Bank robber

Back at the end of November I went to the bank and paid out my credit line.
At least I thought I did. Actually I had just paid the current balance. A week later I had an interest charge. Today I called the bank about it to complain.
However, back then, the teller was somewhat new at the job and had made another mistake. When I did the paying out, at the same time I withdrew $60 from my chequing account. And while I did receive the cash in my hand, it seems $60 also got credited towards my credit line.
I called to complain about that too.
They appreciated my honesty. But in the end, their advice was to take the money and run. After this long they were going to write it off. The stinging remark was that the guy on the phone said, to justify this bounty, that I was a long time customer and that they had made a lot of money off of me.
I don’t like to think of banks making a lot of money off me.

Home alone

For the third day in a row I worked at home. Cabin fever is starting to set in. I’ll go into work tomorrow just so I can get a bit of socialization in.
Well when you say it like that, it does sound bad.

I noticed that I never actually put my work laptop into my computer room. I put it on the dining table and worked from there. There is space in the computer room, but maybe I don’t want my home computers to get jealous of this new computer I’m spending all my time with.
It did take me two days to realize I could at least use the office chair.

Cabin fever

I worked at home today. It was cold out. Let me check how cold…

Well, the high was -28 with a wind chill around -40. I suppose I could have gone to work; I have heated parking both here and there. I can avoid winter if I want.
If I was someone living in Miami right now, contemplating returning to Canada, I would have to give serious thought to the idea.
The downside of working at home is a complete lack of socialization. Yes, I’m aware a computer programmer doesn’t really get that anyway, but a little bit helps you get through it. After being alone all day I’ve gone a little squirrely. I walked to a local restaurant for a change of scenery. I nearly slipped twice on the snow (not the ice.)
Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t drive to work.
And now I will watch a movie.

Ice ice baby

This morning I tried my best to think of a reason not to go into work. It was -45 degrees out with the windchill, and there had been a lot of blowing snow. My best bet was a stomach ache brought about by my eating shrimp (minor allergy) last night. But the 4 Tums tablets I had slammed when I got home in the evening seemed to have done the trick.
With no good excuse I headed to work. I would like to give a shout out to the nice Puralator man that helped push me out of the snow drift 15 meters from my parkade. I arrived half an hour late. Surprisingly (or not) I was the first to arrive.
I don’t think anyone will be showing up for movie night tonight. Even if it wasn’t bitterly cold, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in the straight action movie I’ve rented.

Running makes you stupid

I have a policy that I don’t run if it is colder than -20 degrees. Lately I’ve been ignoring that, and I really don’t have a reason why. It sounds like a good theory.
Today the traction was hell, visibility is less than a kilometer, it is -21, but with the wind chill it is -35. And yet still I ran.
It is an interesting feeling: If I was going to cook myself for dinner, after feeling my butt, I would have to say I need to thaw out some more.

16 Blocks

I just saw 16 blocks. I enjoyed it.
There was an alternate ending that was somewhat more depressing. I’m torn by it. Usually I like endings that aren’t Hollywood; Where the hero fails and/or dies. But still, I preferred the theatrical ending.
There was one revealing mistake I saw. Although the movie was set in New York, there was a sign indicating “Centre street” (note the spelling). That, and the bottle of Canadian Club, helped indicate a Toronto shooting location.


For eight years there has been something missing in my life. There is a checkmark I have not been able to put on my list of things to do. But now it has been done and realized.
I have finally seen American Pie.
I do realize that there are more epic accomplishments that one could have in their life, but just give me this. I have enough trouble getting around to seeing movies. If I don’t see them in the theatre, they frequently are never seen. When I do go out to rent a movie, I have given up on finding the one I want to see the most. I am so far behind in movie watching (eight years apparently) that there is too much selection. Instead I decide the genre and then go through alphabetically until I find a movie I haven’t seen that I have at least a vague interest in seeing. So last Thursday (on 2 for 1 night at the video store) I got 16 blocks in the action section. Technically, for my comedy choice, I should have gotten 50 First Dates, but I thought it was out.
I am pondering a change to how my Monday movie nights work. Actually, I am going to do a change. I’m through with the pondering.
Currently, I just list a movie I own and make a plan to watch it. The new method is going to require planning.
Eleven days before a movie night (that would be a Thursday), I will be in the video store and I will find a movie that I am interested in seeing. Probably using the previously mentioned method of movie selection. And then I will place it back on the shelf and ignore it.
That night I will go update my movie page with the details of this selection and the plan to see it in eleven days. I will also place the details of the backup movie; A movie I own that seems as close as possible to the plan. Action begets action. Romantic comedy begets romantic comedy. You get the idea.
Four days before a movie night (and conveniently eleven days before the next one) I will go to the video store and attempt to rent the planned movie. If I can’t, well, we always have the backup. But in any case, I will update the webpage with the finalized choice.
Don’t argue with the plan! The plan is sound.

