Alberta politics

I was feeling content about the Alberta leadership election. I wasn’t a member of the Conservatives so I didn’t have to pay attention. I could let someone else do my thinking for me. It’s a pleasant thought.
Then I made the mistake of thinking.
This ended up with me buying a membership in the Conservative party.
In Alberta, nobody’s vote counts.
No matter how much you try, the Conservative party will win. And because this is a forgone conclusion, no political party cares about the voters here. The Conservatives don’t need to do squat, because they know they will win every riding. Other parties don’t even bother to pander because they won’t change the voters minds.
And because of the riding system, your vote especially doesn’t count. On a provincial level, the mindless sheep that are the electorate will vote your riding into conservative hands. On a federal level, at least you know that your vote will give about two bucks into the party of your choice, but your riding will still be conservative. Anyone who tells themselves otherwise is simply deluding themselves.
And, even if through some miracle, some other party gets power in Alberta, will they even know how to run. No other party has any experience in running this province. So, do you honestly think they will do a good job.
You might as well not vote. That thought scares me.
So, I joined the conservative party. This is the only way I can see to actually have a say in matters. This vote is a simple majority. No riding system to skew the results. Whoever wins this vote will immediately become premier for at least two years. And probably for a lot longer, because he will win the next provincial election.
This is in fact the only chance I have to select the premier.

Drinking problem

I’ve been thinking of taking alcohol in a medicinal capacity. If I drink, maybe I’ll loosen up and have more fun at bars. Maybe I can get a psychiatrist to prescribe something for me…
Anyway, The Bank was having a one year anniversary. Due to being in the right place at the right time, I had a pass to go there. Drinks would only cost a buck each.
So, I decided to experiment and actually drink alcohol. (Why I didn’t do this three weeks ago when drinks in Jamaica were free is beyond me.) The bartender recommended a Cosmopolitan to start off with. Then I tried some house Martini (I want to call it a Drop Dead, but I know that wasn’t it.)
I didn’t loosen up. Might as well stay sober.

American tradition

Today, I celebrated Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving. I’m Canadian, but my father and sister are American. So it seemed right to celebrate it. (Really, the reason was that I had a spare turkey I wanted out of the freezer.) I invited some friends over and had a party of it.
There were proposals to make it as American as possible. But we didn’t get into arguments and recriminations like a proper American family. We also didn’t get around to stealing land.
It went well. I think I have gotten the proper skill set to handle a large bird. Although the sauce was a little too salty. I’ll have to work on that.
Despite being pumped full of Tryptophan I decided to go to the theatre. I’m not running tomorrow (due to the don’t-run-in-weather-colder-than-minus-twenty rule) so I thought I would go to the theatre and take in a Chimprov. If I had spent five minutes thinking about it, I would have realized that it was the last Saturday of the month, so instead Oh Susanna was playing instead.
I hadn’t seen it for several years, and I was there anyway, so I decided to attend.
There is a reason I hadn’t seen it for so long. It still wasn’t good. They still ply the audience with free alcohol to get their laughs. And I don’t like to drink, so I’m not one of the happy drunks.


I’ve been trying to transcribe my handwritten journal entries into my computer since I came back. And since LiveJournal gets snuffy if you post entries out of order, I haven’t been allowed to post anything. So I’ve been writing entries into the computer to be posted after the earlier.
Now I’m done. Everything is up, and I can move on to other stuff.
Like going through the 1200 pictures I’ve taken and getting them to the people who want copies.

New Vistas

Today, instead of work, or better yet, in lieu of work, I went to the launch of Windows Vista. I went to the developer seminars.
It was held at the Shaw conference center. I parked for free next to Diamond Park in the valley. Then I climbed the stairs to downtown, made my way to the conference center, where I promptly took the inside stairs down to the base of the valley again.
I could have planned that better.
I can’t say it was interesting, but I did learn some things.
I don’t think the OS is ready for primetime. I mean, the presenters seemed to be in mortal fear of rebooting their computers when something went wrong. Maybe they get fired if they reboot because it shows how slow the OS is. One of presenters found that the clipboard service had died, so he couldn’t copy/paste anymore. Rather than reboot, he went to a fair amount of trouble to manually type the code in.
One of the more amusing moments was when the developer was describing Windows gadgets. He accidentally called them widgets.
It was actually creepy how much of the new version of Windows was stealing from the Mac.
The Microsoft Office was also covered a lot. Microsoft seems to want people to develop their applications so that they use Office. Which I suppose is a good way to require people to buy that bloatware.
Office’s new document type is supposedly an open standard that uses XML. But I don’t really believe them. They did enough so that they could get a checkmark that says they are an open standard. But look closely and you’ll see it is so complicated and hard to follow, that only Microsoft will be able to support it.
Must be nice to be a monopoly.

