the_vulture: (tvhead)
Early last week, my girlfriend and I headed out on a four hour drive to visit her family in Cape Breton for a few days. We managed to make it just ahead of a storm of freezing rain that we figured would clear up the next to allow us to phototrek around the island. Unfortunately, the ice storm front 'stalled', according to the weather experts, pinning us down inside her mom's house for most of the trip, often without power. We even wound up missing a day of work waiting for the road conditions to improve enough to let us get back home safely.

So, no, I didn't get a chance to take many photos and I didn't get to play with the Canon Rebel T5i at all, on account of not wishing to expose it to the freezing rain. But you're welcome to peek at what I did manage to photograph:



More under the cut... )
the_vulture: (tvhead)
So, yeah, I'm now contemplating the strong possibility I won't be able to do the run on the 17th. Yes, I managed to get myself to the point of being able to run the half marathon distance once, but, without realizing it, I did myself some damage while doing so (I just learned all about overtraining... the hard way) and my body is currently in the process of telling me to fuck off, including letting me suffer this lovely bug I've managed to start suffering from Saturday afternoon. I was feeling better yesterday afternoon and did the P90X Kenpo workout, which should've been a solid, but not overly demanding workout. It left me completely drained. That's not good. Been feeling like crap since then. Meh.

I don't know if I'll be able to pull my body back together enough to do this run, if even moderate workouts are fucking with me, and an $80 entry fee sort of prohibits 'just giving it a try, anyhow'. Conventional wisdom says there's always next year, but I don't know if I'd be able to avoid the same conditions that led to overtraining this time, key amongst them: not being able to regularly get a solid 8 hours sleep after my workouts and doing Kung Fu on what should be my rest days. There's also the whole thing where I'm not looking forward to the entire sacrifice of time and effort that it took this time around, which cost me a lot in terms of time I would normally have spent doing extra training and conditioning for Kung Fu. (I'm also not pleased at the loss of kick flexibility, courtesy of some damaged and very tight thigh muscles.) To do it again, and this time properly, I'd pretty much have to give Kung Fu altogether. I'm not willing to do that, so, yeah, fuck.

the_vulture: (tvhead)
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

asked the unintentionally cruel aunt
like she does every time she visits
too occasionally to explain
the lonely sorrow that is being
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

the answer is always an awkward mutter
those who truly know me never ask
it's an unvoiced understanding
they know about, but never speak of
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

the words cut a savage reminder
of all the things I'll never have
a wife, kids, the love that comes with them
all lost to me, as no one wants
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

a prison sentence pronounced as a question
invisible bars of loneliness between me
and the joy I see everyone else share
half a life of heartache, and half a life to go, as
a romantic asexual
the_vulture: (tvhead)
So, I'll start off with the scary news I got last month. My doctor really didn't like my blood sugar level from the last set of tests. She's scheduled me to do another test in November to see if I have diabetes. That's... not happy. Granted, I know my father tends to have a high blood sugar level and I've probably inherited that from him, but, after all the exercising and such I do, I feel like my body has betrayed me. Not fun. The doctor told me not to beat myself up about it, but she did suggest I do what I can lose more weight, specifically to exercise even more than I do already.

Okay.

So, I finally bought a new pair of badly needed running shoes and I've redoubled my efforts in running, literally. Over the last couple of weeks, I've taken to doing two of the running workouts that the miCoach app spits at me for the 5k race plan I'm doing. This week, I've run over 25k. That's my new weekly goal: 25km. In this week alone, I've seen some really good progress: I've dropped around 4lbs and my blood pressure has improved a lot. I'm also feeling a lot better. 

Another thing that will help is finally switching back to a day schedule, with Sundays and Mondays off, even. Aside from just being easier on my system and giving me my evenings back to socialize and such, I'll also go back to two nights a week of Kung Fu. (Yay!) The (re-)added workout is going to really help. 

So, yeah, between all of that, I'm going to be putting in a lot of work on my physical health between now and November. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about it all, but, yeah, still scary.


the_vulture: (Default)
Yesterday was a brilliant, sunny and, above all, warm day that prompted me to go out visiting. The weather was so nice, I wore my shorts. I had a happy visit, bought a few nice nick-knacks from Mystic Moons, enjoyed a lovely drive home, came downstairs, and stepped in water... 

FML under the cut... )
the_vulture: (tvinflight)
I just learned of the passing of Jack Layton, former leader of the NDP and a man who represented hope and optimisim in the government for many, many Canadians. Not long after leading the NDP to unprecendented levels of success in the last Federal election, he stepped down as leader to wage a private battle with cancer. He lost that battle this morning, passing peacefully in his home surrounded by family.


You will be missed, Jack. May your legacy live on and further inspire your colleagues to battle onwards for the benefit of ordinary Canadians. Be at peace.


