Friday, July 29, 2005
Whatever the reason, there's a part of me that feels like a hamster. I'm inside my little wheel and I'm running as fast as my stumpy little legs (OK, that part of the metaphor isn't particularly apt) can carry me.
Realistically I'm making progress, if only in padding my anaemic bank account. But there's a part of me that wants a change of scenery.
I seriously doubt the literacy standards of some parts of the world (that would be the good old USA for those of you who can't guess). Although before anyone invades my appartment and forces me to hold elections, I'm sure there are plenty of idiots elsewhere in the world, they just haven't been emailing me recently, thankfully. The last few days people have been asking questions that are answered in the first sentence of the email they are quoting to reply to me.
Seriously people, ARE YOU ON DRUGS? I might be a fairly verbose individual (it's what I'm paid for after all) but not even reading the first sentence?? What do you expect me to do? Make an instructional video for you and send it by Fedex? Hire an ilegal immigrant to come round to your house and explain things with a handy flowchart?
It's not rocket science.
I'm starting to truly understand the truth of the old saying that "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the general public."
By the way "the customer is always right" is roughly equivalent to "the emperor has new clothes". It's something we all pretend to to believe because it protects us from the wrath of morons.
To contiunue today's aphorism laden post, never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.
I have suggested in the past that good people should get more votes (an idea inspired by the Texan pilot in Catch 22). Seriously. Democracy is nice and all that, but the idea that my vote is worth the same as some random mouth breather appalls me.
We're talking the kind of person who calls into talk radio to complain about Asian immigrants. In case you wanted to know, Asians are all bad drivers and they spit in the street and they are all good at math and their eyes are too close together and they don't speak English (although a large proportion of the Western world's "Anglophone" population don't seem to be able to speak English beyond a remedial reading level any more) and they eat dogs and are part of Triad gangs and they are taking our jobs and putting up signs in "Asian" [I'm afraid I've usually tuned out long before this point of the rant].
Actually, I just checked google, and it appears that everyone's favourite racist has moved on to abusing Muslims now.
I'm not trying to say that I'm a model citizen, I'm definately not top flight (I probably only deserve two or three votes, not six or seven), but I like to think that my opinion is more considered, informed, and logical than some peoples.
Anyway, that little rant was a nice, somewhat unexpected break in my daily routine. On a related note - I hope my mother has remembered to deal with my voter registration. New Zealand has an election coming up, and I may as well use my vote for what little it is worth.
For the record, I'll probably vote for the Greens, because they seem the least dishonest, and I think trees are nice, which seems to be a cornerstone of their policies. They're a bit too touchy feely and PC for me, especially on Treaty issues, but most of the other parties disgust me.
OK, that's my monthly politics post out of the way, next time we'll go back to discussing grocery shopping and people who suck at the internet.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
People Buy That
It's inspired by the book in the post below (and my general love of weird stuff). Just getting off the ground now, but yeah, I think it has the potential to be pretty funny.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Random Amazon Item #1
It's a good question.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Fire alarms, Pedometers, and Canoeing
Yesterday afternoon, I'm sitting at the computer (quelle surprise), and the fire alarm starts going off. So I finish my email (what? It's almost certainly a false alarm / drill, and I'm involved in some intricate negotiations (in a game of online Diplomacy) so I don't want to lose my train of thought on that. Plus I'm hoping it will stop soon.
It doesn't stop so I figure "well, I may as well go get some groceries while I'm out of the house - the bottom of the stairs is seriously about 25% of the way to the grocery store, and more than 50% of the psychological distance.
So I grab my wallet, throw on the sandals, and open the door. I imagine I smell smoke (yes, olifactory hallucinations are possible, even if I can't spell them) and start to plod down the stairs.
The fire engines (two of em!) arrive at about the same time I leave the building. I feel safe. I'm not being sarcastic, this was like a three minute at absolute most response time. Sure, we might lose the appartment that the fire started in (my vote is for the one that the annoying guy who insists on holding the elevator for a couple minutes while we wait for his girlfriend to finish locking the door). But the rest of us are safe.
