bike log

Friday, 2 April 2010 11:13 pm
On this beauuuuttiful day, we took [ profile] roverthedog for a longish walk, I did a bit of yard work, did some more decluttering in my study, read most of two issues of The Atlantic, and went for a 16km bike ride. My odometer rolled over 1,000km again, which I missed because I was paying attention to traffic after one of the new roundabouts. It rolled over at the site where they're turning farmland into a WalMart and movie-theater. ...As opposed to 5km up the road, where they're turning farmland into rental housing, or a few km in the other direction where they already turned farmland into a large plaza where they had the genius idea of a roundabout immediately followed by a stoplight. Yeah.

So, it would be another 1,000km, only my odometer is lying, or [ profile] roverthedog is taking it out for joyrides, because my records from last fall said I stopped biking at 800km, and when I started riding 17 days ago it said 858. Then this Wednesday it said 980. The intervals when I'm actually on the bike, so it's jumping in the night.

Oh! I bet it's the house poltergeist. That makes more sense now, since the clock is mostly working these days.

Anyhow, I can guess I've gone something like 120km since I started riding this season. Feels good to be back on the bike.

Just, no way in hell I biked 200km in 17 days.


Friday, 29 January 2010 10:40 pm

No, I think Billy Bob Thorton isn't a likeness. So, gang, who do I look like: Chiang Kai-Shek? Or Tony Danza?

OK, that's weird.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010 09:20 pm
da: (blue)
On my walk with Rover, my iPod decided to make me a random playlist. As far as I can tell, it was a shuffle of everything, 5327 songs.

The first four songs were a great combo:

Laurie Anderson - Statue of Liberty: she says, "...It's a good day / To run away / Freedom is a scary thing / Not many people really want it."

The Cure / Open ("I really don't know what I'm doing here / I really think I should've gone to bed tonight but...")

Brian Eno, Music for Airports / Ambient 1/2

O Brother Where Art Thou / Highways and Hedges

And then we got a middle chapter of the book Stumbling on Happiness, where Daniel Gilbert helpfully reminds us that "most people do prefer to have more freedom than less. Even if it makes them less happy."

So, is he agreeing with Laurie Anderson, or disagreeing. I'm not sure. Maybe my electronics want to remind me that free choice isn't always the ticket to happiness.


How was your day? Mine included excellent raw fish at Taka Sushi; and good news from two different parties about job offers. So, not so bad overall.

In Threes

Sunday, 1 November 2009 06:56 pm
"What's funny to me," I said, "is the front doorknob to our house came off in my hand yesterday."

"Well, bad things usually come in threes," said the tow-truck driver.

"I'm hoping that the storm-door latch shattering a week earlier was number one. I really am."

Yup, I got my first tow-truck ride yesterday.

Welcome back to North America, [ profile] melted_snowball! You've been experiencing the hour from 5:20pm to 4:20pm repeatedly since you left Tokyo 12 hours ago! As a special bonus for taking the [ profile] da_lj Corolla Chariot back home, now you get to sit on the side of the 401 for an hour, after the muffler bracket decides it's had enough and now's the time to fall off. Whee!

Joining CAA this summer was a good idea. I called and they said they'd send someone ASAP, since the 401 isn't a safe place to be broken down. After a mix-up when the first CAA towtruck arrived just ten minutes after I called, and determined he was looking for another broken down car in roughly the same place (WTF?), it was a relief that the second CAA truck was actually going to stick around and help.

According to him, the only thing we need is the bracket and bolt which hold it on. He tried to wire it up with a coat-hanger, but the connections were difficult, so he had to put the car on a big dolly to tow us from Mississauga home.

And we made it home by 8pm, after d. and I acted like an old married couple when I was giving directions and dan woke up in the back seat and wanted to give slightly different directions. ;)

And the tire place on the corner, which we trust for minor fixes, can replace the bracket and bolt, I hope. I left them a voicemail. "The car that appeared in your lot on the weekend? That's us. Can you fix the muffler bracket? I'll call back early Monday."


