Saturday, October 31, 2009


Hello everyone. Happy Halloween. Today is a quiet one so far in terms of family plans. Currently, I'm listening to the programming on Icebox Radio. It's an Internet radio station devoted to audio drama. All day, they're playing various horror-related episodes from various companies including their own work. Catch it at:
the quality and seriousness of these works naturally varies. It's taken a rather sharp nose-dive at the moment. Earlier, however, I heard an episode of Darker Projects's The Byron Chronicles which was quite well done. One of the few series that company produces which I have yet to listen to. There. The top hits station on Sky FM is somewhat better than the current Icebox offering. I'll tune back in later.

Halloween has lost most of its magic for me as it doubtless has for most people over 30. If I'm lucky, a good documentary on fear, horror, or some such will be on. Failing that, there's the slim possibility that a horror film which relies more on disturbing thoughts than gore might be shown. They're rare but do indeed exist. I lost track of what day it was yesterday once or twice. My two little neaces were over and dressed up in their costumes. Amia is still a bit young to fully get what Halloween's about. Ava is certainly looking forward to tonight's activities. They had a bath at our place since they'll be too busy to have one today. I don't remember a Halloween from my own childhood where things were that busy. However, it's fun hearing them in such high spirits. Earlier yesterday, we took my grandmother to the casino. I kept to my usual twenty-dollar limit and actually walked away with sixty this time. That doesn't happen often. It'll be enough to treet a friend or two for lunch or dinner presuming an opportunity emerges. It very well might. I was stopped on my way in and asked my age. Apparently, although I've often felt older than my 35 years, I look somewhat younger. I presume that'll stand me in good stead later in life.

Earlier in the week, I had dinner at Symposium with Colin. He's certainly an enjoyable fellow to talk to. A very earnest believer who thinks that we're living in the end times. I disagree with that conclusion and think we have a whole lot of history in store for us. This is, in my judgement, quite likely a pivital point of hopefully positive change in our time. The status quo has certainly been rattled substantially and the climate for lasting change is certainly here. However, despite all the bad things afoot in the world today, I just can't subscribe to the idea that it's the beginning of the ultimate end. That belief has given him and others like him the freedom to jump off of life's normal rails and I feel that he will ultimately help a great many people when he gets his ministry going. He's clearly had some fascinating experiences. On my way home after that dinner, I met another potential friend. Shaun is a film maker among other pursuits. A very engaging artistic guy. He seems quite interested in knowing me better and in my writing. He also lives quite close so it's actually possible to get there. It's a complex I pass by on the route to Symposium. That would be a novelty. A friend I could literally go to. If nothing else, these encounters have shaken off a good deal of that utterly isolated feeling from my own generation that I've had for most of the Summer. There actually are some people out there with a little time on their hands for friendship rather than just charity. It's given me back a good measure of optimism.

I can't remember whether it's this weekend that we move the clocks back an hour. Have to check CBC about that I suppose. Both of my computers ought to do that automatically but my watch is another story. Not much is happening next week. I have a doctor's appointment. Haven't had a physical in quite a long time. Doubtless, I'll get a talking to about my weight. I don't think I'll ever be all that keen or motivated to exercise unless the whole nature of my life changes. I need more to do in life; more places to go and people to interact with. As things are now, being in much better shape than I am just seems pointless. There's no real need for more strength or endurance when you spend most of your days in one place. Perhaps, the training I'm going to have in November regarding diversity will lead to something more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

current happenings

Hello everyone. It's been around a week since my trip to Winnipeg. This weekend, I went to see Mark and Wendy on Sunday after a soup luncheon at church. It was damned nice to have a full day like that after a mainly empty drawn out week. The church is having a workshop on diversity which I'll be joining. I find learning about different cultures to be interesting and hope that my perspective might add to the work being done in that area. It'll certainly give me something interesting to do over a couple of weekends. Some time soon, I'll be discussing what blindness is like with the sunday school class they've got going. That kind of thing is something I've always found enjoyable. All I really need to do is find something which makes the weeks somewhat less empty and I'll be off to the races.

