Possibly Crazy

The complex my mother lives in has suffered from bed bug infestations before, so as a matter of course they do some occasional checking of the units for any new signs of bugs. A couple months ago, my mother called me to warn me that they’d found something and treated her unit.

Now apparently it was due to finding just a single spot on her sheets, which isn’t definitive proof of anything, but they did the treatment anyway just as a precaution, since it could have possibly been a sign of bed bugs. Since she’d just travelled to Vancouver recently, she could have possibly picked some up on that trip. It could have possibly been a hotel she stayed at, and since I was on the trip and stayed at the same hotels as well, I could possibly have picked some up and brought them back with me, too.

Now that’s a lot of possiblys, so there’s only a chance I could possibly have bed bugs as well (it’s not even proven that she actually had them to begin with), so I started keeping an eye out for any potential signs of them. And now, about four months after the trip and a couple months of checking the sheets and mattress and some traps, I haven’t seen any definitive signs of them yet, so that’s a pretty good indication that I don’t have them, right?

If only it were that easy to convince the stupid brain…

It’s easy to put the mind into overdrive about possibilities and become paranoid. Oh no, I see a spot on the sheets! …oh, that’s just lint; I tend to wear dark-coloured sleepwear. Oh no, I feel an itch at night! …like I always do in the dry winter climate; I get those itches all day long too, but it’s a lot easier to notice them when you’re lying there trying to blank your mind. Oh no, a tiny little egg-shaped speck! …that crumbles in my fingers because there’s a ton of little bits of random crud everywhere, really. Oh no, spots on my skin! …and I’ve long been prone to random breakouts of acne and rashes, especially again in the winter and when I’ve been eating poorly like I have lately. There’s a ton of ordinary things that make that fear instantly resurface, so it’s never long out of my mind.

And then even when I can recognize all of the above as paranoia, there’s still the lingering thought that, logically, it’s still not proof there aren’t any bugs… They’re sneaky little buggers, I might just not be looking hard enough, the signs could just be hidden away, and how would I even tell if there was an actual bite among the acne, and maybe there’s a secret colony that’s just getting bigger and bigger and… Even getting something like a sniffer dog wouldn’t necessarily help; from what I’ve read there’s still enough of a margin of error to leave lingering doubt of a false negative, and a false positive would be a massive expense and hassle.

There isn’t really any way to prove they aren’t there but for enough time to pass, so the mental war rages on…

Personal Logistics

I recently took a trip with my mother to Vancouver Island, both to take care of some family business out there and to do a bit of sight-seeing. The main challenge of the trip, though, was just getting around; neither my mother nor I drive, and we needed to get to multiple locations around both the island and the mainland, so just how does one get around a place like that without a car? The obvious ways are taxis, buses, rideshare, and good ol’ walking, but it took a bit of planning to make it all work.

When we arrived in Nanaimo, we needed to get to Duncan. There is a bus between them, but it was already later in the day, and I wanted to make sure we got to the hotel before check-in closed, so we just grabbed a taxi. At over $100 this was by far the most expensive option, so I didn’t want to do this too often, but I just wanted to get there ASAP.

My mom’s mobility is a bit limited these days, but fortunately Duncan itself is fairly small, so walking around was perfectly viable for the places that we needed to reach within Duncan. We also needed to get out to a business in Maple Bay though, and that was way too far to walk, but there’s a bus system within Duncan that runs out that way. I never carry exact change anymore, but we could buy tickets from local shops for the bus and use those instead, so that was no problem. We also wanted to visit Chemainus, and the buses even ran all the way up there.

We needed to get to Tofino next, and that was a bit trickier since it’s a good 3-4 hour trip, so the local bus and taxis weren’t an option. Fortunately there are a couple of other bus services that run up and down the island (the Vancouver Island Connector, and Island Link), and we could take those right to and from Tofino. There’s a gotcha, though: they don’t run every day of the week. I had already booked the hotel in Tofino before I realized that there was no bus at all coming back the day we checked out, so I had to scramble to adjust the booking to ensure we’d be leaving on a day where there would actually be a bus. Scheduling these ahead of time is essential just to make sure you can even get a seat; one of my biggest fears was something going wrong with the booking or the buses somehow and being stranded in Tofino with no easy way back.

