Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photo Booth

I was the subject (and photographer, kind of) for a good photo. Let me set this up before you view it.

At our company Christmas party this year, we rented a photo booth. It is a pretty standard booth that takes 4 black-and-white pictures and puts them all on one print, one after the other. You (and as many as your friends as you deem worthy) get in the booth, choose your background (a curtain or a plain white wall), sit on the stool, and push the button. A blinding flash hits you, then you have six seconds to choose and prepare yourself for the next pose.

Just six seconds.

OK, now perhaps you'll fully appreciate the series.  Click on the photo to the right to see the full photo strip.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I just heard that someone in our office signed up for a 40 year mortgage.

Them leg shackles are gonna chafe for sure.

She's a young, happy, no-so-sharp pencil that is starting a new marriage and family. They recently bought a BRAND NEW car and I bet they both dine out for dinner all the time. Yikes.

I hope her hubby has got a good, stable job that pays well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Today's Lesson

If you need to send a message to a woman, you should use a card and flowers.

If you've done a proper job on the card, the flowers will only be the punctuation at the end.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Time for a Treat

I consider myself to be a patient and tolerant man.

I have many examples that point to my ability to put immediate gratification in the back seat and make it sit quietly whilst I get things done. I went to university right out of high school when I really would have liked to have traveled. I married and had kids at the request of an insistent girlfriend. I moved a few times on the insistence of the said-girlfriend-turned-wife when I would have been quite happy (each time) staying where I was. I've bought vehicles I haven't wanted, pulled trailers (full of stuff that had no right going anywhere but to a garbage dump) across the country when I really didn't want to. I've scrimped and saved when I would have liked to spent a little money on myself.

Now, I have an opportunity to treat myself. Due to the big event at my little company, I am seeing a payoff from my investment of some money and much-much-much sweat, time and effort. I intend to take a little of this reward and treat myself. The majority of what I've worked for will go into responsible things, like paying down some of my mortgage, into RRSPs, against debts induced by my renovations to the basement. But, I've decided that I need to treat myself to something that says, "I've done alright in life."

A few ideas I've come up with are:
  • a new(er) vehicle
  • replacing the carpet (yes, carpet) in my kitchen with hardwood and tile
  • a new sofa in the noise room I've built downstairs
  • some help with the finishing touches to the renovations (the ones that I just can't seem to find time or skill to do myself)
I'm not used to treating myself, either. I've always had more demanding people in my immediate circle (wives, kids, employers, girlfriends) that have found uses or needs for my resources of cash, time and effort. I've been the good and obedient worker bee, always ready to help, always ready to give, always ready to try and dazzle with my effort and delivery.

This is the first point in my life that I have been the director of what is going on with me. Now, here I am, a man who is seeing the results of five years of ultra, ULTRA hard work; a time when I have some good things - even enough to share - and nobody wants all they figure that they are due and some of my portion, too. For once, I have more than enough for myself.

It's been a little scary, having pushed so hard against the rock to finally have it roll away from the cave door, but I'm liking the feel of it lately.

Monday, November 12, 2007

First Length

I am thirteen years old.

I like girls, but they sure haven't noticed me. I'm not athletic, or funny, or handsome. I don't wear fancy, expensive clothes, or have cool toys. I think that being smart is the thing to do, so I spend lots of time reading and hanging out with my friend Dale, or my friend Blake. I don't do much sports because I've never been great at hitting a ball or a puck. My aim is terrible.

I think Mr. Spock from Star Trek is cool, because he is super-strong and in control of his emotions and the situation he's in. He always knows what to say and Captain Kirk is always going to him for stuff. He knows about everything, like he's memorized everything he's ever read. I want to be just like him.

My mom wants me to get into sports, so I'm going to a swim team tryout today. I'm pretty nervous about it. Our neighbors, the Prince family, have a pool and they let me swim there lots. On hot days, I love to go other there. I help out by skimming the leaves off the pool and helping Mrs. Prince take the solar cover off and put it on when it's time to close the pool. I like being in the water, and I can do some stuff like swim underwater the whole way, holding my breath. I'd like to race and I can swim faster than my mom or my little brother (who is a total hockey kid). Chris Prince is eighteen and is a jock and has a really pretty girlfriend. I'd love to have a pretty girlfriend.

Maybe swimming will be my thing. Maybe I could be a swimming jock. We had a big competition in Edmonton this year called the Commonwealth Games. The swim races made a bunch of headlines in The Edmonton Journal. There was this guy from Edmonton who set a world record. He's the fastest guy at that race IN THE WORLD, and he's from Edmonton. Maybe I could do that, too. I saw a picture of him on this poster, and he looks so strong. I'd love to look like that. Maybe swimming can make me strong, too.

If I make the team at the tryouts, I'll get to practice two times a week at the County Pool. Its a great pool they built last year. There are two pools in the building - one for swimming and one for diving. There's a one meter diving board that's easy to jump off of, and a three meter board that is so scary! I can dive off the one meter, but I can only jump off the three meter.

I think being a swimmer would be fun.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Swimming is going well this year. This season got off to a great start, anyways. One of the only gifts my ex-girlfriend left in her haste to dump me was a depression that helped me shed 25 (apparently unneeded) pounds. It helped me this summer to have one of the best triathlon race seasons ever. In my toughest event of the summer, I finished 45 minutes ahead of my expected time (and 17 minutes ahead of my dream time) for a half-Ironman. Now that the triathlon season is over, I've calmed down my busy training schedule.

I started swimming with my Masters swim team again, after a self-imposed hiatus in the spring. It's nice to be back in the water with my pals, training hard, hot tubbing afterwards and even sharing the occasional beer on our monthly post-swim Wing Night Wednesdays. The coaching has been pretty good so far this year. My technique has improved due to tips from the various coaches (we've gone through a few in the past three months). The fact that I'm going pretty regularly means that the things I'm working on (head down, elbows up, completing each pull, and faster turns) are sinking in.

Swimming is a really wonderful sport. I love the feeling of the water as I cut into a calm, undisturbed lane for my first length in a set. I love the pounding of my heart when I stop in between intervals, cherishing my few seconds with my face out of the water, breathing big, delicious lungfuls of air. I love racing someone in a near lane for the last 10 meters of a length, digging past tired for a bit of reserve to keep ahead of them. I love hearing from muscles and joints that normally don't talk to me through the day, reminding me that they are still there, able and willing to do their job. I love the type of body that swimming gives me, and that I can use it to do just about any other sport reasonably well (or giving me the endurance to keep trying until I *can* do something reasonably well).

I wonder if my dear ol' mom thought that I'd end up so enamored with this activity when she first took me (a fresh 13 year old) to a one-length "tryout" meet at Strathcona County Pool.

I'm grateful for many things in my life and being able to swim is one of them.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Blogger, Jr.

I'm so proud. Banana is back into blogging, and she's good.


I love my spaced out family.

Mackenzie: BRIANNA!
Brianna: is silent
Dad: Brianna. Your sister is talking to you.
Brianna: What?
Mackenzie: ...I forget.

(then we all turn and watch cat lick its anus)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Veer gets Owned

The event that I have been waiting years for has finally happened. Yesterday, it was announced that Veer had been purchased by Corbis, a company out of Seattle, Washington.

My Veer. The one that I am part owner of.

I've been through an acquisition before and it didn't have a happy ending. I remember when Getty purchased EyeWire, we ended up closing the office in Calgary and I was one of the last guys to go. It wasn't pleasant, seeing all my coworkers go off to new and exciting things whilst I stayed to clean up the messes, both literal (their flotsam of desk belongings, old computers, files, corporate documents and such) and figurative (systems and processes that hadn't been transitioned before their release dates). Some left willingly, some hung on to their jobs until the last day and left with tears in their eyes as I escorted them to the door. It was an experience that I do not want to have to live through again.

This acquisition, I don't see the same thing happening. Times (and my duties within the company) have changed. The guys we are dealing with are after our brains and ability, not just the assets of Veer. They know our business is making money, and we're not even competing directly with them. The see us as complimentary to what they are doing in Seattle.

I am tentatively striding into the future with my ever-optimistic attitude.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Oh ... my ... goodness.

There's some big ownership changes afoot at our little company.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lunchtime Treat




Three beautiful words, made even more beautiful by their proximity to each other.