22 March 2009

Pork Fest 2009

Pork Fest 2009

Josh and I had a weekend to ourselves without our lovely women around.  So what did we do?  We cooked up an insanely unhealthy meal of pork, bacon, cheddar, stuffing, and TGIF potato skins.  Holy moly.  Vegans or those with aversions to greatness may not want to click the link.

16 March 2009

Paris Recap

I'm starting this post on the plane. There's about an hour left in the flight and my PSP battery is toast. 17" laptops are not fun to use on a plane =/ (Really wish I had a 10" netbook for this trip)

Paris is an amazing city! Probably my favorite city that I've been to yet. Tons of history, culture, architecture, good food, and friendly people. It seemed like the entire city was accessible by foot or with a quick metro or bus trip. Contrast to Atlanta which is the least pedestrian-friendly city EVER and it's no surprise that I enjoyed Paris so much. I can't wait to go back with more than a day of free time =)

That's how busy work was while in the Metaboli offices. I was in the office until 9pm or so every day. This didn't ruin the trip however. I had a blast! All of my new trans-Atlantic colleagues were a pleasure to meet and work with. One thing that was odd - six of them distinctly reminded me of other people. Who? Westley from The Princess Bride, Jeff Daniels, Rachel Dratch, a future version of my brother Kyle, a young John Cusack, and Marco from Titanic (more so because his name is Marco than in appearance). I would have lost it if the Westley look-alike started reciting lines from The Princess Bride ("if only we had a holocaust cloak and a wheelbarrow, we'd be SOMEwhere!"); same for Jeff Daniels with Dumb & Dumber lines.

Anyway, they are a good lot and I look forward to working with them from now on. The week was productive -- learning all of the systems we are migrating to, understanding their existing processes, planning for the big launch of the new GameTap website next week -- noses were right on the grindstone. I love the feeling I get when working hard and getting a lot done. I even made some progress towards one of my 2009 goals: to quit slacking in the programming department and write some code. In the limited downtime, I was able to setup a new table on our local SQL database and put together a small Perl script that reads in a text file of TapIDs and numbers to update our Prize Arcade point standings. We are currently spending way too much time doing that stuff by hand and this is the start of getting all that automated. It's not a complex script by any standards, but it was a good refresher for Perl.

Yesterday was my big tourist day. I had a list of sites I wanted to see and a couple specific items to buy. By the end of the day, I had walked 20km in about ten hours! I started my first loop around 11am - click here to see the path in Google Maps. Once I got back to the hotel, I took an hour break to give my feet some rest and to let it get dark before I went to the Eiffel Tower. Click here to see the second loop. Aaaand click on this third link to see my Picasa Web Album from my trip.

My favorite site, the one I had been looking forward to the whole week, was the Eiffel Tower. I love how it looks at night. My path took me along the river as I approached it so I had good visibility as I closed in. I probably spent an hour just enjoying the walk up to it and gazing at it from the base. I got some good video of the tower as it sparkled... but I captured it sideways forgetting that I would need some software to transpose it. It is in the Picasa album. If I get it transposed, I'll upload it to YouTube.

Tl;dr - Paris is awesome. I can't wait to go back. Check out some pics I took.

12 March 2009

Why My Brother Is Awesome

Kyle's status message: The half-life of radium is 1602 years
Ryan: the radium of Half-Life is GORDON FREEMAN
Kyle: there's a joke about Half-Life's release date decay somewhere in there

Paris Update

Half way through my Paris trip.  Working 12-hour days.  Not seen the city except for some restaurants and the outside of the Ministry of the Interior (is that funny? I think it's funny).

The architecture, people, and food are excellent.  Wouldn't mind working here more often (but WITH Lisa present).

I had lunch with one of my Metaboli counterparts today and it was a conversation three and a half years in the making.  It was so refreshing and funny to talk to Guillaume about all of the same frustrations we experience in our line of work.  Also kind of freaky to meet someone else in the world who has so many of the same work experiences and a similar personality!  It didn't help at all that he looks like Kyle in ten years.

Also, I ate a sandwich today that had chicken, arugula, and mayo.  Think about that for a second if you are familiar with my eating habits.

Last thing, the phrase "Tunisia is the new Romania, which was itself the new Dublin" came up at work today.  I can't make this stuff up.

04 March 2009

On the move again

Here I am at the airport. Again. Off to atlanta for the usual weekend of reserve duty, but on sunday I won't be flying home to colorado... I'll be off to Paris! Yes I will be in the land of my new employers receiving training on some new software systems Gametap will be utilizing, as well as teaching some staff there about some of the systems we currently use. Then I will spend some more time in Atlanta regurgitating my new skills to those who were unable to come. Good times, but I wish Lisa could come with me.

In other news, our latest wedding decision has been made. We are spending our honeymoon in Vermont! Hope everyone received their save the date cards and found the travel info on our wedding website to be helpful.

Time to board! More to come soon enough...