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Journal Entries for February 2005
February 8, 2005 - 10:51 AM
BJ sleeping on daddy's jacket in a suitcase

It would appear that we aren't the only ones who miss Daddy! One day I went over to my parents' house and after he had gotten over his excitement at seeing me, BJ went and curled up on Daddy's jacket inside this suitcase and went to sleep. What was I to do? I had to take a picture... hehehe He's such a cute puppy!

Wow, it's been a while since I wrote and a lot has happened. After returning from Edmonton and the Breakforth 2005 conference there, I've been very much inspired to actively persue my interest in the creation and capturing of music. Seeing all of the new Roland toys at Breakforth, I've added two to my wishlist and started a fund to (hopefully) acquire both. After talking with mom briefly regarding some real estate, I think I might have finally seen a potential route to achieving some big (and I mean BIG) dreams in my life. Last night I shared part of my dream with Becky and to my surprise I didn't get the "There's no way" reaction from her I thought I might have recieved. Instead her response was more of a "That would be really cool." Then to also put some steam in my step, yesterday at lunch when I went over to the church to jam with Frizz, we got talking about a friend of his who also has a passion for doing what I love, and recommended we get in touch to maybe combine resources or at least combine ideas. So needless to say, since returning from Edmonton that weekend I've had a lot on my mind, exploring a lot of opportunities and doing everything I can to raise money. I hope to have a goal-o-meter on the web site here to track my financial progress. I just paid my brother back for the money he lent me to go to Grenada, and in 4 months I will be entirely debt free! No loans, debts, credit cards, outstanding bills -- nothing! I won't owe anyone anything! (Wow, is that exciting or what?!) And with this great job I have, it shouldn't take too long to save up enough money to buy one of both of those items on the wish list. Anyways, back to work for me! But needless to say I will be writing a lot more on the matter shortly.

February 11, 2005 - 12:21 AM
Four Years Ago...

I didn't realize midnight has passed until I began to type the date out and suddenly realized the significance of the day it had become. 2/11. I'm sitting only a few feet from the very spot I knelt four years ago today, where, holding the hand of one very pointy cheek'd girl, I asked her if she would go out with me. What a life changing day 2/11 would become. Thanks for all the good times, Telle.

(And now for something completely different...)

What a busy week! Normally I have a fair bit on my plate, and people are always piling more on. But to make an already full schedule even fuller this week, I had to deal with moving my office. That set me back a few days as I had to not only clean out the new location for my office, move all my 'stuff', and then do the appropriate rewiring necessary to facilitate my requirements. George told me last friday that he wanted me to do a presentation on a software application I've been writing to the CRHA (this) friday. (This was of course, before I'd started moving my office.) Even with the move though, in the back of my mind I figured I would have had a couple of days to get some work done on my program. Then on Wednesday morning, before I'd even gotten to work he calls me and asks if I can come in and do the presentation at 10:00 that morning. (It's about 9:55 am at this point.) So I rushed in to work and gathered what I had to present as quickly as possible and entered the board room where three representatives from the Calgary Regional Health Authority were gathered along with George, the president of our company and Cory, the General Manager... All wearing suits - and there I am wearing exactly what you see in the picture. Fortunately the atmosphere was quite laid back and they seemed quite interested in the program I'm developing. Looking back on it now I don't think it probably wouldn't have helped my presentation much even if I had completed more work on the project though, since they were more interested in what it could do than how it worked. Overall I think it went well and they offered a lot of good feedback on what exactly they're looking for out of it. Part of the fun of developing a multi-user application is taking into account the various areas in which it will be used and the types of people who will be using it. It's pretty fun actually, because it forces you to think in many modes. Anyway, I could ramble on about that for hours but I won't. At least not in this journal...

So what else is there to report? I've been getting emails from my dad in England. He seems to be doing allright and is certainly being well taken care of. His mother is holding her own pretty good too, but her health seems to fluxuate from day to day. Some days she can only have visitors for 15 minutes or so. It's almost strange reading emails from him - my dad never emails! But I can hear his voice in the words he types... I sent him the picture of BJ lying on his jacket in the suitcase and he had some playful complaints about that. Since it's been getting nicer outside, BJ and I have been going for more and more walks. He's VERY active for a dog his age. He's such a good puppy! I'll have to find out from my mom the exact date my dad gets home so I can put up a countdown for him. Anyways, I need to go have a shower and get to bed. Goodnight

February 13, 2005 - 12:16 AM
The fundraising has begun!

