Wednesday, July 26, 2006

T-minus 3 days...and sick!


It is Wednesday. Saturday is my first triathlon. I have been training now for nearly 12 weeks! And, what do I go and do. Get sick! BAH I say! Monday I got up with a little bit of a sore throat. Not too uncommon. But, I got to work and started to feel like 10lbs of crap in a 2lb bag. By 9:30 I had to go home. I tried again on Tuesday and lasted until 11ish when the VP finally told me to beat it. Today was much better, but I think I am moving to a flare up of the full fledged bronchitis, so around 3:00 I was fading big time.

Two days to kick this one and it isn't looking good. And, to top it all off, tonight we had our last ball hockey game. We ended up the season 1fer. There are eight teams in the league and I bet you can't guess how many make the playoffs. Ok, if you said seven, you're right, BUT NO PRIZE!

No witty closing line for you...NEXT!!

All for now,

p.s. hot tea with lemon and honey is my new best friend

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wrong number, the right way

So if you've been following along at home, you know of the idi-- lovely young lady that phoned me that I nicknamed: Random Girl. I still bristle when I think about it and I have told the story countless times to people when they mention they received or dialed a wrong number. The other day however, I received a call on my cell that let me know that there are still some decent and polite, (although maybe a little phone dyslexic,) people in this world.

I'll set it up: Phone rings. It's a number I don't recognize and immediately I get my back up. I consider not answering it but I had had a bad day and I was kind of looking for a fight.

Kef: Good afternoon, Kef speaking. (Still in work mode.)
Random Kind Gentleman: Oh, I think I must have the wrong number.
RKG: Is George there?
Kef: No, I think you're right, you must have the wrong number.
RKG: Ok, sorry about that. Good bye.

This Random Kind Gentleman, (I had to add another adjective so as not to be confused with the RG of Random Girl. I did originally consider calling her RIB,) knew how to handle himself when he got someone he didn't recognize on the line. He was a little hopeful asking for George anyway, but I can understand that because he might feel stupid if he actually did have the correct number and had to call back right away.

You'd think that this call might pull me out of my foul mood and give me a little hope for our society, and it partially did. But, a big part of me wanted to call Random Girl to tell her about the encounter and ask her why she didn't have the decency to act like a polite, respectable human being, (and ask her if she found Crystal yet.) Luckily I count myself among those that for the most part can be found on the "Decent" side of the line in society so I resisted sinking to the level of those on the other side...this time.

Goodness knows what'll happen if she ever calls again.

All for now,

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My still strange apartment

Here is another quick story about an oddity at my apartment.

Sunday was the work golf tourney, (one of them,) so Sunday night I was home after a long day of golf; a long hot day of golf; a long hot day of golf where I actually stopped sweating for the last three holes I think I was so dehydrated. But, enough about that, I was fine and it has nothing to do with the story about my apartment. I was working on the computer and I was just in the middle of
something good when I had a bit of heart failure. The power went out and I had no idea when I had last saved.

*FOA* (for those that don't know, that is "Fist Of Anger")

Actually my reaction was more along the lines of, "Oh 5417!" followed by the sound of the CPU fan decelerating while my shoulders sunk and my spirits faded. But, never one to cry over spilt milk, I got up from the desk and went to the kitchen, to get some milk. In the kitchen pouring said glass of milk I realized something strange. I could see what I was doing. I walked back down the hall to the Roomy's room and looked in as he was hanging up the phone.

"Notice anything strange?" I asked.

"The power's out. Not that strange." This is quite true. I swear they do rolling brownouts to reduce the load on the grid on really hot days when everyone is running fans and air conditioners.

"Come out here in the hall."

He came out to the hall and saw the lights in the main room and kitchen. "Ok, so we blew a fuse," (yes fuse, the building is pretty old.)

"We got one fuse that runs all the power in my room, your room, the bathroom, hall, and the plugs on the wall where the TV, DVD, cable box, etc. are plugged in?"

"Huh, seems strange doesn't it."

We spent the next ten or fifteen minutes changing out all of the eight fuses with ones we knew were good and that didn't solve the problem. Next I called down to security, or the "after hours" number as the management office puts it.

"Hey, I hate to bother you but I have a bit of a strange problem in my apartment."

"Half your power's out."

"Whoa, how'd you know?!" (Actual reaction. It hadn't yet occurred to me that someone else may have already called.)

