Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A quest for change

Today is laundry day, and I quickly realized that we didn't have the right change. The washer and dryer both take $1.50 in loonies and/or quarters, 2 loads, so $6 in change in total. We had $2.25 total in the right types of change (1 loonie, 5 quarters). This was clearly insufficient.

I took the laundry downstairs with the change I had, plus a toonie from my brother's change pile. I bought a chocolate bar from the store to get the other loonie I needed to start the wash.

I now had 33 minutes to go out and get some change. I didn't want to leave the laundry sitting in the washer for any longer than I needed to, so I had to be quick or go somewhere close.

Weighing my options, I saw two potential sources for change. I could either go to Mac's just below Baseline, or I could walk across the Experimental Farm to Tim Hortons. Mac's won out because a) it's closer and b) it has an ATM in it.

The walk was unexciting as it always is. My Wunderbar gave me a quick boost of energy in the early going, and there were cute girls out and about, so I temporarily forgot about laundry, but not my mission. I also abused some commas into a grammatical nightmare, but that's neither here nor there.

Upon arrival at Mac's I got money and then decided on what to buy. I didn't want to spend more than 2 dollars. I needed 3 in change, and I didn't want to break a 5 just for that purpose. The goal was to get change, not spend a lot of money on convenience foods, after all. I finally decided on a 600mL bottle of Diet Coke, and as the cashier got my change I told him I wanted some quarters.

I didn't realize until he had already closed the change drawer that he was going to give me 4 quarters and a toonie, but by then the store was starting to fill up and the cashier really didn't look like he wanted to open the drawer again just to make change for me, so I took my change and my drink and got out of there with 15 minutes left on my washer.

I drank as I walked, but all the cute girls were gone. An old guy on a motorized scooter gave me a dirty look at the corner of Baseline and Fisher, but I didn't have time to wonder why, I had another stop to make.

After finishing my drink, peeling off the label for the all-important PIN under it (this one could be the one I win a TV on, here's hoping!), and throwing out the bottle in the lobby of the building, I ran downstairs and back to the little store. I quickly asked for two loonies, and apparently the way I was speaking "loonies" sounded like "bus tickets", and it took a minute or two to sort out what he thought I said and what I thought he had heard, but in the end I got my loonies.

Having misjudged the time a little bit, I burst into the laundry room and ran to my washers, only to find I had 7 minutes to spare.

The laundry room is boring. As in, really boring. A good place to try sensory deprivation if it wasn't for all the washer and dryer noise. Those 7 minutes were the longest of my life.

Finally I got things in the dryer, deposited my change, and completed the quest. I forgot to stop off to check the mail so I'll have to do that when I go back down.

When I walked in I was hit by the unbelievably awesome scent of chili. I turned on the crock pot at 12:30, and while I was gone it hit that level where it starts to smell good, and by now the entire floor should be able to smell it. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Mmm, chili.

Monday, May 30, 2005

I'm still alive

I just have nothing to say anymore. I think I need to find some focus in my life.

I seem to be making lots of short entries lately. My verbose writing style has abandoned me and a fog of concision has descended.

Getting to the point so quickly is almost painful.

Friday, May 27, 2005


I'm sitting at my computer with the lights off. The only sources of illumination in the room are my lava lamp and the monitors, with a bit coming in from the hallway. It's mostly dark, and things to my left are tinged green from the lamp.

I must say that a lava lamp is a lousy light source. Things look kinda cool though.

I just noticed that the colour of the ambient light changes a bit when things move in the lamp. That's so cool.

I got out to play my first round of golf of the season earlier today. I shot a 114, so I didn't do so well. Made some good shots, made some terrible shots, same old same old. The greens were absolutely terrible, so I can blame a few strokes on them. Not too many based on my usual inability to putt, but at least 6 or 7.

I'm still slicing the ball really badly. Sometimes I can fix it by concentrating during my swing, other times I can control it by thinking about something else during my swing, and sometimes it's just beyond hope. Although I'm a big fan of randomness, it would be nice to get some consistency once in a while.

One thing that was constant was the bugs. Bugs everywhere. It was like I was an all-you-can-eat bug buffet. I can't really tell if I got bitten, but I have some marks on my arms and hands that look suspiciously like bites.

