Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christina's Great Idea

My friend Christina has a fantastic Halloween idea....

Instead of the usual candy, she hands out books to the children.

How awesome! She and Traci have done this for a couple of years now and the kids are beginning to remember the idea. I think they hit used bookstores in the weeks leading up to the Big Night.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Social Scene in St Louie

hey, local readers! Be sure to check out these upcoming events:

  • The St Louis International Film Festival will soon be upon us! Mid-November. Check out all the action at this site.
  • The symphony is offering Mozart's 41st symphony (aka The Jupiter) in December. Though my alltime favourite is the miraculous 40th, The Jupiter is stellar... or planetary. I can never remember. Factoid: the 4th movement takes a simple theme and plays it against itself (in fugato). Mozart had been studying the dusty works of an esoteric, relatively unknown composer named J.S. Bach. Bach had died decades earlier and would not receive his resurgence in popularity until long after Mozart.

Weekend in Review

Here's some tidbits from the weekend:
  • My upstairs neighbour had a party on Friday night. The Pitbull of Pain was out and about on the deck (my roof), chasing toys at 2 am. Great.... I nearly stormed upstairs in whatever I was wearing, but decided otherwise. Many dog-lovers are among the legion of fans of CC dot com so one will be delicate about generalizations. I was not delicate on Friday night.
  • I checked out a small RV/camper for Vic's dad, who was browsing eBay from back home, PEI. That was fun. To avoid getting roped into driving the damn thing (a 1988 Toyota) to the border, I reported that it was up on blocks and that there were crackheads free-basing in the back of it.
  • I ran 10 miles on Sunday afternoon! 'Twas glorious....
and you?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Blogger's Lament

(Another weird, moody post inspired by music playing on the computer at CC dot com)

you are a china shop
and I am a bull.
you are really good food
and I am full.
I guess everything is timing
I guess everything's been said
so I am coming home with an empty head.

you'll say did they love you or what
I'll say they love what I do.
the only one who really loves me is you.
and you'll say boy did you kick some butt?
and I'll say I don't really remember
but my fingers are sore
and my blog is too.

Ani Difranco, You Had Time

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Prince and Tech Blogs

One doesn't often see a Prince song quoted in the title of a tech blog.

Check it out here.

ps. The next post will be #365 ! That's one a day for a year, for those with math anxiety. CC hits a new milestone!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another Day at the Job Site


The lunch whistle blows sharply through the air. Break time!

The man, a hard-working crane operator, pulls out his thermos and sets it down on the picnic table. With elbows pressed rudely together, he opens his lunch box and pulls out a tube of PowerGel. Hmmmm.... chocolate. The searing wind blows across his visage and rustles his hair. A hot one, today.

And fast.... Zounds! The picnic table is going 17 miles per hour! This is no standard blue-collar lunch: our hero speeds through the empty corn fields of eastern Missouri, aboard his standard issue Velocitizer, Blackbird. Together they form a dust-devil that twists the short, amputated cornstalks in the barren fields.

He continues to savour his chocolate treat. Awkwardly, he holds the plastic bottle to his lips, squirting Gatorade into his mouth and nose. Mmmmmm. Tasty.

It is warm: 80+ F in October, long after everyone has acclimated to 70 F for weeks. Sweat drips across his face. Worse yet, there is the fever from his sickness which could be anything from a mere cold to low-grade rabies. But he pushes on....

An hour later, he scampers in and out of the shade along a park trail. It is the final leg of the St Peter's RecPlex, and the final leg of the season. There is no rivalry, no heroism, no passion. It is the 6th triathlon of a long, grueling summer. Now, he is truly overheating. The dreaded chills have returned, echoing the ghosts of the Visit to the ER. His fever has escalated to full-blown malaria. In a scant 2 hours, he has gone from the gravel quarries of Missouri to the diamond mines of South Africa. Just a man trying to make his way in a hostile world.

With teeth gritted, he crosses the finish line. 2 hours, 9 minutes. In the 5 outings at this place, it is a middling result -- startlingly good, considering his sickness, and the heat. But there is no cheer from the crowd, no celebration.

Our hero gathers his lunch box and thermos, punches his timecard at the clock, and slowly walks off to the parking lot, with Blackbird in tow. It's quittin' time.

Until next year.

Jim G update

More people have contacted CC HQ about Jim G than about yours truly! (Thank you Vic for keeping the faith)

Here's your report, you ingrates!

Jim G is alive and well. The Chicago marathon of '07 was the hottest on record, and eventually shut down. One guy died and many were hospitalized. Jim G was at mile 18 or so (at a glacial, but wise, pace) when they shut down his part of the race.

