Devil in the details

Okay. That wasn’t too bad. The taxes are almost completely done. I just have to Netfile them. I’m going to wait a bit before doing that and just take a look around to see if there are any documents I may have missed. My office is rather messy right now, so it is possible.
I had spent time tracking my investments yesterday and I only needed to check exchange rates and then total the various parts. It revealed something very interesting. I was part of an Employee Stock Purchase Plan in US funds, and I sold the stock last year when it was higher than anytime it had been purchased. At least I thought I had. When the exchange rates came through, I apparently lost money. Not a lot, but I had thought that it would be a big moneymaker. I guess the rising Canadian dollar got me.
Ironically, I’ve kept the proceeds from that in US funds, so in a way I’m still losing money.

Except for when I use it to fund my vacation habit.

I go out to pick up a package from the post office. I suspect it is my new passport. The package is indeed shaped properly for a passport. Good!
I get home, open it up. Inside is my old passport, now voided, my birth certificate, and a credit card bill.
No new passport.
There is nothing I can do about it right now, so I am going to start doing my taxes.


So a week ago I came up with a schedule for myself. A way to organize the activities I do and actually do them. I put time aside for playing computer games, and for working on my computer programs.
In the past week the only thing I have done on that schedule was to have a movie night on Monday. And that was only because I invited people over to join me.
I could blame my taxes, but I still haven’t done them.

I did laundry though.

In keeping with my MO, I’m going to go out and continue to not do taxes.

Change of plans

New plan. As soon as I stepped into my condo the phone rang. A friend wants to go to an art show. I have a policy of never saying “no” to any social invitation, unless I have prior plans. (Leaving me in a deadly trap if I’m ever invited to see a male stripper.)
Taxes do not count as prior plans. More like nebulous arrangements. (Note: They do consist of selling and buying of foreign stocks, so it is not a simple job.) I guess I’m pushing it back to Friday. Wow, that’s a fun Friday night. Taxes! I think I’ll stick some laundry in there too.

Double booked

I should be working on my taxes. Every time I think I have energy, something comes up. Yesterday, I didn’t have any energy at all; hill training will do that to you. Today, the run was tiring, but I feel alert. Except that I got caught up in the final episodes of the second season of Doctor Who.
So tomorrow sounds promising.
Until I remembered that there is a band I’m semi-interested in seeing. At my last improv class, the teacher mentioned his band was opening for a Danish band this Thursday at New City. I have Danish heritage, so I was thinking of going, nominally to support him, but also to check out what Danish music is like. And it is a good excuse to get out.
Well there goes that tax preparation day.
Not that I have ever heard of this band.

Food and running

A short run today. Very bacon filled. That isn’t a slang term. Three houses smelled of bacon. Very salivating.
Afterwards, a bunch of us went to Artisans Bakery Cafe. The service was terrible. It took half an hour for them to take our orders for the meal, and then another hour for the meal to arrive. And what arrived was rather small. I’m still hungry. And afterwards, I didn’t hear an apology or compensation made.
I’ll chalk it up as a learning experience, but I’m never going there again.

Twice bitten. Kinda shy.

There is a cult out there that is trying to get me to knit. They are persistent, and they make good arguments. But so do the Scientologists .
The biggest argument made was an article titled “Knit Like a Man”. In summary, if you are a man that knits, women will be all over you. That sounds very convincing, and normally that would be enough to get me going. Except for one thing.
I’ve fallen for that exact same argument twice before.
I’ll admit I’m stupid. That shouldn’t be a reason to do anything.
The first time was my scooter. The store was down the street from where I lived, and so I was always seeing scooters zipping by. They looked fun, and they said that girls would be all over me if I had one. In my defense, it wasn’t the only reason to buy it, but it did affect the decision.
I never did get a girl hanging off me. But then I never got the knack of hanging out by my scooter. I’m not even sure how it is supposed to work. Either I’m using the scooter and moving too fast to meet someone, or I’ve parked it and wandered off.
The second time was the guitar. Woman love a man who can play the guitar. This one I can’t really blame on anyone. It might actually work. I have tried to learn the guitar, but I don’t practice that regularly. And certainly not in a public forum where loose women would be wandering. I should get back to that, and try and see if it does work.
In other words, I’m cynical now.


I had my last improv class yesterday. It went well. It was a good way to end what might be the last improvisation I ever do. I was particularly proud of my reincorporation techniques.
With that class over, and I’m now being shunned by RFT, I am with a lot more free time. My adult acting class ended, which gives me more time. The Friday Feasts are on hiatus. The only consistent time suck I have now is training for a marathon. Even the magazines I read are being cancelled.
I have free time again.

I hate it.

I’m already noticing the bad effects. Don’t get me wrong, there are good effects. I am strangely sleeping better now. But I’m not used to this. Worst of all, it is giving me time to think. That has always been a bad sign for me. I tend to get introspective and depressed. You can’t be alone with your thoughts if you are busy.
I’ll try and find new activities. I came up with an idea for an interesting website today that I might try to make. But computer stuff will only hold the tide back for so long.
And it isn’t going to get better. Once the marathon happens in… oh god, it’s in exactly one month. I’ll have too much time on my hands.
This sucks!

