ANNOUNCEMENT

I know I’ve told some of you that if I were ever blessed with a daughter, I’d try to convince the mother to name her Oceania. I am now also considering the name Molly Beth.

AWKWARD

In several of my previous posts I’ve stated that I get e-mails on a rarely used account that are clearly not for me but some other person who has incorrectly configured their e-mail client. They are able to send messages but all replies to any messages come to me.

It may sound interesting to get another person’s e-mails but this individual seems to lead a pretty normal and “by the books” type of life. No one even forwards him porn, which I’d settle for.

Last week, it got a bit awkward for the first time when he sent a message but it got bounced back because the end recipient didn’t exist. I guess he got the address wrong. Anyways, since it bounced back, it didn’t go back to him… it went back to me. From the looks of it, I think this is either a dating site “first contact” type of message or some other message with romantic overtones.

I’m going to publish an excerpt here, censoring details that might get picked up by a Google crawler.

Subject: To the The S****y Girl who likes working out in the Gym

Hi,

Like your ad on the Web. I am from C****a been in S******i 2 years ago
and really like it. Originally from G*****y but live here in C****a for
** years.

I like the Chinese Culture and been practicing Kung Fu and Tai Chi for
** Years. Would like to learn Chinese and Visit China more often. I am
** Years old used to work in F*****e but do more a********s work now.
Well you say you not ugly at all and have brains, very nice.
Maybe we can start as friends I teach you G****n or English and you
teach me Chinese and show me China someday, who knows where it leads.

Looking forward to hear from you

Erwin

I know I’ve said it before but now I’m really, really considering telling this guy he’s messed up his e-mail client. Mind you, now there’s a bit of awkwardness involved, I’m tempted to not tell him. I think that would be wrong. Of course, there’s no way he knows the message bounced, so I can spare him that indignity.

Hindsight being a Hubble telescope, I really should have told him months ago when this first started.

WEIRD SNOW

There is currently some weird snow falling here in Po Mo. I’ve been outside to investigate and I’m here to report my findings.

The snow is unlike anything I’ve seen or at least can remember. It’s falling in tiny, spherical pellet form. It’s dry and light. It’s so light that passing cars can pick up the pellets and send them airborne again. It’s very dry to the touch, though it doesn’t look nor feel like hail. It’s not in flake form at all. I bent down, grabbed some in my hand, smelled it, and then tasted a few pellets… that didn’t tell me anything.

This odd-looking snow might mean only one thing… zombie apocalypse.

COSMOLOGY

It’s amazing the number of things an average person can worry about in modern society. People worry about money, family, relationships, jobs, and all the other issues that fall under those categories. It’s quite possible to have over a dozen concerns in your head at any one time. Living in a modern society is a complicated endeavour.

With so much going on, I wonder if we could just step back for a second and get some perspective or perhaps think of something else other than our normal concerns. When you think about present-day modern civilization, it’s amazing what humans have accomplished. We are essentially animals. We are animals like every other animal on this planet. Granted, we’ve evolved into one of the most intelligent species this planet has ever witnessed but we’re animals nonetheless.

So here’s the part where I ask you to acquire a piece of perspective. Every human that has ever lived has done so on this planet. Every piece of recorded human history has transpired on Earth. This planet is of just one of eight in this solar system. As every one of us worries about what to eat for dinner, we hurtle around the sun on a rock that somehow has sustained life for millions of years.

Do you ever just wonder what lies out there in the far reaches of space? I know that our solar system resides in the Milky Way galaxy but what’s beyond that though? Is it more galaxies? So, if that’s true, what’s beyond that? What is at the edge of the universe? Is the universe finite? If it is, what is beyond its extremes? If it isn’t, how is it possible that something that exists cannot have boundaries or a definite size? What existed before the Big Bang?

Stop for a minute and think about those things. It’s utterly amazing the cosmic situation that we find ourselves in.

I would be remiss in a discussion about the cosmic makeup of the universe if I did not address the issue of extraterrestial life. It has been said that there are as many stars in the universe as there are grains of sand on any typical beach. Given the vast number of stars out there, it would seem logical that intelligent life, like ourselves, would be common in the universe. Yet, for all the conspiracy theories out there, we appear to have no concrete proof that there is any other intelligent life outside of what is on Earth.

The contradiction between the high probabilities of life on other planets and the lack of evidence of such life is sometimes referred to as the Fermi paradox. It’s a fascinating read on Wikipedia and I encourage you to give it some attention. People have attempted to come up with theories as to why we are observing such a paradox. I won’t list all the theories but one interesting one is that intelligent life does exist but humans cannot detect it because of our own biological or technological incompatibilities.

An interesting theory that tries to explain the Fermi paradox is the Rare Earth hypothesis. It supposes that despite the vast number of stars in the universe, the chances of intelligent life existing outside of Earth is exceeding small. The theory states that so many things had to go right for life to evolve on Earth, the odds of that happening on another planet are small enough that we might not ever come in contact with another intelligent lifeform.

Thinking about the issues of cosmology won’t solve your personal problems but it sure is interesting. If you want more to read, I suggest you start with Wikipedia’s entry on the known universe.

SAME OUTFIT, HOW EMBARASSING!

Around noon today, a co-worker, Taylor wanted to grab some lunch with me. I had to finish up some stuff, so I told him I’d get him at his desk when I was ready. Done with my task, I headed over to TJ’s desk.

“Holy! Look at you and Brian, you’re both dressed the same!”

BL, who is the online producer, sits next to Taylor, so we both looked at each other. I had a classy baseball tee on with midnight black sleeves and a dark charcoal grey center. Brian was wearing a classy baseball tee on with midnight black sleeves and a dark charcoal grey center. We were also both wearing denim pants, the almost exact shade of dark, indigo blue. Last but not least, we were both sporting Dennis Busenitz High Score Gazelle Skate shoes on our feet. Now to be fair, about a dozen people on the team received the same pair of complimentary skate shoes, so on any given day, four or five people have the same shoes on.

Shoes aside perhaps, it was still pretty weird seeing the same set of clothes on another co-worker. BL and I took about 30 seconds just looking at each other, up and down. Yep, pretty much the same. Then Taylor decided to call Cuz over to have a look.

“Oh hey! Who calls who in the morning to coordinate all this?”

I think someone took a picture with a cell phone camera. Then Taylor and I went to Ricky’s Diner for lunch. I had scrambled eggs, sausage links, hash browns, and sourdough toast.

FLIRTING WITH INCONVENIENCE

Even if you’ve known me for just a short amount of time, you know I have two unique abilities: I can cleanly core an apple with just my hands in less than five seconds and I always manage to wake up on my bus before my stop.

Tonight, I nearly missed my stop on the bus. I usually wake up as the bus turns off the highway. This evening was like any other as I indeed did wake up as we headed off the highway. I then made a conscious decision to close my eyes again as I was quite enjoying my little nap on the bus. I of course, fell asleep again.

I awoke probably about a minute later but at that time I didn’t know that. At first I wasn’t sure exactly where we were or how much time had passed. I wanted to grab the guy in front of me and ask him what year it was but that only works in the movies.

As I looked outside the window, I realized we had just passed the stop before my own. I had really cut it close this time as I probably had less than 10 000 milliseconds to pull the cord. I signaled for my stop and was thankful I have woken up in time.

Stepping off the bus, I was still reeling with the close call. I could do nothing else but just sit at the bus shelter for a few minutes to collect myself. Reaching into my coat pocket, I was dismayed to find my packet of chew was empty. It was time to go to 7-11 to get a new tin before walking home.

A NOTE ABOUT FACEBOOK

This post is for people who have signed up to Facebook. I don’t know many Internet savvy people who haven’t done so already so this probably applies to many of you.

The main reason I joined and use Facebook rather than MySpace or Friendster is because the initial clean layout of everyone’s profile really appealed to me. Facebook took away some of the control so that people couldn’t mess up the layout and produce a garbage profile.

We’re now months into the explosion of third-party apps on Facebook and you should see some of these profiles. Some people have over a dozen apps installed with little or no regard to where they sit layout-wise in their profile. These profile pages are so long now, I have to scroll through page after page, looking for their contact info or whatever important stuff that should be front and center. If I have a vertical resolution of over 1000 pixels and it takes me thirteen page downs to get to your contact info, you’ve got some problems.

What’s even worse is that with a million apps installed, you’re spamming all you FB friends with stupid notifications. I really don’t care that Sally took Carol’s rook in Facebook chess. These apps are even sending stuff to your friends when you’re not even aware of it. Just because you like an app and installed it doesn’t mean I want any part of it.

In the last two days or so, people have been sending me FunWall posts or Booze Mail or whatever. I have to install the app to read what they sent me but I’m not going to do it. I’m not even going to install it, read it, and then uninstall it immediately.

Sure my profile page might be boring but it’s clean and that’s the way I’m going to keep it.

MY KNEE

Last month, I promised I’d write about my left knee, so here I am fulfilling that promise.

About a week before I left for Vegas, I was going up the escalator at the Lougheed Skytrain station when I took a step and somehow, I must have slipped and I went down hard. Actually, my left knee took the brunt of the fall and it hit the edge of one of the metal escalator steps.

I was back up in a second but as soon as I can came up, I realized my knee hurt like a sumbitch. I kept walking up the escalator but there was a nuclear explosion of pain emanating from my left knee. I’d never felt that much pain from my knee before and I was thinking my competitive square-dancing days were over.

As I limped across the platform, the train arrived, so I got to sit down right away. It really hurt for the next ten minutes and then it was just a dull throb for the rest of the way to work. For the whole day, I didn’t feel any pain unless I bent my leg at a certain angle.

For the next two weeks, I couldn’t put any weight on that knee so proposing to random women was totally out of the question, thus leaving me to find other things to do on my Thursday nights.

While the knee has scabbed up nicely weeks afterwards, the fact that it still hurt in certain circumstances made me think I’d really done some damage to it. I thought about going to the doctor’s but then I’d just start playing Xbox again.

After the new year, the pain went away completely.

Ok, so there’s my post about my left knee. I didn’t say it would be a good post!