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Friday, December 26, 2003


Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Oh, I suppose there is one more thing I should mention...

Kirstin and I got engaged on the trip!

I proposed to her somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on the way over to England.
And, in case you were wondering...
She said yes! :-)

More l8tr...!




Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, whatever turns you on!

We got back from England last week, and had a marvellous time. It's been a whirlwind since then, but I've finally managed to get the pictures into the computer and cleaned up. There's a whole new page here from the trip, so click over and have a peek at the pics! Especially check out the "typical English signs" at the bottom of the page :-)

Thanks so much to Sara and Joe for putting up with two very weary travellers who basically crashed at their place the first night. We weren't the most sparkling of guests, because we didn't get any sleep on the plane on the way over. Before we finally slept, it had been more than 30 hours non-stop for our bodies, which basically gave out around 8:30 p.m. that night. The next day the New Forest was wonderful (walked for five hours, see the pics), and then we finally made it out to Bristol around 9 p.m. to have a couple of quick pints with Chris. Then the next day, Glastonbury, one of my favourite spots. Kirstin hadn't been there before, so I showed her around town. Then up to see her cousins in Yarm and spend a couple of days with her relatives there. We took a side trip to Whitby (where I hadn't been before, beautiful town) and to York (where we had both been, but we just love the place - we even looked at real estate prices in the realtor's shop windows - expensive, but nice places). Finally, back to London where we crashed at a minimal but adequate St. Christopher's Inn room. A whirlwind, as I mentioned in a previous blog entry, but a lot of fun.

And so now we're back and revving up to Yule and Christmas.




Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Lots of news lately, so here goes...

First, and the saddest, is that Storm, our older dog, is no longer with us. He was freed of his mortal bonds a week ago after he had a small seizure (the second, he'd had a grand mal about a year ago.) It's been a quieter house since then, and Orbit (the other, younger dog) is a little confused about missing his older uncle and friend these days. He's coming around a bit, but it's just a different place, that's for sure. He'll be missed by everyone.

On a brighter note, though, the semester is over (except for exams, but I don't have any!).

And, Kirstin and I are booked to go on vacation in England for a week, starting next week. We'll be back in time for Yule in Canada, though. On our BritRail passes, we're going to head to Southampton to take a stroll through the New Forest (and visit Sara!), then over to Bristol and Bath to visit Chris and take a day in Glastonbury (can't resist the place). Next leg of the journey takes us North to Yorkshire to visit some relatives of Kirstin's, then finally back to London, finishing our last night in a St. Christopher's Inn hostel in beautiful downtown London to party with the other backpackers. And then home again. Whew. Bit of a whirlwind, really, but it should be a lot of fun! We're both really excited about it. Hopefully, I'll have some pictures when I get back. I might even get a moment to write something in the 'blog while we're on the road, just like the old days - we'll see about that, though.

And, I walked into a Toys 'R' Us today to pick up a little Yule present for my 3-year-old nephew, and of course I couldn't resist, I had to stroll into the Barbie section. There she was, Secret Spells Barbie. Interestingly, in Canada, we are still selling her as Secret Spells Barbie ($22.99, if you're curious.) There were also a couple of boxes of the very same doll, same accessories, but she was called Charm Barbie. This was clearly the U.S. packaging (English and Spanish labels and instructions), apparently changed after a ruckus from the Christian right that Secret Spells Barbie was advocating not only paganism and witchcraft, but even Satanism (*sigh*, pagans don't even believe in Satan, let alone worship the deity!) Oh, and the other change in the packaging was that Charm Barbie is standing in the box during the day (sun and clouds outside the window printed on the inside display back of the box) while Secret Spells Barbie is standing in the box late at night (moon and stars and deep blue sky, oh my!) - how very sinister!

More l8tr...


Monday, November 17, 2003
Well, what a crap week that was, last week. I have no desire to repeat it anytime soon.

A little over a week ago, I got a minor twist in my lower back, while...wait for it...moving a table fork from the countertop into the dishwasher. Boy, did I feel like a putz. That was bad enough, but hey, these things happen and I figured I'd get over it in a few days. But nooo...then I got a fever of 100.5 F on Tuesday which made attending my second year studio lab a real interesting experience, and basically knocked me on my ass for about 18 hours (I went to bed at four in the afternoon Tuesday and got up at 9 a.m. Wednesday.) So, of course, on Wednesday I was totally wiped and went to bed early that night, too. By Thursday things were looking up - my back wasn't killing me anymore, and I'd got so much sleep by that point that I had no choice but to be bright eyed and bushy-tailed. This past weekend was better, fortunately.

So, for all you students reading this, sorry, but I'm criminally behind in my marking. I'll try to make it up this week as the days progress. But at least now you know why.

I've stopped posting the webstats page because nobody was really caring about it enough to bother surfing to it. But, each month I'll write up highlights if they look interesting. Like this month's.

These days, I'm used to getting a few thousand visits to the domain, and maybe even a hundred visits in a busy day. But one day I had 233 visits, which seems excessive. So, I looked down and found I had 110 hits for "wiccan barbie". What's goin' on, it's just a simple one page parody. Then I found out the culprits, because I can see where people are coming from. Apparently, I've made a bit of a stir at ChristianForums.com at this particular forum page.. Guys, guys...it's a bit of fun, no need to get upset about little girls turning into Satanists. Actually, if you read down a few pages into this forum, they're mostly a pretty decent bunch of people, not scarily paranoid about Wiccan Barbie or Secret Spells Barbie (the real source of the forum conversation) at all!

