Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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Attacked and almost robbed

Last night, at about midnight, I was attacked while approaching my parked car at a bus exchange in North Vancouver. I was returning from downtown and was on my way home. I had just got off the bus, walked over to my car, put my bags in my trunk and was unlocking the driver side door when I saw a man approaching me in the parking lot. I didn’t think much of it, I thought he wanted to ask me a question or something. So I just stood there and waited for him to approach me. He yelled something, which I didn’t understand until he said it a few more times, “Give me your shit!” I was totally taken aback. Was this really happening? Is he serious? I noticed he was holding something threateningly in his left hand, thought it might be a chain or something. It was dark and hard to see… and I still couldn’t believe this was happening.

My door was open, but I didn’t let on to that. I lowered my key and tried to talk him out of it, saying it couldn’t end well and stepped cautiously towards him. I may have had my hands up and open. Obviously, he wasn’t a rational person. Even if I did pop my trunk and give him all my stuff, I had no insurance he would leave me alone. I suppose that’s when I decided I would have to defend myself as best I could and find help. He swung his weapon at my head a few times, some of which I managed to block with my arm and sweatshirt. I charged him, knocked him back a bit and retreated to the bus exchange looking for help.

I was being pursued, but I didn’t have have to try very hard to keep a safe distance. As I jogged through the bus exchange, there was a young couple there (waiting for their bus, presumably), no buses, and no authorities. I didn’t really want to bring this lunatic into them, and felt a sense of regret. They cast concerned glances at me and asked if I was alright. The assailant was still a safe distance behind me, ranting and stomping on. That’s when I noticed blood on my hands. I was bleeding? I was aware of a different sensation on left side of my face, but it didn’t hurt. I may have actually said that aloud, both shocked and annoyed, “I’m bleeding?!”

Then I actually got a bit of luck. Nearby, I noticed the police had set up a roadblock, so I ran over there and got help. The assailant was surprisingly cooperative, dropping his weapon, lying down on the ground and putting his hands on his head. I later found out it was a studded belt – I guess he was swinging the clasp at me? He was taken away, would be put in jail for the night (minimum) and be charged with assault and robbery. I was interviewed, the young couple were interviewed, and I got a ride home from the officer. After I was home, I was finally able to see what I looked like.

After cleaning up and sleeping, it looks a bit better. Bit of a shiner, though. ๐Ÿ˜›

Aside from being a little shaken, a couple cuts and welts, I’m okay. I was not robbed. Nobody else got hurt. And I’m thankful that things turned out the way they did, as it could have been much worse. ๐Ÿ™‚

UPDATE 2011/09/04:
The shiner keeps developing. It’s so… colorful! ^_^

Beware of Snoctopus Man

Snoctopus Man says this blog is not dead. …It’s just on holiday.

The Game Industry in Vancouver

I went to an industry mixer, last night. Met some good people, ate some food and drank a little wine. This was the general take-away message from all the people I talked to: Vancouver’s game industry is currently in a shit storm.. That is pretty much verbatim. A shit storm. If you’ve been following along with the news recently, you’ll know that many companies have been laying off employees and even closing entire studios.

Major job cuts

Business is business

You see, there is this little thing wrapping up called the Fiscal Year. (Canada’s fiscal year starts on April 1st, where as the United States’ fiscal year starts on October 1st – I love you, Wikipedia). When a business sees their expenses were higher and their profits were lower than expectations, they get nervous and pull out the axe. This softens the blow to shareholders, but doesn’t really seem fair to the people whose jobs were cut, does it? But hey, that’s business, I guess. And due to the economic situation, most companies will be picking up the axe. Some companies (I won’t mention any names) are known for doing this and then hiring the people they need back again in the next fiscal year, with new budgets. So once April rolls around, there will be some hiring again and the industry will recover a little. But since we’re in a “financial crisis,” (despite some in the games industry doing quite well: Nintendo, Valve, Blizzard) I don’t think budgets will be as big nor as many people hired back. This means the job market will be flooded with experienced people looking for jobs. Which is pretty much the current situation.

Get in the game?

