Entries from April 2003

April 5th

bassWell, my birthday is almost over. It's been a fairly low-key affair this year, as I'm still trying to get my energy back after getting my ass kicked hard during term-end. Two months to go, and then it's summer vacation...

What did I do today? I ate one of my favourite foods (sushi). I listened to some damn fine music. I hung out with my favourite person and my cats. And I did some reading and basically let the brain luxuriate in its own juices for a bit. All in all, not a bad way to celebrate 33 years of kicking out the jams.

Speaking of which, seeing as how I'm going to have some time on my hands in the summer, I went out yesterday and bought myself a day-before-my-birthday gift: a Fender Standard Jazz bass. I used to own a bunch when I was playing semi-professionally, but when we moved back to Winnipeg from Toronto I did what I said I'd never do and sold them all. It was just cheaper and easier to just sell them; I didn't have much nolstagic attachment to them any more, and I figured I'd replace them when we got settled.

Well, it's about time. I've been fooling around a bit since I moved back, but it's always been with borrowed instruments, which never seems right. You can trust that photographic evidence will make its way here if I should make any face-reddening appearances on a stage in the near future.

(And no, for those of you music geeks who would notice this kind of thing - the image of the Fender bass above is not backwards. I'll write a long rant about how it sometimes sucks to be a left-handed musician some other time.)

I just hope I don't drive Ren�e nuts with my practicing. Solo guitar sounds just fine - solo bass seems a bit pitiful, in a Spinal Tap kind of way.

San Francisco - From Vertigo to Now

A couple of weeks ago I was standing in the recently opened Norm & Nates deli, which is just down the street from the school. I couldn't stop staring at this huge 16×20 photograph they had up on the wall. It was a photo taken from up in the Paris Building looking East down Notre Dame street in 1936. Surprisingly, because of the local heritage commission, and the rather well-preserved Exchange District, the view was quite similar to what is there now.

I'm totally head over heels with this stuff:

Vertigo Then and Now

I love seeing how cities change over time. I think I'm going to do a similar project for Winnipeg (minus the famous movie, that is) - first I'm going to need some old pictures of Winnipeg, though.

A good day

Things that plaster a big grin on my face:

  1. Going out for lunch with a friend and ordering exactly what I was craving all day, even though I didn't quite what it was I was craving.
  2. frip.jpgStopping in at the mall for some unknown reason, and finding a copy of The Very Persistant Gappers of Frip (which I've wanted to buy for quite some time) for one dollar. In perfect condition.
  3. Walking home on a beautiful, sunny day, with my iPod playing a seemingly random mix which was almost too perfect to have been meant for anyone except me.
  4. Being surprised by two consecutive +17 degrees Celsius days after getting pounding with a late spring snowstorm on my birthday.
  5. Having two of my web hosting clients upgrade their accounts and renew for an entire year at the same time: I need the extra money.
  6. Listening to Ren�e laughing almost uncontrollably watching Who's Line... in the other room, knowing that she's had a horrible week and any laughter at all is a good thing.
  7. Knowing that there's only seven weeks left of school, and then I can finally get my life back for a few months.
  8. Finally figuring out a MySQL problem that I've been pounding my head against for two days on my own, without having to call my friendly neighbourhood geek.
  9. Saying, "screw my anti-red meatism", and eating one of the fucking best Reuben sandwiches ever with absolutely no guilt whatsoever.
  10. Added: Even better, after expecting that I would owe thousands of dollars by the time I completed my income tax, I was pretty chuffed to discover that I only owed $690. Whew.

What makes for a good day for you?

Spring Renewal

Well, it's finally spring outside, or at least it seems like it is. I'm tentative, because Winnipeg's weather is completely unpredictable, and we could end up with another snowstorm in May. You always has to be prepared for the worst, I say.

That said, it's nice and sunny outside today, so I'm going to drag my butt out of this chair and get some fresh air. As you can see by the renovations, I've been sitting here getting the new redesign out the door. It's time to relax for a bit.

The entire site's layout is now basically table-free, with some exceptions, as I'm feeling too lazy to start digging through all of the old entries hunting for tables. The site should validate, however (for people who care about those kinds of things), and in general I think the site should work in all of the version 5+ modern browsers. Older browsers will get a stripped-down version that should still look okay - I hope.

What's left to do? Well, I plan to do a complete overhaul and redesign of the photography area when I find more time. And, I need to put up the old design into the retired sites area when I have a moment.