Okay, I'm really serious about this. What I want for Yule is a Secret Spells Barbie! I think she's going to be a collector's item! And as I gather from the various discussions, she doesn't appear to be on the Mattel website. So the search is on...

L8tr...


Friday, November 07, 2003
Whew, back again. Okay, I have a life...sort of. Just a mound of marking to do, but at least I can do that lounging around the house.

Took a Picture of the Week a couple of weeks ago, but only got around to publishing it today. The main "personalpages" page is stripped down, too - it was taking too long to load and most people are going there just to head someplace else anyway - it's the main portal for all the goofiness that has some personal edge to it, which is a lot on this domain.

Thinking seriously of going to England for a week sometime mid-December but I'm not sure whether that will come to fruition or not. Depends on costs of flights, how many of Kirstin's relatives and my friends feel like having us drop in to crash at their place, whether we can get the time off, and so forth. We'll see. It's just that we haven't been over in a while, and we miss the place.

Time to call it a day, and go out for a bit - it's Friday night, after all!

L8tr...


Friday, October 24, 2003
AREA MAN NOT DEAD YET

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, simply been crazybusy with schoolwork. That's why there hasn't been a post in about a month. That will change soon, as I get my Thursdays and Fridays back (and with them, my life, well sorta) after next week.

Then, of course, there's the mound of marking that all that teaching generated, so there will be lots of time for me to sit at the computer and mark online papers and evaluate student television programming. Who knows, I may even get the DanaCam revved up for those sessions, what the heck.

I suppose the other reason there hasn't been a posting lately, is because, really, nothing much is new. Get up in the morning around 6 a.m., check student email over a coffee, go teach all day, have a pint to relax with my sweetie, go home, check student email around 11 p.m., prep for the next day's classes, go to bed around midnight. Lather, rinse, repeat. For a month now. Exciting, n'est-ce pas?

When I get a life again, I'll write more then. L8tr...


Thursday, September 25, 2003
Texas Murder Trial Begins for Millionaire
Tue Sep 23,10:04 AM ET Oddly Enough - Reuters
By Jeff Franks

GALVESTON, Texas (Reuters) - New York real estate heir Robert Durst acted in self-defense when he shot his neighbor, chopped up his body and threw the parts into Galveston Bay in September 2001, defense attorneys said on Monday in opening arguments of Durst's trial for murder. Prosecutors countered that Durst killed 71-year-old Morris Black in cold blood, then calmly hacked up the body on the floor of his apartment, accidentally cutting holes in the linoleum in the process, in attempt to get away with the crime. The frail-looking multimillionaire, 60, stood in the cramped, crowded courtroom and defiantly pleaded not guilty at the start of the proceedings. "I plead not guilty, your honor. It was self-defense, it was an accident," he told state District Judge Susan Kriss. Durst is accused of shooting Black on Sept. 28, 2001, cutting up the body, putting the parts into plastic garbage bags and throwing them into the bay that separates Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico from the mainland 50 miles southeast of Houston. A 13-year-old boy out fishing with his father found the body parts, except for Black's head, which is still missing. Durst's lawyers said he and Black, a seafaring drifter who lived across the hall had become friends, but on the day of the crime struggled over a gun that went off and shot Black in the face. Durst, Deguerin admitted, was a man with a past, too. He had been suspected in the disappearance of wife Kathy Durst 20 years before and was linked in the press to the execution-style shooting of best friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve 2000. He had gone to Galveston in 2001 to get away from the allegations, which he denied. He rented his apartment posing as a mute woman and kept up the disguise until one day he caught his wig on fire in a bar while lighting a cigarette, Deguerin said. "He's shot with my gun, he's shot in my apartment, that I rented as a mute woman wearing a wig because I was hiding from an investigation in New York. They're never going to believe me," he said, quoting Durst's thoughts. Two days after the shooting, Durst wanted to move the body, but was not strong enough to carry it one piece. So, he cut it up and tossed it in the bay, another Durst attorney, Mike Ramsey, told the 12-member jury. "Is it bizarre, is it grotesque? Yes, but it's explainable," he said, calling the killing a "righteous murder." Durst, he said, suffered from a mild form of autism that helped explain his unusual behavior. After his arrest, Durst was released on $300,000 bail and fled to Hanover Township, Pennsylvania where on Nov. 30, 2001 he was arrested for shoplifting a sandwich and a Band-Aid, even though he had $523 in his pocket and nearly $40,000 in his car.

Thought you should know...
L8tr...


Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Blackout from SpaceBlackout From Space Too Just a couple of pictures of the Great Blackout of 2003 (I know, it's old news, but these pictures are still kinda cool.) I've had the first one for a few weeks, Harry sent me the second one a couple of days ago. Amazing how dependent we are on the power grid, isn't it?

These pictures are copyright their originators. I'm not trying to rip anybody off, just share the opportunity. (I don't want the respective creators coming after me with big legal sticks...)

L8tr...


Sunday, September 14, 2003
Busy weekend so far. Been working like a fiend on a friend's website. Maybe I should put some of that time into my own stuff! Anyway, the revisions are done, and so it was time to catch up on the Pictures of the Week! I've got three new ones online now...enjoy!




Friday, September 12, 2003
What's going on???, you're probably thinking. I get to leave a comment if I want to?

Yep, that's right. I've added commenting to the DanaLife blog. Thanks to the wonderful people at www.klinkfamily.com. I saw it first on Sara's blog, and I just had to have it. You know, it's sort of like that new cellphone your friend has, that's to die for. You don't need it...but you want it.

So, if you ever have a thought while reading through here, drop us all a line.

L8tr...


Random thoughts:
* * * * *
It occurred to me the other day that, for the most part, the Ontario political party leaders who are currently in a campaign for the October 2nd election aren't terribly interested in helping out the population, but seem far more involved in slagging each other in their commercials. They're constantly pointing fingers and going on about how So-and-So doesn't know how to do this, how they'll cheat you, rob you, and deceive you.

Meanwhile, I have yet to hear of an ad that says something along the lines of "Hi. I'm the leader of the BlatBlat party and I would like to help you, the people of this great province, have a better life. If elected, I will try to meet your needs, be responsible and help you out in these several concrete ways. Please consider me on election day, October 2nd." If only one leader did that, they'd have my vote in a heartbeat.

But as it stands, we have a bunch of squabbling kids in the political playground who are arguing over who has the bigger sand shovel. I suggest they take their shovel, along with their bucket, and start shovelling away the droppings from the current session of mud-slinging.
* * * * *
I started taking a voice/announcing course this past Tuesday and our instructor noted that we are bombarded by 15,000 messages every day. That's not a typo - no, not 1,500. Fifteen thousand.
* * * * *
For a few years back in the late 1990s, I was skeptical of owning too much. I'd just moved from a lovely house in Cabbagetown with all the acoutrements into a small bachelor apartment with basically nothing - I had to start from scratch again. I vowed, never again would I be overwhelmed by 'stuff'. This was my chance to start anew.

It doesn't quite work out that way. Soon, you start to accumulate trinkets and souvenirs, books and baubles. I did that for a few years, then once again ditched as much as I possibly could before I went on my around the world trip in 2000.

Something interesting happened on that tour, though. I visited some of the world's greatest museums and found the pleasure in exquisite work and art done so well. Not perfection, by the way, because there is really no such thing. But just good stuff that was appealing to the eye regardless of its century of origin. I guess I'd finally learned to appreciate "nice things." And more, I began to understand why people collect so much stuff. It's sort of like accessorizing your place, to make it less like a box, and more like a home, a place to live in, and to feel lived in. Hmm, after all those years of living in an intentionally self-imposed sterile box of an apartment, I began to figure out why people had all those knick-knacks lying around. And how they would get passed down from generation to generation. Austerity...or posterity?
* * * * *
L8tr...


Webstats for August are up (hmph, about time.) It's just been a really busy month with school ramping up and all. I upgraded my Handspring Visor Palm-thingmie to a nice high resolution Sony Clie, and its "to do" list doesn't work quite the same way as the Visor, so my monthly reminder to do the webstats kinda fell off the map, as it were. Oops. The usually silly search strings abound; my favourites this month are carrageenan mcdonald's canada; effect of dusting of a vampire; and egg mcmuffin miami price check.

I'll have more rants later on...



Thursday, September 11, 2003
SindySindy doll 'losing big breasts' in birthday makeover
Story filed: 18:47 Wednesday 10th September 2003 @ www.ananova.com

British doll Sindy is to celebrate her 40th birthday by losing her famous curves and becoming a 15-year-old. Designers say the new-look figure, known as 100 per cent Sindy, will lose her big breasts and swap her heels for trainers. Sindy has been a perennial favourite with children since being launched in the early 1960s to rival the US-made Barbie. Both dolls became renowned for their curvaceous figures, which drew derision from feminists who said they set an unrealistic example for young girls. Denise Dean, head of design and development at manufacturers New Moons, said they had decided it was time the Sindy dolls looked like the girls they were bought for. "She's lost the big breasts and very long legs, and we've completely changed her face," she said. "She's totally unrecognisable." Ms Deane said part of the aim was to stop Sindy looking like Barbie. "Sindy's still very popular, but she has been neglected over the last few years, and we don't think people are identifying with that look. "She's going to look like a 15-year-old, and we've designed her to wear trainers," she added. A six-inch version of the new doll will go on sale in Safeway on Monday in time for Sindy's official 40th birthday next month, with the full-size doll expected to hit shops next autumn.