I managed to go the entire round with no hat and no sunblock, and I didn't get too much of a sunburn. Hooray for low UV days and cloud cover!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I finally found a job listing for a job I think I'd be awesome at. I'm qualified for it, it doesn't have any ridiculous demands, and it sounds like fun.

I've been staring at the blank space where a cover letter should be for half an hour.I can't write anything in it. I can't even properly convey how frustrated I am about this.

Words are failing me.

On the winning team

I just found out tonight that Mars is having a contest. I have no idea what the prizes are, but I do know you can win a free Mars bar. Mac's had them on sale, 2 for a dollar something, so I got 2 of them.

I won a free bar on the first one. That second one was much more disappointing.

Now I just need to win one of those Coke TVs and I'll be happy.

For the Coke thing, I just realized that a 600 mL bottle gives the same amount of bonus points as a 2L bottle. I'll have to do some calculations to figure out the most cost-effective strategy here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Such noise

They're doing some construction on the driveway, and I have no idea what they're doing right now but it's really loud even 20 floors up with the windows closed. As in, overwhelmingly loud. I could cover it with music, but I'd have to turn it up a lot louder than I'd like to.

Personally I don't see what was wrong with the driveway, but I guess they have to annoy us all somehow.

Tremble before the power ballad

Lately all I want to listen to are 80's/early 90's power ballads.

I just felt like sharing.

I'm immune to expired meat

We had two leftover sausages in the fridge, so I decided to grill them up for dinner. I cooked them, and then noticed the expiry date on the package was May 18th. My dinner was 5 days expired, but they smelled okay and looked good, so I decided to go ahead with my plan of eating them.

5 hours later I still feel fine. Nothing is rumbling or being nasty in any way (I'm a bit gassy, but that's fairly normal). If I think about eating expired meat I feel bad, but if I don't think about it, I feel fine.

The Jeopardy Ultimate Tournament of Champions is wrapping up, and they're in the 3 day final match. Surprisingly, Ken Jennings is in last place going into day 2. I was expecting him to destroy the other guys and taunt them with his superior intellect.

In a way I feel bad for the guy who won the game right before this tournament started. He gets his moment in the sun, then gets interrupted by a few months of the best players ever showing off, and then the night after somebody wins 2 million bucks it'll be back to him and his insignificant winnings. How can he be expected to carry any momentum between games?

If they can't do a 5 day final, then they should pad the week with some consolation games, or do something fun like make the clue crew compete for a raise, or something.Maybe have Alex as a contestant and let whoever won the tournament be the host. Start the regular games back up on Monday, so that we the viewers don't go from Ultimate Champion to Some Guy. Give things a chance to wind down.

I just realized I've been slacking on writing here. My fault really, I have nothing worthwhile to say. Think I'll have to kickstart the old brain.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I need ideas

Last week my brother bought some frozen meatballs. We got other stuff too, but the meatballs are a bit of a problem. I have no idea what to do with them.

What do you serve with meatballs? Do you cook them on their own or as part of something else?

The only times I have ever eaten meatballs in the past are in spaghetti sauce and some meatball dish we have at big meals with my dad's side of the family. I'm not a big fan of spaghetti, and there's no way I'm making a full turkey dinner just to have meatballs.

Help me out. A plate of plain meatballs doesn't appeal to me, but it's all I can think of right now.

Friday, May 20, 2005

And here we are

I saw Episode 3 tonight. Lucas managed to pull off the amount of story he had left to do quite nicely, even if some parts felt a bit rushed. I applaud him.

Overall non-spoiler theme for the movie: Doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

If you've seen it I hope you agree with me.

Also, tonight I played Dance Dance Revolution for the first time ever. Cid and I went head to head, both of us absolute newbies with no real idea of how to do it properly. I beat him, but it wasn't pretty. Still, it was the most fun I had in that arcade, but given the quality of the other games, that's not saying too much.

I would definitely play DDR again.

I would definitely see Episode 3 again.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Again with OC Transpo?

No complaining this time. I was on my out to Silver City to pick up Star Wars tickets for Cid, Thaila, and Dan (Mat was supposed to get them but something went wrong and he couldn't), so I jumped on the 86 right outside my place and rode it to Hurdman station, then jumped on the 95 which took me to Blair station at 18 times the speed of light. Nothing too extraordinary in that part of the trip.

After getting the tickets, I wanted for a bus back to Hurdman, and eventually got back. I debated taking the 118 back, because it goes close to my house, but the 86 came first.

I got on and vaguely recognized the driver, then when I sat down it dawned on me: I was on the same bus I had just gotten off. I was even sitting in the same seat.

My mind was thoroughly blown.

I knew it was the same not only from the driver, but the folded newspaper on the other seat was still there, and all the ads along the ceiling were the same, even the missing one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

96 copies

An HP number 57 ink cartridge will print 96 full-colour pages on Normal quality with the lowest ink density before the colour starts to screw up. It gave a low ink warning after 70, so I slowed down and started printing smaller batches for the last 26.

I feel bad running through an entire ink cartridge in an afternoon, but it produced 96 flyers for Barrel, so it's for a good cause.

According to the cartridge I took out, the 57 has 17 mL of ink in it. The cartridge looks like it should hold a lot more, so I have no idea what the rest of the space is taken up by. Possibly electronic wizardry and thick plastic, or maybe there's a society of ink gnomes living in them. I may never know.

Once more, my printer is busy

Barrel came by with another ink cartridge, so I'm printing him another batch of flyers. I'm using a different ink setting, so we should get a lot more flyers out of it this time. I'm keeping a running total so that in the future we'll know exactly how many flyers we can get for the cost of a cartridge and paper (should we ever need more paper).

Steve, Srol, and I went to a job fair yesterday. Or we tried to, anyway. It was being held in a small mall-like place downtown, and when we got there the line completely filled the area the fair was in, stretched the length of the mall, through the food court, and curved back on itself. From the back we couldn't see the front, and there were easily 400-500 people there. We waited for around half an hour and barely moved, so we decided it wasn't worth it and left.

I put in a resume at Steve's job, but I'm not expecting much from it seeing how it's a call centre and I'm no good with a phone. Still, it can't hurt. I hope.

Following that we got tickets for Star Wars, thereby confirming our nerd status, and got lunch at the mall near the theatre. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I walked to Subway and Duong stiffed me on stamps, but we were talking about Guild Wars and I guess both of us completely forgot. Or at least I did, I just noticed it now when I was clearing my desk off.

I didn't realize that he worked there until Srol told me yesterday, and I had no idea it was him when I met him at the last lan party. I've been going to that Subway since I moved to Ottawa, he's made me countless subs, and I just found out about this. Small world syndrome strikes again.

I worked a bit more on the RPG, and I'm solidifying the combat system now. I'm trying to make it complex enough to be interesting, but not so complex that it confuses everybody. There's a fine line being walked here, and I won't know which side I'm on until I work up the courage to show it to somebody.

I've got ideas for a comic strip bouncing around in my head, but I've been sidetracked with all sorts of stuff so I have no time to acquire drawing skills. I'll give it my old mantra: maybe someday.

Monday, May 16, 2005


Tomorrow is my sister's birthday. Her birthday card is sitting on the table. It has to get to Calgary tomorrow to arrive on time.

I think we dropped the ball.

Also, I don't think they sell stamps downstairs. Nuts. Guess I'm walking to the post office.

Insert grumbling here.

Taking the unpopular route

Since basically all I do anymore is play Guild Wars, I'm going to talk about Guild Wars. So there.

We managed to walk to a place we weren't supposed to be at yet, storyline-wise, but it led to some very good armour. As a warrior, my armour choices are generally more limited then the ones available to other classes. However, at the new place we got to, I had my choice of 5 different armour types. I see people running around with the popular ones all the time, the wyvern armour which looks pretty cool but doesn't give as much protection, the gladiator armour which increases your energy, the Ascalon armour which takes several of the impossible to find fur crafting materials, and the soldier's armour, which looks like the stuff you can trade for in the wilderness and has a much higher resale value. All are common choices, even though they have similar attributes.

I went with the very unpopular chainmail armour. It has the exact same stats as the soldier's armour, and it was cheaper to make. It doesn't give the extra energy of the gadiator armour, but I generally don't have much need for extra energy. I manage my skills pretty well and always have enough for what I need to do.

Just how unpopular is the chainmail armour? I don't think I've ever seen another person wearing it. Maybe because it's not the nicest-looking armour in the world (but really all the warrior armour is kinda ugly, except for the really good ones late in the game and the wyvern armour), or maybe because it's not offered early in the game so nobody trusts it.

Regardless, I'm now wearing somewhat unique armour, and it didn't cost me very much to make it. All in all, I'm happy with my decision.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Blinking away the weeks

I swear time is speeding up. It feels like last weekend was just yesterday, and I can't recall a single important thing I did this week. The routine is as follows: I get up and eat something, time passes, I cook dinner, more time passes, I go to bed. That's a full day that feels like 8 hours, tops.

I don't know if I'm just bored or if I'm depressed or what's going on.

I've also managed to stumble into a very adaptive writer's block. If I put my mind to writing something, I won't be able to do anything with it, but other things will start writing themselves in my head. My last entry was the result of that, and as soon as I had written down what I already had and tried to write more, it got blocked up. I was able to write something on the card though, so I guess it can be outsmarted.

Now that I'm thinking about writing, I haven't worked on my science fiction piece for over a month. Wow. I was mostly enthusiastic about that too.

In that time I started putting together some ideas for a role playing game, but there's nothing solid yet. I want to try to combine a card-based system with a traditional dice system, and I think I've figured out a good way to merge them. More details possibly when I get all the kinks worked out.

Finally, good news on the video card front. I got new Catalyst drivers and got rid of the Catalyst Control Centre, and now the colour settings keep themselves when I exit from games, and I don't need to change them to get the card to display them properly. Only issue I'm having is that it seems to load the profile on startup, but then remove it, so everything is really bright. If I open up the colour tab in the display properties it instantly corrects itself, so I don't know what's going on with that.

I'm starting a countdown to when I'm going to reinstall Windows. I need to do it, this system is getting slower all the time. I just don't want to because I have a lot of stuff I'll have to reinstall, and I'm not sure if I have the install disks for a lot of it. Plus I'll have to find and back up all my Trillian and Opera settings and licenses, and that's going to be a pain.

Regardless, change is on the horizon! Change to the same thing, anyway. I guess that would be renewal. Yes, renewal is on the horizon. Hooray.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A true story

There had to be something that could fill that space. That small white space, staring up at him, mockingly, just daring him to touch his pen there and write something. The pen stayed where it was, poised in midair, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Long minutes passed with neither side giving an inch.

What was so hard about this anyway? It was just a birthday card. Write a bland wish for a happy birthday and sign your name. Easy as that. Nobody expects a perfectly-written note on a birthday card, and most people just sign it and leave it at that.

Still the pen hovered, the hand holding it beginning to tremble slightly from being held motionless for so long. The brain running the whole deal processed combinations of words that could easily fill the space, but none of them seemed right.

The white space smirked smugly. Nothing was going to fill that space, that little bit of space between the message on the card and the UPC. Why had he gotten one of those novelty cards that don’t open instead of a traditional card with a lot of space to write in? Large spaces are easier to fill, there’s no need to be concise. This space was too small for any type of personality to show through, despite his best efforts to force it.

The hand twitched and set the pen down on the table. The white space laughed out loud, hurling abuse towards the hand’s owner, who was by now pacing around the room, mind still trying to figure out what to write.

The trick was to be concise. Had he ever purposely been concise? Sprawling tracts of text were more his style when he wanted to write something with any degree of detail, and that was coming back to bite him now. With the problem seemingly figured out, it should be simple to compress his thoughts into a line or two and then show that space who’s boss.

The pen hung above the space once more. It still made no move, and the space was obviously not intimidated. If it could yawn derisively, it would be doing it right now.

The pen was set down once more.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Google says I'm dumb

After I post something, I read it just to make sure it's right. I should proofread before I post, but I always manage to miss errors in the text box. Once they're up on the site they become much more obvious somehow.

While reading the last post, I took a look at my Google ads. Both of them were for systems to increase IQ.

Apparently I'm stupid.

