Monthly Archives: July 2007

Not too scary, so I’ve been told.

Tomorrow morning I have to go to the hospital for a minor day surgery. Apparently, it is a common surgery where I am basically in and out. Nothing to worry about, so they say.

I am not fearful of hospitals per se. The procedure doesn’t really frighten me but for some reason I am a little reluctant to go. Part of me wants to call and cancel the procedure. I know that I have to have it done, and that it really isn’t anything to worry about. And truth be told, I am not worrying. I just seem reluctant, that’s all.

I had to have my appendix removed last year. I tell you, it was the most painful experience of my entire life. I didn’t know the human body could be in such pain. I also didn’t know what was happening to me until I got to the hospital. That was a long day and a long night. It also turned out to be a long hospital stay.

Shortly after I had my appendicitis, someone I knew also had one. He was out and about in one day. I had to stay there for a week because I had a fever or complication or something.

Now I have a hernia. It appeared a few months ago. It seemed like my belly button moved. The hard part behind the belly button moved upwards, just a little bit. It doesn’t hurt at all. I think part of my reluctance comes from the fact that it doesn’t bother me physically,

It seems to me like the appendicitis and the hernia coming so close together can’t just be a coincidence. But then I know that is just me being silly. Of course they aren’t related.

Tomorrow I will have a quick procedure, be in and out, and have nothing to worry about. I will take tomorrow and possibly the next as recovery-take-it-easy days. I probably won’t get a chance to blog for a few days but I will let you know how everything went when I sign back on.

Recommended Reads # 1

I enjoy reading and would like to share some of my favourite books with you. This is the first of what I hope is to be several entries under this header.

Heartbeat by Sharon Creech

This book sounds amazing! It is a verse novel and at first glance it seems like a collection of poems, but it is a novel. It tells a great story about a 12 year old girl who likes to run. It is my favourite book. If you can get a hold of the audio book, do yourself a favour and get that because this a book that needs to be heard.

Read my further posts about this book

Author Mail

Novel Study Tradtion Begins

Novel Study Tales to the Track

Beauty is Everywhere

Spam – What is it Good For?

I keep an outdated email address that I use whenever I need to sign up for anything on the Internet. I personally don’t use that email account for sending or receiving messages. I only use it to confirm my address for certain websites that require such a thing.

I have posted my email on my website and this blog because I want people who are interested in my writing to be able to get a hold of me. So far, I haven’t had any problems with doing so. But today, I started receiving spam at this address.

I don’t know what use unsolicited email advertisements actually serve. I normally delete messages where I do not recognize the sender. I have opened emails before thinking that ads can’t really do any harm, but I was wrong. I have gotten viruses and messed up my computer a few times due to an email. Now I am very cautious about opening anything suspicious.

I wonder if anyone enjoys reading spam. Do people open up links out of curiosity? I know that some people don’t like getting junk mail at home, while others enjoy reading flyers and looking for deals. I haven’t really seen people that do the same thing online.

I just hope that these two unsolicited emails won’t lead to an avalanche of more spam. I really don’t like the waste of time it incurs. I hope it doesn’t cause any damage or fill up my inbox. I just hate spam! Doesn’t everyone?

Blog Friends

How do you thank a friend for all that they do? I know that showing appreciation for regularly daily acts is something that is often overlooked. I want to make sure that I don’t make that mistake, again.

I have been blogging just a few short months but I have been fortunate enough to become involved with some great writers. At first, I know that I didn’t have any readers other than myself and the odd family member.

Then, all of a sudden I got a few comments posted from eastcoastdweller. I couldn’t believe it. Someone who I didn’t know read my blog and made several well-thought out replies. I was immediately intrigued and decided to visit ECDs blog. What I saw and read on his blog impressed me and I became a fan. We regularly comment on each other’s blogs now.

After ECDs involvement on my blog, I started reading more blogs. I found another great writer, Alexis, and was immediately drawn into her writing style. I put up a link to her blog and was honoured to see that she returned the jesture.

I found the Beautiful Day Rule blog which reminds us all that we should spend time outside when it is indeed a beautiful day. Karen writes about topics that interest her and is a crusader for various worthwhile causes.

