Archive for July, 2008

July 30, 2008
Filed Under (The Geeks I Love) by svana

Ok, so not being a geek has both advantages and disadvantages.

The disadvantages are that I miss out on the very cool things out there like Blender, Think Geek and some of the geek humour in Userfriendly.org. Not to mention the logistical problems of now being a proud Mommy, albeit unwilling Mommy of a blog.

As easy as it may be, there is so much tweaking that needs to happen on my wee corner of the web. I feel like I’m back in junior highschool again, on the first computer I ever used going, “You want me to make the line move…?” The horror of those days is upon me again. So I turn to the geeks that put me in this place…

Moving On…..

The Pixelatedchic made my site all pretty-like, as any good Pixel Goddess does. I hope the Universe brings her a very beefy Mac for her good behaviour, as I’m sure she could put it through it’s paces. If I could, I would leave a Mac at her lotus feet in appreciation and supplication for her efforts on my behalf, for now, the thought and my appreciation will have to suffice.

Not being technically inclined, I have issues with formatting in word processors…a blog is no different. After I posted my first couple of entries, I noticed things were not laid out as I had planned. As Marvin the Martian would say, “This makes me very ANGRY”. The blog wants to think for me….it is trying to be intuitive….and not quite succeeding because I don’t think like the vast majority of folks out there. This, in my most humble opinion is a perfect example of programmers at their “best”.

I should explain. Outside of email, work related programs, spreadsheet, I.M. or computer game….I am completely useless with computers. I have no patience with them. I don’t care to know more about them….if they stop working, they are environmentally unfriendly doorstops. I believe computers have their place, don’t get me wrong….as I *really* like my laptop.

I have not, in 14 years, been able to master formatting anything aside from a business letter, and even then, I have indestructible templates created by my spouse. When formatting problems arise, I look at my husband and say,
“Fix it please, just make the damn thing look like it is supposed to!” It usually is resolved with half a dozen deft keystrokes, which is REALLY chaps my arse.

So…seeing that I now need “Categories” and bits for my blog roll…I turn to my Husband. As I bat my eyelashes and ask him…yet again…for his tech-spertise, he looks at me and asks, “What am I….your Blog Bitch?”

Precisely :D

That, would be one of the advantages of not being a geek.



July 26, 2008
Filed Under (You are really pissing me off) by svana

OK, I’ll admit it….grudgingly. I have become addicted to Starbucks Blended Lemon. Every so often, I *really* like to have my $5.00 “venti” lemonade slushie.

To a certain extent, I like messing with the long suffering, exceedingly perky, and slightly patronizing staff by refusing to use the lingo that applies to the sizing of the drinks. “I’ll have a *large* Blended Lemon please.” That really chaps whoever is serving me, which is a a small selfish pleasure for me, and hopefully a way for these people not to take themselves so darn seriously.

Moving on….

Today, before a short road trip to the bustling metropolis of Thamesville we had to stop for refreshing and tasty beverages, of the decadent variety. As my girlfriend, Rose, and I sat in the van waiting for my husband to come back with the aforementioned tasty treats, a fellow pulled into the parking lot, narrowly missing the car parked next to the spot he chose. Stupid drivers make for stupid actions in a parking lot in London…they just go hand in hand.

Mr. Mazda3 gets out of his car, and stares deeply into the depths of the van and swoops his nose into the air. My jaw dropped as I thought, “Who the hell are you???” Rose…bless her…said it out loud. Thus ensued Rose’s commentary of “…if I wasn’t so black, I’d tag his car”. Laughing way too hard, but still wondering who exactly this guy thought he was, I wasn’t about to let the slight go unpunished. I scrambled out of the van to Rose’s loud protests of “I’m gonna tee-eeell!!”.

I guess at this point a brief physical description of myself is somewhat necessary. It’s been said that I am either statuesque or amazonian…regardless, I can be physically intimidating.

As I walked into Starbucks, I saw that Mr. Mazda3 was in line after my beloved husband, which worked out really well. I came in staring at him in a manner that people say is scary…I really couldn’t tell you one way or the other.

Mr. Mazda3 was looking at my blatantly tacky peacock blue-green toenails and suddenly realized that it was one of *those girls* from the van he stared at.

He looked very nervous and uncertain. He tried to smile. He failed…miserably. Methinks he has a complex, and doesn’t like it when he feels uncomfortable around women…particularly ones who have about eight inches of height on him.

I turned my attention to my husband and asked for a couple of additional items just for the heck of it and then…for the benefit of Mr. Mazda3…said that Rose was considering tagging a car out in the lot. Mr. Mazda3 began prancing from foot to foot, glancing out to the parking lot to ensure that no one was molesting his car.