The front door breaking, which feels anticlimactic now, was Friday's fun. Bleary morning routine: walk downstairs, get newspaper, make breakfast, deal with [ profile] roverthedog. Fail step 2, open front door successfully: the handle pulled off in my hand, but without taking any of the innards with it. I'm like, "wait, there's a set of tabs sticking straight out inside the lock, which match the 4 slots in the handle, but... that doesn't look so easy to reattach." Blink. Blink. Hey, I need to get to Physio and to work. So I dealt with it in the evening. It turned out to be fixable, without even needing a trip to Home Hardware. And I also sanded down the top of the door, figuring that was the real cause of the failure. Only 8 years we've lived here, now we finally have a front door that doesn't stick.


What I'm (hopefully) calling failure number 1, almost two weeks ago now, was coming home to discover the latch for the storm-door had shattered into a pile of little metal shards on the front stoop. I haven't made it to the hardware store to see if a reasonable replacement can be found. Oddly enough, I feel busy otherwise.

I'm not sure what there is to learn here. Entropy happens? Replace stuff before it fails? Always have spares on hand? Have friends with good advice? I like that last one. If the muffler had actually fallen off, I liked the recommendation of one friend, who said "throw it in the trunk and drive on home. It'll be loud, but that's fine." I was tempted to just do that anyway, while we were waiting the hour for the CAA truck, but I'm glad d. convinced me not to, because I expect it would have cost a bunch more to reconnect the muffler.

So yeah. Just another boring weekend Chez nous.


Monday, 17 November 2008 10:03 am
[ profile] melted_snowball and I were wondering about something this morning. Why do some autos have a metallic strap hanging down from the rear bumper onto the road?

I thought I read somewhere it was to prevent charge buildup in the car so the gas tank didn't explode. But oh, it's so much better than that.

09:48 <@dnm> They believe it cures motion sickness.
09:48 <@dnm> yarly.
09:48 <@dnm> (It doesn't.)
09:50 <@daniel> wait, I thought you were kidding still.
09:50 <@daniel>

da: (duck)
Somehow, I expect the overlap set on my friends list is... kinda large.

So pretty:

University of Manchester Library to share 14th-century royal cookbook online. Look at that pic. I can't wait for it to go live.

So scary:

[ profile] lovely_listing (It's Lovely, I'll Take It) is "a collection of poorly chosen photos from real-estate listings". This one had me chortling out loud. Even now, after I've snuck looks at it all through the afternoon, it still makes me chuckle.

Last night's dream

Wednesday, 6 August 2008 10:04 am
I found myself wandering The Prospect of Whitby, the co-op house I lived in at Cornell. The house president was missing, which felt fairly ominous. I walked up the stairs, admiring the brand new 4th and 5th floors (which somehow hadn't changed the exterior profile of the house). There was lots of open space and I marveled at how much larger it looked from the inside.

I wandered into this guy's room, which was very tastefully painted in light shades, with a big glass table and a panorama mac monitor. We started chatting about what Cornell classes were like these days, and how odd it was about the the house president. I admired a rather incongruous-looking full-size animal costume sitting on a chair. He said, "Oh, we've all got them now."

Then Doctor Who walked in. "There you are," he said. "Something's not right here." He was followed in by another Whitby, a woman wearing a mouse-suit, the head under her arm. She was distraught; she felt somehow responsible for the president's disappearance. The Doctor looked at the pair of them and cheerfully asked what was the story with the fur suits? The woman showed off how they were made, partly from big stuffed animals they decapitated and re-stitched. It started feeling a bit gruesome, how intently they were into the dismemberment of these stuffed animals.

I had a mental leap that left an awful feeling in my stomach- we were in great danger if she put on the head; these poor students were being symbiotically controlled. For murder.

And then I woke up.

It amuses me to no end that I can trace most of the elements of this dream. The decapitation bit is probably trying to make some sense of the BC Greyhound bus murder that's been in the news. The Whitby stuff is because I was connecting with old friends on facebook yesterday. The Doctor Who bit is- well, a very convenient plot framework to make everything fit together, because my dreams like to do that. ...The only part I'm not sure of is the homicidal fur suits.


