Most of my cars have had names. The Jeep is COMRADE JEEP! (subnames: The Red Menace, The Jeep of the People)
My explorer was named Gypsy (She was also flamboyantly red, and liked to wander)
My old 74 Buick Regal was the Sherman. (Dark green, and was tanklike)
Etc etc etc.
I dont know if I could name a bike though. I'm the one powering a bike. It is a mere extension of me. A car though... that's got an engine, a mechanical soul.
Oh hell no. I'm good at what I do, but I can't thank the education system at all for that. Not only is what I did learn out of date and no longer applicable, but the attributes I use (both analytical and non-linear) are ones I had apart from (and one might say "in spite of") the education I took part in.
Of course, I do wish I had taken a different path academically. This whole IT consulting business pays the bills and keeps a roof over the head and food on the plate... but I don't do it because I love it. I do it because I'm good at it.
I'd much rather have a degree in history, with a masters from the school of Strategic Studies here at the U of C.
But I can't eat with a degree like that.
And no, I dont think I'll go back to school for anything serious. How I learn, and how the education system teaches, are rather incompatible. I realized that the last time through. I should concentrate on my strengths when it comes to learning.
So, I craft disaster recovery solutions, I work powerful technological voodoo. I pay the bills, and I have a bookshelf full of history books to read in my spare time.
(I do some of my best thinking in the shower)
Let's go back into history for a moment, and take a couple of fictional countries.
Lets say... I, Brendicus, Supreme Potentate of Brendanistan, receive a diplomatic letter from Queen Juli of the Julites, basically saying
"Dear Esteemed and Supreme Potentate,
Couldn't help but notice my catapults are looking a little dusty lately, and I happened to hear that Lord Enemy, of EnemyBurg, was insulting our mutual god. What say you and I pool our forces together, take a run at the border, throw a few thousand troops at the problem, and see which ones don't die? Then we shall have dinner in the ruins of his palace.
Hope to see you on the border,
Queen Juli of the Julites, mistress of all she surveys, protector of the makeup mines of MACland, etc etc, flourish, titles, etc."
I take a look at the letter, delivered by her trusted vizier. It has her seal on it, unbroken.
How do I verify that its her seal, and not a forgery? Who is my guy, in a historical context, that can tell me "yep, that the Julite seal, alright. Looks valid to me, boss!" ... or the guy who can tell me what the Julite seal looks like in the first place.
I do wonder how secure communication (within the context and limits of the time, of course), was achieved.
And now all that's changing.
Me: Ok, I'm gonna get White Knight Chronicles in February, and FF13 in March.
Mass Effect 2: You sure you don't want to buy me as well?
Me: Nah, I'm ok. I liked the first one. but I'm in no hurry.
Mass Effect 2: You suuuure? *plays tantalizing trailer videos*
Me: Dammit! I really /did/ like the first one! Gimme!
Mass Effect 2: pwned.
Me: Ok, that's three games over the next three months or so. 100 hours for White Knight Chronicles. About the same for FF13 I bet... ME2 is good for what...50? Where would I find time for these.
Star Ocean - The Last Hope: Hi there. I launch in Feb too.
Gonna have to do some prioritizing of games here.
Console RPGs: when it rains, it pours.
Heavy Rain: Speaking of rain...
Me: SHUT UP!
Chopped up a whole mess of garlic, one medium onion, sauteed both with some oil and hot paprika
Dumped the garlic and onion into a vat with 2 cartons of veggie broth (told you I was lazy)
Added one sizeable can of diced tomatoes.
Shredded 1 lb of carrots, 1 lb of celery, added to the vat.
Added 1 lb of chopped baby spuds to the bubbling vat
Added one well chopped small head of cabbage to the bubbling vat
Seasoned the vat with whole peppercorns, ground pepper, seasoning salt, more hot paprika, more garlic (moar!), a bit of thyme.
Let the vat simmer for a good while.
Serve to ill people.
Honestly? It is just another night. I'm not being scroogey here. I'm as generous and human as the next sapiens down the line. The presents-aspect of xmas is for various kids, really. Not that I mind getting or giving gifts, but face it, there's no real sense of wonder there. A nice touch, that could just as easily exist in April as December.
