Sunday, 16 October 2016

Canes, Cable-Cutting and Catching A Break

The word of the week is profundity.

Oct 10 – Cane You Feel It?

Yep, the cane's still there, darn it.

I'm still gingerly getting around with some effort, and doing my best not to strain anything to do with my groin area, which is as you can imagine rather tricky. Yet because of my extreme caution, things seem to be getting better by degrees and I'm cautiously optimistic that in a few weeks, I won't need a cane at all.

That be great, because despite the upper body workout, my wrists aren't exactly loving having to support the majority of my weight. Though again I have to be careful not to twist my body out of alignment and throw something else off...

Even so, I've become rather proficient at caneing-around, and I am moving a lot more at work to ensure my tendons don't fall into stretchy bad habits. I also have a foot hammock at work now, slung neatly under my desk - it's been a huge help in keeping my right leg slung at the right angle to take any pressure off the tendon - thanks again, eBay!

This week, I've noticed my energy levels rising along with my optimism and that's been a welcome sign that mentally, I'm on the mend and from there the body will follow, if I have anything to say about it.

Oct 11 – The Hip: Memories not my own

How about a guest post today?

Apart from the occasional comments I've received on my blog posts over the years, I've never had anyone right a 'guest post' for my blog, though to be fair it never really asked.

However, is never a bad time to start! Here's an excerpt from a friend's blog this month, where he discusses in depth his memories of The Tragically Hip, which are( to my shame )far more extensive than my own:

His insightful post is in-depth, in every way a heartfelt tribute to The Hip, and is worth reading at least once if not more than a few times. It's certainly worthy of being called my first guest post and so there you are: go read it now!

Oct 12 – Whatta Workplace!

I work with a group of really amazing people.

For that, I'm grateful, more so than I think I've ever been for any place I've ever worked: almost twofold, everyone at my current workplace is friendly, easy to get along with and thoughtful, on top of being good at their jobs and generally happy to be working with one another.

A good example would be this past week, when the same one of my coworkers who thoughtfully picked up a Star Trek mug for me at value village a few weeks ago came by my desk today with another gift! I should mention that for a few months now, another one of my coworkers has been thoughtfully saving all of the Star Trek stamps that we receive on the mail that comes into the office daily, and I have quite a collection now, some of which don't even look like they've been used since he's so careful about taking them off the envelopes - and never fails to do so!

I no longer fear Mondays!

Somehow, my other coworker who dropped by today did one better: she managed to find an entire unused book of Star Trek stamps at the post office today. She's  remembered to ask the last two or three times she's been in to various post offices just on the off-chance that they had some, and today she scored! All she asked was the $10 that it cost for the set of stamps, which I gladly paid, and now I have a mint set, which I have carefully placed on my shelf right next to my Star Trek Continues poster.

While it's not Babylon 5, my girlfriend was excited to see the stamps, which are a rarity and I'm excited because it's yet another example of how amazing my workplace is... and did I mention that another coworker replaced my missing Starbucks mug that had disappeared from the lunchroom last week while drying?

Yeah. I'm a damn lucky guy...

Oct 13 –  Going cable-less

More than a year ago, I cut the cord.

Cable TV's umbilical feed, that is: August 2016 was my last month with cable, and I haven't looked back. Which is a good thing, because I've been really damn busy since then with all sorts of other things and quite honestly, having television as a sort of sponge-sop to fall back on at the end of the each of those long days would have been a bad thing. More people agree with this sentiment every year, in Canada, and elsewhere.

It's all too easy to just plop down on the couch, turn on due to the and let a few hours go by, though admittedly that particular habit has been replaced someone for many people with binge watching on Netflix. It's very similar nowadays with people who have PVR's, in that you can record a show and watch it in stages as you are able during the week, little manageable bites that still eat up your time.

I compare not having cable TV to websurfing and newsfeeds, in a way: when you're surfing, you're going looking for things that match your interests, whereas with newsfeeds those interests are force-fed to you 24 seven, whether or not you have time.

