Wednesday, June 30, 2004

True North Strong and Free

Things that relieved me.

Things that reassured me.

Things that concern me.

Things that make me excited.

Things that kick all kinds of ass.

It's been a big week for Canada. Happy birthday, big guy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

MPFH v2.0

Welcome to the new and improved MPFH! I was planning on doing the redesign somewhere closer to this page's second anniversary, but what the hey, felt like getting a jump on things.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Something I Didn't Know About My Country That is Funny

The 5th Prime Minister of Canada was named Sir Mackenzie Bowell. And no, I already checked, he wasn't a proctologist before becoming a politician.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

SpaceShipOne Has Landed

As an update to an earlier post: the first X-prize team to build a working reusable space capsule, Scaled Composite's SpaceShipOne, has flown the first privately financed manned rocket beyond the Earth's atmosphere and returned safely. The event yesterday was a test run for the eventual 3-person mission to follow later this year. Read all about it here.

Amazing. The boundaries of space have never seemed closer to me. Read about the $10 million Ansari X-Prize right here...looks like there's a shoe-in ready to take the cash.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Crippling Foreshadowing

Remember when I said this?

"I also sprained my ankle, making packing and lifting boxes a hobbling, painful nightmare. I've been afraid to get it looked at because they're going to tell me to keep off it for a week. So, in true fashion, I've decided to keep walking on it and damage myself even more. Because I'm just brilliant that way."

Damage myself even more, eh? Sure, why not? I like to make my predictions come true as much as the next guy!

So I DID go and see a doctor shortly after I wrote that. The doc prodded at my ankle for a bit, looked up at me and said "Well, you won't make it as a member of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet anymore," and gave me an "ahhhhhh?" look like Fozzy Bear. "Some people actually get upset when I tell them that," he added, and I shrugged. "Do I look like a ballerina to you?" He confirmed that I had done some serious damage on the ankle, not that it was any major surprise to me.

See, sometimes sprains can be pretty minor and can take a week or so to get back to normal. Those are worse than a twisted ankle, but easily repaired. Then there are the "Bitchass" class of sprained ankles that involve torn tendons and ligaments in the ankle that can take much longer. I have a bitchass problem, unfortunately. The doc told me it might be a month, but it might be up to four months. Which, of course, would be so amazingly awesome it hurts, what with two separate moves scheduled within the next two months. He gave me a prescription for some potent anti-inflamatories, an x-ray requisition, and a recommendation to buy a new-fangled neo-propylene tensor bandage.

So I take these pills and I feel great. I buy the bandage, and it makes my ankle feel like new. I let my guard down a bit and walk a little more normally than I did before. Sky was blue, birds were chirping, and my ankle started to feel like a human joint again instead of an inflatable punching clown.

Day 3 after starting the pills, I was walking to a business meeting through a mall, and as I was exiting, a tourist let a door shut in my face. It threw me off balance and I stumbled outside, only to hit the edge of some uneven brick work, felt a pop, and was filled with blinding pain as my ankle folded over the wrong way and I crashed into the pavement.

What happened next was pretty predictable. I was in shock for a few minutes and couldn't get myself up off the ground. Mall security came and administered first aid. An ambulance arrived and a paramedic took a look at the ankle. He told me I needed to go to the hospital immediately and recommended a wheelchair for while I was there. I waived the ambulance ride (saving $250) and got my super-awesome mom to take me to the hospital. It was all very embarrassing, but I kinda filtered out the rubberneckers and mall staff who were hanging around. Pain is awesome for that.

Anyway, because my injury wasn't critical, I had a long lonely wait in the emergency waiting room. Funny thing about the hospital I was at: most doors in emergency weren't wheelchair accessible. I suppose there must be a reason for that, right? I have a newfound respect for people who have to stay in those chairs for the rest of their lives.

After x-rays, they confirmed that there weren't any hairline fractures, but also said that if I don't stay off it and make sure it heals properly, that I might have lifelong problems. That meant at least four days of rest and decrepitude while trying to get my stuff together for the move that Sunday. AND the doc confirmed that it's likely that a full recovery won't be possible until autumn. Gee, that's fantastic! I changed my plans and officially postponed the move for the weekend after.

So now I have a cane. Over the last few days, my loving family and friends have jokingly dubbed me with a healthy helping of new nicknames (Hoppalong, Gimpy, Damaged Goods, Crip, Old Man Winter, and my personal favourite, Kickstand). I have been steadily growing roots in front of the TV until today, when I wrenched myself out of bed and hobbled my way back downtown for work. So, here I am.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Hope my ankle decides to cooperate and act RIGHT THE HELL like an ankle is supposed to for a while!

Monday, June 14, 2004


I found myself an apartment. I got an amazing deal, and it's (almost) right exactly where I wanted it to be, too. I'm going to be a five minute walk away from work for the first time in my life. With my luck, though, I'm gonna get posted to some contract at a building in Kanata the day after I move.

Interesting story on getting the place. There was actually some pressure to take it, so I felt a bit rushed into it, despite how cool it is. When the lady showed it to me, she was showing it to someone else at the same time. So I'm just quiet, taking my time looking at the place and thinking, damn, this place is nice, and BIG, too. Meanwhile, this girl was running around the place saying, "wow! This place is SO great! I'll take it, take it, take it!" The person who was showing it was quiet for a beat and then said "well, this is the first showing, and he called first, so if he doesn't want it, it's yours." I got the heartbroken glare of a lifetime at that moment. I contemplated being a gentleman for roughly 1.5 seconds before saying, "Nope, I want it" and giving a great big grin.

I also sprained my ankle, making packing and lifting boxes a hobbling, painful nightmare. I've been afraid to get it looked at because they're going to tell me to keep off it for a week. So, in true fashion, I've decided to keep walking on it and damage myself even more. Because I'm just brilliant that way.

Also, I've been meaning to post it for a while, but I did see Troy at some point in May. And the reason I didn't say anything about it: well, there wasn't really anything to say. It was passably good, but only passably. I think women might have enjoyed it more if they were prone to swoon over Brad in all his full-assal nudity.

The movie took all the magic of Homer away, sterilized it, then threw some fistfuls of glam and glitter at it to make it seem more palatable to the North American audience. And the result, my friends? Sham. Pure, unadulterated sham...but popcorn sham, nonetheless. There's not much point in pointing out discrepancies between Homer's "Illiad" and the movie, so I won't bother. But I think it's safe to say that Homer's still being read today, millenia after it was first recorded, for a reason. Troy, on the other hand, will be a flash in the pan, at best.

Friday, June 04, 2004


This weekend is the big packing weekend. Hopefully by this time Sunday, most of my stuff will be parcelled up in cardboard and ready to be shoved onto the back of a U-Haul. I'm still not sure which weekend exactly I'm moving, but it's better to get as much packing done early before the summer heat hits and we end up passing out in puddles of our own sweat while trying to find the stuck-down end of the roll of packing tape. It's happened before, don't wanna do it again.

In my life, I've done a lot of moving. In some ways, I've always thought it's exciting to move to a new place, with new experiences, challenges, and opportunities. But in other ways, it's kinda depressing seeing all your things reduced down to a pile of boxes and half-deconstructed furniture. Either way though, upwards an onwards to the next adventure, where I get to start over again in new and unpredictable ways.

At least at the next place, it won't feel like I'm spending half my waking life trapped on a bus. On a bus, sandwiched-in with surly strangers who are terrified of making eye-contact with anyone, completely self-absorbed, with little or no interest in anything that's going on outside of their bubble of backyard BBQ's, federal employee benefits, children's soccer practices, and clearance sales at the local Zellers. Good riddance.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

My Mind is Completely Blown

Okay, everyone has Windows Media Player on their computer, right? Sure, we need it to play stuff off web sites and the like. I've never really played around with it, but I've had various neglected versions of this program over the years.

Anyway, today I discovered the "Media Guide" tab, and it has totally blown my mind.

See, I never really knew there was a searchable world of free music, videos, and other media online and connected to this sucker, but my eyes are open now. Just type out what you want, hit search, and revel in the joy that is a) videos that you will practically never see on Much Music, and b) music, music, oh yeah, and more music. Sure, there's always Kazaa; but unlike Kazaa, all kinds of things are out of the picture, like queues, slow connection speeds, and unavailable users.

Already today, I've found stuff from Broken Social Scene, Metric, Faith No More, St. Etienne, Rocket From the Crypt, Beastie Boys, the Superfriendz, Stars, Athlete, The Thermals, and The Vines, just to name a few in no particular order. Ever seen the video for "El Scorcho" by Weezer? How about "Supernova" by Liz Phair? "Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse? Me neither, until today!

Ah, the joys of of the digital age. I'm such a neophyte sometimes...I bet this one of those "wow, you didn't know that? Where the hell have you been?" kinda things.