News Flash

I'm not as put-together as I'd like you all to believe.

That is all.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!



Interesting little website my friend Val referred me to this evening - it's called the "Belief-O-Matic" and it takes a quick survey of your beliefs and places them in a broad category/denomination to show you whereabouts you'd lie in the spectrum of faiths.

My results came out thus:
1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (86%)
3. Orthodox Quaker (85%)

Where do you lie in this? Do you feel that it's fairly accurate in placing you where you think you belong? Were you surprised by the results?

I thought mine was fairly accurate... obviously, being a part of the United Church of Canada (and almost a candidate for ministry), that's a mainline, liberal Christian denomination... I also have a great deal of respect for the Quakers, so I thought it was pretty cool to see them come out in my top five.
Post some replies! I'm curious where you ended up!


We have a music video!

Check it out!

louderVIEW has our first music video! Thanks to Matt Christopher for creating this for us!


So... there's this band... doing a show... if you're not busy...

So would you be my date? I won't get to sit beside you because, well, I'll be on the stage. But you'll get the privilege of being able to say that you know someone in the band... that'd be the seller for me!

The show is at London Road West United Church in Sarnia (located here), 8 PM on December 2 (Saturday). Admission is $10 and you'll get to see two great bands, louderVIEW (my band) and Days Ransom - a kind of "screamo" band, I guess... their tunes are good, anyway!
Let me know that you'll be there or at least give me your best excuse why you're not!


The "silent majority" just got a lot quieter. And a lot less "major".



The Emerging Spirit Campaign has begun. And it's engendered in a website known as WonderCafe.ca.

This is one of the most exciting petitions we dealt with this summer at General Council. It's an ad campaign for the United Church of Canada, which is aimed to reach out to the younger generation, showing that Christianity doesn't have to be about hating those who are different, and falling in line with whatever you're told to believe. The ads are meant to portray our church as it is: a place where you can explore your faith, and no one is going to force you to believe one set dogma... you have to think for yourself.

My very favourite ad from the campaign was on the front of the Globe and Mail this morning (at right). It shows a bobblehead Jesus with two checkboxes: "Funny" and "Ticket to Hell".

Perhaps one of the more notable events from the day was reading a thread on Fark.com (where flamewars are especially prevalent) and seeing all the positive comments that were being made in regards to the church. They came from all sides - atheists, agnostics, and Christians alike.

So... that's my plug for the day. I hope lots of folks will check it out! If you have any questions, be sure to ask the EZ Answer Squirrel!


Clinton beats Fox

I'm totally in love with Keith Olberman. He's so eloquent. Maybe a little verbose at times, but it's so nice to listen to, I hardly notice. I just watched this little monologue regarding Bill Clinton's interview with Fox News where Fox tried to make him look bad, but he turned it around and showed them the truth. Huzzah.


Daylight Savings time is Evil.

No matter how much I appreciate the extra hour of sleep, my body still knows that it's just being toyed with whenn we change the clocks back an hour... and it really doesn't like it. It's 7:30 (8:30 in real-time) and I feel like garbage because I woke up nearly two hours ago. What the crap.


Bambi Meets Godzilla

I am ashamed to say that I had never seen this classic film before today. Enjoy:


New York City

August. What a month.
So, I had two beautiful weeks of vacation time at the beginning of August and Bran and I had decided we were going to go to New York City to see DMB play. So we did.

Left and right: Bran on the plane... Grand Central Station during a slow time.

We got to know the Manhattan subways quite well, and visited the

and Central Park.

Oh yeah, and we saw the Dave Matthews Band play at Randall's Island. The venue wasn't great compared to Red Rocks or the Molson Amphitheatre, for that matter, but the music was top notch. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones came out and jammed with the band for a solid half hour, which was absolutely amazing...
Oh yeah, and we followed up the concert with a short visit to the Empire State Building at 1:00 in the morning. Wow. "The city that doesn't sleep" is an understatement. Note the traffic on the streets in this photo:
So... that was a quick run through of the trip. We saw lots, experienced some new stuff... went to a jazz club... very awesome. It was a great way to spend the weekend, and I'd do it again any day. Next up will be a bit of a hashing out of my experience at the 39th General Council of the United Church of Canada.... I'm still absorbing a lot of that.


A Moment on Earth

I'm not a big one on advertising, but this seems like a really cool project. Something that needs support and will be absolutely fascinating to see when it's completed. Check it out!
A Moment on Earth

...yeah yeah, you'll get your update soon enough...


Yeah, so I owe you guys a huge update post... unfortunately my head isn't together enough to make anything remotely coherent at the moment. I'm sick... not sure where I picked it up, though.

August was a busy month. New York City, Cedar Point, General Council in Thunder Bay, leading a worship service at a church in Forest.

I have some pictures of each event (except Cedar Point) and I'll post them when I get around to it.

For now I leave you with two purchases that I wish to make... I'm finding more and more that I need a five-string bass to play the music that I want to. So here and here are the two options I've narrowed down to. I would prefer the more expensive of the two (EDB405), but I'll have to see if my pockets can handle that.

Oh, and a final note, I'm probably going to be going to school full time next year. Quite possibly at the University of Waterloo. 3 year bachelor degree in sociology, then on to Emmanuel (U of T) or Queen's for my M. Div. / Seminary. We'll see.


95 Theses...

...of Geek activism.

From: ScienceAddiction.com

Geek activism has not taken off yet, but it should. With the gamers recognizing the need for a louder voice, EFF gaining momentum and Linux taking on the mainstream on the one hand and recent severe losses in privacy, freedom of speech and intellectual property rights on the other, now seems to be the best time to rally around the cause.

Geeks are not known to be political or highly vocal (outside of our own circles)- this must change if we want things to improve. So here is my list of things people of all shapes, sizes and sides of the debate need to know. Some of these are obvious, others may not be meant for you. But hopefully, some of these will inspire you to do the right thing and others will help you frame the next discussion, debate or argument you have on these topics.