Tuesday, 5 August 2008 03:41 pm
da: (black)
The Pastor Phelps Project: a fundamentalist cabaret, opening in Toronto this Thursday, could not ask for better publicity.

They are being picketed by Westboro Baptist Church on opening night.


The text of their PDF, in case you don't want to hit their server:

Westboro Baptist Church
(WBC Chronicles- Since 1955)
St.Topeka, Kansas 66604 785-273-0325
Religious Opinion and Bible Commentary on Current Events
Friday, August 1, 2008

WBC will picket The Pastor Phelps Project
7p.m. to 8p.m. - Thursday, August 7
-at the Cameron House, 408 Queen St. W., Toronto, Canada.

In religious protest and warning: "Be not
deceived; God is not mocked." Gal.6:7.
God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers. Ergo,
God hates The Pastor Phelps Project, and
all those having anything to do with it.

The Pastor Phelps Project is a tacky bit of filthy
sodomite propaganda, with no literary merit
and zero redeeming social value, masquerading
as legitimate theater. It is of the fags, by the
fags, and for the fags- designed only to mock
the word of God and the servants of God. "He
that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord
shall have them in derision." Psa.2:4.

God Hates Canada-
Land of the Sodomites.

Um, like, yeah.

Catholic Jelly-fIsh

Sunday, 20 July 2008 08:29 pm
Apologies for teh blurrinees, but I think we captured one of the rare photos of the fabled Alpha Jelly-fish.

It's in the left hand wall hanging, and the only detail that I think is fuzzed out in the photo is a few vertical lines on the pink jelly-fish body:

Alpha Jelly-fish, second cousin to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, protector to the Virgin Mary.


No reason

Friday, 30 May 2008 10:47 am
da: (grey)
What would happen if it were a universal constant that things were actually cheaper by the dozen?


Tuesday, 6 May 2008 10:12 pm
I just got spam. In iCal. I haven't had time to figure out how the hell it got there, but it's a bit of a surprise. Its recipient is... my non-gmail address, but it has a google calendar link at the bottom. Hm. The only action on my part was to confirm in ical that my address belonged to me. And then they appeared in the "notifications" pane.

[edit to add: Ah, I see. it's a convenience feature of mac mail and ical. If my email contains an .ical event notification, it will add it without asking me. iCal preferences... "Advanced" preferences... *untick*]

Also: what's up with friends moving away shortly? Was it something I said?

My friend Michael is imminently moving to Alberta; he told me on the weekend (calling from Alberta).

[ profile] ferdzy and her partner Karl are quite possibly moving to Owen Sound this summer. At least 50% possibility, according to K. Higher chance if they can sell their business.

I think that's quite enough of that. No more moving further away. You're only allowed to move closer. (With the proviso that my parents are welcome to move to Ithaca, whether or not it's any closer to here... (and it even is closer, by 50 miles.)) Got it? Good.

Afternoon musings

Friday, 14 March 2008 03:04 pm
da: (duck)
I was told by a friend today that he had a dream I was in, and then he woke up and told me about it. And then he woke up. And he thought it was one level more, until we decided that he wasn't still asleep. ...If he is, he's certainly wasting his afternoon. Less work, more flying. And pie.

Is Peace and Conflict Studies an art or a science? According to the University, the program is in the Arts Faculty, but for me, they'd like it to be a science if I don't mind:

"[...]Because your previous degree is in Science you are placed in that post degree program. It is possible to complete the PACS Diploma program as a Science post degree student. [...]
If you wish to complete an Arts Degree with a PACS major then you will need to request a program change by completing the 'Plan Modification/Application for Internal Transfer Form'"

OK then. So, not only do I have a B.S. in Communications...

Moderately Useful

Monday, 4 February 2008 09:56 pm
Have you ever received useful spam?

At the beginning of December, one got through my filters: "Have you reserved a spot for your pet?" and yes indeed, it reminded me I had forgotten to do so for over Christmas.

