Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holidaze

I officially know when I have entered holiday mode when I can no longer remember what day of the week it is.

It's that feeling from when you were a kid on summer vacation. From the end of June to the end of August, you really had no concept of time. The days just blurred together in an seemingly unending stream of diversions, only interrupted by the arrival of the first back-to-school ads.

I've got that feeling back this week and I'm hoping to keep it for at least the next two weeks.

Thank goodness they don't make back to work ads.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Year's resolutions

With the new year rapidly approaching, I've been giving some thought to new year's resolutions.
Usually, I'm not a big subscriber to them. I have an easy time coming up with resolutions for other people, but not so much with myself (if you're looking for one, just let me know - I'll hook you up). At least - I have a hard time keeping to new year's resolutions. It becomes kind of a game you play - how long will I actually remember this bit of self-enlightenment? February if I'm lucky?

Maybe I'll go back to a phrase for the year.

Some past pearls of wisdom have included 'The grass is not greener', and 'Live' (said with one fist raised in the air). Both were quite effective.

So what should 2008's phrase be?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times...

As much as I love christmas and giving presents, I hate christmas shopping for them.

Of course, I have no one to blame but myself for leaving it this late.

The malls are filled with packs of ravenous shoppers, shouldering each other aside, filling the air with christmas cheer and cursing. The reason people are so happy to be at home with their families is because even the craziest family dynamic is a breeze compared to the malls.
I think I've got three presents left to buy - I'm going to try and make a series of surgical strikes over my lunch hours this week - and pray that I'm done before the weekend.

If you see me out shopping on the last weekend before christmas with the grumpy masses, you'll know I've failed.

Stupid monkeys...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gangsta Diva

Quirky fact of the day:

Did you know that Celine Dion was big amongst Jamaican gangsta culture?
http://www.amazon.ca/Celine-Dions-Lets-Talk-About/dp/082642788X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197697646&sr=1-1
Apparently at the end of the night the clubs there the DJs will start spinning some Celine and they all take out their guns and start shooting into the air - not cause they hate it or anything, but cause they're totally into it. Apparently you have to be a lover and a fighter down there.

So what does this mean? Is this one of the seven signs of the apocalypse?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rituals

Ah Christmas time - time for my usual christmas rituals - things I like to do every year during the holidays. I'm not sure why, but mine all seem to revolve around TV.
I like to watch the Grinch, the Charlie Brown christmas special, and that old Bing Crosby movie Holiday Inn.
We used to do a christmas ski trip every year, but that's fallen by the wayside. For a few years we walked Candy Cane lane - but that was back when we lived only a couple blocks from it.
I guess I also have my usual round of christmas visits I do on christmas day. Ok, phew - I thought all my rituals involved sitting on my ass in front of the TV. See - I do get out of the house...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Refund please

Have you ever been to a movie so bad, so incredibly stupid - that you've actually walked out on it? What happens if it's a stupid dream? How do you walk out on that?
I had a dream where I was back working at my old job. Managing at some crummy retail store. And I was reciting the corporate line - trying to convince the other employees what a great place to work it was. Trying to get them to drink the corporate cool-aid, as it were.
What a crappy waste of a dream that was.
There's an hour of unconsciousness I'll never get back.
I think there's only ever been one actual movie that I've walked out on. Madonna's first movie. What the hell was it called? Desperately Seeking Susan? Don't ask what prompted two teenage boys to go see that - maybe it was the vague hope that she'd get naked. Add that to the list of disappointments about that movie.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas shopping

Don't start! It's only December 6th - waaaaay too early to start your christmas shopping yet.
Trust me.
I didn't take my own advice and look what it's got me. Now there's something better that I want to buy for someone I've already bought something for. Now they get two presents.
Ok - sure, this strategy works for those who are receiving the presents, but as for me - the giver of the presents - it raises the stress level.
That's why I wait till the last possible moment to go out and finish the old christmas shopping - that way all of my options are in front of me. There's no waiting for that new book or new gadget to come in next week. You have to buy that present now!
Actually - now that I think about it - if everyone followed my strategy, the stores might get a little busy when I make my trip so cancel that. The rest of you please resume your regularly scheduled shopping.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Music and me

Just listening to some old songs on my iTunes.
I find it interesting how - depending on your state of mind - you can extract different things from the lyrics of a song. If you're feeling down and out, every sad lyric applies to your life. If you're mad, you rage with every injustice that is sung about. If you're in love, every romantic line is something you'd say to your girl.

My line of the week (at least this week) comes from an old Cracker song...

"I don't know what the world may need but I'm sure as hell that it starts with me, and that's a wisdom I'd laughed at.''

I have no idea what that means about my mood but hey...it's still a good song regardless.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The guitar hero factor

Have you noticed that ever since the Guitar Hero games have become popular the playlists on local radio stations have subtly changed to include most of the songs that you can play in the game?
Not that I'm complaining...it's kind of funny - songs that I would never listen to I actually find myself enjoying now that I've 'played' them. Please - no guff from real musicians out there. Guitar Hero (and soon to be Rock Band) are about as far as my musical talents extend.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dirty Cheese Lickers!

Some blog titles just write themselves.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1847441289

First off - this is another example of why british bookstores are vastly superior to our own.
Why is this not available at amazon.ca? Is there such a big difference between british and canadian humour?

Second off - who doesn't have a good housemate story?

I can't tell you how glad I am that when I go home now, I can be reasonably sure that everything that was in the fridge in the morning will be there in the evening.
Plus not having to play the 'how high can I stack the dirty dishes' game.
Have I mentioned that I love my new place?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Memories

Why is it that you can't choose what you want to remember? I have an innate talent for remembering useless Simpsons quotes, for example - but I can walk to the other side of the office and forget what I was going over there for.

Take reading. Read a book - five minutes later, you don't remember the words you've just read. Sure - you might have a general idea - you might have the gist of what was written (unless of course you've got a test on it - in which case it all seems to evaporate to somewhere) - but the specifics are gone.

How about this blog? What was the second sentence I wrote? (no looking!). Already it's probably gone. You had that knowledge, but somehow your brain decided it was unimportant - chucked it in some dusty corner and shut the door.

Stupid brain...I think I'm going to go back to killing you with alcohol.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sssshhhhh - Cookie was right

Don't tell my friend Cookie - but...I think she might have been right about something.

I'm just contemplating starting my christmas shopping and got to thinking about Cookie's last rant. (http://titacookie.blogspot.com/2007/11/cant-buy-me-love.html)
Why do people give gift certificates as presents? I mean - I give you $50 you can spend at this store and you give me $50 I can spend at some other store. What's the point? That's it - this christmas will be a gift certificate free zone!
Some of my family is harder to shop for than others, but damn it - if I can't think of something to get them, I'm just going to give them something I want and assume they have the same taste as me.

This is just going straight to Cookie's head, though - I'm going to have to find 3 or 4 other things that she's wrong about...

Friday, November 23, 2007

I've been playing my game this week - Mass Effect.

It's pretty cool to go into a store and see it actually there for sale. 3 years of work by 150 people encapsulated in one little package.
What's a good sign is that I'm playing it at all. It's the first game of ours that I've actually played after it's been released. Usually I'm so sick of a game after playing it continuously for the last month of production that I don't even break the cellophane on my own copy when I get it. But for whatever reason, I'm still finding the fun in ME. (the main reason is that it's a freaking awesome game!)
Hopefully we get some good sales from those turkey-eating americans this weekend and we'll all have some nice big bonus checks coming next year.

Happy thanksgiving my american brothers - now put down that drumstick and get down to the store.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The planets are in alignment

What is going on lately?

I have this theory that there are maybe a dozen women who will really stand out in your life. Being a guy, I can't say if this theory holds true in reverse if you're a woman, but anyway...
I'm not just talking about a beautiful woman you spot at random or something, I'm talking about women who actually touch your life in some way. Someone who if you spotted them in a crowd years later - they would stand out as if they were the only one in the room. Someone who immediately sucks you in - mind and body.
I have no idea why - but over the last month - I've bumped into/hung out with 4 of the women that have this effect on my life - some of whom I haven't seen in years. One of them is getting married, one is dating someone. The others are fresh out of relationships and just trying to figure out life again. All of them make my heart ache when I see them. Needless to say, it's been kind of a surreal month.
So why is the universe doing this to me? Is there some message I'm supposed to be getting. Is karma paying me back or something?
That's my goal for the rest of the year - to figure out what it is that is going on and what I can do about it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's rare that I'm thankful for our own politicians, but it's stories like this that remind me that we could have it worse....much much worse.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071116/mugabe_rocks_071116/20071116?hub=TopStories

That is unless you happen to be a witch doctor...

