Monday, August 29, 2011

Mook of the Week

I played tour guide a lot while my Brother and his wife were visiting. Last Tuesday I took them to the waterfront in Halifax. We rode the ferry over and back.

My Sister-in-law was sitting chatting with my brother. He was standing in front of her. Both were out of the way and not blocking anything or bothering anyone. I was off near the rail looking out at the harbour.

All of a sudden I heard someone muttering "Fucking asshole. I should fuck you up." and some other unintelligible stuff. I looked back to see this lanky piece of shit mook in black with earbuds on staring at my brother and saying that stuff. He was moving away from my brother so I let it go and just kept an eye on him. He ended up with his back to me muttering to himself. That is the back of him in the picture below.

After a minute or so He moved his way towards the back of the boat. a minute later I could hear him again. He was walking to the front, staring at my brother muttering shit like "How the fuck would you like it if I threw you over the side. I should fucking throw you over. Fucking asshole."

10 years or so ago I would have been in his face. I have grown up a bit since then and instead of doing that, and potentially involving my brother, I kept an eye on the asshole and made sure that I was between him and my brother. I looked around to see if I could find a crew member but none were in sight and I didn't want to leave. Luckily, the mook ended up heading off to the lower level and I never saw him again.

My brother never noticed the guy. I felt a little bad after telling him because he was wondering how he offended the guy. As far as I know he didn't do anything. The guy was either a nut case on a day pass or an asshole looking for trouble. He didn't seem like special needs, I used to work with them. My money is on him just being an asshole.

What a fucking mook.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Social Networking and Personal Contact

I had an interesting conversation with a friend, S, today about Social Networking. We don't talk much, and not just because he doesn't use Facebook, he is horrible at returning calls. He feels that social networking is the worst thing to happen to personal communication. And he just might be right.

A lot of people seem to think that sending a message on Facebook or leaving a comment on something is the same as actually having a real conversation. I had one friend who was next to impossible to get on the phone. So you had to leave messages. He wouldn't call you back, instead he would send you a message on Facebook.

To me that is a "What the kimchi?!?!?!" moment. Yes, I use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family and it is cheaper than a long distance phone call. But when you live in the same bloody city it seems kind of stupid not to just pick up a phone and call.

In some ways Hilda was right with her "rules" of communication. If you didn't return her call the ball was in your court and often she wouldn't call you again. Her "rules" were kind of extreme, and of course she never applied them to herself, but there was some truth to them. If you call and leave messages for someone and they never call you why bother anymore? If you call and leave messages and all they can do is send you a reply on Facebook (and you are in the same town) what does that say about the state of your friendship? Is it so hard now to just pick up a phone and return a call?

According to my friend S, yes. He curses social networking and feels it is destroying the ability of people to communicate. I don't feel as strongly about it as him, but there are areas we agree. People do still communicate via social networks but in different ways. Ways that to me seem more impersonal. I don't think that is a good thing.

I think back to my ex-friend Jimmy and YouTube. YouTube and "friends" Jimmy had never met became more important to him than "Real Life". Or as I like to call it reality. His life started revolving around YouTube and his virtual friends. It became his medium for communicating with people. While I do believe you can make friends online I it isn't the same as having friends where you live that you can talk to face to face. Considering the number or whack jobs on the net you can't always be sure you "friend" is who or what they say they are.

Then you have the people who seem to collect friends on Facebook. I had a LOT of friend when I played games like Mafia Wars. But they weren't really friends, now they call them "game friends". Even now, after stopping the games and dumping a lot of "game friends" I still have too many. Friends of friends who sent a friend request. Someone I met once or twice or who was a casual acquaintance who sent a friend request. And for some reason I approved the request. (Stupidity? Apathy) There are a small number of REAL friends and family I use Facebook to communicate with the rest are just ... filler. (Which now has me thinking it is time to do a purge again and get rid of the deadwood.)

Is social networking destroying communication? No, in some ways it is expanding it and making it easier. However, it is making it more impersonal. And that is a problem.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Life is busy

Lately life has been keeping me pretty busy. One of my brothers and his wife visited for a week. Tuesday I got hired for a new job and had to start training Wednesday. Today was spent doing the yard work that built up and trying to relax. All of which has not been making it easy for me to post anything.

I gotta say though it feels good to have a job. Especially one that seems interesting and has lots of room for advancement. The shifts may be sucky to start, 8PM to 4Am or something like that but such is life.

Tonight I am going to visit some friends and relax at a fire with rum and a cigar. Maybe a muse will inspire me to write a post. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I guess I learned something.

One of my brothers is visiting with his wife. He is a handful on a good day. His idea of fun is pushing peoples buttons to get a reaction. Usually I ignore him and that bothers him because he wants a reaction. He usually gets his wife screaming at him with his antics. So, the house is loud and there is a lot of confusion at times. This has stressed my mother out.

All of which means I play tour guide and baby sitter at times. The baby sitter comment is meant more jokingly than seriously. I have had a lot of fun showing them around and spending time with them. Mom has had a few ... hmmm ... incidents where she has lashed out, at me, because she is stressed. She can't understand how I can put up with everything and not get stressed out.

I guess it was living and working in Korea that did it for me. I won't say I learned patience because I am not a patient person. When it comes to his wife, she is deaf and due to idiots for parents she was treated as if she was mentally disabled for a good portion of her childhood. I have no problem talking with her because I am used to dealing with people whose English ability could range from non-existent to native. You just have to pay extra attention in order to understand her. You also have to watch the level of your language and the speed at which you talk. Nothing that I haven't done for the last 10 years in Korea.

Working in Korea and dealing with bullshit also helped. I got used to dealing with confusion, last minute "surprises", and a lack of punctuality. Add to that the stupidity I would encounter pretty much daily. All of which helps me deal with the visit. For me the visit isn't that stressful. It is no different than daily life was in Korea.

Passport Renewal Rule Change

Damn ... they changed the rules. I don't need my birth certificate to renew my passport now. My brother did when he renewed his last fall. The last time I checked the website it said I needed it. That was probably last November or December. I should have checked again since it has been a while.

The other day a friend was talking about renewing her passport a couple of months ago. She didn't need her birth certificate. Sure enough, I checked the web site and voila the rules did change.

Now that doesn't diminish the tardery I have gone through with L'etat Civil and getting my birth certificate. It does make things easier though. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Getting a new Birth Certificate Part Deux.

I won't recap the bureaucratic bull shit I have already gone through trying to get a copy of my birth certificate. But the saga does continue.

I got a phone call from L'etat Civil today saying that they need yet another piece of information. A piece of information they DIDN'T ask for on their website or in the forms they finally sent me a couple of weeks ago. Now they need a copy of a bill, tax statement, or my bank statement to show my address. Now, that was supposed to be one of the reasons why I sent these Bureautards a copy of my driver's license ... it has the address and is an official piece of ID.

Then, surprise surprise, I was told that I could FAX the documents to them. What the kimchi?!?!?! One reason the process has taken so long until now is that I was told I could NOT fax the forms in and I am not eligible for using their online forms. That is why I mailed it in ... and why the postal strike delayed sending it in to them. NOW some btard says I could have faxed it in! And they wonder why people hate bureaucrats and dealing with the government.

So, I went to the bank to get a copy of my latest statement to fax. It doesn't look like a bank statement you get in the mail. It looks like something anyone could have whipped up on their computer. The clerk also gave me a cancelled cheque for my savings account. It has all the info needed as well. (My account is now set up so I can just get my e-statement and print it off. When it was set up 12 or so years ago there were no e-statements.)

The information is all faxed off to L'etat Civil and I have to wait again. Will I actually get my birth certificate? Will it come in a week? A month? Or will I get a call form them tomorrow asking for new information? Or a letter in a few weeks saying they need yet something else.

