My simple six step process for fixing a water heater.

0) Say “Oh no, not this again, didn’t I just fix the other water heater at the cottage?”;
1) Turn everything off and on again;
2) Wait 24 hours in hope heater will spontaneously fix itself;
3) Note that water is still cold;
4) Cold shower actually kind of refreshing, now that I think about it;
5) Investigate model of heater; search model number on Internet;
6) Study Youtube videos on typical water heater problems;
7) Purchase electrical multimeter with non-contact voltage tester
8 ) Explore wiring in farmhouse cellar; follow various wild goose chases of cables not actually connected to anything, let alone the water heater;
9) We are now past six steps but we’re too far in to quit now;
10) Test all fuses with multimeter; test wiring with non contact voltage tester;
11) Decide that power is getting to water heater, but it’s not heating; it’s probably the heater element – I think I know how to replace one of those on account of having done it already at cottage but wow, what a pain this is going to be;
12) Remove access panel on heater; stare at end of heater element, wonder if I can find one of these in the next town over. possibly tomorrow if I’m lucky;
13) Notice sticker on water heater that says “Property of NB Power”;
14) Get Cathy to call NB Power;
15) 30 minutes later, two guys are here, they replace the thing with a different thing, heater instantly fixed.

#CantSpellHandymanWithoutHayman

Travel Poetry, or My Trip to Boulder

Sunrise over Toronto

My Trip to Boulder

in which I travel to Boulder and write a poem along the way. The sunrise view from YYZ was pretty nice this morning. That must have inspired me.



Pre-flight breakfast in the lounge
Now, up some coffee, I must scrounge.
Soon, we'll be on board for Denver,
Women, men, or other gender.
I hope it won't be too much coulder
when I finally get to Boulder.

You might call me a desperado,
Jetting off to Colorado. 
Days of indecision! so
I want to get a Vision Pro.

"Steve, why don’t you drive to Buffalo
If you want a Vision Pro.”
I hear you but I’m already going
On this Airbus. (Not a Boeing)
Chatting with some CU students,
(Talking Code, without impudence)
Must check out the Apple Store 
near my hotel. Almost next door. 
My credit card’s already humming
Anticipating what is coming. 

When I get back, you know I’ll mock, say,
Pearson’s “high speed” “moving” walkway.

(awkward change of meter for one stanza)

You know it's a good flight, 
when, up in the skies,
You connect to the Wifi 
in less than three tries.


As we near this poem’s conclusion
We  must report on some confusion
The store did not process my order
Because I came across the border.
You'd ask yourself, don't we have NAFTA?
Its rules apply? Well, they don't hafta.


Travel Poetry

I haven’t blogged in a while but since my New Year’s Resolution is blog once in a while, here is a Travel Poem for posterity. I can’t let an epic item like this disappear into the realm of ancient status updates.

A Travel Poem
January 2024

It’s been a while since I could say
I’m visiting the USA
So this is my one chance to warn ya
I’m heading off to California
I hope to grab a cappucino
On my way to Cupertino
This poem, it has but one line more
Zip code 95014

A different story about Apple and NeXT

Today’s the 27th anniversary of the Apple/NeXT merger, and instead of my annual rehashing of what that was like, you can just read what I wrote up for the 25th Anniversary.

So here’s a slightly different Apple/NeXT memory.

I really knew nothing about the Mac growing up. Although Dad had bought an Apple II, I never really even touched a Mac, not even in university.

(I do remember one other grad student who was using his Mac to write his thesis, while the rest of us were using LaTeX or troff or some other Unix command line formatting thing on the mighty Vax 11/780, which proved we were REAL computer scientists. Oh, how we laughed at Terry, trying to write his thesis on that Mac toy. Of course he got the last laugh, he finished his work about a year quicker than I did.)

In 1995 or so while working for Steve Jobs at NeXT, we had some sort of a sales contest. If your region hit 120% of its quota, you’d win a big-screen TV.

Our region did OK, and I did not particularly want a 1995-era big screen TV – which would have been some giant rear-projection thing in a huge cabinet – so I bravely asked the NeXT sales VP, “Can I get a Mac instead? I hear they’re kind of interesting. And we’ve got a two year old here and there are some educational games etc etc” and the VP said, “Sure.”

So, NeXT bought me a Performa 5200CD, which had a place of honour on our kitchen breakfast nook for years.

