May 29, 2002

Here. I'm demonstrating my blog. Whoa! It's very exciting.

May 26, 2002

Today I feel grand. If only because yesterday is over. (Actually, it is a glorious day. Weatherwise, this is the place to be today.)

What the hell happened with Saturday though? The whole day was spent with Advil and thumb-twiddling as I waited for the headache and general malaise to pass. Where do these days come from? Why is there no biological early-warning system?

A friend of mine suffers from major migraines. I’m willing to bet if I call her up she’ll tell me she was in bed all day yesterday with a doozy. (I don’t get migraines, just brain stupification … meaning dull-wittedness, vertigo, headaches, and aches in a variety of joints and muscles. Oh joy! Oh bliss!)

I remember reading (somewhere) that people who suffer migraines experience fewer with high pressure systems dominating and more frequently with low pressure systems. (Lighter, drier air versus heavier, moister air.) I also had a doctor tell me once that such things like migraine or arthritic flare ups are not so much affected by the air pressure system as they are by the change from one to another. Sounds good to me. I’ll buy that. (He could have been humouring me with a load of crap though.)

Yesterday, from the air perspective, was a gymnastic tumbling affair with wind shifting direction, moist air being hustled out like a loud drunk by bouncers. A windy day; an off and on cloudy day with big fart monster clouds whisking across the sky like white caps on an ocean or lake. It was entertaining in its way but would have been more enjoyable had I not been feeling like el crapo.

Really, I wish I knew more about the cause (since I am fully versed on the effect). It was an entire day wasted. Anyway …

It was not an entire loss. By the end of the day, the wind having settled down, I felt much better and sat down to watch The Sound of Music. Normally, I’m with Voltaire on these things: “What is too stupid to be spoken is sung.” (He was speaking of opera, but they’re close cousins, musicals and operas.) But how can you not love a boyish looking Julie Andrews and the songs of Rogers and Hammerstein? It is a nice break from “Baby, baby” songs. Melodies with non-throwaway lyrics – lyrics someone actually thought about and crafted. Imagine that!

Yes, The Sound of Music has got large doses of schmaltz but sometimes, when it’s done well and not too over-the-top, schmaltz is just the thing to cap a day of being the plaything of the inscrutable heavens.

May 25, 2002

This morning has yin and yang-ed me with a puzzling blend of the lovely and the vexing. The sky is sun-filled, the air is tumescent with possible rain and my head is pounding like shady loan collectors who’ve finally tracked down some poor schmuck who has missed a payment.

Why is this?

Could it be the full moon? The yank and release of tidal forces? Could it be the roughhousing of wrestling pressure systems, unseen but bulky and cross in the sky overhead? The biometeorological bullying of climate?

I dunno, I dunno. But whatever it is, I wish it would stop. It’s an otherwise delicious day.

May 21, 2002

Now this is a cool notion: the brain communicating with itself wirelessly. Geez ... my head hurts thinking about it.

No posts in the last few days - but that doesn't mean I've been idle! No siree Bob! I've been hard at work watching movies and upgrading the Movie Room.

May 15, 2002

In an effort to restore order to my personal Piddleville, I have generated greater chaos. I stupidly bought some cabinet type things at IKEA on weekend. They weighed far more than my limpid little limbs could handle, so I had them delivered. They arrived yesterday.

Bonehead! How could I have forgotten the nightmare of having to put that crap together? What was I thinking?

So ... now the clutter of home is increased as 3 large, elongated boxes sit idle as they wait for me to hunker down and tackle the Promethean task of trying to put this crap together. Is there anything less dignifying than meeting your own dull-wittedness face to face? I am so stupid ...

May 12, 2002

Many people don't know this ...

The late, great Sam Cooke is probably best remembered for his song 'Stand By Me'. This was not, however, the song's first title.

Originally, the song was called 'Stand On The Sidewalk'. But a year before the song really hit big Sam was at a gig in a small club outside of Detroit. After the show an auto worker, Bob Percy, who had seen the show, went up to Sam.

"Love the song, Sam," he said. "But you've got to change the title. 'Stand On The Sidewalk' just doesn't scan. And it really doesn't make a lot of sense to sing, 'No, I won't be afraid; no, I won't shed a tear just as long as you stand on the sidewalk.' What the hell is that?

"How about 'Stand By Me'? Wouldn't that work better?"

Well, the lights went on for Sam. He changed the words and the rest is music history.

Just think ... Would you have gone to see a Stephen King story turned into a movie if it had been called 'Stand On The Sidewalk'?

I don't think so.

(This story was first told to me by Crabs the Clown.)

Change. Coin. The rattling metal stuff in your pocket that weighs you down as if you were a New Jersey bookie who'd gotten on the wrong side of the wrong people.

What the hell do you do with it?

It litters my home, and clogs my pockets. I think - give it away! That would be easy. But, having experienced the discouragement of penury (being broke) and scrambling in sofas or anything for a few coins to buy something - anything! - to eat, I can't just give it away because ... Well, someday I may be broke again. And won't I be pissed knowing I'd tossed away a meal or two because I was a bit inconvienced by some nickels, quarters and dimes?

