When Work Swallows You Up

Where have I been? Why, with the excep­tion of that bit about Arnold men­tion­ing BC in his appear­ance at Meet the Press last Sun­day, have I been so silent? It’s noth­ing very excit­ing. I’ve been work­ing, head down, pret­ty much every day for about 3 weeks. Aside from going to the Van­cou­ver User Expe­ri­ence (VanUE) meet­ing on Tues­day night — and not even stay­ing for the after par­ty, as I had to get back home and to bed in order to get up before 6 AM the next morn­ing, and I knew that if I did­n’t get enough sleep, I’d have got­ten sick again—I’ve kept to bed, com­put­er and client site (this past week).

I’m final­ly look­ing at a day off tomor­row, and all of the weath­er fore­casts are for a day like today, full of rain. Pam has class for most of the day, so I think I’m going to do some­thing I haven’t done in a long time; I’m going to go to an after­noon mati­nee. I don’t even know what I’m going to see, but the prospect of pop­corn in a nice warm movie the­atre tak­ing in a lit­tle bit of enter­tain­ment on a rainy day sounds awful­ly good to me.

I’ve checked the local the­atre list­ings, and am not sure what I’m going to see, but I can tell you it won’t be a big, depress­ing movie or a love sto­ry, and it cer­tain­ly won’t be any­thing that in any remote way reminds me of Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture, Pro­to­typ­ing or User Testing.

Except for bit­tor­rent, I haven’t watched all that many movies. Why do I resort to bittorrent?  There is no Net­flix here in Cana­da, and I’ve heard many peo­ple tell me that the equiv­a­lent, Zip.ca  is not very good. There is also no stream­ing of movies over TiVo here and unlike the Amer­i­can ver­sion of the store, there are no stream­ing movies on Amazon.ca either.  Even the iTunes store does­n’t the vari­ety of movies for Cana­di­an accounts as it does in the Amer­i­can store, so the AppleTV is not as use­ful either (unless you buy gift­cards on the oth­er side of the bor­der and load up an Amer­i­can account). So CRTC or who­ev­er is respon­si­ble for our Cin­e­mat­ic Rights Time Warp, don’t you real­ize that you’ve actu­al­ly forced me into bit­tor­rent­ing movies, because there is real­ly no con­ve­nient, rea­son­ably-priced alter­na­tive? Video rental stores are kind of a pain (and seem so…20th cen­tu­ry), and I’m not real­ly inter­est­ed in buy­ing DVDs (and cer­tain­ly haven’t popped for a Blu-Ray player).

On the sub­ject is Video Rentals, I could­n’t resist shar­ing this lit­tle nod to Abbott and Costel­lo by Chris Gavaler, that I saw a while ago:

Who’s on First?

