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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Sunday, March 27, 2005

SF to Sunday Morning

So staying downtown in a city like SF is odd... it creates a "GOGOGO!!!" feeling that is totally different than the last visit here where we stayed in North Beach. Yesterday and this morning we captrued some of that feeling again. We took the bus down to North Beach, or rather the opposite end fo the pier and then walked along, looking at things and hanging out with Lucas. We then went up the hill to Columbus and ate at a cool little (cheaper) Italian place. (name to come in the edit) It was totally fun and lucas continues to eat past like a mad man. Then we waited for the Mason cable car and then we road home and headed up to bed. It was a very mellow day.

This morning we went for a walk to the Yerba Buena Gardens, which I consider to be the model every city planer should be using for urban parks. Next to it, connected by a walk way is the ZEUM center, which has really realy nice park for children, the play surface is all in rubber and there are HUGE slides. Lucas giggled with glee.

I have no idea what we will do this afternoon, but we're trying to keep it chilled before we go home tomorrow.

I was at the door of the apple store when it opened. The homless people running up the stairs to check their e-mail is facinating to watch. Their tech ;needs are beyond me... do they email buddies? At least one is maintaining some kind of web presence... I wonder if there are any studies on how they use computers and if there would be a way to do outreach with them. There is a video editing suite okn wheels in Montreal that allows homeless kids to do their own videos... and there was a project in remote areas of India to give computer access to poor rural kids ....

Thursday, March 24, 2005

SF Through To Thursday

Ok, so this place remains one of my favorite cities that I have ever visited, amazing weather (baring the last few days weather), good (if not cheap) food and so much to do and see.

Our hotel, the Powell, is a bit rough around the edges, but clean, relativly cheap and we can look out our window to see how bad the lineups are at the cable car. There is a little cafe in the lobby, run by a local chain. Buddy who runs it is a bit anal. By which I mean he aligns all the juices with ar ruler. I joke.... sort of.

We've been all over the Haight, which without the history would just be a cool neighborhood, but with the history is loaded with all manner of odd irony (the Gap at the corner of Haight and Ashbury as an example – the little preppy girls squealingly commenting on this irony being another). We've been to one of the aquariums and looked at buildings, done some shopping (LUCAS SIZED RAMONES T-SHIRT W000TTTTT!). Yesterday we went to the Asian Museum, they have a show on Siam and another one by a contemporary Chinese artist, Mao taking a nap surrounded by 20 thousand plastic dinasaurs is not something you see everyday. Today we're going on cruise thing we got for with our City Pass (unlimited MUNI riding, plus a bunch of attractions) and then we're going to ride the BART and go to Berkley. Tomorrow we'll go to Golden Gate Park and then to the MOMA.

My only in SF moment, I'm in the Apple Store here and to my right is a guy with prison tats who looks like 3 steps from homeless and he is updating his website in pure HTML with no WYSIWYG app.

We've only had one moment of slight stress: last night we were looking for somewhere to eat and were heading for the Castro and wound up rolling up on some corner boys.. umm.. young businessmen selling their ummm.. wares.... I did I quick look around and discovered that the same custom was taking place on all the corners that I could see. Neighborhoods like that, which are half way gentrified and halfway really really not, are really interesting.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Flight

So Lucas was a pretty big star on the plane. He basically was fine except for the landing at SF, where it felt we went into near vertical dive on landing. His ears popped and he was crying and such. Appart from that, and the need to go for a walk or two he was perfectly amazing.

Thoughts that I had at Vancouver International Airport: WHAT A FUCKING PIT.

Here is what goes on at the airport: You get off the plane and you have to walk forever and then you find a luggage cart then, because you haven't gone through US customs yet, you have to collect your bagage. But when you get to the place where you go to go through US customs you have to surrender your luggage cart. Then you get to worlds most bored customs guy and then you go through. Then (huh) you collect your luggage. But you can't find the kid carrier. Because it is in a special pile that no one told you about. So you find it by mistake. Then you find another luggage cart. Then you go to the Securit check point, where two nice ladies put the bomb sniffer wand thing through your luggage and marvel at all the diapers you have with you. Then you go along to where your luggage goes down a conveyer belt to the luggage handling. There you discover that the goofs at the luggage conveyer belt really like sitting. So you get to put the kid carrier down the special conveyer belt, while they sort of point at it vaguely. Then you loose the luggage cart again.

For the last time.

This leaves you carrying (in our case):
A child
A child seat
A backpack
A kid carrier duffle bag
Some other random shit I can't remember

This also makes you angry.

But now you want to eat, which usualy makes me happy. Except that the Burger King (OH SWEET SATURATED FATS AND STARCHY GOODNESS) are only on the other side of the glass in the international side. This means you have to eat 8 dollar bagel sandwiches.

So, Vancouver International can kiss my butt.

Then we left and got to SF and had a nice ride to the hotel and a light nap and then dinner at a diner.

Friday, March 18, 2005


I appear to have forgotten my blogger password, so posts may be totally, um, well there might be no posts while I'm on vacation.

We'll see.


The problem wasn't the password, the problem was that I'm a dork and I couldn't remember my user name.

All these problems stem from my brain being tapioca.

Vacation and the Shit that is Bloggers Post By E-mail

So tomorrow we leave for San Francisco (there will be no flowers in hair thank you very much) for about 10 days of R and R. This means that posting will be weirder than normal. I was going to try bloggers post by e-mail, but I sent a test message about 4 days ago and it still hasn't arrived.

This begs the question, why offer it if it doesn't fricking well work?

Anyway, I'll try and post at least every couple of days and we'll see how that goes.

(I may post again later today, we'll see how busy I am)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Better and Better

That's how I'm feeling. Also how Chris and Lucas are feeling. Well, I'm guessing for Lucas, based on him acting insan... umm.. normal.

We're both (Lucas has no idea) getting more and more excited about our trip. I've never needed a vacation more in my whole life.

I have fuck all to say today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Too much sleep?

All this resting to get ourselves healthy for our trip is buggering us up. I get in bed and stare at the ceiling and last night Lucas woke up a bunch of times. So now I feel like normal.

But with a cough.

FU life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Oh, forgot to mention, I've got a finalized schedule done for my internship report. I'll be presenting/defending during the week of July 11th. This means I get done before my birthday but after my sister's wedding, which feels right on the responsibility scale.

Stupid shit

You know that stupid shit that you needed your cousin or sibling to dare you to do? The "stuff this into your mouth" kind of stuff?

Apparently the boy needs no daring. He was sitting on my lap and was being very quiet (a bad sign) and very industrious (a worse sign still).

So I looked.

He had stuffed the entire pacifier into his mouth.


It came out easily. But this leaves me with several thoughts:

  1. What is the thought process that leads to this sort of activity?
  2. It may well be time to wean him of his pacifier use if they fit in his mouth.


I got up this morning to 6 separate death threats that appeared to come from the administrator of Free Dominion, which I thought was a bit odd.

First, some background, Free Dominion is a site I go to in the hopes of understanding some of the right-wing folk in my country. There seem to be 3 kinds of people on this site, reasonable Red Tory folks, who I disagree with about 50% of the time, reasonable Social Conservative/Neo-Con folks, who I disagree with always but are able to form complete sentences and nuts who are concerned about Desmond Tutu coming to your house and implanting you with a tracker chip so the black helicopters can find you easier (don't ask, PLEASE don't ask). My wife doesn't want me to post on this site, she feels that the nuts are a bit to excitable and that some of the neo-cons are a bit to close to the nut end of the spectrum. She may well be right.

So you get it, I disagree with most of the posters on that site most of the time.

Back to the death threat. Connie, (one of) the admin(s) of the site is not someone I agree with (at least she is honest about her support of a partial birth amendment being a wedge issue) but she has never struck me as a loon. So the death threat was a bit, umm.. FUCKING SURPRISING . Then I read it some more and noticed that it was from some asshat calling itself "LUELinks" and then I realized that Free Dominon had been hacked.

