April 30, 2002

And again (forgive the redundancy) ... It's a little before 8AM. It is 1 degree above (Celcius). Expected high of 7 degrees. I look outside and ... it is snowing. What the hell kind of Spring is this? Are we going to have to sacrifice virgins to sun gods? What does it take?

April 29, 2002

Here's some falderal I came up with based on a question I came across.

The Law of Creative Relevancy

The greater the apparent lack of relevancy (to anything) of a given object, person or thing, the greater is its potential creative value. Note: 1) Actual relevancy is not a factor; only perceived relevancy and, 2) actual creative value is not a factor, only potential creative value.

I have no idea what that means. But it sounds like it should be a deep thought.


April 28, 2002

Finally ... the sun is here, and it must be warm The cat is on the balcony stretched out in the light and looking pretty damned content. Now to the point of this post ...

Last week I experienced a pleasant kind of deja-vu. I stopped by a couple of the sites I drop in on fairly regularly, the Canadian DVD Users Group and USS Clueless. One, as the name suggests, is about DVDs, the focus being on Canada (which is nice since that’s where I am). The other is mix of politics, technology, and pretty much everything under the sun, since it’s a personal blog.

But last week, I went into the forums on these sites. It’s been a while since I went into things of this sort. Years ago, pre-Web, I was a regular Fidonet user. But things then went Web and there you go.

What I liked about Fidonet was the communication. The dialogue. For me, communication is really the only thing about the Internet I care about. Communication and information (it’s hard to have the former without the latter). What made the Fidonet echoes I went to especially appealing was the fact that they were relatively small and focused. Things like newsgroups or whatever they’re called are, for me, a waste of time because of the noise level. The difference was the same as trying to have a conversation in a large, loud crowd and talking in a small intimate café.

Anyway … What I liked about the forums last week was the smaller size and focus. Also, the writing. While varied, it seems much more intelligent, respectful and, particularly in the case of Clueless, literate. They write well, for the most part, and that’s a fairly rare thing on the Web. (The downside is that I’m much more aware of my own writing and its sloppiness.)

The upshot is that it was nice to come across this kind of conversation on the Internet again. Not that it ever went away, or that these forums are rare. They're not; they're everywhere. But I suspect I simply lost contact with this sort of dialogue (due to changing technology and the movement of people on the Internet).

Although I made the odd posting last week, I was largely a lurker. I basically monitor and read what people have to say. And that’s okay since any worthwhile conversation begins with listening.

April 27, 2002

With the grief and horror of waking behind me now, it turns out it is an excellent day. It has scored an average 8.5 from the judges (might have been higher but there are rumours about the French judge.)

The birds are all a twitter. Not exactly sure what that means. How does a bird, or anything, twitter? Checking dictionary …

Well, apparently if you chirp with a series of high tremulous sounds, laugh, speak quickly in a high tremulous voice, or chatter, it may be that you are twittering. Which is more or less what I thought it meant, but you can never be too sure.

Should you ever find me twittering, please, slap me silly till I stop.

To continue … the birds today are twittering. Somewhere on the branches by my balcony, there is a passle o’ robins. There are also some sparrows and maybe the odd shrimpy wren. This may seem less than remarkable to you, but if you had to live with mornings of magpies and crows, you too would be elated at seeing wrens, sparrows and robins.

Those magpies are freakin’ big buggers. And crows? We’ve got crows the size of small pigs here. Steroid designed crows. I half expect to see one swoop down one day, snatch up the cat and scarf her down like fried hot wing.

Don’t ever be misled by these ornithological hooligans. If a bird looks like Death come calling, it is.

Yesterday, while riding the bus to work, I saw small gulls swimming in the river. These were baby gulls. (Baby? What the hell do you call bird infants? Chicks? Doesn’t sound right somehow.)

I would call our gulls seagulls but it doesn’t seem right. They look like seagulls. They sound like seagulls. They shed seagull feathers. But … how can something be a seagull when its something like 1000 miles to open water? If these are indeed seagulls, they do a poor job of seagulling. They clearly have no sense of direction.

Perhaps they’re simply traumatized? One gull became misdirected, the others followed it, they found themselves in a barren, desolate landscape with strip malls and quickly thrown up (but fashionable) housing, and it all went to hell from there.

Somewhere around the Great Lakes, or perhaps the Pacific or Atlantic coasts, other seagulls mull around, chit chat, and say every so often, “Whatever happened to that group of gulls that kind of went north and left? Ever hear from them anymore?”

It’s a tragedy of ornithology and worth at least one episode on A&E (with a DVD to follow). I mean, if they can do the Shackleton documentary, surely there’s room for “The Lost Seagulls of Canada.”

Just a thought.

Oh … when I say I saw these gulls swimming in the river, I am speaking romantically. Lyrically. The river is not so much a river as a broad stream of flowing mud and corruption. Birds (or anything) do not so much swim or paddle in it as flail helplessly, rather like spasmodic mud wrestlers. It’s a hell of a thing to see. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Finally, to wrap up this ramble, I am listening to the Robert Michael disk Allegro, his latest CD. It’s very good, if you like the guitar thing. If you don’t like guitar music, this probably isn’t the disk for you. But if you do like it, this is wonderful. It begins with a peppy little thing called Café Allegro. Makes you want to wiggle your bum. Being beyond the prying eyes of the rabble, I do (and with some enthusiasm).

