Friday, October 31, 2003

27 hours of travel, and we've just made it to Rome. Another 3 hour layover, then we're off to the final destination of Athens.

We've run into some medical challenges (the missus a chipped tooth), but it's nothing we can't handle.

Boy, we sure are tired, though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Instead of sleeping, I'm doing some Geek bookwork and digging some old Supertramp. I almost forgot how much I like this music.

Monday, October 27, 2003

I'm one step closer to having all the things that I want.

Funny how life just falls into place. Wish hard enough for something and there it is.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

When I'm nursing home age, I know for sure that I will regret the things that I didn't do much, much more than the things that I did.

How about you?
By the way, what did/will you do with your extra hour today?

I spent mine listening to music and reading on the sofa. I discovered my extra hour just after my shower, when the chilluns were still asleep and the missus was off doing a run. The Collins Family has adjusted and we are back behind schedule again.

Friday, October 24, 2003

My dog's 2 am trip outside to use the grass requires me to be the doorman, so up I got. Now, up I am, and back to sleep I can't get.

Double poop.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

In the locker room, I overheard a father and her very young (about three year old) daughter talking. Although I couldn't see either of them, the little girl's sweet, innocent, sing-song voice wafted through the air and caught my attention.

Girl:Daddy, what day is it tomorrow?
Dad:How does the song go?
Girl:(sung to a nursery-school tune)
Monday, Tuesday,
Saturday, Sunday,
and then we start again.
Now, today is Wednesday, so
what day is tomorrow?
- big pause -
Never been to Mexico, eh?

You should go then. Helluva drive, but swimmin' in the Caribbean is worth it.

Blogger Hoodie

Got my new Blogger hoodie today. I'm stylin' now.

Monday, October 20, 2003

To a mechanic fixing your brakes, rotors are like chocolate sprinkles on an ice cream sundae. Probably unnecessary, totally an option, definitely a small-but-tangible way to increase the total bill.

When you take your car in to have the brake pads replaced, the mechanic will phone you after he's had the car for an hour or two. He will say something like, "I noticed your rotors are looking worn. I could probably grind the rotors, but there won't be much left on them. We've got everything apart and could replace them for about 60 bucks each."
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt

Now, you're left thinking, "Does 'not much left' mean 'not enough left'?" and it's a safety thing he's got it apart anyways and you didn't replace the rotors in the van and it blew a caliper that cost $450 to fix and are the pads going to outlast the rotors and and and ....

Down your mind goes in a spiral of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Of course, the mechanic counts on this. Most of the time, it's what he sells.

"So, do you want sprinkles with that?"

Sunday, October 19, 2003

I am really, really looking forward to being in Greece and being bored out of my skull.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

It is encouraging to be in the company of other writers. Banana, McMonk and I went to WordFest, a Calgary event that brings authors from all over the world to talk about their books, their writing, their research and themselves. People that read their works are able to meet them, get the skinny on what they're working on next and get copies of their books signed.

Today, we met and had hot chocolate with Linda Bailey, author of two different series of books - a history/adventure series and a series of mystery novels with a 12-year-old female heroine. Banana and McMonk soaked up the experience. We ended up buying a few of her books (two from each series) with requests for more of the same once they'd finished reading the ones they have now. Linda also had some nice things to say about the girls and the things they were into. She seems like a down-to-earth, sensible and decent person.

Even though the meeting was set up for the girls, I did pry into the world of the professional writer. Was she a binge writer, or was it a disciplined exercise? What inspired her? What spurred her ideas? What did she do when she had out-of-idea days? I wasn't looking for a formula, but rather a different perspective from someone else who likes to get their thoughts into words. I've mused about writing for kids, thinking that it would be something that suits my style and sense of humour. Some day, I may even try getting something published on paper. For the time being, I'll stick to being a web-based author.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Preparations continue for our quickly-approaching trip to Greece. We leave on the 30th of October and have all the details taken care of, and believe me when I say that there were many of them. Flights, car rentals, accomodation at three different locations, transporation between them (taxis, ferries, buses), what to see, where to visit, what to do ... it's all been a little overwhelming. I hope we actually have time to relax.

I don't believe that Banana and McMonk haven't grasped the full concept of being out of school and travelling that far way just yet. So far, it is just talk and numbers and words about places they can't fathom. They've never been in a place where they can't even read the letters of the words on signs. We've stayed in North America for all of their remember-able lives. I hoep that this trip gives them a desire to travel to and experience more cultures and places throughout their lives.

Tomorrow, we are going to listen to an author of children's books who writes about ancient civilizations, including ancient Greece. I hope that this will prepare them a bit for that they are going to see. Travelling is so much more fun when it connects and fits with pieces of information that you already have in place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

It's my crazy friends that I treasure the most.

Today, I heard from an ex-workmate that I used to know from Edmonton. She's moved on to be closer to her dreams. She and her husband now live in the far north and drive/race dogsleds on the weekends.

How far out is that?

I am in total admiration of someone who is willing to take a chance, leave what is safe and known and follow their heart.
Thanks to me, one of my co-workers is gonna be gettin' some tonight.

