Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.
~ Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Today is my last day of work and I have one last lunch — this time with the folks of my Genco project. We normally celebrate project closeouts by eating out but opted this time to have the food catered from our cafeteria, The Hub. See that handsome chap below? He’s the employee of the month because of his effort on the Genco project — helped the company eliminated a bunch of unproductive work. This guy is a genius, I kid you not.
Jackson (our Iron Chef) specially prepared Asian food because most of the team members are Asians. Jackson and his team prepared what he called the Deluxe Lunch with an Asian Twist. The costs were just $11.95 per head. This is what we got for a dozen loonies:
We had a lot of food leftover and brought it down to IT to share. I sent out an *itall notification and the food magically disappears in just two minutes — it always does, amazing. Apparently, the two words “free” and “food” are the best words to have on email headers if you want people to read it.
Well, this is the last of the series of lunches at Best Buy. To everyone in BBYC who reads my blog, I want you to know that I had a blast the past six years. I am really proud of being associated with all the good work you have done. Remember this … to me, you all are the BEST, Numero Uno, Second to None.
Keep in touch through chowtimes. Love you all!!
Alright now, I have a bunch of name cards in mint condition, never used … any takers?
He he he … I just logged onto Pluto. My ID still works … amazing! :-)
A brave man will face a situation no matter how dreadful.
~ Filipino Proverb
I learn new things everyday. Today, I learn of two new words – merienda and balut.
Some of the folks in IT threw a little merienda for Alex and I. Our last day at work is tomorrow. I have never heard of the word merienda before. Well, I was enlightened that merienda is a spanish word that means snacks. I like the Spanish — they did give the world the idea of siesta, right? Isn’t it nice — having a siesta after a meal and then waking up to a merienda? Anyway here are the folks who threw a farewell merienda for Alex and I at The Hub (the company cafetaria).
Balut (Duck Egg)
Balut is a Filipino delicacy. Zimrie made them for brave souls in the farewell merienda. This is how Balut tastes like … gross!
Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in a shell. He he he … it is considered aphrodisiac and considered a hearty snack. The filipino and filipinas in the group educated me on how to eat this:
Seriously, guys and gals, I had great fun today. Thanks for taking the time and bring along the goodies.
Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.
~ Turkish Proverb
It is cold and rainy today. I did not sleep too well last night and as such it’s a great time for coffee to keep me awake. Suanne made me Vietnamese Coffee which is also known as Cafe Sua Nong. Vietnamese Coffee is normally served in ice but I like it warm on a cold day like today.
Vietnames coffee can be made simply by mixing black coffee with a lot of condensed milk. It is traditionally made by brewing the coffee with a small drip percolator into a cup containing condensed milk. We bought the percolator some time back from the T&T Supermarket. We can’t recall exactly how much it costs but it’s pretty cheap … something like $5 or so.
We use whole coffee beans and like to grind it just before we use it to ensure freshness. Coffee once ground deteriorates fast. Ignore the Folgers can on the picture below … we just used the can to store our coffee beans.
This is how we made our Vietnamese Coffee:
So, here it is … a cup of warm, black, strong and sweet coffee. Just what I needed for this blog. Enjoy!
The horizon will not disappear as you run towards it.
~ Bantu Proverb
Last night Suanne and I had a timeout from the boys and we went to a fine dining restaurant called Horizons on Burnaby Mountain. The restaurant is nestled in the beautiful Burnaby Mountain Park and overlooks the bright city lights of Vancouver below.
We had a reservation for 5pm. At this time of the year, it’s just in time to see the sunset and the bright and yellow city lights turn on. While waiting for the restaurant to open we had a quick walk around the park in the crisp chilly weather … the city looks so beautiful from here. This place is also referred to as The Playground of the Gods because of the many Japanese wooden sculptures on the park.
We were seated by the windows and had a panoramic and spectacular view of the city and the Burrard Inlet. Already we knew this would be an enjoyable night. We see people starting to come in for dinner — many dressed in their finest. Suanne too was stunning — with her new leather jacket and all!
The menu is largely inspire by West Coast cuisine with grilled steaks and seafood over open flame. The setting is elegant with a warm ambiance. It’s really a great and romantic place. We opted for a 3-course selection. I know it’s supposed to be an elegant setting but I brought along my camera … he he he, I must have attracted a lot of attention when my flash fired throughout the night. Note: Click on the pictures below to enlarge.
As we walked back to the car, we stopped briefly in the light rain and looked at the bright lights. I took the last picture … it did not turn out quite right, I wish I had my tripod with me. We will do this again — it was a great way to end a hectic week.
Updated on 12 April 2010: This restaurant has closed according to Urbanspoon.
If you find no fish, you have to eat bread.