  1. Reclaim the term ‘hacker’. If you tinker with electronics, you are a hacker. If you use things in more ways than intended by the manufacturer, you are a hacker. If you build things out of strange, unexpected parts, you are a hacker. Reclaim the term.
  2. Violating a license agreement is not theft.
  3. All corporations are not on your side.
  4. Keep in touch with everyone you can vote for and make sure you know where they stand on the issues you care about.
  5. More importantly, make sure they know where you stand on the issues you care about.
  6. Everything will enter the public domain some day- even Mickey Mouse.
  7. Read the original 95 theses. Yes, they are irrelevant to these causes. Yes, they are religious- and not even close to my religion. And yes, they are 500 years old. But they do demonstrate how stating your beliefs clearly, effectively and publicly to challenge the status quo can change the world. Of course, I have no delusions of grandeur!
  8. Use TOR for privacy and anonymity.
  9. Trusted computers must not be trusted.
  10. Democrats may seem to be on your side, but keep an eye on them. They may only be the lesser of two evils.
  11. Republicans may seem to be the enemy, but that is only because they are in power now. The true enemy is a lack of accountability.
  12. Read Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
  13. Why do I have to jump through hoops just to get video off my own home movie DVDs?
  14. Know the DMCA so you know what you are up against.
  15. The true enemy is the line: “If you haven’t done anything wrong, what do you fear?” The problem with that line, as Schneier has said, is that it assumes that the desire for privacy implies wrong-doing.
  16. Proprietary data formats must never store public information.
  17. Some corporations are on your side- find them and reward them.
  18. No one has ever told me where I could play my 45 RPMs. Why are my MP3s any different?
  19. The analog hole is not a hole. The world is analog.
  20. If you are in the US, let your Senator know what you feel.
  21. Treating your customers like criminals- or potential criminals- will turn customers away.
  22. This bears repeating, treating paying customers as potential criminals is a losing strategy.
  23. Some corporations may seem to be on your side, but are not.
  24. Fair use is a good thing.
  25. Use multiple operating systems regularly so you truly understand interoperability.
  26. Write to your local newspaper- they can shape the opinions of the people do not understand the issues we care about.
  27. Do not follow the Electronic Frontier Foundation, participate in it.
  28. Read of Thoreau’s words on civil disobedience.
  29. Data mining will not stop terror.
  30. Express your opinion in public.
  31. Blog.
  32. The GPL is not gospel, but it comes close.
  33. Use multiple MP3/music players so you truly understand interoperability.
  34. If you are in the US, let your house representative know how you feel.
  35. Those in favor of suspending some liberties for security, answer this: “Who watches the watchers?”
  36. Except for extreme cases, the government should not be in the business of parenting our children.
  37. When arguing with people who disagree, be polite, but not condescending.
  38. RFID is just a technology- its existence does not make us more secure.
  39. Now and in the future, presence of encryption implies nothing. In fact, whatever it does imply is none of your business. Without any other probable cause, the user must not bear the burden of explaining reasons for use of encryption.
  40. Flame wars help the other side.
  41. New technologies to promote and develop media will prosper because of computers and the Internet, not inspite of it.
  42. Security is a trade-off- what are you willing to give up?
  43. Calling Microsoft evil buys you nothing- it only polarizes the argument.
  44. Holding Google to it’s “Don’t do evil” mantra buys us a lot.
  45. Read of Gandhi’s actions in civil disobedience. Discover Satyagraha.
  46. Use Creative Commons.
  47. Understand the difference between civil disobedience and breaking the law.
  48. Can’t find anything to watch on network TV? Watch Democracy TV.
  49. Frame the argument in terms of the average person, not the edge-case geek. These problems affect geeks first, but will affect everyone in the future.
  50. Privacy, civil liberties and civil rights are a slippery slope. The reason we continuously fight for them is not that we all seek a utopian society where doves fly free- in fact, I seek a perpetual ‘tug-of-war’ where the rope gradually slips in the direction of my beliefs.
  51. Users do not want the permission to use digital media; they want to own digital media. This means using them as they choose, where they choose, in the device of their choice without fear of litigation or sudden inactivity. These users are customers- treat them with respect.
  52. Support the free, public domain archives of information.
  53. Undermine censorship by publishing information censored in oppressive countries.
  54. And then, there is the 12-step plan for the games industry.
  55. Corporations and producers of digital media must trust their own consumers. Sales will reward trust.
  56. Breaking the law because you disagree with the current law is not the way to solve the problem in a democratic society.
  57. ID cards do not make us more secure.
  58. Voicing your views in a Slashdot comment thread is good, in your own blog is better, but in places that non-geeks frequent is best.
  59. DRM does not work because the customer/user has the key, cipher and ciphertext in the player. (thanks Cory Doctorow)
  60. Bloggers have rights- be aware of them.
  61. Find out why electronic voting machines are regulated less than casino gaming machines.
  62. Find out about Spimes- they are in your future if things go well.
  63. Have a global perspective in ideas of geek civil liberties, intellectual property rights and so forth. Do you like your country’s policies in this respect? Can you help people from another country?
  64. Geek activism is not all about extreme positions. There is a gradient- find your position on it.
  65. Read the PATRIOT ACT- know what you are really up against.
  66. In the US, put a few technologists in power in Washington. Abroad, do the same for your own seat of government.
  67. Write to mainstream media- they have more mindshare than they are given credit for.
  68. Read what your founding fathers said before taking someone’s word for it. Quote the founding fathers back at them- there were so many of them, and they said and wrote so much, that you will find a quote for each situation. Try this one for starters, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin. Read more Bejamin Franklin. Read more cool quotes
  69. Read more.
  70. Mixed tapes are legal. Time-shifting TV is legal. Regardless of the media.
  71. Decide what is offensive for yourself- don’t let the government decide it for you. If you do not, pretty soon, you may only see one side of every argument.
  72. Music purchases should not be governed by determining which seller has the most clout among the player manufacturers.
  73. We do not lock the door to our bedrooms or bathrooms because we have something to hide. We do not secure our networks, conversations, emails and files because we have something to hide.
  74. Make sure that if a vendor locks you in, you lock them out.
  75. 80% of games are not rated M.
  76. You may agree with Richard Stallman, but make sure you understand the opposing point of view.
  77. An email tax to certify that it is “legitimate” is an aweful idea.
  78. Know your rights and be prepared to defend them.
  79. Open source is not free.
  80. Free is open source.
  81. The ESRB game rating system exists for a reason- so that parents can be parents and the government can get on with more important stuff.
  82. Do not allow corporations to get away with assisting oppressive regimes. Let your voice be heard.
  83. Linux is no longer a philosophy- it is a good piece of software. Use it because it if it fits your needs.
  84. There are reasons based in mathematics that establish the NSA wiretaps and other similar brute data mining ideas do not work.
  85. Multiple nag screens that warn us of possible insecurity do not make us more secure.
  86. More information available to the most nummber of people is a good thing.
  87. There are DRM free alternatives for music you can play anywhere.
  88. Vote.
  89. Free as in free lunch is good. Free as in a free people is even better. For software and for everything else.
  90. Quoting Schneier’s blog: Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.” Watch someone long enough, and you’ll find something to arrest—or just blackmail—with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies—whoever they happen to be at the time.
  91. Read our modern geek philosophers- read Bruce Perens, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling and even Richard Stallman. Read Schneier to find practical reasons why stupid security mechanisms are stupid. Read them even if you disagree with them- it will help frame your point of view.
  92. DRM only keeps an honest user honest.
  93. You have the right to anonymity on the internet.
  94. Be proud of being a geek, a gamer, a privacy advocate, promoter of free speech and an innovator without fear of litigation, of government or restrictions on liberties- a geek activist.
  95. Most of all- have fun.

