Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fun, Foap and Fantasy Libraries

The word of the week is omnilegent.

Feb 27 – Ultimate Library?

Why not start off the week with a fantasy?

Better yet, a fantasy library that really exists... although it's owned by a billionaire, it has to be seen to be believed, with images like this:

The multi-storey( story? )room almost doesn't look REAL...

Located in New England, the library belongs to Jay Walker, founder of Walker Digital and Priceline.com. The rest of Walker's mansion was constructed around the 3600 square-ft library, and was first conceived of as a 7-foot model, to get the sightlines just right:


Seeing a library like this is just mesmerizing, and I can just picture myself sitting in reading platform below, looks stacked by my side. The only thing missing from this picture is a fireplace, one of which I can only imagine is built-in somewhere else out-of-frame in this incredible space:

Needs a fireplace... but that's about it.

Absolutely incredible.... and now I have a new library standard to aspire to!


Feb 28 – (un)Cool, Stove!

I don't microwave, and neither does my sister.

While some people will tell you that microwaving things isn't as good as cooking 'naturally', as it may "destroy some nutrients" the smart folks over at Harvard Universitytell us that this just isn't so. But that's not the reason why we don't have one in our apartment: there's just no room in our tiny 36 ft.² kitchen.


So we've been using the stove / oven for our cooking needs, which are the most part it has been convenient enough to prepare meals and reheat leftovers.

Until the oven failed this week.

As most kitchens have both an underused oven and oft-used microwave at everyone's disposal, having one or the other fail isn't usually an issue. For us however, not having other means that reheating food is suddenly far more difficult, as a stovetop pot isn't nearly as flexible as a true oven.

While I was home last week on Friday, the repair man and landlord came by to have a look at the unit. As part of a conversation I had while everything was being tested, the repair man let slip some interesting facts: new ovens are in no way better than 30-year-old units like the one in my apartment, and in many ways they're inferior. Newer stoves have elements containing fewer coils, the controls are front-mounted, making it easier to accidentally turn them on or for children to play with, and they don't last nearly as long as ones made two or three decades ago.

With that in mind, I hope that this unit can be repaired rather than replaced, as it's done well to date and been otherwise very reliable.

But, in the end, we need to have a working appliance... however that happens.


March 1st – Why DO We Write?

It's a new month, so time for some introspection...

One of my favorite writers to follow is David Gerrold, who shares more written words in a day's worth of Facebook post then I write in one week's blog posting - astounding, and the quality of his posts are evidence that he is a writer's writer.

One of his more recent posts was about writing itself, as often happens when a writer ruminates about the reasons behind making words appear from thin air:


This encapsulates some of the basics about writing: it's about sharing, of having a dialogue between the reader and the author to express ideas.

Thanks, David!


Mar 2 – Old-School Transformers... ?

Um... I'm not sure what to make of this one.

There are many kinds of Transformers fans out there, and many of them are now quite talented, having reached their 40s or 50s with decades of professional experience under their belt.

What they do with that talent, well... have a look: ( WARNING: NSFW! )


I must admit, content aside, the animation in the video is top-notch and the models are perfectly on spec to the old Transformers TV cartoon. The sense of humor... well, that's debatable, but I personally found it quite funny all the same.

Roll out more like this, please!


Mar 3 – Fake Rentals?

What the bloody baffling hell... what is WITH some people?

When I first moved here, I noticed a few suspicious ads among the local rental listings, of the "too good to be true" variety. I reported them to the site's admins, and a few disappeared... but others kept coming back. Renter beware!

Now, with the red-hot rental market here in Victoria, criminals have been quick to jump in to take advantage of people desperate for affordable apartments in the city, which just makes my blood boil.

If it's too good to be true... 

I guess it's because I just don't understand how criminals can have a lack of empathy for the situations that other people find themselves in through no fault of their own... and have no qualms about taking vantage of those people for their own illegal financial gain. There has to be some mental justification mechanism, some sort of "Well, Me First and if THEY are dumb enough to fall for MY scam, then THEY deserve what happens to them" is the closest I can get to figuring out that twisted mentality.

