November 2000

Cup of Soup

Thurs, Nov 2, 2000

Remember that toffey/molasses Hallowe'en candy that came in those orange wrappers with pictures of ghosts and witches on them? I used to love those when I was a kid. What was I thinking?! Those things are vile! That tough chewy muck will coat your teeth for an entire day! There was a reason there was always a bunch of those left over every Hallowe'en: Nobody wanted it. I think Mother kept buying it as a statement of her distaste for the Hallowe'en festival, and to ruin everyone's enjoyment of said unholy day.

Sat, Nov 4, 2000

It looks like my scooter fiasco just might be coming to an end. I pestered them again for progress on finding wheels and bearings and they wrote back saying that they found wheels with ABEC 7 bearings, which are indeed better than ABEC 5. They will be mailing them my way promptly. It's not over until they're in my possession and passed inspection, but at least an end is in sight now....

That was annoying. Let's not do that again.

(To their credit, they were very prompt with all requests, and their feedback ratings have been good, so it seems it was just a complete oddity that everything went wrong with mine.)

Mon, Nov 6, 2000

Today was not a happy day in the land of ExtendMedia. Market conditions six months behind expectations have forced the layoff of 25% of the company's staff. The company's outlook still looks reasonably good, but the timing was way off, and the revenue just wasn't supporting the resources we had. It's very saddenning to see a handful of your coworkers and friends pack up and leave. I was spared the chopping block since I'm a co-op (read as "cheap labour").

To further the distress, the employees that were let go included almost all of the highly-attractive female complement in the company.

Wed, Nov 8, 2000

I'm desperately trying to catch up in my distance eduaction course "Ancient Roman Society". I have an essay due soon, and need to complete several lectures before I can begin work on it. One of the objectives of the study is to note similarities and differences between Roman society and modern-day society. Throughout the discussions on Roman daily life, morals, entertainment, laws, etc, the topic of sex presents itself consistently, much as it does today. The main difference is the its frequency, which seems almost constant. Plays, laws, religious rituals, customs -- it's all filled with sex.

"When in Rome, do the Romans." I never realized how true that really was.

Sat, Nov 11, 2000

The English election debate was held a couple of nights ago, and boy do I feel sorry for Chretien. The election is essentially his to lose, so the other four party leaders spent the entire time picking on him. A lot of people are saying he didn't do a very good job at the debate, but how would you feel if four people were ganging up on you on national television? My perception of the debate is that the other parties only attacked the Liberals, but didn't provide any concrete way of solving the existing problems. Times are "good" now; they're not exactly "great", but good. I fear that the other parties would just ruin that in an attempt to dismantle anything liberal in the system. So, keep things the way they are now -- we may require a party change in the near future, but not yet.

Sun, Nov 12, 2000

I dislike essays. I find them cumbersome and annoying. I have expressed my distaste on Spudlevision. One of the joys I find in studying computer science is the lack of essays that I am required to write. On the upside, at least I got to talk about blood and gore, and gladiator battles. It helps vent the frustration. I am now tired of writing, though, so I will cut this entry short.

Tues, Nov 14, 2000

Travel arrangements never seem to agree with me, especially when they involve Ottawa. A couple of years ago, we tried four or five times to visit a friend in the nation's capital, and each time it got delayed or cancelled for various reasons: Our friend ended up being busy; I was in Germany; The car broke down (which really turned out to mean "out of gas"); I was in England; etc. Now, trying to visit another friend this coming weekend, our plans collapsed after people started backing out, and the travel cost skyrocketed. But later, I decided "OK, I can still do this -- it isn't too harsh". So, it was just me, and nothing would stand in the way...

Yeah, right, that thought was long-lasting. What now? Well, for our current project at work, some necessary hardware is inconveniently located in London, Ontario -- about a 2-hour drive from Toronto.
Q: When are we going to go over there to test our work?
A: Naturally, it will be Friday.
Q: Is it possible to make it back before the train to Ottawa?
A: Not bloody likely.
Q: Why not some another day, like Thursday?
A: Well, silly, that wouldn't conflict with any of my previous plans, so naturally that won't happen!

