March 20th, 2002


End-of-Project Dinner — Mona's Lebanese Cuisine

[weather|sunnyish & freezing][water|4 @ 1354h]
[mood|sore throat]

We went to Mona's Lebanese Cuisine at 1328 Hornby Street in Downtown Vancouver. Dinner was nice, it wasn't terribly fabulous, but it was good. It was a Tuesday night and we were about the only ones in there. There might have been one or two other tables and there was a couple that came in halfway through our meal. Mona came out to serve some of the dishes. =)

We got the Party Ensemble - you can order individual meals too, but I think they usually get people who don't know anything about Lebanese food and just want to try something, anything. The appetizer was pickled vegetables (pickles, turnip, olives, carrots), pita bread with hummus/yoghurt/cream cheese spreads and a meat dumpling things of some kind (it was really good). The main course was beef, chicken and lamb kebabs served with rice and spicy potato cubes. Dessert was interesting, I'm not quite sure how to describe it, but there were these caramelized crunchy sugar strands with cream or cream cheese(?). There were also baklava pieces (which I didn't take because my teeth started singing just looking at them).

We had a good time laughing and joking about how long this project took and how the client still doesn't get it with the PDF format. We had so much fun trying to tell each other to stop talking about the project; joking that the company needs to provide Post Trauma Therapy for us all; more extensive therapy for the Dev Lead; that he just couldn't let go; and on and on it went.

They invited the engineer who was laid off in January. I was so happy that they did. It was great to see her again and blame her for things that happened since she left. =D She was a great sport about it and dissed us right back about "if _I_ were still around, that wouldn't have broke", etc. =D It was great.

We didn't really whoop it up that much, our team isn't a rowdy bunch. About the highlight of the alcoholness was that we picked an $80 bottle of 1993 Lebanese red wine and enjoyed it immensely.

They have belly-dancing Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (I think), so we didn't get to see it. It would have been interesting because some of my friends have been getting into belly-dancing and they say it's a lot of fun.


Alms for the Geeky

[weather|sunny-ish & freezing][water|5 @ 1822h]


I'm shamelessly panhandling for QuarkXpress 3.x, 4.x, 5.x and Quark Passport files. I need Real World[tm], publicly available, large and small files in the widest range of content possible.

If you have files I can have, please zip them up (Winzip preferred, but I'll deal with *.sit, *.sea, *.hqx or whatever you have) and send them to me. I'll send a postcard from Vancouver if you also include your mailing address... if not, I'll... sing you a song or something.

These files will become a part of a set of internal functionality and performance benchmark test suites. An original will be kept, but files will be viewed, possibly mutilated and picked apart, up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. They will never be shown outside of my project team.

If you know where there's a goldmine I can download from, please let me know.

I've already Googled with all the keywords that make sense. I'm getting a very strong There-Must-Be-A-Better-Way vibe.

I know that sample files come with QuarkXpress tutorial books that are available at Amazon, B&N, Chapters, etc. and I'm going to ask if I have a budget at all. In the meantime, I need free stuff.