I think ECD started a little community here because there are about five bloggers who are now frequently commenting on each other’s blogs. I think it is great!

I love to see all the comments I have been receiving from chipazoid, the empress, Alexis, Karen, Silverfish, Leese, and of course eastcoastdweller. I just wanted to say thank you to you all, and although I don’t know you in the physical sphere, I am honoured to call you friend in this blogosphere.

Autograph from a Hip Hop Legend

This is a picture of the album cover I got signed on the weekend. I got signatures from some legends in hip hop; Masta Ace, Wordsworth, and Punchline. These three emcees have joined forces with Stricklin to form the supergroup EMC. They performed Friday Night at The Opera House in Toronto.

I tell you, it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. I am a big Masta Ace fan and he didn’t disappoint. Punch and Words were in a group together before and have both released solo albums. Strick has done songs with all three of them before so they had a lot of material to draw from for their performance.

I really liked the way they all got to shine and perform their biggest hits. Masta Ace and Strick even left the stage to let Punch and Words do some of their songs. It was like having four different concerts all seamlessly put together on one stage. The supergroup also played new material from their forthcoming album.

After the show was over, all four artists came down off of the stage and signed autographs. I was so excited at getting the chance to meet Masta Ace. Punch and Words both appear on his album too so I got all three of them to sign it. The picture is a little blurry but I couldn’t get my camera to take a better picture of it. This cover means a lot to me now that it is signed. I will treasure it.

Internet Privacy

I don’t think that there is any privacy on the Internet. The Internet is too big of a community that is not sufficiently policed. Anyone can get online and access all sorts of information that I would normally have considered private. For instance, I googled an old acquaintance and found a newsletter from her company that bid her farewell and good wishes on her new endeavor. Should that have been online? I don’t think so. It was a private matter for that company only, not a public document of any sort.

The other thing that disturbs me somewhat is Facebook. This is a specifically designed website that allows you to post up personal information and find old long lost friends. It really is an interesting service. I decided to join and participate in this online community. I got freaked out though when people started posting all sorts of pictures of me in the line of “friendship.” I did not want these photos being posted up but I couldn’t do anything about it.

I deleted my account sometime ago but when I did so a message came up that I could reactivate it anytime I desired. I tried just that today and was a little taken aback to find that all of my personal information was still on the site. Deactivating my account did not delete anything whatsoever. I decided to manually delete everything in my Facebook account and then deactivated it again.

I hope that does the trick. The truth is that I don’t feel safe having personal information out there in cyberspace. And now that it is out there, I don’t think it can ever be truly erased. I think we need to be careful of what be post up online.

Sometimes I think this blog might even be too personal and give people some ammo to use against me. Perhaps I am just being paranoid. I don’t know. All I know is that we need to use caution online. I will be a lot more careful in the future of what I do online.

It Doesn’t Mean Anything

I would like to comment about the ribbon campaign. You know the one I am talking about, right? The one where you wear a ribbon to show your support of a very important cause.

I am being deliberately vague here because there seems to be a new ribbon and a new cause every day. The latest one is this yellow ribbon that is really just a decal that you can put on your vehicle. The ribbon is supposed to show your support for Canadian troops overseas.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the troops. I support them and their efforts. I wear a poppy every November to show my support for those men and women who have fought and died in service to this great country. But what does a decal that looks something like a ribbon placed on the back of a car really mean?

The thing is, with all these ribbons and jelly bracelets out now to show your support for such and such an organization or cause, you can get absolutely weighed down. My car could be completely covered in ribbons and decals, so could my jacket or outfit.

To support a cause you need to do more than wear a ribbon. A ribbon is pointless. It shows other people that you put in a minimal effort. It doesn’t show the troops and doesn’t really help them in any way. So let’s slow down with these utterly pointless campaigns. If you want to do something meaningful and supportive by all means, go ahead and do so.

I volunteer a lot in my community to show my support for a variety of different things. I give blood regularly as well. I do my part. I just won’t adorn a ribbon or bracelet. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone.

Preserving Memories

I have written a journal for about ten years now. I think that it is one of the best ways to preserve memories. I love reading old entries and getting transported back into time.

Recently, I have found another way to do same thing. I was searching through some old video tapes that I thought were just garbage and have found a lot of family memories. We used to tape things all the time on our VHS camcorder. It was a great surprise finding all these old tapes.

