Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Humans (wanderful)

I wrote another song on Monday morning. I can't remember if it was in the shower that I wrote it, or where, but I wrote the words down. It's pretty much the way it looks...

By RealGrouchy

Humans use tools.
That's what separates us from
the animals.
Only primates, ravens and...some other animals...use tools.
If an animal uses a tool,
then it's a human, too.

I think I had at one point hashed out a second verse, but I forgot it. Definitely not as spiffy as the first one.

- RG.

Thought of the [undefined period of time] #2

When you want to remember something, you will.
When you want to remember something as it actually happened, you won't.

[Previous undefined period of time: 14 days]

- RG.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Buffer, damn you! (Bitching)

Okay, so I was bored, and none of my regular online haunts had any updates I hadn't seen (this doesn't mean I'm not still too fucking busy), so I headed over to the Daily Show's website to see the video of the John Kerry interview that I had missed.

First I tried to watch it in my regular browser (Mozilla), and the Windon'ts Media Player 9 plugin wasn't working. So I switched over to IE, which is still glued at the hip to my Windows XP, and it was working--sort of.

First, it did a lot of buffering.

Then, I got audio, but the video only refreshed about once every five seconds.

Eventually, I got two-second bites at a time, interspersed with alerts of "Buffering..." It sounded a bit weird. All of a sudden, I'd hear "Your a quarter Jew, but I'm all Jewish," then silence and blackness for another few seconds.

What the hell is with that? The whole point of buffering is so that it can build up a decent amount of video so that you can download more of it while your watching, and have an uninterrupted stream. Streaming.

If you're going to buffer, then buffer. Don't tell me that you're buffering and then you don't buffer. Stupid computer! Buffer, damn you!

It doesn't help that there isn't a scrollbar in the embedded windows media player deelie, and my shit-ass wifi connection probably doesn't help either.

Heh, heh, that's funny. Shit-ass. It's like two expletives at once.

I have to put some clothes away now.

Oh, yeah. So tonight at 5:00 and 5:30 pm were back-to-back episodes of the Simpsons on Global. The first one was the first part of the two-part episode where Mr. Burns was shot. The second episode was...the 25 greyhound puppies episode. What kind of sick, stupid programming editor puts the first part of a two-part episode in a double-header, and doesn't follow it up with the very next episode?!?

I mean, if it were the CBC, I would understand. That's a government-regulated company, where someone might have just been transferred from the department of fisheries the day before, but Global? These people are supposed to be attracting viewers, not leaving them hanging in their shorts!

Oh, and speaking of shorts, there's this funny one on Zed called "Heap of Trouble". I'd link to the online version, but I have a policy of this not being a link-blog. Everyone I've showed it too thought it was sick and hilarious.

- RG.

Friday, August 27, 2004

stop already!

Yeah, I know, I haven't posted in a while.

Everything's fucking up at the office, at home, at school, and even on my fucking bicycle!

I broke a spoke (the first time for me), so I brought it into the shop, and had it replaced for about $20 (including labour). Then, a couple of days later, I was riding home and I broke another spoke!

I said, fuck it, I'm just going to buy a new wheel, and while I'm at it replace my worn chain and rear cogs. Then, as I'm riding home from this $140 expenditure, I get a fucking flat--in two places!--on the same wheel I just had replaced.

Never mind that I was on the way to an important appointment, or that I had to be picked up by my dad who was on an unrelated rant that made my life feel worthless, I had already wasted so much time and money on this fucking bike that I had to go back and get it fixed again! (I patched the flat at home only to get another as soon as I re-inflated it)

Never mind that I'm behind at work (and if I don't get it done, it doesn't get done), or that I haven't even had the time to fucking unpack from jazz camp.

Oh yeah, and the sensors on my bike computer broke when they tried to fix my wheel, and I'll have to buy a new one (at cost, thankfully), and spend the time to install that!

I also haven't had time to fucking eat!

And my job won't be over until after school starts. I will never have time to rest.

Now my fucking computer isn't working. Great!

- RG.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Another jackass in the paper (bitching)

I saw in the paper today that another person has written a letter to the editor with the maligned belief that licencing bicycles would earn the city money, and be a good thing (both wrong). My initial response--literally--was "STUPID FUCKING DUMBASS!!" and I threw the paper across the room.

