Archive for May, 2007

Graduation at UBC and Dinner in the Cove

On Monday, May 28th, 2007, I had the fortune of officially graduating UBC with a Bachelor of Science. The degree fails to mention both my major, Computer Science, and Co-op. Anyway, feels very good to be done! 😀

Graduated

You can’t tell, but that piece of paper has writing on it written in my blood (sweat, and tears – especially tears). I know, the hood isn’t on straight… it kept moving around… hard to pin those on by oneself!

Some of my family were nice enough to come out and take blurry pictures of me walking across a stage. 😛 Speaking of which, I should get the pictures from my dad’s camera… I don’t have that many in my own camera. I did, however, take quite a few pictures of our dinner, later in the evening. We went to the Arm’s Reach Bistro (dinehere), in Deep Cove. I’ve been there for breakfast, and enjoyed eggs benedict (probably my absolute favourite breakfast!) but never for dinner. During dinner, I received a couple cards of congratulations that were quite touching, and I very nearly shed a tear! (That’s saying quite a bit for me!) Thanks to everyone that came out. 🙂

Everyone

From left to right: my brother’s girlfriend, my brother, my mom, my younger sister, me, my dad’s fiancee’s daughter, my dad’s fiancee, my dad, my oldest sister. Unfortunately (for her! 😛 ) my other sister, who lives in Squamish, couldn’t make it.

Now for the food. Descriptions were taken from the site’s menu… cuz it’s easy that way. 😀 Added comments in parentheses.

Appies

Baked Brie

baked brie with basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and drizzled with aged balsamic reduction. served with grilled pita wedges. $9 (This was very good, and the picture was the only one I took without flash… got lazy.)

The calamari ($8) was also very good and not too oily. They could have been more generous with the marinara sauce, and they surprisingly did not have any tzatziki sauce, but the marinara sauce was excellent, anyway.

Main Dishes

Scallops

seared jumbo scallops wrapped in pancetta served with an asparagus cream sauce. $25 (This was awesome. It came with four scallops, a wedge of both roasted yellow and red bell peppers, a bit of asparagus and some risotto with an excellent asparagus cream sauce. Yummy. It was my favourite dish I tried – it was also the most expensive.)
Butter Chicken

CBC curried butter chicken with cashews, ginger, cilantro and madras in a tomato, yogurt sauce served with jasmine rice. $12 (I didn’t try this, but I’m told it’s good.)
Penne Chicken

penne chicken with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, extra virgin olive oil and basil chiffonade. $12 (My mom ordered this dish. It was very good.)

I also tried the seafood linguini ($14) and wasn’t very impressed. I found the “white wine and pesto” sauce lacking flavour. I only tried the noodles and sauce, however, so I may not be best to judge on it – but my brother also said it was just “alright.” My younger sister ordered the gorgonzola and prosciutto penne ($14) and said that there wasn’t enough prosciutto. I got to try a bit with some prosciutto and it was quite good, but without the prosciutto I’m sure it loses a lot. 🙂

Dessert

Creme Brulee

vanilla bean creme brulee. $6 (I took this picture after the fancy caramelized top had been consumed. Apparently, it was very good.)

So dinner was very good, overall. I’d recommend it and return myself. They have a varied menu with something that should please everyone and dishes within quite a large price range ($12-$32) catering to how rich you’re feeling. Appetizers didn’t take long and the main dishes came shortly after – the service was very prompt except for the long wait we had for the single creme brulee at the end. The service was good except for missing an order of salad. Also, there was an automatic gratuity of 15% added (because we were a large group, I presume). This seems to be the becoming norm, and I don’t really mind it (unless the service is bad, I suppose) but I don’t recall being informed of it prior to and it seems like the customer should have control over the tip. Anyway, I recommend it! If you’re going for breakfast, I recommend the excellent Timo’s Benny:

two poached eggs on english muffins with smoked salmon. spinach red onions and house-made hollandaise sauce. $10

And if you go, be sure to let me know! My house is a mere 10-15 minute walk away. 😉

Me and my dinner

Steve likes scallops. He does.

