Sunday, June 28, 2009


In no particular order, stuff that has been keeping me off the Innertubes for the past week or so:

JediBoy graduated Grade 8 last week, so we are officially done with elementary school. It was a nice evening with the just the right sense of occasion about it, notwithstanding the predaliction for the larger girls to wear the shorter dresses. I have to believe clothes shops are employing fun-house mirrors these days. Back to the point: The Boy carried himself well and quietly walked off with an armful of awards. We really-and-truly couldn't be prouder of that guy.

My In-Laws - from Voidlands north of Sudbury - were invited guests for the JediBoy festivities, so we've had company. I enjoy hanging out with my father-in-law, but it's always a challenge keeping him busy. On this visit, he had some bathroom renovation work lined up at my sister-in-law's which meant, of course, so did I. He's disappeared back to the north country and I have a vanity still to be installed. I am Karma's bitch.

My fountain idea continues to twist and morph and I have yet to actually do anything. It started off as a simple idea to mount a couple of Grecian-style pots on the edge of the pond and have them spew a gentle trickle into the pond. Then I decided that maybe I could mount some coloured LED bulbs inside the urn - maybe even in-line with the water! From there, I imagined creating a Mickey Mouse topiary that would be holding a magic fountain pot! Alas, I can no longer find the right topiary frame and so I think I'm back to my original idea. On a postive note, I've learned a ton about topiaries and I'm thinking that making one would be a cool project on its own. And I've got this neat idea to make a 'leapfrog fountain' using solenoid valves and the principles of laminar flow and..... *sigh* Never happen.

Carnival of Monsters won't let me post any comments. It's probably for the best - some might say.

Anathem has been started. I shall say no more until there is more to say.

There are rumblings of another Geek Meet in July. I'm down for that (as the kids say). As far as I know, my only no-fly-zones are July 11, 12, and 18.

Oh, and it looks like I have a bird feeder to fix.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Living Dangerously

"Don't meet people in real life that you only know from the Internet".

That's what I tell my kids to keep them safe.

So I broke the rules (sorta, kinda) this weekend and met up with some folks that I've known mostly by their Innertube personas for quite some time and, yet, I had never actually met in meatspace.

I'm glad I broke the rules.

It's tough to pinpoint when-and-how the idea was born for our modest Geek Meet, although I think a near-miss on Free Comic Book Day might have been a recent catalyst. However the whole thing started, it was Jim Dandy that corraled everyone for a few hours of coffee-talk and comic-browsing. In addition to Mr. Dandy and myself were adamkantor, London's own Alpha Geek, and his charming-yet-deadly better half, Vulcan Ninja. A final addition to the round table - described to me as a roller-babe with a thing for Daleks - was a no-show due to an unfortunate geographical mix-up not of her making.

Meeting new people, even when they're not total strangers, is a pretty stressful thing for me. I tend to overcompensate for my natural anxiety through varied techniques: talking too fast, talking too loud, losing sight of a story's ending, and often wondering in which jacket I might have left my memory. But after a few cleansing breaths before I exited the van (true!), I screwed my courage to the sticking place, bought a large coffee, and it was introductions all round.

I'll simply say that it was a really lovely few hours. A nicer group of people one could not find, and it was not long before the Geek stories, updates, news, and rumours were out there on the table with the coffee cups. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

So many thanks, everyone. It was really great to finally meet you all - and to feel so at home. Let's do it again some time, eh?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things That Make Me Stop...

It was a lovely weekend - all solitary moments under shining Sun leading to red wine conversations under a gentle velvet night-sky. At one point I found myself driving in the environs of Oxford and Waterloo, and I spotted these young artists creating frogs. The picture does not capture the true colours, so I encourage you to see for yourself sometime. Oh, that the suburban graffiti-boys had an inkling of such talent.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I Lose The Bet

More fun with cellphone cams: One of my walking partners (sans sticks, I might add) recently bet me that London's storied Jet D'Eau would be broken down by the end of June. I took the more charitable view that we'd make it until Autumn before repairs were necessary. By mid-day today, this was the sad tableau down the Forks.

Heavy equipment, a portable sewage sucker, disassembled jets, a man with a clipboard - we wept from the bridge.

Update: I'm pleased to announce that by 5pm all was as it should be, and the glorious arches of tawny liquid were once again creating rainbows to thrill the graffitti-boys patrolling the riverside playground. Halleluiah! In your face Eiffel Tower!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Because It's E3 Time

In cleaning out the old email filters I came across this bit of fun. It reminded me that for every Docker-wearing 28 year-old pacing the floor at E3 with his slicked-back hair, a vendor tag announcing 'iSomething' or 'eSomething', and a snappy patter that includes 'convergence' - there's a legion of schmucks who'll believe it.