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I usually have no interest in tiny little dogs that yip, but for some reason I have a morbid passion for Pomeranians.

One day, when I was looking after a friend's purebred Pomeranian, Ratbert, I had to run a few errands. I slipped Ratbert into my totebag, a proceeded to go to the grocery store and some other shops.

At one of the shops, the clerk who was ringing up my purchases leaned over and said sotto voce, "I don't want to alarm you, but there's an alien in your bag."

I replied, "Yes, I know. It's ok. He's a resident alien, and has papers."

Just a note...while I agree with some of Wonko's points, I have had a few nodes nuked, and except for my April 1, 2001 posting (which was nonsense), I have always gotten an explanation.

Anyhow, what I really wanted to say was that today has been a great ending to a wonderful holiday weekend. A co-worker through a picnic and although it rained all the way to his house, once we were there, it was a nice day. I made my seven-layer Mexican dip, he had the normal grilling stuff, and there was this great Strawberry Shortcake.

Tonight on A and E, there is this Law & Order marathon. I love that show! Especially Jill Hennessy and Sam Waterston.

Aside from making my ears bleed from listening to the Counting Crows a little to loud, I have accomplished very little today. Well, aside from finally writing some code after doing research for over two weeks. And it works (mostly)! IT WORKS!

Climbing

Ahem. Ok, moving on. Saturday saw my ass on yellow wall at Barrier Mountain in Kananaskis Country, future site of the 2002 G8 Summit. Kananaskis is the future site that is, not Barrier Mountain so much. I started the day by leading a super easy 5.7 to set up a top rope for our beginner climbers, then lead a 5.10b, a 10c, and I also got to work on a 5.11a that stumped me last week.

I had to try to crux move about five times before I was able to stick it; it was a crimp with the left hand, a gaston with the right, outside edge of the right foot on a little ledge, left foot to the left and push up fast and reach up with the right hand. I still have trouble keeping myself close to the wall, so the first couple of times I just peeled right off and didn't even come close. I had to shut my eyes and visualize myself getting it, reminded myself to stay close, and slapped it good with my right hand, but slide off. I got it the next time though. That was probably one of the most rewarding thing I've done climbing in a while...

Climbing is really good for me. It will probably lead to a more social me, but I've still got issues to overcome there. The best thing about climbing is that when I'm on the rock, I'm not thinking about anything else but what I'm doing.

I took about half a semester's worth of Akido, but I always had a hard time letting go of my day. If I was stressed out this was especially difficult, and I ended up not concentrating enough and it wasn't very much fun. With climbing though, it's just all gone, and I have a nice clear head.

While at Grassi Lakes last week, my climbing partner and I ran into a guy that we recognized from the bouldering wall which is a passable substitute for real climbing during the winter. He's talked to my climbing partner before, but refused to acknowledge him when he spoke to him. He was climbing alone. "He's even less talkative than I am," I said.

"Must have forgotten to take his medication today. No wonder he's climbing alone."

Helping

On another note, an eighth grader from Arkansas came across a web page of mine that has a bunch of math formulas and stuff on it from when I was working my way through undergraduate calculus. She requested help with a linear equation, which I gave step by step instructions on how to solve. This apparently helped, which is nice. That's the magic of the internet for you; helping random people with their math homework.

The G8, government, society, values, and Star Wars

On a final note, I hope that the Search and Rescue teams have trained up for the G8. Knowing the weather around here, we'll get a freak snow storm that week and we'll have people trying to hike through three feet of snow in the back country wearing shorts and sandals. On the other hand, it could be so bloody hot that they'll be getting sun stroke and passing out. City hospitals are gearing up.

Add to this the extra fun of having protesters mauled by bears, trampled by elk and/or moose, stalked by cougars, and so on. Plus ranchers and farmers will not appreciate trespassers stomping all over the land (it's surprising how delicate the prairie and mountain pasture ecosystems are). And of course we'll have the Canadian military (such as it is) out and about, and lot's of RCMP and City Police.

I don't mind a peaceful protest, and there are certainly issues that need attention, so it's good that there are people motivated enough to get things organized and get people out to voice opinions on issues. However, the G8 is not an excuse to be blocking traffic, disturb the peace, vandalizing things, and otherwise breaking the law.

If you are going to be summit hopping your way to Calgary, do yourself a favor and check out the provincial and municipal laws, and if you are coming from outside of Canada, check the federal laws too. Make sure you know why you're coming; if you except a party, stay at home. If you are coming to terrorize the citizens of this city, no matter how just you think your cause, stay at home. If you want to address some issues and voice your opinion in a peaceful way, by all means.

Last winter I ran into a guy who wanted to go to the airport and watch world leaders come and go. He was griping about not being allowed to do so. "We just want to go look at them. We aren't going to do anything." Well buddy, it's not the observers they care about keeping away from leaders, it's the doers. It's pretty tough to tell what someones motivations and plans might be, so caution demands that measures are taken to prevent acts of... for lack of a better word, terrorism.

In the past few weeks, we've see a great deal of rhetoric come out of Washington and out of CSIS about the growing threat of terrorism against both the United States and Canada. Although there are clearly great wrongs in the world causing people to feel that they need to strike out at the western world, to a certain extent this feels to me like an excuse to increase militarization and move more and more power into a few hands at the top level of governments. Think of Palpatine using the threat of worlds breaking away from the Republic and forming an army as an excuse to manipulate a certain senator into motioning for "temporary" powers to form an "army of the republic" and so on. Star Wars is a cautionary tale, not just about personal values (resist the dark side), but about society and government as well. My point with this is that I hope that this rhetoric is not an excuse for the upper levels of government to weasel unnecessary power away from the people.

Anyway, I think the cops will probably be able to keep themselves restrained, and use reasonable force when necessary, judging by how well things went during the WPC. Of course, post 9/11, Alberta could be a police state. June will be an interesting month.

If this daylog gives mixed impressions, well that's because there's no perfect solution. Society, government, and economies are all complex arts of balance and compromise, and they're never quite right.

10:37

After only a few weeks of unemployment, I got the news that my old firm's owner company was looking for a gfx / web crap person and I had been recommended to the position by my old boss. So I came over for a job interview, and less than a week later found myself sitting in an office working on a layout. It's almost the same job as before, with almost the same salary and in the same building. Only one floor higher - I guess that means I'm moving up on my career. :)

It's hard to keep my mind on work though, with the big entrance exam only 7 days away. I still feel somewhat confident, after all I almost made it last year and this time 'round I've been studying my ass off. Not that there wouldn't have been any obstacles.. My family refuses to believe I need some peace and quiet, and that damn Squaresoft even released Final Fantasy X for the PS2 in Europe just as I was reaching the critical point of final cramming. Oh well, at least the admission doesn't come too easy!

After June 13th I'll finally be "free" of studying (for a while anyway), which means I'll be able to node again. The editorial bullshit still pisses me off, and I personally think Wonko's daylog was on the money. However, I love E2 too much to quit. So many things to node, so few hours in a day...

And as a quick final note, the new single from The Prodigy has to be the worst piece of trash I've heard in years. WTF happened to the group that actually rocked back in 1992? I thought they couldn't possibly make anything worse than their last album.. Oh well, the kids will eat it up. Yay for "electronica". Now excuse me while I vomit.

P.S.: I deeply apologize to mkb for traumatizing him by revealing I actually enjoyed Boredigy's early work. Sorry! :)

There was a writeup here, earlier. Several pages of text all about my feelings on the direction E2 has taken and the changes in editorial policy. It was the same text I emailed to Kidas in response to his survey. Kidas sent me a kind /msg letting me know that other noders were referring him to my words instead of sending him their own, and we decided it would be good if I removed the content of my writeup for the time being and replaced it once Kidas had concluded his survey.

This was done a few hours ago. I simply saved the old writeup, then replaced it with several paragraphs explaining the situation and asking people to please participate in Kidas's survey. Then I went off and had some breakfast, played with the cat, applied for a job. I came back and found a message from a helpful noder asking where my writeup had gone. Lo and behold, my daylog had up and disappeared. Disintegrated. No message from Klaproth, no message from a god, not even a message from a content editor. The writeup did not appear in node row and I can only assume it won't show up in node heaven. Nope, it took an observant fellow noder to let me know that my daylog -- what I thought was the last refuge for personal expression on E2 -- had been deleted without a trace.

After I asked for assistance in the chatterbox and was being helped by another god, the god who had zapped my writeup sent me a message. The message was, "If you're asking about that daylog, I removed it. I thought that's what you wanted." I was happy to find out what had happened to my writeup, but also upset because the god hadn't given me a chance to preserve the contents. I explained the situation to him. His reply was, "Well, I was glad you removed it. That was exactly what I warned Kidas would happen when he first posted that survey. And it defeats the whole purpose (whatever that is) of the survey. Thanks for understanding."

He thanked me for understanding, as if I agreed with his decision to zap my daylog -- not just nuke it, but delete it without warning and without any trace -- simply because he thought that's what I wanted. He did this instead of sending me a /msg saying "Would you like me to delete your writeup?" or "I don't think your writeup is appropriate, here's my point of view...".

If this doesn't sum up my feelings on the current editorial policy, I don't know what does.

yossarian has helpfully informed me that my deleted writeup should show up in node heaven after the standard 48 hours, despite skipping Klaproth and node row. Thanks, yossarian.

Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been a long time since my last daylog.

Finally, finally, finally, I had the chance to meet some of my fellow noders. Being a Dane means being somewhat removed from the general flow of noder meetings and get-togethers (Danish noders, for some reason, tend to be lone wolves, forsaking the company of the rest of the pack - we don't congregate).

Today1, erevapisces and farqwart dropped by Copenhagen, and we went for a nice ramble through the old parts of the city.

I'd no idea what they looked like (though they had seen my picture on my homenode), so we arranged to meet at a particular location in the Copenhagen Central Station. Then, we wandered through the "Latin Quarter" to Paludans Bogcafé, a bookstore-cum-café in Fiolstræde. This also gave me a chance to show them one of the sections of the Danish Royal Library, in that street - and to show off the "Bomb Book"2, which is on display there.

Over coffee at Paludans, we got to know each other. Let it be known that Gabrielle (erevapisces) and James (farqwart) are really nice people. And thoughtful: James had thought to bring along a gift: a brochure promoting guard llamas (I kid you not), which really tickled my fancy.

Afterwards, feeling a bit peckish, we went to eat dim sum at the Royal Garden chinese restaurant on the corner of Dronningens Tværgade and Borgergade. Yum.

A bit of shopping for third world items at Mellemfolkelig Samvirke's shop in Borgergade, and we continued to an American-style coffee shop in Gothersgade for more coffee, and cake. By this time, it was four in the afternoon, and it was time for me to pick up my youngest, Noah, from the day-care center. James and Gabrielle tagged along, and got to meet Noah, who obliged his doting father by being exceptionally cute.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes. James and Gabrielle headed off for the station, to catch the train to Brussels (and their plane home). Noah and I went for a double-decker busride home (he loves sitting on the upper deck).

Highlights of the day:

  • The E2 lingo is apparently a separate language. A strange realisation: that nobody else would be able to understand what we talking about, let alone understand the inside jokes.
  • James and Gabrielle can now proudly claim in the catbox that they've eaten Danish Spunk (no, no, no, get your mind out of the gutter - "Spunk" is a brand name for a type of liquorice candy popular in Denmark).
  • Likewise, all of us had chicken feet as part of our dim sum dinner. Yummy. Over dinner, we discussed the recreation of extinct species using stored DNA and cloning techniques. James and I agreed that we'd love to have the dodo recreated - so we could eat it. In any case, we were all eager to taste roast haunch of oviraptor.

All told, a great first noder meet for me. May there be many more.


1 Yesterday. I'm noding this the following day.

2 After the Great Fire of Copenhagen, 1729, the un-incinerated remnants of the Royal Library were moved to the attic space of Trinitatis Kirke ("Trinity Church"). When the British terror-bombed Copenhagen in 1807, one of the grenades fell through the roof of the church and passed right through a manuscript copy of Marsilius of Padua's Defensor Pacis, leaving a round hole in the book.

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