Seven of Spades

I was out on my morning walk today and I stumbled across a playing card, face down, on the sidewalk in front of me. The card was one of those cheap decks of waxed paper, all curled and worn from rain and who knows how many feet. The back is printed in reflex blue ink, a simple pattern of crowns with a small shield that contains a roaring lion. Minor scroll work.

The card seemed to draw me too it, so I picked it up, and flipped it over.
The card is the Seven of Spades.
In fortune telling the Seven of Spades represents: ‘Advice that is best not taken; loss. There is some obstacle to success, and this indicates the obstacle may be coming from within the seeker. May also represent surprise: stealth in dealings, betrayal by someone you trust. Minor theft.’
I found the card on the ground, at an odd angle too me. Because of that I am choosing not to view it as an inverted sign.
What was I thinking about as I was walking: what to do with my employment life, friends who I’m ticked off at, friends who I am worried about, my wife and our collective health issues.
I have decided to incorporate the card into a drawing or painting.

It’s animal, living in a human zoo…

So, I have a dirty secret.

I am a fan of AC/DC, and I have been since I was 12 years old. I know, it is horrible, but I can sing along to just about every AC/DC song. I though that tonight would be a good time to share my all-time-favourite AC/DC song.
I’ve been in love with this song since I saw Joe banging out the drum line in Empire Records. Every time I hear it I feel like dancing like Lucas, though there is no way I am ever going to be that skinny or look that good in a black long-sleeve cotton shirt.
My fascination with AC/DC goes back a long way, when I was a teen my friends and I would blare AC/DC all the time. My mom would let us play it in the car when she’d drive my friends and I between trailer parks and malls. It is this total red-neck-lower-income-bracket-hold-over-thing for me. I love it. I embrace it. And now you can too.

My Super First Day ( #mysuperfirstday )

A Pain in the Choas

Most people just do not understand what it is like to have someone else give you your super power. I had no choice in the matter, I made a simple slip of the tongue, a small typo on my blog and before I knew it I had the full power of the Choas. I am told the Choas has the diversity of ‘The Force’ and the destructive power of the ‘Kamayamaya.’ I thought it was a simple typo, but I guess it has imbued me with untold powers that I have yet to fully discover.
It was an early spring day in Calgary, Alberta when the Choas was forced upon me. I was in the process of hunting down contract work, and was shaking my network of gamer, geek and artist friends to drum up something to help pay the bills. It was then that ‘The Jessica’ pointed out a short-coming on a blog post I had made nearly a year ago. A typo. A simple slip of the fingers that transformed C-H-A-O-S into C-H-O-A-S. A small, minor issue I thought at the time. Just go back and change the title of the blog post, and fix any spelling errors in the copy. No big. No worries… until HE discovered it. Known only to me as ‘The Fernandes’ he came at me over my Skype chats like an old testament prophet. No amount of banning could prevent his messages. He followed me through user name changes, across the gulf of chat applications to MSN and iChat. There was no escaping ‘The Fernandes’ or his prophetic ranting and raving.
It is he that forced the power of the Choas upon me, it is he who turned my life from that of a simple sub-urban technophile into that of a super-powered being of unknown abilities… Do you have any idea with it is like to make a pot of coffee with the power of the Choas? The first time I tried my coffee maker exploded, sending coffee grounds and scalding water all over the kitchen. Clean-up was no simple matter, I turned to grab a mop and the back door to my house changed into A Flock of Seagulls, Mike and Ali Score right there in the space between my house and the back yard, and both of them wanting something to eat and asking if I had any extra hair gel. My whole first day with the Choas was like this, a never ending nightmare of Lokian proportions.
I would go to cut a slice of bread, and my knife would turn into a chainsaw. I’d sit on the couch and a dozen mice would run out and start doing the Can-Can at my feet. I’d go for a walk and behind me in, my footprints, would appear all manner of things: lost car keys, small children, apples, oranges, a potted bonsai tree. In the time it took me to walk to the convenience store and back I got 5 tickets for littering, and 2 for having pets off-leash! On the up side I had enough houseplants to redecorate my living room, but what good is that when the mice are starting to build a miniature replica of the Globe Theatre out of your wood laminate flooring?
That first day was a nightmare.
And then, like nothing had happened, it all vanished. The weird things stopped happening around me, the mice abandoned their attempts to rebuild Victorian London, and my life returned to some semblance of normalcy. I know not when or if the Choas will return, I hope that it won’t… but I dread that it will. So a word of warning to all you authors out there, professional and amateur alike, be wary of your typos lest you find yourself facing ‘The Fernandes’ and the Choas.

