Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
When I was fifteen, living in Trinidad, and every bit as odd as I am today (if less honed), Mark and I decided, with my sister and Pam, to arrange a gala variety show with my cousins.
It was specterrible, but the adults appauded and the 8mm tapes are lost, so that's okay. It's just that on occassion, for no reason I can identify, something triggers an amygdala-response and the sickening thud of an iron fry-pan impacting my skull to the refrain, "Duck, and Cover" from the classic 1950's paranoia piece, "Bert the Turtle" is ejaculated into my conscious mind.
I didn't say it was pleasant. I choose my words to share the feeling. "Yucky" is the word you're looking for.
Right. You read it, so you're stuck with it too.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
He's become fairly substantial now, and he's quite a suck - has something to do with his parents, I believe. He's feeling the heat - I know what it's like to have long hair! - so he spends a lot of time on the cold tile, under the stairs of the deck (below), or panting furiously (everywhere). The deck stairs are going to become a problem very soon; he can fit under them - for now. I have visions of taking a skillsaw* to the deck to try to free my dog, who seems to grow an inch every time he takes a nap. "But Dad," he'll wimper, "I got in here just fine!"
He isn't sure about his change of accomodation - not that he spends much time in his crate, between Kath and I working from home, Karen coming twice a day, and Fran visiting frequently.
He's been getting tremendous attention on the morning walks to Starbucks, despite Hannah's jealousy. I'm used to the stares that Kath and I get; this is new.
*No, I don't like that idea much either.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Domn. It's so hot I can't even type [rpoer;ly;/.
[editorial="Should have read:"] Damn. It's so hot I can't even type propoerly. [/editorial]
I'm spending a rare dinner at Mulligans, before going to clean my house.
Yes, you read it right. Shush!
I'm preparing to rent or sell - not sure which just yet - and need to take care of some outstanding maintenance, etc. Since I've only been at my house once a month (or so) since November last year, there's a lot to do.
Back to the sauce.
[guiness=0] [wings=1] [wimper=continuous]
Jeff is the chief cook at Mulligans, and he's a right bastard.
Yes, Jeff, you're welcome.
He makes a fearsome hot-sauce.
It's very tasty.
It's very (very!) hot (with serious hang time) and a terrible tendancy to make strong humans wimper.
To top it off, he just gave me a bottle of his latest Cerberus Slobber, and Damn.
Have I mentioned the anti-freakishheat properties of Guiness? Guiness is a wondrous balm.
I haven't posted in a bit because life's been a bit ...brisk. Yesterday I kicked a beehive at work (metaphor, people, metaphor). Wednesday I recovered from Monday and Tuesday - a very interesting and useful course called "Problem Solving and Decision Making". I've been bopping between my house and my home (see next post).
Even though I miss my honey and my daughter and my son and my sister in law and her daughter and her son and my home and the beach and Sammy, my life is awesome.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Idiot. I left it in the classroom at the institute for learning (IFL), BMO's training and conference centre.
I'm back there early tomorrow, and it's not like I'm travelling far this time - just from my house in Mississauga to Scarborough and back. Still means I'm an idiot though.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
What? You know I'm a geek, right?
After that, I spent several hours walking up the Navy Pier - missed it last time I was here. I can't remember the name of the building at the end of the pier, but it's pretty impressive. It stands alone, in more than one sense.
Until next time.
Friday, July 20, 2007
The openers were a really good reggae / ska band with the flair to toss in some nice hardcore blues rifs and refs - classy. I heard some synth'd BB in there, and some Ella in the background. Fun!
So, one question remains: do I have the energy to wait an hour for the bro's to show? I'm tired, but I won't have another chance.
Yep, those Neville Brothers.
I think I'm in for a treat, really; I get to munch on an Elwood (blackened chicken) sammich, listen to great music, and go back to my hotel deaf and satisfied.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Check in at YYZ was a breeze, if a lengthy one; getting through US c is tedious when you're alone. I had the good fortune to pull perhaps the only customs agent in the history of the universe with a sense of humour. He asked, in that inevitable monotone, "Purpose of travel?" to which I replied "Business."
"Type of business?"
Crap, I thought. He's a thinker. "Meetings about requirements processes for BMO and Harris Bank." If you have not travelled with me, my next statement will surprise you: I kept talking. In a quiet, deeply sarcastic tone I said, "Very exciting."
