Saturday, April 22, 2006

"Real men fondle Doomsday Devices"

If you're a Cthulhu fan (and c'mon... who's NOT?!), you have to read this. I always go back and read the survival guide every few months because it's so damn funny. That is I read it when I can freakin' find it.

If you've read most or a few of Lovecraft's short stories, you'll recognize many of the references. If you haven't read Lovecraft... well... ummm... you suck.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A passing

My Poppa (maternal grandfather) died in the hospital last night, one of his sons by his side.

Not sure exactly how I feel about it right now. It's sunk in, but my first thoughts were "are you okay, Mom?". The really really weird thing is that last night, at 10pm, I had the strangest need to watch Big Fish, regardless of the fact that doing so kept me up til midnight. This morning I woke up 50 minutes before I usually do, and that was when my mom called to tell me. I'm not saying it's prophetic, or what-have-you. It's just... I don't know.

I'm not sure what's happening now. I'm working from home (or trying to -- bloody VPN client). Pele definitely senses something. Though she's often a very affectionate cat, she's in comfort mode: quietly brushing up against my leg, hopping on my lap and rubbing her head against my chest.

I'm not grieving because Poppa is very much a part of me; I don't feel he's gone. Physically, sure. But of what true significance is that? There's no sudden emotional or memorial vaccuum as a result. He's still there, present in my life simply because he is. People don't go away, they don't disappear; they simply manifest in diverse ways at different times. I just can't think of it any differently, and I suppose Dr. Fox is to thank for that for pointing me towards Thich Nhat Hanh and his Buddhist teachings. Though I haven't been too emotional for other deaths in the family, though the last time someone died, I was only 13 or 14, which is not exactly an emotional apex.

All I know is that I have to be there for my mom and my nanna. The issue now is what does my nanna do? She really shouldn't stay in that house. I'm thinking she'll stay with my parents, as their new house (ready in 5 weeks) has a nanny sweet, as it were.

That's what gets me right now. The "now what happens" questions, the in-flux situation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"It was the headphones..."

Normally I'm not one to [overtly] laugh at the misfortunes of others. But in this case, the unfortunate soul happens to be a friend and former co-worker, and his predicament is not your average-day whoopsie. In fact, had I not seen his email plus the journalist's editorial copy, plus the final story... I'd not believe it.

I almost died of shock and laughter, or shocked laughter, perhaps. Check this out:

While there were 10 fatalities throughout the Midwest (mostly in Missouri) no deaths were reported in Illinois. There was, however, one close call.

James Ford, an out-of-towner living in Springfield while on contract with the state agency, Central Management Systems (CMS), was in his 14th floor apartment when the storm began on Sunday evening.

When Ford noticed that the large window overlooking his balcony was bowing considerably from the pressure of the high winds, he opened the window and a tremendous vacuum created by the wind engulfed the room and pulled him outside. "It literally sucked me out of the apartment," he said.

Ford survived by grabbing the balcony railing pulling himself back into his apartment.

"The few seconds on that balcony was something else, let me tell you," Ford said.

This is the article itself.

Now, the story behind the story: James was wearing headphones and playing video games. He failed to hear/recognize the tornado sirens. Is that, or is that not, fucking insane? My vote: fucking insane for $500, Alex.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Only a few steps more

I sent my international resume and letter of introduction to the alumni coordinator at United TESOL. So that's basically finished. Just waiting on his feedback and some modifications to it, and then I'm ready to get out of Dodge. Now if only I could remember my password for the school's website so I could finish the last little bit of my specialization... bah.

Things are pretty quiet. I'm sitting in my grandparents' living room, siphoning internet from some silly n00b who decided he/she doesn't need to secure their wireless network. My Nan's asleep with a crossword puzzle in her lap, my Poppa half-watching muted CTV, slipping in and out of sleep. My mom's upstairs watching a movie with my cousin, no doubt they're both sleeping too. :)

My Poppa is doing better than I had thought he would be. He's on a slough of pills and everything else, but he doesn't seem any more the worse for wear than when last I saw him. My Nanna's cough has improved, and she seems better also. Who knows?

Tonight, supper at my aunt's with my mom's whole side of the family. Should be nice. It's been great to get away from Ottawa, even if that meant missing Michelle's trip through. (d'oh) But... heading to Toronto for the last weekend in April to see a few folks I haven't seen in years. Passing through North Bay, I met up with Marci, and met Christian and their baby Alex for the first time. It was awesome to see Marci again, and she is a great mother. Alex is quite well-behaved and a cutie of course.

That's about it on my end. Looking forward to a continued quiet weekend and a nice drive back to the ol' Ottawa. If I can remember my password, I'll finish all my TESOL work this weekend also.

Happy Easter, folks!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Digital degrees of separation

So I was just browsing a Dark Age of Camelot forum I usually troll, and saw a post responding to one of mine by someone who teaches in Japan. So... knowing him somewhat, I fired off a private message bombarding him with questions. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. From what he has alluded to previously, it seems he's very much enjoying it. However, I'm interested in what class groups he teaches, where he teaches, and if he teaches for a franchise or a private language school. That will make all the difference.

The intarweeb is a wonderful thing.

It will be mine... oh yes, it will be

That's right, a Jesus Is My Guild Leader shirt. It's geeking out in a very flash way.

I wants it!

(The joke about the shirt spawned from this Penny Arcade comic. Penny Arcade rules.)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Judas Iscariot - from Betrayer to Martyr

The Citizen today ran a story about a Coptic papyrus manuscript that has been tested and dated and authenticated as being 1,700 years old. The National Geographic Society unveiled the find on Thursday. It seems that it's the lost Gospel of Judas, or the Gospel According to Judas.

In short: Jesus told Judas to betray him, thus making Judas not Christ the greatest martyr of all time, in my mind. The reason was to liberate Christ from the flesh and exemplify his spiritual transformation. The article goes on to describe the contents of the manuscript as detailing that Judas was in fact Christ's closest disciple, and that "you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." (the body that encases the spirit - great line!)

Very interesting. I don't have a link to it, but I'm sure you can find it all over. No doubt it's an AP story.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Weirdest keyboards

I want the laser virtual keyboard.

The Aesthetic of Simplicity

... is white, with an Apple logo. Now, I'm not normally one to hop on bandwagons (especially not 'hipster' ones), but goddamn. Everything is so easy. I go to a blog, say, and just hit RSS icon at the end of the url and bam... a RSS feed version of the page pops overtop the main HTML page. Then bookmark it, and tada. Hit it again, and you're back to the HTML.

Searching... easy as freakin' toast with Spotlight. Everything on the machine is indexed, and iconicized for visual differentiation of search results. So if I do a search on Tom, if I have emails, images, document matches, etc... they'll all be sorted and categorized by where the results fall under (images, applications, documents, contacts) so it's really easy.

I've downloaded Adium and actually remembered my ICQ and YIM info. Guess I'll have to get MSN working so I can integrate that also. (Adium - thanks Suzi! - is like Trilium... it's one program for all IM programs)

Anyhoo... More work to do, I guess. Later,