Saturday, February 28, 2009


I can't believe the phone conversation I just had. A flatmate of mine who moved out back in December, and who I haven't talked to since (intentionally) just called me, wondering if I'd like to do something, go out for some food or drinks. I didn't really feel like it, but I also didn't really feel like making excuses, so I tried to be kind of non-committal without being rude. Then she said "oh, but, uh, there's one thing, uh, I don't have any money with me." She's managed to lock herself out of her sister's flat, where she's staying, and called me to go for dinner so I could pay for her. Now, if we'd been in touch, and were any sort of friends, that would be one thing, but she's calling out of the blue, asking for me to buy her dinner? I mean, ok, so she's locked out of her place, but I mean, that happened to her at least 3 times while she was living here, she needs to learn to stop misplacing her keys. I'm feeling a bit annoyed right now, because I feel so guilty for pulling the whole "I've been out all day, I just want to stay home and relax" thing, but what else am I supposed to do? I wish I'd never given her my number.

First Day Of Climbing

That was AWESOME! I even managed to (mostly) conquer my fear of heights to do the practice drops. I can't wait till tomorrow. I might even go on Monday after work to do the test, and do a bit of bouldering. I'll definitely need to buy some equipment pronto. :)

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Friday, February 27, 2009


I really need to move. I got home from work today to find the door to my room open a crack. Apparantly the landlord has had someone by to install fire alarms, and let him into my room without asking or informing me. I'm pretty sure that's not legal. I'm fed up with this place, and the B.S. the landlord is always pulling.

Climbing Buddy

It looks like I may have found a climbing buddy already. One of my coworkers (my drinking buddy one) used to climb a lot, and when she heard I was taking a beginners course, said she's going to try to convince me to be her climbing buddy. Sounds great to me, it'll be good to have someone I can arrange to go with, rather that always having to just show up and hope someone's there to climb/belay with.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

After a suggestion from Krista and Ben that it could be a good way to meet people, I've signed up for a beginners climbing course at a sports complex near my office. They do have the ulterior motive of wanting one more qualified person to climb with when I move back It helps of course that I've always enjoyed climbing all over things. From my quick tour around the climbing walls, it looks like quite a well equipped place. The course is six hours long, three on Saturday and three on Sunday. I just hope I'm not too out of shape to be able to handle it. I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the idea you two.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Someone asked me today how I'm liking my iPhone now that I've had of for a week. There are a lot of pros and cons. In no particular order:

1. Google maps with GPS and directions, anywhere, anytime. Awesome. Pretty much the killer app for me.
2. Pretty good ebook reader. Can download PDB format books from any webserver (or. your own)
3. Looking up shop phone numbers, hours, location, etc, while out and about. Very handy.
4. Seamless switching from cellular data to wifi networks. At home or work, it uses wifi, everywhere else, it's 3G.

1. Calendar event reminders have no snooze feature. I used this feature on the palm a tremendous amount. I even paid for an add-on that gave me 4 snooze buttons to snooze for different amounts of time. If I was getting dressed in the morning and noticed I was nearly put of clean socks, I would set an event for 7pm that day, shortly after I get home, to remind me to do laundry. If I worked late and wasn't yet home when it went off, I would simply hit snooze. On the iPhone, I have to go to the event, edit it, change the time on it, and save.
2. Battery life isn't phenomenal. It'll last all day if you're not using the data services TOO much. I almost killed it on Sunday.
3. Bluetooth sucks. All it works for is headsets. Rumour has it that you can do more of you jailbreak it, but I haven't tried the Bluetooth yet since.
4. No ability to select IMAP folder subscriptions. It also auto-expands any nested folders. What this means for me is that moving an email into my spam folder is incredibly painful, because I have to scroll down the folder list for a good 5 seconds to get to the spam folder.
5. Lack of copy-paste. Yes, I know everyone and their dog has complained about this, but it's damned annoying not having it. If I want to rearrange sentences in an email, forget it. (Since I jailbroke my iPhone, I've tried the clippy program, which does a decent job of hacking in a clipboard, but integrated functionality, without having to do something like jailbreaking would be much better.)
6. No background apps. This is a bit more impacting that it may at first sound like. In addition to apps not being able to run in the background, they can't seem to subscribe to timers or anything either, when they're not running. This makes SO many things impossible. A todo app with deadlines that reminds you when your deadline is approaching? Natch. RSS reader that automatically downloads articles from your feeds each morning? Natch. Very frustrating.

I'm sure there's more for both categories, but I'm tired of typing on the on screen keyboard. It's tolerable, but that's as much credit as I'm willing to give it.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Canada Trip: Part 1

(written on the plane on the way back)

What an incredible two weeks this has been. I'm now only 1000km away from London, looking back at two weeks spent with family and friends in Kelowna, at Silverstar, and back in the city I love so much, Vancouver. Watching Vancouver's lights get smaller and smaller beneath us as we gained altitude was so heart wrenching it nearly brought me to tears. There's no doubt in my mind at all that I need to move back there one day.