Mac Performa 5200

We had a lot of fun with that computer, even though I have since read that architecturally, it was one of the worst Macs. But what did I know? We hooked up a Microsoft EasyBall to it – a giant trackball, the size and colour of a grapefruit – and spent many happy days playing classics from Humongous like Backyard Baseball, or Freddy Fish, or Putt-Putt, or my favourite, Let’s Explore the Airport, with Buzzy the Knowledge Bug.

Buzzy

Buzzy would explore the airport, and you got to operate baggage conveyor belts and try to steer bags to the right destination.

update: holy cow there is a full 90 minute walkthrough of this game, and now I am getting superextranostalgic watching it – here’s part of the baggage handling game –

Of course this machine didn’t have Wifi, nothing did back then, but I managed to string an Ethernet cable from my office upstairs to the kitchen, thinking “It’d be nice if I could print from this Mac to my NeXT printer upstairs How hard can that be? It’s just a Unix print queue”

Well, interoperability was not exactly the Mac’s strong point back then.
I think I dropped a couple of hundred bucks on some sort of Mac print spooler package that was supposed to let you print to a Unix printer and never could quite get it to work.

I spent a lot of time futzing with that.
My wife, trying to be helpful, would say “Why don’t we just buy another printer and connect it to the Mac directly?”

because that would not be FUN, that’s why.

I don’t think I can quite spin this story as “Steve Jobs bought me my first Mac”, although it was Steve’s VP Marty Yam who did, but anyway, architecture be damned, my kids and I had a lot of fun with that Mac, and I started to think the odd positive thought about Apple, and a year later, Apple acquired me and 400 other NeXT employees.

Happy anniversary. Especially to the handful of us NeXT folks who are still here at Apple.

Apple Next Merger

A CFL Atmosphere Award

The 110th Grey Cup is this weekend in Hamilton, featuring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers against the Montreal Alouettes, and we Argo fans are still reeling from losing to Montreal in the East final a few days ago. But Cathy and I are going to Hamilton anyway, because it’s a great national party.

That’s the thing. There’s football, and then there’s football ATMOSPHERE around the game, and I love them both.

There are plenty of awards for football. The Grey Cup itself, of course, and the Most Outstanding Player, and the Coach of the Year, and the Rookie of the Year, etc etc etc. But I don’t think people come to the games just for the football. They also come because of the overall game day atmosphere.

An Award for Game Day Atmosphere

So I hereby propose that the CFL should have an award for Outstanding Contribution to Football Atmosphere. An award that recognizes things that happen off the field, including

  • pregame tailgate parties
  • cheerleaders, dance teams
  • pep bands
  • wacky fans with funny signs
  • crazy traditions
  • oddball but entertaining mascots
  • postgame parties, especially at the Grey Cup

Let me explain with a few examples. And my choice, at the end.

Paul Weiler as Hamilton’s Pigskin Pete

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have a much-loved mascot named Pigskin Pete, who leads their fans in their Oskee Wee Wee cheer, and who was portrayed for years by a gentleman named Paul Weiler. He passed away in 2014, and all CFL fans were sad, even if we had no idea what the heck “Oskee Wee Wee” meant.

Here’s the CBC report on his passing.

Pigskin pete iii JPG

This is Paul Weiler as Pigskin Pete III, photo by Eddie Sokolowski, courtesy the Ticats.

Now, I always thought that Pigskin Pete should have a young sidekick named “Pigskin Petite”, but I digress. Whether you like the Ticats or not (I am in the “not” category), as a CFL fan, you had to respect that tradition. It made the game days fun, and if you heard the crowd belting out “Holy Mackinaw, Tigers, Eat em Raw!” led by Pigskin Pete, it made you wish your team had a cheer like that.

(We do, we say “ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS” but in a very sophisticated way.)

He made the games fun. The Pigskin Pete tradition continues, but Paul Weiler did it for 30 years, better than anyone.

Dal Richards, BC Lions Band Leader

I’ve written about Dal before. A popular Vancouver bandleader who led the Lions band in the 1950s, he created the 1968 CFL Songs record album, which gave us the song “Go Argos Go” and other team songs that are still heard to this day.

Every time the Argos score, we sing Go Argos Go, and I think of Dal, who I was lucky enough to meet at age 97. Here he is, autographing a copy of the album for me. We donated that album to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, where it truly belongs.

DalRichards

Those songs make game day fun and add a great sense of tradition to our league.

CFL Fans Fight Cancer

This outstanding group of fans

UntitledImage

organizes a hugely successful fundraiser every year and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so far for a cancer charity in each Grey Cup host city. Their annual Grey Cup event is one of THE places to be. This year’s event at the End Zone Bar and Grill in Hamilton was packed!