Man I'm lazy

Sorry for the lack of anything this week. I haven't felt like writing anything in a while, and it seems like all my free time is spent playing Guild Wars. I told myself I wouldn't let it take over my life, but it's doing its best to make a liar of me. It's my problem, I'll deal with it.

More tales of greeting card woe. My sister's birthday is coming up, so yesterday I set out to find her a birthday card. She always sends my brother and I funny cards, so I try to do that same. Apparently somebody at greeting card world headquarters heard that fart jokes are funny, and as a result there were a large number of cards containing fart jokes. I don't know why anyone would send a fart-related birthday card, but I guess there's no accounting for taste.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good fart joke, but it seems completely wrong for a birthday card.

Aside from those, there were at least 3 different variations on the same joke, with the exact same wording and everything. Different fonts and artwork, but otherwise the exact same card. It wasn't even a particularly good joke to begin with, so I can't see why they made 3 different versions of it.

Another trend I noticed was that they're making cards with very extravagent things inside. I saw figures mounted on springs so when you opened the card they jumped, intricate folding panels, even one with blinking lights. No doubt all these are designed to make cards as a whole cost even more. Even the simple one I eventually bought cost over 3 bucks. I think the blinking light one was over 6. No wonder the card companies make over $5 billion a year.

I looked at the non-humourous birthday cards too, but they all seemed either bland or slightly depressing. They were no doubt meant to be inspirational, but they missed the mark, at least with me

All my gripes with the greeting card industry are beginning to make me think that I could do better. Another idea to toy with in my head, I guess. Regardless, I'll stop venting about it until the next time I have to buy a card.

I'm trying to think of something else I did this week, but I'm drawing a blank. The job fair at Cognos probably won't amount to anything. I don't think the guy I talked to was too impressed when I told him I didn't really go for the whole web-based application trend, because basically everything Cognos does is web-based. Oops. I figured they'd have at least one stand-alone application package, but I guess not.

It seemed like a strange way to run a fair too. They were only letting in 10 or so people at a time, so the line stretched across the entire front of the building and around the side. At one end we were given a form to fill out describing what we knew, and then waited to get in. The line was like a ringtone convention with all the various cell phones going off. I heard some good ones, and some absolutely awful ones. Astro Boy got heard when I managed to get involved in the convention, so at least something worked out.

Once a group got in the door, they were immediately swarmed by a mob of workers who looked at your form and told you what colour-coded table to go to. This process was repeated twice more at various places on the way to the actual fair, which was set up in the cafeteria. If I do get a job there, that cafeteria will be seeing a lot of me. It was fully stocked.

I might be doing some work with Barrel over the next week and a bit. Washing cars isn't really my thing, but it'll be a good chance to do something, make a little money, and have a good time with a friend.

I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Problem ignored

I found a workaround to my colour dilemma. I have two profiles set up with brightness levels just 1 step apart. When I need to get dark, I can just hit the hotkey to load the profile.

For some reason it only recognizes the settings if they change, which is why I needed two different profiles. So if one doesn't work, the other will. Hooray for pragmaticism.

Maybe this can be fixed with a driver update, but for now this will suffice.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The loosest phlegm in town

The cold is loosening its grip on my poor body. Phlegm can be found rattling around in places it doesn't belong, and it's being expelled as fast as Security can toss it out.

In other words, I'm a disgusting mess. Hopefully I'll be cleaned out by tomorrow.

Still haveing trouble with the lcd monitor. I got the colours set to a good level, but now the driver software doesn't like to load that setting. On startup it stays bright, but if I go into the setup program and change the brightness either way, it instantly gets darker. Same thing when exiting games, bright city.

It's silly because I can set it up to use a profile for fullscreen 3d, and it does that perfectly. I can even set up a hotkey to change that brightness on the fly. Same for video overlay. But, for just regular desktop colour settings, there's no option to do that, and the software completely ignores the settings.

It's the one complaint I have with my new stuff. Nvidia had software that did the desktop colour just fine, so why can't ATI?

If I'm just missing something simple about this, please let me know.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Rampant consumerism

I bought a video card yesterday. I needed one to make Guild Wars look good, plus it's nice to be able to run new games. I was looking at a Radeon-based card, and I decided on a 9600 Pro. Upon getting to the store, they were out, but they had a 9800 Pro in stock, and it was a bit more money. It was a tough debate.

I had some trouble getting it working, on account of Windows being stupid and me forgetting to take out my old secondary video card, but now it's perfect, and everything is glorious. Seriously, every bit of land looks nice, water and tar move and reflect perfectly, and even the monsters look good. Plus I can finally see what's on our guild's cape.

On the other hand, I'm having a lot of trouble getting the colours right on the lcd monitor. I eaither get them too dark so I can't see fine detail, or too bright so everything's washed out. The middle ground is proving to be most elusive. I think I might have it now, but no doubt I'll change my mind.

On another happy note, my tax return came in. I'm going to be using it to pay off my credit card bill, but there should be enough left for me to enjoy.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

On the mend?

This morning I woke up and blew my nose for 5 minutes. It was unending, which I took as a good sign. If there's that much coming out, the illness must have been purged. Just in time for the weekend too.

There's a career fair at Cognos on Saturday, and if any of my loyal Ottawa readers want to go with me, I'd appreciate the company. If you don't, then I'll be fine on my own. I'm always fine on my own...

On a happy note, I'm much less cranky today.

Last night in Guild Wars I got to two new areas and got nowhere on the quest I've been stuck on the past few nights. A quick series of death convinced me to rethink my smiter, so I'm back to being a regular paladin. I live longer, not surprisingly. I do miss the ability to call down the fury of heaven, so I'll put it back when we get to the part of the game where we'll be fighting the undead. Smiting does double damage to them, so it'll be good.

Back to stuff everyone cares about, um, well. Hm. That's a tough one.

That's all for now. Random Wiki Extravaganza might return next week, I haven't decided yet.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Lousy everything

I'm so glad the government demands every job within it require a security clearance, and I'm equally glad they seemingly have no priority in giving out said security clearances. I've had mine in the processing stage since February, and if a job requires it they won't even look at you without one.

So I'm temporarily screwed for government work, what about everywhere else? After looking through the most recent jobs that looked promising on Workopolis, I'm convinced that there isn't a person alive who can fill them. One had 10 requirements, each demanding at least 3 years experience with something. If I had 30 years of experience (in general) with things that are in demand I'd already have a job. I know that "80% of jobs aren't advertised", but dropping off resumes to look for those unadvertised jobs didn't work out so well either. Plus nobody I know knows anybody with any clout anywhere, so I can't really network.

I'm just going to open my own business. Screw working for somebody else. I have a million ideas, but I need some help getting them off the ground. Anybody want to form a partnership?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sickness is energy

I'm sick. I feel terrible, my nose is running like a faucet, and I keep coughing painfully. I constantly feel like I'm about to fall asleep, and my concentration is shot.

That said, I've done more today than I normally do in an entire week. I did the dishes, washed the bathtub, got my hair cut, and walked back from that via Tim Hortons where I finally bought a new can of coffee. If I was feeling better, I don't think I would have done any of that.

While pondering that mystery, I changed my ringtone. It used to be some catchy song about Toronto, and now it's the theme from Astro Boy.

Insert large smiley face here.

Also catchy, and I know I'll probably be the only one who has it. Or who will know what it is. It's fairly good as ringtones go, and the tune is hopefully recognizable.

This is the first time I've changed my ringtone since August, and it probably won't matter because I tend to keep my phone on vibrate anyway. Regardless, it's Astro Boy!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

So this is what my apartment looks like

After a whirlwind tour of Kingston and then going to a lan party as soon as I got back, I've finally gotten a chance to not do anything. I think I'm getting sick too, but more on that later.

For nearly two full days all Kevin and I ate were hamburgers. Mostly fast food burgers, to be precise. Big Macs on the way to Kingston, McChickens that night, Harvey's Angus burger for breakfast, McDonald's double cheeseburgers later on, burgers at The Brass that night, Harvey's bacon cheeseburger for lunch the next day. I don't remember exactly when we ate each one, but it was far too frequent. Then, when I got back I decided to cook hamburgers, and that night at the lan we decided to walk to McDonald's where I got more double cheeseburgers.