I actually find myself missing Korean Immigration or the Korean Pension people. They could teach our Bureautards how to run an office. Never thought I would ever say that.

Once I actually get the certificate I then get to deal with the Passport people. I am not looking forward to that because I just expect more bureaucratic bull shit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


When I first got home from Korea I had trouble just walking around the block. Hell, I would sweat while sitting down. My time in Korea, and my own stupidity, had taken a toll on my physical health. It would be nice to blame it all on someone else, and that does seem to be the Western way, but I refuse to lie to myself. Most of the blame was on me with the next largest portion going to environmental factors.

I had to start building my health back slowly. So, I started walking around the block and as that became more doable I would extend the length of my walk. Then the number of times a day I walked. Until I was walking 3-4 times a day at least 1-2km a walk. Sometimes more. Sometimes less, but rarely. Over time the walks became part of my daily routine and if I missed one my day didn't feel right.

It wasn't just the walking that helped, I also changed my eating habits. I started that change while in Korea and worked on it harder when I got home. At the time I would have said I made no changes until I got home. Looking back I started making changes to my eating habits 6 months or more before coming home. Cutting back on my portion sizes. Making sure I ate a breakfast even if it was just toast so I would be too hungry later in the day and gorge. All in all I cut back what I eat by well over half, maybe even by 2/3.

Part of my eating problem was boredom. Over the years I equated boredom to being hungry. Often I would find myself eating without even realizing I had gotten something from the fridge. It was as if it was some automatic response to boredom. Or depression. It would lead to a vicious cycle that was hard to break. I would be bored and eat. Then that would make me feel depressed so I would eat.

There is a lot more to staying healthy, not just losing the weight, than exercise. It is a way of thinking and seeing life. People who nag or rag on overweight people are doing more damage than good. All it does is destroy their self-esteem and give them a reason to eat, depression. You can't force someone to want to be healthy. It has to be a conscious decision on their part. A lot of people, and I was one, will mouth the platitudes and seem to be trying but they are just going through the motions to shut up the naggers and haters. In the end they don't even help themselves. Sure there are some who will turn that negative attention around and use it as an impetus to get healthy. But they are the exception and not the norm.

Me, I just flat out didn't give a shit. Psycho babble aside, I didn't care and nothing anyone said would make me. It had to be a choice I made to change my life. Luckily, I came to that decision before it was too late. If I hadn't I would probably have died in the next few years.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Weekend

After all the rain we had it ended up being a beautiful weekend. It was next to impossible to stay inside. Now I am getting ready for one of my brothers and his wife to visit.

I love my brother but he is high maintenance. He like to push peoples buttons and does things just to get a reaction. I can usually ignore him, which drives him crazy. He is damn loud too. But we always have a good time when he visits.

This time his wife is coming. She is SUPER high maintenance and louder than him with a shrill voice. He will do things to annoy her and get her going. I am not looking forward to that. Yes, there is other family in town, but he always ends up spending most of his time at our mother's and/or with me. Which I don't mind ... but both of them? I already have a headache anticipating things.

Of course this means I will get to play tourist and take them around. I should have some pics of Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg to post.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


One of the nicer ways I while away my time is playing a game simply called Dice with my brother and friends. I heard about dice a lot over the years but it wasn't until the last few years that I actually played it. It isn't a cerebral game but it is a great way to spend time with friends.


5 Six-sided dice, paper and pen for scoring, friends to play with.


The first person to 10,000 points exactly wins.

You need to score 1000+ in order to start posting points.

You can roll the dice as long as you score points. For example, if you roll a 1, 2 2's, and 2 3's you can roll the 4 non-scoring dice. As long as you have scored your initial 1000 you can take any dice total. If you only roll a 5 and the rest non-scoring then you can take the 50 points and not roll again. Most players keep rolling until they score at least 300 points unless they have a plan.