There are so many fucking reasons that bicycles should not be licensed, not the least of which is that it would take oodles of money to set up a system that wouldn't work (a licence plate, like anything else on a bicycle, is very easily removed). This would not earn money for the government, and even if it did, I thought that people were against cash cows (like Red Light cameras).

But then there's also the other aspects: Every year, our governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars paving roads, and trying to find ways to squeeze more cars in to finite space. Add to this the costs to our health care system for collisions (which are rarely "accidents") as well as for the treatment of conditions caused by sedentary lifestyles. The governments also spends billions of dollars to get police to attend to collisions and to enforce laws against dangerous driving habits. And they give further billions to the auto industry so they can build more cars, perpetuating this cycle.

One 1991 Danish study found that to cover all the costs paid by the government, gas taxes would have to be $55US/Litre (in 1991 dollars). But since the gas tax is far lower, the remainder has to be covered by Joe and Jane Taxpayer.

Bicycles, on the other hand, are not heavy enough to deteriorate pavement. Whereas properly-laid roads (in Ottawa) wear out every 6 years, the improperly-laid pathways built around Ottawa in the '70s and the '80s have only recently been replaced for the first time. Roads also wear at the edges first, so if you have bicycle lanes on them, it provides buffer space. Besides, bicycing is an excellent way to stay fit.

Although the last paragraph doesn't speak directly to licensing of bicycles, it shows why bicycles actually save money for the government. Therefore, if you make it harder for people to own and ride bicycles (by requiring them to get a license), you discourage them from riding, and they will drive cars, costing governments much more money.

For every dollar the government puts towards encouraging people to cycle, it gets many dollars back in savings.

- RG.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I spoke no more (diary)

I was really pissed off on the way home from work tonight (at 21:30). I think it was when my rear spoke broke.

Actually, I know it was when my rear spoke broke. Especially because just last week, another spoke broke on the same bike. I tried riding home, but then the wheel got really fucked out.

Backtracking a bit, when I picked up my wheel after having the spoke replaced the first time, there was a twist-tie holding an invoice or something on one of the spokes. Instead of un-twisting it, the jackass at the bike store pulled it off--hard. I have a sneaky suspicion that this may have been the same spoke that broke tonight.

Anyway, since my wheel is out of true, it might mean that it is unfixable, and I may have to spend big bucks to replace it ($100+), and I just bought a new $200 bike light.

Good thing I worked 9.5 hours today (it's a good wage, but very stressful work...very).

And it's not like I don't have tuition, textbooks, and all sorts of other expenses (okay, food and that's about it).

And I have a bunch of stuff to sell on eBay (some of which I have to sell for my Aunt in return for a favour), but I have no fucking time whatsoever (notice how this time I didn't say too fucking busy?).

Whatever. I'm off to Jazz Camp tomorrow, and will definitely enjoy myself, relax, etc. Aaahhhh...

...except I still have to pack and get ready! Shit. (I am not censoring this word because it is more public. You can't step in a pile of fuck.)

- RG.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Does anyone know how to break a lock? (diary)

Okay, so at the office today we had a meeting, and one of the attendees left with the washroom key. The landlord had changed the locks on the washrooms recently, so our backups didn't work. Luckily, someone in another office was still there after hours.

After the meeting, three of us decided to go out for pizza (we got half mediterranean, half pepperoni). I thought nothing of it at the time.

One person left, and the other person left while I cleaned up to head back to the office. Only, one went to head to Orleans (from Downtown), and the other was walking away somewhere to some sort of meditation thingy (I think). The important thing to remember is that neither of them went back to the office. I realized this, but again, I thought nothing of it at the time.

It was only as I was mid-way back to the office that I realized that I didn't have my keys (obviously, I was on foot). They were in my pannier, on my bike, in the office, which was locked!

I was frantically trying to call people who might have a key and be in the area (it didn't help that my cell phone has a very incomplete list of people I would call). I then realized that my friend with the meditation had gestured she was going in a particular direction, and maybe I could catch her. I tried her on her cell phone, but she never has the damn thing on. So I left the office, and left the pizza box (only one slice left) with two empty pop cans by the door.

I started back in the direction of my friend, but they had already gone too far, and I couldn't run anyways because my camera and other electronics were in my stupid shorts that is made of a light material that causes the electronics--and the legs--to flail when I run. I went a few blocks, but gave up after a couple. It's not like there would be a very big meditation supercentre in the middle of downtown. Or at least, not that you could tell off the street.