I'm amazed I'm not dead.

I won't bother talking about the moving we did, mostly because there wasn't really a lot of stuff to move and the places were all half decent (one had a nasty staircase, but we got everything in with no difficulties). The worst thing to move in 3 different moves was a 250 pound dirty freezer, and even it didn't go too badly.

The first move featured the worst stench in the history of smells. There was an open garbage can at the side of the house, and apparently somebody had thrown some dog crap in there at one point in time, and then let the can sit for almost 2 years. Add rain and more garbage, allow for decomposition and what smelled like fermentation, then dump the water out of the can. Instant biohazard. None of us had any type of mask, and even then I don't think they would have helped. I don't think I've ever had a smell make me want to throw up before, but that one did. Luckily I didn't.

On to the real purpose of the trip: fun! The night we got there, we were going to maybe go for wings and just hang out, but that didn't pan out. We got into town pretty late and everywhere was packed. We found Greg and Jay and decided to try getting in somewhere. The wait was pretty bad, so we decided to play poker and drink 40s of Olde English. I'm no longer a stranger to malt liquor, and I'm glad I stayed away from it for so long. I have to admit that once it sears your taste buds off it's not so bad. I managed to get through that part by following my rule for consuming bad beer: Don't let yourself taste it.

Jay, Greg, and I played the first game, and Kevin came over for the second. Only Greg and I were drinking, and I managed to win the first game and lose the second. Greg finished second in the first game and won the second. Say what you want, but apparently OE makes you a better poker player.

On Wednesday we decided to drop into our old workplace to see where Twobelly was working. Kevin and I worked for Frost the Mover the past 2 summers, and last year we were almost always working with the same driver, who the full-time guys affectionatly nicknamed Twobelly on account of his size. Turned out he was out on Wolfe Island, so we decided to wait for him. That got boring, so we went looking for food and then did something else, and eventually he was back at the warehouse. General pestering ensued, zingers were lobbed back and forth, and we escaped before anybody realized that we were wearing our work shirts when we didn't actually work there.

Big changes there. Mark, the former dispatcher, is now doing sales, and Eddy, the old warehouseman, is now doing dispatch. As far as I know they don't have anybody working in the warehouse full time, so things might get messy down there. Everybody wanted me to go back to working there, but I think I've moved on. Besides, it doesn't make sense to move just for the summer.

It was good to see all the guys again, even if I did disappoint them by staying away.

Wednesday night after eating our Brass burgers, we introduced Greg to Robot Chicken. I highly recommend finding and downloading as many episodes of this as you possibly can. It's sick and twisted and utterly hilarious. Kevin and I wound up quoting it the entire weekend and probably scared a couple people. The sketch with Skeletor, Lex Luthor, Mumm-Ra, and Cobra Commander carpooling is probably my favourite from the entire series. It's done by Seth Green, so you know it's awesome.

Thursday was an exciting night. The day was sort of a wash, moving for people, moving for Kevin, going to Home Depot with Bjorn, woohoo. Thursday night was pretty awesome. One of the Bands' highland dancers was moving away or something (I missed the premise) so everybody was supposed to go to the Tir Nan Og for karaoke, but that didn't work out because everybody else in Kingston had the same idea. We moved it to the Merchant and had almost as good a time. It was good to be hanging out in a pub with a group of friends again. I didn't realize I missed it.

Afterwards, we decided to go play poker in the AMS boardroom. For the unfamiliar, the AMS is the student government at Queen's, and they have a nice boardroom. Giant table with a nice glossy surface, big comfortable chairs, and a perfect poker setup. We had 11 people playing, so the pot was significant enough to be worthwile winning. Winner got $40, second place got $10, third got their $5 buy-in back.

Somehow with 11 people it went faster than our games in Ottawa do. It only took 4 hours to play the entire thing, and it came down to Jay and I. I was short stack, and lost it in my usual manner of going all in and losing to the hand just 1 step better than mine. I put up a bit of a fight, but I got outplayed in the end.

We finished around 5 in the morning, and by 5:30 we had returned the rental truck. I got to bed around 6 or so, and we had to be up by 9 to move another of Kevin's friends. He managed to set the alarm on his phone to vibrate, and we missed that deadline. We weren't too late, though, and we still managed to get almost everything of hers moved.

