my train. I made plans to come back after my meeting and get the summer-wedding attire I’d been meaning to acquire for weeks.

The meeting was quite interesting. I don’t think I can say much about the content, but it was certainly a novel experience to be sitting on the VC’s side of the table for a change. Steve has to get a root canal tomorrow, so we’ll exchange impressions after that.

Tyla wasn’t feeling well, so I returned to Harry on my own — does she never learn? — and Ivan quickly helped me find a nice lightweight suit that looks quite nice. I have large thighs, and it’s nothing that exercise can help, so having expert sizing assistance improves the quality of my clothing experience immeasurably. I sure am glad they were having a sale, though.

(At some point the other night, we decided to stay until Tuesday. I don’t quite remember, but it was probably around the time that we saw the place on Brunswick.)

The Brunswick-condo landlord and I finally connected, but he’d left the office and won’t be able to fax the form until the morning. He suggested that we come to his office in the morning and sign a lease conditional on us not being fugitives from the law, which very well received on my side of the phone. We’d already told the Maplewood landlady that we were going to pass on her house — she sounded disappointed, and I felt kinda bad, but what to do? — so we’d have been in a bit of a spot if he’d already rented it to someone else. Seemed unlikely, but Murphy watches us with a keen and cruel eye.

More movement on the housing

More movement on the housing front: and we have another place to see today, an open house to hit, an appointment for Monday morning down at 50 Prince Arthur and the Annex condo holdover from yesterday. Dangerous levels of hope can be found in our hotel room.

Brunch at Taro Grill was expertly arranged by Tyla — “if we ask people where and when to eat, we’ll never get anywhere, so I’m just going to say that we’re going to be there at 11:30, and they can decide if they want to show up” — and rather nummy. Em and Christina and Mark and Aven took off to see some jazz at the waterfront, and Madhava joined Tyla and I on a trip to MEC. I picked up a man-purse, Madhava found some shorts, and Tyla dug a few new ads out of the Sunday classifieds. We were running a little late for our first appointment — a 3-bedroom apartment near St. Clair and Ossington — so we hopped in a cab instead of walking from the nearest station to get a feel for the neighbourhood.

The apartment wasn’t amazing, and the kitchen was show-stoppingly small, so we wandered over to an open house on nearby Maplewood. This place was much more promising: a 3-bedroom house with backyard, not-really-finished-but-close basement and a working fireplace. It was a variant on the layout of Aven and Mark’s house, via a handful of reflections and rotations, so we knew that it was a viable place for truly ambitious entertaining. The appliances were no great draw, and it lacked a dishwasher, but plans for deploying our own set and buying a portable dishwasher quickly began to dance in our heads. We filled out an application form, and the landlady told us to call her after work tomorrow and tell her if we wanted the place (we still had two appointments in our list). The walk to the St. Clair West subway station, with its accompanying Loblaws and LCBO, showed off the many splendors of that neighbourhood.

Our 8pm appointment at the Annex condo made everything difficult. A beautiful, brand-new renovation — the excellent appliances still had their tags in place — combined with unbeatable location always tends to do that. It’s not especially large, so we would have to shed many, many belongings, but we’re starting to think it’s worth it. We should probably do that anyway, as our palatial Montreal home has been covering for our pack-rat tendencies for too long, and we’re never going to find a similarly large place in Toronto that we’re willing to pay for.

A nice short walk followed, to Aven and Mark’s for a backyard barbeque and much, much Sangria. I helped Aven finish her steak, and get rid of the Sangria, as a good guest should. Em’s going to be in Malaysia on her birthday, so Tyla and I decided to take her out to Canoe for dinner tomorrow, pretty much on the spur of the moment. I know I’m going to wake up hung over tomorrow, I just know it.

We got up early today,

We got up early today, and had a mediocre breakfast at the hotel restaurant, while poring over the classifieds. In absolute terms, I’m sure the Toronto rental market is considered pretty tight, but compared to the last time we tried this — spring of 1999 — it’s a dream. We found and called about a half-dozen promising ads, but only ended up with two appointments (a 3-bedroom house near the Eglinton West subway station, and a 2-bedroom condo for rent in the Annex that we’ll see Sunday). Maybe more people will call back later. That would be awfully nice.

The place near Eglinton West station was OK, but not OK enough to overcome the run-down feeling of that stretch of Eglinton, so we gave it a pass. Madhava knows an awful lot about this city, and having him around makes this process much more pleasant and entertaining. Everyone should go find themselves a Madhava at once.

We met up with Kristin and Mike and Alasdair for some nachos and drinks and chatter, and eventually solidified a movie plan. Tyla had been making various “we’ll call you” promises all day, and I wasn’t really able to keep track of the details, so she was in charge of wrangling everyone over to the Varsity. While we were eating — and, indeed, throughout most of the preceding afternoon — we were treated to a prolonged display of patriotic soccer-honking. It was nice to see the various country-cliques play nice together, and nothing more aggressive than back-and-forth horn volleys resulted.

Minority Report was pretty good, though I agree with the reviewer in Eye who said the “ending” at 130 minutes would have made a much better finale. The last 20 minutes didn’t really improve the film much, though I suppose they did tidy up some bits that were only tangentially addressed. Based on some comments that Aven overheard as we were leaving the theatre, that might in fact have been for the best. On the (short) walk from the theatre back to the hotel we got to see an impromptu parade of Turkish flags and related cheering, again quite civil and friendly. I do so love Toronto.

So. Tired. I haven’t slept

So. Tired. I haven’t slept yet, other than the nap on the bus on the way back from Ottawa. I think that nap screwed me up pretty good, sleep-wise, which bodes poorly for this weekend’s househunting.

