lance_sibley: (Facepalm - by prettygood)
Argh. I don't know why I should be surprised, because about every other time I try to start a post here, Firefox crashes. But it's particularly annoying when one is in the middle of something time-consuming and has to start over from the beginning. I swear, I've got the computer of the damned here. "Kylie Eleison", as they say...

First, I have to apologize to [ profile] rosemary_ca for missing brunch on Sunday. I went to bed around 1:30 on Saturday night, figuring I'd wake up on my own around 9:30 and have plenty of time to get there for 11. Well, I woke up at 11:30. *headdesk* I didn't realize I was so tired - especially since I hadn't done anything.

Backtrack to Friday... we left the office early and my boss treated Zak and me to lunch and a movie at Richmond Hill Centre. We were going to see The Golden Compass, but we couldn't find a conveniently-timed showing, so we ended up seeing Walk Hard instead. Having seen Walk The Line on a flight a year or so ago, I thought they did a fairly good job spoofing the musical biopic genre. I ended up going straight home after the movie (since the theatre was about five bus stops north of Steeles, my boss said there was no point in my going back to the office), meaning that my bonus cheque is still sitting on my boss' desk where he'd forgotten it. He apologized, both for forgetting it and for it not being that big, but I wasn't really expecting anything. And that gives me something to look forward to tomorrow. :)

It seems to have become something of a tradition for me that I spend the days around Christmas watching an entire season's worth of television on DVD. I started watching Lost S2 on the weekend and finished it last night, and started watching S3 this evening while I finished the last of the leftover chili that was Christmas dinner. (I should have at least bought ground turkey instead of ground beef, I suppose. At least I had egg nog ice cream.) If I'm lucky, I'll get through S3 before S4 premieres (that's in a couple of weeks, no?) and I'll be able to watch it at the same time as the rest of the world.

Most of the rest of my Christmas break has been spent cleaning the junk out of my solarium and dining room, as I mentioned in my last post. Now, all that's in my solarium is my bike, the situp bench I bought about 20 years ago (don't say it...), and the curtains and curtain rod I bought a few years ago but haven't gotten around to putting up. (Oh, and about a tonne of styrofoam bits, thanks to my cat having had a penchant for climbing into the box that my air conditioner came in and shredding everything inside.) My dining room still has all the old videotapes and books piled on the table, but other than that, a cooler and an air mattress I seem to have inexplicably acquired (I have no idea where it came from, and don't remember ever buying one), and some cases of empty beer bottles I really should return for the deposit, the rest of my junk has either been thrown out or put into my storage locker. (All that carrying might explain why my shoulder is so sore today.)

I guess the next step (after doing something about the books and videotapes, and taking the bottles back to the beer store) is to do something about the moisture damage under the air conditioner - I'm going to have to repaint that wall and figure out how to replace some of the parquet flooring that's warped. I should probably try to figure out if I can fit the stuff that's on the shelves in my hall and bedroom closets in the locker, too.

I tried to do some shopping today - I've been wanting a new leather jacket (in soft brown leather) for quite some time, so I schlepped up the the strip where all the outlet stores are and had a look, but I couldn't find anything I liked. And while I was heading up there, I thought I'd drop in and quickly say hi to Ambrose if he was at work, since his store is up in that area. I felt a little awkward about going in, even though I was in the area on my own errand anyway (go ahead, point out how convenient that was, but I usually do my shopping at Yorkdale anyway, and his store is about a ten minute bus ride away), but he hasn't been answering his phone lately and I did, after all, have a Christmas gift for him.

Things were a little insane in there (I was surprised to see how many people were shopping for kitchenwares on Boxing Day), but I managed to find him and give him his Christmas gift, and we arranged to have dinner this Friday evening. I think we're going to be having a Talk. If we're going to continue to see each other, there has to be better communication. And if his lack of communication is because he's lost interest, then I need to know. He didn't even respond to my "Merry Christmas" text message - which is just unacceptable. (His explanation was that he got five text messages yesterday and when he finally turned his phone on - he said he's been keeping it off most of the time lately - he didn't realize there was more than one and only looked at the first, which wasn't mine. Okay, that's plausible, I suppose, when when we talked a couple of weeks ago, he said he was going to try to do a better job of staying in touch when things were too crazy to get together, and he didn't return two voice mails from this week.)
lance_sibley: (Different POV)
I'm sitting here all warm and toasty in my living room, unable to see across the street due to the layer of frost that coats my windows. The headache that I've had since last night seems to have abated for now. I hope it stays away - it was so bad that it woke me at 7 this morning. I stumbled into the bathroom and took an Excedrin for migraine - which may have been an error, since it contains caffeine. It took me 45 minutes to get back to sleep - I should have taken an Extra Strength Tylenol instead. (OTOH, in the dream I was having when I woke up, I was working on solving the problem I was having on Friday at work. Perhaps it's just as well that I woke up. I hate dreaming about work.)

