Working for Staples no longer


in Bombs and rockets, Daily updates, Writing

Fernando working on the NASCA report

Today, my tenure at Staples came to an end. It’s a thrilling turn of events because, with any luck, this will also be my departure from the whole world of entry level jobs. The next time when I have a space open for employment, I will have finished the first year of my degree at Oxford and (I think, I hope, I pray) will be able to get some kind of thinking job in the UK.

Immediately after work, I met with Fernando. First at Tim Horton’s, then at our favourite 24 hour produce shop (on Lonsdale), and finally at my parents’ kitchen table, we pushed the NASCA report forward to version 1-3 and created a new opening segment for it. Tonight and tomorrow, I will finalize the executive summary, while he will write a letter of introduction and produce a cover page. Then, we need only add some photos, tweak the formatting, combine the two sections without screwing up the separate pagination, submit the thing to Allen Sens so he can write an introductory letter, create distinct versions for print and for the web, print and post the thing, and relax. The great majority of the work – I estimate at least 100 hours of reading and writing on my part – is done.

All this was propelled forward tonight by one iced cappuccino of the size bigger than extra large and at least two litres of Earl Grey tea. The latter is strongly reminiscent of late nights in high school, when provincial exams were the most significant thing worrying me. I’ve only just realized how appropriate it was to spend the evening of September 11th writing a report about defence planning. I really appreciate all the hours that Fernando has put into helping me with this document – the only other member of the group who has made a large contribution to the writing or editing process.

I anticipate that Sens will take issue with sections of the report, but thankfully that can actually serve to help us. By saying: “I would never have thought this way, or said these things” he can underline the value, as least insofar as diversity of ideas goes, of having student expeditions like NASCA take place.

Tomorrow night, I am going to a restaurant on Main called Himalaya as part of Kerrie’s visit to Vancouver. I forgot to mention how yesterday, while walking through Fairview on our way to the law faculty, Meaghan and I ran into Kerrie and her husband Nolan beside The Beanery. Their presence definitely also contributed to the dispelling of my sense of Fairview primarily as a menacing place where my ex-roommates might be encountered.

I’ve been meaning for ages to write some appreciative and insightful comments about The Great Fire and I have been writing little notes to myself in my European poet style black lined notebook, but now is not the time for such things.

PS. Anyone who can give me a correct French translation of the following will have my thanks:

The North American Security Cooperation Assessment (NASCA) 2005 Student Tour was made possible through the generous support of the Security Defence Forum Special Projects Fund of the Canadian Department of National Defence. 

Apparently, a single French paragraph is enough to make the report bilingual enough to suit the government. It says something about the state of my intellectual decay that I am not confident about my own attempt to translate the above – confounded by uncertainties about the proper usage of the partitive article.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan September 12, 2005 at 9:18 am

Two quick secondary comments:

1) For years, I have been following the practice of using the levels tool in Photoshop to make images look better. I’ve been doing this with no understanding whatsoever of what levels were or what moving the sliders around did, beyond what I could see and remember. Thanks to this article (, read furtively a work, I’ve been able to back up the practical knowledge I got from Neal with the slightest sense of what I was actually doing. Particularly given the apparent usefulness of the histogram on my A510 for determining correct exposure (Is it a luminance or RGB histogram? Anyone? B?), this seems like a good step.

2) As I told Jessica tonight: “1) Take cheap cell phone 2) Duct tape iPod shuffle to cell phone 3) result=better than ROKR.” Steve Jobs, you have let us all down. I mean, if it can’t even download songs off of the cellular network, what could the point of the thing possibly be?

Zandara September 12, 2005 at 9:49 am

My apologies for the lack of capitalization; here is the translated sentence:

le tour des étudiants pour évaluer la sécurité cooperative nord americain était possible grâce a les donations
et le support donné généreusement aux étudiants par le ministère de la défense nationale.

B September 12, 2005 at 10:10 am

It’s definitely a luminance histogram – just like for the 10D.

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