Tonight I went to wine tasting festival with Pat. The festival has vineyard from all over the world, provides sampling over 300 different labels. The theme of this year is South Africa wine, and there is live South African music performance. I never had that much wine in a single day, I had tried over 50 different kind of wine, including some expensive ones that are over hundred dollars.
The most expensive one I tasted is almost $300 a bottle, the booth use a dripper to measure the amount of wine to serve. Each serving worth almost $10, I don’t think I will drink this wine if I have to pay for it myself. That wine is too concentrated, a bit strong, not the type I like. On top of all the wines, the festival also has chess and snack tasting and a cooking show. I happened to be at the cooking show when the chef just finish the dishes. So I get to try out the halibat and duck breast, very delicious. There are quite some other freebes in the show too, I drank a few bottles of water, even brough two bootle home. To help the shower goeres go home safely, it gives out free skytrain ticket when we leave.
I don’t know much in wine drinking and actually I can’t even taste the difference between all those wines. All I can tell is whether the wine is sweet or bitter, whether it irritate my throat or not. At the end, the only guideline I use is the price of the wine to determine which one I will try. I think use the information of the market to determine quality should be most accurate. The event really worth the ticket price I pay for. I feel pity for my cheap friends who don’t come just because they think it is too expensive. Since I had consumed too much alcohol, I had a bad headache right now. Hopefully it will go away after I had a good night of sleep.
There is an intering small thing I had noticed today. When I was tasting wine at one booth, there was an old man come by and try some wine. The exhibitionist offer him to try out their best bottle. He replied that he can’t afford it and walked away without trying. Didn’t we all come to the festival to drink free expensive wine to optimize our return on the ticket fee? I can never understand the mind of those who refuse a shot from a a $80 bottle, yet taste some cheap $20 bottle from the same vineyard.
Tonight, I had a chocolate buffet with friends at Sutton hotel. The buffet is a bit disappointing, not as many variaty as I expected. I end up have to order an entree to fill up myself. Both of the friends I met with are going to get marry this summer, apart by just one week. They exchanged ideas on the wedding and honey moon, me and Pat can’t really participate in the talk, so we both listen to their conversation. Wedding seems so far and yet so close to me, especially hearing it happens to people around you. When Pat is a few years older, we have to start planning ours seriously too. For the moment, we can just keep dreaming how our wedding will look like. If it is possible, I’ll opt to skip the banquet, save the money to upgrade our honey moon. I don’t think we can skip the church ritual, but that shouldn’t be too expensive. Too bad we are not celebrities, or we can sell the broadcast right of our wedding to TV station to make some profit.
Today is the last day of my level 2 German class. So far I had took 16 classes, my German is still pretty bad, especially my pronunciation. This time I get enough people interested in continuing to study the next level. Hopefully my German will be better when I go to World Youth Day in August. I gota find some time to review all I have learnt so far, probably organize them in an excel spreadsheet.
Today during lunch, some colleagues sitting in my aisle had a brainstroming section on new product ideas. It originated from a chit-chat last week that we all concluded the company has no good ideas on future product. We had limited the ideas to CMOS chips, probably with a processor core. The more ideas generate most interests are pattern recognition accelerator and some sort of babel fish device. I personally think dedicated hardware for robotic motion control may have a market. As all unbounded brainstorm session, we know we had run out of ideas when technolgies from Startrek showing up on the whiteboard. I don’t know where this excerise will lead to, probably no where. One thing I do notice is that Ph.D level research is required for any new killer hardware application.
Today the Starbuck outlet at work has opened for business. They know about good promotion on how to attract customers. Each of us got a coupon for free coffee. When I first received the coupon, I thought it is only good for one cup. It turned out that it is one free cup each day for this week, what a brillant marketing idea! Just a cup of free coffee won’t give you much incentive to spend $2 for something you can get for free in the cafeteria, even though the coffee from starbuck tastes better. However, giving you one cup per day is a different story, it slowly builds up your addiction to their coffee. I had a large cup today, and I didn’t plan to finish it. Somehow I just slip the whole cup bit by bit without knowing it. I think I should resist to this evil marketing scam tomorrow and give up my free coffee. The moral of this story is positive out of expectation works quite well in convincing people to your favour.
Today I went to the Vancouver Mensa AGM. It’s my first time going to any Mensa event after joining for almost 3 years. It is held in the basement of one of the member, he kindly provides refreshment (i.e. beer) for the meeting. As expected, the meeting is kinda boring, just went over the house keeping items one by one. Most of the members presenced are old folks, there are only me and another young member. I am a bit disappointed that the members all look pretty normal, hardly can tell they have higher than average IQ. I think I will give it one more try before stop wasting moeny on the membership fee. I will probably participate in one of the social events, see can I find more interesting people other than grandies to hang out with in Mensa.
My today is pretty much wasted, didn’t had much work done on my studies. Although I had walked Charlie in the afternoon, cooked dinner and did my laundary. The biggest problem today is I had turned on TV when I was having my dinner. Then I just glued to the couch, watched Enterprise and followed by the re-run of Minority Report. I finished an article on gay marriage using commercial time though. Maybe I should consider cut off the basic cable too. I really have to make up the work tomorrow. Kinda feel guilty now.
I went to 3 farewell events for my colleagues in one day. First it’s the farewell lunch for Renee, then afternoon I went to beer and wings for Scott, and at least I hopped to the pub for Renee’s party again. There are many people leaving the company lately. Almost all the capable people are gone and join some startups. Somehow I have a feeling my boss will be next one to go. He was recruited into PMC by Scott, and now Scott and a VP who once wanted to promote him to manager had joined that startup, if they need a verification head, who are they going to hire?
Tonight is the final session of Life in the Spirt Seminar, I was expecting something exciting to happen. Instead of miracles from the Holy Spirit, all I got is a really boring mass with a long-winded priest. In conclusion, the only benefit I got from 7 weeks LSS is having a better relationship with Pat. I don’t think I had changed much spiritually. Since the average age of the class is over 50, maybe I’m just too young for these supernatural experience.
Today after the meeting with Dr. Hardy, on my way back to Burnaby on the skytrain, I gave some advice on research to first year grad student. I’m kinda surprise she does not even know how to use IEEE Explorer, yet already has a paper published in a conference. Internet really is the most powerful research tool, all you need is type in keywords, then the papers will magically show up. Actually one of the problems is there are the search result is too long. I really have to filter out the useful ones to be efficient. Using citation identify the “hub” that everyone else is referencing to is the key. Unfortunately I just know this method not too long ago, and wasted a lot of time reading useless papers.
Tonight, in the second half of my German lesson, the whole class went to a German restaurant for dinner. We had to order our food and talked to the waitress in deutsche. It is the first experience to use German outside classroom, and I realize how poor my German is. One of the classmate brough along his German girlfriend. Some more advanced classmates can chat with her without much problem. Of course, my German is so bad that I can’t even understand half of their conversation, let alone join them in the talk.
Still, I have a great time guessing what does those sentence means and picked up a few useful vocabulary. Most important, now I feel more comfortable in an all-German environment.