It's particularly nice to sit here all toasty warm because I chose to brave the storm and go out this afternoon despite the fact that my two Polaris meetings were cancelled due to the weather. (City TV reports that the downtown core got between 20 and 25 centimetres today. [ profile] eastman23, you're welcome to come and take it away if you want it. :P )

(Edited to add some snow-related weirdness: I was outside the Eaton Centre when I saw an ambulance get stuck in the snow, its wheels spinning. Fortunately the lights weren't on, so I guess they weren't responding to an emergency. I just thought it was weird. They had to back up twice and try again. It was on the third attempt that I thought to take out my cellphone and try to get some video - and of course, that was the time they successfully made it.)

I was actually surprised that the subway was running north of Bloor - last time we got this much snow in such a short period of time, the subway couldn't run in the above-ground sections of the system. (I did hear an announcement that the third rail was covered in ice.) The crowds were manageable (probably because few people were as foolish as I) and I was able to get my Christmas shopping more or less finished. I picked up a portable DVD player for Mike and his wife and the Disney version of "Scene It?" for their kids (I'd already gotten them each a book last week). Add that to yesterday's shopping, when I got my mother the paper shredder she'd requested and a piece of digital art for Ambrose (a triptych depicting a desert scene - I have no idea if it'll match the decor of his new apartment, but I figure that with his just having moved, he'll need stuff to decorate with), and I would hazard to say that I'm finished. I just have to wrap it all now. :(

Oh, and I treated myself to Lost S3 and BSG: Razor on DVD. :) (I guess this means I have to get around to watching S2 of Lost, which has been sitting on top of my TV for a year... Heroes S1 will have to go back into the pile.) Couldn't find Doctor Who S3 or Torchwood S1, though... the clerk who was helping me said that they had Doctor Who in stock, but he couldn't find it on the shelves either.

I have to admit that shopping for Ambrose was tricky, because while I know what TV shows and movies he's into, I don't know what his DVD collection is like. I don't know what clothing sizes he takes, and I have an idea of what kinds of books he might like, but again, I don't know what's in his library. (Which is pretty sad considering that it's six months since we met.) And gift certificates seem so impersonal. One thing seems to be certain: I'll never, ever be able to top what I did for him at Dragon*Con. It's kind of depressing to know that you've already hit the apex of gift shopping for a particular person... which may have been a contributing factor to the trouble I had deciding what to get him.

Flash back a bit to Friday night: it was the last night of bowling until January. It didn't go all that well for me: 156, 135, 154. I was having my usual problem of hitting the headpin a little too heavily throughout the first game, and Mario suggested I move over to the middle and put the ball over the second arrow from the right. I tried it, and I just couldn't find the line I needed to take (hence the 135 - I was at a complete loss), so I ended up switching back halfway through the third game. And even then, I had to get two strikes in the tenth (my first strikes since the first game) to salvage my score. Mario pointed out something odd: we're sixth in the league (IIRC) in total pinfall flat, and dead last (28th place) in points in the standings. Probably because our team handicap is so much lower than most other teams.

Anyhow, hopefully I'll be able to get to bed at a decent hour tonight. I expect tomorrow's commute will be hell, and for some reason I've been unable to connect to my work computer over the Internet this weekend. (I wanted to put in a couple of hours to make up for arriving late and leaving early on Friday.) So I want to get in at a decent hour and solve this problem that was bedeviling me on Friday and probably led to the dreams I was having last night.

Oh, and one other thing I bought for myself today:

Available for $20 through the Writers' Guild Of America Strike Swag website.
lance_sibley: (Yay - by Raelala)
My weekend in a nutshell:

Bowling Friday: 169, 160, 158. Not as high a series as the previous week, but pretty consistent, so I'm not unhappy. Not to mention that despite some residual pain from my fall on ice last weekend, my arm was no more sore than usual. Our opponents were razzing me late in the third game because my arm usually starts bothering me about halfway through the third game and I start making audible pain noises as I throw the ball. One guy started calling me Monica Seles. Since I started joking about three months ago that "here's where I start doing my Monica Seles impression," I wasn't that amused. (Well, I was in a pretty pissy mood anyway over the whole situation with Ambrose. Pissy to the point that Mario noticed and asked what was wrong.)

Saturday: I finally started my Christmas shopping. My mother is making things slightly easier for me by telling me what she wants this year - a paper shredder. I haven't picked it up yet, but I happened to be in the Grand & Toy at the Eaton Centre this afternoon and checked out their prices. I did pick up a couple of books for her to go with it, though - The Devil Wears Prada and a Kathy Reichs book (the author upon whom the TV series "Bones" is based). I also picked up Stephen Colbert's book and a box set of the 1972 Canada/USSR series for my father, a book on space for Mike's older son (who's 7 or 8, if memory serves) and a pop-up book on dinosaurs for his younger son (who's 4).

