Thursday, February 28, 2002

You are most like Kate who was struck with an axe!

Created by Thren.
Which Gashlycrumb Tiny are you?

Once again, thanks to Dave for this link. I once knew someone who had the Ed Gorey alphabet poster on her bathroom wall. It saved me from having to bring any extra reading material with me whenever I went.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Become a registered patriot!
Remember kids, if you're not with us, than you're against us, ya damn terrorist. Any voice of dissent in regard to the bombing of Iraq, and any other unlawful bombings that we carry out, will be considered treason. Click on the photo to show your colours, by registering yourself as a true 'Merican! Death to the heathens. (Or, at least, anyone who ain't a white christian.)

Agnosticism rocks!
Came across this little test, as to beliefs in god (thanks Dave!). Been awarded the TPM Medal of Distinction, taking 1 hit and biting one bullet. Jeez, I should have been at the Scopes monkey trial.
You know, the law might have changed, but in Tennessee, until recently, it was unlawful to teach evolutionary theory in school. Scary.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Oooh, a package!
God, but I do love Mountain Equipment Co-op. Just finished taking my bath this morning, sitting around in my birthday suit, drinking the last of my coffee, when there's a knock on the door. This is about 8 in the morning, and me being nekkid, I wasn't about to answer.
Once the person knocked a second time, grabbed my house-coat and run down stairs to answer the door. Sure enough, there's this box for me from MEC. Inside, a brand new rope and some rain pants. Okay, nothing spectacular, but I ordered these products on Friday over the internet. What's fun about MEC is that you don't pay provincial sales tax, nor do you pay for shipping. Sweet. And, as an extra bonus, you're buying mostly Canuckian, with part of the profits going back to finance environmental cleanups.

Monday, February 25, 2002

I don't know why I remember this, but I did. Several years ago, I was at Milano's on St-Laurent, a few days before New Year's Eve. I was there with my mother, who wanted to pick up some ingredients to make tiramisu. Unsure of what to buy, we were browsing mindlessly. Naturally, this being the Christmas holidays, the store was packed. Finally, I went up to a clerk and asked a few questions. I pretty much got the brush-off. Then, I mentioned that I was shopping with my mom and that the help was really for her. My god, you could almost have heard a pin drop. Everything just stopped, the clerk running off to get someone more important. Hell, here was a young man (back then) shopping with his mother. The assistant manager comes out, and pretty much gave us first-class service. That was sweet.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

I've spent the past two days indexing a user manual, using M$ Word. I'm ready to stick dirty pins in my eyes, in only because it would be a change from the monotony.

Ha ha
I never like to talk about money, and even less talk about salaries. I know I make no where near what some developers and project managers make here, and I really don't want to know. Unfortunately, a product manager hit his "Reply to all" option in response to an email asking employees what they wanted to do with their bonuses. So, everyone make some quick calculations and guesses, and now I realise that I really don't even come close. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

A bit of very interesting trivia...

February 20 this year will be a historic moment in time.
It will not be marked by the chiming of any clocks or the ringing of bells, but at that precise time, on that specific date, something will happen which has not occurred for 1,001 years, and will never happen again.
As the clock ticks over from 8.01pm on Wednesday, February 20, time will, for sixty seconds only, read in perfect symmetry 2002, 2002,2002.
This historic event will never have the same poignancy as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which marks Armistice Day, but it is an event, which has only ever happened once before, and is something which will never be repeated.
The last occasion that time read in such a symmetrical pattern was long before the days of the digital watch and the 24-hour clock at 10.01am on January 10, 1001.
And because the clock only goes up to 23.59, it is something that will never happen again.

Non sequitar
Going through my library this morning, looking for music to listen to at work, I settled on that old stoner standby, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. (Oy, if my brain cells could still talk, they would recount everything about those long-ago, self-destructive days, with this album as the soundtrack of my descent.)
Anyhow, popped the album into the computer when I got to work, and then started reading my e-mails. One message stood out, that of the VP, who told us that we are, in fact, receiving our bonuses this year. Oh, happy day.