By Chris Gavaler

(A CUSTOMER steps up to a video-store counter with a stack of videos.)
CASHIER: Hi. Did you find every­thing you wanted?
CUSTOMER: (Hand­ing over mem­ber­ship card.) Yes, thanks. (Pause.) When is this one due back?
CASHIER: The day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: Yeah, when’s it due back?
CASHIER: The day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: Yes. The Day After Tomor­row.
CUSTOMER: Right. When’s it due back?
CASHIER: The day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: I mean the movie. The Day After Tomor­row. When is it due?
CASHIER: Oh! I get it. That’s fun­ny. You thought I meant-right, OK. It’s due the day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: The Day After Tomor­row is due the day after tomorrow?
CASHIER: Exactly.
CUSTOMER: And Before Sun­set?
CASHIER: Any­time before 10.
CUSTOMER: Is it the same as The Day After Tomor­row?
CASHIER: We close the same time every day. Ten o’clock.
CUSTOMER: But what day is the video due?
CASHIER: The Day After Tomor­row?
CUSTOMER: Why are you ask­ing me?
CASHIER: The Day After Tomor­row is due the day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: I know, but what about Before Sun­set?
CASHIER: Any­time before closing.
CUSTOMER: But what day?
CASHIER: The day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: Before Sun­set?
CASHIER: You can bring it then if you want to, but we’re open till 10.
CUSTOMER: The movie! Before Sun­set. When is Before Sun­set due?
CASHIER: Oh! We did it again, did­n’t we? Isn’t that just like that … what’s that sketch called? Any­way. Sor­ry. Before Sun­set is due the day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: Thank you. (Pause.) Is that the same for the others?
CASHIER: You’re not rent­ing The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: Why not?
CASHIER: I don’t know. You can if you want to.
CUSTOMER: Well, I would like to rent the oth­ers, please.
CASHIER: I’ll check the computer.
CUSTOMER: For what?
CASHIER: The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: What’s in front of you?
CASHIER: (Look­ing through stack.) Well, we have The Day After Tomor­row and Before Sun­set. Then Sev­en, After Hours, 48 Hours, Ten, and Before Sun­rise. Hey, that’s fun­ny, “before sunrise”-we could have got­ten con­fused about that too, huh?
CUSTOMER: Yeah. Could you ring them up, please?
CASHIER: So you don’t want The Oth­ers?
CUSTOMER: I want all of them.
CASHIER: But not The Oth­ers?
CUSTOMER: I want every­thing sit­ting right there in front of you.
CASHIER: OK, I’ll ring them up. (Pause.) I’m sor­ry, but your account lim­its you to six rentals.
CUSTOMER: Oh, OK, I won’t rent Ten.
CASHIER: Excuse me?
CUSTOMER: Get rid of Ten.
CASHIER: You have sev­en here.
CUSTOMER: I still want to rent Sev­en.
CASHIER: You’re not allowed to.
CUSTOMER: Why can’t I rent Sev­en?
CASHIER: Because it’s over the limit.
CUSTOMER: Right, but I want Sev­en. Get rid of Ten.
CASHIER: (Pause.) That would leave neg­a­tive three.
CUSTOMER: Excuse me?
CASHIER: You know what? We’ll just let it slide this time.
CUSTOMER: Thank you. (Pause.) Is that one due back the day after tomor­row, too?
CASHIER: Yes, you have 48 hours.
CUSTOMER: But is it due with the others?
CASHIER: You don’t have The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: What did you just ring up?
CASHIER: You want me to read these to you again?
CUSTOMER: No, just tell me when they’re due.
CASHIER: The day after tomorrow.
CUSTOMER: But what about the others?
CASHIER: You don’t have The Oth­ers.
CUSTOMER: Is 48 Hours due the day after tomorrow?
CASHIER: Yes, by 10 o’clock.
CUSTOMER: Is Ten due the day after tomorrow?
CASHIER: Yes, by 10 o’clock.
CUSTOMER: What about After Hours?
CASHIER: There’s a late fee.
CUSTOMER: For what?
CASHIER: If you return after hours.
CUSTOMER: The day after tomorrow?
CASHIER: All of them.
CUSTOMER: So it’s due the day after tomorrow?
CUSTOMER: What about Sev­en?
CASHIER: You can bring it then if you want to, but we’re open till 10.
CUSTOMER: The movie! The movie! When is the movie Sev­en due?
CASHIER: (Hold­ing up each video one at a time.) Sev­en is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. The Day After Tomor­row is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. Before Sun­set is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. 48 Hours is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. After Hours is due at 10 the day after tomor­row. And Ten is due at 10 the day after tomorrow
CUSTOMER: Thank you! (Notic­ing the last video after a long pause.) But what about Before Sun­rise?
CASHIER: (Pause.) We’re not open before sunrise.
(CUSTOMER gives up and walks out.)

On the oth­er hand, the movie the­atres here are real­ly nice, and I’m look­ing for­ward to that.

On Sun­day, the sun is sup­posed to come out, but alas, I will have to be get­ting back to work, and hope­ful­ly won’t be too far behind from hav­ing tak­en a few hours off.

Snowbound with George on Christmas Eve

Our Patio with the most Snow we’ve ever seen on it

Our patio with the most snow we’ve ever seen on it

You always assume that things will turn out as planned, but some­times they don’t. Pam and I had all but packed our suit­cas­es ear­li­er in the week for a trip to vis­it with my broth­er and his fam­i­ly in Seat­tle, as well as my par­ents, who were going to be vis­it­ing from Bal­ti­more. Moth­er Nature had oth­er ideas.

The fact that Cana­da is enjoy­ing the first coast-to-coast ‘White Christ­mas’ in 40 years is not lost on me, and it is pret­ty out there. Pam and I had a nice time walk­ing in the first of the snow­storms, and it looks like storm num­ber three, which start­ed last night, will dump near­ly as much on us.