If you disagree with any or all of what I have said- good for you. Let me know how. Let me know why. Let us argue, let us debate. But, in the end, let us get stuff done.


Brazillian Soccer Training Camp

Covert video of the Brazillian training camp. Now I get it.
"You're not married, you haven't got a girlfriend, and you haven't watched Star Trek? Good Lord..."


Oh to be a child again...

I just read this post over on AvCanada... reminded me of the reason I got into flying in the first place. I remember the first time I took the controls of a plane and how much my cheeks hurt from the grin on my face. It really wasn't that long ago, but I have a hard time imagining my life without a place in it for flying.

Yeah, awful pic, but it has good memories attached...!


How many...?

#470021 +(1045)- [X]

how many emo kids does it take to change a lightbulb?
none they just sit in the dark and cry

#540211 +(487)- [X]

how do you create a user in linux?
<@Viceroy> you can't, if you use linux you're going to live alone forever

#14500 +(187)- [X]

@(F|uid) candlelight dinners suck
@(F|uid) i cant see my food

Warning, if you do decide to check out bash.org, a lot of the quotes are not safe for work and typically aren't exactly... mature.


Thar be Bus Pirates on these shores, mateys!!



I was just going through some old poetry I'd written a couple of years ago and found one I thought I'd share. Perhaps I'll share some more in the future? We'll see. This is entitled "Patience". Make of it what you will.

Patience -- Gord Spence

When will it be?

This room smells like new carpet

The walls are freshly painted, but already worn

Red, white, chipped drywall

We wait

The garbage can shines with irony

Denying its nature in the bright fluorescent light

People stand


Conversing aimlessly

Quietly drifting in and out

Why isn’t she here yet?

Stomach knots

Pulse races

Patience runs thin

Would eat

But I can’t

Would walk

But I can’t

I want this to be over now.


Best picture all week

I don't know if you've ever heard that cats can be somewhat territorial. There is a story here about a little tabby named Jack. He met a bear. He didn't like the bear being on his property. So he chased him up a tree! Want proof? Voila:

Jack don't take crap from nobody.





I forgot that you could see the mountains from Calgary until about the second or third day we were there, and I saw them off in the distance. Before we left yesterday, I made sure to grab a couple of shots while we were at the airport!

A free... uh... cookie, to the first person to correctly name the three aircraft types in those pictures!!

A beautiful city. It was a pleasure to visit it for a week, but I don't think I'd want to live there long-term. Especially since the rent is actually higher on average than in Rome! How's that for crazy!?


New toy!

And you thought me and pointy things was a bad idea!! "Bah!" I say! Bah!

I've been looking for a good camping knife for a while now. Today I passed on getting a replica of Excalibur and went with something a little less flashy, but perhaps a wee bit more useful.

Oh, and I'm in Calgary right now. 7% sales tax is teh r0x0r. I'm doing training with my company and it's going fairly smoothly.

I've been looking forward to this trip for a while now, so it was a bit of a surprise to me when I wasn't all that happy about leaving on Monday morning.

This past weekend was London Conference, which was an absolute blast. I love being able to reconnect with my friends who are scattered about the province and I rarely get to see them. This means that I got about 8 hours sleep over the two nights of Conference. Then Monday I left for the airport at 5:00AM after about 5 hours of sleep. I tried to sleep on the plane but didn't have a lot of luck. So, I was exhausted last night, and now that I've caught up with the timezone I'm just now starting to feel tired (it's 23:00 MDT [01:00 EDT]). I'll try to do a bit of a followup post on Conference when I'm feeling up to it (tomorrow I should think).

Oh, and I saw Over the Hedge tonight. Funniest movie I've seen in a long, long time. See it, you'll like it.

Dwayne: [after shooting the head off a plastic flamingo] Arrrgh! Not again! Those things are so lifelike! Curse you, plastic moldsmen.


Toronto Section - km 1.2 - 21.5

Tim, Val and myself started the hike at km 1.2 (Campbellbille Rd.) of the Toronto section of the Bruce Trail. The forecast threatened a 60% chance of rain but we lucked out as a high pressure system seemed to be moving in and blew the clouds away early in the day. Of course, this high pressure system brough with it high winds. We were fortunate to be in the woods most of the time, so they didn't really affect us too much, except when crossing out in the open.

There was a fairly rough section between km 10 and 12, which was quite hard on our ankles. The trail was more or less littered with smallish loose rocks (15-20 cm on a side). The size of the rocks meant that our ankles were constantly being bent in odd directions, as well it put a lot of pressure on our knees in a sideways direction. Not so happy. I was leading during this point and elected to set a fairly quick pace, but it still took about an hour to get through. All three of us were fairly winded when we reached the end, just prior to Speyside.

At km 17.4, we started through a trio of farmer's fields. The first and third were wet, but mostly hard-packed for walking on. The second was planted fairly recently, which meant the earth was extremely soft. This brought back memories of my very first hike (Arkona - Grand Bend) and my shoes probably won't forgive me for a while.

The trail then brought us through the Limehouse conservation area where the "Hole in the Wall" is located, as well as a number of crevasses. The terrain is similar to that of Singhampton, though on a smaller scale. The deeper crevasses here were 20 feet deep as opposed to Singhampton's 50 or more in some cases. It was still quite impressive to be climbing down through these gigantic rock formations. All that was left after this section was a short bit of road-walking, which led us to Limehouse and the car! (km 21.5)

Many thanks to Tim's sister, Julie, for giving us a lift to the trailhead so that we wouldn't have to retrace our steps along the trail to get back to the car.

Here's a map Timmy made of the trip.


I recognise Israel's right to exist, but I also recognise the rights of Palestinians to their own state.

I wish I could come up with an amicable solution for both sides in this conflict. I see that both sides have a point, and both sides have done irreparable harm to the other. Why must the violence and hatred continue? When will it all end?

Three years ago, when I attended General Council 38 in Wolfville, NS, we had a Jewish rabbi and a Palestinian scholar speak about the situation in Israel/Palestine. I remember the feeling of tension in the room was unbearable. I literally had to stand up and walk out of the room after they spoke because I couldn't breathe anymore. The stories from both sides were heartbreaking and convincing. Neither more important than the other, both painful and unimaginable to myself, a young Canadian who has never experienced real violence first-hand.