Friday, November 16, 2007

A pox on the late left turners

Being from Edmonton, I'm used to bad drivers. But lately, one thing has really been pissing me off. People who run a red light to turn left.

Sure, maybe one guy - who is already sitting in the intersection is fine to turn left, but when two or three drivers after him go through as well, my roge starts to come out. (Roge is my friend Alex's term for road rage - patent pending)

Seriously though - WTF! Those 2 or 3 dum-dums interrupt the left turn signal for people coming through the other way so that maybe only half the cars that should get to use the left turn signal - thus increasing everyone's roge. (dum-dums is my term for fucking idiots - patent pending)

Every time it happens, I curse the fact that my car doesn't have any vehicular mounted weaponry.

Power of the blog

As an addendum - it seems that Singapore has caved in.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/STIStory_177468.html

Of course, I'm sure I can take at least some of the credit for making them see the error of their ways. Power to the Bloggers!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Unexpected pleasures

Unexpected pleasures are the best ones.
Like going to see a band you've never heard before and seeing a fantastic show.
I went to see Travis last night and had just such an experience.
It always makes me wonder what else is out there that I'm missing out on.





Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pissing off Singapore

Apparantly we've angered a whole nation with our shocking new game...

http://gamepolitics.com/2007/11/14/report-singapore-bans-mass-effect-over-lesbian-love-scene/

I've never had a whole country mad at me before. Significant parts of one, sure - but the whole thing? It's a new experience.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Sound of Silence

How many people are you comfortable sharing silence with?

I got thinking about this yesterday at the remembrance day service. A large crowd of people (much larger that usual which was nice to see, by the way) standing together in silence.

Single people must be more used to spending time in silence - being by themselves so much. The problem that you come to is that silence is never silent. There is always some noise in the background that sucks your concentration to it. Even your very thoughts become louder. Maybe hearing those thoughts is what some find uncomfortable and need to drown out - with the TV, or radio or iPod or whatever.

Have you ever been in a sporting event where you lost badly - or maybe you've had a fight with the person you're dating? And then the long car ride home. No one wants to speak. The silence is like another person - an angry person who doesn't want to be disturbed. You're even afraid to blink, thinking that the sound of your eyelids would be too loud.

Ever heard of John Cage? He was a composer who wrote a piece of music called 4' 33'' - A piece consisting of a pianist not playing anything - just sitting in silence. I'm sure much of the audience hearing it would not have known how to take it. Was it music? Was it avant-garde art taken too far? What would you have heard if you had been in that theatre?

http://www.classicalnotes.net/columns/silence.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4%2733%22


If you ever find someone that you can share silence with comfortably - you know you've found someone rare.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Brain = cool

Have you ever woken yourself up from a dream?
This month - I seem to be dreaming a lot - or at least I seem to be remembering the dreams I'm having.
I had one where a large spider was dropping towards my head. I remember telling myself to 'wake up' and jerking my head up and away. I did that three times and the weird part was that I was still in the dream, but I could also feel myself actually moving my head. Then I woke up and I was half sitting up, trying to jerk my head up and away. It didn't even take me a minute to realize that I had been dreaming - I had already figured that out while I was still asleep.
Some days, dreams really do fascinate me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Two for the price of one

Lately, it seems that I've seen a lot of bands that have two drummers. I'm not sure what started this trend, but I've decided I kind of like it. There's something about a good drum beat that appeals to my primal side.

I remember being at a club in Vegas and they had two live drummers keeping up with the beat of the DJ's music. I'm not a big club guy, but that was pretty cool. What are those Japanese drummers called? You see them down at heritage days every year - also very cool.

That's it - I know my calling in life now...Who needs Guitar Hero - when Rock Band comes out, I'm all over the drum part.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yay for us!

The Mass Effect release party was last night and a great chance it was to meet up with everyone away from the office. I am always amazed when I step back and look at the number of really nice (and incredibly talented) people I work with. Makes me remember another reason why I don't want to work anyplace else.

Mass hits the shelves on November 20th - and as positive as everyone is about the game, I still get some butterflies in my stomach when I think about it. Will people see the little faults I do? Will people like the characters and the story? Will people buy it (and buy lots of it)?

I almost want to go down to the game store on the 20th and just spy on people and see what happens. Openning night is almost here...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Most favorite time of the year

Today is my favorite day of the year - extra hour day!

But the question is - is it better to set your clock back the night before, or is it better to wake up in the morning and realize that your clock is wrong and that you actually have an extra hour of sleep to go?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Good things come to those who wait

Are you a good things first or good things last kind of person?

Like when you get the paper - do you save your favorite section to read last or do you pull it out and devour it straight away? Or with your favorite food - do you eat everything else on your plate first or do you dive in and eat the good stuff first?

Me - I always try to save the best for last. Sure I rush through the rest of it just to get to my favorite, but then... the pure delight as you slowly relish what you are consuming - either with your eyes or your mouth or your ears. There's something to be said for getting all distractions out of the way and then concentrating on pure enjoyment.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ghosts and Goblins...best of

A couple of selections from our costume contest - there were lots of good ones this year.
Not sure who won yet (and the one I voted for I haven't even put on here - that's how many good ones there were)


Every Halloween needs a ghost

And something from ghost busters



The Mask of Vulcan (from that old Hercules cartoon)



The obligatory cross-dresser




Skeletor



Not to be confused with the Mask



SNLs ambiguously gay duo




what a blockhead



a pretty good Bruce Lee



Anyone else see some good halloween costumes this year?
































Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ghosts and Goblins

This is the first year in ages that I haven't handed out candy for Halloween.
Kind of makes me sad.
I miss the days of running around the neighbourhood with a small bucket - hurrying back home to empty it when it was full and running out again - cursing all of those older smarter kids who were carrying around pillow cases. We'd come home and dump everything into a big pile in the middle of our living room. My parents would 'sort' out the ones we were allowed to have - and I'm sure sample a few themselves. But most of the loot would be saved for the next day at school where you could compare your haul with the rest of your friends.

At least there were a lot of people dressed up around work today (and there even was a little parade of kids between offices too).

Happy Halloween everyone...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Songs on repeat

How often do you get a particular song stuck in your head?

I saw this wonderful movie when I was over in London - 'Once'. Basically, it's about an irish street musician who falls for the right girl at the wrong time - a topic I know absolutely nothing about...
Anyway - the whole movie is filled with fantastic, passionate music - the main actor is the lead singer of the Frames and does an amazing job. I love finding little movies like this - ones that you know nothing about going in, but that captivate you from the first shot till the final credits.
Hopefully it'll be out in Canada eventually...

So I guess it could be worse - I could have some shitty song rattling around up there.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our Small World

Back from London and it was spectacular.

It got me to thinking about how much travel can influence people - broaden their horizons - expose them to new cultures and new ideas. I've lived a pretty privileged life. My parents dragged me around the world on their own travels when I was young, so I was exposed to some pretty cool things. I think that's why I have this lifelong love of exploring.

So what I'm thinking...is that unlike a lot of other countries that have a year of compulsory military service when you turn 18, Canada should force kids to travel. Here's your ticket and your passport. Get out of the country and don't come back for 6 months or a year or something. Why not give them $5000 or something at the same time - think of it as a reward for finishing high school.

Of course, maybe we don't want a pack of teenagers spreading Canada's reputation overseas. What if we say when you hit 21? Hmmm - I've seen a lot of obnoxious 20 year-olds. Ok - 25 for sure. By 25 you've got your shit together, you're ready to be bohemian and see some other cultures.

Nah - 25 is too late - I'm going back to 18. Why not a compulsory SWAP program (student work abroad program). Make the little buggers work somewhere overseas. I like that. You finish high school, you come in to a room, they spin a globe and stick a pin in and then some councillor sets you up with a job somewhere far away. Tell me how many parents would love that? Get those kids out of the house right away - get them to work - get them out of their comfort zones.

