who taught that boy how to drink, anyways?

Why are some people so fucking stupid? I was coming home from my run today, dressed in my running gear (basically tights that, were I not wearing wind briefs, would allow you to tell if I was circumcised from 50 yards away) and still breathing hard from my run. A guy walks up and asks if he could bum a smoke from me. One, do I look like I smoke, and two, where the fuck do you think I would be storing my cigarettes (and if you figured out a possible place, would you really want to “bum” one from me)? Honestly, use your fucking head. I wouldn’t be pissed off if he hadn’t asked me if I was sure when I said “no, sorry, don’t smoke”, and then looked at me like I was Bill Clinton. Morons, everywhere! It’s good I’m so tolerant.

Hrmm… I seem to have overcome my plateau that I hit a few weeks ago. I’ve been hovering pretty solidly around 195-197 the last few weeks, in spite of increasing the exercise load. I started resistance training (no, it does not involve RPGs) in January, and I think I’ve been replacing fat with muscle mass instead of just burning it off. I’m starting to see some definition in the arms and back, so it’s all good. As of this evening I’m 192.2lbs with 21.2% body fat, down from 227.1lbs with 32.0% body fat in October. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I have before and after pics, but there is no way in hell I’m gonna post those.

I’m going to start tracking workouts in this space, as well as any relevant (to me, anyways) data about them. I got a new toy for Christmas (thanks Matt & Ange!), and have been merrily tracking most of my runs. It makes nice little graphs, which you can see some samples of. Here’s the Zone 1 run I did today for a little over 70 minutes, and here’s the interval training that just about killed me yesterday.

I watched Forrest Gump last night, and I had forgotten what a kitchy/cool/fun movie it was. I now get the running bit, which I never did before. Speaking of running, I’m averaging about 35km a week now, on top of the three workouts, an hour of hockey, and a little cross-training on the recumbant bike. Jenn tells me I should take spinning classes, but I dunno if I can handle that right now. We’ll have to see, I’d like to give it a try, but I don’t want to break my fragile little body. Ok, babbling now, so prolly boring people, including me. It’s time for sustenance, anyway.

My nephew is going to fit into the family in later life perfectly, I can tell. Hell, he may even fit into Coop’s family.

hous bin pharteen

Walt sent me a link to a hysterical skit from SNL. How De Niro can deliver everything with a straight face I have no idea, but it’s funny as hell. Apologies for the Windows Media Player format, but that’s the way it goes. While popping this on the server, I rediscovered the video of the “dumbest kid alive.”

four simple rules

Ok, I’ve figured out this whole resistance training thing. You just need to remember some rules, and everything else will fall into place.

The rules:

  • Chest forward
  • Shoulders back
  • Gut in
  • Knees bent slightly

That’s all there is to it. Everything I’ve done so far requires all of the above. The trick is to remember all of the above while finishing your third set and trying not to collapse in a heap on the floor.

sign this, and you’ll be certified 100% ethical

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I wrote a piece for Pintday a couple weeks back that I was proud of. It doesn’t happen very often.

I’m in Toronto. Toronto sucks. Actually, Toronto doesn’t suck, just a bunch (but certainly nowhere near all) of the people here do. That fucking retard of a bartender at Traders who doesn’t understand how to pour a Guinness properly is one of them. Ah well, I’ll be gone tomorrow, so really, what do I care?

for real

Ok, I’ve finished my fun little self-discovery, and the last four or five months have been fun. I had lots to write about, and even did write about it, but have decided that what I wrote will stay with yours truly for the present time. There wasn’t a lot of writing to be had, however, and I’m pretty proud of that. I’ve been focusing on living my life, instead of hanging out in front of my computer all the time. I’ve managed to get in shape, run a 10k, go on a number of strange dates, get an amazing trainer, fuck up my product launch, and a whole whack of other shit. It’s been a blast, and I’m starting to get this whole “life” thing.

Don’t expect much from me, as I won’t promise any kind of regularity on updates. I will try to be better than coop, however, and maybe that’ll help goad him into updating more. Ok… on with the spleen venting.

Tonight was one of those nights I’ll remember for a while. Not since shaver came to visit before leaving Netscape did my scotch collection get such a workout over such a short time. Coop outdid himself last night, and the results were fairly entertaining, although I would not have wanted to be him in the cab ride home or in the morning. Thankfully, Kristina is the patient sort, and James and I are reasonably confident we’ll see him for fooball (sic) this evening.

