Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Will See This

And so will you.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Say Fanboi Three Times Fast...

There's cool, there's awesome, and there's sublime. Then there's.... coolsomeblime?

That's what this is - coolsomeblime.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When Meetspace and Meatspace Don't Meet

I missed last night's Who Tavern and I'm a tad pissed about it. Two reasons: I missed it, I said I was pretty sure I'd be there.

Before I continue, let's level-set with the best explanation of Who Tavern I can find.

Clear enough? Let's continue.

My Innertubes friend, The Kid, extended a very gracious invitation a few days ago to hang-out at a local variation of such an event. While my Saturday night was already booked, I was pretty sure that I'd be able to show up a little later in the evening and see what's what. While generally a shy fellow inside, I was intrigued by the idea of meeting some fellow Dr. Who fans. I was also intrigued by the promise of walking to up my Innertubes friends, The Kid and Jim Dandy, extending a firm handshake and saying in a loud-but-not-overly-jovial voice, "Hi, my name is Kevin - but you might know me as Crazylegs. So, what are we drinking? I'm buying the first round.".

But like so many things I plan at the last minute, Fate conspired against me.

Strike 1: Our (slightly) out-of-town visitors lingered awhile longer than they planned - hoping the snow might taper off for the drive home. As we eventually bade farewell and bon chance to our guests, my attention focused on JediBoy's hours-old Xbox360 wireless adaptor.

Strike 2: I had promised to get XboxLive up-and-running before the night was done. I'm an IT professional - so how hard was it gonna be? The Xbox360, of course, had an answer for that question that required an obscene amount of tinkering with port-forwarding, MS Live accounts, and parental permissions.

Before all my obligations were met, the clock was on the wrong side of 10pm and I elected to just shovel the driveway and feel bad.

So guys - my apologies. I hope you had a good time. And should the planets align someday and we're all in the same place at the same time, remember: I'm buying.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Looking For Plan B

Any de-stressing and muscle relaxation I may have achieved after 2 weeks of doing-nothing-in-particular vacation has been obliterated after just 3 days back at work. And even winning the lottery has become just a little more elusive.

What's it all for, anyways?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

My Sonic Roadmap

So I've had this little side-project going in fits and starts since last September to digitize all of our recorded music. I'm not sure of the precise rationale for doing this other than it seems like a good thing to rip all of our unused, unloved cassettes and vinyl to something a little more convenient for these modern times. Dee and the kids are iPod afficionados and it seemed reasonable that they would appreciate having all our great old music in a more iTunes-friendly format.

So for the past 4 months I've had the guts of our stereo plugged into the back of our PC as I've beavered away at this tedious task. I decided to tackle the cassette tapes first. Many of these tapes are close to 30 years old(!!). One - The Mamas and the Papas - is closer to 40 years and belonged to my parents when cassettes were on the cutting edge of audio tech.

It's been an unexpectedly poignant experience - memories that have not seen much daylight in so long. I've seen some childhood, my first car (a very used Firebird Esprit), an old friend's cigarette-burned couch, a spontaneous dance in front of the Western Fair bandshell, my embarrassing early-80's proto-punk harcut, a make-out session with my soon-to-be (much) Better Half - all pieces of Me brought into musical form and shape.

It's been a good time.

As I type these words, the final tape - tape #110 - is unwinding it's dusty secrets into the digital world. The tape: Steve Martin - A Wild and Crazy Guy. I haven't listened to it in many, many years, but I nearly wore it out when it was new. It was a gift expressly from my Dad on my 16th birthday. On occasions that demanded gifts, the selection duties were always left to Mom. But 16 was something different in my Dad's eyes, and he knew I loved Steve Martin. The fact that the tape had a bit of bad language was an added bonus. It was Dad's way of saying, "You've arrived, Son. You can be your own man, now.". It was good day, back in our house on Calgary Street.

