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?

This has “In Death” series written all over it.

Everything’s cool in science fiction. Cars can drive themselves, a phone without video is considered what the Nokia 6682 is in today’s cell phone market, everything electronic is also voice activated, and if you read the “In Death” series by J.D. Rob, handguns are banned except in cases where they’re collectors’ items. Whether we want to admit it or not, more and more of science fiction’s staples are showing up in today’s world–so much for us not having an informed culture. This idea looks like it came straight out of the “In Death” series.

Tobacco kills people. Everyone knows this. So to try and combat that, a company has come up with an electronic cigarette idea (disclosure: I support this article’s political position, even though I 1: don’t smoke and 2: didn’t link it for its political viewpoints). In the series in question, tobacco is either banned or very hard to come by–the author doesn’t actually specify which one it is, but unless you’re among the rich crowds, you probably don’t have access to it in any case. Instead, people are doing, well, exactly what this article describes.

To the uninitiated, walking into this suburban Toronto bar must look like a throwback to the 1980s. A cloud of what appears to be smoke can be seen hovering over a group at the far end of the establishment. But a quick check of the sense confirms that looks can be deceiving.

The air is fresh, lacking the pungent aroma of burning tobacco; the eyes aren’t watering with the sting of fresh smoke seeping into the sockets; and instead of ash trays and cigarette packs, the tables are full of small bottles of liquid and other pieces of equipment. On this night, a group of Toronto-area electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, enthusiasts are getting together for their monthly meet-up.

Wouldn’t you know, science fiction does serve a purpose. How many more steps now before smokers get to freely comply with another of my political viewpoints–smoke all you want, but keep it to yourself. Oh well, the idea’s still interesting. And that it looks like it came right out of the only actual series I’ve managed to read through and not completely lose my mind makes it both interesting and amusing. Hell, why not? Let’s see where this thing goes.

Bits of random and chunks of what the fuck is this.

I’m a little tiny bit more human than I was earlier today, so as a free something type thing, have a thing. There’s a whole crap ton of other shtuff that still has yet to post–it’s coming, promise–and more still I get to add to it, but this should see you through until then. It’s in no particular order, but it is in a list. See? Accomodating and everything.

  • I saw several hundred job ads today, which is a change. So of course, that change has to come with a catch. Because it does that kinda thing. Today’s catch? Every single goddamn one of those ads was completely and entirely in French. I kid you not. I only moved here last year–I shouldn’t be contemplating moving elsewhere. Or should I? You be the judge.
  • I’ve decided. As far as pitchers go, the Bluejays are a jinx. Steve’s probably gonna wonder what the hell I’ve been smoking, but here’s my evidence. And yes, random games from random years is evidence, dammit. First it was Roy’s postseason no-hitter in 2010, while with the Phillies–the freakin’ Phillies, goddammit! And in Detroit yesterday, Justin Verlander came damn close to one. If memory serves, he played quite sucktastically the few times I saw him in a Jays suit. Who the hell is this guy? At least Roy was still good when he was with us–he just became a god after he left. But this? Yeah. Jinx. Has to be. Now hearing arguments to the contrary.
  • It’s the long weekend. Officially the first long weekend of the hot. That means countdown to AC. I suspect sometime this week or next, it shall exist once again in the living room window. Now, the question becomes–do I get completely plastered after putting it up, before putting it up, or while putting it up? Either way, I think there’s booze in my future.
  • Speaking of booze, long weekends and that Steve guy, he’s at it again. Long weekends mean booze, and one or both usually means audio. So he and Carin, of Vomit Comet fame, are obliging. Their first one went damn near an hour. Their second? I have no idea. And they’ve still gotta survive tomorrow and Monday. That hangover’s gonna blow hard, I do believe. Go check ’em out, toss ’em a comment or 5, and–hell, since it’s all over Steve’s twitter anyway–fire a question or few at ’em if you’ve got ’em. Rumor has it they’ll answer anything. Or at least they’ll fake it.

This is my brain. This is my brain on random. Enjoy. Now, where’d I put that shtuff I was gonna add to the mock list…

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.

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.

And sometimes, things just have a habbit of being very well timed.

They don’t post a whole lot over there these days, but Shane and Krista usually have something semi-useful to say. Or to copy/paste from someone else who said it already. That’s the case with this post, which goes into detail on something I think any serious relationship is going to have to deal with in one way, shape or form before it either lasts forever or doesn’t. Fact of life, and all that wonderful crap. Rare is the relationship that doesn’t have anything even remotely close to this happen at some point. Sometimes, you can recover from it–and sometimes, it’s much better for at least one party if you don’t and just walk away. I’ve seen both. And it’s probably for that reason and a couple others why this article relates just a little. I won’t bother copy/pasting the article over here, since they’ve already copied it in full on their blog. But, if you’re interested, it’s over here. It put some things into perspective for me, and probably will for at least one other person before too long. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a good read. Who knows, you might be able to use it to put things into perspective for someone else. That’s never a bad thing either. And on that note, I think there exists some mockery around here somewhere.

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.

And sometimes, Murphy actually throws folks a break.

