Sunday, August 27, 2006

small details from bed on Sunday morning

I've made an attempt to update my blog. I've been lazy when it comes to photos, but photos are worth a thousand words? Or maybe even more of my babbles? So let me know what you think.

I've also been playing with the blog template. I can't figure out why so many of the templates are narrow (there are predefined templates for blogs... check out some of my friend's blogs if you don't follow... but you can also get into the coding and make as many changes as you'd like). Largely because of the photos and how the text wraps around them, I've screwed around with the coding of several templates and made them wider, but several have images that don't stretch (or at least I haven't figured out how to stretch them) and then I thought "maybe the page won't fit onto somebody's 800x600 screen?" Now part of me thinks who cares because absolutely no one in this world still uses this resolution, but the sad reality is, my parents are going blind or something and I know they do! The older generation... So, if I do make some of these changes and make the blog wider, let me know if it causes a problem (probably easier just to buy them a bigger monitor).

I haven't packed a thing for the trip to Connecticut and I have to go buy another duffle bag (despite having 4 in Calgary/Winnipeg) since I wasn't planning on bringing mass amounts of gear on a plane (currently the backseat and trunk are functioning as duffle bags). So a trip down Mission St. is required. I've also got to figure out what to do with my car for the next month or so. Been waffling about leaving it with friends in Oakland who don't have street cleaning, but I'd like it to be there with wheels when I get back... I think I'll just expense the $175/month parking at a far airport lot (normally I'd do this without thinking, but it's a new project for me and...) and then if I stick around any longer, say in Montreal, then I'll have to pay the ongoing parking myself. Oh well.

Okay, I have no idea why I'm stressing aobut these little things since I do field work all the time (6 weeks is a bit longer than usual, but still). I think it might be the added stress of not being settled and the planning being all thrown off. But a big thanks to Gabe (and his absentee roommate) for letting me crash at his place all week long and setting up the wireless, which has made this week very nice! And even better, Gabe moved to Duncan St only a couple blocks from my old place, so it's almost like being home!

Speaking of friends, I've added links to several friend's blogs and some websites I often visit (to the right of the blog). (I "deleted" all my Favourites & Bookmarks from my web browsers a couple months ago (along with much of my hard drive), so send me your blog links again if I'm missing them!) I'm listening to streaming music off of CBC Radio 3 right now, which also happens to be my favourite podcast site too. I just realized, as I sit here blogging about my efforts in html coding and favourite podcast sites, I'm a geek!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

how plans change...

I seem to be getting a lot of abuse lately because I haven't blogged lately and I haven't stuck to my plans... sheesh people! Don't you know that A. plans are made to be changed and B. patience is a virtue?!?! :)

I'm in SF at the moment. Since the last post, which I guess I was in Winnipeg, I HAVE followed through with SEVERAL plans including the cottage weekend, a great week-long sailing trip with my Dad up into the northern part of Lake Winnipeg (really more the middle, but it's all relative), and then the Calgary agenda. But I've posted enough on Winnipeg, so I'll just say it was a few more good weeks and give a few details on the stuff since (I actually have a sailing blog, but it'll take a bit of work to get it finished with embedded photos, but I'm working on it.)

The Calgary visit was really good with some work, some time hanging with friends (as always), a wedding, a visit by Mel and a weekend babysitting. Maybe the highlight was Mel coming out for 5 days and us going to one of my childhood bestfriend's wedding in Kananaskis. Was a perfect visit with a small road trip, a couple hikes in the mountains, an overdose of friends (whom Mel doesn't seem to hold against me), a nice night in Kananakis Lodge, etc. etc. This photo is from hiking the day after the wedding (around Lower Kananaskis Lake I think).

I'll try not to bore you all with wedding photos, which isn't too hard since I didn't take too many, but how often do I get dressed up in a suit? Actually, it was a new suit hand - me - down from my brother - in - law who claimed "it didn't have enough ball room". Ummm... yeah, what ever...