I don't know where I wanted to go with this, but I want for people to think about situations around the world and realise that they're not black and white. The world is a place full of shades of grey... blacks and whites exist only on paper... in fiction.

Stay well, my friends.

"Quarter-life Crisis"

I've joked with some people lately that I must be going through my "Quarter-life crisis". I was mostly joking, but in a lot of ways it's true. I caught this bit of prose on a forum that I frequent, and I thought I'd share it with my other twenty-something friends... We're not alone, guys.


They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis."

It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like.

You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones.

What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.

You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you.

Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't.

One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly,change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person.

One night stands and random hook ups start to look
cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic.

You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.

Maybe this will help someone feel like they aren't
alone in their state of confusion........

I know I'm not the only one who's been feeling lonely and confused of late. If you need an ear, I'm around. Everything's going to be alright.


Mail-In Rebates

begin rant

What a crock! Usually I don't have much of a problem with doing rebates because they take just a few minutes of your time and in a few weeks you get a nice little cheque in the mail. But today's really took the cake for me.

I ordered a second hard drive for my computer because the one I have is getting a little tight for space. It was a pretty sweet deal - $115 (after rebate) for 300GB of space and I needed to get a DVD drive for the computer I'm putting together for the church. So, I went ahead an ordered the drives and they arrived in a spectacularly short time - 2 days after ordering!

Today I finally got around to looking through the rebate instructions and thought they didn't look too bad.
First, I had to go to a website and give them a whack of information so that they can mail me the cheque. I had to enter the invoice number, my home address, phone number, all that jazz. Then I had to get the number off the box for the hard drive. No big deal, it took me maybe five minutes to get everything in. Then I continued on, and it's saying it's going to take 8-10 weeks to deliver the cheque... BUT! I can pay them $5 out of my rebate, and they'll assure that the cheque will be at my door in 2-3 days! Wow! Extortion, I love it! I passed on that option because I really don't need the cash that badly. And it's a $50 rebate, so it's not like it's a huge amount anyways. So, the next step says that I have to confirm my e-mail address so they can send the cheque (huh?). Right, so they're supposed to send the e-mail and I just copy and paste a confirmation number. I check my e-mail 5 minutes after it's supposedly sent... doesn't show. I try waiting a little while longer... no dice. I have to put in the confirmation within 24 hours or it won't go through... great. Oh wait, there's a button to resend the confirmation! I click it... lo and behold both confirmations (the original and the 're-send') arrive in my inbox. Hurrah! I copy and paste the numbers over and continue on through the process. Now I have to print out a form, fill it in, then mail all the documentation in... yeah, this is a really simple process, I love it.
So, I fill out the form and all that, and notice that it says I have to cut out a section of one of the pages with the address to send the papers to, and put it on the envelope. Ok. I don't have gluesticks in my house. I have tape and crazy glue. I'm gonna have to use the tape... it's safer. How much do you want to bet that my rebate is 'lost in the mail' because the label wasn't properly attached? *sigh* So, I staple everything together and fold it up to put in the envelope. I notice that this label is addressed to FLORIDA! What the...!? So, I look at my corkboard where I keep my stamps... I have some leftover ones from before they last raised the postal rates (.50). It's $.85-$1.05 to mail to the US. I have three .50 stamps left. Right on. So, I'm a little over on the postage rate... hope they don't return it *rolling eyes*. So now I'll just mail this in and all will be dandy.

I wonder how many people screw up this rebate process by not noticing that you have to mail in a form, getting the address wrong, forgetting one of the many documents necessary, having their mail lost, not putting on enough postage because it's in the US, or some other stupid reason? We'll see if I get my cheque... rebates really should be easier.

Oh, and I had a sticky note with a list of books I wanted to go out and buy, and now I can't find the darn thing. I'm more than a tad annoyed! I know one that I wanted was Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler. I've heard good things about it. Another was one that was recommended on BoingBoing a few weeks ago... something with Red in the title... I'm going to have to go hunting... *sigh*
/end rant

In other news... I'm starting to make loose plans for travelling to Europe this summer. My current through process is something along these lines:
Fly Detroit/Toronto - Copenhagen
Spend a day or two in Copenhagen with my buddy, Rune. Then we'll fly to Zurich, Switzerland, spend a day or two there, then travel by train through the Alps to Venice (two or three days). Then to Florence (two or three days), on to Rome (three or four days). Next a 20-hour ferry to Barcelona across the Mediterranean Sea. (three or four days). Then I'd fly back to Canada, and Rune to Denmark... or something like that. I've got about two weeks to work with, and Rune starts school on the fifth of September. Assuming I go to General Council in Thunder Bay this summer (August 13-19) that means I can leave as early as the 20th of August... which yeah, makes for a busy month, especially since I'm going to see DMB in New York towards the beginning of the month... I hope I don't go broke in the process!
Anywho, I hope all is well with you and yours!


I'm such a slacker

Yeah, I'm a loser and I haven't updated much lately. I've been busy with work and such, I suppose. I'll try to post an update soon. Today I give you a fun little video of FedEx arrivals into Memphis during a thunderstorm set to some snazzy music. Enjoy!


Photographic Evidence

Yep... she's mine :) 2002 Mazda Protege 5, Midnight Blue



I bought a car today. It's a standard, and it has a sunroof.

That is all. Continue about your business.


150th Post

I leave you all with a quote:

the thing about iceland is, it smells bad. because of all the sulphur that´s erupting from the earth all around you, it´s like you´re living in a giant fart. i now realize the plight of my underpants.
- Greg Gutfel



Ok, dudes and dudettes. Firefox is king. Alternatively.

To Whom it May Concern:

WAHOO!!! It's not quite what I was hoping for, but it sure beats going back to my old job. YAY!!!


Because I have a moment to myself...


[ ] I am shorter than 5'4.
[ ] I have many scars.
[ ] I tan easily.
[ ] I wish my hair was a different color.
[ ] I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
[ ] I have a tattoo.
[ ] I am self-conscious about my appearance.
[ ] I have/I've had braces.
[ ] I wear glasses/contacts.
[ ] I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
[ ] I've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger.
[ ] I have more than 2 piercings.
[ ] I have piercings in places besides my ears.
[x] I have freckles.

*Family/Home Life*

[x] I've sworn at my parents.
[ ] I've run away from home.
[ ] I've been kicked out of the house.
[x] My biological parents are together.
[ ] I have a sibling less than one year old.
[y] I want to have kids someday.
[ ] I've had children.
[ ] I've lost a child.