When I'm in charge around here - that's now on my list of things to do.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hitting the road

London town on Wednesday!

It's been 10 years since I took a road trip by myself. And well that one lasted a year and this road trip is only for a week, I have a lot of the same feelings about going.
10 years ago I had no idea where my life was going - professionally or personally. I needed to separate myself physically from everything that I knew.
Sometimes - you need to be removed from where your problems are so that there's nothing you can 'do' - no actions you can take. I believe that with that physical separation comes mental clarity.

So what am I hoping to 'clarify' this time? Maybe this is more of a state-of-the-union trip. A chance to reflect on life as I've known it. All I can say right now is, 'bring on the road'.

See you in a week...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quotes week continues

Not sure what is up with my quote fetish this week - I think I'm looking for inspiration.
Here's today's recycled wisdom.


"Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality."
Henry Moore

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More quotes

"Life is like a movie and the moment you realize you are an actor and not the director is the moment you've grown up."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blasts from the past

I came across an old journal of mine from when I was living in Oxford about 10 years ago.
It made for an entertaining read. Funny how so many themes in my life seem to repeat themselves.
It's interesting to consider what advice I'd give young Keith if I could talk to him. He seems so unsure of his place in the world - where his life should be going, what he should be doing. I guess I'd tell him that he has quite a few interesting times ahead of him and maybe not to worry so much. Life is about the journey and no one's life takes place on a paved highway - they are all country roads - dirty and bumpy and never really going in a straight line.

And really, aren't those roads the most interesting to travel?


I found an old Steven King quote in that journal that I still like today.

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out.
But it's more than that, isn't it?
The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it.
That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.

Friday, October 5, 2007

All good things must end...

It's the last official day of vacation.
It does not feel like two weeks has gone by already. Where did the time go?

I'm pretty sure Isaac Newton came up with his first law after a vacation: An object at rest tends to stay at rest.

Monday (make that Tuesday - it's a long weekend), is gonna come around WAY too fast.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gravity is a harsh mistress

After hearing lots of stories about prima donna actors it was nice to discover that Patrick Warburton is a genuinely nice guy.


We went to see his movie The Civilization of Maxell Bright last night, and had a chance to chat with the actors at the post movie party. Patrick was very excited about showing the movie here and seemed quite interested and appreciative of our comments about the movie - of course, leave it to Mich to ask about the nude scene.


Now if only someone would make a second season of The Tick.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Spoooon!

The Tick is in town tonight...er...I mean Patrick Warburton. You may know him better as Puddy in Seinfeld, but to me, his one glorious season as the live action version of the Tick was the pinnacle of his career (and I'm sure he'll want me to let him know that tonight.

He's in town for his new movie which has its Canadian premiere here at the Edmonton International Film Festival. I'm not sure why, but I've never really payed attention to this festival before - even though it's been around for 20 years.

What the heck have I been doing?

Anyway - oversight corrected. Saw a great little film yesterday called Kenny - an Australian piece that follows a port-o-potty maintenance guy around various events. Really a great little film (and more about poo than you probably will ever need to know). If it ever shows up on DVD - rent it!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Relaxathon...part deux

Vacation week two starts today.

So far so good, I've been just as lazy as week one. But can it last?
Is it possible to continue to be this lazy? Seems unlikely. I was pretty lazy last week.
But I refuse to feel bad about it at all. I was pretty exhausted and a week of nothing was just what the doctor ordered.

This next week is going to be more about having fun. I feel like I've got my energy back. It's probably time to go reintroduce myself to society. It's been a while. They've probably forgotten all about me. It's almost like a first date again.

The first step is to get out of here and go enjoy what's left of the day. Now what do you bring society on a first date?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Relaxathon

The best plan I had for vacation was to do absolutely nothing for the first week. I've fought off the temptation to do anything productive (almost...) and have just been kicking back and relaxing.

It's just nice to feel exhausted and know that I can just give in to that and do next to nothing.

Next week is the week to get more adventurous.



In the meantime, I'm loving my new camera...





Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Vacation Time

I'm on vacation-time these days and lovin it!

Pretty much every serious task I had to accomplish today has been subverted.
Today turned into new camera day - so I'm spending the day trying to figure out all the buttons.
Between that and Halo 3 - I don't see anything else getting taken off my to-do list in the short-term. Those people can get their condo fees some other day.

Did I mention that I love vacation!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Vacation frame of mind

Day 2 of my vacation and I'm already not sure what day it is.
It's kind of like summer vacation when you're a kid - the days of the week lose their meaning and you just enjoy yourself.
Until you see the first of the back to school ads - boy did those suck.
Thank goodness there's no back to work ads.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fortune Fraud

I got jipped by the cookie yesterday.

I always look forward to the fortune cookie at the end of my mongolie grill meal. Yesterday though, I got the exact same fortune as my friend. How could two people's future's be so intertwined? That would be unpossible! I felt that my future had in some way been cheapened. It was like discovering santa claus isn't real.

Damn you fortune cookie!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stories

When you boil it right down, I work for a company that tells stories.

Now personally, I think that's just plain cool. And scary at the same time. Apparently it takes 150 people 3 years to tell a story these days.

They say that every story has already been told. Everything is just some variation of an archetype that has already been written. I guess that explains all the crap that comes out of Holywood these days.

I got to thinking the other night about how story telling might have started. Were stories told before there was even language? Were grunts and gestures used to pass along knowledge of a successful hunt, for instance? When did people start using their imagination? Where did these archetypes come from?

As I've said before, I really need a switch to turn off my brain some nights.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Graduation day

I'm off to my new project today (whenever they eventually get around to moving me upstairs).
It kind of feels like the last day of school/first day of school combined.
On the one hand, it feels sad to be leaving all of the friends I've worked with the for the last couple years. We've shared all the laughs and frustrations and rewards of being on a huge project like Mass Effect. We've all bonded through the shared pain and pressures of crunch these last months.

I feel like I should be getting them to sign my yearbook or something.

On the other hand, I'm excited to be starting a new project, with new challenges and new people to get to know. A chance to start out fresh again. A chance to once again be early enough in a project to effect change. A chance to be revitalized by new outlets for creativity - not be forced to compromise due to deadlines or any of the myriad other reasons that affect decisions when making games.

I hope the kids in my new office will be friends with me.
At least I have a new set of crayolas.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Last Weekend of Summer

It's the last full weekend of summer and time to head up to Floating Stone and close down the cottage.

I didn't get up to use it as much as I'd hoped this summer, but at least we're still getting in our last gasp annual work trip. A little bit of drinking and games makes for a nice relaxing weekend away from the cares of the city.



I think my moratorium on drinking may have to wait till next week to officially start.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feels like Fall

Brrrrr. It feels like fall out there today.

Its that time of year to dig through my clothes closet again, shove all of those summer shorts and shirts to the back and bring forth all of my winter gear.

It's these first couple weeks of fall when I am most disorganized. I have the right hand from three different pairs of gloves, 1 old toque and several unmatched wool socks. God only knows where I stuck my winter jacket.

I think I need a better system come next year other than shouting 'woohoo' and running out into the spring sunshine leaving a trail of winter items in my wake.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Years Need

So now that the project is wrapping up - my thoughts turn to holidays.

I'm thinking a quick little England trip in October to go see a soccer game (with maybe a little jaunt over to Dublin thrown in), but what I really need is a good new year's eve plan.
Where would be cool to go to for New Year's?

New York? Las Vegas? Dublin? Cuba? Australia?
Maybe somewhere as close as Vancouver...although somewhere warm really does sound appealing since I've missed out on most of this summer?)

Who has a cool new year's suggestion for me?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Genetic Modification

I've decided I need to go in for some kind of gene therapy modification or something.

My brain needs an off-switch.

It's midnight - I'm lying in bed. The body is tired, but the mind is wired. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some simple off-switch you could hit. But noooo - I have to lie there for an hour while all those stupid neurons continue to fire. Stupid brain.
I must try harder to destroy you with alcohol.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I need a new camera


Went to Crowded House on Thursday. What a fantastic show! Those guys have aged pretty well and so has their music. You can tell when musicians are having fun on stage from their banter - both with themselves and the audience. Mr. Finn was in fine form, I can tell you.


I've decided I need a better camera in the future, though. A lot of my camera shots were a little on the blurry side - but it did get better when we went up stage-side for the encore.