The religious aspects of the holidays hold no particular draw for me. I think that's the biggest drawback as I seem to be moving towards atheistic viewpoints... there was something comforting about the traditions, even if I didn't think it made a lick of difference to whatever deity was supposedly listening.
Tonight, I will enjoy the fact that I don't have to work for a few days. I may see if Juli wants to go for a xmas lights drive (because lights displays are fun, no matter what the reason) . I will pour myself a drink or two afterwards, see if anyone's up for a game of something online, then make ready for the morrow.
Steam Name: acelin
RP in COV was pretty dead tonight. Couldn't make headway, so I fired up some Team Fortress 2.
I went to my favourite 32-player Lotus-clan server... and our team got our asses handed to us repeatedly.
Fortunately, we're a bunch of good-humoured guys and gals...so we decided to have some fun with the other team.
For instance, everyone (/everyone) took a heavy, stayed in the spawn, and kept triggering the 'sandvich' power on a payload map, and inviting the BLU team to our "luncheon".
Or the all-medic rush.
Or the all-cloaked spy rush.
Didn't win any more maps, but we caused some of the other team to ragequit...so it was a moral victory. So, we've got that going for us, I guess. ;)
This is the first time in my career I've been asked that. I hold no great expectations that I will actually be able to GO to any of these, but its nice to be asked.
My problem is: as a UNIXy Backupy Storagey VMwarey kinda guy, I've got no idea what the hell to ask for. I hear VMworld is pretty cool, but I'd be fighting about 11 other people from my company for the chance to go.
Symantec Vision maybe? I wonder if they have something Netbackup related. Its one of my strengths after all. Wonder if EMC does something with networker/avamar.
Any ideas out there in friendslist land? Anything I should really be thinking about?
http://pt-boats.akella.com/ -- Cool PT Boat simulator coming out. From where? Russia
Simgames didn't die. They just moved /East/.
So many decades to choose from. I honestly can't narrow it down. A chance to observe things in predynastic egypt would be interesting. That's a period that's really fuzzy in the history books. There's a lot missing from 3rd century Roman history as well. And what is there, is badly covered.
What else? Oh! Some of the visgothic history around north africa in the 5th and 6th centuries. How about Asuka or Nara period Japan?
Would I return? Absolutely. I would be there to observe. I like my creature comforts. Bring me back to my couch and my PS3 eventually.
I dont think I would take anyone with me either. My partner in crime would not handle the squalor and illnesses of a previous age well. If I was going to bring someone with me, it would be someone who could handle firearms.. just in case we get into trouble and need to hold off the rampaging hordes with a few futuristic tricks ("This...is my BOOMSTICK") until I can get the portal set back up to get back to my own time.
I used to think we could talk to spirits, or the dead. The religion I grew up in believed pretty firmly in the nature of spirits who had passed on, and that they could influence you directly, if you allowed them. Weren't supposed to talk to them directly, but it was in there for sure. Lots of material on it. In fact, they believe there's an entire world of spirits that exists as a plane after death, that you first wake up in.
Later experimentation with pagan philosophy certainly didn't preclude talking to the dead either. I didn't try a seance out... but there is a lot of belief of ghosts and the like. Never tried the seance thing, but I certainly knew of others who would. I didn't really want to bother the dead.
If someone came up to me and proved seances were real, won the Randi prize ( http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-c
Nowadays, I follow a personally agnostic, and publically omniquantist sort of line of thinking. In a multiverse of a functionally incomprehensible number of dimensions, it is potentially possible that every form of belief is right. Ghosts? Sure. Talking to the dead through seances? Why not? Zombies who rise every easter? If that's what works for you, knock yourself out. For myself, I do not see evidence of any of that being possible for me, so I disregard it all.
Now that I am free from the NDA on the Shattered Horizon beta, I can talk about the game some.
Summary: Pretty game. Wish I could play it.
Its the first game from Future Mark (those known for their video testing tools). And it is so very very pretty. The basic idea is that a mining accident on the moon has mostly blown it up, not much is getting from earth to space, so its a resource war between groups of astronauts and miners.