The babysitting was also good fun. Paul helped me moved down to SF in a U-Haul and then helped me move back. He moved, unpacked and then packed and moved enough boxes to win some sort of award, but instead I looked after his 4 year old son Brannan for a Saturday & Sunday to give him and Sue a weekend away. Though looking after Brannan (who has quite a bit of energy) is definitely a chore, I definitely still got the easy end of the deal. Actually, I exaggerate... it was quite easy. We spent a fair bit of time hanging out with Pat, Stef & Chloe (their 1 year old daughter), "doing" playgrounds, Afrikaday at Prince's Island Park and a walk at the Inglewood bird conservatory, etc. Oh, and then there was the school bus on Sunday morning! Brannan is going to be taking the school bus this coming year and the )Sunday morning was schoolbus training. Brannan and I and about 500 other parents and kids all watching movies and meeting bus drivers and then going for a ride on the school bus... whooaaa, hold me back!! And I got interviewed on two news channels too!! Come to think about it, the only rough part of the weekend was that somebody pooped their pants (hint: it wasn't me) and expected me to wipe their bum... ummm... do I have to? ummm...yeah? ummm... yeah, okay, I guess so :) (P.S. the photo is a year or two old, but I thought a good one of Paul & Brannan

On the Tuesday morning after babysitting, after finally getting Carole's condo cleaned and organized to my satisfaction (took many more hours than I expected suggesting that A. my standards are too high, B. my cleaning skills aren't very good, C. I'm a slow worker, D. the place was a mess, or E. all of the above) I jumped in my car and headed to SF. Somehow around the time I was packing I made the decision not to go to Burning Man. It would have required packing a lot more stuff and I guess I decided not to pack it. Some decisions get made by making very small decisions. My desire to go waned for a variety of reasons... I think I just needed a year off. Anyway, I also made the big decision not to take the interstate and instead headed through Glacier/Waterton National Park (beautiful!) and took highway 93 through Montana/Idaho/Nevada. This is, as the crow flies, a more direct route, but given the traffic, small towns, construction (I hate being stopped at one-way gravel drive through the ditch detours), etc., it ended up taking a couple extra hours when all was said and done. But I must say, the Honda v-tech with an 8100 RPM readline and a strong desire to rev is a fun engine to work with a 5-speed on two-lane highways with slow moving traffic. Much of the road in the north is hilly to mountainous and there were lots of fire trucks and such. I left one town and immediately hit five large trucks and a couple vehicles in a hilly section with 35 mph curves yet a 65 mph speed limit. I managed to pass them in two goes with one pass topping out at 95 mph as I shifted into 4th and the other pass at about 105 mph - could of gone faster, but I had already passed the 5th vehicle and there was just no need! :) Despite the speed, both passes were actually quite safe, though I'm sure a few people would disagree. Definitely safer than driving the I-5 to LA and having people doing 100 mph passes on the inside right up to slow moving traffice and then forcefully squeezing there way into traffice lined up on the left with literally inches between bumpers... crazy!! Unfortuantely, Darwin-award winners like this tend to take out a swath of cars with them when things go wrong.

The drive didn't take me straight to SF, but first stopped in Tahoe for a couple nights to meet up with Justin and do some catching up and then some climbing at Donner Summit. Though the catching up (i.e., hangover) kind of interfered with the climbing, but what can you do? Then I hit SF for one night and then headed to LA to catch up with Lisette & Jackie and helped a bit with the burning man camp I had been considering campimg with (my lack of indecision on all things burning man this year, including whether to go or not, was quite amazing). And now I've been back in SF for a week (worked all 5 days this week in the office if you can believe that!!). On Monday (today is Saturday) I'm heading off for 6 weeks of work at a decomissioned nuclear power plant in Connecticut - hopefully I won't be glowing the next time you see me! Was a very spontaneous decision to do this work - I checked my email in a Montana hotel during my drive from Calgary to SF, saw this request for staff, and I comitted to the job the following morning. It will be 12 hour days, weekends off, every expense imaginable paid for, and a 5 hour drive to Montreal (i.e., next weekend is the long weekend and Mel and I have already made plans). So though not planned, sometimes things just happen and you have to run with them! And funny how the decision to camp vs. stay in a hotel was such a small decision, but I wouldn't have found out about this work if I hadn't chosen a hotel and who knows what the long-term "consequences" of this decision will be? Anyone follow me here? Branches of the tree type decision making where take one small turn and end up following a very different branch?

On a sad note, I gave away my art car (love seat chariot) this week :( I gave it away since I couldn't bring myself to ask for money for something that was built for an event rebelling against corporate america and sticking it to (and burning) the man. I also gave away a bike, a bunch of clothes including my pink mini-skirt and purple scarf (is this yours Lisette?) in which I looked so sexy (see photo), and all other stuff that remained in my old garage. But on the corporate side, I did sell my two BM tickets, a Southwest Rewards ticket, my wetsuit and got the money from my warddrobe. So I'm up nearly a $1000 cash this week!! Not bad... you should all try liquidating your life more often! Now what to do with the stack of 20s and 100s?? Please, no one mug me!! And believe it or not, there is virtually nothing material that I want right now... what's happening to me? And even if there was something, being a person with no fixed address and living out of my car, I'd have no where to put it!