It’s been a gorgeous day today. I ate lunch outside and relaxed in the sun. Which was why it was quite a shock to leave work and find that it was raining. Of course I had taken my scooter to work.
So, homeward bound in the rain. Along the way I find myself waiting at a light behind a cute girl on a motorcycle. (Assumed to be cute. She was wearing a helmet, but then again she was on a motorcycle. Ergo, she was cute. Isn’t that a physical law?)
Of course I don’t say anything to her. Well I do, but she doesn’t hear me, or pretends not to. I wasn’t very forceful.
The annoying thing is that less than an hour later I’m in a similar situation but with a man on a motorcycle. No problem saying hello to him.
Face it. I just can’t talk to girls.
If I had gotten out a more forceful hello to biker babe, what would I have said next? I’m not good at small talk. The weather was a current issue, but then what. Certainly asking her for a number was way beyond me.
On another note, the run today was good. My legs felt tired fifteen minutes in, but I just ran through it, and they felt better soon enough.

Weather patterns

Wow. Just got back from my scooter gang. Looks like we’re in for a big storm. The wind just started howling, and I watched as the patio umbrella on the balcony two floors down just decided to up and leave. I have no idea where it is heading. Looks like it got some good air, and I can’t see it anymore.
The cover of my barbecue blew off and tried to come in the patio door. The sign advertising the condo that is never going to be built in the vacant lot across the street has blown over and is currently lying in the open pit mine there.
Lightning and thunder, but not that much rain.
At least there is no hail. And good thing that I’m not scootering now.

Now back to laundry.

Black Adder

In the fourth season of Black Adder (the World War 1 years) there is an episode, “Corporal Punishment”, where Edmund is sentenced to death. Percy and Baldrick (amazingly) figure out a way to rescue him. With a cunning plan. But instead of doing it, they celebrate the plan and forget to actually do it.
I feel my life is like that sometimes.
I plan to do things, and then, because I have a plan, feel good about my prospects. Then I forget to actually do the plan.
An example is the internet dating I’m trying out. I filled out a profile for myself. I really need to work on the introduction and make it better. Because I have done this, I can see myself in the future having a girlfriend. Then reality hits and I realize that no one has shown the slightest interest towards me in months.
I need to act out on the plan and make a good introduction, upload some photos, and generally pursue this more aggressively. I have no one to blame but myself. I have a person who asked me some questions, but she gave me personalized questions, that need some thought into their answers.
She asked, “If you had three wishes, what would they be?” Or something like that. That’s not a simple question. I can’t think of three things to wish for. Well, not anything that is serious. So I’ve just been stalling, and realizing I can’t answer the question. “I wish I had a girlfriend” sounds very needy, and would put the girl off.
This is similar to another question that was asked of me. (You know who you are.) I didn’t have an answer immediately. It’s been bothering me for a month now, and I am still no closer to an answer.
“What makes you happy?”
I don’t know. I can’t even remember being happy.
I can remember being content. I have activities that I enjoy. I’ve had fun. But I don’t know happy. I don’t feel suicidal, so I don’t have to worry on that front. It’s somewhat disconcerting to know there is a good emotion out there, that seems to be missing from your life.
Would shooting up some crack make me happy? Chemically for sure, but still happy. Moot point. I wouldn’t know where to get crack if I wanted some.
I think I might have been happy when I finished my marathon, but that seems so ephemeral. Could that have been called happy, or just a sense of accomplishment?

“I wish to be happy. I wish to finish a marathon faster than 3:10:00 (Boston qualifying time). I wish I had time to do everything that I want to do.”


