Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Vancouver 2016 Day 7: HoloLens and Hole-in-the-Wall Vancouver spots

Vancouver 2016 Day 7: HoloLens and Hole-in-the-Wall Vancouver spots

Nearing the end of my week here in Vancouver, it was time to further kick it up a notch and meet up with some awesome friends. Today's big event was meeting up with the legendary Andy Klein, awesome dude and epic legend of Microsoft HoloLens. As well as being the kindest and coolest dude, he is also brilliant and his awesome wife Rachel and he had me over to their place to try out the HoloLens for the first time. It was sooooo super cool and it was really neat to see how fast and accurately it was tracking the surrounding environment. Getting used to "clicking" in the air with your finger was definitely a new thing! This stuff is SO exciting, and you get the distinct feeling trying this out that this time is the birth of an entirely new way of computing. This is pretty damn revolutionary. I also can't believe how bright it is, and we were operating it with his windows open and lots of natural light coming in. This thing works amazingly well. I am also unbeliavably blwon away at how Microsoft's hardware team somehow managed to fit the entire system into the headband on this thing -- yet still it feels in the same ballpark as wearing an HTC Vive (which is tethered with a cable back to the computer that is actually doing all the work). Truly AMAZING technology. Andy and Rachel's new CAT arrived the same day, and was insanely sweet and amazingly cute... so Augmented Reality revolutionary computing AND Cats?!?! Talk about best day ever.

Rachel and I drove back to the office in a Car2Go and I parked it on this huge roof area near work -- with about a bazillion other Car2Gos! Super fun and awesome visit and then headed back to go have lunch with Brian at Tuc's Craft Kitchen.

I started with a crazy cocktail called "Coffee & Cigarettes" which was crazy but very good! Seemed like a good day for a toasted sandwich and some potatoes, and so we had a great meal there and an Old Fashioned as well just for the good of the cause. :) A great catchup with Brian and awesome to hear about how he is doing now that he's up here in Vancouver.

So after a solid lunch, I headed back to Purebread (again!!!) to buy an entire stack of pastries and cakes to share with folks at work -- I was doing a sort of "Office Hours" thing that afternoon, and so it seemed to make sense to try to bribe people to come and ask questions with this tastiness. (By the way -- it worked). :)

Alright... who has a programming or pipeline question?
In the evening, I went out with Hanna to go on an exploration of Vancouver's most hard-to-find, hole-in-the-wall places. Hanna joked earlier that I was doing such a thorough job of eating all the good things, that there was going to be nowhere for her to take me to later in the week!! Hilarious. Of course, she had planned an incredible evening of checking out some awesome places I hadn't heard of at all from anyone, even with my extensive research. That was super special and epic.

We started off in Chinatown, which I hadn't ventured to at all yet, at a little bar called The Keefer Bar. I got some weird thing called a "Tincture" which I'd never tried before and was great. The staff was awesome and super welcoming and almost impossibly hip.

Next up was dinner. We headed to a place called The Mackenzie Room which Hanna hadn't been to yet but was up-and-coming and had a verrrry San Francisco "newcomer" Mission-district fancy restaurant vibe to it. It's as if we had walked into a place on Valencia St. that was not QUITE on anyone's radar quite yet, but was literally on the tipping point of getting noticed by EaterSF's best new restaurant list and was just about to explode with lines out the door. Thankfully, it was not totally and insanely packed, but you got the feeling it was about to be at any given moment. The place gave incredible attention to detail in every dish, and it was both chill and straightforward of a place -- no pretenses, no overly stuffy servers, with family-style eating... but still with impeccably created dishes and really high-quality ingredients. A bit like Frances in San Francisco, I feel like. It's awesome to go to a nice place like this but without the attitude that can sometimes come with a great restaurant -- I feel like that is the hallmark of San Francisco's dining vibe: it's fancy, but it feels chill -- techies who don't care about that stuff. :) We got a bunch of stuff that the server recommended, and it was all fantastic.

Funny bathroom decor!

After a great dinner and chat, last stop was the Storm Crow Alehouse, a nerdy haven with board games and sci-fy-y burgers and lots of cool Star Wars stuff. Good times!

A super fun thing here was a "random shot" that you would get by rolling 20-sided dice, so nerdy! Yet, so awesome. I rolled and did well.


Awesome phone chargers

Wow this description is complicated.

A fantastic night of exploring all the fun corners of Vancouver, and places I had no idea existed. Good times!

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