I've officially begun my saving and funraising project, and to kick it off I took back all the pop cans and bottles from the garage this afternoon. Now first of all I just have to say, did I sleep through a couple of months? It's a third of the way into February and I felt WARM outside, wearing sweats and a sweater. (But no I wasn't sweating. haha) Who would have known there would be so many cans of Coke in the garage! I certainly didn't drink any of them... hehe The total came to $30.60, bringing the present amount of moola in the fund to $65.60 + $50 US. Wow that really doesn't sound like much, but considering that I just started, I'm reminding myself that every big thing starts as a small thing somewhere.

A bottle depot is an interesting place. First of all I love the fact that you can show up there in your pajamas (unless you sleep nekked, hehe) and nobody bats an eye. It was crazy busy there today too, I guess with all the nice weather I wasn't the only one who thought it'd be a good day to bring back some bottles! There must have been at least 30 people working there, mostly in the back and everyone there looked like they had more than enough to do. It seems kind of backwards, don't you think? You pull up, go get a shopping cart, push it to your vehicle, load the cart up with cans, and bottles, push it into the depot, then you unload everything onto a counter, they count and sort it all, you walk to the till and they hand you money. You leave the building and return to your vehicle. It's pretty much like shopping but completely backwards. So I'm standing there, looking around the place as I was waiting for the guy to count my bottles and the thought did occur to me: How do they make their money here? I mean, if you think about it, when you buy a case of pop, beer, juice, or whatever - they charge you x amount per can 'deposit'. But that's the same ammount they give you back when you return your empties, so how does a business make any money collecting, sorting, and compacting your cans? And not only that, but there's a lot of competition out there! These depots are vieing for your empties! I saw a cube van driving around the other day, advertising free pickup of your empties! I think I would like to see the business model on a bottle depot, but if I had to guess I think there may be more money in the aluminum cans and glass bottles than the five or ten cents they charge you as a deposit. Aluminum is actually quite expensive, as we found out while working at Sylvania. One job we did down in Lethbridge saw us collecting and bringing back to Calgary some 300 aluminum parabolic lenses. We packed the back of Pat's truck FULL of these things, you literally could not get into the back of his truck it was so full and we were just going to throw them out but someone suggested we take them down to Calgary Metal and see if they'd give us a bit of money for them. Figuring it would be better than filling our garbage bin, we did so and nearly caused a soiled linen situation when they handed us nearly $800 in cash for them! We had a great Christmas party that year and the year after, let me tell you! hahaha But ya, Aluminum is expensive and I think if there was some way to bypass the bottle depot and somehow process your own recycling - you could get a lot more back for your bottles than pennies a'piece... Of course, it's probably a lot of work ( I mean, there was at least 30 people working at the bottle depot I went to today and not a soul was standing around, doing nothing. )

I laid down this afternoon-evening to have a nap and probably would have slept right through to tomorrow if I hadn't been awakened by a full bladder demanding relief... Now it's 1:41 in the morning and I am wide awake! Figures, huh. Oh well. I've been burning DVD's left right and center to back up all the many gigs of 'stuff' I've got on hard drives. Did you know that there are almost 7 gigabytes of pictures on my web site? It took me one and a half DVD's just to back my site up! I was very impressed actually, I installed Fedora Core 3 on an old P-III that James gave me, and "out of the box" it found my Pioneer DVD burner (DVR-108) and as soon as I put a blank DVD in it, up pops a window asking if I would like to burn it. You drag and drop your files, click Write, it asks you some basic questions, you reply and hit burn, and away it goes. I have been VERY impressed with Fedora Core, especially the latest releases. Hardware support has been fantastic, actually it was kind of funny, James gave me his old Pentium 3 computer and I stripped my old file server down to get the parts to put into it. I grabbed my old Awe64 since I knew I'd want to be able to play music on it... When I got FC3 up and running, I was going into some of the output plugin options in XMMS and it asked if I wanted to use /dev/dsp or /dev/dsp1. "That's wierd", I thought... So I looked at the back of the computer (Apparantly for the first time) and sure enough, there was already a built-in sound card. Fedora had detected and installed both, so now I've got it set up to send some of the system sounds to one sound card (since I usually have them turned off anyways) and the music to the other card. It works really well. Now I've just got to get back into software and web development again... It seems like it's been ages now but I guess it's really only been a few weeks. That's what being busy will do to you though, you seem like events were longer ago because so much has happened in the mean time.

I'll end off with a funny story, this morning Bo and I were at the University and I was setting up my sound stuff to get the music ready to play. Everything was hooked up, there was power at the amp and a signal from the laptop... Everything seemed to be hooked up right and nothing was showing any errors... I pulled the 1/8th inch jack from the laptop and it's little speakers blasted out some sound so I knew there was music playing... What was wrong? Had someone blown the speakers? I looked up and started laughing when to my surprise I suddenly realized, both speakers were GONE! I guess that would explain why there was no sound. Later on we were talking to one of the maintenance guys and asked him about them. "Oh, they probably got stolen" he said... "A lot of things walk out of here" That would have been quite a brave move though, I mean, it's not like you could tuck them under your jacket. Each one was a TOA PA speaker with a 15" driver and 1" horn. Still, we thought it was pretty funny. Anyhow, goodnight!

February 14, 2005 - 12:27 AM
Happy Valentine's Day

You know, I love driving in the snow. There's something nice about it, isn't there? In the city all the streetlights cast a warm glow over the land and into the sky, making everything seem cozy. When I was little(r), I used to watch the snow falling as we droved through it many nights driving along dark, country back roads and imagining I was flying through space and every snowflake was a star or a planet we were passing by. I saw so many beautiful photogenic scenes this evening but alas - the one weekend I left my camera at work... This is more the weather I would expect from February, but this morning was like waking up in a different season! When I got up this morning I looked outside and saw the sun shining. There was barely any snow on the ground, and it looked rather warm. By the time I got dressed and ready to leave, an all-out blizzard had fallen upon the city, causing near white-out conditions. One could barely see the color of the traffic lights until 60-70 feet away it was snowing so hard! I made it to church, got inside, listened to the service and by the time it was over, the snow had ceased, the sun came out, and my van was actually warm inside from the sunshine pouring through the windshield. A matter of hours changed that again however, and it's been snowing for much of the evening right up until now. (I just got home and it's still snowing.)

Man do I ever devote a lot of my journal to the weather! That's pretty lame. I talked to my dad today... He's being spoiled 'rotten' over there by his family but I think he is looking forward to returning home. His plane arrives back here on Thursday around 3:30 in the afternoon. I talked with one of my (many) cousins in England who I've never met... That was interesting. I love the accent, it's just so much fun to hear! Perhaps if the situation ever allowed me to do so I could go to England and visit (or meet as would mostly be the case) the rest of my dad's family living there.

February 17, 2004 - 11:47 AM

I love taking pictures of water. I was cleaning out my water bottle this morning and discovered a really cool trick, where the water would spray out of the overflowing mouth of the bottle in a really neat pattern. Bringing out my camera, I was able to get some really neat shots of it.

February 20, 2005 - 7:56 AM
Man I had one of the strangest but most realistic dreams last night. First of all I had been sleeping pretty much the whole day. I was just exhausted. But when I got home, I was STILL exhausted and pretty much went straight to bed. Well, I couldn't sleep in my own bed, I don't know if it was just me or not but my room felt WAY too hot. Lying there with no covers even did not yield any relief so I took my blanket and went and laid on the couch. Still too hot. So I rolled over and spread myself out on the floor - the only way I could seem to cool down. Well, I slept there until about 4:00 or so in the morning, and then moved myself back up to the couch which, by this time, was not nearly as hot. But the strange thing was the subject matter of my dream last night! I woke up and it all seemed SO realistic, and long lived too. You know how most dreams only last a short time, well this dream seemed to cover days if not weeks! I was at college or university, in a 'classroom' that more resembled a gymnasium than a classroom in size. There must have been 500 people in it, all sitting at desks and studying away. Miss Schellenburg was the teacher but she wasn't teaching anything either, she just sat at her desk reading, while everyone else in the class did their own thing. Well who wasn't sitting in front of my but Jennifer Wiley! And true to real life, I hadn't seen her in years so in the dream we were trying to catch up. (And I was also trying to find out what on earth I was supposed to be doing in this class because I had NO idea. I didn't even know what 'subject' I was in. I don't remember how the class ended either, but eventually we got out of there and went swimming in some lake nearby. There were a lot of people in the water there too, and it was quite dirty, like with a lot of weeds and aquatic foliage and whatnot. It must not have been very deep though because I remember most of the time we were wading. The specifics of the dream are now fading fast, and that's about all I can recall at this time. But it struck me as odd why, after all these years, someone like her would suddenly appear in a dream. I guess there are a lot of people I'd love to look up and catch up with - find out where they went or what they ended up doing. I got an email from Sabrina the other day... She moved to Yellowknife and is teaching elementary school up there! (And I had to chuckle too because she told me that (that day) the temperature was -52 with windchill!) I think that was one of the days it was 10 degrees here! It's good to keep in touch with old friends.

