Monday, November 29, 2004

The Dark Lives of Spinal Pixies

Deep within the dark folds of your comforter, curled in the coils of your bed, live creatures of such a vile nature. They lurk in the battening of your pillow top, waiting. They are the Spinal Pixies, and today we shall look into their world, and understand their fiendish nature. Oh wait here come two now, lets have a listen:

"Oy! Chuck pass me the 'umber 2 drill."

"Ummm, okay boss." He replied with an orcish grunt. His voice having all the elocution of half wit who was down by a third. By far the slower, and dumpier of the two reached into a hole in the mattress and withdrew a six inch rusted drill bit, locked crooked in the clutch of a hand drill. As he dragged the mechanical monstrosity to Umbrelgroglshig, the other one, the grotesque creature stumbled on a fold of the top sheet and sprawled out across the bed.

"'Areful they ye nim wit, numskull, boobled-headed ninny!" Decried Umbrelgroglshig. "Give it 'ere, 'efore you wake this bloke up."

Chuck, with great huffing and heaving, passed the drill to Umbrelgroglshig. Umbrelgroglshig took up the drill in his two immense, spindly, warty hands, and placed the pitted drill be to the human's lower back. As the drill was pressed to the skin it passed through, seemingly out of phase with reality, no skin was broken, no blood drawn, just two objects intersecting in some inconceivable way. Chuck stood to the side; a look of lust mixed with incomprehension filled his face as he stared at their victim. Umbrelgroglshig tapped his foot with his impatiens, "You gonna just stand there, or are you gonna do 'our job!"

"Ummmmm, sorry boss." Chuck sputtered out, as he traversed his way to the head of the slumbering human. Flapping his ragged bat like wings, which seemed impossible small to actually lift the tubby beast, Chuck raised up to the nose of the unsuspecting sleeper. Placing his hairy armpit to the nose of the human, Chuck then gritted in deep concentration, and great waves of stink lurched forth from his underarm, seemingly repulsed by their own strength, and nearly visible in the still night air, the drove into the nasal cavities of this nights quarry. Swirling about the nightmarish odours filled the man with vivid dreams of dental work, whizzing drills, the smell of grinding tooth, and the stern disapproval of his flossing habits. Filled with unrest and horrors, the stage was now set for Umbrelgroglshig to begin his most sinister work.

Steel against steel the gears of the drill cried out in pain, as if they had never moved in the last 40 years. Like a terrifying shriek it pierced the stillness of the night, and then returned from the gloomy corners of the room like a haunted wail. The noise stirred a great feeling inside Umbrelgroglshig which spurred him on, enthusiastically he pressed on cranking the great drill. From the deep and rotted groves of the drill bit came the first chips of spine, fresh and white. The white gleamed in Umbrelgroglshig filling him with such joy, the same joy that the shining mane of a unicorn stirs in a maiden pure of heart.

Suddenly, the great human stirred, Chuck blurted out, "Ummmmm, he's coming around." Chuck flapped his silly wings as hard as he could and rose up of the human face. Shaken from his reviver, Umbregroglshig quickly withdrew the drill, it made and ethereal sucking pop as with came free of the humans back. He tossed the drill to Chuck who was hovering above their mattress cave entrance. Chuck grabbed the drill from midair and suddenly found his scrawny wings unable to support himself and the drill. With futile flapping he sunk into their cave like a fish swimmer off the mafia docks of New York.

With unexpected speed and agility Umbregroglshig collected the fragments of spine he had so carefully mined. Each one a precious gem, he tucked them safely into his ore pouch. Then as the flesh back came rolling down on him from above, he dove for the safety of his cave. The human sealed the dark entrance with his back, like the slamming of the cover of a book.

Both Umbregroglshig, and Chuck panted with exhaustion from the flurry of activity, then in the darkness they began to laugh, a laugh of evil, a laugh most foul. Opening the ore bag, Umbregroglshig peered inside and laughed louder yet. As these words came to his lips, the darkness gathered close to bear witness to their sinister promise. "A great 'aul we have had 'ere Chuck, a great 'aul indeed. Soon we shall have enough, enough to trade to our dark masters, enough to trade for dark powers..." Then once more he broke into an evil and maniacal cackle, to which joined in with the guffawing laugh of the minion.

So now you know good readers of the dark and dreadful realm of the Spinal Pixies. Should you awake one morning from frightful dreams and sore back, you may think to yourself what a terrible bed I must have. Or perhaps, just maybe, it is not the bed that is so terrible, but those who live inside it!