All because I taught him how to get rid of that lint that his balls pick up.

On his mouse, I mean.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Finally, a nice photo of me, running down Banff Avenue during the Melissa's 10 K Road Race.

It was a great race. The sun was shining, my legs were working nicely and the FooFighters were serenading me as the scenery quickly went by. The race route wound through downtown (if you can call it that) Banff, with an out-and-back point three kilometres from the end. As I was heading into this round-and-back, I saw the lead runner come out. "Hey," thinks I, "I should count runners coming back and see what place I am in."

I got to a rough number of 200 before it became too difficult - big clumps of people are hard to count when you're both heading, full speed, in opposite directions. I rounded the turnabout point shortly after and ended up being 189th out of 2700.

A good race, an hour of my favorite songs, sunshine and fresh mountain air. This picture will hold good memories.

Monday, October 13, 2003

I have a nice house.
I have a good job.
I work with interesting people.
I have intelligent, challenging kids.
Both my parents are still alive and in relatively good health.
I have two vehicles at my disposal and all the electronic toys a person could rightfully want.

Spot the problem? Me neither.

Why am I so grumpy?

Sunday, October 12, 2003

When you are with someone and they start talking bullshit, and it is trivial, no-one-really-cares-bullshit, do you bother to correct them or point out to the rest of their audience that they are misguided or lying?

Even if it's a relative?

Even if they're older than you?

Even if the speaker has a known propensity for spewing inaccuracies?

I want to get better at calling people when they're spewing falsehoods - I know it could serve me well in personal and business life. I'm getting older and braver, but still I have problems with this person. They were either deluded or lying about the severity of a past illness and I didn't bother to jump into their story and correct them. I was concerned that my kids would see me passively letting anaccuracies slip, but I am sure that they were paying attention. I avoided a scene (I think) by not correcting this person. I just don't know if it would do any good with this particular individual. It's sad that I don't think they're worth the effort.
Loud, loud, loud.

Really loud.

So loud, you can feel your chest vibrate.

So loud, having earplugs and covering your ears with your hands still doesn't keep the noise out.

So loud, you can sing at top volume while you dance and it doesn't bother anyone around you.

So loud, your ears ring for a whole day afterwards.

Other than that, Sloan put on a good concert last night at Mac Hall. Banana enjoyed it tremendously, scoring a vinyl copy of Pretty Together along with a healthy dose of fatigue for the whole next day.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

The camera went back, with promise of a newer, spiffier camera in the near future.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The spammers are winning. Adding to my hectic life these days, my e-mail address has made it onto a rather active spam list. This morning, I have 157 messages to go through. I had a clean inbox as of 8 pm last night.

For some reason, I have a very zen attitude this morning. Grant thinks it's my shirt.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Guests from China, guests from Vancouver Island, a wife going to a marathon and two kids involved in different sports are all contributing to the kilometres put on our little Jetta these days.

I'll write more when I'm retired, I promise.
The softening of our language is a sad thing. People not saying what they're meaning and making small talk instead. Frittering the precious minutes of our live away with niceties, safe topics and bullshit that holds no value. Conversations like this stay with the recipient for no amount of time and do nothing to stretch the perspective of the speaker or listener.

Wanna hold my interest? Talk to me about religion, or tell me a dirty joke, or tell me what or who you really hate or love.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The time has come to do something rash. I've not yet settled on any particular rash act, but I feel the need to cut loose.

Now, if that don't make you want to stay tuned, I don't know what will.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Two days without any form of exercise, other than household chores, sure makes me get grumpy.

It was all I could do to be civil to our young houseguests - we're hosts to a sleepover this evening. We hosted a pizza party for Banana's ringette team today. It was fun but tiring to keep everyone active, adding variety in activities at the appropriate time. They played outside in, on and around the treehouse; made up and filmed a puppet show (with some tidbits that suggested sexual awareness, which I found interesting); ate pizza and other assorted junk foods; posed for team pictures and generally goofed around with each other and strengthened their friendships.

I was worn out when the group left, but Banana and McMonk weren't. They called a three friends over and suddenly, we were feeding them the leftover pizza and offering to give their sick (stomach flu) dad a break and have them stay for the night. We negotiated a 10 o'clock in bed/ 10:30 lights out arrangement, then toothbrushes, pillows and pajamas were acquired (through a quick run home). Meanwhile, the cleanup from the party proceeded with not as much effort as was originally expected.

Still, I found myself being short with the kids as they fooled around, getting ready for the scheduled bedtime. A swim would have done me good this evening.

Friday, October 03, 2003

There used to be time for play at work, but work is just work now. The demand for my time in the office is great - it's crushing sometimes. If it weren't for the personalities of my officemates, I'd be in more urgent need for a break.

My coworkers seem to be gentler with me - I'm taking this gradual transition as a show of respect. Two, in particular, seem to have a more personal tone. I'm grateful for that.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Courtesy of my buddy, Jay, an addendum to my definition of fit (or not fat):

Having the energy and ability (strength, agility, flexibility, endurance) to do all the things that you want and need to physically with relative ease.