Sunday, January 29, 2006


So I finally got to try snowshoeing. I had tried it once before but it was on ice with a thin layer of snow over top. Not really snowshoeing. This time there wasa thick layer of snow and it was the wet heavy kind. The snow stuck to the snowshoes and made for heavy lifting but it was a beautiful day and quite mild out. I drove over to Ontario to visit with my brother and he had access to some army snowshoes. They were old school and heavy but they were still pleasant to use and gave me an idea of what it was like. I think I will be keeping an eye out for a cheap pair of snowshoes in the future. We had gone to Algonquin Park and decided to follow an unploghed road that supposedly led to a lake. We never made it to the lake but at least the path was nice and wide. We could walk side by side and chat on the walk. I guess I am losing the hiking muscle mass as I did have to stop for somewhat frequent breaks but that snow was heavy lifting. I did figure out that I can kick my feet a little to knock some of the snow off, whch helped a lot. I also tried to take a picture of the trail and trees and discovered I had 24 exposures and not 36. Oh well. At least now I can find out what is on the film. I will also drop in a black and white and try to get some nice winter shots on that.

I got to spend some time with my brother whis weekend as I had to deliver his christmas gift that didn't fit in his car. Good thing I have a roof rack but boy does a box on the top of the car really do a number on the gas mileage. I had a four hour drive on a mostly full tank and had to fill up about half an hour from my destination. Normally I can do a 5 hour trip to Boston on that much gas but not this trip. At least the weather was good for the drive there even if it was awful on the way back. It had started snowing earlier this morning. I did manage to beat the worst of the snow and winds but it was a harrowing drive as the car is not winter equiped. I rally do need to start thinking about winter tires but hopefully I can delay that purchase until next winter. The bank accout will barely support me getting a bus pass for next month as I am in the process of paying back my father for the money he lent me on the car. I am almost finished so not a big deal. The faster I pay him off the sooner I can put away for myself. It means living on next to nothing for the next few pay cheques thogh. I think I can manage it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Finally Finished

So I finally finished uploading all my journal entries from my Appalachian trail experience. I will try to go back and line up the pictures with the related entries to make for a more interesting read for future readers. The entries start on archive entry 06/12/2005 - 06/18/2005 and finish on archive entry 12/18/2005 - 12/24/2005. A small photo set with descriptions can be found here. I had an absolutely wonderful time hiking the trail inspite of what seems like a lot of complaints. I saw some spectacular views and amazing sunsets. I saw shooting stars and the milky way. I met great people and enjoyed my solitude. I came back in the best shape I have ever been and have wonderful memories of my time on the trail. I really do recommend the trail as a nice get away from the every day hustle and bustle of life. Maybe not as a thru-hike but certainly as a weekend or section hike getaway. I also recommend that pack weight be kept to an absolute minimum. I have discovered I didn't need many of the things I was carrying. In fact, you could say I had over planned to account for every contingency and emergency possible. It really was overkill. I hope people enjoy reading about my experience and enjoy those hard earned photos I took.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Complete Job Hatred

Ok, so after barely three weeks at my new job I have come to absolutely hate it and the guy I am working with. Normally it takes me a few months to feel I donèt like the job but I have never had a problem with the people I work with. Until now. I can't stand the fact that he talks down to me like I am a kid, and lectures me on every little point on the fine details of the job. Am I on crack to hate this kind of treatment? He has inspired no interest in the research. Normally I like to know what I am working on and try hard to do my job well, but in this case, I canèt be bothered trying anymore as I know he will fault me in everything I do. I really need a new job. There are not that many postings in the Montreal area, so I am thinking of moving back down to the Boston area. There are many more openings listed and hopefully something will come up soon.