All that from a little plastic ribbon. And upstairs, on a long shelf, are many more old LPs waiting to tell their stories, too. I can already hear their dusty voices.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 - The Year of More Frequent Fluff

OMG Update! How could I have forgotten the most formative employment experience of my so-called life? At the tender age of 12 I delivered the morning edition of the Freeps (back when they had more than 1 edition, but no Sunday paper). I was out of bed at 4:30am to make my rounds and did my collecting after dinner a fewe nights a week. We had to 'collect' because 'mail' hadn't yet been invented. All that for a princely $20 a week plus tips at Christmas. I don't wanna brag, but there was a time that my route was the largest in the city - Second Street, Third Street, and all the streets in between.

I never make New Year's resolutions because (and I'm being honest here) I haven't the willpower to do what's good for me. By lunchtime on January 1st I pretty much know that 'good' and 'enjoyable' are generally not on speaking terms. You can guess who wins.

But I did set a goal or two for 2009 (more like guidelines really) and one of them is to post a little bit more this year. I get lots of ideas, but typically I procrastinate too much to write them down. As luck would have it, my Innertube Friend David provided the inspiration for 2009's inaugural entry here at the Theater. Consider this a streak of 1.

The objective he set for me: list all the paying jobs I've ever had. He's even giving me the 'out' to keep it vague so as to protect my anonymity. While I appreciate the opportunity to bend the rules a bit, I think my secret identity is pretty much protected by the fact that there are less than a dozen regular patrons to the Theater.

And so, here is what I've been willing to do for a bit of filthy lucre:

Line-worker in a plastics factory for too many Summers. Interesting fact #1: I once assembled Weebles Treehouses. Interesting fact #2: it was the assembly process for these Treehouses that led to a terrible scar on the middle finger of my right hand.

Painted the outside of a local factory (it took the whole Summer). I learned never to use latex paint in the rain.

Worked the counter at a dry-cleaners. Dry-cleaning is not 'dry' by the way.

Did telephone sales for a company that organized country-and-western concerts for charities. Yes, I shilled Kitty Wells tickets on the backs of disabled kids. I am so going to Hell.

Assembled solar water-heating systems for swimming pools. They didn't really work and the company went out of business after I left. Coincidence? Oh, and I worked with biker dudes (nice guys!).

Was a house-painter for a company that specialized in church steeples and those grand old 3-story places on Waterloo Street. You know, the ones with the fancy gables about a hundred feet off the ground? I do not like heights very much.

Got paid $20 once to help change a ceiling fan in the upper reaches of the cathedral at St. Paul's. I do not like heights very much and I'm Catholic, but I liked that my friend gave me the $20 to take his place in this procedure.

Held a co-op IT job at Nova Corp. in Calgary. I was supposed to be learning computer programming, but they had me doing pseudo-clerical stuff. It was okay since they paid all my travel expenses and I ended up sharing an apartment with 3 cute girls.

Held a co-op IT job at (now-defunct) Burroughs Corp. in Toronto. This was the worst job I ever had. I commuted round-trip from downtown Hamilton to North York every day for 4 months. The conveyances required were GO bus, TTC subway, TTC bus, and my feet. It was awful.

Worked as freelance programmer - targeting small businesses who needed basic software on-the-cheap. I discovered that small businesses who buy software on-the-cheap only do so because they have no money. One such (now-defunct) local business paid me with a repossesed Commodore64 they took as payment from one of their deadbeat Customers. Irony does not pay the bills.

Worked as a programmer/analyst for (now-defunct) Robert Hunt Corp. in London. It was a family-owned business that I swear was the prototype for Dallas. While a generally lousy place to work, I did meet my precious Dee there - so it was all worthwhile.

Worked various IT positions - programming, database design, etc. - for good ol' Canada Trust in London, Ontario. After we were bought out and merged into TD Bank, the new proprieters kept me on the payroll. While it was a generally frightening transition, it seems to have worked out nicely after all.

As you might notice, almost every employer I ever had is no longer in business. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Oh, and Adam? Tag, you're next.