Oh, and I also picked up some treats for myself because Music World is going out of business and having a 30% off sale: I got the new Erasure and Pet Shop Boys albums and two PSB DVDs ("A Life In Pop" and a concert DVD from their "Fundamental" tour, which I saw when they came to Toronto). Both albums are a little strange - the Erasure one hearkens back to their album "Union Street" in that it's all acoustic. Not only is it all acoustic - because it's a live album from a concert they did in Nashville (it's called "On The Road To Nashville", in fact), all of the songs have a country-and-western touch. "Blue Savannah" and "A Little Respect" are a little weird in that style. The album also came with a DVD containing two bonus songs, two "fancam videos", and a short film called "The Road To Union Street". Overall, though, if I weren't already an Erasure fan, I highly doubt that I would have bothered to buy it, not being a country music fan.

The PSB album is "Disco Four", and like their first three "Disco" albums, all of the songs are remixes of older songs. Unlike their first three "Disco" albums, however, not all of the songs are PSB songs. The album includes Madonna's "Sorry", Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" (which they actually made palatable, probably by burying the chorus very deep in the mix), The Killers' "Read My Mind", Atomizer's "Hooked On Radiation", and Rammstein's "Mein Teil" (which they called the "There Are No Guitars On This Mix" :) ). It also includes versions of PSB's "Integral" and "I'm With Stupid," plus a version of "Hallo Spaceboy" that they did with David Bowie. (According to the Wikipedia article on the song, this was actually the version that was released as a single back in 1995, and Bowie wasn't too sure how much he liked Neil Tennant's addition of chopped-up lyrics from "Space Oddity".) The album as a whole isn't up there with "Bilingual" or "Fundamental", but I think it's better than "Disco 2".

Today: I had a Polaris Exec meeting. I was only recently added to the Exec (I replaced someone who had to step down) so I didn't know what time or where the meeting was. Fortunately I was able to reach one of the Chairs this morning, otherwise I would have been in the wrong place an hour and a half early. Strange thing: even though I routinely don't have lunch until 2 or so during the week, today the lunch I had during the meeting filled me up to the point where I'm still not hungry, and it's after 9. I probably shouldn't have had the peanut butter brownie sundae for dessert. It was good, though...

So I got home and decided I was going to try to reach Ambrose one more time. Lo and behold, he answered the phone! He apologized for not returning any of my calls, but it seems that the move turned out to be much more complicated than he had anticipated. Add to that the fact that his work hours have been extended - but into the morning, so he's having to get up at 6 o'clock twice per week - and it seems that every time I've called he's either been at work or asleep, and the stress of it all kept him from returning my calls. He also thanked me for offering to help, but said that it would have been "weird" because his parents were there. (I didn't ask what that meant - I'm not sure if it's because he's not out to them or because they'd disapprove of him seeing someone so much older than he is...)

Anyway, we're getting together next weekend. Depending on how his unpacking/reorganization/IKEA furniture-building goes, it may only be for coffee, but you know what? I don't care. *grin*

I'll leave you with the Bowie/PSB video of "Hallo Spaceboy":

and the live version from 1996:

lance_sibley: (Strike)
When I was on my way to the subway this morning, I thought to check my cellphone as I had heard it ring while I was in the shower. It was my boss, suggesting that since Zak wasn't going into the office today (apparently it snowed rather heavily last night in Alliston, where he lives), perhaps I should work from home as the biggest benefit to my schlepping all the way to Aurora every day is to have him available in case I encounter any problems or issues I can't solve on my own (though those have been getting fewer as the months go on).

Since I'm always in a rush to get to the bowling alley on Friday nights, I thought sure, why not? So I came back home and settled in front of the computer for a productive day. (It helped that it was overcast through most of the day - I didn't have to squint at my screen and give myself a headache.) I haven't been doing anything all that exciting, though it's a little complex - our website uses a lot of controls that were developed by a company called Infragistics, and we don't have any of the source code for their custom controls. I've been working for the past few weeks on replacing all of the Infragistics grids on the site with ASP repeater objects. The fun part comes when there's more than one grid on a page and when clicking on a column header is supposed to sort the data on that column. Not difficult, but it can get a little tricky at times. (I always seem to miss renaming at least one tag. And Visual Studio has the annoying habit of renaming my controls for me - normally, one isn't supposed to have multiple controls on a page with the same name. However, in a repeater object, when you're formatting your table so that alternating lines are in different colours, for instance, you name the controls in your row with the same names as those in the alternating row. Visual Studio always wants to rename the alternating row's controls to things like "Literal1" and "CheckBox2". Argh.) I think I've done about a dozen or so pages over the past couple of weeks, and I got two more done today.

The other advantage to working from home is that I got to go over to the Yonge/Eglinton Centre at lunchtime and eat something that wasn't from Subway, Mr. Sub or Pizza Nova. ;)

I got out of here around 5:30 and managed to get to the bowling alley by about 6:10, which gave me plenty of time to grab something to eat and read some of the paper, which I hadn't even opened yet as I usually read it during my commute. (Speaking of which, I learned this week just how slow the print media is compared to online sources... the Jiri Tlusty story, which I posted about over a week ago and which I was apparently slow to learn about, only hit the Toronto newspapers on Wednesday. The Sun and the Star are on their moral high horses about it - which surprised me in the Star's case, as they're a fairly left-wing paper. The Sun doesn't approve of nudity unless it's female. The Globe and Mail - which is the paper I read - had this editorial about the topic today, in which they basically say, "Meh. He's 19. Big deal.")