I went to see "Hoodwinked" last night. It was a cute movie aimed for kids but it had its good points. I am not sure it was worth the 6$ to see it at the theater though. I hope I see a better movie next Tuesday. Tuesday has become movie night for us and it is quite nice. We now sit down and read the silly sex column in the Montreal Mirror while waiting for the movie to start. Sometimes the column is funny and other times it is just dry. Not much else to read in the paper as I am not very much interested in the events that are happening. I should keep an eye on them in case something interesting is going on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Boring job

I am coming to the conclusion that this job is just not for me. I have no motivation what-so-ever to do any work here and the research is just not interesting me at all. I am not looking forward to having to do rat work either. I have also only been on the job for 2 1/2 weeks and am looking into finding another job. The guy I am supposed to be working with has treated my like an idiot and explained basic science to me. He didn't even give me the benefit of the doubt. I think they need to find someone with less work experience as that seems to be how they are treating me. Maybe it is just that I accepted a job below what I should be looking for, I am not a tech anymore. I find it interesting that it is okay for everyone to have MSN Mesenger on the only computer in the office, but I got a talking to about having Firefox on let along ICQ. In the science industry, a computer is a tool that everyone needs easy access to. This lab has one computer for five people to use.

I have started asking my contacts if they know of any openings so maybe that will pan out. After coming back from Boston for Arisia I am seriously tempted to go back to Boston. A green card would help the process but I can get by without one too. At least Boston is English. Not as many festivals happening but it still seems like a lively city compared to Montreal.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Home, cold home

Got back at midnight after singing my way through a bad mix of 80's music. Mostly it was to keep me away as my passenger bailed on me. I also hadn't listened to that list and it was a bad hodge-podge of songs. Also it is almost the only music I have that I can sing to. Nothing else really lends itself to being sung to. The roads weren't all that great in spots. I really wish I could have stayed the night and run the gauntlet the next day while it was light out, but alas I had to work bright and early this morning. All in all, I had a great time at Arisia. We did get a little snow. Arisia isn't Arisia unless it snows. So this con I finally started making friends, one of who I hope becomes a really good friend, I volunteered again for a free membership which I got, and I had a blast. I watched some anime, caught the movie "Serenity" that I had really wanted to watch, went to lots of writing panels, and went to a few of the parties. So after all that excitement, today is going to be such a let down.

My last day at con involved about 4 hours of sleep, a banana and handful of M&M's, an attempt at a nap, and many flights of stairs. The recommendation is 5 hours sleep, 2 meals and 1 shower each day of the con. Close enough. At least with all the free food, I didn't gain weight. Must have been all the stairs, I'm glad I had picked up a knee brace otherwise it could have been disasterous. My knees feel good, always a good sign. Now off to work, ugh.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Last day of Con

It is the last day. I will be sad to have to go home, but my feet will be happy and it will be nice to get a full nights sleep. My feet are quite sore as it is easier to just take the stairs. I also got some pics of me from previous years and this year. More memories captured.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Stormtroopers are coming

I just saw the stormtroopers with Darth Vader and they had a prisoner. Wish I had had a chance to get a picture but I was in the middle of a panel and didn't have my camera with me. Too bad. More as I get opportunities.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Arisia is Awesome!

I am at Arisia right now and I am having a wicked awesome time. I have been doing a little bit of volunteering and will be helping set up a party in the suite I am staying in. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is happening later tonight and I will be going to that. I am all dressed up and having a good time. Can't wait until tomorrow as there are a slew of panels I really want to go to.

Also, they are running linux here which is great. More later if I have time.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Arisia, here I come

So I have found a roommate for Arisia. That means I can stay at the hotel and not be limited by the transit system or the weather. It also means that the cost of the room is lessened. I may also have a passenger for the drive there and back. Although she wants to stay for something at 6:00 meaning 7:00 departure. I don't think I can stay that late and still drive back 6 hours. Plus she has a bus either at midnight or early the next morning. Neither of which will work if we leave after 7:00.

I did find out that I do in fact have a free membership from last year's volunteering. I don't know if I will be able to get in as much volunteering this year as there is just so many good things going on. There are so many panels I want to see, I am going to have to split myself into five people to see them all. I do know from past cons that sometimes the panel sounds great but in reality is really not as exciting as I thought it would be. Maybe if I arrive early enough on Friday I can get in some set up time and I may be able to help a little on Sunday with take down. Since set up and take down counts for double I may be able to scape up enough hours. I did manage to get Friday off, now all I can hope for is that the first pay check comes through so I am not scraping the bottom of the barrel anymore.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sushi time

