March 30, 2005
Last night, for the second year in a row, I went to the Oyster Olympics, a fundraiser for the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.
Like last year, I stuffed myself with dozens of tasty oysters from all around the Puget Sound and Hood Canal area. My favorites are still the Pacificas, with a slight preference for Hood Canal over Puget Sound (less salty, more sweet.) Kumamotos were a close second. I also loved the Virginicas and Olympias. Probably the only ones I don't care for are the European Flats -- too metallic tasting for me. It was great to wash down all the oysters with some good wine too.
Unlike last year, I decided to focus on chatting with my friends and eating oysters vs. taking photos. The event was largely the same as year though, so my photos from last year are still appropriate.
This is the right way to eat oysters. No mamby-pamby half dozen shared with friends. Three dozen for me, and three dozen for my friend. That's living...
March 27, 2005
The IE Program Management team took a little break Friday and went to Kaspar's for a little cooking class. Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen!
Anyway, I think everyone had a good time, and no one was hurt so I consider the event a success.
As you may have realized from the previous posts, Michael (4) is not always the most generous kid. So, it was somewhat of a surprise today when he was readily bringing Easter candy to me this morning after the kids opened their Easter eggs. I then noticed he was going back to Andrew's (7) basket to get more candy to share with me.
Michael: [big smile] "I'm Andrew's helper."
He's all heart.
March 18, 2005
I just got back from a week of interviewing students at MIT and Carnegie-Mellon University. The focus this time was to get interns for us this summer. I have to say I was super impressed with the students and the things they had done, not only in technology, but in their communities.
These were mostly 18 and 19 year olds who had started programs to bring computers to senior citizens, built bridges in local parks, and tutored kids. Some came from privileged backgrounds to be sure, but many had overcome a lot of obstacles to reach this level of accomplishment. They were incredibly passionate, eager, and smart.
I know these students are the cream of the crop, but as they are the leaders of tomorrow, I have to say I feel a lot better about tomorrow.
(On a separate note, if you didn't think it was possible for a three year old to scream like someone was killing them for five hours, you'd be wrong. The flight back from Pittsburgh apparently had a kid torture chamber on board. Thank goodness for my noise-cancelling headphones.)
March 13, 2005
This morning the Andrew (7) and Michael (4) jumped into bed and each kissed me on the cheek to wake me up. "Wow, it's great to be a dad!" I thought.
Andrew: "Haha, I licked you."
Michael: "Haha, I wiped boogers on you."
Kill me now. They're teaming up against me already. It's like the scene in Jurassic Park where the velociraptors show pack hunting intelligence. Scary.
Michael (4): "One day, I'll be taller than Mommy."
Michael: "Then she'll have to die."
Michael: "Yes. Then I'll be taller than you. Then you'll have to die."
One more thing to look forward to, I guess.
March 10, 2005
The other night, I repeated my usual bedtime routine with Michael (4) where I ask him what the best part of his day was.
Me: "Michael, what was the best part of your day today?"
Michael: [looking cute, whispers something I can't hear]
Me: [leaning closer] "Michael, what was the best part of your day today?"
Michael: "Hitting you in the head."
Whack. He smacks me on the side of the head.
After the last time, you'd think I'd be wise to him.
This evening, I pinned his hands when I asked the question. The little rat tried to head butt me, a big smile on his face.
March 6, 2005
Michael (4) to Andrew (7): "Get back up so I can knock you back down!!"
Ah, brotherly love.
(Note, turns out this is a line from Yu-Gi-Oh, the Movie. Hard to believe it didn't win an Oscar.)
March 4, 2005
A good friend of ours has a cool pirate map tattoo on a good portion of his scalp. Michael (4) thought this was super cool and wanted a pirate map on his head too. Our friend told him, "You already have one. Everyone has one. You just can't see yours because of your hair." Michael was delighted and thought this was super cool.
The other day, he came up behind me while I was sitting down and starting picking through my hair on the back of my head like a scene out of "Chimps of the Gombe". He confronted me, "Hey, you don't have a map on your head!" Sensing a there-is-no-Santa moment coming, I put on my most sincere face and said, "Sure, it's there, it's just hard to see because of my hair" and stood up quickly so he couldn't check again. He paused for a moment and then walked away happy.
Great. On top of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, I need to perpetuate another great lie. Somehow, I think Michael will be more bummed when he finds out he doesn't have a pirate map on his head than he will be when he learns about the other things. I'm not looking forward to that day.
March 2, 2005
I'm normally a nice guy (one of my colleagues calls me the nicest person on the IE team.) I actually take this as a complement.
However, sometimes it's useful to be the bad guy. I think it's worthwhile to be able to have a wide range of skills to use in negotiations. This is something I coach my team on; don't always rely on one or two tactics. Understand the situation you're in and pick from a range of choices.
That said, some tactics will simply not work for some people. I think I hit one of my limits today. I was upset over a stupid cross team interaction today and tried to be the surly bad cop. It was not successful. In fact, it was kind of gross, like a metrosexual trying to hit on a woman by acting like a jock. The same action would have been fine from someone else, but it looked dumb coming from me.
Know thyself I guess.
March 1, 2005
Back in the day, there was a great game called Lemmings. On each level, your poor lemmings faced a myriad of challenges, but fortunately, they had certain skills that you could control. For instance, some could dig, some could build, and others could blow things up. Your job was to get a set of lemmings home by utilizing their skills.
Anyway, some guy pseudonamed "crisp" has done a brilliant version in DHTML (Dynamic HTML). It's true to the game I remember and is just as fun. I'm constantly amazed at the great stuff people can build in DHTML. Check out DHTML Asteroids too. It's an old demonstration of IE's abilities by Michael Wallent (former Product Unit Manager of Internet Explorer and now the General Manager of our Avalon effort.) It runs a bit fast on modern hardware, but it's still cool.
(Note, the screenshot above has been scaled down a bit to fit here. The real thing looks better.)