Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 11:25 AM | 0 comments
I bought season 1 yesterday for $39.99 from a used store. It's brand new and in my hands a week before retail. The sound, video, and everything else is amazing.

Catherine and I watched the first episode and reminded ourselves why we love this show in the first place.

Simply gorgeous stuff.

I've been spoiled lately.

I deserve it.
Posted by Parallel
Many dollars later, I have ML 10 and one fig from ML 11. Why is this cool? Well, the foot and a half tall heavy-ass Sentinel should answer that question.

Catherine is appropriately mortified at the space it takes up, while I have taken to cuddling with it as though it were a teddy bear.

The other figs are super-cool as well, but man... that Sentinel.

The stuff dreams are made of.
Posted by Parallel
Are full of the scariest bastards you will ever meet in your life, aside from FMG. Geeks, nerds, and the sexually depraved lined the floors for three days of geek-bliss. The attraction really isn't there for me anymore, though I use my press cred to interview those I normally wouldn't get the chance.

I interviewed Tim Russ from Star Trek: Voyager and Adam Baldwin from the upcoming Serenity. I also sat in Q&A's for James Marsters, Margot Kidder, Erica Durance, and Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim's creator).

All were interesting.

The MOST interesting aspect is that James' three-day bonanza, which included a private meal where he would walk & talk for 45 minutes, play 12 songs, and give you access to all three Q&A's, a signed photo, and you could have your picture professionally taken with Marsters would run you a cool $695.

That's insane. Lower prices for autographs/talks were $200 and $80 respectively.

I don't pay that much for U2 or even the Rolling Stones.

As press, I just went to what I want for free. I'm cheap like that.
Posted by Parallel
Just when you think you can count on your work to screw you, they not only come through in the way you expect, but also in other ways you don't.

I made a paltry 28k and two months ago was promised Colleen's level of pay and a promotion to 33k. My contract was up yesterday, and they offered me 30k. My plan was anything less than Colleen, and I walk. So they did as expected and tried to screw me, but REALLY screwed me when they accepted my counter-offer of 33k.

It's Wednesday and I'm still here. It's like being promised armaggedon and a chance at heaven, only to find out that the whole thing was a joke.

I have a raise.

Bastards.
Posted by Parallel
The last post referred to a brave little boy named Alex who died last Tuesday from a skin disease. He was confined to a wheelchair and bundled in padding, yet he was the most optimistic and intelligent kid I've ever met. He knew what was coming, defied the odds and lived years beyond expectations, and inspired everyone he met.

It's the best kind of legacy to leave.

He'll be missed.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 3:20 PM | 0 comments
Normally I don't go in for this sort of email zen, but today it seemed appropriate. I'll explain more tomorrow as some of the details can't yet be revealed.

A group of working adults got together to visit their former professor.

The professor was happy to see them. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. The professor just smiled and went to the kitchen to get an assortment of cups - some porcelain, some in plastic, some in glass, some plain looking and some looked rather expensive and exquisite.

He offered his former students the cups to get ice water for themselves.

When all the students had a cup in hand with water, the Professor spoke:

"If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is usual that you only want the best for yourselves, that also is the source of your problems and stress. What all you really wanted was water, not the cup, but you unconsciously went for the better looking cups."

"Just like in life, if life is water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and maintain life, but they hardly change the intrinsic quality of life."

"If we get focused only on the cup, then we won't have time to taste and enjoy the water in it!"

"And also remember: A rich person is the one who has a lot, a happy person is the one who doesn't want a lot. The choice of who you want to be is yours."

And the students thus got their most important lesson from their wise teacher.

The moral of the story, from my point of view, is that it's never a good thing to settle in life but to always go for what makes you happy. Make a difference while you can, because you never know what tomorrow brings and who may be gone from this earth from one moment to the next.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, August 22, 2005 at 9:31 PM | 0 comments

The Cottage, 2005 Posted by Picasa
Posted by Parallel
Anyone else completely exhausted? I know I am.

It was a wonderful, if somewhat rainy trip. Good times were had by all, and if you weren't there, you were missed. By someone.

But a hearty thumbs up and good wishes to all who were there... Doug, Tess, Robyn, Jeromy, Josh, Paul, Victoria, Nicole, Jamie, and of course my girl, Catherine...

And damn you all for laughing at me when I tipped over into the woodpile. Especially whoever yelled 'quick, take a picture' and to Doug, who commented 'he's presenting.'

