Rob Ford is an idiot, the left half of Toronto’s got a hate on, and other asorded goodness.

What we have here is a random thinggy. Because random thinggies are good. Even if done at half past odd while coming off a weekend spent in Pembroke with a machine that could use a couple replacement components. And even if done by a guy who apparently wouldn’t know what spelling was if it walked up and shook his hand. Thank christ this will see some editing before it sees the light of day. Maybe. And since I should be sleeping before we have to leave in an hour and a half, have a list.

  • If you live in Ontario, you’ve probably heard about the Rob Ford kerfuffle. He’s been ordered–well, pending appeal, anyway–removed from office as toronto’s mayor after participating in and voting on an issue that, well, kind of involved him. There are two really good entries on the subject by Toronto Mike, with some pretty nifty comments on both, from both the folks in favour of and against what happened and how it happened. The short version: Rob ford is an idiot for voting on a resolution in council as to whether or not he should pay back what amounts to pocket change if your name is Rob Ford–even if he voted with the majority, and would have ended up not having to pay it back anyway. But that there’s one person in Toronto, namely the voter that took him to court over it, that has the power to remove someone the majority voted in from office is a little tiny bit concerning. Not quite as concerning as the fact the judge interpreted the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to mean removal was his only option. Or as concerning as the fact that mayors of several other cities (I’m looking at you, Quebec) have either resigned or not for far worse. And let’s not talk about Dalton McGuinty. Both sides kind of flopped this one. And now toronto gets to more than likely go through another election–in which Ford wasn’t even banned from running, meaning he could very likely end up right back where they tried to kick him from. Not bad for a broke city.
  • The NHL has killed off pretty much half the season at this point. Is anyone even still paying attention? How many more times are talks going to end up going nowhere before they just come out and tell us what we’re already expecting? Bright side: the Leafs have their first .500 season going into Christmas since… uh… anyone remember when? Now about baseball.
  • We were staring at -13 degrees C coming on the end of last week. That’s freaking cold degrees, if you’re in the US. It was a fair bit above freezing in spots yesterday–note: not *this* spot, as evidenced by our driveway. Mother nature, please to be making up your mind. Thankya.
  • May and I came to Pembroke this weekend for a Christmas party. Well, it’s what the natives call a Christmas party–they serve passable dinner, we get to hear a couple speeches, then a couple somewhere in the neighbourhood of tolerable old guys from around here get up on stage and try not to kill what would otherwise be okay songs. But the conversations were good, anyway.
    • Related: I learned more about my cousin’s girlfriend in a couple hours during that party than I think I ever wanted to know about someone I’m not dating. Small towns’ll do that to ya, I guess. Is it too late for a refund?
  • This. So much this. It was on my mockery list. Then I read this post. I can do no better. Well, okay, I *probably* could. But both caffeine and alcohol are required and I only have easy access to one.
  • The one year I don’t get a lot of folks asking what I’d like for Christmas is the one year I’m exceedingly easy to buy for. I’ve had an iPhone for a bit over a year and a half. This means iTunes. This means gift cards. So if you’re looking…
  • There is a Twitter. It is awesome. And I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. But, should you find yourself watching the afore mentioned twitter and then developing a liking for Big Bang Theory, you can gladly hand the credit this way.
  • And lastly, because there can never be enough promotion, click, then hit play. You’ll love it. Yes, I’m a part-time fortune teller now. And also the awesome factor. I’m right. You’ll see.

Have bluetooth, will keyboard. Again.

Folks who’ve been following me a while will remember me writing about this device. For those that haven’t and don’t, a short summary. Thinkgeek goes bluetooth keyboard, and I almost buy an iPhone just for that–until I realise I’m flat freakin’ broke. Well, among other reasons but that’s the primary. So I later bought me an iPhone anyway. And a bit later after that, bought me one of those there keyboards. And inside of a month and a half, it became an incredible waste of $60. Fun times, except no not really. So fast forward to July of that year–well, June really, but who’s counting? Jessica came up for what would be one of her last times, and had with her a non-thinkgeek keyboard for my using pleasure. And use it I did–until it went sideways after less than 3 months. Needless to say… I have not so good luck with keyboards for iPhones. So when Steve over there mentioned he was getting his hands on this one for his own battle of the phone, I thought hey, what the hell why not. Then I cringed. Then I clicked. Then I kicked myself in the face. then I hemmed and hawed and tossed the link at May. Then I bought two of the suckers. And now, after over a year of no keyboard tied to this phone, I have to get used to the damn style again. I’ll say this for these keyboard, though. The way Thinkgeek makes them now, I wasn’t as apt to reflexively pitch it across the room on site–the keyboard slides out, as opposed to flips out, from the back of the phone. Which makes it significantly less likely it’ll get jammed and run the risk of breaking–which is what happened way too often with the previous model from Thinkgeek. At first, I thought the keyboard didn’t actually fully come out for some reason–it looked like part of it was still stuck under the phone. But no, that’s just me expecting too much. A random feature neither of my previous keyboards had–and just one more goddamn thing to get used to. But, things of note. I can somewhat type on the phone again now. Yes, touch typing was getting there, but now? Yeah, screw that. Also, in list form, because list form rules.

