31.1.01 7:04 AM | link ]

I always find it amusing to see what's in people's bathrooms. I don't go as far as to snoop in the medicine cabinet or anything, but items on countertops and other open surfaces are always up for inspection. Now, many people have reading material in their bathrooms: maybe Cosmo , or Maxim , a Reader's Digest or two, or mayhaps even Mclean's . Even newspapers have been known to make their way into the water closet.

But we at the crackhouse have gone one step further. Rather than merely amuse our bathroom guests, we choose to educate them. And what better reference book than Gray's Anatomy . Yes, "The Classical Anatomical Handbook for Doctors, Students and Artists."

With 780 illustrations it's sure to keep anyone occupied.


30.1.01 10:55 | link ]

This ad reminded me of my first standard driving lesson for some reason. Not that I was *quite* that bad. ( ... right, Ryan?) Well, since I got more than one lesson, I suppose it couldn't have been *too* traumatic for him.


29.1.01 4:42 PM | link ]

While reading the postings to my technical communication list today I came across one from a woman who requested help in viewing headers/footers in Word2000. She was "unfamiliar with Word2000" and could not find the toolbar for headers and footers. My first thought was, What's different in Word2000? I have Word97 at home but Word2000 at work, so I quickly opened up Word2000 to see what was "new". My second thought was, What is she, blind?!? Because if you open up Word (2000 or 97) and go to View, right there you can see "Header/Footer". Right where it's always been.

Ok, maybe her preferences have somehow been changed so that this option doesn't show up automatically. I'm willing to accept that.

Curious, I went to the Word Help file to see if they had anything about not being able to see the header/footer. After typing in 'header' (or 'footer', I tried for both) you get a screen telling you in plain language how to view headers/footers. Which really makes me wonder - did she not bother to check the help file before posting to the list? It's not like the Help was hidden in some obscure link. Right there, simple search.

Which brings me to my point: what does it say about a documentation writer (who presumably would write Help files as part of her job) if she won't even look things up in Help? What does this say about her own confidence in what she does if she'd rather ask someone for a solution than spend thirty seconds looking up her problem in the HelpS file?

Maybe it's just me - I do like to solve my own problems - but it seems like a pretty telling thing that a documentation writer won't even use what they produce.

Me, I always use Help files. But then again, I am stubborn about asking for assistance. {grin}


25.1.01 6:06 PM | link ]

I know I haven't been posting much lately (thank *you* for pointing it out). I've been busy.

But, to keep you all amused in the meantime, here's a little 'quiz' I found in that tech writer's list I belong to (mouseover to find the answers - no peeking!):

  1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
  2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
  3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
  4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?
"According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers got several correct answers."

I got every question wrong.


24.1.01 7:15 AM | link ]

Well, well well. One of our very own is up for a bloggie (best canadian weblog). Go vote. You'll feel better.


22.1.01 11:04 PM | link ]

Argh!! I was on my way to being at one with the crackhouse again. But it is resisting my efforts.

On Sunday I went down to check my laundry and found the washing machine had moved almost a foot from its normal position. I opened it up and found it filled with water. Let me tell you, a washing machine filled with clothes and water is one heavy hunk of metal. After much pushing, pulling and general cursing it was back where (I thought) it belonged. But no. I turned it back on and it began shaking and moving towards me. Five minutes later, after unloading and reloading it several times, I finally realized our floor was obviously not even, because pulling the washing machine forward about four inches solved the shaking.

Tonight the toilet clogged up for the fourth (that I know of) time since the beginning of January. The last few times it has merely clogged up, and after a few plunges with the plunger, run smoothly again. But this time, the little flapper on in the tank got stuck, so water kept running into the bowl, causing it to overflow onto the floor. A towel and a bathmat were sacrificed in an effort to keep the water from running out the door (apparently our bathroom floor isn't so even either).

Does it not like use anymore? Does it not like the parties we throw for it?

2:55 PM | link ]


That was quick.

2:37 PM | link ]

Why can I not wipe the finger smudges off my computer screen? Why?  [link]


20.1.01 11:31 AM | link ]

Woohoo! I must say, we sure do know how to throw a party.

I met tons of new people last night. I caught up with a slew of people I haven't seen in quite a while. I finally met Nick and Dave in person (well, re-met Dave). There were just so many good things about last night.

And, no smoke detectors this time.


19.1.01 4:35 PM | link ]

If the last half-hour of work is hard ...

... the last half-hour of work on a friday is agonizing ...

... and the last half-hour of work on a friday before a keg party is just downright excruciating.