May comfort come swiftly for those left behind.

the_vulture: (Default)
In anticipation of [info]ysabetwordsmith 's Poetry Fishbowl concerning alternative sexuality and gender studies, I've written a poem describing one of the key challenges I face as a romantic (and very much touch starved) asexual.

(Yes, I was listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen whilst writing this.)



Because I do not touch that way

Not for me are the sweaty grapplings, concealed in the dark.
I kiss, I touch, with deep embrace, but never reach that mark.
The lesson was so hard to learn, so many hearts did fall,
that, as I do not touch that way, I cannot touch at all.

Kinsey’s X is what I am, and, of us, there should be more,
many with such sexless yearnings that I could so adore.
Yet here I am with none to hold, none near that I recall,
and, since I do not touch that way, I cannot touch at all.

The nearest heart to call my own, a thousand miles away.
With but voices we caress and with only letters play.
But what will become of us, when lonely nights come to call?
For, as we do not touch that way, we cannot touch at all.

There should be more hope and I should have some reason for cheer,
as the call is now raised loud for all the Xs to hear.
Yet, at night with no one to hold, I dread what may befall,
because I do not touch that way, I’ll never touch at all.

Franky

Apr. 8th, 2011 10:01 am
the_vulture: (tvhead)
Based on the poem "Where They're Coming From", written by [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith  during her most recent Poetry Fishbowl (with the theme of "Mad Scientists"), a discussion arose concerning what might happen if a victim of bullying somehow acquired the power to stop his or her torment (I'd recommend reading the poem and the resultant conversations). During one of the discussions, I was reminded of a web comic project I had done a number of years ago (before I was even fully aware of what a web comic was). The original project was presented as a very simple website with a single panel displayed at a time, looping continuously (so it's just as endless as bullying seems to be). I present here in more of a traditional web comic form: 

(Trigger warning: bullying)



The rest of the comic... )
the_vulture: (Default)
As some of you may know, [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar , an author and artist adored by many in LJ land, especially given how much of her work she has freely shared with us (including stories, anecdotes, card readings and advice on writing and producing art), has run into quite a big spot of trouble requiring extensive house repairs. To help out with some of those expenses (and fill my Crackberry with enjoyable reading), I've just purchased quite a number of her e-book publications from Smashbooks. On her Smashbooks site, she has a number of free short stories to download, so you can get a taste of her writing before deciding to purchase any of the other very reasonably priced works. If you like good sci-fi, furry fiction, stories dealing with alien cultures, and/or explorations of gender roles and issues, I'd highly recommend taking a look. My favourite, thus far, is Alysha's Downfall, which contains some very edgy writing.
the_vulture: (tvhead)
If you recall this post, you know that I'm currently working on assembling a collection of my best twelve photos. The project is rather slow in coming along. The simple reason for this is that I have a LOT of photos. I'm already up to about 70 photos on my first pre-sort and I haven't made it out of my England shots yet. 0.0!  I occasionally sort through a few more folders now and then, but it's still going to be while before I post my best dozen. (On the upshot, though, I have found a few great photos I'd forgotten about. :D  )


the_vulture: (Default)
Yeah, the damn thing doesn't want to budge from 280 lbs. This is in spite of all the Kung Fu and Tai Chi I've been doing the last few weeks. I console myself with the fact that when I was last this weight, I was tight fitting into a size 46. A couple of days ago, I purchased a couple of size 44 jean shorts that fit very comfy and will do me until my size 42s are not so snug.

The big pain in the arse though (about six inches away from being literal), is that I hurt my lower back during today's workout. I was good jogging in spot, I was fine running with knees high in one spot, I was also fine lightly bouncing one leg a number of times and then the other, as if skipping. But the once I try putting an extra high bounce on every fifth 'skip'? BANG! I get seizing in the muscles just off the spine and right above the hip bone.

Dammit.

I finished off the rest of the class just fine, but opted against a walk to the grocery store later on. Currently, I'm dosed up on ibuprofen and reeking of Tiger Balm. It's not a bad injury, as far as my history of putting out my back goes, but I've definately added yet another activity to the list of 'Things that will make my back hate me if I do them.'

On a positive note, I did a lot of work on scissor blocks, rolling up from prone, and how to utilize a couple key pressure points in the neck to do some really, really nasty take downs. :D
the_vulture: (Default)

Today I was out and about shopping on my day off. Whilst initiating a quest for a cheap light source that might restore life to my ailing tomato plant, I was thinking about Samhain and just how unenthused I was about it. Again, it'll be a simple affair. I'll be working that evening, so attending an open ceremony is out. I'm also just not finding the enthusiasm to buy and carve a pumpkin. Costuming, again, is out due to lack of funds to do something serious. In fact, I've just been feeling really blah about the whole holiday, and getting kinda down as a result.