At some point, once I get the structure of the site cleaned up (god, it's a mess), I also want to give visitors the option of choosing from a few different layouts, one being very close to the old "grey" look. If you really dislike this layout (or really liked the old one), it will return, given time.

(Edit: Okay, so something is really, really buggered with IE 5 and IE 5.5 for Windows. I'm tired so I'm not going to fix it right now, but I am aware of it.)

Later: Okay, I think I got it - everything should be working now. <said with a glowing sense of accomplishment>

Why I am Poor

GraphOkay, so I don't get it.

Blogshares has been getting lots and lots of attention. Mark has been posting about it often, going so far as to put a box on his homepage to display links to folks who have given him stock. The folks at Backup Brain also have been offering to give away their stock to a select few.

This fantasy stock market has made me realize something mildly profound: I have no understanding at all of the stock market. Back when I worked at Sympatico we got some stock. They might as well have given me a bag filled with curds of whey for all I would have known what to do with them.

Apparently the BeatnikPad is worth $0.35 a share, which is up from $0.18 a week and a half ago. I think that's good, but I have no idea. This explains why I never hit the motherlode during the Internet gold rush. Options? Stock splits? Vesting? Colour me clueless.

If someone could explain how the stock market works in layman's terms, I'd be really appreciative. Heck, I'll give you 75 shares in return, though I have no idea if that's good.

<sigh>. Do you ever get the feeling that others are making out like thieves, while you're standing there with this stupid, dumbfound look on your face?

In other blog news, Typepad was announced today by Mena and Ben - very, very, cool. I've always thought that Movable Type is a great publishing platform, but it's not exactly intuitive, and for every person who successfully gets it running, I'm sure there are many others who gave up in frustration and went back to Blogger or some other service.

Typepad sounds like it will make MT as straight-forward to use (or even more so?) than Blogger. That means I can finally get my mom to start weblogging. :)

I am a Camera

Alors - I just came into some extra dough from freelancing work I completed a little while ago, so I went out and upgraded my camera. I originally had a Fuji Finepix 2600, which is a nice point-and-shoot digcam, but it's pretty limited, too. My brother wants a digital camera, so I sold him my old one and bought a new one. Everybody happy!

s45.jpgWhat I wanted was something that was very portable, but still had a strong manual feature set. The point- and-shoot cameras are nice, but sometimes I like to be in control.

We have the Canon Powershot G2 at school, so I'm used to how the Canons are set up (which is rather nicely). It takes gorgeous photos too, so Canon seemed to be a good bet. I find the G2 to be too big and bulky, though, so it and its upgraded brother the G3 were out.

After reading countless reviews and comparing countless cameras, I finally picked up the Canon Powershot S45.

I'll post back with a more detailed review in a week or so, once I've had a good opportunity to put it through some rigorous testing, but so far I'm very impressed. This is one sexy camera. I mean it's sleek metal! It's tiny in that oh-so-irresistable gadgety way that men find irresistable! It has lots of buttons, and you can customize it to make laser sounds when you take photos (not that I would, but damn, I could if I wanted to)!

This kind of rampant consumerism makes me feel greasy and just a bit guilty, in the way that giving into those exceedingly rare (but nigh-overpowering) cravings for McDonald's french fries can make me feel. Oh well. You gotta get it where you can.

Expect the very under-developed photography section to see some updating soon.

Things that made me smile today

  • The realization that everyone looks younger when it's nice outside.
  • People who drive by in sad, decrepitly rusted cars, blasting "Hot in Herre".
    Prediction: this summer's can't-avoid hit will be a little ditty called THIS SHIRT IS CHAFING ME, or, dispensing of all innuendo, SCREW IT, LET'S RUT.
  • Hearing an advance copy of Electric Version, the soon-to-be released sophomore album by The New Pornographers. Listen to The Laws Have Changed (mp3, 4.3mb)
  • Knowing that my sweetie will be back from her vacation on Monday.

Yes, Maybe, Maybe no, No

Spent the evening with my fellow evil dwarves at work going through the entrance portfolios for next year's course. It's long, tiring work, but it's kind of fascinating, in a Doctor Evil pinky-to-the-lip kind of way. It's strange and discombobulating to know that you hold the decision which could spin a person's life into a wholly new orbit.

At the same time, it's bizarre what some people try to pass off as their portfolio work. "Yes. I am applying for a visual design course. Here are my pencil-rendered stick figures that I spent a grand total of 30 seconds thinking about, and five minutes actually drawing."

» Yes, Maybe, Maybe no, No continues...

ISSN 1499-7894
Contact Archives Web Love Writing Photos FAQs Home