New computer day

My new laptop arrived today. Woot!
It is nice. It is fast. Importantly, it has a larger hard drive. My biggest problems with the last one was that I was running out of space. After taking 4gb of pictures I needed space to organize them. Now I can do that. I got the 15″ model. I saw the 17″ model, and while I could afford it, I took one look and said “That’s too big”
But not everything is shiny and happy. It is a MacBook Pro. Which means it uses an Intel chip instead of the PowerPC chip we’ve come to know and love for the past decade. Now, for most people, it shouldn’t matter if FritoLay made the chip, as long as the operating system is the same.
But Apple has decided (and with good reason) not to coddle people. Any software that isn’t for Mac OS X is being deprecated. So there are old games that I will no longer be able to play. Not that I play many games. The other thing is that I found a new tool that solved a problem I had with dates in pictures, but I discovered it doesn’t work on Intel.
I still have the old laptop so I can use that, but it is an inconvenience.

Birthday party

I moved the birthday party to Friday. I got an adequate number of people to show up. We went to dinner at the Sawmill.
Afterwards, I went with a different friend to Diamonds. It is the gentleman’s club that is next door to the Sawmill. It was my first real time at a stripper bar. I can’t say that it was the greatest experience.
They did provide the advertised product. There were pretty women that undressed themselves on stage. But I just got back from Hedo, so it wasn’t that exciting. And the company isn’t the greatest. There are lots of drunk men who spend most of the time staring up at the stage.
And passing gas. Every so often an unpleasant stink wafted through.
But I wanted the full experience, so I paid for a private dance. Which was also a disappointment. I had seen better in Jamaica. Plus you are not allowed to touch anything.
I can totally understand that rule. It makes sense. You don’t want the ladies to feel threatened. But they dance close to you, and make it look like they want you to touch. So, it’s a big tease.
However, if I were allowed to touch, would I want to? Think about it. Do you want to touch something that a dozen other drunk, stinky, horny, guys touched a bit before. I don’t know where that stuff has been.

Today is my birthday. It hasn’t been going that well.
I had planned to get myself a new MacBook Pro. My current computer is exactly three years old so it is time for a new one. So I went across the street to Westworld Computers. Where I was told that the one I wanted wasn’t in yet. I solved the problem by ordering the computer online, but it does mean that I won’t get it for some time.
There was a plan to go out to dinner tonight with a bunch of people. But there is a hockey game on so it was hard to get them organized. I ended up canceling. We’ll try again tomorrow.
However, I went to my improv class. They were a lot more supportive there. We went out for cake afterwards.

Best Buy

I still ache
While on vacation I noticed a defect in my camera. If I zoomed out to maximum, a black smudge would slowly grow on the right side of the screen. It would also appear in pictures as well. It wasn’t enough to ruin pictures, but it was a problem.
Unfortunately, Best Buy only has a fourteen day return policy on cameras. I couldn’t do anything about it at the time because I was in the wrong country. Still, I went there today, five days after the expiry, to see what could be done.
They didn’t bat an eye. I was close enough that they hauled a new camera out and let me have that instead.
I’m giving them extra credit for this.

Okay, I’m back

I’m back to a snowstorm. When I got to my car there was a huge dump of snow on it. Thank goodness I wasn’t still in my Jamaica clothes.
Right now I’m dealing with a lack of sleep and aching muscles. The water skiing did more to me than I thought. Gripping anything is painful. Typing isn’t a walk in the park either.
Now I have to figure out it if I have the energy to go for a run tomorrow.

I’m in the air now. I slept a bit on the bus so I’m fairly alert.

I grabbed a bunch of duty-free stuff in the airport. But looking at it, none of it is for me.

I got rum as a souvenir. Another bottle as a gift. Some woman stuff as a specifically requested product. And Blue Mountain coffee. It’s advertised as the best in the world, and 007 only drinks it. But then he’s a fictional person. Still, I figure it’s a good souvenir for my co-workers. And I got a small bag to impress people who come to visit.

Hope customs likes me.

I tried water-skiing this morning. I got a lesson. I realized that I won’t be able to use any skill I gained, but life is an experience.

The longest I was able to go for was four seconds. I was apparently a good student. They like it if you point out what you did wrong every time you fail.

Four seconds is good.

I would have tried longer, but my arms got tired. Now they ache.

I have to be out of my room in half an hour so I better finish off my packing.

I have a love/hate relationship with Mike from Toronto. I love that he moved out, but I hate how it was done.

Last night was fun. I ate at the Pastafari restaurant with the last people in the group. Good times, okay meal.

