December 2002 Archives
I woke up around 5am this morning and my wife and I drove my dad to the airport. He flew in from Toronto over Christmas and had a flight back early this morning. There is something very cool about being out and around that early (late?). It's still decidedly night time -- no light from the sun visible yet. No cars. No people. Very very quiet. I almost hesitate to even mention it so as not to spoil it. My wife has gone back to sleep and I decided to make some coffee and watch the Christmas episode of the West Wing I had stashed on the hard drive. It's a good one. A good holiday episode.
A few months back, some random weblog I was reading stated that they would never work at a job that required an alarm clock for them to arrive on time. An interesting personal guideline that seems to have stuck in my head. My wife always gets irritated when I set the alarm for 6:30am and then don't get up until 8am... so I got to thinking. When I moved into my new place last Saturday, my alarm clock did not have a wall socket nearby. Rather than rush out to get an extension cord, I decided to do without an alarm (or a clock -- or a lamp mind you!) and see how things went. Well, here I am after a week and I've got to say sleeping without an alarm waking you up is truly blissful. I haven't been late for work once and am feeling very well rested (late is a relative concept in a startup anyway.. so let's just say I'm still arriving before most people). An experience I would reccommend to others.
Well, it seems my home country is getting closer and closer to legalizing marijuana. Although Canada allows marijuana use for medicinal purposes, there hasn't been any sanctioned way to get a supply. Well no more. Just launched is the Marijuana Home Delivery site, providing high-quality pot with a THC content of 8% or more delivered within 2 weeks right to your door. The current price is $30 CDN for 2 grams or $120 CDN for 10 grams. And they even take paypal. :) This article at the Globe and Mail gives some more background. Of particular amusement:
Some of the ailments on the list are already raising eyebrows. They include everything from major illnesses such as AIDS and cancer to foot injuries, lower-back pain, constipation and the hiccups.
I just had one of those mind jarring moments. I looked down at the lower right side of my screen where my computer so helpfully displays the date and time.... and what do you know.. it's December 19th! The 19th! Like what the hell? Christmas is in 6 days! Eep! What happened to those days of youth when you saw Christmas coming from 6 months away? Or the advent calendars! Counting down the days by crunching down a ridiculously small piece of brown chocolate flavoured wax. Yummm.... chocolate flavoured wax....
Life has been a little crazy lately. Flying all over the place, new job, new residence. wow. Here's a bit of a stream of consciousness to get the ball rolling again. At the end of November I left my job in San Jose, fly up to Canada to hang out with my wife and mom and brother and friends and chill out for 2 weeks while I waited for my Google (!) job to start. Canada (specifically Victoria BC) was great. Quite how I remembered it yet so very new and refreshing. Comforting. I miss it more than ever. For 2 weeks I got to hang out and do whatever I wanted. Go for walks. Play disc golf. Drink beerz. Tracey was working a fair bit so my time was less structured than it might have been. One very cool thing I did while there is make the final payment on my student loans. Damn that felt good. Around CDN$27K paid off in a little under three years. The conversion rate from US to CDN is definitely in my favour here. Debt is so stifling. Paying off debt is so liberating. I flew back to the bay area on December 5th and started work on the 6th. I've now got 1 week + 1 day under my belt and am feeling a little less overwhelmed. Lots of smart people here doing all sorts of interesting projects. The general work atmosphere is excellent. Lots of independence. Google gets it. I've moved back to Palo Alto as well. I lived in Santa Clara for a bit (near the San Jose job) but now that I'm working at Google I wanted to move closer to avoid the commute. I live close to Midtown.. home of my favourite video store, Midtown Video. It's awesome in there.. they get all sorts of new DVDs all the time, and the employees know me. One of the only true feelings of community I've felt down here in the bay area. Tracey's grandmother died. Dorothy. Dot. 'Gramma'. She had been in a care home for a fair while and the conclusion was inevitable. Still a surprise though. I first met her about 5 years ago before she went into the care home. She took one look at me... my round facial features.. my hint of a double chin ( my waddle as that guy on Ally McBeal called it) and said: "Well, you're certainly not starving." Gee. Thanks gramma. :) Only an old lady could say something like that and expect to get away with it. I'll miss her. I fly back to Canada again this coming Saturday. For Christmas. It's going to be a little hectic I think.. lots of last minute shopping.. and baking and stuff. My dad is flying out from Toronto for a few days and it will be nice to see him again. It's like time moves at half speed up there. Days down here just fly by. It's hard with the weblog sometimes. I let it go for a few days and it gets that much harder to add something to it again. I like writing for it.. and want to keep it a little more consistent. Hopefully after the new year I'll get into more of a routine and see how things go.
Well.. It's been a week and a bit now into my dose of Canada. I go back to California on Sunday. I'm loving it here. Having a difficult time really pinpointing the differences. There are differences.. but I'm not sure if the are more a byproduct of this being my home country and the States being... well.. the States. :) I've been hanging out... drinking some beerz... playing some disc-golf... that sort of thing. An interesting realization I came to.. up here (in Canada).. I feel successful. I feel like what I have accomplished, where I work and what I do is something to be proud of and happy with. While down there (in California -- in silicon valley) it seems I've only taken some baby steps and that I have a long way to go. While in the valley it is really difficult to be happy with what one has. You are constantly surrounded by more 'successful' people with later model cars with bigger houses making more money than you. It creates quite a surreal workaholic environment to live in. This realization is helping me to be more objective about my situation in California... to think about what I really want from life, what I consider success, and what my core priorities are. I want to say more on this but am having trouble articulating it. Perhaps later. I start work next Monday. New job. At the prominent search engine. (Alright! Alright! It's Google! But keep it under your hat.) When it comes down to it, if I had to name a single company that I wanted to work for in the bay area, it would be Google. I'm really looking forward to working for a company where their core product is already one I use extensively. Plus it is kinda nice when even not-so-computer-savvy people's eyes light up because they recognize the company you work for. :)