Trying to knock myself out of that funk, I decided I would try and make the best of things and buy something Halloweeny to put on my desk at work, as well as some treats to hand out. Thinking along the lines of getting a wee jack'o'lantern and an artificial candle to go in it, I came across this little guy:



 


I handpicked him out of a bunch of others. When I finally got a hold of some batteries and got him to light up, I must admit, my smile did, too.  :)

Edit: I just HAD to go back today and get the green one, so now I have two. *very silly grin*

the_vulture: (Default)
So I'll be working till 2 in the morning from next month on. Will I regret that decision? Nope. Why? Because I actually really didn't have a choice in the matter: all the decent dayshifts that would have actually done me any good were llloooonnnnnnngggggg gone before I got to pick. It was either late nights or early evenings and the latter would have really buggered up my martial arts schedule... as well as lost me a chunk of shift premiums. As it stands, I'll be making an extra $15 or so a month with the extra late half hour. It's not much of a gain, but at least it's a gain. *chuckle*

I'm gonna go back to sleep now... *yawn*
the_vulture: (Default)
Tomorrow morning, I get to select my new shift from what's remaining during the current shift bid. I'm facing a bit of a dilemma: I would like to try for day shifts, so I can have evenings free to do more things, like socialize and attend more martial arts lessons, but switching from the evening shifts I have now would cost me something around 8% of my wages from lost shift premiums. It all seems to come back to the stupid time versus money equation. I never quite seem to have enough of one or the other. *chuckle*
 
Right now, I'm drifting to sticking with the late nights. If I did switch to daytime, I'd have to work a  shift of overtime just to make up the difference. I suppose I'm getting enough exercise as it is, so my current studies should be okay, not that there's much for martial arts around here, anyhow. And, I suppose, once the probation period is finally over with, I can actually start using the banked time I have for the occassional evening out.
 
Still, it would've been nice to have something akin to a normal schedule...

What do you think?
the_vulture: (Default)
... then I'd use less water.
the_vulture: (Default)
Okay, despite cranking the volume on my phone and placing it right by my bed, I still managed to sleep through all attempts by my parents to contact me before they left. As such, I literally slept through the last opportunity to see them before they leave NB for five or six months. *sigh*

Of course, that may not have been entirely my fault; I have reason to suspect that my phone isn't ringing as it should be. I shall have to actually test it, which means putting money on my pay-as-you-go. Blech. A call has to go to tech support anyhow, as I'm getting long distance charges on calls that should've been free as they should've gone through wi-fi. Grrrr....

The suckage continued as my back was still too buggered to go to martial arts class, but, if given lemons, I attempted to make lemon juice and finally made it to the Farmer's Market. At first i was still pretty glum about the whole morning thus far and I wasn't really taking in any of the energetic atmosphere of the market fair. As I cast further and further about for the pagan friendly stand that [livejournal.com profile] karibu  had told me about, but wasn't finding, I began thinking that I was going to leave the market with nothing in hand save more disappointment. Fortunately, I did finally find the stand in the furthest portion of the mall and made very pleasant acquaintance with the proprietress who was not only able to offer a variety of pagan oriented offerings (I purchased some incence, essential oil, and an oil burner with pentacle designs), but also provide some muchly desired information on local pagan associations, as well as the current whereabouts of a pagan friendly store that I thought had permanently disappeared. Afterwards, I was much cheered up and indulged in odd bits of food, including a honey and garlic sausage bun and purchased what was promised to be a close resemblance to scrumpy jack. Sadly, I am stymied by the lack of a %$#*ing bottle opener and will have to dig the cork out with a knife or somesuch (yerg!). I even got a bead on where I could get some pottery lessons and, more importantly, access to a pottery studio!

So, all in all, today has had a rough start, but seems to be getting much better. (Yay!)
the_vulture: (Default)

I've had a recent spate of suckage. This has included:

  • Fighting off a cold for much of the week
  • Dealing with the fact that my folks are soon to be headed back across the country for likely six months
  • Discovering that the three days off I've been anticipating, with the intention of spending Thanksgiving with my relatives, has been completely buggered by a schedule change that will, in theory, have me working six days next week - ARGH!!!
  • And, finally, fracking my back up quite nicely whilst helping my father put the home made, plywood canopy back up on the truck in preparation for the trip back to BC

There are other bits of suckage here and there, but those are the big ones.

*sigh*

the_vulture: (tvhead)

Well, I got my first electricity bill today. It's a good news/bad news kinda thing.

I'll start with the bad, 'cause that's the way I roll.

The bill came to over 392 freakin' dollars!!!

A big "Fuck you, fuck you very much!" goes out to British Gas for not providing a suitable reference that could have spared me having to pay the deposit on this account.

The good news is, the VAST majority of the bill ($320) was the security deposit, so I won't have to worry about forking that out again any time soon. Better still, it'll be repaid to me with interest after twelve months.