I spent most of the day with them. I briefly tried going to the nude pool, but I got bored there. Unless you’re aggressive, or a voyeur, it doesn’t hold an attraction.

I did explore a bit and found a way to get to the roof of my building. It was almost completely dark up there. Better than anywhere else on the resort. And you could see all the stars, right down to the heavenly glow of the milky way.

At around midnight, the last remnants of the group hit the disco. There we put on a show for the others. Apparently it went well, because a lady in red PVC, a masseuse from Toronto, made it quite clear she like my butt. And after a lot of touchy-feely she introduced me to her husband.

This resort confuses me.

Later she said she was going to the nude pool and hoped I would join her. Tempting. But I lingered with my group. When they wanted to go stargazing I directed them to my spot.

After awhile I left them and went to see the woman. I don’t think I wanted anything to happen. I am desperate, but not that desperate. Still, it’s nice to be wanted. She was happy to see me, even though she was in the arms of some other guy (not her husband).

I stayed awhile, but I don’t like to watch and the pool does feel dirty. So I went back to my stargazing friends. At around 3:30 we drifted away. I wandered around a bit more and found the aforementioned woman in the arms of her husband while her new friend was going full bore on her.

I went to pack. Spent 45 minutes in a hammock and then went to bed.

This morning, Mike from Toronto came to me. I found out later that when he left my room, the resort got mixed up and, according to the computers, I had actually been the one to move.

Mike told me he had received a phone message for me Saturday night. He was hazy enough on the details to make it the worst message ever. “Hi. This is (girl’s name forgotten). I’m at the main bar now. I’m heading to my room and I hope you’ll join me.”

So all the juicy details are there except missing a name. And 48 hours late. It’s a nice compliment, but I almost wish I hadn’t heard it. Now I get to leave Hedonism with regrets. And it wasn’t even my fault.

I hope this hasn’t hurt any woman’s feelings.

Actually, let me mention my roommate.

When I woke up this morning, I saw that no one had slept in the other bed. And come to think of it, I don’t see any other luggage around.

I didn’t have time to ponder because I had scuba diving to do. But later I found out that he had left to go to another room. Because his safe didn’t work he didn’t feel secure and forced the resort to give him another room.

The batteries had been moved because he had planned to use a mini-fridge he had brought along. He needed an outlet that wouldn’t cause people to trip over it in the middle of the night.

There is a delightful girl here. She’s from Montreal and has their adorable French accent. Her boyfriend is also pretty cool. She is rightfully devoted to him.

I saw her waiting at the bar and joined her. She was waiting for her boyfriend before going to the Pastafari restaurant. She was also fairly drunk, so she was downing water.

While having a nice conversation I felt her hand on my leg. I thought that was strange. She doesn’t seem the type to be unfaithful. Maybe it’s not her hand but her dress hanging loose.

I look down and I’ve got a huge cockroach sauntering up my calf.

I am so tired. I have to go to sleep now. A semi-decent hour. Revolting.

I have a new roommate now. Mike from Toronto. I am concerned. He turned the A/C to a very cool temperature. And I have noticed my battery charger has completely switched outlets. Why?

If I didn’t have Mike, life would be even better. A nice girl in our group was screwed by a “cad”. So she has no room for tomorrow night. If Mike wasn’t here, I could have a lovely female roommate.

If she doesn’t find something, I’ll still offer my bed. I plan to stay up late and possibly sleep in a hammock tomorrow anyway.

There is a ship out there.

Last night there were lights on the horizon. Today I see a ship in the distance. It’s dark now and the lights are lit on board the ship and it is in the same spot.

Is it just staying there.

Having fun outside the twelve nautical mile limit?

Are they more hedonistic than the resort?

The biggest problem with all the people I know leaving, is that my camera is now a liability. Nobody I know to snap a picture of. No one I trust to take of picture of me.

Lying in a hammock on the beach

Snorkling was disappointing. The best part was that I could just float in the water. Otherwise there is no deep water around here. I guess they don’t want drunk people drowning.

Anyway, they set us out in a glass bottom boat, which was a lot cooler than I thought it would be. It’s not just for old people anymore. Mind you it wasn’t a tour, but still fascinating to watch.

Then they dumped us in the water and ignored us. No information. No chumming the water. No tour. So I floated around a bit.

I got back and went to the front lobby to say goodbye to people. There was a travel group with a registration table there. They were happy to talk to people. I’m now wearing an orange wristband which means I’m a single male looking for casual sex.

Let’s see where this leads.

I only have ten minutes before I head off to snorkling. So I’ll try and recount what I can.