Now, let's leave aside the fact that they are running a system that some script kiddy doofus could get into and access email addresses and deal with how dumb the attack itself is. This sort of illegal activity does nothing for anyone, paints anyone who opposes the political views on the attacked site with the same brush as the twit who attacks and is generally counter productive. Don't like the political views on this site, fine, get out and vote down the party that is closest to representing them. Hell donate money to the other parties, protest at their conference (Hint, it's in Montreal this coming weekend), run for office yourself, BUT DON'T BREAK THE LAW BY BREAKING INTO A PRIVATE SYSTEM AND THEN USING THE PRIVATE SYSTEM TO SEND A DEATH THREAT TO ANONYMOUS PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET YOU PUERILE LITTLE DICK!

Tunnel, light at end of?

Ok, so some of us (well me) are starting to feel much much better. I feel like I did two Saturday's ago, just before I got sick. Which I view as progress. Lucas slept pretty much through the night last night and is coughing less and acting like Lucas more. Chris is still sore throated etc but seems to be on the mend. So there is hope that we won't be lying around in our hotel room in SF getting well at the rate of a couple of $100 a night.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Croup? Crap!

So Lucas appears to have the croup. Being viral in nature, as opposed to bacterial, there is nothing anyone can give him to make him feel better. Basically he is taking tylenol ever 4 hours and we're using the steamer thing in his room. It is really scary, his throat is all sore and buggered and it is swollen. This means he fights for breath and his little chest compresses with the effort, the more upset he gets the more he fights for breath. So you have to calm him down and then he will breath normally.

For a bit.

Basically we all got about 4 hours sleep last night. At one point Chris gave up, took him upstairs, put him on her chest on the sofa and he fell asleep for a bit. This let me get 2 hours of sleep. She's downstairs, collapsed right now.

It is very odd, when we are alone I am more than able to calm Lucas down, but as soon as Moms is in the house I am a distant second choice.

The doctors (and websites I've been reading) all tell us that this will last for a few more days and then will be mostly gone. This assumes that we will be alive to see this great leap forward.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

HA.. pwnt by teh sickness.

So after washing my hands raw, after not kissing him goodnight, after driving off his inquisitive hands, Lucas has still managed to catch our cold.

He has an appointment at the CSLC tomorrow for shots, but he can't take them if he has a fever. He toped out at 38.6C, which, using the underarm method, is barely a fever. That said, you don't want to play with that sort of shit.

Anyway, fun and games.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Yesterday Lucas was 18 months old. I would like to report that there was cake and balloons, but both Mama and Papa were feverish and in bed by 8:30. It seriously seems like yesterday he came home from the hospital.

This morning I went into his room to get him and I just stood over the crib watching him roll around, in mute awe. When he came home from the hospital he slept across the crib and fit perfectly, with space to spare, now if he does that his legs hang out the bars. He actually fills like half the crib (there is spirited debate on this subject - my wife says 2/3rds, there will be scientific testing a bit later, results to be reported here) when fully stretched out.

It's been an amazing 18 months, tiring, frustrating at times, but the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life by far.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The battle rages

So, my cold/flu has progressed somewhat, it seems to live exclusively in my throat and upper lungs right now but comes with a very impressive warm front. Christine has the sore throat right now and Lucas isn't telling what's up with him (fever free so far).

My theory is that we're all going to get sick and miraculously get well again just before our vacation in SF.

Or not.

More later.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Never. Fucking. Fails.

See, stress and tension keep you together. You are stressed and busy and tense and you get lots done and you can overcome all manner of physical odds and problems.

I tell you this because I relaxed after deciding to defer my graduation.

This was a bad idea.

It started yesterday. I had a weird feeling in my chest, and was all out of breath and hot. By the time bed time rolled around I was coughing and running a low grade fever.

Now I'm feeling all shitty and like death. Why oh why did I decide to relax?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Burgeoning Need for A Drivers Licence

Ok, so both Chris and I are over 35 (and that is all I am saying about that subject) and neither of us drive.

