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These are posts made using topics suggested using the service Plinky.com

The Books that Bite and Sting

The Books that Bite and Sting

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you, and why?

Let's Pretend this Never Happened Cover
Let’s Pretend this Never Happened

This is one thing that is difficult to come up with. Over the past 2 years I have bought almost a dozen new books that I have not finished. I still have “1000 Years of Annoying the French” and my newest purchase “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson on the go. By on the go, I mean that they are in my room with bookmarks marking the page I am on. And by bookmark I mean the sales receipt it came with.

Although I did finish an e-book the bites. In more ways than one. It was “Dead Sexy Vampire Erotica” by Kim Corum. It is about a woman who is married to a vampire and she hates her life most of the time and can’t stand him or his friends except for the “Erotic” part that makes up for it. It is one of those things that is so bad you can’t stop reading. Much like Patricia Harkins-Bradley’s “The Diamond Club” except worse.

Was it Real?

Was it Real?

If you eventually break up with someone, was it ever true love?

Keep in mind that as I write this I have never had a break-up. I think that there could have been true love for one of the parties and not the other.

I think there are situations where someone can truly be in love with someone and then the other leaves them heart-broken after a change in their own personal situation. There could be a situation to happen when you have to say to your true love that, I have to move one and it is in your best interest, and I think too much of you to carry an unhappy you around, go follow your own dreams.

A Difficult Goodbye

A Difficult Goodbye

Describe the last difficult “goodbye” you said.

My last difficult goodbye was in London last fall. It was so difficult when you are in such a close group of people on a bus tour, knowing that you will likely never see any of them again to say goodbye.

This one in particular was hard for the main reason I was extremely tired. That day we started the day with an early departure from Amsterdam to try to catch the 1PM ferry in Calais.

When I should have been getting some well needed rest after an incredibly active day of walking many kilometres rather that trying to translate Dutch to take the street cars, the worlds most annoying creation decided that it was time for no one to sleep at 3:30am. That annoying creation was a damned rooster. Although I could probably sleep over the sound of a rooster in this instance, it was several dozen of those buggers.

Most Expensive Purchase – My Rebel 2000 SLR

Most Expensive Purchase – My Rebel 2000 SLR

Name the most expensive personal item you’ve ever purchased.

My Canon Rebel 2000 SLR
My Canon Rebel 2000 SLR

The most expensive personal item that I ever purchased was my Canon Rebel 2000. I would have to say that it was not really worth it. To date I might have used 7-8 rolls of film in it. I just took it off the shelf tonight and the battery was still showing that I have 24 images left on the 24 image roll of film. I’m pretty sure the roll of film is a Black and White as well. Or, really the fake version that ends up sepia. When I turned it on the batteries were dead. This is amazing since it took 2 “L” batteries and the batteries were new when I inserted this roll of film.

The main problem I had been that film is expensive to get developed. Most of the shots were too dark, too light, too narrow a depth of field, or some other issue of not getting to know the camera well. It was within a few months that I also bought my first digital camera after spilling shampoo in my point and shoot film camera.

I have since bought 6 digital cameras bough have yet to replace this SLR.

Last Live Performance

Last Live Performance

What was the last live performance you saw?

London Street
London Streetscape

The last live performance I saw was Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Savoy in London. This was the first time I went to a show in London. I bought my tickets at a little kiosk on Charing Cross Rd.. It was a nice sunny afternoon, I was going to see an afternoon movie but for some reason I decided not to. I think the main reason was I has so much left to see in London and I seen a sign that morning for the Transport for London (TFL) museum and since I love subways I decided that was too important to miss.

I was so thrilled with my purchase and they even gave me a map of where to find the theatre. So after a quick-lunch and email check at the Burger King, I was off to find this museum from memory and some moderately accurate street directions. When I then saw something “shiny” (metaphorically). It was a little stair well to a Ray-Ban designer shop. I when in and tried on every pair. Things appear more magical when travelling.

Then I found the museum and it was 100x better that I imagined the museum to be. It was a second london gem that interested me by surprise like the H.M.S. Belfast that prior to the day before I had not known existed.

Stage setupAfter I when back to the hotel to drop off my new souvenirs and to dress more formal for the theatre. When I got off the tube at Charring Cross I seen the map at the station to get general bar rings as it was about a 5 minute walk. I kept walking and started to question if I had gone too far then I saw the bright pink glow around the bend from the large sign.

I quickly get in created and find my perfect centre seat about 8 rows from the stage about 20 minutes before showtime. After 5 minutes an usher comes and explains that the Ticket seller double sold the same seats and that in typical London hospitality I was given a new seat one row back. Then the show started and was such an amazing musical in such a fashion that held it’s own only differing slightly from the movie storyline and incredibly well acted. It was also really pink.