Shake it, Goatboy! Shake it!

(Note to self: work on butt exercises. Feels like your packing a bowl of Jell-O back there.)


April 26, 2002

Woke today with a major headache. Looked outside; it was snowing. The day went to hell after that.

Oddly, though I felt like crap through most of the day, though the skies were grey till about mid-afternoon, and despite a cold northeast wind biting at my ass like a platoon of spiders, it was a largely productive day. Strange. I guess discomfort enjoys a distraction.

But Mother of God, WHEN is the weather going to improve? Are the authorities working on this?

April 23, 2002

Can an entire province suffer from bad karma? Today is wretched. The timid hint of warmth we called spring has yet again been chased away as if by a bully. Northwest winds arrived overnight like hooligans and the trees' barren branches now wave in the air like the arms of lunatic Shakers. And I swear, when I looked out the window a few minutes ago it was snowing. Again.

Who did we piss off?

Clearly, the only issue of importance on the international "Things To Do" list is the Kyoto agreement (or non-agreement, to be more accurate). Global warming or capricious gods, it doesn't matter to me. Someone has to do something about this weather. It's just all fucked up.

Side effect: More unsettling dreams (due to new weather paying a call). Chases, labyrinths, and poorly maintained roadways. Don't ask me what it means. I'm just the dreamer, pal.

April 21, 2002

For whatever the reason (I don't remember anymore) this was written April 16 but didn't get posted. So ...

What in the world is wrong with me? Isn’t the purpose of sleep to wake refreshed, energized, and ready to take on a new day? If so, I appear to have it backward. I wake fatigued, sluggish, and about as interested in taking on a new day as embarking on another root canal.

Something ain’t right.

So another trip to the doctor I suppose. This time, I’ll catalogue my symptoms. Let’s see:

- Aches and pains in shoulders and back
- Fatigue
- Chest, odd feeling, perhaps bronchial thing
- Disinterest, apathy

Hmm. Any more? Well, depression I suppose. But is the depression caused by the symptoms that don’t go away, or does the depression cause the symptoms? I believe this is the real question. (I am such a whiner these days ...)

And how am I feeling now? MUCH improved (high pressure system moved in). However, the back and neck are still buggered up and I find I can't spend much time at the keyboard.

April 20, 2002

Good grief! I did a couple of searches today. First on Google where I found Piddleville coming up in the Webster dictionary of Jeeves under the word "congenial." (This is, of course, Piddleville - the congenial Web site.) Then I did a search for Piddleville on AskJeeves. Yikes! About 60 entries, the vast majority to pages here I had forgotten about. Some of them have the most appalling design imagineable. Shame, shame ... I suppose I should do some online housekeeping. It is, after all, spring.

April 13, 2002

I will ramble today. I shall burble.

To begin with – such a dream! Well, maybe not so remarkable for those people who are into this sort of thing, but for someone like myself, for someone who doesn’t recall his dreams often and doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about those he remembers, it was remarkable, in its small way.

(Am I using my commas correctly? I’m never sure about that. Troublesome, given that I make my living writing. But the dream …)

I found the dream fascinating because I dreamt I was waking from a dream. Yes; in the dream I woke from the dream. Then went downstairs.

Going downstairs was quite the thing too. I woke fully dressed, though dishevelled. I then got onto something like a ski-lift type thing and rode it downstairs. You see, “upstairs,” where I woke, was apparently up in the mountains (the Rockies). As I rode whatever it was downstairs (I was very high up) I had a marvelous panoramic view. I could see mountains everywhere – as far as the eye can see, as the expression puts it. And it was early to mid-June. Everything was green and lush, even the mountain tops. (They must have been very small mountains and it was probably a new experience for those mountains to have even their peaks covered with grass as opposed to snow.)

And was at home in Edmonton, which was something of a geographic marvel since you can’t see the mountains in Edmonton. They’re too far away. They were too close even for Calgary, so the dream was playing fast and loose with topography, as dreams will do.

Sadly, this was the only thing of interest in the dream. At least, that is pretty much all I remember of it. But imagine it. I woke “upstairs” at the top of mountains and went “downstairs” to the base of them.

The mind has its own sense of domestic interiors.

April 9, 2002

Got my pants back - finally! Thanks to Bob in Moncton. (Anyone know how to get rid of stains?)

April 5, 2002

Would whoever has taken my pants please return them? Thank you.

April 2, 2002

You have to be someone who doesn't use the Internet, or sees it as a kind of curious adjunct to other things, to imagine that interest in sex has left the Net. Only someone who has never gone to a sex site, purposefully or by accident, could think interest has waned. Perhaps, rather the declining interest, it has something to do with the high-energy, pop-up window assaults. Or maybe attempts to upload crap, perhaps even viruses and worms through those "Do You Want To Install ...?" pop-ups, have curbed some of the traffic. Or the insistance on giving up personal information to become a member and thus harrassed by scuzzballs for the rest of your life has dissuaded some people.

Sex is always interesting. However, people generally don't like paying for it. They don't like having their privacy compromised. They don't like carnival barkers yelling at them all the time. Blah blah blah ...