401713947 327227963274725 9072918068555828619 n

The Calgary Grey Cup Committee

People from Calgary have been stirring things up at the Grey Cup since 1948, when a group of Stampeders fans arrived in Toronto for the Grey Cup complete with a horse, and even today, there is this bizarre tradition of Calgary people trying to get a horse into the Grey Cup Hotel. I’m sure that will be happening in Hamilton this week.

But the Calgary folks also put on a fabulous free Pancake Breakfast – it’ll be in Hamilton on Friday and Saturday this week – and they also happily took part in various goofball unsanctioned Not the Grey Cup Parades that some of us would organize when the game was happening somewhere that didn’t have a parade. (See more below.)

Pancakes.jpg
The first Calgary Grey Cup Pancake Breakfast, in 1948

The Box J Boys

Named after the area they used to occupy at the former Ivor Wynne Stadium, this group of boisterous, kilted Ticat supporters have done a wonderful job organizing massive Ticat tailgates, and they always welcomed our Argo band warmly, recognizing that the true spirit of a rivalry is to say “Argos Suck, but thanks for coming.”

Box J Boys 2048x1536

The Spirit of Edmonton

Every year the biggest party at the Grey Cup is the Spirit of Edmonton, hosted by a powerful group of Elks fans who didn’t have much to cheer about this year, but who manage to create THE event of the festival. Their Saturday breakfast and its accompanying mysterious Sluice Juice is legendary – and their party hosts all the CFL cheer teams, bands and other acts, and it’s always THE place to be.

Spirit of Edmonton

A view of the Spirit of Edmonton Breakfast at the 2012 Grey Cup, moments before Argonotes took the floor.
(They told us once “You guys in Argonotes are just about the best act we have” but I promise that is not influencing my vote.)

The 620 CKRM Saskatchewan Roughrider Pep Band

Rider Band

And finally, my friends in the Rider pep band, who for 30 years have been travelling to the Grey Cup – at their own expense – and entertaining crowds everywhere they go, and who even take the time to visit public schools in the area to perform for the kids and show them that you can have fun making music with your friends your entire life.

Argonotes, of course, had a very friendly rivalry with these guys for the 22 years we were around, and we always enjoyed staging some mock Battle of the Bands thing during the Grey Cup, and then sitting down and enjoying lunch, or as we’d call it, the Annual CFL Pep Band Summit.

the 2012 CFL Pep Band Summit

Both of our groups at Joe Badali’s in 2012 after a memorable band battle.

Our band packed it in after 22 great years, but the Rider band keeps going, full of pep and vinegar, whether their team is in the game or not.

Here’s Global News’s report of the Not the Grey Cup Parade in 2007, featuring Argonotes, the Calgary Grey Cup Committee, the Saskatchewan band and a cast of hundreds of fans, all pumping up Toronto for the 95th Grey Cup in a proud volunteer way.

and more

I’m sure there are more. I’m sure there are plenty of people who work hard build the atmosphere in every CFL city, frequently as unpaid volunteers, and without them, the games wouldn’t be fun and frankly, nobody would go and the league would collapse.

Whaddya say, CFL, how about an occasional award to recognize these folks? You could name it after Paul Weiler, or Dal Richards, or both. It’s the Saskatchewan band’s 30th year. Time to honour them, I think, or any of the others who keep our great game going.

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, if you need people for the nominating committee, you know where to find me.

I had a blog in 2002? What?

Got an email from Google today that my old blog at xhayman.blogspot.com has had no activity since 2007, and the data will be permanently deleted soon.

This came as a mild surprise as I have no memory of all of setting up this blog, which had 4 exciting posts in it from 2002, but for the historical record, here’s what it looked like.

X Hayman Checks This Out

The blog entries themselves are very thrilling. Archiving them here so that when my great-grandchildren somehow discover THIS blog, they’ll also learn about the one I had, briefly, 21 years earlier.

my exciting blog from 2002

FRIDAY, AUGUST 02, 2002

So people just type their random thoughts whenever they like?
POSTED BY X AT 10:25 PM

And let’s publish this. [But wait I revised it]
POSTED BY X AT 10:22 PM

So I made beer can chicken for the 3rd time this week. Getting the hang of it. Figured out how to carve the chicken sort of semiprofessionally. My dad is still the king of carving.