"Lots of people have called." (It was about here I felt like an idiot.) "We don't know what the problem is but someone is working on it."

Well, by about 11:00 it still hadn't been fixed so I decided I needed to go to bed. It was dark in my room so it wasn't really a problem. At about 2:00am the power came back in my room. How do I know this you ask? No, I remembered to turn the light switch to the off position, but apparently pressing the power button on the computer and monitor does nothing if there is no power. I probably would have stayed asleep for the time the monitor was on before going to blank screen and then power save but the speakers came on unmuted as well and the Windows startup sound blasted me awake, (I had been playing Civ 4 earlier, too, so it was loud because that game is quieter than everything else, (I know I can probably fix that but it is just easier to turn the speakers up and down, (and yes I know that I am double, (and now triple and quadruple) parenthesizing but this is my blog and I don't stand on ceremony.)))

So then I was awake at 2:00am, considering getting back onto the computer to see how much I had lost of what I was working on, (pretty much all of it I later discovered,) but I remembered that I had to be up for work and considering Tuesday was my department's golf day I need to make the most of it.

I think at some point when I sat down to write this I had a point. Oh yeah:

My apartment is strange.

All for now,

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Spaced...

I gotta ask: What is so good about myspace? Why are all these people hooked on it?

I find it truly annoying to tell you the truth. I tried to get myself set up because some of my friends communicate on there and I thought it might be another way to get the word out about TSL and Global Coastal Flooding, but nothing seemed to work. I got this "unexpected error, being sent to myspace support" about a hundred times and even "the cannot find server" page on several occasions!

And, this is just getting set up. I still fail to see the usefulness of the place. The commenting system is confusing considering people are always answering comments on each other's sites. It's like reading one half of a whole bunch of conversations. At least with blog comments here, (or on many other blog type sites,) you might get some discussion going in the comments.

Bah, maybe I'll try again tomorrow. Right now, too frustrated.

All for now,

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tell me what you like about movies these days

I dare you. Is it the action? Is it the love stories? Is it the fact that they are telling the same stories over and over again and that makes you comfortable because it is familiar?

I know that I am not part of the entertainment industry and maybe that means that I don't have a say into what movies are being made. But maybe, not being part of the entertainment industry makes me a bigger part of it than I know. I mean, I'm only the consumer, the amateur critic, fan of the film media, and oh yeah:

The guy who buys the tickets to these movies. [yes I haven't seen the last one, but I'm already skeptical]

Maybe that doesn't mean anything. Maybe my $12 doesn't let me decide what movies should be made. But maybe I can decide what movies can be made, maybe I can even demand it.

Jessica Mae Stover is a talented artist that has written a story (code name: TSL) that should be made into a movie. I've read her work and I know this is going to be good. I'm going right out there and saying that. (I'd also say you can blame me later if it isn't but that won't happen.) But, she needs your help getting this to fly. Some of us have started a movement of sorts and you can be involved.

Here is what Jess is saying about it.
Here are some others that care.

Eventful is a cool idea of a site that lets people demand artists in their city. For instance, there is a band that I want to see in the Tdot, I can start a demand and if it gets big enough, they will work with the band to try and make it happen.

What we are doing here is certainly different, but no less plausible. Check the link at the side and go and demand this in your city. Pick one that's there or start one in your home town, then tell everyone you know about it. Tell the movie industry that you want better movies made and they are there just waiting to be picked up.

We are the squeaky wheel, people.

Go and demand your grease.

All for now,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We are not suck anymore!

Ok, so we are still suck. But, we are no longer 0fer.

That's right! The Cyclones broke the streak with a win last night against the Road Runners. It was a thrilling 4-3 come from behind victory with only three subs on the bench. I have to tell you though, I'd hate to be the Road Runners today. In the same way that nobody wants to be the team that always loses, nobody wants to be the team that lost to the team that always loses.

Now we just have to go out there and do it again tonight.

All for now,

UPDATE: Back to the suck. Wednesday night's game was NOT awesome.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My Dad the Handyman

I just got back from a long weekend at my Dad's in Belleville. Since Canada Day was on Saturday, my team at work got the choice of having either Friday or Monday off for the long weekend. I took both! So just to clarify for those that are bad at math, I had a four day weekend.

Marge: Homer, your work called and said if you don't go to work tomorrow, not to bother going in on Monday.
Homer: WOO HOO! Four day weekend!