I think I’m going to crash when the US/Germany game is over, and see if I can be awakened in time to catch the train or bus or plane or camel caravan or whatever it is that’s going to get us to Toronto this afternoon.

So far today, I have:

  • Futzed lightly with my diary’s CSS.
  • Found another Mozilla bug in the process.
  • Walked to and from a doctor’s appointment, and got the second of my Hepatitis B shots.
  • Discovered an interesting discount airline while walking back.
  • Watched Brazil defeat England.

Clearly, I deserve a nap.

Post-nap, things are less bright:

  • My Mozilla bug is a dupe.
  • My arm hurts a bit from the shot.
  • The airline in question doesn’t have any seats available today to Toronto.
  • I fell asleep in the middle of the US/Germany game, though it seems I did see the only goal.

I think I’m going to get on the train, read my book and probably start another one. Wish I’d gotten up in time to hit a bookstore before we left, but I probably needed the sleep. On to Toronto!

I discovered that McDonalds now has a “light” menu, which isn’t that bad at all. (I only ever eat McDonalds when we’re rushing to catch a train, and then I end up hating myself for hours. Now with less self-loathing!) The McVégé was fundamentally OK, though the bun and condiments could use some refinement. (Suggestion: lose the mayo and whole wheat bun, replace with BBQ sauce — such as from the low-fat Chicken McGrill? — and white bun.) I haven’t tried the Caesar salad yet, in part because it says that it’s best before 5 hours ago. Their fries are still cooked in ambrosia, happily.

As if my sleep cycle weren’t already screwed up, I find myself napping on the train. This weekend is going to be all sorts of rough, unless I can just push through to tomorrow night, and then get back on something resembling Eastern time. I have to look all respectable while searching for houses, and at this VC/due-diligence meeting on Monday, which is not aided at all by a lack of sleep.

While poking around my laptop and generally cleaning up, I found a little journal-snippet from the flight to San Jose for the GDC in March. I should tidy it up and toss it onto a March page, I suppose, for the sake of completeness. I’m not at all interested in moving the Advogato stuff over, at this point.

Toronto: We checked in, and went to sleep. Nothing tremendously exciting, other than the part where we walked the wrong way down Bloor for a few blocks, luggage in tow, because I forgot which hotel we were staying at.

Well, it sure feels like

Well, it sure feels like summer. Nice and sunny and warm, a great day for — sitting on a bus to Ottawa. Ah well, it’s worth it: Coop deserves a nice bachelor party, and what’s a bachelor party without me? Hmm. Maybe I should just send a nice card.

I’ve just about decided what I’m going to do for work stuff, though I need to tie up some loose ends before I talk to everyone involved in the decision. (There are a surprising number of people in that group. My life is so odd.)

Some friends of friends were on Junkyard Wars the other day, and it didn’t go so well. I hate it when they just play through rules violations too, except maybe in the cases where neither side is able to complete the task in the normal way. Bah.

We have managed to book hotels for this weekend in Toronto, and next week/weekend in Ottawa, which is a great relief. Many thanks to phil, who reminded me of the many wonders of Expedia.

Neverwinter Nights is pretty fun, and quite pretty. The 3rd Edition rules seem to be very well-suited to computer assistance, so it all plays along quite smoothly.

Later: Coop’s little party was quite fun, and had not yet become at all debauched by the time I had to leave to return to Montreal. I hope I’m not hung over at 7am when I wake up — I hope! — to go to the doctor’s.

On the bus to Ottawa, I finished The Amber Spyglass, thereby also finishing the trilogy. I really can’t recommend the series enough. All three of the books are tremendous, and even if they weren’t, reading them just to set up the stunning finale would be time well spent indeed. I just sat and smiled for the last half-hour of the trip, basking in it.

On the way back, I started Heavy Weather, which is pretty good so far. I slept most of the way, until I was awakened by the terrifying rattling of the bus which indicated our return to Quebec roads, so I’m not very far in yet. (Once I woke up, I couldn’t read the book due to the turbulence. The woman across the aisle looked genuinely petrified, and I can’t say that I blame her.)

19 June 2002

I can finally say more about the other rays of sunshine, since Zach announced it on his diary and stuff. Fifty kinds of yay for Zach and Alice! (To the best of my knowledge, they are not in any way related to the expecting-a-baby ray of sunshine mentioned in that same paragraph. Just to be perfectly clear).

I’m going to go buy Neverwinter Nights today, and then play it this evening. I hope it’s good. I rilly hope it’s good.

I finally got a working copy of lame, so I’m busily re-ripping CDs for great justice. I thought about converting from OGG, but I’d lose all the song-title info and whatnot, so I’m back to swapping discs. I’ll live.

I hope you can buy the new Blackberry with a phone without using the wanky RIM Enterprise Server. I’m going to need a new phone anyway when I get to Toronto, so…

I’m enjoying the World Cup, and I like silly things, so this very silly World Cup behaviour really hit the spot. It is to laugh.

Note to American friends who are fans of the Fourth Amendment: we’ll leave the border open, there are leftovers in the fridge. Make yourself at home.

This afternoon, Tyla and I shopped for flowers and Neverwinter Nights. Both are quite pretty, but NWN will be easier to move to Toronto. I also upgraded the laptop kernel and got it all working with the wireless and X server and Nomad, which is all good. I need to find a 128M compact flash card soon, so that I can store more music on this silly little thing. Nice weather today, too, and I made yummy Thai-style shrimp for dinner. Victory!

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