Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Forever and six days...

Music: Tricky - Crazy Claws

Its been ages since I've last said anything of importance here, my last post really doesn't count since I only said that I had a flippin' Wii. I think that due to time contraints (meaning I can't spend too much time on my laptop or my desktop at work will get cranky), I'll do this up in a good old fashioned bulleted list.

  • Up here we have a show called The Hour thats hosted by George S (I say S because his name is Stroumboulopoulos), he was talking to Gene Simmons about a band he signed from Canada thats just awesome [paraphrasing Gene], and I checked them out. I must agree with him on this, I'm generally not a fan of hip-hop, but this is great. Down With Webster
  • I've been working my butt off on a project that I've been doing for my brother-in-law. With the length of time that its taken me to get this far, I might be able to complete it by late Spring.
  • A new good-friend at work, or are they a good new friend, regardless - they're a new friend of ours who are getting married sometime in 2009, morethan likely the fall who invited us to go with them to the Carribbean after they get married.
  • Which means that I need to loose some weight between now and then, its -18 C out today which means no jogging, what can I do instead? I'm too cheap to join a gym.
  • I'm going to be taking all of the money that I get for working on stuff for my brother in law and putting it towards this trip, both of us would really love to have the chance to go again.
  • We've been talking about going on a cruise or something in the winter, but this is better because its with friends.
  • I've been dragged back into working on the project that sent me to Asia in the Spring/Summer. I don't mind the project, the work or the clients - the main problem, which seems to be getting worse is the project manager who seems to enjoy working 16 horus a day without requesting assistance or when forced to accept help still refuses to have the time to sit with someone to show them what they need.
  • I'm just happy I won't be dealing with the project by the end of the week.
  • I've been going through some of the photos that I've taken in the past year and have been organizing them to upload to Flickr. Next to be added, pictures from Mexico.
  • Mario Kart Wii with the wheel is a little hard on the joints, especially just holding it there waiting for something to happen or start the race.
  • The puppy has been growing leaps and bounds, he's still smaller than our cats (and I don't think he'll actually get bigger then them anyways.)
  • There have been lots of geeky things going on in the house lately: I've setup our extra laptop to act as a little media center and a "pseudo-PVR", and something else that I've forgotten.
  • We had our first real snow of the year two days ago, and the snow is still on the ground, guess this means that winter has officially started. Joy.
  • I took the camera out in the snow while we had the dog out playing. It looked as though he was wearing a sweater.
  • My wife is going in for day surgery tomorrow to get her Tonsils taken out. She's been having issues with swollen throats several times a year for the past 4 years and finally managed to convince a Dr to take them out.
  • She's starting to get nervous.
  • I think she'll do fine.

I guess that ends the update for the next month or something, though I sometimes get the urge to write and end up filling this up in a week or so.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From Asia with my Camera

Remember way back when, probably the beginning of the summer when I was in Asia for work? You probably remember me complaining lots about work and the people that I work for... regardless, I actually managed to go through those photos, all 400 of them and put them online to share around. You can see the entire set (of 39) here.

You'll notice that there aren't really any stereotypical Chinese themes in the pictures. Hong Kong is very industrial and British, but its still a great place.

Here is a little preview:




Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii fun

Bought a Wii the other day for Xmas as a family gift. I didn't stay long in the box.

Best. System. Ever.

What do you like to play?

Monday, November 3, 2008

24 Line bitch-fest covering 48 hours

  • F*cking computer wouldn't boot.
  • Couldn't do my project so I could get paid.
  • Pissed me off.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lazy and/or Stupid

Music: TKK - Jet Set Sex || Radiohead - Just (Live)

What is it with people? And by people I really mean the younger generation who are just entering the work force or have been for the last couple of years? I've found over the past couple of years that they just are not the reliable as employees or students for that matter. I've gone to school with people fresh out of high school who had a hard time focusing on the task at hand, let alone trying to figure out what they wanted to get out of the course.

I've had to work with people who are alot younger than myself, and trying to teach them things gets to be a big chore when you discover that they can't listen to the things that are important to their job. Instead they twiddle their thumbs in their mind and nod every 45 seconds to make it seem like their paying attention.

Its like everyone from their generation, age range, small genetic pool has undiagnosed ADD. Or they've been experimenting with Ritalin as a recreational drug and its messed up their attention span. In either case...

Are they stupid? Or just lazy?

  • Who calls in sick an hour before their shift? And then quits when asked to come in or find someone to cover.
  • Who calls in sick twice during their first week of work?
  • Who quits on the spot when they get flustered that there's going to be an inspection?
  • Who spends a good portion of their day on their cell phone in class or at work?
  • Who spends most of their time programming their laptop to turn off when they should be answering the request thats in front of them? (At least if I'm doing personal stuff I try to do it on my work computer. :)
And that brings me to my final point: when did I turn into such a bitch?


Onto other things. I got my awesome glasses on Friday. I'll post a picture sometime. The important thing to remember is that they're black frames with "racing stripes" down the arms. So. F*cking. Cool.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Holy mother of frost

Dear Diary,

Today started off to be quite the shitty morning. I discovered the evening before that the remote car started we had installed last year was no longer starting the car, which caused a huge headache this morning when taking my wife to work.
  • 5:35am, I took the puppy out to pee. I near froze my nuts off.
  • 5:37am, started the car since the remote starter wasn't working.
  • 5:38am, went upstairs to get the car shovel and scraper from the closet.
  • 5:40am, began scraping the frost from the windows.
Anyone else see the problem with this picture? Its OCTOBER! I shouldn't be scraping the car, not until after the American Thanksgiving.

Screw you mother nature. And I would like for you to end your relationship with Global Warming, you're really starting to f*ck with my perception of the "seasons".

Sincerely,

Me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

F**king Oil Industry

The price of oil is currently hovering around $70 a barrel, somewhere it hasn't been since the summer of 2007.

I'm currently paying $1.10 a litre for gas (about $4.19 a gallon) which isn't reasonable, but a nice break from the $1.30 we were paying a few weeks ago.

I have a very efficient car (42/32 mpg highway/city) but I'm still finding myself filling up the tank and cringing everytime that I do because its slowly destroying my budget.

I'm all pissed off now. (I would like to thank the charting feature at GasBuddy.com)

The last time that Oil was this price I was paying $0.95 a litre for gas. Thats alot of money when I fill my tank, almost $8 extra I'm paying when I fill my tank from empty.

How fucking fair is that? Asshole regulators are screwing me.



Agony

For the first time in well over a week and a half I'm in utter agony because of my stupid foot.

It doesn't matter what I do with my foot, whether its up or down, turned slightly to the right or angled a little towards the ceiling. It just hurts and makes me uncomfortable.

How does it (my foot) expect me to get through the rest of the day when I'm unable to concentrate as it throbs to the beat of its own drum. I've even popped a few advil today (since that was the perscription that the Doctors gave me.) but that doesn't seem to help much at all?

I'm left with only a few choices:
  1. Donate my foot do science a-la Saw.
  2. Beg and plead with my muscles and tendons to give me just a little bit of a break.
  3. Ignore it and hope it gets better. I've been doing that alot lately and it doesn't help.
Now that I think about it, I have been a little bad recently. Since this past weekend I haven't been wearing my brace at all while I'm at work, driving, or taking the dog for a walk. That might have something to do with it.

Whoops, my bad.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Windows Coming Soon

Microsoft officially announced today the name of its latest Operating System since it debuted Vista on the market just over two years ago.

In keeping with the latest trends (well trends that have been in use for years by Linux and Apple), Microsoft is going to name its latest offering with a number for the first time since Windows 2000 was put on the market in 1999.

The latest name.... Windows 7.

The article above cleverly paints both a positive and negative with the number 7. I'll mention the fact that they used "Seven deadly sins" as part of the negative since it made me smile.

Fergus the Giant

Or Fergus the Annoying.

(I find that lately when I'm updating this I have a hard time keeping my thoughts together and writing in coherent sentences. Which is strange for me as I'm normally a decent author, while not in vein with "professionals". Today is just a little different than normal. I have written the post below abour 4 or 5 times with numerous revisions in order to get some sense made.)

Our dog absolutely loves everyone and everything. From cats and squirrels to strangers and garbage. Well, thats not exactly correct. I found out the weekend that he doesn't like cows. We went for a drive along the river valley to take some pictures of the fall folliage [which coincidentally sucks right now.] when I came across a patch of cows grazing on the grass. I got out and took some pictures of them before returning to the car. When I sit down the dog immediatly jumps on my lap so that he can see out the window, otherwise he can't see out side. He turns his head to the right and sees the cows.

