Monday, 15 December 2003

The K-W Report

This report is classified.

For more information, please contact the proprietor.

Thursday, 11 December 2003

In the Spirit Of...

Since you guys seem to have so much fun reaming my academic prose, I couldn't help but offer up a burnt offering. Ladies and gentlemen, I present How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Review.

Since it took the form of a book review, my writing style is a bit more casual, and I think I defended my own points a bit more strongly. I also admit to the death of my essay's conclusion. Conclusions are something I've never been good at, and which I've doubted the importance of - sort of like the Objectives section of a resumé.

You know....

Objective: A job with your company. Dumbass. Obviously. What were you expecting? A dozen homemade chocolate cookies and a cold glass of milk? A standoff between the gutangs, and The Hermit of Leaky Lake? What?


Compare with: In conclusion, if you read my shadily defined thesis, and the rest of my paper, you'd already know what I was talking about, and you wouldn't need to be reading this conclusion. Please go away and die.

I point out, once again, that while I was writing much of this paper, it was three in the morning, and I was feeling punchy. It was either a tounge-in-cheek acknowledgements page, an "I'm Going to Kill you All" page, or me, jumping off a bridge. I think I chose well. And seriously - caffeine doesn't get the credit it's due. It deserved this one.

Wish me luck on Intro. Psych.

If Only I'd Known

If only I'd known that all it took to get people to post vigorous and thought-provoking comment was me, posting screen upon screen of prose that could best be described as "derivative drivel", I would have started a long time ago. :-)

I write my last exam tomorrow, and then I get to relax. Yippee!

P.S. For the curious minds that need to know, the current score in Branflakes vs. Acadia is 2-1, for me. Going for 3-1 tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 December 2003

Branflakes vs. Acadia

Round One - Fight!

The penultimate examination free-for-all begins tomorrow evening at 7:00. Enjoy the rush as Branflakes, in the blue corner, weighing in at just slightly too much to be really healthy, squares off against CREL 2213, Introduction to Biblical Studies, in the red corner. CREL 2213 weighs in at three months, many lectures, and a lengthy essay on 1 Corinthians 13. Come for the fight; stay for the reasonably priced concessions.

Updates to follow.

Saturday, 29 November 2003

Sweet, Sweet Nothingness

If you take a look over on Nancy's site, you'll notice the great news she provides regarding her feduciary situation. And good on her, I say.

As you can see, my situation is significantly less promising. Observe how the balances are so high that they have reached critical mass, and not even the light needed to make those numbers clear can escape their massive gravitational pull. Note also how this same gravitational pull blurs the account numbers as well.

Truly, I tell you, these balances are capable of making grown men cry. Believe me, I've done it. :-)

In other news, the trek toward completion of the Corinthians paper continues unabated. When it's finished, read it here first. Unless you're Dr. Evans, in which case, read the copy that I get to you using ADC's late essay handin procedures. At a hopeful 1600-1800 words, the longest piece of incoherent crap biblical exegesis ever emanating from my pen brain keyboard. I will look forward to reading my loyal fanbase's comments.

Exams start next week. Whee!

Tuesday, 25 November 2003

When the Spammers Just Stop Trying

Before you get your hopes up, I'm not delivering news that I've discovered a new mind-contol technique that causes the spammers to stop spamming me. Indeed, like many people, I receive dozens of wonderful spam messages from irritaing people who I just wish would go away and die lovely people who I just can't wait to meet.

So when I say the spammers have stopped trying, I don't mean that they've decided to become less pervasive or ubiquitous, just that they've stopped trying to blend in anymore. Recently, for example, I received three unsolicited commercial e-mails (Spam messages), none of which I read, but the senders of which intrigued me most greatly.

These three messages came from two individuals, specifically Mssrs. Idiosyncracy Q. Interruption and Spacesuit M. Interjecting, and a group, Christian Debt Management.

Mr. Interjecting, or since I feel we're so close, just Spacesuit, promises me Top Dating Guide and Pickup Lines. Whilst I do admit to being single, I don't need help from anybody named Spacesuit, thank you very much. Our other good pal, Idiosyncracy, is willing to tell me how he learned his mafia secrets. Poor guys, what were their mothers thinking?

Hmmmm... I'll name my boy after a peculiarity, something strange with the state of things. That'll make him popular with all the other kids. Sure, he won't be able to spell his own first name until college, but... meh. Oh well, at least he'll be able to spend time with ESPN, and Saddam SARS.

