Friday, March 26, 2010

life's improving tambour

Hello everyone. I guess it's been a couple of weeks. Time certainly proceeds apace here. There have been a couple of very enjoyable gatherings. Last friday evening, I went to one and made some roasted potatos which seemed to have been enjoyed. I'm still tinkering with the timing of those but have reached a point where I can count on them turning out well. It was good to get to know the people who attended the event better. The food was terrific. Mainly though, I enjoyed the conversation. I felt like I was in my element.

My futon, coffee table and two end tables arrived last week. Mark and Wendy came over and assembled the tables for me. It didn't take them long with the help of one of those diagrams. The futon didn't need much assembly and the delivery guys handled that. One of them bumped my desk on the way in and was surprised when my computer's voice suddenly began speaking. It seemed to break the ice wonderfully. I gave them a couple of softdrinks as they left. It was a marvelously warm day and I figured they could use them. The place feels so much more complete now. It makes a relaxing change to sit on that futon and enjoy music, podcasts, etc. The two tubchairs will get here some time over the next month or so. There are a number of people who I'm very much looking forward to inviting over for visits including a Spanish couple who I've become acquainted with who live in the building. I've seen Sandy a few times and have helped him move some stuff around in his apartment. He's have some ups and downs healthwise. However, he has at least been in contact with some more helpful people. They've managed to assemble the new furnature he recently got. It seems like he's pretty serious about making the best of life. There's still a kind of listlessness to him but it's no great surprise given what he's experienced. There's a lot more sunchine in him than when we first met though. He seems to think I've done him some real good already and we haven't really gotten to serious computer efforts yet. It'll alll some in due time though. I expect we'll be hearing from John Morgan soon. I wonder what he got up to in England. Some day, God willing, I'll go there with a special lady or one or more very good friends.

I'm still slowly proceeding through Stephen King's Duma Key. It's keeping me interested so far. Also, I've started going through a book called Brain Fuel which is filled with scientific facts about all sorts of foods and other things. I believe it will eventually cover more than chemistry and biological stuff. I still have quite a bit to go through. Browsing the CNIB digital library, I found another interesting-sounding book called Our True North Strange and Free. Apparently, that's got a bunch of strange stories and facts about Canada. Books like that are splendid for when you don't really feel like engaging with a story.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking another stab at trying to help improve the situation with the router my parents have. Dad's computer is just wizzing along on the information superhighway but nobody else is able to connect. Dad looked at some pretty negative reviews on Future Shop's site which may have given the key to solving the problem. Apparently, all the trouble might be resolved by updating the firmware in the router. We got it on sale just before Christmsa and I never would have figured he'd have to bother upgrading the firmware this soon. My own router seems to have come with the latest firmware already installed. Thankfully, it appears that D-link has made the updating process quite easy. Here's hoping that this step restores mom's ability to go online with her laptop.

Adam came over on wednesday. He arrived just as I was heading back upstairs with my laundry. We had a good visit and went to Monahan's in Oakville for wings. That certainly brought back some memories. The wings are more pricey now but thankfully, the taste hasn't changed. We'll doubtless head back over there on a monday to take advantage of their wing night. We hoped to play a game called Settlers 7 but found that my computer just wasn't up to it. The lack of a wide-screen monitor doesn't help its gaming capabilities. However, its CPU and outdated graphics card are larger issues. It will still be perfectly suitable for my own needs. Accessible games don't have nearly the same hardware requirements. Nor does any other software I'm likely to use. Fortunately, Hinterland turned out to be playable if a bit awkward due to not having a wide-screen perspective.

I'm taking it fairly easy today. Other than this blog entry, there are two weeks worth of groceries to order. It's that time once again. I'll have them come early next week. It has gotten quite cold here again. The weather people don't think that'll last too long. Hope they're right. I've never been fond of the cold. CSUN is happenning right now in the states. Still no word about either Trekker Breeze's update or of the Blio Reader. Their site is still up but I haven't had any news from them since sighning up for their news updates. I hope nothing has tangled them up. Regarding Dragontavern and Plenty of Fish, I'm toing equally dismally on each of these fronts. Seeing as I haven't yet sorted out my profile on POF, that's not too surprising. I also haven't kept up with the forums there and have to sink some time into all that soon. DRagon Tavern is another matter entirely. I've had a run of utterly dreadful luck. Poor Eldrex has been killed so many times now that I'm laybouring under a half-million-point XP debt. Every time I manage to chip away at it, another nasty fate befalls my brave adventurer as his controller, yours truly, takes one too many chances with his fate. What can I say? I find it good to have one area in life where decisions can be made and risks taken without fear of consequence.