Anyway, bowling was quicker than normal tonight, as [ profile] h8torun, Randy, Mario and Bridgette were all away tonight. Ralph was filling in for [ profile] h8torun, but we were using declared scores for Mario and Bridgette, and a dummy score for Randy as we couldn't get a spare to fill in for him in time (he called me at 5:30 to let me know that he was stuck at work). So with only two of us there, and only four on the other team, we were out fairly early. My night was, again, mediocre: 143, 141, 170. I was suffering from "splititis" - I started each game with a split, and had two or three more in each of the first two games. In the third game, I started with a 5-10 (which I just missed sparing) and finished with a 4-6. Somehow, we still managed to win the first game, albeit only by 11 pins.

This is shaping up to be a busy weekend - I have a meeting tomorrow, and another one on Sunday, and I still have stuff from last weekend's To Do list that remains to be done (like laundry). Plus I want to see about getting together with Ambrose at some point - I tried calling earlier, but got his voicemail. I haven't even heard from him since the last time we went out, about three weeks ago. I'd called him a couple of weekends ago to see if he wanted to come with me to Declan's get-together, but I wasn't able to get hold of him then either. Is it so much to ask for that he call me once in a while? I know he's got a busy life, but so do I (and it's probably about to get busier). Sure, he warned me that I was going to have to initiate things most of the time, but I'm not sure that I particularly like that. It would be nice to think that he was thinking of me once in a while. I'm feeling like he only thinks about me when I call him. *sigh*
lance_sibley: (coming - by Raelala)
So bored at work these days. I've been spending the last week or so updating the French translations of our website - the problem is that not all of the text is in the same place. Some of it is in an XML file, some of it is in the database, and some of it has to be controlled in code. I spent all day yesterday just writing INSERT statements for various qualifications - 330 in all. Today was spent editing the language table and the user privilege table. When I left today, I still had nine sheets to go in the second spreadsheet. *yawn*

At least I had something to look forward to tonight. I hadn't seen Ambrose since before Gaylaxicon, so I called him Sunday evening after the TCON Board meeting to invite him to join us for dinner. He couldn't, as he had plans already to get together with his sister, but we arranged to have dinner tonight. He was closing the store, so he was getting off work around 8:30, and I usually get to Finch around 8, so that worked out well. We met up around 9:15, and decided to go to Licks for burgers. (Burgers may not sound exciting, but Licks has the best burgers of any I've ever tasted in my life.) It was a slow night there, though - usually, the staff sing while they cook, but there were only two people in there tonight so it was quiet.

We sat there for well over an hour catching up, then decided to go across the street to McDonald's for dessert. Licks has ice cream, but Ambrose was in the mood for a fake sundae instead of a real one (pity the Dairy Queen up the street closed several months ago, though), so we ended up sitting in there for about half an hour.

His latest crazy customer story... some guy called the store today to complain that the ice cream scoop that his wife bought a year ago has "dents" in it, and he wanted to know if it was under warranty or if he could exchange it for a new one. "Dents"? WTF? Mine is a bit pitted - I don't know if it's due to moisture or the temperature shifts inherent to using it for its intended purpose, but I think that's fairly normal. And who the hell asks if they can exchange something for a new one more than a year after buying it? It turned out that there actually is a warranty on this particular ice cream scoop (who knew?), and he might just be able to get a new one from the manufacturer. *shakes head sadly* Just spend the $8 on a new one! If that's too expensive, get one for a buck from the dollar store! Sheesh.

After dessert, I walked him to the subway. While we were standing in the entranceway, I said, "Hopefully it won't be a month before we see each other next. You know, you could call me once in a while too..." I didn't admit this, but when I called him on Sunday, I deliberately hadn't called since the week before I went to Gaylaxicon because I wanted to see if he would call me, and he didn't. He responded that he's not good at that kind of thing because he never feels like he has time, even when he does. Admittedly, right now he doesn't have a lot of time because of the apartment-hunting he's doing, but I'm not asking for hour-long conversations every other day. Five minutes here and there would be nice, though.

He then said, "You're either being really passive-aggressive, or really honest." I'm not quite sure how to take that. Right now, I can deal with always being the one who calls to make plans, but I'm not sure that there won't come a time when I don't want to do that any more. I want to feel like I'm important to him. Unfortunately, 11 o'clock on a weeknight was probably not the time to continue that particular conversation, though it's one we are going to have to have in more depth.

Hopefully it won't be a month from now. *sigh* I really do like his company, but he's making it awfully hard to develop any stronger feelings...