The evening itself kicked. I counted seven dead wine soldiers in the blue bin, and the food went over quite well. It was a vegetarian night, and no one noticed – always a good thing. We had cheese fondue and chips (heh) to start, followed with Tex-mex lasagna (tortillas instead of noodles), Syl’s cauliflower pie, some Mescaline (sic) salad, and some beans. Barb provided a chocolate fondue for desert, which most of the guys missed out on (not me, chocolate and banana – yum!), and which was very tasty.

There was a tonne of Mario Double Dash played, and we broke out the Eyetoy. Coop sucked across the board, and let everyone know how he felt about it (and got appropriate sympathy, which is to say none at all). I showed folks my balance ball, and it was a positive factor whilst playing Kung Fu. I’ll get around to cleaning it up sometime real soon now.

I wish we got together in large groups for dinner more often. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, and I really enjoy cooking for a crowd. Maybe when I move I’ll make it more of a habit. Wine, food, great people, and games. What more could you possibly want?

Oh yeah, Coop and Kris gave me Buffy: Five by Five for Xmas. Kick-ass CD – thanks guys!!! If you don’t have it, I highly recommend getting on Coop’s good side and snarfing it.

Listening to: Gulf War Song – Moxy Früvous

Work was very productive, with no major surprises. Most of the day was spent convincing other people to come to Saint John with me to do the evaluation. Truthfully, I don’t need any one else, but separate viewpoints and having other people there as witnesses helps. One individual thought I wanted a meeting facilitator, and when it was explained that we were going to perform a vendor assessment still thought a facilitator was needed, and that he was the guy. I think I got my point across, but will now have to make sure he doesn’t lead us down a therapy session when hard questions are being thrown around.

I gave Wendy, my new intern, her marching orders today. Hopefully it will be enough to keep her working for the next week or so. I don’t wanna get a reputation like shaver had with his troop at Netscape. Sorry Mike, couldn’t resist… well I could have, but where would the fun in that be? I’ve neglected her the past couple days, but I’ve discovered she’s bright, knows what she’s talking about, and provides a very objective look to the work she’s been assigned. I think she’s going to do good things.

Apparently I have to hire another person, who will be a direct report to me. Anyone know anybody in Ottawa with a good background in hosting who’s looking for a job? If you do, please drop me a line (kneedham.at.deadsquid.com). They should have a good foundation in TCP/IP networking, all the core protocols, sysadmin experience, and the ability to communicate with people in the real world.

I had a really weird experience at the end of the day. Recently Rick Mercer came up with one of his funny little rants. This time around it was an apology to the USA which basically pokes fun at them. It’s a good chuckle in spite of the burning the White House down bit – that is soooo old, get over it. Talk about how we invented basketball and realized it’s an ok game, but certainly not worth paying several thousand dollars a year to watch. I posted the link to the bit in our IRC channel, and one of my closest friends – who happens to be a US citizen – took some pretty serious offense to it. They basically thought it was USA bashing, alluded to being sick and tired of this kind of treatment of their country by foreigners, and then left. It kinda floored me.

Anyone who knows me as well as they do knows I have done very well by the US. I have more friends there than I do here. I worked for American companies in the US for the previous six years. I love the country, and the people. I have several reservations about what’s going on with them and their current foreign and domestic policy right now, but I don’t think I’ve ever bashed them truthfully. When I was working in the States it was not uncommon to have people make fun of the value of my currency, the way I talked, the fact that we were really a territory (like Puerto Rico, but cheaper) or 51st state, and how cold it was in July here (really. truly. I shit you not). It was in good fun.

That’s what this was. I didn’t write it, but I did find it funny. I thought I’d share, because the over-arching statement is poking fun at ourselves. We apologize for anything, no matter who does it – hell, we still feel bad that J.D. Roberts managed to fool everyone down there that he was a serious journalist – now he’s probably going to be Rather’s replacement.

It was a funny little bit to lighten the day. It didn’t bring up how Canadian citizens have been treated at the borders post 9-11, how many US senators and pundits blamed – and still blame – my country for allowing some of the individual perpetrators of 9-11 into the US (which, it was later discovered, had no basis in fact but none of those senators ever said a fucking thing as a follow-up), or how the US wants access to Canadian data because we’re essentially incompetent yokels who can’t run our country. It was humour, and if people from the US really think it’s a slam, try watching your local or national political programs and see what your elected government and pundits think of anyone who disagrees with the US look on things – that’s slamming.

Personally, I think they were having a bad day and over-reacted, but I was truly puzzled by the reaction. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll talk to them tomorrow and it’ll all be fine, that’s why we’re friends, no?

