Archive for the ‘navel-gazing’ Category


More Snow! Yay!

2 March, 2008

It snowed again this weekend. The weather prediction was for a big dump of several inches (that’s lots and lots of centimetres) but in fact, it only lasted a few hours and didn’t amount to much. Still, it was great to get up in the morning and see the world turned white again, with big, fat flakes floating down.

I always like it when it snows. I’ve noticed that puts me at odds with most of the people around me. When the snow starts coming down, I hear people groan and complain about it. They hate driving in it, they hate walking in it, and I suspect that even aside from that, they’d still just hate it on principle. But when I look out the window and see lots of snow falling outside, my heart just leaps.

One of the things I was looking forward to, when I moved to Boston, was full-on, proper winters with lots of snow and cold weather. I have to say that I’ve been let down in that regard. Both last winter and this one, it has snowed now and then, sometimes some big dumps, but it doesn’t take very long to warm up again and melt away, so that all we’re left with are a few crusty, dirty snowbanks.

But there’s still time. It’s only the start of March… we could still get a serious blizzard before we’re done. So there’s your challenge, Old Man Winter. Is this really all you’ve got? Bring it on, I say. There’s still time to impress me. I want more than a metre of snow, I want it to fall steadily for at least 48 hours, and I want the temperature to stay well below freezing for more than a week. Can you do that? Do you still have it in ya? Bring it on, I say.



21 February, 2008

I’m still alive, contrary to any impression you may have got from my neglected blog. I’ve just been working very hard lately, so that means I’ve had little time to post any updates on here, and even if I did, there would be practically nothing to report, since all I’d been doing was working.

However, last night gave a little bit of excitement, as we had a lunar eclipse. I had a great view of it from my apartment, since I’m on the third floor and the apartment is south facing. It all unfolded too slowly to just sit and watch it from beginning to end, but Blake and I made a point of checking on it every half hour or so, and we got a pretty good look at it as it went through all its stages. I don’t think I’ve really watched a lunar eclipse like that since I was a kid. I used to be wildly interested in astronomy… even thought I might become an astronomer when I grew up.

Not that I have any complaints, of course. = ] I’m still loving what I do. In fact, I would recommend that all of you


to see what I’ve been working on for the past several months.



19 November, 2007

I saw my first snowflakes of the winter this morning, as I was walking out to my car. The air was just the right kind of cold and clear, the perfect way for winter to say hello. I’m looking forward to another Xmas in Prince George, with mounds of snow and temperatures that would kill me in minutes if I wasn’t wearing a toque.


This Day, Now

26 June, 2007

I’m home from work, after a day of crunching. I had one of those weird days where I didn’t manage to accomplish much, until the last hour, at which point I actually made some big strides. It’s funny how often that happens.

Today was a very hot day. They say it was 90 degrees… dunno what that is in real temperature, but it sounds hot. Plus it was very humid… reminded me a little of spring time in Japan. I still have no air conditioner, and I’m determined to tough it out without one. Just like I wash my dishes by hand rather than using the dishwasher. I hope that makes a difference, but who can tell?

I’m drinking a Corona with a slice of lime. It’s worth it in life to make sure one has these sorts of simple pleasures available. To pay attention to the details and make sure I buy the Corona on the weekend, and don’t forget the lime, because later in the week when the heat wave hits, I know I’ll really appreciate it.

I just read a fascinating article about all the plastic waste floating around in a big mass in the Pacific Ocean. It sucks to think that collectively, we’re making such a mess, and the efforts of the concerned few can’t make up for the effect of the rest who just don’t care. I remember in Japan, there were no garbage cans at the beach. People would just leave their garbage sitting in bags by the surf at the end of the day… because hey, the sea just makes it magically disappear, right? Sure… until your grandkids die of cancer from all the toxins moving up the food chain.

And I can’t even recycle here in Malden. Oh sure, there’s a recycling program, but because I live in an apartment building, I can’t participate in it. The city has the mindset that recycling is a service it provides, not an obligation we all share. There isn’t even a depot that I could take my stuff to. I still accumulate recyclables like an OCD case, because it causes me too much pain and shame to just chuck them in the garbage. What a world.

Now I’m going to sign off and spend some time formulating my turn orders for VGA Planets. I’ve been playing it with a bunch of guys from work. It’s fun and cool in a very retro sort of way, but it will be interesting to see if any of us are still speaking to each other by the end.