He went ape shit. He totally lost it. This is coming from a dog who normally barks once or twice during the run of the day. He was barking for about 2 minutes after I pulled away from the farm and he couldn't see them any more. Its like he was barking just for the sake of barking. I made him sit on the floor the entire time as "punishment" for barking like that. I don't mind a single bark to tell me that there's something there, but when he does that for so long in such an enclosed space, it starts to hurt your ears after a while.

I've also come to discover that he doesn't like people when its dark outside and they're not walking in a light. I was out with him the other morning at 5 (because he woke me up by licking my arm pit) when a man was walking down the side walk and Fergs barked at him.

This weekend was a very "expressive" weekend for the puppy. He got to do a whole lot of things that he normally doesn't get to do:
  1. Playing with my MIL's dog Max, who is 12+ years old and normally just barks and growls at Fergs. This weekend marked the first time in 3 months that the two played together.
  2. He played with children, there are a few kids who live in our building who are just... assholes. And as a result, never really trusted Children much, but my wife's cousins were over and he was just great with them playing and running without biting them.
  3. He received a visit from his best puppy friend Harley, the Aust. Cattle dog. Our friends recently moved out of town and we never see them much any more but the dogs had a great time while they were together.
This is probably a good time to mention that I've also done a few things with the dog that I said I would never do, and some that are still good.:
  1. Never Sleep on the Bed: The dog started waking up at 4am to pee (really, he was just lonely) and would stay awake until 5am whining in his kennel. [Now you know how he ended up licking my arm pit to wake me up.]
    Period lasted: 3 months.

  2. Never Give Him People Food: I hate it when a dog sits beside you and wants what you're having. This will probably be the only thing that I'll stick to.
    Period lasted: Still going

  3. Never dress him up: My wife has a wierd fascination with wanting to dress him up in sweaters and stuff. I caved and let her buy him a halloween costume last month. The XS is still TOO BIG for him.
    Period Lasted: 4 months.
A girl in our building saw Fergus running outside at 11pm while she was smoking and mentioned that she wished she had his energy.

I told her: No you don't. You would never sleep again and you'd hump anything that that you could get your hands on.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Two times a week, thats a new record....

... a very sad record.

Music: Slipknot - Liberate (Live) & Freezepop - Starlight (Karacter Re-vision Remix)

A few things happen the other day and paragraphs require thinking, and comprehension early in the morning. F*ck that.

  • I had an eye exam the other day.
  • It was the first time since moving to New Brunswick.
  • Which is 10 years ago.
  • And it was probably 8 years before that since I had one. :)
  • Found out that my right eye is weaker than my left.
  • Discovered that myself after the first test involving the spoon.
  • I need glasses now.
  • I'm going to find the coolest dork glasses that I can find.
  • I'm going to sport them like they're going out of style
  • even after they've gone out of style.
  • I didn't realize how expensive some of the frames really are.
  • I can't wait to go back and pick them out. Its going to be so sweet.
  • I might even put them up here.
  • Its friday, but I keep thinking its Thursday.
  • I've been doing that all week. Every single day.
  • Except for Monday, I thought it was Tuesday.
  • Then Tuesday was Wednesday
  • Apparently I have something against Tuesday.
  • This is by far the best way to post stuff.
  • I can be as random as I wasnt. Sweet.
Cheerios

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

7 Weird & Strange things about me

Rose over at Writing is my Therapy wrote a post and didn't tag anyone with this, so I'm taking it upon myself to write my own response. Here are the 7 things about me that might scare little children and the faint of heart.

  1. I'm shy. So shy to the point where I won't talk to someone if they're in the elevator with me. I am currently employed as a Customer Service Technician for a software company and give training to corporate customers and goverment officers. I hate every minute of it.
  2. I've got a terrible short term memory. I have a hard time remembering what a colleague and I spoke about while I'm returning to my desk. Often I ask them to email me what I'm supposed to be looking for or researching so I don't have to get them to do that later.
  3. I dislike the crowded feeling while being in a big city. I hate walking around trying not to bump into people, or waiting 5 minutes to get onto the highway from the onramp. That just annoys me to no end. But I have dreams of living and working in a big city in the near future to further my career.
  4. I've got a strange liking for heavy metal music that involves things called "death growls" where the singer basically growls into the mic. Don't know why, but it intreagues me.
  5. My monitors at work are guarded by a troll, a knight and 4 ninja turtles (that i got at McDs). My desk at home is guarded by ugly figures that I've picked up on trips (or family has gotten for me.)
  6. I spent many hours practicing folding my tongue in high school. I managed to get it to fold in threes, but I never could top Jenn's ability to get 5 folds. I will continue to try.
  7. This is the 5th or 6th blog that I've ever had. And the only one that I've kept for longer than 4 months.
This is much, much harder than I thought. I almost gave up and turned this into "the 3 wierd things about me because I'm too lazy to come up with 4 more."

I won't "tag" anyone to do this because, well, I don't know who reads it. So, do it on your own and tell me about it.

Our Puppy


20080823-IMG_1732
Originally uploaded by yatessolutions
This is our puppy, Fergus, and his best friend. He's a ... uh... character. He gets overly excited when he meets people on the street, and tried to follow the mail man to his next delivery.

His favourite things include plowing through tall grass and peeing on the floor (though he's almost over that). Oh, and I can't forget to mention chewing on the cat at every opportunity.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where the hell were you?

Music: Donna Lewis - Shout

What happened to the month of September? I seemed to have skipped over it completely. Guess that happens sometimes.

I probably lost my entire community of readership (all 3) in that time.

Let me summarize September in 30 (or less) bullets!

  • Had a job interview in my hometown the first of September. My interviewer was a guy I went to High School with.
  • Didn't get the job because the economy sucks there and they didn't want us to face hard times until my wife found a job.
  • I don't like programming in .NET anyways, so its a win-lose situation.
  • There was a dramatic decrease in the number of puppy accidents in the month.
  • While having my interview back home I was able to see my sister and brother-in-law, whom I haven't seen in a couple of years.
  • My BiL gave me some files and a list of things that he would like me to do for his company. I like having work on the side. This should keep me busy for 5 or 6 months.
  • Introduced the puppy to them and they loved him way more than they wanted to see us. They had no problems with us leaving him there with them while they were home on their vacation.
  • Fergus (puppy) now can walk down three flights of stairs all on his own.
  • He can also get down off of the couch, on of our last safe havens where we could leave him and he couldn't get down. (Stupid sister)
  • Making plans to drive to Ottawa to visit my sister since I haven't been there in a few years. Plus they want to see the puppy again.
  • I think they like him.
  • And I'm doing work for my BiL that weekend too.
  • I sprained my ankle. Really bad.
  • Almost broke it.
  • Roommate came home and I went around the corner to find my pants since he was early getting back. Went around the corner and popped it out of place.
  • That was embarassing.
  • I shouldn't have put that there.
  • Too late.
  • Went to the hospital the next day, after walking around on it for a bit and got x-rayed.
  • My very FIRST x-ray.
  • Work has been busy. They brought in a former employee to go back to Brunei since I told my boss I never wanted to deal with that project, the 2nd phase sure.
  • It was a little miss-managed on our end.
  • I'm sucking up because I'm certain an employee from there reads this occassionally.
  • I didn't count my bullets.
  • I bought IRON MAN! Its an awesome movie.
There that about finishs that list off. I missed about 20 days worth of important things.... meh.

On to more important things. Like tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Too early to talk?

I did something fun yesterday! Something that I haven't done in just about a year.

I think it's too early to talk about it so thats all that you're going to get. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Computer

So, I'm writing this little entry on my brand new computer. Well, not really brand, as I've had it for a little over a week now. The computer I'm talking about is one of those new "ultra-portable" computers that every one is talking about. The ones that are about the size of one of the portable DVD players that you can pick up.

There are not a lot of bells-and-whistles on the computer. No CD-Rom drive, no harddrive. Its got a fairly impressive 8" screen, and wireless Internet which makes it perfect for taking with you to the mall or even in the car. Its small enough to fit into the side pocket of most cargo shorts. (That is how I carry it around with me since I don't own a purse.)

The keyboard takes a little getting used to though, as the keys are small and compact which can make it a little difficult to type. I often find myself hittig the wrong keys while typing simple messages.

All in all its a great little item which I gladly use while sitting on the couch to do most of the tasks that I have on the Internet. Personally, I think that everyone should get one.

(Mine was free.) But you can pick one up for about $300 fully installed.

