Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 2:25 PM | 0 comments
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usLost has become a never-ending addiction to finding out the truth behind the island, the most important cast member of this show. Last night's episode had Locke and the mysterious Henry Gale trapped inside the Dharma Initiative hatch called "The Swan." A crackle of radio static, then an ominous countdown, and all of a sudden all blast doors came down and trapped the men inside.

The exciting part came after the lights flickered out and a black light came on, revealing to Locke a huge map of the island and where other Dharma secrets might be kept. It was only on the screen for a second, but even I sat up to take notice.

Others went to work. Deciphering French, Latin, numbers, and crude scribbles, this map has largely been decoded, but it asks more questions then it answers.

I can't wait for next week.

The map, attached above, should fill in the rest of you on what you saw but didn't see. Click on it to see a full sized version.

Television speculation should always be this much fun!
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 11:00 AM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis is a true story.

Well, it's a true story of a dream I had last night that Nathan insists is a lie. He thinks I had to have been stoned or drunk, but no, I'm weird enough to come up with this on my own:

I got pulled over by a cop who wanted to know why I was running from a couple who were trying to steal my van (I don't actually own a van). I had a copy of The 40 Year Old Virgin in the DVD player, which they were trying to steal. I don't know why they wanted it, but I was freaked out.

As we talked, suddenly the van was gone and two of the people climbed this stone pillar/perch where there were purple eggs. One of the eggs fell off but the cop grabbed it. It started to crack and pop open, and for some reason we knew it was a VELOCIRAPTOR egg!

Despite being in an egg, this was terrifying as THIS kind of velociraptor would be able to kill us right away. Another egg fell down and I grabbed this one, which also started to hatch. Then, we realized the ground we were on was part of a field of eggs laid out flat like a plastic kitchen floor and each panel was an egg that was about to hatch!

We all started to run away over this field of eggs, leaving a slush trail behind us whereever we stepped and listening as they all started to crack open. The good news was that you could slide quite quickly along the ground. I saw the van, and it had torn a strip out of the field in its wake as it moved towards me.

I jumped into the moving van (actually, it was a cool flip) that the others were in and as we got to the metal gate exit of this purple egg park, overhead we saw a half man/half bug with whispy wings that looked to be part torn fabric, part dragonfly.

We tried to get the van to hop up and splatter it on the windshield, but before we could we realized that it was OSAMA BIN LADEN. Just then, there was choir-like music thundering around us like something out of the matrix repeating over and over... OSAMA! OSAMA! (See the photo illustration I made with photoshop and too much spare time for a glimpse of the terror that I endured)

We got through the gate and he was flapping after us, realizing what we had done to his egg farm. It was quite scary. We thought we lost him only to see him flying in the distance. Just then, we crashed into one of his henchmen in a bright red suit who stopped the van short immediately. Then...

I woke up.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 3:52 PM | 0 comments
It's funny, but for a place that I hate working at so much, there are a lot of amusing bits that come out of it.

Yesterday, for instance, had this gem:

We've been dealing a bit with that ridiculous Nigerian email scam, except our members try to lure other members (quite successfully) into this scam. I laugh at the people who complain because they're quite clearly idiots who will believe anything.

At any rate, one co-worker decided she was going to fight the threat head on. She wanted to send out an email to the tens of thousands of people using our system warning them of the problem. She'd been doing some research on fraud and came across one website that had a handy slogan for detecting and avoiding the problem.

"I really like this slogan," she said.

The rest of us blink and kind of ignore her. "Brian," she asks, do you think it'd be a big deal if we used this? Would it be a problem?"

"I'm sure it would be," I said.

"You think it's a big deal to steal this?" she asked.

"So let me get this straight," I said. "Your solution to fighting fraud is to commit plagiarism?"


Co-worker, take a bow.
Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 9:14 AM | 0 comments
“A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen, shaking frantically with what looked like a wire running from his waist toward the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Until that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.”

—Associated Press

The moral? Pain is funny. Cause someone some pain today, either real, or imagined.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 11:19 AM | 2 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe latest and greatest from the absurd world that is my job, one of the call centre women, a lovely older Indian woman whom Nathan and I tease constantly, came back to ask about one of our insane customers. This woman always has a kind smile and even gave me a birthday present.

She was quite excited as she's going to see the stage version of Lord of the Rings. Catherine and I went to see this stinker of a play last month (though it may have improved since then) and I've had nothing but negative things to say about it. Horrible acting, far too long, and the fact that it stops being a musical halfway through the first act.

So, being a jerk, I burst her bubble a little.

"I thought it was awful. It was just not good. It may have gotten better, however, as I only saw the previews."

"Maybe it's better now," she said.

"I hope so."

"I've heard it's good," she said.

"From who?" I asked. "Someone you know?"

"No," she said. "But I've heard it from caucasians (she pronounced it cauc-A-SEE-Ns)."