Tofino is also a pretty small town that’s extremely walkable, with one exception. We were staying close to the ‘downtown’ section, and the beaches are actually pretty far from there. Within walking distance for me, but not for my mom. Normally there would be a free shuttle bus that would be able to take you pretty close to some of them, but our timing was bad: it stops running for the year at the start of September. So, we wound up calling a taxi to get to and from the beach. Turns out that there’s only one taxi in Tofino, just one car operated by one guy, so we got to see him both directions and chatted a bunch about the area.

We also wanted to stop in Vancouver for a bit to see some family, so we took the bus back to Nanaimo and took the ferry over to the mainland. I was initially uncertain how to handle things from there on, since the ferry drops you off at Horseshoe Bay, a ways away from the city proper, but it turned out to be easier than expected. Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Vancouver itself are basically one big integrated transit system, and there were buses going right from Horseshoe Bay all the way downtown, where our hotel was. The only glitch was that I didn’t want to drag our luggage through a transfer onto a second, busier bus for the final leg, so we wound up walking through downtown a bit farther than I’d liked. Dragging two pieces of luggage. Uphill. (I’d forgotten how hilly Vancouver is.) I kind of wish I’d picked a hotel a little bit closer to the ‘main’ bus routes, but I didn’t book as early as I should have so my options were limited.

Getting around Vancouver to see the family was also fairly painless. Again, no exact change, but I was able to use my contactless debit card on any bus, and I bought a pre-loaded ‘Compass card’ for my mom so she just needed to swipe it. Way easier than what we’re trying to roll out in Calgary, where you have to manage and activate virtual ‘tickets’ in a mobile app. Figuring out the routes to take was easy enough through Google Maps, which had a surprising amount of detail about exactly where the buses were. And there wasn’t too much waiting at any point, even though we wound up getting dragged across both West and North Vancouver to chase some of the family down (don’t ask)…

And then on the last day we could simply take the SkyTrain all the way from downtown right out to the airport, where we flew home. So, in the end we only needed to take taxis three times, and managed to bus it the rest of the time. Going into the trip I had a lot of anxiety about successfully navigating all of this, but in the end it was actually a lot easier than expected.

Well, That Was Fun

I had my little heart incident last year and haven’t really talked about it since, but throughout 2022 I did a lot of exercising, started eating better, and gradually felt better. By the end of the year I was pretty much feeling back to normal (aside from the bout of COVID). And then 2023 started…

Soon after the start of 2023 I started getting those weird trembling-but-not-really sensations in my legs again, but not consistently; they’d come and go a lot. Over the last month or two I started being able to feel my pulse a lot more strongly, where I’d be aware of it a lot more than I normally would be and could feel it pounding away at night and against my skin in more places. Plus, it felt more erratic at times, suddenly speeding up and slowing back down again for no apparent reason. Along with that my head felt a little, well, not really dizzy or light-headed, but slightly ‘off-kilter’.

And then yesterday, at work, it all kind of hit me at once, as besides all of the above hitting a strong point, I started feeling some tension in my chest and some occasional twinges of pain in my left arm. That was it, I was somewhat actually scared now, I couldn’t put it off any longer and had to get this checked out now, and headed to the ER.

Once at the ER there was a lot of waiting involved because, well, as great as universal health care is, we still perpetually underfund it, and I had to stand around for about an hour in line just to get to the triage assessment. While in line I was feeling bad enough that I started to wonder what would happen if I just collapsed right there in line, but I got through it and they immediately did an ECG after registering me (they do ECGs for a lot of cases, but suspected cardiac cases get to jump the line on that). More waiting until I got called into the back, where they installed an IV, took some blood work, and then a lot more waiting interrupted by checks on vitals and a couple more blood draws.

Eventually, about seven hours later, I got to see the doctor, who took more information, did a physical check, and then he had to inform me that…my heart is doing fine. Sounded fine, the ECG looked fine, the blood work came back fine (slightly above-normal troponin levels, but nowhere near worrying), my heart is actually in a lot better shape than I’d expected.

So, that was kind of a wasted trip, but it’s also a big relief. I still don’t know what the actual problems I’ve been experiencing are caused by yet; I’ll have to seek a more general diagnosis on that with a regular doctor to see if it’s something besides general Getting Olditis. But it’s not my ticker about to explode, at least.

