Archive for May, 2006

PlanetEye

May 31, 2006

For those of you who have noticed that there’s now a login screen on PlanetEye and want a chance to play around with it send me an e-mail and I can set you up with an account. There’s a limited number available so act fast!

Seriously need an air conditioner

May 30, 2006

After getting home in the sweltering heat yesterday afternoon (39C with the humidex), I decided to head down and enjoy the best part of living in the Beach…the beach. I threw my bathing suit on and slathered on some sunscreen and spent the rest of the afternoon lying on a blanket in the sand reading and enjoying the ridiculously warm spring day.

There were a bunch of film trucks right at the foot of my sidestreet on the beach, with all their lights, cables, camera, and a massive crane. It had me a little sad watching everything. It surprises me every time how upset I get when I pass a film sets on location in the city (which, there are tons of) and it really makes me miss doing it. I’d really like to at least get back into theatre in the city, the only problem is trying to find a good theatre company that consists of people with regular 9-5’s, so that rehearsals and performances aren’t interfering with my job. The operative word there is ‘good’ because I saw a horrendous production of Shakespeare in the Park on the weekend, that clearly consisted of all very untalented amateur actors. Definitely where the phrase “don’t quit your day job” came from. Anyway, if anyone happens to know of a company like this I would be glad to hear about it.

So after getting all depressed on the beach I went back to my sweltering apartment to spend that night of record breaking heat in the un-airconditioned indoors, lying on my bed starfishing, trying to stay as still as possible to cool off. It didn’t work. I took about 3 cold showers, and am now very much appreciating the fact that it’s so cold in my office I’m wearing a sweater.

"The Better Way"? Hardly

May 29, 2006

This morning’s TTC strike brings to the forefront again a very important issue for the city of Toronto. First of all, I have to say how much I love living in here. Toronto is a very safe and beautiful city, I wake up every morning and think about how lucky I am to be able to live in a great area like the beaches and work downtown in the very hip entertainment district.

If the TTC wasn’t so massively poor we wouldn’t be in this mess. This isn’t to say that I’m agreeing with the strike action this morning (illegal strike action, I might add), but it’s really just a symptom of everything that is going on in the TTC. The governments at all levels, up to federal need to pay more attention to the fact that Toronto has an aged, crumbling transit system, that is one of the most underfunded in the world, and certainly the most underfunded in north america. Which, frankly, is a shame in a country that has a reputation for being more of a socialist nation than our neighbours to the south.

The TTC has received $100 million drop in funding since 1990, which was about when the transit system needed it the most. Most people would remember the massive train crash at Spadina station when a driver ran 2 or 3 red lights and the last light happend to malfunction, which ended up causing a collision. That incident not only cost millions of dollars to repair, but forced the TTC to backtrack and have to focus on safety issues instead of being able to make strides towards a more advanced system.

Raising fares is clearly not the answer either, as many of you know it now costs $2.75 to ride the TTC (I’m also sure that many don’t, as most people just drive), which is a great bargain if you’re going clear across the city and happen to not have to make transfers, but most people don’t ride that way on a regular basis. Toronto’s system is also one of the very few in the world that don’t have electronic tickets or fare zones.

On an aside of this issue, there was a great article in the Star this weekend about bicycles in the city, which is another important thing the ministry of transportation should look at. A significant number of people (myself included) would ride their bike to work if only it were safer. More bicycle lanes in the city would mean less hold ups when cars get stuck behind riders, and less cars on the road when more people are biking or rollerblading, especially in the summer months.

If Toronto really wants to be a world-class city, these issues need some serious attention. The streets of Toronto are already flooded with more cars that they can handle and there isn’t room to build more roads. Give people another option.

Oh the joys of looking like a 12 year old!

May 28, 2006

I was in the video store with a couple of friends last night. When I took my selections up to counter and handed them to the clerk he kind of looked at me sideways, paused and said….

“are you 18?”

Seriously. I got carded at the VIDEO STORE.

Hopefully this will continue well into my 40’s.

Jenny McCarthy

May 26, 2006

I was in Indigo at the Eaton Centre yesterday and was a little surprised to learn that that other girl who happens to have my name managed to put her clothes on for long enough to write a book. Interestingly enough, upon looking a little closer, I found out that she had written not one but THREE books. Who knew she might actually have a brain?

Ok, well, at least she’s doing something productive that doesn’t involve tons of men staring at her store-bought breasts and generally ruining my good name.

Of course this feeling lasted about 2 minutes before I walked by the magazine aisle and saw her on the cover of this month’s FHM. I’d put up a picture with a link, but frankly the word “indecent” doesn’t quite begin to cover it. So you can look for yourself if you are really interested.

Why won’t this girl go away or at least just get really fat?