Geoffrey Peart
Copyright 2004.
All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Once more I braved the muck of the construction zone, to bring this picture of the house. Well really I snapped it from the van because I didn't want to repeat last weeks mud fest. I didn't get inside, so I don't know if there is any progress, but the front face is almost finished. Next weekend hopefully I can get inside.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Touching is good

If you read my brother Colin's blog (the link is some where on the right hand list,) you will see that he blames me for making him buy a Nintendo DS. Now I didn't make him do anything, I just suggested that it might be an advantageous time to take a Gameboy Advanced SP and some games into an EB and trade them for credit towards a DS. Since you can play Advanced games on a DS, I figure one could keep your favorites, and trade the rest before the market falls out on Gameboy Advance SP's. I just thought it was a passing conversation of no consequence. Then he did it, and blames me! Apparently I have vast hypnotic powers :) I'm not taking offence, I just am amused that he chose the word blame, why not credit me for the foresight and economic thoughtfulness? It doesn't matter, because I have me to blame for doing the exact same thing. Once I heard he had done it (and at the time I didn't know he had actually put cash in) I was determined to also go and get a 'free DS' it wasn't really free, but I didn't pay any money for it. Which is good, because I am trying not to spend any money until after the house and wedding. So I rounded up my Gameboy, my games, the cases, wires, and manuals, plus a few crap XBox mouldy oldies that no one was playing. A few calls, and I found one of the last Nintendo DS's in town, and I was off. I had just enough trade value to get the DS, and boy is it fun. Right now I only have the demo game for it, but its wicked.
Now if you don't know what the DS is, then there is a good chance you either haven't paid attention to gaming news, or TV. It is the new Dual Screen portable console from Nintendo. A system Nintendo is pushing at the young males, as based upon these almost sexual ads Ad 1 and Ad 2. I am enjoying the system, I'm not 100% sure on the ergonomics of it, but I can't wait for DS Wars (or Advance Wars DS.) Anyway, at Union, more on this later.
TOUCH IT! You know you wanna!

The Woodlands

The Woodlands, official, The Woodlands Senior Public School, was my high school. It was an interesting time of my life, and I look back upon it mostly with fond memories. I am sure it didn't seem so at the time, but most of the bad has faded away, leaving only good memories of the fun times with Drama club, my friends, and my Teachers.
Unlike some, I actually liked many, if not most of my Teachers. This has actually been the case going back to grade school, where my academic career was saved by a kind hearted teacher. The truth is I was unable to read until the end of grade 2, and even then it was kind of sketchy. I don't blame my grade one teacher, it was her first year, and I have a little bit of a learning disability, she just didn't have the experience to recognize that, or if she did, she didn't have the experience to handle it. I don't begrudge her that, mostly because it turned out ok for me in the end, but in part I was in grade one, I was really young, and if she did try and handle it for the life of me I can't remember (I'm getting a little senile here in my twenties.) By the beginning of grade 2, I had moved schools and houses, so I was a little out of place, and a little behind, and so with the help of Mrs. Kowel, over a three year period, I took my poor English skills and forged them into the work you see now. English remained a struggle for me for much of my academic career, but it would have been a disaster if not for her. So to this day I am grateful, but I do feel guilty when I let grammar mistakes fly all willy nilly on my blog.
So as I was saying high school teachers, my high school experience was different from most, as I was in the enhanced learning class. I don't want to brag, but we had more fun. I think it helps being a nerd amongst nerds, then being the nerd amongst jocks, so just the proximity of so many like minded individuals really created an environment conducive to making learning fun. Add to that open ended expectations, and teachers who are happy to be in a class of people who want to learn, and you get something great. We would debate world issue, discuss tangents in great depth, and generally be intellectual about the whole education process. From that one forms actual relations with teachers. No longer to they dictate from on high, but they get right down into the discussion with you, challenging you to back up your views, and sometimes making you realize how infantile they are. Just being able to discuss things with your teachers make you able to talk to them like real people as well. By the time I reached OAC there were a number of teachers with whom I could just spend some time and talk. So when I left high school, or really any school, I would often return to visit my teachers. Just let them know how things are going, and talk about things. It always made them happy to have students who were successful. So last night, it was parent teacher interview night, and now that my younger brother goes to the same high school that myself, and all my older siblings went to, I decided to drop in too.
I had a nice long chat with a bunch of teachers, all of which are really excited for Erin and I, its rare these days that high school sweet hearts get together, even rarer if they go to different University's. We did, and I know why, Erin is just so wonderful I would be crazy crazy not to make it work, and she is all the more wonderful because she sees something in little old me. Okay I will stop making you all nauseous. The point here was that I went back to school, chatted up my teachers, and had a good time. Now what did strike me as hilarious, was how young people look, and if you ask "How young were they?" I would say that they all look five years younger then some one in that grade should. I know they are not, I just remember feeling mature and old at that age, but clearly not. Now that I am getting married, and buying a house, once more I feel mature and old, and yet just recently my dentist insisted that I'm still a kid. So I figure as long as there is always someone older then me, I can remain a kid until the day I die. Which is good because crammed in hear is this super youthful spirit, and I have no intention of crushing that ever.

Runner's Log, X

Well, I have pretty much given up tracking this, not because I am not doing it, because I am doing it more frequently. Also I am doing it at the gym, not out of the street. Since the treadmill's have much better computers then the pedometer, I don't use it, but then I don't carry home the results with me. So I end up forgetting. I always roughly remember my last time out, just to compare against next time out. Right now, I am doing about a half an hour, with an average speed of about ~8.0 kph. My first goal is to get up to about ~10.0 kph. Well really I don't care how fast or slow I go, but the distance traveled. I would like to hit that magic 5 Km mark. My only problem is I am only allowed 30 minutes on the machines, so I have to do it in a half an hour. I feel this is a reasonable goal, and I expect (as long as Christmas holidays are not a massive set back) I should be there in January. I get out to the gym about twice a week, three times if I am lucky/doing good. So I am loosing some weight, and I can tell, but to reach my weight goals I think I need to make sure I go minimum three times a week. In either case, I am going to write about it fairly randomly, just because writing about it seems boring, unless I make some grand achievement. So you may not hear anything until I break 5 Km, we shall see.

Monday, November 22, 2004

7 Year Marketing Campaign, to Boldy Tottle Where No Tea Tottler has Tottled Before

I made an observation this week that the reason I drink the secondary caffeinated beverage I drink is because of a seven year subtle marketing campaign. I even describe it like he would "Tea, Earl Gray, Hot." Ah, Patrick Stewart, bard of the Avon, captain of the Enterprise, and dude with wicked cool mind powers, oh yeah and he played professor Exavier as well. I mean he was the most British French captain ever, but that never hurt his credibility, because lets face it, "THERE .... ARE .... FOUR .... LIGHTS!" So because of him, when I go for the tea, instead of the coffee, it is "Tea, Earl Gray, Hot." Besides, it is a damn good cup of tea!

Fender Scraper

I omitted this from my trip to Kinkardan blog a few weeks ago, and Erin felt I was glossing over an important detail. So to appease he, I will mention that I crashed her car. It wasn't a serious crash, no one was hurt except my pride. Basically I hit a pole while backing out of a parking spot. Most of the damage was confined to a narrow line on the bumper of scratched paint, the rest was just paint transfer from the wooden support post I smucked. In my defense I didn't see it, in the poles defense it was freaking huge and a blind tit mouse should have. So I meekly owe Erin some reparation, and bumper buffing, but I hope this self deprecation is a good start!



Corporate reorganization can be a dirty word, from the management who get to stay it is a word of excitement and vision, from those cut it is reviled and hated. Regardless of definition, reorg is all anyone can talk about at work these days. I am not revealing a corporate secret here, it is well known by the media, starting almost 2 months ago when our CEO brought in some fresh blood, and the began to draw some as well. It is just on everyone's mind as it cascades down through the ranks. I think I am safe, actually I am almost certain I am as I am so far down the food chain, yet still valuable, that I should surely be ignored. Still we worry, we all worry, nothing is certain in life, and sometimes doors open as others close, I just don't think I am ready to close this door, there are still things I have to do. Unless there are any J2EE managers out there who want a skilled, yet wise, code ninja, with leet skillz. Although I think that leet skillz might have just disqualified me. Oh well, you have got to live life, otherwise your dead...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I was disapointed by the picture from the window, so I braved the muck to produce this, I like that colour of brick, first of all its a little mixed, I dislike monotone brick, and its a nice earthy red, not too grey, not to peach. So its nice, I like it! I'mean lets fact it, the back of the house is not practially done, other then the soffit, and the brick above the window.

Then as I walked back into our house, realized that the stairs had the top knee wall to prevent plumetting, so I snapped a shot of it too.

At first when I arrived at the house I was a little disapointed, I was thinking, no bricks. I had really thought they would have started, it looked like on person on the end had their's, but that was it. Then I noticed from inside their was scaffolding at the back, so I thought they might be doing work. So I looked out the back, and there were bricks. I didn't want to brave the mud, so I took this shot from the neighbors upper floor looking across the back.

And the bath tub ooooooo, ahhhhh.

While we are on the theme, master bathroom sink here we are.

For the manly types, well not really, here is the main floor bathroom sink plumbing!

