roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

29 Jun 2002 - 12:46:56 PM
This past Thursday the WAC Basic Climbing Class officially ended. The class co-chairs (Stacy, Andy, and Dave) handed out diplomas (see below), conferring upon me "the honor of 'basic climber' with all the rights and priveleges [sic] thereto pertaining." A few of the other students and I wrote a skit honoring (so to speak) the co-chairs and instructors. It's full of in-jokes and probably only funny to those people involved with the class, but we were fairly impressed at how well the skit came together, entirely over email during two afternoons several weeks apart.

my diploma
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29 Jun 2002 - 11:26:15 AM
Okay, so at first I thought that the Buddy the Book Beaver story arc for Bill and Gene's comic about libraries, Unshelved, was stretching things a bit much. But then I saw an ad on the side of a bus for the King County Library System's children's summer reading program, featuring Super Reader and his faithful companion Robo Dog. Truth can certainly be stranger than fiction sometimes...
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25 Jun 2002 - 11:55:30 PM
Going in to the second day of work was much harder than the first, probably because as I walked to the bus tunnel, I ran into my rock star friend Tim who was on his way to meet another friend of mine, Brady, at the Bauhaus café. Go to work? Or hang out with friends at a cool café? It was a tough decision, and I wimped out and went to work. On the way home, there was horrible traffic, and, instead of the usual 30 or 40 minutes to reach downtown, it took an hour and 45 minutes. Oy. And the first hour of crawling down Bellevue Way was in the surprisingly hot afternoon sun, which very effectively turned the bus into an oven on wheels. Bleah. Maybe I should up my hourly rate.
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24 Jun 2002 - 11:19:39 PM
Well, today was the first day of my contract job at Solucient. It went okay, I guess, but this whole working thing is kind of a pain. Eight hours in a cubicle is way too long. And I was going to do some writing this evening, but I was just too tired. Harumph.
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20 Jun 2002 - 8:42:33 PM
Uh oh. Someone's having fun with my referrers page. Check out the recent referrers for the roblog. Is someone thinking of googlebombing me? That would be so cool.
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20 Jun 2002 - 8:31:00 PM
To continue today's theme of ridiculous xenophobic humor, I'll include an interesting quote from Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin that made me laugh out loud for some inexplicable reason:
The French are connoisseurs of sadness, they know all the kinds. This is why they have bidets.
I'm not sure what one has to do with the other, but, in context, it was hilarious.
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20 Jun 2002 - 4:20:50 PM
There are countries other than the US?

Some funny foreigner is expressing his third world insecurities about drop down menus. I posted a few comments about his entry -- fun way to amuse myself for a few minutes. (Good thing I'm going back to work...) And he's now spun it off to its own web site,

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18 Jun 2002 - 3:48:41 PM
I'm in geek heaven right now. I'm at my friend Bill's house, lounging in a comfy chair and typing this entry into a brand-spanking-new Toshiba Libretto L5 with built-in wireless networking. Unfortunately, it's just a demo unit, and he'll have to return it, but in the meantime, it's nifty keen. Nice little keyboard, nice little display. Basically, I wouldn't mind having one.
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18 Jun 2002 - 11:40:16 AM
A friend forwarded this interesting news story to me. My take on it? You shouldn't mix your pleasures. "Anger management problem," indeed.
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17 Jun 2002 - 7:01:54 PM
It's always depressing to hear about people dying. When I worked at Slate in 1997, a new column debuted called Today's Papers, in which the top stories in the top five national newspapers were summarized before the print editions hit the streets. The founding writer was Scott Shuger, and the first time I talked to him was at 4:00 a.m. one morning when he had technical difficulties posting his column. I got it out, somewhat groggily, and he promised to buy me a beer. He lived in L.A., and the next time he visited the Slate headquarters, he swung by my office to keep his promise, but, unfortunately, I was busy that evening. Today I found out he died in a diving accident over the weekend. Go read Michael Kinsley's Scott Shuger memorial.
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15 Jun 2002 - 7:41:40 PM
It's a little embarassing, but, well, I saw that Scooby Doo movie. I was a fan of the cartoon (not including Scrappy Doo) back when I was a kid and thought that the movie might be kind of fun. While it did try to be a somewhat updated version, the film just didn't really break any new ground from the old cartoon. Oh well. There were a couple of funny lines, I guess, and the guy who played Shaggy gave a spot-on performance, and it was nice watching Daphne and Velma run around in skimpy outfits, but other than that it was pretty mind-numbing. I kinda feel like I left the theater a little dumber than when I entered. Oh, there was also a trailer for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that looked pretty cool.

Scooby Doo gets: 1/2 (out of 4)

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12 Jun 2002 - 5:56:03 PM
I hiked up to Lake Serene today. Beautiful trail -- gorgeous waterfalls, nice views, and a pretty lake at the top. It's an easy hike to the falls, and then gets a little strenuous as the switchbacks and elevation gain kick in until you get to the lake. Lots of stairs. The trail was almost snow free, except for a few small sections right at the top, and the lake was still mostly frozen. Great hike, and I'm glad I did it on a weekday -- it's probably a mob scene on the weekends.
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11 Jun 2002 - 2:04:29 AM
I ended up seeing that Fellowship of the Ring film again. I think it's the first movie I've seen three times in a first run theater since (this is going to date me) the original Star Wars flick. And you know what? I still really enjoyed it -- Fellowship is an amazing movie. An added bonus, too, was a trailer at the end for The Two Towers, which looked awesome. Can't wait for it to come out.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring gets: **** (out of 4)

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10 Jun 2002 - 12:03:21 PM
Another Slacker Bites the Dust

Wow. It's now official. I'll be starting a contract testing job at Solucient on Monday, June 24th. Only two weeks left in which to play/finish my book/travel the world -- so much to do...!

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10 Jun 2002 - 9:19:04 AM
Well, the sheer physical exhaustion tactic worked, until I got home Sunday and found a message from the company I'd interviewed with. Turns out they decided to offer me a contract position. Go figure. I guess my ability to judge interviews declined during my past 14 months of unemployment.

Anyway, the Baker trip went pretty well. Nobody summited, but nobody made any headlines. (There have been way too many climbing headlines recently.) A number of factors contributed to the party turning around at 8100': very high winds, bad snow, and slab avalanche danger.

There's another class group that'll be doing the Baker climb this coming weekend, but for me, the class is pretty much over, except, of course, for the graduation party.

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6 Jun 2002 - 10:24:38 PM
Well, the interview yesterday kind of went horribly, and I've been in a fairly miserable mood since then. Tomorrow I head to Mt. Baker for the weekend's summit attempt. I'm looking forward to the sheer physical exhaustion to take my mind off things.
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4 Jun 2002 - 2:13:28 PM
Yikes! I now have a job interview set up for tomorrow morning at a place called Solucient, some kind of health care software kind of place. I passed my résumeé along to a friend of mine there, got a call this afternoon, and will be going in tomorrow. Yikes! Looks like I should brush up my SQL skills in the next few hours...
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4 Jun 2002 - 12:43:39 PM
Yikes. It's been a whole week since I last posted something to the roblog. Shame on me. So let's see... I went down to Mt. Rainier over the weekend and played on and in the Nisqually Glacier all day Sunday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the views were sublime. The class has been pretty lucky so far with the weather. Hopefully the trend will continue through next weekend, when we'll be attempting to summit Mt. Baker.
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