  • In ways, this keyboard is similar to my last one–no, not to Thinkgeek’s first model, thank christ–so getting used to it is taking less time than I expected.
  • I have WordPress on the phone already, from my last attempt at mobile blogging. Of course, it’s been acting up a bit more recently–so I may actually end up tossing it until it behaves. Paging the wordPress devs…
  • If keyboard and app cooperate, there will be mobile random again. And hey, I think I still have a category for that.
  • Sadly it won’t be by email. I’m still trying to beat that into submission.

It’s way too overdue, but it happened. Have bluetooth, will keyboard. Again. Until my track record proves itself.

Let me tell you about this name I drop.

So if you’re a random reader of this thing who doesn’t actually know me, or doesn’t follow me on Twitter, first, correct that malfunction at once–it’s a requirement. Second, let me let you in on a little thing about me. A while ago, when I attempted yet another revival of the blog, I made mention to the fact I’m, shall we say, remarkably less single than I used to be. The quick among you will probably figure out there’s a connection between that, and the newest name to be dropped on the site–she also has her own, now actually used, category.

This weekend, a couple things happen. for most of the weekend, all of my crap once again gets packed up, and once again gets shuffled off Ottawa way. I’ve been spending most of my time here anyway, so rather than pay for a place I won’t actually be staying in (sorry, mom), it only makes sense. I’ll need a roommate when this happens. And, since my last attempt at a roommate went so fascinatingly well, I’ve reinforced my single, solitary rule–the next person I become roommates with will either be dating, or married to, me. So, easy decision. I’m dating May. I’ve been staying with her most of the time anyway. I’ve been helping her break all kinds of things anyway–she’s got her very own WordPress install right over here. So since I don’t wish to be stranded in the land of absolutely 0 job prospects, and hey, we seem to be doing amazingly well over here so far, it only makes sense. So hello, meet the new roommate/girlfriend.

In the girlfriend department, that leads to another awesome thing happening, well, sort of this weekend. Monday is officially 3 months since I became remarkably less single. Monday is also, because it can be, a day we take probably most of the evening and go for dinner. That’s probably just about all we can do, considering she’s got school and I’m trying to find it, but you’ll have that. It’s been an awesome ride to this point, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and how we each handle all manner of things. We’ve hit our bumps and all that, but that’s par for the course. And now, partly to save money, partly because it just makes sense and partly because, hey, the only thing that isn’t here is my mailing address and most of my stuff, we get a lot longer to keep it par for the course. And that’s probably the best thing to come out of how I needed to move in the first place.

I’m doing things a little different this time around though. Not only does May have her own site, but she also now has access to this one. Why? Because between the two of us, we can come up with some pretty wicked interesting conversations. Some of those conversations, we’ve threatened to post on one–or both–of our blogs. Some of those conversations, rather, got posted. And now, we can both take a crack–since, you know, I have access to post things over there if for any reason she wants me to. Plus, hey, it could make for some interesting point/counterpoint discussions, which I love–pretty sure she does too, when they don’t degenerate into flame wars.

So that’s that. My girlfriend, also known as my somewhat less snarky half (sorry love, it’s true), now has the option of being a co-author. Whether she takes it or not, she will probably feature quite a bit on the site–especially if we have another chance to mock old people. The first 3 months went awesomely wicked. Now. Let’s beat on the next 3.

so I mentioned I quit caffeine.

Well, maybe not quit. But cut back. Somewhat. At least for the weekend. It’s a thing I very rarely actually do. Mostly, because–hey, it’s near the end of the month, I’m broke, and I haven’t yet found a reason–well, except for the fact Thursday involved steak–to bother with it. Have I gone twitchy? Well, uh, no. but I also haven’t broken anything supremely nifty since Thursday either–that, also, gets its very own entry. Could there be a patern? We’ll know if I end up finding something else to twist ’til it breaks. As for right now? I think I’ll go back to figuring out where the hell September went. Ottawa should not be staring at just above freezing this early in the damn season. That’s against some law or other, I’m sure.

Update:

I was informed in a comment to this post that I did, in fact, have caffeine on friday. Said caffeine was pepsi. I do not count that as caffeine. My statement still stands. At least until the author of that comment threatens my life.

May Cheated. She ordered pizza. Do you have any idea how impossible it is not to have caffeine with pizza? Neither did I. I do now. Oh well. What to break tonight?

In which I again fall off a cliff. And this time, I don’t have an excuse. Or a life.

