31 May 2004

Circus schmircus.

OK... so I promised my daughter the next time a circus came to town, we would take her. Wouldn't you know it, one showed up a week after that promise, so we packed her and her cousins into the van and down the road to the sports centre where it was held.

The whole thing felt like a warm up act. When the "hoop girls" were going at it, all I kept thinking of was Letterman's "Is this anything?" segments. Later, the ringmaster noted that their big award-winning act had actually appeared on Letterman. Hmm.

Now, I am not trying to belittle the acts these people perform. They do stuff I could ever accomplish, but then, I wouldn't actually try to balance four or five chairs on top of four champagne bottles on top of a table, then climb up on top of that mess on my hands. That, among many of the other things that the acrobats, jugglers and stunt performers presented were quite entertaining.

But I did object to the very base hucksterism (crappy "Circus Toys", special "Circus colouring books" and really lame inflatable plastic spiderman) and the between-act audience "participation" (badgering).

I balked at the $16 per adult entrance cost, too, but in hindsight, it costs $10 to see a crap hollywood film and $25 to see a decent local play or live concert. So I am not going to bitch about that. But I am going to distract my kid next year until they leave town.

30 May 2004

Allen Ginsberg - Howl

Allen Ginsberg's Howl is supposedly one of the great modern poems. I am not sure... but it does open with one of the most often-quoted lines about the 60s.

Bike to work week

Well, BTWW is nearly here again. Every year it creeps up on me... I always think, gee I should really do that... so here I am again, thinking about hopping over to the Galloping Goose Trail and wending my way to work.

I'll let you know if I make it at all.

27 May 2004

election issue email

Well, I just emailed 3 of the 4 candidates for our riding in the upcoming Federal Election; I only emailed 3 because I really don't care what David Anderson wants to say, he has proven that he doesn't really care about our riding.

Anyway, today's question was about arts and culture:

"I want to know where you stand on the arts and Canada culture; both on institutions like the CBC and also on bringing federal funding to local projects such as a Performing Arts Centre for Victoria."

I was inspired to do so by a CBC headline Keep culture in mind during election; and also by the fact that in recent months I have sent letters to the PM's and the Premier's offices about arts and culture-related issues.

If/when anyone replies I will edit this thread to add their positions.

Lame excuse-o-rama

Someone came in last night to argue with me over a $2 fine. Usually people say they didn't get the notice, didn't read their email or whatever.. but this was truly lame: she wanted me to waive the fine because the notice listed two books and she only returned one on time -- why? because our notice was longer than her screen and she hadn't scrolled down to read the second item.

WTF??? Oh, yeah, that's totally our fault. Of course I'll waive your fine -- NOT!

I posted this tale on orkut this morning, and got some great responses including this one:

That has got to be the worst excuse I've ever heard!

"Hi, I have no sense of personal responsibility and really need to put the blame on someone else for my own laziness and ineptitude. Since the customer is always right I'll just say whatever bull*t seems appropriate and you'll eat it with a spoon and a smile, all right? All right."

WTF is with people?

I wholeheartedly agree. Every time I think, wow, that's the lamest ever... I hear an even lamer excuse. I think it is time that people in service positions start saying "No" to the BS. The customer is NOT always right and whatever idiot put that into the cannon of manager-speak should be shot.

26 May 2004

magknits Java Sleeve

This is the most useful knit thing I have ever seen: a knit Java Sleeve to fit any standard 12-oz or 16-oz coffee cup. I plan to whip up many.

25 May 2004

Cicada FAQs

With all the fuss Letterman has been making, I had to find out more about the coming cicada "invasion".

So I checked out Cicada FAQs and found this quote: "Periodical cicadas are best eaten when they are still white (teneral), and they taste like cold canned asparagus. Like all insects, cicadas have a good balance of vitamins, are low in fat, and the females are especially high in protein. They are also Atkins friendly!"

Great! I wonder if Letterman could mention that little factoid. It might thin this batch of cicadas if all the Atkins cult members started to eat them as a protein source.

Go Away!

The Urban Barn is selling some alternative doormats; rather than saying "Welcome" they are etched with slogans such as "No Salesman" "Go Away" and "Get Lost". Deliciously un-neighbourly.

That's "Black Apple" to you.

My daughter's new fish, named "Apple" in it's spacey environment.  Posted by Hello

nTAG Interactive

I thought nTAG was creepy when I first read about it around 6 months ago... I still think it is crap technology with few legitimate uses. So it made me quite happy to find that people who were forced to wear them ended up not only putting them to sleep, but making anyone's tag that came nearby fall asleep too. Yay!

