Monday, April 23, 2007

Steam punkery

This is pretty cool.

For a full understanding of Steampunk, see Wiki. The short version for your perusal: A sub genre of fantasy and science fiction, the defining feature of which is modern to futuristic devices and apparatus created using steam-era technology. (Usually in a Victorian-retro-style culture.) This includes but is not limited to robots, weapons, jet packs, space ships, etc.)

The photo featured at stage left is an IBM Model "M" Keyboard. (A model noted for it's durability and enjoyable tactile stimulation.) It has been thoroughly disassembled and reworked, and has begun it's existence anew, as Steampunk.

I'll admit I thought this was freaking sweet, until I saw the Steampunk Clockwork Stratocaster.

Now to party like it's 1899.

(for Dr.Haggis)


"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
-Niels Bohr

Friday, April 20, 2007

My hump, my hump my lovely little lumps. (Check it out)


My Condition is not what I thought it was.

Apparently what I (and assorted other healthcare professionals) misdiagnosed as a cyst, is actually a bone in the wrong place. Specifically, a Scaphoid bone. (I think)

The plastic surgeon that I (finally) got to see after several months of waiting took all of 30 seconds to tell that it was not in fact the inflammation that I thought it was, but rather a bone that was simply more protrusive than was comfortable. He didn't specify what bone, so I'm guessing based on the Wiki pictures I've found. He said that a possible (but drastic) solution would be to open me up and 'grind down' the bone, although that can cause more trouble than it fixes. (shudder!) The alternative is that he can give me an anti-inflammatory injection, which will help with the pain.

He did, and it has. I'm going on several months now, pain free. My mobility is still not great, but I'm guessing that's just something I get to live with. What wasn't covered in the 5 minutes he spent in my presence (more time of which was spent talking to his students than me) was what I do when this wears off. I assume I would go see my family doctor, as I don't know that I'd need to go see him again for that. Also didn't mention the name of the medicine he injected me with. Or possibly he did and I didn't catch it, as it would have been a largely meaningless collection of random phonemes.)

It's amazing what we will allow, when the person who wants to inject you has 'Dr.' in front of their name.


"Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance."
-William Shakespeare

This statement is false.

(Think about it.)


"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."
-Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Open letter to Blockbuster Video

Dear Blockbuster Video,

I recently rented a DVD, which I was very much looking forward to watching. I brought it home, had dinner, got into my pyjamas, fixed a snack and a drink and settled down to watch.

The movie was fine until the video quality went downhill. I tried to ignore it, until it became unplayable. It would not fast forward past the problem area, and it would not play on either my DVD player or computer.

So late at night, in the dark, and in the snow, I got dressed again and drove the 3 kilometers to your store, where the customer service rep. was kind enough to exchange the video. Then I drove home again, got back into my pyjamas and housecoat, and attempted to resume the movie where I had left off.

Then the second disc froze. At the exact same place. After examining the disc, I found that yes, it appears to have a very similar scratch around 1/4 inches from the edge. After much frustration I was able to pass that section of the disc, and continue with the film.

As a reasonable and intelligent human being, I understand you have little to no control over issues such as these. I understand that once the DVD leaves your store, you cannot affect how it is treated. I know that you rent hundreds of thousands or millions of movies from a store yearly, and there is no feasible way to verify that they are undamaged when they are returned to you.

As an average consumer, I don't care. What I care about is that I need to interrupt my evening to return a defective product to your store. It was not only a defective product, it was a defective experience. I went from completely absorbed by the story I was watching to complete abject frustration, in around 20 seconds. And over the past year, 2/3rds of the movies I have rented from you had issues.

I am a young male who is technology focused. I enjoy movies and electronic entertainment. I am one of your key target demographics. I am not willing to put up with this level of frustration from a company. I have alternatives. I am not alone.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Self Destruct

If you ever find yourself experiencing thyroid trouble, and they put you on lifelong medication for it, I don't recommend ever missing a day.

I've been clinically dead for around twelve hours now, with no end in sight. I realized I had missed one too close to the next day's to catch up. I hope this goes away now that I've taken today's.

Blah. Must sleep now.


"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I've got class!

License-wise, anyway.

