Mike and Ian came by soon after I returned home Friday. Ian has spent a large amount of money on Magic cards but does not seem to win as many games as he might. I won two out of three.
We later wandered over to Ballard, where I thought we might catch the night life. I thought first to check out Cupcake Royale, who put a decidedly gourmet and hip twist on the ordinary cup-cake. I liked what I got (orange frosting and vanilla cake) but would have to make a few more trips there to try some others. I can't say their cupcakes were as revolutionary as the superior desserts from Top Pot Donuts.
The place got close to closing and we left. If it were just Mike, I would have probably gone to a few more places, i.e. bars. Ian was tired and disinterested, obviously. Since the smoking ban, I don't mind going bars but need somebody to talk with, and I'm not friendly with strangers. I figured we could drop Ian off and Mike and I could go to the Wedgewood Tavern.
There, I lamented on how Ian can't get it together to make more of a business of his painting. And how specifically, to make money as a fine artist you have to sell really hard and cover a range of markets, e.g. make high-quality prints. Frankly, I don't see myself capable of that kind of salesmanship, and somebody like Ian lacks this ability. Mike was quick to defend Ian, pointing out how Ian is developing a collection of paintings, and we shall see how it goes.
Fortunately, for me to develop my career, all I had to do was go from Catdaddy to @mobile, stick up for myself at various occasions, and I make considerable money. I have Boon Hwang to thank for getting me started and supporting my career at different points. I do have my own talent, hard work, and deep interest in computers as well. If I were less timid and more motivated I could develop my own consulting business (or company?) full-time and possibly be successful at that.
I spoke to Mike about the sailboat business Tim is putting together, with some help from me. Hopefully the boat will be completed in due time, and this will be my next big thing. This may take years. So simultaneously, I do know well enough about how to run a software organization, or at least I know how not to run one based on prior experience, that perhaps I could get into management or something besides development. The way I see it, although individuals can develop really good software, single-person efforts means little unless there's a more functional organization around it.
About Mike's job: I do know a bit about what he does now, which is natural language processing for organization-specific search engines using a specialized scripting language. He alone seems to have mastered the intricate details, whereas other people use a higher-level tool that "writes" the underlying scripting language but does not allow for much customization.
Saturday, Hitomi had a all-day show at the Seattle Center. She's been busily making things to sell, as well as ordering vast quantities of T-shirts with her designs. This, the first of three shows this year, was quite slow, embarrassingly slow. Compared to last year's event, there were just a handful of interested people, and a lot of the traffic was actually from other booths. For what I believe is a waste of effort, I still help out carrying things and setting up and tearing down her booth and give up a day for her things.
Adding to the whole melancholy mood, I walked around the Seattle Center Fun Forest and nearby buildings, making mental notes of what things had changed over the years. My dad used to take me and often a friend to the "Fun Forest" and buy us an all-day ride pass, available on certain off-season times at discount rates. This time of year, most of the rides were shut down. The relatively new indoor arcade area had some incorporated the same carnival games that used to be outdoors elsewhere. The old 18-hole mini-golf course was removed and replaced with a shorter , less silly course. As a kid, I would also wander around the Center House and go buy food, candy or tchotskis at various stores; some have moved, some have gone, some surprisingly are still around.
I returned back to Hitomi's booth. I played on Hitomi's Nintendo DS until around closing. Near the end, it was almost completely dead, and the people and friends loitering in the neighboring booth set up chairs in front of their booth. A confused or thoughtless women wandered into our booth area and started talking to somebody in the neighboring booth, her butt just two feet in front of where I sat. "Get the fuck out of my booth!" I might have said. But obviously nobody was coming by, and we were obviously of no interest or notice to anybody.
Frankly, I get depressed thinking about holiday shopping, which could have resulted from my days at helping set up, tear down, and occasionally man booths for Steel Silhouettes.
Sunday, I had thought to spend the day with Hitomi, but Hitomi came up with yet more project stuff, so I went bicycling instead. It was cold and the road was icy in places, but other riders were cheerful and the sun was out. A little under of fifty miles did me some good, I hope. With about 40 riders, our speed was pretty uneven. One fellow, Ken, who almost killed me on last week's SBC ride, was sporting Zipp "Speed Weaponry" wheels, specifically a clincher wheel set which retails for about $2000. I think he picked the wrong ride.