i've just added a little thing that jason hail told me about, haloscan comments. if i did it right you should be able to click the little comment link in the byline of each post and leave comments about that post for everyone to read. it sounds like it could be cool, so we'll see. interaction is fun.
phone watch 2003
it is here. i opened the box for my brand spanking new treo 600
first thing this morning and plugged it in to charge. i like my old spatula phone
version of the treo, but it's so lame compared to the new one. i already bought a compact flash card for it so that i can listen to my mp3s on it. and i'm going to go nuts for a while with the camera taking pictures of everything that interests me. that spatula picture is the first one taken with my new phone, btw. first impression is that the picture quality sucks, but i'm not going to let that dampen my enthusiasm.
in other news, the weather around here is harsh. when it rains it doesn't just sprinkle, you get gale force winds and flooding and full-on torrential downpour. when i left to get lunch today (at a nice little italian place at the mall that makes a very decent meatball sandwich - good find) the rain was actually blowing up
the hill to the office. made me feel like i was on a boat or something. it was stormy as hell from shortly after i got home last night until about midway throught my sandwich, and then it stopped. weird. mother nature uses a toggle switch around here instead of a dimmer.
there's no place like home
back home again now. i had a relatively uneventful trip back from the snowy homeland. that's a good thing in and of itself, considering that i had to renew my visa and given my history of issues with immigration. i didn't even mind the 1 hour delay at sea-tac, because it gave me more time to watch some football on the airport monitors. then a wonderful thing happened when i got to sfo. i was waiting for my bag at the carousel and it was at the back of the pack as usual. i saw through the doors that the now-familiar rainbow striped marin airporter bus had arrived and was loading up. when my bag finally plopped out i grabbed it and ran out the door, nearly dodging cars across the street to stop the bus just as it was pulling away. it was drama, just like in the movies with quick camera cuts between baggage carousel and bus, and a slow-mo sprint hurdling dogs and small children to arrive at the last possible moment. epic. it's nice to not get the shaft every time.
speaking of football, the seahawks made the playoffs, an event that makes me happy but doesn't change my pessimism about their prospects for the super bowl. i would be thrilled if they managed a playoff victory, but i'd never put money on it.
all in all i had such a raging warm fuzzy from the day that i didn't even get pissed when my cat got a little overly excited at my arrival and puked on the carpet. it's nice that he cares, but maybe it's a little too much.
fat, dumb and happy
my mom will not allow anyone to go through the day without eating at least 6000 calories. the cupboards and fridge are overflowing with food that gets trotted out in an endless stream. my willpower is pathetic when it comes to food anyway, but the relentless exposure to it over the holidays wears me down to the point of exhaustion. thankfully i get physically tired of eating after the 14th hour of it and can't move my jaw enough to chew. if it weren't for that i might put on weight when i come home for the holidays.
my phone left orem, ut on tuesday the 23rd and was delivered to my office in my absence on the 26th. it should be sitting on my desk waiting for me when i get back. i've been totally out of touch since i've been home because kelowna doesn't have any gsm network coverage. every time i come back here it seems like a smaller place, but maybe that's just because i'm getting so much larger everytime i come home.
home for the holidays
i'm heading back to kelowna for christmas tomorrow night. i may or may not post to my blog while i'm gone. my parents' computer and it's attendant dialup internet connection are so painful to use that i'm not sure i can bear it. i'm quite fragile that way. happy holidays to y'all.
phone watch 2003/4
so handspring's web site says that phones ordered when i ordered mine are supposed to ship this week, just in time to arrive here in san rafael while i'm back in canada. i'm not going to hold my breath for any shipping action on christmas eve though. i'll be happy to get it by new year's at this point. sure would have been nice to have it for christmas though. you'd think 3 weeks would be enough time to organize something like that. waiting sucks.
things i'd like to see
just once i'd like someone in the lexus ad to go off and bitch out their spouse about buying a car for christmas. "you asshole, what are you doing buying a car? we don't have the money for that!! have you seen our 401k?" but no, they always jump up and down with big shit-eating grins asking viewers what they think they're getting for christmas. i think i'm getting a pair of socks, and maybe a dvd.
phone watch 2003
i'm a huge dumb ass. i got a package from utah today which i ripped open with glee, only to find the charging cradle for a new treo, but no actual phone. so i went back to the shipping confirmation email and it says that they shipped the cradle, but not the phone. reading comprehension clearly isn't my strong suit. no word on when the actual phone will ship. or whether it's coming from utah. i will keep you posted, even if you don't care.