Fully 3D shooter. And that's where the problem for me comes in. I can handle 3d shooters, when I'm hovering... but you can shoot better if you are anchored or walking along a surface.... and those surfaces can be anything. In any direction and orientation. Which means you flip from 'floor' to 'ceiling' to 'wall'.... and the orientation changes accordingly.
This game makes Descent Induced Motion Sickness look pale by comparison. While I dont get motion sick, I realized it was disorienting enough that I wasn't enjoying it at all. Hope it works out for them, but I won't be playing.
Don't get me wrong, I'd like to think there is extra-terrestrial life. I've seen strange lights in the sky that don't tend to have any concrete answers associated with them.
I don't think the two are connected.
Even if we work with the Drake Equation ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equat
We have to make a couple more huge assumptions.
1) That on the cosmic dartboard, their dart of "Hey lets go check here" lands on a fairly uninteresting arm of a minor spiral galaxy.
2) Even if the dart did land here, that they'd be interested.
I tend to look at UFO enthusiasts these days like I look at the truly religious: Its a neat idea. If it helps you to sleep at night, great. But their belief is utterly personal, and utterly unproveable to anyone else but them. What works for them does not work for me.
Not to mention the question of: "If there IS intelligent life out there, why is it so bloody interested in our redneck population?" ;)
Wouldn't look through her journal, either. If there's something important I'm supposed to know? She'll tell me.
Apparently they're done killing people in their sleep....and now the smiling gurkhas with tasty food are baaaaaaa-aaack!
Edit: Drove past the place. Its under renovations and not open yet. However, that is the same sign they used on their 17th ave location. Its them, alright.
Edit: looks like the topic was removed, probably because they aren't open yet. But soon. I will lurk outside their door if I have to.
On the plane back, I pretty much devoured a book. Its not often I get a chance to read anymore, so the fact that I finished anything fictional is quite noteable. I've had a long love of fantasy novels, so in the spirit of "What I read this summer", I picked up a novel my dad handed to me months ago. (I'm really behind)
"The Lies of Locke Lamora". by Scott Lynch. Its been out for a few years, should be easy to get.
The really short review: I haven't read a fantasy novel so enjoyable in quite some time.
The not-quite-so-short review: I've long held a fascination with utter bastard characters in books and RP (as you might have guessed). Not for me the noble hero, no. I prefer my protagonists firmly cloaked in moral ambiguity.
Mix a bit of David Eddings, a dash of George RR Martin, a hint of Pratchett's surrealism, a healthy dose of Steven Brust (for the snark), and a little something all his own, and you have Scott Lynch. His lead character, the so-named Locke, is a thief, a bastard (a gentleman bastard, even) and a total ne'er-do-well. He's got his own twisted code of honour, sure, but he's not one of those types who really gets redeemed. The novel is well formed, has interesting and well played interludes, isn't afraid to start off in media res and leave you wondering how the heck its going to evolve from THAT beginning, etc.
Don't expect anything truly deep, no endless pontificating here, but for a good 'plane' read, I do recommend it highly. The characters are likeable, the world is plausible, and the author doesn't hold your hand. All qualities I do enjoy.
Yesterday was all about das shoppink. We went across the border, and spent most of the day in/around Niagara Falls, with some of it more towards Buffalo. Thought about phoning a friend I know lives in the area, but I'm not even sure she's in the country at the moment, or able to handle guests if she is around (very busy friend).
I'm amazed at how cheap things are in comparison. The dollar's strong, sure... but even factoring in the exchange rate and figuring out a few other factors, item for item, things remain a fair bit cheaper in the states. Less transportation costs and taxes, I guess.
Ended up getting new shoes and a couple of new work shirts. I suppose I was comparatively restrained.
Oh, and ended up having some buffalo wings near buffalo. It was the right thing to do. Excellent wings too... those scrawny little chicken leavings we deal with out west are no comparison.
Seeing the HMCS Haida was a high point. In World War 2, Canada had the third largest navy in the world. Now, only 3 ships are left from that time. The pictures I've posted a link to don't do the ship justice, but itts as close as I could come.