So how can some fresh blood such as myself get my foot in the door of a full house that’s shrinking? It’s still certainly possible, it’s just not going to be easy. One person I spoke to today said she had to start as a tester and make her way up to Software Engineer (SE) – “which was pretty ridiculous” (her words). Did I mention that EA cut testers EA cut testers? Another person I spoke to suggested giving away services… or an internship to gain some experience. Another suggestion was working with a small outfit (or a couple friends) on an iPhone app. Most of the people I talked to were experienced (10-15yrs), had recently been laid off, and were also looking for jobs. Personally, I’d love to make a WiiWare game. That’s something that would be really cool, but then you have to do the entrepreneurial thing and raise money (I’ve heard investors are less willing to take risks, these days..) – plus there’s that whole experience thing…. I’m not ruling anything out. I’ll keep looking, but now does not seem to be the time to get involved. And I’m not going to limit myself to the games industry, that’s for sure. Or even the IT sector. I decided a while ago that I need a change in my life, so I might do something completely different for a little while. Collect some pennies, meet some people, and gain some (life) experiences, hopefully.

Positive Outlook

Whatever comes, I’m looking forward to it. I have a good feeling. And I’m also looking forward to the industry picking up steam again soon! =) Hey, Ubisoft just acquired Action Pants, and should be expanding – that’s some positive news! ๐Ÿ™‚

(Read a related post, from someone in the industry here. Update: Then read the author’s own accounts of her employer, Nexon, shutting down. Fantastic blog with a beautiful range of topics, all of which I enjoy. Subscribed.)

2008 In Review

Life

This year has been pretty big. Naturally following up with lots of events from last year, these are some quick memories. My nephew, Rayden, was born on Feb 12th, six weeks early! This caused the father (my brother) to be indisposed for my dad’s (2nd) marriage on Feb 14th. I got bumped up to best man (but didn’t have to do much) and had a rather empty hotel room to myself in Vegas. I attended the Open Web Vancouver conference. I went to Whistler mountain for the first time in years and plan on going again soon. I went on a fantastic road trip down the west coast of the United States, something I will never forget. I slacked off most of the summer but managed to do quite a bit of rollerblading and outdoor activity hanging out with Kurt (visiting from Brazil). My brother, now a father, married the mother of his child on August 3rd. I was best man at this wedding, as well – with more responsibilities, but they were well received and totally worth it. Our beloved cat, Sky, met an early and terribly unfortunate end. We had our first encounter with bed bugs who are now the sworn enemy of our household. Vancouver, a city that sometimes doesn’t get snow all year, had its whitest Christmas ever with 60cm (2 ft) of snow! Perhaps we should have seen snow in April as a sign….?

That reminds me: Happy Holidays for 2008! Guess I was a little late on that… Here are some pictures of our insane weather in Vancouver.

Geekery

With my free time, I think I was able to really exercise my geekiness in 2008. I released a couple updates to the Rhythmbox Jump-to-Playing plugin, which led me to submit my first patch to an upstream project! Said patch was accepted and will be in the next version of Rhythmbox! Yay. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was just for some XML UI description, but it feels nice to have helped improve (even a tiny bit) a project that will be installed on thousands of computers in the next cycle. I also released a usable proof-of-concept GNOME Panel File List Applet which has stayed on my panel and I find quite useful. And I’ve done a couple little scripts and how-to’s that fall under the “nerd” category quite nicely. Oh yeah, and significant website updates. Next website todo item is to customize the attachment page for my theme, I think…. Also, I joined Twitter. And Identi.ca. And LinkedIn….

Art

Not many artsy things done this year. But with the significant improvements of tablet handling in Linux, I did some random doodles and a birthday card. I may not do it very often, but I still enjoy drawing, thank goodness.

Blog Stats for 2008

My Blog is by no means high traffic, but stats are fun! (These stats were obtained using the wordpress.com Stats plugin, and exclude the Feed stats, because I use Feedburner for that… although, I’m thinking I should revert that, now that I mostly use wordpress.com Stats.)

