Saturday, October 25, 2008

Quiet Weekends

On Thursday evening, I was rather surprised to arrive home from work to find a parcel waiting for me, even though I couldn't remember having ordered anything. In the dim light of the entryway, I was only able to make out a "Canada Post", but then realized with a burst of excitement what it was. Taking it into my room where there was light, I could see it was declared as "Candy", and was from my grandma. Every Halloween she makes these amazing chocolate puffed wheat squares that she hands out, and passes around to the family. In this day and age of paranoia, I don't know how many children would be allowed to actually to eat homemade Halloween candy, but my grandma includes a little slip of paper in each one with her name and address on it. I can only hope that given that, parents let their guard down enough for their children to try these, because they're delicious! I'm so happy my grandma sent me some. She's sent me some every year that I've been away from home, and I'm just tickled that I'm still getting them, despite being 28 years old, and living half the world away.

I've decided that this weekend, I'm going to give driving a try again. I got up early today, Saturday, so that I can get up even earlier tomorrow, and take one of the car club vehicles out for a couple hours early in the morning, when the roads are virtually empty of traffic. I'll just stay around on my neighbourhood, where I know the streets, so I don't have to worry about getting lost. I want to just drive around, and get a feel for where the corners of the car are, so I don't have a repeat of last time.

I was out for drinks with Sonja on Thursday, and we talked about driving, and I mentioned how I enjoy doing road trips, but explained about my fender bender here, and how it's made me nervous about trying to drive here again. It turns out Sonja quite likes road trips too, and also wants to do one to Cornwall, so the thought of having company to go on some road trips has been a bit of an incentive to get used to driving here.

This morning, I've found a French cafe down on the high street, and I'm having a café au lait and contemplating breakfast as I get these words down. I usually come out for brunch sometime after 11am. It's only 9:30 today, and it's been pretty chilly here since last weekend, so sitting on the patio at my usual places it out of the question, so I thought I would try somewhere new.

Work has been really great lately. For the last week, I've been working on something that's totally up my alley (writing Java code to parse a proprietary little endian binary data stream) and have been pairing on it with one of the guys that interviewed me. He's really smart, and a very experienced developer, so I've had to push myself as hard as I've ever done to keep up without worrying that he'll think I'm stupid, so it's been draining, but rewarding. For those who don't know the term, pairing is when two of us are sharing one computer, one person typing, but both of us putting all our brainpower into it, and helping to make sure neither of us makes any easy to spot (easier to spot when you've not typed it yourself) mistakes. It's much more demanding and draining because you can't just flip over and check your email for a moment, so it's the "navigator"'s (the guy who's not typing) job to call for a break from time to time, so we don't wear ourselves out completely before the day or week is over.

My weekends have been pretty quiet since I got back from Paris, I haven't really gone and done anything much. I wandered around with my camera last weekend, or the weekend before last, and took some photos, which are on Flickr now. I had thought about going out late at night this weekend, with my tripod, to do some nice night long exposures, maybe paint some photos a bit with a flashlight, but I decided to get up early to get driving experience instead. If I can get to bed early enough this morning, I may even do that tomorrow morning before the sun rises instead, if the time change tonight (it's fall-back this weekend here in the UK) doesn't mean it's too light at 5am. The time change does mean it'll be dark earlier now, so I can always do it another time, without having to stay up quite as late either. I found a photographer's website last night that does hour-long exposures of alleys and various urban things in the wee hours, and the photos are absolutely stunning. I also looked at another one of a guy that does "industrial landscapes", which are something I'm quite fond of. The photos were nice, but I found that he overdid the HDR a bit, so they ended up looking like something rendered out of the Half-Life 2 game engine, instead of photos. I think they would be beautiful without quite so much HDR.

I've been thinking about going out and buying one of those digital photo frames. Last weekend, I stopped at three different photo shops, to find out how much it would cost to get some 8x10" prints done to hang up around my room. The least expensive I could find them was £8, which is highway robbery! That's $16! Costco does them for $1.39! I just can't bring myself to pay over 10 times the price for a simple print. Hence, I'm thinking about the digital picture frames. I've seen some that are up to 15" (an 8x10 photo is only 12") for around £150, which is the same price as doing about 19 8x10" prints here. If I get a 10" or 12" frame, it's even less. The resolution obviously won't be as good as a print, but I don't really care, I just want to have some of my photos (of here and of Vancouver) on display, even if it's just on display to myself.

My food has just arrived, so I'll finish it up there.

1 comment:

Krista said...

Send them to me - I will get them printed and send them back !

I miss you. Have you cracked the code yet.

Love your friend