And so it begins (again).

No Comments »

Two different things launch for me today.

1. Movember. I’ll post more information about that soon.
2. NaBloPoMo (Nation Blog Post Month) posting every day.

No, this doesn’t count for #2 (I think, no, that’d be silly).

Posted on November 1st 2010 in General

Chatting with a Virus Bot

No Comments »

Guy I used to work with suddenly started talking to me after about a year and a half of nothing.  Looks like he got hit by what we at EA used to call an “MSN IQ Test.”  Gotta give them credit for incorporating that INTO the bot itself. Remember kids, just ’cause someone you know sends you a link, doesn’t make it safe.

ViralBot
1:29 PM
hello!

Zen Render
1:41 PM
Hey man, how goes?

ViralBot
1:42 PM
i just took an iq quiz

Zen Render
1:42 PM
Okay… The one for the interview process at work there?

ViralBot
1:42 PM
Hi!
1:42 PM
yeah, I was brighter than I am

Zen Render
1:43 PM
I suspect that perhaps you’re a bot, or something, instead of actually Mr. (ex-coworker)

ViralBot
1:43 PM
you should look if u can do better than me, http://{badlink}

Zen Render
1:44 PM
Yeeeaaaah… Not so much. {ex-coworker}, sorry you got hit, man. Good luck.

ViralBot
1:44 PM
i bet you cant haha
1:45 PM
hey!

Zen Render
1:49 PM
Hello, Bot McBotterperson. Your programmer should have taught you that most people don’t say HI/Hey!/Hello three times in a five minute period.

ViralBot
1:49 PM
i just took an iqtest

Zen Render
1:51 PM
So did I. You failed yours, I appear to have passed mine.

ViralBot
1:51 PM
yeah, I was smarter than I am

Zen Render
1:52 PM
That would be a neat trick, to be smarter than you are. Maybe if you were smarter than you THOUGHT you were, that’d be something, but mostly, you’re just coming off like a broken record.

ViralBot
1:52 PM
you have to look if you can do better then me, http://{badlink}

Zen Render
1:53 PM
What’s ironic is that I know I can do better than you, by not clicking anything at all.

ViralBot
1:53 PM
im sure you cant haha

Zen Render
1:53 PM
Eliza, is that you?

ViralBot
1:53 PM
take it now while i take a shower!

Zen Render
1:55 PM
Let’s see if you know how to respond to anything a human would, shall we?
1:55 PM
Marco!

ViralBot
1:56 PM
BRB!   take that test!

Zen Render
1:56 PM
Eye zuzpekt yoo arr prrapps not Henglitch schpeeking…
2:05 PM
Aww, did you forget what you were doing, and erase yourself? Maybe {ex-coworker}’s shut down the account now.

Posted on July 13th 2010 in Brainfarts, Hey Cool, randomness, Software

Field Report: My mom in the T-dot today

1 Comment »

Since yesterday’s field report was from someone other than me, I’m going to keep it going with one from my mom, who’s in Toronto today:

I am glad I had already changed my plans to travel to Kingston, as a result of the rail strike called for Sunday and Monday, because I wouldn’t have been able to get to Oshawa to get the train today anyway. The Go Trains and the subway and the buses stopped running at about 1 pm. No one in, no one out, as my mother used to say.

Things were going along fairly peacefully, and I was following the protest on Twitter. I decided, at shortly after 1 pm, to return to Eaton Centre, at Yonge and Dundas to go to Sears. I went there last night, and bought a skirt. The clerk did not remove the security tag, so I decided to head over to Sears to get the skirt detached from the ink-shedding security tag. Because you just never know when you’ll need to wear your brand new skirt.

All was calm, actually almost deserted, with bunches of security people around but not very many shoppers and strollers, and no police. The Twitter feed told me the demonstration was ‘peacefully’ headed down University toward the security fence, and the Canadian Federation of Labour was keeping everyone in line (no kidding).

So I got the button removed from my skirt, and slowly (I have a very bad leg at the moment) hobbled to the exit. The revolving doors aren’t.

I go out the remaining door and onto Yonge. Ever get that weird feeling something has gone terribly wrong? The streets were filled with people, no cars anywhere, and … no cops. No one seemed to be doing anything too bad, but … I got up Yonge a block to – yes – the Pickle Barrel – and turned back to see what was going on behind me on Yonge toward the security zone.

