Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween people!

This year I actually had fun with my costume and pumpkin. As halloween pre-weekend approached I almost chickened out of my costume - a skunk. But in the end I dressed up (twice) in a not very convincing but fun skunk costume. It was the first that I painted over my entire head for halloween; it's a lot of fun to go out into the city wearing bizarre skin and a tail. It was an appropriate level of fun & scary; not like last year where my costume was so convincingly scary that I became scared of myself.

For the annual pumpkin carving festivities I was struck by an idea a few days in advance and did carve a genuinely scary pumpkin. Lesson learned; when the pumpkin starts to fight back then really, it's done.


Restoring Balance

Thursday and Friday saw my first two yoga classes at Semperviva. It was a constructive way to end what began as a destructive week. With a mix of saying hello again to an old friend, spending time or at least talking with everyone in my close family, and spending time with some friends I've not spent time with lately, it was a fine way to begin to restore balance.

Special mention goes to Lucas; he graduated from VCC's LPN (licensed practical nursing) program and got his license in the mail this week. You're my hero bro!


Welcome to Ottawa

Welcome to Ottawa
Originally uploaded by slightly-less-random.
Once arriving in Ottawa, a few things stood out right away. One is that they have a network of roads that are dedicated to buses. Kind of neat. Another is that I can only eavesdrop on 1/2 of the conversations; many people speak French. After unpacking in my hostel I went to the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. While there I spoke with Alexandre Mattar, a phtographer who gave me the address of Paper Bag Junkies, a clothing store where he was showing his artwork. I did go to the store at one point and I quite liked his work.

Away from town; towards new unknowns. (Toronto to Ottawa)

Travelling by train from Toronto to Ottawa was a great way to go, very comfortable and speedy. Along the way there were many small towns, farms and forests - and one CANDU nuclear reactor! This trip was taken on Sept 2.

While in the line up at the train station, I was chatting with a CTV journalist who was slightly dissappointed that I went to Niagara falls but not to the Niagara vineyards. She was from Montreal and said she came to Toronto in the 70's with many other angophones.


"We want to put a smile on your face and a chocolate bar in your pocket!"

The other day I got on a bus, a #2 at around 6pm, heading from downtown to kits. Same as any other bus. I sat down and the driver pulled away. As we headed over the Burrard St. bridge, the driver introduced himself over the PA and announced that we were part of a program by Coast Mountain Bus Company to have more fun on the bus.

This particular driver, John, was good at getting us all pretty excited about having more fun on the bus. He was going to ask a trivia question, and we would yell out an answer. After a few answers he would tell us which was right and we could walk up to the front of the bus and get a chocolate bar! Something about the driver put most people at ease and the peer pressure kind of dissolved. It helped that as he was describing what he was going to do, we started looking around and smiling at each other. After a round of clapping he got started.

First question, how many volts does an electric eel zap with? The driver said higher or lower as people yelled out numbers and a woman sitting at the back with a friend was the first to get the right answer, and the first chocolate bar. 650V apparently, although wikipedia says 500 - but trifles really, since both could kill you. The driver asked her to say her name and what she does over the PA.

Second question, which company has the largest advertising network in the world? Microsoft, Nike, Coca-Cola were all yelled out - the winner being an "office manager" with Coca-Cola. Third question was which toy company is the biggest? Nobody got the right answer - "No chocolate for you!" says John. And finally, how do you write 400 in roman numerals? I yelled out CD - which won me a trip to the front to tell everyone I'm a programmer and make my choice of chocolate.

The bus pulled into my stop and everyone was pretty cheery, it sure worked to put a smile on my face! This happens every day, same bus and same driver - Bus #2, run #58, driver John. Great idea CMB!


Yes, they're desperate.

Hi Name,

Thank you for writing me. Normally I only work for employers who know how to spell my name and use complete sentences. While I do not expect you to be a superb writer, I do expect that if you are interested in hiring me you would take the time to use full words. At the very least form a template with said words. Currently I am employed and not looking for work, thank you for your interest.


On Tuesday 03 October 2006 08:19, you wrote:
> Hi Benjiman,
> Please let me know if you are interested in the following req:
> 1. Strong J2EE background
> 2. Implementation experience in atleast 1 IDM product ( any IDM product )
> 3. Candidate should be open to learn BMC IDM product and deliver the same in the project
> Pls expedite