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Craziness in Frisco

So I went for a weekend in San Francisco... I was planning on that already, so I had packed a light raincoat and a few long-sleeved shirts, so I wouldn't look like a tourist, but as it turned out, I forgot them in Mountain View and looked like a tourist anyway! After obtaining a lender bike for the weekend (thanks Noé!) and deciding to leave my laptop at the office so I could travel light, I hopped on the Google shuttle and managed to get the wireless Internet they have onboard working on my iPod touch. This was already kind of cool, but I was totally amazed when I thought I would consult the map and I pressed the "go to my location" button, just for the heck of it, and it actually got it! I was then further amazed at how it seemed to do a kind of pseudo-tracking, updating my position every ten seconds or so... So I didn't feel quite as lost as I did the last time.

After getting together with morethanreal, dropping off my stuff at her place and inflating the bike's tires (I quickly found out that the brakes were not working well at all either, which was a bit worrying, considering how hilly San Francisco is!), we headed to some show she had heard was recommended that night. It was in a small but pretty cool art gallery, where they had a good number (maybe a hundred or so?) of speakers embedded in wooden sculptures, hanging by wires from the ceiling. The curator later told us that this is an art installation and that they are actually operational, seemed like this could be pretty cool in itself, but as it turns out, the main attraction of the night was a DJ. He was pretty competent, I have to say, and enjoyed his set, despite the fact that we had just missed a part of his performance where he donned a dinosaur suit and hugged everyone in the audience, I was a bit disappointed having missed that! It's funny how people recognize my accent, including in particular the bartender, whom I was asking for a beer. He pointed me at the menu with just two beers available (this was a temporary setup), and I told him that, well, I had no idea what either of those were. So he apologized quickly, asked me if I knew about Unibroue, to which I responded in the affirmative, and he then told me that I would find the first one horrible, and that the other one, well, wasn't nearly as good as Unibroue, but would probably not offend me too much. Heh!

After getting back to morethanreal's place, there was some inevitable discussion about music, of course, and I introduced her to the new Apple Remote application for her iPhone. She fell in love at first sight, it would seem, she even moved her iPhone dock to put it beside her bed! We were pretty tired, but she had put on Black Eyes's eponymous album, and it is quite good, we just had to finish it before going to sleep.


Tour de Fat
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
The next day, I wasn't feeling too sore from sleeping her couch, which was good, because we were heading out to Tour de Fat! There was a brief stop for chocolatines and cappuccinos, of course, it wouldn't have been civilized otherwise. There were crazy bikes, crazy bands, and crazy beer! Much fun was had, including bouncing around with (very) limited success on a pogo-stick. I then accompanied morethanreal to a tattooing session (hers, not mine!), which was pretty cool, including a pretty classic Californian laid back surfer artist. I then headed back with her to pick up my stuff, had some (spicy!) burrito on 16th, then headed to jbdeboer's place, where I elected to stay that night (thanks, by the way!). That place is up. Very, very up. Like, on top. Yowzer. I had some idea of taking a cab from there to the DNA Lounge, but I was too wiped and gave up (fail!).

On the upside of being at the top is the good view (hmm, there's the view to Lafayette Park, which can be interesting according to the "near here" feature of some random iPod Flickr app!), although it was a bit cloudy. Biking down Gough was mental, though! I realized at some point that with the intersections being flat, that I couldn't see past them! All of that while going upward of 40 kph, of course. That led me eventually to a nice breakfast at Cafe Petra, since there was too many people at Ritual (and I don't think they have food either). I biked around the Mission, dropped by Good Vibrations (got myself a book), then back up around Market and Stockton, where I resisted the siren call of the Apple Store. I managed to get some excellent coffee at Bluebottle Coffee, once more, and then eventually got lost in the Tenderloin without realizing it, while I was taking photos. It was very sketchy, especially with my big SLR camera hanging from my neck.

Monday, the excitement level was much lower as I went to Barefoot Coffee Roasters with a team-mate who is a fan of good coffee. It is also very good, although I preferred Bluebottle's. As it is customary in Mountain View, we were back home before 10pm.