Only about a gazillion black hooded people rushing – it seemed to me – toward ME. I leapt into the Atrium right beside the Pickle Barrel and stood in the entrance with the security guy. None of the shops were open, but no one seemed too upset, so I did what any good Canadian would do under the circumstances, went down to the food fair and bought a coffee. Fortunately for me, I don’t have a thing for Starbucks.

Almost all the shops were closed, but the Pickle Barrel was open and I could see people having lunch. The music was playing in the food fair and I drank my coffee and wondered how far it was to Winners. Since I wasn’t going anywhere else anyway.

Twitter: Police car on fire (people should be required to say WHERE when they tweet this. They had enough letters)
Twitter: Eaton Centre in lock down (this is less than a block from where I’m sitting)
Twitter: windows are being smashed at Yonge and Dundas (guess where I am)
Twitter: Delta Chelsea is in lock down (about two blocks north on Yonge)
Twitter: second police car on fire (CAN NO ONE tweet DIRECTIONS???)
Twitter: American Apparel store windows smashed (roughly about twenty feet up the road from the Atrium)

The weird thing is I heard nothing. Could hear nothing but the tinkly music and the sounds of staff in all the food fair shops. People buying food from the Thai fast food folks. A & W french fries ordered. The whirl of the juice bar.

I sat in this Blackberry fueled limbo for about half an hour and then – went up the escalator to street level. The street was jammed with people walking north toward Bloor, but no demonstrators. Just – people walking in the middle of the road because there was glass all over the sidewalks. No one seemed particularly upset, and people were taking pictures of each other posed in front of these smashed store fronts.

About ten of the stores I had just walked past were windowless. I didn’t have the heart to look to see if the World’s Biggest Bookstore had been done in, because I was trying to figure out how to cross Yonge to get to my little alley that lead onto Gould Street and the Ryerson University Campus.I could see my little alley but … now I know how obstinate salmon must feel when everyone else is going up the river and I wanted to go down, or across.

Did I mention the bum leg? Next time, I’m taking a stick … although the cops were taking canes away from folks they determined didn’t need them. But that’s another story.

No cops anywhere but thousands of people. I don’t know if they were following these Black Bloc anarchists or what, but the street was packed. So I did what we Canadians do best: clutching my Sears bag and my shoulder purse to my chest, hoisting my fuschia umbrella, smiling gamely, I hobbled out over the glass, stepped down into the street and “Excuse me”d across the street. Ten feet down the little walk way and ta da – I was in the green splendour of Ryerson’s central common. Ten minutes or so of shuffling along with my best impression of “Knee? What knee?” I reached the International Living Learning Centre (am I the only one troubled by the lack of comma?) where no one even knew what was going on.

This must be what tornado aftermath is like. The destruction was horrendous, and yet – it all happened so fast. I see from the twitter feeds that the city is in chaos tonight; but outside my window, looking onto Jarvis, you’d never know the police are chasing the demonstrators and the demonstrators – the few nasty ones – are chasing the police all over the city core.

I sure hope those G20 folks are having a good meeting. They probably didn’t have to go to the Metro all night store, that closed at 7 pm, to get their dinner.

Even if I could have got to Kingston, I couldn’t have, as all transit was shut down until after six and the Bloor and Yonge stations keep opening and then closing.

On the other hand, this was my first experience using Twitter and the Web to get importance information about the situation. Although – I suppose if I had used the information AND my common sense, I wouldn’t have decided to return to get the plastic thingee off my new skirt in the first place.

And that’s me – live – from just off Yonge and Dundas. Over to you, Peter.

love you all

Glad you are not here
Wendy/Mom

Posted on June 26th 2010 in People, Places

Field Report

No Comments »

Pvts Burton are upstairs and lights out after a successful shoveling clean of the barracks, followed by R&R in the officer’s quarters. The Sword in the Stone was played for the amusement of the troops; popcorn, fruit, and cheese served for evening rations.
Unfortunately, the late arrival of the setting of the sun encourages the troops to chatter and scheme rather than achieving their requisite shut-eye. Disciplinary action may be taken.The master corporal is advised that well seasoned soup is waiting for his evening meal.
Sergeant Brenneman will go another day without her Section 8 being successful. She finds it rather frustrating that as a lady, wearing ladies’ things is not indeed seen as sign of insanity.

