Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Driving like Mario in a Windows XP world

As I zipped down the 280 freeway in my bug this morning, I was taken aback by how beautiful the view was. --Especially today, because it was sunny (though a bit chilly by Californian standards), with blue skies, wispy bright clouds, and endlessly rolling hills of green pastures. In the distance you can see mountains and trees in fading hues of blues, and you even get to see the water at some points, like by Half Moon Bay.

I had a cd playing Francoise Hardy (60s French Pop) on my fab car stereo, and as corny as it sounds, I felt like I was floating on a cloud. It's one of those moments, where I really feel lucky to have a life where something so lovely be a regular part of my daily experience.

--Which was quickly followed by a nerd moment, where I realized that this must be what the Windows default desktop was taken from. Except it's way better in real life. It actually makes my morning commute enjoyable.

I was telling someone how much I enjoy zipping down the 280, and he claimed that a racetrack designer was responsible for creating the 280. He said all the turns are made for cars going at way higher speeds than normal, which made sense to me. There are just enough turns to keep the drive interesting, but they're not so sharp that it seems dangerous to go so fast. Plus it never gets congested, so you can always cruise along. I highly recommend driving on it in a turbo VW bug!

I was enjoying the bug's light, bouncy suspension, going around the curves, which then made me imagine how it might feel if I were in Mario Kart in real-life. (Which I played at work the other day; my coworkers all kicked my ass, because I don't play it everyday like they do.) My players of choice are Toad and Toadette, because they are lightweight, zippy, and can use the golden mushroom. (Kind of like me and my VW Bug. Except for the mushrooms.) And I like the way they say "Hi!"

Hmm. Am I hanging out with tech nerds too much?

Well, eventually I intend to take the company wi-fi bus to work more often... especially when they can finally get the wi-fi to actually work! (We do work for an Internet company after all, for God's sake!) But maybe that racetrack designer is too good at what he does.

I hope I didn't insult Mike's blog yesterday by noting that his "secret" was such a non-secret. I started hopping around his entries, and he has a pretty entertaining blog, including amusing entries about such things as imaginary speed dating and insightful anecdotes like Why Nice Guys Don't Finish Last and Dating and Learning. Sure, he may drop an inappropriate joke here and there, but that appears to be a requirement if you want to work as a webdev at my company. ;)

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's or Anti-Valentine's Day. Yesterday in San Francisco, there was an enormous Anti-Valentine's pillowfight! What a great town.

In case you are wondering what those apple/popcorn things are pictured above, please enjoy this delightful video forwarded by my manager. (How cool is my manager!?)

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Anonymous bk said...

Regarding the Windows desktop (and Mario for that matter) - I believe that a bunch of sociobiologists have hypothesized that us humans find savanna-like landscapes very attractive because it's where we spent most of our time as cave-folk.

The Savanna-Hypothesis infers that gently rolling hills of green grass = ancestral home, sustenance, stasis. Somewhat better than a big flying Windows logo.

I could argue that Super Mario Bros 3 (which features a lot of green rolling hills) subscribes to this theory, particularly compared to Super Mario Bros 1 (which was more about bricks and girders), but I don't want to overnerd it.

6:37 AM  

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