In other news, are the Leafs trying to kill me? 6-4 loss to Chicago on Saturday night, giving up five goals in the third period alone, and losing tonight in a shootout to the worst team in the league. You have to feel sorry for Mats Sundin... 17 points in 10 games, tied for the league lead, and the team is below .500. Nik Antropov even has 7 goals so far this year (shocking, I know). Argh.
lance_sibley: (Facepalm - by prettygood)
... you stay home to get some overdue work done, only to realize after it's too late to do anything about it that the meeting you thought you had to discuss said work can't possibly be on the date you thought it was?

And the horrible sentence structure above is just a symptom of my frying my brain over the past three hours trying to get this stuff done. And I haven't even had anything to drink (which may be the problem).

Meh, it's all good. I had sushi with Ambrose tonight - the dish called "Ken's Special Dragon" was quite tasty. (No, [ profile] evil_admiral, you may not go there. :P ) If only I could remember what was in it... I should have picked up one of their take-out menus on the way out. I know that shrimp tempura was involved. The one with mango in it was quite nice, too. I may be getting marginally more adept with chopsticks, though Ambrose was still amused watching me trying to eat my avocado salad. (Avocado is slippery, dammit.)

And he loved his autographed picture of Ellen Muth, though I think he knew that that was his gift from Dragon*Con. After all, since I had gotten her to leave him a voicemail (which he still has saved on his cellphone - awwww :) ), it only stands to reason that I would also have gotten him an autographed photo. (The size of the envelope I gave him might have been a giveaway too.) But that didn't prevent him from liking it.

After dinner, we wandered into a candy store called Sugar Mountain just down the street from the restaurant to have a look around. I never saw so many old board games and record covers in one place before - they even had the cover for the Bay City Rollers' first album up on the wall, along with an apparently original Star Wars lunchbox and the box for the board game "Yoda, Jedi Master" (if I'm remembering the name correctly). The weirdest thing in there, though? Good 'N' Plenty flavoured lip balm. That was even weirder than the Strawberry Pop Tart flavoured lip balm, or the Butterfinger flavoured lip balm, or the Hot Tamales flavoured lip balm, or the Cinnabon flavoured lip balm, or the several other candy-flavoured lip balms they had. Yes, that was even weirder than the Cyndi Lauper trading cards...

Anyhow, I got home around 11:30 (Ambrose had to head home, as his parents are coming over in the morning) and thought about going out for a drink or two, but then I "remembered" that I had to get this work finished. Only I didn't. And now I'm back where I started...
lance_sibley: (Strike)
... I'm finally caught up on LJ following Dragon*Con. Now I remember why I used to go to the business centre of the hotel I was staying in and read my friendslist every night before going to bed. I hope to get caught up on email over the next few days. I've read all of it, but there are several I want to respond to, including comments others have left here.

Today was a bit rough - my hay fever has knocked me for a loop since returning to Toronto. I took something for it last night (the generic equivalent of Claritin, I think) and managed to sleep through all of my alarms and then spend the rest of the morning in a bit of a fog as a result. I still managed to get some stuff accomplished today regarding allowing users to renew multiple boards at once (right now, they have to do it one by one from the page where the boards they're subscribed to are listed), but I have to put in a few hours this weekend as I couldn't stay late tonight as this was the first night of my bowling league for the new season.

Then I was threatened on the subway tonight after work - I was waiting for the car to empty so that I could get on, and this guy pushed past the people who were still exiting and hit me in the stomach as he did so. I muttered, "You're excused," as he hadn't apologized or anything. When I got on, he yelled at me, "What was that?" I told him that he had hit me on his rush into the subway car, and he accused me of exaggerating. (No, I don't think so. I know what it feels like to have an elbow in my stomach.) He then told me that I shouldn't "play games," that "not everyone is a good guy," and that just because I was on the subway, I shouldn't consider myself to be in a safe place. WTF? I didn't even look at him - I just sat down and worked on my crossword puzzle (though it took about 15 minutes for me to be able to concentrate). He never did apologize for hitting me. Asshole.

On a somewhat calmer note, my nose was running the Boston Marathon this evening, so I took another pill around 7:30, and it's only now starting to kick in, I think. People on the subway were looking at me like I had the plague because my nose was running, my eyes were running, and I couldn't stop sneezing.

And I have no doubt that I'm going to be in extreme agony for the next 48 hours as well, due to not having gotten any practice sessions in at the bowling alley during the summer. (I'd wanted to, but there just wasn't any time.) It was nice to see [ profile] h8torun, Randy, Mario and Bridgette again, as well as some of the other people there. I had a surprisingly good night: 163, 192, 153. But my legs are going to be screaming at me for the rest of the weekend. I just hope Ambrose doesn't want to go for any long walks tomorrow night after dinner. (Oh, yeah. It's been a few weeks since we were last able to get together, but now we have firm plans for tomorrow night, so I can give him his autograph from Ellen Muth and watch him squee. :) )

For the few of you who hadn't heard - since several people have reported this news - children's fantasy author Madeline L'Engle passed away this week at the age of 88: New York Times. I remember being given A Wrinkle In Time and at least two of its sequels when I was a child, and devouring them. I'd actually been considering checking for copies at my local used bookstore, as I have no idea whatever happened to my copies - they probably went missing in a move or something - and I had a sudden craving to reread them recently. (Watch, I'll buy them and then they'll turn up.)

