Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mungo said bah.

6 years ago Mungo made a blog - before they were called blogs. Lots of folks visited it from around the continent.

Here are two entries I just found on my computer - so glad I keep archived materials!

Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Welcome back folks. I made it to John's cottage after days of strife and infighting, internecine warfare and crankiness. Agnes, Blair and I drove up to Rosseau and stocked up along with way with fireworks and gin and suds and food and such stuff as that. We all sat at the marina, the first to arrive, and prepared ourselves. The ride out to the island was quick and painless. And then we awaited the others' arrival. The island was beautiful at that point and it all started off quite wonderfully.

Most would say that the next few days were quick and painless. I had a great time. Aimee noted that I was distraught at one point. I suppose I had been unaware. But I was also incredibly high for a time, off life and such stuff as that. Something has altered. There were twelve of us. Agnes, Aimee, Angela, Elizabeth, Sarah, Simon, John, Phil, Craig, Dan, Nick and Blair. Thirteen: Bertie the cat. I'm not counting the salamander John touched the evening we all stumbled and boated to the cave with a fire, or the chipmunks Phil conversed with for a rather long time. There were photos and roof-hoppers, the floating dock turned adventure raft for too many of us. I sat in and fell out of a canoe. Agnes sketched trees in the wood, and hunkered down in the hammock. Some of us read, some wrote, some wrote poems, some wrote notes. Four of us fell into the lake this weekend. That's a record, I think. There was a graveyard, and lilacs, couples and singles and shingles in the very cool night watching the stars and a shooting star that I missed. We collaborated on a drawing of a creature, section by unseen section. It worked out wonderfully. Nick had his lap-top, don't ask me why (he played computer games on it for a long, long time - his parents kept him in a cellar room for his first 8 years), and Elizabeth, exhortations that happy-happy-happy flow out of me. Angela was with her friend Craig, whose brother it turned out went to California and Colorado with me when I was 14 and a ward of Appelby College, John Aimers [allegedly - added Feb 2006] almost throttled him in class . Good god I made it out of there alive. Aimee was my minister, my confessor, and Phil was singularly hilarious. John may actually have injured himself laughing at two points that I know of. Occham's Razor became a song. Sarah quoted Dante and hammocked galore. Dan seemed to be wet a lot, and then he went for the chain-saw. Blair was very huggy all weekend. I left him on the phone with Matt from Victoria for a while, and John and I poured gin and tonics. I will add more as I remember more and more and have more time to write. It'll all come back to me. There are photos of buttocks galore from the weekend.

The sun and weather was nice for most of the weekend. It rained all Sunday, I think, or was it Monday? Monday night coming back from the dock, coming back from dropping off Agnes and Dan at the marina, I left Sarah in the car to warm up, and returned for the fifth trip to the island that day, in the putt-putt boat. It was dark by then, and the wind had really come up. I was at peace again after a couple days of unease, and smiling a lot. The waves were choppy and in the open part, swaying and nasty. The wind kept hitting the boat, and then suddenly I was almost laying in the boat, hand on the outboard throttle, hand on the boat, wondering if I'd been able to be decent this weekend, whether if-I-drowned-had-I-lived-the-last-bit-well. I was soaked through to the bone, and wondering if I was just being melodramatic. I was really scared that I'd flip over, and drown with my new shoes on. In retrospect I don't think I was being melodramatic. Although the water wasn't freezing, it was dark, choppy, and I was wearing heavy clothes, out in the middle of the lake. It was really awful and exciting all at once. I reflected on how more precious life is to me than ever these days than when I was 21 and more, how it is good that I have been telling people more how much they mean to me. I thought as I drove the boat about how people drown in the movies, and in the news, and how I always think they were weak, or how mad I'd be at friends if they drowned because they didn't try hard enough, because all you have to do is simply not panic, and float like you do in a pool, and just relax, but then I realised it would be so easy to drown that no wonder they drown...

Something has altered. I feel a change. Dunno what it is really, I just feel a bit more real today. And that was just one of 11 experiences this weekend. What would I give to know another...So, onwards goes this week. I'm applying for that business loan next week. I'll have a new system in two weeks I hope, and then onwards and onwards...

Sunday, May 16, 1999

Last weekend was a blast. This past week has been juicy. This weekend was nicely done. Last weekend: Friday afternoon arrived at John's. We went straight to a Roti store just around the corner from his house and ordered two gi-normous rotis. Mine was really hot 'n spicy. That didn't satisfy us, I was searching the menu with panic-stricken eyes, and John just looked sad and depressed, his nose ran, and he didn't even have the spirit to do anything about it. So we ordered another one, and split it. We both felt much better. Certainly, they weren't as amazing as Kori's makes hers, but I'd say that they were almost as good. Oh, John bought, so thanks!

We then drove back to his place, and dropped the Firefly off. We walked to the Beverly Bar (just across from the MuchMusic annoying place) and made it to the third floor where Agnes and Dan and AGO people and other people I sort of recognized were. Dan is taking the web course that John is, and Agnes works at Kodak in the cinematography department. Agnes knows Stephanie Marsh (through Alex Pruden), and when Stephanie paged me that night, Agnes phoned back claiming that she'd recieved Stephanie's page. That set Stephanie and Aimee and everyone else back in Oakville into a big tizzie, and when Agnes would phone them, I'd phone on the next pay phone wondering why they kept paging me. It was a moment of fun, you know. Stephanie gravely suggested that Agnes call Bell Mobility and inform them that someone else (her friend Simon, who you haven't heard of? Oh) had Agnes' pager number too. I arm-wrestled a lot, and could hardly move my arms by the end of the night.

Saturday afternoon we all lazed about the sofas and made earnest plans to go to Angela's Cave-dweller barbeque. We realized that we, between the four of us, had 3.4 Newton/Pounds of will force between us, little more than what is required to put Salsa on three Tostitos. So we called and called and called and finally left a message with our regrets. Agnes and I drove to the video store, rented Romi and Michelle's high school reunion, and Rounders, bought some beer, gave a beer to a homeless guy, bought French cigarettes and party supplies (those vaunted Tostitos) and crawled back. We all set up on the super-sized bed in John's basement. Drank beers, ate food, chocolate, tostitos, popcorn, and that was good.

Sunday morning-afternoon: Drove down somewhere in Toronto. Stopped in at a second hand bookstore. I bought Julian Jaynes' The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind and a book on clinical psychoanalytic applications, mostly about post-Freudian theory, self-psychology, object-relations tasty stuff. I've read most of the latter during the week, and am really excited about it. The former is a big, heavy tome. Dr. Tory Hoff, my history of psychology prof in 3rd year told me to buy it, as I seemed to really dig his lecture on it (his was one of my 4 favourite classes of all time). Well, now I have.

Then the four of us went to a breakfast place, 50's style. I had eggs over easy on a pancake, and sausages and stuff. Dan has his first eggs benedict, John had what I had and Agnes had a piece-meal request and seemed quite happy about it...All in all, that weekend was one of the best I've had this year. Went to Sneaky Dees on Wednesday night with Phil, Aimee, John, Angela and hundreds more invited guests. Enough said.

Went out to dinner with Ray Peacock this past week at Thai Satay, up by the Go Station in Oakville. 9 out of 10, very tasty and fine and delicious, I highly recommend going. Joan's been away in England and Ireland for the past two weeks and just got back last night. Whippoorwhil is in the harbour now, and awaits an upright mast.Worked, went to court, went to appointments, talked with young offenders.
That's all for now. Hope you are all having a good time, and didn't get too hungry reading about all the food I consumed."

Well that was kinda interesting... I knew different folks back then.

Oh yeah.

Even more photographs.

More Nice Photographs.

Nice Photographs.

I've not been posting any photographs - so please see a selection of pictures I've taken.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Just one guy.

Today has been non-stop typing away on my new laptop here at work. I energetically engaged in methodical asset management. I contacted tons of people. I even spoke with an appreciative-sounding GM dealer related to this project. I have worked to my best abilities today - I deserve my paycheque this week.

Went on another [just in case] interview this morning - it went well. Then I had another [just in case] interview on the phone - that Senior Management job. It sounded complicated. But I'd get a discount on my cell phone and hi-speed cable account if I got the job. So that's a good thing. :-

The weekend is almost upon us - 30 minutes to go. In that time I expect to clean up my desk of papers, sticky notes, etc... plan out my day on Monday and go the heck home.

I suppose if I'd wanted a job where I wasn't so stressed out, I'd work as a developer or something. At least I'd be told what to do, and when. I'm sort of balanced between two points right now in my brain: I have done a ton today and feel a great sense of accomplishment - I have done a lot today but I'm possibly missing out some important stuff and the account manager is a crusty bastard and is thinking bad things of me. Hey. I am just one guy doing a day's work. A high-quality day's work I think, but still one guy.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Falling asleep during activities that require active participation."

I am so excited. I'm sitting here watching the ABC World News and a commercial for medication purporting to solve the 'medical condition' called Restless Legs Syndrome (uh, that would be RLS) came on.

Looking it up, I was able to find the Glaxo drug product information sheet (PDF document).
It reads in part:

"Although many of these patients reported somnolence while on REQUIP, some perceived that they had no warning signs such as excessive drowsiness, and believed that they were alert immediately prior to the event.[...]If a patient develops significant daytime sleepiness or episodes of falling asleep during activities that require active participation (e.g., conversations, eating, etc.), REQUIP should ordinarily be discontinued."
That's hilarious. I think this is a bit like large amounts of beers - I recall in university drinking a large amount and in mid-conversation passing out. Imagine other activities you could fall asleep during... It was in Kingston I seem to remember.

I have SRS, Simply Restless Syndrome. It is caused by a series of things on my mind, a large meal sitting heavily in my stomach, the knowledge that I am about to go out to the store to buy Spring some tasty ice-cream (she's feeling under the weather) and that I need to take Monty out for a pee.

A dimishing pile of papers.

Look at my desk. More papers are being removed, torn up and placed in the recycling bin, than are being placed on my desk by Dave the I.T. guy, or as a result of important financial documents being placed there for my signature, or as a result of printed out e-mails which for some reason makes me feel a bit more organized.

Look at my desk. The ubiquitous sticky notes stuck all over my monitor, desk top, and in one case, my arm, have been written down in my log book, de-duplicated and disposed of.

Look at my desk. Only a few papers remain.

Look at my log book. No more duplicates. Everything put forward to this date. Many items crossed out, due to completion, not to de-duplication efforts.

Look at my activity level. Constant, steady, quickened, not-manic, purposeful, adroit, flexible and turnacious. Turnacious is not a word. Please suggest your best dictionary definition for turnacious. Please use this word in a sentence. Please use it in a curse. Please use it in a prayer. Please suggest a novel way to use this word, involving a jump-suit, carnations, a box of mints and a dump-truck.

Look at me. 5:30 and still plugging away here at work.

Just look.

Flurries and blue sky.

I have been engaged in a veritable flurry of activity since my last posting. My door is closed and I have put a sticky-note on it that reads "Asset Management in Process" though this week I have had 2 people come by my office. I don't expect a huge audience.

I have gone to another building, got assets, uploaded them to a network area, and am uploading gigabytes of data to an ftp site and I am updating asset tables and taking voluminous notes and to-dos and cross-checking e-mails with tasks and I have a funny feeling I'll get this thing under way soon.

I like the expression 'to blue-sky'. Let's just blue-sky it for a moment: Imagine that I become the asset-management king here and am hired on full time as a project manager specializing in asset-management. I could get a coffee-cup emblazoned with the term "Asset Management Expert".

I bid thee farewell until my next post. More optimistically-reported progress will be reported at that time within that report.

I dare you to drop by my office today.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

All asset management and no play makes Mungo a frustrated, bothered, depressed, procrasinating boy.

I'm at the point that all I can do is book my calendar solid with 'ASSETS' in the appointment subject line and shut my door and let the phone ring through to voice-mail and get it all done.
Wish me luck and wish me some more.

On a lighter note, I have 3 chicken legs for lunch today. I was going to bring boerwors but I thought "No. I have 3 chicken legs for lunch today."

On a more serious note, Spring and I didn't win the 6/49 big prize. We might have won a smaller prize, must check my tickets.

On a more utilitarian note, I wish I had a personal assistant to do all this asset management crap (AMC).

Wait - I will look at this AMC as an opportunity to learn more, as a chance to succeed, and as a chance to develop valuable AMC experience. Stupid goldarned AMC.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

State of the employment.

I work at an Ad Agency and I am the project manager on a multi-million dollar program. It involves several divisions of this 700 people strong company.

I'm focusing on GM as a client - and the program was initiated in a test metro area of Canada - they figured they'd start with the GTA - to improve the vision of GM in consumer opinion, leading to increased consideration and finally purchase of a GM Vehicle. Hence the name of this program is the 'Toronto Vision Project'. I wish I'd been there at the start - I'd have called it the 'Toronto Vision Program'... there is a difference, people.

I manage a series of cross-divisional projects touching on events, corporate, brand efforts, direct mail and interactive programs.

Most of the time recently I feel like I'm swimming in murky water just deeper than where my toes can touch the sandy bottom and it is dark so I can't see the shore. Since many of the projects are slowing down due to the seasonal aspect of many of these projects, I'm sitting about feeling a bit useless and at the same time overwhelmed with aspects of one big project that I don't feel I have control over. It was so poorly set up that I'm living with the legacy, the detritus of poor project management. Plus being frustrated doesn't lend itself to my feeling like I want to work extra hours to fix this fucker all up. I hate managing the work of suppliers who are paid to manage their own work.

Someone:"Grow up Simon. Accept reality."

Me: "Fine. "

This is the first time this company has hired someone to take on this type of multi-headed (hydra) program and so I am blazing trails. I am concerned that I am blazing trails all around me such that the flame-front will catch all the trees and bush around me on fire and reduce me to a brilliant fiery conflagration of brilliant flame and smoke.

In 5 weeks this contract officially ends and my hope is that they hire me on full time. Because I came into the cycle half-way through execution, I missed out on the beginning of the show and so can't always figure out what the fuck everyone is saying and why they're saying what they're saying.

I want to be in at the start of '06 program planning and be more involved on the interactive/direct mail side of things... 'cuz that's my bread and butter. I want to be told I'm full time. I don't want to have my contract end.

But I've been to 2 interviews in the last week just to make sure. The one last week was pretty good but not great. The one yesterday was great. I hope I get that one, if I don't get converted to full time here. If I get converted to full time here, I'll stay because I can see it improving.

Okay that's everything I want to write right now.

As I finish this post off, my cell phone has rung... a big telco communications company has just set up an interview with me for a 'Senior Management Position'. Sounds intriguing. Oh I'm just not in the mood to think about it.

I'm feeling a little blue.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some very significant thoughts of the day: Granola, God and Fridays.

I had 3 thoughts today that felt significant:

1. God is a symbol we use as a talisman against the fear that we won't be protected against annihilation (not just against the fear of annihilation) - this fear of loss of protection takes some sort of symbolic form substituting for the now-unconscious sense of a protecting guardian entity such as our parents that we integrated/incorporated/introjected/merged as a self-part or self-object as infants. I was so excited to have that thought as I walked Monty this morning that I recorded it in my cell-phone voice records thingy. But it ran out of space.

2. Fridays are so busy at work because since everyone puts stuff off during the week and suddenly realise that if they put it off another day it'll not be done until next week, for some reason it seems better to get things done by end of day Friday because otherwise it won't be until next week that it gets done.

3. If I eat a whole box of granola bars (I keep a bunch in my desk drawer) everyday, then that means I'm eating 800 calories worth of granola bars each day and that if I ate 3 boxes, it would be sort of at the top of my caloric-requirements scale, and that this would not be great because then when someone comments on my getting bigger of late, I would have to say 'I eat a lot of granola' a couple of times, just so that they hear what I'm saying because that's not what you generally expect to hear.

What significant thoughts do you have to share (post a comment).

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Today I had Turkish pizza tonight to celebrate iftar. Currently, Monty is still recovering from his surgery - his stitches came out Friday. Soon, Spring's going to Wisconsin and her ear is ouchy. Now, this song (.mp3) and this song (.mp3)just played on my computer. Earlier today I cleaned the kitchen like there was no tomorrow.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Henry the Pike

Caught a pike and cooked it up with baked beans near Sudbury years and years ago.


Journey Through the Past

When the winter rains
come pourin' down
On that new home of mine,
Will you think of me
and wonder if I'm fine?
Will your restless heart
come back to mine
On a journey thru the past.
Will I still be in your eyes
and on your mind?
Now I'm going back to Canada
On a journey thru the past
And I won't be back
till February comes
I will stay with you
if you'll stay with me,
Said the fiddler to the drum,
And we'll keep good time
on a journey thru the past.
When the winter rains
come pourin' down
On that new home of mine,
Will I still be in your eyes
and on your mind?
Will I still be in your eyes
and on your mind?

Barstool Blues

If I could hold onto just one thought
For long enough to know
Why my mind is moving so fast
And the conversation is slow.
Burn off all the fog
And let the sun
through to the snow
Let me see your face again
Before I have to go.
I have seen you in the movies
And in those magazines at night
I saw you on the barstool when
You held that glass so tight.
And I saw you in my nightmares
But I'll see you in my dreams
And I might live a thousand years
Before I know what that means.
Once there was a friend of mine
Who died a thousand deaths
His life was filled with parasites
And countless idle threats.
He trusted in a woman
And on her he made his bets
Once there was a friend of mine
Who died a thousand deaths.

Along the way

This flower is in the Music Garden where I walk several times a day. I don't always see it but when I do it makes me happy.

Wonder if it sees me.

Graduate School

Screw graduate school - I've just received notice of something WAY better in my e-mail inbox:

"Hows it been going?
I wanted to let you know I finally tried out that Degree program I was telling you about and it really works! I got my degree in less then 2 weeks with No Study Required and 1_0_0_% Verifiable!
I couldn't believe it either when I first heard about it but igave it a shot and, in the passed month my life has changed completely! I have businesses who would of never gave me a chance before, calling me off the hook trying to get me to come work for them. I never knew having a degree could be so easy and life altering. I would of done this years ago!
Anyways i gotta run, here is their phone #
again 1-2.0.6-202-4492 and the degrees they offer:

just leave a brief msg and they will get back to you a.s.a.p.
Let everyone know I'm doing ok and tell the family I said hi.

I'm going to go for my Ph.D. and my MBA. That'll be awesome! The best part is that it is verifiable. Hmm. Anyway, I'll give him the number a call and let y'all know how it works out. Curious? Learn more.


I was going through this week's e-mails just now to make sure I haven't missed any critical communications. As I sipped on coffee. I noticed my pen felt wet. I looked down. Sometime in the last 5 minutes, absolutely engrossed by e-mails about asset management, testing processes and group e-mails about crap I don't care about, I'd spilled my coffee all over my work book and a bit on my newly-cleaned shirt. A Kleenex took care of my shirt - not a spot. Must have been coated with Teflon or newly laundered spray.

I thought about it. This doesn't make me feel too bad, the whole Spill episode I've just described. Other times in my life, well... I'd have felt pretty blue about it all. Aaron Beck would understand. I should write this little test (PDF document) - it is a good one... that'll help me understand and cope with any spilled coffee blues. If you want to score the test - make sure you write it first before reading this... use the instructions on this document in the 'Scoring' section... easy-peasy.

"The BDI-II is intended to assess the severity of depression in psychiatrically diagnosed adults and adolescents 13 years of age and older. It is not meant to serve as an instrument of diagnosis, but rather to identify the presence and severity of symptoms consistent with the criteria of the DSM-IV. The authors warn against the use of this instrument as a sole diagnostic measure, as depressive symptoms may be part of other primary diagnostic disorders. "

Well - I've just done it. I'm not depressed. Pissed off a bit about the coffee stains in my book, though.

What nonsense Simon... what are you writing about?

Thursday, October 13, 2005


This post is about something. If you read between the lines you might get it. I don't get it but maybe somewhere between the lines the point will come out somehow unconsciously or something like that.

My fingers hurt, my eye is watering, I keep yawning. My lunch was too much and it is too cold in here. I have staffing charts to update, a budget to reconcile and invoices to track down because they didn't give me copies. I'm trying to get copies. The supplier made inappropriate jokes on the phone - the other supplier was cogent. The earlier strategy brainstorming meeting bored me silly and I have a project plan sitting in front of me waiting to get task durations and dependencies figured out.

I like the show called My Name is Earl. He has a great list. He's made a list of things he'd done which were bad, which he was going to make up for by doin' goodly. I'd like to do that. My list would be really long - here's a quick 1 minute audit of my conscience. I didn't include the one about stealing scissors because it was from when I worked briefly at Pier One during grade 11 summertime and I hate remembering that time in my life.
  • Took blank work books from the supply closet at in Grade 3. My mum made me put them back. It wasn't my choice. At least it showed I was industrious. At least I wasn't stealing cash. But then I shouldn't be making excuses. After all, this is the LIST.
  • Called a guy a pig-face and he might have heard me when I was 12. He looked piggish. I still feel bad.
  • Broke my house-mate's (in 2nd year) aquarium when trying to do a good deed and clean it. I claimed it wasn't me. That was shitty, even though he was killing his fish with neglect.
etc.. etc...

Do you have a list?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I was reading in my Psychology GRE study guide that a dog phobia is called cyonophobia. I guess a raccoon phobia would be procyonolotorophobia... isn't it amazing how this entry ties in with my last one? AMAZING! WOW!

I wrote my Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in New York at some college a few years ago. I scored in the 97th percentile. That means that of the thousands of wannabe graduate school hopefuls writing that exam around the world that day during that set of hours (they synchronize all the test locations globally so that no-one from Helsinki phones their friend in Singapore to tell them answer to question 347...), only 3% did better than me.

I am so smart, SMRT.

My girlfriend at the time wept in the parking lot because she did poorly. She did. Compared to me and 24% of the other writers... She's now a Ph.D. in Psychology. I didn't go to grad school. It was all about getting my documents together and feeling confident about my abilities to go to grad school. I was not confident. And I sabotaged my efforts to get there - looking back, I shoulda just submitted them. I'd wanted to go to Waterloo. But I didn't go on to do my Masters and Doctorate in addiction research with an old rude lady I met at a cognitive psychology conference in Philadelphia the year before who was an admitted alcoholic. She studied cognitive stuff about alcoholism. Well, I guess that makes sense. She'd understand it all well. I was interested in research around opiate addiction. I find it fascinating.

I thought of that subject of study last night, unable to fall asleep for 30 minutes (normally I'm asleep within a minute). I remembered the term 'anticipatory hyperactivity' and remembered a paper I'd submitted on it in my final year. Now that was fascinating stuff. It's a reaction your body has in unconscious anticipation of some depressant substance or state - which can well explain tolerance development. Normally all around opiate tolerance and addiction. I'm neither tolerant nor addicted to opiates. I did have some opiates administered intravenously when I had a kidney stone a couple of years ago. I babbled.

But last night I attempted to reformulate my whole paper and thesis while staring at the ceiling. I almost had it all summed up and smiled and fell asleep. In the office earlier last night, I reached down to pick up a pen that had rolled off the desk. I got my head stuck under the desk coming up again.

I am so smart, SMRT.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Procyon lotor

Raccoon: Procyon (pro = before + cyon = dog) lotor (washer).

Yesterday I removed the wallpaper from the bathroom wall using a fancy chemical and some water and a lot of elbow grease then I stuck masking tape all around and polyfilla-ed the holes that pitted the walls and today I sanded the polyfilla away and swept up and wiped the walls down with a damp sponge and waited for a while and then I painted the bathroom a creamy colour and I now positively smell like a raccoon who got stuck in a garbage dumpster for a day before figuring out how to climb out on the rotting bags of restaurant waste.

It is Ramadan and I'm only eating a little during the day out of respect for Spring whose stomach can be heard rumbling all the way to Cheektowaga. Or is that my stomach? I'm going to make Shrimp Pasta Procyon Prolotor, the shrimp are thawing in the fridge. The pasta is already cooked. The "Procyon Prolotor" just makes the dish sound fancy and does not mean that the dish in any way contains Procyon Prolotor.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Photo at the Butcher's

at the butcher's in the cooler's cold air
there is a side of beef hanging there

cold wet blood on a slippery floor,
rusted steel rods along a wall by the door
a cold firm greasy weight hanging from a meat hook
a red side of beef approached with a careful look

a butcher surveying a landscape of muscle and creamy white fat,
fascia and the caput of a femur - a songbird to a cat

Thursday, October 6, 2005

On the streetcar.

Not much happened on the streetcar to work this morning. I:

  • saw a guy studying a PMP Exam study guide on the streetcar and asked myself why I'm not studying for the PMP - and then thought I should be wearing a nicer shirt than I am.
  • got annoyed at a man wearing candy-apple red leather shoes shaking his leg nervously on the streetcar. He kept hitting my leg. I was actually way more annoyed that he was wearing those stupid shoes, than his shaking his leg or hitting me.
  • noticed the streetcar driver hadn't shaved and wondered if he worked the nightshift on the streetcar.
  • didn't recognize anyone on the streetcar - whereas normally I recognize at least one regular traveller.
  • wondered why the fairly new looking jacket that a woman was wearing said something about an event taking place in 1981. Because that would put the jacket's date to at least 24 years and it really looked pretty brand new.
  • said 'pardon me' upon exiting to an old chinese lady who replied in Mandarin to me. I wished I'd understood what she said. I hope it was polite.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

...also known by the less familiar name Kentigern.

I've never been a smoker, not really sure why though. My dad smoked when I was influenceable. My friends and girlfriends smoked. We all partied and drank and hung out with nefarious types. I smoked a cigarette in first year university and threw up several times. I say 7 times. There's no-one around to contradict me. Believe it.

Then probably in 1994, I smoked another cigarette with M*. He didn't stop me. We'd been wandering around the neighbourhood feeling a little silly all night. I was silly enough to smoke that cigarette. In one big go. I inhaled and inhaled and inhaled and walked and walked and inhaled. Then threw up 11 distinct, validated (but thankfully not video-taped) times. I still remember how awful I felt. M* came into the room and tried to reassure me that I wouldn't die. I was mad at him because his soothing, yet booming voice caused me to vomit again. I think he still smarts from the accusation. My wife said recently that she'd like to start smoking. "It just seems cool". Cool? Try vomiting 11 times in a row. That's so uncool - people look at you like there's something wrong with you. Cigarettes are an emetic to me.

It seems that my father was intending to call me Mungo as a newborn. That's a Scottish name. The "dear one". I say it's the name of a chimp. I've always said that. Mungo was a saint, "...also known by the less familiar name Kentigern" - what are you kidding me, Mungo is even slightly familiar?...

Conveniently this evening, I've found an endearing way to draw these two elements together. (I'm beginning to notice that these blog entries are more fun when I tie unrelated bits and pieces together, like in Connections) But the good news is that they've helped this chimp quit the habit. Had he vomited explosively many times like I had, he'd never had kept it up.

Explosively. I like that.

Monday, October 3, 2005


I've just used a tool - I spilled Coke a little on my keyboard, so I jumped to my feet, tore a small strip of paper towel from a roll, and inserted it into the gap at the top of the [Esc] key. Coke was absorbed. I repeated this several times until the paper towel fragments came out dry.

Some scientists have just revealed wild gorillas using tools, never seen before in the wild. I think this is just amazing.

Quiz: Name 10 tools that you've used in the last 10 days.

Tuleremia was detected in D.C. recently. It was probably just traces from naturally occuring soil cultures. But I read somewhere once that tuleremia makes rabbits' heads swell up. That would really suck.

That's all. I can't think of any other words that start with the sound of 'Tool'.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

In stitches.

Monty's had his surgery - he was away for a couple of days at the vet's. Here are some photos - his incision, and his demeanor - he's worn out from it all. He is taking antibiotics and pain relief. Poor little guy.