Two weeks ago, on January 24th, I flew out of London Heathrow airport to visit home for two weeks. Everything about the flight was calm and uneventful, and i unexpectedly ended up with a window seat right behind the wing, my favourite spot. The only negative thing about the flight was that the plane didn't have screens in the seat backs. They had the plastic bevels for them, but Air Canada had cheaped out on getting the actual screens, so thee was just a panel of fabric there instead. There were three in-flight movies shown on the other screens, but I only remember the one I watched, Mama Mia. At one point in the flight, I looked out the window just as we were crossing the foothills. Directly ahead were the jagged peaks of the Rockies, every bit as beautiful from above as the are from the ground. That moment, seeing the Rockies, was the moment I knew I was home again.

We arrived in Vancouver nearly an hour ahead of schedule due to favourable winds, but all that time, and then some, was chewed up waiting in the lineup at immigration. Carrying two bottles of scotch and one of sherry from duty free as well as my carry on bag was incredibly uncomfortable as the line never quite stopped long enough to put things down for a minute, and the duty free bags were cutting into my hands. It was so nice to finally be through that, and able to get my luggage and stuff the duty free in it. I had hoped to meet up with Jenn briefly before catching my flight to Kelowna, but the lineups ruined any chance of that, so I headed directly to my departure area, and waited there. While I waited, I looked for somewhere to eat, and found a White Spot very close. I had a wonderful pint of Granville Island Pale Ale, the first beer I'd been served cold since I left, and a BC chicken burger.

The flight to Kelowna was also uneventful. I was again in a window seat behind the wing, and this time, the seats did have screens, so I queued up some Styx from the music library, and listened to that on the way. When I finally arrived at my final destination, Kelowna, my sister was waiting there for me with a great big hug. She drove me back to my parents' house for the grand reunion with my parents and grandparents. By this time, it was 3am for me, but I forced myself to stay awake until 9:30 (5:30am to me) to try to adjust to the timezone change. I was a bit groggy, but not completely out of it, the next day, so I think it worked well enough.

I spent a wonderful four and a half relaxing days in Kelowna with my family. My car was insured and on the road so I was able to do a bit of driving, though I didn't do nearly enough of it. However, I probably could have spent the entire four days driving the car around, and it still wouldn't have felt like enough. My grandma brought down loads of her wonderful baking for us all to enjoy, and my mom cooked all my favourite homemade meals, so I ate unbelievably well the whole time I was there.

After that time in Kelowna, I borrowed one of the cars with winter tires to drive up to Silverstar for the annual ski trip. I was the first one to arrive, so I checked in for the group, made sure the hot tub was hot and settled in to eat dinner (leftovers from my grandma) and wait for the rest of the group to arrive. People arrived throughout the evening, from Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Parksville, and San Fransisco. It was so incredible to see everyone again after so long away. Quite a few of them I hadn't seen since the ski trip last year. I was there with them for three and a half days, played lots of crib some board games, spent lots of time in the hot tub, skied for one morning, and went ice skating. Having to leave after only three and a half days to catch up with everyone was painful. That's not nearly enough time to spend with more than a dozen people I haven't seen in almost a year. There was a bit of excitement with vehicles leaving the ski hill. One vehicle was stuck in the foot of snow the hill had received while we were there, and had to be towed out. Thankfully, one of the vehicles there was an off-road equipped jeep, with big knobbly tires and a winch. Getting the vehicle out was a piece of cake, with that.

On the way back, I was driving my parents' car as far as Kelowna, where I was dropping it off, and changing into a friend's Mazda. However, on the way down from the ski hill, as I was following, I smelled what I thought was overheating brakes, so I radioed ahead to my friends to see if they smelled it. They did not, so we all assumed that meant it was my brakes, so I drove the rest of the way down the hill without hardly touching the brakes, until we pulled in to a parking lot to let my brakes cool. As the other vehicle pulled in however, they realized that there was smoke coming out from their wheel well, so it wasn't me after all. It turns out something had seized, and one of the belts was heating up and smoking. At least, that's what it looked like, but we played it safe, and called Mazda, as the car was still under warranty, and had it towed to Kelowna, the nearest Mazda dealership. We all piled into my car and drove to Kelowna while waiting to hear from the dealership about how long it would take to fix the car. We had lunch there, and then found out that all the dealership had to do was cut the belt to the air conditioning compressor (the part that had seized) and the car was able to be driven again. This was excellent news for the car's owner, because they're from Vancouver Island, and needed to get it back there for repairs, so they wouldn't have to find a way to get it back from Kelowna. It also meant we could drop of my parents' car, pile back in the Mazda, and carry on our way, only a few hours behind schedule. All in all, it was probably one of the least inconvenient ways that it could have broken down.

