UK Week oneish..

I prefer LJ for posting longer stuff, so you might have found your way here from Facebook 'cause I'll probably link it there.

So we arrived in Cardiff this afternoon, and found a decent hotel for the next couple of days. I'm taking a bit of downtime here and I figured I'd do up a post about the trip so far. It might not be as long as I originally figured since the netbook keyboard is irritating to type on. Like I said I'm taking downtime 'cause London gave me the plague and I've had a wicked chest cough and head cold for the last 3-4 days. Wendy is the gogogo type, so she's out exploring Cardiff Bay, the area we're staying in while I lay up and try not to die.

So, just the highlights then...

We were delayed by something like 22 hours leaving Calgary, so we compressed the things we wanted to see in London a bit, we'll pick up the difference on the way back since we extended our trip by a day to compensate for the front end delay. The hotel was 15 minutes from the nearest tube station, so we did a lot of walking around London. We got a chance to see Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St. Pauls, Westminster Abby and area as well as a ride on the Eye. In general I left London with the impression that the whole city was reasonably well kept but very very very well used. Also the Underground was hazier than the streets above, I think this was how I managed to get sick.

Then off to Salisbury where we managed to catch a tour bus to Stonehenge and Old Sarum on the first day, both of which were very cool even if we couldn't get close to Stonehenge. There's a crap ton of pictures of both, I might post some of them later. Second day in Salisbury we rented a car and drove out to Avebury to see the stone circle there. It was quite a bit cooler than Stonehenge since you would walk right into the circle and to the stones. I wish to note here that cheese and chutney sandwiches are horrifically vile.

And now we're in Cardiff for a couple of days for Wendy to check out some of the filming locations for Dr Who and Torchwood.

That's it for now, I'll post more later.

New Year again!?

I don't really believe in New Years resolutions per say, why should one wait for the new year to decide to make changes in their lives? Sure it's an obvious change in time, but why not 12 new month resolutions?(EDIT: Actually maybe this isn't such a bad idea.) Either way... on with the post.

It's the second day of the new year, and what's changed since last year? I went back and read over the post I made around this time last year and I'm forced to conclude that I wasn't particularly successful in my goals.

Less procrastination.. I think I've had some success in this area at least. Still needs some work IMO, but we'll keep at it.

Getting in shape? Fail. Tried to get into some routine, but didn't really work out(HA!). More focus is required here, resolution or not. Wendy's in better shape than I am.. this won't do. 8)

CCNA? Didn't happen. Isn't required for my job any more, but still.. epic fail.

Literary projects? Super Epic fail. Lots of thought, but no action.

Other things that have occurred to me recently.. I have no real hobbies. WoW doesn't count. I sit in front of a computer for 10ish hours a day at work, come home and sit in front of another one for a while longer. Might have to start calling the computer the idiot box instead of the TV. I think I need to get away from this thing more, outside maybe, more time with friends even, find a hobby or something.

The point of all this rambling.. maybe none. Maybe it's just something I can look back on in a year and see how far I've come, if I've moved at all.

T'was the night before Christmas, the CAF edit.

This was posted on a webgame I play, and it struck me as something that needed sharing.

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a Canadian soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

Soon 'round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
my life is my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.

So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With a Canadian flag and an Army patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was Canadian Army deep inside.
I didn't want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
"Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

Chuckle of the day.

Or perhaps a QOTD. Cribbed from a Guardian interview with Neil Gaiman.

What piece of technology would you most like to own?
Something that updates my Twitter feed onto the front of a T-shirt, I think. Do they make that yet?

The whole article can be found here.


So cpip posted another interesting meme, and I took the bait.

1) Comment here, and I'll list five things I associate with you.
2) Post this header in your own journal, and elaborate on the five things I mention.

Rest behind the cut.
Collapse )

Of Mandalas and Monks...

Wendy and I headed down to the Glenbow Museum this morning to check out a bunch of Tibetan Monks that were creating a healing Mandala made of sand. It was very cool, these guys are from a temple originally from Tibet, but was destroyed in the 1940s and reconstituted in 1979 in India.

We took some pics, check them out here.

I wish I had a better zoom lens for the camera so I could have gotten some nicer close up shots of the Mandala itself.

Kindle 2.0

I just discovered Amazon's Kindle 2.0. I want one. They come out on Feb 24th, but are not available in Canada. Boo. In fact I can't find any indication that they will ever be for sale in Canada. Bastards.


So it occurred to me on the way home from work this morning that perhaps I should post updates to that beginning of the year entry I made. Since I made it about a month ago, it seems appropriate to do that update now.

Procrastination... well.. I can't say as it's gone, but I can say I've been more conscious of it lately. I'm still not getting everything done, but more than was getting done before.

Unfortunately very little has happened with my literary projects. I've tried on a couple of occasions to work on it, but I'm drawing blanks. I'm not the most creative of people when it comes to pulling things from a vacuum, and unfortunately the thoughts I have aren't enough to fill out enough of an outline. Perhaps I should resort to just writing out all of the thoughts and scenes or such, getting it down might jog the rest of the process.

CCNA has gone absolutely nowhere. No excuses. Still on the list.

Exercise... well.. I weighed myself the other day. I've gained weight since the last time(The scale records this info). Needless to say there's been no progress there either, though it has occurred to me that Feb should be my month to start working out in some form. We'll have to see how this goes.

On the whole, very little progress, but this doesn't bother me overmuch since it's only been a month. At least I haven't forgotten most, and 3/4 has at least had some CPU(Cranial Processing Unit) cycles given to them.

(EDIT: Reminder to self, don't do this in the morning after having worked all night. You'll need to go back and edit it several times to fix the errors your going to make.)

Thoughts for the new year...

A few people have posted plans/goals for the new year, and I thought that perhaps this year I should do something similar myself.

I ment to do this post a week ago, but just never got around to it. Kinda due to lack of time, but I'm sure I could have found the time if I was so motivated. Which brings us to point number one, and probably the bottle neck to nearly everything else. I'm a consummate procrastinator. There's always something else more interesting that I'd rather be doing instead of doing what needs to be done. Not to say that nothing gets done, usually the bare minimum gets done and the rest just sort of gets left behind.

This needs to stop.

I'm going to do my damnedest to adjust this little bit of behavior in myself, and while I know it's not an overnight thing it's something I need to be more conscious of.

Point the second. I've got a couple of literary-ish projects I'd like to put more work put in to this year. Some of this ties into the previous comments about procrastination and motivation. I'd like to work on it more but I get too easily distracted by other things that don't particularly advance or improve me in any way.

Thirdly.. CCNA cert. I've been working on this for something like 3 years, I think it's about time I get off my ass and get it finished. In theory it really shouldn't take much more than knuckling down and doing it, much the same as the second point where it's lack of advancement is caused by the first point.

Fourth, exercise. I'm horribly out of shape, and I really should do something about it. I think this is the year for me to get off the couch and away from the computer.

Those are the main points the come to mind, though I'm sure there will be a number of improvements in general from the first point alone.