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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quick Thought on Anti-Bullying Day

Why does it feel like I'm being forced to wear a pink shirt tomorrow?
Shouldn't they be more laid back?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Two Ways To End The GVPL Dispute

The Greater Victoria Library labour dispute has been going on for a long time. Now, it's escalated to a lock-out. Here are my two ways to bring this to a swift closure in favour of the CUPE 410.

Method One: GET OFF MY LAWN!
The main library branch in nestled into an atrium on Broughton. I am assuming that the atrium is provincial government property. As a taxpayer, that makes it my property. So, I say: get off of my property. Don't picket up against the doors of the library. Get out onto the street-- the Blanshard and the Broughton sides of the street. Walk the sidewalk and wave your signs of protest. Of course, that will have a side effect: Ministry of Transportation and alot of other provincial governments offices are in this complex. Their workers are union and they're trained not to cross picket lines. As long as the GVPL staff go wanting, alot of their BCGEU brothers and sisters will be staying home too.
While you're at it: do the same at the Esquimalt and Commonwealth branches.

Method Two: Make the Wheels of Municipal Govenment Slower
Most of the GVPL Board is made up of elected municipal politicians. That makes them involved in the library. Their lock-out prevented you from getting into the library. They are the element of the library that you can still reach. Return your libary books to their council offices. Drop them off and thank them personally for the lock-out.

Chris Graham, Board Chair
Greater Victoria Labour Relations Assoc.
Tel. 386-6196 (messages)
330 – 2950 Douglas Street
Victoria BC

Don Amos, Sidney
Tel. 656-6290
Fax 655-4508
Town of Sidney Municipal Hall 2440 Sidney Avenue
Sidney BC V8L 1Y7

Chris Causton, Oak Bay
Tel. 598-3311
Fax 598-9108
The Corporation of the District of Oak Bay 2167 Oak Bay Avenue Victoria BC V8R 1G2

Chris Clement, Esquimalt
Phone: 383-7587
Fax: 414-7111
Township of Esquimalt
1229 Esquimalt Road Esquimalt BC V9A 3P1

Ted Daly, North Saanich
Tel. 656-8700
Fax 656-3155
District of North Saanich
1620 Mills Road
North Saanich BC V8L 5S9

Alan Lowe, Victoria
Tel 385-5711
1 Centennial Square Victoria BC V8W 1P6

Jack Mar, Central Saanich
Tel. 652-8449
Fax 652-0135
District of Central Saanich 1903 Mount Newton Cross Road Saanichton, BC V8M 2A9

John Ranns, Metchosin
tel: 478-3446
fax: 474-6298
District of Metchosin 4450 Happy Valley Road
Victoria BC V9C 3Z3

Bea Holland, Victoria
Tel: 361-0222 Fax: 361-0348

Pam Madoff, Victoria
Tel: 361-0221 Fax: 361-0348

Ernie Robertson, Colwood
Tel. 478-5541 (messages)
Fax 478-7516
City of Colwood
3300 Wishart Road
Colwood BC V9C 2A2

Bob Shaw, North Saanich
Tel. 655-9610
Fax 656-3155
District of North Saanich
1620 Mills Road
North Saanich BC V8L 5S9

If Pam Maddoff were to be siddled with 20 library books she wouldn't know what to do.

Project: Pneumonia

I have two modes: work and sick. Or so it would seem. I will sometimes hold it together to finish a job and then keel over. Three weeks ago, we launched the new server at work. Two egg timers went off: the site swapped over to the new server; I got sick. I had a miserable fever ridden weekend. I got better but my cough persisted: a dry hack that made me love my Skype mic mute function.
Last week, we started to get ready to overhaul the bathroom-- beginning with a round of sanding. My cough got worse. I couldn't sleep. That was good news: my daughter was home sick, so I took the opportunity to look in on her at 2AM and 4AM; and get her fresh water at 5AM. Friday, we were into the full on reno. I was feeling dizzy, hot, confused, jolty. Friday night, I went out to the van to bring in a tin of paint and a tin of contact cement. I came in wheezing and I couldn't get past that. That night, I had a runaway fever and a humdinger hallucination so severe that I couldn't remember my name when I woke up.
Saturday: another day of renos and I continued to slide. I did the tiling, because I could cope with being on my hands and knees.
Sunday: I was mixing up renos with lying in bed, coughing uncontrollably and being totally spaced out. That night, I crashed out; cropped up another fever had a dream about something called a "Dexter Difference Engine"
This morning, we went to the clinic. I tried to breathe for the doctor. No dice. The verdict: likely pneumonia. So, I am on harsh meds: severe enough that I only need five pills.
So here I sit coughing and short of breath. It's like I am drowning. No matter how little I do, I need to do less. I can't get my breath. So while I sit here, consciously breathe and type (Breathe stupid! Breathe! You forgot to breathe!). My wife is left saddled with the remainder of the renovation work. This isn't fair.

