Wednesday 15 November 2006

International Credit Card Transactions

Today I tried to book a ticket to go and see The Decemberists in Seattle using the Ticketmaster Web site. Everything went fine until I tried to pay for the e-ticket using my credit card issued in the UK. Lo and behold I am obliged to choose my State from a selection of US States and enter my Zip code.

This seems pretty silly since the ticket would not even be physically delivered. Given that making credit transactions in the US is ridiculously easy - my signature hasn't been checked once in the last month - it's amazing that the Web is so unaccommodating.

Bad Web design is one of my pet peeves. All Web sites should be location agnostic given the global nature of the internet. Ticketmaster have a UK presence, but the events on the US site don't show on the UK site. Seems the only way I can see the show is turn up on the night and hope.

Tuesday 14 November 2006

Godot Flushed Away

I had an afternoon of sitting down enjoying myself on Sunday. Theatre, arcade and cinema respectively.

Firsly I went to see a Gate Theatre of Dublin production of Waiting for Godot at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. I'd not seen the play before, though it's reputation as a masterpiece of absurdist theatre had not escaped my attention.

The performances were highly memorable and thoroughly engaging. The play has moments of humour, pathos and tragedy, exploring memory and companionship. I can only say that I'm very pleased that I saw this particular production and I'd thoroughly recommend it.

I followed high culture with pop culture and spend a couple of hours in an arcade playing amongst other games OutRun 2 SP - which I completed on the two easiest levels. Seems a little easier than the original Out Run

Next I settled down in the Cineplex to watch the new movie Flushed Away, which is a fantastically entertaining film. It brings together the production quality of Dreamworks with the great characterisation and humour of Aardman Animation. This really does feel like an Aardman film, the wide mouthed characters are clearly related to Wallace and Grommit. Take your kids to see this movie and if you don't have kids, steal someone else's - you won't regret it (at least until you get arrested).

Friday 3 November 2006


I'm always up for trying local food when I travel and Seattle is no exception to that rule. So yesterday I had my first ever burrito, at Taco Del Mar - a Mexian fast food franchise in America and Canada.

I wasn't at all sure what I was asking for, so I tried to follow Mike's lead picking a wholegrain burrito with guacamole, sour cream, beans, rice, chicken, cheese and hot sauce. My order came to a couple of dollars more than Mikes, so some of that stuff must have been optional.

When we got back to the office I had a quick lesson on the art of eating a burrito. Unwrap one end of the foil wrapping, eat the end and unwrap as you go. I later realised that these same instructions were printed on the bag.

So what did it taste like? Relatively satisfying but kinda mushy. I think I'd prefer it with a little more crunch or bite. Not bad though, interesting mix of flavours. I think perhaps the fun is in choosing a different mix of fillings each time.

Taco Del Mar's speciality seems to be seafood (as the name would indicate, so next time I might get a fishy burrito (if that doesn't sound like too much of an inuendo).

Thursday 2 November 2006

About This Blog

This site is really little more than a personal diary. I hope that the odd entry amuses or informs the occasional random surfer.

I'm an artist, musician and software developer, although the latter is the only thing that currently pays the bills.

Many of the posts on these pages will relate to software engineering and to the Agile methodologies that I am involved in, including Extreme Programming and Scrum - although the evolution of working practice is where it all gets interesting.

Seattle Reverts to Type

Well, the nice weather lasted a few days and was followed by some bitter cold (I'm told these are typical of an El Niño year) but now the rain has set in. Still I'm hardly unused to rain, living as I do in sunny England.

On Sunday, I visited the Bodies exhibition at 800 Pike. Fascinating! If you have not heard yet, this exhbition is made up of preserved human remains, disected and annotated.

It's not nearly as gruesome as I imagined it would be, but it is a little creepy to think that these people all had lives. In some ways it's like reading an anatomy book in 3D.