BBQ on Canada Day

I was invited on Sunday, July 1, 2001, to a BBQ party by Dave Golden, a co-worker of mine at Palm, and his fiancee Mitzi. Their place was a beautiful house in Los Gatos, about 20 miles away from my place via Highway 85 and 17. Los Gatos is about 20 miles away from Santa Cruz, and the exit off of 17 was just before the dreaded curvy road ahead for X miles sign. A few months back, I remember driving down 17 late at night all the while wondering how many accidents happened along that long and curvy stretch of asphalt.

A number of my co-workers from Palm came to the BBQ, including John Lee, Trevor Porter and his family, Julie and Curtis, and Brian Kuhn and his partner, Jeff. Luckily and thankfully, we didn’t talk too much about work. I guess we were saving it for bright and early tomorrow morning, when the work week begins anew.

Other people who attended, other than Dave and Mitzi, included Joel and Mary Beth and Suzy, Mitzi’s tennis partner. Joel’s story was that he worked in a winery, where he stomped on the grapes all day… err… no, that’s not what he does at the winery! Suzy had an interesting story where she’s headed off to Kazakstan and Korean for the next month and a half. A friend of mine from Rose Colburn went to Kazakstan after she graduated for two years with the Peace Corps. I wonder where’s she’s at today, since her tour of duty ended a couple of years ago presumably. Wow, people travelling to far off countries that I’ve never visited before. There’s a certain mystique when you hear the sound of some difficult-to-pronounce foreign country like Kazakstan.

John Lee’s been around the block too, having lived in places such as Bermuda, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Florida. He’s certainly seen many parts of this “blessed land”, though I’m not sure which part he prefers. Perhaps it’s the Bay Area, since he’s been here for the past several years now. The two of us were talking about weddings and how many of our friends were tying the knot lately. A friend of his just got married yesterday in Chico, where they conducted a live webcast of the marriage ceremony! I just bought a ticket to go down to San Diego in August for the wedding of a high school friend of mine, Steve Foley. Eric was at a wedding on Saturday in San Diego. What’s wrong with us that we’re not already hitched up?

Canada Day

We seem to have a lot of Canadians working at Palm, or at least in my group. Trevor and his wife are both Canucks, and they were telling us that the first of July is Canada Day. Canada Day is the anniversary of the British North America Act on July 1, 1867, which created the Canadian federal government. Up until 1982, the first of July was known as Dominion Day or Confereration Day. The governement changed the name in 1982 to distance Canada from its colonial origins. The skinny for us American blokes? Canada Day is equivalent to our Fourth of July.

For some reason, I also thought that Brian was a Canuck, but he actually hails from the state of Michigan. Well, at least it’s close to Canada!

It’ll be strange returning to work tomorrow, because it will effectively feel like a Wednesday before a major holiday with the Fourth coming up. Palm gets the day off on Wednesday, and many people have already left for a mini-vacation over from last Friday to this coming Thurdsday. These days, it seems like everyone but me is taking a vacation; what’s the deal with that? Maybe I’m just destined to be a slave to work for the rest of my life. I might have been born free, but as Rousseau states, everywhere I’m in chains! Hah! What Rousseau doesn’t know is that I’ve got a lockpick set in my hand, and I’m ready to bust out like Linda Hamilton from Terminator 2: Judgment Day and declare my independence!

Curtis Porter

Trevor and Julie have a very cute baby boy, Curtis. He has a variety of software packages installed on his system, including Mobility 1.0 and Cuteness 2.0. Curtis hasn’t received Service Pack 5, with comes with Speech Synthesis 1.0 and Mobility 2.0, which would allow him bipedal movement and the ability to communicate with other third-party applications. With Mobility 1.0, all he can do is hobble or slither around like Jabba the Hutt. Thankfully, Curt(is) is much cuter and cuddly than Jabba ever will be!

I noticed that Curtis was remarkably well-behaved throughout the entire BBQ, never raising his voice to cry or yell. At his age, I figured that he would have been wailing around, but I guess we caught him on a good day, according to his parents. Curtis did like the camera, smiling and waving whenever I pointed it in his direction. Think this kid has got a future in front of the camera?

We feasted on yummy kabobs of chicken, beef, and vegetables, all the while snacking on wheat thins and brie cheese. The conversation varied from helping Mary Beth with her Palm to Outlook synchronization problems to Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazard to the first band you ever heard in concert. For John and Suzy, it was the Beach Boys. I think that my first concert that I attended was an Erasure concert at San Diego State University way back when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I think. After that, I went to a Cure concert, a 10,000 Maniacs concert, and… I’m proud to say, a John Secada concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. I still get a little tear in my eye whenever I hear John sing Angel. Man, that was a good song, but whatever happened to the guy?

My most memorable concert that I attended, however, was the KISS Reunion Tour stop in Las Vegas. I went with Jason Dishlip, who introduced me to the KISS Army and its blood dripping and firebreathing leader, Gene Simmons! I remember looking at the backs of comic books as a kid and seeing the scary faces of Demon, Cat, Starchild, and Spaceman looking back at me in a revolving circle. They were scary back then, and they’re scary today… but man, can they put on a show! They are entertainers who know how to work and win the crowd. It’s like the quote from Gladiator, “Win the crowd, and you’ll win your freedom.” KISS has taken that quote to the bank, rolling in millions from the sales of their genuine and authorized KISS merchandise.

Cousins

My cousin, Michael, IM’ed me on Friday night/Saturday morning, saying that he was in town on vacation with his girlfriend. He never told me that he had a girlfriend, but then again, I never asked him about it in the first place! He’s staying at his brother’s place up the Peninsula for the week, no doubt enjoying the wonderful weather we’ve been experiencing here. It’s certainly preferable to anything that’s happening on the East Coast, like in Washington D.C. or Virginia!

Mike gave me a call when I was about to leave the BBQ, and we all arranged to meet at my place in about 30 minutes. We hung out at my place for about 30 minutes, chatting about gadgets and technology, photography, and our plans tomorrow to drive up to the City to have dinner with some of our relatives. I was also able to have a short conversation with Khasmir, Mike’s girlfriend, in Tagala, the language of the Philippines. Of course, I only know one phrase, but I have memorized it in many different languages.

Oh yeah, Chris reminded me to change the month page on my Kyoka Suzuki calendar from NTT DoCoMo. I got that calendar last night from a co-worker and it’s been hanging on my wall next to my printer for the past several months. I particularly enjoy the way some of the pictures were shot. I wonder what kind of lighting rigs the photographer used. I’m thinking of learning more about stage and studio lighting, for both my photographic ventures and for my future video projects.

More Photos

Here are some additional photographs that I took during my BBQ on Canada Day adventure:

Final Newtonian Thoughts

It was good to get out of the house and attend Dave and Mitzi’s BBQ, primarily because I’ve stayed at home on Friday evening and all-day Saturday, working on this program for the Newton. The Newton, you say? Isn’t that product dead? Officially, it’s been discontinued, but there’s still a thriving Newton community out there on the Internet. A couple of days ago, I set up my Newton as a web server. I was at home for the past two days because I was working on a little software applicaton designed to increase the uptime of the Newton web server. After over a year of not even touching the Newton development environment, it was fun to get my handed dirty with Newtonscript again; the Newton programming language and Operating System is so beautiful and wonderfully designed. While it’s doubtful that I’ll be spending much of my spare time to Newton programming, what with my growing social calendar, but it was fun to do a little coding this weekend.

In the past, given the choice of coding for the evening on a Newton project or attending a social event, I would have chosen the former. That was then, and this is now. I think that given the choice today, I’d choose the latter…

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