lord of the turkeys
first off, deep fried turkey is nice but nothing special. the skin gets all crispy in a very tasty way but i wasn't blown away or anything. mashed potatoes and stuffing by the vat, on the other hand, are not at all good things. i understand that feeding 100 people requires a certain economy of scale to pull off, but that part of lunch was heinous. desserts were good though. i think i might have given myself diabetes getting seconds.
the movie. the movie was good. long - but good. but really, really long. 3.5 hours worth of good cinematography, good acting and good story. i figure that if you took out all the slow-mo you'd probably be down to a reasonable 2 hours. that and cutting down the number of endings to 2 or 3 instead of 8. you think it's over, and then they go and wrap things up some more, and that happens for like an hour. btw, hobbits have to be the gayest creatures in middle earth. they keep getting all lovey-dovey with each other in a way that makes me expect them to drop trou and bend each other over. oddly they never do though, not that there's anything wrong with that either way.
to sum up: bulk stuffing - cheap but not good, deep fried turkey - good but not great, lord of the rings - great but not short, hobbits - short but not gay.
phone watch 2003
i haven't heard from my phone since it left orem, ut by way of salt lake city at 9:38am, dec 16. we'll keep you appraised of any new developments in this breaking story.
you know, i was going to say something today about how my web hosting company
kicks ass, but it just wound up making me sound like some corporate shill. suffice it to say that they do (kick ass), and let's move on.
tomorrow is the big holiday lunch party thing at work. i remember when we still called it a "christmas party" but that's insensitive and makes some people feel left out. funny that we still get christmas day as a bank holiday and still do christmas shopping in malls playing christmas music and having christmas sales. some people must be getting mightily bitter about being out in the cold on all this so it's no wonder we coddle them in the work place. wouldn't want anyone going postal on us, would we? anyone that still thinks christmas is a religious holiday in this country hasn't been paying attention.
anyway, the holiday lunch is going to consist of some large number of turkeys, cooked in an armada of deep fat fryers. 3 hours in boiling oil and you got yourself some comfort food, if your dad is colonel sanders. i've never had deep fried anything that was bigger than a mcdonald's cherry pie, so this will be a new experience. i've heard it's tasty, and from some reputable sources too, so we'll see.
after the lunch we're all heading down to a local theatre to geek out and watch the latest lord of the rings movie. just what you want after a filling dinner of tryptophan is a comfy chair in a darkened room. i'll fill both of you in on how things work out tomorrow.
new phone on the way
my new phone finally shipped today which is good news because i've been laboring under the yoke of t-mobile's crappy rent-a-service since i got here. they don't even have their own crappy network, they piggyback on cingular's crappy network. my apartment is in a reclaimed rock quarry, and the cell service at the bottom of a stone hole is piss poor, let me tell you. or at least it is on cingular's network. i can barely make calls if i stand next to the window. anywhere else in the apartment forget it. so the new phone is from at&t. i made sure to test their network here before i ordered using a friend's phone and it works like a warm damn.
the other thing about the new phone that gets me jazzed up is that it has a camera in it. i could have really used one on the weekend. hopefully the phone gets here before this weekend as i'll likely be doing some more reconnaissance. all this text is pretty damn boring so i need to spice it up with some random pictures of my cat
and stuff. soon there'll be a lot more where that came from, and aren't we all better off for it.
weekend of exploration
the weekend was good. saturday i drove into The City (that's what bay area people call san francisco proper) to see the sights. i had a loose plan to do a big lap of the bay area bridges - into the city on the golden gate, poke around, over to berkeley on the bay bridge, poke around, home over the richmond bridge. the drive across the golden gate bridge
is mesmerizing. it is an absolutely beautiful work of engineering and the view is awesome. once into the city i drove around the presidio area just east of the bridge and then met up with a friend who lives in the mission distict. we wandered the streets around her apartment which are filled with vintage clothing shops, used book stores and small restaurants and bars. then i dropped her off at her work, a very nice small restaurant on castro street a few blocks away, and had dinner on her employee discount. (2 dinners, an appetizer and drinks and the total came out to like $7, or 70% off. holy cow, it's a good thing i never lasted in that industry or i'd be a huge fat man.) at that point i kind of ran out of daylight and had to abort the plan. i wound up driving past fisherman's wharf which was packed with people and then back across the golden gate and home. berkeley will have to wait.