Thanks to Cookie for coming along - nice to share the evening with someone who's as passionate about music as I am.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Internet - is there anything you don't know?

Speaking of school...one of the things I realize about my university days is that the knowledge I retained from those days often has very little to do with the classes I went to, but was more likely to be random tidbits of information that I found interesting.

And this was before the days of the internet. The amount of random interesting bits of knowledge available to the average internet user these days is staggering. There really is no excuse not to be learning something new every day (but it must be said that one must always consider the source - just because it's on the Wikipedia doesn't always make it 100% true).

Anyways - the most interesting thing I've come across recently is this.

http://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Geronimo/GerStory.pdf

The 1906 biography of Geronimo - as told by him to the superintendant of education while he was in a military reservation near the end of his life. It's quite a fascinating read and a perspective of history that probably not a lot of people have been exposed to.

Thanks internet!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

First day of school

Yesterday was the first day of the school year.

Wow - what a difference that makes. Suddenly the roads are packed - the drive to work takes 10 minutes longer.

Since I moved I have a nice scenic route through some quiet residential neighbourhoods on my way across the river. Not so quiet any more. Wall to wall cars as parents drop their kids off at school. What ever happened to walking (or biking) to school.

It was kind of cute seeing some of the little kids clutching their parents hands as they went for their first day of class. I remember that very first day being pretty scary - but after that, it became a pretty fun day. You get to see all the friends you haven't seen all summer, find out what they got up to. Start getting into trouble at recess again.

That's what you miss out on when you get a job in the real world - that first day of school feeling.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Workmares revisited

The last couple nights, I've discovered a new type of workmare (a dream related to work, in case you were unaware).

I'm not just dreaming about being at work, or people I work with - but now I'm dreaming about being inside my work. Last night I was actually in a videogame. Sounds like fun you say? Apparently you don't know our video games - they involve a lot of shooting and stuff. Great fun when you're doing the shooting. Not so much when you are being shot at.

I'm taking this as another sign that I've been working too much this summer.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fire makes it good

I was playing Bioshock the other day (a new xbox game that's been getting good reviews) and I must confess that one of the things I quite like are the ambient scenes when they have someone do the old run-flaming-into-a-room-and-then-collapse stunt.

What is it about fire that ups the fun factor of anything by 12?

Juggling? Any dum dum can juggle bowling pins, but you light those bowling pins on fire and I'll watch.
Car crashes? Who doesn't watch Nascar for the car crashes - but hey - one of those wrecks catches on fire and you've got compelling television.
Camping? Sure it's great getting outdoors and all, but until you have a campfire - it's just missing something.
Homework? Who hasn't used the excuse that their homework accidentally burned up?

My suggestion to you for the rest of the week - see where you can add fire to your own life...I guarantee a 12 point increase in the amount of fun you have.



NOTE: This blog cannot be held liable for any related damage that may occur when adding fire to anything

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hello? Summer? You still out there?

As I emerge blinking into the unfamiliar sunshine, after being cooped up for the last six months, I find myself unsure of what to do. Like someone sticking their foot in an icy stream and then pulling it out in shock. What does one do when you have time for a life? It's been so long I hardly remember.

Fringe just ended last weekend - a sure sign that summer in Edmonton is nearly done and fall is on the way. The labour day football games are next week. I've just skipped an entire season.

I guess that's ok, though. I've always liked autumn. Nice and cool in the mornings, still warm enough in the afternoons to get outside and enjoy it - and then cool enough in the evenings to bring out some heavier clothes that have been pushed to the back of the closet for the summer.

The river valley is beautiful (for the two weeks when the leaves have changed colours before falling to the ground and leaving a barren wasteland). The farmer's markets are full with produce from the harvest. The University is back in session (with its accompanying crop of beautiful women back in town).

Bring on the autumn, I say...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Feeling restless

So I just finished the series Freaks and Geeks the other night. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's a great coming of age, high school series - kind of similiar to Wonderyears but set in 1980 so it resonates a little more with me. The 80's were my time. Oh to have those years to do again. It definately cranked up the nostalgia factor for me.
Combine that with my current project coming to an end after three years and meeting up with my old friends who are off leading lives in exotic places - I find myself feeling a little restless.

Pretty much as long as I can remember I've found that my life seems to revolve around four or five year stints. High school, University, First Career, The Travels, Back to School, and Second Career.

I'm now over five years at my current job - the longest I've been in one place in my life. Not that I'm looking for a new job or a new life - I'm still loving what I'm doing - but those feelings of restlessness are definately here. That temptation to blow everything up and start anew.

Maybe a bit of travelling combined with a fresh new game to work on and getting some life-time back will start the next cycle without the need for more dramatic changes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

PG Ratings (or how Bioware learned to stop worrying and love swear words)

What we don't do to keep our games safe for the children (apart from the lesbian romance scene, but that's another topic).

I was told early on that we couldn't go to the Deadwood level of cussing. No dropping a stray 'cocksucker' here or there.

We wanted the Indiana Jones level of swearing.

Well - the official swear count is in and here it is.





Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fringe time

It's time for the last of Edmonton's summer festivals - the Fringe.
I'm not such a big theatre-goer during the year, but at Fringe - I'm willing to experiment a bit.

Checking out my first play tonight.

...and just maybe the beer gardens afterwards. God I love festivals.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An 'Awesome' trip

Well the road trip was amazing. If you've never driven the Coquihalla, I highly recommend it.
It feels like you're driving out of the clouds - this amazing, lush forest towering above you on each side. Plus you can just fly when you're on it. Divided all the way from Kamloops into Vancouver. Made the trip in 12 hours on the way there and just under 11 on the way back.
Even managed a few wild life sightings as well - a bear, some mountain goats and even a couple moose (which I hadn't ever seen before, actually)

Anyways - it was good having the four horsemen together again. Some things may change over time, but you know your real friends are the ones that you pick up things right where you left off - no matter how long its been since you've seen them.

On a side note - Kyle noted that western canadians seem to be using the word 'awesome' an awful lot these days - and not in it's original sense - that of striking 'awe', but more as an alternative way of saying 'great'. Funny thing was, as soon as Kyle pointed it out, I couldn't help but notice every time I happened to say it. That's my new goal - I'm expanding my vocabulary and routing out all of the awesomes I can...

wonderful... admirable...dynamite...transcendent...fantastic...first-rate...marvelous...terrific......tremendous...exceptional

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Roadtrip!

It's been 7 years since my last road trip - the last of the infamous Kimberley soccer trips, I believe.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Vancouver bright and early, and while I don't expect the level of debauchery to be quite as high as the old days - I'm still expecting some trouble.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse will be together again!

Alex, Kyle, Pepsi and myself have known each other since elementary school. Various combinations of the four of us have traveled the world together or been roommates together pretty much continuously for the last 20 years. Kyle moved to Korea a little over 10 years ago, Peps moved to Calgary about 5 years ago and Alex moved out to Vancouver last autumn leaving me all by my lonesome.

Kyle's bi-annual visit seemed like a good excuse to head out to Vancouver to get together and do some carousing like the good old days.

It's a damn good thing I've been exercising my liver lately. Alex, Pepsi and me (with our friends Liz and Claire sandwiched in between)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moms

You know, it doesn't matter how old you get - it's still nice to know your mom loves you.

My mom knows I've been stuck at work quite late the last little while. I asked her to let some repair guys in to my new place who needed to do some work. When I get home, I found a little note saying the job was done and to look in my fridge. What do I find there but a little turkey-dinner care package.

My mom's in her 80s now and starting to slow down maybe just a little bit.
When I stop to think about it - that's a little scary. I'm not a big fan of the whole loss and death thing, but I'm not seeing any way around it eventually. I have a friend who's being confronted with this whole issue right now and I have no solutions for her. No easy way to get by, get through, go on.

Anyways - just wanted to say, 'thanks mom...'

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So tired...

And it's not going to get any better.
Heading to Vancouver this weekend in a commando raid to meet up with some of the boys from the old hood. Driving out on Friday and back on Sunday.
This promises to be messy.
One day I'll catch up on my sleep.

