Vincent Cheung

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Seattle wrap-up

I'm sure that this is going to be a long post, so here's the executive summary for those of you who have exams and don't have time to read the entire entry. Wait, people with exams need to procrastinate :). Ok, this summary is just for you lazy working folk then. Except those of you who read at work. You know who you are :)

My trip was quite good overall. Interviews went well (I think and hope), wrote and submitted a good paper (I think and hope), snowboarded twice (Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie), played volleyball twice (Pro Club and Kamiakin), GReunion 2.0 (Jonny!), saw most of the people I wanted to see, and had the most amazing dragon boat practice.

Dragon boating with Hot Sake

Being on the water on Saturday was simply amazing.

Bright shining sun. Clear blue skies. Still glass water. Fresh cool air. Magnificent mountain backdrop.

The most fascinating thing was putting my bare hand in the nice, cool lake water and watching the steam come off my warm hand.

I still remembered how to paddle and my technique improved with Charlene coaching me. Dropping my shoulders when the paddle enters the water made it so my arms were way less tired. My endurance and power were way up. My ass got bruised from the hard plastic seat of the boat, but I'm told that's a good thing b/c that means I'm rotating instead of just using my arms.

Chinese restaurant tradition

I've noticed that I've been privy to several Chinese restaurant traditions.
  • After dragon boat practice, we always go to Jade Garden in Chinatown for dim sum.

  • It's always Jeem's for dim sum with Nebojsa

  • UTCCF always goes to Kowloon on Baldwin after fellowship

  • I don't even have to ask where we're going for family Saturday dinner when I go back to Winnipeg, b/c the answer is Marigold

Tradition is good, but some variety is good as well.

GReunion 2.0

By freak coincidence, Jon and I were both in Seattle at the same time.... for interviews.... for different companies (MSR and Amazon)! Crazy. I always knew that we'd meet again, but I figured it would be here in Toronto since I'm here for school and his family lives here.

I was meeting up with Dmitry, his wife, and Sarah for dinner, and Mr. Deyo blessed us with his presence. We went to Bluwater Belltown Bistro in Belltown near Sarah's place. Nice place.

Sorry, no pics b/c I forgot my camera in Toronto. I had the battery charger and USB cable, but no camera :(


I went to Snoqualmie by myself on Monday. Pretty close, like a 1 hour drive. I wasn't impressed. Only a small portion of the mountain was open and there was only 1 good run. And it was raining / freezing rain. I got my bindings ladder fixed, now all 4 of the straps have been replaced and they don't match - 2 grays (instead of black from Blue Mountain), 1 ugly beige (from Stevens), and 1 shortish bright red (from Snoqualmie). The guy said that he wished he could give them away for free, but he couldn't and asked me if $3 sounded fair and I said 'ya'. I went to go pay, but the cashier was just ignoring me. I was obviously standing in a place to butt in (like you'd do at McDonald's) to just do a quick payment, plus I was next in line anyways, but in the wrong direction. Anyways, I got sick of waiting and just left.

The best part of the trip was when my fuel gauge hit empty on the way there and I took the next exit to get gas, only to find myself driving for a few miles into the town of Snoqualmie. I saw signs for Snoqualmie Falls and decided that I'd go take a look as I had heard about it previously and it was close by. I was impressed. The water flow was quite low when I went, but it was cool to see the huge drop. Again, no camera, no pictures :(


Volleyball at the good 'ol Pro Club was fun. Good to see all the familiar faces. Not as many as I had hoped to see though.

I went with Alex and Stacey to Kamiakin, which was a bust at first b/c there was no open gym, but they didn't change the hotline. We had to wait until the league playoffs finished. I ran into Reiner (Rodney Blanco's older brother) there who was playing in the league, which was pretty random.

Alex and Stacey have definitely improved since I last played with them in March.

Flight entertainment

Flew direct back to Toronto on Air Canada. They had screens on the backs of each seat with on demand entertainment. I was watching My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and it was fine for a while, but then it started to get freeze every few seconds and it was so annoying that I just had to stop (they should really do some buffering or something). Sleeping was a better alternative anyways since I only had 4 hours of sleep the night before.

At least my luggage wasn't overweight - 46 lbs, only 3 lbs heavier than I went, but that's only b/c I moved a stack of papers into my carry-on and stuck my gym shoes and some socks into my snowboarding bag. I went shopping at Redmond Town Center and Bellevue Square on Monday and Tuesday, and dished out like $300, which translates into a couple pounds of clothing...

Clothing rant

Clothing is expensive. My credit card bills were much lower when I didn't like shopping. Recently I've been thinking about the (approximate) amortization cost of clothing. If I buy a (relatively cheap) $30 sweater and wear it once every 2nd week, for 4 months out of the year, for 2 years, then that's ~$2 / wear. If I wear a pair of jeans 80-100 times, then it's about $1 / wear. Shoes are probably the best deal. I've been wearing my new pair of Sketchers (the infamous pair where I was asked if I was under 14) since Aug. pretty much every day, so that's already $1 / wear even if I were to throw them out now. I always thought underwear was cheap, but it's not. I have enough to last me about 2, maybe 2.5 weeks, so that's about 26 wears / underwear / year. Some of the boxer-briefs (yes, that's what I wear, and if you're a girl, you're invited to my bed to check them out for yourself ;)), are like around $26 (after tax, etc.), so that's like a dollar every time I put one on! 50 cents if the pair lasts 2 years, 33 cents if they have holes in them. Socks, I'm not sure about. I have a bunch and I don't know the price and I don't know how long they last, but I'm guessing around a quarter per wear. Coats are very seasonal. $100 coat, 3 months out of the year? If I wear that coat every day for those 3 months (unlikely) for 2 years, then that's still more than $1 / wear. So, given that it's fallish, every time I walk out that door, it's costing me more than $6. Say I'm wearing a few layers, and put on a toque and gloves. It starts adding up! Summer I suppose is cheaper though.

I think this is a good argument for walking around naked. Again, cute girls are encouraged to explore this option in my bedroom. I am able to accommodate multiple visitors simultaneously.


John said...

holy crap, this IS long! how much time does it usu take for u write an article like this?

Vince said...

I don't really remember how long it took. About an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

Anonymous said...

hmm i wouldn't mind exploring that option in your bedroom ;)

Anonymous said...

Looks like Vince has an admirer :)

You should learn to dull the pain of buying everyday clothes, by just investing in much more expensive toys. That require specialized clothing. Now those I would not want to amortize.

Vince said...

Chris, I bet despite using your bike so much, it still costs you $20/hour, and that's only if you're biking naked :p

And Miss Facebook stalker, I'm sure you can find a less anonymous way of messaging me ;)

Bob said...

Last time I checked we were engineers, not accountants. If the shoe fits, wear it! Let the bean counters worry about the amortization nonsense.

Jenika said...

which is why second hand clothing rocks! it's all about kensington

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