2011 in 12 Sentences

2011 in 12 Sentences

As the year comes to an end I usually come up with a long post about the year that has been. Plinky suggested only on sentence per month so here goes.

I went to BC. I learned about caregivers. Learned how to program Macros in Microsoft Excel. Lots of sports and trips to Fredericton. I went to Toronto. Started walking a lot more than ever. Went to Montreal and New York City. I got really, really bored and booked a trip. Went on a last-minute camping trip to 10 European Countries. Got better from travel illness. Started taking it easier and planning more. Started doing new things, like translating WordPress to Canadian English and Operation Red Nose.

When I Started Using the Internet

When I Started Using the Internet

How old were you when you started using the Internet regularly?

When I first started using the internet I was 13. My first exposure to the internet was using GOPHER, and having to search using Veronica.

Then when I was 15 I made my first e-mail address (Hotmail pre-Microsoft, I had three within a month). Then in November of 2007 I make my first website “Charles’ Anything and Everything Site” on Tripod that eventually transformed to this site.

A Memorable Mass Transit Story

A Memorable Mass Transit Story

Remember that one time on the bus, when…? Share your mass transit stories.

One of my best memories on the bus was on an East bus headed to the mall on March 25th, 2004. I happened to run into my friend Tony, we were both heading to the mall. At this point I had my first batch of 25 names on the nomination papers. This was where Tony signed as the witness.

As soon as I got to the mall I instantly went to head back to the north end to file the papers. The first time 8 of my names were rejected as the people who signed were not actually registered to vote. Then the second time 45 minutes later I was 2 names short. Then 25 minutes later, I was officially on the ballot.

When it finally got approved, the first thing I did was to run to every media outlet that I could find and dropped off my Press Release.

Running for Mayor was one of the most interesting times of my life, and all the people and aspects of the community that you get exposed to is unreal.

Then six and a half weeks, and 448 votes later that part of my life was over. Thus leading the way for 2 days later when I left the province on my first vacation and train ride later.

And the travels continue…

My first job was a Credit Card Telemarketer

My first job was a Credit Card Telemarketer

Question: What industry ushered you into the workforce? Describe your first work experience. How long did you last?

My first job as was as a credit card telemarketer for $9/hour. It seemed like a good job at first. The training also seemed very decent. Then shortly after things started to change quickly. It was the Easter long weekend coming up, and they were offering overtime for I think it was Good Friday but it was for a different bank, and credit product, with a different script and a much different “terminal” interface.

Just as an aside, most people called them DOS screens just because it was all keyboard operated and text-based. Some people are just totally wrong, and non-technical.

Getting back on track, after the weekend ended there was a push on leads for this other bank and since I had done it for a day I was kept on the new campaign and was expected to have results on the leads with out the proper training on the program, just three sheets of paper. To make it worse, just as soon as I was catching on, I got thrown back and forth between the two very different credit card products.

After 7 weeks, there was a presentation that I wanted to go see at council, it was the operating budget of Saint John Transit. I went to work because I felt I had an obligation to the job, but then I had the worst customer ever, and a very un-supportive supervisor. So I signed out for my first break, left my key card next to the keyboard, and went to council. I never returned.

From this job, I learned two very important lessons. Sometimes, you have to take the initiative to learn on your own that you need to know to excel at a job. This is something the has been very critical to a few of the jobs I have had. Before I worked as a graphic designer at Johnny’s Coupons I had never used CorelDraw ever. In my current job, everything changes everyday and there is a steep and very broad knowledge involved, not attempting to learn on my own would result in me not getting as far as I have.

The second lesson was when an opportunity arises jump on it. Taking risks is a necessary skill to advance. This came true again about three and a half years ago. I was asked “Do you want to work on a six-week contingency project?” If I missed that opportunity to say yes, the last few years would be incredibly difficult.

I Wish I Were Fluent In French, German, Italian and heck Venician

I Wish I Were Fluent In French, German, Italian and heck Venician

I have tried many times to try a new language but it is very difficult unless you can immerse yourself in it for a month or two.

Despight the fact that learning to speak French much much better would help me find a more decent job, the language I would really love to be able to speak is German. I personally find German one of the most important sounding languages in the world. There is something in the sound of it that makes it feel familure and noble.

I also love how they construct larger word putting smaller ones together. I would also live to hang out in a platz over a piaza.

That being said Italian would also be cool and more specifically Venician. Venice is one very amazing place that you can very easily lose yourself in.