POSTED BY X AT 10:21 PM

I’ve been reading blogs for so long, figured it was time to actually try making one.
POSTED BY X AT 10:20 PM

speaking of old content

In 2012, the CFL gave six fans the password to its tumblr account in order to produce a fan-built blog all about the 100th Grey Cup. I really oughta snag a copy of THAT too. You can still see it here –

https://greycup.tumblr.com

It’s probably not too hard to tell which of the posts were from me! Especially the first one!

GC100

The story of Go Argos Go – the Toronto Argonauts Fight Song

Sing along with the bouncing ball! (The lyrics start 30 seconds in to the above video.)

Words and music by Johnny Burt
From the 1968 album CFL Songs, by Dal Richards and his orchestra.

CFL Songs Album IMG 8761

Go, Toronto Argos, Go Go Go!
Pull Together, Fight the Foe Foe Foe!
Scoring touchdowns for the Blue on Blue
The Argos will win for you!

Full of fight and courage you can’t stop
They pile up the points until they reach the top!
Pull Together ’til the Grey Cup’s won!
Go Argos Go Toronto Go! (second time only)
Go Argos Go Go Go!

about this song

Here are some thoughts on “Go Toronto Argos Go Go Go”, inspired by a comment I read that called the fight song ‘ridiculous’ and questioned the lyric “fight the foe”.

  • It’s “Pull Together, Fight the Foe Foe Foe” because it has to rhyme with the previous line, which is “Go Toronto Argos Go Go Go”. 🙂
  • If we sang “Pull Together, Fight the Edmonton Elks” it would neither scan nor rhyme. 🙂
  • Yes, it’s an old-timey song, written by legendary Toronto tunesmith Johnny Burt and recorded by legendary Vancouver bandleader Dal Richards on his seminal 1968 album CFL Songs – but it’s also a link to a previous era.

I happen to know one of the quartet of singers from this album and I can really hear his voice when they play this song at the games. (I did a whole podcast episode about this 20 years ago, I’ll have to dig that up.)

Just like the slogan Pull Together, the Oxford and Cambridge Blue colour scheme, and even the name Argonauts, the ritual playing and (I hope) singing of this song reminds us of the long history this team has in Toronto and gives the franchise a sense of permanence, and (I also hope) gives the fans a sense of community.

Many teams have an ancient fight song that they still enjoy today.

Chicago Bears fans love singing Bear Down, Chicago Bears, which dates from the 1940s and was written in celebration of a 73-0 victory over Washington. It’s part of their identity. And they still sing it loud and proud.

Washington fans have their own tradition – Hail to the Commanders, which of course was written with a previous team name, but dates to 1937. It’s a great tune too.

And needless to say, every big time college football program features a memorable traditional song sung joyously by the crowd, dating WAY back. USC’s Fight On? 1922. On, Wisconsin? 1909. Notre Dame’s Victory March? 1905. Michigan’s The Victors? it’s from 1898.

The Argos even had an older song called Yea, Argos but sadly I have never come across a recording or even the sheet music.

So, what we have is Go Toronto Argos Go Go Go, and personally, I celebrate it and I’m thrilled when I see others singing and/or clapping along You don’t have to sing along, although I wish you would, but I hope you can cherish some of these links to the past.

There are plenty of other new fangled things – hey, how about that halftime drone show at the 150th Anniversary game? That was cool and unexpected! – but I’m happy we can still hold on to and encourage legendary artifacts like Go Argos Go as well.

Regards,
A Charter Member of the Go Argos Go Appreciation Society

PS. I was deeply honoured to meet the late Dal Richards, the long time BC Lions bandleader and the impresario behind the CFL Songs album, in Vancouver in 2014. He kindly autographed a copy of the album for me…
Dal Richards

… and in 2015 donated it to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, where it rightfully belongs.

HallOfFame

Outside the former downtown Hamilton location of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame; it’s since moved to Tim Hortons Field.

Donation
(with Hall of Fame manager Andrea Lane)

10 Toronto Argonauts Memorable Pregame or Halftime Shows

In honour of today’s 150th Birthday of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, and inspired by their amazing list of the Top 150 Moments in Argonauts History, I want to offer my own list.

I’ll update this post with pictures or videos if / when I can find them.

In the spirit of fun, and acknowledging how lucky I am to be a fan of this great franchise … I’ll leave it to you to decide whether these should be on a Top or Bottom 10 List

10 Toronto Argonauts Memorable Pregame or Halftime Shows, At Least Ones I Personally Can Remember

10 Divot replacement at BMO Field.

This is the default halftime show at BMO if nothing else is going on. We are lucky to have the only natural grass surface in the league, but it needs attention at halftime, and sometimes this is the only show we get.