* Jolty: A feeling that I am being shook just a little, but often-- like 20 times per minute.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Project: Insomnia

My daughter had a cold today. It was a modest problem that made her needy and made me bummed out. She sat on the couch and we played Lego Star Wars. Her fever came and went. In the past year or so, when she was sick, I would juggle work and care for her; and do both poorly. Today, despite some bedlam at work, I took the day off to hang with her and tend to her.
She took a long nap and I took the opportunity to try to wrestle some lousy data into shape. This legacy data involved in my job has been the bane of my existence. Alot of common rules have been busted; a lot of exploits sit there as plain as day. I honed and tried to eliminate unneccessary elements to make the query more wieldy. No dice. Try as I might, the data is too lousy to force into use. Tomorrow, one of my many tasks will be to programatically use the data.
I have a saying: "If you try to slog through the mud, you may miss the hill you are climbing." I have been in the mud for more than a year.
By the time 6:30PM rolls around, I usually fall asleep; like a puppet with its strings cut. Like a small-town Ebling Mis.
I shelve a good idea every day-- sometimes they come back and sting me. A great idea I could run down and do something with. It's one my problems: I have too many ideas to carry out; and too few means to delegate the idea to others to carry it a ways. And I have carried the load for others. I am largely nagged by the idea that a finished idea can sort of succeed; an unfinished idea will never succeed.

Here's my current to-do list:
Drupal book - Stalled at 40%. Data ages. Tech books really age. If I don't finish this in the next few months, I should delete it. I should cut to the chase and delete it tomorrow. That will get it off of the to-do list.
A bathroom reno - It's going to be a modest affair leaning on known strengths. We planned on getting this done last Fall but if things happened at a pace of my choosing I would be sleeping at night and not typing into a blog post...
Dayswithout - A simple Facebook app to track how many days you have done without something (smoking, coffee, a sense of contentment). According, some applications like Funwall are worth $21M (sure, why not?). Can I scratch out a $50K app? I lock down about one function per day. At the end of most days, I am left too burnt out to echo $helloworld; so this is the most I can hope for. I front-burnered this project to line up with New Years resolutions. On February 12th, this seems a little moot.
Crowdpublishing - A collective publishing tool. As above. My boss saw what I had done and wants to know what it would take for me to finish it. As above.
A photo site for a friend - A small project that comes largely ready-built. All I need to do, is put 10-20 hrs. to it. He's a good guy and I can do this.
A photo site for the Victoria Grid Project - Not a large project, but I need a full head of steam.
Prefabsite - A way to push-button your day to a complete website. Real easy to finish if I can get underway. I've said that every month or two for the last 16 months...
Drupal Training Course - Teach what I have learned. Tee-pees on Prefabsite and the soon to be anti-published Drupal book.
Videos - I love to dream-up, produce and edit videos. I have 14 hours of tape waiting to be editing and worked over for use. That amount grows by 30 min. per month.
Sculpting - I try to sculpt, but that takes space and we lose a couple of square feet every month. I have the Cthulhu project going, but like a lot of my projects, it requires the absence of rain peppered with a couple of hours. Our patio looks like a landfill as I try to close off experiments and have to give them up half-way through.
Writing - I used to write. I used to do a lot of stuff. What I do nowadays is put stuff in boxes or throw it away quietly in the hopes that if no one notices and no one reminds me, I can forget it too. Less isn't more. Less is my constant.

This list is held up like a tee-pee-- all of the tasks prevent the remaining tasks from being accomplished.

Friends of mine are starting to hit their 40th birthday and celebrate it in their different ways. I know, I read about what they did on Facebook. In a couple months, I am planning to either let this next birthday slip quietly by as a burdenless affair; or email people from where I am.

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