Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My 'little' buddy

Well I was on a role, so I thought I might throw a couple of images of my 'little' buddy Loki up on the site, so you can see how he is doing.

San Fran Man

Well another day has gone by and I have had some interesting observations, the first one is that there is still a significant disparity between the number of men and the number of women in the tech industry. This is most evident in absence of a line up for the women's washroom, and the unprecedented line up for the men's.

Today's sessions were varied, I think tomorrow I'm going to change my course of attack and focus on sessions with less nebulous titles, I hope it will yield more practical results.

As tourism, well I was more or less stuck in the hotel, which as you can see here has a nice globe thing in its lobby. I think the globe is styled after some Spanish map circa 17-0-old, but it was atheistic none the less.

We managed to gather all the people from my company (7 in total,) as well as one of our two IBM sales reps (although the other is here,) and an honorary member of our team on contract from IBM, and headed out for dinner. Our "cab" came in the black stretched variety, but I ask, what better way is there for 9 people to travel to dinner? As you can see I humbly enjoyed the transport.

Dinner was courtesy of a recommendation from Gord back at the office; we ate at "The Stinking Rose" which is possibly the only restaurant you will find that not only has menu hieroglyphics for "vegetarian" but also for "vampire friendly." The restaurant specializes in garlic cuisine, which I indulged in most thoroughly.

After dinner we took our chariot back to the hotel, and that is where you find me now, a little drained, a little smelly (of garlic,) a lot tired, and strangely ignoring that state to bring you this report.

Well that's all for today, catch me tomorrow same bat time, same bat channel.

Pumpkin Report

Well here are the '06 pumpkins or at least the first round of them, I carved the ship which is the least of them, Erin did Jonny, and Davey Jones, and Candace did the Ghost from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas (Mr Oogy Boogy?) and the Skull. We did these on Saturday before heading out for a party at Josh's. Erin has since carved a pile more, which I'm sure she will blog.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday in San Fran

Greetings all, So much has happened since I last wrote, but most of you know about that, so I will save it until I have time to do it justice. Instead I will bring you up to date on my trip to San Francisco.

A trip you say? Yes, I am here on business, and I arrived yesterday. I am attending the WebSphere Technical Exchange, and while I'm sure IBM wouldn't notice any hype increase I may cause if I sat here and blogged about their products, I know that none of you care about them. So I will stick to details of my trip, which will include tourist sites, tacky stores, and meals from the best San Fran has to offer.

So I flew Air Canada, and was suckered into a 5$ sandwich because I was hungry, but it was bad, otherwise my flight was uneventful, and largely relaxing. The flight crew found me a seat on an aisle without someone beside it, while I don't overflow into neighboring seats, I did appreciate the extra seat elbow room.

On the flight I met up with a fellow RBC'er who didn't have any particular plans for his first day, so he got sucked into my fiendish schemes, the first of which was to go to Alcatraz.

Now funny story about that, the Taxi driver who took us to the hotel was a great guy, and he told us everything we needed to know about where to get the boat. So we assumed all Taxi drivers actually knew their way around the city. Pretty silly assumption, as the closest we got to the rock was this far:

So the problem was that the taxi driver dropped us off at Pier 39, and for those of you who aren't in the know, the piers are go in 2 number increments from some central point, with evens in one direction, and odds in the other. The main tourist area seems to be between Pier 33 and Pier 45 (I think) and the famed Ghirardelli Square (famed for the Chocolate factory, wink wink) at that farthest point. So Pier 39 is just teaming with stores and 'stuff' but what it doesn't have is a boat to Alcatraz. So we had a brief look around the pier in search of said boat, and then we saw a sign "Boat to Alcatraz at Pier 33." No problem, we will just walk down there, its only about 1/2 mile. When we got to Pier 33... "Sorry last boat for the day just left..." Arggggggg.

So it isn't a total loss for me, as I am here until Saturday, I will just head out on Friday, Jerry (my co-worker) won't be able to go.

So we hiked back to Pier 39, and had a closer look in the stores, and then took a tour of the Aquarium, which was pretty neat. We then continued up the bay stopping at all the piers for a look around, mostly just window shopping of course, but we peeked in the front door of Riply's Believe it or Not, and the Wax museum. I may or may not have bought a big box of truffles.

Finally we came full circle to Pier 39 for dinner, as the lady at the info shop gave us the AAA discount at any restaurant on the Pier (that being 20%.) So I had for dinner the San Francisco specialty, giant honking big crab (I think it is actually called Dungeonese Crab but I'm probably wrong).