And I finally finished book one of Peter F. Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction the other night. This book was the hardest slog I've ever encountered; admittedly, I haven't been making much time for reading over the past six months or so, which might explain why I've been working my way through it for about a year. Normally I'm a fairly fast reader, but I just couldn't get into it. Of course, now I have to read book two as I'd bought them together, and I refuse to let a book defeat me. ;) (And besides, the story picked up in the last 100 pages or so.) That being said, I'm taking a break, and I've read about 150 pages of Terry Pratchett's Thud! in the past three days. (See? Not a slow reader. Peter F. Hamilton just writes a slow story.) And then I have about ten other books on the shelf still waiting to be read, including two Dresden books, a Jasper Fforde, and a bunch of others that I bought at last year's Worldcon.


Aug. 8th, 2007 09:49 pm
lance_sibley: (sleepy)
Long day today. So very, very tired.

I got up on about 4.5 hours of sleep so that I could stop off at the passport office with my application, having registered via the ePass system on the government website as per [ profile] electricland's suggestion last week. However, what I didn't know (having already printed the forms and gotten [ profile] theengineer to sign them as my guarantor) was that the form generated by the online system, although it has the same information on it, is slightly different. So when I arrived, I was told that I had the wrong form for taking advantage of the online system. So I got to sit for an hour or so and wait with the rest of the people there. Add in the time spent in line to have my application pre-screened and get a number, and the time actually at the window, and I was there for an hour and a half or so, all told. *headdesk* I'll be writing a sharply worded letter to the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship - it should be clear on the website that the regular form and the one you're supposed to print from the online registration system are different.

As a result, I didn't arrive at work until about 11:30 this morning, and there was an email from our client waiting for me listing five problems they'd identified today, one of which was in the new Professional References page I created last week (the phone number fields weren't accepting non-North American numbers). I fixed it (finding in the process that the data type called "PhoneNumberType" only accepts digits - no hyphens or parentheses), along with one of the others.

I then went back to the new Pastoral References page I'd been having trouble with. Combined with Friday and yesterday, and I probably spent four hours trying to figure out why I was getting an "invalid object" error when I was trying to call a stored procedure to access the database - and after all that time staring at my C# code, and not seeing anything wrong (I was going to say "not seeing anything missing," but if it was missing, I wouldn't have seen it, now, would I?), it occurred to me, "Why not try executing the stored procedure independently of the code and see if I've made an error in the SQL?" It turned out that in doing a copy-and-paste, I was inadvertantly using the stored procedure name instead of the table name in the select statement within the procedure itself. Note to self: selecting data from a stored procedure doesn't work. *headdesk2* Well, that's what happens when your procedure has the name of the table embedded in its own name...

The good thing about today, however, was that thanks to my wait in the passport office I finished the newspaper about 15 minutes into my ride home and was able to call Ambrose. We hadn't been able to connect in several days (okay, last Sunday when we met up at Starbucks - oy). I thought that I was going to miss him again because I remembered that he usually works the later shift on Wednesdays because he goes out to karaoke on Tuesday nights at Crews/Tango, and I did get his voicemail, but he called me back about ten minutes later when he was on his break. His timing was good - about three minutes earlier I'd felt an itch on the back of my neck, and when I went to scratch I found a rather nasty insect crawling on me. (!!!) I flicked if off and had a look - it looked like some kind of beetle. Weird. (When I told Ambrose, he said, "Wow, the bus must really be rocking if you have a Beatle on board!" That boy's predilection for puns is almost as bad as mine. *grin*) Had he called me three minutes earlier, he probably would have been horrified to hear me shriek like a little girl. (Okay, I only do that with spiders. *grin*) Anyhow, it turned out that I hadn't been able to reach him on the weekend because he worked Saturday and Monday, and Sunday was his father's birthday. (I think I remember him mentioning the birthday last weekend, now that I think about it.)

So... I'm considering postponing this Saturday's birthday festivities to next weekend because [ profile] gurudata and [ profile] iangurudata's mother passed away this morning, and the funeral is this weekend in Montreal. I don't know how many people are planning on making the trip up, though. If anyone who has RSVP'd has changed their plans and is now going to Montreal, please let me know so that I know whether to reschedule - I've made reservations at Hot House for 7pm and Fiddler's Green for 10, both for 25 people (although I haven't gotten 25 RSVPs yet, I was assuming that I would by the weekend) and I need to call them both back if plans need to be changed.
lance_sibley: (Meep - by Raelala)
Yay, LJ's back! :)

The four and a half months I've been working at Cantech have been fairly uneventful. Yesterday, however, I was sitting at my desk around 3pm, working away, when I heard a screech, followed by a thud and a crunch from outside. I went to the window overlooking Yonge Street, and saw a car facing east in the westbound lane of Kennedy Avenue (about 50 feet north of the building I work in), having been T-boned by a westbound car. I looked at it for a moment, and when nothing exciting seemed to be happening (though one of the cars seemed to be leaking a trail of gasoline), I went back to my desk.