Well okay, I have all kinds of excuses. But largely they can be disproven in about, oh we’ll say, 10 seconds. So there goes that. Back to basics. Which, in this case, means–uh, well, I’ll get back to you. I can say this, though. The new server? Yeah, that server? Rockin’ like nothing else. Had a couple scary-ish incidents at the beginning of the month–gotta love it when folks decide you really would appreciate them DOSing your ass just when you’re contemplating sleep, but a couple rooky firewalling mistakes later that’s been fixed. Also in the newness/what’s happening category, I’ve accidentally cut down on the amount of caffeine I live on. By that, I mean, uh, let’s see. There are 2 bottles of coke in the fridge. They are both unopened. The last time I had anything caffinated, I was out for dinner with May–who really needs her own entry up here. She’s already got her own category–think it’s time I make somewhat decent use of it. that was–now let me think. Thursday, if I remember right. working on 4 days without caffeine and I’m still breathing. Can I make it 5? depends on how long it ends up being before the afore mentioned May starts getting concerned for my health. Although, she may or may not need to wake up a little more first. Things in that department are going quite well, speaking of May–but that’s, I think, going to be its own entry. Just as soon as I go distract a dog. And maybe pretend like I actually want to do something productive with today.

And it’s blog-a-long blogging, take 75.

And once again, I very nearly forgot this site existed. I mean, aside from the fact it kind of also doubles as my email. And it’s been shifted around a bit to a new, less crowded and more spacious home. Okay so maybe it’s just updating this thing I keep forgetting to do. Oopsies. I should fix that. And probably mock something or other–I must be due for that eventually. Life needs to stop happening, then other things can happen.

So about that. What’s been happening this time? Well, let’s see. Somewhere between now and the last time I remembered to update this thing, the following happened in no particular order.

  • I found several more jobs to apply for
  • Promptly got nowhere with any of them, but you’ll have that
  • Found out I had 5 days to find a roommate or lose this apartment
  • Found out I’d be losing this apartment
  • Ended up becoming remarkably less single
  • Somehow managed to stay about as sane as is normal for a me

That is to say, it’s been fun. And remarkably short on geek. But I did learn a thing or two in my absense–namely, Bell Canada actually gets the art of static IP addresses! Who knew? Okay, so now that that bout of way too enthusiastic is out of the way, let’s see if I can go longer than 2 weeks before falling off the face of the earth again. Somebody really needs to kick me in the knees when I do that…

In which James gets run over by awesome and doesn’t even realize.

So about this whole blogging more often thing. Yeah, about that. How’s that going? Hint: don’t answer–I already know. That’s kind of what happens when life decides to say hi, how’s it goin’. But, hey, it’s still less than a month since the last entry. I’m not completely slacked off, right? … Right? … Right.

So what’s the geek been distracted with that’s kept him from brainmelting all over the place? Catching up, mostly. You know, when you take2 days off from your usual routine, it takes you about 10 to actually clean up after it. I took 4. It wasn’t a completely unproductive 4 days, though–I did meet some supremely awesome folks during the downtime. It’s what happens when you stick me in the audience at a show put on by Propeller Dance, which is where I spent a good sized chunk of one of those off days. And in so doing, I very nearly tripped and fell over a few wicked awesome people–one of which, I didn’t know until that night, actually writes a blog I have occasionally been referred to for sources of random amusement/general “what the hell does this much caffeine do to this person” type commentary. Which, uh, kind of reminds me–hey, Zoom? If you still actually read this, she says she knows you.

On top of that, there’s the usual. I take 30 seconds to find something mock-worthy, life takes 30 seconds to create distractions. this time, in the form of a move that ended up not happening–no, not mine–I try to move once every two years if I can help it. But I actually didn’t need to go remind me how to get back into this thing again, since I have a nasty little habbit of waiting until *after* the cookie containing my password goes and dies on me before deciding hey, maybe I should log in. That’s progress, dammit. Lack of blog, however, doesn’t mean lack of content–I’ve still got a pile. It will make it up here, I just haven’t the slightest idea as to when. As for right now? I have caffeine. And you have to go read The Maven of Mayhem. No, seriously. You do. Go. I’ll wait. By the time you’re done alternating between snorting your beverage of choice and spitting it out, something useful will probably make it up here. If it doesn’t, it’s probably because she’s posted something else and I’m joining you. Now. Where’d I put my caffeine refill?

Trying the whole dusting off of the blog thing. Again.

