Seattle Trip Day #4

The last day of the Summit was today, you can read the geek-related notes here. I wish it had lasted longer! Read on with caution Jeanie!

Well it finally happened! I woke up late today, and did not get down to the lobby until around 7:45. Unfortunately, the last bus to Microsoft left at 7:30. Way to go Mack! you might be thinking, but wait! I wasn’t the only one who missed the bus, there was probably 15 – 20 MVP’s milling about in the lobby, trying to figure out how to get to campus. In the end, I took a towncar with three other MVP’s, and arrived with about 15 minutes to spare. So I missed breakfast, but as most of you know, I usually skip breakfast anyways. I also know why the buses leave so early now (6:30 to 7:30) – the traffic was intense this morning at 8:15.

I figured the events today wouldn’t go very long, but as it turns out, I didn’t get back to the hotel until around 5:45 this evening. That kinda sucks, considering lots of things close early here for some reason. For example, I found the original Starbucks (quite a small place, I have a picture) but it was already closed at 8 PM (I got there around 8:15). So my plan is to head down there tomorrow morning.

Instead I went to Barnes and Noble where they have a Starbucks inside (and another a block to the south, and another a block to the west – I have no idea how they all make money). A lot like Chapters, although this particular store was two levels, so things were laid out better (like Chapters on Whyte). As always, the coffee was good 🙂

Earlier in the evening, I went to a different Starbucks and had a Frappucino (Machiatto at B&N). I walked around downtown for quite a well, and ended up doing some shopping in the giant GAP, Old Navy, a souvenir shop, BON-macy’s, and I looked in a few other places. I plan to go into Nordstrom’s tomorrow morning before I leave, I could use a new pair of shoes! The downtown here is amazing, unlike Edmonton, though I suppose you could say that about most cities when compared to ours. Lots going on, lots of excellent stores, and it is surprisingly clean.

I found the most awesome, amazing, perfect shirt at Old Navy. I cannot believe such a shirt exists, but its incredible, and totally fits my projected personality! You’ll know what I mean when you see it (or more precisely, read it) 🙂

No more will I be confused when I hear people talk about making Spanish a second official language in the US. I would consider Seattle to be a northern city, not a place I would expect to find a large Spanish community, and yet after walking around for four or five hours, I was surprised at the amount of Spanish I heard! I have probably heard more Spanish here than I hear French in Edmonton – it escapes me why we have two official languages (spare me the history lesson Megan, I KNOW the historical reason lol).

I could definitely get used to Seattle/Redmond – the place is very awesome, great weather, lots of green, nice and clean for the most part, etc. Edmonton better get some green grass soon or I will go crazy after having been here for a week! One thing I definitely missed about Canada was our one and two dollor coins – the one dollar bills absolutely suck. The colored money back home is also extremely better, you don’t have to read to figure out the amount, and as we all know, its hard work to read! Aside from that however, I rather like Seattle 🙂

I will be back in town tomorrow evening around 9 PM. Too bad finals are coming up, that is going to suck. Thanks for reading and posting comments this week, I will post about my last day in Seattle tomorrow when I return. L8R!

Seattle Trip Day #3

Not too much to say today as I was at the Summit events almost from the time I woke up until now. You can read the geek-related stuff here. Tomorrow will be my day to really see some more of Seattle as the sessions do not last quite so long, so I will write about my shopping adventures then.

In the meantime, check out some pictures I found of the Summit:

Seattle Trip Day #2

Well it was colder in Seattle today, at least I thought so! It was around 10 degrees, but still nice and sunny for most of the day. Today we were at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, you can read the geek related stuff here. The campus is really a lot bigger than I thought, easily covers more space than the University as far as I can tell!

Continuing a tradition Dickson and I started, I caught the very last MVP bus from the hotels at 7:30 am today. No idea how I made it up and out the door either. They had some awesome stuff in the sessions today, and I also saw some of the famous Microsoft fridges! Yes they had Pepsi crap, but there was also Coke, Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Caffeine Free Coke, Cherry Coke, Cherry Diet Coke. Didn’t see any of the lemon or lime ones in the two fridges I saw. Also tons of other “sodas” (Kevin made fun of me when I said “pop” lol).

I discovered another Starbucks within walking distance of my hotel. This one is a block west and a block south – hadn’t looked in that area earlier. Speaking of Starbucks, I swiped a paper cup from the Starbucks in one of the cafeteria’s on campus as it has both the Starbucks and Microsoft logos on it! Thats cool too, Starbucks right on campus! Too bad the UofA doesn’t have that!

Tomorrow looks interesting, lots of important people speaking! And I don’t have to get up quite so early as the Convention Center is only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. That makes me happy, because these “heavenly” beds in my hotel room are AMAZING (all the stuff seems to be called heavenly, beds, soap, shampoo, etc). Hope you people back home are having fun in class! HAHA!