(this is why I love my wife – she’s insane)

Posted on June 26th 2010 in Brainfarts, People

Upgraded to WordPress 3.0 – Huzzah!

No Comments »

Now, if only I had something to SAY on here from time to time.

Posted on June 17th 2010 in General

Why aren’t they doing this all the time in the Olympics?

2 Comments »
Posted on May 12th 2010 in General

Freakyawesome.

No Comments »
Like, backyard sized, maybe PNE ride-sized.

Then I can stand on the roof with a little headset on, going “Okay to go… okaaay to gooo…. okaaaaaaay to GOOOOOO.”

Seriously, how awesome is that thing?

Posted on May 6th 2010 in General

Been a while

No Comments »

(Posting from my Blackberry, so we’ll chalk up any sentence/grammar weirdness to Transit rage).
Hey there. Been a couple of months (seriously, MONTHS?) since I last posted but wanted a quick “Don’t delete my RSS feed yet” before I forget entirely that I even have a blog. Twitter’s been my primary method of getting the word out, and since that’s limited to 140 characters, I guess I haven’t had much word that needed getting out as of late.
Work’s good, family’s good, there’s the Olympics coming, and so Vancouver is suddenly swamped with seemingly equal numbers of teal-jacketed volunteers, and black-jacketed security/police. Come the revolution, it’ll be like game of Risk, fought in colours.
Over xmas, I ripped ALL of my CDs to MP3 format (that I had left and/or re-bought, after two break-ins in the mid 90s), and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t actually like very much of my music. Wait. That’s not true. I don’t like it on shuffle on my iPod. It’s like having everyone you’ve ever had a meal with come by and eat one fry with you, and then leave again.
It’s jarring, you know?
I didn’t ride my bike to work today, because it’s 1 degree out there, which means there out undoubtedly some icy bits, and I’m getting too old to have my 240lbs hit the cement from a height of three feet (at a speed of 35km/hr).
New Podcast is up at the podcast. It ain’t pretty, cause we were drankin’. Yikes.
Whoa, listening to a remix of Deelite’s “Groove Is In The Heart,” and there’s an alternate rap from Bootsy Collins. So maybe not all shuffling is jarring. Lots of stuff I have I wouldn’t think to listen to unless it was random.
Lots of life is like that.
Good parenting moment on Sunday. Rip was feeling low (tired, wanted to go home to play with his newly-purchased toys) and so we stood there in our jackets with our hands in our pockets, and instead of joining him in a mope, or telling him to cheer up (nothing makes me grumpier than being told to not be), we started having a rousing round of “elbow boxing,” which involves leaving your hands in your pockets and “boxing” your opponent with you elbows. It’s silly, but fun, and soon Ripley was throwing slow-motion haymakers with his elbows, sending me flying backwards into the nearby shoppers.
We have these little moments when it’s just us, cause we’re just waiting for something, and I enjoy making anybody laugh, but making a grumpy eight-year-old laugh is especially rewarding.
Gotta go now, Craig Fergusson is on Twitter as of last night, and somehow he totally translates to the blipvert style of microblogging.

Posted on February 9th 2010 in General

End of NaBloPoMo 2009: Hooray, I Blew It!

No Comments »
Not so much.

Not so much.

So, National Blog Posting Month wasn’t exactly a action-packed thrillride adventure, but it’s good to at least feel guilty about not writing every day, so I have some reason to take note of the world around me, and at least think “Hey, I should probably write about that tonight, so I have something for Nablopomo.”  Oh well.  I think I only missed three or four days.  Not too shabby.

Today, during my ride to work, I was listening to something from an EP by Burial, and at the 3min mark of the first of two 9min tracks, I closed my eyes for a moment (I’d been reading Twitter feeds, and for some reason, sitting sideways on the bus was making me a little queasy), and was suddenly and completely taken away, lost in the track.  That hasn’t happened in a long time for me.  Music is something that keeps me motivated when I’m cycling, keeps me sane when I’m overloaded by the maddening crowds, and keeps me focused when I’m at work and there’s too many things going on that threaten to knock me off the task at hand.