[x] I'm in school.
[x] I have a job.
[x] I've fallen asleep at work/school.
[x] I almost always do my homework.
[x] I've missed a week or more of school.
[x] I've been on the Honor Roll.
[ ] I failed more than 1 class last year.
[ ] I've stolen something from my job.
[ ] I've been fired.
[x] I've skipped school.


[ ] I've slipped out a "lol" in a spoken conversation. (that's the moment I quit the Interweb)
[ ] Disney movies still make me cry.
[ ] I've peed from laughing.
[x] I've snorted while laughing.
[x] I've laughed so hard I've cried.
[ ] I've glued my hand to something.
[ ] I've laughed till some kind of beverage came out of my nose.
[x] I've had my pants rip in public.


[x] I was born with a disease/impairment.
[ ] I've gotten stitches.
[ ] I've broken a bone.
[ ] I've had my tonsils removed.
[ ] I've sat in a doctors office with a friend.
[x] I've had my wisdom teeth removed.
[x] I had a serious surgery.
[x] I've had chicken pox.


[x] I've driven over 200 miles (322 km) in one day. (Ha! I've done over 1000 km in a day... )
[x] I've been on a plane.
[x] I've been to the USA.
[ ] I've been to Mexico.
[x] I've been to Niagara Falls.
[ ] I've been to Japan.
[ ] I've Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[x] I've been to Europe.
[ ] I've been to Africa.
[ ] I've been to Asia.
[ ] I've been to South America.


[ ] I've gotten lost in my city.
[x] I've seen a shooting star.
[x] I've wished on a shooting star.
[x] I've seen a meteor shower.
[ ] I've gone out in public in my pajamas.
[x] I've pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[ ] I've kicked a guy where it hurts.
[x] I've been to a casino.
[ ] I've been skydiving.
[ ] I've been an abuse victim.
[x] I've gone skinny dipping.
[x] I've played spin the bottle.
[ ] I've drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[ ] I've crashed a car.
[ ] I've been Skiing.
[x] I've been in a play.
[x] I've met someone in person from the internet.
[x] I've caught a snowflake on my tongue.
[x] I've seen the Northern Lights.
[x] I've sat on a roof top at night.
[ ] I've flown kites on a rooftop.
[ ] I've played chicken.
[x] I've played a prank on someone.
[x] I've ridden in a taxi.
[x] I've seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[ ] I've eaten Sushi.
[ ] I've been snowboarding.


[x] I'm single.
[ ] I'm taken.
[ ] I'm in a serious relationship, and wanna marry that person, but not quite yet.
[ ] I'm engaged.
[ ] I'm married.
[y] I've had someone cheat on me.
[ ] I've gone on a blind date.
[x] I've been the dumpee more than the dumper.
[x] I have had a fear of commitment.
[x] I have a fear of abandonment.
[ ] I've gotten divorced.
[x] I've had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[ ] I've told someone I didn't love them when I did.
[x] I've kept something from a past relationship.


[ ] I've had a crush on a teacher.
[x] I am a cuddler.
[x] I love to flirt.
[x] I've been kissed in the rain.
[ ] I've hugged a stranger.
[ ] I have kissed a stranger.


[ ] I am a terrible liar.
[ ] I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't.
[x] I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't.
[ ] I've snuck out of my house.
[ ] I have lied to my parents about where I am.
[x] I am keeping a secret from the world. (aren't we all?)
[x] I've cheated while playing a game.
[ ] I've cheated on a test.
[x] I've run a red light.
[ ] I've been suspended from school.
[x] I've witnessed a crime.
[ ] I've been in a fist fight.
[ ] I've been arrested.
[ ] I've shoplifted.


[x] I've consumed alcohol.
[ ] I regularly drink.
[ ] I've passed out from drinking.
[ ] I have passed out drunk at least once in the past 6 months.
[x] I've taken painkillers when I didn't need them.
[ ] I'm a stoner sometimes.
[ ] I've snorted cocaine.
[ ] I've eaten shrooms.
[ ] I've popped E.
[ ] I've inhaled Nitrous.
[ ] I've done hard drugs.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[ ] I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem.
[ ] I have been diagnosed with clinical depression.
[x] I shut others out when I'm depressed.
[ ] I take/used to take anti-depressants.
[ ] I'm anorexic or bulimic.
[x] I've slept an entire day when I didn't need it.
[ ] I'm addicted to self harm.
[ ] I've woken up crying.
[x] I've cried myself to sleep.
[ ] I've seen a therapist.

*Death and Suicide*

[ ] I'm afraid of dying.
[ ] I hate funerals.
[ ] I've seen someone die.
[x] Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
[ ] Someone close to me has committed suicide.
[ ] I've planned my own suicide.
[ ] I've attempted suicide.
[ ] Didn't have the balls to go through w/ it.
[ ] I've written a eulogy for myself.


[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs.
[ ] I have an unhealthy obsession with anime/manga.
[ ] I own multiple designer purses, costing over $100 a piece.
[ ] I own something from Hot Topic.
[ ] I own something from Pac Sun.
[ ] I collect comic books.
[ ] I own something from The Gap.
[x] I own something I got on e-bay.
[ ] I own something from Abercrombie
[x] I own a nice car. (I love my Sunflower... gonna miss it when I sell it!)

*Political/Social Attitudes*

[ ] In general, I don't like people.
[ ] I'm very outgoing.
[x] I listen to political music.
[ ] I'm Democratic.
[ ] I'm Republican.
[x] I'm liberal.
[ ] no party affiliation
[ ] I really just don't care
[ ] I hate tree huggin' liberals
[x] I don't like Bush because he is dumb.
[x] I don't like Bush with my own reasons to back it up.
[ ] I am for Bush.
[ ] I'm religious.
[x] I dress fairly modestly.
[ ] My attitude is, "If you've got it, flaunt it."


[x] I can sing well.
[ ] I've stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant. (How about the cafe?? haha)
[x] I open up to others easily.
[x] I watch the news.
[x] I don't kill bugs.
[x] I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for the sake of being able to rhyme.
[x] I curse regularly.
[ ] I sing in the shower.
[ ] I am a morning person.
[ ] I paid for my cell phone ring tone.
[x] I'm a snob about grammar.
[ ] I am a sports fanatic.
[ ] I twirl my hair
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name
[x] I love being neat
[ ] I love Spam
[x] I've copied more than 30 CD's in a day (copied them onto my computer... suck it RIAA)
[ ] I bake well.
[ ] My favorite color is either white, yellow, pink, red or blue
[ ] I would wear pajamas to school.
[ ] I like Martha Stewart.
[ ] I know how to shoot a gun.
[ ] I am in love with love.
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[x] I laugh at my own jokes.
[ ] I eat fast food weekly.
[ ] I believe in ghosts.
[ ] I am online 24/7, even as an away message. (Not since I started paying my own electric bill... unless my server counts!)
[ ] I've not turned anything in and still got an A in a certain class.
[ ] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
[ ] I am really ticklish.
[ ] I love white chocolate
[ ] I bite my nails.
[x] I play video games.
[x] I'm good at remembering faces.
[ ] I'm good at remembering names.
[ ] I'm good at remembering dates.
[ ] I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.