If you haven't yet - check out the new links for August music. Michael Franti has been bumped up to my 'will travel to see' list. He was that good.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Folk Fest Fallout

I survived...but barely.
Sunday was probably the best single day at the folk fest I've been to.
Some awesome workshops with Buck 65.
A really cool folk/ska band from Mexico City played the afternoon main stage - Los de Abajo.
It was the first time that I can remember most of the hill was on their feet in the afternoon.
Some more workshops and some quality beer tent time followed.
And on the evening mainstage, Ozomatli brought out the funk and then Michael Franti and Spearhead blew everyone away.
The hill was on it's feet the whole night and looking awesome.

Now I'm in need of some recovery time. Only 360 days to go till next time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Folking tired!

One day in and I'm already tired.


Damn this work. Totally getting in the way of my folk enjoyment.I'm not a young man anymore, you know - four straight days of drinking is going to take its toll.Plus I didn't even get monday off this year - one of the cardinal rules of folk fest.


Here's hoping I make it to Sunday.

Blue Rodeo is headlining tonight - I've seen them plenty of times, but I'm sure they'll put on a good show in the rain.


Thanks to Cookie for coming along last night. I'm stealing a couple of your photos to put up here as well.





Thursday, August 9, 2007

Time to get the folk out!

Edmonton Folk Fest starts tonight!
Easily one of my favorite festivals of the year. (mmmmm, hippie girls)

It never used to be on my radar - 'folk music', I'd say to myself. 'Who listens to that crap?'
But you go once or twice, just cause your friends are working the beer gardens, and maybe you get a little older and you start to broaden your musical horizons and BAM! Just like that, suddenly you're a folkie. Not only that, but I've become some kind of evangelical folkie. My festival hasn't been a success unless I can drag someone down to it that has never been before.

Seems like every year there's some new music to discover, some old friends to meet, some new memories to make.

It's been raining this week so it's going to be muddy and there's no big headliners this year, but bring on the fest - I'm ready to go!

http://www.edmontonfolkfest.org/

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Question of the Day...

Today's question is brought to you by the letter 'W'

Who is more confusing to who? Are women more confusing to men or are men more confusing to women?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

All moved in

Well... several herniated discs and strained muscles later, I'm all set up at my new place. True friends are those that you can abuse with the old 'help me move' request, so many thanks go out to Corey and Jason who probably spent the rest of the weekend recovering.

I couldn't believe how much stuff I had left to move. I thought I'd been doing well throwing out all my old crap for the previous month, but we packed that moving van full to the brim. Amazingly - nothing got broken or scratched and the unloading went much smoother than the loading.

I'm liking the new place. I'm especially liking being close enough to walk to pretty much anything downtown. I'm really really liking the lack of roommates.

Unfortunately now it's back to work. The only problem with having a couple days off is how much stuff piles up around here. 267 emails waiting for me when I got in today and a bug count that was at 3 is now at 87.

Sigh. Guess it's time to get back to it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Stormy Weather

I love a good lighting show and we had an awesome one on the weekend. Here's some great pics a friend of mine got (until he decided it might be prudent not to be standing in the middle of a field with a metal tripod)
















Last week in the big blue house

So it's the middle of the night - I'm dozing peacefully in the middle of some dream or another and then I hear my bedroom door open and slam shut - hard.
Needless to say I'm immediately awake, sitting up in bed, heart pounding a mile a minute ready to grab whatever nearby heavy object I can to bash whoever's broken into my house.
Of course, it was just the wind fucking with me - but man! I don't need that kind of stress. I sleep little enough as is.
Also needless to say, I was not back to sleep for a good long time. It did give me a chance to finish Harry Potter, though.

I sure will miss that house.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Drinking at work

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/07/26/pilots-nasa.html

Of course, I might be tempted to have a wee nip of courage if my job was to sit on top of what basically is a large flying bomb (and one with a great safety record too).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Poll of the Day

I usually listen to Sonic on my way to and from work. On occasion, they play recordings from their sonic listener line. One trend I've noticed is that a hell of a lot of the calls they play are people complaining about bad drivers.

So there's my poll question of the day - is there any where on earth that has worse drivers than Edmonton? Obviously I'm not the only person who believes this, as it appears the average sonic listener agrees.

I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't see at least one idiot on the roads. That's always the time that I wish I had some kind of vehicular weaponry. Maybe a roof mounted rocket launcher would be nice.

Drive nice, and I won't blow you up. That might make a good bumper sticker.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Back to the grind

So I figured out why I was grumpy...I think it comes down to me not liking to be wrong. In fact, I hate it. I'm kind of stubborn that way. To quote from the A-Team - I love it when a plan comes together.
I think it goes back to when I was a kid. When everyone got asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, they'd all go with the fireman or policeman or astronaut. Me? I always wanted to be a dictator. Not cause I wanted to oppress people (that's just mean) or live some crazy opulent lifestyle (although, that's definitely up there on the benefits package - I hear they get good dental and optical too), but mostly cause I think I know best.
Probably a bad attitude to grow up with - and probably should have got me punched in the nose more than it did - but even today, I'm pretty confident when it comes to 'knowing best'. Maybe I've gotten a little better at not butting in to other people's lives, but it still makes me grumpy when my perceptions are not shared by others.
So if you see any job openings for benevolent rulers on small Caribbean islands - let me know. I've still got a childhood dream to live up to.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cure Needed

It was a hot, tired and grumpy sunday for me yesterday. One of those days where you really just feel like hanging out, with no one and just take a break from the world. Maybe watch an old movie or something (The Natural happened to be on, so that fit the bill perfectly).

But what's a good cure for the grumps? Alcohol doesn't work - I find that to be more of a mood enhancer - so if you're in a bad mood to start, you just end up in a worse mood after.
Today I tried the pizza lunch theorem. Mmmmm...pizza boys sure makes good za! But that just seems to have made me tired and groggy for the afternoon (the cheese effect, I believe).

Suggestions anyone?

Friday, July 20, 2007

School Nights

Who's idea was it to go out on a school night, anyway?
Mad Caddies played till after 1:00 last night and though they were spectacular, I'm paying for that fun today.
What happened to the days where I used to be able to sleep in till noon?
What happened to being able to go out 5 nights in a row? (oh Rebar, how I miss you)

Apparently getting older doesn't necessarily give you more wisdom, it just makes you more tired the next morning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sad Wednesday



I thought I was sad when they told us our deadline had been extended from April to July. Oh well, I thought - at least I'd get a bit of summer. Then the deadline got pushed back to the 1st of August. And now - the 'real' deadline has just been changed to September 1st. So much for summer.
So I've been looking for a picture to express my sadness. Up until now, this picture was the best one for encapsulating that emotion. (Sorry for the unauthorized use of the photo, Jen - it was just too perfect).
At least, it was the best...up until now. The new champion comes from another friend of mine who sent me this when I told him we probably couldn't do our annual camping trip because of my new deadline.


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Monday, July 16, 2007

Moving pains

So I've been packing off and on for about a month already. Just getting little things ready to go.
But I think I'm just realizing what the biggest pain of all will be - getting my addressed changed for all of the things that use it.
Banks, credit cards, health care, driver's licenses, power and electricity, phones, TV and a hundred other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. What a pain in the ass. How many different beaurocracies can one person deal with?

Wouldn't it be so much easier if we just had one universal address associated with each of us?
I mean, we've got all this GPS stuff now - can't they just implant some kind of chip in our brains - then all we'd have to do would be to memorize our new address and it would get beamed out to whoever needed it.
Simple, I say. What the hell have these scientists been up to? Do I have to think of everything around here?

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's a dry heat...

It's officially here.

The one week of the year in Edmonton where we could actually use air conditioning in the house. Especially me, being in the upstairs part of the house. When it hasn't rained to cool things down, it gets stinking hot up there.

Bye bye sheets. Bye bye PJs. Time to just lay there sweltering in my own sweat.
My sure fire cure for it being too hot to sleep used to be to drink enough to pass out. Unfortunately that's not always the greatest solution on a work night.

What I need is some genius to come up with the 'cold blanket'. Now there's a million dollar idea, I tells ya. If only I had a penny for all my million dollar ideas - I would have a million dollars!