Tell us about your Super First Day!

Animal Farm

So I finally read Animal Farm, unlike a lot of other school programs my public schooling did not include this Orwell classic. I bought it at a used book store on Wednesday after going out for sushi with people at Chaordix/Cambrian House. It is smaller then I expected, I’ve gotten used to the monolithic sized books that are common place these days, and a 115 page book seems so small. There are chapters in a Robert Jordan book that long. There is much to be said for a shorter book, about being succinct and to-the-point.

Unlike 1984 I did not come a way with such a bleak feeling, just a sort of ironic sense of the inevitable. Clearly I am most like Benjamin, so let it be written, I am an ass. Animal Farm was neat, I can see why it is such an important book for grade school classrooms. It points people to think about the world around them, though it does seem to have a certain defeatism to it. A notion that people will always end up in the same sort of bondage that they have always existed in, just under a different guise.

It certainly was a fitting book to read in these economic and political times, where we are bombarded with the ceaseless failures of the multinational corporations, and the steady shortfalls of open-ended capitalism and globalization. An age where our leadership hands out money like water to people who have shown they are not worthy of our trust. An age, in Canada at least, where our political leaders are incredibly weak and petty. One can see why Orwell’s vision of dictatorships and despotism as an inevitability rings true.

I do know that Orwell intended this as a commentary on Communism, particularly the brands of Leninism and Stalinism that ruled in his day. But one can certainly begin to see the parallels with certain events in contemporary Democracy…

Anyhow, neat book, I’ll have to read it again…

Music right now: Sinnerman – Felix da Housecat’s Heavenly House Remix. Oh sinnerman, where you gonna run too?

MetaRasa Personality Radar

And that folks is my MetaRasa Personality Radar. I am an INFJ / INFP which basically means I am an introverted intuitive / introverted feeler. Makes sense to me!

And this my friends is Katy Perry at about 140bpm. Everything sounds better when it’s happy hardcore, even Katy Perry.

What do they have in common? Today I spent some time on the phone with Patrick Lor today about a job that I applied for at Fotolia. We had a great discussion about what they are looking for ( Superstars with passion about what they do ) and how right now I seem to be… waffly. I’m not coming across as passionate about design and art, or project management, or startups, or myself. I think Pat is right, it is a good observation. What I am coming across as is really fucking desperate to get a job because I am, and that isn’t what he needs right now.

Somewhere along the way, since moving from Calgary to Vancover and back to Calgary I seem to have lost that crazy-in-the-eyes spark for all things creative. Or at least I have in my portfolio and resume. I’m still not sure if it is because I have gone all crazy-in-the-eyes for startup companies and cool web applications, or if it I am in a funk, or what. It could be all of the above.

So on Pat’s advice I’m taking some time to think. Doing some personality profiling, and listening to happy-hardcore remixes of terrible pop songs. Trying to find out what I can get behind and do for 40-80 hours a week for the next 3-5 years.

Another base two milestone

I am geek enough to care, I just had my latest base two milestone over twitter. 256 tweets, 8-bits, my favourite. To celebrate I’ve taken a screenshot, and am doing the happy dance at my computer. Feels good to be doing my part to fill the internet with things that only interest me, and will end up causing all sorts of bit-rot for the data miners of the future. To those future intreped explorers of the darkest forgotten datanodes of the internet I salute you! You have found me, at last, the greatest of your treasures!

*cough*

tweet8-bit.png

I can haz bad speeling

So I was sort of bumming around online last night when Jessica Citizen over at Games On Net gave me a ping on AIM asking me if it was intentional that I had spelled ‘chaos’ as ‘choas’ on my website. Now this was news to me, and to make things even better it was a typo in the big splashy cool typography header on the site. Yup, I have been telling the world for months now how bad I am at spelling.