Ongoing proof that running makes you stupid

There is a marathon in Disneyworld called the “Mickey”. The day before it there is a half-marathon called the “Donald.” Now, if you look at just that, it appears that Goofy has been kicked out of the triptych of Disney friends (I blame Minnie.)
But no! Goofy, in line with his sportsman like heritage, is actually the main man. To run the Goofy is to run the Donald one day, followed by the Mickey the next. So, Goofy reigns supreme and Donald is consigned to being the lame duck. (Pun very much intended.)
Now most people will say that you couldn’t pay them enough to do something like that. But I’m sure you can see where this is going.

At least I have a year to train.

Movie day

I had a lazy day with my mother; We rented some movies to see. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was not the best movie. It went on a little too long. My initial reaction was flavored by a comic I read half a year ago. Now that I’ve seen the movie, it seems to be right on the money.
The next movie was Live Free or Die Hard. Great movie! Mindless action right out of the eighties. On startup, the DVD asked whether we wanted to see the theatrical release or the unrated version. I looked at my mother and she told me that obviously we need to see the unrated version.
My mother is cool.


I went to West Edmonton Mall with my mother today. She doesn’t get to go shopping much in Edmonton, so I guess if you want to do it right, you go to this place.
It was nice to wander around the mall with no real point. Usually I go there with a plan in mind, and do my surgical strike shopping. This time I could mostly wander.
I went to Old Navy where they had a sale on. I found some corduroy pants that looked like a good deal. I tried them on in the change room and they fit, although they did feel a bit weird. I figured it out when I saw they were “Low-rise” pants. I got them because they were only $9. How can you go wrong with that.
But now I’m noticing they feel really weird. And I’m beginning to wonder if “Low-rise” is an indicator of being women’s pants. They were on the men’s side of the store, but still close to the nebulous area of the middle.
But $9. It’s not like they were a big investment. I think I’ll just get rid of them. I don’t like pants that make me question what gender they are for.

“The surgery was a success, but we lost the patient.”

So I had the operation today. I went in without knowing much about what would happen. So I was a little surprised when I found out they would be completely knocking me out.
They injected me with the general anesthetic, and said I would be out in fifteen seconds. I didn’t feel a need to count it out, but I was more interested in an inventory of the sensations. After a few seconds my throat felt weird, maybe sore. Then my cheeks. I felt my eyes going next. I tried to fight it, but I was out. I may have dreamed, but I’m not sure. When I woke up, forty-five minutes later, I was cold. That was because they had an IV in me. It was at room temperature, which was colder than my body temperature. That was a weird feeling. The warm blankets felt nice though. The large thermometer/clock above me let me know the temperature was 31.5. Still, it felt cold. And my nose felt like it had been raped. They stuck a tube up there to go into my throat. I feel violated.
And nose bleedy.
There were two issues that they were looking at. The first, which actually got me there, is the bump on the roof of my mouth. They took care of that with a laser. Now when I look at my palate, it looks like someone shot me there.
The other issue was a persistent bump in my lip. That interested the dentist more. Since it was still there a month later, it came out to. That has been more traumatic. There are stitches in my mouth and my lip is turning a bit black. I need to apply pressure to it, via gauze. This has made typing a little hard. I should be using only one hand, but that would take forever.
I also need to apply cold. Things should be easier tomorrow. I am supposed to drink lots of fluids, specifically ones with sugar. The dentist actually told me that pop would be better for me than water. That is so cool.
And I’m not supposed to brush my teeth tonight. Weird.
Other than that I am alert, and in no pain. My mother thinks I should go to bed. Unfortunately I am a night owl. The Coke I had five hours ago is probably not helping.