The next day, we went for dinner on Castro (in Mountain View) at an Italian restaurant with a very colourful owner, who seems to be a big George Michael fan. Excellent service, though, setting up a table just for us (my other team-mates are known there, it would seem), and of course, singing at the table by the owner. There was some ice cream after, and some of us were rebellious and went home past 11pm!

Now, I'm about to be taken out to In-N-Out, which I'm told I just have to go to. Sounds questionable, but hey, I've done worse.

Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!

Describing the time where Richard Feynman arrived at Los Alamos to work on the atomic bomb project, when they had just finished building the dormitory:
"At last the dormitory was built. I went down to the place where rooms where assigned, and they said, you can pick your room now. You know what I did? I looked to see where the girls' dormitory was, and then I picked a room that looked right across — though later I discovered a big tree was growing right in front of the window of that room."

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We're having a knee orgy!

Sunday, azrhey and I went and had dim sum with kyotto and a few other people that I don't really know. Now, dim sum aren't really my favourite thing, and I usually go there for the company, but most of the people I knew that were supposed to come didn't after all. Did see kyotto, of course, but didn't get to interact much with her. Sounded promising, but oh well, maybe better next time!

Then, with the usually loose plans that I am known, loved and hated for (love, hate, aren't they almost the same anyway?), azrhey tried to get together with elliptic_curve for some of that scheduled slutty talk. Of course, that didn't exactly work out anywhere close to how I thought it could have. Not that I had put much thought into it anyway...

So after some coffee, there was some shopping for clothes (of the more "hey, that looks cool, let's check that out" walking in front of a store than "let's go shopping" type), and scored myself a nice shirt. This was then followed by some shopping for a portable music player. azrhey scored herself a nice little Samsung YP-MT6X, while I decided to hold out and check the buzz on the Internet for Ogg Vorbis support, as this is very important to me. For those who wonder, as I mentioned getting a Treo 650, I think I'll pass, as I was mostly using my Palm for calendaring (which I have one in my phone), music, to-do and notes (which I can easily do with a pen and paper that I carry in my bag anyway). So I decided I'd just plug the remaining hole of the music player, it's still a fair chunk cheaper.

But then, we followed this up by going to Compusmart to check out the Apple laptops. I was thinking of going easy and just getting an iBook, but the PowerBook aren't that much more expensive (especially as I'd like to get the small 12" one) and look much better (lighter, seems sturdier, faster processor, can have the DVD burner on the 12" one, bigger hard drive, better video card) for not-stupidly-more money.

We then went and watched Les Poupées russes, which is the sequel to the excellent L'Auberge espagnole. It was very good, a solid follow-up, enough that it could stand by itself, but with the basis of the first movie, just shoots off, adding even more facets to some characters that we already know a bit, only to find that they have changed a bit in that time. It was great cinema. Plus, there was a good soundtrack, nice girl on girl action, and Kelly Reilly is quite hot.

Then, after some non-clever taxi management on my part (but good "knowing the neighborhood", where I once lived in, of course!), elliptic_curve and James were picked up for dinner at a nice portuguese restaurant. Much fun was had, the slutty talk was up to my expectations, a knee orgy was even had (started by James!), my arse was grabbed abundantly by everyone, and eggs were consumed with extreme pleasure. I could provide a quote from the evening, but as children might be reading this... ;-)

We then invaded sfllaw's and mricon's flat for good old talking and going through elliptic_curve's books. Headed back to my place, where we ended up watching Empire Records, which is rather silly and cheesy, but has a good soundtrack, as well as Liv Tyler's mid-section. And too much sugar.

My day today was rather, hmm... Unsatisfying. Worked to make up some hours for a day later this week when I'll be out of town, but didn't seem to manage getting much done. Went to the restaurant with jimmysworld, cpirate and mrwise (who wasn't so wise, as is usually the case with him at restaurants), who went there to watch a hockey game. I figured I'd eat and then head home, as I had to eat anyway, right? Except the service was so ludicrously slow that I was there for almost the whole game anyway. Well done.

Did get myself a MPIO FY600, the 512 megs model. After having had some issues playing Ogg Vorbis files with azrhey's player, I was a bit horrified to have it play the same folder I tried on her player as half a second burst of static. Turns out it just doesn't like pre-release versions of the encoder (that was an old rip I had lying about at the office), but with the AoTuV I now use, it's happy.

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