A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

31 October 2005

This Is Less of a Post Than It's Cracked Up To Be.

I was going to tell you about my epic struggle to get a bit of my scooter fixed, but tonight's All Hallows' Eve, so the SO and I are going trick-or-treaterwatching. Possibly with large bag of poisoned apples?

The SO is such a spoilsport.

Aaaanyway, have a good one.

I was considering painting my face purple and wandering about announcing:

Greetings! I am de Count.
Do Yhou know vhy zey call me ze Count?
Because dat's vat's on my birth certificate!


29 October 2005

Good and Bad News

Well, let's see what the week held, shall we?

Thumbs Up To Patrick Fitzgerald. Scooter Libby is only the first domino! I feel the way big Republican supporters must have felt when the first indictments started tumbling out of the Whitewater investigation. Although those were somehow overpowered by a ridiculous fuss about whether Clinton liked Hummers more than Ah-nold.

Thumbs Down To me and others like me. Where are the donations for Pakistan earthquake aid? The UN has given warning that it may have to scale back its operations. Let's dig a little deeper shall we?

Of course, this leads to a certain amount of musing: How many corpses per dollar? What does it take to pry my hard-earned (and in most of the places where it may be best used, unimaginable) wealth from my hands?

And the eternal "What can we do?". For people who can stand the atrocious accompanying feeling of helplessness, I recommend Stephen Lewis' series of Massey Lectures, presented this week on CBC Radio One. Massey is the UN Special Envoy on AIDS. It seems as though this, being a slow-moving disaster, doesn't cut to the heart of humanity the way mass destruction does.

Maybe it's because we can't imagine being the prisoners of attitudes to disease that were cultivated in the 14th century. Thao Mbeki seems to have flip-flopped on a once-bold stance.

The Pakistan earthquake is terrible, but if action is not taken against HIV, millions will die. The sheer magnitude of it all is enough to make a man weep. And the solutions are relatively simple: More money for anti-and-retrovirals, and the ABC's: Abstinence, Being faithful, and using a Condom (of course, in some quarters, it's only the first two that qualify for money).

I look forward to seeing how Dick Cheney fills out an orange jumpsuit. The only question is: Is there a way to get him sent to Gitmo?

Pretty grim post, eh? But this is a few minutes out of my life. For some, it is their life.

In brighter light, seventeen workers at an Alberta company won $54 million in the national lottery recently. Incongrous, no? I pity the HR director of that company. Yet the greater wonder to me is that any of them are even thinking about coming back. If I won even as little as a million dollars I wouldn't hang about. Of course, maybe they like their jobs more than I really enjoy trucking.

Today no trucking is required of me. Stuff I need to do:
1) Return defective portable CD player to Future Shop
2) Seek out season 4 of Babylon 5 (a vice inflicted upon me by the SO)
3) Find a litre of DOT 5 brake fluid and possibly refill the reservoir on my Nash
4) Collect a repaired piece of my scooter (remind me to tell you the saga sometime)
5) Have coffee with an old friend
6) Talk to the Customer Screw--I mean Customer Servicing Department at Digital Networks
7) Likewise Trend Micro

Stuff I actually plan to do? Items 1 to 4. Maybe.

19 October 2005

I'm Gonna Regret This Tomorrow

I was wheezing a bit tonight, so sat up waiting for the Advair to kick in. And I had one of those ideas that make you go "duh". Why not use this internet thing for a meaningful purpose?

For much of my adult life . . . well, no, not really: for a tiny fraction of my adult life I have spent time trying to ask people if they remember Sam the robot. He was a character on Sesame Street. I personally remember him best for his appearance in a book. Susan had lost a heel off of her shoe and he was supposed to help her with it. She was instructed to place the defunct footwear in his belly hatch, whereupon it was returned to her with the heel firmly affixed right in the middle of the shoe.

There followed an explanation of the terms "same" and "different". Sam then asked for both shoes to be inserted in order for him to correct his mistake. Naturally, the shoes were returned with BOTH heels mid-mounted--but exactly the same.

Anyway, for some time I've asked the odd adult if they remember him. Not one person has. Not a single one to whom I've mentioned the character. I was in fact ready to believe that he had appeared perhaps on some other show: "Let's Go" or "The Electric Company" perhaps.

But tonight, after searching for two hours, I bask in a warm glow. He existsed, and there is a picture of him on the web--don't laugh, I think it's the only one.

My sense of vindication will hopefully power me through tomorrow at work, for which I must arise in a little over four hours. But I'm going to bed happy, and what more can a human ask at the end of the day?

Or in my case, at the beginning.

17 October 2005

Let's See What's Out There

From The Eternal Golden Braid, which I found at random: Wanna win a trip to the moon?

It's weird, but it appears to be genuine. And based on the fact that at least two space tourists have blasted out of Baikonur, it seems like a possibility. The Economist of a few weeks ago mentioned the ambition of Energiya to send people around our neighbouring satellite.

Of course, if $100 mil is a bit pricey for you right now, you could always just wait a while and make the trip posthumously.

