Apr 24, 2004

Katherine and I went to Daniel's Broiler on Lake Union on Thursday night. We had a $25 gift certificate, but that really doesn't go very far when the entrees are about $40 each! The hostess treated us just like any other couple having dinner on a Thursday night, but the waiter had a different idea. It seems that he saw two kids that were in over their heads and thus he didn't expect a large tip. Since, in his mind, his tip was already shot, he decided to basically treat us like an annoyance. Since I was out for a nice dinner, I ordered Perrier to start and I made Kat get some Evian even though she is a tap water kind of girl. He brought us two glasses and two bottles and didn't even offer to pour for us. I know, I'm getting prissy here, but come on. While every other table received warm bread and butter before the meal, I had to specifically request it. When it finally came, our food was ready not 2 minutes later. When we ordered wine, he acted as if the only grape product we had ever drank was Welch's. Thanks buddy, I know the basics of wine, and yes I do know that higher altitude wines come from a more concentrated grape. He got most of our order correct, but he switched how Katherine and I liked our meat (I ordered medium and she ordered medium-rare and he switched them). Kat has eaten at Daniel's probably ten times and she said this was the first time they didn't offer to cut the meat at the table to show that it was cooked properly. Maybe he knew he had messed up. No matter what, our waiter was still not the most annoying part of the evening!

Soon after we had sat down, a pair of gentlemen were seated directly behind us. Our backs were mostly turned to them, but Kat could tell that the older of the two, maybe 45-50 years old, was consistently staring at her. This skeeved her out a bit, but was soon ignored. After we had finished our entree and started to dig into some creme brulee, our waiter approached carrying two glasses of red wine. He informed us that the man behind us offered two glasses of his fine Argentinean wine. We raised our glasses and turned to the man and thanked him. He said "Enjoy, or as we would say in Norway, Skord." At this point, we felt fairly awkward. Here was two men that had offered us nice wine and now expected us to at least talk to them. I basically told Kat to hurry up and drink the wine so we could say a quick word with them and then get the hell out of there! Kat didn't want to gulp the wine, figuring that would be even more rude. Eventually, we started to talk to them while we were all still seated. He asked if we were here on business and when I replied in the negative, he said "Yes, you two look too romantic for business." The older man was doing all the talking and when he informed me that his companion was visiting from Norway, I just assumed that he couldn't speak English very well. The older man then complemented Kat on her looks and said something about us being an attractive couple. Kat and were both obviously nervous and annoyed, but we were still stuck talking. The man finally said something about his wife and then started babbling. I couldn't understand a word he was saying and Katherine was having trouble hearing, so we basically turned back to our table to finish the wine and escape. After drinking the last drop, we got up to leave and I approached the man to at least shake his hand. After shaking, he gently held on to my hand and placed his other hand on my upper arm, basically trapping me there. He asked if we enjoyed the wine, if we would like to sit down and have another glass. I told him we had to leave and we basically fled. At this point, I heard his companion speak and he said something in accent-free English. He understood the language, he was just being quiet because he was obviously embarrassed by what was going on! Kat was, understandbly, a bit disturbed by the whole situation. Ugh.

Apr 22, 2004

Okay, okay. At first, I wasn't going to post anything more about the Elise since it is simply not practical at all, it's $40k and all of the models allocated for this year are already sold out, but this review just takes the cake. Such pithy quotes as "Itís a prescription for disaster for those of us with acrylic nails." and "It will not disappoint its audience ó 'newly divorced men who are looking for a new wife,'". I still want one, damnit.

Apr 21, 2004

Bwahaha, I have a GMail account! It's not vaporware after all! How did I get an account, you ask? Well, it involves Blogger... That's all I'm going to say.

Apr 14, 2004

I can't believe I forgot to post this! So every three months, the Puget Sound Blood Center sends a Bloodmobile to my campus. I made an appointment for the first time it came around, but had to cancel it due to a meeting conflict. The second time it came around, I went to donate without an appointment and they were full. Finally, I got to donate yesterday.

Since it was my first time donating with them, I had to go through the full screening process, mini interview and all. Finally, I give blood and they have me lay down for an extra a few minutes afterward since this was my first time with them and all. The actual process of giving blood went just fine. As I was laying down resting, my stomach started to feel a bit nauseous. Suddenly, the nausea got worse and I started to think about asking one of the nurses for something to vomit into. The next thing I notice, there are three people crowded around me and I've got cold compresses on my neck and chest. Turns out, I passed out! I was only out for a few seconds, but it was not a pleasant experience. Soon after I woke up, I broke out in a cold sweat. I felt functional about 5 minutes later, but I was definitely tired and out of it for the rest of the day. I, obviously, skipped my hockey game.

