Sunday, 19 February 2017

Books, Birthdays and Beautiful Love

The word of the week is ebullient.

Feb 13 – Books and Sunshine!

What to do on a holiday... why not a road trip?

My lady and I decided to go to Sidney BC today, since the sun was shining and we both had the day off. Also, there was a Lego display at the Sidney Museum in town and as always there's a half dozen bookshops to browse through, one of the reasons that town describes itself as Sidney Booktown - huzzah!

We had 9 AM reservations for breakfast at the Sydney Waterfront Grill, which turned out to be an excellent choice, for as you can see, we had company:

From there, we strolled down the main street of the town, going from bookshop to bookshop and just enjoying our time browsing. We saved the Lego display at the Museum for last. At was certainly worthwhile, as they had several hundred different Lego models on display, quite a few which were from Star Wars - yay! As it was family day, there were quite a few youngsters present and we didn't linger overlong in the museum.

CLICK for more details, it's a BIG pic!

Our late lunch was at a new cozy place down near the water on the main street that neither of us had been in before. Called the Beacon Café, they sold an excellent lunch( grilled turkey! )and I was pleasantly surprised to see them serve their tea in real China cups - classy!

By the time we were ready to head home, it was mid-afternoon and we were both somewhat tired after spending six hours on the go. We left Sidney behind and took a leisurely drive down to Victoria, where we parted ways reluctantly. I spent the rest of the evening on various projects, including more research about being a writer... one has to know the business side of things too, or be at the mercy of those who do.

But I do so love books... as does my lady. So it's all worth it.

Feb 14 – Love

I don't dread Valentine's Day anymore: I have love in my life now, and it's amazing every day...

My lady is switching jobs this coming weekend however, so we decided that spending yesterday together was a good alternative to today's Hallmark Holiday, where getting a table for dinner is always an exercise in pre-planning, patience and large helpings of luck.

Why leave love's expression for just one day a year, though?

Here's an excerpt from one of the most beautiful love letters ever written:

Here's hoping that this week sees more love in your life!

Feb 15 – Smile for the camera!

Well, would you look at that - I'm on TV!

Last summer, as I mentioned in the blog, I was interviewed by the camera crew from the local TV show The Wealthy Life. It was an ambush interview really, just outside the Bay Centre as I was out on my morning break from work. They took about 5 minutes of footage, asking me questions about renting vs buying, which I was only too happy to answer. They used about 10 seconds of that, in the second episode of their second season:

I'm at the 1:10 min mark, and that's my favourite Wednesday shirt, too!

It also turns out that I'm a little late noticing that I was on TV, as one of my co-workers made an offhand comment today that she'd seen me on ChekTV, which immediately reminded me of The Wealthy Life interview - cool! Turns out the episode aired on October 19th 2016... four months ago!

I guess I caught myself in a rerun... seems appropo!

Feb 16 – I should be IN this TV!

Some people are really( expletives deleted ): they stole my thunder!

For a while now, I've been throwing the same phrase out there, over and over, for the universe to hear: "All I need is $100K, I'm not greedy, that'd be perfect!" It's a tidy sum, to be sure, but it would certainly change my life for the better, and give me a leg up... not to mention my family, to boot.

Yet it seems some people can manage to misplace that much $$$....

Employees at a Barrie, Ont. recycling depot this week learned the true meaning of the old adage, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," after one of them found $100,000 while picking apart an old television this week. The story is that it's owner had inheirted it back in the 1980s, put it away for safe keeping... and then forgot about it completely!

It boggles my mind that someone could just not bother using $100,000 ... and I find it coincidental that it's the EXACT amount I've been daydreaming of for years!

I work my ass off to make every dollar count, but apparently there's people in the world who can just take it or leave it... which IS their right to do, but still: how the F*CK do you just stuff that kind of cash into a TV and then let it slip your mind you did it?

Whatever - I'm done. Maybe I'll wake up in the morning to get hit with a solid gold meteor....

Feb 17 – Grave Salvage?

Speaking of found funds...