Do y'know? I've never checked with the SO if she'd be okay with emigrating to another planet. And that's important, because if ever it becomes possible, I plan on doing it. Of course, I'm a bit long in the tooth for an astronaut--or possibly not.

This is what I'm doing at the moment instead of sending out resumés. So I'd best go and at least make dinner.

13 October 2005

Le Fin Du Blogue

Alas, 'tis done, 'tis done, 'tis done.

BLive have decided that a blog (and, necessarily, a bloggER) is a luxury they aren't able to afford right now. Boo! Hiss! Dude--that totally blows.

I know, but overall the experience was positive. It's nice to be trusted, and I was. The company asked for very little input into my output, and I hope that I'll get to work with them again sometime, possibly soon. I understand they may have other work for me one day soon-ish.

Of course, losing a third of our income stream is a sobering experience. Still, I can hang out my shingle in confidence, able to claim some months working in the corporate communications arena.

Elsewhere: Bob's still pretending I don't exist. I wish I didn't obsess about it as much as I do, 'cos really I don't care much what he thinks one way or the other. But the feeling of friction at my other work is distracting.

My other writing gig also seems to have toddled over the horizon; what the hell is this? A made for TV movie?

Well . . . if this were a movie, I'd find out that the SO is having an affair with the milkman, develop a drinking problem and lose my remaining job. There would be a long montage showing my hair getting longer and my beard getting interestingly scruffy, although not beyond the three-days'-growth stage. Then my unpublished novel would be picked up by a major movie studio, I'd win the lottery, and every doughnut I ever ate would turn out to be calorie-free.

Gotta go--I've only got a few more minutes to buy a ticket and I don't want to be away from the phone too long. Wanna drop by the house with a dozen doughnuts?

10 October 2005

By the Way

For once it's not my lungs which have awakened me at this hideous hour--it's the rich food and surplus of alcohol I consumed last night. But I need to write before I can sleep again, I think. So I'll mention that I have traditionally loathed Abba.

This is my sister's fault entirely. You see, Julia had a record player (remember those?) in her room, as did I. But she used hers for evil. She always bought the latest pap, sorry, "pop" music and then played the sole hit track for days. Usually not even letting the other songs on the album be played.

Some artists for whom I acquired a violent dislike: Prince ("Purple Rain" played nonstop for an entire rainy weekend), Abba ("Greatest Hits"--which contained only one "hit" as far as I know), and the Prince of Evil, Michael Jackson (Does the "Thriller" album come with any tracks on it besides "Billie Jean"?). I considered her musical taste fit only for wets, wimps, and weirdos.

Of course, being myself more of a fan of what was then known as Hard Rock and Heavy Metal (catch them nowadays on your local Easy Listening station) I was un-predisposed to like them anyway, and upon mature reflection, I find that I haven't missed anything. All the artists I came to dislike in this fashion are wets, wimps, and weirdos--i.e. The Artist Once Known as The Musician Who Used to be The Artist Formerly Known as etc., Michael "Children's Hour" Jackson and the Swedish Spandex Swingers.

So "Mamma Mia" came as something of a shock. An audience of aging boomers and '70s children booogieing their brains out in their seats (the woman in front of me almost fell out of hers she was gyrating so vigorously) to a play based on Abba tunes.

Sort of as if T.S. Eliot had heard some Lloyd-Webber crap and decided to write a book of cat poetry around it.

I found that the as-bad-as-typical-in-musicals writing somehow enhanced the sounds of Sweden in a way that was neither unpleasing to the ear nor entirely offensive to the brain, although the eye was repeatedly violated by scenes of white spandex.

But the dancing frogmen made the whole show for me.

So okay, I enjoyed it. But don't expect me to rush out and buy the soundtrack.

Some Good Excuses for Showing up Places With a Shiner

1) "Ruutu threw an elbow during practise."

2) "Bad strategy. Long story, don't ask."

3) "Well I guess 400-pound gorillas DO sleep anywhere they want to."

4) "I thought our relationship was about honesty. Was I supposed to tell her it didn't make her look fat?'"

5) "So I say 'Look Mr. Austin, WWE is all about gay male repression and I can prove it'."

6) "Who knew Paris hadn't seen the tape yet?"

7) "When she said she and her roomate share everything I took her at her word."

8) "Well De Niro's stunt double is being led away by the medics and someone said 'We've gotta shoot the scene--Isn't there anyone else?'."

9) "Tyler Durden."

10) "So I said 'If you touch my fiancée again Governor, I can't be responsible for my actions'."

05 October 2005

Let-down of the 00's

Electronic communication has brought with it a few new shared experiences. As I mentioned on my other blog, one of them is the sensation of screaming in rage and frustration at some hapless phone-centre "tech-support" type, only to find that actually, the device IS unplugged.

Another is the stomach-drop one experiences when one opens one's e-mail and finds that "You have one (1) message waiting", only to find that it's the same one you didn't open yesterday.

A 5:30 thought.