Monday, September 08, 2003
Urk! Okay, Blogger's changed the interface again, so this is going to take a minute for me to compose. Just wanted to drop in and let you know I'm still alive since the blackout, just a little busy with school, which started back last Tuesday. Lots of great courses, the students are awesome, really looking forward to this year as usual. There's definitely a certain energy during Frosh Week, and, as an instructor, I guess I have two choices: try and push the energy in the background and ignore it, or sit in the middle of it, soak it up, and work with that seemingly infinite resource. Those of you who know me, know what my preference is! :-)

I think I have a perfect diet, which I'm dubbing the DanaDiet, since it just occurred to me the other day. When you're trying to lose "that extra ten pounds" the following truisms come screaming home: you can't "spot reduce" (i.e., you can't just lose weight around your abs or butt, you lose it all over); dieting alone doesn't work (you have to exercise, too!); and starving yourself puts your body into an "Ohmigod, I'm being starved, I'd better store everything!" mode. The only, repeat, only way to lose weight is to watch what you're eating (not how much, but what), and actually do some exercise. I've been doing the latter for about a year, but was drinking probably 'way too much beer. So, I'm cutting down on that a fair bit, and for lunch having a big salad (almost no calories, but great roughage and vitamins and other good stuff) and drinking my protein powder in half a litre of milk. That's it, that's lunch. So I get tons of protein for my weight workout, and I'm not hungry. I've lost about 10 pounds in the last several weeks, which isn't a rocket weight loss, but you're not supposed to shed more than about a pound or two a week anyway, so I'm basically on target.

Just thought I'd share.

I've got more I want to write, but let's see how this thing posts, first.

L8tr guys...


Sunday, August 17, 2003
Sooo...where were you when the lights went out? Or at least, when the power died? I was at the computer working on a Word file, when, kaput! Kirstin had to go down 30 stories in her highrise office tower to get to the street. I rode my bicycle downtown to check things out, even while thousands of others were getting out of the city. Want to see some interesting pictures of Yonge Street around 5:30 p.m.? Check out this week's special Toronto Blackout edition of Picture of the Week.

Later on we met up at our local pub for a great evening of fun and frivolity. We had a laugh, because it was a very full house, only bottled beer of course since the taps couldn't pour pints. It ended up being a really cool party under the stars - yes, you can see lots of stars when there's no light pollution in the city. People brought flashlights, someone got a boombox and some CDs and I think the Dodger did a record business. Want to see some party pictures? Go to Picture of the Week! I rode my bicycle home in the pitch black along the Danforth, which was a once in a lifetime experience. Wonderful night!

We got the power back in the house around 2 a.m., so I figure we were some of the luckier ones. Somebody I know was in the west end, and due to a power line failure, didn't have power for well over 24 hours.

Now this week I really have to get back to the textbook. I've lost a few days' work as it is!

L8tr...


Monday, August 11, 2003
Keep Away From Children It's been said that some of the best advice can often be received in the most unlikely places. Take this matchbook cover, for example (click on it for a bigger picture.)

Hmmm...Perhaps this is a good maxim to follow - avoid them at all costs.

L8tr...





Saturday, August 09, 2003
Okay, we're back online - the whole domain was down for most of Saturday, since I upgraded my server service once again! Now I have a gig of server space, and a whole lot more, for a great deal. Want to host your own web domain? Check out DotEasy, these guys are the greatest. I can't say enough good things about them!

Important note: when I did the re-post, I got rid of those pesky UpperCaseFirstLetter URLs, so everything's lowercase now. Which means, if you bookmarked this 'blog to get here, you were automatically jumped to a new URL, so BOOKMARK THIS ONE from now on! Same goes for anything else in my web domain - check to make sure all the URLs you surf to here are all lowercase letters.

I'm really sick of being on this computer, so I'm gonna jet, but just thought I'd let you know what's been happening. More l8tr...


Thursday, August 07, 2003
Got this new toolbar for my browser from Google (Blogger got bought by Google, as you may know.) Not sure I like the 'bar, though. I think my surfing is hindered, pages sometimes don't load. Could just be my service here yesterday, though. The jury's still out. It has a popup blocker though, which could be more than a little handy. Interestingly, it also sends back to Google the pages you've surfed - for information purposes only, of course. It apparently doesn't attach your name or email or anything to this information, just sends the URLs - so they say.

Last night I saw this van pull up to the Rabba opposite the Artful Dodger. Its sign read "Classic Cleaning and Maintenance Services Limited - Customers Deserve Clean Bank Machines!" and sure enough, the guy went into Rabba to, presumably, clean the bank machine. Who knew there was a specialty company? This got me to thinking about the telephone sanitisers (note spelling) we heard so much about in the sixties and were popularised by Douglas Adams in Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy. And that, in turn, got me to looking up "telephone sanitisers" on Google and then I came across this interesting board discussion and you know how it is on the Web, you type in something, that gets your mind going to several other thoughts and URLs and the next thing you know you've killed an hour pissing around on the Internet.

Okay, the dogs are whining, and I gotta go and run some errands.

L8tr...


Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Okay, the July webstats are now online. Nothing really new, in fact, it's been the slowest month in a long time. However, there were 195 visits to the 'blog, which is about 15% of all visitors to the domain at large. There will be lots of changes in the statistics in the next month or two, because I'll be putting online all the stuff for my courses at Ryerson, and when the textbook is revised, it will be published on this web domain, not the Ryerson RCC server. That will change the hits somewhat.

Most interesting tidbit from the webstats this month is that I've been web-botted by none other than TurnItIn. If you're a student you'll know what this is - "the world's leading plagiarism prevention system", they say. Students submit their essays to this website, and the teachers retrieve the papers from it, after turnitin has taken the paper and compared it to everything they've searched for on the web, to see if a student has "borrowed" stuff from the Internet without due diligence for credit via footnotes and/or endnotes, bibliography, etc.

Caught another new Picture of the Week yesterday. It's a little blurry because the little guy was 'way up in a tree, but I thought he was enjoying his fast food break. Curious? Click on the link....

Hey, the protein powder's really working out for me. Got lots more NRG than before. And I started tracking calories, carbs, protein, fat, and fiber on this really cool program from CalorieKing. You can fill in your exercises, too, and track your weight. I think it's mostly designed for people who want to lose weight, but even for training and general keeping track of your eating habits and health (or lack thereof), it's pretty neat. If you have a Palm or Pocket PC or equivalent, and you're into this sort of thing, check it out. It's on sale right now for $20 US, and well worth the price.

Really should get back to work on the textbook, but it's the hazy lazy crazy days of summer, and I really feel just like messing around at the computer under the leisurely wafting of the oscillating fan's breeze...ahh...

L8tr...


Monday, July 21, 2003
In and out of heatwaves and thunderstorms. Ahh, summer. The novel writing goes well, but I'm just not into it this summer. I'd rather putter around the house and do neat things with wood and earth and electricity.

Found I was getting mind-numb from reading the morning subway Metro paper, which seems to be written for the mind of a 10-year-old (no offence to the 10-year-olds out there.) Then I realised I'd missed the stimulating writing of Saturday Globe and Mail, so I've started a new subscription which is conveniently dropped off at the door once a week first thing in the morning. Is this what living in a house is all about? It's been so long, I'd forgotten.

Caught a new picture of the week last night ("week" being a term I use very loosely), so have a wander by here... It's not mind-blowing but somehow my twisted sense of reality found it a curious sight.

Teaching updates: I've been asked to do even more courses, so I'm also teaching a section of 2nd year EFP in the winter, and also instructing Fashion students in their final year about television production.

Realised that I was very low in my protein intake because of all the working out, so I've started drinking this whey protein powder stuff that you buy in a big plastic jar. Actually, it's remarkably tasty, and I can feel the energy difference. Don't worry, no awful make-you-jumpy ephedrine or other nasties in this. No 'roid rage here, thank you very much!

Okay, gotta jet and go work out with my trainer. Have a great week, I'll write back when I can.

L8tr...



Thursday, July 03, 2003
Oooo, cool! You won't know this (unless you're a member of Blogger) but they've redesigned the user interface, and it's quite nice looking. Let's see how well it actually works...

The June webstats are up, but they're boring. Thankfully. People have better things to do during the summer months than surf, especially thru my domain. Having said that, there are still lots of 'blog readers this month (sorry I haven't been more verbose, though!) - 174 visits, and over 6 megs of reading material - whew. Most interesting search engine surfs this month: 19 for nakedair; 15 for nude flight attendants; 5 for barbietwins (a slow month); 4 for the corporation parody website (huh?); 2 for the danacam (okay okay I'm working on it); and 2 for deborah roffman lingerie barbie (apparently Deborah Roffman is a kid's sex educator...)

(Hey Sara, while I have your attention, thanks for updating my links on your blog...sorry I missed you when you were in O Canada...)

I've been doing lots of work on the house, and (along with Kirstin) designing some cool materials (logos website, promotional materials etc.) for a friend's new dance studio - there's only the splash page up now, but if you want to take lessons in salsa or ballroom dancing (or any other kind!) and you're in the Toronto area, drop Tammy a line - tell her I sent you.

Hey, here are some pictures from the moving days, back in the apartment. Just a few from the DanaCam, but thought you'd enjoy being the voyeur once again. Speaking of that, Sarah H. and Ali L. - I'll try and put up the 'cam sometime this summer, I've been too busy right now with other stuff to run the cable. Stay tuned, I'll do my best.

I printed all my novel pages from last summer because I'm still trying to get into the groove of what the characters were like and how they interacted with one another (it's been 10 months since I worked on this thing!) so maybe I'll read those this afternoon and then get back to writing on Friday or next week.

RTA people - I'm officially hired for next fall: 2nd year TV Tech Theory, a section of 2nd Year TV Lab, a part of 3rd Year TV Lab, some of Practicum, and when winter comes, Post Production Supervising Specialty. So if you're taking any of that stuff next year, I could be showing you the ropes. Stay tuned...

That's about it for this entry, but thought I'd drop you a quick jot so you know I'm still out here. I'll catch up l8tr...


Monday, June 02, 2003
Well, I'm moved. And I have Internet access once again from the home computer. I've even tried my first messing around with a router - Kirstin and I both want to get on the Internet at once, and she wants to print to my printer, so I bought a cute l'il router for $45 from Staples. Cool! And you don't even need Access Manager to get on to Sympatico, there's a PPPoE thingmie built right into it. Fun stuff.

The May webstats are up. A slower month, only about 1500 visits. Lots of 'blog readers this month (159?! Advanced Standing students, I know who you are :-) ). Lots of Glastonbury surfs around the site, too, as the 'Fest is this month. Sadly, I won't be going, but I have lots of neat things going on in ol' T.O. this summer, so I won't really miss that. Those who are going - have fun, it's a total blast. A lot of people are coming by Dana's Wiccan page, but I'm not sure why (well over 100), maybe folks are just curious. A bit of a mix of search strings this month, click here to see them.

