roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

31 Dec 2002 - 6:08:00 PM
Well, I was going to write three more posts about the movies I've seen in the past week, but I ended up spending the afternoon re-writing my lighthouse page. The main page layout still sucks, so I haven't propped it to the live site yet, but I like how all the regional stuff works. I even put in bread crumbs! Such a great way to waste time. Right. Happy New Year, everybody! I hope my site doesn't break at the stroke of midnight...
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31 Dec 2002 - 12:22:40 PM
How cool is this? The Mission of Burma site has linked to the roblog. Scroll down to the Inexplicable section and you'll see me listed under "Reunion blog reports and photos." That is so amazingly cool. The web rules.
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31 Dec 2002 - 10:58:32 AM
Right. I got back from Vancouver Island late Saturday night. It was a great trip, in all. I saw two more lighthouses, Lennard Island and Amphitrite Point, but totally missed a third, Sherrington Point. Doh! I haven't finished up the film yet, though, so it may be a little while before it's developed and my own pictures scanned in. Instead, I'm linking to a couple other lighthouse sites, Lighthouses of British Columbia and Lorne's Lighthouses -- both very useful and interesting sites.

Stayed in Nanaimo on two different nights, before driving out to Tofino and then again after driving back. We saw two different Leonardo DiCaprio movies there, as well, Gangs of New York and Catch Me If You Can. Both good movies. I'll write my silly little reviews in separate posts, I guess.

The west coast of Vancouver Island is pretty darn cool. Lots of beautiful beaches and dramatic coastline. Spent three nights in the Tofino Swell Lodge, a great place with a large common living room and kitchen. Had the place to ourselves for two of the three nights, in fact, which was awesome. I want to go back to the west coast during the summer and do a bunch of hiking and kayaking and whatnot.

Took the ferry to Vancouver Saturday morning in order to do some shopping at MEC before heading home. The backup at the Peace Arch border crossing was mostly horrible, and I gave up, turned around, and headed to the truck crossing in Surrey. The backup there was not quite as bad, and there's a duty free shop. Stopped in there to get the GST back, and ended up buying a bottle of Cragganmore and a whiz-bang, battery-powered Swiss Army Knife -- similar to the one I already have, but with a built-in altimeter and thermometer! A new gadget -- woo hoo! I have since discovered that my condo is 350 feet above sea level. My life has now inched that much closer to completeness.

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20 Dec 2002 - 8:40:26 PM
Very early tomorrow morning I'll be heading to Vancouver Island. Should be relaxing and fun. I hope, though, that it doesn't rain the whole time -- the latest BC weather report is promising, but you never know. And hey, if war breaks out in Iraq, maybe I'll stay up there...
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20 Dec 2002 - 2:25:11 PM
Today's the last day of my contract job here at Solucient. It's been an okay six month gig. There was a contract dev in the group who got a welcome lunch when he started and a goodbye lunch when he left. I didn't get either. Just goes to show, test gets no respect. Oh well. Also, nobody's bothered to tell me what to do with my key card, so I guess I'll just leave it at the front desk when I go. In fact, ever since the group's manager was let go on my birthday a month ago, the new manager has pretty much treated me and the other contracter in the group like an embarassing medical problem that he hopes will go away if he just ignores us. And, as our contracts expire, we will. Won't even leave a scar.
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20 Dec 2002 - 11:54:39 AM
Wednesday, on my way to lunch, I got hassled by the man. Officer Oink and his cohort were idling on the southwest corner of Bellevue Way and 4th, lazily astride their bicycles -- perhaps trying to figure out where the nearest donut shop might be.

It was noon, and the clouds had broken. The sun was out and low on the horizon, basically due south, and I was walking straight towards it. I reached the Bellevue Way and 4th intersection and looked up at the walk signal, squinting against the direct sunlight. The red hand was flashing, but I figured I had plenty of time to cross. As I stepped into the street I saw the cops on the other side, slowly rousing from their torpor. Do I keep walking and cross the road or scurry back to the corner? I decided since I'd already started crossing the street there was no turning back. The red hand stopped flashing as I was most of the way across, the traffic light turned yellow, and I had to pick up my pace a little to reach the other side.

Officer Oink held out his sweaty hand and menacingly said, "Let's see some ID."

I pulled out my wallet, took out my driver's license, and handed it over.

As he looked at it, he asked, "Did you see me motioning for you not to cross?"

"No," I said. "The sun was in my eyes."

He nodded, his eyes masked by his wraparound sunglasses. "Good answer." He pulled out his billy club and asked, "Do you see this?"


There was a blur of motion as Officer Oink swung the club hard toward my head. I heard a loud crack and then everything went white. Pain flashed through my skull. I felt like I was reeling, but couldn't see where I was or what I was doing.

"Are there any warrants out for you?"

