Archive for February, 2008

Say Uncle

A lot of things have happened over the last month or so that I haven’t really mentioned, as I’ve been fairly busy, tired, lazy, or all of the above. Let me see… a (mostly) chronological bullet-point of events:

  • I went snowboarding at Cypress with my brother (Jan 23). Was awesome.

    My brother and I on the lift

    Here’s a couple videos my brother took of me snowboarding. Impressive camera work, actually! Not as impressive boarding. Notice my arms are pretty active. 🙂 But not bad. Keep in mind, I think this is only my 8th time snowboarding in like 7 or 8 years? Video1 (more of a trial, 6MB), and Video2 (24MB)

  • I’m now 27 years OLD (Jan 25th). Managed to let that one slip by, somehow….
  • Went to the Ruby Barcamp in Gastown. Met Shirley and an old classmate there. Saw some Python groupies, as well, scoping the competition. (Jan 26th)
  • I also briefly went to Prince Rupert (Jan 29-31), which was interesting, in a small-town kinda way. Really beautiful looking out across a foggy Tuck Inlet at dusk. Didn’t get out and about as much as I would have liked. Funny (terrible?) method to get there (plane, bus, ferry, bus).

    Coming into Rupert on the Ferry

    Looking out across Tuck Inlet

  • Went to the Brickhouse with Jesse and his friend, John. Really cool atmosphere in a not-so-cool area. Also cemented my dominant status. Again. (Feb 8 )
  • I’m now an Uncle! … er… Biologically! At 4:20am on Feb 12th, my big brother and his girlfriend had a baby boy. He’s very tiny and cute. And tiny. Congratulations guys! Not sure how my brother will be able to use his other Cypress ticket now…. he’ll be busy!
  • On Feb 14th, I gained step-family when my dad remarried. More congratulations! The wedding was in Las Vegas , so I was there for a few days (Feb 13-16), hanging out with siblings and losing money – which was pretty fun.

    Vegas at night

    Huge Alcoholic Slushies!

    My sister and I are holding huge alcoholic slushies with extra shots that come in test tubes!
  • Failed to meet up with Shirley for the VanUE meeting. Walked around downtown for an hour with the wrong address in my head. Doh. Went to Guu with Shirley and John, after. (Feb 21)
  • Oh, and I did a day-long course on Aircraft Ditching and Underwater Egress. It’s not every day you get to be dunked in a pool with all your clothes on! Really good experience, actually. I Hope I never have to use what I practised. 🙂 (Feb 18)

Anyway, it’s been a pretty crazy month. Some more pictures forthcoming. Maybe.

New Computer Woes

The family computer recently bit the dust, so I’ve transitioned to a new computer, and given them my old one. My new computer has a 64 bit AMD dual core CPU. I could run a 32bit OS on it, and have no problems, but then I wouldn’t be taking advantage of the 64bit processor. So I’m running 64bit Ubuntu. This causes a few issues.

Java plugin on amd64

Instructions and links from here.

Download these three packages and install them:

dpkg -i package1.deb package2.deb package3.deb

Restart your browser. Unfortunately, IcedTea is not quite feature complete, and this will not work on Facebook’s java applet photo uploader. Yup. That’s why I haven’t uploaded those photos I said I would…. That’s why.

Flash on amd64

There is no 64bit binary provided by Adobe. And that’s that. Yay, closed source! If one of the open-source implementations of flash is good enough for you, then you might want to use them. Otherwise, we can use the 32bit binary plugin by doing the following:

sudo apt-get install nspluginwrapper
sudo nspluginwrapper -i /full/path/to/

This has the added benefit of working on Epiphany, also!

If you’re also using Pulseaudio, then go here:

It’s all good

These issues aside, however, my new computer simply flies, and that makes me happy. Especially considering it was quite a budget purchase (about $650 after tax). I loaded it with 4GB or RAM, simply because the difference between 4GB and 2GB was only $26. Above all else, I think the best characteristic is the near-silence of operation. I spent a few extra dollars to get the Antec Sonata III case/power-supply, and it’s quite a beautiful thing. I can barely hear it when lying on my bed. Once you’ve had quiet, you simply can’t go back. It’s black, too……

Dine Out Vancouver 2008

Woooh… time to start catching up with some blog entries! I’ll start with the little bit of budget fine dining I was able to experience. I went to a few nice restaurants during Dine Out Vancouver 2008 with Shirley, John, Alex, and Ben. Thanks mostly to John for picking the restaurants! I just kinda tagged along. The pictures were taken by Shirley, the official Gifu Gang photographer. The descriptions were taken verbatim from the menus. This is what I had:

The Cannery

The Cannery Appetizer
Black Bean Lemon Soup
with habanero pepper, sour cream, chorizo and herb croutons

The Cannery Main Course
Grilled Wild Pacific Salmon
sauteed Portobello mushrooms, wilted arugula and chive, in a mussel jus nectar cream sauce

The Cannery Dessert
Bitter Chocolate Tower
with a concassee of caramelized Agassiz hazelnut


Cru Appetizer
Beef tenderloin Carpaccio
with caperberries, truffle aioli and shaved parmesan

Cru Main Course
Roasted Lamb Loin
with blue cheese souffle, oven-dried tomatoes and haricots vert (green beans)

Cru Dessert
Grand Cru Chocolate Torte
with raspberry mousse and coulis

Bluewater Cafe

Bluewater Appetizer
Seafood Trio
prawn in filo with mango-chili puree, clam fritter with cumin-tomato sauce, scallop ceviche with blood orange

Bluewater Main Course
Arctic Char a la Plancha
stir-fried rice with shiitake mushrooms and long beans, lobster sauce

Bluewater Dessert
Chocolate Melody
dark chocolate mousse cake, madelaine, sorbet, lady finger

All three were $35 set meals. That was the order that we went, and I’d say they increased in quality: The Cannery being the least impressive (but certainly not bad, and they have a very nice view), Cru being very good (but they’ll rape you for a glass of wine, their selection of which is something they’re known for), and Bluewater Cafe being excellent (but I think Bluewater will pretty much rape you for anything). Service was great at all three. Food was generally great, as well. That lobster sauce from the Bluewater dish was pretty much the best thing ever. Both the desserts from Cru and Bluewater were absolutely delicious. Bluewater was was a little more formal and the only place which I felt I may have been under dressed – it’s also the most expensive normally, making the $35 dine-out more worthwhile.

Head over to Shirley‘s Flickr to see more pictures. John didn’t take as many, but the ones he got are also very good.