Archive for June, 2006

Ford Pier: Pier-ic Victory

Monday, June 26th, 2006

This near-masterpiece, by Ford Pier, may be the most obscure and underrated CD I own. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone else who owns it (with the obvious exception of Veda Hille, in whose wonderful band Mr. Pier played for many years). The songs are frenetic, inventive, insightful, often hilarious, and tuneful. There are at least two potential singles (“Charmed, I’m Sure” and “Why On Earth”). I’m not sure whether it’s available anywhere other than from Six Shooter Records (unfortunately the site is frame-based so you will have to search out the Ford Pier and on-line store pages manually).

NSString memory allocation

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Working through Chapter 3 of Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X. Question: why can you do this

NSString *temp = @"this is a string";

and you don’t have to do this:

NSString *temp = [[NSString alloc] init];
temp = @"this is a string";

Dopff & Irion Riesling 2001

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Dopff & Irion RieslingThis has become one of my favourite wines. A clear, pale lemon-gold appearance with a clean, light, floral-vegetal/straw petrolly nose. Dry on the palate with medium-high acidity a nice medium body. A crisp flavour with a medium finish. Excellent.

$30 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar · dopff-irion.com

Legacies

Friday, June 16th, 2006

We’re still almost four years out from the 2010 Olympics, and significant budget concerns have started to emerge (cf. some of Vaughan Palmer‘s recent columns in the Sun). But I’m not going to write another “I told you so” rant.

My perception of the whole affair is coloured by my involvement in designing the original bid Web site (now replaced). I did this partly against my better judgement, and I can’t say much about the experience because I’m probably under some sort of non-disclosure agreement. Suffice to say that my better judgement was increasingly skewed towards the “no” camp as the project progressed.

But there was one experience that stands out for me, and it was apart from my professional activities. The night of the referendum, February 22 2003, I was picking up my daughter from a choir rehearsal in Kerrisdale. Of course this part of town is probably one of those in which many people actually stand to benefit from the games. I overheard a fellow emoting to his friend about the referendum and questioning how anyone could possibly vote against. I immediately stepped in and said that I’d voted “no.” He was aghast. But when I tried to engage him in substantive debate on the issue, all he could really come up with was a tag line from the Olympic campaign. Not even a tag line, a word. “Think of the legacies,” he insisted, gesturing wide with his arms, his tone evoking a world in which, after February 2010, we Vancouverites might awake each morning to find a glass of chocolate milk on a fluffy white pillow waiting on our doorsteps (rather than an abandoned luge track somewhere up Howe Sound for which we are still paying).

Marketing puzzles me, because so much of it seems to be counterintuitive, if not just plain stupid. But the application of this one word was brilliant. It worked. And so “legacies” we will have: besides mounting debt, we’re not quite sure yet what they might be.