Today was a day for digesting.
At work we were having a pancake breakfast. We have a social committee that organizes these things. The employees pay a bit each year to pay for events like breakfasts or golf tournaments.
Anyway, I ate a lot of pancakes and strawberries, so for most of the day, I was digesting. It made the day last for a long time with the lethargy that comes from the digestive process. That and I’m working on a frustrating problem. It’s progressing, but slowly.
I didn’t leave for lunch until 2:30, and even then I wasn’t that hungry. I had to do banking stuff, so I went to a Little Ceasar’s nearby and picked up a $5 pizza. More food than I needed, but it was cheap. I didn’t finish it, but the lethargy continued.
This evening I had a Random Acts of Gaming. That’s the name of games night. Bring whatever games you can, and we’ll play whatever people want. No real planning. It wasn’t that random though. We all wanted to play Seafarer’s of Catan.
The first game went poorly for me. I was out of it for most of the game.
The second game was far more interesting. We were all fighting for position, and nobody was getting left behind. It was also fun scenario where we had to explore the oceans and watch islands reveal themselves. I won in the end.
Tomorrow I have JavaScript level 2 class. I’m hoping to actually learn more this time, instead of rehashing basic programming. Unfortunately it’s supposed to be beautiful weather this weekend. Bad time to be stuck indoors.

Financial problems

Yesterday I had a bit of a shock. I payed a bill over the phone, and found that my bank balance was far lower than I expected. Since my bank is going through some moving pains, I thought that my paychecks weren’t getting deposited.
I looked online for my transactions, but it wouldn’t report anything. I scootered down to the bank and tried to use the instant teller to update my bankbook. It refused.
Try sleeping peacefully with that.
When I got up this morning I went through my finances and made sure they were all entered. The complete information made it look like my balance wasn’t that far off. I still have some details to examine, but it isn’t as terrifying. I still wanted to know why my bankbook hadn’t updated.
For lunch I went to the CIBC and they updated my bankbook. I haven’t gone over it with a fine tooth comb yet.
My irritation is now about my checks. Because they are changing my transit number, they need to give me new checks. I still have 85 left over, and I’m going through about 12 a year. The new checks they gave me have the wrong name on them (Well not entirely. They have my mother’s name too because it is a joint account with her, but I’m the only one who uses it.) They also don’t have the carbon-copy for every check. That is a luxury that I’m addicted to. But then I’m anal-retentive when it comes to finances. I got them to reorder so I’m hoping this will fix all the problems. I’ll only get 50 new checks, but that is probably for the best.

Last Wednesday

Wednesday. I’m not writing regularly, so this is observations from a few days later.
I ran about 8km with the regular group that evening. It still doesn’t feel comfortable for me. The temperature was okay, but my legs felt tired for most of the way. I wasn’t breathing heavily, so I’m still in shape. I don’t think my legs have recovered from the marathon yet. The mosquitoes are starting to come out, but they aren’t nearly as bad as they were in Manitoba.
After the run, I met some friends at a pool hall and played billiards. It was a nice break from the ordinary. Michael won two games and Andrew won the other two. Still it was fun. I never felt that I was out of the game totally.
I also made what would have looked like an amazing shot if it hadn’t been a fluke. It even looked like it was intentional.