Sandy and Nathan started laughing. I commented that it was the most bizarrely racist comment I've ever heard. Then we tried to get her to pronounce it properly. She said she got complaints in the call centre all the time from people calling in to complain that they aren't caucasian at all, but white.

"What's the difference?" she asked.

"Caucasians are off-white," I replied.

Just insane.

Other news: I went back to Guelph this weekend, and though the whole city is my home, I was surprised at how dreary the place felt. It's kind of like moving out of your family home, then coming back for a visit once a new family lives there. It's the same house, but nothing is the way you remember it.

Saw V for Vendetta. Quite a good flick and not an action-oriented film at all. I was quite impressed.

Rented the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Just an AMAZING show. Must-watch TV with a few Firefly insprired space-camera work. Jer, you can borrow discs from me as I finish them. It's due back this Sunday.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 11:37 AM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMy quest to lose weight has been ongoing now for just under three months. I've been going to karate at least three or four times a week, walking excessively, and monitoring my diet. I haven't lost tons of weight, but it's pleasing to see the waistline slowly going down.

It's a bit disheartening though to go to karate and have a little kid mess it all up. You see, last night, I helped a new student for a little, then went to get changed. I come dressed in my uniform and have only to put on my socks, conveniently placed upon my shoes.

Some little shit of a six year old stole my sock.

I was left with one sock, and the option of another, different colored sock that would fit a small child. To add insult to injury, one of my socks had two holes in the heel, and that was the one he left.

GIVE ME BACK MY SOCK! Stupid kids.

It makes me want to give up on losing weight.

Catherine and I are still prepping for China. We've bought our backpacks and I'm getting my passport stuff ready. Catherine conned her parents into paying for hers for her birthday, which is still a month away. Go, Catherine!

Here's a bizarre news story from Hong Kong:

Several cafes in Hong Kong now lend their dining guests dogs and cats to pet during their visits. This temporary affection, according to a January Der Spiegel dispatch, is popular because Hong Kong residents find it so inconvenient to own pets in such a densely populated city. Also in January, the owner of the Augsburg, Germany, restaurant La Boheme confirmed that while customers are welcome to bring their own dogs with them when they dine, "small children" are not allowed in the evenings. "After a hard day's work, (diners) want some peace," he told Agence France-Presse.

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Yes, waiter, I'll have the soup with the hairball that cat just coughed up.

Um, NO.
Posted by Parallel
Friday, March 10, 2006 at 9:50 AM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThough it's an oldie, Nate sent me this story earlier today and it tickled me. Not much else is going on except that it's Friday and I already need to take a nap. I just haven't been sleeping well this week. Oh well, it's the weekend now. Maybe Josh will buy Mario Kart and we can hook up our Gamecubes for an insane amount of fun.

From the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday June 15th, 1999:

An employee of Ansett Australia (who happened to have the last name of Gay) got on a plane recently using one of his company's "Free Flight" programs. However, when Mr. Gay tried to take his seat, he found it being occupied by a paying passenger. So not to make a fuss, he simply chose another seat.

Unknown to Mr. Gay, another Ansett Australia flight at the airport experienced mechanical problems. The passengers of this other flight were being re-routed to various airplanes. A few were put on Mr. Gay's flight and anyone who was holding a "free" ticket was being "bumped".

Ansett officials, armed with a list of these "freebee" ticket holders boarded the plane to remove the free ticket holders. Of course, our Mr. Gay was not sitting in his assigned seat as you may remember.

So when the Ticket Agent approached the seat where Mr. Gay was supposed to be sitting, she asked a startled customer "Are you Gay?".

The man, shyly nodded that he was, at which point she demanded: "Well, I'm afraid you'll have to leave the aircraft".

Mr. Gay, overhearing what the Ticket Agent had said, tried to clear up the situation: "Excuse me, you've got the wrong man - I'm Gay!".

This caused an angry third passenger to yell "Hell, I'm gay too! They can't kick us all off!"

Confusion reigned as more and more passengers began complaining that Ansett Australia had no right to remove gays from their flights.

(Ansett have refused to comment on the incident)
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, March 09, 2006 at 11:20 AM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBy now, you should all know that I love my TiVo. It is a brilliant invention and those of you who do not have one would do well to get one.

Every night, because nothing else is on, TiVo tapes two episodes of Angel for me, because it knows that I like the show. It arranges everything nicely, lets me burn my programs, and yes, it even comforts me if I'm feeling lonely or just need a good hug.

It's a very warm machine... and a good friend.

Oh, and Catherine and Truffle are around as well.

I run into Tivo references with alarming regularity now. It's in the newspapers, my Ultimate Spider-Man comics (seriously, it's a recurring theme, one issue had a group of thugs trying to fence them), and is even referenced in my favorite TV shows, such as Veronica Mars.

It's an invasion of the mind. I stare without blinking into a future of TV goodness.

Speaking of Tivo, some late breaking news from Catherine reveals that the company will no longer be offering lifetime subscriptions to the service, as of the end of next week. It costs about $12 US a month to use the box, unless you pay a smaller fee for the year, or outright purchase a lifetime subscription for $299 US. Tivo offers a discount when you buy through the store that halves that cost right off the bat. Well worth the effort.

I'm pleased Catherine and I have the lifetime service fee, good for as long as our unit survives, but I can imagine many others will be frustrated by this who don't yet have the units, and for Canadians in general who are just preparing to get the box in stores.

Jamie should make a run for the border... before it's too late!
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, March 07, 2006 at 10:53 AM | 0 comments
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIn four months, Catherine and I will get on a plane and head to the Orient. This is an exciting and daunting proposition, but one that I find myself increasingly excited about as the date gets closer.

It'll be a great trip, but I'm also looking forward to seeing Catherine's brother, David, just as much as the trip itself. Even though I have a brother of my own, David also fits the bill as well.

I haven't posted anything since my 'One Year Later' lament, but you'll be pleased to find out that the past week has been miserable (only at work) and that my computer crashes and average of three times each day. Yesterday, just as I packed up my lunch and containers my boss walked over to me. Not a big deal, but I still had half an hour left and was watching television on my monitor. He didn't say anything, but dammit, that ALWAYS happens to me. The ONE minute it could look bad, someone is watching.

Speaking of looking bad, today is my co-worker's birthday. Sandy and I work hand-in-hand on these awful ads each day and then bitch about them on the way home. Just as we did for Nathan, we made some horrible photos of her, two of which I'll post lower in the blog. One in particular will make a great many of you angry with me.

In other news, the new X-Men 3 trailer is out at Apple.com and looks much cooler than the first. Now I'm jazzed to see the flick.

In still other news, I figured I'd share some of my work misery by posting a few select ads that I've come across. Be warned, these people are messed in the head:

WANNA CHAT?
34 yrs old. amitious, lonely, but fun i hope, somewhat naive, grew up in religious cult so i struggle to make fast friends but i’m told i’m likeable... have acqiured much wisdom over the years. Ad#1

NICE, SUCCESSFUL GUY
21 yrs old. SW confused gentleman looking for a very young secret companion to wander deep into the forest with, no need to worry I brought a shovel. Ad#:2

WHY NOT PICK ME?
54 yrs old. I am available immediately, but fat, ugl,y and have a poor self-esteem. No body likes me, everybody hates me. Ad#:3

DISCIPLINED HEART
56 yrs old. In our daily choices,large and small, we contribute on one side or another in a continual struggle between good and evil, forgiveness and revenge, mercy and ruthless power. A true relationship is difficult at most. I am an optimist and feel there are wonderful ladies who will someday cross my path. Ad#:4

MISS HONESTY
49 yrs old. This meat market is absurd. Building hope in vain. If you would like to know more, call me. Ad#:5


Believe it or not, THOSE ARE REAL ADS.

And now, for the Sandy pictures!

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Posted by Parallel
Wednesday, March 01, 2006 at 1:49 PM | 0 comments
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Today marks the one year anniversary since I started working here. I wish I could say this with a lot of happiness and pride, but you all know this isn't a place that I intended to stay at for long.

My initial contract was six months. I didn't think I could do it, but I wanted the experience. Four months in, my co-worker, Colleen, quit and I was left in charge. They offered me more money which was good as I was going to walk. Now it's six months after that day and I've one more month until I find out about teacher's college.

I may hate my job, but I have to be thankful for the freedom and standard of living that it's helped to give Catherine, Truffle, and myself. That, and it's given me a few new friends like Nathan.

I've been doing my best to keep going in a positive direction. Teacher's college is one thing, my first published Marvel work has been another, as well as my freelance writing and my karate. I've been keeping busy and my overall happiness has gone up.

Still, I can't wait to be done here. In four months, I'll be done and going to China for three weeks, then hopefully back here for teacher's college. It's not a guaranteed thing yet, but I'm optimistic.

One year later... I still can't believe it. So much has happened. Aaron moved out of Toronto, Catherine and I celebrated six years of our relationship, David went to China, Nicole and Jamie are having a kid, Josh moved to Toronto, Paul and Vicky moved in together, Jer... did something... uh.. bought an Xbox (and did well at school).

That's just the tip of the iceberg. So yes, I hate my job, but when all is said and done... I've got a pretty great life.

The photos here were taken today by Nathan. My job DOES suck and is evidenced by the fact that my comp crashed on me twice and I became quite angry the second time. I lost half an hour of work, and then found out another ad I'd made before that one had been cancelled. In essence, I wasted an hour of my day.

The angry red symbol on my computer was a nice touch. Nathan tried to make things better by taking pictures while I was irate. He laughed the whole time, but that's because he's an ass.

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I think I'll spend the rest of the afternoon watching TV or a movie... Enterprise or Serenity... I'll see how the mood strikes me.

At least OYL, I'm good enough at my job to waste time so effectively on a slow day.
Posted by Parallel
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