I assure you, I was not.

Same time, same place, next year. These get-togethers happen too rarely, but are too good to pass up. Jamie, bring more games.

PS. I have a job interview lined up for later this week to work as a Financial editor and Desktop Publisher. I have no business doing either, so this will be interesting.

Pictures & emails for the cottage to follow soon. I'll send 'em tomorrow from work because unlike yahoo, I can send more than three at a time.

Be good!
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 8:08 AM | 0 comments

Almost time to head out to the cottage... not a moment too soon. Posted by Picasa
Posted by Parallel
Friday, August 12, 2005 at 12:27 PM | 0 comments
Tonight and tomorrow night are the height of the annual Perseid meteor showers—one of the best and brightest meteor storms of the year.

The Perseids are a product of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 130 years. How do we get a yearly show from that? The comet leaves a trail of debris in its path; tiny particles, most no larger than a grain of sand, moving 132,000 mph.

Every year in July and August, Earth’s orbit takes it through this debris. Result: The particles burn up as they enter our atmosphere, giving us our regular light show.

Catherine and I will be camping this weekend, so there will be no interesting tidbits on this blog. Instead, we'll be roasting marshmallows, hot dogs, and sleeping on what appears to be the cold, wet ground.

I find it the height of irony that after the most intense summer I can remember heat-wise, that months ago we would have the misfortune of booking a weekend where it's raining.

Coincidence? Nope. I actually think the universe may be out to get me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to sleeping at my desk.

If those who read my blog will do me a favour, post a vote for 'quit' or 'tough it out' in the chatterbox. This place has been less than kind and is a factory for evil people, but it's a regular paycheck and as yet I don't have a replacement job. I'll be interested to see the results.

MARS ATTACKS: IN 1911 A METEOR FROM MARS FELL TO EARTH IN NAKHLA, EGYPT, KILLING A DOG.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 at 2:40 PM | 0 comments
It's been on my mind for the past week, and though Catherine prefers not to talk about it, I wanted to say something more for myself than for anyone else. This blog, as many of you will have noted, is more venting than blogging, but sometimes it manages to say something meaningful.

One year ago, yesterday, at 9:09 pm little Rooter passed away while Catherine, myself, and Truffle did everything we could to make things easy for her. It was a terrible few days filled with a lot of fear and anxiety. Though I've since laid the pain to rest and have only focused on the good that came with her short time with us, I still think of her often.

Just as I think of my dog, Jack. He was the best friend I ever had and likely will ever have. It's strange to give that title to a dog, but for those of you with pets who take on strong roles in your lives, you'll know what I mean.

Monty, the dog that Bob adopted for my mother, was killed last week by a passing car. It happened quickly and with little pain. Still, he was a young dog full of life and energy (and would often jump in the pool), so while I'm glad he had a good life while he was here, it was still too soon.

It's this kind of thinking that can get you down, and those of you who have read this far (and my previous entries) may think I'm depressed, but I'm not.

The pets mentioned above (who are more family than possessions) had a tremendous impact, and it is because of them and the people that come and go from our lives that we are who we are, and that we work to become better than we are now.

For all of my venting, I do my best to honor them by living my life well. For my grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles as well. For all of you, my friends. My family. The love of my life. Those who I wish to make proud.
Posted by Parallel
After round 42 or 43 of the stupidity that is my job, things picked up this week to new heights of the absurd.

I got called into a meeting over "complaints" about me... including that on the one day I was alone in my department, I apparently was sleeping at my desk.

I laughed out loud at that one.

See, the funny part is that in addition to my own full time job, I've been given more than 50% of the duties of my ex-co-worker Colleen's job to do on top of it, and I still manage to get done by 5pm. I have to work through lunch, but I get done.

So when do I have time to sleep??

D'oh well.

That was the proverbial last straw, so I'm fairly certain that I'll be leaving here at the end of August, with or without a new job lined up. Ideally I'll have one, and I've started applying regularly again, but either way Catherine, my mother, and even my co-workers are saying that it's clearly gone completely stupid here and to cut my losses.

It's too bad, as I have always taken a great deal of pride in the work that I do and in maintaining a high standard of quality. My job didn't involve saving the world or anything, but it was important that I do it right. I've been recognized for this in the past, but something tells me that with all the drama going on here that I shouldn't hold out hope that they're going to offer me a full time position, and that indeed I should just quit before they can decide one way or another.

