End of year update…

4 01 2008

I guess this is a good opportunity to recap the holidays and point out the years highlights such as they were.¬† This is probably more geared towards the friends who I have not kept in touch with for a variety of reasons and as a new years resolution perhaps vowing to be better with the email for my overseas friends is a good place to start ūüôā¬†

2007 certainly had many ups and downs.  The end of the year was pretty good for the most part as downtime from work and time with family and friends is always something to value and look forward to.  Christmas dinner (#2!) at my parents place was excellent as always.  Nothing beats home cooking and the seemingly limitless supply of booze to go with it.  Unfortunately my other half could not join us in Calgary this time as our poorly sugar glider needed her medicine and we felt it best if one of us stayed home to make sure she got it properly.  Fortunately she seems to have recovered somewhat and, while not at 100%, seems to be more active and makes those happy clicking sounds when we spend time with her which is excellent.

We went to another Turkey dinner on the Saturday with a couple of friends of ours (one of which has his birthday around that time) which was also enjoyable and tasty as per usual.¬† You go out and have a good time with your friends during the holidays and it makes you wonder why you don’t make the effort to do it more regularly the rest of the year!

Anyway, on with what I’ve been up to the rest of the year.

Highpoints

  • We picked up two baby sugar gliders to add to our household.¬† They’ve been alot of fun and have bonded with us in a big way.¬† Awesome pets.
  • Work has got more interesting.¬† I’ve been tasked with looking after a company that the company I currently work at aquired towards the beginning of 2007.¬† I¬†am looking forward to the challenge of trying to get it into a profitable state so we can take it forward.¬† I’m getting increasingly annoyed with C# however… bring back the days of C where I could do whatever I like and the compiler lets you get away with it!¬† This Nazi-Fascist-Like management of everything you do is really doing my head in.
  • Girlfriend is awesome as usual and we celebrated our 3rd anniversary this year.¬† She even did some of my Xmas shopping for me at West Edmonton Mall whilst I was at work.¬† Now *THAT’S* taking one for the team!
  • I’ve had a chance to get to know some of my friends a bit better.¬† Some of them are like family and always there to help when times get tough (like flooding for example… thanks Don!)
  • I’ve started to get into this blogging thing a bit more.¬† I enjoy reading some of my friend’s blogs too; it’s a good way to keep up with what they are getting up to.¬† Hopefully I can stay disciplined enough to keep posting!
  • The darts team I was on won the championship!¬† I closed out the winning game!¬† Yay!
  • I’ve started playing football again which is good.¬† Too bad my skills aren’t.
  • We had a good summer camping vacation for a week down in Brooks and managed to avoid the tornadoes… outings included golf, Tyrell Museum and general badland sightseeing.¬† My brother came out and camped with us for a night as did one of my co-workers (who is no longer at the company I’m at which is a bad point).
  • Got in touch with a friend I have not seen since my PhD days at the University of Leeds¬†AND it turns out she was at the end of her employment contract AND she was¬†looking for work AND¬†happend to have a PhD in EXACTLY the area that we were looking to hire in.¬† She starts in a few weeks (coming over from the Netherlands).¬† Is that a coincidence or what?¬† If I’m really lucky she will bring me a nice bottle of single malt when she arrives.

