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Category: Personal

Memory is for me

It turn the book over and over in my hands,  having stopped reading on page 35 and just remembering the rest of the book as it  unfolded.

The pages are yellowed and stained; the cover is soft and yields.  It is not the crisp, bright paperback it once was when it lived in my knapsack and traveled around with me on the bus and in my trunk.  I smells like a library now, not like calvin kleins ‘Eternity’ and its two partners are in no better shape when I pass them on the shelves.  They look out at me as I move around the room and place this volume down on my desk.

In the early 90s a friend of a friend who had read these books once related them to us (the nerds that we were playing ‘Shadowrun’ in the private playpen,loft that head been built in the backyard of Andrews house) as an “adventure”.  We weren’t the characters in the book; so when faced with the same choices and the same scenarios, we didn’t sublimate the authors intent.  We couldn’t absorb the flow of it via osmosis, so we couldn’t follow the story of a mad artificial intelligence and the girl who could surf the net with her mind.   We just wanted to kill bad guys and make money so our characters could be cooler and more wealthy than we could ever be.  So we didn’t really meet Bobby or his Voodoo girlfriend.  Slamhounds came, went and were disposed of.

So here I am; staring into the pages again, the first volume back on the shelf.  Waiting for me to come around again once the Matrix becomes self aware and I can consign it all to memory again.

Making the Bride Cry

If you know me; you know I have a deep-seated need to stir things up occasionally.  I enjoy the odd wheeze, especially if a family member is the victim.

My sister married last weekend, the service was lovely and Dave (the new husbands) extended family were a joy to welcome to “The Bruce County Wardrops”  LoL.

However, being a wedding and being one of those High-Stress occasions, the opportunity to torment my sister was ever elevated.

1)  My daughter was the flower girl, her appearance and hair were super important.
2)  I was the odd-jobber on the wedding, taking video and MC’ing providing music for the reception.

With that in mind, I used the phone to make the wedding march unforgettable.

About 8 weeks ago I called Kerry to talk about my Daughter’s bad day at school.  She had gotten gum in her hair, Kerry commiserated about how bad that can be with long hair.  I then went on about how they had tried ice and other remedies but that the gum was so close to her scalp… at this point Kerry took firm notice of what I was saying.  I went on that they (the school) had to cut the gum loose and that the patch was so large that we had to clip my daughter’s hair to the scalp to match.  Kerry was aghast, and became nearly ill over the matter, with only a couple of months until the wedding the flower girl would be sinead o’conner.  I let the rope out for as long as I could stand it, admitting only when tears were flowing that it was all a wheeze.

Kerry will probably never forgive me for that; I know she won’t forgive me for what i did last Thursday.

At about 3PM on Thursday My mother called wondering when I would get to Kincardine, I was already there.  I was sitting in an easy chair in my Parents living room, waiting for My mother and sister to return from the shops.  Taking the opportunity I announced that I would not in fact be coming, having been roped into something important at the office.  Two days before the wedding and I wouldn’t be able to come.  Both my Mother and My Sister become hideously upset, how could this happen?  Did they know what this would do to the wedding?  You’re the DJ, we need you here!  This went on for ages, I kept them on the line for a good 10 minutes alternating between indignation and anger.  When I let slip that I was instead at the house and already in Kincardine you could almost feel the pair of them gear their shoulders up to smack me when they came home.

Oh, I know these are cruel, but what kind of big brother would I be if I let the opportunity pass?

Taking Care of the house

It was a good weekend to get out and see London and the surroundings, which is why I spent the weekend poking around the house and looking where I could fix things and so on.

I didn’t really get much done, what with spending Friday and Saturday fretting over a customer and the Sunday wondering if my basement was filling with gas after I *finally* managed to find the controls for the gas fireplace.  I get light-headed with worry when I think about it; gas flooding my basement and killing us all.  That thing is a hazard I just want rid of.  I’ll keep the one in the living room upstairs; but the basement one has to go.

Hung a few photos, realized that I have to dig out more of them to hang.

Our Yellow Roses have come and are going, fuchsia ones are growing along the path and Champagne and White are on the way.

On the other hand; it was a nice weekend for the sun.  I had to pass on a lawn mower, 75 bucks for a toro is fine, but I couldn’t swing it.  Maybe some other time.

The house, the yard and stuff

Yesterday was one of those “get things in shape” days.