I think I'm going to have a moratorium on commas. I seem to use them wherever I feel like without regard to any sorts of grammatical rules which is unfortunate. Boo.

The benefit concert went splendidly - we raised over $600! Huzzah! Umm... yeah. Now I'm just waiting for some word on my job. I spoke with $big boss on Thursday and he says that he's going to make sure that my contract is extended to the end of the year and hopes that they'll be able to hire me permanently sometime after that. We'll see I guess.

Do you have any idea how painful it was to write all that without any commas? I kept cringing when I put in an apostrophe wanting it to drop to the bottom of the letters! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Oh - check it out - I'm on a nerd-dating site! I think I may have mentioned this already... I don't know.


Maybe this is why Sympatico seems to hate me...?

Gord's andwidth usage over the last 11 months or so:

Timeframe Upload (GB) Download (GB) Total Over
25-APR-2005 - 25-MAY-2005 8.9 9.5 18.4 8.4
26-MAY-2005 - 25-JUN-2005 19.2 15.4 34.6 24.6
26-JUN-2005 - 25-JUL-2005 3.8 14.6 18.4 8.4
26-JUL-2005 - 25-AUG-2005 2.2 6.8 9 -1
26-AUG-2005 - 25-SEP-2005 4.7 14.3 19 9
26-SEP-2005 - 25-OCT-2005 8.6 12.2 20.8 10.8
26-OCT-2005 - 26-NOV-2005 6.4 7.9 14.3 4.3
26-NOV-2005 - 25-DEC-2005 9.4 9.8 19.2 9.2
26-DEC-2005 - 25-JAN-2006 4.7 11.3 16 6
26-JAN-2006 - 25-FEB-2006 9.6 14.7 24.3 14.3
26-FEB-2006 - 25-MAR-2005 6.1 8.1 14.2 4.2



Doctor Who Season 2 starts April 15th!! YES!!!!!!

For those who Missed/Ignored/Didn't Get my e-mail This week:

Just a heads up about a up coming concert that is happening at Grace United Church. It is a Benefit concert and all the info you need in below. I'm just sending the word out so that everyone has the opportunity to come out.
Remembering Vietnam

Just before the fall of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City)
in southern Vietnam the Government of Canada sent
planes to transport innocent, orphaned children to
Canada to be adopted and raised in this country. One
of those children was Trent Kilner who, over the past
year, has been coming into contact with the 56 others
he came across to Canada with. He has not been in
contact with any of them since 1975 and so this year
the 57 Orphans are gathering in Toronto with the
national news media present to remember those people
involved in Operation Babylift-Trent has had his story
told on Canwest Global, the Sarnia Observer, the front
page of the Toronto Star and more. In our support and
rememberance of this, Adam Kilner and friends will be
holding a concert to remember this event in history
and raise money to help this event become a reality.
Help make history and buy a ticket to this event!!!

When: Friday, April 7 at 8pm
Where: Grace United Church (990 Cathcart Blvd, Sarnia*)*
Who: Adam Kilner, Dan Leaver, Gord Spence, Danny Dakak, Will Klie (James Divine)
Cost: $10 or as able


Baby Got Book

I like big Bibles and I cannot lie... >clicky<

Thanks to Dan for the link!


Want a good way to waste some time?


You have been warned. >Clicky<

It's the last 50 images posted to livejournal. If you click the pictures it'll bring you to the entry that they're attached to. Enjoy... I do.


Don't Be A Wanker

dontbeawanker@hotmail.com was my e-mail address for a long time... then it got screwed up and I had to switch it... it became dontbewankers. I tried out Google Talk this evening, which encourages me to use my gmail account that has been long-neglected. I've had my hotmail address since grade nine... nearly nine years.
Tim says he'll ditch long_strides when he grows up. I'm not so sure if I could leave dontbewankers. I mean, it has become a part of me. A part of my personality, at any rate. It's childish, it's rude... but it's a hell of an icebreaker sometimes! What do you guys think? Has dontbewankers served its usefulness? Should I start weaning myself onto gmail just to start consolidating my many e-mail contact points? Do I want to trust google with all of my information? I'm curious! Inform me!


PSA: Howie's Gone Webbed!

Ladies and gentlemen... My dearest Amy has joined the few, the proud, the bloggers! Yes, you too can enjoy news from Howie... things are looking good so far, let's hope she keeps it up!

Stay well everyone. And yes, Amz, I'm praying for your orphans!


Uh... sorry?

Val just tried to call me, making me realise that my phone's ringer has been off for nigh on a week... so if you have been trying to get a hold of me via telephono... sorry.

What's that? No one ever calls me because they can always find me on MSN?

I need a life....



FYI - breathing in pool water through your nose, then sitting in the sauna later on is not a good combination. It burns. A lot.

I slacked off last week in swimming and only made it out once, but I'm going to get back to my routine of three times a week this week, hopefully. Tonight was good - did a solid number of breast stroke lengths and squeezed in a bunch of front crawl in-between. I'm gradually working up my endurance with front crawl, and getting the timing down for my breathing. I managed to do a number of 1 lengths between breast stroke sets, and worked up to three lengths of front crawl before I was ready to drown, so things are improving. Slowly, but they're coming.

I'm starting to think I may need to start jogging to get ready for soccer this summer. I don't want to be the winded white kid again this year... we'll see, I guess... I'm going to be gone a fair bit this summer, so soccer might not even be in the cards.

At this point I have three separate major trips planned.
A) Europe for up to three weeks to traevl around with Rune
B) New York City to see DMB with Brandy for a weekend... of course touristy stuff is part of that!
C) General Council 39 in Thunder Bay for a week in August... the week after I'm thinking to go to New York.

So it's going to be tough to fit it all in. We'll see.


Anyone remember this drink? Yeah, I think I actually liked it... how weird is that? I thought it was pretty neat, anyways!