The car is not ready to dri­ve on these kinds of roads. We don’t have any snow tires, as we don’t dri­ve that much to begin with and nei­ther of us use it to get to a work­place (unlike the days when I was work­ing in Burn­a­by for IBM). Snow tires are not usu­al­ly need­ed here.

So, here we are, like hiber­nat­ing bears in our cave, look­ing out at the snow. Well, not exact­ly like bears in one key respect: Hiber­nat­ing bears don’t eat, and I’ve been cook­ing like crazy. I roast­ed a chick­en stuffed with herbs and lemon (an old Jamie Oliv­er recipe that I’ve com­mit­ted to mem­o­ry), and yes­ter­day did a large pot roast with car­rots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes.  This after­noon I baked a tray of oat­meal muffins (after also bak­ing a bunch of cook­ies ear­li­er in the week). We’ve also got some steaks in the freez­er, and since Granville Mar­ket is closed for the next 2 days, we’ll prob­a­bly eat those as well, along with some of oth­er food in our larder, which we stuffed full just in case the weath­er did get worse.

The oth­er thing I did, which I do near­ly every year, was watch Frank Capra’s movie “It’s a Won­der­ful Life”.  For me, it tran­scends movie mak­ing to become a piece of art, the same way that some Nor­man Rock­well illus­tra­tions do. I keep find­ing new details in it, the way you do with any great piece of sto­ry­telling or music. There’s always some lit­tle motif or pas­sage here or there that after the 10th hearing/viewing you sud­den­ly real­ize is referred to or echoed in some oth­er place. Capra’s film also has a lot more res­o­nance now, when the news reports from the States ear­li­er in the evening eeri­ly echoed (or pre­saged?) the talk in the movie of peo­ple being fore­closed on their homes because of not being able to pay mort­gages, runs on banks and acts of char­i­ty. How many peo­ple might be, this evening, need­ing to draw upon char­i­ty for the first time in their lives, the way that George Bai­ley had to?

I noticed that a week or so again, Wen­dell Jamieson of The New York Times wrote a fas­ci­nat­ing reassess­ment of the film, and actu­al­ly found it to be essen­tial­ly a big fat lie, some­thing that he first sus­pect­ed when he was shown the film at school when he was 15 year’s old:

“It’s a Won­der­ful Life” is a ter­ri­fy­ing, asphyx­i­at­ing sto­ry about grow­ing up and relin­quish­ing your dreams, of see­ing your father dri­ven to the grave before his time, of liv­ing among bit­ter, small-mind­ed peo­ple. It is a sto­ry of being trapped, of com­pro­mis­ing, of watch­ing oth­ers move ahead and away, of becom­ing so filled with rage that you ver­bal­ly abuse your chil­dren, their teacher and your oppres­sive­ly per­fect wife. It is also a night­mare account of an end­less home renovation.

Holy Cow!  Believe it or not, his opin­ion of the film’s mes­sages actu­al­ly gets harsh­er still:

Many are pulling the movie out of the archives late­ly because of its pre­science on the per­ils of trust­ing bankers. I’ve found, after repeat­ed view­ings, that the film turns upside down and inside out, and some glar­ing — and often fun­ny — flaws become appar­ent. These flaws have some­how deep­ened my affec­tion for it over the years. Take the extend­ed sequence in which George Bai­ley (James Stew­art), hav­ing repeat­ed­ly tried and failed to escape Bed­ford Falls, N.Y., sees what it would be like had he nev­er been born. The bucol­ic small town is replaced by a smoky, night­club-filled, boo­gie-woo­gie-dri­ven haven for show­girls and gam­blers, who spill rau­cous­ly out into the crowd­ed side­walks on Christ­mas Eve. It’s been renamed Pot­tersville, after the vil­lain­ous Mr. Pot­ter, Lionel Barrymore’s schem­ing financier.

Here’s the thing about Pot­tersville that struck me when I was 15: It looks like much more fun than stul­ti­fy­ing Bed­ford Falls — the women are hot, the music swings, and the fun times go on all night. If any­thing, Pot­tersville cap­tures just the type of excite­ment George had long been seeking.

Not only is Pot­tersville cool­er and more fun than Bed­ford Falls, it also would have had a much, much stronger future. Think about it: In one scene George helps bring man­u­fac­tur­ing to Bed­ford Falls. But since the era of “It’s a Won­der­ful Life” man­u­fac­tur­ing in upstate New York has suf­fered terribly.