Seattle Trip Day #1

Well today was the first day of my trip, and it has been quite exciting! You can read my post about the geek-related stuff here. I arrived in Seattle around 3 PM local time.

First off, big airport. At least big enough to have its own subway to get to the terminal! Secondly, very humid. Compared to dry old Edmonton at least, the air feels very heavy. Thirdly, there is so much green! Edmonton is so brown and drab and dusty right now, the green grass and trees is a nice change!

The trip from the airport to the hotel was crazy for a couple reasons. There really is a Starbucks on almost every corner! I lost count of how many I saw today (I went to one tonight too, not the original yet tho). Also, I was instantly reminded this isn’t Canada, as there is a huge Niketown, three level Gap and three level Old Navy, Kenneth Cole, Louis Vuitton, Barnes and Noble, Nordstroms, etc. all within four blocks of my hotel (Westin Seattle Downtown). I am definitely going to have to visit the Barnes and Noble and Old Navy.

Nice hotel room too, two beds, broadband Internet, TV, alarm clock, fridge, the normal stuff you expect in a hotel room. Unlike our room in Barcelona, right Dickson! I am going to steal the coffee mugs as they are emblazoned with the Starbucsk logo 🙂

Looks like this is going to be an awesome week, I will post updates here when I can (and at my .NET blog). Tomorrow we are the Redmond campus, so that will be neat! Oh, so far the free shirt count is at 2 (usually events like this are full of free t-shirts).

New Motto: With Ease!

Dickson and I have a new motto: With Ease! This is a direct result of our 391 project which I talked about earlier. You can read Dickson’s excelllent recap on the weekend here.

So what is left? 379…with ease! Imagine Cup 2004…with ease! Paramagnus Imagine…with ease! I just hope we live up to the motto 😉

[Listening to: Resurrection – Moist – Creature (03:59)]


I just found out an interesting definition:

CHERNOBYLNIK: A variety of absinthe (wormwood) with a red-brown or deep purple stem.
Chornobyl (also seen spelled as Chernobyl, Cernobyl or Chernoble).
Chornobyl is a little known Ukrainian word for a plant named Wormwood (absinthe)!

So I guess I can describe consuming absinthe as going nuclear! Haha!

A valuable lesson from 391

This weekend Dickson and I were working to start and finish our term project for CMPUT 391 (databases). Over the weekend I learned a valuable lesson – but it has nothing to do with databases! First, here is how our weekend went:

  1. Friday around 11:00 PM: “So we should get started on 391!” says Dickson, “Probably LOL” says Mack.
  2. Saturday around 11:30 AM: Mack and Dickson arrive at CompSci.
  3. Saturday around 1:30 PM: Dickson, Mack, Annie go for lunch at Tokyo Express.
  4. Saturday around 3:30 PM: Mack and Dickson get back to work.
  5. Saturday around 8:00 PM: Greg asks if Mack and Dickson will finish, they reply “with ease! we will have to kill time before the due date!”
  6. Saturday around 8:30 PM: Mack and Dickson go for dinner at PowerPlant and watch two songs by the performing band.
  7. Saturday around 10:00 PM: Back to work again!
  8. Saturday around 4:00 AM: Part one finished! Progress rapid!
  9. Sunday around 5:15 AM: Mack drives Dickson home.
  10. Sunday around noon: Back to work again!
  11. Sunday around 2:00 PM: Dickson and Mack go for lunch at Ho Ho’s.
  12. Sunday around 3:00 PM: Back to work again!
  13. Sunday around 8:00 PM: Mack and Dickson go to BP’s Lounge for dinner and to watch the Oilers destroy the Coyotes in the third period!
  14. Sunday around 9:30 PM: Mack and Dickson go to Safeway to buy coke (Mack 2L) and water (Dickson 1L).
  15. Sunday around 10:00 PM: Back to work again!
  16. Sunday around 11:00 PM: Greg asks if Mack and Dickson will finish, they reply “so much time left! we will WAIT until the deadline to so you can see us press the submit button!”
  17. Monday around 2:00 AM: Coding problem slows progress…
  18. Monday around 3:00 AM: Janitorial staff buffers floors, Dickson yells “I am trying to work here!”
  19. Monday around 4:00 AM: Coding progress resumes at normal speeds!
  20. Monday around 5:30 AM: Mack edits english essay for Greg.
  21. Monday around 7:00 AM: Its light outside again!
  22. Monday around 10:00 AM: “Man I don’t feel too good…”, “Me either!”
  23. Monday around 11:00 AM: Mack goes to a class, Dickson gets lunch, then Mack gets lunch.
  24. Monday around 1:00 PM: “Its good enough!”
  25. Monday around 3:30 PM: Submitted with 1.5 hours to spare!

So what did I learn? You cannot give up both food and sleep! At least not if you drink a 2L of coke during the night. After lunch on Monday, I felt so much better. In any case, the project was *mostly* completed, an amazing feat given the amount of time we left ourselves! You owe me five dollars Greg, haha!