We held the Periodic Geek Dinner at the Great Khan Mongolian Grill at the Pacific Mall last Friday, Sep 5.
In the leadup to this, Mike suggested a number of choices, and then proposed that we assemble at a Boston Pizza. Since we had been discussing the Mongolian Grill, or the Keg as possible dinner locations, I questioned this choice. This caused a long e-mail thread to propagate,and the end result was that the group decided on the Mongolian Grill, but the one at the Pacific Mall which up to this point I hadn't even known about, rather than the more familiar location on Don Mills Road.
Afterward, Mike admitted that he had provided an acceptable but not very good solution in order to force the group to decide on something better.
This is an interesting approach and could work just as easily on gathering business requirements from undecided users. I've been in this situation, on the receiving end. The users took everything that had been documented from the previous session, decided it wasn't adequate, and changed it. The only problem was that my users kept doing this in every subsequent session rather than finalizing on a solution.
As a group, we were much more effective this time in reaching a consensus.
Jill, Corwin, and I did some looking around in the mall before heading over to the restaurant. I took some pictures, but the photographic star of the evening was Mike's Nikon D60, the first DSLR that I've had an opportunity to get hands-on with. [Note - Mike says he got the camera and most of the associated gear used -- guess that means I need to check out Craigslist a lot more often.]
While I had come with the family, Mike, Aldo, and Glen had come by themselves. For Corwin, the high point of the arrangements was that Mark brought his son Benjamin. We had originally expected Dave and Marianna to be there as well, but (at least some of us) were sorry to hear that Dave was sick. Some of the rest of us were amused by the story of Dave being upset earlier that day. In a chat session, when told that Dave was sick and wouldn't make it that night, Mark had responded by saying, "Man, you suck! And you'd better be sick for the whole weekend!" We are nothing if not mutually supportive, but word was that Dave had been upset by the "you suck!" part. Those of us inclined to be that way giggled a bit when told this story.
The food was all right, since you can't really go wrong with the Mongolian Grill chain. The remaing photos from this point forward in this entry were taken with Mike's camera. The actual photographer would have been Mark, Aldo, or Mike (assuming anyone cares about photo credits).
Ben and Corwin, of course, ignored the crazy adults and did kid stuff. Mark describes this as a "DS induced zombie pic". Corwin was introduced to a DS game called Viva Pinata, based on the television cartoon.
The funniest part of the night occurred when we were discussing Vista, and its failings. In the discussion, Mike admitted to owning a machine that still ran Windows 2000. Aldo looked at him, and in a voice tinged with just the right amount of incredulity, said "Dude. That's ancient!"
OK, so it was geek humour, and ya had to be there. Anyway, for the record, I too still own a machine that runs Win2K. It keeps telling me that the hard drive is about to die, but (knock on wood) it hasn't done it for the last two years.
Our evening ended when the restaurant closed. Since it hadn't been too busy, they had kindly let us stay until closing time. A good gathering, lots of fun. We need to do it again, so that some people can demonstrate to some other people that they don't suck.