Thursday, September 25, 2008

Words Overheard in a Business Meeting

Circle Back. Verb. Intransitive.

  • "Let's circle back to that point."
  • "We should circle back again..."
  • "So perhaps we should circle back before we go on."
  • "Let's circle back before we circle back to..."
  • Person 1: "I was going to circle back to..." [interrupted by person 2] "no let's circle back to..."
It was fitting. We were just circling around in the meeting, moving nowhere at a crawl.

Hint to people who are chronic circling backers: STOP IT! NOW!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm looking at apartments in the Bay Area for various reasons (mainly because, well, I might live here for a while) and the rent here is fairly ridiculous. Since I have a "real job" these days I figure I'd move to my own 1 bedroom place. So I started looking at 1bed/1bath places around the Santa Clara/San Jose/San Jose North areas and pretty soon the Asian miser in me started to ache and scream.

It's not like I'm not being paid a good wage and it's not like I can't afford it. But $1600+ for a one bedroom? Brandon said when he lived here (granted, 10 years ago), he paid something like $1200 for a 2 bedroom apartment. The same complex now, 1 bedroom, easily close to $1800 and 2 bedrooms go for around $2300. There's been inflation but I don't think it comes to 100% over 10 years. The first time I was in the Silicon Valley I got a 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom place with Albert, furnished, for about ~$1600 per month. We thought that was outrageously expensive. Same complex today? About the same price for a 1 bedroom, unfurnished.

Granted, I'm looking at pretty decent places since I could alternatively get a dinky 1 bedroom for like $1300 20 miles away from work. But then again, it's not like any of the places I'm looking at are especially nice. Pretty much all variations on the same basic floor plan, same appliances, same drab (and ugly) interior design, same exaggerated ads ("live in LUXURY on a spacious 3rd floor PENTHOUSE SUITE with MODERN appliances and ALL THE AMENITIES!"), and same inflated prices. $1700 for an apartment means something like at least 2.5K deposit + first month rent (almost 3K sometimes!). Add in some basic furniture and supplies and such and I'm looking at at least a $5k hit on moving in. Ouch. I know people whose mortgage payment on a house is less than that. OK, well, not in California...

The only saving grace is that I think I've found one of the few apartments around here with hardwood floors in the living room (it looks like), a gas range (it says), and less than 2 miles away from work. Going to try to yank it quick but since I can't move out until about October 20th in my current place, I might have to pay double rent for at least half a month. Guess it's not so bad if I get a place I like.

Ok, I'm done whining now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jetlag Sucks

Can't sleep. Time to make a list of toys I covet:
  • Canon Rebel XSi - The 450D, which would be an upgrade over my current 350D. Do I need it? Not at all, but given its great performance and my lens choices so far (see below), it'd be a nice upgrade. Not really taking many pictures these days though. Should fix that.
  • Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM - Fixed aperture (2.8!). Image Stabilisation. Useful range. It would replace the 17-40 f/4 L I mostly shoot with these days. I still have a 70-200 f/4 L in the stable and the standard 50 f/1.8 for low light.
  • [Ultra]portable laptop - Since I mostly work with a manlier-than-thou Mac Pro these days in the office, I find the big honkin' work T60p more and more annoying. It's certainly not a travel machine. And the IT software on it kills it. I can get into a small Mac portable but the only thing available is the Air which is meh. Though to be honest it probably fits my needs.
  • 37-42" Flat-Panel TV - I'm in the dark ages still. Standard definition CRT baby! With prices coming down, maybe it's time I joined the rest of the world. Also, need it for my...
  • PlayStation 3 - Little Big Planet has me and everyone else hooked. I can also tell myself that since Blu-Ray won the porn wars, I can use the PS3 as my new DVD player.
  • Toaster Oven - So that I don't fire up the whole damn oven for things like making a little toast or melting some cheese. I'll pretend it's my own little mini-salamander.
  • Good Chef's Knife - I'm so used to the thin cleaver as my knife of choice for just about everything that I never learned to get comfortable with a standard Chef's Knife. Time to change that.
  • John Fluevog Marcellos in White - What? I don't have white shoes!
  • Bionic Legs - My current ones disappoint me. They should be unbreakable and indefatigable.
  • A reasonable car of some sort - None of those are really viable candidates except the first boring one, after which it's too impractical, too inefficient, too beautiful, too expensive, and not available in the US, in that order. As for my current car? It's not boring at all but it is a bit impractical, inefficient, pretty, and expensive. GREAT.
  • A house - This one will have to wait a bit.
How can I survive?? I know.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Baby Koala

Back from a vacation to Melbourne (Australia, not Florida). Working on editing pictures. Here's a Cute Overload-esque preview: