Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fantasies, Fallacies and Forges

The word of the week is tenacity.

Oct 19 – Election

What to say about the election results today…?

One thing to start: I’m glad to see Harper gone. As are a lot of other Canadians - you can look up those numbers for yourself. You can find lists of his stupidities online easily and while I am the first to admit that Harper’s government is of the first to make mistakes, they sure made a lot of people angry with their policies and positions for Canada.

Good riddance to bad rubbish

I will say I'm a little surprised that the Liberals got a majority government, as the numbers didn't indicate that their victory would be to such a large degree. All the same, I think that overall a Liberal-led government will be beneficial to the country at least in the short term, hopefully reversing some or all of the stupidity that Harper and his cronies inflicted on Canada during their time in power.

What really struck me about this election is the number of people everywhere who were discussing it for the last few months. You couldn't go anywhere without overhearing people discussing the politics of the pending election, which I've never heard such a wide degree in all my time.

If nothing else, we have to thank Harper for giving us something to pull Canadians together to vote against.


Oct 20 – Soldier On…

The credit union called me today about my business loan application, but I missed it as I was working. They did leave a message though:

I’d been turned down.

*pause for reflection, then shrugs*

I’m not surprised, really; I’d given it a good shot, but figured that I had a 50/50 chance, at best. Not having hard assets( get your mind out of the gutter! )like a vehicle, house or other tangible property made it questionable if anyone will take a risk on me for a few thousand dollars.

I’m used to that, too. Thanks for asking.


All the same, I’m not all that discouraged by today’s news. As I just said: I’m used to it: despite my solid credit rating, I don’t fit a category banks( or credit unions )like in any substantial way. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the words ‘get a co-signer’ I could probably have eaten several lavish meals over the course of the last 20 years. Plus have some left over for dessert.

You get the picture.

In any case, I am forging ahead( yes, I went there )and purchasing the Glowforge myself this week. While it won’t be easy, it is possible, and I’m determined to make a go of things to move ahead with my life financially. It may seem odd to spend a fair piece of money for financial gain, but I’m always too well aware of the long run.

I’m tired of treading water, tired of staying in the same spot, never getting ahead of the tide – just floating. I want to swim towards shore, to stop slowly sinking, and today’s news only emphasizes that I’ll have to do it myself, boat or no boat.

My beach is waiting.


Oct 21 – Fun and Hot Water

I decorated my desk at work today: huzzah!

I’ve not had a place to decorate( ie. show off stuff )for many years; the closest I ever got was decorating the branches at MMart a few times a season and even then, I usually wasn’t the one doing it. Which kinda defeats the purpose.

So this year I decided to go all out, having been planning it since last year when I bought some of the decorations to use the following Halloween. Here's what I came up with:


As you can see, I'm a big fan of spiderwebs. Less obvious are the two giant spiders hanging around the area, you to them about a foot in diameter and quite cute, I think. I also added a severed robot head, with red spotlight, as well as various spiders and bats hanging in the webs. I even have a smoke machine, of a sorts, that uses regular tap water to produce a white mist. Unfortunately it's hard to see in the photos and quite honestly is not nearly as effective as actual smoke machines are, in that the area around the gets wet fairly quickly so that I only run it to show people now and then.

Soon after my decorations were complete today, the Director stopped in her tracks and came over to tell me that I was a ‘fun person’ in that she's noticed I always throw myself fully into whatever I'm doing. I told her that I just enjoy being able to have fun at work, especially when we can decorate for the season and have others enjoy that effort.


Oct 22 – Fantasy

I gave a much-delayed presentation tonight for my writing group.

Originally scheduled to take place at the end of August, I had to cancel due to my cellulitis and tonight was the first open slot we had to let me present.

The topic? The Fantasy Genre, and all it contains, which is substantial! Unknown to me when I first started my research on the topic months ago, fantasy is an ever evolving genre which has only been around for less than 50 years. By last count, there are more than 60 distinctive sub-genres, which is an incredible number given that most people are only familiar with about a dozen or so. You can learn more about this over at BestFantasyBooks.com, whose genre listing is fairly well complete and the site itself is rather fun to browse around.


As for myself, I kind of burned out on the fantasy genre a while back, for which I blame Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series: there was just too much to keep straight in my head( or even on paper )and without my being able to find a comprehensive online guide tree along with, it sort of fell by the wayside. Prior to Robert Jordan series, I often enjoyed books by Ed Greenwood, as well as other authors from the Dungeons & Dragons stable of fantasy books - there were so many that I collected and I still own quite a few, all of which still have a special place on my bookshelves.

Given that right now I'm barely reading anything, was books piling up on my shelves unread, fantasy will probably be taking a back seat for a few more years until I can make more time for it. I'm not too upset about that, in that there's a lot of it floating around in my head and tonight's presentation only underscored the fact that it's a vast genre that needs proper time to explore.


