I was on vacation when our two newest employees arrived last week. Before approaching them for biographical details, I asked Marie-Louise to tell me which was which.

"Cody is the shorter one. Jeremy is taller with..." She mimed a crest projecting from the top of her skull.

"A pointy head?" I asked.

"Pointy hair," she clarified.

Pointy-haired Jeremy Thiessen is a recent graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. He spent the last few summers working at a local company that manufactures salt blocks for livestock. Among other blue-collar assignments, he got to drive a forklift, which he enjoyed.

Apart from the forklift, Jeremy's proudest professional achievement so far is the self-charging robot he built for a third-year engineering class. The robot had a name, but he claims to have forgotten it.

Jeremy is "a bit of a comic geek". He says his favourite superhero is the Martian Manhunter. Bonus points for obscurity, new guy.

Round-headed Cody Kurz has a pretty robust web presence. Before setting eyes on him, I did some Googling and discovered that Cody

A) plays upright bass in a swing band called Jump Me Martha,
B) has two credits in the Internet Movie Database (though it turns out only one of them is legit), and
C) was profiled in a 2007 Edmonton Journal article about polyphasic sleeping.

Any one of those facts would make for a pretty good blog post. But my space is limited so I'll just mention that Cody is another U of S computer science grad. He's handy with hardware and has spent a lot of time working in server rooms - a handy location, it turns out, for polyphasic naps, where one can drift off to the hum of server fans. Cody's back on a regular sleep schedule for now.


As welcome as they are, Cody's upright bass and Jeremy's upright hair can't fully compensate for the departure last week of two VendAsta stalwarts - Dave and Chris. Good luck, guys. We'll miss you.


Chris in formalwear.

Dave with high-tech tools.

Correction. Allan wishes me to clarify that Chris is not in fact "departing" VendAsta, as he'll continue to work with us remotely from his new home in Toronto. That's good, of course, but it's not quite the same as having him around.