Yesterday started out nicely. This girl wanted breakfast in bed, so I ravaged the dining area for vegetarian dishes and brought it over to her room. I ended up spending the rest of the day with her. Unfortunately, she has a boyfriend in Canada. (She’s from Dallas.) But she is drop dead gorgeous and fun to hang around.

The only time I wasn’t with her was when a show was being put on. I was needed as a stagehand. It was an important job because some of the shows were messy. Food everywhere and tarps were needed to keep it clean. In one, they needed additional people for ambiance, so I filled in there as well.

After the show it was fairly maudlin. The group I was with was ending its event, so a lot of people would be leaving the next day. Goodbyes were said. I treated it like my last night and stayed up until 5:30. I had the advantage that I didn’t need to pack though.

I probably should have napped in a hammock.

After the excursion, there was a bit of a pool party. I couldn’t stay for long; there was a fashion show rehearsal I needed to help with.

There was an odd moment. I would have liked to be in it, instead of just backstage. The director simply sold me “You can’t.” She didn’t do a good job of explaining why.

The show itself went well and I can’t complain. I was in the back, surrounded by beautiful women needing help getting into oh-so-very tight clothing.

Good times.

I talked to the producer and organizer later and both were surprised I wasn’t in it.


This morning I saw the hot tub where the girl painted purple had washed herself. It had a purple haze to it, and there was a worker looking at it who didn’t seem happy.

The plan today was scuba diving. But plans change. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to go on a cool excursion to Dolphin Cove for incredibly cheap.

All it cost was my soul. Ha ha.

No, unless you count dealing with dolphins in any aqua park damage to your soul. All I had to do was sign a model release form so they can use pictures taken for promotions.

This was for a bunch of us. Way cooler than seeing a few fish underwater.

We first swam into a bay where dolphins were kept. In theory the dolphins could leave any time by leaping over the rocks (which is how the park kept the moral high ground) but then they wouldn’t get all the free fish.

Anyway, each small group gets a pair of dolphins. They swim among you before they start interacting. A drive-by swim letting you feel them. Then they take a photo of the dolphin kissing you and then you kissing them. (If the person ahead of you had bright lipstick that rubs off on sea mammals, you start getting a trashy looking dolphin.) Next the dolphins take you for a quick spin around the water while you hold their dorsal fins. It concludes with the dolphins pushing you around with their noses on your feet. Our group had a petite ballerina. She was actually pushed enough that she was out of the water with the dolphins visible. Most people stayed quite in the water. Maria became very sucky over dolphins and had a goofy grin on her face the entire time.

After dolphins came sharks. Only a limited number got to swim with the sharks and touch them. Since we were all so uninhibited we had too many people who wanted to try. To be fair, we let only the women go. It looked fun.

Then came stingrays. I got to hold one for awhile. They feel like they have a layer of jelly all over them. There were showers to wash off the sea water, but it came directly from Dunn’s River Falls. Which apparently made it too cold for the Americans. I am Canadian, and it felt fine.

Finally, after a quick lunch, we went through a nature trail. The first stop was a bored looking donkey. Things got better quickly. The parrot part was next. You got to hold one, as it played dead in your hands, and let others crawl over you. They kept taking my sunglasses off the top of my head and throwing them to the ground.

Next was a constrictor we got to hold. Then a large iguana. After that we headed back to the resort. I could have purchased pictures of the event, but they were really expensive.

Yup. Alcohol is a depressant. I had two rum punches. Oh, first some weed, then the drinks. Now several hours later, I’m feeling slightly down.

And I have no reason. I spent a lovely evening with two models. First while setting up for the fashion show, making sure everyone was happy, and had what they needed, including volunteers in the audience

Then at the disco, and back to their rooms where I took more pot than ever before. Which isn’t hard to do. I didn’t feel any different, just slightly light-headed. I don’t even have the munchies.

The night was concluded with karaoke where I belted out several good tunes. One woman pleasantly trying to distract me while I did. The organizer was too stoned to do much, but we steered her well.

So, a good evening marred by slight depression.

The day was slow. A lot of people I knew went on the Dunn’s River Falls cruise. I stayed behind; Been there, done that and expensive. Another bunch are going to the dolphin petting zoo (name probably not right, but the spirit is) tomorrow. Expensive, and I’ll go scuba diving instead.

I had a lunch conversation with a guy. He’s dating a famous actress, so he had stories to tell. I didn’t want to know her name, but I think I could figure it out if I wanted.

In the afternoon I “supervised” a fashion show I ran across. (good pictures from that.) Then I helped the body painter. I painted the lower half of a nubile young woman blue. (Good.) Then a man silver. (Not so good.) Two other girls were painted for a rainbow of colors (Green and purple). Got pictures of that too.