Remember when I used to have a blog? Yeah, that blog. Remember when it used to be updated semi-regularly? That was a tiny bit before life decided, hey James? Have a punch in the face. It’s been fun, to say nothing of insane. But, now that things have started calming down a fair bit, I can actually stop pretending this thing over here doesn’t exist. Which makes the ranty mcranterson inside me very, very happy. So what the hell happened? A whole shitload. To summarize, because that’s the best I can do, I’ve:

  • Become very, very single
  • become very good friends with a few people–one of whom I’m attempting to convert to a life of geekery
  • laughed, snickered, and eventually cried at the nature of the still sucktacular job market
  • and oh yeah, did I mention I seem to have missed out on an entire phase of my oldest nephew’s growing up while life was happening around me?

And that’s just the basic, uh, okay not even close to scratching the surface. It’s been happening, and then some. The roommate’s doing, for better or worse, the guidedog thing–you can follow his progress on his own site, and I’m giving my head a couple years to stop spinning. But, hey, the rest of me’s finally stopped. Which means–yep, you guessed it. I’m back. And this time, I come armed with mockery. Now, if the Journal that is Live will permit this thing to post, I won’t have to slap it.

PS: Yes, I’m still considering hanging up on LJ. It’s just not happening–just yet.

2011 in review. Or an entry.

I’d love to say last year was exceedingly exciting, but in reality, the best I can come up with is average. And, since I haven’t been keeping up with statistics and the like for about half the year, there’s not much sense in pulling a year-long popular posts type thing–those will return starting end of this month, life permitting. The year was so average that, well, I can listify it. So, I will. Because lazy wins on this day after booze.

  • Of course, the team I call my own (hint: over here) choked again. In spectacular fashion. They call this the rebuilding year–well, those of us who haven’t seen the playoffs since 2004 are still waiting. Oh well. We’re also used to it.
  • I got a lot closer to spending the rest of my life with someone–I even had a quote in hand for a wedding, which was something a lot of people–myself included–didn’t see me doing.
  • I moved back to Ottawa, where I actually started to put my life back together–or, rather, where I actually started to have a life again. This whole getting out and doing things idea? Yeah, let’s keep hold of that, yeah?
  • That wedding quote I mentioned? Turned out it wasn’t going to be needed after all–I ended up single this year. It was hard getting there, a lot of things went down that kind of kicked me in the face, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.
  • Met some extremely awesome people this year–and actually started talking to a couple of them more regularly. Get these people in the same room with a nifty amount of something alcoholic and there may not be a room left, but hey, we’d have fun doing it.
  • Did a ton of job searching. No job finding, but plenty of searching. That’s halfway, right? That’s what they tell me, anyway.
  • And, most importantly, survived to see 2012. Some days I don’t know how, but you’ll have that. Provided life doesn’t continue to kick me in the face, this year will rock in comparison.

So how was your year?

In which life says hello, and the blog takes a back seat.

This is what happens when life takes off at full speed. The blog tends to sit over here and do several different kinds of collecting dust. Newyears resolution: correct this malfunction, immediately. Thinga have been happening in wicked fast pace here, which naturally means I haven’t actually been even keeping up on the whole hockey thing–thanks, Shane, for at least filling me in on *most* of what I missed. Now things can calm down just in time for my team to inevitably fall apart.

The holidays are insane on a good day, which accounts for most of my time spent doing things not related to blogging. What accounts for the rest? A mutual friend of both Shane and myself came down with some pretty nifty little medical issues–some of which, some of you are already familiar with. That’s required we be a lot more not near electronics than usual around here while those get fixed and otherwise taken care of. Thankfully, she’s kind of on her way towards recovery now, which means–you guessed it–back to business as usual around here.

It’s been pretty low key on the familial front. Mother’s still working too much, dad’s still working too much, brother’s still–well, okay, nothing he does is low key but there’s not enough room in this entry for that. Oh, and–surprise of surprises–I’m single again. The reasons behind it aren’t worth going into detail publicly–again, some of you already know and the rest, well, probably have theories. But suffice it to say I kind of saw it coming. For those of you who read Jessica’s blog when she posts to it, it’ll be up again just as soon as she figures out what she’s doing with it–and if it’s actually going to get any kind of continued use. Outside of that, it’s been a pretty routine month and a bit–where routine equals anything but. but now, there’s time. And where there’s time, there’s all kinds of random. New year, which means new posting habbits, new mockery, and a new year end show to be kicked off at 9:00 tonight on Mojo Radio. Drop in, say hello, and have a listen (links are over here), while we do 2011 right–and get trashed. Look for more blog content from this corner–including my 2011 review, starting… well… later tonight or early tomorrow. Maybe. But it’s coming. In the meantime, we now return you to whatever you were doing before I distracted you.

Welcome to the house of food. Now accepting guests.

On this side of the border, it’s thanks giving weekend. In this house, that roughly translates to way too much food all at once, being way too full to do much more than fall over where you sit and optionally stay conscious, and having way too much fun doing it. So, basicly, the same thing as Christmas except with different music. Things have been cooking since about an hour after most of us were up, and the evidence can’t very well be missed. I don’t much like coming back to Pembroke, but this is a definite plus–the probably half a ton of leftovers that will be returning to Ottawa with me. This has officially become the house of food, no question. And we’re accepting guests.

State of the geek, and other such badness.

So. I’ve once again gone and not done this kinda thing in at least a month. You’d think I’d learn to stop that, after 2009, but well–yeah, you know. Where to start and not come off like I haven’t a clue. Well, okay, like I haven’t any less of a clue than usual. Things have been more than a little up and down the last month and a bit. More up than down lately, but you’ll have that. I’ve been going through some things not altogether fit for blogging–they weren’t fit for discussing in general, but you do things like that when you’re, well, the best way to put it is not quite yourself. Things are looking a little better now, at least. Sometimes I still think I’m on shakey ground, but again, you’ll have that. Still, things are being worked out, other things are just being accepted, and I’m getting back to where i was–much to the dismay of a few people, I’m sure. Moving on to bigger and better, as it were. Which, yeah, means I’ll find plenty of things to mock, have plenty of personal things to throw out here just because, and probably do much more bitching about the job market. Because that’s what you do when you’re me. The month of August and first half of September were… well… fun, except not, but now, it’s high time to either get things together or get gone. And, because I’m doing exactly that, have the rest of this entry in list format.

  • Employment prospects were looking good, right up until they weren’t. Typical patern for anyone who’s been looking for work the last 3 years–hell, Zoom found herself a job after 2.5 years’ looking herself (congrats for that, by the way). I can’t even be surprised it took 2 and a half years–but only because I’m working on 3 and a half. But, again, you’ll have that.
  • Certain plans have been brought to a screaming hault while things related to what I’ve been dealing with away from the blog get themselves worked out. They may come up again. Or they may not. See certain things, acceptance of.
  • Hockey starts this week. Yet another reason for me to get back into blogging. Go Leafs go! Preferably farther than last this year.
  • Related: I am such a bad horrible not so good fan. Thursday is hockey night. Thursday is also departure night. Which means I miss hockey. Not getting off to a positive start this year, me.
  • Thanks giving shows up again this coming weekend–meaning, well, 8 (7, since it’s after midnight?) days from now. I take off Thursday to spend the weekend at the parents’. It’s gonna feel more than a little strange not having Jessica here this year, but as they say, it happens. Maybe next year.
  • It used to be awesome warm outside. In 24 hours, it hit OMG WTF where’s my brain cold. They’re forecasting awesome warm again this coming week. Fall, make up my goddamn mind–these windows don’t like to be opened/closed on a daily basis.
  • And lastly, finding interesting ways to save money–and yet more interesting ways to purchase apps for the purpose of accessibility testing? Priceless. For everything else, there’s a maxed out creditcard.

Do what you do, kids. Mockery commences at some point. Just, well, right now? I got nothin’.

PS: Go postseason baseball go! I don’t really care who wins–the Redsox are toast. Just, for the love of cheese, whoever does, do something about Philadelphia will ya? That’d be wicked nifty.

State of the geek.

I still exist. And surprise surprise, nothing’s busted this time. I’ve been most of the time playing catch-up with the stuff everyone else has written, not to mention helping Shane out when he decided to up and nuke himself. Yeah, classy. In and around that, I’ve actually managed to find a tiny little handful of jobs to apply to–including one from a company I’d escentially given up on. After the departure of the fiance, that’s been pretty much it–yeah, exciting stuff, no? I’m getting back into the usual routine, though, which means–yes, you guessed it–mockery, snark, general harassment, and oh yeah, the popular posts for June and July that never actually got done. Plus, my official, final review, of a former web host. Until then, I leave you with these few short, barely twitter-worthy (so they wind up over here, instead) thoughts.

  • I live in Ottawa. Why for am I reminded of Toronto, then, what with emergency vehicles passing by here every half hour?
  • Listening to an online scanner, one should not be able to pick up pieces of live music in the background while the person using the radio’s attempting to talk–or rather, yell–over it.
  • Related: Said background music and the fact I can actually pick it out should not amuse me.
  • One of us gets stressed, somebody sends us Mcdonalds money. Drama doesn’t have to suck completely.
  • And lastly, is it wrong of me to sit here and listen to the afore mentioned online scanner, wondering if someone’s going to get a call to this address or one near it? Anyone?

The obligatory post… from the iPhone.

I am about to break my own rule. But before I do that, it has to be said that this week, with no exceptions, was a box of awesome, packed in epic, with a win topping. Jessica came by for the week, as she’s known to do. We had several things planned, and I’m fairly sure we crossed most of them off the list.

A lot of reconnecting was done, and plenty of amusing fun was the result. She came in on Friday, and we went to Pembroke right from the station for my aunt and uncle’s 25th anniversary. We were able to introduce her to more of my extended family who, as I suspected, strongly approved. A ton of fun was had, alcohol–the bar variety–was consumed and dancing was done. Afterwards, it was back to Ottawa and the awesome waiting there.

