This morning’s post is about coffee. First, Google Calendar reminds me via email that I am having coffee on the first of November with a certain young lady. The calendar is of course wrong, and I’m glad it is. It’s odd what you can do in seven months or so, but it’s hard to talk of it without sounding either pompous or an ass.

I have the privilege this morning of seeing TCG the second time in 10 hours. This in itself is as good a reason as any to wake up. I am glad at the time, though of course as I explain to a friend in no uncertain terms, I know what this is, and I know how to deal with.

Third paragraph: I am sipping coffee. By now, reader, you should be confused. Was that present or past? You see I have mixed my tense. Perhaps I’m doing so for a reason. What is it?

I don’t like software evangelism.

Really. If you want to convince of the virtues of your software or your hardware, let me try it out, give it a spin while you softly outline its virtues somewhere in (distant) background.

Even if you’re brash and self-assured and quite convinced that what you use or what you’ve written is the best thing to happen to computing since the command line interface I’ll listen.

But if you’re an ignorant twat, do the world a favour and shut up. Got that? If you can’t even give me several real selling points for whatever you’re advocating, not only are you making yourself look stupid, but you’re spreading manure over that very thing you’re evangelising.

Mac fanatics are truly guilty of this. Especially neophyte Mac addicts. You know, the ones that decided to drink Job’s Kool-Aid and woke up feeling like they were truly enlightened? You probably know at least one.

The guy, for instance, who told me I should switch over my entire workplace to Mac because – his words, not mine – Macs can now run Windows programs! Oh really? I will try to treat this with grace, but there’s no possible way that it can unless some sort of virtualisation is going on in the background. (Which, as a side note, was exactly the case.)

I understand this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the fact that Apple software and hardware are two different things, but still. Let me spell this out for him. He wants us, a company of 30 or so people, using more than 30 computers to switch to Mac so that I can switch inbetween Windows and OSX in order to – again, his words, not mine – do better email, surfing, and desktop publishing? That’s somewhere in the range of $75,000.00 just to get new hardware and licenses for all those copies of Windows.

And for what benefit? None that I can see. Sure, I like OSX as much as the next guy. I’m that guy in the advert that is all hip, and I get the fact that Mac is cool and Windows is not. But you have to understand that I’m not at work to be hip. I’m at work to do work. If a Macintosh can help me do work better, I’ll consider it. But not until then.

I managed to explain all of this clearly and without raising my voice. Amazing.

The best things in life…

…are the simple things. For instance, a song starting off with a phat beat and pulse-raising bassline, building tension on one glorious note until the simple release of a chord change. Beautiful. You can forgive a band almost any grotesque excess just to bask in the glorious simplicity of that drum and that bass.

Now, the above paragraph is descriptive enough, yes? Yet I’ve taken the liberty of Pitchforking it like so:

…are the simple things – not simplistic, mind you, merely unprepossessing – like a song infused with an enviable austerity, a sort of Jungian synchronicity melting the absence of dynamic interplay into the dreamstate-like repetition of bassline and beat. The sort of song one might sense upon waking from a particularly arctic dream, waking from the building tension of approaching daybreak to the gloriously understated climax of eyes cracking open, blinking in the glare of what can only be described as the archetypal chord change. One may forgive a band almost any grotesque superfluity in pursuit of that Dionysian ideal, that paradigm shift that completely redefines a record – nay, redefines an entire morning, an entire day, an entire week, an entire generation.

Spam (and Gmail)

You probably won’t have noticed because you don’t read my email, but spammers have started taking shots at my contact box above. Which is just idiotic, really. I’m running a blog with Spam Karma, Akismet, a spam-blocking shoutbox, and trackback validation: you think I’m vulnerable to spam? Talk about a waste of time!

But then again, I get something like 100 spams a day in my Gmail account (after I posted it all over the web to see what would happen), so I guess my point is if they have a worldwide net of zombie boxes, they’re going to spam anything and everything in sight.

In other news, Gmail is still letting through a great deal of the Nigerian scam type emails that come my way. Seriously. I get three or four every day landing in my inbox. Gmail team: shape it up.


Coming up later today: How I jumped from a ledge into ice-cold water in a cave the size of Maine, bounced off a tree into another tree after peeing into the woods at night, drank Jameson’s and laughed about the fact I was laughing with my Kretek cigarette buddy, risked my life clambering around on a sheer rock face three hundred feet above a lake, and nearly vomited when Fedex arrived with a particularly tightly-wrapped package.

In the meantime let me say this. It seem to me an IQ test is one of the stupidest ways to measure intelligence, something obviously unquantifiable. This is not because I’ve received a particular harsh score; it just occurred to me yesterday that any number of questions will fail to quantify intelligence because every person is different and every person will express their intelligence or lack of intelligence in a different way. Or more to the point, an IQ test essentially seeks not to define how intelligent you as the individual are, but what intelligence itself is. After all, you need criteria to develop the test, and why should I believe those who develop these tests are unbiased? What if they decide that being smart is mainly about being good at math, or identifying patterns? I’d be sunk like a Spanish Galleon. I’m bricks when it comes to math.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that IQ tests can only really establish that an individual is better or worse at certain tasks than the average. And beyond that it’s quite meaningless.

Can’t pick a title.

I’ve considered this blog post all morning. Really, I don’t like posting too much about my personal life here for fear that you’ll all get bored. In real life I’m hardly interesting, and I’d like this blog to be me, instead of being about me. Can you get an accurate picture of who I am from this blog, warts and all? I think so.

But it’s time to spill the beans. I’m thinking of moving. Mississauga has been nice. It has been good to me, seeing me through rock, hard place, and everything in between (me). It’s just this basement apartment. Great vishnu, I’m getting tired of it. I want a bedroom proper, and a bed proper, and a view of somewhere, and a balcony.

It’s just that I hate the prospect of actually going anywhere; if I move where I want (much closer to Toronto), I have longer to drive to get to work, and I frankly couldn’t keep going to Living Water. But I also have all those things I love about the city – the convenience, the freedom, the masses of people, the culture, the activities. I guess my point is whether or not I’ll get over the apprehension and do anything about this desire.

If you didn’t already know this about me, every once in a while I go through a terribly rebellious streak. Or not rebellious as much as desperate to change. It makes me wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 40, frankly. That desire has, right now, driven me to start writing a novel, meet new people, get out of myself, and start serving at a homeless shelter in Ontario. So far so good. But I’m also sick of where I am. It was good for a while – but I feel trapped in my environment.

Some of you will never understand what this is like. It’s as if my life suddenly turns on itself. It’s part sober reflection, part spontaneous abandonment. Not that I’m some tortured soul slitting his wrists so he can feel real, but I am at that place where I understand just how staid, boring, normal, and predictable my life has become.

And how lonely. Mississauga hasn’t been good to me in this way. During my time here I have met a total of three people, all in the same place. The only place to really meet people is at church, and by the time I located a church that didn’t suck eggs, I had already joined Living Waters. Or at work, but where I work sees virtually no visitors.

It’s a strange place, my life. It’s a strange time, right now. Sometimes I wonder how I could ask anyone to be a part of it. You’re not going to know me in three, five, seven, eleven, thirteen years. You’re going to find yourself staring at a different person with different goals. Maybe smoother around a few of the edges, but pushing out more edges in the meantime.

It’s why I have no one driving passion, no particular goal in my life. It could be music, it could be literature, it could be career, it could be family, it could be a thousand different things that I’m good at. But no, I’m caught up in one thing, then I turn to another, and then another, and then another.

Ask me sometime if I want this to change. The answer is no. Am I addicted to the adventure of being different, or am I simply scared that if I stop I’ll be just like everyone else, or that’s just the way I’m wired. Maybe I’m representative of an entire generation or something. I just don’t know.

I’ve considered this blog post all morning. It seems as if I’ve written more than I had meant to. You judge.

Another quote from a book.

This is how life goes – we send our children into the wilderness. Some of them on the day they are born, it seems, for all the help we can give them. Some of them seem to be a kind of wilderness unto themselves. But there must be angels there, too, and springs of water. Even that wilderness, the very habitation of jackals, is the Lord’s. I need to bear this in mind.

From “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson.