At least I got out

If you are going to throw your drink at me, at least have the decency to do it to my face.
I went to the Empire Ballroom this night. It was actually one of the least stressful trips to a bar I’ve had in a long time. This was because I really did go with zero expectations. I was only going to go see a performer I enjoy. That was all. I didn’t plan on talking or making eye contact with anyone else. No anxiety attacks for me!
The show was an hour late, and it was enjoyable. The bar was filled with women that were much younger than me. Young enough that I didn’t find them interesting. Less stress!
However, after the show, I decided there was no reason to stay. I started making my way to the exit, having to fight through the crowds. There was a gorgeous girl behind me, and in the throng we got pushed around. I believe the pack made me bump into her, causing her to spill some of her drink on herself. I asked if she was okay, then continued on my way. Then I felt something wet go down my back. Apparently she was not okay.
Like I’m going to take anything personally from a girl wearing her dress backwards?

Of course, it might have just been some ice cubes she put down my shirt…
I’m a little behind in my social graces. Does that mean she likes me, or did that go out of popularity in kindergarten?

Conflict of interests

I’m trying to do a good tidying of my home. I want to reduce all the clutter possible in the main areas. So that means I want to get rid of any piles of anything and put them out of sight. I’ve just run into a problem though. I have some papers; (coupons, gift certificates, tasks to do) if they are out of sight, they will become out of mind.
How do I organize them so I can’t see them, and yet I can?

Just a recap

This morning I learned something; If you don’t put the kneading blade in the bread machine, it doesn’t actually make bread. I was really hoping to have extra food in the form of fresh toast this morning because I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat enough last night.
Yesterday was busy. I did a 16km run, then an afternoon of playing D&D. But instead of eating dinner, I decided to go out and see Avatar. When I got back, all I had was a small frozen quesadilla. Not a proper dinner, but I expected I would get more calories in the morning.
The calories are a lie!
I’ve been exhausted lately. I’m trying to put more hours in at work to make myself look better. It has been easier because I have an interesting project. But it is nearly done. In its death throes though I am getting very frustrated with my computer. In any case, I get home late and I have no energy for anything more than TV or mindless internet trolling. Much less all the little projects I want to get to that make me happy.
It is also making me moody. I’m getting stupid thoughts again. I unfortunately unloaded a bunch of them on an old friend this evening. I really shouldn’t do that. No one wants to listen to a whiner.
Change of subject!
Avatar was a good movie. Tale as old as time. Completely predictable. But, that said, James Cameron is a fantastic storyteller. I was drawn in and had no complaints. It was probably as long as The Dark Knight but I didn’t feel exhausted at the end of Avatar. It was also my first 3D movie; that was a treat.

Secrets and Lies

I like knowing secrets, but I am not good at keeping them. Well, I am good at keeping them, but I can’t guarantee that about the people I tell.
This affects how I play games. If I am enjoying a game, I want to know all its secrets. Which means that playing and enjoying the game take a back seat to finding out all about it. Usually this comes in the form of maps. I will chronically map anything I can. (But I don’t like cheatbooks. I want to discover the secrets, not have them handed to me.)
The best example of this is when I spent an entire summer mapping the old computer game Ultima IV. I never got close to finishing it, but I made a large poster out of pencil crayon showing every square of the surface. (I really should get around to finishing that game someday.)
This has spoiled some other games. I remember playing Ultima VII and going off into the wilderness just to map a mountain range and ended up discovering a major artifact, a flying carpet, that I wasn’t supposed to find until later. Although the carpet would allow me to move around the world quickly, I found it detrimental to mapping because you moved too quickly. I promptly ignored it.
This also affects non-computer games. With the old Fighting Fantasy book series, I would go through and map the world. With the Choose Your Own Adventure books I would go through until I had read every page in the book, in the correct order. (I had to stick my fingers in a lot of pages to keep track of where I had been and what choices I had previously made.)
I recently discovered the online game Choice of the Dragon. This is similar to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” and I have found it strangely addictive. Of course, I’ve started keeping track of all the choices and what they lead to. But your choices affect your stats. Some of the time the game will tell you how your choice affects them, and I tracked that. At any time you can bring up a window to see our stats in bar-graph form. Then I noticed that your stats can be affected, and the game will not tell you. And the bar-graph will not tell you exact values.
Well, thankfully I’ve been learning about security of web applications to prevent hacking attempts. This gives me a good basis to know how to hack things. Last night I created a program that will let you know your exact stats in the game, and how the last choice changed them. Happy that I had a tool to let me more accurately map the game, I went to bed.
It was a few minutes later that I realized that this same tool could be used to change your stats. It hadn’t really occurred to me earlier because I had no intention of cheating in the game. Cheating spoils the fun of mapping.
Oh, in my defence, my hacking attempt does not affect any servers and only allows me to affect my game and nothing else. I suppose if I was better at it, I could get files that would tell me the effects of all the choices in one go, but I don’t have any interest in that. That would spoil the fun.

Share the flame

Back in 1988 I really wanted to be one of the runners with the Olympic torch. To do so, you had to be picked from a lottery; ballots could be dropped off at Petro-Canada. All very democratic, but prone to ballotbox-stuffing. I did not understand probability at the time, so I thought my one entry would give me a reasonable chance to be one of the runners in a major metropolitan area. Silly me.
22 years later and it is not a lottery. It sounds slightly fairer in that you register online for a spot and only a limited amount of people are allowed to register in each area. Or you can try reasoning with them and tell officials why you think you deserve to carry the flame. Apparently being an avid runner is not a good enough reason. It would help if I was in a wheelchair. (Do I sound bitter?) Being a celebrity also seems to be a way in. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Shania Twain!)
Needless to say, I was not chosen for the great honour.
I did leave work early to go see it. Traffic was a mess because the route had been closed off. I had planned to get to the Running Room and see it go by there at 5:30, but I got home at 5:20. I was out the door, by 5:27 after changing into running clothes and I started running to the Running Room, hoping the flame was late. Lucky me, the flame was going along Whyte Avenue, so I got to see it go by. Strangely, it didn’t look like they were allowing people to run with the official runner. That was too bad, because if you aren’t allowed to hold it, it would be nice to pace with it.
Mind you, it looked like they were walking with it, not running. And you only get to hold it for 300 meters.
Then I continued on to my evening run at the Running Room. That run took us along the flame route and I saw the torch a second time.