I'll stop talking about my four day weekend now, (before Dariush drives halfway across the continent to strangle me.)

Ok, I'll stop talking about how long it was, I'm still going to talk about what I did. I had originally planned to ride my bike down to Belleville from Toronto and take the train back on Monday. There was a threat of thunderstorms all along the lake on Friday however, so I changed my mind and drove there and just packed my bike in the back for a Saturday ride. Saturday morning proved to be disappointing as my England lost in their quarter-final match to Portugal. (I'm still upset, so that is all on that topic.) Saturday afternoon I got ambitious and went for a long ride. I rode from Rossmore, (near Belleville,) to Colborne and back. It was nearly a 120km ride and it took me a little more than 4.5 hours to complete. I would have done better but my body is apparently not ready for an endurance race yet. At about 90km, that is halfway back, I started to feel the burn. This was no "Yeah, keep working! Feel the burn!" It was a "I think my legs are actually on fire and may fall off pretty soon," kind of burn. Even more ridiculous was my initial notion to get back from the ride and run two or three km to get used to the transition. Yeah right.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating, sleeping, doing a little nothing, (a skill I think men are particularly good at,) and observing my Dad in his natural habitat. The Village Handyman. Since his retirement, the people of Sunrise Court and some of the surrounding area have come to know that my Dad knows how to fix things and have adopted him as their go to guy when something is broken or a problem needs an inventive workaround. He does his work cheap, too. Usually if the parts are handy and there is the occasional beer involved, my Dad will have the know-how and tool to complete the job. And, if he doesn't have THE tool, he can make one from the tools he has. (Now you know where I get it from, see #2 here.)

I witnessed a couple examples of this improvisational skill this past weekend. The first was when Dad decided he wanted to put a plug hole in the boat. He has a small, (eight or ten foot) aluminum boat. If the boat gets water in it, it is easier to run it with the plug out to drain the water than to fiddle with a baling bucket. He wanted a hole that had an outward flare so as to create a good seal with the rubber plug. He started by drilling a quarter inch hole with a spade bit. Took about four seconds. Next he took a metal rod about the size of the hole and was going to swing it around to flare the freshly drilled hole. Problem was, the rod was too long considering the hole was right near the bottom of the boat. Dad stood up and put on the "thinking frown" for a minute. "I need a taper" he said as he started towards the garage. "Do you HAVE a taper?" I asked, thinking that we should have started there in the first place. "Nope" he responded without looking back. Upon entering the garage, I found my Dad already rifling through his socket sets. He stood straight up with a "Eureka!" type pose and showed me his "taper." A 6mm hex-bit quarter-inch-drive socket...with a tapered edge. "This'll do" he said as he grabbed his plastic head mallet and made his way back down to the boat. And, it did work. Made a perfect flare for the plug that he was given by a neighbour, (probably as payment for one odd job or another.)

The second was later working on the same boat. The motor actually. A 15hp Johnston that was given to him by the Doctor across the bay, (definitely payment for one of the countless jobs he has helped the good Doctor with on his sailboat.) We had just mounted the engine on the boat and had given it the first test start. It ran well considering it had been packed in the garage all winter but it wasn't perfect. "I wonder if there's an idle screw inside?" my Dad wondered aloud. When he took off the cover he noticed something amiss. A small regulator piece on the throttle wasn't sitting right and when he touched it, it broke. After taking apart all he could with the proper tools, (that I was sent to fetch in the garage,) he came to the broken piece that was firmly attached to a type of pivot. "I wonder if that's an O-ring?" came another audible wondering, shortly before he got up and headed to his workshop, (where all his model trains and RC airplanes are kept.) He came back with what appeared to be a dentist pick and a medical clamp. "Can you get it off without losing it?" I asked, although it was a stupid question because he probably wouldn't have done it otherwise. My answer came with a quick poke, clip, twist, then him handing me a tiny, (as in no more than 4mm diameter,) greasy O-ring.

As I was getting ready to leave, my Dad had received two more requests for help. One from John next door for help with something on his boat, and I know Dad also wanted to get over to see what latest project the good Doctor had on the go. The latter I think he actually looks forward to though as he gets to go sailing. Cheri, my Step-Mum wonders what the neighbourhood did before they moved there six years ago. Probably they paid some professional an exorbitant amount of money to come out to the boonies to even look at the perceived problem du jour. I am sensing a business opportunity for my Dad.

He should demand better wages than beers and boat plugs.

All for now,