Then it was back to the hotel to rest.

I have pictures I tried to upload with this, but it isn't working and I have to run...
So I will post them later.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

CN Tower Stair Climb

Hey all, just a quick update before the week gets crazier. I did the stair climb this morning, and 'conquered' the tower in 49 minutes and some change. I'm pretty drained, but that is par for the course. Thanks all who sponsored me, I will be sending out a more direct thanks later.

Until next post

Monday, October 16, 2006

CN Tower Stair Climb for United Way

Greetings all, once again I am foolish enough to scale the CN Tower for United Way. This year I have done a poor job of fund raising, mostly because I have been distracted with the drywall dust that many of you have helped to generate in my basement.

So here I am at the wire asking for your help and donations to make scaling this tower at least some what rational.

Some of you will recall my efforts of previous years documented here: http://www.araska.org/2005/10/sponsor-geoffrey-to-conquer-tower.shtml and http://www.araska.org/2005/10/cn-tower.shtml
Well I can assure you that this year will be equally vertically challenging and once more I will bring my camera with me to photo document the occasion, hopefully I will even post the images this year!

Last year I raised well over my goal of $200 and I would hope to break that again, so I offer up this to my potential sponsors. If you help me break this goal, next Sunday morning, after I limp home, I will leave a phone beside my bed, and each one of you may call me and wake me up from my exhausted slumber to make the stair climb all the more gruelling, I think that's a fair deal?

So please everyone if you can spare a few dollars for a good organization, please do, and I will make the climb!

Geoffrey Peart

You have been invited to sponsor
Geoffrey Peart who is participating in The Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way.

The money raised for the Climb will help support United Way's network of over 200 health and social service agencies, and help make Toronto a better city for us all.

Secure online donations can be made with VISA or MasterCard. A non-alterable electronic tax receipt will be sent to you via email.

Please click here to make your donation:

If you would like to participate in The Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way, you can register online at www.unitedwaytoronto.com.

If you have any questions please contact Melanie Clancy, Event Coordinator at United Way at 416-777-1444 ext. 382.

Thank you. Without you, there would be no way.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eri's Blog

Once more Erin's blog has reloacted. With the aid of Apple Automator and iWeb Erin's blog is now hosted at http://cultured.araska.org/.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sad iPod

My iPod has been on the fritz since Friday, and then last night it delivered itself the coup de grâce with the infamous sad iPod icon depicted here.

My lovely wife and her new blog ocks me with her most recent entry, but her sense of sarcasm and wit are at their finest so I can't fault her.

Monday, October 02, 2006

How To: Dismantleâ??an Atomicâ??Bomb

Sure, the odds are slim that you'd ever be faced with an atomic device ticking down to zero. But think of how Jack Bauer it'd be if you were. And then who're you going to trust? Us or some do-gooder rock band?

A little something from Wired via Digg this morning. Worth a chuckle.

read more | digg story

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Little Kitten

Don't worry, we aren't crazy enough to get three cats, this is the new kitten at the Westman household. It is about 6 weeks old now, and is soooooo small. He has tiny dagger claws that he 'loves' people with. He is a cute one, but certainly spunky.

The content of my post

Well, now that I'm a little bit recovered, and my PC is up and running, I will type what I typed once before, and then lost.

I want to say thanks to Rod, Trevor, Chris, Brad, Gabe and Kevin for working there butts off this Saturday. We really got a lot more accomplished then any one may have anticipated. Gabe pretty much single handily solved the jigsaw puzzle of the ceiling, Chris and Trevor were work horses, Kevin took care of all the taping and corners, Brad filled in all the strange pieces, and Rod did a lot of everything. I had a great start, but as it turns out all it takes to throw me off my game is a door.

As you can see from this poorly focused image, me and my fast-fit door had a disagreement. I don't think I one, but the door certainly lost. I will try and fix this when my rage subsides.

So from the last post you can see we really got a lot done, other then doors there is only one wall that needs work (that's by the electrical cabinet) and then just a handful of little bits of drywall here and there.

After that, of course there is a few weeks of mudding/sanding a head of us, can't be helped, but at least this is stuff Eri and I can tackle at our own pace.

Other then the work crews, a big thanks go out to Erin and her parents, they kept us all well fed, and watered. They have also provided the sufficient oooing and aweing at our achievement to encourage us on, so thanks a lot!

Once more thanks to all hands, and I hope to have you over for a little party once this basement is finished (although I don't promise you won't all be invited back for a little flooring party before then.


Drywall Teams Go go go

More details later, but I wanted to get some images up and some thanks to everyone!