It looks like I'll be seeing my two new Spanish friends Lila and Fernando tonight. We'll have drinks and some good conversation. It'll also be interesting to let them have a look at the various talking gadgets I have in here. Nice not to have another empty evening to look forward to. My grandmother will be coming late next week so she'll also get to see my apartment. I expect I'll be going on one or two family outings over the next while. The haircut I got recently seems to be a good one judging from the feedback I've gotten so far. All in all then, I'd say things were going pretty well. Think I'll end on that high note, whip up some hot chocolate and then look through the Grocery Gateway flyer which arrived in very timely fashion into my in-box.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday's Man

Hello everyone. I've had myself quite a good friday. The groceries came with only one substitution. Probably should have gotten another bottle of dish detergent but I think what I have will last until the next order. It feels wonderfully fresh in here. I had the balcony door open for quite a while. The ceiling fan drew the outside air in and spread it around nicely. Cooking was on the whole successful. The only exception being a new Stofer's barbecue chicken penini I figured I'd try. I couldn't scan or otherwise access the cooking instructions beyond determining that it was indeed microwaveable. I overestimated the time required and nuked the first one to an inedible crisp. I was annoyed but gleeful at such tactile wanton destruction. If there was a speck of liquid in the hot brittle pile that felt ready to crumble to dust, I certainly couldn't sense it. That thing was bone dry and utterly wrecked. The second one turned out splendid. Now that I know what I'm doing, I'll have to order a few more next time. They make satisfying light lunches.

I got more done on Enchantment's Twilight this afternoon. However, it's mostly game mechanics and possible locations. The character roster still hasn't materialised for me. That's beginning to annoy me. I had a good roster in those damned notes I threw away when I thought that any desire to work on an accessible game had died along with my marriage. I still have a kind of dim faith that something or someone will inspire me at some point. It'll just click into place like so much has in my creative efforts.

I went through my music folder on the backup drive. I tend to keep a stripped down version on my computer for regular use but keep every song I purchase or have otherwise obtained on the backup drive. I discovered something like 109 songs which I had eliminated from my hard drive one by one after Janene left me. They would come up in Winamp's random drawing and I would simply find them just too painful to hear. They seemed too much a part of what she and I had together. I couldn't stand them seeming to pounce on me laiden with all the memories of jenuine love, deep friendship, comfort, and good conversation which I had so suddenly lost any hope of enjoying further. Now, at last, those songs are all mine again to enjoy. Things like Matchbox 20's Real World, Creamy's Little Yellow Fish, and at least 105 others. Putting those songs back in the playlist gave me a quite unexpected sense of restorationn which seems somewhat disproportionate to the act and situation. God knows if I'll ever be fortunate enough to find another level-headed cheerful lady remotely interested in this unemployed blind ammature writer and digital do-gooder. Even supposing I get that lucky, whether I'll actually be able to trust her enough for love to happen at all is a very open question. I guess what I've discovered is that life has changed enough for me so I can wait for time to answer those questions. Meanwhile, I can continue to build this new life I have here with the whole of my being. I feel complete again. I've reclaimed what's mine.

Adding to this triumph was tonight's dinner. I cooked chicken wings and an experimental roasted potato in the oven. It all came out perfectly. Now, it's just a matter of trying out different spices. Once Sandy's all better, I can introduce him to the potatos that used to bring the superintendants in the apartment I shared during my marriage knocking at my door.

At last, I've started reading a new novel. Over the past while, I've been turning to old favorites like Raymond Feist's excellent Serpent War sauga. However, today, it was time to start Stephen King's Duma Key. I may or may not have that spelling right. Wouldn't you know it? The book is about a man whose old life comes to an end as a result of an accident which damaged his brain. On the advice of a psychologist friend, he goes to Duma Key in Florida to start over again and figure out who he is. It certainly strikes a chord with me. However, in my case, I believe that I've at last come to a place and situation where I can fully express myself and discover a lifestyle in keeping with my desires, goals and resources. A somewhat different journey similar in its scope of possibilities.