Divot Replacement

9. Muhammad Ali.

Garth Drabinsky was hired to jazz up the halftime shows one year – having Tony Hawk do a skateboard show was pretty good even if we couldn’t see what he was doing inside the halfpipe, but I remember the biggest one.

The halftime show was essentially Ali coming out onto the field, getting mobbed by both the Argos and Ottawa Renegades, and everybody cheering, and for years this was memorialized with a banner at Skydome, alongside the Grey Cup banners. A banner to commemorate a particular halftime show. I never quite understood why that banner needed to be there.

8. Superdogs! Or regular dogs.

I actually love the dogs catching frisbees. This must be a cheap show to do but it’s worth every penny. Who doesn’t love dogs?

7. Cornell University Big Red Band.

Occasionally the team would import a US marching band. Cornell’s band played at halftime of the 1997 Eastern final, and then joined Argonotes for the 4th quarter and a performance outside after the game. I was lucky enough to conduct this massive Cornell + Argonotes band, and my one regret is that we only had about six extra music books for the 150 people in their band.

Actual quote from the Cornell band:

Also, thanks for everything last week. We had an amazing time playing in the Skydome and playing with the Argonotes during and after the game. People in the Cornell Band have said it was the best road trip they’ve been on (which means that it was better than parading down 5th avenue in New York City!).

6. Electric Drills.

Five contestants competed to see who could drive a 4″ Robertson screw into a 4×4 the fastest. If you are thinking “Could the fans even see what was going on?” then you are asking the right question.

5. Supermodels Kick Field Goals.

This was the personal idea of Argos owner Sherwood Schwarz. I was very excited to get a call from the team – “Mr. Schwarz wants the band on the field at halftime.” I was imagining all kinds of fabulous scenarios, but it turned out he wanted the band to play a little “Ta-da!” after each of the supermodels failed to successfully kick a field goal.

4. Inappropriate Metaphors

In 1995 the team set up a fun fair sort of thing outside Skydome, including a giant inflatable slide for the kids, which was a nice idea except the inflatable was a model of the Titanic hitting an iceberg and sinking, which was perhaps not the best message the Boatmen could offer during those dark years.

3. Anthems. Well, one guy in particular

You know, all things considered, I kind of admire the guy for doing what he wants, for self-producing films, for assembling a top-notch blues band, but in 2007, he sang “O Canada” to a chorus of boos, and wound up actually issuing a press release to apologize.

2. Ashley Takes Off.

I wish there was still video of this on Youtube but it’s gone dark. I’m still looking. You gotta see this.

Contestant Ashley was invited onto the field, blindfolded, and all she had to do to win a free trip from Noli Tours was to run 20 feet towards a banner. The crowd was supposed to yell to guide her in the right direction – but somehow she got turned around, and started running, still blindfolded, at full speed for about 80 yards in the wrong direction (as Faye the on-field host shouted “Ashley, STOP!” over the PA) and ultimately she crashed into one of the sideline barriers. Fortunately nobody was hurt and I hope they gave her the trip anyway.

1. Kick for a Million.

The best halftime show ever.

Contestant Brian Diesbourg attempts to kick a field goal from 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards for escalating prizes. He missed the first three and we all thought, wow, this is too bad, he’s not even going to win the TV set for a 20 yard kick.

And then this happened –

He won $1,000,000 – well, actually, $25,000/year for 40 years, and even though that was a little controversial. it was still an amazing show.

Bonus: Argos “players” join Argos Cheer

This was epic too, especially if you ever wondered what would happen if the dance team didn’t get off the field in time.

See also this awesome 2015 Argos Cheer Thriller routine that trapped one of the “players”

Standard CFL Arguments

The league announced that Green Day would be the halftime show for the 110th Grey Cup next month in Hamilton, and although the response was generally positive (and I think it’s a great choice), it reminded me that there are some evergreen CFL discussions that just won’t go away. I wanted to note these here for future reference.

The Standard CFL Arguments.

1. The Halftime Act.

The halftime act should be Canadian! Dozens of people would surely tune in to hear (obscure band from Flin Flon, or some other band that was popular 40 years ago and which would appeal to that coveted 65+ demographic, or some artist that it turns out has already played at the Grey Cup , etc)”

You know what, we’ve already had Justin Bieber, Gordon Lightfoot, Bachman/Turner, the Guess Who, Bryan Adams, the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Nickelback, Celine Dion and Shania Twain at the Grey Cup, so you don’t need to suggest those. Come up with some other suggestions. (Also for the record, Rush is no longer available.)

