I’m proud of myself.
This morning I got up at 7:30 and went off for a run. So I had about four and a half hours of sleep. I don’t think I could have gotten up at that hour if there hadn’t been a time switch.
Good weather for running, and a nice brunch afterwards too.
I did find that for most of the day I have been somewhat zoned out. After the brunch I stopped at a friend’s place where they were working on a long board game. I watched for longer than I had planned. It became easier to watch them play then get along with my own life.
The television has also been very seductive.

Halloween party 2

Well I didn’t win the costume contest this time. Darth Vader won. He had a glowing sword. I can’t compete with that.
The club was a lot more crowded tonight. A little too crowded because with the wings it became very hard to maneuver. I tended to stay in a small pocket of calm near the fooz ball table. For some reason it was usually empty around there and that let me stand around without fear of whacking someone in the head. I even got to be the fourth in some fooz ball games. (Note to self: I suck at fooz ball.)
So I lost the contest to some schmuck in a Darth Vader costume. However, there were a number of benefits to this. A lot of girls would come up to me and say that I had deserved to win. And a fair number of them were cute. I’m a sucker for attention.
Unfortunately I think I talked to the owner, or the manager, or someone in charge and mentioned losing to the guy with the glowing stick. I’m not sure who it was, but she loved my costume, and later on in the evening I was handed an envelope with a consolation prize. That’s generous. It wasn’t until I got home and opened the envelope that I found that my bad behavior of whining was rewarded with $100 bill.
With the crowds, came the weird people. In the first few hours of the night there was a girl who loved my costume. Possibly a little too much. She was running her hands through my “hair” and feeling all over me. I was even awkwardly dragged onto the crowded dance floor for some very close dancing. Then she said she would be right back. And that’s the last I ever saw of her.
Weird, but not the weirdest.
At around 2:15 (daylight savings time) another girl also said she loved my costume. Specifically, “You can dance with me anytime.” And she was very nice to dance with, although it was more rubbing than anything else. So far this doesn’t sound bad, but there is one caveat. The entire time, in her left hand, she had a shirtless guy on a chain leash.
Even on the dance floor.
I can only describe it as surreal. A more honorable person would have left her alone since she obviously had another man in her life.
I’m weak.

Halloween party

There are a lot of benefits to having an awesome costume for Halloween.
I got my act together and got a great demon costume made for myself. It had good wings and an interesting headdress to go with it. It was just finished today, so I took it out to the bar I usually go to. I’m usually not there on a Friday because of other engagements. Most times I go on Saturdays. But I was told last week that they are having Halloween celebrations all weekend. So might as well get maximum usefulness out of this.
And the costume was proven good, because I won the prize for best male costume. The reward wasn’t that great, but still a free $50. So that is one benefit. Tomorrow there is a much bigger prize, (I should know, I won it last year) but the competition will be stiffer because all the people who were in the Halloween Howler (a big party at the convention center) tonight will show up then.
The other benefit is that all night women were coming up to admire me/it. And when they start feeling you up, they really can’t complain when you do the same to them. And this is the day when they are most likely to be scantily clad in some costume that would be illegal on any other day.
And the third and final benefit? They either take pictures of you or let you take pictures of them. And then we exchange emails to send them to each other.
I like this plan!

Personal Appearance

Well the new haircut is popular. I’ve had a lot of compliments on it. Being a guy I wouldn’t normally get those, but it was a drastic change for me. Usually I have slightly longer hair, and this time I have it cut quite short. I’m thinking I should have it short for my vacation. It’s in less than two weeks now, so I’m getting nervous/excited. I hope I’ll have everything ready.
Part of getting ready is going to a tanning salon to get a base tan. I started at ten minutes every couple of days. Now I’m up to fourteen minutes per session and it is sooo boring. If I could fall asleep or listen to CBC AM it would be better. But it isn’t long enough for unconsciousness to claim me, and the radio doesn’t get AM.

Weekend binge

I binged this weekend.
Yesterday I purchased season 2 of Arrested Development. I finished watching all 18 episodes a few hours ago. That sounds pretty pathetic, but I’m also surprised at how much else I got done this weekend.
I played games with friends of Friday, then went out looking for a good karaoke bar (unsuccessful). On Saturday I got my hair cut, had breakfast with a friend, went out to the bar in the evening. Today I did a 19km jog, had brunch, saw a play and went to an improv jam.
I’m actually surprised I found time to see all those episodes in less than two days.
Mind you, my condo is currently a pig sty, so sacrifices were made.

I did the run today. Which was good since I had skipped the long distance run on Sunday. A lack of sleep and a slight drizzle had made the prospect of sleeping in more appealing than running 29km, which I don’t think I could do with my injury anyway.
After today’s run I got distracted by television. (It glows so beautifully.) At around 9:00 I remembered that I had to go to the Edmonton Journal office to drop off my weekly Sudoku entry. I usually go by scooter because it is more fun that way. As a lark I checked the weather office’s radar imagery before leaving. It was quite a shock to see a huge body of blue heading right into Edmonton. That was my cue to rush.
Last year I had a bad experience with weather while on my scooter. The inclement weather in Canada of the year hit me while I was scootering home through the river valley. That was not pleasant.
I could try and exaggerate and make the trip more exciting, but there was nothing to report. I rushed around to get there, probably unsafely, but no disaster. On the way there I felt a very slight drizzle. It didn’t increase, and was barely noticeable. The entire trip took twenty minutes.

I went to the Prospect Jam as part of my improv class.
Basically it was a chance to practice improv without all the nasty feeling that I should be learning. That’s what the classes on Tuesday are for.
The classes have been great for that, and theory is all fine and good but I do need to put all the information into practice. And apparently that is what the Prospect Jam is for. Several people who may or may not be performing in Theatresports get together and do some improvising. Mind you, all of them are actor people so their attention span is minimal at best.
I saw and performed in some hilarious scenes. And in the end, isn’t that all that is important.

And yet not much guilt…

I’m a bad person.
A month ago there was a monster Sudoku in the newspaper with a draw prize for whomever solved it. As previously reported, on September 11th, after solving it I experimented and attempted to write a computer program that could also solve it. It was an interesting intellectual problem.
Two weeks ago there was another monster Sudoku, with a slightly higher difficulty. This time, instead of gas, the prize was a flat screen TV by a brand I’ve never heard of. I was weak, and instead of earning the solution, I plugged it into the program. It didn’t completely solve it. I needed to program a simple trick into it and then it could handle it. In my defense, I manually went through the puzzle with the program to confirm every digit position it gave me.
Of course, I had the solution, and there was a prize involved. So I entered it into the draw.
While I was in Priddis last weekend I cancelled my newspaper for the duration. To my surprise, when I came home I saw a pile of newspapers before my front door. I’ve complained to the Edmonton Journal, but still, I got free newspapers.
And then there was another monster Sudoku in the Sunday one. Great! My descent into hell continues. This time the prize is Safeway gift certificates. And the puzzle was an even higher difficulty rating. My program required another tweak to use actual intelligence to solve the puzzle.
Previously the tricks used to find the solution were brain dead. It didn’t look too deeply at the puzzle. This time, there was a need for actual thought. The trick I programmed in was not an obvious one. So now I feel like I am really cheating. I should be doing the human thought process for that part, but I wimped out and used the power of technology to abuse the system.
It still didn’t stop me from dropping off the solved puzzle at the newspaper.

In Priddis

I’m in my parent’s house southwest of Calgary now. It’s been a nice Thanksgiving trip.
On the first day I helped them unload a large moving van. It didn’t have much furniture but it did have non-essentials that needed moving. The real stuff will come later. After that it was back to chopping down trees.
Today was more interesting.
This morning my mother and I drove into the Kananaskis region. It’s a large park in the mountains. The plan was that I would go running and my mother would bike to keep up. Harry the dog would hopefully get tired out. At the information booth I asked if there were any trails that were good for running. No, they only had hiking trails. I did find one they said was reasonably flat that was close by. The Riverside trail.
I enjoyed the route. It was rocky so I had to keep my eyes down whenever I was moving. It started above the Elbow river, but soon it went down and I was running along the banks. Then it started climbing and climbing. It was okay for me. As a runner, I enjoy the challenge of a good hill. But my mother couldn’t keep up and needed help with the bike.
But since I had to stop and let her catch her breath I saw some spectacular views. I wish I had brought a camera.
After about 4km the trail ended on the highway. My mother couldn’t handle going back on the trail again so we went along the road back to the trailhead. Harry was tied to a leash because with a speed limit of 100kph, it wasn’t a good idea to have him wander into traffic.
In this area of the park, there were cows. Apparently ranchers can pay rent and let their cattle graze in the area. So as I ran back, the cows placidly watched me go by, as cows are wont to do. Mooo. A young bull, pre-horn stage, found us more interesting and decided to start chasing Harry. Remember, said dog was attached to me by a leash.
Luckily its heart wasn’t in the chase. We were faster than it, and it dropped away soon enough. Something like that does perk up your run though.

Front door delivery

If you have home… er, condo delivery of the newspaper, there is a daily routine you go through. (At least I do.) You get up, go to the front door, get the newspaper and read it over breakfast.
Note that I never actually said that part of that process was “getting dressed”.
It adds a little excitement to the morning ritual to open the door, baring pretty much everything to the world, and hope that no one is wandering past your door. Be quick about it, and don’t lean to far out because you might notice that there was someone at the far end of the hall.
If I was more on the ball, I would check through the spyhole in the front door before risking the wrath of any decency squad. But the morning is when one is the epitome of lazy.
Last weekend there was that moment of danger. I open the door, hear someone coming down the hall, and quickly close it again. I’m sure I am not fooling the guy walking past. He probably knows exactly what is going on. Why else would someone open the door and then immediately shut it.
I bring this up, because this morning, while I was leaving my condo, the door across the hall, with a newspaper in front of it, briefly opened and then quickly shut.
What could I do, but say “Good morning” and walk down the hallway.
Don’t look back.


Like a junkie finally getting that hit of crack he needs so much, you can tell that the Canadians are getting their fix again.
Hockey is back.
It’s the little signs that give it away. The fact that a morning meeting is delayed by a few minutes as people discuss last night’s game. I wander into the lunch room and people, getting coffee, are debating how the new rules are affecting the game.
Most of all, me being accused of being a bad Canadian because I still don’t watch it.


For the past few weeks I’ve been lax in updating this journal. Mostly it has been because I haven’t been doing much that is interesting. Now that something interesting has happened, I’ve just been too lazy to write about it. I guess it’s that old adage that you have to keep writing, otherwise you stop. Or it’s something like that.
Anyway, yesterday there was a social committee event at our company. This time around we were having a poker match. Texas hold ’em.
I hate gambling. I’m not good at it, and it is usually me just handing over any money I came to gamble with. However, this was just with poker chips. They had an assigned value of $350,000 for every player. But that was just imaginary. There was a prize at the end, but not worth getting worked up over.
Since it wasn’t my money (or anyone’s) I enjoyed the game. The first hand was a big loser because the guy to my left was raising everything, and I, being inexperienced, just went along for the ride. Neither of us won that hand so one guy had a large stack of chips in front of him. Later on I won another big hand, and I think I was in second place at my table.
My moment of triumph was when my two cards were both clubs. The cards that had been put down and shared among the players had three clubs. So I had a straight. I was going to win big this time. I started raising. Unfortunately, the guy to my left did too. If I had been a more experienced gambler I would have had some concern. He had a straight too, and his king beat my ten. After that loss, I just went all in with my next hand, even though I had nothing. I didn’t see me advancing from my pool anyway.
After that, I played a board game with a person whose religion didn’t allow gambling. I had more fun with that.
Even though I lost.

Art critic

Yesterday, a bunch of us went to Pho Hoa for lunch. It’s in West Edmonton Mall, just outside (literally) from the T&T Supermarket. Last time we went there I didn’t care for it. It was very soup-centric, and I felt a little too hydrated afterwards.
This time though I ordered something non-soup and enjoyed it quite a bit more. Continuing the trend that long distance running has given me, I ate quickly and I was finished first. It gave me time to look at the four colorful pictures that were hanging on the wall.
As near as I could see, they were telling a story.
1) The boy, who was a fisherman, was deeply in love with his cow. He played with her often.
2) The girl with the bicycle saw this and was jealous.
3) So while the boy was off fishing…
4) She started making moves on the cow.

Maybe I shouldn’t look at art anymore…