Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What I've been up to...
...the big reveal

I spent the majority of December working on a custom-made photo album for dad.

It started with a search on Flickr for "Laushway", one day in September when I was bored. Among the hits was a vintage photo of Thomas Laushway, posted by a user who — as it turns out — is the great-grandaughter of my great-aunt. For those not keeping score, that means there's a one-generation-sized generation gap between us. Such are the intracacies of having 17 children descend from you: your great-niece is a contemporary of your granddaughter.

After a bit of online correspondence, she and I were contacted by a relative whose hobby is to compile as complete a family history as possible. She provided me with an image of my grandfather with his first wife (not my dad's mom).

Around this time, my always-lovely-and-charming Aunt Rita sent along a bunch of her old photos just because she's in the habit of decluttering her place, these days.

After that, I couldn't help but believe the time was right to collect the images I'd been given into something useful — a pictoral family history record.

With mom's help smuggling photos out of the house, and Matt and Caty's contributions in helping me not go completely insane from the amount of work undertaken, I succeeded in finishing this project off before I felt really pressured for time.

The first 42 images found here, at my Vintage Family Photos Photoset on Flickr — complete with annotation — are the fruits of my labour (she says, dramatically).

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, internets!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Random Entertainment

Here are a few links I had lying around in my bookmarks:

Quite possibly, the cutest girl ever movied, singing

This is Serious Mum - Everyone Else Has Had More Sex than Me

Monkeehub's "video" for Radiohead's Creep

Tokyo Plastic's Drum Machine (as previously blogged by Brew)

Le Tigre - Deceptacon

He-Man does Four Non-Blondes

TBS' commercial for their Lord of the Rings premiere


Friday, December 22, 2006

"1, cut a hole in a box"


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Been pulling my hair out...
...but not literally.

Ah, the editors at Scholastic. Give 'em 3 days, or 3 weeks, to make revisions to a project and they will use exactly the specified amount of time to make those changes, with the last 5 rounds of changes made in one day. Such has been my week. It's only now, a half-an-hour after approval — and after my usual quitting time — that I have time enough to breathe and figure out what my status is on the next project.

Had I not gone swimming last night, I'm sure I'd be wound so tight, I would have been extremely unpleasant to work with.

In other news, that guy who sits beside me gave his notice today. He won't be returning after the holiday hiatus, and most of the employees, including him, got far enough on their upcoming projects that they won't be in tomorrow either. So, I won't be seeing him again. I'm of mixed opinion about this: some of the time, he was a bit of a kiss-ass, but some of the time, he let his frustrations show (proving he was human, after all). Well, I hope for the best for him any way, it sounds like he was experiencing some anxiety over freelancing. He seems quite happy to have found full-time work close to home.

I'll be coming in tomorrow to get as far ahead as I can on my next project, and to give my supervisor her Christmas gift. Then, hopefully, I can leave early and kickstart my Christmas vacation.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Sure signs you have PMS

#253: When DCM "suggests" a layout to you which will "improve" the flow of information — completely ignorant of the fact that the layout she's suggesting couldn't possibly work properly within the space provided — tearing her head off and kicking it as hard and far as you can seems like it might be a good idea, after all.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Why it's good to have a friend in the workplace

A quote from Terri, in response to my complaint about how DCM keeps asking for changes which result in massive page-overhauls, to ultimately be reverted during the next round of changes:

"That should be added to the Great List of Certainties :

  1. Death

  2. Taxes

  3. Changes to stupid layouts that never should have happened in the first place"

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tumbleweeds drifting across the blogosphere...
...all silent on the Western front

At this time of year, correspondence is often at its peak in North America. Those who celebrate the holidays usually send out cards or year-end summary letters and pictures to friends and family. Canada Post advises Christmas Lettermail senders to have their envelopes out a full week before Christmas.

Strangely, however, it seems that the blogosphere is remarkably quiet. I've been bursting tell people about what projects I've been working on — such as the (no-longer-secret)calendars I gave to the Comp-Sci crowd this weekend) — but found that I couldn't mention them online, knowing that a diverse range of people I care about read my blog.