Weekend update

It is really too hot to write regularly. It is an effort to actually sit down at a computer in a non-air-conditioned residence. But there is a cool breeze with the approaching rain.
On Friday I had a games night at my place. But to make it special, we purchased some steaks and cooked them on the barbecue. After a nice dinner we played Lord of the Rings Risk. (I successfully captured the ring when it tried to pass through the Mines of Moria. Evil wins because Good is stupid!) After that we played a game of Seafarers of Catan. I was on the verge of winning, and would have done so, if I hadn’t rolled the robber on my turn. Cameron went on to win.
Yesterday it was hot and muggy, so I didn’t do much. I did go out and buy a good deck chair. I probably paid too much, so I’m going to look for another one, and if I find it, I’ll return this one. In the evening, I decided to go see Chimprov. Before I left, we got a lightning storm. I took the opportunity to clean my balcony. I sloshed some cleaning solution into the rain, and then mopped all the dirt off. I’m not going to think about where all the dirt and soap went when I pushed it off the edge. Chimprov was okay. Every time I go (which is sporadic these days) they want me to volunteer for something. On the 26th I’ll be running concession for the Masters of the Obvious improv tournament.
This morning I went running. It’s the first long run I’ve done since the marathon. It was somewhat of a mistake. It was 23 degrees, and humid. I still did twenty kilometers over hilly backtrails in the river valley. The last set of stairs nearly did me in.
In the afternoon I checked out “Spring Action” at the street performers festival. They were good trampolinists, but there isn’t much plot in street theatre. I think I’ll stick with the scripted stage productions.
I then went on to my balcony, and tried out the new deck chair. It’s good and adjustable. Heck I can make a bed out of it if I want. Solid construction too. You get what you pay for. I sunned myself and read a book. I noted that I’m on the top floor and somewhat sheltered from everyone when I’m in the corner. So I decided to sunbath in the nude. Tres Risque! I suppose people could have seen me from the major street a few blocks away, but they would have to be really looking and have great eyesight. And not keeping their eyes on the road.
After an hour, I strapped a golf club to my back and scootered to the driving range. I am totally out of practice. The first basket of balls was a write-off. The second one was a lot better. Just as I was leaving, a pair of beautiful women came in with a set of golf clubs. I’ll have to come back next week and see if they are regulars. I don’t know if they are, because one was in high heels.
I left when I did because the scooter gang was meeting. We trolled the streets of Edmonton like a flock of lawnmowers. It’s a good way to get cool, and put some kilometers on my scooter.
For the later evening I sat on my new chair on the balcony and read a book. It wasn’t until 10:00 that I realized I haven’t had a dinner yet. Too bad! I have to update my journal. I’m not that hungry, so I’ll just sleep it off.

The mark of a good gift: The neighbors are jealous of it.
For Christmas, I gave my family in Winnipeg a water cooler. My mother was initially skeptical about it. But she changed her mind soon enough.
Now with summer here, the neighbors across the street are apparently thinking of getting one for themselves. After seeing the one my family has.
It’s amazing how much the value of something increases if someone else wants it.

Fun with scooters

Today I have a focus group I’m going to. It pays $50 and seems a nice enough way to waste time. I just have to have opinions on banking.
The hail storm that happened two days ago is being referred to in the papers as a “once every 200 years” storm. The Whitemud Drive highway was totally filled up with water in places. I’d like to say I’m glad I wasn’t out in that, but unfortunately I was.
I had the Top Gear look over the scooter yesterday. It was only cosmetic damage.
Interesting story though. On the way home today, my scooter was in a lane where traffic was going faster than the other lane. So I passed a guy on a big hefty motorcycle with the biker-babe accessory. He yelled at me to “Slow down! You’re making me look bad.” Big grin on his face.
A few blocks later a person in a hatchback offered his opinion. “You should pull over and kick his a**.”
I’m sure this scooter will be the death of me, but I love the attention.

Bad Day

So I made a promise to stop whining. I’m amending that promise to just stop whining about things that no one really cares about. So I can whine if it is interesting.