That’s my day. Pretty typical, really. How was yours?



17 April, 2007

I’m on Facebook. Pretty trendy, huh? =D

I’ve been on it since shortly after it came out (fall of ’05). Truth is, I wasn’t particularly interested in getting my “social network” on, it was more a matter of doing some research for my boss (mad shout out to the mighty Jay B!). But it did turn out to be kind of cool, even though most of my friends and classmates were not on it.

Until last week! The F-Day Invasion was apparently scheduled for 13 April 2007. At that point a whole bunch of people I knew suddenly appeared on Facebook, either because they had just joined, or I just discovered their profiles (probably a mixture of both). Now even my girlfriend is on Facebook (mad shout out to the lovely Vania C!).

So now I’m all totally networked socially. I gots Web Two Point Oh all up ins. Now all sorts of people, who I thought were just my friends, are now my friends on Facebook. Wow! How cool is that? =D

I make fun of the whole thing, but I have to admit, it does have some kind of cool going on. As someone who has recently moved away from everyone he knows, connections like that, as trivial and ephemeral as they seem, are actually nice to have. So while I might poke some gentle fun at the Book o’ Face, and at myself for being on it… the truth is I think it’s pretty neat.


Old School

3 April, 2007

Now that my month of crunch is over, it’s time to find some sort of martial arts class to sign up for. I’ve really been chomping at the bit for this, it has already been too long. Working out in my apartment is just not the same, and I don’t want to thump around on the floor too much (I don’t expect the folks downstairs would like it).

I’ve checked out a few places so far this week, and I’m realizing that I may have to drastically lower my expectations. I’m Old School ™, and the rest of the world has clearly moved on. I’m used to doing two hour classes, a hard workout followed by lots of skill training. It looks like nowadays, one hour classes are the rule (and for that, you pay over $100 a month). Talking to instructors, it seems that people just don’t want it. Don’t want to sweat, don’t want to commit the time. The kind of school I’m looking for likely doesn’t even exist anymore.

I visited a Tang Soo Do place, and it wasn’t for me. Pretty much just a straight-up kickboxing school, all competition-oriented and macho, not a lot of art in their martial. Then a Kenpo/Ju-jitsu school, which looked better. The instructor was a straight-shooter, at least, and seemed to have his head in the right place. But $120 a month, for a pair of one hour classes (which I wouldn’t be able to get to in time anyway)… that just doesn’t cut it.

There is a Hapkido guy somewhere south of Boston, who seems to be highly regarded. I’ve sent him an email, but I haven’t heard back yet, and that email address could be kind of old. It would be quite a ways to go, and the classes would have to be late for me to be able to get there in time. He is affiliated with the same organization as me, the Korean Hapkido Federation, but that’s no guarantee that he’s a good instructor or that his style is at all similar to what I’ve done. But it’s the best hope so far.

If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll just have to keep searching, and keep training at home. If I don’t find something soon, I’ll probably see about getting a membership at the gym near here, so I can at least do some full-on cardio without having to worry about the neighbours. In the long run, I may just have to organize my own school again, like I did in Vancouver.

In any case, this is going to be a process, and I shouldn’t expect quick results. I’m probably going to have to take my time, check out a lot of schools and talk to a lot of people before I find something that’s going to be worth my time, and help me take my skills farther.


Red Fire Engine

12 March, 2007

I was thinking the other day, while I was doing my grocery shopping, about how Blake has really handled this whole moving thing very well. He found himself taken away from his familiar surroundings, forced to live in a hotel room and then a barren apartment. No more visits from Vania, and I was either at work or rushing off to take care of some new moving issue. Life has gotten back to normal now, and I think he has become comfortable with the new place, now that he’s been there long enough and the familiar furniture has reappeared. But for a while there, I’m sure he must have been quite concerned about what was going on.

Still, he never voiced a word of complaint or misbehaved in any way. He weathered it all with his characteristic stoicism and, I’m convinced, a deep-seated optimism that if he just perserveres, things will turn out all right.

I decided he deserved some kind of reward, for putting up with so much and being such a good tiger through it all. So I picked out a fire engine for him.

Blake and his fire engine

He’s thrilled with it, as I knew he would be. I figure, after all I put Blake through over the last couple months, I can put up with him making siren noises for a few days. = ]