Today, around 3pm, I was again at my desk when I heard another screech, thud and crunch. I went to the window again, and in the exact same spot, another car had been T-boned. This time, the passenger side appeared to be crushed, and a few minutes later, a fire truck and an ambulance showed up.

I think I'll be avoiding going north for lunch for the next little while.

Today was a pretty good day, though. I finally got a response from the third-party vendor I'd emailed about a week and a half ago about a problem I was having using their software - they had just put out a new release on Friday, and suggested that I download the new version to see if it fixed my problem. Lo and behold, our Supporting Documents (reference letters, pastoral references, teachers' college transcripts, etc.) will now correctly display a thumbnail image of the first page of any documents uploaded as PDFs. Yay! (Previously, only jpegs, bitmaps, and other images of the documents could be uploaded; I had put the code in to allow PDFs to be uploaded a few weeks ago, but the thumbnails weren't displaying. I've been working on this on-and-off for about three weeks now; I think the main reason it wasn't working before was that the previous version didn't include the character maps that are supposed to be copied to the root folder of the site - I don't know why, since the documentation said they were supposed to be included. The new release had them.)

Oh, and I also made a change to allow applicants to be recommended or approved for occasional teaching at either the elementary or secondary levels separately; previously, they could be recommended or approved for both, but removing them from one would also remove them from the other. So overall, it was a productive day.

Also, I got home to find a message on my answering machine from Bay/Bloor Radio - my stereo is repaired. ($160. Ouch.) I can't get it until the weekend, though, because they close before I can get there on weeknights. Then I have to figure out how to move my speakers so that they're further away from the TV - it seems that [ profile] gurudata was right about the magnetic fields from the speakers possibly causing my colour problems. Last week, suddenly, the colour on my TV went back to normal. It's nice to be able to watch TV and not have everyone's face be greenish. It looks like there's room on top of my bookcases, but I don't know if the cables are long enough.

Oh, and I talked to Ambrose tonight, too. :) He's working at the Orfus Road location this week (his last week before starting as the assistant manager at Yonge and Eglinton), so he's pretty tired - they don't get many customers over there, but the store is the size of three regular stores, so he's been doing a lot of walking so far this week. (Orfus Road is the location of many huge outlet and warehouse stores - I only know of it because they always have huge Boxing Day sales. If you want a leather jacket, go to Orfus Road on Boxing Day. I think that's also where the Queer As Folk prop-and-costume sale was after the show ended.) So it looks like we'll be getting together Saturday afternoon - he suggested we have a "stereo pickup party". I guess the 21-day curse is broken, since Sunday marked a month since we met. *grin*

Edited to add: the blooper reel for the Toronto Trek-versus-Polaris skits has been uploaded to Youtube. Behold:

lance_sibley: (liberty - by Raelala)
I just got home a few minutes ago from tonight's date with Ambrose. We were going to go to an Italian restaurant up the street called Spacco, but on the way there we passed a 50s-style diner called Mars and Ambrose said he wouldn't mind eating there, so we went there instead. (I'm not that fond of the food in there, and it hasn't improved since the last time I ate there, but the blueberry pie was excellent. As was the company. :) )

Following dinner, we went for another long walk, taking the same route as last time but in reverse. At one point we passed a store that was selling slipcovers, and I said that one particularly garish one reminded me of my acquaintance Rosalie from the bridge club, about whom it's been said, "She's rich enough to own her own colour, but she looks like she dresses in the dark." Don't get me wrong - I like her and her husband, who once offered to see if his company's IT department needed anyone when I was looking for work - but she doesn't believe in wearing something that has only ten colours in it when twenty colours are twice as good.

Well, guess who we bumped into over on Mt. Pleasant? Rosalie and her husband Isadore, just leaving the bridge club. I stopped to say hello, and introduced Ambrose. They asked why I haven't been playing bridge lately, and I said that I was thinking about picking up a copy of Rosalie's recently-published memoirs and bringing it over to the club to get her to sign it. She said, "Make sure you read it first to make sure you like it!" I've glanced through it in the bookstore already, though, and while I'm not a big non-fiction reader, it looks worth reading:

The summary from Indigo's website )

Besides, all of the proceeds from the sale of the book are going to charity.

Anyway, if there's still a group from the Polaris concom going to see "Geek-Gasm" at the Fringe Festival on Sunday, Ambrose said he'd be interested in coming along. If not, we'll touch base about getting together next week. Hopefully we won't both be exhausted again after our respective busy weeks at work...


Jul. 12th, 2007 12:40 am
lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
I think I'm finally caught up on my friendslist... there have been some 450 posts since last Thursday afternoon.