Portability: 4.5/5
Usability: 4/5
Cool factor: 6/5

Most people may find the interface cool, as everything is preinstalled and setup. Once you settle on the "Wow factor" someone will tell you that you're using Linux and you'll want to rush out and get it.

----

Speaking of which, have I mentioned that I managed to switch all 4 of the computers in the house to Linux. Even my wifes? .... Under *her* request?

I was sitting there playing with some of the advanced graphics stuff that are available in Linux, more specifically I was making it rain on my desktop.



Cool shit eh? Bet you that you want it now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Recent down turn...

I'm not too happy about something that I recently found out about regarding work. I'm scared to write anything about it here because there are people with whom I work with that just may read what I have written, and it wouldn't be anything good.

In the meantime, I will stew on it.

Mmmm.... beef.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One more astronaut...

I was vaguely watching the Discovery Channel while annoying Odd Facts, and they were doing a show on American Chopper for the astronauts.

Thats the only reference to anything space-related in this post.

Whats the best thing that you've ever done for someone? How has it made you feel afterwards?

The reason I ask is that I'm a big fan of the concept of Pay it Forward.

What!? You're making reference to a movie? Are you delusional?

No, let me explain.

Pay it forward can be summarized as follows: You do something nice for three people without asking for anything in return, and those three people do something nice for another three people. I hadn't watched or heard about that movie until about 2 years ago, but I've been doing things for people for a while now.

It all really started when I moved briefly to Ontario after ending a serious relationship (7 1/2 years). A friend of mine actually drove for 12 hours in her car with her girlfriend to pick me up.

This isn't such a big deal for most people or really good friends, but I had met this person online and I had only met the her once in person for some coffee. At the time, I didn't have much, only a few garbage bags full of clothes and a knapsack with a few reading books. Most of the larger items were still in the apartment with my ex, but I wasn't concerned. They could be boughten again.

I was moving there, without a plan, without a job, and essentially without any money. I had $500 to my name and she was letting me sleep on her couch for as long as I wanted without asking anything from me. Not a thing. No rent, I didn't have to buy my own food. Nothing. I spend $350 on a computer so that I could find a job and spend the better part of 2 weeks living with her as she would have let me stay there until the chesterfield caught fire. In the end, I left and went closer to family.

Ever since that day, I have made it my goal to help people whenever I can. (Well, except for hitchhikers, they scare me. [Too many horror movies as a kid.])

Whether its feeding friends who are pressed for cash, helping people move to another city by spending our own gas money to get there and back. Letting friends who have moved across the country live with us until they can find their own place to stay. Heck, I'll just randomly buy dinner for friends even when I'm pressed for cash.

I just can't help doing things for people. While we were both going to school, we invited a friend over to spend a few days with us. She was pregnant and going through a very hard time with the father of her child. She didn't have anywhere to stay and didn't have any money. We let her stay with us, giving her the bed while we shared the futon.

There are even times when I find myself compelled to help/assist even the people who I feel don't deserve it.

What kind of things have you done to help people out, even the ones that don't deserve it?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dreaming a little dream...

Music: Mandalay - Not Seventeen

After reading an inspirational post this morning that was written sometime in the last few weeks I figured I'd share something that I keep seeing in my dreams.

Reality.

You may ask how I can see reality in my dreams if they're in a dream. Have you ever had a deja vu experience? The moment something happens can you pin point the exact time and place when you experienced this before? I can.

For some reason, every once in a while I will dream something but I won't remember any of it when I wake up. There is only a momentary recollection of shapes and objects, just enough for me to question what I was dreaming of. After a few moments pass and my mind has had a chance to fully wake up, all of the tiny memories of the dream are erased.

I might be walking down the street when I have a momentary flash, think of it like Ted (of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) standing in your head saying, "Whoa!".

Its at that point in which the dream comes flooding back to me, and I begin to put the pieces back together.

There was one time I was in my friends yard playing baseball, I threw the ball and my friend swung at the bat.

While he was swinging, I saw him hit the ball to the right and hit my other friend in the face.

Then he hit the ball, and to my astonishment, my other friend got it in the face.

Most of the time, there isn't as much detail when the even happens. There are times when I just get a sense of being there and watching it all happen as if I were someone else, which is nowhere near as exciting.

Its really hard to explain how it happens or what it feels like when it does happen. The only thing that I really know is that it doesn't happen as often as it used to. At one point I was experiencing it once or twice a month.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hong Kong

The adventure continues in the essential coolest city on the planet. Why do I call it the coolest city? Where else in the world can you see blocks of 40 storey skyskrapers lining the water front while lush green mountains are a minutes drive away?

We landed in Hong Kong around 2:30 and encountered the strangest turn of events ever. After standing in line for about 45 minutes to clear immigration and get our awesome NINETY day visitor visa we headed to customs.

For a comparison, no matter who you are when you enter Canada you proceed through immigration and customs to declare your goods and all of that other fun stuff. Same goes for Brunei, you can't enter the country with out going through a rigorous customs check.

When you enter Hong Kong, you have two options:

1. “Something to declare” - this is the area you enter if you have ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms) in your luggage that you want to tell them about.
2. “Nothing to declare” - this is the area you enter if you have nothing to tell them.

We didn't have anything in our luggage that they needed declaration so we went to the “Nothing to declare” option and rounded the corner and to our sudden surprise we found ourselves.... in Hong Kong.

That was it. Nothing to it. Made me feel like trying to smuggle something into the country without having to tell them about it.

Our next line standing adventure continued after we found our hotel transfer desk (which was B2 and not B3 like their own website mentioned.) we paid for our transfer $130 each [but thats in HK dollars = $17 Canadian]. They told us to go over to the sitting area and wait for the bus which was leaving in 25 minutes. We waited.

A fellow in a bright orange shirt came over and got 30 or 40 people and said “'Tention please. 'Tention please. Follow me.” and turned to walk through the mass of people packed into the arrivals terminal to take us to the bus.

Once we reached the other terminal he pointed us towards another set of benchs and said, “Wait here.” Over the next 20 minutes they proceeded to call people by their hotels to a number of buses, about 5 in total. We, naturally were on of the last hotels to be called.

Then the adventure really began. When we first landed in HK I had taken close to 50 pictures the entire trip. Since getting on the bus, I have taken close to 200 pictures, with the promise of even more tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Who could be so cruel?

Sad lonely eyes looking up at the world from the side of the road, wondering why no one will stop to say hello to me. Watching a million people walk by blissfully ignoring my presence in the world as if I were nothing.

Waiting for the perfect opportunity when someone would give me just a little, I've been hungry for days now. I'm beginning to see the world as a dark and cruel place, it wasn't that long ago when the world was my oyster, and I could have anything I desired.

What happened to those days? Did I do something wrong to deserve this? If I could say I'm sorry to the people that I loved I would, if I could say anything I'm sure someone would stop to help.

I put my head on the ground and wait. I wait for my turn. Someone will have the courage to help me.

Finally someone comes near to me, I lift my head up in hopes that they'll stop and pay some attention to me. That after countless hours sitting patiently in the sun I'll get what I need.

Again, I go unnoticed as the tall stranger zooms past and into the shop. The person does a double take as they enter the shop. Were they looking at me?

They turned around in the door and look out at the world from the safe confines of the shop. Is it time?

They wave. I look around and see another person on the other side of the road wave back.

Putting my head down again, I feel alone and rejected.

A small child comes towards me. They're always so friendly and caring. I begin to stand to greet them when a large person accompanying they yanks them out of the way.

Looking up at them I can only see an outline of a figure with a halo of light visible around their head as if they were blocking out the sun. Are they the person of my dreams who has come to rescue me from this life on the street? Are they an angel sent from heaven to take me away?

The person raises their hand to the sky in a gesture to bring it down on my head.

I cringe in fear, waiting for the inevitable moment when that blinding red pain will light up my world making it hard to concentrate, to see.

It doesn't come, instead I hear a shrill of laughter as the person can only pat himself on the back as he saw the fear in my eyes.

Why do people have to be so cruel? Would they find the same enjoyment if they were huddled in a corner on the sidewalk while so many people passed them by?

-----

This story is inspired by the dog that I saw today while I was having breakfast at a little cafe here in Brunei.

Before we left the cafe one of the other shop keepers chased him away. I can't imagine someone being so cruel to an animal who's only looking for some food and love. I could never live here, I would have a house full of dogs all of which I see on my daily commute to work.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Worst Day Ever!?

Music: The Klaxons - Magick

Today has just been one of those terribly aweful days which just kept getting worse as it progressed.

