Saturday, June 14, 2008

California Internship weeks 5 & 6

Well, I missed last weekend's update because I was out having a lot of fun with a little boxer dog named Ruby. You'll see her in the slide show. Please do not tell my dog that I was out hiking with another dog - we didn't really chat about opening up our relationship while I am away.

This week I got to take in some of the National Queer Arts Festival going to the Hogwart's Express Harry Potter Musical, Kirk Read's "This is the Thing" and next week I'll be at the Deep Lez Potluck and Performance Night and Home-Made Super Hero. Also starting next week is Frameline - whoo-hoo! I'm going to get huge doses of gay and art...two things I love.

After the broken bike fiasco of two weeks ago, my friend Armen located a better bike and this morning we went on a 23 mile trip, this time bringing along Dan who was riding a cruiser bike rented from Stanford. I was a bit ambitious in choosing this ride and I hope they will forgive me and come on a ride again next Saturday. The coaster bike was awfully hard for Dan to ride, and it turns out that 20 miles is about 32 km...I had been thinking in kms when I estimated it would take us an hour and a half to ride it. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes. Oops.

At one point in the ride Armen pointed out some fruit-bearing tree and exclaimed how fruit were "like apricot" but better. So later in the ride, when there was another of these trees right in front of me, I stopped at it, intending to see if Armen wanted to pick some. Unfortunately, the two guys behind me did not notice that I had come to a complete stop. Dan swerved by me, Armen crashed into me. I now have a permanent slo-mo visual memory of Armen coming straight for me at full speed and me crying out "Oh my god - Armen!" CRASH!

Thus, the bleeding elbow you will see in the slideshow. I also have some bruises and a scrapped up knee. It's my own fault so don't cry for me. I must learn the hard way to use my hand signals for more than just turning.

Interesting things happening at work - Firefox 3 is coming out on Tuesday (you can play with the sneak peek, it's basically the same thing). I encourage everyone who can to download it and try it out, especially since by downloading it on Tuesday you will be part of setting a Guinness record for the most downloads of a software package in a 24 hour period. Firefox 3 is really amazing, and instead of trying to explain it to you - I can point you to this: "A Field Guide to Firefox 3" by Deb Richardson which is the ultimate guide as far as I am concerned. I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

On Tuesday there will be parties all over the world in celebration of Firefox 3. Here in Mountain View we will have a BBQ with a rock climbing wall, Wii tournament, music, movies, and lots of other festivities. I'm personally looking forward to trying the rock wall cause I'd like to see if I can do it. There will be plenty of documentation from that event, I assure you.

Well, here's some of the best pics from the last couple of weeks. Some of them are from the Fremont Older Preserve where I took the boxer dog Ruby on a 9 mile hike last Saturday. It was a significant hike for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it but it has also prompted me to invest in real hiking boots since my running shoes are not actually that comfortable for hiking. Anyway, at the Fremont Preserve, there was a reservoir along the way where tons of people sat out in the sun fishing. I was amused by this as there was also a sign on the path shouting loudly to "NOT EAT THE FISH". Some people's idea of a fun way to spend a Sunday is very different than mine.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What's new in Firefox 3? Check out this demo!

A quick (< 4 minutes) overview of some of the new features in the soon-to-be-released Firefox 3. Check it out, then head over to and sign up to be notified when the new version comes out!

read more | digg story

Sunday, June 01, 2008

32 Mile Ride

This morning Armen and I took the Caltrain from Mountain View to Bayshore with our bikes and then proceeded to ride them back to our apartments.

When we got to the Caltrain stop and purchased our tickets, I put in $11.50 for the both of us to ride one way through 3 Zones. We were rushing and worried we would miss the train so I just grabbed the first thing that popped out of the machine and we booted it over to the platform. A moment later I looked at the piece of paper and saw that it only claimed to be one ticket for $5.75. Armen ran back to the machine (very fast!) and there was nothing else in the dispensing area. Because we had in fact paid the correct amount, we still got on the train and I secretly hoped that we would not be asked to provide proof of payment. Two stops before our final destination a guy came through asking to see tickets. When he got to us, he did not believe the story about the machine and in my nervousness I blurted out that this was our first time on Caltrain and that we were Canadian. Well! That changes everything because it turns out that he is also Canadian (from Winnipeg) and that he has family in Cobourg. Phew! He let us off the hook and was very nice from then on.

Armen had purchased his bike from Target for $89 yesterday. At the time I had suggested to him that he reconsider this idea because any bike for $89 is probably not mechanically sound and it's also politically dubious. About 1.5 miles from the apartments, after having strange rear wheel issues for about 6 miles, the bike finally crapped out. We inspected the bike to try and figure out why turning the pedals was not turning the rear wheel. The gears seemed to be loose from the hub of the back tire so we took it off and when I tried to inspect the gears, a ton of bearings poured out onto the sidewalk. That pretty much cinched the deal and I left Armen at a gas station to go home and get the car.

Needless to say we returned the bike and now Armen is going to look into either renting from Stanford for the summer or purchasing a better road bike so that we can do more rides.

For anyone interested, here is the map of our ride: