Friday, November 17, 2006

Computers...Friends...hmmm

So, although I seldom have time for any of you these days, I have had a bit of time to spend with my Sony Clie UX50. Sigh! Funny thing is that even though I have had it for several years, it generally gets more notice these days. I think palm-top computing just may be getting onto peoples radar in a way that it never used to. Sort of like someone not seeing faeries because they don't believe in them...

Is it perfume from a dress that makes me so digress?

I posted my adventure on this forum, but I thought you may find that place a little too geeky--plus you don't have a Clie, so what's the point? That's why I am thoughtfully putting the pictures here, as well:)

Here you can see the back of the case removed and the old and new battery side by side. Trick is that the battery on the right is for an IPod. True to form, rather than ordering a Clie-specific battery (which I could do online), I chose to find something I could pick up in town and fit it to my needs.

There was little risk involved (other than my $30 CAD), but I did have to splice some wires together. Seems that the connecters were different on the two batteries. Not to mention that the new IPod bat has three wires and my poor Clie only two. I just taped the 'extra' white one up and called it a day. Here is a close-up of the IPod connector (top) and the Clie one (bottom).

For formality sake, I leave you with a picture of the newly inserted battery. I'm so glad I did this. It was getting to be a real nuisance carrying the charger with me everywhere.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Waiting in line... and waiting

I read a relatively lame PS3 line-up article and the responses to it on Slashdot today. I would have posted there, but their threading system seemed to be busted and my response seemed too long for the average attention span anyway. I figured you would be more generous. I'd love to hear your feeling on memorable line-ups when you are done reading...


There is an issue here that some people seem to be missing or ignoring in favour of the all too easy jokes.

I went to university in Canada back in the 9600/14400 days. Computer registration (for classes) wasn't an option that any but the most visionary had conceptualized and telephone registration was just in the pilot phase also known as the audio labyrinth of terror. I was a disorganized kid with no real knowledge of why I was even at university, much less how to effectively pre-register for my classes (here the discerning reader may read "pre-order my PS3"). If you didn't register by mail early enough, you got in a line. If there was a schedule foul up on the university's end (never happens), you got in a line, if your timetable looked like hell and you wanted to change a section or lab . . . well, you get the point.


All of this lining up mostly happened a couple of days before classes were to begin in September. Most of it happened inside, but a couple of the colleges were unlucky enough to have lines form outside the buildings. There were many hundreds of people in the halls and in front of the buildings formed into a few distinct lines, but also quite a lot of general chaos. Some people brought blankets, some ghetto blasters, there was a constant influx of pizza delivery personnel.


There may have been a shortage of deodorant, but there was no shortage of time. Time for a kindly third-year student to show me how to make a proper timetable and later to ask me out on a date (now I begin to make sense, yes?). Time to make several new friends that would last me the length of my studies. Time to get my feet under me as I discovered, Toto, that I wasn't in Kansas anymore.


I can't pretend that there is any loyal-order-of-line-formers and that everyones experience and motives are the same as mine. But, I kept going back to those lines year after year, even when I didn't need to go. I helped other people and ate a lot of pizza.


You're right, though. People don't smell so good after thirty hours in a line-up. The good news is that it's kind of like working on a farm, in a brewery, or at a packaging plant for onions (all of which I did as a student), you get used to it.


In case you missed my point, for many people, these line-ups are at worst a burden to be born and bragged about next time your commuting partner thinks the traffic jam is taking too long to clear, and at best they are a social event—a kind of mini-Woodstock. Many of the denizens of these lines don't work yet, and (perish the thought) many of us think our personal entertainment is more important, satisfying, and less expendable than our jobs. It makes me happy just saying that.


Now for the really great news. The fact that you think we are crazy makes most of us happy as clams. What kind of geeks are you anyway. Personally, nothing brings a smile to my face quicker than knowing I'm outside (preferably way outside) the social norm.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Did you see it coming?

Yes, that's right. I'm going to be skipping out on you all on Q-Wednesdays. There are 4 rehersals scheduled per week (not including set construction), and even if they weren't T,W,Th, and Su, I would still need to bail until near Christmas. It's gonna be hard for you to survive without me, but somehow you will pull through. I am hoping to still manage to see you on the shooting range most Saturdays (hope, hope) .

Since it's Halloween and all, I hope to have some pics up tomorrow, or the day after. Just in case you don't know what it looks like or something.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cap's new play

I've been informed by a few people that, once again, I have been remiss in my blogging duties. Apparently, (and this is a big surprise) those of you who only get information about me from this location, aren't getting the whole picture! I'll at least try to bring you up to date, for the moment.

I've been taking voice lessons for about six weeks now. It has been a wonderful experience. Goes to show how you can do something for your whole life and still not really know how to do it. The sounds coming out of my mouth, now only vaguely resemble those of two months ago. So, anyone who attended (or wanted to attend) Leora's recital last year will get to see me (and likely Wendy) in it this year.

This last Tuesday I auditioned and was cast in a play. The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie. I'm not putting a link to the play synopsis in case anyone who wants to see it wishes to be surprised. It is a murder mystery, after all. I'll be working with Gateway Players for the second time. The last as you may recall, was in Becket: Or the Honour of God.

I'm off. I must pick-up some plexi-glass to remodel/winterize my bike trailer's weather shield.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Retro Ridiculous

I thought my innocence was lost. Recently, even Bethedasoft's Oblivion has been failing to rouse any interest in my usual frenzied need for videogames. Enter Wednesday night retro-gaming with the Bros. D. Who would have thought that a MAME game with only two colours, that I have never previously played, could have charmed me so?

Ripcord! (klov.com)

considering how ancient this game is, the gameplay is awesome. There are only about three things you can do: Jump from the plane, move left or right, and ... O.K., two things! It's the feel and look of the game. The free-fall sensation before you pull your ripcord (oh, yeah, that's three) is terrific. I could almost feel the wind rushing past my monochrome face. A must play!

1979, no less.

Curious? Here is the ***WARNING .pdf ICKY*** original arcade manual ***WARNING*** for the game. Cool instructions on dip switches and soundboards.

Any of you people have a notable or favorite two-tone game?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Time and lots of it

So I'm on this new schedule. I'm working Tuesday (day and night), alternating Wednesdays, and Thursday, as well as a weekend every three months. That leaves me with Monday, Wednesday afternoon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to work around the house, do projects, be creative and spend with the family. Pretty damn fine!

So, where are you? I think this is an opportunity for us to spend a little more time together. Just had to get that off my chest.

Had a great time a couple of weeks ago at Wendy's annual debate retreat. I brought the girls along and we had much fun despite the crappy weather.

We ran into this little guy.


Here are a few highlights for those interested.
Hitchcock's
Sep 22, 2006 - 21 Photos

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sickness and Plumbing health

I've been in the doledrums, what with the rain and all. Course it all started a few weeks back. LJ and her whole family got sick with the stomach flu. Since yours truly looks after her tots, my whole family was sick in a long and horrible progression of spewing bodily fluids. Ick!

Moving on, then...

I recently tried my hand at some household plumbing. We were having some really irritating problems with noisy pipes. After a round of internet reading and diagnostic testing, I had a go at fixing it, completly without sucess. I tried something different and that worked, but in the process, I discovered a leaking shut off valve in my basement. Fresh from my triumph over the squeaky pipes, I decided that now that I have more hours at home, this plumbing stuff is exactly what I should be doing to help make ends meet!



I'm not a plumber. I feel, in general, that I am quite handy. I build a lot of things for the house and fix more than I can build. Me and pipes did not form a lasting friendship. The end of the story has a big puddle of water in my basement, a plumber coming over and charging me $140, and 5 or 6 hours of my life spent learning a lesson I already know: internet F.A.Q. s are no substitute for experience.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Why?

This post will soon be a glorious and philosophical examination of my trip around the city of Saskatoon. For now, I want you to know that I have been successful in an all too short 16 hours and 17 minutes.

Perhaps obsession would be too strong a word to describe it. But, I have been pursuing this goal for more than 10 years. Sometimes without diligence and sometimes with everything I had in me.

Why?

I have heard that question more often than any other in association with this quest of mine. Some people decree that it doesn't really seem that difficult. Why bother? Some think that it is an inane way to spend 16 hours. Could I be just a little bit crazy? Recently, Wendy wanted to know why it was so important? Why keep going back to this seemingly innocuous task? After all, since my first attempt I have lived in three different towns/cities, I have had two children and I have backpacked through Italy. It seems as though a walk around town should hardly register on the radar.

I didn't really figure it out until I was on the journey. You see, I don't want to climb Mt Everest. It seems like I should, but I just don't. In Pump Up the Volume(imdb), Mark says, "All the great themes have been used up and turned into theme parks." I disagree, and yet the point is well taken. I have this feeling that climbing Everest(wikipedia) is just the latest 'extreme' theme park. (And, I am very aware that this is spoken by someone who has never achieved the summit and looked down from the "top of the world.") Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure it is an incredible challenge, but it belongs to someone else. In fact, thousands of people at last count. Yes, there are other mountains (real and metaphorical) but this one is mine.

Agon(wikipedia). Time and again I come back to this Greek term. "The Struggle." I think that it is the one thing that Captain Kirk and I may actually have in common (besides a nice tan and striking good looks). Struggle is really what makes us become our best. Perhaps it even does define us as humans. This is what I came to realize: I did not want to simply walk around the city! I wanted it to be hard. Hard enough that I took a real risk of failure -- yet tame enough that there is no risk to my family that they would be orphaned by my failure. Telling everyone I knew about it before my departure wasn't so much for the well-wishing that naturally ensues, but to increase the penalty of failure -- to heighten the risk.

Well, that is a long answer for a simple concept. I trust that I have rambled long enough to outlast even my most stalwart readers. I would post some inline pictures from the trip but, alas, I have exhausted my flicker bandwidth limit for the month you will have to make do with this link to a Picassa album. Go with the slideshow option to get nice, big pics.
Around the City
Aug 28, 2006 - 13 Photos

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Going, Going...

I've been waiting for the opportune moment. And here it is. Saturday, Aug 26 will mark my third attempt to walk around the city of Saskatoon in a single day. Here, roughly, is my proposed route.
As you can see, it clocks in at around 60km. A pretty heavy investment. Lots of it is asphault, but even more of it is gravel and a fair chunk is just plain off-road. I'll be leaving from my house around 4am (if I can manage it, ug). If I could manage a consistant pace with a few stops, I should be able to do it in 12-14 hours.

Tidbits:
- first attempted with a group of questers in about 1994. I had to stop (about 38km) due to excruciating joint pain which largely abated, yet lasted for several weeks.
-Second attempt in 2005 (completed about 41km). This particular excursion was called on account of the impending hypothermia of my companion. There was a lengthy deluge of rain and hail in the mid to late afternoon!

I would love to see any or all of you for portions of the journey. I will take my cell phone (ask vin, or email me to get the number) so you can hook up with me wherever may be most suitable.

Be warned, I am keeping my own pace this year, and those who fall behind will be left behind.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy Anniversary to me... er, I mean US

It' s not really our style to celebrate with expensive gifts or fancy hotel getaway weekends -- we are just too cheap. But we do like to camp. In contrast to our last camping experience (which you may have read about below), Meadow Lake Provincial Park was pleasantly vacant of other human beings. We camped for a couple of nights at Greig lake. Here are some of the hightlights.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Ex

I worked at the exhibition for a couple of summers, some 12 years ago. What a hell hole. The only thing that can get me back there year after year are the glowing looks on my children's faces and their delighted screams as they tear along the enormous roller-coaster.

Children's day isn't really half bad. $10 and the kids can ride until they drop. It's a bit of a zoo, but we were fortunate this year. A short blast of wind and an hour of rain really thinned the line-ups. Naturally, we all had umbrellas and rain gear.

This is a video montage of our day set to The Beatle's lyrics and Bono's vocals. Little history(wikipedia) for those with inclination.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Perfection in all things

Last month I saw a woman cycling to work. Admirable in itself. She was dressed in a pants suit which made her biking look that much more important. In one hand she carried a briefcase and in the other she was talking on her cell phone. My only question at the time was which one would she drop if she lost her balance, as she was riding with no hands.

Today, Brad sent me a link to some fellows who thought that it was cool to take coffee on their bikes. They were right, of course, but I don't think they went quite far enough for me.

If you are going to do something half-assed, you may as well do it full-assed.

Here I am fully armed for the modern world. The bike enables me to credibly eat crunchy granola for breakfast while at the same time avoid the skyrocketing gasoline prices. I've got my PDA with MP3s blaring (so I can be organized while oblivious), my cell phone, my digital watch timing my arrival at nirvana, and my coffee keeping me awake for when I finally arrive. Now, don't think I'm being reckless here. Look at the carrier on the back. Never say that I didn't put safety first.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Alberta Summer 06

Things got off to a bit of a slow start. That is to say that it rained all the first day. Good thing we brought Wendy with us as she came with a whole host of supplies -- rain gear and umbrellas among them. When we did get a chance to be outside, the girls made their old dad proud...

We drove to Lloydminster and stopped at Bud Miller All Season Park. The gate was indeed open, but everyone else seemed aware that the 'all season' bit was simply a gimmick. There was no one in the whole place. That's fine. For given that we were headed full speed into the tourist trap of the Alberta long weekend, it was the last privacy which we were likely to have.

We had a quick snack at McD's and proceeded toward Edmonton. We stopped at Vegreville on the way for the obligatory photos with their tremendous egg. The rain had mostly stopped by this time and the girls took the opportunity to do a little climbing. I am ashamed to admit that I was compelled to tell Leora "no" when she asked to climb up into the huge metallic pysanka. Sometimes it really chafes, having to play at being responsible.

Once in Edmonton we were hosted by the illustrious Brad Stover, his wife Jen and there two beagles, Sisko and Milo. Aside from prying Milo off my leg a few too many times, the visit was pleasant, but all too short. We spent the night and the following morning treated ourselves to the biggest IKEA store in all of North America (so said Brad). We bought some new stuff for our upstairs bathroom--yet another on my loooonnnnggg list of projects for the end of the summer.

Anyway the next leg of the journey had much more pleasant weather. We stopped at a very crowded beach and grabbed a patch of turf for a very fine picnic from our well stocked cooler.

We bee-lined from Reddeer straight into the mountains. There were about 20 campsites from which to choose a pleasant vista for our next nights repose. Now we really are quite a smart family as a rule. Saturday... Summer... Long weekend... Beautiful scenery... hmmmm... FULL Campsites! After about 2 hrs of checking various sites with no success, a thoughtful woman stopped us on our way back to the highway and directed us to her TOP SECRET overflow campsites. It was actually quite nice. They were set up for large family gatherings, reunions, etc... and there was one not in use. We were rescued. $12 for the night and that included a private fire-pit, which I put to good use roasting some leftover VinBits.

The next day we drove to Banff to enjoy the 'natural' hotsprings. Next time we shall skip that part and put in extra effort to go back to Miette hotsprings. Banff was as you might expect--crowded, expensive and overrated. On the way we did manage to see some great scenery and a family of mountain goats, so not all was lost.
This was the parking lot at the banff hot springs.
We were lucky to exit with our lives and car insurance intact!


We slept in Calgary that night with Teela and her friend Heidi. Heidi had a new cat and we had lots of fun taunting it with a laser pen, which allows a human to play with the cat and be ever so much more lazy than if you are required to actually tie a piece of paper to a string and repeatedly lift it.



Fortunately, Heidi is a working computer programmer and so can afford the otherwise daunting cost of tiny pen laser batteries.

Next day was the zoo.
The girls did what they do.

And I did what I do.

There is really little else to say except that if I lived in Calgary, I would have a family membership to that place in a heartbeat.

On the way home we found a nice waterpark in Drummheller. Aunty Teela tried to show how young and vigorous she was by racing Anwyn around the huge fountain. Nice try!

The end

Monday, July 24, 2006

Edmonton Trip

Not that kind of trip! It was a road trip. Brad and I left on Thursday before noon. It was a pleasant road and we stopped along the way to drink a little Jones soda and enjoy the best that Saskatchewan highways have to offer. We arrived without incident but had significant trouble finding our campground of choice (or any for that matter). We were planning to camp at an in town sight. We sought directions at the Fort and after a series of detours for construction, our first try landed us at a grave-yard and not a ski-hill (in Edmonton???) as we had been expecting. After a scenic tour of the river valley, we eventually found what we were looking for.

The view from our campsite was quite good considering we were only about a 10 min drive from Whyte Ave and maybe 15 from the West Ed. Mall. We went to Whyte ave that evening to check out the local night life. The StarSchmucks had a nice present opportunity for old Cap. Orange if you are in the market.

That night we got back to the campsite after dark and had some of the best campfire veggie burgers that can be had. Thanks be to Ms. Orange that we had such great treats packed for us in our cooler. She is always a wonder. Guess she was just glad to have me out of the house for a couple of days.

The next day we rose early and went for breakfast on Whyte Ave. There was a little less activity than there had been on the previous evening. We bought some clothes, checked out Whyte Night Games and some really weird curio shops. After caffinating ourselves, we took in a two for one show at the theatre in the mall. On the way we saw the coolest store front in the whole place.
The stuff inside wasn't as tacky as you would imagine. Quite cool if that is your thing.

First we saw the lots of potential but little payoff film, Lady in the Water (imdb.com). It had its moments, but they were too few. Don't see it. Next we crept a bit late into Monster House (imdb). That was really funny, but I can't say as I will be taking the girls. It is a riot, but it has some really disturbing and creepy moments that you just don't want to have to explain about how people are really messed up and bad to one another.

After the shows we did some shopping and had supper. oom in on this picture so you can see the price of the pre-damaged blue jeans that brad is displaying. If these are Edmonton prices, I can' t wait to shop in New York.


Before we left we saw this little guy just wandering around on the second floor with an escort of Mall officials. He was definitely running the show.



Friday, July 07, 2006

A chance to breathe

The sweetness of summer is upon the land. I have finished my role in the musical and somehow everything feels like it has changed while I was busy. Maybe Gandalf will suddenly come back today?

Things were looking pretty grim as the end of rehearsals approached. Everyone in the production could feel it. Things were not working the way we wanted, time was dreadfully short and tension was the highest I have witnessed in a show. I was trying to stay up-beat, but even my optimistic nature was hard pressed to keep on the orange-coloured glasses.
However, tension and I are done for a time and so I will simply tell you that the show was great. We could have used a week in the theatre to get ready instead of the two days we had. Consequently we were still getting up to speed on the first few nights of performance. After that it was terrific. Each show built on the last, getting better and better. I kept thinking that we had peaked, but I was wrong. Right to the end we continued to put out more energy and get the audience ever more involved.

Anyhow, it is now over. The better part of a week has made me feel much better and I am ready to take on the summer. As a matter of fact, we were able to take in the last day of the Jazz Festival. Anwyn put on a show for us with Lisa, while her sister Leanne sings on stage with Straight from the Fridge.

Anyone who wants a more detailed look at my photos from the show, can go here. Since I took most of these pictures, there is a shortage of me in them. Some might say that is a blessing.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Petruchio sings...

"Where is the life that late I lead? Where is it now? Totally dead!"

It's not my character in the play, but damn is it ever appropriate. I don't know what happened to the days where I was concerned about too much time on the computer. I haven't hit my "Stumble Upon" button in longer than I care to think of. I don't read any international news, no tech, no comics and I can hardly claim to keep up with the several blogs that I have an interest in.

I'm dizzy. Not enough sleep. Last night I was up until 2:45am telling Wendy all about the night's rehearsal (we ONLY went until 10:15pm, though I had coffee with a cast member until 11) and the various political dealings between various of the cast and crew. Woke at 7am this morning and forced down some coffee. I will start work in only a few moments (8:15am) and will do so until 5pm. By 5:30 I will be at the studio to help move the last of the set pieces to the theatre. Then we start rehearsal at 7 and will practice until 10:30ish.

I miss you all, but I am having a terrific time. Hope to see everyone soon.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Marathons

My Quest goals have been bouncing around in my head. I finally realized that if there will be a theme to this year for me it will be just that. Marathons.

Rehearsing for Kiss Me Kate is a lot like training for a marathon. It's really more time than you want to spend, but you know you have no choice if you want to succeed.

After it is finished I will be doing pursuing that ever elusive goal of walking clear around the city in one go -- clocking in around 60km, it will be more than a marathons worth in distance and stamina.

Later in the summer, I hope to run my own personal marathon along the riverbank. I hope to beat my 4h 56min time of several years ago.

I believe I also mentioned earlier, wanting to do a solid 24-hour stint in an attempt to write a (potentially) Quest themed play.

Finally, I am working on what can only be described as my mammoth Multimedia Miktacular, Miktacular. My statement of beliefs and feelings on the Quest as a way of life. This one has been on the back-burner since the KMK began, but will come back into full swing some time mid-summer.

One might think I have a problem with moderation... Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Easter in Chicago

Frank Sinatra sang "Chicago is my kind of town!" The weather must have been better when he was there. Our vacation plan was to fly from Saskatoon-Toronto-Chicago-Richmond(VA) and get picked up at the airport to drive to Newport News, Virginia (google maps). The Whole Ordeal was to take us about a 14hr day.

Cue bad weather near Chicago-O'Hare(wikipedia), the worlds busiest airport (or, so the ticketing agents were fond of telling us). We sat on the runway ready to leave Toronto long enough to nearly finish the entirety of Cheaper by the Dozen II(imdb.com). It was meant to mollify us, but somehow it only made the wait seem longer. We were told not to worry about connecting flights because the whole airport was backed up and so everything should amazingly work out just fine. Hmmmmm.

To make a really long story only quite long, our connecting flight was not backed up, but entirely cancelled! I'm not sure what the throughput of O'Hare is, but with scores of flights backed up and cancelled, you can do the math when it comes to the line-ups for rebooking flights. We waited in several different lines for about 4.5 hours.
I asked the line-up to shout "Happy Easter." The response was so-so.

They repeatedly told us that weather delays were not their responsibility but due to a technicality (and some badgering), Wendy managed to talk the agent from United Airlines into providing a free hotel room where we were lucky enough to spend 5 hours until we had to get up at 3am our time to try and make it back to the airport for the next stage of our journey.

With all the confusion, the best the airlines could do was either get us to our destination an entire 36hours late, or to route us through Atlanta (yes, Georgia!) and then back up to Richmond. On a map it looks just ridiculous, but it was faster, so what the hell. Only too bad for us, because our flight to Atlanta got in late and after sprinting most of the way across three Atlanta terminals missed the connecting flight by less than 5 minutes. Grrrrrr. The next two flights to Richmond were full while the third would get us there sometime after 10pm. There was nothing we could do but wait for the next flight to Richmond and try to fly standby.

I had conflicted moments, standing in a lineup of people who were all hoping that people booked on the flight would miss their connections. In the end our evil karmic thoughts paid off and we got on the plane, arriving at our destination almost 24hrs after our original ETA.

Did I mention that our luggage was mislaid? Yeah, it arrived in Richmond a day after we did. Of course we were not there any longer. When faced with the extreme inconvenience of shipping it an hour to Jodi and Brad's home, Delta airlines decided to fly it back to Atlanta and Then right to the Newport News airport. A model of efficiency, neh? Two hours on the phone with three different people netted us a travel voucher for $150 and $50 cash for some clothes and incidentals which we had to do without while our bag was in limbo.

There are certainly a great many details I am leaving out here, but I think you get the idea.

The vacation, once it began, really was quite nice. As you can see, Brad really knows how to keep visiting dignitaries happy. Most of you will recognize the esspresso/capuccino maker. To its left is the grinder and next to that is the coolest geek coffee pot in existence. It makes very scientifically sound coffee. Delicious too.

The photos that follow are mostly from the day we spent at some sort of floral zoo. The turtles were omnipresent
as were the robot guardians.

As visitors, Brad and I were clearly not aware of the hard and fast rule "don't disturb new plants." It was a squeaker, but we managed to escape with our lives and promise from the local elders to reconsider their inflexible system of law enforcement...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Geek Night...

My post is a bit tardy, but if you really want to know what I've been up to, I must include this fine evening before I can tell you about anything else.

Rainswept, Kyro, and I were privileged to spend the evening over at Cuz Jay's Howse. The coffee could have been better, but that might have spoiled the great retro feeling that was in the air. Wine Gums and Sour Skittles were plentifully provided by the Captain and enjoyed by all -- including two of Jay's spawn and visiting little cousin Emily.