(The doc was pretty cool and we talked for a while about general fitness and exercise and nutrition and such and he had some good advice without being judgy about it. To the point where I suddenly realized that oh jeez, I’ve been tying up this ER doctor’s valuable time blathering on about the shift between WFH and returning to the office and such and I should probably let him get back to work…)

Hitting The Streets, Again

I need to get back in the habit of walking again. Things like holidays have a good chance of derailing habits like that, as I spend time travelling and not doing them regularly for a while, and then when I get back I have to force myself back into doing it. The last couple of weeks I’ve only been doing it once every other day or so, which isn’t quite enough. Especially since the holiday overindulgences have caught up with me and I’m feeling some of those old symptoms again…

But I also need to step up the intensity a bit, as it felt like I’d kind of plateaued before. So, today I extended the walk out to include the 14th Street bridge as well, which added about 15-17 minutes to the walk, for a total of about 65 minutes and 6.2km. It also adds some steeper climbs onto the bridge; only brief ones, but it helps get the heart rate up early on. The walks are getting long enough that I’m going to have to queue up some longer podcasts or something though, so I feel like I’m still being a bit more productive mentally as well, not just physically.

The new route also takes me along some paths I’ve never taken before, and it’s weird how strange and new they feel when they’re right next to areas I’ve traversed for ages now. It also gets me some under-the-bridge sights I’ve never seen from these perspectives before:

So This Is What A Popsicle Feels Like

Ugh, I know everyone and their dog’s been complaining, but still, it’s too dang cold (-31C right now, with a reported -44C windchill). Not just outside, it’s rather chilly in my apartment too (the thermostat reports 61F/16C, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually lower) since the heat in this old building is kinda…weak. With all of the units having their heat constantly turned on, of course, the boiler just can’t keep up, and if I touch the pipe in the heating register, it’s just lukewarm.

I tried having an element on the stove turned on low for a bit, but although it made the kitchen warmer, it didn’t really seem to have much effect on the rest of the place. And I can’t just leave it on all day or I’ll owe the electric company my firstborn. I should probably get a space heater someday so I can put it where I need it, but still, same problem.

At least the pipes won’t freeze, but I’m still going to be grumpy…

Ho Ho Humbug

Bleh, I dunno why, but I’m just not feeling the holiday spirit this year, and I just kind of wish I could crawl into a hole and wait for the whole thing to blow over. I haven’t even done any holiday shopping yet.

I’ll be visiting my mom for a bit, and I kind of don’t want to? It’s not a problem with her, and it’ll be nice to see her, but I get a bit anxious about being away too long. I also kind of dread being forced to socialize, even with people I like. But I know that’s probably somewhat messed up and I shouldn’t stay isolated too much, and she does miss me and wants to see me more.

Can’t indulge in too many treats either, so I’m passing on the usual eggnog and chocolates.

Oh well, maybe 2023 will be The Year That Finally Doesn’t Suck…

Back to Abnormal

Yay, I finally tested negative for covid today. I still feel a little congested and maybe slightly brain-foggy, but it’s apparently not unusual for it to take a while to fully clear up. Here’s hoping that Long COVID doesn’t become a problem…

By chance, this period largely overlapped with a week-and-a-half of vacation time that I’d booked. So, at least I didn’t have to try and work during it, but I also didn’t really get much of anything done during it. I didn’t even get much gaming done, just opting to collapse into my comfy chair and watch videos and streams most of the day.

I really need to get back to, y’know, actually doing stuff


It’s been 8 days since my symptoms started, and the current AHS guideline is that isolation can end at 5 days after symptoms start, so I was hoping for a little bit more normalcy, to start getting back in the habit of daily walks, etc.

I masked up, bathed in hand sanitizer, and visited the grocery store to finally get some fresh food and also to get a new set of rapid tests, since I’d used my last one on that positive test. Got home, used one of the tests, and…it’s still a strong positive. :< It’s kind of unclear exactly when I should expect tests to start coming back negative, but to be safe I guess I’ll isolate for another 5 days and test again.

I am feeling better, at least. No more fever since last Thursday, just some lingering coughing and congestion, and taste might be returning a bit.


