Sunday, 29 May 2016

Walks, Well-Being and Wackiness

The word of the week is implacable.

May 23 – Steady On

Strange... as I place things in this blog, thinking that I never have enough space( nor time )to write down everything that's going through my mind of the week. My brain is always busy, churning out comparisons, criticisms and conundrums each and every hour of every day. Over the years, I've managed to impose a sort of order on the chaos, in that some thoughts get written down for later cogitation wallet let others play in the mud until they're exhausted.

It's a good mental construct, I think.

Getting through each week mentally is always unique: some weeks are quite challenging and draining, while others are energizing... it all depends on what factors are driving me day-to-day during those dates.

Some weeks I want to hunker down and just ignore the crazy going on around me, while other times I can barely climbed down from the peak from which upon I'm viewing so much of the world( which is a metaphor for too much time spent on the Internet ) which in turn sparked so many more thoughts...

Given that I have a lot to do this year, my brain has to be in the right kind of shape to deal with my daily work challenges while still leaving enough unused fuel to burn for my creative endeavors of an evening... and since I've been managing to control my anxiety daily fairly well these last few months, I can focus far better.

That makes me happy - as well as balanced.

May 24 – The same Thing We Do Every Night...

What writer doesn't love a good plot?

I know I do, and the zany plans of the infamous lab-mouse duo in Pinky And The Brain always fascinated me: how can such crazy plans actually work, even in concept?

There were quite a few episodes of the show, and in many of them Brain almost got what he wanted: to take over the world, but somehow it never actually worked out, in the end. I own the entire series on DVD and darned if I haven't wanted to watch it all again lately...

Keeping track of the plans was too much for my brain however, and I can only recall a few of them, crazy as they were. Thankfully, a kind soul over at has put together a complete list of all 94 wild schemes that were hatched. Some of my favourites are #'s 12, 29 and 55.

Now sing the theme song with me in your head...

May 25 – Why Laserdiscs?

Why, you ask, would I get into an old-tech hobby?

It's a good question, and there's more than a few good answers as to the reasons I decided in late 2015 to find myself in possession of some 20-year-old precursors to DVD's and a couple of semi-working( argh! )players.

In the main, I dived in because of Babylon5, as the CGI for the show frankly looks like crap on DVD, as they did a terrible job of transferring the video from the broadcast footage. It's very much like watching television before HD, when people wearing striped suits would have 'crawling lines' all over them... it's hard to watch.

This lovely video explains almost all the major factors( from a new collectors viewpoint )of why people might decide to get into collecting laser disks. I found that it contained many of my own reasons for starting this not-too-expensive( but could easily become so )hobby, and it's worth watching:

May 26 – Simpsons Advice

What if Moe Sizlack gave a commencement address at a college?

Interestingly, Hank Azaria did just that this year, addressing his alma mater's graduating class of 2016 to give them some pointers and life advice he's picked up while providing so many of the memorable voices on The Simpsons, plus his other roles in Hollywood.

It's a great speech, and for me the parts that rang true to my own journey were where Hank talks about 'taking your own time' to find what works for you, and only you. I think it's a great speech, enlivened by Hank having many of our fave friends from The Simpsons give advice in character - give it a watch, it's worth it:

May 27 – Long Week

Dang, but this was a long short week.

Monday was the holiday Victoria Day, and so the week should have felt shorter... but it didn't, as we're down a person at work on our team and so when things are steady, they're actually busy. Which is fine most days, but we'll see how the busy days actually stack up next week when the start of the month rolls around and we're inundated with work to do.

Additionally, today I was invited to a meeting where I found out that I'll be part of a major ongoing project at work for the next six months. It seems that my computer skills as well as my other talents were noticed by a few people when this project was put together and I'm going to be helping along as part of my daily routine, which I'm extremely excited about. It means that when the project is finished, a lot more information will be accessible in more secure ways to clients and others( I can't go into details here for a while yet )which will make life easier for everyone, including the workers at the office.

Personally, it's a good thing that the days are getting longer, in that I'm still waking up at 6 AM and evening sunsets are moving closer to 9 PM, giving me a few 'extra' hours each day which I plan on taking advantage of cumulatively in the coming months. Seeing as many factors are coming together to give me the time I need to work on my writing, I'd be a fool to ignore any advantage this would give me.

The long days of Summer are here...!

May 28 – Neverending Big Screen!

Today was a step back into my youth, cinematically at least.

Myself, my lady and my sister all went to see The Neverending Story on the big screen, as part of a Family Classics series that Cineplex has been running on Saturdays March through June this year. I wasn't that interested in most of the other titles, save today's - it's about as perfect an 80's kid's fantasy movie as there is.

Some classics, some meh...

When I originally saw the film, I immediately connected to the character Sebastian, and I find it fascinating that now I no longer do. Instead, I feel a far greater attachment to the movie itself as a whole, in that it's a meta-reflection on the mutual support that fantasy and reality give each other for human creativity.

Plus, Falcor's just so damn cool... luck dragon!!!

Did you know this existed? I didn't, before strolling in Oak Bay today...

A little bit of luck followed me out of the theater, when at the end of our full day about town together, my lady and I went out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. When the bill came after a lovely meal, I handed over the gift card I had hanging around from last year and discovered that instead of the five dollars I thought was on there, it was $25! Super gift card surprise! Our meal cost us a total of $3.27, plus tip... quite a lucky deal!

The small things in life can have the biggest impact. Yay!

May 29 – Volunteering!

It's been a long, long time... since I volunteered.

Quite honestly, it's not something on my radar, which makes me thing sometimes about what priorities and what I spend my time on.

My thoughts have always been: if I'm earning enough money for the time I spend working, have enough time to pursue my passions / hobbies, spend enough time with my family and friends AND have time left over, then I'll volunteer. Given the rather roller-coaster life-ride I've had in the last 20 years, I'd say that's an understandable mindset to take.

For the World Partnership Walk, I arrived by bus at Uvic a little before 10 AM, heading over to the audio tent next to the main stage. Most everything had already been set up by that point and a Jazzercise group was rocking the main lawn while I helped tweak the audio setup.

Then the main event got started, with almost 1000 people present to make the 5 km walk today. It Was quite the crowd and there was a lot going on for the next two hours, introducing many local Important Folk, including several mayors and news personalities. I was kept busy assisting my work friend who it asked for my help earlier in the week, ensuring that audio levels were too loud for the crowd and that many minor related( and often unrelated )tasks around the stage were accomplished. We had a break for lunch when the majority of the crowd went for the Walk( which took about an hour around the campus )then it was back to work as wards were given out for the most funds raised by various groups: in total walk raised nearly $150,000 CAN to help eliminate poverty worldwide this year - I got to handle the giant cheques too, which was pretty cool.

The weather cooperated as well, with cool cloudy overcast giving way to perfect sunshine and blue skies as the walk was progressing. That meant it was a beautiful afternoon to see the rest of the presentations, consisting of a dozen different cultural dance groups of all ages and each was fantastic. After everything was finished, the show runners came by to give their effusive thanks to my friend and I for making the show's audio run flawlessly throughout, which made us both happy as it was the first time either of us had run such a station by ourselves. A little bit of cleanup in the bright sunshine later and I was on my way home by bus by 3 PM. I spent a little bit of time down at Moka House reading some old New Wave science fiction from the 60's while sipping tea - gloriously relaxing. Then it was a little blogging and some more reading at a swift slide into a well-earned sleep for the night...

Today was such a great way to end the weekend!

What else is there to say? Long week turns into great weekend and sets up for a good run at the week to come. Nice! :-)