I must not be the only who found this public forum strangely prohibitive — Bruce and Jess gave us each a CD of music they wanted to expose us to. Knowing them, they argued for hours about what ought, and ought not, be included. The photography Jess adapted for the front cover was possibly also hand-picked (undoubtedly a lot of time and effort went into it) but no one suspected what they were up to. The fact is that everyone at the gathering this weekend gave out a small gift to the others — acts which required some planning, some care and time — yet they were all a surprise. Even Emma's signature gingerbread came in new shapes this year.

Blogging has become a way to share what's going on our day-to-day existence with a network of people, but strangely, highlights a feeling of isolation when we've got secrets to keep from one another.

So, I've just completed the last project I had for on-the-go for Christmas. It (literally) took days of my time, but no one's going to hear about it unless it comes up in a face-to-face conversation. Best not ask, 'though, it might be that I'm keeping the secret from you.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fun website

It's like Pinky:St, without actual, tangible results


Monday, December 11, 2006

As promised

Dean Gray - Dr. Who on Holiday

Also, while I'm at it:

Loituma - Ievan Polkka


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Good times, good times...
...no, really. I'm not being sarcastic.

So, yesterday was the annual Comp-Sci (balk all you want, it's just easier to call you guys that) Christmas gathering. For the past 6 years, with one exception, I've been hosting the gathering. The first year resulted in us all gorging ourselves on far too many sweets and deciding to change the format for ensuing years. I think I first made a turkey for the group for the third year, and have for every year since.

This year was the first that I didn't use a Butterball turkey. I haven't been using them as often as I have because of any brand loyalty, but because Grocery Gateway offered them, and having a 12 lb. delivered to me while I lived on my own, without a car, seemed like the most sensible way to acquire a 12 lb. turkey. This year's turkey was a Master's Choice "pre-basted" turkey. I cooked it in the usual way, by rubbing with sea salt and olive oil, then oven-roasting, covered, until the last hour, when the lid comes off to crisp the skin. I'm pleased to say that the results I've been having have not been because of the brand of turkey I've been cooking.

I also presented the gang with their 2007 calendars. The photos can be found at my Flickr account, with captions.

Getting together with this group is always a good time, but I think I look forward to the Christmas gathering more than any of the other traditional meetings — must be because I secretly enjoy hosting parties. It's a shame we don't have more space to hold one in.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Much better

Today's lunch was courtesy of Rasoee, an Indian "fast food" franchise. The location I went to was at Spadina and Richmond, and I had the curry chicken lunch which, bare bones, came with a side of basmati rice. Despite the fact that there wasn't a side vegetable (usually a given, when dealing with similar establishments), the food was really very good and inexpensive. The chicken curry was flavourful, but culinary thrill-seekers might be disappointed in the lack of heat. Surprisingly, the portion I had contained no bones or gristle — also usually a given when dealing with similar establishments.

Verdict: Good, cheap food, if not the most balanced meal you can get.


Monday, December 04, 2006

I feel dirty

It turns out that Wendy's Crispy Chicken Sandwich, $1.99 on their Value Menu, is nothing like their Homestyle Chicken Filet. Yes, both are breaded, fried chicken patties, served on a bun with lettuce and sauce. Previously unbeknownst to me, however, is the fact that the Homestyle uses discernable chicken meat, whereas the Crispy uses the hacked, processed, filler-ified meat previously known to exist only in the cheapest of cheap chicken fingers. This is the chicken equivalent of McDonald's" Fillet-o-Fish®.

I saved myself 60 calories by opting for the inferior sandwich, but gained 4 grams of fat doing so. I'm also going to spend the rest of the day with the sense of remorse that can only come from eating truly awful not-quite-passable "food". I wonder if anyone's coined a term for that sense of remorse...


Friday, December 01, 2006

New! Improved!

I'm now under the Blogger Beta. Here's to hoping I like the interface, 'cause I can't go back.

Update: Hey, labels are handy. I suppose this means I ought to start the arduous task of retroactively labelling my posts.

Further updating: Wow, 105 posts is a lot to retroactively label. Somehow, I doubt I'll finish them all tonight.