perhaps a good sign?

HedoCorp got hit hard by the #McAfail (is that trending yet?) today.  I was in a meeting at 9 when the announcement came over the PA system to please unplug our computers from the network.

By the time the meeting ended at 10, my machine was already in an endless loop of rebooting. So I cleaned my cube. Then went to lunch. Then had another meeting about stuff that it would be great to add to a slide deck if only we could use our computers.  Then came home.  That was the first issue.

Once home, I decided to take care of some business at the local Driver and Vehicle Services office.  Some of you may be aware that the state of Minnesota believes that somehow it can better secure its assets (the Mall of America?) from the terrorists by putting information about legal immigrants current status on their driver’s licenses — it’s called a “Status Check” date.  I wouldn’t be totally against it, if they would get this information from the feds themselves, but no, the best way to implement this is obviously to inconvenience the license holder.  Which for me, given my current slot in the queue, means going in about once a year.

These trips annoy me, so today I tried to game things a little by presenting the document that pretty much gives me the right to hang out here indefinitely, instead of my passport as they expected, hoping that I could save myself future visits.  Big mistake.  Apparently giving low-level bureaucrats forms that they don’t recognize means that you may (or may not) get your license reissued at all. Even if you also give them your passport and promise to just come back next year.

I tried to take the nonconforming form back from her and she nearly took my hand off: “NOW THAT YOU’VE SHOWN IT TO ME I HAVE TO SEND IT IN!”.  So we’ll see how that goes… that was the second issue.

The third issue was also DVS related, though less involved.  Some bastard already has 101010 as their vanity plate in the state of MN.  I hope they use it wisely — Beauty and I are back to the drawing board W.R.T. her tramp-stamp.

Lastly — it turns out that paper drop cloths, Rust-o-leum Dry Erase Paint, and stained pine kegerator collars don’t mix well at all.  The “fiddly cosmetic issues”that I had to fix with The Beer Machine are now fairly major: involving bits of paper stuck to the fridge lid, and white paint spots on my pretty mahogony collar.  I’m hoping that Nerd 2 will come home and suggest something magic having to do with sand paper or mineral spirits that will make it all better, but I’m pretty sure that another coat of stain is in my future.

I might hate stain almost as much as I do paint.

The one thing that did go well today? Well, since I came home so early, I decided to put in the final push of effort required to get my application to school finish.  So it’s done and sent out (though I need to mail them one photocopy tomorrow.   I try not to believe in omens, but with everything else against me today… maybe the admissions gods will smile down upon me in the next week or so?

sorry, calgary

Heading into yesterday evening’s hockey match between Minnesota’s Wild and the boys from Alberta, I was more than a little torn.  I’m not one to have strong sports franchise loyalites (at least not since the 1992-1994 Blue Jays… love you guys!), and given that a Canadian team was playing I was worried that I’d have to be the one person at the Xcel Center rooting for the wrong team.  I mean… the Wild’s 20-20-3 record was not ideal, and Calgary is leading the division, and who wants to be on the side of the losing team (even if they are the home team)?

I was swayed however by the earnest hopes of my cohort for the evening: “We need to make the playoffs this year!” As a season ticket holder, Jimmy has a made a significant investment in the Wild with the main hope of being able to watch playoff hockey in his adoptive city.  So you can’t really blame him.  And the Wild did need the win more than Calgary.  And since any time I watch hockey the team I root for wins… well…

In other news: last week, if you had told me that a 70 minute review of the Phantom Menace will be the best thing I’ll watch so far this decade, I would have laughed in your face and watched that Audition Dance Online ad again to prove you wrong.  But Nation, this thing is epic in is ability to be awesome in every way that The Phantom Menace is not.  Just give me the benefit of the doubt here and watch the first 10 minute segment below.  If you are a Star Wars fan and don’t immediately queue up part 2, I…I don’t even know who you are.

tsa inspired prose

I mean, the TSA has to be good for something, right?

In lieu of any real content for today, here’s a little writing exercise that I worked on after finally getting on a flight home on Monday morning.

