Tuesday summary

Okay, yesterday I learned something else new. If you are out in the sun, you need to reapply sunscreen after awhile.
I’m really regretting bring the book, The Girl Who Played With Fire. It’s really good so I sat out in the sun too long reading it. And since then, when I should have been out having fun with friends I haven’t seen in awhile, I’ve been sneaking some reading in. And trying to ignore the bad sunburn on my legs. I’ve got Aloe Vera now and hopefully that will help me get through this.
The only other item of note was that I got whacked in the head during a beach volleyball game. Unfortunately, the other guy did it by ramming his chin into me; he got quite the cut that bled for a long time. I just got a small bump.
Oh yeah, did Karaoke in the evening. And the meals here are all fantastic.

Pool party recap

Two items of note.
I can’t sleep in at this place; the morning light is very bright and wakes me up.
There is only one clock in the entire resort.
Yesterday I was lethargic; I stayed up too late and was out of it. After breakfast I went back to bed and tried to relax. I didn’t get to sleep though. At about 2:00 I started functioning and went out to the pool party. Most other people were slow too. Did bobbing for passion-fruit.
A friend was trying her hand at body-painting, and she was quite good. So I had a nice design put on me. It supposedly washes off in water, but I can’t really reach my back so some of it is lingering.
For dinner I had Chicken Gordon Bleu. It was like Cordon Bleu, and I’m not sure what the exact difference was. Still, it was good.
I conked out fairly early. I’m feeling better today.

Sunday Class

I can honestly say I’ve been skinny dipping in the middle of the night with a beautiful woman. It sounds so much better on paper than in real life. It wasn’t bad in any way; we’re in a clothing-optional resort and she’s a friend who has had a bad wedding anniversary. I was a friendly ear.
I’m a bit wired on caffeine that I had at midnight, but it is wearing out now. I’ve had a good day though.
I started it out poorly. After breakfast I slipped into the computer room where I planned to just update my journals and Facebook, but I ended up surfing the internet. In my defence, it was very relaxing.
But I then played some more pool volleyball. Then spent time in a class of “Canadians listening to an interesting American.” Very educational.
The afternoon had pool racing. Men would carry women on their backs and race from one end of the pool to the other. On the last race, I asked my passenger if she needed me to hold her knees to keep her steady; I can move faster if I can also use my arms. That was a mistake. On the way back she tried shoving someone moving faster. It backfired and without stirrups, she fell in.
The dinner was marvellous. I decided not to have the turkey and mashed potatoes, and instead had the pork cutlet. Every meal here has amazed me. The chocolate mousse would have been better without coconut, but still delicious. I spent a long time after dinner catching up with some friends and hearing the wonderful story of how they met and fell in love. I passed along stories of my adventures in L.A. Didn’t name any names though.
In the evening, Karaoke! Then just lounging by the pool.
Where I apparently stayed up until 4:00 in the morning discussing a marriage (her’s) and my life.

Timeless beauty

Crud. Once again, on vacation, my watch has died. At least this place doesn’t seem to be on the concept of Jamaica time. Last time this happened on vacation, I used my camera as a watch; up until my camera got stolen.
I feel naked without my watch. And considering this is a clothing-optional resort, that’s saying something
My iPhone seems to tell time as well…
Oh yeah, not waterproof.

Past my bedtime

I’m getting pathetic in my old age. There is a party going on, and I can’t stay awake. I was falling asleep by the pool. I haven’t even done that much; disco party for a few hours then lounging with the others. Man, that was a good grilled chicken at dinner.
I’m blaming the lighting conditions here. The sun woke me up this morning earlier than I wanted to get up.

Too much sun

In previous years, before I’ve come to a tropical place, I’ve gone for a Fake ‘n Bake at a tanning studio. A base tan prevents real burns. Because I’m trying not to throw money around, I neglected to do it this time.
I applied suntan lotion before playing pool volleyball, but apparently I neglected my front. So I have a nice mushroom-shaped red patch on my chest. I did do my face, but looking in the mirror, it looks redder than it should. And I don’t feel embarrassed right now.
There is also something in the pool turning the bottom’s of feet blue, so a nice contrast is present.
This is a low-key event. There aren’t as many activities, so I’ve been relaxing, resting, and hanging out with friends. (I should do more.) Meals are different than in Jamaica; you sit down and order what you want instead of a buffet. So far the food has been very good. (I should eat more fish.)
The highlight of the day was the water balloon toss. Well, not really a toss, but a firing line. All the guys line up against a sand wall and all the women throw water bombs at them. Lot of fun, but we ran of balloons eventually. It is subject to debate whether it is permissible to throw unburst bombs back. And with what force?

