December 21st, 2006, 10:54 am PST by Greg

We have been busy since Kat has been home. It’s a combination of holiday festivities and people wanting to see Kat while she’s back. To give you an idea, these have been the engagements for seven of the last nine days:

  • CMPT Xmas party
  • Moderne Burger with Kelly and Paul
  • wine tasting with some CMPT people
  • Eunice’s defence dinner
  • sushi and too much wine with Anne
  • Thai with Pam and they boy (after buffet lunch at the DAC with the CMPT staff)
  • Italian with the CSSS exec and hangers-on

I think I might be missing a dinner with Oli and Tina in there too. Tomorrow is Kat’s Ama’s birthday, so there’s another big dinner for that. Then Festivus (no celebration planned), Xmas eve (at Kat’s family), and Xmas day (at Kelly and Paul’s). Maybe there will be a break in the Xmas-New Year’s gap, but I suspect stuff will come up.

Last night during the exec dinner, something tweaked in my brain. I finally realized what it was this morning: I’m tired of food.

It’s not that I feel like I have been overeating (although I probably have), or that I’m feeling especially fat (but I wouldn’t mind losing a few). I just really can’t get excited about eating anything. Maybe it’s just my brain warning me that I’m headed down the road to becoming a bloated man-ball.

Anyway, can’t write more now. I have to get some work done before another buffet lunch at the DAC with Kat’s lab.

Almost… there…

December 11th, 2006, 11:58 pm PST by Greg

It has been a long semester. I’m teaching two courses and trying to figure out how to be undergrad chair. Really, it made Kat being away less of an issue: I wouldn’t have had much time to do anything anyway. I’m guessing I averaged around 60 hours per week this semester.

I just finished marking the 470 projects. They were bimodal, as the class has been all semester. Apparently, my 120 exams are marked and I’ll get them tomorrow morning. With some luck, all the final grades will be done tomorrow. Realistically, Wednesday morning.

The CS Xmas party is tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully it will go well: as the chair of the Social committee, I had a hand in it. It pretty much followed Greg’s event organizing pattern: phone a restaurant and tell them about 100 people are coming, ask grad students to organize entertainment, done.

Update 12/12: I just approved my first final grades (one of the duties of the undergrad chair). That was exciting.

The Great Quest

December 5th, 2006, 10:53 pm PST by Greg

Last week, I was talking to a faculty member on exchange from China. He drove home something I knew, but had never really thought too much about: “Chinese” isn’t a very precise description of anything. That is, there are a lot of cultural differences between parts of the country.

So that got me thinking, which didn’t do any good, because I don’t really know anything about the subject at hand. That got me reading Wikipedia.

In my travels, I came across the Wikipedia article on Chinese Cuisine. In particular, the blue bar down the right of the page that lists types of Chinese cuisine caught my eye. There are apparently “eight great traditions” of chinese cuisine. I know something about some of them, but there are definitely some gaps.

So, I propose a quest: The quest to find and consume representative samples of each of the eight great traditions. This seems like a good city to do it: there are decent numbers from at least some of the regions. I should be able to find some restaurants, right?

Who’s with me? Anybody have good leads on restaurants? (Opinions not accepted from people who speak English with a Canadian accent—go ask your grandmother.)

Kat’s family is Fujian. Cantonese should be easy enough. There are plenty of Szechuan restaurants, so I’m sure I can find somebody with an informed opinion around somewhere. Our partner school in the DDP program is in Zhejiang, so hopefully I can find somebody with some insight. That’s four.