Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Am Walter's Father: The Nutcracker Suite

It's time.

Walter, born* May 16, 2007, is going to have his boys eviscerated. The mojo shall be no more.

Why yes I am a little sensitive about it kind of you to notice.

It's not that I think it's a bad idea. This cut is the kind kind**. My discomfort lies more in the realm of the sympathetic agony, and the ending of possibility. There will never be a puppy named Slobberface*** Walterson, and that makes part of me sad.


*If you're interested in the birthplace of the boy, see:

Denise Cranston
Tearanook Haven
8148 4th Line
Angus, Ontario

**It took me some time to figure out how to put together a sentence where 'kind kind' kind of made sense, and with a judicious use of quotes, ' 'kind kind' kind' kind of makes sense too.

***Not necessarily the hypothetical non-puppy's possible name.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Travel: The Miracle of Third Gear

For the record: I love winter.*

The best part of the first snowfall is the way it dramatically improves the way the world looks**, and also raises the skill level of the average driver.*** There were well over 100 accidents in the GTA this morning - I wasn't one of them, but it did take 90 minutes for me to get door to door, home to work.**** I got a bit excited when I reached the underground parking at Yonge and Sheppard - it was the first time I shifted from second to third.

The first statement is still true though - driving or not, I love winter.


*Not sarcasm.

** See *.


****Scraping the ice off the car after searching for the scrapie after searching for the gloves after getting the doors unfrozen added 20 minutes to my total trip. C'est la vie (or as dad puts it, "Sest le vest!").

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Life: Listening to Teenage Girls

I am riding the subway eastbound to home, and two young ladies are like talking like about stuff and like family and stuff?

Okay, they really _are_ that yikesy likesy, but they never say 'um' - 'like' has replaced it.

They are also intelligent and observant. Much of their conversation revolves around family and friends, and the strange land called the past - where their parents live.

I recall having exactly the same conversation when I was a youth - I think it is a mandatory deliverable of childhood. I had a very rough day - they made me smile the whole way home.

So, thanks, anonymous young ladies enjoying life. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Technology: Demonstrating a "Live Blog Experience"

Indy wanted to see what live blogging looked like, over a beer. We're in the bar off the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa in Disneyland California.

Kevin says what I am doing is "awesomely geeky." We've been, well, competing over who's the bigger geek. It's neck and neck - I live blog, but he's written D&D books.*

Life is good.


*Not the first D&D - the D&D that came after the AD&D that came after the first D&D.
Yeah, we're geeks.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Review: Another Comic

I just heard about XKCD on Buzz Out Loud (e588).While I recommend starting from the beginning, I read this one and thought "Mike will love this!"


Not for everyone. Very geeky, surreal, strange, and male.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Life: I Am Howard's Son

S0015 - Howard & Kathy 2x3Perhaps even more interesting than being Walter's father, I am my father's son. (I'm my mother's son too - it's just that the similarities are a little further below the surface.)

Dad wrote very funny letter to me for my birthday present - at least, very funny to me. Anyone else might also call it funny - meaning eclectic, obscure and odd, as in 'that's a funny smell'.

Mom and dad stayed over with us last night. Originally they were going to a concert - Autumn Leaves On Steel, 2007.  We did some trading around - I went with dad, and mom spent the evening with Kath. They went out for dinner and talked (with My Big Fat Greek Wedding on in the background). I was treated to a great show - far and away the best pan I have ever heard or seen.

The format is different from the traditional steelpan performance; instead of a steelband or a few pan playing calypso or such, a set of pannists performed with a jazz ensemble - Bruce Skerritt and the Liamuiga Project. Here's the rundown:

  • Danielle Ng-Chee: 14, good lead pan performance. Played the theme from Phantom of the Opera. Student of...
  • Winston 'Pappy' Fredricks. Old time performer, played enthusiastically* on double seconds. Good Trini music.
  • Al 'Allos' Foster was actually one of my dad's students way back when in Etobicoke. Very nice guy, and a very good performer. When he finished his set with the band, I said, "I didn't know his hands could move that fast!" Al has been teaching Panache this year.
    • Plug: I performed on our CD, Simply Panache (scroll down to May 22, 2007). The money from sales goes to fund educational programs in Trinidad.
  • Talib Robinson started with a very fast classical piece. I'd estimate he was hitting the pan eight times a second for the entire song, which lasted several minutes. Spectacular! He's played with the Chicago Sinfonietta at the Orchestra Hall. Oh - he played some very nice jazz too. Talib is very good - I'd describe him as a solid professional performer.
  • Kenneth Headly came on after the break, and was even more spectacular than Talib. He was faster and had even more command of the instrument. If they were playing violins, I'd have Talib in the orchestra, but Kenneth could be the first violin. Very impressive.
  • Duvonne Stewart is a big boy. He sauntered out to his pan and put on a spectacular show. He displayed a level of virtuosity and showmanship on the pan that I have never seen: he played notes by reaching under; he sang while he played; he was faster - somehow! - than the rest; he is a virtuoso.

Amazing. I'm glad I traded with mom (not that (feeling the hole getting deeper) I don't value an evening with Kath (trouble coming) but it was something the boys enjoyed more than our ladies would).



*And well - that's not a euphemism!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Future: Living in a Fischbowl

A few weeks ago I saw a wonderful link to a thought provoking presentation about the future. I thought about typing it out, but searching is easier, and the source of everything is somewhere online.

The second link on Google had it. Mr. Fisch is a teacher, who was trying to help his colleagues understand what is coming. His presentation is spectacular.

Enjoy the blog post; in it you'll find links to the Video, PowerPoint and Text.

I Am Walter's Father: My Outside Child

If you're a Trini, you'll get that joke.

Walter just woke up, walked over and flopped down on my feet. He doesn't lie down. He collapses with a resounding thump. I gave him some loves - too cute for words - then went back to work.

He got up, went to the back door, and sat looking outside - he doesn't bark or whine - just stares at the place he wants to be. I let him out, expecting him to walk to the garden to relieve himself. Instead, he flopped down on the deck, and basked in the cool autumn air.

I love my boy.


Oh, and now he's chasing motes of dust in a beam of sunlight. Almost painfully cute. Too bad about the bee-sting in his mouth next spring.