That life continues tomorrow when I'll likely be off to Hamilton to visit my two neaces and perhaps Dan and Allison. It'll be fun seeing Ava and Amia again. On sunday, I have church as well as a possible outing with Shane and one of his friends. Sundays are becoming far less likely to be empty these days. That suits me perfectly as week days can still drag at times. I still enjoy them but have that sense that there ought to be more people in them. I think this spring and summer will expose me to a lot more people living here. That should let me find an excellent balance. Presently, I think I'd better turn in for the nigh after an great friday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

laundry day

Hello everyone. Life is going pretty well at the moment. Yesterday, I went out to Best Buy with my father to help him get a new computer. He thought it was time to take that big step and get his own rather than just using the laptop provided by the company he recently retired from. I've steered him towards getting an HP Pavilion which came with a good sised lcd monitor. Computers and monitors certainly aren't the heavy things they once were. We had no trouble carrying anything. They pack that stuff very well to the point where it took time just to get everything out and assembled. Once all the cables were plugged in, the startup and installation was quite simple. The only snag happened with the N wifi adaptor which wouldn't link up with the router without some extra prompting which shouldn't have been necessary. There are some differences with how Windows7 does things but most major elements like the control panel seem to be the same as with XP. We downloaded and installed Microsoft Security Essentials. I figure that this software combined with the firewall built into Windows ought to be plenty of protection. In fact, after reading numerous favorable reviews, I've decided to uninstall the security package I've paid for to start using the free Security Essentials on my netbook. So far, I've been quite impressed. It takes up a lot less memory. The interface is very accessible. We'll see how things go over time there.

I got a call about my long awaited furnature at the Brick. Apparently, most of it will arrive at the store on the 12th. I'll be getting a call to set up an appointment for delivery soon. Two tubchairs will take a while longer to get here. Having the futon here will certainly make the place feel more complete. I can start to have more than one or two people over and feel like I can properly accomodate them. The futon should seet three people comfortably when in couch form.

On tuesday, dad took me out for a walk. It was wonderful weather and I was actually hot when we got back. Getting to the Meadowvale Town Centre will be easier than it was from my parents' house. I'll only have to cross one small street. There are a few branches on the path which I'll have to avoid accidentally taking but nothing dangerous. Also, there were a lot of people out there and plenty of benches and areas for outdoor activities. I expect I'll spend a lot of time out there this Summer. The Trekker Breeze is working quite well. I still await the release of an update for it which ought to be out fairly soon along with the Blio Reader.

I had a great deal of fun on Sunday. The church service was excellent as always. It was followed by what is becoming a fairly regular but deeply appreciated ocurrance of having lunch with Shane and his family. After that, we attended the games night event held each month. It was a good thing Shane brought his computer. Something had gone wrong with my copy of Jim Kitchen's Monopoly version. Later on, I figured out that re-installing the game fixed the problem quite simply. It looks like Shane's in to games as well so I imagine we'll be attending more of them together. Hopefully, Joseph will also be able to join us. Life has definitely taken on a far more social aspect since I've moved here. I'm can't express how deeply grateful I am for this. There are still many moments when I keenly feel the lack of a special lady. However, barring some catastrophic change, I can be more than merely content here. There are enough friendly people around that I can picture things becoming even more fulfilling over time as I meet more of them.

Saturday evening was an unexpected interesting experience. I went out to lend my knowledge of trivia to a table attending the Mississauga MS Society's trivia fundraising event. I had a lot of fun, got to know some very good people and even came up with some answers in timely fashion. Earlier on Saturday, I finally bit the bullet and removed my outdated copy of Jaws from my desktop computer. I'm strictly using System Access and NVDA on the desktop. That let me install a long overdue update to my graphics card drivers which ought to make gaming with Adam here more palitable to him. It has also greatly sped up my computer's boot speed and made things generally more snappy. I won't be able to play some treasured games on it anymore. However, I plan to keep Jaws on my netbook for occasions when its strengths are needed. So far, System Access has done quite well. The major exception was the day before yesterday when I was ordering my groceries.