A bit over a month ago, SMART Technology up and decided to close things down and lay a bunch of people off. I’ve been there–it sucks, to put it mildly. The way this economy’s going, it sucks twice. But, they don’t join the long list of former employees receiving help from the Ottawa or Ontario government–a la what RIM did around the same time. Instead, these guys caught a hell of a break. In the form of a $7.1 million lottory win. Just a little bit of proof the economy doesn’t have to entirely and completely suck for everyone. Now where’d I put this week’s LotoMax ticket?

Somebody please explain Occupy $city to me?

I’ve been seeing over the last few weeks reports on the formation of protest groups known as Occupy $city, where $city is Wall Street, Toronto, Austin etc. So far, I’ve heard a different reason every time a member of one of these groups is interviewed–some are protesting capitalism, some are protesting corporate greed, some are protesting too much government, some are protesting too little government. I just have a very impressive one question, and I haven’t found an answer yet. What, exactly, is the point? So far, the only thing these groups seem to have in common is interfering with trafick and pissing off people who otherwise would have had no involvement with them. I get that in most civilized countries the right to protest is a given, but wouldn’t it make sense to have a common goal/reason/etc? Right now, I’m not seeing one. Who wants to enlighten me? I got nothin’.

More on Ontario’s choice between the same, the same, and the same. Rent increases!

So yesterday, partially inspired by a conversation I had with Trish and Roger over the weekend, I explained–not for the first time–in detail why it is this provincial election thing just isn’t doing it for me. And why the federal election–only a few months ago, for the record–did only slightly more than that for me. And now, or rather a while ago, the 3 leading parties have produced another in a long list of reasons for yesterday’s entry–in the form of their reaction to this year’s rent increases. Back in August, an increase was granted of a maximum of 3.1%, or higher than any previous increase since the late 90’s or early 2000’s. The basic reaction of all 3 major parties? Ow, that sucks. The liberals are making noises about reexamining the legislation after the election, with not much in the way of actual specifics on what they’d change. The conservatives are making the same noises with the same kind of specifics or lack thereof. And the NDP’s just making noises–I think they just like to hear what they sound like, personally. Meanwhile, those of us who can’t aford to buy a place to call home and don’t want to live in mom’s basement have been forewarned to hang on to our wallets–it’s about to get wicked nifty not so cool. This happens a lot in recent elections–an issue comes up that’s got a pretty significant enough number of people pissed off, and gives anyone with half a brain cell a golden opportunity to do something–oh, I dunno–different with it. Then, within a few days of it being talked about, all 3 parties come out with an answer at the same time, and all 3 parties escentially flop it. And all the while, folks get ready to have less money to hand out to everyone else who’s bills are going up. If our choices are going to be widdled down to the same, the same and the same, do I really need to know which one wins?

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?

On piracy: Thankya much, Bell.

Every few months, some huge corporation with a vested interest in keeping any and all types of media locked down–usually because they own just about any and all types of media–will come up with some ridiculous bit of reasoning for why we, as consumers, deserve to have absolutely 0 rights with regards the content we’ve already paid, sometimes twice, for the rights to access. And usually within 24 hours, half a dozen people have come out of the woodwork to escentially ask these corporations where to buy their particular brand of crack, as their reasoning more often than not would only make sense to the stoned or braindead. The folks over at the Vomit Comet have, as always, nailed the basic flaw in corporate reasoning, with their own example being someone I’ve mocked on here for any number of reasons previously–the guys over at Bell Canada. Their article, escentially ppointing out the wicked huge hole in Bell’s exclusive deals logic, doesn’t just bury the central anti-piracy talking points–it does a little tap dance over it for good measure.

Again, look at the internet. What have exclusive deals and limited access done? The answer is a whole hell of a lot…for the smart people who run pirate
sites. The pirates know what they’re doing. Here’s an unrestricted decent looking and sounding version of whatever it was you wanted to see. Yes, all of
it. Not just what this or that network thinks you should see because of where you live or who your provider is. Run it however you’d like, wherever you’d
like, whenever you want. All we ask for is a donation, and you don’t even have to give us that if it’s not your thing.

The article goes on to explain–not for the first time–that content itself will make a crap ton of money–if it’s done right, regardless what media you view it on and in what format. Really, with all the excellent points brought up in this post, you’d think they’d read these before. Still, it’s nice to see more and more people actually catching on to all this. Now if we can just get a few of those into positions where it actually matters. Any volunteers?

Randomly curious: does anyone actually miss the mail?

We’ve officially been on some kind of a postal strike or something on this side of the border now for over a week. The strikes have been rotating, and they’re talking about making it a full on national strike if their demands for $millions aren’t met. They’ve already reduced delivery to 3 days a week due to the lack of actual business brought on by the strike. This whole event’s got me wondering something though. Does anyone who’s been affected by the strike actually miss getting the mail? I don’t mean the 95% of the mail that usually only goes with you as far as file 13 anyway. Is there anything you receive, either regularly or occasionally, that this strike has made more difficult? How about those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure? If your city/town was to suffer a postal strike tomorrow, would it actually affect you? I’ll follow up later with my answer to that question, but if you’re bored, feel free to slap yours in the comments. And give the folks over at Canada Post some free advice while you’re at it–I get the impression both sides could use it.