In short order Jen, Elizabeth and I

  1. Removed half of the boxes from the master bedroom that had been “hanging on” opening up another 15% of the floor space in there and making it look cleaner.
  2. Hung some pictures and set the stage for more to go up in the living room area at the front of the house
  3. Cleaned out the storm drains at the end of the yard
  4. Cleaned up the damn pine cones all over the yard
  5. Spiked a bunch of weeds
  6. Coiled the old holey Garden hose for tossing out… might take it back and bury it in the garden instead as an under-ground watering system… bears more thought really.
  7. Finally packed away the dining room table.  We don’t eat at it and we have a nice breakfast counter to eat at anyway.  This opened up a ton of space in the livingroom/kitchen area too.

In terms of stuff to do I checked out Kijiji and Craigslist and found a bunch of lawn mowers for sale.  I’ll have to check on them but we should be able to get a simple gas powered one for under 60 bucks as opposed for 90 bucks for an electrical one.  Our grass is too long for an underpowered one…..

We have crab grass where I laid the new seed.  Was the new seed full of crab grass?  Hmmm.

The new seed didn’t really take universally so we still have a kind of patchy lawn.  The back yard has really become this lush jungle of weeds though.  We need a weed whacker.

I need to repair at least one plug and then get an electrician in to fix the spare bathroom’s lights and power.

Paint needs touching up in places, but I bet a nice rub with a cloth will fix some of them instead.

Still no oven, coming up with 300 bucks for a repair seems less likely as the months come on.

Some outstanding bills to deal with too.

Perhaps it is time to sell off the comic collection if only to get some of this stuff done.

What the hell is going on here?

When all else Fails, play Blondie

What else can this guy do?

I make it a point not to whine here on the blog about work; it slips out on the twitter feed here and there; but it’s taking a real heavy load of intestinal fortitude to keep from going all LiveJournal over some static at work.

When I was at my last employer it seemed every day that I was under the gun of probable unemployment; that feeling may have been engendered by my first manager telling his entire team in no uncertain terms that our jobs were about as solid as tech stocks in 2000.  This was 1997, we had just fired 23 people from my team (23 of the 25 that where hired along with me oddly enough)

I saw people get dismissed over and over, whole sections of the firm vanishing in the name of keeping the business trim.  I suppose at the upper levels; this was the way to do it.  After what six major layoffs (rifs) and so on I never shook the “I’m next” feeling.  It pervades my work even now.

Why don’t others feel this way?  Shouldn’t we feel this way?  This, THIS is what I fear, losing the chance to get back in there and doing stuff that I can do.  Not unemployment, losing the ability to make it all work.  Today I was spending some of my Sunday working out how to deploy Puppet to improve system configuration management; this is after working out some rescue functions, which leads down a rabbit hole that I don’t want to follow…

[Image credit to Jamie Mckelvie, from Phonogram Singles Club]

To Do: 2010

Instead of a rundown of 2009, let’s look towards getting things done in 2010.  2009 was a good year; I’ve been employed at something my High  School Career councilor said was my certain destiny.  Wait.  Is that Good?  I’m meeting expectations.  Does that make me a B student?

I spoke to a conference on Anti-Spam technologies in DC for my last employer;  I held a medium sized room in rapt silence and mirth for an hour or so while I extolled the virtues of my employers product.  Why doesn’t that translate into never ending bliss?  I should exceed expectations somehow.  The Scotty Trick doesn’t work around here.

(The Scotty Trick is to under-promise and over-deliver)

Elizabeth has been my biggest challenge this year; I expected it but I wasn’t ready for how much of a challenge she would present.  I expect a rocky decade to come.

Jen continues to be obsessed with flirting online with people; playing a Gorean slave-girl  The only thing that takes her out of it is to gather her up leave the house.  I don’t want to leave the house every time I want her attention; I want it for just talking some days too.

I’ve gotta get more on top of my job; I’m still not the expert I have been in other capacities; I need to work on my delivery too (still).  Sometimes when I’m being negative it’s just me working things out loud and not me being negative.  I need to find a way to do that in a positive way.

Do I have to do anything more for the House?  I have no idea.

I need to send my written notice out.   Soon.

