NaBloPoMo: Day 24

Remember when AC/DC was a terrifying force of audio destruction?  Well, I just heard Back In Black used for a Walmart ad for Black Friday.  I’m not sure whether I find that funny, sad, or scary.  Maybe it’s all three.

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade special, and I gotta just say this real quick: I don’t care how many wheels are involved, if a balloon is on the ground, it’s a float.  If it’s got three wheels, or four, it’s NOT a “Balloonicle.”  If the entire vehicle was made OF balloons, then okay, maybe we’ll talk.

 

NaBloPoMo: Day 23

Watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes (RotPotA?) tonight, and it was pretty good. Pacing was decent, the animated stuff was pretty smooth, and aside from the occasional “More Brains Also Makes You A Superhero” problems, it held together nicely. Not the best movie I’ve ever seen or anything, but certainly one of the best prequels 20+ years after the fact.

Not like Your Highness. Holy crap. What were they even trying for? I’m not sure I’d even want to see what it was trying to borrow against. I’m pretty sure we got 18 minutes into the movie before we bailed out. As Arwen put it, “This sounds like it was written by a fifteen year-old.”  With some stupid special effects and a Zooey Deschanel that seemed like even she was tired of being in the movie after the first ten minutes.  Usually we’re pretty forgiving of just about any movie, no matter how vapid or silly. Last time we dumped out of a movie that wasn’t aimed at kids under the age of ten was… I think I have to go back to 15 Minutes back in the 90s.

Also heard a couple of tracks by Azealia Banks tonight, and the song “212” is as catchy as it is profane.  The swearing is so fast, so furious, and so catchy it’s almost subliminal.  Your brain hears that there’s swearing going on, but can barely keep up.  Think Missy Elliot at 20 from Harlem combined with Amanda Palmer also at 20, with crunchier percussion, grittier recording and some PIPES.  Can’t wait to see her break into the scene over the next year or so.  Looks like she’s had a few singles out since last year, but I think 212’s only been out for about two months, and is just getting picked up now, as the video has about 250,000 views and that’s 30,000 more than it was two hours ago.

Also, was having lunch with a friend, and we realized that we both navigate the compass points in Vancouver based on things like the Mountains (North) the Ocean (West) the Airport (South) and Burnaby (East).  Does everyone do that, or is it just us?  I mean, I know everyone SAYS NorthWest corner, but are they all thinking some form of MountainOcean corner?  What do people in cities without humongous horizon-filling landmarks do?

NaBloPoMo: Day 22

Today happened, and it all went pretty well, I think. Nothing really big happened, it just trundled along. These sorts of days are the worst for me for motivation, because there’s some relaxing time, and it’s possible to get lost doing small tasks. There can be things that distra-

Ooh, shiny!

Was listening to some new music during my commute today, and sometimes I just plow my way through something like an album just to see if maybe there’s some hidden gem in there, but mostly I go through the whole thing without actually listening to it, and that’s fine, because then it’s just wallpaper. The big problem is when I listen to something, don’t much really care for it, and then FORGET that I’ve heard it, and end up listening to it again in a week or so, because the album title is numeric due to it being one of the hojillion albums available for download at www.archive.org

This is especially common when it comes to experimental albums, because I tend to let it be the wallpaper it was intended to be, so I end up ignoring it for the most part, and then listening to it even more.

Wonder if that’ll happen with the new Kate Bush album, ’cause so far? Yeesh. I hope I’ll accidentally hear it enough times that I like it, but right now she sounds very close-range and low. I’m hoping. I really enjoyed some of the tracks from the last album (Pi, in particular, was inspired weirdness, like I like).

But right now, I have to show Arwen what happens when two kids get ahold of a five pound bag of flour.

NaBloPoMo: Day 21

Got soaked on the rides to/from work today, but made it. Will take tomorrow off (from cycling) but back at it again on Wednesday.

I’m watching the pilot of TerraNova. Blurgh. Soundtracking should be controllable with a separate volume control for those moments when the composer gets a little carried away and leaves the audience listening to “Endearing Moment Overkill Movement Six.”

NaBloPoMo: Day 20

Homebody day. Tried to get a laptop going, but it’s doing this weird overheating thing on the video card (common issue for this model, but no recall, because it’s more than a year old, so the manufacturer is basically saying “get a new one,” which is nice of them.)