The Drinking Song

by Moxy Früvous

And the band played on
As the helicopters whirred
Drunk on the lawn in a nuclear dawn
My senses finally blurred

He was a rock, to the end a solid reminder
Couldn't deny a friend
We lived in the noise and the sweet amber poison
Peekin' up the skirt of the end
And we'd drink, two gnarly dudes and some records
Much like plates of black food
We filled up our faces, saw some far places
Stood on the roof in the nude

And the band played on
As the helicopters whirred
Drunk on the lawn in a nuclear dawn
My senses finally blurred

Between poles, he said "We're like cows in the grass"
Brushing off flies
Chaise lounging around, standing up, falling down
Till we no longer opened our eyes
And we'd drink, ever notice how drinking's like war?
Cup o' troops o'er the gums
To the end of our health a campaign 'gainst myself
Armed with bourbons and scotches and rums

And the band played on
As the helicopters whirred
Drunk on the lawn in a nuclear dawn
My senses finally blurred

Think of bombs, we're poised on the edge of disaster
Whether it's right or it's wrong
We opened the window, played some Nintendo
Sang a few bars of some pretty old song:
Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams
Oh to dream, those impotent bones of extinction
Flying graceful and free
None but the best 'cause the man cannot rest
Till he's finally beaten his me

And the band played on
As the helicopters whirred
Drunk on the lawn in a nuclear dawn
My senses finally blurred

Till the end, he passed out on the sundeck that morning
Quietly saying goodbye
But I was so hammered I sputtered and stammered
Told him he couldn't just die
He was a rock, went straight for his own armageddon
Face froze in a grin
Ambulence flyin' in, I never drank again
Can't really call that a loss or a win

And the band played on
As the helicopters whirred
Drunk on the lawn in a nuclear dawn
My senses finally blurred


Internet's Down

So, my modem seems to be near death. Stupid pile of crap. Last night my connection died. Twice. The spasms haven't stopped yet, and I'm terrified that it might happen again today... heaven help us if it does! I caught a video today which reminded me of me....


Protesting Censorship

Today, I feel like being a bit of an activist. Now, I know that very few people read my blog, but I figure I can do my part by participating in a bit of a protest against a company called "SmartFilter". You can do a little reading about the protest here, and some more here.

But for now, I present you with some tasteful nudity. Art, if you will.

A penis and breasts on the same page! It must be pornography! Shield your eyes!! Or don't... whatever.


Desktop Of the Week

Here's my desktop this week:

I'm really impressed with this new background... what do you think?


Aaahh.... (contented, not a scream)

I just had a bath. I haven't had a bath in years (but I have bathed, believe it or not!). It felt absolutely great... I feel very good about not having done a whole lot today.

How do baths make you feel? Why is it that is it so relaxing to stew in your own filth?


Anyone else want to help make some of these?

LED Throwies What's a "LED throwie" you ask? Well, I'll give you a hint... you throw it. And it has an LED attached. Yes, that's all there is to it. Click the link and you'll get some idea!
I love Firefox. Since the last format of the computer about a month ago I've neglected to run Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware (yes, bad Gord). I just finished running Spybot and it gave me exactly one hit for malware. Nice.

Oh, and I'm being a geek and found a geek dating site just in time for VD. (Do you really think that it's a coincidence that the acronymn for Valentine's Day is "VD"? I don't.)



Am I the only one who feels that Monday the 13th is probably a heck of a lot more appropriate for being a bad-luck-day than Friday the 13th? I mean, Mondays suck to begin with, so it would follow that adding the number 13 would make it worse. I think it's generally accepted that Mondays stink, no?


Canada Rules!

Not only did we get a gold medal in the moguls event, we even have our very own photoshop contest!

Am I the only one seeing this?

It seems to me that something is afoot in the world.
Lately the news has been flooded with stories of muslims rioting, protesting, burning down embassies, burning flags... supposedly all because of a cartoon. Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks there is a heck of a lot more behind all of this. The network news isn't going to go into the detail of why people would be so angry about a drawing, which was in poor taste to begin with, which was published in a small newspaper over 4 months ago would enflame such a large group of people to such violent heights. First, let me say that publishing something which flagrantly insults another group is wrong. That's not the question here, though. The question is, why is this violence occuring now, out of the blue?
If I go to google and type in 'image of Mohammed' we find out from this page that drawings of Mohammed have existed for centuries without any general outcry. What does that tell us? The Muslim world doesn't flip out every time an image is published any more than the Christian world does. In the Old Testament, Moses was not even able to look at God because he'd have died from sheer amazement... yet we still see images of God in flattering an not-so-flattering variations all the time.

Reading a little further on from my first link, it's mentioned that three extra cartoons seem to have arisen from the original twelve that were published in the Danish (and Egyptian) newspapers. It seems a little much to me. The first twelve images aren't all that spectacular, in my opinion... but the three extras are quite vile. (here, here and here). Now those, deserve some sort of reaction. If a reasonable person were to see this garbage for what it is, I don't see why this reaction would be happening. I can't help but wonder if this is all being stirred up by an outside source for some reason. Whether it's Islamist Extremists or by a local or foreign government, I'm sure we won't be allowed to know. I would suggest that all of this violence is not originating from a few common-folk, though. This is all being organised by an outside force, and it is just that, organised. Not random. There are greater forces at play here, and I feel that the media is doing no one any favours by not looking in depth at the causes of it all.
The unwillingness of the media to look into the depths of this issue makes them guilty of the demonisation of the Muslim faith.
For those folks who say, "Well, shouldn't the muslims be speaking out against this violence? why do they remain silent?" First, I tell you that you're wrong, and there are numerous leaders who are speaking about this issue, and are also encouraging non-violent methods of dissent.
I also ask you a question in return: Why don't the leaders of Christian churches need to assure the world that when one nutcase blows up an abortion clinic that not all Christians are violent and desire to destroy anything against their narrow idea of "right".
If the only things you know about the world come from the network news (CNN, Fox, CBC, NBC... whatever) you're not really informed. A person can't learn a whole heck of a lot from infotainment... the old phrase, "If it bleeds, it leads" still holds true today, and a boring old man who is explaining the history of these incidents beyond "They're angry about a cartoon" just isn't enough to keep the average joe interested anymore.



The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.
-William Sloane Coffin

In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.
-André Maurois



Speaking of birthdays...

Did someone say something? Oh! You wanted to get me a birthday present? Well gee... I don't know what I'd want... maybe something cool. Yeah. But light.

Damn. My birthday's not for another six months! :(



What's cuter than a lion cub? A lion cub with a puppy.


Ok, I'm sure most of you haven't even heard about this. The astronauts on the ISS (International Space Station) were supposed to throw an old spacesuit overboard today and turn it into a satellite. If that isn't the neatest idea ever, I don't know what is. Check out this article on it!