After over a year without cable, I have far more time to put towards other projects and I can be very selective about what I watch. Sure, I miss things like Game of Thrones on HBO, but programs lke Stranger Things on Netflix make up for the lack... and I can always rent a few seasons of GoT cheaply a year or two down the road on Blu-ray. Considering the masses of DVD's and Blu-Rays I already have that I either haven't watched yet( or haven't re-watched )in years, I think I'm good missing out on most of what's on television these days, which for the most part doesn't interest me, though there are a few sci-fi shows like Dark Matter that have peaked my interest... but again, I'll probably just watch them later at some point.

I have too much else to do right now.

Oct 14 – Four Years Ago...

... I got pneumonia, but it was worth it.


Because I finished the second draft of my novel, that's why... and I submitted it to a publisher before that particular contest deadline ended. Even though I didn't win, it was a major accomplishment and I learned an incredible amount in just 10 days( despite catch pneumonia from sitting in front of a 'drafty' window for so long - there's an ironic lesson in that somewhere ):

And... here I am four years later, working on the fourth draft of the same first novel, while having pleaded half of the first draft of the sequel and plotted out a good portion of the third in a series to boot.

Though it's slow going, I'm making progress, and despite all sorts of setbacks that I've had to deal with continuously along the way, I can still see the finish line. Or deadline, as it may be, albeit I've had to adjust my expectations significantly as to how often I write in a month and how well I think I'm doing because of that.

Being a writer is like being a big ball of yarn, tangled up with elastics and paperclips: somehow you got to straighten that yarn out and get it written down despite the difficulties.

Mostly, you have to learn how to roll with it...

Oct 15 – Spidey Re-Animate!!!

What a Saturday morning treat I had today!

Just after breakfast, I found a link in my newsfeed to a wonderful reimagining of an episode of the old 1970s Spiderman television cartoon! Here's a bit about how this amazing 12 minute animated short came about:

More than 70 artists came together to reimagine a 12-minute episode of Spider-Man, and the result is something that has to be seen to be believed. Spider-Man Re-Animate, produced by Grantray Lawrence Animation and posted on Vimeo by editor Ron Doucet, takes dozens of classic, modern, and obscure animation styles and seamlessly integrates them into the Spider-Man episode, “Vulture’s Prey.” The video was created by animators from Nova Scotia and was originally presented at the Nocturne at Night Arts Festival in Canada.

It's just a joy to watch, seeing all the little in-jokes and pop-culture references that the artists have worked in... so here you go!

Oct 16 – Alotta Hot Air, That!


What could've been a massive disaster here today turned out to be a no-show, as the remains of Typhoon Songda completely bypassed Victoria tonight. It was the third in a series of progressively more powerful storms coming in from the Pacific, with predicted winds in excess of 100 kph on the fully exposed West coast of Vancouver Island. People battened down the hatches here, with all ferry sailings to the Island canceled and the city became a ghost town after dinner as we prepared for power outages, possible flooding and the like.

Even the weather forecast didn't know exactly where the epicenter of the storm was going to make landfall until 8pm tonight, and the prediction was for strong, damaging winds to occur to the right of the landfall zone, smack-dab on Victoria:

That's us, right there at the bottom of the dark central coastline... the Eye to the left!

However, nothing happened.

Due to the geography of the southern tip of Vancouver Island where Victoria is located, as well as some fortuitous luck, the strongest winds actually happened this afternoon... then it was nothing but light breezes all evening, then just the occasional gentle draft around 8 PM and onwards.

My battery backups didn't even blink: no power failures, no flooding, nothing.

As of 10pm, the storm had moved North of Victoria, in the direction indicated...

It was as quiet a Saturday night I think as I've experienced here on Cook Street for many years, with very little traffic on the road and almost no pedestrians to speak of. Pretty much everyone stayed in and watched the weather news, which spoke of significant wind-and-wave damage down a few hundred miles south in Oregon on the coast.

Victoria sometimes has a charmed life, and I'm very happy to say that this time we caught a break. All the same, I'm going to be updating my emergency supplies, because this is only one of several possible disasters that might affect the Island in the near future.

It's always best to be prepared and not need to be, than the other way around.

My TurboGrafx16 eBay auction ended this evening, after week of my watching it nervously, and I'm happy to say that not one but FOUR people bid on it, culminating in the sale of my HUGE collection for price that I'm more than happy to let it go for - BIG HAPPY SMILES all around!!!