24 May 2004

300 Images From 1800 Sites

300 Images From 1800 Sites is a study in graphic web art; very interesting study of how many different ways people can express the same things -- arrows, text, print, email, comment, and shopping carts.

23 May 2004

Hello for photos

Hmm... must check this out. Says I can use Hello in conjuction with picasa to post images in blogger. Of course I can already do that with standard image tags... Shrug.


GeekMan is among the most unlikely of superhero/action figures to be released in recent years. Others include the Librarian with "shushing action," Shakespeare, Eminem,
George Bush, assorted Adult Superstars (ie: Porn Stars), and of course Jesus, or if you prefer: Buddy Christ.

22 May 2004

:: John Kerry for President - Oil House ::

Oil House is a quick little flash animation on John Kerry's site. Quite fun.

Most amusing is how I found out; "John Kerry" emailed me through the friends of friends feature on Orkut. I am guessing that the profile is actually managed by one of his lackey volunteers... but still kinda amusing.

20 May 2004

Church of Fools

Ship of Fools: the Magazine of Christian Unrest has launched the Church of Fools, "the UK's first web-based, 3D church, which opened as a three-month experiment on May 11th. Church of Fools is an attempt to create holy ground on the net, where people can worship, pray and talk about faith."

This is truly bizarre; it's kind of a Sim church where your avatar gets to praise, "Hallelujah!" and sing hymns or take in a virtual sermon. Equally odd is the fact that people logging in as "Satan" keep trying to hack and/or crash the site.

At least it's more interactive than watching Jerry Fallwell or other televangelists, but I am not sure it can build the same community as a "bricks and mortar" church.

19 May 2004

changes changes

Well, I just found out that my coworker of 15 years (most recently as the unit administrator) is leaving. Like as of 6:00 today. While I am happy for her, it still comes as a great shock. It means that just as I thought things would be mostly settled for a few months, instead, all is in chaos again. There will be temporary dominoes then permanent dominoes plus there is an upcoming maternity leave... and other postings. Sigh.

18 May 2004

Of legends lost and found

So, Tony Randall died today at 84... and all we will hear for the next few days is what a legend he was. Every year a few more legends die (you can tell they were a legend when their photo comes up at the Oscars montage and the applause gets louder), but are we replenishing the "screen legend" roster? Or is the whole idea a thing of the past? Will my kid even know what a screen legend is?

Is there anyone in Hollywood under 50 who qualifies? Most of the 80s brat pack have slipped into obscurity or television... I suspect Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks could each argue for the title. Possibly Denzel Washington -- though he wouldn't get my vote.

Certainly, the structure of Hollywood has chaged.. without the studio system, we are expected to rely on Oscars and other self-congratulatory awards to judge stardom... I'd be more likely to argue for the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, and Ewan MacGregor for the range of movies they have done just for the love of film. That makes them legends to me.

creepy crawly follow up

Here's an image showing the two caterpillars:

If you want to see better quality photos, I have also posted those:

forest tent caterpillar (533x412 pixels)
western tent caterpillar (892x674 pixels)

17 May 2004

creepy crawlies

considering I don't really like caterpillars, I am oddly fascinated by them. I spent the better part of my break taking photos of them. At one point I noticed a different coloured one and thought, cool. I took a photo and then I glanced up and there were literally dozens and dozens crawling around on the trunk of the tree. It looked like some had been squished or partially eaten or just died there, but many were still moving. I am going to try and track down a book to identify them... then I'll post a comment to update for anyone who might be reading.

16 May 2004

sad ending

On my way into work this morning, I noticed a flyer sitting in the bushes... when I looked closer I realized it was the program from someone's funeral "Remembering with love..." was written in swirly script above the photograph of an elderly woman, smiling.

Now maybe the person who lost the program is actually upset, or feels guilty... but more likely it was just one more piece of paper in their cluttered life that happened to slip away.

If it is still there when I leave work, I may collect it, and give it a home.

14 May 2004

So tired

Sleep depravation seemed like a fun thing in University. Pull a few all-nighters to get stuff done or just to party... then spend the next few days catching up. Easy.

Now with a kid and a job, it's not so easy to do. I find myself using sick time to catch up on lost sleep and pleading with my toddler to take a nap so that I can nap too.

13 May 2004

Hello World

Well howdy. Apparently my old account went senile once Google bought Blogger (ancient history and yet it still allowed me to sign in). So here I am, new and improved.