I'll be officially unemployed by mid-June after Convocation, so it will be back to the novel writing and sitting out in my nice backyard (or maybe on the back deck getting a tan [grin]) so look out for maybe some online updates from the book and Goddess knows what all else will come up this summer.

L8tr...


Friday, May 09, 2003
Hi guys, Packing Day #1 is here. Just cleaned up the email and the April webstats are up (been meaning to get around to that for a week now.) New record, almost 2000 visits this past month to various parts of the domain; almost 100 visitors on April 19 (actually 96 visits); and around 100 people read this 'blog each month. As the Glastonbury Fest gets into gear, more search results for things like Michael Eavis (3) and a bunch of people surfing through my Glastonbury Fest pics from last year. And the usual 65 search results featuring Barbie-something-or-other.

Time to post this entry and get the DanaCam up and running for today.

L8tr,
...Dana


Saturday, May 03, 2003
Well, I guess it's time to spill the beans. Are you sitting down?

I'm moving into Kirstin's house in three weeks.

Yes, you read it right. After eight years of living in teeny tiny bachelor or one bedroom apartments, being the backpacker, and all the rest, I've met the woman who I want to live with. It feels really right! We sort of started bouncing the idea around a little after we got back from the Dominican Republic trip, and one conversation led to another, and so I gave my notice at the end of March that I was giving up my apartment in the heart of the Village. I haven't got around to telling you guys because I've been so busy with the marking and other stuff (see how many 'blog entries I've made in the past five weeks, and you'll see what I mean - a total of two!)

Anyway, you won't see any changes here of course, the Internet being internationally transparent in terms of location. All email and URLs remain the same. If you want my new snailmail address, email me and I'll pass it along.

I guess I'll do my usual "packing up to move" tradition and turn the DanaCam on for the moving days (gad, it's been a while for that, hasn't it?) So, set yourselves up for a special DanaCam Packing Day on Friday, May 9th. I'm not teaching Advanced Standing that day, and it's time I got started with the boxes and stuff. If you've forgotten the URL for the Spotlife DanaCam, it's http://www.spotlife.com/users/danaearth/webcam/ (there's a picture of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster up there now.)

So...see you all on May 9th. Oh, if you see me live and want to email me, do so! I'll have Outlook up and running too, listening for that distinctive "eee-oooo" you have mail waiting sound.

L8tr,
...Dana


Thursday, April 10, 2003
Which Barbie are you? Take the test by clicking on the picture. (Yes, I'm a Harley Barbie. Go figure...)


Tuesday, April 01, 2003
The March webstats are up. The usual foolishness abounds. Some interesting tidbits: about 1800 visits this month. The search engine highlights are as follows (hits, followed by the search words): 46 bush; 39 barbie; 20 candles; 12 nelly furtado; 11 danacam; 8 barbietwins; 7 roger waters; 6 nude flight attendants; 6 vampires; 4 barbie parodies; 4 haircut; 4 hash pipe; 4 love; 4 tom forsyth's barbies; 3 skyline; 2 barbie parodies pictures; 2 dana; 2 danacam engines; 2 entertainment; 2 hacking spotlife.

46 for bush - I guess there's a war on. The usual 39 for Barbie. Six vampires. I guess I should explain the six nude flight attendants. It's to do with a blog entry I made on January 22nd about NakedAir where I was musing about what the flight attendants would be wearing on the first all nude flight. I made it to page one of a google search with that little entry. Who knew?

Thirty interesting countries and places of surfing origin. Interesting note: the U.S. Military made number 22 on that hit list. Oops. I better watch what I say.

L8tr,
...Dana


Tuesday, March 18, 2003
D.R. PicturesWell, they're finally up - some pictures from our trip to the Dominican Republic at the end of February. Click on the picture to the left of that guy chillin' out, to go directly to that webpage.

In other news, even though the Personal Pages page isn't really used all that much any more (most of you just come to the 'blog directly), we've just passed the 2,000 visits mark on that counter, since April 1, 2001.

Still keeping my head above water with mid-term course preparation, marking and so on. Only four weeks left in the semester!

L8tr,
...Dana


Friday, March 14, 2003
A couple of friends of mine who are opening their gallery, Visual Sanctuary, on Friday, March 21st. If you are in the Toronto area, I encourage you to drop by - Doug's done some awesome artwork that going into a silent auction. Liane asked me to spread the word around, so here's the woid. See you there!


Monday, March 03, 2003
I'm baaack! We flew in from the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning around 2:30 a.m., and boy, are our arms tired (okay, old joke.) The highlights - awesome weather, 30 C everyday as promised, went on a catamaran cruise on Thursday and a so-called 'safari' on Friday. Other than that, read a buncha books, got a decent tan, and didn't get on the Internet once in the whole week, which must be some kinda record for me (even though there was an Internet cafe on the resort). Had 150 emails (literally) to deal with today, but they're caught up now.