First impressions of the resort

This is a much better resort than what I’m used to in Jamaica. The people here are bending over backwards to make this a pleasant stay. It’s a nice change.
I’m trying to be more sociable. One of the weapons I’ve used in this fight is to drink more. The first five hours I’ve been here I’ve had a drink every half hour. It’s probably the drunkest I’ve ever been. But since then I’ve had nearly a matching number of bottles of water. So the new powers are fading fast. It was interesting the mindset I had when I was plastered. Upon tripping on a sidewalk I found it easier to just keep running forward than to try and stabilize myself in place.
The resort is pretty empty except for the group of us. There aren’t many/any single women, so that’s a downside. But because of the vacancies, I have the best room in the place. Did I say room? I meant bungalow. I’ve a separate house next to the main bar, complete with kitchen. And I’m apparently not sharing it with anyone. That’s very important because the bedroom has a single king sized bed with the towels on it arranged romantically as a pair of swans. There are rose petals. I’m really hoping I’m not sharing that.
You know what I mean.


When you think about it, flying is a big leap of faith. Your plane takes off and heads off into the wasteland of the ocean. You have to trust your instruments to find land and then you have to trust the locals to have made a place for you to land safely. Doesn’t bother me.
My big fear is just whether my luggage decided to join me.
The Dominican Republic seems very nice. More mountainous; while flying high up there was a cloud covered mountain still higher.
I can’t really judge a place after half an hour, but it feels better than Jamaica. (But not as nice as Turks and Caicos.) Not so much poverty. Still, buildings look like they are abandoned or falling down; the jungle is trying to reclaim itself.
My driver felt very complimented when I told him his English was better than a Jamaican. (They speak Spanish here. In theory, they speak English in Jamaica.)

Good seat

I scored the emergency exit row window seat. Dana the stewardess had a nice personal speech for me about the responsibilities of the seat. She wasn’t used to poignant questions or having inconsistencies pointed out. (Water outside needed clarification as she conflicted with the safety card.) She kept having to start over.

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At the airport

So I’m waiting to board my flight to Toronto and then on to the Dominican Republic. I signed up for this vacation eight months ago, back when I still had a job. If I had a choice now, I probably wouldn’t go. But that is how I usually feel before vacations. I never anticipate them until I’m actually there.
Still, I should be more optimistic. I will have friends there and that is what makes a vacation fun.

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Stupid distance running

Yesterday I ran my furthest distance since the Death Race. 29.2 km. It was a bit of a learning experience.
It was in the mountains, and my father greatly enjoys driving slowly in the park, so he offered to support my run. It was a fairly gloomy day; very overcast, chilly, and occasional sprinkles. Not great for enjoying summer, but fairly good for a run. This was a similar route to every previous run I’ve done in the mountains, but was going to be shorter; initially only planned to be 30 km. We started just off Bragg Creek and went west.
I had walkie-talkies from the Death Race and they allowed me to communicate with my father instead of yelling across the highway. So I had conversation most of the way. We also had Harry the dog in the car, and he went fairly berserk on seeing me running next to the car. After half an hour, we put him on a leash and made him run with me for ten minutes. That quieted him down for awhile. It took another ten minute run later to truly shut him up.
Actually he was pulling me for most of the run. I kept having to tell him to slow down. I think this dog finds it easier to run than walk; he seems more tired after a long walk than a hard run.
Anyway, because this run was shorter than the usual ones into the mountains, I didn’t do the usual training option. In other words, I ran up hills instead of walking. Did I say hills? I meant mountains. I ran through clouds. (They’re cold.)
The learning experience though was in the recovery. I didn’t respect the distance. So after the run, I didn’t do much special. I forgot that I had burned way too many calories and I needed food. But I just ate a regular amount. It took 24 hours for me to eventually figure out that the reason I was feeling under the weather was not because I had caught pneumonia, but that I was hungry. I don’t really notice hunger anymore. That’s probably not safe.


