Friday, March 28, 2008


So you go to the bathroom on your floor and it's blocked by a cleaning cart. You go away and return later if you can. Or you wait if you can do that. Or, you hit the stairwell and try another floor.

A lot of the floors in my building do not have stairwell access. One floor down from me does, though I'd never been down there. I wasn't even sure what was there, but there was going to be no waiting today, so down I went. Quick glances at signs to tell me where I'm going without obviously being lost. Try not to head to a dead-end or access-pass-only door. Find the bathroom. 2 guys inside. Be casual. Then back to the stairwell. Interestingly, there's a sign upon reaching my floor that warns that our hallways are monitored by closed circuit tv. Never noticed that before. I wonder why us and not them.

So another Friday, thankfully. A short week but it felt long enough. So here's a video.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Odd Jobs

It occurred to me as I toured my new workplace a couple of months ago that I wanted to write this post. Another tour, new coworkers, new procedures. New work.

I wanted to write about it because it's become a tad tiresome. I've done it entirely too many times before. I like change. But I think I'm ready to settle into a little rut for just a bit. Develop some, I don't know, expertise in something. Actually earn a raise. Collect holidays. Stop being the absolute lowest person on the totem pole.

This got me thinking of all the other places I've worked, and I set about making a list of them. Given the semi-anonymous nature of this blog, I'll remove some of the details of the employers involved, but every job here is one I was hired to do and did, for some portion of time. Roughly in order.

- counter server at a doughnut shop
- dishwasher
- waiter
- cook
- municipal government cashier/clerk
- canvasser for an environmental advocacy org
- retail (book store)
- construction/renovation
- cook at a café
- security guard (mobile)
- teaching assistant (undergrad level philosophy)
- bookstore bagger
- alarm company dispatcher
- live-in level 3 group home counselor
- air traffic control trainee
- counselor level 4 crisis stabilization unit
- cruise ship bartender
- office temp (many offices, gov depts, and conferences)
- law office temp (likewise)
- courtroom aide
- summer articling student
- articling student
- legal counsel (various offices, disciplines)
- English teacher in Japan

That doesn't count the jobs I applied for and was hired for, but for one reason or another (usually a good one) didn't show up for. Those, AFAIR, are:

- rail yard security guard
- cook (fancy restaurant; tyrannical chef)
- baker
- soldier (they said take the weekend and think about it. I did.)

And volunteer work, some of which were remunerated but not with money:

- candy floss maker/seller
- data entry clerk
- victim/witness court aide
- honorary probation officer (for 4 years)
- youth justice committee member
- worker at a community legal clinic
- worker on school law review
- volunteer with environmental advocacy org
- fire handler with local arts/festival org
- assistant SCUBA dive researcher for environmental org
- and, one time only, as Santa Claus

I get the impression I'm forgetting a few, but that's most of them. Each one, new names, some degree of upward learning curve, and new stuff to try. But man am I tired of that.

Except casino dealer. Haven't tried that. Would still like to.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Super long weekend!

And for the occasion, this catchy little number.

Embarrassing how many of these I knew.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Friday

This requires volume -- but not too much.

I was just kind of in the mood for this today.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A really rather serious spread

I am slightly hooked on this one.

Lyrics here if you want to think about it, but it's also nice just to sit back and let it soak in.

Better copy here (but can't embed; requires Quicktime)

(The only bit I don't care for is the line "You sole proPRIetor of that priceless red-wet" which, frankly, I find annoying)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Well, this sucks.

Long day at work. Punishing workout after. Then I fell on an ice embankment on the way home. Bashed up my elbow, wrenched my back, and twisted my wrist. I think the endorphins from the workout are helping to kill the pain. Anyway, that's not what I'm mumbling about tonight.

This is about another old man. Slightly older. Grizzled, and by all accounts, ornery.
Gary Gygax, crawler of imaginary dungeons, wielder of Platonic solids, is dead at age 69.

I hadn't even reached my teens when I inherited my brother's 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons set. I think I memorized the Player's Handbook. Until 3rd edition came along, I could still be counted on to tell you what a given material component was. God, treasure type. Remember treasure type? Or what it takes to get to the centre of a prismatic sphere? (hey, no cheating -- I see that rod) Loads of great memories with friends, and I think that's how it was for countless groups of kids out there. And of course a whole industry -- several, actually -- sprang up in response. Yeah, it wasn't always great, and there were always new versions of the idea being put out there, but there was something amazing about being able to meet up with a few friends in a coffee shop and have someone say "Wanna roll up characters?" and 20 minutes later you're off and running. And the moments that were great, well, they were fantastic, in every sense of the word.

Thanks for the memories, old man.