Afterwards, exhausted, he was ill and received an IV from a zealous nurse. He was ill again and stayed the night.

Poetry for a New Year

Someone from back home wrote and said that he bought new hockey equipment for his boys, including those giant bags they use to haul their stuff around.

He said, of the younger lad, "the little one wants to sleep in his (gear bag)".


ps. Factoid from the past... Guy Lafleur, star of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s, would sleep in his hockey gear (not bag) as a youth, so that the prep to get to the rink (at 5 am) was shorter.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

2 Years Of Triathlon

What a difference 2 years makes.

In 2005, the autumn RecPlex tri was my 2nd ever, and first against the nefarious Jim G.

I had a hybrid bicycle (akin to a Toyota Camry), trained and packed as though I was going to Mars.

This year, I have about 14 under my belt, and am packing like it's a day trip to KC. I haven't run since the last tri 2 weeks ago. And I'm kinda sick. Jim G won't be there, and I'm like "ah, what the heck, we'll see how she goes".

No new records tomorrow. I just want to have fun and experiment with some new transition strategies. The weather will be so nice that it is a moral imperative (since I've already paid the entry fee). Also, I want to break the top ten in the FleetFeet standings.


ps. In other news, Jim G will be doing the Chicago Marathon tomorrow -- with minimal training and during some serious heat (90 F?). I wish him well.... He's gonna need it! His motivation is that he has been collecting $ for children in Africa.

Being fairly evil, I have donated $2 for every mile he completes. The rub is that if he quits and gets a DNF, it is effectively taking rice from the bowls of infants. That's pressure.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Warm Snap

At 9:30 pm, on this evening in early October, it is 83 F = 28 C (according to TV weatherman).

That's crazy.

This is very good news for the triathlon on Sunday. I'm not sure that I'm up for it (exhaustion, stress, head cold), but at least it will be nice. Unlike 2005 when it was 45 F. (This one is an indoor pool but then a brisk run into a parking lot and onto the bike).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Git R Done

As some of you know, I made a quick shot to Detroit recently to renew my Visa.

All is well... Here are some factoids:
  • I had to leave the US and re-enter, so I was in Canada for the time it takes to do a U-turn around a small city block. I saw a ScotiaBank, a Tim Hortons, and newstands with the Toronto Sun. Neither Windsor nor Detroit have a lot going for it in the aesthetics department, so it was fairly uninspiring.
  • It was great to hear really sharp Canadian accents (I don't have one). There is a ton of travel & commerce across the border and yet the accents are like night & day.
  • However, I did catch the CBC on TV at the hotel. It was 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes'. It seemed so familiar (a studio audience just sounds different between the US and Canada, possibly because the latter are smaller) and yet I didn't get many jokes. I was more stunned by seeing people that I've read about: e.g. I've only heard Stephane Dion speak about 3 times.
  • It is highly strange and humbling to see that your country has carried on just fine without you all these years, and is having a good time to boot.
  • Hyper-light is the way to travel: a giant packing envelope and my ubiquitous backpack. I wore my suit the whole time.
  • It was like an indy movie (re: coddling a giant yellow bubble envelope for 24 hours). I looked like a reject, probably, but it contained my actual university degrees so that thing didn't stray from my side. Those degrees have had a wild life (many airport XRay machines, travel, etc).
  • I thought about asking a border guard to pose with some stickers for the tech blog, but sanity kicked in.
  • It turns out that they do process my Visa 24 x 7 in Detroit, but one guard told me I was wise to come when I did. It is crazy busy on the weekends with hours long waits. I showed up there at 8:45 this morning and was out in an hour.
  • I felt good in my suit (aside from the glaring yellow envelope). Big airports are like bars for business travellers (i.e. meeting places). Alas, I caught a cold and didn't feel very social. Pity.
That's a rap.... True experts on CC will note that I have rarely gone to the border in the past. That's because a previous employer paid for mail-in renewals. That was (sort of) an option this time, until I found out it would preclude my traveling over the holidays. That won't work, so it was off to Detroit.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wolfgang's Big Night Out

The First Cd I Will Buy In a Long Time

Brian Setzer is awesome. He tackled rockabilly way back in the 1980s (with some alltime favourite songs) and then swing in the 1990s.

Now he's rocked out classical music. If you know me, then you know that the classical composers lived wild, passionate lives that would match any rockstar today. Setzer echoed this sentiment in a recent interview; the thought was the concept behind the album and the title.

I haven't heard much yet but I'm looking forward to it.... lyrics, as well!

Check it out...

I wouldn't be surprised if Hegemom and Fred already have it!