Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cold ride, foggy mind, looking for an escape

Cold the weather be, around 2 C outside now. And tired I be, having ridden home in it with naught but a thin shell and sweater. I added some cellphone pictures to my flickr account, some of which are very old. I have some more which I'll add later. These should be plenty for now. Odd, it seems flickr is.. oh curse it, my adblock is killing a script on the flickr page causing it to appear all wacky. Nuts.

Work? Well, it's getting on, getting on. Not really thinking about it much now. What I have been thinking about is going on vacation, though I know not where. I do know that I want to get away from the English language, strange as that may sound, but hear me out. These days my mind seems full of junk, just crammed with memories and thoughts and plain old garbage, like so many half-opened boxes and spilled containers. Overflowing with piddle. Concentration takes real effort, like surfing on a rubbish-filled sea. Does that even make sense? Where is my mind in all this? So many ideas pulling here, so many voices pushing there.

The point is, I'd like to forget, for a while anyway, words, words and their qualifications and their identifying and their evaluations. It's not as easy as it sounds. My new sleeping technique is to try to only listen to my breathing, to clear my mind without thinking of the words "clear my mind", to be aware but not have that conscious layer that interprets and judges and doubts. I suppose meditation is what I want to do.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

TTC strike ends, Harold and Kumar again, The Office (US), Olympics

Another TTC strike has come and gone. Me, I blame the union. Am I right in doing this? Not sure, not at all sure but it seems right. It really angers me to think of all of the wasted time and money that goes on with Toronto's public transportation and its traffic situation in general. We need a traffic hero in this city! I suppose I should be glad that Toronto's worries are not of a criminal nature, but still. Will no-one step up and make Toronto the modern city it needs to be?

Busy Saturday, really. After driving to the airport to drop someone off, I had my Korean lesson, watched some TFC soccer, saw the new Harold and Kumar film, went to the Keg and had drinks in a hotel bar. Oh, the movie was just ok. I laughed but not as frequently as with the first film. Too many lulls detracted from the hilarity. Also, I was unable to procure myself a soft pretzel, which I'd had been craving for a while. In hindsight, I think that Wetzel's was closed due to the TTC strike! Blast those unions!

Nearly finished with those season 3 DVDs of The Office, just going through the bonus features now. Listening to the commentaries is entertaining, but it does rather feel like I spent the day laughing with imaginary friends. Which I guess is better than not laughing with them.

Holy jim-jaminy, is it true that the Olympic torch is going through North Korea? Words fail me, they truly do. Is there anyone left who doesn't believe that the Olympics is some kind of sham-circus? I will no longer speak about them as a sport, and will not watch any coverage. I refuse!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Something bad, a cold sore, sports saddening, The Office

It would be nice if Microsoft Outlook supported icons or some other visual indicator so that one would know if one hit "Reply" or "Reply All". You know, like avatars for recipients of the current mail message. Gmail seems to be but one step away from this, though it doesn't seem likely that they'll implement it, in keeping with their practical "text-only" aesthetic.

I was just about to say "Not much going on" but in reality a whole bucket-load of crap-like material has hit the proverbial wind-making device. Can't go into it on-line, but suffice to say it sucks for me. Sucks in a pretty, pretty, pretty, soul-stealing way.

Speaking of things that suck, cold sores! Again! For feck's sake man. Truly, nothing is more fun than walking around sporting a fresh, reddened cold sore. And by "fun", I do mean "making one feel so very socially low, a veritable pariah". I am trying apple cider vinegar this time around, which I can attest is milder than hydrogen peroxide but smells like the most freakishly disgusting brew one can imagine. Yeah, staying in sounds good to me.

Continuing of the suck-theme, Raptors and Calgary Flames. Last night's Raptor's game pushed me back over the edge, into the realm wherein I care not how they do, such a capricious and arbitrary beast is their game.

Finished season 3 of The Office. Woo! Man that show really satisfies. I don't understand how there can be a 4th season however, as it really seemed like all the ends were wrapped up in the "hour-long" season finale. I say "hour-long" because it's really only about 40 minutes, meaning that commercials made up 1/3 of the show. Disgusting.

Finally, let me say that Kudos is Greek for "magical glory".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Windows XP upgrade

So, uh, I finally upgraded my system to Windows XP. For whatever reason the "Upgrade" option didn't work for me, so I ended up doing a full install on my primary OS drive. Which is probably a good thing. I have noticed a huge improvement in system start-up and shut-down time. And it is nice to have a fresh system, unfettered by neglected games and applications. Yes, only the cores applications thus far on this system: Firefox, Google talk, putty and StarCraft.

The one hiccup I encountered was that I didn't have my on-board audio drivers handy. Or rather, I had the ones from my previous motherboard, but I mistakenly thought they were my current one's, which led to several hours of fist-shaking frustration. After taking a break, I downloaded a motherboard diagnostic application, Everest, which is pretty damn cool if you're into inspecting the internals of your computer without having to open up the awkward thing.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Battlestar Galactica, Toronto Alternative Fashion Week

A relatively quiet Sunday. I slept in until noon, which was an hour too late to save myself on UrbanDead. Yes I still play -- I get a kick out of attempting to reach a high experience level. Sigh.. it's not easy being human.

