Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ernesto, Ernesto, go away!

Amazing how much energy we put into controlling things that are out of our control. I, for example, am trying to personally will a Tropical Storm to go away (or at least slow down). As Ernesto hits the Carolinas, I find myself hoping that it at least waits until Saturday night or Sunday to arrive here. Sure, it would be great if it didn't come this way at all as I'm sure everyone has great outdoor long-weekend plans but if it's going to it could at least skip Saturday. With a trip for as many as 120 people planned to a park with no rain protection it would be nice to avoid. I'm sure the same energy goes into avoiding rain on your wedding day. Ironic? No.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Balance is Restored

The universe is a remarkable place. Sure, no matter how many silly things we do, the planets (and dwarf planets) seem to continue revolving around the inumerable stars out there but that's not what I'm talking about. Rather it is the balance that the universe seeks and always seems to find. We're not talking about "The Force" here or Yin and Yang. In this case, I have "A" to thank for drawing my attention to this, and in doing so, helping restore the balance. It turns out that within days of learning that I had lost Pluto, I gained the Pluot. A relatively recent genetic creation (eeek!). The joys of the apricot and juicyness of a plum are now one. As creeped-out as I may be at the genetic engineering that created this little bundle of... well, something, it is hard to go wrong when there are varieties named: "Flavor Grenade", "Dapple Dandy" and the ever-popular "Flavorosa".

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Our neighbourhood shrank just a little today. Little in celestial terms anyway. Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Yes, it's almost as ridiculous as a good ol' Robin Williams bit from Good Morning Vietnam where he jokes about a country being "recognized" like it was at a party. Are you going to consider Pluto a planet next time you see it? If you listen to the troublemakers at the International Astronomical Union, you might introduce yourself politely as though you'd never met, or worse... You might ignore it, as it's part of the socially acceptable yet less well recognized "dwarf planet" group. Shame!

I realized that this may be a dividing line in my life as well. Not just mine... this could be a generation gap (those that consider Pluto a planet v. those that don't). Sure there have been plenty of changes that I've witnessed in my nigh' on 30 years like video games shifting from Pong to Oregon Trail, to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. But at least there have been video games of one sort or another as long as I can remember. What about kids who are just about to start learning about the planets? They're going to think there isn't some planet-like thing out at the far reaches of our solar system. What a loss. Not only that, but now we don't get to use the odd, if entertaining mnemonic: "Mark's Very Extravagant Mother Just Sent Us Ninety Parakeets" to remember the order of the planets. I guess we can take solace in the fact that we can revert to "Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Stay Up Nights" which was used before the discovery of the wee planet way out there/dopey Disney dog.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


It is sleepy time. Last night, I was asleep around 9:30. I have not been so consistently busy/wound-up in quite a while. Though there is certainly stress that goes along with it, I am enjoying myself. It's a time of growth and newness. Those sorts of times can be exceedingly painful when you're in the midst of them but can often be the most rewarding (at least in hindsight). Why should hindsight have all the fun?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Beavers Redux

Yes William (and all of you), beavers do have/tell tasty "tales". Tails are not nearly as much fun, or entertaining. Clearly busy isn't my only problem. Tired and stupid also play a part. ;)

Monday, August 21, 2006


How busy are beavers? Really. Do they have to respond to e-mails? Make phone calls? Besides the "Bell Beavers" I don't see them doing much multi-tasking.

Clearly I have reached a new low. ;) I am comparing myself to a rodent and being proud of coming out on the winning end. I'll admit that they are industrious. And their tales are oh, so tasty. For those who think I am some sick man dining on a Canadian Icon check this out. Even International Trade Canada supports me in my fondness for the tasty, tasty doughy treat. Yes, dough. Not beaver. Flat, like a beaver tail. Sweet, like something sweet. Mmmm. Check out the article. First Disney World, then the Real World.