Webstats are online for February - biggest, most hittiest (is that a word?) month ever - 1399 full visits this month, with over 6700 page accesses and over 41000 hits. Not bad for this li'l ol' domain. This month's "search hit" list, with the number of hits from each search: 20 bush; 15 barbie; 15 love; 14 candles; 10 nelly furtado; 10 wiccan parodies; 9 barbie parody; 6 danacam; 6 haircut; 6 roger waters; 5 barbie parodies; 5 barbietwins; 5 vampires; 4 skyline; 3 danalee.ca; 3 mosh pit; 3 translator; 3 wiccan barbie; 2 cartoons; 2 confrontation. Five vampires?

Pictures coming soon from the trip - stay tuned!

L8tr...


Tuesday, February 18, 2003
It's a wild, wild web we weave on the Internet. On December 17th, 2002, I wrote in the blog (now archived but still online) in part:

"The webstats are updated again. No news there, really, but as always the google searches that land people here are fun. People are finding the Wiccan Barbie parody, apparently. My favourites this month: barbie and denmark and pictures and porn and this gem hercules or porn dana lee -ling. Huh?"

Well, I just got an email from one Dana Lee Ling, who spotted my 'blog (probably via google) and he writes "I noted that a popular search in 2002 was "hercules or porn dana lee -ling" I think I must be the cause of the need to drop the Ling hits. (*^ _ ^*)" You can check him out on his page - just use this link.

So, hi from Toronto to Micronesia, Dana!


Don't Cry For Me, La Romana". Okay, I've had it. This freezing bitter cold is just a little nutz. Had enough, do you understand?

We're heading south for a week. See you all when we return after Reading Week!

Well, maybe I'll try blogging from the resort, but don't count on it...


Wednesday, February 05, 2003
TapsPut up a couple of Pictures of the Week tonight. Click on the pic to the left and enjoy!

L8tr...


Monday, February 03, 2003
Sick AGAIN??? Okay, getting tired of this now. Looks like another winter cold is on the horizon for me. Bleah. The sore throat's already gone, now it's turning into sniffle-osis. No big, it's just a drag to have to keep pulling out tissues all the time. Maybe a witchy potion is in order? It was a new moon on Saturday, and yesterday was Imbolc - creative inspiration, purification, initiation, seeking omens of Spring, cleaning house and so forth. Maybe it's time to clean my own body "house"...

January webstats are up. I'm thinking of discontinuing these, but there appear to be at least 30 people a month having a look at them, so I'll keep them online for a while yet. Besides, the "searches" part of the page is always fun to look at, as well as the "countries" area.

I'm getting a lot more caught up on stuff around the apartment, even cleaned the joint last week. Next thing is the big hard drive backup, although it's been housecleaned already in preparation for that.

I've got a couple of pictures to go up into Pictures of the Week, but I haven't had time to process them and get them ready. Soon, soon.

Have a great week,
L8tr...


Friday, January 24, 2003
Do you know your arse from your elbow?
Take the test: http://www.assotron.com/arse-or-elbow


Wednesday, January 22, 2003
From yesterday morning's Metro paper:

Agency offers all-nude flight

UNITED STATES Passengers aboard a May 3 chartered flight from Miami to Cancun, Mexico, dubbed "Naked-Air," will be free to drop their pants, shed their bras and underwear and move about the cabin au naturel. Castaways Travel, a Houston-area travel agency that spealizes in "clothing-optional trips," is offering what it bills as the world's first all-nude flight for $499 US, rount-trip. Reuters.

So, of course a quick search turned up: http://www.naked-air.com . Have a look.

When I read this on the subway, I had some thoughts:

1. What will the flight attendants be wearing?
2. I really hope they don't hit any turbulence while they're serving coffee and tea during the in-flight meal.
3. Come to think of it, what do you do if you drop something in your lap during the in-flight meal?
4. I can hear the PA announcement now: "During takeoff and landing, please ensure that your seat back and table tray - AND NOTHING ELSE - are in the full upright position."

L8tr...


So I run across this book of matches at my local pub the other night. The book has been sitting on my desk here at the apartment for about a week. Who the hell was this guy, and where is this "Slave Exchange"? First, I thought it was in Quebec - duh, there's no French on this matchbook cover, I shoulda known. Apparently, the place is in New Orleans (N'awlins). Okay, what was it doing on a pub table in Toronto? Curiouser and curiouser...


Sunday, January 19, 2003
We're only beginning week 3 (of 13) of the new semester at Ryerson and I feel swamped already. Not with the courses, they're actually motoring along fairly well. But how often we find that there's just not enough hours in the week to do everything we'd like to do! I want to work on the courses, watch movies and hang out with Kirstin, keep up with my small freelance projects, and do those little (and not so little) things that are bugging me about my apartment, not the least of which is cleaning up the joint. Today I just made a "household to do" list in my Palm, because if I don't do that, I get monkey mind about all the stuff I "should" be doing instead of watching, say, last week's Buffy episode. I just try to console myself: "It'll get done, really it will."


Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Finally got around to putting up the December webstats. It was a pretty quiet month, 784 visits, I've had almost that many in the first week of January alone. Interesting hot spots: this 'blog, students checking their marks, the DanaCam gallery archive, some pictures from the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury (Bush, Nelly Furtado, No Doubt, Ani DiFranco), and...17 hits looking for WiccanBarbie, and 34 hits looking for Barbie or Barbie parodies. Lotsa countries this month: Canada, US Commercial, France, Netherlands, US Educational, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Argentina, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Germany, Slovak Republic, Brazil. Ya gotta love the Internet...

