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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Videogame music to invade Montreal

I nearly had a heart attack when I read that the Videogame Pianist is planning to have three performances in Montreal in early november. I am going to try VERY hard to go to at least one of the performances, if not more.

To top it off, it has been confirmed that Video Games Live, an enormous videogame-themed orchestral concert, will probably be in Montreal in late november.

November is shaping up to be the Month of Videogame Music. Now all we need is a 'Dear Friends' concert in Montreal and we're set.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


The Bank

Headed over to the bank today. The RBC in Place Ville Marie. Discovered that while it is more pleasant temperature-wise to walk underground, it takes 2x to 3x the amount of time to do the walk than it does to just take the surface streets. Still, if the weather is really nasty going underground can limit the time spent outside rather nicely.

Tried to deposite two US cheques. Despite the fact that "US DOLLARS" was on the front of the cheque and highlighted with a yellow highlighter, the teller still tried to deposite it as if it were CAD. I had to point out it was USD, at which point she had to withdraw the amount and do it all again, a process that apparently involves three people clustered around the computer screen giving advice on what to do. Not exactly confidence-inspiring. Still, it was sort of my fault, because I normally point out that it is a US cheque, and this time I decided I didn't need to bother (I figured, it was highlighted).

While I was in there, some guy was getting quite upset, with his teller, and all the employees were laughing at him. Out loud. I mean all the employees. The manager, standing to the back, he was laughing. The other tellers, they were chuckling. I didn't really catch what was going on, but I guess the guy was pretty stupid. He was also not very happy that they were laughing at them, and said as much ;)

I finally got a cheque to send to ING Direct. Soon I will have a savings account that actually earns some interest. I think their current going rate is 2.6% or something, which is darned good for a regular savings account. I think I'll move $5000 or so into it and let that build up for a while.

After finishing, I honestly couldn't figure out how to get out of the bank. As far as I could see, there were only two exits, and the one I had come in had already been sealed off (I walked in at about 3:50, and they close at 4:00). I headed to the other door only to find it too was locked. One of the investor-type employees was on his way out, and had to unlock the door for me, which involved him crouching and the turning of knobs and inserting of keys at the bottom of the door. Sort of an amusing sight for a guy in a business suit.

Monday, August 08, 2005


The journey is nearing an end

Ever since August rolled around, the thought has occurred to me that there are (many) less days at NITI ahead of me than there are behind me. Last time my stay at NITI was drawing to a close, when I was finishing my CEGEP work term, there was still the possibility of a summer job at NITI. However, this is it, the end. Come the end of august, I'll be leaving NITI. I think my last day is September 2nd.

What I regret most is that I'll be out of touch. NITI is a bit like a television show. For the past 7 months I have been watching this TV show, watching our product and company direction evolve. When my last day rolls along, it will be as if the TV show has been cancelled; I will no longer be able to follow the story of NITI. Some people might call me crazy, but I really enjoy the meetings about company direction, and I absolutely love reading the StateOfTheNits memos. It feels like all the hopes and plans that the company has will come to fruition after I'm gone, and I'm going to miss it all.

To use the television metaphor once again, I'll optimistically link NITI to the TV show Firefly. The show has been cancelled, but there is a major motion picture coming out soon that will continue the saga. I can only hope that the same is true in my case, and that I'm able to get another co-op term at NITI during my time at Concordia, next summer. At least then if I'm lucky enough to return I'll be able to catch up.

I regret not having spent more time socializing with my coworkers. My daily commute to and from NITI totals 2 hours (Now seems like a good time to repost the link to the map of my commute), and it has taken a bit of a toll on my admittedly tiny social life. While it has been nice to be able to burn through novels in half a week, catch up on music listening, and finish gameboy games, the bus ride is still an obstacle. And Concordia is almost right next to NITI, so for the next three years I'm going to be doing the exact same commute. Ah, if only there were a university in the west island ;)

I actually envy the co-ops from Waterloo. They have the fortune of living in apartments not far from NITI. Some of them might debate my use of the term "not far", but if you're on the metro system then the 20 to 30 minute commute you have would be a big improvement over my trek. These co-ops have the opportunity, despite being from cities hundreds of kilometers away, to get to know their fellow nitiots much better than I have.

I'll have to take benefits as they come; a few months ago, Damian was surprised to realize that Concordia was practically next door to NITI on the metro system. He remarked that whereas when Waterloo co-ops finish their terms they disappear back to Ontario, when my term is over I will still be nearby. I admit my insecurity and hope that people will actually want to see me once my summer term is over.

It would seem that I've gotten into another one of those moods where I just spill my heart out. It's a bit refreshing, to be honest.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Interesting fireplace

I found this neat: A fireplace that produces it's own fuel.

Plug in a water line, the fireplace does the ol' electrolysis, burns the hydrogen, and tosses some of the oxygen for colour. Pretty neat, though it must require a ton of power, and the flame isn't terribly large.

Still, a fairly unique application of electrolysis, I think.

More info: http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/home/make-fire-from-water-116027.php

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