~ Ghanaian Proverb
The folks in the Service and R&R Project teams went to an all-you-can-eat sushi. They selected the one which is called Top Gun Sushi at the Quay. It is located on the second floor of the Public Market at the New Westminster Quay. I have never been there before but I have heard so much about Top Gun Sushi. Although it has ala carte but it is famous for it’s all-you-can-eat.
We went early and arrived at 11:30am to make sure we have a table. It was a great idea because the place was really packed, especially so because it’s a Friday afternoon. We had a great table by the window which overlooks the Fraser river.
The sushi was good, the selection was similar to the many all-you-can-eat sushis in the city. The prices are pretty cheap compared to some other places I went to. Here are the prices:
Adult: $9.95 weekday and $10.95 weekend Child (4-9 years old): $5.95 weekday and $6.95 weekend All-you-can-eat Salmon and Tuna Sashimi is just $2 extra — pretty good deal.
Here are some of the items we ordered (CLICK ON THE PICTURES FOR A LARGER VIEW):
So thanks a bunch for buying this lunch and for being such great project team members. I want to say that you are the reasons that our projects has consistently been successful. We delivered a lot didn’t we?
Work like a slave and eat like a gentleman.
~ Albanian Proverb
I have farewell lunches everyday right until my last day at work next week. Already I have gained 1kg since last week. I am not going to weigh myself anymore until all these lunches are over. Today’s lunch is the “official” farewell lunch which is organized by the PMO. We went to the Cactus Club Cafe on Kingsway. The Cactus Club offers casual fine dining and has a very global menu. This place is one of the favourite lunch places the people in the company goes to because of the menu caters to every palate. The menu includes items such as dim sum, quesadillas, steak, burgers, pasta, ribs, and fajitas. Check out their menu and prices. I ordered the grilled salmon which if I recall correctly, costs $10.
The salmon is served with rice and green beans. The sauce used to cook the salmon is pretty spicy. I like the green beans which has a touch of saltiness. It was a big serving.
My boss paid for my lunch. Oh, I should have ordered the Ultimate Mushroom Deliglace at $31 … just kidding boss!
It was a good gathering and felt appreciated because the PM team showed up along with many members of my projects. We did not talk about work at all, which is a good thing. We just … chatted.
It has been a pleasure working with them all.
Updated 17th Jan 2011: This restaurant had closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
“I heard” is good; “I saw” is better; “I tasted” is best.
~ Ben Yap
The chinese employees at my workplace organized a Chinese New Year lunch celebration today. We do that every year. This year, they have graciously invited Suanne too for the lunch because they wanted to also make this a farewell lunch for me. For the first time, the organizer decided that we go to a buffet for a change. We went to the Grand Pacific Buffet in New Westminster. The Grand Pacific Buffet is a buffet with Western, Chinese and Japanese food with predominantly chinese food.
There were a lot of varieties. The food is so-so but then it’s not fair to compare buffets to the normal restaurants. I was wary of MSG with the tell-tale thirstiness after the meal but nope, it was not at all. Suanne and I went for two full rounds and ended up sharing the dessert. The photos below does not tell much but anyway, these are our second round plates. It’s about $8 for a weekday lunch.
Good food goes best with good company. These people are not co-workers but has been friends to me for a long time. I was always the odd one out with this group because I do not understand their brand of Mandarin. It does not matter, as long as the food is good — they are the SME’s (Best Buy’s overused term for Subject Matter Experts) in Chinese food around Burnaby.
I have worked directly and indirectly with most of them on some of my projects. They are all awesome and great to have them in the team. I must say that one of the primary reasons that many of my projects were successful were because of these people. I will miss being around the office with them.
We raised our cups but I didn’t know what they were toasting (remember, I don’t understand their brand of Mandarin or for that matter, any brand of Mandarin?). But to me, my toast is for a great chinese new year ahead, success in their careers and may all their dearest dreams come true. Best friends deserve the best wishes!
So, here we are — Ben and Suanne smilling from ear to ear. It’s because we did not have to pay! Thanks buddies, for the treat. Oh … remember to invite me for the chinese new year lunch next year … this time I’ll pay … for my own, not everyone’s!
I’m bringing Dilly Bars for everyone tomorrow.
Last night I made a thousand plans, but this morning I went my old way.
~ Chinese Proverb
OK, I know this is not about food but I thought I have a break and blog about something I love to do very much — biking. Well, many of you already know that I am leaving Best Buy. It’s been a long six years and my last day at work is next week. Today is about the only day I could bike to work and so I thought I make a change and blog about my commute to work. My new place of work will be further and worse, I will have to navigate two killer hills. I guess it’ll be a while before I get the chance to bike again.
I took it easy and stopped at various points to take pictures. Here is what my commute was like: