Too many choices

I recently got an invitation to join gmail. I’m one of the cool people now.
The problem is that I have to come up with a user name. This is where the problem happens. What unique noun/adjective combination describes me. I can come up with ideas, but what do I want to represent me in the fantastic years to come.
If I was less creative (Which is still a possibility. Look at the name of this journal.) it would be easy. I would have at most one idea for a user name, and off we go. But with so many choices open to me, I have brain freeze.
I will continue to ponder it.

Second date

Remember the date I had last month. I’m meeting her again tonight. Dinner and a show.
Second date.
I guess this is the one where I reveal all my embarrassing secrets; I play D&D. I read comics. I stupidly climb hills.
I’m going to try and treat her as a friend instead of a date. That should make things easier. Of course, I might venture into the territory of being myself. Previous advice has been debatable on whether that is good or not.


I have an opinion I have held for some time now. Recent events have led me to question it. That opinion deals with cooking.
If someone is cooking with cilantro, it is an admission that they are making a bad meal. Cilantro will totally overpower the taste of anything, masking what was there previously. The only reason to mask the taste is because you already know it is bad. Hence, it is the crutch of bad cooks.
Yesterday I found the lovely website This seemed to back up my opinions completely. Then, while reading it, I found that around 10% of the population is genetically allergic to cilantro. For this minority, cilantro has an overpowering taste.
So my opinion remains that cilantro is the spawn of some vegetative demon in the fetid swamps of hell. However, I realize that for some foolish people out there that it might be a pleasant mild taste that may actually add to the enjoyment of a meal. These thoughtless people will probably not even realize the horrible abomination that they have let enter their own mouths. All we can do is pity that poor souls.

Just keep it off my plate.

King of the hill

In June I have a leg of the K-100 relay. That’s through the mountains. You know, the big rocky things with snow on the top. My leg is all uphill and has a nice high altitude. Since I am living in Edmonton, I don’t have a lot of experience with long inclines, or with lack of atmosphere. So, while visiting my parents outside of the Kananaskis, I planned to go run my leg as a practice.
After a 100km road trip, we arrived to find that the road was shut down for winter. Winter apparently ends in mid-June. So the gate stopped me from getting to my running route. So other plans needed making.
You know those hills you see at the side of the roads when you travel in areas with extreme topography. Every time I pass, I can’t help but think that it would be possible to climb to the top of one of them without too much trouble. It would make a nice accomplishment.
Really, they mock me. They have low self-esteem (You would too if you had bigger brothers with a permanent ice cap) so you can hear them calling out “Oh you’ll never climb me. You would have to stop the car and get out. Look there’s a ditch in the way. You’ll never even get to my base.” Mountains don’t need to taunt, they have nothing to prove.
Well, there I was, on the side of the road. Ready to do physical activity, but without a proper outlet for it.
I took their challenge.

Those hills are taller than they look. It didn’t help that they had altitude on their side. Or that I was wearing running sneakers instead of climbing boots. The side was steep, and the lack of oxygen meant that I had to stop every few steps to catch my breath.
But in the end, I won. I stood at the top. My GPS informing me that I was 1820 meters above sea level. About 300 meters above the base. Of course its batteries died soon after the summit. If it was still running, I might have been more ambitious. Behind that hill there was another which looked like a gradual climb to the top.
Either that or I had no energy.
So now those hills can just shut up. I have conquered them. No more lip now.

Hey, is that a mountain over there?

Technology I want

There is a recurring idea in some science-fiction stories; A technology that comes along that lets you see an occurrence in the past. You punch in the time and place and you see what was happening at that spacetime. Theoretically it would be used for historical events in the distant past. How involved was Brutus in the Ides of March. Was Cleopatra a looker? Did Judas invest his thirty pieces of silver wisely, or did he blow it on beer and whores? The distant past doesn’t break privacy legislation.
If we had such a device, it would certainly change the world. If you wanted to try and find a famous terrorist, you could just plug in a time and place that you knew he was at, and then keep following him around until you find out where he was at the present. Nasty political issue solved.
But let’s wonder about more local problems. Solving crimes would be a snap, when anyone can become a witness to any event. Unabomber style antics would be a lot more popular because its would still be nearly impossible to trace the origin of a package.
But let’s say there was a cost involved in using this technology. It obviously can’t be free. Nothing is.
If it was $100, could you offer it as a service to citizens. If a crime has been committed against you, could you pay $50 to get definite proof of who did it, and then have the perpetrator pay the balance as part of the judgment against them.
And most importantly, could you use it to find the malicious idiot who decided it would be a good idea to leave his chewed gum in a place where someone could walk in it.


People in Edmonton don’t know how to be celebrities.
When I bump into actors from Die-Nasty, I usually ask them “Aren’t you someone famous?” They smile, but they deny it.
One of the people who is responsible for the improv jam, and knows far more about improv than I probably ever will, seems to think I was joking when I referred to him as a “Guru”.
These people have to accept that they are above the mere mortals and that people should be asking them for autographs. I think it might be the Canadian way of self-deprecation. Otherwise they will never come to accept the celebrity. Josh Dean did it and look where he is now.


So much for being lazy today.
I cleaned up the kitchen, but it was for naught. When I was making Pepper Jack Chicken for dinner, I pretty much messed up everything I had scrubbed. Cooking isn’t a neat and tidy activity for me.
After the kitchen I just started cleaning up other parts of the household.

I really need to learn to goof off.

Improv notes

I went to the improv jam. Afterwards, I was talking with one of the class guru and admitted I had a blog. Now I feel obligated to talk about improv in case he decides to read this. So here we go.
On Monday I got a nice form email telling me that I was not selected to go into Theatresports. I got it in the morning and shrugged. I expected it. What was surprising was that for the next few hours I felt depressed. Which is silly, because I don’t deserve to be on stage. Yet.
I think I learned a bit at the audition. I noticed that I was placing others in trouble instead of myself. I did it again tonight. When I broke the fine china, I blamed it on my brother and sent him off to the aquarium to escape our parents. I should have taken the blame. But I realize that I’ve done something wrong and I need to work on it.
Later that class I had an idea to play a father upset that his son had colored his hair blue. I stopped, and switched it around. I played the son with the blue hair. And we ended up with the start of what could have been a good scene. (I think I gagged it though.) But afterwards I felt good. It was liberating. I could get myself into trouble and be the center of attention. And I did the right thing.
I have room to improve, but I know what to work on.
Of course, when I went to Chimprov yesterday and saw the 25 trading cards of all the improvisers, four of them were people I had gone to class with.

Rainy days and sundays always get me down

This looks like it will be a good day.
Because of a persistent stitch in my side I’ve decided to take a break from running for awhile. Next weekend I will be definitely be running, but that’s not the point. Today I got to sleep in. (That’s big news for me.) I stayed up late last night and went to see some improv at 11:00, featuring a new play “The Quick and the Undead”. Really, a predictable plot, but that’s improv.
Today it looks cloudy with a chance of rain. So I can justify doing whatever I want and not feel guilty that I should be outside. Besides I did my outside stuff yesterday.
The only obligations I have is to go to the improv jam this evening, and make a nice meal for myself for dinner. So I can waste my time with anything.
I could play computer games. I can do some personal programming. I can watch TV (but there is nothing on). The possibilities are endless.

I’m going to go clean the kitchen.

I’ve been wanting this song for about a decade. It was finally added to the iTunes store. And now it is mine!

Other than that, life continues.
I’ve been getting the stitch in my side every time I run now, so I’m thinking I might need to take some time off. Hill training doesn’t aggravate it too much, so I think I can continue that. But the 23km run last Sunday was probably a little much.


Yesterday I had an audition for a part in Theatresports. It was easy to prepare for, because, well, it’s improv. Preparing would be a bad thing. There are 8 spots available and there are twenty two people trying out for them. So roughly a third of the people will get in.
It didn’t feel that high pressure for me. I’m not sure I deserve to be on stage, but if they want me, I won’t say no. If they don’t want me, well I have a good career as a computer programmer to fall back on.
Looking back I didn’t do too much wrong. I can think of two places where I could have been better. One scene where instead of putting myself in danger, I put someone else there. It was funny, but I should have done it the other way around. In another scene I tried to be clever and did something that would make me look like a bad improviser. It wasn’t too obvious, but it made sense in my head. Unfortunately, the audience wasn’t in my head.
Well, we’ll see what happens.