A classic video

Yeah, this is old. So sue me. There's a little bit of language in this one... most of it in acronym form. (WTF?)



I don't enjoy Bill O'Reilly

I have no love for Fox News or Bill O'Reilly, who both spread misinformation along with turning news into 'infotainment'.
So it wasn't a surprise that this video made me giggle like a schoolgirl. Yes, a schoolgirl.

Black Box Records Last 90 Minutes Of Hot-Air Balloon Crash

Be sure to read the article about this terrifying ordeal. It makes me afraid to try ballooning. Awful. Just awful.

Emergency crews arrived on the scene 40 minutes before the crash, responding to calls from area residents reporting a low-flying hot-air balloon. Said Officer Jason Cheyenne: "We got stuck in traffic, so the wait for the balloon to crash wasn't too bad."



Sleepless in Seattle

Everyone remember last year's remix of The Shining into a sappy chick flick called Shining? Well, they've done it again... This time with Sleepless in Seattle - and now it's a horror film. Enjoy the preview!

Enough links in one post? Yeah, I thought so.


Gord is not a Hamburger

Was just cruising around Blog-land and found the funniest blonde joke I've seen in a while. I'm not usually one for teasing bl... who am I kidding? I love blonde jokes... >clicky<

Lawyers who I'd be proud to know

Believe it or not there are some good, thinking lawyers out there! Click here to find out more.


Swim report

So, today's swim...
started off with 16 lengths, then took a breather for a few minutes. I did eight more, then treaded (trod??) water for ten minutes, and finally four more lengths. So that's 28 lengths... 700 metres plus ten minutes treading water... a good start!

I had a good day at work today, even though I was half an hour late getting out. Spent most of the afternoon fixing a critical computer that decided it didn't want to load Windows anymore... I don't blame it, frankly!

Right now my hands are kinda shakey because I'm so tired... so I think I'm gonna head to bed!
Stay well, everyone.


Swim or die!

So today I went swimming for the first time in far too long. At least two years. By swimming, I mean doing lengths at the YMCA.
Back in high school, when I was getting ready to sail on the tall ships, I was required to be able to swim 2 kilometers, then tread water for ten minutes. I used to do that twice in once session, once I'd worked up to it. But let me tell you something that's blantantly obvious. If you don't swim for two years, you can't do the same things that you did when you stopped! I think I did about a dozen lengths this morning and my heart was pounding and I was dizzy enough that I needed to stop. It's going to be a bit before I have the stamina that I had before. But I'll get there!
In the last few weeks I've been dealing with insomnia, and I think it's very likely that the cause of it is that I haven't been getting nearly enough exercise. I get a fair amount at work going up and down stairs, carrying heavy computers around, but it definitely isn't enough. So, as of today I'm going to start swimming a minimum of three days a week. Dave and I are going before work on Tuesdays and Thursdays as it stands now, then I'll probably go again on Saturday. Eventually I'd like to work it up to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then add Saturday, then make it six days a week for an hour a day. We'll see how that goes. My goal is to be back to doing 2 km + ten minutes of treading water before the end of March. No real reason, just because I need a goal to work towards! I'll try to keep track and post updates on my distances here, to bore you with thoroughly! :)

Last evening I had a good chat with my friend, Dan. He and I both became single at about the same time, in much the same circumstances. It gave me a lot of hope that he was feeling much the same way about things as I was, in that we're both healing, but slowly. I read an article that said it could be up to a year before a person is back up to 100% after a relationship ends. I feel that I might be shorter than that because I had a "good" (if there is such a thing) breakup, but I'm definitely not going to rush it. I still feel lonely a lot of days, and I definitely miss Meg. But for the grace of God go I...

Tonight I got together with a local minister to talk about diaconal ministry (what I'm hoping to do eventually) and to talk about the differences between that and ordained ministry. It really set a lot of things in motion in my mind about how much I want to be a minister. I'm feeling that pull, and even though I'm worried about some aspects of it (like, how am I going to afford 8 years of school!?), I'm sure that things will come together. God wouldn't have it any other way!

Peace, dudes and dudettes.


A little help for those who are undecided...

Yes, it's election time. Yes, I'm going to encourage everyone to vote. Here's a nifty little website that I stumbled upon this evening which will give you an idea of who you'd agree with most in the election.

Post your results in the comments, if you'd like to share! :) It doesn't include the Green Party, which is kind of annoying, but what can you do?


Why am I not flying?

Here's a post by a fellow who goes by the name of "Schlem" on avcanada.ca (a Canadian pilot forum... probably the main place for pilots in Canada). If you've every wondered why I never followed through with the whole flying thing, this will explain it to you.
If you want to see where the post came from, click the link in the title of this post.


Here's a brief outline of our industry...

1. The average cost of the training required for a commercial licence with a multi-engine instrument rating is upwards of $50,000 not including the cost of an associated 2 year aviation diploma or 4 year degree.

2. 95% of those teaching the new and aspiring pilots at the flight schools are the least experienced and are paid the least of any professional pilot.

3. After landing that most elusive first operational flying job, which many never do, the pilot is paid anywhere from $3/hour or a yearly salary of $12-20,000 dollars until they gain experience while at the same time trying to pay off their $50,000 plus loan. This is after they start actually flying an airplane which is usually following 6 months to 2 years working on the ground as a ramp rat or agent for the same company in northern Canada somehwere.

4. Once the pilot gains enough experience and hours he/she becomes a Captain and then starts to finally earn a decent living... this is after at least 3 years in some cases.

5. Once the pilot decides it's time to make a move to the airlines he/she will take a large paycut, using Air Canada as an example, from making in the area of $65-75,000 per year at their previous job as a senior Captain to $37,000/year at Air Canada with a move to Toronto.

6. Overall in this indusrtry, the least experienced professional pilots are flying the lowest tech and least reliable equipment with the least amount of regulation governing them while the most experienced pilots are flying the highest tech and safest equipment with the most regulation.

That's about it in an nutshell...

Good luck!



This is a video I caught tonight while surfing around. It's supposed to be a comedy, but I think it's pretty philosophical when it comes down to it. Enjoy! :)


Apply today!

I'm now taking applications for one (1) applicant to accompany me on a trip to Europe. The successful applicant will pay for all their own (a) plane fare, (b) accomodations, (c) train fare, and (d) meals. For a limited time conversation with myself (the traveller) is included at no charge.

So, I'm seriously considering going to Europe this spring. It's all contingent on my job situation, but three weeks is what I'm thinking. If you're interested, let me know. I've been speaking with Rune, in Denmark, and he thinks he'd be up for the trip... give me a holler!