Vin GM'd and we other three each took a single 3rd level character through the classic gaming goodness that is "The Keep on the borderlands." How many times will I begin this module in my (hopefully) long life? How many times will hoards of Gnolls, Clerics, Hobgoblins, Goblins, and their uneasy roommate the Minotaur haunt my dreams the next time I sleep?

Longing to know more? You will have to come to the next revival. Kyro appears to have high hopes for an update. Hopefully he will manage to do better than War of the Worlds. If we can survive as long as the new King Kong(187min), how will I be able to complain? If you are GMing, Kyro, I want your lucky six-sider!
Start charging it up for me :)

Friday, March 31, 2006

QW-Mar29th, 2006

rich and tasty double Americano thanks to the fine Broadway Roastery staff

An intimate affair over at the Bway Roastery this week. James came by for a bit. We discussed muscial education for one and all. It was the decided opinion of the table that we would all have been better off learning basic musical theory rather than biological taxonomies (much as I personally enjoyed that unit). I guess there is a lot of disputing over educational priorities.

After James left, Vin and I had some good discussion about literature and about the value of having children and opening up to let them teach you. Probably not so important if you were one of those persons who paid attention in your formative years. But I find that there is a lot I have learned about being a kid since having them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

QE16

Quest New Year was a rousing success for me. I can't speak for everyone else, though it seems as though a good time was had by all.

I managed to get to our meeting spot in record time (which for me was 6:45pm). That gave me time to wait for a good table, do some last minute reading and set up the pool from which participants collected this years Quest branded gift of slate coffee coasters hand carved with the Q symbol. I had a really tough time hanging on to them until new years as I made them well before Christmas. As I had planned, they were snagged by the Questers as they arrived (after 8pm) at the table. Me, Dave, Geof, James, and Vin.

There were some good books picked for this year. As I recollect however, there was almost no discussion about last years picks. Without Vin's early prescence, there was just no one to jumpstart the HoL discussion.

Other than that, there was plenty of fun discussion of goals for the year (mostly mine) although James, Dave and Geof all seemed keen to come on my next attempt to walk around Saskatoon. It should be about 54km if we swim/canoe part of the river and 62 if we sweat the extra distance. My other goals include, entering a 24hr playwriting competition, running a new marathon (target 4h 30min), and producing my own mm DVD on the Quest and related enjoyments.

Later, James and I made an ill considered and under-dressed dash accross a snowy field that nearly left us unable to breath thanks to the icy, skin peeling wind.

At about 2am, people were getting bleary eyed and some stupid things seemed a little too funny. I tried to get the guys to come to campus with me and work on my video project. Instead I was greeted, as expected, with polite requests for a ride home. Well, at least I tried. After dropping off Geof and Dave, I somehow found the will to pass my own fireplace warmed bed and park outside the Arts building. All but abandoned, it was the perfect opportunity to get some of the footage I have been dying for. I won't post any of it here, but I have a couple of pics. The first one shows me playing the classic coin toss for beverage game. If you look just above one of the pot lights in the hall, you can see my toonie in mid-flight.

After a grueling climb at 3am to the top of Arts, I was treated to this wonderful picture. Worth the climb indeed!
Finally, I thought I would share with you that I got some footage of me climbing Thorvaldson at the famous ascent location. It was bitter cold and after coming down, I bee-lined for the warmth of Arts. I was ready to find my car and go home. Who should drive up in their shiny green and white car, but the campus cops. Seems they noticed me trolling about with my tripod and camera and were curious. I told them vaguely what I was doing, ommitting all the interesting bits and they seemed satisfied with my story. They let me proceed on my way. Though not a classic "telling" in the sense we are used to, at 4am on Quest New Year in the biting wind, I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Let it snow...

What is a hard working father to do after the 28mm of precipitation (The sum of the total rainfall and the water equivalent of the total snowfall observed during the day) that we experienced in the first few days of March. In my case you use the excuse of your daughter's birthday to call in the troops.Wendy and I worked for about an hour to clear our driveway and a path out to the back, then when the guys and the kids came over, I spent another hour or so working on our luge/skeleton run and some fortifications in case we have to pelt passing high-school kids with snowballs. My body complained insistently about this effort for several days afterwards.

Here you can see what fun we had with the snow that we weren't able to shovel onto the fort. I've kept these snowshoes around for a lot of years with little use to show for it. Now it all seems worth it.