Thursday, March 25, 2010

passing the sick time

Miserable would adequately describe how I feel right now, for yet again I am trapped in the clutches of a cold, that awkward beast. I would really appreciate science figuring out a sure-fire way to lessen its symptoms for I could use some real relief right now. I have been taking Tylenol to reduce the fever but my liver (or something in that area) gave me some pains the other night so I'm avoiding it right now.

With this unforeseen time at home I started watching The Big Bang Theory, which is growing on me, a light fare perfect for occupying my cold-numbed mind, distracting me temporarily from my ails. One particularly pleasing scene is where Sheldon admonishes Penny at the supermarket: "Well, there's some value in taking a multi-vitamin but the human body can only absorb so much. What you're buying here are the ingredients for very expensive urine." Whoo, take that pseudoscience!

I've also been reading Bobwhite Comics, a webcomic about art students in Providence, Rhode Island. The drawings are pretty impeccable if you ask me, and the characters are mostly entertaining. And they get along, you know? Even though they have their hang-ups and are kind of losers they stick together and I enjoy their antics. Am I defending my feelings for this comic? Could be the meds talking!

Well, it looks like LOLCAT Crunch is slated not to do too well. Which is total bulldung. I mean, I do feel that the music choice is awful (it sounded a lot better on a laptop), but the editing is some million times better than the other entries. It just took far too long for the judges to accept our entry, which is crucial in a contest based on hits and popularity. Finally, should I be bothered that the winning video is so damned racist? I guess taking the "New Moon" angle would've been a savvier thing to do.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First US east coast trip

Cape Cod
Got back from my Vermont, Boston, Cape Cod trip Sunday night; some 3000 km of driving! Lots of walking too, so I'm somewhat still recovering. In actual fact, I stayed at home today with a fever and stuffy nose. Nicest day in March and I slept much of it away. We did have some pretty good days weather-wise in Boston and Cape Cod, but it was snowy and/or rainy while in Vermont, my first trip to any of these places.
Ok, so the itinerary went something like:
  1. Drive from Toronto to Burlington, VT. Enjoy the Vermont countryside, stop in a couple tiny towns. Check into the wrong Holiday Inn, drive to right one.
  2. Burlington reminds me a lot of Guelph; laid back, quiet university town with lots of pro-environment sentiments, hippies. Ripped off by the parking meters. Lunched at a Skinny Pancake. Small drive down the highway through the mountains. Dinner at an Olive Garden where a friendly couple struck up a conversation.
  3. Visit Montpelier before heading down the scenic 100, past national parks of mountains and trees and snow. Get caught in a nasty rainstorm, trickle our way to Boston. Can't find the hotel, stop at a McDonald's but they're of no help, nearly an hour of driving around where we want to be but unable to get there. Yes, a GPS would have been helpful.
  4. Still lousy weather so we visit an outlet mall, so many temptations for my ever-thinning wallet. I caved in and bought myself some Penguin clothing, but I could've easily spent many times more, so dangerous were the specials.
  5. Boston
  6. Boston Common! Sun! Freedom Trail! Faneuil Hall!
  7. Went to the Boston Public Library but it was closed for Evacuation Day, so instead we saw Chinatown and Little Italy (North Boston). Avoiding the St. Patrick's Day revelers.
  8. Boston Public Library, the wharfs/docks.
  9. Quick trip to Target then drive down to Cape Cod's beaches and winding roads. Check into a B&B, dinner and a walk.
  10. Hearty breakfast, then walking along P-town's main street, taking in the locals and shops. Drive from Provincetown to Burlington.
  11. Wake up to snow! Take some shots of icy lakes before crossing the border and the long drive from Cornwall to Toronto.
Next time: Bring GPS, to save on time and anguish. Use transit to save on money. Definitely could've spent more time in Cape Cod but we didn't know how the weather would be. The hotel we got in Boston was nice enough, but I'd definitely consider going with a cheaper one or at least one that was closer to late night eats!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Hales Group does something

A couple weeks ago a couple friends and I worked on a submission to an "Internet viral video" contest put on by Doritos (the corned chip people). After throwing around a bunch of ideas, we agreed upon the one that took as little effort as possible and still be technically better than the other submissions. We came up with LOLCAT CRUNCH, which, viewing it again now, is not really all that great or entertaining (though you'd be doing me a big favor by rating us, indeed, possibly financially). It's strange -- the night we edited it, the thing that came out of that session was so amazing and awesome and we were sure we'd do well. However, when we submitted it we were given a message stating it would take 48 hours before the video went online. Two days, three days, then the weekend passed and still our video didn't show up. We created a new account and submitted again and long story short, it took over a week before the video was accepted and went online. And it's not even that great!
On the other hand, at least we did something and tried and, for a short while, it gave us hope of a better life.
Now I'm back on earth, feet firmly planted. One could even say I have a foot already in the grave, looking at all these new and unsightly bills. Why the hell should I have to pay a deposit on my electricity bill? I'm certainly nowhere near using up $400 dollars in hydro a month! Nutty, it's really nutty.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Settling in

So how about those Olympics?? Actually no, I haven't much to say. I've been proudly telling everyone how I've been using the CTV website to watch the games at my leisure, skipping and replaying as I see fit, how ALL television should be. I cheered for the Canadians and the South Koreans, happy to see both doing really well this year. There were plenty of hiccups (luge/bobsled course) and dramas (Ohno, Lysacek vs Plushenko) so one could hardly call it a flawless hosting but has there ever been a perfect games?

I was originally going to write about all the minor nuisances and things that I'm having to endure with this condo -- leaky taps, the low humidity (causing havoc on my respiratory until I realized what was happening), the sounds from the street, the streetlamps outside my windows. That was until I encountered a MAJOR nuisance: water leaking from the unit above! Between that happening at 2AM last night and construction starting at a vigorous 7AM today, I did not sleep much or well, haunted by various disaster scenarios.

I will update soon!