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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

fortnight distillation

permalink Tuesday, 15MAY2007:

i finally sent away my 2006 tax returns this morning. there was no real urgency since i was getting money back and all of it is budgeted for my annual rrsp contribution anyway. i got back on thursday after spending a week down in ottawa at the CALL conference. i did my usual gorging on movies and foods, among them 'spider-man', sushi (takara), shish kabob (saffron), vietnamese, east indian, western sandwiches (zak's), late-nite pasta rampages (fat tuesday) and 'lucky you'.

however, i also spent quite a bit of time at the internet cafe trying to acquire enough frequent player points to collect on my first deposit bonus on pokerstars. i managed to get the $50 top-up on my last day in the south, but i must say that much of the rest of the conference turned into a sleep-deprived blur as a result. i do fondly recall the sun blazing down the back of my black jeans during the mountie ride - the best part was getting to talk to one of the riders after the performance.

before i left for my trip, i was somehow persuaded to let a friend housesit while i was away. of course, this meant that i stayed up all nite wednesday tidying and cleaning up a pad that hadn't seen such attention in many moons. when i was done, it felt a little bit strange not to have to detour around countless piles of 'i'll get to that soon'. i was also a bit blinded by the brightness of my shower in the morning, as i had gotten used to the soothing mint-coloured tones compliments of months of copper build-up. at least i didn't have anything stinky in the fridge to throw out !

hmm, i guess i forgot to mention the final broomball award that dan presented for best broomballblog - a fierce competition between myself and john (that goon). alas, quantity beat quality and i ended up with the trophy.

broomball stick with keyboard

oh, and the tix for the white stripes concert on june 27th *still* haven't gone on sale yet (pout) ??

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managing expectations

permalink Sunday, 20MAY2007:

first of all, apologies to anyone who got a weird error page while trying to access this site late last week. my calgary ISP is in the process of shutting down and somehow my site got caught up in that. they've made arrangements with another ISP to take over their customer accounts, so i'm hoping that i'll be able to continue on as

i got hit up by an environics pollster on thursday evening and i was unpleasantly surprised by how negative my responses were. while never stated, it was obvious to me that the poll was sponsored by the federal government. one nice thing was that the poll was specifically targeted towards northerners to determine their feelings on policies related to the north: cost of living; the environment; arctic sovereignty; heath care; employment; the justice system; and taxes.

unfortunately for the poll-taker, most of my responses were negative when queried about my satisfaction level with these policies, both on the federal front as well as the territorial. the most hilarious aspect was the number of questions about which types of t.v. programs i preferred to watch, which, since i don't have a t.v., were a series of surreal responses. talk about a clueless web-averse bureaucracy that is flailing about trying to garner support for its policies.

the next day, however, i met up with a 3-week newcomer to town. while he acknowledged that there were challenges in the territory, he felt that a more healthy attitude would be to focus on the things that i have some control over, and not worry about the things that i don't. obviously, there are still some things that i like about living here or else i would have fled long ago.

plenty of people coast thru life without caring about what goes on around them, just going thru the motions and collecting their paychecks, spending the evenings in front of the tube and weekends at the bar. where do i get this sense that i have to be involved in anything that i care about ? maybe the solution to my ongoing sense of burnout is not a change of scenery with all the disruption that would entail, but just to focus on doing things that make me happy and ruthlessly dropping anything that doesn't give me some satisfaction. that would also definitely free up some more reflection time in my dayplanner.

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homely at home

permalink Tuesday, 29MAY2007:

so i'm typing this in at 4 a.m. - yes, i know i have to go to work tomorrow (groan). however, sometimes when the creative muse calls, you are compelled to follow where she leads. in this case, i managed to finalize my latest mix and i've uploaded it to aotm. it's called 'homing in on a heart'. i'm going to actually post this note when i wake up after a few hours of shuteye since i'm still waiting for the upload of zipped tracks to finish.

i had planned to attend a LAN party on saturday afternoon, but wires got crossed and i showed up to an empty arena. turns out they had changed venues and didn't realize that i wasn't in the loop. ah well, i just caught up on a couple rounds of 'titans of steel' on my own.

i also sat down to read my copy of 'different ugliness, different madness' by marc malès that i had picked out from the shelves during my last visit to my calgary comic store. WOW. i had to put the book down partly thru, not because of disgust, but because i wanted to savour what i had read to that point. at only 128 pages, i knew that i could quickly zoom thru the tale, but the story of two mixed-up people finding comfort in each other was riveting. on top of that, the black and white artwork was a gorgeous mix of euro-comic art and american settings of the 1930's.

thumbnail of page 4 of 'different ugliness, different madness' thumbnail of page 5 of 'different ugliness, different madness' thumbnail of page 8 of 'different ugliness, different madness'

when i finally turned the last page, the desire to go back to the beginning and re-read it immediately was almost overwhelming. with all of the foreshadowing and flashbacks incorporated into the panels, this book definitely would reward multiple readings. even just a quick glance back at the early pages showed sequences which had acquired increased significance in the shapes of faces or the facial expressions. i'll put it aside for a few days and then come back to it once the glow of the first reading has faded a little bit. anyway, if any of these has piqued your curiosity, here's the amazon link.

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