But my God ... it's everywhere!

You know something? One day when I'm gone and they're going through the detritus of my life, they'll find all this coin. It will be everywhere. And someone will add it all up and then say, with some surprise, "Damn! Can you believe it? This guy had more money than Bill freakin' Gates!"

May 10, 2002

Is there any better feeling than getting home after being away, especially if you've been away at something you didn't particularly want to do, in a place you didn't particularly want to go? (No offense Calgary - anywhere that isn't home is a place I don't particularly want to go to.)

Must stop typing "particularly."

Anyway ... Gonzo, the cat, is still talking to me. In fact, she won't shut up. This is the cat's revenge. Affection in excess.

Now it's DVD time. Snared by the digital siren call, I came home with Jerry McGuire, Ocean's 11 and Next Generation, Season Two. Must take next week off. I'm feeling unwell. ;-)

May 9, 2002

Hats off to the Exchange, the lounge in the Calgary Marriott hotel. I could have sat there all night. The music was aces ... Tom Waits, REM, Elvis Costello, Leonard Cohen and so on. Too cool. My music.

As for me, after tomorrow's class, I get to go home. Geez ... I'm a terrible traveller. I can't get home fast enough. Wonder if Gonzo is still talking to me ... (I also wonder what the damn bill for all this is. It'll be a corker, I'm sure.)

May 8, 2002

There’s a Little Feat song, written by Lowell George no doubt (or was it one of his solo albums?), called I’ve Got 20 Million Things To Do. Or something very similar. This is how life feels all the time. 20 million things to do.

In fact, there are so damn many things to do, the will do them evaporates because of the sheer impossibility to complete them. And so, as a result, 20 million things quickly becomes 40 million things because things to do continue to come in, accumulate, and beat down the will “to do.”

My will to do is done and gone. So … I sit indifferently watching the Ottawa-Toronto hockey game. It’s an apathy day. A sleepy day. A “leave me alone when I’m under the blanket” day.

And this is odd since the sun is finally shining in Calgary, the aberrant snow is disappearing, and the semblance of spring is slowly becoming manifest.

Calgary vs Edmonton: a draw. Calgary scores a point by being an actual city, with a real downtown. (Edmonton for unexplained reasons seems to shun the notion of a lively downtown – the preference for shopping malls baffles social scientists.)

Calgary loses a point however because, while it is a city, it is not my city.

Home’s home, even if it sucks.

May 6, 2002

I'm in Calgary now. And guess what? It's snowing! Snowing, snowing, snowing!!!

I can't escape it. Heading south on Highway 2, a little on the north side of Red Deer, we hit it. Snow. From there to Calgary it was snow freaking' snow every damn where!


(In the background, the radio lists school closings due to the snow ...)

May 5, 2002

I really don't care for travel. Flying is definitely the worst. This is why I'm taking the bus to Calgary. I'd walk if it was the only way to avoid airports. They are the most tedious, mind-numbing experiences imagineable. Want to have an impact on crime? Send the convicted to airports. That would show them we're not kidding around.

I don't mind destinations, however. Once I get someplace, after an adjustment period, I usually like the place. (Though this week may be an exception since it's a week in a hotel and taking a workshop I have no interest in.)

Anyway, today is a day of anxiety, reflected well in the dull gray sky and late fall temperatures, despite the fact we're into May. Running around making sure the cat has enough food, ensuring I actually have clothes that don't stink and aren't wrinkled to badly, and generally packing. Actually, I find I'm more concerned that I have books, CDs, laptop etc. to ensure there is something to do when I get bored than I am in clothes. Those are usually last minute things. Sort of like, "Oh shit! I better take clothes too."

Nothing worse than showing up butt-naked. The company frowns on that sort of thing.

May 4, 2002

It is May 4th. I look out my window. It is snowing.

God has abandoned us.

May 3, 2002

Next week promises to be … well, I’m not sure what. But I’m off to Calgary and hotel living. “Yippee-kay-eh!” as the Canadian cattle folk like to say. I’m not even sure why I’m going. I’ll be taking some workshop or classes or whatever they’re calling it on “Web-based Training Design Something-or-Other.”

When it’s done, I should be able to create, or at least describe, online tutorials and other Web-related thing-a-ma-bobs.

Perhaps I’ll make a tutorial on how best to experience Piddleville. A little something on how to make a good gin and tonic. (Limes are everything, and Bombay Sapphire is a must.)
This actually happened ...

At work, we had a meeting scheduled. Someone invited him/herself to the meeting. Then, having done so, they cancelled the meeting and rescheduled it because they couldn't make it.

(sound of head banging on table)
Forgive me, but I have to whine again. This afternoon it was about 16 degrees (Celsius). Currently, at midnight, it's 0. Going down to minus 7. Tomorrow's high about 3 or 4. Who have we offended?

On another note, I just watched A Few Good Men for about the 3rd or 4th time. This is such a good movie. Here's my suggestion for the Star Wars people: let George Lucas handle the special effects, but hand over the reins of the directing to Rob Reiner. Who knows? We might get a watchable movie. You know, something with vaguely real characters and a story elevated above the tedious level? Just a thought ...