Been doing some other historical wanderings, and a geocache or two (usually tied to said historical wanderings).
Today will be lunch, possibly some fish and chips, and then we're driving out to Stratford to take in a performance of MacBeth. (A present from Juli's mom)
Juli's thriving in this environment.... and in some ways, I feel bad. Not because she's thriving... but every time I'm out here with her, it showcases the comparison between her here, and her back in Alberta. I probably made a mistake in bringing her out to alberta. I should have gone to Ontario instead... but the work situation was better in Alberta at the time. (and still is). I guess we'll just have to move here eventually if I can find a way to do it right.
Word from our kitten-wrangler Denise is that the felines are doing well, and are giving her the proper level of attention. This is a good thing. Though knowing Kiyoshi, he'll probably try to sneak out with her when we return. I know how he works.
Pondering whether to go into Toronto tomorrow or not. Yeah, there's stuff I want to see. But that's also a long day. Guess I'll play it by ear. I still want to check a couple things out in this area as well, there's a couple of rather old cemeteries I'd like to walk around in. I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of the waterfalls as well.
Silk remains one of my favourite fictional characters.
-Apply new screen protector thingie to GPS - Done.
-Go to das farmers market. Dont really /need/ anything there, but might as well go anyway.
-Put new geocaching decal on Comrade Jeep.
-Chill out, maybe play some TF2. Been getting back into that.
-Go to Chimera tonight. (I so rarely get to go to the thursday local stompy, that I'm gonna make damn sure to make the saturday ones when they come up)
Hrm. I think that's enough for a Saturday.
fearsclave , may his compound be ever welcoming to the unturned once the zombies rise, hath posted an interest timepiece link here. I think I want all of them.
(Note to , fearsclave is the one I mentioned I think may be worth your time and pixels in reading.)
Juli's working at MAC tomorrow, potentially... so I'm trying to figure out what to do with my day on saturday. I've got 2 birthdayish events to attend in the evening, but my day is free. I may go geocaching (let me know if you want to tag along). I may go buy a new fly reel. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE STAGGERING....
...ok, for a very limited value of "staggering".
Mainly, I'm just restless, and want to go camping and fishing. While fishing's possible in may in a limited matter, camping isn't until June. (you can't get Juli in a tent before June. July is better. I can't say I blame her.)
I am thinking of doing one or two major camping trips this summer... major in the "come one, come all" kinda way, not major in distance or time involved. Just a weekend or two somewhere this summer. We've got two vehicles now, so its possible to move 4-6 people and a helluva lot of gear.
Happy birthday to Hallewyn. (she turns 4 today. Wow. Time flies.)
Happy International Workers' Day. I may not always agree with the labour/union movement, but I know we'd all be a helluva lot worse off without it.
A pleasant Beltane to those of you who celebrate it.
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Its one of the few books that doesn't have the name "Adams" on the front cover that has made me laugh out loud. Gaiman's good on his own. Pratchett's good on his own. Together, they crafted a book greater than the sum of its authors.
Why'd I pick that one? I've had a loaner copy of it to give to random people for a few years now.
Now this makes things interesting. Someone with the right equipment has all they need to confirm whether North Korea actually put up a satellite or not. This whole sat-launch/missile-test thing has really piqued my interest. So many interesting factors in play.
I also note that no one tried to shoot it down, or at least, no one is claiming an attempt was made. I figured that would be the case. Ballistic Missile Interception still is in its childhood. Its not a 100% guarantee. And why expose any potential weaknesses in your system by making an attempt to shoot it down, and failing?
Frankly, I think its bullshit.
Don't get me wrong, power consumption awareness is a good thing. I just don't think turning your lights off for an hour teaches any lasting lessons.
As a reminder of "WOW am I ever thankful for electricity", it could work.
I have no intentions of turning my lights off or anything like that. I will do my usual thing during that hour.
This is not to say I'm not doing my part mind you. I just bought a Kill-a-watt meter. I want to get some idea of what the devices in my home are /really/ drawing, and maybe make some smarter choices about when my computers and other devices are on/off, etc.