Monday, February 18, 2002

Damn, why don't I look this cool?

A quiet weekend
Well, my SO is gone for the week. Funny how, in the first few years after moving in together, you look forward to those times when you'll have the place to yourself, if only for a couple of days. Now, I just sit around, trying to get up the energy to go wild and do the things I've missed doing but haven't 'cause it might disturb the peace. Instead, this weekend, I simply cleaned the appartment and did a few loads of laundry. Watched the Olympics, nice to see that our Canadians are holding true to tradition and coming in just out of the medals.
Last night, had some friends over. Made a leg of lamb. To make, prepare a marinade of olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, rosemary, a pinch of mint, and a teaspoon of honey. Rub onto a de-boned leg and let marinate for several hours. Sear at 400F for 15 minutes, and then cook for about 30 minutes at 350F.
Served with roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary. To prepare, boil cube red potatoes for about 5 minutes and drain. In a bowl, mix together a red pepper, a green pepper, about 20 bite-sized mushrooms, and two, yes two, heads of garlic. Add the drained potatoes, a tablespoon of rosemary and about a half cup of olive oil. Broil for 5 minutes, stir and broil for another 5 minutes. Douse with balsamic vinegar and serve. We had a really good Australian Pinot Noir (and doesn’t that sound like a redundancy?). God, I love food.
Earlier in the day, I brewed a dubbel, which should be ready in about two months. A dubbel is a trappist ale, usually about 7 percent alcohol. Somewhat spicy and estery, and a real boot to the head if you’re not paying attention and indulge too much.
Slowly getting ready to leave for Red Rocks, Nevada, in mid-March. Gonna spend a little over a week climbing in the high desert air.

Friday, February 15, 2002

Congratulations. You are dead.
I can't wait to see the audience reaction when then they play this on Oscar night.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

It's nice to be loved
My better half (better looking, better personality, etc.) had to leave early this morning to go to her weekly acupuncture. Before she left, she came back to bed, making sure I got up. Only had time to kiss her good-bye when, turning to the dining room, I saw a gift bag on the table. Oh goody. Look inside and, what do I find, but bubble bath (yummers), a sage smudge -- we've been having more visits lately from our ghosts -- and, joy of joys, dark red silk boxers from Simons. Wow, never had silk boxers before. I'm getting all tingly just thinking about it.
I guess this is for me giving her some moonstone earrings the other day. Heading off to eat at Aqua Terra tonight. It's sure to put a dent in my bank account.
So, what are the lonely hearts doing tonight? (hee hee)
On another note, much to my suprise and glee, I found myself a Spiderman Pez dispenser on the weekend. Collect them all. C'mon, I double dirty-dog dare ya.

Giving new meaning to the term “numb nuts”
I couldn’t help but notice some folks glancing at me this morning, snickering, pointing to my crotchal area. Couldn’t figure out what the reason behind all this attention was. Looked down; nope, all the buttons were done up on my fly. Got to work, turned on my Dell, and starting my daily surfing. And then, I happened across this blasphemous posting, and everything became clear. People were laughing because they were led to believe that I am naturally small everywhere! All I can say, folks, is that it was cold out that day. Ergo, shrinkage! IT WAS SHRINKAGE! Oh, why can’t anyone believe me? Do I have to go out and prove it? (Don’t answer that.)
However, if this is the way things are going to be, I would just like to point out that several small fires have been occurring lately at a software company in Old Montreal, and methinks that someone is deliberating setting these little blazes in order to drool at the johnny-on-the-spot firemen who show up to cool her down.
Normally, I wouldn’t say anything, but I’ve been encouraged to do so.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

There but for the grace of god (wherever she is)