On the oth­er hand, Pot­tersville, with its night­clubs and gam­bling halls, would almost cer­tain­ly be in much bet­ter finan­cial shape today. The gam­bling halls would be thriv­ing and a great social expe­ri­ence instead of the cae­sars casi­no slot at EasyMobileCasino.com we have now.

I checked my the­o­ry with the oft-quot­ed Mitchell L. Moss, a pro­fes­sor of urban pol­i­cy at New York Uni­ver­si­ty, and he agreed, point­ing out that, of all the upstate coun­ties, the only one that has seen growth in recent years has been Saratoga.

“The rea­son is that it is a resort, and it has built an econ­o­my around that,” he said. “Mean­while the great indus­tri­al cities have declined ter­rif­i­cal­ly. Look at Con­necti­cut: where is the growth? It’s in casi­nos; they are con­stant­ly expanding.”

In New York, Mr. Moss added, Gov. David A. Pater­son “is under enor­mous pres­sure to allow gam­bling upstate because of the eco­nom­ic problems.”

“We ease up on our lot of cul­tur­al behav­iors in a depres­sion,” he said.

What a grim thought: Had George Bai­ley nev­er been born, the peo­ple in his town might very well be bet­ter off today.

Well, I’m not sure that the raunchy Vegas-like Pot­tersville is any bet­ter than the Biff Tan­nen’s alter­nate Uni­verse town of Hill Val­ley (which does­n’t get a rename, despite the sim­i­lar biz­zaro treat­ment) in Back to the Future II.  I’ll bet that a few choice grotesque zooms on the land­scape of Pot­tersville would have hor­ri­fied the rest of us as much as it did George Bai­ley rather than thrill him that that his town was less bor­ing with him not in it. Capra per­haps did­n’t want to hit us over the head with the mes­sage, so it did­n’t escape the 15-year old Mr. Jamieson’s cynicism.

Any­way, apt or not, I still find it a great piece of sto­ry­telling, even if it teach­es us all the wrong things. Jamieson is not alone in his dis­dain for the film. Besides the fact that the movie was con­sid­ered a finan­cial flop (too expen­sive to make, did­n’t make back what it cost), Charles Affron on filmreference.com says:

The impe­tus and struc­ture of It’s a Won­der­ful Life recall the famil­iar mod­el of Capra’s pre-war suc­cess­es. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Wash­ing­ton and Meet John Doe. In each of these films, the hero rep­re­sents a civic ide­al and is opposed by the forces of cor­rup­tion. His iden­ti­ty, at some point mis­per­ceived, is final­ly acclaimed by the com­mu­ni­ty at large. The pat­tern receives per­haps its dark­est treat­ment in It’s a Won­der­ful Life. The film’s con­ven­tions and dra­mat­ic con­ceits are mis­lead­ing. An idyl­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of small-town Amer­i­ca, a guardian angel named Clarence and a Christ­mas Eve apoth­e­o­sis seem to jus­ti­fy the film’s peren­ni­al screen­ings dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. These are the signs of the ingen­u­ous opti­mism for which Capra is so often reproached. Yet they func­tion in the same way “hap­py end­ings” do in Moliere, where the arti­fice of per­fect res­o­lu­tion is in iron­ic dis­pro­por­tion to the real­i­ties of human nature at the core of the plays.

Maybe I should have just watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Rein­deer instead.

The Sarah Palin Movie

Some­times truth is far, far scari­er than fic­tion. In the meantime…

Apolo­gies to all for being so out of touch. Will try and catch up lat­er this week­end (Not Sat­ur­day, though, as I’ll be at BarCampVancouver08 all day).

Syd Mead and Third Tuesday

A Better Blade Runner and the Designer Behind its World

Before I got start­ed on redesign­ing this blog, I did get to spend an evening hear­ing sto­ries from a real design­er. Last Wednes­day evening’s talk by Syd Mead was a mind-blower.

Before his talk, how­ev­er, the SIG-CHI Chap­ter of Van­cou­ver, who were host­ing the evening’s event, made some announce­ments, and then… well, the best descrip­tion of it might be a ‘hap­pen­ing’.

