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03/31/2001    -{ I Dedicate This Entry to Pizza and Beer }-

Well, I took monday off because I was sick. I felt well enough the next day to head into work, where everyone else started dropping off sick. I think thursday there were about 4 people away sick (not my fault I swear!). I have been fighting with a few things at work as well, nothing huge, but some of those "gee wouldn't it be nice if..." type questions. Hopefully it'll all be done RSN. I just got a book in the mail today from Chapters on effective C programming, which I hope will help my code be the best it can be. Or something like that.

Finally got out to the climbing gym thursday night as well. Monkey Mountain doesn't totally suck anymore! They are actually under new ownership and are called "Flashpoint" now. They take plastic again! I'm thinking that a months pass ($50) would do me good. With drop in rates at $14 a shot, it's really almost impossible to not be worth it.... all you have to do is go 4 times a month and you're ahead.

I found out exactly how long I'd been away from the rock as well. Parts of my body that I thought were in good shape now ache, and parts I'd forgotten about are making themselves loudly known! I knew that the first time back climbing (or the first few times) was going to be like this though. Sort of the reason I've been avoiding it as well. We lasted a couple of hours, then headed in an exausted mass out to find some food. Personally my lower biceps, legs, toes, fingers, and fingertips all hurt. I thought my forearm strength was better than that! Oh well, this is why I'm going to be going climbing as much as possible now, and rubbing my fingertips on sandpaper or something to toughen them up!

Went to MEC last night with Cat5 to equip him with gear. We're planning on hitting squamish on sunday, and having to wear my spare gear would probably have been just painful. We outfitted him with shoes (Boreal Ballets) harness (Petzel, one step down from my new one), and other misc items (ATC, locking oval). I was a very good and restrained myself from spending over $5.50 on a new keychain biner. They don't have the little Omegas anymore, like Brad and I got in '93, as I guess Omega doesn't exist. The ones that are the same size are the mini versions of the Black Diamond hotwire. Kinda funky. I don't like replacing my aging, worn little biner, but the gate is starting to stick and loosing my keys would really really suck.

On to randomness...

I had three distinct weird dreams last night. As I just woke up (noon) they have faded, but I do remember the skinny on 'em.

In going through the books in MEC I found a bunch that I actually own already, but are still at home... I think I'll head there tonight and pick them up. The Performance Rock Climbing one is the one I'm most interested in, but I don't remember the last time I saw it at home. I hope I haven't leant it out to someone before I moved out and don't have it anymore...

03/25/2001    -{ And the Oscar Goes to... }-

Blast, I'm sick now. I hate being sick. This came on Thursday and Friday, slowly getting worse, and no signs of stopping. I can't say I feel worse now than I did this morning, but how I felt this morning was far worse than I felt Saturday morning. I've pretty much resigned myself to taking a sick day unless things drastically improve.

Yesturday was pretty good. A trip into Ikea with Cat5 and a couple of others netted me the two things I wanted, a new computer chair (fighting firefly for my good one sucks) and a shelf for my desk (simple, integrated, and organized!). The sidetrip to Coast Moutain in metrotown to search for "cheap" Arctery'x and Patagonia clothing. Well, while 40% off is pretty good, 40% off of $600 is still far too expensive! I also looked for hiking shoes/boots as Tig, Foz, Joker and I were going to head up to Squamish to do some hiking today, but of course the only pair that wasn't too loose or tight in the toes was in the "more expensive" ($160) zone. Thanks but no thanks.

I obviously didn't go hiking today because (as you may or may not have figured out) I feel like shit. This really sucks, not only because I really hate being sick, but because I was really looking to get out on the trail/rock again.

Last night I don't know if it was the sick or the tea I consumed, but I wasn't really tired at all. I ended up getting up from bed and surfing for a bit until 3am or so. Woke up at 9am quite awake (and feeling crappy).

Hmm.... so True Lies is on (with a tagline of "wouldn't you rather watch this <insert shots of Jamie Lee Curtis' scantily clad butt> than some boring awards show?"), but nothing Malcom in the Middle, Futurama, or X-Files wise. Bah Humbug.

03/16/2001    -{ This Ad Will Only Be Worth Watching if She Shoots Him }-

Threw some notes I had on debugging C programs online today. Hit

03/15/2001    -{ It Compiles and Doesn't Suck! Ship it! }-

It's over.

Finally we have a product that is finished. The deadline for everything being done was something like 4am tuesday night. I had to pick firefly up from the airport but I was back virtually till 12:30 or so, and I understand we finished everything up at 4:07am. Congratulations everyone. People were still in the office until the next morning dealing with the installer, image problems in various locations, and building ISOs, but we made the deadline of burning a bunch of disks by 11am or so.

After it was all done there wasn't a whole lot of activity around the office. A lot of people just sort of hung out in The Nest watching Mars Attacks (it was on) and flaking out on the couches. ScoobyD and Hillyup (and a couple of the techs) left (as they should have). The rest of the day consisted of quake, surfing aimlessly, and reading. I couldn't come home at a decent hour due to going to the FVLUG, but it was nice to know that I was back in the old routine.

03/13/2001    -{ What if Venezualia Was Renamed Billgatesland? }-

Put into my code today:

     * Caution: long and ugly, but works, so don't fuck with it, or it
     * probably will stop working :)

I wonder if Bill Gates' wife really loves him? I'm a romantic at heart, and I would love to believe that they fell in love and the past, present and bankroll didn't matter.

But that's a damn big bankroll. I'm sure he signed a pre-nup, he'd be committed if he didn't, but isn't that still like marrying the jock because he has a cool car, and while you may not get the car, you'll be able to ride around in it for as long as you want? And unlike a car, money doesn't get boring (or so I assume). Again, I'm sure there is some love there (have you seen the guy!), but I wonder if it is the same sort of love as is between people that aren't the richest man in the world and an ex-Microsoft secretary (white collar sweatshop hostage I mean).

Yea, another late night. Lots more bugs fixed... the only problem I have left that is technically mine is not in my hands, and depending on $BIGCOMPANYs ability to actually fix it (slim to none), won't matter. Course, I'm also helping other people, and trying to be the glue that holds togeather lots of little pieces here and there. I drew a diagram of some of the inner workings of things (mostly for my own sanity and so I didn't have to keep drawing it in my mind and second guessing myself) and some of it was damn complicated. Granted, it was drawn in a pretty unorganized fashion (as soon as I have time I'll whip out dia and make it better.

03/11/2001    -{ Tonight I saw a Microsoft ad featuring a woman puking into a bag on which was written a "Micrsoft E-Solution". Somehow I found that poetic. }-

Yesturday's entry was actually finished just a few minutes ago. Seems that I've had no time the last couple of days, so it's sat open on the desktop till I had time. That would be tonight, during my Sunday night run of TV.

I was invited out again this morning (8:30am argh!) and we went up to Porteau Cove. It wasn't as nice a day, kinda grey and by the time we started driving back it was sprinkling. We had a looong swim to the marker, and my legs were KILLING ME. When we finally got there we pulled ourselves down about 33 feet to a sunken sailboat and wandered around there. It was very cool. Visibility "viz" sucked though, we could barely see 10 feet, and as a novice diver I kept Joker in sight all the time. We saw a bunch of sea life, including a big cod, which at first I thought was dead, but then I looked closer and it looked back at me. Looked pretty big, but of course everything is magnified.

This time I felt a lot better. It was still new, but not completely new. I knew how things were supposed to feel, and was much more comfortable controlling my ascent/descent by inflating/deflating the BCD. I am still very new and spend far more time just being thrilled at being under the water, breathing and feeling my lips turn numb, than looking around and seeing all that there is to see.

My only barrier to doing this more is cost. Everything seems like it's about $800. BCD and computer anyway. Suits can be from $300 to $2200, tanks another $100 or $200 or something. I saw fins from $100-$275.... yikes. My entire climbing rig probably costs about $2000 MAX, probably more on the $1000 side.

I'm not saying that this is going to replace climbing as my favorite sport. There is a certain freedom in climbing, body wise anyway, that I didn't feel diving simply because of the gear. Climbing it's you in shorts and a t-shirt with a harness and some gear, and unless you're diving in mexico or something, you're carrying a hell of a lot more than that diving. There is also the physical part. Climbing you fall far and die, or bang various body parts on the rock and get hurt. That's about it. Diving though, there's drowning (not fun from what I understand), but also the physiological effects, like the bends, equalization, nitrogen narcosis (feeling like you're drunk when you're really deep from the nitrogen released into your body).

I do however plan to get my dive ticket ($250-$499ish) so I can be certified and get the proper training for all of this. Couple of paychecks down the road though :)

All in all, an awsome time. I encourage anyone to try this! Thanks Joker!