Lowpoints

  • One of our two original sugar gliders died (Jazzberry).¬† This was pretty hard to take as I am quite fond of all my gliders and wish they were immortal!!!¬† My girlfriend’s Guinea Pig also had to be put down which was quite sad (although she did live to a very ripe old age for a GP!).
  • 2nd Flood in our basement in 11 months did a pretty good job of trashing the lot.¬† I’m a bit worried about what my insurance coverage will be like come renewal time as insurance companies don’t like unlucky people.¬† Fortunately I had good friends to help bail me out (literally) of this emergency before the restoration folks arrived (see high-points above).¬† This really sucks as it will be months before the basement is in any sort of usable state again.¬† We had pretty much just finished re-decorating it after the last flood when this one hit.
  • I don’t seem to be playing my guitar as often as I’d like.¬† With my workload increasing that hasn’t helped but I do miss it sometimes and would like to get my ass in gear enough to start picking it up again!¬† I’ll always suck at it if I don’t practice.
  • I’m not keeping in touch with friends overseas enough.¬† Alot of the¬†crises¬†over¬†the last few months haven’t helped.
  • I’ll be getting rid of the hot tub in my basement which I’m pretty choked about.¬† It was one of the selling points of the house for me in the first place.¬† With it’s age and the fact it needs more patching up I feel like I am really pushing my luck keeping it in my basement given the events over the last year.¬† On the plus side I can always get another one in the yard and I’d prefer it outside anyway to be honest…
  • Still a smoker.¬† I am always beating myself up over this one and continually vow to myself to quit but never seem to manage to do it.¬† Dumbest thing I ever started doing in my life no question but I do enjoy it (the smoking).¬† Is that messed up or what?
  • Garage door chain went today but I guess technically that’s a 2008 issue…

Well that’s a pretty exhaustive list!¬† The good looks like it outweighs the bad overall.

As an added humour point I’ve just noticed that the wordpress spell checker does not seem to like the words “blog” or “blogging” (or wordpress!).¬† Ironic isn’t it?

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The art of blogging…

19 12 2007

Two of the hardest things I find about blogging are:

  1. Finding something interesting to say.
  2. Finding the time to put it into some sort of coherent fashion to post.

Like most people I have opinions on a variety of things.¬† Some things are best left unshared and others can be interesting catalysts for discussion.¬† Most of my posts so far have just been amusing or useful things I have found on the net that I thought were worth mentioning.¬† I don’t really discuss much about what I think or feel or what goes on in my world.¬† Reading about how people blog and what makes a successful one usually involves having a personal element involved which keeps your readers interested and gives your blog a more personal touch.¬† I’m not expecting to become the next big hot blog that gets a mention on the radio or on a news website.¬† This is more a personal thing for me and a bit of a hobby I am trying to explore and I’ve generally been somewhat an introvert most of my life so perhaps this will give me a successful way of expressing myself that I have not previously tried.¬†

I’ve found a good blogging time for actually putting my thoughts into writing and getting it posted.¬† So that’s one of the two issues potentially dealt with if I can keep it up.¬† We have three sugar gliders that require playtime in the evenings and I’ve taken to bringing my laptop into our “glider proof” (if there is such a thing) room and using this as my blogging and misc net surfing time in the evenings when it’s my turn to feed and play with them.¬† Using the wireless network to tune in to our iTunes jukebox machine in the living room which supplies the atmosphere ūüôā¬† We’ve recently got two baby sugar gliders and they are cute as hell and very curious.¬† They seem to like running over my keyboard but are not really heavy enough to type yet (unless they jump on it off my head!).¬† Maybe if things get slow I’ll have them post for me.

Finding interesting things to talk about may be more difficult.¬† As I’ve mentioned in previous postings I generally listen to a lot of BBC podcasts which always give me food for thought (for example the forbidden lego book in a previous posting came from a mention of it on such a podcast).¬† The political and documentary ones in particular make me think and can cause a range of emotions in me (the story they did on Burma awhile back was especially sad).¬† I am a total internet news junkie!¬† Maybe I’ll try to put what I make of it all into words.¬† The web has loads of interesting things and developments that are worthy topics of discussion.¬† All the Web 2.0 sites out there (user defined/driven content) such as Facebook have caused quite a stir and, yes, I am on facebook I’m afraid to say.¬† It’s not quite as addictive as it was when I first started but I do check it daily!

For now I should go pay attention to our older grumpy glider Taz!¬† She’s sulking in her cage and probably needs some coaxing to get her out.¬† I don’t think she is all that well at the moment; she’s gained weight and is sometimes a bit lethargic.¬† Vet has looked at her and reckons her liver may be a bit dodgy and she’s somewhat constipated so I’m giving her the equivalent of Glider-Ex-Lax.¬† I hope she gets a bit perkier soon; I miss her bratty self.

(as an aside, speaking of technology, with my little word processor I use I’ve just had to add “Facebook” and “podcast” as allowable words, lol).