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March 25, 2004

Grace CMA

The project that I'm working on with MGA for this two week trip is Grace Christian and Missionary Alliance Chuch. Grace CMA's new building will seat around 1500. Because we're waiting on some key areas to be drywalled and painted, we left a little early today, but we've typically been starting around 2 pm and working until around 2 am. The other guys say that next week we'll be starting later and working later, in order to get it all finished. We've been slightly held up in a lot of areas since the whole project has been just slightly behind schedule (or so it seems to me).

Monday to Wednesday were mostly filled with pulling cable in conduit. Today we had a shorter day pulling some easier intercom lines, and starting to assemble some racks.

Aside from the actual work itself, one aspect of this trip that I didn't quite expect (though it should have been obvious in hindsight) has been the food. We've been eating at a different restaurant for every meal. The other guys are so used to it that nobody cares any more so it's a chore just to pick a place and go. MGA provides a decent per diem, so thankfully we stay away from fast food for the most part. I'm sure eating out will get old for me too, but for now it's nice to have a lot of variety.

March 22, 2004

Cleveland Ho!

Well, after a long, tedious day yesterday at Toronto's Pearson airport, I'm in Cleveland finally. Work permit taken care of, I'm off to the Social Security office sometime this morning to get a US SSN. Days for the MGA install crew seem to start late and end really late, and even more so today since we're still waiting on other trades to finish up work in key areas of the building before some of the main tasks can start.

The hotel we're staying in isn't fancy, but there's nothing wrong with it. That I have to go to an "interview center" above the main lobby to get high-speed internet access is a minor inconvenience. I guess I should look at it the other way around: I'm grateful that I can just walk down the hall, plug my laptop in and get online as if I were at home.

March 20, 2004

Live Action Anime

I'm not really into anime nor foreign language films (ok, not at all into either), however, the trailer for the Japanese film Casshern looks really interesting. Partly because of the cool music, but also because it's an attempt to blend an anime-style fantasy story with a live-action film. I must say, the preview is quite impressive. I have no idea what the story is about, except that there's an army of robots and some superhero futuristic samurai-type guys, but maybe I'll look into it sometime down the road...

(found on slashdot, originallly from penny arcade, I think)

March 17, 2004

Comment Spam

I haven't yet been hit badly by comment spam, so I've been lazy and manually cleaned up the few spams I have received. I decided to get off my metaphorical behind this evening and install MT Blacklist. True to the author's word, the installation was ridiculously easy. Thanks Jay Allen!

March 16, 2004

Heavy Snowfall warning?!

Since when does 5cm tonight and maybe 10cm tomorrow warrant a heavy snowfall warning?! People around Halifax always seemed to exaggerate and be paranoid about the weather (like the schools that were closed last week because of freezing rain that was forcasted to start that evening - after school was out - and in fact actually became boring, ordinary, harmless rain), but what I'm talking about is Environment Canada issuing these warning!

I'm not joking, right now it is a bright, sunny sky, with no trace of precipitation expected for nearly 12 hours, and even then only enough to wet your boots, and we're under a heavy snowfall warning!

March 15, 2004

A Deepness in the Sky (II)

I guess I should confess that the night after reading the first half of the book, I finished it. Yes, I enjoyed it, and no I should't have read in two consecutive evenings. It wasn't good for my sleep schedule at all. To the author's credit, he kept a plot twist hidden until almost after it was revealed. I was impressed by that. Not only did I not see it coming, but once I realized the twist, I could look back and see that it was subtly revealed earlier than the point at which my mind made the connection.

So that doesn't say anything about the quality of the plot or writing, but since it's Monday morning and I have to go to work, that's all I'm going to say about that.

Oh, I'd appreciate any suggestions for some other good sci-fi or general fiction books. I now need to buy something for the upcoming travel. A few that I have in mind are: something by Larry Niven or Isaac Asimov that I haven't read yet, or perhaps Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Any other ideas?

More Choice? Less Choice?

The New Yorker is running this really interesting article about choice and a recent book about the problems of too many choices (for individuals and society). I can definitely identify with some of the problems of too much choice that this column lists.

If you're really intrigued by the article, then here's a list of other reviews of the book

March 14, 2004

Car Salesmen

Mark, I mentioned today some articles I had seen about the inside world of car sales. Here they are:

March 11, 2004

Deepness in the Sky

I was trying to save this for my flight to Cleveland, but last night I made the mistake of reading the first chapter of Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky. Now it's half read, and I didn't get as much sleep as I should have. I read and really enjoyed A Fire Upon the Deep a few weeks back.

Oh, and Steve: this one is holding up just as well so far.

March 10, 2004

Rice Krispy cookies

I think I've hit the jackpot. Normal rice krispies: 3 tablespoons margarine, 1/2 tablespoon vanilla (optional), 4 cups of miniature marshmellows, 6 cups of rice krispies. Just add about a 1/2 teaspoon of banana extract, and then you have magic!

March 09, 2004

Cleveland Rocks

I haven't posted much lately, so here's a quick update: I've been in touch with MGA again, and I'm going to Cleveland on March 20 to work on a church installation until April 4 or so. Depending on how that turns out (as well as details such as work visas and so on) I may be taking a full time position with MGA and eventually moving to Fresno, California.

In the meantime, there have been a few events of minor notability around here, but I'll post some more entries later.