Hometown proud

May 25, 2006

Not many places can create these kind of headlines:

Firearms, drugs seized in Oshawa

Good Samaritan Stabbed in Oshawa

Police Seek Witnesses to Oshawa Shooting

And those are just from the last 2 days. Which is why I always have to laugh when I tell people from Oshawa that I live in Toronto and they comment on how dangerous the big city is 😉

Mmmmmm great weekend

May 22, 2006

I had a wonderful long weekend despite the terrible weather on what’s supposed to be the weekend that kicks off the summer. My super nice boyfriend drove up from Buffalo (where he lives), picked me up and drove back to Buffalo on Friday after work. He’s got a really gorgeous magazine-worthy apartment there that doubles as his photography studio, where he took some pictures of me and my friend Donata. I have to do a quick plug for his business here, because for the first time I saw pictures that he’s taken in his new studio and they’re really good. So if you happen to be looking for a photographer who will shoot for relatively cheap (for now because he’s still starting out) check out his website, hopefully he’ll put up the full site soon.

After the photo shoot Donata and I drove up to Niagara Falls, where she lives. There’s a new club at the Fallsview Casino, that just opened this week so of course we had to check it out. It’s a gorgeous club, with a really elaborate asian-inspired decor, but with a $15 cover charge probably will end up being overrun with Americans (which, the locals say ruins the good clubs) because no one who actually lives in Niagara Falls would pay that much every weekend.

We must have worked up an appetite with all that dancing, so we hit up the buffet, which, just in case you’re wondering, it’s not worth the price of admission at 3am. We finally got home around 4:30am, which allowed us to sleep guilt-free until noon, when Chris drove up to meet us for a nice greasy breakfast. I grabbed the bus back to Toronto where I fell asleep more than once on the shoulder of the nice elderly asian fellow sitting next to me (no joke).

The nice folks at MTV were thoughtful enough to serve up a whole day long marathon of Laguna Beach today, which I curled up to all day long. Mmmmmmmmmm great weekend.

Seattle recap

May 19, 2006

Now that I’ve been back home long enough to get a decent rest so I’m not falling asleep in the middle of typing this I can tell you all about our trip.


The plane ride in was decent. A little longish because we had to connect in Vancouver and take a puddle jumper over to Seattle (definitely frightening)

Of course I spent all of sunday night lying in bed, staring at the ceiling in my hotel room because I couldn’t get to sleep (I was a little too excited and the latte at 8pm probably didn’t help matters). I thought monday would have been a little harder to get through considering the amount of sleep that I got the night before, but I was still pretty excited about everything and we mostly just sat down with some really smart people that had created some really interesting/useful applications that they demoed for us.

Went for lunch with Behrooz (director at MSR, our host), a couple of people who worked on our legal deal with Microsoft, and Kentaro, a super-smart guy who heads up the MSR India team and originally developed WWMX (the technology that PlanetEye is based on).


After all our meetings that day Behrooz took us out to a nice restaurant on the water, where I managed to finagle the kitchen staff into posing for a picture.

More meetings on Tuesday with people working on a few different projects involving digital imaging. I guess when you have as much money as microsoft does you can afford to attract the best and brightest minds because these people have solved some pretty complex problems. Computer vision is one of the toughest fields out there, mostly because we’re not even sure completely how the human brain processes what it sees, so it’s hard to get a computer to do the same.

After the long day I took a long relaxing dip in the hot tub(!) back at the hotel, then went out to Seattle for dinner (we were actually staying in Redmond) and to see the space needle. Rick happened to have just gotten into town and was staying a few blocks away from the space needle so we met up with him, had a wonderful dinner and headed back to the hotel for the few hours of sleep I was going to get before waking up at 4am to catch our flight home.

You can check out the rest of the pics here.

Just hang in there for a bit

May 18, 2006

As excited as I am about our site, it isn’t exactly ready to handle a whole ton of hits at the moment (or even more than a few at a time), so as much as I’d like to point everyone there and say “go nuts” it’s probably not such a great idea.

Also, we learned about some really awesome technologies that microsoft research has got that we’ll likely be able to use to make our site that much more useful. Soooooo just stick around and maybe by sometime in August we’ll have built in some of these tools that’ll blow your socks off and we’ll be able to handle all the hits that we’ll be getting. It’ll be worth the wait!

My first business trip!

May 12, 2006

Well, if you don’t count that month-long trip to Europe.

Mark, Slava and I are all heading off to Microsoft on Monday, for my first ever business trip that will consist of actual meetings. We’ve been working on the site all week, ironing out all the major kinks, hoping to show it to the guys at microsoft so they can get as excited about it as we are (I had a few moments today where I was testing features and I actually started jumping up and down in my chair and clapping my hands because of how cool I think our site is).

So I’m a little nervous because I’m not really sure what to expect. Going to Microsoft as my first trip is mildly intimidating, but I’m really more excited than anything.

I have to admit, I got really excited when I found out that our hotel has a pool… I’m still such a child 🙂