This morning, I got two comment-spams on my LJ, both on ancient public posts; but both were posts I had meant to go back and reconsider. Perhaps I should go back and read my old posts more often.

Just now I got a spam asking me to check my bank balance. Er, I did need a reminder to check my bank balance.

Thanks, spam.

Product Ideas

Tuesday, 22 January 2008 11:19 pm
da: (duck)
via conversation with [ profile] chezmax:

Wouldn't it be great if you could get a GPS with a personality? When you go around a corner, if you take it sharply enough, it will go "whee." Of course in an unemotional GPS standard tone.

Or a GPS with the personality of Marvin the Paranoid Android. "You can turn left here. Or right. I don't really care, what is the point?"

It might be fun if it had way-points built in and you've told it you're not really in a hurry: it could suggest brief detours. "Hey, let's stop for coffee and doughnuts! Turn right in 100 meters."

You could tell it how much time you have to waste.

Or, to give a route that only involves right turns.
1) Why do airplanes need a separate kind of headphone plug? If they didn't, people would be more inclined to use their own headphones, and the airline wouldn't have to hand out disposable headphones on the flight. (They are disposable; if you give them back, they go straight into the trash). This bugs me. Why does it make sense to them? Economically: say 300 pair x $0.50 cost to the airline = $150 could be saved on each long-haul flight. How much would it cost to retrofit the planes for regular 3.5mm stereo headphone jacks? Say a highball $100 a seat- it would pay for itself in 200 flights. I remember when the airlines used to sell the headphones, but now they just give them away. I'm sure it's not an image thing; it sure isn't glamorous to rip into a packet of headphone.

2) Why do washing machines have a separate dial for clothing colour when they already have a setting for temperature? If I set "hot/cold" and "colours" does it modulate the hot temperature downward? I don't tend to think it does, since the water feels just the same whether it's on "whites" or "colours."

To tie these two questions together, if I'm going to accidentally send a piece of electronics through the wash, I'm really happy it was my headphone airplane adapter.
da: (bit)

USB blender alarm clock.


USB Blender alarm clock is a unique blend of eye-pleasing retro-style, high tech functionality, and pureed whimsy!

When the brownies are done it doesn't just go ding - it shreds, dices, liquefies, and plays an assortment of 1970's game-show jingles at the same time. Your home may never be the same!

* Shred and music work only when alarm
* Do not open the cover. Do not eat the balls
da: (bit)
I received a phishing email at work from my bank (TD) which used a url-redirector at THE REAL BANK'S WEBSITE to get to the fake site.

That is: www.tdcanadatrust·com/servlet/infosite.servlet.OutBoundServlet?RequestedPage=phishing·url/urgent_verifying/update.inf

Thunderbird didn't think it was phishing. The destination URL originally went to a copy of the bank's site; two hours later, it was deactivated by the host, and Firefox warns it is a phishing attempt.

The bank hasn't deactivated the redirector. I'm curious how long it will stay active. They should be pretty embarrassed; this isn't rocket-science, and there's no reason you should be able to pull crap like this.
This morning I watched "Carfree" "Carefree", in which Fred plays a psychologist and Ginger plays the Mixed Up Woman Who Can't Commit To Her Man. She falls in love with Fred's character, hilarity ensues. (Police baton through plate window; bouncing dinner-rolls off a judge... In the last 15 minutes, Fred's character makes a play to try and have her *knocked out with a fist* so he can "talk to her subconscious." Erm, yeah.)

The dancing was superb- and the songs are good. And Fred and Ginger do extremely well with what they were given in terms of plot. I think the writers were smoking... hashish, or whatever the good stuff was in 1938. The plot makes no sense, and it's only a small win to see Fred tap-dance with golf-clubs on a green.

One of the extras on the DVD is a wacky short (20min) called Public Jitterbug No. 1. Its premise is that Jitterbug dancing is anti-American, a menace to society, and the G-men go after the "man" at the top of the Jitterbug syndicate. Or something like that. It's sort of funny, in a difficult-to-figure ironic way, and has good tap-dancing as well.

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