Grocery shopping is fun. Like working out, I can't always motivate myself to go, but once I start doing it, I usually enjoy myself, and it's good for me (since I am boycotting the local pizza place - I'll explain some other time, I'm too lazy to go back and add pizza to the title of this post, and we all know how good I am at staying on topic ;)
As always, I end up with a basket full of stuff. The box of miniwheats I bought (shh - I got the sugar frosted ones, don't tell my mother) included a pedometer as its toy (I got the Toucan Sam one, but I really wanted Tony the Tiger, it's a Kelloggs conspiracy).
Cereal box toys have really come up in the world from the time when my brother(s) and I used to fight over who got the cheap plastic monster (or whatever). Mind you, I think the winning the squabble was the best part of the cereal-box toy. But then winning is very important in my family, or at least to my grandparents, my mother, both of my brothers, and my sister (and possibly even my father, although he denys it whenever I claim that he is competitive and won't let me win the discussion, so there's a bit of a paradox there).
Anyway, I have a cheap kiddie's pedometer in the pocket of my shorts, and it has registered an embarrassing 611 steps today (in my defence, it's not very accurate - apparantly it's 6 steps to the bathroom from the lounge, but only 14 to the elevator (10 times further). Still, it's pretty cool.
I didn't take it canoeing though (left it in my friend's car, so there's another 200 plus steps, several of them carrying a large aluminum canoes). For those of you unsure of the difference, kayaks are enclosed, canoes are open, and Canada claims to have invented at least one of them.
It was great fun. The resevoir was a little cold when I splashed myself, and the water was a little choppy (we wobbled a bit too much for comfort a few times). We paddled around in the classic S (or sometimes O) shapes that fairly inexperienced canoeists make (it's very different from a kayak, which I have paddled a few times, or a white water raft, which I have sat in a few times while the river threw us around.
I've now added another semi-goal to my list of things I want to do - a long canoe trip, maybe from Whitehorse to Dawson City, or even all the way to Alaska. This list is starting to spiral out of control, but whatever, it's better to have goals like "walk the length of Chile with a llama" than "make partner at the law firm by the time I'm 38.7 years old".
If you disagree, then just leave. Your type isn't welcome here :P
Well, I'm done for the day. Hope ya'll enjoyed reading it.
PS - Happy 30th wedding anniversary Mum and Dad.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Well I'm 25
I can't say it feels particularly different (especially since I'm kind of done with celebrations after the last few days / nights).
But yeah, happy birthday to me. Hip hip Hooray!
Um, I got a cowboy hat now. It was kind of a practical purchase (I have to do something to stop the hair blowing and sun shining in my eyes on the rare ocassions I am outside) and kind of an impulse purchase (I was feeling way too conspicuous at the Stampede without one). I guess it was kind of a present to myself too (since my habit of mostly ignoring birthdays means I have no right to expect presents from anyone I don't share over 25% of my genetic material with).
Apart from that life goes on much the same as ever. I can now legally feel complimented when asked for ID (since it's if you look under 25 that they are supposed to ID you at pubs here).
I will be in Calgary until at least the end of August, and depending on money, and jobs, and stuff, I might just stick around here for September too, and then see if I can afford a week or two of touristing before flying to Europe.
I'm going to sleep now to wake up for my real birthday.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Yes, I am still alive
Hopefully my laptop's meltdown has now ceased (although I am getting low virtual memory problems again).
Stampede is happening, lots of cowboy hats in town. I plan on doing the stampede grounds on friday with a few friends. Went hiking in Yoho National Park over the weekend - great views, but I was the largest hairest animal we encountered, so that was kind of a let down - I still need to cross "see a bear in the wild" off my list of things.
Correction, apart from the horses we had to walk through in the dark to get to the teepee we slept in on Friday night, I was the biggest animal we saw.
Got a lot of stuff to do backed up, but will try and get back into the swing of things with this blog over the next few days.