Patrick Lam

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Software Engineering Programme
University of Waterloo
email: patrick.lam@uwaterloo.ca (no unsolicited commercial email)
phone: use email instead!

Picture of Patrick Lam

Random Anecdote

Tree climbing

May 9, 2005

Climbing a tree

While taking a break from biking around the eastern tip of the Island of Montreal, Michael and I noticed that a Vietnamese family had managed to get a ball stuck in a tree.

The obvious thing to do, of course was to get the ball out of the tree. It's not like we had anything better to do. However, it was surprisingly difficult to get the ball out of the tree, since it was stuck between the branches.

We tried throwing rocks into the tree to dislodge the ball, but that didn't work at all.

The next thing to try was shaking the branch. Mike climbed the tree to shake the branch. (This wouldn't work either.)

But while this was going on, a City of Montreal trash-picking-up-person came by and got pretty upset that we were in the tree. She claimed to be concerned that we'd fall out of the tree and get hurt. I explained that if I fell out of the tree, it would be no one's fault but my own, so could she please go away? It's not like we're little kids or something; I was 8 years out of my teens at that point. (Maybe I shouldn't have shaved that day.) She did not seem very convinced by my brilliant arguments, but she did eventually go away.

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