Something came up yesterday that made one thing obvious - My life at work will be a lot easier if I'm able to drive our shuttle bus in an emergency or for maintenance.

Apparently that requires a Class 4 license.

So, I went yesterday on my lunch hour and got the right books from a local registry. I read them once and returned there, wrote the test and aced it. (Woot.) I booked a road test for today, and then went to a walk-in clinic for a medical, which is required.

I passed everything just fine, although I did flunk parallel parking. I'm a little embarrassed about that, so, you know, keep it to yourself.

Oh - and if you ever need someone to drive your commercial vehicle for hire, taxi, bus, or ambulance, I'm all over it.


"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
-Groucho Marx

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spork of Destiny


I finally got one! Behold my glorious "+3 Spork of pwning"!

For those uninitiated in such things, it is the unholy love child of a Spoon and Fork. (Spoon + Fork = Spork. Not to be confused with Knork.) This particular model is made out of titanium, the world's coolest metal. It's the ultimate utensil for the Geek on the Go.

It was a gift from my lovely J, whom I both adore and miss very much.

Oh, and if you don't get why it's cool, you probably never will.

Peace out, yo.


"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mare hey add hey lid tell lam.

...Ids fleas were wide ass know.

If you can read this, you probably may note that each word is a properly spelled word in English, but is being used without it's meaning, rather purely phonetically. It's actually rather neat.

That line was from a FoxTrot comic where Jason was trying to outsmart his Apple spelling checker. According to the comic, he succeeded.

I was reminded of it when the 'Random' button on Wikipedia brought me to this article: Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. It was written in 1940 by a french professor at that time, Howard Chase.

I'm particularly fond of the line:

"Wail, wail, wail!" set disk wicket woof, "Evanescent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut! Wares are putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?"


"Well, well, well!" said this wicked wolf. "If it isn't Little Red Riding Hood! Where's our pretty girl going with her little basket?"

I wonder if he is credited as the creative inspiration for 'Mad Gabs'?


"Will yum air ream he?"
-Card from Mad Gabs

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tie died.

My tie died. I scratched it on a rough counter and pulled some threads out. And the pattern went with them, now it's unwearable. That was three weeks ago.

I liked that tie so much that I went back to the store in Edmonton to replace it last time I was there. This week the same thing has started happening to it, and I haven't scratched it on anything.

Two weeks ago I learned not to wear my new boots to my new job, as I managed to scuff the hell out of them just walking around the job site. They won't look 'new' again, no matter how much I polish them.

Three days ago my brand new (replacement) iPod developed 2 deep scratches right on the face, apparently on the soft fluffy lining of the coat pocket reserved solely for the safety of the aforementioned iPod.

On Wednesday I switched my Cell phone to a Calgary number. I couldn't get any of my choices for a custom number, and ever since then my wireless Internet doesn't work. Telus tech support doesn't know what's wrong or when it will be fixed, even after 90 minutes on the phone with me.

Today I caught my favorite dress shirt (the blue one with the french cuffs) on a rough piece of metal in a door frame, and tore a small hole in it. I can fix it, but it will always have a mark.

I have a miserable cold, and my sinuses are pounding. I've worked 24 hours out of the past 48, and I miss J with all my heart. My cheerful demeanour is faltering.

I need a hug.


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
-Woody Allen

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Settling in


So I've been keeping more or less busy at my new job. The work is interesting and I'm learning a lot, but I don't have a permanent home just yet. I'm still being sent where they need me, which is fine.

I've invested some time and money in the Star Wars Starship Battles Miniature game, and it's really fun. It has a short learning curve and a huge range of possibilities for variation. I have enough pieces for two player games, so if anyone is interested in learning or playing, give me a ring.


"What if this weren't a hypothetical question?"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Down Time


I've been kickin' it with Dr.Haggis and Veritate, and working a lot. Have been learning a lot about facility management, and having some fun.

Today was the first day I was on my own. I'm covering for another person on leave, and the person who was originally covering and training me is now on vacation, so it's just me. It was a good day, as I more-or-less know what I'm supposed to be doing, but there are a few things I'm not sure of yet. That's O.K. as there are other managers at other sites I can call and they are always pretty helpful.

Been pretty tired lately and will try to start posting again soon.


"A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled."
-Sir Barnett Cocks