Weekend Report, 30 July 2006

Well, more like end-of-week-plus weekend...

On Thursday I had a phone interview with a company for a senior tech support engineer position. The company is in San Mateo, which is a pretty long drive from downtown San Jose, but they will be opening a San Jose office in September, so if I do get hired I can work down here. I think the interview went okay, or the good side of okay. It was supposed to have been on-site, but two out of the three guys with whom I was supposed to meet were sick and working from home. So, instead of asking me to drive all the way up there to meet one person and talk to the other two over the phone, they decided to have all three conduct a phone interview instead. It lasted a total of two hours. We'll see what happens.

On Friday, I had lunch with my mom. She picked me up from work and we went to a strip mall near our offices and had Vietnamese food. I had some beef brisket with noodles, in red semi-spicy broth. It's what I always get when she and I go there. Anyway, as we were eating, I noticed that one of the waiters was the same guy who used to wait on me all the time when I lived in Sunnyvale and went to my neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant. He recognized me as well, and we chatted for a little bit. Turns out that his family had just bought the San Jose restaurant several months ago. I told him that the food at the Sunnyvale restaurant was better, and he said it was because his mom supervised the kitchen there. Hahaha. Momma's boy.

The San Jose Grand Prix was held this weekend. Practice and exhibition runs were held on Friday, qualifying runs were held yesterday, and the actual race was held today. The downtown streets had been barricaded for the past several days for this race. I've had to alter my route to work, which wasn't such a big deal except for the fact that so many people were getting lost around downtown, and consequently driving like idiots.

Yesterday, I could hear the roar of the race car engines when I had my windows open. There were quite a lot of people who came to see the Grand Prix, but not as many as last year. Since we couldn't really walk around the area too much, I took Devon to play at the dog park for a couple of hours, to get him tuckered out. He played with Crash the ugly mutt, Bambino the newfoundland and mastiff mix, and Junior the pitbull.

Cleaned house for a bit. There was so much dog hair in the carpet and area rugs that the vacuum actually choked. LOL. It started beeping and a red light came on (that I never even knew was there) as I was vacuuming the living room rug. When I looked at the canister I saw that it was completely full. As I emptied it, I saw that it was literally overflowing with hair! Ick.

Got lunch from Su's Mongolian Barbecue in Santa Clara. It's one of my new favorite restaurants. It's a Santa Clara institution that's been there forever. Funny, in all those years that I worked at the police department, I never once went to Su's to get food, even though it's very popular with the cops. I just "discovered" it recently when one of my coworkers took me there for lunch.

Yum!

It's all-you-can-eat. They have beef, pork, chicken, and lamb already sliced up thin and laid out in refrigerated trays. In addition to the meat, they also have noodles, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, tofu, celery, mushrooms, and peppers. You take a bowl and fill it with whatever you like, then you round the corner to the spices and oils section, where you get to choose what you want to use to flavor your food. They've got garlic, ginger, vinegar, barbecue oil, spicy oil, chili paste, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce, etc, etc.

The trick, as my coworker taught me, is to get TWO bowls. You put the meat in one bowl and use the other bowl to compress it and pack it in. That way you get A LOT of meat in only one trip. When the meat bowl is as dense as a neutron star and will no longer hold anything more, you move on to the second bowl and fill it with noodles and veggies. Then you flavor both bowls and give them to the cooks.

The cooks will spread your "loot" onto this huge stone (or is it metal?) circle that's the cooking surface. Instantly, all the stuff will begin to sizzle. They move the food around using long bamboo sticks, mixing and turning until everything is cooked. It's really cool to watch them work when it's busy. You'll see two guys, each cooking a different customer's order, walking around the cooking circle and moving the food around. It's almost like an intricate dance, because the customers' orders never mix, and the cooks never bump into each other.

When everything is cooked they use the bamboo stick to slide everything into an empty bowl with one smooth swish of the hand. All the food goes into the bowl and practically nothing spills. Just a bamboo stick. In one movement. It's amazing. LOL.

Met mom and saw Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest. It was pretty good. Long. I was entertained, but I didn't think it was as good as the first one. I really don't understand why this movie was such a huge blockbuster while Superman Returns wasn't. Heck, Orlando Bloom didn't even take his shirt off. LOL.

Today I didn't do much of anything. I took Devon out for an extra-long walk late this morning. We walked along the Guadalupe River Park trail all the way to the airport. We stopped for a bit to watch planes taking off and then headed back home.

My coin jar was close to overflowing, so I went to Food 4 Less to use the Coinstar machine. I got $117.79 for my coins! Wheee! And that was AFTER Coinstar took their 8.9% cut! I know, I know... 8.9 percent is pretty big. But, really, would you rather sit at home counting coins and rolling them up, before taking them to the bank (and hoping the teller doesn't give you the evil eye), instead of just paying the stupid fee?

Did some laundry, did some homework, and now it's time for bed.

My stupid roommate had some friends over earlier this evening, and I told him again that it was a no-no. So they all left. Good. I almost wish that he doesn't pay rent on time for August, so that I have a perfect excuse to kick him out. LOL.

Oh... Bill has started calling me Zaygar. I have no idea what it means. He says it's from some TV commercial, which I guess doesn't air here in the Bay Area. I tried Googling it, with no luck.

Okay, that's about it. Tomorrow it's back to the salt mines. I hope I get a call from that other company. If the timing works out I will get to exercise yet another small tranche of stock options before I would have to give my two-week notice. Crossing fingers and toes...