Now that VCRs are on their way out, I thought I would get rid of my old tapes that I haven’t seen in years. But I just can’t get rid of these old camcorder tapes. I can watch these again and see my grandparents who passed away some time ago. I can see how dorky I looked like as a teenager (of course back then I thought I was cool.)

So I went shopping and purchased a relatively cheap DVD recorder. I am now in the process of transferring all those special moments onto DVDs. I can put the discs into a wallet and throw out boxes and boxes of out-dated tapes. This also makes it easier to share these memories with my family because everyone these days has a DVD player and few even have VCRs anymore.

Secret of Life

When I was a teenager I had this figured out. I was so sure that I knew what the secret of life was. I wrote about it in my old coiled notebook which was the first version of “Silent Cacophony.” I still haven’t been able to find this book but I have a few places where it could still be hiding on me. I just haven’t had the time to launch an extensive search but one day I will.

City Slickers had a great take on this theme. Curly, played by Jack Palance, shared his belief on this subject by holding up his index finger. That was the secret of life, he said. It’s one thing. It was a succinct way of saying that everyone already has the secret of life at the tip of their fingers. Curly explained that it is something that everyone needs to figure out on their own.

When I was a teenager I thought I had it all figured out. I believed that life was about finding what makes you happy and doing it. I also thought that you needed to help other people to get what they want as well. By doing both of these things you could have a happy life. The whole point of living is to be happy.

I still think that we are meant to be happy in this life. I think that most people will agree with me. But being self-centered and not caring about others is not the way to do it. If you are happy but your neighbours or family members aren’t, then it doesn’t really count.

I heard someone say this on television this week but I can’t remember where it is from. They said that life is about passion and sharing it with others. So if you can find something that you love and do that, then you will be happy. If you share that passion and pass it on to others then they will also be happy.

I know this sounds completely simple. Life is complicated and hard to figure out. And of course we can’t be happy all the time but maybe working towards happiness and pursuing it is what life is all about. I could be wrong, who knows?

Skateboarding without a Skateboard

Have you seen this new sport? It’s called parkour and it involves running, jumping, and flipping over every obstacle that you can think of. It looks amazing to see people acting like Spiderman by running up walls, jumping and flipping over buildings and anything else they happen to come across. It reminds me of skateboarding except that you don’t use a skateboard.

This new sport originated in France and has now become popular among college campuses. The word is derived from a French term for obstacle course, which doesn’t really fit what the sport is all about. It is about athletic prowess, style, and skill. In a lot of ways, it parallels skateboarding. Skaters use the man-made environment to do all sorts of tricks, jumps, and manoeuvres. People who do the sport of parkour call themselves traceurs and basically do the same thing.

I remember when I was a kid I used to see karate films where the stars would run up the wall and do a back flip. I was so intriguing by this that I tried running up the wall too. I never tried the back flip part (I was too scared I would kill myself) but I was surprised to find that I could actually run up a wall. If you run towards a wall and bend you toes just right you can actually take three of four steps up the wall. I used to do this in the community centre when I was a teenager and I would get so close to the ceiling that I could actually kick it. It was an amazing feeling.

I still like to run up the wall in the gym occasionally. If I am playing tag with the children I will launch myself off of the wall or take steps across it on my way. The kids call it “Matrix” every time I do it now, in reference to the movie.

I am not about to start this new sport but I can appreciate it. I think that people need to treat this as a sport though. I worry that people might just think that they can run and jump over anything whenever they want. First you need to be able to run. Train yourself to run three to five kilometres so that you have a comfortable pace. Second, you need to train your self on the safe ways to jump and land. Third, you must learn how to fall and ways to protect yourself. Fourth, practice, practice, practice. You need to be a good athlete before you even try to do any high level or tricky manoeuvres.

So get a skateboard and fly through the air, do all sort of fancy manoeuvres and tricks. Or if you can’t afford to buy a skateboard you can learn how to parkour. Just remember that both sports are technical and require training and practice. I don’t think anyone would jump on the ice and try to do figure skating without any training. So be smart, have fun, and get active. Or just be a spectator and appreciate the art and beauty because these sports aren’t for everyone.