Taste Test failed

Today was my ninth anniversary of working at my job. I’ve been through two acquisitions, but I’m still plugging away at it.
My traditional way to celebrate is to bring in donuts. It means people will be forced (not really forced, but programmers have a hard time resisting free food) to come to my office. There, guilt will make the congratulate me.
I went to Tim Hortons and picked up two dozen donuts. While there I decided to get a hot chocolate.
I have now tasted the worst hot chocolate of my entire life. I’m almost sure it wasn’t hot chocolate. It tasted wrong. Last night I stayed up too late, but after slurping that swill I was alert for the entire morning. That just isn’t right.
I think Tim Hortons slipped me a roofie. Or a mocha something.
I will give them credit. After work I returned with the barely drunk beverage and they refilled it with actual hot chocolate.
A little late, but still good.


Apparently I have graduated.
I got a nice email from RFT that said that I had learned all that they had to teach. All that is missing is a diploma and a ceremony.
Which would be great, if I agreed with them. I may have learned all the rules, but I still need practice to become better. Since I’m not part of the show, the best way to practice was to attend classes. I agree that I’m not learning anything I didn’t already know in my head. That doesn’t mean I’m good enough.
However, there is a new policy. Once you graduate, you can’t take classes anymore.
Well that sucks.
Now I have to either find a third party improv group to practice with, or watch the skills I have fritter away. On the plus side, I should have more free time now. Maybe I can catch up with life.

Virtual marathon

In the past three and a half days I have run 48.6 km. That’s over a marathon in length.
I think I get to take the rest of the week off now.
Oh, and that plan to stop talking about running doesn’t cover the blog. You come to me, you hear what I want to talk about.

Windmills of my mind

Muscles aching. What do I do? I go out for another run. And not just any run, but hill training. Up and down Emily Murphy Hill seven times.
Truthfully, it felt better than last hill training two weeks ago. It may have had to do with drinking gatorade instead of water while running. Or I may have just gotten stronger.
Either way, I can’t wait for the marathon to be over with. Oh wait. That doesn’t solve anything, because a month later I have the K-100 to look forward to.
It’s like being on a treadmill, except… well no. It is exactly like being on a treadmill.

Anecdotal evidence

It’s been another day of full blown busy.
It started out well. I got a good night’s sleep and then set out for a 32km run. I felt good for most of it. I think it may have had to do with better nutrition while actually doing the run. (Two powergels instead of one.) Then, in the middle, there was talk of doing an extra three clicks at the end (because we weren’t doing the 11km of speed work.) If I did that, then it would become the second-longest run I had ever done. After waffling with the idea, I decided to do it.
But I made a miscalculation. I thought the group leader would go back to the Running Room before doing the extra distance. Because I was quite a bit ahead, he was able to… deek?… deke?… uh that hockey term, and he took off while I had slipped into the store to get more water. I didn’t notice until a few minutes late. I started to run to catch up, but I didn’t have “racing” energy. Just “maintain speed” energy. I gave up and enjoyed stretching.
Since then, I’ve felt a lot better than usual for such a long distance. My legs don’t hurt (except for my toes) and I don’t feel spaced out. I was able to run the D&D game today without too many brain problems. (Climax too. The undead army was stopped, but the bad guy got their hands on the really evil sword.)
I talk about running a lot. I’m trying to re-evaluate my anecdotes. There are two topics that I continually bring up. I’m trying to avoid them now. Running is one. I can’t imagine it is that interesting to read about.

Wii Wii Wii, all the way home

Yesterday I got a Nintendo Wii. I probably won’t play it much, but instead treat it as a party machine. Have friends over, play Wii-games. I don’t want to think about it too hard, because I can’t really justify buying it.
I haven’t played my Xbox (original, not 360) in years. I have a game I want to play, but I can’t ever find the time to sit down and goof off with it.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to make the time. But that is easy to say.
To use the Wii, I did have to unplug my Xbox and disconnect it from the TV. So now it is even less likely that I will get around to playing it.
Actually, one of the more fun parts of the Wii has been designing Miis, the little avatars that represent you in the games. Try to get them to look like each person who is playing. It is a great way to ruin friendships.

Stupid is as stupid does

I was supposed to go running this morning. That was the plan for quite some time. Since I was going to be in Priddis, I couldn’t do the usual Running Room run. So instead, I would go on to the highway and start running west towards Bragg Creek. After an hour and a half, one of my parents would pick me up.
I didn’t contend with vacation mode.
The weather was fairly miserable down there. So last night I could not motivate myself to consider running. It was cold and there was no sun. That wouldn’t be any fun. So I skipped it.
Ironically, it was beautiful out there today. But too late for the run. Instead, we went into the Kananaskis park and took a walk. It was a forty minute walk in. Then there was some exploring of a hill at the bend of the river. And in theory, it would be followed by a leisurely forty minute walk back.
There is a pile of stones and rocks that I have been carefully constructing in my parent’s driveway. I alternate between calling it a navigational marker or a navigational hazard. In either case, I think it should be bigger. And at the bend in the river there was a nice, big rock. And I took it upon myself to haul it out of there. My mother estimates it at 25 kg. I am terrible at estimating weight, but it was heavy.
I’m wondering what state my back is going to be in tomorrow. My arms were limp at my side for most of today. Lifting a much needed can of Coke to my lips was a major undertaking.
Fortunately I could manage to lift them to the driving wheel of the car this evening. And now I’m back in Edmonton.


Today was a much needed day of goofing off. After over three months, I finally got back to the Civilization IV game I started at the new year. I took a gamble that the French wouldn’t finish their spaceship in time, and it paid off. I was basically a shut-in with my family (the weather here isn’t spectacular.)
But now, I have conquered the world. I can put the game away for awhile with no regrets. Now I’m on to being productive.


I’m at my parent’s place in Priddis now. When you are here, you have to deal with morning dog. It’s like morning breath, but only furrier. And demanding to be scratched. And heavy on your stomach. And come to think of it, it is nothing like morning breath.

War, what is it good for?

Okay, this might be offensive to some, but that hasn’t stopped me before.
The War on Terror isn’t going well. It strayed from its original focus and is now stuck in the mires. I think part of the problem is that it is an esoteric concept. How do you know if anything has changed. Nobody in the free world was blown up recently, but that was true last week as well. You can’t tell if things are better.
If you want people to sit up and take notice, and support the government you need to declare war on something that is happening all the time. Where people will immediately notice if things have changed.
We need the War on Spam.
Not the lunchmeat! You know what I’m talking about. None of this namby-pamby stuff. We need an actual war, not a bunch of bills that haven’t changed anything.
Make the conditions of being spam ridiculously easy to achieve, so that a broad net is cast out. I don’t know what the conditions are, but something that covers a lot.
Then if someone sends spam, they get arrested and thrown in jail. None of this talk of fines, they aren’t a deterrent. Hard time in jail! Boo-yah!
Of course that is the privilege of citizens. If you are in another country, then let’s be a bit more severe. You are terrorizing the domestic internet, so we will need to be harsh. Once you are found out, the country in question has a week to hand over the guilty party for a trial, or war will be declared for aiding and abetting them. A very short war that consists of black-op troops slipping in under cover of night, and grabbing the guilty (not presumed innocent) party. If he resists, then he’s too much trouble and should just be capped.
This would put the fear of god into spammers. I’m fairly sure that the amount of junk email would drop off. And the average citizen would notice that his life is getting better.
Is this fascist? Of course. But the War on Terror seems to be getting fascist, so the bar is fairly low.
The only country that could get away with this would be America. They have a military and they aren’t afraid to use it.
Canada could not. “Oh look. They’re trying to assert themselves in foreign countries. Isn’t that cute.”

Improv Improv Improv

I’m improved out. No, scratch that. Doesn’t make sense. I’m “improvisationed” out.
The improv guru Keith Johnstone was teaching a four day class and I had signed up for it. I had to take Thursday and Friday off to attend. No big deal.
After the Thursday class, I went and attended my regular evening improv class.
After the Friday class, I went to the late night Theatresports.
After the Saturday class, there was a party for a bunch of improv people. Lots of fun and discussion of improv.
Today, the class wasn’t in the morning so I went on a 24 km run. I had to get up at 7:30 for it, which meant I only had four and a half hours of sleep. A large bottle of Coke was my best friend for the afternoon.
I’m really tempted to skip dinner and just crash.
The workshop was great. I did get to be beat up by a rabbit in a karate suit. Mr. Snuggles soon became my master and led me into a karate competition where I was against Timothy the Bear. I won and my Sensei decided I could get a disciple of my own, and introduced me to a horse.
Keith knows a lot, and his advice is good for life in general. (Improv: It’s not just for theatre anymore.) I’ve taken extensive notes, and I’m glad they weren’t stolen from their spot next to my waylaid brownies.
I reported the robbery to the police. They gave me a number and everything. I’ve done my part to make the crime statistics accurate in this city. And in the harsh light of day I found some damage. There is a little plastic nib against the driver’s side window which is now bent outward. I have no idea as to its purpose, but it shouldn’t be that way.


I went to the bar late this evening with two friends. I took my car but the friends walked.
Afterwards, at around 2:15, I offered them a ride home. When we got to my car, the doors were unlocked and the console and glove compartment were open.
Someone had broken into my car!
Nothing was damaged. I didn’t see any fiddling with the locks or anything. I looked through and I could see my sunglasses, gloves, jar of grey poupon, iPod radio tuner, loose change, spare glasses, and other sundries were all there.
The only thing missing was a half eaten bin of one-bite brownies that I had purchased from Costco for the improv classes.
I suppose I should feel violated, but I’m more amused. They rifled through my stuff and took something that was barely mine. Maybe worth $4 after taxes.
I still should report this to the police so that crime statistics are accurately reflected.