Before breakfast, I hit Facebook to check for messages from my next host and was greeted with this:
Richard and I had breakfast at Chez Cora’s whose definition of “mountain of fruit” should be “a diminutive hillock of fruit” which topped a bullet-stopping crepe and an acceptable waffle. The servers here fulfilled the notional requirement of speaking French but the conversation was refreshingly gauche as two servers talked about whether Metalocalypse would end before its time as Squidbillies had.
I left Montreal and learned that my GPS receiver for my laptop had broken in such a way that it only functioned while upside down. After mastering this oddity, I drove towards Vermont via back routes through farmland until the road magically turned into a border crossing. Only one lane was open which made the traffic move slowly but the crossing was very straight forward.
Guard: Did you bring anything back from Canada?
Me: A shirt with a beaver on it that says “Dam It”.
Guard: *chuckle* Welcome back.
Being back on crappy American roads with MPH speed limits, free McWifi, and gas prices which didn’t require a second mortgage was again nice. My target was Waltham, Massachusetts to meet Steve McGrail/Vulture and Anthony Marquette/Scram Chops and the first meeting place I was given was for an address that didn’t exist. I shot Steve a text message and then a call to find that I should wait at the Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts of which there were two sites on the street. Two hooligans and I readied myself for fisticuffsmanship but they turned out to be the people I was to meet.
We got dinner at a sandwich shop that made “Philadelphia cheese steaks” and did an interesting interpretation of such. The sandwiches had julienned beef and a generous portion of cheese which covered the mouth but didn’t have the amount of tongue contact on the beef that I think makes an exceptional sandwich. The texture difference and the change in the feel of descending foodwad was novel and I think could be a presentable alternative to the normal shredding style that marks the normal Philadelphia-style cheese steak.
Steve is a design student of the Digital Arts center at which Anthony works and I wanted to see his portfolio but we had two hours to kill until the classes cleared out. Anthony and Steve are both of the opinion that while there are some talented 3D artists, much of the art is brute-force mastery that Anthony thought still had a way to go before creating a photo-realistic depiction of human interaction. The claim he made, that may be entirely accurate, is that to make a two minute video of two people talking with body-language indistinguishable from normal human movement would take a single person five years. Again, neat topics and neat people conspired to whittle away the available time and I got to see some of his rendering work that he has on his Facebook page. During this time, we met up with Anthony’s girlfriend who is an Adobe Lightroom ninja. I giggled on like a fool as she showed me a pile of tips which after an hour I felt I like I owed her money, she’s a teacher there as well but the idea of a softitute” seems novel.
We moved to a local bar and shared kindergarten jokes until I had to start making my way home. Just before I left, Steve received the text message I had sent him six hours ago. These would be the last team members I’d see on my loop and they were fine ones to have as a capstone.