At this point, I do have to say, I felt a momentary flash of pity for the situation that Mr. Mazda3 found himself in….one that I had created. I watched the dilemma flash across his face, “Do I leave and find another Starbucks or do I stay in line?”. It’s really hard not to laugh while watching him struggle with his choices. I scampered back to the van, feeling lighter for stirring the pot for the day.

I’m pleased to say, there *is* hope for Mr. Mazda3…he plucked up his courage and stood his ground, all the while watching his car through the window.

I relayed to Rose what had happened inside. She enjoyed that way too much…but then again, so did I. I know this sounds unusually cruel, to pick on some poor unsuspecting man for no other reason than he annoyed me….BUT….there is always a but, Mr. Mazda3, in my opinion, is attaching a great big bullseye to his back with his behaviour. I have never seen anyone throw their nose into the air like that outside of an over-the-top comedy.

While my husband was waiting for our drinks at the barista station, Mr. Mazda3 came out clutching his coffee.

He peered into his locked and armed car as if checking that my passing by it may have magically removed something from the front seat. He very pointedly put his wallet into his front right hand pocket, and unlocked his car…all the while still looking deep into the van, as if we were going to come out and jack his car.

We didn’t, and the funny thing is…he looked disappointed as he drove away to the not-so-melodious tones of Rose and I guffawing loudly.

I would have to say the lesson is this: You can put your nose in the air if you like….however, when you do that, you open yourself up to having a great big target locked on to you. One day, someone will take aim and blast you.


And honestly…a Mazda3 isn’t that great of a car.



July 25, 2008
Filed Under (The Happy Sad Things) by svana

About five months ago, while surfing rather haphazardly at the start of my day, I found Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”. Unless you have been living under a rock, are comatose, or are a hardcore geek; you’ve at least *heard* about the good Professor’s lecture.

With luck, you will have taken away a few warm fuzzy thoughts, been jolted awake, or simply marveled at this man’s courage, awareness and forethought. If you are a cold hearted individual, you will simply dismiss this lecture as a Hallmark moment and move on. That would, of course, be your prerogative. I would say it is my prerogative to call you a soulless shell.

Moving on….

I was looking at abc.com this morning and saw the breaking news banner announcing that the good Professor had passed. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I could not help but cry and feel cheated that the Universe didn’t provide the miracle that I had so heartily hoped for.

It is odd, really. I didn’t know him, but his lecture and book stuck in my head. More specifically, his admonition to live your childhood dreams. I could not figure out why one man’s death had affected me to such a degree. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not a big crying fan. Sure it happens, but not frequently, and certainly not for a man I do not know.

Watching my nine year old daughter bounce up the street, resplendent in pink, and carefree as only nine year old girls can be….it dawned on me. Like a sledgehammer to my wee cranium, wielded by a demented rabbit, awareness was upon me.

I hate it when that happens.

My childhood, or lack thereof, was not a good one. So, my twisted logic demanded Randy Pausch receive his miracle so I could start to dream all the dreams that I never dreamed as a child, there would be hope for me too. My only dream growing up was that I would make it out of my childhood alive. Well now…doesn’t that sound dramatic? Unfortunately though, very accurate and true…but enough of that.

To Randy Pausch, I tip my hat. I thank him for his courage, joy and the lesson that he brought to me, to get busy dreaming.

To his wife, Jai, who displayed such grace and courage, I thank for putting into words what I failed to articulate about my own husband. “If you die, the magic will die too”

I understand that statement right to the tips of my frog-like toes.

To his children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, all the blessings this world can convey in the face of their loss.



July 24, 2008
Filed Under (The Geeks I Love) by svana

I’d like to preface all that follows as: this is not my idea. Two rather insane and tech savvy imps planted this seed, and, like any good mother-like figure, it is up to me to make sure it grows.

I feel like the parent who has been nagged into getting a puppy. Lured by the hopeful, yet unlikely promises of: “It won’t be any trouble, they are EASY to look after”….Well, sure it is…because I’d like to keep this clean, I won’t call those promises what I believe them to be….a great steaming pile of bovine fecal matter.

With the enthusiastic rallying cry of, “Of COURSE you can do this!!!” against my emphatic refusals, a domain was registered on my behalf, my shoulder patted in a reassuring manner (although it felt a bit like condescension) and here I am. I am not a writer, not a poet, nor terribly coherent at the best of times. So, at this time, I beg your indulgence for all the mistakes, missteps, and mishaps that will happen here. They’ll happen frequently.