In the metro, on the way to work today, another of Montreal’s many indigents got on at the Lionel-Groulx station. Nothing new there, you can’t swing a dead cat in this great metropolis of ours without hitting an outstretched hand. Glanced up from my reading, and recognised said-street person.
Over 14 years ago, when I first moved to this city, I quickly realised that a whole lot of folks lived through handouts. Most were truly down on their luck. This one fella, however, who “worked” out of the Guy metro station, seemed different. His clothes were normally clean, his hair was somewhat manageable, he never got in anyone’s face. Almost good looking, ya know?
So, my first few years in Montreal, he became a fixture in the downtown area. I only saw him on Ste-Catherine sporadically over the years. Then, about five years ago, there he was, standing outside the Gap store on Ste-Catherine, looking completely bewildered and off his rocker, yelling at passersby, scrounging through the garbage, his clothes in complete tatters. I’ve caught glimpses of him over the years, and the downward slide has been consistent and heart-breaking.
So there he was, this morning, walking into the metro car. Perhaps “walking” is too polite a word. More like limping. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see everyone involuntarily flinch, especially folks sitting alone on double seats: “Oh Christ, please, no, don’t sit next to me. I might catch something,” you could see their thought bubbles.
No need to worry, however, this poor guy has had his spirit already taken out of him. Wearing clothes teeming with lice, plastic bags on his feet, limping (as I said) as though he’s already lost a couple of toes to frostbite.
I couldn’t help but think, “Dude, how can you still be alive?” Honestly, how can his “rage de vivre” be so strong after all these years? I can’t even begin to imagine what hell that guy, and every other street person, has to go through, especially on bitterly cold days. Being treated like shit by everyone else, and having to demean yourself for a meal at Sun Youth or the Starvation Army? (This Christmas, eating at my in-laws, the parents were quoting some shit-ass article they had read in Reader’s Digest that said that beggars routinely made up to $300 a day. The sad thing is, the ‘rents took this as gospel.)
At what point can you say enough is enough? Give up a losing battle, admit defeat? I’ll never understand human nature, in all its various guises.

Well, now I feel better

So, what do Canadians have to be proud of?
Smarties, Crispy Crunch & Coffee Crisp.
The size of our footballs fields and one less Down.
Baseball is Canadian.
Lacrosse is Canadian.
Hockey is Canadian.
Basketball is Canadian.
Apple pie is Canadian.
Mr. Dress-up kicks Mr. Rogers ass.
Tim Hortons kicks Dunkin' Donuts ass.
In the war of 1812, started by America, Canadians pushed the Americans back...past their 'White House'. Then we burned it... and most of Washington, under the command of William Lyon McKenzie who was insane and hammered all the time. We got bored because they ran away, so we came home and partied ... Go figure...
Canada has the largest French population that never surrendered to Germany.
We have the largest English population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone, anywhere.
Our civil war was a bar fight that lasted a little over an hour.
The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary, who slept in and missed the whole thing...but showed up just in time to get caught.
We knew plaid was cool far before Seattle caught on.
The Hudsons Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth's surface and is still around as the worlds oldest company.
The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in under 3 minutes.
We still know what to do with all the parts of a buffalo.
We don't marry our kin-folk.
We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, zambonis, the telephone and short wave radios that save countless lives each year.
We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.
....the handles on our beer cases are big enough to fit your hands with mitts on.
OOOOoohhhhh Canada!! Oh yeah... and our elections only take one day.

I don't really want to read this story

Senators put it to Penguins

Monday, February 11, 2002

How low can she go?

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The other day, I was at the Atwater Market, on my weekly trip to buy food for the week. (One really nice thing about the market is that you can buy organic produce, including meats. Trust me, even though you have to pay more – sometimes much more – for organic, the difference in taste is highly worth it.) Oh right, back to the story. I was at the fishmonger, and who do I happen to see but a fellow (or is that fella?) tech writer who goes by the name of MellowKitty. There she was, trying to hock her beloved shrimp sheller, the one she carries everywhere to show to anyone she can. Patrons were accosted at the door, pestered with pleas of “Hey, want a sheller? I’ll sell it to ya cheap. C’mon, I haven’t had a smoke in two years, and I’m dying. Please, take pity on a dot-comer.”
With no luck from the customers, MK turned her attention to the fishmongers themselves, trying to cadge something, anything out of them. By the end, she was reduced to begging for bones. Thankfully, she didn’t see me. I wasn’t going to say a thing, out of respect for a former mentor, but then I read the following and decided, hey why not?