For starters:

I discovered that most of the music on my computer wasn't playing, it would play fine in one type of player but not in the one that I use the most often. I went to my second most favourite player, still not quite. Some more would play but others were still messed.

We went to our usual spot for breakfast. I got the usual, noodles. It was terrible today, the sauce that they normally put on the noodles just wasn't cutting it. It was salty and thick.

Then we got to work. I've been working on a way of getting two servers to communicate nicely so that our end users won't have much to worry about. We're deploying this for an IT department and lets just say that my mother has more of an IT sense then they do. In a meeting they were worried about something, which is a fundamental part of IT. If they had some intelligence then they'd know the answer and wouldn't have anything to worry about.

I've spent all day tearing my hair out of my head trying to get these two servers figured out. And nothing. Not a fucking stitch.

After about 7 hours I decided to work on my MP3 problem as a bith of a change in pace. I randomly decided to re-install the software for my sound card. Voila! Done! Sweet.

After another hour of face on desk, I decided to start fresh, for the 13th time that day to make sure the settings were all correct. I copied information from one location to another and made a couple of setting changes like I've been doing all day long.

Then, out of nowhere, instead of typing out the URL I pasted it from one location to another when I found the problem.

ALL fricking day long I've had one server trying to connect to the wrong location. There are two lines in a file that I needed to modify, one was correct, the other not.

Everything on the web is case-sensitive, which means connecting to http://www.example.com/mapLocation is different from http://www.example.com/maplocation

I realize that absolutely noone gives a shit about this, but I figured what the hey!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ugh... F*ck

Music: The throbbing of my own head.

Warning: This post contains explicit fucking language.

I haven't been this hung over in.... so fucking long... last night a few of the guys (and by "few" I mean: me, the other Canadian, and Stinky) came home from the mall and had a few beers.

As the night progressed we got more inebriated and began to carry on.

Around 9 in the evening, I casually mentioned that I could use some Pizza to go with the beer, Stinky ran to the living room and ordered us up a Pizza and garlic fingers from Pizza Hut.

He said he ordered the "largest pizza in Brunei" which turned out to be a 12" pizza. I think he's full of shit.

The garlic fingers turned out to be 3 pieces of garlic bread with a bit of cheese on them. A little disappointing.

When there were three pieces of pizza left Stinky had the bright idea of having a Tabasco-challenge where we'd put Tabasco on the pizza and then eat it. Needless to say, he didn't fair too well as he kept saying "more, more, more" when we were putting it on.

Then we started teaching him Caps.

For those of you who haven't played, here is a summary. You take you beer and put it in front of you, and put the cap on it, the other person then throws a cap and tries to knock it off. When they do, you take a drink.

Fairly simple, right? Well. Lets just say that Stinky didn't do too well with it.

In actuality, he got own'd!

He loved every minute of it though! At one point he started pushing his bottle closer and closer so that he could drink more and more. It was pretty funny.

At the end of the night, Stinky and I went bottle for bottle on our last ones of the evening. I drank twice from mine when his was empty, though I would occassionaly drink from mine anyways cause I was bored and thirsty.

Needless to say, everyone is hungover this morning. If I were back in Canada I'd still be in bed and I'd be taking a mother fucking sick day. Our host actually asked us if we wanted to take a sick day but neither of can as we have alot of work to do today to be ready for the end of our trip.

I won't be touching any more beer for a few days, thats for sure.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happiness, not guarenteed

Music: John5 - Sin

As of this particular moment in time, right this very second. I'm not happy.

There are a good many things that I'm not happy about, most of then I'm not going to share here as it would cause a great many people to hate me and think that I was an asshole.

Lets work on cheering me up. Tell me something happy, that will make me feel better.

Please....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Days off in Brunei

Music: Praxis - Inferno/Heatseeker/Exploded Heart

Today was my first official day off in Brunei, its Sunday. Want to know what we did?

Went to the office and worked. Yeah, we're losers. Though we only put in a grand total of about 3 hours before we went to lunch and then went shopping.

The shopping was pretty good. My colleague wanted to buy a new watch for himself and his girl, so we went to a girl we're working with-cousin's shop. It was pretty cool. He gave us 20% off everything in the store.

I bought a fountain pen for $160 Brunei dollars. I had a really hard time justifying spending that much on myself, but I managed to convince myself that its worth it.

I also looked for a set of ear-rings for my wife but didn't see anything in the store that I liked.

[Note: That should read, I didn't see anything for under $1,000 Brunei Dollars.]

--

Did you ever have one of those friends whom you really want to help, but don't know where you should step in? Ok, its not "my" friend, she's my wife's friend - but I view her friends as my friends.

She's going through a difficult time at the moment, and by difficult time, I actually mean dating an asshole.

Lets start from the first time that I met him. It was about 3 or 4 weeks after I met her and he showed up to her party after he got off work and he was loaded. Fine, so was everyone else. He'd make stupid comments about sex and didn't really pay much attention to her or be nice to her at all.

After most of the people at the party had left we crammed 6 people into our hatch back and went to Subway so they could have a drunken snack. While we were ordering a couple of police officers came in and he started to chat them up.

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem but he began asking them if they'd ever been tased and that they should because they shoot people with tazers. He began ranting at them, his girl looked at him and told him to shut up but he wouldn't. After getting his order he then went to his seat and continued to bash them and call them "douche-bags" all the while his girlfriend was in tears. I should have popped him one, but then I might have gotten arrested.

Anyways, that was my first impression.

My subsequent impresssions were not any better.

She sends me a message on Facebook last night (yesterday morning for everyone else) asking where my wife is because she really needs her since she was breaking up with him. I was near giddy with excitement.

The last we heard she was going to go talk to him .... and then there was silence. Its been 14 hours since our last contact with her. I'm beginning to get worried.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Landlord from Hell

Music: Skinny Puppy - La Human8

So, I've been here in Asia for a few days now. I've been away from home for 6 days and within those 6 days my old landlord has become a complete Asshole!

Lets start from the beginning:

Our last apartment, was in a house downtown. It was a great little spot, cute and cozy. With neighbours from hell. They smoked pot all the time, which doesn't bother me except when the house was old and drafty and we ended up getting more pot then they did. They also had no control of the volume of their stereo, they though that turning the bass booster off would mean that there would be no music, only words.

So, we moved to another house a little further from downtown but closer to my work. The landlord was very approachable and very nice. We signed the lease on the spot basically, and moved in shortly thereafter.

We had an arrangement with JW which would allow us to use our damage deposit as our last months rent since he wasn't going to give it to the Rentalsman [Essentially, the peace keeper between tenants and landlords.].

We'll move ahead a 6 months.

I had just gotten back from Brunei, when I saw JW in the driveway. He hardly said two words to me and didn't look very happy. The next day his wife started acting weird towards me as well. Did I do something to offend them while I was gone? Were they getting a divorce?

We tell him that we're leaving when our lease was up. We essentially gave him 4 months notice, but told him it would be more beneficial to rent the place for the first of September instead of the first of October to get more lookers.

Within 2 days of the place going on the market he had it rented. Which was awesome, he then came to us and asked up if we'd be able to be out for the middle of August because thats when the new tenants wanted to move in, we told him we'd be out the for the first of August to make the transition easier.

It was agreed.

Then he decides on a whim to try and change our agreement about lasts months rent without discussing it with us. Why? Because he's turned coat and become an asshole. He mentioned it to me on the phone while he was out of town and I protested, alot. He told me he'd call me back on Monday and we could talk about it more. He never did. So I assumed he was going to stick to our original agreement.

We found a place in the next town over that we were going to take and slowly move things over the month of July and then officially move when I got back from Brunei.

We called him just before the beginning of July to tell him of our intention to get our Puppy. (Did I say anything about the awesomeness of Fergus yet?) He went ballistic on us, so we said that we'd give him to my wife's mom for a few weeks until we moved out.

In the back of our minds we decided to find a new-new place, not in the other town, where we could move sooner instead of having to wait for such a long time.

JW went on vacation and we moved while he was on vacation. Was it intentional? No. We just needed to move before I came to Brunei, so thats what we did. Nothing personal. (He obviously took offense.)

He came back, and we were pretty well gone, just a few loads of odds and ends (microwave, toaster, etc) that needed to go in the car. We brought the puppy with us one morning just to get him used to being in the car. JW sees him and has a conniption, I swear he had an aneurysm.

He yelled at us about having the dog in the house; What if the people are allergic, he says. Our dog's hypo-allergenic, we comment. He yelled about the cats; we "lied" to him about them when we first moved in. And that he has a problem with a dog in the house period, not just visiting.