Welp, I caught COVID.

I felt like I was still being careful, staying home most of the time (a stretch for me, I know…), masking indoors, etc., and was basically only going out to do grocery shopping, walks for exercise, and some required in-office work attendance one day per week. But, on Sunday I started feeling terrible in the early evening, figured I’d try a rapid test on the off chance, and there was the line. Partly my fault though, as I’d been diligent about my first three vaccine shots, but then started slacking on getting the bivalent booster.

It’s definitely the sickest I’ve felt in probably 10-15 years. Not necessarily in intensity, but in length, the spells of fever are lasting longer than they usually do; I’m usually over the worst of it within a day or two, but this is day 4 going on 5 now. Mostly just headaches, an occasional cough, sore throat, and congestion, but there’s the occasional curveball. The theme for my first night of trying to sleep while sick was “oh god why can’t I stop peeing”. I haven’t lost my sense of taste, but it’s a lot harder to smell things, but I’m not sure how much of that is from just plain old congestion. (update: welp, fully lost smell and taste a day later)

And today I had something weird happen: I got up to check my fever and put the thermometer in my mouth, felt a mild pit in my stomach suddenly swell up, and started to completely lose my train of thought as the world seemed to become brighter. All I could think to do was stumble into the bedroom and collapse on the bed, where over the next minute or so the brain fog gradually lifted and I started feeling normal again, and finally noticed I still had the thermometer in hand (reading 37.5C). I had to look up the symptoms afterwards, and it turns out that that’s what fainting actually feels like. Huh. First time in my life.

I seem to be feeling better tonight at least, though it wouldn’t be the first time if it turns worse again by tomorrow. I’ll be hunkering down for a little while longer, at least; the current guideline is to isolate for five days from the onset of symptoms, but that seems a bit short? That would be tomorrow and the symptoms haven’t even cleared yet. Oh well, I’ve got canned food for weeks…

Rough Trip

I just got a package from UPS that was a bit of an adventure. They first notified me that “hey, delivery should be today!” last Thursday, but upon checking the tracking, it was still in Anchorage, Alaska. I kept an eye out just in case the tracking was way behind, but nope, didn’t arrive that day. Same notification the next day, though now it was in Louisville. It finally made it into the correct country by the end of the day, but nope, missed that ‘delivery window’ too. So that’s two ‘delivery windows’ that were physically impossible to meet by their own tracking data.

On Monday it got marked as out for delivery! Woohoo! And then soon afterwards went into “waiting for release by a non-UPS broker…” Usually that means customs, but shouldn’t you have cleared that before telling me it was out for delivery? And then a couple hours later it went into “Address is incorrect” status, when it looked perfectly fine to me. It sat there until the end of the day, when it finally went into “Address corrected, will be sent out soon”. They basically changed “1234 Fake St., unit 404” to “404 – 1234 Fake St.” You had to delay it a day because you couldn’t handle the first format? The format that Big Company would have given it to you in? Are you a shipping company or not?

I finally got the package today without further incident, though I was a bit worried since deliveries here are a bit of a crapshoot. There’s no public way into our building, not even to get to the buzzers or intercom, so what do delivery people do? I try and give them a phone number to call to let me know they’re there and I can come get it, but it’s not clear whether a company like UPS would do that or if they even had my number to call, since this was on behalf of another company. They don’t let you add one to the delivery instructions, which couldn’t be changed anyway, even to direct it to a local UPS Store instead, since the shipper locked them in. Fortunately, from my living room I could keep an eye on the arrival of vehicles and give the delivery guy a “Hey, over here!” from the balcony as he was trying to deal with the locked front door. Even though it meant spending all morning running to the window at the slightest hint of noise…(I seem to have logged about 1600 steps doing that, at least.)

Getting a package should not be this much hassle, which is why I preferred delivering to the office when possible, but with working from home…


Dang, that’s a load off.

It’s probably been, oh, four years since I last had a haircut. I was already overdue for one, and then COVID hit, and I’m still not entirely comfortable with close contact. So…today I finally just said screw it, found my shears, and snip-snip.

I’m sure it’s a terrible job, I could not for the life of me get things even, and it’s still long in the back to hide all sorts of sins. But at least it’s now just covering-the-neck-long, and not down-past-my-nipples-long…


Oh, the sun, it burns. But I must let it burn, for I need to get outside and get that daily exercise in, no matter how hot and sweaty I get.