Which also means that the criminals deserve what justice they get when the system finally catches up to them... but as we all know, back in either take a long time or in all possibility, never happen. Best to educate yourself, if you're renting, on how to avoid being scammed:

BIG image, but worthwhile info.

Meaning that too many more people are soon going to be deprived of their hard-earned money by scum who prey on the vulnerable and desperate.


Mar 4 – Games Night For Two

It was date night tonight with my lady!

We went to see the film Robots at the Victoria IMAX, which has the largest screen in Canada and has been recently renovated to include the latest in laser projection technology. The picture was incredibly crisp, with none of the flutter, motion blur or distortion one associates with film based projection, even at IMAX resolutions: it was astounding to watch even this simple 40 minute documentary, narrated incredibly well by Simon Pegg.

We also got to see this amazingly rare car, the Esso 67X, the only one of four examples created to survive to the modern day. Designed by George Barris, the creator the original Batmobile, it included innovative concepts such as front-wheel drive, swivel seats, a TV, a writing table and even a built-in cooler:

BIG picture, but tons of high-res detail!

After dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory( I took most of mine home with me )we then spent a few hours comfortably settled into the Wild Coffee House & Bistro to play boardgames( our first run-through of Forbidden Desert, then a solid game of Dragonflame ). It turned out to be an excellent choice and we might make it a regular gaming stop, as the Café is open until 10 PM and is not busy at all on Saturdays. They have excellent gluten-free / vegan food options and I especially like inside decor, plus there's a quiet upper nook to game in too, though we ended up sitting next to the stairs:

We sat directly below this picture, with an under-stair 'reading nook' next to us - nice!

One thing to note is that I'm still uncomfortable sitting for periods longer than half an hour, as my abdominal muscles tend to tense up( it almost feels like it's happening internally, like I'm clenching my abs 24/7 )causing discomfort. It's irritating, as I must consciously a pay close attention to how I'm sitting, so that I'm not leaning forward with the front of my body that will contribute to tension problems later in the day and especially at night, making it hard to sleep.

But, as always, I'm a work in progress... which amuses my girlfriends no end.


Mar 5 – Foap?

No, that's not a typo from 'soap' - Foap is an app.

Specifically, it's an app where you upload your best photos to a site where photography professionals browse and buy them, should they fit their needs at the time. It's an easy( and legal )way to make some extra money on a side, which I'm always looking for.


The rates are decent, too: each photo costs $10 US, and if it sells then you and Foap get five dollars each, which is pretty darn good. If you upload a few hundred good photos, then your chances of selling one or two of them every month, or even every week, are decent. It all depends on what companies are looking for what type of photo at a given time to use for their products or projects.

I've uploaded around 100 of my best images this month, mainly pictures without people( due to the release of rights ). I'm going to just see how that goes for upload any more, as you can only upload them from your phone at all and I don't feel like going to the trouble of linking photos from my PC cloud storage unless some of the ones I've uploaded start selling the next few months.

At best, another hundred dollars per month would be quite welcome!


My health has been okay of late, in case you're wondering: I'm walking around and getting about my days with nary a twinge, though I am ensuring that I'm not sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time at work or at home. My digestion is still off however, which I think is related to my weight loss( I'm still hovering around 148lbs or so ): eating more than half my pre-Christmas meal sizes makes me feel full, and I have to be careful eating anything within a few hours after that or I feel like things are getting... stuck, as they exit my stomach. Not fun. I have a doctors appointment in a week or so, and I'll be bringing up the subject among other things, but for the most part I feel like I'm getting back on track with my health for 2017. I just have to get this eating thing figured out, which is why I'm posting this blog entry WAY early, as I'm feeling tired and need to spend the rest of my evening writing / editing while laying down, which seems to help ease my stomach tension. See you all next week!