It’s not my fault, honestly. Over the last few years I have been getting faster at reading. As part of that I have started seeing words as shapes, not as a series of letters. So to my eye ( and brain ) the word ‘chaos’ and the word ‘choas’ are virtually identical. Especially in snazzy tracked out sans-serif display fonts. It gets even better, for the last few months I have started having problems where entire words and sentences are getting written backwards.

Yes, that is right, whole words are getting typed in backwards. Their shapes are still close enough to the front-ways words that I can still read them with ease, but everyone else is getting total gack. Particularly troubling are words that are slang and/or audible sounds, like ‘errr’ or ‘hrmmm’. ‘mmmmh’ or ‘rrre’ are getting common.

It makes me wonder if part of the problem is the nearly global spell checking features of the Mac OS. Every where I go if I spell things wrong it lets me know with red squiggly underlines. And when I don’t see those lines, or they appear under words that I know are slang, I ignore them. Sadly Photoshop CS2 is not a spell checking friendly application.

Anyhow, my speeling errhors are fixed. For now.

CC-SA 2.5 Canada

I hate copyright. I loathe it. This site is now under creative commons share attribution share-alike 2.5 Canada. At some point I’ll go on a big ol happy rant on intellectual property and what I think of the current set of drek that makes up the copyright laws on our planet, particularly here in North America. It will be a great rant, I assure you. But for now just know that this site is CC A-SA. Punks.

Also note, I have added Google Analytics to the site, because I have these delusions that tens of thousands of people visit my website to keep track of what I am doing and saying. Yup, I can now track all-a-yall.

geek culture

So the geek-o-sphere is a buzz with the latest attempt to market what is and isn’t a geek, and what is and isn’t geek-chic. Already the arguments rage across twitter and the blag-o-sphere. The big beef seems to center around Ashton Kutcher and Shaq claiming to be of geek persuasion, as well as various comments about Magic and DnD. Apparently this is bad, this whole notion of breaking down the geek stereotype.

And I think that is the real objection that a lot of people are having towards this whole Geek Advancement ( dot com! ) project. It breaks down the a set of stereotypes that are critical to the self definition of a lot of ‘geeks’. Placing people of high blankness in positions of cool, geek, chic, hot, and athlete all at the same time certainly denigrates the social tribe that is geekdom. But in a way what I find interesting is that this is exactly what geek culture is about. Geeks, like any of the artificial tribes that populate our connected-disconnected world, have various tiers of authority and worth. Wil Wheaton says the people over at Geek Advancement ( dot com! ) missed the point, that they should have been focusing less on the ‘Cool Kids’ and more on the gods of geekdom. But who honestly wants something like that, which speaks only to the ‘in tribe’ members of the geek world?

Not even geeks, if you ask me. For what else is more ‘geek’ than being argumentative and engaging in debate? It is what we -DO-, it is how we -LIVE-. Be it arguing with our DM over applicable uses of the Cantrip spell or griping about how Blizzard nerfed some-class-or-another, geeks live to gripe. And then gripe about the gripers. Ad infinitum. What sort of value would there be in having the gods and heroes of geekdom droning on about things that most geeks don’t get? It is of value only to the ‘in’ members of the tribe, those outside the phyle are left confused.

I am sure what we are seeing is the early stages of the geek tribe fragmenting much like the Goth tribe did, blasting itself into groups like Glitter Geeks, Mama Geeks, L33T G33K5, Art Geeks, etc. Quite frankly being a ‘Geek’ is a spectrum ranging from moderate to hard core, and sure, maybe Ashton Kutcher is pretty low on the geek-o-meter, but he probably has a bit of geek in him. Maybe not.

beets beets the magical food…

So last night I was out of ideas for supper, and all that was left in the fridge were some beets and mushrooms. So I made a meal of warm oven roasted beat and beat greens salad with almonds and pecans, served with a mushroom and roasted garlic alfredo pasta. It sounds pretty fancy does it not? But the fancy does not stop at the dinner table, oh no.

This is a bit gross, but within 2 hours my… more fluid based bodily waste was the colour of butternut squash. It was like I was peeing Halloween. The real horror did not come until this morning, when I caught a glimpse of the more solid of my bodily wastes.

Ever spill some magenta printer ink?

Yeah.

That colour should not come from the human body. Apparently I can’t process the colours in beets very well. So beets are now the magical food, when you eat em you get purple poos.