Things seen on TV tonight. World records and team of climbers consisting of a double amputee, a blind guy, and a paralized guy. Sometimes I think they are just making up world records. Most number of skydivers to go through a hoop? WTF is that? Back in my day there were real records, like fastest ascent of a mountain, longest swim, most swords swallowed. Nowadays it seems like guiness world records are simply designed so that they can put it on TV and get the gee-wow of the guy who has the world record for the most stretchable skin.

Things seen last night on TV, a show about Idiot Savants. The thing that got me was towards the end they talked about how hopefully this will be "cureable". Now don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for people born without the ability to interact with the rest of the world, and I hope that no savant ever injures anyone because of their lack of "social skills"... but "cure"? These people are brilliant! They can memorize zip codes, numbers, dates, calendars, and what have you. One guy they talked to was asked "if I was born early in July of 1969, on a wednesday, what day was it?" "You were born on the 2nd". What happens when an idiot savant says "oh, to get rid of this virus you just need to arrange these chemicals in this way" and boom, bye bye aids. What happens when that sort of mind is "cured" by not allowing to ever come into existance. Now, they say that savaunts may be the result of antibiotics in certain situations, but they don't really know. There is a 45 year old gentleman somewhere however that was born with a brain 30% larger than normal, told he'd never live past 15, is very good at numbers and whose parents were recommended that he get a labotomy when he was 9. He's happy to be around.

I guess that relates to a few things. Genocide of "imperfects". Manipulation by genetics for "perfect" babies. I say let nature take it's course. Now this doesn't interfere with my pro-choice stance either, even if it does seem like it conflicts. Hell, it probably does, but who do I have to justify my beliefs to? That's the beauty of beliefs, is they are yours, and yours alone.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it :) I'm going to bed.

Oh, hold on a sec, forgot to wish someone a one day belated birthday to Sonilla. Don't think I've forgotten about you! Happy Birthday!

03/10/2001    -{ Sometimes I Wonder Why I'm the Only Normal Person I Know }-

Well, a successful day of diving. Well, maybe not a day, more like a single dive of about 40 minutes, but still very cool. We left around 10am, and had to get to the dive shop to rent stuff and get air ahead of time, so by the time we got to Whytcliff Park it was around noon (gotta love traffic).

Things that sucked were the gear! Oh $GODs there is a lot of junk! First there is a poor fitting rubber straight jack... erhm, wetsuit, which gives you about 50% mobility, and is not flattering at all. After thatn you throw a 40 pound weight belt around your waist, making moving anywhere fast a chore. Follow this with a BCD (boyancy control device) which is fine, except that attached to it is a air tank (not a bad thing, just a heavy thing) and an octopus of a regulator, with hoses for inflating the BCD, a regulator and secondary regulator. Oh, did I mention the gloves? The ones that are hard as smeg to get on without a pair of vice grips and a ceiling harness setup to get the fscking things half onto your hands?

We went in slow and easy, and went down slowy to about 10 feet to go along the floor and explored around the floor and wall, heading down to a depth of about 30-40 feet. Most of the time I was kneeling on the floor, wondering how the hell Joker and JokerWife managed to float just a foot or two off the bottom without crashing into it. I'm glad there was no wall to fall down :) When I tried the float thing I just ended up heading towards the surface (a bad thing).

Coming out was heavy again, and a bitch trying to walk on the rocks with 80 pounds of stuff on your back. Oh, and did I mention it was cold? Yea, coming out it was pretty cold. Not terrible, because it was a good day. The main point of a wetsuit as I'm sure you know is to keep a thin layer of water next to your skin and have it heated by your body so you don't freeze yourself. This requires a good fitting suit to keep the thin layer there. Of course, when renting a suit you're not going to get a great fit, and sometimes that thin layer turns into large rivers of freezing cold water flowing around your neck, ankles, and anyplace else it can get.

Oh, and traffic was a bitch :)

03/09/2001    -{ "Your pets are not your pets, they are your hostages" }-

Sometimes I even amaze myself. I got home from work at around 11:50 tonight, and I could see my breath as I walked in from the car. In about 10 hours I am intending to purposefully throw myself into the ocean! What sort of a nutter am I anyway?

I think I figured out something about cats tonight, phsychology wise anyway. First of all, I'm glad they're not women who are allowed to Change The Rules whenever needed. Anyway, you know how when you accidently do something bad to a cat, like step on it's tail, and then squeak, and then you bend down to say sorry and they freak out and run away? Well, imagine this: You are suddenly hit across the head by some creature five times your size. While still reeling from the shock, the beast bends down towards you and screaches in some ugly language at you. You're going to get the hell out of there. Ditto with cats I think. If you step on their tail and then come at them immediately, in my case saying "oops, sorry, you ok?" to them, could be seen as an attack of some kind. If you accidently do something to them, just continue over, and don't come at them. Course, that's basically a complete guess, and should be considered worth the paper it's printed on.

That bastard LIMOS tried to assign a bug to me as he was walking out the door tonight! How dare he!

03/07/2001    -{ My ears are wet inside.... I think it's my brain trying to escape. }-

Wow, leaving work at 7:30pm.... a hell of an early night. Course, I did this with reason, and I'm going back to work now (remotely)... Joker from work, the guy who knows his stuff scuba-wise agreed to take me out to the pool and do some pool excersises to get me "trained" and if I didn't suck he'd take me out with him this weekend on an ocean dive. I think I impressed him by not drowning, and as long as their is no chance of me dropping like a rock to the bottom of the ocean I'll be fine. My main problem was keeping myself at neutral boyancy, without going up or down. A couple of times I drifted up and sideways without realizing it and some other swimmers scraped their guts on my head and gear :) The main thing that really got me was trying to absorb and remember to do everything at once... keep breathing, don't hold your breath, equalize, let air out of your vest, put air into your vest, don't swim into a wall, etc etc, all at the same time. Mom, dad, don't worry, Joker is a certified dive master (ie: not just some guy who's taken a course or two and thinks he knows what is going on), so it's ok :) From my short exposure it looks like divers and climbers have about the same amount of paranoia in their sports :)

Now it's time to ssh into work, crank Enya, and keep on codin'!

03/05/2001    -{ This space does not contain any useful messages. }-

Finally back. Sure, it took almost a week to write an entry here, but what do you expect with all my free time lately?

First of all, a recap (kinda) of the trip: "great". More detail can be found by reading this and this.

Returning to Vancouver meant rain. Lovely. This was about 1am on wednesday. Thursday I had to drive Firefly into the airport in the pouring rain, again, great. At least I didn't get lost. Coming back I went to the dentist because of a tooth that was bothering me. Turns out it was semi-wisdom tooth related. I still have my widsom teeth (so far anyway) but the little flap of skin over them gets gunk under it and gets infected, causing swelling and pain. This all has some very medical name that I don't remmber for the life of me. It was long and important sounding anyway. So no surgery or anything needed (I was referred to a dude for setting this up though), and they gave me some antibiotics to take until it goes away. So that was thursday. Friday, saturday, and sunday all involved me going into work. Friday it was for a semi-disaster (which I told them if one happened I'd come in), saturday it was to catch up on some stuff and because everyone else was in, and sunday we had a "Lone Gunmen Premiere" party (it was very good btw, watch for a review on ufies Real Soon Now).

I've been wearing hawaiian shirts lately to do my best to keep the magic (and memories) of the heat alive. Seems to be working too. I'm almost relaxed and happy, though I could easily have spent another week, month, year there. I came back with several desires:

  • Learn to scubadive. I've found a guy at work (*waves* to Joker) who dives and has said he'd send me information on certification, the best place to take courses, etc. It's also good to know I have someone experienced to go with should I ever actually go. Apparently certification runs ~$300 though :(
  • To get a huge freshwater fishtank. This is a pure dream, space and $-wise, but there were so many wonderful fish in the waters of hawaii it would be great to see that again. An old friend of mine from my last job had a tank like this and it looked awsome.
  • Try to get another bonsai and this time don't let the cats kill it. The problem is the furry little buggers rule the house, and I can't think of a place I could store a plant of some kind that was protected from the cats but still in the sunlight, unless I rigged some sort of hanging basket type deal (which just means the cats have to work a little harder to get at it.

My first day of work back, or the morning anyway, was actaully decent, other than the fact that my alarm was an hour ahead for some reason, so I got rudely woken up at 6am instead of 7 :( When I reset it it was fine though.... I had time to shave, have breakfast, make my lunch, and surf to my list of daily online comics. Quite a feat. Normally I get one or two of those things done :)