Sometime I wonder why I even bother trying in the first place...

On the bright side, I finally got my scooter wheels, and they're in fine condition! Unfortunately, the weather is starting to turn sour, so I probably won't be able to use it until April... :(

Wed, Nov 15, 2000

Just a couple of notes:

  • Scooter all good. Yay!
  • Essay finished. Yay!
  • Nicky T is not doing so well on Am I Hot Or Not. Tough luck, Succa.
  • Ottawa is once again on the maybe list, as the London meeting may be postponed to Monday or Tuesday. Just pick a day already!

Thurs, Nov 16, 2000

Scratch that last thought -- we are, in fact, going to London tomorrow. We got someone over there to run the demo and it crashed in fiery mayhem, so we have to go and rescue the situation.

Fri, Nov 17, 2000

Last night's trip home was quite an adventure. I've got a story to tell.

Sat, Nov 18, 2000

I think Thursday night's story carried over to Friday morning: I took the wrong train to work, which bypassed Exhibition. I had to take a streetcar from Union all the way back, which delayed my arrival by about 25 minutes.

The work trip to London was quite successful. We rule.

It snowed like a banshee out there, though.
How does a banshee snow, you ask? Well, I'll tell you:
Precisely in the manner that you would expect a banshee to snow.

Wed, Nov 22, 2000

London Trip part 2 was executed yesterday, and I am certainly glad I came back alive. That is some freaky, freaky weather out there. Fort Erie is buried under 90cm of snow. Buffalo is frozen. Barrie is barricaded. London is such a mass of white that we could not see the buildings across the street for quite some time. Toronto, on the other hand, is clear. I don't know what sort of benevolent force is protecting the Big T.O. from Old Man Winter, but he worked overtime last night. Going home late last night, the snowfall got so thick at one point that traffic on the 401 was travelling in one lane at less than 60kph.

I have to go back to London again today, to finish off what is nearly done. I certainly hope the snow will let up and ease my worries a bit. We were fortunate nothing happened this time. Ever feel like you were pushing fate?

Fri, Nov 24, 2000

A new day, a new colour scheme...
I thought the old one was a little too busy, so I finally got around to finding one I kinda liked. This one should be a little more calm and a little easier on the eyes. This scheme may change a bit here and there until I find something I'm happy with which to settle. What do you think? Please give me any opinions and suggestions.

Sat, Nov 25, 2000

This new colour scheme will now be known as "SPUrple".

Mon, Nov 27, 2000

The other day I heard "www.nevergetoveryou", one of the songs from Prozzak's new album "Saturday People". I thoroughly enjoyed their first album, and hope that their second will prove to be equally entertaining, but I'm afraid I may have to avoid the aforementioned song. Regrettably, to add to the internet theme of the song, they included the ICQ "uh-oh" sound within the music. I purposely changed the incoming message sound on my settings because I found the "uh-oh" to be extraordinarily obnoxious. Hopefully, they weren't as careless with the rest of the album.

Upon further inspection, I found that several ICQ sounds are embedded within the song, like "Incoming contact" and "User is online". Oh, Prozzak, what have you done?!?!

On a day when I should have been productive, I instead watched several movies last night. Come to think of it, most of the weekend was spent doing that. Over the three day span, I saw "Three Kings": Good, but it had George Clooney in it; "Unbreakable": OK, but they tried to make a silly concept serious -- it just wasn't working; "American Pie": Very funny, but only with an open-minded group; "Miracle on 34th Street": Very charming and cheery; and "Life is Beautiful": A bitter-sweet masterpiece.

That's a lot. I think we should try to find somethings new to spend our time. There's plenty to do, I'm sure, just deciding on one that all in a group will enjoy can be rather tricky...

Only 28 days until Christmas!

Tues, Nov 28, 2000

Perusing Canadian World Domination, I read an interesting analogy posted anonymously:
"Being an American is like being a really ugly, fat, stupid woman with a really nice hat."
To which one of the American regulars replied:
"Umm, I have to give the anon props on that one.
JPS, laughed despite himself."