And don't even get me started on Christian Debt Management. In other news, frightening television evangelists predict the end is near again this week. Help them pay down the mortgage on their new, palatial church building before the end time comes. I was going to say eschaton, before realizing that maybe two people who read my website know what the eschaton is. ;-)

On the life side of things, the big paper that I though was due tomorrow isn't due until Friday. That's good. Conversely, the smaller paper I thought due Friday is due tomorrow. That's -- less good.

Also, I need to be at the Atlantic School of Theology tomorrow at 9AM. That's the pinnacle of not quite so good, as I am (for the moment) the pinnacle of a Not Morning Person.

Wish me luck. Leave comments.


Update - November 29: Add Bonaventure H. Parliament and Alternating P. Polyphonic to the list of interesting spammers.

Tuesday, 18 November 2003

Don't Try Beating my Torch

The Apple XServe bragging about its redundant, dual-source power supplies is like a varsity football player bragging about the size of their wang. You already know they're better than you, so mentioning anything more is just showing off. :-P

In other news, I've, at last, written the last of my midterms this semester. The third Computer Architecture came to fruition this Thursday evening. Immediately following, in a moment of drowniness-induced improvisation, I added a neat new closing chord to the end of the Lord's Prayer. Awesomeness ensued.

On Friday evening, I enjoyed, in the company of friends, the 1st Annual Acadia Chapel Choir Marshmallow Fete. Marshmallow related products of every kind abounded. I personally liked the gouda cheese (most definitely not marshmallow-related) though. The beautiful strains of Christmas carols sung by a choir of sopranos wafted in from the piano room of Michelle???s apartment, and the marshmallow roast at the Wolfville Court firepit was an unqualified, if snowy, success.

Corollary to this, your Tip of the Day: If you ever find yourself unable to start a bonfire in poor weather conditions, just turn to your trusty propane blowtorch. Nothing can stand up to a propane torch forever. :-)

And corollary to that, your Questions of the Day: What exactly is a bon? And why would we want to catch them on fire? Your prize for answering this question is my undying love and affection, and a week???s supply of bons to burn. Ladies and/or pyromaniacs are therefore encouraged to apply. Pyromania is optional.

I await your answers. :-)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003

We Will Remember Them

They shall grow not old, even as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.

- The Act of Remembrance

Thursday, 30 October 2003

Why I Hate You

Yes, that's right. I mean you. You personally. What - you think I can't tell who you are, just because you're on the other side of a monitor screen? Surely you knew of MovableType's magic powers?

Right, as I was saying... why I hate you. I'll provide a list of the all the reasons I hate you, and you pick the one's that apply to you. They are specified in no particular order; not all my apply to you. Some may apply to nobody.

  1. You ran into my car.

  2. You got angry at me about something, even though you knew the problem wasn't my fault.

  3. You puked in your laptop.

  4. You don't care enough about presenting yourself properly to worry about such trivialities as capital letters, and punctuation.

  5. You broke my heart.

  6. You puked in your laptop again.

  7. You lied to me.

  8. You hurt my friends.

  9. You made me wait forever to get medication I knew I needed for the disease I knew I had.

  10. You don't proofread.

  11. You allow policy to override decency.

  12. You stole my glasses.

  13. You punched me the whole way to school on the bus in seventh grade.

  14. You puked in your laptop again - you REALLY don't get how this works, do you?

  15. You don't think Homestar Runner is funny - Click here for your free million punches in the face

  16. You believe that all people are equal, and should have the same rights - unless they're different from you.

  17. You come to the Helpdesk, and say "It won't turn on. And it's never come into contact with water."

  18. You don't think my jokes are funny.

I'd like to hear your additions to this list. Please comment.


At the insistence of those who know these things, I have added comment meta-data to the front page for each posting. Also, unlike some, I did it without instructions, and included the time for the latest comment, because that usually works better in my head than a name does.

Either way, enjoy the information, and watch for me to abuse my l33t MovableType ski11z in the future.

Monday, 27 October 2003

WD-40 Upgrade; In Response

They say that water is a natural lubricant for the throat. That's why you're supposed to drink lots of water while singing - to keep your vocal system's plant nicely moistened. I'm in the Acadia University Chorus, where this year, it has been ordained that we shall sing Messiah, by G. F. Handel.

