|Only 10 days and I'm back home to sunshine, only 10 days...|
Heeding advice from my last trip we asked for good eating places before heading out one evening to enjoy some good old fashioned Seattle hospitality. We ended up in the middle of downtown, lighted pathways spearing off in all directions. It was really weird. Within what seemed like 10 yards the bright lights had disappeared and all we could find were closed restaurants. We found a quaint local coffee house called Starbucks where we were directed to an Irish Pub that not only had some great beer, but also had food that wasn't laminated in cheese, and wasn't (necessarily) deep fried. It was shut. In fact it had been closed for over a month due to a liquor licence violation, making us think that maybe we missed out on one hell of a party.
Erik - if you are reading this then what was the name of that restaurant you mentioned? It was in Seattle, right? A pity you were at ComDex, otherwise I could have rung you up and given you some grief :)
Meals in the States simply amaze me, and in a way scare and confuse me as well. Asking for a simple salad results in a list of a dozen of the Best Sellers. "Something with lettuce and tomato please, hold the cheese" doesn't help you. Random choices work well because I've found that one man's Greek Salad is another man's Italian. The choice then comes down to salad dressing, and again this is dangerous territory. I got something pink and sweet that you could cut slices from. I put it to the side and kept one eye on it in case it started getting adventurous.
|You are kidding, right?|
Everything is deep fried over here. Or covered in cheese. Or both. Maybe it was simply that while travelling you never have much time to do a good survey of eating places so you usually end up at whatever place was recommended by whoever you bump into in the street. I'm sure us tourists are cunningly directed to the more dire areas of town so the locals can enjoy their own restaurants in peace.
So in the end the trip was fun. I'm still coming down off the coffee, and still listening to the Offspring CD that one of the guys on the .NET frameworks team gave me. Thanks! I had an experience that I haven't had in nearly 10 years, namely, being asked for ID when buying a drink at a bar. As you get older and starts to lose your youth, your hair and your fashion sense, it's the simple things like being carded that can make your day.
Two final stories that I thought were amusing. First: I'm sure many of you are aware of my simple grid control that has, over the years, grown to something I can barely keep up with. I also know that many of you have sent in bug fixes and extensions and are wondering when on Earth I'm going to fix the damn thing. Well, I had this incredibly long dream that I was being chased by armed assassins throughout a city somewhere in the middle east. It was scorching hot and there were not many places to hide, but it turned into one of those epic full-production dreams with rocket launchers, helicopter gunships and daring last-minute escapes. Finally, after what seemed days, one of the masked gunmen finally cornered me in a courtyard surrounded by impossibly tall walls. I was on my back, bleeding from a dozen wounds and could barely breath because of the gun barrel pressing in my throat. Finally I croaked out "just tell me why!" since I had no idea why I was being chased. His eyes blazed and he pressed down harder on my throat and screamed "You must fix your grid control!". So guys, if you are wondering when the next version comes out, all I can say is: not this week.
|Toronto in the afternoon. Step inside a freezer while viewing this to get the full experience.|
The second story happened while we were sitting around talking to some of the framework guys about the differences between C++ and C#. Going from C++ to C# is akin to changing from a stick shift car to an automatic. You don't have quite the control you used to, but it's easier to do and it allows to eat a donut while you program. No, hang on, that's taking the analogy too far. Occasionally while programming you want to do the automotive equivalent of putting your foot down, which in C#, as in an automatic, may not be as satisfying. If you want to put your foot down and get any joy then you need a big engine, to which the frameworks guy quipped "well if it helps, the .NET platform is really
The trip back to the land of nose-freezing winds was uneventful. Philadelphia airport has rocking chairs along the main walkways, which I think is the best thing I have yet seen in America. I spent an hour in one of those babies rocking back and forth, back and forth, eating up the envious glances of less fortunate passers-by who hadn't managed to grab themselves a little slice of heaven. It was only the guy next to me complaining that the seats weren't padded that forced me to move on to a colder, more stable world.
I see a bright future for CodeProject with the advent of .NET, but also a hell of a lot of work. Whether we like it or not we will have to learn to work with the new framework, and the sooner we get started the easier it will be down the track.