I’m visiting my parent’s. For their anniversary they got themselves a new TV and a Blu-ray player. I brought some of my Blu-ray disks so that they have something to watch on it. Since they live in the country, it is hard for them to rent disks, so I even rented some from my local video store as well.
I have a big screen TV and a Blu-ray player, so I’ve got experience with High Definition. And now I’ve learned that I don’t have squat. My TV is big, but it is old. I’m stunned at how sharp the picture looks on their new TV. Watching Avatar, it looked like a science program on PBS. It was better than the movie theatre. It actually looks too good. It doesn’t look like a movie anymore.
We just saw 2012. A hard to believe movie, but you should check your brain at the door. I was stunned at the beauty of the long shots with mountains in the background. Special effects actually didn’t look as good as they would on my old TV. Because everything is sharper, the little errors stand out more.
I need a new TV.
One last thing about the movie, and I’m trying to figure out if I’m right or wrong. Okay, spoiler alert: the apocalypse happens. At one point, they comment that the south pole is in Wisconsin. At the end of the movie they show the earth, and the dawn/dusk line is still going north and south. Shouldn’t it be going towards the states?

Holy Blap!

Originally uploaded by ad_havoc

It Works?!
This is the Grande Cache area in iCartographer, using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data.
It’s clear there are still problems, but it is an amazing first run. But this is the first time my program has had to deal with real data, and not just the stuff I randomly generate.
Pretty good for only an hour’s work!

I should still see about getting a dinner.

This can’t end well

So, if I’m left to my own devices, I can get into trouble. It is late at night, and due to possible food poisoning, I still haven’t had dinner. I’m not that hungry, but I’m alert, so I’ve been doing some delaying tactics to avoid getting a meal made. This usually involves trolling the internet. Then what do I discover, but the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.
Long story short, but it is possible to download the elevation data for almost anywhere on Earth. Some further research, and I’ve found out the file format. It’s really simple!
With just a bit of work, I think I could get iCartographer to read these in.
Then my program goes from just a fun little toy, to… something else. I’m not sure what yet. Educational?

Bind that!

I have been working on adding a new feature to iCartographer. I could have done it very quickly, but I decided to take the hard way. This is sort of like going to the moon. I wanted to learn more about Cocoa Bindings and Key-Value Coding/Observing.
It took a day and a half to get any progress to show up. Even then, there were fundamental problems. Then, yesterday it just clicked. While resting and vaguely thinking about the problem and how to debug it, I realized that the way I was going to debug was revealing the fundamental defect. Once I figured that out, all the bugs disappeared.
I would like to make a release of iCartographer once a month. A schedule like that will keep me focussed. And I had a personal goal of getting this month’s release done on the 15th. I can easily do that now, but I’m thinking that I should do a better job of bullet-proofing the code to handle future features. It’s somewhat hard to justify that when no one has downloaded it. At least I don’t think anyone has downloaded it; Google Analytics isn’t reporting any downloads, not even the ones I did. Does it ignore the ones I do? i.e No one has downloaded it. Or did I set up the downloading code incorrectly. I should look into that.

Time to man up

I feel like a little girl. This is not a good thing.
There was a woman I liked and who was the closest thing I’ve had to a real relationship. There was a bit of a falling out earlier this year. But I thought things had been repaired and we were still friends; albeit long-distance. Today, I noticed that I hadn’t seen a Facebook update from her in awhile. Five seconds of research showed that I was no longer her Facebook friend.
I felt really hurt.
And it has been lasting all day. This should not be happening. Well, the de-friending can and will happen, I understand that. But the feeling hurt shouldn’t. I’m a big boy. Life continues.
But, if I look at it properly, this is a good experience. I probably need to be rejected more often so that I don’t live in such fear of it. Because really, I can’t talk to woman I’m attracted to; too much fear.
Luckily, after the evening run, I’m feeling much better. Because running makes you stupid. (New research is also showing that being stupid makes you a better runner.)