He then tells us that he's going to cash our check for rent for the month, we didn't say anything because if he was going to be an ass then he deserved the NSF charge. (We weren't worried because we closed the account altogether 3 weeks prior.)

The apartment was mostly emptied when I came to Brunei, which made me happy since the only dealings we had left was to clean it and then give back the keys.

My wife gets a telephone call on my 2nd day in Brunei from him and his wife threatening us with lawsuits because our check bounced and the apartment wasn't cleaned, they wanted their keys back, and were going to call back every day until it was rectified. Thats right they entered our apartment without our consent, and told us they were going to harass us. How nice of them.

We ended up calling the Rentalsman about the situation, and told him everything that was happening. This is a summary of what the rentalsman said:

Since your landlord broke the law and didn't give the damage deposit to me; there is nothing stopping us from using our Damage Deposit as our last months rent. And that we have done nothing wrong. He emphasised that fact and told us to change our telephone number if he calls us again.

After this, my wife gets another telephone call from him and he starts yelling at her again about the same things, all the while his own wife is in the background saying things like: "You give it to her.", "You tell that bitch how it is."

In the middle of all this my wife breaks out the news that he broke the law and we'll give him the keys "when we're f*cking ready".

I smiled when she told me this as it had literally made my day.

We haven't heard from him in a couple of days. Maybe he's gotten the fact that he fucked up.

Hello, from South Central Asia

So, I'm back in Asia again. I'm not really happy about being here this time either. Wait... let me rephrase that.

I'm not happy with the way in which things were dealt with for my trip here. Things have happened over the past few weeks which have been underhanded and not very kind. I've commented on it before, and nothing more needs to be said.

My last trip here I was jetlagged for a few days before my body adjusted to the time and I was perfectly normal again.

This time is a little different, its day 4 and I've already been up at 5am everyday since I've been here. Not very good, if you ask me.

Everything is like I remember it. Nothing much has changed. They boys still like to drink, though the whisky seems to be lasting alot longer than when I was here before.

Since I'm here with someone different, I think, just think that I might be able to some touristy things so that I could get some pictures. We went and had supper last night by the water front and you could just see the "Water Taxis" zooming by taking people from the city to the water village.

[And by "Water Taxis" I mean Speed Boats.]

The only other thing that I have to say right now is that its frickin' warm, and I'm bored.

Thats right, I don't have near as much to do as the last time that I was here so things have been going rather slowly for me around the office. Though, I'm not complaining, I like being able to take my time while doing some tasks. Its refreshing and a change of the ordinary.

One funny story from this trip. I was drinking beers with the guys in the back yard when a girl arrived who knew a bunch of them. She started talking and I near pissed myself. This petite Asian lady spoke near perfect English.... with... get this.... a thick British accent! It was awesome, and made my night.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Finally, something written.

I'm sorry I've been sucking at this lately, it really wasn't my intention at all to let this fly by the wayside.

Whats been going on lately?

1. We got a puppy. I've never had a dog before, he's just as much work as a kid actually. He's very cute, I'll put picture up soon.

2. Work has been very hectic, I was training last week and next week I'm going to fucking Brunei again, ask me if I'm happy. Go ahead... ask. Stupid fucking work.

3. I'm moving. Yet again we find ourselves moving, and this time to a building we've already lived in, funny how that works actually.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Photo-logging

Music: Get Set Go - Won't Let Her Go

Rules:
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?



1. Albert Park Lake, 2. Stir fried noodles with seafood, 3. Memorial composite, 4. blue and white...2008, 5. Christina Ricci, 6. Keith's, 7. A Bit of Ireland, 8. Lemon meringue pie anyone?, 9. The Photographer, 10. Say I Love You at the End of the Day, 11. I'm Awesome!!! (Very Tongue in cheek), 12. Untitled (I'm unique)Align Center

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Those were the days...

Music: Imogen Heap - Getting Scared

I remember when I started this, that I would try to keep what I write to be more creative and less of the duldrums of life, but lately life has been pretty interesting.

Case 1: I used to enjoy the fact that use on the Internet was fairly free reign, I could download a piece of open source software that related to my work. I would sometimes find a wonderful piece of software that would be excellent for my job.

Then they changed. I could still download things, but they had to be approved first. The license agreements read, analyzed and scrutinized. There was a public location at work where all of the "approved" software was to be found.

There was a catch. I couldn't make a request for this software to be included in the folder. I had to convince my supervisor that it was necessary, then he would have to convince the IT department that it was necessary, then they would take a few days to approve it.

Then it changed again. The request process was still in place, but now they completely blocked all downloads. Everything. You click on a link to download a file, blocked. Even things that are necessary for my job I'm having a hard time getting access to. Its getting quite ridiculous.

Case 2: Like most frequent computer uses, I get sore writes from not properly using the terribly (and unchanged) designed mouse for hours a day. To circumvent this I had boughten a graphics tablet which uses a pen mouse for better ergonomics. It took roughly three days to get the proper approval to plug the device into my workstation, in the meantime I'd have to sit at my desk and try to do my work one handed since I was in that much pain at the time.

I guess things could be worse. I could be working for the government where things are totally locked out, restricted and downright weird. I figured that a private business would be a little more willing to let their employees surf as they wish.

What is everyone else's work environment like?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nostalgic Weekend

Music: My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult - Sexy Sucker

This weekend was fantastic, went and did something that I haven't done in years, along with two things I've never done.

First. The thing that I haven't done in ages: Went to the Drive In!! Yes, there are still places in the world that have driveins. We were driving back from visiting a friend and were driving to the in-laws when we spotted it from the highway. We drive by this place every time we go to the in-laws, but that night I wanted to go.

We saw You Don't Mess with the Zohan and Made of Honour (yes, I'm Canadian and I put a U in there, deal. :) )

Second. Something I've never done.... made out at the Drive in! Yeah, I'm a loser...

Third. The other thing I haven't done. Attended a big press release for a launch of a sculpture.

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/326869 (I'm hoping the link stays active for a while)

The artist is my uncle-in-law, he's done alot of work in the area over the past few years. And we're very proud of him as he's been getting alot of work over the past number of years. The subject of the scupture is John Peters Humphry who was instrumental in the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I didn't realize he had grown up in such close proximity to where I'm currently living.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fuming!

Music: Autechre - Further

I didn't realize until a few minutes ago that it was actually Friday the 13th, normally this doesn't bother me. And today isn't any different. But there are other things that are on my mind...

At work I am mentoring another person, basically I assist them with their daily tasks, provide guidance and leadership, you know... essentially I'm the Big Brother. Our boss told me to do this the moment I came back in the doors in January, I took the responsibility on with open arms as I used to do this as well with another co-worker.

Except today. I was apparently the "asshole". Let me explain, yesterday afternoon he was sending a message to a client when I left, so I came in this morning and read the message. Everything was fine.

He arrived at work, and I said to him.

Me: "Why did you ask for this? Did the original problem get fixed?"
Him: "No."
Me: "You should ask him for this log file just to make sure that you can verify that its not a problem before asking for something else."
Him: "I just didn't. I don't need you to tell me what to do."

(a few moments later, he turns around...)

Him, very angrily: "Why are you always reading my requests? I never read yours, I never asked you to."
Me: "I was just trying to help."

He was pissed, so how in my attempt to offer him some advice, I offended him, hardcore.

I cooled myself down because I was about ready to punch out his lights for being such an ass. I quickly emailed my boss about something else that had come in through the email and then briefly mentioned the altercation to him, within about 30 seconds he called me into the office to find out what was going on. I didn't want to have to report this, but lately things just don't seem to be working out at all for him. I mean the training class that he gave a few weeks back was a disaster in the clients eyes, and now this.

Things don't seem bright.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Of sorts...

Music: Run Level Zero - Run Level Zero

I just got a promotion of sorts at work, though I won't be making any more money. A few weeks ago at a hosting meeting it was decided that since the eldest of the Sales people was off work for an extended period of time, I would take his place as the point of contact for all of the hosted environments that are deployed within the company for internal use and for external viewing.

Turns out this isn't much different than before as I was doing all the work anyways.

I *NEED* to go see this movie: Young People Fucking and you need to as well.

Random thoughts for the day....

