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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Archive for September 2006

Hard contacts, hooo!

I have in my eyes my first set of hard contact lenses. I now have 20/20 vision in both eyes but, as my brother described it, it feels like I have fingernails in my eyes. The lenses irritate my eyelids. That feeling is supposed to go away in a few days, but in the meantime, the trade-off is a net zero.

There’s still a bit of astigmatic double-imaging in my keratoconic eye, but not enough to drop my vision below standard. Cost was $250 (Canadian dollars).

Other than that, my out-of-town family is returning home in drips and drabs. I’m on top of school and freelance work. I’m doing regular bouts of shoulder exercise as prescribed by my physiotherapist. Outside of life as a writer, all is well. That darned writing part is the anchor I’m dragging, however. I need to get something done there, and read Alex’s latest, a week after I promised to.

With any luck, by Friday, it all will balance.

Help me play a playful prank

I’ve been friends with my good buddy Bram since fourth grade. Bram will be celebrating his 40th birthday on September 12.

I’d like all visitors to 101 to e-mail birthday wishes to Bram on his birthday. It doesn’t matter whether or not you know Bram or not – in fact, the less you know him, the better a prank this is. I’d love to see him get a few hundred e-mail messages.

You can reach him at bram22(at)videotron.ca. Don’t tell him where you heard about his birthday. I want to see if he figures it out.

Bonus whine of the week:

Who decides to tear up 700 or so linear meters of sidewalk in front of Concordia’s Loyola campus, and eliminate the associated 700 meters of parking, the week that classes start? Genius at work in this city, I tell you what.

More Montreal Film Group

I attended Tuesday’s Montreal Film Group meeting with my cousin (the actress) and her latest director. She expressed her surprise at how extroverted I acted, because I’m not that way, and even less so around family.

I suppose that means my schmooze skill is increasing, and as further evidence of that is that I got a message today that someone wants to hire me, not as a writer but as a researcher on his documentary.

Researcher on a movie, hooo! (There’s a new Hard Gay video out, by the way.)

Another, more established documentarian complained to me that other filmmakers constantly call him to ask if he knows any researchers. Now he does. I’m rarely optimistic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that contact turned lucrative down the road.

Other than that, the party offered plenty of recognizable faces – and hemp ice cream. I tried the maple flavour. One small half-spoonful was enough. It tasted like thick barley honey gone bad. Bleah. What were they thinking?

Bonus Irrational League update:

I’m going to finish third. I have a seven point cushion over the clump battling for fourth through sixth place and even if my hitters continue their 4-for-September performance, I’ll stay ahead of them. Four points ahead of me, Frank and the DJ conglomerate are battling for first. My pitching just never got where it should be, and while the pitching stats improved, a blowout a week is keeping my ERA artificially high. I won’t make up four points in the next three weeks.

.287 batting average (1st)
240 HR (2nd)
920 RBI (1st)
103 SB (8th)
4.47 ERA (7th)
1.33 WHIP (4th)
76 wins (3rd)
28 saves (6th)

We’ll MySpace like it’s 1994

I promised Will last week that I’d post what I thought about MySpace when I had nothing else to write about, and here we are. My dad and sister have been in town, and my teaching semester starts in five hours – between preparing food and lectures, I haven’t had much time.

MySpace is a social networking site, and certainly not the first. It is the most popular, however – it’s the sixth most popular site on the Web. Why? Because it’s high school all over again, without the books.

MySpace is a huge popularity contest. Whoever gets the most friends gets to show off. You also get to show off your hip tastes in music and images. You can join cliques – er, user groups and advertise – er, blog.

Like I told Will, I understand why people flock to the site. Who doesn’t want 384 friends? Who doesn’t want to show how with it they are? Who doesn’t want to belong to a group of cool kids?

Unfortunately, this quest for popularity leads to begging. About 90% of all MySpace messages are users asking to be added as a friend. I don’t see the point. And MySpace is a mess. The pages abandon design principles like there are none – like it’s 1994 on the Web all over again. Text appears in a range of colours, and blinks. Music plays. Images overlap or lay willy-nilly over background images. It’s a mess. If Jakob Nielsen were dead, he’d be rolling over in his grave.

I’ll stick with the new-fashioned, uncluttered Web, thanks.

Now, off to turn in a Reader’s Digest research report and thence to school.

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