My time in Vancouver was incredibly packed. On arriving late Monday evening, I was dropped off at a friend's Mazda shop in North Vancouver, which was on the way to the ferry for the friends I was travelling with. Chris, the shop owner, and I went for dinner in Burnaby, at Swiss Chalet, and I had what used to be called the Messy Chicken Sandwich, which is basically bread with chicken on it, smothered with gravy. From there we took my luggage to Richmond with me, to my friend Jenn's house where I was staying, before going bowling.

(more to come another time)


I'm so happy that the weekend is finally here. I do have some things planned for Sunday, but it's still going to much calmer and quieter a weekend than any of the past three, what with the trip back home to Canada and all. Last night, not feeling entirely my best, I went out to Sound, the club where Iris was having her going away party on here last night on London. One of her coworker, Jodi, is in a band, Foxi, that was playing their debut gig there. They were really good, I'd love to go to another of their gigs. I ended up heading home "early", at around midnight, so I could catch the tube instead of the night bus. Having had only four hours of sleep the night before, I was quite tired.
Today I had my coffee an muffin for "breakfast", around 1 pm, then went out to the mall to get some headphones to replace the ones I lost on the way home from the ski trip. I had bought cheap replacements in Vancouver, but I got what I paid for. Whenever I walk, the vibration of the cable rubbing of the cable on my jacket is horribly amplified in the earpieces because the plastic the cables are made of is too stiff. Anyway, the new ones I got today seem much better, and they have a microphone and iPod controls which is nice with my new iPhone.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Quarterly Business Review

Every three months at work, we have a long meeting with everyone on the company where we go over how the company has done over the last quarter, and see what's planned for the next. So far, they have all involved dinner and drinks afterword, on the company. Yesterday was no exception. After the nearly three hour long meeting, we went to the pub near the office for dinner, and a few drinks. A few drinks eventually turned into being kicked out at midnight when they closed up the pub. A few of us then decided, possibly unwisely, that the night was yet young, so we took a cab down to Soho and found a nice loungy sort of place. At one point in the evening when we were nearly the only people there, one coworker asked them to turn the music off, which they did, so she could jam on the piano. She did that for a while, which was very nice, but they too eventually closed, leaving us out on the street. We spent a bit of time in a club nearby that turned out to be a bit dodgy, so we called it a night and all three of us hopped into a cab to do the circuit our flats to drop us each off. By the time I got home it was four in the morning. Today it's been a bit of a trial to stay awake, and I'm supposed to be meeting Iris and Sonja for Iris' going away party at (yet another) club in Soho. I don't think it will be nearly as long a night.

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Friday the 13th

Today is the day that my UK mobile phone number is supposed to be switched over from Tesco Mobile to O2, to use it on my new iPhone. I sure hope everything goes smoothly, given the date.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Test From iPhone

Test post.

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Check SIM Card

"Check SIM Card" is what my Palm Treo has been saying on and off since I got back from the ski trip. I dropped the phone once (I've dropped it dozens of times) and it seems to have broken something this time. It keeps losing connectivity with the SIM card, so then it can't talk to the network, so it's not working very well as a phone.
I had enough of it on Tuesday so I went out and bought an iPhone. (Queue laughter, finger pointing, and general making fun of Derek) I'm "satisfied" with it so far, though by no means "thrilled". I would have liked to wait for the new Palm Pre, but that won't be out as a GSM model until at least October, and the software I'd like probably won't all be available until sometime next year, so I needed something in the interim. Who knows, maybe I'll grow to love the iPhone with time, despite it's faults, like an adorable one-eyed cat I once knew.


I had Bovril on toast for breakfast today for the first time in goodness knows how long. At least since before I moved over here. Mmm tasty. It goes surprisingly well with an americano.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Life throws a lot of choices at a person. Sometimes they're hard choices, like whether to take the slow bus that showed up first, or wait for the express bus. Other times they're easy, like which to pour: Lagavulin or Laphroaig. Life is good.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Well, it wasn't cheap, but my computer is fixed and all working nicely again, so I feel much better. However, my phone is constantly "forgetting" it has a SIM card in it, so it's barely even functioning as a phone any more. Hrmf. The Palm Pre I want isn't going to be out until October, and probably won't have all the software I need until next year, so I'm seriously considering a *gasp* iPhone. If the stupid things had an SD card slot, and the calendar event reminders had a snooze button, I'd be racing to get one right now, but I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons and see if I can live without those two things.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Horrible timing

I was going to write a post all about how awesome my vacation was, but I'm too tired and pissed off now. I got home, and to try to stay awake, was going to play some Fallout 3, but my computer had other ideas. It turns out that while I was away, there had been a power outage. I turned my computer back on, ignored the slight bit of graphics oddness I noticed, wrote a couple emails, then ended up chatting with a flatmate in the kitchen for a while. When I came back in, my computer was locked up solid. When I reboot it, I get completely scrambled video, and sometimes it randomly reboots. The video card is hot enough to the touch that it nearly burns. Looks like it got cooked while I was away. Damnit, I really didn't need to be buying more computer parts right now. Besides, now how the hell am I going to keep myself awake?