Incidentally the 78th Grey Cup featured “Esmeralda Colombian Dance Group, Mlada Srbadia Serbian Folk Dance Group, Joy of Movement Studiom Yuen’s Institute of Tae Kwon-do and the Hungarian Csardas Dancers of Vancouver”. Now THAT was a show.

I tend to feel that if the halftime act is a band that I, an old guy, actually like, it’s probably not exactly the right choice to attract new interest to the CFL.

2. CFL Expansion

The CFL should expand! Here, let me show my amazing geographic knowledge with a list of a dozen random cities.”

I have actually seen Churchill, Manitoba and Cornwall, Ontario offered as serious suggestions. Which kind of reminds me of Nate Silver’s infamous recommendation, based on counting up Google searches for the term “NHL”, that the NHL should consider to something called “Sudbury – Thunder Bay.” Never mind that those cities are an eleven hour drive apart. Let’s just name random cities.

3. Location and Time of Games

The right day, time and location for home games (which usually means “more convenient for me, personally”)

(Sometimes people say “If the Argos played at York, they’d attract lots of fans from north of the city”, which conveniently ignores that they’d probably lose even more fans who take Lakeshore trains to the games.)

Paul Woods noted that “it is surely a prerequisite that anyone who says “York” lives west of Thunder Bay and has never been to Toronto.”

4. Attendance Problems in Toronto

CFL attendance is a complicated problem, so here is a simple trivial solution that I can’t believe MLSE hasn’t tried”

Right, put up some billboards, blanket the newspapers with ads, why don’t they let people in for free, that’ll fix everything. Just ignore that, unlike every other CFL city, there are five other pro teams in town, and an NFL team just an hour away, and another couple of NFL teams just four hours away, and another entire CFL team just down the QEW.

My friend Cameron Hayglass added another –

5. Problems Unique to the CFL

only in the CFL!” (highlights problem routinely seen in at least one of NBA/NHL/MLB/NFL)

and I then also remembered to include

6. New Stadiums

Any observation about building a new stadium anywhere that does not include any indication of where the $200,000,000 is coming from.

And a problem in every league everywhere –

7. The Fix Is In.

The referees and the league obviously want team X to win“, say fans of team Y that just lost to team X.

Paris, 2009. Automating the Eiffel Tower

Here is something dumb and silly but I’m glad we did it. See video below.

In September, 2009 I was just finishing up a bit of a business boondoggle trip – presentations on iOS coding in London, Madrid, Berlin and Paris. (I hope it impressed my Dad that I gave a lecture at the Sorbonne.)

On the final night I went to a little sidewalk café with some colleagues.

It had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower. (Lots of places in Paris seem to have a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower. for instance this was the view from the office.)

View from Apple office

So anyway we’re at this cafe.

7:00 PM

One of my friends mentioned that the tower lit up once an hour. Sure enough, at 7:00 or so we noticed it flashing dramatically. That was pretty cool!

And we had some more wine.

8:00 PM

And at about 7:57 somebody said “I wonder if it lights up at Exactly 8:00 on the dot? Like, is it synchronized to an atomic clock or something?”

So we all looked at the clocks on our iPhones intently, and sure enough, at EXACTLY 8:00 on the dot, the light show began again. That’s cool!

More wine. maybe beer. I forget. But we must have had something because we were still there at

8:45 PM

We’re still there. we hatched a plan. I’d spent the week showing people how to build iOS apps. Sometimes I’d build a flashlight app, some dumb little thing where you’d tap the screen and a light came on. What if you had an app that turned on the Eiffel Tower lights? Maybe the tower has bluetooth. That’d be pretty cool. Wouldn’t that be hilarious? But how would you do it?

What if you just faked it? Would it be believable, or just stupid? Or maybe funny?

8:57 PM

The three of us are now standing outside. One guy is filming me. The other is holding up his iPhone where I can see it, displaying the time to the second.

8:58 PM

Ready? Let’s start filming. What have we got to lose? Quick, think of something to say.

8:59 PM

Showtime.

We tried the corresponding turn-the-lights-off stunt a minute later but messed up the timing.

14 years later I’m glad we did this silly thing. But I kind of wish I could have a do-over. I’d sell it better!