The statement was brought upon as a response to a disturbed American with nothing better to do than shout on other people's fun. Not to condone American-bashing, or any other person-bashing for that matter, but you have to admire the subtle accuracy and intelligence of that statement when put toward a person that hails himself tastelessly. Like an ugly woman with a beautiful hat, a person like this never hesitates to show off their apparent qualities, despite the obvious inadequacies that everybody else notices first.

Dave Barry has something important to say.

For the third time in a row, Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party have won a majority government. I fully expected a Liberal victory in this election, but I did not expect such a large majority. It disturbs me that the east was so strongly Liberal, and the west so strongly Alliance. Perhaps Ontario should get a reduction in ridings to compensate for the regional differences. Naturally, Ontario -- having the largest population -- should have the largest say, but too large a representation is detrimental.

I was very happy to see the decline of the Bloc Quebecois. They dropped just enough to lose their majority in the province. I will never understand the reasons of separatists; why they want to leave a country that has bent over backwards to appease them, brought peace, prosperity, and freedom, and is frequently recognized as the greatest country in the world in which to leave is utterly mysterious to me.

"We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on a mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege." -- P.E. Trudeau.

Wed, Nov 29, 2000

I do believe I just saw some of the worst hockey officiating ever. While the Leafs got 6 penalties in a row, St Louis seemed to be angels in the ref's eye. A tackle -- no call. An elbow to the head -- no call. A cross-check to a man without the puck -- no call. A cleared puck questionably kept in the zone -- close calls like that are supposed to whistled. My thought: "If they score on this, I'll be mighty pissed." Guess what happened. A substantial amount of time with too many players on the ice -- no call. My thought: "If they score on this I'll be mighty pissed." Guess what happend.

Dan Marouelli's 1000th officiated game, and it's likely one of his worst ever, at the expense of a humiliating overtime loss.

Thurs, Nov 30, 2000

OK, I have come to a domain name decision, and it corrects a mistake made long ago. Within a few hours, this site will be found at "".

Note the change of spelling from "Spuddles", to "Spudles". This, I believe is the way it should be spelled. The only reason I used the double-d in the first place was because that was how most people were spelling it, despite my insistent corrections. The old name looked too much like spud-lz (rhyming with bud, or mud), when it should be spood-lz (rhyming with moo, or woo). Besides, "noodles" only has one "d", so "Spudles" should as well. Now everything is happy and glorious, and the world can continue on it's merry way.

I decided it would be a good idea to register a single-name domain name for this site, rather than "", which is somewhat short, but difficult to read out to people. Naturally, a good name would be "". I had checked previously, and this name was available. What do I find when I go to register it today? "" was taken YESTERDAY. One day too late. Do you realize how frustrating that is? I am not a fan of Tim Newberry, the thief of my namesake domain.

Christmas is drawing nearer, and a number of people seem to be starting to get tired of it already. The decor, the music, the commercials, the ho-ho-ho-ing, et al.

I love Christmas; it's my favourite time of year. Although I agree that it isn't very prudent to be decking the halls incredibly early, I can't help but smile when I see beautiful lights and listen to cheery music.

Has Christmas gotten too commercial? Of course it has, but so has everything else. Anything about which people get excited is going to become commercial; it's the nature of business. If we were to just get upset, dump it and find something else, soon enough those new ideals would become commercial too.

So what do you do about it? I don't exactly know, but somehow I manage to ignore it. I concentrate on the good things about Christmas -- the birth of Christ, the merry cheer, the good will towards men. Somehow that always comes across to me as more important than whining about commercials, or dealing with pushy shoppers.

Any occasion that promotes the ideals of peace, joy, and love is good in my books.

December 29 is CWD leader General Claire's birthday. Recover from Christmas quickly, and don't save all the partying for New Year's, because this is a bash you don't want to miss. Honestly. There will be serious repercussions if you ignore it. The Generals will not be amused.

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