Until then - I sweat.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Public service horoscope

To any spare scorpios out there...here's this week's horoscope:

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I asked my readers to make a prediction about what age they'll be when they finally know exactly who they are. "I hope I NEVER completely know who I am!" wrote Bridjet. "I love discovering new things about myself, and to change as everything else around me changes. It is one of the most beautifully thrilling things about life." If you share that perspective, Scorpio, the coming days should be pretty fun. You're likely to become dramatically more mysterious to yourself. You'll be evolving, even mutating, in ways that may amaze you, and you'll be coming face to face with hidden aspects of yourself. Let the confounding, enriching expansion begin!


I'm just not sure how much more mysterious to myself I can be. Could make for an interesting rest of the week...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Late night learning

The best part about insomnia is late night radio. Either you've got Coast to Coast for all of your UFO/conspiracy needs, or CBC latenight, which has broadcasts from around the world.
It's almost worth the lack of sleep some nights.

Last night was some really interesting stuff from radio australia, including a health report featuring an interview with a professor at the University of California on some new studies into diet and obesity.
What I'm taking out of it is basically - 'Eat the fruit, don't drink the juice'.
Apparantly, north american diets are way to full of sugar - specifically fructose these days - which does bad things to the liver.

If you're interested - the entire transcript is here...
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007/1969924.htm#transcript

Monday, July 9, 2007

Un-covered

You know how I know when I'm listening to a great song? - when the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Not too many songs do this to me, but I love when I find a new one that does. Or even a new version of an old song. I think that's the mark of true greatness - when even cover versions of songs have that effect on you.

We were in some small cafe the other night and heard a fantastic version of Radiohead's High and Dry by a couple that was playing there. Fantastic stuff. That's always been one of my favorite songs - in fact - I'd just downloaded a spanish language version of it off iTunes the week before. There's something about a cover version of a good song that broadens my appreciation of the original. Like it's exploring some nuance that opens up new ways of enjoying what the original artist put out there.

Here's to finding some more good music this month...

http://www.rhythmsdelmundo.com/

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Needed: Cure for Idiocy

Sometimes my brain makes me sad.

Usually I'm plenty simple without the encouragement of alcohol - so adding a beer or two can sometimes lead unfortunate slow downs in brain activity. I'm sure MRIs would prove interesting to look at.
Usually my idiocy takes the form of thinking up that witty retort or comeback at least 30 minutes too late.
What's worse is being slow on the appreciation of good things.
Life's nearly perfect moments are too uncommon to waste when they're happening.

Here's hoping my brain's more awake for the next one...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A 3 Clone day.

You would not believe the amount of running around one man can do over one lunch hour. I had about a zillion errands to run and only an hour to spare. In the end, I ended up taking an hour and a half and only forgot one thing (I think). Not bad, but man - I could have totally used a clone or two helping me out.

There was this book I read last year, can't remember the name - some near-future setting - in which people could purchase clones of themselves. You could then get these clones to go and do stuff for you all day - send one to take your laundry to the dry cleaner and do your shopping, another one you could send in to work for you - if you were feeling adventurous, you could send one out skydiving or motorbike racing. Meanwhile you could be enjoying the day, pretty much doing whatever the hell you wanted - hopefully involving various quantities of relaxing and debauchery. At the end of the day, all of your clones would come back and you would be able to download their memories - so effectively, you would have done EVERYTHING.

Today was a 3 clone day...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Long Weekend Hangovers

It's amazing how long a two day weekend can feel when you haven't had one in a while.

So after a few boozy nights and stuffing myself with WAY too much at the BBQ...it's back to work. Highlights from the BBQs included the usual mini-soccer tournament, some small accidents with the fireworks as well as making various children cry (including my large friend, Pepsi). Bottom line - the house didn't burn down, no one was permanently maimed and (as far as I know) no lawsuits are pending.

On the bright side - it's already tuesday, so in theory it's only a four day week.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Save the environment and swear!

Yes - profanity is good for the environment.
So stop holding it in. Out with the bad air. Sound forth a few f-bombs with all your might.
What the hell am I talking about? Anger powered energy...it's the future, baby!

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30431

Soon I can see how all of our appliances will be anger powered. Who doesn't want to pound on their computer every now and then.

Ahhh, sweet sweet anger. Now 100% more green.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Silence is better

The dangers of modern communication is the loss of context.

I'm talking about email/msn - all the different kinds of written communications that people do nowadays.

I'm always getting in trouble when people don't know whether or not I'm joking or being sarcastic or whatever. Things that work when you're actually speaking to someone can often cause 'the uncomfortable pause' when written down.

I think I'll stop typing any kind of joke or wisecrack until someone comes up with the ESP version of MSN...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Society's to blame

So I signed up for facebook today.
I was forced into it by a friend who's moving to australia - and since I want a place to crash if I ever go down there - and since facebook is his preferred means of communication - I had no alternative but to cave in to the demands of society.
Stupid society!
Not 10 minutes after I signed up - I got an email from someone I haven't seen in 5 years. What's going on with people? Why am I not permitted to shun society in peace?
You're on notice, society - I'm not embracing you - just peacefully co-existing...for now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rock Names

I was flipping channels on the weekend and went passed some muchmoremusic 'listed' show.
What struck me was how many rock stars from the 80s and early 90s changed their names.
Sting, Flea, Slash, The Edge, Bono amongst others.
Is that a lost tradition? You don't hear any weird names from the guys and gals in bands these days, do you?

Are kids today just less concerned with image? Maybe that's for the best...

Oh well, guess I'll give up on my own search for a new rock name...
It was a toss up between T-Bone Warner and Keith Chaos.

Maybe that's for the best too.


And in case you were wondering about people's real names... http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/realname.html

Friday, June 22, 2007

The name game

So here at work we have 6 Andrews (plus an Andre and an Andreas), 14 Chris', 8 Dans and 11 Johns - not to mention 3 Keiths.

Growing up - it always pissed me off to come across someone else with my name. It was always like - 'what are you doing with my name, dude - you're stealing some of my individuality.'
Even worse, for some reason, was a guy who had my last name as his first name and my first name as his last.
Never liked that guy.

Then when you grow up and start dating, you always seem to go through a cycle of dating girls with the same name. That also is somehow annoying (and slightly confusing). Some of my dumber friends have even dated multiple girls with the same name at the same time. Never try to answer the phone for a friend like that - you just get in trouble...

Am I the only one that is annoyed by stolen names?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Above the earth

I was down on Whyte last night - we went to the patio at Chili's. I'd never been up there before cause, you know - it's Chili's - but man, they've done a nice job up there.
It's this large, multi-level patio - with a pretty cool view of the neighbourhood.
And of course, my opinion of the place wasn't hurt by the plethora of attractive young women up there - but anyway...

My question is, why doesn't every building down there have a rooftop patio. There was nothing but flat roofs as far as the eye could see. You could have overstreet pedways going across the blocks connecting up all of these patios. You'd never have to set foot on the ground again.
Life is better up on the roof!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

West facing windows

I like having a window in my office - even though all I've got to look on is a busy street and a big pile of dirt across the way. A little bit of light makes you feel alright.
My problem is in the afternoons. With the sun beating down on the window, I start to get a serious case of the head bobs going.
Nothing worse for your keyboard than a puddle of drool either.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Warranties

So I'm playing soccer on Friday night - probably I didn't take enough of a warmup - but I've been playing for about 10 minutes and then, just stretching for a ball, I feel this shooting fiery feeling going up one of the tendons behind my knee.

Now I've injured myself before, I've had one knee reconstructed, I've twisted innumerable ankles, popped many a hamstring...but this was a new one. I stopped right away and strangely, felt nothing at all - my leg felt fine. So I try to take a couple steps - just to see - and yup, that leg ain't working any more.

What's depressing, as you get older, is the number of new things that seem to break down on the body. It's just like buying any appliance these days. As soon as the warranty is up - you know it's only a matter of days before something goes wrong. With the body - there's always some new strange ache to wake up to. And the older you get, the longer it takes for them to go away.

I new I should have taken out the extended warranty.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sleep or sleepless

I've got a friend who's been dog tired all week - falling asleep at her desk. Me, on the otherhand, I'd kill for that problem. I've had insomnia all week.

I woke up at 2:00 last night and couldn't get back to sleep till after 5:00. I was on the verge of just getting up and doing something a couple of times - instead I'd just flip on the radio. Nothing but tales of alien abductions on coast to coast.

So apart from getting whatever sleepy drug my friend is apparantly popping - what's a good cure for insomnia?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dog days of spring...