He shot me a hard look - which I noticed for just long enough for the sound of a rubber glove to snap in my mind - when he said, "It's your job to make it interesting."
I broke out in a huge grin, said, "I'll do my best", collected my papers, and carried merrily on.
Despite extensive time driving to our runway, we were in the air only 20 minutes late.
The flight was uneventful (best kind) but our approach to O'Hare was a bit wild. Lots of exciting steep turns, throttle changes and altitude adjustments. I began to wonder if CNN would report a pilot wrestling control of his plane from a Gameboy-wielding maniac playing WWI Dogfight Simulator in the toilet while smoking a Cuban.*
Now I'm in the Drake, and about to go downstairs for a quiet drink and to read some IIBA documents.
By the way, the title is not a typo. I find wisdom in my sister's advice: "When you travel, " she says, "remember that you are just another piece of luggage. Keeps you calm."
Wise words, Sisbo. Wise words.
*Cigar, you freak.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The short answer to my title query is:
1. Pick a point on the calendar of human history.
Any time from the beginings of homo sapiens to today will do. You may want to pick a milestone instead - my off-the-top-of-the-head list includes:
- tame fire,
- better numbers,
- complex maths,
- complex tools,
- scientific methods,
- printing press,
- complex machines,
- complex materials,
- scientific medicine,
- augmented humans,
- networked computers,
- intelligent machines (Okay, that one hasn't happened just yet, but I think you'll agree it's around the corner one way or another.)
I know we've had many setbacks, collapsed civilizations, etc; think of this from a global, long term perspective. In general, the time to go from each development to the next is less than the time it took to get there. I suggest that it's about half the time, every time, but the exact multiplier is not critical.
3. From the perspective of that time or milestone, there was some point in the future that was unimaginable.
I don't mean that people were stupid in the past; I mean that there is no way to extrapolate more than a few advances ahead. For example, someone in the iron age might be able to imagine a substance even stronger than iron, and the things that could be done with it - but I doubt that they would envision the the Trans-Canada highway, or the Apollo missions.
4. The point at which imagination fails: this is the Singularity.
Beyond this event horizon, we can barely speculate about what it means to be human. This is a standard attribute of human existance; we don't know what we don't know about the future. For example:
- Pasteur could not have imagined genetically engineered chimera-pigs grown to supply heart valves to humans.
- da Vinci was arguably the most inventive person ever, but he could not conceive of Google.
5. The event horizon of the Singularity gets closer all the time.
Because our of change is accelerating, our horizon gets closer every day. We now live in a time where every person alive is likely to feel the effects of progress in their lifetime.
- Ten years ago, we couldn't conceive of Google.
- Five years ago, MySpace and Facebook were inconceivable.
- Three years ago, it was podcasts.
We don't - we can't - know. As our tools become more powerful, we can penetrate the mists a little. Writers like Vernor Vinge have used papers and stories to explore what might come.
7. Enjoy the future.
It's coming, we don't know what it is, and we don't know what we will make ourselves into.
See you tomorrow.
And, of course, Mighty Mouse.
This has caused a lot of buzz; a myostatin blocker could cause weight loss and massive muscle growth - but who knows at what cost?
This is Walter being rambuntious:
This is Walter being quiet:
I am working from home today, to keep my son comfortable. I felt the separation anxiety when I went to work yesterday, and it's a powerful motivator. He was troublesome last night - knocking things over, a few accidents, everywhere all at once and hard to follow - but he went to sleep in his crate as soon as I put him in it, and did very well over night. I'm a bit knackered still, but we're starting to get into a routine, and that helps.
More (trivial, useless information that is of no interest to anyone else) to come!
Monday, July 16, 2007
One of the less charming, common events on the Queen streetcar is the "short turn", where the car that says Neville Park is cut off before then, and you have to wait and transfer to the next car. Today, when I am in a rush to reach my boy and my honey and my girl...
On a different note, the US judge who lost his lawsuit for $54 million against his dry cleaner (they lost his pants), has appealed the decision.
I might have to reconsider my career choice.
P.S.The visit was fine. Walter was as placid as Bou's tend to be, while Hannah wiggled and wimpered. All in all, a good visit. He's rambuntious now (21:30), and I'm to bed.