Mark and Wendy are doing pretty well. They made an excellent Morokan chicken dinner and the evening passed in the pleasant, thoughtful, conversational way in which time with good friends like them ought to pass. I introduced them to a nifty youtube video where some people forced some laptop batteries to explode to demonstrate the consequences should that happen. It's one of those things that I always would have been curious to hear the sound of but would never dream of instigating myself. Glad somebody else did it and recorded the somewhat dangerous results. The batteries they have these days are quite safe. They had to go to some trouble to cause the cells to vent explosively.

I was more tired than I would have expected to be after getting back from Winnipeg. It seemed so obtuse. We didn't exactly leap over tall buildings while we were there. Still, I'm back in writing trim again. On the way home from another scrumptious omelet at Symposium Cafe, I met a nice couple who just moved into the area. I think God has stepped in to at last fudge the odds in my favour in the socialisation department. I got turned around on the way back ending up near a school and pharmacy. Thankfully, the Trekkor Breeze was eventually able to get me back on track. Had that not happened, I would have missed them entirely. Colin and Ena seem like the kind of down-to-earth good people who I can get along quite well with. We've exchanged phone numbers and emails. It was good to chat with someone completely new for a while. Also, it was a damned nice day to get lost in. It's quite warm out there for this time of year. A much better way to spend time than contending with writer's block. It looks like dad will get in another game of Golf today. He passed me as he left and I returned home. Thank God the water is back on. It was cut off this morning while they fixed pipes. While I'm writing this, I've been enjoying a substantial glass of it. Work on Enchantment's Twilight is proceeding in dribs and drabs. I think I'll have to just get used to that kind of slow pace until a greater variation of events or a change in circumstances gives me more life experience to work with. A couple of ladies have contacted me on POF and but they seem to lose interest. I always leave them with questions so they have an easier time thinking of what to write back but I haven't received any answers in quite a while.

That's pretty much the sum of things here at the end of my thirty-fourth year on the planet. I fervently hope there's more social activity and opportunities to be of some help to people who are actually in this community. Things feel like I'm finally on track for some healthy change. I hope I'm correct in thinking that such change is actually on the way. Even if that isn't the case, I'm still thankful not to be in the dismal mental place in which I spent most of this past Summer. Even with the occasional reprieves provided by the church, friends and family, there was just way too much squandered dark lonely time there.

The rest of the week looks like it'll get more interesting. My birthday is on thursday. I don't have any special plans but will doubtless have some sort of celebration with my family. Alison's birthday is coming up also, and then there's Halloween. While I was visiting Mark and Wendy on the weekend, Ava and Amia went with their grandmother and aunt to a pumpkin patch. Both of them apparently had a good deal of fun. I would have thought that perhaps Amia was too young to grasp a lot of Halloween's fun but it seems she can handle it so far. They enjoyed the haywagon ride. I vaguely remember those. TV ought to have some interesting offerings over the next while. Halloween always brings out the better horror movies. G4TechTV has had some interesting stuff about various horror-related games and such. Nothing immediately useful for my own creation, but it certainly passes the time. I suppose I should also keep an ear on the Accessible Channel over the next while. They'll doubtless have the odd interesting thing fully described. I purchased an audio drama series from CDBaby last night which sounded promising for Halloween. That's been a bountiful harvest lately for me. The Ann manx series has proved excellent so far. I haven't listened to all of it yet. Overall, its depiction of a future universe is somewhat thin on details. However, it's supposed to be more of a comical romp and they did a splendid job with sound effects and voice acting. Not quite as good as The Adventures of Sexton Blake from:
but definitely up there overall.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my trip to Winnipeg

My Trip to Winnipeg

October 15:

Doubtless, this will remain a high point in my writing for some time to come. I'm beginning this blog entry while on my way to Winnipeg aboard an Airbus 319. We're flying quite late at night. Due to the hour's time difference, I guess it'll be around midnight local time when we arrive. The ride is quite smooth but you certainly feel the speed during takeoff.

This ought to be quite an interesting visit. I haven't been to visit the extended family we have in Winnipeg for close to ten years. A whole lot of life has transpired for me during that time. I've married, divorced, nearly gotten married again, finished a major project and begun working on two others. Packing was a whole lot lighter and easier with this netbook and accessories. On my way back, I'll carry the speakers and lapdesk with me rather than in my luggage. I could have used that in the airport during the wait. There's plenty of room on the tray in the seat back in front of me for now. Using the netbook is quite comfortable in this situation.

