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!