  • I made my 100th post yesterday. Not bad for ingoring this thing for 3 1/2 months.
  • I love my job.
  • I hate my job.
  • I actually want to move.
  • I think that makes me delusional.
  • I'm a geek, but I tend to refer to myself as a "Technology Aficionado", makes me feel like I need to have my picture on a magazine cover holding a PDA or something.
  • I want a blackberry, not because I'd use it, but so I can say that I have one. I had a Palm Pilot back when they were cool ('98) and used it for about a week. I was happy I bought it second hand.
  • Yesterday for supper we had chicken. I cooked four piece for the two of us. Why? Just because they were stuck together and I didn't want to take the time separating them.
  • If I had the choice to go to Ireland or a beach in the Caribbean, I'd pick Ireland without thinking.
  • I've been looking at different job postings for the last year and have yet to find anything that suits what I want to do.
  • I have been thinking about doing my Masters in Computer Science for about 4 years now, I'm still no closer to making up my mind. I think I'd miss working.
  • If I won the lottery, I'd work full time. If I didn't I'd probably end up being really, really, really bored.
  • If I won the lottery, I'd give most of it to charity. I wouldn't need that much money anyways.
  • I'd give someone pretty well anything if they did or didn't ask. (Case in point: gave a perfectly good 20" tv to my wife's coworker. When the same coworker gets settled, we're giving them a laptop.)
  • I've been compiling this list for 2 hours. Thats what happens when you do this stuff at work.
  • I miss my friend Kermit. I was thinking about him the other day. He passed away 5 or 6 years ago now, cancer. Way too young.
  • Now I'm sad.
  • Stupid list.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You can tell

You can tell that I am a new owner of a car. I'll tell you why.

I just called a few places to inquire about the cost of a MVI (motor vehicle inspection) for my car. After a call to a few garages, I called my dealer, and asked the question. He responded politely:

"The cost of the MVI is regulated by the government, its $25."

I was like, "Shit, I feel like an arse now." (I said this in my head.)

Guess I can go whereever I want for my MVI, so I might as well take it to the dealer since I like our sales guy.

Celebrity Blogs...

Music: Ministry - Hero

I've been reading a few celebrity blogs lately (did you know that Kanye West posts like 8 or 9 times a day on MySpace?) and its really kind of funny to read about how they're trying to live the normal life, while shopping on Sunset Drive and getting hounded by twenty 'razzi (as they call them).

The best part about it, is reading the comments that the 'normal' people leave on their blogs after every post.

"I love you"
"You're the best"
Trying to make relatively nice conversation with the artist on their post, knowing full well that the person isn't going to read the comment, their own blog, or comment back. And its funny to see that the same four or five people are always at the top of the comments, you know very well that those people are getting close to being stalkers.

Its nice to see people trying to give back to their base, as superficial as it might be.

*Note: by "Celebrity blogs"... I mean 2. (One a famous person, one an indie rocker who *should* be famous.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why don't people listen...

when I tell them things.

Case in point:

A colleague asked me if I had worked with a piece of software before.

I honestly answer him: probably not in 2 years.

For the next 3 days I'm barraged with questions of:

"Do you have these files?" (I've never been involved in the project.)
"Am I doing this right?" (I don't know, I've never done it.)
"Do you have these other files?" (Seeing as how I didn't have the first ones, I doubt I'm going to have the next ones.)

Edit: Now I get it. I'm being asked because the employee before me used to work on this project and software so they figure that I'm inheriting knowledge

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bloody hell...

Music - !!! - Pardon My Freedom

I'm not actually whining about the heat, I can deal with that sometimes (by taking a trip to the mall for a movie)... I'm whining about the fact that with the Air Con turned *on* here at work I'm still sweating.

I put my arm on the desk and I can feel how sticky the air actually is. Shouldn't having the A/C running cure this and pull the moisture from the air? Shouldn't I be comfortable sitting in my seat while at work?

Then again this is the same company who told us to bring indoor and outdoor shoes in the winter because they didn't want to pay someone to mop the floors...

If only things were easier and I could run my own business, then I'd freeze the office out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sleep Deprivation...

or how I've learned to live on less than 5 hours.

For the past two days I've had a horrible time sleeping. I lay down, toss and turn for a few hours, then I make the mistake of getting up to watch TV. Why is this a mistake?

Because when you're tired and not able to sleep the worst thing that you can do is wake up and concentrate on something, like a movie or television. Its at that point when you are tired again when you find something interesting on the television and decide that staying up even later to watch it would be a much better idea than actually sleeping.

I'm just watching something on National Geographic on Stonehenge. Its on for another hour and a bit, which would make it close to 3 by the time its over, I really should turn it off... but I'm a dork.

Even worse than staying up to watch television when you're overtired... trying to write a coherent blog, but then again people should be used to that already.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Musicology

I've been on a strange music kick lately, ranging from distorted electronic beats to independent cabaret rock. Here are my two vices of the last month:

Abby Travis - artist from LA who does a great set of Lounge Rock with a piano. She's actually playing base for the Bangles at the moment while still producing her own albums in her free time.

Holy Fuck
(home) - an electronic band from Toronto, with some members from close to my home town. They will probably never gain mainstream attention because people aren't allowed to say "Holy Fuck" on live television. Though, MuchMusic (the MTV equivalent in Canada, though 1,000 times better) recently started playing their music in the middle of the day.

Two completely different sets of music, yet I've been binging on everything that I can find. Its times like this when I had atleast one ounce of musical talent so that I could do 1/8th of what other people do.

Go check them out and leave me your opinion.

*jealous*

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Anonymity...

I just realized at how terrible I am at keeping this semi-anonymous. I need to fix that.

Step 1. Removing link from facebook. Done.

Step 2. Get a new URL.

How can I accomplish #2 without loosing all of my readership.... wait... what readership....

Simple. I'll remap this blog somewhere and open a new one to use the old address..... uhhh yeah, that'll work.

The worst part, is all of the good names are taken by people who haven't updated their blogs in 3-4 years....

Apartment Shopping.

Music: Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

There are currently three things that I hate most in the world:

1. Inconsiderate Drivers
2. Intolerant People (whether religious, racial, sexual, etc)
3. Moving

Wait, thats just the order in which I thought of them. Let me re-number them so you know how much that I actually hate moving.

1,000,000. Inconsiderate Drivers
2,000. Intolerant People (whether religious, racial, sexual, etc)
1. Moving

I *despise* moving. I hate packing. I hate lugging. I hate lifting shit up the stairs. I hate re-organizing the living space to fit the things we own. I hate arguing with my wife about where to put shit. I hate having a time limit to get the stuff out the apartment and into the new one before the uHaul renters in town pitch a fit.

Generally, all-around, without much doubt... I hate it.

Guess what we're potentially doing for the month of July? Thats right. Moving. But, if I have my way we'll have two apartments for the month of July which will give us thirty days to move our stuff from one place to another! How frickin' awesome is that?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

F@ck right off...

Music: The Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm

I posted this initially, and have now re-read it. What a horrible entry... time for some editing.

I asked about a new feature in the application which allows a different page to be opened, I first read about it in the features document that was sent to me this morning and I had just gotten an installation working so I figured I'd check it out:

Me: Where do you set this? (After 10 minutes I found it on my own)

Me: So the setting says "Use the first" of the items in the list, where does it get the first one from?
Dev: From the list of features.
Me: But if the admin can set them up, and the user can set them up.
Dev: You'll have to test it because we don't know.

This means they don't care how its done, nor do they care about the usability or wording.

I thought about it for a few minutes and realized which would be first.

Me: Ok, so its the admin.

I quickly realize that there are two listings in where the Administrator can set the order, when its created and when its assigned to a user.

Me: Which list is it using? Because there are lots of inconsistencies.
Dev: I don't know, probably from the group. (Which makes sense)

Now I get to the hard questions:

Me: Whats the point of it? I mean if you have a list of 15 of these things that the admin just added and suddenly realized that things were wrong and you have to use the first one... you need to remove them all and add them all back in to have the proper order, because you didn't put in any mechanism to move these items up and down in the list*. So someone needs to spend a good 15 minutes getting this sorted out for each of the user groups (because the groups can have a different set of these items.)
Dev: That wasn't a requirement.
Me: So we're putting out a piece of functionality that development doesn't know the order of, where a user has no easy way of creating and maintaining this information? And no one thought of making it easier to use?
Dev: Its going to be like that in the next version in September.

Developers are always so hopeful, the version that I'm testing now is going on 2 months late, which means the September launch is already pushed back to October.

Me: So, why didn't we take the initiative to fix this as we were developing it?
Dev: I don't know. I'll file a defect.

Thats code for it'll get fixed at some point, but not anytime soon.
I hate it when shit like that happens. Why would you release something like that?

Think of it like this, you make a list on a piece of paper and you want to change the order. But you wrote it in marker, now you have to redo the entire list again on a new piece of paper. Its a waste really.

* This isn't the first time they've done that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Neglectful

Music: Alec Empire - Ice | Alec Empire - Robot L.O.V.E.