I made some sushi for supper. I found it hard to roll the first one, probably because I has too much rice in it. The second one came out much nicer and the third looked great. I think I rolled it in the wrong direction. I think the long side was supposed to be rolled and I think I roled the short side. That just means the pieces were anything but bite sized. It was still good. I made a teriyaki chicken sushi with avocado and cucumber. The cucumber was hard to taste. Most flavours were unfortunately drowned out by the wasabi and the pickled ginger. I had put wasabi in the sushi roll as called for so there were little wasabi bombs in the sushi. Next ime, no wasabi in the roll, I will just serve it on the side. And I think I will also slice up the ginger so smaller pieces are available. Other than that, it really wasn't that hard to make sushi. I may try to make a pressed sushi next time as someone didn't llike the fishiness of the nori. Nori by itself really doesn't seem to have that much of a fishy flavour, I was eating salted nori on the trail. But this nori, once it was slightly hydrated and stuffed, seemed to pick up a fishy flavour.

I typed in 4 more trail entries. That just leaves me with another 20. If I can do them in chunks of 4 then maybe I will finish them off soon. At least the end does seem reachable now where before it seemed like there was no end to them.

I think I may go to Arisia regardless if I get a hotel room or not. It may not be so bad to commute in as it will save me money. I will just have to see if I can find someone to put me up knowing that I will be coming and going at weird hours. I have Arisia in my head now and I really want to go. Hopefully I will get paid on Friday. Seems McGill is notorious for not paying people right away as they are very slow with the paperwork. My paper work seemed to go through quickly so maybe I have a chance of getting paid in a timely fashion. I will have to ask for friday off. I hope I don't have any problems. Time will tell.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

PaperWork Sucks

Why is it I always work with people who love the idea of keeping piles and piles of papers around. Today, my job was to go through a stack of old packing slips and order forms trying to find a few old invoices. Think I could find them? No. So I had to call the companied and get them to send us new ones to add to the stack. Now I know why they call it Piled Higher and Deeper.

I am thinking I am going to try to go to Arisia this year. I sent out an inquiry to see if anyone wants to go so I can just share a hotel room to keep costs down. This year looks good, but then all the years in the past have been good. Hopefully I can get someone to go with me. It is next weekend so the timing may be a little tight. Especially since I have made no reservations. There are no doubles left and I have to RRSP by friday to have a good chance of getting the rates. Maybe I will get a queen and a cot or sleep on the floor. Whatever happens, happens. I may also have a free membership from last year as I did some volunteering. I did get a free t-shirt out of it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Day on the Job

Wow. I have really not missed working. Going back to work has really shown me that. I miss having somethig to do but I like it being something I want to do. I really enjoyed hiking. It was hard work and I put in long hard miles but at the end of the day I was happier, sore and tired but I felt that I accomplised something. Today I went in to work. It was the first day at this job and I was not happy. I didn't want to get up this morning and missing the bus was just icing on the cake. I will be spending most of this week trying to get paperwork filled out and getting signed up for trainings. At least I will be able to take easy days as there is almost no one in the lab and no one is really running any experiments. So in the end this is a learning week. But really, in the end I am still waiting to hear back from Calgary as I think that is the job I would be willing to wake up for.

My brother got a really nice cabinet made for him by our father. He even painted it a really nice shade of deep cranberry red. The only problem is that it doesn't fit in his car. Looks like I may have to go visit him sometime soon and strap it to the roaf rack. It will be a long drive just to visit for a weekend but maybe I can get some snowshoeing in as he has access to some. I may wait for the first hoiliday of the year but that is a long way off and there may be little snow left.

Looks like I may be unable to make it to Arisia this year. I was really looking forward to it but I just don't have the money to stay at the Park Plaza and Arisia isn't Arisia without staying at the hotel. They I can stay up late and catch the RHPS at midnight, or get up early and watch anime and bad films. I will really miss the writing panels as I always come out of them with so many ideas and the desire to want to write again. I feel like there is some novel stuck in my head that just needs some coaxing to get it out. One of these days I will just spit it out.

The whole family went to see Family Stone tonight. It was a really good movie. I like Luke Wilson. He is such an odd ball in most films that he is charming. I could have done without the girl sucking on her slurpy through the movie. Then the cell phone that went off not once but twice. Come on now, don't give kids slurpy's if they can't drink then silently. Telling them to be quite doesn't help matters.

This was a long post. I am going to have to start posting on a regular basis again so avoid so much rantage in one post.