Here’s a video that some­one took of it:

(For those who can’t see the video, essen­tial­ly, the lights went off and 2 light­weight balls of stretched fab­ric enclos­ing mul­ti-coloured lights were tossed over the audi­ence. They were about 7 or 8 feet in diam­e­ter, and changed hue every few sec­onds or so. The crowd hap­pi­ly bounced the balls around the hall, remind­ing me of those beach balls that get bounced around over the crowds at polit­i­cal con­ven­tions. Accom­pa­ny­ing the bounc­ing balls, which were called ‘Zygotes’, cour­tesy of Tan­gi­ble Inter­ac­tion Design was a sort of processed audio, from sen­sors respond­ing to impacts as the balls bounced off the crowd or the walls and ceiling.

The main event fol­lowed: Syd Mead. Mead is the design­er of a half a dozen films, includ­ing the sci­ence fic­tion clas­sics Tron and Blade Run­ner. He spoke about his work, using a Quick­time movie to show sev­er­al decades of illus­tra­tions of futur­is­tic cars, build­ings, cities and oth­er arti­facts of the future that were inside his head and now, per­haps, inside our own as well. There is a DVD of his work as a ‘Visu­al Futur­ist’, con­tain­ing much of the mate­r­i­al from his lec­ture, as well as inter­views with oth­ers about him and his work. Here’s the trail­er, from his web site (check out the high def­i­n­i­tion ver­sion there, it’s well worth see­ing at a larg­er size):

He’s not only a bril­liant design­er, but he was a good speak­er as well, com­ment­ing on his work and influ­ences. He showed prob­a­bly 50–75 exam­ples of his work over the past 50 years or so in var­i­ous games, car­toons, movies, cars, and indus­tri­al design projects. I was sur­prised to hear that the two artists who influ­enced him the most were the Baroque painter Car­avag­gio and 19th/early 20th cen­tu­ry illus­tra­tor, Max­field Par­rish. As one per­son inter­viewed in the trail­er put it, Syd Mead is essen­tial­ly an ‘18th Cen­tu­ry Man moved to the 20th and 21st Cen­tu­ry’. Many oth­ers spoke of the ‘real­i­ty’ of his vision, that it had gone through much of the evo­lu­tion and test­ing relat­ed to a prod­uct, build­ing, or tech­nol­o­gy, but entire­ly in his own mind.

After the talk we saw a screen­ing of the Final Cut (or so it’s now known) of ‘Blade Run­ner’, a film that . That screen­ing, in and of itself was fas­ci­nat­ing as well. The ver­sion has none of the film noir, Ray­mond Chan­dler-style voice over by Har­ri­son Ford, and there are quite a few scenes either length­ened, added or in one par­tic­u­lar­ly crit­i­cal case, omit­ted (I won’t spoil it if you don’t already know). As I was watch­ing it, I kept mar­veling at the con­sis­ten­cy and rich­ness of the visu­al envi­ron­ment. The only give­aways that Mead­’s vision (like Kubrick­’s) of the future was­n’t 100% cor­rect was the appear­ance of the Pan Am logo on a few elec­tron­ic bill­boards. Boy, nobody saw that air­line as going away, and its logo still looks fine in all of the visu­al­iza­tions of our future.

Third Tuesday

Last night was the month­ly meet­ing of Third Tues­day, a com­bi­na­tion pre­sen­ta­tion and mix­er, focus­ing on (but not entire­ly lim­it­ed to) mar­ket­ing, web 2.0 and the new ‘social media’ that takes place, when­ev­er pos­si­ble, on the third Tues­day of the month. Last month, Writer and Social Media Evangelist/Consultant, Mon­i­ca Ham­burg intro­duced many who attend­ed (myself includ­ed) to the con­cept of crowd­sourc­ing. This month, Local Van­cou­ver Tech­nol­o­gist, Writer, Racon­teur and Mis­cel­lanist (that’s how his web site puts it) Dar­ren Bare­foot gave an excel­lent ‘case study’ that explained how his mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny, Capulet Com­mu­ni­ca­tions got the atten­tion of the web’s movers and shak­ers through an online demo of his clien­t’s prod­uct. Most sur­pris­ing detail of the cam­paign? To invite key peo­ple to the online demo (actu­al­ly, a faux com­pa­ny’s Intranet Wiki), they sent invi­ta­tions to about 35 of them via snail mail. That’s right, email has pro­duced so much noise and clut­ter (read: SPAM) that the best way to get to some peo­ple is the old fash­ioned way. It remind­ed me of an Isaac Asi­mov short sto­ry where a bunch of mil­i­tary sci­en­tists real­ize that the best way to com­pute some mis­sile tra­jec­to­ries is through some lost ancient tech­niques, known as ‘mul­ti­pli­ca­tion’ and ‘long divi­sion’ per­formed by a sol­dier with (*gasp!*) a pen­cil and paper… There was no men­tion of telegrams or sig­nal­ing fires, so I’m going to assume that those ‘Employ­ee kits’ sent via Couri­er were as far back in tech­nol­o­gy as he was will­ing to go.