This has been a bad day. My head doesn’t feel like it was too bad, but emotionally, I feel drained.
I signed up for a JavaScript course that has effectively sucked my weekend away. It’s for people with only an HTML background, not eight-years-of-C++-programming-experience background. Let’s just say I could have taught 95% of the stuff on the first day.
Today was the second and final day. It was nice out, so wearing shorts and T-shirt, I scootered downtown to the Alberta College Campus. Nice place by the way. I actually learned some stuff today, but I’m still feeling that I could have learned more. Anyway, because it is web programming we had constant access to the internet. There was a 70% chance of thunderstorms today, but it looked fairly nice out, so I didn’t worry too much. They said the same thing yesterday, and it was beautiful all day. (Heck, I played disc golf yesterday evening.) I kept checking the weather office and it was at about 2:30 that the radar indicated that out of nowhere, a storm was falling to the southwest of Edmonton.
I got out at around 3:15 and got onto the scooter and headed home. It was sprinkling a bit. I don’t worry too much about rain when I’m on a scooter. I don’t want to scooter in the rain, but I will if I have to. I get wet, but if I take it slow, it isn’t too bad.
Personally, I think I overuse the phrase “And then the heavens opened up.” But this was the poster child for that saying. It wasn’t rain. It was hail and rain. There may have been thunder and lightning, but I couldn’t hear it against the pounding on my helmet.
I had just crossed the river when the hail started. It wasn’t too bad, but it was hurting. My bare arms are stretched in front of me, perfect targets for the stones. I briefly thought about sheltering under an overpass, but I was five minutes from home, so why bother.
When I had gotten out of the river valley, it was pounding harder. Every light seemed to be red. The hail was getting worse, and my arms were in a lot of pain. I crossed Whyte Avenue (82nd Avenue), and the streets were overflowing with water. I successfully turned right in a deep puddle onto 80th Avenue (a residential street). There were big trees that should have provided shelter. They didn’t help. Under the constant bombardment, the street was literally filled with hail. You couldn’t see the pavement any more.
Did I mention it was slippery?
I’m surprised I didn’t wipe out earlier. I felt I was starting to lose control on that street, but I kept it together. But right next to my building, before I was turning into my back alley, I lost control in all the ice. I went gently over onto the side. I was going slowly, so there wasn’t much hurt. And the scooter seemed fine, but I wasn’t paying attention. Get out of the hail.
I got to the garage entrance, and balanced the bike while standing in a deep puddle of moving water, trying to fish the entry fob out of my wet pockets. I got in, and drove to my parking place. My arms were killing me from the hail and I don’t think I was thinking totally clearly. I ignored all the alarms and sirens around me. Must be a weather warning thing.
I was getting off the elevator on my floor by the time I realized it was a fire alarm.
I didn’t care. I went into my condo. Took off my shirt and put on a dry one. I then took my laptop out of my wet backpack. Seemed fine. I then did the proper fire alarm thing and went down to the front lobby.
A person on the condo association looked at the alarm chart and reported that it was a dust detector on the roof. I think the hail probably set it off. I decided to not worry about it.
I then went and checked the scooter to see if it was damaged much. There was a white plastic ring that was loosely attached to the bottom of the bike, but I have no idea what it was from, or even if it was part of the bike. The biggest thing I found was the front right signal-light covering had fallen off. i.e. the clear plastic that protects the light from the elements. It happened before the first time I wiped out.
The hail had let up a lot so I walked out to check where I wiped out to see if I could find it. It wasn’t hard. The hail had left a nice imprint of the car tire that had run over it. I collected up the pieces and went back to my condo.
The alarms didn’t stop until the fire department arrived an hour later.
My arms are covered in welts from the pounding hail. I’ve got a scrapped knee that seems to have swollen up a bit. Right now I’m feeling a little down. It’s not about the scooter though. That doesn’t bother me because it wasn’t too bad. But I just feel in my gut, a little down.
I’m probably just tired.