Made some yummy lunch from leftovers, but copped out entirely for dinner, and got pizza from a place that does Indian food, too. Quite good, actually, even though the greek had green olives, and the taco had too much lettuce.

Gotta love Vancouver fusion foods.

I think a lot of what makes restaurants feel like they’re worth it is simply that they’re not what YOU would make, or at least not the way YOU’d make it. That’s worth money. I figure if someone started up a place called “surprise me” and did actual fusion foods, but then didn’t TELL you what you were eating. Instead of ordering stuff you think/know you’d like, you just give them a list of stuff you don’t like, or can’t eat:

“I’ll have the no raw onions, no organ meats, and no urchin.”
“And to not drink?”
“None of those weird carbonated yogurt things.”
“Gotcha.”

I mean, that’s gotta be doable, right? Probably 25 things on the menu could cover most of what people would generally avoid eating, right? Not for the faint of heart, but hey, that’d be fun. Of course, you’d be sorta screwed after that if you found something you really really liked, ’cause you’d never find it again anywhere else in the world. Maybe with the bill you’d get a quick list of what you ate, but no name for it.

Speaking of food, and eating it, and then burning it off again (ooh, nice segue, very subtle), it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, but be about 7 degrees out there (45 for my US readers). Not low enough to worry about ice, but chilly. I’m hoping to ride all the way in to work, but know that if I don’t pack up my stuff tonight (clothes for tomorrow, riding gear) I’ll probably choke tomorrow morning and not want to go. You’ll know tomorrow based on whether or not I post my numbers from the nifty GPS app I use when riding. Hope to try out my new bluetooth headphones, too (yes, I stay off the main roads: too many rage monkeys out there who don’t get that I’m allowed to be there, and am not close personal friends with that maniac who cut you off downtown last week and then put their hand on your hood to hold themselves up before riding off in their crocs and no helmet).

Wish me luck tomorrow. Nice quick ride to work, and that I can somehow magically get changed/showered without it taking 20 minutes. Seems that my rides are usually pretty quick for a 10k ride over the dinosaur-back that is the Marpole-to-Railtown commute, but I find that it takes forever to get showered/changed and into my workday after that.

Oh, and the software/tape thing I was having problems with last week? Got it figured out, but now it’s just the joyous cavorting that goes with feeding an LTO3 tape into a drive every 45 minutes or so. Once that’s done for SIXTY-something tapes, THEN I get to go digging in the indexes (indices?) and see if I can find the data I’m looking for from Summer 2010. Good times, good times. Lot of this sort of data spelunking is like trying to retell the plot of a dream that you heard third-hand.

Aside: Just watching Twilight Zone “Printer’s Devil,” from 1962, and there’s a moment in which the protagonist looks up a phone number in a paper phone book, and I wonder: How much longer before adults don’t know what a phone book was. How much longer before “I’m in the book” makes no sense whatsoever.

Kids these days, I tell ya.

Wish me luck tomorrow. Stepped on a scale today, and I’m going up, not down. I know: healthy at any size, don’t weigh yourself mid-day, and I “don’t look it,” and all that, but I also know that I’ve been feeling sluggish lately. Call it my Winter Coat, or whatever you want, but I think my “riding downhill only” to/from work on my bike has actually meant that I get less exercise than if I didn’t ride my bike to work, and just walked through Gastown twice a day. One thing about walking – you can’t coast downhill quite the same way.

Oh, and I have a Dr’s appointment on the 30th when we’ll look at my Xray and I’ll try to convince my GP that I don’t need blood thinners any more. It’d be a lot easier to convince HIM if I can first convince MYSELF that I’m not going to create/throw another blood clot ever again. First one wasn’t fun, I tell you what, so I don’t plan on doing it again, but still, not THAT much has really changed about my “lifestyle” since March, so I really want to get back on the old horse, as it were, and start doing some stuff that’ll keep the blood flowing nice & smoothly.

(He said, while sitting cross-legged on the couch for 30 minutes).

Tomorrow.

NaBloPoMo: Day 19

Drove out to Chilliwack to put on the snow tires and have lunch/dinner with my mom. Was good. One of what I’ve come to think of as a “Rock Star” visit. Swoop in, drink coffee, talk too much and too fast, and then go home again. They’re fun, but I have also tried to make sure I’m giving everyone ELSE a chance to talk about stuff, and I think I fall down more often than I’d like.

