Friday, April 28, 2006

ring a bell and I'll salivate

I've been involved in a discussion thread in the comments section of an entry on Wil Wheaton's (Stand By Me, Star Trek: TNG) website. The subject, loosely stated, is about violence in video games. If you're interested at all, you can check it out here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Calm Before The Swelter

there’s spring in the air
they’re sweeping the streets
wind is a breeze
the sun becomes her he agrees

what’s holding up her face?
nothing but blue skies

-Metric: Love Is A Place-

I love spring.

We've had a pretty good one so far. Sun, cool weather, not too much rain. Perfect. I've been working quite a bit the last couple of weeks, so haven't had too much time to enjoy it. A couple weeks ago we took the pup down to the beach. He had a good time. Can you tell?

Photos from the Field

See...I don't just sit around the office.

Sometimes I stand around the tarmac.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

No Time in the Present

Someone is stealing time. My time. I'm not sure who, and I'm not sure why. But I have my suspicions.

[shoulder check]


They're crafty.

With the mysterious loss of time, I'm left with a pile of tasks I want to accomplish that just aren't getting done. Housework. Reading. Blogging.  Heck.....I barely have time to watch t.v. these days. And don't even get me started on the stack of PS2 games sitting idle on my dining room table....

I suppose it doesn't help when you unexpectedly have to go away for 4 days due to work, 2 of which were days off. The only redeeming factor is the overtime. Ye$$$$$$$$!

I'm going to try and make an effort to post more in the next little while. Contemplating a bit of a blog redesign too. I guess it depends on whether I can outsmart the ninjas.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

You WISH your life was this exciting...

Forgive me Readers, for I have sinned. It has been a week since my last entry.

In lieu of a long, topic-specific post, here's a few random tidbits of what's been going on.

- Went to Sudbury for Easter Weekend. It was a good, but quick visit. We did our best to get around and see everyone. We got to meet 'Gerry' and delivered 'Merlin' to my mother-in-law. Rudy was a bit of a suck for the duration of the visit. Not quite sure what his deal was, but I think he may have been homesick.

- I had missed the 2006 Junos the first time around, but managed to play catch up thanks to Dad's DVR. A few observations:

1. Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas performing on the Junos? Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas TYING for Best International Artist? Lame. L-A-M-E. Lame.

2. Rex Goudie getting more nominations than Arcade Fire. Whaaaaaat?

3. Buck 65. Who is this guy, and why did they put him on t.v.?

4. Pamela Anderson. I want to comment, but I'm really just at a loss for words.

5. What is the deal with Kalan Porter, a.k.a. Skeletor? Who is that boy's image consultant? He looks skinnier (and scarier) than Kate Moss....and she's an anorexic supermodel with a $1000 a day crack habit.

- Tam and I got crackin' on some yardwork when we got back from Sudbury. We went to Home Depot and picked up some soil to fill in the crater in our backyard, and did some lawn repair and seeding. The weather has been so nice, it's been hard to stay in the house.

- We did stay in the house long enough to clean up our office/computer room. It's kind of nice to be able to see the desk again. And floor.

- It's 10pm, and I get to wake up at 5am and go back to work tomorrow. Yay. With that said......bloggo el finito.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How do you like them apples?

"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a f***in' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"

- Good Will Hunting -

When I was in school, I hated it.

Not all of it. Not every class. Not every teacher. There was the odd moment of enjoyment and appreciation for what I was learning. But for the most part, it was a drag. I consider myself relatively intelligent, and was able to muddle through with very little effort on my part. I was never in any danger of being named valedictorian, but I graduated.

I think when you're a teenager, it's hard to appreciate how what you're learning will affect your life in any meaningful way. And being told what you have to learn....well, being told that you have to do anything is just begging for an initial rebellious instinct, isn't it? And I think some people are just better at school than others, be it because of a better memory, enjoying the structure, or for whatever reason. For me, I was just happy to be done with it and into the workforce, because I always seemed to be more successful with work than school, it had tangible rewards (i.e. money), and what you did had external results outside of yourself.