It's getting close to the end of our project. Almost too close.
I can see that light at the end of the tunnel - the promise of no more crunch hours - the promise of being able to enjoy the rest of the summer and spend some time enjoying life a little more.

The problem comes with staying focused for these last few weeks. The light in that damn tunnel is so bright, it's hard not to step outside and enjoy it. And I also find it easier to get the wind taken out of your sails when little obstacles - things that 4 months ago wouldn't have bothered me at all - when these little obstacles come up.
Now they're like a punch in the gut - like someone laughing, telling me 'you'll never get this game done....ahahhaaha'.

Grrrrr, need to be done this project. Damn those gutpunchers!

Walk into the light...come into the light...it's so close....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The evils of marketing

Have we all fallen into some marketing trap where we have to classify everyone and everything. Everything has to fit into some neat little pigeon-hole.

Take music for example. Didn't everything used to just be Rock 'n Roll.
Sure I can see how some general classifications are useful, but then we start crossing everything, such as: acid jazz, alt country, dance punk, ambient house, brit pop, emo rock, glam rock, organic ambient... (check this out for a crazy list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_music_genres)

At some point I just get confused about how to describe something - there's too many fine granularities.

I think from now on, I'm just going to say it's either good, bad or indifferent. You figure out the rest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My favorite lists...

I've done a couple lists recently, so I thought I'd share my favorite list of all time.

Steve Martin in the movie Roxanne gets insulted about his nose and takes a bet to come up with 20 'something betters'.

1. Obvious: Excuse me. Is that your nose or did a bus park on your face.
2. Meteorological: Everybody take cover. She's going to blow.
3. Fashionable: You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore something larger. Like ... Wyoming.
4. Personal: Well, here we are. Just the three of us.
5. Punctual: Alright gentlemen. Your nose was on time but you were fifteen minutes late.
6. Envious: Oooo, I wish I were you. Gosh. To be able to smell your own ear.
7. Naughty: Pardon me, Sir. Some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't mind putting that thing away.
8. Philosophical: You know. It's not the size of a nose that's important. It's what's in it that matters.
9. Humorous: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Sneeze and it's goodbye Seattle.
10. Commercial: Hi, I'm Earl Schibe and I can paint that nose for $39.95.
11. Polite: Ah. Would you mind not bobbing your head. The orchestra keeps changing tempo.
12. Melodic: Everybody! "He's got the whole world in his nose."
13. Sympathetic: Oh, What happened? Did your parents lose a bet with God?
14. Complimentary: You must love the little birdies to give them this to perch on.
15. Scientific: Say, does that thing there influence the tides.
16. Obscure: Oh, I'd hate to see the grindstone.
17. Inquiry: When you stop to smell the flowers, are they afraid?
18. French: Say, the pigs have refused to find any more truffles until you leave.
19. Pornographic: Finally, a man who can satisfy two women at once.
20. Religious: The Lord giveth and He just kept on giving, didn't He.
21. Disgusting: Say, who mows your nose hair.
22. Paranoid: Keep that guy away from my cocaine!
23. Aromatic: It must be wonderful to wake up in the morning and smell the coffee ... in Brazil.
24. Appreciative: Oooo, how original. Most people just have their teeth capped.
25. Dirty: Your name wouldn't be Dick, would it?

If only I could think that fast in real life...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Great survey questions

Don't you love forms that make you wonder what the hell you're answering?

How's this for a great question... 'Which option is the least most inconvenient?'

It makes one's head explode!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Hidden Tracks

I was just listening to the song Blood from My Chemical Romance's Black Parade CD. Found it on iTunes the other day labelled 'Hidden track'.
There's something wrong about being able to buy something that's supposed to be hidden.

I like when bands have fun with a hidden track. I remember Offspring were always good with that.

I was listening to a program on sonic the other day - the history of modern music - an episode about hidden tracks. I guess there are some bands who have put the hidden track at the start of a disc - track 0. You have to go to track 1, and then hit back one more time to get to 'track 0'. Someone else found a way of inserting a hidden track between tracks in the middle of a disc. Kinda cool.

What's your favorite hidden track?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Lyrical Thursday

Some songs I like just for the tune - some songs I like for the lyrics - and some songs don't even make my 10 ten list, but still, something in the lyrics is really cool.

Here's part 1 of my list of best song lyrics:

Best Canadiana

'Hurtin Albertan with nothing more to lose. Too much oil money, not enough booze.' Corb Lund, Hurtin Albertan

'You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey, and I'd never saw someone say that before'
'You held my hand and we walked home the long way, you were losening my grip on Bobby Orr'
Tragically Hip, Fireworks

And a Couple Random Selections

'All these precious moments you promised me would come in time. So where was I when I missed mine.'
Time won't let me Go, The Bravery

'It's not the right time to be sober, now the idiots have taken over'.
The Idiots are Taking Over, NoFX

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Comedy Wednesday

For your comedy break today, I bring you Russell Peters.

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-2579833089500205658&q=Russell+Peters

Cause everybody needs a laugh on hump day (or 3rd monday as it's called around here)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cure for Flatulence!

And all for only $12.95.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/lifestyle/orl-gaspad07may31,0,3233396.story?coll=orl-home-lifestyle

I know a few people who should take advantage of this...
You know who I'm talking about...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Tired Monday...

2 games of soccer, 2 open houses and 1 Police concert later and the weekend's over and it's back to work.
The Police put on a pretty damn good show - although I still find it amusing that they seem to have gone from punk/rock to almost adult contemporary. Whatever...it was a beautiful evening, the beer was flowing and the music was good.
Can't ask for too much more....except maybe an extra day for recovery.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Fake Friday

Hard to get excited today with the prospect of working tomorrow.
Going to be a busy weekend too - 2 soccer games and 2 days of open house to go along with working on Saturday (otherwise known as real Friday).

The Police saturday night, though. I find it interesting that their music used to be considered 'edgy'. Funny how edgy has mellowed into almost 'easy listening', old people music.

Oh well - I guess I'm old. I'm looking forward to the show!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Marriage Advice

What makes a healthy marriage?

Now, not being married, you may be wondering why I feel qualified to speak on this subject, but hey - those who can't, teach - isn't that the way of it.

I figure it's all about communication - a little give here, a little take there. And something I call the 'except' list...which is kind of like the not-withstanding clause in the constitution.

Just talking with a friend about her except list...
Apparantly she gets a free pass if Ewan McGregor comes a calling (something about Scottish accents, apparantly) and he's free and clear if Jennifer Connolly happens to throw herself at him.

Now that's what I call a good deal. Of course, I would substitute in Natalie Portman.
Or maybe Liv Tyler. Heck - why not both.

Who's on your 'except' list?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Somebody Explain...part III

Somebody explain women to me...

What do women want? I mean, who can really figure that one out?
I think the problem is that most women don't know what they want.

I've been around for 38 years and I still don't know what makes em tick. The best I can claim is to know when I'm in trouble with one of em - when I've said something stupid, or forgotten something 'important'. Maybe I've been too accomodating, too nice. Maybe I've been not accomodating enough.
It sure would be nice to have a little pre-emptive knowledge about when this trouble was going to happen. Unfortunately, that seems beyond my meager skills. I can only go into recovery mode.

Do women expect men to understand them more than we are capable of, maybe?

I've been collecting some lyrics for a future post, and the Planet Smashers (Canada's best ska band) have some good comments on this topic...

'Half an hour a go, everything was chill. Then something changed and she got strange. Something lit a fuse, now she's in a bad mood!
Oh crap. Now I've done it. My mouth. Should have shut it. Next time. I'll nod and smile. Not get screwed. Next time she's in a bad mood'


To quote from Norm on Cheers: 'Women - can't live with em...pass the beer nuts.'

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And one quote for the students out there

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
Mark Twain

Quote of the Day

"Videogames are gateway drugs for libraries."

The Escapist - http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/99/13

Somebody Explain...part II

Somebody explain computers to me...

I know - I work with em all the time, but seriously - how does everything we get from computers all come from these little groups of ones and zeroes? How does what I type appear on this screen in front of me?

For that matter, I must be ignorant of 95% of the technology around me - as I'm sure are 95% of the human race.

Could you make a light bulb? Could you make a radio? Hell - I'd be hard pressed to make a pencil.