After I got home tonight, Arwen and I watched an episode of Portlandia, followed by the film Another Earth, which was good, but left the ending open. Felt like someone telling a story and then going “and then, I…” and then held their hands out at you to fill in what’s next. Enjoyed the film though, don’t get me wrong.

Also, a second Earth would really screw up the tides, and at the rate the Earth was inbound, I was interested in what’d happen another two months after the end of the film.

Listened to the CBC interview with Kermit the Frog and Jian Gilmeshie so the kids could hear it. I probably spelled Jian’s last name wrong, but can’t look up right now because I’m on my iPhone, which would mess things up for this post.

and now the Muppets are co-hostening Saturday Night Live, so I’m a go watch that.

NaBloPoMo: Day 17

Got a little snow here tonight. Made the ride home chewy. Not too bad yet. Glad for the bandana under my helmet.

Was talking about stories with my buddy in Malibu again today. Sorta like old times. I look forward to maybe one day having lunches with him again while he’s hip-deep in story writing mode, and asking me inexplicable questions again. I miss that part of working at EA back in the day.

I love a good puzzle, but more than that, I love the story of a good puzzle.

Can’t write now, Prime Suspect is on, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t suddenly way better than it has any right to be, y’know?

NaBloPoMo: Day 16

Facebook (and it’s long-forgotten predecessor, Classmates.com) are great for finding out what happened to the people you knew in high school. Over the years, there’s been some great surprises, some scary losses, and some puzzling disappearances. Mostly though, people are usually not completely unlike you thought they might turn out to be.

Wait, let me amend that a bit. It’s not that people are like you always thought they were going to be. More like you meet people in your life and think “Huh, I wonder if this is what so-and-so turned out to be like.” Over the years you meet different sorts of folks and they in turn remind you of all sorts of people you knew when you were in your teens.

But sometimes, it’s different. So, let’s say you were friends with a kid when you were ten, up until the end of school, and then you bump into them on social networks again in the early 2000s, you have some catching up to do, but you mostly know who that person is.

Here’s where the question changes: When you knew each other in that oddly diaphanous way that kids do when they’re only ten or so, but then lose touch entirely, and then stumble across them again THIRTY years later.

Where do you even start? The question isn’t “what have you been up to for the last X years?” but more “Who are you? Who have you been?”

It’s that difference between what you DO and who you ARE. The former can change during the course of your career, but the latter can’t even really be answered easily in an email thread, can it?

It’s tempting to answer that question using something like the business-class social networks have: references. I think Friendster had a “Write something about your friend” feature or maybe it was something about “Tell us how you know each other.” I remember those write-ups and miss them. My fave was from Sam, and he’d included something along the lines of “…and a +10 to detect bullshit” along with some other stuff that are either true, or I sure wish they were.

That’s it: It’s not that I don’t know who I am, it’s that I want to be able to say that I am the person my friends would say I was. Their idealization of me. The avatar of self, in a illuminated version on first page of the story of my life.

Or maybe I just want to be blurbed.

Was told recently that when I was ten I’d said that I thought George Lucas was going to do another trilogy of Star Wars that took place BEFORE Star Wars. I suspect I was noticing that SW was Chapter IV: A New Hope, so I assumed there were three chapters before that. Didn’t expect JarJar though. NOBODY EXPECTED JARJAR.

But yeah, who am I to myself vs. who I am to other people is interesting, to me at least. I can’t say that I honestly know a full and complete answer to either question that I could hand to someone else, other than to say “I’m the sort of person who’d wonder what I could possibly respond with when I ask myself questions about who I am.”

Meta, I know.

I love a good puzzle – not necessarily the solving of it, but the cracking of the shell. That first moment when you realize it’s not entirely impossible to to solve, and even brief glimpses of how it could be solved, or what it should look like once complete. Sometimes it all just looks like hard work, and I wanna just shortcut the whole thing because I should be able to do that. Maybe that’s pride talking. Maybe it’s pressure.

Maybe it’s just me, being me, about me?

NaBloPoMo: Day 15

Pretty random tonight, so hope I don’t leave you all wondering what I’ve been drinking (Tim Hortons Double-Double).

