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Showing posts from 2021

Holding up Democracy

It's a federal election in Canada. The situation isn't as dire as it is for our neighbours to the south. Or maybe it doesn't seem as dire with their breathless reporting and political commentary with infographics that look like they are trying to compete with NFL Pro Bowl. Voter turnout, apathy, blue state, red state, explosive new revelations.  Canada has a tendency, which in this case is a plus,  to do everything a little more boring. We are like the wholesome cousins who were homeschooled until 18, made all their own clothes, and now think they are quite 'with it' when they reference any media from that past two decades.  We do things boring.There are issues that I find quite pressing, but more along the lines of me muttering 'oh dear', than me foaming at the mouth and marching with placards alongside a fella who looks like he has been waiting to do this sort of thing for entirely too long.  But in a rare feeling of patriotism (being fairly indifferent to

Owlet's 15th Birthday

Owlet turned 15. There isn't even a small chance I can ignore the fact she's a complete teenager, careening blithely towards adulthood. At 13, maybe, 14, in a pinch, if you don't think about it too much, you can still think of them as 'so early in teens, hardly even'. But 15. 15 is basically 16 which is basically 35 and inviting me and Mrs. Owl over for Thanksgiving because we can't 'handle the turkey safely anymore'. We had a extremely small party. Barely a gathering. Ever since Owlet turned, oh, maybe 10? She's been very low key in her birthdays. A day at the VR Cafe with her cousins or going to the PNE. The 15th was marked with hanging out on the deck with two neighbourhood friends over and Owl Jr. Eating junk food and talking? I mean, there was laughing and such. Bella got her tablet and doodled/drew and they all just chattered away. I generally don't listen partly for their privacy but mostly because it's teen/pre-teen talk and I wouldn&

Interior BC

NOTE: Lower Mainland is the part of BC closer to the cost, the further west you go, the more zeroes you add to the real estate prices. Also it rains, often and always, as a general rule.   We visited our friends in the Interior of BC. There's currently a blanket of forest fire smothering our hometown, so it seemed like a great alternative. It was, technically, AN alternative, not a great one. Smoke doesn't respect municipal boundaries. It was just a weekend stay, with a bit of a drive on the Coquihala. A highway where local truckers drive the the sort of speed is reached if one is sitting high, HIGH up. High enough to not notice speeds more usually attained on the salt flats, or an episode of COPS. The road always seems to be careening. Up or down, or curving. Sometimes the wonderful down and curving. All the meanwhile other vacationing families try and keep pace with the regulars.  Driving is always a proper balance between trying to maintain the ambient speed,

PNE 2017

NOTE: This continues my unofficial series of finding blog drafts I've written years ago and finishing them. This one was started in 2017 and stopped about 3 paragraphs in NOTE: PNE is the Pacific National Exhibition, a state fair, more or less.  Well, provincial. Which means, from what I get from movies. Slightly less firearms, almost no pig rustling, and a very informative farm exhibit. Why is it that some rides have operators that have that weather worn look of someone evading several statewide warrants, and others are manned by fresh faced high schoolers, steadily checking off the prerequisites for a well rounded college application? And the two groups are never mixed. You never see the guy packing at least one form of concealed blade with that girl lugging around the pre-SAT preview review prep books to lunch. It's not, I don't think, linked to the rides, like the rides didn't seem to have perks I one group over the other. Does it have to do with competence? Surely


Our next stop on our whirlwind vacation tour BC: Too Expensive To Live There Almost Too Expensive To Visit: Tofino. It's a town on the west side of Vancouver Island, hit by the Pacific Ocean waves unhindered by the Gulf Islands, making it renown for it's surfing. It's the sort of laid back long past hippie town filled with youth, life, and outrageous real estate prices. It has hardcore surfers who I'm sure 'remember back in the day', juxtaposed with the middle class families trying to add a little tropical feel to their vacations. If tropical means water cold enough to give a polar bear hypothermia and an breeze with a bite to remind you that hey, you're still in Canada, pal. It's not completely gentrified, however. You know, those tourist towns where everything is TOO cute, like it was mandated by a special committee on Curb Appeal and shopkeepers speak in hushed tones about bylaw enforcement; but then you stop for ice cream and it's 14.

