Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blogger Fail

Well, you know when you have failed as a blogger when you receive email like this:
More importantly, what has happened to your blog? It used to be hip (like the Simpsons) now it's not (like the Simpsons).  Perhaps you can inject some life into it by writing entries under a series of "guest contributers" such as "Lionel the 30-Year Old Bedwetter" or "The Fetus."  Just a suggestion.
I am not sure about writing guest entries myself, but I'd be happy to entertain posts from guest contributors.  Send them on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Be Careful what you Ask for

The temperature in my office soared to a crazy 80.6 degrees after hovering around 61 degrees for weeks.  This, after it was fixed, and fixed a bit too well, if you ask me.  Still, I'd rather work in the 80s than the 60s.  I couldn't really type with cold hands, but in this heat, I am all limber, but craving a piƱa colada and wondering where my sandals are.

After leaving my office door open, and permitting some of the heat to flow out, it drops a bit, but it is still a bit too hot.  I'd hate to complain, and be thrust back into the ice age.

On the downside, the high temperatures force me to remember to put my lunch in the fridge, something I normally forgot to do, but with such cool temperatures, it mattered not.

Oh, and I think (as I crack a yawn) that the warm temps are causing me to tire more quickly that when it was cold.  I need to create space under my desk to sleep, like George Costanza.  That would be sweet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Finally, I have heat!  My office has been cold, very cold, as cold as 60 degrees, necessitating the wearing of a fleece.  It was so cold, I had difficulty typing.  I hated coming back to my office, preferring to stay wherever was warmer, like my bed.  But, finally, after some visits from the folks who are supposed to fix things, it is fixed.

The dude climbed into the ceiling and noted that the vent to my office was closed.  He opened it and I can actually feel the heat coming in.  It is so nice.  Of course, if it gets too warm (unlikely in this brutal building), I might need a nap.  Wait, I need a nap anyway, owing to the difficulty I had in sleeping last night.

I am generally a good sleeper, taking no longer than a few minutes to fall asleep.  But, last night, the hours ticked away and nothing.  I hate it when that happens.  So, I am yawning.  In fact, I am yawning while I type this, but at least I am warmer.  No more long underwear in my office!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Dream

Last night, I had a dream that I was hangin' out with David Bowie.  I am not sure if we were friends, but I was in his house, helping myself to beverages from his fridge, which had doors at both front and back, I gather so that nothing got lost in the recesses of the appliance.  And, the fridge was situated in such as way so that you could approach it from two sides.  Talk about conveniences.

After eying a nice, cool drink, I suddenly was only able to find small cold medicine vials and other things that appeared to be homeopathic substances. I never did find my drink, and then Iman came into the kitchen and I decided to find out where David went.

The end.

At lunch, I stood in line behind a youngish-looking university student as she paid for her $1.00 can of pop. I have yet to understand why people drink diet pop (or even regular pop for that mater).

I considered that topic for a moment and was then stunned as I watched her pay for her purchase.  After tax, she was looking at a massive $1.13 bill.  Out came the debit card.

Seriously?  She used a debit card to pay for $1.13!  I never use any kind of plastic if it's under $10.  I bet her transaction fee was 50 cents.  For a brief moment, I considered paying for her drink, but that feeling of chivalry (or whatever it was) passed quickly.

This was on my way back from checking out some lingering sales.  I am in a clothing crisis and really need to add to my wardrobe in a bad way.  I am not done yet, though I picked up two shirts and two pairs of pants.

Friday, January 08, 2010

On Books and Trophies

My bookcases are overflowing.  I have boxes of books in a closet that I have not unpacked since the last move because I have no shelf space for them.  I acquire new books frequently.  I may have finally figured out why I have so many books.

While watching Dexter the other day, I was hit with an interesting insight, which may or may not be original.  Dex finds his way into a serial killer's house and notes the killer's collection of trophies.  These were award plaques hanging on a wall for various projects he had undertaken that correspond with and commemorate his kills.  If you watch Dexter, you will know that Dex has his own collection of trophies.  I thought about that while thinking about the Kindle and book piracy and music downloading.

I have zero interest in the Kindle or any other eBook reader.  To me, an eBook reader is about as exciting as a lump of coal.  I have always loved the tactile experience of reading: turning the pages, holding the book, appreciating the design, deciding if the font is a good choice, touching the paper.  Much of that disappears when a book is transformed into ones and zeros.  I think that sucks and it could well mean that the end of the world is upon us.  I feel the same way about music: I like to own the CD, not an inferior digital copy.

