Monday, August 19, 2013

Vacation Post

After a couple of weeks on vacation, I can honestly say it felt longer, and in a good way.  Not your normal complaint, to be sure.  A few select stories and events that summed up the bizarre, highs and lows from a great vacation.

Snake Kills Two Kids in Campbelton: A bizarre news story that first reported the incident occurred in Moncton, instead of Campbelton.  When they mentioned Moncton, I was almost certain I knew which store was involved; this store was rather infamous for high turnover of ownership and some shady puppy mill rumours.  These larger species snakes are by no means banned but they require a permit and registration with the province, largely to ensure animal control and the local authorities are aware the thing is there.  This also provides inspectors the authority to ensure the animal is properly stored, properly cared for and not a risk to owners or anyone else.  Despite all that, for such a bizarre event to occur would require a series of maladjusted decisions to occur.  We’ll let the police investigation to conclude whether charges are to be laid, et cetera.

Grandpa Visit:  Last remaining grandparent, the man is an aging 86.  He recently suffered from a bout of pneumonia and other complications led to a throat infection.  Nothing serious, except for a guy of 86.  He lost weight from a skeletal frame, was weak, prone to dizzy spells, the works.  When I called to ask about a visit, he was heading to the hospital to see a doctor and the only thing he was concerned about was making a recovery to let me come visit and order up some sandwiches from Jarry's Smoked Meat and have some beers.  About three days later I paid a visit and he was a new man; mind over matter with the aid of pharmaceuticals.  That said he hoofed down a quarter of a sandwich from my uncle’s order.  Not too shabby for an octogenarian. 

Smoke meat, the sandwich that cures all ails!
Ottawa:  Went for a quick visit to the nation’s capital to visit my wife’s cousin, her husband Yves and their two daughters.  The four girls together are absolute bedlam.  I don’t care what anyone says about boys versus girls for energy; these four were ready to put no less than three of the four parents into traction.  Yves took me to House of Gorgie Sorento's, a central core pizzeria where they served a pepperoni pizza slice with their own gravy.  My wife and her cousin thought it was nuts, disgusting, revolting, pick your adjective.  I’ll simply use the one word I thought of after my first bite – divine.  The owners were a pair of characters as well.

Shovelled 30-tons of Crushed Rock:  Yep, my physiotherapist is going to lose her shit wfxith me tomorrow when I explain what I did; my spinal surgeon would likely kill me; my wife is not amused with me; my mother-in-law is most definitely not amused with my father-in-law.  The entryway to my father-in-law’s cabin is approximately 400 meters long, with crushed gravel along the wheel wells; every five years or so we have to order a truckload of “crushers dust” to cover the wheel wells.  This year was particularly necessary at year five because of a few heavy rains.  Instead of the usual one truckload, we got twice the tonnage.  I made evenly spaced piles for him, so he could rake them into the paths properly.  Yeah, I shovelled and wheel-barrowed thirty tonnes of rock on my vacation.

Night of the Assassins:  Book 2 of the Ochra series, I reworked the first six chapters.  Introducing a character originally cut from the first book, it shows the peasants’ perspective from a Yubari survivor.  It was a nice change to throw work in what I believed a ‘lower caste’ would envision of the invasion and the political manoeuvring within the J’in Empire and how it impacted them, despite not having a voice in the matter.  The next step is to revisit Tagaretsu’s perspective and flesh out what the Elves are doing.  Soki’s bit requires a bit of fleshing out, so I’ll take my time storyboarding her chapters – she is going to have a rough go in this one.

World War Z:  I just finished reading the Max Brooks novel World War Z.  I’m not a huge fan of horror, but this is one book I would highly recommend to anyone into spec fiction.  Told in a non-narrative format, it recounts the Zombie Apocalypse after the fact.  The individual accounts are stirring and with the notable exception of two or three character scenes, entirely plausible; those two exceptions are likely a simple subject-matter ignorance (lack of knowledge) in military and naval capabilities.  Quite frankly it did little to detract me from the overall narrative.  Here’s how good this book is; at my father-in-law’s cabin, I had no less than six sleepless/fitfull nights as every noise and creak at night drove me to imagine my reactions to a zombie invasion – what weapons would I use?  Where would we run?  Is the off-shore island safe?  Where would we get/steal food and gasoline?  How effective would that sickle in the shed be?.  My frikkin’ overactive imagination played tricks on me.

Def Leppard’s Hysteria Album:  Every once in a while I like to pull out an old CD and throw it into the player.  I’ve rediscovered the total awesomesauce that is the Def Leppard Hysteria Album.  This thing is golden, from track 1 through to the end.  There simply is no mediocre song in there; one of the quintessential rock albums from the 80’s.

Monday:  Back to work.  Yeah....

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