I met up many friends and acquain­tances, and am glad to see that the sum­mer sea­son (and most­ly sun­ny skies) has not meant that every­one is head­ing for the beach, only to recon­nect up in the fall. At least, not yet.

Things to Do When You are Between Jobs

It’s been a lit­tle over a week before my last day at IBM. I was frankly blown away by the good-bye that I got from cowork­ers that Fri­day. We all went out to a Thai feast in Burn­a­by (and by Thai feast, I mean it just kept com­ing and com­ing until we start­ed gig­gling as each dish was brought to the table; Pad Thai? Sure, Crispy Fish with sauce? Why not!? More Stir-Fried Veg­eta­bles? Of course!)

I packed up my desk (I had spent over a week mov­ing books and toys from it to home in half a dozen trips). It was a strange time, with my time allot­ed to the project over, and work still need­ing to be done the project I’ve been work­ing on. I hope that I haven’t left too much hang­ing; Some of it was depen­dent on details of fea­tures that had not been defined yet, but where I had to leave wire­frames (which are essen­tial­ly dia­grams of how screens should look and what should be on them and where) par­tial­ly fin­ished, I tried to make it clear how they could be com­plet­ed. I said many good-byes to friends and col­leagues, and drove home from Burn­a­by, a lit­tle dazed (hey, it was prob­a­bly all that food at lunch).

On Sat­ur­day, we decid­ed to play tourist all over again. We went to the open house of CityTV and took a sta­tion tour, meet­ing most of the crew of Break­fast Tele­vi­sion (which I must con­fess, we’re not reg­u­lar view­ers of, but it was fun, nev­er­the­less). I won a CityTV Umbrel­la, and we got some Cold Stone Cream­ery Ice Cream at the end of the tour. I like the sta­tion; It’s small and has a lot of per­son­al­i­ty, and they run Jeop­ardy each evening (and also car­ry Reaper, which is a lot of fun and anoth­er series filmed here).

Sat­ur­day Night, I went to the tick­et office at the Orpheum just before the Sym­pho­ny Con­cert, and got a last-minute seat for the con­cert (only $15!). I heard the VSO play one of my favourite pieces, Prokofiev’s Third Sym­pho­ny. I love it because it’s most­ly loud and fast, and almost nev­er lets up. In par­tic­u­lar, the third move­ment is some of the wildest and most vivid music that Prokofiev ever wrote, and much of the dra­ma of the piece is due to the fact that it’s tak­en from his opera ‘The Flam­ing Angel’, which chron­i­cles a young nun’s psy­chot­ic break­down and pur­suit of a man she believes is an angel, com­plete with an on-stage exor­cism and chase through the streets. Not your usu­al opera fare, and cer­tain­ly not your usu­al Sym­pho­ny. The orches­tra did a fine job, but I sus­pect that it was too racy for the crowd, who did­n’t give it as much of a stand­ing ova­tion as they did for the Tchaikovsky Piano Con­cer­to in the first half. Ah, when will they stop doing this?! Once again, peo­ple, when every per­for­mance gets a stand­ing ova­tion, it ceas­es to mean anything!

The rest of the week­end was a bit qui­eter, but things picked up again today, with a job inter­view. I’m not going to write more about that until things set­tle down either way. Pam also has a lead on a con­tract, so it’s prob­a­ble that the free time between engage­ments for both of us is prob­a­bly going to come to an end soon.

Tomor­row evening is a spe­cial SIGCHI event: the film design­er Syd Mead (who was respon­si­ble for the rev­o­lu­tion­ary sets and scenery of Blade Run­ner) will be in town speak­ing, fol­lowed by a screen­ing of the final cut of the movie.