Okay, this is funny.This didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to my dad. We’re going back over 30 years, either 1969 or 1970. My pop was a patroller at Mont-Joye, a small hill in the Eastern Townships, in Quebec. One day, he’s having lunch, when the call comes to the hut that someone on the hill is hurt, and to bring the sled. Well, daddy-o drops his lunch, grabs his jacket, throws his skis into the sled, and races off to the poma lift – a one-person T-bar, for those unfamiliar. (Remember, this is still the time of long woodies, leather boots and bear-trap bindings.)
Anyhow, pops gets to the poma lift, jumps the queue and is getting ready to get on the ride. The poma attendant has stopped the ride and is trying to grab my pop’s attention. “Um, Mr. T, um.” Dad: “Shaddup and start the poma. Can’t you see I’m on important business?” Poma guy: “Yeah, but…” Dad: “Listen, start the ride NOW.” Poma guy: “Well, okay.”
So, the attendant starts the ride up and my father is just standing there, seeing the spring on the poma just stretch and stretch. Damn, he realises that, in his haste, he’s neglected to put on his skis. So, naturally, once the poma reaches the end of the spring, it bounces back full force, launching my dad several feet into the air.
About a week later, my pop’s at another resort, riding the chairlift up the mountain when the guy sitting next to him says, “You know, you patrollers have quite the reputation. Did you hear about that idiot last week who tried to go up the poma without skis?”

Watching The Luzhin Defense movie the other night, where John Turturro plays your typical mad-genius world champion chess master, I was struck with the thought: Why are there no champion checkers players, parcheezi players, othello players, etc? Just a thought.

Friday, February 08, 2002

True story

I was reading JD’s poohlogs (and doesn’t that sound just a little weird), where he’s giving his answers to the Smattering’ Friday Five, stuff about broken bones and stuff. I don’t think I could answer those questions, since I’ve had so many broken bones and scars on my body that I couldn’t even begin to enumerate them all. However, reading JD's responses, it made me remember some events leading to one of my better scars, about 30cm long. Several years ago, I was deathly ill, knocking on death's door, spiraling of this mortal coil, etc. I needed some major surgery, probably the most radical operation possible. We're talking chest cut open here, ribs spread wide, "paddles" used, etc, ad nauseum. Saw monsters at one point, the same ones that appear in Jacob's Ladder, and afterward I woke up to find myself with tubes coming out of various parts of my body, including places where no tubes should ever go. Heck, they even cut slits in my stomach and shoulders just to put more tubes in. I looked like a freakin' borg.

But that's not the point. After this whole debacle, there were a lot of meetings and stuff with dieticians, physical therapists, social workers, etc ad nauseum, all doing their part in my recovery. No problem there. Hell, I was a brand new me. Look at me go!

Unfortunately, there was this fat fuck of a psychiatrist who decided to make it his business to convince me that I was resentful of everything that had happened to me, that I in fact regretted surviving. This freakazoid made sure he got his grubby hands on me whenever I was in the waiting room, dropping off a note to my doctor that I had to see him after my regular appointments. Once ensconced in his little, un-air-conditioned office, this waste of air would beam at me and then the questions would begin. "So Michel, how are you? Are you still angry? Tell me about your dreams."
Me: "Well, um, no, everything's going fine, really. I'm back at work, I'm exercising, biking about 10 miles a day, taking care of myself and, oh yeah, I've met the love of my life."
Dr. FF: "No, no, Michel, you are deluding yourself. Now, let's get back to your dreams. Tell me about your dreams"
"Well, I don't normally remember my dreams, to tell the truth"
"I don't believe you. Your dreams, now, or I will have to write it up"
"Oh, oh, here's one I remember. It was a humorous one, actually. I was dreaming that I was going out with the girl I know. I come home one day, walk into the bedroom and find her making love with a guy I know (as do some other bloggers, which makes the dream really funny). So, my reaction is: 'Oh, don't mind me, I just wanted to get my book.'(Sorta like that British joke.)"
Dr. FF: "Well, I must conclude from your dreams that you are in fact extremely angry. I think we should meet weekly."