The better news is that, of the remainder, the service charge and service call fees came up to over $50 (again, something I won't have to pay again).
 
The great news is that my actual electrical use, for 15 days, came out to just under $24.

Yep, that's right: my summer month costs for electricity will be under $50 a month.

Still, paying that first bill is a bit of an owie. It;s not a major one, mind you, as I was already prepared for that possibility and had budgeted accordingly, but it still makes me wince.
the_vulture: (Default)
Okay, so I've been meaning to post for a while, but I've been pretty active as of late.

Aside from continued training at work, (semi-) notable events and activities since taking possession of the flat:
  • Moved all of my crap from the folk's place to the flat in one truck load (I travel light)
  • Took my family out to dinner to celebrate my father's birthday (Wing Night! Yummmm!)
  • Bought a bunch of microwave meals to live off of until I have time to properly shop for food and kitchen stuff
  • Remembered, way too late, that I don't have a microwave anymore
  • Tried, and failed, to acquire a telephone for the flat through the corp I work for
  • Tried, and succeeded, to acquire internet provision (and, eventually, a wireless modem)
  • Succeeded in setting up the wireless modem
  • Did laundry
  • Photographed all pre-existing damage for walk through purposes
  • Applied for a position as a trainer within the organization I work for
  • Got bitten by many mosquitoes (they are absolutely RABID downtown!)
  • Unpacked many of my meager wordly possessions
  • Did a lot of shopping to add to my meager worldly possessions
  • Discovered that I really DON'T miss biking
  • Discovered that I really could use a run very soon
  • Enjoyed having space to myself again
And that's pretty much about it for now. BTW, if any of you happen to find yourselves travelling to the east coast of Canada, I've a spare room that's virtually unused.
the_vulture: (Default)

It's Wednesday and I is tired. Not so much in the spiritual, emotional, or mental sense, but pretty much in the physical. And that, even seems to be focussed primarily in my legs. Yep, instead of getting easier after a two day break, it seems that biking to and from work is getting harder. That's a bit troubling as I figure I won't be moving out till the end of August, leaving well over two weeks of biking left to suffer through (*whimper*). Over the last two evenings, I've actually had to walk my bike over hills that I used to be able to ride. And not only are my legs wearing down, all this riding is taking its toll on the bike, which is in dire need of some maintenance (including adjusting the chain tension, readjusting the derailers, readjusting the seat height, reseating the front tire bead, and replacing the rear brake pads, as well as a good lube job). The new apartment cannot come soon enough!

Sadly, though, finding a new roost is proving a lot more involved than first anticipated. That mostly has to do with me being picky. With an 'okay' from the Universe (provided by [info]haikujaguar in her latest One Card Draw found here: http://haikujaguar.livejournal.com/548295.html?thread=8846023#t8846023 ), I've decided that I'm going to be a bit less miserly about how much I'm going to be spending on my apartment this time 'round. I want a living space, not just a space to live in. That means something larger than my last flat, and definately not a shared accomodation. Still, I figure I should be able to get something decent for only $650 a month. What's an extra $100 for a bit of luxury?

Finding the dream home may prove a challenge, if my first attempts at viewing are to be any indication. The first place I went to see was in a small, four apartment block building. The interior was rather nice and had ample space. It even had features such as built in humidity control and in-wall heating. The outside was, well, unfinished. That, in itself was not such a bad thing, as the building had just been recently erected. However, I couldn't help but frown on the support posts for the external stairway and balcony resting half-way off their concrete feet. Even more alarming was noticing that the floor on the inside of the apartment was already sagging over a beam (the place had been finished just last November!). Add in that the neighbourhood looked kinda skeezy and that makes it an 'uh unh' from me.

I was supposed to attend a viewing at another place today. Yesterday, however, I decided to scout out the neighbourhood for the place, as I had a bit of extra time and the apartment was very close to work. Sadly, the apartment, a basement suite, was also very close to a number of downtown's nightspots, conjuring the uncomfortable image of my living room window being peed on by some drunken reveler at three in the morning. If THAT wasn't deterrent enough, as I was looking around, I was startled by the thunderously loud 'BING BING BING' of a railway crossing signal. Yes, the apartment was right next to the only rail line running through town, a rail line, I might add, which is exceedingly active.

Can you say "cancel the viewing"?  I knew you could!

I think I may actually look into one of the professionally managed apartment complexes. They're pricier, but may prove much more worth the expense. And, hey, my job will be paying me enough to afford a slightly more affluent lifestyle any how.

Speaking of the job, the training is going well. I've had a second test in which I've scored very high. And the crew I'm with continuous to be a fun lot to be around. This is aside from all the nifty stuff I'm learning about cellular communications, like how wireless telephone networks work and how to send an e-mail using the text feature of my phone (didja know you could do that?). I think I may come to really enjoy my employment with this company.

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