This combination of facts elicits a certain amount of confession from me:

  1. I'm a tenor.

  2. I'm not really a tenor.

  3. Sadly, I actually am a tenor. Just a bad one.

  4. I have bronchitis.

  5. Unlike most of the chorus, therefore, I sort of squawk through Messiah.

Which brings me to my title. I figure, the way my throat feels after 2.5 hours of singing Handel, that I need to upgrade from water, and spray a can of WD-40 down my throat after chorus practice. Or maybe before. Then we could cut the pain out altogether. :-)

Also, to report on some questions from the previous entry...

Peter: Sadly, no. A shame, too - her Scottish brogue could have added life to some of the sessions. Wow - librarians can be <understatement>boring</understatement> sometimes. Thanks also for telling me how to turn HTML on in my comments. W00t.

Andrew: "Baby needs a new pair of shoes" is common slang used whilst gambling to indicate that you hope for an outcome in your favour. Not that one ever really hopes to lose when gambling. There is no baby. There is no nineteenth floor. And there is no Miss Zarves.

Nancy: If comments could buy me footwear, then I'd replace these air force boots that I have to wear when I play with the band. It's just like wearing two coffins on your feet. Also, I need a new pair of winter boots. :-P

Minako: I really don't think so. I don't recall ever agreeing to any bet. That having been said - if Andrew's the man paying... sure, I'm in. ;-)

Matt: Everyone else was talking about babies. Where did you get brothers from? And yes, I actually have two brothers - one is a sophomore at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish; the other is in Grade 7 back home. I also have a sister in Grade 11, who formerly follwed in my footsteps as a library shelver. Seeking better in the world, she recently got *cough* promoted to her new job - kitchen staff at McDonalds.

Also, in library news - kudos to Sue for getting the Halifax Library job! Yay!

Sunday, 26 October 2003

Kiss Me, I'm a Librarian!

[seen on a t-shirt at the Nova Scotia Library Association's annual conference this weekend at Dundee Resort, Cape Breton]

NSLA was... well, about as much fun as one can expect when you take a hotel in rural Cape Breton, fill it with Nova Scotian librarians, library staffers, and library board members, and set them loose. There were times I felt in danger of being networked, and the pervasive, unmistakable odours of innovation and syngery were never far off in the distance. It could have just been the smell of the chlorine from the hotel pool, though - they do smell a lot alike. :-)

My first seminar was on the place for social justice and social activism in the public library system. It discussed how public libraries need not just be information sources, but also the genesis point of meaningful discussion, and, more importantly, meaningful change, in society.

I also attended a seminar on public library library capital funding, of importance to me because ensuring appropriate technology infrastructure is a key consideration now when making capital investments, and that infrastructure would probably be my responsibility. ;-)

Finally, I attending a seminar on A Day in the Life of Your Library, which I would characterize as the feel-good seminar. It brought more than a few chuckles, as we all reminisced about our memories from a collective experience of library service, and shared ideas about new and different ways of doing things.

Overall, a good time was had. I was fortunate, on the way, to be able and stop in Truro, to meet with staff there about a project I'm currently working on, and in Antigonish, to visit my brother. I also consider myself lucky that, betweenst all the learning and synergizing, I was able to find a spare minute or two to get in the pool. The fact that I'm here implies I still remember how to swim. Or maybe it just implies that the pool's only 5.5' deep, and I'm less deep. You decide. :-)

PS: I demand at least ten comments, as per comments on previous articles. Twenty would be preferred. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes...

Saturday, 11 October 2003

The Season is Upon Us

Good God, it's cold in here.

I'm writing from work at the User Support Center, here at Acadia, and I'm actually finding it difficult to type because my hands feel numb. It probably doesn't help that my brain is numb too, but that's been going on for years, so no one should be surprised.

Nancy, having recently turned 23, is celebrating her new antiquity (new antiquity...) with a shopping binge. If there's a better way to celebrate getting old, I'd like to hear it. I have volunteered to be her driver, and carrier of heavy things. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

In other news, the library is keeping me busy, with server upgrades and network installations scheduled for the long weekend, and a trip to the beautiful Dundee resort in Cape Breton scheduled for two weekends from now, for the Nova Scotia Library Association conference, where I was originally destined to be a presenter, but am now just a delegate.