(edited to correct my poor memory of what I posted about two days ago:) I popped in to join the autograph line for Ron Glass on Saturday at Polaris, and I asked him if he had any photos of himself from the Twilight Zone episode he did with Sherman Hemsley (which he didn't) - well, someone has uploaded the entire thing to Youtube. It's about 8 minutes long, so here it is - "I Of Newton":

When I went in to work yesterday, I ran into my boss, who was on his way out. It seems he's going to be spending an indeterminate amount of time up at his cottage, and with the folks downstairs mostly being out as well, it's been pretty quiet at work. I managed to get my second computer updated with all of the changes that I'd been making over the past month, so I can finally retire the old machine now that everything is synched up. I just have to get some help moving the video card over from the old machine because I'm not a hardware person (finding the on-switch is my limit of hardware knowledge), and the other video card has two ports so that I can use both monitors simultaneously. It'll also be nice to have some extra space on my desk so that I don't have to keep picking up my mouse and moving it five centimetres to the left or right in order to move my cursor completely across the screen.

Now to go catch up on the sleep I should already be caught up on... after all, I can't get the post-con crud. I have a (tentative, depending on his work schedule) date Friday night with Ambrose. We spoke for about an hour last night - he told me he's gotten yet another promotion, a week after the last one. He's now going to be the assistant manager at the Kitchen Stuff Plus location that's a five-minute walk from my apartment. Hm, I think I need a new ladle. :) (Actually, I really do. The handle broke several months ago while I was spooning Hamburger Helper into a bowl, and I've never gotten around to getting a new one.)
lance_sibley: (sunshine - by Raelala)
Ambrose and I met up at Eglinton station around 8:30, and we made our way up to a sushi place on the east side of Yonge, a few blocks north of Eglinton, where we shared a couple of dishes. We then went for a long walk, over to Mt. Pleasant, down to Davisville, back over to Yonge, and up to Soudan, a block south of Eglinton. We sat on a ledge outside a condo on Soudan for a bit and cuddled and talked until 11:30 or so, when he walked me to my door and then headed home. (I'm such a gentleman. Or maybe he's the one being a gentleman. After all, he did use the word "courting" towards the end of the night... :) )

Unfortunately, our schedules don't mesh too well over the next little while - between work, a wedding, and a planned trip to Cobourg for a few days, it looks like it'll be a little over a week before we get to see each other again, but see each other again we will. :)
lance_sibley: (Happy In My Pants - by Raelala)
For those of you who haven't already seen it via other people on your friendslists:

In other news... Ambrose called me about 45 minutes ago (returning my call from last night). We chatted for about 20 minutes, and I asked him out to dinner Friday evening. He gave me a tentative yes, as he left his datebook at work today but thinks he's free. :) So the plan is to meet up after I get home from work (and have had a chance to freshen up, which I will desperately need if Friday's weather is anything like today's - ick). Wish me luck!
lance_sibley: (sleepy)
So... I didn't get to see the parade today because I was at that Polaris concom meeting, which ran from about 1:20 to 5:45 or so. I called Doug, and found out that they were just sitting down to dinner on O'Grady's patio, so I decided to go for dinner with members of concom. As I was waiting for a decision to be made about the restaurant, my phone rang... and it was the cute guy I met on Friday night, Ambrose. We chatted for about 20 minutes, after which he suggested that I call him when I got downtown, and Doug, Scott and Ken were welcome to come along with me to join him in a friend's backyard.

So... after dinner, I headed downtown and met up with them outside O'Grady's, and we wandered up and down Church for a bit. I then called Ambrose and made arrangements to join him and his friends. Doug, Ken and Scott only stayed for about 15 minutes, though, and decided once they'd sat down that they were more tired than they realized - plus, they still had to pack as they're leaving tomorrow. So they headed off, and I sat there until about 11 with Ambrose and his friends until they decided to check out Church Street again. Ambrose decided to head home, which is what I was doing as well, and when we got off at Eglinton, he again walked me to my apartment and kissed me goodnight... AWWWW!

The funny thing, however, about the whole situation is this: for some reason, I was explaining the "Lance knows everyone" joke, probably in relation to my knowing his best friend, Dyan, through Polaris. I was telling him about my involvement with the former editor of fab magazine, Ryan Porter, and [ profile] travellingone's reaction to learning that I knew Ryan. I was telling him about how I arranged for [ profile] cuteteenboy to review a video game for an article Ryan was writing, and he stopped me. "([ profile] cuteteenboy's real name)? [ profile] cuteteenboy with red hair? [ profile] cuteteenboy whose picture was in the Toronto Star a few years ago with laser beams shooting out of his ass at Anime North?" It turns out that not only does Ambrose know [ profile] cuteteenboy, he knows [ profile] cuteteenboy's boyfriend, his friend Courtney, and a few other people I know (or know of) as well.

So naturally, when I got up to my apartment, I had to call [ profile] cuteteenboy and ask him, "So, tell me what you know about Ambrose..." ([ profile] cuteteenboy's reaction was full of the word "awesome". :) )

Now that I've mentioned that he's friends with Dyan and knows [ profile] cuteteenboy, I'm thinking that about three or four others among you probably now know exactly who I'm talking about... anyway, it looks like we're going to be getting together sometime later this week. :)

Must get to bed now. Zonked.


lance_sibley: (Default)

June 2009

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