But it’s been a while since music just pulled me completely out of what’s going on.  Not even an escape from, but instead an ejection of the moment at hand.  Just gone.  Used to happen when I was making music.  I’d just put together a bunch of noises, and bleeps and bloops and drums and samples and whatever the hell else I happened to have handy and then hit play and started slapping loops together.  I refuse to challenge myself to make another album, not just because I feel let down when I don’t do it, but because it reminds me of why I quit.  Not because we had a new baby in the house.  Not because I started a new job, but because at some point after my second album I actually started to get noticed, and it freaked me out.

Not because of the attention to the music, but because I didn’t know what I was doing, so I felt like such a sham.  I had the NinjaTune label ask if I could spin my own stuff, and I couldn’t so that was out for opening for someone (and I think I would probably just pass out cold if I had to stand up in front of a crowd and play something *I* made, even if most of what I made is just arrangements of sound, and not what I consider composition).  A few months later, I was asked if I could open for a fairly well-known electronic artist in Vancouver, and again said no because I didn’t know how to “play” my stuff live.  That spooked me away from live shows, and then on top of THAT, CBC2’s New Music Canada  (that’s the online component of the stereo wing of Canada’s Broadcasting Corporation) played my least-favourite song from my first album TWICE in as many weeks.

That was all becoming more and more intense, and while it was exciting, it was also scaring the shit out of me, ’cause I kept wondering when the unmarked helicopters of audio engineering were going to show up and take away my mouse so I couldn’t do it any more because I wasn’t a “real” musician.

And then I joined the one-day music group, Immersion Composition Society (Neptune Lodge).  If you can call participating once “joining.”  I mean, I met Tricky once, even shook his hand, does that mean I’m in his band?

The point is to make a brand new piece of audio in a single day, and play it for a group of other folks that evening.  You could do anything you wanted to, using whatever method you wanted, but you had to go from nothing to something in that one day.  It was terrifying, and exhilarating, and inspiring to hear the sorts of amazing weirdness that geniuses like Dave Cheong can come up with in a day.  But mostly, I felt like I failed.  Felt like what they were doing was awesome, and what I was doing was crap.  That everyone had something to say about the other pieces (myself included) and there was discussion and dialogue, and then when it came to what little bits of audio lint I’d scraped together, the collective response was “Huh.  Well.  Next?”

It hurt.  What made it worse was that it’s not like anyone was being a dick or anything, they were just responding with whatever they’d felt, which was, it seems, not much.

Haven’t done a full single track since, and that was almost eight years ago.  Woof.

Back to where I started. Buhbye biker dude.

Back to where I started. Buhbye biker dude.

In other news I shaved off my Movember moustache.  Planned ahead enough to get one last photo before I went two miles up and nuked the place (it’s the only way to be sure), didn’t actually look at whether or not the “before” picture was wildly out of focus before I grabbed the shaver and went crazy on the ‘stache.

Whoops.

Oh well, thanks for reading, and if you’re not someone who’s commented before, drop a line and I’ll add you to my RSS feeds.

Posted on December 1st 2009 in General, Music, People

People, Places, and Things

No Comments »

Helped Jonny Vancouver moved yesterday, but he was so planned that I was 30 mins late to get to his place to help load the truck, and he was already gone by the time I got there.  Now THAT is fast.  Many many years ago I moved out of a place on Pacific, but I was such a packrat I had WAY too much stuff, hadn’t thrown out enough, and hadnt packed in a reasonable way (too few boxes that were too big).  The fact that Arwen didn’t leave me during that move is just further proof that uh, that she… uh… that I…

Yeah, I’m just really REALLY lucky she didn’t leave my ass that day.

Tate and I went out to the mall together, which I was happy to do, ’cause he and I rarely get time to hang out just the two of us.  Funny, too, to find out that half of the stuff that Tate and I did that *I* thought was new stuff for him was stuff that he does every time he goes to the mall.

Tonight we’re we had dinner with Crankenflaire, which was nice, ’cause we get our collective acts together about once every two years to have a meal and conversation together.  Fun.

One more day of this moustache, and good, ’cause I’m about done with the vaguely distinguished biker look.

Posted on November 30th 2009 in General
Copyright © 2024 Gecko Bloggle