today i went to muir beach and mount tamalpais, both just north of the golden gate, and both just spectacular. to get there i drove down a narrow winding road that clung to the side of a canyon and watched a steady heartbeat of cyclists traveling the other way. then i sat on a log for a while and watched some surfers surfing the breakers that split the rocky headlands to the north and south. the waves wash up on a grey sandy shore populated by couples throwing tennis balls for their dogs. finally i hiked up a trickling brook that ran through a sheltered grove of trees to a trail carved into the dense brush that covered the mountain. from the trail you can see the whole expanse of the bay from one end to the other.
quite a weekend for the eyes. i can't say that i've been any place that's more naturally beautiful than this area. i sound like a travel brochure but secretly i hope that people will want to come down to see these things for themselves. a little company is always welcome :)
men with brooms
very few of you will likely know that phrase as the title of a low budget canadian film about curling. no jokes, i was cruising the blockbuster this evening, saw it and was in a mood so i picked it up. it was surprisingly not as crappy as you would expect. still crappy, just with some redeeming features. actually, you might have to be nostalgic for canada to enjoy it but still, it beats battlefield earth, gigli and star wars attack of the clones. let me give you a synopsis.
men with brooms
tells the story of a band of 4 rag tag boyhood friends from a small town in western ontario who are brought together to curl in one more bonspiel by the dying wish of their beloved coach. against all odds they persevere against the villianous alexander "the juggernaut" yount and his spacesuit-wearing minions to win the covetted golden broom. in the process they all learn a little about love, honesty and themselves. written and directed by paul gross and starring leslie nielsen among a whole lot of canadian nobodies, it's a touching tale that does for curling what cool runnings did for bobsledding, which is make it the target of mockery. in it's favor, there were a lot of gratuitous beaver shots, a driving stunt in a hearse, some good canadian humor, and a cameo by the tragically hip. if you mourned the cancellation of due south you'll probably like it. how's that for a ringing endorsement?
san francisco politics
so san francisco elected a new mayor yesterday. young guy, democrat, and he narrowly defeated the green party candidate, mostly because he spent 10 times more money campaigning. i don't think the republicans even bother to run candidates around here. anyway, i listen to npr
, and they were discussing the election today when i was driving home to let the cable guy in. the commentators made the observation that this election really showed that san francisco is two different cities, based on the geographical breakdown of the voting. i think that's probably true, you have the liberal half of the city, and then the really
liberal half. it's like arguing that rice milk and soy milk are different. well yeah, but they're both so far left of good old fashioned cow's milk
that it doesn't matter to anyone but the tree-hugging hippies that drink it. and that in a nutshell is san francisco politics.
i kid, but i secretly drink rice milk and would vote green if i wasn't a disenfranchised expatriate.
i gots me some interweb
giddyup, i'm online at home. that means that i can come home before 10pm and do my personal email stuff at home. as an aside, it turns out that i got my work phone wrong when i gave it comcast. they probably couldn't contact me when they came by last week, so it's my own damn fault that i had to wait an extra week. yeah, i'm a sheepish dumbass.
absolutely nothing to say
i got nothing. i feel compelled to write something in my blog but i'm bereft of ideas. evidently nothing interesting happened to me over the weekend, unless you count my finding a cool grocery store close to my house! yipdee-frickin' do. ooh, i know, i organized my mp3's, that's riveting stuff! i never realized how bored i get when i'm not around my computer until this last week with no internet. where's the methadone clinic around here?
bite my nuggets
tried the new all white meat chicken mcnuggets the other day. i thought maybe they'd taste more like chicken but i was dead wrong, it's the same old crap. there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere, something like "don't eat at mcdonald's".
speaking of bad tastes in the mouth, i'm a little bitter this week because comcast screwed me over on the cable install. the whole story is that i signed up for internet and cable tv service on monday. in order to get cable you have to have a local phone number, so i got myself hooked up with a phone number. it takes a couple days for the phone guys to hook up the connection, but you get your phone number right away, and people can actually call it and leave a voice mail because that gets turned on immediately. so after going through the rigamarole to get a phone number i proceeded to work on getting cable. they happened to have an opening on tuesday between 12 and 4 for me with i thought was pretty damn seredipitous. you don't normally get installation that fast. anyway, i clearly told the saleman to have the installer call me at work since that's where i was going to be in the afternoon.