There’s something bittersweet about watching the too-soon family reunions caused by canceled flights. We’ve had our holidays, spent quality time with loved ones, but the joyous emotions of the season do take their toll. There’s something to be said for going back… home? Not Home, where you were just welcomed and feted and feasted and hugged and kissed and gave and got, we’ve had our fill of Home. We strive now for whatever base is currently ours. The dorm, the first apartment, the starter townhouse. These places where we’ve crafted a life anew. They aren’t better, necessarily. Just not here. Not where the phone rings when we call to ask for the ride back from the airport. Not where the smiling faces of our mothers recall and foreshadow the sad goodbye which must be repeated tomorrow. But we can’t get there now, so we wait to be picked up on the departure level (which, at least, is a departure from the norm). We try to put on brave faces, we wish each other luck. We try to decide whether everyone gets hugs again when we walk back in the door. We know our destinations will still be there tomorrow — but where will we be?

I still don’t know why Northwest flight 3661 was cancelled this Sunday.  I do know that something went very wrong with the airline security system (worldwide, it seems) starting on Friday, and continuing through the present.  I’m not going to comment on any specific policies or news events, I’ll just say that I’m glad that I have no plans to get on a plane again any time in the near future.

bonjour, au revoir!

Sometimes, I don’t post for a while because there isn’t all that much going on.

Sometimes, I don’t post because there is too much going on an I don’t have time to digest it all.

The past week or so has been the latter — items of note:

  • Hot on the heels of my concern over the emerald ash borer making a push into Minnesota, my ash tree decided to drop a large portion of itself on the neighbour’s garage.
  • I took Beauty out on the freeway for the first time — note to self: consider wind speeds when looking at the weather forecast to decide if you want to ride or not.
  • The Draft Party — I used a great many words in the lead up to this event. I don’t think I have any left that can suitably describe it.
  • Camping! Sadly, I had to leave after only one night, but I called in a substitution in the form of Nerd 2’s somewhat over-caffeinated brother, so I’m sure the awesome is continuing in my absence.

Right now, I’m waiting out the last 20 minutes or so before I head to the airport to see my sister’s graduation.  Hopefully, Quebec won’t be too angry at me for all those franco jokes that I made in french class.

happy canada day!

Today is the day that the spirit of Tim Horton rides down the 401 in a ghostly De Tomaso Pantera and hands out beer, doughnuts and coffees (large, double double) to his devotees all across the bestest country ever.

I can’t meet up with Timmy on his magical ride this year, but I can help to spread the goodwill spirit. This year, I bestow upon you some useful cheat codes for those of us who don’t have 2 guitars with which to unlock Guitar Hero III’s deepest darkest secrets. I haven’t tried this myself yet – I’ll post later this week and let you know how they work.

A quick edit, to add a link to another little bit of happy.


Nothing dramatic (no nerd on nerd violence yet, nor am I disowned by my family or anything like that), just schedule related.

For example:

  • September 14th: Chooglin’ @ The Entry vs. Finger Eleven @ Station 4. I think that between my patriotic streak (F11 is based in Burlington, ON) and my curiosity about Station 4 as a venue I’ll be heading east of the river this Friday.
  • September 21-22nd: Minnesota Music Festival vs. Camping avec homies. Bros before Hoes yo.
  • September 29th: Nerdapalooza II vs. Autumn Brew Review. This edition of Nerdapalooza involves a trip to the Renaissance Festival followed by a LAN/Wii/bonfire party at chez TPH. If it was just the party, I could fit in ABR, ditto if it was just Renfest.
  • October 6-7th: Electric Six or Zombie Pub Crawl vs. Canadian Thanksgiving: Given Nerdfest the week before, and Hallowe’en not to long after, I don’t need to be hosting the potluck again this year, but it would be fun.
  • November 1st: Gogol Bordello @ First Ave vs. The Hold Steady @ State. I think I’m leaning towards GB because #1: I haven’t seen them before, and #2: Dancing at First Ave > Sitting at the State Theater.

It’s not that I can’t handle them, it’s just interesting how everything seems to try to get packed into the same weekends (or Thursday evenings for that matter).

How’s your Fall looking?

for great justice

I had a lot to say about this weekend including, but not limited to: the impracticality of using skype as a cell phone replacement, the MN State Fair, hanging out with, the majesty that is Godzilla:Final Wars, good chinese food and sad goodbyes, but I think that all of it is eclipsed by the fact that I found these cookies at the Rainbow Foods in Blaine.

The Canadians among us will understand my excitement.