Oh and I just remembered too, in my dream I got pulled over by the cops too! hahah But this was the wierd part... In my dream I had forgotten to put my wallet into my pocket. You know how it is, you change your pants and accidently leave it in the pants you took off? Well I had done that and as I was sitting there on the side of the road, casting red and blue shadows in front of me I remembered that I had forgotten my wallet. Now, I don't know how - but somehow I managed to 'wake up', went and got the wallet from my jeans, and gave it to my 'sleeping' self in the dream! Is that not wierd but cool at the same time? So when the cop asked for my license and registration, I pulled out my *just* acquired wallet and gave him the papers. Too bad that doesn't happen in real life, eh?

February 21, 2005 - 8:01 PM
Happy Family Day, and Happy Birthday Raychel! My two animals

I am glad to report that my dad arrived home safely a few days ago from his three week stay in England. We had a happy family reunion at the airport Thursday afternoon (and apparantly I get free Second Cup coffee at the airport too! Thanks Cindy... ) My dad came back full of stories but needless to say, the jet lag took it's toll on him. We were glad the passport issues got sorted out and didn't pose any problems for his return, and it was very good to see him again.

It has been a pretty good weekend for me, but I really haven't been feeling all that well. Saturday morning Bo and I did our little workout thing at the University and after that, I've feel like I've just had every bit of strength pulled out of me. I went to Barb and Ed's place to fix a few minor details on Kevin's computer, ended up staying for supper but slept all afternoon on the couch! After a wonderful meal around 7 or so, I returned to the couch on the fourth level and watched the kids play some video games before deciding to come home around 9. When I got home, I checked my mail and whatnot and then went to bed. I slept all night too (which was strange, since usually if I sleep all day I can't sleep at night) but got up early to go to church. After church, I went to my parents' house to set up some stuff on their new computer, and then Sean called me and wanted to go swimming. So Sean and I went to the Leisure Center for two hours and then went out for supper at Boston Pizza since he's never been there. I ran into Laurie Elliott at the pool and she looked TOTALLY different from what I remembered of her. We talked for a bit in line at the hot tubs and she sounds like she's doing a LOT better for herself, which was really encouraging to see. But anyways, after I dropped Sean off last night I came home and puttered around for a bit before heading to bed. Again, feeling not at all well. I had planned on going to work today, but when I woke up this morning I was still not feeling great, and since it IS a holiday I decided to take it off instead. I slept ALL day until almost 6:00 this evening, rising only twice during that time to go to the bathroom. I had a bit of supper and am feeling a little better now, but I am definitely not myself yet... So I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow. I'll have to go to work tomorrow, and with all this rest I think it won't be too bad. Tomororw night we're having a company dinner at a fancy restaurant downtown to celebrate our upcoming expansion. I'm really looking forward to both the dinner and the years to come, this has been a very exciting prospect on the horizon for Custom Linen and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I don't think I mentioned it in my journal yet, but I had my review last week and got a raise! When you find a job you thoroughly LOVE doing and they pay you to do what you love, you can't lose!

A little while back I mentioned starting a fund for the aquisition of some new toys, and I'm glad to report that to date I've allocated aproximately $490 for this fund. That's from returning bottles & cans, doing numerous repair jobs, and skimming some left over moola from my chequing account. Of course, this is only about 8% of my goal, but it's a good start and I've got several other sources of income on the horizon for this project as well. (However, I won't count any chickens before they hatch! ) Ball of Seepin' Puppy I've downloaded and printed the manual for this new toy, and in my spare time I've been reading through it in anticipation of it's acquisition. That way, I'll have already read the manual so that when I get it, I'll know how to use it instead of waiting until I buy the thing and then going, "Ok, now how on earth do I use this thing?" I figure within a couple of months I should have enough saved up to make the purchase. The manual is 442 pages long and I'm on page 174 so I've still got quite a ways to go but it's very interesting and I'm already seeing some intriguing ways to use this device once I finally acquire it. I'm hoping to have saved up enough sometime in the middle of summer. Of course, how quickly the funds can be saved depend largely on how nice the weather is this year and how busy I become with camping and all those sorts of activities. I was talking to Jason about the houseboat trip a bit this evening, (Although I have already paid him for almost half of that trip) and Bo and I have been promising to do a lot more camping this summer than we did last... Of course I'll go and camp at Pine Lake a few weekends as well, since I know at least one person was asking me about that... And who knows. There are always unplanned expenses.

In about a month I'll have a new roommate, who actually grew up in Calgary but hasn't lived here in years. She'll take Jason's old room and promises to make my life a lot more interesting. For years we've mused at how our lives are 180 degrees out of phase with each other - that is, when she's having a good day I'm having a bad day and vice versa. Although lately we've been running into a number of exceptions to that otherwise unfailing rule, so it will be interesting to see what happens when we actually start living together. It just so happens that today is her birthday.

Anyways, I'm off to bed. I think I've covered just about everything I was going to write about tonight... If not, there's always next time!

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