Oh yes, the reason I posted this meandering rant, things are very busy at work. Apologies if I'm not on top of my posting. I'll come back, I swear.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Thanks to all of you who passed along the "this too shall pass" and "this too shall pass - only more quickly with alcohol" notes. ;) While stress is by no means gone from my life, the stress concentrate seems like it has been adequately diluted by 3-4 containers of water making it easily consumable stress juice. It is also the weekend, something which seldom adds to the stress (unless you're doing it wrong). Even if I will find myself in the office at some time today, I feel generally better about things (as I knew I would).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Sure, most things I/we may stress about generally come and go proving that the stress wasn't necessarily worthwhile. Not to say that stress doesn't work as a motivator for some. I wish it was a better motivator for me. Whatever it is for me, I'm feeling it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I came home from work yesterday to no tv, no phone and no internet. No, the tv, phone and... internet were not stolen (I think you'd have noticed if the internet was stolen). My service for each one just no longer existed. The tv was coming for a long time. It had been a year since I moved in, attached the cable only to find that it still worked. There were enough times too that I wished it would just go away and leave me in peace to waste my time with more productive pursuits. The phone and internet were another story though. I pay for those. On time. I think the cable dude managed to mess up my phone while messing up my cable. Awfully messy, that. Luckily enough, with a little help, things got unmessed. Kinda goes without saying as I am sending this over the web and not merely with the (albeit impressive) power of my mind. It may be a sign of a weak connection with my community that losing this trio of communication tools left me feeling rather cut-off. Then again, not having a working phone will be a challenge no matter how connected you are with those around you. It turns out playing "broken telephone" isn't as much fun as it used to be.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Today is a special day. No I'm not talking about it being National Day in Singapore (which it is) or the International Day of the World's Indigenous People (which it also is). Rather, it's a double birthday extravaganza. Today, is my stepmother's 60th birthday. Turns out she won't kill me for mentioning it, so I thought I would. It is also my aunt's birthday. While she doesn't read this blog, I don't need to run the risk of her finding out I blabbed her age and sending the hounds after me. So, raise a glass to them today. I'll try to raise a few. :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Good, the Not-as-Good, and the Great

After a few (overly-expensive) tanks of gas, lots of restaurant food, many friends and family and plenty of great sights, I'm back from vacation.

It was a great chance to get away and experience many new things and to see people along the way. I liked the idea of a road-trip, I think I always have. In part it was because I knew it would be a chance to get out of my normal "gotta get where I'm goin'" mould. I did a good job of shaking that neurosis off but there were others lingering (just ask C). We both more than survived my various neuroses which is a good start.

Vacation time was not just a great opportunity to connect with friends but to spend time with family especially as a rather important birthday is in the offing. For fear of imminent death by broadcasting it to the world via the wonders of the interweb I think it'll suffice to say that "you know who you are". That meant me, C and Mr. T explored the Outaouais, Laurentides, Montreal et les Cantons de l'est and the 1000 Island Parkway before Mr. T and I struck out on our own for the GTA (a hint to the birthday-celebrator). A fine time was had together getting to see much of my close family at some point over the weekend. There was even a visit to King View Farm, the farm upon which I did a lot of growing up. Word came through that the place has been sold which made a visit definitely in order. While I had popped-by since leaving 10 years ago this was the most thorough visit and was much enjoyed. It's like visiting not just your childhood home but your whole childhood neighbourhood to see that it has changed but not enough that it is not recognizable.

All in all, a good 10 days or so. Not-so-good was the stress that manifested itself when the thought of work came up. It'll be good to go back tomorrow to get back into the flow there. That being said, I always hate it when people talk about not taking their vacation time because they have too much work to do. Am I becoming one of the people I hate?

Photos of the adventures will be forthcoming on my flickr page but there are quite a few to go through so it may take a while before you get a more complete "picture" of things. In the meantime, use your imagination. I know you can do it. If you can't find your imagination, it's likely under the TV remote (at least that's usually where I leave it).