The flight was very smooth. We've had a visit and I've settled downstairs where I'll sleep during our stay. I'm tired at the moment but wouldn't be surprised if I don't sleep long tonight, or rather, this morning.

October 18:

I meant to write in this blog a bit more frequently during this trip. We've been pretty busy. On friday, I saw my grandmother at her apartment. It's pretty much as I remembered it sonically. She makes excellent cookies and seems to keep a very tidy place. We had a pleasant afternoon and then went back to Uncle Neil and Aunt Cathy's for an excellent Chinese food dinner. Uncle Dennis also joined us. We played a word game afterwards called Apples to Apples which certainly passed the time and worked out quite well.

Yesterday, dad, Neil and I joined my grandmother at a casino. Gambling is a favorite activity of hers. I actually came out ahead by around four dollars having started with twenty. It's pretty unusual that I have anything to walk out with after even the brief trips we usually take when she visits us in Mississauga. I kept getting small wins just as I was running out for what I thought would be the last time. Visits to casinos will never be something I'd choose to do on my own but it makes a nice outing with my grandmother.

Later on, we went out to Jimmy G, a small band who performed music from the 50's and 60's. Music from that era isn't exactly my cup of tea. However, they were quite energetic and, so far as I'm any judge of these things, did quite a splendid job of it. The rest of the family all loved it. I enjoyed the Fort Gary Dark beer somewhat more than the music but it was still fun being out on the town.

Today has yet to begin in a proper sence. I've been up since around five thirty local time. Presently, I feel quite well rested. They have a comfortable bed which can fold into the wall down here. I can use my netbook in comfort sitting on a couch. It's good to be able to put these speakers to some extended use. The netbook and accessories have performed splendidly. I couldn't be more pleased with that. It's light and compact enough to take everywhere. So far, the only cause of occasional annoyance is IE8. I suppose it could also be my early version of Jaws which doesn't interact as well with it. Everything else is nicely up to date. I've played a good deal of Dragon Tavern between activities. Overall, I've done pretty well but Eldrex did bite the big one yesterday and I got stuck with another hefty debt of experience points which took some doing to pay off. I'm something like 117th in Canada now. Scary, isn't it?

Today, we're going to be visiting my uncle Dennis and aunt Pat. They live out in the country. I may at last get to find out what riding on an ATV is like. Uncle Dennis likes his vehicles. Last time we visited him, I rode on a motor cycle as well as in an old Corvette. Those cars certainly let you feel how fast you're going. I was surprised at how low to the ground it was. They also have a bunch of cats and other animals around. I'm thankful i brought along some alergy medication as it's impossible to resist petting animals. Later on, we're going over to se my cousin Barbi who I haven't seen in ages.

I'm back. Things are settling down again. It's been quite a fun day. Dennis let me drive his all-terrain vehicle while we were in a ploughed field. We had lots of good conversation with everyone. I was correct in thinking that I had previously met Bill, Barbi's very significant other. He's quite the nice fellow. Barb's going to have a baby early next year. Everyone was ghlad to see them in their new house. They live in a very quiet area. As we stood outside I couldn't hear any trafic at all.

I've at last gotten all caught up with emails. They can pile up pretty fast. My grandmother and the others are playing Scrabble. Other than the three brothers going off for a game of Golf, I don't know of any other plans for tomorrow. It's our last full day before we return on tuesday. The trip has certainly been fun.

October 20:

I'm writing this while we're waiting for our flight at the airport. Nice to have something to do this time. Yesterday was pretty quiet. However, I went out with mom and Aunt Cathy to a local restaurant called the Poney Coralle. They have very good hamburgers but they're a tad messy. Dad went golfing with his two brothers and Jeff, Neil's son. Afterwards, we had a nice dinner of leftovers with my grandmother. We'll be seeing her in a couple of weeks. She'll be here for my birthday this year.