That's where a bit of fear sets in. Though I have much more confidence that it wouldn't take as long, it took more than six months of searching and part time work for me to find this place. And though I hated it from the first moment, I met some really cool people here (along with the worst human being I've ever met).

I suppose I'm still hedging my bets a little. Waiting to see what, and if, they offer. I don't like giving up something for nothing, even when that something is having a negative effect on me.

On the other hand, I could be the problem. Discord and discontent seem to be a common theme with me and many of my jobs. I hope it's just because I haven't found the right one for me yet, and not that I'm a complete tool.

Shut up, Paul.
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, August 07, 2005 at 2:00 PM | 0 comments
In April 2001, city officials in Nottingham, England, spent more than £1 million (about U.S. $1.6 million) installing solar-powered parking meters on city streets after reading reports that the meters saved a fortune in maintenance costs in Mediterranean countries.

The only problem: Mediterranean countries get a lot of sun...and England doesn’t, not even in summer. By August, more than 25 percent of the parking meters were out of commission, allowing thousands of motorists to park for free.
Posted by Parallel
Friday, August 05, 2005 at 3:33 PM | 0 comments
Before my head explodes?

Ah, this must be what it's like to live life in a bubble. From one moment to the next, the past repeats itself in an endless stream of confusion and disappointment.

Except when it gets time to having a snack. That's always good.

My workload is now such that I can't ever take a break, not even lunch, or else I'll fall desperately behind. Even writing this entry could mean disaster.

Or another 15 minutes. It's hard to tell which comes first.

My co-worker, Nathan, has gotten a tentative job offer/option from our old boss, Susan, in Montreal. Unencumbered by family or other obligations, he's quite free to move and likely will should the opportunity present itself.

Good for him.

Fucked for me. Well, not in the sense of how badly it messed us up when Susan and Colleen left, but it would leave the whole web team, myself and Li, without a web designer.

AH HA HA HA HA

Shoot me.

Like I care. At this point, I really don't. Part of me wants to get tossed at the end of the month just to end it all. Something better HAS to come along.

I blame Paul.

On the bright side, I'm tearing through all the Harry Potter books again. I read part of 5, then 6, then finished 5, 4, and now I'm on 1. I realize this is not a sensible order, but it's pleasing me so far. I'm even picking up connections hinted at all the way back in book 1. It sheds some interesting light on things.

Catherine is away for the weekend with Patti for a wedding. They'll be sharing a hotel room together, but I'm told nothing kinky will happen. Knowing them, it means junk food and passing out around 10 or so.

I need Jer's cottage to be sooner than two weeks from now. My poor heart can't take it.

I've arranged for Friday and Monday off as I need it. I need a damn break.

Games will be played. Jamie has bought at least two or three new ones and already tested them out for quality assurance. He may also try to sell you a car, and so far, I gather his reputation as a salesman is infallible.

So, as I'll be bored this weekend, feel free to stop by, send an owl, or arrange many games of StarCraft.

Games are fun.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, August 03, 2005 at 1:17 PM | 2 comments
Aaron has requested a new blog entry, and seeing as how it seems an impossible task to connect with him by phone, I decided to speak with him through my blog.

"Hi, how are you?"

....

"What's wrong? Not talking to me?"

.....


"Fine, be that way. Things are okay with me (aside from the normal level of bullshit... oh hell, it's all going down the tubes."


....


"What, life is all roses for you?"

......

"Stop being a dick and talk to me."

.....

"Fine. Bite me."




And that's that. Wow, I enjoyed that, but Aaron didn't put up as much of a talk as I would have liked.

In unrelated news, my work continues to be a steaming pile of shit comparable to a night where you get rabies and die slowly and painfully. It's like that.

No new jobs have been applied for as no new jobs have been posted. It's a vicious cycle. At this point, the only good thing on the horizon is Jer's cottage and a camping trip, both of which should take my mind off of things. Of course, if this doesn't happen soon, then I expect Catherine will kill me for being in a sour mood all the time.

Marvel Legends 10 is out soon, though. It's the one where you can build a Sentinel out of pieces packaged with the figures. I'm looking forward to this. Catherine is not. She calls it 'clutter.'

But as I wear the pants, I'll buy what I like.

If you're reading this, Catherine, I didn't mean that. Don't take away my toys.
Posted by Parallel
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