on tuesday around 3 or so i started to get a little antsy, thinking the cable guy wasn't going to call, so i checked my new voice mail but got nothing. i called up comcast to check on what the deal was and the guy on the line said that there was still time and that i should sit tight. at this point i told him again to make sure that the installer called me at work and he punched it in again and said that the dispatcher would send out the message. the rest of the afternoon passed uneventfully. i.e. no cable guy. i let it ride hoping that they couldn't make it that day and would show up the next. the next day when i finally check my voice mail there's a message from the installer saying that he's at my place at 3:30 and i'm not there and i'll have to phone to reschedule. i imagine the installer booked off early for a pint in the pub after that. when i call up comcast to reschedule and complain i find that i'm not going to be able to get an installer out until next wednesday. what a total embittering cliche.
welcome to the neighborhood
i discovered two things today. i hadn't ever driven past my apartment and the ferry terminal before, so it was interesting to find out what's over there. san quentin prison. the biggest prison in california and the only one in california that does executions. 5,967 inmates, 1,548 staff members, all just half a mile east. funny that they didn't mention that in the brochures. it actually doesn't bother me at all, i would have still chosen my current apartment if i had known about it beforehand, but i'm surprised that i didn't hear anything about it until now from people in the area. jason actually told me that i was living near the prison but i didn't realize he mean "right beside".
the second thing i found out is that dirty harry was filmed in my neighborhood. the train bridge that harry jumps off of onto the school bus? i go right under where that used to be every day on my way to work. they tore it down just last year i think. and the apartment complex right next to mine was built on the quarry used in the movie. i'm going to have to rent that to take a look at how things have changed.
i haven't had a good rant in a while so i thought i'd stoke the fire and let er rip. you can't let them build up, they'll give you a stomach ache.
i'm generally a pretty tolerant guy. i like certain things, and if you don't like those things that's cool. if you like things that i'm not into that's cool too, we can still be friends. but there are a couple things that if you like them i'm pretty sure we aren't going to get along. one of those things is country music, which i have a philosophical aversion to. you know, it used to be that country music meant something, stood for something, and even though i didn't necessarily like it i could still respect it. but that was before country dropped the embarrassing "& western" from its name like a polish actor trying to make it in hollywood. that was when country & western was sung by actual cowboys, before country traded in its horse for a pickup, then traded the pickup in for one of those cute little honda suv's. now country is nothing but pop with ugly boots, a funny hat and maybe a steel guitar. where's the pain, the hardship and the toughness? and why are there so many belly buttons? bah. that's why i hate country. well that and the songs suck.
religion and tin foil hats
well i'm finally moved down. it took 14.5 hours to drive a uhaul truck with my car in tow down here. this afternoon two sweaty slow talking men from a labor service helped me move my furniture and assorted crap from the uhaul truck into my apartment in the pouring rain. it took probably 10 hours of my and a couple friend's time to load that truck and about an hour to unload it. now i have a dearth of floor space until i can arrange everything. fun times tonight. and what's with all the rain? i thought i moved away from that.
can i talk about am radio again? i've found that am radio is actually good for one thing. i was able to listen to the entire seahawks game on sunday afternoon, during the course of which i traveled 300+ miles and changed channels 5 times. hooray for am radio, you go girl. the rest of it, however, is total shite, and it gets worse after midnight. as an example, somewhere around redding, ca there is a radio station that was broadcasting a discussion between two conspiracy theorists and assorted bizarre callers about aliens and their plans for the human race. these gentlemen had absolute proof that the government had reports about aliens and had found out that humankind is merely a very long and advanced alien experiment. turns out that humans are just containers for souls, which are recycled, but every once in a while the erase button on the soul reprogrammer doesn't work and people (souls) can remember past lives. it is also apparent that there is no god, it's actually aliens that are behind all the religious mythology believed by humans. the surreal thing for me was that they talked about the subject as matter of factly as if they were discussing the direction of the dow jones industrial average.
bob: so my question is, what is the purpose of the alien experiment
joe: well bob, i couldn't speculate on that
bob: and what happens if we discover the nature of the experiment
joe: i don't know, they might just clean out the petri dish and start again
two things i'd like to know: a) man, what the hell are you guys smoking in redding? and b) how exactly does belief in alien experimentation with eternal souls differ from your basic religious beliefs? seems pretty much the same thing to me, yet i'd lay a fiver that almost everyone you talk to would think that belief in extraterrestrial soul containers was ridiculous, while belief in god is credible. hmmmm. maybe the pope should wear a metal collander
instead of his miter
mull that over while i head home to put my bed together.