I've had a really good time on this trip. Life seems to be going well for pretty much all of us at present. Jeff is well on his way to becoming a teacher. We spoke over Skype with Nancy and her special man in Saskatoon. It was good to get all caught up with family happenings. I'll be adding Aunt Cathy to my Skype and try to email them more often than i have previously.

We'll be back in Mississauga a little after noon so I'll be all caught up quite quickly. I'm already caught up with online stuff and I most likely don't have any voicemail messages. This little netbook has come in quite handy during times when everyone was busy or when they were doing something inaccessible to me. It's good to be able to whip this out, keep current, and amuse myself. Despite the netbook's excellent performancce, I'll be happy to return to mainly using my desktop. Afull-sised keyboard and Bose speakers are things missed while out and about. The lapdesk was superb at holding everything steady. I couldn't have been happier with my travel setup.

I'm all unpacked and settled back in my usual chair in front of my desktop computer. It's good to have everything squared away. I'm enjoying a nice cool clamato drink. My ears don't quite feel normal but that ought to finish correcting itself soon. The flight back was on an Airbus 320 which seems to have slightly narrower seets. The ride was a bit smoother during the takeoff and landing. However, we had a little turbulance to liven things up a tad. Well, ..., I enjoyed it and would have liked a little more. Doubtless, I'm the only deranged soul who thought that. It's just approaching two thirty as I polish off this blog entry. I don't have anything planned for the rest of the week. It's back to the normal daily duel with writer's block and staving off boredom. Good thing I'm currently cleaning both of their clocks these days. I'll go over to Symposium for a nifty brunch tomorrow or thursday. Other than that, I guess I'll just play things by ear so to speak.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Hello everyone. It's been somewhat windy and rainy out over the past while. My sleeping isn't back to normal just yet but it's better than it has been over the past while. I'm feeling quite happy and wide awake this morning. What's more, I've enjoyed life over the past number of days. The highlight was definitely Sunday. Our church had another games night which I was able to attend. This time, there were three of us playing Monopoly on my netbook. Joseph brought the normal board game which seems to have helped the sighted folks out. I found myself on the losing end of things this time. Well, second place to be precise. It was an absolute blast of an afternoon and early evening. More people took notice of us this time around. When you spend most of your time alone, that sort of thing definitely helps with one's sense of isolation. Another excellent investment I made was acquiring the new audio drama The Adventures of Sexton Blake. It's a six-part series from:
The guy who plays Arthur Dent in the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy starred as the hero and it worked wonderfully. This crew doesn't cut any corners at all when it comes to high-quality sound. I'll be keeping an ear on them.

Dragon Tavern is still going quite well. Eldrex is continuing his climb to digital and meaningless glory. I've abandonned Thorebar. He's just gone and died too many times and I got tired of building him up from scratch again. I've decided to invest in a subscription to Che Martin's card room at:

I very much enjoy playing Texas Holdem and it's a lot cheeper than All inPlay. At least it's a more social way of passing spare time when writer's block takes hold. It looks like I've finally rid myself of that ailment once again. Work continues at a slow but thankfully more steady pace on Enchantment's Twilight. Those rpg books are a gold mine of ideas and information. I've just started reading the one about ancient ships and life at sea. I haven't yet settled on a ship type for the kind wizard to leave his homeland in. However, I'm somewhat drawn to the idea of a cog. The openning act of the whole sauga is something I've never really had a fixed idea of and that may well be the next thing to try and work on over today and tomorrow. The group of people who accompany the kind wizard will provide me with some scope for interest as they must integrate with the island's population and a new way of life.

Time seems to be moving along at a far more rapid and endurable pace now that I've found my equalibrium again. This weekend is Thanks Giving and we'll be going to see my aunt Kay and other extended family. It's been quite a while. I always enjoy hearing what's happened with everyone. At the end of next week, we'll be heading off to Winnipeg. Meanwhile, I certainly have plenty to keep me occupied. G4Tech TV has changed somewhat from how it used to be. However, it still offers a lot of interesting stuff. So does the Accessible Channel. I'm very much enjoying that. History and Discovery are also up to their usual excellent standards. It's been quite a while since I last caught Mythbusters. I'll have to do something about that over the next while. Catching the new episodes is a bit harder when they repeat all of the older ones. However, I've missed a number of them so I figure I'm bound to hit a new one again soon. I just have to remember to actually think about TV when I run into a patch of boredom. It isn't really a natural thing for me. The Internet tends to be what I focus most on these days.