Oct 23 – I Am George!

Sometimes, you have to give in, despite yourself.

After having dinner with my girlfriend, we popped over to Value Village to browse through the costume selection there, in case there is anything that caught her eye or mine. While I have two separate Halloween costumes already prepared( sorry, no spoilers! )it seems I was destined for third…

Totally out of the blue while shopping tonight, the young security guard in the aisle in front of me turned around and said “You know, you should go as George Lucas this year.”

I managed to find almost this EXACT shirt!

Surprised, I had to laugh, because he's about the eight person who's told me the exact same thing, though the first random stranger to do so - everyone else has been a coworker or friend. My thick wavy hair, combined with my full gray beard, simply screams ‘Star Wars Creator’ to people, I guess.

I should probably take a hint.

Coincidentally, I was able to find a Lucas-esque plaid shirt in a dark color at Value Village tonight, along with a can of costume-grade grey hair spray. Now all I have to do is stuff a pillowcase and plunk both a Disney logo and some dollar signs on it, then then the costume will be complete.

Out of the mouths of strangers comes greatness…?


PS – I bought the Glowforge today, so that’s around $3K invested in myself… the first units will start shipping in early 2016. I’ve made arrangements to go pick it up from a place just inside the border in the USA, so that will save me about $400 overall, even with the gas / ferry costs. Here’s hoping that today’s expenditure is the first step towards a better financial future for me…


Oct 24 – Free Movie and OMNIrom

You should always get up early if there's a freebie in the offing!

Such was the case this morning, when I headed out the door early to make it to the local Cineplex by 9 AM to see... a free movie! Playing today was an enjoyable flick:

FULL HD DM2 goodness!

Apart from one kid who wouldn't stop screaming for 30 minutes straight at one point( Parent: really? Take him outside, don't just keep repeating 'shhhh!' )the movie was fantastic. By noon, I was home and had settled into my first major task of the day: upgrading my ASUS TF300T tablet to the latest Android 5.1.1 version, called Lollipop( cute name ). I planned on doing this months ago, but I didn't feel comfortable until now, having spent that time studying the process thoroughly so that I knew exactly what I was getting into.

The upgrade process itself is fairly simple, but you have to make sure that you follow proper precautions( backing things up! )plus each step, one by one. I did so, and within an hour had a working 5.1.1 Android tablet. It ran so smoothly, so MUCH better than the 4.4.4 versions, with no appreciable lag whatsoever. It just goes to show what properly-written software can do!


Unfortunately, later this same evening, a ‘Nightly Update’ appeared on my system menu for OMNIrom. As this was the idea in the first place( regular updates )I set it to install… and on the next boot, several Google processes commenced to crash continuously.

*sigh*

So it’s back to the drawing board, after about an hour of trying to correct the issue, including another Factory Wipe and reinstall. I’ll likely find another ROM to install( KatKISS? CMmod? )this week, when I get a chance.


Oct 25 – Selling Onwards

What to do on a rainy day, you ask? Why not sell some things?

Having taken all sorts of pictures earlier in the week of various things cluttering up my place, I set to work on the written side of things, creating words to go with the dozens of pictures – plus combining / editing said pictures to show said clutter in a much better light.

Hours later, I had five listings up on eBay, two of which are my Amiga hardware / software lots. While I won’t be getting anywhere near what I paid for everything originally, thanks to 20 years of depreciation, it’s still a decent sum to put towards what I’ve spent on the Glowforge this week, presuming that things sell. I’ve been realistic about what to ask for things, so I am hopeful.


It’s funny; eBay sn’t what it used to be.

A decade ago, it was the place to go, an economy all unto itself; even today, it reports over ten billion USD in revenue a year, though it’s growth nowadays isn’t nearly what rival Amazon is seeing - and that’s the key factor as to why eBay isn't still on top.

Consumers have left eBay’s uncertain auction-bid-process in favour of more convenient shopping online, at places like Amazon, Walmart and even Alibaba. When it’s easy to research prices on items in minutes, people would much rather pay a little more to buy their items immediately, instead of waiting a week or so to discover if they’ve won an auction or not – who has the time?

I myself shop mostly online, as many places offer free basic shipping; I don’t have to go out for more than groceries or basic necessities locally, anymore. Which is nice, as I don’t have a car and taking the bus is a pain… as is cycling these days. I know my prices and places and save as much as I can by shopping around – sites like ShopBot.com and RedFlagDeals.com make it easy to find deals on things I need.

Things I want, well… those will have to wait until this time next year.


I'm tired. Spending the last two weeks working on my business plan didn't pay off hand I need to recover. I'm hopeful that I can now re-direct my energies towards other things, including my writing and business preparation, so that I can be prepared for starting my business on my own in early 2016. Having spent all this 3-day weekend being busy, I don't actually have anything scheduled for any night this week, so it should be fairly relaxing, at least as much as I can make it so.