I'm sorry folks, this one just speaks for itself. David Hasselhoff is going to be making a Knight Rider movie, possibly with Ben Affleck playing his son. I'm so there on opening night.

Apr 10, 2004

Oh my god, I just saw a Lotus 340R on American soil. I wanted to hump hump that car on first sight.

Apr 8, 2004

I've been a bad blogger. I apologize. Time for Ultra Happy Delight Bullets!

  • Dream from last night: I cannot remember the bulk of the dream, but it involved a large number of my friends from both Microsoft and UMich at a presentation of some sort. Everyone was sitting in rows of chairs waiting for it to start. I was supposed to drive to this with one of the devs on my team, Matt, but when I got there, he was sitting with Matt Weber. Just before the presentation started, I remember that I borrowed Jeff's can opener and he needed it back! I was quite concerned since this was a limited edition can opener. Oddly enough, there were shelves and shelves of shoe boxes and skiing equipment to the side of the presentation room. After a frantic search, I finally found the can opener at the bottom of a shoe box. The can opener was a WRX model in Sonic Yellow, which would explain why I was frantic to find it (the Impreza WRX in Sonic Yellow is a very rare sight). That doesn't explain why I am having crazy dreams.
  • FloorBurn improved to a record of 3-2 after our 6-2 win on Tuesday. I scored twice, so I'm back as leading scorer.
  • Wall of Meat (flag football) is perfect so far at 2-0! We had a come from behind win on Saturday with our new quarterback, but I can definitely see the team improving from here out.
  • I'm getting closer to buying the Camaro. The owner just needs to get it to pass emissions and then I will almost certainly buy it.
  • The NY auto show is tomorrow thus I expect information about the 2005 Subarus to be released tomorrow. Rumor has it that the WRX will go a complete redesign for the '06 model year, so maybe buying an '05 would be silly. I don't want to look dated that fast!

Apr 5, 2004

After 17 Years, They're Back, and in the Mood for Love: "What cicadas want, plain and simple, is sex (they've been underground for 16 years, remember). And the males are not ashamed to ask for it, loudly. "

Merc A series: Puke, simply puke. Retarded hybrid (no pun intended) of the Prius, Caravan and Civic Si.

Apr 4, 2004

Nutrigrain (feel great): Hilarious short (Warning: Quicktime). Best quote: "Yeah, babies everywhere!"

Apr 2, 2004

I am genuinely curious to know, on average, how many people a person knows (basically friends and family) that have committed suicide? Personally, I believe I only know of one person. I say believe because I have a very good ability to block out many harmful events. I only know of one person that committed suicide at my high school during the four years I was there and I didn't actually know the person, so they aren't on my list. There was a discussion I saw online and some people knew upwards of nine people that had ended their lives. I guess that high of a number just made me think. I'm still thinking.

Car hunt update: I got to ride along on two test drives today. I say ride along since I had Jeff drive them for me! I suck at manual so I didn't feel like embarrassing myself. First was the '89 Mitsubishi Colt. The exterior was decent with just a few bit of rust along the faded paint. The interior, on the other hand, was well aged. Not well aged like a wine, cheese, or whiskey, but well aged like that a high school cafeteria mom. Bits of plastic were broken in just about every spot, including the turn indicator. It was so broken that Jeff could barely get it to work at all. The engine was in pretty good shape, but the clutch was really soft.

Next up was the '92 Camaro. The owner was about 10 minutes late, but all was forgiven when I saw the quality of this car. There is a slight dent just behind the driver side door that is starting to rust and there is a modicum of rust above the rear passenger wheel well. Other than that, the vehicle looked practically new! The interior was a bit worn, but no damage. The clutch was in good shape, the stereo is brand new, the tires are new, the battery is new and most of the suspension was new. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed. It was only an RS, which means that it has 140 HP but 180 lb-ft of torque (and still better than the 130 HP and 135 lb-ft in my Focus!). Since the car is in such good shape, I really doubt that I will be able to talk him down from the $2,000 price.

Considering how impressed I was with the car, I called up my insurance agent. If I add a second car to my policy, it will drop the price on the Focus from $672 to $637. Full coverage on the Camaro would be $298 and just the basics will get run me $198. Not that bad at all! I was originally considering paying for a parking spot in a lot near my apartment, but then I realized that I should be able to park at work. As long as I swap cars at least once a week and move the cars around every other day, I shouldn't get in trouble from security. As soon as they say something, I will pay for the lot ($50/month).

If I don't think of anything I've forgotten and no one else says this is a dumb idea, I think I'm going to buy it on Monday. I'd love to have it for the weekend, especially while Kat is gone, but I really shouldn't make a rash decision.