Well, I suppose I should think about getting more presentable seeing as I'm at last going to walk over to Symposium Cafe again for a brunch. It's been a couple of weeks but I feel quite confident that I remember the route. That's still a very new and wonderful experience for me. I don't feel that I have to constantly practice or face losing all the progress I've made learning how to get there and back. It's certainly taken long enough to get to this point. The Trekker Breeze is definitely worth its weight in gold despite its quirks. It'll be invalueable when I at last come up for affordable housing. Not a peep from those folks. No action on Plenty of Fish over the past while either. At this stage, my profile on POF is about as good as I can get it. I'll keep watch for any interesting threads on the forums to put my two cents in. Other than that, all I can do is wait and hope.

Friday, October 2, 2009

nearly out of the woods

Good morning, everyone. Despite not having much sleep at all, I'm actually feeling quite good. That coke I had after mom and I got back from dinner with family friends at Symposium was probably not the brightest move. It was, however, quite enjoyable at the time. I didn't think I'd get to Symposium this week. It just isn't very smart to try and cross streets which are busy or have crookedly cut curbs when you're not completely able to exercise your powers of concentration. Somehow, things finally seem to have sorted themselves out in my mind. Perhaps, the book I ended up reading, Hairstyles of the Damned, had something to do with it. It was a depiction of an American teenager's experience of essentially reaching adulthood. He tried absolutely everything in order to fit in but just never quite achieved any personal satisfaction. Frankly, I find it hard to imagine a high school experience anything like what was portrayed. All the drugs, sex, and other shenanigans should have wound the whole lot of these teens in jail. Instead, it was like all the adults just gave up the ghost and let them have at it. One aspect of the book which felt absolutely genuine to me was how the main character came of age at the most unexpected and unlikely time. He had essentially just paid for the right to have a sexual encounter but turned away from it in order to comfort an old friend who had already indicated that he had no chance of going any farther with her. All of a sudden, but quite naturally at the same time, he began thinking about the larger picture of life. The long-term consequences of actions became more important to him.

I guess adulthood kind of sneaks up on all of us. It isn't a state of mind we just suddenly reach. Rather, we come into it and then, there comes a point when we stop and finally realise just how much we've changed from who we were. This week has been quite a rough ride for me. However, I feel like I've gained a kind of emotional fortitude that I've been lacking for months. Perhaps, it was all the misery I contemplated through the books I read and the email list I'm on. Perhaps, I just had to smash hard against rock bottom in order to face my current circumstances with more equanimity. Over the past while, I've put myself as much as possible in the path of other people and have gained very little as a result other than frustration. What I've finally concluded is that my life just isn't likely going to change all of a sudden. There's no stone I've left unturned in the social life improvement department now. I don't regret any steps I've taken other than eHarmony. Neither of the two ladies who showed some interest in me have followed up for a while. I doubt I'll hear from either of them again. POF seems the most likely to put me in touch with a new lady friend over the long term. I'll certainly continue to frequent that site. Meanwhile, I'll keep enjoying life as much as I can and keep ready and open to opportunities to have some sort of positive impact. For now, like it or not, that's pretty much all I can do.

In the process of trying to expand my social circle, I seem to have lost touch with a couple of good friends. I haven't heard a peep from Ron or Steve in ages. Ron's email no longer works which makes me wonder whether I actually dialled his number wrong or whether he's just moved somewhere. Now that I've at last gotten my own shit together again, I'll have to see what's become of them. Steve was having sleeping troubles but seemed to like his job alright when last we talked. Haven't seen either of them on Skype for ages. In all likely hood, I'll be seeing Adam either today or tomorrow. He's stuck it out with me despite all this frustration and insomnia. I haven't always been the most exciting of company these days. I've got to work at varying my listening somewhat. It's time to start making the most of the life I have again. I still have some sleep to catch up on, but I think the worst is finally behind me.