Not From Toronto

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

totally worth his salt

Last week I spent a good solid hour one evening talking with a stranger. Not a total stranger, but I'd only ever e-mailed him a few times some weeks previously, and last week I went over to his house to have a look at his biodiesel reactor. Some exciting stuff there!

While talking, the subject moved around (somehow) to water softeners. I related the woes that our water softener has given us, and mentioned that the solution the repair technician that we use told us to try was to filter our incoming water for sediment. It's the sediment, rust, and crap that is ruining the gasket on our softener, and that is preventing it from working. Good thing I didn't do that yet, as it wouldn't have worked anyway!
MrSka @ 11:36 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

a bit calmer now

Oops, did I go off the deep end? Looks that way.

Stepping back a bit, nothing has really been said that I should have become incensed about. I'm usually quite good at taking a joke and some good-natured ribbing, as well as being able to differentiate between those and someone being malicious or condescending. Somehow, that wasn't the case earlier today.

Clarifications and apologies accepted all around, with my own apology for flying off the handle offered in return. The truth is that I now wonder if there isn't something larger underpinning this afternoon's meltdown, and that political parrying simply became the fissure that happened to cause the moodquake.
MrSka @ 10:25 PM EST [Keep reading...]

ire of a Green Party supporter

I am supporting the Green Party in this election, as I did last time around. While I know the Greens hardly have a huge amount of support, I am starting to get really, REALLY pissed off at the people who simply dismiss the Greens as too idealistic, or even worse the people that are politely condescending to me in light of my support for the Party. One person has even gone so far as to compare the Greens to the Natural Law Party on the basis of the sincerity of their beliefs!

Well, Jimminy Fucking Cricket, I've had enough. If you don't want to support the Green Party, that's fine, I can live with that. However, do not dismiss them as an idealist party (they are/have been in government in Europe, thank you), pish-tosh them based on the negligible media coverage they get, or pat me on the head saying, "Good for you! Chase your dreams!" If you don't know about the party, visit their website. Have a policy question? Have a read through their 2006 Platform. Don't care enough to do either? Fine - you leave my "idealism" alone and I'll do likewise for your disinterest exploring all your choices amongst federal parties.

OK, it's Thursday afternoon. Four and a half days until it's all over. Let's draw the line at the above paragraph, call a ceasefire, and just get this election over with. Then we can bicker about who got elected and who didn't and hopefully continue this discussion in less frenzied terms over the next four years.
MrSka @ 01:30 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Monday, January 16th, 2006

rent meat?

In my house Home Depot is called "Daddy's toy store". As we're still trying to finish off our basement, we go there semi-regularily. I was there again today, picking up some adhesive drywall mesh tape and some adhesive metal drywall edging tape. Every time I go there, I always notice the rental vans out in the parking lot. One look at them and they scream at me:


Of course, they're actually saying "RENT ME AT" and below "Home Depot", but the spacing is such that "RENT MEAT" pops out first. I have no real goal in pointing that out, just thought it amusing.

Oh, and congrats to my younger brother on the successful defence of his Ph.D. thesis. Now maybe we'll have to get Isabelle to call him Dr. Bu instead of Uncle Bu!
MrSka @ 10:10 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

making up for lost posting

Let's see, what do I have to write about? Well, there's my little huff that I had/am having with The Bay over a carpet sweeper. Then there's the slowly-forming plan in my mind about what to do about work and the seemling lack of progress and communication that's going on. And of course I simply MUST ask why nobody had bothered to enlighten me about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Yes, it's been a strange an interesting week and some.
MrSka @ 10:25 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

now that's surreal

The other day I eBayed a phone. It was a steal at less than $20 US. It was to be delivered via UPS, and promptly upon payment I was given a tracking number. Earlier today I went to to track the package, and noticed that there is a track-via-email system, which I tried. I just tried it again 5 minutes ago, and within 30 seconds an e-mail came back to me that said the package had been delivered to my front door. I put my computer down, opened the front door, and sure enough, there was my package.

I guess it's no more surreal that checking the weather online to see what it's doing outside your window, but it sure felt a lot weirder. Shudder.
MrSka @ 04:37 PM EST [Keep reading...]

hello, where's your boss?

This morning I was sitting in a quiet house (only the cats and I were awake) listening to Episode Three of Radio Free Burrito by Wil Wheaton, when my dreaming of doing my own podcast was rudely interrupted by my cell phone. My cell phone is for business purposes only, and while I have it on as soon as I'm dressed, I don't usually expect a phone call at 7:30am.

It was China calling. Bob and John were supposed to be getting off a plane in Bejing at 3pm local time, and they hadn't arrived yet. I haven't talked to Bob since December, but these people were calling me to see where he was, and why he wasn't in China yet. Huh? It all go straightened out eventually (a connecting flight was late arriving), but it was a strange, quasi-frantic morning.

So, Bob and John made it to Bejing, bringing me to my seamless segue into the reason for this post: the hope, prospect, allure, and pitfalls of a five figure commission.
MrSka @ 04:14 PM EST [Keep reading...]

I'm the piano man

I'm not going to sing you a song, but I'm now the piano man. My mother is very good at saving things (like the stove she kept for over 10 years) to the benefit of my brother or I. She finally ditched the stove a couple of years ago, and as of today finally bestowed one of her larger treasures unto my family. Yes, I am now the proud owner of an upright piano.

It's already nicely at home in a corner of our living room (displacing what used to be a very distressingly cluttered computer desk), just begging to be played. While it's not even up to room temperature yet, it sounds fairly well in tune, considering how long ago it was likely last used to its potential. It would be perfect for some silent movie accompaniment or maybe some Scott Joplin, but as it'll just be the plaything of a 4 year old and an 18 month old, fine tuning is largely irrelevant right now. Some day it will be tuned, just not likely in 2006.

Anyone who would care to come over and do this family heirloom justice, please do so!
MrSka @ 03:52 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

family vacation 2006

Happy New Year, everyone! Our week of Christmas is finally over (grand total of 5 separate gift exchange events, plus lots of driving) and we can get on with the task of reclaiming the house from the holiday madness and settling in for a South-West Ontairo winter. Ugh.

There is a bright spot on the horizon, however. My dad and stepmother decided a few years ago that instead of giving gifts to the 4 boys that they would instead take us all on a family vacation each year. First was Mexico, last year was Florida, and now this year, Las Vegas! While figuring out what to do with two kids in Sin City ought to be interesting, we're going to make an effort to plan our activities well in advance to make sure our vacation doesn't amount to sitting in a different house in a different city and not doing anything in particular.

Any suggestions as to what to see in Vegas, lemme know! I know I want to see the Belagio fountain display, and either Zumanity or O (depending on the price of tickets), but otherwise suggestions would be welcome!
MrSka @ 02:01 PM EST [Keep reading...]




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