For some reason, I do not necessarily feel this way about movies or TV shows.  These have always been disposable to me.  Although I own some DVDs, I don't have an urge to collect them, unless they are absolute favourites, like Seinfeld, or are ludicrously cheap, like Strangers With Candy (the movie), which I bought for $1.99.

I have often wondered why I like to own books.  I rarely read library books and I rarely borrow books from others.  I like to own books.  Here's another curious fact: I rarely read books twice, though it has happened (Brave New World, for example). So, why do I own them?  Well, there I was watching Dexter and then it occurred to me that perhaps I get the same pleasure from having shelves of books as Dexter does from having a bunch of microscope slides with drops of blood.  Both are trophies.

I can look at my shelves and feel a certain sense of accomplishment, a certain sense of erudition (though that is arguable), and a certain sense of my own history from what I see lined up.  Of course, if that were truly the case, I ought to eliminate the books I attempted to read but stopped from boredom or frustration.   But, I suppose they are also part of my reading history.  There are, of course, those books I have acquired but never got around to reading.  Maybe someday, my pretties, maybe someday.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Look at my CD Collection, part 6: Apostle of Hustle

Well, I hope I am not boring you with these musical excursions.  If I am, so be it.  So, on to Apostle of Hustle (as much as I hate to link to a myspace Page; is there anything uglier than myspace?).  By the way, I am still in the A section.

Andrew Whiteman, the guy who formed Apostle of Hustle, is also the lead guitarist for Broken Social Scene (note that I opted against linking to myspace).  By the way, more about BSS later.  In my opinion Folkloric Feel, the first A of H Album, is the best one, and Folkloric Feel is the best song.  You might disagree with me.

I read somewhere that Andrew Whiteman dated Feist for a while.  I think this was before she appeared on Sesame Street.  I don't keep up with celebrity gossip as it takes too much brain power.  I walk around in a state of blissful ignorance.  I can confirm that ignorance is bliss.  I am ignorant about so many things that my life is almost pure bliss.

And now, a very weird video from Apostle of Hustle:

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Church Bulletins

I don't normally post this type of thing, but I found this to be rather hilarious.  I have no idea where they came from.

Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services (Summer, 2008 Release).

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: 'Break Forth Into Joy.'
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Look at my CD Collection, part 5: Alexisonfire

Alexisonfire is a so-called post-hardcore group from St. Catharines, Ontario.  I picked up a copy of Watch Out! for a few dollars a while back.  I listen to it from time-to-time, but it's not in high-rotation because it isn't the kind of thing you would throw on while kicking back with your favourite novel or when hosting a dinner party.  But, it's rather good for the iPod.  For some reason, I prefer listening to music that has an edge on the iPod.  Maybe it gets me in motion and gets me there faster, unless I am on a train of plane.  In those cases, I usually select something quieter, like Brian Eno or maybe something like Bob Dylan.

By the way, the group is pronounced like "Alexis On Fire."

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Best of Zydeco Fish 2009 (You might also enjoy: best of 20082007, 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003)

Well, here it is, my annual list.

1) Shining 'cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned - On music and cycling in winter, sort of.
2) Gran Torino - A review.
3) Pink - The colour, not the singer.
4) Damn those Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses - I hate religion.
5) The Numbers - The stats on the European vacation.
6) Shopping with the Ancient and the Insane - I don't think I have ever gone back on a Friday.
7) Trip Recap, part 2 - Musings about a free, but tiny, apartment.
8) C@#* Explosion! - Wifi craziness.
9) On Jacket Holding, Photography, and the AGO - No, I have not been back

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Stopping to Pull up My Socks

It's been so long since I've owned a real, insulated pair of winter boots, that I had forgotten something elementary: one's socks tend to slip off inside the boot while walking and when removing the boots.  I am having flashbacks to my childhood days.  It's irritating to say the least.  On the other hand, my feet have never been so warm.  In fact, while walking in -20 degree weather this morning, my feet remained warm, almost too warm.  Is it possible for boots to be too warm?  It might be. 

So, this is the last thing I will say about these new boots.  Reluctantly, I go back to work on Monday :-(