Not bad for a rear-wheel drive setup with no weight in the back. That traction control system is nice.
OID has been picked up from the airport. Looks like she had a good time in Hamilton.
I've got no idea, really. I don't think anyone else knows either. There's several possibilities, but unfortunately anyone who can speak for the validity of such concepts, are dead!
I don't necessarily believe in any god personally. Gods may or may not exist. I've got no ability to tell. If there may or may not be gods, there may or may not be an afterlife.
Personally, I do hope there is an afterlife. I hope we get to meet some of the people we knew, maybe chat with some of the people we didn't know. The chance to look in and see how the living are doing now and then may be nice.
I hope I get my own little section of afterlife to create and shape as I choose, maybe to share with a few others who wander past to visit.
There's just as good a chance, mind you, that the lights fade and that's it. That's all she wrote. Its sad from my perspective now amongst the living, but once it happens, I won't care.
They're a US site, but I've ordered from them before with no problems.
I've like most Pixar movies, but this is a concept near and dear to me.
Far too detailed:
Get a kiss from OID as she leaves at oh-stupid-thirty hours in the morning.
Go back to sleep.
Blackberry auto-on at 0730.
Blackberry promptly explodes with ZOMG EMAILS AND VOICEMAIL at 0731.
Grumble and try to ignore whining from blackberry.
Get fed up with blackberry, get up, shamble incoherently into the kitchen without tripping over cats.
Put on kettle. Make tea. Realize once again, just like I do every morning, that waking up /hurts/
Turn on computer. Log in to work. Start dealing with conference calls before my denmark crew falls asleep for the night. Sip tea.
Maybe grab second cup of tea. Shower. Find something that doesn't resemble pajamas, for work. Get dressed, leave apt, stagger over snowy parking lot, brush truck off... wait for truck to warm up a bit, and drive to work.
Arrive at work, answer more ZOMG emails. Maybe finally achieve cohesive thought.
Well I sure as hell didn't.
I was wondering why my I/O was so horribly slow for that oracle DB. *YOINKS LVM out*
*writes up on the blackboard 200 times* "I will not use LVM for volumes in a secure and redundant environment. The minimal increase in ease-of-use is not worth the performance hit."
Its not your standard fanvid submission for PB&J. Oh no. This one, in his particular and notable style, involves mutants, hearses, and car chases. Click here to check it out. Frankly, I hope he gets a lot of people rating it highly. Just to picture the Welch's execs having to face the very real possibility that they have to award a prize to a tall bastard in a multi-hued mohawk who drives a hearse.
Got the car taken in today for service, and went for breakfast at The Coup on 17th. Pretty damn tasty place, for vegetarian grub. I think Juli's found a new favourite breakfast place. I'll admit, the green olive/onion/feta frittata I had... quite tasty. I might do a review of that and Ticino's up for Ultimate Foodie.
After that, waiting for the car to be done, we went past megatunes... and decided to walk in, on a whim. Lo and behold they actually have a gothic/industrial section. A small one, but they have it. I picked up the latest System Syn cd.... and whilst glancing on the shelf, I saw they had Pigface's Glitch/Son of a Glitch.... on dvd.... on sale. I didn't even realize it was /out/ on DVD.
Can you say YOIIIIIIIINK!? I knew you could. I figure if they're actually going to take the effort to actually separate the industrial stuff out, least I can do is support that.
Playable Characters: Etona/Etna from Disgaea... along with a Prinny. Nice to see a little coverage outside the Disgaea universe (I'm giving D3 another shot. I can wrap my head around this. I know I can)
A few from the Atelier series (which I admit I know nothing about)
Oh, and Morrigan, Felicia, Lilith, and Dimitri from Darkstalkers.
Its got that retro look to it, which I don't mind.
And it gets released in North America in late march.
If a game like that can get released here... is it still hoping against hope to have a next-gen Super Robot Wars ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Robo
That's probably getting my hopes up.
And this is ugly as sin.
4x4 or 6x6 models, significant off-road capability... and an air-cooled inline 4 cyl that doesn't need much maintenance.