Mel, ignorance is not a virtue

DissolvedInsultYikes!  I’m blocked now by the way, so I cannot respond directly.  The Comment in question (one of around 4 I have ever left on Melanie’s photos) was something along the lines of:

“Wow, this is awesome, I’m so jealous.  Can you feel my jealousy falling on you, it’s like grease paint and jealously coming from a crying clown a tall crying clown”

The picture in question appears to have been removed in some form of manic deletion spree.    Truly, it was a jealously worthy image of a bridge in Prague(?).  I’m not sure that my comment warranted this swipe (especially over 3 months later….what)

This was her response at the time:


So; sinceI cannot reply privately; I respond in public:

Melanie,  I have a fairly evolved sense of humor and can accept that even the humorless have cameras.  Your pictures are nice; I enjoy them and vicariously celebrate your world tour (I envy your freedom to travel).  I was unaware that part and parcel with that freedom came the license to insult people who you have no real relationship with.  It’s one thing to go on a manic tear and delete comments and even block me from commenting once in a while on your photos.  It’s another thing altogether to go out and insult my family.  I await your apology.

In the mean time, enjoy any new friends you make via this blog post.

The Funny thing is that this isn’t the first time this has happened; about 2 years ago after Melanie broke up with my best bud in Eugene, 007Ben, she did the same thing.  Deleting all my comments (2 of them) and blocking me.  She left my family out of it that time.

Girl, I hope you’ve got lots of money at the DOG PARK, DOG PARK, DOG PARK!

Lucy iz Fasts

We’ve had a dog for about 9 days now; Lucy the “Jug” or “Puggle” or “Jack Russel Mutant” something.  She’s about four months old and just getting the hang of asking to go out and not chewing on our hands for comfort.  She’s small enough to pick up and carry around, but large enough to not look a toy dog when she is out for a walk.  Which brings us to the weekend, when we took her to the off-leash dog park off of Hamilton Road.

It’s a nice park; lots of trees and open spaces.  There’s a small dog area, where (on Saturday) Lucy got a taste of real open freedom in the city, running around like crazy and chasing sticks.  There’s a a no toys rule in the park to avoid fights (smart) and a poop-scoop rule (smart, but a number of the dog owners seem to ignore it, more on this)  the small dog area was deserted, so after a bit we took Lucy to the regular  area so she could see other dogs.   Good news, she behaves off of the leash in the large area, bad news every male dog that saw her wanted to hump her into a hole in the ground.  It was cute when the tiny little black pug mutt wanted to, it stopped being funny when 5 or six dogs were trying.

So I picked her up, walked away and we took an off-leash walk through the woods and then out of the park, leashed up of course when we left.

The next day we skipped milling around with the other people and just went for a walk through the trees and grass.  Lucy was great, walking with us and then coming when she lagged to sniff the plants.  What a good dog.

We took her into the small dog area where some other small dogs were playing, but they just ended up chasing her around and trying to hump her.  Oh well.  We leashed her and walked her out to the big dog area where the largest dog at the park decided to try an arial full-speed mounting, repeatedly.  The monster’s owner didn’t make any real attempt to stop “Kirby” from repeatedly making my little dog yelp in pain when his monster tried to run down and mount a puppy, it should come as no surprise that he had just let his dog drop a massive load in the trails just 10 minutes earlier while I watched.  No scoop, not so much as a look over his shoulder.

Assholes come in all stripes.

I picked Lucy up and walked her away from the fracas and then let her down to walk out of the park.

She’s none the worse for wear, but I’ll keep her out of there until she is fixed and has had more time with other dogs in the small dog area.

Look at all that meat, Ain't She a beauty?

I was away up North East of here in Sutton, Ontario.  Sutton is a small cottage-y town with a all the amenities of a normal sized town plus the benefits of being a Cottage Town.  Idyllic location, easy-goign residents and easy access to a lake.  Awesome.
Anit and Alex threw this Party (Meat Fest) in their Yard, we pitched tents tossed a few drinks and had a great time.  Not to mention the fine Barbecue by the boys at Smoked Meets, check them out when they compete around Ontario and the US,right?   Anyway, here are some pictures from the weekend.  It was a three day party, but I only took about 20 pictures.
Meat Fest 2009 - Smoked Meets BBQ Team!
Smoked Meets : 6 Barbecues running for about 24 hours
Meat Fest 2009
Chris and Rosie "Hey, How YOU Doin'?"
Meat Fest 2009
Jeremy make Gayle Laugh while AnitaHides and Paul Plays On
Meat Fest 2009
" I swear Adria said it was THIS big" Shawn and Alex Chat
Meat Fest 2009 - What are you measuring Adria?
Not Enough?
Meat Fest 2009
I only know (for sure) Dee and Adria, you other two will have to comment