Getting desparate, I went back to the office, and I looked through the mail slot to see if I could reach my bike. only a few feet away... maybe if I had a stick or a rope or something... Nobody else was in the building anymore, so I left a note on the pizza box for my coworker to see in the morning, and started back on the phone.

The elevators in our building is a bit possessed. We're on the fifth floor, and they always have trouble counting right. If you leave our floor and press "ground", they often go to six first. Going up or down, it will usually make an extra stop along the way. You get so used to it that when the elevator stops and somebody is on the other side, it can be quite a surprise.

I mention this because as I was frantically trying to call people, I heard the elevator door open and wondered if it was my coworker. Unfortunately, it was the "ghost", whom we say must cause these unrequested stops.

I decided to take it anyway and go down to the entrance to the building and make some more calls. I quickly ran out of numbers in my head of people whom I knew who could help me out, but thought that some of the other numbers in my recent call log may be someone who happened to be downtown. So I tried a couple of them.

One was a person I knew, and recognized by voice, and quickly told him my problem and it wasn't too awkward.

Then there was the other one, and I'm not sure what it was, but it was in my 'received calls' list. I didn't (and still don't) have a clue as to who the hell would have called me from that number. I tried to tell them my predicament, but that was very awkward.

Luckily, I still had my bus pass (and even if I didn't, I keep extra tickets in my wallet, and one of my friends had reimbursed me for their share of the pizza in cash). I took the bus home, and luckily didn't have to wait long. Yadda, yadda, yadda, I'm home and without computer, bike, and other stuff (I'm writing this on my dad's PC), and I'll probably get into work early tomorrow, because I won't be able to do any of my regular surfing. Fun (sigh).

For the record, I'm not angry, just frustrated.

- RG.

Thought of the [undefined period of time] #1

Everybody's a control freak. Luckily, they're all to modest too admit it.

- RG.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Phew! (diary)

So, I've been saying to myself since April... "I should really book my courses soon..."

I finally did tonight. The stupid course descriptions definitely leave much to be discovered, but I found a nice combination of courses that go no earlier than 11:30, no later than 20:00, and leave Friday completely empty. Sweet. Let's just hope I won't have to drop a course because I hate it.

Although even then, I have an extra course from an Advanced Placement course I took in high school that entitled me to a university credit in Music, so if I decide to take another semester of Sign Language at the Canadian Hearing Society (screw putting in a link--if you want to see it, just google the damn thing! You should be lucky I'm even posting at all!) this fall, I can drop a course and not worry about not having enough credits.

I think I'll see an academic advisor (that's what they're called, right?) before booking my Winter courses, to make sure I'm not painting myself into a hole.

Anyways, I can't worry about that now because I've got to get my Q3 to-do list ready at work tomorrow, and I've got to prepare for Jazz camp this thursday.

- RG.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Why I enjoy weekends (diary)

I know I haven't been posting. Bad blogger. I have just been too fucking busy to care about it (ironically, the last time I censored a dirty word was in the exact same context).

In fact, I have been so busy that I have been tardy in my following of other blogs. Yes, even on weekends.

Luckily, one thing I don't have to worry about on weekends is missing the Daily Show, because it is only on Monday to Thursday.

Hey, that reminds me, did you see Clinton on Monday. Right on! Now there's a guy who could be president and get away with it!

- RG.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Blah (diary)

Twice now I've written this post, and twice it's fucking used the "back" button on me when I pressed backspace. I am not going to write it a third time. You can take that up with fucking Mozilla.

That's right, I'm complaining about MOZILLA.

Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.

I was going to black out those "fuck"s, but...you guessed it, I don't fucking want to anymore because I've already spent more time than I want to on this stupid fucking post that doesn't even say anything anyway.

- RG.

PS: Fuck.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

No, seriously, it's nothing

Test. Does this really old post move to the top of the Blogawa listings when I edit it?

- RG.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The end of human intelligence as we know it (commentary)

Okay, so I was at All Things Christie, and she had a link to this hideously inane concept called RentAPeasant.

This got me thinking...

These people are spending their lives as though they live in a given point in the past, and offer themselves for 'rent' so that other people can vicariously live in that same point. Let's also assume that there is a market for this, and there is also a market for people living in many of the other more memorable points in history (midieval lancers and civil war recreationists, I'm talking to you). Let's further assume that enough people would be employed in this market to reasonably satisfy these markets.