That's why I do everything I can to keep the apocalypse at bay.

Mad Max I am not.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Somebody Explain...

Somebody explain economics to me.

So prices go up every year - a chocolate bar that used to cost 25 cents now costs a dollar.
A house that used to cost 70 thousand, now is probably around 300 thousand.

At the same time, people's salaries have gone up. Unions demand and get a raise most years guaranteed in their contracts. When I was young, a salary of 30 thousand was a really good wage - someone today in the same job probably expects 6 figures.

My question is...what's the point? If we are all basically just able to buy the same amount of stuff that our parents did, if relatively, everything costs pretty much the same as it used to - then why do we bother with this whole inflation thing?

I mean - where does it end? 1000 years from now, will the joe middle clasee person be making a million dollars and spending $10 on a chocolate bar?


The sad thing is - I have a degree in Business

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What the fuck is up with hunters?

Seriously - why do some people feel a good time is to go out into the woods and kill animals?

Check this out...
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070526/monster_pig_070526/20070526?hub=TopStories

Some 6th grade kid just shot and killed a huge wild boar with his revolver and now he's 'reveling' in the attention he's getting from his 'accomplishment'. This kid has been hunting since age 5! Who the fuck takes their five year old hunting?

People really piss me off some days.

A better idea is to donate some island up north to the hunters - they can all go there whenever they want and hunt each other. Probably be a bit more of a challenge for them than blasting away at some deer as it's munching on some grass.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Moving Sucks

As exciting a prospect as it is to be getting a new place and being able to set it up with all new stuff - moving out of the old place still sucks.

I spent all of last night continuing the Great Purge.

This the first move that I am seriously going over all of the crap that has been following me around and pitching it. Clothes I haven't worn in a couple months - donated. Furning that's collecting dust - out the door. Old papers that I look at once very five years, smile at, and then put back into storage - garbage!

Crickey! Why did I ever drag all this stuff along with me? Maybe it's a getting older thing. The older you get, the grumpier you get, so the more stuff starts to piss you off. Trust me - I've got a lot of stuff that's pissing me off.

I think the garbage man is going to feel the pain too. I'll probably get sued after he puts his back out chucking all this junk into the truck.
Moving really sucks, but at least I get to share the pain.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dating Questions

So I'm witness to a lot of first dates and I hear a lot of 'getting to know you' type questions.

Dating seems a lot like interviewing for a job.

I used to do the hiring and interviewing for a company I worked for and asking the same interview questions over and over again just became extremely tedious. People would come in and be so nervous - they would have their set, prepared responses to the standard interview questions; 'What are your strengths', 'What are your weaknesses', 'Tell me about a challenge at work you've overcome'...whatever.

You could see them not really looking at you, just kind of trying to get out this memorized statement. So every now and then we would throw in some totally random question. 'What's your favorite monty python skit?', 'Who's your favorite superhero?'. 'Tell me what you would do if you won the lottery'. Some people that were working off their memorized lists would be totally thrown for a loop and not really know what to say. Others would loosen up and start to have some fun with the interview. Those would be the people we would hire.

I tried speed dating a couple years ago (that thing were you rotate around a room and spend 5 minutes with about 12 different women over the course of the evening) and it was very much the same thing. I'd get the same questions from a lot of the women, the old 'what do you do for a living', 'what do you do in your spare time' - nothing particularly creative. So I would start throwing in a couple weirder questions just to change things up a bit.

Needless to say - I left alone and wasn't long for the speed dating thing (although the girl organizing the evening did ask me out, but that's another story)

So what's the weirdest question you've ever been asked on a date?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Musicmania

Musicmania month continues tonight. Going to see the Killers. They've never been at the top of my list of must see bands, but I must say I'm looking forward to it.

It's been a good month here in e-town, with Metric and Danny Michel last week and the Police next week.

An expensive, but good month.

Luckily for my friends, me still being single means that my extra tickets get doled out amongst them. Hmmm, maybe that's it - maybe there's some conspiracy out there - a shadowy group of my music loving friends keeping all the nice girls away from me.

Probably not, but it was worth considering.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another long weekend done

The problem with long weekends is that they end.
For me, these days, two days is a long weekend, so three was some kind of freakish event.

The first day, you run around, trying to accomplish all the shit that's accumlated over the previous week - get the laundry done, clean the house, pet the plants, water the dog - and still find time to grab a bevy or two.

The second day, you start to unwind and relax. You open your eyes one at a time in the morning, looking around, blinking - hardly daring to believe that you don't have to go in to work. The rest of that day is gravy.

The third day - wow. You don't know what to do with yourself - what's this thing called 'spare time'. But it doesn't take long till you are in total enjoyment mode - sipping mojitos on the patio.

Then WHAM! Tuesday rolls around and it's like someone threw a bucket of cold water right in your face.

Alright tuesday - I'll remember this. You just made the list. I owe you one.

Friday, May 18, 2007

X marks the spot

What is it about running into an ex that weirds me out?

I was at a show last night and in the middle of the openning act, a guy sits down next to us - with my ex. There was a little awkward moment of surprised eye contact, and then my stomach starts doing flips. What's up with that? I've got no claim on her anymore.

I don't know - definately weird and slightly disturbing. She moved off after the openning band, though - and Danny Michel was awesome, so at least the rest of the night was good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Crowds

What is it about people in crowds that someone always thinks there's room for one more?
There were three of us at Starlight last night to see Metric and it was the most packed I've ever seen it. The interesting part was how someone always thought there would be more room and squeezed in next to us. It became a little game of defending our turf. Keep your elbows up. Bend but don't break. Eventually the interlopers slid back slightly and we were able to enjoy the rest of the concert.
Next time, I gotta pick a less popular band.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blade Runner

Have you read about the disabled south african guy who is trying to make the south african olympic sprinting team.
Now this guy just goes to prove that there really is nothing so challenging in most people's lives. We have no excuse to not be doing our utmost to get what we want out of life.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.03/blade.html

Apparantly some officials are looking to change the rules to make him illegible to compete.
I loved this quote from his coaches: 'If you think having carbon-fiber legs will make you a faster sprinter, have the operation and we’ll see you at the track.'

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dating: An anthropological study

It always amazes me what a guy will say or do to attract a woman. It amazes me even more when any of our attempts actually work.
Half the fun of going to the bar these days is to observe these mating rituals in progress.
Guys will fire their 'lines' at a particular woman, and if he's unsuccessful, you can watch him turn around and use the same line on someone else.

It's the spam theory of dating. Somebody responds to those emails about Nigerian royalty trying to get their money into the country, don't they.

Online dating is even worse, guys will peruse the lists of new pictures to an online site and send out their form email. As soon as they get a response, it is really like the old 'fish on the line' analogy. It's a fight to get them off of the dating site and onto some instant messanger as soon as you can. Truly this is spam dating at its finest.

Cynical, maybe? Trouble is... us guys, I think we must be out of other ideas.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Do you speak computerese?

I thought that computers were all about 1's and 0's.

I want to know where the shades of grety come into it. Why is is that if I try the same thing, repeating all the same steps, I get different results?

Somewhere in this little metal box underneath my desk a tiny imp sits and laughs at me.
(I've tried a good stiff kick to the hard drive, but trust me...that doesn't fix things).

Anyone know a good exorcist?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Summer

The first outdoor soccer game of the year was yesterday - a sure sign that summer is almost here.

Every year, I get tired of playing outdoor soccer come August - just in time for Indoor soccer to begin. And every year in March, I get tired of playing indoor and come May I'm ready to head back outside. It's like some kind of mobius strip.

I was a little worried about yesterday, being all out of shape and such. I seem to have wandered from the path of fitness these last couple months. But, despite feeling a little sore this morning, everything still seems to be working.

Bring on the summer! I think I've still got a few more in me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Letter 'U'

It's nationalism day here at work.
The eternal struggle between those who spell it 'colour', vs 'color'. Our editor (who happens to be american), is storming about the halls, complaining about canadians with their extra 'U's and our spelling of 'defence'.

Sadly, our games have been going out with american spelling for the last 10 years and each time, a little bit of me dies.
Even our technology has turned against us - MS Word is contantly trying to get me to get rid of my U's. Where will it end?

Don't give in to the power of the lowest common denominator! Use your 'U's.
Fight for the Queen's English. Fight for Canada!