For a while now I’ve been getting back into the habit of taking walks. I used to take them around the edge of SAIT, but then COVID hit and I fell out of the habit. That path around SAIT is blocked by construction now, so instead I’ve been going down along the Bow River, first just down to the Peace Bridge, and then down to Prince’s Island Park, for a total walk of around 4.4km. And I try to do it at least every 2-out-of-3 or 3-out-of-4 days. It was rough going at first since I was so badly out of shape, but it’s been slowly getting easier and I’ve been getting better at controlling my breathing.

I’ve also been trying to get my weight under control again. With these walks, and cutting out nearly all snacks, and trying to buy healthier meal options, I’ve lost about 6kg over the last couple months. Still a long ways to go, but it’s a start.

This renewed strive for healthiness wasn’t entirely unprompted, though. A couple months ago I had what was, well, not an actual heart attack but some kind of mild cardiac episode. I was dumb though, and didn’t seek immediate treatment. It was “only” a feeling of mild discomfort around the heart so it was easy to brush off as “well, it can’t be that serious, I’ll go for help if it gets any worse…” And, honestly, I was kind of too ashamed to seek help. Yup, this blob of a human being hasn’t been taking very good care of himself, of course his arteries are clogged to hell, why should doctors even give a shit if he lets himself get this way…

But it has been a bit of a wakeup call; taking care of my health is now less of an abstract thing that I acknowledge but just floats around in the back of my mind and now more of a “you will get healthier or you will die” imperative. I’ve been feeling mostly back to normal lately, so the biggest danger is that heightened sense of urgency dissipating and falling back into the old habits again. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve tried to make the necessary lifestyle changes, but maybe, hopefully, now it’s serious enough to permanently stick.

Know Yourself As Well As Google Does

Privacy on the Internet has been a big topic lately, and one I’m certainly concerned about, so I figured I’d take advantage of Google’s “Takeout” feature to get an archive containing (supposedly) all of the data related to you that Google keeps on their servers. It took a couple of days for Google to prepare it, but I now have a 380MB zip file containing everything Google knows about me.

A lot of the contents aren’t that surprising, since it’s data that you’d expect Google to have. My gmail messages, my contact list, my map bookmarks, etc. And some stuff that makes sense but I’d forgotten about, like some quick-n-dirty spreadsheets I’d slapped together in Google Docs, or that one +1 I’d given in Google+ before never touching it again.

Where the really surprising stuff is though, is in the activity tracking. This includes:

  • All of the web sites I’d visited where I’d seen a Google Ad, for up to five years back, way longer than my regular browser history.
  • Every time I even just opened an app on my Android tablet, and what that app was, for up to three years back.
  • My GPS location history, which you can also see here. Fortunately this is taken from my tablet, which has barely budged from its charging location in years now, but it would be a lot more invasive if I had an Android phone.
  • Anything I’d even just browsed in the various Google stores (books, apps, movies, etc.)
  • Which specific images I picked to view from an image search.
  • Not just the map locations, but directions to places obtained through Google Maps.
  • Search history going back for five years, longer than I’d expect based on autocomplete history.
  • Oddly enough, it doesn’t include my Youtube history or activity, presumably because my Youtube account is a linked one from back before Google bought Youtube, so it’s still treated separately. They’re certainly still tracking my Youtube data, it’s just not included here.

It’s certainly eye-opening to finally see this kind of data, especially since I’m somewhat of a paranoid, private person who thought he was already being careful, and I’ll have to take another pass through various settings to see what can be tightened up a bit. It’s not like I have anything particularly nefarious to hide, but given a long enough history, somebody could probably spin a sinister-sounding story out of anyone’s data.

This is just one piece of the big picture, too, as there’s also data being collected by Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, etc. It’s a battle between privacy and convenience, though, and all too often, convenience wins.

Facebook Redux

Well, thanks to a combination of the recent crap and other longstanding concerns, I’ve deactivated my Facebook account (again). Just in case anyone’s wondering where I’d disappeared to. I just don’t want to feel complicit in their shenanigans anymore.

I’ve been using Twitter a bit more even though I’m not entirely happy with them either, but I probably need to entirely rethink how I communicate anyway. It’s not like I’ve been particularly active here either…

No Room For My Stuff

I need to do something.

It feels like my life has been stagnant for a long time now, and there’s really nobody to blame but myself. I’ve written here before about what I ought to do, but very little of it has come to pass. I’m nearly middle-aged now, and things seem barely any different than they were 10 years ago.

But where to start? Well, before I can worry about dealing with other people, I have to be happy with myself first. I’m certainly no psychiatrist, but one of the more obvious manifestations of my troubles is the state of my apartment. I admit it, I’m a packrat, and over the course of the years my place has become cluttered and disorganized, filled with empty boxes, parts and books and odds and ends scattered willy-nilly, things going uncleaned and unrepaired, and so on. When you live by yourself, it’s easy to just get used to living that way and letting those things slide, and one day you realize what a mess it’s become but, eh, it’s been like that for years now, what’s the big deal… It leads to a weird state of mind where I’m simultaneously comfortable with and used to it, but also somewhat ashamed of what other people would think of it (I certainly wouldn’t want to bring a date back to it) so I become even more entrenched in my loner-hood.

So, I need to clean this place up, and that means throwing a bunch of this junk out, not just shuffling it around like I usually wind up doing. The main things I need to get rid of are:

  • Big boxes. Should be easy enough, a lot of them are mostly empty and were kept around because there were still a few parts or cables in them or I just never got around to breaking them down before tossing them into a corner.
  • Old parts. I’ve probably got enough spare pieces around to rebuild PCs stretching all the way back to the 486 era, plus a dead TV, way too many old cables, etc. I’ve been kind of reluctant to throw these out not because I’d possibly need them (I occasionally toy with the idea of building old PCs for games that no longer work well on modern Windows, but never have the time anyway), but because they really should be disposed of properly and getting them to a recycling centre is a pain. I might have to look into seeing if I can pay someone to haul it away.
  • Books. I’ve got more books than bookshelves now, and I’m always reluctant to let go of books. Maybe I can at least start with the clearly obsolete technical manuals. I sincerely doubt I’ll suddenly need to refer to a book for Java 1.1 programming information…
  • Old magazines, mail, invoices, etc. I’m really bad at letting paperwork accumulate. I’m paranoid enough to think that I really ought to dispose of it securely, but never get around to actually shredding it, so I open a box from Amazon, take out the receipt, and toss it on top of a desk, where it stays with a pile of others for the next 5 years. Easy enough to take care of, just tedious.
  • Old game boxes. I’ve still got a ton of these, though at least I’m not accumulating many more now that most of my purchases are downloads these days. They’ve still got CDs and manuals inside, but removing them and getting rid of the boxes alone should still save a bunch of space.

That would probably take care of a big chunk of it, at least. Once that’s done, then I’ll be in a better position to evaluate what should be next. Tonight, I got rid of an old box that my original Dell widescreen monitor came in, 9 years ago, and sorted through another box full of game manuals. I don’t really want to throw the manuals out, but I did at least sort out the useless ones like the French versions or manuals for long-obsolete hardware and got rid of those.


A couple of weeks ago, I closed my Facebook account. I haven’t really missed it since.

I wasn’t really using it much anyway, and it was just becoming more of a burden than a benefit. I never posted any status updates; nothing in my life really seems worth injecting into other people’s news streams. Reading other people’s updates was just a depressing inadequacy reminder. The constant stream of ads and game updates and ‘suggestions’ were annoying and nearly impossible to fully disable. The web page behaved poorly in Chrome, often chewing up huge amounts of CPU or crashing the tab. The privacy options were murky at best and what they track increasingly invasive. Perhaps what was the last straw was the update they tried to push to their Android client, that practically takes over the device and tracks what you do on it.

“But you’ll miss out on what all your friends are doing!”

I don’t need it.

Yeah, Facebook is great at efficiently distributing the news of your life to all the people you know, but I’ve been finding it increasingly alienating. Nobody communicates to me, it’s all indirect typing past each other. Telling Facebook about how your day went is not the same thing as telling me how your day went. Comments are not a replacement for conversation. If you want to talk to me, talk to me. If you don’t, that’s fine too, social interaction shouldn’t be forced.

