The Task at Hand

January 15th, 2008, 12:15 am PST by Greg

I have decided to sit in on Ted‘s writing course, CMPT 376. This is the first time the course has been offered. I would like to be the kind of person that can teach a course like this, and this seems like a good way.

Notice the careful wording in the last sentence. It didn’t say “I’d like to teach this course in the future.” That’s a stronger statement that I’m just not willing to make yet.

After one lecture, I have learned one important thing: CMPT 376 is like Burning Man. There are no spectators, only participants. My plan all along was to participate in lectures, so I’m not too worried there.

The work I had planned on ignoring was the writing exercise for each class. (Thrice-weekly? Lecturly? There needs to be a word for that.) But, after a lecture, I have decided to give it the old college-try. But, there’s not much point in printing out what I write and giving it to Ted. I don’t need the marks.

So, I’m going to try to post here three times a week, approximately on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My own version of NaBloPoMo.

Like everything else in 376, I make no promises about making it all the way to the end of the semester. Some of the posts may lack my usual wit and sparkle, in favour of volume, but you’ll deal.

Boing Boing

January 12th, 2008, 11:03 am PST by Greg

For a while there, I had started to think that the posts on Boing Boing (“A Directory of Wonderful Things”) weren’t as good as they used to be (too much politics, not enough wonder?). Whether or not that was true, they totally redeemed themselves with two posts I saw this morning.

The video of people from 1 to 100 hitting a drum is pretty much what it sounds like. There’s really no reason for it to be as captivating as it is, but I couldn’t stop watching it.

Second was a link to Bent Objects. I especially liked “Chained to His Desk“. Now, there are certainly ways in which I am creative, but I still often mourn my lack of creativity. When I do that, this is exactly the kind of thing I wish I could think of, but never would in a million years.

Also, the octopus who is friends with a Mr. Potato Head was funny.

The Landlady’s Money Sense

January 4th, 2008, 5:43 pm PST by Greg

I have mentioned my landlady here before.

A few months ago, she came down and was in a flap (as my mother would say when she meant “flustered”). Eventually, we got around to the gas bill being twice as much as it usually is, and she didn’t know why. I looked at the bill: it hadn’t been paid last month. (Her written English is such that she didn’t get that.) She was adamant that she always pays them when they come.

She takes the bills to the bank and pays them there. I didn’t even know you could do that. It’s like Internet bill payment without the Internet. Crazy. (My mother always sent cheques.)

She had the receipt and we realized that the $144 had been sent to BC Hydro, not Terasen Gas. So, she decided to go to the bank and have them fix it. Great.

Of course, that didn’t happen and the flap continued. She asked me to go over to the bank with her today and help her figure it out. What we finally figured out made perfect sense (poor teller).

The next Hydro bill was for exactly $144. So, her Hydro account balanced and they didn’t send a bill the next month. So, she paid all the bills she got, and never had a credit.

Sigh. I think we’re good now. As long as she really didn’t get a bill from BC Hydro in December.

The “Break”

January 2nd, 2008, 9:36 pm PST by Greg

Before I get to the point, I want to explain my last two weeks, with pictures where I have them:

  • Dec 19: Kat gets to YVR at 21:00 after my marathon FAS UCC meeting in the afternoon.
  • Dec 20: A few last things at work for me; Kat works on her talk.
  • Dec 21: Kat’s Ama’s Birthday. For her grandmother’s birthday, the grandkids prepared the meal (for the second year). Kat and I did a lot of the heavy lifting, preparing butternut squash soup, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, ham, pasta, and probably some other stuff I forgot. [10:00–21:00]
  • Dec 22: Kat and Tina get their hair cut at Neil’s, followed by dinner. [16:00–21:00]
  • Dec 23: Lunch with Kelly and Paul, then I gave blood.
  • Dec 24: Xmas Eve lunch at Ama’s. They used to have dinner on Xmas eve, but decided that was too late this year. So, it became lunch, then dinner (and Wii) with Pam and her parents. We brought potato salad (mmmm… potato salad). [10:00–1:00]
  • Dec 25: Presents, then the rest of the day at Kelly and Paul’s. A whole day and my pants didn’t even really hurt at the end. [14:00–2:00]
  • Dec 26: No boxing day shopping, but dinner at Tony’s. [17:00–19:00]
  • Dec 27: Dim Sum and Hockey with Oli, Tina, Jon, and Eunice. The guys that are paid to live in the same city as me scored more goals than some guys paid to live in some other city. That makes me feel pride, apparently. [11:00–22:00]
  • Dec 28: Beer & Bacon fest 2. The second Beer & Bacon featured a Wii and three pounds of bacon. [18:00–2:00]
  • Dec 29: Dinner with Suyoko and Sameer (the boyfriend that I had never met). [18:00–21:00]
  • Dec 30: Bubble tea with Angelica, Jen, and Eugene. [14:00–16:00]
  • Dec 31: New Year’s Eve at our place. I also spent an hour or so at Daniela’s. [19:00–1:00]
  • Jan 1: Lunch at Ama’s. As always, lunch is a long thing. [11:00–16:00]
  • Jan 2: Kat leaves for YVR at 4:15. Back to work and coffee with Amanda at 11:00. After being at work for three hours, I finally got to my office and put my jacket down.

Kat and I didn’t cook at eat (alone) a single time while she was home. The meals we did have at home were scrounging leftovers.

Now that you have the context, you should understand why I say “I’m kinda glad Kat’s gone so I can get back to work.” I said that a few times today and got crap for it.

I’m tired, and want to get back to work so my day has some structure to it. It turns out Kat’s more popular than me, and when she’s here, it’s a whirlwind of stuff to do. I’m glad to have less stuff.

  Next Entries »