Edmonton theory

I have a theory.
Edmonton is a frigid place and many people don’t like it here because of that. Yet a lot of people also like this place, and go out of there way to move here. And I think I have figured out why:
People like Edmonton directly proportional to how much winter activity they do.
I go out running all winter. This means I don’t get cabin fever and I get to enjoy the spectacular river valley. If I did not, I would be stuck inside all winter, and understandably cranky about it. Most of my friends, who like Edmonton, are also healthy people with winter exercises.
The river valley here is key. It is a huge park that really sets Edmonton apart from other cities. It amplifies outdoor activities. If we didn’t have it, winter would be a lot worse.
And if you can’t enjoy winter, then Edmonton would indeed be terrible. But whose fault is that?


Am I undateable?
Okay, hear me out. This isn’t a grab for sympathy, but some introspection that I want to go through. And I am feeling good about this, because I think I’ve discovered something.
In my previous post on February 9th, I made this statement:

The thing going through my head is that I don’t want to let anyone down. If I ask someone to dance, I am taking responsibility for giving them a good time. If I don’t feel I have the skills to do that, I am feel bad and am disappointed in myself.

One could just glance over what I said, but if we look closer, what can we learn?
I saw a video recently of a friend and her boyfriend getting ready to go out for some clubbing. They were dressed more extreme that I am used to. But what got me was that the guy looked relaxed and okay with it all. He was having fun.
“I am taking responsibility for giving them a good time.”
That might just be the crux of my problems. Whenever I am with a woman I am attracted to, I can not be myself. I cannot just enjoy myself. The overwhelming responsibility is wrecking that.
If I am with a non-single woman, they are just a friend. It is not my responsibility to give them a good time. I can be myself. I still seem to be worried that they aren’t having a good time, but the pressure is far, far, less. I need to be like that more.
I need to stop caring about people!
Or be more trusting. Trust that another person isn’t going to try and get rid of me when I am not being entertaining. Except that past experience doesn’t support that hypothesis.

My empire grows

I gave fair warning to some friends that I would register their baby’s name as a website. I gave them 24 hours notice. I told them I was not joking. Domain names are cheap. They are priced to own. I didn’t really want it, but a threat will usually get people to get their act together.

Now what the hell do I do with borgtron.com?

In other news, I apparently still own rottentrailers.com. I really should do something with that. At the very least, stop parking it and point it to my own website. I originally planned to make a variation on www.rottentomatoes.com but on trailers. How much does this trailer spoil its movie?
I had another idea where I rate a movie, based off of how its trailer portrays it. For instance, Lost in Translation is a terrible comedy. But Transformers is an excellent giant-robots-beating-each-other-up movie.

Living epics

I got back to the work on the manuscript index. I finally finished the logic on the web pages. They all work and show what they need to. The links between them all are operating as expected.
So, let’s make this live!
I did some experimenting, and actually got it up on my website. There were a number of issues that I had to get through first.

  1. You need to actually put data in the database for the website to access. Simple enough, but it is an important step not to miss.
  2. The code for checking that parameters aren’t being made evil, actually requires a connection to the database first. It worked locally without it, but on the website, not so much. That was confusing, but a good lesson to learn.

I probably should place a link to it here, but I don’t feel THAT confident about it. The biggest reason I even did this, is so that my father, who is the author of all the data, can look it over. And that leads to the chief reason not to let people know about it: it doesn’t look right.
My father is preparing the data from ancient databases and word processing documents from twenty five years ago. (And that is prehistoric in computer terms, not just ancient) that lived on a mainframe computer. Since the programs and computer don’t exist anymore, a certain amount of translation has to happen. It hasn’t all been completed. And some of the data is oddly missing. I know there is a manuscript in Innsbruck, with a call number of “Codex 1342”, but I have no idea where in town to find it. There is a library “Oesterr. Nationalbibliothek (anc. d’un couvent d’Autriche)” in Vienna, with a single manuscript. (Did I mention that the site is supposed to be in French?) It does not have a call number, and I have no other information about it.
Hopefully, things will start to make more sense when we start getting the information about contents of each manuscript in. Plus we will get to list all the epics/legends that have been written.
Hint: Roland figures heavily.