All around the world, shipwrecks are disappearing from the ocean floor. Not by the slow hand of nature, but by the hand of man.

They're being salvaged.

What's disturbing is that this is happening to wrecks from WWII more than any other kind, as these ships are rich in salvageable metals that are quite valuable on today's market. These war graves are being destroyed by opportunistic thieves, who stand to make millions from their illegal operations: they use explosives to break apart the wrecks in a matter of weeks, and disappear with their booty.

With no regard to the sacrifice of those whose graves they are robbing.

While international law is quite clear about disturbing war graves in this manner, international enforcement is apparently another matter. War graves are considered the jurisdiction of the nation whose citizens died in the wrecks, but as such there is currently no way for any nation to patrol all of the thousands of wreck sites scattered around the globe... and in that gap, the salvagers lurk.

Word is apparently getting around, as several Dutch ships were caught in late 2016 doing the same thing to British Wrecks in the English channel.

Opportunistic scum. I hope that nations of the world act quickly to enact far harsher penalties for disturbing war graves in such a manner, as the criminals of today are robbing the generations of the future of some of the starkest warnings of war.

Feb 18 – Space Warfare!

After lunch today, I went out for the afternoon to play... ECLIPSE!

It's been about four months since I last played, and prior to that the only other game in 2016 was in June, so it's been a while. As well, today we had FIVE players, one of which who haven't played before so it was rather interesting. After an hour or so, we all got up to speed and the strategies started to emerge. I went for a tried-and-true endgame of Money and Monoliths, where I tried to parlay an economic advantage into Victory Points in the last two rounds, while blocking the only access to my Galactic Empire with two nasty-looking big-ass dreadnoughts:

It's not easy, being green...

It almost worked, but another player( Adam! )used the last two turns of the game to take over a neighbor's empire with his massive space fleet, against which the tiny 2-interceptor-sized neighbor was completely overmatched and overwhelmed:

It's all over, Yellow's the winner!

It was a fun afternoon! We're looking to do it again soon, as it takes about an hour per player in general, and we can have up to eight as I also possess several expansions to the game, which have numerous other additions that should gameplay even more fun.

I love this town... it's FULL of gamers!

Feb 19 – Let's Celebrate... quietly.

It was my lady's birthday today, which she doesn't like to celebrate.

I, however, love birthdays, and I insisted that we go out for breakfast to Adrienne's at the very least... after giving her a few presents, which included this game that we both can't wait to play:

In the afternoon, I factory reset my OnePlus One again, as it had somehow developed a persistent on-screen ad that was driving me crazy, appearing every 5 mins or so on top of whatever screen I was on, browser or otherwise: every anti-malware / anti-virus / anti-ad program I ran came up empty. It was enough to make me consider tossing the phone ungently against a few walls, as I'd already spent most of Friday evening doing a factory reset, meaning that I had to reinstall and reinitialize every app I wanted to use from scratch, which takes hours and a whole lot of fine adjustments to make them all work properly together. It's unfortunate that android right now and doesn't have the ability to backup entire devices in one shot, unless they're rooted... and I've been unable to root my phone. So, yeah... having given up on trying to root my OnePlus to make it run better, I'm going with the 'Reset and Hope' plan, with rooting perhaps later.

By this evening, I'd managed to get my phone back into usable shape once more, and I was quite careful to ensure that every single app and setting was thought through before I finished with them to ensure no sneaky adware got its claws in this time around. Just like when I was done late Friday night, the phone seems much snappier, and the boot up time has gone from over 10 mins to less than two; also a good sign. I'm refraining from adding much else to the phone at this point, to try and keep it lean and running well this week. I also hope means it will randomly reset far less often, with the same going for overheating due to too many apps vying for the processor's attention

If it doesn't, I'll probably end up having to get a new phone - more on that next week.

I'm still feeling pain and twinges of various kinds when I move around, again evidence that my muscle tone really isn't all that great. I'm still several towns under 150 and nowhere near the 160 I was two months ago, but I'm getting there. Slowly, but surely, and I'm determined to be in much better health by the end of the summer, at the very least.