16.1.01 10:42 PM | link ]

A new story - kind of. It's my version of an event (i.e. the *truth* ). The story was inspired by the fact that Matty wouldn't drop the subject, the title - What Matty Wants - was inspired by the movie What Women Want . The decision to post it now was prompted by the post below, outlining my experience with the gym lady.

7:42 AM | link ]


A little story to entertain you (and me) on a Tuesday morning:
The regular readers of this blog will know that I joined a gym not that long ago. On our tour of the facilities, the trainer mentioned some kind of "fitness schedule", where you could keep track of your visits and what you had worked on when you were there, to track your progress towards your fitness goals. He also mentioned that it was part of the membership and someone would show you how to use the various machines. So far, so good.

So, last week when I was in, after my workout I went to the front desk and tried to explain that I wanted one of these things. Not knowing exactly what to call it, I tried to explain that it was something included in the membership and that someone showed you the machines and which ones to use to acheive your fitness goals. The woman I spoke to did not have a *clue* what I was talking about. I could only reiterate my understanding of it and that it was a free service. So she mentioned something about a fitness assesment or a training consultation. Again, I had no clue, all I knew was that it was free and they helped you with the machines. She elaborated, explaining that in a fitness assessment, they took your measurements. Well, I didn't think that was what I wanted, so I told her it must be the other thing. It happened to be that she was the very person to set this up with. (This should have been my first clue - if she was the person to set it up, should she not have known what I was talking about in the first place?) Anyway, we set up an appointment. So far, so good.

Now, it was only when I arrived for my appointment yesterday and this woman asked me more questions that I found out this consulation was not free. Not even close to free. Not in the same *realm* as free. One more time through it (FREE) and she understood what I wanted.

Now, had she listened to me the first three times I said the word FREE , perhaps I would not have had to say it a fourth time.


13.1.01 1:09 PM | link ]

oooo, I'm so happy!!!

I was just talking to my friend, and he picked up tickets for U2 in May. They're in the stands, which is fun because then you get the whole experience of the concert. And last night I talked to my mom and she said the special offer for tickets from Propeganda arrived and she's dropping it off today. So those tickets will be for the floor, which is fun because you are so close to the action.

So I get the best of both worlds. I'm likin' it, I'm likin' it alot :)

12:38 PM | link ]

I've heard it said that we are all 6 people away from everyone in the world. I'm not sure I believe that on a global level, but it's sure coming true here in Waterloo.

Through random surfing I found Nick's website, and through his site I found Dave's website.

Through the UW webring , my roommate found Dave's website, and thought he looked kinda familiar. Considering the pic of him only shows the top of his head, the rest being obscured by a bag of Oreos, I questioned her accuracy but aparently she is right: we have met him before. It turns out he is friends with a girl we lived with on our last summer school term and came to visit her.

Now, you could say this isn't too unusual for UW, but it kinda of is, considering that we are off-stream to all these people, meaning whenever we are in school they are not. So really, the chance of our paths crossing is pretty slim.

And in only 2 degrees of separation no less! :)


12.1.01 9:12 AM | link ]

Maybe it's because it's friday, or maybe it's just because I'm a little tired, but the fact that Tim Horton 's actually has posted on their walls a Guide to The Perfect Toast for bagels amused me quite a bit this morning.

And yet my bagel was still burnt around the edges.

8:47 AM | link ]

Yes, I think we are just about on schedule. Today is Jan 12th. The last oil delivery was Dec 10th. So that's $420 of fuel in a month.

Yup, just about on schedule.

Whoever told me oil was a cheap way to heat a house, lied


11.1.01 8:12 PM | link ]

To get to work, I have to take two buses, which don't always link up the way I would like them to. Because of this, and my sometimes unnecessary habit of getting to the bus stop too early, I have found an ever increasing need to add layer upon layer in an attempt to keep warm in this damp winter.

I started my ritual of waiting for the bus with my winter coat and a hat. I quickly moved onto my coat, a hat and a scarf. Soon after came my coat, the hat, the scarf and a pair of gloves (which I had forgotten at home when I moved back here after Christmas). Eventually came the coat/hat/scarf/gloves and yet another scarf. I have now moved onto the coat/hat/two scarves/gloves and a pair of mittens. With this I have almost reached an acceptable level of warmth.

I didn't feel weird about all the layers of clothes until the mittens. Every time I put them on I am reminded of winters as a child, where my mother would attach the two mittens together with some yarn, string them through one arm of my coat, across my back and then out the other arm to prevent me from losing them. It really was pretty handy and only became a problem when I outgrew the length of the yarn and the mittens had to be restrung.

For some reason, I am so tempted to attach my mittens together with some yarn and string them through my coat. *So* very tempted.

2:11 PM | link ]

Did you know that if you type in blooger.com you *still* end up at Blogger?

I did try an assortment of other variations, but didn't find any others that worked. 


10.1.01 6:06 PM | link ]

Since I have a writing job this term, my co-worker suggested subscribing to a tech writers' mailing list. So, of course, since these are people who spend all day playing with language, the mailings are filled with such wonderful words as egalitarian (favouring social equality), and my new current word: peon which means "a menial worker" or "a drudge".

Gotta love people whose job it is to make fiction into fact.


9.1.01 11:47 PM | link ]

Phew! Finally!

Now, I know it's been quite a while since I've posted a story. I have been working very hard on trying to finish stories, but all I seem to end up doing is starting new ones - so, without futher ado, here for your reading pleasure is one of the ones that made it through the gauntlet that is my mind: Hobgoblins.



8.1.01 11:08 PM | link ]


The UW webring has just gone international with the addition of two students on a co-op term in Japan.


6.1.01 6:19 PM | link ]

may he rest in peace.

When we moved into the crackhouse in September, we discovered we had aquired two 'pets' in the process: a frog under the basement stairs and a mouse in the kitchen.

I received this e-mail from one of my roommates today:

... today when i was cleaning the kitchen i was sweeping and when i peered under the stove i saw mousy crouching in the track of the drawer that we took out earlier last term.... we don't know what he died of, but it looks like he passed out under the stove (probably after the kegger ) and never woke up.  he now lies in a shoe box wrapped in a garbage bag waiting to be sent to his final resting place at the dump.  may he rest in peace.
poor, poor little mousy.


3.1.01 6:49 PM | link ]

Oh, and another little tidbit from today ( I think you'll like this one Brad ): all employees have their picture taken and entered into an online "family photo album". It's supposed to make it easier to put a face to a name. Anyway, since we've already been entered in the album, but haven't had our pictures taken yet, they've substituted a filler picture in the meantime - Buffy

6:11 PM | link ]

A funny little story from today, my first day of work: On my very first work term I met my friend Terry. Although we look nothing alike (tall vs short, blond vs brunette) people for some reason constantly got our names confused and called her Tracy and me Terry. We worked in the same company for our first three work terms, so I got pretty used to answering to the name Terry, and since our friends do it half the time as well (must be the fact they both start with 'T'), I've pretty much adopted Terry as my second name. On our last work term we worked at different companies, so the mix-ups (at least at work) finally stopped.

So, imagine my surprise when I logged onto my work computer for the very first time today only to discover that they had entered all my passwords and such with my name as Terry. I just laughed my ass off.


2.1.01 7:35 PM | link ]

A new word, courtesy of Max: omnipotent. And, just for an extra dose of fun, it is both an adjective and a noun. Oh boy . But, since as a noun it is basically synonymous with God, and well, that was giving me sentence problems, I have chosen to use it as an adjective: "Being virtually omnipotent in its present state, Microsoft has the world at its feet (except, of course, for the US Justice Dept.)"


1.1.01 8:16 PM | link ]

I am *such* a lazy ass. I had every intention to call up a friend and go to the gym today, but did I? Nooooo. What did I do instead, you ask? Well, you see, A&E had a Law & Order marathon on today. So, instead of working my butt off, I have been sitting on it all day watching the tube - it's Law & Order, whatcanyado? Plus, there's only one more day of daytime television before my four month, work-induced hiatus so I'm savouring every second of it. 

9:53 AM | link ]

My fortune from the New Years party I attended last night:

Tracy will realise that the field of Mathematics does not test her creativity enough and will pursue her life-long dream of becoming an exotic dancer

Well, I'm not sure I would say it's been my "life-long" dream .. just the past few years. I mean, it's just an idea I've been kicking around ... I hear you make good money :)

I really wish I could remember some of the other fortunes though, they were all so funny. Some were "so-and-so will get laid", "so-and-so will get laid, but not with a prostitute", which were funny because of the people ... um .. there was a *really* funny one that involved reading three different fortunes to get the whole fortune, but alas I cannot remember it too well. I know it involved running off to a beach in Baja or someplace like that. I didn't get to read them all.

Maybe, just maybe, I can scrounge up some pictures of everyone dressed in their finery last night. We'll see.

Anyway, Happy New Year and all of that.