Good timing seems to come natural. Yet another Pembroke event–and I’m just in time.

So apparently, this weekend, aside from being the weekend I decided to show up in Pembroke again–and a day early, at that, happens to double as the weekend of the 150th occurance of Pembroke’s expo. I have absolutely no idea what the hell that involves, but I’m finding out tomorrow. I usually, meaning slightly more often than not, end up somewhat liking what I find at these events around here. Worst case, I figure out something I didn’t know two weeks ago. Or maybe that’s where they stick the whole thing falling apart with us standing in the middle of it–that’s happened, too. Either way, that’s my way to kill a Friday. What’s yours?

The “A Network” is dead. Will anyone miss it?

I used to watch the local “A Channel”, back when it wasn’t called the “A Channel” and actually had semi-decent broadcasting. Then CTV got a hold of it. Then CTV started slowly eating away at it. Then CTV started opening stations in markets that used to be primarily served by the “A Network”. Now, after pretty much weakening the network to the point where I’ve lost interest in watching it, CTV’s killing it off, rebranding it CTV Two. It’s supposedly going to be primarily reality/comedy series, with its news broadcasts being renamed CTV news–which begs the question, what’s happening to the original CTV news? Question has to be asked, though. With the exception of the occasional passable programming that airs at odd hours when nothing else good happens to be on, will anyone actually miss the “A Network” as it is? Will anyone happen to switch to that network for their news source, assuming CTV kills its news broadcasts on their primary stations/network? CTV Ottawa and/or A-Channel Ottawa, I’m staring right at you. We don’t need two CTV Ottawa’s. Just sayin’.

I don’t think I’ll fall in love with this iPhone.

I was out doing things that needed doing, that will eventually warrant their own entry if I ever get around to doing something that doesn’t involve news article mockery, and I got to where I needed to do the mobile version of multitasking. Which, for those who don’t do it very often, involves doing something with one hand (in this case, I think, I was putting something away for Trish), and trying to navigate the insane that is Apple’s obsession with the idea that people who can’t see the screen absolutely have to know exactly where everything is on the screen to be able to use it with the other. Now, I like to think I can do a passable job with it in most cases on a good day, particularly since I’ve had the thing now for about a month and for a couple days during the move, I had that plus the laptop as my only means of actual communication. I can at least not take 10 minutes to find what I need to access anymore, anyway. But trying to translate that into being able to use it the way most people who don’t have a lot of time to be sitting/standing in one place for long need to use their mobile devices? That’s just not happening. Navigate the screen one-handed? Try again. Navigate the thing without a headset? Sure, but I’d recommend doing it with the phone flat in front of you or, if that’s not practical, up side down–the speaker is in a very, and I do mean very, crappy place (Apple, are you taking notes, here?).

I’ve never been an overly large fan of the way Apple’s designed their user interface–for the sighted, nevermind the blind. And don’t even get me started on typing with the thing–that’s an entry for after I’ve had sleep. But this evening’s adventure in interface navigation succeeded only in reinforcing the already enforced idea that such a thing would require a third hand. Making or answering calls? Awesome. I can, in a sort of pinch, manage that without putting everything else on pause–done that more than once. But if I wanted a make and receive calls device, it wouldn’t be made by Apple. I wanted a phone I could use. For on-the-fly whatever–email, texting, bouncing random passing thoughts off of my lately rarely used Twitter profile (I did once, when I had 5 minutes to not do anything), or just general reviewing of info while enroute somewhere potentially meaningful. I’m not feelin’ it with this device. Yeah, great, it talks without costing me an additional $100. Thanks for that, Apple–no, I mean it; my wallet thanks you. But where’s the rest of the plus?

I like the iPhone–for a phone. I could get used to it for other things, with enough brain breakage–except that typing thing, but I’m investigating options. But I’m not in love with this iPhone. Nor, I think, will I ever be–not quite. It’s a device with potential. With the right kind of tweaking, there could be some reality to that potential. But for what it does? I’m not in love with it. For a thing that’s supposed to be the future of smartphones everywhere, that’s a small problem.

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.

Victoria day done… well… done.

For folks over there in the US who may not know it, every year on the unofficial first long weekend of the summer, we cellebrate Queen victoria’s birthday–which, as luck would have it, would be today were she still breathing, apparently. Which, escentially, means everyone with a government contract gets to take the day off and most of Ottawa closes up shop for the day. And we, being the slackers we are, sit around Trish’s living room and play Rockband all night–in between burgers, hotdogs, and a Tim Hortons run (hey, we’re still Canadian, eh?). So last night, we did exactly that. Shot the shit, completely murdered several songs–some of which threaten to predate me, and all around had ourselves a birthday party the likes of which Queen Victoria would have probably not been caught dead at. Proof we have way, way too much fun round these parts. I think next year, I’ll just put forward a motion to rename the day. *Then* party.