Bought season 3 of The Office, so I'm back on that train for a little while. Oh, I also caught up with season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. Whoo what an ending! I am however so ready for them to finish the show. If they dare go on for a 5th season I may just give up on them in disgust.

Oh, and after much self-debate and reflection, I picked up a Starcraft "Battle Chest", a whole kit and kaboodle package so that I can play on-line. And I must say that already, after only a handful of games, my game has improved considerably. Still, I must be careful not to let myself become immersed in late-night videogames yet again. Time, I have so precious little of it, not nearly enough it seems to do everything I want. How cruel is that?

One thing I did get to do was attend this year's FAT, otherwise known as Toronto Alternative Fashion Week. A friend's girlfriend had her show on one of the nights, and it was fun to crowd around the catwalk and gawk and clap at the models, decked out as they were. Oh, you can see some of the photos on facebook: Photos from babu et moi. Maybe next time I'll bring my camera.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Blue Jays, sports fan pranks/ideas

Watched the Jays game. I also caught their home opener, which led me to believe that they had reverted to their older uniforms for good. I thought they looked great, better than those silly ones they have now. Also, is it not weird that the YTV logo looks the same as the Blue Jays logo?

We had One of a Kind Pasta for lunch last Friday where someone was saying that we, as an office, should go to a few Jays' games this summer. I think it would be fun, if you get a field-level seat, to bring a bunch of bottles and build a bottle pyramid. You stand there holding the top bottle as if about to place it, waiting for that golden moment. I can totally envision the sports announcer's surprise in seeing a foul ball crash into the bottles, my face awry in mock dismay. Instant sports highlight OF THE YEAR!

Along those lines of thought, I was also thinking that, well, you know those dunking tanks where people throw balls at a target and when one hits a person sitting precariously above the tank falls in? I think it would be a much better game if the dunkee is frantically eating a full course steak dinner. See, they try to eat as much of the steak as they can while people are throwing balls. Of course that water would get pretty gross with all the steak, mashed potatoes, greens and wine. Still, I think it'd be a hit.

I change my toothbrush pretty often, and so I have a pile of previously-used toothbrushes as I am loath to throw them out. I will let you know how my toothbrushes + tape = scrubber works.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A minor bike tumble, visiting the Leslie Spit

Why is it that my computer speakers warn me when a cellphone is about to ring? Seriously cellphones, come on.

Well the nicer weather means more bike riding, which in turn means more bicycle-related incidents. Hopefully these, my injured wrist and sore shoulder, will remind me to be wary of those treacherous streetcar tracks. But it was well worth the ride out to the Leslie Street Spit. I enjoyed listening to the water-worn bricks being tossed against the shore, like so many pieces of Lego. I took some shelter from the brisk wind behind a boulder to enjoy a sandwich.

I also made a trip to the Value Village in the area, where I picked up a couple sweaters for future rides. I would enjoy used clothing stores more if they weren't so impossibly dusty all the time. Small price to pay I suppose for equally small literal prices.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Am Legend, Earth Hour

Forgot to mention that I finished I Am Legend a while back. The book that is, which is made up of 11 short stories, written from 1951 to as recent as 1987. I hate to sound like a broken record but this collection of Richard Matheson's writings was excellent stuff. I especially like the tales that get well into the head of the protagonist, who is often so human, so fallible, so full of doubt. They speak loudly to me.

I'm not really a big fan of horror, written or in film. As a kid I was easily spooked by the prospect of spirits and the unexplainable. Now that I'm older there is little place for spooks and monsters. I have enough tangible problems to haunt me, thanks. What I like about I Am Legend and the other stories like it is that the horror aspect (the undead or whatever) is actually secondary to the conflict in the hero's mind, their inner dialogue as they attempt to deal with the problem thrust before them.

It's actually difficult to categorize the I Am Legend short story. Apocalyptic, yes. A sad ending to the last man on earth? Yes. But horror? No, hardly.

So Earth Hour's come and gone. It kind of crept up on me, catching me unaware. I live most of my daily life with a fairly small footprint in any case, and turning off my lights seemed well silly. Being environmentally-minded is a great excuse for not having to buy stuff for one's apartment. I must be careful not to let things drive me out of my mind, like worrying over every scrap of paper I see on the ground or whether the process involved in making this packaged food could've been less wasteful. Aye, it's not easy being green.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Feeling sick and watching shows

Was feeling ill on Monday, worse yesterday, and ended up staying at home today. A cold! Or something like. Feeling awful, wretched. Riding through the bluster of last night's winds was perhaps not the best of ideas. So today I got out of bed around 2, watched some Life on Mars, some Hikaru No Go, and a bit of Battlestar Galatica, season 3. I must say that Life on Mars is pretty damn excellent -- campy action, deliciously dark humor, a mystery lovingly, delicately revealed. Odd how these song-inspired shows can sometimes be so magical. I do enjoy the prospect of an actual ending, a culmination, a fruit at the end of 16 hours. Short, sweet, British!


I absolutely hate how the world is shaping up, just a frog boiling slowly in greed, misinformation, and lack of critical thought. I don'...