Fun shall abound, I've no doubt. I'll remember to report back in two weeks with all the stories about how my bosses got drunk and made fools of themselves. ;-)

Saturday, 4 October 2003

Vick's Overdose

Random Fact: Vick's Vapo-rub, if ingested is poisonous.
Random Fact: Camphor, it's medicinal ingredident, and the thing that makes it smell so good, is a weak local anæsthetic and also produces the sensation of warmth. It can also "produce seizures... (which) may be preceded by mental confusion, irritability, neuromuscular hyperactivity, and jerky movements of the extremities".
Random Fact: If you are stupid enough to eat Vick's, you deserve to die.

I'm not at the Vick's overdose phrase yet. I'm more in the vicinity of "God, some Vick's sure would be nice right now." Just starting to get the sore throat, the cough, and the runny nouse. Guess it's time to start taking my puffers again. *sigh*

At least I'm not Nancy yet - the doctors declared her to have both bronchitis and laryngitis. Some people have all the luck. Get better soon.

In other news, tonight is Geek Night - the new combined D&D game will go ahead as planned. I still need to upgrade my character, and then learn how to not suck at the game. All while finishing assignments in Psychology and Data Structures, catching up on some reading in Biblical Studies, and singing for the 40th anniversary service of Manning Memorial Chapel. Coupled with the AcapellAcadia choir fest (for lack of a better term for it) and my impending SARS-like condition, I anticipate having no voice left by Tuesday afternoon, much to the joy of all who are regularly subjected to the sound of me talking.

Finally, shouts out to all you thirteen-year olds out in reader land. STOP GETTING PREGNANT! This concludes our test of the emergency broadcast system. Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, 30 September 2003

Make Comment!

This whole thing where I write and write and write and you, like, don't comment, saddens me. Especially after everybody was all like "Make blog! Do it, or we will hate you."

If I'm making the effort to post all this stuff, you all get off your lazy butts and comment. Even if it's to say, "Screw you, Uhlman! We'll comment when you start speaking substantial things!", or "We hate you, Uhlman! Nobody likes you!"

Heh. As I was typing that, I remembered my social worker from elementary school. So the story goes that, in my later years at Newcombville Elementary, I had a decided predisposition to spending my noon hours with one or two friends or the teacher on duty. Deciding that my lack of social interaction was not healthy, my teacher recommended that I see a social worker, who placed me in a group with a number of other socially isolated youth from around the area.

As I recalled those old times, and thought ahead to now and the crazy psycho I've become, I wonder why they didn't do a better job so I could actually fit in with people and be less... psycho. ;-)

In other news, I got back my Architecture midterm. Perhaps you recall - it was the one of much reamage, discussed in a previous entry. I passed! A small miracle as far as I'm concerned; miracle or not, though, it has occured. Other than that, I'm spending tonight cooped up at the User Support Centre covering Nancy's shift, because she's not feeling well. Feel better soon! Please?

Monday, 29 September 2003

With Regrets

About 11PM last night, I posted, lamenting at some great length the relative lack of hurricane I was experiencing. A friend of mine told me to stop tempting fate, to be careful what I wished for, as it were. Seems I should have heeded her call. Though there was not profound damage here in Wolfville, trees were uprooted, and there was flooding in Halifax County and along the Eastern Shore. Two people, including an on-duty paramedic, were killed when trees fell on their vehicles.

I, for some reason, still find some measure of peace amidst the wind and water. Which, I assure you, did eventually come to the valley, too. All in all, I liked it.

In other news:

I've been fortunate enough to find a friend who is willing to help me improve my swimming, so I suspect I'll be at the pool a bit more often. Yay!

On Thursday afternoon, the South Shore Presbytery of the United Church of Canada approved my request to have a Discernment Committee formed. Over the next twelve months, that Committee will, with me, investigate my suitability for the ministry, and, of equal importance, the ministry's suitability for me.

The Computer Architecture midterm on Thursday was laden with academic reamage. One can only assume that things went just about as poorly with everyone else, when you get an e-mail from the professor which begins, "The following topics have not been very successful and may appear again in midterm 2...", and then names about half the topics covered on the midterm.

Regardless, that's the kind of week it's been. Ta.

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Tuesday, 23 September 2003

Democracy and Beautiful Art

It was something I probably ought to have figured out years ago. With a healthy dose of common sense (or even a barely sufficient one), I should have been able to tell this was a hole I???ve fallen into before. With no common sense at all, I still should been deflected away from this by the huge sign which read simply:


It???s taken a while, but I have, with some coaxing from my friends, reached the conclusion that my mind is not a democracy. What I believe, and the resulting actions, is not the respsonsibilty of some committee. It???s my decision, damnit. Like the federal government, or the land???s highest court, it is not for me to throw my decision-making processes to others.