Today is a laundry day put off nearly to the last moment. It's been a tad over two weeks. I'll definitely be getting my laundry money's worth this time around. I wonder if the nicer weather we've been having will have any impact on how busy the machines are. While I ate breakfast, I heard an excellent BBC Radio4 Choice podcast about the large hadron colider. I remember how excited I was when that massive and complex machine went online around a year ago. It looks like they're finally ready to continue with experiments. Hearing the people involved discussing what things have been like at the LHC was absolutely fascinating. Even more was hearing about their hopes and speculations on what might be uncovered by the machine. I have the same sense of how intrinsically worth-while such exploration is as I do about our ventures in space. I've learned first hand how utterly empty life can get if there's nothing new to experience or contemplate. Hopefully, that sort of stagnation is at last behind me for good.

The laundry is half done now. There was absolutely nobody in that room today although at least one machine was running. Pretty soon, everything will be back up here and hung or stashed in its proper place. I always feel better when that's the case when it comes to laundry. I prefer my disorganisation to be in other areas of life. After the laundry's all squared away, things ought to be pretty relaxed. I have leftovers from yesterday for dinner although I may throw some green pepper on the grill to add to them. I've been accidentally neglecting those lately. My new order of groceries will come tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to over-spend on groceries this month. Keeping supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables takes some consideration. Online shopping can be quite economical once you get into a good rhythm and learn to space things out properly. I ought to have that more in hand in another month or two. Things are certainly moving in a nice direction in that area. I'm getting the hang of things like that again fairly quickly.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spices and Ice! Nice!!!

Hello everyone. The last week has certainly been a good one. No word from the Brick yet on that furnature I've ordered. I suppose it may still come tomorrow. Last sunday was one of our church's soup sundays. I met up with Shane, Sue and Angel and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Shane drove me home and also came for a short visit. He tried a few of the audio games. We also dropped in on Sandy so Shane could help him with an answerring machine. That proved relatively easy. Sandy's feeling a bit under the weather today. That happens fairly often apparently. Hope he gets better soon so I can have him up for another chicken dinner. I tried one of the frozen curri dinners in the oven last night and it came out splendidly indeed. Had enough to do me for this evening but it'll have to wait til tomorrow. Adam and I are going out for dinner and a gaming cession.

For some reason, I was quite tired through most of yesterday. Today, I'm feeling back to normal again. I went home for dinner at my parents' house and got to see Dan and his family also. Ava and Amia are up to their usual chaotic standards. Elliot, their dog, is no slouch in that department either. Mom has apparently begun going through the closets and was probably hoping Dan would take some of his assorted stuff back home with him. Not much of that left the house. She figures that perhaps she'll try again when she turns 70.

My father came to visit me today. We went out to Symposium for a late delicious lunch. While on the way down in the elevator, my cell phone somehow dialed 911 on me. I had the keypad locked so I have no idea how that would have happened. Something to check into over the next while. That certainly added a tinge of creepiness following my listening to the described version of My Little Eye. That film has quite a bit more bite to it when the details I missed without said description were filled in. Dad helped me fill out a survey that the managers of my building wanted. Hope it helps. They've done a terrific job so far as far as I'm concerned. My first rent payment went through without a hitch. Dad also brought a spice rack and those covered ice cube trays. Yay! The first batch of cubes is now safely freezing solid in the door of my freezer. It'll be so damned nice to have ice at hand. The spices are all labelled with bar codes for my scanner. That'll help until I've gotten an intuitive sense of what's where. Next week, I'll be helping dad pick out a new computer for himself. That shouldn't be too hard. He doesn't have any specialised requirements or anything. Just a good system which does what he wants it to and has enough resources should he take a keener interest down the line.

At long last, I can officially say that work on Enchantment's Twilight is proceeding. I've begun to touch up areas of the design document and am considering a completely different skills system for characters. Not exactly earth-shaking stuff but it still counts. My profile on Plentyoffish has also gotten more or less settled in a manner I'm fairly happy with. I flurted with the idea of going for strictly platonic friendship but I believe I'll find that sort of thing through church and around the building. Love is what POF is all about and I can't entirely give up hope that some special soul out there might take an interest in me. There must be someone who would truly value what I can give to a relationship. I can't quite believe that money is all that matters despite all I've been through. I'm just incapable of that level of cynicism. I do, however, feel that I'm in for a long wait. Having my own place certainly puts me a big step ahead in that all-important game.