Free Games and Entertainment

UFO2000

So for the last month or so… some friends (one, in particular) have been nagging me to get UFO 2000 to work. If you’re not familiar with XCOM: UFO Defence or XCOM: Terror From the Deep, they’re really awesome turn-based strategy/simulation games originally released by Microprose in 1993, for the PC. My friends and I would huddle around a 15″ CRT and play hotseat with this single-player game by naming and customizing our squad. We would control our own dudes, watch them improve and get better equipment, then plead for the game to be loaded when a favourite takes one for the team. (That got ridiculous, and we eventually had to agree that we would do no loading of saved games for that purpose.) Anyway, UFO 2000 is an open source project based on X-COM, and currently (only) supports 2 player multiplayer. Each player builds a squad according to set rules and money allowed, then places their their team on a randomly generated map, and go at it, exploratory style. The UI is atrocious, and unless you’re running Windows or Gentoo the setup might be a pain, but the game’s pretty awesome.

I documented the steps I went through to get it working on Ubuntu Feisty in the site’s forums here. However, I wasn’t able to see my friend on the server, so I still haven’t been able to play! :'(

Point and Click Adventures

If you’re into dry sarcastic humour and point-and-click adventure games, you might want to check out these (also 100% free!):

I tried using WINE to run them, but the performance wasn’t acceptable, and there was no sound. 🙁 Damn. Even so, I played the first bit of Spooks and it seems well written. I’ve played King’s Quest before and they’re pretty fun. 🙂 Space Quest was my favourite Sierra Adventure game, though….

Some videos

I found these videos entertainingly simple and accurate:

Website

I did take a quick look at a modified kubrick theme I had been working on a while back. One of the main changes is the menu on the right, and when I looked at what I had done in IE… wow, do I have some work to do! hah. Wait, that’s not funny….

More Ubuntu Feisty

Rhythmbox is becoming more awesome

The new version of Rhythmbox included in Feisty, version 0.10.0, is very nice! I’m totally impressed with the enhancements since the last version I was using.

Jamendo integration: it will download the catalogue of artists and songs on Jamendo, and you can browse or play it just as if it was all on your computer, with the regular interface. If you like something, there’s a handy “Download Album” button. Music by donation. Awesome. Kinda like open-source for music. 🙂

Last.fm integration: I can now play my neighbour radio within Rhythmbox! Oh joy of joys! Seriously, that’s awesome. The last-exit client is still cool, but I think I’ll be using this most of the time now.

Magnatune integration: Just like Jamendo, except downloading an album requires purchase.

Here’s some screenshots of Rhythmbox:

Feisty and Wacom

Still not there. I’ve been waiting and waiting for the day I can plug in my tablet when I need it and start using it, without having to restart the X server. Apparently, however, that day is not far off.

From https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wacom:

With the version of the Linux Wacom driver (0.7.2) in Ubuntu 6.06, 6.10 and 7.04, if you unplug you tablet, it won’t function when you plug it back in and you will have to restart X. For this reason, it is best to leave the tablet plugged in. This limitation will be removed when the 0.7.4 version of the driver is included in Ubuntu.

I can’t wait for that.

blog updates

I know I said I’d try to blog every 2-3 days…. Well, does silently updating backend stuff count? Not much, but I set up Feedburner, Technorati, and upgraded to the latest WordPress (2.1.3). At this rate, maybe I’ll even hook into Facebook and other social sites. Look out 2001, here I come.

Also played with iGoogle a bit – Google’s answer to a personalized homepage. Since I use a few of Google’s online services, it may prove useful for me. Currently, I have Google Calendar, Gmail, a couple world clocks (Vancouver/Japan/Sao Paulo), the weather, Google Reader, and Google Docs.

Cool. The new WordPress auto-saves posts. 🙂 I’m tired. I sleep now.