I'd guess that 80% - 90% of the time this is no big deal. Most of our life is 45 minutes from our front door by foot, a large measure of that even closer (groceries, pharmacy, restaurants, bars etc), but then there are the extremely aluring/useful places that are just out of reach or that sell things that really don't fit onto a bus or Metro.

Into this catagory fits IKEA, MEC, Home Dept and a couple of other places. All of these can be reached in under an hour by public transit, 45 minutes being our record to MEC, but you certainly can't do them all in one day, can't buy anything too big when there and you always have to think about the coming back. Bus drivers/Metro ticket booth guys will humor you when you bring some lumber onto public transit, but 10 foot pieces of 2 X 4 really isn't go. Simmilarly, renting a canoe or kayak at MEC is kind of impossible without a car.

IKEA is another good example. Very often we don't want anything big, we just want some cool, cheap magazine boxes, or something to put my mountains of CDs into. I seems silly to ride the bus or an hour to spend 80$ at IKEA and then turn around. So we put it off, and the CD mountain grows, and then we go to buy something big and forget the little stuff.

So last night we decided we were going, that we were taking cabs, and we were going to like it dammit. Our rationalization was/is that since no one babysits we never go to the movies (NEVER EVER) so all the money we have saved on the tickets, pop, popcorn and gigantic bags of M&Ms could easily be spent on taxi fare.

It was at the point that I was paying the second driver in front of our door (about $25 each way) that I was struck again by the fact that at this point the only reason I don't drive is that I am pure lazy.

I need to look into a driving school.

Blockage of ... umm.. Route 2 or, Daddyposting with an edge of gross

So, and there is really no delicate way to put this, Lucas was all blocked up the last two days. His tummy was enormous, he, like most babies, has a bit of an Alfred Hitchcock /Winnie The Pooh profile at the best of times. But this was stupid, it looked like he had swallowed a volleyball.

So, a couple of times it looked like he was, umm... working things out on his own. Working things out on his own in this case means pushing and straining and getting all sweaty and crying, OH SO MUCH CRYING.

Anyway, nothing happened and we went out shopping and all was well and good. So we got home from IKEA (we cabbed, someone in this house needs to get a drivers license – more on this later) and he was a bit crabby but that was mostly needing his bottle and such. So he went down to bed, and again all was well and good. Suddenly there is this great wailing from the basement over the monitor and we both rushed down there. He was all red and veiny and sweaty and his eyes were filled with tears. Touching his butt to check his diaper I discovered he had solved the problem, or perhaps grown a tail.

There is no moral to this story, I just needed to share. That said, today will be prune juice and fibre day.

Crisis Averted or Self Inflicted Deadlines That You Can Change Are Not Something to Stress Over

So, after much grinding of teeth, much pulling of hair etc etc I realized something, no one but me wanted/needed me to graduate this spring. Not Christine, not my advisor, just me.

So I e-mailed my advisor and made sure he would still be available to advise if I chose to graduate in the fall term. He is. So now I'm going to do that. I'm too tired, too busy, too messed with life to be able to be done to present/defend by April 7th and I really don't want the last bit of work I hand in for my MA to be a pile of utter shit.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

On the importance of clear deadlines

So, my thesis/internship report advisor and I have never really discussed deadlines. I was aiming for the night before we take off for SF on vacation, so the 17th or 18th. I hadn't mentioned this to him, but I figured that he would review it, I would have fun while he did this and I would return rested and ready to rumble (alliteration, kind of).

So imagine my surprise when I checked my Education department FirstClass e-mail account and find a message asking me to have it done for tomorrow.

Problems with this request include:
  1. It's not nearly done
  2. I still haven't worked out control of time and space
  3. It's not nearly done
  4. I have this crazy idea that sleep is a good thing

I emailed him back and suggested next Friday as something resembling reasonable (which will be a sleepless stretch, but probably doable).

God, I am at that point where I just want it over with. And to think that I am still seriously considering a Ph.D.

New Look (sort of) Coming

I'm working on some slight modifications to the House of Fun, I don't like the way the links on the side work, and I want some kind of graphics in the title. We'll see what comes of it.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, hold your breath waiting for these changes. Life is busy, so I can't promise timeliness.