Where has it all gone. The time has passed unbelievably quickly the last few days and I honestly don't have any idea what I did to make it go by so fast.

The only thing that I do know is:

1. I found a buyer for my old camera.
2. We're giving a spare TV to a friend.
3. At some point, we're giving that same friend a laptop.
4. I have an uncontrollable urge to write.

A few years back, probably 4 now, I started writing a story. Since that point it has blossomed to close to 40 pages with 10 or 12 more pages of edits that have yet to be added.

I don't remember any more why I started writing it, only that I have been neglecting it for the last two years. I was talking with an old friend from high school today when we began to discuss some of the writing projects that we've been neglecting since the last time we talked. (Prior to this the last time I spoke to her was close to 6 months ago)

We got on the subject and I began to think about this story, which I aptly named The Lumberjack. Yes, it will be a cheesy, 80s throw-back slasher with a bit of a twist. I was going to use "campy" but then realized that a mysterious stranger terrorizing campground would be a little redundant actually.

I'm going to spend some time this evening, before my wife comes home working on some of those edits. When she does get home I"m going to force her to watch AVP: Requiem again because its awesome.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Saving grace...

and a small database.

One of my tasks at work is to ensure that the installation of our software is correct. And by correct, I mean, does what I want it to do.

When I came back in January one of my first tasks was to make sure that there was an upgrade procedure to go from our old version 4.2 to our new version 4.3. Our current users (and myself) spend alot of time making customizations to the configuration of the application, creating groups, assigning rights and privileges, etc. For 4 versions now, there has been now way to upgrade the application from one version to the next so users would have to spend alot of time redoing all of the work they've spent months doing.

Today, I was trying to determine why the database upgrade wasn't working like it should. I'll leave the fact that the software is going past 8 weeks late for another day...

When the installer got to this point it would simply crash and die a horrible death. Initially I blamed it on the developers and their "It works for me" attitude. Then I thought about blaming our release manager just because its fun to make him sweat.

After alot of experimentation, as to why the script would run then fail when I started over again (by removing the database and reinstalling). It was bugging me, so I started documenting why it was working sometimes and then not.

Turns out (after saving you from some serious nerdy goodness) that its totally the fault of the implemented database. We're using a simple memory database called HSQL to store the configuration information, and well it wasn't getting the table information until after it was restarted.

I passed the information on to our installation developers and I should have a new build the end of next week. Judging from past performance and how it took 7 weeks to get a beta installation....
On other notes, I have a new word of the moment. SPORK.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Experimentations

Music: Skinny Puppy - Schrimpz

I've been away from this for the last few days for no fault by my computers.

You see I have been trying to go all open source on the computers that I own. I already have one running Linux which I'm using as my webserver of sorts. Its been working wonderfully and I have not had a single complaint about it since I set it up 8 or 9 months ago.

The harder one to deal with is my personal computer that I use constantly (too much if you ask my wife) [But thats part of being a nerd. :-)] On my own computer I use for a lot of different purposes, the most imporant is to manage the Photos that I've been taking lately. For this I use Adobe Lightroom, there is no acceptable open source substitute for this program. While messing around on the computer I actually manged to get Lightroom to install on my Linux computer at home. Hurdle 1 was clearly avoided.

Hurdle 2 is a little more tricky. I am music-nerd. I have lots of music and I am particularly fond of the out-of-print 7" vinyl tracks that I've managed to obtain**. To help me organize the collection of obscure music, I've come to trust and love iTunes. This is my downfall.

I have been experimenting with other Linux media players and none offer the functionality and organizational ability that I require. The only one that has come close has been Amarok, but its a sack of shit. When you change an artist, genre, album, year, etc on the mp3 file normally it gets stored in the file so that the next time you load the file it will have all of the information. Not Amarok, its big "selling" point is the Database that is uses for faster searching and interface loading. Now, see the problem. I change my song information and load it into my iPod and things are different, they don't match up. I don't like being tied into an application and having my information at the mercy of one thing in particular. ***

So far this week I've installed 4 different distributions (*) about 9 or 10 times to see if I can certain things working.

Reluctantly, you can see that the responsiveness of iTunes that I have been experimenting with isn't quite up to par. Clicking play normally doesn't take 30 seconds to respond, and using the volume slider in the app shouldn't cause the MP3 to skip.

** Read: file-sharing.
*** Hence, my reluctance to actually buy any music from the iTunes music store. I refuse to purchase music that I can't move, copy, rip, burn, encode, recode at my whim. Call me old fashioned, but you're essentially renting the song. (Though, the DRM-free stuff at iTunes is interesting.... )
(*) - meaning flavours of Linux.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spontaneous Day

Music: Alec Empire & El-p - Shards of Pol Pottery (Hard Mix) | Skinny Puppy - TFWO (Live)

What a great weekend. What a truely great weekend!

Did you ever have trouble trying to express that amount of fun that you've had doing something in particular, yet want to tell the entire story from start to finish without missing a single thing? Thats the point where I am right now, I'll see if I can do it justice.

The day started out with the notion that it was Nerd Pride Day (I keep calling it International Nerd Day). (You can see it here. Yes, I am one of the "cool" people who has a facebook account, so? Its nerdy.)

As the day progressed past noon, my wife and I turned it into Spontaneous Day.

I later tried to rename the day Random Day but that was vetoed and squashed by my wife numerous times.

Here is how it happened:

Sunday was just like any other day, I had woken up early and begun to make plans for the day. Since it was a special Nerdy type day (well, not much is different from any other day) I decided that I was going to format my computer and put the latest version of Fedora on it.

Shortly after deciding this my wife had gotten out of bed and asked me to watch a movie with her, The Thomas Crown Affair, we begin to watch it and half-way through we begin to discuss thoughts of going for a drive, she was initially thinking Sussex but I was thinking somewhere new. Some place we hadn't been before.

I grab the road atlas from the shelf and begin to leaf through the pages looking for someplace cool to go. I settle on a senic drive around a lake on the other side of the County and begin to show it to my wife.

She interrupts me with: "Want to go to Maine?"

Thus began Spontaneous Day!
OK!

It was 12:15 when we decided this, we showered, dressed and at the gas station 35 minutes later.

We had initial plans to persuade friends of ours to come with us on this journey as they seem to as random as we were, after a 15 minute cell phone discussion on the way to their place and then a further 15 minute discussion with them in their living room, they still wouldn't budge. Pansies.

We hit the road and drove to the US/Canada border 45 minutes away.

We take the turn off for I-95 and head towards Houlton, Maine and the beginning of our adventure. We drive for what seems like an eternity, but in reality was about 15 minutes until we reach the signs for customs.

Up until this point I had never driven across the border, I had always flown, so this was a new experience. We get to the Customs agent, and he asks us what we are doing and we say going over for the after noon, by this time it was about 2pm so we knew we didn't have much time to do anything before having to go back. He checks our passports and we head into the US.

We see a sign for a Visitor Information center, so we decide to go in and find a map of Maine so that we couldn't get too lost. The little elderly ladies working the center were terrific.

On the way in we say a young gentleman pick up a girl and put her on the trunk of the car, I was beginning to wonder why he did this until we could hear the thumping music coming from the car. I look at my wife and say, "She likes the vibrations." We giggle at them for a good 20 minutes.

Her: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Canada."
Her: "Where are you going today?"
Me: "We don't know."
Her, puzzled: "What do you plan on doing?"
Me: "We haven't figured that out yet."
Her, thinking we're idiots and laughing: "Well, how can I give you information then?"
Me: "I dunno, you have a map of Maine?"
Her: "That I can help you with."

She then proceeds to hand me brochures, pamphlets and her kidney for places that are in the area, and by area I mean New England. She starts telling us about the wonderful stuff in Portland, Bangor, Bar Harbour and Boston.

I turn and say thanks before going back outside to giggle at her, and the horny couple in the parking lot.

We drive around Houlton, taking note of the million and two flags displayed in various locations, stop for a shopping trip at Marden's, and then found a cute little walking bridge over a river.

We drive through town and look for something new to do, its 3 and there much be something else in Houlton. We see a sign for "Million Dollar View" and think that it might be a groovy thing to do. We turn around and head up the road. We're driving for what seems to be quite a long time (10 minutes) when my wife reads that there is a 500,000 square foot mall in Presque Isle, I pull a u-turn on the road and make like a bandit for the mall.

We get to Presque Isle at about 4:30, giving us exactly 30 minutes to browse through the mall, its stores before settling someplace to eat. We notice when we pull in that there is a K-MART, there hasn't been a K-Mart in Canada for something like 10 years, and its open until TEN that night.