And yeah, it’s a bit hypocritical in that this blog is the same kind of indirect interaction, but I’d like to think that the important differences are that I try to keep it to bigger and/or more niche topics, and stuff I’d rant about to no one in particular, not day-to-day stuff; that your decision to come here and read is voluntary, not obligatory just because you labeled someone a friend; and that I have total control here and am not trying to sell you something or track your reading habits.

Wait, It’s 2011 Already?

The stagnation of my sites kind of reflects the same kind of stagnation in my life; not an awful lot of interest has happened recently, really. There’s nothing terribly wrong in my life, but there’s not enough that’s right. I need to make a to-do list and focus, so in no particular order:

  • Lose Weight
    Yeah, it’s not the first time I’ve said it, and might not be the last, but failing at it doesn’t make the need go away. It’s worse than ever, and it’s undoubtedly tied to a lot of other health and esteem issues.
  • Clean Up The Apartment
    It’s a mess, and I really need to sort through all of my stuff and decide what I really need to keep and what I can throw away. Seriously, I haven’t seen the top of my dining table in months. I have an ISA serial port card in one of these boxes. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen a computer that would actually be useful in.
  • Get Presentable
    I need new glasses, clothes that are at least semi-fashionable, to keep up with haircuts more often… It’s not really a matter of giving up and conforming; my current ‘style’ is more the result of sloth and apathy than anything else. It doesn’t really make me feel any particular way, and I’m not gaining anything from it, but it does sometimes feel like people don’t take me as seriously as I’d like. Gotta get that weight down first though…
  • Get A Car
    Man, I don’t even have a driver’s license. It’s never really felt like I’ve had to get one, but as time goes on it does feel like the lack of one is limiting my options more and more, whether it be in determining where I can live, just getting out to see people, traveling without having to tolerate the alternatives, etc.
  • Develop A New Hobby
    Yeah, I’ve always loved computers and video games, but…I admittedly probably spend a bit too much time on them. It’s kind of depressing when I look at another person and wonder what I might have in common with them and the answer winds up being “well, maybe they have a level 75 paladin…” I’ve always kind of wanted to be able to draw at a level slightly beyond stick figures at least, so I need to crack open that art instruction book a friend got me and put some more time into it.
  • Make More Friends
    Not that there’s anything wrong with you guys, of course (assuming anyone other than Google’s bots actually reads this), but without more local friends there’s just too many nights left alone, no reason to get out of the house, no face-to-face meetings to develop relationships further…
  • Focus On Work More
    It feels like I’ve been slacking off a bit too much at the office. Not taking enough initiative, not keeping up with the current trends and techniques, not coding as robustly as I should… I don’t know if a new job is really the answer as the current one is still pretty good, so…I don’t know yet.

I’m 37 years old. I should have had this crap sorted out ages ago.

Once More Unto The Beach

Okay, it’s not the first time I’ve said this, but I need to get serious about my weight and so I’ve kicked off the status updates in the sidebar again.

It’s not just so that the ladies will swoon over my magnificent abs, but I really need to start being more concerned about my general health. I’ve been feeling terrible lately, it’s only going to get worse if I don’t do anything about it, and I remember how great I felt when I was actually close to a normal weight.

The plan is pretty much the same as before: a reasonable calorie budget (around 1600-1800 per day for now), and more exercise. That means giving up things that had become bad habits like the morning brownie/rice krispie treat, mid-day snacks from the office vending machine, and stopping by the store every day and picking up more food for dinner than I really need. If I have a light breakfast bar in the morning and some simple soup or stew for dinner, that still leaves me enough calories for a decent lunch, so I don’t have to give up all my old habits.

Exercise for now will be limited to walking to work when I can. I hope to eventually get back to small workouts and walks around the neighbourhood again, but that’ll have to wait until…other problems have been fixed.

Aw, I Don’t Get To Go To Court

I received a jury summons a few weeks ago, to be held tomorrow, but I called in today as instructed and was informed that it had been canceled and I was no longer needed. It’s actually kind of a shame; I was a bit curious about the whole process. Maybe I’ll just go sit in on some cases instead.

It was also a bit of a surprise that it had taken this long to get a summons (the first in my life), but I guess we just don’t have enough crime…