Yay, Science!

I went to the Telus World of Science yesterday. Nominally it was to see the Star Wars exhibit, but I also spent a good part of the day soaking up science.
And it led to some awkward questions.
Have we passed our pinnacle of science? Don’t get me wrong, science is still marching on and making discoveries. But there are very few big science moments that everyone can grasp. Things that people will sit up and notice.
For me, the pinnacle was going to the moon. No one can imagine it as being easy. Everyone can understand what is going on. People can wrap their heads around it.
The Large Hadron Collider is big science, but let’s be honest, I have no real idea what it is doing. I’ve attended a lecture that did describe it, and I may have the gist of it. But my heart doesn’t understand it.
I suppose this is that same kind of “logic” that anti-vaccine people use.
I still am in awe of the big lug, but it doesn’t inspire me. Space does. And so far, the biggest thing we do in space was to send a atomic robot tank to Mars. Impressive. But nothing beats an astronaut.
I read once that one of the benefits of the Apollo mission was that kids wanted to be astronauts, so they took science. It inspired people. Back then, NASA had cachet. Now, it doesn’t inspire as much. (Although I still get goosebumps just seeing a space shuttle go up.) Do kids these days think of returning fire to the gods, or are they more likely to want to be an investment banker to rape and pillage businesses?
Are we just rearranging deck chairs on the titanic? Or can we become gods again?

Bait and switch

Well, that was interesting.
Interesting in the sense that I never want to do it again.
I had gone to, what I had been told, would be some salsa dancing. Since my class next week is postponed, it would be a good opportunity to keep in training. There would be a bachata starter class beforehand, but it would a good thing to be familiar with.
It was not mentioned that there is a bachata conference going on. So, after the simple class, there would be nothing but bachata music and lots of people who are far, far, better at it than you dancing it.
I feel self-conscious enough with salsa, which I am beginning to get familiar with. Under these perfect-storm conditions, nothing good could happen. The thing going through my head is that I don’t want to let anyone down. If I ask someone to dance, I am taking responsibility for giving them a good time. If I don’t feel I have the skills to do that, I feel bad and am disappointed in myself.
Now, I could probably say that I was there to dance, and that people would be friendly and happy to dance with someone who only knows the basic step. And I even said that out loud to someone else. But it is one thing to say it, and another to believe it. And I do know that I was having a mild panic attack while there.
I did know a few people there, which might have made it easier. The instructor was usually busy, and I did force her to dance salsa with me and critique it. There was the girl that I danced with last week, but she was popular to dance with so had more showy people to be with. Oddly, there was a runner I knew there, but she is in level 2 of bachata, which is not where I am at. I did spend some time talking to her though. And that was the extent of my social circle. Otherwise, just like a bar.
I should try and take some vitamin B complex before I go out. I hear it reduces anxiety.

Self improvement plan

The second last Newsweek ever had an interesting article about resolutions. It came out around the new year, so it is not without precedent. The general gist of it, is that most everyone will fail at resolutions. Instead of trying to achieve a target, you should try and do something each day to help with your goal. One of the methods recommended, was to put an “X” in a calendar for every day that you worked towards your goal. “Your only job … is not break the chain.”
I’ve got a running calendar that I’ve been using to keep track of my physical therapy exercises. The method has been working. I’ve actually gone running again, albeit on a treadmill, but tomorrow I plan to do my first run outside.
But I wanted to use the method on my new years resolution (to be a creator). However, I do not have another calendar in which I can keep track of those “X”s, so it has been somewhat more difficult to be as motivated. But I’ve been dancing, updating my blog, being proactive on Facebook… All good things.
There is an unfortunate side-effect of this though. I have been stressed. Maybe part of it is problems with my new bed, but I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I used to because I’m trying to do everything. This caused me to be sick last week, which messed up my Xs anyway.
So, I have to find a balance between being a better person and not burning myself out.