I could see again. Officer Oink was towering above me, and I was lying on the sidewalk. My head hurt like hell, pounding. Something warm trickled down my scalp.

Officer Oink pulled his foot back and kicked me in the side. "I said, are there any warrants out for you?"

Wincing, gasping, I managed to say, "No."

He nodded again. "Would you tell me if there were?"

Confused, I didn't respond. What sort of question was this? Was it a trap?

Officer Oink kicked me again and brandished his billy club. "Answer me, you scum."

"Uh, probably not."

"Yeah, I thought so." His cohort laughed.

"In some cities," Officer Oink continued, "they don't have walk signals. You have to go by the traffic light. But here we do. When it's flashing red like that it means you don't walk. It's the same as running a red light."

"Okay," I said.

Officer Oink bent over and picked up my wallet from where it lay on the sidewalk. "Let me put your ID back for you," he said. As I glanced up, I saw a flash of green disappear into his pocket, and he tossed my wallet onto my stomach. "I'm going to let you off with a warning," he said, getting back on his bicycle. As the two of them pedaled away, he called out, "You take care now." I heard his cohort laugh again.

(Okay, so I embellished the story a little. But you get the idea.)

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15 Dec 2002 - 9:58:49 PM
I saw the movie Real Women Have Curves today. I liked it. Good acting, believable characters. The college plotline was cliched, but it basically served for character development, as this was much more of a character- than a plot-driven movie, and it carefully avoided other Hollywood-style plot resolutions.

Real Women Have Curves gets: :-):-):-) (out of 4)

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10 Dec 2002 - 5:25:42 PM
It's been a while since I posted a link to a silly site. made me laugh out loud. The easy way for zombies to get brains for eating. Check it out before Amazon shuts it down. You can even order my brain if you want. Only $5.59!
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10 Dec 2002 - 12:12:22 PM
Currently going on downstairs in the lobby of One Bellevue Center is something they're calling "Music del Mundo," which features a Swedish accordianist and, more importantly, free snacks. I don't know about you, but when I think of "Music del Mundo," Swedish accordian music just doesn't come to mind. Americanized Mexican music seems more appropriate. Maybe El Vez -- now that'd be cool.
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9 Dec 2002 - 11:09:40 PM was down all day today because all of its DNS servers up and disappeared. Hundreds of thousands of domains were down, actually. Pretty wild, but I'm glad it's back up.

On another note, my contract job, after six months, is finally starting to wind down. My last day will be the 20th, and then I'll be blissfully unemployed again. Well, maybe not blissfully, but definitely unemployed. I'm talking to a couple recruiters at the moment, so maybe I'll get an interview or two out of that. Otherwise, I'll have more time to work on my book, which I've been neglecting for the past month or two. I do so want to finish it.

Anyway, if you know of any interesting software testing jobs in Seattle, let me know...

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5 Dec 2002 - 6:29:39 PM
Today, unlike most days, I drove in to work. Usually I take the bus, but I've finagled a parking pass for half the week and figured I may as well use it. I kind of hate driving in horrible Seattle traffic, though, and tonight both 520 and I-90 are backed-up nightmares. Bleah. So, I'm hanging out in Bellevue until it lightens up. Maybe I'll go have a beer while I wait. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.
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5 Dec 2002 - 3:56:20 PM
Check out the hot new adrenaline sport, Extreme Ironing. Looks a little too cutting edge for me, though. I wonder where they plug in their irons when they're out in the wild.
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1 Dec 2002 - 10:34:23 PM
Whew. I just spent way too much time getting my bookshelf up to date. Probably shouldn't let it slip so far behind. Oh well. Also added one more lighthouse picture, but still no new layout for that page. Maybe next year. Speaking of which, I think I wrote my bookshelf page to handle a new year correctly, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. It doesn't look like I'll read as many books this year as last year, but, then again, I was unemployed for only six months this year as opposed to eight months in 2001.

Anyway, I got back to Seattle yesterday, after five or six days in California. It's much colder here than it is down there. I wish I'd brought a pair of shorts, in fact. Thanksgiving was all right, though. I ate a bunch of good food -- hope you did, too.

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1 Dec 2002 - 6:49:02 PM
It was a beautiful day here in Seattle, so I shut myself up in a dark room and saw the new James Bond flick, Die Another Day. Very entertaining, I thought. The best Bond film I've seen in a while, except, of course, for the Icelandic surfing scene -- not only was that a little too over the top, but the CGI was pathetic -- made the quidditch match in the first Harry Potter movie look good. But up until then it was great, and after that it was your standard Bond flick. The scenes with Bond and John Cleese's Q were very good and had fun references to old Bond movies and Monty Python, even. A much better use of Cleese than in the Harry Potter movies.

Die Another Day gets: :-):-):-) (out of 4)

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