L8tr...


Once More With FeelingBest CD purchase so far this year: The soundtrack from the "Once More With Feeling" episode of Buffy! (click on the picture on the left for a closer look at the cover.) You loved the episode, now get the full-length versions of the songs. I'd burned a CD from the show last year when it was aired, but it's really neat to have nice clean versions of everything without sound effects from the episode. They give you bonus tracks - 3 Christophe Beck tracks (from "Restless", "Hush" and "The Gift") and an interesting demo version of "Something To Sing About" where Joss and Joss' wife Kai Cole are doing the parts of James Marsters and SMG, respectively, accompanied only by an electric piano. There's a good set of liner notes (if a bit theatrical) featuring a blurb from Joss and, of course, all the lyrics. Best price I found was $16.99 at CD Replay (Yonge and Bloor for the Torontonians reading this.)

School's in session as of yesterday, so the blogging may slow down a little bit. I'll try be a little more active this semester, though. Only thirteen weeks to go until the end of the semester!

L8tr...


Thursday, January 02, 2003
I just came across a journal entry I made right around this time last year. It seems no less appropriate now, so here it is. Enjoy for what it's worth, and...hmm...think about it...

"I suppose it really is in the best interests of industry to make people believe that the only way to live is to take a 9-5 M-F kind of job. Because somehow we've convinced ourselves that we need so much when, in fact, we really need very little. I mean, I always felt that the upper middle class rat race was a little overstated in terms of necessity, but little did I realise that the whole desire structure is, in fact, deeply flawed. Go into any magazine store and you'll see what I mean. Fashion, makeup, home improvement, cigars, sex. There's even a journal called "Stuff"! Can you guess what it's about?

Many years ago, a pundit (whose name escapes me at the moment) proclaimed that, at the rate we were going in the post-industrial revolution, it wouldn't be long before we would be working a four-day work week, occupying ourselves for the other three days in the good life that such intense industry would surely bring.

It hasn't happened, has it? Of course not. Unless you're one of those "bohemian" types who've decided to buck the trends by not bothering to play the game to begin with. You vagabond, you. The lighter work week and the opportunity to sit at a cafe on a Thursday afternoon watching the world go by hasn't materialised for one very good reason. Imagine what would happen if we all were shown that we didn't have to work as hard or as long to achieve. In fact, what if it wasn't important to achieve at all, just live comfortably, within our means, and not be interested in competing or climbing any kind of professional or social ladder whatsoever? Why, we'd want more of that kind of life, wouldn't we? And the next thing we knew, we'd be realising that we could probably work for only three days a week and be fairly comfortable, too. Maybe even realise that our car didn't have to be replaced every five years...in fact, we may find we didn't need a car at all because, after all, now we're only commuting for less than half the former work week!

If this sounds impossible or even improbable, I can only take my particular situation into account as a living example. I am working, on average, three and a half days a week. That's been the case since I returned to Canada [in spring, 2001]. Because I'm willing to share the wealth and not knock myself out with work, I rarely commute with the daily rush of humanity on our beloved transit system. I haven't owned a car since 1996. I live in a bachelor apartment, with unassuming, although comfortable, even cosy furnishings.

Once again you may say to me (as you have no doubt said before) "That's fine for you, you're single and have no dependents. I have a wife (who also has to work to make ends meet) and two kids." But...how much do we really need to make those ends meet? Did you enjoy the just past Holiday rush of consuming as much as I didn't? I would have best preferred to avoid the whole thing completely, but tradition dictated that tokens of personal appreciation in the shape of small packages to be opened on the anniversary of the birth of an interesting man that lived some 2000 years ago be exchanged.

And if that last sentence sounds confusing, it should."


Happy New Year everyone!

I've filed all of the 2002 DanaLife blog entries in the archives now (the December postings are still on this page, for continuity's sake.) So if you want to read all of the nonsense since last April when I started the blog, just click on the link at the top of this page to head to the archives page. The December postings will leave the current blog entries in about another month.

Want to know the nutritional information in all of those great McDonald's meals? Click here and see just how many calories you're consuming when you eat a Big Mac Meal (answer: Big Mac - 574; medium fries - 354; medium Coke - 215. Total - 1143.) Did you know that the average person, if they did nothing more than sleep all day (don't we wish?) consumes about 1700 calories. So, here's a weight loss reduction scheme. Do nothing at all, each and every day, and eat one Big Mac meal. Lather, rinse, repeat. Hey, you'll lose weight in no time! (Note to anyone who actually just took that seriously - I'm kidding.) But don't add a McDonald's breakfast to the scenario, because that Egg McMuffin and hash browns will add another 444 calories to the equation. You like the "Big Breakfast" instead? It's 648 (!) calories. And, just to defend McD, they don't add flour to the milkshakes to make them thick, contrary to popular urban myth. Ingredients for what they call the "dairy mix": "Milk ingredients, sugar, modified milk ingredients, glucose, soy mono and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, artificial vanilla flavour, carrageenan, cellulose gum." Thought you should know why they feel so "filling".

L8tr...