Then let's completely forget about it.

Imagine instead where the human race would be if we appreciated the past, but not be so insanely obsessed with it that we must have Amish people and livestock in our living rooms (Literally--I'm not talking about that weird new Amish reality show on TV). Imagine that these people spending their times re-creating the past would put themselves to use improving the lives of those living in the present (or even maintaining the artefacts that actually came from the past!).

Then, we would more quickly develop technology so that we could all live happier, less stressful lives. Machines would do all the work that nobody really wants to do, and many of our problems will be solved. We wouldn't have to worry about finances, markets, traffic, pollution, and all that other crap that most of us have to worry about. Then we could go on to do the more romantic things in life, like, say...pretend to live in the past!

Of course, this would be in the future, and so the past at that point would be similar to today. (Think of this like playing a really detailed role-playing game, or like the Matrix). Hordes of people not having to worry about their everyday lives would be able to pretend they are living in the past, and as a part of that, will be worrying about their make-believe everyday lives.

Of course, poeple will only be able to enjoy living like we do today if we stop living in the past now (I am assuming that people do not actually enjoy living like we do today, otherwise they would not pretend to live in the past, and if they do enjoy it, they would prefer living in the theoretical future where certain stressors are removed). It is possible that, there being so many old people in developed countries, people who would otherwise work to improve our lives are instead forced to maintain those of our medically-needy, because there are a certain number of jobs that must be filled, and only so much room for people to noodle around like seventeenth-century courtiers.

In fact, it is possible that so many people are 'noodleheading' that there aren't enough people in jobs that will maintain our culture, much less our heritage. By pretending to live in the past, they are indirectly destroying it. Very bad.

Or, you could also get rid of those jackasses who waste our economy with such brain-numbingly aggravating products like closed-source software, brand-name sweatshop-ware, and any of those horrendously-manufactured products you can buy directly from your television.

But this is getting into globalization. I must attend to that at a later date.

Nevertheless, to get back to my point, if you see somebody wasting their life, they are wasting your life, too.

- RG.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Terrorists take long lunches (commentary)

Okay, so I was bored and I tuned into CNN at one o'clock.

The top, breaking story is that US Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is raising the terror alert threat from Yellow to Orange...at two o'clock.

You see, the administration has received information that there is an imminent threat to the security of their citizens (particularly those in Washington and in New York). They must therefore work their hardest to get the message to the people as quickly as possible.

The fastest way for them to do this is to hold a press conference...in a couple of hours. The administration is confident in their decision because they know that terrorists take two-hour lunch breaks.

Gone are those times, like 1:57, when the whole country was at peace. This is 2:00 now, and we've got to put our guard up!

The country's terror alert level has never been at "afraid", the lowest level, or even at "raised". But today, the threat of attack from terrorists will go up from "increased" to "enhanced". Hopefully we will never have to see the day when it is pushed further to "heightened".

The US administration also reminds its people that if you don't buy your oil from Texans, you're buying it from terrorists.

- RG.

Bathroom humour (diary)

Okay, so it's not a joke. But it does deal with the bathroom.

In my office, the washroom is locked, and you need a key to get in. It is a fairly low-traffic washroom, though there are two stalls and a urinal. The light switch is right next to the door, and every time I leave, I automatically turn off the light...

...and then I wonder if there was anybody in one of the stalls. I then wait a couple of seconds with the door open to hear for anybody shouting about the lights being turned off. Luckily, it's never happened.

I had been meaning to post this for a while. There you go.

- RG.

[no subject] (diary)

Yesterday I was feeling really down, so I didn't post anything. This way, you could see Friday's post about noses.

I went to the mall at about 7 pm to find the grocery store was closed. The one across the street was still open until eight, but when I got there, I realized I left my bike lock back at home. I went home, got my lock, and went back and bought some stuff, including a pre-made fruit salad.

I then went back home, ate some food, watched some TV, and tried to forget about how miserable I felt.

I finished reading No Logo this morning. Next I plan to read some true forensic investigation story that my Dad's girlfriend gave me a couple years ago.

After that, unless classes have started (in which case I'll have quite enough reading to do thank you very much), it's back to the library for the transportation/activism section to see what they've got.

- RG.