Needless to say, I never went back.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Nibbled to death by ducks

Ever volunteer to be part of a organisation? Ever regret your decision? For some reason, one that I will never understand, I was asked to be in the public relations officer for the Montreal section of the AAC (Alpine Club of Canada). True, I sure do like my gear shops, so I guess the chairman figured I was the right fella for the job. Hey, I figured, this would look good on my résumé.
All of a sudden, I'm being asked to generate revenue for the club through advertising for our newsletter, to sell tickets and write articles for and about Canadian climbers, ad nauseum. If that weren't so bad, once a month there are these executive meetings. For the most part, things go pretty well, except, as in any situation, you always find one or two passive-agressive folks with incredible inferiority complexes who feel the need to justify their existence by speaking incessantly about what they've done for other organisations, how much good they can do for the club where they are now, and who, at the same time, talk about how tired and burned out because of all the volunteer work they do.
Three hours of this sort of crap, late on a Wednesday night, gone straight from work, so I haven't eaten since breakfast. Let's imagine how I feel.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Do not mess with me, for I am 60% bastard, although I can't understand what the 34% turd means. However, I am mos def a man. Here me rut, smell my musk.

So that's what technical writers do...

This is how I feel when writing a user manual. It's hard being me.

I'm starting to hate Yahoo mail. Silly me, signing on to various web sites and, when asked to give an e-mail address, I've used my yahoo account. Okay, so you expect some spam over time. No problem, just put the address in the block list. Last week, however, I tried to block another porn address, only to be told that I had reached my limit of 100. Excuse me?
It now seems like the gates have opened, and every day I'm inundated with come-ons from young Asian teen sluts who want me to give it to them, hard. Um, no, I'd rather not, especially when these hundreds of pop-ups appear on my computer at work whenever you click on a link (or so I've heard, hee hee).
Pleez to be helping, anyone?

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

With a name like that...

Although I'm not that much of a fan of Mel Gibson, and definitely not Julia Roberts, they made a movie together that was somewhat interesting, Conspiracy Theory. One thing that was mentionned was that famous murderers normally use three names, i.e. John Wayne Gacy, Mark David Chapman, etc.
Ergo, I've always wondered about a certain moderator on the Montreal tech-writers forum. I mean, honestly, with a name like John David Hickey, who's to say there aren't some chopped-up 12-year-old boys stashed in his freezer? Just a thought.

All is not lost

Yes, like everyone else, I always look forward to the Superbowl because of the ads. This year, I thought that might be the case more than ever, because I thought the St. Louis Rams would have annihilated the New England Patriots. My bad. Then, what with the demise of Adcritic, I resigned myself to dealing with crappy Canuckian commercials.
Luckily, bless my little stars, and you know who you are, there are now two web sites with the ads, iFilm and another simply called Superbowl ads. Yeehah, even more ways to avoid work.

I done been web-o-sized

Okay, okay, we're all on the web, but this time it's different. It seems that some photos that I've taken of a friend climbing in the Gunks has been publicised on a French web page (the first two photos).
I can just see it now, being contacted by all the major magazines, flying to exotic locations, photographing lovely climbing betties. A guy can dream, can't he?

Don't know how she did it (she's got these weird powers), but a minor joke on one of my blog links has been found out. I've changed it. She's still pretty........ pretty funny.

Monday, February 04, 2002

Green with Envy

Well, I finally did it. I finally got around to tasting my home-made absinthe. Rather tasty, I must say. However, you have to be careful how much you drink, otherwise certain things might happen that, although pretty fun at the time, may make you regret it the next morning.
Granted, I was quite the joyful boy while on it.