(Among my group of Dice players taking 200 or 250 points is called doing a "Seymour". He always claims to have a plan. )

Trash talking makes the game more fun.


A 1 is worth 100 points.
A 5 is worth 50 points.

Runs of 3 1's equals 1000, 4 1's equals 2000, 5 1's equals 3000
Runs of 3 2's equals 200, 4 2's equals 400, 5 2's equals 600
Runs of 3 3's equals 300, 4 3's equals 600, 5 3's equals 900
Runs of 3 4's equals 400, 4 4's equals 800, 5 4's equals 1200
Runs of 3 5's equals 500, 4 5's equals 1000, 5 5's equals 1500
Runs of 3 6's equals 600, 4 6's equals 1200, 6 6's equals 1800

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shit Kids Say ... when telling you something is bad.

My sister and her then 3.5-4 year old son were in a line up at a store.

Nephew: Mom, fuck is a bad word isn't it?
Sister a little shocked: Ummm ... yes it is. You shouldn't say that word.
Nephew. Oh I didn't say fuck mom. Billy said fuck yesterday. He shouldn't have said it right?
Sister: That's right. And you shouldn't say it either.
Nephew: Oh I didn't say fuck mom! Billy did. I wouldn't say fuck!

People around started chuckling as my sister was getting red in the face with embarrassment.

Sister: Ok, just don't say it.
Nephew: Yes mom. I won't say it.
Sister: Good boy.
Nephew: Billy's parents should tell him that saying fuck is bad.
Sister embarrassed and trying not to laugh: Yes they should.
Nephew: Fuck is bad.
Sister: Yes, now stop saying it.
Nephew: But Mom I didn't say fuck. Billy did.
Sister: Ok, stop talking about it now. Billy was bad and
Nephew: fuck is bad too.
Sister: Yes.

At that point my sister didn't think she could continue without either breaking out laughing or dying from embarrassment. Everything my Nephew said was in a very serious voice. Luckily he found something at the checkout to distract him and their conversation ended. The cashier and people around had a good chuckle over it.

She still chuckles about that from time to time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lesson Learned

Damn ... I surprised myself today. It turns out I learned a lesson but didn't realize it until this evening.

The weather is pretty pissy today so I didn't go for my usual walk in the morning. Usually I have breakfast between 7-8 and by 11 I am starting to get hungry. Today I wasn't hungry at breakfast time so I just had 2 pieces of toast. By noon ... I was hungry but not ravenous. It was just a normal hunger. I had a regular lunch.

Come 5Pm and I am still not all that hungry. Which is surprising, I am usually ready for supper come 5. Just based on instinct because it was always our supper time growing up it is time to eat. Not today. I was just starting to feel hungry.

Come 5:30 I figure I should get something. I decide to treat mom to Subway. I picked up 2 6in flat breads. When I got home it hit ... I hadn't walked today. I hadn't burned the calories I normally burned. So I wasn't hungry. I have finally learned to listen to my body when deciding what to eat and when.

I guess I had learned the lesson subconsciously but never actually realized it. In some ways I have gone down a long road in a relatively short amount of time. Decades of not listening to my body and in 14 months I finally learned to do it. Now to just keep it up.

Shit Morons Say ... when looting.

I was watching the morning news for a change when I saw a story about the rioting going on in Britain. One guy decided to take his video camera out onto the streets and document what was going on. He also talked with some of the rioters.

The clip the news showed was him talking to a looter/rioter. He asked her why she was doing this and her reply was;

"I am getting my taxes back."

Seriously? What a fucking moron. Too bad he didn't get pictures of her face, if he did they never showed them on the news. She is in dire need of a boot to the head.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Holy Rainfall Batman!

It rained for well over 17 hours straight here. The rain started around noon yesterday and didn't end until after 5 AM this morning. From the start until after midnight it was coming down heavily. This summer has been strange for the amount of rain we have received. It actually reminds me of rainy season in Korea more than Summer in Nova Scotia. The forecast for the rest of the week is for rain. (As much as weather forecasts can be believed.)

While we have't had major flooding there have been problems. The main problem being water build up on the roads and people driving to fast for the conditions going hydroplaning. There was a nasty accident near us caused by someone hydroplaning.

I broke down yesterday afternoon and went for a walk in the rain. The rain was coming down so hard that it was bouncing up under the umbrella. It is kind of funny though that I, who have said in the past people who went jogging in the rain were insane, felt compelled to walk in it. Mind you, I did use an umbrella and the joggers that make me shake my head are the ones that just go out in shorts and a t-shirt. Still, a strange change. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

EA Sports NHL 2004

As you know, I love hockey. I love playing hockey computer games too. When I had my PS2 the only thing I really played on it was hockey. EA Sports makes a great game but they don't make it for the PC anymore. :(

I play EHM Hockey Manager 2007. It is a great game. The detail is fantastic, especially when you use the mod fans have made for it to keep it up to date. The Blue Line is a GREAT fan site. They have some very dedicated people there who keep the game alive and vibrant.

Sometimes EHM can be a little too detailed and you want a game where you can just go in and sim being a player too. I bought NHL 2004 back in '05. I have owned other versions (older and newer) until EA Sports stopped making it for the PC. Something always made me come back to NHL 2004.

After battling a bout of boredom that was so intense it had me troll baiting for a diversion I decided to reload NHL 2004. Knowing there are mods out there I surfed the web and found a fantastic site where they have basically created a mod that remakes the game. Thanks to them I am not bored any more AND I am getting my off season hockey fix.


I haven't been around much the last couple of days because of my birthday. The day before it one of my brothers surprised me with a little party and the festivities didn't end until today. Although they may continue tonight.

Ok, some may rightly say I haven't been around much anyway because I spent too much time playing with the troll. I see you wagging that finger at me Stig. But I digress.

I have always enjoyed my birthday and that seems to make me strange. Most people I know don't like their birthday once they become adults. It is a reminder they are another year older. Most of my sisters miraculously stopped aging when they hit 39. Every year after that is their 39th birthday.

For me it is a reason to have fun. Or have more fun than I would normally have. It is MY day and I am egotistical enough that I like that idea. :) What can I say, I love a good party.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Getting a new Birth Certificate.

I can't find my birth certificate and need it to renew my passport. Getting a replacement should be a simple thing to do, right?

It was actually a very simple thing to do when I lived in South Korea. All I had to do was fill out the form I got online, photo copy my driver's license, and fax it to the government office in Quebec. Easy Peasy. So easy one would think that there would be no problems actually getting it done in Canada. You would be wrong.

I printed off the form from the L'etat Civil website but couldn't find a fax number. So, I called their offices to be told that you can't fax the form in. All you can do is mail it or fill it out online. Ok, filling it out online is easier than faxing it.

Nope. Since I don't actually live in Quebec or have a tax form receipt for the Province I can't actually register to send in the form via email.

So, 2-3 weeks ago, I mailed the form in. Yesterday I got a letter from the department and it didn't contain my birth certificate. It turns out the form I printed from their site was out of date. I have to fill out a new one, and mail it in, in order to get my birth certificate.

What is the difference in forms? The cost. The price has gone UP from $15 to $38 for a birth certificate. Ah the government, finding new ways to fuck around with you and take your money.

Now I have gotten everything together and have to send it in again. Good thing I don't actually need my passport in the near future. God damn I hate dealing with the government.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What the ... change in attitude?!?!?!

It is strange now, if I don't have my walk first thing in the morning I feel out of sorts. My day doesn't feel right. I feel out of sorts. If you had told me a year ago that I would feel this way, and actually be looking forward to walking, I would have said you were an idiot.

Now, thanks to Ruger (miss you so much buddy), it is part of my daily routine. If I don't walk at least once a day it just feels wrong. Making it part of my routine is what changed my attitude towards walking.