Monday was getting Jessica used to the place, since she hadm’t been here before. Tuesday was our first official show on Mojo Radio, in preparation for something we’ve been working on for a few months. We test our usual setup for such things in a week or two if all goes well. Wednesday was more relaxing, and getting ready for Thursday.

One of the things Jessica wanted to get done was to meet up with a local friend of ours–you may know him as Blind Bandit. So we did the least recommended thing and mixed that with booze. The result? Posted on Shane’s blog and not fit for public consumption. Friday was more relaxing, and today, we sadly have to return her.

The week wasn’t all party and insanity, though. Sjhe cane up to belatedly wish me a happy birthday. And, in so doing, might have just removed my biggest–or, at least, second biggest–knock against the iPhone. I’ve been saying the thing needed a dedicated, physical keyboard since before I got one, and nearly screaming it after. Because she has that whole listening thing down to an art, she went and picked one up for my birthday. Hence, this post is being finished while on the road. I’ll write a review of this thing when I get home. As for now, I should probably go say goodbye to my girlfriend.

It’s a Pembroke party–and I’m making a guest appearance.

This has been in the planning stages for more months than I’ve been keeping track, and now, it’s officially almost official. This weekend would be 25 years since my oldest aunt and uncle married. And, because it pretty much took them going through some of their own personal hells to get here, Trish has taken it upon herself to put together a small party, of sorts, complete with a cerimony for the couple to renew their vows. It’s at this cerimony that I’ve been asked to perform one of their favourite songs. So for a change, I’m heading to Pembroke for the weekend later tonight, and not specifically for my own reasons. And this time, for the first time in a while, I get to drag Jessica with me–her bus pulls into the station in a little less than 3 hours, give or take. Not too unlike her first trip across the border, we go straight from here to the bus station, scoop her up–suitcase and all, and shoot out of Ottawa like a bat out of hell. That wasn’t our original plan, but hey, it gets her here and us there, so whatever works. So, this weekend. Family event. Pembroke. And for a change, Jessica gets to come along. Oh, and hey, she gets to hear something that isn’t me dinking around with the piano, also for a change. Will wonders never cease? Now, about this whole packing thing.

In which summer punches me in the face. Ow.

I swear, I didn’t do all that much outdoors today, simply because within 5 minutes of me being out there, I start to feel like I spent the last hour at the gym–except without the good feeling of having worked out. I had to make a real quick run to the store, and by the time I got back, I could have rung out my shirt. Needless to say, tonight/tomorrow, I’m staying very close to my air conditioner. There’s a heat warning/advisory/thinggy out for tomorrow, it looks like. I have only one thing to say. What was your first clue?

In which James fails at updating. Again.

For that, I’m going to blame the fact there hasn’t been much on a personal front to actually post about. things are still awesome, except for that whole job market not really existing thing, but they keep saying it’ll fix itself and I keep throwing applications in random directions. But, really, it’s been pretty low key on the home front after the episode with my former web host, DreamHost–I’m still developing that entry, I swear. With things settling down, though, I have time for random search mockery. And random other mockery to be done later. But, rather than waste an entry just for that, have this.

Jul 16 2am: greyhound pissed me off

Oh, yes, yes they did. And occasionally, still do. It really and truely deserves its own category.

Now. Where’d I put that popular posts thinggy from, oh, 2 weeks ago?

I admit I’ve done this. I’m proud to.

Signs you should update more often include, when you’re going back through things you meant to blog about that now all of a sudden aren’t so relevant because you waited over a month to review them, you find something you’ve been meaning to blog about and just never had the time–or, for 3 days during that time, didn’t have the blog (that entry’s coming). That, er, rather includes this.

Jun 14 11:03pm: calling in sick for hockey game

I will openly admit to having unknowingly done exactly that. And hey look, we even won. Yeah, I’ll admit to having called in sick for a game. And I won’t lose any sleep over doing so. Don’t ask me to try hat after a loss, hough.

The blog returns, a new server’s to blame.

If I had a dollar for every fun thing that happened this past month, I could probably get off disability altogether. The month came to an end with probably the most exciting fun I’ve had in, let’s say, ever. And by exciting, I mea not really. I’ll save the details for an entry to be named later, but suffice it to say we were offline for the better part of 3 days while information was pried from various friendly turned hostile hands and a rebuild was completed. But, the blog’s back, as is all my various other methods of fun torment. Which means back to business as usual. Just as soon as I get back to my usual level of caffeine. I’ve been running on quite a bit of it lately. I blame the entry to be named later. Happy reading, folks. I’m back.

Things I missed about Ottawa number 4597: visiting Pembroke.