Yeah, for 30 grand, there's a number of 4x4 options out there... but that's just damn cool.
I don't need it anymore. Tested as working before I junked my old laptop, but given as-is. If someone from outside calgary wants it, we can talk shipping.
Might review them a bit, later. If they're worthy, I'll put them into my shoutcast tomorrow afternoon.
There's a great little cheat sheet of sed oneliners here: http://sed.sourceforge.net/sed1line.t
...so sayeth the guy who couldn't remember how to easily delete the first 18 million records of an input file.
Links here, here, and here about it.
I find this sort of thing fascinating. It might go a long way to answering some questions about the nature of "evil", and the grim realities of human nature. Take a look around you. Under the right conditions, 7 out of 10 people you know would probably have no problem sending you off to the camps.
A chilling thought.
It got into some exciting hockey in the 2nd and 3rd. I will admit I was nervous until halfway through the third. SJ is top of the league for a reason.
Was kinda pleasant to be amongst the jersey-ed as well. Juli bought me a flames jersey for xmas, and I was happy to wear it to the game.
I was wondering how I'd feel about seeing Bertuzzi on the ice. Turns out, Keenan's got him on a short leash or something. He played clean. I still don't think he should be playing, but my opinion doesn't count for much. He's very obviously contributing to the Flames. I'll let it go.
I'm looking forward to doing that again sometime, too bad its so damned expensive.
WarningsCity of Calgary
8:13 AM MST Friday 12 December 2008
Winter storm warning for
City of Calgary continued
10 to 15 cm of snow with blowing snow today and tonight.
This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions...Listen for updated statements.
An intense low pressure system over southern bc this morning will move southeastward through Montana tonight. An area of snow associated with this system is developing in the northern foothills this morning and will spread into southern Alberta this afternoon and evening. 10 to 15 cm of snow is forecast across the regions by Saturday afternoon with up to 20 cm over higher elevations.
In addition, a cold front across northern Alberta this morning will drop southward through Alberta today. Behind the cold front strong northerly winds of 40 to 60 km/h will draw cold Arctic air across the province and drop daytime highs into the minus twenties for the weekend. These strong winds combined with fresh snow will produce poor visibilities in blowing snow especially in southeastern Alberta where winds gusting to 80 km/h may reduce visibilities to near zero at times. As the temperature plumets and winds persist on Saturday, wind chill values of -35 to -40 can be expected.
This winter storm can produce poor travelling conditions. Persons in or near these areas should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and listen for updated warnings.
Friday high: 0C (32F)
Friday Low: -3C (27F)
Saturday High: -20C (-4F)
Saturday Low: -21C (-6F)
Sunday High: -21C (-6F)
Sunday Low: -27C (-17F)
Sure, that's not as cold as I've ever seen personally (that would be -53C / -63F). Hell, its not even as cold as the few good cold snaps we get in cowtown (-40C/-40F)
But its a sudden and drastic change...which Calgary is notorious for. If you need me, I"ll be huddled under several blankets near the fireplace on sunday.
I ended up going to the store for some meal ideas.... and that of course involves getting out on the roads. The roads aren't in great shape. Quite a few cars in the ditch. I hopped in the ol' ranger... fired it up, popped it into 4WD and took off. While that truck has no business being on the road in anything more than a light mist in 2WD, in 4, she's as sure footed as a mountain goat. Absolutely no problems getting around. Bring on the snow, Ma Nature... me and the Truck are ready for it.
Of course, a snowy day calls for comfort food. And what is more comfort-foody than meatloaf?
1.5 lbs of ground beef
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 beaten egg (take that, egg!)
1/4 onion (recipe calls for 1/2 onion or equivalent dried, I don't like that much onion)
Spices: Salt, pepper, a little garlic, parsley, worcestershire...I also put in some sage, and some mrs dash.
Knead it all together to a common consistency.
Dump it in to a loaf pan.
Coat the top in ketchuip.
Cover the ketchup in rashers of BACON (because bacon makes everything better)
Bake for at least 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
It will be served here with some mashed spud and green beans.
Oh and it makes a wicked sammich the next day.