Sacrifices for my health

Last year my dentist got a new toy, so she was keen to try it out on all her patients. Unfortunately this was before I found out that my insurance wouldn’t cover this new toy. It was some mouth cancer detector, but it looked more like an ultraviolet light projector.
Anyway, she found a dot that looked suspicious. When it was still there a month later, I was referred to a specialist. Said specialist doesn’t think it is anything to worry about. But it is an irritant, and anything that irritates for a long time can turn cancerous. So, tomorrow I go for the operation to have it removed.
This surgery requires a responsible adult to take me home. So I’ve gotten my mother to come up and take care of me. I’ve been busy mother-proofing the place. Hope it meets mother standards.
And I am not allowed to eat after midnight until the appointment in the afternoon. So I will have to gorge myself this evening. Which, surprisingly, doesn’t involve throwing myself into a narrow valley between hills or mountains.

No running for me

It was below minus 20 degrees today. With the windchill.
So I need to run inside.
The treadmill is even more temperamental. I got three minutes of running before it blorked off. I decided to do the rest on an exercycle.
But it just isn’t the same.


My company gives me slightly better benefits if I exercise for twenty minutes a day, three times a week. I’ve probably mentioned this here before. I have no problem with twice a week, but that third day is always a problem.
My building has a gym. It doesn’t have a TV so I have to bring my own entertainment. I was using the treadmill late on Friday night. Except it seemed to have gotten temperamental. After ten minutes it just stopped. No power or anything. I’ve seen this before. I was going too fast and I think a fuse went. If I wait a few moments and press this small button next to the power outlet it should start up again. I’ll just go slower now.
Except it kept happening!
Near the end I could only get 45 seconds each time before it blorped out. Although with some adjustments I could maybe get a minute and a half. By this time I was in the weird obsessive mode. As god as my witness, I would do the thirty minutes I had planned. One minute at a time.
It wasn’t fun.
I found the Costco coupon book in today’s mailbox. In it, they are advertising/selling/couponing a treadmill. If I was truly impulsive I would have to get it. But I don’t have the room in my place. And if I think about it for a full five seconds I can quickly realize it would be silly.
I’ll just have to try and be healthy in other ways. (Or complain to the building management.)
I’m continuing my not-eating-at-McDonalds trend. I thought it would get harder when in the aforementioned mailbox there were also McDonald coupons. Fortunately when I looked at the picture of the burger on the glossy sheet, I felt a bit ill. I’ll start worrying when I start craving instead.
They do make good fries.

Happy New Year

It’s new year’s eve, and I have done absolutely nothing to celebrate it. I actually watched TV, cleaned up, played a bit with my Wii (stop sniggering) and then did some programming. I’ve done better.
But, a new year! This is a natural time for introspection. But no one wants to read about that. It’s boring. Why don’t I do what newspapers traditionally do? When no reporter wants to come into work, they write summary articles; They make a recap column detailing all of the events of the past year. A complete cop-out, but let’s run with that.
However, if you want a summary of my last year, go read the blog. Let’s aim bigger. We’re talking lifetime.
One year ago I was starting in a new company that had decided to buy my old one.
Five years ago I would soon be starting in another new company that had decided to buy my old one. With the influx of capital I gained from that sale I would buy a condo.
Ten years ago, at age 24 I would soon leave the company that had first hired me to Edmonton. They had begun to treat me like a QA person and all I was doing was writing test programs. I hated that. I still haven’t left the company that I moved to, although they have been eaten up twice.
Fifteen years ago I was 19 in my second year of University. My major at the time was mathematics, but what I was learning was that I liked to use math, but I didn’t like to prove it. By the next year I would drop all my math courses. Luckily I had been taking computer science ones at the same time so it was an easy transition into my future career.
Twenty years ago I was 14 and in grade eight. I hated Charleswood Junior High. Within the last year my maternal grandfather died, and to this day I still miss him more than any other grandparent.
Twenty five years ago I would have been 9 in Grade 3. Dieppe Elementary school.
Thirty years ago, a bit before my fourth birthday my paternal grandfather died, and I only have one memory of him; Climbing up the stairs because I had gotten his stairlift chair stuck at the halfway point. To me, his mobility device was a cool toy.
Thirty five years ago I was a twinkle in my father’s eye.