Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Why oh why oh why did I check my work e-mail?
Still in Halifax. Lotsa pictures. all I need is a little time to post them.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Tidal bore, Historic Properties, Busker's Festival, mud flats, lawn parties, morning walks, sandy beaches, antique shops, country roads with no shoulders.

Hope everything's fine with you.
When you meet people on vacation, phone numbers and e-mail addresses are sometimes exchanged. When you get back to your world and they to theirs, what do you have to say?

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

I'm reading Joe DiMaggio's life story right now. What a fasinating look at American life in the '30s.

Friday, August 16, 2002

I'm living in a night owl's worst nightmare - having bed time moved a few hours earlier by merely traversing a few timezones.


Other than having everyone else (except McMonkey, of course) drop off 3 hours ago, we are having a wonderful time in Lower Sackville. The whole family is soaking up the East Coast hospitality. I am especially enjoying sitting on the front lawn of Joanne and Steve's house (Jenn's school buddies), having the neighbors wander over, one by one with their camp chairs and supply of their favorite drink, and then watch as all the kids on the street run loose, keeping each other busy with games of flashlight tag and hackysack. The cul-de-sac where Joanne and Steve live has grown into a safe and comfortable haven with lots of kids that have known each other since before they could walk. The big kids keep an eye on the younger ones and don't seem to feel put upon by the task.

In a situation such as this, where you can sit and converse (and man, can Nova Scotians converse!) with friendly people and feel that your kids are perfectly safe and well-entertained, you can't help but relax. I feel the stress of parenting just melting away.

All this and a high-speed Internet connection. How could things get any better?

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Tomorrow, I head off for Nova Scotia for a few weeks. I'll be blogging as time and and convenience permit.

I am in need of a break from Calgary. So much has happened since the last vacation - phew!

Monday, August 12, 2002

I'm still trying to keep my Ivory Coast scam artist busy.
Banana's audition was quick and painless. She was a nervous wreck right before it, though. I didn't get to go into the audition room. I waited patiently for the audition to start (over an hour late) while Banana played and goofed around with her drama camp buddies. When her name finally came up, she went in, did her reading, then came out. They told us that we might hear back if we are interested, and that it *might* be right away or it might be in several weeks.

"Well? WELL? How did it go?" I enquired. She replied with all the detail and enthusiasm typical of any pre-adult.

"Oh, OK."

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Even though it rained quite a bit this weekend, I accomplished a lot.

Friday, August 09, 2002

This evening, I fell into a time warp.

I was eleven years old, sitting on the patio with my parents and our cross-the-street neighbors from Sherwood Park. Our neighbors hadn't changed and suddenly, all the changing my parents have done in the past twenty-five years vanished, too. I was there, sitting on a plastic lawnchair in the fading heat of the early evening, hearing the conversations that had aged but didn't differ, feeling like I was someone else. When I say that everyone was exactly as I remembered, it was true, but now I picked up something new. I saw subtileties and nuances in relationships and personalties that were probably there in the past but went undetected by a child. I'm still reeling from the whole thing.

To say I was uncomfortable isn't true. I like my old neighbors. I always found them kind and caring. It was just something about their presence that caused the dynamics between us all to digress by at least twenty years. It was an enveloping field - as tactile as the atmosphere of a red-carpeted, old, wood-paneled library, with its smell of musty books and decades-old pipe smoke lingering in the 12 foot ceilings. The situation felt very surreal. Thinking about it now and how I felt makes me realize that I have some issues that I still have to deal with regarding my youth. I don't know if I want (right now) to deal with them, though.

We don't really change, do we? The world changes around us, older people die and younger people grow up to fill in the gaps which gives the illusion of change, but really, we are as we were made. Time just goes by and we learn more about the intricacies of each other.

Diplomacy is a tool most skillfully handled by the mature.

And for some reason, realizing all this makes me very melancholy tonight.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Hey, at 1:43 pm today, *somebody* from just typed the phrase "strange relationships" into the Google search engine and came up with a blog entry on my site. Who'da thunk that that phrase, hidden somewhere in a past entry, would be interesting enough to someone at the Playboy domain to make them visit my site?

Who knows ... maybe I'm gonna be referenced in an upcoming article.

Now that I think about it, having that phrase in this entry means that it will register twice in Google's database, meaning that I'll most likely get a higher ranking on that search term, making me even more interesting to visit.

Holy recursiveness, Batman.
As I continue to work on the deck, I’m learning all about self-mutilation and my pain threshold. My right hand is taking the brunt of the punishment, as my left is usually the one that holds the power tool. I’ve hammered my index finger knuckle and finger, my thumb, taken chucks of flesh out of the palm of my hand and last night I used a Robertson #2 drill bit to pierce the pad on my palm. It’s kind of swollen today and quite sore.

It will all be worth it in the end – I am very happy with the look of my work, although not as happy with the speed of progress.
There's nothing better at work than unexpected free food.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Banana's at drama camp today, but I bet she's feeling more like an actress than a camper.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

This week, Banana and McMonk are taking part in a kids drama camp at a local repertory theatre. Out of the blue, one of the leaders phoned our house to see of Banana would be interested in auditioning for a part in a movie that's being filmed here in Calgary. The film sounds like a low budget (but reputable) production. The part she is reading for would be one of the main characters in the film. We had a quick family conference this evening and decided she could do it.

Banana's trying to be cool about it, but I can tell that she's excited. I'm a little nervous where this might lead if she's successful.

We're going to play this game one step at a time.
Some goofy games are going on in our industry right now as the 500-pound gorilla decides where its going to sit, what it's going to eat and whether or not its going to crap on all the bananas so the rest of us can't eat peacefully.
Sony has released development tools for Open-R, the Aibo programming language. Having these means that you can program actions (and perhaps behaviors?) for an Aibo. Now all I need is an Aibo.

This is the closest I've ever been to wanting to be a coder.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

I took some time to visit the local Sony store this Friday. Sony is getting into the MP3 market with a gadget that looks sexy but is doomed to fail. Their MP3 player is called the Network Walkman. It uses their relatively useful technology of Memory Sticks to load and transfer music from computer to device, but they are starting to use a form of hardware copy protection called MagicGate. It limits the number if times you can convert your CD into MP3s. This little hinderance, along with Sony's 35% premium for the Sony brand name, will ensure that no one in their right mind will buy this device or buy into their new memory stick concept.

Saturday, August 03, 2002

More deck pictures. We've got seat frames now.
I have been having freaky dreams lately involving travelling short distances (like across a city) with difficult obstacles, such as a lake or unnavigatable mazes.

Last night I was in the east end Edmonton, trying to lead my children out of a low-rent condo project that backed onto a big lake. The wooden stairs (which were painted a grayish blue) were rickety and in need of repair. For some reason, I had left the kids there to be cared for and they were pretty much under their own recognizance when I got there. I wanted to get them home to change their clothes and shower as I wasn't sure how clean they were after being in the run-down place. I remember trying to find a boat that was seaworthy enough to take us to the other side of the lake (where the highway was and our car awaited us). While I was looking, the kids went off to play and I had a hard time getting children and boat together.

I have no idea where Jenn was during all this.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

My financial worries are going to fade into the background once Kenneth and I work out the details of my trip to the unstable African country of Sierra Leone to pick up my million bucks.

Whoo hoo!

Now, where did I put my underarm gun holsters?
Yes, I did make an entry today, albeit a short one.

Because I'm busy building, that's why. See for yourself.

I had a few buddies over giving me a hand yesterday - it's amazing how much faster it goes when you have two or three people working on the project. Next thing you know, we'll be taking out the plate glass window and putting in the french doors.