Quiz results

I don’t go for all of the quizzes I see on the web, but this one (thanks, Susan) grabbed me, since I grew up in the South (Richmond, Virginia), went to college and lost my accent in the North (RPI, Troy, New York), and have spent the last 22 years in the West. And, unsurprisingly, my answers have me well scattered.

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
20% Dixie
20% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

(There’s 5% missing — I guess that must be when I’m being quiet.)

Rainbows End

I just finished Vernor Vinge’s latest, Rainbows End. I could try to summarize the plot, but it would be more in the spirit of the book to suggest that you Google it yourself.

And I guess that’s what bothered me most about the book — I thought Vernor was trying to walk too fine a line between showing a world 20 years closer to the Singularity and making it comprehensible to his audience in 2006. That, and the clear need for a sequel or two to wrap up the loose ends.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it, but I didn’t think it was his best work — that still has to be True Names, which blows me away every time I reread it.

Help a university professor with her research — win $$!

My trip to Banff last week was to attend the conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), and, in particular, to attend and participate in the workshop on “Online Trust”. One of the organizers of that workshop was Dr. Dianne Cyr, who’s doing research on loyalty in online business environments — she mentioned that she needs more US participants, and I offered to publicize her project on my blog…like so:

Win $US 250 for completing an online survey!

You are invited to participate in a survey conducted in 10 countries by Dr. Dianne Cyr at Simon Fraser University in Canada. The study is about how to build loyalty in online business environments. You are required to view and navigate the SonyStyle website, and then answer a survey about that experience. After you complete the survey, if you like, you can enter your name for a draw for a $US 250 gift certificate for Amazon.com.

To complete a survey, you must be 18 years or older, and be from the United States. Further, you will have grown up and lived most of your life in that country, and will not have lived in any other country for the last 2 years. Click on the link, and all the information you need will be presented. Please feel free to circulate the survey to friends, family or others.


I took the survey, and it was painless. :-)

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir

It’s been a long time since I’ve written up a wine, but tonight’s was worth remembering. It’s Tinhorn Creek 2003 Pinot Noir, which I picked up at the Calgary Airport last week. I’d had the 2004 at dinner at the Fairmont in Banff Springs, and really enjoyed it; the 2003 is just as good. And for $17 versus $48 at the Fairmont (both in Canadian dollars), it’s quite the value!

I suspect that it’ll be difficult to get this wine here in the US; I guess we’ll have to take a trip to the Okanagan Valley again….

Life in No Man’s Land

I’m at Calgary International Airport waiting to board my flight to San Francisco. I thought, therefore, that I was in Canada.

How silly of me.

I was standing by gate 27 when the Air Canada people came on the PA and told me (and the rest of the crowd) that we had to move down closer to Starbucks so that they could bring a domestic flight up to the gate, which would then be used for a flight to Las Vegas. They needed us to move so they could cordon off the gate and let passengers into the adjoining concourse, used for domestic flights.

This all made perfect sense to me, except that the agent explained this by telling us that we were in the USA and they needed to turn that territory back to Canada.

I’ll bet that if I were to slug someone here, it’d be the Calgary Police who hauled me off, not the FBI!


I’m writing this entry from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, site of CSCW 2006, the annual ACM-sponsored conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Work. My trip here yesterday was interesting and complicated (of the 13 hours I spent en route, only 2.5 hours was in the air — I waited almost that long in the Calgary Airport for my colleagues from New York to arrive); we had hoped to drive up in daylight, but that was not the case. But even the small bits of the mountains I could see in the moonlight were spectacular.

This morning dawned too early, and I spent almost the entire day in a workshop on Trust in the Online Environment. But the view out every window here is wonderful — sadly, my camera can’t do it justice, but here’s a small sample. This is what I can see from the hotel room:

The workshop itself was very interesting, and I am hopeful that something useful (and publishable) will result.

After the workshop, we adjourned to one of the many restaurants here in the hotel, Castello, which appeared to have reasonable prices. Somehow, my bill ran to an unreasonable number, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless. We had a Canadian wine, Tinhorn Creek 2004 Pinot Noir, which was pleasant enough that we ordered an additional bottle (there were six of us sharing it, so that’s not unreasonable), and which I would gladly have again, though preferably without the 200% hotel markup.

Tomorrow, I hope to do a little geocaching; I also need to work on my report on what I did this year at work. *sigh*

And then the conference begins for me again on Monday.