Top 3 Referrers:

  1. http://live.gnome.org/RhythmboxPlugins/ThirdParty (402)
  2. live.gnome.org/Boston2008/GUIHackfest (209)
  3. siuyee.com (126)

Top 3 Posts and Pages:

  1. Pidgin 2.1 UI Ideas (1,053)
  2. 2D Game Art and the Virtual Console (580)
  3. Rhythmbox Plugin: Jump to Playing 0.2 (455)

Top 3 Search Engine Terms:

  1. rhythmbox (327)
  2. bug (174)
  3. pidgin (165)

Top 3 Clicks:

  1. Pidgin UI screenshot attached to a bug (57)
  2. Pidgin UI mockup (50) by Hylke Bons
  3. SF2 HD Ken (42)
  4. The fourth was launchpad.net/desktopdrawers with 38 clicks, so it’s kinda cool I helped advertise a small project a little. (A project I’ve submitted patches to, no less. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Thanks

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful 2008. It’s been interesting, and despite a failing economy, I’m looking positively toward 2009.

Happy New Year! (????????????????) ๐Ÿ™‚

New Shoes x 3

I got some good deals on new shoes. I’m not one to go shopping, but I happened to be in a shoe store (Shoe Warehouse in downtown Vancouver) and decided to walk over to the clearance section. Buying 3 pairs of shoes at once is NOT normal for me. But… I needed to replace both my casual and running shoes. I got the dress shoes because… well, I really wasn’t given a choice at that price. Saving money makes me happy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Regular Price and Sale Price are highlighted

Regular Price and Sale Price are highlighted

Photo of the shoes, as requested, minus the nudity. Be thankful.

Open Web Vancouver 2008

I’m going. If you see me there, please say ‘hi’ and offer me a job. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Preferably, one that requires a brain.) I look like this (when playing video poker in Vegas):

Oh! It was a hard choice, but I purchased a pyrate shirt. Yeah. ๐Ÿ™‚

Snow!

This year is supposedly going to be the coldest we’ve had in 15 years! I guess that’s good news for the mountains!

Yesterday we had a bit of snow.

view from our living room window

I took my sister’s dog for a walk while trying to take evening pictures.

our house

Looking down our street

my friend Kurtisโ€™ house, complete with lights!

Today, I woke up bright and early at 7am, and we had received more!

Our living room window

Our house, the next morning

Not only is this early for Vancouver to get snow, but we often don’t get any all year! Driving in the snow doesn’t concern me since I don’t drive, so I can just enjoy looking at it. It’s very pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

holy crap, I have a blog!

Ah right. Forgot about this. Okay fine, I knowingly neglected it. Not completely, though… I had a partially written post from a few months ago, but it never made the transition from Tomboy to WP. Things to report:

First thing’s first. January has come and gone (along with a few other months…):
me.age++;

I got a pretty sweet blazer from my brother. It’s a little big, and almost too warm to wear now, but I like it. Saw Children of Men with Kurt and Jesse. Great movie. Longest, craziest takes ever! Have also since been to a restaurant called the Foundation (on 6th and Main, I think). I had an awesome dish of beans and rice with papaya and lime sauce… so good, I must go again and try making it myself. We also went to an Ethiopian restaurant on Commercial and stuffed ourselves silly with our bare hands. Like men are meant to do. Food and service were really good. Price, ironically, was a little steep. Oh yeah, and now Kurt is in Brazil….

Speaking of travelling. I will not be going to Japan. I did not get accepted into JET. I had a bad feeling after the interview in February, so I’m not terribly surprised, but I am disappointed. I was looking forward to going to Japan again… even if I got stuck in some remote place. But more importantly, I must now decide what I will do. Do I look for a job? In Vancouver? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I don’t really have any plans, at the moment, aside from enjoying my summer and learning up some computer stuff (in preparation for job interviews, i guess). I just finished my History exam, last night, so school’s pretty much behind me. Have a couple meetings left and that’s it! Felt kind of elated on the bus home, last night – I guess I’m happy to finally be finishing school. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I plan on lots of rollerblading. Too bad the seawall will be closed. Really… that sucks. ๐Ÿ™ I’ll have to go back and forth in English Bay or something.

I also meant to apply for Google’s Summer of Code. And, on the very last day, I had an idea and figured, “sure. why not?” So I put together an application as fast as I could not expecting to be chosen, and I wasn’t. My idea was really “out there” too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, like JET, disappointed. That woulda been awesome. I’ll see if I can put together my idea for another post… and I may work on it anyways, this summer.

For some cheap amusement in Wii Weather channel, zoom into the Turks and Caicos Islands, to the north-east of Cuba. ๐Ÿ™‚