So I've been in the workforce for the last 7 years or so, since my graduation, and happy as a hippie in a hemp store. Work has provided a number of challenges and things to learn to perfect my craft. And I have much yet to learn, I'm sure, but it's more task specific, as the foundations are now in place. In my current position, I also have a bit more downtime on my hands, as the nature of the work is that when it's busy, it's really busy, but when it's's agonizingly slow. My current work is also not very mentally taxing. It's important, it requires alertness and attention to detail....but doesn't require a great deal of mental acuity. As a result, my brain has been a bit......hungry, of late. I've considered taking courses by correspondence and nightclasses, but I don't know if that's right for me. I've always liked the above quoted line from Good Will Hunting, and it struck a chord with me, so I've taken to reading a bit more of late. Non-fiction, at that.

I just finished reading On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. It was a fascinating read in which he talks about the psychological costs on the individual who is required to kill, and the conditioning factors that can make him more prepared to do so. For anyone who has an academic interest in violence and combat, it's a must read. I had bought that book at Chapters, and read it in a couple of weeks. I'd compiled a "wish list" at of other books I'm interested in reading (feel free to check them out), but was a bit depressed at the cost.

Anyway, I went to the library today, and low and behold, they have a couple of the books on the shelf. So for a library card that cost me $0, I picked up Bitter Embrace by Maggie Siggins, which is actually about the reserve of Pelican Narrows where I was posted and lived from the summers of 2003 to 2005. I have a feeling it's a bit of a biased view, but I'm interested to see what's written.

It's hard to find the time to read. There's always work, t.v. to watch, Internet to surf, errands to run, sleep, KIDS (looking forward to that one), etc, etc. It's almost like you have to make an appointment with yourself. So why take the time? Why read? What good is it?

Truth be told, I don't know.

But I'm hoping to find out.

Friday, April 07, 2006

it's the end of the world as we know it

So I read they're planning on doing a biopic on the life of Mother Theresa. When they suggested who they're looking at to play the role of the saintly nun I thought, of course, that makes perfect sense. She'll be able to draw on her vast personal and acting experience which is undoubtedly relevant to the role. Perfect!

What do you think?

Monday, April 03, 2006

and the sky was angel dust

"Our lives in these empty spaces aside
I'm tired of walking around with my hand on my gun
I'm tired of watching them wind you up to see if you'll run
Tonight I'm going to go out and have me some fun
I'm tired of walking around here with my hand on my gun"

-Sort of a Protest Song-

The culmination of 10+ years of fanatical fandom came to a head this past weekend when I finally saw Matthew Good live at Call the Office in London, Ontario.

In a nutshell.....the show was awesome HAWESOME!

The venue was small, and the layout wasn't the best, but the six of us (myself, Tam, Kim, Steve, Terry and Terry's boyfriend) were able to get in relatively early and snag a few stools and table (of sorts). Steve and I decided to split a few pitchers of Canadian. I'm still belching the effects of that decision.

The opening act was Melissa McLelland, a singer/songwriter from the Toronto area. She had a great voice and some good songs. About half the club was chatting and barely paying attention as she performed. I picked up her CD after the show.

When Matt finally took the stage and started into Avalanche, I was blown away. Some artists sound really good recorded and are terrible live, and vice versa. Such was not the case with Matt. As he continued into his set, I just lost myself in the music, singing along. It was a great experience, because I've never met anyone who
was as big a Matthew Good fan as I am. You begin to think that maybe you're the only one, and no one else really "gets it" like you do. But all of a sudden I was transported into a place where I was surrounded by fans, many singing along, and it just felt right. I think this sort of communal experience is what makes live shows so great. Especially a smaller venue, acoustic show like this was, which I feel is directed at fans, and not just those who like the radio hits.

I was really happy as Matt played some of my favourites like Advertising on Police Cars, Generation X-Wing and Fated. There were also a couple of new songs, like When Hollywood Runs Out of Indians, Breath Of A Nation, Hopeless, She's In It For The Money, and Can't Get Shot In The Back If You Don't Run.

Oh yeah, and a duet of Hurt (NIN, Johnny Cash) with Melissa McLelland. One of my favourtie songs of all-time sung by my favourite artist. How cool is that?

Additionally, there was some good interaction with the crowd, such as when he displayed his Ann Coulter doll and presented some members of the audience with pages he ripped out of Paris Hilton's book. Surprisingly, there wasn't as much political commentary as I was expecting. But I guess that's what his blog is for. That night was for the music.

At the end of the day, it was a fantastic show, and well worth the price of admission at $25. I'd have paid 10 times that. I'll definitely be seeing him again next time I get the opportunity.