Still sick

I probably should go out tonight. But I still feel sick.
Yesterday I went to the doctor to get my testing done. The fasting sucked, but it was over in half an hour. What irked me is that there was a sign, really a photocopy, telling how much better it is if you smile and are happy. So I took to it and tried to be friendly with the doctor. She never cracked a smile. Gloomy Gus.
I was supposed to prepare a D&D game for that evening, but I wasted a lot of time sunning on my balcony. I read some of the Lemony Snickett books I’ve been trying to get to.
A half hour before the game I got a call from Cameron saying he couldn’t make it. He had gotten too much sun. With that, we lost quorum for a game, but a few of us got together anyway and played some board games. Chrononauts, Settlers of Catan, and Munchkin.
This morning I tried to sleep in, to give my body a chance to heal, but I couldn’t sleep. With all the mucus my nose feels responsible for producing it’s hard to sleep.
I did go to get my haircut. It was raining too much to take a scooter, and it is too close to take a car, so I walked. Five minutes in, I ducked into a store and purchased an umbrella.
My stylist has decided that we’re going to try and work on having me grow out my hair. I trust her, so I’m going along with this. She did color my hair a bit, so the trip wasn’t a waste. No freaky colors though.
On the way back I stopped by the farmer’s market. I bought a chicken pie and some cherries. I polished off the cherries as my lunch. The Hutterites didn’t want to sell me eggs because I only wanted six.
This evening, I’m going to relax and try to heal. I don’t think I’ll run tomorrow because I’m still sick, and it’s raining. I’m tempted to go out and see some improv because I have a lot of tickets that are set to expire, but that would mean too little sleep.
I think I’ll try and finish Splinter Cell.


When I moved into my new condo I took a rubber floor mat with me. It was a rubbermaid thing for putting wet shoes on. I noticed it was dirty, and so I put it on my balcony and hoped that when it rained, it would soak enough so I could scrub the dirt off.
It took me several days to notice it was missing. I assume that the wind blew it off to somewhere else. This irks me. One, for being stupid enough to do something like that. And two, for not being able to find a good replacement anywhere.
It’s been raining non-stop today. It’s just cleared up so I went out onto my balcony to just be outside. I looked down, and clear as day, I can see my rubbermaid floor mat on the balcony of the people two floors below me. Still dirty.
It’s been a year since I lost it, so it would be awkward to try and claim it. Even if I’m wrong though, and it isn’t mine, I would like to know where they got it, so I can get one too.

Canada Day Recap

Busy day today.
When I woke up, I didn’t feel that good, so it took me awhile to get going. When I did get moving, it was around 9:00. I scootered down to the legislature for the free pancake breakfast. There was a 5km and 15km run at 7:30, so I talked to some of the participants. I would like to have also done the run, but I’m taking it easy while my body recovers from the marathon.
I got to the scooter place at 10:10. They had asked people to come in and be part of the scooter gang in the silly summer parade on Whyte Avenue. We then proceeded to wait and wait and wait. The parade didn’t start until noon, so there wasn’t much we needed to do. At around 11:15 we went to the staging area, a nice suburban area off Whyte. and waited there. The Wooly Bully bar’s float was many beautiful girls in a tub. It looked good for awhile that we would be behind them in the parade, but it wasn’t meant to be. I did get one to squirt me with a water pistol, but that was the extent of my guts. (In my defense, it was hot out, and I did want to get wet.)
So for the parade, we just scootered around in circles. We weren’t an interesting float, but I can now say I was in the parade. Afterwards, I hung around the celebration area. Not much happened there.
I went home and relaxed for awhile. Then I decided to go to the Bikini car wash to get my scooter cleaned. It wasn’t that thrilling, and I don’t know how good a job they did. It was probably overpriced. Still, no complaints. I did convince them to use the hose on me. It was hot, so I wanted to cool down.
I then took the scooter around to Hawrelak park, and went back home. On getting back home, I discovered that my neighbor below me is having a change. Brian and Amy live below me, but now it is just Brian. I didn’t get too many details, but from what I learned, Amy didn’t feel it was going anywhere, and moved out.
Now I’ve just been lounging around, being unproductive. I noticed that I have a bit of a farmer’s tan today. It’s good that I’m getting some sun. I need to buy a lawn chair for my balcony so I can get a lot more.
I’m going to go to the doctor tomorrow. I’m supposed to give some samples to the lab, but I can’t eat anything for 12 hours in advance. Since I have the day off, I’m hoping to get there early enough in the day so I’m not hungry, but late enough so that the morning rush is over.
Now I have to design a D&D game for tomorrow.