We're going through the mall, I stop at a CD shop any my wife at a clothing store briefly before going to Sears and Staples as our final stops before the mall closes. We come back out and are startled to see that the mall is still open we take a run back down and stop at the dollar store.

As we're leaving the store it hits me. No, thats not right.

As we're leaving the store it *HITS* me.

We crossed the border at 2pm this afternoon. Thats a time-zone. Its only FOUR pm. Holy shit we have another hour before stuff closes!

We take our time in going back down the mall, I buy some music (The Kooks and Arcade Fire) and Amanda goes clothes shopping.

Its time for supper, we're starving, its 6pm in our bodies (and minds) and we go to this place called Ruby Tuesday for supper. Its a cute little spot and we order some food (Salmon and Chicken) and talk about when we go home, what we have to do, etc.

We gather up the stuff that we bought and hit the road again, we figure we'll drive back down to Houlton and drive across the border there and then the 45 minutes to home. The bugs were crazy down there and we had to stop halfway down to Houlton to clean them. We stopped at a gas station to clean them and noticed a sign as we turned in that said Canada left. (essentially)

After getting bitten 15 times in 2 minutes by the hoards of mosquitos outside we turn down the road and head back to Canada. We looked at the map and figured we had 10 minutes to get customs. 30 seconds later we were at the border.

Rolling down the window to talk to the customs agent near got me killed by the mosquitos, we found ourselves back on our way to Canada. Bringing Spontaneous day to a thrilling conclusion.

Our Route:


View Larger Map

Saturday Disappointments

Music: Alec Empire - I just wanna Destroy

I had made plans, with myself, all week to go to the pond thats at the top of the hill to take some pictures. Every time I drive by its so calm and peaceful. Except one day, as I was driving my wife to work I thought I saw something in the pond. I do a double take and think that I see a beaver swimming freely near the shore. I got excited and vowed to go on my day off. Saturday afternoon was rainy and full of drizzle, I patiently waited next to the window with camera in hand for a sunny break. My patience was answered at 4pm when the sun broke through, I tore through the door and jumped in the car.

My first stop was a flower bed downtown that was planted by the city its be a long time since I've taken any pictures of flowers (I used to do it on a regular basis while in school) that were planted by the city. Next, I haul ass up the hill to the pond. I parked across the road in the ball field and ran across 4 lanes of traffic to get to the area. As I'm walking towards the pond I can see a stream of ripples (much like I saw the previous day) going towards the center of the pond. I was behind brush and could not see what it was. I walked faster in hopes of coming around the corner before it was too far away. As I come around the corner, I see it.....

a duck, a green-headed mallard duck. All this time, dreaming about photographing a real beaver in its natural inner-city habitiat.... I find a duck.

From International Nerd Day to Spontaneous Day...

Music: Alec Empire & El-p - Shards of Pol Pottery (Hard Mix) | Skinny Puppy - TFWO (Live)

For some reason this didn't publish 2 weeks ago. (Dated: May 18, 2008)

What a great weekend. What a truely great weekend!

Did you ever have trouble trying to express that amount of fun that you've had doing something in particular, yet want to tell the entire story from start to finish without missing a single thing? Thats the point where I am right now, I'll see if I can do it justice.

The day started out with the notion that it was Nerd Pride Day (I keep calling it International Nerd Day). (You can see it here. Yes, I am one of the "cool" people who has a facebook account, so? Its nerdy.)

As the day progressed past noon, my wife and I turned it into Spontaneous Day.

I later tried to rename the day Random Day but that was vetoed and squashed by my wife numerous times.

Here is how it happened:

Sunday was just like any other day, I had woken up early and begun to make plans for the day. Since it was a special Nerdy type day (well, not much is different from any other day) I decided that I was going to format my computer and put the latest version of Fedora on it.

Shortly after deciding this my wife had gotten out of bed and asked me to watch a movie with her, The Thomas Crown Affair, we begin to watch it and half-way through we begin to discuss thoughts of going for a drive, she was initially thinking Sussex but I was thinking somewhere new. Some place we hadn't been before.

I grab the road atlas from the shelf and begin to leaf through the pages looking for someplace cool to go. I settle on a senic drive around a lake on the other side of the County and begin to show it to my wife.

She interrupts me with: "Want to go to Maine?"

Thus began Spontaneous Day!
OK!

It was 12:15 when we decided this, we showered, dressed and at the gas station 35 minutes later.

We had initial plans to persuade friends of ours to come with us on this journey as they seem to as random as we were, after a 15 minute cell phone discussion on the way to their place and then a further 15 minute discussion with them in their living room, they still wouldn't budge. Pansies.

We hit the road and drove to the US/Canada border 45 minutes away.

We take the turn off for I-95 and head towards Houlton, Maine and the beginning of our adventure. We drive for what seems like an eternity, but in reality was about 15 minutes until we reach the signs for customs.

Up until this point I had never driven across the border, I had always flown, so this was a new experience. We get to the Customs agent, and he asks us what we are doing and we say going over for the after noon, by this time it was about 2pm so we knew we didn't have much time to do anything before having to go back. He checks our passports and we head into the US.

We see a sign for a Visitor Information center, so we decide to go in and find a map of Maine so that we couldn't get too lost. The little elderly ladies working the center were terrific.

On the way in we say a young gentleman pick up a girl and put her on the trunk of the car, I was beginning to wonder why he did this until we could hear the thumping music coming from the car. I look at my wife and say, "She likes the vibrations." We giggle at them for a good 20 minutes.

Her: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Canada."
Her: "Where are you going today?"
Me: "We don't know."
Her, puzzled: "What do you plan on doing?"
Me: "We haven't figured that out yet."
Her, thinking we're idiots and laughing: "Well, how can I give you information then?"
Me: "I dunno, you have a map of Maine?"
Her: "That I can help you with."

She then proceeds to hand me brochures, pamphlets and her kidney for places that are in the area, and by area I mean New England. She starts telling us about the wonderful stuff in Portland, Bangor, Bar Harbour and Boston.

I turn and say thanks before going back outside to giggle at her, and the horny couple in the parking lot.

We drive around Houlton, taking note of the million and two flags displayed in various locations, stop for a shopping trip at Marden's, and then found a cute little walking bridge over a river.

We drive through town and look for something new to do, its 3 and there much be something else in Houlton. We see a sign for "Million Dollar View" and think that it might be a groovy thing to do. We turn around and head up the road. We're driving for what seems to be quite a long time (10 minutes) when my wife reads that there is a 500,000 square foot mall in Presque Isle, I pull a u-turn on the road and make like a bandit for the mall.

We get to Presque Isle at about 4:30, giving us exactly 30 minutes to browse through the mall, its stores before settling someplace to eat. We notice when we pull in that there is a K-MART, there hasn't been a K-Mart in Canada for something like 10 years, and its open until TEN that night.

We're going through the mall, I stop at a CD shop any my wife at a clothing store briefly before going to Sears and Staples as our final stops before the mall closes. We come back out and are startled to see that the mall is still open we take a run back down and stop at the dollar store.

As we're leaving the store it hits me. No, thats not right.

As we're leaving the store it *HITS* me.

We crossed the border at 2pm this afternoon. Thats a time-zone. Its only FOUR pm. Holy shit we have another hour before stuff closes!

We take our time in going back down the mall, I buy some music (The Kooks and Arcade Fire) and Amanda goes clothes shopping.

Its time for supper, we're starving, its 6pm in our bodies (and minds) and we go to this place called Ruby Tuesday for supper. Its a cute little spot and we order some food (Salmon and Chicken) and talk about when we go home, what we have to do, etc.

We gather up the stuff that we bought and hit the road again, we figure we'll drive back down to Houlton and drive across the border there and then the 45 minutes to home. The bugs were crazy down there and we had to stop halfway down to Houlton to clean them. We stopped at a gas station to clean them and noticed a sign as we turned in that said Canada left. (essentially)

After getting bitten 15 times in 2 minutes by the hoards of mosquitos outside we turn down the road and head back to Canada. We looked at the map and figured we had 10 minutes to get customs. 30 seconds later we were at the border.

Rolling down the window to talk to the customs agent near got me killed by the mosquitos, we found ourselves back on our way to Canada. Bringing Spontaneous day to a thrilling conclusion.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And then there was South Africa

You know how I mentioned that OOXML was approved and I wasn't happy? Well neither is South Africa. They just filed an injunction/complaint with the ISO body to review the process and hopefully revoke the appointment of OOXML to an ISO standard.

All the information can be found:

http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20080523052458101