Last night John and Christine (dad and mom to) Katie came over with Sasha, their 100lb Bouvier. Sasha is pretty old now, and has a placid demenor; Walter growled and barked at her for a minute - he learned to bark at other dogs from Hannah in just a day, I think - but Sasha didn't care, and that was that. They got along fine after that. Sasha is very maternal.
John and Katie and I ended up outside with Walter and Sasha; Kath and Christine sipped wine inside with Hannah. It was a pleasant evening.
We took Walter out twice in the night - no accidents! We have to work out our new morning routine though - Kath didn''t get him outside quite fast enough this morning. I tried to take him back to bed after his short morning walk, but he was too excited.
He's in his crate right now - not his favorite place to be. He's wimpering, which is heart rending, but we're getting him used to longer times in his crate. Getting us used to it too.
Got to go: time for his next scheduled poop!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
On the other hand, I love it when a new connection just makes sense.
I've just set up blog-by-email, so I can whip out my RIM, record a comment, and make it appear in my blog.
...now, to see if it works.
I am looking forward to reading his other works - but I might need to set aside a year for each one.
Definitely my son.
I say "I remember sleep" because I haven't had much in the last 24 hours. Last night Kath, my sister, my parents and I all went to a CD launch party (Simply...Panache, Panache Steel Band). I'm on the CD, recorded before Blake died. Hundreds of the faithful from Naparima Alumni Association of Canada (NAAC) were there to celebrate the CD, and Blake, and the Band.
The party was great, but we left my family there at ten - I could have come home with Joy or my parents, but I was eager to see my boy. I waited up with Walter until my parents rolled in at 02:00, a full two hours after Joy got home. Astounding, really. I don't remember my parents ever staying out that late to party.
In any case, I was up in the night with my boy, and took him for a short walk with Kath at 06:00 in the waterworks park across the road. I took him upstairs with me, dried him off (the dew was substantial) and played with him until he passed out. Seeing the deep and insightful brilliance of Walter's plan, I followed it too.
At 10:30, my sister woke me; she described the experience this way: "Stand back. You're waking a rhino." Apparantly I make a very loud snort when I am awakened. Who knew?
I took some time this morning trying to figure out the right address and structure for a blog for me. Sure, my impetus is Walter, but there are many other things that I would like to record and share. This is the result - for now at least.
I couldn't be happier.
Karen, the gentle, wonderful woman who walks Hannah, arrived at ten. The three of us collected Hannah, and for two hours of horrible traffic, drove North, then East, then South. At the end of it all, across from Camp Borden, we found ourselves at a run-down, ramshakle barn. There were goats, rotweillers, and a barbeque graveyard (or the best approximation thereof ever to grace this earth with its horror).
Then we went to the barn next door, where the bouvier puppies were. Google maps are great - but they're not so useful when your working from country directions ("...and after you pass the Giant Tiger if you see Bob's house you've gone too far, but I'll tell you another way from there after the Tim's which our eldest, James, he used to take his future wife - ex now - there on dates before..." Okay, you get the picture.)
Kath was going to cuddle with Walter on the way home, letting me drive, but she was in a bit of shock, really, and as we all know, people in shock are the best drivers, so Walter and I bundled into the back (after a short span struggling in the front) and off we were, onto wet grey highway.
He cuddled with me most of the way home. Aside from some spectacular farts, there was barely a peep from him; if he has started as he means to go on, he will have an incredibly wonderful temperment.
After we got home, the neighbourhood descended upon us. Wendy arrived with Zoe, her big rottie mix, then John and his daughter Katie arrived stating, "We're here to be nosy," with huge smiling faces.
Walter is a hit with the humans. Hannah and Zoe are quite miffed with the puppy, but I'm assured that they will adapt soon enough (Zoe, a.k.a. MOose (yes, the vowels should look like that, you should hear her barking) is Hannah's best friend, and we babysit every Tuesday night).
Perhaps I'll go back and describe our deliberations another time, but it' 02:00, I'm tired, Walter's wiped, Hannah's horrified, my sister's sleeping, and my parent's pyjama's pare pbeing put pon.
When an alliteration is going that well you just run with it, you know?
One more outside with the Sir Stinksalot, Walter the Wondrous, and I'm to bed, to cuddle with Kath.
Julian and Son