“Being president is a real non-stop headstuff twirl-fest.”
The Daily Show – Nov 15, 2011

Watched Our Idiot Brother tonight, and enjoyed it quite a bit. We were both reminded of Peter Sellers’ Being There.

Been reading Stephen King’s new book, and so far it’s as solid as his previous stuff. Been reading it on my iPhone using the ebook reader application, and the one thing that I find odd is that there’s no page numbering. Actually, there IS page numbering, but it’s on a per-screen basis, so I’m currently on “page” 113 of 1,578. Maybe I’ll try reading Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver/Baroque cycle again, ’cause when I’m on page 113 of 6,000 (first book of three), maybe it won’t seem so bad.

Heard that Community is being “benched” for a while mid-season, and I found it interesting that most of the buzz on twitter seemed to be calling for Whitney to be pulled instead of Community. Seems sorta random. As long as they don’t pull Two Broke Girls (which is funny, but largely because my wife makes fun of me for getting stars in my eyes whenever Kat Dennings is on screen.)

Thanks to the webcam and some smart software, I got to be really paranoid for about ten minutes this afternoon. I was in Chinatown having some lunch. I don’t know what the food was called, nor do I know the name of the restaurant, because there’s no English whatsoever on anything in the place. Like, not even an anglicized “House of Foodness” sign to help us EOL (English as an Only Language) folks figure out there’s food in there. Love their… whatever the stuff at the top left of the poster with the pictures on it is. Tate and I should go down there for lunch some time and order off the pictures instead of either of us trying to read anything.

Oh right, yeah, so the webcam is pointed out the window and sends me a single frame of the video clip whenever it spots a person. Not cats or cars or trees, just people. Kinda neat, actually. But I’m sitting at lunch eating my uh… lunch, and get a single frame of a guy in a black shirt and black pants in the back yard.

Then another one. This guy had a badge on his shoulder. Oh crap.

Got back to the office and remoted home to grab the clips and see what was going on. Turns out it was all the same person, and it was all a cop. Not sure what he was looking for, but he was certainly looking around for it pretty desperately. We checked some local crime maps when I got home, and the week before last had at least three break-ins in our area. So, all good right now, but there’s SOMETHING going on in the area.

I blame the raccoons.

Getting colder during the ride home, so I’m going to need some better, thicker gloves and start wearing more than a teeshirt under my cycling jacket.

Still haven’t seen my xray from last week, so stay tuned about whether or not I’m doomly doom doomed.

NaBloPoMo: Day 14

Looks like OWS is boiling over tonight with a security/police rush, so I’m sure we’ll start seeing video and stuff tomorrow, but in lighter news, here’s part of what I spent today at work doing.

Me: Hi, I just brought you back from being in a drawer to get some old tape archives running.
OS: Oh, hello, I’m uh. What? I’m where?
Me: You’re in a new box, and I’ve attached the old tape drive.
OS: Oh, you probably wanna reconfigure the agent for the backup software.
Me: Yeah, for sure, let’s go do that.
OS: Okay, lemme just talk to the backup server.
Me: Oh, but you are the server.
OS: Okay, I’m the server, so I just need to reconfigure the server agent by talking to the… uh… the… hmm…
Me: Yeah, you ARE the server, the agent you’re looking for is localhost, it’s you.
OS: Okay, cool, I can just check in with the server agent over at… uhm…
Me: Yeah, no, it’s you, see? I’m restarting the server agent. See?
OS: Yeah, the agent’s restarted, so I can talk to the, uh, server, which is…
Me: YOU.
OS: I have all these backup tapes I know about, and they’re on the big Quantum backup jukebox that’s attached to my… oh, that’s weird, I could’ve sworn there was a-
Me: No, right, you don’t have that tape deck, you have this other tape drive, see? I’m refreshing the hardware list.
OS: Refreshing the hardware? Sure, I’ll just tell the agent on the serv-
Me: But, YOU are the SERVER, it’s you.
OS: I am? Okay, I’ll just tell the agent, which says the server is… uh… uhm…
Me: …
OS: Hey, I can’t find the server.
Me: …

So that’s what I day felt like, at least part of it.

In other news, the UStream feed for OWS went from about 3,000 while Arwen was watching to over 12,000 in the time it took me to type this up.

As overhead on the Human Microphone a minute ago: “This is not about me, this is about us.”

Hope everyone keeps their cool out there as much as possible.