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Monthly Archives: September 2006

Five Years!

English-Bay-SnipFive years ago today, having quit my job in Toronto and been accepted to UBC, I stepped onto a plane with a couple of bags full of CDs and clothes, and moved to Vancouver.

I know Vancouver isn’t perfect, and there are certainly things that annoy me, but I love it regardless. Of all the places I’ve lived, Vancouver is the only one that really feels like home to me. Which is kind of strange, since I didn’t even visit Vancouver until I was in my mid-twenties. I mostly grew up in Regina, and I lived in Toronto for years after that, but I didn’t feel I was living in the right place until I came here. Toronto always felt kind of vast and impersonal, even though I came to enjoy living there. And it was pretty clear since high school that Regina didn’t have much use for me. I may not be the world’s most ambitious geek, but my aspirations are higher than a job debugging COBOL code for a crown corporation.

Vancouver, on the other hand, is the baby bear’s porridge. Not too big, not too small, not at the center of things or too isolated, not too anonymous, not too in-your-face (I like my social boundaries.)

And really, Vancouver is amazingly beautiful. Saskatchewan is beautiful too (Regina not so much), but it’s a stark, alien beauty that continually reminds you that human beings weren’t meant to live there. A couple of decades living on a barren and inhospitable prairie hundreds of kilometers from any ocean, mountain or forest primed me to appreciate British Columbia’s landscapes and, above all, its temperate climate — even if that means 40 weeks of the year are rather on the grey and drizzly side.

  • Link>> to some pictures of my adopted home.

code of the geek

Geekcode-SnipOh, sure, I’m a righteous, vintage-wearing cooler-than-thou coolster into Wes Anderson movies and Cat Power concerts, and sometimes pretty girls talk to me, but there’s more to the enigma called Eric than meets the eye.

The fact of the matter is that I’m proficient in several programming languages, regularly have lengthy discussions on the technical merits of various operating systems, and can (and will, if permitted) talk at length about why Babylon 5 was so much better than Star Trek — and why Buffy the Vampire Slayer was better than both.

Also, I was almost certainly using the web long before you were, back when a solid understanding of TELNET and Gopher was pretty much a requirement. (This is not bragging — if you think the interweb is lame now, you should have seen it in 1995.)

What, you doubt I’m a nerd? (Just kidding, I know you believe me.) Behold! I have just computed my own personal Geek Code.

Version: 3.1
GCS d-- s--:+> a C++$ U++$>+++ P++(--) L+>- E--- K++ M++$ PS++() 
PE-(++)@ Y? PGP t- 5+(++) tv--() b+++ DI- G e+++>++++ h- r-->++ y?

Of course, the geek code technology is ten years old and therefore, might as well be a hundred. No specification for describing my mad Python programming skills? No slot for my Lord of the Rings opinions? No Slashdot?? Clearly, this cannot keep up with the 21st century geek. Sadly, the only successor seems to be OmniCode, which gains points for having a retro name, but then throws them all away be being hideously complicated and boring.

Real geeks like elegant solutions.

Amy and the Pinata

Amy and the Pinata, originally uploaded by Mister Wind-Up Bird.

Dave and Amy are back in Vancouver for the long weekend. Among other things, it’s the general vicinity of Amy’s thirtieth birthday, so a Pinata was purchased and suitably dealt with.

This seems to becoming a bit of a local tradition. I had a pinata at my own thirtieth, which we beat like a misbehaving mule.