Painted Boat

In a belated 20th(!) wedding anniversary gift to ourselves, we booked a few days stay at the Painted Boat resort on the Sunshine coast. It was for the family, for a villa, which, as far so can tell, means entirely too much space for eye watering prices. Funnily enough I learned rather late, that of course, that I still have to do the cooking, just in a more luxurious kitchen. I'm never a fan of cooking anywhere except my kitchen. Big enough to have all the tools I need, small enough that I can more or less pivot to get to anywhere I need. Like a sea galley. Or a .. space station? I dunno, something very efficient, barring the hilariously "broken but not broken enough to buy a new one" stove. Where was I? Cooking, yes, in a luxurious villa. Most of the time trying not to swear as I try and find the cutting board, checking the same cupboard three times before finding it in the hidden lazy Susan in the corner. The stove worked great, but I've long conditioner myself to o


This summer, aka Hey Isn't It Great That Covid Is Over OH NO DELTA, we've been spending alot of time in the complex pool.  This is the standard pool in a complex as old as this. Nearly every eye-line is covered with warnings that there are no life guards on duty. There are life saving .. tools? Nearby. Nobody knows how to use them. The list of rules of what can and cannot be done has been crafted and edited to include nearly everything you can think of that would SEEM innocuous until that one family from unit 12 ruins it for everyone.   There is a changing room, building of sorts. It's been updated enough to let you know that people still use it but not enough for you to mistake it was first designed when the AMC Gremlin seemed like a pretty good idea.  The pool itself is what you would expect, a vast cement container filled with chlorinated water that gets progressively suspect as the day goes on. But when the temperature is 30C, well, anything that cools you off is welcom

2017 Australia trip: Airports

Airports have this casual affluence to them. People rustling about in leisure wear that's​ just a little too nice to be considered a track suit. In the endless lines for security and customs and all the little declarations that slowly wear on ones paranoia, everyone is clutching expensive active executive totes and tactical all weather jackets that are too Military Grade to be considered something as civilian as a 'jacket', elements shell, maybe. Nobody outside a visiting dignitary or a tourist from Scandinavia could fail to feel suspect about themselves after all the official and unofficial scrutiny. The forms, the people in official uniforms, endless cautionary signs warnings for explosives and drugs and non-indigenous produce. It's maybe a little better with kids, people usually give you the benefit of the doubt. You don't always have a lurking suspicion that maybe you are some sort of Manchurian Candidate ne'er do well. Past all that there is no doubting how

Disneyland 2013 Semi-organized Notes

We took the kids, oh, crap, 8 years ago to Disneyland. I made some notes to optimistically make a blog post about it in a timely manner. Well, in a manner, anyways.  I present the notes, with , uh, more notes? 8 years later, certain to be accurate. "This rocket ship ride, while being quaintly pulp sci-fi circa 1950's inspired, goes I Think I Saw This Machine In "The Right Stuff" too fast." Yes, yes, it was entirely too fast, and gave the controls over to the children, the children! I guess if low brain trauma is self-induced we can't sue? It must have been the combination of being a little bit too fast and my kids being the right combination of far too frail and little and little to less than little sense of danger. I guess we saw one of the last runs of Captain EO, which was much cringier than I remember. Two things: "Captain Eo has the power to turn all Borg soldiers into Solid Gold dancers; and ANGELICA HUSTON?! #pullingOutAllTheStops"   "T

Cyberpunk 2077

 Like a late 90's webring, replete with link back and hints at an actual relationship with other authors, this is a piece I'd like to say in.. rebuttal is too harsh a term, in reply, to my very long standing internet friend, zompist, where he posts his various gripes with that great sprawling hot mess, Cyberpunk 2077. Now I say hot mess because that's what the internet at large thinks of it, but me, playing on the worringly over-powered computers on GeForce Now, have experienced nearly no problems. Or at least not problems that bother me enough. Keep in mind I'm the Homer Simpson when it comes to critiquing alot of things. I just like, alot of things. Cheap date, as it were.   It might be my hundreds of hours in Bethesda titles and regularly having to look up console commands to debug yet another janked out quest, but it takes a rather large bug to befuddle and begrudge me. Like if a bug repoed my car, maybe, or  told me how much weight I had actually put on during thi

Short Hair

Finally got my hair cut. The Mrs. has always been, at best, tolerant of my really nerdy impression of Conan.But a few weeks ago she said, quite seriously, that more or less I'm losing hair from traction baldness. Either she honed her delivery to really put the fear of god into me, or she really believed it.  Turning 45, I had to decided which would win, the vanity from having long hair or the vanity from losing all my hair. Well, ever since I learned what a skullet is, obviously I'm going to try and save what I got. She finally cut it all off on my birthday. Donated the ponytail to wigs for kids. I don't know what kid with cancer needs black, grey, and some white hair with and uneven amount of waviness in it, but there it is. Now I just look like any other asian-ish man with short hair. I could be an accountant, or, a ... dentist? Certainly not the rebel programmer ideal I have in my mind. I look like someone you could easily copy and paste into a news segment where they as