I always said Pembroke was the kind of place I loved to visit, but wouldn’t want to live there. Having lived here several times and visited several more, every time I switch I become more and more convinced of that. Which is another of the reasons I’m in love with living in Ottawa. I like Pembroke, as far as small towns go. But it’s the kind of place you go for a day or two, maybe a week if you need to. Then, it’s back home to online grocery delivery, places to walk to, potential places to work, and actual transportation. It’s weird, odd, and slightly strange, but a thing I missed about Ottawa was visiting Pembroke. I should do this more often. Or, you know, maybe not.

This apartment now feels like home. Complete with the lazy approach to dishes…

In yet another example of things that didn’t happen when I lived in Ottawa last time, the company what takes my rent money every month–the same company I was with before I left the city 3 years ago–now gives you a lazy type option for doing, in my opinion anyway, the most tedius of the household chores. And, knowing my tendency towards the lazy as I do, first chance I got I was all over it. So as of this morning, mixed in amongst all the other usual stuff that goes into getting the apartment set up and getting me refamiliarized with this area of the city, I got my hands on my first apartment-sized dish washer. Yeah, okay, so it’s not exactly world’s most major. But, well, it’s kind of somewhat vaguely amusing to me–I’ve lived in 3 apartments so far, two of them in Ottawa and two of them owned by the same company, all in the span of the last 5 years–and until today, it’s been by hand with the actual cleaning of things. I still haven’t gotten my apartment-cleaning, laundry-doing, food-preparing robot, but I’ll settle for a dish washer until such a creature is perfected. Hey, these things make me happy. Proof I need something more to do? Maybe. Potential of that happening tonight? Not unless you count sleep. Eventually.

Why they should never let me near Ottawa. But they did.

Every time I come to Ottawa, whether it’s to live or visit, I always have this wicked huge list of things to do. And almost always, within the first week or two, I end up making a sizeable dent in that list. Which is exactly why it is they should absolutely never let me anywhere near Ottawa. Reasons this is bad for me include, but are not limited to:

  1. Random, most-of-the-day walks that take up more distance than most people could see themselves walking and still being healthy
  2. Stops along said walks to occasionally collect random bits of random, in photo form
  3. These wouldn't survive mailing. Will electronic do?

  4. Popping into random specialty stores just to see what they’ve got on for cheap that’s semi-original (hint: there’s a crap ton)
  5. Yet more walks, with yet more photoworks, with yet more scenery
  6. This is so not me. You can't prove it.

  7. Yard sales–every second weekend, on every second block
  8. Random crap picked up at said yard sales, for cheap–like my new coffee table (it’s on wheels)
    • Or the old coffee table, which doubles as a temporary TV stand (it cost me a dollar, 5 years ago)
  9. Grocery shopping, sans the actual shopping–hey, I’m lazy, and I hate shopping
  10. Milano Pizzeria–no, seriously, if you must have pizza, you must have Milano
  11. And oh yeah, yet more photoworks
  12. I could just kinda be here all day. You wouldn't mind, would you?

  13. And I guess that whole employment thing doesn’t hurt, once I figure out what that is

If that’s a week in Ottawa, no freaking wonder the previous 2.5 years just kinda sailed by at warp speed. I know this much about Ottawa on my second time around, at least–I’ll definitely get back in shape. Now, then. Where’d I put the rest of my to-do list?

Happy unraptured day!

Yeah, I know. I fail this hard at updating and that’s my best title? I blame recovering from the last week, which kind of went like this in no particular order. Get moved out of the old place, into the new place, fight with our ISP to actually get online, blow my 3G data quota before getting online, spend most of the week fighting with our ISP to get online in a way that doesn’t suck, learn that’s not going to happen with this modem and as long as the routes we’re assigned keep sucking horrible, throw groceries at my fridge in ways that haven’t been done since 2008, and oh yeah, discover just having moved into this apartment means clearing out the last of the previous tenant’s, er, crap. And on top of that, the world was scheduled to end yesterday. Oopsies. Basicly, it’s been fun. And now that it’s all relatively calmed down–at least as much as it can be expected to be when back in Ottawa, actual content. But first, a moving WTF/rant/mockery thing. Next entry, assuming I don’t get sidetracked.

I has an oh my god busy.

Things that happen when you go 3 weeks without updating, episode number I’m not sure how many. House hunting, of a sort, didn’t turn out to be a complete and total flop–hence the, well, nearly a month without updating this thing. Which, yes, means I’m once again nearly a month late with April’s highlights–that’s on the list. In between all the other insanity. Sandwitched between trips to see family, an entire life shift kicked me in the face. Not only has the job market actually at least done a relatively average job of not sucking, but as of 3 days ago officially, I have a location that will for the foreseeable future pretend to be a new place to live. And, surprise, it’s back in Ottawa–roughly across the street more or less from where I used to be. The apartment’s laid out pretty well like the old one was. And, to boot, it’s in the same building as–and, in fact, is directly below–the rental office that used to manage the building I moved out of.

Shane and I have had a running joke amongst ourselves since before he moved in here that I’d eventually be evicting him from my living room. So, when we first got wind we’d be landing this apartment, I wrote him an informal eviction notice–which, naturally, got blogged. It generally wasn’t received all that well by many, in spite of references to it for the majority of the 5 or 6 months he’s been living here. Still, it was mildly entertaining to those who actually had some involvement with it. And, officially official now, on the 15th of this month–yes, that’s in 2 days–I sign the papers for the new apartment, and officially evict him from my living room. Larger apartment, more space, major city, and in a decent area for getting to potential places of employment–not much could be better. Well, except for having something to do at one of those potential places of employment–but we’re working on that.

Speaking of potential places of employment, I’m encountering indications things might actually be trying very hard to return to some kind of pre-2010 level as far as job market activity goes in Ottawa. What lead me to that theory? For the first time in just about ever, Rogers, who I’ve gone rounds with before for other reasons on the customer side, has once again at least temporarily started posting openings–and I’ve applied for just about all of them. And if that wasn’t a vague attempt to possibly lull me into a false sense of getting somewhere, another potential employer I hadn’t heard from in nearly a year threw out a few positions of its own. Alcatel-Lucent, who I’ve had an interview with in the past–and who’s building is actually laid out very similar to the one Dell used to own–is, also at least temporarily, back in the hiring business–and likewise got poked with an application or two. I’m not sure what all will come from any of that, or the few job postings I responded to by more conventional means from companies I haven’t seen much of in the 3 years I’ve been looking, but hey, I can’t exactly do much worse off on the job front.

what all of this means is I’ll potentially have plenty more in-person things to comment on and/or mock rather than the occasional dumping of links that also hasn’t actually been happening in quite a while–I need to fix that–or the seemingly lacking actual coherent thought that happens to have more to it than 140 characters. Such thoughts may or may not involve version 3.0 of the pot-smelling basement. Or, they may be extremely disjointed list-type stream of consciousness “I’m sick, so have an entry” type posts–not entirely unlike this one. Or they may be little more than 140 character thoughts in blog format–at least, if Twitter keeps doing what it was doing for most of today, anyway. Still, things are trying real hard to calm down now–and will do a whole lot more of that after this weekend. Which, you guessed it, means the mockworthy comes right back to where it started. Hey, on second thought, I should go 3 weeks without updating more often. No, wait–next time something important might actually happen.

Fourth time’s a charm? Second career thinks so.

For the better part of the last two years, I’ve been dealing with the second career program up here in the name of trying to find a non-retail job in a town of primarily retail jobs. After going a round or two with the local college–note to self: round 3 should probably happen soon, we’ve sort of refocused our attention on the one call center in the area, Online Support. Ignoring the fact I’ve had more than one interview with these folks and haven’t exactly gotten anywhere with them, it’s not even what I’d call conducive to getting me back where I want to be–not directly, at least. Still, it’s a step up from where I’m at, and the folks over at second career seem convinced that this time I’ll get in, so on Friday, I took another run at an interview with the company. I’d been given the impression it was going to be a second interview, since I’d already gone through the initial process and they had my stuff on file, but apparently they’d switched HR folks since last time and my info ended up tucked away in storage somewhere. So, it was back to square 1. I went through their 20 questions, and pretty much recited all of their information back to them before the interviewer did–you’d think I’d done this before. It was pretty well the same old song and dance from interviews past, with one potentially noteable exception–I had brought the laptop I recently purchased with me, which prompted the interviewer to go see if she could track down their IT personnel to play their own version of 20 questions. We talked tech for a few minutes, then after some creative use of the said laptop and an iPhone for the purposes of network connectivity–note to Online Support: tell your HR people your wireless password already–I was able to simultaneously show off and complete their required assessments at the same time. we played another round of 20 questions, then I got the standard “we’ll call you” response on the way out the door–again, you’d think I’d heard that before.

It’s no secret this isn’t exactly where I planned on being, but then, it’s even less of a secret that I didn’t plan on being nearly 3 years without work either–thanks, Dell. Love ya. Really. And right around the start of a recession too. Strike 3–you’re fired. But, hey, if this slight change in interview tactics works, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. And somewhat gainfully employed–at least until such time as something more promising shows up, or these jobs go overseas. which, yeah, would be a hell of an improvement. So, I’ll just go on about my day, occasionally poke the second career folks so they don’t think I’ve fled to Mexico to join the drug trade or something, and busy myself with not holding my breath. Hey, I haven’t taken out a loan just to buy groceries–I’m good. Now, let’s see if I can perhaps possibly get a little better. Anyone want a techy? I charge reasonably.