The United Church of Canada, during its triennial meetings last month in Wolfville, endorsed gay marriage by a large majority. A sub-group within the United Church, the Community of Concern spoke against this. In one of their writings, they presented statistics showing that ???traditionalist??? churches have shown continued and sustained growth in the past ten years, while more liberal ???mainstream??? denominations continue in decline. Therefore, they argue, the United Church should return to it???s traditionalist roots, and cease being the acitivist church they currently are.

I disagree, and take from the position of the Church, a nugget of advice for my life. It is not the role of the church (nor my own role) to do what is popular. We are called to do what we sincerely and genuinely feel to be right, which can be something totally different.

Someone recently told me they fancied me ???a bit of a dolt??? until they read my writing, at which time I apparently moved up in their estimation. You don???t know how nice that is to hear that The last person to tell me that I was a good writer was my Grade 7 English teacher, and she was just an amazing woman, who made you feel good about yourself.

Since then, I???ve started using the word git a lot more ??? seems I have Spike to thank for that. But I don???t think that impacts my writing too seriously. If you disagree, you???re more of a git than I initially took you for. ;-)

Finally, random applause for music! It is the opportunity to make beautiful music, with the Acadia Chorus and Chapel Choir, the Acadia Sprit Band and 14 Wing Band at CFB Greenwood, that keeps me sane.

Remember to smile every day.

Wednesday, 17 September 2003

Stay Tuned

Just finishing up the conversion to Movable Type, the new content management system I'm using.

Content to follow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, 29 May 2003

On the Year That Was

To those keenly-eyed among you, who also deign to read my webpage, you will have noticed that exactly 366 days have elapsed since I last scribbled new, incisive and witty prose on this page. Of course, my use of the word new implies that the former content was incisive and witty. This is very much open to debate.

To Amy, to whom I promised a 1-year update... 366 days is still a year. Yes, it's a leap year, and this isn't; but you weren't that specific. So I win.

And what an interesting year it has been. I have watched the Earth journey from wartime to peace and back to war; I've seen relationships flourish and wilt away; I've watched from afar, powerless, as hearts were broken, and trust lost, and I've had my faith restored as I've seen enduring friendships formed.

I started working at the User Support Centre in October, though it doesn't feel like I've been there for a year - it feels like I've been there for ten years. :-)

I've gone to Halifax more times than I can count; I've been to Maine twice, once for the heck of it, and once to see the National Touring Company of Rent, Jonathan Larson's musical, and perhaps one of the best pieces of musical theatre ever devised, for both it's wonderful melodies, and it's message, " day but today."

I've been involved in two car accidents; one with a police truck (the police truck's fault), and one with a deer. I allege that it's the deer's fault, but others disagree, citing that my car is heavier, made of metal, and has brakes. To each their own, I suppose.

The Branflakesmobile, in it's original incarnation, a maroon 1988 Chrysler Dynasty with painted-over deer-shaped dents, has gone on to sail better seas. In my driveway at home. Full of all the stuff from my apartment that I didn't really feel like dragging into the house. What a life [for the car].

It's successor, Branflakesmobile: The Next Generation, a 1994 Nissan Altima, is truly a piece of vehicular beauty. With too many miles on it. But you can't have everything.

Employment-wise, the South Shore Regional Library continues to own me. Over the past year, I have undertaken another redesign of their website, migrated them from Windows NT to Slackware Linux to Debian GNU/Linux, and from a government-run mail system which made us feel not unlike Oliver Twist from Dickens' novel of the same title*, to an in-house system.

Career-wise, I return to Acadia University for a fifth year in September. Eight precious months to finish my degree, and give me some breathing room to determine where to go afterward. Librarian? Or minister? Cast your vote today!

On the topic of ministers... having recently returned from the 78th Annual Meeting of the United Church's Maritime Conference, I must say I find myself shocked by the acrimony present in a gymnasium full of allegedly like-minded clergy and other faithful. That having been said, I admire the outward decorum that most showed.

In the year to come, I hope to have the boy update the webpage more often than in the past twelve months, and some-odd hours.

The boy, sir?

*He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: 'Please, sir, I want some more.'