Kevin took off to give a campus tour, I got in touch with Aki and went for coffee, then caught the bus back to Ottawa.

On the way back, Mat called me and told me about a poker game to kick off the lan, and I naturally said I was in. I wasn't sure about the lan at first, and I didn't really decide until they were on their way to pick me up.

In what would become a recurring theme, I finished second in that game, eventually losing to Steve in my usual manner. Yes, he won and managed to avoid being out first, until I arbitrarily decided that he was out first. He picked up a nice pot, and I kept my buy-in, so it was all good. I managed to come back from the brink of disaster to make it into the heads up play, but then my cards decided to rebel against me. I don't think I got a single good hand the entire time. When you're short stack, that's a major problem.

Following that we played some Counter Strike. I play under the name "Scott sucks at CS", and it's fitting. Still, it's fun and everybody there had it installed. Sometime later we got a game of Tron up and running, which I'm pretty good at. We went in search of double cheeseburgers and tried to watch Kung Fu Hustle, but the subtitles weren't working, so we decided to just go to bed instead.

Next morning I got my copy of Guild Wars. My precious, my love. After playing off and on during the day (while other people were playing Swat4, which didn't interest me at all) I got my guy back up to level 7. Scott the Green lives again, but this time he's a Warrior/Monk who does a whole lotta smiting. Or he will once I get some smiting skills. He still plays air guitar on the field of battle though.

Derek and I did some questing while the other guys played Axis and Allies, and after we stopped around 2 or 3 in the morning, we watched the A&A game rage on for another 3 hours. I think we decided that Japan gave up its war effort in 1963, and Germany looked ready to fall until Japan gave it all it's money before surrendering. Russia had lost the war long before all of that, so they at least probably finished within the real scope of World War 2. I'll have to ask someone how long it really went, but I wouldn't be surprised if it reached the 80s or after.

We don't normally try to equate A&A games to real time scales, but this one was long enough to deserve it. It was 6 in the morning when Cid surrendered Japan so he could drive home, and they'd been going for 7 hours at that point.

Not long after that I got home and promptly collapsed.

I woke up with a nasty cough that hurts enough to leave me winded for a few seconds, and for some reason I can't stop burping. Both symptoms are really annoying, and the sore throat just makes it worse. I don't know if it's from 4 nights of sleeping on couches and bare mattresses with couch cushions or worse for pillows, but I'm sure they didn't help matters much.

While in Kingston I decided to get around to taking some pictures I'd had planned for a while, and now I have the start of a photo essay of Queen's campus at night. A bunch of the pictures came out blurry, but I think I can fix that when I shrink them, or do some stuff with Photoshop. The ones that turned out are pretty good, I think. I'll put some of them on the net later, maybe. I got one of the Biosciences Complex that looked absolutely awesome on the camera preview but turned out blurry, and that's the main one I want to save. It's an incredible picture.

Also on the highlight reel are a picture of a random sock on the ground and one of Wayne working Campus security. The night mode on the camera works pretty well, and it uses the ambient light to add a touch of colour to the pictures, so most of them turned out with a slightly reddish tint. I like the effect it gives, so I'm not going to try to correct it.

While Kevin was taking a nap on Thursday afternoon I went wandering and got another good photo idea: places that are designed to be busy, but are empty. I got the idea while looking at some empty tables in the JDUC (the main student centre on campus), but by the time I went back to Kev's place and got the camera they'd filled up. Undeterred, I went in search of others.

This type of project is probably best done when there aren't any students around and not during exams when people are either studying or blowing off steam, so I mostly got pictures of classrooms. I got a nice one of the BioSci atrium with nobody in it, so that's two good pictures that building has given me.

I don't know why, but I really like the visual effect of rows of empty chairs, especially when they're supposed to be filled. I'm sure I could pull some artsy-fartsy reasoning about the usage of space and negative relief or the role of man in the universe as expressed through the medium of architecture and interior design, but I won't. Sometimes it's better to like something for no reason.

I've been working on this entry for an hour and 20 minutes, and I think I've said everything that needed to be said. Good deal.