Huzzah! I found a pretty decent computer parts store in Ottawa, after looking for a looooong time. Don’t expect much to look at, but they have good selection. After looking at about fifteen other stores, they were the only place that stocked drives with FDB bearings. let alone knew what they were. I got a 120GB and 80GB drive for my main system and the soon-to-be-released media server. They’re whisper quiet. Happy I am.

Popped over to Drumlin’s to see Barb and company. Barb has just finished and handed in her PhD thesis after (what seems to be) a long and gruelling few years of work. There was a good crowd there, and in my exuberance in congratulating her, I decked the waitress. Well, not quite decked, but I caught her unaware and connected with her face when exclaiming “It’s a huuuuuuuge step!!!” while adding emphasis on how huge by spreading my arms apart very quickly while our waitress had snuck up on me to see if I wanted a beverage.

No eyes were lost, I was embarrassed, she was ok, and I got a soda that didn’t look like anything bad had been done to it. She’s a tiny thing, and I’m lucky I didn’t take her out. I’ll try to remember to be more careful in the future.

Hah hah. Our technology group – whose assessment was the driving factor in choosing a group to deliver some services – are trying to plead they’re swamped with work. I pointed out the reason our group was where we were with the service in question was because of their decision, and I wanted them there to make sure there was no mistake we were doing the right thing. It’s funny how the bugs scurry for the darkness when you turn on the lights to see what they were doing. From three days of “assessment” there were five documents produced – two of which came from the vendor. The other three were a one-page e-mail, an agenda presentation, and a comparative analysis that used a four-star rating with no documented explanation for the ratings. Great work guys, no wonder you are gods in my company.

Spent most of the morning ironing out wrinkles, following up voice mail, educating people on spam, and wondering who designed our existing infrastructure so poorly. I also had a pot of decaf – using 20oz mugs makes it go faster.

There’s a big hole where my front door used to be, with sawdust between the front door and back. I’m getting a 30” door put in, which is two inches wider than the old one. Two inches doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s the difference between getting stuff through it. I also discovered the guy who designed the place wasn’t a complete moron when it came to securing the premises. The exterior walls are a layer of cement board topped by drywall. Note to self: do not punch exterior walls if angry.

Ok, doors are done. They look awesome. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced handyman in the Ottawa area, I’ve got a reference for one. I actually feel a little more secure, and I can now actually use the back door of my apartment. It’s too late to go to the office, so I’ll just finish up some Halo… errr… work here.

Worked out this eve. The way I do my cardio for my one-twos is an endurance ride of fifty minutes the first day, and twenty-five minutes of interval training at a higher level the second. I was really tired at the end of today’s workout, but that shouldn’t be surprising.

I met up with axe at Patty’s for our Thursday evening beverages. I thought it would be tougher than it was, what with all the beer and all. It wasn’t. Soda water is a refreshing substitute, and being able to make objective analyses of the women in the bar after two or three of them is a novelty. Axe explained some of the math he was working on, and I have to say some of the stuff sounds really, really, cool and are brilliant in their simplicity, while other stuff sounds scary and hurts my brain.

Oh – and watching the Leafs get owned by Detroit was great fun, too. Detroit spent a good chunk of the game in the box, so I wonder who they’re going to blame the loss on this time. It’d be nice if they actually realized they got beat tonight, instead of behaving like whiny little bishes.

Listening to: Conference calls – nothing but conference calls.

I’m working from home today because I’m finally getting some decent doors put on my apartment. The main entrance off the lobby was a hollow core interior door fer fuck sake. I felt secure, let me tell you. The guy doing the job is pretty cool, and his son is helping him out. They have a lot of work to do, and it’s freezing outside.

Today falls into the category of “good day”, my third or fourth such day in the last couple of weeks. Things are starting to come together, and I’m hoping my wee little attitude change has something to do with it.

We had a call with a vendor we might be doing some work with in the future. The problem is this vendor is a family member – my company owns a majority share. Because we’re family, the attitude has been “trust us”. Pardon my french, but fuck that. Been there, got the extended family pain enema and I want no part of it. You’re a vendor, I’m a customer, and if I don’t think you can deliver I am going to run screaming away. The call was with the family members to explain my company’s position. The exec who I felt treated me like a retard (some more objective analysis suggested I may have been over-reacting) was on the call. I was intending to be a fly on the wall, my boss had other intentions.

We got on, made the introductions, and my boss said “Kev, this is your show, walk us through it”. I was totally unprepared for it, but took up the reins and away we went. It went very well. I even got kudos from both my boss and the exec. It went so well that I’m the only one going to Saint John for the face-to-faces, as my exec felt I could handle it. I knew I could all along, but it’s amazing what one exchange can do to convince people I know what I’m talking about and can do the job. I haven’t had that feeling since I started at Globix almost four years ago. It was good.

So, now I get to prep for a three-day meeting in Saint John, NB. There’s not much to do there, I’ve been there before. Thankfully there is a hockey team, and there’s a game on Wednesday night – I know what I’ll be doing that night. It’s going to be an interesting few days, and I hope everything works out such that both parties have their reservations but feel they can live with it. The work we’re looking at is easy to fuck up, and we need a solution that works the first time out of the gate.

One door pretty much completed. They have to come back tomorrow to put the other one in and finish the one they started today. They didn’t mention that before, looks like I’m working from home tomorrow. It’s only 1pm, so I can scoot into work to cover off a bunch there.

The workouts are going well. I’m a little sore, but I’ll live with it. Tomorrow will be the first one-two day, where I start doing two workouts on successive days with one day of rest (repeat). My workouts are all low-impact, so my body can handle it for a few months before it starts to complain and remind me how old I’m getting. It’s a great way to tone up and lose weight, and is what I call my NYC plan (which I’ve mentioned before). I’m sleeping through the night each night, so this no booze and exercise thing is working.

Listening to: My spleen burst while venting to myself

Sometimes, my morning spam gives me a chuckle, today it gave me a laugh. The subject was “Deep Fisting Rodeo – Yee-hahh!”, and I will confess my right-brain kicked in for a second. I just have a hard time picturing a group of folks sitting around a table throwing catchy phrases around on how best to pitch a fisting site. While I didn’t check the site out, it did catch my attention and my sense of humour (twisted).

So how do you tell people who know nothing about you that you’re not a total retard? The project I’m working on is seriously fucked up, and has been for quite some time by the looks of it. I’ve been evaluating the whole package since I was put on it in mid-December, and I can honestly say the people who brought the product suite into this ‘lil old world of ours should be taken out, shot, pissed on, and never spoken of again.

Service expectations weren’t set with the customers or the internal groups – the Internet ain’t dial tone, and a 20 minute delay from the time you send mail to your account when load is high happens. At least we’re not like Videotron, Sympatico, and other groups that can have delivery delays of twelve hours or more, but I digress. Let’s just say it’s pretty fucked up. So me, being who I am, have started telling people it’s fucked up and we should really re-think what we’re doing. I have since discovered that being the new guy and bringing comments like this into the fold is a bad thing.

I’m the messenger, and I’m also the fifth person to lead this project over the past fourteen months. No wonder it’s a mess. In any case, one of our VP’s sent an email that told me exactly how I was to proceed. I felt like I was back in grade school getting punished for something someone else did. In response, I totally surprised myself. I got a little pissed, but instead of saying “fuck you” and looking for another job I said “fuck you, I’m gonna show you how wrong you are”. It’s almost like I’m growing up or something. Unlikely for sure, but it’s a possibility. I’ll stick this one out until things are running sweetly, then think about bailing. ;)

Listening to: Holly Cole Trio

Some day I will stop doing stupid things. Today is not that day.

I’ve been living in a fridge for the past couple of days, as our boiler has been on the blink and it’s been –20 degrees Celsius outside. The repairman came this evening, as they were done all the “priority” cases. I really hope there were multiple houses with babies without heat for as long as we were, because I’m not sure how we didn’t make the cut.

Apparently another tech had been out at four and reported everything was fine. I’m betting he hit the breaker on the burner, watched it run for 2 minutes, and thought to himself “idiot tenants”. The problem was, the damn thing stopped after running for 3 minutes (kinda like Shayne Corson during the regular season) and popped the breaker. We knew this. We articulated this to the service desk. Seems they didn’t listen.

Anyways, the furnace was fixed and had been running for a while, so I wanted to see if the radiators were warming up. We have baseboard radiators which have a solid metal plate with vents at the top – very effective. The metal plate was still cold, so I thought I’d check the fins. I stuck all four fingers in the vent and sure enough, there was warmth. In my glee I stood up before removing my fingers from said vent, removing most of the skin from my ring finger. Note to self – pull hand out, then stand up. Failing this, stop when you realize your fingers aren’t going to make it out of the vent without force.

Ouch.

I managed to walk about 4km today, and did a 50-minute cardio/20-minute freeweight workout. I’ll hurt tomorrow, I think.

Work is getting interesting, although I’m now stuck with the task of reworking the business case. Seems if you find the shit here, you get to shovel it up. Ah well, it’ll keep me busy.