Went out to the house again this weekend, as I do basically every weekend, and the house was in fine form as always, the ground on the other hand was a little less nice. A thick layer of mud gloouped about everywhere, and at times my shoes were holding a couple inches of extra sole from just the muck attached to them. This picture is of particular interest to Erin, because this is the garage where she will park her car. So the garage has been poured, and the door mounted since last we visited. What is great is that there are 0 stairs from the door to the ground. We had been worried about loosing car room to multiple steps, but its great, its flush, I like it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Blog Attack

Well it has been a while since I have put any real content here. I have been pretty busy. First off I'm sure I missed a "runner log" in there. I'm sure I did something exhausting, and sweat worthy.
Now that we are past the mundane, I will talk about what is happening. First off, video games, Halo 2 fell off my list of games of interest for a couple reason. First off, I can't afford it. I could probably squeeze the money out somewhere, but I would rather put that money towards my house. The other reasons were that Halo 2 is getting its best reviews in the multiplayer aspects, and I don't really use my XBox Live to play, and the final reason is that I don't think it has lived up to the hype. As Fable, and millions of other games before have not lived up to the hype that they generated, I wasn't particularly surprised. When I saw Halo 2, I was just disappointed with it. Besides, Trevor has it so I can borrow it when he is done.
On the topic of Trevor, I was able to use my powers of evil, augmented by the game I will talk about in a moment, to convince him to upgrade his computer so he can play. It took some doing, he has been stalwart in his denial of the need to upgrade his old PIII 1.0, but I figured it just needed the right game to spur him on. That game was the monstrous 2.6gb beta for World of Warcraft. Now that is a game, just the sheer meat of the install alone makes one stop and ponder. I've been playing like I was a 17 year old since I downloaded the beta last week. So far I have done the Druid, and Dwarven Paladin thing, both of which have there pro's and con's. In general WoW brings to the genre a new story and a flashy new interface, but the concepts laid down in DAOC and EQ are basically the same. The notable change in the combat system, which I think I prefer, is that instead of Warriors burning stamina to perform moves, they use rage, rage generates while you are in combat, not while you resting. This actually gives a bonus to the warrior who keeps fighting, not the nambie pambie wussie warrior who has a good long sit between battles. Nambi Pambie spell casters must still sit mind you. On the topic of WoW and sitting, apparently the designers felt it was rude to stand and eat, so you must sit down if you want to eat a meal, or have a swig of something, go figure.
This weekend just past, Erin, Trevor, Ellie and myself all piled into the car to drive up to Kincardine. First off, Kincardine is a pretty long drive from Guelph, and it is also a long drive from Owen Sound, so when going from Guelph to Kincardine, don't drive through Owen Sound, its not on the way, trust me. So why were we in Kincardine? Well, its started, the first of my friends is now married. Rod Gramham and Sara Doyle tied the knot this weekend. Rod has been a good friend since about 3rd year University, I knew him pretty well in second year, but unlike Trevor I'm slow to adapt, so while we were friends in second year, adding that good modifier took a bit longer. I'm really happy for him. On the topic of weddings, I guess I'm next, this I view as a good thing, I can't imagine what could be nicer then marrying the woman I love. So, I think it is about six months give or take a week or two.
Finally the house, Erin and I popped in on the way home from Kincardine, but we didn't have the digital. So the pictures are on the film camera, and I will post them sometime, the truth is they will probably be horribly out of sequence when I do, but I have been collecting the pictures for a secret purpose. The state of the house was good, we have stairs, shingles, doors, windows, and the sump pump in the basement. Actually this is the first time I have been down in the basement since they built the walls. The whole place is looking good. The bricks were not there yet, nor have they made significant bricking progress next door, so I wonder if there was a delay, or if they just got ahead of themselves. I guess I will find out this Saturday. Well I think that's the whole update.


Friday, November 12, 2004

Running Log, November 11, 2004

3.5 km
0:30:00 h:mm:ss

There was also about a 30 minute period of me chasing after, and not catching a squash ball. I think my racquet is broken as well.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Running Log: November 8, 2004

3.354 km
0:30:00 h:mm:ss

88 floors
0:30:00 h:mm:ss

Peak HR 27
Mean HR 24

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The whole house. Look at it grow. Actually there were guys working there today. The vent guy was starting to install the vents. I expect by next week (based upon the next block of houses over) that we will have bricks and our roof. This in my humble opinion, is awesome! I like our house, and before long I can move in with my bride to be (well move in when she is my wife), but the key is move in + being married. It is all great!

Here is the whole roof in all its glory.

Hole in the insulation, I wonder if this is functional, or will be fixed?

Top of the porch, you can see them getting ready to shingle.

Here is the big of the roof with a cute little mini roof. Serves no function, but I like it.

Here is a series of the inside of the main roof of the house. This has me pretty excited, now that the roof is on, it looks a lot more like a house should.

More pictures this week, it was a lot less mucky this week, not muck free, but muck lite. This is our porch, now with insulation and roof.